Thursday, 31 July 2014

Throwback Thursday - Lancôme Juicy Tubes

Back in the day I used to be obsessed with Juicy Tubes.  The must have make up of the early noughties. In fact, it’s where most of my student loan went J  Back in the day, we didn’t have a lot to choose from. No chubby sticks, lip butters, cream puffs, matte crayons etc. At school there was Rimmel Lipstick (Heather Shimmer anyone?) then by college/uni we upgraded to Juicy Tubes. It makes me laugh when I look back now. They were pretty sheer, sometimes glittery and way too sticky – impossible to kiss with, but man did I feel sophisticated with my Lancôme Juicy Tube. It was the era of Paris Hilton and Legally Blonde afterall. Framboise, Marshmallow, Fraise, Lychee... I loved them all.
Juicy Tubes are still available (RRP£16.50, £10.50 All Beauty) and I’m sure they’ve improved over the years but I’m more of a lipstick gurl these days and if I fancy a gloss, there are better ones to choose from like Revlon Colourburst/Super Lustrous. Gone are the days I spend nearly twenty quid on a tube of jelly. But Juicy Tubes will always have a special place in my heart and I still have a couple of nearly empty tubes I can't part with.

Are you/where you a fan?


Monday, 28 July 2014

July Beauty Faves

July has been my favourite month so far this year. A whole month of hot, sunny weather – if you’re reading this outside of the UK you’ll probably be sick of hearing about said weather... Come hail, rain or shine, it’s just what we do. The change of weather has definitely caused a change of favourites.. lighter bases, coral lips and, er sore feet...
Coola Mineral Sunscreen Tinted Moisturiser £29.95/50ml - here
This came to me via a Glossybox last year, so I tucked it away for a sunny day.  It’s been a little life saver this month. I’ve ditched the foundation in place of this tinted moisturiser with Spf 20. It’s extremely light with just a hint of colour. The shade ‘Rose Essence’ isn’t in fact very rosy, it’s more of a pinky bronze that gives the skin a beautiful bronze glow.  I love it so much I really want the full size... sadly it doesn’t come cheap. Although this 7ml sample is lasting really well so the 50ml would last all year.
T Zone Rapid Action Spot Relief Gel £1.29/8ml - here
Summer breakouts, what’s that all about? They usually happed to me on holiday – the heat, the humidity, the sunscreen?? Whatever the reason I’ve had quite the breakout over the last couple of weeks. A flurry of spots caught me unaware whilst I was at my Mum’s. “I’ve got some really good spot cream” she says, then hands me this T Zone spot relief gel. I’ve got to admit, I was a bit of a snob and thought, I’ve noticed this stuff in the cheap shops, it’ll never work? Famous last words! This stuff is the bomb. I had the rumblings of a MASSIVE spot on my forehead. I applied a thin layer in the evening. Next day the spot was gone. Apply the medicated gel direct to spots. It dries quickly and works fast.
Liz Earle Eye Bright Lotion* £10.75/150ml - here
I wake up around 6.30am, my eyes however, tend not to surface until around 9! Cue the most amazing soothing herbal lotion. I soak a couple cotton wool pads with Eye Bright, dab around the eye area, or if I have time lay down for five minutes and rest the pads like cucumber slices (careful not to fall back to sleep) over the eyes to calm, hydrating and revive tired peepers. Gentle, but incredibly effective – try keeping it in the fridge for an amazing cooling experience.  It really helps reduce bags and puffiness.

L’Oreal Super Liner Brow Artist £5.49 Blonde - here
As part of the summer overhaul I’ve been craving a lighter, easy breezy brow. I bought this on a whim in Boots – buy one get one half price on L’Oreal. The pencil applies so easily to add natural looking strokes in a Taupe shade. The fixing wax on the other end keeps brows in place all day, plus the handy comb makes it a real handbag essential. 
Laqa & Co Lip Lube in Bees Knees £14 Birchbox - here
This arrived in July’s Birchbox and we’ve been joint at the LIP ever since. Bees Knees is the perfect summery coral shade. It had an unusual creamy matte texture, which I prefer to the sticky glossy type. It’s just so pretty and works for me... I am definitely buying the full size product before this one runs out.

L’Occitane Foot Cream £8 - here
Sandals, sliders, flip flops NOT as comfy as they look? I’ll spare you the details but hard skin is definitely a side effect of summer footware. My usual Soap & Glory Footglove wasn’t cutting the mustard. Luckily I had a mini L’Occitane Foot Cream in the stock room (a storage box under the bed). This stuff absorbs fast! My parched feet soak it right up, and with 15% Shea Butter it leaves my feet feeling softer than they have for years. Pop a pair of socks over the top to let them cook and watch the hard skin dwindle... no wonder it’s a multi award winner.

Thursday, 24 July 2014


I don’t know about you, but I am LOVING this unusually hot British summer... unfortunately I can’t say the same for my face. The shining, the sliding, it’s never a good look! Especially on a night out. I created this look last Saturday. I wanted to look done, but NOT TOO DONE, bronzy and most importantly, sweat proof.
To avoid my face sliding off mid dance routine (yes I think I’m Beyonce when I dance) I started with Benefit POREfessional Primer. It’s not my usual primer of choice (I’m more a dewy primer gal) but this one is perfect for shrinking pore, which naturally open up in the heat and mattifying the skin. I’m in the market for a new foundation so I’m slowly working through my stash of samples (recommendations more than welcome). On this occasion I went with YSL Touche Eclat Foundation shade BD50. I loved this when it was launched but found it made my face too shiny as the day went on.. so quite why I picked it for a balmy Saturday night I don’t know? But coupled with the primer and touch ups of MAC Blot Powder, it went the distance.
I actually skipped contouring and highlighting. I didn’t want this look to be “heavy” plus the warm weather tends to yield a natural glow so I didn’t wanna over do it. I dusted some Guerlain Four Seasons Bronzer (mainly the darker quarters) to the areas that usually catch the sun –forehead, cheeks, nose before adding a subtle sweeping of Sephora Powder Blush in Apricot.

You know smoky eyes are my thing, but for a summer nights look I didn’t fancy sporting a heavy dark eye. Instead I went for some golden shimmer. Eye primer is essential in hot conditions. Benefit Stay Don't Stray is the daddy of eye primers – aint nothing budging when this is in place! No creasing, eyeshadow lasts so much longer and I dab a little under my lower lash line to prevent liner and mascara smuuuudge. I reached for the NAKED palette (of course) to help me create an effortless golden eye. Using 'Naked' as a base colour all over the lid, 'Smog' at the outer crease to add some definition and a little dusting of 'half baked' to the middle and inner eye to create a pretty golden shimmer. 

Liner I went for Lancôme Le Crayon Kohl in Noir – not a waterproof eyeliner per se but a tried and tested non-budger.  Again because I didn’t want a heavy eye so avoided smudging and winging. Just a simple line up top and some tight lining along the upper and lower lash lines.  Finished off with lashings of Chanel Volume de Chanel Mascara.

Stop the press... I DIDN’T use my HD Brow Palette. I fancied a lighter, less structured brow on this occasion so went with L’Oreal Super Liner Brow Artiste in Blonde.  
Lip liner, I often skip, but given the heat and humidity my lipstick needed something to “cling” to. I picked up L’Oreal Lip Liner in Honey, which is allegedly a dupe for MAC’s subculture. It’s near enough a perfect match with my lips. Followed by Rimmel Moisture Renew Let’s Get Naked lipstick. The liner definitely reduced the need for touch ups.

Happy Summer Nights Everyone!


Monday, 21 July 2014

The Glow Getters

We all want radiant skin. But late nights, long hours and one too many glasses of vino hardly help the cause. Fear not you don’t have to live like a Tibetan monk to look healthy. There are plenty of beauty pick-me-ups to help you fake a glow and keep you looking rejuvenated.... even when you’re feeling anything but!
Liz Earle Brightening Treatment Mask* £14.75 The 30 second cheat! No need for facials when you have this little wonder. Slap it on whilst you brush your teeth (or down a Barrocca) and in 30 seconds to two minutes you’ll look refreshed and glowing. Don’t believe me? Try it on one half of your face ... you won’t believe the difference. Full review here.
Try swapping your usual blush for a shimmer brick. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick’s* £32.50 are the perfect mix of highlighter and blush. I have the shade Rose. It imparts radiance all over the face and gives a subtle flush of rosy glow colour and not a hint of OTT shimmer/glitter. For a budget option try Sleek’s Glo. 
A cream highlighter is perfect for that all over dewy glow. Mix with your foundation or dab anywhere you want to shine. I adore 17 Skin Wow £5.99 for it pearlescent finish.
If cream highlighters aren’t your thing (or you have oily skin) Opt got a powder highlighter instead. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Soft & Gentle £22 is an absolute dream of a product – possibly my favourite MAC product ever. Just a touch of this buttery mineral powder illuminates the complexion with a pale gold/shimmery glow. Subtle, yet buildable and really helps to pop the cheek bones.
The “I’ve just been working out” cheat. A spritz of Caudalie Beauty Elixir £9.95 before or after make up application (or both) is the easiest way to cheat radiance. It adds that post exercise glow and helps make up stay put. Apparently a favourite of Victoria Beckhams... if it’s good enough for posh!

When you need to Fake the Glow, which products do you rely on?  


Saturday, 19 July 2014

My favourite summer nail polish... and from an unlikely source!

It’s been a while since I’ve raved about a nail polish... because it’s been a while since one’s excited me. But this could be my favourite shade since Essie Mint Candy Apple – and you know how much I lurve that one!
Liz Earle Strengthening Nail Colour in Awakening is describes as a “A fresh, coral-pink summer shade”. It’s somewhere between a salmon pink and a creamy coral. It glides on like a dream with the perfect brush size that cups the nail bed perfectly. It layers easily and is fully opaque from two coats – although I went for a third for good measure. It dried quickly and boy did it last. I wore it on my fingers for five days and only took it off because I needed a change of shade. It has a beautiful crème gloss finish and the best thing is, it’s not wrecking my nails. Enriched with avocado and borage oils, it helps to strengthen and protect nails during wear... win, win!

I like it so much I felt compelled to put it on my toes too – and I never do the matchy, matchy thing. Is it naff, is it not? I don’t know, but I do know this is the perfect happy, summery shade without being TOO LOUD.

Liz Earle Strengthening Nail Colour £7.50 available from Liz Earle | John Lewis | QVC

Which Nail colours have you been getting excited about lately?

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

My Handbag Essentials... All 15 of them!

Gather around ladies (and gents) it’s time to have a little nosey inside my handbag make up bag.  Just to be clear this isn’t a “what’s-inside-my-bag" post. I never quite got those. Who cares about my mobile phone, a packet of tissues and an emergency chocolate bar (low blood sugar rages anyone?).  But I do like to see the beauty essential you can’t be without.
I was pretty shocked to discover I’ve been carting 15 products around in this teeny tiny make up bag, and there’s me thinking I’m low maintenance these days..

Left-right (sort of)
  • MAC Blot Powder Medium Dark £20. My favourite handbag compact! The lightweight powder helps to set make up and rid the shine. I reach for this throughout the day for little touch ups. It combats shiny patches without being matte or powdery plus it’s more or less colourless so looks very natural.  
  • EOS lip balm £5 Still my go to lip balms. There’s something about that egg shape... it’s addictive! I ran out of sweet mint (my favourite colour and flavour) and have just cracked open Strawberry Sorbet.
  • MAC Lipstick Japanese Maple £15 At one point I had around ten lip products in my handbag. I consider three to be an achievement. One balm, one lipstick, one gloss – okay?
  • Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream £8.50 Standard. Always on hand. Great for chapped lips, cuticles, dry patches etc. That’s why this little 7ml handbag friendly tube comes in so handy.
  • Benefit Gimme Brow £14 I shouldn’t be carrying this around with me on account of it running out too fast but what can I say, I’m hooked! Full review here.
  • Bourjois CC Eye Cream £7.99 I keep this on hand for my pesky eye bags. Great for touch ups and packs enough punch to cover spots and red/discoloured patches.
  • Revlon Lip Gloss Bellini £7.99. Probably my favourite lipgloss. Shiny, lustrous but never sticky.
  • MAC 168 Brush £27 This mini 168 came with one of the Holiday brush sets. It’s small enough to fit in my bag and good enough for powder, blush and bronzer.
  • Bourjois Khol & Contour Liner Brun & Caramel ... I hate to apply eye makeup first thing in the morning, that’s why I carry liners and mascara with me so I can add them at a later time. Normally around 10 o’clock when my face has woke up. This one’s my favourite everyday liner... hence the size of it.
  • Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner Navy £12 I’ve got Glamour Magazine to thank for this beauty. Free with last month’s magazine (hope you got yours) and I’ve been addicted to it since. It’s a handy little product to have to take you from day to night when those after work cocktails come a calling.
  • Lancôme La Vie Est Belle 10 ml perfume spray. Perfume bottles can be so heavy and clunky, this 10ml spray is perfect for the handbag. Sadly it's only available in a limited edition Christmas gift set.
  • Clinique High Impact Mascara £17.50 Another Glamour freebie (available this month) When you’re carting 15+ products around it helps to have as many minis as possible.
  • Paul & Joe Blotting Paper £4 I received these in the Selfridges Beauty Box (see it here) and they’re simply outstanding! Especially in this weather. Sometimes I need more than a little powder to control the shine.
  • L’Occitane Hand Cream £6/10ml Made from 20% shea butter, it’s one of the best hand creams out there!
  • The Balm How ‘Bout Them Apples? Cheek and Lip Cream in Pie. This little book palette is too cute! And as soon as I saw it in last month’s Birchbox (review here) I knew it was destined for my handbag. A multi tasking cream stain in a beautiful coral shade.

What are your handbag essentials?


Monday, 14 July 2014

What’s in the box? Birchbox July 2014

I’m not exactly qualified to say this (on account of this being only my second Birchbox) but this is the best box ever!
Sun, Sea & Sand
Remember when summer holidays used to stretch on for-ev-er?! We're bringing a bit of that sun and fun back with your July Birchbox, celebrating glistening sea views and those beautiful sandy beaches that evoke the warmest season of the year.


Benefit POREfessional 7.5ml sample | £24.50/22ml
The UK's no.1 bestselling primer needs no introduction! I was thrilled to see this in the box. A good travel size primer always comes in handy.
Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream 7 ml sample | £20/15ML
This three in one multi-tasking formula softens, smooths and brightens. I’m all about the eye cream these days. I lurve Liz Earle Daily Eye Repair and from my first little test this seems to work similarly.
Laqa & Co Sheer Lip Lube In Bees Knees | £14/3.7G
This is AM.A.ZING! I want the full size and I want it now! Coral is just my thing so I’m thrilled I received this colour and not the purple shade. It’s smooth and cream and oh so wonderful and the pale coral is a real skin brightener.

Weleda Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash | £7.95/200ml
I love Weleda. I discovered their body oils a few years ago and the I’m a big fan of the brand, I  haven’t tried this body wash yet, but something tells me I’ll like it.
Whish Three Whishes Lavender Body Butter £14.50
A decadent organic body butter with lavender, aloe, shea butter and raspberry butter to conquer dryness and generally smell lush!
Vita Coco Lemonade | £2.29
The taste of the summer! Coconut water is a natural, delicious and fat free way to stay refreshed. I’ve seen the instagram pics. I know they're the “in thing” but I’ve never tried one and now I’m super excited to. It’s in the fridge chillin' as I type.

For me, it’s the best beauty subscription box I’ve received. I subscribed to Glossybox for years and can’t recall receiving a box where I squeals with excitement. It’s not that it’s the box with the most monetary value, or the most full size products. It’s that I love EVERY single product in the box, I’ll use each product to the end and I already want to buy the full size Lip Lube. Find out how to subscribe or buy one off Birchboxes here.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Leaving on a Jet Plane? The in-flight beauty tips you need

Love holidays, hate flying. That’s me. And it’s not just the fear of flying, cramped spaces or sitting next to strangers with over familiar elbows. It also plays havoc with my skin. This time of year millions of us are preparing to embrace the long and short-haul but our bodies are yet to evolve to life at 35,000 feet. Even the short journey’s can leave us achy, bloated, parched and bloodshot! These tips will help you combat the side effects of flying and hopefully disembark at the other end looking refreshed.
Don’t wear make up!
You’re sitting in an aluminium tube, thousands of feet in the air with no oxygen, the last thing your face needs is to be masked in make up. I know it’s difficult... we have this romanticised image of jetting off on holiday looking like a celeb. Last year when I went to New York it was actually the first time I obeyed this rule and I really noticed the difference. If you like to wear make up to the airport (or paint your face in duty free like me) that’s fine, as long as you TAKE IT OFF as soon as you TAKE OFF. Try Bioderma Crealine H20 to gently remove make up or pack some wipes.

Stay Moisturised
This is a given! But moisturising before you fly isn’t enough, as your skin loses moisture you need to replenish it throughout the flight. Lisa Eldridge recommends applying layers of mosituriser and/or serums throughout the flight. Something rich like Liz Earle Superskin Moisturiser or Steamcream would be my weapon of choice.

Don’t forget your body
It’s not all about the face! Don’t forget about your body and hands. Especially on the way back! If you’ve been in a hot climate, you don’t want your tan to peel off before you get the chance to show it off. Take some handcream and body moisturiser... this is when the minis and sachets come in handy....

Water, Water and more Water!
Obviously! Drink as much as you can and stay off the booze and caffeine, they dry the skin and lead to bloating (killjoy I know).
Refresh yourself
It seems the World has gone face spritz mad, but this is when they really come in handy. Water spritzers packed with skin loving goodies help to replenish moisture, soothe the skin and generally make us feel refreshed. Caudalie Beauty Elixir is divine! It awakens the skin and gives a burst of radiance. For a purse friendly alternative try Anatomicals Spray Misty for Me with lavender, aloe and witch hazel. Spray the face and neck every hour or so to keep your moisture topped up. 
Look after your eyes
They call it the red eye for a reason. The nasty cabin air zaps the moisture from your eyes until they’re  bone-dry, red and itchy. Top up the moisture with eye drops and combat puffiness with an eye cream or roller ball like Garnier Caffine Eye Roll On
Apply your make up
I know, I said take it off, but there’s nothing wrong with putting it back on just before you land. Especially if you’re long haul t i– that’s still 7 hours breathing time. Cheat freshness with a dab of cream blush, a sweep of mascara and touch of highlighter. It gives you something to do as the flight descends and you’ll disembark looking fresher than you boarded.

Bon Voyage!


Monday, 7 July 2014

Skincare – The Evening Edit

Whenever I do a FOTD/WOMF post I get lots of complements about my skin (thank you kindly) and questions about my skincare. I've been promising an insight into my skincare regime and finally it's here... and guess what, it’s not ALL Liz Earle.
I love my make up (obvs) but I love my skin more and there's nothing I enjoy more than taking it all off. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I cake it on (anymore) but blocked pores is never a good look. My top tip is let your skin breathe as much as possible. Wash your face as soon as you get home from work/school/college - why wait until bedtime when you can wash away the grime off at 5. That's at least an extra 5 hours breathing time.

Step One: Make Up Removal
If I’m wearing a lot of make up – foundation, powder, bronzer etc I like to take off the excess before cleansing. I could go straight in with my Cleanse & Polish, but no one likes to see their full face in reverse on a muslin cloth! Cotton pads soaked with Bioderma H2O from £4.50 magically melt away makeup without stripping the face or I’ll reach for Vichy Normaderma Cleansing Gel £9.75. It’s a fantastic foamy face wash that removes all traces of makeup – even waterproof mascara and it’s great for spotty/oily skin, although it’s a bit drying on me if I don’t follow up with cleanser...
Step Two: Cleanse
Cue the World’s best cleanser – Liz Earle Cleans & Polish £14.75. You know the deal – over 100 awards, one sold every 23 seconds, a beauty icon of the highest order etc. It’s rich, yet gentle and delivers instantly visible results. Packed full of goodies including eucalyptus, rosemary, chamomile and cocoa butter, it has a heady aromatic scent and every time I use it I feel pampered. I apply one pump to dry skin, working it in with a little massage before taking the muslin cloth (dampened with hot water) and placing it over my face. The warmth and steam open the pores, whilst the cleanser and cloth remove grime, makeup and dead skin cells to reveal smooth, clean, radiant skin. Finish with a splash of cold water. My skin has never been better – clear, radiant and much more balanced.
Step Three: Tone
I used to hate toners but the Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic £13.25 is in a different class. A heavenly floral-scented, non-drying toner that refreshes, soothes, brightens and leaves a fine veil of moisture on the skin. I use this straight after Cleanse & Polish to freshen the skin and close the pores.
Step Four: Elixir
Superskin Concentrate from £20 – The ultimate evening elixir. This stuff is off the scale amazing! I’ve never smelt anything so divine. I place one pump onto my finger tips, massage it over face and neck and breathe in the aromatic fumes – it’s like a mini aromatherapy facial and deeply relaxing. It leaves my skin hydrated, soothed and plumped. I can just stop there, or give the concentrate time to soak in before applying a thin layer of moisturiser...

Step Five: Moisturise
STEAMCREAM £12.95, still my holy grail mosituriser. I’ve tried the Liz Earle ones, and I do like them, but this one just suits me better. It's light to touch. It sinks into the skin like a lotion but  behaves like an intensive moisturiser. It's not greasy, but it is rich and leaves my skin soft and hydrated. The next morning my skin always looks extra plumped and glowing. Full review here.

Watch out for the morning edit coming soon!


Friday, 4 July 2014


It’s perfectly acceptable to recycle old photos on instagram in the name of “Throwback Thursday” or "Flashback Friday". Well can the same apply to blog posts? You see I was looking back through the Beauty & le Chic archives, and guess what? There’s some good stuff back there. Back in the days of dodgy photos, DIY design and far fewer followers, there was some decent content (even if I do say so myself).
So this is a Flashback Friday/Blast from the Past (might become a series of) posts to share some of the products and features that have stood the test of time.
Back in 2011 I declared my love for MAC Margin Blush (see it here) and three years on it’s still a firm favourite.....
Blushers are pretty amazing, they have the ability to completely transform your look, and when you find a shade that’s just right for you skin tone – well, it’s pretty damn rewarding… cue MAC’s Margin. Don’t be fooled by Margin’s unassuming name and appearance. It may look dull and dreary in the pan but it transforms on the face. In the pan I’d describe it as a dirty peach – yes, hardly enticing. Yet on the face it transforms into a pretty bronzy peach with a hint of berriness and a touch of shimmer. It instantly brightens my face and seems to work in harmony with my skin tone (NC25-30 if that helps).

“Frost” is my absolute favourite MAC blush finish. Just in case you don’t know, MAC powder blushes come in 5 finishes – Matte, Sheertone , Satin , Sheertone Shimer, Frost...
Sheertone are quite sheer, great for a hint of colour as they apply lightly
Sheertone Shimer, like Sheertone, but with added shimmer/sparkle
Matte is flat and without any shine or sparkle.
Frost finishes are high shine and highly reflective because of the shimmer particles in them, but not glittery
Satin is somewhere in between matte frost but very creamy and applies like a dream.
Although a powder blush, it’s not at all POWDERY. The texture is creamy, almost butter like. It applies like a dream and imparts a fresh glow that lasts all day. I think I actually look like I’m wearing a creamy blusher, but unlike cream it’s simple to apply and lasts all day.
Margin has definitely stood the test of time. It may have been moved home (I decanted it to my MAC Pro Palette) but it’s still my go-to, day and night. In the winter it adds some much needed bronziness to my pale complexion and in the summer month’s it works perfectly with a tan. I really wish MAC would release some more Frost blushers!

MAC Blush £18 MAC and Debenhams Where's my Frost fans at? 

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