New Yardley English Freesia Perfume

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Spring is finally here! I believe that each seasons is vital to transformation and the evolution of not only plants and animals, but for humans too. Spring for me is about newness, broadening your horizons and about celebrating light and colour after the darkness of the winter – longer and sunnier days, brighter clothes, new makeup looks, and cherry blossoms.

There’s no better way to celebrate spring’s arrival than a new fragrance, and the NEW English Freesia from Yardley is just that – spring in a bottle.

Freesia is the 7th anniversary flower which symbolises friendship. It has a sweet, fresh citrus scent which is uplifting, energising and floral. I sprayed it all over today before I left the house – all over my clothes and hair because I didn’t feel guilty about the price. The scent is vintage and airy with a delicate incense top note and a  musky-woody amber background, making it smell masculine and expensive.  I’m really getting into gender neutral fragrances at the moment but they are so expensive. This Yardley perfume costs less than £15 and it’s just as fresh, woody and strong as a Byredo perfume, I love it! Here’s a breakdown of the fragrance:

Top note –  Lemon, Mandarin, Cypress and Lavender

Heart – Freesia, Muguet (Lily of the Valley), Ginger and Pepper

Base – Sandalwood, Musk, Olibanum, Amber Crystals.

Yardley are famous for capturing the delicate fragrance of English Flowers since 1770. For less than £10 this perfume is so amazing and I just love the vintage packaging.

I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch where I got the chance to paint and customise my own bottle.  I had no idea what to do and too be honest, I was terrified because the last time I painted was when I was 5 or 6 years old.  I have no artistic flair and one of new years resolutions for 2017 was to be more creative. At the launch I painted to floral bottle (below) and I am so proud of it because I had no idea what I was doing I just improvised and got slightly carried away.  In real life it actually looks pretty cool, promise….

You can totally paint and pimp up bottle too!

Before I started painting

After I got my paint on….

Here’s my bottle

Hand and Body Spray 

This luxurious nourishing hand cream contains Freesia extract and shea butter, peach Bergamot oil, antioxidant vitamin E and chia seed oil. The formula is rich in essential fatty acids, Bergamot and vitamins to hydrate and protect hands.

This is a fantastic inexpensive perfume which makes the most amazing gift. If you are into vintage and masculine scents, this is definitely one for you. The bottle looks cool and vintage and if you want to take a risk and paint your bottle like I did, definitely go for it.

Eau de Toilette £9.99 50m and £14.99 125 ml

Body Spray £2.49 75ml

Nourishing Hand Cream £4.49 100ml

Available from Yardly

NUDE – ProGenius Firming Youth Oil

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I have been using this NUDE ProGenius Firming Youth Oil for a year now and I completely rely on it to nourish my skin at night. It contains five Omegas – passion fruit seed oil which contains vitamins and minerals to help fight free radicals, Peacock’s Tail Algae which plumps the skin, Acai berry which not only looks great on your breakfast bowl, it contains anti-oxidants and a high percentage of Vitamin C, and finally Prickly Pear which is getting noticed in the beauty world due its amazing properties. If you can, try and get hold of products containing prickly pear, it’s amazing for the skin. 

Here’s the benefits of Prickly Pear:

  • Absorbs into skin quickly and hydrates it
  • Restores skin elasticity and brightens the complexion including dark spots
  • Tightens pores
  • Slows down skin ageing and prevents wrinkles

 

 

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Going back to breakfast smoothie bowls, this oil really does feel like it’s feeding the skin with goodness.  The oil is dense and smells strange, but don’t worry, it smells like it’s vegan and organic so if you’re into earthy aromas, you’ll totally dig it.  I’m used to the smell now and kind of like it because it’s soothing in a way, getting me prepared for bed.

I would recommend using this oil at night as it’s so rich, it would completely make your makeup slide off during the day. The oil is a dark yellow rich liquid which absorbs straight into the skin and nourishes the surface too without feeling uncomfortable and oily. The velvety formula has been designed to help firm and plump skin, and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Since using it, I have noticed how great it makes my skin look and feel, especially in the mornings. My only criticism is that it is quite expensive, however, it last for ages and its a great vegan product which really does wonders for your skin. 

£72

Available from Space NK

Cheekbones in Seconds – Rodial Compact Deluxe Contouring Powder

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After many years of skepticism and criticism I have succumbed to power of contouring. Yesss…I am a contour convert.

Im not talking stripes all over your face with layers of makeup you see on youtube, instagram and too be honest, on a lot of people out there who don’t know how to blend, I’m talking killer cheekbones that look like they’ve been carved by the gods.

Contouring is using makeup to enhance the structure of your face by using darker and lighter shades. I believe that in order for it not to look stripy, you need to sculpt with what you already have rather that create angles that dont exist… so basically don’t go crazy with the stripes and work with your natural jawline and cheekbones AND blend like a mofo!

Contouring takes practice and I never thought I would have the time to do it as I only have between 7-10 minutes each morning to apply a whole face of makeup. However, last year I had my makeup done at the Rodial concession in Harvey Nichol and one of the makeup artists gently (and quickly) contoured my cheekbones using the Instaglam Compact Deluxe Contouring Powder and it completely changed my face!

The Instaglam Compact Deluxe Contouring Powder is what Kim kardashian uses to create her look so it has to be the best right? It works to sculpt and define the facial contours. The soft, high-pigment powder with effective blendability helps to create shadows wherever needed for a sculpted a-list finish.

Here’s Kim

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Here’s me

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I have started using it every day and it’s so easy to use.  All I do is apply one straight stroke under each cheekbone and blend upwards. I then add bronzer and highlighter. It takes seconds proving that it can be done each morning before work for an everyday look. I only add a tiny line but those who wish to have a more of a sculpted look can add more powder to the jaw, hairline and nose. This powder is so pigmented, it lasts all day and you only need a tiny amount. Of course I spend much longer on the weekends and use a cream highlighter before adding this powder. It’s amazing and I can’t go back to a flat face as it has revolutionised my makeup and completely changed my face.

Here’s me last week when my contour was looking good. This was a super fast 2 minute job. I highly recommend it, but like eyeshadow, the power is in the brushed so invest in some decent ones or else you’ll end up looking like a tiger.

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This new DARK shade has a red undertone and works well for dark skin tones. Shade 04

Available from Rodial, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols

£52

Beauty APP MakeupPlus launches ‘The Ultimate Beauty Destination’ for London Fashion Week

I don’t know about you, but London Fashion Week can sometimes feel like London Fashion Weak! It’s fun but so busy, you are running around all over town, from show to show, being photographed, taking snaps, creating stories, going to parties… it can be super crazy and there’s so much pressure to keep your hair and makeup on fleek all the time.

Luckily, this season, the innovative beauty app, MakeupPlus is holding a pop up at Lights of Soho, in association with Fashion and Beauty Monitor to create the  ‘The Ultimate Beauty Destination’.

During the five days, The Ultimate Beauty Destination brings tech, beauty and fashion into one seriously stylish space. There will be live workshops, makeovers inspired by the catwalk, celebrity discussions, an interactive photo space, a live streamed selfie wall and beauty tutorials from some of the world’s biggest beauty bloggers.

Complimentary drinks, free wifi, a lounge to hang out in and goodies bags, are the finishing touches to this exclusive space.  All this along with the opportunity to exclusively access and watch live streaming of London Fashion Week official ‘on schedule’ shows as they happen, ensuring beauty junkies are LFW ready.

I went to the launch on Friday morning and then popped in for a quick phone charge whilst having a makeup and hair touch up on Sunday.  The vibe was super chilled and it was the perfect retreat from the chaos of LFW. I got to catch up with my social media, made some new friends whilst we queued to get our hair done and queueing was a great excuse to sit down for 10 minutes – I got so much done and even saw the streamed Mulberry show!

Here’s the hair and makeup team doing their thing:

Imarni Nails nailing the manicures:

Even if you go just to check out the super cool neon signs, it’s worth a visit…

 “In order to gain access to the meet & greets, fans simply need to download the free app and flash their widget on arrival.

Other attendees must be on the guest list.

Here’s the APP – @MakeupPlusApp #LFWXMAKEUPPLUS

The app itself it so much fun. You can apply makeup and filters to yourself and even edit old pics. Look what I did to one earlier. Its ridiculous but its a good way to see what suits you. The app is really interactive too. It has great editorials and look to inspire you.

You can guess the before and after.

If you haven’t already, check it out!

 Ultimate Beauty Destination, Lights of Soho, 35 Brewer Street, W1F 0RX

17th – 21st February 10am – 6pm Daily

 

‘Free of’ Hair Care – Wella ELEMENTS Shampoo & Conditioner 

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I’ve been using a new paraben, sulphate, and artificial colourant free shampoo and conditioner which has left my hair and conscience  feeling amazing! The new Wella Professionals ELEMENTS has won numerous awards worldwide for this range of hair care and its pretty obvious why, it’s incredible! Specially designed for ingredient conscious clients, this hair care range is ‘free from’ all those damaging chemicals which strip the hair and scalp of its natural goodness.

As we are all caring so much about what we put into our bodies these days, the ‘eat clean’ ethos has started to resonate into skincare and hair care where consumers are starting to question all the chemicals inside beauty products. I have been trying to champion ethical and natural products for a while now so it’s great to finally find a shampoo and conditioner which not only works, it feels luxurious too. A lot of natural and sulphate free products which have the ‘no foam’ feeling is actually quite strange.

What are Sulfates?

For those of you who aren’t aware of sulfate, it is a synthetic ingredient that is found in most cleaning products which give them that lathery foam. It was introduced into cleaning products in the 1930s to make us believe that foam equals washing, which I guess has conditioned us today. The truth is, Sulfate is an aggressive chemical which is damaging and it strips the hair and skin of keratin causing dullness, frizz, split ends, scalp damage, and makes it more vulnerable to heat and the environment.

What are Parabens?

Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in cosmetics and personal care products such as soap, moisturizers, shaving cream and underarm deodorant. Companies use parabens to extend the shelf life of products that is required to have a shelf life, e.g. how long a particular product remains acceptable to use under normal conditions. They are controversial due to the suspicion of it’s ability to mimic Oestrogen which is linked to breast cancer due to it’s ability to stimulate breast cell division and secondly it’s ability to interact with other hormones that are believed to promote cell division.

Sulphate and Paraben Free

With the rise of clean beauty, scientists are discovering natural ways of giving products the clean feel at renewing their shelf life whilst restoring keratin. The discover Elements Renewing Shampoo, Lightweight Renewing Conditioner and Conditioning Leave Spray is inspired by the unique combination of nature and science. The Wella Professionals scientists developed the NuTREE complex enriched with natural tree extract to help protect hair against keratin degeneration and targets the scalp and hair inside and out to ensure that both act and stay like renewed. It has up to 10 times more keratin than your average shampoo and instantly repairs and prevents against keratin degeneration.

RENEWING SHAMPOO

The Shampoo is my favourite. It smells so good and foams up but doesn’t leave your hair feeling squeaky clean after which is caused by the stripping sulfates. This shampoo does the exact opposite by adding moisture to the hair, preserving it, and nourishing it from root to tip. It also renews dry brittle hair, and protects against breakage.

As my hair is coloured, it’s always damaged and brittle so to find a shampoo that locks in moisture and adds radiance is amazing.

£12.20

LIGHTWEIGHT RENEWING CONDITIONER

This Lightweight paraben free conditioner is for every day use. For those who have coloured and damaged hair would probably need to use  a weekly hair mask in between but for an everyday conditioner, this is great. It strengthens each hair fiber from within, helping repair and preserve hair’s natural vitality.

£14.50

CONDITIONING LEAVE-IN SPRAY

I always need to use some sort of spray to detangle my birds nest hair after it is washed.  I use this pump spray, around 10-15 sprays which detangles it easily. As its paraben free, it cares and protects hair from day to day stress and gives a gentle hold.

£15.50

These products are a great introduction into the free from beauty products as its luxurious, smells great, leaves hair looking and feeling softer and more vibrant and it still foams. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to shake off the foam just yet. It does foam and its sulfate free. That’s a win for me.

Available from Wella Elements

 

Magic in the Moonlight – Rodial Stem Cell Magic Gel

If you have an important day coming up and you want your skin to look incredible, luminous and sort of like you’ve had work done, then this is the product for you!

The Rodial Stem Cell Magic Gel is a multi-purpose skin fix which repairs your skin over over-night to work its magic, transforming it from flat, dull and lifeless to super soft, wrinkle free and ethereal.

It is meant to be used over night but if the day is super important, like your wedding day, use it under makeup as a primer because it will make your skin look beautiful AF!

It’s 8 hours sleep in a bottle. The stem cell technology and 10-in-1 hydrator gel gives skin an 8 hour sleep effect which hydrates and repairs making it look like you have just had a series of facials.  The Bio-Protect complex along with PhytoCellTech™ Alp Rose stem cell technology helps smooth out wrinkles and helps fight against environmental stressers like pollution by retaining skin’s hydration balance.

The cream itself comes in a super cool pot which you press to release the lightweight cream. It feels thick and comforting and it smells insane – similar to the amazing Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud candle which I am obsessed with. This product is so simple to use but the results are incredible. After cleansing, add a thick layer to the face and then go to bed.  In the morning your skin feels soft, smoother, with less pores, plumper and it’s glowy and dewy, just  like JLo’s.

This is like JLo of skin creams – It will turn you into a glowy goddess! It’s my ultimate favourite and as you can see from the bottle above, I’ve had it for a while, but only use it on special occasions. It also lasts forever and it’s so much cheaper than getting regular facials.

£49.00

Available from Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Space NK and Rodial

Shades of Red – Chanel Rouge Allure Ink Matte Liquid Lip Colours

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There’s nothing better than a classic red Chanel lipstick, especially during the festive season. Just like the 2.1 handbag, a red Chanel lipstick defines a look that is timeless and suits all skin tones.

Chanel have entered the liquid lipstick game by launching their very first Lip Ink, the Rouge Allure Ink Matte Liquid Lip Colours fronted by actress Kristen Stewart who is the face of this campaign. The 8 new shades of red have been designed by Chanel’s new Creative Director Lucia Pica who pays homage to the colour red by reinterpreting it in an avant-garde territory devoted to the beauty of the lips.

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If you were not aware that red couldn’t possibly be turned into 8 different shades, you clearly don’t know anything about red lipsticks. They vary from light red, pinky tones, blue tones, bright classics and dark berry colours.

The ultra-fine ink is composed of raw materials selected for their extreme thinness and melt-away quality. A combination of polymers, wax and vegetal oils make help to make the lip ink glide over the lips, adapting perfectly to every curve. The emollient agent and jojoba oil protects the lips and the antioxidant complex composed of sappan wood, green tea, sweet almond oil and a Vitamin E derivative keeps lips hydrated against environmental stress and the cold, so you don’t need to apply a lip balm first.

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As you can see above, the packaging is your classic Chanel – it’s a compact and the elegant matte-glass bottle with it’s black lid look great in your handbag. The flocked applicator makes them super easy to apply and the creamy texture glides straight on to lips like second skin. Once applied, you have to wait for it to dry until you see the final effect which is a gorgeous velvety matte effect. These Lip Inks are so hydrating they smooth the lips out making them look fuller and softer. The texture is weightless and they are really long lasting. I wore mine when I went out for dinner and it was still on hours after.  Despite the pigment being intense, I would still recommend applying two coats. If you love Chanel, you will love these new lipsticks. They’re super cute and also make great little gifts too.

 Available from Chanel and Department Stores

£26