Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Madonna

“I'm tough, ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay”


Monday, 28 April 2014

Understanding...Beauty Sleep

The term beauty sleep may sound like it jumped straight out of a Disney movie, however you might be surprised to hear that it actually holds a lot of truth. A good night's sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy, beautiful appearance.

So how can sleeping affect our appearance? Well, without scaring you too much, lack of sleep can cause the following:

- Dark circles
- Wrinkles
- Inflammation
- Dry skin
- Acne
- Bloodshot eyes
- Sagging skin
- Unhealthy skin

To get scientific, our growth-hormone levels are at their peak during the delta sleep cycle, helping to repair damaged cells and tissues - including skin. Some of the damage that leads to premature ageing is repaired during this stage of sleep. So, when you lose sleep, your body misses out on this period of repair, resulting in untreated skin damage. In addition, you miss out on the antioxidant repair of the skin that occurs during this sleep cycle.

Also, when you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more cortisol (stress hormone). Too much cortisol can break down skin collagen (the protein that keeps skin elastic, firm and smooth).

If that wasn't bad enough, lack of sleep can also cause weight gain. Sleep deprivation stimulates appetite because it decreases the level of leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full) while increasing the level of ghrelin (the hormone that makes you feel hungry). Another reason sleep deprivation increases weight gain is simply due to the fact that it makes you tired and less active, so you burn fewer calories.

Aside from effecting your looks, lack of sleep can increase your risk of developing diabetes, effect your immunity and fertility, cause depression and anxiety, and kill your sex drive. So getting your beauty sleep really is necessary for all-round good health and beauty.

Experts advise getting between 7.5 - 9 hours of sleep per night, however the exact amount of sleep needed per night is dependant on the individual.

Now, if you struggle getting a good night's sleep, here are a few things that might help:
  1. Try and keep to the same sleeping schedule every night
  2. Avoid eating big meals late at night
  3. Avoid drinking alcohol late at night
  4. Get regular exercise
  5. Try and wind down before bed - take a warm bath, read a good book etc.

If you find that a good night's sleep is not providing enough beauty benefits, you may want to give your beauty sleep a boost. There are some great skincare products designed to work wonders whilst you snooze...

  1. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask (£22.00 Debenhams / $24.00 Macy's)
  2. Antipodes Joyous Protein-Rich Night-Replenishing Serum (£36.99 / $49.00
  3. Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye 15ml (£24.50 Selfridges / $36.00 Kiehl's)
  4. Mario Badescu Protein Night Cream 30ml (£18.95 / $20.00 Nordstrom)
Beauty Sleep Boosters

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Weekly Worship: Fantasy Britney Spears The Nice Remix EDP

Britney Spears Fantasy The Nice Remix

Price: £23.00 30ml

Stockist: Superdrug

I have always been a big Britney Spears fan - even after the buzz cut and umbrella assault. So, like any true worshipper, I had  to get hold of her latest fragrance collection, Britney Spears Fantasy Remix.

The Fantasy Remix collection is made up of two fragrances that represent two different fantasies, one 'Naughty' and one 'Nice' - no prizes for guessing which is Brit Brit's favourite!

I went with the Nice Remix as it features notes of kiwi, cupcake and jasmine petals...I wasn't disappointed. The scent is fruity, sweet and long-lasting and I receive lovely compliments every time I wear it. It is also really  affordable considering it's an Eau de Parfum!

Are you a fan of celebrity fragrances? If so, what is your favourite?

Friday, 25 April 2014

Review: Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Defense Serum

The Promise: "This Polyphenol + Vitamin C anti-oxidant, anti-wrinkle concentrate blocks 100% of free radicals (the main cause of wrinkles), corrects and defends the skin against the aggressions of daily life (UV rays, pollution). It is enriched with hyaluronic acid and olive squalane, to hydrate and plump the skin, giving an instant filled in effect".

The Price: £35.00 / $62.00 30ml

The Stockist: / Sephora

The Application: This product glides onto the skin like an absolutely dream. It comes in a medicinal-style dropper bottle that helps dispense the perfect amount of product needed to cover the entire face and neck - in this case, just a pea size amount.

This Polyphenol C15 Serum has a lightweight, milky texture that absorbs quickly into the skin. The second it's applied it feels tacky on the skin, however this feeling goes away in 1-2 minutes, leaving skin silky smooth. This serum also has a fresh, gentle scent, thanks to fragrance notes of mandarin blossom, lemon tree leaf, cucumber water and fresh mint. As with many Caudalie products, this serum is non-comedogenic, paraben free and dermatologically tested.

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Defense Serum Swatch

The Results: The results of this serum are impressive, instantly impressive at that. I first applied this product at night and woke up with skin that was more supple and plump - overall my skin just looked amazing. This really was love at first application!

Although the Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Defense Serum is an anti-ageing serum, it is actually a great all-rounder. It is a serum that deeply hydrates skin, softens and plumps the skin, reduces the appearance of fine lines and protects skin against free radicals, helping prevent premature skin ageing.

The Pro: In addition to providing visible improvements in skin condition, this serum gives 100% protection against free radicals!

The Con: I struggle to find one. The Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Defense Serum is  on the expensive side, however its great results justify the price tag!

PR sample

Thursday, 24 April 2014

News: First Look At Proenza Schouler For MAC

The Proenza Schouler for MAC collection is almost here and, lucky for us, MAC has released a sneak peak.

Proenza Schouler For MAC

The collection, which reportedly took two years to create, includes nail lacquers, lipsticks, eye and lip pencils and two ombre blushers. Pink, nude and coral hues make up the colour palette.

When discussing the collection, the design duo said, "We wanted to create something that the Proenza Schouler woman could relate to off the runway". Creative Director and Senior Vice President of MAC Cosmetics, James Gager, added, "It has been a great experience collaborating with [Proenza Schouler] to bring their beauty vision off the runway".

This gorgeous collection will be available from 1st May, exclusively at Selfridges and

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Jayne Mansfield

“If you're going to do something wrong, do it big, because the punishment is the same either way”


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Mend My Mani

If you have a chipped manicure and have neither the right colour to correct it or the time for a do-over, grab a glitter or crackle nail polish.

Applying one coat of textured polish over your manicure will help disguise any flaws. It will also give your mani a glam revamp!


Monday, 21 April 2014

Ingredients 101: Salicylic Acid

Natural or Synthetic: Both

The Science: Salicylic acid is a type of beta hydroxy acid that can either be synthesized in a lab or sourced naturally through a variety of plants and fruits, including willow bark, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raisins, kiwis and apricots.

Beauty Benefits: The structure of salicylic acid enables it to gently penetrate the skin, breaking down and exfoliating the dead skin cells that block pores and cause acne. Salicylic acid also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which help remove redness and reduce the amount of damaging bacteria on the skin. It treats other skin problems by softening and loosening dry, scaly, or thickened skin so it can be removed.

Salicylic acid has also been proven to firm the skin, stimulate collagen production and improve the skin's barrier functions.

Warnings: Salicylic acid should be avoided during pregnancy.

Salicylic acid can also cause irritation, so it is not advised for those with sensitive skin. However if you have sensitive skin and are really desperate to try this ingredient, look for products that only contain low concentrations of salicylic acid.

Found in: La Roche-Posay Effaclar K (£13.00 Boots / $30.99 This oil-free moisturiser provides great hydration. It also works as an amazing acne treatment and is my go-to product when pimples appear!
La Roche-Posay Effaclar K Salicylic Acid

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Weekly Worship: REN V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream

REN V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream Review

Price: £32.00 / $55.00

Stockist: M&S / Sephora

I have always been a huge fan of night creams - I mean, who doesn't love a product that beautifies you as you sleep?! Now, I am always excited to see new night creams hit the beauty shelves but rarely try any that stand out. However, for the past couple of weeks, I've been using the REN V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream and I am pretty impressed.

Whenever I apply the REN V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream, I wake up with plumper and brighter looking skin. It doesn't seem to reduce the appearance of fine lines as well as my other favourite night creams (Antipodes Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream and Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Night Cream), however it does provide a healthy and even complexion.

This beautifully rich cream also absorbs quickly into the skin, instantly making it ultra smooth. In fact, skin is left so smooth and soft that I've actually been using this night cream as a foundation primer - yes, it's that  good!

Friday, 18 April 2014

News: Santigold For Smashbox

Smashbox has collaborated with American singer - and all-around badass - Santigold, to create a new makeup collection.

The Santigolden Age collection will feature products for face, eyes and lips including:

  • Eye Shadow Collage - two eye shadow palettes that include five shades of luxe wet/dry eye shadows
  • Be Legendary Lip Gloss - two lip glosses that can be worn alone or layered with other shades
  • Be Legendary Lipstick Ring - a collectible snake-pyramid ring adorned with Swarovski crystals with a limited edition soft coral shade of Be Legendary Lipstick hidden inside
  • Double-Ended Limitless Eye Liner - a double ended liner available in blue, gold, yellow and green
  • Nail Polish Art Strips - two sets of mistake-proof nail strips designed by Santigold and musician Trouble Andrew.
The collection will launch online on the 14th May and in stores nationwide on the 28th May. Prices will range from £10-£39.


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Interview: Mark Hill

Mark Hill is a British stylist, a multi-award winning one at that. If you grew up in beautiful Britain you have  to have heard of him. Not only is he still the only hairdresser outside of London to have won the British Hairdresser of the Year twice, he is also the only British hairdresser to have won the prestigious International Hairdresser of the Year accolade twice in succession.

When it comes to hair, there is nothing Mark Hill doesn't know! Luckily for me, Mark was kind enough to take some time out of his packed schedule to talk all things hair. So sit back, relax, and enjoy our little chat...

What inspired you to work in the hairdressing industry? And how did your career journey begin?

I was 15 when a girlfriend suggested I got a Saturday job in hairdressing. She was a bit older and already working in a local salon. To be honest, at first I was only doing it to meet more girls! But after working a couple of days I realised hairdressing was the career for me.

What is your career highlight?

Winning British Hairdresser of the Year for the first time. All of my friends, family and team were with me so it was a really special night.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in the industry?

You've got to love people and hair! Practice as much as you can and never stop learning – even today I am excited to try new techniques or create new styles.

Who is the ultimate beauty icon?

For me, I would have to go back to the golden age of Hollywood and say screen icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Sophie Loren or Bridget Bardot. They epitomise beauty from head to toe. I also love people who are constantly re-inventing themselves – Katy Perry is a great example. She isn't scared to try new looks, colours or styles. Some styles are more successful than others but it doesn't matter - she is having fun and making a real statement with her hair. 

What are your hair and beauty essentials?

There are a few things I would never be without. Equipment wise, a hairdryer, round brush and wide tooth comb. Product wise I would never be without, Work it Girl Shine Protect and Control Spray and Miracoilicious Argan Oil. With these few products, I can style pretty much any client!

What is the biggest hair crime a person can commit?

I don’t think there is one! Everyone has their own style; what is seen as a crime by one person is probably someone else’s dream hair!

What is your top hair tip?

The key to any great style is condition. If your hair is in bad condition, styling will be difficult as your hair will lack volume, body and shine. Using the right products, using regular conditioning treatments and taking care of your hair will open up styling possibilities and make it easier to manage at home.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Hedy Lamarr

“Jack Kennedy always said to me, Hedy, get involved. That's the secret of life. Try everything. Join everything. Meet everybody”


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Colour & Cover!

If you have grey hairs or re-growth but don't have time to visit your colourist, grab your makeup bag and reach for an eye shadow.

Pick an eye shadow that best matches your hair colour, blend it into your roots and, once the unwanted colour has been covered, hold it in place with hairspray.

If you frequently struggle to keep up with your hair appointments, you may want to invest in a hair colour powder. My absolute favourite is the Bumble & Bumble Hair Powder 125ml (£28.00 Selfridges / $36.00 Sephora). It is available in blonde, brown and black and it covers a multitude of colour sins. It is also a hero for fine-haired girls, as the colour & texture gives the illusion of more hair and the formula creates great volume that stays put.
Bumble & Bumble Hair Powder Review

Monday, 14 April 2014

Ingredients 101: Mānuka Honey

Natural or Synthetic: Natural

Origin: Mānuka Honey is a monofloral honey produced from the nectar of the mānuka tree

New Zealand and Australia

Beauty Benefits: Mānuka honey is famous for its healing properties - so much so that the Māori people have been using it to treat themselves (both inside and out) for centuries! As mānuka honey is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, it is also great for treating acne. If you suffer from acne, apply this miracle honey directly onto your skin to help reduce the size of pimples, reduce the redness and prevent future flare-ups. Giving yourself a mānuka honey face mask will also hydrate and soothe your skin.

The major antibacterial component in mānuka honey is methylglyoxal (MG), however not all types of mānuka honey contain the same concentration of MG. For these reasons, honey producers developed a scale for rating the potency of mānuka honey, known as the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). The UMF rating corresponds with the concentration of MG and any type of mānuka honey will need to have a minimum rating of 10 UMF in order to be considered potent enough to provide real benefits. Any mānuka honey above 10 UMF is referred to as Active Mānuka Honey.

Warnings: Mānuka honey is safe to use topically

Found in: Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask 75ml (£21.99 / $36.55 This smooth, creamy mask draws moisture to skin to hydrate it intensely, whilst also treating acne and dry patches. It is the perfect skin pick-me-up and it smells amazing.


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Weekly Worship: FaceB4

Price: £9.97

Stockist: Boots

FaceB4 is a skincare system made up of a daily anti-bacterial cleansing foam (100ml) and an after-cleansing serum (30ml), both £9.97 each.

Scientific trials have shown that the cleansing foam is the most effective anti-bacterial face wash in the UK - pretty impressive huh? Now, when used together, these products help to treat acne and prevent further outbreaks. I passed on both products to a friend who suffers with acne and, since using them both, she has become a loyal fan.

Having used the cleansing foam and after-cleansing serum daily, my friend noticed a great improvement in her skin. Her acne isn't half as bad as it once was and her redness has been significantly reduced.

Her favourite product is the after-cleansing serum. She found that it helped improve the texture of her skin and created a great base for makeup. It also kept her skin soft and helped treat dry patches - which is great considering most acne treatments dry out the skin.

So, if you suffer from acne-prone skin, she would recommend giving these affordable acne treatments a go!


Friday, 11 April 2014

Review: Giorgio Armani Maestro Mediterranea Collection

The Promise: "Maestro Mediterranea reveals the beauty of naturally sun-kissed skin with these 4 new essentials, which may be combined, blended or layered at will to create the desired effect. Liquids and compacts subtly and generously work together to evoke the Armani sun-kissed look".

The Price: From £34.00 / $46.00

The Stockist: / Nordstrom

The Review: The summer season is all about creating a naturally gorgeous glow and Giorgio Armani's new technology-focused collection is just what you need to achieve it.

The Maestro Mediterranea Collection includes:
  • Maestro Fusion Blush (available in 3 shades)
  • Cheek Fabric (available in 8 shades)
  • Maestro Liquid Summer
  • Sun Fabric (available in 4 shades)

Now I'll start with the Maestro Liquid Blush and Maestro Liquid Bronzer - both a result of Armani's focus on creating great makeup with a no-makeup feel.

These two innovative products use Armani's Maestro Color-Fil technology to give a gorgeous, lightweight texture that naturally fuses with the skin. The blush and bronzer blend in so seamlessly and provide such a natural finish, that it is very difficult to make mistakes during application.

Both the bronzer and blush are packaged in dropper bottles (much like the Maestro Fusion Foundations), allowing you to dispense just the right amount of product. This is perfect as both products are so highly pigmented that only the tiniest amount of product is needed per use. It also means that these 15ml and 30ml bottles are likely to last a very long time.

Now it is worth noting that the bronzer and blush colours look a lot darker in the bottle than they do once blended into the skin. Check it out below!

I am obsessed with both of these beauties, however I'd have to say that my favourite product out of the two is the bronzer. It is buildable, lightweight and incredibly long lasting. It does contain a slight amount of shimmer, however it is not at all glittery and, instead, creates a lovely depth. It is actually one of the best bronzers I have used in a long time and its oh-so-natural finish is what got me hooked.

Now although the Maestro Liquid Blush and Maestro Liquid Bronzer are the real heroes of this collection, the Cheek Fabric and Sun Fabric deserve some attention too. These compact powders feature Color Essenza technology; a unique formulation process that creates ultra-fine and lightweight colour powders. They combine the purest pigments with a transparent, non-whitening base to deliver the exact shades you see in the compact. This non-whitening base also ensures that the shade isn't altered hours after application.

The Cheek Fabric and Sun Fabric also have a velvety texture that feels soft and weightless on the skin. They are also highly pigmented and easy to apply and, like the Maestro Liquid Blush and Maestro Liquid Bronzer, they provide a lovely natural finish.

Overall I would highly recommend the Maestro Mediterranea Collection. Girogio Armani has clearly put a lot of research, technology and time into this collection and it has more than paid off. The colours are beautiful, the pigments are strong, the finish is natural, the application is easy and the results are long lasting.

PR Samples

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Ayn Rand

“The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me”


Sunday, 6 April 2014

News: Lancôme & Lupita

Lupita Nyong'o has just been announced as the new brand ambassador for Lancôme.

Lupita Nyong'o Lancôme

The beautiful Academy Award Winning actress - who will be joining the likes of Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Penélope Cruz and Lily Collins - said, "I am truly honoured to join the Maison Lancôme, a brand with such a prestigious history and that I have always loved. She continued, "I am particularly proud to represent its unique vision for women and the idea that beauty should not be dictated, but should instead be an expression of a woman's freedom to be herself'".

When discussing the exciting news, the French beauty giant said, "Her instinctive and sophisticated talent and one of a kind beauty, both delicate and strength-exuding, has taken the world by storm".

Lupita will feature in Lancôme's fall beauty campaign, which will be shot by photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot.


Saturday, 5 April 2014

Weekly Worship: ECOTOOLS Hair Brushes

ECOTOOLS Hair Brushes review

Price: £10.99 / $10.99

Stockist: Boots /

ECOTOOLS, the brand famous for its incredibly soft cosmetic brushes, recently launched a hair brush collection. I was lucky enough to get my hands on each brush in the collection, so I passed them on to women with different hair needs for testing.

I didn't give the ladies any information on the brushes as I didn't want to influence their review. However each woman, including myself, fell in love with these beauties and found them light to hold, kind to the hair and easy to use.

What impressed us most about these brushes, was their ability to speed up the hair drying process. Each of the five brush styles were designed with an aerodynamic Eco-Vent™ that dries hair 20% faster than other hair brushes. Speedy brushing doesn't just save time, it also guarantees less heat damage - which is great for keeping hair as healthy as possible.

Finally, each of the women reported shiny, healthier looking hair after just a week of using these hair brushes. Now, considering how affordable they are, that is pretty impressive!

Have you tried any ECOTOOLS products? If so, let us know  your thoughts!


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Marissa Mayer

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough”


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Tuesday Tip: DIY Lip Scrub

So, I have a slight obsession with the Lush Lip Scrubs. They are great for exfoliating the lips, keeping them super soft and  they taste absolutely amazing! They come in three flavours, Bubblegum, Popcorn and Mint Julips and they only cost £5.50 each!
Lush Lip Scrub Mint Julips
Now, as wonderful as these lip scrubs are, you can easily create your own version at home. All you have to do is follow the simple recipe below...

You will need:
  • Castor sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • A small airtight container

How you do it:
  • Pop one tablespoon of caster sugar into a small bowl
  • Mix in small, equal drops of olive oil and peppermint oil until you get a thin - but not runny - consistency
  • Then mix in one teaspoon of honey to help bind the ingredients together
  • Spoon the mix into your airtight container and, voilà, you're ready to get scrubbing!

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