Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A Trip to Sephora and the MOST Beautiful Eyeshadow


I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again... WHY DON’T WE HAVE A SEPHORA IN THE UK? Sephora is a makeup junkies mecca so I couldn’t resist a quick pit stop on my recent trip to Paris. Down the escalators I went and into heaven I entered… I was even greeted by a real-life French Bulldog! Slobbering love for Sephora aside, I was a very good girl/very bad blogger and only bought one item. In my defence I had just ransacked City Pharma (see it here) and French Sephora’s are no where near as cheap as the US ones.

Anyway you can see from the pics I was casually swatching eyeshadows and as soon as I locked eyes on Fireworks (no. 22) it was clearly coming home with me. It’s a dark, intense bluely grey iridescent eyeshadow. The base I’d describe as a blackened charcoal with a striking multicoloured shimmer running through it, which depending on the light will differ, but overall it leans towards the navy blue/charcoal. The pigmentation is just incredible, the colour you see in the pan is the colour you get on your eyes. Sephora calls this a glitter finish but don’t be deterred by that, it’s not overly glittery. It’s more of a shimmer with some larger pieces in it, which creates an amazing multi-dimensional shade. It’s a great one shade does it all kinda shadow – you can create a really intense, smokey eye from this one shade alone. Beware there’s a fair bit of fall out, but with dark shades, especially shimmering ones, I always do the eye first. I find this one applies really well with the best beauty tool of them all… fingers. It allows more control over where you apply the pigment and lets you to get right in the tiny inner corner. Once you’ve laid the colour down, blend out with a fluffy blending brush. And voile - super easy smokey eye.



Check out Sephora's eyeshows $12 and don't forget Sephora now ships to the UK for just £6 on orders over £75!


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Saturday, 28 March 2015

New MAC Lipstick and it's NOT Velvet Teddy


One more can't hurt? At least that's what I told myself when I found myself at the MAC counter swatching away. I actually went in with the intention of buying Velvet Teddy (yes, it's finally back in stock) but guess what, it didn't really suit me, but this one did... 



MAC Modesty Cremesheen Lipstick is my answer to the perfect 90s/Kylie Jenner lipstick. Described as a "muted neutral pink", it's a tawny/rosey/nude with a natural, creamy finish. Cremesheen's are without doubt my all time favourite lipsticks. They glide on easily straight from the bullet, don't dry or feather and have a lovely plumped up sheen for fuller looking lips. Especially this one, as soon as I tried it on it gave me full on pout and that's before I've even touched a lip liner! I'm wearing this one with L'Oreal Lip Liner Honey, but it apparently partners perfectly with MAC Lip Pencil Whirl. I'm surprised I've never picked this one up before but I do have a really annoying habit of being drawn to the ones I already have - tell me I'm not the only one? It's quite brown in the bullet but on my lips it comes out more rosey. Wear time is very good for a cremesheen too... if you apply it properly. Line the lips first, apply a generous layer, blot with tissue and apply another layer. I did this, ate a plum and the pout remained in tact.


As much as I clearly didn't need another lipstick, I don't regret picking this one up. It's a very versatile shade - great for day or night, super flattering and very plumping. 



MAC Lipstick £15.50 Debenhams


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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Desert Island Picks


Suspend all logic and indulge me with this one. Imagine you’re stranded on a desert island and you can only take five products. Forgoing any thoughts of survival, protection or rescue (I'm not taking torches and toothbrushes) and imagine it’s a beautiful island with some handsome island folk and you only take FIVE products – What would they be? Tough isn’t it? Well these are my top 5, can’t-be-withouts.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir  £11.50 Feel Unique

Packed with vitamins, minerals and serums designed to smooth features, tighten pores and give complexion a burst of radiance, Beauty Elixir  is my secret weapon. A spritz of this stuff and I’m fresh as a daisy. Use to moisturise the skin, set makeup or any time you need a little pick me up!

MAC Prep & Prime Highlighter Light Boost £18.50 Debenhams

I would hate to be without my trusted pen. It conceals, highlights, brightens. It’s one of my most used, most repurchased products. The yellow toned shade counteracts blue/purple coloured eye bags and the brightened, creamy formula blends seamlessly into my skin. I use it around the eyes, cupids bow, brow bone, middle of the forehead, bridge of the nose… basically anywhere you want to highlight.

Coconut Oil From £6.99 Holland & Barrett

The Queen of multi-taskers. Use it on your face, body, hair… you can even eat it! It was a close call between this and Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, which is also a wonderful desert island pic, but you can’t use it on your hair. Coconut Oil is an amazing moisturiser for skin, conditioner for hair and mix with a little island sand and you’ve got an amazing body scrub! Please note the one in the picture isn’t cooking grade… so don’t eat it. I’ll make sure I take one that is.

Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade £15 BeautyBay

Because even on a remote island, brow game MUST be strong! The ultimate chouse for perfectly precise brows. So easy to use, although I will need a brush and technically that would make 6 products? I’ll smuggle one in. Plus it lasts all day and won’t melt in the sun’s heat. 

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish £15.50 John Lewis

C’mon you knew I was going nowhere without Liz! My ultimate in skincare – it cleans, it cleanses, it calms and soothes. It’s rich, yet gentle and delivers instantly visible results It’s my little at home /on island facial.

What would you take? 


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Friday, 20 March 2015

Nails Inc Swan Street - Future Cult Classic


I predict a future cult classic. Move over Mint Candy Apple, there's a new kid in town..

We all know that watching QVC is bad for the wallet. Had I not watched QVC Beauty this week, I wouldn't have discovered the Nails inc NEW WHITES collection and I wouldn't have been compelled to go out and splurge £14 on a nail polish, oh and an extra tenner on a manicure (oops). But then I wouldn't have discovered my new favourite shade and my nails wouldn't look this good...


Swan Street is a brightened iced mint. One fourth of the New Whites collection - white based polishes with a cool colour twist. Frankly they're all gorgeous and yes, I WANT THEM ALL, but for me, Swan Street is the stand out shade. It's white without looking like a tip-ex nail with a very subtle, yet very striking minty blue shade running through it. It has a real illuminating effect, we're talking complete stand out nails and even though I'm a bit pasty right now, it hasn't washed me out... But I can only imagine how much better it will look partnered with a tan. I love the new bottles and with the new bottles comes a new and improved flattened brush that makes application fool-proof... or so the manicurist tells me. A Nails Inc manicure costs £18, but if you buy any polish you get the manicure for £10, so I decided to treat myself. I'm a tough customer because I'm pretty good at doing my own nails but she did a fabulous job and encouraged me to go square, which i haven't done for ages but completely LOVE. It suits the shade too - cool, funky, fresh. I was surprised that the shade was completely opaque after two coats and streak free. £14 might be a bit pricey for one nail polish, but this one's worth it. Swan Street's going to be my go-to for the summer and beyond.

I love this polish, I can't stop staring at my nails! What do you think - dare to go white?


Swan Street RRP £14 Nails Inc | QVC | Debenhams


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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Liz Earle Deeeeeeeeep Cleansing Mask



You might recognise this from the Beauty Junkie’s Wishlist. What can I say, I’m weak! But lately my skin’s been a but bleurgh (very technical term for dull, crap, patchy, tired). To Liz I looked for help…

Deep Cleansing Mask* from £6.00 is a good ol’ clay mask that draws out impurities, clears out pores and gets deep, deep down for good and proper cleanse. There’s something very satisfying about a clay mask. I’ve got no time for transparent masks, I like to see exactly where I’m putting it and I like the way it dries. Packed with active ingredients including green clay, manuka honey, propolis and rose-scented geranium, it’s reassuringly and naturally scented and kind to skin. Using it after cleansing, I whack on a generous layer, allow ten minutes for it to do its magic, then wipe away with a dampened sponge. Argh, the sponges, I must admit it was the sponges that sold it to me in the first place. I fancied seeing how they compare to the hot cloths? I can tell you they’re really satisfying! They have a slight exfoliating effect and a pleasurable sensation on the skin. I’ve used them to remove my cleanser too… love, love, LOVE!    

The results? My pores look so much smaller, actually, they’re invisible!  My face feels squeaky clean, visibly brighter and tighter and less oily. I also noticed it gives me a much smoother canvas for apply make up. It does for skin, what clarifying/detox shampoos do for hair… build up be gone!


Deep Cleansing Mask from £6.00 Liz Earle | JohnLewis | Boots  

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Saturday, 14 March 2015

Fabulous French Pharmacy Finds


Bonjour! If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I squeezed in a gorgeous little trip to Paris last weekend. J’Adore the Parisian beauty ethos – it’s all about being a better version of yourself! Skincare is such a big deal and there really are pharmacies on every corner, but the top destination for beauty junkies is City Pharma. It’s the stack em high, sell em cheap kinda pharmacy, I wrote about it last year. It’s not for the faint hearted but this time round I went prepared with an alphabetised list. Although you can buy most Parisian brands over here now, Escentual has a fantastic range of French Beauty and for the month of March is offering up to 1/3 off, but there’s nothing like shopping in Pareeee plus with the strong pound it’s so much cheaper.



Bioderma Crealine H2O Micelle Solution 8.90 Euros/500ml (£10.29/250ml Escentual)

The Rolls Royce of cleansing waters! Although you can buy Bioderma in the UK now, it's still loads cheaper in France. I stocked up with two big bottles and a cute dinky bottle for travelling.

Bioderma Crealine H2O Face and Eye Wipes 4.99 Euros (Not available in the UK)

Luxuriously thick wipes, powerful enough to remove eye makeup yet gentle enough not to irritate the skin, also reassuringly moist.... and as far as I can tell, not available in the UK.



La Roche-Posay Lipikar Hand Cream 5.78 Euros for 2X50ml (£4.50 Boots)

City Pharma was stacked with cheap hand creams so I picked up three!  This one promised daily care for dry, very dry chapped hands.

Avene Hand Cream With Cold Cream 3.90 Euros/50ml (£6.50 Escentual)

Skin is instantly relieved and hydrated thanks to intensely nourishing White Beeswax, and is soothed with the healing capabilities of Avène Thermale Spa Water.

Bioderma Atoderm Hand Cream 1.50 Euros/50ml (£6.50 Amazon)

An intensely nourishing treatment for damaged hands.


Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting €37.90/30ml (£45 Lookfantastic)

After receiving a sample in my Birchbox I had to have this amazing radiance serum but I didn’t fancy paying £45. Thanks to the exchange rate this one set me back around £26 - I can live with that.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir €7.99/30ml (£11.50 Feel Unique)

My holy grail! How I love this aromatic mist. Moisture in a spray and radiance every time. I have a large one on my dressing table but picked up this mini one for on-the-go.


Klorane Floral water eye makeup remover €4.50/100 (£6 Feel Unique)

When I saw this on Lisa Eldridge's list of French beauty buys, on my list it went. Enriched with soothing and decongesting cornflower, it effectively removes all traces of panda eyes and helps prevent the puff.

Klorane Nettle shampoo oily hair €5.95/200ml (£7 Escentual)

In my first French haul I picked up the Klorane dry shampoo, decent enough, but it didn’t surpass the power house that is Batiste so this time I thought I’d try a wash-in shampoo. I’m all over anything that offers to combat greasy roots. I’ve used this twice this week and I’m very impressed. Seems to really give my hair a good clean without weighing it down.


La Roche-Posay Effaclar duo plus – spot treatment €8.78/40ml (£15.50 Escentual)


This appears on everyone’s French beauty wish list so I had to see what all the fuss was about. A targeted treatment for oily, blemish prone skin.


NUXE Reve de Miel Baume – 6.90 euros/15ml (£9.50 Escentual)

The ultimate lip balm! It has a natural matte finish, lasts for hours and smells like lemon curd... yum! Already kicking myself for not buying more!


And finally, I picked up these completely unnecessary but extremely cute bamboo cotton buds €1.30, simply because I knew they'd look the part on my dressing table.

Total Spend €104 = £77



City Pharma 26 Rue du Four, 75006 Paris (St-Germain Quarter)


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Thursday, 12 March 2015

EASY Home Made Granola with ZERO Sugar


Something a little different on Beauty & le Chic this morning... We all know that beauty starts from within, and what I put into my body is just as important as what I put onto my body (and you know how much of a skincare junkie I am). I try to eat well. I thought I was eating well ditching the bacon baps and crunching on granola for breakfast – then I discovered there’s about 30 grams of the sugar in one measly bowl! Deliciously Ella I aint, but knocking up your own granola is ridiculously easy and, it turns out delicious, and that’s why I had to share...

Ingredients

3 cups of Oats
1 cup nuts (I used flaked almonds, brazil, hazelnuts)
1 cup mixed seeds (I used pumpkin, sunflower and sesame)
1 cup sultanas or Raisins
3 tablespoons Chia Seeds (amazing for digestion)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey



How

Pre heat oven to around 180
Take a large mixing bowl and add the oats
If you’re using full size nuts, whizz them up in a food processor first. If you don’t have a food processor, throw them in a food bag, place on a copping board and whack   with a rolling pin – take that you little nuts.
Add all the nuts and seeds to the bowl and stir.
In a pan, melt the coconut oil and honey before adding to the mixture. This helps bind the ingredients and make a sticky mess.
Now transfer to a baking stray and pop in the oven for 30 minutes.
Stir occasionally to ensure the top does burn and add the sultanas 10 minutes before the end – this avoids them going too crispy.

And voila healthy, tasty, easy and completely sugar free granola!



You can totally play about with the recipe too. Swap honey for maple syrup if you’d prefer it sweeter or try different dried fruits. Serve it, however the hell you like – I like almond milk and berries. Try it hot with some frozen yogurt or ice cream, it’s like a guilt free fruit crumble!

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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

THE BIRCHBOX & HABITAT COLAB




Birchbox collaborating with homeware store Habitat? Interested, yes. Intrigued, definitely! Will I find a cool wire basket or a dressing table inside? Some minimal lighting and a book shelf? Of course not, but the "Do Try This at Home" stripy box is super stylish and there’s a 20% discount code inside.

BENEFIT | ROLLER LASH

This month Birchbox rather kindly gave its subscribers the choice of three mini Benefit Mascaras – Bad Gal, They’re Real and Roller Lash. I reviewed this here and loved it so I’m chuffed to have another sample. At this rate I won’t need to buy the full size.

PHILIP KINGSLEY | ELASTICIZER

I don’t know how I’ve managed to avoid this for so long. It’s always popping up in beauty boxes and gift sets, but somehow this is my first Elasticizer and I’m thrilled to see what all the fuss is about. Supple, bouncing hair, here we come.

CATHERINE MALANDRINO | STYLE DE PARIS | FRAGRANCE SAMPLE

A playful yet sophisticated fragrance with citrus top notes and a fruity twist. Some people feel cheated when they receive a fragrance sample as one of their products, me on the other hand... love them!!! Great way to sample new fragrances, obvs, and perfect for handbags and travel bags!

JANJIRA | ARGAN OIL SHOWER SCRUB

Argan Oil mixed with walnut shell for a gentle exfoliating experience.

LORD & BERRY | COUTURE KOHL KAJAL EYE PENCIL

Tiny weeny but hella good. Slapped this straight on – it’s a very creamy, highly pigmented khol, perfect for a smudged out smokey eye. Thumbs.Up.

COUPLE OF LITTLE LIFESTYLE EXTRAS...


So there we go, not a natural hook up, I will admit, but another very good box. Bravo Birchbox.  There's still time to order this month's box and choose your very own Benefit Mascara, find out more here.


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Saturday, 7 March 2015

The $2 Velvet Teddy Dupe



You know how the world has gone cray cray for MAC’s Velvet Teddy – aka THE KYLIE JENNER LIPSTICK (or so it’s rumoured) hence the reason it’s been sold out for months. Well call off the search! Forget Velvet Teddy... who needs it when there’s a $2 dupe.  

Wet n Wild Bare it All 902C is a brown toned nudey pink with a matte finish. On me, it’s similar to my natural lip shade but browner. I don’t have Velvet Teddy to show you a comparison (like I said it’s sold out everywhere) but check out the swatches online – they’re almost identical.

I am beyond blown away by the formula of these cheaply priced lippies. Seriously I can’t believe they’re only $2. It’s completely opaque and the colour you see is the colour you get. It’s one of the few nudes that doesn’t need a lip liner and applies perfectly straight from the bullet (or tube in this case). Despite being a matte lipstick is spreads easily with a buttery texture. It’s remains soft and buttery on the lips and doesn’t set or dry like most matte lipsticks. I actually prefer this to the MAC matte formula, which really drags and dries my lips. It has fantastic staying powder too. I’m usually a cremesheen girl so it lasts loads longer than those, but perhaps not as long as a true, retro matte – say around 4 hours.

I cannot sing its praises enough. If I lived in the US and had access to Wet n Wild, I doubt I’d buy any other lipstick brand. I tracked down Wet n Wild Bare it All on Amazon for £2.27 +£2.83 shipping, delivery took around a week. At £5, it’s still a complete steal. I’m in love with this lipstick and have barely picked up another since it arrived! 

Velvet Teddy, you’re off the Wish List! 


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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Why didn’t you tell me how AMAZING Hoola is?


Okay, the above isn’t actually true. Yes, every beauty blogger and her dog rave about Hoola, and it is the UK's No1 best selling bronzer BUT time and time again I’ve looked at it and thought, it’s a bit meh. I thought it was another of these scenester/overhyped/have-it-to-be-cool kinda products. It always looked too pale to be a bronzer and very flat and boring in the box... how wrong was I!

I was lucky enough the Christmas presents of all Christmas presents – the much sought and highly lusted after Benefit Sweet Spot (see it here). The limited edition palette contains five gorgeous boxed blushers plus the iconic Hoola. And I’ll admit I was the least excited about Hoola, but I’ve ended up using that the most. I now get what everyone else has been getting for years. It’s a brilliant and versatile bronzing and contour powder. It must be almost universally flattering because, not only does everyone seem to love the one-shade powder, it works on me and my sister who’s way lighter than me. As a contour powder, it’s completely foolproof. I suck in the cheeks in an attractive “duck face” and dust the powder (with my Real Techniques Contour Brush) directly below my cheek bones, jaw line, under the tip of my nose and around the temples and hairline and it looks like I’ve been professionally chizzelled. Perfect results every time. It’s not heavy of cakey and it blends so effortlessly. In fact, it barely needs blending at all, it’s that good! It’s great as an all over bronzer too – not as pale as it looks in the box, it actually gives the face a great sunkissed warmth. For me, it’s an ideal winter warmer. It warms without being too orange or over the top. It has zero shimmer, which is what makes it a great contour powder but also what makes it such a natural face powder.

Hoola, now that I have you, you’ll always be in my kit! As soon as it runs out in my Benefit Sweet Spot, I’ll be purchasing a full size box’o’lovliness. RRP £23.50 LookFantastic | Debenhams | House of Fraser


I’d love to know what you all think? Are you Hoola lovers? 


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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Nails to Envy


Hats off to OPI. Colour, treatment, they've got it nailed! And now that they've combined the two, I worship at their feet.

We all know the deal with Nail Envy - it's the maximum strength nail treatment, packed with hydrolyzed wheat protein and calcium, that transforms dry, brittle, peeling, weak, badly bahaving nails .... basically it's kale for nails. I've been using the original formula for years, read all about it here. It's truly helped transform the condition of my tallons. BUT, as someone that loves colour, going through Nail Envy treatment, kinda slows me down. I either have to apply Nail Envy under and over colour, or wait until I've finished a treatment... and for someone with zero patience, that's tough. Cue... Nail Envy Nude, and wait for it, Nail Envy PINK! Colour and treatment in one! OPI, go on your bad selves! The same original strength formula with added colour so you don't have to go bare. Both very cute, very wearable everyday colours.


Nail Envy Nude - I love this nude, it's such an elegant shade. A beautifully creamy beige nude. More or less opaque after two coats (above), then as you add an extra coat every other day (as per the treatment instructions) the colour and coverage intensifies.


Nail Envy Pink  - of the two shades I think I marginally prefer this one... and I'm not normally a pink kinda gal! There's just something about this creamy blue toned pink. It just works. A great everyday shade and very spring/summery.


Nude and Pink Nail Envy's are exclusive to QVC in the UK. This amazing 4 piece wardrobe collection with Nude, Pink, Original Nail Envy plus an Avoplex was a Christmas special, but you can still purchase them seperately on QVC.


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