Friday, 30 September 2011

Glossybox vs. Boudoir Prive



http://www.glossybox.co.uk/ - £10 per month (+p&p) to receive 5 luxury product miniatures from high-end brands in each box.
Some of the brands involved: Batiste, Illamasqua, Lalique, Ciate, Murad, OPI, Xen-Tan, KMS, Weleda, Daniel Sandler, All for Eve.
Products in my box:
HD Brows (Eye&Brow Palette) - £19.95
L'OrĂ©al Professionnel (Mythic Oil) - £14.95
Mary Greenwell (Plum Eau de Parfum) - £60 (for 50ml)
NUXE HuileProdigieuse - £37.50 (for 100ml)
StriVectin (SD Eye Concentrate) - £49 (30ml)

Check out my review of the August GlossyBox here

http://www.boudoirprive.co.uk/ - £10 per month (free p&p) to receive 5/6 deluxe size samples in each box.
Some of the brands involved: Agent Provocateur, Cargo, Jane Iredale, Bloom Teas, Mai Couture, Tropic, Etat Libre D'Orange, Colber MD.
Products in my box:
Zoya nail varnish - £3.80
Agent Provacateur perfume
Cargo eyeliner
Tropic scrub
Macadamia Oil
Colbert MD moisturiser

Both of the boxes were sent to me for review. This is not a sponsored video and all opinions are, as always, my own.

Have you tried either of these services? Which is your favourite? Let me know your thoughts my lovelies! xxx

Sunday, 25 September 2011

OOTD: Legally Blonde

This weekend the bf surprised me with a trip to see Legally Blonde at the Savoy theatre. I always think it's a shame that people don't dress up to go to the theatre anymore, so wanted to make a little special effort to show my appreciation of his thoughtfulness.
 Dress: Brunello Cucinelli, Pearl Coin Necklace: Banana Republic, Shoes: Zanotti, Clutch Bag: Boohoo (£20 here).
This dress was a kind gift from a family friend and is very different from my usual style. I do find the draping can be a little unflattering as it creates a lot of extra volume on my (already wide) hips, but it falls so beautifully that I love it all the same. It's also very comfortable and with its soft taupey shade extremely easy to wear. It's always nice to try something out of your comfort zone and play with your style!
Getting ready in a hurry (when am I ever not? lol) I kept makeup pretty simple. I used the Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint (shade beige 02) set with MAC MSF natural as a base, and followed with NARS orgasm illuminator to add some colour to the cheeks. For eyeshadow I created a winged out cat eye with Shiseido's shimmering colour in BR 306. This is a fantastic cream shadow - it is intense, blends like a dream and lasts exceptionally (even without a base). I finished off the look with a nude lip using YSL's Rouge Volupte in no. 1.

Are you playing with your style this season? xxx

Friday, 23 September 2011

Work It Out: Jade

Pencil dresses are definitely my weakness. Whenever I see one in an original style or fun colour I inevitably end up trying it on. The shape is really flattering for us hourglass ladies as it accentuates curves in the right places - creating balance in the silhouette while streamlining any bumps (fingers crossed). I first noticed this dress online as its bright green colour is very different to anything I currently own (the pictures look more blue toned than irl). I also liked the v-neck and the original tiered detailing around the shoulders.
 Dress - Dorothy Perkins (£30 here), Patterned Tights - M&S, Tuxedo Blazer - Zara.
Since this dress has no lining it fits pretty snugly in terms of shape, but doesn't perhaps have as much support as one would like, so I would recommend wearing it with tights. Cheaper materials like this tend to be quite thin, so it's always best to add another layer!

Are you braving bright colours this season? What are your favourite dress shapes? Do you sometimes favour style over quality? xxx

Thursday, 22 September 2011

OOTD: LFW

On a slightly rainy Sunday morning I got ready to make my way to LFW, but not before taking a few pics to share with you my little OOTD.

 Sheer tie top: Courtesy of Boohoo (£15), Pleated magenta maxi skirt: Courtesy of Boohoo (£20).
Sheer ruffled socks (a do, or a don't?) Wolford,  Biela Espadrille: All Saint's (On sale £72.50)

Are you wearing pleated maxi skirts this season? What risks have you taken lately with your style? xxx

Monday, 19 September 2011

Behind the scenes at LFW

The whole of London has been feasting on the buzz of London fashion week so I was really excited to be kindly invited to a couple of shows this season!

Check out my little behind the scenes video at the beautiful Izmaylova show below :).


I was so inspired by the beautiful makeup created by Lan and the breathtakingly glamorous dresses!





Absolutely beautiful!

Did you catch any of the shows this week (in person or online)? What inspired you the most? What trends are you most excited about? xxx

Friday, 16 September 2011

Shielo Hair

Anyone who has long hair will know that despite their best efforts in minimising damage long hair will be prone to dryness. Although I wouldn't say that mine is overly dry, the ends can feel a little brittle if they are not slathered in condioner, oils and serums. I was therefore excited to try a new shampoo and conditioner from Shielo designed to hydrate hair, without weighing it down or leaving it feeling artificially greasy through silicone build up.
The hydrate shampoo and conditioner are sulphate free and contain UV protectants and antioxidants from white tea to enhance colour protection. They are also infused with shea butter to add a protective moisture barrier to seal the hair shaft and hibiscus and vanilla cactus to help soothe the scalp.
The shampoo foams fairly well without leaving the hair overly squeeky clean, while the rich conditioner feels very luxurious on the hair. Both products smell absolutely amazing -  a warm, slightly sweet vanilla scent, which is good enough to eat! Used in conjunction they left my hair feeling soft and smooth, which made styling easier as there was less frizz than usual to contend with. However, I did find that I had to be careful not to use too much conditioner, especially if I wanted to retain the volume in my hair. As these products are deeply hydrating they can make your hair fall a little flat. I would recommend this range to those with long hair prone to dryness, or those with over processed, colour treated hair as it works hard to put much needed moisture and supleness back into your weary strands.

The Shielo Hydrate shampoo retails at $15.74, while the conditioner is $22.49 and both can be found on the Shielo website here.

Have you tried any products from the Shielo range? Do you suffer from dry hair? What products do you use to reverse damage by heat styling and colouring you hair? xxx

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Work It Out: Classic Colour Block

Not a particularly adventurous outfit for the workplace, but I rarely feel inspired on a Monday morning! I picked up this cute little colour block, pussy bow blouse from New Look about a week ago. This is definitely a staple piece as it goes with just about anything - skirts, trousers, and even under sleeveless dresses when it gets chilly. What I particularly like about this blouse, apart from its purse friendly price of £22.99, is that it isn't see-through like so many other overly 'sheer' blouses currently in the shops, so great to wear in the office without a cami underneath.
 Blouse: New Look, Skirt: Zara

Another point to note is that this blouse offers quite a generous amount of space in the decolletage area. I often struggle to close the top button in shirts (I wear size 10), but due to the slight ruching detail at the shoulders it creates a little extra volume where you need it most ;).

What staples are you investing in this Autumn? Are you still wearing colour-block pieces?

Monday, 12 September 2011

Liz Earle Sensitive Shave Cream

The Liz Earle Sensitive Shave Cream is a wonder product that I have been meaning to share with you all for quite some time! I first received a sample of it about 6 months ago and have repurchased it over and over again since.
Just to give you a little bit of context the bf has very sensitive skin (he always gets annoyed when I mention his eczema, but I am prepared to withstand his fury when/if he ever reads this). Unfortunately along with sensitive skin he was 'blessed' with a very hairy chin... and we are not talking about a 5 o'clock shadow here, it's more of a 12 o'clock shadow! Working in the medical profession he is required to look smart and hence shave every day, which isn't ideal. He therefore often has problems with irrtation, dryness, ingrown hairs, redness... I'm not painting a pretty picture here, but you name it the poor boy has suffered with it.

After a few days of  using the shave cream (check out Liz's shaving tips here) I could already see the difference on his skin, without even having to ask. It definitely looked smoother and less irritated and I noticed that the shaving process was faster too. When I probed him about the cream itself he went as far as saying he "really, really" liked it (a first!) as it gave a really close, comfortable shave and left his skin moisturised and soft. History was made a few weeks later when I phoned to say I was popping into Liz Earle and was actually asked if I could pick up some of that "shave cream stuff". This was record breaking material - not only did he remmber and ask me for a specific product, but he was actually planning to use it for its intended purpose! It definitely makes a change from his usual routine of using my eye cream or expensive serums to moisturise his elbows, knuckles and Lord knows... maybe toes *sigh*.
Since the bf was so fond of the shave cream I decided to purchase some for myself as I often experience a rash or painful bumps after shaving my underarms. I can honestly say that this is the best shave cream I have ever used. It is soft and creamy, yet lathers with a little water to give a really close and smooth shave.
 Probably not the most visually pleasing photo, but as you can see it lathers very smoothly.

With extracts of Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, Geranium Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil and Glycerin it not only works well to moisturise and soothe irritated skin, but also smells amazing (see full ingredients list here). The rose scented geranium gives it a slightly sweet, flowery smell, while the peppermint keeps it fresh and uplifting - a fragrance that I think both sexes will enjoy!

The Liz Earle Sensitive Shave Cream retails at £10.75 for 100 ml or £5.50 for 30 ml. I highly recommend it to everyone with sensitive skin and those prone to razor burn or shaving rash. I've been buying it as gifts for my male friends and have received great feedback from everyone so far. It may not be a particularly exciting product, but in my eyes it's definitely a hero!

Have you tried Liz Earle's Sensitive Shave Cream? Do you ecperience problems when shaving? What are your recommendations for shave gels/ creams/ oils for sensitive skin? xxx

Friday, 9 September 2011

Work It Out: Fit and Flare

Taking advantage of the 20% off offer at Dottie P's on VFNO I popped in to pick up a couple of dresses from one of my recently discovered brands - Closet. I absolutely adore the deep, crisp purple shade of this dress and the cute fit and flare style. A more wearable (in the length) and ladylike version of the skater dresses that have been replicated by a number of brands in a rainbow of colours.
 Dress: Dorothy Perkins (£42), Patent Belt: Ted Baker, Patterned Tights: M&S, Boots: DP
As much as I like the colour and cut of this dress the fit wasn't as I had hoped. The waist sits much higher than I would like, which makes the little pocket flaps stick out, rather than fall flat on the hips. This does look a little unflattering as it makes you appear wider rather than creating a 'cola bottle' silhouette.. you win some, you lose some. So to create a better shape (and make it more work friendly) I paired this dress with a fitted, single button black jacket from Zara to cinch in the waist.
During the day I paired this outfit with patent and suede heels from DP. These are high, but comfy due to the t-bar strap, and at only £35 (here) they make a great bargain ;).

This is a fun outfit to take you from day to night - happy Friday my lovelies!!

Are you wearing flared dresses this season? What colours are you adding to your winter wardrobe? Have you tried Dorothy Perkins' Closet range? Any pieces you would recommend? xxx

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Origins Giveaway!

Everyone loves a freebie, or 3, so I was very excited to see that Origins are giving away 3 free samples from their top 10 product line up with the purchase of any skincare item! This offer begins at Origins counters (and online here) on Friday the 9th of September and lasts till the 30th of September.
The samples you can choose from are:
  1. Checks & Balances™Frothy face wash 
  2. A Perfect World™Antioxidant cleanser with White Tea
  3. Modern Friction™Nature's gentle dermabrasion
  4. Brighter by Nature™ SPF35 Skin tone correcting serum 
  5. Plantscription™Anti-aging serum with Anogeissus
  6. Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Advanced Face Serum 
  7. GinZing™Refreshing eye cream to brighten and depuff 
  8. Vitazing™SPF 15 Energy-boosting moisturizer 
  9. A Perfect World SPF25 ™Age-defense moisturizer with White Tea 
  10. Starting Over™Age-erasing moisturizer with Mimosa 
I am trialling three Origins products at the moment so I shall let you know how I get on with them. So far I can definitely recommend the Vitazing moisturizer (for the day) and the Perfect World moisturizer (for the night) which I have used for about 2 years. Let me know which products you chose, or if you have any favourites from the Origins range? xxx

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Current Haircare Favourites

I have been trying a number of new hair styling products recently and wanted to share some of my favourites with you!


Products mentioned:
I hope you enjoy the video and please do let me know your favourite hair products in the comments below! Thank you for watching my lovelies. :) xxx

Monday, 5 September 2011

Work It Out: Heritage

Now I am no country bumpkin, but a few days ago I decided to switch it up and try the new heritage check trend on for size. This blazer has been in my wardrobe for a few years and rarely makes an appearance, as it's not my usual style. However, coupled with a fishtail skirt, I tried to give the essentially 'school mistress' look a girlie twist ;).
 Jacket: Mango, Forest green sweater: Mango, Skirt: M&S.
The black faux leather elbow patches can be a retro step too far for some, but I feel that the fitted shape and feminine cut of the blazer make it more modern and wearable.

Will you be dipping a toe into the heritage/ country side trend this autumn? Barbour jackets, leather riding boots and cable knits at the ready!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

OOTD: Hey Shortie

Not much of a preamble to go with this outfit... I bought these little shorts in H&M in the hope that summer would stick around. Since the weather hasn't been co-operating lately I paired them with a cozy cashmere jumper. In this period of seasonal transition (though let's face it we never really had a summer) it's fun to mix things up - jumpers with wedges, summer dresses with thick, black tights... I'm crazy like that ;).
Cashmere Jumper - Milan boutique, Shorts: H&M £14.99 here, Ballet flats: Primark.

These come with a cute little black faux leather belt, but I chose not to wear it to accentuate the bow detail and cut of the sweater.
I am guessing from the above these are meant to fall lower on the leg, but as my Beyonce-esque thighs fill them out they look very mini on me... the trials of being tall hehe ;).

Are you braving short shorts? Despite all the magazines trying to convince me that shorts are an appropriate attire for the office (tights optional) I am staying well away from that trend! xxx

Saturday, 3 September 2011

It's all about the lips...

I will put my hand up and admit I am not a fan of Fearne Cotton. She annoys me.. there I said it ;). However, when I was shown a selection of makeup for her line exclusive to Boots I was very much excited by the lip sets. It's All About the Lips in Natural is a gorgeous, wearable trio of lip liner, lipstick and gloss.
What I particularly like about this set is the difference in textures between the products, which lets you create different looks and play with different shades of nude. The lipliner is a deeper, more rosy nude that can create a matte look, the lipstick is a light, creamy pink that looks great paired with a smokey eye and the gloss is shimmery, without being overly glittery, to add some vibrancy to the nude palette.
Top - lipliner, Middle - lipstick, Bottom - gloss, Left - all three.
The above was created using all three (sparingly) to create a beautifully irridescent, natural nude lip.

I am really impressed with this set and look forward to sampling more of the range in the future. This line is exclusive to Boots and retails at £10 (here), not bad for 3 products!

Have you tried any of Fearne's range at Boots? xxx

Friday, 2 September 2011

OOTD: Tangerine

I'm not sure if it's just me, but from my brief jaunt 'up north' I have discovered 3 things.. The tans are deeper, the hair is bigger and the shoes are definitely higher! Saturday nights in Liverpool are a very glam affair so when in Rome...
 Dress: H&M, Shoes: Dorothy Perkins, Watch: Michael Kors, Clutch: Mulberry.

I need to invest in some bigger platforms for my next trip.. giraffe style ;)!
I hope everyone had a good bank holiday weekend! xxx

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Real Techniques Blush Brush

I'm sure many of you watch the amazing tutorials by Pixiwoo - the Chapman sisters are incredibly beautiful, talented and are a real inspiration to all us makeup lovers ;). I was really excited when I heard that Sam was bringing out her own line of brushes as I truly value her judgment and expertise. I have been trialing a few of the brushes from the Real Techniques line and have to say that I am extremely impressed with them!

First up for review is the Blush Brush.
The blush brush is made of synthetic taklon bristles, which are hand-cut for the perfect shape and 100% cruelty-free. The pink handle is sturdy, yet light and allows the brush to stand up on its own. The bristles are extremely soft and feel amazing, yet they are robust enough not to fan out and work perfectly to blend both powder and cream products. I love using this brush for blushers, highlighters and even contour powders or bronzers as the tapered tip makes shading accurate and smooth. What I love most about this brush though is the fact that it doesn't shed! I have found that many other brushes of a similar shape/ style (particularly the MAC duo fibre stippling brushes) shed horrendously, especially after washing, but this brush remains in tact and fluffy as ever.


These brushes are impeccably designed and competitively priced. I highly recommend you check them out if you are looking to invest in some great quality, professional brushes. The blush brush retails at £9.99 ($8.99) and can be purchased in the UK from Victoria Halth here or in the US from Ulta here.

Have you tried any Real Techniques brushes? What are your thoughts? xxx