Holiday Beauty Haul - Benefit, St Tropez & OPI

Happy July, I hope you've been enjoying the summer sunshine - I certainly have! Beauty-wise, summer entails everything from cream blusher, high-SPF coverage and that all-important glowing tan. I'm lucky enough to say I'm going back to Italy in the next few days and these are the products that have got me feeling ready for summer. 

Starting off with the beauty innovation of the summer, the St Tropez in-shower gradual tan, I'm happy to say after three weeks of use I have a glowing report. Yes it does take around three uses to see a difference but it's totally worth the wait. The only downside is the three minutes you have to stand around with the shower off but it's no different than waiting for a hair mask or Aussie 3 minute miracle. Be sure to apply it evenly though, I've noticed a few patches on my foot which everyone finds simply hilarious. 

Moving onto the Benefit mini skincare pots, this set was a kind birthday gift from my uni flatmates which I can't wait to take on holiday with me - the sizes are perfect! I've tried them all out due to curiosity and I've been very impressed. It's unlikely I'll be buying them in full size (due to price and my undying love affair with Clarins) but the Total Moisture moisturizer is fantastic for any dry patches and the foaming cleanser is nice and gentle so great for even sensitive skin. 

The set includes: Foamingly Clean facial wash, Triple Performing facial emulsion, Total Moisture facial cream, It's Potent eye cream, Moisture Prep toning lotion, Refined Finish facial polish

The Benefit Big Easy is a gorgeous 'Better than BB' tinted moisturizer with 35+SPF. As you'd expect, the coverage is light and the formula is aimed at an oilier skintype which is perfect for me. I've been trialling this on my 'better skin days' and so far I've been really enjoying it as it gives a great combination of a healthy glow and shine protection. As it's a liquid to powder finish, it'll stay put even in the heat and that's a big thumbs up from me. 

To pair with 'Big Easy', I also purchased the famous Benefit 'Boi-ing' high coverage concealer which I now can't do without. It's a little pot rather than a doe-foot applicator - if you compare it with the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - but don't let that put you off. Make sure you get one of the Benefit ladies to match you with the right colour and you'll avoid looking ghost-like or orange.

Finally the OPI 'Brights' mini lacquer collection was another birthday present which has got me feeling all summery. It includes I STOP for Red - a gorgeous apple-red, Can't Hear Myself Pink - a shimmery rose-pink, The Berry Thought of You - a berry fuschia, My Car has Navy-gation - an inky blue, I See You Wear OPI - a shimmery mermaid aquamarine, and a mini RapiDry top coat. It's been fun to play around with the colours and they've definitely earned their place in my suitcase!

Have you bought any new holiday beauty products? Is there anything I need to add to my collection?


June Favourites - Benefit, OPI & Loreal

It's Beauty Favourites time here at The Modern Audrey and since finishing exams I've had more time to experiment with new products - everything from nails to haircare to skincare. Whilst I'm pretty crazy about skincare at the moment, I'm saving my recommendations and thoughts for a separate post so watch out for that coming soon! 

Stating the obvious, I had to have last month's Tatler which is a gorgeous Audrey-themed issue with unseen photos to promote the exhibition at London's National Portrait Gallery. Moving onto haircare, I've been secretly using my sister's new products - the Loreal Elvive Nutrigloss Luminiser shampoo and conditioner. They smell gorgeous and meet their promises of bounce, shine and radiance. It's not often that I rave about haircare products but I've been very impressed and will be purchasing a set for myself. 

If you're a fan of Ted Baker like myself, you'll love the Pink body souffle from the new bath and body collection. I was lucky enough to be gifted this for my birthday by my lovely friend Freya and I can't get enough of it. The scent is fruity and feminine, a combination of mandarin, mango, neroli and jasmine. I personally have been using it on an evening to sink in whilst I sleep, the scent is soothing and the moisturizing properties are fantastic. Love. 

As you all know by now, I'm quite fond of OPI and have been particularly enjoying the Avoplex cuticle oil - which is working wonders on my ragged nail beds -  and the fuschia shade 'The Berry thought of you'. Bright nail shades = summer is here!

Finally my two makeup favourites for June are the Revlon lipbutter in Raspberry and Benefit's Roller Lash. Remember the crazy media hype surrounding the lip butters? Well I'm rekindling my love for them as I have at least three that I'd forgotten about, oops. Even my mum complimented my new bright lip colour; it's about time I cheated on Mac's Creme Cup. The Roller Lash mascara from Benefit has been on my birthday wishlist since Elle magazine gave away a free sample with the Keira Knightley issue and it lives up to all its claims. Although it's definitely a hassle to remove, the Roller Lash gives perfectly defined, curled lashes and the packaging is quite simply beautiful - who doesn't love a bit of Rose Gold? 

What are your June Favourites? Link your post in a comment and I'll check it out


The Modern Audrey takes London

As a Northerner, London has always seemed like a faraway magical place to me. Bright lights, fast traffic, the city never sleeps. At University I found that the large majority of my close friends were lucky enough to live in London or just outside it and this pained me. Imagining, having all of those shops, theatres and restaurants on your doorstep - it just seemed unfair. Having only been to London twice before in my life, I jumped at the chance to go there for a weekend with my boyfriend as an early birthday celebration.

On the first day we decided to have a shopping day, focusing on Oxford Street, Regent Street and Covent Garden. Although I didn't end up buying anything (I'm ok, don't worry), the highlight was visiting the beautiful French bakery Laduree which every fashion blogger and their cat seems to have been to - and Instagrammed!

Day two was certainly more jam-packed as we managed to fit in the National Gallery, a quick cake-stop, sampling of Bubble Tea and then London's Sea Life. The aquarium exceeded all expectations as it was truly amazing to see sharks, sting rays, huge turtles, sea horses, cat fish, penguins and many more. My favourite moment was touching a star fish which definitely made me feel very mermaid-esque; just call me Ariel.

After our Sea Life adventure it was time to grab something to eat and after a little online research we found a fantastic modern Spanish tapas bar in Soho called Barrafina. Winning the London Evening Standard restaurant award recently, it certainly lived up to its reputation. We sampled everything from chorizo omelettes, battered squid to scallops. I may have overdone it with the photos at the time (we were at the height of sophistication so this required multiple Instagram snaps) but here are just a few I took on the evening.

And that concludes my little London mini break away! It was great to explore the city and collect some nice memories ahead of summer. I'm sure I'll be back at some point over the next month or so - he's already started planning the itinerary for the next trip! The top of my list is the National Portrait Gallery as a certain Miss Hepburn is being featured in an exhibition over summer. Watch this space.. 

What's your favourite thing to do in London?