Tuesday, 28 April 2015

New Hair. New Hairdressers

By now you’ll probably know that I went for the chop. And I’m not talking my usual half inch trim, I’m talking a full and very brave 5-6 inches. Long locks be gone, I’m now sporting a choppy little LOB. But the main reason I’m sharing this with you is, I’VE FINALLY FOUND THE ONE! For years I’ve flitted from one hairdressers to another, never really settling on one, but always secretly hoping I’d one day find my perfect match. Well, it’s happened… 

Say hello to House of Savannah. A stunning hair salon and spa, occupying a luxurious Georgian property in the heart of Newcastle. I was invited along to the launch evening to celebrate their new location late last year. Sadly I couldn’t make it but have wanted to try it ever since. So when I found myself in a bit of a hair rut, I decided now was the time. So here’s my hair problem, I love the colour, but my style, well, there was no style. Long, fine, flat and pretty boring. This is what I told the stylist Grace, during my consultation. Now this is the first thing that sets House of Savannah apart, they really take their time over the consultation. There was no rush to whiz me off to the basin, Grace made sure she knew exactly what I wanted and given that I didn’t really know what I wanted, that was some skill. We looked at some pictures, discussed my hair type – Grace has fine hair too so I knew I was in good hands and talked about how I like to wear it. I wanted to go shorter and I wanted some layers. It’s hard to get any oomph in the my hair, I felt sure layers would help, but whenever I ask hairdressers for layers they normally advise against it on account of my hair being too fine.

After the consultation I was asked if I wanted a head, neck and shoulder massage WITH AVEDA OILS – I’d have bit her hand off had she not needed it for the massage. That’s when I knew this was the one. I was pretty much in heaven and so chilled after the massage, she could have permed it and I wouldn’t have noticed. But she didn’t, instead off I went to the basins for a wash and another head massage before the chopping began. I love that Grace went straight in chopping the length – no dithering or “are you sures” – that’s exactly what I wanted, I needed a change and a change I got! You can see for the pictures there’s loads of blunt, choppy layers that create the illusion of thicker hair and it feels so much healthier. On to the styling – She used mousse! She used mousse and I didn’t even have to ask! This is a big deal for me because no one knows your hair better than you. I’ve tried everything to create body/volume/root lift and the only thing that ever really works is good old mousse. She styled it perfectly – a proper good blow dry with plenty of root lift and finished it off with some wand waves. It may sound cliché but I left the salon feeling all bad-ass Beyoncé styleee (Bow Down Bitches). I could hear my hair swishing as I flicked my head in a “look at me” kinda way.

As you can imagine, it has all the extras – stylish décor, complementary drinks, in-date magazine, there’s even an upstairs waiting room ideal for storing your men-folk – mine had a whale of a time sipping cappuccinos and reading magazines. All these little nice-to-haves add to the experience of course, but what you really want is a stylist you can trust and a cut you’re happy… head messages are just the cherry on the cake.

Wow, I didn’t intend for this to turn into an essay – as you can tell I’m thrilled with my new do but even more thrilled with finding a salon I feel at home in. I should also point out this is NOT a paid post, I wasn’t offered any extra discount of special treatment. I did however take advantage of the 30% off for new clients offer. Cut and blow dry prices start at £33. If you fancy a change, I can't recommend it enough!

What'd you think of the chop? Have you tried found your perfect hairdressers? 

House of Savanah - 1 Old Eldon Square, Newcastle NE1 7JG


Saturday, 25 April 2015

The New Whites by Nails inc - Whitehall and Swan Street

It's official, new whites are the new black. I'll keep this on a need to know basis, Nails Inc launched the 4-piece "The New Whites" collection. Soft, white based polishes with just enough colour to stop them from looking like tip ex. On paper, it shouldn't work it in reality they're sexy, cute & chic.
Swan Street, the minty pastel on the right, was my first, review here, but Whitehall caught my eye and I couldn't shake it off. Whitehall is a soft white with a hint of barely there peach. Big love for the new bottles? I wasn't sure at first but I'm well and truly loved up now, I think that's part of the reason I felt compelled to buy another... Don't they look cute as pair!? Back to the soft peach, I'd actually say it's a pinky peach pastel shade. A new take on white, it's not a bland, pretty, or even girly shade, it's cool and edgy and the white base has an illuminating, brightening effect - hands actually look more tanned, not washed out!

Formula wise, it's fairly opaque but did come out a little streaky. Most fingers needed a third coat. I'm thinking of popping back to nails inc to see what they do differently. When I had my manicure there using Swan Street the finish was perfect from two coats. The brush is amazing, the way it perfectly distributes the right amount of polish and holds on to the excess, it's extra wide too and fits the contours of my new-square-nails perfectly. Enriched with porcelain flower extract to strengthen nails, the formula it ultra glossy and seriously long lasting.  

Clearly I'm hooked on The New Whites... 2 more to go, will I resist? RRP £14, save 10% on beauty at Debenhams this weekend


Monday, 20 April 2015

Make a Wish - The Astrid and Miyu Wishbone Necklace from JewelStreet

Asking me if I like jewellery is like asking Simon Cowell if he likes high-waisted trousers! So when JewelStreet got in touch to see if I fancied trying out their site and picking something shiny… I was all in!

I’ll fess up, I hadn’t actually heard of the online jewellery boutique until now and I was amazed by its enormity. With over 300 independent designers all in one place, it’s an amazing marketplace for jewellery designers, big and small to showcase their designs. There’s so much gorgeous stuff on there, I pretty much lost an afternoon and ended up with a lust-list as long as my arm. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an easy site to navigate, but with so much treasure, it’s easy to get distracted.

Eventually I picked out the beautiful Astrid and Miyu Wishbone Necklace £29. I’m a sucker for pretty gold necklaces and this one is such a striking piece. A delicate gold-plated chain with a shiny wishbone pendant – It’s cute, classic and very chic. It’s a very wearable piece that looks great layered with other chains, but just as pretty on its own. I love the length too, it sits perfectly just above the breast bone.

If you love jewellery or you're in need of some gift ideas you need to check out JewelStreet Use code JEWELSTREET10 to get 10% off until 24/05/15 


Thursday, 16 April 2015

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit - Worth the hype, worth the price, worth the wait!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit £39 Cult Beauty | Beauty Bay 

Anastasia Beverly Hills has got brows down. Dipbrow and Brow Wiz rocked.my.world! But when the blogesphere started buzzing over her contour palettes, I tried to resist. But it quickly became clear this was more than just hype and now I know why…   All hail the holygrail of contour kits.

I’ve been using this since February and wanted to give it a really good road test before I shared my thoughts. Concerns out the way first;
  1. I worried this would be something I’d buzz over for a few days before banishing it to the pile of “occasional” make up, gathering dust. I mean who has time to contour on an almost daily basis? Well thanks to this contour palette, I do! There’s absolutely no faffing around, everything you need to highlight & contour is in one handy palette – it’s as quick and easy as bronzing.
  2. I worried I’d look like this…
    Done properly contouring is a wonderful tool, done badly, you look like Lil' Kim. So here’s the truth – the powders are so soft and blendible, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong.
I’m pretty sure you know the deal with this palette by now – 3 highlight shades, three contour. Available in 3 colour ways I’ve got the light/medium palette, it’s important you get the right one for your skintone, but it’s also a very versatile palette with 3 contour shades that allow you to mix and match to suit your skintone. It’s also the only one that includes the must sought after “Banana” shade.

Vanilla – An off white/cream matte highlighting shade. This one gives a subtle highlight.  I tend to use it on the forehead, bride of the nose.
Banana – A yellow toned powder, this one if amazing under the eyes. Yellow tones counteract blue tones making it ideal for disguising eye bags and brightening the eye contour. I use it after my concealing to set and create a blurred effect.
Sand – A champagne shade with a frosty shimmer. This one’s very pretty. I use it above the cheek bones for a stand out highlight. Also a lovely brow bone highlight.
Java – An olive toned contour, it’s slightly darker than Fawn, I use it on the temples and jawline and to intensify the cheek contour if I want a more dramatic contour.
Fawn – A great starter shade for contour – not too dark, not too warm with a neutral undertone. For me, this is the best contour shade, I use to chizzled the cheek bones and contour the nose.
Havana – the warmest of the contours, for me it’s more of a bronzer and I tend only to use it along more hair line – where I usually tan first.

The best thing is the palette is refillable and customisable – there’s a hella lot more shades to choose from! I’ve got a feeling I’m going to fly through Banana and I won’t have to wait until I’ve used the whole palette to replace it -  genius!

I genuinely think anyone could pick this kit up and start to highlight/contour. The shades are very pigmented and the powders are incredibly smooth and blendable – hence why you can’t go wrong. Applied too much? Simple blend (and blend) with a fluffy brush until you achieve a seamless look. I used to think there’s no way I could be bothered to contour/highlight every day, but with Anastasia Contour Kit, it’s easy peasy and pretty damn quick. In the past I’d have to fiddle about with a couple of bronzers and a highlighter, and a finishing powder. Now, everything you need is in on handy place. Most days I’ll simply sweep a little Fawn under the cheeks to create an illusion of cheek bones, dust Banana under the eyes and dab a little Sand above the cheek bones – less than a minute… done!

Bottom line, it’s a very good, very handy and very easy to use contour kit for amateurs to artists alike - 10/10 Are you sold?


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Launch & Review

Hooray, a beauty event in Newcastle… finally! As a beauty blogger north of the M25 it’s easy to feel a little left out when it comes to beauty launches, so props to bareMinerals for hosting a product launch “up North” and allowing some North East bloggers a slice of the action. Off I popped to Fenwick Newcastle last week, for a preview of the new Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, a live demonstration, some fizz and stunning views of a sunny Toon.

I’ll cut to the chase, I’ve never been a bareMinerals girl, but seeing is believing and now that I’ve seen first-hand the difference this product makes, that’s about to change.  Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream £26 is a game changer. A multitasking genius that combines skincare benefits and naturally radiant coverage in one. The best of a BB, a CC, and a tinted moisturiser...with a 215% increase in skin hydration after just one week, this is a whole new way to think about makeup. We got to see a live demonstration and the minute Complexion Rescue hit the skin, the model looked glowy and luminous. If I didn’t know better I’d swear she’d just had a sneaky facial. I was colour matched that night and came home with a sample of Ginger 06, I’m thinking, well I’m hardly a red head, but don’t be deterred by the name, it’s for medium skin with golden tones. It’s best applied with a brush, and has been launched alongside a stunning couldn’t-take-my-hands-off-it duo fibre. I’ve only been using it a few days so it’s too soon to say it’s a life changer/best thing ever… but it just could be. It has very sheer coverage and I’m definitely heading in that direction. I can’t stand anything thick and cakey. My early thoughts are Complexion Rescue is like my skin but better. It even outs skin tone, locks in moisture and leaves a radiant, luminous, glow. It’s perfect off-duty makeup when your skin needs a little help but you don’t want a full on face. And when you do need more coverage you can layer it up or wear under your normal foundation as a moisturiser/primer/corrector wonder-product in one.

In this picture I'm wearing Complexion Rescue in Ginger with some Mac Mineralize Powder.

We also got a demo of the BareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation going over the top – oh my days, these two together equalled full on flawless skin. I was so inspired I’ve booked myself in to the Bare Minerals counter for a “Make-under” so I can experience the goodies myself.

Date for your diaries… Complexion Rescue launches in-store this Thursday! If you fancy sampling it and you’re in the North East, pop to the bareMinerals counter in Fenwick, Newcastle, and mention Beauty & le Chic to receive you free sample. 


Sunday, 12 April 2015

A Royally Good Birchbox

Hear ye, Hear ye! Liz Earle, Laura Mercier, Percy & Reed... this could be my best Birchbox yet. 

Laura Mercier Longwear Cream Eye Pencil Black Violet | £17.50

Apparently there was a choice of Laura Mercier products this month - Foundation Primer, Mascara and Eye Pencil but my email must of got lots in the, er inbox. At first I felt a bit short changed with the pencil (it's all about the primer) BUT I've tried it out and it's actually stunning. The dusky violet shade gives a beautiful pop of colour and the creamy pencil applies like a dream.

Lola Barcelona Nail Polich in Garcia | £7.50

A Birchbox exclusive created with Lola Barcelona, the hot fuchsia shade is as pretty as they come.

Percy & Reed Volumising No Oil Oil | £14

This intrigues me! Volume YES, oil NO, not on my hair at least. It promises to tame hair without weighing it down... we'll see (she says with a very cynical tone).

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish | £14

What can I say about this C&P that I haven't already said. There's a very good reason it's won over 100 prestigious beauty awards... it's firkin fabulous! I'm pretty stocked up on Liz already but these travel size 30ml bottles come in very handy.

Pomade Divine Nature's Remedy Balm | £19.80

A cure all miracle balm that's apparently been kicking around since the 1800. A 97% natural multi-tasker soothes, calms an protects dry, chapped, burnt skin. I had a quick test on my lips, it's a bit like Eight Hour cream... I think we're going to get on.

Beauty Bonus...

Imedeen Derma One | £37.99

Boost your skins health from the inside with this vitamin-packed food supplement. Nice one Birchbox! Actually fancied trying these for a while. The sample contains a 15 day supply so you watch out, in two weeks my skin had better be glowing.

If you fancy trying Birchbox, use my friends referral link and we'll both get £5 worth of points to spend in the Birchbox shop... Royally good indeed.


Thursday, 9 April 2015

Topshop Cropped Trousers - Mid Season Saviour

Leather Jacket – River Island
Belt – Topshop
Trouser – Topshop
Boots - Asos

I love that spring has sprung but don’t you find it difficult to dress in this awkward betweeny period? Not quite shorts and sandals weather but too warm from jeans and boots. What's a girl to do but pop to Topshop for a little panic buy.

Are they trousers? Are they culottes? I don’t care, I’m having them! I picked up these trouser on a whim last week but I’m not ashamed to say I've barely had them off since. Cut with a tapered leg, turn-up hems, handy side pockets and cross-hatch patterned finish, they’re the perfect mid-season wardrobe refresh. Light-weight and loose fitting but still perfectly tailored and stylish. A nod to boy-style, they can be dressed up with ankle boots and a leather jacket or dressed down with trainers and a boxy T-shirt…. And when it heats up a little more, I can’t wait to pair them with sandals or sliders.  

Mensy Cropped Tapered Trouser £40 Topshop 


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Bottled: Liz Earle Signature Blue

Liz Earle Signature Blue…. I’ve been waiting for you. I kid you not, I was staring lovingly at the bottles of Liz Earle in my bathroom the other day and I thought to myself… why they haven’t bottled that!? It would make the perfect nail polish shade. And guess what, they have! Introducing the new Limited Edition Signature Blue Strengthening Nail Colour* £8.50.

Launched to celebrate the 20th anniversary #LizTurns20, they’ve taken that beautiful signature blue and bottled it! And what a stunning shade it makes. A minty aqua crème blue, it’s a striking pop of colour and unmistakably Liz. This isn’t my first Strengthening Nail Colour so I can vouch for the quality. The wide brush makes application quick and fool proof and the opacity is incredible. Full coverage and streak free from one coat, but I added a second for good measure. The finish is ULTRA GLOSSY, chip resistant and enriched with nourishing avocado and borage oils – so as well as looking good, it’s doing good!

This nail polish probably broke the receipt to manicure record, I barely got back in the house before I was painting my nails because I knew I’d love this shade. It’s up there with the best of them and since it’s limited edition, it makes it all the more special.

The Limited Edition Signature Blue Strengthening Nail Colour will be available in May… stampedes at the ready. 


Saturday, 4 April 2015

Burberry Kisses - Can there be a better kind?

Lipstick lovers prepare to be wowed. Not one, not two but three drool-worthy, lust-have, super stylish  Burberry lipsticks... how lucky am I?! New to 2015 and now available online at Debenhams here the iconic and luxe brand just got a whole lot more accessible.

Here's what you need to know about Burberry Kisses Lipstick* £25... they're perfection in a bullet! We're talking pouts to die for with the most minimal effort. Burberry's glide-n-go formula delivers customisable results - a single kiss of colour gives understated luminosity and two or three kisses gives intense depth and vibrancy. The buttery soft texture slips on like a dream, yes straight from the bullet - no need to faff on with lip brushes or liners. They're lightweight and moisturising and incredible comfortable to wear. No setting/drying/cracking here. The gel-based formula delivers a smooth even finish with each layer and is it just me, or does my pout look bigger? Each lipstick is embossed with the iconic Burberry House check and encased in stylish gun-metal grey tube.

On to the shades...

Sepia No. 85 - A classic rose pink that wouldn't look out of place in Kylie Jenner's collection. An antique plummy/rosey/mauve with a pretty satin finish. It's a great everyday shade and lends itself perfectly to the 90s lip trend. It's well pigmented with a beautiful satin finish.

Military Red No. 109 - Oh.This.RED! Sexy, stunning, striking! It's the perfect most universally flattering red that works for all skintones. A good mix of warm and cool tones, it leans slightly to the raspberry red and doesn't wash me out. The pigmentation is incredible, fully opaque with one swipe and incredibly long lasting.

Beige Nude No. 1 - Oh my signature shade! Me and nudes, we go together like Kim and cameras. A true beige nude that's neither too warm or too cool. It's a fairly sheer shade but builds easily with the very low maintenance swipe n go formula. It has a creamy feel and a balmy finish.

Which is your favourite?

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