Pastels

Pastels

Pastel nail polish
hottopic.com

OPI nail polish
$19 – asos.com

OPI nail polish
$19 – asos.com

Ciate nail polish
$15 – johnlewis.com

Essie nail polish
nordstrom.com

POP pastel nail polish
$11 – asos.com

Topshop matte nail polish
$9.83 – johnlewis.com

Topshop matte nail polish
$9.83 – johnlewis.com

Topshop nail polish
$9.83 – johnlewis.com

Topshop pastel purple nail polish
$9.83 – johnlewis.com

Topshop nail polish
$9.83 – johnlewis.com

Topshop nail polish
$8.19 – johnlewis.com

Topshop nail polish
$8.19 – johnlewis.com

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Sex and no city

It is fair to say that I love everything about New York. The fashion, the lights, the hustle and bustle, the smell of street pretzels, hell I even love the angry taxi drivers. But my biggest love about it – is a television programme that came out of it. No not Friends – although I do love that – but Sex and the City.

I have been a huge fan of Sex and the City from the young age of 10 when I went downstairs one night, way after my bed time to see my Mum, who was watching the 6th series finale on Channel 4 when Mr. Big races to the oh-so romantic Paris to save Carrie from the quite honestly creepy, Aleksandr Petrovsky. I wondered to myself then what the huge deal was when I saw my Mum welling up with happiness, but my poor little naive self did not understand or appreciate the love of love that consumes every female on this planet.

Anyway, nine years on, and a more suitable age; (being thirteen and watching a sex scene with your Mum isn’t the nicest thing), I can admit that now, I understand everything that little Fern never even thought about. However; on a boring Tuesday afternoon, after re-watching my Sex and the City box set for the nth-hundredth time, I decided that I wanted to see where it all began for the beautiful and very fabulous – Carrie Bradshaw, by watching The Carrie Diaries. And all I can say is that just like the adult series, I was hooked. Thirteen episodes down and one and a half weeks later, I have finished every episode. And loved every minute.

As silly as it may sound, but watching both Sex and the City and the Carrie Diaries inspired me to really start taking writing seriously again. I have become a bit lax over the summer as any other student becomes. But seeing how she started off with just a pen and paper, dreaming big – which led to her having her own column in the city newspaper just made me think maybe anyone could do it if they work hard enough. I think maybe Candace Bushnell designed the Carrie Bradshaw, not just on herself, but as a representation of every woman out there. Dreams can come true if you make it happen. And oddly enough, despite it being fictional, it made me realize what I want to see of my writing career, or journalism career in general.

Nevertheless, I find it difficult to be inspired when living in Bournemouth. Yes it’s a pretty town and it is filled with amazing sights and people, but it doesn’t hold as much opportunity as a big city could. I want to be able to walk down a street and see a crazy piece of clothing or person or artwork that could instantly make me want to write or blog or design. Unfortunately, walking down a little road and having to pick up your dog’s crap doesn’t involve that kind of inspiration!

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This may not make much sense to some people, and I may sound like an absolute idiot for idolizing and taking inspiration from a fictional character, but as long as it’s motivating me, then that’s all that matters. I hope that in a couple of years I can look back at this and see that some of my aspirations have been achieved, and that I am a step closer to fulfilling my life long goals.

And as much as I wish I could be writing this from a cute little studio apartment in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, with the world outside my window – I’m sadly writing this on my bed in my small bedroom in the town of Bournemouth, listening to the sound of nothing but rain outside.

Oh well, maybe one day. A girl can dream.

Sex and the Town just doesn’t have the right ring to it.

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Product Review: Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronze Universel

From the start of Summer, I have found that the hot air and humid weather has caused my makeup to look dry and lifeless by the end of the day, and sometimes even only a couple of hours after putting on makeup. I thought it was maybe because I had bought a different foundation, but after switching between a few, I realized that it was actually the powder blushers I was putting on my face. So ever since this discovery, I became a huge fan of using cream blushers, and even used my favourite pink lipstick on my cheeks as to create a fresh and dewy glow to the skin that lasts all day without any appearance of dry skin.

However, I was still struggling with the fact that despite having nice pink cheeks, powder bronzers were still drying my face out, so I decided to research into various cream bronzers on the market. I’m all for contouring the face so I needed a product that would allow me to contour my face as usual, without it being too ‘cakey’ on the skin. Unfortunately, there are not many products like this on the market at all, especially in the cheaper brands, which meant that I would have to spend a fair bit in order to get what I wanted. When I went to my local MAC counter, I was told they did one but it would only be found in their London stores. This would end up being an extremely expensive product – including travel fares! So, I continued my search high and low when I found myself at the holy grail – the Chanel counter. I’ve never even bothered to venture to this counter because I just know on a student budget, I would most likely be judged for being a peasant looking at expensive products I could never afford!

But this time, I didn’t care, because I discovered a product that met all the criteria I needed and is now a product I can no longer live without – Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronze Universel.

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It has a gorgeous creamy texture that blends perfectly with foundation when applied on the skin with a buffing brush. It’s an extremely versatile product and you can create various different looks from this one product. For example, you can easily build it up if you want a darker look for a night out, blend it in softly with a paler foundation if you want the appearance of a face tan, wear it as a foundation if you already have darker skin, or even on its own just to add some depth and coverage on a clean face.

What is great about this product is that although it may be quite expensive for a student, it is of high quality and is good value for money. I managed to get mine from Beales Bournemouth on a 10% discount day, so for £27.90 I got a 30g pot, which after two months, hasn’t barely even shown a reduction in product. Also, it is the most amazing smelling product I’ve ever used on my face!

Whilst using it, I have definitely found that my makeup looks a lot cleaner, and I am not getting as many spots, simply because the bronzer has a light coverage, and therefore does not clog the skin like a powder does. I wouldn’t be surprised if this lasted me until the rest of the year, so it really is worth the money.

However, since purchasing this bronzer, Bourjois have released their own dupe called the Bourjois Paris Bronzing Primer for only £9.99. I have heard some good reviews about this product so maybe next time I’ll give this a try before spending a load of money on the Universel.

Nevertheless, it’s the first Chanel product I’ve ever purchased, and although I won’t be buying anything else from there in a hurry, it’s clear that Chanel never fails to provide great, high quality products whether it is makeup – or fashion!

Time to Prime

Some of you may have read my first ever, (and very excitable) review of the Smashbox cosmetics a couple of months back, and I said I would be testing a few more products over the course of the year. A couple of months on, I have found myself buying another one their kits which they release frequently, containing some of their best products. This time I purchased the ‘IT’S YOUR PRIME‘ primer kit which contains 3 different amazing products; the Photo Finish Foundation Primer, the Photo Finish Lid Primer and the Photo Finish Hydrating Under-Eye Primer.

ITS YOUR PRIME

Smashbox: IT’S YOUR PRIME

Photo Finish Foundation Primer:

With my initial Smashbox purchase – Studio Pop for Lips, I received a small tester of the Photo Finish Foundation Primer, which I have used a LOT, yet still have to finish. I absolutely love this product as it really prepares my skin for foundation; giving my face a velvety smooth finish. It contains Vitamin A & E, grape seed extract and green tea, which reduces colour pigmentation on the face , soothes the skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and pores. I only tend to use it before nights out so that my foundation lasts long hours and the elements of a night out – drunkenness, alcohol, tears, tiredness, you know the deal! It really does help make the foundation stay put for, I would say, a good 8 hours. You only need a small pea size amount to cover the whole face – too much and it can make the skin look greasy, despite being oil-free. Overall, a great product that can be worn by most, although I wouldn’t suggest it to people that suffer from dry skin as it could make it worse.

This product has won numerous of awards including being one of Marie Claire’s ’25 Products that will change your life’,  Best of Sephora award for Best Primer, InStyle’s Best Beauty Buy and many more!

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Smashbox: Photo Finish Foundation Primer

Photo Finish Hydrating Under-Eye Primer:

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts I suffer from really bad dark circles under the eye, so I love any product that can help reduce puffiness and dark pigmentation. Whenever I have been at the Smashbox counter I’ve always tried the Under-Eye Primer as it makes the sensitive skin under your eyes feel so soft and nourished, however; I just place it over the top of my make up meaning I can’t see the full difference it makes. I could never justify spending £21.00 on it, so when I saw that it was part of this kit – I was so happy and knew I had to get it! The product consists of anti-aging ingredients including caffeine, peptides and optical diffusers – all of which contribute to what Smashbox call the ’10 under-eye-benefits’: hydration, dark circles, puffiness, radiance, fine lines and wrinkles, texture, skin tone, age spots, clarity and soothing.

Using it for the first time properly and not in-store before concealer or foundation makes a huge difference. It feels as if the skin is being extremely hydrated, circles appear lighter in colour, and skin feels firmer. This product helps stop concealer from creasing, and ultimately helps eliminate the appearance of dark circles and wrinkles. It is a mini version of the product in the kit, but it still contains 5ml compared to the normal 10ml size.

What I like the most about this product is that it is multipurpose and can be worn alone to brighten the eyes instantly, worn under concealer to prevent makeup from creasing and setting into fine lines and finally used as a moisturizer to prevent wrinkles.

Photo Finish Under Eye Primer

Smashbox: Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer

Photo Finish Lid Primer:

Honestly, I haven’t used this product as much as I’ve used the other two, mainly because I don’t wear eye shadow often. However, when I have used this product, my eye shadow colours seem a lot more brighter and pigmented, and this product can be used separately as a highlighter on the brow bone. I do hope to use this more throughout summer as it is a lovely product.

Photo Finish

Smashbox: Photo Finish Hydrating Lid Primer

Overall, I am really happy with this purchase and I really do feel as I’ve got my money’s worth, as I always do with Smashbox products. I love the fact they are always bringing out new kits that are full of amazing products which are great value for money. I hope to see more make up brands doing this, as I know Benefit is another brand that bring out amazing kits for consumers.

I bought this kit for £14.00 in Boots which is such a bargain. If I were to buy these products separately, it would have cost me a whopping £61.00, so I can’t but feel pleased after getting these products, which are going to last me a long time – for practically a quarter of the price.

This product is  limited edition so if you want to buy one I suggest you do so soon so you don’t miss out on this fantastic deal. Head to your nearest Smashbox counter ASAP!

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House of Halos

This Tuesday brought the Bloggers Love event for the upcoming, innovative accessory brand, House of Halos. Located eight floors up at the Penthouse London in the centre of Leicester Square, it was the perfect opportunity to display various – and very stunning – jewellery and accessory designs, created by couture hair accessory art designer, and owner of House of Halos, Arlene Barclay.

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View from The Penthouse London

Having 24 years expertise within this market, it was clearly an overwhelming situation for Arlene seeing so many beauty and fashion bloggers and people from the fashion industry supporting the event and the products. “I was unbelievably nervous and at the end when everyone was taking all the photos I was shaking like mad with fear and trying to hold back the tears, very, very grateful to everyone. What an emotional and special moment”.

At the young age of fourteen, Arlene’s love of accessories emerged and she started crafting her own jewellery, however; her passion was heightened at 23, when she initiated her first company, “Angel’s Halos”, after being disappointed by the lack of formal hairpieces on the market whilst trying to find her own bridal accessories. With great success and numerous bridal designs being featured in all major Scottish Wedding Publications and various Northern England exhibitions & catwalks, Arlene decided in 2012 to end Angel’s Halos on a high, and start a new chapter in her life – House of Halo’s, which brings us to the current day.

The latest designs from House of Halo’s sees a variation between couture; such as the eccentric feather head piece seen in picture four, and classic; including the chic pearl necklace worn in picture two. Despite the quirky designs, there are definitely some vintage inspired pieces that could be worn on a day to day basis, or on special occasions, including the pearl and crystal encrusted headband and bracelet seen in the Ocean collection (see below).

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Photos taken by me @ Bloggers Love event

Past the intricate designs, however; Arlene wants to use these designs as a platform to help make a difference in the world – you could say she wears a halo of her own. “Why should the younger youth inherit such a mess? It’s time for a change“, which is an extremely refreshing mindset from a designer.

What is incredible and highly unique is that the majority of the lines in the brand have their own name in regards to what the proceeds will go towards; for example, the ‘Peace’ design, which is going to help support charities like War Child, the ‘Ice’ designs – which will help with the results of global warming in the Arctic and Antarctica, and also the ‘Ocean’ line which will support marine life issues.

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Peace Designs – Picture from Twitter @HouseofHalos

These three jewellery pieces have a definite goth/Victorian inspired twist on an otherwise, fashionable look; especially the choker necklace, which has been seen exclusively on number one selling artist – Emili Sandé.

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The Ice Designs – photo’s taken by me @ Bloggers Love event.

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Ocean Design – Picture from Twitter @HouseofHalos

Arlene maintain’s the slogan “a genuine desire to exceed client expectations“, which she has always been determined to exceed. This could definitely be achieved, as the first design she wants to release is the Peace collection. These pieces could definitely be added to any outfit to add an edge.“I think this will be a good initial design because it is on trend and a timeless fashion design, but also the fact of personal satisfaction in knowing by making their purchase they could be helping children less fortunate in this world. Things have to change and I’d be honoured if I could start a change just by a little necklace or bracelet.”

After 15 years at a professional level, Arlene has set herself high ambitions of making House of Halos a global success and the current aspiration is to see her products stocked in Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. However; in order for this to happen, Arlene needs an investor who will help, along with her passion and fortitude, to create a brand that is world-wide established. Therefore, it is highly important that everyone passes the word around about this company!

So with certain motives of not only creating stunning pieces that would fill a huge gap in the market, but wanting to help make positive changes within the world, it’s only fair that this kind, and incredibly creative lady gets an investor on board so we could see these products in our stores as soon as possible.

Please do take a look at her website to check out the portfolios and photo galleries, and make sure you show your support by following her on twitter!

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@HouseofHalos

Facebook: House of Halos

Models in these photographs are seen wearing dresses designed by Kevin Freeman of Renaissance Couture, and Isabelle Randall.

Kardashian Kollection part 3

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Photo taken from Dorothy Perkins

I’ve got to admit I am a huge kardash-aholic – from the show to the clothes, I am always keen to keep up with them (excuse the pun). So when the first Kardashian Kollection line came out last August, I was down my local Dot Perkins as k-wick as possible. And here were are now, three trends down, and I’m still doing the same.

I have to say that yes, I was initially drawn to the clothes at first because of the name, but after trying on the clothes and feeling the fit, I feel that this is more than just a line of clothing made by some celebrities. This is because I find it extremely difficult to shop for my size. I’m 5ft 10ins tall, with a prominent hourglass shape. I have a large bust and booty (proud of it!) but a very tiny waist, which makes it really difficult to find clothes that fit me properly. Both dresses and skirts are too short, and tops will be too tight around the bust but then way too baggy around my waist.

However, the Kardashian brand is famous because of the Kim Kardashian kurves (yes I am going to use a ‘K’ wherever necessary!!), so they are designed to accentuate an hourglass figure. And since, I haven’t yet found clothes that fit me so well, whilst looking so fashionable like theirs do. They are also made really well and the fabrics used are extremely comfortable.

This Spring/Summer 2013 collection includes some fabulous pieces which you can see have all been designed specifically by the girls to match their tastes, such as the cream metallic high-waisted shorts and matching jacket that are advertised by Kourtney.

The seasons colour palette sees summery whites, marble-printed effect greys, essential black pieces and subtle pinks; including the gorgeous pink and grey ombre blazer.

So far (I say this lightly as I’m pretty sure in an hours’ time I’d have persuaded myself to buy the white bodycon dress) I have ordered the metallic high-waisted shorts mentioned above, the black PU panel leggings, and the pink blush sleeveless blouse. I think these pieces are essential for summer, and better yet I can match the blouse with both the shorts and leggings. What’s great as well is that I received a few Arcadia gift vouchers for my birthday so I used one to help pay for my order, but also you receive 15% for student discount on the Dorothy Perkins website.

I am able to pick up these lovely pieces tomorrow from my local store, and I can’t wait to try them on and see how they look – I’m hoping good! I will add another blog tomorrow to show you what I think.

In the meantime, if you’re interested at looking at some of the other beautiful pieces from their collection, and some amazing accessories, then head over to the Dorothy Perkins website now.

Enjoy!

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May favourites..

This month has been a bit of hit and miss weather wise, which I suppose is good thing during my exam period, however; the weather I wanted was the wrong way round (which is typical). At the start of the month I was doing some hardcore law revision in the sunshine and having major hay-fever attacks where I thought at one point I was going to lose my sight, and by the 12th, (my birthday) it was torrential rain all day, which is highly unusual for this time of year. Nevertheless, it’s not stopped me thoroughly enjoying some beauty favs; some of which I have bought, and others which I received as gifts for my Birthday.

First and foremost is Marc Jacobs Daisy Sunshine Eau de Toilette 50ml

Daisy

This perfume smells absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, I ran out of my Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, which is my strong scent I like wearing in evenings (mentioned it in previous spring tag blog), so I wanted to replace it with another as Light Blue, I find, is quite a scent suited for winter. On a recent trip to Boots, however, I noticed that this limited edition perfume had 20% off, which is always appreciated! I’ve always been a fan of Marc Jacobs Lola and admittedly, I’m a sucker for great packaging so loved them even more because of the lids, it just makes it that more appealing, so when I saw this offer I knew I had to buy it. This perfume oozes summer and is a perfect scent to wear at any time of day. There is a strong scent of citrus with a hint of flowers, and reminded me of Escada Pacific Paradise that I have worn summer a couple of years ago. It is long-lasting and I have worn it every day since I purchased it. It is limited edition and there is still a 20% discount so for a 50ml bottle you can purchase it for £36 instead of £45.

Secondly, is Mac Lip Pencil in Dervish.

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I only bought this lip pencil yesterday, but I know this is going to be one of my summer favourites. I wanted a lip pencil which is pretty much the same colour as my lips – but better. I know people may not see it but I have slight lip discoloration from an accident when I was two years old. I smashed my lip open on a radiator and had to have microsurgery to stitch my lip up back together. Considering the scale of the accident, I’m surprised my lip wasn’t left completely mashed up, but luckily has only left a white scar, however; I can notice when doing my makeup, if i leave my lips clean they do not look as full as they could. Therefore, using this I am able to fill my lips out whilst  maintaining a natural look – perfect!

This third product is something that I have sworn by for the past six years. It is the Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Face Mist.

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I use it during the winter when I’m feeling pale, and I use it even more as the summer months begin to near and I want to get a head start with my tan. I put it on at night after cleaning my face, and then by the time I wake up in the morning, I have a natural, streak free face and neck tan! It is simple to use, doesn’t leave strange streaks on the face and is still natural looking.

Now my next product isn’t a beauty one, but fashion! It’s a yellow and white clutch bag from Primark.

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I haven’t used this bag yet as I haven’t been able to go out because of revision! But I just know it’s going to come in very handy over the summer, due to the pastel colours which will match most things! I’m hoping to buy a few more as Primark offer a great selection. I’ve been fed up of using m bog-standard black studded shoulder bag so I’m going to try buy a few more to brighten up my outfits!

Cath kidston products are amazing. I’m loving this seasons new floral pattern, especially in this Washbag and Padded Coat Hangers.

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I received these as gifts off my Mum and I love them. I’ve always been a huge fan of theirs and love how every season they bring in new patterns. The washbag is going to be perfect for when I go away and I have used the padded hangers for my coats!

My favourite nail polish at the moment is the OPI Lacquer Nail Polish in ‘a good man-darin is hard to find’. 

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My nails have grown out a lot at the moment so I want to use loads of colours! But this nail polish is one of the most long-lasting and vibrant polish’s I’ve ever used so there is no need to constantly change it. I’m also obsessed with orange so this matches most of my outfits at the moment!

My favourite skin scrub is the St. Ives Blemish Fighting Apricot Scrub.

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This is another item I swear by. I use it every time I shower and makes my skin feel silky smooth. It actually has kept spots and blemishes away from my face at the moment and smells amazing! It lasts a long time and is worth every penny.

Finally, is the Cath Kidston Blossom Set.

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These are two other products that I received as gifts. I’m not a big fan of using non-sensitive products because I have sensitive skin, however, these Blossom shower gel and body lotion have been very kind to my skin. They both smell like talcum powder which I love the smell of, and are very gentle to the skin. I’ve never used Cath Kidston beauty products before but after trialing these two I will be definitely using them again.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my May beauty fav’s and you may share a few of them! Let me know what you think below, and all products have links to a webpage where you can purchase them.

Products included:

Marc Jacobs Daisy Sunshine Eau de Toilette 50ml

Mac Lip Pencil in Dervish.

Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Face Mist.

Yellow and White Clutch Bag from Primark.

Cath Kidston Washbag & Padded Coat Hangers.

OPI Lacquer Nail Polish in ‘a good man-darin is hard to find‘.

St. Ives Blemish Fighting Apricot Scrub

Cath Kidston Blossom Set.