Sunday, 31 July 2011

Coral OOTD

For a relaxed Sunday outing I channeled my inner Liz Hurley in a pair of crisp, white trousers. White jeans have always been a summer staple for me - not only do they flatter and draw attention to your legs (one part of my body I am actually a fan of lol), but they also make your tan pop like nothing else can! Today I decided to roll mine up for a more casual feel.
 Shirt: Zara (on Sale £15.99), Jeans: Zara, Bracelets: Oasis, Ring: H&M, Watch: Michael Kors, Sandals: New Look
I love these Oasis gold wire and stone bangles. They come in a set of two, but I'm very tempted to pick up more!

What are your summer wardrobe staples? xxx

Saturday, 30 July 2011

GlossyBox!

When I first heard about GlossyBox I couldn't hide my excitement. As a beauty product junkie I love trying new products... and lots of them, so what better way than an assortment of miniatures delivered to my door every month?!

GlossyBox is an exciting new enterprise that aims to provide cosmetics lovers with the latest, on-trend products at a fraction of the price. For £10 a month (plus £2.95 postage) you will receive a beautiful box of treats containing 5 miniature luxury products.
Each GlossyBox is lovingly wrapped and comes with a card that lists the contents and information relating to the ingredients and prices of the products. I always think it's especially lovely when products are well presented and I can't fault the cute packaging of each GlossyBox. I will definitely be using these as gift boxes in the future. On a side note - I have to admit that I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to wrapping. I secretly keep all the tissue paper and gift bags I receive at events to use in future - after all even a bottle of cheap vino feels more special when presented in a beautiful bag to the host of a Friday night dinner party ;).
Each Glossy Box is different as you can't pick the products that will make up your box each month, but personally I like to be surprised, and pleasantly so when I try new products I probably wouldn't have chosen for myself. However, if you are a tricky customer you can create your own personal beauty profile on the site which will help to determine the right products to fit your needs and tastes. You can also choose to fill in a feedback form on the products you receive, with each completed form earning you a glossy dot, while 20 glossy dots will earn you a free Glossy Box!
The July Glossy Box had a fabulous range of products and I was very happy with my selection, which was made up of:
  • Nouveau Lashes (£8.95) - Gorgeous, natural strip lashes that are perfect for adding a little extra flutter to any eye look.
  • Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil 100ml (£19.95) - I have been obsessed with this oil from the first sniff. It smells absolutely delicious, is 100% natural, sinks into the skin quickly without leaving any greasy residue and with its mix of Jojoba, Sesame, Sunflower, Wheat and Macadamia Seed Oils has been extremely moisturising on my post holiday skin. It's also beautiful when added to a bath. I love!
  • Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Explode (£13) - beautiful, wearable lipgloss that looks great on its own or over any bright lipsticks.
  • Ciate Nail Enamel (£9) - I love Ciate nail polishes as the thick brush makes them easy and quick to apply and they have such great coverage that you can easily get away with one coat.
  • Xen-Tan Deep Bronze Luxe (£28.99 for full size) - I haven't had a chance to try this out, but I have heard great things about Xen-Tan so I am hopeful it won't disappoint!
Overall I am extremely happy with the selection of products I received. The four full size products (excluding the tan sample) make up a total retail value of just over £50! I have already recommended this service to all of my friends and colleagues and have received such great feedback from everyone. I really can't say enough good things about it! I was sent my first box to review, but having seen the calibre of the products featured I have absolutely no doubts about signing up. Even if not all the products will be to my liking they will make great gifts!

Have you signed up to GlossyBox? Are you tempted? xxx

Friday, 29 July 2011

OOTD: Jump into a jumpsuit

For a fun lunch date this weekend I decided to go all 70s in a jumpsuit and super chunky heels.
 Jumpsuit: H&M, Square Ring: Oasis, Wedges: New Look

Makeup wise I kept the eyes and cheeks neutral and chose a statement red lippie (mix of Beaute Fever stain, Bourjois and MAC Russian Red lipsticks) to accent the green of the jumpsuit. The stain lasted so well throughout the day that I only needed to reapply once.
 Maxie was trying to get in on the photo action... but mummy was having none of it ;).

Are you embracing the 70s look? I can't say I am a huge fan, but it's fun to have a little play(suit)! xxx

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick #19 Gabrielle

Its Chanel, it's classic, it's creamy, it's vibrant and rich and perhaps the most beautiful red I have ever seen. My new red lippie of choice is the Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick no.19 Gabrielle. I am in love!
A classic red lip is one of the easiest looks to do, but it never fails to make a statement and make you feel feminine and glamorous. The tricky part (once you have mastered creating a neat lip shape) is finding the right red for you!
 I think this colour would suit most as being a true red it is not too dark or cool, but still retains all its 'teeth brightening' properties. I'll let the swatches speak for themselves ;).
 Tutorial for this look is coming soon, but I just couldn't wait to share my lipstick love!

Do you love red statement lips? What is your favourite red lipstick? xxx

Monday, 25 July 2011

OOTD: Colour blocking pleats

I'm sure you've all seen the glossies quoting 'colour blocking',  'pleats' and 'clashing colours' as the must have trends this season, so I shall keep it short and sweet. I spotted this cute pink and peachy pink two tone skirt in H&M a few months ago and immediately snapped it up. It's so easy to wear and quickly ticks all the style boxes in one.

 Vest: Zara, Scarf: Miss Selfridge, Skirt: H&M, Ballet pumps: HK market, Bag: Aspinal of London.

I found this photo on the web that shows the colour more accurately than my over enthusiasically colour saturated iphone...

Pleats are not the easiest thing to pull off as the extra inches of material can add, well just that... So keep it high waisted and streamlined - I like to wear the size up to make sure all the pleats fall flat and the skirt retains its original shape.

What trends are you wearing this summer? xxx

Sunday, 24 July 2011

OOTD: Well the weather outside is frightful...

The weather outside may be frightful, but sale shopping is delightful!

Returning from the glorious Turkish sunshine to be faced with the typical English summer rain I was feeling a little down - not least because I wasn't able to show off my hard earned tan ;). Between the drizzle, wind and cold I have resigned myself to the fact that summer may be over in England, without ever having really begun.

I always find this type of changeable weather difficult to dress for - you can't afford to go all easy breezy in summer dresses for fear of a downpour, but can't wrap up too warm as you never know when those few elusive rays of sunshine will fight their way through the clouds. So I was very excited when I spotted this little waterproof number in the Warehouse sale. I love the light colour, the short sleeves and the pretty laser cut detailing. It's light enough to keep you cool in the heat and show a little skin, while keeping you dry in the drizzle. Never has such a practical purchase looked so cute!
 Coat: Warehouse (now £25!!), Purple Dress: LK Bennett, Shoes: Kurt Geiger.

Have you made any exciting purchases in this summer's sales? xxx

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Marmaris, Turkey

The bf and I have just spent a perfect week in the stunning Turkish sunshine. We chose a slightly more remote location between Icmeler and Marmaris (near where the Aegean and Mediterranean seas meet) so we could get the perfect balance of relaxing and exploring!
Since we booked a little last minute we decided to keep things simple with an all inclusive package, which ended up being the perfect choice. The food was amazing (lots of fresh vegetables, local fish and all the watermelon and cherries a girl could dream of) and the drinks flowed freely ;).
Dress: Motel, Bag: Primark, Sandals: New Look (now on sale for £7!!), Sunglasses: Fiorelli (now £30).

Our hotel was in a park/forest right by the sea, which not only made for a romantic stroll in the evening, but also ensured we made lots of new friends.. mosquito friends that feasted on me every night :(. Though I did make one more friend.. (just don't tell Maxie)!
Bikini: La Senza, Hat: Sisley, Sarong: Market, Flip-flops: Havaianas.
 
Dress and belt: Zara, Clutch: French Connection, Necklace: Banana Republic, Sandals: New Look (as before).

On our first day trip we went to the mud baths in Dalyan where we bathed in the sulphur pool (which smells just as tasty as you imagine) and then covered ourselves in mud safe in the knowledge that once it dried we would look 20 years younger ;). 
Goodbye bikini... you have served me well! Although I have outgrown you, you shall be fondly remembered :(.

We then sailed down the river to see the most amazing ruins - crypts carved into the limestone cliffs over 4000 years ago! Incredible!
On our second trip we went on a snorkeling cruise stopping at 7 different islands. The SPF 50 was in full force!
I couldn't leave you all without the ubiquitous jumping shot. Even if it is a super embarrassing one of me holding my nose lol... watch out Tom Daley ;).
With so many gorgeous swimsuits out this season I promised myself that I would wear one without feeling 'mumsy' in it. This one from Per Una definitely came in handy after all those generous buffets hehe!
For a night out dancing I chose this dress from Zara, which was an impulse purchase inspired by JLo's latest video. If you can't get away with a thigh high slit on holiday then where else? (Actually please don't answer that)!
Dress: ASOS, Shoes: Mango, Bag: Primark (as before).
 Yum!
 Dress: Paprika, Clutch: Mulberry (ahem.. Turkish market).

We had such a lovely time in Turkey and were very hesitatnt to return home. Beautiful sunshine (45oC every day), clear waters, amazing history - we can't wait to go back!

I hope you are all having a good Summer, despite this most depressing weather of late. xxx

Friday, 15 July 2011

Eucerin AQUAporin Active Review

Eucerin is a brand I'm not too familiar with, but have always seen mentioned in various magazines and recommended by MUAs, so I was interested in trying out some of their products. Having a quick browse through their website I was impressed to see that Eucerin is heavily involved in research, with over 650 international international scientists carrying out dermatological research in their newly opened centre in Hamburg.

Eucerin's new  AQUAporin Active Range was inspired by a Nobel Prize-winning discovery - *aqua porins* are proteins that sit in the cell membrane forming channels that allow water to pass into and out of the cell... no googling there - I knew that Science degree would come in handy one day ;). Therefore, to increase skin's hydration the Eucerin AQUAporin Active range aims to support the skin's aquaporin production.Unlike many other creams targeted at specifically dry skin  this range tries to restore the moisture levels of dehydrated skin. Any 'type' of skin (whether normal, oily, sensitive, or dry) can become dehydrated when faced with the elements!

Havings spent years delving through mountains of scientific papers in order to prove any hypotheses I had I am always keen to see the results of trials. Studies of the Eucerin AQUAporin Active range show that in people aged 19-60 years, half of whom had sensitive skin, there was an immediate and a long-term impact on the skin's moisture content. After the initial 24 hours, more than 90% said there had been an instant and remarkable moisturisation within the skin. After the initial week, more than 96% said their skin was protected from drying out. Three days after the last application, more than 93% felt their skin was still thoroughly moisturised. Sounds pretty compelling, but did it work for me?

As I only had a week to test out the range I decided to split the work load and offer some to a colleague who suffers with dry skin. As I have pretty oily skin that is also sensitive I felt that between the two of us we had most bases covered.

She used the Eucerin AQUAporin ACTIVE  Moisturising Cream Rich (£13.27) for dry and sensitive skin. She was initially worried that it may be a little too thick, but was pleasantly surprised by the light consistency and how easily it absorbed into the skin. The whole range is noncomedogenic and works well as a makeup base as it doesn't 'sit' on the skin. She assured me that she would repurchase as she felt it made her skin much soother and softer and soothed any problematic dry patches. She gave it an 8/10, and only because she felt that the effects didn't last all the way through to the end of a long working day.

Meanwhile I was testing out the Eucerin AQUAporin ACTIVE Moisturising Cream Light for normal to combination skin (£13.27). I liked the smooth and light texture of the cream and thought it worked perfectly in the morning as it sunk in quickly ready for me to apply my makeup almost straight away. The cream has a faint scent that I can only describe as 'clean'. As my skin is naturally quite oily it doesn't often look or feel particularly dehydrated, though at times when I have had my skin analysed it has shown up as a little on the dehydrated side.

As I have just spent the last week on holiday in Turkey I had the perfect opportunity to also test out the Eucerin AQUA Porin Active Moisturising Cream SPF15 (£13.27). This cream is a little heavier, but still relatively light and in no way greasy. I am often wary of creams wih SPF as sometimes they can be too heavy on my skin and even cause blocked pores and blemishes. Luckily, this cream didn't cause me any problems and worked well to shield my skin from the harmful rays, as well as retain moisture.

Overall I have really enjoyed trying out Eucerin's new range and look forward to learning more about this brand in the future. Have you tried any Eucerin products? Do you suffer from dehydrated skin? Are you interested in trying out this new range?

* This is a sponsored review. As always all opinions are my own.*

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Sheer Stella

As much as I believe in having a 'signature' fragrance it's always fun to mix it up. I love trying new fragrances and use a different one every day depending on my mood or the occasion. I was therefore excited to be given the opportunity to try Stella McCartney's new limited edition fragrance Sheer Stella. A lighter, crisper version of the original this fragrance is a perfect choice for the summer as it's light and easy to wear. One of my friends wore the original fragrance quite frequently when we were living together, so it always brings back fond memories!
With a heart of peony and rose this is a classically girly, sweet and floral fragrance. I am a big fan of rose scents, though I know some think they are a little old fashioned. The grape and plum top notes, as well as lemon and apple middle notes help to make this classic fragrance a little more modern and fresh.

Sheer Stella retails at £38, though I have found it online for £32.99 here.

Have you tried the new Sheer Stella fragrance, or the original? What perfumes are you wearing this summer? xxx

Monday, 11 July 2011

Get set.. GO! M&S Travel Bottle (and more) Set

As I type this I am slowly and meticulously packing for my holiday and panicking about my lack of suitcase space and my increasing weight. That came out wrong... this will not be one of *those* posts and I'm not talking about my beach bod... or lack of washboard stomach. I mean the weight of my luggage! If you have the misfortune of traveling with a super stingy airline that only gives you 15kg allowance you will share my pain. Do they not understand that I have a blog about beauty and a myriad of beach friendly products to review? I'm providing a public service here Mr First Choice ;)!
Luckily, the clever clogs at M&S had envisaged my woes and turned my attention to their Deluxe Travel Bottle Set at a recent event. At only £7.50 this little bag contains a selection of containers perfect for every jet setter.

The set holds:
  • 3 x 100ml bottles (shampoo, conditioner, lotion)
  • 2 x 18ml jars (moisturiser, serum)
  • 2 x pumps,
  • 2 x funnels, 
  • 2 x spatulas, 
  • 1 x mirror, 
  • 1 x body puff, 
  • clear zip lock bag (perfect for carry on liquids)
  • 15 x waterproof sticky labels (to get organised!)
Now that I have shared I shall return to decanting my lotions and potions. Have you got any travel tips to share? xxx

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Interview with Kimberly Wyatt

 A few weeks ago I was given the amazing opportunity of interviewing the beautiful and talented Kimberly Wyatt  of Pussycat Dolls and So You Think You Can Dance fame, and co-founder of mineral makeup line BM Beauty. A few of you kindly contributed questions for Kimberly, of which I chose a selection, so I hope you find her answers interesting!

1.What inspired you to create BM Beauty?

"BM Beauty was created because we wanted to give people the all natural makeup option without sacrificing glamour, coverage, or color!!


2. What would be the one piece of beauty advice you would give to younger girls?

"Be educated and aware of what you put on your skin!"


3. What are your must have beauty products that you can’t be without?

"BM Beauty nude lip gloss, mascara, and vanish concealer! Moroccan oil for my hair! Dry Shampoo!!"


4. Coming from a dance background I imagine you have tried a multitude of long wearing foundations, which would you recommend?

"I have tried almost everything!!! To be quite honest I've been using a tinted moisturizer paired with BM Beauty Foundation in Sunny Haze!!! It's been incredible on and off stage!!"


5. Do you have any beauty disaster stories you would be willing to share?
 
"I’ve dealt with seriously problematic skin for most my life. The worst experience I had was when my dermatologist did a chemical peel on my face. I didn't get all of it washed off afterwards and the chemicals continued to burn my skin.....I held my head out the window the whole way home because it was burning so badly!! I had scabs on my face by the time I got home!!! OUCH!!!"

Thank you so much to Kimberly for taking the time out of her hectic schedule to answer our questions! If you have more questions for Kimberly youcan follow her on twitter @KimberlyKWyatt  xxx

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Pivoine Flora Tutorial

Pinks are notoriously difficult to wear on the eye as choosing the wrong shade can instantly make you look far from bright eyed and bushy tailed. If I do decided to brave a pink eyeshadow I like it to have some frost, and to accent the pink with another cooler or more neutral colour. The new L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Petals Eye Quartet makes this super easy by putting together four eyeshadows that work in perfect harmony to create a range of looks incorporating feminine pinks and purples.
I hope that this tutorial helps you to work some girlie pinks into your eyeshadow collection and wear them with confidence!


Products Used:
UDPP
Max Factor Smoky Eye Effect in Pink Plume
L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Petals Eye Quartet
Max Factor Liquid Effect pencil in Violet Voltage
L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara 
L'Occitane Rose Reverence Facecolour Cream Duo
L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Incredible Lip Shine
Nails: China Glaze Pink-Rox-E
    Blurb: This is not a sponsored video. Products used in this video were provided for review consideration, but as always I only use those I like and would recommend :).
    I hope you get a chance to try out this fun, girlie and most of all wearable pink look this summer! xxx

    Friday, 8 July 2011

    He-Shi Express Liquid Tan

    Over the last few weeks I have been trying out a few different fake tans in an attempt to get that illusive Summer glow that the English sun doesn't permit. As I have mentioned before I am no tanning expert and tend to be rather impatient when it comes to applying tanning products. Unlike other pampering routines I see the whole process as a bit of a chore, so the quicker and easier the better.
    Keeping this in mind my favourite so far has been the He-Shi Express Liquid Tan. At first I was a little wary of the 'liquid' nature of the product, but it is actually one of the simplest formulas I have ever worked with. You only need a few drops at a time on the tanning mitt and the liquid spreads evenly and easily with minimum effort, especially as you don't have to work it into the skin in the same way as a cream or foam product. It has a pretty strong tint that not only helps to give you instant colour if you are heading out, but also ensures even coverage and no streaking as you can see exactly where you have applied it and how well you have blended. I usually leave mine to develop overnight and have been pleased with its minimal staining, though of course some is always to be expected. I recommend having an old pair of loose fitting pjs reserved especially for those 'fake tan' nights... or as some have recommended a onesie. Though that's a whole other topic...

    In addition, being a liquid formulation the He-Shi liquid tan sets on the skin very quickly, which not only cuts down on time spent in that awkward 'drying position'...you all know the one I mean...
    but it also helps if you want to build a few layers to deepen the colour. As with most tans it still has the DHA scent that we all know and loathe, but it isn't overly strong, and is only perceptible on the first day after application. Usually my tan lasts about 5 days, and given you exfoliate before application and moisturise regularly while tanned it fades evenly and naturally without any patchiness.

    I have worn this tan in various posts already.. fooling you all with my bronzed glow hehe ;)
    This is now one of my absolute Summer staples as it's so quick and hassle free to apply and works almost instantly. It was sent to me for review purposes, but I will most definitely be repurchasing when the time comes, though so far I have used very little as a few drops really do go a long way!

    He-Shi Express Liquid Tan is £19 and can be found here.

    Have you tried the He-Shi liquid tan or any other He-Shi products? What faux tans will you be using this sunny season? xxx