This makeup range is so good and looks so luxurious and expensive, I almost don’t want to call it ‘budget’. Actually, if I’m being truly honest it’s more of an in-between brand, somewhere in the middle of the mass market bands and the more expensive prestige brands. However you look at it, the new products from Autograph look, feel and act like products you’d expect to find at a big department store beauty counter – at a fraction of the price. Let’s dive in…

I was recently sent a selection of the new Autograph makeup collection to test by the lovely people at Marks & Spencer. I’ve been a fan of this makeup range for a while, so I was more than happy to have a play with their new and improved items. The first thing that struck me is how gorgeous they all looked, the packaging is simple yet stylish, every product feels substantial and functional but in a very elegant way. At a glance, I’d say they have more than a passing resemblance to the Bobbi Brown products, which is no bad thing in my book.

On further testing and getting to know the products I can tell you that they’re not ‘all style over substance’ either, each product feels luxurious and lasts the distance. For example, the Hydrating Foundation is moisturising and nourishing on the skin, and gives a beautiful satin smooth, dewy finish that lasts the day. And at £16, it’s half the price of a prestige alternative.

I was also impressed by the Colour Balm Lipshine sticks that glide on effortlessly and give a lasting pretty, glossy finish. These little beauties are £10, which means you can afford to get a few!

Other highlights for me were the gorgeous primers, I tested the Luminosity Radiant Skin Primer (£12.50), which gave a beautiful ‘lit-from-within’ finish to my complexion and the Hydrating Confidence Boost Primer (£12.50), which nourished my skin and helped make sure my foundation stayed put for the whole day.

One last mention has to go to the Lasting Colour Luxe Quad Eyeshadow, which looks and feels two or three times more expensive than it’s £10 price tag. The colours are strong and blend easily for a beautiful eye look, they also last all day  and have a lovely luxurious texture. I was sent Rose Mix (as seen in the pictures), which is really fresh and pretty but I also love the look of Mocha Mix… I think I may have to pop that onto my Christmas list!

If you’re on the look out for some new makeup, do yourself a favour and check out the new Autograph collection before going off and spending a small fortune at the big beauty counters. For the same amount you could walk away with a basket full at M&S.

Disclaimer: These products were sent to me to try with no obligation to review. 

Infinite by Forever - anti-ageing kit

Every now and again a parcel arrives in the post that makes me really sit up and take notice. This particular box of goodies did just that when they arrived gorgeously packaged in a big white luxury box.

‘Forever’, who are famous for their amazing aloe vera based products have introduced this new, premium anti-ageing skincare range called Infinite by Forever. The product formulas combine natural ingredients that work together to restore moisture, stimulate healthy collagen levels and basically reduce all signs of skin ageing.

This new luxury range of four products includes a hydrating cleanser, a beauty supplement, a firming serum and restoring crème.

What’s great about this range is that it targets ageing from the inside out, and the outside in. The three skincare products are designed to hydrate the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while the oral capsules help to enhance your inner skin beauty. With four very targeted products this range promises to have all your skincare needs met in one simple little kit.

Having read all about the products and their claims, I was eager to dive in and get testing. Here’s what I think…

Hydrating Cleanser

This light-weight milk cleanser glides on easily, rinses off in seconds and left my skin feeling clean, fresh and well-nourished. It has naturally derived ingredients including; apple extract, apple amino acid and cocoa fatty acids that work together to increase skin hydration and gently washes away any trace of makeup, pollution and oil without being too harsh or drying.

Infinite by Forever - Hydrating Cleanser

Firming Serum

This clear serum is very light and fluid (almost like an oil) and literally melts into the skin. The texture is luxurious and feels like a real treat to apply – my parched skin literally drank it up every night! It targets all signs of ageing with a clinically proven three-amino acid complex to increase firmness and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s easy to see why this little beauty won a silver award at the recent Pure Beauty Awards for best new premium anti-ageing skincare. For me this is the star of the range.

Infinite by Forever - Serum

Restoring Crème

Next we have the day cream, which comes in an interesting little pump pot. This impressive cream is made up of over fifteen skin conditioning ingredients that left my skin feeling moisturised, nourished and smooth. Using this daily is said to reinforce the skin’s natural barrier, hydrate parched skin and reduce the appearance of ageing. I must admit that my skin did feel incredibly soft and velvety smooth each time I used it, so it must be doing something right.

Infinite by Forever -

Firming Complex

Now this is where this skin care kit takes an unusual twist, with a beauty supplement that helps target the appearance of premature ageing from the inside. These little capsules combines vitamin C to promote healthy collagen production, biotin for healthy hair and skin and marine collagen to give structure and tone to your skin. I can’t personally say that I saw a massive difference in my skin from taking these tablets but as they’re working together with the other skincare products it is difficult to be specific.

Infinite by Forever - Beauty Supplements

On the whole I found this kit a pleasure to use and my skin did feel hydrated and soft at the end of each day. At £165, it’s is not the cheapest option on offer but if you’re looking for a holistic approach to anti-ageing and a range with proven results, I’d say give it a go! You can buy the Infinite by Forever range online here.

Disclaimer: These products were sent to me in exchange for an honest review with no expectations.

My only real vice is and always has been chocolate. When it comes to chocolate I’m a complete addict, I’d happily munch my way through a bar of chocolate every day (and I’m not talking about those little bars). So it’s no surprise that the Too Faced range of ‘chocolate makeup’ has always been on my beauty wish-list.

After being sent the Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar eye palette and Dark Chocolate Soleil bronzer, the first thing that struck me was the amazing smell! Each one is scented with an enticing smell of sweet chocolate, which is subtle and dreamy, without being too strong or overpowering.

In case you were wondering, yes, there is actual cocoa in the powders. Cocoa powder has amazing skin care benefits so it makes perfect sense that Too Faced would add chocolate to these ‘delicious’ products.

This cute eye palette has been designed to look like a bar of chocolate (which I love) and is packed full on 16 different shades. Each colour works well together, from; warm caramels, strong mochas, deep chocolate and frosted blueberry, giving you countless options to create a wide verity of different looks.

Too Faced eye shadows are famous for being highly pigmented and these are no exception. Each shade is deep in colour and glide on effortlessly. They also blend easily and last the whole day without fading or creasing.

The shades inside the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Eye Palette are…

(warning: don’t read if you’re hungry!)

1. Licorice (matte)

2. Coconut Crème (matte)

3. Nougat (matte)

4. Truffled (matte)

5. Hot Fudge (shimmery)

6. Cocoa Chili (shimmery)

7. Pink Sugar (shimmery)

8. Puddin’ (matte)

9. Blueberry Swirl (shimmery)

10. Peanut Butter (matte)

11. Frosting (shimmery)

12. Rum Raisin (shimmery)

13. Mousse (matte)

14. Caramel (shimmery)

15. Bon Bon (shimmery)

16. Butter Pecan (shimmery)

I’ve been using the matte Coconut Crème with the shimmery Hot Fudge and Cocoa Chili for an effortless smokey eye look, but honestly I’d say that any combination would work well together.

The bronzer is equally good and long-lasting. It’s perfectly chocolaty in colour with no orange or gold undertones. I have the Dark Chocolate shade, which isn’t as dramatic and scary as it sounds. It’s a beautifully matte powder that creates a very real-looking sun kissed finish with no shimmer – and doesn’t look orange in any way. It’s very similar to Benefit’s Hoola bronzer but in a more durable compact and of course with the delicious scent of sweet chocolate. Also, the cocoa powder nourishes your skin to eliminate any dry patches or redness.

If you’re looking for a gift for any chocoholic, beauty junkies – I highly recommend you take a look at this range!

The Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette (£39) and Chocolate Soliel Bronzers (£25) are available from Selfridges, Debenhams and other online retails.

I love reading these kind of posts but never really do any of my own, so I thought I’d rectify the situation with a ‘loving lately’ post. Life can seem so mundane and full of boring routine at times, so it’s nice to remind myself of the little things I’ve recently discovered and now love!

Beauty products and makeup always make me happy but when I find a great new product… well, lets just say that makes me very happy! And that’s what I’ve got here, a collection of absolutely gorgeous products that I quite literally want to rave about, from; lipsticks to foundations, bath products and an absolutely brilliant new hair styling wand.

So here goes… what I’m loving lately…

Laura Geller Fifty Kisses Lip Locking Liquid Colour (£17)

I think these may well be the holy grail of long lasting lip colour! The liquid colour glides on easily and then sets, locking-in the vibrant colour without drying your lips. The colour is incredibly strong from the pure pigment formula that literally ‘satays put’ all day or all night. I was out the other night and noticed that despite having bright red lips (from using one of these beauties), there were no lipstick marks on my drink glass. These gorgeous colours are Ruby Romance, Makeout Merlot and Pink Pucker. They’re all dramatic and give a beautifully polished finish.

Clarins Everlasting Cushion Foundation (£31)

Here’s a very different kind of full coverage foundation! It’s long-wearing, hydrating and gives a velvety soft, dewy finish that I absolutely love. All blemishes and imperfections are blurred away but your skin can still breathe and feels comfortable. What I love most about this foundation is that it feels light and soft on the skin, despite offering a good level of coverage. These two things don’t normally go hand in hand, there’s usually a trade-off but not here. It also has an impressive SPF50, which is another big plus for anyone (like me) concerned with the ageing effects of the sun, at any time of year.

REN Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Range (from £14)

Oh my goodness! This range is absolutely gorgeous. I’ll do a dedicated blog post with the full range soon but had to mention them here too because I’m simply in love with these luxuriously uplifting products, that smell amazing! REN Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium is a range designed to de-stress and re-energise your body and mind. Each product is infused with REN’s Anti-Fatigue Essential Oils that is both refreshing and calming – and my idea of bathing heaven. Your mind is refreshed from the spa-like aromas and your skin is left hydrated and soft from the marine based ingredients.

REN Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Anti-Fatigure Body Range

Lee Stafford Wonderball Wand (£29.99)

I’m normally pretty lazy with my hair, I either give it a quick blow-dry and leave it or take my straighteners through the ends for a more groomed glossy finish. I’ve never got on with curling wands, I find them fiddly and my hair always falls out as I’m trying to curl it around the wand. However, this clever little wonderball wand makes things a lot easier as my hair can’t slip out because of  the balls. I simply wind my hair around the wand and the strands fall into the grooves, giving me a pretty boho wave that I love. At last I’ve found a curling wand I can actually use! The ceramic barrel is also infused with coconut oil, which is transferred into the hair through the heat.

Lee Stafford Wonderball Wand

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little roundup, please let me know if you have and I’ll make it a regular feature.

You may have noticed that I’m pretty big into my face oils and serums. In fact, my husband says I have an unhealthily obsession but that’s just his way of telling me I have too many little bottles of potions on my dressing table. It’s true, I especially love oils and serums, I love how my skin drinks up the goodness and I really love how my skin feels afterwards. I recently raved about the new Clarins Double Serum and now I’m about sing the praises of another new and equally brilliant skin elixir; the Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Oil.  At £65 for a 15ml bottle, it may be on the luxury side of the market but it is seriously good.

Okay, let me tell you more about this little bottle of skin goodness. The Pro-Collagen Marine Oil is a replenishing facial oil made from a trio of skin renewing seaweeds (Padina Pavonica, Golden Seaweed and Roaring Water Kelp) that deliver maximum skin hydration, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Another big ingredient in this beauty elixir is White Poppy seed oil, which is used to plump up the skin’s moisture levels, leaving your complexion looking super fresh, youthful and radiant.

How To Use

Simply warm up 3-4 drops in your hands and massage the oil over your face and neck every morning and evening, under your usual day or night cream.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Oil

My Opinion

Yes this is a big luxury, there’s no denying it but if you’re after a real skin treat, this is it! The gorgeous blue and green glass bottle holds an elixir so precious, you almost want to keep it on the dressing table and admire it forever. However, this is an oil you need to use and an oil your skin will thank you for, it’s literally superfood for your skin.

I’ve been using this day and night for the past few weeks and love the way my complexion now looks and feels. Each morning my skin feels super soft and fresh which is an amazing transformation from a few months ago.

So yes, in my opinion it is worth the money. Go on, pop it on your Christmas list as a special skincare treat.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Oil

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Oil is available from the Elemis website, Look Fantastic, Debenhams as well as many other online retailers and department stores.

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me in exchange for an honest review with no expectations.