Running a blog alongside a full time job can be incredibly difficult to manage. We're all constantly juggling a million and one things, but adding a website and all its intricacies into the picture is another thing entirely. As a blogger we wear about thirty different hats: we're the features writer, editor, photographer, researcher, social media manager, accountant and agent all in one. The key to running a site successfully (and without losing sleep/pulling your hair out,) is to getting super organised. Organising your tasks, your routine and your time efficiently can ensure you never get bored or become tempted to throw the towel in. Here are my top tips for having it all...
There are certain scents that instantly feel a little more premium and remind us of products that our purses can only dream of. For me, the scent of pistachio reminds me of Laura Mercier hand cream; the luxurious nutty base leaves a delightful and truly edible scent on skin that's almost worth the equally luxurious price point. The clever people at Dove have clearly identified this, adding to their Purely Pampering range of nourishing body lotion and body wash a Pistachio and Magnolia scent. Both variants provide a rich nutty base with a delicate and comforting tone of magnolia oil, combined to bring a little more luxury to your bathroom.
L'Occitane is one of the brands I have a love-love relationship with. It's hard for them to do much wrong in my eyes, continually evoking emotions and senses with their products I didn't know I had. Not only do they ooze French sophistication and look great on your dressing table, but their products are really rather good. Adding to their already successful Immortelle collection of skincare, these three new brightening products help your skin to look brighter and more radiant in an instant.
Batiste have owned the dry shampoo market ever since its inception. I first used the powdery spray while undertaking reporting duties at multiple festivals during hot and sticky summer months; a dry shampoo was the only thing to save my hair after three nights in a polyester sleeping bag. Fast forward a few years and dry shampoo became mainstream, with Batiste launching every scent imaginable to an awaiting and captive audience. Although dry shampoo is a hair staple for most women, it's no longer surrounded in excitement and anticipation of the next innovation. I for one haven't covered any Batiste launches for some time, because they just don't bring anything new to the party... Until now. This week I was invited along to a secret Soho location to see Batiste announcing popstar Pixie Lott as their new ambassador; not only is she to feature in their forthcoming advertising campaigns, but she's also developed her own variant and put her face to the bottle as a stamp of approval.
No matter how old you are, blemishes and pimples are a universal skincare concern. It could be hormonal, due to a bad cleansing routine, environmental factors, or simply because of diet or intolerance, but little spots can become extremely embarrassing. Although many of us try everything possible to get rid of unsightly marks and prevent more from popping up, many prescription treatments and remedies are far too harsh for sensitive skins and can aggravate the problem even further. Clinique's new Anti-Blemish Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel aims to target problems with a 4-in-1 clearing complex, combining exfoliating and anti-blemish agents with sebum-controlling and anti-irritant ingredients.
I rather abused my hair in 2013. I coloured it, grew it, cut it, styled it and even added in super long hair extensions for a few months, followed by a rather sad period of mourning said extensions. The result was a scraggly mess of hair that needed a lot of care and attention to get it looking great. My hair was dry, dull, frizzy and suffering from serious split ends - I just didn't know what to do or where to turn. It was by pure chance that I was invited along to Michael Van Clarke's salon in Marylebone for a re-style, where the fabulous Gustav chopped off a length and gave me my mojo back. However, it was the maintenance routine, top tips and products he gave me that have really made a difference over the last couple of months. Finally I have back the hair of yesteryear. As a result, these are my top tips to banish dry, split and damaged hair and help get your hair looking fabulous again.
Moisturising is an essential part of any beauty routine, but it's not just our face that needs a hit of hydration. Our body can battle through the elements, especially during the colder months, and the result is often dry or cracked skin. I suffer horrendously on my legs during winter, as the wind catches through my tights and rips away the upper layers of moisture to leave me with unsightly scales. My arms are also susceptible to dryness, so using a body lotion has been a vital part of my routine for as long as I can remember. However, fancy lotions and potions that contain scents and complex ingredients can often irritate my skin further and cause a little red rash to appear on the surface. E45's Intense Recovery Lotion has become a handy sidekick in recent weeks, providing me with the support my skin needs to repair itself and prepare for the onset of 'limb baring' weather!
Hair removal is a hot topic. Whenever I write about unsightly hair, the response I receive is phenomenal; it seems that women nationwide feel strongly about body hair and the impact it has on their lives. More women than ever are suffering the side effects of PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome,) which causes high levels of 'male hormones' to be produced in the body; the result of which is excess body hair in places we'd really rather it not be. Although shaving, waxing, epilating and IPL are all very good options, for more sensitive areas these painful and irritating treatments are simply not suitable. Inhibitif launched their breakthrough hair removal technology in 2013, promising a lasting smooth solution to put an end to your frequent hair removal routine. Inhibitif is a range of highly-concentrated products that help reduce the prominence and visible density of unwanted hair over time; according to their science dudes, in under eight weeks the need for hair removal is minimised.
If you're still not ready for the forthcoming celebrations this weekend, then shame on you! Mother's Day is the one time of the year we all get to spoil our loved ones unashamedly, so make the most of the opportunity and get her a gift she'll really treasure. Although it's not all about splashing out (it's the thought that counts and even a great handmade card will suffice,) it is an opportunity to treat mum and get her a token that will put a smile on her face. If you're still struggling with inspiration, then my top picks will hopefully give you a helping hand when you need it most. Whether or not you have a fiver or £50.00 to spend, there's a little token ready to be wrapped in tissue paper and handed over with love. These are my last minute picks for indulgent treats your mum simply wouldn't think to buy herself.
Fragrance can brighten a day, remind us of times gone by, comfort us and uplift us. Having a signature scent may be a little outdated, but there's nothing wrogn with having a wardrobe full of fragrances that we can rely on. The new fragrance from Lacoste, Eau De Lacoste Sensuelle, is described as an 'elegant, sensual fragrance that captures the natural intensity of soft floral notes on a relaxed, warm evening.' The delightful blue bottle captures just enough classic elegance to give the usually sporty brand a feminine twist. Featuring top notes of blackcurrant, fig and pink pepper combined with Turkish rose, patchouli, amber and sweet pea, the scent provides a great alternative to the usual floral fragrances we see launched at the first sign of Spring.
Known within the beauty industry for producing high quality, 100% cruelty free makeup brushes with super light bamboo handles, EcoTools is definitely a leader when it comes to being eco-concious. Adding more strings to their beauty bow, EcoTools are launching a range of ultra comfortable and super lightweight hair brushes this May. Available in five styles, each brush provides a targeted result while helping to dry hair 20% faster than a standard brush. Containing a combination of firm and soft bristles (some one which are based on the brilliance of boar hair,) the brushes comb through hair easily to help detangle in one swoop. Each brush contains air vents on both the back and around the base of the bristles, allowing hot hair to circulate more efficiently to dry the hair rather than getting trapped within the brush. Not only does this speed up styling time, but it prevents the brush from getting exceptionally hot when used with a hairdryer.
Adult acne is a serious issue. Not only can it impact the way we perceive ourselves, but have a significant impact on our confidence and relationship with others. Although it can be embarrassing tackling pimples when we're way out of our teenage years and positively into 'mortgage' territory, it's nothing to be ashamed of: it effects one in five women aged 25-40. Our chemists and supermarkets are jammed full of products claiming to provide better skin, reduce the appearance of blackheads, treat pimples and much more, but most of them are no more effective than a basic cleansing balm. However, I recently had the opportunity to get to know the scientists and developers behind Face B4 - a new approach to tackling the bacteria that causes our skin to break out. Face B4's 'Daily Cleansing Foam' is clinically proven to be the UK’s most effective anti-bacterial facewash, but does that make it a crazy harsh formula? Not so...
Still stuck for a really great Mother's Day gift that will show her how much you care? Never fear, Elemis have a great selection of gifts that will provide a little indulgence while helping to keep her looking fabulous. With these boxed treats you don't even need to worry about wrapping, as they're already cased in luxurious packs that mum can even keep on her bedside table.
Raspberry jam always reminds me of fruit picking in the woods when I was a child. We'd come back covered in blackberries, strawberries and raspberries, looking like we'd literally walked through a berry bush backwards. The sweet smell and seedy texture is extremely comforting, evoking childhood memories and making my tummy rumble. In recent months The Body Shop have been pulling out all the stops, launching innovative and fun products that appeal to both our indulgent and scientific sides. With these 'Early Harvest' body products they're really onto something great - the luxurious raspberry body butter has a sweet scent to be adored, while the body scrub looks and feels like jam. Mmmmmmm.
Looking after coloured hair can often become somewhat of a hassle. Colouring hair professionally is expensive and time consuming, so we want to ensure we're keeping our style looking fresh for as long as possible. Coloured hair can, as a side effect, cause multiple problems for your barnet - including frizz, damaged hair, lack of volume and a need for moisture - but tackling all these simultaneously becomes almost a full time job. Schwarzkopf Professional's new Color Freeze range of hair poducts aims to provide up to 90% colour retention and 100% more shine, tiding you over until the next salon visit. Their breakthrough lamination technology claims to protect colour vibrancy and seal in shine, helping your hair to both look and feel much healthier. So, from the six products available which ones do you need to rush out and buy?
Although we'd all love to fill out makeup bags with exclusive, premium and luxurious products, the majority of us can only afford to shop from the budget aisles. Finding affordable products that really perform can sometimes be like searching for the holy grail, but with new makeup brand 'NV Cosmetics' on the scene the answer may just be within reach. The budget makeup costs between £3.00 and £6.00 and covers everything from individual eyeshadow pots, to lipstick, pencils and cheek stains. Considering it costs the same as a morning muffin and latte, the packaging is pretty slick and avoids feeling like a 'budget buy' - the plastic casing is heavy, smooth and completely fit for purpose. There are some real gems in the range too, providing a great hit of colour without the horrendous greasy feeling cheaper cosmetics sometimes offer.
Many people believe that cosmetics testing on animals is a thing of the past, yet thousands of animals worldwide still suffer in the name of beauty. Around 27,000 animals are estimated to still be used for cosmetics testing across the world. This includes the use of mice, rats and rabbits in tests which can cause pain and distress. According to the RSPCA, 70% of people want a complete end to cosmetics testing on animals - not just within the EU. Since 2009, using animals for testing cosmetics products and their ingredients has been banned in the EU; this was updated in March 2013 to include an EU-wide sales ban prohibiting cosmetics or ingredients tested on animals outside of the EU from ending up on our shelves.
Human skin is the largest organ in the body and is highly intelligent. Everyone is born with a specific skin composition, but did you know your skin type is also influenced by both internal and external factors? Around 10% of your skin's performance and condition is due to your DNA, but 90% is due to external factors such as the environment, your lifestyle and the products that are used on your skin. There are four 'traditional' skin types which include normal, oily, dry and combination. Although these by no means cover all bases, they're a good starting point when we're looking at our skin's condition and attempting to understand it. So what is your skin type telling you and what can you do to help it?
Ever since they launched the iconically 90's 'CK One', I've always been of Calvin Klein fragrances. They manage to get the balance right between creating something timeless, whilst ensuring there are modern and on-trend notes that appeal to our inner fashionistas. The perfumiers also manage to perfectly combine notes to create an uplifting, yet comforting scent that appeals across generations. With the latest extension to their Euphoria fragrance line they've added a touch of sunshine to an already extremely popular scent, as well as bringing the bottle right into 2014 with ease. Endless Euphoria is described as "an intoxicating breeze of cherry blossoms, tipped with refreshing mandarin and bergamot. The heart blooms with beguiling floral notes of violet, pastel rose and syringa. At the base, bamboo, sandalwood, and bare musk exude a dream-like seduction."
Sleep doesn't just help us look our best, but it's vital for maintaining good mental and physical health. A good night's sleep allows the brain to take in new information and strengthen our memories, as well as having a positive impact on our mood, energy level and ability to concentrate. However, if we don't get a good rest every night it can affect your work, cause relationship problems and make it difficult to complete simple tasks. It's crucial to our health that we learn to sleep well and take the time to recoup from our busy lives when the sun goes down. However, if you suffer from interrupted or limited sleep then there are a few measures you can take to ensure you're prepared. I keep a little box on my bedside table of all the things I need to help me off to the land of nod, so I thought I'd share with you my nighttime routine.
Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream is a cult classic for a reason. Not only does it help to soothe dry and chapped skin, but it offers a multitude of skin benefits incomparable to other products. (I covered my top ten uses in a previous post!) It's a fab multi-tasking skin protectant that is also trans-generational, making it a perfect present for the most important lady in your life this forthcoming Mother's Day. Launched just in time for you to grab her a perfect gift, this special edition gift set contains all the Eight Hour must-haves packaged in a luxurious and handy red case.
When Scholl launched their Express Pedi machine in 2013 I got a little bit excited. Finally I could achieve smooth and pretty feet at home, rather than having to traipse to a pedicurist once a month to sort out my cracked heels. The handy gadget has been by my side ever since, coming out to play pre-shower every week or two to help remove unsightly dry skin from my feet and minimise embarrassing cracked heels. Although I love the machine and can't recommend it enough, it can get a little messy... The skin you remove can build up to leave the handheld device covered in foot dust, which is about a gross as it sounds. However, the Scholl Express Pedi 'take two' has all of the benefits of the first version with added practicality. Paired with Scholl's new and innovative Foot Serum, you'll have your tootsies Summer ready in no time at all.
If BB Creams were the product of choice for 2013, then in 2014 it's the turn of it's sister product CC Cream. Although BB Creams are great at helping skin look healthy, covering imperfections and providing a great base for makeup, they don't actually correct colour problems that many of us suffer from. Yellowing dullness, the redness of rosacea and grey tints can all play havoc with our makeup, but CC Creams actually help to correct the colour by counteracting it with another. Yves Saint Laurent are one of my favourite beauty brands, continually launching luxurious innovations that help to create the effect I always dream of. Their Touche Eclat and Babydoll mascara may be classic must-haves, but these new CC Cremes are sure to join them in the YSL hall of fame...
It's been proven endless times that your sense of smell can evoke memories and emotions like no other sense can. It may be the smell of bread takes you back to your childhood kitchen, the fragrance of a passing man reminding you of an ex that broke your heart, or simply the notes of furniture polish transporting you back to your grandmother's living room. For me, DKNY's Be Delicious is one of those scents that instantly reminds me of my youth and the fun times that were had, before I was a 'proper grown up' with responsibilities and a future to prepare for. The light apple notes and woody base instantly put a smile on my face and have me reminiscing about those days when I spent more time dancing the night away in a dingy pub than is probably socially acceptable to do so. Be Delicious was the first fragrance I actually chose for myself, so for me it signifies independence, strength of character and the optimism that only comes with being fresh out of Uni with a future as yet unwritten.
Are you a serious colour junkie? Do you love the bold eye looks and striking colours that are due to be so on-trend this summer? Then Urban Decay's latest eyeshadow palette launch is just the ticket; Electric contains ten amazing shades of colour that can be used not only as an eyeshadow, but as blusher and lip colours too. Although they're famous for the subtlety of the Naked palette, colour has always been at the heart of Urban Decay so it's great to see them going back to their roots. This palette isn't for everyone, but if you love being creative and experimenting with colour it could just make you go weak at the knees...
Although there have been a million beauty subscription services launched in the last few years, most fall by the wayside as they simply don't offer anything worth subscribing to. However, Birchbox were the original and still remain a great service that provides a bit more than just a box full of beauty samples through your letterbox. Birchbox prides themselves on providing customers with a handpicked selection of products that suit their skin type, complexion and likes, as well as lots of little bonus treats and experiences. Not only that, but all the products you receive in your box can be purchased via their website - with free shipping for the month of their inclusion. This is a service I can really get behind, especially as they're bringing us lots of exciting things... Including this month's collaboration with handbag queen Lulu Guinness. This March Lulu has handpicked her products of choice, of which include household names and undiscovered secrets. Not only that, but there are lots of extra suprises in the box that are hard to resist...
White eye makeup (ranging from the subtlest of shimmery pigments to the dramatic matte eye pencils,) has found its way through many makeup collections as of late, shying away from its previous back-of-the-drawer status. A white eye can brighten and lighten the face, covering up a bad night's sleep or adding a touch of on-trend colour to an otherwise nude look. Here are three ways that you can channel the look easily, without looking like a 90's icon.
We've all become a little obsessed with Chubby Sticks and their more affordable equivalents. Not only are they really handy for applying on the go, but they provide a hit of colour and great shine to match. Barry M are really pulling the dupes out of the bag at the moment, completing their lipstick offering with these new Gelly Lips. Sold as soft, moisturising lip crayons, they're available in five shades and provide a serious hit of colour that's rather unexpected.
If there's one thing I hate most about being a woman, it's the time investment I have to make in all kinds of hair removal. As we step into Spring and the opaques are lingering on the dresser, it's become essential that we spend a little time preening our legs before stepping out without tights. Although shaving is quick and easy, it also brings the inevitable re-growth within days; waxing can be painful and time consuming, while IPL can be incredibly expensive. I've long been a fan of epilation, it being a great compromise on both price, time and performance, so I was super keen to get to grips with the new Braun Silk-épil 7 SkinSpa Epilator. The new model can not only be used both wet and dry (making it both shower and bath suitable,) but it contains an exfoliating brush head to leave legs feeling super smooth too.
There was a time when eBay was a bit naff and full of second hand shoes, watched DVDs and dresses still with their labels on. Although it was great for hunting down a bargain, there was a lot of work needed to track down that fabulous one-off piece that saved you a fortune. In 2014 things are a lot different to what they once were, eBay being the place to find must-have accessories, fun home furnishings, electrical gadgets and unique fashion from sellers across the globe. I've spent hours searching for quirky additions to my wardrobe that I know my friends will ask about, knowing that it's both cheaper and better than a Topshop alternative! Now eBay has launched their new 'Collections' feature, they're finally becoming a shopping force to be reckoned with; essentially a platform to allow you to curate the great things you find, eBay Collections makes shopping and searching online fun again!
Can you believe Joan Collins is 80? She just oozes glamour, sophistication and sassiness, proving that age doesn't matter when it comes to carrying off red lipstick. I can't believe it's taken her this long, but finally the woman who became a shoulder-pad idol of a generation has launched her own range of Timeless Beauty. Within the collection, which covers all aspects of makeup, fragrance and skincare, is this beautiful and elegant duo compact. Pairing a translucent powder (for ladies room touch-ups) with a shade of bright red lipstick, the duo is the ultimate in timeless glamour. Packed in a 1920's inspired gold case, this is something to be treasured by every generation.
Oh Models Own, when will you stop being so awesome? Fresh from delivering us a great collection of speckled nails, blogger favourite Models Own are launching these fab little nail art kits this March. Available in three varieties, each pack contains a polish and a sheet of stickers that can be added to nails in seconds. You've got the option of white polish with colourful paint blobs, lilac polish with delicate floral designs, as well as red polish with corresponding batman inspired cartoon bubbles. Although the polish is nothing special, the devil is in the detail of the cute stickers - there's no need to faff around creating intricate nail art designs when you can wack on a sticker and get the same effect in no time at all.
I've always lusted after big blowdried hair, never being able to recreate it myself at home. Whenever I'm in the hairdresser's chair, I'm in awe of their ability to multitask and juggle both a brush and hairdryer without a care in the world; when I attempt such a task it ends up with a brush on one side of the room and me on the other. Although there have been many electrical gadgets launched to solve the problem, until now they've left me rather underwhelmed and feeling like it was just another product I didn't need. Remington's Big Style Air Rollers have, however, become a welcome addition to my hair maintenance programme - especially as I'm making a concerted effort to minimise the amount of time I spend with my straighteners. Their Big Style styler is a great alternative to heated rollers or blow drying with a round brush; the set comes with 15 self-grip rollers (so there's no need for clips or pins,) as well as two attachments to help you get big bouncy hair in minutes.
The secret to a healthy looking complexion is all in the contouring and highlighting. Ever since Ms Kardashian showed us her extensive contouring routine, the beauty world has gone made for recreating it. A little touch of blush, a dusting of bronzer and a delicate dab of highlighter can mean the difference between looking drab and looking fab - especially when we're on our holidays. With the sun coming out and mini break season well and truly upon us, why not stock up on some makeup must-haves as you pass through the airport? World Duty Free has an extensive range of exclusive products, palettes, makeup bundles and much more... All completely tax free, which means more pennies to spend on another lipgloss! They've teamed up with makeup artist Annie Levy to bring you a fab video which takes you through the basic steps of creating a perfectly contoured look, which is great to watch as we step into spring. After I've swatted up, here are my top tips for highlighting and contouring.
Adding a touch of powder over your makeup can help it set and ensure it stays in place all day. I've always used a little powder over my skin, reducing shine and providing me with a flawless finish that sometimes just can't be achieved with foundation alone. Although there are endless loose and compact powders available on the high street (with varying price points,) I strongly believe you don't have to spend a fortune to get a product that performs. Seventeen have got some really great affordable buys within their collection, providing us all with the tricks we need to stay flawless. Their new Stay Time Pressed Powder is formulated to work with their Stay Time Foundation (which apparently offers up to 25 hours wear,) but can of course be used with any base.
Tory Burch may be well known for her shoes, but her attention is definitely turning towards beauty with the launch of her debut makeup collection. Her fragrance was launched earlier this year, but with the addition of this beautiful blusher compact and lip colour she's expanding her repertoire further. Packaged in distinctive orange and gold, the makeup is something of beauty; although the gold touches look like metal, they're in fact plastic to keep the feel of the products light and handbag appropriate. They look divine and are definitely statement pieces that you'll be proud to get out on the tube, or hand your mum this forthcoming Mother's Day.
Back in the late 90's a friend introduced me to a wonder product called Frizz Ease. It was the first hair product that could actually tackle my coarse, curly, frizzy hair and turn it into the hair I always dreamt of - even though there was still a lot of sleekness to be desired. Frizz Ease has always been the go-to hair product for me, providing smoothness and protection from humidity, but in recent years its been left on the shelf in favour of other innovations. It's therefore great to see John Frieda re-launching their Frizz Ease range with a whole new look, removing excess packaging and giving it a modern makeover. The new 'test tube' inspired tubes are both fun and practical, while the addition of a few new products definitely puts John Frieda back on the frizz fighting map.
L'Occitane's rich French history ensures that every product contains some of the most delicious scents. They're well known for their fragrances and uplifting notes, so it's only natural that their new launches focus on expanding their perfume and home fragrance repertoire. The new Néroli & Orchidée collection portrays the 'meeting of two precious essences' which come together in the French region of Grasse. Orange blossom grows throughout the area, while the distinctive orchid carries the scent of faraway lands; when these two combine the result is a fresh and elegant fragrance that's perfect for creating a welcoming home environment.
Taking vitamins is a very personal choice. Many people swear by supplementing their existing diet with a variety of vitamins, fish omegas and minerals as they believe it provides huge benefit to their skin and body. However, others believe it's a complete waste of time, effort and money. There have been many studies conducted over the years that suggest supplementing your diet with essential vitamins can increase IQ, improve the health and state of internal organs, lower blood sugar levels, boost your immune system, protect from diseases and help to repair damaged skin cells. But is it worth taking daily supplements, or are they just another thing to waste our cash on?
Spring time is always about neutral shades of pink, blooming peaches and delicate browns that enable us to bridge the seasons between deep Winter tones and the brightness of Summer. This season Bobbi Brown have introduced their 'Nectar & Nude' collection of makeup, which includes delicate shades of peach and orange to suit every skin tone. Much more natural than pinks and bronzing shades, a hint of 'nectar' can help our complexion to ooze health and bring together the neutral tones in our makeup collection that come to the forefront every March. Including an eyeshadow palette, lipglosses, nail varnish, shimmer brick and a beautiful cream blush, there's something within 'Nectar & Nude' for everyone.
Back in February, I jumped at the chance to go backstage at London Fashion Week and report on the surreal collaboration between fashion designer Liz Black and Phyllis Cohen, founder of Face Lace. As I headed up stairs and snuck backstage to speak with Phyllis Cohen, I walked into pure madness. Pre-show prep is quite a thing to witness: it seems like three people were designated to pull or slick the model’s hair into tight ponytails or wet-gel bob, as well as creating a lovely dewy effect with strong highlights on the models skin. As I’m a BIG eye makeup person, the Salvador Dali inspired eyes used on the models had to be my favourite touch. The eyes were an electric mix of magenta, rose and glitter that transitioned into vivid lobsters. It was absolutely breathtaking, but of course Phyllis Cohen took it one step further by placing little ants that crawled down the models’ faces, shoulders and arms. I took the opportunity to grab a few words and find out more about Face Lace and their London Fashion Week collaboration.
As our needs become ever more complex and our budgets are continually stretched, we need effective and innovative products that make our lives easier and our faces more beautiful. A lipgloss in a pretty pack is one thing, but a super slick tube and a plumping formula make it even better. DuWop are a brand I've previously heard of, but until recently I had no experience of their multi-functional products that have become so iconic amongst beauty enthusiasts. Their Lip Venom plumping gloss was the original product that sparked a revolution in the beauty industry; working by encouraging blood to rush to the surface as a blend of essential oils provide a delicate tingle, lips are plumped and benefit from a glossy sheen. Celebrity fans include Lindsay Lohan, Jennifer Aniston and Sienna Miller, so what's the secret of DuWop?
Activated Charcoal is an ingredient that has started to become incredibly popular in the skincare world. We've been actually using Activated Charcoal for thousands of years (so far back that it’s impossible to document); the Ancient Hindus used it as a drinking water filtration system, while the Ancient Egyptians used it to get rid of bad odours. In modern times Activated Charcoal was first industrially generated in the early 20th Century for sugar refining, as well as being used in gas masks to remove toxins during the First World War. It's also commonly used for digestive complaints, teeth whitening and as an acne treatment. So what is Activated Charcoal and how can it be so versatile? Why is the new must-have ingredient in skincare?
I spent many a teenage year perfecting my application technique of Rimmel's iconic SunShimmer temporary tan. Before I plucked up the courage to try out the 'proper' stuff, temporary and wash-off tans were what I relied on during a Saturday night. Although the formula was sticky, a little bit greasy and washed off as soon as I walked through a puddle, its scent and colour became a part of my teenage years I'll never forget. SunShimmer is still used by millions of us across the UK as a way to add a hint of colour to limbs, or to add an emergency hit of brown to invisible legs when we've forgotten to fake tan the night before. The formula was never perfect, but with the launch of the 'next generation' of SunShimmer there's definitely something to get excited about. Rimmel's new BB Skin Perfector offers nine uses in one, providing colour with the added benefit of a smoother appearance and a creamier finish.
Now the sun is out and we seem to be finally rid of the chilling winds, it's time to give our beauty routine a little overhaul. Like fashion, not all skincare and makeup products are made to be worn all year round - in the winter we need hardworking bases, strong colours and powerful moisturisers, but come spring we can replace them with something a little lighter. With the help of the Boots beauty department (which has everything under one roof and is even offering 3 for 2 on all beauty right now,) there are loads of little things you can pick up to give yourself a spring clean that don't even cost a small fortune. After I was asked to check out what Boots had to offer by Collective Bias, I popped along to my local Boots store and these are the goodies I picked up to help me meet the warmer months with a smile on my face and a glowing complexion.
Since its re-design and re-launch a couple of years ago, Eyeko have positioned themselves as a beauty brand to be reckoned with. Partnering with Alexa Chung was just the tip of the iceberg for this previously cute budget range; they're now charging a whopping £18.00 for a mascara and £12.00 for an eyeliner - priced to parallel some of the most premium brands out there. Although their mascara has developed a cult-like status amongst its fans, it's a hit or miss product for many others and has been reformulated numerous times. Having not used an Eyeko product in many years, I was keen to find out what had changed to allow them to double their prices and sign up famous faces to endorse their brand. So, is Eyeko worth the money?
When I was told last Summer that white nails would be hot for Spring 2014, I couldn't help but cringe and hope it was a trend that would swiftly pass. White has always reminded me of Essex, the 90's and summertime, rather than a shade to bring an outfit bang up-to-date and catwalk ready. However, this spring I've fully embraced the white nail trend, thanks to the prominence of super chic white shades available on the high street. My current favourite is this slightly pearlescent shade from Rita Ora's collection for Rimmel London, which provides a bright white hue and a streak-free finish. These are my top five reasons why white polish is the best thing for your nails this Spring.
Did you know that up to 80% of the sun's UV rays can still hit your skin on a cloudy day? Sun protection isn't just for when we're sunbathing on a beach; it's an essential part of every skincare routine and a vital element in the fight against ageing. Until now, it's been extremely hard to find an SPF that's wearable off the beach and under makeup - especially as sun lotions can be heavy, greasy and hard to absorb. Piz Buin are constantly pushing the boundaries of sun care, delivering new innovations year after year in order to encourage customers to wear SPF as much as possible. With the launch of their Ultra Light Dry Touch Sun Fluid, they're bringing effective protection in a super light formula that dries instantly to leave a powdery soft finish. You'll never view sun cream in the same way again once you use it.
Models Own seem to continually be hitting it out of the park with their affordable and innovative nail collections. Although they often 'take inspiration' from other brands (this time Illamasqua and their 2013 'Imperfection' collection,) they ensure trends are both affordable and wearable. Launching just in time for Easter, their Speckled Egg collection helps make your nails look like five little Mini Eggs; each of the five pastel and Spring-appropriate colours includes dark flecks that bring the polishes bang up to date. The flecks are suspended in the polish in three different sizes, making the finished result quirky and fresh - these aren't sparkling polishes or super girly, as the dark pigment helps to toughen the look and make it wearable with even a biker jacket.
With Easter on its way, it's time to start thinking about chocolate again. Even though I haven't even finished my Christmas chocolate supply, it'll be no time at all before we're all overflowing with Creme Eggs. If you fancy something a little different at the end of your Easter Egg Hunt this April, then Too Faced may just have the answer with this yummy Chocolate Bar eyeshadow palette. Wrapped like something straight out of Willy Wonka's factory, the tin inside looks like a delicious chocolate bar too. Holding a collection of 16 different (and brand new) high-pigment colours, the palette even smells like chocolate - thanks to the eyeshadows being made with 100% natural cocoa powder. This is a chocolate lovers dream in makeup form.