This Week's Most Popular Posts
When I first started blogging it was a simple business. We wrote about what lipstick we were loving, commented on the latest hairstyles and occasionally took awkward photos of ourselves in terrible lighting. It was an uncomplicated time where we were all just focused on our own little corner of the internet; there was room for everybody, there was no competitiveness and the lack of press samples and paid campaigns made everything a lot simpler. However, in 2015 it's a completely different time: blogs are brands, serious money is being paid for collaborations, oodles of free things land on doorsteps and everyone is competing for something - be it for more readers, that latest lipgloss or to be the face of a new campaign. Since the waters have become a little murkier, the issue of disclosure has become a constant talking point. For me, it's a simple black and white area. For others, not so much.
Our DNA offers up the answers to questions we never knew we had. This fiber of life is found inside every cell in our body (apart from red blood cells), with every one of our ten trillion cells containing roughly two meters worth of DNA. It can solve crimes, assess risk and provide information on a person's susceptibility to illness. 23andMe offer a way to unlock the secrets our DNA holds in an incredibly simply way, delivering the results within six weeks direct to your inbox. Their little kit is easy to use and can be popped in the post without the faff often associated with at-home testing services; you simply spit into the vial enclosed, pop it in the bag provided, seal, place back into the box and send it on its way by posting it through any postbox free of charge. All of the laboratory testing for 23andMe is done in a CLIA-certified (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments), CAP-accredited (College of American Pathologists) laboratory in the United States, completely confidentially and with the utmost importance placed on security. The results are fascinating, but can also have a long-lasting impact on both yourself and your family - they test for over 40 inherited conditions, the response to ten drugs, identify over 40 traits and provide information on ten different genetic risk factors.
As a woman in her thirties that blogs for a living, I often feel 'over the hill' and wonder when the bubble will burst in favour of the bright young things of the next generation. But then I metaphorically slap myself around the face and have a word: there are billions of women on this planet over the age of 29 that are rocking every aspect of their lives and inspire me to achieve bigger and better things. Thirty is definitely the new twenty, forty is the new thirty, and fifty is the new forty; we're all living longer, looking more fabulous and embracing our years whatever our age. I'm continually hearing that women over the age of 30 are crying out for better representation online, as the majority of bloggers and vloggers don't talk about the issues that really effect them - from the first signs of ageing, sun damage, limp barnets, age spots and makeup that works with rather than against them. Lancome's new campaign provides a stepping stone to this conversation, encouraging us to 'love our age' whatever number those digits present; their ambassadors span three decades (Lily Collins is 25, Lupita Nyong'O 31, Kate Winslet 39 and Penelope Cruz 41) to illustrate their universal approach to beauty.
Quinoa may be one of the superfoods we're most familiar with, but did you know that it can also offer up a whole heap of benefits to skin, hair and nails? This small grain has been consumed by those who inhabit the mountainous and valley regions of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile for over 5000 years, but it's gradually making its way into our shampoos, conditioners and styling products. The amino acids quinoa seeds contain are balanced in a way that is complementary to human nutrition, which is where they get their 'superfood' reputation from. However, quinoa is also high in calcium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, potassium, phosphorous and magnesium, which have been proven to aid in the conditioning of hair and skin. Its amino acids help repair damage to the hair shaft while its proteins coat, strengthen and protect the hair to aid in growth and protect against breakage. It's no surprise then that many hair products are utilising the benefit of this tiny grain, including Paul Mitchell's newest colour collection: Ultimate Color Repair
Pale and pasty skin may be on trend in the winter months, but as soon as the sun comes out to play I want to apply as much fake tan as possible - without it I'm practically transluscent. Although I love the after-effects and would kill for a spray tan every week, truth be told I never actually have the time to dedicate to a thorough tanning routine. I'm more often than not applying fast drying mousse or a wash-off gel as I realise my outfit of the day includes flashing some flesh. Tanning products of years gone by required hours of prepping, the perfect application technique and a night time rolling around in dodgily dyed bedsheets... But no longer. There's a whole portfolio of products now on offer that take the stress out of tanning, allowing you to spend as little effort as possible on your tan while still looking like you've just come back from a weekend in St Tropez. Here are some of my top picks and how they can help you look a little sunkissed this summer.
Product Of The Week: Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield (A Primer, SPF & 'Blurring' Treatment In One)
I instantly know when I'm going to love a product: if it's from a brand I trust, offers up multiple benefits in one formula and feels delightful on the skin, then we're onto a winner. I had a sneaky preview of this much earlier in the year and couldn't wait to put it to the test; now I have, I can honestly say it lived up to all my expectations and more. Murad's new Invisiblur Perfecting Shield is a 5-in-1 multi-benefit product that features invisible SPF technology; if you hate sticky, white, gloopy suncare products then this is definitely for you. The transparent velvety smooth formula glides over skin to provide SPF30 protection and a practically invisible finish to the touch. Simultaneously it also blurs, primes, moisturises and protects against the signs of ageing to reveal a flawless complexion in just one step. Simple, effective and a wise investment in your skin.
Millions of men and women across the globe live in fear or abuse, persecution or imprisonment simply because of their sexuality. In 76 countries around the world, it is a crime to be gay. In 10 of those, being gay could cost you your life. In fact, there is no country in the world where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have full equality. Only this weekend was gay marriage officially legalised in all 50 American states, showing how much of a topical issue this remains even in 2015; it's incomprehensible that men and women aren't free to express their sexuality in the way they deem fit, or marry the one they love - regardless of gender. As someone who has grown up surrounded by gay, lesbian and bisexual friends, I've seen the anguish that can surface when coming to terms with ones sexuality; imagine how much harder that is when it's not even legal to love in the way you want to? In celebration of the worldwide Pride festival, Lush have created this beautiful soap bar to tell the world that Gay Is Ok. In my opinion gay is more than ok - gay just is. It's not a choice, not a conscious decision or a lifestyle; it's just as normal as a blonde vs brunette.
A great manicure can make you feel polished and prepped, ready to face the day; however, chipped varnish, peeling nails and overgrown cuticles can cause us to hide our hands in shame. Although a regular visit to a manicurist is a great idea, the majority of us don't have the time or budget to stretch to superstar treatments on a bi-weekly basis. If you want your talons to look as beautiful as possible, there are simple things you can do to ensure they grow without breaking, chipping, flaking or splitting. After much trial and error, these are my top five tips to help curate the perfect talons...
Our creative industry, like many others, is constantly changing and evolving. The bloggersphere in 2015 is almost unrecogniseable as the bumbled-together-passionate-about-eyeshadow collective of five years ago - but in my opinion that's definitely a good thing. We're pushing boundaries, changing the face of media, helping the beauty industry to evolve quicker and better than ever before, illustrating that every individual has a voice if they which to share it, and proving that the power is firmly back in the hands of consumers. However, there are always issues impacting our creative outlets that are hot topics of discussion - both internally and in the wider media. I've pinpointed the five issues I think are impacting the bloggersphere right now and drilled down what this means for both bloggers and readers...
Embracing The #100Colours Little Colourful Dress Challenge With Dove Invisible Dry: Getting Colour Confident
Summer brings with it the wardrobe updates we cry out for all winter: bright colours, bold patterns, fun styles and accessorising like it's going out of fashion. There's something about slipping into a brightly coloured outfit that puts a smile on your face and a spring in your step, which is why Dove are encouraging women from across the UK to embrace colour by welcoming it into their wardrobe this sunny season. This welcome movement comes after the Dove Colour Confidence Poll revealed a huge two thirds (63%) of British women would choose a LBD for an event because of its reputation as a timeless classic - and the fact that we don't have to think about what matches! Body confidence is cited as the key factor steering women away from wearing colourful clothes, with 79% of UK women saying their skin tone, body shape and not being ‘slimmer’ are what directs them to darker colours. It's time to change!
The thought of blusher used to stir up connotations of vintage ladies, English Rose complexions and a matte finish that somewhat aged the wearer. However, a flush of colour on the cheeks can update your look and provide an incredibly modern twist - if you get the texture and tone just right. Although I love premium brands, when it comes to the strength of their colours they sometimes fall a little short; it's often the more affordable names that develop a product to be reckoned with, which is exactly what's happened with Sleek's newest cream-to-powder blush. Available in six bold tones and packaged in the exact same compact as NARS, these £5.99 bargains are definitely top of my list for summer.
You may well be counting down the days until payday, but what if you didn't have to splash the cash to get your hands on some fabulous beauty products? I'm all for embracing a serious shopping trip, but sometimes the buzz achieved as a result of a bargain buy or freebie is just as exciting as a new clutch bag. There are lots of ways to get your hands on something for nothing, helping to reduce your expenditure when the holiday season is fast approaching - re-styling our summer wardrobes and changing up our cash into Euros can be somewhat painful on the bank balance. It's just about being thrifty, thinking about things differently and asking politely... Here are my tips on getting yourself some free beauty stuff, so you can save your pennies for a mojito instead.
Large pores are incredibly common in all ages, both sexes and every life cycle. They unfortunately leave our complexions looking a little tired, uneven and lacking the 'bounce' that we associate with youth, so it's no surprise minimising their appearance is such a big beauty concern. With every other skincare product promising to reduce pore size or 'close' them altogether, it seems that we're all on the hunt for a solution that rids us of this annoying issue. Pores are tiny hair follicles in the skin, which take on a larger appearance when they're clogged with dirt or oil. They can become larger due to the increase of dead skin cells that gather at the base of the pore, or if you squeeze them in an attempt to remove the blackheads that often occur. Although it's not possible to 'close' them (pores are *not* doors!) it is possible to reduce their appearance and ensure your complexion looks as flawless as possible; here are four steps to integrate into your routine to ensure those pores are as hidden as possible.
You're #NeverTooOld For Acne: Introducing Avene Cleanance Expert (The Product That's Been Proven To Work)
Pimples, blemishes, breakouts and pustules: an inevitable problem during our teenage years, tackled with brightly coloured medicinally scented potions that often did more harm than good. Although the majority of us grow out of these hormonal purges, adult acne is a concern of thousands of men and women across the UK - affecting roughly 1 in 5. You’re never too old to suffer from confidence draining breakouts and painful pimples, with over 20% of the UK population suffering with some form of adult acne and all its debilitating side effects; not only can it cause embarrassment and drain confidence, but it can make the individual feel like they're totally out of control. Considering such a large proportion of adults are forced to deal with this skin issue, it's incredibly surprising that there's such a taboo around the subject. It's swept under the carpet and rarely spoken about openly and honestly, so French skincare brand Avene are championing a transparent conversation while providing a potential answer for those suffering in silence.
A brand known for their iconic glass bottles and monochrome colour scheme, Jo Malone London have never fallen too far from the tree when it comes to their design. However, this July they're turning their entire bath and body collection stripey - starting with their iconic first fragrance of Nutmeg & Ginger. The unexpective and slightly additive warm scent is enriched with sweet almond, jojoba seed and avocado oils to soothe and hydrate the skin, while a sublime fragrance fills the air of your bathroom. You just need to run a little underneath a warm tap and release the power of the uplifting and comforting scent. Not only has the glass bottle been replaced with a plastic one (making it much safer from clumsy cleaners like me,) but the container now features frosted stripes for a little bit of added fun.
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