Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Wednesday Wisdom: Amelia Earhart

"The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one's appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship"


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Tuesday Tip: When To Throw Away Your Beauty Products

There are some beauty products that never seem to run out. However, although a product may seem to last forever, it may not be good forever. In fact, expired cosmetics do more harm them good.

Every beauty product has an expiry date, whether it is 2 years, 1 year or just 4 months! Just like groceries, cosmetics can become riddled with bacteria, making them unusable. 

Sadly cosmetics don't come with a use by date, instead they just have a symbol indicating how long they should be kept for. So to make sure your makeup never goes moldy, apply a small label to the bottom of your product and date it within a couple of days of purchase. This way, you'll always know how long you've been using a product and when its time to toss it!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Behind The Brand: NARS

Date of Birth: 1994

Founding Father: François Nars

History: Much like Bobbi Brown, François Nars began his career as a makeup artist. Like Bobbi, he became so dissatisfied with the cosmetics available at the time that he created his own line. The line launched in Barneys New York in 1994 and consisted of just 12 lipsticks. The lipstick collection was a huge success, leading to the creation of the full brand as we know it, NARS.

Shiseido Cosmetics acquired NARS in 2000. However François Nars remains the brand's artistic director, in-house photographer and copywriter.

USP: NARS is a fashion-forward cosmetics brand known for adventurous color, rich textures, cheeky product names and artistry!

Giving Back: As part of the Shiseido group, NARS invest heavily in supporting important environmental issues and women's charities across the world. You can find out more here.

Offerings: NARS stock everything to meet your beauty needs - from highly pigmented eye shadows and illuminators, to skincare and artist tools.

Hero Products: Orgasm Blush, Turkish Delight Lip Gloss and Laguna Bronzing Powder

Availability: NARS is available across the globe. If you reside in the US of A, you can find NARS at Sephora, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. If you are UK based, you can get your NARS fix at Selfridges, House of Fraser and Space NK.


Price Points

Foundations: Up to £31.50/$45.00

Single Eye Shadows: Up to £18.00/$24.00

Blushers: Up to £21.50/$29.00

Lipsticks: Up to £18.50/$26.00


Sunday, 28 July 2013

Ask TBI: Do I Apply Foundation Or Concealer First?

Question: I have the worst dark circles so concealer is a must! However I also use foundation religiously. So which do I apply first? - Jenny, Detroit.

Answer: When it comes to the natural order of things, foundation should always come first. However when concealing dark eyes, although foundation should still be applied first, it should not be applied where you intend to place concealer. This may sound a little confusing but too much build-up of product around the eyes will just cause creasing. So when applying foundation, I recommend avoiding the eye area altogether. Once the foundation is applied, you can then apply a colour corrector, followed by concealer, in and around the eye area.

Bobbi Brown has a great tutorial on how to conceal and correct. Take a look below...


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Review: Priori Cellular Recovery Serum with DNA Enzyme Complex

The Promise: "Using a specific engineered liposome delivery system, Cellular Recovery Serum delivers powerful DNA repair enzymes and Vitamins C and E to the skin. This combination promotes self-healing to help improve the appearance of ageing skin"

The Price: £92.00 / $90.00 50ml

The Stockists: and

The Hero Ingredients: DNA Enzyme Complex™ and Oxyzomes

I have fallen in love with this serum. What makes it so amazing is that it mimics the skin’s own repair enzymes to normalise and repair skin cells. It is the only professional product to contain exclusive DNA Enzyme Complex™ which utilises three powerful enzymes from natural sources such as Algae and Mustard Seed combined with protective antioxidants for visible, clinically proven results. It is also 100% natural, paraben free, non-comedogenic and dermatologically tested.

The Application: As this serum is water-based, it is incredibly easy to apply and absorbs into the skin very quickly. I rub two pumps worth of product between my hands and then massage it into my face and neck. A little really does go a long way! This serum does not contain any fragrances, so it just smells like any other pharmaceutical beauty product (think La Roche-Posay).

The Results: Within seconds of applying this serum, skin feels extremely hydrated and refreshed. Fine lines appear reduced and skin looks lovely and plumped. After a week of using this serum, the condition of my skin had improved and I had gained a much-loved glow to my complexion.

The Pro: The Priori Cellular Recovery Serum really is great for the skin. It reduces the appearance of fine lines and gives skin a lovely natural glow.

The Con:
It would be wrong to not highlight the price. This serum is very expensive, however you do get 50ml worth of product. I am also not a huge fan of the cheap-looking packaging. I would have expected something a bit more premium as the serum falls on the pricey side.

PR sample

Friday, 26 July 2013

News: Concoction Haircare Launches

Sometimes a product or service comes along that is so genius, yet so simple, that I kick myself for not thinking of it! Concoction is just that...

Concoction is a salon-quality haircare range that enables you to create your very own shampoo blend, designed specifically to meet your haircare needs. This is hair mixology and it couldn't be simpler. You just pick a scented 'Base Blend' shampoo and two concentrated 'SuperSerum Shots' of your choice. There are 8 different shots in total, all with natural botanicals, scientific actives and vitamins that either add moisture, revive colour or boost volume.

Once you've picked your perfect blend, you add the two SuperSerum Shots to the Base Blend and shake shake shake! Voilà, your perfect shampyou!


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Wednesday Wisdom: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

“Even though people may be well known, they hold in their hearts the emotions of a simple person for the moments that are the most important of those we know on earth: birth, marriage and death”


Thursday, 18 July 2013

Ask TBI: Save My Stained Nails!

Question: I paint my toenails all of the time. In fact, you will never see naked toenails on my feet! However I think my constant coating is staining my nails. How can I stop the staining? - Robyn, Bristol.

Answer: Some nail polishes contain certain coloured pigments that can leave a nasty yellow stain on toenails and fingernails. Darker toned polishes are usually the main culprits!

To remove the yellow stain, soak a cotton pad with lemon juice and rub it onto the nails. This will not only help to remove the stain, it will also brighten the nails.

The best way to prevent nail staining in the future is to use a base coat before applying nail polish. By doing this the base coat will act as a protective barrier between the nail and the polish. My top three base costs are Essie's First Base 15ml (£8.51 / $8.00 ULTA), OPI's Natural Base 15ml (£11.50, / $8.00 and Revlon's Colorstay Nail Enamel Base Coat 11ml (£7.99 Boots / $7.99 ULTA).

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Wednesday Wisdom: Angelina Jolie

“Love one person, take care of them until you die. You know, raise kids. Have a good life. Be a good friend. And try to be completely who you are. And figure out what you personally love. And like go after it with everything you've got no matter how much it takes


Monday, 15 July 2013

Behind The Brand: Aesop

Date of Birth: 1987

Foundering Father: Dennis Paphitis

History: Dennis Paphitis started out as a hairdresser, running his own salon in Melbourne, Australia. Whilst managing the salon, Paphitis began a quest to create a range of superlative beauty products. The quest started with the development of a small line of products to treat hair follicles. The haircare products were soon followed by handcare, then bodycare and finally skincare. Since then, Aesop has become one of Australia's biggest beauty exports with over 60 stores worldwide.

Aesop's newest store in London's Covent Garden
USP: Aesop use both plant-based and laboratory-made ingredients of the highest quality and proven efficacy to create every product. However great formulations are not the brand's only strength, the 'less is more' ethos is also a big selling point. With Aesop you will not find flashy advertising, endless exaggerated claims, celebrity endorsements or flashy packaging. Instead you get simple, yet effective products that have been formulated with the very best ingredients.

Offerings: Aesop offer everything to meet your skin, hair and body needs - from cleansers and deodorants to shampoos and mouthwash!

Hero Products: B Triple C Balancing Gel, Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque and Fabulous Face Cleanser

Availability: Aesop is available from a huge number of standalone stores and department stores worldwide. If you reside in the US of A, you can find Aesop at Barneys and If you are based in the UK, you can get your Aesop fix at Liberty, and Selfridges. You can also find your nearest standalone store on the Aesop website. 


Price Points

Face Creams: Up to £81.00/$120.00

Cleansers: Up to £39.00/$55.00

Treatments: Up to £77.00/$115.00

Lip Treatments: Up to £21.00/$31.00

Bodycare: Up to £67.00/$95.00

Haircare: Up to £33.00/$47.00


Friday, 12 July 2013

Review: Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Gentle Daily Micro Polish Wash

The Promise: "A daily face wash that works to gently cleanse, resurface, and polish the skin to reveal a glowing and smoother complexion"

The Price: £9.99 125ml

The Stockists: Boots

The Hero Ingredients: Ferulic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate and Sweet Orange Peel Oil

The Application: When it comes to applying this gentle exfoliator, I rub it into the finger tips for a couple of seconds and then begin massaging it into the face and neck, including the area around the ears. I then leave it on the skin for at least a minute before removing it with lukewarm water.

As this gentle exfoliator contains fine micro-beads, it doesn't feel at all harsh on the skin. In fact it just feels gentle and surprisingly refreshing! It has a clear, runny consistency that, when coupled with the design of the packaging - in particular the lid,  gives you less control over exactly how much product comes out.

The smell is gorgeous. You get a refreshing waft of sweet orange the second the lid is opened!

The Results: Once this gentle exfoliator is removed, skin is left feeling clean, smooth and refreshed.

After a week of using the Gentle Daily Micro Polish Wash I did notice that the condition of my skin had improved slightly. Overall I didn't see a dramatic difference but, then again, the product doesn't claim to do anything mind-blowing...after all it is just a daily polish. However it cleans skin well, is lovely to use and costs under a tenner. So you can't really go wrong!

The Pro: It is an enjoyable product to use as it smells amazing and gives skin a refreshing morning boost.

The Con: The Packaging. The design of the packaging, coupled with the product's runny consistency, can cause quite a lot of mess in and around the lid.

Have you tried any Super Facialist products? If so, what would you recommend?

PR sample

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Wednesday Wisdom: Joan Rivers

“Anger is a symptom, a way of cloaking and expressing feelings too awful to experience directly - hurt, bitterness, grief, and, most of all, fear”


Monday, 8 July 2013

Review: Clayspray Mattifying Red Clay Masque

So I may have found the world's best clay mask...

The Promise: "Mineral rich clay, with restorative properties regulates oil secretion in the skin, combats blemishes, and purifies. Deep cleansing, absorbs and eliminates impurities and soothes leaving skin with a fresh matt look"

The Price: £44.50 125ml

The Stockists:

The Hero Ingredients: Red clay, cardamom seed oil and citric acid

Before discussing the application, there are two amazing things about this product that I have  to mention. The first is that 'aqua' is not at the top of the ingredients list!! Now this may seem like a strange thing to say, however even the best and most expensive skincare products usually contain aqua as the main ingredient. Water is an inactive ingredient, so nothing pleases me more than seeing it take second place to the mask's most beneficial ingredient, red clay.

The second amazing thing about this product is the packaging. The mask is stored in an air-tight container, meaning that the mask only comes into contact with air the minute it is pumped out. This has a huge benefit over standard masks that come in a jar or tube, as they can become oxidized due to frequent air contact. When a product begins to oxidize, some of its beneficial effects are lost.

The Application: The Clayspray Mattifying Red Clay Masque spreads onto the skin easily and absorbs into the skin incredibly quickly. It usually dries within 5 minutes, going from a rich dark brown (see below) to a light chocolate milk colour. When the mask has completely dried, the skin is left tight and expressionless - you really won't be able to move your face. However removing the mask is surprisingly easy. I use a muslin cloth soaked in warm water to remove the mask and it comes away in just a few clean sweeps.

Fragrance wise, the mask has that obvious clay scent you'd expect to smell, however I don't find it as off-putting as other clay masks on the market.

The Results: Once removed, the skin feels incredibility clean and the finish is most definitely matte. I don't suffer from very oily or acne prone skin, however I still benefit from using this mask once a week. It enhances my complexion and really improves the texture of my skin, leaving it ultra smooth.

I'm sure this mask would provide even better results if I did have oily or acne prone skin. It has been found to reduce the skin's sebum levels by approximately 35.4% and the number of blemishes by approximately 23%!

The Pro: It boosts the skin's complexion and creates the perfect skin texture, making the application of other skincare products even easier.

The Con: It is on the expensive side, however you do get double the amount of product compared to other masks.

Have you tried any other products from Clayspray?

PR sample

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Review: The Body Shop Absinthe Purifying Hand Cream

The Promise: "A pure sensation for hands. This ingenious everyday cream with absinthe extract moisturises hands and leaves them feeling soft and super-fresh"

The Price: £10.00 / $20.00 100ml

The Hero Ingredients: Absinthe extract and shea butter 

The Application: Like most Body Shop hand creams, the Absinthe Purifying Hand Cream comes in a 100ml tube and lasts forever. The texture is very similar to that of a lotion and only a tiny amount of product is needed to cover the hands. It absorbs into the skin really quickly, helping to avoid the standard (what feels like) 5 minute drying time!

The Absinthe Purifying Hand Cream has a lovely fresh scent that smells almost botanical with a hint of mint and spice. However once applied the fragrance is quite subtle, which is great for those put off by strong smelling skincare!

The Results: Hands feel really soft and nourished after application and quite a few hours can go by without feeling the need to re-apply. Furthermore, hands feel fresh the minute this purifying hand cream is applied – almost as if they've had a mini clean!

The Pro: The super quick absorption rate is a huge benefit when you’re on the go and need a quick (fast drying) fix.

The Con: If the tube is accidentally squeezed or crushed, the cream can quickly spill out the minute it is opened. However this rarely happens and, in the grand scheme of things, it isn't the worst thing in the world!

What are your Body Shop must-haves? Have you tried any other products in the Absinthe range?

PR sample

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Wednesday Wisdom: Anne Frank

“I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains”


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The Tuesday Tip: Best Eyeshadow Colours For Blue Eyes

Blue-eyed gals, this tip is just  for you.

If you want to enhance your naturally pretty peepers, play around with orange colours as they are in the opposite colour family to blue. You can also make your eyes look striking by using other earthy colours such as bronze, gold, chocolate and taupe.

I recommend the NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Scorching Sun (£24.00 / $34.00 It combines a soft apricot hue with a fiery orange sheen.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Faithful Four: Lip Balms

EOS Lip Balm

Promise: “Keep your lips feeling super-soft and sensationally smooth with all-natural and organic eos lip balms”
Price: £6.99/$3.29 7ml 

This Kim Kardashian favorite nourishes the lips, tastes great and lasts for months. It is encased in a sphere shaped container, helping to keep it as fresh as possible and make application even easier. As all eos lip balms are made using 100% natural ingredients, they contain no petrolatum and are paraben-free. For those living in the USA, this vitamin enriched balm is very budget friendly. However it can be quite expensive and tricky to get hold of for us Brits.

EVE LOM Kiss Mix
Promise: “Beautifully chic and filled with a luxurious blend of active extracts, this moisturising, protective and cooling lip treatment has it all”
Price: £16.00/$22.00 7ml
Purchase: Space NKSpace NK (US)

This lip balm is quite different from the others on the market because it has a gluey like texture. It is ultra hydrating and gives lips a beautiful glossy finish. The EVE LOM Kiss Mix contains menthol, to cool and freshen the lips and beeswax, to seal in moisture for longer hydration. Although on the pricey side, this lip balm makes the perfect lip treatment as it repairs and soothes damaged lips.

Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm
Promise: “This natural lip balm is loaded with coconut and sunflower oils, rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids, to nourish, condition and soften lips”
Price: £3.00 / $3.00 4.25g
Purchase: /

The Burt's Bees Beeswax lip balm is a cult classic. It was actually this iconic lip balm that launched the brand into the beauty market (they started off making candles!). This is my favourite lip balm on the list as it keeps lips nourished, it lasts for ages and it is really  affordable. In addition to beeswax, coconut oil and sweet almond oil, Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm also contains peppermint oil which plumps lips a little and gives the most refreshing tingling sensation.

Smith's Rosebus Salve
Promise: “This cult-favorite, multi-purpose lip balm soothes dry lips, calms and heals irritation, and soothes the sting of minor burns”
Price: £8.50/$6.00 22g 
Purchase: Selfridges, Sephora

This famous salve is a beauty classic, loved for its rose scent, pretty packaging and multiple uses. Smith's Rosebud Salve not only nourishes and heals lips, it helps to treat everything from minor burns and dry patches to cracked heels and rashes. Although this salve may seem more expensive than your average lip balm, you do get 22g worth of product - which is around 3 times the normal amount!

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