Monday, September 30, 2013

Bourjois Colour Edition Eye Shadows

Creme-to-shadow eyeshadows are a fairly rare thing. When I first saw these I thought they would be along a similar vein to the Maybelline Colour Tattoo ones, but I was wrong. These are much drier and certainly (as they say) a real creme-to-powder formula. The only products I've come across that are similar to these are the Chanel Illusion Ombre eyeshadows (which is unsurprising considering Bourgois and Chanel are made by the same people) But these have less of a 'whipped' texture, and feel quite firm to the touch.
The colour payoff is nice. It's not outstanding, but...
more than adequate for everyday wear. All of the shades are shimmery and I actually really like their choice of colours (there are no dodgy brights!) The only colour I don't think I would wear is the navy. The red and green shades are really interesting and I think they make a nice addition because they are colourful but still very wearable.
L-R: Bleu Tenebreaux, Plum Nocturne, Kaki Cheri, Petale de Glace, Or Desir,  Marveille L'argent
I found that these applied best using my rounded synthetic blending brush from Crown. They do work when applied with the fingers but I found the brush to work better at blending them.
These claim to be '24 hour' shadows. I'm not sure about the '24 hour' obsession in the makeup industry at the moment, as I don't think anyone would want their makeup on for 24 hours anyway... BUT I'm also unconvinced these would last that long anyway. With a primer, they'll last all day and they don't crease, but they aren't the longest lasting products out there and if used alone I found they started to fade after about 6 hours (though still did not crease). On the plus side, this means that they aren't a pig to remove at the end of the day like some others are.
Overall, I'm really impressed by these. They are launching this month priced at £6.99 each.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Keep Calm & Carry-On

I've been on more than my fair share of long haul flights this year and I really think I've got my carry-on essentials down to a T. I can almost pack them with my eyes shut, and I've whittled them down to only the things I really need and use in-flight. During the process of getting everything ready for my flight to LA to finish filming Seventeen's Beauty Smartie Showdown this week, I thought I'd share my long haul must-haves with you all.

First up for the beauty products...

(Clockwise from top left)

A Rollerball Fragrance - (this time I'm bringing along my Nest Midnight Fleur) This isn't really an essential as such, but something that I use on long haul flights every time. Especially if I'm meeting someone at the airport... it's nice to smell a little fresher than you may feel!

Deodorant - For the same reason, an essential. I use Mitchum's Advanced Control stick and it's great.

Face Wipes - My favourite Ole Henriksen pack is nearly finished, but I use these to take off my makeup when we take off.

Concealer, Eyeliner, Mascara and Tinted Moisturiser - These are my bare minimum makeup products. Before we land I'll put a little bit of makeup on, just so I don't scare the immigration officer! The first three tend to be rotated based on what I'm currently using, but I always take my Chantecaille Just Skin as it's really moisturising and light, yet has coverage and brightens my complexion so I don't look quite so tired.

Toothpaste & Toothbrush - Again, self explanitory. I used to take a mini sized toothpaste, but since I've been using Oral B's pro expert, I'm addicted to it and they don't sell mini's so I just take my full size. These little travel toothbrushes from Superdrug are great too and much better than the ones they sometimes give you in-flight.

Face and Eye Cream - I slather myself in both at takeoff and re-apply them every few hours (or when I wake up from sleeping) to help keep the moisture in my skin. Weleda skin food is something I only really use when traveling but it is brilliant. It leaves me looking a little greasy at the time but absorbs really slowly throughout the flight and helps my skin to look and feel normal when I arrive! Eyesilix is my everyday eye cream (and it's amazeballs!)

Contact Lenses & Glasses - I wear contacts every single day, and it's for that reason that I take more than I will need in my hand luggage with me. If your luggage goes walk about, almost everything is replaceable... but contact lenses are not as easy to get your mitts on outside of your home country, so I make sure I have enough to cover me for at least half of my trip. I always travel in my glasses for comfort as the plane air dries out my eyes.

A few other non-beauty essentials that might be less-than-obvious to some, but are totally essential for me...

A Good Neck Pillow - Mine is memory foam and the only one I've found to hold my neck totally straight when sleeping on a plane. It also squishes up into a little bag for storage when you're not using it. I picked it up in LAX airport for around $30. I thought this was extortionate at the time but have found it to be the only one I've tried that has actually been any good.

Headphones - I find the headphones that airlines provide are usually rubbish so I always take my own. These beauties were a gift from Sennheiser at London Fashion Week this season and I'm obsessed with them. The suede effect pads and headband are so comfy and they sound amazing.

iPad - I always take my iPad with me. Not usually for the flight (where I tend to read or watch movies), but for the airport. If I get delayed it means I can get some work done or read my fave blogs!

Clear Plastic Pouch - I picked this up from New Look this summer and it's been so useful. I keep all my travel documents in there along with anything else important and foreign cash that I want to keep out of my wallet. There's a handy inside zip pocket too and it's great for the beach or anywhere where your stuff might get wet!

iPhone Charger & Juice Cube - I use my phone so much, it lasts about 12 hours maximum between charges, so I always carry a charger with me. Another addition is this little Juice Cube. It's a portable charger to save the day if you run out of battery on the go. Indispensable for me. If you're traveling alone you do not want to run out of battery.

My Watch - I always wear a watch on flights. I change the time as soon as I get on the flight so that I know when is best to be awake or asleep and help minimise jet lag. Mine's from Swatch.

A Good Book - Again, obvious, but I'm currently reading the Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J K Rowling!) I'm almost finished and loving it.

Pen & Passport - You always need a pen for landing cards, and you won't get far without your passport!

I hope this helps anyone who's heading off somewhere nice this week... If not, I hope you enjoyed having a nose into my hand luggage! ;)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Bright Young Things

I'm not normally one to step out of my comfort zone and add a little outlandish colour to my everyday makeup... but this week NARS have asked me to do just that to help them promote their competition searching for the UK's brightest young makeup talent!

It's a collaboratuon with Selfridge's annual Bright Young Things campaign, and they've been searching for the most creative young talent in the makeup world for the past four weeks. Every week there is a different colour to use, and a different winner chosen (who is given a NARS goody bag!). At the end of the five weeks, an overall winner winner is chosen and sent for a day of professional makeup training with NARS makeup artist Jane Richardson and given the entire NARS Autumn/Winter makeup collection!

This week is the last week to get involved if you're interested... and the colour is VIOLET. This is the look I created using some of NARS' brightest purple hues. I used an eyeshadow to create an ombre lip using one of my favourite NARS lipglosses (Penny Arcade) then added a hint of violet under my eyes too. I kept the rest of the eye pretty neutral with my go-to NARS duo, Kalahari.

The products I used: Eyeshadow duos in 'Kalahari' & Jolie 'Poupee', Larger than Life eye liner in 'St Marks Place', Larger Than Life lipglossin 'Penny Arcade'

I'm sure it's not as fabulous or creative as what some of you can do, so why not give it a whirl!? If you're interested in a career in makeup, this could be a fabulous kick-start.

All you have to do is upload your look to Instagram and tag it with #NARSBYT and detail which NARS products you've used to create your look. NARS will then select the most creative as the winner!

You can find the full T's & C's on the NARS facebook page. This post is sponsored by NARS cosmetics.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Three Outfits

To celebrate the launch of their new Autumn/Winter collection, Fiat asked me to put together three outfits taking inspiration from their concepts of 'Street Wear', 'Groovy Wear' and 'Shiny Wear'

Street Wear - The first look has been my go-to off duty outfit for the past few weeks...
The Forever 21 oversized jumper is super cosy, but it has little zips up the side to add a bit of detail to it. I've paired it with my red jeans, also from Forever 21. I love F21's jeans, they just seem to fit me really well despite being super cheap. I've finished off the look with my new All Saint booties. These are actually pretty high but I love the combination of suede and leather and the pointed toes. 

Groovy Wear - My second outfit is my favourite party dress right now. It's from a brand called Jaspal and I picked it up in Bangkok on my honeymoon. I've paired it with my patent leather Jaeger belt (cos it's shiny... haha!) and some black Zara heels.

Shiny Wear - This top and necklace combination is my absolute favourite thing right now. The faux leather sleeved top is from Topshop, and the statement necklace is from Zara. I've struggled to find anything good in Zara's accessories line until now but this season they have some great pieces. I've worn these with my favourite origami skirt from The Kooples and my All Saints booties again.

"The FIAT brand stands for discover through passionate self-expression. It encourages people to be in charge of their lives, live confidently and celebrate the smaller of things with infectious excitement. The new FIAT 500 Auntumn/Winter Collection campaign has taken inspiration from the well-known paper cut-out doll concept to strengthen the position of the FIAT 500 as a fashion accessory."

This is a sponsored post. Compensation was provided by Fiat via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herring are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Fiat/Fiat 500.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fragrance Friday: NEST Midnight Fleur

Last week, I found out not only that my favourite candle brand NEST (more on the candles here...) made fragrances, but that one of said fragrances was called 'Midnight Fleur'. Meant to be? I think so!
The lovely PR department at NEST saw me tweeting about this and kindly sent me over a few samples of their scents to try, as they don't currently stock the line anywhere in the UK...

There are 5 scents in the range in total, all inspired by the beautiful artwork of Mrs. Delany and between them offering something for everyone. All the fragrances are distinctly different from one another, but also from the typical fragrances that flood the market these days.

All five of the NEST fragrances have something intriguing and uncommon about them. I wouldn't personally wear all of the scents, but I can appreciate how well they work together as a collection, and how well rounded they are.

Here's a little rundown of each:
Midnight Fleur - Luckily, this is also my favourite scent, and the sweetest of the five. NEST describe it as 'addictive' and it most certainly is. Exotic woods, patchouli and black amber blend perfectly with jasmine and vanilla orchid to give you a sweet scent with dark, creamy base that lingers on the skin. I'm absolutely in love with this... like I said, I think it was meant to be! Although you could definitely wear this day and night, it makes a wonderful, sophisticated evening scent.
Passiflora - Passion flower, water hyacinth and lily of the valley combine to give off a distinctly floral, watery scent that has a very fresh, green feel to it. This is personally too floral for my taste but what I would describe as a modern floral (not too granny-ish!)
Amazon Lily - My least favourite of the five, this combination of citrus and floral notes is too masculine and sharp for my taste, but undeniably interesting. Amazon lilies, lime, tangerine, driftwood and white musk.
Dahlia & Vines - An ultra-feminine concoction, this is the kind of floral I love... peony, rose and daffodil are sweetened by (my favourite!) amber and vanilla, with a hint of sour fruitiness too. 
White Sandalwood - My second favourite, Indian and Australian sandalwood are sweetened to the point of gourmand by almond, white musk and saffron. This is a creamy, warm and very wearable fragrance, the almond in this is what really stands out to me. This is another one of those addictive fragrances. Once on your skin, you can't resist smelling it over and over. Sweet but sophisticated.
The full collection of NEST fragrances is available from now, and will be available in-store in the US from the end of the month. Each fragrance is available in an 8ml rollerball and 50ml EDP, priced at $25 and $65 respectively.

My NEST obsession continues... I'll be hunting down the holiday candles when I'm in LA in October!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

NEW Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipsticks: Review & Swatches

One of my favourite high street brands, Rimmel, have reformulated their Moisture Renew lipsticks and have extended the range to include 10 new shades. I got the chance to try them out ahead of their national launch on October 2nd, so here are my thoughts...
The 10 new shades are a good mixture of neutrals and brights. As you can see they have also changed the packaging. I like the new clear purple casing but have to admit, it reminded me a lot of Maybelline's signature lipstick packaging. It definitely feels a bit cheaper then some of my other Rimmel lipsticks but that doesn't really bother me. It's what's inside that counts...

Left-Right: Coral Britania, Let's Get Naked, Saved by The Bell, To Nude or Not to Nude, Ringa Ringa Roses, In Love With Ginger, Mayfair Red Lady, As You Want Victoria, Glam Plum Fulham, Dark Knight Waterl-oops
 As you can see from the swatches below, the finish of the new formula is really glossy and rich. All of the shades are heavily pigmented, but the brights especially so. It's worth noting that the darker shades do stain a little (I had trouble getting them off my arm!)
Surprisingly, I found that the formula of the brighter colours also seemed to be more moisturising. For some reason, the lighter ones didn't sit on my lips as nicely. Instead of the product feeling rich and luxurious on the lips (as I was hoping!) it's a tiny bit balmy and ever-so-slightly greasy. I was hoping they would be richer, more akin to the MAC cremesheen lipsticks.
 Coral Britania (630)
 Let's Get Naked (705)
 Saved by The Bell (650)
 To Nude or Not to Nude (125)
 Ringa Ringa Roses (170)
 In Love With Ginger (660)
 Mayfair Red Lady (510)
 As You Want Victoria (360)
 Glam Plum Fulham (470)
Dark Knight Waterl-oops! (380)

I do really love the new range of colours though, especially 'As You Want Victoria' (the bright pink) and 'In Love With Ginger' (the orange - this really surprised me as I normally don't go for orange-tones) The one dud colour for me has got to be 'Ringa Ringa Roses', which is not only quite a cheap-looking shade, but also seems to cling to the lips and make them look dry, even though the texture feels moisturising.

The staying power if these is pretty good considering they are a moisturising formulation, although they will definitely need reapplying after eating etc (If you're looking for long-lasting, you're betting going for one of the Apocalips Lip Laquers!)

All in all... these aren't my favourite high street lip products, but they are really nice and for £6.49 each they give a lot of the more expensive options out there a run for their money!

The new Moisture Renew Lipsticks hit shops on October 2nd. 

Will you be trying any? Are any of you fans of the old formula and colours?

PS: Keep your eyes peeled for a review Rimmel's other new lip launch - The Colour Rush Lip Balms - later this week!

Friday, September 13, 2013


I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Benefit. Despite having entirely re-launched their colour collection this year, I have to admit that none of their new product releases have caught my eye since the launch of They’re Real (over two years ago now… time flies!) When I caught a glimpse of their latest launch however, I knew it was a must-try.
It’s the latest in their line of boxed powders and it’s called ‘Rockateur’. I’m personally not a huge fan of the snake print and lace packaging, but look past that into the shimmery golden-rose goodness that is inside…
Simply one of the most stunning coloured blushes, and one of the coolest designs I’ve seen in a while. 

The golden shimmer, while beautiful, is only a spray-over (thank goodness!) so it disappears after one use, leaving you with a beautiful flattering rose shade with only a hint of a shimmer. (The below picture is after one use)
The packaging, as usual with benefit, is cardboard, so not the most hardwearing or slimline but functional with the mirror that they added to the design a few years back. As with all of the benefit boxed powders, Rockateur has great staying power on the cheeks. I found I only needed one top up throughout the day. Like their other powders, it is also quite heavily scented. Something that I personally like but I know this puts some people off.
All in all, I was really impressed with this and can see it becoming a staple blush in my collection along with my beloved NARS Sin and Orgasm.
The only downside is the price. This puppy will set you back a whole £23.50. However, if you’re a lover of high end makeup (and especially beautiful blushes!) this blush is perfect for everyday use and I know I’ll certainly get my money’s worth.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The £15 Face Wipes

£15 face wipes. Not something I thought I would ever be persuaded to purchase, or believe were worth the money. Until Now. Enter the Ole Henriksen 'Truth to Go' wipes.

My friend Becky has raved about these for ages, and when I was given some at an event a few months back, I knew I had to try them. At first I wasn't so sure. They are scented pretty strongly of oranges and I wasn't 100% sold on that initially, but after about a week I totally fell in love with these.

I've always been a fan of a sneaky face wipe here and there. I'm awful at falling asleep on the sofa, walking upstairs like a zombie and falling into bed. At that point, face wipes seem like the perfect compromise between washing my face and falling into bed with my makeup on.

With that being said, these remove makeup like no other wipes I've tried, they don't drag on your skin, they don't dry out due to the double closure packaging, and best of all? They are actually pretty good on the ingredient list too! Compared to other wipes, my skin actually feels nourished after using them. Not greasy, not dry... just right. I know there are probably skin care know-it-alls out there who will still argue that I shouldn't be using these, but I've come to realise that my skin seems to love these, to the point where I notice how much better it looks when I'm using them. I went back to using my previous favourites from Soap & Glory and really disliked them in comparison. I never thought I would say it, but I'm totally sold on £15 face wipes. Oh dear...

If you feel like trying these, to soften the blow they are currently 10% off in the feel unique sale (with free international delivery) Or if you are based in the US, they are about a third cheaper (I've started stocking up on these when I go over there!)