October Beauty + Lifestyle Favourites + Catch Up.

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HELLO! Wow October has kind of flown by for me and I feel like I’ve been flung into November and I’m not really quite sure what day it is, where I’m at and what’s happening this week. Lockdown 2.0 impending has so many feelings, I’m just trying to mentally prepare myself and work out how I can utilise the time as positively as I can.

HOW ARE YOU DOING?! 

I had a super busy October work-wise so it was a whirlwind of trying to meet deadlines, work around Margot and mum-life, clocks-going-back, seasonal changes, Halloween makeup and just trying to balance everything and keep the momentum going. Also *may* explain why I haven’t been so present on here! I bloody love October and everything it brings so really was just trying to embrace everything ; I went pumpkin picking for the first time (kind of a disaster, but fun all the while), I got some Halloween decor going on outside my front door, I baked a few pumpkin treats and we had a few beaut autumnal walks as a family.

pumpkin door displayspumpkin door displays

It was also my Birthday AND our wedding anniversary so there’s *that* too. I had a really lovely, albeit quiet (!) Birthday. We just had a day @ home, very chilled and I got some lovely cards and flowers from friends. That’s all I needed!

…..So onto my highs and favourites, I feel like it’s been a busy skincare and makeup month!.Halloween makeup was full-on and the constant applying and removing and applying made my skin a little flarey and sore so I had to give it A LOT of love. Also with the seasonal changes and weather, skin tends to be a little all over the place so I’ve been switching up my regime quite a bit and introducing lots more products.

laura lou makeup

S K I N C A R E

It’s been a strong Emma Hardie Moringa cleansing balm kinda month! I still stand by the fact that it’s THE best cleansing balm for heavy makeup removal and it made taking of all those Halloween looks VERY easy. For the AM I’ve been dipping in and out of the PIXY Milky Hydrating Cleanser as it gives that nice creamy foam feeling without stripping and I like something like this to quickly use in the shower to re-fresh my skin.

Aurelia have just launched their long-awaited Brightening Eye Serum which I’m getting on really well. I tend to favour serums / lighter weight creams for my eyes otherwise I can get irritated and milia appears but these has been really effective, feels super lightweight and makes my eyes feel lively and awake! I’ve been talking about their CBD Super Serum + Probiotics for a few months now and I’ve just cracked into my second bottle. Another one of my Aurelia favourites!

Colder weather  = drier lips and I’ve been slathering on the Alpha H Liquid Rose Gold balm at every and any opportunity. This is a product I got probably last winter, used it a lot and opted for something lighter in the summer…..and now we are back! It has a lovely, thick and comfortable texture, a little hint of petal pink and really leaves my lips feeling soothed and nourished.

emma hardie cleansing balm

I’ve been using the Ole Henriksen Phat Glow Facial as a once-a-week treatment and it’s honestly incredible! It kind of ‘does-a-lot’ and is perfect for busy times when you aren’t getting the joy of regular baths a week and multiple masking ;  this just ticks a lot of boxes. It has a thick texture that turns from white to pink when it’s to be removed (15 mins or so) and it brightens, smooths and illuminates the skin.

The Embroylisse Hydra-Mask has also been incredible. This a a great soothing and calming mask that I have been using occasionally just to kick that hydration back into my skin when it’s feeling a bit parched and forgotten about (GREAT after a brisk autumn walk and you are feeling a little overly rosy!). I don’t rinse this off, I just slather it onto a cleansed skin as a deep moisture treat.

Easy day moisture has been the Alpha H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF50. This is just a simple hydrator with vitamin E and B5 and is lovely and lightweight on the skin ; I always love this when my skin is a little hit-and-miss as I know this won’t react or be too active. Hydrates and protects and works well over any serum or oil I’ve tried it with.

When my skin has been feeling a little tired and in need of some instant soothing and hydration, the ARK skincare Hydrating mist has been really good. I’ve just been using this as and when I need a boost : before makeup to refresh my skincare, after removal and it’s also at my desk for on-the-go hydration during the day. Contains hyaluronic, aloe, allantoin, goji berry and wild water mint. It’s nothing overly fancy or active…no huge claims ; just a nice, simple, soothing hydrating boost.

best of skincare 2020

M A K E U P

ALLLLLLL the Halloween looks! As I have said, I was really busy with work this month and worked with some absolutely incredible brands so that all took priority but in the last week I put some time aside to try and create some new Halloween looks for 2020 and a i managed about 3 I think in the end. They are so time-consuming, plus it was half-term and Margot wasn’t in nursery so it was kind of hard to squeeze it in!

Halloween makeup aside, I have been trying out some amazing new makeup and also digging up some old products and falling back in love. The HUDA Beauty Nude Obsessions ‘Rich’ was the first HUDA product I actually tried and it was relatively recently, maybe within the last year and I like it……used it a bit then it fell into *that* pile of graveyard makeup. I dug it back up for a look and then realised that it’s actually more stunning than I first thought and have been using it a lot. It looks really dark and glam but actually you can get an easy everyday eye from it and also to very glam smokey look. 

best of makeup 2020

Concealers I’ve  been reaching for the most are the ELF 16hr Camo Concealer which I’ve used for a long time (full review right here, they are great!) and also the Stila Pixel Perfect. I love the Stila one for a quick fresh pick-me-up under the eye…it’s more of a serum-like texture and the ELF is that fuller, more matte coverage that’s I love on the face. The Bareminerals Complexion Rescue Stick Foundation is still a winner and this is one I seem to dip in and out of all year round – perfect for speedy AF makeup application and perfect for my minute makeup re-nursery drop-off at 7.30am!

Another base that has been incredible AND is one for the no-makeup-makeup days is the Trinny London BFF Cream Skin Perfector. Gives that wonderful second-skin, natural coverage, contains SPF30 and looks seamless on the skin. Another quick and multi-use product is the KVD Vegan Beauty Tattoo Eyeliner in ‘Mad Max Brown’. A product I have talked about for 5 years and my first one was purchased on my honeymoon and I’ve used it since. I love it as a brow ink and I also use it as a tighline eyeliner for days when I want a really subtle look. LOVE.

I was super lucky to do some work with Rimmel this month and they sent me a few bits to try and I’vefallen back in love with the classic Natural Bronzer! Who hasn’t used this!? I had forgotten what a good colour it is and it’s that really nice matte but not flat bronzer finish. What a great price too at £5.99. 

I’ve been using the Dear Dahlia lipgloss in Morning Dew as an every day sheer wash of glossy colour which I’ve talked about quite a lot on here – I think it’ll be a re-purchase very soon! It’s such a juicy and natural shade. Also the NARS Afterglow lip balm when I want a need a *bit* more colour and hydration as this is more of a tinted lip balm. I’m definitely going to be re-purchasing some more of these over the next few months as they are great for slightly drier winter lips.

huda beauty nude obsessions richbest makeup 2020

HAIRCARE + BODY

I’m a HUGE fan of the Umberto Giannini Flowerology Hair Colour Masks that just launched a week or so ago. NOTE : I have worked with them in a paid partnership, this isn’t part of that partnership! They are a hair mask and colour hybrid and PERFECT for someone like me who has bleached hair / blonde hair and likes to change colour and top up on the pastel /brights every other week. If you have coloured hair, particularly pastel, it’s a mission to keep on top of that colour and these will help you do that and smooth and tame to dryness that can come with bleaching/dying.

Umberto Giannini Flowerology hair colour masks

The hair styling product I never knew I needed = The Schwarzkopf Got2b Farewell Flyaways Styling Serum + Wand. This is perfect for those have have those wispies and flyaway hairs and baby hairs that won’t do what you want!.I had post-partum hair loss so have lots of baby hairs and hair re-growth around my fringe so this is particularly good for that and it’s honestly so handy!

I love a good bath oil and the Verdant Alchemy Retreat Bath & Shower is an absolute beauty. I have talked about their incredible bath salts before but the bath oil is quite new to me and it didn’t disappoint. This contains lavender, ylang ylang and ho-leaf oils so it’s super relaxing, aromatic and calming. You only need half a capful of this to get a super strong scent and all the zen vibes.

verdant alchemy retreat bath and shower oilhey estrid razor subscription review

Estrid Razor! I got sent this a couple of weeks ago and I had already seen it EVERYWHERE over social media. It’s a subscription razor service, where you can choose your colour and holder of choice ; it’s a super sleek scandi design, so really simple and functional and you get to choose out of 5 pretty pastel shades to look great in your bathroom.

It has a steel handle covered in rubber for a perfect hold and feel and I don’t know how and why (possibly all my aforementioned points) but it’s a REALLY good razor and shave and I love the way it looks. I think it’s a great idea for the subscription service too and something I had never considered…..but it’s pretty handy! You can sign up and get a starter kit (razor, holder, x2 cartridges) from just £7.95 right here if you are interested.

L I F E S T Y L E / A. O. B.

The Botanical Candle Company do an incredible seasonal Christmas collection (I was hyping their ‘Christmas Eve’ candle A LOT last year!) and they’ve just launched this year’s edit that is made up of 3 seasonal scents : First Light, Half Light and Last Light. I wanted the one that was most similar to last year’s ‘Christmas Eve’ and was told it was the ‘Last Light’ so I picked up one last week and it’s already being lit on an evening and it’s giving me all the cosy vibes.

the botanical candle company last light

The Newt in Somerset has been an incredible place to go for a little family day out and I’m going to be visiting it a lot more! It’s a wonderful hotel / farm / grounds that is open partly to the public (not the hotel/spa area) so you can walk around the wonderful gardens and grounds, pick up lunch from the cafes, have a picnic and stop in their farm shop to get something for tea! I’m hoping they will remain open in some form but we shall see.

Pastel Highlighters! OK so a slightly random one BUT this got a huge response on my insta-stories for some reason and my excitement of having an amazing set of pretty highlighters seems to resonate with a lot of stationary lovers! I have had my eye on pastel highlighters for a while, and whilst they are definitely not a *necessity* I treated myself to this pack of 5 on payday last week and they have brought a bit of stationary porn and colour into my life and journal.

pastel highlighterspenguin classic rainbow bookshelf

Margot’s Birthday books! So It was Margot’s birthday towards the end of September and I bought her a selection of Penguin Classic books for when she is a little older. I had always wanted to get her these and add to them over the years so thought I would start now. Plus, I can enjoy them until she can.

Birthday Flowers made me smile! I got sent a lovely hat box from Jane Packham from one of my best friends which was a lovely surprise and then I also treated myself to a lovely bunch from my local florist.

beautiful autumnal flowers

As you may know if you are a regular reader here, I have a 2020 Look Fantastic code that gets you 20% off *most* items. The code is LAURA_LF and you can shop right here :  some of the products I’ve mentioned above are valid with this discount code.

I hope you liked this (what turned out to be) a MONSTER monthly favourites. Do let me know if you have any comments or questions and let me know of you can spot any of your faves!