Confessions of a Benefit-holic

Nobody in their right mind does not like Benefit. Their products are so sassy and original it hurts (although not literally.) Even if I don't bow down to temptation and blow my wages on their latest hot items I still enjoy perusing and trying them all at the counter. I spotted this gem the other day - Confessions of a Concealerholic.

Packaged in the normal exquisite style expected from Benefit, this mini kit consists of my favourite Benefit product of all time, Erase Paste, plus the cult classic Bad Gal and some other bits and bobs. Although a bit pricey at £29 (which is why I haven't bought one myself) it's gorgeous to look at and no doubt very handy for weekends away. It's also a great idea if you're new to the brand and want to try a few products without spending a fortune. Isla Fisher has got nothing on this baby.

Waxing Lyrical

Come on, admit it. You scream when you get your bits waxed don't you? I know I do, which is why I avoid it as much as possible and will try any solution to avoid going back to the 'torture salon'. I was so happy to find this waxing range from Elegant Touch that I did a little jump for joy in Superdrug.


Miss Wax is a 1950's pin-up style range of waxing strips which is the only way you can put glamour into this kind of trauma-causing activity. I love anything vintage-looking so this satisfies my need quite nicely. The range includes bikini strips, eyebrow strips, leg strips... basically any area you can pull hair off, there's a strip for it. They all come boxed in this cute packaging so you'll be proud to display them in your bathroom. And at only a few quid each there's nothing stopping you from grabbing them. (I've seen them in Superdrug and they're available on asos.com now.)

As for how effective they are... I would say no more or less than anything else I've tried (and unfortunately nothing will ever be as good as a proper salon wax) but they look cute. Which is all us girls really care about sometimes, isn't it!

The Upper Hand

I believe one thing in life - a girl should always have a tube of hand cream with her wherever she goes. One of the main differences between men and women is they have crusty, dry, manky man hands while we have delightfully soft, petite, luscious lady hands. As we use and abuse our hands on a daily basis, typing at work, washing up at home, carrying our huge handbags... we should really show them some love an appreciation back. They do us well after all.

Now, most creams are so runny and oily that it puts you off applying cream more than once a fortnight because it takes that long to sink in. I hate, hate, hate those ugly pink runny lotions your Mum and Nan used to use (urgh) because they not only do absolutely nothing for your hands, but they leave you smelling like you're living in 1956.

My top tip? Grab yourself some fabulous hand cream from L'Occitane! These hand creams come in a vintage-looking metal tube which adds a touch of class to a chore like applying hand cream. The formula is thick, non-greasy and so easy to apply. You only need a smidgeon too as a little goes a long way. I think these delicious tubes are far better value for money than cheaper alternatives as they truly leave your hands feeling soft and moisturised with a slight hint of fragrance (so much that you feel like a very elegant lay-dee.) I have to admit I first tried these when a free sample was given away with a magazine, but I love it so much I've popped over to Westfield shopping centre to grab me some more. Now who's got the upper hand?

Guess Who?

Seriously, guess who? Who do you think this lovely lady is? Look a little closer... Imagine her with blonde hair, some stupid costume and theatrical make-up... still no? Here's a clue... "ra, ra, ra, ra, ra, ra, ga, ga, ga, ga, ga, ga..." It's only bloody Lady Gaga! I had to share this with you coz I was just so utterly amazed that this was indeed the mental, yet loveable and very talented, Gaga herself. I think we focus so much on her eccentricities that we forget she's actually a beautiful lady who doesn't need all the goop and drama. But I guess that's what she loves and why she does it. Here's hoping one day when she's comfortable enough with her success we may see the real her... because I don't fancy seeing a 80yr old Gaga prancing around in crotchless knickers.

Dear Diary, today I went to Lush...

Another weekend, another afternoon spent in Lush. (Maybe I should get a hobby or just drink more?) I can't get enough of this wonderful stuff... it's more addictive than TicTacs. Sometimes it's better to go in with a specific problem or idea of what you want, but this time I went in with my arms wide open shouting "take me Lush man, do what you will!"

And so he did. This time on the menu we had a fab new body scrub called Glorious Mud, which literally looks like a block of dirt you could have dug up from your garden but with added delights. While having this scrubbed on my arm in the middle of the shop I did get a few strange looks (hey, I'm game) but I was the one with the upper hand when my skin was silky smooth and smelt soooo good. With aloe vera to soothe and sesame to moisturise this is an indulgence I'll be treating myself to on a regular basis.

Next up there was a new treat in the form of Charlotte Island body tint, something I thought you'd never be able to get from Lush but they continue to suprise me! This glorious product is best applied when mixed with a moisturiser as it then forms a tinted lotion which can be evenly spread... you can build up the colour to a really deep tan which is particularly impressive seing as it's a natural product. Bravo Lush, bravo. And to top it all it actually smells like chocolate... mmmmm.

Now I didn't intend to walk around Covent Garden with one tanned arm and another buffed and pale, but that's what you get when you give yourself to the Lush team... something you don't expect! Now, what will they have for me next time?

Moisturise me!

I suffer from skanky-dry-leg sydrome... they can get so bad they not only look like snake skin, but feel like it too. Sssssexy! I also suffer from a lot of allergies and for some reason moisturisers seem to set them off more than anything else. This is a bad, bad combination. I've spent so much dosh buying moisturisers with the hope that my skin will tolerate the formula throughout the night and go to bed praying that I won't wake up scratching myself to death. However, salvation is upon us and I seem to have come across a product that not only helps my dry, flaky skin, but seems to actually moisturise it!




The new range from Vaseline claims to moisturise three layers of your skin for extra hydration... it's all very complicated and 'science-y' so I won't bore you with that! But what you do need to know is that the formula is lovely to apply, not at all greasy, smells delish and a little goes a long way. I really have noticed a difference over the last week too - my legs aren't flaky at all. Ha-le-lu-jah.

I always apply moisturiser at night so that it can soak into my skin while I sleep, enabling the product to really work. The Sheer Infusion moisturiser doesn't leave you feeling greasy the next morning and you don't have to change your sheets every day because they're drenched in some cheapy, runny lotion! I've been using the vitamin variant (just because I thought added vitamins = extra goodness) but I would happily try any of these bad boys. And for added smiles, this range seems to be on offer wherever you go at the moment too!

Sunday Blues

Today was London Marathon day which means sore feet, burnt faces, tired muscles and some serious SOS pampering required. I wasn't even running the race today, but I feel knackered and in need of a good soak before I can be prepared for the week ahead. I dread to think of those absolute stars who actually dragged themselves around 26 miles of track, sweating and blistering all over the shop. So whether you ran the race or simply cheered on the sidelines, treat yourself to some Sunday night love... come Monday morning you'll be refreshed and prepared for another five days of the daily grind.

1. Get in the bath. There's no better way to relax, unwind and treat your aching muscles than to draw a bath. The heat will not only help your aches and pains, but also unclog your pores and leave your complexion refreshed. Why not use some bath salts (a personal preference to bubble bath as it doesn't leave goop all over your hair and the bath itself,) like Radox Vapour Therapy which will also help to clear your head ready for Monday. They're mega-cheap too - you can get them from most places for under £2.00 for a box.

2. Put on a hair mask. Your hair isn't as resistant as we may think; it does need a helping hand every so often. Once a week you should be using a moisturising and nourishing hair mask to strengthen your hair and prepare it for the daily abuse it inevitably suffers! Try something like Paul Mitchell's Super Strong Treatment which actually helps to repair internal damage and always leaves my hair with an extra glimmer. Although an investment (around £8.00 for a small bottle) and only available through professional salons, it's well worth the effort to hunt some down.

3. Give yourself a manicure. It doesn't take much to give your hands a good pamper - especially, if like me, you spend hours typing away at a keyboard and neglecting them. Take off all remanence of nail varnish, soak in warm water (or for extra moisture add a few tablespoons of olive oil) and file your nails neatly. Invest in a buffer (a four-sided nail tool!) to boost the circulation in your nails and create strength. Make sure you use a strengthening base coat and then paint with two coats of your fave colour. Easy peasy! It's incredible how much better you feel with pretty hands : )

4. Get a good nights sleep. There's nothing that makes me feel worse on a Monday morning than if I haven't had a decent kip the night before. Knowing that most of us will have got up to no good on Saturday, our bodies still won't be fully recovered come Sunday. It's so important to get to bed early and make up for the lack of sleep over the weekend. If you really struggle to turn off try using a sleep mask, lavender drops on your pillow or even some herbal tablets like Kalms to help you drift off. If you've been running around the streets of London you'll have passed out by now so I have no further words of wisdom!

Here's to another five days of work, work, work. Same time, same place next week?

Best finger forward

The quickest, easiest and cheapest way to update your look for a new season is through your nail varnish. It instantly gives you a boost and injection of colour - it's the part of your body that gives the most expression and therefore the part that people notice!

This season it's all about pretty pastels and tropical hues. I'm personally loving lilac and coral at the moment and have been alternating between the two... both are fresh, girlie and on-trend. Revlon nail varnishes have to be my must-have product for every season; their varnishes are fab to apply, they last longer than anything else I can find, the colour range is immense and always features the lastest shades, and most importantly at around the six quid mark they're value for money.

The two shades I picked up yesterday were Lilac Pastelle and Tropical Temptation. And OMG I love them both. The lilac shade is just the right hue to match any outfit (and also makes your nails and fingers look longer through an optical illusion!) as it comes out a really pale almost 'sweetie' shade. The coral is going with me wherever I go this Summer... holidays, festivals, it's got a free pass. It's not too orangey or too red, almost like a watered-down pastel orange which would look even more amazing with a tan. Make sure you grab yourself one before I get to them all!

Chop Chop

I don't normally blog about this kind of stuff as I leave the gossipy goof to the professionals... but I cannot, I say cannot, let this go by without a mention. What the hell is going on over the pond and why the hell are they all chopping off their beautiful locks?


First of all it was my mate Agyness Deyn (I say mate, but she basically pushed me out of the way at the Elle Style Awards to get to her bezza Alexa Chung) who 'did a Britney' and shaved her head this weekend. Now, this I can just about accept... she's a model, she likes to be a bit edgy (I mean wierd) and it's most likely for some kind of work project. And on the plus side, her hair is normally pretty short so it won't take that long to grow back.


Next up is Bridget Jones herself, Miss Renee Zelwegger, who decided to take the plunge and opt for a (what I'm sure she thought was) cute pixie-ish cut. Personally I think she looks like a 14yr old Emo boy... you know the ones that have a really long fringe and look a bit like Newt from Hollyoaks. I get that she wanted to try something different and this was probably the perfect time to do it.


But this lady I have no explanation for. Stand up Hayden Panettierre and sit at the back of the class. What the bloody bleedin hell have you done to your barnett?! You had such a luscious, flowing mane that I (amongst many others) was very jealous of - if it's good enough to nab Steve Jones it's good enough for me. Now you look about 40, from the 1980's and with those sideburns you may be mistaken for Wolverine.

Seriously ladies - you have stylists, you have personal hairdressers, you have sack loads of dosh, you have all the advice in the world should you need it. So why the hell do you insist on doing this to me?

It's all about the finer things...

Now we've finally got some decent weather and the Spring wardrobes are being dusted off and brought out into the light of day again, our make-up is starting to follow suit. There's a huge trend for vintage prints this season and floral styles are still all over the high street - now is the time to accessorize your outfit with some beautiful make-up too!

I've noticed a few limited edition collections on my travels, but these are my top three choices to grab this weekend...


1. MAC's Give Me Liberty of London collection - a collaboration with London's iconic department store, Libertys, this range of lipstick, blush and eye colour is adorned with beautiful floral and bird prints. I'm not a huge fan of MAC in general, but these gorgeous compacts are just too lush to resist. They seem to be out of stock wherever I go so keep your eye out!

2. No7's 75th Anniversary collection - to celebrate their 75th birthday (has it really been around that long?) No7 have launched this 'decades' collection which consists of an eyeshadow palette, lipgloss and nail varnish for each decade since it's launch. That's a choice of seven different colour collections! My personal fave are these pastel hues from the 1950's.

3. Bourjois Pretty Paris collection - the lastest Spring collection from Bourjois is all about florals with a touch of coral. They've launched two new eyeshadows with beautiful limited edition prints so your make-up bag looks as pretty as your eyes. I love this slightly tinted lemon shade!

Make sure you check these babies out on your shopping travels this weekend and let me know if you spot any other exciting collections. There's nothing like a special something-something in life.

Grab yourself a mini-me

I am always caught out in the rain without a brolly which basically means a full-on attack of the frizz. Even though we've been lucky enough to have some fab weather of late, you just know that the April Showers are just around the corner again. Just in time, I found this beauty today... John Freida's Frizz Ease in a teeny, tiny 5ml size bottle - perfect for lobbing in your handbag, no matter how small it is. It's so cute I picked up two, just because! Although on the pricey size for the amount you get (£1.99 for 5ml compared to the full size which is about a fiver) it's worth it just to stop yourself looking like something the 1980's would be ashamed of.

Anyone for a G&T?

Ooops, sorry... that was supposed to be a S&T. Nope, this isn't an early weekend Gin and Tonic, but a pre-weekend Skin and Tonic. Whoever came up with this name is an absolute bloody genius.

Bloom is a brand that, although not new, is relatively unknown in the UK. It originates in Oz and has been over here for a while in a limited number of Superdrug stores, offering beautiful products with fantastic ingredients at an affordable price. They're just soooo pretty : )  I've picked up a few of their glosses and face products in the past, but while browsing this afternoon I came across this funky little number that I can't wait to try.

Skin and Tonic is a pack of 6 face masks which contain bonza ingredients such as Witch Hazel, Aloe Vera, Chamomile and Cucumber to 'restore a healthy glow to all skin types in seconds'. So we know it's a face mask and we know it is full of good stuff... but what's so special I hear you cry? Well, the fact that the face mask comes in  two parts (an expandable cloth mask, like those magic flannels, and a sachet full of liquid) which you have to mix together!

I love feeling like I'm on Blue Peter so this bit of DIY just adds an element of fun to bathtime. The fact that you add it all together just as you put it on makes it feel a little bit fresher and a little bit better for you. So if you'll excuse me... I'm off to have some 'me' time.

Can I borrow a quid?

My make-up bag is full of impulse buys that seemed a good idea at the time, most of them brightly coloured or 'fashion' shades which go out of season very quickly. The problem with having on-trend colours is that you spend a fortune on something you only use a few times. It's because of this that I'm extra excited about the launch of a new brand from Superdrug where every single item costs £1... yep, you read that right, just £1!

Mua Make-Up Academy launches this month and the range includes lipglosses, lipsticks, eyeshadows, mascaras, liners, powders, nail varnish, glitters and dusts. It looks pretty sleek for something that only costs a quid too! I have yet to actually see this in the flesh (I've been into Superdrug today) but it's available already on their website. I know of make-up products by Tesco and Primark already, which are also extremely cheap, but I have a perception that the quality would be awful and wouldn't want to be seen with something so pikey (!!) but Mua has an extra air of credibility as it comes from one of the UK's top cosmetics retailers.

Keep your eye out for this one ladies or check it out now online: http://www.superdrug.com/MUA-Makeup-Academy/MUA-Makeup-Academy-Introducing-our-New-PS1-Make-up-Range-Exclusive/page/muamakeupacademy

SHOP GIRL to stylist

ELLE magazine are after the high-street heroes who style the nation.

ELLE is launching a nationwide search for talented shop girls – and boys – who have what it takes to become an international stylist. The winner will get the chance to style a shoot for ELLE, plus an internship on the magazine and expert mentoring from ELLE’s fashion director, Anne-Marie Curtis.The talent search will last throughout the summer, with the winner being announced in the October issue of ELLE.

One of my school friend's sister (Kerry Lockwood) is in the final selection and is currently ranked #3. Please, please, please follow the link below, register and vote for her to win this amazing opportunity!

http://shopgirl.elleuk.com/contestants/kerry-lockwood





Twist and Shout

The newest mascara from Rimmel is '1-2-3 Looks' and I have to admit I was both intrigued and excited to try this latest innovation. From the adverts and online coverage I've seen it looked too good to be true - a sleek, fun mascara that offers you the personal touch that no other brand currently does.

The idea behind it is that you twist the dial to the relevant number - 1 for day, 2 for night and 3 for ultra-glam. When I first saw the pack in Superdrug I was a little disappointed... it looks quite cheap and you don't get an awful lot for your money (as half the tube is taken up with the mechanism.) However, I went ahead and took one home to try.


I was pleasantly suprised! It's a nice touch to be able to use the same mascara for different times of day - there was a real visible difference between the dials. Although the third dial was a bit too clumpy for me, it definately gives an ultra-voluptuous look. I always have about four different mascaras in my make-up bag and quite often use one over another to get added volume, so this new addition to the Rimmel range will most certainly save me time, space and money.

I do think this is a bit of a gimmick though that people will get bored of - it's fun for the time being, but will we all revert back to our usual products in a few weeks? Only time will tell!

Bring & Buy

We all have wardrobes filled to the brim... but how many items have actually seen the light of day in the last year? I know I have hundreds of dresses, tops, skirts, bags, shoes and accessories that I've thought were 'absolute bargains' in the sale but then sit at the back of my cupboard forever more. I've now found the perfect solution in the form of BigWardrobe.com.

This website is a genius idea and has been providing me with lots of fun! You basically create a profile and upload details of all the items you no longer want... other members then offer to swap for items you actually like and would use. You can get loads of great stuff, absolutely free - it's basically Swap Shop for the 21st Century!

My personal highlights so far have included a Louis Vuitton handbag, some Calvin Klein perfume and lots of vintage jewellery. I am officially addicted to this fab website and have been spending hours wading through all the gorgeous items. It's so easy to use - check it out now: http://www.bigwardrobe.com/

It's just so Lush!

I love going to my local Lush store of a weekend, and this Saturday afternoon was no exception. It's not just a shop, it's a whole sensory experience. As soon as you walk in you're hit by the aromas of all the natural ingredients and the pure freshness and care of the whole operation... I don't know how the staff spend whole days in the shop as I swear I would lose my sense of smell, but it's fab for an hour or so!

What I also love so much about Lush is the exceptional knowledge of all the assistants... if you have a query or a problem, they have an answer or solution. This week it was problem skin. Now I normally have pretty clear and smooth skin, but for some reason or other it's decided to have random break-outs and get really greasy of late. So off to my local Lush in Covent Garden... The two products I purchased this time were Angels on Bare Skin and Ocean Salt.

Angels on Bare Skin is a cleanser and exfoliator which contains rose and lavender oil - it comes in a kind of thick clay which you have to break off and mix with warm water to create a thinner paste. This is then applied to the skin and washed off like a normal face wash. I've never used a product like this before so it was a little strange at first, but after a few days of using it it's fabulous. It really gives you a glowing and ultra-smooth complexion instantly and I can feel a real difference in my skin.

Ocean Salt is an amazing smelling facial scrub which contains citrus fruit juices, avocado and coconut. You really feel refreshed and like you've been to the spa after using this one... especially thanks to the big salt chunks on the top which make it look exotic! I've been told to use this once or twice a week for a deeper cleanse and I'm addicted already. I got a little bit in my mouth by accident and it even tasted nice!

I'm really concerned about the amount of junk I put on my skin, but after using the Lush products I can feel the benefits of using natural ingredients to do the job as good as, if not better than, the chemical-filled products that we all buy so easily. So, get yourself down to Lush next weekend - it's an order!

Land of Soap and Glory

This quirky brand has been on our local Boots' shelves for some time now, but it just seems to get better and better. I'm a fan of their bath and body range as they not only smell delicious and look fab on your bathroom shelves, but they are actually great products. My personal faves have always been their lotions and scrubs ('Scrub Em and Leave Em' and 'Heel Genius' to name but a few,) but now I've tried their 'Make Yourself Youthful Serum' I feel I may be hooked on their facial range too.

This serum claims to give you 're-energized, smoother, healthier, firmer and younger looking skin,' which is a big statement to prove! I can't say it gave me younger looking skin (well, I am only a youthful 27!) but it really did leave me with a radiant and smoother complexion. It smells delish and is a light formula too, so it's not heavy or clogging on your skin. What more could you ask for? Serums are definately the new moisturisers so get your legs down to Boots and grab one of these... Soap and Glory is even on offer, so there's nothing stopping you!

All Frizzed Out

For all of you who suffer from frizzy, curly locks and salivate at the thought of a luscious, shiny straight do then these tips are for you...! My hair is naturally curly, but not a nice curly (oh no) but a horrid 'in-between, messy, bird's nest' curly that needs a lot of sorting out in the a.m. After many, many years of trial and error and a lot of money spent on products that don't really do what they say on the tin, here are my top products for your barnet...

1. Shampoo and condition your hair with light products that won't weigh down your hair and make it look greasy. Try something like James Brown's Richly Moisturising range - he's Kate Moss' personal hairdresser, so he knows what he's talking about! Don't use anything that claims to give you added gloss, maximum shine etc as this just means it's full of silicone which will temporarily lift your hair before leaving it with a greasy, manky film that's difficult to get rid of.

2. When your hair is still wet this is the time to add in some serum to really smooth out your tresses. My personal fave is Paul Mitchell's Super Skinny Serum which is really light so it doesn't give your hair a heavy look. I also mix this in with their Relaxing Balm for added smoothness... put 2 blobs of each on your hand, mix and run through your hair before blow drying. The perfect combination! These two products are quite expensive but they're real value for money and worth the investment.

3. Once you've blow dried your hair/styled it/got your straighteners out on it then it's always good to add a few squirtz of a shine spray. This will tame any stray hairs while fixing your style and giving it a layer of added gloss. Be careful not to add too much though or you'll end up looking like a grease monkey! The shine spray I'm currently using is by Charles Worthington... it's available on the high street and has a designer-stylist quality. Very light and smells delicious.

It's easy just to default to John Freida's Fizz Ease collection, but I find this is too heavy for my hair and ends up doing more harm than good if I use everything in the range together. The best way is to play around and find the right combination for you. Happy non-frizz day!

Spangle Sparkle

I love a bit of glimmer and glitz as much as the next girl when it comes to Saturday night. I've just seen these delights from Urban Decay which could fulfill all my glittery needs... extra sparkly eyeshadows in a fab range of hues. These 'Stardust' eyeshadows are top of my shopping list this weekend so I'll let you know how I get on!

Take it all off

Make-up removers should be the foundation of any good beauty regime - if you don't take off your make-up properly you'll have a rubbish canvas to start from! There are so many products available that it's easy just to go for the ones on offer or stick with what you know best.

Bourjois Paris have recently launched their own range of make-up removers with the idea of 'who better to remove your make-up than a make-up brand'. The range consists of face wipes, cleanser, toner, face wash and eye-make up remover and they're all fabulous... they smell delicious and really do the job. What's more, they come in 'maxi' packs so you really do get great value for money. My personal fave is the dual-phase eye make-up remover... I used to use the one from Chanel but this is just as good and a fraction of the price. Make sure you shake it up first though or it won't be as effective!

Get cleansing ladies : )

Flutter those lashes

I'm a massive fan of fake lashes as it means I don't have to spend an hour and a whole tube of mascara trying to perfect my flutter. My particular faves are from Eylure - they're so easy to apply and mega-comfy. You can't have missed the launch of the Girls Aloud variants last year which were a massive hit and appeared literally wherever you went. Now they've taken the collaboration one step further...

'Girls Aloud Festival Lashes' have just been launched in Superdrug and again have been designed by the ladies themselves. This time they're what can only be described as a bit mental! With glitter, rhinestones and feathers galore these will really create extra impact... they also come with a re-useable pouch (which solves my problem of having loose lashes everywhere) and a lanyard to get you in the festival spirit.

I'm not convinced people will actually wear these to festivals, but they're a lot of fun nevertheless! Get yours now exclusively from Superdrug.

Pink Kisses

Right now the trend is all about bright, pink lips. Not just for Alex Drake circa 1981, pink lips are a must have for summer and will instantly funk up your look and bring you right on-trend. Bright lips have recently been seen on songstress Katy Perry as well as gossip girl Taylor Momsen. It doesn't have to be girly and pretty... when mixed with heavy, smokey eyes it can really make you look like a rock chick!

My favourite lipstick so far has to be 'Girl About Town' by MAC but there are loads of cheaper copies... try Revlon, Rimmel and 17 for similar shades at bargainous prices. When you apply make sure you use the tip your mother taught you and blot, blot, blot. This will really make the colour last and keep you looking hot all day. Happy kissing!

Shampoo or not to shampoo?

As an avid festival go-er dry shampoo has always been a staple of my beauty cupboard. Since the craze has kicked off so has the demand for dry shampoo... you now have so many different fragrances and variants to choose from I feel spoilt for choice!

That choice has now got even harder now that I've discovered the new 'colour' dry shampoos from Batiste. It's always a dilemma when you're emptying the tin onto your head... "can you see any white bits?" Sometimes I end up looking like I've got dodgy dandruff which is so much worse than a simple greasy barnet! This makes the process much simpler... the benefit of a dry shampoo without the snowy effect that goes with it. Three words for you: Get. Some. Now.

You scrub up nicely!

Now we're heading into a new season it's the perfect time to spring clean your face. With that in mind exfoliation is the bet way to achieve a natural glow... and I've been using L'Oreal's new Perfect Clean facial washes.

These fab products come in really different and innovative packaging (which looks great on your shelf amongst all the 'samey' bottles) which has it's own 'scrubber'. The idea is that you remove the scrubber from the pack, place a blob of product on and clean your face in circular movements. The 'scrubber' features little nodules that really stimulate the circulation in your face and get rid of any dead, dull cells on the top of your skin. A really easy way to brighten your complexion!

My favourite is the orange one which also contains tiny exfoliation beads for an extra deep clean. These products are really gentle and so reasonable - you'd normally expect to pay a fortune for this kind of expertise. And the best thing? You can use the 'scrubber' time and time again with any of your other facial washes too!

Nail It

I love a bit of polish, especially in the Summer when you can try a different colour every day. It's always a real challenge to find a decent nail polish that not only looks fab, but actually lasts longer than it takes you to walk to the tube. I've tried my fair share and spending more really doesn't mean it lasts... I've just discovered Collection 2000's Hot Looks nail varnish which now come in cute pastel pop colours. At less than £2 you can't really go wrong - I've just got myself a candy mint, sweet lilac and pastel pink. These fab colours really do last too... I've had mine on since last Friday and it's only just started to chip. Bargainous!

Still knackered from the weekend?

I know I am... it takes me well into Tuesday to even resemble my pre-weekend self. If you're suffering with a post-weekend hangover here are my top tips and products to get you feeling ship shape again...


1. My number one product is Benefit's Oh La Lift. This is brighter eyes in a bottle! The pale pink formula really does lighten and lift those bags under your eyes like no other product I've found. Although a little on the pricey side, a little does go a long way and is well worth the investment.


2. Another top tip of mine is using some white eyeshadow on your lids... it will really even out the colours of your eyes (the tell tale sign of a heavy weekend) and counteract any yellow hues. Try one like Revlon's Matte eyeshadow.

3. A must-have produt for any season is Bourjois' Illuminating Touch. This cute little highlighter will catch the light when on cheekbones and bring another dimension to your skintone. As soon as your skin looks flat you look tired!

Try these out and let me know how you get on : )

Welcome to my beauty paradise

We all love our beauty products, it's a fact of life. But how do you search through the hundreds of adverts, promotions and celebrity endorsements to find the ones that actually do what they say on the tin?

Having worked in the beauty industry for the past seven years, covering the realm of hair care, skin care and cosmetics, I know how to cut through the marketing blurb and find some goodies for real. I want to share my successes and failures, answer questions, provide tips and tricks... we can all be beauty queens : )

Disclaimer

In the process of reviewing all these fabulous products for you I do get sent a large proportion of press samples. This does not, and never will, sway my opinion in any way. I will always write what I truly think about a product and give you an honest opinion. I am not paid for reviews and receive no incentives from brands - it's just me, my laptop and my brain.

However, occasionally I do partake in sponsored posts where the content (yet, still not the opinion) is swayed. This is always disclaimed at the end of each post so you're clear on what is what. If you ever have any questions, concerns or comments on this you just have to drop me a line...

Want to work with me?

"Starting off in the cosmetics industry as a brand manager, Hayley soon began blogging about all things beauty from an insider’s perspective – what does the product really do and is it worth the money? Her unique tone of voice and outlook enabled her to find her place in the blogging world, being nominated for a Cosmopolitan Blog Award within four months of launching London Beauty Queen. She has since won the P&G Beauty and Grooming Award for best beauty blog in 2013, been named The Rodial Beautiful Award's best blog in 2012, judged the British Hairdressing Awards, Debenhams and Tesco Beauty Awards, appeared as Harrod’s blog of the week and written for publications such as Company and Tesco magazine. She's also been featured in publications including Fabulous, Company, The Sun, The Daily Mail and Heat. Hayley turned her passion into a career, working as a social media manager and strategist with some of the UK’s most recognised brands, and has now established LBQ Consultancy Services to offer social media and strategy advice to brands, bloggers and publications."
  

I work with brands in many ways and am always open to suggestions, collaborative campaigns and championing products. I offer workshops and training to those wishing to understand both social media and bloggers, as well as being a public speaker at events.  London Beauty Queen isn't just about the blog though, as my social media presence has enabled me to develop a Klout score of 71 (with a specialism in beauty, fashion and London centric topics.)

I love hearing from people wanting to get involved in London Beauty Queen, but if you're a PR or brand that wants to get in touch, please bear the following in mind:

1. I only write about what I'm interested in. I like lipgloss, shampoo and fluffy slippers. Men's boots, curtains and bleach - not so much. Take the time to see if there's a real possibility I'm going to write about your product.

2. The whole point of a beauty blog is to try and recommend products after using them. It's very difficult to do this from an image... And pretty dull for my readers. If you want me to talk about your product then you're gonna have to give me a hand.

3. I do not do free guest posts or 'reciprocal links'. I've taken a lot of time, effort, blood/sweat/tears to get London Beauty Queen to where it is, so I'm not in the habit of giving away time/space/sweat for nothing in return. (And don't kid yourself - a link on your site is not something in return.)

4. I'm not a free advertising tool for your brand. I don't like the words 'we have no budget' - I work in social media and I know you do. If you want something from me you're gonna have to make it worth my while... (And this doesn't include blog competitions or writing about your product in the hope of winning something I don't really need.)

5. Be nice. Don't ask me to write about your fabulous event that I wasn't invited to - I just get jealous. Why would you ask your mates to upload pictures of your birthday to Facebook if they weren't invited?

If you still want to work with me (or get in touch about sending product samples) then drop me a line. You can email me here: HelloLBQ@gmail.com

Cheerio for now! LBQ xxx



You Tube

Come and say hi on my new You Tube channel! 

www.youtube.com/londonbeautyqueen

Competitions

Win a Marc B bag worth £49 


Raffles Bizarre jewellery giveaway (competition closed)

Challenge Jergens (competition closed)

£100 beauty giveaway: take two (competition closed)

Win one of three Sugababes fragrances (competition closed)

Vichy 'design a bag' goodie giveaway (competition closed)

Girls With Attitude lash giveaway (competition closed)

Win a 'Big Hair' Babyliss styler (competition closed)

£100 beauty goodie bag giveaway (competition closed)

Win one of three Collection 2000 goodie bags (competition closed)

Win a Fake Bake kit to create the perfect catwalk tan (competition closed)

Win a Chanel compact palette (competition closed)

Contact Me

Why not drop me a line or come join me on my social media platforms...

Email: london.beautyqueen@yahoo.co.uk

Twitter: www.twitter.com/LBQblog

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LondonBeautyQueen

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