Monday, 30 December 2013
Sometimes you've just got to add a little sparkle! I bought a stunning black eyelash jumper with coloured sequins from New Look before Christmas and have fallen slightly in love with it. Very forgiving for the expanding waistline over the festive season, and perfect paired with a leather skirt or your favourite pair of skinnies and skyscraper heels to welcome in 2014. I've teamed the jumper with my Elephant pendant necklace from Accessorize and a shield ring from Topshop.
I'm keeping my face minimal and glowing, just how I hope to see through the rest of the new year. My skin has been very good to me lately, so I'm opting for an all over layer of Benefit Porefessional to create an even base. A touch of Maybelline Fit Me Concealer to any problem areas (fast becoming a dry skin favourite), along the bridge of the nose, under the eyes and down the chin. Highlight the cupids bow, the arches of the brow and along the cheekbones with a touch of Topshop All Over Glow and you can see how less really is more. I've been using my Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette nonstop for a week now, and will most likely give myself a very rose gold smokey eye, completed with a perfect line of Lord & Berry Smudgeproof Eyeliner in Bronze*. Smudge it out for a grungier look, or keep it crisp for that 'Fashion Week' chic. Obligatory false eyelashes should be added now, just to make the eyes pop! All finished up with a helping of Rimmel Apocalips in Big Bang that doesn't fail to make your smile shine, just remember to blot.
What are you wearing for the big day?
Friday, 27 December 2013
(T-B) Ocean, Bronze, Smoke, Sand, Oliva, Aqua
Lord & Berry; one of those brands that has eluded my makeup stash for a good while now, but has always been highly sought but out of reach. As an avid swatcher, I do like to get a good feel for products before I part with my hard earned cash, and this has held me back from investing in L&B as I've never been able to hold them in my own hands, experiment with the colours and just get a feel for the brand as a whole. However, Pure PR very kindly sent me a handful of the new Smudgeproof Eyeliners to trail and I was over the moon! I've become a little obsessed with eyeliner recently, but only sticking to the more conventional colours (or should I say 'lack of'), this was the perfect opportunity to experiment.
Lord & Berry have certainly created a product that stands the test of time, and in such versatile shades with an easy to use pencil. A deft hand and a few minutes are all you need to create a rich accent to any defined eye, and I can't attest enough how well these last. On the eyes, it takes a good amount of makeup remover before these even begin to budge, so you can imagine my sheer joy when I'd left swatches on my hand while I went about my day running errands and doing chores, and they were still there, clear as day at the end of the night!
Getting this stuff wet doesn't cause it to run, there's just no smudging this stuff. Something to bear in mind if you're going for that smokey eye look, as you've got about 30 seconds before it sets and you'll have to try your best with makeup remover. There's a reason it's touted to last 24 hours, ideal for the party-goer in all of us. I can see this being the perfect accompaniment to a workout at the gym (post Christmas) and even better for long nights and early mornings. Applying is so simple as there's no catching on the skin, it glides so smoothly, unlike most pencil eyeliners I've tried previously.
Lord & Berry Smudgeproof Eyeliner comes in nine intensely rich and pigmented shades, of which I've used; Ocean, a gloriously deep blue-purple that I can see adding something extra to your traditional winged liner look. Bronze, a matte mahogany brown that will be perfect with just a slick of mascara. Smoke, an intense gunmetal grey that could prove seriously addictive with a silver smoky eyes look. Sand, a metallic copper colour that could easily be used as an all over eye shade and smudged out for simplicity. Oliva, Khaki green that's screaming out for a good bit of lower lash defining. And lastly Aqua, the brightest of the bunch with a metallic sheen that will be a staple during the summer months.
The best thing about Lord & Berry? They're launching their range of cosmetics into key NEXT stores this month! That means you could pick up your own Smudgeproof Eyeliners in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Essex, Oxford, York, Liverpool and Cardiff. Seeing Oxford on the list made me cry in delight, as I'll probably spend all my lunch breaks lusting over the gorgeous products that I'm now well and truly hooked on.
Have you tried Lord & Berry?
Monday, 23 December 2013
I'm a big fan of mascara. Forever trying to find that 'holy grail' product that not only lengthens, but adds a lot of volume while holding a curl. That's a lot of expectation from a little tube of pigment, but I'm convinced it's out there. Being a contact lens wearer can also be a real issue when choosing eye products, there's a lot more sensitivity there which can mean irritation if ingredients don't mix well. Currently I used two mascaras to get my desired effect, so when Eye of Horus was brought to my attention I just knew I had to give it a shot.
Eye of Horus researched natural waxes and oils from the Ancient Egyptians, who used them in their eye products. Now they have the perfect base for natural, non-irritating, nourishing and sensitive cosmetics that strengthen and lengthen lashes. The Goddess Mascara is created with Moringa Oil, a rare and precious oil found in King Tutankhamen's Tomb that contains Vitamins A, B, C & E, fatty acids and 1700 antioxidants. If that isn't going to help your lashes, I don't know what will! Upon application I could really get into the root of the lash by wiggling the flexible plastic wand left and right. I was so impressed with how light weight my lashes left after applying a few coats, and very happy to see how easy it was to build up the product. One coat and it was perfect was lazy days at home and popping to the shops (something I did straight after), a second coat and you're ready for a day at work and then a third and final coat was just the right amount for a night out. Most mascaras tend to clump after building up the layers, but my first thought was how separated and defined each individual lash was. The longevity was another surprise, an entire days worth of wearing and there has been no flaking or fall out and, best of all, no smudging. I'm forced to be the kind of girl that constantly looks in her pocket mirror for dreaded black smudges as my bottom lashes are so long, but no more!
A massive selling point for me was that this mascara doesn't contain parabens and is not tested on animals. A very hot topic and something I'm becoming increasingly passionate about, especially with the recent uproar over Topshop and their Angora products. I can't find fault with this lovely mascara, aside from thinking it doesn't curl as much as stated but this is easily remedied with a quick squeeze from my trusty Shu Emura Eyelash Curlers. A firm favourite for the festive season, and will see me through into the new year for sure!
Have you tried any of the Eye of Horus cosmetics? What is your favourite mascara of all time?
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
I actually purchased this set when it was in the Boots 'Better Than Half Price' sale, and just completely blanked to blog about it at the time. Let's blame dwindling natural light for that one, THANKS WINTER! So I can only apologise for this ill timed post, but I still think this set is worth raving about for the price, and makes a brilliant Christmas gift.
Every year I buy the Soap & Glory mega hamper of bath goodies and other treats (I hope you guys all got the Yule Monty Gift Set that is at Boots on sale until tomorrow!), knowing that I'm getting massively good value and fantastic products. This year, Soap & Glory have branched out into creating kits with their wonderful makeup range, meaning there's now something for every S&G fan! When I first saw the Girl-o-Whirl set, I wasn't entirely convinced, it seemed quite cumbersome and wasn't exactly the type of thing I'd see myself opening up on the regular and using. When it came up in the sale, I figured I'd give it a shot, knowing that I hadn't tried most of the products in the set but not wanting to buy them individually. It wasn't until I got it home and properly swatted every product and had a play that I truly realised just how fantastic this little kit is. You get: Glow All Out Luminizing Face Powder (a personal favourite), Solar Powder Multi Shade Bronzer, a Half-Moon Blusher Brush, Thick & Fast Super Volume Mascara, Sexy Mother Plucker Gloss Stick in Nudist, six shades of Lid Stuff Eyeshadow, a Double Ended Eyeshadow Brush, six shades of Super-Colour Fabulipstick and a Double Ended Lip Brush. Phew.
The eyeshadows range from neutral to bold and will be perfect to create a smoky eyed look on Christmas Day. Even the brightest of the lip colours is a very wearable every day shade, so you're really getting bang for you buck here. The powders are finely milled and can't find fault with, they just blend nicely and leave behind a subtle glow. Once you account for space in your overnight bag, this is the ideal makeup essentials kit, all coming in a handy zip up bag with a sizeable mirror. This is such a wonderful gift for family members or friends, especially for those who haven't had the chance to try out any Soap & Glory cosmetics but love their skincare products. This one may be my own, but I'm already plotting the last of my Christmas gifts...
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
Every woman deserves 'a little extra' this time of year. I've rounded up a selection of goodies that should see her smiling well into the new year.
Topshop Moomin Pyjamas, £20.00
Soft and cosy pyjamas are the ultimate Christmas treat and who could pass up this beautiful Moomin themed set? At a mere twenty quid they're a steal and it's Moomin. Moomin. You know those Primark Moomin Pjs you missed out on before...?
Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline EDT, £38. 70
When a scent is inspired by crystal you can be sure it'll be delicate, contemporary and, most of all, fresh. A year round fragrance that sits differently on each individual, it's a staple on my dressing table. Filled to the brim with subtle Japanese fragrances, it's one that draws compliments time and time again.
Ying Yu Jade Facial Roller, £28.00
An odd one, but something that nips straight to the top of most beauty lovers lists. A Jade Roller works to massage the skin on your face, making it appear youthful and vibrant. An hour or so in the fridge and this is the perfect soother for that Boxing Day hangover.
The Glif Tripod Mount & Stand, £13.99
Nothing much to look at from first glance, but this incredibly successful Kickstarter project was funded for good reason. Simply attach this to your iPhone and you can place it on any standard tripod or use it alone to hold your iPhone at various angles. Cool right? And at less than £15, it's the ideal gift for any budding bloggers out there wanting to take their photography to the net level or even start recording YouTube videos.
Oh Comely Magazine Subscription, from £10
Hands down one of the best magazines out there when you're looking for something a little bit different, highly creative and simply stunning. Packed full of recipes, music, fashion and art, there's something for everyone. I buy every issue and read them cover to cover without fail, it's just a delight to look forward to on a bi-monthly basis.
Monday, 16 December 2013
Whether you're looking for that last minute gift to bulk out your tree or just something to say "I care", look no further than my stocking stuffer guide for the man in your life.
HYPE Lucky Dip, £14.99
If you're after a super slick item of clothing, you've found the holy grail. Hype Clothing create jaw-droppingly stunning apparel with ease, which makes it all the more difficult to choose! Invest in a lucky dip and you could even find yourself receiving something that's no longer available to buy through the store. Bargain!
The Body Shop Arber EDT, £15.00
I've searched high and low for a scent that rivals that of a £50+ spend and been hard pushed to come even remotely close. After just one sniff of Arber (a best seller for good reason), I knew this was a winner! Top notes of citrus, heart notes of coriander and mint all on a solid base of sandalwood. This sits nicely among similar Chanel and Ralph Lauren fragrances, and rightly so.
Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey, £18.00
There's no accounting for taste and, when it comes to alcohol, there's nothing better than a little JD. Jack Daniel's recently released one of the nicest tasting drinks in a long time, even for those that don't like the taste of the original black label. On a cold Christmas morning, a touch of this over ice is a warming treat anyone would be thankful for.
Bodum Travel Coffee Press, £18.00
Whether he's a coffee man or a tea guy, you can guarantee he'll want one of these in the cupboard. The perfect travel companion, hot, steamy and ready to go. All jokes aside, this nifty gadget means he can take his morning drink with him if he's running a little behind schedule.
Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Making Kits, £39.99
Kicking it old school with a gift that requires a little effort for a lot of pay off! You can imagine the sheer joy on Christmas Day, most of it spent in the kitchen trying to start the best beer in history all while slightly inebriated and full of turkey. It doesn't get more epic than this.
Friday, 13 December 2013
As much as a relaxing bath is the ideal place for a beauty pamper, sometimes we just don't have the time. With the cold well and truly here to stay, a quick yet nourishing routine in the shower could be the answer to our prayers.
L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil, £17.50
Skin can be particularly thirsty, dry and lacklustre this time of year so the perfect remedy is this luxurious shower oil. This glorious product soaks right into the skin after lavering up, leaving skin ultra supple and smooth. Enriched with almond oil, it leaves a subtle fragrance on the skin that lingers throughout the day. Using an oil rather than a gel means it gets under the skin, working to moisturise deeper down instead of sitting on top of the skin. Sometimes showers can really sap this moisture, so it's essential to lock it back in.
Naturalmente Rosemary & Lavender Shampoo* & Yoghurt & Millet Conditioner*, £9.00 each
For clean and soft hair, Naturalmente offer a naturally derived alternative to traditional haircare products. The Rosemary & Lavender shampoo is the ideal treat before bedtime, working to relax and massage the scalp. Both purifying and detoxicating, the essential oils present restore the delicate skin on the scalp while removing all traces of products and pollution. The Yoghurt & Millet Conditioner goes in to revitalise dry, dull and damaged hair with it's intensive mix of mint, lemon and eucalyptus combined with yoghurt to enhance your natural shine. Hair just doesn't get much better than this!
Murad Essential-C Cleanser, £34
This time of year it's good to pack your skin full of antioxidants to give it a fighting chance out in the cold, wet and windy world outside. The Murad Essential-C Cleanser has vitamins A, C and E to reduce the impact of the environment, washing away impurities and restoring moisture. The fruity fresh fragrance of mandarin orange, basil and grapefruit is more than additive, leaving you deliciously clean.
Konjac Sponge with French Red Clay for Tired and Devitalized Skin*, £6.99
This little sponge is the ideal companion for your showers; string it up within easy reach and grab it to apple your cleanser or use it product-free. Nothing rejuvenates skin like the gentle buffing motions of the natural Konjac fibre, restoring pH levels and leaving behind glowing skin. There are different types to suit all skin concerns, perfect to throw in an overnight bag with just a touch of water!
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Guest blog post from Lucinda Bounsall, on behalf of Farfetch
Christmas Beauty Roundup
Tis the season to invest in make-up!
In winter we have more of everything; more layers, more rain, more helpings of comfort foods than we thought humanly possible. Winter is also a time for more make-up, it’s not as if we’re saying that you need to slap it on exactly but the cold weather is no friend to a good complexion. The thing about summer is that a couple of days on a beach in Croatia and you’re good to go with a hearty tan that will leave you looking fresh and healthy. So unless you’re one for the sunbeds (don’t do it) or you fancy running the risk of a dodge self-tan disaster, it’s almost impossible to recreate that naturally sun-kissed glow. So just accept that you’re going to have to get up about a half hour earlier in the morning for your new winter beauty regimen and that your bank balance is going to take a bit of a hit too! But it is Christmas time after all and everyone knows Christmas is about giving, so what’s the harm in giving something special to yourself? The gift of looking gorgeous! We’ve rounded up what we think are essential items for any winter make-up bag, so why not chuck out those foundation bottles that have leaked all over your lipsticks or that eyebrow pencil that is a barely-there stub. It’s time to invest! But if you’re still in need of a little extra advice, make sure to catch our Christmas Hangout with Shell Sullivan on Google+ this Thursday. The incredibly talented make-up artist will be talking us through her favourite looks for the season, and showing us her insider techniques.
Monday, 9 December 2013
I was sent the most gorgeous set of nails by the über talented Rachael of RH Nail Designs. She contacted me asking if I'd like a pair and, after looking at her incredible work, had to say yes! After saying that I'd like her to surprise me, a little package landed on my doormat not long after and upon opening I just knew that this was the most perfect design for me. Little cherries on a white base, stunningly finished and neatly drawn, all with the view of me wearing these out and about. I'm saving them for Christmas, where I'll pair them with an understated leather skirt and top but knew I'd have to kick it up a notch with the makeup. With this in mind, I thought I'd throw together a look inspired by Rachael's wonderful nail creation and get us all in the festive spirit!
After setting about creating a solid base, touching up eyebrows, adding blush, bronzer and highlighter then it's time to create the green eyes. I used a neutral nude shade to start off with, all over the lid so that any colour I'll be blending has a little give. Then, taking MAC Feeling Fresh eyeshadow, I work the colour into the outer corner in stages, building up the colour until it's nice and vibrant. The colour needs to fade into the inner corner gradually, then use Benefit Miss Moon Shimmer Powder to add a golden shimmer and brighten the eyes. Finally, take a little more green and smudge it into the outer corner of the lower lid, adding a slight grunge appeal. Apply a slick line of black eyeliner, then carefully put on a set of Benefit Rockette Lashes for length and volume.
Finally, to make complete the look, outline your lips with MAC Cherry Lip Liner, making sure to fill in the entire lip for vibrancy. Taking MAC Red Lipstick, go over the lip liner with just as much accuracy. Blot on a little tissue paper to set and you're done!
What do you think about this look?
Friday, 6 December 2013
It's not every day that I come across a foundation that makes me rethink the kind of cover I need. Perricone MD created the No Foundation Foundation Fair to let your natural beauty shine through but disguising the flaws you want hidden. Once only available in a darker shade, the introduction of fair means us porcelain skinned beauties can achieve glowing, smooth and natural skin too.
On, Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Fair appears dewy and light, covering any immediate areas I have issues with but leaving my freckles to show. Paired with a little highlighter, a touch of bronzer and a pinch of blush, my face hasn't looked this fresh in a long time. It's nice to let the skin breath; the added bonus of SPF 30 (naturally occurring with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide), intense moisture and skin tone correcting, it leans more toward tinted moisturiser territory but acts like the foundation you need. If you have issues with just how low the coverage is, it is a buildable foundation. I tend to let it settle for a little and do other parts of my makeup and then go back to it if I feel I do need to layer it up.
The sciencey bit? There's Alpha Lipoic Acid in there to smooth skin texture, even the skin tone and reduce wrinkles. Being on the wrong side of my mid-20s I've started to pay attention to keeping my skin as youthful as possible! I was even more impressed to see that the DMAE helps firm, lift and contour so you're on to a winner whatever your age.
Having tried Perricone MD supplements before, I didn't know what to expect from their makeup range but knew that quality was going to be a certainty. I've been more than impressed with this little vial of foundation, and it has taken pride of place on my vanity dresser.
Have you tried anything by Perricone MD?
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
I thought I'd ease myself back into doing videos with a favourites! I apologise for my absence, I've not been well and then my cat was in a car accident. I'm hopefully back on the ball now and if you have any ideas of what you'd like to see I'd love to hear about it!
Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Fair*
REN Mayblossom T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel
The Body Shop Absinthe Purifying Hand Cream
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E: Foot Magic
Smith's Rosebud Salve
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Waking up to an email from one of my favourite companies on the planet doesn't happen very often, but seeing Warby Parker in my inbox made me squeal a little in delight. Having fawned over their glasses range for years, and been more than a tad obsessed over the design of their website and other materials, it was clear to me this was going to be a match made in heaven from the outset.
Warby Parker have teamed up with the hugely talented Leith Clark (Stylist to the stars for the likes of Kirsten Dunst and Keira Knightley) to create a set of five gorgeous frames available in both optical and sunwear. Marva, Greta, Aurora, Wednesday and Willow are all inspired by smart-looking and smart-thinking individualists. Think nerdy girls, receptionists and librarians. The collection embodies whimsy and charm in stunning Cobalt Leaf, Noir, Aldabra, Daughter of Pearl and Crystal. I'm particularly drawn to Aurora, with it's rimless lenses and keyhole bridge that screams vintage in it's purest form, just the kind of frame I adore!
"Like the 1960s, librarians, nerdy girls. I like glasses you had when you were a kid—or that your dad wore when you were a kid—and wearing them now.
I like Bergman. Big thick glasses on a little, tiny face. When there are etchings or engravings or magically-made materials.
I like pearls, brass, opera glasses. Everything being all violet. I like seeing the world with a pretty pink tint to it."
For every pair sold, a second pair is given to someone in need. This is the perfect time to spread a little joy to those deserving while being able to treat yourself to the sleekest in optical fashion. A percentage of each sale also goes to Girl Up, a campaign raising awareness and funds for UN programs that provide life-changing opportunities to girls all across the globe.
You can snap up these delightful frames from today, both online and in store for $145/£90 each.