Thursday, 17 July 2014

Lightweight Foundations for Every Occasion

I am, and always will be, a foundation girl.  I've tried to love BB creams, CC creams and tinted moisturisers, however there's always something not quite right; I put this down to my oily skin type.  If previously asked to list my favourite foundations, you would of found a group of heavy, full coverage formulas:  Estée Lauder's Double Wear, M.A.C Studio Fix Fluid, Laura Mercier Silk Créme (still a firm favourite).  However, I recently realised there's been a shift in the typical formulas I've been drawn to: I now tend to favour lightweight foundations that still offer good coverage.  Here is a list of my favourite four lightweight liquid foundations for every occasion.

When spending time in the sun.

Shiseido's 'Sun Protection Liquid Foundation' was one of my favourite discoveries of last year.  It is very thin in consistency making it very lightweight and comfortable to wear.  It blends into the skin seamlessly, leaving a beautifully natural, matte finish to the skin.  As the foundation is so thin in consistency, I was surprised at what great, buildable coverage it provides.  What's best about Shiseido's 'Sun Protection Liquid Foundation' is the fact that it's water, perspiration and oil resistant making it the perfect choice to wear in the sun.  I've had this foundation last a full day in the sun which for my skin type, is amazing!

I really love that the packaging is so compact, making it perfect for taking on holiday.  I do think it is important to note that although the foundation contains an SPF 30, Shiseido recommend you apply an additional sun screen before exposure.  

When getting your photograph taken.

Giorgio Armani's 'Luminous Silk' Foundation will always be my first choice if I know I will be getting my photograph taken (nights out!).  Wonderfully light weight, it buffs into the skin quickly, giving my face a glowing, airbrushed appearance. The fact it contains no SPF makes the foundation  ideal for flash photography.  'Luminous Silk' is oil free, leaves a luminous finish to the skin, and has a medium buildable coverage. One major downfall for this foundation is its longevity: I need to use a primer, powder and Urban Decay's 'De-Slick' setting spray to make the coverage last all night.

When you want a natural base.

Chanel 'Vitalumiére Aqua' is about as light a coverage as I feel comfortable in (for me it is dangerously close to the tinted moisturiser border).  Similar in fluidity to Shiseido's 'Sun Protection Liquid Foundation', 'Vitalumiére Aqua' is oil-free, water based and offers an extremely natural, sheer coverage.  Perfect for days I want to look fresh faced, 'Vitalumiére Aqua' I've found applies best using my hands rather than a brush.  Unfortunately, for oily skinned girls like me, the formula is not the best at controlling my natural oil; blotting is a must.

When you need a little something extra.

The heaviest of the four, Lancome's 'Teint Idole Ultra 24H' foundation is my most recently purchased and loved foundation.  Despite being heavier in formula, 'Teint Idole Ultra 24H' is a full coverage, long lasting foundation that is remarkably light weight in comparison to others in the same category.  It gives a beautiful, flawless appearance to the skin and paired with primer and powder lasts a full work day.  Perfect for those who love a good coverage but hate the feeling of wearing a heavy foundation.  It takes a little time to set so I tend to apply my foundation and then style my hair before finishing the rest of my face which is probably one of the only complaints I have! I've got a full foundation review coming soon with a couple of other Lancome products that I've recently been loving! 

I would love to hear what some of your favourite lightweight foundations are!?

Love Nic

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Karora Instant Tan Wash Off

I've always had a love/hate relationship with instant tanning products.  I love that instant tan allows you to change up your look quickly, without the hassle of tanning overnight.   However, I've struggled to find an instant tanning product that wears well, looks natural and is water resistant...there is nothing worse than having rain spots on the back of your legs on a night out!

Boabella Boutique offered to send me Karora's 'Instant Tan Wash Off' to try and I was really excited to see how it fared against other instant tans I've tried.  Boabella Boutique is a members members only online shop that is free to join and offers amazing discounts for members.  Each deal is only available for a certain period of time and often, the discount is so good that a product sells out before the deal expires - if you see something that catches your eye, it's a good idea to buy it straight away! You can read more about how Boabella Boutique works here

Karora's 'Instant Tan' is by far the best of its type I've tried.  When I first applied the tan, I felt a little apprehensive as it looked extremely dark.  However, after working it into my skin, it blended out flawlessly, giving my skin a beautiful, golden appearance.  It dries very quickly and doesn't feel sticky to the touch.  I've also found that it's transfer resistant and fairly resistant to water - it stayed opaque when I splashed some water on my arm and only began to fade when I held my arm under the tap.  It does have a faint herbal scent which is far more appealing than the digestive biscuit smell typical of a developing tan.

What I love about Karora's 'Instant Tan' is it has a perfecting effect on the skin, which makes it perfect to use on the legs.  I've found it helps disguise bruises, veins and other imperfections and leaves a beautiful luminous look to the skin - I think it's going to become one of my must have products of the summer! 

I would love to know your experiences with instant tans?

Lots of Love

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Orange lips three ways

Orange lips are one of my favourite make up trends as the winter seasons begin to change, however it's not always the easiest look to carry off (take this post as an excellent example).  I've found starting off with a peachy-orange and working my way up through the shades has been the easiest way of finding what works.   Through trial and error, I always pair orange lipsticks with minimal eye make up and bronzer.

The peach orange

Topshop's 'Peach Sundae' is the perfect hybrid between coral and nude, making it an amazing introduction to the world of orange lips.  For a nude shade, 'Peach Sundae' is extremely pigmented and has a satin finish.  Despite its satin finish, 'Peach Sundae' does have the tendency to highlight any imperfections on the lips, nothing a little lip balm can't fix.  'Peach Sundae' is the perfect everyday spring lipstick!

The red orange 

Lancome's l'absolu rouge in 189 'Rouge Etincelle' is an absolutely beautiful, orange toned red from the 2013 Happy Holidays Collection (Still available to buy from Boots online).  First of all snaps to Lancome for the stunning Swarovski encrusted packaging! 'Rouge Enticelle' is a shade pulled from the Lancome vaults and was first produced in 1955.  It's an extremely flattering, orange toned red that glides seamlessly on to the lips.  It leaves a lovely glossy sheen and feels comfortable to wear.

The orange orange

While I have a couple of true oranges I could of mentioned, I wanted to pick a shade that I haven't seen too much written about; Maybelline's Colorsensational Vivid in 912 'Electric Orange'.  'Electric Orange' is a bright, warm toned orange that is deceivingly flattering.  It leaves a pretty sheen to the lips and feels very light yet creamy to wear.  If you're new to orange lipsticks, 'Electric Orange' would be a perfect first choice.  It's affordable, easy to wear and long lasting.

Which is your favourite of the three shades?

Love Nic

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Love to Love # 2

'Skinny' Baking: If you've read any of my 'Operation Disco Pants' posts, you will know my love of a food blog called 'Skinny Taste'.  I don't know how Gina does it but she consistently creates naughty tasting food in health conscious way.  I've spent my Sunday recreating two of her baking recipes - Amazing Flour-less brownies (with a secret ingredient, black beans!) and an old favourite, Mango Nut Bread.

Dune Dlocket Bag.  One of the prettiest bags I've owned, Dune's 'Dlocket' bag feels like it has been surgically attached to me this week.  I'm in love with how structured it is and it's beautiful deep red colour.  Unfortunately the red version seems sold out everywhere but can still be found in navy on the Dune website.

Dance with Dragons. I am a huge 'Game of Thrones' fan and have slowly been working my way through the books.  I've found that I've needed to take a small break between reading each book - I started 'A Dance with Dragons' this week and already can't put it down.

Pukka Original Chai.  I've been loving Pukka's 'Original Chai' this week - it tastes quite strongly of cinnamon and ginger and went beautifully with a slice of fresh-out-the-oven mango nut bread this afternoon!

Lush Rose Jam Bubbleroon.  This has to be one of my favourite products I've tried from Lush in a long time.  It smells amazing - just like the Ro's Argan body conditioner and creates a beautifully bubbly bath.

Topshop Blazer.  I loved how this white blazer from Topshop looked with my H + M faux fur stole this week.

Watching.  I've became addicted to 'American Horror Story' over the last couple of weeks, I'm currently half way through Asylum - have any of you watched it?  I think I'm slowly falling more and more in love with Evan Peters.

Online.  Eden's blog 'Sugar and Charm' is one of the best online discoveries I've made this year so far.  I love the idea behind her blog: 'add a little charm to the everyday'!

Lots of Love

Thursday, 6 February 2014

High End/Low End:Translucent Powders

High end/Low end is a new series I've been thinking about writing for a while and stemmed from the fleeting new years resolution of curbing my spending habits (I've failed miserably already).  The aim of high end/low end is to post about two similar products at different ends of the price scale.    While the products don't have to be dupes of one another, it's always nice to have a more affordable alternative! Translucent powders may not be the most exciting or glamorous make up product to begin with, I've actually found finding a good powder surprisingly difficult!  In a face powder, the three main this I look for is a natural finish (no additional coverage!), decent mattifying properties and comfortable wear.

High End.  Chanel's 'Poudre Universelle Libre' (£36) is a beautiful loose powder.  It gives a very pretty, satin finish to the skin yet still manages to mattify and set my make up.  I've recommended this powder to numerous people and always describe it as an instant halo for the face! The powder is buttery soft and melts into the skin beautifully.  While I mentioned that 'Poudre Universelle Libre' has a mattifying effect on the skin, it is not the longest lasting of finishes and I probably get about 5-6 hours of the semi-matte finish before I have to blot.  For this reason, Chanel's 'Poudre Universelle Libre' is my translucent powder of choice for nights out as it adds a lovely, soft finish to my make up and photographs beautifully.  I also love to use it as a setting powder for my under eye concealer daily.  

Low End.  When I need a longer lasting powder, there is one that instantly springs to mind: Rimmel's 'Stay Matte' pressed powder (£3.99).  'Stay Matte' isn't the smoothest of powders (especially when compared to Chanel's offering) however it provides a very matte finish and dramatically increases the longevity of my foundation.   It can be a little on the powdery side but despite this, I've never had it look cakey on my skin. If you have a drier skin type however, I imagine there is a higher risk of the powder clinging to drier areas. 'Stay Matte' is the perfect translucent powder for the working day; it's affordable, works well with my skin type and keeps my make up looking fresh throughout the day.

  I would love to hear some of your translucent powder recommendations!

Lots of Love


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

A Primer for Every Occasion

Before starting Magic's in the Make Up, I had never used a primer, in fact I probably wouldn't of been able to tell you what a primer was.  Fast forward four years and using a primer has become a necessary step in my makeup routine.  Using a primer helps prep the skin for foundation, ensuring the  skins surface is clean, the texture is smooth and moisturised.  For me, I have fairly oily skin and using a primer dramatically increases the wear of my foundation throughout the day.  However, there is a primer out there for all different skin types!

When your skin feels a little dull. Clarins 'Beauty Flash Balm' is perfect for days when your skin feels a little 'blah' (it's definitely not a product to be used everyday).  The Clarins 'Beauty Flash Balm' moisturises, brightens and tightens the skin, and if used properly can be seen to lift and sculpt the contours of the face.  The balm shouldn't be massaged into the skin; instead a thin layer should be smoothed gently onto the face, creating a smooth base for foundation and skin that feels youthful and radiant.  I think Clarins 'Beauty Flash Balm' is the perfect primer for someone with a drier skin type.

When faced with a long day.  While having an oily skin type has some advantages (delayed signs of ageing being the biggie!) one of the major drawbacks is the lack of make up longevity.  Benefit's 'Stay Flawless 15-hour Primer' is designed to help make up last longer, increase the appearance of foundation and refine the skins complexion.  While I don't think 'Stay Flawless' helps foundation last for 15 hours, it does help with my foundations longevity.  You can read my full review here

When you need to tighten the purse strings. I've read a lot of different opinions on Maybelline's 'Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser'.  I personally love it, however it took a couple of attempts to become familiar with the products texture and finish.  The primer is a silicone based gel and feels extremely slippery when applied to the face.  I've found it's best to apply the primer and wait at least five minutes before applying foundation.  This will prevent your foundation and concealer slipping but won't affect performance.  Rather than completely filling in pores, 'Baby Skin' blurs their appearance and provides a smooth surface for foundation.  

When you need a little something special.  My most extravagant primer purchase is Kevyn Aucoin's 'The Sensual Skin Primer'.  At £34 for 10ml of product, 'The Sensual Skin Primer' is not for everyday use.  Instead, I like to use it for special occasions - it's the perfect night out primer!  'The Sensual Skin Primer' creates a smooth, matte base, minimises the size of pores and feels quite lightweight on the skin.  Most importantly, it really helps my foundation last all night, no matter how hot the dance floor gets!

Two of my other favourite primers include Laura Mercier's foundation primer which you can read about here and Smashbox Photo Finish Light which you can read more about here.

I would love to hear some of your primer recommendations!

Love Nic

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Love to Love #1

Sundays are one of my favourite blog reading days, I love everyones weekly round ups.  As each week passes by, my beauty wish list grows ever longer and I always find new books to read, new music to listen to and new T.V. shows to watch.  I'm so excited to start my own round up series 'Love to Love'.

Jurassic Park T-Shirt.  I bought this Jurassic Park t-shirt from Primark this week and I'm in love with it!  I bought the t-shirt a size up and wore it yesterday on a trip to Kelvingrove Art Galleries (one of my favourite places) tucked into skinny jeans and Converse.  The perfect lazy weekend outfit!

Miffy Slippers.  Another Primark purchase this week, these Miffy slippers are adorable! They have a super cosy lining and are really comfortable to wear.

The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter.  Angela Carter is one of my favourite authors and I was delighted when Nick bought me this beautiful edition of 'The Magic Toyshop'.  It's a magical book that you may have to read a couple of times to fully get its complexity - I can't recommend it highly enough.

Laura Mercier Ambre Rose Lip Glace.  I've been loving wearing a bronzed make up look this week and 'Ambre Rose' compliments this beautifully.  You can see how it looks here.  

Paperchase List Book.  This list book from Paperchase has been a life saver.  On the right hand side is a larger, lined notebook that allows you to write a more detailed list and on the left, all of the sections are sticky notes.  I particularly love the tick boxes!

Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue.  I bought 'Light Blue' from Duty Free on the way home from Portugal last year and it has quickly shot to the top of my most worn list.  It may not be the longest lasting scent but it's perfect for every day wear.  It's citrusy, fresh and amazingly clean smelling.  While it may be classed as more of a summery scent, it's really helped to brighten up all of these horrid, rainy Glasgow afternoons.

Watching: 'Her' is one of the most perfect films I've seen in a long time.  It's beautifully shot, amazingly written, has a wonderful soundtrack and Joaquin Phoenix is bloody brilliant!

Listening. Kitty Daisy and Lewis (Baby) Hold Me Tight

Online. I've been obsessed with Daily Candy this week.  With beautiful photography, regularly updated content and some of the most amazing recipes and beauty ideas I've seen, it has quickly became one of my most regularly checked websites!

Lots of Love

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