31.7.13

New Look: Christmas 2013 Preview

We may be five months off putting up a Christmas tree, but the beauty and fashion world go crazy for the festive season every July in an attempt to get into those big glossy magazines with ridiculously early deadlines. Although I have no interest whatsoever in bringing you news of products you can't get your hands on for months, I always find looking forward to general trends utterly fascinating. What will we be wearing during the festive season this year, and more importantly... What will we be finding in our stocking?

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LBQ Brand Focus #10: Eucerin

Created over 100 years ago as a smooth basic ointment to carry other active ingredients, Eucerin originated in Germany and was originally used as a pharmaceutical product. Doctors used it predominantly in the surgery to treat skin diseases, as well as for everyday problems such as sore hands. The brand really took off in the 1980's, launching into the worldwide market with the addition of Urea - a highly moisturising ingredient that can aid the skin's hydration levels. Today, we know Eucerin as a dermatological skin care brand that's based on 'honest skin science.' It supports the skin’s basic requirements and aims to provide the confidence of a healthy radiant skin: through working with dermatologists and using advanced technological expertise, Eucerin produces reliable and highly effective product innovations. They choose to use active ingredients that require clinical proof of efficacy, so you can rest assure that Eucerin holds itself to excellent product quality and effectiveness on the skin. 
eucerin

Eucerin isn't just about skincare products though. In 2004 they opened their very own international research centre in Hamburg, which hosts over 650 scientists; they carry out dermatological research and product development in cooperation with renowned universities and institutes, ensuring that Eucerin will continue to bring us skincare innovations in the future. If you suffer from dry, irritated skin (or even eczema) then Eucerin may have products that will really help with your skin's hydration levels. Eucerin not only offers day and night cream, as well as body lotion, but targeted products such as calming shampoo, intensive hand cream and bath oil. If you just need a little pick-me-up, then the Q10 Active range is suitable for sensitive skin, while the DermoPURIFYER range has been formulated especially for acne prone and troublesome skin types. Eucerin doesn't just include moisturisers either, with cleansers, toners, scrubs and cover-ups also being available to ensure you're looking fresh and radiant. It may not look exceptionally glamourous, but Eucerin really delivers where it matters - helping you achieve a hydrated and plump complexion.

Find out more about the Eucerin skincare range here.

This is a sponsored post on behalf of www.mistrys.co.uk
 
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Fight The Frizz this Summer!

For us Brits, the sunshine doesn't only mean BBQs and lazing in the park, it also means humidity. We're one of those lucky countries that gets a good dose of it, and often this can feel like living in a sauna. Some people cope better than others, but a sure sign of high humidity is frizzy and dry hair. We can't win; one minute we're combating the harsh cold in winter, the next there's no respite from the glaring sun and this can mean dry scalps, ends and lots of tresses in need of an instant pick-me-up. Well worry no more! As an advocate of long, thick and decidedly frizzy hair, I feel your pain and have come up with a few products that might just save your summer.


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30.7.13

Urban Decay: The Brow Box

Eyebrows may not be the window to our soul, but they're certainly the picture frame to our features. A good brow can totally change the formation of our features, framing them and highlighting the eyes in a way that no eyeshadow magic will ever be able to replicate. As a huge brow advocate, I'm always on the look-out for a great product to fill in and sculpt my bushy features; Urban Decay's newly re-launched 'The Brow Box' provides everything I need and more in one super cute case.

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Kardashian Beauty launches at feelunique.com

As if a range of jeans, bedding and fragrances wasn’t enough, the Kardashian sisters' latest project to hit our shores is Kardashian Beauty - available exclusively at feelunique.com. The products I’ve taken for a test drive are a drop in the ocean of this extremely extensive range (including everything from highlighters, lip crayons and LOTS of false eyelashes,) but it was enough to give me an indication of quality and performance. My everyday make-up is very natural so I was unsure if the super glamourous, high wattage glitter look of the Kardashians would be for me...

Kardashian Beauty
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29.7.13

LBQ's Top Three: Home Hair Dyes

Covering greys and creating a lustrous colour result has been my hair mission for many moons. Sometimes taking a trip to the hairdresser is just too expensive, too inconvenient or too time consuming, so home hair colourants provide the perfect solution. I've tried every hair dye going, some resulting in disastrous consequences and bright red bathrooms, but these three products are the ones I keep going back to; they provide me with the confidence to dye my hair at home knowing the result will be long-lasting and flawless.

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Cocoa Brown’s One Hour Tan Mousse

While I do love fake tan to give my pale skin a bit of colour, they usually take at least 6 hours to develop: meaning a rigmarole of applying in the evening and waiting until dry, then stepping out of orange stained pyjamas in the morning and rinsing off a ghastly guide colour. The answer to long and arduous tanning routines appears to come in the shape of Cocoa Brown One Hour Tan Mousse, which promises beautifully bronzed radiant skin in just one hour, cutting down the usual waiting and developing time significantly.

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26.7.13

Liz Earle launches Limited Edition Cleanse & Polish

Possibly my most recommended and re-purchased product ever, Liz Earle's cult classic Cleanse & Polish is on so many millions of bathroom shelves for a reason. The original hot cloth cleanser, Cleanse & Polish massages away makeup, dirt and grime in a matter of seconds to leave skin feeling and looking refreshed. If you're a lazy makeup remover, then this is the perfect alternative to the dreaded face wipes as it takes practically the same time to use, but is 100% more effective. The creamy formula is non-irritating to skin and includes naturally active ingredients eucalyptus and cocoa butter for smoother, cleaner skin. Although the original formulas is blooming brilliant, Liz Earle are launching a Limited Edition version in Grapefruit and Patchouli; following on from the success of their previous Lavender version, this is sure to be a complete sell-out too. The fragrance is zingy and uplifting, making it perfect to use in the morning to remove all the dead skin cells from the surface to reveal the brightness underneath. Hitting shelves on August 29th (priced £19.75) this is a one-off product that's never to be seen again, so make sure you stock up while you can!
The limited edition Grapefruit and Patchouli fragrance is available from 29th August priced £19.75. Available in Liz Earle stores and online.

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Concoction: Couture Haircare exclusive to Selfridges

If you've ever been to the hairdresser and been recommended a bazillion different shampoos, conditioners and styling products because your hair requires so much care and attention, then you may be interested to know of a fantastic new launch that's set to revolutionise the hair industry. If, like me, you need straightening protection, extra moisture and a hit of shine to bring your brunette locks back to life, then you can have all of that and more in one shampoo. Concoction is the brain child of Alex Epstein, a previous contestant on The Apprentice and an all-round great guy who really believes in this brilliant new brand. Concoction literally allows you to call the shots, providing you with your very own bespoke shampoo that's created in front of your very eyes.


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Fashion Focus: The House of Jam

Once in a while an independent fashion label creeps onto my radar that makes me truly excited. The rising popularity of ASOS Marketplace has meant that these labels are gradually becoming as much of a part of our shopping life as the High Street. I don't even know how vintage and reworked fashion label House of Jam made it into my life – but I am seriously glad it has. Offering a massive range of one off vintage styles and handcrafted designs for fashionistas on a budget, House of Jam is an easily accessible boutique filled with 80's shapes, 90's patterns and an entire range of reasonably priced summer styles you'll be itching to get your hands on.

House of Jam

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25.7.13

GOSH: Smokey Eye Liners

The smokey eye is rather like the little black dress - it'll never go out of style. A subtle smokey look around the eye oozes glamour and captures the essence of Sophia Loren. Although this has been done many times before, GOSH cosmetics are launching their very own version of the double-ended smokey eye liner pencil. It's available in four different shades (black, brown, blue and plum) and includes a smudging brush at the end, with a handy cover to ensure it doesn't get covered in makeup when floating around your makeup bag. These are crayons, as opposed to the traditional khol pencil, which provides a much creamier and smudgier look. The pigment and pay-off is extremely strong, providing a deep colour with only one swipe of the tip - however, there is very little difference between the colours on the skin (as you can see by the swatches below,) so don't expect to get a bright blue or delicate purple... The packaging is quite misleading! I really like these budget buys, especially as they smudge easily and create a great smokey look for even the most novice of makeup enthusiasts.


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Getting Your Feet Sandal Ready

The sunny weather has taken us all by surprise, even more so now that it seems to be sticking around (whoop!) I hate my feet, so as glorious as the weather is for BBQs and Pimms, I still dread looking down at my not-so-splendid sandals. I'm sadly not in a position to be having regular pedicures, so have compiled my top ways to get your feet sandal ready...


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24.7.13

LBQ Brand Focus #9: BECCA Cosmetics

Some of you may remember BECCA from when they last exploded onto the UK cosmetics scene, but due to unforeseen circumstances and market changes they were forced to withdraw and re-evaluate. Now a year later they're back with a bang, bringing Rebecca Morrice Williams vision to Space NK stores nationwide. If you're not familiar with BECCA, the Australian brand started life in Perth after Rebecca became frustrated at her inability to find the perfect foundation; as a makeup artist she wanted one that would look natural, conceal blemishes, feel weightless on the skin and stay fresh all day. She simply couldn't find one, so she set about developing it herself. After 6 years of scientific research and development, Rebecca's passion and persistence resulted in 'the ultimate range of skin-perfecting products that make it possible for all women to experience the pleasure of a flawless and radiant complexion.'

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The Capsule Makeup Bag

We're always after that capsule wardrobe, the one with clothes that look good all year round and mean you don't break the bank come the new season. Having that pair of jeans that makes you feel wonderful and a crisp white shirt that goes with everything just makes us feel good. So why don't we do the same with our makeup? We should have a staple set of around 10 products that do for us what our wardrobes does. Here's a quick round up of makeup products I use all year round and tips for what to look for in a product.


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23.7.13

Crabtree & Evelyn: Skin Conditioning Hand Recovery

If you follow me on Twitter you'll know that I've spent the last ten days packing up all my stuff and moving in to my very own apartment. There has been a lot of lifting, a lot of sellotape, a lot of ripping open of things and a lot of nails broken - all in all my hands are pretty messed up as a result. Right now they're in need of some hardcore pampering and intensive hand therapy treatments in order to return them to their former glory. The much loved brand Crabtree & Evelyn have all the tools I need to give my hands the love and attention they so desire, including this fabulous hand recovery scrub treatment.

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FIRST LOOK: One Direction launch makeup range with MUA Cosmetics

One way, or another, they're gonna get you... One Direction seem to be taking over the planet one step at a time. Not only is their merchandise coming our of their ears, but this summer they're launching their very own fragrance (all the details here) and now they're adding to that offering with the launch of their debut makeup line. Partnering with budget brand MUA Cosmetics, the range includes Little Things Nail Polish (£3 and available in 5 shades,) Kiss You Lipstick (£3 and available in 5 shades,) Kiss You Lip Polish (£2.50 and available in 5 shades) and Oh My Glow Cheek Tint (£3 and available in 3 shades.) Launching on 31st July exclusively in Superdrug and online, it's sure to be an absolute sell out.


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Must-have for Summer: Facial SPF

Summer has truly hit the UK. With temperatures reaching up to 30 degrees, protecting yourself from burning is more important than ever. As someone with super pale skin, I’ve tried every SPF under the sun (no pun intended), and know how frustrating trying to find a high factor that you can use on your face and still apply makeup over is. I’ve picked three of the best that will work their magic, without you even knowing they’re there.


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22.7.13

LBQ's Top Three: Body Creams

Keeping our skin hydrated is as essential as brushing our teeth. We lose over 40,000 dead skin cells every day, so in order to keep our limbs looking and feeling healthy we need to apply a moisturiser regularly. Although you can get a basic moisturiser from Poundland and it'll essentially do the job, if you spend a little bit more you can also find some incredibly innovative and luxurious products that help make the experience a little more indulgent. Here are my top three body creams...

best body butters


1. Neal's Yard: Beauty Sleep Body Butter (£22.50 for 200g) 
I'm a big fan of Neal's Yard, but when they launched this thick and indulgent body butter I fell in love. It contains Vitamin A and E to help keep skin feeling fabulous, but it also contains a range of essential oils to relax the mind before bed. I really find this makes a difference to my slumber, helping me to drift off happily into the land of nod and wake up feeling refreshed. It's non-sticky and absorbs quickly, leaving skin feeling nourished and supple. 

2. Steamcream: Original Formula (£12.95 for 75g) 
It took me a while to get into this brand, but once I did I became a convert. Their unique formula is created using steam, loosly binding the light emulsion together. This looseness allows each ingredient to breakdown and penetrate areas of the skin that other creams find hard to reach, leaving skin feeling incredibly hydrated. It contains orange flower water and lavender oil for a unique scent, plus is can be used on the face and hands too. Although there's only one formula, they release new tin designs every season which quickly become a collectors item!

3. Palmer's: Coconut Body Butter (£4.99 for 170g) 
A staple product in any beauty regime, you really can't go wrong with Palmer's. Although their cocoa formulas are a bit too strong for me to wear daily, this coconut butter is refreshing and uplifting (plus it reminds me of drinking Pina Coladas on the beach!) The thick formulas are enriched with natural oils and vitamins to leave skin feeling moisturised and supple, without the awful sticky feeling you often get from cheaper butters. At £4.99 it's a bargain too!

Those are my top three body creams. What are yours?
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St Tropez Fake Tan Remover

One of the things that really gets my goat when using fake tan is stained hand. Even with a mitt some of the product always seems to escape, leaving me with a darkly bronzed thumb or little finger. The St Tropez Tan Remover aims to decrease staining woes, removing fake tan mistakes on the hands ‘in an instant’. The salon inspired formula is specifically designed for palms and fingers, and can be used up to four hours after fake tan application. For someone like me who’s had their fair share of glowing orange palms and always seems to get a concentrated tan splodge or two in the wrong area this seems like a godsend, but does it really work?


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21.7.13

FAST Shampoo & Conditioner: For Longer, Stronger Hair

My quest for long, healthy looking locks took a turn for the worse when I had my hair extensions removed about four weeks ago. For nearly four months I'd been flicking my hair as if I was in a L'Oreal advert, but I soon came tumbling back down to reality once I realised my own hair simply wasn't going to be the same. For anyone that has had hair extensions, you'll know the emotional turmoil you suffer when faced with your natural hair after such a long time in denial - there was really only one thing for it, and that was Mission Longer Hair. First stop, FAST shampoo and conditioner...
 
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20.7.13

Night Time Wind-Down

Let's face it, we're all guilty of letting life get on top of us and often neglect to take time for ourselves to wind down, take everything a little slower and relax. Stress is seemingly becoming such an ingrained part of life that it's hard to imagine being without it. The worst thing? Most forms of stress are self-inflicted and we can take positive steps to deal with them effectively. I know that after I've had a long and busy day at work, tackled a chore list as long as my arm and finally made time for myself in the dwindling evening, all I want to do is take a warm bath and have a pamper.

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Rituals: A Touch of Happiness

If we all walked around with a smile on our face and a spring in our step, the world would be a happier place. Rituals are aiming to do their bit for the good of humanity (well, temporarily) with the launch of their new Laughing Buddha collection. Containing a body cream, body scrub, shower foam, shower oil and bed perfume, the scents aim to uplift and energise with their fruity orange notes. I'm a huge fan of Rituals (their shower foam is to die for,) so this new scented range is a welcome addition to my home scents.


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19.7.13

NEW: L'Oreal Professionnel, Liss Unlimited Smoothing Treatment

Hair plus heat equals frizz on a massive scale. My hair probably frizzes more than most, mainly because it's extremely dry and coarse, so has a lot of room to absorb moisture from the air. Many brands have tried their luck at creating frizz control products, but in my experience the effects don't last long and hair regains its frizzy features within a few hours. L'Oreal have just launched their very own smoothing treatment which claims to provide up to 4 days worth of frizz fighting capability, even when faced with up to 80% humidity (so that's tropical rainforest type climates!) The climate-proof hair care range is enriched with Pro-Keratin (to help repair the hair’s internal structure, making it feel stronger and more resilient,) Kukui Nut (to defend dry, rebellious hair from the threat of humidity,) and Evening Primrose (to smooth, nourish and help banish seasonal woes.)


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Ditching the GHDS: The T3 Single Pass Straightening Iron

Having been a GHD advocate for almost a decade, I was keen to give a new brand a try when my straighteners gave up the ghost recently. For years, it has felt like GHD has had somewhat of a monopoly over the styling tools industry - for pretty much the entirety of my hair-straightening life I have used them and nothing else. Enter the T3 Single Pass Iron. Sleek in design, they look like a cracking pair of straighteners but when it comes to hairstyling, looks aren't important - it's all about the results. The T3 Single Pass iron is lined with Tourmaline, which T3 claim promotes healthy hair by sealing in moisture and eliminating frizz.


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18.7.13

Neal's Yard: Frankincense Intense Age-Defying Cream

Before a couple of weeks ago, the only thing I knew about Frankincense was that it appeared in the Nativity. There are no Wise Men in this story, but there is a lot of great science to understand thanks to Neal's Yard's latest innovation: Frankincense Intense. Building on the multi award-winning anti-ageing Frankincense skincare collection, this 'exciting launch which will create a new luxury tier featuring scientific intensive anti- ageing claims, while also staying true to their roots as one of the oldest apothecary brands in the UK.' The new cream has been years in the making and involved several trips to exotic locations to harvest Frankincense from its natural environment - it's effectively sap from the Frankinsense tree that can be used as an anti-inflammatory, as well as helping to even out fine lines and wrinkles thanks to the unique properties it has.


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Maybelline Baby Lips

It’s not often I get excited by a lip balm – how special can they be?! But after raving success in the States and much anticipation for the UK launch, I assumed these must offer something different. The balms come in six scents with passion fruit, cherry and peach offering a very subtle hint of colour whilst lemon basil, mint and cherry serve just as a nourishing balm with SPF20.


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Talking Suncare with Pixiwoo

A couple of weeks ago I popped along to a studio in East London to talk all things suncare with the Pixiwoo sisters. This is the result... So sit back, enjoy a cuppa and listen to me ramble on about using SPF correctly. I hope you like it!

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17.7.13

LBQ Brand Focus #8: Amie Skincare

If you open a magazine, turn on the telly or walk past a department store, no doubt you'll be greeted with a range of anti-ageing products that claim to give you back your youth. But what about the young girls that are actually still in their youth? There's a complete lack of understanding and awareness amongst consumers that skin requires different things as it ages, as well as the larger companies channeling their innovation and marketing budget into helping the more affluent (and older) consumer. As a young girl I was basically stuck with Clean & Clear, so it's extremely refreshing to see Amie Skincare developing products with that youthful market in mind.


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Hair Styling with the Yogi 2-in-1 Curling Wand

My hair is naturally curly, so if I wanted to style it for a big event or party you'd think it would hold a curl well wouldn’t you? Unfortunately that isn’t the case; the only way I've managed to get a manufactured curl to stay in place is using GHD hair straighteners. I love the look of the curl GHDs give my hair but, being pretty rubbish at all things hair in general, I can’t seem to achieve these on my own. I’ve spent many an afternoon sat at a friend’s house while she pulls and primps my hair, layering it with enough hairspray to damage the ozone layer in one sitting. You can imagine the frizzy mess my hair ends up in the morning after! When I was introduced to the Yogi Wand I was sceptical to say the least: I wrap small sections of my hair around a wand and it stays curled? So is it really that simple?
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16.7.13

COMPETITION: QVC, 20 Years of Making Shopping Fun!

If I say QVC you may envisage a multi-tasking mop, a selection of sparkling jewellery or even that orange guy from Bridget Jones' Diary. Well times have moved on and this year QVC are celebrating their 20th year of business in the UK as one of the most popular destinations for beauty products and advice. With an offering of over 200 beauty brands and 100s of exclusive products and offers, QVC really is the one stop shop for the beauty addicts among us. If you tune in to Alison Young's weekly beauty edit you'll be treated to live demos, her invaluable advice and industry secrets that will have you looking fabulous in no time at all. Not only does QVC offer iconic brands such as Liz Earle, Bare Minerals, Elemis, Decleor and L'Occitane, but they have the exclusivity on some of the most up-and-coming brands that are sure to be future classics too.

top 5 qvc

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Looking After Your Summer Money

Whether you're saving up for a dream holiday, need a new summer wardrobe or simply want to get your hands on that flashy convertible you keep seeing on the telly, it's sometimes tricky knowing how to make your money go further. With the recession well and truly upon us, we all need to make sensible decisions and ensure we're waiting for the perfect moment to really splash the cash. Here are my top tips on how to make your money go further this summer...



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Essential Haircare? 3 More Inches from Michael Van Clarke

Luscious long hair is one of those things every woman has lusted after at one time or another. As someone who is guilty of going through the ‘cut, grow, cut’ cycle with my hair as it fails to grow much longer than my shoulders, I couldn’t wait to hear more about the 3 More Inches range from celebrity hairdresser Michael Van Clarke. Designed to help strengthen your hair so that it can keep growing long and healthy, 3 More Inches is a silicone-free 3-step programme for hair.


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15.7.13

LBQ's Top Three: Highlighters

Skin with a flat texture has a tendency to look dull, tired or sun-starved. To inject a little light into your skintone, and give the illusion that you're radiating health and youth, a subtle highlighter can make the world of difference. The key is to find a colour and texture that doesn't clash with your natural skintone - the result should be natural and almost invisible to the naked eye. When it catches the light it will reflect it and provide the illusion of perfect skin, which is all you need to get you through the summer months and beyond. These are my top three highlighters that every lady needs in their makeup bags...

top 3 highlighters

1. New CID Cosmetics: i-glow (£24.00)
A fairly unknown brand, but one that has a cult following from those in the know, New CID Cosmetics bake their highlighters so you get a fabulous texture result. The i-glow is highly pigmented, meaning you need only a subtle sweep across the cheekbones. Thanks to the marbled effect and triple colour combination in the formula, the highlighter provides a very natural glow that helps skin to look uber healthy.

2. Collection: Shimmer Shades (£4.19)
Refreshingly light, the shimmer bricks from Collection are a budget copy of the incredible Bobbi Brown versions. If you can't quite justify a premium price point, this provides a subtle shimmer to the cheekbones that lasts all day and helps to create the illusion of healthy skin. This is my daily choice for when I'm using a matte foundation as the powder blends perfectly.

3. Benefit: Girl Meets Pearl (£24.50) 
Without a doubt, Benefit are the king of highlighters. I love their Sunbeam, as well as Watts Up, but Girl Meets Pearl will always be a makeup staple. The light cream formula works perfect on naked skin, as well as over BB Creams or tinted moisturisers, making it perfect for the warmer months.  It doesn't cake or cause foundation to move either, which is a total bonus.

What are your favourite highlighters? Have you used any of the above?

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Getting Sweaty: Odaban Antiperspirant

I’m not usually a Sweaty Betty but there are some situations which leave me more damp than delighted - first dates, interviews and very warm weather can all leave me a little too 'well-perspired' under the arms, making me more anxious and generally quite worried that I smell. Deodorants do their bit at masking any odour, but I've always felt common antiperspirants a bit lacking for anything more than day-to-day use. In more intense situations, and particularly the over last couple of weeks since its been very sticky weather, I’ve been reaching for something more effective... Out has come the Odaban: 'the antiperspirant guaranteed to work.'


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14.7.13

NEW FORMULA: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion+

You could probably count on one hand the number of beauty products that have had the same formula for over 45 years. Launched back in 1968, Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion has achieved cult status and its instantly recognisable packaging adorns millions of bathroom shelves around the world. This weekend the brand launched a new, updated, reformulated version - Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+. The original formula was designed for the 1968 face, but as women now suffer from different skin complaints due to changes in the environment, the new formula has been updated to reflect that. One bottle sells every 4.87 seconds around the world, proving that its popularity is second to none (even before the formula update!)

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Shop the Trend: White Sunglasses

The sun has finally graced us with its presence, so I'm sure you've had weekend full of Facebook status updates praising the heat and Twitpics of Pimms on the grass. With the sun comes the need for some stylish sunglasses, and nothing says Riveria Chic more than a pair of classic white sunnies with a 1950/60s twist. White is the perfect colour as it goes with everything, whereas black can dull and outfit and draw attention away from your radiant glow. Cats eye glasses look good on practically everyone, as their exaggerated shape isn't dependent upon suiting a certain style. Marry those two things together and you end up with a fabulously elegant summer look that will have you going from picnics in the park, to Henley Regatta via Wimbledon. These are my top picks, especially as the oversized shapes are so easy to wear - however, it's the additional detail on each of these that leaves me lusting after them. What's even better is that you can nab most of them for only £12.00 - looking chic was never any easier!

Would you dare to don a pair of white sunnies? Which are your favourite?
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12.7.13

Chic Outlet Shopping: Milla Jovovich turns Globalista

I love to shop. There's nothing quite like the feeling of finding a beautiful bag, the perfect pair of shoes or a jacket that will instantly update every item in your wardrobe; that feeling is even better when you know you've snapped up a bargain. Chic Outlet Shopping have nine fabulous venues across Europe that allow you to pick up classic beautiful garments at heavily discounted prices - in the UK you may know them better as Biscester Village, but in Paris they go by the name of La Vallee Village, while in Barcelona La Roca Village is their name of choice. To celebrate the women of Europe looking fabulously chic, Chic Outlet Shopping have created the Globalista campaign which features Milla Jovovich traveling across the various cities in her usual elegant style. With powerful red lips and some classic tailoring, Milla literally goes shopping and takes us along for the ride. You can see the full video here, as well as some behind-the-scenes and get the look features, but below is an exclusive peek at how Milla's classic look was created.

I adore Biscester Village and have spent many weekends searching for discounted designer bags, as well as it being the first port of call for special occasions. Did you know they offer hands free shopping, (butler to carry your bags ma'am?) style consultancy (you never have to put together an outfit together alone again,) and even a chauffeur service to get you to the site in style? If there ever was a shopping experience fit for a princess, then it would be this - that's why they call it Chic Outlet Shopping. I'm on the first train to Biscester...


This is a sponsored post on behalf of Chic Outlet Shopping.
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Can your kitchen make you beautiful?

I’m the first to be seduced by ludicrously expensive night creams that promise to be a ‘facelift in a bottle’ but when it comes to beauty, could the answer be found in our kitchen cabinets? Is it worth taking beauty back to basics? I investigate...

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11.7.13

Tresemme Keratin Smooth: 60 Second Treatment Shot

Keratin is definitely the buzz word of the beauty world at the moment - everything is keratin infused, from shampoos to hairdryers and everything between. Effectively protein that makes up the outer structure of the hair, if you add keratin via a product or styling device it should aid its appearance and help hair to look healthy, shiny and full of life. Tresemme have their very own range of Keratin Smooth hair care and styling products, now adding to the range with the launch of their Keratin Smooth 60 Second Treatment Shot. Easy to use, all you have to do is massage into the hair, concentrating on the most dry and frizzy areas, and leave on for 60 seconds before rinsing off 'to reveal silky smooth hair.' Bringing back memories of the VO5 hot oil treatment shots that filled my bathroom for the best part of the 90's, I was keen to give this a go and see if it really could aid my locks in only 60 seconds.


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Top Tips for a Pearly White Smile

We all know that brushing our teeth twice a day, as well as using mouthwash and dental floss, is the way to healthy, shining, pearly whites. Just like with makeup, we can let life get the better of us and let the odd brush or rinse slip - however, unlike forgetting to take your makeup off and having a little breakout, not brushing can leave our teeth rotten and cause further problems. A nice smile is massively important when you want to show off your new lip gloss or tinted balm, so we need to know how we can do our best to look after our smile: day in and day out.


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10.7.13

LBQ Brand Focus #7: Pixi Beauty

My bedroom is filled to the brim with makeup in all shapes, sizes, colours and packages, but one brand always stands out and makes me smile: Pixi. Created over 10 years ago and launched in their flagship boutique in Soho, Pixi has developed a loyal worldwide following thanks to their cute designs, effective formulas and fabulous kits. Their ethos has been built based on the creation of skin-loving products that create a naturally radiant 'just had a good night's sleep' look. Understated colours and perfect combinations, as well as multi-tasking products that are perfect for ladies with busy lives (and busier handbags) form the basis of the brand: Creator Petra Strand has over twenty years of experience as a makeup artist, product developer and mum.

"Pixi's mission is the same now as it was on the first day the Pixi store opened: simply to bring out the natural beauty in all women – to make women look like themselves, only better ingredients so that skin is treated whilst you wear it." Known predominantly for a few of their iconic products (such as the brilliant Succulent Lip Twin, which acts as both a lip and cheek stain, as well as the Tinted Brilliant Balm) the real gems are their super handy makeup kits. Perfect for taking away for a weekend, or even just solving the problem of makeup storage, their handy kits contain everything you need to create a look in one little package. Not only do these make amazing gifts, but they're perfect for a little self-indulgence on payday too. I love the Fake Awake Kit (which contains concealers, highlighters, blushers and lip stains to make any complexion glow,) as well as the Early Bird Kit (which includes 16 eyeshadows and a variety of blush and bronzer shades for cheeks.) With great ingredients, beautiful packaging and a colour spectrum to make IKEA jealous, you'd expect the products to cost a fortune - however, Pixi starts from as little as £8.80 and offers multi-tasking kits from only £16.00 each! Beautiful and bargainous? I'm in!

Pixi beauty

Have you tried Pixi? What are your favourite products?
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The Post-Festival Recovery Kit

Now that summer is well and truly upon us, it's likely that some of you will be spending the odd weekend in a muddy field over the next month or so. As fun as festival season is, it's inevitable you'll break out of your regular skincare and beauty routines in favour of a quick baby wipe wash and a spruce-up with dry shampoo. If you're suffering with the post-festival blues (physically rather than mentally,) you'll be needing a festival recovery kit. Here are my top picks...


festival recovery kit

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9.7.13

Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat: Channeling the Textured Nail Trend

Apparently plain nail varnish just isn't cool enough anymore. You need a textured finish to ensure you're really down with the kids - something that, until now, I just wasn't prepared to get behind. I've written before how I don't quite understand feathered, cobbled, leatherette finishes on the nail, but with their latest launch Sally Hansen have a collection I can really get my head around. Their 'Fuzzy Coat' nail polishes are effectively a triple colour mix of matte glitter flecks that, when mixed in a high concentration, create a unique finish on the nail. Unlike so many of their glitter counterparts, these topcoats actually contain enough 'texture' to actually create a strong result after only one coat. They can be worn alone for a truly unique look, or over a strong base colour to contrast against the tones in the 'Fuzzy Coat' finish. I love many things about these unique polishes - their simplicity, their ease of use, their longevity and their ability to match multiple outfits thanks to the different colours in the flecks. So many times I have to change my polish to match a new outfit, but with these multi-coloured flecks being matchy-matchy isn't such a priority. You don't even need a topcoat over these (as effectively that's what they are,) but they still provide up to five days chip-free wear. Finally a nail trend I'm cool enough for.

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Michael Van Clarke Diamond Dry Cut

Michael Van Clarke is a luxurious salon set in the heart of Marylebone London, just a stone’s throw away from Marylebone high street and Oxford Street. Owned by renowned hairdresser Michael Van Clarke, I recently went along to try out their signature Diamond Dry Cut at the salon. The Diamond Dry Cut involves cutting hair dry rather than when wet to enable the stylist to see how the hair naturally moves and to adjust the cut accordingly. They state that two haircuts are never the same and that each one is tailored to the individual needs of the client and their hair. My stylist discussed with me the sort of style I was after as well as finding out how much time I spent on styling. I was keen to have a long bob with my fringe cut back in, and she agreed that this would be a nice style given the texture of my hair. Although they cut hair dry at the salon, you still get the usual shampoo and condition first, (plus an amazing head massage!) while hair is rough dried before the cut starts.


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8.7.13

LBQ's Top Three: Hairsprays

Sometimes we forget about the simple things, the products that help us on our way to a perfectly coiffed hair do and keep us in place when things get hot on the dancefloor. Hairspray is one of those products that every woman owns, but doesn't pay too much attention to. Like an old reliable pet dog, hairspray acts as a companion throughout our lives without drawing too much attention to itself. But what sprays actually help to create a strong hold, without causing (what I like to call) the 'cardboard' effect? These are my top three hairsprays that I wouldn't be without.

top three hairsprays

1. Moroccanoil: Luminous Hairspray £16.65 (330ml)
Not a brand you would normally think to go to for a hairspray, but Moroccanoil's light and pleasant spray helps to define shape while creating natural hold. The finish is extremely subtle, not creating the dreaded crunchy feeling on hair - even when you pile it on. It's great for layering and using on waves, curls or texture. This was my ultimate spray while on bridesmaid duty, covering myself and the bride (plus half the bridal party) from top to toe to ensure a hair wasn't out of place.

2. L'Oreal: Elnett Satin Hairspray £7.51 (440ml)
A classic in anyone's book, Elnett provides great hold for stronger styles that need to rely on a bit more than a few kirby grips. Although they claim you can brush this through and completely style again, it does leave slight residue that provides texture to the hair after. For a budget buy this is great at creating hold, volume and structure to the hardest of hair styles to manage. 

3. SHOW Beauty: Finishing Spray £30.00 (250ml)
This tropical smelling spray has become a first favourite of mine, thanks to its seriously light finish yet strong hold. Taking the place of my daily favourite, this spray is practically invisible to the touch but still manages to keep texture and movement in hair all day long. It's great at controlling those annoying stray hairs, but equally fab for using on a Saturday night - it provides the confidence that your hair will look great all evening long.

What are your favourite hairsprays to use at home?
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Revlon Photoready Perfecting Primer

I was recently on the hunt for a primer that would keep my make up looking good all day, but without the 'slip' of normal silicone primers. With my combination skin it can be a battle to even out the texture while keeping shine at bay, so when I came across Revlon's lightweight Photoready Perfecting Primer for £11.99 in Boots I thought it would be a brilliant choice to add to my growing counter-top collection. The Photoready Primer promises to diffuse light to minimise imperfections, fill pores and fine lines, and soften skin to create a smooth base so foundation glides on evenly. It also promises to smooth the complexion and even out skin tone with its subtle pink tint. Tested at first on my hand, this primer felt silky but not heavy, lighter than the usual thick silicone gels and seemed to add radiance to the skin. Unfortunately for me, on my face it's another story and after giving it a final test run at an all day event a few weeks ago this has been sadly demoted to my drawer of disappointing products.


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7.7.13

ScareDoo: 2 in 1 Haircare Brush

One of the things I hate most is brushing my hair. When I was a little girl I dreaded the moment my mum attempted to de-tangle my barnet and fashion it into a school-appropriate style, because it meant the brush getting stuck and me squealing until she stopped. Twenty years later the situation isn't much different, although the pain is self-inflicted and the problem stems from hair extensions. ScareDoo have developed and launched a unique 2-in-1 haircare brush that aims to detangle hair effectively, without causing damage or breaking the hair shaft. Its shape has been designed to fit every size of hand, so it's perfect for adults and children alike, plus it comes in all sorts of funky colours. The detangling bristles come in three different sizes to ensure hair is subtly brushed through and left tangle free, but if you flip the brush over it also contains traditional bristles that can be used to style and perfect your hair too. It's soft enough on the scalp to use on kids big and small, plus it's lightweight and perfect for travel or popping in your handbag. Although Tangle Teezers seem to have taken the world by storm, this in my opinion is way better - it's lightweight, has two sides for dual purpose brushing, plus it looks pretty cool. Having a brush in the palm of your hand provides better control and ease of styling too, making this perfect to really get deep down and ensure hair is combed to perfection in one swoop. Brushing has never been easier!


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Radox Revive Citrus shower gels

Having an awakening morning shower is the best start to a day, made even more uplifting with a refreshing and zesty shower gel. I love citrus fragrances in the bathroom, believing they really help to awaken my senses and set me up for the day ahead, so the new launches from Radox are just what the doctor ordered. Available in three zesty variants (Uplifting, Revive and Energise,) they contain ingredients such as pink grapefruit, lemongrass, lime and peppermint - somewhat unusual and a bit more extravagant than your usual shower gel. I love the lemongrass notes of Revive, the tangy grapefruit in Uplifting and even the mojito scent of Energise. As with all Radox shower gels, they lather really well and the scent diffuses into the air quickly so you're not left with a lingering perfume. These are perfect for long summery days and longer cooling-off showers.


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5.7.13

How to Achieve a Flawless Looking Fake Tan

We all know that sitting out in the sun for long periods of time is bad for our skin, now and in the future, so fake tanning has never been such a good option. Having colour in your complexion makes you look healthier, feel slimmer and covers imperfections that may be more visible on paler skin; it basically makes us feel good in every way. With fake tans and instant shimmers now bringing lustrous and natural shades to the market, with innovative formulas and applications making it even easier to apply, it's no surprise the industry is worth billions across the world. If you're a hesitant user of false tans then they may be a challenge to get your head around, so these are my top tips to help you along the way to that golden glow with ease.

fake tan

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4.7.13

Hair Saviours: Moroccanoil Light Oil

I've spent the last three months with a full head of luxurious hair extensions that may have looked great, but with the list of products I couldn't use it was like giving a sweet shop owner the diagnosis of diabetes. I love hair products; I've been obsessed with various potions since I was in my teens: we weren't allowed to wear makeup to school, so the one thing we could do was make sure we had fabulous hair. My first graduate job was working in the marketing department of a luxurious salon professional hair brand, so I was literally in hair heaven. Not being able to use my usual serums, sprays, deep treatments and shine products for three months was pretty testing, but with Moroccanoil Light Oil I had the best of both worlds: a fabulous hair treatment that tamed my tresses, but without the heavy silicone that could threaten my bonds.


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How To Fight Adult Acne

I’m 22 and can confidently say my skin is far worse now than it ever was a teenager. I always felt I’d dodged the bullet of acne; whilst a lot of my peers had to be prescribed all sorts of things to help control their skin I never had any real skincare concerns - and yet for some reason the problem hit me in my 20s. It doesn’t seem to change according to time of the month, so I don’t think it’s hormonal, and I always feel calm so can’t put it down to stress. Whatever the mystery I’ve learned the skincare and make-up tips, as well as lifestyle changes, to help keep my pimples at bay. Here's my advice on how to fight the dreaded adult acne.

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3.7.13

LBQ Brand Focus #6: Wahanda

Sometimes after a long, hard week there's nothing better than a visit to the spa. Or hairdressers. Or nail salon. Or masseur. We all need a bit of pampering every now and then to keep our bits in working order, but if you regularly splash out the cost soon builds up. Wahanda are an online service that brings the best deals, discounts and bargains direct to you, so you don't have to spend hours searching for the cheapest manicure around. Covering the whole of the UK, Wahanda offers everything from a discount haircut with a salon director, to a girlie pampering day at a spa in the country, or just a quick eyebrow fix if you're feeling rather bushy. You can choose from around 35,000 different offers at over 2,000 different venues, so there's certainly something for every aching limb or frizzled cuticle. The discounts start from 10% and go all the way up to over 80% off the usual retail price, so it's definitely the best place to check out before you book your next beauty treatment. Wahanda even offer gift vouchers so you can treat a loved one to a pampering session without it costing you a fortune: we all love getting a bit more dough for our dollar.


Check out the current offers here: wahanda.com
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Dr Lewinns Skin Perfect Foundation

A good foundation is hard to come by, (If you need help choosing yours then why not check out my tips for picking the perfect one here?) so when you're matched to something great it's almost time to get out the trumpets. Increasingly known for their incredible nail range, Dr Lewinns have branched out into makeup with the launch of their first foundation: Skin Perfect Foundation Cream. The fluid foundation claims to visibly smooth wrinkles and fine lines, while hydrating the skin to leave it soft and supple. It contains Rose Stem Cells to help stimulate the skin's natural renewal process, as well as radiance boosting Tourmaline and Matrixyl Synthe'6 to help enhance collagen production, providing a thick and creamy formula that glides on to skin. A trend is really emerging for makeup with skincare benefits and this really ticks that box - if you have skincare and ageing concerns, why not address them while you apply your makeup? Although I'm not in a position to comment on the efficacy of the formula for skin over a certain age, I can confidently state that this has provided a flawless result in under five minutes.


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