This Week's Most Popular Posts
27 November 2015
It's amazing the detrimental effect a bad hair day can have on your confidence; what's going on upstairs can have a huge impact on the rest of your day if it's not quite behaving in the way you'd like. As someone who's been woefully unhappy with their god-given barnet for as long as I can remember, I've always been utterly obsessed with hair products; to me it's a way to tame the mane and ensure it's looking stylishly messy, rather than embarrassingly frizzy. Wet styling products are the first step towards a glossy, controlled look (take a look at my current three faves here,) but finishing products are the key to achieving a frizz-free yet texturized look that makes you feel like you've just stepped off a catwalk. Although I try piles of products over the course of a year, here are the five that I'm currently loving so much I just had to share them with you...
26 November 2015
Although I may roll my eyes at this rather odd celebration making its way to UK shores, Black Friday has become a shopping event we can't afford to miss. It may originate in the States as a way to get eager shoppers back into stores after Thanksgiving, but it seems we don't need much of an excuse to follow suit. Interestingly the day's name is thought to have originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Later an alternative explanation was made: that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss ("in the red") from January through November, and "Black Friday" indicates the point at which they began to turn a profit ("in the black.") I've also heard that the term comes from the utter despair US stores faced after the holiday period, tempting their customers back with heavy discounts to boost their pre-Christmas sales. Either way, it's now become a trans-atlantic phenomenon. Although there are tonnes of offers and deals to be had, I've picked the ten I think are worth knowing about - especially as we're now officially in gifting season. Whether you want to treat yourself, a loved one or just see what bargains you can nab, here are the ten deals you need to know about tomorrow.
SPONSORED FEATUREAs we get closer and closer to the party season, our minds turn to prepping and pampering ahead of the big moments in our social calendars. If you're anything like me, no matter how much time you think you have to shop for the perfect dress, pop to the hairdressers for a trim, treat yourself to a mani-pedi and get yourself a spray tan, something always slips. I never have enough time in my schedule to fit in everything I'd like, so inevitably I end up passing over some of the less important pampering moments - including a brow tidy and lash tint. If there was a way that you could save valuable time and money, you'd snap it up without a second thought yes? Well Colorsport offer a capsule range of long-lasting eye solutions, that include a 30 Day Mascara, 24 Hour Eyeliner, Rapid Lash-Gro Liner, Eyebrow Definer and a mini Smokey Eyes Kit. They're very much a functional brand with a problem-solution approach, but they take lash and brow maintenance out of the salon and put it back in your bathroom - which not only saves you valuable time, but valuable money too. (Read my full review of the Colorsport range here.) That's got to be good as we slowly but surely enter the most financially stretched period of the year!
25 November 2015
The beauty industry thrives on innovation; we're always looking for the next big thing, the newest ingredient, the most revolutionary design. Many brands absolutely depend on newness to keep them in profit, relying on the buzz around a launch or a discount incentive to drive sales and justify their position in store. It's incredibly difficult to keep innovating and delivering products that genuinely provide a solution to a problem, so it's no surprise that there are also a lot of duff launches that really make me question the thought process behind them! Although we're used to seeing lengthening, volumising and either separating mascaras, there appears to be a whole new category emerging around the texture of lashes; 'velvety smooth' seems to be the offer of the day, replacing often spidery lashes with a result so soft it almost feels like your lashes are naked. But the question is, do we really *need* a mascara that leaves our lashes feeling soft?!
Fragrance has been a staple of the Avon beauty brand ever since the launch of its first product back in 1886: a sweet smelling perfume called Little Dot. Little did they know back then that this rather insignificant product was to launch one of the biggest global brands there has ever been. But did you know, selling one fragrance every seven seconds, Avon is surprisingly one of the world’s leaders in perfume? They may have a bit of a reputation for being naff, and perhaps more suited to your granny than your best mate, but Avon have actually got some really rather fabulous and innovative products hidden within those retro catalogues - including these new 'Attraction' fragrances, which have been specifically designed to 'capture the attention of a potential partner.' Interesting. In our growing 'swiping left, swiping right society', is this just another way of seeking out that potential suitor, or a marketing story that's a little bit fun? The question is: would you wear a fragrance that's specifically been created to attract the opposite sex?
24 November 2015
Bobbi Brown are well known for creating wearable, lustworthy and universal palettes, and come Christmas they sprinkle a little bit of magic over each and every one of them. Last year they created something that was so brilliantly kitsch and elegant for the holiday season that it was always going to be hard to top (see my feature on their 'Scotch on the Rocks' collection from 2014 here,) so it was with anticipation and glee that I unwrapped 2015's offering. There may be nothing new, noteworthy or particularly special about their collection launched in time for Christmas gifting, but isn't the point of a Christmas gift to be something that's loved and cherished for the rest of the year? Although there are a couple of interesting launches, on the whole Bobbi Brown has kept it simple; they're once again doing what they do best by offering up a portfolio of wearable shades and textures that are packaged in beautiful palettes. Why fix what aint broke?
23 November 2015
I was only thinking a little while ago that there has been a distinct lack of innovation in the hair category this year, only for a huge selection of products to land on my desk all at once and change my mind. Over the last six months or so I've definitely stripped back my hair care routine, preferring to focus on a good quality shampoo and conditioner with minimal styling product, rather than overloading my barnet with everything going. However, I did miss the benefits a singular product with lots of great ingredients could bring: smoothness, shine, manageability and addictably-touchable hair. After chopping and changing, these three wonder formulas are the ones I'm sticking with indefinitely - not only because they're easy to use and effective, but because they're lightweight and perfect for those of us with thin hair that doesn't like being weighed down.
SPONSORED FEATUREAs we step a little closer to party season it quickly becomes all about polished nails and glossy lips, a sprinkling of glitter and a spray of fake tan. We get out our new party dress and best heels, stock up on hairspray and google the easiest way to create a sexy 'up do' - but how many of us forget to add that finishing touch that can make all the difference? Fresh breath is the ultimate accessory, regardless of whether you're planning to get smoochy at the office party this year, but it's often the last thing on our list when it comes to party prep. CB12 are an innovative and unique dental hygiene brand that aim to provide everyone with first class breath - so you don't have to worry about what's on the menu this festive season. Their simple, yet incredibly effective, mouthwash and gum are all you need to feel confident when you lean in with the mistletoe!
21 November 2015
Three Unexpected Things That May Happen During A Facial (Don't Freak Out - They're Perfectly Normal!)
Facials have long been perceived as an infrequent indulgence that's often the result of either a gift, guilty feeling or skin emergency. As they can be quite expensive and require a couple of hours out of your day, they often slip to the bottom of our priority list. However, a regular facial will not only provide an enforced few hours of relaxation and pampering, but provide you with targeted and invaluable advice for you to continue implementing yourself at home. There's nothing quite like an hour with an incredibly experienced skin expert, listening to them diagnose any issues and provide advice on products or routines; if you've ever suffered with breakouts, dryness, enlarged pores or uneven tone, then they could provide bespoke recommendations that only an appointment with a dermatologist could provide. (Read my recommendations of some of the best places in London to try here) However, if you've never had a 'proper' facial before (sorry - the ones where they essentially cleanse, tone and moisturise your face for you don't count!) you may be surprised to find out what actually goes on behind closed doors. The first time I had a 'proper' facial I left feeling like I'd just taken part in a really odd ritual, but over fifty facials later and I realise it's just the way it is... So here are the three things to expect so you don't freak out on the therapist's table!
20 November 2015
I've always had a very special relationship with scent. When I was a teenager I used to spend hours sampling all the different perfumes in my local chemist, before parting with my hard earned cash for a bottle of something that made me feel like a princess. While friends were buying nail polish and body lotions, I was investing in fragrance as a way to extend my identity beyond just what I was wearing. As a 20-something, my perfume collection was more expansive than anyone else I knew; I wore different scents to complement my mood, the time of year, the occasion and even my outfit - to me, it's more than just smelly water. Now in my 30's I'm interested in unusual and sophisticated fragrances that really make a statement; I don't like anything too sweet, too floral, too musty, but I love anything striking, unusual or a touch on the masculine side. Like makeup and fashion, the point of scent is to find your own identity and enjoy wearing it. Fragrance layering has become incredibly popular, while brands such as Jo Malone and Shay & Blue are increasing in their mainstream appeal as people look for more than just another celebrity endorsement - unusual combinations, satisfying notes and evoking an emotion is definitely worth paying for. But what if you looked to the male fragrance market to satisfy that need? Although Hugo Boss 'The Scent' is designed to celebrate the seductive nature of men, the more delicate and fruity notes lift the fragrance to make it universally appealing; if ever there was a bottle you could share with your partner, then this would be it.
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