I love Mexico!

This is the third time we’ve been to Mexico, and although we said we’d probably never come back as it was time to explore some other countries we were booked to go to Egypt when it all kicked off so decided to cut our losses and come back to the beautiful Riviera Maya, which is about an hour south of Cancun. Staying at El Dorado Seaside Suites, which is billed as one of the most romantic hotels in the world we once again had a fantastic time in the gorgeous tropical surroundings this part of Mexico has to offer.

I took my trusty DSLR with us and here are some shots from in and around the hotel, as well as a couple from Isla Contoy. Enjoy! x

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Hey everyone!

Sorry for my super long hiatus, I’ve been on holiday in Mexico which has meant the blog has had to take a little break, but I’m back now and rather than sunning myself in 30 degrees I’m back to the crisp Guernsey winters. This weekend I had a great little treat when I ventured out with my sister, brother-in-law and my two gorgeously mischievous nephews to do a little island exploring.

Now having lived in the island for 26 years (except when I went to uni for three years), and given the small size of Guernsey you’d be forgiven for thinking it likely that I know everywhere there is to know here, and that there’s no where left to explore. But as much as it pains me to admit it, you’d be wrong. There’s one place that I’ve seen in many photos over the years but have never known where it was, and that would be the half-moon hole in the wall at Saints Bay Harbour.

So after donning my big winter coat and wooly hat, I let my sister and family lead the way until we got to the cute little harbour that still has moorings and is used regularly by local fisherman. As it was my first time there I thought it would be rude not to grab some shots of the area, so here are a couple I took on my wander.

Enjoy!

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This Saturday, alongside my bf, I decided to don my best Mary Berry floral bomber and do some baking. We choose the lemon and raspberry sandwich which to be honest looked seriously delicious on the BBC Good Food website, the original recipe can be found here and it’s actually a gluten free recipe, but we amended it slightly as we’re not intolerant to wheat.

The ingredients you will need for a non-gluten free version are:

For the cake & the filling:

450g pot gluten-free lemon curd yogurt
150ml sunflower oil
3 large eggs
300g golden caster sugar
300g gluten-free self-raising flour blend
25g ground polenta
1 tsp baking powder
150g pack raspberries
170ml pot double cream

For the icing:

50g icing sugar, sifted
zest 1 lemon, plus 1 tbsp juice

Method

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Grease and line the base of 2 x 20cm non-stick round sandwich tins with baking parchment

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Beat 250ml of the yogurt with the oil and eggs. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, flour, polenta and baking powder until well blended.

Pour the yogurt into the flour mixture and stir well. Fold in half the raspberries, then divide the mixture equally between the tins.

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Level and bake for 25-30 mins until firm and cooked all the way through when an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cover with foil after 20 mins if the top is getting too brown. Leave to cool on wire racks.

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cream ingredients

Whip the cream until it’s just holding its shape and stir in the remaining lemon yogurt, being careful not to over stir it and knock out any air. Then use the lemon cream mix (which coincidentally is yummy to lick off the spoon!) to sandwich cakes together by spreading the bottom half of the sandwich with the cream then topping with the remaining raspberries.

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Stir the icing sugar, lemon zest and juice together to make a runny icing. Drizzle over the cake and leave in a cool place to set before serving…if you can wait that long. We couldn’t and tucked into it straight away but it still tasted gooooooood.

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finished cake nom

Here is the final cake, and if you think it looks good (which I hope you do!), then you are most definitely correct it was totally scrumptious! This is definitely, as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, not the most healthy thing in the world to eat but as an occasional treat I can’t recommend this yummy cake enough!

What are your favourite bakes? Have any of you tried this recipe too, I’d love to see your attempts!

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Hey everyone!

Some of you may know that back in March my big sis and I headed to Liverpool to see Derren Brown live as part of his Infamous tour, but what you won’t be aware of is that at the same time we were also supposed to go and see Jesus Christ Superstar in Birmingham as part of its second tour of the UK. Unfortunately due to the demands of other countries also wanting to see it, the UK leg was actually postponed until October. After some initial disappointments and having to move flight and hotel bookings and even forking out for a second flight all travel pains had been sorted and we just had to sit back and wait the six months for the show to come back to the UK.

As my sis and I are both fans of Tim Minchin in particular (my sister massively so!), our mum had bought us the tickets for Christmas (thanks mum!) so safe to say when we boarded the plane to fly to Manchester at 7am last Thursday morning we were both pretty excited about what lay ahead.

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Me and the sis – excited in the lift shot!

When we finally got into the arena, we found our seats just 9 rows back in row J and I crossed my fingers that at 5ft 4 no one tall would come and sit in front of me. Unfortunately I was not this lucky and of course the one tall guy in the whole of our section came and sat smack bang in front of little ol’ me. But fear not, because the staging itself is very well designed for the perils of flat floored arenas and is actually one entire staircase meaning that a lot of the action goes on higher than eye level so thankfully I only had to spend about 15% of the show bobbing my head around Gigantor. So thanks to the stage designer for sorting that out for me! The use of the large video screen at the top of the stairs not only aided in my being able to see what was going on but also played a pivotal role not only in scene setting and story telling but also served as a stunning backdrop to bring the whole show together.

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So onto the show itself, having had little knowledge about the story or the songs, I had no preconceptions of what to expect but can honestly say that the show did not disappoint. As some of you may know the cast is a pretty stellar line up with Tim Minchin playing Judas Iscariot, Melanie C as Mary Magdelane, Chris Moyles as King Herod and finally the winner of ITV’s Superstar Ben Forster in the title role of Jesus.

For me, there were a couple of issues I had mainly due to the music being incredibly loud which sometimes made it hard to hear the cast, which as I didn’t know the story made it difficult to understand what was going on because there is no talking in this at all, so if I couldn’t hear the lyrics I didn’t get the story. Thankfully my sis explained to me some of the bits I’d missed during the interval and the second half was much better, however there was one particular moment where a guitarist comes onto stage with Judas which was ear-burstingly loud and unfortunately lost some of the poignancy of the moment.

My stand out songs were Herod’s Song which is Chris Moyles’ one and only performance, but to say he’s in it for such a short amount of time he really provides the comic relief that is needed in such a generally harrowing story, plus who knew he could even sing?!

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Oh heeeeey Chris Moyles – couldn’t stop myself from pulling a Miley!

There were also a number of heart wrenching moments in the second half from Judas’ inner torment at having betrayed his friend, culminating in his eventual suicide which was all done in silhouette to stunning effect to the moments following the crucifixion when the key characters rallied around the body of Jesus in complete silence whilst thousands of rose petals fell from the ceiling. This very nearly had me in tears but somehow I managed to keep myself in check! Kudos to Tim Minchin who arguably had the hardest songs to sing but carried the role incredibly well and has definitely made me to want to go and see him live again – come back to the UK with a new tour soon Tim!

But the most spellbinding performance of the night has to go to Jesus himself. Ben Forster’s performance of Gethsemane was nothing short of stunning. For anyone who has never heard the song, Google it, it has some seriously high notes in it which lets face it men should not be able to hit and only dogs should be able to hear. But that aside Ben performed this song beautifully, completely getting across all the emotion that a song like this demands.

One final mention must go to Melanie C whose character Mary Magdelene managed to do an excellent job of removing Jesus’ shoes whilst making it look like something entirely different *ahem* – think back to the different levels of the staging and imagine her directly in front of Jesus but slightly lower down and I think you’ll get the picture….

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The cast doing the encore at the end of the show

So that’s all folks, my whistle-stop tour of Jesus Christ Superstar. For any theatre fans out there who don’t live in London but want a great night of entertainment, show stopping performances and a Chris Moyles/Jeremy Kyle hybrid then this is definitely the show for you! There are still limited tickets available, so if you haven’t got any yet, what are you waiting for?!

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The Show Programme

Have any of you been to see the show? What did you think?

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This Fashion Friday is all about a gorgeous little jewellery provider called The Jewel Shack, run by Laura from Secret Diary of a Fashion Journalist. 

Providing statement necklaces through Facebook, The Jewel Shack has some absolutely gorgeous pieces from The Watermelon to the Rainbow Eagle as worn by Hollyoaks’ Carley Stenson. I am a total sucker for a statement necklace and after checking out the many amazing necklaces on offer I finally settled on The Neon Knot for £11.50 and The Pistachio for £12, which personally I think are incredibly reasonably prices. Ordered on Sunday at 4pm, a parcel covered in little flowers arriving cheerily on my doorstep on Tuesday, which given I live in the Channel Islands is hugely impressive so a big thumbs up to Laura for sending them over so quickly…especially given how excited I was for them to arrive! After ripping open the parcel I was happily greeted by two tissue paper wrapped bundles, one in orange and one in green, which again I thought was a really lovely touch.

So onto the two beauties I bought….

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The Neon Knot – £11.50

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The Pistachio – £12

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So that’s it for this week, definitely check out The Jewel Shack on Facebook or Twitter. Let me know if you take a look or place an order I’d love to know what you get!

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It’s that time of the week again, it’s Tuesday, it’s 6pm, which can only mean it’s the Starting Off Project!

Week 6 = mascara!

Quite possibly one of my favourite items of make up which I always feel a bit naked without, mascara gives your eyes more definition. Worn on either your top or top and bottom lashes one of the main things to look out for with mascara is that it can ‘clump’ and give you ‘spidery lashes’ which is when your lashes end up getting stuck together because you’ve put too much mascara on them. You can avoid this firstly by removing any excess mascara by scraping the brush against the top of the tube, and then gradually building up your mascara in thin layers (normally around 3) by applying it in a zigzag motion by moving your hand from side to side. This will cover the lashes more evenly and also separate them as you go.

There are loads of claims on the market for different mascaras but most are all about volumising or lengthening your eyelashes using a multitude of different shapes and sizes of wands. Expensive products like ModelCo Fibre LashXtend even attach tiny fibres to your lashes as you apply your mascara, and claims to give ‘brilliant extension and high definition impact’.

My top tip for thickening lashes without blowing your budget is by using talcum powder. Yup you read that correctly, the humble bathroom staple, talcum powder. Just gently put a layer of talcum powder on your lashes before you apply your mascara and the powder will have the same effect as the ModelCo product for a fraction of the price!

My final piece of advice is an oldie, but a goodie. NEVER pump air into your mascara tube by pushing the wand/brush in and out in order to get more product on it, as it will dry out the mascara which will lead to clumps. Before you initially take the brush out, I recommend twisting it around inside the tube and then removing it. If you need more product then gently repeat this process.

My faves

I have used a number of mascaras over the years both from high street brands and more high end designers, and my current favourites are Scandaleyes from Rimmel, Lancome‘s vibrating mascara and They’re Real by Benefit.

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rimmel brush

Scandaleyes by Rimmel is a great everyday mascara, especially given it’s cheap price. I bought this on offer in Boots with some other Rimmel items so it’s always worth checking in Boots or Superdrug if they have any good deals on. The brush on this one is quite thick and gives good coverage, but it can easily clump so be careful how much you apply.

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They’re Real from Benefit is quickly becoming one of the most rated mascaras currently on the market, and personally I can see why. It’s not cheap at around £20, but at the moment if you buy online direct from Benefit here you get a full size mascara and an additional deluxe mini version for the same price. The brush has quite short fibres and the orb shape at the end of it enables you to get right into the corners of your lashes. Again I would recommend around 3 coats for the best coverage, being careful it doesn’t clump.

lancome brushFinally this Oscillation Vibrating Infinite Power Mascara from Lancome is not only the mascara in my collection with the longest name but it’s also the most expensive, retailing at around £30. It has a small battery in the lid which makes the brush vibrant as the mascara’s applied, and personally I do think this makes a difference to the end result which is virtually clump free with great length. Given the price I only really use this on nights out, so if you’re looking for a special occassion product I would recommend this one but for something more for everyday Rimmel or Maybelline have some great mascaras for less than half the price.

So that’s it for another week, as always I’d love to read everyone elses posts so feel free to leave your links below.

What are your favourite mascaras? Have you used any of my favourite mascaras, what did you think of them?

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To catch up on all of my Starting Off Project posts see intro/skin care/concealer/blusher


When you live on an island and a lot of your friends live on the mainland quite often I’m looking for good reasons to pop over and have a cheeky weekend staying with my BFF and her boyfriend.

Dawn O’Porter’s Best Friends Ball was not only an excellent excuse to visit friends but was all to raise money for Breast Cancer Care alongside the launch of their new Pink Friday’s initiative which runs for the month of October as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month – for more info see here.

Hosted by fellow Guernsey-girl Dawn, also involved were the lovely Gemma Cairney from Radio 1 as well as Dawn’s Hollywood hubby ‘Roy from the IT crowd’. We were also treated to musical performances from Sophie Ellis Bextor, Kate Nash and even a spice girl in the form of Melanie C! Other performers were comedienne Andi Osho and also a dramatic reading by Laura Dockerill from ‘The Booby Trap’, which I would highly recommend all women go out and buy as £1 from every copy goes towards Breast Cancer charities.

All in all it was a truly amazing girls night out which was all in aid of such a fantastic cause, so thanks to Dawn for hosting but also special thanks must go out to Gemma Cairney for playing Blu Cantrell and Sean Paul which was undoubtedly the highlight of the night!

Obviously I had my trusty camera with me so instead of just telling you about it, below are some snaps from the night. Enjoy!

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Dawn O’Porter – our lovely hostess for the evening

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Me and my gorgeous bestie Little Miss Notting Hill aka Annie xx

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Sophie Ellis Bextor

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Makeovers were offered by the lovely folks at Smashbox
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OMG it’s a Spice Girl!! 
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The Kissing Booth where you could get a cheeky kiss from Chris O’Dowd for the bargain price of a tenner

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Dawn O’Porter ‘Oh my god I just danced with a Spice Girl!’
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Dress by Anna Scholtz at Simply Be available here

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Taking a picture of taking a picture

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The actual picture with the super lovely Gemma Cairney – loved her!

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With Chris O’Dowd

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Guernsey Girls – with Dawn O’Porter

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Bits and boobs from our Andrex Washlets sponsored goody bags – love the pink diary!

Did anyone else go to this? If so, I’d love to hear what you thought about it below!

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Also check out what Little Miss Notting Hill thought of the night here!


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This week is all about Isabel Marant for H&M which launches in stores 14 November, and if you want any of these pieces you better be quick to avoid disappointment. The look book came out this week featuring Alek Wek amongst others and the collection features items for men, women, children and teens as well as shoes and accessories, so there’s literally something for everyone.

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So this week I wanted to do a quick Fashion Friday to share with you the pieces that I love from yet another great high street/designer collaboration.

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The coats in this collection are amazing! As is this embellished jacket below, which is not cheap at around £200, but the craftsmanship and quality undoubtedly speaks for itself.

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Brilliant basics are a key part of this collection, with slouchy tees, jumpers and even sweat pants making an appearance. My favourites are these two jumpers which are very simple, but the pattern especially on the red jumper is pretty cool whereas the white jumper is great for autumn layering.

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My final picks are this white aztec tunic and the tassel necklace, which are effortlessly simple but would look great dressed up with jeans, boots and a sharp blazer.

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So there you have it, a whistle stop tour of my favourite pieces from the Isabel Marant for H&M collection. Which are your favourite items? Will you be making a mad dash to get the piece you most want?

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I can’t believe it’s already week five of the SO Project and this week we’re talking blusher! I haven’t been around on the blog much lately as I haven’t been very well over the past few weeks but am back now and am ready to get stuck in!

So if you’ve been following #theSOproject you’ll know the past weeks have covered skincare, concealer, foundation and bronzer. As I don’t use much bronzer or know much about foundation I thought I’d sit back and read all the great words of wisdom from the many other great bloggers taking part in this awesome series. If you want to read my previous posts you can find them here – skincare/concealer

Ok, so on to blusher. There are a number of different types, powder, cream and mousse are the main ones that I’ve used previously, although I tend to stick mainly to powders.

Blusher is used on the apples of your cheeks and give you a more ‘rosey’ complexion. There are many different shades from pretty pinks to more apricots or pinky red shades which you can use during different times of year depending on your skin type and colour. Personally I find cream or mousse blushers are normally better in the summer months when powders can be a little more ‘cakey’ and in the winter when my skin is drier the cream blushers can again end up looking a bit ‘cakey’. But that’s my personal experience and others may find it works better for them the other way around.

The fun part about blusher is of course all in the excellent face pulling that takes places when applying it! If you suck your cheeks right in this allows you to see your cheek bones and the apples of your cheeks which you can then sweep blusher onto using either a brush or your fingers depending on which type of blusher you use.

My fave products

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For me, I only have two blushers that are my go to, one is a cream blusher by Une and the other is Sugarbomb by Benefit.

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As you can see from the incredibly well-worn box and the huge hole in the product, Sugarbomb is my go-to blusher for day-to-day wear. As it has four different shades in one it means you can work a number of shades together to get the right colour for your skin, or you can just use one of the four. I am a huge fan of Benefit blushers having previously used Dandelion and Throb, but at around £20 each they are definitely not cheap although I always try to get mine with birthday/christmas gift vouchers or in Duty Free. Despite their hefty price tag, personally I think that they are worth it, especially as they last ages.

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My second blusher, which is more of my ‘holiday’ blusher is from Une. What I love about this blusher is not only the incredibly useful mirrored compact it comes it, but the ability to really build the colour. So although when you initially put it on it seems quite sheer you can gradually add more product until you’re happy with the coverage.

Being able to gradually build product is very important with blushers so I would advise having a tissue on standby to get rid of any excess before application as the last thing you want is to go full throttle and end up looking like a rag doll with two big round red marks on your cheeks (Lil Kim I’m looking at you!!)

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Seriously BAD times Lil Kim!! 

So that’s all for another week my lovelies! Hope this has been useful, I’d love to know what products you’re rating, so leave me a little comment below!

Until next time…

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Week 2 and the Starting Off project is in full swing with Twitter exploding last Tuesday at 6pm as all of the great posts about skin care went live. So far I’ve really loved seeing such a wide take on the theme of skin care, but I’m also a little concerned as I’ve already made two purchases following reading recommended products and it’s only week 2!

So this week it’s onto concealer. For me concealer is not just about covering pesky spots but also about dark circles or under eye bags when you’ve had a heavy night or maybe just haven’t slept very well the night before. So lets look at what I use and how I use them:

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My trusty kit to hide all my sins! 

Firstly I should probably say that for any teens just starting out I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using some of the products at first as they are a little on the pricey side. Although the Benefit sets like the ‘Confessions of a Concealaholic‘ one I use are a great way to test out products before buying individual items.

Retailing for £28.50, and billed by Benefit as being a ‘concealing and brightening kit’, it contains 6 different products; 2 different shades of concealer, two eye brightening products, a primer and eye ‘camouflage’ and of all these products I currently use four of them, so for cost per item I think these sets are pretty good value.

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Inside Benefit’s Confessions of a Concealaholic

I like the fact that the kit has two shades of concealer (outside of the kit known as Boing!) which can be used separately or mixed together depending on where on my face I’m using them as my skin isn’t the same shade all over.  I always use the brush to apply concealer directly onto any spots and then use my fingers to blend in the colour so it’s evened out with my skin tone.

The products I don’t use within this kit are the ‘Erase Paste‘ and ‘Eye Bright‘ (the pink one in the above pic), mainly because I don’t feel it necessary to use Eye Bright which is for making the area around your eyes a little brighter and perkier, whilst Erase Paste is very good if you have quite chronic bags or darkness under your eyes but for me it was just a little too heavy.

Finally the last product I use everyday without fail from this kit, and in fact I have since bought separately, is Lemon Aid (the yellow one in the pic), which for everyday dark circles or eye bags is a great product for brightening beneath your eyes as the yellow balances out the purple tones you get under your eyes in the morning. I just use my fingers to apply a little of this, obviously apply as much as you feel is needed to cover any darker areas, and just dab it onto the skin. Make sure you don’t rub it in vigorously as the skin under your eyes is very delicate.

ysl and benefitThe dark circle dream team – Lemon Aid by Benefit and Touche Eclat from YSL

My partner in crime with Lemon Aid has got to be cult classic Touche Eclat from YSL, which is a highlighter pen that comes in three shades (1,2 & 3 which are generally speaking light, medium and dark), I use shade 1 and as this retails at about £20 for each pen I tend to always buy them in duty free or from eBay from reputable beauty sellers, and also look out for bulk buying two/three pens together to get a good deal too. This cult product basically makes light reflect off where it’s been applied to the skin so it’s great for under eyes. One big word of warning though is do NOT use this as a concealer, if you use it on spots it will highlight them more so don’t think just because it looks like a concealer that it is one!

My last go-to for concealing spots is a product I’ve been using for a long time, and comes from French brand Guinot, and it’s a matifying concealer which again I apply in the same way as Benefit’s Boing! I like this product because it’s more ‘liquid’ then the Benefit ones which means if you have a particularly troublesome spot that requires more extensive coverage this product can be built up until you’re happy that the spot is well hidden. I get this online from various websites and although it costs about £15-£20 for a 15ml bottle a little goes a long way, so cost per use for me is minimal.

guinot concealer

So that’s it from me for this week, those are my favourite products to cover up any blemishes and dark patches that we’d rather not show the world!

I hope you found this helpful, and if you’re also taking part in #theSOproject feel free to say hello below I’d love to hear what experiences you’ve had with any of these products or which products you use below.

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