The Ultimate Nude Liquid Lipstick - That's Also Glossy!

18 October 2019




bareMinerals GEN NUDE Patent Lip Lacquer High Shine Liquid Lipstick

Described as
"nude liquid lipstick with a moisturising formula, full-coverage colour and a high shine finish"

Meg says...
Whenever I ask my boyfriend "do you like my lipstick?" he replies, 99% of the time, with "yes, it's a... pinky nude". Pinky nudes are LIFE. So the fact that bareMinerals have brought out an entire range of pinky nude lip products? LIFE MADE.

Packaging
Simple, sleek and slim in a long thin tube - perfect for chucking in your handbag (or, y'know, any other receptacle). My only gripe is that after a few months of use the product has kind of overflowed and gone all over the lid, but to be fair I don't think I've ever used a lipgloss on a daily basis that didn't require some kind of wipe/tissue clean-up at some point.

Texture/consistency
These have a fairly thick consistency, but in all of the best ways - balmy and cushiony and gorgeous - and are the kind of gloss you'd happily use instead if you forgot a lip balm, as they contain a moisturising mineral complex. Thin glosses aren't the one for me as they wear off far too quickly and don't have that lovely 'bouncy' feeling that these do. I can imagine that if you're used to thin glosses or only wear lipsticks then you might describe these as sticky, but in my opinion a little tackiness is what makes a glossy liquid lipstick perfect - you need that tack for the colour payoff and ultimate staying power!

Application
Smooth af. Seriously, the application is so satisfying! The soft applicator is dual-sided (one side being one more flat and the other with a little hollow to hold more product) and both are the perfect shape for starting on the outside of your lip and then the cupid's bow.

Scent/fragrance
Think freshly baked gooey double chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven. Oh, yeah.

Shade/colour
I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if you find it really hard to choose a shade in this range, especially if you're shopping online, so that's where I come in to help. Get the shade 'Everything'. It is, in fact, everything. A warm, deep pink nude with the right amounts of mauve and brown, it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser that'll compliment every skin tone and is a product that I'll shout from the rooftops about until my throat's sore.

I also love 'Can't Even' which is a lighter baby pink nude and 'Dahling', which is fairly similar to 'Everything'. I kind of want (read: am convincing myself I need) every single shade!

Results
An impressively glossy, full-coverage nude pink lip that feels ridiculously comfortable to wear. There's no need to dip back into the tube for more product or apply a traditional lipstick underneath as they're so highly pigmented, and they wear off beautifully with no white lines. bareMinerals call these "the ultimate marriage of shine and coverage", and it's so true! If you love the look of nude liquid lipsticks but find yourself applying gloss or balm over the top halfway through the night as they just feel so dry, these are the solution.

Price
£17

The bottom line
This is going to be the easiest and quickest 'bottom line' I've ever written. You need at LEAST one in your life. Meg out!

Photos by Megan Duffield Photography

How I (Honestly) Feel About Coming Home After Travelling

16 October 2019



Yesterday, the 15th October, marked one year since Will and I left the UK for 9 months. If you were to hop in Dr. Emmett Brown's DeLorean and travel 365 days to the past, you'd find us: weary with jetlag but delirious with excitement, in a noodle bar in the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Hong Kong, talking about how "the trip has finally begun!"

Get Doc (and Marty, if you're lucky - what an 80s dish he was) to bring you back to present day, and you'll find me: in my old office in sleepy Norfolk, house/cat-sitting for my parents whilst they're in Crete, thinking about how "the trip has been over for ages."

This post has been an idea that has sat, drumming its fingers in my mind, waiting for something to set it in motion and get written. That something turned out to be someone - Beth Sandland, one of my favourite travel bloggers. In her most recent Instagram story she talked about heading home next month after 11 months of backpacking, how "it's really, really hard to accept that it's coming to an end" and being unsure whether to post a blog post about those feelings for fear of looking ungrateful. I haven't read Beth's post yet as I didn't want this one to end up a carbon copy, but I know it's likely that when I do (this afternoon with a cup of tea, naturally!) I'll find it just as relatable as today's stories.

We flew home at the end of June, just in time for Will's brother's wedding, and the idiom 'in limbo' sums up how I've been feeling ever since. Life, in the 2 hours and 50 minutes it took to fly from Reykjavík airport to London Heathrow, changed dramatically. In incredibly good ways, mostly - I got to hug my family and friends who I missed sometimes so much it hurt, everything familiar that I longed for was right where I left it and I've always thought about how fortunate we are to have a life that we couldn't wait to come back to.

In other ways however, it was bittersweet. There's a Kacey Musgraves song where she sings "happy and sad at the same time, you got me smiling with tears in my eyes"... that.

Everyone always asks "where was your favourite place?" and automatically every time, I launch into "some islands in the Philippines are completely untouched", "we ended up living in one spot in northern Thailand for a month", "I've never been anywhere as breathtaking as New Zealand." It was only a question, asked in a pub garden by my best friend Josh, that prompted a answer that was just as truthful but much more personal.

"You must miss travelling so much, mustn't you?"
"I've actually been really depressed."
"I could tell."
"How could you tell, we haven't spoken about it!"
"I could just tell."

Before we went backpacking, I felt like this pretty much every day. At the time of filming that video there was only a few weeks left before we'd be getting on the first of many planes, so it was easy to think: 'I'm not happy right now, but when we're away I will be.'

And I was! It's easy to be carefree when all that's on the daily agenda is which beach in Bali to visit or how many kangaroos you can spot from your camper in Australia. It was the coming back to reality and realising that travelling didn't solve my problems (like I secretly, naïvely hoped it might) that didn't sting, but ached.

It's at this point in the post where I've been letting thoughts spill out with reckless abandon - love that I've just used the phrase 'reckless abandon' as I'm sat here in the Norfolk countryside in my fluffy slippers with my cup of English Breakfast - that I pause.

I pause because I've started to fret that everything I've written so far is too negative. Why can't you just look back on the trip with fond memories and leave it at that? Lots of people would love to go away for that length of time and they probably wouldn't be feeling sad right now. They'll think you thankless, unappreciative, spoilt, just stop moaning. Hit 'delete', or 'close', anything that means 'do not save'. Delete to protect yourself from judgement, or to erase the feeling so that it never even happened.

As you can probably see, it isn't long before my frustratingly overthinking mind spirals and before I know it, I'm in a weird headspace where I'm thinking less about how amazing the trip was and more about the empty, hollow feeling its end created within me.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who struggles to challenge their negative thoughts, and whilst it's daunting to share - here are some that have been threatening to dull the shine of the trip and a few words from my more rational, less worrisome self.

  • "I can't even edit our travelling vlogs as it reminds me of how little I'm doing with my days now." Of course snorkelling off a tiny tropical island with wild sea turtles was better than doing your taxes with drizzle at the window today. But that doesn't make it bad or boring, you just got used to having an adventure literally every single day for months, and magic exists in 'normal life' too. Instead of wishing for that time back, appreciate the little things you missed that you've now got again. Mainly a proper cup of tea. Remember that (slightly overused) "she designed a life she loved" quote and know that life can still be an adventure even if you know where you'll be sleeping every night. Oh, and Meg? Edit the damn vlogs.

  • "You could've put deposits on three different houses with the amount of money you spent." Yeah, this one eats you up a bit, doesn't it? You spent a fortune. But that was your choice, and what were you saying before you went away? 'I've saved up way more than I think I'll need because I want to stay in nice hotels if I don't like hostels', 'I'm taking this much as I want to be able to say yes to anything', 'it's a safety net for my chronic illness.' For the most part, you weren't really backpacking; you were on holiday for 9 months. And that sh*t's expensive. You gave yourself the chance to say 'we might never come here again, let's just splash out and book it.' You're pretty broke at the moment (you say 'f*ck me' more times than JaackMaate did in the new Sidemen roast video whenever you look at your bank statements) but you're earning the money back again and are rich in other ways now.

  • "It's tough being away from Will after spending 24 hours a day together for 9 months." Well yeah, of course it is - it's a huge change to go from waking up to the same lovely face for that long to going to sleep alone sometimes. You've cried in his arms at the kitchen table as you don't want to say goodbye and get on the train and you've wondered 'do I need to google what separation anxiety is?' You both miss each other, naturally, but it's never more than a few days before you're stuck at the hip again and the time will come when you're settled in a new flat or you've decided to go on another trip - you never know and that's thrilling in itself!

  • "I haven't uploaded properly for the best part of a year and the industry has moved on so much." But you've still got the most wonderful audience in the world, haven't you - who've stuck by you and not minded when you've taken time off? In fact, you just hit the 85k subscriber milestone on YouTube despite giving yourself the Most Inconsistent award and beating yourself up about it. Although it's a fast-moving industry, you're still working and the passion you've got for it all never went away. I know you're worrying that you didn't get enough ~content~ whilst you were away (with extra worry due to how expensive it was) but that's pishykaka. Nobody says 'I wish I'd uploaded more Instagram stories' on their deathbed.

4 worries down, 8450 to go. Only joking (kind of). I've established that my brain is an anxious one and if yours is too, try what I've just done for yourself - write down something you're worrying about then put on your Rational Pants and tell yourself what you'd tell a friend. I've had these thoughts swirling around my brain for months and it's a relief to break them down and realise that they're not as terrifying as they seem.

So, that's how I honestly feel about coming home after travelling. Grateful to have experienced it, scared about the things I've got to work through in order to feel as free as I did when we were away. Happy and sad at the same time, smiling with tears in my eyes.

I think it's normal to mourn the end of something that was pure magic. It was the adventure of a lifetime with my best friend and the happiest time of my life. How lucky we are to have experienced something so good that we'd do every second of it again in a heartbeat. <3

Charlotte Tilbury Youth Glow Primer: Yay or Nay?

15 October 2019



Charlotte Tilbury Brightening Youth Glow Primer

Described as
"an anti-ageing, colour-correcting, glow-boosting primer to help even your skin tone and [appear to] blur away blemishes"

Meg says...
As a big Charlotte Tilbury fan (I rarely try anything I don't end up loving from her range and many have holy grail status for me) I've got high hopes for this. Primer isn't something I reach for on a daily basis, so it'll be interesting to see whether that changes - I think it'll have to be really amazing for me to remember to use it before I have that 'doh, totally forgot to put any on and I'm already halfway through my foundation' feeling!

Packaging
Luxe af, as you'd expect from The Tilbs - the gold lid (that has an extremely satisfying 'click', may I add) and sleek thin design looks extremely pretty! It's also really practical - the squeezy plastic body combined with the thin pointed nozzle makes dispensing super easy and you'll have zero problems travelling with this baby.

Texture/consistency
This has the consistency of a light, liquid-y moisturiser or sunscreen - think the majority of your skincare cabinet that comes with a pump.

Application
Quick and foolproof. Massage a blob all over your face (you control the amount, more product = more sheen) and watch how quickly it sinks in and becomes one with your skin. My foundation (I'm currently using Benefit Hello Happy) sits beautifully on top when I first apply it, although I do notice that my base doesn't last as long when I use the Youth Glow Primer (especially on my forehead) so I  use a touch more powder to ensure even coverage.

Scent/fragrance
There's a slight rose scent, but it's very inoffensive and I personally really love it.

Shade/colour
The product is the same colour you can see in the tube (white, with a opalescent sheen to it) which blends out to leave a pearly glow on the skin. It's well worth pointing out at this point that I'm a pale white woman and am not sure how this would sit on darker skin as it does leave a faint 'brightness' behind - Wonder Glow may be a better option.

Results
My complexion looks visibly brighter with a noticeable glow. As for the colour-correcting claims this product makes I can't see I see much of a difference - any blemishes don't look any less red nor my dark circles any less purple - but I do like how it 'blurs' imperfections like large pores and dullness. This would be great on holiday with just concealer!

Price
£38.50

The bottom line
On the whole I like this product, mainly because it offers a pearly sheeny base that shines through my foundation, concealer and powder and makes everything look that bit more dewy and luminous. The price, however, is an issue for me as I often forget to use it after I've done my skincare/SPF and for a £40 primer, I want it to be so good that it doesn't slip my mind. I feel as though right now - in my fine line-less early 20s - I'm happy to use a blinding highlight for extra glow, whereas in my 30s and 40s I'm imagining that I'll be much more inclined to use products that make my skin look amazing in a more natural, lit from within way. So, with that being said - see you in 2034, Youth Glow, you're a definite yay!

Photos by Megan Duffield Photography

Everything You Need To Know About Glossier's New Serum/Oil: Futuredew

14 October 2019


Described as
"a new skincare step that packs a one-two punch: an instant glow, plus hydration and skin-nourishing ingredients. When you apply it today, you not only get the instant dewy glow from light-reflecting minerals payoff - you start feeding your skin what it needs to wake up brighter-looking and more moisturised tomorrow"















Meg says...
On the day that Harry Styles kickstarted HS2 with his new single Lights Up, the postman knocked on my door with an unreleased Glossier skincare product called Futuredew  - tell me, has my personal brand ever been more represented? I think not!

Trust Glossier to *invent* a step in our routine that we didn't know we needed until now. The press release literally calls it "a new category of skincare" and it promises "your healthiest-looking, dewiest most radiant skin". Designed to mimic the sheen your skin has after you've applied all of your skincare, I'm expecting glow by the bucketload...

Price
£23

Packaging
Faultless, in terms of function and cuteness alike! Practically it's brilliant - just the right neat size, in heavy-duty glass that's actually fine for travelling and with a lid that actually can't fall off. Now for the fun stuff - it's metallic y'all! The classic #glossierpink lid sits atop a sheeny-shiny bottle that appears a sparkly light pink but shifts into purple or lilac or blue or green or red depending on how the light hits. Kacey Musgraves didn't write the song 'Rainbow' about it, but she could have.

Texture/consistency
Glossier call it an "oil serum hybrid", an accurate description as the consistency is that of adding a few drops of oil to the balmiest serum you own. In fact, balmy is the takeaway word here - it isn't thick but it definitely has some tack and grip to it.



Application
We're advised to apply two pumps all over as the last step in our routine. Unsure about where SPF comes into this ~new~ skincare routine? I was too, so I sent the gTeam a DM and they confimed that it's as follows: skincare, then Invisible Shield (or whatever SPF you use), then Futuredew. Apply makeup on top as your final step if you wear it!

One pump is sufficient. Two is nice but a bottle is 30ml, and at £23 for what's essentially a very 'extra' step, I'd whizz through it - plus, one is enough for me and I have dry skin.

Scent/fragrance
Lavender, unexpectedly! The scent is exactly like something you'd spritz on your pillow to help you sleep - I stuck this under my boyfriend's nose with a 'smell this!' command and his comment was "lavender, it's medicinal... I'm getting Play-Doh. Do you not think it smells like Play-Doh?" To me, it's best summed up as 'herbal'.

Shade/colour
Out of the bottle it's a light peach color with teeny pinky golden sparkles in it (Glossier call these "light-reflecting minerals", naturally) and it blends into skin with no visible colour.

Results
An immediately and visibly plumper face. It instantly makes your skin look incredibly hydrated, even if it isn't, which makes perfect sense seeing as it's designed to look like you've got a ton of skincare on - and for that look to last. Upon application your skin looks incredibly shiny, but the shine does die down with time and becomes luminous rather than oily.

As for makeup, it applies as normal on top of Futuredew as it would with a regular primer and it lasts, surprisingly! My first thoughts were "my skin looks as healthy and glowing as it can, but my foundation is surely going to slide off within an hour", but the coverage and finish actually looked great after 7 hours with Futuredew as its base.



The bottom line
If you're oily then the sheen might be too much for you, however, as someone with a dry skin-type who's living in the UK in October - it's a yes from me! It's probably not something I'd use everyday: more a product I'll reach for after a night out or a flight, or when my skin is looking particularly parched and in need of an extra hydration hit plus glow.

Glossier are great at coming up with (very millennial aesthetic) ideas that nobody has thought of before, and this is another one: something that makes your skin look like you've got the #shelfie of a Vogue coverstar, even if it's literally the only product you've applied.

Ribbed Jumper | Gold Shield Necklace | Octagonal Necklace | Sundial Hoop Earrings 
Disclaimer: this post contains PR samples/gifted items and uses affiliate links.
Photos by Will Burchill Photography
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