Sunday, 28 June 2015

Elizabeth Arden: #My8hours Campaign

Elizabeth Arden is synonymous with skincare, maybe most notably the iconic Eight Hour Cream, which has become a staple product in women's makeup bags all over the world. But there is so much more behind the brand and the legacy of Elizabeth Arden herself: she was a business women, beauty advisor, women's advocate and inspiration everywhere. Building on this legacy the #My8Hours campaign was launched to allow those avid social media followers to have a glimpse into the lives of 8 inspirational 21st women. This movement sets to capture and reveal an insight into the daily doings of a diverse range of women, from a beauty blogger, athlete, makeup artist, comedian and singer to name but a few. Each week from 11th May to 5th July one of the chosen women will share a typical 8 hours in their life on social media, via photos and videos, using the hashtag #My8Hours and you can tune in and find out what the stars eat for breakfast and get up to in their free time on the following social channels: twitter: @ArdenUK, Facebook: ElizabethArdenUK and instagram: @ElizabethArdenUK.

For a bit of fun I thought I would share with you my own 8 hours with you, to give you a little insight into what I get up to on an average Saturday which first begins with a good workout at my local boot camp. By 9am I am up, trainers are on and I am out the house running, jumping, lunging and generally getting my sweat on! Next it is time for breakfast so Rob and I head into town to enjoy some fresh smoothies and brunch at one of our favourite little cafes. In the afternoon we decide to head over to a nearby Antiques centre to have a little mooch around and pick up some fresh flowers on the way to brighten up the flat. After an early morning and a busy day I look forward to a relaxing evening so whilst Rob whips up something tasty in the kitchen I resign myself to the sofa to catch up on some blogging before finally curling up in bed with the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars on Netflix! Bliss!

Remember to check out the Elizabeth Arden hashtag #My8Hours if you fancy getting a peek into the lives of these great women - Laura Jackson (TV presenter and model), Rachel Stevens (singer and model), Jo Pavey (athlete and campaigner), Polly Osmond (makeup artist), Sacha Mascolo-Tarbuck (TONI & GUY creative director), Fleur de Force (beauty blogger), Dr Sam Bunting (renowned dermatologist) and Shazia Mirza (comedian).
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Thursday, 25 June 2015

Foreo Luna Facial Cleansing Brush

Foreo LUNA Facial Cleansing Brush & Anti-Ageing Device* (£145) | available online

The Foreo Luna. You have probably seen this unique and oddly-shaped device popping up on beauty blogs and in magazines left, right and centre, but what exactly is it? Stemming for the inventive Swedish brand Foreo, the Luna is a silicone facial cleanser with a sonic pulse technology to clean skin and pores in the most hygienic and effective way to date. Facial cleansing gadgets have really saturated the market over the past two or three years but whereas some people swear by them, others can find the synthetic brushes and oscillating motion all a bit too abrasive for their skin. 

This is where the new Foreo Luna really trumps the rest as it is not only exceeding gentle and effective, with its rounded silicone nubs, but boosts a hygiene factor that no Clarisonic could rival as no bacteria is harboured on the device. The silicone gadget can simply be rinsed with warm water and a little soap after each cleansing session rather than having the hassle of replacing your brush head every month or so. And one charge equals over 450 uses. It is easy to increase and decrease vibration speeds and it also has an anti-ageing mode as well to help optimise the benefits of anti-ageing and hydrating creams. Available in pink (sensitive/normal), blue (combination) or white (ultra-sensitive) the Luna is ergonomically designed to fit neatly in your hand and even more neatly into your beauty regime. 

Simply use this morning and night for 1-2 minutes alongside your normal everyday cleanser. Apply your cleanser, wet the Luna and switch it on - moving the pulsating device over your face, spending 15 seconds on each area. At first it feels a bit weird, the sensation all a bit odd but afterwards your skin feels genuinely glowing, cleansed, smoothed and makeup-free. The vibrating silicone nodules almost wiggle the dirt away from your skin whilst giving you a rather lovely facial massage at the same time. It also holds it charge for absolutely ages so is a great option for skincare on the go when you are travelling and trying to pack light - no need to lug all those wires, plugs and adapters with you! If you find the Clarisonic (and other oscillating brushes) all a bit too harsh and ineffective then I definitely recommend giving the Foreo Luna range a whirl - this little silicone system will fit seamlessly into your skincare regime.
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Friday, 19 June 2015

A Revlon Round Up

revlon HD lipstickOver the last few months there has been a lot of newness hitting the beauty aisles from our favourite 'drugstore' brand - Revlon. From a range of new nail polishes to an exciting new foundation, with some pretty impressive lipsticks thrown into the mix, I thought I would give you a quick Revlon round up and let you know what to look out for next time you are 'browsing' in Boots...because let's face it, browsing always leads to purchasing, right?

Firstly we have three new products for the face and a new eyeshadow quad to get those peepers looking pretty. The Revlon ColorStay 16hr Eye Shadow Palette in Surreal (£8.99) is a quad of bendable, silky shades for the eyes that won't crease, fade or smudge. Inspired by the warm earthy tones of the desert interspersed with metallic, bright pops to capture the natural elements, this palette is a lovely mixture of natural shadows - a white highlight shade, a shimmery golden and muted green for all over the lids and a grey-black to define. Also released with the Sahara Escape Collection is a limited edition Revlon Highlighting Palette in Desert Bronze (£9.99) which can be swirled together to kiss the skin with a enhanced, natural glow. The bronze shades are matte and natural so can be used separately to bronze or contour whilst the lighter shade is beautifully shimmery to highlight and illuminate cheekbones and brow.

The new Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush Effect Makeup (£12.99) is a new, improved version of the popular, budget-friendly PhotoReady foundation which now contains a fancy pigment technology that provides the skin with a flawless, airbrushed appearance in any light. Oil and fragrance-free, SPF20, soft focus pigments with a medium to full coverage - this foundation feel pretty light on the skin but covers flaws and evens out your skin tone really nicely. The finish is somewhere between satin to matte (you won't need much powdering) and is probably best for normal or slightly oily skin. It provides a luminous, radiant finish without being too shimmery - an issue some people found with the original PhotoReady foundation.

Another new product to join the PhotoReady range is the Revlon PhotoReady Prime & Anti-Shine Balm (£9.99) which is multi-use product for perfected skin. Made with a special clear-on-skin formula, this ultra-lightweight balm glides on easily and seamlessly minimises the look of pores, fine lines and wrinkles to create a smooth, matte look. This convenient compact, perfect for touch ups on the go, can either be worn alone to smooth out skin, under makeup as a primer to create the ultimate base or  over makeup to touch up creases and to eliminate shine.

Next up is the new Revlon line up of Colorstay Gel Envy nail polishes (£6.99) which provide vibrant colour, brilliant gel-like shine and long lasting wear for your nails - everything you would wish for from your gel nail manicure but from the comfort and ease of your own home. I love doing my gel nails every couple of weeks but sometimes, when time is tight, I just don't have to patience to go through all those different stages of painting and curing which is why these polishes are so perfect! The results they give are comparable to salon quality but so much quicker and cheaper! Simply apply two coats of your chosen colour, which combines your base coat and colour to save time, then top off with the diamond top coat for added protection and a glass shine finish. These polishes are available in 30 gorgeous shades and are a whole lot easier to remove than your normal gel nails!

Finally and maybe the most exciting launch for me, the lipstick junkie over here, is their new range of Revlon Ultra HD lipsticks (£7.99) which lace your lips with intense shine and high-definition colour. The wax-free formula has been crafted specifically to deliver you a true colour clarify with one application with a smooth, long-lasting finish. These lipsticks are gorgeous to wear - they feel incredibly light and comfortable on the lips with a dreamy scent of whipped vanilla and creamy mango. I have 2 of the 14 shades available - Poppy (a fun, bright red) and Geranium (a punchy coral-orange).

What new Revlon bits have taken your fancy?
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Too Faced Bronzers

Pick up your perfect bronzer from Too Faced (£21) | available online
Choosing the perfect bronzer for you is a beauty dilemma that many face time and time again. With so, so many different bronzing powders on the market, promising you that sun-kissed glow in one easy sweep, it can be a minefield to navigate and find that one perfect product that suits all your needs. Do I want matte or shimmery? Do I need warm tones or cooler tones for my skin? What if I want a pop of colour too or the ability to contour and highlight as well? With so many questions begging to be answered Too Faced seem to have got this bronzer business sorted with their extensive collection of eight, yes eight, different compacts that will hopefully satisfy everyone whilst encouraging you to build your own bronzer wardrobe, as easy and interchangeable as your favourite outfits.

The Too Faced bronzers cover all bases so whether you want natural, matte, luminous, blushing, light or dark, there is definitely something here for you. The extensive collection is organised into three little ranges; the Bunnies, the Chocolate Soleil and those other special ones such as Pink Leopard and Endless Summer. Let's look at the three Bunny Bronzers first - Sun Bunny, Beach Bunny and Snow Bunny. Aside from their adorable names and sweet, young packaging the Bunny range offers you a great choice of bronzing with added shimmer and colour. Snow Bunny helps to emulate that just-off-the-mountain-top glow for the ultimate winter look without leaving the lodge! It has four shades including white and pale pink shimmer powders to give you an illuminating, soft finish. Sun Bunny is a half and half bronzer with pink undertones to mimic that natural flush you get from being in the sun. Perfect for swirling together or using sperately for a subtle glow and shimmer. Finally we have Beach Bunny which contains four shades ranging from a deep bronzer to a light, golden shimmer. It is illuminating, great for contouring and is ideal for darker skinned girls looking for a warm, deep colour.

The next trio of bronzers fall into the Chocolate Soleil category. They are basic, matte and probably the most easy to use from the entire collection, with one to suit every skin tone. They are made from real cocoa which you can detect in their scent and are smooth and silky to apply - perfect to add colour or to contour. Milk Chocolate Soleil is the lightest shade, great for those fairer ladies, followed by Chocolate Soleil which will give a medium to deep tan to your skin. Finally, the newest addition to their range, is the Dark Chocolate Soleil which offers the ultimate rich, deep matte bronze to sculpt those cheekbones or sweep all over. It has some subtle red undertones to it too which emulate that true outdoor-sy glow.

Finally we have two special additions to the range; the fancy looking Pink Leopard Blushing Bronzer and Endless Summer 16 hour Bronzer. Pink Leopard is described as a blushing bronzer due to its pattern of gilded pinks and natural fawns which brighten the complexion and work best applied onto the apples of your cheeks, rather than all over. The toned-down golden bronze shades give you an illuminating finish and this is super pretty for the Summertime. Endless Summer 16 Hour Bronzer is made with a double bond formula that promises a longer lasting colour on the skin, to take you from beach to beach party! If you love the medium tones of Chocolate Soleil but crave a bit of shimmer then this is the pefect pick for you!

Which bronzer have you got your eye on?
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Sunday, 14 June 2015

Kate Spade Gold Glitter iPhone 6+ Case

Kate Spade Gold Glitter and White iPhone Case | £29 from Apple stores

Ever since I picked up the new iPhone 6+ in New York a few months ago I have been searching for the perfect phone case - a task that was a lot harder than I first anticipated. I spent ages trawling the Kate Spade website looking at their offerings of phone covers and even though they have a dreamy selection of case for the iPhone 5, 5s and 6 - there was nothing that would fit my new Apple addition. The moment they release that Watermelon case in the iPhone 6+ size though, it will be mine!

I was at Westfield Stratford the other week so decided to pop into the Apple store to buy just a boring, regular phone cover to tie me over until I found something a little more garish when I saw a selection of Kate Spade cases that were the perfect fit for my new phone. Leopard print, polka dots, gold and glitter - I was in heaven! I opted for this sweet white and glittery gold striped hard back cover for a fairly reasonable £29. Great quality and adds a lovely splash of sparkle to my phone - so fun and ideal when trying to locate it at the bottom of my handbag!
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Sunday, 7 June 2015

The Self Tans To Get You Summer Ready

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Body & He-Shi Overnight Ageless Tanning Balm for a Summer-ready glow!

So the sun is shining, Summer is just around the corner and suddenly our tees are being swapped for crop tops, our skirts are getting shorter and skin is on show left, right and centre. For the last few weeks the realisation that I am going to have to get my legs out and cast aside my skinny jeans has finally hit me so I have been reaching for a few new self-tanning products to ensure I am ready Summer-ready, with a golden glow, from head to toe.

The New He-Shi Overnight Ageless Tanning Balm (£22.50) is specifically designed for the face and combines anti-ageing properties with the beauty of a skin firming gradual tan that is delicate enough for the face. The velvety lotion can be applied before bed to un-moisturised skin, just simply smooth over 2-3 pumps of the balm ensuring you blend carefully around the hairline and down your neck. This tanning lotion contains jojoba protein to repair and condition the skin along with hyaluronic acid which reinforces the skin's ability to attract and retain moisture, giving the skin a hydrated appearance. I love the fact you can use this balm as your night time moisturiser and face tanner all in one and it is pretty fool-proof meaning you won't awake with any tell tale tan lines, streaks, that fake tan smell or orange-tinge. It just gives you a really nice bronzed base that can be topped up during the week if you wanted to maximise your glow and minimise the need for heavy foundation or powder bronzer.

The Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster (£26) is a great new product for the body based on the huge success of the face Glow Booster launched last year. I loved this revolutionary made-to-measure self tan that allows you to add a few drops of liquid gold to your regular face cream to create your own bespoke facial tanner whilst still ensuring you get all the benefits from your ordinary skincare. Well Clarins have taken it one step further and created the new Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for the body which gives you a concentrated self tan that delivers a gorgeous glow, head to toe, all year round. Presented in the same, sleek, dropper bottle, this glow booster is easy to mix with your favourite body moisturiser to add radiance and a healthy glow alongside all the other added benefits of your regular body cream. Simply take your cream, gel or serum in the palm of your hand and add 4-6 drops of the self tan, combine together and apply all over your body. I love that this tanner is odourless and has a formula enriched with aloe vera extract to maintain the skin's softness. Unlike some fake tan lotions, liquids or mousses, this glow booster ensures you are streak free with no dry patchiness and you can really tweak your tan depending on how beautifully bronzed you want to go!

Which self tan products do you reach for as the Summer creeps in?
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Friday, 5 June 2015

Jo Malone Incense & Cedrat Cologne Intense

Jo Malone Incense & Cedrat Cologne | available from Jo Malone London

You may have noticed over the last year or so that Jo Malone have added a scattering of scents to their fragrance line that could definitely be described as unisex. Particularly noticeable within their Cologne Intense range the latest releases have steered away from those characteristic sweet, floral and fruity notes featured in many of Jo Malone’s classic scents and have delved into a richer, deeper, and all over more masculine world, with powerful, hearty notes. 

Jo Malone’s latest launch to hit the stores this month is possibly the most guy-friendly fragrance to date with the addition of Omani incense at the heart of the cologne giving it a wonderfully, rich sensual aroma. Jo Malone’s Incense and Cedrat Cologne Intense is aptly described as mystical, magical and precious and is available in the standard blackened bottle (£105) or as a treasured, limited edition fragrance encased in an opulent black and gold designed bottle echoing the intricacy and beauty of this scent – a dark, empowering base with a luminous, zesty brightness. Incense & Cedrat is a combination of rich and rare ingredients, maybe most importantly the Omani incense which is the most precious in the world. It is harvested from the Boswellia sacra tree, found in a land between ocean and desert, Dhofar. The sap is dried and crystalline to obtain this magical fragrance but in recent years the tree has become threatened so for the first time in perfumery, Jo Malone have used NaturePrint technology to recreate the Omani incense scent. Basically the clever perfumery guys have taken the resinous incense tears to analyse and thus recreate the perfect scent using natural ingredients whilst keeping the Boswellia sacra and the environment protected. This dark, characterful cologne takes the richness of the Omani scent and combines it with a radiant freshness of lemon and pepper notes, an elegant, woody intensity of Vetyver finished off with a citrus twist of the Cedrat fruit. 

At the heart of Jo Malone's philosophy is the concept of fragrance combining giving you the chance to create a bespoke, individual scent that reflects your mood, suits an occasion and expresses your individuality. Incense & Cedrat Cologne Intense is the perfect example where a fragrance could stand alone or be layered with another scent for a unique signature. For example I could really picture my husband spritzing this new fragrance as it stands but I would probably want to soften the scent a little and therefore could imagine layering it with Jo Malone Red Roses for example. for a luxurious sensual finish. Do you like the sound of this latest launch?
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