This Week's Most Popular Posts
Waking up in the morning can be a real chore; the temptation to hit the snooze button again, just to capture another few minutes in bed, can be overwhelmingly tempting. If you start your morning in a sleepy daze then it can have an incredibly negative impact on the rest of the day, so setting the tone right and helping yourself bounce out the door with a spring in your step is the best way to remain productive and energised. I've written before about how harnessing the power of natural light can work wonders (I'm a huge fan of my Lumie Light which wakes me gradually and naturally, while stimulating hormone production,) but there are lots of other steps you can take to ensure you're wide awake and ready to face the day - all from the comfort of your shower cubicle. Here are my top tips on beating the Monday snoozes and ensuring your morning shower is an uplifting and energising experience.
Humans have been using scent for millennia, but if you were asked to explain how you apply your fragrance, you'd probably respond with a description that entails you spritzing in the vague direction of the neck and wrists while hoping for the best. Applying our scent is something we don't really think much about, but what if those automatic motions actually prevented our perfume from lingering? What if you could create a longer lasting, all-over scent impression by layering several products and taking care of how and where you apply your fragrance? There's so much more to perfume than a 'spritz and go' attitude, so I'm here to give you a helping hand and explain the composition of scent to ensure you always smell incredible.
I've never been a 'one mascara' kind of girl, preferring to dip into my collection daily and find what treasures I can find to match my mood that morning. Although some of my current favourites provide some uber lifting qualities and ensure my eyes are wide awake, sometimes I just want mega volume and all the focus to be on my lashes. I'm a big fan of the Guerlain mascaras, having coveted them for a few years and repeatedly clung onto each beautiful pack until the very last application; they're beautifully designed in order to offer a touch of luxury, as well as offering serious impact to lashes. Although I wouldn't sport the high drama look on a daily basis, this new Cils d'Enfer So Volume mascara is purely delicious. It offers everything I want from a mascara and more, making it a new Saturday night must-have.
If there's one time of year that fills me with horror, it's that first week of sunshine when I need to reveal my un-pedicured and slightly neglected toes after six months of being stuck inside tights and boots. It always creeps up on us with little-to-no warning, one day the air being full of chirping birds, blooming flowers and a bright ball of sunshine that's just too much for a pair of socks... We need to free the feet! This year I'm determined to be prepared for that first 'sandal day' and ensure my pieds are in tip top condition way ahead of schedule, so in the mantra of sharing is caring, here are some of my tips and tricks to giving yourself the perfect at-home pedi.
Until last week I had no idea that Norman Parkinson was an iconic photographer that had captured some of the most instantly recogniseable moments in time. Having shot every women of notoriety over a period of fifty years, he's been a source of inspiration for Charlotte Tilbury's own makeup collection that has also embodied the elegance of a bygone era since its inception. This collaboration between the two artists is somewhat showstopping, creating lust and demand even without many makeup enthusiasts knowing the inspirational story behind the vintage palettes and packs. Launching this summer, it provides a selection of easy-to-use products that slip seamlessly into any makeup routine - including this Dreamy Glow Highlighter which bridges the gap between highlighter, bronzer and finishing powder perfectly.
The majority of us know the benefits of regular exfoliation and try to integrate it into our routine when pushed, but did you know there's so much more to get to grips with than understanding it can offer a smoother and more radiant surface? A little buffing in the shower not only feels great, but can really help your overall skincare and beauty routine. The history of exfoliation can be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians, when abrasive minerals and alabaster particles were used for this purpose; they obviously understood the difference a good scrub could make to their tired, overworked and sun exposed skin. Since then a variety of substances have been used to peel, exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin - including natural acids, mineral fragments, plants and direct irritants to stimulate the natural 'shedding' process. Today we rely heavily on ingredients that include sea salt, sugar, oats, fruit kernels and gentle exfoliating particles, but why do we need to ensure we're regularly buffing, scrubbing and exfoliating our skin?
You know what it's like when you're out and about, doing your thing, and you break a nail/start getting a blister/commence your lady time ahead of schedule. There's nothing worse than scrambling around in your bag trying to find an emery board/plaster/tampon, or anything that will temporarily alleviate the problem at hand. Although I do tend to shove essential 'SOS' type items in as many bags as possible, you're always short when you need something in particular. British brand Sew Lomax have cleverly identified such dilemmas and developed a whole range of emergency kits to tackle every problem imagineable; their cute designs are not only stylish and fun, but they hold an array of bits and bobs so you'll never be left short again.
If you look really closely, right up there in the sky, there's a little ball of yellow that may in fact be sunshine... Yey! It's been a long time coming, but finally we're about to come out of the winter months and step into some altogether more pastel-appropriate weeks. Although we feel at ease with changing up our wardrobes or nail polish repertoire to reflect the new season's demands, our skincare routine is often neglected. The focus in winter is replenishing moisture and preventing dryness, whereas in the warmer months our needs move into the realm of perfecting and protecting. As the first chapter of 2015 comes to an end, here are some of my top tips for transitioning into the next one with ease.
Lipstick can completely transform an outfit or an outlook, helping to lift the complexion and instantly make you feel ready to rock. Although applying that first swipe is a pleasure, the texture of most lipsticks dries to leave lips feeling less than hydrated; topping up over already compromised lips can be somewhat of a challenge. Not particularly known for their lipsticks, Clinique have listened to consumer demands and developed a range of sixteen lipsticks that offer a serious colour result with the added benefit of shea butter. These super cute bullets apply dreamily to leave lips coated in pigment with a touch of shine, simultaneously offering longevity thanks to 'primer' technology that helps colour last for longer. If you've ever struggled with lipstick, then these new offerings could be a great first step into a new arena.
We all do it: roll out of bed, grab a towel, turn on the shower, jump in and stand there for ten minutes wishing we were still between the sheets. Although early mornings can be somewhat painful, you can turn that frown upside down by injecting some much needed goodness into those otherwise wasted minutes. Sulking with water running down your face won't do anyone any good, but utilising your morning shower to take care of your body will really pay dividends in the long term. There are lots of small things you can do that will make a big cumulative difference overall, so why not start your beauty regime in the shower with my five top tips...
I wish I had the eyeshadow blending skills of a TOWIE cast member, but I really don't. I can just about manage to buff in a base colour and add a darker tone around the lash line, blending with my finger or (at best) using a small brush to work colour into the socket. Short of booking myself on a professional makeup course (who has the time!) there's little I can do to improve my skill-set, which is why eyeshadow sticks and cream formulas have become a firm favourite. They're essentially a lazy girls approach to the perfect smokey eye, providing a creamy formula and tonnes of pigment in an easy-to-apply format that's practically fool-proof.
We condition our hair, moisturise our faces and even apply a strengthening base coat under our nails, but we often forget to look after our limbs in the same way. The skin on our arms and legs in particular often becomes neglected and can suffer from dehydration, especially in the colder months when it's exposed to the elements and the extreme temperatures of central heating. As we step into Spring and start consider baring all once again, it's the perfect time to start looking after every inch of our skin from the moment we step in the shower. Thankfully help is at hand, as Dove have transformed their classic body wash range to offer softer and more beautifully smooth skin after just one use. The way we approach the daily shower routine is set to be revolutionised, as Dove scientists have replaced harsh cleansers with gentler technology to ensure efficiency, comfort and an awesome lather in one bottle. It's been two years and six million Euros in development, but finally a new and improved product is here for you to enjoy.
In my opinion, 2015 is going to be the year that everything changes. The bloggersphere is expanding at an incredible rate, with every week bringing the next hot new thing or site to watch - it's hard to keep up. Today sees the launch of a new series I'm calling 'The Social Slot' which I hope will help readers navigate the social space, know which blogs and accounts to follow, as well as providing discussion and advice on everything blogging related. Everyone is a blogger these days, with the internet providing so much information it's hard to know where to turn; this will be my own way of providing a helping hand on a weekly basis. What better way to kick off than with a list of five great blogs that are definitely on the right track to becoming big players in the bloggersphere? I read a huge amount of content, but these five sites definitely stand out by providing something a little bit different; they're ones to watch and, more importantly, ones to start following.
They may have been around for a little while, continually launching innovative collections and lust-worthy dupes, but until recently I hadn't really gotten to grips with Kiko. Sure enough all their new launches regularly land on my doorstep, but I'd never spent some serious time playing with the products and picking out the pieces from the 'core' range that genuinely interested me - until I popped along to their flagship store on London's Regent Street. Located within about ten paces from Oxford Circus tube, the bustling and vibrant store is absolutely saturated with as much makeup that's physically possible to put into a small square shape. Eyeshadows adorning the walls, lipsticks covering the counters, spinning units showcasing accessories and a whole skincare department, there was so much to get stuck into I barely knew where to start... But I got stuck in nonetheless. All these goodies set me back about £78.00, which considering I picked up twelve items and got three free nail varnishes thrown in for good measure, isn't bad at all. Here's the lowdown on what I bought and what's worth checking out either in-store or online when you need a makeup fix.
Far from being a wilting wallflower, the beauty industry is well known for pushing the boundaries and re-inventing the wheel at every given opportunity. From a half naked Miley Cyrus and Ricky Martin pushing lipstick, to using slightly embarrassing names you'd rather not ask for while shopping with your Nan, makeup brands don't shy away from creating controversy - but when does it go too far? This week a red lipgloss titled 'Underage Red' was launched, and pulled, from Sephora stores across the US; part of a collection with celebrity and tattoo artist Kat Von D (a controversial character herself, who's probably more well known for having an affair with Sandra Bullock's husband,) it's not the first time her makeup line has come under scrutiny. Back in 2013 a nude lipstick called 'Celebutard' was widely condemned and removed from sale after mothers of disabled children quite rightly took objection. She really should've known better. So when does an unusual name cross the boundaries from being cheeky and thought provoking, to just plain unacceptable?
When it comes to foundation, I'm a bit of a snob. I rarely find anything on the high street that can perform as well as I need it to, offering decent coverage and longevity without feeling incredibly heavy on my skin. There's something to be said for spending a little more on a base that will work with you, rather than against you, and those formulas are more often than not found in a department store beauty hall. However, the latest launch from L'Oreal (Infallible 24hr Matte) has had me eating my words - as it's just as good as, if not better than, the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless foundation I've raved about previously. Offering a lightweight and non-cakey texture, a 24 hour finish (although show me a woman who genuinely wears her foundation for 24 hours,) and waterproof qualities, this is one foundation to be reckoned with.
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