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29 Jun 2011

Calling all beauty bloggers.... Youngblood needs you!

Calling all beauty bloggers...





Relative newcomers to the make up scene, Youngblood UK are looking for beauty bloggers, to work in conjunction with them.

What a fab opportunity to get involved with a brand. Hopefully any comments and feedback would be acted upon and it's both an excellent opportunity for us bloggers to 'make a difference' but also for Youngblood to get 'in the field' reviews, suggestions and honest feedback. Seems win win all round?!


I love the idea of mineral make up and as my lovely readers know my main face concerns are v. sensitive skin and high colour which requires covering. I've tried most of the main contenders to the mineral crown and i'm yet to fall in love with any of them, reverting back to my heavier liquid foundations.

The wishlist i'll be working my way through, in case you're nosy... is this : 

and on an upside, before my shipping list, the liquid foundation is oil, talc and paraben free - MARVELLOUS!




 




And to top it all off, the Ultimate Foundation Brush looks lovely!




Will you be submitting yourself to help out Youngblood? Have you tried their brand already? What do you want to try?

20 Jun 2011

The cost of beauty?


Imagine walking down the high street and you see an amazingly beautiful, decadent luxe spa. You look at their prices to see a full body massage is only £5.

What do you make of that? Do you equate higher beauty prices with higher quality of service? Do you avoid it because 'something must be amiss'?

I happened upon an article on the Daily Mail website today - CLICK HERE TO READ that highlighted the fact that most beauty treatments cost the salons next to nothing to carry out, product wise, so what prompts them to hike up the price hugely? Well profits obviously but surely dropping from £60 to £30 would probably
encourage more people to have go for one?

We have to consider what the average overheads and wages could be, but do salons really need to hike up a massage from £2 > £60? I suspect not.I think we all know deep down that the few drops of oil and scenty candle in a basic treatment room isn't entirely worth the £30/40/50 they charge but it's a cross we have to bear for our vices right?

For a long time I equated a higher price from a high end salon to be of greater quality than a smaller salon.I soon learnt my lesson and judge the treatment on recommendations and not their price tags.

Would you be happy paying £3 for a full body massage? Or would you still prefer something higher priced to reflect the quality and ambiance?

I know I have looked in to local training colleges who charge cost, to let their final year students loose on the public with head massages from £2, who wouldn't want to give that a try? It's a much more savvy way to get that weekly/ monthly pampering
we'd all love.


I'd love to know everyone's views on this
.

17 Jun 2011

Fangirl Friday : Nail Art by Amy Blair

For the 2nd part of Fangirl Friday, I'd like to introduce you all to the wonderful blog called Nail Art by Amy Blair.

I know her designs might not be to everyones taste but I absolutely adore browsing her pictures and it certainly does provide a lot of inspiration and looks to try out, whether it's on all 10 nails or just statement nails. I keep this blog book marked and have a trawl if I fancy something new but don't know what. 5 minutes on here and I have come up with a snazzy idea, theme or plan!

Amy is sadly not based in the UK otherwise i'd be there at the front of the queue getting my nails prettified!


So without further ado... here is a showcase of some of Amy's wonderful work.



^^ Amazing blues with stars, I love this look




And this is my personal favourite... I definitely think I will be recreating this for my holidays... the perfect holiday nail art!



16 Jun 2011

Katie of the Playboy Mansion

I hold my hands up now, my guilty tv pleasure is / was watching The Girls Next Door / Girls of the PlayBoy Mansion. Not the new girls, but Kendra, Holly and Bridget. I blame those 3 ladies for my quest for platinum blonde hair! ha! I even adore the almost spin off film - The House Bunny which reminds me completely of Bridget!



I was obsessed with the show and I sky +’d every episode! It was both an interesting insight in to a life I’d never have (thankfully) and it was full of pert pretty blondes… who can complain! Hef always struck me as an old romantic that just happened to be in love with 3 ladies, rather than the seedy old man alot of people think he is. He always comes across as such a sweety and really lovely. In fact, just as i'm writing this, news has broke that his engagement and super close wedding has been called off - poor Hef!

I’m not the kind of Playboy tattoo / bed linen / car stickers kind of fan but I did push the boat out to include some fluffy Playboy slippers with dangley dice… they remind me of my honeymoon in Vegas and are now much loved and a lovely shade of off white… and a Playboy lipgloss (that was incidentally super reduced in TJ Hughes a few year ago!)



The infamous Playboy London club first opened its doors to eager society gamblers in 1965 and re-opened after an overhaul on the 4th June this year. 

Look how devilishly handsome Hef looks! *swoon*

The club has a new modern look to bring it up to date. From the website it looks like a sleek swish modern club set up with a high standard and finish. With uniforms designed by Marchesa, the club certainly has gone along way from moving away from the perceived sleazy image it induces in some people, the way Stringfellows does. I'd love to go, just to say i've been! 

I've seen the Playboy Club in Las Vegas not long after it opened in 2006 so it would be nice to see the version in the UK. Maybe I should drag Mr Tramp!

What prompted this waffle and declaration of love over scantily clad blondes was this fab set of treatments from Wahanda I spotted whilst trying to book my mother in law a birthday spa day! I don't think she's quite ready for the Playboy Club yet but Wahanda is certainly right, every lady deserves to feel amazing in her own skin.. whether you cover that skin with a Bunny uniform, Asda uniform or a tracksuit... we all need some TLC!

I think i'll be booking myself in for that Hollywood glow!




Playboy bunny beauty busters
from Wahanda


It’s hard to miss the excitement and controversy stemming from the opening of the new Playboy Club in London these last few days. Nonetheless, whether you agree or not, it is sure to say that the girls will look fabulous. At Wahanda, the UK’s largest online community for spa, beauty and wellness, there are a fantastic range of spas, treatments and deals that mean that you too can look and feel gorgeous for yourself if not anyone else!

Despite the difference in opinion on the club’s opening, it highlights the fact that we girls deserve to look and feel great, and what better way than treating yourself to a little ‘me’-time. Whether you’re strutting around in your underwear at home or strolling round the office, every girl should feel every inch empowered and gorgeous. At Wahanda you can quickly, easily and without shedding too much out of your purse find treatments that will leave you hopping for more!

Cellulite treatments: Playboy bunny or not, no-body is perfect. Cellulite affects nine out of ten women and is a common enemy to us all. Using Wahanda’s easy to use search tool you can find great treatments local to you. There are a number of different ways to reducing the appearance of cellulite; from body wraps to specially a tailored lymphatic drainage massage. All are aimed to ensure you feel and look at your best below that bunny tail!

Facial treatments: One thing is easy to notice: the bunnies always have a smile on their faces. No doubt this is helped by good skin and a glowing complexion, so we highly recommend a facial to leave you feeling cleansed and gorgeous. Our faces, unlike our bodies (unless you’re one of Heff’s girls), are always on show, so keeping our skin looking beautiful is all part of keeping it healthy. There are a variety of different types of facials and at Wahanda you can make sure you find the right one for you.

Getting that bunny body glow: No doubt these new Playboy bunnies are going to struggle to keep up that sun-kissed look thanks to traditional British weather, but you don’t necessarily need sun to glow like an LA star. There are plenty of tanning salons around the country and, at Wahanda you can easily find salons or spas local to you and rated and reviewed by other users. All fake tans work best after a good exfoliation so why not look up a venue that offers a body scrub too!

As well as those suggested above, Wahanda have a huge range of different treatments as well as spa days and spa breaks, available throughout the UK. Wahanda Beauty and Spa Gift Vouchers are also available to buy online from £25 to £200 and so can make the perfect gift to treat someone special!


Visit www.wahanda.com for more information.

15 Jun 2011

Hello my old friend.... products and brands you just can't let go


Whilst perched on the side of the bath last night dying my hair, it got me thinking about all the brands and products out there, but I keep coming back to the same old ones.

Take my hair dye for example. I've been dying my hair pretty much since I was 12/13, so for 15/16yr I have been buying dyes and exposed to all the brands, types, shades etc. I have tried pretty much everything on the market, and a host of salon colours yet I still always come back to Nice & Easy super pale blonde. Why is that?

Familiarity? Product excellence? Afraid of change? NOPE! It's because I have found a product that truly fits me and I couldn't improve on it.

I am an SB1 (summer blonde) and I have been an SB1 girl for more years than I care to count. I have been there with Nice & Easy through their rebrandings (Remember the odd heads coming out of the water?!) and new colours and yet I still stay loyal. That has to be testament to the quality of their products, combined with their very reasonable prices and huge selection of colours…. I truly cannot find a better at home permanent dye. So I have stopped even looking at others in shops… regardless of what mega offers are on! 

I even use the conditioner in with the dye.. and they are quite notorious for being rubbish.... not this one, you can even buy it seperately!



Amusingly, when I first spotted SB1 as the lightest N&E offering in Boots, I was too afraid to try it because I had it in my head that it would be discontinued as soon as summer was gone, but one day I bit the bullet and I've never looked back since… and they didn't pull the product either - win!

The same goes for my deodorant. It's a basic, staple item that everyone uses (I hope!) and I have tried lots of different types but I always come back to Vaseline Active Fresh. The scent is lovely and even though it's quite pricey compared to some, I always go straight for it without even looking at anything else. My husband on the other hand will wear whatever is on special offer at the time he goes!

It got me thinking, at what point do you accept that you will always use this product for as long as you possibly can? When do you stop looking for a replacement? Do you ever get tempted? Don't get me wrong, I do switch it up with a lot of other products but I do have a set of things I just will not veer from!

Do you have any products that you have used forever and just can't see yourself ever stopping? Or are you brand adventurous and never stick to the one thing?

12 Jun 2011

Leopard Print Love

I am not ashamed to admit, I love leopard print.... and no, i'm not Bet Lynch! Although wait... blonde hair... tan... leopard print.... NO... i'm definitely not Bet Lynch!


But I do indeed love leopard print. It seems to be making a resurgence in popularity. It has veered away from the territory of older ladies and the stereotypical floozy's to be main stream height of fashion. I thankfully like to keep the print to my accessories, bags and shoes.... no one likes print overkill do they!

I am loving leopard print make up too. I have not tried any of these products before, but I think I certainly will do. I keep looking at them but never bite the bullet.  

Here is a few of my favourite leopard print make up bits on the market .....

Dior's new Mitzah palette, as inspired by Mitzah Bricard 



Too Faced Pink Leopard Bronzer  (£22.00 from Debenhams)


Too Faced Peach Brightener  (£22.00 from Debenhams)



Benefit's Glamazon tint - Now I think this has sadly been discontinued but you can still find it on a few websites / ebay



And finally, no leopardy make up look is complete without the perfectly sculpted brows.

Tweezerman Leopard Print Slant tweezers ( £22.00 from Beauty Bay)



Oh and of course at the time of typing this, I am rocking a rather amazing matching leopard print mani - pedi!

11 Jun 2011

Exfoliating Favourites

In the spirit of Lady from a tramp, I am starting my annual (shame on me I know) exfoliation battle.



In the run up to summer exposure, an abundance of fake tan and a holiday on the cards, it's time to battle those lumpy bumpy corned beef arms and dull flaky shins!

Despite my facial skin being super sensitive, the skin on my body can take a battering. I prefer my exfoliators and body scrubs to be nice and super gritty so you can really really feel it sloughing away at the dead skin cells and smooth rough areas.

I am currently using Treacle Moon's That Vanilla Moment scrub.



The blurb from the Treacle Moon Website : 

This is a dreamy creamy scrub that takes all the yuck and debris from your busy skin (in a gentle unassuming sort of way) and leaves you cleansed softened and smooth. make the household chores wait and find a couple of minutes twice a week to polish your special skin... you will be amazed.
The scrub isn't overly gritty or as grainy as i'd like but it is a beautiful decadent scented product that really feels like it leaves a little bit of moisture on the skin so it not only feels exfoliated but nourished too. The scent isn't as cloying or overpowering as something like the Body Shop vanilla line but gently scented like a sweet cake. The smell also doesn't interfere with any scented shower gel or body lotion you'd apply afterwards which is fab.


To supplement the scrub, I also recently purchased the Calypso Natural Scrub Sponge which I absolutely love. I seriously cannot rave about this sponge... which is a bit sad I know. On one side is a traditional yellow cellulose sponge and on the other is a coating of what I can only describe as sand paper! It sounds terrible but it isn't dangerously rough, it is actually made of roasted corn grains.



It is the rough sandpaper side that I love. I think it just really gives a great exfoliation and it makes me really feel like it's working straight away.

I paid £2.89 for the Treacle Moon scrub which comes in a 225ml tube. It is normally £3.99 but I bought it whilst on offer. The exfoliating sponge was £3.44, also from Tesco.

10 Jun 2011

Fangirl Friday - Katie Alves

As a new segment to the blog, I'm going to share with you all something I have been coveting during the week, whether it's a make up item, brand, inspiring photo or a hairstyle.

For a while now I have been following the work of a girl called Katie Alves (i'm biased, great name!) who absolutely blows me away with her artistry. It's not so much the perfectly blended smokey eye of the perfectly sculpted cheek that all of us make up geeks (and wedding artist for my part) can do but for her sheer, amazing artistic talent.

Each of Katies eye and lip pieces are works of art and to rock such perfect scenes, impeccably executed on the lumpy uneven surface of the skin.

I am quite lost for words and failed miserably to recreate one of Katie's pieces.

On with the awe... a selection of my favourites from her deviantart site - http://katiealves.deviantart.com/






I hope you all go and check her out.

8 Jun 2011

Review : Clynol Play with me powder

Holy Grail big hair?

After a few luke warm attempts with the Umberto Gianni back comb in a bottle, I happened upon Clynol's 'Play with me' powder and WOWSERS!





I sprinkled a little bit across my crown area and lightly massaged in and couldn’t believe the sheer volume it gave! For work I like to wear my hair pinned half back, ploofed up and fastened with a flower. I usually have to do a tiny bit of teasing / hair spraying and then push the hair up to pin it in place.

Not with this bad boy! Full matte volume and texture in seconds! I did smooth over the top layer with my tangle teezer just to make it a bit neater for clipping back but its perfect!

It leaves the hair with a very obvious producty feel to it but it's not visible in the slightest. I think you might struggle to quickly run you fingers through this, but then again, who runs their fingers through the roots of their hair when wearing it volumised? It's normally mids - ends then get the finger treatment!

I have a gig coming up and I think I'm going to straighten my hair poker straight and then really floof up the top layers with this powder for an, excuse the typecast "emo / rock chick" look.

I can see this being a very definite re-purchase, although at around £10 per tin it runs a bit pricey. It will of course depend on how long it last really as I don't think I'll use this every day, just to mix things up. I do believe Osis and Lee Stafford make their own similar version but I haven't really checked out reviews of those yet!

6 Jun 2011

Review : WEN Hair Care system

I get up and leave for work on a morning before most tv channels "switch on" so I am no stranger to the Guthy Renker infomercials and I have to say, I'm always swayed by the Sheer Cover and WEN adverts.



I have tried co-washing before and quite liked the results but for some reason I got out of the habit of doing it, using blonde toners & SLS free shampoos instead. I'm on a summer  pre holiday kick of getting my hair in tip top condition so that the ravages of chlorine, salt water, heat and humidity don't take their toll too badly. I never slave over my hair on holiday, I literally wash and go, leaving it to dry in to my loose curls most days. Battling the heat AND straighteners just isn't my idea of fun!

I am now on to my 3rd wash with WEN and I can honestly say I am blown away. My first dalliance with it was astounding. I got a full extra day of "hair down" and probably could have got a 4th day out of the wash if I wore it up. Normally I have to wash every other day because my hair is dirty by then. Obviously the less I have to wash my processed hair, the less natural oils I will be stripping so this is the first thumbs up!

Initially on reading the instructions, I was horrified to read I needed 10 - 15 pumps of the cleanser for my hair. I am still quite dubious of how quickly I'm going to rattle through a bottle using it at that rate…. But hey ho, if that’s what it says… that’s what I used! Application was a doddle, but I did find the waiting time to be a little long, 1-3 minutes for the 'washing' action and then 5 minutes to leave it for the 'conditioning' effect (I assume). I don’t know about anybody else, but even if I'm doing a shave + wash I'm rarely in the shower for that long so I found it a bit tedius.. But that’s probably because I'm constantly pressed for time. The last time I washed my hair  I used 8 pumps to 'wash' my hair with and a following 5 on the ends and lengths and left it for the 5 minutes. This did feel a bit nicer after drying but it was negligable.

On rinsing my hair felt so soft and slinky and strong when I was combing it. None of those horrible stretchy snaggy moments either. I wanted to give the system its full opportunity to wow me so I followed up washing with a small amount of the styling crème. It has a beautiful sweet minty smell (it should do as it's made with sweet mint) but it's a delicious smell that lingers in the hair without being overpowering. My hair dried to a soft bouncy finish without feeling weighed down or that odd feeling when you run your fingers through it when you have too much product in it.

My blow dry lasted well in to the 3rd day without my fringe needing re-styled either. I noticed after my 2nd wash with it, my post blow dry hair felt even softer than at first. I tied my hair up later in the day and when I removed the bobble, I didn't even have that tell tale ridge you get along the back of your head after a ponytail, still bouncy and sleek.

I did notice that after an air dry, my hair felt no better than usual. The ends felt coarse and rough and back to that over processed feeling. That’s just my personal thoughts, so it might be one that's great for blow drys.

I will keep on using the system and keep you all updated on how I get along as I think it is too soon to give an overall verdict.

4 Jun 2011

Review : - This Works: Super Lips aka my wonder balm!



I ordered the This Works : Super Lips lip balm online in the post Christmas Boots.com sale and I was initially very disappointed as I was expecting a twist up tube rather than a bland white pot. This little unassuming pot had been ditched forlornly in the bottom of my hand bag getting no love. After a few weeks it migrated on to my dressing table and boy am I glad it did!




After a few applications I came to realise how wonderful this balm is. It's a natural based product with a lovely classic smell of roses (to me anyway!). It goes on clear and lightly providing maximum moisturisation without any of that horrible overpowering grease.


The official blurb

Look after your lips this winter with this exotic blend of Monoi oil, Rose Oil and Cocoa butter. This nourishing preservative-free balm has been designed to melt at body temperature so it is easily absorbed into the skin. With a rich formula packed with the earth’s most moisturising ingredients, super lips hydrates, soothes and protects the skin


I apply this balm to my lips as soon as I wake up in the morning while im getting ready and by the time it comes to lipsticks, my lips are plumped and perfect ready for the day ahead, and also again at night just before bed for an undisturbed lip treat. The sticker on the back of the tub says you can use it everywhere, so I have been working it in to cuticles, dry patches on my elbows and more recently in to the insanely dry patches on skin on my face which were a result of Panoxyl use. I also put a light dab of it on top of my foundation over the same areas for a quick top up of moisture. It is also great for keeping eyebrows in place too as opposed to a setting brow gel.

As I've already told you all, I have super sensitive skin and my face hasn’t felt overloaded or clogged up since using it. Admittedly it might not be as nourishing as a proper moisturiser but for a quick on the spot fix it certainly eases the discomfort of tight dry flaky skin.

For what I thought was a duff purchase, I am so super pleased I have kept using it and discovered my love for the little white pot of lovelyness!!

I also have to admit… I probably shouldn’t but… my boy kitten had quite a bad scratch on his nose (gee thanks girl kitten!) and it scabbed over. He kept rubbing his nose along the carpet or wall to scratch it so I kept dabbing on a little bit of this lip balm on top of the scab to keep his cute little nose soft and he loved it. It stopped the scabby itching while his poor shnoz was healing! The slightest film of this worked a treat!

I believe I paid £4.50 for it in the half price sale… I am unsure if I would pay £9 for another tub… but I will get back to you on that once this tub has run out! Whilst trying to find a link to this product on the This Works website it seems as though they no longer sell it individually but it is still available HERE in this gift set. It is also only £6.95 for the set currently on www.asos.com

3 Jun 2011

Fit not Fat Challenge update


Just a little update on the Fit not Fat challenge and how it's progressing…..

I have long been a fan of Zumba, following the work out regimen via youtube videos & dvds, due to a lack of local classes at a time to suit. I was looking to develop this and get the game for the Kinect. 




I'm quite a competitive person and I feel that doing the dvds on your own, you have no incentive to keep to the tempo of the instructor and add all the flourishes but when you follow the game, it's quite addictive getting all the green flashes and encouraging comments from the onscreen tutor.



I find when I am short of time, I run through a few of the tutorials as this acts really well as a warm up through the basic steps and then a quick but fun workout as you go through the up tempo steps and travels.

At present I do 30 minutes twice a week but as part of the Fit not Fat challenge, I am going to try to up this to 30 minutes, 5 times a week. This will be Monday - Friday. Ideally I would like to do longer sessions but I struggle to find 30 minutes of uninterrupted time let alone a longer session!

The beauty of this game is that anyone can follow along and join in. Each player gets a work out timetable and are free to run through the tutorials and full routines at any point.

Last night I threw myself in to the belly dancing and reggaeton sessions and I can certainly feel it across my chest and in my shoulders. That has to be a good sign! I do need to invest in a new sports bra though, it has to be said nobody wants to see bouncing chest parts!

I will be honest with you all though, I want to increase my use of the game to get me up to speed with the fast paced music and moves as I am going to Havana, Cuba in a few month and I want to be able to party in to the wee hours with the locals having a good old dance. I absolutely LOVE dancing so if I can keep fit AND learn new moves without having to go to a dance class alone then it's all good for me eh!

I will be using this game as a supplement to my healthy eating diet and Power Plates sessions.

2 Jun 2011

OOTD - 02/06/11

OOTD - 02/06/11

Review : Collection 2000 Extreme 24 hour felt tip liner

I'll be honest, I'm not an eyeliner officianado, I don't regularly wear eyeliner, let alone buy them but I was captivated by this beautiful, true teal colour liner. I bought it from Superdrug whilst they had an offer on (currently two £2.99 items for £5 and I'd already bought a lipgloss). I can't actually find it on the Superdrug website but HERE it is on the Collection 2000 site. I'm a sporadic liner buyer… when I either want it for a specific look or colour. That said, I have tried most formulas, formats and brands over the years.



The nib is very fine which I love. On the rare occasions I use eyeliner I always lean towards these fine tipped pen style liners as I find them more accurate to use. The product itself is a quick drying, smooth, highly pigmented liquid with little to no eyelid imprinting.

The colour stays a beautiful and bold teal colour, unlike a lot of other coloured liners that I find end up either fading out or drying to a chalky dull finish.

I don't know if I am ready to branch out in to the other colourways in the range, but I do know I will definitely repurchase this teal liner once it runs out!

My only criticism, if you can really call it that, is the longevity. Yes the liner stays in place for 24 hrs but that’s where it all goes down hill rapidly. On Friday night it took me 4 make up wipes, 2 different make up removers (including a waterproof make up remover), a baby wipe and a cotton ball soaked in baby oil to try to remove this pesky liner! It was stained on so badly, I had to re-wear the liner on Saturday… which only made the staining worse! I think if I had only applied a very thin line alone my lashes it would have been fine, but as I applied it in a slightly wider liner for a statement look, I was stuck with it! Maybe a stained black line wouldn’t have been so bad either!

Here we go.. a brutally horrid picture... late at night. You can see how much I rubbed at my eyes to get it off, my cheek is bright red!



I did however cry (at a tv show) whilst wearing the liner and it didn't budge. This would be so perfect for a beach holiday or a festival. I know I shall be carrying mine with me on my holiday this year!

For £2.99, I think this is an excellent budget liner and would recommend it to anyone especially as there is more than just black to choose from and it actually lasts the 24hrs it promises!!