Monday, May 19, 2014

'My Pink'

Last week I discovered a new product from Clarins that I became instantly obsessed with. It's their new Colour & Comfort Lip Balm crayon in 'My Pink'. This really took me by surprise, as I'm honestly totally bored of the lip crayon trend. There are great ones out there, but whenever I see any new launches, I tend to roll my eyes... just a little.

And that's what I did when a couple of these landed on my doorstep last week...

The coloured variants were nice, but the shade that really stood out was the one called 'my pink', a shade that adapts to your lips... nothing new in theory, but the formulation, scent and performance of this balm really blew me away.

It's super smooth and really soothing on the lips. It has a sweet, candy scent that I fell in love with instantly, and the shade really does show up on the lips. On me it's quite a deep, glossy, translucent-looking pink. I was instantly obsessed and have been using it almost every day since.

I also love the fact that the packaging isn't identical to all the other lip crayons out there... it's definitely sleeker. I love the gold caps. These balms are available now, priced at £18 each.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

My Customised Ikea Alex!

The Ikea Alex. The answer to every beauty obsessive's storage problems. A standard fixture in almost every beauty blogger's bedroom. BUT... It's undeniably boring-looking. It's not ugly as such, just quite clinical and plain. I decided a couple of weeks ago that I was going to change this...

Say hello to my new and improved Alex, customised with my own fair hands!

I absolutely love the results. If you have an Alex at home and you're thinking of making it a little more 'fancy' looking, here's how I did it:

First of all I chose a paint colour. I used 'Duck Egg' blue from Laura Ashley's line at Homebase in an Eggshell finish. Next I used masking tape to mark out the stripes. I used the width of the tape to determine the size of the stripes, which was really easy, so if you want smaller stripes, I'd recommend using a different width of tape.
I applied a little strip of tape to every drawer to act as a spacer in between lines so I was sure they were all evenly spaced. I also worked from both sides in (as an even number of stripes didn't fit for the width of the unit) So there's a bigger stripe in the middle, ready for the knobs!

Next, I removed the spacer strips of making tape, and painted the sides and stripes with three coats of my Duck Egg Blue paint (waiting for each coat to dry before starting on the next)

After leaving it to completely dry overnight, I removed the masking tape.

Finally, I drilled holes in the centre of each drawer (measuring the centre carefully with a ruler and pencil!) and popped in mis-matching knobs from Zara home.

I chose these ceramic flower ones as they are fun and had a variety of colours, but they were also the most affordable from Zara's home collection (which, on a side note... is amazing!) They were £5.99 for a pack of 2.

What do you think? I'm totally in love with my Alex now, and I'll definitely be customising more of my Ikea furniture soon!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

SpaceNK Freebie Alert!

If you're in need of a stock-up of anything from SpaceNK (or just feeling particularly spendy!) I'd recommend splashing your cash tomorrow or Thursday... SpaceNK are having one of their legendary beauty events and giving away one of the best beauty goody bags I've ever seen!
It's stuffed full of 25 cult beauty favourites from Diptyque, Nude, Bumble & Bumble, Jurlique, Lipstick Queen, Phyto, Laura Mercier, Eve Lom & more...

You need to book a spot at one of their stores to attend, which requires a deposit of £15, but you get that back against any products you purchase, along with a free glass of champagne and of course the goody bag if you spend over £150 (which is far too easy in SpaceNK!)
If you'd like to attend, you need to call your local store to book a space. For a full list of stores, and contact numbers, check the SpaceNK website here.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Deconstructed Rose

I recently picked up my first ever product from lip-specialist brand BITE Beauty. I've heard lots of good things from other people online, so I made a beeline for the display in Sephora when I was in Texas a few weeks ago.

BITE is based around the use of natural ingredients that are literally 'good enough to eat' (which makes sense, considering women are estimated to eat as much as seven pounds of lipstick in their lifetime!) The products are free from parabens, sulphates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMO's and Triclosan, yet still offer high pigmentation and high performance formulas.

I ended up leaving with the 'Deconstructed Rose' Library...
A collection of 12 different shades of their lipgloss in deluxe sample sizes. It retails for $49 (around £30) so for the amount of product you get, I think it's a pretty good deal.

The packaging is stunning, and made from robust cardboard. The shade selection is really lovely - there isn't a 'bad shade' in the line-up. The formula is quite unusual. It's thicker than normal gloss, but very opaque. The darker shades have a hint of 'liquid lipstick' about them, almost like a halfway house between a liquid lipstick (like Rimmel's Apocalips) and a gloss. I really like them.

The staying power is great. They are slightly sticky, but I think it's hard to get a long-lasting gloss that isn't. They have a subtle, sweet rose scent/flavour (hence the name) which I really like too.

 L-R: One - Ten
 Above: Shade 5 on the lips
 Above: Shade 10 on the lips

Overall, I'm really happy I picked this set up and I'm sure I'll get lots of use out of it. I also got swayed by a mini dual-ended lipstick in the 'aisle of doom' (as I like to call it, before the cash registers in Sephora... I always get tempted!) The texture of the lipstick is simply gorgeous, so I'll definitely be checking out more from BITE on my next trip stateside!

If you're not heading to the states anytime soon (and have been living under a beauty rock for the past month!) Sephora now ships to the UK (HURRAH!) so you can also order them online through their website here.

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Get Wiggy With It for the Teenage Cancer Trust!

This weekend I’m supporting The Body Shop’s 'Get Wiggy With It' fundraiser for the Teenage Cancer Trust. For those of you who don't know about the Teenage Cancer Trust, they provide funding and support for teenagers all over the UK suffering from cancer. Whether it's opening specialist units so they can be treated with other teenagers, funding research or providing support to patients and their families, they are improving the quality of life and chance of survival for thousands of teenage cancer patients. You can find out more on their website, or by watching their video below (warning: it's an emotional one!)
The Body Shop have a close partnership with Teenage Cancer Trust, and this weekend their staff all across the country will be sporting crazy wigs in store and there are other fun activities going on like hand massages and makeovers. They'll also be encouraging people to get involved and donate to the charity by offering to match all donations made in store from Friday to Sunday, up to £20,000.

Here are some pics of the staff during last year's fundraiser in stores!
They've challenged me to try on some crazy wigs too! I'm going to be posting a different picture to my Instagram page every day this weekend and The Body Shop are asking YOU to vote for your favourite! They will donate £1 for every vote, so if you have a free minute this weekend then please take the time to cast a vote, it doesn't cost a thing!

All you have to do is:

1. TWEET @TheBodyShopUK with #GetWiggy and the # for your favourite wig look (Either #DaBob #BrunetteMeNot or #LadyIsAVamp) You can see them all together on The Body Shop blog HERE.

2. COMMENT on The Body Shop's Facebook post HERE saying which is your fave.

Everyone who votes will also be entered to win this lovely hamper of goodies!
Even Treacle got involved in the wig action... HEHE!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Lush Kitchen

This weekend I was lucky enough to be invited down to Poole in Dorset for a very special Lush experience. As many of you might know, Lush is one of my favourite bath and body brands, so I was super excited to be invited, but also to hear about the launch of their new 'Lush Kitchen'. 
The Lush Kitchen
Filling Bottles
The Kitchen is designed as a small-scale version of the Lush factory; producing one or two different products daily that are available to buy for a limited time only through their website. Whether they are old, discontinued favourites or sneak peeks of new products in the pipeline, it allows Lush's online customers to order special, small-batch products the very same day they are being made...

I got taken on a little tour of the factory on Friday, although most of the staff had gone home for the bank holiday by the time I arrived (they take their time-off seriously at Lush!) I got to see how they make all of their soaps, bath melts and ballistics, as well as see the online order team hard at work packing orders to send off all over Europe. 
Some of the soap-making equipment
Freshly Poured Miranda
Soap Molds
The brand new 'Magnificent' soap ready to send out.
The online order stock room
Factory Kitchen Cupboards!
Mini Comforters ready to be packaged up and sent out to stores

The result of a staff training day - Hedgehogs made of Gold 'Fun'!
The original Lush shop: 29 High Street,  Poole
Dry Ice fragrance demo in the Poole Store
The best part however… this morning, I actually got the chance to try my hand at making my very own Shower Gel during the first ever live Google hangout in the Lush Kitchen. I was joined by two of my favourite ladies in the beauty world, Natalie and Holly from the beauty team at Company Magazine. Together we re-created an old shower gel from the early 2000's called 'Back To Breakfast'. 
The Lush Kitchen fridge... Stocked up with citrus fruits for making 'Back for Breakfast'
I also got the chance to chat to the head of the Digital team at Lush, son of the founders and product inventor, Jack Constantine, and learn a bit more about their new 'self-preserving' products. Although a large number of Lush products are already preservative-free, according to Jack, eliminating preservatives entirely is high on Lush's priority list and introducing preservative-free versions of their best selling body creams is a big step towards this goal. 
Ready for labelling!

Trying not to spill the shower gel!
You can watch the full Google Hangout from the Lush Kitchen here:
I also got to take a few extra bottles of my 'Back For Breakfast' away with me to give away to 4 readers this week. If you'd like to win your own bottle, made with my own fair hands(!) all you have to do is: 
  1. Write a comment on this post telling me what your favourite lush product is.
  2. Don't forget to leave your email address or twitter username as well, so I can get in touch if you win!
Finally, a massive thanks to all of the lovely people at Lush! It was such a lovely experience getting to know the people behind the products and learn a bit more about the company. It's certainly made me love the brand just a little bit more than before!

*The giveaway is open internationally. It closes at midnight GMT on Saturday 10th May 2014. I will email or tweet each winner to let them know they have won. You can enter as many times as you like before the closing date*