Sunday, 28 September 2014

The new obsession: Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Collection

Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Collection
Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Collection

Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Collection

I've been wanting to try out a Jo Malone fragrance for the longest time but with so many different fragrances on offer it was a bit daunting and I didn't know where to begin! When I heard that they were launching the Wood Sage & Sea Salt Collection, I was really intrigued and had to go in for a sniff.

There's so many reviews of this fragrance out there at the moment, and I haven't seen a single negative one as yet. I tend to go for vanilla or floral fragrances, but this is neither. It's incredibly unique in that respect. Inspired by the English seaside, it's fresh, androgynous and damn right addictive. It definitely has a musky edge to it from its sage base note, and I love the crisp and salty quality it has. I literally am obsessed with this fragrance. It's perfect for autumn and winter, but I think you could easily wear this all year round, I know I shall be! It is quite a comforting scent to me, and makes me think of walking across the breezy seaside with my favourite snuggly jumper on.

I picked up the smaller 30ml cologne and went a bit overboard and bought the accompanying body crème too as I love layering fragrances to get the best staying power out of them. On that note, it's worth mentioning that the cologne doesn't have the greatest staying power. I have heard the same of other Jo Malone fragrances too, so for me the body crème is a must. It's super luxurious and leaves my skin so silky and soft. I've been having the most wonderful pamper evenings using this!

If you're looking for a new scent I highly recommend you try this out. The candle is definitely on my wish list now, and so is the body wash which is yet to be launched. The Wood Sage & Sea Salt Collection is a permanent addition to the line and is priced from £40-£82.


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Stila Convertible Color in Lillium

Stila convertible color lillium

Stila convertible color lillium

I have been lusting over the Stila Convertible Color in Lillium (£16) for absolutely ages, so pay day came along and this little lovely is now mine! I don't know why I've held off so long really. What I do know is that we're now best friends and this isn't leaving my face any time soon.

Lillium is the perfect nude for a pale girl like me. It's a little bit peachy and lifts the face nicely, giving a beautiful natural flush and a little bit of contour. The formula cannot be faulted; it's super easy to apply and gives a lovely glow that only a cream blush can give. I like to lightly dot it on with my finger and blend it out with a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. I found cream blushes difficult to apply at first, but this one just glides on and it doesn't go patchy at all.

I haven't used this on my lips yet, but instead I've been pairing it with my beloved Rodial Glamstick in Bang* for a pretty laid back look or for a very autumnal feel, the Revlon Colorburst Balm in Sultry. Its particularly nice with Sultry and I think this is becoming my go-to look for this season.

Have you tried any Stila Convertible Colors?


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Lord & Berry Black Wardrobe Collection

Lord & Berry are best known to me for their gorgeous lip crayons, but they've also got some great eye products tucked up their sleeves. They recently launched the Black Wardrobe Collection which is available at Selfridges, and it's right up my street. Centred around the "I'll stop wearing back when they make a darker colour" style aesthetic, the range features five black eye products that are designed to complement all skin tones.
I've been embracing eye liner recently, so while I'm no pro (especially when it comes to liquid liner), I've put a couple of looks together using some products from the range. What I love about these products is their versatility; simply wear as naturally or as creatively as you like.

I've worn the above look pretty much daily this past week. I applied the Sketch Shadow Pencil* around the outer third of my eye, right along the lash line and smudged it out with a small blending brush. The pencil is incredibly pigmented and creamy, and although the tip is quite large I found it easy to apply with precision and close to the lash line. Once blended, the pencil stays put. No transferring onto the upper lid or smudging which is something I always struggle with. I then applied the Back in Black Mascara* to both top and bottom lashes to finish the look off. I don't usually like smaller rubber mascara wands for some reason, but this one really clings to the lashes and separates them pretty well, providing volume too. I'm quite lucky to have long lashes naturally, but they seem to clump quite easily. With this mascara I can add a couple of layers easily with no clumping.
I also went for a more classic look which you can either play down with a nude lip like I have (with NARS Biscayne Park lip pencil), or vamp up with a brighter lip. Here I applied the Liquid Eyeliner in Forever Black*. As the name suggests, it's a super black liner and it glides on easily. I'm rubbish with liquid liner, but I found this one really easy to apply due to the super fine rubber nib. In fact, I'm pretty impressed with this look, its probably the best winged liner I've ever managed to pull off. Score!
What do you think of these looks and will you be giving this range a shot?


Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate

Late nights, early mornings, travelling, hours in front of the computer each day...sound familiar? This is me right now and boy am I feeling tired. The worse part is that it shows on my face, my eyes in particular. I've always suffered from puffy eyes, a lovely combination of genetics and most likely dehydration. The joy.
All is not lost, as I've been trying out The Body Shop Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate* (£19) which has been helping to hide the effects of my currently busy life. This launched yesterday but I've been testing it out for the last month or so and I'm pretty impressed. It includes edelweiss plant stem cells which have skin renewal properties, and aims to improve the contour around the eye area and smooth out bags, while hydrating and reducing fine lines.
The Body Shop Drops Of Youth Eye Concentrate
It's quite an odd looking rollerball which you push down to release the product and gently roll around your eye contour in a figure of eight motion to get the blood flowing. The rollerball is nice and cool and feels so refreshing, and added with the eye concentrate itself it feels so soothing on tired eyes. I've been using this in the morning after cleansing, as well as before bed and it feels so good. You could also pop it in your bag to perk up your eyes throughout the day if you struggle with staying awake come mid-afternoon!
I've mentioned before that my eyes are really sensitive and get sore really easily, but this hasn't agitated them at all. I've noticed that the area under my eyes is smoother than it was and my makeup isn't settling into my fine lines as much. I haven't noticed a massive difference in my eye bags, but it certainly has helped reduce some of my early morning puffiness.
Another top product from The Body Shop, who are really knocking out some great releases at the moment. Long may this continue!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Breaking my own colour rules

I've come to realise that my love for all things neutral has got to take a step back now and then. I recently went through my palette drawer (yes that's a thing), and the amount of almost identical eyeshadows was a bit alarming. I don't know what it is, but there's something so covetable and inviting about taupes and browns that I can't get enough of. I know I'm not alone in this, which is a bit of a relief, but I do need to inject some colour into my makeup.
Autumn presents the perfect opportunity and I'm going to grab it with both hands. I'm already starting to ease into berry lips thanks to Rimmel Kate Moss 107 (the ultimate berry matte), NARS Marjella and Limecrime Velvetine in Wicked, but next up is eyes.

I picked up the Anna Sui eye palette half price from Escentual and boy am I glad I did. I think I'll get a lot of wear out of this as its very autumnal and you can use quite a few of the shades as accents or wet down as a liner. I haven't tried anything from this brand before but I've formula to be quite nice, pretty pigmented and the shadows blend really well. This palette is still only £14 through Escentual and they also have a lip palette so if you like the look of this I wouldn't put it off for too long. If you can bare to give this beauty away (I doubt I could!) it would make an awesome Christmas present.

A complete impulse buy was this Kiko Colour Fever Palette in 101 Coral Burgundy (£13.90). There's only two Kiko stores in London, so when I happened to walk through Westfield Stratford I took a detour. I'm super impressed with this quad. It's purse friendly and the quality is so high. The shadows are baked, so they're super pigmented and creamy. I've always steered clear of pinks and purples as they can make my eyes look a bit raw at times, but I've been playing around with these shades and creating smoky eye by blending them with browns and taupe shades. This creates a very wearable look that's just that bit outside of my neutral comfort zone.
Now, don't get me wrong, whilst I do plan on pushing beyond my own colour boundaries, I will be buying the new Naked Basics palette when it comes out. It's just a case of being more adventurous with colour rather than always going for the default neutrals. Do you need to break your own colour rules too?

Monday, 15 September 2014

Good reads #1

One of my favourite things about blogging is reading other blogs, so I thought I'd share some posts with you that I've enjoyed reading lately.
I love little portable gadgets, anything that makes life just that little bit easier gets a big tick in my book. Gwen's Must have gadgets for LFW post has certainly put a few things on my Christmas list. She's also running a competition where you can win all the goodies mentioned so do check it out. 

With my upcoming nuptials I'm frantically scanning for makeup looks that I can recreate on my big day. Linda Hallberg is such a talented make up artist, literally every look she posts is really inspirational. I especially love this neutral winged look that I think I could pull off with a bit of practise.

Do you know what you're actually putting on your face? Ingredient lists are a bit of a minefield and I doubt most of us really pay too much attention to what these long fancy sounding things actually are. Nouvelle Daily have lifted the lid on our behalf in the post The Ingredients 101 and I've bookmarked this one for future reference.

I am totally hankering after some of Helen's homemade Vanilla Creme Doughnuts, so its only a matter of time before I try out her recipe for myself. I might have to wait until after the wedding though as these look addictive!

What have you enjoyed reading lately?



Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Range

Last month I was invited along to an event hosted by The Body Shop to learn more about the company, its values and of course to have a play with their products. They also announced the launch of their Wild Argan Oil range which has now hit the shops. We were very lucky to receive a goody bag with a few of their products, and so after tesing these out for a few weeks I thought I'd share my thoughts on the new range with you.

Argan nuts, the key ingredient of the range, are sourced from the remote Atlas Mountains of Morocco. They are hand-picked and cracked before being slowly pressed which means the oil is really pure. The Body Shop give back to the community as the women that pick the nuts are able to earn an income and improve the living standards of themselves and their families. This is so key to The Body Shop's culture and values and is one of the reasons that they are so loved.

I've got dry hair thanks to years of dyeing it, so I was excited to try the Wild Argan Radiant Oil* (£14). This is a product with a difference as it's designed to be used on both body and hair. I love that it has a spray pump, so you don't waste any product. I've talked many times about suffering from dry skin so it sounded like music to my ears. It smells divine and when spritzed onto my skin after a hot bath my skin was left really soft and moisturised. However, when I used it in my hair I wasn't that impressed. I applied it with my hands to the lengths and blow dryed my hair. I then noticed that my hair had gone quite stringy and greasy. The next day I had to use a bit of dry shampoo to remove some of the grease, so needless to say this will remain just a body product for me.

Luckily my dry hair woes were answered with the Wild Argan Oil Miracle Solid Oil* (£8). This cute little multi-tasking tin is perfect for popping in your bag and appling to the ends of your hair, cuticles, elbows, you name it, wherever you go. It does say not to use it on your face, but they do have a dedicated lip version if that's your thing. Personally, I'm usually either wearing lipstick or using a different lip balm so this doesn't bother me. Like the Radiant Oil, it sinks straight in and isn't sticky. I love a multi-tasking product so this goes everywhere with me now.

For me, the hero product from the three that I have is the Wild Argan Oil Bubbling Bath* (£8). Quite often I'm a bit underwhelmed with bubble baths but this one is an exception for me. The tiniest amount produces loads of bubbles and it sticks around a bit too. I can see this bottle lasting quite a while and it's perfect for a pampering Sunday night bath. Love.

The range also features all the usual products that you'd expect from TBS; a shower gel, lotion, scrub and body butter. This range is perfect for anyone that likes quite nutty scented products and I think I'll be checking out the body scrub sometime soon...

Have you tried the new Wild Argan Oil range yet and if so what did you think?


Sunday, 7 September 2014

August Favourites

This month I've found a few staples, both new and old that I thought I'd share with you.
You might have read about my four week trial of the FaceB4 Anti-Bacterial Face Wash & Serum (if not you can read more here), and I can report that my love is still going strong. I've finished up the face wash but after taking a little break from it I've incorporated the serum back into my routine as it makes my skin so soft and is keeping things in check.
I've been using The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil for a while now, but as my Pai Rosehip Oil is nearly gone I've been relying on this offering more and more. I love how nourishing it is and it really plumps my skin up. I talked about it in this feature recently, and haven't looked back since I have gone more for oils than night cream.
I'm loving matte nude lips lately and to neaten things up or to just wear on its own, the MAC Lip Pencil in Dervish has been my go-to. Its a dark nudey pink and it really does go with everything. I love pairing it with MAC Pink Plaid and Please Me. Just gorgeous.
I've found such a good cheek combo this month and it's annoying that I didn't figure this one out sooner. As I'm trying to save the pennies I've been making a point to shop my stash a bit better and to get more wear out of my makeup. I dug out MAC Mineralise Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle and I'm sure I've worn it every day for most of the month. It's just so gorgeous and really perks up my skin by giving it a lovely dewy glow.
To add a bit of shape into my moon face I've been loving The Body Shop Honey Bronzer in 01. I've seen so many good reviews about this that I had to buy it a few weeks ago. At first I thought it was too pale and didn't do much for me, but as I've got used to applying it, I've found that it's really easy to build up and is the perfect colour for me. For someone rubbish at contouring this is pretty fool proof.
What have you been enjoying lately? Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

FOTD | From The Stash #1

As a beauty blogger, I do have a lot of makeup, and while I have stopped buying all the new releases which I clearly don't need, I do have a stash of products which often get pushed aside as new things come along. I've decided to start a new series, FOTD - From The Stash, featuring old loves that could do with a bit of air time. The idea is that instead of buying new makeup, I rediscover treasures from the past and put them to good use. I actually took these pictures a few weeks ago but haven't had a chance to post this until now.
Base // Revlon Skinlights in Bare Light, Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick, Origins Plantscription Concealer, By Terry Touche Veloutee.
Cheeks // Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Rose Initial, MAC Mineralise Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle, Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow.

Eyes & Brows // Clinique Neutral Territory 2 Palette (light shade of diamonds and pearls duo and hazy), MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy, Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara, Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polish (applied to inner corners of eyes and brow bone), Anastasia Dip Pomade in Dark Brown.

Lips // Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pink Venus and Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Minute.

How cute is this Pug necklace? Its from Sugar and Vice, a small independent jewellery company from Canterbury. It's run by the talented Sarah and Matt, who have just launched a new collection along with a brand spanking new website. Go take a look, their designs are really unique.

What do you think of this look and has it inspired you to shop your stash?


Monday, 1 September 2014

Richard Ward Chelsea Collection

My hair never wants to play ball. I want it curly but it's straight. I want it straight yet sleek, it's a bit frizzy. I want volume, its flat as a pancake. Sound similar? We always want the hair that we don't have, why is that?
Volume is my main hair want and I've been using the Richard Ward The Chelsea Collection Keratin Volume Shampoo & Conditioner* for a couple of weeks with the hope that they will give me some much needed bounce. I'm always sceptical about shampoos that claim to do this and that rather than just clean your hair as in the past they've just contributed to build up and hey-presto, greasy flat hair!
Luckily for me these do actually deliver. They contain keratin which helps to strengthen the hair shaft and keep it healthy, along with wheat protein for body and sugar beet that keeps my hair super soft and silky. The conditioner is really nourishing but not at all heavy. My hair lasts for 2 days before it looks a bit lank (3 at a push with dry shampoo), and its definitely bigger and feels really light and soft. My only gripe is the bottles, they're a bit flimsy and its a bit difficult to get the product out. I might take the lids off as I feel like the bottles might crack.
I've also been using the Keratin Rehab Ultra-Moisturising Intense Rejuvenating Treatment*. Apart from having the longest name I've seen for quite some time, this mask gives my hair a much needed moisture boost. The first time I used it I went a bit overboard and found that a little goes a long way. I find it makes my hair really shiny and it dries a lot less frizzier.
I'd definitely buy these again and they're also exclusive to Waitrose so you can get them brought to your door with your groceries! Happy Laura.
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