January Round Up

I wasn't sure how I wanted to end the month on Lily Ann Loves. I know most bloggers do a monthly favourite post but 1) I've run out of time and 2) not sure what my monthly faves are yet, I love all my new products at the moment so it would probably go on for a while! Maybe i'll do one for February.

So I have decided to round January up by firstly saying a massive thank you to all my lovely readers and followers. I am still a little shell shocked that I have had such massive responses in a month! I launched my blog officially on the 1st January so my little blog is exactly a month old tomorrow. For those of you who are unaware, I started my blog as part of my digital communication module assignment at uni. So obviously I didn't have to carry it on but I just love blogging so i'm so glad I chose to start it. When I started I did not in my wildest dreams expect the responses I've had in just a month, so thank you to all you lovelies!

I thought I'd share which are my favourite posts this month. I chose my Maybelline Baby Skin Vs Benefit POREfessional comparison, Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet review and my Benefit Fine One One review. Out of all the reviews i've done these are my favourites so I guess this is kind of my January favourites. If you haven't already read them, have a read and see if you agree :)

Happy friday!

Lily xx

L'Oreal True Match Foundation

I'm not going to lie, I am not a massive fan of drugstore foundations. Since developing a rather healthy relationship with foundations with a price tag of £30+, I find it really hard to settle for less. I've always found drugstore foundations break me out as well, so i'm even more skeptical to use them now spots have become more of a rarity. But after reading Amelia Liana's raving reviews about L'Oreal True Match and running out of my current 'no fake tan' foundation, I thought i'd check it out. 

On first impressions of it I really liked it. Drugstore foundations are often made to look really cheap by the packaging but I love the way L'Oreal have packaged this. I also love the fact it has a pump, I used to use Revlon Colorstay foundation, which was a liquid foundation, without a pump, not ideal. 

The foundation itself is medium but is easily build able. I found with a second coat it gave a really good coverage even over the redder parts of my face. It is slightly more matte then I would have liked and if you haven't already worked out by my endless ramblings, I love a glowy face. The only other issue I had with it was that it was not long lasting at all. I need a foundation that lasts a long time as I'm out the house over 10 hours most days, and whereas my MAC studio sculpt lasts the majority of this, I found that True Match was wearing off after 3-4 hours. 

I did read that L'Oreal True Match was a really good dupe of Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk, apparently they are even manufactured in the same factory. Although I have personally not tried Luminous Silk, I can see the close similarities through the blog posts I have read. 

Overall, I was impressed with this foundation for the cost, I picked it up for £9.99 from Boots. In my opinion, I don't think you can ever expect miracles from foundations unless you are prepared to splash out. But I do think it is an amazing foundation given its price. I've also been using it everyday for a week and no signs of spots, hurray! I wouldn't repurchase this purely because it was not dewy enough for my liking but I would definitely recommend it if you prefer a slight matte finish. 

Have you tried L'Oreal True Match? What were your opinions on it? 

Lily xx

My Everyday Brushes

While giving my regular brushes a weekly deep cleanse wash last saturday I decided a brush post was in order. Until about two years ago I was an applying foundation with your fingers kinda' gal. Quite frankly, now, I can't think of anything worse. I think the thought of starting to use brushes is a bit scary. Trying to find the best ones to suit you, especially if you're on a budget,  as the good ones are expensive to say the least. But when I decided it was time to invest in some good brushes it was blogs I turned to for that much needed advice.

I don't think it's possible to have not heard of Real Techniques brushes if you're a beauty blogger. They are THE BEST high street brush brand. Although i've always loved make up and skin care, I've always been a bit hopeless with knowing what to use when it comes to brushes but with the help of my trusty Real Techniques it's pretty fool proof.

If you're a beginner brush user your best port of call is the Real Techniques core collection. The pointed foundation brush isn't great, it makes you feel like you're painting your face but the buffing brush is the best thing ever created. I haven't found a foundation that doesn't work with this brush. It makes application so quick and flawless. I also use it to blend in concealer. It's just a great all rounder, a beauty must have. The contour brush is great for highlighting and the detailer brush is a great way to cover up imperfections. All of these brushes are great so the core collection is a great starting point.

The other brushes I use religiously, alongside my core collection, is the Real Techniques powder brush. It is huge! I actually don't wear powder, my skin isn't that oily and I love a glowy face, but I use this for a light dusting of bronzer or products like my Dior Nude Glow Powder. I use the multi-tasking brush for bronzing and as the blush brush suggests my blusher.

The only brush I use that isn't Real Techniques is my Lumene Contouring brush. I picked this up in TK Maxx and I think it's a great brush. The brush is really soft and is doubled to give a precision contour, it's a really great brush.

So for all you brush newbies, your best starting point is the Real Techniques core collection. It's reasonable at only £21.99 in Boots and it will last you ages. Mine are still not worn out!

What brushes are you currently using?

Lily xx

Ciate Yellow Nails and H&M Rings

For any of you who read my TK Maxx mini haul post last week (see it here) you would have seen and read about the Ciate nail varnish I picked up in shade loop the loop. A lovely buttery yellow shade. Yes I know they are very messily painted but I thought I would share them with you. I'm bored of dark winter colours and shades now and i'm so excited for spring and pastel colours again so I think i'm getting a little a head of myself. But hey my yellow nails are definitely making gloomy January look a bit perkier!

I also thought i'd show you my latest purchases from H&M. I picked up a pack of three rings for a bargain £3 in the sale yesterday and I love them. They also came with a big gold heart but it's these two I love, particularly the ears one, so cute! This picture doesn't really show the ears one that well but have a look on my instagram, here, for the better photo. I think the two look really nice stacked together as well.

What sale bargains have you picked up?

Lily xx

TK Maxx Mini Haul

TK Maxx is one of my favourite shops ever. It's amazing, you can get the best branded and designer items for a fraction of the price. I love having a good rummage for things as well. So on my latest trip to TK Maxx I managed to get all this for £12.98. Yes girls you heard right, Bourjois manicure toppings, O.P.I nail lacquer, Ciate metallic nail manicure set and Broaer instant hair mask all for £12.98. I looked up all the retail prices and together it should have cost me a massive £44.98!

I always buy the majority of my hair products from TK Maxx because you can pick up salon quality products for drugstore prices. It's hard to find really good hair treatment in drugstores, I like protein rich treatments which aren't always the easiest to find but TK Maxx always stocks them. I've never tried Broear products before. I've just done some research and it seems like quite a hard brand to get hold of but i'll let you know if it's any good.

I can't believe I picked up a Ciate metallic nails manicure kit for £2! I can't wait to try it out. I've never used foils before on my nails so i'm excited to see how they turn out. The O.P.I nail lacquer, in shade skulls & glossbones, and the Bourjois nail toppings were both £3.99 and they're going to look amazing together. Again i'll post when i've given myself a manicure!

Have you got any bargains from TK Maxx recently?

Lily xx

Lily Ann Loves Does The Liebster Award

So I've been nominated for The Liebster Award by quite a few of you beauties but i'm just going to do it for the first person who nominated me which was the lovely Alice at Annie Writes Beauty

So the way the Liebster Award works is to help new bloggers discover other new bloggers in the blogging community. So the rules are:

You must link back to the person that nominated you.
You must answer the 11 questions given by the nominee before you.
You pick nominees with under 200 followers to answer your questions.
You cannot nominate the person who nominated you.
You must tell the nominees that they have been nominated by you.

Alice asked me….

What made you start your own blog?
I started my own blog for part of my assignment for the Digital Communication module at university. I've wanted to start a blog for ages but it gave me the push I needed to actually start it. I've always loved writing having done English up to A level so it gives me a chance to write and be a bit creative again.
What was your favourite beauty product of 2013?

My favourite product of 2013 had to be Benefit's Watts up. I think I brought it around March time and have pretty much used it every day since!
You're allowed 3 items to take with you to a desert island, what are they?

My phone with some kind of solar powered charger, Bourjois BB bronzing cream and my Michael Kors watch.
If you could have ANY designer bag, which one would you choose?

A Mulberry willow, obsessed with this bag!
What is your favourite shop/brand for clothes?

Zara by far
Do you have any goals for 2014?
My goals are too work harder towards my career, keep maintaining my blog, see my friends and boyf more and generally be happy. 
What is your guilty pleasure?
Currently, Timber by Kesha and Pitbull, so so wrong.
You have to pick one .. Lipstick or Mascara?

Mascara! Can make even the tiredest eyes looks perky
What is you favourite make up brand?

If you haven't already worked out from my blog, Benefit
Where have you travelled?

So far no where! I am determined to South East Asia after I finish my degree or I'd love to do inter-railing around Europe.
Who would you most like to meet dead or alive and why?
Dead, I'd love to meet Audrey Hepburn. Not only was she one of the most iconic actresses of her time and still is. After she died she dedicated herself to working with UNICEF. What an amazing lady! Alive, I'd love to meet Liz Jones. I have so much aspiration for her to come from her background to become the highest paid journalist in the UK. I love a career woman and she's a bit nuts so I think she would be an amazing person to meet. 

My nominees are: 

My questions for you are…
What made you want to start a blog? 
What is your favourite quote? 
What is your favourite high street shop? 
What do you want in 2014?
Favourite beauty product?
Product you couldn't live without?
Coffee or Tea?
Favourite item of clothing?
If you could meet anyone who would it be and why?
Life ambition? 
Do you collect anything? 

Can't wait to see your responses!

Lily xx

Redken Extreme CAT Protein Treatment

I don't think I have one friend who doesn't want longer hair. Every girl I know wants long Rapunzel locks. But yet pretty much every girl I know is a religious GHD user and has their hair coloured every six to eight weeks. Bad news girls your hair is not going to grow much. I speak from A LOT of experience. I used to have hair almost down to the small of my back, it was thick curly and when styled properly it was pretty lush. But being a silly fifteen year old teenager I thought it would be a brilliant idea to cut it off into a tiny bob and i'm talking about an inch short at the back. At the time I thought it was the best thing ever but fast forward and year and a bit and all I wanted was my long hair back.

I also used to be bright blonde, I pretty much had a full head of bleach highlights every 8 weeks. Coupled with weekly blow dries (I used to be a saturday girl in a hair dressers) you can just imagine the condition of my hair. Given its already frizzy curly nature whack on some bleach highlights and it was a bit dry to say the least. It would snap off all the time and funnily enough never seemed to grow. Before I decided to dye it brown, which sorted it out massively, I discovered Redken CAT protein treatment and, without over exaggerating, it saved my life. Ok maybe not my life but my hairs life anyway.

I don't want too get too hair jargonny but hair needs to have the correct balance of moisture and protein to be nice and healthy. Over styling, dying (particularly lightening) and everything else that's bad for your hair causes a lack of protein which causes it to snap off. Redken CAT works by replacing the protein and reconstructing the hair boosting its shine and softness.

It's a strange product because it's in a liquid form so you use it in between shampooing and conditioning. Spraying it evenly all over the hair, lathering it up and then leaving it for 3-5 minutes and then rinsing it off. It is quite hard to use because of the fact it's like spraying water on wet hair so it's impossible to see where it has been applied and where it hasn't. But that apart from that I can't recommend it enough, it makes such a transformation to damaged hair. I personally only use it once a week because it is so strong and too much protein makes your hair rigid and will just snap off.

But for any girls who want long hair but don't fancy giving up their GHD's or regular colour appointments give Redken CAT a go.

Lily xx

Dolce & Gabbana Illuminator Powder VS Soap & Glory Glow All Out

 I decieded I needed a new highlighter the other day so asked my lovely twitter followers what they would recommend. I think I've decided i'm going to try Benefit High Beam as I am a complete Benefit junkie. But it got me thinking about my current highlighters and which ones I preferred. While I was looking through all of them I couldn't help but notice the similarity between my two powder highlighters, Dolce & Gabbana illuminator and Soap & Glory glow all out. Obviously these two highlighters are on completely different ends of the spectrum in terms of price so I decided to do a comparison and decide which one I preferred.

Firstly the packaging. I think it is pretty clear which one is winning this by a mile off. Dolce & Gabbana is absolutely gorgeous. It comes in the gold mirrored case which is packaged in a velvet pouch with an applicator brush. Glow all out on the other hand is somewhat unimpressive. I love most of Soap & Glory's packaging, I think its so quirky and fun but I'm not a fan of the cardboard packaging. Considering it is £11 for a drug store product I would have expected a bit of a nicer and classy looking way of packaging it. Although I do like the image on the top. As you can see I have used the Soap & Glory highlighter a lot but it did used to have Soap & Glory embossed on it which I thought was a nice touch.

As you can see from the swatches and just from the products themselves there is a big difference in the shade of them. The Dolce & Gabbana illuminator is much darker. I have it in shade shimmer but I don't think it's very shimmery at all. It is the finest shimmer ever, almost unnoticeable. Whereas Glow All Out is a really shimmery more creamy product which is much more noticeable when it is applied to the face.

Despite the dark colour of the D&G illuminator its actually not a very scary product to put on. I am very fair skinned but I don't have to worry about overdoing it. Likewise with the Glow All Out. I actually prefer to use the D&G illuminator as a product to contour with because of the fact it's not that shimmery but it is a good highlighter to use on a 'barely there' face. Glow all out on the other hand gives you a really healthy glowy look while still being subtle.

Overall I love both of these products for different reasons but in terms of highlighting purposes I would definitely recommend Soap & Glory over the Dolce & Gabbana illuminator.

What highlighters would you recommend?

Lily xx

Diorskin Nude Glow Healthy Glow Powder

I was having a rummage through my make up draw yesterday and came across this beauty. Nothing better than finding an old love! I absolutely adore this powder. It is a blusher, bronzer and illuminator all rolled into one to give you that yummy nude glow.

As far as i'm aware you can't actually buy this powder in the same palette as the one I have but can get it in the same colours just packaged in a different palette. Personally I prefer mine as I love the look of it but saying that it wouldn't stop me repurchasing. I can't recommend this product enough, it is pricey though, I think mine retailed at £37. But I brought this must be nearly two years ago and i'm still going with no sign of the bottom.

I love Dior make up, it's gorgeous. The make up is amazing quality and the packaging is so beautiful. This powder came in the signature velvet pouch with the brush. I don't actually use that brush much but when I'm carrying a small bag its really handy.

When applying a product like this, I tend to apply it either with my Real Techniques contour brush to my cheek bones and then with my Real Techniques powder brush to the rest of my face. I love having a glowy face so I think this is the best way to achieve this look. A powder like this is perfect for all year round in my opinion. I have it in shade Aurora, which is the palest, so can wear it in the winter to banish dull looking winter skin and then build it up in the summer to have a bronzed healthy glow.

Have you got any Dior make up? If so, what would you recommend?

Happy saturday!

Lily xx

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser VS Benefit POREfessional

I have been seeing Maybelline's new product Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser all over blogs so I thought I'd give it a try. After buying it, for £7.99 from Boots, I noticed how similar it looked compared to Benefit's POREfessional, the packaging is basically the same blue for a start. I have been using Benefit's POREfessional for quite a few years now and I love it. It helps my foundation sit on my face for longer and gives an overall smoother appearance. Due to silicone base of the primer it feels amazingly silky when you put it on. So I was interested to see how Maybellines Baby Skin Primer compared.

Obviously the basis of both products is to reduce the appearance of pores under make up although Baby Skin states that it can be worn alone. I personally wouldn't wear it without any foundation. When I applied Baby Skin before my foundation I couldn't really notice any significant difference. Understandably there would be no colour difference as it is a clear primer but I can't really see a point of wearing this without foundation as it made no difference to the visibility of my pores. POREfessional on the other hand is a tinted primer so when applied I could see a more noticeable difference in colour to my skin so would maybe consider wearing it without a foundation over the top.

The texture of both primers is so similar, when you are applying them it would be hard to tell them apart. But I found once applied POREfessional absorbed into my skin quicker whereas Baby Skin felt like it was just sitting on top of my skin which I didn't really like.

Although I have spotty skin, I don't have particularly oily skin so I really like silicone based primers. Whereas if you have oily skin I can't imagine either product would be great as I think it would feel like your foundation is about to slide off.

Overall, I personally prefer POREfessional, mainly because it has been an old trusty for years now. But if I run out on a poor month I would most definitely reach for Baby Skin as an alternative as the textures are so similar.

Have you tried Baby Skin Instant pore eraser yet?

Lily xx

PS excuse the pasty hand, in desperate need of getting my St.Tropez on!

Zara Tartan Scarf

I have seen this Zara scarf over so many fashion blogs over this season and it's totally understandable why. It is AMAZING! It is the warmest and cosiest scarf ever. It is so massive the response I had from my mum was, 'why have you got a picnic blanket around your neck?' Perfect for the cold winter months.

I love the fact it's double sided so tartan on one side and black and white on the other. Surprisingly this has been my only tartan purchase this season but defiantly one of my best buys this A/W.

Lily xx

Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet

I haven't brought a new perfume for absolutely ages so when I got Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet off the boy for christmas I was so happy. It is definitely my new favourite! It is a really light scent and not overly florally, despite the name, so you won't end up smelling like a florist. It's such a fresh smell it's going to be perfect for the summer. My only complaint is that the scent doesn't last that long so I feel like i'm spraying myself with it all day and at £54, for 50ml, from Boots it's not a perfume I can afford on a regular basis unfortunately. Looks like I know what I'll be adding to my birthday list…

Lily xx

PS how cute does it look against my flowers, also off the boy, lucky girl! 

Benefit Fine One One

I was given Fine One One when on work experience at Benefit Cosmetics. I've wanted to get my hands on it ever since it hit counters so was so excited to try it out.

All I have to say is I am in love! It is perfect for the lazy girl, for anyone who is either on the move, or, like me on many mornings, are having to rush their make up routine.

Fine One One is the perfect combination of highlighting, contour and blush, being a three in one 'stick' it is so easy to apply although slightly scary looking when first applied. Once blended, Fine One One, is subtle but with a gorgeous glow perfect for dull winter skin.

This is definitely my new favourite product for lazy days and would recommend this to anyone who likes a quick and easy make up routine.

Lily xx


A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to complete a weeks work experience at Benefit cosmetics head office in Chelmsford. I absolutely adore Benefit as a company. I think it is fun, quirky and the products are amazing so you can imagine my excitement to be given this opportunity.

It was the best week EVER! It was my second time completing work experience for Benefit as in 2012 I worked with the PR team in the press office in Covent Garden.

I spent the week working within the National Accounts team which, for those of you who may be unaware, is in charge of different national accounts that Benefit are involved with, for example Boots, House of Fraser etc. I spent the majority of my week helping with the launch of a new impulse product within Boots non-counter stores. I also assisted with some preparation for national sales meeting which was happening the following week. The week flew by and I was so disappointed to leave as I had such a great week and learnt so much.

For anyone who is on a degree, I can not recommend going out on work experience enough. Not only for the benefit of your CV but also for the benefit of yourself. I learnt so much in the short time I was there. But it also helps you to start to considering where you'd like your career to go when you finish uni.

Most work experience placements are unpaid which can be hard, luckily I had relatives to stay with, but  in the long run sacrafising a few nights out and shopping trips is so worth it. I was lucky enough to get given a gorgeous goody bag filled with Benefit products, as pictured. I'm yet to try them out but will be posting as soon as I have :)

Lily xx

Lily Ann Loves is born!

Well hello there :)

I have been a obsessive beauty/ fashion/ lifestyle blog reader for years but never really considered creating my own but thanks to a uni assignment requiring me to create my own, here I am. Lily Ann Loves is going to focus around everything I love, particularly beauty and fashion. Being a slightly poor student my blog is going to feature looking good on a budget, budget shopping being something I seem to have mastered over the years of being a student. I'm so excited to develop and grow Lily Ann Loves!