Fuss-Free Summer Makeup

Summer is the time for fresh, glowing (but long-lasting), bronzed makeup that's going to take you as little time as possible to put together. These are my top picks for my everyday face (but not a 'no makeup' look) that I'd wear out to lunch or shopping or work or somewhere like that. However you can tone it down and skip some of these products if you're heading to the beach or add in a few extra steps for something more evening-appropriate. Where possible I've also included affordable alternatives to some of these products that will help create the same sort of look!

My Week in Lipsticks #2

I did a post like this way back over Christmas and you guys seemed to like the mix of beauty and lifestyle so I thought I'd bring this format back for my recent trip to Spain, since I didn't do a full post on it (it was just so chilled-out that it didn't seem to warrant it!) This is the lowdown on what I got up to and the lipsticks that came along on the ride with me. I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday: Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick in Clay Crush | $7.99 | This is a little bit like a more summery version of my usual kind of lip colour. It's a very warm nude shade with orange undertones. I really like the formula of this because it's so comfortable  to wear, though I don't find it quite as opaque on the first swipe or as long-wearing as a true matte. 
I wore this to the airport, so it was one of those times when I put it on in the morning then never really bothered to touch up during the day! Our flight was in the afternoon, so I spent the morning packing before catching a taxi to the station to meet my friend, then we caught the train to the airport together. We were there in plenty of time so had a wander around Duty Free and got some lunch at a pretty leisurely pace. The flight to Malaga was a little delayed, however our other friends were flying from London slightly later so we were going to have to wait around a little anyway. In the end we arrived at the same time and got the taxi to Alumnecar. We didn't get to the apartment until after 10pm, however it was really lovely. My friend's boyfriend's parents who owned the place kindly left us out some Cava and nibbles, so we tucked into those (and I had a quick top-up of powder on my face and Clay Crush on my lips) before heading out for a late dinner and drinks.

Friday: MAC Matte Lipstick in Tropic Tonic | £15.50 | We spent the day by the pool and eating, so during the daytime I didn't really go for much on the lips (other than an SPF), however I whipped this out for the evening. It's a gorgeous coral tone that's bold but somehow just works for me.
In the evening we had a few bottles of wine on the balcony before heading out for dinner in the town around 9ish. I decided to pair Tropic Tonic with a red dress I picked up from Missguided's concession in Selfridges at the Trafford Centre (find it online here) and my Topshop floral bag and I was really pleased with how they went together. We found a really nice seafood restaurant on the sea front and shared paella, starters and salads (as well as copious quantities of wine!) Afterwards it was pretty late so we headed straight out to a bar for a dance. We ended up sat on the outdoor beach area of the bar until about 4am, chatting and getting ridiculously soppy!

Saturday: Gerard Cosmetics Hydra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Everything Nice | £9.50 | It was another really easygoing day (I've come to appreciate them in my old age!) so I was passed out on the beach for most of it! However for the evening I went for quite a bronzed, neutral makeup look and decided to go with this really comfortable, non-drying liquid lipstick. It's a gorgeous warm-toned caramel-brown nude shade.
We made the group decision that it was 'maxi dress night' so I wore this with my River Island off-the-shoulder maxi dress. We were pretty late out to dinner (drinks on the balcony; you know the drill) but managed to find a tapas place. The service was questionable and I don't think they actually served us until gone midnight! However we were too 'happy on holiday' to care massively and it was another late night out. This one ended at a karaoke bar with us screaming Justin Bieber 'Sorry'. Yeah...

Sunday: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Honey | £19 | Our last day in Spain came around far too quickly! With it being a Sunday and us having a 3am start for the flight the next day (!!!!) we decided to have our main meal at lunch. So I decided to go for my standard 'don't know what to wear': the always-appropriate Fresh Honey. It's a gorgeously hydrating lip balm formula that contains SPF15 and adds a nice subtle hint of warm nude colour.
We went to a place called Los Geraneos (again in the centre of Almunecar), which we hadn't been able to get a table at the night before. The staff were so friendly and we had a nice seat outside. It was a set menu for €15 however there was so much choice and that included a drink and 3 courses! It was absolutely amazing and we virtually ate and drank all day! Afterwards, at around 5pm, we went for one last poolside chill before getting a light dinner on the seafront, sharing a few different seafood dishes. We got ice cream, wandered along the beach and then got a much-needed early(ish) night.

Monday: Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in Red Berry* | £18 | It was a 3am start so it's safe to say I was barely conscious and communicating by grunting for most of the time, before passing out on the flight! However once we landed, my lips felt in serious need of some hydration, so I reached for my trusted Clarins lip oil. As well as being a lip care product, it gives a non-sticky glossy finish and a little hint of rosy colour. 
Instead of going back to bed like a normal person when I got home around 10am, I had a major de-clutter and sort-out of my room (including my beauty storage) before unpacking and re-packing my things for our team away day.

Tuesday: Tom Ford Lip Colour Shine in Nubile | £38 | I know a 5am start doesn't naturally lend itself to Tom Ford lipstick but this was a bit of a naughty, but at least duty-free, purchase that I'd been dying to use. It's another great one for those of us who don't do lipgloss. It's a sheer colour but still fairly pigmented in a really nice warm pinky-brown nude colour. I really like the colour and the non-sticky finish and was pretty impressed at the wear-time given that I don't really expect sheeny, sheer lip colours to last very long. 
We all drove down from Manchester to the Cotswolds for our team meeting/away day. The venue was really lovely, however the weather turned on us just in time for our outdoor activity. So I was stood in a muddy field in the countryside in the pouring rain, but at least I was wearing a Tom Ford lipstick!

Wednesday: MAC Matte Lipstick in Taupe | £15.50 | This is a lip shade I packed on a whim because it had been ages since I'd worn it, and I definitely remember why I've always loved it so much. It's a gorgeous creamy-but-matte formula in a warm-toned caramel brown nude. It's sort of like a Velvet Teddy equivalent but more suited to medium-warm skin tones.
We'd obviously all had a big dinner and drinks the night before at the hotel, so I wasn't feeling 100% however lipstick always makes me feel ready for the day. We pretty much had all the formal meeting stuff before driving back to Manchester (which took absolutely ages!)

So there you have it: my week in lipsticks! Which lipsticks have you been wearing lately?

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P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway here to win a US & Sephora haul!


Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette

As soon as I saw this palette on Instagram, I was determined to make it mine! I picked up quite a few Anastasia Beverly Hills single eyeshadows in New York and was so impressed with them that the release of their first ever permanent palette was perfect timing. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette (£41) is a little pricier than previous Limited Edition offerings, however does contain more shades.

Background and Product Information

I was deliberating for a while on whether to buy this or the Violet Voss Holy Grail palette, however having loved the single ABH eyeshadows, I decided to go with this. It turned out to be a good job because I recently saw a YouTube video that pointed out the Violet Voss palette has virtually identical ingredients to Morphe palettes, which are half the price! (And to me they are good for £20 but I would never pay more than that for them, let alone £45.) With the Modern Renaissance, I'm really confident that I'm getting a high-quality product that's worth my money. 

As I mentioned, this is their first permanent palette so you don't need to rush out and grab this ASAP or anything. It contains a mixture of shades available individually and of colours exclusive to this palette. True to the theme of the palette, the shades are largely named after Renaissance paintings, artists and concepts, which is a nice touch.


This comes in lilac packaging with a felt finish, which I personally do not like! I feel like the colour is just going to get dirty (it actually already has a little bit) and it's not the type of texture that's going to be easy to clean. I also dislike the way felt feels and think that felt and cardboard are a bit of a cheap way to finish a palette in all honesty. It also comes with a little double-ended eyeshadow brush, which is admittedly better than most you get even in high-end palettes, however it's still not something that I'd actually use other than for swatches.


The shade range isn't going to be for everyone and I think it's actually a really interesting choice for ABH to have made with their first ever eyeshadow palette. The colours are very warm in tone and as well as your neutrals you also have a couple of pops of colour.

Tempera is your standard off-white matte shade; I don't tend to use these shades at all but a lot of people like something like this as a base. Golden Ochre is a warm beige matte, which I love as a transition colour or as a base. Vermeer is a light white shimmer shade which is the obvious choice for an inner-corner highlight. Buon Fresco is a cool-toned lilac-taupe matte crease shade. Antique Bronze is a warm reddish brown-bronze shimmer I love as a lid colour or on the outer v. Love Letter is a hot pink matte, which I use to add a little colour in the crease. Cyprus Umber is a cool-toned grey-brown matte, which is great to deepen the crease or add a little bit of smokiness to the outer part of the eyelid.

Raw Sienna is a favourite of mine; it's a sort of mustard-beige matte that really works as a crease colour. Burnt Orange is a lighter peachy-orange matte shade, which I often use as a transition colour or across the lid. Primavera is a bright light gold shimmer which is great on the lid or as an inner-corner highlight. Red Ochre is a reddish-brown matte that I really love in the crease. Venetian Red is a reddish-pink colour which looks matte, however I'd say it has a very slight sheen. Warm Taupe is (contradictorily) a cool brownish-taupe matte crease shade. Finally there's a warm orange matte with slightly brown undertones: Realgear.

I do really love the shades in this palette however I feel like it's missing a good bronze shimmer colour to use on the lid. Unless I'm going for a fairly matte eye, I tend to use Primavera as a lid colour which can limit how varied the looks I create with this palette can be.

Quality and Formula

I'd say that the quality of these shadows is consistent with the singles I have, which is great. Not a single one of the mattes was chalky or under-pigmented, they're very easy to blend out and have really great colour payoff. The shimmer shades are also really lovely and smooth in texture. I'm not so fond of Venetian Red because that's the only one I don't think is quite as soft and blend-able as the others.

I was really impressed with how these lasted on my eyelids. By the end of a 12-hour day I'd say they're not as fresh and sharp-looking, however they're still very much intact. I am still able to see where one shade ends an the next starts and there's not any creasing at all.

Do You Need It?

Personally I love the Anastasia eyeshadow formula and this is a great way to try them out given that the singles aren't easily available in the UK. I guess it comes down to whether you have shades like this already; whilst I have a couple of similar crease colours in my Makeup Geek stash, I'd say 3/4 of these colours are really unique to my collection. The only think I have that's even vaguely similar is Zoeva's Cocoa Blend palette.

I don't think this is the most versatile palette in the world, so if you're looking for something you'd wear every single day then you're probably better off with something like the Stila Eyes Are the Window Palette in Soul or the Zoeva Nude Spectrum. However if you're a beauty lover and want to add this interesting set of shades to your collection then definitely check this out because the quality is fantastic.

Have you tried the Modern Renaissance palette? What did you think of it or do you think you'll be picking it up?

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P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway here to win a US & Sephora haul!

My Most-Loved Makeup | High-End

I did a bit of a 'holy grail' makeup product post a good year or so back but so many of my absolute favourites have changed that I thought I'd do an updated post. I made a conscious decision not to think too deeply about which products to pick and just go with the ones that I use and love the most as opposed to trying to force myself to pick something in every single category. This week is high-end products, however you can come back in 7 days for my drugstore/affordable edition! Obviously I've had to draw the line somewhere so for this series I'll be considering brands like MAC, Clinique and Stila to be high-end and your KIKOs and Zoevas as affordable.

Monthly Makeup Menu #10

My makeup routine has been a bit 'all over the place' recently because I've been travelling so much and had a lot of new products to play around with, so this is the first time I feel like I've been able to pull together a group of products that have been absolute staples.

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