28.2.13

The Big Reunion LIVE!

Five bad boys with the power to rock you. You got my bodyshakin. Get hot, just a little bit. One for the money and the free ride. Looking back on where we first met. Say you will, say you won't, say you'll do what I don't. This is a love of a lifetime. These were the phrases that made up my kidulthood, the bands that adorned my walls and the reason I rushed to the newsagent before school to pick up Smash Hits magazine. If you haven't been watching The Big Reunion on ITV2 then you're really missing a trick; Atomic Kitten, 5ive, 911, B*Witched, Honeyz, Liberty X and now Blue have reformed to bring back the old school tunes of our yoof. I couldn't have asked for anything better as a 30th birthday present (I was trying to get 911 to play my 30th birthday, but they were suprisingly secretive as to why they were busy!) than this brilliant TV show that's had me tuned in every Thursday night, no matter what. I was quick off the mark and managed to get tickets for myself and three girlfriends to the live show this week and I have literally never been so excited in my entire life. All the bands pulled it out of the bag to produce a show that had everyone on their feet, screaming, dancing, cheering, doing the dance routines and even crying. It was so heartwarming to see these once-popstars take to the stage and really appreciate it a second time around. I won't spoil it too much as you must watch it on 26th March, but here are some of my fave pics from the evening.



































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27.2.13

New fragrance: DKNY City

One of my favourite places in the world is New York City. I sobbed the last time I got on a flight out of JFK and spent the next month saying to myself 'this time last X I was doing Y in NYC.' Donna Karan's iconic DKNY brand sums up the city perfectly well, bringing classic elegance with an edgy coolness that perfectly represents The Big Apple. Her fragrances have been a firm favourite of mine ever since I thought the apple bottle from Delicious was the most sophisticated thing I'd ever owned. She now launches a new fragrance for women that is dedicated to the city of New York. The scent is simply called 'City' and allegedly captures the nonstop energy of Manhattan with its fruity composition. 'DKNY City fragrances transport you into the heart of urban life, reminiscent of the lively and enticing nightlife that keeps New York City bustling into the wee hours of the morning.' I'm not sure that once fragrance can sum up a city as diverse and bustling as New York, but I do rather like this fresh and fruity scent: “Start off the night with a fusion of pink grapefruit, white currant and orange blossom to help you keep up with the endless energy of a city night. The fragrance then transforms as the sun sets into a deeper bouquet of acacia and gardenia petals to fuel your senses. At the end of the evening, musk soothes your senses as warm cedarwood and oakmoss create a signature trail that will make you, and your night, unforgettable.” It's a fragrance that can be worn all day, taking you into the evening with a light scent that can be topped up or merged with another. This isn't as iconic as some of the other perfumes that have been launched, but it's inoffensive and light... Making it the perfect airport impulse purchase or slightly classier souvineer than a Statue of Liberty mug. Apparently these will be available exclusively within Duty Free airports, so even if you've just been to Scotland for a day you can totally pretend you flew to NYC to pick this up.






Available now in Duty Free exclusively. Available in 50ml.
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26.2.13

Illamasqua Powder Blush Duo

It may be grey and dull outside, but it doesn't mean we can't brighten our faces and add a flush of colour to our cheeks! I'm quickly realising I've massively been missing a trick by not having Illamasqua in my life - the products may be quirky and bright, but they're also extremely versatile and add some 'wow' factor to your makeup collection. This blusher duo is one of those products that every lady should be reaching for all year round; containing two strong shades of pink and orange, you wouldn't instantly identify this as a product to give you a glowing natural complexion. I'm a big fan of orange blush, with Benefit's Cha Cha Tint being a year-round staple, as it's much more warming than a pink tone on the apple of your cheek. Orange not only sets off a tan, but it has a strange 'warming' effect on even the dullest of skintones - whenever I'm hungover to death or surviving on four hour sleep, the orange comes out. Pinks can often be a bit scary, but worn correctly they can give you an English Rose look without the need for milky white skin; adding a flush of cerise to the apple of the cheek, blending upwards and dusting over with a light layer of loose powder can help you look like you've just stepped in from a chilly morning. (Right now you can probably achieve that without makeup.) These blushers are really pigmented, but also really smooth and easy to blend to get just a hint of colour on the skin. Although they look pretty dark and scary, they actually are a lot better than paler shades that need a lot of product to build up a decent result. Even better is that you can touch up throughout the day by dabbing a finger in the pan and swirling around your cheek; no heavy application or seven brushes required. I'm in love.





Available online and in Illamasqua boutiques. Currently in Debenhams for £26.00
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25.2.13

NEW: Radox Shower Cream

Buying shower gel is quite like buying bread. When you go to the supermarket you know you need bread, you know it's not that exciting and you know that there isn't that much difference between the twenty varieties on the shelf; you still stand there for five minutes trying to decide if seedy ones are better for you than crusty loafs though. The purchasing of shower gel is a very similar experience - realistically they're all liquid soap in a tube that smells quite nice and gives you a handful of bubbles, but there's not much to separate one from another. Radox are one of those brands that we know quite well though, so more often than not it's the first tube we grab when we're in a rush. To all their credit they have tried to make taking a shower that little bit more exciting, launching a range of shower creams that are bursting with scent and definitely stand out on your bathroom shelf. These creams are bold, bright and champion their fruit scents; it's a huge change from the relaxing bubble baths my Nan swore by and the green stuff that reminds me of my Grandad. All the varieties in the range have the same white cream colour and texture, but the scent is quite inconsistent: Berry Burst is literally an explosion of sweet berry fragrances that will certainly wake you up in the morning (or possibly make you vom if you're not a sweet fan,) whereas Coconut Kiss provides a delicate hint of coconut, rather than feeling like you're bathing in Bounty bars. To be honest, there's no real unique selling point or point of difference for these shower gels - they're just bright, pretty and smell sweetly. It's nice to use something fun in the morning, and Radox have certainly nailed that... Even if the buying process can still somewhat be compared with taking home a loaf of Warburtons.




Available now priced £1.99 (although apparently £1 in Wilkinsons at the moment!)
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24.2.13

Topshop Peel-Off Nail Varnish

Everything 90s seems to be making a comeback in 2013. We've got 'Fresh Prince of Bel Air' fashion, reunions featuring our favourite boybands, re-releases of Ministry of Sound's classic tunes and an appreciation for everything fluro. One of the trends that filled my childhood was peel-off nail varnish; most of the time though I don't think that was the design objective, just a sign of cheap polish brought from the chemist for a quid. Topshop are bringing it back with a modern twist this Spring with the launch of this grey-lilac shade of peelable goodness. I love the shade as it's a slightly new take on nude - not strong enough to be classifed as a proper 'colour', but not the traditional beige or brown we're so used to seeing. I'm not sure how they make the formula 'peelable,' but the polish is definitely a lot thinner than any other I've used - you need a good three or four coats of this to overcome the transparency and really build up enough for the result of other polishes. The consistency is almost gel-like, forming a rubbery-layer on nails that stays put without peeling off naturally; my main concern with this was that it was going to peel off without me actively trying to do so, but it really stays without chipping. The benefit of the gel formula means the polish doesn't chip like traditional polishes, because it dries in one layer with the aim of it all coming off in one strip. When you do want to peel it off it's easy to do by catching a corner and pulling it across the nail; it takes base coat with it though, leaving nails completely clean without the need for polish remover. Suprisingly it doesn't appear to damage the nail in any way either, although I probably wouldn't recommend using this every day and peeling it off every night! This is a perfect solution if you're going away or to a festival this Summer - you can peel off grubby nails and re-apply without the need for nail varnish remover. Fun, fabulous and very practical too.




Peel-off nail varnish available in four colours in Topshop stores and online.
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23.2.13

Superdrug Exclusive: B Skincare & Micellar Water

We often spend a lot of time thinking about lipstick, mascara and eyeshadow, but without a great canvas there's little point in applying tonnes of slap. Skincare is so essential and looking after your skin will not only make you feel better, but it'll make you look fresher too. Superdrug have launched a fantastic and affordable super-charged anti-aging range, which has absolutely everything your skin needs - no matter your skin type, age or lifestyle. Good formulas and great performing products usually come at a high price point, but it's fantastic to see that B.Skincare starts from as little as £4.99. The main collection of moisturisers and serums is divided into three phases: Phase 1 focuses on age prevention and hydrating the skin; Phase 2 aims to boost radiance and reduce fine lines and wrinkles and Phase 3 targets deep wrinkles whilst firming and repairing the skin. Best of all, confusing jargon and scientific language is kept to a minimum, so you actually understand what products you should be using and how to use them to get the best results. Not only do a lot of the products contain Hyaluronic Acid (to help the skin retain moisture for a fresh, plump look,) but also Tetrapeptide 21 (which boosts the skin’s firmness and elasticity for a youthful result,) Celligent (to help repair the skin from sun damage, and therefore wrinkles,) and SPF to prevent sun damage occurring in the first place. Although there are moisturisers, serums and masks for varying life stages, there are also many 'universal' products that are suitable for any skin type, including a melting cleanser, eye cream, face wipes and night creams. I have a few of the products myself, but I've utterly fallen in love with the Micellar Water which acts as a 3-in-1 cleanser that dissolves makeup and dirt from the skin. If you haven't heard of Micellar Water before, it contains microscopic oil molecules to lift dirt, make-up and oil from the skin. Its gentle nature means it won’t interfere with the skin’s natural barriers or PH balance and, with no rinsing away, skin never feels tight or uncomfortable after cleansing. You’ll find cleansing waters an absolute staple in the kit of any make-up artist because they cause the least possible trauma to over-worked model skin; Bioderma has had makeup artists and bloggers in a tizz for years for offering this very thing. I can't believe the B.Skincare version costs as little as £4.99, working so well to remove more dirt than any other cleanser or toner I own, while leaving skin feeling refreshed and bright. The design of the range has been kept as simple as possible (presumably to keep the price down,) so there are no ugly bottles or bright colours to scare your wrinkles into submission. I really believe this is a range that's here to stay and one I'm going to continue to investigate; in the meantime though, every single one of you needs to rush out to Superdrug with a fiver in hand - get this Micellar Water now!



Find out more about the range here. B.Skincare is available exclusively from Superdrug, with prices starting from £4.99. British Beauty Blogger is also an ambassador for the range!
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