Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Enrapture Totem Styler

enrapture totem styler
enrapture totem styler
enrapture totem styler

Enrapture Encode Totem Styler*
£74.99 available from Boots

Enrapture seems to be the new buzz word on the hair scene at the moment, offering a range of styling tools to give straight hair a multitude of new looks – textured waves, bouncy volume or corkscrew curls. Their three infamous styling tools, the Amplify Jumbo Waver, the Extremity Heated Rollers and the Encode Totem Styler, are whipping straight hair into a frizz-free frenzy, bestowing us with a halo of gorgeously glossy curls and waves, simply but effectively. Enrapture Hair was a relatively new brand to me when I tried out their Amplify Jumbo Waver last year, but once I saw the unique boho waves it created, my heart (and hair) were won over. Everything from the luxuriously embossed packaging to the handy style guide that accompanies each tool, Enrapture Hair just seem to get it right. The latest styling tool I have been teasing my tresses with is the Encode Totem Styler; a 25mm polished titanium barrel which features unique independent heat zones, so you can encode your style and create an array of different looks.

enrapture totem styler
enrapture totem stylerThe Encode Totem Styler appears at first glance to be just like your average hair curling wand, but appearances can be deceiving. The barrel clearly defines three separate zones which heat up independently to one another, 1 being the lowest heat to give you soft waves, 3 being the highest heat to give to tight, well defined curls. The encoder dial which controls the heat is located just under the mini flipper and is easily altered by turning the numbers to suit your preference. So for example, if you were yearning for loose, romantic waves you would select 1-1-1. If you wanted perfectly defined, corkscrew curls you would chose the highest heat 3-3-3. However, if you wished for each curl to start looser at the roots, slowly graduating into a neat ringlet at the end, you could go for 1-2-3. I simply love the fact that you can bespoke each curl to your preference meaning you literally have limitless combinations to play about with until you find your ideal style. Once switched on, the totem styler heats up within a few minutes and the polished titanium barrel means that your hair never snags or catches, and unfurls from the barrel shiny and glossy. Every styling tool from Enrapture Hair comes with a heat resistant pouch which is really handy when styling your hair and the totem styler boasts an impressive 3m swivel cord which means you won't get knotted up when curling your coiffure. There are two different ways you can use the totem styler – both really easy, but I definitely favour the latter option.

1. To use the styler like a tong, bring the barrel over your end so the cool tip at the end is pointing towards the floor. Starting at the root, wind your hair around and down the barrel until the hair covers all three heat zones. Hold it in position for a few seconds (mine took a good 5-10 seconds to curl) and then release and repeat.

2. The second, more preferably method for me, was to use the mini flipper and have the styler pointing upwards. Take a section of hair and clamp the end under the flipper. Twist the styler which will roll the hair around the barrel. Continue all the way to the root (or however far you want the curl to be) and then hold for 5-10 seconds. Release the flipper and then pull the iron from the centre of the curl. This method was absolutely fool-proof, so quick and easy and avoided any burnt fingertips!

enrapture totem styler
enrapture totem styler

Encode setting 1-1-1. For the above look I used the totem styler on its lowest setting to create soft gentle waves. Using the flipper method, I took medium sized sections and rolled them up around the barrel for 5-10 seconds. I’ve never been able to give myself delicate, dreamy waves like this before – it is always a failed, cack-handed attempt with the straighteners, so I was really impressed with how these turned out.

enrapture totem styler
enrapture totem styler

Encode setting 3-3-3. I cranked up the heat and tested out the totem styler’s ability to give me a mane of tightly-woven corkscrew curls. It passed the test admirably! Following the flipper method again, I took slightly smaller sections this time and held them in place for a good 10 seconds. The result is evident - perfectly-formed spiral curls. I wouldn’t necessarily wear my hair like this, it is a little too church-aisle-bridal for my liking, but I can easily scruff the style up with my fingers, or limit the tight curls to just at the ends to give me a fringing of curls round the bottom of my hair.


The Enrapture Encode Totem Styler really is a wonderfully nifty piece of gadgetry. Whereas a lot of curling tongs and wands limit you into creating just one type of curl, the totem barrel, with its three separate heat zones, really does give you the freedom to create an abundance of styles. The finish you create will also depend on the amount of hair you curl each time - take small pieces for tightly-defined spiral curls, or choose chunkier sections for loose beachy waves. You can always rake your fingers through the curls to achieve a slightly, less-than-perfect boho look, or keep it looking preened and polished with a mist of hairspray. 


Are you enraptured with these stylers?
(ps: keep your eyes peeled for a giveaway coming very soon where you could win yourself a styler of your choice from Enrapture Hair!)


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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

shop mac cook mac

shop mac cook mac
shop mac cook mac
shop mac cook mac

I used to be such an avid follower of every new MAC collection that graced the website and stores, swiftly purchasing a multitude of items, regardless of whether I really needed them or not. I was always lured in by the fresh packaging and lived by the motto that you can never have too many mineralised skinfinishes! Well apparently you can, so recently I have still maintained my unwavering love for MAC, but kept it a bit more restrained, restocking on my trusty favourites and dabbling in a few new lipsticks every now and again. This was all going well until the latest Spring Summer collection exploded onto the scene in a whirl of kooky packaging and a crazy collision of colour. With its kitsch promotional images and funkily-boxed products, I think this is the kind of collection that will have one item that everyone will fall for.

shop mac cook mac
shop mac cook mac
shop mac cook mac

When I attended the MAC Masterclass at LFW last week, we were able to ogle over the new collection which is currently on sale exclusively at Selfridges stores but will be available nationwide come the 1st March. The cremeblend blushes and lipsticks are definitely the standout products for me, giving us some soft nudes as well as some pow-wow pinks and corals with Naughty Saute, the bright bubblegum pink lipstick, highly on my wishlist. When we left the event we were treated to two products from the new collection to have a little play about, and it just so happened I received Florida cremeblend blush, the very product I was eyeing up when perusing the stands earlier on in the day.

shop mac cook mac
shop mac cook mac
shop mac cook mac

MAC Cremeblend blush in Florida* - A very bright, fiercely-pigmented fuchsia blush with blue undertones. This was previously released in the Lillyland collection over two years ago, and it now has made a welcome return in the Shop Mac Cook Mac collection. I think everyone yearns for a lighter, more dewy look for the Springtime and cream blushes are the simplest way to create a fresh flush to your face. The colour may look quite scary, but with a stippling brush and a gentle hand, it will give you a gorgeous 'just pinched' look to your cheeks.

shop mac cook mac
shop mac cook mac
IMG_4150 copy

MAC Tendertone Lip Balm SPF12 in Tread Gently* - Tendertones are theoretically just very fancy pots of Vaseline. They are housed in the glass, screw top containers which are synonymous with MAC's Paint Pots, and are laced with a sweetly (borderline sickly) scent of fruitiness, in particular strawberry. The consistency is very gel-like, not at all sticky and smoothes onto the lips beautifully. The tendertone lip balms are extremely conditioning and left my lips feeling really soft. Tread Gently is described as a soft lime green with yellow pearl. You will see it is pretty colourless, just slightly mutes my natural lip colour and glazes them with a soft golden shimmer.

Are you planning on shopping any of the new Shop Mac Cook Mac collection?

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Monday, 27 February 2012

OCC lip tars

OCC lip tars
OCC lip tars
OCC lip tars
OCC lip tars

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars
Tone and Divine

Whilst I was at IMATS earlier this month, I found myself gravitating toward the OCC stand to admire their range of cult lip tars. I had seen these products used a lot in various YouTube videos and the like, but I had never played about with them in person before. I definitely wanted to take advantage of the show discount so I swiftly picked up Divine, before returning very shortly to add Tone to my collection. OCC lip tars are an extraordinary formula, with all the pigmentation and longevity of a lipstick, but with the application of a gloss. The colour once it hits the lips is so intense, you really only need the smallest amount to create some gorgeously lacquered lips. A lip brush is a MUST when applying these lip tars, and also preferably a lip liner is you have one in a suitable colour. The lip tar smoothes onto the lips like a gloss but then soon dries to a semi-matte, completely opaque finish. All of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics products are 100% vegan and cruelty-free - with the lip tars being enriched with hemp oil, peppermint oil and Vitamin C which keeps your lips super soft with a minty zing.

OCC lip tars

Tone - 'palest pink creme'. I feel I need a disclaimer right about now. I wouldn't wear this lip tar on its own like this. It is far too pale and ghostly-white for an everyday lip look. I think if it was dabbed on or sheered out with another gloss it would be totally wearable, but my plan is to use Tone to mute down brighter lipsticks and to mix with other lip tars to create a milky, creamy brand new lip colour.

OCC lip tars

Divine - 'true pink flamingo'. I think I literally died and went to lipstick heaven when I saw this lip tar. A beautiful bright coral-pink, somewhat similar to Barry M's 147 lipstick and Topshop's Coy lip pencil, but a hundred times more vibrant and intense, with a wonderfully flawless finish on the lips. I think it is a stunning colour, so so pretty and absolutely perfect for Spring.

I have found two online stockists of OCC lip tars, (Cocktail Cosmetics and Love-Makeup) but I haven't ordered from either of these sites, so cannot vouch for their reliability.

Have you tried any of OCC's lip tars?

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Sunday, 26 February 2012

Carmine: the February box

Carmine February box
Carmine February box
Carmine February box
Carmine February box

Carmine Beauty Box*
subscribe to online.

It doesn't seem five minutes ago I was writing my feature on Carmine's January box and feeling a bit miffed about its offerings after their climatic Christmas box. Well I do believe Carmine have truly redeemed themselves with this month's delivery and I was really pleased with the products I unveiled today. I think this just proves how changeable, and subjective, beauty boxes can be. Some months can bit real hits, and other months can be complete misses. Signing up can be a gamble, but that is the nature of beauty boxes, and invariably if there are at least two or three standout products that you are keen to try out - I say it is worth the money. And who doesn't love a surprise parcel popping through your letterbox each month...

Carmine February box
Carmine February box
Carmine February box

1. Andrea Fulerton Nail Varnish (full size) - You will probably recognise celebrity nail technician Andrea Fulerton's nail products from those swirly stands in Superdrug, even if you haven't actually tried them yourself. In this month's box I found a full sized bottle of Andrea Fulerton's nail varnish in the shade Kim, which is a gorgeous dense, browny-red. The professional formula is rich and creamy and finishes opaque with just two coats.

2. White Glo Professional Choice whitening toothpaste - A pleasantly surprising discovery in a beauty box, I was really pleased to find a generous sample of White Glo toothpaste in this month's box. I guess this is a 'nice' safe product that everyone will use and no one can really grumble about. Considering I am always on the campaign for pearly whites, I am looking forward to testing this product out.

3. Diego Dalla Palma lipstick - I am always happy when a lipstick wriggles its way into a beauty box, even if it is on the teeny tiny size. Diego Dalla Palma is one of Italy's top makeup brands which has recently crossed oceans and is making waves here on English soil. Their lipsticks come in a whole host of sophisticated shades, promising rich pigmentation and lasting colour. I received no.47, a pretty coral colour, perfect for a Springtime pout.

4. Steam Cream steam-infused skincare (full size) - The second of three full sized product in this month's Carmine box, Steam Cream is a lightweight, all-in-one moisturiser featuring nourishing oils. I adore the kooky Japanese-designed tins and the fact that this moisturiser can be used head to toe. Steam Cream has been very much hyped in the blogging world over the last year or so, so I am keen to see if it lives up to the rave reviews.

5. Balance Me Rose Otto Moisturising Body Wash (full size) - Full sized sample number three coming right up. The Balance Me Moisturising Body Wash smells amazing - so delicately fragranced with all the blooms of Spring and it will leave your skin velvety soft and smooth. I personally love finding bath products in beauty boxes (just no bath salts please!) and I will enjoy adding this Balance Me Body Wash to my already brimming army of body washes.

6. Yardley London Peony fragrance - Yes, there is a perfume sample in this month's box, but hold onto those toys before slinging them out the pram, as this is a bonus product in addition to the other five fabulous items to be found in this month's box. I am not a fan of perfume samples but I cannot really complain considering this was an extra item...and it does actually smell quite nice.

All in all, a very good box in my opinion. It offers a great range of products, ticking all the right boxes in regards to skincare, makeup and nail products, and delivers us a nice mix of well known brands along with some new names to discover.

What are your thoughts on Carmine's box this month?

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MAC Masterclass at LFW

London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week

So the whirl of London Fashion Week has finally ended, the dregs of champagne have ben quaffed and Somerset House has once again seeped back into its majestic tranquility, free from models, the expected celebrity turnout and the camera-wielding fashionistas. I was lucky enough to go along to a few things over the week which was great fun as I love the atmosphere of London Fashion Week; I adore the people watching, the flamboyance and the charade of the whole occasion.

I attended the MAC Masterclass at LFW last Saturday. This was brilliant as we got to watch Pablo Rodriguez, MAC's senior makeup artist, recreate a catwalk look from start to finish, encouraging questions and interaction all the way through. I am always fascinated watching makeup artists in action, working their magic, so relished the chance to experience this first hand and have the chance to fire any burning questions to Pablo directly. The eye look he created screamed catwalk makeup; obviously not an every day, nipping-to-the-supermarket look, but was a real inspiration taken from the Stephane Rolland SS12 couture show. He used a mascara wand and MAC's acrylic paint in black (pro product) to create the winged, feathered effect, pressing the paint into a point, edging the eye with a splattered finish. It was very Black Swan in my opinion, extremely dramatic and was teamed with a MAC classic, Underage lipgloss on the lips. I got to share the morning's masterclass with a host of lovely ladies, with Louise, Fleur and I pictured above (thanks to the wonderful photography skills of Shirley)  

It was such a fantastic way to kick start LFW, and an absolute treat to be invited to. We also got to play about with the new Shop MAC Cook MAC collection which is exclusive to Selfridges at the moment, but then will go on sale nationwide on 1st March 2012. I have been a bit blasé about MAC collections recently, intentionally avoiding all the hype and sticking to my classic favourites, but this kooky Spring Summer collection is gorgeous with an explosion of Spring shades and kitsch packaging. I have a few pieces from the collection already so I am looking forward to sharing those with you very soon.

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Friday, 24 February 2012

starry starry night

starry starry night
starry starry night
starry starry night

Dress - Romwe*
Belt - Charity shop

Happy weekend everyone! I hope you have all had good weeks. Mine started really well as I attended London Fashion Week on Monday with Vauxhall Fashion Scout and The Body Shop. I was invited to see the Lako Bukia show and to go backstage beforehand to see the magic in motion and mingle with the models. Never have I ever felt so short in all my life! I wore this striking, star-studded chiffon dress from Romwe which comes with a detachable camisole to wear underneath. I think it is so pretty - quite different to something I would usually pick out, but once I added the belt and swept my hair up, I really liked the finished look. It came all the way down to my ankles and would work well with heels or flats. I stuck to my flat chelsea boots from Missguided which proved a wise decision with all the dashing about and cobbled streets, less so however when sizing up next to a 6ft odd goddess!

I hope you all have great weekends whatever you are up to, and let's hope this little prelude into Spring continues.

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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres

YSL Vernis a Levres
YSL Vernis a Levres
YSL Vernis a Levres

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres Glossy Stain*
£22.50 each

Yves Saint Laurent brings us a revolutionary new lip product which leaves us lingering over the question; is it a stain, is it a lipstick or is it a gloss? Vernis a Levres Glossy Stain has all the oomph and rich pigmentation of a lipstick but with the texture and shine of a gloss and the staying power of a stain. This glossy stain embodies all the best bits of a lipstick, gloss and stain to give us a boundless glossy colour that melts onto the lips and delivers long-lasting shine.

YSL Vernis a Levres
YSL Vernis a Levres

Vernis a Levres Glossy Stain comes in an extensive 20 different shades, from classic reds, berry browns to Springtime corals and pinks. The slanted applicator is soft and cushiony with a tapered end for perfect precision when applying. The formula is extremely lightweight and despite being ridiculously glossy and shiny to crazy proportions, it isn't at all sticky - the one thing I hate about lipgloss and makes me the lipstick lover I am today. A discovery that surprised/disappointed me about this product was its weightiness. As fickle as that may be, I expected them to have all the heaviness and expensive clunkiness of your average Rouge Volupte lipstick, but they feel so light and flimsy, which weirdly disheartened me.

YSL Vernis a Levres

Top, 03. Brun Cachemire - a rich reddy-brown, this gloss didn't sit very well on my bare lips making them look patchy and messy. With your average gloss, you can give your lips a casual slick of colour, this product is a lot thicker in consistency and packs a lot more colour so application has to be perfect. I preferred having a backdrop to this stain, so I applied Sleek's Cranberry lipstick first and then liberally applied the gloss over the top. I loved the finish look that this gave to my lips - so deep and intense, and it lasted a fairly decent length of time.

Bottom, 17. Encre Rose - a blue-ish baby pink, this gloss is so pretty and worked absolutely perfectly on bare lips. You can see how pigmented it is, with the colour being totally buildable if you wanted it sheerer or even more intense. If MAC Saint Germain lipstick was embodied in a lipgloss, this would be it! I would say however that the 'precise applicator' may not be that precise as you can see from the wibbly-wobbly outline round my lips, but maybe this was just my heavy-handiness...

I would definitely recommend having a look at the impressive range of shades and see if this new hybrid lipstick-gloss-stain is something that appeals to you. I really like the fact that you get all the glossiness without the stickiness and you are guaranteed a really intense coat of colour.

Have you tried the new YSL Glossy Stain?

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