Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Sexy Victoria's Secret Waves w/ the InStyler

I am a huge fan of Victoria's Secret! The underwear, the girls, the show, the hair, the makeup and those amazing wings. As ever this year's show was spectacular and my favourite angel Adriana Lima looked as beautiful as ever. Though I would not often want to put my picture next to hers needs must
for the greater good... good hair!
This week I have been experimenting with a new hair tool - the InStyler. I first spotted this styling tool in a commercial and was intrigued by it's innovative design, which features a rotating curling iron and a brush.
The InStyler is a multi functional tool that can both curl and straighten the hair, as well as adding volume and shine. The bristles separate individual strands while the rotating cylinder straightens and polishes. As the heat is spread evenly along the hair with the rotating motion the InStyler uses less heat than traditional tools, which is encouraging as I always worry about using too much heat on my hair! The three heat settings available are 196 °C (for thick, coarse hair),  157 °C (for thin to medium-textured hair) and 140 °C (for fine, thin hair).

To see how I used the InStyler to create sexy, soft curls and sleek, straight hair just watch the video below!

I really like the idea of the InStyler as it creates beautiful, soft curls/waves in an innovative way. However, I did find it a little tricky to use at first, especially as you have to be quite careful with the hot cylinder not to burn your fingers. This tool does come with a heat guard for this purpose, but I found it easier to remove it when curling the hair.

Being accustomed to my Babyliss Big Hair I did find it a little annoying that I could not control the direction of the spin, meaning that you always have to hold it in a certain direction to get the best results, which can be a little awkward if you are not ambidextrous. Though this is a tool that takes a little practice for me it is worth the effort as I absolutely love the shape of the curls created by the InStyler - the perfect big, bouncy, shiny Victoria's Secret waves!

The InStyler retails at £99 on their website here and is also available from Boots here... with 396 clubcard points too ;). For more information, as well as tips and tricks for creating a range of styles you can also visit InStyler's Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channel, which also has a great range of tutorial videos!

Have you seen the InStyler? Are you a fan of multipurpose hair styling tools? Are you tempted to try it? What hair style would you create with it? xxx

**This is a sponsored post.**

Monday, 21 November 2011


 The beauty brains behind Look magazine have developed their own beauty range in support of cancer charity Look Good... Feel Better, which helps ladies combat the visible side-effects of their cancer treatment. With over 100 beauty essentials including 32 eyeshadow and nail polish colours, lipsticks, glosses, foundation, bronzers and much more it is definitely a range that will make an impact with its imminent launch in Superdrug stores!
At just £4 each the single eyeshadows come in a great range of colours and finishes. I particularly like the fact that all the shadows have individual names and numbers too, which is not often the case with many affordable collections.
Left: Suede (no. 25). Right: Acid Wash (no.1).
The shadows have great pigmentation and colour pay off, though they are a little powdery, so I would recommend using them with a good base to prevent fall out.
Of all the products I have been lucky enough to play with the lipsticks (£7) are probably my favourite. I love the selection of fun colours and the creamy, moisturising texture that leaves lips feeling smooth and glossy. Pictured above is Toffee Cup (shade no. 4) a beautiful, milky and oh so wearable nude, which was kindly chosen for me by the lovely Zoe.
The Double Hit Lip (£7) is a clever double ended lipstick and gloss in a selection of bright, punchy colours. These lippies are extremely pigmented and they smell delicious too!
 Red Alert shade 4
L to R: Lipstick, Gloss, Combination.
I was also very much excited to see the selection of nail varnishes (£5) Look has an offer. A massive 32 shades encompassing some gorgeous brights, as well as bling glitters and modern nudes/ taupes. Of the two shades I received I was most drawn to Pearl Effect (shade 20).
I immediately applied this over my current nail polish (OPI Russian navy) and loved the subtle, multi dimensional effect it created. I can't wait to experiment with it as a top coat over contrasting colours!

Sophie Beresiner, the Beauty Editor of Look magazine, is such a strong, beautiful lady and an absolute inspiration. I highly recommend checking out her blog here and reading her story.

Are you a Look magazine reader? Will you be supporting Look Good... Feel Better and purchasing any products from Look Beauty? What products are you most excited about in the range? xxx

Sunday, 20 November 2011

John Frieda UK: Selected by You!

The question I am asked most often is what hair colour I use and I am so excited to finally be able to share the answer with you after months of secrecy!!!

After careful consultation with their customers John Frieda have added six new shades 'Selected by You' in their Precision Foam Colour range. I was lucky enough to have a sneak peak of the shades a few months ago and have my hair coloured at the John Frieda salon in Mayfair with the new 5RV - medium burgundy. Check out the video below for some behind the scenes footage, tips for getting the perfect at home colour to suit you and some shocking hair flipping on my part ;).

To celebrate the launch of the new Selected by You shades John Frieda are giving away 100 sets of my new 5RV hair colour on their Facebook page here.
Let me know what you think of my new hair colour and hair flipping technique ;), and don't forget to enter for your chance to win! xxx

All about eyebrows!

This is one of my most requested tutorials. I get so many questions from you guys about eyebrows, so I thought I would make a little video showing you my routine and some little tips and tricks for getting perfectly groomed brows.

Recently I have also enjoyed using Sleek's Brow Kit (£7.99 here). This comes complete with all the tools you need to groom those bushy brows ;) - it contains a wax to set, a powder to fill in (I use the shade light), two synthetic brushes and mini tweezers. It's a great set to throw in your bag for your travels too!
What are your tips and tricks for getting the perfect eyebrow? Do you maintain your shape or leave it to the professionals? What products would you recommend? xxx

Friday, 18 November 2011

Late night manicure

Crackle polish may be old news, but I must confess that I was never a fan of it in the first place. It looks worn and messy and I prefer an immaculate manicure, not a grungy one. So it somewhat pains me to say that while playing with my nail polishes one (very late) night I discovered a more sophisticated way of wearing crackle polish and have actually kept it on all week!
Nail polish: OPI Russian Navy (£7.99 here), Crackle Polish: 17 Nail Xtras Crackle Top Coat (£3.99 here), Top Coat: Seche Vite (£9 here).
By only using crackle polish on the 'feature' nail I think the crackle creates some interesting texture without overpowering the whole manicure. The gold is also a much more attractive alternative to the matte black that most brands have featured!

Are you a fan of the crackle effect? Have you tried any of the new magnetic polishes? Which ones would you recommend? xxx

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Giveaway: John Frieda Luxurious Volume

I am sure many of you have noticed my love of big hair. The bigger the better in my opinion, so I am always on the search for products that can give my hair that extra bit of 'oomph'.
As a long time lover of dry shampoo I was excited to try John Frieda's Volume Refresher, which promises to create volume at the roots when fine hair begins to fall flat. It also refreshes your style by absorbing oils for a fresh, full look.
The John Frieda LV is super easy to use - just spray it into your roots and massage to create lift. Although the powder is white/ translucent it is very fine, so it doesn't leave behind any visible residue or make the hair look dull, even on dark hair. I prefer to use it in between washes to create lift at the roots and absorb excess oils.
If you fancy trying the new John Frieda Luxurious Volume Refresher now is your chance! I have 5 to give away to my wonderful followers!

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is:
  • Have a UK postal address
  • Follow this blog
  • Leave a comment below
I will be announcing the winners next weekend so you have one week to enter. Good Luck my lovelies! xxx

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Home Comforts - Candles

With the days growing colder and darker I find myself increasingly looking forward to cosy nights in on the sofa. So with home comforts in mind I thought I would do a little round up of my favourite scented candles at the moment.

In keeping with it's higher price tag this is one of the most deeply scented candles I have ever had. The essential oils of tuberose and rose give it a delicious, sweet scent that reminds me of Turkish delight. This candle is perfect for relaxation as it is very soothing and calming.

I was given this candle at a PR event in Spiced Punch, which contains notes of bergamot, orange peel, cedarwood, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla. This candle creates a beautiful, warm, spicy yet comforting aroma, which is perfect for cold winter nights! The packaging is also gorgeous and it makes a beautiful addition to my coffee table. The only (tiny) thing that lets it down somewhat is the fact that the PL design is a plastic sticker, rather than a permanent etched image. Especially as you are paying a little extra for the DP logo over the normal white, embossed ceramic holder (normally £28).

These are super affordable and come in a great selection of colours and fragrances. I can recommend the mulled wine.. yummy! These make great stocking fillers too.

Neal's Yard Calming Aromatherapy Candle - £28
This is a beautiful candle infused with delicate organic rose and geranium essential oils. The fragrance is well balanced and creates a comforting aroma in the home, without being overpowering. The 100% organic blend of beeswax and botanical wax means there is no sooty smoke or harmful toxins. 
I have absolutely no idea how these work, but I absolutely adore them! The light at the bottom comes on as soon as you light the candle and cycles through the colour spectrum with a gentle glow. These are not the most strongly scented candles, but they do add a lovely splash of colour to any space.

Yankee candles are a classic with an amazing range of delicious fragrances. These come in a great variety of sizes from individual tea lights to large jars. They also have a great range of Christmas fragrances, guaranteed to put you in the festive spirit!
Jo Malone candles make a perfect, indulgent gift for yourself or a loved one. The exquisite range of fragrances is more akin to perfumes than scented candles and fills the room in minutes with a refined and interesting scent. Even the smaller travel candles are extremely potent - pricey, but worth it in my humble opinion ;).

I hope this little review and collection of my top scented candles is helpful to some of you. Please let me know your favourites and recommendations! xxx

Monday, 14 November 2011

Acceptable In The 80's

I've got love for you if you were born in the 80's!
This weekend I celebrated one of my best friend's birthdays in true retro style - at a roller disco. Although we were only babies in the 80s, we decided to pay homage to the era in full fancy dress. My budget outfit was put together last minute - a Mango leotard, pleather leggings (yumm!), fluorescent pink tutu, leg warmers and fishnet gloves (ebay).
For makeup I took inspiration from a plethora of 80s music videos and decided to wear clashing colours - lilacs on the eyes (BarryM dazzle dust all over the lid and up to the eyebrows!), fuchsia pink strongly contoured cheeks (MAC full fuchsia blush) and bright pink lipstick (BarryM lip paint in no. 146).
To complete the look I used L'Oreal carbon gloss liquid liner and my new favourite mink lashes from Velour (You Complete Me - half price sale for $29.99 here).
Instead of opting for a crazy 80s perm, I decided to create a modern interpretation of big hair. I kept the natural curl in my hair and added lots of volume and texture by blow drying my hair upside down, back combing, and fixing with Tigi Bed Head Candy Fixation Sugar Shock Bodifying Sugar Spray (£10), which not only smells amazing, but also gives great hold without making the hair feel crispy and dry.
We had a fabulous night of skating and dancing and somehow I managed to stay upright throughout... though the same can't be said for my friends! Although we were celebrating a twenty-something birthday we had so much fun pretending to be teenagers in the 80s!

Are you a fan of the 80's? What's your favourite fancy dress? xxx

Monday, 7 November 2011

Happy Birthday Lipcote!

The beloved classic that is Lipcote is celebrating it's 50th birthday!

Now, I must confess that I haven't worn Lipcote in about 5 years, in fact the last photo I can find is circa 2006 below ;).
I recall it working brilliantly and keeping my lipstick in place all night without any bleeding or fading, however it did dry my lips out (a lot). Having worn it all day today I am surprised to say that my lips are not as parched as I would have expected! I do think the formulation has improved, it's not as tingly as I recall and it has a pleasant new vanilla scent.

To celebrate 50 years of Lipcote the HPM bloggers were invited to a 'virtual twitter party' this evening. Personally, I thought this was a good idea as it allows those outside of London get involved without the hassle and expense of having to travel in for an event.

As I am currently sitting glamorously on my sofa in pjs I decided to make a little effort and create my own unique shade of lipstick using an array of different lip colours.
I topped my custom made shade with a thin layer of Lipcote, which gave the lipstick a satin finish.

At just £3.49 Lipcote is an affordable essential for the party season to keep your berries, plums and vintage reds in place under the mistletoe. I wouldn't recommend it for use every day as coupled with the cold weather it will make your lips dehydrated, but it's perfect for special occasions when you need your lips to be picture perfect and kiss proof all night!

Lipcote is available from selected pharmacies including Boots and Superdrug.

Are you a fan of Lipcote? Do you use any products to promote the longevity of your lipsticks? Do you have any tips for making lipstick last longer? What's your go to shade this party season? xxx

** This is a sponsored post. All views and opinions are my own, as always.**

Saturday, 5 November 2011

My Birthday.. in Vivienne Westwood!

On Saturday night I celebrated my birthday in Juju with 30 of my closest friends. We had a brilliant night dancing and drinking champagne till the early hours of the morning! I was very spoilt with lots of lovely presents and couldn't be more thankful for my amazing extended family (friends).
 Rubens Print Friday Dress: Vivienne Westwood Anglomania

I knew that I wanted a very special dress for my birthday this year, so I saved up and took my time looking for something unique. I have always loved Vivienne Westwood dresses for their gorgeous feminine shape and unusual fabrics, so when I spotted this Rubens painting print dress in Harvey Nichols I skipped into the changing room straight away. As this dress is a lot more pricey than my usual purchases I did 'umm' and 'aaah' about it for a while, but in the end decided to treat myself and I am so happy with it!!
For a little bit of a glow I skipped the fake tan (for fear of it rubbing off on my dress) and opted for He-Shi's One Day Tan (£14.50) instead. This gel cream is so quick and easy to apply, dries very speedily and gives instant colour, which is perfect for that special night out when you don't want to risk any streaking, or simply don't have the time to wait for your tan to develop.
I styled my hair with the Babyliss heated rollers and backcombed at the roots to make sure the volume lasted all night. To set the hair I used Pantene Volume and Body Haispray and Tigi's Hair Bodifying Sugar Spray (which smells delicious and holds really well).
For makeup I used Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation, a heavier base that would stay put all night. I set it with MAC MSF natural and contoured with YSL's Afrique bronzing powder. On the cheeks I used a mix of MAC's Well Dressed and NARS Angelika blush and highlighted with Guerlain's Butterfly highlighter. For the lips I chose an old favourite - MAC's A Rose Romance lipstick. On my eyes I used UDPP, MAC's Reflects Antique Gold all over the lid and Espresso in the crease. I finished off with MAC's Blacktrack gel liner and the most amazing mink lashes from Velour.
These are the You Complete Me mink lashes ($29.99) from Velour and they are my new favourites! The mink hair is so lovely and smooth, and somehow looks much more natural than plastic lashes. I would also like to point out that these lashes are cruelty free - the hairs are gently brushed from live mink and sterilized to ensure that they are hypo-allergenic.

I absolutely adore their shape, with natural lashes nearer the front and longer, fuller sweeping lashes in the outer corners that give a beautiful, flirty look. These lashes are extremely well made, easy to apply and super comfortable to wear. I have also found that they are much easier to clean, so much so that they can we worn up to 25 times!
I had such a lovely birthday and am very sad that it's all over. I hope you are all having a lovely weekend!

Are you a fan of Vivienne Westwood? What is your dream party dress? What lashes are you loving at the moment? xxx

Friday, 4 November 2011

OOTD and Competition: London Boy

Don't be confused by the title of this post, I haven't quite embraced masculine tailoring, but I am getting a taste of River Island's new London Boy collection!

To show off the wonderful shape of this tube midi skirt I decided to keep my look monochromatic and set it off with some ah-mazing turquoise suede boots that have been sitting in my bedroom waiting for an outing for months. Although stripes are not always the most flattering of patterns, especially on the hips, this skirt creates a beautiful, feminine shape with curves in all the right places ;).
 Leather jacket: Reiss (similar here)
Black vest: Zara (£15.99 here)
Tube skirt: River Island (gifted, £18 here)
Patent leather belt: ASOS
Tights: M&S
Boots: River Island (£100 here).
 Wool Felted Fedora Hat: New Look (On sale £6.99 here).

If you have been lusting after River Island's new London Boy lookbook why not enter their facebook competitioon here to be one of five people who will win the entire trend collection? All you have to do is click on 9 items on the postcard that inspired the collection.
I've already entered, so I'll give you a clue... the tube skirt I'm wearing above is one of them. Good luck my lovelies!

What do you think of River Island's London Boy collection? What are your favourite pieces? Do you dare to wear stripes? How much do you love those boots? I'm pretty obsessed with them ;p. xxx
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