Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Wednesday 31 October 2012

Benefit: How to Look The Best At Everything

Everybody knows someone who is amazing at everything and generally stunning to boot and as much as you'd like to hate them they are just too nice - Grrrr!

Benefit have taken this concept and developed it into a gorgeous make up set to make you look 'The Best At Everything' with a flawless complexion. My gorgeous friend Caroline bought it as a gift for me on a recent jaunt to Miami and I'm happy to let you know it's available in the UK too.

Like everything from Benefit, the packaging is totally cute, in a adorable book themed box with instructions on how to use all of the products to look totally flawless.

Caroline bought me the medium shade set which includes POREfessional PRO balm which glides onto your skin making it oh so silky soft, minimising the appearance of pores helping prep the skin for the Hello flawless oxygen wow in “I'm so money” honey shade. The texture is thick and luxurious and does give a really good flawless look. However, if you do any any remaining imperfections, a duo of Boi-ing  industrial-strength concealers (Shades 02 & 03) is included in the kit. I've been a massive fan of this concealer for years, generally opting for the 02 shade, but having both in the kit means you can blend together to achieve your perfect colour for the area you are concealing. To finalise the look sweep over the “I'm cute as a bunny” honey custom powder cover-up with the adorable brush included in the kit for a perfect matte finish. Top of the class!

Here are the products on my skin,in the sequence the products are seen in the kit above.
After application!

The set is also available in light and deep to suit your skin tone (£24.50).

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Scarily Beautiful: Halloween makeup

I love Halloween - an excuse to get in the fancy dress eat sweets and carve pumpkins! Back in my student days we used to dust off the devil horns and head out to town to dance the night away to Thriller. If you decide to go all out or just nod to Halloween here are some ideas to get you ready for tomorrow.

my spooky make up last year!
An easy way to get involved is to paint your talons a spooky colour - such as 17's Navy Glint (£2.99), which is more of a green-ish blue with lots of sparkles (so will see you through until fireworks night!)

Here are some more options for you to ponder over:

Left to right: George Quick Dry Nail Varnish Meteorite £1, Barry M Glitter Nail Paint in Green Glitter £2.99, Max Factor Colour Effects Nail Polish in Laquer Noir £3.99 and Essie in Wicked £8.50.
Or if you can't decide why not treat yourself to OPI's So So Skullicious (£12.95) collection of 4 mini limited edition vanishes for Halloween - I love the Pumpkin shade!

If you're feeling a little more adventurous, using dark make up you can create dark spooky eyes, perfect if your dressing up as a witch, ghoul, mummie or the evil black swan.

I recommend terre d'Oc's powder eye shadow in Noir eclat (£12.95) and 17's Smoulder Gel Eyeliner (£3.99) teamed with Max Factors' Colour Elixir Lipstick (£7.99) in bright red Ruby Tuesday or the darker wine shade of Mulberry.

If you feel your face painting skills are up toy it, why not follow the Blackpool Tower Dungeon's video instructions to create a ghoulish look.

Happy Halloween girls x

Monday 29 October 2012

Dove Creme Mousse Body Wash

Dove is one of my go-to beauty brands; their products tend to be a little more luxurious than others in their price bracket and Dove's Real Women Campaign did really win me over! So I do get a little bit excited when a new product arrives from them.

The lasted offering: new look Dove Creme Mousse Body Wash (£3.71/200ml) is a really thick and creamy shower time treat. Its NutruimMoisture technology contains a blend of cleansers and sin-natural nutrients to aid lipid and protein damage in you skin, helping to improve moisture levels and give skin nourishment - perfect during these chilly months.

I feel the packaging is a little clinical for a 'spoil me' product which does let it down in my eyes - I like to see some pretty bottles in my shower is I am to feel pampered. However, I do like the fragrance - especially of the Brightening variety, which smells super clean and fresh. The texture is really thick a lovely, so much nicer than a thin runny gel!

Friday 26 October 2012

Beever Sculpting Lotion

I'm always on the look out for new exciting beauty brands and was really interested in trying out Beever's Sculpting lotion when it popped thought the post recently.

This lotion, which is more like a thin serum, needs to be popped on damp hair before blow drying to give a medium hold to your locks.

The instructions suggest a couple of pumped to be smoothed through towel dried hair, but I suggest doubling the dose for optimum styling results without any stickiness.

Beever’s Sculpting Lotion (£10.45/125ml) had been designed to incorporate the holding properties of a hairspray with the fluidity of a styling mousse to set the hair into a long lasting, flexible hold, which is really versatile; use it to give volume to straight sleek locks, or add hold to your candy floss curls or luscious vintage waves.

The packaging is really sleek and modern and would be an asset to any dressing table - such a good find!

Thursday 25 October 2012

Meet Caroline Barnes for Max Factor Foundation tips!

Heading to Blue Water this Saturday girls? If so keep your eyes open for Max Factor's make-up guro Caroline Barnes will be on hand to help us perfect the new ‘dewy matte’ look.

She has made up stars such as Kylie, Pixie Lott, Kimberley Walsh and Leona Lewis, and having met Caroline at previous Max Factor events I know first hand what an amazing makeup artist she is! She was able to give me some helpful pointers on how to tweak my makeup to look so much better. On Saturday (27.10.12), Caroline will be in Boots between 10am and 4pm in Blue Water shopping centre to offer personal shade consultations using the new best-selling Max Factor All Day Flawless 3 in 1 Foundation (£11.99).

Launched on the AW12 Valentino catwalk by Pat McGrath, this clever foundation lends itself to hard-working women, who want to avoid the midday shine and maintain gorgeous, flawless skin. Likened to a spider web, its unique technology constantly adjusts next to the skin to ensure a perfect matte finish that lasts all day. I have yet to try this foundation, but I'll be planning a little trip to Blue Water this weekend to get some guidance from Caroline on my perfect shade!

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Rimmel Lasting Finish Blush Live Pink

Blusher is one of my beauty musts, it adds youth, shape and the obvious colour to your complexion  This is especially true if I am wearing even a lightest foundation, which dulls down any natural flush in my cheeks. The shade I currently can't leave the house with out is Rimmel's Live Pink (£3.99/5g).

It looks super bright in the pallet but doesn't transfer quite as much pop to the face! Giving a 'just been on an autumnal walk' blush to the complexion  I've focussed the colour only on the apple of my cheeks and used Aveda's Shimmer Shell to add a little shimmer to the upper cheek bones.


Kate Middleton's secret beauty ingredient

K-Mid encompasses the English rose; the glossiest brunette locks (that I'm not even going to get started on as I won't be able to stop...) and perfect blemish free skin. Sadly most of beauty secrets are kept as such, but A list facialist Deborah Mitchell recently revealed one of her top miracle ingredient in her signature LIA therapy treatment which is extremely popular with the Duchess of Cambridge, Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham.
This beauty hero is Rosehip oil which is rich in Omega 3 & 6 which help to reduce the size of pores and has anti ageing properties as they improve the condition of the size and help moisture retention. The other great property of Rosehip is that it is a dry oil, resulting quick absorption and doesn't leave the skin greasy or congested.

I've recently be trying Angela Langford's Balanced & Beautiful Kiwi and Rosehip Face Oil (£22.55/15ml) which I've applied a few drops to my face, neck and décolleté after cleansing my skin in the morning and evening, after which no moisturiser is needed. Other suggestions are Trilogy’s Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, (£16.50/20ml) and N’Spa’s Deep Hydrating Oil (£7/50ml).


Monday 22 October 2012

Clarins Ombre Minérale Autumn Make-up Collection

Autumn has arrived and as much as I love the summer with long evenings, floaty dresses and shimmery makeup, when August is over I'm ready for the change in season. Wooly socks, thick cardigans and open fires lure me in as much as the changes at the cosmetic counters.

We need this contrast to enjoy those summer months to keep them fresh to us each year, and I am loving the Autumn additions to my favourite brands.

Clarins Ombre Minérale Collection popped into my post box a few weeks ago and contains some super new products.

I love the Limited Edition Colour Accents Face and Blush Palette (£30) made up of bronze, nude and pink shades which you blend together and brush over your completion for a radiant boost.

I have also tried out a selection of the Mineral Eyeshadows (£16) which are available in 16 wet & dry formula shades, ranging from intense colours to natural shades and illuminators.

The product that intrigued me most is the 3-Dot Liner (£20) which uses a triple-point applicator, designed to fill the spaces between each eyelash to give a fuller lash line. I found it to give a more subtle appearance than most eyeliners, but was a little fiddlely to apply.

Another item on my Love List from the collection is the Rouge Prodige Lipstick in Fig (£17.50). It is my current lip obsession and make my teeth look super white and the creamy texture keeps my lips moisturised and stays put for hours.


Nails of the day: Revlon Plum Attraction

One reason I love the move from the summer mouths into Autumn is the rich and regal nail shades you can start donning your talons with. Today I have opted for one of my favourites, Revlon's Plum Attraction (£6.49/15ml).

You would never get away with wearing this dark purple beauty in August - but I can just picture Plum Attraction on my nails whilst sipping some mulled wine, holding a sparkler and being surrounded by some fingerless gloves!


Saturday 20 October 2012

Aveeno Winter Skin

The weather on Tuesday was perfect for getting out the winter wardrobe; bright blue skies but a chill in the air. I wrapped up warm in boots, scarf and leather jacket and headed to London's Haymarket hotel to find out about Aveeno's latest offering for winter: Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion with Cooling Menthol (£9.99/200ml).

Chatting over tea with one of Aveeno's skin experts I learnt all about how our skin suffers over the winter months, the cold air outside and heated homes with low humidity causes our skin to become more dehydrated than in the summer, which can lead to the outer layers of our skin becoming very thin, which can lead to dryness in the inner layer of our skin and even infection.

A few years ago Aveeno, who are leaders in products for sensitive and irritated skin, launched their Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion (£5.49/200ml) which harnesses the natural skin goodness from oats, which add moisture to the skin and soothe any irritation. Their new offering adds menthol to this winning formula for added relief from irritated skin, which can be caused due to dehydration or itchy winter woollies.

On hearing about this cooling methanol effect, I wasn't convinced, as surely thou don't want to get colder during the winter months, but actually the effect is very subtle, enough to soothe but not to chill. The fragrance is slightly minty, but far from overpowering and teamed with the yummy Shea butter is going to keep my skin hydrated and minty fresh all winter long.


New Batiste Paisley and Graffiti dry shampoo

Being an obsessive dry shampoo I was excited to test out Batiste's new additions: Paisley and Graffiti (£2.99/200ml). Dry shampoo means that I now only wash may hair twice a week which saves me so much time - meaning my other beauty rituals needn't be rushed! I have been favouring the Blush fragrance for a while now so was interested to see if Batiste's latest additions could provide me with a new favourite.

Urban influenced Graffiti is described by Batiste as "a light and punchy new fragrance with fruity top notes of Apple, Wild Berry, Grape & Citrus, middle notes of Jasmine, Lily & Iris and a base of Musk, Coconut, Sandalwood and Cedar" and I do really like the fragrance, really fresh, not too overpowering, but staying with you all day.

The packaging of Graffiti is a bit loud for me, preferring the catwalk inspired Paisley, getting its prints from the iconic print. This scent is "light and punchy with fruity top notes of Grapefruit, Lime & Cassis, middle notes of Jasmine, Rose, Apple, Raspberry & Patchouli and a base of Musk, Vanilla and Caramel"giving a much sweeter fragrance, a real contrast from Graffiti, but still fabulous!

Batiste Red (£3.99/200ml) is the final new product in the range, designed to enhance copper and vibrant red shades, but being a brunette, I've left this one for you red-heads to try yourselves...


Tuesday 16 October 2012

Bridesmaid Nails: OPI dulce de leche

Saturday saw the marriage of my beautiful friend Victoria to her beau Mike. The day was so perfect and Victoria looked stunning in her Pronovias dress.

Before the wedding I was pondering my choices for nail options that would complement the navy bridesmaid dress and be fitting for a member of the bridal party. As I was reasonably busy the day prior to w-day a French mani was off the agenda, and the bride had gone for a shellac in rosebud, so I assessed my pink and nude shades to tie in with her nails.

I finally settled for OPI's dulce de leche (£11/15ml) from my mum's collection of polishes. Two coats gave a gorgeous opaque pink-nude vintage shade. Perfect for Victoria and Mike's big day.


Thursday 11 October 2012

Perfect Girlie Day: Shellac and The Hummingbird Bakery

Last week I headed into London town to celebrated my gorgeous friend Victoria's birthday and had a fabulous girlie day out, getting our nails done and having a serious cake-fest!

Our cake destination: The Hummingbird bakery

I treated us to a Shellac manicure (see previous review of Shellac here) at G&G in South Kensington where we opted for some of CNDs newer shades. I choose Midnight Swim - a dark turquoise with a subtle shimmer, which is super luxe and perfect for the start of winter and fireworks night! 

My Midnight Swim nails

In contrast, Victoria went for Cityscape: pale grey which looks really chic and neutral.

Victoria's Cityscape nails

After being properly pampered we then popped into the Hummingbird Bakery for some yummy cakes and coffee. A perfect girly day!


Tuesday 9 October 2012

Revlon Professional Equave: Substance Styling Cream

I love to curl my hair, but recently whenever technique I use, be it heated rollers or GHDs, the wonderful waves drop out before the end of the day.

I was sent Revlon Professional Equave's Substance Styling Cream do I thought I'd test out it out by seeing how well it would hold my curls at my friend Helen's wedding.

As instructed I smoothed through a small about of the cream through my just washed damp locks and styled as usual. I hadn't combed my hair through and the cream did make untangling more difficult, so with subsequent uses I have made sure I've been snag free first!

I started with a standard blow dry, the cream making my hair easy to style, taming my flyaways.

When I curled with my GHDs the stylers didn't flow through my hair as easily as they usually do even though my hair didn't feel at all sticky.

The Styling Cream held my curls from first thing in the morning and were still in place when we hopped into our taxi's in the early hours. Even the next day when I decided not to wash my hair and just brushed my hair through (with a little dry shampoo) I still had loose waves - that I preferred to the tighter curls the previous day. I will be definitely be adding Revlon Professional Equave's Substance Styling Cream (95ml/£10.99) to by regular curling regime.

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