February, 2013

Feb 13

Valentine’s Day Beauty Ideas

Whatever your plans are for the 14th these lovelies will have you looking (and smelling) your absolute best. Whether it’s a night out (or in) with a special someone, date night with the girls or some alone time with a bath and a box set, start your beauty routine here:

L’Occitane Limited Edition Shea Butter & Honey Foaming Gel (£13) and Whipped Body Cream (£16)

LOccitane Honey
Shea butter is well known for its nourishing properties while honey softens and comforts even the most sensitive of skins. The Foaming Gel cleanses without stripping your skin while the light as air whipped body cream with its mousse like texture will moisturise and soften even the driest of skins.

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm – £5.99 

burt's bees lip balm
Formulated with Shea Butter, Vitamin E and Beeswax, this 100% natural tinted lip balm feels luscious on the lips and, in Red Dahlia, leaves behind a really good shot of colour on even the darkest of lips.

Gary Cockerill Pro Lashes – £14.95

Gary Cockerill Falde lashes
Celebrity makeup artist Gary Cockerill may be best known for working on Katie Price, but I promise these lashes aren’t as extreme as the ones she wears! I chose ‘Ingénue Eyes’ for a subtle yet noticeable extension to my own lashes. And they’re not hard to apply (a problem I often have with falsies). If you are going out, stick these on to exaggerate your natural lashes.

Lyn Harris for M&S La Rose – £25.00

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s without some talk of roses and this classic fragrance contains top notes of rose petals, galbanum and red berry with a base of patchouli, sweet musk and amber. It’s rosy without being sickly sweet and overpowering.

Darphin Rose Aromatic Care Oil – £42 

Massage him, her or yourself with this skin-quenching oil. 100% natural, a few drops will detoxify, regenerate and balance the skin. Left on overnight, it’s like 2 hours extra sleep in a bottle!

DIY Body Scrub 
If you really want to get in her good books, present her with something homemade. This vanilla body scrub will work nicely. I made mine in a rather un-photogenic kitchen bowl so I won’t show you the finished product but this is the Nielsen –Massey vanilla extract I used.


All you need is 400g of golden granulated sugar, 50g granulated sugar, 200ml olive oil and 1 tbsp. Nielsen – Massey vanilla extract. Mix the dry ingredients together then add the wet. If it’s looking too dry for your liking, add more oil. Test the consistency on the back of your hand; she won’t appreciate something that removes the top layer of her skin! Pour into a glass jar (John Lewis, £15), add a pretty ribbon and there you go!

Gucci Guilty Black – £42

And so HE doesn’t feel left out, try the new Gucci Guilty Black (£42). With top notes of red fruits and pink pepper, a heart of raspberry and peach and base notes of patchouli, it has overtaken Gucci Guilty as Mr 32 Boroughs’ current favourite. Available exclusively in Selfridges at the moment, it will be in shops nationwide from April 4th. Gucci Guilty Black shower gel for women (£30) smells divine if you like his and hers fragrances.

If she likes a practical present, why not try this cute leather David Hampton cosmetics bag (£90).

Britannia Cosmetic Bag £90 - David Hampton, London

Feb 13

Get the Look: Beauty @ Gucci Spring/Summer 2013

Queen of the runways Joan Smalls worked big, bold lashes at the Gucci show last September. The eyes were the focal point of the face and were teamed with luminous skin and nude lips.


source: style.com

Makeup artist extraordinaire Pat McGrath used two sets of false lashes on the models at Gucci and this is a look you can easily recreate at home.

Celebrity makeup artist Adam Burrell advises using Eylure’s lashes and says: ‘Measure, trim, glue, dry, apply. The false lash should start and finish in the same place as your natural lashes, so measure the lash up first and trim any excess if needs be. Apply a small amount of glue along the spine of the lash using a cotton bud or the back end of your tweezers. Let the glue go tacky; this would be when it’s just starting to go clear, and apply starting in the middle. Then move on to the inner and outer corner.’


Repeat the process with the second set of lashes and you will have eyes to rival Ms Smalls.

Eylure Pre-glued lashes – £5.06

Feb 13

Clarins Spring 2013 ‘Rouge Eclat’ Make Up Collection

Inspired by the multi-coloured tones and satin feel of the beautiful Iris flower, the new Clarins Spring 2013 ‘Rouge Eclat’ make-up collection is made up of the following pieces:


Limited Edition Face & Blush Powder – £30
Mineral Loose Powder – £30
Limited Edition
Eye Quartet Mineral Palette – £30
Jolie Rouge Brilliant Lipstick – £17 (in watermelon and sweet plum)
Gloss Prodige – £15.50 (in water lily and limited edition vibrant rose)

I tried the Jolie Rouge Brilliant Lipstick in Watermelon and the Gloss Prodige in Vibrant Rose.

The lipstick works really well against my skin tone; it leaves a nude, shimmery, sheer finish, a rather subtle wash of colour and it’s something I can see myself wearing every day.

The Gloss Prodige is very glossy and sparkly but surprisingly not sticky or gloopy. It contains Clarins Maxi Lip™ peptide with hyaluronic acid which is meant to give extra plumpness to your lips, but as I’m not lacking in that department, I can’t vouch as to whether that’s true or not. It smells and tastes great too (let’s be honest, the smells makes a difference and a lot of our lipstick/gloss ends up in our mouths and not just on it).

Of the two, I certainly prefer the lipstick but for days when I don’t want to wear a lot of makeup or just want a slight sparkle on the lip, the gloss will come in perfect.


Feb 13

NARS Cosmetics Spring 2013 Collection

One of the great things about the New Year is all the new make-up collections! This time, I try NARS. I’ve heard lots of good things about NARS Cosmetics – especially their blushers – but this is my first time trying any of their products.

Their Spring 2013 collection, fronted by iconic model Stella Tennant, is a riot of vibrant colour – very 90s. This is the collection in its entirety:


I tried Disco Inferno nail polish, Dressed to Kill lipstick (a fuchsia rose with gold shimmer) and Mad Mad World eye-shadow.

NARS-Spring Collection makeup

I love the brightness of the eye shadow; it’s certainly not one for the faint of heart! it is very matte and delivers quite an intense shot of colour. The green and brown look good against brown eyes so even if you’re new to colour, don’t be shy. The darker your skin the more intense the colour you can pull off so feel free to go to town on this one.

Dressed to Kill is a satin lipstick that gives good coverage, even on naturally dark lips, and the teeny flecks of gold add a little interest. It’s quite moisturising too as it contains conditioners and antioxidants to hydrate, nourish and protect lips. It’s not too ‘out there’ so can work in the office just as well as it would on a night out.

When applying the Disco Inferno polish, I also used LCN  ‘Unique’ – a base coat, top coat and nail food all in one. It contains nitrocellulose, camphor, urea and wheat germ oil to feed nails whilst giving a great shiny finish as a base or top coat. It’s great for speeding up drying time. I always apply my polish just before bed which means I can end up with textured nails whether I want them or not! After 10 minutes of applying ‘Unique’ my nails were perfectly dry and, more importantly, were smudge free in the morning.

Speaking of the collection, Francois Nars said: “I think there’s something for everyone. The collection boasts a lot of fun colour: pink, rose, fuchsia, an earthy copper, and some brighter shades like cyan blue and parakeet green. Depending on how you put them together, they can look very soft and fresh or bold and strong.”

I’m going to (try!) and wear the range bold and strong!

NARS Cosmetics Spring 2013 Collection – from £13

Feb 13

Knomo iPad Sleeve

If you have an iPad and you have children, your sweet sexy piece of tech is probably stuck in a practical, unattractive piece of kit like this specimen of mine.


Is there an iPad in there?

Children and technology generally don’t make for good bedfellows so to keep it safe and sound I need to keep it in something childproof. I’ve had my iPad for just under a year and it’s in pristine condition thanks to the less than beautiful case. My 2 year old has tried to destroy it but the case won’t let him.

As a writer/blogger I’m often on the move so when I get to take the iPad out and about with me, I usually remove the hard wearing case, stick it whichever bag I’m carrying that day and hope it doesn’t get scratched. That’s all changed now I’ve come across this lovely yet still practical iPad sleeve from Knomo.


Made in leather and padded for extra protection, it’s the perfect way to carry my iPad with style. The case has a small external pocket on the front, a second compartment for small items (cables, slim notebook etc) and a unique ‘If Lost’ ID number to help you find your sleeve again.

Large enough to also fit your oyster, keys and lipstick, it easily passes as a large clutch. If you don’t have kids it’s perfect just to keep your iPad in all the time. The Knomo iPad sleeve also comes in a beautiful dragonfly shade if you want to make more of a style statement.


Knomo iPad sleeve – £95

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