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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand Collection





When the Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand collection appeared before me I couldn't wait to get using it. I've been trialling it over the summer and although we're in Autumn now and this review may seem a little redundant, a few days ago I had to crack out the instant tan on my pasty pins in a bid to not overheat. In a dress. In September. In England! Can you see where I'm going with this? Great stuff. Anyway.. onto the collection!

The showstopper, Bobbi Brown's Sand Palette (£48), offers eight gorgeous neutrals taking inspiration from the glimmering shades of golden sand. With a mix of matte, shimmer and glitter hues, it looks absolutely stunning houses in hessian fabric with a magnetic close. I found it's better to apply these with your fingers to pack on the colour rather than try and blend on with a brush as you get a lot more colour pay-off. A real feast for the eyes but for the price I'd try to check it out in person before taking the plunge.

I've really been loving the Sheer Lip Color in Peach Sorbet (£19.50) - it gives a beautiful peachy pink sheen to the lips and its creamy formula is right up my street. It does have the teensiest bit of shimmer to it but it doesn't show when worn apart from catching the light in all the right places.

The Long-Wear Eye Pencil in Black Chocolate (£18) is perfect for those wanting to use something a little less harsh than black but don't want to stray too far. It adds definition and does look almost black, yet lends a little something to blue eyes with its warmth and the formula has a good smudge to it. Once set it doesn't budge till you need it to.

Lastly, the Brightening Blush in Pink (£34) is an all-in-one blush and highlight palette in a perky pale pink with pink and white shimmer. Sadly the highlighter doesn't really add anything to the skin as it's quite glittery rather than shimmery. I much prefer a subtle glow when it comes to highlighters so I'll be sticking with my trusty favourites for now!

All in all, it's a beautiful looking collection but worth taking a look at when you're passing the counter. As much as I really wanted to love it I can't help but feel there's something missing. Have you tried anything from the collection?

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This post contains press samples. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

Monday, September 22, 2014

LFW SS15: Orla Kiely









BACKSTAGE AT LONDON FASHION WEEK SS15 WITH BOURJOIS

Orla Kiely's presentation last season was a quintessentially British dream, so I was super excited to go and check out the backstage look as well this time around. For SS15, Bourjois' make-up artist Attracta Courtney wanted to echo the 60s 'Flower Power' collection through the look with a contemporary twist on the signature Twiggy look of the era.

Skin was light and fresh with Healthy Mix Serum Foundation and a dusting of the Java Powder, two of my favourites. The eyebrows were kept very natural and soft. The eyes had a soft-focus, 'Instagram-like' effect using the Smoky Stories Palette in Over Rose - the pale champagne shade was applied all over the lid, whilst the chocolate shade was applied to the crease of the eye with a pointed brush for definition, which was then blended out slightly. Lashes were coated with Volume Glamour Push Up Mascara twice - once as normal, and again wiggled through the lashes to create a clumpy, false lash effect. The mascara was then used in a vertical motion on the bottom lashes and a small number of black dots were applied just underneath to really emphasise the whole 60s look. For the lips, the Color Boost Lip Crayon in Peach on the Beach was followed with the Cream Blush in Nude Velvet for a matte muted coral. The excess cream blush on the fingers was then applied to the cheeks for a subtle flush. Some of the products mentioned aren't available yet, but I'm going to be trying out the look for myself which I'll post nearer the time of release. Are you a fan of this look?

Unfortunately by the time I came out of the backstage area to catch the presentation, the space was absolutely packed so I grabbed a spot by the pretty floral backdrop instead. My favourite piece might just have to be the bright blue & khaki floral print shift dress, as well as all of the grey and mustard print.. and don't even get me started on the shoes!








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Saturday, September 20, 2014

My London Fashion Week Essentials



LFW has come and gone already, but I always love to have a little nose into the handbag essentials of those with busy schedules as it helps me to rethink my 'everything but the kitchen sink' approach to what I lug around with me usually. This season I've been pretty restrained - if we choose to ignore the makeup bag I brought with me so I could apply my warpaint on the tube and get an extra 20 minutes in bed, that is - of course this isn't absolutely everything I had with me over the week but it's a collective of the bits and bobs I made sure I had to hand every single day. Without further ado:

iPhone: this one's a no-brainer and an absolute essential for me regardless. Housed in my favourite ridiculous accessory, the Moschino Gennarino. Ashamedly, I do tend to get a bit itchy once I get below 50% battery. Which brings me on to..

Power: be it extra camera batteries, portable chargers and/or cables, you can be sure you'll run out of juice just as soon as you really need it. Better surplus than sorry. And make sure to clear space on your phone/SD card(s)!

Sunglasses: my Miu Miu 10NS are by far my most-worn pair - really comfortable and they go with everything without being plain. I always get flooded with compliments over them and for good reason!

Foundation: I've been trying out Max Factor's new Skin Luminizer Foundation over Fashion Week and it has become something of a staple already! Max Factor's very own make-up artist Caroline Barnes matched me up to a mix of shades 'Light Ivory' and 'Golden' which were applied in a way I'd never thought of and I'm still trying to master at home, but the foundation works just as well mixed in equal parts as I would normally do. Somehow my face was still looking pretty perfect after sweaty tube journeys, packed backstage areas and running from A to B. It's not dewy - on me, could be to do with my dehydrated skin at the moment - but has a certain luminosity to it. Great for this time of year especially!

Waterproof mascara: a daily must for me anyway, but I've been carrying one of my favourites, the YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Waterproof around with me. It's super black, lasts all day and isn't one of the 'wetter' formulas I have, so I can use it in a hurry without the worry of imminent panda eyes.

Eye drops: I've been using the Optrex Refreshing Eye Drops in the mornings - and let's face it, about five more times per day - to wipe away any redness and keep me looking a little more alert. I've not quite perfected the process and do look like I've been crying when I apply them but for the most part I've found them a success!

Water spray: equal parts makeup-freshener-upper and cooler-downer, I usually have a can of water in my bag but for LFW it's even more appreciated. I'm not sure just how good they are for the skin but they're good for temporary relief.

Lip balm: I switched up my lipstick each day (and sometimes more than that) but Lanolips 101 Ointment has been keeping my lips moisturised and protected, as well as helping to keep my cuticles looking a lot less haggard. A great multi-purpose balm - no fragrance or nasties here - that hasn't left my pocket.

Oyster/contactless card(s): I rarely carry cash around with me anyway - a habit I need to get out of so I can monitor what I'm actually spending - but even for out-of-towners, all you need is a contactless card to travel around London and make quick purchases under £20 pretty much anywhere now. I've definitely drank a lot more coffee recently due to this..

Have I missed anything? What are your day-to-day handbag essentials? Beauty, tech, anything - go!

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This post is sponsored by Max Factor. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

LFW SS15: Ashley Isham








BACKSTAGE AT LONDON FASHION WEEK SS15 WITH THE BODY SHOP

My Friday at London Fashion Week started with appointments, meetings and diving head first into the deep end of social peacocking around Somerset House. Annoyingly I missed the Shrimps backstage call time by matter of minutes - note to self, it's actually quicker to walk than to sit in a car in heaving traffic.. even wearing heels - but check out Zoe's post! Anyway, I then headed to Fashion Scout at Freemasons' Hall to see what was going on at Ashley Isham.

As Lan Nguyen-Grealis worked her magic for The Body Shop, the models were transformed into beautiful Art Deco dolls. With inspiration being taken from Mata Hari and sexy spy, the look was perfect for a fashion show but at the same time I don't think it's too much of a far cry from the kind of makeup I like to wear on a daily basis. Take from that what you will!

First of all, brows were multi-tonal and almost fluffy - built up to look natural and using a flat brush with the Brow & Liner Kits this was achieved effortlessly. A mix of Colour Crush Eyeshadows in Golden Cinnamon, Gorgeous Gold and Sunshine Love gave a soft, warm wash to the lids along with Sugar Glaze used as a highlight in the inner corners of the eye. Eylure 101s gave a classic, doll-like look to the lashes and the Smoky 2 in 1 Gel Liner made for a seamless flick.

For the lips, the Colour Crush Lipstick in 105 Coral Cutie was used straight from the bullet for a rounded, pouty look that went slightly over the natural line, rather than precise with a lip liner. This was then blended into the corners with a brush followed by a good slick of Mint Lip Gloss to give an extra zing and added shine. All-in-One Cheek Colour in Guava was placed onto the apples and just above the hollows of the cheeks, with Pink Crush Eyeshadow applied above with a squashed down brush in a perfect fan shape. No contour required.

A last wash of Sugar Glaze on top of the pink highlight along with a little down the centre of the nose, and the look was complete. Finished with a spritz of Vitamin E Face Mist, the models were catwalk-ready. What do you think?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

OPI Coca-Cola Red




Ask anyone I know and they'll say I've always been a red Coke girl. No sweeteners for me, thnx. For this reason I knew I was going to love Coca-Cola Red from OPI's Coke collab - the perfect, classic rouge for your nails that sees you through any season. Red is my go-to nail shade for good reason. Goes with pretty much any outfit (including my usual all-black attire, or alternatively stripes - trés chic non?) and just seems to bring my skin tone to life. Who needs vitamins?

OPI were one of the first salon brands I'd save up for and although my collection isn't as heavily dedicated to the brand as it once was, this polish is a winner and the formula reminds me why I loved them so much back then. Opaque in one coat, not too thin or thick in consistency and a glossy finish. Winner. Coca-Cola Red is available as part of a duo pack with shade Turn On the Haute Light (£19.95), in a pack of ten mini shades (£29.95), or on its own (£11.95).

Do you have a favourite, fail-safe nail colour? Have you found your perfect red?

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This post contains press samples. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt





When Jo Malone's latest fragrance drop was introduced to be way back in May, I fell in love at the very first sniff. I wanted to talk about it for so long but didn't want to when it wasn't available for everyone to experience. It was released in counters and boutiques yesterday though so I don't need to feel bad anymore!

Celebrating the Great British seaside, the Wood Sage & Sea Salt both takes its inspiration and draws scent from mossy driftwood, salty sea air and breezy clifftops. With top notes of ambrette seeds and buchu leaves as well as a bergamot twist, it's fresh with a slight citrus feel to it at first which soon deepens down. Dried plum keeps the heart of the scent sweet whilst mineral accord - a synthetic note - and sea salt add an addictive crunch to the cologne. Base notes are earthy and woody with guiacwood, clary sage, white musk and driftwood. It's really, really good.

Wood Sage & Sea Salt is something very special indeed. Typically I'd be drawn to sweet florals when it comes to fragrance, but this is just something else. There's no floral element at all - a first for Jo Malone, and not very common in perfumery - and for this reason it does have a real unisex feel and has a beautifully 'worn in' rawness to it - as easy to wear as your favourite pair of jeans. I do find that it wears into the skin very well but because of this it has a habit of becoming less detectable on me; others can still smell it, but it's something to think about. I really like pairing it with Peony & Blush suede to bring down the prettiness just a little and give it a more carefree twist.

Along with the cologne - available in 30ml (£40) and 100ml (£82), as always - there's a body creme (£50), a hand & body wash (£28) and a candle (£40). The candle itself has more of a woody feel than the cologne as the base notes are intensified, but this works very well for a home fragrance and as can see, I've been liking mine a lot!

If you couldn't tell already, I'd highly recommend a visit to your nearest Jo Malone boutique or counter if this sounds like your bag, but if that's not doable then you can always sign up for a scented card to be sent to you. In true seaside style, you can also send a postcard to a friend or loved one - how sweet! Will you be trying out Wood Sage & Sea Salt?

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