Saturday, 30 August 2014

Lust Have... OPI Nordic Collection



It's time to fess-up... I am addicted to watching QVC Beauty. After work, in bed, I even record it and fill my planner with Liz Earle, Leighton Denny, Bobbi Brown, OPI. Whilst feeding my addiction last week I caught OPI's latest launch... The Nordic Collection. And boy was I was putty in their hands! Inspired by the great Northern Lights in Finland, deep blue fjord in Norway and colourful houses in Copenhagen, Nordic brings the diverse colours of its namesake region to this season's nails. Impressed by every shade, I couldn't pic one, even two favourites so I went for the minnies or the Little Northies as they're know.

My Dogsled is a Hybrid - a creamy sea-green creme. Somewhere between a minty green and jade. It's a lovely pop of colour, yet a little more subdued than a summer pastel. It was the shade the really caught my eye on QVC and in the flash it's just as striking.




Do you Have this Colour in Stock-holm? - this icey blue violet is hot stuff. As gorgous as it looked on screen, it's even better in the flesh. A real eye catcher... it might just be my favourite.



My Voice is a Little Norse - a hollographic glitter with a sheer base and smoky, silver flecks. It has pretty decent coverage - I applied two coats in the picture, three would have it wrapped up and it shimmers from every angle. I reckon it will look great layered over the brown/taupe shade and very cute on the toes.



How great is Your Dane? A deep taupe/brown. I probably wouldn't have picked this shade but it's really surprised me. A classy shade perfect for autumn. Jazz it up with the glitter or rock alone for a sophisticated look.



Little Northies Available for £10.95 here


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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Skincare – The Morning Edit




Skincare is a big deal for me. You can spend fortunes on expensive foundations and fancy powders but if you don’t take care of what’s under it, it won’t make a jot of difference! The evening edit’s been covered (here if you missed it). Invariably mornings can be more of a rushed affair, but if I’m honest, I’d rather skip the makeup than the skincare. It’s very Liz Earle heavy – sorry, not sorry.

Most morning’s start with Cleanse & Polish £14.75. I’m currently enjoying the limited edition orange blossom and chamomile flavour – it has a lovely refreshing scent... very summery.  Nothing wakes my face like the iconic hot cloth cleanser. A gentle massage to get the blood pumping, a buff with the pure muslin cloth and a splash of water... does wonders! Read my full review here Sometimes I follow with Liz Earle Skin Tonic, but if I’m in a rush, the splash of cold water will do.

If the eyes are the windows to the soul then mine’s knackered! I always wake up with tired puffy eyes and obvious blue-toned eye bags. I don’t know what I’d do without this duo. Liz Earle Eyebright £10.75 is a cooling, refreshing tonic for tired eyes. Gentle dab cotton pads soaked with Eyebright all over the eye area to wake and revitalise tired peepers. I keep mine in the fridge for added Ooomph! After a couple of minutes I dab on the saviour that is Eye Repair £14.75. The triple action cream reduces the appearance of fine lines but it also has amazing light-reflective particles that magically conceal dark bags and brightens the eye area. Dab it on and watch the wonder occur.



In the evenings I like a rich, deeply nourishing moisturiser like Sreamcream or Liz Earle Superskin Moisturiser. During the day I need something lighter that doesn’t make me shiny. I’m currently using Avène Hydrance Optimale Light £14. It has a soft, comforting texture that soaks in quickly keeping my face moisturised but shine-free plus it’s enriched with cult fave Avène Thermal Spring Water... double win!

What are your skincare heroes?


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Monday, 25 August 2014

The Perfect Camel Coat



Jacket Topshop, Tshirt Monki, Jeans All Saints, Boots ASOS


If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about fashion – when it comes to coats and boots, GET IN THERE EARLY! Sure it feels unnatural trying coats on in August, but I’ve spent too many winters pounding the wet pavements searching for the right coat n boots. Either the good ones sell out by September and I end up settling on something substandard or it’s January by the time I find the “one” and too late to bother. Last winter I really wanted a camel coat. I surfed Pinterest with camel coat envy but couldn't find a good one on the highstreet. A few weeks ago I was in Topshop London, saw this one and POUNCED!

The Slim Pocket Coat has a slight boyfriend style to it without being too oversized. It's a thick, warm, comfy coat without being too chunky. It has cute contrasting grey detail under the collar and the pockets, which gives it a little edge, popper buttons and two large front pockets. A key piece for autumn/winter 14 and an instant wardrobe update. At £58... It's a bit of a steal.






I've just checked online and it's sold out already... proves the point huh?  Good news, it's back in stock and available in black and grey here
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Friday, 22 August 2014

The "Dewy Glow" Look



Natural, dewy, no-makeup makeup. Seen all over the Autumn/Winter 14 catwalks, it's the beauty trend that keeps on trending, which is great for me because it happens to be my favourite look. It's about creating a healthy dewy glow and keeping everything else paired back but polished.... Let the skin do the talking. Here's how I created this look...


It's all about the base. As well as following a good skincare regime (a little exfoliating/buffing to rid dullness) it's important to prep with a radiance enhancing Primer. There's nothing better for this than Laura Mercier PrimerRadiance* £29 Urban Retreat Beautique. It has the most exquisite pearl tint that creates a soft focus effect and an all over dewy glow. Skip the foundation if you want your skin's natural radiance to shine through. I used a little OlayRegnerist CC Cream where I needed coverage/correction - mainly the nose/chin areas. Apply with fingers for a more natural finish. A little under eye concealer in the form of MAC Prep & Prime Highlighter Light Boost - the yellow toned highlighter combats blue bags. Then for the star of the show- the ultimate skin highlighter Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder Highlight* £24 Urban Retreat Beautique . It adds the most natural radiance I've ever seen. For this look you don't want heavy, shimmery or even frosty. The baked powder imparts a beautiful hint of luminosity all over the face and can be built up to create a customisable glow - I'm wearing it on my cheek bones, brow bones, forehead and bridge of the nose....






The rest of the make up needs to be polished, but natural. Neat brows - because we NEVER NEGLECT THE BROWS, styled with Anastasia DipBrow Pomade in Medium Brow £15 Cult Beauty A quick sweep of Mascara, I used Bourjois 1 Seconde Volume Mascara and a slick of Revlon Colourburst Lipgloss Bellini to finish the look.


And there we have it - Dewy, natural, radiant and on-trend!



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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

New Favourite Nude Alert - MAC Pure Zen




Last week marked National Lipstick Day! I didn’t even know this existed until the day itself and only then because Debenhams emailed me with their £5 off any lipstick offer – Go Debenhams! Needing another lipstick like a whole in the head -  I ordered ANOTHER MAC Lipstick. Sorry – could.not.resits.five.pounds.off!


I went for Pure Zen. Bit of a shot in the dark since I've never actually tried it, but me and nudes, we’re like mince and dumplings, we just go! Pure Zen is a beautiful warm beige nude with a hint of peachy pink. Less beige than crème d’nude, less pink than Angel – think Hue, but creamier. It has a subtle warmth to it that brightens the complexion (it’s unlikely to wash you out unless you’re very pale) and won’t look like “concealer lips”. It’s a semi sheer shade so it will look different depending on your own lip colour and lasts around three hours. It’s comfortable to wear, keeping lips feeling soft and moisturised and has a cremesheen finish – I ramble about these all the time, you just can’t beat that creamy shine plus this one has a subtle frostiness.





I think the gamble paid off! There's something special about this nude - it has a lovely warmth and a sultry frostiness that's got me hooked. MAC Lipsticks £15 here


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Saturday, 16 August 2014

What’s in the Box? Birchbox August 2014



It’s Birchbox time! This one’s been holed up with Yodel for four days – the anticipation was killing me and it hasn’t been easy trying to avoid all the spoilers on instagram/bloglovin! Finally this morning I got my mitts on the goods. It is of course August and this month’s Birchbox is celebrating summer getaways. “Pack up that carry-on bag – it’s time for an adventure!” whether you’re counting down to a fun-packed fortnight in the sun or day-tripping your weekends away, these products should help you on your way....


Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect 30 ml | £20/200ml


A leave in-conditioning spray to detangle and protect against heat and sun damage... ideal if you're jetting off to sunnier climes.



 

Chella Highligter Pencil Full Size £15.95

I spot a star! This is absolutely perfect for the brow bone highlight - or cheek bones, eyes, cupids bow... whatever you want to highlight.





Nude ProGenius Omega Treatment Oil 5ml | £58/30ml


A nourishing oil rich is rich in omega 3, 6, 7 and 9 for hydrated smooth skin. There's always room for another facial oil in my life. We'll see how this one compares to Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate.





Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator 20g | £26/120ml


I like the sound of this exfoliating cleanser - softer, brighter, younger skin here we come?



Supergoop! Daily Correct SPF35 CC Cream 6 ml | £32/14ml


I do like the sounds of supergoop! A natural shade-adjusting CC cream with SPF to smooth fine lines and even out skin tone. I'm off glamping for a few days... this might come in handy!


Lifestyle Extra... The Proposal by Tasmina Perry Book Sample - Chapter 1



Initial thoughts - My third Birchbox hasn't WOWED me as much as the first two, especially July's but since all five products are new to me, I may just discover some gems! Find out how to subscribe or buy products from the box here.

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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder – Simply the Best Product I’ve Tried




I’ve procrastinated over this post for ages! The much hyped about Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder has proved to be so good, I just can’t put it into words... or pictures.
So what is it?
Best described as a finishing powder. It captures, diffuses and softens surrounding light with groundbreaking photoluminescent technology. It’s able to manipulate how your skin looks under different lighting – highlighting and blurring at the same time. In short, it’s like being in soft focus!!!
There’s been a lot of “blogger hype” surrounding these powders and I really didn’t want to cave but review after review this stuff came up trumps. So when my boyfriend went to San Fran in April I decided to take advantage of the favourable exchange rate. UK price £38, US price $45... equivalent to £26 at the time!!!
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder’s are available in six shades. I went for Luminous Light, which after hours of Googling, appears to be the most universal and popular shade. It’s described as a “champagne pearl”. It’s a light peach with subtle white shimmer but it applies mostly colourless. This shade is designed to “create a soft, incandescent candlelight glow.” Applied as the last step in make up application with a fluffy brush it brightens the complexion, blurring pores and imperfections and adding a tiny bit of warmth. A lit from within, post exercise kinda glow with an all over sheen. There’s nothing obvious about this powder, even a swatch was difficult to capture – see how the picture looks blurry? The texture is incredibly finely-milled. It’s more or less sheer on the face. It’s magically subtle yet amazing powerful at this same time. The effect is, indeed, luminous.


Wearing Luinous Light

Worth the price tag?

I’m never gonna feel good about spending £38 on a powder, but it’s definitely one of the best products I have EVER tried. The acid test is, would I repurchase? The answer is a resounding YES.

Available from John Lewis | Space NK | Sephora
Have you caved? Do you think it’s worth the HYPE?

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Time to BIG UP North East Bloggers



Are you a North East Blogger? Or do you know one?
In the Blogging World, if you’re not London based it’s easy to feel left out/overlooked/up-against it. Brands, events, awards – they nearly always in the capital so it’s nice that someone’s finally recognising the North East!
Newcastle communications agency O have launched the region’s first blogger awards.  The bloggersphere is getting bigger and better in the North East – and it’s time to celebrate it! It’s super-easy for you to nominate a blogger or to nominate yourself. Entries close on Friday 19 September 2014.
There’s categories for Food, Beauty, Style, Travel, Parenting etc so what you waiting for? Nominate your North East Blogger here Hint, nudge, wink ;-)
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Friday, 8 August 2014

The £2.99 Gimme Brow Dupe?



Benefit’s Gimme Brow took “brow mascaras” by the short n curlies! The first one that actually fills and sculpts brows, as well as holding them in place, and those brush on fibres – AH-MA-ZING! BUT £17.50 for a teeny tiny amount of product, it’s way too steep. Is it time to Brow This Way instead?
Rimmel have launched Brow This Way – a brow styling gel available in four shades Blonde, Medium Blonde, Dark Brown and Clear. Currently £2.99 at Boots and Superdrug, usual price £3.99. I find the shade palette a little off. It’s a big jump from Medium Blonde to Dark Brown. I had a good swatch in store and decided dark brown was too dark, and although medium blonde is quite warm, it’s probably more of a light BROWN than blonde.


It has a very similar texture and colour payoff to Benefit Gimme Brow – definitely not just another slightly tinted gel. Now I’m not comparing like for like in terms of shades. I’ve got Medium Blonde in Brow this Way and Medium/Dark in Gimme Brow, the Dark Brown Brow this Way  would have been a much closer match to this Benefit one, but I fancied something lighter this time. It sweeps on easily, depositing product evenly throughout the brow. Although I wouldn’t say it has the same AH-MA-ZING brush-on fibres as its expensive rival, it does add texture and colour and dries to a natural, matte finish that lasts all day. Sadly there’s one major downside... the brush is a disaster! It’s far too big and clumpy. It doesn’t allow for the same gap-filling precision and styling as Gimme Brow. If you have a full brow to begin with, this probably won’t matter, if however you have patchy brows like me, the clumpy brush head won’t help your plight.



 
Clumpy brush aside this is a very good product, especially considering you could buy FIVE Rimmel Brow This Ways, for one Benefit Gimme Brow.  It’s quick and easy to use, has a fantastic colour payoff and lasts all day.

Available now at Boots and Superdrug

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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Battle of the Eyeshadow Primers - Benefit V Urban Decay




 
This is the battle of the ultimate eyeshadow primers. For years I’ve used Urban Decay Primer Potion – got the mini one free with my first NAKED palette, loved it and later bought the full size. But then Miss Maven was raving about Benefit Stay Don’t Stray in her videos so I caved and got that one too. I loved it straight away and kinda ditched my first love, but which is really better? I put them to the test...
Urban Decay Primer Potion Original £16/11ml LookFantastic
This one has a paste like texture – thick but pliable. It’s a pinky flesh colour, which sheers out to an invisible finish. The squeezy tube give you complete control over how much product you dispense – you really only need a little and it “sets” quickly. The finish is natural – you’re skin but better. There’s little to no coverage so if you have discoloured lids, this won’t conceal them. Also available in shimmer and matte finishes.
Benefit Stay Don’t Stray £20.50/10 ml Feel Unique
This one has a thick, creamy texture, like a stick concealer or foundation and an almost matte finish. It’s a neutral flesh colour, available in two shades light/medium and medium/dark. I’ve got the light/medium, which is probably too light for me. It has an opaque coverage, so if you have veins or discoloration this one will cover them, which is a big plus for me – I can skip the cream/neautral eyeshadow and go straight in with colour. The big downside in my eyes (pardon the pun) is the packaging. One pump gives enough product to cover half my face! There’s no control and I end up wasting most of it.
The Results
To put them to the test I applied Stay Don’t Stray to my right eye and Primer Potion to my left. I used the same amount of product on both eyes, applied with fingers then went straight in with eyeshadow – Wet n Wild Nutty/Noisette if you’re interested, and 9 hours later...


Stay Don’t Stray has faded, especially around the centre of the lid. There’s creasing around the socket and some mascara transfer up on the brow bone. If you look closely, the eyeliner on the right eye has also faded a lot more than the left. Urban Decay Primer Potion is fresh as a daisy! No creasing, no fading, the colour still looks vivid and no transfer... and that’s after 9 hours! 
Stay Don’t Stray ... 

Primer Potion...



The Verdict
I’ve got to say I’m surprised and a little embarrassed. I was sucked in by the hype! I’ve been neglecting Urban Decay’s Primer Potion when all along it’s the clear champion of eyeshadow primers! I like the texture and coverage of Stay Don’t Stray but it clearly can’t match the staying power of Primer Potion!

Which Eyeshadow Primer do you recommend?


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Sunday, 3 August 2014

Easy Like Sunday Morning


I'm a firm believer that Sunday should be spent make up free. Joggers on, hair up, bra off... you know the drill. Walks with the dog, afternoons on the sofa, that's all fine. BUT on the rare occasions I have to venture further into civilisation, I try to be a little more presentable! Still I like to keep it low key. It never feels right having a face full of make up on the Sabbath.


For the base I used Olay Regenerist CC Cream. This stuff is perfect for a laid back Sunday look. One third serum, one third moisturiser and one third foundation. It's quick and good to skin! Perfect for light coverage and an effortless glow, full review here. A dab of Collection Concealer... sadly I'm a bit spotty at the minute and this one's a perfect dab and go. A dusting of Guerlain Teracotta Bronzing Powder shade 03 to enhance the bit of colour I've got going on and Milani Luminoso blush on the apples of my cheeks.

For my eyes I dabbed a little MAC Eyeshadow All That Glitters on the lids with my finger. It's a pretty golden beige that adds just enough colour to brighten the lids. MAC Coffee Eyeliner on the upper lash liner - brown is so much more laid back than black. A little sweep of Benefit They're Real Mascara. This stuff can give serious WOW lashes, however apply it lightly for a nice wide eye but not over the top look. Keeping brows simple I reached for L'Oreal Super Liner Brow Artiste in Blonde.

For the lips I used my new super-in-love-obsessed-with Laqa & Co Lip Lube in Bees Knees - the perfect creamy coral.

Happy Sunday!


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