Sunday, 29 June 2014

Weekly Worship: Nails Inc Newbies

Nails inc summer 2014

Price: From £12.00 / $11.00

Stockist: / Sephora

Nails inc has launched a few gorgeous, eye catching collections lately and I have fallen head over heels in love with each of them. Britain's favourite nail brand used to play it safe when it came to colour and texture, however in the last few years it has really brought some amazing  polishes to the nail counter!

The new collections include Garden Party, an English countryside-inspired range packed full of pastels, matte and metallic glitters, and Floral, a SS14 fashion-focused collection filled with romance and (you guessed it) flowers! The other new additions are Latex Effect Polishes, super smooth polishes with a waxy finish to die  for, and 2 in 1 Colour & Pop Art - gorgeous polish duos that have a strong summer colour at one end and a glitter effect top coat at the other!

Whatever the colour or effect, these nail polishes apply easily, pack some serious staying power and make your nails pop. I couldn't think of anything better to worship this week...

Swatches from left: Richmond Gardens Floral Polish, Westbourne Gardens Garden Party Polish, Shoreditch High Street Latex Polish and Sheraton Street Cavendish Place 2-in-1 Colour Pop Art.


Friday, 27 June 2014

The Beauty Myth: Red Lipstick Is Not For Everyone

Verdict: False

This myth makes me seriously pissed. I don't know why it continues to circulate the beauty world because it is serious bullshit. No matter your eye colour, hair colour or skin colour, you can wear red lipstick and look fabulous doing so.

It is true that certain lipstick shades look better on certain skin tones, however as there are a billion different lipsticks out there, there is something for everyone!

If you want to find the best red lipstick shade for you, you will need to understand your skin's undertone. The best way to do this is by looking at the inside of your wrist in natural light. If your veins are green you have a warm undertone and if they are blue you have a cool undertone. If your veins are a mixture of the two colours, you have a neutral undertone and can get away with all shades!

If you have a cool undertone, you will suit blue-based reds like Rimmel's Lasting Finish Kate Moss 01, Chanel's Dragon Rouge Allure Laque and Maybelline's ColorSensational Lipcolor in Red Revival. If you have warm undertones, you need orange-based reds, such as Chanel's Coromandel Rouge Allure Lipstick, MAC's Lady Danger and NYX's Eros.


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Dolly Parton

“It costs a lot of money to look this cheap”


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Tuesday Tip: When It Comes To The Eye, Correctly Apply!

Today I had the  most amazing facial with Sarah Burns, the Facial Coordinator at Elizabeth Arden UK. We were casually talking all things eyes, when she revealed a big mistake many women make when applying skincare products to the eye area. The mistake we can each be guilty of is applying products directly under the eyes and on the eyelids. Applying eye products too close to the eyes is not only unnecessary but dangerous, as it can lead to irritation, inflammation and milia.

So, to make sure you apply eye products correctly, dab half a pea-sized amount of product along the bottom of your eye socket up to your temple using your ring finger (this finger applies the least amount of pressure!). Then do the same for the top of your eye socket, working from the inner corner of your eyebrow down to your temple. The applied product will then naturally migrate to the whole of the eye area, (safely) giving those peepers the attention they deserve!


Monday, 23 June 2014

Ingredients 101: Rosehip Seed Oil

Natural or Synthetic: Natural

Origin: Rosehip seed oil is extracted from the seeds of a wild rose bush

Location: Southern Andes

Beauty Benefits: Rosehip seed oil has a long history of benefiting the body. It was a remedy used by the ancient Egyptians, Mayans and Native Americans because of its powerful healing properties but it carries many fabulous beauty benefits too. Rosehip seed oil is packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 which work together to moisturise, hydrate and repair the skin. The vitamin A in rosehip seed oil helps to promote healthy skin cell rejuvenation, while the vitamin C reduces the appearance of dark spots, ageing spots and hyper-pigmentation. Rose Byrne and Miranda Kerr swear by rosehip seed oil, crediting it for their gorgeous radiant complexions.

Rosehip seed oil has anti-inflammatory properties and, as it is also non-greasy and lightweight, it is great for those with sensitive skin.

Warnings: Rosehip seed oil is safe to use topically

Found in: KORA Organics Luxurious Rosehip Oil 15ml (£35.00 / $49.00 In addition to rosehip seed oil, this KORA must-have contains noni extract, sea buckthorn, and pomegranate oil which brighten skin and protect it from free radical damage. This oil has a really lightweight formula that applies easily and absorbs quickly, leaving behind a glowing face and a gorgeous rose scent!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

News: L’Oreal Lands NYX

So the rumours are true; L’Oreal will buy US makeup-artist brand NYX Cosmetics.

NYX, founded in 1999 by entrepreneur Toni Ko, is famous for producing high quality products that don't cost the earth. It's no surprise that L’Oreal want in - NYX is available in over 70 countries and has recently become one of the fastest-growing cosmetics companies in the US. Sales in the last 12 months have risen to $93,000,000 - a massive 57% percent increase over the comparable year-over-year period.

Toni Ko, founder and chairwoman of NYX, says "NYX has seen tremendous growth in the last decade and I have complete confidence that L'Oreal will remain true to its brand identity and mission".

Sadly, L’Oreal has not released the price it's paying for NYX, however I can imagine it is costing some seriously big bucks...


Friday, 20 June 2014

Interview: Craig-Ryan French

Craig-Ryan French is an internationally renowned makeup artist who has over a decade of experience in theatre, film, television and fashion. He beautifies models backstage at fashion week and his work regularly features in the likes of Elle, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and other leading industry publications.

He is also the Artistic Director and Global Makeup Artist at PAUL & JOE, the Parisian-based fashion house that is also home the gorgeous beauty line, PAUL & JOE BEAUTE! If he wasn't busy enough, Craig-Ryan French is also the head makeup artist for SyFy television series Defiance.

Luckily for me, this makeup maestro recently came to London and I was able to grill him on all things beauty. So sit back, relax, and enjoy our little chat...

Craig-Ryan French Interview

What inspired you to become a makeup artist? And how did your career journey begin?

I had always loved classic horror movies (Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy etc.) and grew up recreating those original Hollywood make-ups on myself as a child (I know - weirdo!). When I turned 18, I moved to New York to study theatre at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. I used a lot of those early self-taught techniques in the development of my characters on-stage, and further developed those skills through stage make-up training at the school.

After graduation, I enjoyed a brief 'hungry' career as a commercial actor. I once met a make-up artist on-set who said "Craig-Ryan, you are a make-up artist whether you like it or not, it's where your talents are. You will make more money doing make-up than you will ever make in a lifetime as a struggling actor". He was right - I focused my talents on make-up. I manipulated the shading & highlighting techniques I had learned in theatre school to sculpt beautiful cheekbones on a model for an editorial shoot. I have never looked back - makeup has taken me on an incredible journey around the world (and I still love those classic horror movies!).

What is your career highlight?

For the past two years, I have headed up the Make-up Department for the SyFy television series Defiance which has a been an incredible experience. I work with an amazing team of makeup artists and hair stylists to create a full spectrum of makeup looks that range from broken down, dirty humans, to over-the-top, futuristic full-prosthetic aliens (and everything else in between!). It has been a dream job, with a dream crew and a dream cast! It doesn't get much better than this! Season two premiered on ScyFy June 19th, 2014.

Defiance SyFy makeup

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

Show up to work on-time everyday, properly prepared, with a good attitude. This quality alone can pretty much guarantee you work and call backs. Never stop learning - always be a student and willing to learn from everyone around you.

Who is the ultimate beauty icon?

Marilyn Monroe. Her cinematic beauty will last forever - she owned the 'close-up' and her enduring style will continue to impact fashion and generations for years to come.

What are your beauty kit essentials?

With just the six listed items below I am prepared to do my job on-set:
  • PAUL & JOE Waterproof Mascara #01 Black - you'll remain flawless with this smudge and flake-free mascara for 24 hours until you remove it - all of my actresses love it and request it to use on all their film projects!
  • Clé de Peau Beauté Concealers - I scoffed at the price tag until I first saw the on-camera results and discovered they are worth every penny. My kit always contains 'Ivoire' & 'Beige'.
  • PAUL & JOE Eyebrow Collection - I make this statement as a professional make-up artist (not a P&J representative) - these are the BEST eyebrow products I have ever used. All of the makeup artists I have introduced them to would also agree - we can not function without them! Try, try, try!!!
  • A nude pink/rose lip liner - I recommend Kevin Aucoin Flesh Tone Lip Pencil in 'Medium'
  • Nivea Men's Replenishing Lip Balm - (yes, Men's!) this hydrates lips without leaving shine or visible residue.
  • A natural bronzer to warm the Face and contour eyes.

What is the biggest beauty crime a person can commit?

Getting trapped in a particular outdated trend. Get a professional makeup consultation from an artist you trust every five years to stay current, looking youthful and feeling your absolute best.

What is your top beauty tip?

Always wear your make up - don't let your make up wear you. If someone compliments your make up before complimenting you, you may need to reconsider that particular colour - make up should always enhance who you are - not hide who are!

Craig-Ryan French Paul & Joe Beaute

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Marie Curie

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained”


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Beautifully Bronzed!

Bronzer is one of the trickiest makeup products to apply. When done right, you can look like a sun-kissed goddess; when done wrong, you can look patchy, dirty or However you can make applying bronzer easier (and safer!) with a little loose powder. Before you apply your bronzer, mix it with a tiny bit of loose powder. This will make the bronzer easier to buff and blend and it will also diffuse the colour, enabling you to gradually build colour without going overboard.

My go-to bronzer is the Benefit Hoola, however lately I've been loving Elizabeth Arden's Pure Finish Summer Escape Bronzing Powder (£28.00 Debenhams / $40.00 Macy's) in Warm Glow. This baked mineral bronzer gives a natural sun-kissed glow and provides an even and blendable application. It also contains shimmer particles and has a pearlescent finish that together, give you a lovely, bright glow.

Elizabeth Arden's Pure Finish Summer Escape Bronzing Powder Review

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Weekly Worship: Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo

Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo

Price: £3.99 / $7.60

Superdrug / ASOS

Although this product has made its way into a weekly worship post, it is actually something I've been loving for some time now. In fact, I've loved it for over a year and would honestly be lost without it.

My hair is fine, flat and very long, so achieving thickness and volume is almost impossible. If I am able to achieve it, it never lasts (cue violins). Now I have tried a million different tricks and products in the past and the only thing that seems to give my hair long-lasting volume and thickness is dry shampoo.

Dry shampoo works wonders on the hair as it coats hair strands - making hair look thicker - and creates a texture that holds different styles really well. I thought dry shampoo was the answer until I discovered something even better...Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo. The second you spray this dry shampoo onto the hair, it adds instant lift and thickness - so much thickness that you can't even run your fingers through your locks! I mean, XXL volume is an understatement. It lifts like no other, thickens like no other and costs less that a fiver. It is even on par with the amazing Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder that cost four times as much!!

If that's not enough, if you buy a dry shampoo from Batiste and don't get on with it, the brand will give you your money back! So why not give it a try?


Saturday, 14 June 2014

The Beauty Myth: Dark-Skinned People Don't Need Sunscreen

Verdict: False

It is true that the darker your skin tone, the less likely you are to develop skin cancer. This is because those with darker skin have higher levels of melanin, the natural chemical that gives skin its colour. As melanin is the skin's first line of defence against damaging UV rays, people will more melanin will be more protected. So much more protected, in fact, that those with dark skin can have a natural SPF as high as 13! However, regardless of this natural protection, dark-skinned people still develop skin cancer, so it is crucial that they wear sunscreen. This is even more important as researchers from the University of Cincinnati found that dark-skinned people are actually more likely to die from skin cancer than light-skinned people.

So, whatever your skin colour, make sure you use a good sunscreen this summer. Look for one that protects skin from UVA & UVB rays, contains a high SPF and provides the skin with some additional benefits. I use the Vichy Capital Soleil Face & Body Milk SPF50 300ml (£19.00 / $47.00 Amazon). It contains Hyaluronic Acid that hydrates skin and locks in moisture, as well as Vichy's soothing Thermal Spa Water which soothes and calms the skin. It is also really easy to apply and doesn't leave behind those annoying white marks!


Thursday, 12 June 2014

Review: Dove Oxygen Moisture Collection

Dove Oxygen Moisture Collection Review

The Promise: "The Oxygen Moisture range replenishes lost moisture and adds boosted volume and body. Rich and nourishing without feeling heavy, it won’t leave a greasy residue behind"

The Price: £3.99 / $4.99

The Stockist: Boots / Target

The Review: The Oxygen Mositure collection, which is part of Dove's new Advanced Hair Series, is designed to to give hair hydration, body and volume. The collection is made up of a shampoo, conditioner, soufflé treatment and root lift spray and each product contains a unique Oxyfusion Technology that provides volume without the heaviness. Sounds good, right?

The Oxygen Moisture Shampoo and Oxygen Moisture Conditioner - both 250ml - are the perfect hair hydrators. The shampoo deeply cleanses the hair, without leaving any nasty residue, whilst the conditioner injects moisture into the hair without leaving a greasy finish. When I use both products together, my hair is left shiny, soft and oh-so-bouncy - which is perfect for my fine and flat locks.

Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner

The Soufflé Treatment (200ml) is, for me, the real hero of the collection. It is a lightweight hair mask that offers even more moisture and nourishment than the shampoo and conditioner. It feels absolutely amazing on the hair - like a creamy mousse - and only a small amount is needed to cover my long locks! Instructions recommend leaving this treatment on for 2-5 minutes to achieve the best results, however you can really get the most out of this mask by leaving it on overnight. It is the perfect hair pick-me-up for when your hair is in need of a little TLC.

The final product in the collection is the Root Lift Spray (150ml), a volumising spray that adds body and fullness to the hair - it is a blow dry's best friend! This root lifter's best feature is its misting nozzle, as it allows for a really even and buildable application. Unlike other root lift sprays, the Oxygen Moisture Root Lift Spray is incredibly lightweight and hydrating, helping to avoid that horrible heavy feeling you can sometimes get.

Overall I am pretty smitten with this collection. It smells amazing, gives my hair gorgeous shine and bounce and comes with an affordable price tag! What's not to love?

What do you think of the new Dove Advance Hair Series? Have you tried any of the other collections yet?

PR sample

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Gilda Radner

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next”


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Heat-Free Beach Waves

The summer season is all about rocking gorgeous beach waves and I have a hassle-free tip to achieve this look without the use of heat. Yes, you heard right!

To get heat-free beach waves, just do the following:
  1. Before going to bed, divide damp hair into four equal sections
  2. Twist each section tightly from root to tip
  3. Wrap the twisted sections into little buns and hold them in place with a hairband
  4. Sleep
  5. Then, when you wake up, release the buns to reveal gorgeous waves!
  6. Don't forget to hold everything in place with a flexible hold hairspray
If you want to give your heat-free waves even more hold, spray each twisted section with a texturising spray before wrapping it into bun. I love the TRESemme Texture Style Tousled Spray 200ml (£5.75 Boots) as it helps to create - and hold - beautiful waves, without weighing the hair down. You can also find out how to make your own texturing spray by clicking here!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Weekly Worship: Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial

Price: £70.00 / $85.00

Debenhams / Macy's

I love facials - well, who doesn't love a pampering treatment that leaves your face looking fabulous?! But let's be truthful, these things aren't cheap - weekly facials are clearly  reserved for the super rich.

So when I found out Elizabeth Arden had launched an at-home facial kit, I had to get my hands on it and - as you've probably guessed - I freakin' love it!

The kit includes two products - a 30ml Self-Foaming Mask (part one) and a 15ml Replenishing Serum (part two). Part one is all about cleansing and the self-foaming mask does a great job a removing makeup (heavy mascara included) and impurities. It has a thick gel texture that, when applied to the skin, transforms into a lightweight foam. Once the mask has been on the skin for a few second, it begins to tingle - like popping candy for the face - and it feels amazing. Ingredients-wise, the mask contains lactic acid & protease enzyme that gently exfoliate the skin, as well as a detoxifying peptide that helps reduce protein build-up and prime skin for optimum results - cue part two...

Part two is all about putting goodness back into the skin and the Replenishing Serum is the perfect product for the job - thanks to the fact it contains ceramides 1, 3 and 6. Ceramides are a naturally occurring lipid that keep our outer most layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum, healthy. So, using ceramides in skincare will help promote the skin’s own natural ceramides - making it smoother and firmer with improved texture. And these benefits are very visible! The serum has a light creamy texture that applies easily and absorbs quickly, leaving - as promised - skin that is smooth, firm and refreshed. It also primes skin perfectly for subsequent makeup application. The perfect all rounder!

What I also love about this 5-Minute Facial - yes, it doesn't just stop at the results - is that it doesn't cause break outs like many other facials. Both products are also packaged in air-tight containers - perfect for ensuring the products stay as fresh as possible, for as long as possible.

The Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial may be on the expensive side but it works wonders. It has already taken pride of place in my weekly skincare routine.


Friday, 6 June 2014

The Beauty Myth: Hair Gets 'Used' To Shampoo

Verdict: False

Some people argue that using a particular shampoo for too long will stop it 'working'. These people are crazy and you need to stop listening to their nonsense.

If you ever find that your favourite shampoo is no longer working as well as it used to, it will be because the condition of your hair has changed and now has different needs. A variety of things can alter your hair condition, including changes to your environment, health and lifestyle. For example, if you start colouring your hair, switching to a shampoo designed for colour treated hair will ensure your hair's vibrancy and shine stays intact.

If you're confused about what your hair needs, check out the Hair PROfiler from TRESemmé. It is a short and simple online questionnaire that lets you know what products would best match your hair's needs - check it out here!

Now if there is one shampoo I can depend on - no matter what my hair is going through - it would be the Aussie Mega Shampoo 300ml (£4.69 Boots) that is designed for everyday cleaning. This bad boy cleans my hair really well, while still leaving it bouncy, soft and beautifully shiny - not bad for £4.69!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Beauty News: Colour Me Gucci!

So, another fashion house has decided to enter the beauty arena and this time it's Gucci baby!

This time last year, rumours were circulating that Gucci was planning to expand into beauty and, according to Women's Wear Daily, those rumours were true. The Italian fashion house is set to launch a cosmetics collection this September with none other than Grace Kelly's Granddaughter, Charlotte Casiraghi, fronting it!

The line will include products for the face, eyes, lips and nails, as well as luxurious brushes and preparation products for skin. If the products are anything like the brands fashion designs, we should expect to see classic colour pallets with a glamorous, modern edge.

Bring on September!!

Charlotte Casiraghi Gucci Beauty 

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Weekly Worship: Pantene Beautiful Lengths

Pantene Beautiful Lengths

This week's worship will not be going to a product or service, but to an amazing charity that is headed up by Pantene and the American Cancer Society.

The charity is called Beautiful Lengths and its mission is to provide cancer patients across the US with free real-hair wigs that are made using the hair of real women- amazing, right?! Since Beautiful Lengths started in 2006, 24,000 free real-hair wigs have been created and donated to the American Cancer Society’s wig banks.

Pantene's role in Beautiful Lengths is to help women grow long, strong and beautiful hair (in preparation for the chop!) and provide the funds to turn that hair into free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer. Getting involved with Beautiful Lengths is super simple. You have to be able to donate eight inches of hair that is free of chemicals, dye or bleach. You just wash, dry and cut the hair yourself - following Pantene's easy instructions - and then pop your ponytail in the post! To find out more about donating your hair, click here!

To see if you are eligible to receive a free wig or to find out if there are wigs available in your area, please call the American Cancer Society’s Wig Bank Line at 1-877-227-1596.

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