Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Take three: hot pink

A pop of colour can make a look, so what would three times the recommended dose do? I usually wouldn't co-ordinate make-up colours, as matchy-matchy can look naff.  However, I am currently a little bit obsessed with all things hot pink - to the point of thinking "the more magenta the merrier" in terms of the colour on my face.

Tread carefully though - too much pink can make you look like a slightly deranged barbie doll. My top three hot pinks (to be worn alone or all at once) are a fail proof way of adding a smack of colour with ease.

Enter Clinique Chubby Stick in Pudgey Peony - a hot, hot pink with slight purple undertones. As it is in the form of a beloved Chubby Stick, it applies like a dream. Conditioning the lips whilst adding a dollop of bright colour with no need for lip liner or brush - who knew being on trend could be so simple?

Next on the face is something I was a little wary to try. Smashbox is one of many brands I have recently seen who have a bright, garish looking blush in their repertoire. In the past anything so attention-grabbing would have made me run a mile, but why would they sell something that would make you look like you applied your face in the dark? This point proves correct after trying this almost neon pink blush in Radiance (it is brighter in real life than the picture shows) -  and the results being a subtle flush with a modern twist. Just make sure you apply lightly with a fluffy blusher brush to avoid any streaks.

If there's one way to safely try out colour, it's on your nails. This Bobbi Brown pot of loveliness in Pink Valentine is what first got me hooked on hot pink. It requires two coats, but lasts for ages without chipping. Matching lips and nails? I'm converted... and I'm not the only one (Miranda Kerr and designers at LFW to name but a few)!

The overall look of pink on pink on pink is a very modern take on the often avoided colour and by keeping the rest of the pallet neutral, it is just on the right side of 'girly'.

Get the look with: 
True Match Foundation in Ivory | L'oreal | £9.99
Radiance Blusher | Smashbox | £19
Chubby Stick in Pudgey Peony | Clinique | £16
Eye Bright pencil | Benefit | £15
Lash Extend Mascara | Model Co | £28 (or FREE in this months Glamour mag)
Nail polish in Pink Valentine | Bobbi Brown | £11

How do you wear your hot pink? And what do you think of matching lips and nails (and blush!)?

Thursday, 20 June 2013

HOW TO: Get glowing skin

In the warmer weather, I want to be able to skip the heavy foundation without looking pasty and corpse-like. Not too much to ask for, surely? Here are my ultimate glow-getters for a radiant, fresh complexion...

1. Good skin starts from within. So drink plenty of water! Around 8 glasses of water a day is what I try to average. Herbal teas count towards this, but don't be fooled into thinking coffee does too - caffeine hugely dehydrates the skin, making it appear dull and lacklustre. As I love my coffee too much to quit, I ensure I drink one extra glass of water for each latte I have. I have also recently swapped my regular morning coffee for some hot water and lemon and am already noticing a huge difference to my skin. Drink up!

2. If your skin isn't prepped properly, then all my tips after this one won't work half as well. Balance Me Radiance Face Mask is wonderful for polishing and perfecting skin, creating a perfect canvas for any make-up to follow. Ground walnut shells gently slough away dead skin cells and encourage cell renewal, purifying kaolin clay helps eliminate impurities and the fruit acid complex works on restoring the skin’s natural radiance.
Radiance Face Mask | Balance Me. | £18

3. Hydration is key, and a good moisturiser will pay dividends. This nifty little one by Soap and Glory contains a "Swiss Moisture Matrix" for long lasting hydration and protection, as well as the "Bronzeburst Beads" which give your skin a sun-kissed, golden glow without the nasty fake tan look.
Glow Job Daily Radiance Moisture Lotion | Soap and Glory | £10

4. If you prefer no colour but still want an instant glow, try the Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm from Elemis. This is an everyday treat that instantly evens and brightens skin tone. The powerful formulation of vitamin complex helps protect against moisture loss, making it a must-have for long-haul flights and can be worn alone or under foundation depending on your needs. 
Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm | Elemis | £32

5. Replace your ordinary, often drying powder for this Brightening Finishing Powder - an all-over powder that instantly illuminates and gives skin a healthy-looking glow. It's infused with a skin-brightening blend of mulberry and grape extracts, as well as Sodium Hyaluronate (loved for its moisture magnet-like effect) to help keep skin fresh and smooth looking. It comes in a stunning compact for touch-ups throughout the day.
Brightening Finishing Powder in Porcelain Pearl | Bobbi Brown | £40

6. Don't let dark circles ruin the radiant effect. Ensuring you get enough sleep and are following Step 1 by drinking plenty of water, your under-eye bags should diminish. Some of us have darker colourings under the eye area regardless, and for this  Rimmel's Wake Me Up under-eye concealer is superb. It strikes the perfect balance between coverage and illumination, creating flawless results.
Wake Me Up Concealer | Rimmel London | £5.49

7. In order to look awake and healthy, skin needs colour. This little multi-tasker by NARS provides the perfect flush of colour for eyes, cheeks and lips. Its unique creamy formula and sheer color blends effortlessly to create shimmering accents, contours or dynamic highlights on all skin tones.
The Multiple in Portofino | NARS | £30

Do you have any top glow-getter tips to add?

I will be doing a review on different brightening face-masks soon - is there any you recommend I try?

Monday, 17 June 2013

West End musings


Sometimes if you are so obsessed with a certain situation, (for me it's work, work and more work - always looking to the future and the next big thing) you often forget to relish the moment you are in right this very second. I am always striving to do better, move forwards, get there faster. I frequently need to remind myself to live in the present and just enjoy the ride.

So yesterday I took a break and went out with a friend to rediscover the West End of Glasgow. It really is my favourite part of town - it reminds me of a mini, slightly dishevelled Covent Garden. The cute coffee shops, independent boutiques, cobbled streets, the busker shouting "awright hen gies a smile!" - ok no, that's just Glasgow...

I found a new favourite hang-out: Avenue G's coffee bar - who serve Monmouth of London's coffee! I literally died and went to heaven with my extra large, soya latte delight. The waiter almost definitely thought I had a screw loose when he caught sight of me as I kept smelling my drink (nothing beats the smell of decent coffee). So with a slight caffeine-induced high we took to the botanic gardens and even though grey skies were looming, people were out in their shorts and queuing up at the organic ice-cream van. Each time an elusive ray of sunshine peeked through the clouds it felt like a dreamy summer's day.

The final picture I have posted may seem completely unrelated, but is in fact a huge contributor to the day's success - a brand spanking new pair of the bluest of blue jeans from my all time favourite, Whistles. (Blog post dedicated entirely to said trousers will follow shortly). I am slightly in love with them.

My lesson for today is basically this: when you really look at your present surroundings and appreciate them, it makes the journey to wherever you are headed seem all the better. It just helps when good coffee and shopping are involved, of course.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Fast foot fixes

It's easy to get a little bit lazy when it comes to your feet, especially during the winter months when I'm ashamed to say mine do get a bit neglected.  Most of us don't have the time or money to indulge in regular pedicures, but still want pretty toes to flaunt come summer. Enter my top products that keep feet beautiful 24/7, 365 days a year - without the hassle or price-tag.

1. The holy grail of foot creams, Aveda Foot Relief is a miracle worker. The ingredients in this herbal formula are natural exfoliants so work away even the toughest of dead skin cells WHILE YOU SLEEP. My kind of product. No need for pumice stones or any of that lark - just slather on this quickly absorbed, deliciously tingly mint and lavender scented cream each night and awake to baby-soft feet.
Foot Relief | Aveda | £18 | 125ml

2. The Body Shop Cooling Foot Spray instantly refreshes and revives tired feet with cooling peppermint, that also combats odour. Keeps feet fresh at the office and offers a nice quick-fix pick-me-up if you've been running in heels all day.
Cooling Foot Spray | The Body Shop | £6 |100ml

3. Nails are a biggie to keep your feet looking preened. Cut them regularly in a straight line and dab on some Andrea Fulerton Cute-icles-love-oil to nourish. Finally, to keep your toes looking 'done' use a bright and fun colour such as a Revlon on-trend coral or a Nails Inc pop of turquoise.
Cute-icles-love-oil | Andrea Fulerton | £ 4.99 
Nail polish in Haymarket | Nails Inc  | £ 11
Nail polish in One Perfect Coral 990 | Revlon |  £ 6.49

Flip-flop ready feet without the expensive pedi? Done.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Drop-waist Summer Dress: Urban Outfitters

The sun is out! It's a revelation for Scotland - I really didn't think there would be any sustained amount of nice weather at all this year. So the tights are flung into the back of the wardrobe where I demand they stay until no less than four month's time, and the summer dresses are on.

I love this little Urban Outfitters red and white print one. The drop-waist style and lightweight material makes it so easy to throw on and go - which I did, as it clearly needed an iron... my bad.

Add a hat, some River Island wedges, a cheesy smile and SUMMER IS HERE!

Drop-waist dress | Urban Outfitters| £52


Thursday, 6 June 2013

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel

'Cult' products generally underwhelm me. So much hype, not enough substance. Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel however lives up to all the talk and so much more. It is one of those products that I can only really describe as simply lovely. Lovely smell (good enough to eat). Lovely texture (no abrasive particles). The packaging, the quality and the results are all just so, so lovely.

The smooth cream peel contains an exotic cocktail of natural fruit enzymes from African Papaya and Far Eastern Pineapple that helps to gently exfoliate and purify tired or sensitive skin. It is enriched with extracts of Sunflower and Vitamin E to help remineralise and condition the skin, whilst providing Anti-Oxidants and free-radical protection.

Apply a small amount onto cleansed skin and leave like a mask for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off to reveal a smooth, soft and radiant complexion. It is the most gentle, non-abrasive yet effective way to shed dull skin and is suitable for all skin-types, definitely not just for its anti-ageing properties.

It is rather pricey for a face mask, however a little goes a long way and used sparingly once a week or so as a treat it can last up to 4-6 months.

All in all this is a real treat to use. I swear by it as a pick me up in the mornings after a late night, or as a completely luxurious and effective home-pamper treatment.

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel | £28.50 | 50ml

Have you tried this or any other product that lives up to it's 'cult' status?

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

June Edit: Lust List

1. A great alternative to the classic black shades, these Heavy Frame 'Ali' Sunglasses are very Whistles - understatedly chic and cool with a pretty twist. Love.
Whistles | £50

2. Add cool points to any outfit with this Neon Yellow Box Clutch. Normally I wouldn't DARE buy anything this bright/square/plastic, however at less that twenty quid I may be a little more brave this season.
Zara | £19.99

3. Chloe Green's new collection for this season is full of 'want' items. These Coral 'Wishing Well' Wedges work day or night, pool or bar.
Chloe Green at Topshop | £130

4. I may have found the perfect city shorts. Wear these White Lace Pin-Up Shorts casual, as shown, with a cute denimn top or smarten up for meetings with a blazer - versatile and pretty. 
Urban Outfitters | £40.00

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Scents of S/S

My usual scent of choice lies somewhere between La Prairie's Silver Rain, Carolina Herrera's VIP and Dior's Poison... anything with those deep, violet notes that conjure up hazy, heady, feelings of sexiness. 

Come spring/summer though (yes, it's June now) wearing a perfume this heavy whilst skipping through fields of barley in your white, laser-cut summer dress is just silly. Enter my top three S/S scents for those who don't usually do the 'fruity, fresh' thing. And not a pina-colada-on-the-beach inspired bottle in sight.

I adore the majority of all Jo Malone scents. However this one, to me, is completely addictive. This citrus cologne, infused with a healthy dose of fresh cut limes and juicy mandarin has all the foundations of a fresh and zesty summer fragrance, but the peppery basil and aromatic white thyme brings an unexpected twist and really grounds the fragrance to keep it just on the right side of fruity.

Lime, Basil and Mandarine | Jo Malone London
£39 | 30ml

sparkling take on the original and delicious Chance. Just as sweet, but a little more cheeky and as the name suggests, fresh. Not as most 'summer edition' fragrances which just seem like the same perfume only watered down, this is a stand alone scent which lasts all day and is just heavy enough to be worn out in the evenings too.

Chance Eau Fraiche | Chanel 
£52 | 50ml

To me, this is what basking in the sunshine, making daisy-chains and contentment would smell like if it were bottled. While daisies themselves have no scent, Daisy does a pretty good job of evoking a sunny, breezy meadow of random flowers and is really feminine without being overtly sexy. Very easy to wear, not dissimilar to everything else by Marc Jacobs. And the bottle is far too cute.

Daisy | Marc Jacobs

£45 | 50ml  

What are your favourite summertime fragrances?