Monday, 2 March 2015

Mothers Day Beauty Gift Ideas

With so much confusion on the web regarding Mother's Day, let me allow you to stop panicking as rest assured you haven't missed it! It falls on 15 March this year. Having said that, it's also not too far away. So instead of opting for an overpriced card, the usual chocolates and unnecessary jewellery that mum just won't be wearing any time soon, indulge her with something thoughtful. 

Do you recall the Ambient Lighting Palette by Hourglass that bloggers have unanimously been raving about? Get that. A trio of stunningly formulated powders, each geared for different face perfecting needs such as radiance, setting and warmth - it's unlikely to disappoint. Perfect for mums who like their fair bit of 'base' make-up and not too much colour. 

The Bloody Gorgeous Set By Kevyn Aucoin is a beaut. For £100, you get 6 full sized make-up products in a sultry theme, spot-on for nailing that evening look. With an oxblood-berry-esque palette going on, it would make lovely present for mums who love their rich, deep makeup shades and like to experiment with colour, be it with a bold eye or a feature lip. 

As a starter kit for a mum who hasn't upgraded her make-up since you were in high school, Charlotte Tilbury's Dolce Vita Gift Box would be foolproof. Consisting of a neutral, wearable theme and easy to apply products, the radiance boosting, pout perfecting and eyelid lifting range by Tibury is actually pretty fabulous at 'anti-ageing' than most gimmicky skincare. Having said that, if you want to spoil mum with some skincare bits that actually work and deliver results, I'd highly suggest the Crystal Clear Anti-Ageing Kit

For Spa loving mums who are always on their feet and hardly get some me-time, gift them a pampering package this Mothers Day that will help them unwind and relax. With a Full Body Massage, Age Smart Facial, Manicure and Pedicure all retailing at an unbelievable £75, it's an all-inclusive offer by Shumaila's that cannot be missed out on. Pssttt... this is what I'll be getting my mum!

If you mum is more of a fragrance connoisseur, a bottle of Jo Malone's English Peear & Freesia Cologne is bound to impress. With the delicious scent being all things fresh, warm, feminine, sweet and crisp - you'll be introducing it to her at the perfect time as Spring rolls on soon. 

For the mum who is usually found glued to home design magazines is this Complete Bliss Collection by Neom Organics. Containing all the scent essentials to make your home smell inviting, it contains their Scent Candle, Reed Diffuser and Room Spray which are all equally heavenly. 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

My Little Frenchie Box

If you ever need just one beauty box subscription in the UK, it's got to be My Little Box. Creating theme based boxes each month, they are high on innovation, thought and uniqueness. More like a lifestyle box, there's elements of fashion, health and quirk tossed in besides the usual beauty bits. Never failing to impress me, it's something I look forward to each month and it's constantly received raving reviews by bloggers for it's consistent brilliantness in general. 

My Little Frenchie Box was just as good as always. In the beauty menu, we had  a By Terry Kohl in this gorgeous blackened green colour with shimmer - a great alternative to browns and blacks and a Brow Artist Pencil by L'Oreal. There was also their own brand product Teint De Peche which resembles an all over base, much like a radiant boosting primer/moisturiser that can be worn on it's own on good skin days or used underneath make-up to up the glow factor. DHC's Oil Blotting Paper was a smart one to include as we're approaching Spring and because French girls do like their demi-matte skin don't they? A gorgeous Phone Case in blue and an uber cute Jar of Notes rounded up the box. The jar of notes is pretty much like a fortune cookie. Keep it on your dresser and open one each morning for a fashion or beauty tip or a pick-me-up quote. 

Friday, 27 February 2015

Crystal Clear Anti-Aging Kit - Mothers Day Gift Idea

If you're looking for a home solution to target pre-mature ageing, slough off dead skin cells and inject a dose of radiance back into the skin, the Crystal Clear Anti-Ageing Kit will be your best bet. Containing a step-by-step guide and results-driven products, it's almost like a flash facial that you do for yourself at under 30 minutes. There's cleansing, exfoliating, mask, serum and a vibrating wand involved, which re-educates the skin, firms and tones facials muscles. 

I've also tried this on my mum once just to see how it works on mature skin and I'm pleased to report it did really well. It left her skin glowing, clearer and brighter. She mostly suffers from uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation and it did a lovely job at just smoothing out imperfections and leaving skin radiant and fresh. The Applicator Wand also dispenses product which is a nice way to stimulate skin whilst having some product available for slip. 

All products have a light texture and a lush consistency and feel gorgeous on the skin. There's nothing from the lot that I wouldn't actually use in my daily skincare routine but my favourite of them all has to be the Brightening Complex. It's a finishing product to apply last after the flash facial and contains SPF 15. I absolutely love the brightening glow it leaves on the skin - perfect for au naturale days in the Summer. Also, if you're looking for a useful Mothers Day present that mums bound to love - this has got to be a foolproof one. 

The Anti-Ageing kit by Crystal Clear Skincare contains an Applicator Wand, Anti-Ageing Serum 30ml x 2, Deep Cleanse Gel 25ml, Brightening Complex 25ml, Crystal Polish 25ml and a white cosmetic bag which is absolutely delightful to reuse on travel. All available for £74.99 from Ideal World TV and it's website. 

Thursday, 26 February 2015

7 Tips for Better, Healthier Teeth

Better teeth are healthier and better looking teeth and there are a number of things that you can do to improve your smile and how your teeth look. So, we’ve compiled a list of some great tips for a healthier, more attractive smile.

Eat the Right Foods
Eating the rights sorts of foods is the very best place to begin your quest for healthier teeth. The likes of red wine, coffee, tea and cigarettes will cause all sorts of issues for pearly whites and take the shine out of your teeth. Generally speaking dark foods tend to cause problems for teeth and if it’s got a dark tone, it may stain your teeth. Ideally, wash your teeth after eating or drinking foods that could stain to prevent issues.

New Toothbrush
Can you remember how old your toothbrush is precisely? If not then it’s a good idea to change your toothbrush or the head on your electric toothbrush. The amount of bacteria that people transfer back into their mouth because of old toothbrushes, as well as the issues related to it being worn out mean regular changing of a toothbrush is a must.

Learning to floss without a mirror can be very beneficial and allows you to floss when you’ve got some spare, private time. Close your eyes when flossing to get an idea of where your teeth are without a mirror. A little practice and you’ll soon be able to do it wherever you are, increasing the chances you’ll actually do it.

One of the main reasons a lot of people don’t brush their teeth is that they never developed a routine. If you develop a routine by being strict with your brushing and your families then you are setting yourself up for success. Brushing your teeth the moment you get out of bed in the morning and then back in at night helps build the routine. It’s also beneficial as it helps to brush off all the plaque and bacteria that have built up in your mouth at night.

Orthodontic practice advises that one of the biggest and most common mistakes people make when brushing is they brush too hard. This can cause problems with receding gums and worn down enamel and these can then turn into cavities. Learning to brush in small circular movements and doing so over the tooth’s entire surface along the gum line is the best way to brush teeth and prevent problems.

For ladies, one great trick to make teeth look whiter is to choose a light red lipstick. The colours make your teeth look a good bit whiter. However, it’s worth avoiding lighter colours as they tend to bring out the yellow tones in teeth and hence make them look less sparkly.

Patience and Prevention
When taking care of your teeth, having patience and not skipping and taking short cuts is one of the best ways to ensure dental health. Preventing tooth problems is easy with a little care and know how and will give you a smile to envy.  

So, follow the above tips and you can be sure that your teeth stand a far better chance of staying clean, healthy and attractive.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Updated Contour Routine feat. Smashbox, Chanel, Sisley & Clinique & a MAC 168 Dupe

Left  to right - Sisley, Clinique, Chanel & Smashbox

My contouring routine has changed since the last few years. From being a rookie at it and making both sides of the cheek look uneven to simply bronzing my face thinking I was contouring it - I've been there, done that. After cobbling together a handful of foolproof gems that worked seamlessly after rounds of trial and error, I'm pleased to report my favourites.

Smashbox Contour Palette: I've been in possession of this palette since months but sometimes you like a product SO much, that you actually forget to blog about it. That's genuinely been the case here. Finely milled powders that are packed with pigmentation, with spot-on realistic shades and housed in a compact trio - you cannot go wrong with this baby. The matte army consists of a cool toned contour, a warm toned bronzer and a pale highlighter. From chubby cheeks to a double chin, this has all under control. Bring on those cheat meals! 

Chanel Bronze Universal: There may be a slight need to replace this one with a newer version as I believe I may have been gifted (hinted a lot) this a few birthdays ago. Besides it's expiration date in question, the texture, formula and consistency of this remains unparallelled. Officially the Beyonce of bronzers, it works like a dream at bringing out those cheekbones in the most natural way possible. Does't budge, stays on all day and gels well with all foundations. You need this for quick contour runs in the Summer. 

Sisley Sun Glow Bronzing Gel Powder: A new entry to the contour clan this year, the powder cum gel formula impressed me from the very first swatch. Literally a sunkissed, golden glow like colour, it's actually more of a finishing face powder, blusher appropriate product than a contour. Having said that, if you're pale skinned and are looking for something subtle to add shadows to those cheekbones, this will be your best bet. I use it on 'no-makeup' makeup days and the finish is stunning. 

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour: Quickly making it's place to the contour collection, it's mainly there for it's chubby stick like format and ease of use. The colour could have been cooler of course but nonetheless, it's great if you like to sketch your pre-makeup face Kim Kardashian style. If you always have trouble finding your cheekbones (that is a real problem), this actually makes is easy peasy to just draw in the hollows and blend away. Perfect for contour virgins. 

Shumaila's Angled Contour Brush: I used a stippling brush for years for bronzing and some synthetic additions for contouring but lately I've only been using an angled contour brush and it's actually a great middle option. This one's by Shumaila's and it's a MAC 168 dupe. I've used the latter in the past and it was great until I lost it and this is an exact replica. In fact the brush hairs don't fray out and loose shape after a few uses. It's soft and does all the blending on it's own. For a contour tool that allows precise application and picks up the right amount of colour, this works like a pro. And you can use it with cream or gel formulations and it won't leave pesky little hairs in the container. 

Tell me your contour essentials in the comments.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Brushes You Need To Re-create London Fashion Week Looks

With the end of February being dominated by London Fashion Week primarily, it’s the only thing beauty and fashion bloggers are talking about. I personally love observing new fashion trends but what I find rather interesting each year is the way beauty trends evolve oh-so-subtly through these fashion weeks. 

Although I find makeup for London Fashion Week to remain pretty much the same, there are nuances of it that vary with the season and it’s become a hobby to note these minor details and dissect on how to recreate them. With the right make-up, what you’ll need is the perfect tools to mimic these looks and you're good to go. 

Lip Brush: Lips, the one feature where Fashion Week trends seem to originate from. Something that differs drastically every season and gives every show it's individuality and unique appeal. Whether it's a full on bold lip you see models rocking at AW15 backstage or sheer, subtle hint of colours for a barely-there look, none of it has been created by Makeup Artists without using a detailed lip brush.

Now these are available in a tonne of shapes and you can choose one depending on your preference but I personally choose a flat angled brush like below. It's super easy to reach corners of the lips and re-create the shape using this brush that gives maximum control. Plus, having two of these can ensure you can use them for grooming brows too - two birds with one stone eh

p.s. It's a whole lot of pink dominating the lips for SS15 and more of the raspberry beige's, dusty plums, brick reds and just-kissed flushed, glossy lips for AW15. 

Contour brush: More of a ritual than a trend for London Fashion Week, shading and sculpting the cheeks is something the runway cannot get enough of. Regardless of the season or show, it's a staple that's hardly ever missing on those gorgeous models. Use a synthetic brush to create an on-trend look.

Firstly, because it will allow you to work with cream contours better which are modern way to avoid the harsh Kim K look. Secondly, it will automatically tone down the intensity of the product applied to the cheeks as synthetic brushes pick up less colour than goat hair brushes. A synthetic angled brush and cool toned contours and your I-was-born-with-cheekbones look is complete!

Small detailer brush: Whether it's the glistening inner corner of the eyes, a smoky dusting of colour on the lower lashline, a dramatic cut crease or cat-eye formation - eye detailer brushes are a must when it comes to adding those finishing touches to a London Fashion Week look. Devils in the detail as they say!

I love this look at Proenza Schoulder that had this undone looking graphic smear of black eye shadow at the inner corners of the eye for AW15. The smaller the brush, the better it gets at achieving fine, artistic details. A small tapered crease brush and a flat definer brush are a great combination at achieving a number of detailed formations around the eye area with cream, liquid, powder or glitter formulations. 

Pointed face brush: It's obvious that most of us beauty addicts have some kind of a foundation brush in possession and to be honest, that should work perfectly well at applying a base for a London Fashion Week look. But to achieve that sheer finish, that's translucent, smoothed out and basically airbrushed, you will need brushes to blend and buff seamlessly.

Nanshy's Conceal Perfector brush and their Makeup Sponge would be second to none for this task. To achieve 'no-makeup' makeup like skin that we see on models, you'll need skin that looks radiant, dewy but still real hence a good tip is to separate brushes to apply and buff foundation. 

Friday, 20 February 2015

KIKO Generation Next Collection

All of KIKO's new collections are to die for. Whatever they release, it's hardly every uninteresting or uninspiring. This time around, they've managed to introduce something young, modern and quite rock-chic like named 'Generation Next'. Although the shades are wearable, they've tried to keep the textures futuristic and punky by including a cushion system in their CC compact and giving their cool touch eye shadow a similar wet look, gel texture effect. 

The Crystal Eye Liners in particular are uber cool! They come with a lovely velvety formula and the finish is almost like a wet look, glitter-shimmer concoction. I personally am not a fan of shimmer eye liners but this is something else with it's edgy appeal and such gorgeous shades. Perfect to flaunt during London Fashion Week. The Frosted Look Lipstick isn't as frosty as you'd think and is actually quite wearable and feminine. Must-have for spring-summer, especially as it's super pigmented and full value for money. The Cool Touch Eye shadows are easy to apply even with fingers and would work quite well for a quick pool-side look in the summer, topped with oodles of mascara or a graphic liner. The Mosaic Highlighter is too pretty to use and acts as a lovely colour correcting, all over finishing powder for the skin, with a bit of a radiant finish. Overall, the collection is just perfect for Spring and I cannot wait to start using it all come sunshine. 

  • Crystal Eye Liner
  • Cool Touch Eye Shadow

Nice to haves
  • Mosaic Blush