Monday, 30 December 2013

The Power of the Perfect Red Lipstick

From the flapper girls of the forties, through shoulder pad clad business women of the eighties, to the women of today, ladies have reached for their red lipstick in order to feel attractive, confident and above all, empowered. But what is the psychology behind the act of colouring one’s lips a shade of crimson?
Red is a colour long associated with power and achievement. Queen Elizabeth I was known for her regal red lips and Rosie the Riveter, the pin up girl representing strength for women during the Second World War is wearing a slick of red lipstick in the iconic poster.  In Ancient Egypt the colour red was associated with victory and the Egyptians would paint themselves with red ochre when celebrating. In Ancient Rome, Generals were painted red to honour their achievements.
Could the historical and spiritual significance of the colour possibly influence the psychological effects of wearing it today?
red lipstick
Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Lipcolor in Top Tomato

Studies have shown that waitresses wearing red lipstick earn more tips than their pink or bare lipped colleagues (!) and many women insist that wearing it makes them feel strong and powerful. There are, of course, the obvious physical advantages of wearing a red lipstick. Undeniably, red is a head turning colour that’s timeless, elegant and reminiscent of the Rita Hayworths and Marilyn Monroes of a bygone era. Red lips emphasise the whites of a woman’s eyes and blue based reds famously make teeth appear whiter.
A slick of red lipstick might very well leave a woman feeling empowered, however psychologists argue that it is a chicken and egg situation. Is the woman wearing the red lipstick naturally confident and therefore daring enough to paint her lips an eye catching hue? Or does the very act of wearing it actually have a psychological effect that puts extra bounce in her step?

Whatever the psychology behind the power of the red pout, one thing is certain – a woman wearing red lipstick is not only perceived as being attractive but she is confident, self-assured and polished. Red lipstick is timeless for a reason and I for one hope it sticks around for decades to come. Are you a red lippie devotee?

Nanokeratin System Haircare Review

Nanokeratin System is a fairly new haircare brand featuring ranges tailored to suit a variety of hair types and concerns. The Nanokeratin System for Sensitised Chemically Treated Hair* is the latest addition to my bathroom cabinet and I've been trying it out to get my hair in peak condition for 2014.

So what's Nanokeratin System all about? Here's a little insight into the technical side of the products to get the ball rolling:
'The International Nanokeratin System Laboratory has created a unique micro size-molecular formula based on particles so minute that millions of them can be gathered onto the tip of a pin. A micro molecule is so small it allows the penetration of the smallest hair shaft to activate the inner hair tissue where they are deposited and locked deep within the damaged hair.
This new and improved formula means that Nanokeratin System is now able to offer specifically
formulated Sulphate and Paraben free shampoos and conditioners to complement each of the
unique treatments in order to ensure that hair is kept in tip-top condition and that results last for as
long as possible.'

There are four different ranges available containing ingredients specific to Natural Hair, Coloured Hair, Sensitised/ Chemically Treated Hair and Normal Hair. 
 After years of dip-dyes, bleach and even a brief (yet passionate)stint as a fiery redhead, my hair definitely falls into the Sensitised Hair category. This particular range includes a shampoo, conditioner and mask specially formulated for chemically treated hair in need of a little TLC.

First of all, these products smell amazing. Kind of powdery and very 'clean' and salon-worthy. Which makes sense, because the Nanokerating System range is currently exclusive to salons.

The Re-Enhance Refining Shampoo cleanses while restoring moisture levels to the hair and enhancing highlights. The shampoo does the trick in making my hair feel really clean and clarified yet not 'squeaky clean' and stripped, which is a bonus.

Featuring ingredients such as hydrolyzed collagen, pure keratin and silk amino acids, the Re-Fine Refining Conditioner ticks all the boxes I want from a conditioner. It gives my hair the 'triple S effect' - feeling smooth and soft and looking shiny!

My favourite product of the three, the Re-Juvenate Smooth Treatment is essentially a mask that you slather on in place of conditioner for a deeply nourishing treat. The tub of purple goo is beautifully hydrating and leaves my hair smelling lovely for a good while after it's dried.

Overall, I'm enjoying using the Nanokeratin System and it does make my hair look and feel pretty darn good. As for long term results? I'll have to wait and see, but in the meantime I don't have a bad word to say about these products. The scent, texture and immediate effects of the haircare hit the ball out of the park for me so I have to admit I'm pretty pleased.

Intrigued? You can find out more about the Nanokeratin System and find salon stockists (including the fabulous Errol Douglas) at and visit the Facebook page at to stay up to date.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Nourish Revital-Eyes Kale Eye Cream

I think it's pretty fair to say that 2013 has been the year of the Kale. From kale smoothies, to kale crisps, the crinkly cabbage has certainly had its time in the spotlight thanks to the fact it's rich in Vitamin K, Vitamin C and Calcium. So eating Kale has become very popular, but what about incorporating this vitamin-rich vegetable into you skincare regime?
That's where Nourish Revital-Eyes Kale Biomimetic Anti-Ageing Eye Cream comes in.

Packed full of peptides, amino acids, B Vitamins and antioxidants, this eye cream targets wrinkly bits and dark circles with the help of maqui berry and pomegranate enzymes and, of course, kale extract.

Scent-wise, I've found the Revital-Eyes cream to smell quite fresh with a very slight citrus tinge that, for me, only adds to the overall joy of the cream. I've been using the eye cream before bed and occasionally in the morning for a couple of weeks and I can report that my eyes seem to look a little more 'awake', with less prominent dark circles. I've definitely not been getting more sleep, so I'm going to go ahead and put it down to this kale-enriched eye cream.

Kale has been praised as a superfood, so it makes perfect sense for the clever folk at Nourish to incorporate it into an eye cream. If you're a kale convert, you like your natural skincare (this cream is 79% organic) or would simply like to try something new to brighten your eyes and smooth pesky lines and wrinkles, I suggest you visit Nourish and give this little tube of goodness a whirl.

Nourish Revital-Eyes Kale Biomimetic Anti-Ageing Eye Cream is £29.50 for 10ml from Nourish Skin Range HERE.

P.S. Spend over £24.95 at Nourish and receive free UK delivery.

*Gifted Item - opinions and words are my own

Friday, 13 December 2013

Bourjois Java Rice Powder Review

There are so many things to love about the Bourjois Java Rice Powder. From the whimsical pistachio macaroon coloured vintage packaging through to the finely milled illuminating powder inside, the Poudre de Riz De Java is one pretty addition to my make up stash that I've become rather partial to.
Bourjoise Java Rice Powder
Bourjois Java Rice Powder*

First released in 1879 (!), the Java Powder illuminates and evens the complexion in one fell swoop, making it one of those handy multi-use products that's just as at home in your handbag as it is on the dressing table.
Bourjois Java Rice Powder

Finely milled and translucent, the Java Rice Powder is designed to complement and pep -up every skin tone and I've found it to be useful as both an all-over finishing powder and highlighter.
Bourjoise powder

bourjois java rice powder review
This pic makes it look a little chalky - I promise it isn't!

When using this as a finishing powder, a small amount goes a long way so the 3.5g jar should last for quite some time. To top it all off, the powder has the same sweet rose fragrance as the iconic Little Round Pots, making it extra special to use. I sort of wish they'd release a little compact version of this as I find loose powders a little tricky to use sometimes, but that's a very small bugbear for a very pretty product.

The Bourjois Java Rice Powder retails for £9.99.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Giveaway- Win 3 Barry M Eye & Cheek Palettes

 I'm feeling a bit festive and in the mood to have a little giveaway, so here it is - the opportunity to win all 3 of the Barry M Eye & Cheek Palettes!

Included in the prize:

Natural Glow Palete

Smokin' Hot Palette

Glamour Puss Palette
Each Barry M palette contains six shadows, a blush and a rather generous mirror. Glamour Puss is perfect for creating party looks, Smokin' Hot is a little bit sultry and Natural Glow contains gorgeous neutrals perfect for day and night time looks.

Want to win all three of these? Just enter via the Rafflecopter below and I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! Good Luck! xxx

EDIT: Since GFC has disappeared today (17/12/13) please follow on Bloglovin' but tick the GFC and Bloglovin' boxes in the rafflecopter form below for 15 entries

*This giveaway is open to UK residents only 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

French Pharmacy Goodies

This time last month I was sitting in a beautiful restaurant near Gare De Lyon eating a crepe that had just been flamb├ęd in front of me and thinking about how much I didn't want to come back to London.
Alas, return I did but not before I'd visited every pharmacy I could find and sought out a few French skincare goodies.
Thank you to everyone who tweeted me with suggestions of products I should look out for!

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre - I am obsessed with this thick, fresh smelling cream. This stuff was the most recommended product on my twitter feed and now I know why! It literally makes my face feel baby-soft and nicely hydrated without the grease factor. Embyolisse Lait-Creme Concentre is a beautiful blend of natural ingredients such as beeswax, shea butter, aloe vera and soy. I've been using it morning and evening and it's been perfect in this moisture-sapping weather.

Sanoflore Miel aux mille vertus (Thousand Virtue Honey Soothing & Repairing Absolute Balm) - I am a shameless fan of skincare that contains honey so when I spotted this balm at the Pharmacie Anglais Des Champs Elysees, I sort of had to have it. The Thousand Virtue Honey is basically a multi-purpose balm that can be used practically anywhere - I've used it on my face and it's soothed my boyfriend's cracked hands more than once. It also smells absolutely beautiful - pretty much like a gentle floral honey scent.

Bioderma Crealine- I'd never tried this famous micellar water before so I bought a small bottle in case I hated it. Rookie error! This takes off eye make up and base like a dream. I'm jumping on the Biorderma fan-wagon immediately. (fan wagon?)

Nuxe Reve de Miel - I found this for €6.50 in Paris which was obviously cheaper than the £9.50 price tag it has here in the UK. That was my excuse for purchasing it anyway, and I'm sticking with it. I was secretly hoping I wouldn't like it because it's so raved about (and I'm an individual, like everyone else) but I love it. It's all honey-ish and orange-y and soothing and delicious. Plus, it's matte, which is a true rarity in the realm of lip balms.

CicaBiafine Creme Mains Reparation Intense - I sort of bought this by accident because we were in a hurry and I remembered Biafine been mentioned in a few French Pharmacy hauls I'd 'researched' before the trip. It turns out I picked up the hand cream rather than the much loved multi purpose balm but worry not - this is a lovely, deeply nourishing tube of goodness that shall live in my handbag through the cruel winter.

Caudalie Soap Free Shower Gel - I got this free (unwittingly) in a little para pharmacy near Gare De Lyon. It has a very delicate grape scent and does the job nicely! Decent sized tube too.

Caudalie Gentle Buffing Cream - Another gift with purchase, (I've discovered these are much more fun when you don't actually know what's going on) this cream does a pretty good job at exfoliating - a little bit like a microdermabrasion product without the sting. The only thing I don't like about it is that it's a little difficult to rinse off and the exfoliating bits get stuck in my eyebrows! Ha.

I bought a few other bits and pieces during the trip but I couldn't feature them because they are presents! Have you got any suggestions of what I should search for next time?

Thanks for reading x

Monday, 2 December 2013

My Beautiful Broken Brain

"Everyone loves a story and this is a really, really good one." - Lotje Sodderland

This is a beauty blog, yes, but this is a post about a different kind of beauty. I want to share the story of Lotje Sodderland, a family friend who is experiencing something extraordinary.

In November 2011, Lotje suffered a brain haemorrhage that literally changed her world. Two days after the haemorrhage, she woke up in hospital to an unfamiliar, alien world - her vision was skewed, her hearing was distorted and she experienced incomprehensible, terrifying hallucinations. Despite her fear and confusion, Lotje knew that something incredible was occurring and began recording her experiences on her iPhone. Soon afterwards, she asked her family to get in touch with Film Maker Sophie Robinson in the hope that she would be interested in helping her document her life as it changed. Now, over two years later the women are ready to share Lotje's story and have added their documentary project 'My Beautiful Brain' to Kickstarter in order to raise funds required to create a very unique, insightful and above all beautiful film. 

When I watched the trailer for this the other day, I was completely touched and intrigued at the same time. I want to know more about Lotje and her incredible story and I hope you do too. Please watch the trailer for My Beautiful Brain below and visit the Kickstarter page HERE if you'd like to help out in any way. You can also follow the Twitter for the project @MYBBB2014, visit the website HERE and find them on Facebook HERE.

Thank you so much for reading/ watching! x

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

DHC Olive Body Butter - Launching Soon

I received the DHC Olive Body Butter this morning and can happily report that it is simply scrum-didly-umptious.
Before now the only product I'd tried by Japanese super brand DHC was the much loved Deep Cleansing Oil, so I was pretty keen to try something from the body range.

Firstly, the packaging for the Olive Body Butter is gorgeous - it's amazing how far some strategically placed flower illustrations can go in terms of increasing the desirability of a product! the 100g plastic jar comes in an equally pretty cardboard box that tells you all you need to know about what's inside:

"Wrap yourself in rich, moisturising cocoa and shea butters. Natural emollients olive, argan and avocado oils boost hydration for velvety-soft, supremely touchable skin. Enlivening green apple and rose scent."

That pretty much sums it up - the Olive Body Butter is a delicious concoction of various hydrating oils and butters all topped off with a very yummy apple and rose scent.

As I literally received this today I haven't applied it directly after a shower as yet but I have been smothering it on my arms today and it isn't greasy in the slightest, in fact it seems to sink in extremely fast. Perhaps that's testament to just how dry my skin is in this moisture-sapping English weather? Moisturising lotions and potions without the grease factor get a giant tick in my book so I'm going to go ahead and recommend the bejesus out of this product.

The DHC Olive Body Butter hasn't actually launched in the UK yet but will be available from the 1st of January from DHC UK and possibly BeautyMART and Selfridges London as they stock other DHC products. The Olive Body Butter will retail for £15.50.
You can stay up to date with new products from DHC by following them on Twitter @DHCUK_Skincare.

*PR Sample -   words are my own

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Superdry Beauty

I was introduced to Superdry beauty back in September during LFW and I've been trying out a few bits and pieces from the collection since then.
Superdry have released various beauty sets since but the two that I've been playing with are the Superdry Bento Beauty Box and Superdry Beauty Collective.

The Superdry Bento Beauty Box

This cute little kit inspired by the iconic Japanese bento box contains:

  • Tube of Lip Fix - a thick, Vaseline type balm
  • Eye Marker - literally like a chunky permanent marker eye pen
  • Nail Paint - mini nail polish
  • Highlighter - not unlike a sheer pink liquid Benefit highlighter
  • Volumising Mascara- a pretty decent mascara in a HUGE tube with a silicone wand
  • Superdry Nail Plane - fairly self explanatory
  • Superdry mirror - a nifty little mirror perfect for popping in your handbag
Superdry LipFix

I'm not overly keen on the lip fix for one reason and one reason alone - it's watermelon scented (it's also available in peppermint and coconut, both of which I would get a lot of use out of ) and imitation watermelon is probably my most disliked scent/ flavour. The texture of this is ideal for winter though, it's basically like a less greasy Vaseline.
Superdry Eye Marker
I'm really impressed with the Eye Marker. It leaves a really dark, opaque line and I find it quite easy to use on my top lids thanks to the fairly fine point. It seems to have pretty good staying power too, which is always a huge bonus.
Superdry Highligher

Again, really impressed with the Highlighter. It's quite a thick liquid formula that adds a subtle sheen to cheekbones.
Superdry Volumising Mascara
The formula in this super-black mascara contains lash volumising Keratin and the silicone wand separates lashes for a clump-free experience. That's what it says on the tin and that's exactly what it does. Pretty kitschy cardboard tube too.

The Superdry Beauty Collective

Housed in a neon cosmetic bag, the Beauty Collective contains:
  • Nail Paint in Punk Pink
  • Black Thunderbolt Eye Pencil - wooden eye pencil with smudger
  • Lip Glaze in Shocking Pink - similar to Stila lip glaze and very sheer
  • Eyeshadow Duo in Mudflat/ Cream - a pair of rather pigmented powder shadows in really cool plastic and metal packaging 
  • Superdry Nail Plane
Superdry Eye Pencil

I use the eye pencil on my water line/ bottom lashline and have found it has pretty impressive staying power. It's a rich, deep black and comes with a smudger on the end (which I don't use because me and smudgers just don't get along for some reason).
Superdry Eyeshadow Duo in Mudflat/ Cream

The eyeshadow duo is probably my favourite item from the Superdry beauty range that I've tried so far. While I don't get a lot of use out of the 'cream' colour, I adore the dark brown 'mudflat' shade. The shadow is very pigmented and it lasts. I also like the way it swings open. Easily amused.
Superdry Lip Glaze in Shocking Pink

I don't love the lipglaze but I don't hate it either - which is obvious as you can see how much I've used it in the picture. The shade is 'shocking pink' but I didn't find it shocking enough. Bright in the tube, yes, but very sheer on the lips. I like the design of the twist up see-through tube and I do like the texture of the glaze but in terms of colour, it doesn't pack enough of a punch.

Wearing the Eyeshadow Duo, Lipglaze, Eye Marker, Eye Pencil and Highlighter
Overall, I think these are generally good quality products - just because I don't like watermelon and prefer lipstick over gloss doesn't mean my Superdry beauty experience wasn't a good one! The eye products and highlighter especially get two thumbs up from me and I wouldn't hesitate trying out more from the range next time I'm near a Superdry. I haven't touched on the nail polishes in this post simply because I haven't tried them yet, so I'm looking forward to seeing how they fare!
The Superdry Bento Beauty Box and Beauty Collective retail at £25 each and are available in store and online at *Edit: Superdry beauty has since been discontinued however you can still find a range of washbags/ makeup bags in store and online.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Sunjunkie Sunless Bodymist Review

I usually steer pretty clear of talking about self tan products. I'll often go out and buy the latest mousse/ spray/ liquid in spring and summer, plan to write about it and then discover that the results are so devastating that there's no point! It's not that the products I've tried have been particularly bad - this is a definite 'it's not you, it's me' situation. The truth is I am so uncoordinated and often impatient that I end up streaky, blotchy or weirdly speckled - and nobody wants to see that!
The reason I'm writing about the Sunjunkie Bodymist 'tan in a can' is this: This product is good. It's user friendly, the colour is great and I've had a good self tan experience with it (for once).

The Sunjunkie Bodymist comes in a white and gold aerosol can that sprays continuously from virtually any angle- I was holding the can upside down at some points (don't ask) and the flow of the spray was completely uninterrupted.

The mist is quite fine overall, though I did experience a couple of 'spurts' that I easily rubbed in with Sunjunkie Tan Application Mitt. The Bodymist applied impressively evenly and dried within ten minutes, which made me extremely happy since I was applying it late at night when it was 4 degrees outside so I was glad to put my clothes back on so soon! It's worth mentioning that the Bodymist has quite a wearable guide colour to it so in theory you could use this in the morning and go to work etc then wash it off in the evening - just make sure it's dried before you get dressed and maybe steer clear from wearing white! Scent-wise, the Sunjunkie tan has a tropical, coconut type scent that lingers for a while before the fake tan smell takes over, though I have to say that the 'fake tan smell' is virtually non existent compared to others tanners.
Faux-tan line!

I slept in the tan, washed it off the next morning and was really happy with the colour - a rich golden brown that made me look deceptively healthy and weirdly 'pepped me up'. I suppose it's a bit like popping on a red lipstick to make you feel happier and more confident, a decent fake tan has a similar effect on me!

My Sunjunkie Bodymist tan maintained its colour for about 5 days before I topped it up the other night and I must say I'm rather enjoying having a cheeky faux glow underneath all my layers! If you're going to try this (and I really think you should), one piece of advice I have is that less is definitely more with the Bodymist. Don't hold the can too close while your spraying and moisturise the heck out of your feet before you start as I found that the mist fell and settled on my feet, making them considerably darker than the rest of me. Rookie error!
I'm incredibly impressed with the Sunjunkie Sunless Bodymist (£12.79 for the mist and exfoliator) and I'm looking forward to trying out the self tanning mousse from the range next.
To find out more about Sunjunkie, click on over to the site here and find them on twitter @SunjunkieUK.
Do you faux tan in Autumn?

*PR sample - however I have used most of it up and will be purchasing this!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Max Factor Ageless Elixir Foundation Review

While a lot of people are going nuts over the Max Factor Whipped Creme Foundation I was eager to get my hands on the Ageless Elixir 2 in 1 Foundation. I was initially drawn to this foundation for two reasons.
max factor ageless elixir

  1. I'd never tried a Max Factor foundation before (!)
  2. It's a 2-in-1 Foundation/ Serum hybrid and you've gotta love a bit of skincare in your makeup.
I've been trying out the Max Factor Ageless Elixir in shade Beige 55 and I've found it a pretty good fit, despite the fact I've been trialling fake tan as well - that is where Benefit Hula comes in very handy.

 The Ageless Elixir Foundation comes in a pump bottle that dispenses the perfect amount of product for a decent application.

 The formula is quite mousse like and light - a texture that feels rather lightweight on my face. The foundation is a blend of coloured base and a 'special elixir' that contains anti-ageing ingredients, SPF 15 and pigments that reflect light.
I found that the foundation blended quite easily and provides a medium to heavy coverage with a fairly moisturising and natural finish. The moisturising element of the foundation is especially appealing to me at this time of year as my skin gets pretty dry and tight in Autumn/ Winter.

All in all I think the Max Factor Ageless Elixir Foundation is a lovely high street base with a just-about-bargain price tag of £12.99. I'm glad to see affordable brands rival the likes of YSL in the serum foundation stakes (not to say I wouldn't love to give the Youth Liberator a go).
Max Factor Ageless Elixir Foundation Review

If you don't trust my opinion on the foundation, there is a plethora of good reviews about the stuff on the Boots website that you can check out here.

What do you think of serum foundations?