31.1.14

Marc Jacob's 'Daisy' Fragrance: Limited Edition 'Delight'

It's hard to believe the original 'Daisy' scent was launched by Marc Jacobs way back in 2007. In the six years after its launch it became an iconic scent and provided an industry revolutionising bottle design - so much so that even Justin Bieber used it as inspiration for his debut fragrance offering. Although many variations and fragrance expansions have been launched since, the 'Daisy' franchise just keeps on growing and growing. Their latest addition, simply called 'Delight', compromises of the original 'Daisy' scent as well as the 'Eau So Fresh' version that I'm a big fan of. Described as "splashy, sun-drenched florals in the most vivid shades of the season," these two new scents are both delightful and vibrant.


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NEW Elizabeth Arden: Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Foundation

Elizabeth Arden and their red doors have a huge history within the beauty industry, but one that is fairly low-key in comparison to many other brands you may stumble across in a department store beauty hall. This January sees the launch of their new foundation, Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude, which is available in 20 shades to meet the needs of the modern woman. They claim this spectrum of colour is expansive enough to meet the requirements of multiple ethnicities - quite the change from their previous makeup products that were clearly targeted at the singular Elizabeth Arden customer of old. Leveraging their 100 years of skincare and color cosmetics expertise, the new lightweight and complexion illuminating foundation glides on seamlessly for a beautifully radiant, 'second skin' look and feel.


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30.1.14

Busting The Beauty Myths: The Truth Vs The Old Wives Tales

The beauty world is full of old wives tales and porkie pies, making us believe the unbelievable. Have you ever wondered if your hair really does clean itself? Or considered banishing the razor, for fear it will only cause your hairs to grow back thicker?  Today is the day I'll be uncovering all of those good 'ol wives tails that we have heard over the years. Here are my top eight beauty myths uncovered... Which ones had you fallen for?


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LBQ's Top Three: Cleansing Balms

For me, effective cleansing is the most important part of any beauty routine. If you don't use an effective product to remove your makeup, then you're basically going to sleep still covered in dirt and grime. Yuk. Cleansing balms make the process of removing makeup and washing away impurities super simple, thanks to their ability to melt into skin and cling onto the nasty bits we don't want. If you're a bit lazy when it comes to your night time routine (preferring not to embark on a seven point process,) then cleansing balms offer all the power you need in one little tub. When massaged between the fingers and applied to the face in circular motions, you can instantly feel the benefit of a deep cleanse. Cleansing balms work best with a face flannel or muslin cloth dipped into warm water, removing all the impurities in one swoop. But with so many cleansing balms claiming to offer the secret to eternal radiance, which ones are really worth the money and will leave your skin feeling super clean?

top three cleansing balms
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29.1.14

Perfect For Valentines: Too Faced 'Sweetheart Beads'

With Valentines Day around the corner, everything pink and heart shaped seems to be creeping out of the woodwork and asking you to buy it. Regardless of the date or social occasion, there are some products that are an absolute lust-have, and these super cute Sweetheart Beads from Too Faced Cosmetics are certainly that. Taking inspiration from the multi-tonal bronzing beads that were the hight of fashion about ten years ago, the heart-shaped beads come packed in four different shades to ensure an ultra natural and delicate result. There's a tendency to overdo the bronzer when you're only applying one block colour, but these beads ensure you get an equal amount of pink, gold, peach and bronze to provide a healthy glow.


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NEW From The Body Shop: Hair Chalks (Bright Temporary Colour)

Hair chalks seem to be the launch of choice for brands in 2014. First we had L'Oreal's bright and bold versions, and now The Body Shop are adding to their ever expanding repertoire with the launch of these limited edition chalks in pink and blue. If you're not familiar with Hair Chalks, then the premise is simple: they're effectively temporary colour for hair that you brush on and wash out when you're done. Unlike previous temporary hair colours, there's no mess and no fuss as the formula is similar in texture to a chalk; the little pans make the shades easy to apply to hair and ensure that the result is targeted. They provide the perfect way of achieving on-trend hair, without having to take the plunge into permanent hair dye.

 
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28.1.14

Trevor Sorbie Travel Companions: Frizz Free Shampoo & Conditioner

Having spent the last few days in Paris, I needed all my beauty products to be small and mighty. I hate traveling and having to reduce the amount of lotions and potions in my luggage; I don't want a reduction in size to have an impact on my routine, the way I'm looking or the way I'm feeling. These super cute tubes of shampoo and conditioner from Trevor Sorbie fitted the bill perfectly, providing 100ml of goodness so as to last much longer than the two showers worth you normally get in travel sizes. Historically, Trevor Sorbie has looked a bit naff and hasn't really been able to compete with the other great hair products popping up in Boots over the last five years; however, with a bit of a re-design and a re-focus on the range, the products are easier to navigate and much more pleasurable to use.


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27.1.14

Cloud Nine: C9 Touch Hair Straighteners

Since GHD launched their powerful and iconic hair straighteners, the beauty world has never been the same. We all lusted after the sleek black plates of the GHD iron that could make our unruly locks sleek and straight, but winced at the price tag. Times have changed and GHD certainly aren't the only player on the electrical hair styling field any more; Cloud Nine have long been an industry secret, but with their newest launch they seem to be pushing the boundaries and capabilities of electrical styling even further. The C9 Touch is now the fastest straightening iron available globally, offering instant heat that automatically switches itself on from the very first stroke of the plates against the hair - with no need to turn it on. I repeat: there's not even an 'on' switch.


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26.1.14

Cuticura Hand Hygiene Gel: Limited Edition Lemon Sherbert

As someone that used to spend their summers in a muddy field clutching a can of warm cider, hygiene gel was a massive part of my repertoire. When there's no water in sight, you have no choice but to invest in a little bottle of anti-bacterial gel that will have your hands free from germs and feeling fresh. Like dry shampoo before it, the humble bottle of hand gel has evolved from a festival-only must-have, to a city lifestyle essential. Cuticura are the kings of this market, launching the first gel many moons ago, and have injected a little fun into their range with these Primark exclusive sweetie-inspired hand gels.


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25.1.14

How You Wear It: Winter Nails

With the cold winds about to hit our shores from Europe, the fur coats and thermals may be required a little longer. Although our hands may spend a lot of their time in pockets and gloves, there's no reason why we can't keep them looking top notch. However, it's easy to get stuck in a rut and just keep applying the same old polish throughout the winter months, so I wanted to find out how you rock your winter nails in order to provide inspiration to others. There are some seriously talented nail artists out there, sporting some incredibly intricate and creative nail designs, but some equally nail varnish obsessed connoisseurs that prefer to keep things simple. So here are my top nine looks this week and how you wear your winter nails.


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NEW From Clinique: Limited Edition '16 Shades of Beige' Collection

The beauty of nude tones is that they complement and flatter every skin tone, as well as being able to offer a hue that enhances our natural colouring. As one of the UK’s leading foundation brands, Clinique is an expert in developing a beautiful shade range that complements all skin tones. Leveraging this expertise beyond foundation, Clinique is taking neutrals one step further with the introduction of their new '16 Shades of Beige' collection. Consisting of an eyeshadow palette and eight new shades of nail polish, the new products provide a selection of colours that enable every woman to create a sexy and sophisticated look.

 
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24.1.14

NEW From L'Oreal Paris: Fibrology Thickening Solution

The beauty world is currently in a frenzy thanks to L'Oreal Paris' latest hair innovation. After years of research, L'Oreal have launched 'Fibrology' - a range that includes a shampoo, conditioner, masque, booster and treatment serum that contain ingredients that actually penetrate the hair to make it thicker. I saw this in a Stylist article and promptly bookmarked the launch date in my diary, excited to see if the products really could do what they claim. However, due to massive consumer demand the range is already available in most Boots stores and is being snapped up left, right and centre. Considering I'm lucky enough for most launches to end up on my doormat, for me to rush out and buy an entire range is quite something... But that's exactly what I did. The Fibrology range contains an ingredient called Filloxane, which penetrates deep into the hair fibre to create thickness by expanding. It remains there even after washing, for a long-lasting effect that continues to increase as you use the products daily.

 
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THE TRUTH ABOUT COLONIC IRRIGATION (ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU'RE CONSIDERING IT)

Let's cut to the chase. Last week I had a session of Colonic Hydrotherapy. When I admit this to people in person I'm normally greeted by either a look of horror, a look of pity or a look of outright disgust. Colonic Hydrotherapy (commonly known as irrigation, which makes it sound like a treatment administered by a farmer,) can be used to tackle a multitude of body issues and is intended to remove poop from the colon and intestinal tract. Although the subject of poop, bums and excess gas is exceptionally un-British, it's an issue that effects us all. With cases of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other inflammatory conditions on the increase, living with uncomfortable tightness or bloating is becoming the norm. I for one suffer from inflammatory reactions to certain foods which can leave me looking like I'm due in pre-natal classes any moment, as well as impacting how regularly I can poop out what my body doesn't need. Although I've been recommended Colonic Hydrotherapy numerous times before, it's something I felt uncomfortable about and not willing at that stage to further investigate. However, with a trip to Gleneagles in Scotland on the cards and a Colonic booked on my behalf, I finally took the plunge. 


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23.1.14

NEW: L'Oreal Paris Miss Manga Mascara

I don't know much about Japanese Manga comics, but I know they're increasingly becoming part of culture in the West as much as they are in Asia. You only have to look to Comic Con or The Big Bang Theory to see how the cute comic characters are becoming mainstream, with even Claire's and Topshop starting to launch accessories inspired by the genre. First to adopt the theme within the cosmetics world, L'Oreal Paris have cleverly developed a mascara that claims to provide the wide-eye look and super long lashes favoured by the cute girl characters of Manga. The Miss Manga Mega Volume Mascara features a 360° flexible cone shaped brush to amplify upper lashes and reveal lower lashes, the first fully flexible wand I've personally seen. The formula is made up of enlarging collagen spheres that help to plump the lashes, as well as a trilogy of polymers for absolute hold and staying power.


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Beautiful & Versatile: YSL Flower Crush Blush Palette

I love opening the golden boxes of Yves Saint Laurent makeup, knowing what beautiful treasures lay inside. The latest product to join the YSL hall of fame is this beautiful Flower Crush Blush Palette, adorned with intricate golden detail and a delicate pink blush. My heart started fluttering when I first saw this, the palette looking more like a piece of art than a piece of makeup. This limited edition palette holds the perfect colour to achieve that fresh faced flush that looks like you've just stepped in from a cold chill. It's incredibly pale for a blush, looking almost more of a highlighter than a traditional blush colour, but the three complementary hues it's made up of ensure the powder is incredibly natural and versatile.

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22.1.14

Espa Life At Gleneagles: Tailored Treatments For My Body's Needs

As someone that spends a lot of time on a computer, drinks too much wine, has an addiction to coffee, probably could do with a bit more exercise and is intolerant to gluten, my body takes a bit of a battering. Although there's never been anything glaringly 'wrong' with me, I do suffer from tiredness and have a lot of issues with allergens irritating me inside and out. My three-day trip to Gleneagles in Scotland wasn't just to encourage some time out, but it was to take full advantage of their specialist expert advice and treatments available following a multi-million pound investment in the hotel facilities. Espa Life is a new approach to health and wellbeing, with a hand-picked team of alternative health and fitness specialists offering treatments and personal programmes with the aim of helping you feel good, inside and out.


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The Truth About Skin Exfoliation

We exfoliate to remove dead skin cells, even out texture and help dislodge blocked pores. Chances are we all know why we undertake this part of our routine,  but we aren't too sure what true effect it is having on our skin. Exfoliating is an essential part of a good skin care regime and should be conducted on all skin types. Exfoliators tend to have a granulated feel to them (sand or sugar based,) that work to lift and remove dead skin cells which sit on the top layers of our skin. The majority of those I talk to say if they've used an exfoliator that didn't contain some sort of grainy fragments, they'd feel that hadn't exfoliated their skin. Right? Wrong! The truth is that using a granulated exfoliator can actually be doing your skin more harm than good.

                                                                   
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21.1.14

LBQ's Top Three: Eyeshadows

With so many eyeshadows claiming to be long-lasting, provide the ultimate pigment and blend like a dream, it's hard to differentiate between the worthwhile and the worthless. If you love to create smokey looks and strong lines, then getting your eyeshadow right is essential. Similarly, a great eyeshadow base can mean the difference between a natural look and a forced look - you need to get it right and know you're blending an eyeshadow you can rely on. After trying nearly every eyeshadow going, these three are the brands I return to again and again... Introducing my top three must have eyeshadow pots.

top three eyeshadows

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Staying At Gleneagles: The Most Luxurious Hotel In Scotland

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited up to visit the world famous five star luxury Gleneagles hotel in Scotland, set within the beauty of 850 acres of Perthshire countryside. The hotel features an award winning spa, three championship golf courses, six restaurants, two swimming pools and so much more besides. After a quick flight from London's Heathrow into Edinburgh, the Gleneagles chauffeur picked us up from the airport and drove the 40 minute journey through the breathtaking Scottish hills until we reached our destination. I'd seen the pictures, browsed the website and been fully briefed, but I wasn't expecting the grounds to look like the Scottish version of Downton Abbey!

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20.1.14

Essential Candle Maintainance: Top Tips With Diptyque

As somewhat of a candle addict, I'm constantly burning delicately fragranced jars of goodness around my home. They adorn almost every surface, sometimes in multiple, helping to create a comforting aroma and ambiance that gets me through the dull winter days. Although I'm a big fan of stocking up on cheap candles for the simple purpose of light, when it comes to longevity and a fragrance that's second-to-none you really have to invest. Diptyque produce some amazing scents, which when paired with their vintage monochrome design makes them irresistible. However, when you're spending £40.00 on a tub of wax, you want to get the most out of it and ensure you're maintaining your candle in the most effective way possible. Having recently had my own candle disaster, it's even more important for me to share with you the best tips for maintaining your candle and getting your moneys worth.


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NEW From Indeed Labs: Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Face Mask

The people over at Indeed Labratories really are a clever bunch. Not only have they developed the best selling Nanoblur and Hydraluron cream, but they've expanded on their innovative range with the launch of these Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Masks. Packaged in a handy box of four, which is essentially a month's supply, each mask is individually held in a sachet to ensure the ingredients remain at their most effective. The masks feature timed release hyaluronic acid, thanks to the 3D enzyme structure which allows for a slow release over time, providing longer lasting relief for dry skin. Indeed Labs claim this provides better hydrated, moisture nourished, plumped up looking skin when used weekly, but can 15 minutes under a mask really help to provide long-term benefit?


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19.1.14

How Your Wear It: Smokey Eyes

A great smokey eye can be hard to master. You need the right tools, the perfect eyeshadow and the patience of a saint, but the key is all in the blending. If you blend too much then you can end up looking like you've not had enough sleep, but if you blend too little the result is harsh and often unflattering. Although smokey eyes are traditionally created using black or grey eyeshadows, creating a look using nude colours or combining two or three shades can really result in a striking finish. Similarly, we're always told to keep the focus on the eyes or the lips, meaning the best complementary gloss is a nude or delicate pink shade; however, as my fabulous readers show below, breaking the rules is just too hard to resist.


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Understanding & Managing Adult Acne (With CourtHouse Clinics)

We all expect spots as teenagers (it comes with the territory,) but when we progress into adulthood we assume the benefit of our years sees ugly pustules put behind us. However, adult acne is something that affects many of us and can have such a negative impact that our confidence takes a nose dive.  Suffering from bad skin can have a huge impact on the way we feel about ourselves, our relationships and our futures; it can become the focus of our attention that takes priority over all over body woes. There are so many misconceptions about adult acne, including the fact that only dirty people have bad skin and that grown-ups simply shouldn’t have spots, but there are real reasons that your body reacts in the way that it does. A new (100% free!) acne treatment guide from Courthouse Clinics helps to challenge those misconceptions, re-educate us around the topic of skincare and adult acne, as well as providing some solutions and tips so we’re fully equipped to deal with the issue.


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18.1.14

Perfect 'Second Day' Hair: Lee Stafford's Argan Oil Hair Products

Getting the right shampoo and conditioner is essential, but styling products can help perfect your style and ensure it stays that way for longer. Although Lee Stafford aren't normally a brand I would even look at during my regular Boots visit, with their Argan Oil 'from Morocco' range they've got me a little bit hooked. This styling range includes an Anti-Frizz Serum Spray, Flexible Hold Hairspray and Moisture Injection Dry Conditioner that combine to provide you with the tools to perfect that 'second day' hair. Argan Oil is extracted from the inside of a nut that only grows on trees native to Morocco. It contains many of the ingredients associated with repairing hair and creating a luxurious, healthy feeling. The women of Morocco have used the Argan Oil as part of their daily routine for hundreds of years, particularly in the fight against hydration, but now it's become an on-trend ingredient that appears to be the magical answer to our woes.


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17.1.14

NEW: Tory Burch's Debut Fragrance

Tory Burch may make cracking shoes, but now she's transcending into new categories with the launch of her debut makeup collection and fragrance line. The first eau de parfum from Tory Burch is self-named and housed in the brand's signature colour; the orange box and bottle top feature the iconic 'double T' design in gold, ensuring this is a bottle to be treasured by fans of the existing clothing and footwear brand. Tory's debut fragrance is a modern, classic and unexpected scent that 'captures the casual ease and polished optimism that defines Tory’s aesthetic.' “When we decided to create a fragrance, we spent a lot of time thinking about what it should be - a balance of femininity and tomboy, citrus and floral, grounded and graceful,” says Tory.


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16.1.14

Life's Little Comparisons: How Competitive Are You?

I'm naturally competitive. I like to be the best, or at least put my heart and soul into everything I do. It doesn't matter if it's bowling, flower arranging or the pub quiz - if there's an opportunity to compare and contrast then I'm in. Although some may see that as a negative thing, I personally find it the driving force behind my success and how I've achieved a lot at a relatively young age. Recently E.On commissioned a survey of the Great British Public to find out how competitive we really are: 50% came out as Casual Comparers, 35% as Relaxed Observers, 11% as Reasonable Rivals and 3% as Crazed Competitors. (Out of interest, and unsuprisingly, I've been labeled a Reasonable Rival and 'find comparison fun; you find yourself doing it naturally.') But how does this translate into every day life?


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Eco Tools Techniques: Foundation Brush vs Sponge Applicator

There's been a debate about the best application technique for foundation since the dawn of time (well, maybe the dawn of foundation.) What is the best way to get your foundation looking flawless and to ensure your base stays in place all day? Do you use your fingers and stick to what you know, like a cheeky sponge to aid application, prefer a brush for precision or use a combination of all three? Eco Tools offer a range of solutions, including this foundation brush and innovative sponge applicator. All their brushes have incredibly soft synthetic bristles, sleek bamboo handles, recycled aluminum ferrules, and are 100% cruelty free. So what's the difference between these two sleek looking tools and what's best for you?


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15.1.14

LBQ's Top Three: Soothing Bath Oils

Taking some time out to relax and reinvigorate your senses can be extremely beneficial. I always make time for a relaxing bath after a hard day, or simply after a busy period where I've been neglecting myself. A soak in a warm bath can really aid your body's performance as it enables you to fully relax and re-balance, but adding a luxurious bath oil can make all the difference. Although some may see expensive bath oils as an unecessary indulgence, if you pick one that really works for you it can really be a great investment. You only need a cap-full of oil for a great soothing experience, ensuring your little bottle goes a long way. Here are my top three bath oils you need in your tub this winter ...
top three bath oils
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14.1.14

Sampar: Lap of Luxury Sea Scrub

With the harsh winter winds hammering against our skin, as well as central heating playing havoc with moisture levels in the upper layers, regularly buffing your skin becomes an essential part of any routine. I'm a big fan of body scrubs, polishes and buffers that help remove the dead skin from the surface and prevent the build up that can make our skin appear dull. A light scrub used three times a week can help your skin feel smoother, absorb moisturiser more effectively and look healthier. Sampar are a relatively new brand to the UK, hailing from Parisian shores, but they have a comprehensive range of body and skincare products to help us look tip top. Their Lap of Luxury Sea Scrub provides a delicate and subtle treatment to tired and dull skin, in a format that's both practical and effective.
 

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13.1.14

Balmain Extatic: The Ultimate Party Fragrance?

Although the party season may be officially over for another year, we can still keep upbeat and create a little party of our very own to see us through. Balmain, the Parisian fashion house, are launching a new fragrance for women this February simply called 'Extatic'. Exclusive to Harrods when it launches in two weeks time, the fragrance was developed by perfumer Émilie Coppermann to reflect the flagship designs of the brand. The predominately oriental fragrance contains a harmonious blend of crystalline rose, nashi pear and osmanthus, as well as containing orchid, iris and jasmine. Notes including cashmere wood and Barenia leather provide a subtle nod to the material used in Balmain designs, ensuring this really is the brand 'bottled'.


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12.1.14

STRESS: How Does It Effect Our Skin & What Can We Do About It?

Stress can have major implications on the body and is now recognised as the number one proxy killer disease in today's society. (A proxy disease is such because the underlying cause prevents the real cause from being properly identified.) With this statistic being so alarming, how does stress actually affect our body impact the condition of your skin?


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Pantene Pro-V: Intensive Colour Damage Rescue Conditioner

My hair is in serious need of damage limitation. I've been using a lot of different products to help me through my pre-cut stage (where no matter what you do, your hair looks as sleek and styled as a troll and you end up lobbing it off,) but more often than not it's beyond help. Although the various shampoos and conditioners in my bathroom have helped to a certain degree, my hair is still in need of an added boost. Pantene isn't a brand I'd normally turn to (knowing that most of their products are packed full of nasty silicone that weighs down hair and makes it look greasy after those first few weeks of a 'dazzling shine',) this tube of Damage Rescue Conditioner kept calling me. It contains 15x more nutrients than their shampoos and is specifically formulated for use on coloured hair. It claims to repair up to two months of surface damage in only two minutes, leaving hair smooth and shiny - but does it stand up to its promises?


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11.1.14

How You Wear It: Red Lipstick (Introducing A New Feature!)

The internet is awash with blogs, magazines, trends to follow and people's style to admire, but are the trends and products really wearable outside of those closed circles? The answer is yes - but the key is in how you make that trend or product relevant and suitable for you. This weekend sees the launch of a new feature on LBQ: How You Wear It. I want my readers to show me how they rock key makeup products, on-trend looks, accessories, hair styles and much more - because everybody can tap into every single element somehow, and this is what I want to show. One of the statements I get from readers is that they "can't wear red lipstick" because "it just doesn't suit" them. What total tishwash; there's a red lipstick for every woman, regardless of skin tone, hair colour, personal style and makeup ability... The key is just finding the right one for you. When I asked my Twitter and Instagram followers to send me their pictures of them rocking a red lip, I was overwhelmed by the response and how many different looks were appearing on my feed. (To see them all, search Twitter using the hashtag #LBQHowIWearIt) Here is just a snapshot of some of the awesome looks you're rocking... Showing red lips really are a girls best friend.


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10.1.14

NEW Paul & Joe: Violet Treatment Balm

The scent of palma violet sweets reminds me of my childhood, sitting in the park on a warm summers day munching through a packet of lilac tabs with my friends. I've always loved the fragrance of the little sweets, so the Paul & Joe Violet Treatment Balm (that just happens to smell the same) is a dream come true. The balm is a luxurious multi-functional body treatment which hydrates and soothes the skin; it can be used to instantly relieve dry skin in key areas such as elbows, knees, hands and cuticles, as well as a lip treatment and applied to the hair to repair split ends. It's packaged in a super cute and stylish 'art deco' tin that wouldn't be out of place in the Great Gatsby, ensuring that when you take it out of your bag you're the envy of all your friends.


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Real Techniques Makeup Brushes (From Pixiwoo's Samantha Chapman)

Since the launch of Real Techniques' collaboration with Sam Chapman (of Pixiwoo fame,) the internet has been awash with praise for the range. I'm slightly ashamed to admit until very recently I'd never actually tried them myself, relying on my existing expansive brush collection to make me over every morning. However, I was keen to put the brushes to the test myself and see if all the buzz surrounding them was really justified. If you're not familiar with Real Techniques, then the brushes have been created with the expertise of makeup artist and blogger Sam Chapman, to ensure they're practical yet provide professional quality. All the brushes are synthetic, ensuring the hair is smooth and easy to use, as well as being 100% cruelty free.


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9.1.14

LBQ Brand Focus #20: Rituals

Rituals believe happiness can be found in the smallest of things. They transform everyday routines into moments of indulgence with their exquisitely scented luxurious products, making the mundane into the adventurous. Founder Raymond Cloosterman established Rituals in 2000, believing we needed to pay just a little bit more attention to the details. Inspired by Eastern traditions, each ancient 'wisdom' product range has its own specifically selected ingredients and distinctive benefits. Rituals combine these with innovative technologies to create a unique way of experiencing these ancient Eastern traditions, that is more relevant to the modern day customer. Not only do they offer a fabulous range of home fragrances, pampering bath products and luxurious creams, but they even have a range of nail varnish and washing-up liquid!


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Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil

Although bubble baths are supposed to be the ultimate in pampering bath time, they actually cause me endless issues: the fluff floating on the surface of the water gets in my eyes, causes my hair to go crusty and leaves a slippery film on the bath base when you let the water run away. For me, there's only one bath time treat I'm willing to get on board with: bath oil. Not only does it make the water feel smooth and rich, simultaenously providing a delicate and relaxing scent, but bath oils can also help to provide skincare benefits by hydrating as we soak. The lovely people at Ren sent me this fabulous Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil before Christmas, and it's become my new favourite bath companion. Rose has long been used to evoke feelings of well-being, even helping to ease stress and symptoms of depression, so this little bottle of rose bath oil is the perfect companion during the dull winter months.


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8.1.14

NEW From Nivea: Cellular Anti-Age Skin Rejuvination

With more than 100 years of skin care expertise, Nivea has become a household name that offers more than just moisturiser. Their little blue pots of cream have become a skincare staple for men and women, young and old, but there's so much more to their brand. In one of the most important research centers worldwide, Nivea embarked on a journey to design a new face care range that answered the high (and ever changing) expectations women have towards anti-ageing products. More than 8,500 women, as well as an extensive team of scientists, were involved in the development process (one of the largest in the history of Nivea's history) and the outcome was the new innovative Cellular Anti-Age Skin Rejuvination range. The range of four products (a day cream, night cream, serum and eye cream,) contain a unique combination of anti-ageing ingredients that include magnolia extract, hyaluronic acid and creatine. Nivea claim that these four products help to both increase firmness and noticeably reduce the appearance of wrinkles, leaving us with the skin we wish we had. But can a £14.99 pot of cream really help turn back the clock?

 
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NEW Jimmy Choo Fragrance: Flash London Club

The name Jimmy Choo will always make me think of Carrie's excessive shoe wardrobe in Sex & The City, but ten years later they're more than just a shoe brand. After their debut fragrance became a global success, Jimmy Choo have been adding to their collection - this time with an extension of the 'Flash' fragrance simply called 'London Club'. The scent aims to capture 'the unparalleled glamour and excitement of London’s hedonistic nightlife,' through the notes of lychee, citrus fruit and fresh flowers - and it does just that. 


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7.1.14

LBQ's Top Three: Face Primers

If you struggle keeping your foundation in place all day, or are susceptible to the 4pm 'face run' that sees our makeup slide all over the shop for no reason whatsoever, then you may benefit from a really great primer. A great base will not only help to perfect the surface, reduce the appearance of pores and minimise shine, but it will help products applied over the top sit better and stay in place longer. Primers essentially create a barrier between the skin and makeup, meaning that the natural oils our face produces don't play havoc with our flawless finish. After trialling and testing hundreds of primers, these are my top three favourites that I can rely on...

top three primers
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COMPETITION: Philips Lumea Precision Plus (IPL Hair Removal System)

As a woman we have to put up with a lot of body maintenance to keep us looking our best: manicures, pedicures, face masks, hair treatments... And worst of all, hair removal. If there was a way you could magically remove all your unwanted body hair, I'm pretty sure it would be snapped up without hesitation. Although it's not quite magic, Philips newest electronic device offers something almost as great; the Lumea Precision Plus IPL Hair Removal System works wonders to prevent the reappearance of hair on the face as well as the body via targeted gentle pulses of light.


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6.1.14

Beat Blue Monday With Lush Cosmetics

Apparently today is Blue Monday as we all come to the realisation that the festive period is over and 'real life' starts again. We're back to work, back to the commute, back to battling the elements on a daily basis and back to knackering our bodies out. To get you through the next few weeks why not grab some products that will help perk up both your body and mind? Lush have a great selection of body products that are infused with scents to reinvigorate and motivate - these three are just the tip of the iceberg, but they could really help beat the January Blues.


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Hotel Chocolat: Cocoa Juvetate Beauty & Home Products

I love chocolate. Chocolate makes the world go round. When I discovered Hotel Chocolat a few years ago and signed up to their monthly gift box of treats it was the best money I'd ever spent on behalf of my stomach. However, did you know Hotel Chocolat also offer beauty products that use cocoa’s natural properties to provide a rich and luxurious experience? Cocoa is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and offers nourishing, softening and hydrating benefits to the skin, making it the perfect ingredient - I wrote about the numerous benefits cocoa can bring previously, even covering myself head to toe in the process. Although the beauty products from Hotel Chocolat don't actually smell of chocolate (much to my disappointment,) they're still well worth a look if you're not quite ready for a cocoa detox this January.


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5.1.14

NEW From Max Factor: Excess Volume, Extreme Impact Mascara

When Max Factor launched its False Lash Effect mascara it instantly became one the best selling products of all time. Years later it still appears in makeup bags across the world, so could Max Factor's latest innovation trump the original big volume mascara? Excess Volume Extreme Impact Mascara is a double ended product that contains a plastic brush on one end, to great extreme volume, and a traditional brush on the other, to create a jet black lacquer finish. They claim that these two layers together create an unrivaled voluminous look that will have you taking selfies all night long. I've been putting it to the test and am happy to report it's actually really quite good!


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4.1.14

NEW From Michael Kors Fragrances: Sexy, Glam & Sporty

Michael Kors has been having a bit of a moment over the last few years. The accessible price points make it a designer brand that the masses can buy into, while the classic designs mixed with edgy metallic detailing make them always on trend. I'm a big fan of their handbags, but I had no idea they did fragrance until these three new additions landed on my doorstep. The new collection features three variants that allow you to show the different sides of your personality: 'Sexy' is an Amber based fragrance that contains seductive notes of Sandalwood, 'Glam' is a classic Jasmine based scent that also features Cassis, while 'Sporty' contains uplifting citrus notes of Mandarin, Orange Flower and Patchouli.


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3.1.14

NEW: Jo Malone's Limited Edition 'London Rain' Collection

If you're a Londoner then you're sure to appreciate the latest collection from Jo Malone, simply called 'London Rain'. Inspired by the heavy downpours that so often grace our city, the new collection features four different fragrances that capture four different moments during a Spring rainy day: Rain & Angelica is inspired by the early morning dew in London's parks, Wisteria & Violet by gentle morning showers soaking purple wisteria and stone walls, White Jasmine & Mint by afternoon cloud bursts that soak London's gardens, while the dark Black Cedarwood & Juniper captures the essence of midnight downpours.


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NEW: No7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation

Traditionally the cold weather in January sees us reaching for the thick foundations, attempting to cover up the previous month's excesses and create a base that fools. However, there are lighter foundations that can offer equal coverage with the benefit of a weightless look and feel; a dewy complexion and natural coverage is much more appealing than a cake-like finish. No7 are launching a new foundation this January, adding to their reportoire 'Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation.' Available in 14 different shades (so much better than the usual six we have to pick from!) the formula provides a Vitamin E enriched foundation that helps to both protect and repair the skin.


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2.1.14

Dr PawPaw Original Balm: A Soothing Skincare Must-Have

Having spent the last three weeks over-indulging in every way humanly possible, combined with lack of sleep and multiple occasions when I forgot to remove my makeup (please forgive me,) my skin reacted in the only way it new how: by breaking out in the hugest spot ever seen. Constant fiddling and a pair of tweezers later, I was left with the inevitable aftermath of a sore red bump that was going to turn into a dry crater during the healing process. Knowing that New Years Eve was around the corner (and that volcanoes on chins are so not 2014,) I reached for a little yellow tube that I'd had waiting to be used for a number of weeks. The results were surprising...


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New Year, New You. 2014 Beauty Resolutions!

As we welcome in a new year and all the hoopla that goes with it (hangovers, detoxes and skin that's seen better days,) it's the perfect opportunity to assess our beauty regime and make some resolutions to help us look tip top throughout the year. Whether it's looking at your body as a whole, deciding to try a new look or simply promising to clean out your makeup collection every three months, we can all benefit from a little New Year promise to ourselves. Here are my top five resolutions that everyone should make this January... Myself included!


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1.1.14

Top Picks From 2013: The Hair Edit

There's only so much shampoo and conditioner a girl can have, and only so many innovations that can claim to make your barnet shinier than ever, but still the launches keep on coming. For me, the secret to an ultimate hair product is one that I can rely on 365 days a year. It doesn't have to offer anything particularly revolutionary, but if it helps me create a flawless style in a minimum amount of time then it's a winner. Knowing that my hair is a tough nut to crack, here are my favourite products in the hair category from 2013...

top beauty picks 2013: hair
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