30.9.12

Holographic nail polish from 17

There have been quite a few holographic nail polishes pop up across the bloggershere, but they seem to either cost the earth, be harder to find than a Horcrux, or both. This little polish from 17 Cosmetics is neither of those things, being available from Boots nationwide and priced only £3.99! The formula is pretty thick and gives a fab result after only two coats, catching the light and creating a different effect from every angle you look at it. I don't normally go for fancy polishes, but this is totally wearable with just a little bit of bling. I predict a sell out and stampede when it's released this month!




Released this October in Boots and online priced £3.99
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29.9.12

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense

The Chubby Stick from Clinique has eclipsed all other balms launched in the last couple of years, becoming a cult product and a huge success story. I love the formula and have a sneaky stick in every drawer (from desk to bedside cabinet) so I'm never without some essential moisture. The chunky pens are perfect for applying on the go, while adding a touch of colour to lips, and contain some amazing ingredients including shea butter, mango seed butter and jojoba seed oil. I've written about them before and have covered new shade additions since they were launched in 2011, but from mid-November they bring an intense version to counters across the UK... So now you can have the moisture, but with a more intense hit of colour.



The Chubby Stick Intense will be available in eight different shades, covering the brown, pink and red spectrum from subtle to strong. The colours are all still really wearable and provide an intensely moisturising and comfortable result, but with a glossy slick of colour on lips that competes with some of my favourite lipsticks. I for one can find traditional lipsticks very drying, so this brings the best of both worlds together and even creates a little stain on the skin for a long-lasting result. The sheen makes lips look healthy and full, while the shea butter brings a comfortable form of relief when your pout is a little dry in these colder months. These will no doubt reaffirm the Chubby Stick's position as a must-have for any woman and sit in desk drawers up and down the country.



The Chubby Stickclin intense available mid-November priced £16.00. Original version available now.
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28.9.12

Toni & Guy's Fashion Fix

This Autumn/Winter every girl can experience the London Fashion Week trends hot off the catwalk, with Toni & Guy's new Fashion Fix menu. The hairdressing experts have taken their knowledge from the past few seasons and created these three beautiful styles that channel the trends perfectly. You've got relaxed waves, perfect plaits and even a retro-funky roll to choose from, all now available in nearly 150 Toni & Guy salons across the UK. Taking 30 mins to complete and costing only £25, these styles are great for a stylish up 'do on a Saturday night and perfect for a quick pre-office party pamper. Rather than having to attempt to create something different yourself, this service brings ease, accessibility, affordability and creativity to your hairstyling. To give your style some staying power, Toni & Guy are even giving every Fashion Fix client a complementary handbag sized label.m styling product which was used to create the finished look- so there won’t be a hair out of place all night! I absolutely love this idea and will definitely be popping into my local salon on a regular basis over the next few months, especially in the lead-up to the party season. The great news is that they'll also be adding new styles to the 'hair wardrobe' over the coming seasons, so there will always be something on-trend, cool and stand-out for you to sport... Even if it's just down to the local Wetherspoons, rather than a glamous celeb-packed party.





The styles are available from salons across the UK now, priced £25. Find out if your local salon offers the service here.
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27.9.12

Pearl Drops Beauty Sleep

Teeth whitening is big business. The introduction of American pearly white smiles into our lives and onto our TV screens has caused a surge of Britain's best to follow suit. The cast of TOWIE and Simon Cowell wouldn't be the same with dull, slightly yellow-tinged teeth, so it's only right that wherever you look there's a new whitening product popping up. Whitening tooth paste is all well and good, but unless you want to go hardcore and book yourself for an intense dental treatment, there's not much available to help. Pearl Drops have launched a brand new and revolutionary product that works as you sleep to help whiten and condition teeth and gums - Beauty Sleep. The serum is applied to teeth and gums after brushing and left overnight to inject Vitamin E, strengthen tooth enamel and nourish gums to preserve their healthy, youthful look.




While your body is resting during sleep, the active oxygen in this overnight serum gets to work to gently boost the whiteness of your teeth that is lost over time. It's well known that your body can't recover and regenerate while it's awake, which is why overnight creams and serums are big business! This product uses the exact same process and should be applied gently to teeth using your finger before bed, left overnight and then teeth brushed as normal in the morning. This basically feels like you're applying clear spearmint toothpaste to your teeth, so it's really quite pleasant to use. For the first few minutes it feels a bit strange not to lick it off, but once you get used to it you forget about the minty fresh feeling and fall asleep! I love the idea of this and the fact that there's at last something to use on teeth that's not just a boring toothpaste or mouthwash; Pearl Drops are the experts in teeth whitening, so their expertise has paid off to bring us something truly unique. I've only been using this for a few days so I'm not sure what the long term effect will be, but the good news is that at £3.59 you can afford to give it a go...

Pearl Drops Beauty Sleep is available now from Boots priced £3.59
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25.9.12

Avon: Arctic Goddess eyeshadow

The latest collection from Avon offers something slightly unconventional for winter time. Their Arctic Goddess collection, launched in collaboration with their ambassador Alesha Dixon, takes what you'd expect from a winter palette and turns it on its head. There are no deep black shades, sparkles or purples in sight this coming Christmas time, but bright blues, muted turquoises, delicate khakis and simple moleskin shades. Within the Arctic Goddess collection are two limited edition palettes that form a much more exciting celebration of colour - these are the kind of shades you'd normally expect from a spring offering, so it's lovely to be able to play with colour even when the nights are drawing in.




I do like the eyeshadows from Avon, as they're pretty good quality and provide a decent colour payoff. The formula is smooth and easy to blend, although some of the lighter shades do need a lot more working to get them at their best. This collection is a mixed bag, with some of the shades working much better on skin than others - the blue is extremely bright (think Alex Drake in Ashes to Ashes) and the paler hues really catch the light, but the grey is quite difficult to use or get a colour match from the palette onto the eye. I do love the second palette unconditionally though, as the shades are all wearable, complimentary and can be worn wet for a much bolder result. The shades in the second collection of eyeshadows can be worn all year round, from season to season, so this would be a great addition to any makeup bag.




Although I love the concept behind the collection, and the fact they've used ice and the colours of the Arctic to create something a little more inspiring, I utterly detest the packaging! On first glance it looks pretty, but the more I stare at it the more it reminds me of a tacky product from the 1990s. The black packs that are used for the core collection are classic, elegant and reminiscent of Chanel, so why they chose to cover that up with this hideous design is beyond me. A touch of something in the corner would have been a lot more effective, plus given a distinction between the two shades. Outer packaging regardless, these are still two great collections of colour that will definitely refreshen anyone's winter makeup wardrobe. Just keep them hidden at home or paint over with some polish!



The palettes will be available from November priced £8.50 each
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30 things before 30

So as of today I have three whole months before I turn the big 3-0. On Christmas Eve I leave my twenties officially behind and enter a new era in my life. I have no idea how I've gotten here so fast, nor how I've ended up where I am, but I wouldn't have changed anything for the world. When I was a little girl I thought being 30 meant being old, boring and responsible. I can safely say I am none of those, but I have certainly experienced some fabulous things I could have never imagined. As I have only three months left to make my twenties count, I figured it was a great opportunity to force myself to do all those things I wanted to do but never got around to undertaking. So, the question is... What should I make sure I experience before I turn 30? What books should I read, which films should I see, what places should I go to, which experiences should I squeeze in to my final few months as a semi-adult? I need your help... Leave me your suggestions below and help me compile my '30 before I'm 30' list before it's too late! (Here's a cheeky photo of me when I was about 10 with my sister and cousins. Check out those floral dresses! Thankfully I managed to improve my fashion sense in later years.)


Here are a few ideas to start me off... There are 20 spaces left for you to fill, so get cracking!

1. Watch Star Wars without falling asleep.
2. Ride a horse.
3. Watch a sport that's not football.
4. Read a Mills & Boon book (just for LOLs)
5. Dress up like a Victorian lady, complete with parasol.
6. Have dinner in the OXO tower.
7. Go to Scotland for a weekend.
8. Help a charity.
9. Sew something more than a skirt hem.
10. Drink Absinthe and try not to pass out.

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24.9.12

Benefit: How to Look the Best at Everything makeup kit

The key to makeup success is knowing what products work well together and how to build up a complete look. Sometimes it's a real challenge knowing what to use or how to apply the various concoctions that include primer, foundation, concealer, highlighter and blush - and that's before you get anywhere near the eyes! Benefit have taken a little bit of the worry out of everyone's routines with this cute little kit 'How to Look the Best at Everything.' The cute book contains Porefessional primer to help minimise the appearance of pores while creating a barrier between makeup and skin, Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow foundation (read more of that fabulous must-have here,) two variants of Boi-ing concealer so you can mix your perfect shade, plus Hello Flawless powder to fix the whole lot into place. There's a step-by-step guide of how to apply, plus a little brush to pat everything into shape before applying any other products. I love the fact that the products can be removed and used on their own, or popped into a travel bag, especially the great concealer tray which will come in very handy for someone like me that doesn't leave the house without some touch-up. The only thing that doesn't come out of the box is the powder (a little annoying) but when you've used everything, you can even remove the card holder and re-use this as a keepsake box for all your bits and bobs. This is a great introduction to Benefit's face products, as well as a perfect gift for someone you know loves Benefit products. If only there was a box that told us how to dress...







The 'How to Look the Best at Everything' kit retails at £24.50. Available in light, medium or dark.
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23.9.12

Primark Jewellery Bargains

Even though I'm obsessed with designer bags and extravagant shoes, I refuse to flash the cash when it comes to jewellery and accessories. More often and not rings turn my fingers green, mental ends up bronzed rather than the original silver or gold, and I more importantly get bored and want something new in a couple of weeks. Primark is always there to help me out with a jewellery fix when I only want to spend a couple of quid. Case in point, I picked up these fab rings this weekend for only £2.50 each. Two pounds and fifty of our British pence! They're massive, look extremely cool and a little bit vintage, the detail is pretty fab and they don't even turn my finger green (yet.) This is why I find myself wondering into Primark nearly every weekend nowadays... And I have loads more fabulous stuff to share!



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22.9.12

WIN: Rodial BB Venom Skin Tint

Rodial are a brand I have a lot of love for. They may come up with questionable names, but under those innovative concoctions lay fabulous formulas and products that push the boundaries. Their latest launch is a BB cream I've been waiting months for; it's always refreshing when a brand doesn't just jump on a bandwagon when a strong trend emerges, but waits to develop a real quality product that exceeds their fans expectations. This BB cream contains ingredients to help plump the skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines, hydrate and refreshen skin to leave your complexion radiant. The formula is creamy without being too heavy, soft without being too runny, and applies to skin easily without needing much effort to blend. It almost melts onto skin and creates a great canvas from which to work upon. Unlike some BB creams that just contain loads of light reflecting particles, this actually contains enough good stuff to bring radiance and consistency to skin without covering too much of your natural skintone. Some BB creams aren't enough for me to brave on a day-to-day basis, but this gives me just enough coverage and radiance to warrant a dab of concealer and we're away.




The skin tint is so much more than a moisturiser (which is often what brands call a BB cream) and really worked well for me. It comes in a cute tube too, allowing you to squirt a small amount onto the back of you hand and blend into skin in a few swipes. Available in three skintones, there's also a shade for most people (light, medium and dark) and shades that cover you from season to season. I've been using this for about two weeks now and keep reaching for it day in, day out as something I know will perform. It doesn't go patchy or run off my face at the end of the day, just needs a little touching up with a dab of powder. I love this so much that I've managed to nab three of these to give away to you lot so you can put it to the test too. Not only that, but the lovely people will also chuck in a fabulous tube of BB Venom Eye too so you can look ultra fabulous. These three prizes are worth £64 each, so you're in for a treat! All you have to do is be a GFG follower of LBQ and leave your name and contact details (email or Twitter handle) below and I'll pick three lucky people to give the BB cream a whirl.

T&Cs. Competition closes on 1st October at 11.59pm. One entry per person. Must be a GFG follower and leave valid contact details. Winners will be chosen at random and contacted via details provided; if no response is provided within 48hrs an alternative winner will be chosen. LBQ is not responsible for delivery of prize. No alternative prize available. 
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21.9.12

Anna Dello Russo at H&M

She's bonkers. There's no other way to describe her, but Anna Dello Russo sure does like to make an impact. About to unveil her collaboration with H&M and fresh from London Fashion Week, Anna has kindly taken some time out to create this music video all about fashion. The two minutes required to watch the video will never be better spent; she shares her top ten fashion tips (including 'lesson number seven: must wear outfit once') and even imparts knowledge on how to wear a coat as a dress. Watch it. Please. You won't regret it.

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20.9.12

GOSH Cosmetics Nail Glitter

The nail trend at the moment is definitely adornments of every kind. From blingtastic nail art, to caviar manicures and velveteen toppings, everything you could possibly put on your nails is thoroughly accessible. Nail glitter may not be the most revolutionary or stand out, but it's certainly fun, practical and effective. GOSH are launching a range of nail glitters in time for the festive season with colours including green, blue, pink, gold, black and everything in-between. I've fallen a little bit in love with this silver 'moonstone' option as a way to create a statement nail, adding a bit of bling without going OTT.




The glitter comes in a little pot that's perfectly sized for nail dipping, so that all you have to do is paint your nails and pop in the glitter to create the effect. For best results paint your nails and leave for a few seconds to get tacky (don't leave for too long or the polish won't be wet enough for the glitter to cling to,) popping individual nails into the pot and covering entirely with the glitter. You can apply the shimmer to either a coloured polish for a more three-dimensional result, to one talon to create a focus nail, or even to clear polish to get the intensity of the glitter to pull through in its entirety. You do have to ensure the whole nail is covered in a thick layer, leaving for at least 5mins before brushing off any excess, or the result will be patchy.




I love these little pots. They bring a real sense of fun and occasion to otherwise simple nails, making an impact without the need for excessive effort. You get quite a lot of glitter in each pot, allowing you to get a good few nails out of each one if used sparingly. At £3.99 each these are also a much more affordable option for those nail art enthusiasts that can't justify £30 for a WAH nail session, or the time it takes to book an appointment and plonk yourself down in a seat. Come Christmas, these glitter pots will be a girl's best friend and offices will be covered in sparkle.

GOSH Nail Glitters available this Autumn from Superdrug priced £3.99 each
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19.9.12

London Fashion Week: Giles

Giles Deacon pulls out all the stops out for his London Fashion Week shows and this season was no exception. Increasingly known for his extravagant designs and impactful headpieces, the hair and makeup have to compliment and enhance his creations rather than contrast them. The dresses were large, the headpieces larger, the sunglasses round and the textures to die for. The lips were bold and bright, leaving the rest of the complexion to be muted and natural, while the hair was effortlessly tousled to create 'lived-in hair with a sense of DIY.' Worn off the face for a distinctly anti-fashion feel, each girl was styled in her own unique way, rather than a universal hair trend look for all. To get the sexy, lived-in bed hair at home, just follow these simple steps: "Apply mousse into the roots at the front of the hair and hand dry, creating a messy side-parting with the fingers. Spray label.m Blow Out Spray through mid lengths and ends and twist hair into ‘bun like shapes’ to encourage texture. Diffuse dry to encourage movement and/or free-hand tong depended on hair texture. Apply a small spritz of Sea Salt Spray to layer product for enhanced movement." You just need a bold pink lipstick, a pair of sunnies and you could be on your very own catwalk. 







Hair styled by the talented bods at Toni & Guy
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18.9.12

London Fashion Week: Burberry Beauty

There's always one show that steals the thunder away from everyone else at fashion week - Burberry. The mac-loving, quintessentially British brand has grown up somewhat in the last few years, giving us sophisticated and elegant looks that we can all achieve at home. Not everyone can justify spending £1000 on a raincoat (even if it is bright purple and metallic), so their beauty range is the perfect way to take a little bit of designer from the catwalk and into your bedroom. This season the look was striking, simple and classic all in one: "Siren red lip with soft definition, inspired by the strong, feminine attitude of the season’s Burberry girl. A sheer, sculpted complexion combines with naturally defined and almost bare eyes for a modern-day look." The strong lip colour worn by each model at the show is a shade of Lip Velvet called Siren Red, launching later this year. I love how they kept the complexion flawless, the lashes bare and the lips the entire focus of the look on the pout. How very British.



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LFW SS 2013: Spijkers & Spijkers

This year the film adaptation of The Great Gatsby finally hits our screens, Downton Abbey enters a new century and flapper dresses are due to explode over the high street. The 1920's are well and truly on-trend. The hair experts at Toni & Guy worked with fashion house Spijkers and Spijkers to create a classic look with a modern twist for their London Fashion Week show, based on 20's flapper girls. Delicate waves were created using deep barrel wavers and pinned up, while a subtle length of rope was placed around the forehead. The attainable style perfectly compliments the graphics inspired by the period, while not being too fixed or harsh against the skin. Makeup was also kept simple, with a simple flash of blue liner left to do the talking - sometimes less is definitely more when the clothes are this bold. If you want to recreate the look at home, just follow these simple instructions: "Wet hair with a volume mousse and add sea salt spray to the top layer of hair around the hairline. Flash dry hair with a hairdryer and use Deep Barrel Wavers on the surface layer of the hair, spray over with a dry shampoo then brush out. Place hair in a rope-tail at the back of the head and secure." Now you just need some dancing shoes.






Hair styled by the talented bods at Toni & Guy
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