Friday, 30 November 2012

Celebrity Beauty Secret

What do Miranda Kerr, Gwyneth Palthrow and Jenifer Aniston have in common? Aside from being gorgeous and looking younger than their years... they all devotees of Coconut Oil....

Coconut Oil is the vinegar of the beauty world, it has 101 uses! Extracted from the flesh of mature coconuts it can be drunk raw, used in cooking and baking or applied directly to the skin or hair as a moisturiser. Jenifer mixes it with rock salt to make a body scrub, Miranda drinks it in her tea and Gwyneth covers her body in it after a bath. The oil contains fatty acids which are said to leave skin and hair smooth and shiny, and devotees have linked it with a host of other health benefits, including aiding digestion and weight loss.
I love applying it to my skin as a body moisturiser, it tackles the dry, rough patches on my elbows and knees like nothing else! It’s solid in the pot but melts on contact with the skin. It is extremely rich and does takes a little while to absorb – I find it’s best used on an evening after a bath. I swear it’s a winter saviour.
Recently I’ve been using it more on my hair. It can be used on the ends as a quick conditioner but it’s as a mask that it works best. I’ve been frightened to put it on my roots with fear of the oil slick but my scalp was dry and flaky so I took the plunge. Well I looked like a chip pan and smelt like a Bounty but it worked a treat! I massaged it into my scalp and through the ends of the hair, left it over night and rinsed and washed the next morning. The dry scalp was gone, but the best thing, my hair felt stronger and thicker. I’m doing this at least once a week and it’s really improving the condition of my hair.
Check out Coconut Oil at Holland & Barrett. Miaflora Coconut Oil £6.99 for 207ml & Perfectly Pure Coconut Oil £14.99 for 453g (Currently £7.49)

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Beauty Booty for Christmas 2012

T’is the season to get shopping trala-la-la-la-la-la-la-la. I can’t believe how much Christmas has crept up on me this year, I haven’t even started my shopping yet. For anyone else who’s still on the hunt, this one’s for you!  Maybe you don’t know what to surprise your loved ones with this Christmas or you’re in need of some inspiration for your own wish list; from glittery nail polishes to pretty palettes, this gorgeous gift guide has got it covered.

MAC Holiday Gifts 2012

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a little MAC under the tree. This year’s Christmas Collection scream class and style with satin-tufted compacts, leopard print brush bags and dazzling face palettes.  Men, I guarantee you’ll be in the good books for a long time if your lady wakes up to one of these treats on Christmas day. Ladies, drop those hints and drop them good!
Prices start at £15.00

Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel

Lush by name, lush by nature. They have stacks of gorgeous stocking fillers including Santa’s Sack bath bombs and Snow Cake soaps, but this glittery Snow Fairy shower gel would be top of my list. An intensely pink shower gel that’s bursting with fruity fragrance and sparkling ice.
From £3.50

Nails Inc The After Party
T’is the season to be sparkly! This cute gift set from Nails Inc has all your party season nails covered. Disco Lane - black holographic glitter to go with that LBD, Covent Garden Market – a full coverage red glitter, perfect for Christmas Day and Soho Street – a chunky rainbow glitter perfect for when that glitter ball drops on New Years Eve.
£25 for three full size polishes, currently £22.50 in Debenhams Event

Diptyque Scented Candle
This one is purely indulgent... because I want it! The legendary French perfumer make the most amazing candles. I know they're pricey but 190g candle will burn for around 60 hours, so think of it as 63p per hour of glorious scent.

Diptyque Candle £38 SpaceNK

Knackered Cow Luxury Bath Gift Set

For ladies that love to bathe... This limited edition Luxe Bath Gift Set from Cowshed is cheeky and cute. With a Knackered Cow Relaxing Bath & Body Oil and gorgeous scented room candle, which are enriched with essential oils of lavender and eucalyptus, you’ll be bathed and relaxed in no time.

Benefit They're Real Mascara Set

There’s not a woman alive that won’t be impressed by this wand of wonder. This cute set from asos includes probably the best mascara in the world They’re Real plus a sample-sized Sun Beam highlighter and Posie Tint cheek and lip tint, all for £18.50 – which is what the mascara costs by itself. This one’s on my list hint, HINT!

And if she’s been a really good girl this year...
Strictly speaking not a beauty gift, but a beauty nonetheless, this stylish Vivienne Westwood purse would fit the bill for the fashionista in your life. Black patent leather with moc croc design and a style gold orb, GAW-JUS!

Hope you feel inspired, will you be snapping up any of these beauty gifts?

Saturday, 24 November 2012

The Lowdown on Bourjois Healthy Mix Gel Foundation

If I don’t blog about something soon after I’ve tried it, it’s generally because I don’t love it. I am sad to say that this is the case with Bourjois Health Mix Serum Foundation. Championed by my make up artist hero Lisa Eldridge and many beauty bloggers, I had high hopes for this foundation
This gel formula foundation with a treatment serum contains 3 super-fruits: lychee, goji and pomegranate. It promises 16 hours radiance boost and instant anti-fatigue result! The vitamin-gorged and anti-oxidising super-fruits erase signs of fatigue, even out the complexion and revive its radiance: (69% more radiance after 4 weeks of use apparently)! Its instant melting effect and semi-matt finish blend in with the skin’s colouring, evening out skin tone and erasing blemishes.

I’ve just realised where I’ve been going wrong, two words – semi matte! Because it claims to hydrate and boost radiance I ASSUMED this foundation would give a dewy glow... it doesn’t. That’s not to say it’s not a nice foundation, because it is, but after a few weeks of using it, I’ve decided it’s just not my cuppa tea.
It has a relatively thin consistency and applies with ease, allowing for a quick application with fingers or brush. I tend to use fingers then blend it out with a duo fibre brush. It feels lightweight and comfortable on the skin and does feels quite hydrating when applied BUT I feel like my skin almost absorbs it. Even though it’s a light to medium coverage foundation it works well to even out the complexion and cover minor blemishes and discolourations. The finish is very natural, almost like you’re not wearing foundation at all but I feel like I’m missing the luminosity and glow I get from the likes of MAC’s Mineralize or L’oreal Lumi Magique. It lasts well and keeps my skin hydrated throughout the day. I can’t say I’ve noticed an improvement in the skin, but it contains serum so it’s got to be better for you than those that don’t!

Overall, it’s a nice, lightweight foundation with a low to medium coverage and a semi-matte finish. Perfect for a no fuss, natural look!
£10.99 30ml Boots

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Brow Time - Benefit Speed Brow

You know my motto “It’s all about the brows” so it’s no surprise that I’m passionate about brow related products. What is surprising is that it’s took me so long to try one of these brow set products. To be honest, I thought they were a bit pointless and I tried the MAC brow set and it made them look a little wet, you know when someone puts too much gel on their hair – Ross from Friends, I’m thinking of you, well like that.
But my brows are quite long and I do get random hairs jutting out all over the place. No matter how much I comb and groom them on a morning, they do move out of place. I have even resorted to spraying them with hairspray, but I can’t recommend it!
Benefit’s Speed Brow it a slightly tinted brush on gel. Comb it through the brows for shape and hold. If you’re blessed and you don’t need to fill in your brows, then swipe this through and you’re good to go. If, like me, you need a little in-fill, do that first (powder, pencil, whatever) give it a few moments to settle before combing through speed brow. It dries fast and is practically colourless. It looks a dark brown on the wand, but I promise it's dries almost clear. It leaves my brows looking natural, but more groomed and holds them in place all day. It doesn’t set hard, but you know it’s there. My only complaint is it’s on the small size. I’ve been using it daily and I don’t think it’s going to last long.

Speed Brow, short cut to perfect brows £12 for 3g

Monday, 19 November 2012

What’s in the Glossybox? November 2012

I’m sorry I’m a little late on this one. As you know I normally break my neck to bring you my Glossybox contents, but when it arrived on Friday I was heading out the door to a hen do (love to Emma and her hens).
The theme of this month’s box is “Stocking Fillers”.

Olay Regenerist 3-Point Treatment Cream Fragrance Free
Small sample size of Olay’s award winning moisturiser. Although aimed at mature skin types, I’ve used it before and it’s a very good evening moisturiser. I’ll probably pop it in my overnight bag.  Original product £29.99 for 30ml.
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
I was really happy to see this, Dermalogica is a name I know and trust. Microfoliant is a unique rice based powder that gently exfoliated skin. Sprinkle onto hands and add a bit of water to create a paste before working into the skin. I used it Friday and was very impressed with the results – it’s like an instant facial. Original product £35.50 75g
Allison Clarke Mango Body Butter
A delicious blend of organic mango and cocoa butters will leave you skin feeling wonderful. This one is a winner! It smells divine and left my skin soft and moisturised. Original product £15 200ml.
Wei Age Control Serum
This all-in-one anti aging serum renews, revitalises and restores suppleness and elasticity... think I’ll be needing this after the weekend I’ve just had! It’s a very small sample size, the original product costs £60 for 30ml.
Nails Inc Notting Hill Gate
I’m always happy to receive a nail polish. Although this is a little on the small size, it’s a great colour that I didn’t already have.

So what do you think of this month’s box? I’m happy with the mix of products and they’re all ones that I’ll put to good use. My favourite is the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant and my least favourite is probably the Olay, but only because I’ve already got it. I think my only complaint is that the products are mostly on the small size this month. If you’re interested in joining Glossybox or just want to find out more, click this link. Also don’t forget about Glossydots – loyalty points for feedback that turn into FREE boxes.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Body Shop Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil

New favourite product alert!

I purchased this a couple of weeks back when The Body Shop were offering a whopping 40% off all full price products. I was a little nervous purchasing this product online without having sniffed/sampled/slapped it on first. Happlily, I am completely won over by this Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil.
First of all, it looks good! The 100ml glass bottle is cute and stylish and as sad as it sounds it looks good in my bathroom. The oil itself if a dark bronzy brown with flecks of gold shimmer running through it. It looks a bit scary at first, almost like a false tan, but it blends out almost clearly, leaving a subtle bronze glow and a hint of shimmer. If you had a tan, I’d imagine it would accentuate it perfectly, if you don’t, don’t worry it’s practically colourless.

The ingredients include Fair Trade honey and beeswax, both of which are amazing for your skin, not to mention contributes towards the beautiful scent of this oil. It’s floral and exotic and the scent lingers (subtly) after application. As it’s a dry oil, it’s not especially thick and applies like a dream, it’s actually a pleasure to apply and the best thing is it absorbs immediately. No walking like an Egyptian whilst you wait for it to dry. It’s not greasy and there’s no transfer onto your clothes. It leaves my skin super soft and that feeling lasts all day.
It’s a little on the pricey side, £16 for 100ml but the Body Shop is always offering discounts and deals. I've got to say, I found their service to be exceptional! I ordered online on a Sunday night and it was with me by the following Tuesday. It was perfectly packaged and included a free sample of their cult favourite Tea Tree Oil.

This indulgent oil is perfect if you want soft smooth skin, with a little bronzy glow.  A+


Monday, 12 November 2012

Nails Inc and Glamour, a Perfect Combo

I do love a magazine freebie and Glamour has got to be Queen of the freebie! Not only are their giveaways plentiful, what makes them even better is the magazine costs just £2, and not £3.80+ like our other fashion monthly’s! I’m sure you savvy ladies will be aware that this month Glamour have partnered up with Nails Inc (AGAIN!!) to give away four gorgeous FULL size nail polishes.
St James – a pillow box red, Elizabeth Street  - very pale pink (I didn't bother with that one... BLAND), Motcomb Street – dark navy blue almost black and Glamour Glitter – clear polish with gold glitter.

I received Motcomb Street with my Glamour Magazine subscription, bought Elizabeth Street  and then went on the hunt for Glamour Glitter. There must have been less of the limited edition shade in circulation because it took twelve shops in three cities to track one down.... initially I wish I hadn’t bothered, the glitter is very sparse, fortunately it won me over layered over a dark shade...

My favourite of the bunch is Motcomb Street. It’s a really chic navy. It looks almost black, except when you catch it in the light and the blue shines through. It’s very opaque, you can get away with one coat but I went for two to help prevent fading. It’s also super glossy.

I layered Glamour Glitter over the top of the ring fingers to test it out. It actually works really well over a dark shade. It’s more of a classy, suitable glitter and it’s very smooth, which I like – no coarse bumps here.

I really love this combo, Motcomb Street is an instant hit for me and will be making an appearance over the party season... and the best thing is, it only cost me £2, thank you Glamour! December’s Glamour Magazine with the gorgeous Cheryl Cole is out now.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

MAC 224 , What do I use you for?

Loved by makeup artists and beauty bloggers the World over, MAC’s Tapered Blending Brush 224 is often cited as a must have brush. MAC Senior Artist Keri Blair said “hands down this brush is great for blending, blending and blending… It’s been an extension of my right hand for over 13 years. The tip of the brush picks up the color and all the tapered hairs help to move the product out and across the eye.”
With praise like that I decided I had to add it to my modest collection, thing is, now I have it, I don’t know what to do with it! In the few months I’ve owned it I’ve hardly used it.
MAC say it’s for controlled eye shadow application. This brush has soft fibres which taper to form a medium size dome shape. It’s hand-sculpted and assembled using the finest quality materials. Personally I think it’s too large for controlled eye shadow application. In fact, it’s probably too large and not dense enough for application at all. As Keri says, it’s great for blending. I’ve used it to blend eye colours together and it gives a lovely soft finish, but that’s about it. I’d love to use it for more.
I love the shape, it’s much larger than any other eye brush I own. The bristles are very soft and I haven’t experienced any shredding. Here it is compared to the 109 small contour brush.

So ladies, I’d love to hear from you... If you have this brush, how do you use it? MAC Tapered Blending Brush £22 17 cm

Monday, 5 November 2012

More Muji Please

I’m a big fan of Muji acrylic storage; their wide drawers have been my makeup storage saviour. The only problem is, they fill up quick! I do wish they’d make them a little bigger. My four are jam packed (see my make up storage part one and two). I’d like to add more but I don’t have the space. If I expand across I’ll eat into my “work” space, if I build up, I won’t be able to see into the mirror. Cue the acrylic desk pot...

This handy little pot is very compact but stores a lot of make up. It’s clean, tidy and slots next to my muji drawers perfectly. Ideal for mascaras, pencils, concealer pens and glosses.  I’ve seen some people use it for make up brushes, although I don’t think it’s tall enough for that and the neck is quite narrow so you find they stand up straight.

Fits perfectly

However you choose to use them, I think they look fab. Clean, easy, tidy and cheap. Acrylic Desk Pot Muji £5.99

Friday, 2 November 2012

Love it, Share it! River Island Black Stud Buckle Boots

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I’ve been seriously lusting after two pairs of River Island boots. I couldn’t decide between them so I let my instagram followers decide for me and this is what they chose....

I took the plunge and ordered the River Island Black Stud Buckle Boots from ASOS this week. I could of got them in store but I was placing an ASOS order anyway and delivery to my door is far more appealing than braving the cold and the queues! When my ASOS delivery driver (I say “my” because he’s here weekly, we’re on first name basis) dropped these off on Wednesday morning I did let out a little yelp. They are STUNNING!

We all know that studs are everywhere this season and these have got them in abundance. A feat of design brilliance. Western style leather studded boot with double ankle detail and a side zip. There’s a small block heel to give a little height and elongate the leg and they’re surprisingly very comfy.  They’re so sexy and very well constructed I expected they’d be uncomfortable, but the leather is actually very soft and supple. The only thing I didn’t love is the price, £90, what can I say, they're worth it! Here they are in action, excuse the shaky iPhone pic, it's difficult taking a photo of your own feet!

Available in 3 colours black, red and beige.

1st Birthday Giveaway Winner

Thank you to eveyone that entered the Real Techniques Blush Brush Giveaway. I was thrilled to see so many entries, I'm just sorry you can't all be winners! The winner, as chosen by is... drumroll...

Entry 1, Amy McCulloch. Congratulations Amy, I'll send you an email soon. Thanks again everyone, watch out for more great giveaways on Beauty and le Chic soon.
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