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Thursday, 28 April 2016

YSL The Mats



 A lipstick wardrobe excites me almost as much as a shoe wardrobe..almost.
Matte finish lipsticks are our finish of choice at the moment. There's something effortlessly chic and adult about a matte lipstick that it's shiny sisters just can't compete with.
 YSL have launched five new matte shades which resemble golden bars that are almost too perfect to use.


  These lipsticks apply easily with no drag and feel like silk powder on the lips. Although they are a matte texture and finish they have a very delicate pearl infused pigment which gives the lips a little dimension rather than looking flat.


The shades...


No 214 Wood on fire: A terracotta red
No 215 Lust for pink: The only cool toned shade in the line-up. A blue toned fucshia
No 216 Red clash: A deeper brick red with a warming undertones
No 217 Nude trouble: Soft pink coral 
No 218 Coral remix: A nude apricot beige

A lovely texture which lasts superbly on the lips with no separating or drying. These colours form part of a larger collection of The Mats so if these shades are not for you then check out the other shades here.
These are available from yesterday (27th April 2016) and are £ 26.00 each.

 
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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

January Labs Power peel exfoliant

We were recently sent a sample of January Labs power peel exfoliant to test out.
 After hearing Caroline Hirons talk about this mask in her recent vlog I was keen to test out the tingle she described (I also love the burn!).


 January Labs power peel exfoliant is an orange liquid gel product which applies to the skin as a mask like film. 
 It contains phenol which is influential in removing dead skin cells and inhibits bacterial growth. This helps to remove skin clogging bacteria and buildup of dead skin which lead to breakouts.
 It also uses cinnamon oil to stimulate (and boy does this stimulate) plump and rejuvenate the skin. The warmth that the cinnamon oil provides seriously gives a sluggish dull skin a boot up the arse. 
 It also contains chloroxylenol which acts as an anti-bacterial agent kicking acne causing bacteria to the curb!


 Apply a thin layer all over the face and neck and leave for 10-15 minutes. It dries off leaving a shiny film all over the face. Once dry it's very satisfying to peel it off, like you do when your skin peels in the sun. You are however meant to wash it off.

After removing, your skin will be left looking flushed. It's not an aggressive, overly sensitive flushed but more of a "I've just ran 10k and sprinted the last 30 seconds of it" kind of flush.
 It's like you have just had oxygen injected into your skin. It feels renewed, plumped, fresh and just generally youthful and gorgeous.
 It's an absolute winner for blemish prone or dull skin. Totally suitable for all skin types but if you are very sensitive then it may be a little too stimulating.
 When using I would advise applying it before bed time or when you don't need to leave the house for a few hours. It does leave the skin flushed for a good hour after.

It's paraben free, fragrance free, sulfate free and cruelty free.

  It's $75.00 which is around £52.00 so very expensive but the results are instant and very obvious.



 



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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Dior Créme de rose lip balm

To celebrate the launch of Dior's new UK e-Boutique they have re-launched their cult rose lip balm.



When it arrived like this in a beautiful petal filled box I couldn't help but immediately want to slather my lips in it (it doesn't always arrive looking like this unfortunately).
 The little white screw top pot holds 7,2g of balm which is solidified into a waxy balm.


It's a saviour if you suffer with dry or cracked lips and doesn't leave your lips feeling greasy. Infused with Damask rose oil and shea butter to nourish and repair. Lips feel cushioned and soft and you can smell the feint scent of rose throughout the day.

 A very luxurious lip balm with instant softening results in beautiful packaging, what more could you ask for!

£20 and available now here.
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Monday, 25 April 2016

Zendaya Tutorial

Zendaya is an American actress, singer, dancer, model etc etc etc..is there anything this girl can't do!?
 Nic recreated her classic look below..




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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Illamasqua Metamorph collection

The latest collection from Illamasqua celebrates the changes in nature as we emerge from winter into the warmer months (at least in the northern hemisphere).
 A capsule collection which softly enhances the face naturally without any fuss.

Vital palette combines four matte eye shadow shades in a fab selection of natural contour shades. The matte finish means it will blend with the natural contours of the eye without being obvious. Suitable for all skin tones but works particularly well on mid to deeper skin tones. The peach highlighter looks great on a darker skin tone.


Powder texture blends out easily and can be layered for depth. No fall out and shades last really well on the skin. The vital palette is £34.00.



For the skin they have launched two baked highlight powders to add a warm glow. We have the shade in Epic which is a bronze gold. It reflects like gold leaf on the skin.
 Takes a little more building up than I expected to achieve a strong highlight. 


For a stronger glow use a damp brush. It intensifies the finish and gives more of a metallic edge. Beyond powders are £32.00.


There are two very delicate nail veils in the collection. They are pretty much transparent but give your nail a tint of either pink or peach resulting in a healthy looking nail bed. You know how your nails look after spending 2 weeks on holiday in the sunshine, this is what they create. They are £14.50 each.



This collection is available from today here.
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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Skin Tints

Once we get a little sun on our face our complexion evens out, any blemish scarring blends into our slightly deeper skin tone and we feel like we can use less product. 
 Skin tints are a great alternative to foundations for the warmer months. They give you a sheer wash of cover but allow your natural skin to still show through. They even out the skin tone and make us look a little more radiant and fresh.
 We have been testing two tints out, one for a combination to oily skin and one for a normal to dry skin.

Urban Decay one and done

Feels like a foundation initially but blends away to the coverage of a tinted moisturiser. Liquid formula which helps to blur pores and imperfections through it's light diffusing spheres.
 Lovely on a slightly dryer skin as it has a fresh radiant finish but with zero residue or tacky feeling.
 It improves the tone of your skin and generally gives your skin a youthful soft focus effect.
Contains SPF20 so also gives your skin a little more protection during the summer, no sign of flashback either which is great.
 Six colours to choose from light to deep.
 40ml and £25.00. A little goes a long way so use a stippling brush and  buff it over the center of the face and build if you feel you need a little extra cover.


NARS Velvet Matte skin tint

Slightly less cover than the Urban Decay tint but with a dryer, more quickly absorbed texture. Natural matte finish which subtly evens the skin. I didn't think it lasted as well on the skin as the Urban Decay One and done and it did settle into my fine lines.
 Really nice texture though and felt comfortably matte on the skin all day.
 Colour numbering system is the same in the tint as their other foundation shades. I have the St Moritz shade in the tinted moisturiser and found that the same shade in the matte skin tint was a fraction lighter if anything.
 Slightly higher SPF30 in this tint but again it photographs well with no flashback.
 The matte skin tint is £30.00.

 Both products make a lovely addition to your holiday or Summer makeup wardrobe and the squeezy tubes don't take up precious room in your makeup bag.

 
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Monday, 18 April 2016

Shavata Definig pencils

We have been using the Shavata Castor oil brow strengthener for a while which has been great at preventing brow hair loss and helping our brows to thicken up.
 Makes sense that Shavata would launch a brow pencil too and we have two out of the three shades to show you.


 The tip of these pencils is squared off which I initially thought was odd. I'm used to pencils having a tapered or angled end. The squared off end works best if you hold the pencil parallel to your face and apply in light sketchy strokes.


The pigment pay-off is awesome. Colour applies easily in a soft finish which doesn't look hard or fake. It's really easy to create a new shape to your brow with these.
The two shades we have are Dusk and Dawn. There is also a blonde one available.
 Dusk is a ashy grey/brown which would be suitable for mousey brown hair or grey hair.
 Dawn is a chocolate warm brown which has golden undertones. Would be great for red heads.

 After applying buff your used foundation brush over the hairs to soften the effect.


 These launched last week here and are £15.00 each.






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Friday, 15 April 2016

My Breast Reduction Story

I have had such a huge response to my breast reduction story and wanted to address all of the questions which I have received. If you haven't had a chance to watch my story it's at the end of this blog for you.
 Please please excuse me for this generic post. I really want to answer all emails personally but the video has has such a massive response that it would take weeks to answer all 500 + emails and I have to fly to America for work early tomorrow.
I have read all of them though and tried to incorporate answers to all of the questions asked here...


Finding a surgeon
Ask around, if you know any doctors then ask them to find a good surgeon for you.
Make contact with them and go with your gut. I contacted three surgeons and chose the female specialist because I felt that she would understand how much is meant to me.
You will most probably have to pay for the consultation whether you choose to use the consultant or not as it is their time.

Consultation
The initial meeting will involve the surgeon looking at your breasts to determine your suitability for the operation and explaining the procedure, risks and cost.
There are always risks involved when undergoing general anaesthesia plus a breast reduction runs the added risk of losing nipple sensation or in some cases the nipple altogether. Also, there would be difficulty with breast feeding should I want anymore children (er….NOPE!) They will also explain that you will be left with extensive scarring.

Pre-Op
As soon as I had decided to have the op I just wanted to do it immediately. One of the hardest parts was waiting the two months it took to have the space in my diary to fit it in. I could hardly be bothered to make an effort to get dressed because I was living for that moment. I even dreamt about it almost every night.
My surgeon had explained to me that I would need to take about a month off work, so I chose to have my op at the beginning of December as I could link it into the Christmas holidays.

The Op
I had to check in at the hospital for 7:00am. My surgeon Elaine Sassoon came to my room and drew on my breasts with a pen to mark out the incisions. I must say that it was all feeling pretty surreal at this point but I never once doubted my choice. 
I was in theatre by 8:00am. I cannot fault Spire Hospital at all. They were brilliant from start to finish.
I'm going to go into details here…
Two porters wheeled me into the theatre where I met the rest of the team. I vaguely remember them telling me what drugs they we administering, one of which was Propofol. Clearly, reading a book on Michael Jacksons death the week leading up to my Op wasn’t the wisest choice of literature, as my final words before sleeping were “that’s the drug that killed Michael”

During surgery they cut the full length under each breast and upwards to the nipple and around it. The nipple is kept attached for blood supply but repositioned higher up on the chest to account for the new breast position. Tissue is removed from underneath and then the breast is put back together, Much is the same way as if you have ever made one of those paper angel Christmas tree toppers. The breast is then carefully stitched back together with one tube (drain) on either breast to drain any fluid.

Post-Op
I awoke in the recovery room, with zero recollection of anything that had just happened to me. I wasn’t in any pain at all. Elaine had added some pain blockers so I felt nothing!
I was then returned to my room, soon to be joined by my mum, Nic and my boyfriend Steff. They were all much more worried than I was.
As I mentioned, I had drains so when I needed to visit the bathroom a member of staff had to unhook me but this was the only thing that really reminded me of what I had just undergone.
The nurse bought me regular painkillers but at this stage I only felt a tightness in my chest and panic that I might rip my stitches when I moved too fast.
The cannula in my hand and the drains were the worst part of this.
At some point in the evening Elaine came to check that my nipples were pink and that the blood flow was ok.
I was released from hospital at 4pm the following day after my drains were removed which was by far the worst part of the whole process because I am a bit of a wimp. It didn’t hurt but the thought of pulling these tubes out of my skin made me feel queasy.

At Home
I was able to move around pretty freely almost immediately, however Elaine had warned me to take it really easy and to pretend I was 80 years old for the first week and 70 the second etc… and work backwards with the weeks until I reached my actual age. She had also given me two soft sports bras and I must wear one of these at ALL times for 6 weeks.
My breasts were currently bandaged so I could not see the stitches.
I cannot remember how long it was before the bandages were removed but it was 1-2 weeks.
At this point I looked in the mirror and saw the extent of the surgery. It really was very shocking. Imagine the Bride of Frankensteins boobs!
I will be honest, the scarring is extensive but not one part of me cares. It’s like having a tattoo. I’m proud of the journey. However, if you are really worried about the aesthetics then I would suggest not having this surgery. I chose scars instead of enormous boobs and I’m happy with that decision.
The stitches were dissolvable but would stay surgically taped for 6 weeks to minimise scarring.

Exercise
I desperately wanted to go for a run to try out my new boobs but this would not be possible until about 10 weeks later. Light exercise would have been possible from about 6 weeks but avoid major stretching, lifting or anything strenuous.

I hope that this is useful and answers all your questions.

Thanks for the support as always,
Sam.x




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Daniel Sandler Watercolour blush

Hurrah! There are two new shades of Daniel Sandler's watercolour blush out for this Summer.

Watercolour blusher is the perfect liquid tint for the cheeks if you want a "I'm not wearing any makeup, I'm just naturally flushed and gorgeous" kind of look.

The two new shades have a slightly metallic pearl finish which leaves the skin looking glossy and healthy. You seriously need a minimal amount patted over the apples of your cheeks for a subtle tint.
 Suitable for all skin types and all ages.

 The latest shades are Rose glow and Golden glow.
Rose glow applies as a warm peach coral but buffs out to a soft silky pink. Would look beautiful on the apples of a fair skin or as a warm highlight on a deeper skin.


Golden glow is a sunkissed bronze infused with delicate golden and rose gold shimmers. I also mixed a few drops of this in with my body moisturiser and applied to my legs for a little bronze glow. 

The 15ml plastic bottles make it a great multi purpose product to slip into your travel bag for this years holiday and as your tan deepens you can layer it for more of an impact.

These are both available now here and are £15.50 each.


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Thursday, 14 April 2016

NARS Tahiti bronze collection

You don't know how excited we get when all the Summer products start coming in. Even if the weather is crap outside it still brings great joy to us when we open the post and are met with that familiar waft of a coconut holiday scent.

NARS have launched their 2016 bronzing collection featuring three bronzing options for the face and body.



 The liquid Lauguna Bronzer-£26.50

If you need to fake a sun-kissed look then this is the product for you. A lightweight liquid which is dispensed through a pump.



 A warm golden toned liquid which will gently bronze the skin. The liquid buffs in to give a second skin satin finish. The easily absorbed formulation dries off and doesn't leave a residue on the skin making it a great choice for both dry or oily skin.



 There are minuscule golden shimmers present but they don't translate as a glitter on the face, just a soft satin.

The scent its A-MAZING. Tahitian Monoi fragrances this liquid which lingers on the skin in a soapy/powdery floral. It's a holiday in a bottle!
 Using a large stippling brush buff it over the top of your foundation on the bridge of the nose and edges of the forehead.
It will take the place of your regular powder bronzer but with a more radiant fresh finish.

The Laguna Tiare Bronzer-£39.00

Cult bronzer in a huge wood-effect compact complete with large chunky brush. Infused with the same Tahitian Monoi scent.



 Initially I thought this was too large, especially as it's a product you may want to take away with you but then I realised it's for the face and body so that figures why it needs to be so big.

Monoi Body Glow Body Oil-£44.00

Liquid body oil which moisturises, hydrates, leaves the skin with a sheen and smells delicious. The Tahitian monoi scent but in a coconut base oil. I swear anyone within 2 foot of you will be asking you what fragrance you are wearing. 


  Doesn't give a tanned effect to the body but the tiny golden shimmer particles will give a warming glow.
 The oil texture does mean the skin feels slightly greasy to the touch.
 Would look amazing on a deeper skin tone or on tanned legs and the arms in the Summer.
 These pieces are available now over at NARS online and in store.









 







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Wednesday, 13 April 2016

An afternoon with Charlotte Tilbury

We were lucky enough to spend an afternoon with Charlotte Tilbury in her Covent Garden store. Check it out below..


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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

MAC Future Collection


MAC are bucking the trend for Summer themed collections and are launching their Future collection this April.
 In true Barbarella style there are lots of metallic silvers and golds but softened with a wash of warming peach and pearl pink.


For the skin they have a beautiful mineralize skinfinish in the shade Otherearthly (they also have another one in the shade warm rose.)


It has three waves of colour in rose gold, icy baby pink and silver each with a soft metallic shimmer finish.



 They look great swirled together and dusted over the top of your blusher or higher points of the face. 
 Use a smaller brush to pick out the individual shades for more precise application.
 The mineralize skin finishes are £24.00 each.

Lustre Drops have been knocking around for ages but they are great to add to your foundation for a more radiant finish or you can blend a few drops over the cheek bones as a highlighter. Lustre Drops are £18.00

There are three new eye shadow quads in the Future collection, all looking very Chanel inspired.


 We have the quad in Orbit which is a gorgeous blend of cool silvers and graphite grey. 


 The shades would work on all skin tones and eye colours but would make a blue eye look insanely cool. The eye shadow quads are £34.00 each.

There are five options of Mineralize lipstick all in pretty neutral shades but the star of the collection has to be the shade Cybernaut. A peachy pink nude in a satin finish. I imagine this will sell out instantly. The lipsticks are £21.00.


 We have one of the four mineralize glass lip glosses in the shade The zone. Looks pretty boring in the tube but translates on the lips as a slightly more mauve version of Ample Pink plushglass.
 Mineralize glass is £20.00.

This collection is available from this April at all MAC free standing stores, Harrods and Mac online.




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Friday, 8 April 2016

Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo



 New hybrid formula lipstick pens from Chanel which fuse colour, shine and lip care in one product.
 Twist up slim lip pens provide an intense colour pay-off but with the texture of a balm.


 The finish is a a real old fashioned glamourous shine but with no tacky residue or stickyness.

Containing silk powders, apple-seed extract and plant oils for a nourishing formula which glides easily on to the lips.
 The lightweight texture masks any dryness and the angle of the product, once twisted up, enables precision application.

The slim packaging means you can slip it into your bag or pocket and touch up when needed.

The balmy texture wears off evenly but leaves a subtle stain to the lips. Team up with a similar lip pencil as a base to increase longevity.

We have 4 out of the available 8 shades to show you...

 
 Histoire is an absolutely stunning tomato red and is great for making your teeth look pearly white.
 Chanel Coco Stylo will be available from 22nd April at £26.00 each.


 
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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Liquid Palisade

If you don't have a very steady hand and find that you get more nail polish on your cuticles and surrounding skin than you do on your nails then check out Liquid Palisade. Sounds a bit scientific doesn't it!


  It's a peel off barrier which you paint all around your nail bed. You need to build up a couple of layers to ensure you can peel it off easily.


 Once dry you can go ahead and paint your nails as slap dash as you want knowing that you can simply peel off the barrier. 

Excuse my bloody awful nails!
It applies as a thick lilac liquid and dries off to a deep purple. It's made from rubber latex and is perfectly safe on the skin, providing you don't have a latex allergy!

As you can see I quite literally slapped nail polish on in my usual haphazard fashion.


 Once it's fully dry, paint your nails as normal and leave to dry off before simply peeling off the rubber barrier.
 It peels off in one without breaking and doesn't dry or pull the surrounding skin.


There is also a special Liquid Palisade for creating a French Manicure or nail art. It has a super fine brush so you can use it as a barrier to get a straight edge to your French nails.
 These are $14.00 each (around £10.00).

Check here for stockists and shipping info.



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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Benefit Bronzing collection

 

 Can you believe Hoola bronzer is over 15 years old! The little bronzer in a box is a matte warm toned bronzer. It's easy to go over the top with this one as it's a pretty pigmented powder but use the mini brush included to softly dust it over the high points of the face. This is not a great shade to use as a contour but nice for a sun-kissed effect.

Benefit's latest product in their bronzing lineup is 'Dew the Hoola'.
 The packaging is a beautiful bronze metallic bamboo effect pump. It has a similar tone to Hoola but wouldn't really be suitable for lighter skins. It's totally matte thank goodness, I don't think it would work as a shimmer. You can blend a small pump with your regular foundation to warm your winter foundation and take it through to the summer. Alternatively just buff a little over the bridge of your nose or as a liquid bronzing blush.

  
New to the collection is a cute gold handled brush with the same bamboo effect. It's a domed, loose haired brush so it softly buffs the bronzing liquid over and into the skin.
 The final product which is also new for Benefiit is the Hoola zero tanlines.
 A huge 147ml tube of bronzing gel. The packagaing is genius! It's a squeezy tube with a sponge buffer in the cap. Use the sponge to buff the gel over the body and then just clip it back onto the cap. 

  The gel will give an instant sheer wash of a golden tan. You can simply build the layers up if you want it a little darker. Great for applying to body when you haven't had time to fully tan. It blends nicely without streaking and once dry it's transfer proof (not waterproof).
 Benefit claim it has a soft beachy fragrance but I think it just smells like the classic fake tan scent.

 All of these products are available now here.
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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Make up for ever Aqua XL eye pencil

Just in time for the Summer MUFE have launched their ultimate waterproof pencil. 20 shades of intense colour saturated pencils in a mixture of matte and shimmer pigments.


The pencils are very soft and transfer onto the skin easily. They blend out easily but as you may expect, dry pretty quick too.



The pigments are bold but do require a little building up for a smooth even finish. You need to apply and blend fast. Once blended apply another layer to achieve a good colour pay-off.

We have the 5 shades above including a jet black infused with a fine silver glitter.
 There are a huge variety of blues and bronzes in the collection along with some interesting yellow and white shades.

These pencils are available now and are sold exclusively at Debenhams and Debenhams online at £15.00 each.

 
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