21.2.14

Sponsored Video: Cadbury James Corden #freethejoy



Nothing is more cheerful than watching James Corden lip syncing Estelle's Free through the streets of London. I love how he keeps his face straight and mimes like rock star. The portrayal of the streets of London is spot on. Being a Londoner myself, I know it's hard to keep a smiley face on such dreary, glum days when everything seems to go wrong.

When your umbrella flies away in another direction and hits someone walking behind you and then you slip onto the concrete floor due to so called rain 'flooding', it seems like nothing in the world can help to make the situation better. But sometimes, you just have to free the joy and let it be and even the most gloomy days can become bearable. Do whatever makes you happy and help you turn the day around, regardless of the weather.

Take a walk in the part be it rain or shine. Spend your lunch hour listening to your favourite tunes and singing out loud regardless of what onlookers think. Believe it or not, positive energy is infectious and people around you need a little bit of it passed on as well. I just cannot believe how heavily and frequently it poured in London in the last two weeks, let alone the worst weather and wind conditions in the rest of the UK.

When home stuck in such atrocious weather, I like to make myself a hot cup of tea, dig out some chocolate and tune into House of Cards on Netflix. Or simply get into the mood for a much needed weight lifting session at home whilst listening to Capital FM. Both of these things cheer me up instantly and put me into a good mood regardless of the cold and wet weather or whatever unpleasant that's happened during the day. What's important is that you have to find out what helps you free the joy and keep doing it religiously until it lifts your spirit. What's it that free's the joy for you?

*Sponsored by Cadbury

Debenhams: Love To Give


Have you ever received a beauty present that you absolutely loved or loathed? I know I have! To be honest I do not remember receiving an awkward beauty present unless it's for the occasional unbranded eye shadow palette with only shimmer as pigmentation. *shudders* Rest, I've cherished forever and that's solely because I have always put ahead some good hints before time so my friends and family know that's exactly what I want. 

Being a beauty blogger, I'm usually rambling on about beauty, skincare and makeup to friends and family making the present buying task easier for them as they are well aware of my current wish-list, hah! Hence Chanel's and Urban Decay's I have been pleased to receive in the past. But, if you're not someone who is constantly rambling on about beauty, I can totally understand your friends and family being absolutely confused in the aisles of Superdrug and Selfridges alike. Go on give them a hint, everyone needs one, trust me. 

I cannot even imagine the number of generic and useless beauty presents showered onto the ladies this Valentines Day. Thankfully, I received something tech related which the guys always get right. First tip guys and girls, look at the pre-selected edit for the special occasion at any online beauty portal. There's always going to be a Valentine's Day or Mother's Day section that must have been carefully put together by a team of people who actually know what they are doing. Instead of racking your brains, simply select something from the occasion edit to stay safe. 

Also, it's important not to select beauty presents that are extremely specific to the persons skin tone and personal preference. If you do not know their eye shadow likings, please do not present to them an icy cold eye shadow palette with all shades of blues. Oh and if you do, your recipient will need the receipt I promise. Stick to lush fragrances and opulent gift sets which are impossible to go wrong with. Gift sets including a mascara and eye makeup remover may not appear to be extremely thoughtful or romantic but surely will be well used. 

Whilst growing up, I remember my dad on his visit to a beauty store at an airport got for my mum a foundation. Unfortunately she couldn't use it and it had to be binned. Why you ask? Well, when asked what shade my mum was, my dad replied 'Exactly the same as mine!' to the Sales Assistant. Turns out they were poles apart complexion wise but somehow he didn't manage to notice his wife of many years was much paler than him! That's men and beauty presents for you. 

Hence, if you love to give, either do your research well, depend on the pre-selected edit by beauty stores or simply stay safe with a fragrance gift set. Debenhams are planning to change the ritual of awkward beauty present giving by running a survey to know what women would actually like to receive. What's great is that you'll be entered into a prize draw to win £250 worth of Debenhams vouchers to spend. The results will be shared on their social media platforms, blog and online publications which should hopefully ensure the Christmas presents we receive this year are freaking fabulous! 

20.2.14

KIKO Restorative Hair Serum






I always felt hair serums had hiked their prices lately considering how the blogosphere was obsessed with miracle hair oils and all that jazz. KIKO's Restorative Hair Serum comes like a breath of fresh air in it's original serum like formula. I have enough hair oils to last me a life time so can brands get back to making good old serums please?

Being excellent at make-up and skincare, I was quite surprised when KIKO ventured into hair. It's quite a tricky area to be good at isn't it. It's really hard to please the consumer when it comes to hair styling products as opposed to make-up in my opinion. Thankfully, KIKO have nailed it. With their formula and price both being their USP, there's no stopping them.

They have various kinds of serums for different hair types. Mine's for dull, damaged and stressed hair which describes my locks precisely. It contains Vitamin F that restores hair fibres making tresses stronger and less prone to breaking. Also contains antioxidants which we all know is great for hair, skin and the body. The serum has a light texture in that it doesn't just sit on top of the hair greasily but rather absorbs in quickly, giving hair a salon like sheen and gloss.

I'm not sure about how repairing the serum is but I find it excellent for styling, hydrating and adding a quick hint of gloss to the locks. It works quite well at detangling and mending those splitends superficially. Originally for £12.90, it's currently on sale for £4.90 which is an unbelievable price. Grab it is what I say!

www.kikocosmetics.co.uk

18.2.14

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus +






Not that I had any problem with the cult favourite Effaclar Duo Plus but La Roche Posay believed they could make it better. Instead of calling this a better version, I'd say this is designed for slightly more different type of skin. It's geared more towards calming down redness and preventing blemishes from leaving scars after they have subsided.

Also, this is packed with a handful more of hydrating elements that can hold on better to moisture in the skin, making this more suitable for those with combination-dry-dehydrated skin. This way, I can get away with using this as a moisturiser at times without having to nourish and hydrate certain areas of the face. Just eye cream and some lip nourishing and voila, I'm done!

The texture and consistency of the product is exactly the same as before but if you'd had complaints of the original version drying out your skin, then this deserves a try. I've been using it for a good few weeks now and so far it's working really well for my skin. After cutting down on carbs for a week or two, I fell into a slack period where I only ate carbs for a week and that wrecked havoc on my skin.

This is slowly but surely resolving that issue for me. I like how you can trustfully rely on this product for actually revamping problematic skin. No keeping your fingers crossed and all that jazz! Now I don't suffer from redness at all so I cannot comment on that aspect but from what I've read, it works well at that too.

On the whole, you don't need to add this version to your skincare regime if you're happy with the original one. But if you felt the latter lacked in certain aspects for you, then surely give this a go. I personally don't mind either! Although I'd stick to this as I do get dehydrated skin quite a bit and this seems to help with that whilst battling blemishes.

www.boots.com

17.2.14

Tang Tracker - How safe is your child online in this 'smart' era?

Online safety for children is a huge issue nowadays considering the number of teenagers involved in attacks, bullying, sexting and pornography. Imagine something as simple as typing in a keyword in the Tang Tracker App and getting precise updates from your childs phone on related text messages and online activity. It shouldn't be seen as invasion of privacy but rather a security measure for those vulnerable. Instead of being sorry for scenarios that may happen later, wouldn't it be rather wise to anticipate the nature of things and have a much needed 'talk' with your child?


Teenagers in particular very easily fall into the trap of joining 'cool' groups at school and trying extremely hard to fit it. This can result in certain friends sending them links to pornography or perhaps indulging them in a little bit of sexting. Now there's nothing wrong with both and I'm no one to judge however, it's not age appropriate for children and teenagers to be exposed to such material at an early age when their mind isn't equipped to make a sensible judgement.

Even worse, imagine if your 10 year old child meets with a stranger online, mostly through chat messaging portals or Facebook, gives them their number and starts having a conversation. This can lead to a series of unwanted stuff in your childs life that you'd rather want to prevent from knowing, let alone happening. Also, don't expect your child to come to you with these issues as they surely will not give you a heads up when chatting with a stranger online. Tang Tracker can act as a discreet surveillance system in this situation and alert you when your child is about to fall in a messy situation. Heck even Justin Bieber falls into neighbourhood harassing situations at 19!

Of course you'd expect in this day and age for  broadband providers to filter content such as pornography but instead most of the times they leave it on the families to restrict such material, technological know how for which they do not possess. With 25% of young people between 6 to 12 believing that it's absolutely fine to share information online such as their personal details, passwords and images and around 36% of parents not monitoring children's activity online or on mobile phones, Tang Tracker can be an uncomplicated, fuss free option for parents to rely on.

Open communication between parents and children about socialising online, meeting strangers and their thoughts on sharing images should be discussed. Children need to be explained the consequences of these in the most non intimidating way possible. With the news section on children's safety on tablets, computers being jam packed every single day, Tang Tracker can be a starting point to establish a relationship of mutual trust between children and parents. They should know you're not spying on them but rather helping them stay out of sticky, troublesome situations.

*sponsored post

16.2.14

Style Files: The London Fashion Week Edit

Yes that time of the year is finally here when fashionistas in London rejoice as the shows are finally in the city with all their extravaganza and pomp. I love how spectators battle the wet and cold city with their stylish ensemble as it just doesn't affect that. Well that’s what fashion should be about. 100% passion!

I’ve picked out some essential trends, textures, colours and prints that are a must-have to flaunt this London Fashion Week. Inspired by the catwalk trends for SS14, incorporating at least some of these trends in your apparel will ensure you look fashion week ready.

Depending on your comfort zone, pair one or more of these together. Not all of it together necessarily unless that’s a look you’re going for of course.

Something Neon or Pastel. The sheer number of Neon and Pastel things I’ve come across in the past few months is unbelievably crazy. Surprisingly enough, it’s also a trend that’s actually quite easy to sport. If you’re not brave enough like most fashion bloggers out there, a simple punch of the trend incorporated in your outfit is more than enough to demonstrate a transition from last year to 2014. Don a pastel pink coat, a duck blue leather jacket or a neon satchel – heck even a neon phone cover will do. Don’t forget to play around with uber cool ipad cover’s out there to sport the latest trends in the most fail safe way possible.



White Heels/Chunky Heels/Cute Ugly Shoes. Shoes. The ultimate way to scream ‘fashionista’. Not the most easiest way to don a ‘just-in’ trend especially if you’re a fashion rookie but surely the most fun one out there. My personal favourite as quirky shoes just do not bother me at all. Ditch those skinny stilettos as chunky skyscraper heels is what this season’s all about. If they’re white, even better. You’ll get full marks if they look slightly cute yet slightly ugly, you’ll know exactly what I mean when you see them.



Lush Leather/Ruck Sacks. The amount of ruck sacks hung in stores there days, I feel like going back to school again. They started out printed, with floral designs but I quite like how the trend has matured now to a plain leather like look. Giving it a slightly more tasteful effect, patent leather just makes it look more grown up, sleek and easily wearable with a tonne of outfit options, be it a maxi, jersey dress, trousers or a dress.


 Opt for a black or brown one to stay classy or a more pastel or neon number to have all the limelight on you. If you’re like me and find it a tad bit difficult to sport a ruck rack without feeling awkwardly teenager like, then a leather handbag is a must-have. Opt for a classy shape in a neon or pastel colour or a more quirky shape in a classic berry or tan colour. A leather handbag and London Fashion Week are a match made in heaven so you will never simply go wrong.

Tartan/Pleats/Fur. As the added accessory such as a pleated skirt, fur gilet or a tartan scarf, these add on accessories will add a finishing touch to any fashion week outfit this season.

Oh and don't forget to hang that coat on your shoulders however cold it is! 

Glo & Ray Mirage Mouse Eye Shadow












I'm not someone who ever got caught up in the hype of mousse eye shadows. Lots of brands came up with different variations of the so called cult-favourite formulation in eye shadows till date. I wasn't still sold or tempted to try out any single one of them. The reason? I despise the dated, uber opaque, metallic finish that they leave on the lids. Almost a kind of mist of frost on top that I cannot stand for the life of me.

When I came across these newbies, the thought of them being similar to popular brands slightly saddened me hence I chose wearable colours as that way I'd at least get some wear out of them regardless of their texture and finish. To my surprise, these are a make-up artists delight. Not bridal make-up artists for that matter for runway makeup artists who are always creating that glossy, dewy eye with translucent pigment and a lived in look.

It's not the best when it comes to longevity, not bad but no 10 hour stay and all that jazz. That doesn't bother me however as I really don't mind straightening a few creases here and there. One thing I've learnt when it comes to make-up is that, cream formulations will crease no matter what. The sooner you accept the fact, the sooner you'll stop blaming your wrinkles for the problem.

Coming back to it's gorgeous texture, it's not your typical bouncy mousse. It's something different. More like if MAC Face & Body or Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation had a coloured sibling smooshed up in a little glass container with pigment shot through it. It's silky, waxy texture that's pigmented yet translucent, never fails to amaze me.

It looks gorgeous on the eyes. Slap it on with fingers if in hurry or pull out your fluffy white blending brushes and buff this fabulousness onto the lids for more longevity. The finish of it is pigmented, glossy with a hint of skin showing through and some shimmery particles sprinkled here and there. Tres chic! If you're like me and are looking for wearable, everyday cream eye shadows that don't glue to your lids like adhesive, then you need to give this contemporary concoction a go!

Available for £11 a pop in an array or runway ready shades, they will not disappoint the sophisticat. My top pics are Ecru Land, a minty pastel green and Caramel Candy, a terracotta burnt orange.

www.glo-ray.co.uk