Up until a couple of years ago, I didn’t actually use any sort of primers on my face before applying foundation and concealer. I know, I know. What. A. Sin! However since primers have come into my life, I am a changed person (really!) and can’t believe this wasn’t even part of my routine before.

primers

Boots recently had three for two on their L’Oréal products so I picked up three of their new Infaillible primers to try. There are five in the range, but I chose the Anti Fatigue (God knows I need this one!), the Mattifying and the Pore Refining.

The idea of the Infaillible primers is that you can mix and match, and use different ones for different parts of your face. For example, the Anti Fatigue one could be used for any dark circles under the eyes, the Mattifying one could be used on any parts of your face that are prone to being more oily, whereas the Pore Refining one could be used on parts of the face with larger pores. Of course, if you wanted to use the Mattifying one, for example, all over, you could.

primers

Anti Fatigue Primer

L’Oréal claims the “apricot pigments fight dullness and fatigue to restore the complexion to a naturally energised, radiant look”. When I first pumped this primer out, I don’t know why I was so surprised by the bright orange colour… but I was! The first time I used it, my skin was feeling particularly dull, and I was SO tired, so I used the primer all over my face and it turned my whole face an orange-y sort of colour! Oops! The primer has a very thin consistency and blends easily into the skin. Since the first use, I have now only used this primer under my eyes to help fight the dark circles! It does definitely give the skin a glow and perks it up.

primers

Mattifying Primer

L’Oréal claims that this primer “hydrates and controls shine in one easy step.” It “Absorbs excess oil for an instantly matte complexion”. I picked this primer up because my skin is very oily. As with the Anti Fatigue primer, I used this primer all over my face the first time I used it. Again, it has a thin consistency and blends very easily. It did feel somewhat hydrating on my skin. I have been pretty impressed with this primer, as it has kept the shine at bay for longer than most other primers have. Wearing this primer, I can go the whole day at work before the shine is beginning to peep through, which is an achievement! I have mostly been using this with the Anti Fatigue primer, and really like this combination.

primers

Pore Refining Primer

L’Oréal claims this primer should “blur pores, hide skin imperfections and mattify skin for a flawless, even-looking finish.” My pores aren’t overly large and so I would definitely agree with the blurring the pores claim. I have, however, only used the Pore Refining primer once. This primer didn’t mattify my skin as much as the Mattifying primer, although my skin wasn’t overly shiny by the end of the day either. It just wasn’t as matte as with the Mattifying primer, if that makes sense! I did like the finish of this primer – it still had a thin consistency but blended nicely. I’d like to play around with this primer more, mixing and matching with the other two.

primers

The new Infaillible primers all cost £8.99 for 20ml.  As I already mentioned, I was lucky enough to spot these on a three for two deal at Boots. I personally feel they are slightly over-priced for the amount that you get, however, I probably will still buy these again as they seem to be quite good!

Have you tried any of the new L’Oréal Infaillible primers?

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Well here we are, almost at the end of January, and I don’t know about where you are in the world, but here in Scotland it’s snowing as I write this. The temperature is barely reaching above zero on a daily basis and that is having a detrimental effect on my skin. Last year, I promised I was going to take better care of my skin, and although I have, I think I could still up the ante. The brands/products I use can change frequently, as I always like to try new products as they come out. Today I thought I’d share some of my current top picks for how to ensure you are taking great care of your skin and pampering it properly in these dry winter months. These are products that I have been using for a few weeks and have worked on my skin, but products will vary on different skin types.

Skin

The great thing about L’Occitane* is that there really is something for everyone in their bodycare shop.  I have been enjoying pampering myself using some L’Occitane products during the winter months.  I personally find my feet are the last thing that I tend to take care of, and I often neglect them. This is partly because I actually HATE feet! Nevertheless, I have been trying to take better care of my feet, and to help with this, I have been using the L’Occitane “Dry Skin Foot Cream”, and it is super moisturising. A small squeeze of product goes a long way. Another product I have been loving to pamper my skin with, which actually is one of L’Occitane’s bestsellers, is the Almond Shower Oil. It is so hydrating and nourishing for the whole body. I love the feel of it on my body in the shower as it’s not greasy or oily at all. I also love the subtle smell it has – it’s not too overpowering in comparison to some shower products and you definitely get the smell of almond coming through. There are so many body care products to have a look at on L’Occitane’s website, and they cater for all skin types too.

Skin

I’m sure you’ll agree that there is something for everyone in Lush too! Lush is a bit of a marmite shop though – some people love their fresh handmade cosmetics and some people hate them. I personally LOVE it. I have huge problems with dry hands in the winter months, largely due to walking my dogs without wearing gloves. Two products that I use regularly are the “Salted Coconut Hand Scrub” and “Helping Hands Hand Cream”. “Helping Hands” really gets to work straight away and you only need a little bit of product. I then re-apply as often as I can throughout the day and it works wonders. It is definitely one of the best hand creams I have tried. At night time, I’ve been moisturising my body using “Sleepy”, which has a subtle hint of lavender in it. I find I’ve been sleeping so much better (which could purely be coincidence) but also I’ve been falling asleep a lot quicker than I usually do too.

Of course, the face is the part of the body that most of us tend to take care of first and foremost! There are a multitude of products on the market for pampering faces, and of course everyone’s skin reacts differently to products. I love doing a face mask weekly, whether it is a L’Oreal clay mask or a peel-off packet mask. My skin always feels smooth and refreshed after doing a face mask. I use St Ives “Blemish Control Apricot Scrub” every morning, because although it is quite a rough, gritty scrub, it leaves my face feeling soft after I’ve used it. At the moment, I’m using Garnier Moisture Bomb 3 in 1 Day cream, as it’s light on my skin and feels refreshing as well as doing the job of moisturising my skin.

Skin

Of course, it is vital to pamper our skin all year round, and we should continue to do so throughout all the seasons, not just during the winter months!

Do you have any recommendations for products for pampering your skin in winter? What are your favourite skin products?

This post was written in collaboration with L’Occitane, however this does not sway any of my views or opinions in any way.

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So today marks a year since my cursor hovered over the “publish” button after writing my first blog post and eventually I closed my eyes and clicked. I remember I was absolutely terrified to actually make that click. Why? Fear. Fear of comparison. Fear of judgement. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of expectation. Fear of… the unknown.

I didn’t have a clue. Would anyone actually care? Would anyone actually read my poxy blog post, let alone come back to my blog? Is my writing style captivating enough to keep people on the page? Is what I’m writing about what people even want to read about?

I have had so much to learn, but I have been determined this past year. I’ve read so much about building websites, and now know more acronyms related to blogging and google than I could ever have imagined. I am not one for giving up.

Blog

I am so incredibly grateful for my blog. It “came along” just at the right time in my life.  It has been hard work at times, particularly whilst holding down a demanding full-time job, but outside of my work, it has given me purpose. Blogging is not as easy as some people might seem to think it is, it is constant and requires a multitude of skills.

I have amassed more blog props than I know what to do with, or where to store! I have become *even more* interested/obsessed in/with make up (how is that even possible?) I have met some truly lovely people, which I will be forever thankful for.

My blog will never be award-winning, or come up to the same standard as some of the beauties that I read, and I’ll never work with the big brands that some bloggers do, but my blog is my own little sparkly corner of the internet, and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and created in the space of a year.

I’d like to say thank you to every single person who takes the time to read my posts, or even just visits my website.  In fact, thank you for the support across all my social media platforms.

And finally, of course I need to say happy first birthday/blogiversary, Surrounded by Sparkle! I’m so looking forward to seeing where the next year takes me blogging-wise, and I hope you are too.

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Most people dream and hope for a little bit of luxury in their lives. I know I personally love the finer things in life. From handbags to shoes, perfume to jewellery, there’s no denying if I can afford it, I’m splashing out. When it comes to Christmas, I love to make a Luxury Wish List, which I know for sure that Santa is not so fond of, haha! I thought I’d share with you my Luxury Wish List for 2017. [Please note that none of the photography in this post is my own and all images have been taken from the linked brand websites].

 Luxury Fragrance Gift Sets

Clive Christian* perfumes features a range of exquisite fragrances crafted with rare and precious ingredients. Clive Christian has a rich heritage of creativity and craftsmanship, which makes them one of the finest perfume houses in the U.K.

As you know, I am a sucker for beautiful packaging, and the packaging of the Clive Christian fragrances are striking. Although these perfumes come with a larger price tag, if you delve into the ingredients of the perfumes, you can really tell why – the quality is clearly there. A lot of the ingredients of these perfumes are very festive, and would be perfect for a Christmas gift. As well as being sold on the Clive Christian website, you can purchase these fragrances at Selfridges and Harrods, which again shows the calibre of the fragrances. I would be delighted to get a bottle of Clive Christian fragrance under my tree on Christmas morning, and have been eyeing up the V Fruity Floral scent with bergamot, black pepper and frankincense – yum!

 

Luxury

 

Luxury Shoes

Christian Louboutin started his own range of women’s shoes in the early 1990’s, with all his shoes having a signature red sole.

I am obsessed with shoes and have goodness only knows how many pairs. I have been desperate for a pair of Louboutins for as long as I can remember, and for whatever reason, it just hasn’t happened. Every time I go into Harvey Nichols, I am too tired to try on a pair, or my feet are hot *ick* and I can’t be bothered. There are so many pairs on my Wish List, that I don’t even know where to begin! One day my wardrobe WILL be filled with countless pairs of these babies. How awesome would it be to unwrap a pair of Louboutins on Christmas morning?!

Luxury

 

 Luxury Hampers

Fortnum and Mason is an upmarket department store in Picadilly, London. It is the ultimate destination for unique gifts such as hampers, elegant wines and spirits, famous teas and coffees, and so much more (I’m a fan of the chocolates!).

I have always wanted a Fortnum and Mason’s hamper, because, quite frankly, who wouldn’t want to keep the huge F&M hamper basket afterwards? There are literally so many different varieties of hampers to choose from, and at Christmas time, there are Christmas varieties too. These are perfect for all the family to tuck into during the festive period! They are really worth taking a look at, and for those of you who like a festive tipple, there are hampers filled with alcohol too!

 

Luxury

 

 Luxury Jewellery

Since 1837, Tiffany and Co. has been the world’s premier jeweller and America’s house of design. Tiffancy and Co. create timeless jewellery with superlative craftsmanship.

Waking up to that little blue box under your Christmas tree on Christmas morning is the most magical feeling. I already own a few pieces of jewellery from Tiffany and Co. and am always looking to add to my collection. I am loving the below earrings, with the pop of signature Tiffany blue. Santa, please?!

Luxury

Luxury Handbags

Mulberry is a British brand founded in 1971. It has created an International reputation for its style and quality.

I am a handbag addict, and although I have one Mulberry in my handbag collection, I would love another. I am currently lusting after the “Tenby” (below), as I think it is so elegant and chique. There are so many Mulberry handbags that are beautiful and that I would love to add to my handbag collection.  Again, I just didn’t know where to start with this list. I probably want about 90% of the Mulberry website, and the 10% I don’t want is the men’s section! How delighted would you be if you unwrapped a mulberry box on Christmas morning, and inside was a gorgeous handbag?! I’m tearing up just thinking about it. I definitely need to find myself a generous husband, don’t I!!!

Luxury

There are so many other Luxury products that I could add to this Wish List.  However, I fear it could go on and on for rather a long time. I hope you have enjoyed reading some of the things I am lusting after, or have got some ideas for yourself or a loved one!

 

This post was written in collaboration with Clive Christian perfumes, however that does not sway any of my opinions in any way.

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This year, I’ve been trying to take better care of my skin, with cleansing, moisturising and doing more face masks and treatments in general. Recently I’ve been using the Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Masque by Image Skincare, and I have to say I’ve been really liking it.

This is a hydrating mask that gently exfoliates the build up of dull, dry skin with nourishing Vitamins A, C, and E – promoting more healthy, radiant skin. Image Skincare recommend use for dry, dehydrated, or post treatment skin.

Image

You apply the mask liberally onto clean skin and leave for 5-30 minutes – I personally like to leave the mask on for the full 30 minutes. It initially looks like a cloudy lotion, but turns white as applied to the face, and doesn’t harden at all. In fact, it turns invisible on the face before you wash it off.

After one use of this mask, my skin felt hydrated, and definitely looked more radiant and revitalised. I now like to use this mask when I feel like my skin needs refreshing, particularly if I have an event coming up.

You can check out the Hydrating Enzyme Masque here. I have seen this product on Amazon and EBay, but I personally wouldn’t risk ordering from third party websites.

Are there any good face masks that you’ve tried recently? Have you tried Image Skincare?

This post contains PR samples, but as always, thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.

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