30 October 2012

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors

I'm really not one for lip gloss, the slightest gust of wind and your freshly washed locks become tangled up in the stickiness on the front of your face, I'm much more of a lippy or tinted balm kinda gal. I can count on one hand the amount of glosses I've tried which don't leave a gloopy residue that I actually don't mind wearing and I think I may have just found another to add to that small bunch..

I've had my eye on the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors for a little while - somewhere in between a gloss and a balm, they protect, nourish and repair the lips whilst also giving them a luscious, smooth shine. They come in a squeezy tube with a sponge applicator makeing them incredibly easy to apply, a quick swipe on the lips and you're good to go. Available in 3 natural shades, Pink, Apricot and Nude, they can be worn over the top of lipstick or alone. What is described as a 3D shimmer in them isn't all that noticeable, but in fact quite subtle, not to mention they smell amazing too (think candy floss or crème caramel. Mmm...)

My lips are naturally quite pigmented so the difference between each shade is only slightly noticeable. They're equally as beautiful as each other (although I think Apricot Shimmer tugs at my heart strings slightly more!). Non-sticky, wearable and moisturising, they tick all my boxes, a great lip product which my makeup bag has quite happily welcomed with open arms. The Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors can be found at Clarins counters or slightly cheaper online at feelunique.com for £14.40 each. And yes, you do need all three!

26 October 2012

Nails on the Go

Nails are the one thing that gets left until last for me when I'm getting ready, purely to avoid smudging whilst trying to do everything else, but more often than not I'm running late and end up doing them either in the car, on the plane.. you name it, I've probably attempted it! I'm currently in London for a three day stay and used the two hour train journey as a good excuse to give myself a mini mani. All the bits I brought were travel friendly size, popped in a smaller pouch inside my makeup bag. It also meant I had them in case of any nail emergencies while I'm away (a gal's gotta think of these things!).

I started off with a generous amount of the Liz Earle Hand Repair. An easy way to remove old nail polish on the move is with Deborah Lippmann's The Stripper To Go lavender lacquer remover mitt. The mini mitt fits over one finger and cleans all 10 nails, it has a really fresh scent, prevents dehydration and keeps cuticles soft. Alternatively, Boots do polish remover pads in a small pot. Something which I always have to hand is the Stylfile Emergency File as it attaches to your keyring. It's a baby version of the original S-file and S-buffer combined and is protected by a spiral casing to stop it getting scratched or scratching other things. I also had a mini cuticle pusher to neaten up around my cuticles before applying a polish.

For a base I used a mini OPI Nail Envy, which works wonders at strengthening weak, flaky nails. My colour of choice was Nails Inc. Baker Street, a solid cobalt blue - I adore this shade (plus the London street name is quite appropriate!). To finish off, again in a miniature version, I applied the OPI Rapidry Top Coat which hardens almost instantly allowing me to jump straight off the train and hit the shops..

What are your quick fix nail tips?

22 October 2012

Inside my Makeup Bag: London Edition

Of course the first and utmost important thing to be planned for trip away is what makeup I'll be taking with me (that'd be the beauty junkie in me!). I'm heading off to London for a couple of days and my usual over-packing self has had to tone it down and learn to travel light, although being a minimalist (I think?) when it comes to makeup this wasn't so much of a problem. In all honestly, my makeup bag can't squeeze a lot in anyway but I've crammed in some miniatures and a palette to give me a little variety. As there's a lot to do in a short space of time, I'm going for more of a natural face but I also want the products I've chosen to last well, and be quick and easy enough to use for touching up on the go if needed.

For my base I'm taking YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat, yes it's bulky, heavy and takes up most of the space but it's light in consistency, it lasts and looks second-skin like. For banishing dark circles and hiding blemishes, it's MAC Studio Finish Concealer and MAC MSF Natural will be with me at all times for a quick dusting whilst out and about. Urban Decay Primer Potion is always a makeup bag staple, then for eyes I'm taking the Classic Evening Palette from Bobbi Brown which contains a light beige, great as a base, for blending and highlighting, a medium brown, the perfect crease colour and a dark plum brown with gold shimmer, oh and eyebrows, they're going au natural. In the same palette is Desert Rose blush a dusky pink shade which can be built up for evenings too and for a little shimmer, I'm taking a mini Nars Orgasm Illuminator. Mascara wise, it's Bobbi Brown Intensifying Long-Wear, as hence the name, it lasts well and to keep me looking bright eyed, I'm taking my Custom 3 Colour Light Clarifying Pencil for the waterline. 

Finally, for lips I'm taking Dior Addict lipstick in 'Diorkiss' and I'm throwing in a Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector for good measure! For brushes it's the usual culprits, the Real Techniques Buffing and Contour, mini Dior kabuki and a couple of eye shadow blending brushes too, all of this fitting snug in my MAC feline felt pouch. And there we have it, not too excessive at all in my opinion.. but I'll let you be the judge of that!

20 October 2012

Ojon Rare Blend Oil Total Hair Therapy

Ojon have recently released something quite stunning in the way of a new hair oil. The Rare Blend Oil Total Therapy is made up of 6 natural oils combined with pure Ojon Oil, known as the 500 year old rainforest beauty secret. Not only does it boost moisture, it also claims to nourish to repair, tame frizz, protect against heat damage and leave your locks with a glossy shine, now that's a whole lotta promises in one little bottle. 

It sits in all it's glory in 3 different layers, fading up from a orangey red, to clear, to a vibrant yellow and once shaken to blend and activate, it becomes a beautiful shade of coral. Two drops is all you'll need run through the very ends of damp hair revealing healthy, soft tips, any more than that though and you can look a little 'slick'. The scent reminds me very much of the Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment, although a lot lighter in texture which I prefer as it tends not to weigh the hair down. It does however, have one negative for the fact that it's without a pump, making it extremely difficult to control and you end up pouring out a lot more than you need, although I feel I may have solved this slight problem with the help of a plastic, disposable pipette by dipping it into the oil, taking what you need and anything that's left can be put straight back in. Simples.

For my first taste of Ojon, I'm rather impressed and my strands have been left thirsty for more. A pretty teeny 45ml bottle will cost you a smooth £29 and can be found at any Ojon counter or on their site. Speaking of Ojon counters.. rumour has it that on November 8th Ojon are having a trade-in day. Take along an empty bottle of any, yes any, branded shampoo to your nearest participating store and receive a full size Dry Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner duo worth £41.50. I know my alarm will be set early for that morning so I'm front of the line, it's a deal not to be missed!

Can you recommend any other Ojon products for me to try?

13 October 2012

Top 5: Beauty Bibles

Before my real obsession with anything beauty related began, I would spend hours cutting out parts of magazines which contained makeup tips and DIY beauty treatments. I'd print page after page off the internet and write up notes from books I borrowed, all of which were entered into a scrapbook so that I could work my way through trying each one (it occasionally gets pulled out even now!). Over the past couple of years, I've discovered a handful of books which I now spend a lot more time flicking through for inspiration (and just to generally swoon over if I'm honest!). I highly recommend them if you are thinking about entering the industry or even just have a passion for all things beauty which you'd like to take to the next level yourself, they also make great presents for girly girls too!

Jemma Kidd Make-up Masterclass
International makeup artist Jemma Kidd aims to teach women of all ages how to apply cosmetics like a professional using the best techniques and formulations via her very own beauty bible. She shares her 'Beauty Basics' which cover essential makeup tools, skincare and how to identify colours and products to specifically suit you. The 'Makeup Masterclass' gives you a guide to application, different effects, how to experiment with colour and the 'Get the Look' section provides day and night looks which can be recreated following the simple step-by-step instructions. I could evil eye the flawless bases and structured faces for hours on end, the visuals in this book are incredible! Available to buy here for £15.75.

The Anti-ageing Beauty Bible
Believe it or not, you should start using anti-ageing products from the age of 25 in order to help prevent pre-mature ageing and this book offers everything you need to know. Beauty experts Jo Fairley and Sarah Stacey reveal their award winning products, from teeth whitening to foot treats to hair masks. There are also makeup secrets from pro's such as Trish McEvoy and Laura Mercier, tips on better beauty sleep and the nutritional supplements that benefit your skin. It literally covers it all, there's an answer for any of your beauty woes, a definite must have for £16.99 here.

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual
'For everyone from beginner to pro' this book (above) is one of four from the lady herself, Bobbi Brown. With 25+ years in the industry, Bobbi guides you into skincare basics, tools of the trade, choosing the right shades and colours of makeup and so much more. She also advices aspiring makeup artists how to break into the business, how to create a portfolio and working with others on shoots. Again, the photos are phenomenal, this is probably my most reached for book out of them all. It's available here for £14 

Lauren Conrad Style
This gal is one of my favourite style icons, she always looks amazing and her makeup is just so classic. Even though this book is mainly directed at style, there is a whole section on beauty written by Lauren's favourite makeup artist, Amy Nadine. Amy shares her tips and tricks, how to apply products properly and looks which are suitable for daytime and special occasions. It only covers the topic very briefly, but for beginners it goes over all the basics you need to know. It's available to buy here and rumour has it she's releasing a book entirely based on beauty, so that's one to keep an eye out for!

1001 Little Beauty Miracles by Esme Floyd
Such a great little book if you're into natural remedies, DIY's and beauty on a budget covering any situation you could possibly think of including pregnancy, on holiday, in-flight and more, there really is 1001 tips and tricks! This one was actually exclusive to Marks & Spencer but I've managed to find a new and improved version here for £6.99 (The little illustrations and captions make it extra cute!).

What is your holy 'beauty' bible?

11 October 2012

Diorskin Nude Shimmer Instant Illuminating Powder

I believe I may have suffered a small panic attack when rumours arose over Dior Amber Diamond Skin Shimmer becoming discontinued as it had been on my beauty wishlist for little while, however, those were soon cleared up and apparently the infamous highlighting powder was here to stay. Even the thought of it being taken away made me lust after it even more, so off I trotted to the Dior counter only to be told Rose Diamond was all they had left. A couple of weeks later, I headed back with everything crossed, but again was struck with disappointment when I was told it had in fact been discontinued (even the tester had been removed from the display stand, yet it's still available online?). Doing what a makeup counter saleswoman does best, I was lured into it's replacement product which I, very willingly caved into.

Diorskin Nude Shimmer Instant Illuminating Powder is part of the Diorskin Nude collection released in August. The pigments used in Diorskin supposedly mimic the natural composition of the skin, compliment different skin shades and are photo-sensitive enhancing a natural glow. This powder is described as 'a subtle combination of fine mother-of-pearl in a transparent base' and applied to the cheekbones, brow bone, bridge of the nose and inner tear duct gives a delicate sheen. In contrast to the Amber Diamond standard, blue packaging, it is in cased in a clear acrylic palette with mirror faced front. The one disappointment for me is the sponge applicator, it barely picks up any product and is generally awkward to use, instead, I've found a swipe with the ring finger works best, brush wise - the Real Techniques Contour Brush does a fair job too. I'm not sure whether it truly 'replaces' Amber Diamond, I much preferred the blend of different shades it had, but this is definitely a beaut nonetheless.

It'll set you back a naughty £32, but I guarantee you, once swatched you won't want to walk away without it. And while you're there, have a swoon over what else there is to offer, if Natalie Portman, the flawless face of the collection can't persuade you, I'm not sure what will..

Have you tried anything from this collection?

9 October 2012

September Favourites


September for me was the month of experimenting with a few shiny new things, some of which have stood out a lot more than others, hence securing a firm place in my latest monthly favourites. There was also a rediscovery of an absolute gem, the product in question being the Tresemme Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo, it blows Batiste completely out of the water (won't be letting this one get away again too easily!). I can't deny I've become a bit of a This Works fan girl and I've really been loving their Tired Eye Serum and Perfect Hands hand cream which both came as part of the Perfect Skin set (post here), update to come on their Perfect Cleavage Firming Lotion though, to say I'm curious on this one would be an understatement..

The final few include a lip love trio, one of the only polishes I will ever repurchase and a spa smelling facial oil (there's something about products with pipettes which make them feel extra special, agree?), so for my complete September beauty round up just click on the video above and don't forget to leave me any recommendations for the best places to shop in London, that way I can blame you lot for any purchases I make ;-)

What products have you been loving recently?
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