Tuesday, 31 May 2011

New Body Butter Duos from The Body Shop

Whether maneuvering bottles to fit on to the bathroom shelf or packing for a long awaited holiday every girlie girl knows multi-purpose products can be a great space and penny saver. I have so many lotions and potions around the house that storage is becoming a little bit of a nightmare - day cream, night cream, a moisturiser that matches my perfume, hand cream, body butters, a lotion for my legs to prevent hair growth, a rich cream that I use overnight for my feet, a moisturiser with a hint of tan... the list goes on, but unfortunately my suitcase can't stretch to accommodate all of these! Never let it be said that we girls are high maintenance ;).

Being a big fan of Body Butters I was therefore excited to see that The Body Shop were launching a new range of Body Butter Duos in sweet pea, vanilla, macadamia and floral acai (£10 each)  - twin pots containing two types of moisturiser: a light cream for where skin needs less hydration and a rich cream for drier areas.

I was kindly sent the Macadamia Duo, which contains Macadamia extract, Community Fair Trade shea butter, cocoa butter, soya oil, brazil nut oil, organic babassu oil and beeswax. Both butters have a deliciously sweet and nutty fragrance that lasts well on the skin. This duo came with me for a week to beautiful Italy and was put through its paces soothing skin after too much sun, swim and a little bit of gym ;). The lighter side (on the right in photo above) was perfect to apply after a shower or as a hand cream - sinking into the skin quickly without leaving any oily residue, while the thicker cream (on the left) was great as an 'after sun', on drier areas such as elbows, knees and feet, on legs after shaving, or just to prolong a tan.

Fantastic idea, and a great space saver in your suitcase, these body butters are perfect to take on holiday, or just to make more room on your bedside table. I already have the sweet pea scent on my shopping list for when the macadamia runs out ;). Have you tried the new body butter duos? What are your favourite multi-purpose products for the Summer? xxx

Monday, 30 May 2011

Make Believe with a Little White Lie

With the UK sunshine being as fickle as ever a girl needs a tan she can safely rely on - and no I don't mean a sunbed! Over the past few weeks I have been trying out a number of self tanning products from the Make Believe range and their little sister Little White Lie. Make Believe is a luxury, indulgent tanning range that is designed not only to give you a beautiful, natural glow, but also to care for your skin with it's blend of rainforest oils and anti-oxidants.
 While speaking to the creators of MB at a recent event I raised a few concerns I had relating to self tan - mainly the smell, application and the colour results. They assured me that MB was different! Being a brand that focuses on skincare as much as colour the range contains so many moisturising ingredients that application should be effortless - you don't even need to exfoliate (though I did just to be safe).

In addition MB products contain less DHA than other brands, which not only helps with reducing that all too obvious scent, but also makes the tan look more natural, giving everyone an individual colour. After all when you go to the beach with your friends you don't all come back the same colour and MB aims to work with your natural skintone, not against it. I thought this was a fantastic concept. When I apply fake tan I want to look like myself after a holiday, not orange, not a colour that would be completely unachievable for someone of my pallour, and not like everyone else that happens to use the same product as me!

I was really excited to try the products out and I was not disappointed.  One of my favourites is the Make Believe Airbrush Bronzer (200ml - £30). This super fine aerosol spray is easy to apply and dries instantly developing into a lovely tan within 4 hours.
 Before applying the tan I prepared my skin with the Little White Lie Exfoliator (£7.50), which was very gentle and easy to rinse off. I then used a mitt to blend the airbrush bronzer into my skin. The mist was very fine, with a pleasant fresh scent, and dried quickly. Overall application was pretty effortless, though I did find that a lot of the product fell at my feet, making them darker than the rest of me (eek!), so I would recommend spraying a little closer to the skin than the recommended 10 inches. With one full top to toe application I used approximately one third of the can, though I felt that quite a lot of the product was left on the floor, as is inevitable with a spray. I left the tan to develop overnight and was very pleased to see that I woke up to a natural, even tan with no staining on the sheets and no horrible smell. Of course it wasn't completely scent free, but it was nowhere near as potent as others I have tried!
A few weeks later I decided to test out Make Believe's little sister range Little White Lie - which is a more affordable range marketed at the younger girl who wants the same indulgent, high quality pamper of a Make Believe product, but at a lower price point. I chose to try the Little White Lie Tanning Mousse with Argan Oil (150ml - £17.50).
The colourless mousse has a pleasant light scent and is easy to apply using a mitt to blend. When using a mousse product I usually prefer one with a colour guide, just to be on the safe side, but I found this one light enough to build two layers, ensuring there were no gaps. The mousse dried quickly and developed overnight (with no staining) to give a light sun kissed glow. I really liked this product, as it looks so natural, but I can imagine tanaholics could be left disappointed by it's subtlety. However, if you are pale like me and want to build a natural tan, this would be perfect to start with as it's foolproof to apply with no streaking and no tell-tale smell.
Have you tried any products in the Make Believe range? What fake tan will you be wearing this Summer? xxx

Sunday, 29 May 2011

New from Batiste...

This Summer Batiste is doing something new... new packaging, new products and a larger size can!

I'm a huge fan of Batiste and use it every couple of days to stretch my style that little bit further in between washes. Since my hair is long I try to wash it every 3 days to keep it healthy and dry shampoo is indispensable for adding that little bit of extra volume on the third day ;). My favourite is the 'hint of colour' medium & brunette, which also works well at hiding roots!

Since I go through product pretty quickly I was excited to see that Batiste have now launched a 400ml can - twice the size, with about 20 applications, but less than twice the price (£2.99 for 200ml and £4.99 for 400ml)!

Batiste has also welcomed a new recruit to their existing range - XXL volume. This version of Batiste helps to add texture and lift to limp hair, while refreshing it and banishing oily roots. Great for use on the go, and much better for your hair than incessant backcombing, I can't wait to give it a try!

What are your favourite products from the Batiste range? Have you tried the new XXL volume? xxx

Thursday, 26 May 2011

FOTD: Glamorous neutrals

My favourite thing about the weekend is a luscious lie-in, so getting up early on a Saturday morning to head up to Cambridge did not fill me with excitement. Knowing I would have little time to glam up for the evening ahead I decided to go for a neutral look that would last well into the early hours.
 Products used - Face:
Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour foundation (my new go-to foundation! Lasts well, controls oil and looks natural)
MUFE concealer palette
MAC mineralize skinfinish natural
NARS Laguna bronzer
ELF pink blush
Guerlain Meteorites Voyage Radiant Butterfly highlighter

Eyes:
UDPP (as always)
MAC shroom e/s on the lid and wedge in the crease
Dior liquid black liner
No7 Exquisite Curl Mascara
MAC falsies

Lips:
MAC Creme Cup l/s
Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector

What's your favourite long wearing look? Are there any products you rely on to last the day? xxx

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Just a trim please...

It has been far too long since I had my hair cut and last week I decided that it was about time to tame the beast. Without hesitation I called up a few salons and booked the first one that had a Friday evening vacancy, which happened to be RUSH on Earl's Court road. To say I was a little apprehensive would definitely be an understatement as my previous experience at RUSH over a year ago was not a pleasant one (too many inches lost and mullet like layers gained). I made sure the appointment was with a different stylist and tried to keep an open mind...
Please excuse the fuzzy photo above, but I thought it would be worthy of documenting the curly mess that was my hair ;).

My lovey stylist Tye was very understanding of what I wanted - 'just a trim', some shapely layers and a little side fringe to add volume. She was absolutely brilliant at made me feel at ease, assuring me she wasn't going to get snip snip happy behind my back, which happens all too often... I'm sure those of you who have long hair can sympathise lol.

As I have mountains of hair it's often tempting to thin it out and make it choppy, but as my hair is naturally curly this quickly turns into quite the frizzy disaster when left to air dry, especially in the Summer. Luckily Tye knew how to cut curly hair and blended everything together with an expert hand.

The finished result was perfect and I'm very pleased with it. I know that RUSH have quite an aggressive marketing scheme on Groupon, their own website, plus a 20% student discount. My friends' experiences have been somewhat hit and miss so I can't vouch for the chain, but I can honestly recommend the lovely Tye if you are ever in the Earl's Court area.

Let me know what you think of the new do ;). xxx

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

OOTD: Garden Green

This weekend was the bf's Birthday so despite the soul destroying 'bus replacement' service I headed up to Cambridge to celebrate with him and his family. Since the majority of my holdall was full of presents I had to keep the rest to an absolute minimum, not an easy task when you are planning a range of outfits for completely different occasions - lunch with the parents, formal dinner, drinks with friends, shopping and the journey itself. Packing light has never been my forte ;)!

 Dress: Oasis, Shoes: L. K. Bennett, Watch: Michael Kors, Bangles: Thai market.

Having originally spent the best part of a week trying to track down the fluted sleeve belted shift dress from Oasis below for the bf's birthday dinner (green is his favourite colour),
 and failing as it is sold out everywhere in under a week, I decided to go for a similar alternative. The shadow print kimono dress ticks all this season's boxes - floral, bright and kimono style.
 


What trends are you enjoying this Summer? xxx

Monday, 23 May 2011

Michael Kors Rose Gold

I have wanted a new watch for quite a while. Although I love my silver and pink quartz Dior with it's feminine mother of pearl face the cool tone of the silver doesn't offset a tan very well. I wanted something a bit more fun for the Summer.

Enter stage right Michael Kors. Now I know that everyone has an MK watch these days, which usually puts me completely off, but they are so easy to wear and just the right side of affordable for a 'designer' label. I toyed with the idea for a while - I am not a fan of men's watches or anything chunky, so it was just a case of tracking down in the right size and beautiful rose gold finish, which proved difficult as every stockist seemed to only have the ridiculously large version that made my wrist look like a twig.

However on Friday, completely by chance, I popped into Ernest Jones and there it was! Apparently it had only come in that week, which I took as a sure sign ;). So here it is!


I love it and am now on the search for lots of Rose gold jewellery to match. It sits so well against tanned skin and will make a perfect accessory for Summer!

Are you a fan of Rose gold? What accessories are you currently coveting? Xxx

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Work It Out: Cinched

Being tall and with my fair share of curves anything high waisted always catches my attention. I need definition at the waist, so a pencil skirt is one of my absolute wardrobe must haves. For me there's nothing not to love about the shape - it lengthens, slims and accentuates in all the right places ;).

I spotted this black skirt in Zara a little while back and thought it would make a really versatile piece. Despite being pretty plain it gives a lovely silhouette while the slightly folded detailing at the top adds a playful twist.
Blouse - Gap, Skirt - Zara, Shoes - Primarni (though worn in the day with black patent stilettos).

To balance the cinched in waist I chose a floaty cream blouse. I don't often shop in GAP as I find the clothes a bit dull and plain, but this is actually quite quirky - an original take on this season's must have cream blouse. Perhaps they have decided to spice it up a little?! The drapes and bow around the neckline echo the slight pleating around the top of the skirt tying it all together. Someone thought it was an all in one dress, and I have actually seen a few similar two tone dresses on ASOS.
I love classic pieces with a modern edge. What are your favourite classic pieces? xxx

Friday, 20 May 2011

Day 2 Night Guide feat. Rimmel

Sometimes the best nights out are impromptu gatherings that happen on the spur of the moment so it's essential to know how you can transform your look from day to night in a flash!
Wardrobe wise if you have enough warning my tip would be to wear a short dress as a top (as long as the neckline isn't too low), with a skirt over it to lengthen and a cardigan to hide bare shoulders or any sparkly details. These can then be whipped off at the end of the day to reveal your party dress ;).

The more spantaneous the night you the more creative you have to be!
  • Add a few accessories (I always have a necklace, statement rings or a brooch floating around in my bag).
  • Always keep some killer heels in your office drawers for emergencies. 
  • If you want big, voluminous hair just scrape hair backwards and tie it in a loose bun after lunch (make sure to tuck the ends in so they don't get kinks). When you are ready to let loose shake your hair out and rake it through with your fingers while keeping your head upside down and you should have gorgeous soft, bouncy waves!
  • Keep a little clutch in your handbag which you can take out in the evening with all your essentials - it's never cool to be that one girl in the club with a bag the size of a pram ;).
For makeup keeping it simple is the key! If you have enough time and handbag space take your makeup with you and start again with a fresh face in the evening. I have done that once this year - for the office Christmas party, the rest of the time I have simply relied on a few staple, multi purpose products.
  • Keep your makeup neutral  and you can easily add colour to it later without trying to compete with the morning's eyeshadow.
  • An eyeliner pencil, 2 eyeshadows and 1 brush are all you really need to create a subtle smokey eye.
  • Keep a bright lipstick in your handbag at all times -  this is the quickest and easiest way to add some colour for the evening. Use it on your lips and cheeks to create statement lips and a healthy rosy glow. I love MAC's Vegas Volt and GOSH Barbie.
  • Don't go overboard on the powder if your skin gets oily throughout the day. Use tissue to blot away excess oil and apply powder lightly to areas that need it.
  • Keep a refreshing face spray such as Liz Earle's Instant Boost Skin Tonic in your handbag. This is great for a little pick me up (especially if you work in an air conditioned space), on planes and for setting or refreshing your makeup throughout the day.
  • Add an extra coat of volumising mascara to pump up those lashes.

I have recently been testing out the Rimmel Glam'eyes Day 2 Night mascara that creates two different lash effects - volume and length, with just one brush. The double cap allows you to pick which style you want by twisting off a different part of the cap.

The length part allows less product on to the brush, which helps define, separate and lengthen the lashes.
 This is great for the day to create a lovely natural, clean lash look.


The volume part allows much more product onto the brush giving a fuller, darker and more dense lash look perfect for night time!
However, as the formulation is quite wet it can make a bit of a mess if you are not careful. This definitely isn't sneeze proof, as I discovered to my horror this morning when my hayfever kicked in midway through application ;).
Overall I think this is a great mascara - affordable and versatile. For me the best way to get a dramatic lash look without clumps is to use volume first to lay down the majority of the product and build up my lashes and follow with length to define and separate.

Have you tried the new Rimmel Day 2 Night Mascara? What are your tips for going from day to night my lovelies? Do you have a special routine or time saving tips? xxx

*Sponsored Post*

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Merano, Italy

As some of you may know I spent last week in Italy with my lovely mama. After a little shopping spree in Milan we made our way to Merano in South Tyrol to a health retreat.
 It wasn't quite the pizza, pasta and gelato feast I had envisaged, but the hard work of a strict detox diet, exercise and purifying treatments, as well as a few rays of sunshine, will hopefully be the beginning of a more balanced lifestyle! After weeks of bank holiday merriment and excess an injection of health was definitely overdue!

As I spent most of the week in either an attractive white dressing gown, gym wear or the occasional bikini I don't have too many exciting photos to share, so here are some of the gorgeous Italian scenery.

Have you ever been to Italy? What are your favourite places to visit? I would go every week for the gelato alone... mmm pistachio ;). xxx

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Work It Out - Office Safari

As we are now on the cusp of Summer I thought it was about time to bring some sunshine into the office! This dress has been waiting patiently in my wardrobe for a few weeks as the nude colour doesn't really suit my natural palour, but after a touch of Sun I felt brave enough to reveal a little skin.

 Belted Dress - Oasis, Leopard print flats - Primark

I was seduced by the hourglass shape of this shirt dress as soon as I saw it. Even on the website it looks perfectly form fitting - giving structure, but with movement and flow.
The only problem I had with this dress is that it is 100% cotton so creases terribly. One quick perch on the tube and it looked far from polished!
I paired this dress with a Juicy Couture brown jacket.

For jewellery I chose gold rings from Jewelmint and a pearly coin necklace (worn as bracelet) from Banana Republic.
To add some colour to an otherwise neutral look I used MAC peachykeen blush and vegas volt lipstick. Apologies for the blurry photo - early mornings are not my forte.

Are you braving neutrals this Summer? What are your must have pieces for the season? xxx

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

P&G Summer Spa

On Thursday 2nd June P&G will be inviting the Blogging community to take part in the P&G Summer Spa for one on ones with the P&G Beauty Experts, who will be doing tuorials and answering questions at your request. The brand ambassadors include Ben Cooke from Herbal Essences, Nichola Joss from Venus and the gorgeous (and lovely in person too!) Caroline Barnes from Max Factor.

There are lots of ways to get involved and learn from the experts! Firstly, you can vote for your favourite questions from the online poll below: 
 
 
Plus, you can also ask your own questions! Do you have any beauty dilemmas or are you just looking out for the new trends? This is your chance to ask the experts! On the night a number of blog questions will be chosen and if yours is picked you will win a P&G Beauty Goody bag filled with the must have products of the season!!!
 
Please leave your questions in the comments below, as well as an e-mail adress so we can contact you if your question features and you are a lucky winner! I will be publishing the winners after the event on the 2nd of June, so be sure to check back ;).
 
My personal question would be to Christel Lundqvist from Wella Professionals. With the hot Summer months ahead of us I would love to know what his tips would be for keeping naturally curly/ wavy hair under control in the heat and humidity, and what products he would recommmend that could enhance the curl and tame the dreaded frizz while not weighing the hair down.
 
Get your questions in ladies, there are lots of wonderful goodie bags to be won ;). xxx
 
*This is a sponsored post*

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Requests please!

This post is brought to you by a very dodgy Italian wi-fi connection that I have managed to secure by hanging off the hotel balcony, so it must be speedy for my fear of losing my laptop to the mountain winds.
Soon I will be taking part in a 'Get the Look' type project in conjunction with Babyliss where I will be able to create a hairstyle with the aid of a professional to guide me through the steps! I'm really excited about this opportunity as it gives me the chance to really learn how to do all those styles I always wanted to, but never knew how. So with this in mind, which hairstyles would you most like to see me create?
Please leave comments below, or if you have a specific request (and a photo for inspiration or reference) do e-mail me with your ideas at filthygorgeousmakeup@gmail.com. The most popular style will be featured :)!
So far my twitteristas have picked out bouffants and easy up-dos as their favourites. What are yours? xxx

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora

A few days ago I attended an event held at L'Occitane's lovely Covent Garden store introducing the new Pivoine Flora collection of fragrance and makeup containing peony extract from the south of France (Drôme).
L'Occitane is a brand I have always been fond of. Their hand creams are beautifully indulgent, while their almond shower oil is a staple in my bathroom. My mama also has a very soft spot for them, particularly the verbena range, so I am always trying to pick out a new treasure for her, and when it has migrated to her bathroom sneakily trying it out myself when I visit ;).

I am yet to swatch and take photos of the makeup, but I just couldn't wait to tell you all about the Pivoine Flora fragrance. A true elixir of femininity, this perfume blends the delicacy of peonies with the sensuality of magnolias in a captivating floral fragrance marked with a woody trail.
Top Note: a burst of bergamot blended with grapefruit
Middle Note: an intense scent of peony, magnolia and violet petals
Base Note: a lingering silky richness enveloped in vanilla, cedar and musk.  

I absolutely adore this perfume. Floral, sweet, warm and feminine it's a perfect scent for the Summer. As with all L'Occitane fragrances it holds well on the skin and wears well throughout the day with the vanilla notes creating a warm, delicate, soothing finish. After using the eau de parfum (£39) in the morning I like to top it up throughout the day with the Pivione Flora eau de toilette roll on (£14). This is a great way of keeping your perfume with you at all times without having to carry the bottle with you. The slim design not only saves space in your hand bag, but also minimises the risk of spillages. There's nothing worse than breaking a new bottle of perfume!

Have you tried the new Pivoine Flora range? What are your favourite fragrances for the Summer? xxx

Monday, 9 May 2011

Work It Out: Instalment Trente

As far as wardrobe staples go a white jacket is high on my list. I have a couple in my wardrobe, a structured Zara blazer for work, a light cotton for throwing effortlessly over summer dresses and a stripy one perfect for spicing up a simple look. I spotted this pseudo jacket in River Island this weekend and knew it had to be mine. This jacket makes a perfect piece for layering and a great transition piece into Spring. I love the structure of the top half, with shoulder pads and sleek lapels, paired with the light material, longer length and 3/4 sleeves giving it the casual feel of a cardigan.

 Jacket - River Island, Midnight blue dress - French Connection, Brown leather belt - Oasis.

I think it will also look great over a longline t-shirt with jeans/leggings or a classic A-line dress.

What are your wardrobe staples for Spring? xxx