31.8.11

Westfield Stratford - coming soon!

This video has just been released to celebrate the 'nearly there' opening of the new Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, London. In just over 90 seconds we're taken through 100 years of fashion in one of the best promos I've seen in a long time. See how many different outfits you can spot... bring on Tuesday 13th September!

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REEM Beauty!

Oh my frigging lordy, The Only Way is Essex are launching their very own beauty and fragrance range. You heard it here first! TOWIE is totally my guilty pleasure and I can't wait to see what they have in store for us... I'm thinking vajazzles and smelling of Sugar Hut. I'm off to meet the cast (OMG) and see the range next week so stay tuned for all the goss. It's gonna be reem.


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29.8.11

Festival festivities

I've spent the last five days in a tent, wearing wellies and hoping that someone doesn't pee on my leg. Yep, it was the annual Reading Festival outing and this year it was a corker. Packing for a festival is never easy... what should you take to ensure you're in tip top shape when you only have space for a pot noodle left in your backpack? Well, here is a selection of the things that I took with me (makeup aside - there's no way I was going five days without a bit of concealer and mascara) to help me through the long weekend.


Three essential things for festivals - dry shampoo, strong deodorant and beachy wave spray. When you're staying in a tent and not washing for days on end, then moshing around to Muse, you need a decent deodorant to keep you going. This one from Sure offers up to 24hrs protection, is invisible so you don't get unsightly white marks on your clothes and it doesn't leave a residue or build up so you can keep re-applying. Girls With Attitude have launched this cute little bottle of dry shampoo which comes in at half the size (and therefore space required in the backpack) of Batiste. It smells fab and looks cool while spritzing your locks with some much needed grease-absorber. The next thing on my list is a salt spray and this one from Tommy Guns is not only teeny tiny, but also gives hair texture and wave without weighing it down... It also doesn't leave loads of build-up on your hair, meaning you can keep spritzing throughout the festival.


Next up you need a decent array of products for your skin. These three miniatures come in a travel retail exclusive gift pack from Clinique, so they're perfectly sized for travelling. The 'take the day off' eye makeup remover is really good at getting rid of every last trace of mascara whilst not irritating eyes. It's not oily either, so you're not left with loads of nasty stuff that you need to get rid of after. Normally I would stay clear of the clarifying lotion as it stinks of alcohol and feels like it's stripping all the oil and moisture from your skin - however, when you're not able to wash and spend a long weekend drinking and eating absolute rubbish, that's exactly what you want. It's powerful stuff! Finally, a classic moisturiser - 'dramatically different' in that it's really light and runny so you need a teeny tiny amount just to ease your slightly sunburnt skin. It doubles up nicely as a body lotion/hand cream too, so less room in the backpack needed!


Finally, these cute little 'toothy tabs' from Lush make brushing your teeth a little bit more fun. Instead of taking a massive tube of toothpaste, all you need is a box of these. Chew one to break it up, wet your toothbrush and brush away... the tablet foams like normal toothpaste and leaves teeth feeling just as clean. It takes a few goes to get used to, particularly as it doesn't taste minty, but it makes for lighter travelling while helping the environment. All of this stuff fitted into one little bag, meaning I totally halved the amount of crap I usually take with me - give me a virtual hi-five! And just for fun, here are a couple of pictures from my festival fun this year. Enjoy.





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24.8.11

Colour Extreme

Reading Festival is only days away now (pray for me that it stops raining) and there's nothing better to take to a festival that multi coloured random stuff. It's the one time of year you can put on a cow poncho, get your face painted and feel right at home in a field. This year I'll be taking these colourful hair paints from Colour Xtreme with me to brighten up an otherwise dull day. They come in two variants - a spray and a liquid - so you can create colourful looks in seconds. Available in shades including green, blue, pink, purple and white, there's a colour to match (or clash) every festival outfit this weekend.



The sprays provide a really strong colour instantly with no faffing, perfect for when you want a streak of colour and nothing else. If you're feeling adventurous you could even create a blue 'ombre' look, dipping the ends in colour for a graduated effect. The colour stays put until you wash it out, but the only thing is that it transfers easily onto hands and clothes so make sure you're not wearing your best frock! I sprayed my hair with this and ended up with blue fingernails for days after. Probably not the best idea when I'm sleeping in a tent for 5 days, but it'll look good.



The 'Hair Art' lotions provide an intense colour in a liquid format, making application more precise and subtle. You can dip the ends of hair in this to create a little bit of colour in your 'do, or just use it to paint a hue onto a plait . These dry really quickly and stay in without any of the colour transfer issues. I would totally wear these on a normal day! The blue works well on my dark hair, but the red and pink is hard to see - they'd work much better on blonde hair. At around £4.00 each these are a really cheap and easy way to inject some colour and fun into your festival.... and they totally match my cow poncho.


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23.8.11

Visibly Clear

Neutrogena launched their grapefruit face wash earlier in the year and are now adding a cream wash to the collection. Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Cream Wash claims to gently cleanse, preventing and removing impurities while awakening the senses. The formula is a creamy lotion which smells subtly of citrus fruits (I don't really know what grapefruit smells like to be honest.) You need a small blob mixed with water to cleanse the whole of the face, the formula delicately removing dirt and leaving you with a refreshed and clean complexion.


The formula doesn't really foam, but it does work well around the skin without leaving any residue. I normally stay clear of cream based face washes as they tend to leave a film and sticky feeling over the skin - this is easy to use and leaves the skin feeling soft and supple. There's a very slight minty, tingly sensation when you use too, meaning it's perfect in the morning to uplift your mood and wake you up. I can't say I've noticed any less blackheads or impurities after using this, but it is a nice overall facewash to keep in the shower for a daily cleanse.



Available in all major retailers - £4.49 for 150ml
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22.8.11

Acting on Impulse

Seeing a can of Impulse reminds me of my yoof. Before I was old enough to have proper perfume (and even when I was) a can of Impulse was always in my school locker. There was always a competition at school around who had the most fragrances or who'd managed to discover the newest scent first; playing netball will never be the same without the smell of Impulse. So before I start getting all nostalgic and telling you about the giant blue gym knickers we had to wear, here's a fabulous picture of the newest Impulse scent which has been exclusively designed for Superdrug.


Launching this September, Impulse 'Loving Words' launches at a discounted price of £1.19, as well as a bonus 20 points on your Superdrug beauty card when you grab one. The name was chosen by fans on Facebook too, so if you don't like it you've only got yourselves to blame!
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21.8.11

Carmex Moisture Plus

You've got to love a bit of Carmex. It's become a cult product thanks to it's recognisable yellow packaging and tingling sensation on the lips. It's one of only a handful of high street lipbalms to genuinely help when my lips have taken a battering, so I always have a stash hidden around in various places close to hand. Imagine my delight (or squeals) when I picked up these up the other day... It's Carmex but it's gone all pretty!


Carmex Moisture Plus tinted lipbalms come in this super sleek and practical tube, not unlike a mini lipstick. The formula contains all the goodness of your usual Carmex, including Vitamin E, Aloe Vera and SPF 15, as well as still giving you a very slight tingle upon application which we all know and love. The little tube is super light and easy to use, especially as the lipbalm itself has a slight tilt to the tip so it covers the contour of your lip perfectly.



The Moisture Plus lipbalms are available in three shares: clear, peach and pink. The clear variant offers a subtle gloss, while the peach and pink give a really light shade to enhance the colour of the lips. (The peach isn't really peach though - more of a light pink - so if you're expecting an orange or coral shade you better look elsewhere!) The formula itself is really moisturising and comfortable to wear, without being greasy or too heavy. It lasts quite some time, although with it smelling so deliciously of vanilla you'll probably want to keep applying it anyway.



I'm pretty much in love with these little tubes of beauty. I love my normal tubes of Carmex, so this makes applying lipbalm a little more glam. These are perfect for popping in your bag and will definitely be coming with me to Reading festival next week - especially as it's like having three products in one.

RRP £4.49 and available September from Boots.
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19.8.11

What's in my makeup bag?

Just for fun and to shake things up a bit, I thought I'd give you a peek into my makeup bag. These are the products I'm currently using on a daily basis and have been for a couple of weeks, which usually means I really like them. As you can imagine, I have a million different pieces of makeup so to pick something up and stick with it until it's gone is quite an achievement. A lot of these I've already blogged about so you may recognise them, but there are also some sneaky peeks of reviews to come. Are you ready...?


Let's start with the basics. The new Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint has been three years in the making and it was worth it - this tinted moisturiser is thicker than normal skin tints, giving a dewy and radiant complexion while covering impurities. Benefit's Cha Cha Tint goes perfectly with this as it sits on the cheeks to create a really natural colour and glow that lasts all day. Top this off with a delicate dusting of Revlon's Photoready powder (powder has been a staple of my makeup bag since I was about 15) to set the makeup and get rid of any shiny bits and you're good to go. When it's a bit sunnier or I want to add an extra dimension to my cheekbones, this bronzing block from Famous gives a really delicate colour without being too 'bronzy'. This routine has kept looking flawless, no matter how messy the day gets.


Now onto the eyes. In the week I'm quite boring with my eye makeup and these three palettes have been seeing me through. The MUA Pro palette has been an utter sell out because it's basically the Urban Decay Naked palette for a fraction of the cost. The colours are amazing, they blend beautifully and stay in place all day without caking or smudging. My second favourite and most used eyeshadow is new for autumn from Estee Lauder and features a beautiful gold and khaki; these are great together and the colours go with any outfit so it speeds up my morning routine! Finally, here's a sneaky peek at Avon's winter colours which feature a great gold, deep blue, dark purple and white - this unusual combination actually works really well on the eyes and the blue makes my eye colour pop. That's about as adventurous as I get Mon-Thurs!


Finally, some extra bits and bobs. Everyone needs a YSL Touche Eclat - especially when you're getting up early for a long day at work. Although the formula isn't particularly covering, it does create a great light under the eye to combat dark circles. This powder brush from ELF is actually the one in my profile picture and I use it literally every day. The bristles are so soft and great for sweeping powders across the face and cheekbones; this brush costs around a fiver but you would think it's so much more. (Love. It.) Finally, this mascara from Bare Minerals is my new favourite as it creates uplift, curl and definition all in one - no need to apply 20 layers of mascara as with this you have fab lashes after about three.


So that's the content of my makeup bag as it currently stands. It may not be particularly adventurous, but it keeps me going. What are your makeup essentials?
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18.8.11

Hello Kitty for Liberty.

Meow. That's 'hi there' in Hello Kitty language in case you were wondering. I've never got the fascination with the white cartoon cat myself, but there are a lot of grown women that go gaga for the little ball of fluff. There's a woman I pass every day on my way to the tube that has a Hello Kitty backpack - I think she's about 43. Anyhoo... If you're a lover (not a hater) of Kitty then you'll be excited to see her collaboration with London's exclusive Liberty's department store. They've used traditional Liberty print as the inspiration for the collection, which not only includes beauty products and this ace shower cap, but also into stationary and accessories. It launches for only two weeks in September so you better keep a cat's eye out and pounce when you can. (Enough with the cat talk.)




Available from 26th September for two weeks. Collections priced at £30 each.
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Sensuous Nude

Estee Lauder launched their Sensuous fragrance back in 2008 and this August they're adding a new scent to the collection - Sensuous Nude. The fragrances from the house of Estee Lauder are normally too strong and too floral for my tastes, but this scent is much younger, richer and more elegant. Mixed with notes of bergamot, mandarin, black pepper, jasmin and sandalwood, the fragrance provides a rich scent that lingers and evokes a feeling of content. (Check me with my perfume descriptions.)


There's also a touch of coconut water which really comes through in the top layers, making the scent feel slightly tropical and perfect for summer. This isn't eau de Malibu though, as the coconut is very subtle and disappears into the skin after a few hours. I've never really worn an Estee Lauder fragrance before, but this has been used liberally on warm sunny days when you want a hint of something tropical that's still subtle and not overpowering. This is very much the younger and more fashionable sister of Sensuous, which is possibly why she's gone skinny dipping - I give you Sensuous Nude.

Available nationwide now - RRP £47 for 50ml EDP
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17.8.11

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall...

How annoying is it when you go to a beauty counter and they insist on re-doing your whole look so they can demonstrate the latest trends and shades? How even more annoying is it when you don't even like it and have to traipse around feeling like an utter clown for the rest of the day? With the new 'magic mirror' from Shiseido there's no need to fear. The mirror magically applies makeup virtually, giving you a complete new look without even touching a brush. Revolutionary technology scans and maps your facial features and movements, meaning it can give you a true life example of how the makeup will look once applied.


This magic mirror has only ever been available in Japan and is the first of its kind in Europe. Shiseido are exclusively touring this around the UK for the rest of the year and you can pop into the following stores (or book an appointment to ensure you have plenty of time to play) to check it out. All of the previous 'makeover' tools I've seen have been absolutely hideous, so this is a revolution - it makes you look like you! Definitely one to put on the list if you can get to one of the beauty counters.



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16.8.11

HD Brows

Project Eyebrow is going well so far, with at least half of my brows springing (slowly) back to life. However, with the ends still looking patchy and sparse I need to fill them in daily so I don't look like a donkey. I've been using a combination of eyebrow pencils, pens and palettes to keep them looking symmetrical and natural, but this new palette from eyebrow experts HD Brows has meant I can put my brows on in a flash and leave the house feeling confident.

 

The newly re-formulated HD Brow palettes, from the brains behind the famous ‘Seven Step’ complete brow procedure, offer the essential tools to add definition and shape to brows yourself. It’s a well known fact that spending a little time shaping and defining eyebrows can add real impact to your usual look and the palettes make it easier to maintain that ‘fresh out of the salon’ appearance.The palettes come in three colour ways (blonde, brunette and black hair) and each feature four different shades so you can create the perfect combination for your individual colouring.



The formula is not unlike an eyeshadow, but with more pigment and less of a powdery finish. It applies to the brow easily, creating a shape and filling in colour well which is only aided by the amazingly soft and sharp-edged brush. I've got many similar palettes, including Chanel and Benefit, and this is head and shoulders above them... The result is a really natural brow that blends subtly so you wouldn't even know it's drawn in. To make it even better, the formula has 'stay put technology' so brows remain full and perfect for up to 24 hours. I would thoroughly recommend this - especially as it's been in my bag getting a battering for the last few weeks and has yet to even create a little excess crumble. It's a hard core palette that has made my brow routine much easier.

Available from www.hd-brows.co.uk for £19.99
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Chanel Robots - just for fun


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15.8.11

Soft and gentle

I've always been a firm believer in the fact that a shampoo is a shampoo - it cleans and that's it. I never noticed a real difference whatever shampoo you use as it's the conditioner that makes the real impact on your hair shaft. Generally speaking you can use any old shampoo as long as you use a fairly decent and tailored conditioner to really treat your problem areas. Saying this, I have to totally eat my words as I've been using a shampoo for the past few weeks that has totally changed my perception of cleaning hair. Redken's All Soft shampoo has revolutionised my hair routine by making a real fundamental difference to the condition of my barnet.


I suffer from dry, frizzy, coarse and unmanageable hair that takes a lot of treating and styling to get it looking effortlessly 'I totally woke up like this'. It's been the bane of my beauty routine ever since I realised it wasn't cool to walk around with a mid-afro atop my head. I have to religiously use serums, moisture treatments and finishing sprays to get it looking decent, but since I've been using Redken's All Soft my hair has been much more manageable and soft - a swishy delight if you will. The formula is really concentrated so you need a 10p sized amount to get a great lather going, repeating twice to get your hair squeaky clean. Normally after shampooing my hair is a bit tangled and doesn't feel great, but with this it feels conditioned before I even put the conditioner on!


The formula contains a unique silk-luxe complex, to make hair shiny and smooth from within, which contains:
- Gold Camelina = adds luminous and luxurious shine to the surface of hair
- Avocado Oil = provides replenishment and intense silky softness
- Olive Oil = conditions for inside-out, incredible suppleness
- Silk Amino Acid = helps provide strength and compensates for loss of protein.
After using this shampoo my hair really is much softer, more manageable, easier to blow dry, keeps its style longer and is generally a wonder product for brittle, dry hair. I never expected to get a result like this without piling on silicone and getting horrid build-up, but I'm utterly delighted with the results. I rarely say I would repeat by a product, but this will be on my shelf for years to come. 

RRP £9.80 from Feel Unique for a 300ml bottle.
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14.8.11

The new face of Chloe

There's two new (very beautiful) faces of Chloe fragrance that are about to hit our magazines, posing with giant bottles we all wish they did in real life. Coty have been lovely enough to share the 'behind the scenes' video with us so we can take a sneaky peek at what they have in store. Be warned, this video features very naked ladies strategically covering their lady bits!

video

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13.8.11

Supershock

Avon's Supershock liner became a sell out within days of it launching. The pure pigment, staying power and smooth formula that lent itself to creating super smudgy and sexy eyes, made bloggers shout from the rooftops that this was a must have product. So successful it was that there's now a whole Supershock collection launching from this month! It includes a Supershock mascara, double ended eyeshadow sticks, eyeliner pots and new shades of the classic pencil. The mascara claims to add up to 15x the amount of volume of natural lashes, the eyeshadows are creamy and perfect for shading and the eyeliners deliver powerful and long-lasting colour. I can't wait to try these for myself, so make sure you keep an eye on your Avon catalogue over the next few weeks and grab them while you can.


Mascara RRP £10 and available now. All other products will be available after September 15th priced £6 (eyeliner) £7 (eyeshadow) and £8.50 (eyeliner pot)
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Random Acts of Beauty

You don't get anything in this life for free right? Well now you do, as Sheer Cover cosmetics are taking to the street every week this September to do random acts of beauty, including mini makeovers and giving out free product. You can find out more in the video below, but to find out where they're going to be make sure you follow them on twitter: @beautinews

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12.8.11

Owwwwww

I'm not gonna lie, I bloody hate waxing. I've never had a good experience, mainly because I can't stand the mess and pain that goes with it. However, if you're a lady with a troublesome upper lip and need some top tips on how to remove your unwanted hair easily and pain free, then waxing experts Parissa have this step-by-step guide. Good luck!


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KMS Re-loaded

I haven't had a chance to try any of the products yet, but I wanted to bring you the excting news that KMS California is being 're-loaded', i.e. re-launched, and the new identity is pretty hot stuff. Gone are the dowdy white bottles with too much writing, in are the brightly coloured designs with clear prodcuct names and descriptions to match. The imagery to go alongside the launch is also perfect for us Brits - edgy, colourful, a little bit quirky and 'East London', but all in all a huge future hit.



The products are being re-launched to form a simple and clear range, while celebrating the fact that KMS is 35 years young. The classic and cult products have been kept as staples, but they've also added in 12 new products including 'dry touch up hairspray', dry wax and quick blow dry sprays. I can't wait to give these a whirl, but for the time being you can take a look at these great images and look out for the new range of KMS launching in a salon near you soon.

 





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11.8.11

Go Wilde with Revlon

The latest celeb to be unveiled as the face of a brand is Olivia Wilde. From October 2011 she'll be gracing our screens and pages of our magazines, selling us the latest 'must have' from Revlon. I said on twitter that I was totally 'over' Jessica Alba and it was time for a fresher face; I think they've picked perfectly with Olivia as every guy wants to date her and every girl wants to be her. A natural beauty that manages to have credibility in her roles, she's a great ambassador for a global brand. Well done Revlon - a pat on the back from me.


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Golly GOSH

As high street makeup brands go, GOSH is one that I don't have much experience of. It's exclusive to Superdrug in the UK and made a splash when it launched a few years ago, but it seems to have gone off my radar since then. However, they appear to be launching some pretty cool products of late and these shimmer bricks are the tip of the iceberg. There are two shades (pink and bronze) which each have five individual shades of blush/bronze within each brick of colour. I love bronzers like this as it gives you a more subtle result than laying on a flat brown shade, as well as helping to sculpt thanks to the lighter hues complementing the darker ones.


They're very subtle in colour, perfect for those of us that want a delicate sunkissed glow or to enhance a dull complexion. The bricks are very shimmery though, so if you're not a fan of sparkles you may want to stay away; the result isn't too bad in daylight, but in the evening you may blind someone with a big chunk of glitter over dinner.... Never a good thing. To get a perfect result, use a big powder brush and sweep over the brick using circular movements, applying to the cheeks in an upwards motion towards the edge of your face. You'll be left with a radiant glow and sparkles Barbie would be jealous of.


Available online and in store, exclusive to Superdrug, priced £8.17 each.
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