Thursday, February 27, 2014

Catching Up

Two of my best friends from school came to visit me today and we had spent such a lovely, girly day together. Over the past couple of years we've all been so busy with the different directions our lives have taken us in, we don't manage to spend as much time together as we would like, which makes me really sad. One of the faces you might recognise from my vlogs (Lissie!) but Jane and I really don't see each other much at all these days, so today was extra special and really reminded me that old friends truly are the best!

Here are a few pics of what we got up to...
The girls arrived at 11am. We agreed not to eat breakfast, and that Lissie was going to bring brunch with her instead. She cooked blueberry pancakes and bacon with fresh fruit and lots of maple syrup - it was delicious, and definitely a treat!

We then took the opportunity to take the dogs for a walk while the sun was shining in between rain showers and sat by the side of a lake and chatted for ages about old times, new adventures and all the best things in life.

We then headed over to a nearby stately home for champagne afternoon tea which was so lovely and relaxing.

I think today was my favourite day of 2014 so far. Spending time with my old friends is one of my most favourite things to do!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Rita Ora For Rimmel

I got the chance to have a sneak peek at Rita Ora's upcoming collection for Rimmel this week, and it was really rather impressive.
The collection consists of 12 nail polishes and 5 colour rush balms... 
The polishes vary from pearly white to an almost-black red. They are the '60 seconds' ones, which I love. They've got a wide, flat brush for easy application and good opacity (some of these are definitely 'one coat wonders', others need two) My picks of the lineup are Do Not Disturb (a vibrant teal), Breakfast in Bed (a frosty mint) and Let's Get Nude (a very flattering, medium-toned nude).
As for the colour rush balms, I reviewed these when they first came out back in October (see here) and love them. They are beautifully pigmented, moisturising, comfortable to wear, and vanilla scented. 

They are adding 5 new shades to the range with Rita's line, and while they are all gorgeous, are all pretty similar. The shocking pink 'Boom Chick A Boom' (centre) is my favourite.
Rita Ora's collection for Rimmel will be available nationwide from 19th March 2014. The nail polishes are priced at £3.69 each and the lip balms £6.99.

Does anything catch your eye?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

LFW Hair Inspiration: Retro Waves at SIBLING A/W14

This week I was lucky enough to be asked along to the hair test for SIBLING's A/W 2014 show by the hair sponsor, L'Oreal Paris. The stylist for the test was Syd Hayes (who, on a side note, was totally lovely and down to earth!) and he created a gorgeous, slightly boho, messy retro look inspired by Fleetwood Mac legend Stevie Nicks.

We filmed a little montage of the test on the day, and I also recorded a quick tutorial for my wearable take on the look afterwards too! If you fancy taking a look, here's the video:
Product-wise, Syd's kit list (in order of appearance!) consisted of...

- L'Oreal Elnett Heat Protect Spray for Waves - £5.99 (Currently £3.99 at Boots!)
- L'Oreal Studio Line TXT Texturising Spray - £3.79
- L'Oreal Elnett 'Volume Excess' Hair Spray - £6.60
- Garnier Dry Shampoo (which isn't out yet!)
- A medium-sized curling tong (his was apparently a discontinued one from a professional french brand... snazzy!) This was the one I used
- Hair dryer (any one will do!)
The Inspiration:
The Finished Look:
My version (a little windswept in the glorious english weather!)
What do you guys think? Is this a look you'd wear? I personally love the hat and am going to be wearing me (slightly smaller version, from Topshop!) a lot.

This post is sponsored by L'Oreal Paris. All opinions are my own.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Rogue by Rihanna - Calling All RiRi Fans!

Today I've got a special post for all you Rihanna fans out there. To celebrate the nationwide launch of her fourth fragrance, Rogue (previously only available in Selfridges) RiRi's lovely team have offered my readers the chance to win a special Rihanna hamper full of fragrance, music, a signed photograph and a special Rihanna clutch bag that is not available to buy in the shops.

Rihanna wanted to switch things up a bit with the launch of Rogue... 
"People are always changing and evolving and with Rogue I wanted to switch it up to reflect who I am today. It's a personal fragrance that's more self-aware, it's Rogue, it's me.

Now, this might sound a little airy-fairy, but if you compare this fragrance to her previous three, it really makes sense. I found 'Rebelle' to be slightly too strong, 'Nude' to be slightly too sweet, and 'Reb'l Fleur' (despite loving the name... obviously!) slightly too floral for my taste. All three were nice, but not as unique as I was expecting from Rihanna. Rogue however, is much more interesting. It has zesty notes of lemon blossom and cyclamen when you first spray it, but it dries down to a warmer, more sensual base incorporating sandalwood and amber (one of my personal favourite notes). 
It's a deeper, more 'evening' scent, but still just sweet enough. The bottle is also really lovely, and also my personal favourite from Rihanna's line. It's a thick glass, rectangular bottle with an imitation-stingray cap. The edgy-looking spikes at the base make a nice contrast to the feminine, amber liquid itself, and the rose gold band at the top. I think it looks really expensive and luxurious. It's also an eau de parfum, so the staying power is really good (like with all of RiRi's fragrances in my experience). I definitely think it would make a nice little gift for Valentine's Day too (hint, hint to any gents reading this, it's not too late!)

Rogue by Rihanna is available nationwide now in 30ml, 75ml and 125ml, priced at £23, £33 and £43 respectively. 

As I mentioned at the start, I have a hamper choc-full of Rihanna goodies to give away to one lucky reader....

If you want to be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is TWEET me @FleurDeForce AND @PerfumesbyRiRi with picture of you sporting your favourite Rihanna look (it can be one you've created, inspired by her, or your favourite look that she's worn over the years) using the hashtag #ROGUEGiveaway by 20th February. I will then chose a winner and announce it on Twitter shortly after the closing date.
Terms and Conditions: This giveaway is open internationally. You can enter as many times as you like. It closes at midnight GMT on 20th February and the prize will be posted out to you shortly after. This post is sponsored by SAS & Company on behalf of Rihanna fragrances. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

As I promised you all last week, this post is going to be dedicated to the new, and thoroughly beautiful, Smashbox Full Exposure eyeshadow palette.

Ever since Urban Decay upped the bar with the launch of their original Naked palette, it's been a domino effect for any smart brands out there who realise that these little beauties really do sell like hot cakes. Every beauty-lover is always on the hunt for the 'perfect' nude palette, and while (for me at least) all three Naked palettes have come close, none of them have quite hit the nail on the head due to one gaping hole in the line up...

not enough matte shades.

I was therefore internally jumping for joy when I caught wind of the full exposure palette... half matte, half beautifully eye-catching shimmers, ranging from warm to cool, it seems to have it all! Fourteen shades on total (more than Naked's 12). What's more? It comes with a double-ended brush. A proper brush, not a cheap, useless one or a sponge applicator. It also comes with a mini version of Smashbox's Full Exposure mascara (which I already own and really like).

So it all seems good on paper. How does it fare in the flesh?

Well, it's fair to say that it really is a thing of beauty. From the packaging to the shades, I can't really fault it. The swatches showed up beautifully too, but when applied on the eyes, something about a couple of the shimmery shades just doesn't translate as well as I would like it too (the khaki-toned one being the worst). I have to say that the formula of the shimmers isn't quite as good as the urban decay alternatives.

The mattes on the other hand are beautiful and buttery soft. They are really smooth and perfectly blend-able. The palette on the whole is really nice, and I'm sure I'll get a lot of use out of it, but it hasn't totally satiated my hunger for 'the perfect palette'. If you're a fellow neutral-eye lover... it's definitely worth taking a peek at this though, it's available online and in larger Boots' stores now, priced at £36.

The hunt continues...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas!

Valentine's day is just around the corner, so if you're looking for what to buy the lady in your life, to give a bit of a hint to your boyfriend, or perhaps just to buy yourself a little treat if you're flying solo, then here are a couple of things I think would make lovely little gifts this V Day.

First up is this super sophisticated, limited edition Derek Lam clutch from Estee Lauder. It's made from beautiful navy satin and comes packed with 5 mini products including a mascara, eyeshadow, eyeliner, lipstick and lipgloss. It's £65 and available on counters and online here.

I'm also loving Illamasqua's limited edition all-red 'I'm The One' set which includes a nail polish, lip liner, lipstick and gloss. A perfect choice for Valentine's day, especially if you like a bold lip! It's only available online, but you save £9.50 by buying them as a set, priced at £50.

Another gorgeous gift that has been popping up on a few blogs here and there is the Smashbox Full Exposure palette. Smashbox's answer to the Naked Palette (but with more mattes, 'proper' brushes and a mini mascara!) It's the perfect choice for any makeup junkies out there as you can create so many different looks, from everyday neutrals to dramatic smokey eyes. It's available now, for £36 (watch this space for a full review on here soon!)

If you or your valentine isn't looking for a beauty fix, why not consider treating her to a lovely piece of jewellery? These mini key rings are cute on their own or perfect for stacking and won't break the bank at £15 each. They are also available in solid silver, gold plated or rose gold plated, so look great together if you like the 'mixed metal' look!

If you're feeling a little more flush, I'm also loving this stunning flower ring from Lei Van Kash. I've seen it a few places online (most notably on Olivia Palermo), but my friend Amelia was wearing it the other night when we went out and it's so pretty and eye catching in person. It's quite pricey at £270 but a real investment piece that is guaranteed to get lots of compliments! Of course my favourite is the rose gold... It's also a much better alternative to real roses in my opinion, as it will last forever!
I've also had my eyes set on this gorgeous watch from Michael Kors recently. A move away from their super-popular 'boyfriend-style' designs. This double wrap, slim-strapped design is really chic and available in a few different colour ways (although the rose gold face & black strap is my personal favourite!) It's £145, but currently on sale for £125 here.
You can never go wrong with Jo Malone on Valentine's Day (in my opinion, at least!) and what could be more fitting than their gorgeous Red Roses range? Whatever product you choose, it's certainly a romantic gesture (and again, better than flowers as it lasts much longer!) If you are partial to a bouquet, then they are also offering a special box of beautiful roses, £120 with a 100ml fragrance of your choice nestled in the centre! It's only available at Harrods between 8th-14th February, but you can call them to pre-order on 0870 950 5096. Jo Malone are also offering a special Valentine's Day bottle engraving service between 10th-14th February. It's only at select boutiques though, so check out their website to find out more.

If you're looking for something more tech-y, I'm also a big fan of Casetagram. They have an amazing range of ready-made designs, but if you fancy adding a more personal touch, why not design a custom phone case using your love's Instagram pictures? I've got one of these cases myself and am really impressed by the quality and durability (I drop my phone... a lot!) They are based in the US and $39 each, but do great international delivery! I especially love the cute matching heart designs (perhaps a better choice for your BFF, I'm not sure too many guys would like the heart!)
I'm also loving these Tieks in cardinal red. Although they are really pricey at $175 (again, great UK shipping), Tieks are super popular for good reason. They are handmade with beautiful Italian leather and last much longer than the cheap versions. They are also lovely and comfortable and stylish to wear (even if you aren't using them for their fold-up, stow-away potential!) And of course, red is perfect for Valentine's Day!
Another idea if you fancy really treating your other half (or yourself!) is a beautiful leather jacket from leather specialists Bodaskins. I just got the gorgeous Navy biker design and I can honestly say it's simply stunning. I'm a bit of a leather jacket obsessive (I own too many, I'll happily admit it!) But the quality of the leather and craftsmanship of these is really extra special. They start at £299 and you can take a look at the full line here. 
I hope this have given you (or your other half!) a few ideas. What will you be doing this Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Girl's Night Out-fits!

I had a lovely girly evening with some of my fellow YouTube friends this week and we filmed a little video before we headed out. We had a great time and I was really quite happy with how the video turned out, so I thought I'd share it with you all on here...

Hope you like it!

Fleur x

YSL Gloss Volupté

There really is something magical about YSL lip products. Way before I started making YouTube videos in 2009, YSL lipsticks were my favourite. The signature, fruity scent is so addictive, and the packaging of their Rouge Volupte lipsticks? It really couldn't get much better. The one issue I had with the Rouge Volupte's (dare I say it!) is that I found them ever-so-slightly drying on the lips... An issue I was willing to overlook considering their all-round fabulousness on other fronts. But now, YSL have extended their beautiful Volupte line to include glosses...
The Gloss Volupte packaging isn't quite as stunning as the lipsticks, but it sure is beautiful. What's more, the texture of these is amazing. They are light, smooth, creamy and totally non-sticky. 
There are 24 colours in the range, divided into three finishes: Golden, Iridescent and Pure. Although the 'golden' ones look tempting, I would have to advise steering clear of these 10 shades, as the flecks of shimmer are just too big. While they look pretty, they feel so uncomfortable on the lips I couldn't keep mine on for over 10 minutes as it was irritating me so much. The more finely milled glitter in the 'iridescent' finishes however, are totally smooth on the lips, and the 'pure' are simply divine. Considering they are totally non-sticky, the staying power is great too!

The shades shown here are 201 (top, 'pure', clear), 3 (second down, 'golden', pink with heavy gold sparkle), 102 (Third down, 'iridescent', peachy pink with silver shimmer) and 205 (bottom, 'pure', orange-toned red). They do come up quite sheer on the lips, making them ideal for daytime wear, or layering over lipsticks for a more dramatic look. I've got my eyes on a couple of the deeper 'pure' shades including a pretty fuchsia and a more natural 'your lips but better' pink. I'm also quite intrigued
by the black colour... an interesting addition to the lineup!

The wand is really unusual. Designed to be ergonomic and 'feel like a kiss'. I'm not so sure on the kiss claim, but they are really nice to apply and the little well in the centre holds just the right amount of product.

I can see these being a runaway success for YSL. Although glosses are only a fraction as glamorous as lipsticks, these are certainly bringing some glamour back to glosses. If you're a gloss girl at heart, these are a must try!

These are available now at YSL counters and online here (with free delivery). They are priced at an eye-watering £21 each, but if you're planning on treating yourselves... take a look - You won't be disappointed!