Thursday, 27 February 2014
Something different on Beauty and le Chic today. I do believe this is the first time I've blogged about "sportswear". Fear not I haven't turned into a fitness guru. I'm not about to bombard you with exercise tips and gym selfies... my new sneakers are just too cute not to share.
I've been waiting for, what feels like EVER, for Nike to re-release the limited edition Tiffany Blue Nike Frees, sadly it isn't happening. But they have released some gorgeous new shades in Nike Free 5.0 and this beautiful "glacier ice" blue is very similar to the iconic Tiffany hue. They weren't easy to get hold of, no sooner did they appear online, they sold out! So off I popped to Nike Town in London, where they had every colour except this one. FINALLY, they've been restocked and they're mine, just in time for my birthday yesterday.
I've got to say they're even better in the flesh. They're a beautiful blue - so striking and chic. They fit like a glove! My first pair of Nike Frees and I'm stunned by how comfortable they are. They hug the feet perfectly and cushion in all the right places - despite being as light as air. I like the occasional run but I'll be sporting mine mostly for Zumba. They give great support and put a real spring in your step. I never want to take them off!
Sunday, 23 February 2014
Limp Hair Ladies Rejoice, this is the product we’ve been waiting all our lives for! L’Oreal have taken our hair dreams and bottled it for a mere £2.99!
The hair god’s at L’Oreal have spent 17 years developing and 8 years testing Filloxane, a unique molecule that penetrates deep into the hair’s fibre, expanding and thickening every strand. Using it as the key ingredient in their new Elvive Fibrology Range, it's the first thickening product that isn’t a temporary fix. After you’ve used the Fibrology shampoo Eight times (to allow the Filloxane molecules to deposit throughout the hair shaft) they’ll stay put for up to ten washes – the more you wash, the thicker your hair gets. Even if you’re a product junkie and test out other shampoo, the Filloxane remains in the hair fibre for up to ten washes.
I’m now on wash 12 and I am astounded by the effect this product has had on my hair. Over the years I’ve tried it all – if it has volume, body, thickening or root lift on the bottle, chances are I’ve bought it. But this is the first one that’s delivered instant AND lasting results.
I’ve been using the shampoo for the last three weeks, usually washing my hair every other day. I am surprised by how rich and concentrated the shampoo is for the price – if I was blind testing I’d put it was in the Phillip Kingsley/Bumble&Bumble price bracket. It works up a creamy, rich lather and smells lovely. After the first use my hair had visible body and bounce. After 12 washes, my hair is noticeably thicker – root to tip! When I wash it, it feels thicker between my fingers and I kid you not, my ponytail is fatter! The only part of me I always wished to be FATTER! Overall my hair looks and feels thicker, with visible body, bounce and texture. And best still, no weight or heaviness and so far, no build up.
So impressed with the shampoo, I’ve now added the conditioner and mask to my arsenal.
L’Oreal Shampoo and Conditioners £2.99/250ml and £3.99/400ml... currently 3 for 2 Boots here.
Thursday, 20 February 2014
Gwen Stefani, ultimate rock starlet/girl crush/style crush and nail supremo OPI have joined forces to create 7 rocking limited edition polishes.... talk about match-made-in-nail-heaven. The launch somehow passed me by. I made the discovery last Thursday (thank you ASOS magazine) and on Friday was wearing 4 In The Morning. Ideally I’d love the whole collection, but exercising some restraint I picked just one.
4 In The Morning is an edgy black satin. It has a black/charcoal base with a soft and very subtle silver shimmer. It dries to a funky demi-matte satin finish. In lower lighting the shade looks quite flat, but when it catches the light, the shimmer shines through. The polish transforms if you apply a top coat – the matte finish becomes glossy and shiny. I love this shade both way, it’s cool and edgy - very Gwen. The formula is quite thin for OPI, I was worried at first it might be streaky, but the second coat sorted that out. Full opacity, nice consistency, easy to apply and pretty quick drying time. I used 2 coats for the photos below. The first one is the polish only, the second with Nails Inc Caviar Top Coat.
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
This month’s Glossybox is a corker! Brushing aside the fact that the Valentine’s edition arrived three days AFTER Valentine’s Day, it’s gorgeous inside and out! The new style box is covered in glossy kisses and filled with five fabulous products (three full sizers) and an extra sweet treat.
Nougat Sparkling Body Shimmer (100ml sample worth £5.60) £14/250ml
A perfumed body lotion with a subtle hint of shimmer. Containing mallow extract, Vitamin E and wheatgerm enriched oil; it leaves skin luxuriously soft and radiant. I tested this out this morning, it has a pretty cherry scent and the shimmer is very subtle.
Ciaté London Paint Pot Cocktail Dress Full Size £9/13.5ml here
Yesss! A full size nail polish – my favourite. It’s my third or fourth Ciaté pot courtesy of Glossybox, but I aint complaining. Great quality, great colour and full size! Cocktail Dress is a bright shocking pink.
Maybelline ColorSensational Nude Lipstick Sultry Sand Full size £6.99 here
I did a little air punch when I spotted this beaut. Just last week I was eyeing up these lipsticks in Boots, and then, as if by magic, here it is! Maybelline’s ColorSens Nudes is a new collection of creamy nude lipsticks to suit every complexion. I received Sultry Sand, a very “nudey” beige nude. For some people, this shade will look like concealer on the lips, but on me, it works. I’m a big fan of nude lipsticks so I’m thrilled with this.
Eldora Eyelashes Full size £3.90 here
I always like the look of falsies, but never use them. Maybe I need to give these “Professional” eyelashes a go, or maybe just re-gift them.
Giovanni Eco Chic Shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner samples
Giovanni Eco Chic Cosmetics is the No.1 selling natural hair care brand in the US. It contains natural ingredients including Moroccan argan oil, avocado and papaya. I’m currently loved up with Elvive’s Fibrology, but this stuff does sounds very hair friendly. Find out more about the range here.
And to round it all off, a Lindt Treat Bar, yum! Glossybox knows the way to a girls heart.
And to round it all off, a Lindt Treat Bar, yum! Glossybox knows the way to a girls heart.
After a shaky couple of months Glossy HQ have listened to feedback and pulled their socks up. This month's box is pretty, varied and great value for money.... let’s hope they sustain. Find out more about the Glossybox subscription service and buy one off boxes, including this one, here.
What do you think of this month’s box?
Saturday, 15 February 2014
Volumising/texturising sprays.. I had to get in on the action. There’s been so much buzz in the blogging world about the stupidly priced Oribe Dry Texturising Spray. Sure I’d love to try it but at £38 a go (or £18 for a travel size can) it won’t be happening. Fortunately good ol’ L’Oreal have come up with a purse friendly alternative.
#TXT Volume Supersizing Spray... “With texturising micro-powders the volume supersizing spray instantly creates bouffant back-combed volume from root to tip. Leaves hair sensationally texturised and volumised, with an irresistible matt finish”.
Basically it works like a dry shampoo with added benefits of texture and volume. Spray generously - roots to tips, scrunch hair and ooomp there is it! Texture and body in abundance. It’s not sticky or wet. It doesn’t weight the hair down or feel claggy but you know it’s there. It has a fantastic fresh scent too. It would earn more brownie points with me if it delivered a bit more at the roots. I have flat, oily roots, so what I’m looking for in a volumising spray is more root lift. Whilst it delivers some Ooomph, it’s mainly through the lengths than at the roots. It will be ideal for an up do, giving more “grit” to work with and perfect for a messy curls look.
All in all a really good offering from L’Oreal. Good body, smells great and excellent value for money. £3.79 Boots link currently 2 for £4.50 across the range.
Wednesday, 12 February 2014
I’m getting into the Valentine’s spirit this week ditching the bronzes and browns and channelling pretty pinks and purples. I’ve been trying out these gorgeous pieces from The Body Shop Colour Crush collection... and yes I’m crushin’. If you’re looking for gift inspiration or fancy trying something pretty and feminine, these picks could be your (love) tonic.
The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick* £10 here
I’m a sucker for a baby pink and this is up there with the best of them. I’d describe Innocent Pink as a baby pink with a subtle touch of coral that gives a face brightening pop of colour. The formula is luscious and rich, infused with a subtle rose scent. It has a nice slip that glides on smoothly straight from the bullet, think Revlon lip butters, but not quite as creamy. It’s well pigmented with a pretty creamy frost finish that lasts 2-3 hours. Colour Crush Lipsticks are available in 26 shades, I’ve a feeling this won’t be the only one in my collection for long.
Colour Crush Eyeshadows* £7 here
I’m bowled over by the quality of these shadows. Intensely pigmented with a silky-soft texture, the colour that you see in the pan is what you get. I don’t normally get on with pink eyeshadows but Berry Cute is quite an eye brightener and Grape Expectation is a pretty plumy purple that brings out the green in my eyes. Both blend easily and last all day. In the picture below I’m wearing Berry Cute all over the lid and Grape Expectations towards the outer lid.
Monday, 10 February 2014
Brushing over the fact that I haven't produced a "favourites" post since last August (bad blogger) I couldn't let February slide without a favourites feature - Feb faves, sounds good doesn't it? Rambling aside, here's what I've been loving, lately...
Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Milk £10/500ml here
Almonds, Cocoa, Yogurt, Oat and Honey – I don’t know whether to eat it or slap it on. This stuff smells dreamy. It’s super thick and rich and thanks to Soap & Glory's WATERLOCK™ moisture-trapping matrix, it keeps my skin soft and mositurised all day.
Optrex Brightening Eye Drops £3.29/10ml here
This is my secret weapon. When I’m tired and it shows – this is where I go. With a specially designed formula enriched with natural plant extracts and a special whitening agent, Optrex Eye Brightening Drops gently restore the natural brightness of your eyes so they can look and feel their best.
L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology Thickening Shampoo from £2.99 here
The hair god’s at L’Oreal have spent the last 17 years developing Filoxane, a unique molecule that penetrates individual hair strands, expanding the diameter of each strand from within. And unlike most thickening products, it isn’t a temporary fix. After you’ve used Fibrology Thickening Shampoo eight times, the Filoxane molecules will stay put for up to ten washes, so the more you use the range, the thicker your hair gets! It’s early days for me (currently on wash six) but early indications are VERY good! The shampoo is thick, rich and creamy and after just a week my hair is already feeling thicker, stronger and more dense. Expect more reports to follow.
Daniel Sandler Baby Jet £12.75 Lookfantasic here
I received this in a Glossybox AGES ago but wrote it off as a gimmicky lower lash style mascara, which frankly I can live without. But that’s only one of its uses! The micro-fine brush is fantastic at handling those hard to reach inner and outer lashes. It separates those that normally get clumped together and because it’s so skinny, gets right to the root of the lash and wiggles them to new heights.
L’Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation £10.99 Boots here
L’Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation £10.99 Boots here
Not a new discovery, more of a lost love. For some reason this slipped right off my radar over the last few months. But then I picked it up again last week and marvelled at the pretty, dewy glow all over again. It has decent coverage, yet feels and looks fairly sheer. It gives a dewy, luminous glow without being shiny. It applies effortlessly and lasts all day. I feel good when I wear this foundation – enough said! I’m currently wearing shade W3 Gold Linen. I also have W5 Gold Sand but that’s too dark for my current complexion.Cuticura Sugar Candy and Lemon Sherbert Hand Gels* £1 Primark
Finally hand sanitisers that don’t smell like bleach. These limited edition candy inspired hand gels (available exclusively at Primark) are ideal for germ-a-phobes like me. Protecting hard working by protecting against 99.99% of bacteria, they’re a welcomes hand bag essential.
What products are you loving right now?
Friday, 7 February 2014
Primer – It’s not an essential and if I’m in a rush I can skip it, but when I do use it, my face definitely lasts longer. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm is one of my all time tried and trusteds. It gives me a dewy freshness and provides a lovely base.
Next it’s foundation. If you’re a regular beauty and le chic reader you’ll know I have lots of favourites, but my current go-tos are Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser (full review here) and L'Oreal Lumi Magique. Day in, day out I do like a light base. I'll dab a little on the T zone before buffing around the face with the MAC 107 duo fibre brush. Then it’s MAC Prep & Prime Highlighter in Light Boost to conceal the under eye bags – this stuff is the bomb! If I’ve got any spots I’ll reach for my trusted Collection Concealer, in my opinion every girl should have one of these, full review here. I finish my base with a light dusting of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Powder in Medium Plus.
I don’t do all of this, all the time. Most days it’s a dusting of bronzer, Guerlain Four Seasons Brunette is my weapon of choice, and a sweeping of blush – Benefit Bella Bamba or Nars Deep Throat are my go-tos. If I have the time, or think I need the extra effort, I’ll add a little contour with Sleek’s Countour Kit (find out how here) and a dusting of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter in Soft and Gentle.
Eyes and Brows
Everyday eyes for me usually means a simple brown eye. I normally start with a primer – Urban Decay’s Primer Potion, followed by a light/medium brown eye shadow, usually “naked” from the Naked palette and a dusting of “sin" to give the eyes a little sparkle. For liner I adore Bourjois Khol and Contour in Brun. Brown liner is much less severe. It gives great definition, but looks more natural for daytime use. All finished off with a quick coat of Mascara – usually the first one I come to. You know my brow routine by now – HD Brow Palette and a slick of Maybelline Brow Drama to keep them in place.
Everyday lips for me are very quick and simple. Usually a quick slip of a nude lippy, something like MAC freckletone or Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Nottinghill Nude and copious amounts of eos throughout the day.
That sounds like a lot of effort, and product, but I promise it’s pretty quick and easy. I rarely spend more than 10 minutes on my everyday face. How about you, what are your daily essentials?
Tuesday, 4 February 2014
Every girl has her bedside beauty stash, the products we “need” pre or post bedtime. I love a little duvet pamper time – hands, feet, lips, you know the drill. Some come, some go, but these are the members I need in my “bedside brigade”.
Elizabeth Eight Hour Cream £11.75/50ml here
First up, the longest serving member of the “bedside brigade”. My wonder product. I have one in my handbag, one on my desk and this one at my beside. I slap it on my lips, eyebrows and any dry/sore patches... plus this cute limited edition tin is very bedside-table-worthy.
Soap and Glory Heel Genius £5.50/125ml here
When you think about it, our poor feet probably work harder than any other body part, but do they get much TLC? Nope! I’m making a concerted effort this year to look after mine and who knows, by summer, they may be sandal ready. Most nights I massage in a generous layer of Heel Genius, slip on my Liz Earle cotton socks and let it do its magic whilst I sleep.
Liz Earle Hand Repair £9.50/50ml here
This is my current favourite hand cream and it’s gonna take some beating. It’s rich and silky and glides on smoothly, plus it has the most amazing aromatic scent. I slap it on my hands, cup my nose and breathe in the fumes. If my hands are extra dry I’ll pop on some cotton gloves over the top. I picked up a pair in the Body Shop sale for £2.
Badger Sleep Balm from £3.99 here
Hands and Feet taken care of, it’s time for relaxation. Sadly you can’t buy sleep in a tin, but this dreamy night balm is rich with precious oils to calm, encourage, cheer and relax restless wanderers. Rosemary is the traditional herb for clear thinking, confidence, and memory. Bergamot is mentally uplifting, and Ginger is strengthening and confidence-inducing. Balsam Fir is refreshing, like a walk in the woods, while Lavender is the traditional sleep herb: fresh and relaxing. This balm is perfect for those nights when you can't seem to stop the mind chatter! I massage it into pressure points – wrists, temples, neck, chest – breathe in. Relax.
To help keep the clutter down I keep it organised on this pretty glass tray, which was a charity shop find (thanks Mum) and also stores my cute everyday jewellery storage, aka a vintage tea cup and saucer (thanks Mum-in-law).
What do you have on your bedside table?