Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: Dior Show New Look Mascara

I've only ever tried one Dior Mascara before. It was Dior Show a few years ago and to be honest I wasn't overly taken with it. I therefore didn't know what to expect from their latest addition to the Dior Show line, Dior Show New Look. 
At first look it isn't overly impressive. While it retains the gorgeous Dior packaging, the brush is surprisingly small. A teeny tiny rubber wand that has two different arrangements of bristles at either end, it looks intriguing to say the least.
The brush makes it a little time-consuming to apply, but allows you to reach the smallest lashes, even the ones that are just staring to grow from the lash line. It is quite a 'wet' mascara, and leaves the lashes with a very glossy, almost wet-look finish. This might be something to do with the 'Black Glass Pigment' it contains. I never go too much in to technical details with mascara, but it's meant to give a greater depth of colour by using light reflecting particles. Technical details aside, the effect is very nice.
One Coat
I'm not normally one for wetter mascaras, as they tend to enhance length more than volume (as I have long lashes already) but this really does add both dramatic length and volume to the lashes. You can apply it in one coat for a more 'daytime' look (above), or layer it for a little more drama (below). 
Two Coats
It does have a slight tendency to slick the lashes together if you're not careful with application... if you don't like the spidery-lashes look then this might not be for you. 

Again, because it's more of a wet mascara, it does dry to leave the lashes a little hard. Having said that, it doesn't move. This mascara doesn't smudge or flake whatsoever on me. I've fallen asleep a couple of times wearing this, rubbed my eyes, even cried... and it just doesn't move!
I've found myself reaching for this mascara over my others for the past few weeks. It's undeniably a good mascara and I think those who like slick-looking lashes but don't want to compromise on volume will love this. Whenever I'm reviewing high-end mascaras, I have to benchmark them against my all time favourite YSL Effet Faux Cils and for this one, I have to say it's pretty close. 
YSL Effet Faux Cils
I think the YSL still gets my vote, as it leaves the lashes a lot softer and adds just a little added volume, but if you are looking for something with better staying power (and that lasts longer... YSL mascara rarely makes it past 2 months for me!) then the Dior might be your answer.

What do you think? Do you like the look of this mascara?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Diet Diary

It's that time of year again. When the trainers come out in the hope of achieving your perfect summer bikini body... sound familiar?! I'm pretty sure the large majority of girls feel that pressure to get into shape for their summer holidays and I'm certainly amongst them. Only I never keep it up. I always give up after two weeks (maximum!)

This year I decided to take it to the next level, and to ensure I don't lose momentum, I've gone and gotten myself a personal trainer (anyone who knows me in 'real' life will be laughing out loud right about now) A vision of me in the gym is pure comedy to most of my friends, but I am hopeful that this is to be a thing of the past. I'm in my fourth week of fitness now and I'm actually starting to enjoy it! Now, that's an emotion I never thought I'd feel about fitness!

Anyway, without (too much) further rambling, it's going really well. I'm going to be vlogging every day in June over on my Vlog Channel and I'll be doing more general fitness updates on there BUT I thought I'd let you all know about an amazing app I found last week in the mean time, as I'm too excited about it to hold it in any longer!

It's called MyDietDiary and essentially it's a calorie counting app. Now this put me off at first because I've never been a great believer in calorie counting. I think you're far better off concentrating on what you're eating and where it's come from rather than the calorie content (as there can be a big difference between being slim vs. being healthy!)

That being said, I'm totally addicted to this app. It allows you to track your daily food intake, and balance it against the exercise you do throughout the day. It can be used as a tool for weight loss, but it's also great if you just want to maintain your weight, or even gain weight.

The app gives you a calorie allowance based on your goals and personal details including sex, height, weight and level of activity. It also allows to you track your exercise routine, calorie intake, and weight change on graphs as well as keeping track of how much water you are drinking. Your calorie allowance is adjusted when you exercise, which I find to be a great motivator for getting to off my butt and into the gym (more exercise = more food allowance... yes please!)
It's definitely not for everyone. If you lack patience then you might find it to fiddly, but as an avid list-maker myself, I love how organised this app is and I've found it really helps to keep me on track both in terms of my fitness routine set out by my personal trainer, and as a deterrent from eating unhealthily.

All in all I think this is a great tool for helping to keep you motivated. It's a free app, there are no annoying adds and you don't have to make an account to use it. If you're in the same boat as me and trying to trim down and tone up for summer in a healthy way, then I'd thoroughly recommend this app! (And no, this post isn't sponsored... I'm really just that excited about discovering this app!)

On a different note, and another topic I NEVER thought I'd care enough to comment on...
I'm absolutely loving this water. It's Isklar's Sparkling mineral water. I love drinking sparkling water as an alternative to sugary drinks, but this is definitely my favourite - It's not overly fizzy, just ever so slightly sparkling. The bottle is cool too. OK that's enough about water for today, I'll be back to my usual beauty banter tomorrow, I promise!

Is anyone else on a summer fitness kick? I'd love to hear about any hints and tips you have for keeping motivated!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fragrance Friday: YSL Opium Vapeurs de Parfum

Yves Saint Laurent Opium is one of those fragrances I've never understood.
The original Opium
A cult 1980's classic, it's heavy and sickeningly intoxicating. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in having sprayed it on myself in a perfume hall and spent the next 3 hours feeling queasy and wishing I hadn't. As much as I wanted to like this sophisticated perfume, the scent itself just doesnt't appeal to me in the slightest.

2009 Opium
I didn't even like the more modern take on the fragrance 'Belle de Opium' that came out a few years back. As beautiful as the packaging and ad campaign are, I found it to be rather unremarkable and still slightly sickly.
2010 Belle D'Opium

I was therefore bowled over to find that their new version of the fragrance 'Vapeurs de Parfum' is really rather wonderful. It's light, balmy and totally wearable with top notes of mandarin orange and pink pepper. It still retains a tiny hint of the original spicy amber and incense notes of the original that add sophistication, but it's just so much more likeable.
Opium Vapeurs de Parfum
The wear time is great, I find it lasts a good 5 hours on my skin. The frosted peach bottle is gorgeous and the fragrance itself makes me feel just a little sophisticated. Although I've read some negative reviews of this online from people who are angered at the original being altered to appeal to a larger market, I totally disagree. I love the fact that they've brought a classic scent into modern day, enabling it to appeal to a different generation of women.

YSL Opium Vapeurs de Parfum is available now, from £46.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Liz Earle Creme Blush in Coral

After being rather disappointed with skincare queen, Liz Earle's first foray into the beauty world with her Sheer Skin Tint last year, I had mixed feelings about the release of her full makeup collection. It hit stores a couple of months ago now and I finally got the chance to try a few bits this week. Straight off the bat I have to say I was impressed, and a little in love with the accompanying colour chart.
Liz Earle products sell well online so I love the idea of having a full colour chart, complete with spaces to swatch your current colours for comparison! I'm not entirely sure how accurate the colour swatches are, but either way I though this was a nice idea and I had fun playing around with it.
The products also took me a little by surprise. I've only tried a couple of bits but I was seriously impressed by the creme blush in Coral. It's smooth, creamy and blends easily. It's nicely pigmented and looks great on the lips as well as the cheeks. It's on the pink-ier side of coral, so more flattering than some and easy to wear.
The formulation reminds me, almost exactly, of the Stila Convertible Colours (which I also love). You get 2g of product for £16.50 which I thought was pretty reasonable until I checked the packaging of my Stila product... of which you get 4.5g for £16. So not the greatest value for money product on the market, but the quality is great and I love the super-compact packaging (no wasted plastic here!)
A good first impression from Liz Earle Colour... I'm excited to try out more products from this line, and to see how it expands in the future. The initial selection is designed as a 'capsule collection' with definite room for expansion in the future, so watch this space.

Have any of you tried Liz Earle's new makeup products? Thoughts?!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

MAC Fanfare Lipstick

I took six empties 'Back to MAC' today and exchanged them for a shiny new lipstick using their recycling scheme.
The shade I chose was Fanfare. It's a natural pink shade. I've never heard anyone talk about it online before but it caught my eye in the lineup as I was looking for a natural, everyday lip shade. I think it's probably the most perfect 'your lips but better' shade I own, I totally love it.
It's a Cremesheen formula too so it's rich, creamy and nicely pigmented. An all round winner in my books!
What do you think girls? Would you buy this shade? Have you ever 'Back to MAC'-ed for a free lipstick?

A Walk in the Park

A summery outfit of the day in the park with my sister... and Spike! 

What I wore: Dress - StylePiques, Shoes - KG (old, similar here), Belt - Vintage, DIY French Manicure

What my sister wore: Skirt - Zara, Top - Uniqlo, Cardigan - Abercrombie & Fitch (old), Shoes - New Look,  Sunglasses - Chanel.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A New Destination for Beauty... in M&S?!

I was invited along to a top secret launch this evening that promised to unveil an exciting new beauty shopping concept coming from none other than Marks and Spencer. This being M&S, to be totally honest I wasn't expecting to be 'wowed', but when my lovely friend Ruth (from amodelrecommends - if you don't know her you need her videos in your life!) arrived at the High Street Kensington store, catching a glimpse of the new beauty department at the top of the escalators, we gasped with excitement.
Artist's impression of the new beauty departments

M&S have launched their very own beauty hall. The 'Your Beauty' department not only sells their own beauty and skincare brands, but a whole host of carefully selected brands ranging from Dr Murad, Leighton Denny, Apivita, Nuxe, Skyn Iceland, H2O+, Roger & Gallet, I Coloniali to name just a few. A lot of the brands are exclusive to M&S in the UK, and others have released limited edition sizes or sets exclusively for the department.
The High Street Kensington store
I was so impressed with the layout and feel of the new concept. It reminds me a little of SpaceNK, only a lot less intimidating and significantly more affordable. I've definitely got my eyes on a few different brands that have been previously unavailable, or hard to purchase in the UK.
The selection of Les Senteurs Gormandes fragrances, I fell in love with the fig one!

They've also got a very exciting collaboration in the works with renowned perfumer Lyn Harris, the creator of Miller Harris, set to launch in September (SO excited!). All in all I think this is a fantastic move for M&S, for whom beauty has not been a strong point in the past. I think this adds a new string to their bow and will attract young and more mature clientele alike - a big hit in my books!

You can find the very first 'Your Beauty' department on the first floor of the High Street Kensington Store now, but they will be incorporated into over 100 M&S stores over the next year. They've also added the department to their website, including a virtual makeup feature that you can also experience in store.
Useless photo of Ruth & I perusing the aisles...  but I thought you might like it! (Courtesy of Ruth's Instagram!)

What do you think girls? Do you see M&S being a new destination for your beauty shopping?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Summertime de Chanel 2012

I'm loving the look of Chanel's upcoming summer collection 'Summertime de Chanel'. Unlike many of the brands who opt for brighter hues in the summertime, Chanel as always, keep it classic with a collection of pretty, smokey brown eyes, bronzed skin and subtle nude and coral lips.

Personally I've got my eyes on the rose bronzer, Harmonie Poudre de Soleil in Sable Rose and the gorgeous looking limited edition eyeliner Peche Cuvre, a shimmery metallic champagne peach. I can't wait to see the collection in person when it hits counters on Friday.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fragrance Friday: Britney Spears Fantasy Twist!

I'm absolutely in love with the idea of this upcoming fragrance release from Britney Spears. The princess of pop and newly announced X Factor USA Judge is set to launch Fantasy Twist in September 2012, to coincide with her appearance on the show.
The duo fragrance features my two personal favourite Britney fragrances: Fantasy and Midnight Fantasy. They are housed in a spherical bottle that twists into two parts, one containing the original Fantasy and the other Midnight Fantasy.

They will be available in 100ml, 50ml and 30ml sizes, priced at £39, £30 and £24 respectively. I'm loving the idea of the little 30ml bottle in my handbag - it gives you the perfect daytime vs. nighttime perfume option!

I know the Britney Spears fragrances aren't everyone's cup of tea, but they certainly are popular. Personally, I love the bottle design and I can imagine this new duo flying off the shelves come September. I can't wait to see Britney on the X Factor either! I'll definitely be watching the US series as well as the UK one this year.