Makeup Application: Eight Brushes Every Woman Needs In Her Makeup Bag

Fingers are good for many things: typing, dipping into chocolate spread, finger painting, playing on the iPad... But they aren't great at applying makeup. Having a repertoire of great application tools and brushes can really aid not only the performance of the products you use, but help to create a flawless finish. Although my makeup brush collection contains about fifty different brushes (just in case I can't find the one I'm after,) there is a core selection every woman needs to ensure her makeup is applied perfectly. After much deliberation, these are the eight brushes I believe every makeup lover should own - and the reasons why.


My Top 5 Spring Nail Colours

Although we may still be waiting for the indefinite blue skies to appear, the weather is getting a little warmer and the tights are being left at the back of the drawer a little more often. There's nothing that marks the movement in season more than the colours that adorn my nails; there's something about a hint of sun that leaves me wanting pastel hues and cheeky corals on my digits. After trying endless polishes and putting them to the 'repeat application' test, these five are definitely the ones I'll be turning to the most this summer.


Guerlain Rouge Lipstick: The Most Luxurious & Extravagant Ever?

Would you spend £31.50 on a lipstick? Even if it was the most beautifully extravagant and luxurious lipstick you'd ever seen? I had to seriously had to ask myself that question when I discovered Guerlain's Rouge Lipsticks. This is no ordinary bullet of a colour, but a lipstick compact that opens to reveal a hidden mirror in the casing; designed by Lorenz Bäumer, the young and talented jeweler based in Place Vendôme in Paris, this definitely adds a touch of luxury to your makeup bag. Described as a 'horizontal design with feminine curves that houses a secret,' a mirror automatically appears when the lipstick is removed from its case, being held once again in place by the subtle Guerlain logo and magnetic force. There's no need to take along a seperate compact mirror when you have this little touch of elegance slipped into your pocket.


Yardley Fragrances Get A New Look (And They're Great Budget Prices)

Yardley London may be a famous purveyor of luxury fragrances and soaps, even providing the Royal household with toiletries for centuries, but their brand has always been steeped in history and nostalgia rather than being relevant to the modern woman. Born in the seventeenth century, there are few brands that compare to Yardley in terms of its rich history or fascinating progress from lavender soap maker to fragrance house. However, it's in 2014 that Yardley sees a massive move towards a modern perfumer that produces affordable scents in deliciously simple bottles. Adding to its expansive fragrance collection with this refreshing 'Jade' scent, Yardley has also re-designed and re-bottled many of its iconic and addictive scents to bring the brand into the 21st Century.

LBQ Current Favourites: Black Mascara

Like finding your one true love, hunting down the perfect mascara often seems like an impossible task. It has to tick all your boxes, perform to perfection and last as long as you need it to. Although the high street is awash with thousands of options, the majority of them aren't worth wasting your hard earned cash on - there's a definite knack to developing the perfect black mascara. I've tried hundreds and right now these five are my definite favourites, providing everything I need and more. Here's why I love them so much my heart is all a flutter...


Neom Organics: Cocooning Home Candle (Great For Peaceful Evenings)

Lighting a candle before bed has become somewhat a ritual of mine. The flickering gentle light helps to relax my mind and get it prepared for sleep, while the soothing scent it releases helps to regulate breathing and encourage my eyes to slowly close. Neom home candles are made using only vegetable wax and pure essential oils (rather than synthetic fragrances,) so they burn without releasing harmful pollutants, toxins or soot - the last thing you want to be breathing in as you're drifting off to sleep. Not only do their large glass jars look elegant, but they also work as powerful holistic treatments when the scented air they create is breathed in. To get the most effective result, it's best to burn them about two hours before you slip into bed so the relaxing scent can fill the room and help to get your mind into the perfect emotional state.

LBQ's Top Tips: Do You Really Know How To Wash Your Hair?

There are certain things we just automatically presume we know how to do (such as brushing our teeth, combing our hair and taking a bath,) but have you ever wondered if your age old method is actually the best? Washing and conditioning our hair seems to be the simplest part of our routine and hard to get wrong, but you could be making some mistakes in the shower that have an impact on how your hair feels and looks when it's dried. Lathering up and slapping on a hair mask may keep your locks looking half decent, but refining your routine can really make a difference. So, do you really know how to wash and condition your hair?


Collection Loves: Mardi Gras (A New Tropical Summer Collection)

If you've been sleeping under a rock, then you won't know that it's not only the World Cup in Brazil this year, but the tropical trend is definitely hot to trot. Everything bright and bold is on-trend, with particular focused placed on looking like you've just come back from a fiesta. In celebration of both of these facts, Collection Cosmetics are launching a six piece 'Mardi Gras' collection this June that aims to bring a little Brazillian spirit to your summer. Featuring three sweetly scented lip balms and three on-trend nail colours, they've ensured the collection is easy to wear whilst still saying true to the roots of the idea.


Brand Focus #23: Biotherm

Following her ground-breaking discovery of the skin-rejuvenating properties of thermal plankton, pioneering biologist Jeanine Marissal went about adding this extract to her skincare formulations.  
And so in 1952, French cosmetics company Biotherm was born. You’re probably wondering what this thermal plankton stuff is; it’s a water-dwelling microorganism, sourced from the thermal springs of the Pyrenees, that happens to be surprisingly similar in make-up to some of the key elements found in our own skin. Though now part of the prestigious L’Oréal Group’s portfolio, Biotherm (not to be confused with Bioderma) has stayed true to its water-faring roots. From deodorants to shaving foams, cellulite-busting body care to skin-soothing serums, Biotherm’s products are jam-packed with various blends of Pure Thermal Plankton, algae and cellular waters, all of which boast countless skin-beautifying benefits.

WIN An Exclusive Swarovski-Adorned Rimmel London & Kate Moss Mascara

Kate Moss has been the face of Rimmel London for over ten years, seeing them through all manner of launches and helping them firmly stay at the top of the affordable cosmetics ladder. However, Kate wasn't satisfied with just modelling the makeup - she wanted a piece of the action. Launching this May, Kate has designed a range of mascaras to extend the Scandal'eyes range and bring a bit of colour to the mix. Available in four different shades and featuring the unique Rockin' Curves wand, the collection includes black, green, blue and purple. Although you may not thing that you want to wear a shade on your lashes that isn't black or brown, wearing a slightly tinted and subtle colour such as these helps to bring out the colour of your iris and ensure your eyes pop to the max.


LBQ's Top Tips: Five Beauty Products Your Man Can Use Too

If you've ever argued with your man over the space your beauty products take up in the bathroom, then maybe you need to get him involved in the fun. There are so many products that the men in our lives can use too, helping them look tip top without smelling like candyfloss and strawberries. We all know they cheekily use our face creams, steal our luxurious bath oils and even play with our hair products, but what little gems can we openly share with them and help bring a little beauty into their lives? Here are the top five products in your repertoire that your man can use too.


FREE Models Own Polish For Every Reader (Thanks To 'TopCashback')

Did you know that UK shoppers spent over £91 billion online in 2013? The trend for buying our wares over the 'net doesn't seem to be going anywhere, as us Brits are set to spend over £107 billion in 2014. I for one find it exceptionally easy to click away when I'm bored, in need of a new outfit or simply don't have time to get out into a real life shop. Now you can buy literally everything from lemons to lipsticks online, there's no excuse not to make the most of your purchases and earn a little something extra. Because it's Easter (and we all have cravings for Mini Eggs,) I've teamed up with TopCashback to offer every single reader of London Beauty Queen a Model's Own polish (worth £5.00) of your choice. That's right, absolutely free of charge, just because buying stuff online is awesome. Let me explain a little more...

Eucerin: Helping You To Live Comfortably With Eczema

Until I met my boyfriend I had no idea how eczema could impact someone's life so much. I'm lucky enough to have pretty normal skin, not ever having suffered from anything other than a little heat rash. However, it's only in the last year I've become aware of a growing condition that affects millions of adults within the UK. Atopic Dermatitis (commonly known as eczema) is an inflammatory condition of the upper layer of skin that can appear all over the body.  Painful and debilitating symptoms can include redness, blistering, oozing, crusting, scaling, thickening and sometimes pigmentation - all of which can have a significant impact on confidence. Not only can it be caused by irritants in the environment (including detergents, perfumes and even clothes,) but heat, humidity, extreme temperatures and even bathing can cause it to become worse. Anxiety and stress are also big factors within eczema flare ups, which causes a vicious circle which is hard to break. I've been working hard with my boyfriend to crack the issues associated with his eczema and find products that work for him (a more in-depth post at a later date,) but after a recent discovery Eucerin is definitely a brand he can now turn to for a little skin support.


There's A Gadget For Everything: Philips Sonicare Airfloss

I flossed my teeth for about a week when I was twelve and had removable braces. It was annoying, messy, uncomfortable and time consuming, so the floss got put to the back of the bathroom cabinet never to be seen again. However, few of us realise the long-term benefits flossing effectively can bring to our oral health. Unlike a toothbrush (which cleans the top and outer surface of the teeth and gums,) floss is an interdental cleaner, designed specifically to clean the tight spaces between the teeth, i.e. the places that a toothbrush can't reach. While mouthwash can kill the bacteria that forms plaque, it can't remove the stubborn tartar and bits of food that can lodge in these places and cause us issues. For those who don't floss consistently, Philip's new Sonicare Airfloss is the easiest way to start cleaning between teeth. AirFloss can be used with either water or mouthwash and features unique air and micro-droplet technology to remove plaque where brushing can't.


A Truly Innovative Fragrance Trio: Valeur Absolue 'Well-Being Elixirs'

I've always been a huge fan of fragrances, using my perfume as an extention of my outfit and accessories. My current scent wardrobe is full to the brim with over fifty perfumes, each being used to fit certain moods and occasions. I've long believed that a great scent can enhance your mood and lift you up like nothing else, so it's great to see new brand on the block Valeur Absolue channel that idea with the launch of this trio of fragrances. Valeur Absolue have invented a completely new concept which they've called 'More Than Perfume.' The Valeur Absolue fragrances are not just scents, but well-being elixirs for the mind and body; enriched with natural ingredients and minerals, each perfume is one which will make us feel good as well as smell good.


NEW From Kiko Cosmetics: 'Life In Rio' Summer 2014 Collection

New beauty brands seem to be ten a penny now, so I have to admit I'm always a little cynical until they prove their worth. Kiko Cosmetics launched last year and I ignored most of the buzz around it for some time; however, in recent months they've been launching some extremely interesting products and innovative collections. New for Summer 2014 is their 'Life In Rio' collection, which is bursting with colour and evokes the feeling of spending a month amidst a carnival. Although not all the products and their bright colours will appeal to everyone, there are a few worth picking up no matter what you're usual preferences. Kiko Cosmetics have definitely proved their credentials and have me (almost) drooling at some of these beautiful gems.


NEW From Clinique: Lash Power 'Feathering' Mascara

A good mascara is hard to come by. Nearly every woman I speak to is on a continuous search for that 'holy grail' product that lengthens, volumises, separates and darkens her lashes, but there are few products that deliver on all accounts. I'm a big fan of Clinique, but generally speaking I have a love-hate relationship with their mascaras: some are the best thing since sliced bread (such as High Impact Curling Mascara,) but others leave my lashes looking a little limp (like High Lengths Mascara.) It's a tricky act to balance, getting lashes to look full of volume and length without the clumpy or gloopy formula causing that spider-legs effect. However, with their newest launch they seem to have ticked all my boxes whilst delivering qualities I didn't even know I wanted.