This Week's Most Popular Posts
You can't step sideways without bumping into a rose gold watch. Some might say you're not a proper blogger unless one is affixed to your wrist at all times. (Thank goodness I finally gave in a few weeks ago!) It's the accessory du jour and the shade of gold that takes everything to a whole new level; there's something uber modern, stylish and sexy about rose gold, so it was about time those qualities were turned into a fragrance. Michael Kors definitely had a major part to play in the rose gold trend, so it seems only right that they're the brand to turn the lustworthy metal into a statement fragrance. This summer sees the launch of three new scents that are inspired by the precious metals in our lives: Michael Kors Rose Radiant Gold, White Luminous Gold and 24k Brilliant Gold. Get ready to drool...
Nails Inc are on a roll with their designer collaborations this year. First up Victoria Beckham with a price point to match her expensive taste, now it's the turn of New York based design team Alice+Olivia. Renowned around the world for their sexy and sophisticated styles, Alice+Olivia embody the Nails Inc spirit of not trying too hard but still looking fabulous - making it the perfect collaboration. The four piece limited edition collection has been directly inspired by the AW15 designs that hit the runway, encompassing stunning shades that will definitely be must-haves this coming Fall. (Sorry to get all American on you!) However, the Alice+Olivia look next season has ironically been inspired by London style 'with a distinct rock n roll edge', meaning it's right up my street and perfectly suited to grey city days.
As I get older my concern over ingredients increases. I want to know what I'm putting on my skin, where it came from and what it's promising to do. I've been stepping away from the 'mainstream' skincare brands for some time, preferring to indulge in a little natural beauty or simplistic approach from brands I know I can trust. Although that doesn't mean I don't happily use a science-heavy serum or a face cream you can pick up for a tenner, it does mean that I'm making my decisions more carefully and becoming increasingly interested in a brand's story. I'm no organic beauty expert, don't really care if a product is 'hand poured' and am more interested in clinical studies than old wives tales, but one brand has made me think twice and stimulated my interest in this ever growing category like never before. Herbfarmacy really is the home of organic British skin care, having been growing organic herbs on their Herefordshire farm for over 30 years.
There's something universally appealing about a great face mask. It may be the ten minutes of pure self-indulgence it commands, or the perky radiant finish it leaves behind, but you can never have too many tubes or pots of the good stuff. Although smoothing a rich formula over the surface of skin and leaving it for ten minutes is the process we all know and love, when used in a different way the benefits can increase and you can be assured to get the most out of that beloved formula. Here are the five different ways I use a face mask, and why these new methods could provide your skin with a little boost...
Colour correction has long been the tool of professional makeup artists; they rely on more than a heavyweight foundation and hard working concealer to create the flawless looks you see walking the red carpet. Our complexions aren't even and they're not made up of a singular colour: dullness, dark circles, redness and sallow skin can be the result of anything from a bad diet and irregular sleep pattern, to skin conditions and adult acne. Counteracting those tones can help create a much more even and 'fluid' complexion that creates the illusion of health, ensuring you get much more out of your base products too. I dip in and out of colour correction, but this little palette from Makeup Revolution has definitely encouraged me to embrace it once again. The lightweight creamy textures are easy to use, while offering exceptional value for money.
Lash primers, undercoats and fibres are not a new concept; they were first launched into the market over a decade ago, before false lashes and extensions were as common place as a plumping lipgloss. Back then it was brands including L'Oreal and Bourjois who were changing the way we applied our mascara, but as the years have passed we seem to have forgotten about the power a base coat can provide.... But it's making a comeback! First it was Estee Lauder with their Little Black Primer, then it was L'Oreal with their Superstar Mascara, and now it's cult beauty favourite Code Beautiful and their FFL (Forget Fake Lashes) formula. Plumped lashes in a jiffy without the need for messy glue? I'm in...
Research has shown for many years that beauty products made with tiny microbeads have been damaging water supplies, marine life and the ecological balance of the planet. These tiny beads (used to scrub off dead skin cells, release an active ingredient or simply used for aesthetic reasons) are still used in a huge number of cosmetic products, despite outrage from environmental activists. You may spot them in your shower gel, toothpaste, cleanser or body scrub and wash them away without a second thought - but the truth is they're incredibly damaging to our fishy friends. So why are these tiny fragrments that look harmeless enough having such a negative impact, and what can we do about it?
With a new season comes the need to change up our beauty regime, colour portfolio and overall look. Although we could just embrace the same old tones and the usual styles, it's much more fun to look to what's been happening on the catwalk and transfer the hot new trends into our own lives (ensuring they're actually wearable without being on the receiving end of some rather odd looks!) I've pinpointed the five key trends that will help transform you from spring chicken into summer goddess - all of which require a minimum amount of effort and a perfectly suited to the holiday season.
I'm a bit of a contouring convert. Who would have thought I'd be turning to a rather rich chocolate tone to help my skin look sunkissed and healthy, when bronzer used to be my nemesis. Too many photos exist of me with a rather bronzed nose, as I didn't know where to apply the shimmering shades for best results. Spring forward a few years and I hardly go a day without adding a touch of something rich in tone to my cheeks; although I'm no expert, I've embraced the benefit a little 'light and shade' can bring to skin as you age. My portfolio is currently confusing and expansive, making this new six piece palette from Illamasqua somewhat of a dream; it contains all the shades you need to contour, highlight and sculpt for varying complexions - but does it create the look I desire without having to attend a masterclass and get a degree in contouring?
It's rare that brands appeal to me both on a functional and ethical level, but Neal's Yard seems to tick all the boxes. Not only are their powerful ingredients sourced from around the globe to ensure the best results, but they pride themselves on making a positive difference too. This new deliciously softening and beautifully scented Bee Lovely Body Butter helps to nourish and soothe skin (thanks to the inclusion of organic honey, shea and cocoa butter,) but also helps to save the bees too. Neal's Yard have committed to donate at least £10,000 a year to bee projects across the globe, as well as ensuring the honey is sourced ethically so the bees continue to thrive. Good for you, good for them!
Some of the best beauty products come from relatively unknown brands that just need a push in the right direction. I often feature brand new concepts, angles and businesses that I believe in on LBQ - from the Helmies nail helmets which stop those annoying post-paint smudges, to The Bathory which allows you to create your own bath salt prescription, or even candles with secret jewellery surprises! There's so much talent, wisdom and efficacy out there that's just not able to get the stepping stone they so obviously need to get them into the 'big time'. However, help is at hand! Following the huge success of the inaugural competition last year, QVC is one again running its 'Find a Beauty Brand' competition, in association with CEW. This incredible opportunity provides a platform for one awesome brand to get the recognition and support they deserve - and we need your help to get them nominated!
If you said the name 'Paco Rabanne' to me a week ago, it would have aroused memories of sweaty 90's nightclubs and men adorned with FCUK t-shirts. It's not a brand I really relate to or one I seek out, but this little bottle of Greek-inspired wonder has just knocked me off my chair and made me question it all. Twenty years ago Paco Rabanne was the height of fashion, but like Burberry check and the Daniella Westbrook episode, over-saturatuon turned its sparkle into something altogether more cringey. However, their new Olympéa is elegant enough to adorn any dressing table - while the scent itself is warm, sultry, sexy and fresh.
Some of the most successful brands are somewhat controversial. They thrive off the conversations they stimulate and benefit from heightened brand awareness - which inevitably translates into sales. Some brands even court controversy and claim it helps them smash targets like never before ('beach body ready' has never been more of a talking point,) whereas others shy away from anything negative until the hoohah dies down and they can get on with business. Over the last week or so The Balm, a quirky and kitsch makeup brand that are certainly giving Benefit a run for their money, have caused quite the stir with their Nude 'Tude and Dude eyeshadow palettes; they've been deemed 'sexist' as consumers compared the rather positive names of the latest palette with the somewhat negative names of the previous incarnation. So, should we all be boycotting this tongue-in-cheek brand - or is it all just a 'storm in a teacup' over a little bit of makeup?
I don't know about you, but all those little beauty products I collect often end up floating aorund never to be discovered again. They feature in beauty boxes, come as magazine gifts, fall out of goodie bags and get thrown in whenever I make a department store purchase, but whenever I need something small to pop in my bag or take with me for a weekend it's as if they've all evaporated. I recently invested wisely in a glass container which now proudly sits on my bathroom shelf, collecting all the little bits and bobs I know I'll treasure when my next hand-luggage-only flight comes a knocking. Mini sizes, sachets and samples are actually incredibly handy (plus they encourage me to experiment,) so I wanted a way to keep them safe so I can utilise them properly... Which is where this £15.00 candle holder comes in incredibly handy!
There's simply no excuse for hurting or killing an animal in the development of a new lipstick. One of the most frequent questions I get from readers after featuring a new product or brand is 'but do they test on animals?' It seems that despite huge legislative change, we're still a little confused about what is legal and illegal when it comes to animal testing in the cosmetics industry; with some brands still making a song and dance about being 'cruelty free' it confuses consumers into thinking others still do cover bunnies in shampoo to make sure they get the lather just right. Although some elements are black and white, there are a lot of grey areas which confuse and concern consumers to the point where they don't know what to buy. So here's the truth about animal testing, and why the Leaping Bunny symbol is more important than ever.
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