SPONSORED FEATUREHealthy nails are happy nails, and there's no better way of ensuring either than with a little bit of buffing. Our nails can become dry, brittle and prone to breakage if we don't look after them, but a touch of hand cream, a dash of cuticle oil and the right tools can mean the difference between a talon emergency and a dainty hand to be proud of. Although Revlon may be well established in the makeup category, having been providing women across the globe with a helping hand for decades, they've also got a professional beauty arm that's about to make waves in the UK. One of the most exciting innovations in the category is this Shine Addict Nail Buffer, which delivers a fast and effective solution for beautiful and natural nails. Its unique micro-grain roller surface helps to buff away imperfections, leaving nails super smooth and shiny without damaging the lower layers; it can be used as a quick way to prep nails for a long-lasting nail colour application (varnish is less likely to peel or chip off smooth nails,) or simply as a quick route to the model-esque talons you've always dreamed of. Plus, because it's compact and battery operated, you can keep it in your bag or take it away with you for on-the-go use if you're so inclined! Because au naturel nails are all the rage for 2016...
This week I've decided to pop up all my Christmas gift related posts up in one hit, in an effort to be both helpful and concise. Nobody wants a wittering blogger that goes on about festive beauty ideas for three months in the run-up to the big day, but equally I know you collectively get a little bit excited about discovering what could potentially be the best gift ever for a loved one. The beauty industry gets more and more innovative every year, developing new ways to harness our love for lipstick and nail varnish; this year beauty baubles seem to be the emerging trend and an incredibly popular way of showing you care. They're affordable, festive and double-up as tree decorations too - what more could you want from a Christmas treat? Ciate may have started this trend a couple of years ago with their Tree Trinkets, but this year it's the turn of fragrance, skincare and even lipbalm brands to get in on the action. Here are some of my favourite beauty baubles that make perfect stocking fillers, tree treats, Secret Santa gifts or just a little something to open yourself on Christmas morning.
It's amazing the detrimental effect a bad hair day can have on your confidence; what's going on upstairs can have a huge impact on the rest of your day if it's not quite behaving in the way you'd like. As someone who's been woefully unhappy with their god-given barnet for as long as I can remember, I've always been utterly obsessed with hair products; to me it's a way to tame the mane and ensure it's looking stylishly messy, rather than embarrassingly frizzy. Wet styling products are the first step towards a glossy, controlled look (take a look at my current three faves here,) but finishing products are the key to achieving a frizz-free yet texturized look that makes you feel like you've just stepped off a catwalk. Although I try piles of products over the course of a year, here are the five that I'm currently loving so much I just had to share them with you...
Although I may roll my eyes at this rather odd celebration making its way to UK shores, Black Friday has become a shopping event we can't afford to miss. It may originate in the States as a way to get eager shoppers back into stores after Thanksgiving, but it seems we don't need much of an excuse to follow suit. Interestingly the day's name is thought to have originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Later an alternative explanation was made: that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss ("in the red") from January through November, and "Black Friday" indicates the point at which they began to turn a profit ("in the black.") I've also heard that the term comes from the utter despair US stores faced after the holiday period, tempting their customers back with heavy discounts to boost their pre-Christmas sales. Either way, it's now become a trans-atlantic phenomenon. Although there are tonnes of offers and deals to be had, I've picked the ten I think are worth knowing about - especially as we're now officially in gifting season. Whether you want to treat yourself, a loved one or just see what bargains you can nab, here are the ten deals you need to know about tomorrow.
SPONSORED FEATUREAs we get closer and closer to the party season, our minds turn to prepping and pampering ahead of the big moments in our social calendars. If you're anything like me, no matter how much time you think you have to shop for the perfect dress, pop to the hairdressers for a trim, treat yourself to a mani-pedi and get yourself a spray tan, something always slips. I never have enough time in my schedule to fit in everything I'd like, so inevitably I end up passing over some of the less important pampering moments - including a brow tidy and lash tint. If there was a way that you could save valuable time and money, you'd snap it up without a second thought yes? Well Colorsport offer a capsule range of long-lasting eye solutions, that include a 30 Day Mascara, 24 Hour Eyeliner, Rapid Lash-Gro Liner, Eyebrow Definer and a mini Smokey Eyes Kit. They're very much a functional brand with a problem-solution approach, but they take lash and brow maintenance out of the salon and put it back in your bathroom - which not only saves you valuable time, but valuable money too. (Read my full review of the Colorsport range here.) That's got to be good as we slowly but surely enter the most financially stretched period of the year!
The beauty industry thrives on innovation; we're always looking for the next big thing, the newest ingredient, the most revolutionary design. Many brands absolutely depend on newness to keep them in profit, relying on the buzz around a launch or a discount incentive to drive sales and justify their position in store. It's incredibly difficult to keep innovating and delivering products that genuinely provide a solution to a problem, so it's no surprise that there are also a lot of duff launches that really make me question the thought process behind them! Although we're used to seeing lengthening, volumising and either separating mascaras, there appears to be a whole new category emerging around the texture of lashes; 'velvety smooth' seems to be the offer of the day, replacing often spidery lashes with a result so soft it almost feels like your lashes are naked. But the question is, do we really *need* a mascara that leaves our lashes feeling soft?!
Fragrance has been a staple of the Avon beauty brand ever since the launch of its first product back in 1886: a sweet smelling perfume called Little Dot. Little did they know back then that this rather insignificant product was to launch one of the biggest global brands there has ever been. But did you know, selling one fragrance every seven seconds, Avon is surprisingly one of the world’s leaders in perfume? They may have a bit of a reputation for being naff, and perhaps more suited to your granny than your best mate, but Avon have actually got some really rather fabulous and innovative products hidden within those retro catalogues - including these new 'Attraction' fragrances, which have been specifically designed to 'capture the attention of a potential partner.' Interesting. In our growing 'swiping left, swiping right society', is this just another way of seeking out that potential suitor, or a marketing story that's a little bit fun? The question is: would you wear a fragrance that's specifically been created to attract the opposite sex?
Bobbi Brown are well known for creating wearable, lustworthy and universal palettes, and come Christmas they sprinkle a little bit of magic over each and every one of them. Last year they created something that was so brilliantly kitsch and elegant for the holiday season that it was always going to be hard to top (see my feature on their 'Scotch on the Rocks' collection from 2014 here,) so it was with anticipation and glee that I unwrapped 2015's offering. There may be nothing new, noteworthy or particularly special about their collection launched in time for Christmas gifting, but isn't the point of a Christmas gift to be something that's loved and cherished for the rest of the year? Although there are a couple of interesting launches, on the whole Bobbi Brown has kept it simple; they're once again doing what they do best by offering up a portfolio of wearable shades and textures that are packaged in beautiful palettes. Why fix what aint broke?
I was only thinking a little while ago that there has been a distinct lack of innovation in the hair category this year, only for a huge selection of products to land on my desk all at once and change my mind. Over the last six months or so I've definitely stripped back my hair care routine, preferring to focus on a good quality shampoo and conditioner with minimal styling product, rather than overloading my barnet with everything going. However, I did miss the benefits a singular product with lots of great ingredients could bring: smoothness, shine, manageability and addictably-touchable hair. After chopping and changing, these three wonder formulas are the ones I'm sticking with indefinitely - not only because they're easy to use and effective, but because they're lightweight and perfect for those of us with thin hair that doesn't like being weighed down.
SPONSORED FEATUREAs we step a little closer to party season it quickly becomes all about polished nails and glossy lips, a sprinkling of glitter and a spray of fake tan. We get out our new party dress and best heels, stock up on hairspray and google the easiest way to create a sexy 'up do' - but how many of us forget to add that finishing touch that can make all the difference? Fresh breath is the ultimate accessory, regardless of whether you're planning to get smoochy at the office party this year, but it's often the last thing on our list when it comes to party prep. CB12 are an innovative and unique dental hygiene brand that aim to provide everyone with first class breath - so you don't have to worry about what's on the menu this festive season. Their simple, yet incredibly effective, mouthwash and gum are all you need to feel confident when you lean in with the mistletoe!
Facials have long been perceived as an infrequent indulgence that's often the result of either a gift, guilty feeling or skin emergency. As they can be quite expensive and require a couple of hours out of your day, they often slip to the bottom of our priority list. However, a regular facial will not only provide an enforced few hours of relaxation and pampering, but provide you with targeted and invaluable advice for you to continue implementing yourself at home. There's nothing quite like an hour with an incredibly experienced skin expert, listening to them diagnose any issues and provide advice on products or routines; if you've ever suffered with breakouts, dryness, enlarged pores or uneven tone, then they could provide bespoke recommendations that only an appointment with a dermatologist could provide. (Read my recommendations of some of the best places in London to try here) However, if you've never had a 'proper' facial before (sorry - the ones where they essentially cleanse, tone and moisturise your face for you don't count!) you may be surprised to find out what actually goes on behind closed doors. The first time I had a 'proper' facial I left feeling like I'd just taken part in a really odd ritual, but over fifty facials later and I realise it's just the way it is... So here are the three things to expect so you don't freak out on the therapist's table!
I've always had a very special relationship with scent. When I was a teenager I used to spend hours sampling all the different perfumes in my local chemist, before parting with my hard earned cash for a bottle of something that made me feel like a princess. While friends were buying nail polish and body lotions, I was investing in fragrance as a way to extend my identity beyond just what I was wearing. As a 20-something, my perfume collection was more expansive than anyone else I knew; I wore different scents to complement my mood, the time of year, the occasion and even my outfit - to me, it's more than just smelly water. Now in my 30's I'm interested in unusual and sophisticated fragrances that really make a statement; I don't like anything too sweet, too floral, too musty, but I love anything striking, unusual or a touch on the masculine side. Like makeup and fashion, the point of scent is to find your own identity and enjoy wearing it. Fragrance layering has become incredibly popular, while brands such as Jo Malone and Shay & Blue are increasing in their mainstream appeal as people look for more than just another celebrity endorsement - unusual combinations, satisfying notes and evoking an emotion is definitely worth paying for. But what if you looked to the male fragrance market to satisfy that need? Although Hugo Boss 'The Scent' is designed to celebrate the seductive nature of men, the more delicate and fruity notes lift the fragrance to make it universally appealing; if ever there was a bottle you could share with your partner, then this would be it.
There's nothing worse than yet *another* celebrity collaboration that transpires to be little more than a name slapped on a box. However, when Ciate London announced that Olivia Palermo was undertaking a 'Guest Creative Director' role within the brand, you knew that this was going to be a force to be reckoned with. The last six months have seen genuinely beautiful creations hit stores and completely sell out; everything Olivia puts her name to has been crafted with love, care and attention - including her capsule selection of nail polishes. I can unreservedly state they're some of my favourites, with each polish being formulated with 'dual polymer mesh lock technology' to provide long lasting colour, durability and high-shine. Just in time for Christmas (clever that!) Ciate and Olivia have created the perfect mini edit of some of the shades, all wrapped up in a gift-worthy box; not only is this a great way to dabble in the collaboration if you've been meaning to for a while, but at £25.00 it's an affordable indulgence too.
If you look up the definition of a blog in the Oxford Dictionary, it's defined as "a regularly updated website, typically run by an individual, that is written in an informal or conversational style." Originally from the phrase 'web-log', traditionally blogs were seen as an online diary; they started to rise in popularity as our obsession with social media, connecivity and reality took over the need for glossy interpretations of otherwise boring (but equally oh-so-fascinating) topics. A blog by its very nature is fluid, conversational and ever-evolving, but more and more I see the question arising of whether or not you should stick to a specific niche if you want to be 'successful'. (Whatever that means.) If you read any kind of blogging advice, the first topic on the agenda is often that of finding your unique selling point - and sticking to it. But over the last few years, 'lifestyle' blogs have risen in popularity as we want to delve more and more into the lives of our favourite writers; just like shows including TOWIE and Made In Chelsea have boomed in popularity, our thirst for a snippet of realism and people that we can relate to isn't going away anywhere fast. But is it better to have a clear niche and topic that you right about daily, or an overarching identity that evolves with you?
The desire for dry shampoo is gathering pace like nothing else, being responsible for the growth in not only the 'shampoo' category, but the overall hair market too. For years Batiste was the main player in an industry that re-branded itself from a bottom-of-the-shelf products saved for greasy hair days, to a staple of any beauty wardrobe that’s used more as a hair styling aid than festival essential. Although I love a bit of Batiste (especially it’s £3.00 price tag,) the build-up can cause the scalp to become itchy and inflamed if it’s not used in the correct way. (Read my post here on why dry shampoos should be used with caution.) If you’re worried about aggravating a sensitive scalp, have a preference for more natural ingredients, or simply want to shake things up a bit, then I’ve handpicked three dry shampoo alternatives that will leave your hair looking and feeling super fresh. They may be a bit pricey in comparison to your usual can, but it’s good to have options right?
Healthy Nails In Less Than Three Weeks? Micro Cell 2000 Nail Repair Could Be The Solution You're Looking For
SPONSORED FEATUREI've always had problematic nails. For as long as I can remember my talons have split, broken, flaked and chipped on almost a daily basis; the situation was only exacerbated when I dabbled in gel nails for a time, leaving my hands in a sorry old state. Ever since then I've been desperate to find a portfolio of products that can help repair damage, strengthen the surface and create a healthy looking nail that I can be proud of. Like with skincare and makeup, without a great base your polish is only going to look a bit dodgy when applied over the surface; it's important to look after our nails in the best way we can, so those expensive polishes look the best they can. Micro Cell 2000 Nail Repair is a treatment range that has been developed specifically for soft and brittle nails; the technologically substantiated 'secret recipe' within the formula is widely regarded as the #1 in the treatment of soft and brittle nails worldwide. That's a pretty big claim - which is why over 10,000 units of Micro Cell are being sold in its native Germany every week. I've been putting it to the test over the last few weeks to see if it could positively effect the condition of my nails, without being a complete faff to integrate into an already expansive routine. Here's how I got on... (Spoiler: my nails are fab.)
You may look at these and think 'what the hell?' but the truth is that these will undoubtedly be the next big thing in home fragrance. A home's scent has the power to provide comfort and security, evoke a feeling of happiness or simply uplift your mood after a long and stressful day; stepping into a room that's filled with the subtle scents of the season is one of my favourite things about my home. Although reed diffusers and candles may be practical, they can look cluttered and tatty; wax residue on my fireplace is the bane of my life, while a haggered looking diffuser tends to go straight in the bin rather than sit on my windowsill looking tired. Rituals are one of my favourite brands when it comes to scent, creating mood enhancing products for both body and mind that are also incredibly affordable; this winter they've launched an innovation in the home fragrance category that I've never seen before, but absolutely adore. These cute tassels hide a beaded centre piece that can be saturated with a beautiful fragranced oil, helping to fill your room with perfume in a subtle and elegant way. What's even better, is these little red numbers double up as Christmas decorations too!
In my opinion, women shop for beauty in one of two ways: with their head, or their heart. The head may make you opt for an investment piece, great formula or something you know you've been desiring for long enough to justify it; the heart, on the other hand, has a tendency to fall in love at first sight based on pure beauty. Burberry cosmetics thoroughly come under that second category. Although some of the formulas are fabulous (others more questionable,) the real selling point of this quintessentially British brand is just the pure level of extravagance; you can't help but desire everything they launch for no other reason than it's 'oh so pretty!' This Christmas they've once again not disappointed, bringing together the beauty of a festive collection with the practicality of actually what we'll use beyond New Years Eve. So many brands focus on injecting so much festive cheer that they forget that we've actually got to use these excessively glittery products after Santa leaves them in our stocking - but every single thing from Burberry's holiday collection is wearable 365 days of the year. Yes, red and gold are somewhat predictable for Christmas, but this is Burberry red and gold!
DON'T MISS OUT: Elemis 6-Piece Sensational Skin Collection At A QVC Exclusive Price (Will You Choose #Frangipani or #SweetOrchid?)
SPONSORED FEATUREEffective partnerships are born out of mutual understanding and passion. No duo illustrates this better than the fundamental partnering of Elemis and QVC, who have spent the last twenty years growing together while striving to help women across the UK look and feel good. You may have a preconception of the shopping network watched by millions, but it's increasingly relevant to the modern woman of all ages - who demands effective products that deliver on promises, while providing great value. It's a guilty pleasure of many, not only because it's a great way to discover new brands and get beauty tips from the experts, but because the shopping network offers the best deals that other retailers simply can't compete with. This November Elemis and QVC are teaming up once again to offer an incredible and exclusive offer to their customers; usually priced over £130.00, you can grab this six piece skincare gift for under £45.00 - for one day only!
I remember a time when Christmas was a rather tacky affair; naff one-pound advent calendars and cheap foil crackers were all the range, the joy of the festive season being linked to figuring out exactly what that bit of plastic that fell out with your hat actually was. How things have changed in such a short period of time. Now as soon as there's even a whiff of Christmas in the air, brands are capitalising on our love of beauty by squeezing it into every product imaginable - advent calendars, baubles, stocking fillers and now crackers. Although they are an extravagance, I would much rather pull a cracker on Christmas day and reveal something I'm actually going to use (i.e. a lipgloss) as opposed to something I'm not (i.e. a plastic screwdriver.) Brands are understanding the potential of these fun, practical and beautiful treats - and I've no doubt they're going to be the next big thing. There are already a vast number to choose from, so here are some of my favourites and the ones I'm considering laying across the table on the 25th December.
FRAGRANCE INSPIRED BY THE FIVE ELEMENTS, FROM THE OLDEST BRAND YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF: BRONNLEY ENGLAND
I'm always fascinated by brands that have stood the test of time, bringing a sprinkling of history into my regime - as well as a formula that's sure to provide results. However, so many of these brands that have been around for decades (if not centuries) pass most of us by without a second thought; it's easy to become absorbed in the fast paced and incredibly modern world of beauty. Bronnley have been producing quintessentially British fragrances since 1884, when its founder James traveled to Paris to study the art of perfume; he brought back with him what was to become an exquisite and widely celebrated brand that turns scent into an art form. Although many of these heritage brands become quite stuffy, unrelatable and extremely expensive over time, Bronnley is keeping things modern with the launch of their incredibly wearable (and affordable) Five Elements collection. They simply say: "To celebrate our heritage in true pioneering form, we introduce Eclectic Elements, a modern take on the romantic art of perfumery." If you love scent, but don't like to adorn yourself with the same thing as twenty other people around you at any one time, then this is a brand you need to know about.
SPONSORED FEATUREDid you know that over half* of dry skin sufferers state that their condition worsens during winter months? Even those of us that benefit from relatively healthy looking limbs during the summer are more than likely to experience dryness, flaking or irritation when the colder season sets in. As the temperatures drop, our skin is exposed to a myriad of elements that can leave it looking and feeling dehydrated, sensitive and dry. Bitter winds, central heating, reduced humidity in the air and even lack of sunlight can disrupt the structure of the skin, reducing its water content so it dries out and leaves us feeling somewhat worse for wear. What’s more, our cleansing and bathing regime can also play an unexpected role in causing issues that need to be tackled with specialist skincare. There are some small changes you can make to your routine that will have a big impact overall, helping to keep your skin looking and feeling as healthy and smooth as possible. I've teamed up with E45 and top clinical dermatologist Dr Emma Wedgeworth to find the answers to your problems, having taken to the streets to find out what concerns Brits have with their skin during the colder months.
The number one makeup disaster, no matter your skin tone or age, is a mis-matched foundation. With flourescent lights and over zealous in-store assistants, it's easy to pick up what you think it the perfect shade but actually get it home to discover it's some unsightly shade of orange. Perfectly matching your skin to a base colour is tricky business - and that's before we've even taken into account the changing seasons and impact of sunny days on our complexions. I'll bet that at any one time you have a portfolio of foundations that just don't quite match, leaving them lingering at the back of your makeup storage for yet another day when they'll miraculously become the right tone for you. Well don't fret, because one little bottle of magic potion could solve all your base worries... And it only costs a tenner!
Have you ever had an idea of something in your head that you just couldn't find in reality? I'm always concocting the perfect item that things in shops just can't live up to; unless you pay a small fortune, it's highly unlikely that you'll be able to covet that perfect piece that meets your every need. First it was my dressing table, then a handy stool that was just the right height for photography, followed by a bath tray that I just *had* to have to balance my wine and my book during my regular bath nights... Lucky for me, I have a boyfriend that makes furniture for a living who can turn my dreams into reality! If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this bath tray pop up a few times before; it always causes a flurry of comments asking where it's from, but it's been created by the loving hands of my other half. The great news is I've finally convinced him to open his own Etsy shop and make a bunch for you guys too, so your bath times can be as pampering as mine!
Beauty advent calendars are now big business, with pretty much every brand creating their own take on the trend; from affordable treats to pure luxury indulgences, there's something for every beauty addict out there if you look hard enough. (Read my rundown of some of my favourites this year here.) However, if you're not that into makeup or know you simply won't get use out of lots of little beauty samples (because, let's face it, a lot of those doors will reveal products that simply won't tickle our fancy!) then this carousel from best selling home fragrance brand Yankee Candle may provide a more practical alternative. The rather chunky and space heavy advent calendar not only provides your home with holiday season decoration, but it holds a selection of tea lights and festive votives in some of their most well known scents; it looks great while simultaneously providing a great alternative to chocolate and more practical twist on the traditional advent candle.
SPONSORED FEATUREI've got a confession to make: I'm a nudist. Not in the sense you may be thinking (you dirty lot,) but in the sense that I tend to stick to the same old beige, brown and taupe tones no matter the day of the week or time of year. I may bring out the dark grey or black upon occasion, or even add in a touch of shimmer during the festive months, but on the whole I'm not really one to embrace colour as much as I should - other than on my nails. I do love a red or pink lip when the occasion suits, but when it comes to my standard regime it's all about the nude tones - and I'm betting the majority of you can relate. No7's new 'Colour Your Way' campaign encourages women to embrace colour and wear it how they like, not just in the way we necessarily think colour has to be worn. It's about stepping out of the colour clichés to wear contradictory colour pairings, adding pastels during winter or rocking a bold lip at the same time as a smokey eye. The great thing about beauty is that it can be fun, experimental and unique - so it's about time we reclaimed the colour and celebrated how great it can actually make us feel. We know that a yellow dress or pair of red shoes has the potential to lift our mood and put a smile on our faces, so why can't makeup offer the same result? In the interests of research, No7 challenged my best mate and I to experiment and embrace colour cosmetics in a way we hadn't done for a long time; the result was surprisingly fun...
As the chill in the air gets even more intense, our dry skin conditions will inevitably get worse - but if you're one of the thousands of people in the UK that suffer from eczema, the cold weather brings with it even more discomfort and pain. The dry skin condition is highly individual, with symptoms varying from person to person, but it effects one in twelve adults in the UK. Although it's more common in children and many people 'grow out' of the condition when they reach adulthood, it can be incredibly debilitating and have a huge impact on confidence. It's still little understood by the masses, with even suffers themselves struggling to get to grips with the reasons behind their itchy and sore skin - but here's the lowdown on eczema, its causes, how you can manage it and some of tips that have helped my loved ones completely turn it around.
Some things in life are created purely for a moment of indulgence, to put a smile on our faces and evoke a feeling of joy. The new My Burberry festive fragrance is the embodiment of that in every way. In celebration of the forthcoming Christmas season, Burberry have re-imagined their much celebrated self-named scent and added a touch of sparkle. Not only is the scent delicious, elegant, sophisticated and timeless, but you can now pick up a bottle that contains tiny glittering snowflakes; like a snowglobe, you just need to give it a gentle shake to create a moment of theatre that will definitely brighten your morning when you spritz it onto your skin. It may be a gimmick (and a popular one for 2015 - Nails Inc have already utilised the same idea within their snowglobe nail polish,) but it's a gimmick in the most beautiful way.
SPONSORED FEATUREYou may know the name. You may recognise the packaging. You may even tried it without realising. Colorsport is one of those brands that's so handy, yet so under-the-radar, that's it about time it stood up and got the attention it deserves. I'm all for a bit of fancy packaging, but sometimes it's the functional and effective products that really stand out as something to be spoken about - and Colorsport is just that. They offer a capsule range of long-lasting eye solutions, that include a 30 Day Mascara, 24 Hour Eyeliner, Rapid Lash-Gro Liner, Eyebrow Definer and a mini Smokey Eyes Kit. They're very much a functional brand with a problem-solution approach, but they take lash and brow maintenance out of the salon and put it back in your bathroom - which not only saves you valuable time, but valuable money too.
It may only be the first week of November, but the festive season is well and truly upon us. The red cups are out, the lights are on and the shopping has begun - so its no surprise that the beauty world is getting in on the action too. Although I don't like to feature Christmas gifts and stocking fillers too early, there are too many beautiful seasonal collections available already to not let you know about... Including this golden five-piece from Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana. Described as a pure indulgence "inspired by the exciting moments experienced as the year comes to a close and families gather for the holidays," each token gold piece offers something exquisite. Although there are the usual reds and smokey tones available simultaneously, I love that they've used their golden brand equity to create something rather understated and seasonally appropriate - which ironically is not what I've come to expect from D&G!
It's the time of year when suddenly everything becomes glittery, sparkly and festive; if it's possible to chuck some sparkle at an otherwise standard and unexciting product, then consider it done. Eyeshadows, lipsticks, highlighters, moisturisers, hairspray - and of course nail polish - all get a holiday makeover in the hope of making some cash while we're all in the mood to party, but it can all get a little bit boring. As someone who's not overtly glittery and refuses to wear anything that resembles reindeer earrings, I like my Christmas sparkle fun but subtle. This year Nails Inc have hit the nail on the head with their clever, innovative and kitch Snowglobe polish; it doesn't re-invent the wheel, but it does appeal to our inner kids thanks to it's traditional snowglobe 'shake' appeal. The polish is saturated with golden glittery flecks, but the difference is that they're not suspended throughout the transparent formula; they gradually settle to the bottom, so you have to 'shake it up' to get the level of sparkle you want!
Grey hair is inevitable for us all. It may be a strand or two in your twenties, full-on roots in your thirties or the need for a complete overhaul in your forties, but we'll all reach a point where we want to overcome those tell-tale signs of the years passing us by. I've got no issue with a few little lines around my eyes, or even an expanding waist-line, but I'm just not prepared to put up with silver worms sprouting from my scalp. With the busy lives we lead (and the ever increasing prices of that regular appointment,) it's harder than ever to find the time to justify a visit to your hairdresser; however, there are lots of simple, quick and affordable ways you can conceal those greys without picking up a whole box of hair colourant. Here are three of my faves.
Traditionally speaking, perfume has always been associated with a moment of pure indulgence and escapism; it's a way of conveying who we want to be via the most powerful sense the human race has at its disposal. However, never one to conform or do things in the manner we've become accustomed to, Jeremy Scott has created a new season Moschino masterpiece that will no doubt fly off the shelves when it launches this week - regardless of the fact that it's dividing the nation. He's known for his quirky alternative style and pushing the boundaries, having dressed his catwalk models in everything from Barbie outfits and McDonald's logos, to retro cartoon characters; what better way to continue that legacy than by reinvigorating the humble bleach bottle? (Because what's more glamourous than a spritz of your favourite bleach?) Moschino Fresh Couture is the ultimate reinvention.
Long before Makeup Revolution, Freedom or MUA, there was a purse-friendly makeup brand adored by bloggers the world over. I remember stocking up on tonnes of products to write about, simply because the price point was so low it was more than justifiable. Whereas affordable makeup was often naff and hidden away in your makeup bag amidst a pinch of embarrassment, ELF (or Eyes, Lips, Face) started the trend for budget brands that were actually cool. In a time when shopping in Primark was du jour, ELF pushed boundaries and ensured makeup was as enjoyable as possible - whilst bringing innovative formulas to the mass market that were before only seen amongst the more premium brands on the high street. (Baked eyeshadows, gel liner pots and blusher palettes with complementary tones to name but a few.) Unfortunately the brand was pulled from the UK a little while ago due to business reasons that I won't go into here, but it's finally back and ready to re-kindle its place as a firm favourite amongst the British public.