2013 Spring/Summer Hairstyles

I bring to you my latest picks of the Spring/Summer hairstyles of 2013 witnessed on the ramp and amidst celebs that will quickly translate into a high street phenomenon this Summer.

The shoulder length bob with fringe - Doesn't it immediately ooze sophistication and elegance while making your face appear slimmer and framed beautifully? From Selena Gomez to Gywneth Paltrow, every celebrity has tested it out at least once. 

A foolproof hairstyle for the square faced ladies like myself I believe. It contours the strong jaw bone spot on. The fringe adds a hint of cuteness and the mid length works beautifully at striking middle ground – making the hairstyle appear modern, fresh, feminine and up to date for 2013. My personal favourite! 

I have been wanting to bite the bullet and rock this apparently ‘safe’ hairstyle since years but those with long hair might know it can be a little bit intimidating. Having said that, I know it would immediately make me look younger and fresh, not to forget force me to get rid of those 2 inches of split ends! Yikes!

The half tuck with straight textured hair and twists or halo braids at the back – I don’t know about you but I have always had this habit where I unconsciously tuck hair behind my ears. We all know that’s a more convenient look but usually don’t resort to it because it’s not deemed to be stylish. Not anymore! A tonne of runway models (It was Pucci & Gucci I believe) this Summer have been seen sporting this latest hairstyle for 2013, with most of the hair tucked back and a few strands left in the front. 

It’s usually accompanied with full length, textured hair with some angelic halo braids or easy festival friendly twists at the back to inject back some style. To make the most of this hairstyle, grow out your short hair and ensure it’s all neatly cut into one length without any signs of hair damage or split ends. Glossy is the key!

Half up, half down wet hair – I never really thought wet hair could be a look that could be translated from the runway to the high street but just like all other things, 2013 is proving to be a year where change isn’t afraid to happen. Of course at first I saw it being rocked by sky high supermodels on the runway with their slim contoured faces but when I saw it placed half up and half down first on an unconventional model and then a woman on the train, this latest hair trend immediately looked much easier to pull off and weatherproof too. 

I love the interesting combination of the slick upper hair and the carefree lower locks. It makes it look effortlessly chic and super-model like in minutes. Just make sure you’ve found the perfect product to slick back your hair neatly. Of course a good trim at the hairdressers is vital to make sure no split ends ruin it’s classy effect.

Hair nets (Jean Paul Gaultier) & pastel hair get a special mention as albeit unusual and not an everyday look, these Summer hairstyles are quite bold to pull off for a night out or a special event. Pastel pink hair with cool ashy undertones gives a soft, creamy look and compliments all skin tones.

Check out Leeds Hairdressers Jon Kinsey's if you live around the area as they have some of the best prices and hairstylists out there to get your hair updated for this season. Get some inspiration from the otherwise subtly dressed Anne Hathaway who recently sported a blonde bob at the Met Gala red carpet.


Clinique Superbalanced Makeup Foundation in Nude Beige

I wore this today and absolutely loved the effect on me so I thought it finally deserved a post of its own! I have been using this on and off since the past few months now and I have to say it's absolutely adorable, that too quite easily.

As usual, I never manage to find the perfect shade for me in Clinique Foundations and Nude Beige is a tad bit tanned for my NC30 skin however like every other Clinique Foundation I have tried till date, it's made to my favourites list as well.

The packaging of it is quite simple and the chubby glass bottle albeit having a tendency to feel slightly unhygienic sometime, is still quite light, portable and practical. A refreshing change as it takes me back in time when Foundation bottles were slightly heavy and came with a foggy glass. Classic!

I know shades can be tricky to determine online so if you're NC30 or NC35, this shade would fit you perfectly and you can get away with an online purchase without seeing the shade in person. The shade itself is yellow toned but I have to say it's a pretty neutral yellow at the same time meaning someone with pink undertones can also get away with it. You'll hardly find such in between colours so kudos Clinique!

The Foundation itself is a moderately thin consistency, not runny like MAC Face & Body but still thin enough to make blending a dream. You can easily use fingers, brush or a sponge with it and you'll get equally good results although I highly recommend you get your hands on a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.

It sinks into the skin well leaving a very slight tacky, unsettled texture on the face for the first few minutes but once it sinks in well, it doesn't even need powder. You can choose to set your concealer and all that but I found powder makes this look cakey as it already has a semi-matte finish with a little glow.

In this heat, I also found it to move a little bit on my face so I have to remember to wear a primer underneath next time. Besides that, it lasted from morning to evening on me and looked just as fresh as it looked when applied. Apparently it's water resistant too if you find yourself in a rainy summer day!

A few shots of me wearing it

The coverage of this is strictly medium and it can be built up gradually or enhanced with concealers but if you're looking for a full coverage foundation, this ain't it. On the other hand if you're looking for an everyday foundation that covers basic uneven skin tone, scars and blemishes, this fits the bill just right.

Superbalanced claims to be great for all skin types but in my experience with it, it would be great for combination-normal-dehydrated skin with primer & minus the powder and not so suitable for those with very dry or very oily skin gals as it might exaggerate dryness or oily areas in the skin perhaps.

I can't believe I've only tried this Foundation as of yet and it's been one of Clinique's best sellers since years. For the reasonable £21 price tag that it retails for, it's surely a winner in my books!



Hammamas Turkish Towels: A Holiday/Beach Must-Have!

Have you seen the cartoon movie ‘The Lorax’ where this little ambitious boy develops a multipurpose fashion scarf called ‘Thneed’ and it becomes a rage. It could be worn as a stylish turban or accessorised as a skirt or a scarf. The possibilities of it were endless and consumers created new ways of styling it every day which soon became viral. The Hammamas remind me of just that! They are light weight beach towels made from cotton sourced from Turkey and are not only pretty looking compared to your traditional bobbley towel but also better at absorbing water with super quick drying time. 

How many of you have been annoyed with a wet, heavy towel weighing down your head, trying to balance it like a pole dancer whilst doing your make-up and juggling a cuppa? *both hands up*. At home, we learn to deal with it. But on a beach or a holiday, I personally would opt for a lighter, more modern alternative as such, especially if it can be doubled as a sarong, beach wrap, scarf, bath robe, pool towel, table cover…phew!

I love how Hammamas travel towels play around with stripes of all shapes while keeping the prints of these simple, classy and subdued. Of course if you love yourself a bit of colour like I do, you’ll love their Original range which is jam packed with bright pinks, denim blues, vibrant yellows and rich purples. If you’re more an elegant babe, their Resort and Marine range will be right up your street for a subtle pop of demure colour.

Did you know the Turkish towel has history behind it? They have been an integral part of rural Turkey since the 18th century and were commonly used in Turkish Baths and prior to ceremonies and occasions? Why they gained popularity initially was due to the fact that they were hand woven making them of superior, long lasting quality with the tasselled fringes being hand-knotted too. Gradually over time, style and design was incorporated into these making them a chic bathroom staple in most homes.

I am planning to go on a beach holiday (fingers crossed! Will it be Greece or Spain?) in late summer and I never thought a towel would make it to my wish list but it has! I usually am overloaded with luggage but I’m sure this will slip in somewhere between my flats and make-up bag quite easily without occupying much space at all due to its compact, portable design and light weight.

I know Turkish hammam towels have always come with clean, crisp prints as these but I really hope Hammamas branch out to more quirky, edgy designs in the future for the fashionista or perhaps come printed with inspirational quotes which I cannot get enough of these days.

Do you have a travel towel? Do you take one with you on a holiday or rely on hotel supplies? Would you dare to wear the Hammamas as a beach wrap, sarong or a turban? Let me know!

Alpha H Liquid Gold - Holy Grail or Hyped?

Undoubtedly Caroline Hirons of Beauty Mouth is the blogging queen when it comes to in depth skin care. I am sure you'll find her raving about Alpha H Liquid Gold somewhere on her blog if you want to have a read of an industry professional's opinion.

I am a tiny bit late on jumping on the Liquid Gold band wagon apparently as Bloggers and YouTubers have had this baby in their desert island favourites since years now. I for once found it's £30+ price tag a tad bit expensive and rather 'luxurious' a year ago. You know when you have this fancy toner in your skincare wishlist but never end up purchasing it because quite frankly you don't 'need' it. It's a luxury believe it or not.

But as Caroline Hiron says, if you can spend around £300 on a branded handbag, you might as well spend it on a skincare product that value as it's the only face you've got! Now I'm not that extravagant to splurge on a Louis Vuitton but I do spend around £50 quite easily on Topshop hangbags so this seemed totally justified via this theory. Then came the bargain from the godsend retail outlet namely Ebay and I bagged it for under £30. Voila!

So according to the description on the bottle, it sounds more of an anti-ageing product than anything else. It's key ingredient that everyone's gaga over - Glycolic Acid. What I know about it is that it has a teeny-tiny molecular structure making it the perfect ingredient to absorb into the skin. Also, Glycolic Acid acts more like an exfoliant hence making this a liquid exfoliant rather than a toner.

Primarily, it's meant to speed up the collagen renewal process of the skin that is responsible for keeping skin firm and tight and keep wrinkles at bay. However, alongside that, regular exfoliating geared at anti-ageing, for instance three times a week like with this product can also help get rid of blemish scars, sun spots, pigmenatation and reduce breakouts substantially. 

Basically it's non-abrasive exfoliating qualities don't spread acne like how traditional beaded exfoliators would, making it suitable for sensitive skin as well. Exfoliation is a wonderful process on it's own which solves a multitude of skin problems I found. As dead skin is peeled off so are the scars & pigmentation, clogged pores are cleansed inside out reducing chances of breakout and skin care products are absorbed better. 

In my experience with it after a few months, I feel it has completely gotten rid of any blemish scars that I had previously. I had a huge problem of them leaving behind tell tale signs and taking months to fade but it's amazing how it fades them in days, alongside calming down the breakout/spot overnight. I've never found it to irritate my combination-dehydrated skin hence I use it sparingly on the neck and arms at present where I'm trying to get rid of blemish scars.

I am not sure how strongly it works at keeping skin young as at 24, I really cannot comment on that. Fingers crossed it will keep wrinkles at bay! I highly recommend it for exfoliation if you suffer from lack lustre skin. I always have a very evident glow the morning after applying this. It almost makes my skin look HD and I can stare and scrutinise it in my magnifying mirror quite confidently. 

It's one of those products that are miraculous for some within days but for me it's been a slow journey but I definitely feel it has made a difference in my skin texture. I feel this alongside Effaclar Duo makes a killer combination to keep skin looking amazing without the need of piling on tonnes of Foundation this season.

I give it the Holy Grail status. I think I can live without it but I am thankful I gave it a go.  

p.s. It can leave skin looking a tad bit dry the morning after use so you'll need to up the ante with your moisture injecting products. 


Glossybox 2nd Anniversary May Box *Spoiler Alert*

*Subscribers will receive their boxes from 10th May onwards so if you don't want to know what's going to be in your box (not that they are all similar) you might want to skip this post*

Glossybox turns two this May! Can you believe it? I of all people had no idea beauty boxes existed on this planet until Glossybox made it a household name with their arrival to the UK. I don't rave about it enough I feel but I have been introduced to a tonne of new brands in these past few months with Glossybox and have went ahead to make full sized purchases after sampling products in these monthly boxes.

Apparently it's quite common in the US to ask for beauty samples at luxury counters in departmental stores and just as normal for the Sales Assistant to provide you with a few. I personally have found it a mission in the UK, especially at Selfridges, London to get my hand on samples before making a full fledged purchase. I believe it's not a very common practise in the UK, even after you have made a purchase from the counter! (tut tut Chanel & Lancome). 

All in all, beauty boxes are godsend and I hope Glossybox continues to include more high end brands and go easy on including high-street finds as we can easily purchase them without a thought. 

I am extremely happy with their 2nd Anniversary box. They couldn't have done a better job with it really. L'occitane, Caudalie and Jelly Pong Pong  are my favourite niche brands and the product sizes are quite generous as well. I cannot wait to review the Fairy Lashes Mascara separately! Oh and I did slather a lot of the Caudalie Divine Oil before bed time yesterday to get rid of the flaky skin I've been having recently and it's gorgeous. Calls for a separate feature too.

Headline Colours is a new brand to me but I do like the coral red shade that came in my box. I usually don't opt for such shades myself so it was a nice inclusion.

Happy Birthday Glossybox and may you have many more!


Models Own Artistix Duo Polish - Indian Ocean & Utopia

Models Own have come out with a new range of Nail Polish duo's that very cleverly and cost effectively come packed in a lip gloss like container. One end contains nail paint with more pigmentation for an opaque finish so that would be 'Utopia' the pale pinky taupe shade in this case which would act as your base colour. The second shade is a cover up shade that you can then use to oomph up your base shade. The one in this duo is called 'Indian Ocean' and is the most beautiful, pearlecent ice blue with duo chrome shimmer to it.

The quality of these babies is super as you would expect from a Model's Own Nail Varnish. They glide on easily and coat the nails in one-two coats. Drying them is still a problem for me as I've run out of my seche vite and am debating if I should repurchase it or branch out to try something new.

Apparently there are sprays out there that you spritz on your nails to help dry the polish in seconds. I quite like the sound of a spray than adding an extra layer to the nails like you would with the seche vite top coat. Plus mine dried out in a month and I felt it was such a waste of money!

Isn't 'Utopia' the most beautiful nude pink you have seen till date? It has a bit of taupe kicked in which lends it some cool undertones, making it uber flattering on my skin type. It has quickly become one of my go-to clean manicure shades for this season. 'Indian Ocean' on the other hand is a shade I would never ever let close to my nails but it's combination with 'Utopia' makes is so refreshing and apt for Spring.

You can get the Artistix Duo Polishes at Boots and the Models Own website for £6 in a tonne of drool worthy shades. The shade range is so wacky that you will be tempted to get your hands on one undoubtedly.