The more I work the more I appreciate having a go-to streamlined makeup look and just spending a bit of time relaxing and doing the things I enjoy. For me, the time for this kind of stuff is on a Sunday so I thought I'd share with you the ingredients that make a perfect Sunday for me.
I think in an ideal world I like to wake up at around 9:30 on a Sunday morning; it's a nice little lie-in but it's not going to feel like I've wasted half the day or leave me having trouble getting to sleep that night. On a work day I have to get up and go as soon as my alarm sounds or I'd never get out of bed (and then I just deal with the grogginess for the first hour of the day!) but if it's a Sunday then why not lounge around a bit? I like to just wake up slowly and stay in bed watching Netflix with my boyfriend (right now we're marathoning the new series of House of Cards).
By now I'm a lot more awake so it usually seems like a good time to get us some breakfast. Sometimes it's nice to go out for breakfast (Bill's springs to mind...) but if I'm staying in, my perfect breakfast would be some fresh fruit (preferably berries and peaches) with some natural yoghurt. We're both trying to cut back on coffee, especially on the weekends so a great alternative is herbal tea. I recently tried the Teashed Minty Jasmine Green Tea* and I've been loving it. You get 20 teabags and this cute little paper cup to store them in. The aroma is gorgeous and the mint so invigorating to wake me up gently in the morning, plus green tea is a natural source of energy (again, making it a good alternative to coffee) and supposedly boosts the metabolism!
A Quick, Natural Beauty Routine
After breakfast it's time to have a quick shower and change into a new set of loungewear! I love using the Soap & Glory Rich and Foamous Body Wash because the pump is just so handy and I love the gorgeous scent; it's a yummy blend of almond, porridge oats and brown sugar. After my bath I like to use the matching products: the Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Milk Lotion and Smoothie Star Hand Food. They both have the same gorgeous, indulgent scent and leave my dry skin feeling nice and hydrated (though sadly the Smoothie Star version of Hand Food is only available in gift sets, so I should probably savour it).
I then have a light spritz of the Philosophy Eau de Toilette in Fresh Cream, which is a light but sweet scent that layers beautifully with the Smoothie Star fragrance from the Soap & Glory body products.
I tend to strip back my skincare routine to the absolute essentials when I'm having a bit of a lazy day. First I cleanse with the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel (post) as it's quick, easy, feels nice on my skin and leaves it looking fresh and healthy (though yes, it is pricey for what it is, as I always warn you!) Next I reach for my a new love: the Avene Eau Thermal Spring Water*, which is so refreshing and hydrating. I then apply the Nuxe Reve de Miel Face Cream. I know it's quite late to recommend this as it's more of a winter skincare product but I will be doing a post on it soon! It's so beautifully nourishing and hydrating without being greasy on my skin at all. I also love the honey fragrance of it (is it just me or do all Nuxe products smell absolutely beautiful?)
My quick and simple makeup routine starts with priming using the Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot Primer (post), which is nice and smoothing, leaving my skin with that ideal satin finish. Another reason I've returned to this primer is because you don't have to wait ages between moisturising, applying this and getting on your base to avoid the dreaded separating out and bobbling up effect. I then apply my Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser (post) with my Sephora Pro Airbrush #55 (post). I'm sure regular readers are sick to death of me talking about this combination but it really has been a standout pairing this winter! I love the way this brush applies the product so naturally; it really does look like my skin (but better) and it gives a real radiance without being too dewy or at all greasy. It's so lightweight but really evens out my skin tone.
If I'm not too spotty (which I haven't been recently) then I'll just conceal under my eyes. For that I use the Maybelline Eye Eraser Concealer (post) as it's so lightweight and the controversial applicator means it practically blends itself in. I'll apply it in the 'upside down triangle' formation under my eyes then blend out with the Real Techniques Setting Brush. I then take it over the cheekbones and down the centre of my face for a natural highlight, blending it out with a damp BeautyBlender.
For cheeks I just dab on a bit of the Rosie for Autograph Cream Blush in English Rose Flush (post), as it brings a natural, dewy (but not greasy) bit of colour to my face. For eyes it has to be my one-swipe favourite: the Maybelline 24 Hour Colour Tattoo Eyeshadow in On and On Bronze (post). I've spoken many times of my love for this because it's so creamy and easy to blend (you can do both eyes in literally about 10 seconds!) but then sets into place and won't budge until you remove it. The colour itself is that perfect everyday bronze shade with a gorgeous, dewy metallic sheen. For mascara, I find the Estée Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara gives me a natural, fluttery look with a nice bit of volume (kind of contrary to the name, I know). My eyebrows are pitiful so they always need at least a bit of my NYX Tinted Brow Mascara (post) for some colour and fullness. I finish up with the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Honey (post) as it's just the nicest lip balm but also gives you this gorgeous warm nude wash of colour.
Although I might not be heading out anywhere, I do often still like to put on a bit of makeup and tie my hair up because it puts me in the mind frame of 'ok you've lounged about all morning but now it's time to get stuff done!'
A Productive Afternoon
My perfect lunch for a Sunday afternoon in is really just lots of little nibbles, bits and dips to share: some mozzarella bites, pitta bread, tzatziki, breadsticks, couscous and so on. After lunch there's usually some football match or other on so I leave James and my mum to it and take the opportunity to sneak off and get some blogging stuff done! As I mentioned in my Blog Photography post (my routine is still largely the same) I take my images in my conservatory as it has the best lighting in the house by a mile and I use a marble adhesive for my backdrop. Depending on how much I have to do, I might pop back into the lounge at around half time and update my blog planner and edit some photos during the rest of the game.
By the time the game is over it's usually time for James to head back home (it's a good 5 hours for him to go back home to St Albans from Manchester, where I live) so we say our goodbyes. For the rest of the afternoon I often catch up on TV shows, read magazines and type up some blog posts. I like to use the Blogger Journal to keep track of everything blog-related as it has so many useful tips and reminders and helps me see what I have coming up and tick off all the little jobs I have to do once a post is live.
A Quiet Evening In
Sunday night means a quiet evening in, usually watching TV and catching up on whatever I missed if I was out the night before (I'm a sucker for rubbish Saturday night telly!) Sometimes I will get a Dine in For 2 for £10 from Marks & Spencer with my mum, which is always such great quality and amazing value for money, especially when you get a bottle of wine that's usually £7 on its own.
A Bit of Relaxation
I like to take a good half an hour or so to wind down before bed on a Sunday. It's when I get some 'me' time and prepare myself for the week ahead. I find lavender the most relaxing scent ever and it honestly does give me a better night's sleep. I recently tried the Queen Tea Cosmetics Really Relaxing Detox Box* which includes two 'tea bags' for your bath containing lavender and camomile and also their OatMilk. It really is quite novelty to drop a teabag into your bath, I must admit! The scent is nothing overwhelming but it really does relax me and I slept so well both times I used these. The OatMilk is a powder that dissolves in the bath water and leaves my skin feeling so soft and nourished. 10% of profits from these boxes go to the Trussell Trust who combat hunger in the UK, which I just think is amazing (as I received this as a PR sample, I have made my own personal donation to the trust).
I have a little bath caddy I like to use, which I always get a lot of comments on Instagram about (it was a £12 Amazon job which I've linked!) Whilst I'm in the bath I take the opportunity to give the dry skin on my body a proper exfoliation with the gorgeous Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub which is gentle, effective and smells like syrup, bananas and pancakes. I also love the Soap & Glory Whipped Clean Shower Cream as the thick, luxurious, foaming formula works both as a body wash and in place of shaving gel for my legs.
I often line up my skincare products on that and apply everything whilst I have a good soak in the bath. If there's a bit of wine left from the Dine In then I'll have a small glass of red, light a candle like Neom's Happiness Candle (which is white neroli, lemon and mimosa scented) and get myself a pile of magazines (usually Glamour or Allure, which both have great beauty content). I remove my makeup with a damp muslin cloth and the beautiful Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm (post), which is so effective and feels very luxurious on the skin. I then like to put on a face mask like the Antipodes Manuka Honey (post), which is so hydrating whilst also really helping to reduce and improve my blemishes. Whilst it does its thing I read my magazines, paint my nails (usually it's Barry M's Pit Stop (post) - my perfect everyday pastel-grey) or just close my eyes and relax.
Once I'm out of the bath I remove my face mask, ensure any lingering makeup is removed with a cotton wool pad soaked in Bioderma Micellar Water (post) and then cleanse my skin with the REN Clearcalm3 Clay Cleanser (post). This stuff is amazing for combination skin as it will help to combat your spots without drying out the rest of your face. I do a quick tone with the soothing, calming Body Shop Aloe Toner (post) before heading to bed with my candle to do the rest of my routine.
I apply the Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Milk Lotion again as it's in that same yummy scent as the body scrub and shower cream and who doesn't love the feeling of smooth legs against the bed sheets? I pop some of the Cowshed Cow Herb Hand Lotion on, as my hands dry out really easily and this also has a relaxing lavender scent. I massage some of my Trilogy Rosehip Oil (post) into my face (as it seriously does wonders for dry, dull skin) before spraying my pillow with the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, which genuinely works for me, and blowing out my candle. The last thing I do is apply my trusty Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm because no matter how dry and chapped my lips are; when I use this I wake up with them feeling soft and hydrated.
I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter weekend, whatever you're getting up to!