Thursday, 29 October 2015

Smells Like Calm: NEOM Real Luxury Diffuser

Neom-Real-Luxury-Diffuser-review 

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m the world’s biggest candle fan, particularly at this time of year, but there’s something about the constant flow of fragrance from a reed diffuser that I really love. It’s not practical or economical to burn a candle all day every day, but a diffuser means my home always smells good. I keep this one in my hallway for a lovely sense of calm when I come in the door that people often comment on. Not that my home is always the calmest place I hasten to add - I’m usually either working or have a stream of children racing in and out, but I wouldn’t have it any other way (most days!).

Neom-Real-Luxury-Diffuser-blog-review 

Each NEOM diffuser has a specific theme ranging from tranquillity to happiness and they don’t just smell good… a high percentage of essential oil (a whopping quarter of the 100ml bottle) means they really do have powerful therapeutic benefits.

Real Luxury helps calm and de-stress with a blend of 24 essential oils featuring Lavender, Jasmine and Brazilian Rosewood. Lavender is of course best known for its relaxing effects and while I’m not the biggest fan of the scent on its own, it really doesn’t stand out in this blend. Brazilian Rosewood brings comfort and balance alongside my favourite, uplifting Jasmine. The overall scent is warm, comforting and luxurious - I’d be amazed if anyone wasn’t a fan.

I find that these last a couple of months (placing them away from direct heat or drafts helps them last a little longer). Real Luxury throws quite a powerful scent, so I find it’s best in the hallway unless you have large rooms.

A little tip I’ve discovered to help the fragrance go further - literally - is to place one or two reeds in different rooms… just pop into a miniature vase or press into white-tack (once they’ve absorbed the liquid) for a little Real Luxury dotted around your home!

NEOM Real Luxury Reed Diffuser is available here.

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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

New Beauty AW 2015

 Tom-Ford-Noir-Color-Makeup-collection-Christmas-2015

One of the things I love most about being a beauty blogger is the chance to hear about new beauty products before they hit counters… I’m like a kid in a candy shop; it’s my jam. This isn’t a new thing… since my late teens I’ve stalked beauty counters every season, checking out the new colours and textures, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over all the pretty. I’d do the same with clothes, but it was always the new beauty that really got my pulse racing and that hasn’t changed. So today I thought I’d share the new and upcoming beauty swag that I’m most excited about… a virtual shopping list (in my dreams) or wish list if you like. Some of these are already available and others will hit counters in the coming days and weeks. Most are palettes, because like many of you, they make me weak at the knees.

Let me know which ones you like the look of most - and please tell me about any gooduns that I’ve missed!

Above, Tom Ford Noir Colour Collection in glossy black packaging features nude lips, Night Sky eyes, Onyx nails and cobalt or gold lash tips... pure glamour all the way a la Mr Ford. Only a few days to wait as these are available 2 November 2015 at Selfridges. 

 

Hourglass-Ambient-Lighting-Edit-Christmas-2015

This new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit features powder, blush and bronze, including a new pink-pearl highlight, Iridescent Strobe Light.

The six shades are:

  • Iridescent Strobe Light (new)
  • Dim Light (my fave)
  • Diffused Light
  • Luminous Flush
  • Mood Exposure
  • Luminous Bronze Light

    Although each square is smaller than those in my trio, the powders are so long lasting that I actually think this works out at better value at £65. I want it. So bad - and expect it to sell out quickly. I won’t be able to resist this for long. Available now at Space NK and Sephora.

     

    Shimmering-Skin-Perfector-Pressed-Champagne-Glow-Palette-Champagne-Pop-Jaclyn-Hill Christmas-2015 

    Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Champagne Glow Palette with Pearl, Blushed Copper, and bestselling Champagne Pop x Jaclyn Hill is a limited edition Sephora exclusive to add luminous glow. I think this would have done really well in the UK too, but since Sephora now delivers, can we resist?

    anastasiabeverlyhills_selfmadeshadowpalette

    Anastasia Beverley Hills Self Made Palette contains 14 eye shadows in a mix of sumptuous shades - just enough variation to add interest yet still very wearable. Available now at Cult Beauty, £26, which I think is a great price for such a quality brand.

     

    Lanc1504   Lanc1504

    Designer, Anthony Vaccarello, has collaborated with Lancôme to create three sultry limited edition Hypnose eye shadow palettes. My favourite is this super glam Golden Black palette, gorgeous for the party season (not mentioning the C-word until November!). These palettes are £38 each at Lancome (the bright blue is WOW if you’re into colour!).

     

    Urban-Decay-Gwen-Stefani-palette

    Gwen Stefani was recently announced as Urban Decay’s first celebrity ambassador and their first makeup release is an absolute stunner. The Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay Palette contains a mix of 15 matte and shimmer neutrals, smokey shades and pops of colour, hand chosen by the lady herself. This launches 22 November when I expect it will storm off the shelves. If you fancy a shedload more full-on colour, check out the newly launched Vice 4 palette at Urban Decay and Sephora.

    ITBOYH Manizer2 (1)

    The Balm is spoiling us with two new beauties: In the Balm of Your Hand with the brand’s best selling eye, cheek and lip shades and The Manizer Sisters, a trio of pretty highlighters. Unless you’re big on highlighting, I’d go for In the Balm of Your Hand, which includes the much coveted Mary-Lou Manizer. Both are available now though hard to track down in the UK… I’ve spied them at Cloud 10 Beauty which delivers internationally.

    My Top 3? Hourglass Ambient Edit, Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay Palette and In the Balm of Your Hand. In that order please, Santa baby. How about you?

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    Monday, 26 October 2015

    Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Concealer & Corrector: Review & Swatches

    Bobbi-Brown-Intensive-Skin-Serum-Concealer-Corrector 

    If you suffer from dark circles, look this way - my latest discovery blows other concealers out of the water. Things are about to get a little gushy…

    I own almost as many under eye concealers as I do lipsticks, forever in search of the perfect formula. Let’s start with what I’m looking for… a product that conceals and brightens without looking cakey and lasts throughout the day without settling in or magnifying fine lines.

    Bobbi-Brown-Intensive-Skin-Serum-Concealer-Correctors

    Enter Bobbi Brown’s new Intensive Skin Serum Concealer and Corrector. As the names suggest, these are skincare and makeup hybrids designed to brighten and firm, instantly and over time, thanks to a cocktail of myrrh tree and mushroom extracts with ultrafine makeup pigments. I’m only skimming the surface here, but these contain a host of impressive ingredients also found in Bobbi’s Intensive Skin Serum Foundation, to re-energise skin and boost moisture levels.

    New-Bobbi-Brown-Intensive-Skin-Serum-Concealer-Corrector 

    The corrector and concealer are designed to be layered and while this isn’t essential, it does give the best results if you’re prone to dark circles. Younger skins with slight shadows don’t need both - the concealer alone should suffice (unless you’ve been out partying!). Intensive Skin Serum Corrector cancels out the very darkest shadows… less is more with this and really the tiniest amount is all I need. My eyes nearly fell out of my head when I saw how effective this was. Think an extra 4 hours of sleep in one swipe.

    Intensive Skin Serum Concealer should then be applied on top - and no, it doesn’t cake. I’m a little more liberal with this one, dotting it along my under eye, from the inner to outer corner. I find it works best if I press it into my skin gently, then blend out with the smaller end of the Full Coverage Face and Touch Up Brush (more on that in a minute).

    While these products can be used over foundation, I’ve been applying them first, on their own - a tip I picked up in my Pretty Powerful Makeup Lesson last year. Less layers = less chance of caking and in my experience, longer lasting power. I use less foundation as a result, blending the edges together where the two products meet at my cheekbones.

    Essentially, the corrector removes the excess darkness and the concealer adds light - and in my case, life.

    Bobbi-Brown-Intensive-Skin-Serum-Concealer-Corrector-swatches-ExtraLightBisque-Porcelain  Top: Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Concealer in 01 Porcelain; Bottom: Corrector in Extra Light Bisque.

    Porcelain looks a fraction warm in this swatch - the 2nd pic above gives a more accurate depiction. There are an impressive 16 Corrector and 15 Concealer shades to choose from; mine are among the lightest and they go right through the spectrum.

    These colours are a perfect match for me - for ref I’m Vanilla in NARS Creamy Concealer, Ivory in Clarins Instant Light (a bit too dark/yellow on me), Fair Golden in Amazing Concealer and 01 Light in Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer.

    I’m prone to dryness but have been told they work on all skin types, which I can imagine, as they’re neither too matte nor dewy.

    Bobbi-Brown-Intensive-Skin-Serum-Concealer-Corrector-brush

    While both apply very well with fingers, they’ve been launched alongside a limited edition Full Coverage Face and Touch Up Brush. You don’t *need* this, but it’s described as delivering an ultra-polished ‘HD’ finish and I have to admit, it really is the best face brush I’ve tried. The smaller section fits into the corners of the eyes (and around the nose) for blending concealer, while the larger end gives liquid foundation a perfected skin-like finish.

    Final thoughts: Used over an eye cream, these products do not settle in lines and don’t crease on my eyes throughout the day. They don’t look or feel drying and I find them more comfortable to use than the original cream formulas. I honestly can’t fault them. Although more pricey than your average concealer, they do have added skincare benefits and I can see them lasting me up to a year.

    Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Concealer & Corrector are available now here and you can find the Limited Edition Full Coverage Face & Touch Up brush here.

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    Friday, 23 October 2015

    Autumn Skincare Edit

    Autumn-Skincare-2015

    Every year I filter slightly richer formulas into my Autumn skincare routine… I’m prone to dryness and like to address this before it settles in and becomes an issue. I use these particular products in the evenings, except for the primer, which is so special I had to include it here. Don’t know about you, but there’s something about darker evenings that encourages me to cleanse and treat my skin earlier before I settle down to relax. I try to do this when the children go to bed, then I can just tumble into mine later without having to face my err, face.

    I’ll remove the majority of my makeup with a cleansing oil (currently loving this one) or Bioderma if I’m in a rush/feeling lazy, before going in with Oskia Perfect Cleanser. This nourishing balm is great for dry or mature skins to deeply cleanse, decongest and restore moisture levels… it feels much more rich than the Renaissance Cleansing Gel, which I also adore, but find this one perfect for Autumn. I may do a comparison post on the two if anyone’s interested?

    As I write I keep remembering steps that I haven’t included here, like toner and exfoliants - I’ve been switching between Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting BHA Lotion and my old favourite, Alpha H Liquid Gold lately - in the hope of treating some particularly stubborn milia that appear to be breeding on my right cheekbone. Nice.

    I’ve been freaking out a bit about my eye area recently after catching a glimpse in the mirror while wearing my glasses. Who needs a Halloween costume? Let’s just say the high definition didn’t do me any favours. Bring in the big guns with Clinique Smart Eye Treatment, so named as it targets skin concerns where needed to smooth, even and brighten. It has a lovely creamy formula which softens and hydrates the skin around my eyes and while in all honesty I never expect miracles, I’ll keep you posted if I spy any long term.

    ’Tis the season when facial oils come into their own and I’ve really been enjoying Colbert MD Illumino Face Oil, a multi tasking oil with retinol and vitamin C to refine texture, improve tone and add a little glow. I love the packaging and pump mechanism, which releases just the right amount of this lightweight oil and leaves my skin feeling velvety soft. Definitely an evening only option for me and one that I do think I’ve seen benefits from in terms of smoothness and radiance.

    While I found this jar of 1001 Remedies Soin Millenaire a little too rich over the Summer, it’s absolutely perfect now. A plumping moisturiser that stimulates collagen production, it’s made with 97% natural and active ingredients, free from parabens, phthalates and OGM. All of this goodness means it doesn’t have the pleasant scent of most face creams, which took a while for me to get used to, but I find it so hydrating and soothing that I overlook it!

    While all of the above are evening essentials, I’ve included one product that has brightened up my morning routine, OM Skincare Invisible Finish Primer. This absolute beauty adds light coverage, glow and SPF to skin and can be worn alone or under makeup. It’s a whisper of coverage that those blessed with great skin may be happy with day to day, but personally I see it more as an actual primer with multiple benefits. Beautifully packaged with a pump bottle, it replaces primer, radiance-inducing base, SPF and gives the skin a more even finish. Oh and I need to use less foundation on top. This is one step that I won’t be skipping in a hurry!

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    Tuesday, 20 October 2015

    Bathroom Shelfie: Autumn Edit

    Bathroom-Shelfie-October-2015 

    I have a few Autumn Edits coming up, including skincare and makeup, but today I’m starting with the hair and body products I’ve filtered in since temperatures dropped. I’ve been craving extra hydration thanks to dry shins, ragged cuticles and crispy hair dulling the joy of crunchy Autumn leaves. No doubt I’ll need to take things up a notch again when Winter bites, but for now, this little lot is helping. 

    I’ve raved about L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil multiple times and No7 Foaming Shower Oil is the closest formula I’ve tried. Made with sweet almond and grapeseed oil, this has a more subtle scent but very similar texture, with a dense oil that gently foams in contact with water and feels luxurious on the skin. I’m loving the pretty new packaging too.

    I’ve been using this most mornings and indulging in NEOM Real Luxury Bath Foam in the evenings. I don’t know about you but I tend to skip baths in Summer and have welcomed the return of deep, candlelit bubble baths on dark nights. I’ve no idea how NEOM managed to bottle an SLS-free bubble bath, but am so happy they did - and it smells incredible thanks to a generous dose of lavender, jasmine and Brazilian Rosewood oils. The scent has been compared to the comfort of cashmere and I total get that; it really is heavenly and seems to help me sleep too.

    No7-FoamingShowerOil,CliniqueDeepComfortBodyOil,NeomRealLuxuryBathFoam,BouclemeHydratingHairCleanser,AvedaSmoothInfusion-NourishingStylingCreme

    Post-bath I’ve been using Clinique’s Deep Comfort Body Oil, focusing mainly on my shins and upper arms where I’m prone to dry patches. This is a really unusual new formula in that it’s both lightweight and nourishing, sinking in quickly while chia oil and antioxidants leave my skin extra soft. I really like that it’s fragrance free too, so doesn’t interfere with the lingering scent from my NEOM bath. Although I’ve only been using this for a couple of weeks, I’ve already noticed an improvement in skin texture and am hoping the quick and easy pump bottle and fast absorbing texture help me remain consistent with this one!

    My hair hasn’t looked particularly happy lately, which I think is down to a combination of cooler weather and too much heat styling, oops! Boucleme Hydrating Hair Cleanser has helped boost moisture levels via coconut, mongongo, seabuckthorn and camellia oils, gently cleansing without stripping my hair. A dollop of Aveda Smooth Infusion Nourishing Styling Crème on mid lengths pre blow-dry hair = soft and smooth locks that aren’t weighed down. I really struggle to find a product that ticks both of these boxes as my hair craves moisture yet turns lank very easily - and this one gets it spot on.

    PS shout out to the Jo Malone London candle in Pomegranate Noir, which I’m utterly smitten with… more on that soon!

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    Thursday, 15 October 2015

    Ole Henriksen 3 Little Wonders

    Ole-Henriksen-3-Little-Wonders-review

    I’ve always been drawn to miniatures rather than sample sachets as a way of trying new beauty products as I really can’t make a decision on skin care after only 1 or 2 applications.  Sets like this contain enough product for 1-2 weeks (depending on how much you use and your face shape), which is much more like it. After a recent rave about my first experience of Ole Henriksen, the team at Escentual (one of my favourite online beauty stores) kindly sent me this mini collection to try out, aptly named 3 Little Wonders. Here’s what’s inside and how I got on…

    Ole-Henriksen-3-Little-Wonders-skincare-minis

    The three products include one I was really keen to try, Truth Serum Collagen Booster; Invigorating Night Treatment, a more potent version of the night cream I’d been using (review here) and another not yet on my radar, Sheer Transformation.

    The Truth Serum Collagen Booster didn’t disappoint. This is a nourishing and brightening serum, packed with antioxidants and of course Vitamin C to repair and protect the skin. Slightly syrupy on application it feels a little tacky on the skin for approx 20 seconds and then dries matte. I find it soothing and hydrating and wish I could bottle the subtle but gorgeous citrus gourmand scent.

    Sheer Transformation is a lightweight, oil free moisturiser with AHAs (fruit acids), to gently exfoliate and help correct pigmentation. I like the texture of this and find it works well over the Invigorating Night Treatment, but imagine it would be best suited to oily or combination skin long term as my dry skin tends to need something a little richer at this time of year. Saying that, it does work well with a drop or two of oil mixed in, always a good option to take your skincare up a notch without investing in new products.

     Ole-Henriksen-3-Little-Wonders

    If you’ve been thinking of trying Ole Henriksen, the 3 Little Wonders mini collection is a great way to get a taste of the brand and there are four other sets to choose from for different skin types here.

    PS while you’re there, it’d be rude not to check out Escentual’s French Pharmacy offer with up to 1/3 off this month. I’ll be stocking up on Bioderma as usual; no matter how many micellar waters I try I always come back to this, not least because it makes the best eye makeup remover ever!

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    Tuesday, 13 October 2015

    Marc Jacobs Decadence: Review

    Marc-Jacobs-Decadence-perfume

    If you like a heady, full-on fragrance for the cooler months then you might like to check out Marc Jacobs Decadence - a stop-in-your-tracks head turner that you’ll either love or loathe. A departure from Mr Jacobs’ usual style (to which I’m rather partial) this is truly decadent every step of the way.

    The Notes:

    • Top: Italian Plum, Iris, Saffron
    • Heart: Bulgarian Rose, Jasmine Sambac, Orris
    • Base: Liquid Amber, Vetiver, Papyrus Woods

    Opulent, rich and sensual, this woody amber scent smells to me like it should be paired with a velvet ball gown on winter evenings - fire blazing, chandelier, glass of mulled wine… you get the picture.

     Marc-Jacobs-Decadence-handbag-perfume

    I expect that many will be unable to resist purely for the bottle alone, modelled on a Marc Jacobs handbag…

    Marc-Jacobs-Decadence

    …not to mention the gorgeous green velvet box.

    Sophisticated, smokey and the kind of perfume I once practically bathed in, I’ve been drawn to softer and brighter scents lately. Definitely one to try before you buy - and if you like intense fragrances, this would be an amazing signature scent.

    Marc Jacobs Decadence is available in 30, 50 & 100ml at fragrancedirect.co.uk (mine is 30ml)

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    Sunday, 11 October 2015

    Benefit Air Patrol: Review

    Benefit-Air-Patrol-review-blog 

    Benefit Air Patrol is a new BB Cream Eyelid Primer with SPF20, designed to protect and hydrate the eyelid and extend the wear time of eye shadow.

    Benefit-Air-Patrol-review- 

    The product comes in a clicky pen with a soft silicone tip, described as more gentle than your pinkie finger. It is indeed soft and flexible and can be used to distribute the product, but I still need to pat/blend it in with a finger.

    Benefit-Air-Patrol-review

    One twist releases enough product for both of my eyes; I advise twisting very slowly to avoid releasing too much, even though it does twist back down to save waste.

    Benefit-Air-Patrol-review-swatch Benefit-Air-Patrol-review-swatches

    The product itself is slightly yellow in tone to balance out any redness or uneven colouring, which it does beautifully on my eyes, though I’m not sure how it would look on very dark skin. NB while this brightens the eye lids, it’s not suitable for use on under eye shadows.

    I like that this is more moisturising than some primers I’ve tried; it doesn’t dry out my lids and eye shadow applies smoothly on top. While it does set on the skin, oily lidded gals may not approve. It’s tricky to find an SPF which works on the eye area, the one place I want to protect most, so SPF20  is a big plus point.

    Benefit Air Patrol does intensify the appearance of my eye shadow and prolong its wear, but does not prevent it creasing throughout the day. As I have hooded eyes, I’m very crease prone and others may not have this issue, but it’s worth bearing in mind. The main reason I wear an eye primer is to preventing creasing, so while this is the only downside, it’s a significant one for me.

    I’ll continue to use this on eye shadow free days to brighten the eye area, but I’ll stick to NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base on days when I wear heavier eye makeup.

    Benefit Air Patrol is available here.

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    Thursday, 8 October 2015

    By Terry Light-Expert Click Brush Review

    By-Terry-Light-Expert-Click-Brush-foundation

    By Terry Light-Expert Click Brush foundation is designed to deliver a quick and easy radiant finish in one click, with glow enhancing camouflage micro-pigments and fine mineral powders for a lightweight finish.  Clicking the silver button on the base releases the correct amount of product into the brush, which is applied directly to the face. The angled kabuki brush is completely removable for washing, making it hygienic to use and the transparent inner tube of foundation means you can see how much is left.

    By-Terry-Light-Expert-Click-Brush-review-no4-Rosy-BeigeBy-Terry-Light-Expert-Click-Brush-applied-on-face

    By Terry Light-Expert Click Brush in shade #4 Rosy Beige

    Four dots of foundation appear on the brush for even distribution. I like to go in after with a buffing brush or fingers to make sure everything is completely smooth, but while it’s a touch small (any bigger and the tube would be gigantic) it’s certainly possible to use the brush on its own - very handy for touch ups.

    The finish is less dewy than I expected; I’d describe it as satin, though it still has plenty of glow and good lasting power. This is pretty clever really as the dewy formulas I'm normally drawn to (eg YSL Touche Éclat foundation) don't last so long on my skin.

    I’d describe the coverage as light to medium - and very skin kind. It’s definitely buildable in light layers - and never seems to sit obviously on my skin no matter how much I apply. Two thin layers give me good coverage on the light side of medium, with a natural skin finish - you can still see freckles, but skin is evened out overall.

    It doesn’t sit in my pores or lines at all, which I’m massively impressed by and the glow is as if I’m wearing a radiant primer under it. There’s no sheen or shimmer, yet it catches the light. The foundation has a fresh clean scent, similar to the Touche Veloutee highlighting concealer, which I’ve used for years.

    By_Tery-Light-Expert-Click-Brush-Rosy-Beige-4-inside-tube

    This is how it comes apart for brush cleaning - the cartridge of foundation slips into the outer casing and the brush part screws on top. I’d quite like the option of switching the brush for a regular pump, maybe next time Terry?

    IMBy-Terry-Light-Expert-Click-Brush-_ 

    I have dry skin and this works for me… as the finish is more matte than I’d expected, I actually think most skin types could get away with it, except perhaps for very oily, though it will probably enhance normal to dry skin the most. I don’t feel like I'm wearing makeup with this on - and don’t particularly look like I am either. It is lightweight and gives the effect of good skin, which means it works best for me when I do have good skin days. I tend to prefer lighter base + concealer rather than caking a heavier product all over, but if I’m looking a bit knackered/rubbish (regular occurrence), I would go for something with a touch more cover, such as Clarins True Radiance

     By_Tery-Light-Expert-Click-Brush-Rosy-Beige-4-swatch By_Tery-Light-Expert-Click-Brush-swatch-Rosy-Beige-4

    My shade is #4 Rosy Beige, which works well on me despite the fact that I usually run a mile from pink undertones. It’s really not that pink as you can see above,though looks  a  little deeper in these swatches than in real life. Note the coverage level over the large freckle on my arm in the right hand pic when the product is blended out. {For ref, I’m Ivory in Clarins, BD20 in YSL and NC15-20 in MAC.}

    By Terry Light-Expert Click Brush is available now at Space NK, where you can currently save £15 when you spend £60 with the code EXPLORE15 on this link. (NB this code is applicable to most products on the site, not just By Terry)

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    Tuesday, 6 October 2015

    Beauty with Purpose October 2015

    Clinique-Breast-Cancer-Awareness-BCA-2015-dDML,BerryPop

    As it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, I’d like to highlight some purchases that will help support this important cause, along with some other very special ‘beauty with purpose’ buys.

    Clinique has reintroduced its limited edition pink ribbon bottle of Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ with a pretty signature key chain, £38 and Cheek Pop in Pink with a Purpose in a miniature pouch, £17.50. This is one of my favourite blush formulas and this is the shade Berry Pop, which I swatched here. £2 from the purchase of each item will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), available from 8 October .

    BCA_Set_Fh15_CMYK  Aveda Hand Relief BCA

    Jo-Malone-Red-Roses-Cologne BCA ghd-pink-platinum

    Other particularly lovely releases in support of Breast Cancer Awareness 2015 are:

    Donations will be made following the purchases of these items during October 2015.

    More Beauty with Purpose…

    Look-Good-Feel-Better-Makeup-Brushes Look-Good-Feel-Better-Makeup-Brushes-

    While Breast Cancer Awareness is a cause that’s close to my heart, I also want to flag two other great ones, equally worthy of your support. First up is Look Good, Feel Better - a charity supporting women and teenagers struggling with the visible side effects of cancer treatment. A 12% donation will be made to the charity on the sale of these specially designed makeup brushes, enabling Look Good Feel Better to expand their confidence-boosting workshops. The brushes themselves are beautifully made and super soft… my favourites are the Powder and Angled Blending Brush, though this set also works out at great value - see the full range here.

    Occitane-Savon-Solidaire-charity

    Last but certainly not least is this humble little bar of soap. Every year on World Sight Day, (8 Oct) L’OCCITANE sells a special soap to help raise funds to support the fight against avoidable blindness in developing countries. Each purchase of Solidarity Soap with shea butter and honey, £3 will enable one patient to have access to glasses and eye care. That’s pretty amazing - and humbling. The soap comes in a sweet box decorated with flowers and honeycomb drawn by Olivier Baussan, founder of L’OCCITANE. I’ll definitely be stocking up on these for little gifts.

    So there you go, just a few reasons to treat yourself or a friend, guilt free!

     

    *no affiliate links and the press samples featured will be donated.

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    Friday, 2 October 2015

    Tarte High Performance Naturals

    Tarte-High-Performance-Naturals-QVC-TSV 

    I’ve had my first proper foray into Tarte beauty and I’m hooked… it’s great when a new discovery turns out to be worth the hype! Tarte is a US beauty brand, with a cruelty and paraben-free range featuring natural ingredients such as nourishing Amazonian Clay and plant extracts. If you’d like to dip a toe into Tarte, then consider this your official heads up that this gorgeous 7 piece kit will be QVC’s TSV (Today’s Special Value) tomorrow, Saturday 3 October.

    [EDIT: This set is still available to purchase on QVC for £51 here]

    High-Performance Naturals is a great introduction to the brand and includes all of the essentials for a makeup look:

    • Amazonian Clay Eye & Cheek Palette
    • Double Ended Eye Shadow Brush
    • Amazonian Clay Full Cover Airbrush Foundation
    • Airbuki Powder Foundation Brush
    • Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara
    • Coconut Oil Lipstick in Primrose
    • Silky Amazonian Clay Eyeliner in Black Brown
    • Purple patent travel makeup bag

    The full value of this set is £84.50 and it will be available on TSV for £39.72 (slightly more than the price of the foundation alone!).

    Tarte-Amazonian-Clay-Eye Cheek-palette

    The limited edition Amazonian Clay Eye & Cheek Palette includes 3 matte & 3 shimmer shadows - which all work together really well - and a full size blush in Insightful. The Plum shade, bottom right is less pigmented than the others, but works for a daytime smokey eye; all the rest are velvety, flattering and blend well.

    Tarte-Amazonian-Clay-Full-Coverage-Airbrush-Foundation

    As I veer away from powder foundations, I didn’t expect to enjoy the Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation, so was amazed at how natural it looked on my skin. It gives great coverage - and around half an hour after it settles, looks like really great skin. I didn’t look or feel like I was wearing a lot of makeup and my skin even had a bit of a glow. I prefer this to the Sheer Cover and Bare Minerals alternatives I’ve tried in the past. I like to apply it with the Tarte Airbuki brush, then finish by buffing into my skin with my usual Real Techniques Buffing Brush for a seamless finish.

    The double ended eyeshadow brush works for blending out shadow, but I prefer to apply the colour with a flatter Bobbi Brown eye shadow brush initially.

    Tarte-Lights-Camera-Action-mascara

    Lights, Camera, Lashes gives full on volume as the name suggests and the Coconut Oil Lipstick in Primrose is the most beautiful berry bright with a very creamy, well pigmented formula - the perfect Autumn lip colour.

    My favourites from this set are the palette, lipstick and Silk Amazonian Clay eyeliner, which glides on, is mega pigmented and lasts all day.

    If you fancy trying some new products or treating someone to a bargainous beauty gift, I think this one is absolutely worth the money. The High-Performance Naturals set, £39.72 (RRP £84.50) is available only at qvcuk.com as Today’s Special Value on Saturday 3 October 2015. I think it will be snapped up!

    [EDIT: The TSV offer has now closed, but this set is still available to purchase on QVC for £51 here]

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    Thursday, 1 October 2015

    M&S Beauty: Gift with Purchase

     

    M&S-GWP-Beauty-Bag-Offer

    Every time I go into M&S I spot more of my favourite beauty brands on the shelves; most recently Pixi Beauty, which I got more than a little excited about. No longer just a place I swing by to pick up my mum’s talc, I can happily while away an afternoon in the ever expanding beauty hall. Makeup artist to the stars, Mary Greenwell comes on board today as Beauty Ambassador, marking the addition of Bourjois, Barry M, Pixi, Studio 10 and T LeClerc as M&S continues to step things up.

    After that little preamble, what I really want to share today is an impressive gift with purchase. To get your hands on it, just spend £25 on beauty products - and you’ll receive a FREE make-up bag filled with:

    • Stila lip gloss
    • Diego Dalla Palma mascara
    • Lola lipliner
    • Eyelure false lashes
    • Pixi Beauty eye shadow palette
    • M&S Autograph eye shadow palette.

    By my calculations, that lot is worth at least £60!

    In the unlikelihood that you’re not sure what to spend £25 on to get your mitts on this lot, here are my Top 5 M&S Beauty picks…

    Pixi-Glow-Tonic Pixi-Beauty-Cat-Eye-Ink

    1. PIXI  |  Now that Pixi Beauty has landed at M&S, I no longer need to order my Glow Tonic via phone from its London store and wait for them to post my bottles out - hurrah (though I did love them a little bit for doing that).  So I’m cheating a bit here with two Pixi recs - in addition to the iconic, skin-refining Pixi Glow Tonic, I’ve been impressed by the new Cat Eye Ink, which has a firm, slanted felt tip style nib that makes winged out cat-eye liner easy peasy.

    Stila-Eyes-Are-The-Window-Spirit-Silver

    2. STILA  |  I’ve been using Stila Eyes are the Window eyeshadow palette in Spirit a lot recently as it offers so many versatile looks, with pale gold, warm copper and chocolate tones in a mix of shimmer, satin and matte finishes. The shadows themselves are soft, blendable and very wearable, oh and that rose gold packaging and giant mirror… *swoon*.  NB mine is the one labelled ‘Silver’ on M&S. You can see Mary Greenwell use a Stila palette to create a smokey eye look hereshe makes it look so easy! 

    L'Occitane-Almond-Discovery-Gift-Set

    3. L’OCCITANE  |  L’Occitane’s almond range is one of my all time favourite  body & hand ranges - and this Almond Discovery Collection of generous miniatures is a brilliant way to try it all… I can’t even begin to tell you how incredible every one of these smell. (If you really feel like treating yourself there’s a bigger Delicious Almond set here, which actually works out at better value.) You WILL be hooked… don’t say I didn’t warn you!

    Xen-Tan-Transform-Luxe 

    4. XEN TAN  |  I know it may seem odd to suggest a self tanner at this time of year, but I’ve been slathering this on after the horror of acknowledging my post-Summer blue toned limbs last week. I’m not ready to go there yet.  A single application of this adds the perfect amount of gentle, golden colour (because who has time to tan daily?!) - just enough to make my skin look human again. Xen Tan Transform Luxe is my all time favourite gradual tan thanks to that delicious caramel scent and perfect colour… oh and it’s on offer at the moment!

    REN-Rosa-Centifolia-Cleansing-Balm

    5. REN  | REN Rosa Centifolia Purity Cleansing Balm is a beautiful cleanser that leaves my skin completely clean, yet comfortable, even on sensitive days (I’m prone to rosacea). The rose scent and delicious texture make it a pleasure to use and the balm emulsifies when water is added, rinsing off easily… it’s one that I often come back to and a little goes a long way. 

     

    The M&S Beauty GWP is available online and in selected stores until 27 October / while stocks last. Add the code T234817G to redeem this offer and get your free makeup bag full of goodies. PS if you find yourself just shy of the £25 minimum spend, may I suggest this. Happy Shopping!

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