Florabundance: 2015

19 April 2015

New York, New York

If you've read my blog for quite some time then you'll already know I've been to New York plenty of times. Despite this, every time I go I just fall in love with the city a little bit more. 

Two weeks ago we set off for NYC; this trip was my mother's 50th birthday present off me. I am the best daughter ever, right?! I thought I would just share a few of my photos on the blog, as these kind of posts have gone done well in the past.

Central Park looking beautiful in the sunshine. I climbed up a big rock for this photo! Just the best view.

Me and my mother in Central Park. 

Alice in Wonderland statue, Central Park (best day ever).

Magnolia Bakery (Avenue of the Americas near Rockefeller - didn't make it to Bleecker St this time!)

Two red velvet cupcakes please! We ate them in Central Park. Perfect.

Probably the most half decent photo I've had on Liberty Island - always so windy!

Lady Liberty in all her glory.

Stood on the red steps, Times Square.


Early morning Times Square - it's usually ten times as busy!

NYPD. Standard tourist photo!

Rockefeller building; in my opinionTop of the Rock is so much better than Top of the Empire State.

Hope you enjoyed having a nosy at my photos. Not much else to say! I will be sharing my Sephora haul on here soon.

Lydia xox

14 February 2015

By Terry Ombre Blackstar - Misty Rock & Bronze Moon

The Ombre Blackstar eyeshadow sticks from By Terry had been on my beauty radar for quite some time thanks to a plethora of other bloggers singing their praises. 

Last month I was swatching away at the By Terry counter in Space NK and decided to buy one to try out. If the beautiful, heavily pigmented swatches were anything to go by then I was sure I wouldn't be disappointed. I went with Misty Rock and was so bowled over by it that I went back the other day and picked up Bronze Moon. 

The packaging is gorgeous. Gold metal sticks that feel pretty weighted and luxurious; you kind of instantly get the impression that you are getting your moneys worth with packaging alone. Is it sad that I feel happy just looking at how pretty they are on my dressing table? Hashtag beauty blogger problems.

The top swatch on the left is Misty Rock  - a beautiful taupe shade that definitely has a hint of purple to it. In good lighting it shines a beautiful shimmery mauve colour. Really flattering on my brown eyes, although I think this would look great on any eye colour. 

The bottom swatch on the right is Bronze Moon - a golden bronze shade that is universally flattering. This is great neutral that works well on it's own which makes it an easy everyday shade to grab. 

The Ombre Blackstar formula apparently contains an uber-smoothing Tahitian black pearl extract which means most of them have a brightening effect on the lids - this is down to the reflective shimmer particles. The texture is creamy and they are well pigmented. I find them easy to control but you need to blend quickly after application as it doesn't't stay creamy for long.  Once it sets and dries it will not budge, however it definitely feels natural and comfortable on the lids after it dries. I apply this at 6am and when I get home from work - anywhere from 4.30pm - 5.30pm - the shadow is still intact. Really impressive stuff! 

They retail for an eye-popping £28, but I can testify that they are well worth the money. 

Do you have any other shades to recommend to me? I can see a new obsession forming here... 

Lydia xox 

25 January 2015

Loving Lately - Jo Malone, Nars Audacious, Dior Star

I haven't done a monthly favourites post in what feels like an eternity but it's still a bit too early in the month so I thought I would do a little post on what I'm loving lately. 

These 3 products have been floating my boat...

Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt - I've been wearing this perfume constantly since buying it a few months ago. It's a great layering scent and works with just about anything because it's so fresh and non-offensive. It's kind of a neutral scent if that makes any sense? I can't see it clashing with anything as it just smells so pure and clean. My favourite combination is JM Wood Sage & Sea Salt paired with JM Peony & Blush Suede. Props to Laura from buynowbloglater for giving me the inspiration.

Nars Audacious Lipstick in Brigitte - This has become my everyday lipstick since receiving it as a Christmas present. Described by Nars as a "nude rose" which is not necessarily correct in my opinion - it's certainly a rose shade but it is not nude at all. Brigitte is more of a medium pink with a hint of coral that is so easy to wear. I would imagine this would suit and flatter a really wide range of skin tones. I also really love the formula of the Audacious line. They are so highly pigmented and go on so smoothly. They feel lovely and hydrating too. Really recommend checking them out. 

Dior Star Foundation - When I first started using this I just couldn't make my mind up about it. Some days it looked great, other days not so great. I guess I just wasn't bowled over by it so soon enough it made its way to the foundation drawer of doom and was forgotten about. Fast forward a few months to the beginning of January and I retrieved it from the foundation drawer just to give it another try. I'm not sure how or why but I totally fell in love with it. I think the key with this foundation is to apply it to freshly moisturised skin. It doesn't look so great if you apply it when your moisturiser has already sunk in for some reason. To sum it up, Dior Star photographs really well, looks fresh and radiant on the skin and provides a nice medium coverage.

Lydia xox

9 January 2015

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream

When it comes to skincare, I really rate Kiehl's products on the whole. Every product I've tried I have loved. Today I wanted to talk about the moisturiser that's really been rocking my socks for the past 7 months - Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream. 

It's not really scented (it smells clean, sort of like baby products) which is what initially drew me to the product at the start of last summer but now as I crack open my second pot I can safely say I love everything about it. 

Although it is dubbed a cream you shouldn't be fooled by this - the consistency is very light and it sinks in to the skin within seconds. The sort of gel-like texture provides a perfect base for foundation in the mornings and equally makes a lovely, non-fussy night time moisturiser. I'm not sure if the 24h moisturisation claims are true (I wash my face twice a day!) but I can honestly say that when I wake up in the morning, having used it the night before, my skin still feels moisturised and plump. 

I should note that I have normal-oily skin so this works brilliantly for me year-round; it's lightweight but still provides adequate moisture. If you have a more dry skin type then it may be worth getting a sample of this first as I can't really comment on how it would work for you. 

Just to top it all off, this product is very decently priced (in my opinion at least) at £24 for a 50ml pot or £43.50 for a super duper 125ml pot. I purchase mine from John Lewis

Lydia xox

1 January 2015

Giorgio Armani Si Perfume

Welcome to my signature scent of 2015; Giorgio Armani Si. 

For the longest time I used to be a one-perfume kind of girl. Chanel Chance was my signature scent and I never strayed. About 5 years ago I went a bit perfume crazy. Now I usually have around 15-20 perfumes on the go at any given time (don't judge me!) and I wear a different scent every day to suit my mood. I guess nothing has ever been as good as Chanel Chance for me. Well, that was until I discovered Armani Si. I spritzed it on my wrist whilst out shopping around 2 weeks ago and just couldn't stop thinking about it. 

Fast forward to the day after Boxing Day and I am queueing in line to exchange the perfume I had received for Christmas for Armani Si instead. I was still thinking about it and just had to get it (the beauty junkie struggle is real, yo').

As I am absolutely rubbish with describing scents and perfume notes I have borrowed the official description below:

"The fragrance opens with notes of Sicilian Bergamot, Mandarin oil and Liquer de Cassis which is supported by a heart which bursts with Rose de Mai absolute, Neroli absolute and Egyptian Jasmine absolute. Warm undertones caress the unique chypre base notes of Patchouli oil intertwined with Blond Woods, amber and musky undertones known as Orcanox™. Finished with a sweet animalic accord of Vanille absolute which, gives this fragrance, longevity and an unforgettable silage."

The reason I love this scent because it is so potent. Strong but not overpowering I should add. It has incredible staying power but doesn't choke the person next to you like some strong perfumes.  It's the kind of perfume you can spray one morning and still smell it on your coat or scarf the next day. I am ALL for low maintenance perfumes that you only have to spray once!

In terms of scent, when I spray it I instantly acknowledge that it is vanillary sweet and girly but there is a definite edge of sophistication. It is much more grown up and elegant than your ordinary sweet scented perfume. Intense yet soft at the same time. Absolute genius if you ask me!

The next time you are loitering around a perfume hall make sure to give it a sniff. I would 100% recommend!

Armani Si retails for £45 for 30ml, £64.50 for 50ml and £79.50 for 100ml. I got mine from Boots

Happy 2015 all.

Lydia xox