My Week in Lipsticks #7

I had a pretty action-packed week recently; I was in Birmingham, London and even France doing various things with various people, so I wanted to do another of these posts! I've been sharing these every so often over the past three years when I've been up to stuff that's worth sharing, essentially I tell you what I've been up to, the lipstick I wore and why I chose it. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday: Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick in Clay Crush | £6.99 

I booked off the day to head to London for the Cult Beauty 10th Birthday Party. I knew I couldn't stay super late as I had something on with work the following day, so decided to make it worth it! I met up with Dorota - AKA Beauty Drama Queen (who I actually only met quite recently but she's really awesome!) - and we went shopping around the Oxford Circus area before meeting Laura - AKA Laurzrah - for coffee. She's so lovely, really cool and funny, plus had some gorgeous eyeshadow going on! After that, we headed over to Old Street and got a gigantic, very tasty pizza at Homeslice before going to the venue (canapes just aren't enough!|) It was absolutely amazing what they did with the place! It was all carnival themed and they had cocktails, a glitter room, a photo booth and a piano (where at one point almost everyone gathered round for a good singalong). 

It was lovely to meet Wanischa from Cult Beauty after having emailed regularly over the past months - she's so lovely and of course totally gorgeous in real life! I also met Leanne from LPage Beauty, which was SO surreal after having read each others blogs for so long and never having met, as well as Kasie Beauty. We had such a fun time together as a little foursome and even hung out with Jamie Genevieve - although I vaguely recognised her (maybe from ad campaigns she's been in) I didn't actually have her on YouTube or Instagram somehow (isn't there always that one super-famous influencer you should know but don't?) but now I do because she's such a laugh and super friendly in real life. Having watched her videos; she's exactly the same in real life and actually even more gorgeous. Dorota and myself got the train back around 10pm, however sadly it was the snail train, which isn't the best when you're tired and tipsy, though we did manage to entertain ourselves...

For the day I went for a long-wearing look with my classic warm tones! I went for a gold smoky eye, matte foundation and paired it with one of my most-used lipsticks: Clay Crush. True to its name, it has a totally matte finish but the creamy texture means it glides onto the lips with minimal effort and doesn't cling to dry patches. It's not the most super-opaque formula in the world, but I really don't mind and it's still long-wearing. This is a warm terracotta brown nude. I did consider wearing an orange-red but with my bright red jumpsuit and red nails, I thought it might be too much! I only really had to re-apply this once - after that huuuuge pizza. You can check out what I ate (under Life Snippets) and how the makeup looked (under Makeup Looks) over on Instagram if you check out my highlighted Stories. You can see my outfit and some photos from the event here. I'll be reviewing the INSANE box of goodies we received from Cult Beauty soon!

Friday: Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Colour in Boho | £20

I'd definitely been a bit concerned about being knackered on the Friday - I'm a 10pm bedtime kind of girl and, after a lot of Uber-related faffing, I didn't get to bed until nearly 1am. I decided to go for low-maintenance hair and makeup for the next day so I could claw back a bit of sleep and after a cup of coffee I felt absolutely fine, which was a good job because I was off to the Good Food Show with work! If you've never been before; it's a huge event with food demos, gadgets and stalls where you can taste and buy everything from cooking sauces to gin. We decided to go in order to give our customers some less male-dominated entertainment (golf trips are the norm) and we got a really great, friendly group together, which always makes these things more enjoyable for everyone. There were 8 of us so we could pretty much stick together for most of the day. There were lots of boozy samples to try, I bought some sort of food-chopping gadget after a couple of glasses of prosecco, there were some amazing cheeses, we had Pimms in the sun and finally saw the Hairy Bikers. Overall, a success in my books!

A matte lip is pretty much my go-to method for dressing a look up when I'm really just wearing tinted moisturiser, concealer, bronzer, cream shadow and a bit of brow gel! I actually picked up this product in London so wanted to try it out the next day. The formula is sooooo good! It's very long-lasting and smooth to apply despite being totally matte and opaque. It's so comfortable and doesn't dry my lips out or leave me licking them at all. I also find it so transfer-proof. Boho is a really unusual shade in my collection - a sort of cool brown matte that I never would've picked if I hadn't checked it out in person.

Saturday: Huda Beauty Liquid Matte in Icon* | £18

I had a pretty casual Saturday and mainly spent my time taking some photos for my blog and Instagram account before editing them and proofreading my posts for the coming week before my holiday. I honestly don't know where the day went because I hadn't even started packing before it was time to head out for my nail appointment! 

I decided to try a new place local to me that I saw on Instagram - I don't want to name them but there aren't many nail salons in Moseley, so deduce for yourself if you're from Birmingham. I fancied some new colours and a bit more of a 5* service than the super-convenient and speedy Mint Salons I usually visit. I had been a bit put off by the fact you have to pay half the cost when you book (and they only have 4 technicians so you have to book really far ahead) but it had good reviews, so I decided to go for it. They had an amazing range of colours (as I'd hoped) and although the entire process did take an hour, I felt the application and care taken in terms of the technical part was really well done (exactly what I'd been missing). However, despite me saying I only wanted length off two of the nails (which I pointed out), the lady just went ahead and filed my nails painfully short and super square! I was gutted because once she'd started, I just had to go with it or it would've look mismatched and I don't think it was registering with her that I wasn't happy (I tried to say so politely, as I'd literally been growing them since January to get them to a good length that's strong and healthy). Therefore I emailed afterwards and the manger was really helpful about it all and refunded me (which they didn't have to do, as I got gel on my nails regardless). However after that, I honestly had the worst experience which has me slightly freaked out...  Given they handled the situation so well, I decided to give it another shot. I liked the salon’s vibe and the colour selection was really good - I figured I’d just request a different technician and show them a picture of how my nails had been before just to be entirely clear on what I wanted. At the end of the day; issues are bound to happen at some point and, whilst not ideal, I’d never dismiss a company entirely for that because really, it’s how they then address it that matters. I’d had a couple of queries on things not clear on their website and a few issues using it so emailed them to clarify and several days later they hadn’t responded. I’d chased it up (given that I’d already paid a deposit on 2 appointments, I was anxious to check everything was ok with my bookings - if a salon is so keen to take your money upfront, it does raise concerns that they'll try to keep that deposit for silly reasons) but still got nothing back and given it was a quick question - I just ducked out of work to call them during their opening times. By this point I was fairly exasperated. The woman was pretty blunt and kind of hung up on me. I was getting a pretty bad feeling about the whole thing but as I’d already paid for two appointments, I didn’t have much choice but to go ahead with them. 

It gets weirder; a few days later I got an sharp email saying they’d cancelled my appointments and refunded me as they ‘couldn’t meet my requirements’. I was a little perplexed (and felt let down as I like to have things sorted ahead of time and knew there were occasions I wanted fresh nails for) so replied saying that I thought we’d ironed out the issue. They didn’t reply so I kind of decided I was done with this place now (and at least I had my money back) so I went to unfollow them on Instagram (I don’t follow loads of accounts because I like to keep my feed full of stuff I want to see) and saw they’d blocked me! (I don't think I've ever had that happen to me before as I don't leave negative comments.) I was really creeped out as to how they’d found my account using personal information that was provided purely for the purposes of making a booking (I’d mentioned nothing about my blog or anything like that in person). At one point they asked where I'd found them and I mentioned Instagram but they’d have to trawl through all of their followers to identify me using that information (I’ve never interacted with them beyond liking a couple of posts out of dozens shared over the several weeks I followed them for and was one of many, many 'like-rs'). I think maybe they saw my account and recognised me then panicked I’d put something negative about them on there. I always share nail updates on my Stories so they probably saw that, but I never tagged or named them as I didn’t want to drag a local business in front of the thousands of people who see my updates. I hadn’t and wouldn’t have mentioned it anywhere online (which I don’t need to be able to tag you to do!) if they hadn’t behaved like that. My profile is obviously public but if they do this to all customers who raise a concern then that’s pretty violating. Due to my job, I know that to use or keep someone’s information beyond the purpose it was given for us a huuuuuge no-no (not to mention; creepy). I guess they don't like feedback on their service and don't care about improving it for their customers. So yeah, that’s my little nail saga! If you know any high-quality Birmingham salons, your recommendations would be appreciated as I am now without appointments for a month with weddings and other bits coming up. For a good manicure I’d be happy to pay a premium because they last way longer. Needless to say: avoid this place! I know they have good Google reviews but I had a horrendous experience and haven’t left one soooo... 

After my appointment, I shook it off to head for tapas at my usual haunt - La Plancha - with my mum. As our flight was from Birmingham, she came and stayed at a hotel near me as I'm not too far from the airport anyway. I finally packed when I got home (I did realise later that I missed a few key items!) and got an early night as the flight was going to be before 8 and I was still kind of tired from the two events.

The weekend is pretty much the only time I get to play around with makeup and experiment a bit, so I always take up the opportunity! I wanted to use some of the products from the Cult Beauty 10th Birthday influencer box (you can have a little look inside here) and also the new Glossier Cloud Paint shades I picked up (I'll be reviewing these too and if you want to see the look then check it out highlighted under Makeup Looks on my Instagram Stories). I went for a kind of berry-toned look (not very summer - I know!) and was really excited to try this shade from Huda's range. I already had about 5 of the Liquid Mattes which I love but they're all nudes so I was intrigued to see how the more colourful shades performed. This is a gorgeous pinky-raspberry tone and is just as comfortable and opaque as the nudes I have. I do find this fades a little unevenly (though it isn't streaky or patchy) but it lasts pretty well! Overall; I'm into it.

I was up pretty early for the flight but everything went really smoothly and we arrived in Bordeaux on time with no hiccups, so I can't complain! I do generally have a lot of anxiety around flying for a multitude of reasons; having to be up early and make a specific departure time, the stress of security etc., knowing I can't easily pick up any bits I've forgotten whilst I'm away, not speaking the language well enough... 

The weather was absolutely lovely on landing - we headed to Bordeaux station to put our luggage in lockers for the day (which was a real faff!) so we could walk around properly. I think we saw the majority of the sights and I'll be popping up a proper post on the trip in a few weeks. It's a really pretty town, though there weren't any shops open as France is pretty strict on the whole Sunday trading thing! We got food at a burger place called Kokomo and mine was really tasty (but the service was pretty slow!) Of course I also got an ice cream for the wander back because it was a 30 minute walk in the heat! 

We then got a taxi out to the country where the hotel was, and my goodness: it was stunning! You know how websites always show the best angle possible? This hotel didn't have a bad angle! It's just so beautiful; a real rustic country retreat - make sure you check out my Instagram posts of it. We stayed at Les Sources de Caudalie - where the skincare brand was born and where their famous grape water is grown. All three nights we ate at one of the the hotel restaurants - Le Table du Lavoir - where we got a 3 course meal every evening!

I went for one of my beloved Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments for the day as they're quick and easy to throw on and reapply, plus contain SPF. The formula is so nourishing and it gives a gorgeous wash of colour and a glossy finish. This is a reddish-orange tone that's so nice and summery and looks great with dewy / highlighted skin.

Monday: ColourPop Ultra Satin Lip in Strip | $6.50

We were up bright and early the next day for our spa trip! Again, I've posted some photos on Instagram of how amazing and tranquil it was. It was actually really lucky because Monday was kind of cloudy and all of the other days were forecast to be lovely. You can actually only use the spa if you're having a treatment, which isn't great for hotel guests and probably explains why it was so quiet! There are indoor and outdoor pools and a jacuzzi. The treatments were very expensive, however the time I got for each was really decent and I'm so happy with the results. Though it was definitely a bit awkward after the facial portion when the lady was asking if I wanted to buy any of the products used because I literally owned everything already! It was early afternoon by the time we were done and the sun had come out a little bit so we sat and had a glass of wine outside before dinner.

For the spa I just popped on a bit of lip balm and headed out barefaced, however before dinner I needed to wash my hair so decided to put on some makeup whilst I was at it! I opted for one of my favourite lipstick formulas in one of my go-to summer lip shades. The ColourPop Ultra Satin Lips are a comfortable liquid lipstick that feels like a traditional formula (soft on the lips and not streaky, patchy or drying) but really lasts and has amazing pigmentation. Strip is a mid-toned warm sandy beige with slightly pink undertones that looks gorgeous with a sun-kissed look.

The next day we were up bright and early for our visit to Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, which is right next to the hotel and absolutely beautiful! We were taken all around the chateau and taught about the wine-making process before trying a couple of glasses ourselves and I treated myself to a nice bottle whilst we were there. We decided to make the most of the 30+ degrees heat and sunbathed until late afternoon, when we (well - I - given that my mum gave up and decided to walk!) went for a bike ride through the amazing vineyards. We went for our last dinner at the hotel and I made a fantastic spot: realising we were sat a table across from Donald Sutherland! I did recognise him but it didn't fully click until he started speaking English (he's fluent in French and from Quebec) and you can't mistake that voice - though after he left, I did still get the waiter to confirm!

I opted to wear one of ColourPop's Matte Lippie Stix for the day, though I was pretty rubbish at touching it up! I feel as though this lipstick formula always needs a disclaimer because it isn't really matte - it has a creamy feel and a slight sheen to its finish. It's very comfortable and fairly long-wearing. This warm peachy-brown nude is just easy to wear - it's been discontinued but I also have the shade Sike, which is pretty similar but definitely brighter.

Wednesday: Glossier Coconut Balm Dotcom | £10

On Wednesday it was time to go home - our trip was over far too soon! We had a bit of time in the morning to soak up the last of the sun and enjoy the hotel facilities before heading to the airport. We landed in cloudy Birmingham mid-afternoon - I had on a Hawaiian shirt, Espadrilles, sunglasses and a straw bag, clearly not quite ready to return to real life... 

I kept things simple but hydrating with this multipurpose balm. It can be used on the lips as well as dry patches of skin. It's simple, effective and does the job for me. It isn't slippery or shiny on the lips and has a gorgeous coconut scent.

I'm probably going to do a full post on my trip with lots of photos and my in-depth experience in terms of where we stayed and what we did but you can check out some bits from my trip here. Which lipsticks have you been wearing lately and for what occasions?

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Disclosure - products marked * were sent to me for consideration however all opinions remain my own.

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