29.8.14

NEW: L'Occitane Aromachologie Vintage Body Collection

I've always been a fan of L'Occitane's elegant packaging, beautiful scents and innovative concepts, but their latest collection excites me more than any previous launch. The Aromachologie Collection is a new concept that celebrates the apothecary history of the beauty world, partnered with naturally derived ingredients and essential oils. Composing of two sub-collections, revitalizing and relaxing, the range includes everything you need to look and feel fabulous. I adore the dark bottles and simplistic labels, taking beauty right back to basics; although they're plastic and not glass, the result is just as powerful and the price point much more affordable.


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28.8.14

THE IMPORTANCE OF CERVICAL SCREENING

In a time when science is so advanced that we're cloning our pet dogs just to cling onto their companionship for a little while longer, curing diseases once thought incurable and wiping out deadly conditions that have seen populations practically eradicated, it's hard to fathom that cervical cancer still claims the lives of around 970 women in the UK every single year. Approximately 3000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually, but new research has shown that one in five women don't attend their screening appointments when invited. Cervical screening aims to pick up and treat abnormal cells before they develop into cervical cancer, and is estimated to save around 5,000 lives a year, so it's practically unfathomable that so many of us are still gambling with not only our health - but our lives.


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27.8.14

Vintage Makeup That's Still Just As Good: Corn Silk Face Powder

There are thousands of new beauty launches every single year, with formulas being constantly improved and innovations calling out for us to part with money just to understand the hype for ourselves. However, often it's the understated and almost secretive products that have been on beauty shelves for decades that are really worth picking up - after all, if they've stood the test of time there must be something great about them. Corn Silk face powder has been around since the 1960's, promising women a long-lasting fresh complexion and the 'look of innocence' (whatever that may be!) Although it may be more at home in our grandmother's makeup bag, it's seen somewhat of a resurgence in recent months - now being one of the best selling beauty products on Amazon and increasingly popular in Boots; the reviews alone convince you this has huge potential. I put it to the test to see if something so vintage could really still be relevant.


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26.8.14

NEW: Urban Decay 'Pulp Fiction' Makeup Collection

One of the most iconic and recognisable images of the last century has to be from 90's film Pulp Fiction. Although (rather criminally) I've never seen it myself, I can still identify Uma Thurman's Mia Wallace laying on a bed smoking a cigarette at 100 yards. Although it was released some twenty years ago, the film is still celebrated and respected amongst millions of film buffs that have always wanted to channel their inner Mia. Now Urban Decay are releasing a Pulp Fiction makeup collection to celebrate twenty years since the film's release, they can! Consisting of an eyeshadow palette, red lip, red nail and metallic liner, the line-up is perfectly aligned to the movie whilst still being incredibly wearable. Movie fans and makeup lovers alike, rejoice!


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The New Dry Shampoo Contenders: Volumising Sprays That Beat Batiste

Ten years ago I was hunting down green cans of Batiste in budget beauty shops and corner chemists, so was the secret of a dry shampoo. However, with the rise in popularity of festivals came the rise in usage and understanding the benefit such a product can bring - now dry shampoos are as much a part of all our routines as hairspray and serum. Although Batiste have cornered the market for quite some time, the white chalky residue it leaves causes almost as many problems as the product solves; there's nothing worse than white roots, talc falling from your head or turning chunks of hair an odd grey colour. The texture of Batiste can also be a little icky, so it's about time there were a few new players in the dry shampoo market to potentially claim its crown. Although more and more brands are adding a dry shampoo into their repertoire, these three new products are definitely worth a look the next time you're in Boots...


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25.8.14

Janjira Therapy Massage Candle: Practical & Nourishing

I've spoken many times about my love for candles, delicate lights taking up practically every inch of mantlepiece as soon as the sun starts to set. Although massage candles have long been a thing, they're often a bit messy and impractical - especially as it's somewhat of a challenge to get the product out of the container and onto the skin. Massage candles somehow contain magic wax that doesn't heat up to the normal temperatures you'd expect, ensuring a great burning experience paralleled with a wax that's cool enough to touch and massage between your fingers. Janjira have taken the concept a stage further by housing their candle in a ceramic pot that even features a pouring spout! It's super easy to pour a little into the palm of hands and massage onto the body, or simply use as a cuticle treatment.


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Illamasqua 'Once' Makeup Collection: "Exquisite Fresh Splendour"

Once upon a time Ilamasqua were a brand known for their revolutionary colours, boundary-pushing formulas and eccentric imagery. Although we could all coo over the collections, most of them weren't exactly wearable by the masses; I for one wished continuously for more wearable shades and universal colour palettes that would be office appropriate. This year they've certainly delivered; firstly with their Glamore lipsticks, closely followed by a selection of nudes - and now the delightfully muted 'Once' collection just in time for Autumn. Described as 'the beauty of old and new, decadent and lavish,' the collection includes three divine Vintage Metallic Eye Shadow pots, two Sheer Lipglosses and a statement green nail polish. Basically everything you need to take you into Autumn, while still feeling like a peachy pink princess.


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24.8.14

The Sunday Pampering Session: Getting Ready For The Week Ahead

Sunday evening always brings a moment of dread; the impending week and that Monday morning feeling is never welcomed. You may still be feeling a little worse for wear following the night before, lacking both sleep and hydration, and need a good session to ensure you wake up on Monday morning feeling fabulous. The key to a great week is preparation and a little last minute pampering, taking care of your body and mind before the working week takes it's toll once again. There are lots of little things you can do on a Sunday evening to help get you ready and minimise that Monday morning moan, and here are some of my faves.


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23.8.14

My Top Five Pampering Moments That Don't Cost The Earth

This week I've been talking lots about looking after yourself, having some 'me time' and pampering your body as much as possible. It's so easy for the stresses and strains of daily life to get in the way of a well-balanced mind and perfectly preened body, so it's really important to give yourself a little time to have fun and pamper yourself - inside and out. Although it's easy enough to book yourself in for an expensive facial, spa weekend or full body massage, that can become incredibly expensive. It's much nicer to be able to regularly treat yourself and not worry about the cost that's associated. Therefore, I present to you my top five pampering moments that don't cost the earth!


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22.8.14

A New BB Cream - For Our Nails! Orly Launches BB Crème Polish

BB Creams have been big news over the last few years, providing a great base for those of us that don't want to cake our complexions in foundation. BB Creams (Blemish or Beauty Balms, depending upon the brand and product,) aim to even out skintone and provide a super radiant finish that practically glows from within - I for one am a complete convert and am rarely seen without a BB or CC Cream on my face during the day, saving heavier foundations for the evenings. However, with the increase in popularity we've now seen BB Creams being launched for pretty much every area of the body: including the hair, feet, limbs and even lips. Now American nail brand Orly are pushing the boundaries even further with the launch of their BB Crème for nails, described as 'a unique strengthening, brightening and protective tinted moisturiser for your tips.'


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Taking 15: Why A Little 'Me Time' Can Help You Re-Focus

Getting caught up in work, family life, online dramas and friendship groups can create not only huge amounts of stress, but a lack of focus. We're always rushing from one place to the next, trying to stay in contact with loved ones across the world while juggling our personal lives and online presence. It's no surprise that a recent study* of 100,000 working Britons found that 48% of respondents considered themselves stressed. Of this group, 28% said they had been feeling this way for more than a year, while 27% said they regularly feel "close to breaking point" - that's seriously worrying. If left unchecked for a prolonged period of time, stress can cause much more serious, long-term mental and physical illnesses that include anxiety, depression, heart disease and even obesity. Each of us will have our own coping mechanisms for day-to-day life and sometimes we need to be reminded to take that time to consider who we are, what is important in our lives and how we can move forward in a positive way.  A simple fifteen minutes a day of 'me time' can offer an opportunity to relax, de-stress and re-focus the mind to ensure you're prepared for the coming hours and days: it's a time when it's all about you, a time to just sit and be with your own thoughts and feelings, establishing clarity that allows you to move ahead.


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21.8.14

Perfect Summer 'Bare Skin' Bases: Sleek, Bioderma & Face D 3-Luronics

As the weather gets a little warmer, our skin soaks up the sunshine and we start to leave the jackets at home, it's important to ensure our makeup gets a shake-up just as much as our wardrobe. Colder months tend to bring a more hard-wearing and thick approach to foundation, helping to cover dull skin and conceal imperfections. However, the best thing about summer is that our skin naturally starts to look a little more glowing; we don't need heavy bases or super thick formulas to help us out, but can start to use lighter formulations which add a touch of radiance instead. BB Creams, CC Creams, light coverage foundations and even tinted moisturisers are a perfect option - but these are the three I'll be reaching for all season long.


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Get Your Legs Out: How To Pamper Your Pins & Feel Fabulous

Not all of us have been graced with the legs of Gisele or Mirander Kerr, but that doesn't mean we have to hide them away under thick tights, leggings and jeans. Although the UK's weather is temperamental, with the slightly warmer months comes the shorter and more floaty fashions that inevtiably have us showing a bit of leg. Whether that's a slip of an ankle, a calf or full-on mini skirt length exposure, it's really easy to make the most of your pins and feel utterly fabulous. I've never liked my legs and believe they're possibly my worst feature, my ballerina calf muscles and chubby knees being the buck of many jokes growing up; even though they're my biggest insecurity I've learned to make the most of what I've got and step out with confidence. Here are some of my top tips for pampering your legs and getting a summer glow, with a little help from Dove's new Purely Pampering Nourishing Body Oil - a leg lover's must-have.


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20.8.14

NEW From Melvita: Lightweight Universal Cream (Plus A Kid's Book!)

I love brands that offer something a little different, have a great story and include amazing ingredients - Melvita embodies all those three things and more. Their skincare products are well-known for being effective and full of goodness, becoming almost cult-like following their under-the-radar status for nearly thirty years, so it's no surprise they've continued to capitalise on their expertise by launching their first Universal Cream. The super cute pot contains a lightweight and delicately scented cream that includes the scent of meadowsweet, elderflower and beeswax. Naturally rich in sugars, meadowsweet helps to strengthen the skin's barrier function, while beeswax helps to lock in moisture and provide a protective coating against environmental damage. Elderberry also helps to soften and soothe the skin, instantly providing a feeling of comfort, making the cream suitable for all the family.


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The Benefit of Bathing: Feel Preened & Pampered After A Long Soak

In my house, Tuesday nights are bath nights. It's the one time I get every week when the house is empty and quiet, so I turn off my computer, put the phone to one side and slip into a warm sweet-smelling tub of water. Having that hour to myself to disconnect from all the technology and craziness that fills my life really makes a huge difference - I definitely feel it if I don't get my weekly bath session over the coming days. There are so many ways you can benefit from a soak, both physically and emotionally, and here are some of my favourites.


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19.8.14

Hit The Jackpot: Kiko Cosmetics 'Daring Game' Makeup Collection

Makeup collections are rarely innovative or push the boundaries; we're so used to seeing the same old coral and bronze combo for summer, followed a few months later with a sultry smokey eye for Christmas. Very rarely am I instantly wowed by a concept or idea that simply hasn't been done before, but that's what happened when I opened the newest offering from Kiko Cosmetics. Their 'Daring Game' collection put a massive smile on my face and left me feeling like booking a trip to Vegas; it's fun, clever, innovative and quite simply like something I've never seen. It may include some super cute palettes, nail polish shades, eyeliners, lipstick and chunky crayons, but it's the details and sheer quality that makes it worth rushing out to by.


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Pamper Your Hands With My At-Home Manicure Tips

In a world where we're constantly attached to our smartphones, tablets and laptops, it's no surprise that our hands can often become a little overlooked. Dry skin, overgrown cuticles and flaking nails can be the result of too much abuse and not enough love when it comes to hand care. Although I love treating myself to a manicure and in-salon pamper once in a while, if I don't look after my digits at home they soon look and feel neglected. With a few pieces of affordable equipment and an hour in front of the telly, you can easily give yourself a pampering experience that will have your hands looking tip top in no time. Using the key ingredient of Dove's NEW Purely Pampering Nourishing Oil, here's my step-by-step guide to a luxurious manicure that will leave your hands feeling pampered and loved.


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18.8.14

The Solid Sunblock: Lush Launch A Solid Sunscreen Wash

Although I'm sitting here with the heating on, a warm cup of coffee on the go and the rain petering down outside my window, we're still (believe it or not) in the middle of summer. It may not seem like August in the UK right now, but many of you may still be lucky enough to have a summer holiday to look forward to and need essential sun protection. It's even more important for us Brits to be prepared when it comes to sun exposure, as we see so little of it throughout the year and get overexcited when it does grace us with its presence. Although there are thousands of sunscreens and SPFs available on the high street, Lush have (in their usual quirky way) their own take on staying protected with 'The Sunblock' - a solid sunscreen wash that can be applied in the shower.


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WIN: Grab A Purely Pampering Moment With Dove's New Body Oils

We all try to live life to the full, squeezing in multiple commitments and hobbies alongside spending time with loved ones. Add to that the demands of a full time job, looking after a home and even children, and it's no surprise we're all feeling the strains of modern life. Although we often prioritise the wellbeing of others, it's not uncommon for us to collectively neglect our own. When was the last time you took a moment just for yourself and really enjoyed it? With Dove's new Purely Pampering Nourishing Body Oils you can start having a few indulgent minutes every day, thanks to the luxurious scents and hydrating properties that the oils bring. Available in Pistachio & Magnolia and Shea Butter & Warm Vanilla variants, the body oils contain ingredients which have high levels of Linoleic Acid, Omega 6 and Vitamin E. These natural fatty acids help to maintain the quality of the skins lipid bi-layer so skin is left healthy and nourished, while looking fabulous too.


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15.8.14

Kitsch Creaseless Hair Ties: My New Hair Best Friend

As my hair grows out from a bobbed cut and annoyingly hits my shoulders, I find myself reaching more and more for hair ties just to hold strands away from my face. In the heat I scrape my locks off my shoulders and into a bun, even if they've started the day loose around my shoulders with the hope of looking bouncy and fabulous. However, nasty black bobbles and stringy old ties just don't cut it, especially when worn around the wrist; they can totally ruin the look of an outfit when all other elements are polished to perfection. Kitsch hair ties are my new hair best friend not only because they come in a multitude of colours and textures, but because they don't snag the hair at all. They leave no nasty hair bumps when you take out a ponytail, nor do they cause any wincing.

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GOSH Giant Blush: A Fab Chubby Cheek Colour Balm Dupe

There's definitely a trend for chunky crayons right now, with every product possible being re-imagined into a stick format that can be applied in one swoop. Although Clinique are undoubtedly the king of sticks and crayons, there are many more affordable alternatives popping up on the high street. GOSH have launched their very own version of the cheek tints that caused quite the stir a while ago, which come in at a very affordable £6.99 each. They're a lot chunkier than the Clinique versions, offering a serious amount of colour and a thicker bullet; the colour is a lot stronger and the result really quite dewy, compared to the matte finish of the Cheek Colour Balms. The texture provides a radiant finish that's great for applying over a BB Cream or lightweight foundation, but if you're a fan of matte looks or understated colour then you may want to apply with caution.

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14.8.14

Battle Of The Express Varnish Remover Pots: Which Performed Best?

Nail varnish remover used to be one of the dullest items in beauty. Functional, stinky and messy, nobody ever took pleasure in removing their nails - until handy and cute nail varnish remover pots cropped up and made the process quicker, simpler and cleaner. Although the original pots used to be relatively affordable, albeit double or triple the price of a standard bottle of remover, in the past year a huge amount of copycat products have been launched that cover all budgets. I've been putting three to the test over the last few months to see if spending more money really buys you a better product. Here are the results...


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Festival Style: Keep Hair Looking Hot For 3 Days With Toni & Guy

I spent most summers in my twenties bumbling from one festival to the next, with only a day or two to clean up and re-pack the beer. Although I loved slumming it, wearing festival fashion and embracing the atmosphere, the biggest concern was always what I was going to do with my hair. There's a very famous picture amongst my friendship group which was taken on day three of Reading Festival some years back - after a few days of rain, applying product and attempting to hide everything under a hat, I woke up looking like a complete mess. My hair was knotted and literally standing up like a mohawk, so it's no suprise it took days of intensive masques and a lot of love to get it back to its former glory. A few weeks ago I went down to a Toni & Guy salon in London to find out how their 'Fashion Fix' styles could be taken from day one of a festival, right the way to day three while still looking fabulous. If you start with an ace style, then you can build on it and work with the foundations every day so you're still looking awesome. Considering these styles take only 30 minutes and cost only £25.00, it's a wise investment if you're planning a trip to any festivals this August. Have a look at the video I filmed and find out how you too could keep your style looking amazing all weekend long. 


The Fashion Fixes are available at all Toni & Guy salons, priced £25.00.
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13.8.14

NEW YSL Fusion Ink Foundation: The Answer To Our Foundation Dreams?

You've probably seen the press, heard the buzz and spotted the Instagram shots: YSL's newest product launch is causing quite the stir. It helps that Cara Delevingne is the 'face' and the formula was developed using NASA inspired technology (yep, the space dudes) but YSL's Fusion Ink Foundation claims to deliver flawless coverage that lasts up to 24 hours, while still feeling ultra-light on your skin. They claim the staying power of the formula prevents the need for touch-ups, blotting or even powder to set it in place - but does it really live up to the hype? Are the 12,000 women apparently on a waiting list set to be pleased as punch or overly disappointed?


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Pixi Fairy Dust Eye Shimmers: A Sprinkling Of Magic Makeup

I used to love everything about Pixi makeup, but in recent years they've fallen off my radar in favour of other brands that seem to launch something new every five minutes and scream to the heavens about it. However, after recently getting to grips with the products down at their store on Carnaby Street, I've fallen head over heels for these Fairy Dust illuminating powder pigments. Available in six different nude and understated shades, each pot contains a concentration of shimmer and a little rounded applicator to buff it into the lid. Although they can get a little messy and get you covered in shimmer if you're not careful (make sure you keep them stored upright and tap the base before opening) they're definitely a great product for creating effortlessly chic looks.


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12.8.14

Bargain Buys: Five Fab Makeup Products For Under A Fiver

I love a pretty pack and an indulgent designer lipstick as much as the next girl, but I also love finding a makeup bargain that performs. Although there's a lot of rubbish filling the beauty shelves of our High Street stores, there are also some incredible gems that cost only a few pounds and outshine some of their more expansive counterparts. After sifting through some of my current staples, here are five beauty products that cost less than a coffee-cake combo in Starbucks and are a much wiser investment - plus they're calorie free.


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BooTea Cleansing Detox Teas: Are They Really Worth The Hype?

I've made no secret of the fact that I suffer with all kinds of allergies and digestive problems, like millions of other people in the UK. I suffer from cows milk and gluten intolerances (read about why I made the switch to soya here,) as well as IBS and an under-active liver. Basically, my eating habits could be the best on earth and I'd still struggle with my digestive system. I discovered BooTea during one of my cleansing phases, where I'd consume anything and everything that claimed to cleanse and detox my body. The premise is simple: a daytime tea in the morning before breakfast and a nighttime tea before bed. I love the fact that it's so simple, easy to integrate into your existing routine and there's no faffing around - all you have to do is boil the kettle. I started off with a 28 day teatox, drinking the morning and evening teas consistently for a couple of weeks, and noticed a real difference. The teas seemed to help my body get rid of all the unnecessary toxins, build-up and gas to leave me feeling much lighter and my tummy a lot less temperamental. However, after around two weeks I found my body stagnating and not really benefiting from the teas as much as it was initially; the result was that I gradually stopped drinking the teas daily.

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11.8.14

Five Blogs I'm Currently Crazy For!

There are millions of blogs out there, all offering up a tidbit of someone's life or experiences, but sometimes it's hard to see the wood for the trees when there are so many. I read a lot of blogs that cover many different genres, but they all inspire me and meet a little desire for something knowledgeable, powerful, beautiful or different. I truly believe that anyone can write a blog, but a great blog has to offer something a little unique. These are some of the blogs I'm currently crazy for, because all five of them inspire me in some way or another. I hope you love them too...


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Bare Minerals 'BareSkin' Brightening Foundation: Their 1st Liquid Formula

Known for taking the mineral makeup market by storm, securing a cult following and encouraging women to undertake a 'makeover', Bare Minerals are definitely champions of beauty. They're all about enhancing beauty, rather than covering it up and creating something generic - which is why their mineral powder foundations are so popular. Providing a super lightweight, almost undetectable finish, their mineral products have been copied by pretty much every brand going and have seen a revolution in makeup. Surprisingly, until the launch of 'Bare Skin' last week, Bare Minerals had never dipped their toes into the world of liquid foundation. However, they're making heavy and thick foundations a thing of the past by launching a liquid that brings the benefit of a lightweight mineral veil in the form of a serum-foundation with serious punch.


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10.8.14

When Hairbrushes Got Fancy: Braun Satin-Hair 7 IonTec Brush

With all the innovations that hit the beauty industry and scientific advances creating what was previously only dreamed of, one of the few items remaining humble and simplistic is the hair brush... Until now. Because a straightforward wooden handle with bristles isn't quite enough, Braun have invented an electric brush that emits active ions directly onto the hair's surface. The Satin-Hair 7 brush includes an ion jet, which releases millions of active ions every time you use it, creating an invisible 'power halo' around your hair. Braun claim that active ions work 'very much like a conditioner' to tame frizz and provide smoothness that's incomparable to regular brushes. Active ions are atoms that carry a negative electric charge and actively envelop the hair strands to help fight static, transport moisture back inside the hair shaft and restore shine. The result, theoretically, is boosted shine and easier hairstyling - so how did this fancy pants brush hold up? 


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8.8.14

COMPETITION: Perfect Your Summer Hair With KeraFiber Styling Products

With the summer and festival seasons firmly upon us, our hair needs become somewhat different from any other time of the year. Hot and humid weather, sleeping in tents, traveling on tubes and sitting in stuffy offices can play havoc with our barnets and cause them to look lifeless and dull. However, with two key products you can solve your problems and restore hair to its former glory - with no need for washing. KeraFiber are a brand I've written of before, offering a range of products that help to build volume and bounce from the root upwards, but they're now adding two new products into their repertoire - an Argan Oil Hair Serum and Keratin Dry Shampoo.


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The Ultimate Travel Companion: Introducing The 'Magic Mirror'

Struggling to apply makeup with a handheld compact and attempting to see how your outfit looks in the bathroom mirror... Sound familiar? One of the things I hate most when traveling is the lack of decent reflective surfaces. It's never the same as when you're at home, because you simply can't see yourself properly and get a good perspective on your look. However, the fabulous 'Magic Mirror' is a great innovation that allows you to take a full-length mirror wherever you go - because it folds up into a packable square that takes up only a little amount of room in your case. The mirror can be used in three ways (full length, pyramid or vanity) to get the view you need, as well as being made with shatterproof reflective acrylic so you don't have to worry about the risk of smashed glass in your case when the airport unloading staff become a little overzealous.

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7.8.14

Save Space & Look Fab: Holiday Appropriate Multi-Tasking Products

This week I've been talking about all things holiday, banging on about products that are small enough to fit in your hand luggage and perform more than one task. However, it's hard to pick out products that can perform multiple functions when presented with a sea of things you rely on. I've handpicked a few that I'll be taking with me on holiday this summer - all of which are small enough to justify a place in your case, plus affordable and truly effective. If I could only pack six beauty product for a trip to the beach, then these would be it... 


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A NEW SKINCARE RANGE FOR THE FIRST SIGNS OF AGEING: ELIZABETH ARDEN FLAWLESS FUTURE

If you'd have asked me a month ago for a skincare recommendation for someone looking to prevent the first signs of ageing, Elizabeth Arden would have been bottom of my list. Although I love their Eight Hour Cream and have written about it many times before, their skincare has previously been somewhat targeted at an older age bracket and could leave my skin feeling overwhelmed. Their rich formulas and heavy creams may have been perfect for my mother, but for me they were just a little too much. However, with the launch of their new Flawless Future trio they've finally developed a range that's much lighter and more suited to younger skin. Conveniently it's targeted at the 25-35 year old age bracket (just my cup of tea) and aims to target skin concerns that are prominent within our generation - we all have hectic lifestyles, often run on empty, eat poorly, drink too much and don't get enough sleep. These three products aim to replenish some of the lost nourishment, whilst simultaneously brightening and targeting fine lines.


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6.8.14

A Fab Multi-Tasking Holiday Product: The Body Shop's Wild Argan Oil Tin

Space is paramount when it comes to packing - be it for a picnic in the park, a mini break or a full blown trip to exotic shores. Packing products that can be used in multiple ways will not only leave more room for airport purchases, but help to simplify your routine while still ensuring you look fab. The Body Shop are on a roll this year, launching a huge range of affordable and effective innovations that have been celebrated and praised by bloggers, beauty editors and customers alike. It seems they can do no wrong, as the latest addition of their Wild Argan Oil 'Miracle Solid Oil' for body and hair continues to prove. This simple but innovative product provides Argan Oil in a solid format, saving both space and mess while making it perfect for travel. 


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Help Wanted! LBQ Needs An Intern.

Yes really, it's got to that point... I've been running the site for over four years and it's become somewhat of a beast, evolving to become my full time job completely unexpectedly in 2013. Simultaneously I work with a lot of beauty brands and companies on a consultancy basis, doing everything from strategising and advising new brands, to supporting and running channels for more established ones. I also produce a lot of trend reports and insight into the state of the beauty industry and how consumers are reacting to innovations, working with some huge brands to shape the way they do business. Suffice to say I'm a little bit busy - and it's not slowing down any time soon. If you're a marketing or PR student that wants to make the most of your summer, or simply a blogger who wants to get into the strategic side of things, then do you fancy being my intern?


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NEW From Clinique: Chubby Stick 'Baby Tint' Moisturising Lip Colour Balm

The Chubby Stick family is growing quicker than the cast of Hollyoaks, with their repertoire now including lip colour, cheek stains and eye crayons. Arriving this summer are four new little siblings, as Clinique introduce their 'Baby Tint' range of lip balms that aim to enhance the natural shade of our lips. Available in four different shades, these balms offer an injection of moisture with only a hint of colour - the bullets are quite deceptive, as the shades are so subtle they don't even show up in photos. They're a little smaller than the current Chubby Stick products for lips, being very much a lip balm with added benefits; however, they're not designed for sore or chapped lips - more for adding a touch of lubricant on the go when you get that feeling your lips need some love.


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5.8.14

Hand Luggage Must-Haves To Ensure You Land Looking Fabulous

We all do it: stock up on fizzy drinks, sweets and magazines before boarding a plane and wonder why we look like hell when we get off the other side. If we use the time more effectively and take a few handy products with us, there's no reason we can't channel our inner Victoria Beckham and land looking fabulous. Scrap the family-sized bag of Haribo, swap the Diet Coke for a giant bottle of water and fill your hand-luggage with handy products that will ensure you look and feel like you've just had the best flight ever. Here are some of my favourites...


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Michael Kors Launch A Fab & Expansive Nail Varnish Collection

Having previously been somewhat of a nail varnish addict, the last few months have seen me become a little underwhelmed and bored with polish. Everything landing on my desk seemed to be 'same old, same old,' while I couldn't even muster the enthusiasm to apply my favourite summer shades. However, that all seemed to change when an expansive collection of colour from Michael Kors popped through my letterbox - finally, something nail related I could be excited about. Although the brand launched a capsule collection of colour earlier in the year, it's these new shades (and so many of them!) that are causing me to go weak at the knees and finally apply some polish.


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4.8.14

Packing For A Holiday? Top Tips To Make The Most Of Your Space.

I may have perfected the art of packing minimal clothes for a long weekend away (I've learned the hard way I don't need four pairs of shoes for three days,) but the same couldn't always be said when it comes to my beauty products. Having become accustomed to using about thirty different lotions and potions every morning, editing them down into a tiny case is somewhat of a challenge. However, after a major learning curve over the last year and a lot of hand-luggage-only trips away, I've finally perfected packing for holiday without having to scrimp on essentials. Here are some of my top tips for packing and making most of your space.


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NEW From L'Oreal Paris: Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Collection

Great haircare doesn't have to cost the earth, as illustrated by L'Oreal Paris and their new Nourishing Extraordinary Oil collection. L'Oreal are continually pushing the boundaries and launching innovations that really do make a difference; their Fibrology thickening solution is still one of my favourite launches this year and costs less than a fiver. Building on the success of their stand-alone Extraordinary Oil, the hair giants are launching a range which encompasses the same technology and formula in a new format. Their new Extraordinary Oil hair range includes two shampoos (quite unusually targeted at different hair types - the job is usually left to the conditioner) a conditioner and mask, which together can help provide a solution to coarse and dull hair that lacks movement or shine. The main difference of the range is the inclusion of oil within all three products; dry and dull hair by definition lacks oil and hydration, but L'Oreal's innovative formula delivers much needed oil to help inject moisture and lustre without weighing hair down.


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YSL Touche Eclat in a NEW Shade: 'Rose Or' (Delicate Rose Gold)

It's one of the best selling makeup products in the world and a favourite with millions of women in the UK alone. YSL's cult classic Touche Eclat is a literally translated as 'radiant touch', tasked with adding a touch of light to the skin to lift dull tones. Although it's commonly misunderstood and used as a concealer, it's actually a highlighting pen which can be used on the brow bone and cheek area to help sculpt the face. (Have a watch of my video where I explain how you should really be using it.) YSL now have a number of different shades to ensure every complexion can find their perfect match, but for the first time they're adding a new twist on the product in the form of this beautiful Or Rose variant. Housed in a metallic rose gold pack, the colour is subtly different to the original and contains no peachy undertones; the result is a lot creamier and pinkier, making it great as a delicate highlighter that blends into the skin perfectly.


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NEW: Rimmel London 'Keep Calm' Lip Balm & Nail Polish Collection

You can't walk five feet in London without stumbling across something emblazoned with the 'Keep Calm' slogan. It's exploded in the last few years, having originally been used by the British government at the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. Since then it's been adopted and adapted by pretty much every thing imaginable, but this Summer it's the time of Rimmel London to celebrate the inherent Britishness of the meme and launch their very own 'Keep Calm' collection of lipbalms and polish. Available in five different shades, the lip balms have been created to inject a little fun into a functional product; there's Keep Calm and Kiss, Party, Play, Rock and Shop. The balms are smooth and pleasant to apply, leaving a delicate sweet scent and just a hint of colour on lips. (It's almost indistinguishable in the three lighter shades, but the dark pink and purple leave a very subtle tint - perfect for 'down days'.)


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