The good, the bad, and the golden

As dawn approached in England this morning, pictures started to emerge of the red carpet fashion from this years Golden Globe awards. I was awake all night as I kept dreaming about buying furniture after a day of hell at IKEA, so I decided to use my time wisely and have a long look at some amazing and not so amazing dresses. No, I may not have an extensive knowledge about the fashion world, and I don’t really have any place in saying what isn’t great, but I have devised my top five favourite and top five least favourite looks from the night. Unfortunately, due to copyright issues I am unable to publish pictures alongside, but if you are unaware of who I am talking about, then give it a quick Google and you will soon see.

1) To begin with, despite what most people seem to be thinking, my absolute favourite outfit of the night was Emma Watson strutting her stuff in Christian Dior. I think she looked totally incredible, and I loved the quirkiness of the outfit with the backless bright red gown, the black trousers and navy heel. By the sounds of it, Emma seems to have hit the bottom of the best-dressed list over in the States, whilst fashion worshippers over the pond love her unique style, and I agree. This would be a prime example of an outfit that I’d personally want to wear if I was to ever hit the red carpet, although I would never look half as good!

2) My second favourite outfit was the stunning Sofia Vergara in an equally stunning Zac Posen floor length, black ball gown. It accentuated all her best features, including some ridiculously toned arms! Despite changing for a GG after-party, (I don’t know why she did, if I ever wore that dress I’d never take it off… ever), Sofia looked just as amazing in a revealing Zuhair Murad metallic fishtail dress.

3) In third place is the gorgeous Maria Menounos in Max Azria Atelier. Opposite to Emma Watson, it seems that the reaction to Maria’s dress over here is not as great as it is in America, however; I completely beg to differ with us Brits. The cheeky cutouts on this beautifully shaped dress creates the perfect ratio of daring to darling in this look. The colour suits her so well and the simple ponytail does not take anything away from the dress, keeping the whole look elegant. I just think she looks completely gorgeous and I need this dress in my life.

4) Zoe Saldana takes forth place in my ranks out of last night’s looks. With everything going on, this fitted Prabal Gurung dress should technically be wrong, but it is so incredibly right. The highly detailed embellishments, the contrasting pink off-the-shoulder silk straps, and the transparent skirt all add to the uniqueness of the outfit, which has been paired with Louboutin heels and Lorraine Schwartz jewels. For some strange reason, I could just imagine Carrie Bradshaw/Sarah-Jessica Parker wearing this dress in an episode of Sex and the City.

5) My final favourite look was from 12 Years a Slave star, Lupita Nyong’o, wearing a totally unique caped, red Ralph Lauren dress. Personally, I would never wear this dress because I wouldn’t have the gonads to do so, and it is made for Lupita so perfectly; but I appreciate how extremely well designed this dress is. (I know Ralph Lauren would be so pleased to have my approval). Matched with her short hair and simple gold jewellery, this girl looks so effortlessly beautiful.

Now for the bad bit – my not so favourite looks. I hate to say negative things about the outfits because I’d never even be able to afford one of these dresses – but I’m speaking as if I had to go to a red carpet event, and these would not be any of the dresses I’d wear. Sorry!

1) I haven’t heard of Girls until recently, but even so Lena Dunham’s bright yellow Zac Posen dress is pretty heavy on the eyes. She admitted to not exactly dieting in the run up to the big show, stating that she actually ate a thick patty of hamburger meat like a cavewoman, which probably isn’t the greatest idea before putting on a tight bodice. For someone that is supposed to be BFF-ing with Victoria Beckham at the moment, she clearly hasn’t picked up any style tips. If you want to do yellow justice, then wear a gown like Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch’s dress made by Romona Keveza.

2) I really do hate to say it because it’s Dior, one of my all-time favourite designers, and also Jennifer Lawrence, one of the best actresses on the planet right now; but this really does not work in anyway whatsoever. It looks like someone attempted to kidnap her with Gaffer tape mid-wedding, but failed to do so, leaving a very unflattering wedding dress. Unfortunately, social networkers are already mocking her internationally, taking pictures of themselves in a rolled-up duvet. For someone like Jennifer with a lovely figure, it seems a shame to hide it behind a frumpy, shapeless dress, but I suppose she does like to bend the norm, so if she likes it, then kudos to her!

3) My third choice is utter bullocks, (sorry I couldn’t help myself). Sandra Bullock has done extremely well so far in the ranks of awards, and is set to win many more, but this Prabal Gurung dress is not going to win in my charts anytime soon. It’s a bit too ‘try hard’ different, so much so, that it doesn’t work in any shape or form – probably because the dress has neither. Also, the poor design and colouring of this dress looks like something that could have been made in my A-Level Textiles class, but then again that would be an insult to us. Despite this, I do love her hair and makeup, and admittedly, she looks incredible for her age.

4) Paula Patton comes forth in her white Stephane Rolland dress with ruffled draping. It’s not the worse dress in the world, but for someone with such an amazing body, she could wear so much better. The dress would look miles nicer if it didn’t have that draping down the right-hand side. Her jewellery is gorgeous and she genuinely looks stunning, however; this dress is a no.

5) In fifth place is Drew Barrymore with her Monique Lhuillier gown, which to me, alongside the baby bump, flowers and long trail, slightly resembled Kim Kardashian’s Givenchy’s dress at the Met Ball last year… no comment. But hey she’s pregnant. If I ever look that pretty whilst up the duff then I’d be extremely happy.

Overall, my views on some particular designers like Christian Dior, Zac Posen and Prabal Gurung seemed to vary. Nevertheless, there were hundreds of lovely outfits seen last night and were very few terrible outfits – even some of the dresses mentioned above aren’t hideous, but just not up there with the standards of some other gowns. This is only an opinion and I guess everyone will think differently, as everyone has their own unique style.

Let me know if you agree or disagree with anything in this post!

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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.

The only way is…lashes

Last Thursday I delved into a beauty treatment that I actually laughed at when I first heard of it – Eyelash Lifting – a new treatment inspired by Eyelash perming.

My initial presumptions of the perming was that one would have a set of very fuzzy and crimped lashes, which is unattractive to say the least! However, when I went in to my usual salon to get my HD brows, (which is literally my religion) I asked my beautician what this treatment was. It is a long lasting semi-permanent method of making your eyelashes appear longer and fuller due to the lift, and the tint. The lift lasts up to 2-3 months and the tint has to be repeated twice in that three month period.

My salon doesn’t actually do eyelash perming as it creates more of a curl on the lash, and is better suited for people with short lashes, so instead I received the eyelash lift treatment  The process of the two is the exact same, however just done with a different eye ‘sticker’ – one is rounded, and one is flat with a little bump. I’m going to tell you the process of it, and show you the results!

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This is a picture of my lashes before hand, with no makeup.

Firstly, the eye is cleansed of any oils and makeup residue that may conflict with the perm and tints. The bottom lashes are taped down to your bottom lid to help stop them being permed upwards with the rest. I’m not sure of the correct terminology but then a sticker – which my beautician described as a ‘speed bump’ – is placed over the lid as close to your lash line as possible.

Then using a small stick, your lashes are pushed back on to the sticky edge upwards, which is where they stay for the whole of the treatment. The first perm solution is then coated onto your lashes and left for ten minutes. This bit isn’t that enjoyable as the perm smells and even with your eyes shut, little bits of the solution can seep through your lash line and into your eyes – and it hurts like HELL.

After the ten minutes is up the perm solution is wiped off with a wet pad and then the setting solution is fixed onto the lash line again. The smell of that solution is even worse, a bit like rotten eggs, but luckily once again it is only placed on your eyes for ten minutes, and you get used to it quite quickly.

Once time is up that solution is wiped off and the lash tint is set onto the lash line. This part of the process is optional – but I would say that it is necessary. If you don’t have naturally dark lashes then you won’t notice that the eyelashes have been lifted unless they are of a dark colour. I had the darkest colour – blue/black – put onto my top and bottom lash line as it saves me spending five minutes on my mascara on a daily basis. This time the tint stays on the lashes for only five minutes which whizzes by – and at this point I was extremely excited to see my new lashes!

The tint and the sticker is then slid off and you have to wipe the eyes with a cloth as hard as you would when taking makeup and mascara off to ensure that all residue was gone. Then after a quick brush I was able to see the bad boys!

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This picture is taken after the process without any makeup on – yet! Unfortunately the photo I took was quite bad quality as it was taken in a bright room so I changed it into black and white so you can really see the lash line. 

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I was extremely happy with this whole experience and I definitely think it’s worth doing. A week in, the lashes are just as pert as they were when they were first done. To be honest for the first day they may look a little odd such as some higher than others, however, it takes a day or so for them to settle.

What I love about this treatment is that it is inexpensive compared to getting lash extensions. It’s quicker, there is not as much maintenance that comes along unlike extensions and ultimately, they last longer than them too. When mascara is placed over the top of the lashes, they look exactly like you’re wearing false eyelashes anyway!

I paid £32 for both the lift and the tint which is around the average price for this treatment.

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Lashes with mascara.

If you fancy getting this done for summer then ask around at your local salons to see whether they do this treatment or not. Please be careful and don’t always go for the cheapest option. Make sure the salon do the patch test on you first to make sure you are not allergic to either the tint or perm solutions – and make sure they know what they’re doing. Do your research! It’s better than having an allergic reaction and puffy eyes for a while!

Let me know your thoughts whether you think it looks good or not, or if you decide to get it done!

Con-cealabration!

I enjoy reading various blogs to keep up to date with new or must have products, and an item that has been recommended by so many is the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. I am a firm believer of Mac Studio Fix Concealer, my one pot lasted me more than a year and it was extremely good. However, when it finally came to the end of its life, I was tempted to buy this inexpensive product to see what all the fuss was about. And boy I’m glad I did..

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Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer Light 2

I have always been a sufferer of dark circles from a young age. It’s not because I don’t get enough sleep, or that my body is dehydrated, I just think it is an ugly thing that I inherited. It’s always been a worry of mine as no one wants to look like something from Halloween every day of the year, however since discovering the Studio Finish Concealer in NW20 I’ve managed to keep any harsh blemishes and discoloration at bay. I’m also a fan of Benefit’s Erase Paste in medium as its quite thick it covers anything up very easily. I’d still happily use these products, but for £4.19 for the Collection concealer, which works just as well, it seems like a waste of money to keep buying expensive products.

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See it yourself…

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Picture One: You can see how dark my circles are before any makeup is applied (I do apologise!)

Picture Two: I dotted the concealer around the problem area, putting larger spots in the corners of my eye where it appears the darkest.

Picture Three: I then used a Real Techniques Base Shadow brush to blend it into the skin – this brush is great for blending. My beauty must haves are the Real Technique brushes. They  are simply amazing and work absolute wonders. 

Picture Four: After a bit of concealer and a groom of the eyebrows it is obvious my eyes are a lot brighter. There is still a slight blue tone, however in this picture I had not set the skin with foundation or a powder. Foundation would help cover this up completely.

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My Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is in colour Light 2, which works great with my skin tone and blends nicely with my Mac Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NW20.

So if you want a product that is as good as an expensive one, but a fraction of the price – then head to anywhere near you that stocks this product – you won’t regret it!

Links to all the products mentioned above are below.

P.S. sorry for the disturbing and so-not-funny title!!!

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Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

Real Technique Brushes

Studio Finish SPF35 Concealer

Benefit Erase Paste

Studio Fix Fluid SPf15 Foundation

The Body Shop ’til you drop

Unfortunately, as an extremely poor student it’s not often that I am able to have a good splurge up of beauty products. Recently though, there have been some amazing shopping deals on the iPhone app, Vouchercloud, that simply cannot be turned down. Beauty Store – The Body Shop were advertising the deal that if you spend £50 or over, you will receive a £25 off your purchase. To make this deal even better, a friend and I – both being great lovers of The Body Shop – decided to do the deal together and half the price once again. Therefore, for an amazing £12.50 – we both bought a bundle of products worth over £50. Now, to translate that into student terms – for the price of a bottle of Strongbow and a hangover McDonalds, I bought 5 different and amazing products that I could no longer live without. Let me introduce to you to the incredible Chocomania range…

ImageProducts from left to right: Chocomania Body Scrub, Chocomania Lip Butter, Chocomania Body Butter and Chocomania soap

To start with is the Chocomania Lip Butter at £4. I’ve used so many different butters and balms in the past such as the Vaseline Lip Therapy and Cherry Carmex Lip Balm. But over the past couple of winter months my lips have been so dry. Although this is natural when it is cold – balms and lip gloss’ have only made my lips look sticky with obvious dry dead cells, which is not an attractive look. However, since using the Choco Lip Butter, I’ve had the smoothest, fullest, and hydrated lips I think I’ve ever had. My natural lip colour is a lot pinker, I’ve had no awkward sticky dry lips and once again it smells great. If you’re not keen on having chocolate lips – The Body Shop does many different other flavour lip butters with various coloured pigments such as Pink Grapefruit, Mango and Sweet Lemon.

Top tip: After brushing your teeth, brush your lips in slow circular motions to remove dead skin cells and stimulate blood circulation. Then rub in the butter all around the lip, focusing on your cupids bow and bottom lip. This will create fuller lips with a natural tint from the blood flow.

Secondly, is the Chocomania Body Butter 50ml, at £5. I love so many different moisturisers and this is just another great one to add to the list. It’s nourishing, absorbed into the skin quickly and has the most amazing scent that you’ll probably get people trying to bite your arm off! Well, I hope not… Anyway, I have extremely dry elbows and knees and this moisturiser has seemed to stop this completely. It supposedly provides 48 hour hydration – I would probably disagree with this statement is I wanted to shower and moisturize the next day, but definitely think it could last up to 24 hours until the following day. I have tried using this on my face in very small amounts. Too much will make skin look greasy and extremely oily due to the buttery texture, however; it’s great in moderation on a dry T-Zone. This product is nice to have because of the smell, but I wouldn’t buy the big pot of it. The small one is the perfect size for dry spots such as hands, elbows, knees, (and toes?)

Top tip: Blend a small amount of the moisturiser with your foundation/fake tan to add a dewy and healthy glow to your face.

Next is the Chocomania Soap at £2. Honestly, I haven’t used as much of this as I have the others – mainly because I want to use up my old soap before using a new one (I’m weird like that). What I do know of it so far, is that it’s extremely hydrating just like the other products, and smells amazing. It has an extremely rich lather which is perfect for a morning wash before/after work. Definitely cannot wait to get the best use out of it – especially as I have 2 to use!!

Last but not least – and my personal favourite – is the Chocomania 200ml Body Scrub at £12.50. This is literally the best body scrub I have ever used. I cannot lie, as soon as I bought this I went home and showered with it straight away I was that excited. I did have a slight concern that as I have quite sensitive skin, I would end up in a rash because of the strong fragrance – but this wasn’t the case at all. My skin was left feeling so smooth and so nourished due to the real cocoa butter and organic sugar cane which stimulates the circulation in the skin and removes dead cells. This also made my skin feel as if I had already moisturised and definitely stepped up to the guarantee of 48 hour hydration. Now, yes I know – this is what a body scrub should do. But, this isn’t just any ordinary scrub. This scrub smells and looks like Betty Crockers double chocolate fudge icing. Once you open this baby, I can assure you, you will be holding yourself back from grabbing a spoon and eating it all up, no second thought (please don’t try this, I tried a bit and it most definitely doesn’t taste how it smells). So not only did my skin feel great, I actually smelt like Ms Crocker herself – and I loved it. If there is just one thing you buy from this review, please, please, please, buy this one, nothing but good can happen from smelling like a big chocolate cake (unless you’re diabetic, then I’m sorry).

Top tip: a great idea for using this as a salon style treatment without paying the price, then just scrub yourself down top to toe with this before having a shower (please do this in the bath or shower – I’m taking no blame for chocolate stained carpets!) Leave it on for around 5-10 minutes then shower as normal – it is the best!

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The Chocomania Body Scrub – looks and smells fantastic!!

Just to remind readers that The Body Shop do have great work ethics and no products are tested on animals and all products are 100% vegetarian.

So if I’ve persuaded you that smelling like a chocolate fudge cake can do nothing but good for the world (!!) check out The Body Shop‘s website, for product’s, deals, and competitions!

If you want to check out some great deals in your local area, visit Vouchercloud by clicking here.

Twitter:

@TheBodyShopUK

@vouchercloud

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