Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Seche Vite Top Coat: If you like to paint your nails, you need this in your life!

I’m willing to bet you've heard an awful lot about Seche Vite top coat? It's widely acknowledged as the best quick-drying nail polish top coat that money can buy. As a habitual nail polish wearer I hang my head in shame that it’s taken me so long to get on board!
This is the hype... Its patented formula allows it to penetrate through the nail polish to the base coat forming a single solid coating over the nail bed for a much more durable finish. Seche Vite is unmatched as a top coat leaving nails felling silky, stronger and more durable with absolutely no chipping or peel and creates the highest gloss of any product on the market today.
And this is the truth... All of the above and then some! For best results apply a thick coat to freshly painted nails whilst still damp. Honestly, your wet nails will become touch dry in 30 seconds and your amateur manicure will suddenly look pro! It cups the nail bed for a smooth, rock hard, glossy finish and it’s guaranteed not to go yellow. It seals the polish in and extends the polish wear time to around one week – which is staggering compared to the usual 2-3 days I manage. To prove the point I painted my nails with Barry M Lychee and coated with Seche Vite on my right hand only. After three days the right was fully intact and the left had chipped massively....
Long story short: if you like to paint your nails, you need this in your life!

Seche Vite Top Coat 14 ml £9 Boots, £7.13 Amazon and £8.08 BeautyBay Are you on board?

Important update:
WARNING: One of my readers has reliably informed me Seche Vite contains Toulene. Toluene is a solvent found in common products such as paint, paint thinner, nail polish, nail glue and adhesives among other things. It’s a harmful chemical that’s been linked to birth defects and other reproductive problems. That sounds pretty horrifying doesn’t it! I did some research and repeated exposure to this chemical over time can be very harmful, however, in small doses, it’s unlikely to cause any harm. However, if you’re pregnant, I’d stay clear all together. Now I know these facts I will definitely use Seche Vite less frequently.

Friday, 23 May 2014

OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen – The Volumising Range that’s Actually Good for Hair

Biotin and Collagen, well known for their skin smoothing and moisturising properties are the latest saviours for limp, lifeless hair. You know me, I’m down for anything that offers fuller, thicker hair... especially one that’s packed full of goodies.
The new OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen range from £6.99 here is designed to leave hair thicker, fuller and all round healthier. A high performance blend of powerful ProVitamin B7 biotin infuses nutrients into every strand, while plumping collagen adds volume and dimension, and hydrolyzed wheat proteins strengthen, for thicker, fuller, healthier looking hair. Sounds good doesn’t it?
The OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo* is the jewel in the crown of this range. It has a beautiful, yet subtle musky/lavender scent; it’s reassuringly thick and works up a brilliant lather – which you don’t always get with sulphate free shampoos.  The OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Conditioner* has a similar scent and again it’s thick and luxurious, however I find the shampoo alone leaves my locks pretty well conditioned, which is rare for volumising shampoos, they normally tie in my hair in knots! After shampooing I add just add a little conditioner to the ends to keep them protected. Afterwards my hair is so easy to comb through and feels thick and strong.
OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Amplifying Lotion* is a high performance blend of powerful ProVitamin B7 Biotin which infuses nutrients into every strand, while plumping collagen adds volume and dimension, and hydrolyzed wheat proteins strengthen, for thicker, fuller, healthier looking hair. This definitely adds real body to the lengths of the hair. I apply twp pumps to damp hair before blow drying. The lightweight, non-sticky formula absorbs immediately and somehow seems to speed up drying time.
OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Roost Boost Spray* is a lightweight mist that can be sprayed directly to the roots before blow drying. And here’s the novel thing, you can also mist is on dry hair throughout the day whenever your hair needs a lift. Sadly it’s the only product in the range that hasn’t quite worked for me. It’s perfectly nice to use and again, it’s very lightweight so there’s no dragging the hair down, but it didn’t infuse volume at the roots either... but then my hair is very long.
The Verdict
What I really like about this range is it definitely feels like it’s good for my hair. Volumising products are often harsh and can strip away the goodness. You might not get immediate oomp from this range, it has more of a gentle, gradual approach but after five washes my hair feels thicker and smoother at the same time. It’s strong, completely detangled and the ends are silky soft. I would recommend this range to anyone with fine, damaged, even aging hair that wants to add body and strength.

Washed and styled with OGX products, waved with the Remington Silk Waving Wand

OGX Haircare range from £6.99 available exclusively at Boots... and currently 3 for 2! Have you tried any yet?


Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Cosmo Blog Awards... I would LOVE your Support

If you’re reading this post then chances are you quite like beauty and le chic. And if you like it, maybe you wouldn’t mind nominating it in the “Best Established Beauty Blog” category of the Cosmo Blog Awards – hint, nudge, wink!? I wasn’t going to ask (see I’m a bit shy like that) and the awards have been open for a few weeks now, BUT sometimes you’ve just got to put yourself out there – as we say in Newcastle “Shy bairns get nowt”.
How? Just click on the picture above or this link
The Cosmopolitan Awards are the biggest and best out there! If you’d like to nominate me, yourself or anyone else, you can see the full list of categories and find out more here.

Thank you for your support, I really appreciate it!

p.s There's still time to enter the "1 Million Thank Yous MAC Lipstick Giveaway"

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Six Picks Quick Fix Face

The Six Picks Quick Fix Face – talk about a tongue twister! I tried to reduce it to a nice rounded five but that meant choosing between brows and lips... and that wasn’t happening! This is a quick n easy look, perfect for work mornings when you’ve hit the snooze button too many times. Plus no brushes needed!
  1. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer £15.50 here  I Skipped the foundation all together and relied on this concealer to cover blemishes and discolorations. I dabbed a little product where needed, including under the eyes. One pump of this is more than enough!
  2. NYX Cream Blush Tickled £5.50 here A dab of cream blush on the cheeks to add a pop of colour and some luminosity. It’s quick and easy to use, plus you don’t need a brush. Using my middle finger I lightly dabbed a little product to the apples of the cheek and used a tapping movement to blend the edges.
  3. Maybelline Colour Tattoo On & On Bronze £4.99 here Perfect for quick eyes. This cream eye shadow slides on easily using the index finger to cover the lid, then using the clean ring finger to blend the edges and create a soft look. It dries quickly and lasts all day. On and On Bronze is such a wearable shade and helps to bring out the green in my eyes. Full review on this here.
  4. L’Oreal Volume Million Excess Mascara £9.35 here Any mascara will do for this look; I just reached for this one because it gives quick and easy results. I skipped the liner – it’s slow and fiddly and relied on a quick coat of mascara to open the eyes.
  5. Benefit Gimme Brow £17.50 here. I could never skip the brows. If I’m pushed for time, I don’t mind forgoing the full HD Brow experience because Gimme Brow gives fabulously thick brows and QUICK. A quick slick and they’re done – read the full review here.
  6. Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss Bellini £7.99 here A quick slick of my favourite lip gloss to finish the look and keep my lips soft and shiny.

Tickled, Bellini, On & On Bronze
Six products, no brushes and all done in under five minutes... Hit the Snoooooze! 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Hello Perfect Waves

I think I may have just found my favourite hair tool... ever! I’ve been using the Remington Silk Waving Wand* for the past few weeks to create the most effortless silky waves. I’ve tried waving wands in the past, but I found them a bit tricky to use. I’d wrap my hair around the wand and it would just slide off! This one has what they call an elliptical barrel – it’s not perfectly round, more rectangular with rounded edges. So rather than getting perfect spiral curls, you get natural looking waves. Plus it's not tapered at the end so hair doesn't slide off - perfecto! 
  • Remington Silk Waving Wand comes with a heat protecting mitt and a mat/pouch to protect the surface and store the wand.
  • The barrel is the same thickness throughout the length of the wand, which makes it easier to use – no sliding off and it means the curl/wave maintains its size even at the bottom.
  • It has a ceramic coated barrel for even heat distribution and it’s what they call an Elliptical wand – see it has a slightly rectangular shape – for creating effortless waves, not perfect tight curls.
  • You control the heat (between 120-220 degrees) with the digital display It heats up really fast – about 30 seconds.
  • There’s a Temperature control lock function which means you won’t accidentally knock it off mid use - we've all done that!
It's got to be one of the quickest, simplest hair tools I've ever used....
  1. Set the temperature - I’ve been using it on 190 degrees - my hair is fairly fine so that's plenty hot for me.
  2. Wrap the hair, small sections at a time, around the barrel, hold for up to ten seconds then let go.
  3. Once all the hair has been waved, allow to cool before combing through with a natural bristle brush.
  4. Look Fabulous darling!

TIP: If you want tight, neat waves, wrap the hair tighter around the wand and leave for longer. If you want nice, loose, beachy style waves (like mine) wrap the hair loosely and only hold it for a few seconds.

It takes no more than ten minutes to curl the whole head and it lasts days - I'm completely hooked! What do you think? Available from Boots £34.99 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Lust Have: The Selfridges “Beauty Project” Beauty Box

Now this is what I call a beauty box! To celebrate their new Beauty Project campaign, Selfridges have created a limited edition beauty box packed with 14 high end beauty must-haves with a combined value of over £120. Available online at Selfridges NOW for a very reasonable £30.
Each Beauty Project box contains: 
- EXCLUSIVE Selfridges Limited Edition Make-up Bag
- Nars Mini D**p Throat Blusher
- Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, 13G
- Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, 30ml
- Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, 30ml
- Percy and Reed Dry Shampoo, 150ml
- Lancaster Silky Milk Tanning Lotion, 50ml
- Tangle Teezer in Original Pink
- Eyeko Mini Black Magic Mascara, 4ml
- Paul and Joe Blotting Paper
- EXCLUSIVE Carmex Limited Edition Lip Balm
- EXCLUSIVE Phyto 7 Limited Edition Hair Cream, 50ml
- EOS Berry Hand Cream, 44ml
- Ole Henricksen Truth To Go Wipes

With a very limited number of boxes available, all sold exclusively online at selfridges, The Beauty Project Box won't be around for long - get yours while you can here.

Monday, 12 May 2014

MAC San Francisco Haul

I admit it, when I started beauty blogging I got a little carried away at the MAC counters. I’ve said it before, but these days I try to be more selective, less impulsive. Then my boyfriend when to San Francisco a few weeks ago, so what’s a girl to do but send him armed with a list and map of San Fran’s MAC stores. MAC is a lot cheaper in the US. Take a lipstick for example, UK price £15, US price $16, which is about £9.50... a pretty hefty saving.
Pro Longwear Concealer NC 30 £15.50/$19 Another item that’s been on the wish/intrigued list for some time. It’s a light weight, creamy concealer that provides medium to full coverage and dries to a natural matte finish. It’s early days yet, I’ve only been using it for a couple of weeks, so I’ll not say anything outrageous like “best concealer ever”... but it could be. It’s so easy to work with, disguises spots, bags and discolouration and it looks incredibly natural – concealer, what concealer? My only negative – it pumps out way too much. A little goes a long way and the pump action doesn’t give you enough control over the amount of product you dispense.

All That Glitters Eyeshadow £12.50/$15 I probably admire/swatch/dab on some of this eye shadow every time I visit a MAC counter. It’s been on the wish list for ages. It’s a beautiful soft rose gold/champagne colour with a gorgeous shimmery sheen. It’s a lovely simple colour worn alone all over the lid, or used as a base to build up other shades.
Eye Pencil Coffee £14/$16 A deep chocolate brown. It has the perfect pencil consistency – it doesn’t drag when you apply it, smudges easily and stays put all day. 

Japanese Maple Lipstick £15/$16 Ooo this one was love at first sight.  Remember I went along to my friends MAC make over a few weeks? Well they used it on her and I was breaking my neck to see what shade it was. Japanese Maple is a stunning beige nude. A very wearable nude, not the “concealer lips” kind. Perhaps not as pigmented as other cremesheens, but certainly buildable and with a lovely creamy gloss finish; It really seems to brighten my complexion too.   
Peach Blossom Lipstick £15/$16 A rosey peachy pink with a cremsheen + pearl finish. I’m not sure I get the “pearl” addition, to me they’re both typical cremsheen finishes – soft, creamy and hydrating... maybe slightly glossier? Peach Blossom is very subtle on me, because it actually matches my natural lip colour quite closely. More of a “my lips, but better” kinda shade.

Get 10% off MAC... if any of these MAC lovelies caught your eye, you can save 10% at Debenhams this week. And don’t forget to enter my MAC Lipstick giveaway here.


Thursday, 8 May 2014

Beauty Advice for my Teenage Self

Image: Google

Having a 15 year old sister definitely makes me more reflective. When she talks about school it takes me back to those tricky teenage times. If only I knew then, what I know now. With that in mind, if I could go back in time and offer my teenage self any advice, what would I say...

Step away from the tweezers!
If you listen to nothing else, listen to this... LEAVE YOUR FREEKIN’ BROWS ALONE! Hey Claire, that pencil thin line hovering above your eyes looks ridiculous and in a few years when bushy brows are back, yours won’t return! My Mum tried to intervene but I got pluck happy, creating bald patches that would never grow back! Once I realised the error of my ways, it was a long, slow process growing them back. They’re good now, but they’ve never returned to their former glory.
Don’t fall victim to the “Cake Face”
Here’s a secret I wish I knew then – gorgeous skin is dewy and natural. Thick matte foundation and heavy powder is anything but! My Mum told me so, but I didn’t listen (just like my little sister didn’t listen to me when it was her turn). Maybe cake face is a rite of passage? Still when it comes to coverage there’s a lot more choice these days – good tinted moisturisers, BB Creams and foundations with sheer coverage. If I was a teenager now I’d rely more on concealer to cover spots and imperfections and let my true youthful radiance shine through.
Lipliner... just don’t!
Not as much of a problem these days, but if you were kicking about in the nineties, chances are you lined your lips with a brown liner and filled them in with Rimmel Heather Shimmer. Don’t do it, it’s Not.A.Good.Look.
Always, ALWAYS wash your face before you go to sleep
When it comes to bed time – less Facebook and more face wash! If you go to sleep with makeup on, it makes your skin dull and tired. Take it all off at night and give your pores a chance to breathe while you're sleeping. It pays off later on... believe me!
Don’t shave your arms or your stomach!
Guess what, the hairs will grow back and they’ll be thicker and darker than before. Come to think of it, leave your thighs alone too – those soft, fine hairs are barely noticeable... after fifteen years of shaving they’ll look like a man’s beard.
Say No to DIY Hair Dye. Caution, an embarrassing admission follows...
Don’t highlight your hair with your Mum’s tash bleaching cream – yes I tried this. Remember in the 90s when it was in vogue to have two scraggy pieces of hair hanging either side of your face (think Chloe in Mad Fat Diary). Well I thought it would look cool if mine were blonde. They turned out patchy ginger and looked anything but cool!
Less is more... especially during the day
Hey Claire, guess what, there is such a thing as too much makeup. My 16 year old self definitely didn’t grasp this. I look back at pictures of myself back then and CRINGE, but then we all do, right? Experiment with makeup, but don’t overdo it. Go with strong eyes OR lips, not both and don’t try to wear your entire make up at the same time.
A few final words of “wisdom” for you to discard as you please...
Do your own thing, go your own way and don’t be afraid of what other people think of you! It turns out being different is a good thing! Try to love yourself – in years to come you’ll look back at pictures and marvel at how young/pretty/lovely you really were. Chill the F out! There’s no rush to be 25! Before you know it, you will be 25, wishing you were 16. Be a kid, take chances, don’t worry and enjoy yourself. Above all (and teenagers you’ll hate me for saying this)... listen to your Mum! It pains me to say it, but it turns out she was about 90% right.

If you could go back, what would you tell your teenage self?

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

The “1 Million THANK YOUS” MAC Lipstick Giveaway

I have to pinch myself when I say this... Beauty and le Chic has had over one MILLION page views! I remember when I got my first five and I took a photo of the screen because I couldn't believe that anyone (other than my Mum) had read my blog! A million, that never seemed possible! I am so grateful to each and every one of you  - whether you’re an avid reader or an occasional scroller. To mark the milestone and say THANK YOU to my lovely readers I’m giving you the chance to win ANY MAC lipstick... of your choice! In case you need any inspiration, I just got Japanese Maple (left) and Peach Blossom (right).
All you have to do is follow Beauty and le Chic via Google Friend Connect (links on the right) and leave a comment telling me what you’d like to see more of – hair, nails, skincare, makeup looks etc AND which MAC lipstick you’d like to win. You can earn extra entries if you follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin too. Simples.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again and good luck!


Friday, 2 May 2014

Free Nails Inc with InStyle Magazine... and they're seriously HOT shades

It’s my favourite time of year – magazine FREEBIE time! And this one’s too good not to share. No one does a magazine hook up better than Nails Inc and this time they’re treating us to some seriously HOT on-trend shades - plus you can bag all three for just £5. Grab a copy of June 2014 Instyle Magazine out now, to get an exclusive and limited edition Nails Inc Brazillian Collection polish worth £11 each. There are three exotic shades to collect... 

Copacabana Coral - A tomato orangey red
Sao Paulo Streets - A creamy grey/beige
Sugarloaf Sunset - A medium pastel pink

I'm completely in LOVE with Copacobana Coral and Sao Paulo Streets. I can't decide which is my favourite? Sugarloaf Sunset, I like but not as much - I'll probably slap it on my toes. If that’s not enough, you can also score an exclusive 25% off full price Nails Inc products with InStyle here

Shop smart and you can actually get ALL THREE for just £5! June 2014’s Instyle magazine with Nicole Kidman on the cover is out now, £2.50 in Tesco stores - plus it's included in the 3 for 2 on magazines promo! £3.90 everywhere else. Got your copy yet?

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