Wednesday, 25 January 2017



Hi! Today I'm showing you some of my favourite affordable foundations. These are ones which can be found in 'drugstores' e.g. Boots/Superdrug etc here in the UK, or that are from brands which are more affordable. Obviously I have favourite foundations that are from higher end brands, but I'll do a separate post on these! 

My skin type is very combination. At times, although less recently, I'm really really oily, especially in my t-zone, and other times my skin is horrifically dry (although it's always pretty dry on my cheeks). The state of my skin usually dictates what type of finish I'm looking for, if my skin is dry I go for a dewy finish and vice versa, although generally I believe most foundations can be made matte/dewy with the right finishing powders and setting sprays. All but 2 of these foundations can be bought in stores such as Boots & Superdrug so they're pretty easily gotten ahold of. All of these foundations offer good coverage, not the fullest you can get but still good, which is why I like them.


I love this foundation. As the name suggests 'lumi' means that this is quite a dewy foundation with 'liquid light technology'. I don't really know what that means but this foundation gives a really beautiful finish on the skin. My problem with this foundation, and this is a common theme with affordable foundations, is that the shade range is horrendous. I have the shade 'Gold Linen' which I think is the lightest yellow undertoned shade they offer, and this is by far the darkest foundation I own, meaning I can only wear this when I've got ten thousand layers of fake tan on. Even on the Boots website, there only seems to be 6 shades available, 3 of each undertone, so if you're pale like me this isn't great (although the available shades might be completely different in other counties). Currently, on the Boots website this is priced at £10.99, but Boots also usually have offers on (at the moment it's 2 £12 on selected L'Oreal products) so you can usually get it cheaper! 


This foundation is a cult-favourite on YouTube and for good reason. EX1 markets itself to those with yellow undertones to their skin and I believe all but 1 or 2 of their shades have yellow undertones. What I've generally found is that more affordable brands don't have a lot of shades with yellow undertones, they're usually pink or really orange, so this brand is great for that. The shade I have is shade 4.0, again, too dark for me without fake tan and they don't offer a really pale shade. I believe they have just remodelled their shade range going from F100 etc to now just 1.0, 2.0 etc. Both of these ranges are available and I'm not too sure what the differences are between these. The finish is semi-dewy, but not as much as the L'Oreal Lumi Magique. This foundation is only £12.50, and is most easily acquired from for those in the UK, where they usually offer some kind of discount (18% at the moment) and free delivery. 


This foundation smells absolutely amazing AND the shade I have is actually one of the few that matches me when I'm pale. I have the shade 'Light Vanilla' which is the lightest one they offer, and they do seem to have a slightly better shade range than some other brands. One other thing is that there are so many brands which only offer foundations to light/medium skin tones and offer absolutely nothing to deeper skin tones which is ridiculous. The coverage of this is possibly the lightest of all these foundations, but I have a lot of facial redness which is often hard to cover so if you don't have that it's probably fine for you. Again, the finish is quite dewy, probably comparable to the L'Oreal Lumi Magique. I often like to mix this foundation with others to make them less matte and slightly lighter, it's great for that. This foundation is priced at £9.99 at Boots UK, but again if you catch it on an offer you could probably find it cheaper. 


This is a relatively new foundation to me but one that I've really been enjoying as I included it in my December Favourites post. The coverage is great with a semi-matte finish, comparable to the Nars Sheer Glow and I'd say it's most comparable to the EX1 out of these foundations. AGAIN, this is only wearable for me when I've got tan on. I have the shade 2.0 Natural which is one of the lightest shades they offered, they do offer a slightly lighter one but this wasn't available, so if you're pale, again, this isn't great however it does offer a large range of deeper shades for darker skin tones which is good. This claims to be a concealer as well, I don't really find that to be honest, although I like to use a light concealer under my eyes to highlight anyway. The easiest place to get Milani products in the UK is Beauty Bay, and this is only £11 so very affordable. 


Again, I've talked about this foundation before. Out of all of these this may be my favourite, with the highest coverage and best finish. I have two shades, 105 Natural Ivory and this one, 128 Warm Nude (tanned shade). Again, their shade selection isn't great and doesn't cater to deeper skin tones. As the name would suggest, the finish is matte but it isn't like a total flat matte. I don't really use this when my skins feeling super dry though as it can cling to dry patches and accentuate them. The only thing I don't like about this foundation is that it doesn't have a pump! This is just a fantastic foundation and at £6.99 from Boots you can't really go wrong.


This used to be my absolutely holy grail foundation, high end or affordable. The coverage is fantastic and the finish is quite matte although not too matte. I haven't used this foundation in a while, I mainly stopped using it because of the shade range, there weren't enough shades with a yellow undertone. Looking on the Boots website now the shade range seems so have increased a lot, and they now offer a pump on the bottle. I'm definitely going to re-purchase this because I used to absolutely love it and I would definitely recommend it at only £9.99. 

Which affordable foundations are your favourites? 

thanks for reading, 



Friday, 20 January 2017



Hi! Something really different for you today... I recently went to Vienna and I thought it would be nice to try and shake things up a bit, so I wanted to write a post about my experience and also some recommendations of some things I enjoyed doing if you ever go. I don't really travel a lot, and especially the last few years I haven't been able to do much in the way of holidays so this was a long overdue mini break. I'm also just going to put some photos on here as well, as I took quite a few and it would be nice to have somewhere to display them together!

 (Me & my friend Marie on top of Stephen's Cathedral) 

So we went for 4 full days and 3 nights, which I'd say is a perfect amount of time, although I definitely could have stayed longer. We stayed in Pension City Hotel just off of Stephenplatz (St. Stephen's Square- the main square in the middle of Vienna with the cathedral.) The hotel was perfect, the location was amazing, it was reasonably priced and I can't praise the staff enough, they were welcoming, helpful and friendly. The Cathedral is pretty much the centre of the city, and everything we visited, with one exception, was well within walking distance. 


The first day we arrived and went straight to the hotel where we could left our luggage and headed straight back out. The main thing we did on the first day was visit the Sigmund Freud Museum. Me and my friend both really enjoyed this, especially because as a psychology student I've learned a lot about him already. Admission was €12,00 for adults and €7,50 for students (which Is what I paid). This also included an extensive audioguide which was available in several different languages. This takes about 1-2 hours depending on how thoroughly you listen and read everything, it definitely isn't the biggest of museums but there is plenty to see and hear. We also took a walk around  the city and then down to the river. 


The second day we visited the Schönbrunn Palace, which also had a zoo in the grounds. This is the only day we had to use public transport, although it was very easy to understand. From where we were staying at Stephensplatz the easiest way to get there was the underground train. It was cheap, fast and easy to navigate- if you're going to go here I definitely recommend you take the train. The zoo and the palace are two separate activities although if you buy the 'Winter Pass' you can have access to both for €27.50, this includes full access of the zoo and a tour of the palace. Admission to the zoo is usually €18.50 itself so this is definitely value for money and includes the extended tour of the palace rather than the shortened tour which is also offered. This, again, is accompanied by an audioguide in a  range of languages. 


I'd definitely recommend a full day for this activity. On the day we went, we went to the zoo first and then into the palace. The palace shut at 5pm and we had only just finished our tour, we also didn't have time to fully walk round the gardens and grounds, although to get to the zoo you have to walk through the main grounds regardless (unless you're stupid like us and get lost). 



On day 3 we spent most of the day exploring St. Stephen's Cathedral. We paid €13.90 for an all inclusive ticket which included access to the South Tower, where you could get a spectacular view of the entire city, The North Tower, a guided tour of the interior of the cathedral, a tour of the catacombs and a tour of the treasury. The tour of the cathedral itself came with yet another audioguide, and the tour of the catacombs was lead by a guide who spoke both English and German. The cathedral was absolutely amazing, both inside and out, and the tour of the catacombs was both interesting but also chilling. 


After exploring the cathedral we bought tickets to see a concert called 'The Sound of Vienna', which was advertised as a traditional Austrian music concert which showcased the best of Austrian music and culture, namely the music of Strauss & Mozart. We were slightly reluctant to buy tickets to this event as I wasn't really sure if it would be my thing but it was amazing. This was held at Kursalon Wien, again, a short walk from all the main attractions and landmarks. We were offered a reduced price of €31, down from the original €42 but it was well worth the money, it not only included music but singing and dancing. 

(A view of the whole of Vienna, taken from the top of St. Stephen's Cathedral) 

DAY 4 

After getting a cake breakfast, and trying traditional cakes including the famous Sachertorte, the final day we spent in the Museum of Art History. We didn't have the full day as we had to catch our flight home in the evening so we didn't want to go too far. We decided to head over to the Museum Quarter and visit the art museum. We had originally planned to visit the Vienna Natural History Museum but it is closed on Tuesdays (be aware of this if you want to go!). The Art Museum was great, we paid €15 entry, and could have paid another €4 for an audioguide, but we decided not to get these as everything was labelled and pretty self-explanatory. The museum was massive, and included exhibits on Roman and Egyptian art and sculptures. 


We spent about 3/3 and a half hours in the museum but definitely could have spent more time there if we'd looked at everything more thoroughly. The museum is over 3 floors with many different rooms on each floor, so if you're going to go here I'd recommend dedicating the whole day so you can see everything fully. 


Overall, we both had a really great time. The weather was cold, as we'd expected, but it was never unbearable, and if you just dress accordingly you'd be fine. Vienna is a great place for a mini-break, everyone we met there was welcoming and friendly, the city was easy to get around both by public transport and on foot and the city itself is beautiful, especially the architecture. I'd highly recommend it if you're looking for a short holiday not to one of the typical cities. 

I hoped you liked this, it's something slightly different and as I don't really travel much its nice to have somewhere to put photos and memories!

thanks for reading,



Thursday, 5 January 2017



Hi and Happy New Year! Again, I've got to start this post by apologising for my absence, it's a very busy time of year and uni work is killing me. But here I am, with my first post of 2017, my December favourites. I'm also thinking about doing another post with my top beauty products of 2016- although I'm worried this will be a bit samey, and most of the products will already be in previous favourite posts. 

I've also got quite a lot coming up in the next few months so I'll endeavour to get a post up every week as usual, even if they're slightly shorter than what I usually write (I'm aware some of my posts are quite long so I might shorten them but make them more frequent?). I'm also quite active on Instagram where I post mini reviews, photos of new products and a lot more makeup products than make it up onto here, so follow me on there if you're interested, username: catrionabathan. Or you can click the social media icons to the right!


So, as I've said before, hair isn't my thing. I am both blessed and cursed with very long very thick hair which I never really wash or style. I (semi) recently went ombré blonde, I've never had my hair so light before, so I didn't know what to expect. One thing I've struggled he most with is having brassy, yellow tones in my hair which just don't look good, and I wasn't really aware of what a toner was, what they do or why I needed one? Thankfully my friends are less useless than I am and suggested I get a purple shampoo. I started with the £3.99 one from Bodycare and was pretty impressed with the results until I saw this on Beauty Bay. I am SO impressed with this product, it's amazing. It removes 100% of all the brassy tones and you only need to leave it on for a few minutes, there's been a few times where I've left mine on for too long and it's started to turn my hair an almost white/silver. It's so strong, smells great and doesn't leave my hair feeling dry. It's also only £10.75 and contains a really large amount of product. I use this once a week (which is all I wash my hair) and also shampoo my hair with a normal shampoo beforehand. Seriously, if you're blonde, you need this! I've also inserted a photo of my hair so you can see what colour mine is. 

[Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo-£10.75, Beauty Bay UK]


So, I have a new Holy Grail foundation (sorry Nars). I'm planning on doing an entire post on this product because I love it so much. I have never used such a full coverage foundation, especially one where you don't need to apply layers and layers to get the desired coverage. Yes, it is the most expensive foundation I own, but I could be using tonnes and tonnes of layers of foundations costing £20/30 or several drops of this one. It's incredible, I love it. The only issue is it's not too available here in the UK, I got mine from Sephora, although you can order it online from John Lewis, but you've got to colour match online (risky, but worth it). 

[Marc Jacobs Re(Marc)able Foundation- £37, UK]


Yes, another Jeffree Star Liquid Lip. I've already done a full post about these liquid lipsticks so again, I won't go into too much detail but I love the colour of this so much. I have Unicorn Blood too, and although I do like it I just didn't find it as dark as I wanted it to be. This is very dark and vampy, and the formula is amazing. He's also improved his packaging so they lock in place tighter. This shade is from his Christmas Holiday collection, which is still available and he's now realised the majority of his shades and products on Beauty Bay- for which I am very thankful. 

[Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick- Designer Blood-£16, Beauty Bay UK] 


This is another foundation I've been really liking. The coverage isn't as full as the Marc Jacobs one, but it's also over 1/3 of the price. The coverage is still fantastic, I'd say it's comparable to the Nars sheer glow and the finish is similar too. Milani is a brand which I'm really getting into, their products are great and affordable. One criticism I've got is the shade selection. I got the shade 02- Natural but I can only wear it when I've got a decent layer of fake tan on. Since buying that shade they've added a few more on the Beauty Bay website including the lightest shade, but as with most drugstore/affordable foundations they don't cater to a large range of skin tones. 

[Milani Conceal And Perfeec 2 In 1 Foundation And Concealer-£11, Beauty Bay UK]


I haven't had a new hairdryer in about 7 years and I used to get so frustrated that it took around the same amount of time to dry my hair. My hair always looked frizzy and felt dry after using my old dryer, and it would always overheat and cut it. So long story short I decided to invest in a new one. This hairdryer is the same brand as the curling wand I mentioned in another favourites post. It's fantastic. It dries my hair a lot faster than my old one, it has more heat setting and speed settings. It also smooths my hair as it dries it and it doesn't make it feel dry and damaged. I've been trying to take better care of my hair in general, I finally invested in a heat-protectant and I've been using products such as Moroccan Oil and Coconut Oil on it. I really can tell a difference. I really recommend this hairdryer if your hair is long and thick like mine and drying it is a point of contention, I still hate washing and drying my hair but this has made it slightly more bearable. 

[NuMe Signature Tormaline Ionic Hair Dryer-£94.95, Beauty Bay UK]

What were your favourite products of last month? Is there any products you would recommend? 

thanks for reading, 



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