Monthly Life Update – February

I’ve broken my record for often being ten minutes late by being ten days late as I thought I’d already posted this. Here’s everything I’ve been doing and reviewing!

Sorry I’m a bit grainy. Manchester doesn’t get much daylight in February.

Lifestyle

I created a list post called Self Imposed Ban on Buying and wrote down everything I have a lot of, the reason why I have a lot of it and why I shouldn’t buy any more of it. It’s a lot easier to realise what’s going on and to harden your resolve when you can see it in black and white.

I reposted Spring Cleaning My Beauty Cupboard from last year because I’ve done so well with keeping it ordered and thinking thoroughly about my purchases, that I’ve not needed to do it again this year.

Food and Dinning Out

Me and the Bloke have decided we are going to take it in turns to choose where we want to eat out for the evening (and who pays), at least once a month. The bloke chose Sai Spice an Indian place in Chorlton.

We ordered the veggie starter platter to share and four smaller curries. One spinach and dumpling based, one chickpea dahl, a nutty yoghurt based one and a spicy but not too hot Kolhapuri. Everything tasted amazing! It’s a brightly lit, affordable, family style place and I think Lilly’s would have some competition if they were closer to each other. Couldn’t resist grabbing a kulfi to go.

Here’s my review of Vertigo, the plant based restaurant at First Street, Manchester, which was my choice. I’d been wanting to go for a while but waited until I heard some good reviews as I’m not exactly rolling in cash.

I bought some ‘facon’ in the form of Coconut Bacon by Pimp my Salad, which I’m throwing on pretty much everything or just eating straight from the jar.

We made English Gluten Free Pancakes for pancake day or Shrove Tuesday as they call it.

I sampled one of Clive’s Tarts which I realised tasted lovely chilled or heated up. I was surprised it was both dairy and gluten free.

I’ve finally discover how wonderful Tika is! Tika panner, Tika broccoli (Yeah, I wasn’t expecting to come across that one either) and tika mock chicken. I reviewed two very different Tika Masala Veggie Readymeals, one from Tesco and one from Asda.

Skincare and Makeup

On my never ending quest to find a base that makes me look all glowy and healthy, rather than matte and a bit sallow, I bought Pixi Beauty Balm. Did it do the trick? You’ll have to click!

I’m trying to reduce my carbon footprint bit by bit, so I was pleased to find Zao essence of nature, a natural beauty brand that uses refillable bamboo packaging. I bought the essentials: Concealer and Mascara.

Thank you lovely people, for catching up with me.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Spring Cleaning my Beauty Cupboard

*First posted 1 year ago*

I’ve decided to do something positive and have a product Spring clean. Sorting through your skincare and makeup stash was one of my tips in my post 6 Simple Beauty Tips Which Make a Big Difference what a good day to follow my own advice, ha!

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This was all of the skincare products I owned and as you can see they are pretty much all over the place, with face, body and hair, old stuff and new stuff all mixed up. After going through everything this is what I learned…

  1. I had so much oil! I could easily just use the same one for my hair and body and a lighter one for my face.
  2. Out of all of those products I only had one face moisturiser.
  3. I found products that had changed consistency or were nearly empty and all of those were expired.
  4. I still had tanning oil from my twenties! o_O
  5. I buy face masks because they are on offer in pound shops and NEVER use them.
  6. I thought I needed to stock up on miceller water and cooling eye gel as I was running low but then realised I’d originally bought them in two’s to save on postage.
  7. I had a stupid amount of body butter.
  8. I’ve rediscovered cruelty free beauty brands I’d totally forgotten about!
  9. I had bits and bobs from various razors and waxing kits that I stopped using ages ago.

I’ve reduced the above to a single crate and the cute wicker basket. The rest is either in the recycling, the bin or my dressing table so I actually remember to use it daily.

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Here is all of my makeup, apart from what I’ve thrown out and repeats of the same thing and yeah, it’s still a lot!

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Here’s what I’ve thrown out.

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A slightly smaller pile, heehee.

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Here’s my main big-ass makeup case, my daily makeup case and my travel/wash bag with miniatures and samples in. Here’s what I’ve learned…

  1. Even though I treat my makeup fairly well, there were still spillages and products that felt sticky – eeew.
  2. If it’s really broken, through the damn thing away! You are not Stig Of The Dump or a Womble.
  3. If it doesn’t suit your skin tone or texture and it can’t easily be mixed with something else, then throw it away or swap it/give it to someone.
  4. There are lots of reasons why buying two of the same thing can be a good idea but hoarding the same type of product, or buying several before you’ve even tried if the product works for you is not a good idea.
  5. How many golden-brown eyeshadows and copper-brown toned lip products can one person reasonably own!? Five eyeshadows and eight lip products it would seem ;0)
  6. I still have products I bought before I went totally cruelty free. That was TEN years ago!

As you can see, I still have the big makeup bag but now my little ‘everyday makeup bag’ includes the best of my base, mascara, tools, contouring kit (I missed out the wonderful Pixi contour kit in the first photo) and three eyeshadows and eyelinners that I rotate on a monthly basis. This means that everything is easy to keep track of/clean/sharpened, quickly to hand, and I don’t forget to use all of the lovely colours I own.

I hope this helps with your declutter! Let me know if it has or if you also do some of the bad habits I’ve mentioned.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

 

 

 

 

Pixi by Petra Beauty Balm & H2O Skindrink Mini

About eight years ago I tried a lot of the BB and CC creams that came onto the market, with varying success. Then I got rather obsessed with finding the right radiance boosting foundation, with absolutely no success. So I thought I’d give Pixi Beauty Balm (High Coverage Foundation) £22 in Nude a try, as it looked like it might combine both.

Active Ingredients

  • Adenosine restores & smoothes
  • Ceramide NP provides time-release moisture
  • Chamomile calms & soothes
  • Hyalorunic Acid

Before I applied this I looked so fatigued and I’d not been taking care of my skin for several days (as a result of illness, my diet and my lifestyle choices) so it looked dull, greasy and blotchy with big grooves at the side of my eye bags.

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

The first time I applied the Beauty Balm to unprimed skin it glided on so easily, matching my skin tone perfectly (darker than nude in my opinion) and it made my skin look flawless!

The second time I applied the H2O Skindrink and OMG did I look glowy and healthy!

It wore really well and evenly and my skin felt hydrated through the entire day.

After using this duo I now realise there is skincare and makeup and then there’s CAMOUFLAGE and MAGIC!

Disclaimer: No way in hell am I showing you the ‘before’ photo (recall the worst mug shot you ever saw and you’re nearly there). I couldn’t get an ‘after’ shot either as there’s hardly any natural light in my house in the afternoons. I tried using my very bright SAD light but that just bleached out my features (and any contrast) like those awful ‘youth boosting’ skincare adverts that are so prevalent now.

Anyway, below is an approximation…

Before

After

Seriously though….

Rating 5/5 💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽

I am gutted that I can’t buy a full sized Skindrink H2O because – and I rarely say this – I need this in my life…and on my face.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Zao Essence of Nature vegan refillable Volume & Sheathing Mascara and Concealer

I came across both of these on the Peace With The Wild website but Zao do have their own website. Both of these products are cruelty free, organic, vegan and refillable!

I’m surprised these are packaged in little bamboo bags as it seems like unnecessary extra packaging. I do love the bamboo cases and that they’re refillable though.

Concealer £18.75

I chose the colour ‘Clear Beige’ as it suits ‘medium skin with neutral undertones’ which my skin is in winter. I cant show you a tester on my skin because it matches it so much that you can’t see it. For a stick concealer the texture is pretty creamy but obviously not as blendable as a liquid one. I’m not one of those people that slap on so much under their eyes, that they cover their cheek bones too (hey, each to their own), I just use it sparingly on blemishes and redness.

Organic castor oil 

This oil is emollient and so facilitates softer skin. It is also moisturising, increasing the water content of skin to keep it soft and smooth.

Organic carnauba wax

Secreted by leaves of a palm tree native to Brazil, this wax is a film-forming agent that protects skin via the production of a continuous film; this helps makeup to last for a longer duration.

Organic bamboo macerate

Bamboo macerate is extremely rich in organic silica, required by the body for the production of collagen, the body’s anti-ageing weapon. Our bodies require silica to maintain elasticity of the upper layers of the epidermis.

Volume and Sheathing Mascara £20.75

100% natural ingredients, 40% of which are organic. This Mascara is so gentle on lashes. The sheathing effect makes lashes thicker but also means that it slides off easily when I want to remove it. It doesn’t make my feel lashes dry or like they could easily snap, as they are still flexible.

This brush is absolutely fool proof! It lifts and separates lashes and applies the perfect amount of product.

Organic bamboo hydrosol
Derived from the distillation of bamboo leaves, it purifies combination and acne-prone skin by mattifying it. Moisturizing and soothing, it is also beneficial for dry and sensitive skin. Thanks to its high silica content, it leaves a soft touch to the skin.

Acacia gum
Acacia gum or gum arabic that comes from the resin secreted by the Acacia Senegal tree, is used as an adhesive agent, to improve the hold of Zao Make-Up mascaras.

Organic avocado oil
Obtained from avocado pulp, this oil is healing and calming. It works like a wonder on skin irritations. Softening, protective and very soft, it restores elasticity and provides comfort to the skin and takes care of fragile skin. Regenerating and restructuring, it acts against skin aging.’

I’ve not included a before pic because you can’t really see my lashes as they point forward without mascara, rather than upward.

I’m surprised at how thick and extended my lashes look, even with my hooded eyes. Below, I’m doing surprised-eyes in order to show you the base of my lashes.

I didn’t even know I had this many lashes lol

Rating for both 5/5 🥳

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

My Cruelty Free Beauty Awards 2019!

Best Liquid Highlighter – The Body Shop Drops of Glow

This pearlised one is a little too light for me so I should have gotten the more golden option. Still a great product though!

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Runner up Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Filter. Shite as BB cream or sheer foundation but amazing as a highlighter.

Best Hair Dye – Manic Panic (Pretty Flamingo)

The choice of colours are amazing, the consistency is nice and thick so easy to apply and it’s really conditioning. It can last up to six months if you gently wash your hair every 7 – 14 days or it can be nearly washed out after around 5 washes with stronger shampoo.

Runner up – Nature Tint. Lasts forever but too runny and messy to apply easily.

Best Lipstick/Gloss/Balm – The Body Shop, Colour Crush Lipstick (Luanda Peony)

This glides on easily, has a very subtle and flattering shimmer, huge colour payoff and it moisturises!

Runner up – Charlotte Tilbury Lip Plumping Gloss. Works almost too well!

Best Hair and Body Care Brand – Yaoh! (Coconut and Lime)

Affordable, natural (everything is based around hemp seed oil), it smells heavenly and every product delivers results.

Runner up – Neal’s Yard Remedies. Natural and pampering but too pricey for me.

Best Nail Polish/Care Brand – Ciate (Nail Super Hero)

Affordable, an astounding range of colours, textures and finishes, and nail treatments which actually work.

Runner up – Barry M for very similar reasons.

Best Facial Skincare – The Body Shop (Vitamin C)

This Range is strongly scented of oranges, which I find really refreshing. It’s affordable as a little goes a long way and leaves skin clean, smooth and moisturised immediately and clearer and glowier after around five days.

Runner up – Murad (Age Reform). Incredibly effective and a similar price bracket to TBS these days so this was a tough decision!

Best Everyday Facial Oil – Superdrug own brand

I would describe this as a dry oil as it’s non-greasy and works perfectly under primer and foundation (or at least the one’s I use), or on it’s own for a naturally healthy appearance on any skin type.

Runner up – Weleda. Their facial oils are rich and really nourishing. They all have a very strong (natural) scent and take a while to sink in so best for an overnight treatment.

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I’ve covered all of the products and the brands that I have used in 2019. So if there is a category or product missing it’s because I didn’t need or use a new a one of those. Above are some products which I loved but didn’t quite make the ‘best of’.

Have you tried any of these?

🏅Chrissie🏅

 

Halloween Makeup To Get Creative With

Rather than put together a specific look, I decided to find, what I thought were the most versatile items. This way after Halloween you can subtly incorporate them into an evening look, using as much or as little as you want. Creative and budget friendly!

 

Glow Up – Orly

Cosmic Cowboy Face Jewels – Barry M

Glitter Flip Liquid Lipstick in Iconic – Ciate

18 Hit Wonders Eyeshadow Palette – E.L.F.

I’ve left off any prices and links as it depends on which country you live in or what your fave beauty halls or websites are. My fave UK places (apart from the brands own websites) are Superdrug, TK Maxx (online), Debenhams and Cult Beauty (online).

Happy creating! V- -V

The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick

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I bought The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick (£8.00) in Luanda Peony as I wanted a neutral pink. I was also attracted to this particular lipstick as all of the reviews said how moisturising it was. A few reviews also suggested it wasn’t highly pigmented and I liked the idea of just a wash of colour for daytime.

It turns out that this isn’t a dusky pink but rather a deep cherry pink shade, which is very pigmented and bright! It is very flattering if you have green (or blue) eyes, so I’m good with that. Another thing which surprised me was the subtle shimmery effect. It doesn’t highlight any unevenness or look too frosted and 80’s so don’t let the word ‘shimmer’ put you off.

I do find the Marula oil content to be moisturising and it does glide on easily, with an even colour pay-off, even when my lips are dry in places. It was still visible after four pints which, for a normal bullet lipstick, was impressive. I am so glad this has a really subtle rose scent and doesn’t smell or taste like kids sweets like some lipsticks I’ve owned – urgh!

The packaging has a simple twist up bullet with a lid that clicks on and a clear base so you can actually see the colour you are buying.

  • Community Trade agreed
  • Buav (leaping bunny) approved.

 

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation V’s e.l.f Beautifully Bare Foundation

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation (£16/30 ml)

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Pro’s

Medium build-able coverage and covers redness

Goes on easily with brush or beauty blender

Very long wearing

Very lightweight/natural feel

Non drying

Non greasy

Available in realistic skin tones

Easy pump action, let’s you choose the exact amount you use

Easily recycled glass bottle

Reasonably priced

SPF 15

Exact colour match as small colour sample on the website

Contains English Rose Water and Aloe Vera

Con’s

Way too matte. Doesn’t give a ‘fresh’ or ‘natural’ finish.

e.l.f Beautifully Bare Foundation (£9/14ml)

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Medium build-able coverage and covers redness

Goes on easily with brush or beauty blender

Very long wearing

Very lightweight/natural feel

Non drying

Non greasy

Available in realistic skin tones

Easy pump action, let’s you choose the exact amount you use

Easily recycled glass bottle

Very reasonably priced

SPF 25

Exact colour match as small colour sample on the website

Contains Vitamin A, C, & E, Grape Seed Oil, Pomegranate Oil, and Goji Berry

Con’s 

Almost too matte. Sadly, it doesn’t make skin look ‘radiant or dewy’.

The winner

e.l.f Beautifully Bare Foundation

It has ten more SPF than The Body Shop Fresh Nude foundation; works out slightly cheaper and contains more active ingredients for healthy skin. It changes over three hours of wear to look a little less matte, which I’m very glad about.

 

 

 

 

 

6 Simple Beauty Tips Which Make a Big Difference

 

Facetune

How to stop eyelashes clumping or looking spiky

If you have medium-to long eyelashes that are fairly straight, don’t use a mascara with added fibres or a thick formula. Curl and separate your lashes, then use a mascara which glides on easily and brush straight up (no wiggling from side-to-side). Apply no more than three coats and let them dry in between.

How to keep track of the makeup & skincare you own

So most skincare and makeup will have a little picture of a jar with a number on saying how many months your product will last for once opened but who can remember when they actually opened it? I write it on a little piece of paper and stick it on the jar with clear tape. I store everything in a wide, open basket with 3 smaller basket inserts to separate everyday skincare from pampering skincare and replacements (which I’ve stocked up on before the first product runs) so I can see everything I have with one glance.

For makeup I have an everyday-makeup pouch and a huge vinyl makeup bag, divided into sections which I store my going-out-makeup in. Again it’s easy to see what I have so I don’t keep buying the same stuff by mistake every few months! I store my makeup brushes in a sparkly pencil case because I’m allergic to dust so I can’t have them sitting about in the open, even though they are pretty pastel unicorn ones.

The order you should use your everyday skincare in

Get the most out of your products by knowing which order to apply them in so they compliment, rather than block each other.

Exfoliate: My skin is not great at goodbyes and likes to cling onto old skin, rather than letting it invisibly float off over the day like it should. To give it some help I use a gentle Glycolic Acid to weaken the bonds between dead skin and new skin. I have a weaker treatment that I can leave on and a stronger one which I leave on for ten minutes and then gently wipe off with a face cloth and then rinse my face. I found that no matter how many face scrubs I tried with the gentlest, tiniest granules my face would become bright red and my skin still didn’t feel smooth.

Serum then Moisturiser: Now skin is able to absorb the lovely things you are giving it. I use Hyloronic acid (which sucks in moisture like a sponge), swiftly followed by a light moisturiser. If you just use hyloronic acid on it’s own in a dry attmosphere, without using moisturiser after, there is a chance it can pull moisture from the deeper layers of your skin up to the suffice. You want to keep that moisture where it is and help it absorb MORE moisture.

Facial Oil: Sometimes there is a difference between dehydrated and dry. I can apply moisturiser and sometimes my skin sucks it up immediately or sometimes it just sits there but either-way, my skin still feels a little dry and looks dull, like matte paper. This is when I realise it needs oil. Another clue is when you’ve moisturised but your skin gets oily in the afternoon or evening. It new it was dry and wildly over compensated – oops! I tend to apply a light layer of oil all over my face – even around my T-zone (sounds crazy but give it a go) and on my collar bone – because that just looks nice!

Layering makeup and textures to get the best look for your skin

I’ve found you can have too much of a good thing – such as similar textures – and prefer to strike a balance by using a mattifying moisturiser with a lightweight foundation or a lightweight moisturiser and then a mattyfying foundation. Applying all mattes and powders or all liquids and shine can look OTT, in both directions so to avoid this, I love liquid highlighters and cream blush with matte foundation. Alternatively, a powder highlighter and blush when I’m using a very light BB cream or foundation to help it stay put. I’ve tried the Korean ‘glass’ skincare look and it did look amazing…For around 60 minutes before the makeup slid off and the shine – so much shine – stayed with a vengeance. I really do think that layering combinations of textures can give the most realistic, long wearing and flattering look.

Get ideas from makeup tutorials but never ignore your own eye/lip/face shape.

If I follow the usual Western eye shadow looks, all my eye makeup disappears into the folds of my eyes and I have giant highlighted brow bones. If I use ones for hooded eyes, then my eyes look rounder and you can see the eyeshadow but it doesn’t look like me and I think it’s actually playing down one of my best features! Now I follow normal smokey eye tutorials but I just extend the makeup up AND out, making sure to highlight where my inner corners curve inward to compliment the natural cat like shape.

If I applied blusher all over the apples of my cheeks I would look like a scary doll, no matter how subtly I applied it. I tend not to bring it inward too much and sweep it up and outward instead.

If I applied contour directly under my crazily-high cheek bones it would make the rest of my face beneath look way too long. I tend to lower it ever-so-slightly and then blend it out the lower down it gets.

Essentially, get all of the tips and ideas you want from others but do what works for YOUR face, after all, you know it best.

Give your skin the chance to do stuff for it’s self

I’m sure everyone has been in that vicious circle of using products that are too harsh and strip your skin – then your skin produces oil to try and balance i’s self – so you use tonner or cleanser and it dries out for a while and then the oil starts again. You should aim for balancing your skin, correcting it (gently) only if it really needs it. If you keep throwing all of these products at your face how will it know when it needs to act and how to regulate it’s self? It’s best to try and stick to a routine (ironically difficult for a beauty blogger who reviews everything) and every six months just to let it be for several days so it acts naturally and then possibly reassess what it needs.

Perfect example: My lips have always lacked natural oils and look dry and even cracked on a regular basis. Turns out it’s a reaction to allergies and central heating. As a kid I was slicked in thick lip balm; as a teen in kiwi lip balm from The Body Shop; in my twenties in Lancome Juicy Tubes lip gloss; in my thirties I’m using natural oils such as Almond and Hemp. The problem steadily got worse and worse however, until my bloke said “Stop using lip stuff so much. Try to anticipate when they might need it so you apply it before they are dry, otherwise let your skin sort it’s self out.” That was so difficult for a lip product obsessive like me. So I accepted looking like the walking dead and after five days it actually worked! My lips where naturally smoother and looked plump and hydrated.

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I’d love to hear your thoughts and any tips you’ve discovered yourself!

Chrissie

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

What the brand says….

‘The ultimate high gloss, high glow celebrity-skin-filter-in-a-bottle! This was born on the red carpet makeup, inspired by technology, for real life, in real time that looks amazing on-screen or off.

Smoothing airbrush polymers roll over your complexion for a poreless-looking, creamy finish.

Glossy Oil is a lightweight moisturising oil that reflects and adds light to your face where you need it.

Finely milled powders soft focus, makes lines and pores appear smoother which means it only ever looks as amazing in real life, as it does on camera.

Porcelain Flower Extract is a brightening ingredient derived from a Thai flower with natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to enhance microcirculation and brighten skin. 

Ideal for superstar-lit skin whether you want a subtle glow or a mega-watt complexion.’

What I want this for…

As you probably know, I have uneven skin texture thanks to having bad skin into my early twenties and I easily get bags (from dehydration/gluten indulgence) so big they carve two lines into my cheeks. I’m proud of how clear and fairly even toned my complexion is these days but I still need a hand with the overall texture and a little redness sometimes. I like CC and BB creams but find they can either be too pale, making me go from tomato red to an eerie green-yellow or they are too transparent and shiny. I chose Flawless Filter as it offers medium coverage, is available in a surprising amount of shades, and then there’s the whole ‘flawless filter’ part.

Before purchasing Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter £30 I read a lot of reviews; a huge amount said it very good but a few said it was awful but unlike me, they had dry skin.

The packaging…

I love the recyclable glass bottle but would prefer a pump rather than the doe foot applicator as it totally fails at applying this type of product and leaves a massive amount in the bottom, which you’d have to tip onto the back of your hand like 1990’s foundations.

The bigger problem with it…

Above; before using the product, makeup free in dim afternoon sunlight. Not too bad but not great either. Much worse, in fact when there’s a lot of contrasting light and shadow.

Here’s me wearing the product. Talk about unflattering – contrasting light! I’ve taken the photo in the same dull afternoon light but it’s still managed to highlight all of my pores, lines and the orange peel effect on my cheeks and even eye bags. Thanks for that Tilbury. I can see how it might work on me in blindingly bright California sunshine but even then, as soon as I went indoors it wouldn’t.

My conclusion….

I have to say the coverage is surprisingly good and the realistic skin tone shades meant that number 3 Light/Medium was perfect for me – not usually an easy thing.

If you have smooth skin but slight redness or dark circles this could be great for medium coverage and added radiance.

If you are older but have been lucky in the genes lottery this might be incredibly flattering for you.

If you are like me you really want avoid it, unless you want to use it as a very expensive highlighter.

On days where I’m very red, I use a full coverage foundation from ELF and I’ve started mixing a teeny-tiny bit Flawless Filter in with it, so my skin doesn’t look as matte and flat with just the foundation. I also use it very sparingly as a realistic looking highlighter on my cheek bones, collar bone and down the front of my shins.

Rating 2/3

🖤Chrissie🖤