Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Two Shadow Smokey Eye

You know the deal by now, I’m all about the smokey eye thang. This is a super easy TWO shadow smokey eye using the Urban Decay Naked Palette. For a heavy eye look, I always do the eye first. That way I can be as messy as I like and wipe the fall out away.

Step 1 Prime: Not to prime is a crime! I swear by Urban DecayPrimer Potion. Using fingers, dab on to the whole lid area and give a few moments to soak in.

Step 2 Shadow: Still using fingers I patted Hustle all over the eyelid - up to, and a little past the crease. Using fingers helps to get right into the corners of the eyes and pat the colour in for extra intensity. Using a smudger (from the other end of an eye pencil) I traced the colour along my lower lash line and smudged it out for a smokey effect. Then taking the does-it-all-eyeshadow-brush, MAC 217, I applied Darkhorse to the outer crease in an inverted “C” shape, really building up the intensity.

Step 3 Blend: Now use a fluffy eye brush (217 works brilliantly for this) to blend, blend, blend. That’s what gives the graduated effect.

Step 4 Line: A nice neat top line with a slight wing using Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Black and MAC266 Small Angle Brush. Keep the brush as close to the lash line as possible, then thicken up as much as you like. Smudge what’s left on the brush along the bottom line.

Step 5 Mascara: For this look I used the wonderful Bourjois One Seconde Volume Mascara for full lashes.

The rest of the make up went like this....

Guerlain Four Seasons Bronzer – worked into the contours using Real Techniques Contour Brush


Monday, 27 October 2014

Roger & Gallet Silky Soft Body Sorbets

You had me at “sorbet”! Roger & Gallet is one of France's oldest perfume houses, so I expected their body lotions to smell good. I didn’t expect them to be one of the most divinely indulgent and richly nourishing body creams I’ve EVER tried.  

Just listen to these descriptions...

Gingembre Sorbet Body Lotion* (the pink one) “It all starts with the zing of Japanese ginger; essence of neroli adds its fruity vigour, while Bergamot, soft and delicate, swathes them with its roundness. After this prelude comes the utter sensuality of Jamaican ginger and the oriental sweetness of ambrette. Finally, the round, hot notes of benzoin balm appear with a magnificent blend of musk”

Citron Sorbet Body Lotion* (the yellow one) “In the sunlight, a nectar of citrus fruit essence and fresh waters (cedrat, grapefruit, mint and water fruit), then at the heart of this garden come the refined notes of lovely aromatic plants (cardamon and basil, spiced with an ozone blend) and finally at the earth's crust a delicate alchemy of woody blends (cedar, vetiver, musk and white amber)”.

It’s not just the amazing fragrances that set these lotions apart. They glide on like a dream with no dragging or rubbing required (like body butters). The light weight formula literally melts into the skin leaving limbs silky soft and intensely hydrated.... and it’s a hydration that lasts. My skin's still soft to touch the next day! They’re not greasy and they don’t clog pores - I can work out and my skin still breathes. Plus, the ingredients are 96% naturally derived ingredients so you’re not stuffing your skin with rubbish. 

Roger & Gallet Body Lotions £14 Marks & Spencer | Feel Unique | John Lewis


Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Natural Face Tan than WON'T Stain your Pillow

JAMES READ is the International tanning guru that’s worked everyone from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to Lady Gaga. He even has tanning studios in Harvey Nic’s... Nuff said!? I've been using his widely coveted Sleep Mask Tan for the past few weeks and I'm a little bit hooked!

We all know how bad the sun’s rays are to our delicate little faces and for the past few years I’ve made an effort to keep mine out of the sun... it’s the old wrinkles versus tan battle. Well wrinkles won and now I need to fake-it-to-make-it with a little tan-in-a-tub. James Read Sleep Mask Tan is basically the perfect antidote to my fake tan woes. It combines skin beautifying ingredients with a touch of self-tan. Packed with skincare essentials including Aloe Vera, Cucumber, Hyaluronic Acid and Red Algae it moisturises and soothe the skin overnight whilst guaranteeing a subtle, yet golden glow by morning. The luxurious formula is rich, yet lightweight and sinks in immediately. It doesn’t clogg pores, it’s completely clear so you won’t look like an oompa lumpa or end up with a tea stained pillow and it has absolutely NO fake tan odour... Seriously - what's not to love?

I’ve been using it one night a week alongside my usual skincare - still cleanse and moisturise if needed, just steer clear of oils. Go all the way down to the décolletage for a natural, all over finish. It's helping me to maintain that post holiday glow and not a tide mark in sight.

James Read Sleep Mask £20 Marks & Spencer and QVC


Monday, 20 October 2014

I'm All About THAT Base...

Bout that base! Meghan Trainor, I couldn't agree more.... IT IS ALL ABOUT THE BASE - nail that and nothing else matters.... except the brows of course. This is my natural, flawless, healthy, slightly dewy but in no way cakey, everyday base. 

Whether or not you moisturise first usually depends on your skin type. I think mine’s in some sort of transition period. It used to be dry. Dry. DRY! but thanks to Liz Earle, well not here physically, but her AMAZING products, it's much more hydrated. I wouldn’t call it oily but there’s no need to O.D on moisturiser anymore. I dab a little AveneHydrance Light Moisturiser £14 just where I need it – nose, sides of the mouth, hairline and give it a few minutes to soak in so the foundation doesn’t slide. Some people can skip the moisturiser all together and go straight to the primer.

If you really want THAT BASE to last you gotta get on board with a primer. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one, Seventeen for example do some good ones, but I’m hooked on the queen of primers Laura Mercier. I use the original Foundation Primer £19. The creamy texture plumps skin and erases pores. It sinks in instantly, creating a smooth, even canvas for make-up. If I want an extra dewy look I’ll mix in a little Primer Radiance £19 or dab directly on the area I want to glow. In these pictures I dabbed a little on my cheeks only.

Current foundation love and the one that ticks-every-box.... Chanel Vitalumiere £36. Light-weight texture, perfect coverage, flawless and hydrating with a post-facial glow kinda finish. Basically he Rolls Royce of foundation! I apply with a standard No7 foundation brush and set with just a little MAC Skinfinish. A little MAC Prep & Prime highlighter under the eyes to disguise that nasty blueness and voile.... every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top!


Friday, 17 October 2014

The Perfect Autumnal Nails for £2.49

Essie you’ve done it again! The creator of nearly all of my favourite nail polishs – Mint Candy Apple, Bikini So Teeny, Chinchilly and now Sable Collar.

Sable Collar, whilst I don’t get the name, it’s one of the most stunning shades I’ve ever laid my eyes on! A luxurious multi-dimensional pearlescent cocoa plum! It's the kind of shade you can't take your eyes off and find yourself staring at your own nails. It’s uber rich with a stunning shimmer that shows up under bright light. The formula is, as close to perfect as it gets. It’s very opaque and gives full coverage from two coats. It applies like a dream, no streaking or bubbling and thanks to Essie’s trademark curved brush it’s a fool proof application. I set with the unrivalled Seche Vite Top Coat for a glossy, long lasting finish – I’m talking a solid six days of wear and it could have gone longer but I chipped a nail.  

It’s the perfect autumnal shade and I’ve a feeling it will be seeing a LOT of action over the next few months.

Essie Nail Polish £2.49 at Fragrance Direct


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

NEW Topshop Baxter Jeans – The Perfect Comfy Skinny

All those that hate jeans shopping say “I”... IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII! So when you find that perfect fit it’s something to shout about!

I’ve always struggled with high street jeans - One size does not fit all! When Topshop launched Baxter jeans (can you believe it was over 9 years ago!!!) they rocked my world! But skinny jeans got skinnier and Baxter became passé. The newer, cooler, hipper Leigh jeans were too narrow for me – they assume if you have a small waist you’ll have small legs – WRONG! And so, Topshop’s denim and I parted ways. Until I noticed a sign for the “New Baxter”.

NEWBaxter from £40 are the perfect comfy skinny. If your legs are a little wider than pipe cleaners or you like a more generous fit, BAXTER could be your saviour. Somewhere between a skinny and slim leg, they’re skinny but not skin tight! i.e you can breate, eat, walk, even bend! They have a super flattering tapered leg that ends at a perfect ankle graze, a medium rise and just the right amount of stretch. I picked up denim of the season “ripped”, also available in black, bleached, vintage blue etc.

Baxter, it’s nice to have you back!


Saturday, 11 October 2014

What's in the Box? Birchbox October 2014


October is also breast cancer awareness month, so Birchbox has had a little “pink-over” to support CoppaFeel to raise awareness of the early signs and symptoms – bravo Birchbox! Inside the box this month are products you need to help you “work it” and get motivated as the weather turns autumnal and we begin gearing up for the festive season.

Cattier Pink Clay Face Mask sample | £4.25
A face mask packed with aloe vera to illuminate your complexion and soften the skin. Great timing on this one, I can feel a pamper evening coming on!

KMS Free Shape Quick Blow Dry Full Size | £14
A light conditioning spray that will seriously speed up blow drying time. I wasn’t overly thrilled to see another blow dry spray/leave in conditioner (I did just receive one LAST month) BUT reviews for this stuff are really good so I whipped it straight out of the box and gave it a go. YES! It seriously reduces drying time and provides some heat protection without weighing the hair down.

Shaveworks The Cool Fix | £11
A genius cooling gel lotion that treats ingrown hairs, razor bumps and redness after hair removal. Not a brand or a product I’m familiar with, but I’ll keep this handy for any future hair removal disasters.

Pixi by Petra Shea Butter Lip Balm Full Size | £8
A full size nourishing lip balm packed with shea butter – plus a hint of colour. I’m pretty fulfilled in the lipbalm department (eos and nuxe) but I was definitely excited to see this in here. It’s a great every day, my-lips-but-better shade.  

Premae Mild Dermabraision Face & Body Scrub sample | £25
A skin-loving body scrub containing olive granules to smooth skin, gentle enough for the face too. I’m a little dubious about the latter but this will fit nicely into my post holiday body regime.

The Lifestyle Extra
At first I thought Birchbox had done the unthinkable and branded some cheap, generic lipsticks but no, it’s a cute and limited-edition Lipstick Pen. Okay this will look the part in my hand bag!

My early thoughts are... pretty good box. Two full size products I look forward to using and samples I have space for! I’m also loving the cute pink zippy pouch.

If you fancy trying Birchbox, use my friends referral LINK and we’ll both get £5 worth of points to spend in the Birchbox e-shop!


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Make that Tan LAST!

So I’m guessing I’m a little bit out of sync with this one since most of you have already been on your summer hols, but since I’ve recently returned from Greece, keeping my tan is top of the agenda. If you’re planning a bit of winter sun, brilliant! If not, BOOKMARK this page for when to do. Here are my tried-and-tested top- tips for getting and KEEPING a good tan.

Before you fly...

Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! Preparing your skin before you go is THE most important step. I used to scrub a couple of times before I went away but that’s not enough. I saw beauty know-it-all and gal-crush Alessandra Steiner on QVC saying she scrubs every day for at least a week leading up to a holiday. Completely ridding your body of dead skin cells means you’ll tan on fresh skin, which will lasts a hella lot longer. It also reduces your chance of peeling and helps achieve an even, all over tan. I did that this year and it’s made a huge difference. I scrubbed every day with delightful Garnier Ultimate Beauty Oil Scrub (full review here) and for an intensive treatment I had a major vigorous scrub with Dead Sea Magik SaltBrushing two days before I hit the sun. This stuff leaves your skin super soft, supple and improves circulation - ideal for getting those pins bikini ready.

During your holiday...

Take it easy – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. My friends and I used to have tanning competitions when we were young (and dumb). Invariably this meant achieving the lobster look on day one, being too sore to tan on day two, and peeling on day three. By tanning gradually you lay down good foundations on the first few days. Start on a higher factor and drop down for the last couple of days to intensify your colour.

Do use an after sun but don’t use one that contains a tanning agent. If you’re tempted by a tan-prolonging aftersun, check that it doesn’t contain a tanning agent. They interfere with the natural tan and can give a fake orangey tint. This year I used Nivea Mositurising After Sun with Aloe Vera.

Stay hydrated.  Scientists believe that water helps extend the life of your skin cells, so drink as much as possible. De-hydrated skin will flake and go patchy!

When you return...

A daily dose of moisturiser is the key to a healthy, long lasting tan. When I return home I like to moisturise morning and night to keep my skin nourished around the clock. Moisturiser (or after sun if there’s any left) on a morning, followed by an oil at night. My weapons of choice are Coconut Oil and Elemis Exotic Frangipani Oil. Both are deeply nourishing and provide long lasting hydration.

Keep hydrated. Just because you’re back in blighty doesn’t mean you can slack off drinking water. Hydrated skin keeps dry, patchy, peeling skin at bay. 

Roll on next summer!


Monday, 6 October 2014

Lust-Have: NARS Holiday Collection

It’s a grim Monday morning, so let’s enjoy this glorious distraction together... NARS have launched the details of the insanely epic, drool-tastic, beautyliscios, limited edition 2014 holiday collection.

Enter Cutting Edge Color – it’s anything but straight-laced! For Holiday 2014, François Nars projects a bold new design for the future femme. Decoding the thrill of seduction, this captivating collection exposes a full range of colors and textures with dramatic dimension. The custom packaging adapts architectural designer Chris Kabatsi’s digitally-rendered Nebula print into a dynamic yet delicate depiction. The intricate web of black gloss grips the signature soft-touch packaging in a modern take on lace.

With Limited edition lipsticks, eyeshadow, blushes, brushes and seriously lust-have palettes... My Christmas list is filling up fast! Here’s a little taster to wet your appetite...

Photos courtesy of Nars

Available Mid October here. Pre-order at SPACE.NK here 


Friday, 3 October 2014

A Body Beauty for Under a Fiver

I’m a very measured purchaser. I do my research, check the reviews, and see what my fellow bloggers have to say before I part with my cash. I rarely buy anything on a whim. But for some reason Garnier Ultimate Beauty Oil Scrub jumped out at me during a bit of pre-holiday shopping. I had no idea if it was any good...

Good? It’s bloody divine! A unique scrub unlike any I’ve tried before. It has a liquid gel-like texture with large scrubby particles. Packed with 4 beautifying oils - Argan, Macademia, Almond & Rose – it smells divine and feels wonderful on the skin. Like a shower oil (I’m thinking about L’Occitane Almond Oil) it works up a gentle, but luxurious lather. Enriched with extracts of cupuacu seeds, the nourishing scrub gently, but effectively, exfoliates and removes dead skin cells. It’s not a massively evasive scrub – like the soap and glory ones for example, yet it’s much more powerful that a body polish. It leaves my skin super soft, nourished and more radiant. I’ve been using it post holiday to keep the dreaded peel at bay and maintain my tan.... and it’s working!

Garnier Ultimate Beauty Oil Scrub RRP £7.15, currently £4.76 Superdrug

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