Monday, 29 September 2014
The theme for this month's Birchbox is "Happy Days"*, taking us back to a nostalgia-filled youth and reminding us of all those epic moments in our lives.
So, upon opening the box, I spied a truly lovely little gadget for holding any photos or memorabilia I deemed worthy to display on my bedside table (bonus that I received my favourite colour). There's even a special money off voucher to use at Photobox to get some prints sorted. I just know I'll be reminiscing about my trip to Florida and California in a few months time, so a great opportunity for me to relive those memories through physically photographs. I can't remember the last time I got one printed!
Onto the epic miniatures; a vial of Agave Healing Oil Treatment, perfect to nourish unloved summer hair back to full health. A tub of Premae Mild Pro Dermabrasion that's vegan and helping me with my congested skin. A truly gorgeous bullet of Jane Iredale Lip Plumper that, due to the spearmint and peppermint oils, really works to achieve fuller lips. Never hurts when a lipstick smells good enough to eat! Modelco Powerlash Black Mascara caught my eye, as I've been lusting after something new, unfortunately is contains Methylisothiazolione, so I'll have to give this one a miss. Then, the sample I have been coveting; Benefit It's Potent! Eye Cream. Banishing my dark circles with just a few taps, you're preaching to the converted!
To finish up the box nicely, Birchbox have thrown in a packet of tasty Urban Fruit pieces. I got Smashing Strawberry and it's safe to say that bag didn't hang round long after the photoshoot...
Are you subscribed to Birchbox? What was your favourite sample this month?
Thursday, 25 September 2014
Helmut Lang is one of those brands that has been on my radar but have never really been able to decide on a piece long enough to invest. With the coming Autumn/Winter season fast approaching, I'm relishing the thought of chunky knit scarves, comfy boots and supple, staple wear like this asymmetric, fleece-lined top that can transition from casual to classy with the right accessories. The top itself has wonderfully crisp lines and the texture sits between a thick t-shirt and a thin jumper, while the colour makes this a classic capsule piece. I've paired it Sports Luxe style, with my trusty grey jogging bottoms and some simple gold jewellery. A pop of orange lipstick keeps the outfit on trend and super sleek.
Minimal meets urban, and I think I've found my new favourite brand; Helmut Lang, you have my heart!
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Wednesday, 17 September 2014
Today marks the 30th anniversary of Burt's Bees, one of those brands that's completely synonomous with natural beauty and, to me, encaptures lipcare especially. To celebrate, Burt's Bees founder, Burt Shavitz is hosting a live webcast to drill home the brand ethos of natural beauty at its finest. Fancy joining in? Simply visit facebook.com/burtsbeesuk and tag a birthday message with #burtsbeeday, then tune in at 9pm BST to see if Burt reads your message during the live feed over at burtsbeeday.com!
Bees are so important to our day to day lives; they make up nearly 1/3 of our food supply. 75-95% of all flowering plants on earth rely on pollination to survive. When you base it on statistics alone you come to realise just how vital the sustainability of the company impacts our lives, and the lives of all those beautiful little creatures. Buzzing! Quite literally…
So with Burt on my mind, I pull together some of my favourites from his range; these are products I alternate in my handbag on a weekly basis. The 100% natural lip glosses were something I had to try out in anticipation of a non-sticky lip with just the right amount of colour. Turns out these little honeycomb-patterned beauties haven't left my lips in weeks, and are even better paired over a nude or pastel lipstick for a little subdued shine. The Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream has been on my bedside table since it's first opening and has helped turn my dry and sad extremities into hands I love to show off. Bring on the Autumn because I'm ready for when the cold hits!
Do you own anything from Burt's Bees? What is your favourite?
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Monday, 8 September 2014
I'm starting to feel like an advocate for The Body Shop, but I'm back with a whole new round of releases from one of my favourite brands! After today, I can honestly say that The Body Shop can do no wrong in my eyes.
First up we have a treat for the nails. Colour Crush Nail Polish has well and truly landed and I couldn't be more thrilled! Adorning my nails with these gorgeous, glossy colours and matching with the eyeshadows and lipsticks has been a gratifying conquest to say the least. Available in 24 shades, there's something for everyone. It's near enough Pantone heaven for a designer like me, a plethora of rainbow colours that delight on every level. Totally vegan, without harsh chemicals and entirely animal cruelty free, these nail polishes are as angelic as you're going to get in the nail world. Enriched with Community Fair Trade Marula Oil, this fast drying formula adds the perfect finish to the Colour Crush collection. I've been in love with Mint Cream* from the outset and Rosy Cheeks* looks wonderful with a tan. I've got my eye on Hemp Over Heels next, the ideal accompaniment to my lime green fashion kick. At £5 a bottle you can afford to splurge on a few choice colours, which will be in select stores from tomorrow but nationwide from September 16th.
For those who have invested in the glorious Colour Crush Eyeshadows, this next release is a must. The Body Shop All-In-One InstaBlur* is an eye primer that promises to tick all your primer needs. From concealing dark under eye circles, smoothing the eye lids to enhancing the vibrancy of eyeshadow, this little multi-action, yellow tinted tube does it all. Once again utilising the amazing Community Fair Trade Marula Oil, InstaBlur is especially adapted for the sensitive skin around the eyes. I know I've been applying this every day and have marvelled at how much deeper and pigmented my eyeshadows have been, and no budging in sight. Retailing at £10, this miracle primer is available from September 17th, so make sure you're one of the first to add this to your makeup bag.
Last, but by no means least, is the Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate*. Those with tired eyes rejoice as there is a saviour, and all it takes it a sweep with a rollerball. Using this every night results in riding yourself of those pesky 25kg eye bags (that you'd rather have left at home), reducing the appearance of fine lines (something I'm increasingly becoming aware of with age) and helping your eyes look their brightest. Enriched with the stem cells of the rare flower Edelweiss, this eye concentrate resorts and renews your skin, giving it that boost of youth that we're all striving to hold on to. Having both a pump and a rollerball was new to me, but really gives you all the product you need without going overboard. A figure 8 motion around the eyes massaged and stimulates the blood flow, meaning absorption happens effortlessly and doesn't damage this most delicate of areas. A single pump is all you need, and only needs gentle patting for it to sink in fully. Also available September 17th, you can pick one up for a mere £19. That's a lot of bang for such a small buck!
I feel I have to mention the wonderful experience I had in the Milton Keynes branch today, thanks to the wonderfully helpful and kind Michelle (who has been working there over 22 years). My mum has become very allergic to a chemical preservative called Methylisothiazolinone which happens to be in a lot of personal care products, including makeup, cleansers and even cleaning products like washing up liquid. This chemical is actually banned in both Canada and Japan but still presides in plenty of our every day products, which is truly frightening. So after doing our research, we found that The Body Shop actually is trying to phase out all use of these kind of preservatives, and we set about re-building her makeup bag with all the good things that would stop the inflammation. Michelle went over all the products with us, introducing certain ranges with expert knowledge and even reading all the labels just to make sure that there wouldn't be any issues. The whole experience just reinforced my faith in what a wonderful and attentive company The Body Shop is, leaving me with a glow from inside out. It was without question that I then moved on to pick up some goodies for myself, including the new Argan Body Oil which smells like holiday in a bottle.
A show of hands, who loves The Body Shop?
Friday, 5 September 2014
Impulse. 90s. Retro. Those three words made my little heart flutter when the Impulse 90s Challenge box landed on my doorstep. To celebrate Superdrug's 50th Birthday, every girls favourite nostalgia brand have re-released Vanilla Kisses, but with a modern twist. This time round we get a helping of apple and peach with the vanilla but it's still got that classic appeal of the original. And to get us all in the 90s spirit, Impulse
At first I was stumped as to who to base my look off. I mean, do I opt for a 90s babe like Gwen Stefani, Drew Barrymore or even try and pull a Rachel? Seriously, I had the hair. Nope, I bypassed them all to try and come even 1% of the way close to the MEGAbabe that is Cindy Crawford. I feel a Wayne's World 'Schwing' is appropriate here.
Grabbing my fishnets and my trusty oversized jumper, I got to work creating my base. Cindy always looks effortlessly matte and put together so I start by buffing in a very light helping of L'Oreal Lumi Magique foundation that reflects the light for a fresher complexion. A dusting of powder to set in place and it's time to contour. Just look at those cheekbones, how could I not? My tried and true combo of Bourjois BB Primer and Bronzing Cream give me a hint of definition I can't achieve any other way, underneath the cheeks, on the brow, down the nose and under the neck. Blush was applied high up on the cheekbones using Benefit Sugarbomb, a dusky pink that blends into the skin like silk. Adding a touch of Soap & Glory Glow All Out to the cheekbones and brow arches sets my interpretation apart a little. I'm of the mind that a little light-catching glow benefits the face more than much else and you'll rarely catch me leaving the house without having applied this logic.
The 90s smokey eye was pretty grey, so I wanted to make use of golden hues, intense browns and subdued highlights. A mix of The Body Shop Colour Crush eyeshadows in the shades Coco Deluxe* and Champagne Kiss*, blended high up to the brow line was much more matte than I was expecting. So a small amount of the top left shade in my NARS And God Created Woman palette in the inner corners balanced the look perfectly. A fine line of Soap & Glory Supercat helps when applying false lashes and I couldn't think of better than Nouveau Lashes Millie Mackintosh in City*. A quick lining of Topshop Kohl pencil along the lower lash line and smudged out finishes the eyes up. Then, taking the same dark brown eyeshadow and using a fine pointed detailing brush, I just had to create a false beauty spot. I think I'm converted!
Superdefined brows are the key to this look, and there's nothing better for intense brows than The Body Shop 2 in 1 Gel Liner*. This baby just made them pop! And to finish, I went all out and made my own cocktail for the lips as I didn't own anything even remotely similar. Lining the lips with Lord & Berry waterproof eyeliner in Bronze* helped when applying Topshop Covet over most of the lip. As there's a particular glow here, I nabbed my highlighter and used a small contouring brush to press a small amount on to the centre. I'm so for making your own colour if it's not available, it just takes patience and practise!
Go check out the Twitter and Instagram hashtag #VanillaKisses to see some amazing looks that other beauty bloggers have put together. The 90s is back. Big style. What was your favourite 90s trend?
Tuesday, 2 September 2014
The Body Shop have been killing it recently with their latest releases. I've been utterly wowed with the quality and summer inspired beauty products that seem to hit just the right note. A particular stand out for me has been the introduction of some gorgeous new shades to the Colour Crush range. Golden Nudes sees a touch of shimmer added to four silky brown Colour Crush eyeshadows and three luxurious Colour Crush lipsticks. I have a few of these wonderful eyeshadows in my collection, and I can't fault the formula. They blend so easily, feel as light as air and last all day long. I haven't been able to put down Coco Deluxe, which looks truly spectacular blended into the crease and paired with Champagne Kiss, really makes eyes sparkle. The nourishing lipsticks are a real dream on the lips, and I've been wearing Golden Syrup most days and dressing up an outfit with Pink Luxe. Then is the lifesaver that is the 2 in 1 Gel Liner for eyes AND brows. Yes, brows too! I love a gel liner, and this one is no exception; it lasts all day long, is intensely pigmented and has all the versatility of a kohl pencil mixed with the precision of liquid liner. The packaging makes the experience all the more enjoyable, concealing the brush in the lid means no more searching around for the brush at the bottom of your makeup bag. The gel liner works just as well on the brows, with the tapered edge of the brush you can get a really crisp edge which is great for throwing back to the 90s.
What do you think of these latest additions to The Body Shop range?
Colour Crush Eye Shadow available in Coco Deluxe*, Gold Rosemance, Champagne Kiss* and Golden Cinnamon (RRP £7.00). Colour Crush Lipstick available in Pink Luxe*, Golden Syrup* and Make My Heart Gleam (RRP £10.00). 2 in 1 Gel Liner available in Carbon Black* and Brown (RRP £10.00)