31.8.16

New Kids On The Block: Six Great Beauty Brands I Discovered At The Beauty Exchange

Identifying a real gap in the market is somewhat of a skill. Our beauty halls are filled to the brim with thousands of products that claim to revolutionise our beauty regimes and offer something that's truly never been done before, but realistically they're often copies of other formats and replications of previous products with just a minor few tweaks. Creating something with a genuine unique selling point, story or offering is incredibly hard - but equally it can be an incredibly exciting when beauty junkies like myself stumble across something groundbreaking. A couple of weeks ago I was at The Beauty Exchange to talk about blogging, social media and the rise of influencers; this yearly event is attended by new beauty brands who want to find out how they can best develop and market their wares from those that know. Attended by beauty buyers and experts from some of the UK's biggest names, this is a real opportunity to make connections and get insight that's not normally available. Although there are hundreds of brands out there that think they've got something special, more often than not they blend into the background and don't have what it takes to make it into the 'big time'; however, I managed to speak to some incredibly passionate individuals and take away some fabulous products that was excited to try. After some deliberation, I've narrowed down the six brands I think have huge potential and will be sure to reach dazzling heights in the coming few years.


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30.8.16

Confused About Skincare? Get Your FREE Bespoke Prescription With Boots 'Beautiful You' Service

It can often feel like you need a degree in pharmaceuticals to pull together a skincare regime that meets your daily, evolving and changeable needs. Unsurprisingly 80% of us don't know our skin type or are able to identify our actual complexion requirements (ask anyone and they'll probably tell you they have sensitive skin, when actually they don't!) and it can feel incredibly intimidating when presented with an overwhelming skincare aisle. Buying into a whole product range in one go has never been the best way to build a portfolio of products, but where do you turn to when you need impartial advice and a bespoke recommendation - rather than an intense sales pitch from someone that's on commission? With the launch of a fab new service from Boots, we could all be presented with the information we need to make informed and appropriate decisions that will have our complexions looking better than ever. Plus, it's 100% free!


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29.8.16

#KeepItSimple With Skincare That Includes Only 7 Ingredients: Eau Thermale Avène Tolérance EXTRÊME

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It's undeniable that skincare has become increasingly complicated over the last decade. On a daily basis we're told to add another step into our regime, opt for the newest ground-breaking ingredient and tackle the latest issue that's been discovered to have an impact on the way we age. Although I wholeheartedly embrace developments and innovations within the industry, sometimes it can be just as effective to go back to basics and treat your skin in the way is craves to be managed. Eau Thermale Avène are a brand I've had an affinity with for a long time, especially as I can almost single-handedly accredit them with the complete change in my boyfriend's dry skin condition and best friend's adult acne issues. All of the Avène products are uniquely enriched with the clinically proven soothing and anti-irritating properties of the Avène Thermal Water which has long been used to soothe all manner of skin ailments in their internationally renowned Hydrotherapy Centre. They're not just another 'French pharmacy brand', but a brand that truly understand the makeup of skin and aim to help maintain its health via a portfolio of products that really make a difference. Avène's newest launch is the Tolérance EXTRÊME skincare range which takes things back to basics entirely - by using only SEVEN ingredients or less to formulate products that only contain what they need.


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28.8.16

Want To Become An Expert Fragrance Writer? Top Tips For Nailing The Artform Every Time

SPONSORED FEATURE: In Partnership With Michael Bublé’s Debut Fine Fragrance, 'By Invitation'
One of the hardest things to write about is undeniably fragrance. A lipstick can easily be described via its colour, texture and longevity, while a foundation's success can be attributed to its ability to cover imperfections and create a healthy glow - but how do you bring to life a bottle of scented water in a way that jumps off the page and encourages action? A direct experience with a perfume is the only experience, as there are no tangible ways of measuring it's relative success or value for money, so how (as writers) can we describe a scent effectively? I've been doing my research (namely reading books including Perfumes: The A-Z Guide by Luca Turin and A Century Of Scents by Lizzie Ostrom) in the hope of pinning down the best way of writing about scent, as well as chatting to Karine Dubreuil-Serini (an expert perfumer involved in the debut scent from Michael Bublé) about the elements she recommends we focus on when bringing this complex entity to life. In conclusion, there are four main tricks to nailing the skill of fragrance writing that will help you describe the newest launch with as much professionalism as the experts...



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27.8.16

Understanding Fragrance Lingo: Do You Know The Difference Between An Eau De Parfum & Eau De Toilette?

SPONSORED FEATURE: In Partnership With Michael Bublé’s Debut Fine Fragrance, 'By Invitation'
The creation of perfume is as much of an art form as the designer working in a couture atelier ahead of their latest catwalk show; scent is created with passion, love, skill and knowledge, but the difference is it can be appreciated by all. Fragrance comes in many different forms, which not only impacts the quality of the scent but the concentration and longevity too. Have you ever stood at a counter and wondered why there's such a difference in price between the EDT and EDP you've had your eye on? Have you ever wondered what those little letters stand for and what the difference inside the beautiful bottle actually is? We're often so used to seeing beauty lingo that we don't pay much attention to it, preferring to opt for the more affordable alternative without much reasoning behind the purchasing decision. So what if you were equipped with all the information you needed to make an informed selection, and stepped away not only with a fragrance you loved - but a scent that provided you with everything you need it to do and more? I believe that everyone should be able to appreciate a fine fragrance (no matter their personal interests, tastes or skill level,) so here's a little breakdown of the key information you need to know to ensure your next purchase is an informed one. 


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26.8.16

Scents That Changed The World: Ten Of The Fragrances That Impacted The Way We Buy & Enjoy Scent

SPONSORED FEATURE: In Partnership With Michael Bublé’s Debut Fine Fragrance, 'By Invitation'
Whether we realise it or not at the time, certain scents can define an entire generation. It may be the signature note that had never been used before, the approach to the development process, the ambassador, advertising campaign or even the way in which the fragrance was intended to be worn - but over the last century many individual perfumes have had a huge impact on the way in which we buy and use scent. From the iconic scents that liberated women, to the launch of unisex fragrances and celebrity endorsements, the last 100 years has seen a huge amount of change and exciting innovation; together those moments have lead us to where we are today and have had an impact on our own relationships with scent. If you're interested in looking back and understanding a little more about the history of fragrance, here are the ten perfumes I think have changed the world and why.


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25.8.16

How To Choose The Perfect Fragrance For A Loved One: The Questions You Need To Ask

SPONSORED FEATURE: In Partnership With Michael Bublé’s Debut Fine Fragrance, 'By Invitation'
Whether it's as a birthday treat, a token of love or simply a way of showing you care, one of the most popular gifts is undoubtedly a bottle of fragrance. It's the little extravagance we often can't justify buying ourselves, but a beautiful bottle and morning moment of luxury is a welcome gift amidst the usual slippers and chocolates; every time they dab the scent onto their neck they'll think of the person that presented it to them, meaning it provides a lasting memory and connection that can be cherished. Although theoretically that sounds great, stepping onto the perfume halls may fill you with a sense of dread - there's every chance you'll become so overwhelmed with choice that you'll get it wrong and leave your loved one feeling disappointed. Although the counter staff can offer assistance, you're the only person that can make that final choice - but how can you ensure that choice is one that will evoke a feeling of pure joy? Well fear not, because if you ask yourself the following five questions before making that purchase you simply can't fail. Promise.


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24.8.16

How Is A Fragrance Actually Developed? I Talked To The Experts To Find Out...

SPONSORED FEATURE: In Partnership With Michael Bublé’s Debut Fine Fragrance, 'By Invitation'
When I spritz on my morning fragrance, I've often wondered to myself how so many individual ingredients are brought together in a singular bottle of liquid. A scent can encapsulate so many separate elements and convey an emotion or persona, but how does that journey begin? Ahead of the launch of Michael Bublé's debut scent, I spoke to the lead perfumer Karine Dubreuil-Sereni, who created the fragrance alongside Michael and helped to bring his vision to life. I asked her all the questions I've always wanted answered, and got to grips with the journey of a fragrance from beginning to end.


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23.8.16

Getting Emotional About Fragrance: Why Is Our Sense Of Smell So Closely Linked With Memory?

SPONSORED FEATURE: In Partnership With Michael Bublé’s Debut Fine Fragrance, 'By Invitation'
"Smell is a sense that bypasses the rational mind, thwarts all efforts of language to describe it, and reaches sneaky neural wiring directly into regions beyond thought," says Tania Sanchez, the author of Perfumes: The A-Z Guide. Ask anyone what their favourite smell is and they'll undoubtedly describe a memory that brings about an overall feeling of contentedness or security; the aroma of a log fire burning at Christmas, the scent of a baby's head during those first moments of nurturing, the fragrance of freshly cut grass on a summer's day.  Rather importantly, perfume is an art - not a science - so it's open to our own experiences, preferences and interpretations as if it was a Da Vinci painting; it's hard to pinpoint exactly what we're experiencing, so we describe a moment or memory as a way of processing that information. Karine Dubreuil-Sereni (lead perfumer on Michael Bublé’s debut fragrance) desribes this perfectly: "Smell is the least educated of our senses, the most instinctive and animal. We don’t learn how to smell, it is not part of our education; we're not able to analyze smells so we trust our associations and our memories." When we're breathing in a new fragrance or remembering a scent we used to douse ourselves in daily, it's not the top notes or undertones we're remembering - but way it made us feel.


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22.8.16

Michael Bublé Invites You To Spend A Week Immersing Yourself In The Beauty Of Scent (PLUS WIN)

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In Partnership With Michael Bublé’s Debut Fine Fragrance, 'By Invitation'
Our sense of smell is incredibly powerful; it evokes emotion, reignites memories and stimulates attraction. The fragrance industry has been built around the idea that we can exude a persona via the scented water we apply to our bodies, dabbling in an exotic aroma that makes us feel like a superstar even if we're working in a dreary office in Bolton. I've long had an incredibly important relationship with scent, believing a woman's fragrance says as much about her as the clothes she's wearing and the lipstick she applies. To me, adding a spritz of something special to my pulse points every morning is a considered decision that reflects what I want to say about myself that day; I rarely wear one fragrance indefinitely, preferring to switch it up depending upon the time of year, time of day and occasion. Perfume can be incredibly romantic and incredibly personal, but I adore the fact the industry is continually pushing boundaries and ensuring there's always something new to reignite our passion and fill our dressing table with.


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19.8.16

Budget Vs Blowout: The High Street Alternatives To Some Awesome Summer Beauty Gems

Innovation within the beauty industry now filters down increasingly quickly from premium brands to their more affordable counterparts. No longer is the phrase "you get what you pay for" technically true, as you're just as likely to find a great product for a fiver in Superdrug as you are within the beauty halls of Harrods. I love the whole experience a more premium product can offer (from the scent, texture and pleasure experienced simply from looking at the packaging,) but equally there's nothing quite like the buzz you can get from finding a bargain that really performs. Right now there are a tonne of great summer launches landing in stores that offer fab results, but don't necessarily cost a small fortune. I've pinpointed three of my current favourite premium products, along with a more affordable alternative that performs *almost* or just as well - so you don't have to wait until payday to justify a little splurge.


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18.8.16

Five Amazing Summer Reads That Will Make You Want To Take A Holiday Just To Devour

I've been an avid reader ever since I was a little girl. One of my earliest memories was reading Fantastic Mr Fox in one sitting, right until the early hours of the morning under the covers, and getting in trouble for being exhausted the following day. There's something incredible about devouring a book and entering someone else's imagination, escaping away from our own reality and creating a completely different one - if only for a moment. In a world that's so connected, and working in a job that sees me permanently attached to some form of technology, I absolutely embrace the ability to sit down with a good book. Although my escapism used to happen during my daily commute, since working from home that's changed a little into blasts of opportunity around mini breaks and getaways. One of the simplest and most enjoyable things in life is laying on a beach with a great book and lazing the day away... So I've pulled together a list of five reads that are perfect for your summer holidays. Pina Colada not included.


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17.8.16

The Makeup Tools Any Beauty Enthusiast Needs (Create A Professional Looking Application With QVS Brushes)

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Makeup brushes can be baffling. With so many shapes, styles and shades on offer, where do you start and how do you know what you *really* need versus what you *think* you need? It can be easy to keep stocking up on brushes in sets and only reaching for the ones that seem easy to use, but once you look beyond your usual fluffy powder and foundation brush there are a handful of helpful essentials that will leave your makeup looking professional and your application flawless. According to celebrity makeup artist Daniel Sandler, you can start with five game-changing brushes in your collection and build up from there. These are the tools that will really make a big difference and will help you become a pro in no time at all.


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16.8.16

Handbag Essentials #1: Current On-The-Go Gems I Just Can't Be Without

I love a lot of things in this world, but beauty products, gadgets and handbags are right up there. I'm definitely one of those girls that changes their handbag nearly every day (picking one to match my outfit and filling it with the little gems that get me through,) rather than having one statement piece that sees me from one month to the next. I'd much rather have a fancy handbag than a new outfit - although that's not to say I pass on the opportunity to pick up a new outfit! In the spirit of all things bag related, I'm starting a new series on LBQ which focuses on not only great accessories - but the little bits and bobs I'm loving so much I take them with me wherever I go. Here's the first edition of Handbag Essentials and what I'm obsessed with right now...


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15.8.16

Easy Ways To #OutsmartTheCity & Live Better (PLUS WIN With Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart SPF50)

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Living in the city can play a detrimental role in our lives in more ways than one. You may already be aware of the toll living amongst a cloud of pollution can take on your overall well-being (increased likelihood of picking up a cough, clogged pores, dry skin...) but even if you don’t live amongst the bright lights, you could be experiencing a huge number of skincare issues that have their roots in exhaust fumes. Exposure to UV rays and pollution can wreak havoc on our skin, right down to its DNA; it's suggested that 80% of all signs of visible skin ageing are due to environmental aggressors, which means that we can theoretically prevent them if we change our daily routine. Sun exposure is well known to be a major cause, but recent studies reveal the need to also shield the skin from air pollutants (particularly in big cities) that can reduce our skin's ability to retain moisture and produce collagen. Elizabeth Arden's new Prevage City Smart SPF 50 Hydrating Shield can help play a fundemental role by protecting, preventing and strengthening our skin's ability to deal with aggressors while helping to reverse some of the damage that's already been done. It's a revolutionary product that I've been loving (read my full review here,) but it also starts a conversation about the little things we can do to #OutsmartTheCity. 



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14.8.16

Trend Alert: Will We Be Wearing Fragrance Oils In 2017? (Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb Precious Oil)

Some areas of the beauty industry evolve faster than Usain Bolt, bringing us new textures and innovations in performance with what feels like every other week. Our skincare has evolved from a pot of greasy cream, into lightweight oils, serums, gels and sorbets that make the entire experience more pleasurable; even my bronzing collection is increasingly exciting, offering up a portfolio of creams, powders, gels and stains to keep me looking fresh. But the one category that hasn't changed much since its inception involves fragrance. For centuries we've been applying bottles of water infused with essences of scent, spritzing them on our pulse points throughout the day to create an aroma that's as pleasing to ourselves as it is those around us. Although we've dabbled in solid scents and body mists, there's never been a huge change in the way we wear scent - perhaps until now. One of the biggest trends of 2016 has undoubtedly been the integration of oils into our routines (providing an intense hit of goodness that can be massaged into skin to leave a subtle radiant sheen behind,) so it's no surprise this desirable texture is starting to be seen outside of the immediate skincare category. This summer Viktor & Rolf's iconic Flowerbomb fragrance becomes a 'Precious Oil' and injects some much needed freshness into the category - but is this the start of a big trend for next year too?


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12.8.16

Introducing The Body Shop's Five New Expert Superfood Face Masks (& Celebrating Their 40th Birthday)

Their stores have been a focal point on our high streets for as long as most of us can remember and their scented products hold a firm position within our childhood recollections. It's a delight to know that this year The Body Shop celebrates their 40th birthday; that’s 40 years of helping men, women and children across the globe feel, smell and look good. Whether you were obsessed with their peppermint foot lotion, doused yourself in White Musk as a teen or spent all your pocket money on animal shaped soaps, The Body Shop are the source of many happy moments and continue to be a force to be reckoned with as they enter a new decade. Over the last year they've certainly upped their beauty game, launching a plethora of universally praised products that have really championed a new demographic that's refelctive of their ageing customer base; after all, we may have started as 12 year olds who wanted to spend their Christmas money on bath pearls and lip balm, but now we're women with evolving concerns and needs. Oils Of Life and Spa Of The World started this trend, but with the launch of five new 'superfood' face masks The Body Shop are proving to me they're as hot on the heels of a trend than anyone else out there.


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11.8.16

Outsmart The City: The Increasing Importance Of Daily SPF & Pollution Protection

(With Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart SPF50)
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Ten years ago applying SPF to your face every morning would be about as familiar as wearing flip-flops in November. Sunscreen was kept for holidays and mini-breaks in the sun, irregularly applied and often skipped altogether in favour of a touch of oil to help bring about that Benidorm glow. Our understanding and attitude towards damaging rays has changed hugely in such a little amount of time, but we're collectively still a little bit misinformed about the negative impact the environment can have on our skin - and the fact it's not just the sun we have to worry about. Exposure to UV rays and pollution can wreak havoc on our skin, right down to its DNA; in fact it's suggested that 80% of all signs of visible skin ageing are due to environmental aggressors. Sun exposure is well known to be a major cause, but recent studies reveal the need to also shield the skin from air pollutants (particularly in big cities.) These pollutants and UV rays generate excess free radicals, which interfere with skin’s ability to retain moisture (as well its effectiveness at producing collagen and elastin - essential ingredients that help keep skin plump and healthy looking.) The result of this is accelerated ageing, as well as an increase in dark spots, inflammation, fine lines and wrinkles. Oh no!


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10.8.16

Ten Awesome Lazy-Girl Hair Hacks For Achieving Your Perfect Style - Effortlessly!

Since making the decision to remove my hair extensions for the third time (it's an addition I just can't stay away from for long!) I've once again become a little obsessed with my barnet. Anything I can do to help nourish it, protect it, boost it or treat it is time well spent, but what about those small daily things we can do to ensure we're always looking our Pantene-Advert-Best? I've pulled together my ten favourite hair hacks that help keep our tresses in top condition, looking fabulous and feeling bouncy. I hope they help you get away with ten extra minutes in bed.


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9.8.16

7 Great Apps For Travellers To Make Your Trip Easy-Peasy From Beginning To End

Two things make me happier than they probably should: travel and apps that genuinely provide something useful. When you pair those two things together it's a one way trip to HappyVille. If, like me, you've been Wanderlusting a lot recently and you're wondering how to make your next trip even easier to organise and enjoy, then let me introduce you to some amazing apps that genuinely help to make the process seamless from beginning to end.


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8.8.16

Yes To Great Hair With 8 NEW Targeted Shampoos & Conditioners From An Award-Winning Brand

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You know the name, but did you know the fruity favourite award-winning Yes To has expanded their incredibly popular skincare range and now has a portfolio of targeted hair products to help keep your barnet looking fab? This new collection of eight natural shampoos and conditioners has been formulated for every hair type (in a jumbo sized 280ml tube format that offers even more value for money) to keep tresses healthy and gorgeous. All eight of the products are 95% natural (or more) and formulated without parabens, SLS and silicones, making them an incredible affordable way to keep your hair in great condition. I've been a fan of Yes To for a long time, having already tried and loved their Grapefruit Pore Perfection Night Treatment, body wash, cleansing wipes and face scrub, and these have been a welcome addition into my hair care regime. Avoiding SLS and silcone has been a priority of mine for the last few years, as they strip and weigh down hair unnecessarily, but often it's hard to find an alternative on the high street. Not only do these smell fab and leave my hair full of life, but they don't weigh down my fine hair or strip it of goodness. The lather they provide is also great considering there's no SLS (a foaming agent,) meaning there's no detrimental effect on your in-shower experience - just great things when you step out. 


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7.8.16

Nineteen Years Later: Harry Potter & The Cursed Child (Spoiler Free Review)

This time a week ago I was dressed as Dobby the House Elf ready to celebrate Harry Potter's birthday. Who would have thought when author J.K.Rowling put pen to paper and started to explore the concept of a wizarding world that she would have created a cultural phenomenon that would touch men, women and children across the globe and have me (aged 33) dressed up as an elf? I remember my first encounter with the Harry Potter series vividly; my younger sister was reading Goblet Of Fire during our family holiday and spent most of the time trying to get me to embrace the world of this children's character like she had. A few months later, on my way to University for the first time, she gave me her collection of books and told me to 'just read'; suffice to say I spent the first few months of my higher education with my nose in a book - but not the type of book that was on the curriculum. From practically the first page of The Philosopher's Stone, I was hooked; the story was such a refreshing escape from my usual literature, providing me with an excuse to let my imagination flow like it hadn't done since childhood. I read and I read and I read; when the new books were released I was first in line and when the corresponding films hit cinemas I was there as close to release day as I was physically able to manage. Like millions of others across the globe, Harry Potter and his wizarding world captured my imagination and enabled a sense of happiness that has yet to be overtaken by any other form of the written word. It really was magic.


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5.8.16

Speed Beauty Tips: Save Time In The Morning & Still Look Fabulous (With Help From Palmer’s Natural Bronze Body Lotion)

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Being able to spend two hours getting ready in the morning may sound like the dream, but realistically most of us roll out of bed and try to squeeze our entire routine into thirty minutes. Sleep is precious, as is our time pre-commute, so anything that can speed up the beautifying process without compromising on the result is something I'm on board with. Rather than having to prep and preen every single day, there are so many hacks and handy products designed to minimise time investment and ensure you're still feeling ready to face the day. Right now I'm loving a touch of Palmer’s Palmer’s Natural Bronze Body Lotion every morning to help hydrate my skin and add a subtle summer glow, without having to wait for an age for it to dry. A special combination of pure Cocoa Butter, Vitamin E and just a touch of self tan creates a delicate, sun-kissed glow over a few days; the deeply moisturising ingredients are also non-greasy and fast absorbing, allowing for a quick turnaround without compromising on benefit. The chocolatey scented lightweight cream provides an even, streak free and comfortable finish that's easy enough to use every single day; it combines the best of the Palmer's body lotions we love, with just a touch of summer. It takes only sixty seconds to look after your skin, so it should be a no-brainer really! If you, like me, struggle getting ready in the morning, then here are some more of my top tips for minimising faff and still stepping out looking hawt.


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4.8.16

Illamasqua Is Back With A Bang: Their Autumn Collection Is All We Love About Them & More

I can recall the first time I discovered Illamasqua, in all it's oddly coloured glory. Having been an understated nude-and-black-liner girl for pretty much the entirety of my 20's, the bold tones and interesting designs stood out amongst a sea of sameness. Their images always pushed boundaries and their collections always made waves - even if they were a little unwearable on a daily basis. Illamasqua was the first brand I found that wasn't afraid to be different and stand up for something new, which is why it was adopted by bloggers so completely; finally there was a makeup company representing the niches and the colour addicts that didn't fit into a Clinique or Bobbi Brown mould. Over the years the name grew and the focus understandably turned from being different to being a bit more commercial, with the launch of lots of wearable shades and lipsticks that stood up amongst the best of them - but with that came the loss of a little bit of Illamasqua sparkle.


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3.8.16

Alexander McQueen Eau De Parfum: A Lighter & More Affordable Alternative To The £285 Original

When the Alexander McQueen fragrance hit stores earlier this year, we collectively cooed at the beautiful bottle and incredible description of the juice, but then collectively winced at the price point. There aren't many people in this world that can justify spending £285.00 on a scent without a second thought, proving the fragrance was created with a definite customer in mind. The moody and exquisitely crafted bottle hid a rich, sensual and timeless fragrance that was the pure embodiment of the McQueen brand - but it certainly wasn't for everyone, thanks to the old-school notes and incredibly musky undertones. (Read my original review on the Alexander McQueen Parfum here.) Building on the brand they've already created, the fashion powerhouse have now concocted a lighter, fresher and (most importantly) more affordable version that's not only more justifyable - but more wearable too.


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Swap That LBD For A Splash Of Colour: Getting Colour Confident With Dove Invisible Dry

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We've all been there. You stand in front of the wardrobe in attempt to gain a little style inspiration, only to end up pulling out a safe and reliable little black dress. It hides our bumps, it looks elegant and you know you'll never be over or under-dressed in a classic cut and shade - but it's time to swap that LBD for a LCD (little colourful dress!) once and for all. This Summer Dove wants to encourage and inspire women to have the confidence to wear any colour they like, every single day, because Dove Invisible Dry antiperspirant is proven to leave no white marks on 100 different colours. If you've ever been afraid of colour or thought you couldn't wear it without being on holiday (when there are a whole set of new colour rules,) then you'd be wrong; there's nothing like a pop of purple or splash of shocking pink to put a smile on your face and spring in your step - and it's been proven! (More on that later.) To practice what they preach, Dove has teamed up with style guru and lover of the bold and the bright Gok Wan, to create The Dove Dress of 100 Colours; it's inspired by the 100 colours that make UK women feel their most confident, officially making it the most colour confident dress in the country! Not only is it in an incredibly flattering style, but it proves colour doesn't have to be scary.


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2.8.16

Are SteamPods The New GHDs? Swapping Heat For Steam With The L'Oreal SteamPod Straightening Tool

Smooth, shiny, bouncy and sleek hair is my daily dream - but realistically my thin, flat, frizzy and wavy style ends up being blowdried, straightened and tonged to help conceal the fact that I'm by no means a professional when it comes to hair. For years I've been turning to heated tools to help me achieve the look I desire (from the poker-straight dreams of the early 2000's, through to the boho curls and relaxed messy look of the 2010's,) but the downside is the damage they can cause our delicate strands. Daily heat can dry out and break hair, as well as stripping vibrant colour, to leave behind a 'do that's dull. Although heat protection will help minimise the negative impact, what if we were to swap the heated tongs and scorchingly high straighteners for a gentler and more positive alternative? The L'Oreal SteamPod has been making waves in the industry for the last few years, and with good reason; they've managed to create a tool that not only perfects sleek styles effortlessly, but reduces potential damage to an absolute minimum. So will we all be giving up our GHDs for good in favour of this little water pod?


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1.8.16

The Five Things Brands Look For When Seeking Commercial Blog Partnerships

Blogging has become big business. Every day there are new blog-brand partnerships popping up across our feeds, in an attempt to provide a relatable and engaging way to tell a brand story. With many brands reducing significantly (or even eliminating) their press and television advertising in favour of working with digitally savvy influencers, there's a crazy amount of money entering our once rough-and-ready industry. More and more of us are able to take a once-loved-hobby and turn it into a full-blown career, with sponsored content and collaborative opportunities allowing us to keep the free content coming to loyal readers on a daily basis. It's now an aspiration of many to turn their little site into something that's paying the bills, but what do you actually need to do in order to create something commercial and 'sell-able' to those with the budgets? Having worked on my blog for over six years (three of them 'full time') alongside a career in blogger outreach, strategic digital planning and social media management, I definitely feel like I'm well placed to understand what brands look for - and how I can work with them on a collaborative basis to fulfill their objectives and ensure return on their investment. With campaigns across some of the biggest global names being brought to my readers on a regular basis, I've identified five key things that I've learned will help sell your blog and ensure you're part of campaigns that are as fruitful for you as they are for the brand.


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