Thursday, 20 October 2016

Berrylicious Beauty

Looking up at the copper leaves in this morning's golden light, I thought I must write an Autumn beauty post before the branches become bare... so I've done a little berry picking and gathered a handful of favourites to share with you. Most definitely my favourite beauty season, I adore the rich Autumnal tones of berry, plum and copper - and how they bring life to paler skin and cold hands. I'm sticking to berries today, but no doubt I'll be back with more.

Clarins pull it out of the bag every year with their Essentials Eyeshadow Palette and this one is no exception. I don't tend to wear a lot of purples on my eyes, but this mix of rich and muted tones in matte, satin and shimmer finishes are very wearable. Dampen the brush to up the pigmentation levels... I like to use Smashbox Primer Water for this as it also boosts lasting power.

I probably use Kiko lipsticks more than any other brand. They aren't pricey and the quality is almost always superb. Enigma Lipstick in Theoretical Burgundy from the Neo Noir Collection is a dark vampy shade that adds instant drama. Pat on over balm for a more subtle look or pair with the matching lip liner and embrace the boldness. See me wearing it in this pic.

Jessica Nails Fruit of Temptation is The Most Perfect Plum nail polish. I have many and this blows the rest out of the water, plus the formula, gloss and lasting power are fantastic. It looks quite red in the bottle here but is a definite dark plum.

Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay never gets old and is one of my most worn perfumes ever. It works at any time of year but really comes into its own in Autumn. If you're dreading dark gloomy mornings already, you need this in your life... I'm rationing the last few drops.

Paul & Joe Kiss in the Park Lipstick is perfect for a daytime look or anyone who loves to add colour without looking overly made up. Sheer in one coat, the colour is buildable, glossy and feels like wearing balm. The rich plum red is stunning and looks polished yet can easily be applied on the go with zero fuss. (NB the lipstick refill and limited edition case are sold separately)

Both lip colours lightly swatched... I do tend to wear a few layers for more intensity. Kiko bottom, Paul & Joe top.

Bobbi Brown Longwear Liquid Liners are a great way to add a pop of colour in a way that's completely wearable. Violet Sparkle may look quite bold in this pic, but on the skin it's a mix of black and violet with a chrome finish that looks very enchanting on the eye. Available in five shades including a gorgeous olive and bronze.

Bog Standard hand poured natural wax candles are made 20 minutes from my home and come in a range of gorgeous outdoorsy scents such as Field and Moss. Hedgerow smells of brambles and roses and reminds me of days out blackberry picking. These are beautifully packaged and very reasonably priced for the quality.

Antipodes Joyful Hand & Body Cream is made with pure avocado oil, wild blackcurrant berry and hibiscus bloom. While the scent is a touch too sweet for me to use on my hands, it makes a glorious body cream and sinks in immediately, with no greasy finish for instant dressing.

L'Occitane has added to its super nourishing Shea Butter range with Shea Violet, a delicate powdery scent in pretty packaging. I'm loving this cute Hugs & Kisses set of hand cream and lip balm (both great) and the Shea Violet Body Cream feels blissful on dry to very dry skin.

Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples. See my full disclaimer here.


Monday, 17 October 2016

FACE Makeup Book by Sam & Nic Chapman of Pixiwoo

If you're just starting out with makeup, wish you could master the perfect eyeliner flick or want to take your beauty knowledge to the next level - you'll love 'Face'. This beautiful new makeup book by Sam and Nic Chapman aka Pixiwoo, contains step-by-step guides for everyone from beginners to aspiring makeup artists.

There was a time when I was baffled by the idea of watching YouTube videos of other people applying makeup, until I discovered the Pixiwoo sisters. Many years on, I still love watching these down to earth, original beauty vloggers, along with 2 million+ global subscribers.

As a long term viewer, I wasn't sure if I'd learn anything new from the book, but I was wrong about that... Face is both gorgeous to look at and a brilliant reference point for practical beauty guidance. As well as advice on things like tools, brows and skin, it includes specialist tips such as dealing with lash loss and how to perfect your lip shape with liner.

There's no doubt that watching Nic and Sam apply liquid liner on camera is the ultimate, but their book goes the extra mile by breaking each process down into steps we can follow at home. Extra tuition will be available via a free app, with exclusive videos to accompany the book.

I've wasted more time in failed attempts to apply false lashes than any other beauty ritual - and this particular guide is the first one I'll be following to the letter!

Face also includes more creative makeup styles and pro tips, illustrated with striking photography... this foiled gold eye is one of my favourites.

Nic and Sam have presented their combined knowledge using both pictures and language that are accessible to all... personally, I think Face is a brilliant read that every makeup wearer will both enjoy and learn from.

Face by Nic and Sam Chapman, published by Blink Publishing, launches 20 October 2016 RRP £20. It's currently on offer for £13 and available for pre-order on

If you can't wait that long, I'm giving away a copy over on Twitter!

Giveaway closes Mon 24 October at 8pm, is open to UK entries only (sorry) and a winner will be selected at random, Thanks to Blink Publishing for providing the prize.


Friday, 7 October 2016

Juice Beauty arrives in the UK: authentic skincare

Juice Beauty has finally reached UK shores and if you like natural, organic skincare that delivers results without compromising on ethics, I think you'll be a fan. I've been trying a few items from the Stem Cellular range for normal to mature skin (ahem), also perfect if you've suffered from sun damage due to their cell regeneration properties.  

The name alone draws me in... I mean Juice Beauty has got to be the best name for a skincare brand ever - it just sounds as if it's packed with all the good stuff - which in this case, it is!

"At Juice Beauty we believe in advanced beauty solutions that harness the best of certified organic & natural ingredients to deliver clinically validated results that do not compromise your well-being nor the Earth.”

I'm going to start with my least favourite, not a criticism of the product per se, just my personal preference. Stem Cellular 2-in-1 Cleanser is a non-foaming gel rinse-off cleanser. It's perfectly pleasant to use and I have used it in the mornings as the scent is very uplifting; I just have a personal preference for oil and balm cleansers and if you're the same, this range does include an oil cleanser. 

Now onto the serum and moisturiser which are absolute winners... 

Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Booster Serum has a light gel texture that sinks in quickly and feels immediately blissful. This is packed with fruit stem cells and vitamin C to boost the skin's ability to repair and renew cell turnover. It's suitable for all skin types, not just those showing signs of ageing, though considering the price tag I personally don't think anyone under 30 needs this. (I was sent these products for trial and didn't register the price until just now when I looked up the website).

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer comes in my favourite type of packaging - a flat topped pot that you press to release the perfect amount of product. In fact each one of these products has hygienic pump-style packaging that protects the contents from contamination as well as making them easier to use. This rich cream contains fruit stem cells with collagen and elasticity boosting Vitamin C. A rich juice base also contains resveratrol with age-defying antioxidants. My skin is prone to dryness and this brings immediate comfort. 

As well as feeling and smelling incredible on my skin - these have a fresh citrus scent and really are a pleasure to use - I find Juice Beauty serum and moisturiser extremely nourishing and really do feel like they're feeding my skin (sounds corny but true!). My skin looks brighter and fresher after one month of consistent use and although very moisturising, I can apply makeup on top immediately without any problems. 

Juice Beauty is available now at, the only UK stockist, with an extensive product range for every skin type. I just spotted this little Stem Cellular starter kit which might be a good one to try before investing in full sizes. Get 10% off your first order with FIRST10.

You can read more about the ethos behind Juice Beauty here

Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples. See my full disclaimer here.


Sunday, 2 October 2016

Dolce & Gabbana Wild About Fall Makeup: Review & Swatches

Dolce & Gabbana Wild About Fall AW 2016 makeup collection features some of my favourite Autumnal tones... chocolate, olive, gold and rose, inspired by the Sicilian landscape.

I like wearing the copper and olive shades from Smooth Eye Colour Quad in Enchanting Fall all over the lid. The copper in particular packs a real punch and is the most pigmented and metallic of all four. It also works beautifully pressed on the centre of the lid for a shimmery pop of colour layered over another shade. I find the dark brown a little tricky to blend, so tend to use it as a liner and the shimmery white isn't really my thing. I wear olive green shadow a lot in AW so can imagine wearing this shade the most. While this is a beautiful palette, I think you could replicate the shades for less (NB Kiko Charming Sage is one of the best olive greens I've tried and currently on offer for £3.40 here).

Strawberry blush is my kind of straight up pink for a healthy flush and a little goes a long way. Bold enough to work on most skin tones; best with a light hand on mine. A perfect partner for Shine Lipstick in SN1 001 (I'd have called her Autumn Rose).

The Nail Lacquers are fabulous, super glossy and apply true to the bottle colour. You can see me wearing Raspberry in this pic. Wild Green is a dark fir shade and Ebano, a blackened chocolate. 

This is the Enchanting Fall Eyeshadow Quad and Strawberry Blush swatched. I used two layers of colour for each shade with no primer, though I do need to use primer with the shadow (as I do with all brands).

Swatches from left are Shine Lipstick in Chocolate (79) and SN1 001 lipstick (pink) with Sheer Shine Gloss in Desert (165). Chocolate is more vampy than I'd normally go for but I'm kinda digging this look at the moment and wore this out on Friday night. It's a bitter chocolate with black cherry undertones and mega pigmented, with a beautiful matte satin texture. SN1 001 is a pretty raspberry mauve with a creamy texture that leaves a sheen on the lips. The gold Desert Gloss can be worn alone or patted over any lipstick for a metallic finish.

I often wear green eyeliner and these two shades are beautiful. The olive shimmer pencil is Agave (16) and the liquid Glam liner, Wild Green (4) - a blackened green with blue-green shimmer. This goes on quite sheer but can be built up for a more intense finish; I used 2 layers of all shades for these swatches.

While I'll use most products from D&G Wild About Fall, the lipsticks, eyeliner and nail polishes are my top picks. Which do you like the look of?

Dolce & Gabbana Wild About Fall makeup is available at Harrods and Nordstrom

Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples. See my full disclaimer here.


Thursday, 29 September 2016

Michael Kors Wonderlust: Review

Michael Kors Wonderlust eau de parfum is a new floriental gourmand fragrance inspired by escapism and lust for life.

Smooth, warm and creamy, this is an elegant, womanly scent in a gorgeous amber and gold ombre bottle.


Top: Italian bergamot, Almond milk, Pink pepper, Sicilian mandarin
Heart: Carnation, Heliotrope, Jasminum grandiflorum absolute, Jasmine sambac
Base: Cashmere wood, Sandalwood, Benzoin siam

I go quite lightly with Wonderlust as I find the initial spritz quite heady, though it really is quite soft once it settles on my skin. The jasmine, almond milk and woods are dominant for me and I find that I'm more drawn to this scent with every wear. 

Both sophisticated and comforting (an odd mix, but true), wearing Wonderlust reminds me of being wrapped in cashmere, pretty perfect for this time of year. 

Michael Kors Wonderlust is available now in 30, 50 or 100ml bottles. Find it at John LewisEscentual or Sephora (where it's also available in a cute 10ml rollerball.)  

Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples. See my full disclaimer here.


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Kypris: Luxury Organic Skincare

I'm one of those people who claims to care more about the effects of skincare than the packaging or experience of using it - and I DO - but hands up, I can't deny the absolute pleasure of finding all of the above rolled into one. I've been pretty smitten by my first experience of Kypris skincare, a luxe botanical brand presented in the most exquisite packaging.

Kypris Cleanser Concentrate is a light gel cream cleanser with 30 (!!!) active ingredients including moringa, prickly pear and probiotics. I use this after makeup removal or as a morning cleanse. It almost melts on contact with my skin and feels light and refreshing, yet doesn't disappear when massaged in. The texture is unlike any other I've tried and rinses off easily leaving my skin looking brighter and feeling calm. 

Kypris Heliotropic Pot of Shade is applied over moisturiser to prime skin for foundation, while protecting with a mineral-based broad spectrum SPF30. It leaves my skin feeling plumped and dewy and makeup applies beautifully on top. When using this I need way less foundation and find that my makeup lasts longer rather being sucked into my often dehydrated skin. If you struggle to keep using sunscreen over the Winter months, this will convince you. It's sold out in most places but I've tracked it down here

Kypris skincare is by no means cheap, but the quality of ingredients, effectiveness and integrity behind the brand have seriously impressed me. If you're looking for truly natural, organic products that actually deliver, this is a great place to start. The full range is now available in the UK at Selfridges and Cult Beauty.

Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples. See my full disclaimer here.


Monday, 19 September 2016

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation: Review & Swatches

I've been trying out Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation for Face and Body, which I think fans of a very natural finish will really enjoy. Recently reformulated, this waterproof foundation is described as hydrating and transfer-resistant with a glowy finish.


The best way I can describe Water Blend Foundation is that it looks like real skin. Made with 80% vitamin-enriched water and moisturising pro vitamin B5, its sheer texture is best suited to those who enjoy a light, natural looking coverage that's barely detectable on the skin. One pump is enough to cover my entire face with a finish akin to tinted moisturiser, while two layers even out my skin tone, conceal redness and create a more even finish. I haven't personally tried MAC Face & Body, which seems the most obvious comparison, but from what I've seen in photographs, it appears to have slightly more coverage.


The sheer, liquid formula spreads quickly and evenly without streaking. I've tried applying Water Blend with everything from a traditional foundation brush to fingers and my chosen method is to use a buffing brush (Bobbi Brown Full Coverage is my favourite) then go over it with fingers or a beauty blender sponge. I'm a big fan of the Barely range and have been using the Soft Definer (dry) with this foundation.


It sets quite quickly and veers towards matte without looking flat or dull, lasting power is great and I don't really need to powder. While the coverage is light, it's more than I expected. I do tend to prefer a lighter foundation with added concealer where more coverage is needed, rather than a solid mask of coverage. Mid Winter, I'll opt for a medium coverage, but for now, I'm happy with this finish.


Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation swatches: Y225 Marble, Y245 Sand
I chose colours based on online swatches and what those of a similar skin tone to me were using. I assumed Y245 would work well for now when I still have a little colour and Y225 in Winter. In fact both were a little pale on me, though Y245 is perfectly wearable warmed up a little with Too Faced Sweetheart bronzer in Sweet Tea. I still think Y225 will be perfect in Winter, when I much prefer to veer slightly light - way more flattering and glow inducing.

There's not a huge leap between these two shades, though Y225 (Marble) is lighter and more yellow based, while Y245 (Sand) leans more neutral with peach/beige undertones. Available in 20 shades (less than the HD and Ultra HD foundations) it comes in several paler than mine and goes right through to Dark Brown. Make Up For Ever is consistent with its foundation colours across the board, so if you already know your colour, you can be confident about finding a good match. NB colours starting with Y are yellow based and those starting with R are red/pink based. 

I'm wearing Make Up For Ever Water Blend foundation in Y245 in this pic, warmed at my temples and cheek bones with Too Faced Sweet Tea baked bronzer. Blush is Tom Ford Frantic Pink and I used the Incandescent shade from my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette as highlight. Lips are Pixi Multibalm in Wild Rose (see previous post) and I used Zoeva Cool Spectrum eyeshadow palette (down to £15!).

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation is available now at Debenhams or Sephora

Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples. See my full disclaimer here.


Sunday, 11 September 2016

Pixi Beauty Multibalms: Review & Swatches

Pixi Multibalm in Baby Petal, Sheer Sculpt, Wild Rose, Watermelon Veil & Soft Strawberry. 
Pixi Beauty Multibalms for lips and cheeks offer a pretty pop of twist-up, blend and go colour on the run. A semi matte cream to powder formula means that they blend well onto skin and set with a lasting finish. Aloe vera, shea butter and rose hip oil add slip, blendability and a comfortable finish. Despite a matte look on lips in particular, they still feel comfortable. The curved bullet makes application quick and easy in comparison to the original flat-topped NARS Multiples. These are also slimmer, similar in size to a fat marker pen, which for me, makes them less daunting to use.

ON CHEEKS: Pixi Multibalm applies well straight from the bullet, though I'd recommend starting with a brush or fingers until you gauge the pigmentation (it's good!). Using the flat tips of my first two fingers, I pat the colour onto my cheeks and finish by blending out with a soft brush. Less is more and it's always easier to add more than take away; if you overdo it or spread the colour too far, soften the effect by buffing in a little foundation. The finish is very natural and not tacky to the touch.

ON LIPS: Wild Rose is my standout shade, a gorgeous mauve pink that's right up my street. Baby Petal is a softer, more subtle version. As I'm not big into matte lips, I usually wear these over a clear balm for subtle sheen or add a touch of gloss on top; if your lips are very dry, you may prefer Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm (6 shades) or Tinted Brilliance Balm. While they work fine straight from the bullet on full lips, I'd opt for a lip brush for a precise finish on thinner lips, or use a finger.

Pixi Multibalm in Watermelon Veil & Sheer Sculpt. 
The packaging is super cute and I love that the lids are colour co-ordinated to the contents, with a little stripe of the same colour on the bullet. The lids seem secure and so far, haven't popped off in transit, even when I've traveled with these (which they're perfect for!).

Even the boxes are pretty (good for gifting) in Pixi's hallmark mint green and rose gold packaging.


Pixi Multibalm Swatches bottom up:
Baby Petal, Sheer Sculpt, Wild Rose, Watermelon Veil & Soft Strawberry. 

  • Baby Petal: soft peachy beige nude - great on both lips and cheeks
  • Sheer Sculpt: super quick and easy contour 
  • Wild Rose - mauve pink nude - love on lips and cheeks and my personal favourite
  • Watermelon Veil - a sugary pink that I think would work better on medium to dark skin tones
  • Soft Strawberry - berry red - prefer this on my lips though can wear sheered out on cheeks

Pixi Multibalm Swatches: Baby Petal, Sheer Sculpt, Wild Rose, Watermelon Veil & Soft Strawberry. 
I really enjoy using these and am always up for a product that enables quick and easy makeup application. Wild Rose is my favourite and I can see this and Baby Petal being used up the quickest. While I only contour occasionally, Sheer Sculpt is great for this - the perfect tone that looks very natural.

In comparison to similar products, I'd describe Pixi Multibalms as slightly more matte in finish than Clinique Chubby Sticks for Cheeks and less malleable (making them easier to control) than NARS Multiples.

You can see me wearing Pixi Multibalm in Wild Rose on my lips in this pic.

Pixi Multibalms cost £12 each and are available here in the UK or here in the US

Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples. See my full disclaimer here.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm (& a discount code!)

Yes, it's black. And it's one of the most delicious cleansers I've tried. Ever. In fact I'd go so far as to say that Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm is the best cleansing balm I've had on my face.

(Skinesis Ultimate CleanseEmma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm & Merumaya Cleansing Balm are my Top 3 to date, in that order.)

What's so good about it?

Made with Hungarian Moor Mud, it gently cleanses and detoxifies while nourishing the skin.

It's mineral-rich with hydrating sweet almond oil, uplifting orange blossom and a tonne of natural ingredients including vitamins and essential oils.

A big plus for me is that this cleansing balm is an absolute joy to use. Melting into an oil on contact, it feels almost spa-like when massaged into the skin, rinsing off quickly and easily. Incredibly luxurious, yet fuss-free, it leaves my dry, sensitive skin very calm and comfortable, with no tightness or residue.

I love that it's black, largely for the novelty of cleaning my face with something black (yes I'm like a small child), but also because it's free of synthetic colours, or fragrance, or parabens. In its au natural, raw form. 
One little scoop is all I need for my entire face, though I do sometimes use more and spend longer massaging it in.
Here's how it looks on the skin, becoming almost transparent by the time it covers a full face. Epic. (For a split second I actually considered a. trying to get this little bit back into the jar and b. removing all my makeup an hour after I'd applied it.)

If you can't already tell, I adore this cleansing balm, which is apparently suitable for every skin type. When I told the people at Omorovicza I was writing this review, they kindly offered a 15% discount code for my readers, which is good, as it doesn't come cheap. It is worth every penny though, promise!

Save 15% on Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm with the code PURIFY15 until 11 September 2016. 

PS My nail polish is Jessica Tangled in Secrets, out this month. You can see it better on my Instagram. 

Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples and purchases. See my full disclaimer here.


Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Jo Malone Basil & Neroli Scented Candle

The Jo Malone Basil & Neroli Collection hits counters this week and is an absolute beauty. The first ever Jo Malone citrus floral (but not as you know it), this new permanent line extends from cologne to body cream. If the scented candle is anything to go by, I defy anyone not to fall for it.

I'm a huge fan of herbal scents, with Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay an all time favourite, so the top note of basil received an immediate tick from me. I am that person with her nose stuck in a pot of herbs, rubbing the leaves to release the juicy aroma - and basil is a particular favourite. 

The succulent green scent of Neroli, from the blossom of bitter orange trees, introduces orange flower to the mix, while musk adds roundness and softens any sharpness from the citrus.

Green, clean and exhilarating, this scent is slightly more gentle than Blackberry & Bay, which packs a more distinct herbal punch. (I haven't yet tried the cologne, so am only judging by the candle.)

The Jo Malone Basil and Neroli scented candle makes my room smell amazing, with the kind of outdoorsy freshness that I adore. When I leave and come back in, it's as if someone has left a freshly cut bunch of herbs and flowers on the table.

I imagine that this fragrance will hold particular appeal to fans of Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin, Orange Blossom and my personal favourite, Blackberry & Bay (review).

I'll be hot footing it to check out the cologne when Jo Malone Basil & Neroli launches this Thursday (1st September). I reckon I'll need a treat on the day my baby girl starts secondary school. I just know there will be tears (mine!) as I watch her disappear through the gates... that's my excuse anyway! 

Jo Malone Basil & Neroli scented candle, £42; 30ml cologne, £43; 100ml cologne £86; Body Creme, £50; Body & Hand Wash, £28. 

PS Thank you to my friend, Gillian, for allowing me to photograph this candle in her dreamy garden, a haven of beautiful flowers and fresh herbs. xx

Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples and purchases. See my full disclaimer here.
© Strawberry Blonde. All rights reserved.
Blogger templates by pipdig