Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Beauty Marked Sketch

On Saturday one of my work girlies was celebrating her birthday in Soho so I popped in for a few cocktails. As I had been on the go all day I decided to quickly amp up my makeup for a fun night out.
As I was in a bit of a rush I didn't have a chance to write down everything I used (bad beauty blogger!), but I was mainly playing with a few products from my collection to create a deep, sultry plum smokey eye and a nude nip.

Skin:
  • NARS Sheer Glow foundation (looks great in photos) mixed with Dior Forever (lasts well).
  • Bobbi Brown creamy concealer.
  • ELF glow powder (it's not very shimmery, so works great as a setting powder when you want your skin to look radiant).
  •  YSL Afrique bronzer
  • NARS Angelika Blush
Eyes:
  • MAC Macriviolet fluidline (as base)
  • MAC Beauty Marked e/s (on lid)
  • MAC Sketch e/s (in crease and lower lashline)
  • Blackberry pigment sample (on centre of lid for a little shimmer)
  • MAC Shroom and Vanilla e/s (as highlight on brow bone)
  • L'Oreal Carbon Gloss liquid liner
  • Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara (£15 here)
  • Lashaholic LA03 Wispy Strip Lashes (£7.95 here)
 Lips:
  • MAC Creme d'nude
  • Clarins Instant Light lipgloss 02 Apricot Shimmer (£10.80 here)
I love the look of a red based purple as I think it makes all eye colours brighter and more vibrant!
What do you guys think of purple eye shadow? It can be a tricky one to work with, but it is one of my absolute favourite colours! What are your favourite eyeshadow colours? xxx

Monday, 27 February 2012

Avon Ideal Flawless Foundation

I must admit that I am a relative newcomer to Avon's products, but I was excited to be given the opportunity to try their new Ideal Flawless Foundation SPF 15 that promises full coverage creating a virtually undetectable veil of natural-looking, flawless perfection.
The range has a very impressive selection of 16 shades from the palest Light Pink (my colour) to the richest Earth, with great variation among the colours to cover cool, warm and neutral skin tones.  The campaign is fronted by the gorgeous Alesha Dixon, Avon's Beauty and Empowerment ambassador, who looks absolutely radiant in the promotional imagery.
I have been wearing this foundation for the last three weeks and testing it out in a range of environments. I am always hesitant to post about products as soon as I receive them, especially where skin is concerned, because it is all too easy to try something once and proclaim your love for it. Since your skin can change quite dramatically depending on the weather, environment, your activities and (umm) your cycle I always try to be thorough in testing out foundations in a myriad of situations.
As can be seen above this foundation has quite a thick liquid formulation, almost akin to a mousse. However, it is very easy to spread due to its silicone content and feels quite slippery on application. In the bottle there is a little shimmer visible, but I didn't find that this translated to the skin once applied.
One pump was enough to cover my whole face giving an even medium/full coverage. As the foundation doesn't sink into the skin quickly while blending this does give you time to work with it, but also means that it isn't incredibly long lasting as it doesn't set matte. This is not to say that it disappears halfway through the day, but I did find that if I was going out after work I needed to add a little extra for a flawless look. I tend to get an oily t-zone and though the foundation didn't accentuate this I did feel that my face looked a little more shiny about 6 hours after application. If you are a fan of the slightly dewy, glowing look then this is a great foundation to try!
Ideal Flawless gives a lovely finish to the skin and makes it feel velvety soft. Though I would say that it wasn't 'invisible' as you can definitely see that I was wearing makeup. It didn't look heavy or cakey, but the coverage was definitely there and the foundation perceptible. I will let you all be the judge... the photo below has not been edited (except for cropping and increase in exposure as I get ready in the pitch black mornings lol).
One thing I would recommend while wearing this is to make sure your skin is smooth and well moisturised as it can cling to dry areas and make them more visible, though it is easy enough to buff away after application.

Overall I have really enjoyed trying out this foundation as it gives a lovely coverage and velvety finish to the skin making it look smooth and glowing. There is a great selection of colours to suit a broad range of skin tones and given it's affordable price point of £12 (currently on offer for £10 on Avon's website here) I definitely think it is one worth checking out!

Have you guys tried Avon's latest foundation offering? What do you think of the finish? Are you a fan of Avon's products? Do you have any favourites/ recommendations for me to try? xxx

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Neom Organics Happiness Candle Review

Neom is an organic company that offers a modern, luxurious take on beauty and home treatments. The brand aims to introduce its customers to the benefits of beautiful, organic products that also work as holistic treatments because their essential oil content is so high. Neom strongly oppose synthetic scents and harsh ingredients, but also believe beauty should be about spoiling yourself, fabulous scents and utter indulgence!
I was therefore really excited when I was offered the chance to try one of their new candles - Happiness with White Neroli, Mimosa & Lemon combined with natural fresh grass notes to create the awakening of spring (£37.50). The fragrance of this candle is delicate, yet it effortlessly fills the room, without being overpowering.
NEOM Luxury Organics candles are made using only vegetable wax and pure essential oils rather than synthetic fragrances so they burn without releasing harmful pollutants, toxins or soot. As I have a myriad allergies I was keen to see whether this candle would burn as cleanly as promised and I put it to the test by holding a white piece of paper (at a safe distance) above the flame for a few minutes. Indeed there was no trace of soot or any kind of residue visible!
Neom candles are designed tp work as powerful holistic treatments as you breathe in the scented air so it is recommended to burn them for between 2-4 hours at a time. Each candle has 3 wicks and burns for up to 55 hours. I have used this candle almost every night since it was sent to me and have noticed that it burns really evenly, without any dips in the wax. There is nothing more frustrating than when you purchase a large candle to find that it quickly burns straight through the middle, leaving the wax around the edges untouched. The vegetable wax in the Neom candle melts quickly once the candle is lit, so it is always even when it re-solidifies.
Neom are so passionate about the purity and quality of their products that they have even created their own promise!
I am really impressed with what I have seen from Neom so far and look forward to trying more of their products in the future!

Have you tried any Neom products? Do you prefer using organic products? What are your favourite candle brands? xxx

Saturday, 25 February 2012

FashionistA Review

My lipstick of choice this Valentine's day was one of the beautifully vibrant Double Take Longwear Lipsticks from FashionistA in Raspberry (shade 4).

I wanted a colour that would be rich and intense, yet moisturising and long lasting. I often find that my lips can distort colours, so I wanted something that would be opaque, but still look fresh and not too matte or flat.
The FashionistA lipstick felt very smooth and creamy on the lips. It lasted well throughout the day without bleeding or transferring to my multiple cups of coffee, though I did have to reapply it a few times after meals to refresh the depth of the colour.
For a long wearing lipstick I was happy to see that it wasn't drying and didn't make my lips feel tight. In fact, even after I removed it in the evening my lips felt soft and nourished!
FashionistA Double Take Long Wear Lipsticks retail at £7 from selected Superdrug stores.

Have you tried any of the FashionistA lipsticks? What are your favourite longwear lipsticks? xxx

Friday, 24 February 2012

MATH Collective

If you follow me on twitter you would have probably seen my very sulky tweets while being stuck at home with the flu this weekend. I was so gutted to be missing out on everything going on at LFW! Though at least I was able to live vicariously through everyone's posts while shivering under a blanket on the sofa lol. Luckily all was not lost as the lovely people from The Body Shop managed to organise a couple of tickets for me to attend the Math Collective show on Tuesday night once I felt better. Since The Body Shop were the official makeup sponsors of VFS I was able to get a fantastic look backstage beforehand too!
Inkeeping with the majority of the looks this season the makeup was kept really fresh, young and dewy. The look was inspired by long walks in the woods with clear skin, flushed cheeks and a beautiful, healthy glow.
 The products used to create this look were: 
-Vitamin E cream, £10 (on sale for £4.50)
-Moisture foundation, £13
-Radiant highlighter all over, £11
- Bake-to-Last Blush in Petal, £12
-Brows brushed up with Brow & Lash Gel, £10
-Light application of Define & Lengthen Mascara, £10
-Matte & Shimmer cheek colour, lightest one on eyelid.
- Highlight with Baked-to-Last Eye in Moonstone on brow bone and top of cheeks, £10
- Lips stained with Lip & Cheek Stain, £5
- Finished with a spritz of Vitamin E Mist, £7
The MATH collective is designed by the lovely Shahzad Mohayudin, who has also recently created a fashion line for ASOS. Shahzad comes from a graphic design background and this was definitely evident in the cut and colour placement of the pieces, with blocks of reds mixed with neutrals and inventive, angular skirt hems. Inspired by his hometown of London Shahzad's urban ready-to-wear collection featured an innovative mix fabrics and textures.

The Math Collection was incredibly innovative, yet absolutely wearable. I especially loved the pencil skirts and tweed-esque jackets! The makeup and hair accentuated the clothes beautifully and really helped to set the tone for the whole show. I had such a wonderful time and am so happy that I was able to attend and sample at least a little bit of LFW this season!

For more information about VFS and some behind the scenes footage, ‘get-the-look’ features and an interview with Lan Nguyen outlining what make-up trends are set to be big for AW12 please check out the video below.
 
What do you guys think of the fresh makeup on the catwalks this season? Do you like the pieces featured in the MATH Collective show? Do you have any favourites? xxx

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Fashion for Charity with Sevenly



Help change a life with Sevenly this week at: http://svnly.org/OrphanedChild

This week's campaign - Love Without Boundaries Foundation is a worldwide group of volunteers dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned and impoverished children in China.

In China, thousands of babies are abandoned due to serious birth defects or life-threatening medical conditions. Without love, care, and medical attention, these children will never have a chance of becoming adopted by a loving family.
Love Without Boundaries cares for these children by providing facial reconstructive or life-saving surgeries. Without these surgeries, these children have little hope for adoption. This week, your purchase help provide the funds for a surgery that will help a child become adopted by a loving family!

Every day 5,760 more children become orphans, so it would be amazing if you could help by purchasing one of these t-shirts for just $22.

Thank you xxx

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Work It Out: Mad Men Houndstooth

Ever since Banana Republic opened its stores in the UK I have tentatively purchased the odd cardigan, dress or necklace here and there. If you are a fan check out the 25% off code at the bottom of this post!

Banana Republic have great quality pieces that last, but are sometimes a little plain for my taste. Also, the shape of their dresses sometimes don't fit me as well as others, though I find the same to be true with NEXT and L.K.Bennett. I'm not sure if this is because they use shorter models with very different proportions to myself. I usually find that I have a lot of space in the waist, but if I go a size down the thigh area becomes far too tight... Does anyone else have this problem? Perhaps it's just my thunder thighs... ;)
 Banana Republic Mad Men Collection Houndstooth Dress. Mango Navy Cardigan.
 I love the contrast of the light satin-esque top with the heavier wool bottom of this dress, tied together with the graphic houndstooth print.
This dress was from Banana Republic's Mad Men Collection and originally $185 (not sure of exact £), but I managed to snap it up in the sale for a fraction of the price (£30!!). Unfortunately the other dresses in the collection were nowhere to be found, namely my favourite Betty dress!
This collection embodies my favourite shapes and period inspiration. Tailoring, curves and lady like silhouettes... Love! 
I am not afraid to admit that I fantasize about walking into the office looking like this every day... ;)

If you are a fan of Banana Republic and fancy checking out their latest offerings you can save 25% on your purchase with the code: BRSPRING

What do you guys think of Banana Republic? Are there any pieces you are currently lusting after? xx

Neal's Yard Paraben Amnesty


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

OOTD: Paris

Back in January I whizzed over to Paris for a short (work) trip. As I was travelling solo I was able to choose my own accommodation and decided to stay at the newly opened Le Pavillon des Lettres, which is an amazing boutique hotel near Madeleine. Each of the 26 rooms corresponds to a different letter of the alphabet, encompassing the spirit of a poet, a writer, an impassioned virtuoso or a genius, with extracts of each chosen artist printed on the walls. My room was X for Xenophon.
Despite the drizzle and cold I took full advantage of the few hours I had spare between meetings to wonder the streets and do a teeny tiny spot of shopping. In the evening I made a quick dash back to the hotel to freshen up for a client event. My experience last year taught me that this was quite a formal affair, less like the cocktail party described on the invitation, and more of a corporate networking evening. Rather than opting for the same grey/ black suit I decided to wear a lace dress accented by a formal, well fitting tuxedo style blazer.
French Connection Angela Lace dress (On Sale £55 here).
Despite my lack of sightseeing time during the day as the event was held in the enchanting Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine museum I was lucky enough to have an amazing view of the Eiffel tower on my stroll back to the hotel.
Bisous xxx

Monday, 20 February 2012

Shop MAC Cook MAC

For two weeks from the 25th of February Shop MAC Cook MAC will be exclusively popping up in Selfridges! It's time to embrace your 50s housewife while you browse the aisles and 'cook up a new colour recipe'.
I haven't been so excited about a MAC collection in a long time! The packaging is fun and quirky, while the product selection contains some old favourites (tendertones), staples and newer additions.
The collection is already available for purchase on Selfridge's website and I already have my eye on a few products... 

MAC Kissable lip colour (£16.50) - This is a medium-coverage lip product that is designed to give you the “comfort of a lipstick” with the “shiny finish of a lipgloss.” I am yet to try any of these, since their launch last year, so I am excited to see how they compare to MAC's regular lipsticks and glosses.
 Enchantee
Cook MAC Tendertone Lip Balm (£11) - MAC describes these as the next generation lip conditioner that combines the look of a gloss and the conditioning benefits of a balm with SPF 12 sun protection. They have a delicate strawberry–kiwi flavour and a light texture, with just a hint of colour.
Hot n' saucy

Eye Shadow Quad (£35) - A violet inspired quartet of shades.
Shop & Drop
Will you be picking anything up from this collection? What are your favourite products? xxx