Monday, 30 September 2013

London Fashion Week and New Look Q&A - SS14*

Since London Fashion Week is finished and all eyes are on Paris, now is a great time to reflect on what we saw in London before it hits the highstreet next season.

New Look wanted to hear my thoughts on the shows, designers and emerging trends for SS14 and I'd love to share them with you too.

1. Do you have a favourite designer?
How could I choose just one? I love Elie Saab for glamorous eveningwear, Philip Armstrong for playful dresses, Burberry Prorsum for classic looks and Erdem just for being Erdem.

2. What was your favourite collection?
One that I felt resonated with my personal style was Osman Yousefzada. Clean lines, crisp silhouettes and classic colours are all things that I look for in my trans-seasonal wardrobe. Influenced by India and the East, he avoided the obvious and instead picked out elements such as embroidery, lace and repetitive pattern to subtly reference the look.

J.JS Lee

3. Do you think the event is important in promoting the fashion industry?
London Fashion Week is a hotbed for fresh young talent. I think London has a reputation as the maverick of fashion. It's a great mix of newer designers such as House of Holland and Giles Deacon  and more established houses such as Burberry and Mulberry which is what keeps it interesting.

Ryan Lo

4. Describe London Fashion Week in 3 words
Fun. Fearless. Exciting.

5. Is there any particular celebrity you base your fashion on or would you call your style individual?
Although I don't go out to follow any one celebrity, I adore the way that Alexa Chung keeps is classy and casual, Scarlett Johansson's flirty and sexy eveningwear and Monica Belluci for just oozing Italian glamour. 
Simone Rocha

6. What are the 5 most inspiring blogs you follow?
I follow so many!! Some of my bookmarks are Tanya Burr, Pixiwoo, Caroline Hirons, VIPXO and Fashion Train.

What did you guys think of LFW? Looking forward to next season?

No 7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Waterlily - Product Review and Swatches

This might just be my first No7 lipstick, and I bought it full price without one of those £5 off coupons as I just couldn't wait.

No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Waterlily available here

As I was looking for an everyday pinky beige nude colour, I picked this up as the shade is really natural.

The Hype
Nourish your lips with No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick, this moisturising formulation keeps your lips smooth and soft.

Fragrance free
SPF 15
Picking your Perfect Lip Colour

Colour effect - Intense colour

Benefits - Moisturising, SPF & Hypo-allergenic

Finish - Satin/Semi-Satin

The Verdict
Whilst I was expecting an everyday creamy colour, what I completely failed to notice in the shop was the shimmering gold undertones. I've looked up a few other swatches and it doesn't seem as obvious elsewhere but on me I think it's really strong and actually looks frosted.

Daylight Swatch

Studio Swatch

A creamy pink, the consistency is thick and creamy (duh!) and yes moisturising although not as much as I'd expected. It does leave lips looking soft and shimmering though with a semi matte finish.

The colour is quite flattering on paler skin tones and blondes but I think on me looks quite outdated. I think it's the glimmer but it just doesn't suit me!

However, I've seen it on paler girls and they just look so much better in it than I do. 

At £9.50 it is quite expensive for a drugstore brand but the packaging and formulation do feel quite high end. There's obviously been a lot of time put into the product and into formulating over 30 different colours; now excuse me whilst I go and look for the right one.

Friday, 27 September 2013

L'Occitane Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner Review

L'Occitane En Provence is well known for it's creams and lotions, but not so much for it's haircare.

Recently released, L'Occitane has formulated a repairing shampoo and condioner especially for dry and damaged hair. The Aromachologie products contain five essential oils (ylang-ylang, sweet orange, lavender, geranium, angelica) and plant-derived amino acids, which help repair the hair fibre. With an anti-breakage complex, the silicone-free formula also helps smooth hair scales and envelops even the most fragile hair in softness. Additionally, Vitamin B5 has been added in order to help smooth, soften and protect hair fibres.

L'occitane Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner available here

And so I put it to the test. As you can see, I picked up some 35ml minis instore and tried out the shampoo and conditioner for myself.

The first thing to strike me was the herbal scent, which verges on masculine; don't worry though, it washes out and doesn't smell of anything when it's dry.

With a medium lather, the shampoo did a good job of detangling my hair. The conditioner has a semi transparent gel consistency and washed out easily.

After using the two together my hair felt really clean. I did expect my hair to feel a bit more hydrated/moisturised as it's a repairing treatment but I didn't think it was especially hydrating on the highlighted ends of my hair. This leads me to think that it's probably better for untreated hair.

However, I was really pleased that this didn't irritate my scalp and actually think that's the best thing about these products, as I know a lot of people have sensitive scalps.

Retailing at £15 for 300ml, these are a little over pharmacy/high street prices but not by enough to make you cry! I think it's great for general use on untreated hair and offers pretty good value.

Have any of you guys tried this yet?

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

ELF Haul - Brushes, Eyelid Primer and Blush

I swear it's physically impossible to order just one thing on ELF; it just seems like a crying shame. So when I needed to get hold of a new blusher, I also managed to get hold of three new brushes and an eyelid primer too.

Here's what I got:

Studio Angled Foundation Brush from here- I've has this brush before and loved it, but one day all the bristles fell out. Luckily, it's not worth crying over when it's so reasonable to buy. The angled edge makes it perfect for reaching the areas around your nose, love it.

Professional Brow Comb from here- I couldn't see that there was much difference between this brush and the studio version so saved a few pennies and opted for this one. This is going to be used purely on separating lashes.

Brush and Studio Angled Blush Brush from here - A thicked, fluffier and softer version of the foundation brush, I'll be using this to contour my cheeks.

ELF Studio Blush - Peachy Keen available here 

I love this colour so much! I know it doesn't look too exciting in the packaging but it works wonders on your face. With a lovely irridescent finish, this is infused with minute golden specks. I've been using this everyday to create a beautiful warm, peachy glow and it just makes me look healthy and outdoorsy. It's so subtle, it's just a colour that doesn't overpower you and blends into your look.

ELF Eyelid Primer - Sheer available here

A lot has been said already about this primer, with many people comparing it to the Urban Decay primer and calling it a dupe. I haven't tried the Urban Decay one so couldn't comment, but here's what I think of the ELF primer. I bought this in Sheer and upon application, found that it's lighter than my skintone making it a sheer for pale skins only. Using the sponge doe foot applicator, you simply swipe a little on the eyelid and lightly rub across the lid. I've been using this on its own just to keep my eyelids shine-free and can just about get away with it! Really though I'd recommend using it with a beige eyeshadow at least. It lasts around 6 hours before starting to crease but it's still great value.

Have you guys tried any of these ELF products?

Monday, 23 September 2013

The Body Shop Wild Rose Hand Cream - L'Occitane Hand Cream Dupe

The Body Shop Wild Rose Hand Cream available here

Walking past The Body Shop recently, I spotted this little tube in the window and headed on in for a closer look. Now, I'm a big fan of the L'Occitane hand creams. The handy little lightweight tube makes them perfect for keeping in your handbag.

So when I saw this very similar looking hand cream, I had to investigate.

I bought mine in the Wild Rose scent as this was my favourite from L'Occitane, but the Hemp and Almond versions are also available, the former of which has something of a cult following. This scent for me was by far the best, and it's a delicate floral rose that stays put for hours after application.

The cream itself is a medium thickness, not a lotion and not a heavy, thick, rich cream like the L'Occitane hand cream. The good thing about this is that in sinks in pretty quickly leaving you free to head off without worrying about what you're doing next (i.e. driving!) Conversely, it doesn't moisturise for as long as the L'Occitane, but this is a personal preference.

The tube itself is also aluminium with the same style of screw cap. This is the 30ml version which retails at £5, whilst the 100ml is £10. The L'Occitane hand cream is £8 for 30ml and £19 for 150ml.

Described as "a daily hand cream with rosehip oil", it also contains an SPF 15 and is suitable for all skin types. The L'Occitane cream does not contain SPF.

Overall, I think the Body Shop hand cream is more suitable for daytime use, with its non greasy, light feel and added SPF. I adore the scent and think it's a fabulous everyday handbag essential. At just £5, I think it's a bargain too! But don't throw out your L'Occitane. It's still the original and great for use before bedtime. What can I say, a girl can never have enough hand cream!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Space NK Beauty Gift - September 18th and 19th

I've been such a good girl lately. I walk straight through the beauty halls, ignore the perfume spritzers and take a route that doesn't go past Boots.

But then I saw this. Space NK had a special event taking place on September 18th and 19th where with every purchase of £150 and over, you receive a huge goodie bag worth £260.

Now, I've been toying with the idea of getting a Clarasonic Mia for months. Every single person I speak to says that it's a game changer. I'm also at that annoying stage with my foundation where I've used all the full sized ones up and have to root around for samples every morning to keep me going until I can find the time to get a colour match.

So, this happened. I bought the Clarasonic Mia and the Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation.

And so I got all of this!

I don't know what I'm more excited about, although I've got a feeling it's the gift that's got my heart racing.

Here's what's included:

Algenist Firming and Lifting Cream
Diptyque Tubereuse Candle (This is the gift that I was most excited about and it's already made my bedroom smell amazing too!)
ReVive Creme Lustre SPF 30

These are the products that I'm most excited about trying out

Chantecaille Luminous Gloss Fig
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer (The perfect partner to my new Laura Mercier foundation!)
Eve Lom Moisturiser

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum
This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (I'm too excited about this one I've wanted it for so long!)
Marula Oil
Rococo Nail Apparel in Boutique Sheer Gloss

REN Neroli and Grapefruit Body Cream
Rodial Bee Venom Moisturiser
Malin +Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturiser
NUXE Nuxellence Jeunesse Youth and Radiance Revealing Fluid
Phyto Express Conditioner

WEI Ginko Leaf Repairing Decolletage Treatment Pad
Sarah Chapman Skinesis Chin and Jaw Lift
NUDE Pro Genius Treatment Oil
Zelens 3t Complex

And then for good measure the fabulous SA threw in these REN samples too (REN Mayblossom T Zone Control Cleansing Gel, REN Vita Mineral Radiant Day Cream) and a sachet of ReVive Glycolic Renewal Peel.

If that's not a beauty gift worth talking about I don't know what is! Now, I need your help! I have no idea which ones to try out first. Any suggestions?

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Little White Lie Tanning Lotion - Make Believe Beauty

In truth, I'm not much of a fake tanner. Besides a few unsuccessful attempts at using 99p mousse when I was younger (which left me looking like a patchy mess) I've generally avoided the tan.

That's not to say that I'm not open to giving it another shot though and so, here we have Little White Lie* tanning lotion in shade lighter.

Little White Lie Tanning Lotion available here

What is it?

A tanning lotion with argan oil

How much does it cost?

£12.50 for 125ml.

What does it claim to do?

"This quick & easy to apply Little White Lie Tanning Lotion allows you to get an instant colour whilst the tan continues to develop underneath.

How to Use

Prepare your skin with Little White Lie Exfoliator then apply tan to well moisturised skin. For best results either use a mitt or gloves and make sure you wash your hands after applying."

The verdict

The key to successful fake tanning is all in the preparation so I'm told. A thorough exfoliation followed by a moisturiser all over is the best way to get a streak and patch free tan.

I skipped the exfoliator and headed straight for the moisturiser after showering, left it to dry and then smoothed this all over my skin with my hands, which I then washed straight away (it does say to use a mitt). I tried not to use it excessively as that's one way to avoid streaks! The scent is rather nice and not as biscuity as self tan can be.

The white lotion goes on clear then develops throughout the day. It sank in quickly, didn't leave any stickiness and after a few hours I saw a little hint of colour come through which is probably due to the fact that I needed a shade darker! However, there were no lines anywhere which means that the colour did go on evenly even though I didn't use a mitt or an exfoliator beforehand. Result!

Overall, I'd say this is a really convenient, foolproof, easy to use product for either fake tan beginners or someone looking for a subtle tan. If used a few times a week I'm prety sure you could maintain a natural looking glow. The shade lighter is definitley best for pale and porcelain skins so anyone darker should definitely go for the shade Darker. A lovely subtle colour rather than an atomic glow so not for tan addicts!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Monday Manicure Nails Inc Bluebell & Models Own Blizzard

Models Own Blizzard available here

Nails Inc Bluebell

It's two for the price of one on today's NOTD!

I wanted to try out Models Own Blizzard* and paired it with this special edition polish from Nails Inc for InStyle called Bluebell.

It's such a beautiful colour it's a shame they didn't add it to the mainline, but looking on the net it looks similar to Models Own Blueberry Muffin and Beth's Blue, Revlon Charming, Barry M Blueberry Ice Cream and Essie Lapis of Luxury, although none of them seem to match the incredible violet undertones of this polish.

I used three coats to get a very full coverage although you could get away with two. The colour is more than just a pastel, baby blue colour. It's really a purple blue, with lilac/lavender/purple tones, dries really quickly, and wears really well with a topcoat.

Models Own Blizzard is a very densely packed, highly reflective silver hexagonal sequins and tiny silver specks. It is very thick but that means that one coat gives you the freedom to move the polish around on your finger to get the right look.

I love this colour combination too, somehow reminds me of winter, snowflakes and Mr Frosty!

Keep your eyes peeled for reviews of the rest of the Models Own trio :)

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Harvey Nichols Fashion Show AW13

Get ready guys because the Harvey Nichols Fashion Show is back! A highlight in every Birmingham fashionista's diary, the A/W13 catwalk event will showcase the very best in designer collections on Tuesday September 10 at the impressive Old Post Office at The Mailbox. New season collections from Christopher Kane, Kenzo, Stella McCartney, Gucci, Markus Lupfer, Christian Louboutin and Philip Armstrong will all be included.

“We certainly set the bar high at our S/S13 show, so this one needs to be even more impressive,” explains Richard Vickery, General Manager of Harvey Nichols Birmingham. “Having recently announced our expansion plans, this event will give our customers a real taste of things to come”.

Tickets last year sold out quickly and around 500 guests are expected to attend including the city's biggest sporting stars, celebrities and VIPs.

Sponsors include Professional Player magazine, Aston Martin, Quilter/Cheviot Investments, Webster’s Interior Designers and Streets Chartered Accountants. Models’ hair will be styled by Paul Jones and SHOW Beauty while makeup will be created by the in store team at SpaceNK.

Tickets cost £15 and are available instore and from the Personal Shopping team.  The evening will kick off with a Champagne reception at 7pm, catwalk at 7.30pm and an exclusive 15% discount in store afterwards (uh oh!). There will be a charity auction, hosted by TV presenter Nick Hancock, with money raised going to the footballers’ charity XPro.

I can't wait to take in the new season collections and enjoy a few canapes, see you there!