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Category Archives: Beauty
I had my work Christmas party on Friday, which I helped organise as part of my role on the department sports and social team and even if I am a little biased it was most definitely the Best Christmas Party EVER. So following on from that I thought I’d share with you some of my Christmas party essentials to keep in your handbag during the party season.
At Christmas I love everything to be as sparkly as possible, so when I spotted this clutch in New Look the day before our party I had to snap it up. It’s a really good size to fit in all the products I insist on having with me on a night out and at only £19.99 it was also an absolute bargain! You can get it on the New Look website here.
We have an afternoon lunch which lasts long into the night so I like to make sure I have perfume with me to top up throughout the day. I have a few favourites, but I always come back to Emporio Armani Diamonds at any time of the year because I just love it.
Looking Good – Hair
When it’s the middle of winter, it’s always important to keep a few things in your bag to combat the potential wind and rain. A comb and a couple of bobby pins are always handy at any time but especially when it’s party season and you don’t want to rock up looking like you’ve been caught in a tsunami!
My picks of products are COLAB dry shampoo travel size in New York – see my review here and OSIS+ Dust It. The COLAB is a great addition to any handbag as you can use it throughout the night to refresh the look and texture of your hair, whilst the OSIS+ Dust It can then be used sparingly to give hair body and volume which is always a good thing if you’ve been caught in a downpour!
Looking Good – Make Up
Personally I try not to take too much make up out with me, just a few essentials for touch ups. The one product I can never be without though is lip gloss or lip stick and normally I have both in similar colours. On Friday night I had Chanel Rouge Allure in Palpitante and Tanya Burr lipgloss in Vampire Kiss which are two of my faves that get a tonne of compliments whenever I wear them.
Also in my bag were a couple of face products, firstly Maybelline FIT concealer in shade 15 and secondly a face powder, as I do suffer from the curse of combination skin, and my go to is Boujois Healthy Balance in the shade 52 Vanille.
So there you have it, if you’re heading out in the next few weeks those are my Christmas party essentials – what are yours?
Today I’m going to do a review of COLAB dry shampoo which comes from awesome blogger and YouTuber Ruth Crilly from A Model Recommends.
Having been a slave to the old faithful Batiste since around 2007 I was definitely intrigued when I heard about COLAB whilst watching a PixiWoo behind the scenes video on the campaign shoot fronted by Ruth herself. This innovation in dry shampoo comes in five ‘fragrances’ all named after cities; London, New York, Rio, Tokyo and Paris, and claims to have a ‘sheer and invisible’ formula meaning that unlike traditional dry shampoos it doesn’t leave the same chalky white residue on the hair.
As I was in London recently I picked up Rio and New York during a ridiculously quick spree around Superdrug, which as far as I’m aware is the only shop you can currently get this product in and it’s around £3 for a large 200ml can and £2 for the smaller travel size 50ml can. You can also get COLAB dry shampoo on both the SuperDrug and Feel Unique websites, and at the moment Superdrug has 1/3 off but I don’t know how long that will last so get involved quickly if you want to get a couple of fab stocking fillers or even a Secret Santa present for any beauty freaks you know!
So that’s all the standard product info out of the way, so I’ll crack on with my review!
I’ve used loads of dry shampoo over the years and whilst I have tried a few different brands, I’ve always gone back to Batiste as I always found it was the best. Lately though I find it really drying on my hair, even though I don’t use a huge amount of product. I never feel like the chalky residue is fully absorbed but it does the job of getting rid of excess grease even if it then leaves my hair feeling a little powdery and dry – sad face emoji.
Enter COLAB dry shampoo, which I’ll state upfront, I have only been using for a few weeks but so far definitely so good. As promised, when sprayed onto the hair it is colourless, and as long as you rub it in immediately it stays that way. This is one thing I would just point out, for anyone who sprays dry shampoo on first then leaves it to absorb before you rub it in, if you do this with COLAB when you go back to it it will have turned white as with any standard dry shampoo, so make sure you rub it in straight away.
I’ve read other reviews that say it feels wet and makes hair greasier even with a small amount of product and I can see where the wetness comments come from but once you’ve rubbed it in and brushed it back out again then it’s done the job.
Fragrance-wise COLAB is 100% better smelling than Batiste, which I find sometimes smells quite chemically. As I said I only have Rio and New York, and my favourite is New York, which unfortunately I only bought as a 50ml handbag can, but am trying to get my hands on the larger can ASAP, as it’s got a lovely sweet, fruity smell which is totally different to any other dry shampoo I’ve smelt before and whilst I don’t have the others I’ve been told by friends that the rest of them smell just as good, but London seems to be up there as most peoples favourite.
I also can’t write a review without talking about the packaging, and in one word I’d sum it up as stylish, fabulous, striking, ok that’s not one word, but really I can’t pick one. As dry shampoo goes, the design of the cans are in keeping with the name of each fragrance and along with the bright colours alongside the silver and black, the cans just looks ridiculously chic for a product that sucks the grease out of your hair!
So there you have it, for me COLAB dry shampoo does exactly what it says on the tin so I’m sorry Batiste but there is definitely a new kid on the block whose come to steal your dry shampoo crown!
Have any of you guys tried COLAB? What did you think, which of the fragrances do you love?
Just a quick post to share with you some nails that I did that were ridiculously simple but that gave a really cute finish. For these nails I used two coats of Barry M Gelly nail paint in Prickly Pear. I really love the whole Barry M Gelly range as they’re so cheap but are fairly hard wearing and give a really high shine finish. On the tips of my nails I used L’Oreal Top Coat Confettis in colour 916, which again are a great price at around £5 and are a really quick and easy way to make your nails look really pretty.
So here is the finished look! Unfortunately I was running a bit late and smudged them whilst having to get changed to go out, but you can still see the effect. What do you guys think? Have any of you used the Barry M or Loreal nail polishes, do you like them? I’d love to hear what you think or see any other nail art you’ve done with the Loreal Top Coat Confettis!
Something that I’m loving at the moment is lips! Lip glosses, lip sticks, lip tints you name it I’ve tried it, and because of this I’ve also been making sure I keep my lips in tip-top condition. In the summer I know it’s not quite so important, but in preparation for the colder autumn and winter months I thought I’d share with you my homemade lip scrub which is super easy to make and is a really quick and simple way to exfoliate your lips.
What you’ll need
Olive oil – we use this to nourish the lips and whilst I used a mid range olive oil that I had in the cupboard, I’m sure any other oil will work just as well
Sugar – I used bog standard white sugar that you’d put in your tea! You can use other sugars, just remember the more coarse the sugar the more coarse the lip scrub will be
Honey – this gives a nice sweetness to the lip scrub and also helps to hold the oil and sugar together a little more
You will also need a small bowl and teaspoon to mix everything together and then a small pot/jar to keep the lip scrub in once it’s made.
How to make your lip scrub
This will all depend on the size of pot you’re going to put the finished product in but for me I started by putting about 2 tablespoons of sugar into the bowl, before adding in 1 teaspoon of honey.
To use your homemade lip scrub just scrape a little out using your finger and rub it onto your lips in circular motions, you should then leave it on your lips for a few minutes before washing off with a warm flannel or muslin cloth. I would recommend doing this when you’re home alone or in the comfort of a locked bathroom as you definitely end up looking a little crazy with this weird sugar mix all over your face!
Depending on how sensitive your lips are I would say it’s best to do this once a week to keep your lips looking and feeling fab!
It’s best to store your lip scrub in the fridge once it’s made and don’t worry if the oil separates a little from the sugar and honey mixture, just give it a little stir with your finger or a spoon to combine it all again and it’s good to go!
Have you ever tried making a homemade lip scrub? If you try making this at home I’d love to know so leave me a comment below and let me know what you think.
I know there are a few of these posts around at the moment, but it’s Christmas and I’m constantly being asked by those around me what I’d like for the big day. So for anyone asking, here’s some of my top choices!
Pure Evoke Mio DAB digital radio in Seagrass
Tess Gerritsen novels – part of the Rizzoli & Isles series
Mulberry Primrose – well a girl can try!
So that’s what I’ll be having my fingers crossed for in just over a weeks time, what are you hoping to find under your Christmas tree?
It’s not very often that invites like ‘who wants to come and see Glamour editor Jo Elvin speak at a women’s lunch event?’ pop into my inbox, so when this one got circulated by one of the girls at work I immediately jumped at the chance to attend.
‘Women at One’ is a lunch series which enables the women of Guernsey to get together to socialise and network over some lunch, whilst also listening to the inspiring stores of guest speakers from around the UK including magazine editors, CEOs and founders of women’s Leadership Academies.
The November lunch was particularly popular as it was hosted by long-running editor of Glamour Magazine, Jo Elvin. Now whilst I am not an avid Glamour reader, I thought this would still be a fantastic chance to hear first hand how someone like Jo got to where she is today and what pearls of wisdom she had to bestow upon the rest of us (I also wanted to hear if she had any embarrassing celeb stories, which she definitely did!).
Australian-born Elvin started her magazine career doing work experience at girls magazine Dolly, where was offered a full time job before moving to the slightly older Cleo. As well as working in magazines Elvin also had a brief stint as an Aussie cliche (her words, not mine!) when she worked as a publicist on Neighbours, and no, not during the Jason and Kylie years. She then took the huge decision to move to the UK with dreams of making it big in the UK magazine industry.
As careers go, Elvin’s has been one of working incredibly hard, always using her initiative and putting everything into every job she’s undertaken, including taking the several knock backs she encountered on arriving in the UK. In fact she recalled a story of sitting in a greasy spoon in Notting Hill back in the early nineties and thinking it was maybe time to cut her losses and go back to Australia and even seeing a Quantas plane flying overhead – surely an even bigger sign?! It was at this low point that she was offered a job at Sugar magazine, and has since gone from strength to strength having been editor of women’s magazine Glamour, which she describes as being ‘glossy with grit‘, for over a decade.
Attributing her success to her Aussie determination and never wanting to give up, some of the highlights of her career include drinking a Vodka and tonic with Tony Blair on board a private plane and being papped with Terri Hatcher in the Hollywood Hills. But the life of a magazine isn’t all glitz and glamour as Jo also recalled a time at an awards ceremony when she was drafted in to hold up a certain female celebs dress whilst she went to the loo as it was so tight she couldn’t do it herself!
So what’s her advice for a successful career? Firstly she advocates internships, but more to demonstrate the hard work you’re willing to put in, and if you’re looking to get into fashion that doesn’t mean only interning at fashion magazines. All experience counts, and in fact one of the current Glamour staff had never worked on a fashion magazine when she applied and was working on a car magazine, but the fact that she has immersed herself so fully into the world of cars really impressed Jo who decided to give her a chance, which she says absolutely paid off.
My personal favourite piece of advice Jo gave was straight to the point – ‘say yes and then figure it out later.’
Unfortunately we had a meeting to get back to at work so were unable to stay for questions after lunch which was pretty disappointing as I had wanted to find out Jo’s opinions on bloggers and whether they’re having a positive or negative effect on the magazine industry. But we did have just enough time to scoff the amazing cheesecake that came for dessert, although I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t have eaten the whole thing so quickly as I felt super sick on the drive back to the office!
All in all though this was a great event, Jo was incredibly warm and funny and although I’m sure she’s a totally formidable woman in the office her career stories and advice helped many of us around the table to understand the most important areas to focus on to really impress the people around you to drive your career forward.
Thanks to Jo and the organisers of Women at One for such a great afternoon out with the girls!
It’s that time of the week again, it’s Tuesday, it’s 6pm, which can only mean it’s the Starting Off Project!
Week 6 = mascara!
Quite possibly one of my favourite items of make up which I always feel a bit naked without, mascara gives your eyes more definition. Worn on either your top or top and bottom lashes one of the main things to look out for with mascara is that it can ‘clump’ and give you ‘spidery lashes’ which is when your lashes end up getting stuck together because you’ve put too much mascara on them. You can avoid this firstly by removing any excess mascara by scraping the brush against the top of the tube, and then gradually building up your mascara in thin layers (normally around 3) by applying it in a zigzag motion by moving your hand from side to side. This will cover the lashes more evenly and also separate them as you go.
There are loads of claims on the market for different mascaras but most are all about volumising or lengthening your eyelashes using a multitude of different shapes and sizes of wands. Expensive products like ModelCo Fibre LashXtend even attach tiny fibres to your lashes as you apply your mascara, and claims to give ‘brilliant extension and high definition impact’.
My top tip for thickening lashes without blowing your budget is by using talcum powder. Yup you read that correctly, the humble bathroom staple, talcum powder. Just gently put a layer of talcum powder on your lashes before you apply your mascara and the powder will have the same effect as the ModelCo product for a fraction of the price!
My final piece of advice is an oldie, but a goodie. NEVER pump air into your mascara tube by pushing the wand/brush in and out in order to get more product on it, as it will dry out the mascara which will lead to clumps. Before you initially take the brush out, I recommend twisting it around inside the tube and then removing it. If you need more product then gently repeat this process.
I have used a number of mascaras over the years both from high street brands and more high end designers, and my current favourites are Scandaleyes from Rimmel, Lancome‘s vibrating mascara and They’re Real by Benefit.
Scandaleyes by Rimmel is a great everyday mascara, especially given it’s cheap price. I bought this on offer in Boots with some other Rimmel items so it’s always worth checking in Boots or Superdrug if they have any good deals on. The brush on this one is quite thick and gives good coverage, but it can easily clump so be careful how much you apply.
They’re Real from Benefit is quickly becoming one of the most rated mascaras currently on the market, and personally I can see why. It’s not cheap at around £20, but at the moment if you buy online direct from Benefit here you get a full size mascara and an additional deluxe mini version for the same price. The brush has quite short fibres and the orb shape at the end of it enables you to get right into the corners of your lashes. Again I would recommend around 3 coats for the best coverage, being careful it doesn’t clump.
Finally this Oscillation Vibrating Infinite Power Mascara from Lancome is not only the mascara in my collection with the longest name but it’s also the most expensive, retailing at around £30. It has a small battery in the lid which makes the brush vibrant as the mascara’s applied, and personally I do think this makes a difference to the end result which is virtually clump free with great length. Given the price I only really use this on nights out, so if you’re looking for a special occassion product I would recommend this one but for something more for everyday Rimmel or Maybelline have some great mascaras for less than half the price.
So that’s it for another week, as always I’d love to read everyone elses posts so feel free to leave your links below.
What are your favourite mascaras? Have you used any of my favourite mascaras, what did you think of them?
I can’t believe it’s already week five of the SO Project and this week we’re talking blusher! I haven’t been around on the blog much lately as I haven’t been very well over the past few weeks but am back now and am ready to get stuck in!
So if you’ve been following #theSOproject you’ll know the past weeks have covered skincare, concealer, foundation and bronzer. As I don’t use much bronzer or know much about foundation I thought I’d sit back and read all the great words of wisdom from the many other great bloggers taking part in this awesome series. If you want to read my previous posts you can find them here – skincare/concealer
Ok, so on to blusher. There are a number of different types, powder, cream and mousse are the main ones that I’ve used previously, although I tend to stick mainly to powders.
Blusher is used on the apples of your cheeks and give you a more ‘rosey’ complexion. There are many different shades from pretty pinks to more apricots or pinky red shades which you can use during different times of year depending on your skin type and colour. Personally I find cream or mousse blushers are normally better in the summer months when powders can be a little more ‘cakey’ and in the winter when my skin is drier the cream blushers can again end up looking a bit ‘cakey’. But that’s my personal experience and others may find it works better for them the other way around.
The fun part about blusher is of course all in the excellent face pulling that takes places when applying it! If you suck your cheeks right in this allows you to see your cheek bones and the apples of your cheeks which you can then sweep blusher onto using either a brush or your fingers depending on which type of blusher you use.
My fave products
For me, I only have two blushers that are my go to, one is a cream blusher by Une and the other is Sugarbomb by Benefit.
As you can see from the incredibly well-worn box and the huge hole in the product, Sugarbomb is my go-to blusher for day-to-day wear. As it has four different shades in one it means you can work a number of shades together to get the right colour for your skin, or you can just use one of the four. I am a huge fan of Benefit blushers having previously used Dandelion and Throb, but at around £20 each they are definitely not cheap although I always try to get mine with birthday/christmas gift vouchers or in Duty Free. Despite their hefty price tag, personally I think that they are worth it, especially as they last ages.
My second blusher, which is more of my ‘holiday’ blusher is from Une. What I love about this blusher is not only the incredibly useful mirrored compact it comes it, but the ability to really build the colour. So although when you initially put it on it seems quite sheer you can gradually add more product until you’re happy with the coverage.
Being able to gradually build product is very important with blushers so I would advise having a tissue on standby to get rid of any excess before application as the last thing you want is to go full throttle and end up looking like a rag doll with two big round red marks on your cheeks (Lil Kim I’m looking at you!!)
Seriously BAD times Lil Kim!!
So that’s all for another week my lovelies! Hope this has been useful, I’d love to know what products you’re rating, so leave me a little comment below!
Until next time…
Week 2 and the Starting Off project is in full swing with Twitter exploding last Tuesday at 6pm as all of the great posts about skin care went live. So far I’ve really loved seeing such a wide take on the theme of skin care, but I’m also a little concerned as I’ve already made two purchases following reading recommended products and it’s only week 2!
So this week it’s onto concealer. For me concealer is not just about covering pesky spots but also about dark circles or under eye bags when you’ve had a heavy night or maybe just haven’t slept very well the night before. So lets look at what I use and how I use them:
My trusty kit to hide all my sins!
Firstly I should probably say that for any teens just starting out I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using some of the products at first as they are a little on the pricey side. Although the Benefit sets like the ‘Confessions of a Concealaholic‘ one I use are a great way to test out products before buying individual items.
Retailing for £28.50, and billed by Benefit as being a ‘concealing and brightening kit’, it contains 6 different products; 2 different shades of concealer, two eye brightening products, a primer and eye ‘camouflage’ and of all these products I currently use four of them, so for cost per item I think these sets are pretty good value.
Inside Benefit’s Confessions of a Concealaholic
I like the fact that the kit has two shades of concealer (outside of the kit known as Boing!) which can be used separately or mixed together depending on where on my face I’m using them as my skin isn’t the same shade all over. I always use the brush to apply concealer directly onto any spots and then use my fingers to blend in the colour so it’s evened out with my skin tone.
The products I don’t use within this kit are the ‘Erase Paste‘ and ‘Eye Bright‘ (the pink one in the above pic), mainly because I don’t feel it necessary to use Eye Bright which is for making the area around your eyes a little brighter and perkier, whilst Erase Paste is very good if you have quite chronic bags or darkness under your eyes but for me it was just a little too heavy.
Finally the last product I use everyday without fail from this kit, and in fact I have since bought separately, is Lemon Aid (the yellow one in the pic), which for everyday dark circles or eye bags is a great product for brightening beneath your eyes as the yellow balances out the purple tones you get under your eyes in the morning. I just use my fingers to apply a little of this, obviously apply as much as you feel is needed to cover any darker areas, and just dab it onto the skin. Make sure you don’t rub it in vigorously as the skin under your eyes is very delicate.
My partner in crime with Lemon Aid has got to be cult classic Touche Eclat from YSL, which is a highlighter pen that comes in three shades (1,2 & 3 which are generally speaking light, medium and dark), I use shade 1 and as this retails at about £20 for each pen I tend to always buy them in duty free or from eBay from reputable beauty sellers, and also look out for bulk buying two/three pens together to get a good deal too. This cult product basically makes light reflect off where it’s been applied to the skin so it’s great for under eyes. One big word of warning though is do NOT use this as a concealer, if you use it on spots it will highlight them more so don’t think just because it looks like a concealer that it is one!
My last go-to for concealing spots is a product I’ve been using for a long time, and comes from French brand Guinot, and it’s a matifying concealer which again I apply in the same way as Benefit’s Boing! I like this product because it’s more ‘liquid’ then the Benefit ones which means if you have a particularly troublesome spot that requires more extensive coverage this product can be built up until you’re happy that the spot is well hidden. I get this online from various websites and although it costs about £15-£20 for a 15ml bottle a little goes a long way, so cost per use for me is minimal.
So that’s it from me for this week, those are my favourite products to cover up any blemishes and dark patches that we’d rather not show the world!
I hope you found this helpful, and if you’re also taking part in #theSOproject feel free to say hello below I’d love to hear what experiences you’ve had with any of these products or which products you use below.
The first week of the Starting Off project and it’s all things skin care!
Now, before I start I should probably make a little disclaimer that when it comes to skin care I am pretty lax and definitely tend to go for speed over substance. My skin type is oily/combination and I have a particularly oily t-zone so most of my skin care routine revolves around getting rid of pesky shine. For this post I have chosen my current favourites:
My current skincare routine – the cheats way to cleanse, tone and moisturise!
As I use most of these products in the morning, I thought it would be best to run through my morning routine. The first thing I do is use my Neutrogena face scrub in the shower to get rid of any dead skins cells, this scrub is my favourite as it smells really fresh and is also gentle enough to be used everyday. I find it best to use a wet flannel to get this off which also helps to remove any last skin cells hanging around! Don’t forget the rest of your body in all this exfoliating malarky either, but make sure you always use a separate product for your body and face as the ones for your body will be harsher and are likely to irritate the delicate skin on your face.
Depending on how dry my skin feels each morning I’ll either then use Garnier Moisture Match for oily/combination skin followed by Mac’s oil control lotion, or I’ll just use the oil control lotion by itself. I’ll be doing a more in depth review of this lotion in a few weeks, but I find both are good ways to keep shine away. It’s important not to use too much of each product as a little goes a long way, especially when it comes to moisturisers as using too much can actually make your skin way more oily.
The last product I use in the morning before starting my make up is Boots No. 7 Colour Calming primer. Given the summer and being somewhat prone to sunburn (especially on my nose!) this product is always on hand to calm my red skin. It’s also a great product if you do any exercise at lunch time and like me come back looking like a bright red tomato! To balance and calm the redness in your skin, the product itself is actually green, but as long as you massage it in properly it won’t actually look green on your face. I can’t stress enough the importance of rubbing this product in properly though, because although it won’t look green it will dry white if it hasn’t properly soaked into your skin!
Finally, at the end of the day it’s important to always clean your face and remove all of your make up. As I mentioned earlier I’m rubbish at keeping up with a proper routine so for me face wipes are my go to. Normally I’m a sucker for a supermarket offer, and at the moment I’m using Waitrose 4 in 1 cleansing wipes which have a gorgeous smell and seem to do a good job of getting all of my make up off.
So that’s it folks, that’s how I attempt to keep my skin looking in tip top condition. I hope this has helped some of you, if you have any questions feel free to drop me a comment below!