July Beauty and Lifestyle Favourites

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Hi there! It has been so long since I’ve been able to write a blog post as A-Levels basically took over my life! However my exams are all over now and so I’m hoping that I’m going to be able to blog a lot more frequently over the Summer. I started writing this post a few weeks ago so even though I’m calling this post my July favourites, I just want to talk about all the things I’ve been loving since April as I feel like I’ve been gone for ages! Anyway, I hope that you like this post and I can’t wait to publish more over the next few weeks.

Beauty:

Rimmel Lasting Finish Primer – £6.99

My skin was sdull over the winter months and although I was hoping it would improve as the weather got brighter, it suffered due to the stress of exam season. However this primer helps me achieve the glowy, healthy look that I’m after and helps my makeup stay put all day long.

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Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pans – £4.95 each

I’ve received so many compliments from friends in recent months about my eyeshadow and although I wish I could say I’ve just got better at my smokey eye skills, I think I really just need to thank Makeup Geek for making wonderful eyeshadows. The smooth blendable formulas allow you to effortlessly create any eye look in minutes and they are so pigmented and last so long – even on nights out where my eyeshadow would usually be smudged everywhere by 10pm.

Ardell Demi Wispies Lashes (£5.49) and Duo Lash Glue Dark (£5.49)

These have always been my favourite lashes however I’ve worn them more often than usual this month, I’ve gone through five pairs! The lashes themselves are too long for my lash line however this is easily fixed by trimming them slightly and once on, they pull my eye shadow look together so nicely! The lashes come with a little tube of Duo Clear/White lash glue which I take out with me just in case, however for applying them, I use the black Duo lash glue which sticks them down so well and I’ve not had them come loose on me at all during a night out. As long as you ensure that the lash glue is spread evenly when you apply it to the lash, leave it for 30 seconds to go tacky and then apply it straight to the lash with tweezers, they will should all night!

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Music:

Black Magic & Junk Food Forever – The Amazons

I’d heard The Amazons’ other songs on Radio 1 and through social media a couple of times in the past and always thought ‘ooh I must check them out’ and never actually got round to it. However a couple of months ago I heard Black Magic on R1 and loved it and I opened my Spotify straightaway and added it to my ‘current faves’ playlist. I haven’t got round to listening to all of their stuff in full yet but I will be doing as I think I’m going to see them at the festival I’m going to soon.

Strangers feat. Lauren Jauregui, Now or Never & Bad At Love – Halsey 

I feel as though we were waiting for Hopeless Fountain Kingdom for so long, and now that its finally out I can’ say it was definitely worth the wait. The album is very different from her debut album Badlands in the sense that it follows more of a story of a romance and all the highs and lows of being in a relationship with a very Romeo and Juliet kind of vibe to it. Badlands was set in an alternative universe and was very dark for the majority of the record which I’d loved, and whilst HFK is still dark pop, it seems to be a little lighter than her debut which I’m also a fan of. Strangers and Now or Never are my firm favourites after having the album on repeat for about a month now, which I kind of hate myself for as these are the singles from this album and I wish I could love the rest just as much but Bad At Love is the only other one that comes close.

The Louvre, Sober & Supercut – Lorde 

This another album that I was so excited for as Pure Heroine, Lorde’s Debut Album, is one of my all time favourites. Prior to Melodrama’s release, Lorde released four singles from the album; Green Light, Liability, Perfect Places and Sober; all of which I loved.  My favourite of the singles was definitely Sober although I do think that The Louvre and Supercut would have been better singles and I’ll admit that I do like all the songs on the album which is rare for me these days! The record has a dark pop mood similar to that of Pure Heroine and HFK however I do find that I relate to Lorde’s songwriting and her experiences far more than Halsey’s, making this album more favourable for me over HFK however this doesn’t mean that it is a better record necessarily.

IDGAF, Genesis & Dreams – Dua Lipa

Dua’s album is another favourite of mine and I think I loved it from my first listen. I found Dua after the release of her single ‘Hotter Than Hell’ and from then on, I’ve been following her music and I went to see her live in April where she debuted a lot of the songs that would be on the album. I’d absolutely loved Genesis and New Rules live so I’m so glad that I can now listen to the studio versions which are just as good, if not better. The pop album tells the story of Dua’s relationship like HFK, however it has a much lighter mood and consists of both love and breakup songs but with an upbeat feel, making it the perfect Summer album!

Sorry and Amsterdam – Nothing But Thieves 

It has been almost two years since the release of Nothing But Thieves’ debut album and seen as I was a huge fan at the time (and still am!), I’ve really missed the hype of hearing their new music and seeing them live whilst they’ve been recording their new album for the first half of this year. Amsterdam was released in May as the band’s first single from their follow-up record and I think it is such a banger and I love listening to it before going out, despite the slightly dark tone to it. However, Sorry, which was released last week is my favourite of the two. The song starts slow and has a very moody feel however the song picks up from the chorus whilst the dark vibe continues, and I think that this may replace my previous NBT favourites.

TV:

Clique – BBC iPlayer

My Mum and I stumbled across this on BBC iPlayer a few weeks ago when desperately looking for something to watch late at night and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much as I’d seen the trailer and it didn’t look that great. But oh my, this is SO gripping! The plot is so strange, it follows the lives of two girls, a year older than myself, who have gone to university and the ‘clique’ that they become involved in. Some of the themes are quite dark, including drugs and suicide, just as a pre-warning, but beyond that, the storyline keeps your mind ticking over every week wondering what will happen to the two girls now that they have joined the clique.

*update* I’ve now finished the series, and in some ways, I was surprised and shocked at the ending, but I’m most curious about whether or not they’ll make a second series or not as the final scene left me questioning whether or not there could be more to Holly’s story.

Fleabag – BBC iPlayer

I’ll admit, this one takes a while to warm up to, as I don’t think the first episode is the best, but if you stick with it, this is actually a brilliant comedy series. Seen as its only six short(ish) episodes, I binged watched these one evening and found it to be absolutely hilarious! Nicknamed ‘Fleabag’, the lead character is absolutely bonkers and I found myself crying-laughing at her bluntness towards everyone and anyone she meets – if you love comedy, or need a pick me up, give this a go, and let me know what you think!

Stranger Things – Netflix

I’m finally nearing the end of Stranger Things and I have to say I’m now glued to it. At first, I was a little confused and undecided as to whether I actually enjoyed it as I have never really been into Sci-Fi shows, however I have really liked it and found it to be really gripping, and I’m looking forward to the new series coming out later this year.

What have you been loving this month?

Kathryn x

 

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New Music Finds – Summer Playlist

 

Hi there! I apologise for the lack of posts lately, I’ve been experiencing extreme bloggers block! However, when I was looking through my latest blog posts a few days ago, I noticed that I haven’t done a music/playlist type of post for ages except for my favourite albums of 2016 post and I’ve found so much new music that I love since my last Spring Playlist post which can be found here.

Here are the songs I’ve been loving over summer:

1) Closer – The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey

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2) WILD – Troye Sivan ft. Alessia Cara

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3) Cool Girl – Tove Lo

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4) Couldn’t Believe – Broods

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5) Be The One – Dua Lipa

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6) Don’t Let Me Down – The Chainsmokers ft. Daya

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7) The Chaser – Twin Atlantic

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8) Open Arms – RKCB, Demo Taped

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9) Cruel – Snakehips ft. Zayn

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10) Twice – Catfish and The Bottlemen

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11) Heartlines – Broods

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12) My Heart – Twin Wild

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13) 4AM – Huntar

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14) Wild Things – Alessia Cara

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15) All Night – Chance The Rapper, Knox Fortune

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16) Never Be Like You – Flume ft.Kai

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Which songs have you been loving lately?

Kathryn x

 

Latest Summer Beauty Buys

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1) Barry M Nail Polishes in ‘Beach Keen’ (£3.99 – Boots Exclusive) and ‘Bikini’ (£4.99)

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My favourite drugstore nail polishes have always been Essie, however after reading so many good reviews about Barry M’s polishes and their amazingly cheap price, I decided to give them a go. ‘Beach Keen’ is a gorgeous blush colour, perfect for an effortless yet chic nail look and ‘Bikini’ is a lovely duck egg blue that feels very summery and the coconut oil helps strengthen nails, perfect for me as I’ve chewed them quite a lot recently!

2) Topshop Chameleon Highlighter in ‘Mother of Pearl’ – £12.50

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I actually bought this by mistake as I was after the ‘Crescent Moon’ highlighter, but I mixed up the names! I’m not yet sure if I like this highlighter, the colour is best described as a rose-gold mystic shade and is the perfect highlighter for festivals or paired with a neutral eye look and bold lip. However as far as everyday wear goes, I personally don’t think I’ll be reaching for it much seen as it is a little too pink-toned for me and I prefer a more gold-toned highlight.

3) Revlon Ultra Matte HD Lip Colour in ‘Flirtation’ – £8.99

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This is actually one of my favourite new finds of this year as it is a comfortable, highly pigmented and matte lip product that is worth every penny. I’m also very pleased that I picked this shade as it is a perfect bright pink/dark coral that helps create the perfect bold lip look for summer and looks lovely when paired with neutral toned eyeshadow and winged liner.

4) Kiko Long-Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in ’05 Rosy Brown’ and ’06 Golden Brown’ – £6.90 each

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I’ve wanted to try out the ’06’ shade of this eyeshadow stick for almost a year now, however every time I visited my local Kiko store it was always out of stock. Therefore when I stopped by a couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled when I realised they had it in. It is a lovely shimmery brown shade that looks stunning all over the lid with a lighter, gold shade on top to lighten the corners. I also picked up the ’05’ shade which is also a shimmery formula but is more of a dark purple shade than brown. This also looks lovely with a light gold shade, but also works well with a lighter purple shade such as the NYX Eyeshadow in ‘Damage Control’.

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5) Kiko Ultra Glossy Stylo SPF 15 in ‘803 Pink Flamingo’ – £4.90

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I picked this up on impulse as I spotted it was in the sale and thought it would be perfect for wearing during the day on holiday as it contains SPF unlike any of my other lip products. I’m also pleasantly surprised with the shade of this and the pigmentation as I expected it to be quite a sheer balm, however it is actually a nice shade of pink and adds the perfect amount of colour for light, fuss-free holiday makeup and protects your lips at the same time!

6) ESPA Restorative Bath Oil – £29.00

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I received this for my birthday back in January and completely forgot I had it as it was part of a gift set shoved at the back of my drawer. I then rediscovered it a few weeks ago when I was searching for bath products that I could add to my usual cocktail of bubble bath and after giving it a go with some bath salts and bubbles, I was immediately sold and haven’t had a bath without it since. I genuinely believe its claims to ‘quiet anxiety and calm nerves’ as its mix of ingredients including lavender help to fully relax me after a particularly stressful and busy day.

7) Rose Gold Eyelash Curlers – £1.00

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I fell in love with these as soon as I spotted them in the beauty section of Primark. They go perfectly with my rose gold Zoeva brushes and as I was in need of new eyelash curlers anyway, they were a total steal!

What beauty products have you purchased and loved recently?

Kathryn x

 

July Favourites

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Hi there!

Although I feel like July has wizzed by, I have actually bought and loved a lot of things this month that I thought I’d share, so here goes:

Beauty:

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1) Revlon Matte Balm in ‘225 Enchanting’ – £7.99

This is my new holy grail matte lip product. It is moisturising, highly pigmented and best of all; doesn’t feel drying at all which is something I always experience with every matte product, drugstore or high end. For a high street product with such an affordable price tag, I was amazed by this product and I am definitely going to be purchasing this in more shades.

2) MAC Lip Pencils in ‘Boldly Bare’ and ‘Spice’ – £13.00

I actually purchased these back in April when I visited Mac Cosmetics at Covent garden, however I only really used them to line my lips and only recently have I used them as a lip product alone. Although they can feel quite drying, I love the colour and matte effect they give, and they do last a really long time before needing a top up.

3) NYX Proof It! Eyeshadow Primer – £5.50

I have been meaning to buy an eyeshadow primer for the longest time as I have really oily eylids and my eyeshadow always creases. I spotted this on the NYX counter in boots and thought it looked like a pretty similar dupe to NARS’ eyeshadow base (which I am desperate to try!)  It performs exactly as I had hoped; it keeps my eyeshadow in place all day without any smudges, and also makes my eyeshadow look more pigmented.

4) Lush Celestial Moisturiser – £14.95

This moisturiser just continues to impress me every time I use it. The almond-based product hydrates and clears my skin as well as leaving it feeling super soft. Prior to my discovery of this product, other moisturisers made no difference to my skin, and sometimes even made it worse by causing me to break out, and therefore this has become both my ultimate favourite skincare product and favourite lush product. I would recommend this moisturiser to people with sensitive and combination skin like myself as it is gentle on the skin and helps to reduce oil whilst hydrating drier areas, which makes it  suitable for those who experience dry skin too.

Accessories:

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6) H&M Sunglasses – £6.99 (In Store Only)

I have been after a pair of sunglasses like these for a while as the other pairs of sunglasses I own are quite boring and so I wanted a pair that were a little fancier. These are perfect and exactly what I was looking for; they are a cat-eye shape, a funky print, yet still look slightly chic. Overall, these were a great find!

7) Topshop Rings (No longer available)

I have been meaning to buy some sterling silver or gold rings for ages now, but in the meantime, these caught my eye in topshop and I couldn’t resist. This set of three gold rings look nice with any nail colour, and for only £8, I think they are a great addition to any outfit.

TV/Books:

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8) Orange Is The New Black on Netflix

I have loved this show ever since the release of Season 2, when I decided to jump on the bandwagon and find out what I was missing out on. I became hooked instantly, and with the release of Season 4 in June, I haven’t stopped watching the new episodes at any free moment I have! If you aren’t watching this show already, I strongly suggest you do, its amazing.

9) Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix

I’ll admit that when I first started watching this show, I wasn’t sure I understood it or that I liked it, however after giving it a chance and watching a few episodes, I absolutely loved it and was laughing out loud. This has to be my favourite comedy on Netflix and Titus just makes the entire show, let’s be honest.

10) The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

I bought this book months ago but I completely forgot about it until I spotted it on my bookshelf at the beginning of July. I was hooked from the first page with this book, its so intriguing and once I start reading, I find it so difficult to put down. I cannot wait to reach the ending however I’m not sure I want to finish it, I love it too much!

What have you been loving this month?

Kathryn x

T In The Park – Best 5 Sets

I was lucky enough to attend T In The Park Festival in Scotland last weekend and as a huge music fan, I was in my element with the amount of different artists on. Here are my top picks of those acts I got to catch during the festival:

The 1975

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I was so thrilled to see my favourite band in the world for the second time on Saturday night. They always surpass my already high expectations and they put on the most amazing show. Their set was filled with their biggest hits like Chocolate and The Sound, some from their debut album like You and some more emotional songs including fallingforyou and one of my absolute favourites, Robbers. They are so entrancing and moving to see live and I’d reccomend anyone to see them live at least once if they have the chance, whether you are a fan or not.

Catfish & The Bottlemen

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I saw Catfish at Leeds last year when they completely packed out the NME/Radio 1 Tent and it was so busy I could barely breathe. However, despite that, what I saw and heard made me only want to see them live again and again, and luckily enough, they were playing just before The 1975 on Saturday. Although I will admit I haven’t yet listened to their latest album ‘The Ride’ in full, I have heard some of their new songs. On Saturday they played all of their hits from their first album, as well as some from their new release including ‘Anything’ which I loved and has left me desperate to sit and do nothing but listen to their latest album in full as soon as possible.

Courteeners

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Although I only knew a couple of songs of theirs, I decided to go along and watch them anyway due to my knowledge of their popularity, and surely, they have to be well liked for some reason, right? I can safely say I now fully understand why they are so loved, they are such a great live band and have so many huge tunes (also the fact that they are from Manchester like myself also helped to sway me too, I’ll admit.) I’m now a fan of theirs and will no doubt be spending the next few weeks listening to them on Spotify on repeat!

Oh Wonder 

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Oh Wonder are one of my favourite acts, Anthony and Josephine are just so talented, make such beautiful music and are also great people. After seeing them live in March, I knew to expect a great show and that’s exactly what they did. Although they experienced some technical difficulties during their set, their beautiful voices and great stage presence wasn’t affected and they still managed to blow me away just like the last time I saw them. I cannot recommend Oh Wonder enough if you like chilled, indie pop.

Alessia Cara

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I have wanted to see Alessia live ever since I first found her a few months ago and I was gutted when I found out I missed out on tickets to her show. Therefore I was extremely excited that she was my first act that I saw all weekend at TITP and I’m so glad she was. She has such a compelling and lovable style to her songs and seems so confident and comfortable on stage. Her lovely speech about following your dreams before her performance of ‘Four Pink Walls’ really resonated with me as Alessia is only a couple of years older than me and has achieved so much. I admire her so much and I hope her success continues to grow, she of all artists deserves it so much.

Who are your favourite live acts?

Kathryn x

Drugstore Beauty Favourites Under £10

I bought this mascara on impulse when I was in desperate need of a new mascara, without looking at any reviews of it as I usually would before buying a new beauty product. In the past, I’ve been very disappointed by drugstore mascaras, particularly Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara and L’Oreal’s Extra Volume Collagen Mascara. I found that I disliked formulas and applicators and they never seemed to be long-lasting or waterproof; my two biggest requirements of Mascara. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of this mascara. Despite this particular mascara not claiming to be waterproof, it lasts all day and never creates ‘panda eyes’ as many other mascaras do, yet still comes off easily when I use micellar water to remove my makeup. Overall, I would say this is a good drugstore mascara for providing a good amount of volume and length without weighing down your lashes and is impressively long-lasting for the price.

2) Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner – £6.00

This was the first felt-tip style eyeliner I ever tried after I found gel eyeliners to be a little tricky as a beginner at winged eyeliner. This product performs exactly as I expected; it is easy to use, highly pigmented and long-lasting. My only criticism of this is that it has a tendency to transfer to my eyelids when I blink if I don’t powder due to it not being waterproof. However, this is a very good budget eyeliner, particularly for those new to liquid eyeliner.

3) Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in ’03’ – £5.49

After seeing so many other beauty bloggers say how good the formula of Kate Moss’ collection of lipsticks for Rimmel were, I decided to try them for myself. My staple lipstick colour has always been nude/pink shades due to my pale complexion and dark hair, and therefore I decided to purchase the shade ’03’ which is a lovely light pink toned nude. The satin like finish is very comfortable to wear and moisturising and also lasts for a few hours before it needs topping up, unlike many budget lipsticks which tend to need touching up frequently.

4) Kiko Velvet Creamy Blush Stick in ’01 Golden Sand’ – £7.90

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I love this cream blush and although I have not tried many (others being Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush and Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge), this is my favourite shade and the easiest to blend of those I have tried. Although it is not as pigmented and long-wearing as Bobbi Brown’s formula, the beautiful shade and easy to blend formula are great for the price, and performs significantly better than other blushers at this price such as the Revlon cream blush.

5) Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in ’01 Fair’ – £4.19

This may possibly be my favourite concealer ever. For such a low price, the creamy, easy to blend formula provides full coverage and immediately hides spots and dark circles. This concealer out performs any other concealer I have tried; both high end and other drugstore concealers. I’d recommend this to everyone!

6) Rimmel Stay Matte Powder – £3.99

Although Mac’s Select Sheer/Pressed Powder is my favourite, I have finally found a really good drugstore dupe. Despite this powder not being as fine as Mac’s (only slightly), it is still lasts all day and unlike other drugstore powders, doesn’t look cakey on top of foundation and concealer, and as you would expect, keeps your makeup in place all day, an essential in the warm weather we are having in the UK at the moment!

7) Essie Nail Polishes in ‘Hubby for Dessert’, ‘Luxedo’ and ‘Russian Roulette’ – £7.99 each

I often find myself to be extremely underwhelmed by any nail polishes from the drugstore due to the thick, gloopy formulas and the fact that most chip on the first day of application. However, I’ve never been able to justify paying for high-end nail polishes either as I only tend to wear a shade a few times before becoming tired of it and wanting a new colour, and I tend to switch up my nail colour every week or so anyway. Therefore, when I first tried an Essie polish, I was extremely pleased with the formula and wide brush, making application a dream. The slightly more expensive price tag for a drugstore polish can also be justified due to how long the polish lasts. I found that when my nails are painted with Essie without a top coat, they tend to last 5-7 days without chipping and even longer when I can be bothered to do a top coat! These polishes are definitely a must-have for any nail polish enthusiasts like myself!

8) Rimmel Sun Shimmer Self Tan Mousse in ‘Medium Matte’ – £7.99

Due to my pale complexion, I have always been a lover of tanning products, however I am also aware that dark tans make me look ridiculous due to how pale I naturally am. Though this tan states ‘medium matte’, it still provides me with a healthy, golden glow and the mousse is extremely easy to apply with a mitt and dries almost instantly. The result is always as I hope for; a golden tan and the lack of shimmer helps make the tan look even more natural. This is definitely one of the best tanning products out there for a low price.
What are your drugstore favourites?