Want An Awesome Instagram Account? The Top Five Shots To Share

The world is amazing, especially when you look at it through Instagram filters. The social network has become a huge part of our lives, amassing over 200 million users in three years - half the time it took Twitter to reach the same number! With 69% of users being between 18 and 44, and female, it's no surprise that certain images do much better than others. Instagram can be a great way of sharing your life, curating beautiful images that represent your passions, or simply showing a certain angle of your online presence. Especially great for bloggers showing off their outfits or nail art, scrolling through Instagram is a great way to spend ten minutes on the tube. Here are my top five Instagram shots to share to send you on your way to visual success... 


Christian Louboutin Beaute: The Shoe Genius Launches The Ultimate Polish

Over twenty years ago, a little known shoe designer named Christian Louboutin received the prototype of his first stiletto. The bright yellow shoe was inspired by the pop art movement and featured a giant statement flower on the buckle, but Christian still felt it was missing something. After looking over at his assistant (who was sat at her desk painting her nails,) he realised that something was a flash of red; after applying her polish to the sole of the shoe, the brand we know so well was born. Louboutin shoes are loved by women across the globe, so it's no surprise that the brand is expanding into beauty to celebrate the simple inspiration that started it all. "The red sole was born from red nail polish. I am giving back to nails what the shoe took from the nails, many years ago," Christian says. And so Christian Louboutin Beaute was established.


Clinique Launch 'Cheek Colour Balms' - Chubby Sticks For Cheeks

When Clinique launched their original Chubby Stick lip crayons, little did they know they were creating a makeup revolution. Chubby crayons are the favourite of many a beauty addict, being replicated by pretty much every brand going and turned into everything from eyeshadows to highlighters. It's been a long time coming, but finally Clinique have expanded their repertoire and developed a range of pretty awesome Cheek Colour Balms. Available in four colours, the crayons are creamy, oil-free and enable super easy application and a fuss-free finish.


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?


Target Back & Shoulder Pain With My New Fave Thing: The Acupuncture Mat!

As someone that sits in an office chair looking at a computer screen for the majority of my days, it's no surprise that I suffer with lower back and shoulder pain. Although I'm lucky enough to experience regular massages and do my best to sit up straight, sometimes the discomfort needs a kick in the balls. This little acupuncture mat has helped me in more ways than one - and only cost a tenner! Find out what it does, how you use it and why it could be the answer to your discomfort.


Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you never miss a video.

Check out my other videos too, which include how you *really*should be using YSL Touche Eclat, why cleansing balms are awesome and what a great primer can do for you.

NEW From Bare Minerals: 5-in-1 BB Cream Eyeshadow & Base

The buzz word of the last five years has definitely been 'BB'. Oodles of products have been launched using the acronym, hoping to dupe customers into parting with cash in the search for a flawless complexion. However, for the first time in a long while there's a new category using the term which actually makes sense - BB for eyes. Bare Minerals are focusing more on their colour collections and liquid cosmetics, so it's no surprise they've launched an innovative line of eyeshadow creams that simultaneously smoothe and perfect the lid. Labeled the 'next generation of eyeshadow', the 5-in-1 formula provides a supercharged blend of makeup and skincare.


Looking Back: What I Wish I'd Known About Hair Care In My 20's

Looking back at the last ten years, I've made some incredible mistakes when it comes to my hair. The 90's weren't a great decade for style (scrunchies will never be stylish, no matter what Topshop says,) but they did introduce hair straightening irons and half decent hair dye. I experimented more than most, spending many an evening trying to style my hair into something that resembled Rachel from Friends, but with experimentation brought a lot of damage. Now I'm older (and hopefully wiser,) I know that I have to look after my hair because it's the only barnet I've got. Looking back, here's what I wish I'd known about hair care in my 20's.


Celebrate 'Indian Summer' With Yankee Candle's Delicious New Scents

Sitting on a balcony overlooking the ocean, cocktail in hand and the scent of summer in the air, you could be forgiven for thinking you're part of a movie. The beginning of dusk on a warm summer's day is the most romantic and comforting, away from the glare of the sweltering sun. I love the invigorating and welcoming scents of exotic holidays that capture my heart and leave me wanting more; with Yankee Candle's new 'Indian Summer' collection they bring those scents to your home, so you don't even have to leave to feel like you're experiencing a little holiday of your own. The four new scents include Wild Fig, Amber Moon, Ginger Dusk and Honey Glow, which combined bring about a beautiful aroma associated with the warm nights at the end of summer - just as the leaves are about to turn and the days become shorter.


Mythic Oil: Fabulous Hair Care With Sparkle & Shine

As someone with fine, coarse and curly hair, I'm always on the hunt for products that help tame without weighing down my strands. Unsurprisingly this isn't an easy feat, but with the L'Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil range I seem to have found a professional finish that's effective and yet still affordable. The Souffle D'Or shampoo and conditioner are infused with precious Argan & Safflower Oils, as well as golden shimmering sparkles that catch the light and help to create a healthy shine. Their gel like texture is incredibly lightweight and works to cleanse and condition hair without stripping it or weighing it down; the conditioner in particular offers an unusual texture that is perfect for fine hair that still needs a little care and attention. Although these are definitely current favourites, the styling products are possibly a must-have for everyone wanting silky smooth locks.


Train Makeup: The Best Products To Apply On The Go

Following my post discussing applying makeup on public transport, it seems that 75% of you are guilty of doing it yourselves and 99% don't see a problem with it at all. It saves time, gives you a few minutes more in bed and ensures you're looking fresh by the time you get to the office! At the request of many who embrace 'train makeup', I've put together an edit of the products I think would be best suited to a crammed and rickety carriage - there's no need for brushes, no messy containers or palettes to navigate, just simple to use products that can be applied straight from the packaging and blended where necessary with your finger. The key is to keep everything self-contained, small enough to slip into your bag and involve as few runny formulas as possible; all you need to do is ensure you apply your foundation or base before you leave and add a touch of mascara to finish! Here are six products perfect for applying on the go...


Current Haircare Favourites (Including Some Fab Budget Buys)

There's definitely something in the water at the moment, because there are simply so many awesome hair products landing on my desk. Hair styling is often perceived as quite a dull area of beauty, with lack of innovation often the root cause. However, in the last few months there has been a burst of fabulousness with brands such as V05, Aveda, L'Oreal, Tresemme and Dr Organic launching products that have rocked my world. Here are my current favourite haircare products and why I'm loving them lots.


A Professional Approach: Makeup Revolution Concealer Palette

If you've ever seen professional makeup artists at work, then you'll know that the secret to their success comes in the form of a palette filled with as many skin-tone matching shades of concealer as possible. Although we're used to using one of three or four shades available on the high street, there never going to be a perfect match when we only have a couple to choose from. Makeup Revolution are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with, launching fab products that are incredibly affordable. Their concealer palettes are available in three colour combinations (light, medium and dark) and each feature eight individual shades - all for the measly cost of £6.00.


NEW From Bobbi Brown: 'Surf & Sand' Summer Eyeshadow Palette

I'm so ready to hit the beach, sip on a cocktail and let my mind rest up for an hour or two. That desire isn't helped when products like Bobbi Brown's Surf & Sand eyeshadow palette land on my doorstep, all lovely and summery and full of exotic-sea-like-shimmers. Part of their new collection and collaboration with swimwear model Kate Upton, this eight colour palette features neutral shades and delicate pastel tones that would work beautifully on any complexion. Unlike a lot of summery palettes that focus on bold shades or bright hues, the tones within this collection are incredibly understated and a lot more wearable; they also feature a really delicate shimmer that catches the light and provides that feeling of the powerful midday sun hitting the sea.


FREE MeruMaya Skincare Samples For Every LBQ Reader

I love discovering new brands that deliver on both efficacy and price. MeruMaya is possibly one of my favourite brands of this year, offering a range of great formulas that really do work (there's a huge amount of scientific evidence to prove their claims) while feeling great. Two of my favourite products within the range include the Melting Cleansing Balm and the Iconic Youth Serum, both of which provide an incredible texture that works with skin rather than against it. I've spoken about them both before, but because I love them so much I've teamed up with MeruMaya to offer every single LBQ reader a sample of their own to try. All you have to do is fill in this form and write 'LBQ' in the space where it asks where you heard about them; you'll be sent a sample of both in the post automatically so you can put some of my favourites to the test yourself. If you love them as much as I do, then you can also get 10% off all MeruMaya by using code 'LBQ' at the checkout! Bonus. 


PS - you have to access the link via a computer or tablet as it doesn't work on mobile!

5000 samples of each are available to LBQ readers - first come, first served. 
'10% off' offer only valid when products are purchased via merumaya.com
Just in case you were wondering, this isn't sponsored... I just love MeruMaya and think you will too.

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain: Perfect Summer Colour

Summer is all about beach swept hair, sunkissed skin and a touch of juicy colour on the lips. I prefer to take a slightly lighter approach to makeup in the warmer months, and that definitely applies to my lip wear too. Lipsticks are a little too heavy for daily use (and not exactly beach appropriate,) but if you don't want to sacrifice a bold look then these Colorstay Moisture Stains from Revlon could be just the ticket. Available in twelve different shades and ranging from the nudest nude to the deepest berry red, the texture is as light as a gloss with the added benefit of a delicate stain. The pigment is strong enough to satisfy even the most lipstick-obsessed lady, while providing a more wearable and fun texture for those a little scared by brightness.


Chocolate Sun Cocoa Glow: Get A Natural And Sweet Smelling Tan

Even though we're mid way through July, I still haven't managed to unpack half my summer wardrobe and start the weekly fake tanning process. There's something not quite summery enough in my brain, which I expect can only be fixed with a trip to the beach and a giant colourful cocktail. However, pasty pale legs simply won't do when I'm wearing skirts and dresses; my skin is practically transparent, so it looks hideous without a touch of colour. I've been reaching for this little bottle of Chocolate Sun over the last few weeks, which is not only 100% organic, but provides a really natural and subtle tint to skin. The texture is incredibly creamy and quite runny, meaning it can be applied like a body moisturiser using a tanning mitt; a coin-sized amount roughly covers each limb, with the texture enabling the tan to be buffed easily into the surface and for the mitt to glide over the surface. Plus it smells amazing.


Trend Alert: Super Light Gel & Jelly Face Moisturisers

I'm always amazed when readers, friends and family members admit to me that they don't use a face cream. It's second nature to me and has become a firm part of my routine, adding a touch of goodness before I start layering on the makeup. However, with many formulas still being heavy, greasy, sticky and flaky, I can understand their reluctance to apply - especially first thing in the morning when we work so hard at starting the day feeling fresh. A new trend is emerging within the skincare market, with the focus very much being on jelly and gel-like textures; thick and gloopy creams may be a thing of the past, as brands are adopting a new way of hydrating the skin and adding essential nutrients. The benefit of this texture is two fold: not only are the ingredients more concentrated, but the delivery system allows them to be absorbed super quickly so there's no residue. After literally seconds there's an invisible finish - making the application of makeup much easier! Here are three jelly products I've been using and why I'm championing the new format...