Spring time is always about neutral shades of pink, blooming peaches and delicate browns that enable us to bridge the seasons between deep Winter tones and the brightness of Summer. This season Bobbi Brown have introduced their 'Nectar & Nude' collection of makeup, which includes delicate shades of peach and orange to suit every skin tone. Much more natural than pinks and bronzing shades, a hint of 'nectar' can help our complexion to ooze health and bring together the neutral tones in our makeup collection that come to the forefront every March. Including an eyeshadow palette, lipglosses, nail varnish, shimmer brick and a beautiful cream blush, there's something within 'Nectar & Nude' for everyone.
Activated Charcoal is an ingredient that has started to become incredibly popular in the skincare world. We've been actually using Activated Charcoal for thousands of years (so far back that it’s impossible to document); the Ancient Hindus used it as a drinking water filtration system, while the Ancient Egyptians used it to get rid of bad odours. In modern times Activated Charcoal was first industrially generated in the early 20th Century for sugar refining, as well as being used in gas masks to remove toxins during the First World War. It's also commonly used for digestive complaints, teeth whitening and as an acne treatment. So what is Activated Charcoal and how can it be so versatile? Why is the new must-have ingredient in skincare?
Back in February, I jumped at the chance to go backstage at London Fashion Week and report on the surreal collaboration between fashion designer Liz Black and Phyllis Cohen, founder of Face Lace. As I headed up stairs and snuck backstage to speak with Phyllis Cohen, I walked into pure madness. Pre-show prep is quite a thing to witness: it seems like three people were designated to pull or slick the model’s hair into tight ponytails or wet-gel bob, as well as creating a lovely dewy effect with strong highlights on the models skin. As I’m a BIG eye makeup person, the Salvador Dali inspired eyes used on the models had to be my favourite touch. The eyes were an electric mix of magenta, rose and glitter that transitioned into vivid lobsters. It was absolutely breathtaking, but of course Phyllis Cohen took it one step further by placing little ants that crawled down the models’ faces, shoulders and arms. I took the opportunity to grab a few words and find out more about Face Lace and their London Fashion Week collaboration.
As our needs become ever more complex and our budgets are continually stretched, we need effective and innovative products that make our lives easier and our faces more beautiful. A lipgloss in a pretty pack is one thing, but a super slick tube and a plumping formula make it even better. DuWop are a brand I've previously heard of, but until recently I had no experience of their multi-functional products that have become so iconic amongst beauty enthusiasts. Their Lip Venom plumping gloss was the original product that sparked a revolution in the beauty industry; working by encouraging blood to rush to the surface as a blend of essential oils provide a delicate tingle, lips are plumped and benefit from a glossy sheen. Celebrity fans include Lindsay Lohan, Jennifer Aniston and Sienna Miller, so what's the secret of DuWop?
I spent many a teenage year perfecting my application technique of Rimmel's iconic SunShimmer temporary tan. Before I plucked up the courage to try out the 'proper' stuff, temporary and wash-off tans were what I relied on during a Saturday night. Although the formula was sticky, a little bit greasy and washed off as soon as I walked through a puddle, its scent and colour became a part of my teenage years I'll never forget. SunShimmer is still used by millions of us across the UK as a way to add a hint of colour to limbs, or to add an emergency hit of brown to invisible legs when we've forgotten to fake tan the night before. The formula was never perfect, but with the launch of the 'next generation' of SunShimmer there's definitely something to get excited about. Rimmel's new BB Skin Perfector offers nine uses in one, providing colour with the added benefit of a smoother appearance and a creamier finish.
Now the sun is out and we seem to be finally rid of the chilling winds, it's time to give our beauty routine a little overhaul. Like fashion, not all skincare and makeup products are made to be worn all year round - in the winter we need hardworking bases, strong colours and powerful moisturisers, but come spring we can replace them with something a little lighter. With the help of the Boots beauty department (which has everything under one roof and is even offering 3 for 2 on all beauty right now,) there are loads of little things you can pick up to give yourself a spring clean that don't even cost a small fortune. After I was asked to check out what Boots had to offer by Collective Bias, I popped along to my local Boots store and these are the goodies I picked up to help me meet the warmer months with a smile on my face and a glowing complexion.
Since its re-design and re-launch a couple of years ago, Eyeko have positioned themselves as a beauty brand to be reckoned with. Partnering with Alexa Chung was just the tip of the iceberg for this previously cute budget range; they're now charging a whopping £18.00 for a mascara and £12.00 for an eyeliner - priced to parallel some of the most premium brands out there. Although their mascara has developed a cult-like status amongst its fans, it's a hit or miss product for many others and has been reformulated numerous times. Having not used an Eyeko product in many years, I was keen to find out what had changed to allow them to double their prices and sign up famous faces to endorse their brand. So, is Eyeko worth the money?
When I was told last Summer that white nails would be hot for Spring 2014, I couldn't help but cringe and hope it was a trend that would swiftly pass. White has always reminded me of Essex, the 90's and summertime, rather than a shade to bring an outfit bang up-to-date and catwalk ready. However, this spring I've fully embraced the white nail trend, thanks to the prominence of super chic white shades available on the high street. My current favourite is this slightly pearlescent shade from Rita Ora's collection for Rimmel London, which provides a bright white hue and a streak-free finish. These are my top five reasons why white polish is the best thing for your nails this Spring.
Did you know that up to 80% of the sun's UV rays can still hit your skin on a cloudy day? Sun protection isn't just for when we're sunbathing on a beach; it's an essential part of every skincare routine and a vital element in the fight against ageing. Until now, it's been extremely hard to find an SPF that's wearable off the beach and under makeup - especially as sun lotions can be heavy, greasy and hard to absorb. Piz Buin are constantly pushing the boundaries of sun care, delivering new innovations year after year in order to encourage customers to wear SPF as much as possible. With the launch of their Ultra Light Dry Touch Sun Fluid, they're bringing effective protection in a super light formula that dries instantly to leave a powdery soft finish. You'll never view sun cream in the same way again once you use it.
Models Own seem to continually be hitting it out of the park with their affordable and innovative nail collections. Although they often 'take inspiration' from other brands (this time Illamasqua and their 2013 'Imperfection' collection,) they ensure trends are both affordable and wearable. Launching just in time for Easter, their Speckled Egg collection helps make your nails look like five little Mini Eggs; each of the five pastel and Spring-appropriate colours includes dark flecks that bring the polishes bang up to date. The flecks are suspended in the polish in three different sizes, making the finished result quirky and fresh - these aren't sparkling polishes or super girly, as the dark pigment helps to toughen the look and make it wearable with even a biker jacket.
With Easter on its way, it's time to start thinking about chocolate again. Even though I haven't even finished my Christmas chocolate supply, it'll be no time at all before we're all overflowing with Creme Eggs. If you fancy something a little different at the end of your Easter Egg Hunt this April, then Too Faced may just have the answer with this yummy Chocolate Bar eyeshadow palette. Wrapped like something straight out of Willy Wonka's factory, the tin inside looks like a delicious chocolate bar too. Holding a collection of 16 different (and brand new) high-pigment colours, the palette even smells like chocolate - thanks to the eyeshadows being made with 100% natural cocoa powder. This is a chocolate lovers dream in makeup form.
I love lipstick and the intensity of colour it provides, but I hate the drying feeling and the colour fade that often goes with it. Glosses provide high shine, a hint of colour and smoothness, but they're not great at giving a great colour result. With the introduction of Color Riche L'Extraordinaire liquid lipsticks, L'Oreal aims to combine the benefits of both to revolutionise the way we apply colour to our lips. These innovative liquid lipsticks contain breakthrough technology which allows both colour and shine, as well as offering care to lips and a super soft finish.
Way back when in 2010, I didn't even own a camera. My blog was full of stock images and the focus was definitely on words rather than pretty pictures. However, as times have changed and blogs have become as much about the presentation as the content, it's become essential to take great photos. Not only does a great photograph set the scene and draw a reader in, but it helps to illustrate your words and affirm your point of view. I'm by no means an expert in photography whatsoever (my general photography mode is 'auto' followed by 'point, click and hope for the best') but there are some really simple things you can do to make your blog as appealing as possible.
It's hard to believe that Bare Minerals' much-loved Mineral Veil finishing powder is fifteen years old. For fifteen years we've all loved the translucent finishing touch of award-winning powder, providing a great result on all skin types. Not only does the powder absorb excess oil and help to minimise the appearance of fine lines and pores, but provides the skin with a touch of softness and light to ensure we're looking super healthy. As a lover of a powdered finish, especially as it sets makeup in place and removes any unsightly shininess, this is one product I do really like. However, the traditional 'open pot' format made it extremely difficult to use on the go or touch-up throughout the day. In celebration of this birthday milestone, Bare Minerals are launching a limited edition portable version that's perfect for popping in your handbag.
It's March 1st, Spring has sprung and the sun is out to greet us. We're finally breaking away from long, dull, wet and cold days that have us curled up on the sofa with a box of chocolates and a DVD. Thanks to Clinique we can have a little makeup celebration too, with these fabulous Cheek Pop Blushers and their exquisite floral designs. Available in four wearable and universal shades, the little pops of colour will ensure you're looking peachy perfect and ready to see the sun. The blushers are highly pigmented and true-to-colour upon application, providing a 'just pinched' look to cheeks that's both subtle and natural.
Gel Manicures are definitely the thing to beat at the moment, with everyone from Nails Inc to Models Own launching their 'gel inspired' polishes. Gel manicures applied in a salon can provide a durable and long-lasting nail result for up to four weeks, so it's not hard to understand the appeal. No chipping polish, messy nail varnish removal or trying to hide your hands in your pockets. However, gel manicures can become expensive if it's something you get addicted to; at around £30 a session, it's not a cheap hobby to keep up. I've tried a few at-home gel polish systems before in an attempt to replicate the benefit of a salon visit in my bedroom, but nothing has wowed me. When Gelicious offered to send me their system and put it to the test I couldn't say no. So will this Australian nail brand stand head and shoulders above the rest?
Burt's Bees lip balm is one product I can't live without. I love the smooth texture, the hydrating nature and the uplifting scent it provides as you add a slick to lips. Available in lots of different flavours, and even with tinted varieties, it's the perfect lip product for Spring. In an exciting move for the brand, Burt's Bees are expanding to their colour collection with a range of new products that include Lip Shimmers, Lip Glosses and Lip Shines. All three provide a different texture, a hit of colour and a smooth finish to make lips look and feel great, without compromising on their heritage of beeswax and natural ingredients.