June 21, 2014

the reverse french manicure

The typical french manicure of having white tips with a nude coloured base has well and truly had its day, and as much as I love wearing all white nail polish it can look like I've just nabbed the tipex rather than looking sophisticated. I've mixed up the two trends and used the white to paint upwards from the half moons on my nails, it really is just as easy as painting them as you normally would (in vertical stripe motions) except you start at the half moon rather than base of the nail. You will want to keep some cotton buds soaked in nail polish remover handy just to tidy up and create as much of a neat line as possible but apart from that if you have a fairly steady hand then you should have no problem at all having a go. 

June 19, 2014

hair heroes for humidity

My hair is naturally curly, frizzy and damn annoying in any kind of heat and humidity. It's nightmarish in two ways; firstly it gets dry feeling easily and secondly it greases up at the roots quickly whenever I use an oil to combat the frizz. I've finally found some wonderful products that give my hair everything that it needs and leaves it looking in perfect condition, trust me I've been on the hunt for many years.

I've given up using oils in favour of Aveda Smooth Infusion, you use it in the same way you would use an oil, on damp hair after washing and run it through the ends. It's a super light-weight feeling lotion that absorbs straight into the hair and you will notice a huge difference once you've given it a blow dry, I'm not exaggerating when I say it's the only product I've found to successfully tame frizz without leaving my hair feeling weighed down. I've also ditched the ghds and now only ever use these diva feel the heat straighteners which have argan oil built into the ceramic plates. They glide through the hair so easily and make it feel so much silkier too, I simply would never use any others again after finding these. On to another recent favourite product of mine which has been the toni & guy sea salt spray, obviously summer isn't summer without beachy waves and this has proved to be perfect for that without drying out my hair as some salt sprays can tend to do. Last but not least is the macadamia control hairspray which I use to finish off my hair and set everything in place whilst taming those last few fly aways at the top of my hair.


June 16, 2014

ikea godmorgan acrylic storage boxes

Whilst in Ikea a few months ago I spotted these acrylic storage boxes, they actually come in a set of five and also include a large square box and a rectangle one too which I use to store tealight candles in. With these smaller boxes I store some of my favourite seashells in one and less pretty cotton pads and buds in the other two, I have them all placed on the rĂ¥grund shelving unit in my bathroom which works really well. That large rather strange looking shell is one that I picked off a beach in the caribbean which also takes pride of place too, you can't beat having lots of shells in a bathroom! You can also pop the storage boxes into drawers to keep hair accessories and make up in too, definitely check them out as you never know what they could come in handy for.

June 13, 2014

benefit recruitment update and giveaway

Most of you will know by now all about the complaint I made to Benefit after the experience I had with their recruitment day, and how I was also displeased with the follow up reply that I got from them. Since then, Benefit sent me a tweet to let me know that my complaint was being taken to the HR Director and further to that I then had a half hour phone call with her. She was a really nice, understanding lady and genuinely seemed interested in the experience I had and how they could improve to make sure it wouldn't happen again. She's assured me that Benefit are now reviewing their HR processes and in addition to this I'm going to be meeting up with her soon to give some more feedback and to hear about which areas in particular they will be improving on. Of course part of me is concerned that if I wasn't a blogger would my opinion still have been taken so seriously, the reality is that it probably wouldn't have, but even so I'm still impressed that they've now taken a hands-on approach and have admitted fault rather than just sending excuses via email. I think that the fact they proposed the idea of meeting up to further get to the bottom of things and then use my feedback as a way of improving is definitely a big sign that they are going above and beyond to make sure all candidates have the best experience possible at all stages of the recruitment process. I asked the HR director if there was anything that she'd like to say to include within my post and here's what she said;

"In all areas of our business, we constantly look to see how we can improve the Benefit experience.  Not only is this critical for our customers and our employees but we also want potential candidates to the brand to have a positive Benefit experience no matter of their final outcome.  We are currently reviewing some of our selection methods to ensure that we continue to recruit the very best; in an innovative, dynamic and fun way that truly fits within our brand DNA"   
The most shocking thing to me was all of the feedback I was getting from comments and twitter about how many girls also had similar experiences and that was the reason I then decided to pursue my complaint this far. I really want to stress how important it is to complain; no company has the chance to improve where it's going wrong if no one ever tells them about it!

I will of course keep you all updated as ever but for now Benefit have sent over some goodies as a way of beginning to get back in all of your good books and to show they are making steps back in the right direction. This lot is worth a whopping £130! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 09, 2014

bourjois volume 1 seconde mascara

Bourjois are back again with the release of a new mascara, which promises volume in one second from what I can gather from the packaging. I'm not so keen on the name, we all know that no mascara in the world takes anywhere near to one second to apply. On a more positive note, I do really like the packaging, it has a chic and expensive feel to it and is ultra simple looking too. The thin nib on the end of the handle for the wand actually makes application much easier and means you end up using a lighter hand than when using a bulky version. Upon the first coat, the mascara coats each lash quickly and easily to create jet black voluminous lashes. With the second coat the lashes end up looking much thicker than with the first, but be careful as at this point clumps can begin to form, as you can see at the inner corner of my eye. That's not to say it isn't a great mascara though, you just need to keep in mind to have a light hand and don't overdo it with the amount of coats that you put on. As you can see from the before picture I wasn't particularly blessed with long and luscious lashes, so to find a mascara that makes them stand out and look both thick and dark is always a blessing. I usually prefer to go for dramatic looking bold lashes so this mascara works perfectly for me but it's worth baring in mind that you can still use it for a more natural look by using just one coat. After I had been wearing the mascara all day I noticed that my lashes didn't feel heavy with product and they still felt malleable to touch rather than solid as a rock as with some mascaras. It reminds me a great deal of Benefit They're Real (my usual favourite) with the effect it has on the lashes, but doesn't feel lashes feeling clogged up towards the end of the day as the Benefit mascara can sometimes do. Should the tube last well and I continue to get the same results from the mascara then I will definitely be buying it again, Bourjois have done it again with a mascara that is set at an affordable price point but has high end results. Plus it's currently reduced at £3 off the usual price over at Boots!

June 08, 2014

how to | fresh and radiant skin

Please excuse the fact that my hair makes it look as if I had just rolled out of bed, I hadn't.. cough. This is the make-up look that I wear most days, its simple, radiant and fresh. My secret weapons to flawless looking skin are both the Illamasqua Skinbase Foundation and the Nars Copacabana Illuminator, both of which I absolutely adore. I like to sometimes also like to use the Sisley Express Flower Gel beforehand which really perks my skin up too. If it's a really hot day and I don't fancy wearing much make-up then I will go for the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua which is my second favourite foundation, it doesn't give a great deal of coverage but has such a glowy finish. For my brows I've been filling them in with a lighter colour than usual, I can't bare using a warm toned brown on them so it always has to be an ashy shade. Flicked liner as always for the eyes with some smudged underneath the bottom lash line to create the illusion of thicker looking lashes. The lip and blush shades I choose were both a barely there almost unnoticeable pink to achieve an effortless overall look.


June 07, 2014

garnier ultimate blends sleek restorer shampoo and conditioner

Lets start off with the talking about the packaging, I'm really not a fan. It just looks so old fashion and not in a good way, just dated and lacking any style. The product itself is a bit blah too unfortunately, it works well enough but isn't anything that wowed me and for that reason these aren't products I'd look at buying again. They did clean my hair well and leave it feeling fairly soft but I also found that my hair needed to be washed again sooner meaning they were probably too heavy for my hair type. On a lighter note, they smell yummy due to the coconut and cocoa and for that reason I will finish off by saying if you are looking for a shampoo and conditioner at a cheap price that will leave your hair smelling divine then give them a go just don't expect any incredible results on the look and feel of your hair. I might be being a bit harsh on poor old Garnier here but I'm yet to find another range of shampoo and conditioner that wow me as the L'Oreal Ever Riche products do.

June 03, 2014

la roche-posay and aveda lotion exfoliants

Although lotion exfoliants have been the new big thing in the beauty world for quite some time now, I've only just got round to buying myself a couple to try out. I went for both a La Roche-Posay and Aveda version to have a try with, I actually managed to pick up the La Roche-Posay one in Paris a couple of weeks ago meaning I got it slightly cheaper than it is over here. I've heard great things about both of these products, but after using them both on a different side of my face have noticed that they are slightly different. Starting off with the La Roche-Posay lotion, it feels ever so refreshing yet has just a slight chemical smell which soon fades after it's wiped over skin. This one is definitely the hardest working out of the two, it seemed to remove just that little bit more grime and excess oil than the Aveda version. That being said, that doesn't mean it will be the better version for every skin type. The Aveda exfoliant may be thorough at removing grime but this means it's more suitable for a sensitive skin type and one that doesn't suit such a deep clean. It also has that beautiful relaxing Aveda scent which is a selling point in it's own right. Both of the exfoliants left my skin looking a million times brighter and gave a very slight dewy finish too, I also noticed that my foundation applied tons better than usual which must be due to the removal of dead skin cells from using the lotions. They are meant to be used every three days or so, either at morning or night, and leave your skin perfectly primed for either moisturiser or make up. My advice is if you are looking for a gentler version then go for the Aveda, but if you want a deeper cleaning exfoliant then try out the La Roche-Posay version. Either way, be sure to invest in a lotion exfoliant and ditch using face scrubs that have beads in as they don't work half as well as these.


June 02, 2014

navy blue tipped nails

If you are a regular reader of my nail posts then you will know how much I love this look, I wear it literally all of the time but alternate between colours. I'm a huge believer in the 'less is more' approach and just love how this allows the natural nail to show through with just a pop of colour, rather than a heavy block of colour as when you paint the whole nail. Simple yet sophisticated, and also super easy to correct should any chipping of the colour occur. This top coat by Rimmel has also become a firm favourite of mine, it glosses over the nails to give perfect shine and makes them diamond strength too, it's pretty much just a better version of seche vite and it doesn't go gloopy either.