30.4.14

NEW From Ciate London: The Beach House Nail Collection

Every season Ciate continue to pull out the big guns when it comes to their nail varnish. The 'Doll's House' collection (launched earlier this year,) was so popular that they've stuck with a similar format for summer, launching their bright and breezy 'Beach House' collection of colour. Housed in a cute little hut, complete with pigeon and beach ball, the set contains five colours that individually tap into the key trends for the season. Including a pastel pink, minty green, burnt orange, fuschia pink and glittery gold, the collection is certainly diverse.


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NEW & SO CUTE: Real Techniques Mini Brush Trio

I was a little late to the party with Real Techniques, but now I've discovered them I just can't get enough. Pretty much every brush within their repertoire has found its way into my collection, the brushes offering an affordable and effective product that's pleasurable to use. They're great for professionals and newbies alike, the bristles providing the perfect amount of grip and helping to blend makeup seamlessly. Taking the brushes out with me during the day seems a little excessive, so thank goodness for this mini brush trio launching into Boots this May!


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BeautyUK 2014: The Ultimate Guide

This May, BeautyUK returns to the NEC Birmingham for two days of ultimate pampering, bargain hunting and education. Featuring over 500 leading brands, (including Bliss, Dermalogica, Elemis, EOS, Herbalife, Ink London, Karin Herzog, Lash Perfect, Magnitone, NYX Cosmetics & Tweezerman) the BeautyUK show also features NailsUK, HairUK & Holistic Health under the same roof. With new product and treatment innovations being shown for the first time, as well as inspiring educational programmes, professional networking opportunities and 1000s of exclusive offers, it's an event not to be missed. Here's my ultimate guide of what to do, where to stay and how to get there.


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29.4.14

The Vaseline Double Invisible Challenge: No Deodorant Marks!

The scent of aerosol deodorant reminds me of the girl's changing room after PE at school, the air full of that musty white smoke that left everything delicately covered in sprinkles. I haven't used aerosol deodorants since, associating them with horrendous white marks and stinging underarms, preferring to opt for stick or cream formulas. However, when Vaseline asked me to undertake a challenge on behalf of their new Double Invisible deodorant, I couldn't say no. Double Invisible contains Vaseline's unique ProDerma formula, a unique skin caring complex which can help to protect the underarm skin. Combined with an alcohol free and non sting formula that's suitable for even sensitive skin, it's really quite pleasant to use. Not only is it great at helping protect your underarms, it helps to protect your clothes from the build up of yellowing stains; it keeps whites white for longer, while keeping blacks black too. Vaseline challenged me to put Double Invisible to the test, wearing it throughout an intensive tap class and then under my LBD for cocktails with the girls. Could it really provide intensive protection while being completely invisible?


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NEW From YSL: 'Kiss & Blush' (Multipurpose Lip & Cheek Stain)

If you like YSL's innovative Vernis À Lèvres glossy lip stains, then you'll love their new Babydoll Kiss & Blush. Not only do they look good enough to eat, thanks to their super luxurious gold packaging, but the formula combines two technologies for a multi-purpose delicate finish. Developed for use both on the lips and the cheeks, the air-whipped texture contains a blend of pigments that ensures it adapts perfectly for use on either. The concentrated gel-like formula dries to leave a velvety smooth finish that's neither matte nor dewy - it's an unusual combination of both that catches the light and creates luminosity, while still offering a matte-like texture.


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28.4.14

Illamasqua Launch Skin Base Mixers: Your Perfect Colour Match

When a brand listens to customer feedback and does something about it, it makes me want to shout 'hurrah!' Illamasqua's cult Skin Base foundations are lusted upon by nearly every beauty blogger, providing great coverage and a flawless finish, but the range is still limited. Although there are 25 different shades to choose from, it's still been hard for some skintones to get the perfect match - until now. Illamasqua's Skin Base Mixers are now available from their stores and counters, providing a hit of colour to ensure you come away with the most perfect match you can possibly achieve. Available in four different shades (chocolate, amber, terracotta and white,) the good news is that they're completely complimentary when you buy any Skin Base Liquid. There's no additional charge at all, providing that Illamasqua are truly committed to helping us look our best.

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L'Oréal INOA Carmilane: A New Generation of Red Hair Colour

Although blondes apparently have more fun, redheads definitely know how to make an impact. Having red hair has never been more on-trend or easier to wear, thanks to celebrities including Jessica Chastain, Florence Welch, Amy Adams and Emma Stone championing the bright side. I've had various tones of red over the last few years, believing it complements my pale complexion and warms my tone; adding a touch of warmth to your hair colour can work wonders for the rest of your face. However, rocking a shade of red can come with its own complex maintenance programme. Due to the vibrancy of the shade, it has a tendency to fade quickly and leave hair looking a little dull - which requires regular trips back to your hairdresser to keep it looking fresh. In an economic climate where we're all looking to cut back and make savings, the longer our hair colour can last the better. The new INOA Carmilane red collection from L'Oréal Professionnel removes those worries and ensures you get more bang for your buck, thanks to their innovative technology that leaves you with super hot hair for longer.


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27.4.14

Top Fragrance Picks For Spring

We change up our makeup from one season to the next, replacing heavy foundation with something a little lighter and adding in a few pastels, so our fragrance repertoire should follow suit too. I have an expansive range of scents that change depending upon the occasion and my mood, but there are certain perfumes that only come out to play when the weather is a little brighter. For me, there's something not quite right about wearing a really heavy, musty fragrance while I'm rocking a white shirt dress - I prefer to keep it lighter, introducing a more refreshing and fruity scent. This spring I've been turning to five perfumes more than any others, wearing them daily to put a skip in my step; for your reading pleasure, here they are... 

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LBQ Current Favourites: Eyeliner

Creating the perfect smokey eye, delicate line of colour or perfect cat flick was always a pipedream. I never had the tools or the expertise to create something other than a messy fuzz of colour around my lash line, until I started to take the art form seriously. After trying endless eyeliners (covering all price points and benefits,) I've finally narrowed my essential collection down to just three - all of which provide something a little different, but 100% can be relied upon day in and day out. These are my current favourite eyeliners and the reasons they'll change your (eye) life.


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25.4.14

NEW: Paul Mitchell Neuro Smoothing Irons & Styling Sprays

After purchasing my first pair of straighteners way back in 2001, I haven't looked back. Although my debut pair were powered by a removable gas pod, things have moved on somewhat in the last ten years. GHDs revolutionised the market, providing us all with poker straight hair for the first time (and damaged locks alongside it,) charging £100 for the privilege. However, hair straighteners and stylers from other brands are well worth looking at if you're after a more 'styled' and natural look; although GHDs are great at achieving a super sleek finish, they do remove any hint of movement and have a tendency to make hair look limp. Paul Mitchell are a rather new player in the electrical market, but they do bring decades of professional hairdressing experience to the party. I use their hair products regularly, so putting their new Neuro Smoothing Irons to the test was a natural progression. So, how did they stand up?


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24.4.14

COMPETITION: HealGel Body (A New Wonder Skincare Treatment?)

It's very rare to find a wonder product. One that gets you excited, makes a difference and has beauty enthusiasts universally praising its performance. HealGel has become somewhat of a wonder product since its launch in the UK, providing consumers (who were previously at the end of their tether) with a solution that helps dull and dry skin become radiant and healthy looking. I previously put the face and eye versions to the test and loved them... So much so that I'm still using them within my routine months later. Their gel-like formula provides a soothing solution that's easily absorbed, plumping skin and helping to create a smooth texture both in the immediate and long-term. I really noticed a difference to the delicate skin under my eyes and a reduction in sallowness, so when I found out HealGel were adding a 'Body' product to their range I really wanted to get to grips with it and put it to the test. Could a body product be as effective as a targeted skincare solution?


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UVA & UVB Rays: What Are They & How Can We Protect Ourselves?

Spring has sprung, the sun is shining and boy does it feel great! The sun is fantastic at releasing oxytocin (the happy hormone) and giving us a great boost of Vitamin D, but what dangers come with exposing ourselves to sunlight? What are the hidden factors that we should be aware of that aren't so well known? Sun care is a complicated business, and the one element of beauty that confuses us the most. LBQ filmed a video with the Pixiwoo sisters last summer, outlining the key issues we should be aware of and discussing products (have a look here,) but taking that one step further, what are UVA and UVB rays and how can we ensure we're protected?


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Makeup Application: Eight Brushes Every Woman Needs In Her Makeup Bag

Fingers are good for many things: typing, dipping into chocolate spread, finger painting, playing on the iPad... But they aren't great at applying makeup. Having a repertoire of great application tools and brushes can really aid not only the performance of the products you use, but help to create a flawless finish. Although my makeup brush collection contains about fifty different brushes (just in case I can't find the one I'm after,) there is a core selection every woman needs to ensure her makeup is applied perfectly. After much deliberation, these are the eight brushes I believe every makeup lover should own - and the reasons why.


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23.4.14

My Top 5 Spring Nail Colours

Although we may still be waiting for the indefinite blue skies to appear, the weather is getting a little warmer and the tights are being left at the back of the drawer a little more often. There's nothing that marks the movement in season more than the colours that adorn my nails; there's something about a hint of sun that leaves me wanting pastel hues and cheeky corals on my digits. After trying endless polishes and putting them to the 'repeat application' test, these five are definitely the ones I'll be turning to the most this summer.


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Guerlain Rouge Lipstick: The Most Luxurious & Extravagant Ever?

Would you spend £31.50 on a lipstick? Even if it was the most beautifully extravagant and luxurious lipstick you'd ever seen? I had to seriously had to ask myself that question when I discovered Guerlain's Rouge Lipsticks. This is no ordinary bullet of a colour, but a lipstick compact that opens to reveal a hidden mirror in the casing; designed by Lorenz Bäumer, the young and talented jeweler based in Place Vendôme in Paris, this definitely adds a touch of luxury to your makeup bag. Described as a 'horizontal design with feminine curves that houses a secret,' a mirror automatically appears when the lipstick is removed from its case, being held once again in place by the subtle Guerlain logo and magnetic force. There's no need to take along a seperate compact mirror when you have this little touch of elegance slipped into your pocket.


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22.4.14

Yardley Fragrances Get A New Look (And They're Great Budget Prices)

Yardley London may be a famous purveyor of luxury fragrances and soaps, even providing the Royal household with toiletries for centuries, but their brand has always been steeped in history and nostalgia rather than being relevant to the modern woman. Born in the seventeenth century, there are few brands that compare to Yardley in terms of its rich history or fascinating progress from lavender soap maker to fragrance house. However, it's in 2014 that Yardley sees a massive move towards a modern perfumer that produces affordable scents in deliciously simple bottles. Adding to its expansive fragrance collection with this refreshing 'Jade' scent, Yardley has also re-designed and re-bottled many of its iconic and addictive scents to bring the brand into the 21st Century.

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LBQ Current Favourites: Black Mascara

Like finding your one true love, hunting down the perfect mascara often seems like an impossible task. It has to tick all your boxes, perform to perfection and last as long as you need it to. Although the high street is awash with thousands of options, the majority of them aren't worth wasting your hard earned cash on - there's a definite knack to developing the perfect black mascara. I've tried hundreds and right now these five are my definite favourites, providing everything I need and more. Here's why I love them so much my heart is all a flutter...


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21.4.14

Neom Organics: Cocooning Home Candle (Great For Peaceful Evenings)

Lighting a candle before bed has become somewhat a ritual of mine. The flickering gentle light helps to relax my mind and get it prepared for sleep, while the soothing scent it releases helps to regulate breathing and encourage my eyes to slowly close. Neom home candles are made using only vegetable wax and pure essential oils (rather than synthetic fragrances,) so they burn without releasing harmful pollutants, toxins or soot - the last thing you want to be breathing in as you're drifting off to sleep. Not only do their large glass jars look elegant, but they also work as powerful holistic treatments when the scented air they create is breathed in. To get the most effective result, it's best to burn them about two hours before you slip into bed so the relaxing scent can fill the room and help to get your mind into the perfect emotional state.

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19.4.14

Collection Loves: Mardi Gras (A New Tropical Summer Collection)

If you've been sleeping under a rock, then you won't know that it's not only the World Cup in Brazil this year, but the tropical trend is definitely hot to trot. Everything bright and bold is on-trend, with particular focused placed on looking like you've just come back from a fiesta. In celebration of both of these facts, Collection Cosmetics are launching a six piece 'Mardi Gras' collection this June that aims to bring a little Brazillian spirit to your summer. Featuring three sweetly scented lip balms and three on-trend nail colours, they've ensured the collection is easy to wear whilst still saying true to the roots of the idea.


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Brand Focus #23: Biotherm

Following her ground-breaking discovery of the skin-rejuvenating properties of thermal plankton, pioneering biologist Jeanine Marissal went about adding this extract to her skincare formulations.  
And so in 1952, French cosmetics company Biotherm was born. You’re probably wondering what this thermal plankton stuff is; it’s a water-dwelling microorganism, sourced from the thermal springs of the Pyrenees, that happens to be surprisingly similar in make-up to some of the key elements found in our own skin. Though now part of the prestigious L’Oréal Group’s portfolio, Biotherm (not to be confused with Bioderma) has stayed true to its water-faring roots. From deodorants to shaving foams, cellulite-busting body care to skin-soothing serums, Biotherm’s products are jam-packed with various blends of Pure Thermal Plankton, algae and cellular waters, all of which boast countless skin-beautifying benefits.
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18.4.14

WIN An Exclusive Swarovski-Adorned Rimmel London & Kate Moss Mascara

Kate Moss has been the face of Rimmel London for over ten years, seeing them through all manner of launches and helping them firmly stay at the top of the affordable cosmetics ladder. However, Kate wasn't satisfied with just modelling the makeup - she wanted a piece of the action. Launching this May, Kate has designed a range of mascaras to extend the Scandal'eyes range and bring a bit of colour to the mix. Available in four different shades and featuring the unique Rockin' Curves wand, the collection includes black, green, blue and purple. Although you may not thing that you want to wear a shade on your lashes that isn't black or brown, wearing a slightly tinted and subtle colour such as these helps to bring out the colour of your iris and ensure your eyes pop to the max.


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LBQ's Top Tips: Five Beauty Products Your Man Can Use Too

If you've ever argued with your man over the space your beauty products take up in the bathroom, then maybe you need to get him involved in the fun. There are so many products that the men in our lives can use too, helping them look tip top without smelling like candyfloss and strawberries. We all know they cheekily use our face creams, steal our luxurious bath oils and even play with our hair products, but what little gems can we openly share with them and help bring a little beauty into their lives? Here are the top five products in your repertoire that your man can use too.


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17.4.14

FREE Models Own Polish For Every Reader (Thanks To 'TopCashback')

Did you know that UK shoppers spent over £91 billion online in 2013? The trend for buying our wares over the 'net doesn't seem to be going anywhere, as us Brits are set to spend over £107 billion in 2014. I for one find it exceptionally easy to click away when I'm bored, in need of a new outfit or simply don't have time to get out into a real life shop. Now you can buy literally everything from lemons to lipsticks online, there's no excuse not to make the most of your purchases and earn a little something extra. Because it's Easter (and we all have cravings for Mini Eggs,) I've teamed up with TopCashback to offer every single reader of London Beauty Queen a Model's Own polish (worth £5.00) of your choice. That's right, absolutely free of charge, just because buying stuff online is awesome. Let me explain a little more...

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Eucerin: Helping You To Live Comfortably With Eczema

Until I met my boyfriend I had no idea how eczema could impact someone's life so much. I'm lucky enough to have pretty normal skin, not ever having suffered from anything other than a little heat rash. However, it's only in the last year I've become aware of a growing condition that affects millions of adults within the UK. Atopic Dermatitis (commonly known as eczema) is an inflammatory condition of the upper layer of skin that can appear all over the body.  Painful and debilitating symptoms can include redness, blistering, oozing, crusting, scaling, thickening and sometimes pigmentation - all of which can have a significant impact on confidence. Not only can it be caused by irritants in the environment (including detergents, perfumes and even clothes,) but heat, humidity, extreme temperatures and even bathing can cause it to become worse. Anxiety and stress are also big factors within eczema flare ups, which causes a vicious circle which is hard to break. I've been working hard with my boyfriend to crack the issues associated with his eczema and find products that work for him (a more in-depth post at a later date,) but after a recent discovery Eucerin is definitely a brand he can now turn to for a little skin support.


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16.4.14

There's A Gadget For Everything: Philips Sonicare Airfloss

I flossed my teeth for about a week when I was twelve and had removable braces. It was annoying, messy, uncomfortable and time consuming, so the floss got put to the back of the bathroom cabinet never to be seen again. However, few of us realise the long-term benefits flossing effectively can bring to our oral health. Unlike a toothbrush (which cleans the top and outer surface of the teeth and gums,) floss is an interdental cleaner, designed specifically to clean the tight spaces between the teeth, i.e. the places that a toothbrush can't reach. While mouthwash can kill the bacteria that forms plaque, it can't remove the stubborn tartar and bits of food that can lodge in these places and cause us issues. For those who don't floss consistently, Philip's new Sonicare Airfloss is the easiest way to start cleaning between teeth. AirFloss can be used with either water or mouthwash and features unique air and micro-droplet technology to remove plaque where brushing can't.


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A Truly Innovative Fragrance Trio: Valeur Absolue 'Well-Being Elixirs'

I've always been a huge fan of fragrances, using my perfume as an extention of my outfit and accessories. My current scent wardrobe is full to the brim with over fifty perfumes, each being used to fit certain moods and occasions. I've long believed that a great scent can enhance your mood and lift you up like nothing else, so it's great to see new brand on the block Valeur Absolue channel that idea with the launch of this trio of fragrances. Valeur Absolue have invented a completely new concept which they've called 'More Than Perfume.' The Valeur Absolue fragrances are not just scents, but well-being elixirs for the mind and body; enriched with natural ingredients and minerals, each perfume is one which will make us feel good as well as smell good.


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15.4.14

NEW From Kiko Cosmetics: 'Life In Rio' Summer 2014 Collection

New beauty brands seem to be ten a penny now, so I have to admit I'm always a little cynical until they prove their worth. Kiko Cosmetics launched last year and I ignored most of the buzz around it for some time; however, in recent months they've been launching some extremely interesting products and innovative collections. New for Summer 2014 is their 'Life In Rio' collection, which is bursting with colour and evokes the feeling of spending a month amidst a carnival. Although not all the products and their bright colours will appeal to everyone, there are a few worth picking up no matter what you're usual preferences. Kiko Cosmetics have definitely proved their credentials and have me (almost) drooling at some of these beautiful gems.


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NEW From Clinique: Lash Power 'Feathering' Mascara

A good mascara is hard to come by. Nearly every woman I speak to is on a continuous search for that 'holy grail' product that lengthens, volumises, separates and darkens her lashes, but there are few products that deliver on all accounts. I'm a big fan of Clinique, but generally speaking I have a love-hate relationship with their mascaras: some are the best thing since sliced bread (such as High Impact Curling Mascara,) but others leave my lashes looking a little limp (like High Lengths Mascara.) It's a tricky act to balance, getting lashes to look full of volume and length without the clumpy or gloopy formula causing that spider-legs effect. However, with their newest launch they seem to have ticked all my boxes whilst delivering qualities I didn't even know I wanted.


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14.4.14

Cheryl Cole & L'Oreal Paris Introduce #GoLouderFeria

It's been a while since I got excited about a beauty advert. Now that Lady Cole is set to return to our television screens and her judges chair on The X Factor, she's once again hot property. When she announced her part on the panel during a round of press interviews, all I could think about was her new blonde hair. A few weeks on and all is revealed, as Cheryl has dyed her previously dark locks a honey shade of blonde for this fab new Feria commercial. It embodies what dying your hair is all about: having fun, shouting loud, expressing yourself and looking fabulous. Cheryl is very much 'doing her thing' in this special TV spot, dancing around and strutting her stuff to one of the most addictive tunes I've heard in some time. Take a look, have a peek at the behind the scenes footage and let me know if you've got the sudden urge to dye your hair...

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What Does 'Dermatogolically Tested' Really Mean?

Our beauty shelves and bathrooms are awash with products labelled with the phrase 'dermatologically tested,' which on some level puts our minds at ease and helps us file them away in the 'good for my skin' category. However, do we really know what this means and are we being mislead into believing anything with this statement is better for us? In an attempt to uncover what consumers really believed, Which? surveyed over 1,000 people about label claims on cosmetics and toiletries. Asked what they thought the term 'dermatologically tested' meant, only a quarter believed the product had been tested on human skin.


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LBQ's Top Three: Hair Heroes

I'm forever on a mission for glossier, knot free hair. You know when you see those girls with perfectly polished, swishy hair? I want that! Instead, I usually have a barnet full of flyaways, frizz and tangles. I have fine hair, but lots of it - a menacing combination that requires a lot of maintenance to keep it looking (half) groomed. However, my quest for hair worthy of a Herbal Essences advert has led me to discover a handful of hair care gems that, along with my trusty Tangle Teezer,  make my life a whole lot easier. Here are my top three must-have hair heroes.

top three hair heroes

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13.4.14

NEW Brand Alert: Makeup Revolution (And The 3 Items You Need To Try)

Makeup is about having fun, being creative, testing new ideas and pushing your own boundaries. We're not all in a financial position to be filling our collections with expensive high-end brands, which is why I'm a huge fan of budget buys and affordable products that can really keep makeup accessible for all. Makeup Revolution are the newest brand on the block, offering good quality products that cost less than your morning coffee. Filled to the brim with colour and texture, their website offers everything from foundation and blusher, to eyeshadow and nail varnish, with a touch of lipstick and highlighter to boot. When a new brand launches and it's all so cheap, it's hard to see the wood for the trees and take note of where you should really be placing your bets - so I've put the products to the test and have narrowed down three that would be a great addition to any makeup collection... As well as those you should avoid.


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THE FEMFRESH DEBATE: BODY SHAMING OR ESSENTIAL INTIMATE CARE?

There are few products that are as polarising and controversial as 'intimate hygiene' brand Femfresh. Marketed as a range of washes, wipes, powders and deodorants for your lady garden, many believe it condemns our natural scent as something to be ashamed of. As many beauty brands capitalise on our insecurities to make a fast buck, it becomes easy to become obsessed with 'outing' those we object to and shaming their approach to body maintenance. Only this week, hair removal brand Veet has come under fire for suggesting having leg hair makes a woman a 'dude', while Dove has been celebrating our beauty and trying to increase our confidence - it seems that beauty is a more complex issue than we've ever been brave enough to talk about before. So what about Femfresh? Is it a brand that should be praised for helping women maintain their intimate areas with targeted products, or one that should be left lingering on the bottom shelf of Boots?


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12.4.14

NEW: Barry M Launch Makeup Brushes

It's easy to get the best out of your cosmetics when you start using makeup brushes. Your fingers and foam applicators can only do so much, often leaving a heavy finish on skin that's not exactly precise. Investing in a great collection of makeup tools will not only save time, be more hygienic and help create a more flawless finish, but it makes the whole experience a little more luxurious. Barry M aren't known for professional makeup, but they're great at bringing budget buys to the masses and allowing us to dip our toe in the water of something new. Launching into Superdrug stores imminently, Barry M's latest addition is a range of seven makeup brushes that provide a touch of fun with a sprinkle of makeup artist expertise.


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11.4.14

COMPETITION! Caudalie Launches NEW Anti-Oxidant Skincare: Polyphenol C15

Your alarm goes off super early. You check your smartphone for any notifications and news you may have missed overnight, before starting another hectic day in the office. After a few essential coffees, lunch scoffed on the go and afternoon cake, you either head to the gym or out to meet your friends for dinner. Once you're home there are emails to answer, plans to organise, television to catch up on and social media to peruse. Before you get into bed, there's even more checking of the smartphone and an attempt to catch up with the message you've been meaning to send to your mum. We all leave hectic lives and juggle numerous different roles every single day, as well as exposing ourselves to the elements of city life, late nights and early mornings. Every second of our turbo-charged day generates tiny invisible aggressors called 'free radicals,' which become harder to fight off as we age. As soon as we hit our thirties, our skin begins to weaken and therefore takes a lot longer to repair or recover from damage; these free radicals can cause our skin to become dull, wrinkled and pigmented - all factors which we associate with the signs of ageing. In order to help minimise this and keep our skin looking radiant, French skincare brand Caudalie have developed a trio of products that block 100% of free radicals, as well as offering an instantly plumping effect to help our skin looking great.


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10.4.14

COMPETITION: The Ultimate Makeup Storage Unit? Illuminate by BARE.

Arguing with your boyfriend about how much space your makeup takes up; feeling like a fool because you've just tripped over another lipgloss lurking on the floor; struggling to find that one mascara that makes you look awake at 7am because you chucked it back in one of many bags yesterday. Sound familiar? Makeup storage and organisation can become a massive issue if your collection bulges as much as mine, causing more issues in your life than you ever thought was possible from a few eyeshadow palettes. Although the current trend of perspex stationary boxes helps our storage issues to a certain degree, they're not fit for the purpose we're trying to make them serve.  Clunky stacking boxes may offer a large amount of space, but it's not easy to find the one eyeliner you're looking for without unstacking your entire collection. If you're looking for the holy grail of makeup storage, then the new collection of Illuminate by BARE may be the solution. I was lucky enough to meet the founder, get a preview of the unit soon to launch and find out why Illuminate is soon to become the must-have for beauty bloggers and makeup enthusiasts alike.

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9.4.14

The Ultimate Electric Toothbrush: Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean

Since I made the switch from a manual to electric toothbrush, it's impossible to go back. Using an electric toothbrush not only helps your mouth feel so much cleaner, but it makes a good routine easier to manage. Although I've tried many electric toothbrushes in the past and been extremely satisfied with their performance, until I tried the Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean I simply hadn't experienced teeth cleaning at its best. If there was a gold plated, sports car equivalent in the world of toothbrushes, then this would most certainly be it. It doesn't just look great, but the Diamond Clean provides an oral experience to leave you almost speechless - partnered with the most technological advanced system available on the high street today.


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8.4.14

The New Fragrance From Viktor & Rolf: Introducing 'BonBon'

Viktor & Rolf's debut fragrance has developed a cult like status, with Flowerbomb being replicated in both design and scent by numerous other fragrance houses. Although it's taken many years to add a second to the collection, Viktor & Rolf have certainly delivered another showstopper. 'BonBon' is full of caramel notes that make it as sweet as its name, but added mandarin, peach and orange blossom give the scent a subtle citrus twist that makes it a lot more wearable. The scent also contains musty notes of jasmine, cedar, sandalwood and amber which provide it with a sense of maturity and sophistication - this certainly isn't a Britney Spears candy fragrance.


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BLOG ADVICE 101: #10 WHAT I WISH I KNEW WHEN I STARTED BLOGGING

This week sees the fourth birthday of LBQ. Four years ago I was just starting to sew the seeds of a beauty site that would change my life completely, going into the adventure blinded but optimistic. Over the course of four years I've learned a lot, discovered a lot and made a lot of mistakes; the problem with being a blogger is that you're the marketing director, copywriter, social media manager, photographer and agent all in one - and nobody tells you what you should be doing! Running a blog is definitely a journey of discovery, unparalleled by practically anything else you could single-handedly undertake. Although I've enjoyed every minute of it (even the midnight writing sessions and weekends spent taking photos instead of being in the pub,) there are a few things I wish I'd known when I started this site way back in 2010.



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7.4.14

Bee Lippy Organic Lipbalm: Raspberry & Vanilla / Chocolate & Wild Mint

Raspberry ripple ice cream reminds me of treats at my Nan's house. She always had a stash of mini pots she picked up from the corner shop, ready to reward her grandchildren on a warm summers afternoon. Minty chocolates have me instantly reminiscing about Christmas dinners, taking me straight back to the demolition of After Eights after we'd already stuffed our faces with turkey and pudding. It's amazing how certain scents can make you feel like a kid again, instantly putting a smile on your face and a spring in your step. These cute Bee Lippy lipbalms from organic beauty brand Bee Fayre smell divine and really do smell of raspberry ripple ice cream and After Eights. Formulated with natural beeswax and melissa oil, there are nine different flavours to choose from that all include intriguing combinations.  Extracted from fresh flowering tops, leaves and stems of the Melissa plant, melissa oil is said to have antibacterial and antiviral properties - perfect for including in a lipbalm formulas.


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Manuka Doctor Skincare: Claim Your FREE 3-Piece ApiNourish Kit!

Although relativey under the radar in the UK, Manuka Doctor are about to take the skincare world by storm. Signing up TV personality Caroline Flack to be the face of their brand, Manuka Doctor strives to provide a balance of essential ingredients that are formulated to offer functional natural solutions within skincare products. The environment and the way we live our lives isn't always kind to our skin, causing everything from dryness and blemishes, to full-on breakouts and dullness. The Manuka Doctor skincare range is designed to be kind, full of formulations that are naturally good for you and have the technical backing of expertise research and independent laboratory testing. Honey and bee venom is used throughout the range to provide products that are a pleasure to use, while truly harnessing the power of nature to be effective in the treatment of multiple skin concerns. So confident are they that you'll love the products, Manuka Doctor are offering all of you a mini kit of three products absolutely FREE. Yes, zero pounds. Nada, niente.


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6.4.14

Reading Up On Beauty: Great Books To Help Change Your Routine

Although the internet as an information resource is booming, and blogs are becoming ever more popular, there's something about a tangible book that can't be beaten. I love sitting down with a good book, discovering a fascinating fact or learning what I can do to improve my health and beauty routine. There's nothing quite like understanding how you can get rid of bingo wings, what super foods can help your skin to glow or what the best at-home face mask recipe is. If you're a fan of self discovery, then I've found five books that could really help you to revolutionise your exercise regime, diet and beauty product repertoire.


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When Method Met Mickey & Minnie: Lemonade & Strawberry Fizz Wash

Mickey and Minnie Mouse are about as iconic as they come. They've been inseparable for the best part of a century, so it's no surprise Method have signed them up to bring a little cheeky mouse-ness to their hand and body washes. Available in a refreshing Lemonade and sweet Strawberry Fizz flavour, the Mouse collection includes a foaming hand wash and 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash, perfect for little and big kids alike. The hand wash is a fun addition to any bathroom shelf, the traditional Method container coming with added ears and a winkey Mickey. With one pump you get a great foaming ball of hand wash which lathers to clean hands while leaving a refreshing lemoney scent. The gentle formula leaves hands feeling soft and clean, while the fun factor gives everyone the excuse they need to keep germs at bay.


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5.4.14

The Natural Debate: Why We're All Being A Little Mislead

One of the buzz words on the beauty scene at the moment is definitely 'natural'. Brands and consumers alike seem to be going crazy for the label, but what does it actually mean? Or perhaps the more useful question is: 'what do brands class as natural?' There's definitely a lack of clarification on the difference between naturally occurring and naturally derived products, which mostly comes down to the extraction and manufacturing of the ingredient itself. In simple terms, 'naturally occurring' refers to a natural product that is delivered in a natural form, whereas 'naturally derived' means some ingredients deprived from nature have been used to artificially create a product that is delivered in an unnatural form.


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Vintage Beauty Accessories From 'Catseye London'

Being a beauty addict doesn't just stop with having thirty red lipsticks; it continues through to makeup storage and beauty accessories. I've always loved cosmetics pouches, travel cases and anything to transport and keep my beauty products looking their best. I hate scrambling about in my bag trying to find a hand cream or lipbalm, so I'm always keeping my essentials in a handy handbag appropriate pouch. If, like me, you're obsessed with kitsch and playful accessories, then Catseye London may be your new favourite destination. Their online store is full to the brim with cosmetics bags, pouches, kitsch nail files, vintage inspired eye masks and much more, all available at reasonable prices and great quality.

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4.4.14

BLOG ADVICE 101: #9 HOW DO I GENERATE TRAFFIC & GET THE MOST OUT OF SEO?

When I first established London Beauty Queen four years ago, I didn't even know what SEO meant. An acronym for 'Search Engine Optimization,' SEO essentially means 'getting the most out of search engines.' We're a nation of googlers, inputting key words and phrases into search boxes numerous times every single day. It's the lazy option when we really want to find an answer, read a useful article, research a product or get top tips from experts. The higher up your website or blog appears in search results the better, as this is where people are likely to discover you and your content. You'll know from past experience that you rarely click through to page two, three or four of search results, so ensuring your on top is important if you want to increase traffic to your site organically. However, SEO is a complicated business and companies pay agencies a small fortune to implement tactics that aid their search engine performance. Although I am by no means an expert, there are a few things you can do to give yourself a fighting chance in the world of SEO...


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3.4.14

Limited Edition YSL Touche Eclat: Leopard Print 'Wild Edition'

YSL's Touche Eclat has a cult like status incomparable to any other highlighter. Adored by makeup artists, celebrated by models, snapped up by beauty addicts and written about by beauty editors, it's no surprise that they sell millions of units every year. Launched just in time for Spring, this unique collector's edition adds a dash of 'wild' to the original - with a black and gold motif delicately engraved onto the pen's golden surface. Available for a limited time only, the design is inspired by the famous leopard print motif cherished by the house of Saint Laurent. It's subtle enough to be elegant, yet edgy enough to warrant an impulse purchase.


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USER UPDATE: Philips Lumea Precision Plus (IPL Hair Removal System)

Hair removal is definitely a topic that gets us passionate. Although it's never a pleasant process, it is an essential part of our routine that can take up valuable morning minutes when we'd rather be catching another five minutes in bed. If there was a way to remove your unsightly body hair forever, I guarantee you'd snap it up in an instant... Philips' Lumea Precision Plus IPL hair removal system claims to do just that. The easy-to-use system can prevent the reappearance of hair, on the face as well as the body, via targeted gentle pulses of light. The handheld device brings the benefit of inconvenient salon treatments to the comfort of your own home; Philips have been working with leading dermatologists to bring this product to life, ensuring that results are long-lasting and effective. A couple of months ago I gave one lucky reader the chance to put this piece of technology to the test, using the IPL system over eight weeks to see if it really could make a difference to her life. So, how did she get on?


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2.4.14

Models Own Launch 'Polish For Tans' Nail Collection

As we step into the new season, it's time to start thinking about getting our tan on again. While we exfoliate and buff our skin to help get the perfect result, Models Own are already one step ahead of us and launching a range of five nail varnish shades designed specifically to enhance and compliment a tan. Described as 'the ultimate collection for beach babes,' each of the five colours has been chosen to highlight golden skin from sunrise to sunset. Named for summer attire (Bikini, Sun Hat, Beach Bag, Flip Flop and Shades,) the neon shades are unusually pastel based to tone down the brightness a little and ensure they work with a golden skintone. 


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NEW: Olay 2-in-1 Anti-Wrinkle Primer

As I hit my thirties, I became even more concerned with skincare. Noticing little wrinkles and creases where there used to be super smooth skin is a little depressing, so adjusting your skincare routine to suit your age and lifestyle is essential. Although I used to be happy with a bit of night cream, I now religiously apply eye serum, a face serum, moisturiser and a primer before I even think about getting out the foundation. This can be a little time consuming, as well as layering my skin with numerous products that can cause my makeup to slip, so anything that offers multiple benefits in one is a bonus for me. Although a lot of Olay products are still a little way off for my needs, this new 2-in-1 Anti-Wrinkle Primer brings the benefit of targeted hydration with the added bonus of a primer-like finish to ensure makeup stays put.


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Candle Rings: Candles With A Sparkling Bonus

If you were to step into my home, there's no denying I have a slight addiction to candles. I'm not a pyromaniac, I just love sitting in a room surrounded by beautiful scents and watching the flickering light of a candle. It's romantic, comforting and relaxing after a long day at work. Although I have candles for scent purposes (Diptyque, Molton Brown, Yankee Candle,) and candles for light purposes (Asda, Wilkinsons, Cargo,) there's a big gap in my life for candles with added fun. Bridging the gap between all three categories are 'Candle Rings', a company offering scented candles with an added sparkling surprise inside.


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