Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Work It Out: Raspberry Ribbon

If you caught my previous post about my recent ASOS purchases (here) you may already recognise this little number. I loved the retro shape of this dressed coupled with the light material and deep raspberry shade.

I am absolutely loving burgundy for the autumn. What colours will you be keeping an eye out for this season? xx


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Côte d'Azur

Last week I returned from a fabulous extended weekend in the South of France to celebrate my mama's 50th birthday. Unfortunately I was only able to get 2 days off work (boo), but sticking to mama's very full daily timetable I feel like I made very good use of my, albeit limited, time. Even the shortest trip can reinvigorate you!
We stayed at a beautiful villa between Nice and St Paul de Vence (which you can just see above). This was the view from my balcony - absolutely breathtaking!!
This was one of my favourite views while driving from Nice to the tiny, picturesque village of Eze. Apparently this little peninsula boasts the mot expensive land per sq.m. in the world! I guess it's not hard to see why - plus it's perfectly placed between Nice and Monaco.
With the sweltering heat I tried to keep cool in lots of summer dresses. The above was gifted to me by Motel and worked perfectly as it protects shoulders from the sun, while still being floaty, light and feminine.
I had my eye on this Ted Baker maxi for quite some time and finally caved while in T5... hehe ;). I absolutely adore their dresses as they make them long enough for a giant like me!!
No trip to France would be complete without wine tasting!!

At the Chateau de Cremat in Nice we spotted the Chanel 'CC' logo embedded into the architecture and found out that in fact the signature was invented by the original owners of the chateau and Coco Chanel actually first saw it there. The owner gave her the logo and let her trademark it at the opening of the first Chanel store!

Unfortunately I documented most of the trip on my mama's brand new camera, but I hope you enjoyed my little selection of snaps :).
We had such a fabulous time in the south of France and absolutely can't wait to go back! xxx

Monday, 22 August 2011

St Paul de Vence

I have escaped London to spend a long weekend on the beautiful French coast. We are currently here..

Regular posting will resume shortly!

Not least because a few hours in the Sun have given me a chance to trial all those beauty treats the English weather doesn't quite permit. Nars Orgasm illuminator and Kerastase L’Huile Céleste how I love thee! xxx


Saturday, 20 August 2011

Browsing ASOS

I have had a bit of a love/hate relationship with ASOS recently. From the modest beginnings of the website I was obsessed with it, recommended it to all my friends, and browsed through it during more luchtimes than I would care to admit to. However, as they have expanded I feel that the quality of many of the products has deteriorated somewhat, and although this is understandable with the sheer volume of products on the site, it still seems a shame. Though there are some great pieces to be found it is a little too hit and miss for my liking. I have all too often dragged a bulky box home only to try everything on and promptly send it all back. After a botched delivery... or seven (they delivered the wrong bag thrice, which was actually a present so rather marred the celebrations) and a lack of a timely reconciliation I vowed to bid farewell to ASOS for a little while. However, while I'm sitting here perusing the new ASOS magazine I can't help but add a few things to my basket, so here are some of my favourites on the site at present...
Midi Dress with Pussybow - £40.  Love! Mad men inspired, gorgeous colour, office appropriate hemline. This one has already made its way into my basket ;).
Full Midi Skirt in Oversized Heritage Check - £50. Amazing for Autumn, would love to wear this with super high wedges to contrast the seasons.
Midi Skirt with Equestrian Print - £45. A classic, Gucci-esque print updated with pleats.
Chiffon Sleeve Panel Top - £25. A lot of burgundy here! The chiffon sleeves are beautiful and feminine.
Pussybow Chain Print Dress - £45. Gorgeous chain print and flattering draping. Would anyone guess this is just £45?

Have you spotted anything exciting on ASOS recently?

Thursday, 18 August 2011

British Red Cross’ Japan Tsunami Appeal Auction with Shiseido

Last week Shiseido launched a charity auction online with all proceeds raised going to the British Red Cross’ Japan Tsunami Appeal. Why not spoil yourself while donating to a very worthy cause! The fantastic prizes up for auction include:

·       Two night mid-week spa break for two at Champneys

·       Top to Toe treatment at Richard Ward Metro Spa, London

·       Harrods Urban Retreat pamper package which includes a full body massage, facial, customer manicure and pedicure, blow dry and Champagne lunch at the East Dulwich bar (Amaaaazing!)

·       Spa day including a Shiseido Radiance Facial at The Academy in Harrogate

·       Overnight stay for two and Carita Spa experience at Cameron House Loch Lomond

·       Makeup lesson with Ruby Hammer

The Shiseido Japan Auction is live now
here and will close on 21 August 2011 at 7pm.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Random Acts of... Beauty!!

With Autumn hanging over us the streets of the UK are starting to get a little less bright, but not if Sheer Cover has anything to do with it! This September mineral make-up brand Sheer Cover will be running up and down the country surprising lucky passers by with beauty treats, mini makeovers and professional tips. Heading up the team is celebrity make-up artist Armand Beasley who will be using his expertise to ensure women (and the odd man!) get the most out of the fabulous free beauty gifts. I think this is such a brilliant idea and hope some of you will be able to take part. After all, isn't this blog about making the world just that little bit more beautiful... one lipgloss at a time ;).

To make sure you're in for a Random Act of Beauty check the Sheer Cover twitter feed @beautinews, foursquare or to find out when they are in a town or city near you! xxx

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Seasonal Favourtie - Jergens Naturals

Sometimes in the flurry of trialing numerous products I forget to write about the ones I use on an every day basis. These staples may not be quite as exciting as the new releases and limited editions that catch my eye, but they are the tried and tested products that I really rely on and can wholeheartedly recommend.

One of these products is the Jergens Naturals range. I go through moisturising cream like nobody's business so as much as I love indulging in premium products it's just not sensible to slather myself in them every day. Jergens Naturals moisturisers have been an absolute must have for me this summer. They are so easy to apply as they soak in quickly and leave no greasy residue, while moisturing well and mainatining hydration throughout the day. Being 94% natural I have also found them to be very soothing (particularly the Aloe version with eucalyptus and cucumber) on both dry and sensitive skin.

My favourite of all the different 'flavours' is definitely the Cocoa Butter. It smells delicious in a sweet, but not overpowering way, and with extracts of cocoa butter, olive oil, oatmeal, avocado, jojoba seed, sunflower seed oil and vitamin E it is luxuriously moisturising without sitting heavily on the skin.
I'm also a fan of the simple packaging - no fiddling with pumps or balancing bottles upside down, the bendable tube and wide opening let you get every last drop of product with no wastage. It's perfect when applying in a hurry, especially if you're like me and after hiding your pale pins under tights for far too long realise that it's time to let them see the sun!

I was first introduced to the Jergens brand while shopping in the US, and subsequently was sent PR sampples to try. I am happy to report that Jergens Naturals are now also widely distributed in UK supermarkets and pharmacies (I have previously purchased them from Tesco's and Boots) so they are easy to get hold of and are often on offer. Currently, I have spotted them in Superdrug here at almost half price, making 200ml just £2.99.

Have you tries the Jergens Naturals range? What are your got to moisturisers?

OOTD: Happy Birthday Mama!

This weekend my beautiful Mama turned 50! To celebrate we took a trip to the glorious Berkshire countryside for an amazing Sunday lunch.
I chose to wear this aqua dress from Reiss (that some of you may have previously noticed in my video for Babyliss here). I love Grecian inspired dresses! The vibrant colour coupled with the elegant pleating details makes this dress modern, yet classic and a great investment piece! I paired it with some chunky aqua and tan wedges from Dorothy Perkins - currently on sale for £30 here. Though I love these shoes (high yet incredibly comfy) these were not my first choice to go with this dress, but the ones I would normally wear are notoriously difficult to hop about in, not at all countryside friendly.
To style my hair I used the KMS California FreeShape Hot Flex Spray (£15.95) that not only maintains your style and protects against heat damage, but also helps you restyle your hair without adding any extra product. I heat styled with the Babyliss Waving Wand - curling from the root to create movement all the way through the hair.

I hope you all had a good weekend my lovelies! xxx

Monday, 15 August 2011

Shiseido Magic Mirror

A few months ago I was lucky enough to be invited to a Shiseido event to learn all about their latest products and launches. One of the absolute highlights of the evening was getting a chance to test out the amazing Shiseido Magic Mirror, which let's you try on makeup looks and see the results istantly with just a tap of a button. All you have to do is look into the digital mirror for a few seconds while it maps your facial features. You can then choose different colours and products from the Shiseido range to try and the mirror automatically applies these to your reflection. While many programs are able to do this on a static image, the Shiseido mirror is the first of its kind in that it actually applies the makeup on your live reflection! Wink, pout and smile all you like, the makeup stays perfectly placed. Plus you can adjust the colours, placement and intensity to personalise your look. It's never been so simple to experiment with makeup!
The Magic Mirror is such a fascinating, innovative piece of technology and if you have the chance I highly recommend popping down and testing it out for yourself!! Since there is only one in Europe, we are very lucky to have it touring the UK at present. Currently it is housed in John Lewis on Oxford Street, but it will soon be making its way to Sheffield.

Have you had a chance to try out the Shiseido Magic Mirror? If you have do let me know what you think of it! I would absolutely love one in my bedroom - it would make tutorials so much easier as I'd be able to experiment without the fuss of removing makeup. Though with perfect makeup applied in seconds on my reflection (knowing me in my excitement) I would probably forget to actually apply any at all ;).

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Eve's Kiss from Rituals

Being blessed with a fairly substantial sized pout I have always had chronically dry lips. I am constantly reapplying balms, lipsticks and glosses in an attempt to keep them hydrated and am always on the look out for new products that will help to condition my lips. I was therefore excited to try the new lip treatment from Rituals - Eve's Kiss.
Eve's Kiss promises to be a long lasting, moisturising treatment that soothes and protects with SPF 8. This treatment has a beautiful creamy finish and a delicious, subtle apple scent. Although it is a little thicker than your average gloss or balm it is not at all sticky and feels very silky on the lips. With extracts of Karite (shea butter) it works hard to hydrate the lips and lasts for a respectable length of time. The packaging is also super handy as it's quick and hygienic to apply on the go. There's nothing worse than sticking dirty fingers into pots, especially if you have false nails, yuck! The applicator is angled perfectly and cut very flat so it's easy to spread an even layer (I find some of the rounder ones a bit more tricky to use as they can smear the product).
I have been so enthusiastic about Eve's Kiss that I have been using it as an overnight treatment as well as a gloss during the day. Any lip products that make it into my handbag should be very proud of themselves ;). It's great to use on it's own or over lipsticks as it gives a beautiful, long lasting shine.
As this product was sent to me for review I wasn't sure of its price point, and after using it for a few days was convinced that it would probably be a little more pricey that I would like, however after checking out the Rituals website I was thrilled to see that it was only £4.90 - not bad for 15ml! You can also find it in John Lewis here.

Have you tried any Rituals products? What are your favourite lip treatments? xxx

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Dior Catwalk Inspired Tutorial

I have always been incredibly inspired by the extravagant, artistic and bold makeup looks sashaying down the Dior catwalks, and though I love experimenting with striking looks I wanted to create something that would be completely wearable, even if you're not a supermodel! ;)

I decided to keep the bright statement lip and the sexy cat eyeliner, but tone down the eyeshadow with a little  pop of forest green under the eye.

Products used:
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural
MAC Eye Shadow One Off
Yves Saint Laurent Tresor d'Afrique Collector Sun Powder
Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero Smudge Lengthening Mascara
MAC Lipliner #Redd
Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Creme Lip Colour #Gabrielle
Guerlain Blush 4 Eclats Sculpting Blush #Rosee Du Printemps 

 I do hope you enjoy this tutorial! Thank you so much for watching! xx

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Dr Jart Beauty Balm

I picked up my first beauty balm completely by accident while travelling in Thailand in 2005. I couldn't tell you the name, or even the brand as unfortunately I can't read Thai, but I thought it was such a great product and was disappointed when I couldn't find anything similar back in the UK. Six years later and the beauty world is all a flutter with BB creams, especially with Garnier launching their own version. Beauty Balms/ Blemish Balms or BB aim to combine a skincare regimen in one tube - they moisturise, protect, correct and cover in one step. I love multi-tasking products that can save time in my morning routine, so a cream that acts as my moisturiser, sunscreen, serum and foundation is definitely something to get excited about!

I had never heard of the Korean brand Dr Jart prior to their press release landing in my inbox, but after a quick browse through their website I was very much looking forward to sampling some of their products. I was sent two BB creams to try and have been testing them out over the last few months.

Dr Jart Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25 (50ml - $32) is made with 50% water to help hydrate the skin and maintain a dewy fresh look throughout the day. The oil-free formula is free of artificial fragrances, colours and is suitable for very sensitive skin. It also contains hyaluronic acid and sea water to increase the moisture content of the skin, as well as aloe and Portulaca Leracea to soothe, calm and banish redness.
The magic really happens when you begin to apply the cream! On first application small droplets of water appear on the surface and then become absorbed as you work the cream into the skin leaving behind a cooling, refreshing sensation. I have never seen a cream that works this way before and was a little perturbed the first time I used it! It does take a little extra effort to blend, but melts into the skin well and sets after a few minutes to leave behind a beautiful glow. It also has great coverage and lasts well on oily skin while still looking natural.

However, my personal favourite of the two is Dr Jart Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 (40ml - $39). This BB comes with advanced brightening and anti-ageing properties in the form of a biopeptide complex that promotes natural collagen production and adenosine to improve elasticity and firm the skin.
I love the high SPF in this cream and used it as my moisturiser, sun protection and foundation every day while I was on holiday. It gives such beautiful, flawless, natural coverage and lasts well on the skin, even through the heat. Usually creams with high SPF can sit very heavily on the skin and have often caused me to break out, but I have had no such problems with this and was happy to see that it protected my skin and kept it hydrated throughout the day without making it oily.
I also really like the packaging with the 'upside down' pump dispenser that helps to get every last drop of product out. Though I only need one pump to cover my whole face, so I envisage the tube lasting for quite some time. This is definitely my must have product for the summer!

Dr Jart is currently available from Sephora as well as the Dr Jart website. Have you tried any Dr Jart products? Are you a fan of BB creams?

Monday, 8 August 2011

Herbal Essences Smooth & Soft

A few weeks ago I was treated to a lunch presentation about the new Herbal Essences Smooth & Soft range targeted at Dry/ Damaged/ Frizzy hair. I must confess that I haven't used Herbal Essences since my early teens so I was interested to learn more about the brand and how they go about developing their products.
Herbal Essences are very much focused on providing the ultimate 'shower experience' as well as how well the products work. At the presentation we were shown a number of studies focusing on the unconscious influence of smells and colour, something I had never previously considered! Apparently a touch of red makes you look more attractive, smelling a citrus scent makes people underestimate others' ages and a slight lemon scent makes you more likely to clean. I'm definitely busting out the lemon air freshener next time the bf looks like he is at a loose end ;).

So what about the scent in the new Smooth and Soft range? I can confirm that, as with the majority of HE products, these smell delicious! The blend of lemon, juicy pear and mandarin create a fruity, yet fresh fragrance that works well with the tropical themed packaging.

Since I have long, wavy hair that is blow dried and dyed all too often anything targeted at dry/ damaged or frizzy hair always piques my interest. I like products that add moisture and tame frizz without weighing my hair down so I can get big, bouncy, healthy curls. With extracts of mandarin peel and pearl powder this range promises to do just that.

The shampoo foams well and leaves hair feeling clean without stripping moisture. The conditioner is a little thinner than I would have liked, but it rinses well without leaving residue. However, I did find that my hair was still a little frizzy after using it and perhaps not as moisturised as I had hoped. To combat this I have been using the Seriously Smooth Mask every other wash to deep condition my hair. Not only does it smell amazing (the scent lasts well on the hair too), but it also works hard to tame frizz. I always know when my hair is getting dry when I get those little 'wings' at the side of my head... (though maybe that's just me?) and with this my hair remains sleek, even through humid tube rides and Summer showers.

Overall the shampoo and conditioner are... OK. I have enjoyed using them, but probably won't repurchase. However, I love the smoothing intensive mask, which I think is comparable to other high-end masks and treatments I have tried. At just £4.07 it makes a great luxury treat at a budget price! It's also on sale at Superdrug for £1.95 here.

Have you tried the new Herbal Essence Smooth & Soft range? xxx

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Free Blistex Raspberry Lemonade Blast!

This changebale weather has been playing utter havoc with my skin. One minuite it's hot and then next I am shivering and water is swirling around in my pumps. I am faced with a dilemma every morning with what to wear, so no wonder my skin can't make it's mind up!
Luckily Blistex are bringing a little sunshine back into our liives with their new Raspberry Lemonade Blast lip balm which not only has a delicious fruity flavour and scent, but also contains effective moisturising ingredients (and SPF 15) to keep your lips hydrated no matter the weather.

Sounds tempting? If you want to get your hands on this new tropical treasure it couldn't be easier! Blistex has just launched an app on Facebook which allows fans of the page to get a free full size sample of Raspberry Lemonade Blast. All you have to do is 'like' the page here, fill in your details, and voila, a product will be winging its way to you. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy (see what I did there)?

I 'like'... do you? xxx

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Smile! Oral-B Pro-Expert Toothpaste

What's my number one beauty tip? Smile!
A beautiful smile is the best accessory to any look, so it's important to keep it in good condition. I must confess I have always been a little bit obsessed with teeth. At a time when everyone at school was wearing braces I felt more than a little left out when I was denied any help as I was told I didn't 'need' them. This is was of course very silly given all the pain associated with dental work, but I was desperate for that perfect Hollywood smile!
I have always been very diligent when it comes to dental hygiene and I'm sure those around me would testify that I am a complete nag about it too. Now this is not to say that I floss twice a day or visit the hygienist every 3 months as recommended, but I do make an effort.
I use an Oral-B electric toothbrush every day so I was excited to try out the new Pro-Expert toothpaste from Oral-B. My normal toothpaste of choice is Sensodyne (whitening) as I have incredibly sensitive teeth. So much so that after using one crest white strip I was in so much pain that even breathing hurt my teeth, let alone eating or drinking. I was in absolute agony for days! Subsequently, I have stayed far away from any professional teeth whitening (despite being tempted by the frequent Groupon offers). I was therefore a little apprehensive about switching toothpastes for fear of my sensitivity returning.

Oral-B Pro-Expert toothpaste is the result of 15 years of research and development and it is the first and only toothpaste on the market to combine stannous fluoride with the polyphosphate system. This toothpaste promises to target all the areas your dentists check the most, namely:
  • Gum Problems - stannous fluoride slows down growth of bacteria.
  • Cavities - sf helps to reduce damaging acid and builds up minerals while protecting the enamel.
  • Plaque - sf slows down growth of bacteria, thus plaque growth.
  • Sensitivity -sf blocks dentinal tubules to help prevent sensitivity.
  • Enamel - sf forms a barrier against damaging acids and helps to prevent erosion.
  • Tartar - the polyphosphate system forms a protective barrier that prevents tartar.
  • Whitening - the polyphosphate system prevents stains by protecting the surface of the teeth and in combination with silica removes discolouration.
  • Breath - sf interacts with bacteria associated with bad breath (500-600 types.. yuck!) and prevents them from multiplying.
That's all well and good, but it does it work I hear you ask. Yes! The texture of the toothpaste is quite a thick gel with little beads that dissolve on brushing. It doesn't foam too much, but just enough so a little goes a long way. This toothpaste works really well to keep teeth white, bright and healthy while controlling sensitivity. After finishing my first tube I will definitely be repurchasing - it works great, has been approved by the bf, and recommended by my dentist on my last visit too!

Do you take pride in your smile? Have you tried the new Oral-B Pro-Expert toothpaste? What is your current toothpaste of choice?

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Happy Wednesday!

Everyone needs a little mid-week pick me up!

All together now...


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Blusher love - 17 First Kiss

Recently there has been a certain little pot of instant flush that I have reached for more often than any other.. and would you believe it it came from the Boots 17 range! Meet my most used and loved blusher of the summer - Boots 17 First Kiss.

First Kiss is an absolutely stunning blush that I think would suit all skin tones. It's a bright pink with gold shimmer that gives it a beautiful peachy, healthy, coral glow. 
I have applied it very strongly in the above photo so you can see the colour. What I love about it is the range of tones that it gives on different plains of your face - a deep pink in the hollows and a shimmering highlighter on the top of your cheekbones.
Please excuse my sideburns...

This blush is my top pick for summer and at just £3.49 it's also a great bargain :).

Have you tried any 17 blushers? What are your favourite blush products? xxx
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