Saturday, 31 July 2010

Music to my ears

My beautiful friend Amina has recently embarked on her solo singing career. 
Even though we grew up together, her passion for music still astounds me every day. I have always encouraged her to follow her dream and am so happy to be able to be a small part of her journey.
I really hope you guys can join me in supporting her by checking out her myspace page here, where you can listen to her stunning, soulful voice. My favourite song is "I miss U".
If you are interested in reading more, you can also check out her latest interview for Fashion Records here.
All the photos used in the article, as well as on her myspace were created by myself (makeup, hair, styling, photography, editing etc.) so I would really appreciate your feedback!
 Thank you all so much my lovelies, I know this isn't really the type of post I normally write, but I know the industry is a very tough one, so we both really value your support!! xxx

Friday, 30 July 2010

Rapidlash

Let's talk eyelashes ladies.

We all know I love my makeup, this blog wouldn't exist if it wasn't one of my passions. However, on a day-to-day basis I feel as I have got older I have become more comfortable with my looks and can get away with fewer cosmetics. There are however certain things I still obsess about - clear skin and eyelashes. Even if I am running to a dance classes or popping out to buy Diet Coke I will always take a second to dab on some concealer (be it for blemishes, or just to hide the effects of yet another late night on my under eye area) and mascara. There is nothing more flattering than mascara, it opens the eyes, defines them and creates instant impact with minimal fuss. I am always on the look out for the next best thing, but I have come to realise that no matter how good the formulation (or hefty the price tag) as mother nature hasn't blessed me with naturally long, full lashes I will never be satisfied.

Some of you may remember that last Spring I started using Lilash. It worked wonders on my lashes and after 8 weeks they were so long and curly that I even had to trim a few just to keep them in check. Just look at them with one tiny coat of mascara. They may be a little too spidery for some, but I loved them.

I know they are just eyelashes, but I'm vain like that. Unfortunately, as you all know the effects are not permanent and after I finished the tube (and had scraped out every last drop) I was not looking forward to splurging out another £90. So now I am back to square one... tiny little lashes, that even the best mascara can't fix.

A year later, with many positive reviews spurring me on, and I have decided to embark on my second lash enhancing experiment. I purchased Rapidlash online from Boots.com for the slightly less hefty price of £39.99. Meet my new friend Rapidlash:
This baby promises to thicken and improve the appearance of lashes in 8 weeks. I am not going to go into the glaucoma medication mumbo jumbo, of course there are dangers (some people worry about irritation and change of eye colour), but as I had no significant issues with Lilash, fingers crossed this will work just as well.  

With proteins, vitamins and moisturising agents it claims to provide protection against breakage, replenish and rejuvenate, provide strength and shine, provide superior hydation and improve flexibility and elasticity. Enticing no?

So here are my little lashes after two weeks of use. 
Of course I am not expecting any results yet, but what I have noticed is a tiny bit of swelling and pink around my lid. (I had this before with Lilash so I am not worried. My eyes are extremely sensitive and many makeup products tend to make my eyes a little irritated).

So there we have it. Let the journey begin. I shall see you here in 6 weeks to document my findings. I'm not going to lie... I'm expecting miracles ;).

Have you tried any ash growth products? What have been your experiences? Are you tempted? xxx

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Garden Girl

A fun, bright tropical look perfect for the summer!

*****You can now get 10% OFF the Garden Girl Palette featured in this video by entering the coupon code "Natalya" at checkout @ www.cocobeau.co.uk*****




I must apologise for the horrendous lighting! It was a really sunny day so the light coming in from the left has made the left eye look much lighter than the right in this video. Just look at the pictures for a better representation of the makeup :).

Products used:
Sheer Cover foundation
MUFE concealer

UDPP
BeeLuscious Garden girl palette (from http://www.cocobeau.co.uk/index.php?m...
Eyeshadows: denim blue, washed denim, yellow diamond, distressed khaki and envy.
Besame face powder
Urban decay 24/7 liner in zero
Estee Lauder Sumptuous volume mascara

Coral Sun blush
Micro Tickled Pink Lipstick

I hope you guys enjoyed this video! Thank you all so much for watching! xxx

Curly Wurly

So many of you have sent me messages asking me how I do my hair in the mornings (since most of the time I have curly hair in my Work It Out post series). I didn't think this was really worthy of a tutorial, or even a post as I really spend no time on my hair in the morning, and it usually takes as long as I have before I must get out of the door (so 5-10mins max).

Now, had I been blessed with lovely glossy hair this would be understandable, but I unfortunately was not. My lovelies, you have to understand that my hair is CRAZY. I know many people state this, but really I don't believe them, and many of my friends didn't until they saw mine in its natural state (read angry lion mane). It is curly, wavy, frizzy, Monica-esque and takes hours to dry. So much so that if I go to bed with wet hair it will still be wet (not damp) in the morning. Therefore, it is a daily gruesome battle and the only thing that saves me hours of blow drying or straightening is the Babyliss curling wand.

This baby heats up in seconds and let's me tame the frizz into curls. I usally do about 4 sections on each side and alternate the directions of the curl (wrapping away from my face at the front and towards at the back). It's super easy and simple. Then I just pull my fingers through my hair to separate the curls, add a few quick sprays of hairspray and some serum or a little argan oil and I am ready to face the world. Taaa-daaa!
If I could only have one hair tool in the World, it would undoubtedly be this one. It is amazing. Try it, buy it, you won't regret it! xxx

P.S. I got mine on e-bay for under £30.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Lash Royalty

The Lash Royalty website launched in June 2010 and over the past few weeks I have been lucky enough to trial a range of their lashes. I therefore thought I would share with you some photos I took while creating an exclusive video for Lash Royalty on how to apply false lashes.
 These are the Duchess lashes - subtle, natural and very wearable.
The Chloe lashes add drama and interest.
These are the Luxe-2 lashes, full, dramatic and flirty.

If you want to see more lash styles or watch my exclusive video detailing how to apply false lashes you can visit the Lash Royalty website here.

I personally love the Chloe lashes, which are your favourite? xxx

Work It Out: Installment Quatorze

One of the best ways I have found to stretch your wardrobe is to use pieces that you wouldn't immediately associate with work wear, but combine them in an appropriate way. As I have two wardrobes (work and fun!) I often move certain items around and find new ways of encorporating them into my daily wear.

With the weather turning slightly chilly I have started wearing one of my favourite ensembles - a blouse/shirt and dress. In this case I took a satin long sleeved tunic (which I usually wear with a thin belt and leggings) and a plain black dress, which shows of the decolletage, but is long enough to still look sophisticated.

Dress (actually knee length, but my weird posing has made it ride up) and Tunic both from ZARA (I really never realised just how much I have purchased from ZARA over the years, I need to branch out)!

So yes, here we have it. Party-wear to work wear through layering, particularly useful if you are planning an evening out and can't face the fuss of changing (or are lazy like me).

I think it works, what do you think? Now if only I could figure out how to make those frilly, strapless Summer dresses office friendly... ;).

Monday, 26 July 2010

Fun in the weekend sun.

This weekend was lovely, but rather hectic (as per usual). It seems that often I look forward to the quiet days, but there is just too much fun to be had in London. So today I am squeezing two outfits into one post, akin to my weekends...

This dress is from Kookai *gasp*, do you remember Kookai? I have seen the odd Kookai corset lurking around House of Fraser (and select stores in France), but long gone are the days when they could be found on every high street. It's a shame really, as they did have some lovely, structured dresses. I may be giving away my age, but this dress is about 5 years old, and I still love it. It has boning in the top portion, which keeps it in place, is shaped beautifully to fit every curve, and even has a little pleat in the back for comfort when walking (pencil skirt designers take note, I would like to walk with my knees more than 2 inches apart every now and again lol). I wore this dress with white heels and a casual shawl for the evening. I love versatile pieces that can easily take you from lunch with friends, to tea and a few glasses of bubbly to a Summer garden party.
I also wore this beautiful gold necklace that was sent to me by the lovely Zoe from Junk Jewels. I am usually a fan of bold, costume jewelry as I am tall (and not the smallest person in the world overall), so I feel I can carry it off better than really soft, delicate pieces. However, I had so many compliments on this necklace that it completely won me over.
I'm not sure of you can pick up the detail in the photo (well any detail other than my horrible freckles), but inside the little book are the words Je t'aime. I thought this was so lovely, right up until my bf saw it and enquired (euphemism for got huffy and demanded to know) who had given me such a romantic gift... hehe ;).

On to a more casual Sunday...
This is a cat print playsuit I fell in love with on ASOS. Although I feel a little bit like an overgrown toddler in it, the print is just too adorable (and strangely reminscent of Miu Miu, which makes me like it even more).

Hope you had a fun weekend my lovelies! I think I need another weekend to rest after my weekend ;). Does anyone else find that to be the case pretty much every week? xxx

Work It Out: Installment Treize

Pretty plain and uninspiring. Some days you just have to grab and go out of the door. At times like these I reach for neutral separates.
Blouse: ASOS (on sale and also available in blue). Panelled grey and black skirt: Zara. Brown and pink pearl bracelet: Accessorize.

Makeupwise I am wearing YSL teint resist foundation with a splash of Dior Forever (to make it darker) and Chanel bronzer universelle (or whatever they have decided to call it now). For blush I have been using the ELF mineral blush in pink almost every day. It's bright, yet still perfectly wearable and adds a lovely flush. For eyeshadow I swiped a layer of Benefit's creaseless cream shadow in birthday suit across the lid and added some definition with Eyeko's black liquid liner. For lips I have been really enjoying the Clarins Instant light glosses - sheer, moisturising, non-sticky and they smell absolutely delicious!

How do we feel about neutrals? Fab or drab?

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Just stopping by...

To say Happy Weekend! I hope you are all enjoying a lazy Sunday evening on the sofa... no? Maybe just me ;).
Oh and Maxie says Hiiiii :) xxx

Friday, 23 July 2010

John Frieda Go Blonder- Winners

Thank you all for your brilliant hair tips! I am currently sitting here with Argan oil in my hair, so I guess my favourite Summer treat would be to put oil (argan/ olive/ coconut) in your hair over night. When you wash it out in the morning (make sure you shampoo twice) your hair will feel much more manageable. It has done wonders for my dry scraggly ends!

So without further rambling. The winners of the John Frieda Go Blonder Shampoo and Conditioner are:
Glitterish Allsorts  
With her style and care tip in one! "In Summer evenings I like to have lots of tousled curls tumbling down my back. However I worry that daytime sun dries hair out and am reluctant to add to that damage by adding heat via curling tongs. So during the day I suggest spritzing hair with a heat protectant spray, then twisting sections of hair and securing them via Bobby pins. The heat protector spray will add some defence from the sun and by the evening when the pins are taken out, you have a cascade of curls!"

Brilliant idea! I often do this myself - blow dry my hair till it's mostly dry and keep it in a bun or braid for most of the day (which also keeps the hair off your back and neck in the heat), then in the evening when you take it out you are left with gorgeous, natural waves.

Our second winner is:
jujugaboo
With her eco-friendly hair advice. "My tip is wash your hair every other day to prevent stripping it of its natural oils, also too its saving water and thats good for the environment."

I try to stretch my hair and wash it every three days. The less you wash it, the better for your hair as its natural oils are the best conditioner, no need for expensive products, just a little patience and some dry shampoo for emergencies ;).

Congratulations to our lovely winners! Please e-mail me your details so I can get your prizes to you ASAP!

If you are keen to find out more about the John Frieda Go Blonder range, check out the video below:
video
Almost the weekend!! xxx

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Work it Out: Installment Douze

Yet again the BBC lied to me by telling me it would rain all day. I think they should do their regular forecast and then change it to the opposite when they publish it, and then maybe they would get it right for once! I may be giving myself away here, but I am one of those strange people that checks the forecast every evening and every morning.. but I have my reasons. Curly hair! Enough said ;).
Dress: ASOS (in the designer section, but very obscure make). Jacket: Zara. Belt: Reiss. Necklace: Juicy Couture (a little wish bone pendant with script wrapped around it).
Makeup wise, even though I usually stick to the same things as I grapple bleary eyed around my desk in the morning, I do try to switch a few products up every day. As I am losing my tan (sob sob) I have started mixing YSL teint resist (lightest shade) with my Dior Forever foundation. Not only does it give a sheerer coverage, but it sinks straight into the skin so I can slap it on messily with my fingers and minimal time is needed to blend. For blush I have been loving MAC's peachy keen and ELF mineral blush in pink. Liquid eyeliner can make a horrible mess if you aren't careful, so the eyeko eyeliner (read felt tip) is used pretty much every day. For lips I have been obsessed with the Beaute weightless lip cremes. The colours are so soft and beautiful and they look really natural on the lips - without the heaviness of a lipstick or the gloopiness of gloss ;).

What are your must have products on sleepy mornings? xxx

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Sunday's OOTD (again)

I'm sorry this blog is becoming a bit of a 'now let's see Natalya posing in front of a mirror' fiasco. It's shameless really, and yes I am pretty full of shame. Recently I have been much more (well always have been) into fashion, perhaps because it is one of the few ways I can still express myself, as makeup and generally outlandish behaviour has to be toned down during the day ;). If you guys are getting bored do let me know!

That said here is another gratuitous outfit post...
Tunic Dress: Zara (usually worn with black leggings as it's quite short, but this heat makes it impossible). Belt: Miss Selfridge. Gold sandals: Oscar de la Renta.

Please do let me know what kind of posts you guys prefer. I know many of you read and never comment, but please do! I would love to hear your thoughts :) xxx

Work it Out: Installment Onze

You can wear bright colours to work. Really you can! I usually stick to blocks of colours and break them up with accessories and a black cardigan or jacket.
Dress: Mango (last season). Pearl and Onyx mix Chanel necklace (I found this in a vintage store at an nth of the price and couldn't believe my luck).

I'm just going to take a moment to put this out there - Mango you have some very pretty pieces, but please sort out your sizes! I have clothes in my wardrobe ranging from XS to L (like this dress!?!) and it is horrible to think they consider size 10 a Large. It also makes shopping online impossible. Is it just me? Have you guys had the same problem with Mango sizing?
Black tuxedo jacket from Zara. You probably won't be able to tell in the picture, but the collar is a more shiny material (not sure what it is) than the rest of the jacket. I love classic pieces with a little special detailing, still versatile, but a little more interesting.

As much as I love grey and black I can find it somewhat draining after a while. Do you dress in colour or stick to neutral palettes? xxx

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Work it Out: Installment Dix

Last night I was heading straight from the office for drinks to celebrate a few of my work girlies' Birthdays. What a night it was... and what an awful day it has been today.
Dress: Zara (later worn with black cardigan). I also wore black patent heels from New Look. I really don't like NL very much because most of the clothes are such poor quality. Personally I would rather save and buy one nice item, that will last, than ten that are going to disintegrate in the wash. However, the shoes in NL are nothing to be sniffed at. They have some nice designs, are super affordable, comfortable and give me peace of mind as so often expensive shoes get ruined (after one outing in the lovely London rain).
I hope you all had a good Friday night my lovelies!  I'm going back to bed to nurse my poor head. My own fault really.. why did I ever think it would be a good idea to mix about 14 different types of cocktails and shots in one night??? :( xxx

Friday, 16 July 2010

Work it Out: Installment Neuf

I assure you no zebras were harmed in the making of this outfit ;). This shirt is definitely not for everyone, but my love of Cougar Town knows no bounds and when I saw it I had to have it. During the day I wore it with a plain black cardigan so only the collar and cuffs were on show, which toned it down and made it much less 'flashy'.
Shirt: Hawes & Curtis. Pearl cufflinks: Hawes &Curtis. Fishtale skirt: M&S.

 Since it was raining (and excrutiatingly windy to the point where I had to cling on to a wall for support in my stilettos) I decided to braid my hair into a simple side swept fishtail braid. I was inspired by the numerous gorgeous, thick, tousled braids on the catwalk recently, though you definitely need quite a few wefts of clip ins to recreate the look! I made mine sleek and trapped the flyaways with lashings of Andrew Collinge serum (akin to Frizz Ease).

So tell me.. did I scare you with the satin zebra ;)? xxx

Thursday, 15 July 2010

All about hair :)

So many of you have requested a video showing what products I use in my hair, that I finally succumbed. To tell you the truth, my hair is not in great shape atm. I hated my last haircut and since then have been curling it pretty much every day in an attempt to hide the horrible disjointed, choppy layers. So now, I have ended up with very dry and split ends, but am still very wary of getting it cut again as the top layers are far too short.

I have been using the products mentioned below to try and combat the dry frizz and hopefully let my hair grow.


Products mentioned:
S-free Shampoo (Sulphate and Paraben free):http://www.healthyhairplus.com/sfr
ee-moisture-p/sfreemoist.htm

Andrew Collinge Moisture and Protect Shampoo (two for £7 in Superdrug atm!):http://www.superdrug.com/andrew-collinge-shampoo-moisturise+protect-500ml/invt/357790/&bklist=

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle: http://www.superdrug.com/aussie/aussi...

Cold Pressed Argan oil: One of the rarest oils in the world, Argan is rich in vitamin E and is ideal for skin and hair repair. Rich in EFAs, it helps to renew cell structure and revitalize the skin. Recommended for acne, stretch marks and chicken pox and conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
http://www.rawgaia.com/organic-skin-c...

Batiste Dry Shampoo (brunette): http://www.boots.com/en/Batiste-Brune...

Big Sexy Hair Powder Play: http://www.feelunique.com/p/Sexy-Hair...

Andrew Collinge Heat Defence Spray: http://www.superdrug.com/andrew-colli...

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Firm Hold Hairspray: http://www.superdrug.com/styling-prod...

What products are you currently using to fight the battle against heat/ humidity/ frizz/ limp hair? xxx

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Work it Out: Installment Huit (Yay for rain!)

Since it was raining all day, and I didn't want to wear a jacket or trench, I decided to dive back into my winter wardrobe.
 Dress: Zara. Strappy top underneath to hide the inappropriate decolletage: Zara. (Can you tell I love Zara yet?) Silver necklace: Lisa Taves (from Lorraine Stanick's blog).

This dress is pretty warm as it is part wool, but as it has short sleeves it's still versatile. I definitely look out for cap sleeved work dresses as they are flattering on the 'bingo wings' and I feel they look much more professional (sleeveless can leave a little too much on show, some people really underestimate the power of bare shoulders) ;).

On a side note I have to confess that I am so grateful for the rain! My hay fever has abated and I can actually breathe for the first time in months :). I am sure all you poor allergy prone lovelies know what I am talking about. Summer is beautiful, but from March to October I wake up with what feels like a horrible cold every morning - sore, itchy throat, watery eyes and a nose that won't stop running/ sneezing/ hurting no matter how many antihistamines I ply it with.

Are you all as relieved as I am to see some precipitation on the horizon? xxx