Tuesday, 29 May 2012


illamasqua swinger nail polish
illamasqua swinger nail polish

Illamasqua nail varnish* - Swinger £13.50

Illamasqua has done it once again and hit us with a sultry new collection, Naked Strangers, which is a celebration of naked flesh and wild fantasies with a orgy of exposed nude tones and rich licks of gold. As always, Illamasqua shrouds this collection with an elaborate narrative introducing Naked Strangers as "...the human edge between romance and permissive intimacy...a step beyond control, a step past the edge and a collection of gilded moments upon the tip of sensation."- David Horne, Director of Product Development.

This collection could possibly be dubbed as one of Illamasqua's most wearable ventures, with the launch of two soft, neutral-toned powder blushers, a sheer and intense lipgloss and a trio of risque nail varnishes - Monogamous (creamy flesh pink) Faithful (coppered metal) and Swinger.

illamasqua swinger nail polish
illamasqua swinger nail polish

Swinger is a glorious glistening platinum gold with ever changing facets depending on the angle and lightening. Sometimes it is a rich, uninhibited gold shining brightly, other times it is a dark, murky gold with a slightly grungy-green tinge to it to. It is a true opaque shade after just one application, and although it can appear a little gritty on the surface, a swift top coat can quickly sort that out.

Naked Strangers is available online exclusively for registered members from Wednesday 23rd May. It is then available nationwide from 31st May 2012.

Are you going to get intimate with the Naked Strangers collection?

Sunday, 27 May 2012

summer shorts

summer time outfit
summer time outfit
summer time outfit
summer time outfit

Shirt - H&M
Shorts* - Glamorous
Sunglasses - market stall

You know it is nearly summer time when you can sleep with the windows thrown open and you can swap your cosy leggings for a pair of summer shorts. The sunshine, along with floral prints and oversized sunglasses, makes me so happy and I am embracing this gorgeous weather as much as my hayfever will allow. I simply love these shorts from Glamorous, with their garden of gorgeous colours and florals, and slightly flared bottoms. I think they work perfectly with a simple top, a clean cut blazer and a pair of flip flips or some of my pastel-coloured converses. Let's just hope this mini heatwave continues...

I hope you are all having blissful weekends and enjoying the sunshine as much as possible. Let me know if you have whipped out the summer shorts yet?

Saturday, 26 May 2012

good things from glossybox

goods from glossybox
the good for glossybox

No, this is not a feature on this month's most recent Glossybox but in fact a celebration of a few products I have particularly loved receiving in my Glossyboxes* over the last few months. I think it is sometimes nice to take a step back and look at all the new brands and products you have been introduced to and see if they have infiltrated your everyday beauty collection. I thought I would share with you just a sample of products which have been personal favourites of mine - I would love to hear if you share my love for them too.

figs & rouge balm

Figs & Rouge Lip Balm (from the April box) - Not only does it smell like mint humbugs, but this balm is just amazing at combating all areas of dry skin, whether it be your lips, face or body. It is one of those handy little tins that is great for on the go and can be used to condition cuticles, tame unruly eyebrows and moisturise chapped lips. I love that it isn't overly greasing and absorbs into the skin quickly. I definitely want to pick up the cherry and vanilla scent now.

Clarins, Philip B snd YSL

YSL Forever Youth Liberator Serum (from the March 'Harrods' box) - Anti-aging or skincare products are often received with a mixed and weary reception as skin products are a very personal thing, but I have to say I am very happy to have been introduced to the YSL Youth Liberator Serum. I honestly don't think I will be purchasing the full sized product for a whopping £60 but I have loved using this little sample of heaven. With only a few drops, it glides onto your skin beautifully, leaving it feeling hydrated and soft. It also makes for a great primer before applying your makeup.

Philip B Drop Dead Straightening Balm (from the April box) - Possibly the perfect product for curly-haired girls like me who are after sleek, straight, tangle-free locks. This balm is a non-greasy, silicone-free styling aid that weighs the hair down without being greasy and leaves it feeling smooth and free of frizz and flyaways. It also supposedly shortens the blow-drying time and helps maintain your straight style for longer.

Clarins Extra Firming Body Cream (from the March 'Harrods' box) - I am partial to Clarins makeup but hadn't ever really ventured into their skincare collection. This extra-firming body cream is a rich, luxurious formula which restores the skin's youthful density and elasticity. I am not too fussy when it comes to body moisturiser but have really enjoyed pampering my body with this one.

Lolita Lempicka perfume samples

Lolita Lempicka L'eau en Blanc & Si Lolita perfume samples (from the May box) - I know perfume samples can be a sore subject when it comes to beauty boxes, and usually I am not a fan of receiving fragrances myself, but this month I made an exception. I believe the beauty box sampling service is all about introducing you to new brands and products that you may not have normally tried, and Lolita Lempicka was just this brand. These fairytale-inspired fragrances are just gorgeous - so delicate and feminine, and are shrouded by a whimsical narrative and elaborate packaging.

leighton denny nail varnish

Leighton Denny High Performance Nail Colour - Honey Trap (from the March 'Harrods' box) - This was a nail brand that I hadn't heard of, let alone tried before receiving it in my March glossybox. This clay/beige colour (with a hint of mushroom) is just so normal, it is actually really interesting. It has a gorgeous creamy finish and works really well when used to recreate a classic french manicure. I also love that we received a mini sample, because whenever do you finish a whole nail polish anyway?!

You can subscribe to Glossybox online here for £10 a month (plus p&p)

I would love to hear what products you have really rated from your beauty boxes recently. Have any of them lead to full size purchases?

Friday, 25 May 2012

Lolita Lempicka L'eau en Blanc (& giveaway)

Lolita Lempicka L'Eau de Blanc
Lolita Lempicka L'Eau de Blanc

Lolita Lempicka burst onto the fashion scene back in 1984 gracing the catwalks with a very distinct style, challenging the traditions and embracing modern, romantic and refined femininity. The Lolita Lempicka brand is all about offering women an abundant and sensual style and is richly inspired by the decadent lace and silk garments of the 30s and 40s. In 1997, Lolita took all her glamorous and feminine inspirations and created her first perfume - bold, poetic and inspired by fairytales. Three other fragrances swiftly followed including an intense and captivating masculine eau de toilette.

Lolita's new perfume, L'eau en Blanc, is a love story in a bottle, inspired by beautiful bridal gowns and the essence of dreams. The scent is described as a bouquet of white violets with a hint of raspberry and musk, a sweet marriage between floral, fruity and powdery compositions. The apple-shaped bottle is clouded with a translucent pale-pink tint with white ivy leaves and shimmering gold etching. I love the packaging of this perfume, the type font and style of bottle being very reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burton-esque. I personally love the scent of L'eau en Blanc and am a sucker for all the elaborate narrative that surrounds this brand. It is quite heady with a really strong, musky scent, yet balanced with gorgeous sweet, sugary notes and a hint of fruitiness.

Lolita Lempicka's L'eau en Blanc is available exclusively from House of Fraser nationwide from June 2012. And if you like the sound of this beautiful fragrance then one lucky reader can win their very own L'eau en Blanc as well as a full-sized bottle of Lolita Lempicka's cult favourite The First Fragrance, which is considered one of the world's most successful perfumes in the last ten years!

To enter my giveaway:
1. Please be a follower of Pearls & Poodles
2. Let me know what your current favourite fragrance is?

(Giveaway will close at midnight on 4th June 2012. One entry per person. UK residents only. Please leave your email address or twitter handle so I can contact the winner. The winner will be generated by random.org)

Sponsored post

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

star quality

mac star quality cremesheen
mac star quality cremesheen
mac star quality cremesheen

MAC Cremesheen Glass in Star Quality* £16.50 

I am a lipstick girl through and through but every now and then I find myself drawn to all the lustre and brilliance that a lipgloss can bring to the lips. Recently I have been using less powder on my skin, embraced a few of my cream blushers and enjoyed a more dewy look. To compliment this fresher look, I have been loving MAC's Cremesheen Glass in Star Quality from the new MAC Reel Sexy collection, which spans right across the pink, red and coral colour spectrum. It is a highly-pigmented lipgloss with a super glossy finish and all the sweet delight of that characteristic vanilla scent!

mac star quality

I really like the colour of this lipgloss, very unique from anything else I've seen. It is bright but the tones are quite muted and is a lovely mixture of milky pinks and corals, bordering on a strawberry-red hue. It is completely free of any glitter or sparkle, making it a really easy to wear gloss, day or night. I have been wearing it with Illamasqua's Sob cream blusher and lashings of mascara.

Have you been reeled in by anything from the Reel Sexy collection?

Sunday, 20 May 2012

lilac love

lilac love
lilac love
lilac love
lilac love

Shirt. Topshop
Top. H&M
Skirt*. Glamorous
Necklace.* This Charming Girl
Lipstick. MAC Snob

I have wanted to dip dye my hair for ages now, way back in the day when it was hot news but my hair has never been the right shade of blonde. I felt it was too golden and wouldn't work well with the pastel hues I had in mind. Yesterday I suffered a laborious whole head of highlights and finally felt that I had achieved a nice, icy white blonde - perfect to contrast with a sweet lavender dip dye. And that is exactly what I did. I went and picked up a Crazy Color in Lavender, which is a semi permanent hair cream, and then marched home to begin the transformation. I found it very easy to do, although I did have to do it twice as the first time I tried it, I was too cautious and didn't let the colorant develop long enough so it was barely noticeable. The second attempt it came out perfectly and I was really pleased with the results. 

How I dip dyed my hair:

1. Make sure you cover your shoulders with an old towel or tee shirt.
2. You can use the hair cream straight from the bottle, but I decided to mix it with conditioner to dilute it slightly as I had been advised that the colour is very bright. I used half and half and this seemed to work brilliantly.
3. Divide your hair up into two ponytails, and tie them just above where you want the dip dye to finish. Because I have so much hair, I decided to separate it out into four sections which meant I didn't miss any bits.
4. Make sure your hair is towel dry and then put on some protective gloves so you don't end up with purple palms! Take a scoop of the hair dye and conditioner mixture, or just squeeze the Crazy Color cream straight into your hand, and then work it through the first ponytail, ensuring all your hair is covered.
5. Repeat until all the sections are dyed and then wait. How long you need to leave it will depend on your hair colour and the brightness you want to achieve, but I left mine on for 20 minutes.
6. Wash off, shampoo and condition as normal.

The beauty of using a hair dye like Crazy Color is that it is only a semi permanent so it will wash out after 8-10 washes. I also picked up a Directions hair dye in Pastel Pink so I am excited to give that a whirl once my lavender has faded. And clearly I was having quite the lilac love affair today as I decided to wear my gorgeous dipped hem pleated skirt from Glamorous. It is such a pretty piece and seemed to compliment my new lavender locks perfectly. :)

I hope you have all had a great weekend, whatever you've been up to!
So...do you lilac it? (sorry, had to be done!)

Saturday, 19 May 2012

good to go

mac good to go
mac good to go
mac good to go

Lipstick* - MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme - 'Good to Go' - £16.50

I was lucky enough to be invited to a MAC makeup event last week where we were treated to a glamorous night in honour of the upcoming BAFTA awards. MAC's senior makeup artist Cher created two red carpet worthy looks, from the subtle to the show-stopping, to give us a flavour of the techniques and products used to make sure your makeup is picture-perfect.

For Cher's second look, she adapted the first, more natural look and focussed on key areas, adding extra glamour by smouldering the eyes and glossing the lips with a pop of colour. Swaying away from the classic red lip, Cher used MAC's Longwear Lipcreme in Good to Go which is a stunning bright orange-red with a creamy finish. The longwear lipcremes stay true to their name so are the perfect product for lasting strong all through the night. 

mac good to go

This colour is a gorgeous alternative to the traditional red lipstick, synonymous with red carpet glam. I love the warm, orange tones to it and the consistency and finish is really lovely. The only thing I dislike about the longwear lipcremes is the blunt end rather than the traditional tapered edge, meaning a lip brush is essential for precise application!

Have you got a favourite alternative to the classic red lipstick?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

paisley dreams

paisley outfit
paisley outfit
paisley outfit

Dress - H&M
Hat - TK Maxx
Lipstick - MAC's Show Orchid

What would I do without H&M! Every other item I seem to purchase these days is from there and this new, paisley print dress is no exception. I love the cinched waist and hidden pockets, as well as the mixture of bright blues and earthy tones all swirled together. It is the perfect sun dress with its light, floaty material and open neck and was begging to be teamed with my big floppy hat and a flash of vibrancy on the lips thanks to MAC's Show Orchid - unashamedly loud but absolutely gorgeous. 

Have you bought any gems from H&M recently? 

Sunday, 13 May 2012

pastel pleats

pastel pleats
pastel pleats
pastel pleats
pastel pleats
pastel pleats

Top - H&M
Skirt* - Glamorous
Cardigan - H&M
Lipstick - L'oreal Cheek Magenta and Look Beauty Baby Doll 

I go crazy for pastel colours, especially when the sun decides to shine, and have a real love for anything pretty and pleated, so this skirt from Glamorous is a joy to behold. The sweet pink and baby blue hem is just dreamy, and the fit is really nice too - sitting snug on the waist but without being too short. On me anyway! There are lots of really pretty pieces on the Glamorous website at the moment, and if you are looking for a dip hem pleated skirt, you need look no further. I teamed the skirt with my new top from H&M which I bought last week. Needless to say, I couldn't resist the pearl studded collar and cute capped sleeves. The sun may have been shining over the weekend, but I definitely needed the addition of my cardigan to keep the chill out as I enjoyed a few early evening drinks in a pub garden with my family. Lovely :)

 I hope you are all well and have had a great weekend. What have you got up to?

Friday, 11 May 2012

l'oreal caresse lipstick, cheeky magenta

l'oreal caresse lipstick 07 cheeky magenta
l'oreal caresse lipstick 07 cheeky magenta
l'oreal caresse lipstick 07 cheeky magenta

L'oreal Caresse lipstick - 07 Cheeky Magenta £7.99

There is something about the joy of Fridays and a rather welcoming Boots nearby my office which will always result in a lunchtime splurge of some sort, and today it was of the lipstick variety! I have wanted to pick up a few of the L'oreal Caresse lipsticks for a while now but literally every time I went to Boots, I was confronted with a solemn looking lineup of opened and smudged lipsticks. Far from tempting. Today I managed to purchase an untainted one in 07 Cheeky Magenta, although my search for an unused 03 Lovely Rose continues.

The L'oreal Caresse lipsticks have all the pigmentation of a lipstick but the texture and finish of a balm. They glide on beautifully and keep your lips moisturised and lustrous whilst giving them a burst of colour. They have a high gloss finish and a luminous shine without the stickiness of a heavy gloss.

l'oreal caresse lipstick 07 cheeky magenta

Cheeky Magenta is a clean, bright pink with blue undertones. You can almost see the bluey sheen on my lips as it catches the light. It has a sweet candy smell, can be easily layered for an even more intense colour and the glossy, glistening finish makes your lips feel and look fuller.

I am definitely taken with the L'oreal Caresse lipsticks and think the harmony between balm and lipstick works perfectly. Have you tried any of these lipsticks? Which other shades should I endeavour to get?

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

my favourite blushers

favourite blushers

After lipstick, I think my biggest and most loved collection has to be my hoard of blushers. Even when it is a minimalist makeup kind of day, there is always room and time for a little bit of blush; a flush of colour and a sweep of shimmer. I often get stuck in a rut and find myself reaching for the same few blushers every day so I thought I would share with you my top seven blushers. It is pretty conclusive from looking at this line up that I definitely sway towards blushers with a shimmer finish - I like to add colour and an appearance of luminosity to my cheeks all with one product, so never tend to like matte blushers much.

favourite blushers

Sleek Rose Gold - A pinky-rose blush laced with peach shimmer and golden flecks, and often heralded as the dupe for Nars Orgasm. It is so beautiful, strongly pigmented and gives a gorgeous glow to the skin.

Benefit Coralista - I call this my rio carnival in a box. The perfect pink-coral blush with fine golden shimmer running through it. It gives you a dazzling, sunshine complexion.

favourite blushers

MAC Peachtwist* - A warm bronzed peach with pinky-silver shimmer. This blush from MAC is a bit of an underdog and doesn't get talked about much but it is absolutely lovely and has a rich, frosty finish. It is a sheertone, but really not that sheer at all.

MAC Love Rock Mineralised Duo -  A spectacular marbled fusion of hot pink, berry purple and shimmery champagne, this is probably one of my most treasured limited edition blushers, purchased over two years ago! The colour payoff is so rich and heavy, I have barely dented the surface yet.

favourite blushers

Look Beauty Pinch* - This blush in two words; pretty and pink. I love the subtle silver sparkle and the fact it is a very gentle colour so is great for a soft, natural flush.

Illamasqua Cream Blusher Sob - I definitely punt for powder over cream blushers, but every now and again, I love the dewiness and freshness that a cream blush can give and Sob is the perfect colour for adding a baby pink pop to the cheeks.

Bourjois Little Round Pot Blush .34 Rose D'or* - Rose D'or is a deep rose blush with very fine golden specks running through it. Bourjois pot blushes are just adorable and so handy for on the go, not to mention they smell like flowers!

Are any of my favourites blushers your favourites too? Which blushers are you reaching for at the minute?

Monday, 7 May 2012

The Lily Cole collection

lily cole body shop collection
lily cole body shop collection
lily cole body shop collection cole shimmer cubes

The Body Shop have alway championed their strong ethical beliefs and cruelty-free ethos, proudly declaring that all their products are 100% vegetarian and not tested on animals. They have recently welcomed Lily Cole to be their first ever global brand advocate who supports The Body Shop's responsible attitude towards people and the environment. I think Lily's fresh-faced, natural beauty suits the brand perfectly and am excited to reveal the new, limited edition makeup range she has collaborated with the Body Shop on, which colourfully emphasises their cruelty-free message.

Lily Cole's cruelty-free collection* is released in June 2012 and combines ultra-expressive colours, with soft shimmery hues and makeup bag essentials, all embellished with a hot pink and black packaging and Lily's signature scrawled across the front. I am not sure how I feel about the packaging, but it is certainly fun and will definitely standout against The Body Shop's permanent makeup range.

lily cole lip treatment

Mini Hi-Shine lip treatments, £4 Available in four sherbet-shades, these lip glosses provide maximum shine as well as super moisturisation. These cute, pocket-sized glosses aren't particularly pigmented but add a lovely shimmer to the lips, whether worn alone or layered over a bright lipstick, and have an acquired fruity flavour. I have never been much of a fan of the squeezy-tube-glosses, proving to be a little too messy for my liking, but I do like the fact that these hi-shine lip treatments aren't too sticky and do feel like they are doing my lips some good!

lily cole shimmer cubes

Shimmer Cubes, £16 I think this is possibly one of my favourite items from the Lily Cole collection, which is big news coming from a girl who doesn't usually get that excited over eyeshadow. I think the combination of colours and lustrous finish of these shimmer cubes is gorgeous and the product is wonderfully dainty and compact, so perfect for travelling and popping in your makeup bag. The pearly-white shade is a perfect highlighter colour for brow bones, and the darker colours look lovely swept all over the eye or blended into the crease. The iridescent finish is particularly special - no chunky glitter in sight, and has a formulation that is apparently crease-resistant and suitable for contact lens wearers. The only thing that might make your eyes water is the price, but for four beautiful and complimenting shades, I think the shimmer cubes are definitely worth it.

lily cole lip & cheek dome

Lip & Cheek Domes, £10 Available in Pinch Me Pink or Crazy for Coral, these innovative lip and cheek domes are heralded as Lily Cole's favourite product from the new range. Somewhat reminiscent of Shu Uemura's Creamy Dome Blush but for half the price, these lip and cheek domes have a creamy gel-like consistency which glides onto the skin and leaves a subtle, dewy flush. I think these work best when applied to the apple of your cheeks and then softly blended out with a stippling brush. The pigmentation is subtle so will suit fairer to medium skin tones, and would be the perfect cheek product if you are after a fresh, dewy look without using any heavy powder on your face. I particularly love Crazy for Coral which delivers a pretty peachy shade to the skin.

lily cole body shop collection
lily cole body shop collection

Pearl Radiance Primer, £12 These radiant, light diffusing pearls gives your skin a look of pure radiance. Either use it before foundation or wear it alone, it will keep your skin hydrated and complexion perfected. I am not sure how I feel about this product yet, having only used it a handful of times. I expected a creamy lotion to be dispensed from the pump but in fact I was confronted with a bubble-filled clear gel that had a very loose consistency. It sinks into the skin really quickly and leaves it silky to the touch, despite it feeling wet and watery as I applied it, but I am not sure I can see any benefits from it yet. I will have to report back...

lily cole liquid eyeliner

Liquid Eyeliner, £9 A very violet eyeliner, this is the brightest, most dramatic of colours to be added to the Body Shop's collection. The formulation is smudge-proof and highly pigmented, meaning one line and a flick is all you need. The felt applicator is fine and precise which makes it quite easy to apply and the finish of this liquid eyeliner has a slight iridescent shimmer to it, which makes it perfect for an evening time eye look.

The Body Shop's Lily Cole Cruelty Free Collection is released in June 2012, online and in stores, and will be limited edition. Within the range there is also a mini-brush set, containing four miniature brushes for cheeks, eyes and lips and a puff on radiance which is a pinky-toned powder and puff for adding radiance and luminosity to face, cheeks and decolletage.

What pieces from the range appeal to you?

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