Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Perfect Mother's Day Gifts

I'm sorry I have been a little MIA as of late, but doing the work/revision/work/revision limbo has left me pretty exhausted. Two more weeks and I will be free from house arrest and be able to... ummmm sleep again... and perhaps visit somewhere other than my office or my home. High hopes indeed!

So for now let me indulge in a little speed blogging. Mother's Day is just around the corner, so here is my round up of the perfect gifts to pamper the most important ladies in the World!

NuBo Diamond Peel & Reveal (£65)- What can be more indulgent than diamonds? This fantastic system works to refine the skin in a two step process through exfoliation by the crushed diamond particles and the stimulation of skin cell turnover by the activator with a unique 'micro-vibration' motion that creates momentum to renew the skin's surface. I was lucky enough to receive a mini facial using this set and have now been using it on myself once a week ever since. It works beautifully to smooth skin and remove any rough patches, while the delicate rose scent is relaxing and lifting. Did I mention it is made from real diamonds!? Apparently they are less abrasive than other exfoliating products, and by definition are also hypoallergenic. If you look carefully you can even see the odd sparkle left behind ;).

Liz Earle Mother's Day Gift (£30) - This set contains:
Superskin Body Cream - deeply nourishing and moisturising this cream restores dry winter skin to youthful suppleness *must have*,
Superskin Moisturiser - perfect for dehydrated or mature skin,
Superskin Concentrate - another of my favourites, this gorgeous blend of 100% pure plant oils makes a wonderfully restoring night-time treat,
Superskin Eye & Lip treatment sample - a multipurpose product that sinks in quickly to restore moisture to tired eyes and lips.

Elemis Anti-Ageing Detox Regime Kit (£35) - Amazing value (RRP £70)! Though I haven't tried this set myself I am sure Elemis will not disapoint and many of these 'potions' will tick all of Mum's boxes ;). The Cream Cleanser promises to defend against pollutants while containing plenty of anti-oxidants. The Papaya Enzyme Peel exfoliates naturally boosting radiance while the Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules repair visible signs of ageing in conjunction with the Marine Cream and the Eye and Lip Contour Cream.

Swarovski Galet Chrysolite Pierced Earrings (£56) - Why not add a bit of glamour to your Mum's look with a classic pair of earrings with a modern twist. I think these are beautiful! They come in a range of tasteful colours to suit any skin tone (my favourite is a deep grey/green).  
Dunk Mug (£16.99) - This is just adorable! For the woman who has everything, but never enough chocolate digestives. I want one too!
Strawberry Tree (£25) - I personally love flowers, but why not give something that will last? This small, tidy evergreen tree with glossy leaves and white 'heatherball' flowers in autumn will be followed by strawberry-like fruits in the Summer holding the promise of beauty all year round!
What are you getting your Mother for Mother's Day? My Mama spies on me through this blog, but she will just have to wait.. I'm not giving anything away ;P. Love to all the beautiful mamas xxx

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Mother's Day Soap & Gory Beauty Bundle

Whenever I see a Soap & Glory Bundle I have to have it! They are always packed with amazing treats! The one I purchased at Christmas did not disapoint, and has introduced me to a number of products I absolutely love and now repurchase - namely their yummy shower gel and breakfast scrub, that both smell good enough to eat. I adore the retro packaging and catchy names, but instead of being gimmicky their products really do deliver.

This season's offering is just as tempting and includes:

• Wash Almighty Body Cleansing Gel 500 ml 
• Clean Mary Cleansing Milk 180 ml 
• Return to Slender Body Contouring Gel 200 ml (The Firminator) 
• Slimwear Peptide Balm 190 ml
• No Clogs Allowed 50 ml
• The Fab Pore Facial Peel 50ml
• Mighty Mouth Gorgeous Lips Kit 2 x 4g, 9 ml
• Marvelips Colour, Shine & Shaping Crayon 4.5g
• Wizard of Flaws Line Filling Luminizer & Concealer 7 ml
• Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Plumping Gloss in Plum 7 ml

With products worth over £70 this bundle will set you back £40 in a Boots store. However, you can save £5 with the code BUNDLE5, and bag yourself this amazing bundle for just £35!!!

This set would make a perfect Mother's Day gift, or an indulgent treat to get your skin prepped for the new season!

Are you a fan of S&G? Have you ever purchased any of their special offer bundles? What are your favourite products from the range?

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

OOTD - Newly Minted

The first ray of Sun this weekend made me giddie with excitement. Spring has finally decided to spring! Putting aside my coat I decided to ditch the layers in favour of something lighter and brighter.
This asymmetric bell sleeve tunic from Topshop makes a perfect transition piece into Spring. I love the delicate mint green and kimono inspired sleeves.
Since the top has so much volume and movement I paired it with leather(esque) trousers from Oasis. The Sun didn't do these any favours, they thankfully didn't look nearly as shiny in person!
Thigh high boots (ZARA) aren't something I would ever wear in the day, but I thought they would be quite fun for picture purposes.. and to scare the passers by.
My necklace is from Talullah Tu, purchased about a year ago it's unfortunately no longer on the site, but here are plenty more that I am eyeing up! ;).

I have previously also paired this top with a Reiss mint belt to cinch in the waist and add a little more shape.

Are you as excited as I am for Spring? What are your key fashion pieces for the new season? xxx

P.S. If you ever wanted to see what my hair is like left naturally to its own wild ways.. tah dah! Curly Wurly!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Rollasoles for Red Nose Day

This year, Rollasole are doing their bit by donating profits received from their Paint the Town Red roll-up ballet pumps, to Comic Relief.

I have a similar pair, which I refer to as my contingency shoes. They are perfect to slip in your bag for a day of shopping or dancing, especially if you are wearing heels and know your tootsies will be tired before the day is through! For just £6.95 each why not paint the town red for charity?  

Monday, 21 March 2011

Urban Turban

With the days getting warmer I am beginning to slowly detach myself from furry hat and gloves.. slowly. Though as my head is now feeling a little naked I decided to explore some lighter headgear - a turban.
Surprisingly versatile and easy to wear a turban makes a great accessory to leather jacket and maxi dress alike. I first fell in love with the style on Carrie, but wasn't sure it would really catch on...
Luckily it has!
I know a turban will not be an accessory for everyone, and there are some that have tried to embrace it, but have fallen a little short of the mark. As stunning as Nicole is that colour/style just doesn't quite do it for me.
 Though frankly anything that hides a bad hair day, while looking stylish, is a must have for me.
I purchased this budget friendly turban from neverfullydressed.co.uk for £6, but there are plenty more exciting colours and fun styles to chose from out there!

Have you ever worn a turban? What do you think of the style? xxx

Friday, 18 March 2011

Anniversary Dinner

For the first time in a while I took a few hours out of my hectic schedule to get glammed up for my anniversary dinner with the bf. Nothing is more relaxing than a little pampering session!
 Face: Nars Sheer Glow Foundation
NARS Laguna Bronzer
Guerlain highlighting powder
MAC Well Dressed blush
Since I had some time I decided to play with some of my long abandoned pigments. I used MAC's pinked mauve on the lid and a little cornflower on the outer corner. I then blended some neutral colours through the crease to add some depth and definition, namely MAC scene and grain, and added a little digit to the inner corners.
I finished off the look with L'Oreal's super liner carbon gloss and million lashes mascara. Since my lashes are somewhat sparse post extensions I also added some subtle false lashes from Japonesque.
This was my first time trying Japonesque and I have to say I'm impressed! The lashes look so natural on and are easy to apply as they are flexible and fit well to the eye contour. I also really liked the clear lash band as it makes them almost undetectable! You can find a great range of Japonesque lashes (RRP £8.00) here.
On the lips I used MAC's rose romance lipstick and trifle lipglass.

Despite 'forcing' the bf to get snap happy my all black outfit didn't quite lend itself to my living room's lighting. I wore a simple black mini dress with a low cut back with bow detail. To add a little interest I chose my favourite 'evening' coat. I purchased this from Topshop's limited edition boutique line years ago, but am hoping it will last forever as I very rarely wear it, saving it for very special occasions.
This photo really doesn't do this trench coat justice, I will have to try and get a photo in daylight. The bell sleeves, the full draped skirt, I adore it!
The statement bling in the above is from Swarovski.
Maxie didn't want to feel left out so he had some pampering too, although you can probably tell that he doesn't enjoy having his hair done... ahem I mean brushed, as much as I do ;). Yay it's almost the weekend! I hope you are all having a good week my lovelies! xxx

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Lipsticks Made For Me

When running low on time I find the best way to look polished is to apply a statement lipstick. I have quite a few L'Oreal lipsticks in my collection as they have a great range of colours, are never drying and are easily accesible and affordable (£8.19 @ Boots, but often on offer). I was therefore excited to try the new L'Oreal Color Riche 'Made For Me' collections - Intense and Nude!
Above and left - Nude No. 380 Luminous Coral. Below and right - Intense No. 371 Pink Passion.
Both of these lipsticks are well pigmented with a lovely, creamy texture that feels smooth and hydrating, giving a subtle sheen to the lips, without being glittery. Like most L'Oreal lipsticks these have the traditional 'lipstick smell', which I personally like as it reminds me of playing with my mama's treasured lipsticks when I was little, but I know it is not to everyone's taste. The packaging has a gold metal look, but is in fact plastic and feels very light, and a bit cheap. Since the lid can only be replaced with the cusp at the front it is quite easy to crack the plastic if you are not careful.
I wore Pink Passion (371) this weekend and loved the intensity of the colour. It also lasted well, even through a meal, as it stained my lips a little. However, as you can see below on my lips this colour was a lot more orange than it appears in the bullet.
 I think this makes a perfect Summer coral shade and I can't wait to try it with a tan!
Luminous Coral (380) is a more wearable peachy shade with a neutral base.When applied lightly it gives a beautiful tint, but is also buildable to a more intense saturation of colour as below.
Have you tried L'Oreal's Color Riche Lipsticks? What are your favourite shades? To see other colours in the range just click here. xxx

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Foxy Megan for Armani

Many of you have probably seen the stunning adverts for the Armani code fragrance featuring Megan Fox. The imagery is absolutely beautiful and very sexy. I love Megan's Chicago (the musical) inspired sleek, angular bob and creamy skin, proving that pale can be beautiful.
If you want to recreate the look, or are wondering what was used to achieve her pure porcelain glow the product breakdown is as follows: -

Lips - Rouge d'Armani 400 
Skin - Luminous Silk Foundation N° 2
Eyes - Armani eyeshadows (N° 2 and N°11) and eyes to kill excess mascara (N°1).  
Have you tried Armani Code? I love the Men's fragrance, but am yet to try the Women's! 
What do you think of Megan's smouldering new look? xx

River Island Jeans Swap

What a brilliant idea! The lovely people of Liverpool were definitely brave in bearing all for charity! 

To celebrate Denim Week River Island held a fantastic event last Friday for charity Fashion Targets Breast Cancer. Over 150 locals stripped off in the street, donating their old jeans or trousers, and walking away wearing a brand new pair of River Island jeans. Those who took part in the swap were encouraged to donate their old jeans to Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, and over 112 items were collected for the charity on the day. 

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Max Factor Kiss Art - Lipfinity Liptints

I have always been a lover of liptints. As my lips are naturally pigmented I find them very easy to use and love the fact that they stay put all day through wind, snow and many a cocktail ;). I was therefore curious to try the new Max Factor Lipfinity Liptints that come in a handy felt tip form, and excited to introduce you all to the Kiss Art charity campaign in association with Macmillan Cancer support.

Max Factor are hosting an online auction at Ebay’s charity site (www.ebay.co.uk/ebayforcharity) on the 28th March 2011 where full proceeds will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support. Max Factor will have its own dedicated area on the Ebay site and the auction will last at least one week. The auction will feature artist, illustrator and celebrity pieces of art with a fun twist - all the pieces are created using Max Factor Lipfinity Liptint pens!

Although I wouldn't describe myself as inherently 'artistic' I have always loved art and to some extent that passion has transformed into makeup. Though when the bf offered to make me an illustration I was curious to see what he could create with two liptint pens! I should have really known... though I assure you I did not model for this boudoir scene lol. Let me know what you think of his imagination... hmm I mean design ;).
So they work on paper but what about the lips? The colours I was sent are perhaps not the ones I would necessarily have chosen, but I have enjoyed wearing both of them. The lip tints smell delicious and are very easy to apply as the product is dispensed through the applicator in just the right quantity, no drips.
The hard edges of the pen also make the application accurate and help to define the lips. I first tried this on the tube and surprisingly managed to 'colour within the lines', which unfortunately isn't always the case for my shaky hands when it comes to lipsticks!
 Without flash - no. 04 on the left and 08 on the right.
 With flash - no. 04 on the left and 08 on the right.

Longevity is great as with any lip tint, though I did find them a little drying. Although I like the matte, natural effect of a lip tint I often reapply balm on top throughout the day, which does make the colour fade a little faster, but gives a glossy appearance and much needed moisture to the lips.

 A quick sweep of number 4. 

This photo highlights the fact that your lips must be in good condition to wear these or any other lip stain. Mine were a little chapped this evening after a day of sitting under the office aircon and braving the chilly wind outside, so you can see some of the colour has collected in the creases. This can easily be fixed with a little lipbalm, but just something to be aware of ;).

Have you tried Max Factor's Liptints? Are you a fan of lip stains? I do hope you all stop by Max Factor's Macmillan Cancer Support auction (www.ebay.co.uk/ebayforcharity) on the 28th of  March! Good luck and happy bidding! xxx

*This is a sponsored post*

Sunday, 6 March 2011

WEN by Chaz Dean

Recently I have been testing out a plethora of different hair products as I am always keen to review and recommend the best products out there for you my lovely readers. However, I think this time I may have over done it a little. Even though my hair is well overdue a good cut and colour I have noticed it looking overly dry and flat, and when I saw the first few flakes of dandruff I knew it was time to stop and take a break. Frankly, it could be down to stress too as everything is very hectic at the moment with work and exams, so sleep isn't on the agenda. Even though I would recommend switching up your shampoo and conditioner every once in a while to prevent product build up I do find that if I change too often my sensitive scalp gets a little 'confused'.
So when I was offered to try the wen cleansing conditioner I jumped at the chance. I had already reviewed and proclaimed my love for the sweet almond mint conditioner on my YouTube channel back in 2009, so I was excited to see if the new cucumber aloe would work as well.

After just a few washes I have to say I am back in love with this product! It has the most refreshing, cooling sensation on the scalp and I am happy to say those little pesky flakes have been banished. As you can see the video above is pretty comprehensive, especially as I have managed to ramble on for 10 minutes, so I just wanted to give you a quick update today.

My hair feels so much stronger and healthier since I have started using it again, and while feeling smooth and clean it has also regained some of its bounce. I still stand by my earlier beliefs that it does take longer in the shower to use and requires a little more effort, especially if you have long hair, but personally I think it's totally worth it. Healthy hair and a healthy scalp with no nasties :).

You can find more information on wen here as well as a step by step guide on how to use the cleansing conditioner.

Have you tried any wen products? I know they sometimes pop up on QVC! Let me know what you think and if you are tempted to give it a try ;). xxx

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Maybelline The Eraser Foundation

Over the past few weeks I have been trialing the new Eraser foundation from 'Maybe it's Maybelline' ;). Despite the incredibly annoying advert featuring Jameela Jamil I was excited to see whether this foundation could live up to its promises, which include:
  • The patented micro-corrector applicator micro-fills and smoothes imperfections on skin's surface, erasing the look of crow's feet, fine lines and dark circles.
  • The super-concentrated formula with collagen acts to tighten and improve skin's elasticity.
  • SPF 18 Sunscreen helps protect skin from sun damage.

The first thing I noticed about this foundation is its unique applicator - a built in dome sponge. The foundation feeds through to the sponge after a few (well, quite a few) twists of the bottle. Although I like the idea of this, as it removes the need for other sponges or brushes, what concerns me is the build up of bacteria, since you are not supposed to wash the sponge. Maybelline claims that The Eraser is protected with an anti-microbial system and to clean the applicator it is best to just wipe off excess foundation with a dry tissue and never wet the applicator. I'm not sure how this 'anti-bacterial' action works, so if anyone does then please do let me know in the comments.
The foundation is easy to apply with the applicator, but since the formula is quite thin and 'slippery' I found the best way was to blend it out with my fingers. I would say it has medium to low coverage, depending on how thinly you spread it, and while evening tone it doesn't hide blemishes. It feels quite lightweight and has a very natural finish, so it would be perfect for minimal makeup days. I can't comment too much on it's 'wrinkle erasing' but it does a good job of smoothing skin texture and concealing enlarged pores. As my skin gets quite oily throughout the day I did set it with powder, and as you can see in the photo below (after 12 hours of wear) it held up pretty well. Ultimately I think this foundation would be best suited to those with dry skin as it doesn't cling to any flakes and conceals any unevenness in texture.

Overall I'm really impressed with this foundation. It's quick to apply and blends into the skin very easily giving a smooth, even appearance. I would call this a great 'everyday' foundation as it's lightweight and has a very natural finish. For more information just click here.

Have you tried the Maybelline Eraser foundation? xxx
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