Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Hot Shots 010.

Gummy Bear Line Up - MAC Blissed Out - Pavlova - Daffodils - Umberto Giannini Genius - LADsda - Shadow Animals - Umberto Giannini: The Results - Shellac - By the River - Raiding the Domino's Pizza Menu - Sushi in the Sun - Refresher Lolly. 

I'm pretty sure this instalment should be entitled, what I've scoffed over the last two weeks...I appear to photograph everything I eat. 
I went down the London this weekend to party on down and it was so nice to see all of my friends, catch up, and most importantly celebrate! 
I've been loving massive hair recently, so I've trying to get to grips with big curls, I'm not there yet but i'm trying...
The little taste of Summer we're having at them moment is nearly enough to get my to break out the gladiators and jump right into Summer, I'm high on Vitamin D! 

Laura xx

Monday, 26 March 2012

Shellac Cityscape.

Getting Shellac has been on my beauty to do list for months. A chance wander by my local beauty salon resulted in me booking in for my first manicure, Shellac style.

After much deliberation with the lovely beautician Amy, we went for an eye catching combination of Cityscape, a delicate dove grey from the new Spring 2012 collection and a good dose of fine gold glitter, set with clear Shellac. 

Amy is definitely on my wave length when it comes to nails, she told me recently she set some hundreds and thousands in clear Shellac which sounds like my idea of heaven! 

The process itself was fuss free, a quick tidy up of my nails and cuticles was followed by a quick clean of the nail to remove any excess oil/dirt etc. 
A base coat is applied and cured under the UV lamp.
Next is the colour itself, I'm in love with the colour I chose. I wanted something that would last 2 weeks without clashing with anything I wanted to wear. This combination ticks every box! 
The colour is cured under the UV lamp and then a super shiny topcoat is applied and cured again. 
A quick swipe with IPA and the inhibition layer is removed, leaving you with flawless nails for up to 2 weeks, what's not to love?! 

It's safe to say I'm now a Shellac convert and will be returning to have them done again. The service itself costs £20 but I'm more than happy to pay if it means I can forget about nail maintenance! 

Do you Shellac? 

Laura xx

Friday, 23 March 2012

Product Rave: Blink + Go Long Lasting Mascara

As a bona fide mascara junkie, when this popped up in a Glossybox a couple of months ago I was so excited to try it. 

I've been meaning to rave about this particular mascara for ages, but for some reason kept putting it off. But here we are, and it's still a raver! 

The wand is a slightly tapered bristle brush which I prefer and does a good job of coating the lashes. The overall finish of the mascara is long, separated lashes that are perfect for everyday wear, you won't get masses of volumes or drama but if I'm going "natural" this is the perfect compromise. 

So, what makes this product a rave?

This has been my gym saviour. I'm not the sort of girl to go completely bare faced to the gym. I don't go with a face full of slap, but brows and lashes are a must. I usually hit the pool/sauna/jacuzzi after a workout and the thought of panda eyes isn't welcome. 

The beauty of this particular mascara is it is long. lasting. It certainly delivers on it's promise and when it comes to removing it, it comes off almost in tubes. I haven't channelled Alice Cooper once when I've worn this, so in my book, rave away! 

RRP £12.95 

I am more than willing to pay a little more for my mascara that delivers this much. 

What is your favourite mascara? 


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Tuxedo Nails.

If like me, you've got a tiny (massive) girl crush on a certain Ms. Deschanel, I couldn't help but be inspired by the nails she rocked at the Golden Globes this year. 

Thanks to Zooey, the Tuxedo nail has well and truely taken off and I couldn't help but give it a go. 

(Accessorize Polish in Shade 23 Baby Blue/Illamasqua Precision Ink in Abyss for detail)

Instead of sticking to an exact (dinosaur egg) replica, I went for a fresh duck egg blue and went for just the one Tuxedo nail, he's flying solo due to lack of time/patience/co-ordination. It's slightly more subtle for work too. 

Here's the Zooey original, what do we all think? 

Laura xxx

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Re-Create the Look: Lan Nguyen for the Body Shop.

Now, call me silly, but I have never associated The Body Shop with the high octane world of the catwalk show. However, when I was asked to re-create the look Lan Nguyen did here for the Vauxhall Fashion Scout show recently. I was too intrigued to say no. 

So, complete with everything I could need. I decided to try and do it justice....

Firstly, what was I working with? 

I found most of the product agreeable, in some cases they appeared to lack the fierce pigmentation I expected, but they were super easy to work with. The one product I wasn't sold on was the Concealer Pencil, but simply because this is far too dark for me, even in summer.

06 Eye Definer French Navy
05 Eye Definer White
05 Concealer Pencil
Liquid Eyeliner

Shimmer Cubes Palette 20.
03 Starlight Silver
01 Indigo Blue
04 Midnight Black
03 Snow White

As I embarked on trying to recreate the look, I remember exactly why I don't like to do this sort of thing...oh the pressure! 



I was really impressed how simple, but dramatic this look was. Lan really mastered the quick, but beautiful look with ease. She describes it as a '60's Smokey Eye with a modern, feline twist. I couldn't agree more. 

The two stars of the show for me were the liquid eyeliner, that literally took seconds to apply and perfect, and I may have just found a new best friend in the slanted brush. It made applying accurate eyeshadow so easy I don't think I've ever managed to get such a sharp line on my lower lash line. Finally, the white eyeliner in the water line really hammered the 60's vibe home. 

Of course a pair of falsies would really finish off the look, but, c'est la vie! 

The thing I like most about this particular look is I would have never, ever gone for it, but I think it looks pretty snazzy...dare I say, groovy...? No? Ok.

What I was trying to achieve...

How did I do?! 

Laura xx

(All products provided for the look, but as always, treated without influence, compensation or promise)

Friday, 16 March 2012

Battle the Breakout.

I have to admit, a combination of good genes and forgiving skin keep me relatively breakout free, but when I get the occasional spot, they seem to strike in pairs...or trios. 

So, it's time to talk spots... 

Firstly, I don't think there are any hard and fast rules when it comes to tackling breakouts. Your skin and how it reacts to different things is unique to you, so what I'm about to divulge is purely common sense with a little bit of what works for me thrown in. 

How do I battle a breakout? 

1. Sanitize!

I'm pretty diligent when it comes to keeping my tools clean, I always have a bottle of brush cleaner and a flannel or muslin cloth to hand for spot cleaning and try to deep clean once a week. But the first thing I do without fail if I notice a breakout that's about to surface is sanitize.  
I clean all of my foundation and concealing brushes straight away and then make sure I spot clean them every time I use them. 
Now, I realise this is what you are supposed to do, but in the real world, you don't always have time. I'm sure I'm not the only one who can fall behind on brush cleaning duties, do you? 

2. Be kind to your skin.

There seems to be a tendency to automatically try to attack a breakout, I've always found it much more effective to completely simplify my skincare routine and use very gentle, simple products. I always go back to Oilatum if I'm suffering badly as it is super gentle and doesn't irritate. I don't believe in using harsh anti-acne face wash or creams as it can just dry my skin out and leave it looking...crusty...digusting. 

3. Essential Tools. 

Origins Super Spot Remover & Sudocrem always come to my rescue if I need them. The little Origins bottle packs a punch if you can feel a blemish appearing, it will calm it down and accelerate its demise. However I don't tend to use this if a spot has already erupted, it tends to dry it out and that is never, ever a good luck. Instead I pop on a bit of Sudocrem before I go to bed and I really do think this works wonders overnight. 
Neither of these are miracle products, but they'll certainly fight your corner in the battle of the breakout. 

4. Leave it Alone! 

This may just be the hardest one to stick to, as it goes against every fibre in your body! But, trust me, if you leave it, it will leave without a trace. It is much less likely to scar too, always a bonus...

What do you do to battle the breakout? 

Laura xx

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism.

If you haven't seen some of the stunning images of the latest Illamasqua Collection, Human Fundamentalism. You must have been living under a rock. But, I just had to share some of them with you, as this may be my favourite collection to date. Cool, edgy and breaking from the norm, this really is what Illamasqua do best. 

I never knew that I wanted aqua blue hair quite so bad... 

The collection is available on the 15th March, so why don't you check it out

I'm already eyeing up the Skin Base flecked with gold...magical.

Laura xx

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Graduated Glitter Tips.

I must have pinned about a million glittery tipped photos to my pinterest, but it was the lovely Fi who pushed me to try the 'graduated glitter tip'. I adore her bronze and nude combination, and she has done a far better job than my rushed attempt. 

But, for ten minutes work, I'm quite pleased. Just paint a couple of coats of the base colour, then slap some glitter on the ends of your nail, building up a more opaque coat on the tip. 

I used MeMeMe 84 Delicate Polish and I just couldn't tear myself away from using Models Own Pink Fizz again. Oh well, c'est la vie! 

Laura xx

Monday, 12 March 2012

Products I'm Loving Right Now.

Dermalogica Climate Control Lip Treatment - Max Factor Second Skin Foundation - MAC By Candlelight MSF - Collection 2000 Cream Puff in Powder Puff - Du Wop Lip Venom in Buttercup - BM Cosmetics Pigment in Dusty Road - Ardell Demi Wispies Lashes - Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist. 

This month has been mainly all about the make up. Despite being an ardent beauty blogger, the amount of make up I can be bothered to wear varies hugely from month to month. February was definitely about slapping it on... 

I've really gone to town with highlighting this month, I've been alternating between MAC By Candlelight MSF and BM Cosmetics Pigment in Dusty Road, depending on whether I'm bronzing up or not. Dusty Road is so finely milled and easy to work with and By Candlelight is foolproof. It's been going on the top of cheekbones, brow bones, bridges of noses and cupids bows. It's all about the glow. 

In my quest for glowing skin, I just wasn't getting on with any of my foundations. I felt they were all either too heavy or had a tendency to go patchy after a while. In the back of my mind Max Factor Second Skin Foundation was calling my name. I used to rave about it so decided to give it another whirl. 
Well, it's love once again. I haven't even contemplated anything else for at least a few weeks, It's long wearing and leaves my skin looks hydrated by natural. Winner. 

Dermalogica have come up trumps this month too, the Climate Control Lip Treatment has kicked even the smallest hint of dry skin into touch and I cannot even begin to tell you how quenched my skin feels after I spray it with the Antioxidant Hydramist...an unnecessary step in my skincare, but I can see it making so much difference. 

As far as lip products go, I've been all about the Lana Lips...as seen HERE, I won't go into detail as there is already an entire post dedicated to it. 

Korres Lip Butter in Plum has been the only other thing I've been grabbing if I need to freshen my look up during the day. If you use it with a light touch it's heaven in a jar. 

Finally, I've stopped being a lazy beauty blogger and have been reaching for lashes when I go out again. I have a giant box full of them and in the spirit of using what I have, I stumbled across my new favourite pair. The Ardell Demi Wispies. They've done a brilliant job of easing myself back into the lash brigade and walk the fine line between adding a bit of drama, and looking too much like I'm on Geordie Shore. 

What are you loving and loathing at the moment? 

Laura xx

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Hot Shots 009.

Woodland Walks - Fresh Black Leigh Jeans - Chicken - Pretty Flowers - Health Boost - Bag of the Day - Bouffant - Branded by a Conical Wand. 

Just a collection of things that have made me happy this week, apart from the disgusting burn on my wrist that is. 
I decided to take my camera out at work on Saturday and get snapping, I don't think I could wish to work in a prettier place. 
I'm also officially obsessed with Leigh Jeans, I've practically been living in my burgundy pair and despite buying some very similar black jeggings from Zara, they just weren't cutting the mustard. Baggy bum after a day plus fraying of the hem and just general signs of poor quality, not cool Zara, not cool. 
I've been fully converted to the conical wand, I borrowed (stole) my friends conical wand to trial and I'm definitely going to be investing in my own. It's so much easier to create loose, textured waves whilst still keeping volume. It beats doing it with a straightener hands down. The only downside, branding myself in several places with suspicious looking red rings. But they do say you must suffer for your art. 

Laura xx

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