Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Behind the Scenes: River Island

From the shadows of Futuristic Goth, the streets of Downtown New York and the opulent textures and fabrics of the Baroque era, River Island creates a lavish and distinctive look for autumn/winter 2012. The collection encompasses a wide range of unique hero pieces reflecting this season's trends with accessories remaining a focal point, fusing together all the elements necessary for the season ahead.

 I am all about the baroque accessories this season. What will be your key trends for this autumn/ winter? xxx

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

I caught the bouquet!!

I had an amazing weekend back in Cambridge attending one of my best friend's weddings! It's scary and exciting all at once knowing that my friend is married! Wow! It was so lovely to see my university friends, hang out in our old college and pretend we were students again, go punting in the rain and just be silly. Somehow I feel both older and younger...

I am still waiting for some photos to emerge from the reception as the wedding lasted all weekend and encompassed a few different outfits. On the Saturday I wore a shocking pink dress that is based on a Roksanda Ilincic design that was spotted on a number of celebs over the summer.
My dress is from The Pretty Dress Company (on sale for £49 here). It is a little different in shape from the original, but at a fraction of the price I really didn't mind! I paired it with monochrome and metallic accessories - shoes from River Island and Chanel bag.
The original can be found below:

I hope you all had a lovely bank holiday! I'm very sad to go back to work/ reality after such a fabulous weekend! Though I did catch the bouquet so things may be looking up... ;) xxx

Monday, 27 August 2012

How To: Perfect Bun in Seconds!

No heat, no mess and no expense! This is my preferred method of achieving the perfect bun.

However, if you are looking for a more polished style you can also check out:

The doughnut bun ring is great for those with shorter hair.

The Twirl Curl is really versatile and can create both high and low buns as well as a French pleat/ twist or chignon.

I hope you all enjoy the video and thank you for watching :). xxx

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Things I am currently loving!

With work, exam revision, a videoshoot to prepare for and a wedding this weekend I am desperately trying to get some blog posts up for you guys in between! However, with time falling short I thought I would do a little favourites post of things I am currently loving.

This lipbalm is inexpensive and easy to use while on the go. It gives lips a glossy finish with a hint of colour and a shot of moisture. It also has vitamin E and SPF 15 to protect the lips and keep them soft. Yum!
I am not usually a lover of fig scents, but these fragrance sticks give the room a subtle wonderfully delicious, juicy fragrance that is fresh and comforting all at once.

This fragrance is probably an acquired taste, but I am completely obsessed with it. Rose Water and comforting vanilla are enriched with a succulent bite of rose loukoum. 'A tempting and addictive fragrance'... they certainly got the addictive part right, though given the price tag I won't be bathing in it anytime soon!

This is an intensive hydrating duo that leaves my hair silky soft, smooth, light and buoyant. Once again given the price tag I only use this once a week or as a treat, but you can definitely see the difference even after just one wash.

I absolutely adore peplums and am keeping my fingers crossed that they never go out of style as I have purchased numerous tops, dresses, jumpers and jackets with peplum detailing. It's extremely flattering, easy to wear and gives that amazing exaggerated waist silhouette that I lust after. However, if you are feeling a little hesitant about diving into this trend I highly recommend checking out this nifty little leather peplum belt that will look beautiful teamed with... well anything!
I was recently sent a pair of Zaggoras to try and they have become a workout staple, so much so that they are making tri-weekly turns in the washing machine. I can't comment on their exact weightloss properties, but they sure do make you sweat (in places I didn't know I could). They are great to wear when doing aerobic exercise and are flexible and comfortable enough to join you on a run, cycle or even dance class. They are a little pricey, but having worn both the viva and original hot pants styles I can equally recommend both. Personally I think the shorter style is just as good and is a more purse friendly £30 here.

I love my tangle teezer, but sometimes my hair is so knotty that I lose patience. After discovering this amazing little brush from Denman that can be used in the shower I have cut minutes from my routine, and not just any minutes... tangled, frustrating minutes of pain. There are lots of ways to use this little beauty, but my preference is to run it through my hair while I'm rinsing out the conditioner. This makes detangling an absoute breeze for kids and big kids alike ;).

What are the products you are currently loving? I would love to know! xxx

Friday, 24 August 2012

Good Things Miracle Mattifier Moisturiser

The biggest beauty mistake I ever made in my teen years (along with being a little too tweezer happy) was trying to combat oily skin by stripping it of all moisture, which inevitably made the problem worse! In fact oily skin still needs moisture to keep it soft and healthy, the last thing you want to do is remove all your natural oils, breaking the barrier function of the skin and basically asking for trouble.
Good Things Miracle Mattifier is a great moisturiser to use if you have oily or blemish prone skin as it pulls off a clever balancing act. It is quickly absorbed and gives your skin plenty of hydration while clarifying blackcurrant extract helps to absorb any excess oil, so your skin stays smooth and matte and is less prone to breakouts. This cream smells delicious and with a little going a long way it really lasts whilemaking your skin feel smooth, but not at all greasy. It is also free from parabens, mineral oils, sodium laureth sulphate and is suitable for vegans.

The Good Things Miracle Mattifier moisturiser won't break the bank either as it's just £5.33 here.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Neom Organics Invigorate Home Candle

So far I have loved all the Neom products I have tried and can definitely say they are worthy of their cult status. My latest indulgence has been the zesty Invigorate Home Candle, which did not disappoint!
The Invigorate scent contains notes of grapefruit, bergamot and lime that is designed to promote positivity and a strengthened spirit. Bergamot's antiseptic and healing properties, blended with mood-boosting Grapefruit, makes for an altogether more alert and calm environment. As all other Neom candles it burns cleanly and evenly, giving it a maximum burning time of 50 hours.
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Are you a fan of Neom? Which is your favourite scent? xx

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Boss Nuit Pour Femme

I may not be Gwynnie's biggest fan, but I do have to admit that she looks sensational in the new Boss Nuit Pour Femme advertisement campaign! Wowsers!

BOSS Nuit Pour Femme is the sophisticated new fragrance for women from BOSS Fragrances. The alluring and feminine scent is inspired by the most iconic symbol of feminine style – the little black dress and the confident reassurance it gives to women. Featuring a modern composition of feminine florals blended with sparkling top notes, BOSS Nuit Pour Femme is the perfect complement to the little black dress, serving as the uplifting finishing touch to the BOSS woman’s evening preparation.
Top Notes
The top notes express the BOSS woman’s sense of excitement and anticipation as she prepares for her special occasion. The juiciness of the white peach combined with the thrilling radiance of the wet aldehydic accord provides a fresh and sparkling effect.

Heart Accord
Beneath the modern top, the heart accord represents her feminine sophistication, featuring a feminine
jasmine and white flowers bouquet, while violet adds a sensual softness.

Base Notes
The base of the fragrance is laced with a seductive edge that grows ever richer as the evening unfolds,
mirroring the BOSS woman’s sensuality. In the dry down, vibrant crystal moss echoes the dazzling character of the top while warm woods and creamy sandalwood bring a soft and gentle quality.

The little black dress in the advertising campaign will also be available to purchase from Hugo Boss stores while the perfume is out this week!

*This is a sponsored post*

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Healthy Beauty: Imedeen

We all know the saying that beauty starts on the inside. However, many beauty addicts (myself included) are always looking for quick fixes and slather on topical creams or conditioners in order to improve the appearance of our hair and skin. In a bid to be healthy I decided it was time to work from the inside out and agreed to take part in an Imedeen trial to see if their famous Hair and Nails supplement would live up to its promise.
I'm sure you all know that Imedeen is the world's leading supplement brand, but I was surprised to learn that 3 Imedeen pills are popped every second worldwide! I had previously tried various supplements, but I was excited to see how Imedeen would compare.

The supplements contain:
-       Up to 10 x more Biotin than any other hair and nail supplement
-       NEW formula upgrade, now with added Zinc that is essential for protein synthesis, and    Silica, B Vitamin Complex (B1, B2. B3, B5, B6 and B12). 
Customers even report a difference in eyelash growth and gloss-levels!

After almost three weeks of taking one pill a day I can honestly say that I have noticed a difference and am thrilled. My nails feel stronger, so much so that when I went for a manicure a few days ago my nail technician commented that they were much healthier than on my last visit a month ago. I haven't seen any change in my hair as I think it is currently too soon to tell, but I have been getting compliments on my skin and feeling that it looks a little brighter than usual. I am hoping that the effects last and will definitely be carrying on with my current pill popping routine ;). 

The Imedeen Hair and Nails retails at £23.99 for a 2 month supply. The full range can be found in Boots stores and online here.

Are you a fan of supplements? Which ones do you take/ recommend? xxx

Saturday, 18 August 2012

L'Oreal Revitalift Laser Renew Eye Cream

Although I am a newbie to eye creams I have been on the hunt for the perfect one over the last year. Some are too light, some are too thick and greasy, while others make my eyes sting... there must be one out there that (like Goldilocks' porridge) is just right!
Over the last few weeks I have been trying out the new L'Oreal Revitalift Laser Renew Eye Cream. This cream isn't a laser treatment but it does promise to target wrinkles, skin firmness and skin texture leaving your skin feeling smoother, plumper and looking more even. Revitalift Laser Renew contains a naturally-derived glycan (or complex sugar)-Pro-Xylane, which has been proven to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet wrinkles, boost skin density and improve bounce.This molecule has been combined with two other active ingredients, LHA (Lipohydroxy acid) a smart exfoliating ingredient and fragmented Hyaluronic acid, a moisturising ingredient to boost the effects of the formula.
Fortunately wrinkles are not something that I worry about (yet), but because of my allergies and all too frequent late nights I do get prominent bags under my eyes and blue circles. I have found this cream so easy to apply with its cooling metal applicator that smooths and massages the skin. The cream itself has a great consistency as it sinks into the skin without leaving an oily residue or milia, but it still feels moisturising and hydrating. I think it also has a slight light reflective property and acts as a great base for your makeup.

L'Oreal's Revitalift Laser Renew Eye Cream is available in leading supermarkets and pharmacies and can be found in Boots online here for £13.33.

Have you tried L'Oreal's Laser Renew Eye Cream? What are your favourite eye creams?

Friday, 17 August 2012

Healthy Beauty: Matcha

I have always been a big fan of green tea, but over the last few weeks I have become absolutely addicted to matcha! What is matcha you ask? Well it is 100% natural, organic green tea leaves which have been carefully ground down to form a fine powder. When you drink regular green tea, you throw away the leaves afterwards which is a bit like boiling spinach, throwing away the spinach and just drinking the water – you’ll get some of the nutrients, but you’re throwing away the best bit. Matcha is drunk as a fine powder diffused in liquid so you actually ingest the whole leaf, consuming every last bit of goodness!
One dose of matcha contains 137 times the antioxidants of regular green tea!  Antioxidant capacity can be measured by the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbancy Capacity) and this shows us the ability of certain foods to protect us from free radicals, which cause ageing and general damage to our cells. Matcha scores very highly on the ORAC table, towering above many of our well-known super-foods such as spinach, blueberries and goji berries!

Matcha antioxidants
Apart from the regular benefits of green tea matcha also increases your energy levels in a natural way and can help boost your metabolism promoting weight loss, support the immune system, improve concentration and give you healthy skin!
I have only tried Teapigs matcha as I have been ordering tea from Teapigs for years and know they have great quality products. Their matcha is high grade and 100% organic so it is a little pricey at £25 for 30mg, which works out at £0.83 per cup, but I think it is well worth it. I have been gradually replacing my coffee with matcha and have definitely felt the benefits! It's a great energy boost in the morning and somehow I do feel that it supports weight loss/ maintenance, though this is of course harder to pinpoint!
If this is your first time trying matcha I would recommend purchasing the starter kit (£32.50 here), which comes with a little whisk, making it super easy to dissolve matcha in your choice of liquid. You can add matcha to any hot or cold drink, and even use it in food. The Teapigs website has lots of cool recipes from tiramisu to matcha martini!! I usually make my shot first thing in the morning by mixing one scoop with a little water, then adding vanilla flavour soya milk. Yum!

Have you ever tried matcha? Are you a fan of green tea? I am so excited to have discovered this and after ordering two more boxes can't rave about it enough. xxx

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Olympic Beauty and Health!

I absolutely loved seeing all the super fit and healthy athletes on TV over the last few weeks. These women are real role models and inspire me to be fitter, stronger, healthier and hopefully better inside and out. I therefore love the fact that Pantene have featured these gorgeous women in their latest campaign!

The London Olympic games are now over, marking 2012 as the last year we will be seeing some of the most inspiring athletes, including British cycling beauty Victoria Pendleton, Mexican diving star Paola Espinosa and Chinese diving great Wu Minxia, in action as they head into retirement. However, these lovely female athletes have been appointed as Beauty Ambassadors to lead the "Healthy is the New Beautiful" campaign along with 8 other top female Olympians. Together, the Olympians will set a new standard for females of all ages when it comes to athleticism, heroism, and female beauty. 

The Olympian ambassadors include 12-time USA medalist and swimmer Natalie Coughlin, Argentine tennis star Gisela Dulko, Russian rhythmic gymnast and gold medal Olympian Evgeniya Kanaeva.  These female athletes not only won a total 12 medals, including 4 gold, but also whipped the outdated idea of beauty into shape – and proved that being healthy is what really makes a girl beautiful!

Check out the video below, which featured behind the scenes interviews with the athletes!
Do you feel inspired by our recent Olympic adventures? xxx

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Herbalife Herbal Aloe

When my skin is feeling irritated I always go back to basics and returning from my Summer hols (a month ago *sob*) my skin definitely needed some soothing. Despite copious amounts of SPF50 I did catch my fair share of rays and was left feeling a little sore. Luckily, the new Herbalife Herbal Aloe range of hair and body products is suitable for even the most sensitive skins. Infused with botanical ingredients and free from parabens and sulphates these products are very gentle and perfect for when your skin is not feeling its best!
The Soothing Gel and Everyday Soothing Hand and Body lotion are a dream to apply. They feel really light in texture, sinking into the skin in seconds while cooling and nourishing. They have a  gentle, light scent that is really refreshing. The Hand and Body Wash has a really creamy texture and while it lathers and cleanses it still leaves the skin super soft and does not strip it of its natural moisture.

The whole range is extremely gentle and I would highly recommend it to those with sensitive skin or skin ailments that can make the skin sensitive.

Have you ever used any products from Herbalife?

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

TAG: 10 Minute Makeup Challenge

A few of you got in touch to request I take part in some TAG videos including the 10 minute makeup challenge, and never one to back away I thought I would give it my best try!

Products mentioned:
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation
MAC Fix+
Real Techniques Buffing Brush*
L'ancome Effacernes concealer
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium
The Bodyshop large brush
NARS Laguna Bronzer
MAC Peachykeen blush
MAC 130 brush
Sleek Makeup Brow Kit in Light*
Urban Decay Primer Potion
Urban Decay Sin eyeshadow*
UD flat eyeshadow brush
MAC Quarry eyeshadow
MAC 139 brush
Stageline Precise liquid liner*
Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara*
Estee Lauder Lavish Pink Lipstick
Jo Malone Rosewater and Vanilla Perfume

Products marked with * were sent to me for review consideration.

Do let me know what you think of this video and if you have any requests for my next one! xxx

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Mama Mio Bootcamp for Arms Challenge

So ladies... hands up if you are not the biggest fan of your arms. It seems that us girls are always obsessing about the dreaded bingo wings, with over a third of women (35%) admitting to another woman’s arms being the first physical attribute they register! As much as I try to stay in shape I am not a regular gym bunny and much prefer doing some cardio (a jog) or bikram yoga to slaving away on the machines or lifting weights. Coupled with having very little strength in my upper body, and generally not being blessed with an athletic build, my arms are definitely an area that I would like to improve!

I was therefore excited to be offered the chance to participate in the Mama Mio Bootcamp for Arms Challenge. Though there will not be any camouflage or mud involved as this set is designed to make toned arms achievable for ordinary mortals like me, who do not have the steely will power or the funds of Madonna (and her ridiculously toned arms)!
The set comes with skincare products to exfoliate, tighten and tone, to reveal that illusive fit and healthy looking skin. The kit also includes simple yet effective exercises, developed by Efua Baker, to banish any hint of wobble and create arm definition . Luckily, the exercise is a mere 4 minutes a day, which I think even my weak arms and short attention span can manage!
Step 1
Omega Body Buff
This is the first stage of exfoliation to reveal smoother, more toned looking skin. Omega Body Buff is rich in Sweet Almond Oil, Chamomile, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E and loaded with micro-ground pumice. This should be used at least 3 times a week on dry skin before showering.

Step 2
Double Buff Glove
This glove helps to exfoliate and clear away dead skin cells as well as boosting circulation. This should be used every day with firm upward strokes for 30 seconds.

Step 3
Skin Tight Toning Serum
Skin Tight visibly tightens up saggy looking skin, improving the surface tone and texture. With daily use, its four stage action will work to visually tighten up loose skin helping to ensure that your skin looks like it fits you perfectly in your battle against bat-wing wobble. Papaya enzymes gently exfoliate (to rid you of pesky back of the arm bumps and dry elbows), Hyaluronic Acid plumps with massive moisture, Soy Protein Complex provides instant gratification tightening and wonderfully ant-ageing Uniprosyn gives you eye serum technology to reduce the appearance of crepey skin.

Step 4
4 minutes a-day exercise system to reshape your upper arms
These exercises were created by Efua Baker, renowned amongst her celebrity circle as being the ‘Turnaround Queen’. She has chosen her two favourite exercises to take the wobble out of your wings and give them a tighter, stronger more defined look. Just 4 minutes a day of simple, targeted exercise.

Let the challenge begin!

If you want to join me in the Bootcamp for Arms challenge this kit retails at £49.50 and is available from Boots here. Good luck my lovelies! *Bingo wing wave*

This is a sponsored post.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

OOTD: Under the Sea

Oh I do love the Zara sale! A few weeks ago I picked up another of their amazing tulip dresses, this time in the fish print. The aqueous theme somehow seemed appropriate with the sudden downpours of rain as evidenced below...
Dress: Zara (on sale for £17.99), Clutch (shown below): Ted Baker, Shoes: Melissa (£85 here)
I may be a little too old to wear jelly shoes, but these were love at first step. Aesthetically they are not my favourite wedges, but they are oh so comfortable as they literally mould to your feet while supporting and cushioning.

Have you ever tried any of Melissa's designs? What do you think of jelly shoes? xxx

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Real Techniques Brushes

I always think good makeup starts with good tools, so in this post I wanted to share with you some of my favourite brushes. As you all know I use a lot of MAC brushes as they are great quality and honestly speaking a MAC Pro discount also makes them more affordable. However, as they are mostly made with natural bristles they do have a tendency to shed and need careful cleaning and maintenance. Recently, I have been trying out other brands of synthetic brushes and have to say that Real Techniques are by far my favourite!
Designed by the amazing Sam Chapman of pixiwoo Real Techniques brushes combine high-tech materials with innovative design at an affordable price. They feature taklon bristles which are super soft and smooth, as well as really easy to clean (with no shedding) and quick drying. Plus, since taklon is synthetic these brushes are 100% cruelty-free!
 Left to right: Stippling brush, shading brush, powder brush. 

The stippling brush (£11.99) is perfect for applying liquid foundation or cream blusher. It blends cream or liquid products effortlessly giving a really natural finish. The shading brush (£7.99) can be used for any powder or cream products. It works just as well for eyeshadow as concealers, especially under the eyes or over blemishes as the soft bristles can be used to blend as well as apply colour. The powder brush (£12.99) is amazing for use with setting powders or bronzers as it's super soft and its large size ensures application is speedy and streak free.

I highly recommend you try these brushes out, they really are fantastic and such a great price for quality tools! You can purchase Real Techniques brushes online in the US, as well as in Boots stores and online here in the UK.
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