Wednesday, 29 January 2014

How To Beat the Mid Week Blues

I am a long term sufferer of the mid-week blues; with the previous weekend a distant memory and the coming weekend two days away, I can't help but feel a little 'blah'. However, over the last couple of months I've followed the same mid-week evening routine to help ease me into the second half of the working week.


Lighting a candle is one of my favourite ways to unwind and really sets the tone for the evening.  My favourite of the moment is Sanctuary Spa's 'Daydream' candle from their Sleep range.  You may remember I blogged about the Sanctuary 'Sleep 4 in 1 Restoring Body Elixir'.  I loved the scent so much I purchased the candle to match - I think I've now repurchased this about four times! Similar to the body elixir, the 'daydream' candle reminds me a lot of Tom Ford's 'Black Orchid'.  The scent throw is fantastic with the essential oils of ylang ylang, frankincense and patchouli. For the quality, it's an affordable option priced at £12.50.


One of the first things I do when feeling a little blue is pin my hair back and take off my make up.  There's much to be said about the power of a clean face! I remove my make up using Emma Hardie's 'Moringa Cleansing Balm', followed by cleansing with my Clarisonic. REN's 'Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk' is the perfect accompaniment to my Clarisonic; it's quite thick in consistency and extremely gentle on the skin.  A face mask is always a good way to feel pampered and one of my favourites is still REN's 'Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask'.  I follow this up with my Origins 'GinZing' moisturiser, No 7's 'Overnight Revitalising Eye Balm' and the Nuxe 'Reve de Miel' lip balm.  You can read a more in-depth post about my favourite skin care here.  

Bath Time

Soaking in a hot bath is probably one of the easiest ways to help wind down mid-week.  I've become guilty of sneaking out to Lush at Wednesday lunchtimes to pick a new bath treat.  One of my newest discoveries is 'Ceridwen's Cauldron' luxury bath melt.  You put the whole melt in the bath, muslin bag and all.  The cocoa butter, oats and beautiful selection of essential oils (walnut, tangerine, lavender, sandalwood, frankincense,) melt into the water creating quite a milky, moisturising bath.  You are left with a bag of oats to use as a wash cloth.  The scent is absolutely divine and leaves my skin feeling out of this world!

While soaking in the bath, I love to use a hair mask.  My favourite of the moment is Charles Worthington's 'Moisture Seal Intense Melting Balm'.  This is my second pot of the balm; I melt the balm between my fingers, transforming it into an amazing smelling oil before applying it through the length of hair.  I normally leave the balm in for around twenty minutes.  Once washed out, my hair is left silky soft, nourished and unbelievably shiny!

Clinique's 'Deep Comfort Body Butter' is one of the first body butters that I actually enjoy to use.  It melts into the skin well, doesn't leave a greasy residue and is unscented, perfect to use after a perfumed Lush bath!


A sure fire way of instantly perking me up is to paint my nails a bright colour.  Sinful Colors do an amazing range of brights at such an affordable price (£1.99!).  If I'm really feeling the mid-week slump, I always turn to glitter! One of my new favourites is the chunky love heart glitter in the bottom left hand corner from Urban Outfitters!


After I'm all pampered out, I like to coory in my pj's and either read a good book or watch a film.  I've recently just finished 'Stoner' by John Williams and Philip Pullman's retelling of Grimm's Fairy Tells and highly recommend them both.  I also love to download magazines on my iPad; I've got this months Allure ready to go! While reading, I often listen to music. One of my favourite mixes is the one featured above: Homefriends by Ross One and Harley Viera-Newton.  Seriously, go and download this from Soundcloud (it's free!), it's perfect night in music!  Of course, it wouldn't be Magic's in the Make Up without some hour and a half of perfect escapism!

I would love to hear how you beat the mid-week blues!

Love Nic

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Kate Spade Cobble Hill Lacey Purse

If I had the chance to go back and start again with my wardrobe, chances are it would largely be comprised of Kate Spade.  I am head over heels with the cute, girly designs, the bright colours (my favourite combinations are always brights and gold) and the small details that make Kate Spade so special.  It's all in the details; quotes, graphics and fonts.  I'm literally charmed by it all! Consequently, I was over the moon when Nick returned home from a trip to New York clutching a bright pink Kate Spade bag.

Nick picked out the Cobble Hill Lacey wallet in Strawberry Froyo (adorable!) - a beautiful bright pink with gold hardware and striped lining .

The leather is pebbled and buttery soft and despite the larger size, is remarkably light.  There are a number of different compartments and card slots which helps indulge my compulsion of never throwing anything away.   It's the perfect size to pop your phone in if you're running errands and don't want to carry a bigger bag.  I love that despite the bright colour, it's still understated with the small gold embossment. 

Practical yet chic, the Cobble Hill Lacey wallet is the most beautiful purse I've ever owned. For those who live in the UK, you can buy Lacey from Selfridges here (the name is slightly different).

Kate Spade, you've stolen my heart.

Lots of Love

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Lipstick Week Day 7: M.A.C Girl About Town

M.A.C 'Girl About Town' was one of the first M.A.C lipsticks I ever bought and still remains one of my favourites.  'Girl About Town' is a bright fuchsia with blue undertones and is an amplified creme finish.  Of all the formulas M.A.C do, the amplified creme is probably my favourite.  It's creamy, pigmented, long lasting and non-drying on the lips.  'Girl About Town' is the perfect shade to wear when you don't want to apply a lot of make up but still look done.  It brightens the face and gives the appearance of a beautiful, full pout!

I've really enjoyed lipstick week! It's the perfect way to break out of your make up comfort zone, rediscover unloved products and really helped me back into the blogging swing!

Which was your favourite?

Love Nic

Friday, 10 January 2014

Lipstick Week Day 6: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in 'Boy'

Considering that Chanel's Rouge Coco Shine in 'Boy' is one of my most used everyday lipsticks, I can't believe this is the first time I've posted about it on MITM!  The Rouge Coco Shines may not be the most long lasting of lipstick formulas but they are lovely to wear, and almost feel like a tinted lip balm.  'Boy' is a beautiful beige/pink however on me, the beige tones really pull through which I love.  It has subtle shimmer that really adds to the shine of the lipstick and I think it looks so flattering on the lips.  I really can't get enough of 'Boy', this is my third tube!

Be warned, because of its high shine and moisturising formula, 'Boy' only lasts around 2 hours on my lips.  I can turn a blind eye to this on account of how beautiful it is!

Lots of Love

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Lipstick Week Day 5: Color Sensational Vivid in 'Hot Plum'

'Hot Plum' was one of my favourite lipstick discoveries of last year.  It is an amazingly bright, cool toned pink/purple.  The shade name may be a little bit misleading but the formulation more than makes up for it.  'Hot Plum' applies like an absolute dream; it glides on to the lips and feels lightweight to wear.  It doesn't cling to or emphasise any imperfections and you only need one layer to get fully opaque coverage.  The formula is long lasting and is extremely affordable, priced at around £7.

If you like fuchsia lipsticks, I can't recommend 'Hot Plum' enough, especially for the price.  It's the perfect shade to get you through the mid week slump!

Lots of Love
Nic xx

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Lipstick Week Day 4: Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy #400

It is no secret that Chanel's Rouge Allure lipstick formula is my favourite of all time.  However, that was until I had tried Armani's new Rouge Ecstasy range.  Giorgio Armani describe the formula as the first CC lipstick. standing for Colour and Care.  The Rouge Ecstasy lipsticks offer the comfort of a lip balm with beautiful, velvety soft colours.  My infatuation with the Rouge Ecstasy formula only intensified when Nick bought me 'Four Hundred' for Christmas (He braved the Fraser's Beauty Hall and picked it all by himself!).

'Four Hundred' is a beautifully deep, classic red.  It is subtly blue toned, making it an extremely flattering shade to wear.  The application is beautiful; it simply glides on to the lips and feels just like a lip balm.  'Four Hundred' has a satin finish and despite being quite a rich formulation, is extremely comfortable to wear.  The formula is long lasting and pigmented; there's no need for layering with this lipstick.  If you feel a little intimidated by the pigmentation of the Lip Maestro version of 'Four Hundred', this would be a perfect alternative as it is a lot easier to wear.  I like to think of it as the day time appropriate version!

Armani Rouge Ecstasy, you have truly stolen my heart.

Lots of Love
Nic xx

Monday, 6 January 2014

Lipstick Week Day 3: M.A.C's Toxic Tale

I don't think I've been as excited for a M.A.C collection than I was about Venomous Villains.  I  am a huge Disney fan and secretly love a good villain - the combination of Disney Villains and lipstick was too much to resist! 'Toxic Tale' was the one product that stood out to me straight away and I knew I had to have it.  However, it has been sadly neglected as time has went on; lipstick week has been a brilliant excuse to use it again!

'Toxic Tale' is an extremely bright coral (in some lights it can look almost neon!) and is a satin finish. The formula is pigmented, applies smoothly and because of the satin finish, is long wearing.  'Toxic Tale' was part of the Evil Queen collection (my favourite Disney villain, rivalled only by Ursula) and I absolutely love the packaging - I much prefer the shiny casing to the traditional M.A.C matte plastic.

As 'Toxic Tale' was LE, I've been researching online to find a possible dupe - I've read a couple of blog posts which compare 'Toxic Tale' to Rimmel's 110 from the Kate Moss collection and the photos look pretty convincing.  I can't wait to look for myself!

Lots of Love

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Lipstick Week Day 2: YSL Rouge Volupte Perle 'Celestial Mauve'

When I first started Magic's in the Make Up, YSL's Rouge Volupte lipsticks were everywhere - the packaging was beautiful, the formula glided on to the lips like no other and the colour range was excellent.  However, they are one of the worst lipstick formulas for longevity I have ever tried; a result of their exceptionally creamy consistency.  Enter the Rouge Volupte Perle in 'Celestial Mauve'.  Despite being less opaque than their Rouge Volupte cousins, the Volupte Perle formula seems to be a longer lasting and a lot glossier.  I have a couple of the other darker shades and they all leave a beautiful stain to the lips once the initial shine has worn down.

'Celestial Mauve' (LE) is not the easiest shade to wear and it took me a while to play about with the application.  I initially applied it quite opaquely on the lips and the finish was a little unflattering and streaky.  I've found the best way to apply 'Celestial Mauve' is to apply an opaque layer and, using my finger, gently pat the product into my lips.  This avoids the formula from streaking and helps diffuse the strong lilac undertones which can sometimes look a little harsh, instead leaving behind a beautiful, baby pink finish.

Love Nic

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Lipstick Week: Topshop Beguiled

A couple of years ago, I challenged myself to wear a different coloured lipstick each day for a week and blog about it daily (more challenging than it sounds while working full time in winter!).  Starting from today, I've decided to redo this challenge - it always helps free me from a make up rut! The shades I've chosen are:

1) Dark plum: Topshop 'Beguiled'
2) Nude - Chanel 'Boy'
3) Pink - M.A.C Girl About Town
4) Baby Pink - Rouge Volupte Perle 'Celestial Mauve'
5) Purple - Maybelline Colorsensational 'Hot Plum'
6) Coral - M.A.C 'Toxic Tale'
7) Red - Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecsatasy '400'.

I decided to go head first into the challenge and choose the most daring shade: Topshop's 'Beguiled'.

'Beguiled' is a beautifully dark, red-toned plum that dries down to a satin finish.  Unfortunately, it does tend to emphasise any imperfections on the lips but a little lip prep before applying definitely helps.  Because the formula is fairly dry, it is however extremely long lasting on the lips and typical of this type of shade, leaves a pretty plum stain on the lips during the day.

What are your thoughts on 'Beguiled' - have you worn a similar dark shade this winter?

Love Nic 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

2013 Favourites

I have loved 2013 - it may not have been the most productive of years (something I want to work on for 2014) but it's been a lot of fun! I wanted to take a look back at some of my favourite things I've discovered in the last year.  

Favourite make up product: Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation.

Favourite Hair Product: Sleep-In Rollers.

Favourite Skin Care Product: Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm

Favourite Dresses:

Favourite Places I've visited: Portugal, Liverpool, London (especially the Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour)

Favourite Photograph of 2013: My Amazing Family

Favourite Thing I've Eaten:  The World's Best Carrot Cake 

Favourite Book I've Read:  A Song of Fire and Ice Series (I can see a coffee and cake theme appearing)

Favourite Internet Discovery: Tumblr (follow me here)



While not being one for making new years resolutions, there are a couple of things I want to focus on this year:

1. Be more creative.  I want to blog more and learn something new - I'd love to do some make up and nail courses!
2. Continue with Operation Disco Pants.  I've started 2014 feeling determined to finish!
3. Take a few pointers from The Glitter Guide.