Thursday, 29 September 2011

September Winners & Losers.

Winners


Konjac Sponge* (not pictured, I don't think you want to see a wet sponge!)
Seche Vite
Lincoln Park After Dark
Illamasqua Skin Base
Molton Brown Apuldre Scent*
Molton Brown Pink Pepperpod Bath & Shower Gel*
Connock Wonderbalm*
Moa Green Balm*
HD Brow Kit*
F21 Owl Ring

Firstly, major props to my Konjac Sponge this month, it's carried on doing the job and I'm using half the cleanse & polish I would usually consume so it's a winner for the bank balance too. I literally haven't taken OPI Lincoln Park After Dark off my nails this month, I tried to switch it up but took off the lovely peach I had on after about 10 minutes, of course you can't do a glossy dark nail without a healthy coat of Seche Vite. I finally got around to buying Illamasqua Skin Base in full size, and surprisingly when I got the counter, I realised that Shade 6 was perfect for me, unlike the 4/5 mix I had been using.
Molton Brown have really been proving themselves to me this month, I'm obsessed with Apuldre & Paradisiac Pink Pepperpod Bath & Shower Gel is to die for. I've also been fully converted to balms this month, Connock Wonderbalm has taken up residence in my handbag for lips, cuticles etc and I've loved Moa Green Balm when I fancy a change, Moa has far more of herbal/medicinal feel to it and it's just the ticket. Finally I haven't touched my beloved MAC Espresso for brows since the HD Brows Kit came into the picture.
A final random favourite is my Forever 21 Owl Ring, it's so dainty and I haven't had the hint of green finger from it, even in this unseasonal heat! I think I paid £1.50 for this, by far the best buy of the month.

Losers


Revlon Colorstay
StriVectin Tightening & Sculpting Face & Neck Cream*.

Now, I don't want to blame this entirely but after giving the sample of StriVectin a go, I had a bit of a strange skin reaction, very red, spotty and not nice. Considering this is the only new skincare item I've put near my face this month, I'm going to have to blame this. Sorry StriVectin!
I haven't used Revlon Colorstay for ages, but, I used it yesterday and It felt vile, smelt vile and I can't remember why on earth I loved this before, unless it's gone funny in the bottle, it's a big thumbs down. 

What are your favourites this month? 

Laura xx 

(PR Samples have been marked with a *, but they wouldn't be in this post if I didn't love them!)

Monday, 26 September 2011

Molton Brown Navigations Through Scent.


I feel I've grown up with Molton Brown, and they are a brand that I will, for better or worse, associate with my mother.

Something about the brand evokes a sense of classic elegance and sophistication, therefore when they announced they were launching their new unisex fragrance line, Navigations Through Scent, I couldn't help but accept the chance to experience the range.

The whole concept of the line intregues me, five scents that evoke the spirit of five different destinations, in the format of London via... 

Singosari - London via Indonisia
Apuldre - London via Kent
Lijang - London via China
Rogart - London via Canada
Iunu - London via Eygpt


Before I dive head first into the olfactory jazz, I'd like to just spend a moment appreciating the beautiful bottle it comes in.
It's the simple elegance with a luxurious edge that you'd expect from Molton Brown, I was in love before it even left the box.


To briefly break down the five scents, each come with a brief synopsis.

Singosari: “May Contain Wonder. Follow the ancient spice trail to the islands of Indonesia. Blood-warmmonsoon rains. Ruined temples and lush green jungles. Exotic. Steamy. Haunting.”

Alpudre: “May Contain Mischief. Twilight on a summer's day, in the garden of England. Picnic blankets on fresh cut grass. Fizz and Gin. Irreverent. Cheeky. A bit mad.” 

Rogart:“May Contain Adventure. Beat a retreat to the Cobequid Mountains of Nova Scotia. Log cabins and campfires. Cosy nights under northern lights. Bracing. Rugged. Slightly smoky.”

Iunu: “May Contain Magic. A long lost legend from Heliopolis, the lost City of the Sun. Sultry nights,  steeped in jasmine. The hazy heat of a Delta Dawn. Warm. Slightly Dark. Sublime.”

Ljiang: “May contain Serenity. Set sail on a bamboo raft, along the banks of the River Li. Silk billowing in the breeze. A sip of steaming white tea. Crisp. Fresh. Almost edible.”

To throw my two cents into the ring, Rogart & Iunu are very heavy, masculine scents that are reflected in the heavy base notes that come through, despite not being to my taste, Rogart does evoke a curious picture of a Canadian wilderness, MB have hit the nail on the head. I find it slightly too sweet and suffocating on my own skin as it develops into something I just cannot grow to like, but hats off for sticking to the brief.

Iunu is a similar story, it's a rich spicy scent that I just screams out as a gorgeous masculine scent, yet for me it's a no go.

Yet, Singosari is by far the stand out male scent in the five, it's a spicy grown up fragrance that hits sensual notes of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and vetvier. Simply divine.

I decided to go for Alpudre as the description alone sold it to me, fizz and gin are right up my street!

Apuldre is the polar opposite to anything I currently own in terms of fragrance, yet I couldn't love it anymore. It evokes exactly as the description reads, it's fresh yet lingering and blends beautifully on my own skin. The base notes of leather & styrax absolute give it a different twist that I've never encountered in a unisex fragrance before and it leaves a modern fragrance to die for.

I haven't touched any of the my other perfumes since this landed on my doorstep.

Lastly, Lijang is the only fragrance I couldn't comment on as I'm yet to smell it, but hints of white tea, pink berries and musk sound like the makings of a perfect feminine scent.

If you want to find out more, visit www.moltonbrown.co.uk.

RRP £55-£65 for 50ml.

Laura xx

(pr sample)

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Ring of Roses.



Jeggings: ASOS
Jumper: Topshop
Shirt: H&M
Loafers: New Look
Bag: Cath Kidston
Earrings: Topshop


I haven't cracked out the old Cathy K bag for a while, so decided to take it out with me yesterday.
To continue down the rose theme, I wore a pair of resin earrings that had roses inside, I'm theming out!

Face is very simple, just some Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation, HD Brows, ELF Coral Mineral Blush & MUFE Smoky Lash.

xxx


Thursday, 22 September 2011

In Print.




Top: New Look
Trousers: H&M
Shoes: New Look
Bag: Primark
Rings: F21/Accessorize
Lips: Collection 2000 Cream Puff in Fairy Cake

I've been on the look out for a Aztec/Tribal print tshirt for a while that isn't in a multitude of colours, I found it tucked away in my local New Look. It strikes the right balance between embracing the trend but still sitting comfortably within my own style. Lovely!

I've cracked out my trusty H&M Black Trousers again, I really want another pair but cannot for the life of me find any...Le sigh.

Do you like to embrace trends feet first, or prefer to blend them in a little more subtly to your wardrobe?

Laura xx

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Ello Guv'nor.




I picked up these lovely little shoe-boots from Primark about a week ago, and despite me wanting to click my heels, go all Dick van Dyke circa Chim Chimney on you, they really hit the nail on the head.

For a quick fashion fix, you really can't go wrong, they were £15, feel sturdy and surprisingly good quality for Primarche... 

The downside? I've found that I only like them with black skinny trousers/jeggings/jeans. Anything else I feel like a bit of a dweeb. Any other suggestions?? 

Laura xx 

 

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint.


I had planned to take some lovely outfit pictures for you all today, but helpfully, the weather is disgusting and the light is virtually non existent (my room could give the black hole of Calcutta a run for it's money)

ANYWAY

As the title suggests, I'm giving Liz Earle's first foray into the make up world a whirl.
The A/W Newsletter fell through my letterbox this morning, with a useful pack of samples to colour match yourself with the Skin Tint.

First impressions show that we're not looking at a vast range in the shade department, and I can imagine this product not being suitable for deeper skintones (Oh Liz...).

(l-r)

Beach 03, Beige 02 & Bare 01.


Above is a painfully close up shot of the product, slapped on with my fingers. It's all natural here, no concealer, no powder, just pure Liz Earle Skin Tint.

First Impressions?

For a tinted moisturiser it's nice, it applies smoothly and is buildable to some degree, although I think i'd still pop some concealer around my eyes if I was going to brave any public engagement.

It doesn't leave me too shiny yet leaves me looking healthy, which is always a bonus.

The product contains mineral SPF 15, a whole host of botanical ingredients (avocado oil, borage seed oil and vitamin E) to provide the type of skincare/make up hybrid you'd expect from Liz Earle.


The Verdict.

I'm not entirely sure I'll be rushing out to purchase this product, simply because I have a several foundation/tinted moisturisers on the go, but, I will definitely consider giving this a chance as it's a lovely product. The shade range does leave a lot to be desired but for considering this is the first dipped toe into the world of cosmetics for Liz Earle, I congratulate them.

RRP £21.00

Have you tried this yet, what do you think?

Laura xx

Monday, 19 September 2011

Product Rave: Konjac Sponge.


If, like me, you slap a plethora of lotions & potions onto your face on a daily basis, you might, like I did, reach breaking point.

I began to feel like the multitude of products that made up my skincare routine just weren't cutting the mustard anymore and if anything, were making my skin even more temperamental that It had ever been.

Enter the Konjac Sponge.

I've heard whisperings about the beneficial properties of Konjac (for the unitiated, Konjac fibre is made up from the root of the Amorphophallus Konjac Plant) and an all natural, gentle sponge sounded just the ticket for my skin. I must also mention that this is a runaway hit in Asia, and haven't we all learnt by now, listen to the Asian beauty market when it comes to skincare!?

I opted for the Konjac sponge with French Green Clay as it claimed to be the best for Normal/Oily skin, the Konjac Sponge comes au natural, with Red French Clay for Dry & Sensitive Skin, Pink Clay for Tired Skin & Bamboo Charcoal for Teen or Acne Prone Skin.

When the sponge arrived, I was a little bit dubious, it looks a little bizarre, and has a distinct vegetable smell (not suprisingly).

BUT

I decided to try the sponge on it's own (you can add your regular cleanser to it if you desire) and I couldn't believe how clean and soft my skin felt afterwards.

You simply soak the sponge in warm water and then buff away like you would with a regular sponge, It couldn't be easier to fit this into your existing routine, I've simply hung it up next to my sink to dry inbetween washes - it's a no brainer.

I've now settled into the routine of just using the sponge in the morning, then using a pea sized amount of Liz Earle C&P in the evening first, then using the sponge after i've rinsed.

So, why is this a rave?

1. The condition of my skin has dramatically improved since I began to use this sponge: it's clear, the tone looks better and any t-zone issues have balanced out. Now, I'm not going to attribute this entirely to the sponge, I believe it might be the simplification of my skincare routine as a whole, but boy, was this the catalyst.
2. The Price: A sponge costs £5.99 and will on average, last you about 3 months if cared for properly. That's a fraction of the price of my regular cleanser.
3. It's natural, it's biodegradable, and will make you feel a little bit green!

You can purchase a sponge from.


Laura xx

(PR Sample - but as always, I truly do believe in this product!)

Friday, 16 September 2011

NARS for Marc Jacobs Spring 2012.


Francois Nars has been working his magic again at NYFW with Marc Jacobs.

TREND: Strong Eyes, Glowing Skin & Nude, Glossy Lips.


INSPIRATION:

“Marc had a lot of images of Patsy Klein, Amy Winehouse, and Cowboy Kate, a book from the 60's whose character Kate had heavy eyelashes," said Founder and Creative Director Fran├žois Nars. "The complexion is meant to look like it's glowing, like the girls have been dancing, and by eliminating the blush it gives a strange, otherworldly effect. The focus was really on the eye, with a well-defined brow. The combination of different touches creates a decadent, French sensuality and makes the girls more like characters."



KEY PRODUCTS:

FACE
· Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer – new for Spring 2012, why not try a light application of Sheer Glow Foundation for now?

BROWS

· Pandora Duo Eyeshadow (on brows)

EYES

· Via Veneto Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner
· Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara

LIPS

· Madere Pure Matte Lipstick
· Striptease Lip Gloss

I can definitely see the Winehouse inspiration coming through, it's a clean look that always shines through in the spring but I have to say, I'm not in love with the hair styling.

What do you think?

Laura xx

Burberry Body.


You might be aware that Burberry have been sending out a plethora of samples to promote the new fragrance, Burberry Body.

When it comes to Burberry fragrances, I've always seemed to stay away. I really have no idea why this is the case, they've just never seemed like they were for me.

But hey, if Rosie Huntingdon-Whitely is fronting the campaign, it's worth a try right?!

With hints of Peach, Freesia, Iris, Rose & Green Absinthe, the result is a fresh, yet feminine fragrance that develops (on my skin) into a soft wearable fragrance that cuts a fine line between sweet & refreshing.

Now, I'm not perfume expert, but I'm impressed. I think this may be the perfect transition perfume between the sweet, fruity scents of summer and the darker, woodier winter fragrances.

Have you tried Burberry Body yet?

Fancy a sample? Click HERE.

Laura xx

Thursday, 15 September 2011

High Contrast.


Shirt - H&M
Leggings - H&M
Bag -Ebay
Loafers (Not Pictured) - New Look


(I had to include this picture...for the lolz)


I'm in love with contrast trim shirts at the moment, H&M and New Look are coming up trumps with cheap thrill shirts like this, what's not to love! The camera flash has made it look a little bit see through, but it's much more opaque like the close up photo. 

Keeping with the theme, I've whipped out the old H&M Suede Contrast Leggings, I've not worn these for ages and they're a nice re-discovery.

I've not actually got a single piece of jewellery on with this look, I just wasn't in the mood!

I'm also really into curling my hair at the moment, I just roughly blow dry then curl the end before running some shine spray through to get rid of any major frizz.

Finally, thumbs up to the Broseph for taking a full length shot of me as self timer is still not my friend.

Laura xx

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A Sneak Peek...Glossybox September Edition.


I mentioned in my last Glossybox Event post that I even though I liked the idea of the service, I wouldn't be able to make a final decision without recieving a 'blind' box.

Well, here it is, the September Glossybox.

It contained:

Green People - Day Solution
HD Brows - Eye & Brow Palette in Vamp
Moa - The Green Balm
Plum by Mary Greenwell - Eau de Parfum
Rahua - Shampoo & Conditioner
 

I was estastic when I found that the star of the show was the HD Brow Palette, as I'm more than a little obsessed with filling in my brows and have been lusting after some HD Brows for ages. This might not be the '7 Steps' but it's a lovely brow powder than can double as an eyeshadow quad.

 

As far as the other products go, I've not heard of single one. I have been impressed with the Moa Green Balm and Green People Day Solution, they're organic and so far they feel lovely on the skin. (I have a feeling the Green Balm will be gone by the end of the week).



The one product i'm not crazy about is Plum by Mary Greenwell. It's a little 'old school' in smell for my taste, but hey, you win some, you lose some, and in my opinion Glossybox's September offering is a winner overall. 

You may also rememeber that I mentioned the Gift Subscription service was being sprung into action, and the latest update is it will be available in time for Christmas.

 I still stand by my thoughts that this really isn't a bloggers ideal service, but for a friend or relative, it could be a lovely present!

What did you get in your Glossybox this month?

Laura xx


(PR Sample Recieved Early for Consideration)

Monday, 12 September 2011

Wonder Balm.



You may recognise this little gem from my previous Glossybox post, it was where we were first acquainted.

Since the fateful day that I placed this into my box, it's been a bit of a whirlwind romance.

Connock have really delivered on a big claim: the name 'Wonder Balm' will conjure up some miraculous expectations after all...

Inside the plain functional packaging lies an unoffensive balm that melts into a nourishing balm once applied. The balm itself contains Kukai Oil, Monoi, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil and Shea Butter.

I'll be honest, I have no idea what on earth Kukai Oil is, whatever it is, it's doing the trick. It appears to nourish without leaving an oily residue, considering it's balm/oily texture when applied it's nothing short of brilliant.

I've been religiously slapping this on my poor dry cuticles and lips, we're only just into autumn and they've been crying out for hydration. Cue Wonder Balm in my bag, pocket, on my bedside table. Although I've been restricting the use of this product to just two areas, you can slap it on anywhere you feel a bit dry,

At £18.50 for 10ml of product, we're not talking about a bargain find. But I will gladly repurchase this if it keeps on doing the job.

So, why do I love this little pot so much?

Well, it's all natural, and it's almost artisan in it's approach, passed down from father to daughter. It's a lovely story.

What's your favourite winter saviour for lips, cuticles, elbows etc?


Laura xx

(PR Sample from Glossybox, Connock have no idea about this, I just had to let you all know!)

Friday, 9 September 2011

Hot Shots 004.





A few pictures that don't otherwise seem to fit anywhere...

(top-bottom)

- Leighton Denny 'Before He Cheats' Polish = ♥
- Ridiculous New Look Jumper
- Mugshot
-Shorts Obsession
- Alan Carr

Laura xx

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Fail Safe.






Hola,

Despite the weather seemingly turning vile the moment 1st September hit, there's always the fact that fall fashion is back to celebrate.

I picked up this chunky knit jumper from Primark and it hits all the right notes, it's cosy, neutral and is knitted slightly higher in the front than the back.

I'm also rejoicing about the return of the black jegging/boot combo that never seems to fall off my fashion radar. It's a classic staple which I'm sure you'll see a lot from me in the coming months!

Apologies for the below par full outfit shot, self timer wasn't playing ball...

Jumper: Primark
Black Jeggings: H&M
Boots: River Island

xxx

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Glossybox.

Last week I popped along to Glossybox, I've been reserving my judgement on the new trend for sample services, and I feel now that I'm fully equip to give you my opinion.


Believe it or not, this is the only picture I have as it was a flying visit and I was having far too much fun.

The evening was a real opportunity to learn a bit more about the Glossybox concept and more importantly, how they want to take it further.

One of the most interesting points I took away from the evening was that Glossybox isn't aiming itself towards bloggers, it's for women that have a interest in beauty but want to find out more.

Granted, there appear to be issues with consistancy of product and tailoring towards the client, but these appeared to be things Glossybox are more than keen to work on.

There is talk of a gift subscription service and fully customised boxes, these both interest me far more than the current monthly subscription of £12.95.

Whilst I was at the event, we had the chance to create our very own Glossybox, it was probably the best pick 'n' mix i've ever had the pleasure of doing!






I chose:

Korres Lip Butter
KMS Free Shape Heat Styling Spray
StriVectin-TL Sculpting and Tightening Face & Neck Cream
Deborah Lipmann Nail Polish
Connock Kukui Oil Wonderbalm

Would you trust me with your Glossybox??

The one thing lacking in this post is a Glossybox that I didn't create, but I promise as soon as I recieve my September one I will get back to you.

Laura xxx

Monday, 5 September 2011

Video: Product of the Week


A quick ramble about my Product of the Week,

Illamasqua's Rubber Effect Nail Polishes.

xxx

Sunday, 4 September 2011

In The Kitchen...Whoopie Pies.

Slightly off topic, but look, cake!







I cannot remember the last time I any sort of baking, considering I worked in a bakery for a while it was brilliant to just knock something up.

I will admit, ahem, that I used a Betty Crocker kit, but hey, it was spur of the moment!

These took less than 30 minutes from start to finish, the perfect Sunday snack.

What do you like to bake?

Laura x
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