Wednesday, 30 November 2011

prepare to sparkle

glitter

1. OPI Rainbow Connection  2. Miss Selfridge  3. Topshop  4. Topshop
5. River Island  6. ASOS  7. NYX River Island  8. Folli Follie  9. Forever 21

With Christmas just around the corner; shoppers are being bombarded with the jolly jingle of Christmas songs and children adults everywhere are eagerly awaiting to open the first window of their Advent calendar. With diaries becoming a cobwebs of scribbles with upcoming festive functions and seasonal shindigs, I thought I would scour the shops and summarise the most sparkliest of items to ensure you're are the glitter belle of the ball this Christmas.

I am in love with the Topshop Sequin Ballerina Dress -
Which is your favourite item?
x
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Monday, 28 November 2011

a brush with the orient

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When it comes to makeup brushes, I am not really a fussy customer. My collection is an amalgamation of The Body Shop, Sigma, Sleek and MAC with some e.l.f brushes thrown in there for good measure. When I'm feeling flush I like to spend a fair few pennies on higher-end brushes, but am also more than happy to pick up some cheap and cheerful brushes from the high street. I tend to find myself spending more on face brushes, and less on eye and brow brushes. I don't know why.
Japonesque have been creating makeup brushes and beauty tools for over 20 years now and have earned the reputation of producing the most versatile, innovative and distinctive beauty accessories in the industry. As well as carrying their own label, they have also been responsible for the craftsmanship of beauty accessories for many well-known and respected beauty brands such as Illamasqua, Nars and Sephora. Japonesque's repertoire doesn't just stop at makeup brushes but expands right through to lashes, tweezers, palettes and eyelash curlers. Japonesque is now stocked in Boots, so ticks both those boxes of finding high-quality, superior brushes on the high street, for a reasonable price.

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I was sent a selection of their travel, short handle brushes which feature all the same quality materials and construction as the pro range, but simply in a more compact, travel friendly size. I think the range looks really smart with their slick silver handles and the perfect dimensions for fitting in your makeup bag. The brushes are extremely soft and evidently of a very high standard. I have ben using, and washing, all these brushes for a few weeks now, bar the brow comb (does anyone actually use these anymore?!) and can safely say that I haven't experienced any shedding or skin irritation.

From left to right:
Powder Brush, Angled Foundation Brush, Brow/Lash Comb, Retractable Lip Brush, Eyeshadow Fluff Brush (medium), Angled Brow Definer Brush

Japonesque use natural and synthetic hairs in their brushes, depending on their use, so you really get the best application and finish with each brush. I thought I would highlight and share with you my favourite two brushes from this range.

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The powder brush (£29.25) is dreamy; I just wish I could convey to you how wonderfully soft and supple the brush is. I could quite happily sit and stroke my face with it all day...! It is perfect for applying loose powder for a flawless finish. The brush doesn't pick up too much product, a problem I often encounter with my kabuki brush, so you never end up with a heavy finish. After I have applied my foundation, I use this powder brush to lightly dust my MAC mineralised skin finish natural all over my face. Its domed top means it follows the contours of your face so applies the powder evenly all over.

The angled foundation brush (£19.50) is great, especially as I love applying my foundation with a flat brush like this, rather than a stippling brush. I just cannot get on with stippling brushes! It is quite a firm brush to the feel, but is very pliable when you start applying the product. I really like the tapered end which makes it extremely useful for detailed application under your eyes and around your nose. The bristles are synthetic, they wash really nicely and the brush maintains its shape which is always a bonus!

The Japonesque range can be viewed online and can now be located in Boots and John Lewis.
What are you favourite makeup brushes? Do you save or splurge when it comes to buying your brushes?
x
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Sunday, 27 November 2011

creme de la femme

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On Friday I went to the new Westfield Shopping Centre at Stratford on the premise that I was to start my Christmas shopping. Well, unsurprisingly I failed on all accounts and didn't buy any presents; the temptation of Forever 21 and MAC was far too strong! I had six mac empties so took my chance whilst I was there to back to mac and get myself a brand new lippie. I had previously thought I would choose a dark vampy colour like Rebel or Up the Amp but I was rather taken with Creme de la Femme, a frosty pinky-purple laced with gold shimmer.

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Creme de la Femme, with its berry pink colour, golden flecks and frosted finish is so pretty, but also quite underrated. I certainly hadn't really given it much consideration before now. In the tube it looked a little too 'mature' for me, but actually, I am rather smitten with my choice, so much so that creme de la femme could be the creme de la creme of my lipstick collection!
I hope you have all had lovely weekends.
x
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Thursday, 24 November 2011

back to black

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Top - H&M  .  Maxi skirt - H&M  .  Belt - charity shop  .  Necklace - Accessorize

Nothing better than getting that Friday feeling a day early. Tomorrow I have a day off work and am taking a trip to the new Westfield at Stratford for a day of supposed Christmas shopping...although I know (and you know) that Forever 21 may take precedence over this! I also have six mac empties which means I can back to mac and pay homage to the MAC store. I am in a real quandary as to what lipstick to opt for. I originally thought I would get Angel before discovering I already had this lipstick in my collection. Oh the shame! So now I am thinking either Rebel or Up the Amp? What do you think?
x
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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

my hair heroes

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When it comes to investing precious time and money, it is definitely my hair that seems to get the most attention, thanks to countless colours, cuts and conditioners. I often have so many hair lotions and potions on the go, it can get a bit overwhelming! Therefore I thought I would sit back, slap on a hair masque and reflect on a few firm favourites that I have been using religiously for the past few weeks and have led to some very healthy, happy hair.

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Split Mend Intense Recovery Masque
This hair masque is part of the new Split Remedy range from Tresemme which focuses on repairing split ends; an inevitable consequence of everyday styling, sun exposure and heat damage. Personally, I don't think I suffer too frightfully from split ends, and having just had my hair cut, I am rather proud of my healthy locks. This masque however, whether it has special mending powers or not, is an amazing treatment and is genuinely great at adding nourishment and softness to your hair. I wasn't bowled over by the shampoo or conditioner, but would definitely recommend this intense masque if you are on the hunt for a new, inexpensive treatment for your tresses.

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Neal & Wolf Silk Smoothing Blow-dry Balm
This is a really luxurious balm to be used on towel-dried hair before blow-drying. I always have to put something on my hair before I start the epic task of blow-drying it, and I find myself alternating between oils, serums and creams. This is one of the most effective lotions I have used at calming my hair and increasing its manageability once my mane has been dried and styled. It contains a hydrating wheat protein complex which provides moisture and balance, for a silky-smooth, frizz-free finish. It smells lovely too and isn't overly heavy if used sparingly.

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Moroccan Oil Treatment
With it syrupy consistency and sweet-woody scent, Moroccan Oil honestly works magic on my mane. It is quickly absorbed when applied onto damp hair, and works especially well when particular attention is paid to your parched ends. I think my hair thrives best when I use oils and this is one of my favourite luxuries for my locks. My hair is thick, frizzy and quite coarse, so soaks up oil like a scorched desert receives the rain; happily and very easily. This oil probably wouldn't be best if you had quite fine hair, or hair that gets greasy easily. I also use Moroccan Oil as a finishing product too by lightly smoothing it over my dry and styled hair, which adds instant shine and gloss to my coiffure.

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I had my hair coloured last week and am overjoyed with the result. I had some soft creamy blondes weaved in to lighten it, whilst still keeping my aura of golden tones. I now just need it to grow six inches and I'll be content!

What products do your locks love?
x
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Monday, 21 November 2011

Carmine: the November box

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I present to you this month's Carmine beauty box.
After much shaking and shimmying of the lid, swiftly followed by much huffing and puffing and a few cursed words, I finally managed to detach the stubborn lid from the box and reveal its contents. Apparently there is a particular 'lid-removal' technique. Clearly I have not quite mastered this technique yet! Faced with a reluctant lid and a box packed full of surprise products, maybe it is all just a clever ploy to heighten the excitement of the whole experience!

So here is what I received in November's box...

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This is what Carmine says about the products...

Neom Organics Real Luxury Body Lotion (50ml)
An organic product from an award-winning brand, this lotion is packed with the fragrances of lavender, jasmine and basil. 
Lulu's Time Bomb Flashback Night Cream (15ml)
A powerful anti-ageing night cream that turns back time whilst you sleep.
New Cid i-Pout lipstick
A revolutionary and incredibly wearable lipstick equipped with a built-in mirror and light for perfect application in absolutely any circumstance.
Cosmetics a la carte Brow Ink
A soft, semi-permanent ink which allows you to define your brows perfectly by allowing you draw in individual hairs. It can also be used as an eyeliner.
Dainty Doll Eyeliner Pencil
From the makeup line of fashion icon and solo artist Nicola Roberts, this eyeliner pencil contains skin-loving vitamins and is just oozing with colour.

Well I was pleasantly surprised with the items in this month's Carmine box, mainly because there were three full-sized makeup products, and I would always choose makeup over skincare any day. The fact there was a lipstick in the box absolutely delighted me, especially as it is a really nice colour and is from a brand that I am familiar with but never sampled before. 

The Neom Organics body lotion is an alright sample size at 50ml. It smells rather lovely and is a nice, rich consistency. I have never tried anything from Neom Organics so it will be interesting to trial one of their products, however I am not sure it will lure me away from my Body Shop body butters! The Lulu's Time Bomb Flashback Night Cream doesn't really excite me, purely because I am naively living under the illusion that I am not getting old and do not need to invest in anti-ageing remedies just yet. I suppose from such a small sample, it would be very hard to gage whether this is an effective product or not, but I have passed this to mother bear for her appraisal.

I think the two winning products in this month's box are the Cosmetics a la Carte brow ink and the Dainty Doll Eyeliner pencil, although understandably the colour might not be to your personal taste. I absolutely love the look of these two products and look forward to featuring them in a more detailed review. I am having a slight love affair with my brows at the moment so can't wait to try this felt-tip like pen to define and shape them. The Dainty Doll eyeliner is quite an exquisite emerald green which I think could make for a really pretty peacock-inspired eye look.

You can discover more about the Carmine beauty box and subscribe via their website.
What are your thoughts of this month's products?
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Sunday, 20 November 2011

floral blue

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Jumper - H&M
Skirt - H&M

Morning all!
I am up with the birds and off to help mother bear renovate her new house. Until now, I honestly didn't know how much fun one could have with an electric drill and a crow bar! I am clearly not wearing this outfit for today's DIY escapades; this was a mid-week ensemble.
I hope you all have lovely, restful Sundays.
x
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Friday, 18 November 2011

baby doll

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Loud Lips Baby Doll lipstick - Look Beauty £7

It goes without saying that this was instantly the first product I honed in on when I returned home from the Look Beauty event. Zoe, our beautiful hostess with the mostess, provided us with a bespoke beauty bag and boy, that girl knows me well! Baby Doll lipstick is powdery pink and pure perfection on the lips. It is soft to apply and really moisturising. Its lasting-power isn't amazing, but this I don't mind so much, as I habitually reapply lipstick throughout the day anyway, whether I need to or not. The packaging is rather funky too with its geometrical design and magnetised lid.

Donations from sales of this range will be going to Look Good...Feel Better which is a charity helping ladies combat the visible side-effects of their cancer treatment. LGFB runs over a thousands free makeup workshops aiming to increase women's self-esteem and confidence, having reached out to over 85,000 women during the past 17 years. 

The Look Beauty collection is launching in Superdrug stores nationwide from the end of November, and with its range boasting over 100 products, (including 32 nail polishes!) I am pretty positive there will be something that catches your eye!

Will you be taking a LOOK at this new collection?
x
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Thursday, 17 November 2011

my look for look

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Dress - H&M
This is the outfit I wore for the Look Beauty event I attended on Tuesday night. I am really excited about this collection which surprises me as I would usually be a little sceptical of a makeup range spawned from a fashion magazine, but the Look Beauty collection has won me over. I am not sure whether to post about the event or just dive straight in and feature some of my favourite products? Unsurprisingly I am completely in love with a few of their lipsticks and their rainbow of eyeshadows and nail polishes are extensive and oh so pretty.

In other news, I am loving my new H&M dress with it 80's Madonna-like coned top section and a mix of leather and velvet panelling. It is part of H&M's conscious collection which focuses on sustainable fashion and produces garments from environmentally-adapted and greener materials such a organic cotton and recycled polyester. All good in my books.

I hope you have had good weeks and are looking forward to the weekend which is now just sniffing distance away. Tomorrow evening I am hitting the peroxide and going blonde(r). I am ridiculously excited about this latest venture to the hairdressers even though I vowed I would never to return to the bleach. Never say never I guess!
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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

juicy jules


I couldn't help but be dazed by this glitter-ladened nail polish when I saw Hannah wearing it at the Motel Rocks event last week. There has been much jubilation over Juicy Jules from Model's Own so I knew I needed to pick it up (Boots, £5) and lavish my nails with some sensational sparkles pronto. 



I am wearing Elegant Touch false nails and used some nail stickers to create a clean line when painting the tips.
I've got to be honest - I had high expectations for this polish and my experience was slightly tainted by the gloppy consistency and the meagre amount of glitter after one coat. I foolishly thought that I might have achieved complete opaqueness after one quick slick but it did require three generous coatings to get the perfect look. Rumour has it that other people are blessed with a gloriously glittery finish after one coat which makes me wonder if I bought a dodgy bottle?! Either way, it is a cheap, fun, sure-fire way to some festive fingers this Christmas.
x
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Sunday, 13 November 2011

i'm gonna marry the night





Last night I wore a black vest top from H&M and a pink pleated skirt from Never Fully Dressed
I strutted out in sparkly shoes from Next.
I ate a mighty mushroom and thyme pizza and had a great evening with a beautiful boy.

How has your weekend been?
x
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Saturday, 12 November 2011

jumping about




Jumpers - H&M
Yesterday I was determined to purchase some real winter woolies. For too long I have tried to dismiss the chilly air creeping upon us and fooled myself that my thin layers would suffice. Of course I made a bee-line to H&M and picked up not one but three new jumpers. The top and bottom ones are the same style but in different colours, both shimmering with an abundance of glitter - hello Christmas knitwear! The bold blue jumper really caught my eye, laughably so because it is the exact same colour and style as my old school uniform jumper. The only difference being that this one is decidedly less itchy!
Which is your favourite?
x
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Wednesday, 9 November 2011

scarlet fever








Russian Red lipstick from MAC is an absolute favourite of mine, albeit a recent rediscovered love of late when rummaging about for a red lipstick to wear in my latest outfit post. I would say it is the perfect 'classic' red lipstick, with a matte finish and amazing staying power! I would definitely recommend applying this one with a lip brush and double check those teeth for that lipstick mark faux pas. I certainly feel foul to this!

My earrings are from Gogo Philip - gorgeous and gold with intricate etching and little baubles that tinkle when you walk! I hadn't really been that aware of Gogo Philip before I was sent these, but I actually really like the look of some of their pieces. They have a store at Westfield Stratford as well as a concessions in Topshop and an online selection with ASOS.

Today I went to see my ever-patient hairdresser to discuss going blonder! I vowed I would never go blonde again, especially in the midst of my red spell when I thought a fiery mane was the only way to go. But I had a change of heart and now have my sights on keeping the golden base but adding some soft blonde highlights. I am thinking a warm, creamy blonde so it isn't too harsh and blends in nicely. My bouffant is being bleached next Friday and undoubtedly I will share my latest transformation with you all.

I am attending the Motel Rocks-slash-Glossybox event tomorrow evening which seems like quite the extravaganza of the moment! I am really looking forward to seeing everyone that is going. If you are attending, do let me know so I can say hi :)
x
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