Lippy in London

Beauty and Fashion News and Reviews from London and beyond

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Nourish Argan Beauty Collection

Ah what a beautiful Christmas gift set! The Nourish Argan Beauty Collection is perfect for the skincare lover in your life and acts as a lovely introduction to this natural brand too.

Containing three skincare treats, Nourish describe the Argan Beauty Collection as ' A luxurious collection of shimmering gold, rejuvenating frankincense and revitalising myrhh, with omega-rich organic Moroccan argan oil and a stellar array of ultra-moisturising and radiance-boosting bioactives, to enhance your natural beauty.'

I've got to say, their product copywriter has got it pretty spot on with this description!

A very clever play on the Gold, Frankincense and Myrhh aspect of the story of Christmas, the set contains a 15ml pot of Argan Skin Renew cream, 5ml of Argan Skin Rescue treatment and 15ml of Golden Glow illuminating face shimmer.

The Skin Renew is a super-hydrating cream with Rose of Jericho and Frankincense that's applied after cleansing and toning. This cream feels quite dense at first, but melts away effortlessly when massaged in and has quite a heady frankincense scent that disappears pretty quickly once applied, which is good for me because I'm actually not that keen on the smell of frankincense. The Skin Renew cream sinks in quickly and you only need to try a little on the back of your hand to feel how baby-soft it makes your skin.



The Argan Skin Rescue is essentially an oil-serum that smells delicious and is designed to enhance collagen and natural skin lipids to protect against signs of ageing. 5ml is not an awful lot of product but one little pump is enough for the whole face (and I have a pretty big face!) so I don't see the size as a negative at all. It's recommended the Skin Rescue is applied to slightly damp skin for more intense hydration too, so you can smooth it on straight after your shower.


The third product is the very beautiful Golden Glow Illuminating Face Shimmer that evens out skintone instantly and imparts a slight shimmery glow. This is full of skin-loving ingredients so acts as a skincare/ makeup hybrid that's perfect for the festive season and would also be ideal for setting of a summer tan. It's not a scary, sparkly cream by any means, rather it adds a subtle shimmery sheen to the complexion when applied sparingly and is a fantastic highlighter for cheekbones and décolletage.


The Nourish Argan Beauty Collection makes a fantastic gift this Christmas and is complete with pretty, festive white and gold packaging that is bound to delight! So grab it for your sister, mum, friend or treat yourself :)

The *Argan Beauty Collection is available for the purse-friendly price of £25 from www.nourishskinrange.com, feelunique. liv.co.uk, Planet Organic, and selected Debenhams stores.






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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Experience: Nourish Facial at Beauty Works West



Beauty Works West in Notting Hill has become my little slice of paradise in London. The staff are warm, friendly, knowledgeable and some of the best massage and facial therapists I've come across in my time.
I was therefore more than thrilled to be invited back to Beauty Works West to experience one of the Medi Spa's latest offerings - the Nourish Facial.

This intensely hydrating, swoon-worthy facial uses Black Chicken Remedies products - a luxury organic Australian brand quickly making a name for itself due to its gentle, effective products that virtually send you off to a higher plane when you use them. They're that good.

Black Chicken Remedies

The facial was actually created by one of the therapists at Beauty Works West, Elize Moritz, and combines these gorgeous, all natural products with acupressure and reflexology to create an experience as good for the soul as it is for the complexion.

My facial took place in one of the dimly lit therapy rooms at Beauty Works West - a little nook of comfort and relaxation filled with the soft scent of organic candles and complete with a heated bed.

The ritual began with gentle yet thorough cleansing using the Cleanse My Face cleansing facial oil that is a deeply calming cleanser containing 14 medicinal oils to purify, soothe and remove make up without disturbing the skins natural oil balance.

Next, the Complexion Polish was gently applied to exfoliate the skin. Complexion Polish is one of my favourite Black Chicken products - it's made from 100% natural finely milled ingredients including rice, argan shell and kaolin clay to gently buff away dry skin and flaky bits. The Complexion Polish is a dry formula that's mixed in with cleanser to form a delicious paste - a little touch that I love in skincare products

My skin was then closely examined for blemishes and steam applied to encourage the dirt and general yuckiness to make its way to the surface, ready for extractions.
A face, neck and décolletage massage followed, which I have to tell you was nothing short of incredible. The massage incorporated Love Your Body Oil which includes coconut, hazelnut, sandalwood, geranium and lavender oils to name a few.

The most memorable part of the whole experience would have to be the Cacao Revelation Mask. Hydrating and plumping, the antioxidant mask was applied with a brush and left to work while I enjoyed a beautiful arm and hand massage. The mask has a rich yet refreshing dark chocolate scent that sorted of reminded me of an after dinner mint and it was incredibly decadent. If you book in for the facial just to see what all the fuss is about with the mask, I wouldn't blame you for a second!

Once the mask was removed, a hydrating mist was spritzed on, eye serum was applied and Love Your Face Serum was gently worked into my skin. Containing oils including jojoba, Argan, rose hip and ylang ylang, the facial serum plumps, hydrates and smells just as stunning as the rest of the products. After 80 minutes of laying there being unashamedly pampered, indulged and invigorated all at once, I simply did not want to get up. A part of me wanted to cry when I was gently told that I was done. 
After the treatment I was so utterly Zenned out I walked  to Notting Hill Gate station in the rain, somehow got lost and didn't even care. That's how blissful the Nourish Facial is.

This facial left me seriously impressed and now I'm more in love with Beauty Works West than I was before. The Nourish Facial is perfect for this time of year when the weather sucks the goodness out of our skin so I really recommend you go ahead and treat yourself or hint heavily at a Beauty Works West gift voucher for Christmas.

The Nourish Facial at Beauty Works West is £130 for 80 minutes of pure loveliness.
P.S. Stay tuned for an in depth look at some more products from Black Chicken Remedies.

* I was lucky enough to experience the Nourish Facial as a complimentary treatment. Words and opinions are my own.


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Sunday, 16 November 2014

'All Fired Up' MAC Retro Matte Lipstick Review

I've read more MAC All Fired Up lipstick reviews than I can poke a stick at, but there's always room for one more, right?
Matte MAC lipsticks have kind of ruined me for life. The intensity, the pigment, the hardcore staying power - they just deliver on all fronts and it's little wonder that they are such a firm favourite among so many lipstick junkies.
All Fired Up is my first lipstick from the Retro Matte collection and also my first fuchsia-tinted shade. I tried out a few different fuchsia shades at the MAC store at Kensington High St and decided that All Fired Up was most complementary to my skin tone due to its reddish undertones when compared to other more pinky-fuchsia hues. I am keen to try more true fuchsia colours though!
The retro matte lipstick wears similarly to Ruby Woo though I would say the texture is slightly creamier and applies more smoothly. It stays put like a dream and delivers a powerful punch of colour perfect for wear all year round. I dig it.
MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in All Fired Up is £15.50 (ouch).


MAC All Fired Up Matte Lipstick fuschia pink red
MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in All Fired Up





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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Experience: Acupuncture at Anamaya & New Meditation App

I visited Anamaya last year for Facial Reflexology and was so excited to be invited back to experience some Acupuncture with Dr Cheng.



As I've mentioned before, Anamaya is a sanctuary of relaxation and healing, located just off bustling Kensington High Street. Once you're off the street and through the doors, you're met with a serene, blissful atmosphere and the aroma-therapeutic scents of Neom candles.
Anamaya offer a carefully edited selection of practitioners who specialise in Homeopathy, Massage, Craniosacral therapy, Osteopathy, Dietetics, Energy Healing, Pilates, Psychotherapy, Mind, Body and Spirit therapies and of course Acupuncture.

Now, I'd had Acupuncture before in an effort to relieve my fear of flying before I moved over the the UK (obviously it had some effect because I'm here aren't I?) so I went into the experience at Anamaya with confidence and feeling as if I knew what to expect.
What I perhaps underestimated however, was the sheer kindness, humorous spirit and incredibly comforting nature of the Acupuncturist Dr Cheng.

Dr Cheng is one of those people who makes you feel comfortable and safe and I was made to feel totally at ease as he went through my concerns with me (namely stress and headaches). After examining my tongue (you'll be surprised what your tongue can tell you about yourself!), posture and ability to bend my neck in various ways, Dr Cheng was able to assess my concerns and decide the best course of action. In my case this involved 19 needles placed in various points on my back, legs, arms, neck and head and being left to relax for about 20 minutes before Dr Cheng returned to the room to check on me and 'wiggle' the needles.

I'm not needle shy (though I do feel a bit funny having blood taken) so having 19 of the little blighters stuck in me didn't concern me at all and if you're wondering if acupuncture is painful, it really isn't. The needles are so fine and tiny that you can barely feel them at all, though I have to say the points felt a bit 'achy' when Dr Cheng wiggled them slightly halfway through the session.

Then that was it, I was all done. Within an hour, I'd had a very enlightening consultation and an Acupuncture session that left me feeling oddly relaxed and energised all at the same time. If that makes any sense at all? I went for a stroll through Kensington High Street and felt at peace - despite the fact that it was a busy Saturday afternoon and it was very, very rainy.

Dr Cheng is a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, a Governing Board Member of the British Acupuncture Council and the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as a Principal Lecturer and Postgraduate Course Leader of Traditional Chinese Medicine here in London. I felt extremely fortunate to have him treat me and certainly recommend him - it's worth mentioning that Dr Cheng is very highly regarded for treating chronic illnesses and pain, hormonal issues and migraines and is popular among people trying to conceive.

He is available at Anamaya on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm and also consults on Chinese Medicine and Chinese Herb Treatments. A session with Dr Cheng ranges from £95-155 depending on conditions and length of sessions.

Anamaya have also recently launched a very in depth Meditation App.  Developed for those of us who struggle to fit in meditation classes, the app features over 360 guided meditations complete with visualisations, mindfulness exercises and learning resources as well as tips for getting the most out of your meditation session. Priced at £15 and available through iTunes, the Anamaya Meditation App is the first of its kind and features 11 distinct focuses, meaning it accommodates to everyone, whatever their age, sex or profession.

The focuses include:

  • General Meditation 
  • Relax
  • Loud Brain
  • Concentrate
  • Worry
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Anger
  • Pain 
  • Pregnancy
  • Sport
The Anamaya Meditation App

Though I haven't tried the app for myself as yet, I think it's a fantastic concept that will especially benefit busy city dwellers who might not have time to actually attend classes.

If you'd like to know more about Anamaya, visit the website and check out the range of therapies on offer - you won't regret it.
You can call Anamaya on 0203 011 0355  or email them at info@anamaya.co.uk

The Acupuncture was provided for me for review purposes. All opinions my own.




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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask Review

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask 

I've read so many great reviews about the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask that I'm almost ashamed it's taken me this long to try it myself!
The concept in itself seems both genius and bizarre - genius in that sleeping is a perfect time to feed your skin with a massive dose of hydration and bizarre in that there is every chance you'll wake up with a creamy mess in your hair and all over your pillow. Or so I thought.
This night time mask doesn't exactly work like that. You don't smother your face in a thick layer and then fall asleep concerned it's going to end up smeared all over the duvet, rather you massage it in and 'tissue off' the excess, or if you're like me, grab a bit of loo roll. I'm sure it has the same effect.

The mask is a thick cream formula full of essential oils and brown sugar that give it a beautifully organic, relaxing scent. The texture is not unlike a heavy moisturiser and doesn't feel cloying or sticky once the excess is wiped off.
It's worth mentioning that when I applied this for the first time last night before bed, I was actually surprised (and maybe a little bit annoyed) that it felt so refreshing and almost invigorating - not exactly the effect I wanted when I was merely minutes away from sleep. While the invigorating, refreshing feeling wasn't unpleasant in the slightest, I just wasn't expecting it and now has me thinking that the mask could well double up as a morning moisturiser.


Come morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see and feel that my skin had in fact, 'drunk up' the mask while I slept. How cool is that? I don't really know how to describe how my face felt, but hydrated and soft are two words that certainly spring to mind.
If you haven't tried Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask yet, I think now is the perfect time as it's definitely more of a wintery-weather skin treat. Origins recommend you use it twice a week but I'm not sure I'll be able to stop myself slathering this on every night. A great product.
Origings Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask is £20.70 for 100ml from Boots - my 50ml sized tube came in a gift pack.


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Monday, 10 November 2014

Saying Thanks

If you're a regular Tweeter, Instagrammar, Blogger, or all of the above, chances are you've come across a few online personalities who you look up to, make you laugh or just generally give you the warm and fuzzies. In my 3 years of having a (sometimes rather quiet) presence online, I've stumbled across the Blogs and Instagram and Twitter accounts of quite a few fabulous people and today, for no particular reason, I wanted to share a handful of favourites who, although I've never physically met, have been a source of inspiration, humour or infallible kindness over the years.

Rachael
http://www.madeupoflittlethings.com/
https://twitter.com/madeupof


Rachael lives in Lincolnshire with her fella and their really, really cute baby. Her baby is so cute, he makes me scared of having one of my own - you know, in case my baby isn't quite as cute as he is.
On her blog you'll find little peaks into her life, lifestyle articles and a whole load of dog and cow pictures. For me her blog is a little escape away from suburban London life and Rachael herself seems like a great human. Plus, she tends to favourite the lamest of my tweets so I like her.








Kirsty
https://twitter.com/tartan_bones
http://instagram.com/tartan_bones




Kirsty is blonde, Scottish, lovely and very, very funny. She has the biggest potty mouth I've ever seen on social media and she totally owns it. On her Twitter and Instagram you'll find fabulous one-liners, outfit photos and pics of her dog Blu.







Grace
http://www.allthatslap.com/
https://twitter.com/allthatslap


allthatslap.com is one of the first blogs I actually started reading regularly and Grace herself just seems so genuinely kind. In fact, she invited me as a plus one to an event last year (which I unfortunately couldn't make in the end) but I thought it was such a nice gesture considering she's never met me. Also, she is wearing an onion necklace in her Twitter header image. Enough said.










WengYee
http://www.9outoften.com/
https://twitter.com/wy_hu


Weng Yee is a postgrad by day, beauty blogger by night and also one of the friendliest folk I've come across online. Her blog is out of this world and she writes about skincare a lot which is never a bad thing in my book! She's kind, engaging and I appreciate every single Instagram or Twitter comment I get from her. She's a gem :)









Linda
http://wonderlusting.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/Wonderlusting_




Linda is the incredible writer behind wonderlusting.co.uk and owner of one of the most vibrant instagram accounts I've ever seen. She's down to earth, has great taste in lipstick and seems to live in Whole Foods. Her blog is brimming with beauty news, reviews, lifestyle articles and more delicious looking food than you can poke a stick at.






So that's just five great people whose Tweets, Instagrams and Blog posts I've looked forward to for the past 3 years. It just goes to show that we can leave a big impression on others, even when we only communicate online.  Small gestures and acts of kindness can go a very long way, even if they're received via a computer screen  or smart phone. Perhaps something worth remembering :)




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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Sanctuary Sleep Comforting Night Butter

I've pretty much been the Mayor of Stress-ville lately so have been on a hunt for relaxing, soothing bath and body products to try and force myself to unwind in the evenings. In stressful times it's all well and good to say that you should look at the root of the problem and adjust accordingly but sometimes you just want a quick fix to take your mind off things while you continue to make self-destructive life choices!
The newest addition to my growing collection of stress-less bits and pieces is the Sleep Comforting Night Butter by Sanctuary. This majestic purple lidded tub contains 200ml of pure unadulterated bliss that's ideal for stashing in your bathroom or bedroom and being put to good use after a nice soak.
Sanctuary Sleep Comforting Night Butter



The formula is proper, thick creamy body butter that's perfect for this moisture-sapping weather that is upon us and the best part is that is actually sinks in! I slathered myself up good with this in between Masterchef Australia and bed last night and awoke with not a sign of grease. It's a revelation I tell you.
Onto the fragrance, this Night Butter smells glorious. It's packed with sleep encouraging essential oils including ylang ylang, frankincense and patchouli blended up nicely with apricot kernel oil and mango seed and shea butters, so it smells nothing short of dreamy, which is appropriate since it's designed to use at night and all.

Sanctuary Sleep Comforting Night Butter £9.50 at Boots and is currently included in a 3 for 2 offer. Get it.


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Monday, 3 November 2014

*CLOSED*3rd Blog Birthday Giveaway - WIN Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O' Blushes Set!

So Lippy in London turned THREE last month and I've finally got round to hosting a little sweepstakes to celebrate!
One lucky winner will receive a Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O' Blushes Set that includes Dandelion Blusher, CORALista Blusher, Sugarbomb Blusher, Bella Bamba Blusher, Hoola Bronzer, Rockateur Blusher, a Watt's Up! Highlighter and brush all sitting nicely together in a little sweet shop inspired tin. Cute!

It's super easy to enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck and thank you for your support over the past three years - my Blog and I appreciate it!

*Sweepstakes runs from 12am 3/11/14 to 12am 10/11/14
*UK Only (sorry!)
*If you are under 16 please seek permission from parent or guardian
*Winner will be contacted within 24 hours

a Rafflecopter giveaway




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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Sleek Bare Skin Foundation Review

Right, let's get straight to the point. Sleek Bare Skin Foundation feels like nothing. As in, when I've got it on, it's really easy to forget I'm wearing any base at all and that's the truth.
In fact, it's so light on the skin that it's less noticeable than a lot of BB creams and tinted moisturisers I've tried, and that's saying something.
Sleek Control Shine & Prime and Bare Skin Foundation

Sleek Bare Skin Foundation

A liquid formula, the bare skin foundation glides on and blends in smooth as butter, evening things out and delivering light coverage on the way. The foundation comes in 12 shades ranging from very light to dark so most people should be able to find their perfect match, or at least something close to it. I have shade 'Shell' which is the second lightest and too be honest a little bit too light for me (though I got this in my goody bag from the Blogger's Tea Party earlier this month and we were asked to give our skin tone in advance so we could get a close match so I'm not complaining!).
I was also very kindly given the Control Shine & Prime Oil-Free Mattifying Primer which is fairly similar to Benefit's Porefessional primer in terms of look and feel. I'm sure this is a great product for oilier skin types but I'm going to keep this one stashed away until summer when things start getting greasy up in here.
Sleek Control Shine & Prime

I've tried the bare skin foundation with and without primer and I much prefer it without as it is a moisturising formula and I need all the hydration I can get right now!
In terms of coverage, when it says it's light, it's not fooling around. The coverage is definitely light but still enough to conceal minor blemishes and make everything look better in general.

Without Foundation
With Foundation

I haven't really dabbled in Sleek as a brand but I think this foundation may just convince me that the rest of their products are worth a shot. Sleek Bare Skin Foundation is £8.99 at Boots, Superdrug and online here.





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Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Brazilian at Ministry of Waxing -a Brazilian Waxing Review

Last weekend I tentatively entered the doors of Ministry Of Waxing in Covent Garden with no clue on what to expect. I was booked in for a Brazilian wax - a bold choice for someone who had never had any part of their body waxed before, let alone that most private area!
I needn't have been too worried though - Ministry of Waxing are known for making the whole process as painless as possible and I must say that even though there was still an ouch factor, these ladies certainly know what they're doing.

After freely growing my hair-down-there for a few weeks and with nether regions that looked remarkably like someone who'd been lost in the wilderness for a year or so, I turned up at Ministry of Waxing's Floral St branch in Covent Garden to find out if these guys really did live up to their reputation.
After filling out a quick pre-treatment form, my therapist came and fetched me and led me down the stairs to one of the treatment rooms. The rooms aren't too dissimilar to what you'll find in a modern beauty salon decked out with cool contemporary décor. On the treatment bed there is a little information card explaining the high level of hygiene that is standard at Ministry of Waxing, a towel, a sealed PH balanced wipe so you can prep the area before the treatment and a little squeezy stress toy (I had a hippo). I was advised to remove everything from the waist down (yep, that includes knickers), use the PH wipe and lay down on the bed with the towel covering my modesty. The therapist leaves the room for this bit so don't worry about having to strip off in front of a stranger.

Once I was all set, my therapist came back into the room and it was time to get down to business. She asked if I wanted everything off and I said yes because I wanted the full experience!
The therapist explained that they use a vacuum sealed wax pack for each customer and never double dip. They also use a special wax formulation (no strip wax here!) designed to only grab the hairs and not your skin. My therapist used hard chocolate wax on me and mentioned that their waxes change with the seasons and the wax of choice for Summer was strawberry, which I think is a nice touch.
The actual treatment involved me putting my legs in a couple of different positions so she could reach the right parts of my girly bits. I'm not going to lie and say that the experience was completely pain free - after all it was my first time - but it certainly hurt a lot less than I had anticipated. If you're a woman, you'll probably guess which parts stung a little - the closer to the pink bits, the more it's going to hurt, sorry! That said, like most things in life, waxing is most painful when it's your first time and the more you wax, the less pain you experience. In fact, my therapist told me that many women experience no pain at all.
I do have to add that even though the waxing wasn't entirely pain free for me, as soon as the wax was removed, the sting was gone in an instant. In other words, it didn't feel tender or sensitive immediately afterwards, which is a massive bonus when you have to put your trousers back on and venture out onto the streets of London when you're finished.
Something I neglected to research was exactly what a Brazilian wax treatment entails so it took me by surprise when I was asked to roll onto my stomach and found it extremely difficult to curb my laughter (so I didn't). There's no point skirting the issue here - we all have hair between our butt cheeks. It's a fact of life and when Ministry of Waxing say you'll walk out of there totally fuzz free they mean it! I'll point out that this part was very quick and didn't hurt at all. The bottom is a resilient creature it seems. Even though I was essentially having my pubic hair ripped out from the roots, I was made to feel comfortable and at ease by my therapist who was very reassuring and told me that she averages on 16 waxes a day. Just remember, if you're worried about exposing your woman-parts, these people are professionally trained and have seen a plethora of lady gardens and vagines before yours. I'm no nudist and I have hangups like everyone else but I didn't once feel uneasy about the treatment, so that's got to tell you something!
The whole waxing process was done in just over 20 minutes, which was an extremely pleasant revelation as I expected to be in there for at least an hour.

Overall, Ministry of Waxing* lived up to their reputation of being total Waxperts and I really recommend you pay them a visit for a pruning. Whether you're a wax virgin or veteran, book in for a visit and experience the Ministry of Waxing way - they don't just do Brazilians and you can choose a simple bikini wax if that's more up your street or even add a cheeky shape to your wax. They also cater for men and I'm told that 'Boyzillians' are big business these days ;). To find out more about Ministry of Waxing and find your nearest location visit them online here.

Giveaway!

Want to bag yourself a Ministry of Waxing experience? Well stop beating around the bush and enter via the Rafflecopter below! UK and 16 + only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway






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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

How I Stopped Biting My Nails!

I never, in a million years thought I'd be one to write a blog post like this. I am a bonafide nail biter, picker and peeler and have been since I can remember. It's a childhood habit that I seemingly never grew out of and now, as a fairly anxious grown up (if I can call myself that), as soon as I feel worried about anything, my nails are the first thing to pay the price.

Incredibly though, for the first time since I was an infant I currently have a full set of strong, semi-healthy nails that I managed to grow all by myself. Yes, they're short and modest but this is literally the first time they've been long enough to tap on my desk. Win.
They haven't been growing for very long but I suppose I'm a bit overexcited and wanted to share how I've got this far. The points below may seem obvious but they've worked for me! Here's how I've stopped attacking my nails:

Falsies are your Friend!
Fake nails are notoriously bad for your nails because frankly, they don't give a damn about your natural nails underneath. If you get gels or acrylics done professionally it's usually extra detrimental to your real nails because they use those industrial strength electrical tools to file them into oblivion. It's a bit of a juxtaposition really because if you're trying to grow your nails, sticking on some falsies can actually be a great first step. With this in mind, I popped down to Boots and got a couple of packets of really short DIY glue on nails so I could control how much I annihilated my natural finger nails. Each set stayed on for 5 to 7 days at a time and once they started falling off/ getting gross, I just replaced them with fresh nails. I did this for about two weeks, allowing my natural nails to grow underneath. The temptation to rip them off was real but somehow I managed to persevere and once I (carefully) took them off for good using acetone, I was pleasantly surprised by the nails underneath.

Give them Strength
If you're a nail biter/picker/peeler you'll probably have really weak nails that won't grow very much without a little extra care. When I first removed the falsies, my pinky nails were pretty long but I had to file them down because they were so bendy and weak they would have fallen at the first hurdle (ie when I did the washing up). To make them as strong and least prone to breakage as possible, I applied a super thick protein rich coating in the form of Perfect Formula Gel Coat.  My boyfriend's mum gave this to me last Christmas (think she may have been trying to tell me something) and it has pretty much saved my nails. I'm sure you can get other colours but I like this light powder pink shade because it was subtle enough to not look ridiculous on my growing nails. I recently bought the Essie Grow Stronger fortifying growth base coat which is thinner in consistency but basically does the same job.
Perfect Formula Gel Coat Colour

Nourish your Nails
I've made a conscious effort to apply hand cream throughout the day and it's now compulsively become the last thing I do before I get into bed. Not only is it a nice little pampering ritual I can do any time, it's good for my hands and great for my nails. I was using Clarins Hand and Nail Cream but I've now run out so I'm using Burt's Bees Beeswax & Banana Hand Cream and CicaBiafine Creme Mains Reparation Intense alternately. Also, something I've read so many rave reviews about - Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream! I'm so pleased I've added this to my new nail care routine. It's super moisturising and smells lemony and fresh.
Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream
Paint your Nails!
One of the best ways to stop myself attacking my nails is to keep them painted. For some reason, if they've got a colour on them I'm less inclined to bite or pick. Maybe it's because I subconsciously know I don't want to ruin the paint job. Whatever the reason, it works for me! I've been alternating between classic reds, fuschia pinks, black cherries and the nearly nude wonder that is Essie Ballet Slipper.

Are you a nail biter? Have you overcome the habit or did you never start? Any tips? Let me know your thoughts!



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Monday, 29 September 2014

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Hair Mist Review

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Hair Mist £34

This isn't really a review of Chanel Hair Mist because there isn't actually an awful lot to ponder besides this; it's beautiful, it's Chanel and I love it.
I was very kindly given the Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Hair Mist on my birthday and since then there's barely been a day when I haven't spritzed it into my hair.
My first thought when I unwrapped this was 'Oooooh how lovely!' swiftly followed by ' ...but what's the difference between hair mist and standard perfume? Yes you can spray perfume in your hair (does everyone do that? I always have) but perfume can be extremely drying on the hair strands, which is where this is different.
The Chanel Hair Mist contains silicone derivatives - like you find in many shampoos. I know some people take issue with silicones but they do leave hair shiny, soft and healthy looking (notice how shampoo companies use the phrase 'healthy looking' rather than just 'healthy').
So while the hair mist might not include ingredients that are actually good for your hair, it does contain ones that at least make it look good.

The scent? Well this just smells exactly the same as the perfume - floaty, floral and fresh. But here's the kicker: It's £15 cheaper. A 35ml frosted bottle of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle is £34 while 35ml of the Eau de Parfum is £49 (prices from Debenhams).
Yes, the perfume would have better staying power but it is worth mentioning that the hair mist is the slightly less expensive way to get your hands on some Chanel fragrance.




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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow Review

Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow Instant Soft Focus Beauty Flash

From watching Charlotte tilbury YouTube videos and reading interviews, she just seems like such a warm, genuine woman that I almost feel like buying her products is simply the right thing to do!
I would love to try every single one of CT's products but for now I'm sticking with one- Wonder Glow Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash. 
This is a real magpie product- it's shiny, quite new and is packed full of shimmery goodness so it's only natural that people (me) would be drawn to it. Looks aside, this stuff is called Wonder Glow, which just instantly gave me images of walking casually down the street with a perfectly luminous, healthy complexion that had the potential to trick people into thinking I was so glowy I must be with child. 
While it doesn't quite have that effect on me, it is still a lovely product. Here's why.
Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow Packaging
Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow is part skincare, part makeup and designed for use under makeup for that coveted 'lit from within' look or over it for added dewyness and a touch of shimmer. I've been mixing a little blob of Wonder Glow in with my foundation and find that it does make my makeup look fresher, healthier and just better in general.

Wonder Glow contains collagen boosting peptides and patented wrinkle-preventing ingredients to treat the skin while the light reflecting micro-spheres with fluorescent core scatter light around the face, blurring imperfections and filling in wrinkles.

Much like a lot of primers, Wonder Glow has the consistency of a creamy gel and it leaves skin seriously soft with a very subtle wash of shimmer. When I first squeezed a little out of the tube, it looked pretty sparkly but I soon discovered that it blends out to a far less scary finish, making it ideal for younger and older skins alike. Packaged in a plastic tube with a rose gold coloured lid (not as beautiful as the packaging of other CT products, but still very nice), it has a gentle rosehip and camelia scent that is a lovely finishing touch that makes using it even more pleasant.
Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow

Wonder Glow is fantastically multi-use and a little really does go a long way, if that's any consolation for the £38 price tag. I haven't got a lot of experience with any similar products so I can't really compare it to a more purse-friendly product, though I'm sure there would be something comparable out there. You can find Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow at Selfridges or online at Charlotte Tilbury or Cult Beauty.


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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Blanket Wrap Cardigan


I bought this Blanket Wrap from New Look last week and I've pretty much been living in it ever since.
A little blanket with arm holes and pockets - it's like the fashionable version of the snuggie. It goes with me to the shop, hangs out with me while I'm working and snuggles up with me on the couch.
This particular one is 100% acrylic (no cashmere here) but it's soft, warm and cosy. I chose this one because black and grey are pretty much my staple colours and I wasn't keen on a really busy pattern, though apparently I do look a bit like Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly when I've got this on.
Blanket Wrap Cardigan - £24.99 New Look

Even though they're essentially bat-winged cardigans, I think blanket wraps are going to be a big deal this autumn - they're the perfect transitional item for weather that doesn't quite know what it's doing but it's chilly enough for a cover up.
While the personalized Burberry Poncho (as seen on everyone from Cara to Olivia P to Suki) may have provided major inspiration for the blanket wrap, I reckon it was this guy who really kick started the trend (If you have a sec, please go and look at his post titled How to Wear a Wool Blanket as a Coat, it's amazing - Link)

Anyway, New Look have a pretty big selection of blanket wraps with plenty of designs to choose from so if you're into the blanket/cardigan hybrid, I suggest you check them out.
*Photos- Richard Godden


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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Billion Dollar Brows Hint of Tint - A Brow's Best Friend?



If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed my constant tweets declaring my love for Billion Dollar Brows Hint of Tint. I've tweeted and Instagrammed about this stuff to the point that I now feel like some kind of voluntary eyebrow ambassador for Hint of Tint. I'm not though. Not officially anyway.

Hint of Tint may not be a particularly new concept - a tinted eyebrow mascara so to speak, but it seems that Billion Dollar Brows have the formula, packaging, colour and brush completely spot on, which is a rare feat when it comes to virtually any product out there.

I actually won my dinky little tube of Hint of Tint in Billion Dollar Brows' #Browfie Twitter comp a few months back and have used nothing else on my brows since. That's not even a lie.

I have Hint of Tint in 'Taupe' - an ideal shade for anyone with a medium to dark hair colour but there is also a lighter shade for blondies and redheads.

Here's what Billion Dollar Brows have to say about Hint of Tint:


Colour and Control - All in One
'This bold blend of brow colour and hold comes in an easy-to-use tube. Perfect for when you are on-the- go and don’t have time to apply powder and gel. For a hassle-free, natural look, Hint of Tint brow Gel turns barely-there-brows into WOW Brows in an instant.'

I concur! The gel formula of Hint of Tint is really, really easy to apply with the mascara wand-like brush and it is very buildable. I either swipe it on quickly for a bit of hassle free grooming or spend a bit more time with it, shaping the brows and filling them in for a bit more of a dramatic look.

Overall it is a fantastic product. At £20, it's more expensive than a lot of the high street buys but it's worth mentioning that the little tube is still going strong and I've had it since Spring!
If you want a closer look at Billion Dollar Brows, visit them here.

What's your go - to brow product?


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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Rodial BB Venom Skin Tint Review

That awkward moment when you find something expensive that you would definitely repurchase? Yeah that happened. I went to the Space NK Beauty Anthology shopping event on Wednesday evening and spent a bit of time with a particularly lovely Rodial rep who introduced me to some fabulous bits and pieces including this - the Rodial BB Venom Skin Tint.
Rodial BB Venom Skin Tint


Touted as a flawless complexion beauty balm with active peptides, and packaged in a slightly sinister looking black tube, the skin tint is just like any other BB cream at first glance, but look a little closer and you'll see it's got a playful little twist. The ingredient that makes it a little difference is the presence of SYN-AKE- a potent dipeptide designed to smooth fine lines and plump up skin. Truth be told, the concept of SYN-AKE kind of freaked me out a bit, as did the claim that it gives a freeze like effect. This just conjured up images of me walking around with what looks like a bad Botox job, though if it had been potent enough to actually make such a huge difference I would have been both impressed and terrified.
I needn't have worried though because no such black magic occurred when I tried it out.

The first thing I noticed is that this seems to be a 'proper' BB cream, not one of those BBs that's so heavy that it's pretty much foundation in disguise. You know the ones. In fact, the BB Venom Skin Tint blends out easily and becomes one with the skin, giving a light to medium finish with zero oxidization. It feels sufficiently moisturizing when applied and has a slightly matte finish which, despite me having generally dehydrated skin, does not attach itself to dry bits.
Rodial BB Venom Skin Tint in Capri

Rodial BB Venom Skin Tint blended out

I'm enjoying using the BB and acquired a few more Rodial products on Wednesday which I'm also loving. The Rodial BB Venom Skin Tint is available in 3 shades for £35. I got mine at Space NK as part of a gift with purchase promo.


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Friday, 12 September 2014

My Little Box UK Review- the First Box September 2014

Another day, another subscription beauty box right? Wrong! My Little Box is a French beauty and lifestyle subscription (the French version has 80, 000 subscribers) that is available in the UK for the first time this month. I signed up to My Little Box UK a few weeks ago and it arrived today so here's a peak at what's inside:

Every box is themed and it's only fitting that for the UK début it's themed as My Little Parisienne Box




picture of my little box uk september 2014





The beauty bits - Laura Mercier Foundation Primer (these are everywhere lately!), a little bottle of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse and the brand's own Stylo Lumiere twist - up highlighter/ concealer

The Lifestyle Bits - A decent sized, thick notebook, some very kitshy stickers and a laptop/ tablet case

I'm writing this up very quickly before I start work today and haven't had a proper play with everything included in the box but I think it's an impressive new monthly subscription offering with contents that I'm actually likely to use (including the oil from Nuxe!) and not a sachet in sight!
What do you think of My Little Box? You can sign up here for £11 a month + 3.95 postage.




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