April 25, 2013

svb blog awards #2


FOR PRODUCT REVIEWS
www.jfstyleandbeauty.com - There are so many beauty blogs out there that I'm constantly swapping and changing which I read most but at the moment I've been paying attention to Jessica's reviews. She has some great You Tube videos too, her eyeliner tutorial being one of my favourites.

BEAUTIFUL PHOTOGRAPHY
www.redbricklipstick.com - Another recent find of mine, Lily's blog pretty much defines the word 'lovely'. It's easy to read and is full of beautiful photos, one of my favourites to catch up with on a Sunday afternoon.

FOR STAYING IN THE BEAUTY LOOP
www.britishbeautyblogger.com - I'm sure that most of you already follow Jane's blog but here it is nonetheless. On days that I don't have much time I love checking out her quick and informative updates on what's going on in the beauty world.

THE GOOD READ
www.fromgemwithlove.com - For those days that I have a little more time on my hands and sit down with a cup of tea to check new posts Gem's blog is ideal. She's wrote quite a number of posts on sharing her views on topical issues which I've enjoyed.

FOR NAIL POSTS
www.burkatron.com - I literally only found Caroline's blog a few weeks ago but have already been addicted to reading through lots of her posts from the past. I'm so jealous of her perfect nails and have definitely added a million new nail polishes to my collection from reading her blog.

FOR FASHION
www.tinytwisst.blogspot.co.uk - Laura's blog is one of my favourites at the moment for inspirational outfit posts, she's super pretty and always pulls off looking great with unique looks.

April 22, 2013

chic dotted nail art

ROCOCO UNISEXY MATTE | BARRY M NUDE | COLOR CLUB TAKE THE STAGE | MODELS OWN UTOPIA | KISS WHITE NAIL ART PAINT

If you haven't already got yourself some dotting tools (why ever not?) then you can bend out a bobbi pin and use the end dipped in polish which works well too. The dots end up larger and not as precise as when using a proper dotting tool but it's worth trying out and is a handy tip for creating nail art. I decided to update my nail polish from a black French mani to this which meant it hardly took any time at all and I was super pleased with the results.

April 21, 2013

sisley so intense mascra


Every time that I think I've found my favourite mascara another one is launched on the market which makes me ditch the last in favour of something different. I think all girls are in the same boat on this one and forever searching for the one. There have been a few that have come close, enough so that I'd be happy to buy them again but the perks of being a beauty blogger is that I am lucky enough to try out more than my fair share, which brings me onto this Sisley mascara. 

Sisley is luxury beauty at it's best, the prices are sky high and the quality of the products scream sophistication. I've recently been trying out the So Intense Mascara and have been hugely impressed thus far. The mascara wand is nothing short of genius, it literally grabs onto my lashes and combs the product through them to create beautiful thick feathery lashes that look clump free and volumous. It's a very well pigmented mascara as my eyelashes are left a shade of jet black and as the name would suggest, intense. I also noticed how gentle it felt, there's no scratchy feeling to the brush and my lashes end up feeling soft rather than crispy and hardened as with most mascaras. The only thing to watch out for is if you have typically watery eyes, as although it stand up well all day it doesn't cope at all well with any tears. I'd happily state that it's one of the best mascaras that I've ever tried, and if I had the budget I would repurchase it time and time over. I feel slightly bittersweet towards it because it's such an amazing mascara but the price means that it's not accessible to most, but I guess it depends on what beauty products you like to invest in. I will update you all in terms of how well it stands the test of time before it dries up in the tube, who knows it may earn it's value for money in that respect.

April 16, 2013

inside my overnight beauty bag

I'm away from home at the moment and thought I'd write up a post on what I like to take away with me in terms of skincare and hair type products. I use my Cath Kidston two fold toiletry bag as I love how there are two compartments and that you can see everything inside. All of the links go to the pages of the reviews of each product and all products without links will be reviewed soon!


MANUKA DOCTOR NIGHT CREAM | BIODERMA CREALINE | BOURJOIS NAIL POLISH REMOVER | TRESEMME HAIRSPRAY | BED HEAD GLAZE HAZE


M2 BEAUTE LASH SERUM | REVITABROW SERUM | VASELINE BODY LOTION
CREST TEETH WHITENING STRIPS | LANCOME GENIFIQUE EYE SERUM | RODIAL DRAGON'S BLOOD MASK

April 14, 2013

nails inc feather effect nail polish in 'cornwall'


One of my favourite nail looks recently is the Nails Inc Feathers, it's a trend that is actually wearable and is super easy to pull off. The nail polish bottle is filled with tiny strips of confetti suspended in clear nail polish that once layered on the nail creates a feather like look. I absolutely love the combination of the blue and white, it's so simple yet eye catching and will be perfect for Spring/Summer. This is definitely my favourite shade that I've seen from the Feathers collection, and I'd say if you are to invest in one nail trend this Spring then make it this.

April 13, 2013

aromatherapy associates miniature bath and shower oil collection


I've recently been indulging into luxurious baths by using these little capsules filled with bath oil by Aromatherapy Associates. When your bath is running you simply empty the contents of a whole vial into the water which creates beautifully scented water that fills the whole bathroom with a calming atmosphere. You can use them in the shower too of course but I'm far more of a bath person. They really are little miracle workers for when you are stressed out for various reasons, there is even a version to soothe aching muscles and one to help you breathe easy if you have a cold. I won't be using the collection in a hurry that's for sure, only once in a blue moon when I really deserve a good pamper night. I love how the oil treats my skin too and once I come out of the bath my body feels noticeably more moisturised and looks glowing, I also like to press some of the water onto my face with my hands as it's really nourishing. The collection of mini bottles is a really great idea if you are wanting to try a full sized version but aren't sure which to get as it means you can try the whole range and decide which is your favourite, they would also make a really lovely gift too.

April 12, 2013

new launch: ciaté chalkboard nails


Yesterday I had this rather exciting arrival through my letter box which I had been intrigued to try out ever since I heard it was launching, luckily I happen to be one of the first bloggers to try it out. The idea is that you paint on a black matte base coat to create the chalkboard as it were and then doodle on designs with the nail art pens in the kit that act as the chalk and then seal your design with the matte topcoat. I had a play around with a few of the designs that I spotted in the booklet and whilst it was really fun I discovered that the tips were far too thick to create thin lines which was a bit of a shame, they would of been much better if they were pointed at the end rather than rounded. I still managed to create a set of really cool and unique looking nails in the end with a little patience and practice though. There's no doubting that the colours really stand out on the nails and literally look like chalk but the blue is a bit dull and would of been better if it were a neon green in my opinion. All said and done I think the concept for the kit is really fun and imaginative but it's been let down by a few overlooked flaws, but I will still be having a play with it as the pens are perfect for nail dotting and creating hearts. 

CIATÉ CHALKBOARD NAILS - £25 - LAUNCHES AT SELFRIDGES 20TH APRIL

April 11, 2013

bedtime beauty: current favourites #1

I've seen many a beauty blogger write posts on what's included in their night time skincare routine and as I've really gotten into treating my skin lately I couldn't resist sharing my current favourites with you all.


MANUKA DOCTOR APINOURISH RESTORING NIGHT CREAM - I've been using this religiously pretty much every night now for a couple of weeks and it's become a real favourite of mine. It's a beautifully soft yet rich cream with no greasy residue whatsoever, my skin soaks it straight up and has been loving me for using it. My skin is starting to look much more radiant and feels more hydrated which I'm so pleased about. It has a subtle scent of honey too which I absolutely adore. Review here.

NUXE REVE DE MIEL LIP BALM - If you keep up with my blog regularly then you will already be aware just how much I love this lip balm, I've been putting it through it's paces for almost a year now and love it now more than ever. Review here.

AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES CANDLE - A relaxing candle is an absolute essential for me when it comes to winding down and getting ready for sleep, this one does the job beautifully and fills my whole room with a relaxing scent. It's nowhere near overpowering though and has the perfect balance to create a calming atmosphere.

ORIGINS BRIGHTER BY NATURE PEEL PADS - When my skin is in extra need of some looking after, usually after a long day of wearing make up, these peel pads are the perfect option to unclog my pores and give my skin a deep clean. Using these just before bed usually means that my skin looks more vibrant in the morning too which is great. Review here.

LANCÔME GÉNIFIQUE EYE SERUM - I've only just started using this eye serum so can't say as to how well it works but I've been loving how refreshing and soothing it feels on my eyes. I'm hoping that it will work well to lighter my under eye circles. I will have a review coming up soon. 

THE BODY SHOP HEMP HAND PROTECTOR - Bed time is great for applying hand cream as it means that it can get to work properly for all those hours that you are asleep and doesn't get washed off or rubbed away as it does in the day. I'm a huge fan of this one by The Body Shop as it really gives my hands the moisture that they need. Review here.

CAUDALIE BEAUTY EXLIR - I bought this product from Paris last Summer as I'd heard great things about it and it's ended up becoming a favourite skincare product of mine. It has a beautifully relaxing scent that calms my skin either throughout the day or just before bed. If my skin is ever stressed then it soothes any irritation, it sprays in a fine mist so is fuss free if I'm too tired to apply cream at night but want to look after my skin.

April 10, 2013

how to be a blogger: photography tips for beauty bloggers

I'm far from a photography expert; I've been using my Canon 500d camera for just over two years now and for most of that time had been using auto settings until I recently bit the bullet and educated myself on the manual settings. Assuming that buying a fancy camera will instantly make your photos look of professional standard is a huge mistake - so many factors go into what makes a great photo, including lighting, backgrounds, getting to know your camera and also using editing software for the finished picture. I have become a complete perfectionist when it comes to taking photos of beauty products and bad lighting or unfocused images really bother me. I've made a little list of what to watch out when taking pictures, it's kind of like a little mental check list that I run through when shooting images.

AVOID CLUTTERED BACKGROUNDS - For most of my photos I use a white background which for close up shots is a piece of A4 paper laid on my window sill and for larger products is a white pillow case laid in front of a white wall. You can always have some products in the background of your image but be sure that you blur the background so that the focus is on the product that you are reviewing. Personally I much prefer the clean look of a plain white background and find it makes products stand out much more. If you have pretty bedsheets or fabrics those look great too and can give your pictures more of a unique twist.

 CLUTTERED BACKGROUND
PATTERNED BACKGROUND
PLAIN BACKGROUND

MAKE SURE THE LIGHTING IS JUST RIGHT - Natural lighting is always a must for my photos, I find that it always brings out the best colours and looks the prettiest. The windowsill is my favourite place for photographing as it's the place that is flooded with most light in the house. On days that the weather has been horrendous and cloudy outside it makes such an impact on the quality of my photos so it's always worth keeping in mind to take advantage of sunny days.

STEP AWAY FROM THE FLASH - Obviously it's completely up to you as to how you take your photos but I really dislike images of beauty products with the use of flash. If you take time to use natural lighting to your benefit you should pretty much never need to use the flash setting apart from on the rare occasion to show the glitter in a product etc. It rarely shows the true colours of a product too and often gives flash spots to packaging.

 BAD LIGHTING
WITH FLASH
WITHOUT FLASH AND GOOD LIGHTING

TAKE A LARGE BATCH OF PHOTOS - You can have everything set up perfectly but it certainly doesn't mean that you will get that perfect shot straight away. Try different angles and zooming in and out to get the best photo, I find this tip absolutely key when it comes to taking photos of nail polish swatches as tilting my hand ever so slightly can mean that glitter shows up so much better if it catches the light. I can take anywhere from 4-50 photos for just one post and from there choose the best ones from the bunch to make the cut.

OUT OF FOCUS
 PERFECT FOCUS

I'm still finding my way when it comes to photography for my blog, I pick up new tips all of the time and find out new tricks through trial and error, so please leave some of your tips in the comments.

April 09, 2013

blue eyeliner and bronzed cheeks


I had become a little bored with my usual beauty routine so had a rummage through my dresser and found this beautiful sapphire blue pencil liner by Inika. I've had never worn coloured eyeliner before but loved how simple yet vibrant a pop of colour on my eyes looked. I also noticed that it brought out the blue shades in my eyes really nicely and in general make my whole face look brighter. The eyeliner itself went on really smoothly and lasted for most of the day, making it a product that I'd definitely repurchase. I paired the look with bronzed cheeks (& Other Stories Contour Cream) and a baby pink neutral lip colour (Barry M Baby Pink) which I think worked really well, I will definitely be wearing this liner much more in the future and especially now that Summer is on it's way.

April 08, 2013

lancôme hypnôse star eyes palette in khaki chic


If you're into your eyeshadows then it's well worth noting that Lancôme have just launched a range of new eyeshadow palettes. The palettes are available in a total of 12 shade combinations and are divided into three groups, meaning there is a whole host of palettes to choose from. I have been trying out a palette from the 'Star Eyes' range in 'Khaki Chic', which is filled with khaki and nude shades.  You can use the eyeshadows either wet or dry, I like to use them dry for a natural daytime look and wet for a more intense smoky eye in the evening. The brushes in the palette have been reinvented so that they are magnetic and actually stick to the palette, which I much prefer as I'm prone to losing things easily. I love the luxurious feel to this palette but if you were to ask me if I were to spend nearly £40 on it I'd have to say no, maybe that's because I'm more of a spender on lipstick than eyeshadow but I just think it's slightly too far in terms of pricing. That being said it certainly would make a great gift as it's such a pretty palette, and not forgetting the rest of the palettes in the collection which all look equally as interesting.

chanel coco noir eau de parfum


My perfume collection is ever-changing and being updated with new fragrances however it has to be said that absolutely nothing could ever beat having a bottle of a classic Chanel scent on my dressing table. Don't get me wrong, I'm no perfume snob and will happily try out cheaper alternatives but everyone needs that bottle of special perfume, right? I've fallen head over heels for Coco Noir, it's such a sophisticated scent and is paired perfectly for those occasions of wearing a little black dress. It has a seductive twist but is lighter and more wearable than heavier Chanel perfumes, if I were to wear just one perfume for the rest of my life I'd certainly have to chose this one. The packaging alone is enough reason to send my heart all a flutter; a delicate black glass bottle with gold and white detailing. Although the price tag is sky high one spray on your wrists and one on your neck will leave you smelling irresistible all day long, it has immense staying power so hopefully the bottle will last a long time.

April 07, 2013

neon and nude dotted nails

MODELS OWN PINK PUNCH | BARRY M LYCHEE | NAIL DOTTING TOOLS - EBAY - £2.50

My nail dotting tools arrived through the post the other day and this is the first look that I tried out, I adore the combination of the nude milky base paired with bright neon bubblegum dot detailing. I found the nail dotting technique much easier than I first expected and I think that with a little practice I will be able to create some really cool designs. The dotting tools were so cheap including postage and are all double ended meaning that in total you can work with 10 different sized dotters.

April 06, 2013

& other stories face contour cream


Whilst lusting over the masses of beautiful and innovative beauty products over on the & Other Stories website I convinced myself to only pick out one item and went with the Contour Cream. It looked to be right up my street as I'm always after a product that will give my cheekbones definition as I have quite a rounded baby face. I've been trying it out for a couple of weeks and it's now become a staple in my make up bag. Since it's a cream product it seems to last much longer on my skin than a powder would and is much more pigmented and easier to work with. You can either use your fingers to give a warm glow to your skin or a contour brush to sculpt the cheekbones. It's the perfect shade for contouring and paired with Stereo Rose by Mac is a match made in heaven. I absolutely love the simple and sophisticated packaging too, I will definitely be repurchasing this once I run out which I imagine will take a long time as you only need to use the tiniest amount.


April 05, 2013

babyliss boutique hair dryer


I have been lusting over having a powerful hair dryer for a long time and have only ever used a big clunky one which was mediocre and didn't pack much of a punch. Luckily times have changed as recently I got my hands on this Babyliss dryer to try out and couldn't wait for it to arrive. It's a fair bit smaller than my regular hair dryer which I love and weighs a lot less too, but the best part is the amount of power in this little thing. It's taken a lot of time off what it takes to dry my hair in the morning because it works so quickly and efficiently, and for the fact it gives me more time in bed it's my new best friend. I love the sleek and sophisticated design of the dryer too, once in your hand it feels like an expensive piece of beauty tech, it even comes with it's own dust bag! It's on the expensive side but you certainly get great quality in return for your money and it also comes with a 5 year guarantee. In terms of what I want from my hair dryer this ticks all of the boxes and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone.

April 04, 2013

new launch: benefit fake up concealer


I was super thrilled when these new concealers by Benefit came through the post the other day as I've been becoming increasingly eager to try them out after seeing them featured on lots of blogs. A good concealer is an absolute must in my beauty routine as I have such dark under eye circles but I've always found most of them drying and they usually crease easily too. Benefit have put on their thinking caps to create a concealer that eliminates both of those problems resulting in the perfect solution. In the middle part of the concealer is the pigment which is surrounded by an outer layer of balm which means that the concealer glides over your skin and also works to moisturise the under eye area. I was a little worried that it wouldn't be pigmented due to all of the balm but was really surprised to find out how much colour pay off they have. As you can see from the picture above the coverage is excellent and really makes my whole eye area look refreshed and counteracts any redness. I use the medium shade which I have found is suited perfectly for my skin tone which I was pleased about but I think the range is pretty versatile as the light shade works for me too. Overall I'd definitely repurchase the concealer as so far I haven't seen anything else like it in terms of it's hydrating properties, hats off to Benefit as this product is a triumph.

April 03, 2013

models own disco heaven


Another Models Own polish that I have recently picked up was 'Disco Heaven' from the Hed Kandi collection. It's a mix up of gold glitter with chunks of iridescent cool toned glitter that turns from green/blue/purple depending on the lighting. I really love how unique this shade is, it applied pretty easily too and with a topcoat lasted a few days.