Category: Beauty

Soap and Glory – Orangeasm

DSC_0544Soap and Glory have just released their new collection, Orangeasm, just in time for the warmer more summery weather.

I love this range – it’s made up of three products, the body wash, body butter and scent spritz. The fresh, citrus scent of this is gorgeous and is made up of notes of fresh green mandarin, Sicilian lemon and sweet orange peel oils. Citrus scent can veer a bit toilet cleaner for me, but this smells a lot more expensive and chic than it is. I love that the three products can also be layered to improve the longevity of the scent. If you like the Body Shop’s Satsuma range, I think you’ll like this, although for me it is a more mature, sophisticated scent.

In terms of the packaging, it fits right in with the rest of the brand, with a cheeky play-on-words name and kitsch, slightly retro plastic tubs and bottles.

The body wash comes, as all the S&G washes, in a super 500ml size. Used with a puff, this stuff lasts seriously ages and works out a major bargain on a cost per use basis. I absolutely love the brand’s Clean Girls body wash, but their Sugar Crush one didn’t agree with my skin, so I was a bit nervous on using this. However, my skin seems to agree with it really well and was left feeling super moisturised and smelling delicious.

I also love that the shower gel has a pump that dispenses just the right amount, and you don’t end up with too much on the puff, or shower gel gooping round the tub.

And, as always, the body butter is lush – super hydrating, thick and creamy but it soaks in quickly and doesn’t like a sticky film on the skin. I’ll definitely be picking up the scent tonic to add my collection (and it’d only be sensible to pick up another couple of bits, to save money and make the most of the Boots offer…)

These are really lovely products for summer and if you fancy trying these, or stocking up on anything from Soap and Glory, I suggest you hit Boots pronto and make the most of their 3 for 2 offer!

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L’Oreal Colour Riche Collection Privee Nude Lipsticks

When compiling my recent ‘30 Thing to Do Under 30 list’, finding my perfect nude lipstick was number 15 on the list. Bang on cue, L’Oreal releases its L’Oreal Colour Riche Collection Privee Range – a selection of nude lipstick shades, one for each of its celebrity spokes-models.

Let’s be honest, marketing any lipstick as a ‘nude’ shade is a misnomer – everyone has different colouring and a shade could be too light, too dark, too brown or too pink. For me, tones that lean a little too much on the beige/ brown side make me look dead, and to compound matters, with bad teeth.

Cheryl Cole, Doutzen Kroes, Frieda Pinto, Julianne Moore, Eva Longoria and Liya Kebede have worked with the L’Oreal’s colour designer Orrea Light to create their own perfect nude shade (I believe there are other shades picked by L’Oreal spokes-models available in different markets).

This is a neat idea from L’Oreal and works well given their models all have pretty individual looks and represent a range of ethnicities. The concept behind this range should help take a little of the mystery out of finding your own perfect nude shade, as you can align yourself with the spokesmodel with the most similar colouring – even if the shade isn’t absolutely perfect, it offers a really helpful jumping off point if you’re new to make or just not sure where to start perfecting your nude lip.

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For me, I made a beeline for Julianne Moore as we share a similar auburn-haired, pale skinned colouring. Down to the product itself – Julianne’s nude is a beautiful peachy, rosy nude – a real ‘your lips but better’ colour for me, exactly as it should be! I also love the packaging of these lipsticks – they’ve replaced their standard metallic case with a matt black bullet – I just love the feel of these. There is also a very satisfying ‘click’ when popping the lid on and off – such a small detail but one which I think can make a product feel more luxurious than it is. What is the same however, is the distinctive Colour Riche smell – I don’t hate it, but equally I don’t love it. In general I prefer more fruity notes to my lip products but that is an entirely personal preference and there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the scent.

In summary, I’d say this is definitely a range to look at if you’re in the marketing for a nude lipstick – especially if, like me, you’ve struggled to find your ideal shade or just aren’t sure where to start.

The collection is available from Boots, priced at £8.19 per lipstick.

Charlotte Tilbury Makeup

Make up artist supremo Charlotte Tilbury has launched her own cosmetics range today, and I for one can’t wait to get my mitts on it!PastedGraphic-31-480x292

Charlotte is one of the world’s top make up artists, having been in the business for over twenty years, and her passion is fueled by the transformative power of make up – every woman can use make up as a tool to give her confidence and enhance her beauty.

As Charlotte mentions in her introductory blog post talking about the range, many women don’t wear cosmetics and it’s largely because they don’t know where to start. I know that for myself, going into a high-end beauty hall can be an intimating experience – the sheer vastness of choice, the different textures and colours and finishes can be so overwhelming it is really off-putting. It’s only recently I’ve started to have the confidence to play with the samples, scrutinise textures and colours and even – dare I say it! – ask for samples.

Charlotte has created a ‘curated’ range of products linked to ten key looks, and I think this idea absolutely inspired (it’s an extension of a similar idea used at online beauty store Beauty Mart of pieces being individually selected to ensure quality) and I am sure will help ease woman into the glorious world of cosmetics with that extra confidence.

The looks that speak to me the most are the fresh, clean Uptown Girl (the day look) and the sexy, smoldering rock chick (the evening look). Charlotte has also posted video tutorials of her creating each look, which I think is a fantastic idea, and for those less confident with make up application they will provide really useful guidance.

Charlotte's key make up looks

Watching Charlotte use the products also gives us an insight into the textures and finishes, as sadly there’s no where to see the products in person before purchasing if you’re outside of London. The eyeshadow palettes in particular looked beautiful, and seem to give a really buildable colour payoff.

I simply can’t wait to get my hands on the range and play with some of these new products, both creating my own looks and also replicating some of Charlottes and I will be placing a cheeky order tonight (bank balance allowing!). I’ll let you all know how I’m getting on once the goodies arrive.

The Charlotte Tilbury Make Up Range is currently available from Selfridges and Charlotte’s own website. I believe it will also soon be available internationally throught Net-a-Porter

Soap and Glory Powders

Soap and Glory was created by Marcia Kilgore, also founder of Bliss Spa and FitFlop, in 2006 and have is a range of bath products, skin care and makeup, available at Boots.

Having heard rave reviews on the powders in the range, I was intrigued to try them out, especially as I’m already a massive fan of the bath products (I own a couple of bits of skincare but am yet to really try them out in full) and the Sexy Mother Pucker lip gloss sticks.

While Boots was doing a 3 for 2, I picked up the One Heck of a Blot face powder and the Glow All Out, plus a Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Raplumzel. There is also a powder bronzer in the range (Solar Powder), but I didn’t buy that one – I’m super fair and sadly all bronzers seem to make me a bit oompa loompa faced.

The Glow Powder is absolutely beautiful, a real quality product at a good price point. It gives a lovely, very subtle glow to the skin and after using a big fluffy brush to apply to the tops of the cheekbones and a very light dusting down the centre of the face I can see a marked difference in the mirror – everything just looks a little brighter and more healthy. It isn’t a shimmer powder, there are no large shimmer or glitter particles, so I think this is a great choice if you’re looking for something to give a bit of a sheen and glow for the day time, as there’s isn’t a hint of glitterball about it, just luminosity. There is next to no colour payoff with this, so I’d definitely wear it on top of a touch of blusher. You can see how much I love these by the lack of lettering in the photo – I’m a bad blogger and should’ve taken the photo before using them!

The setting powder is also a really lovely quality, very finely milled and doesn’t cake at all on the skin – something which has often puts me off face powder products – so makes it a good one to consider if you generally prefer to use a spray such as Urban Decay De-slick. I tend to have an oily t-zone, with my forehead in particular being a bit of an oil slick by the end of the day and I found this powder did a really nice job of controlling the oil production and keeping my foundation in place (no minor miracle – it has usually disappeared by lunchtime). I think most women use or need a translucent setting powder, and I would highly recommend this one.

I’ve been using both products every day since I picked them up, which I think is a testament to their quality, and I really would rate them on a par with Benefit (who, based on the packaging, are clearly a brand which inspires Soap and Glory).

Although these products are certainly not the cheapest options on the high street, I think the quality is really fantastic for the price point, and combined with the really cute packaging I think they make a really nice choice if you’re looking for something a little bit more special for your dressing table.

On a side note, I think Marcia Kilgore sounds like quite an inspirational woman and entrepreneur and is someone I’ll definitely read more on.

The powders are priced at £11 for Glow All Out and £12 for the One Heck of a Blot and can be picked up from Boots, online and in most larger stores.

Empties #1

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Time for my first round of empties! No make up this time, just some hair and skin care products.

Neutrogena Visibily Clear Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub

I picked this scrub up one day when Superdrug was out of my usual, and this was on offer (I also bought the moisturiser from the same range). This has such a gorgeous fresh, fruity smell which I think makes this a lovely morning cleanser. My skin is a real mix of types – sensitive, prone to spots, dry and oily so it’s always a bit of a miracle to find something that actually works! This has left my skin feeling really clean, much brighter and with fewer blemishes. A definite repurchase!

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture Creamy Oil

Until I started working on this post, I hadn’t even realised that two of my empties were from Neutrogena – I might check out some more items from the range, seeing as these two have been big hits.

I think I’m on to my third bottle of this – it’s super-moisturising but sinks in really quickly and isn’t too scented, so a great choice if you’ve got dry, sensitive skin – the packaging doesn’t feel particularly luxurious, but who cares when it delivers great results?

TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Conditioner 

I picked this up when it was on offer in Boots, along with the shampoo (which I accidentally recycled before taking the photo). I quite liked this at the start, but as time went on I felt it was weighing my hair down and getting a bit too heavy. I used up the shampoo on my hair, but finished the last of the conditioner off as a shaving gel replacement, when my King of Shaves was finished. I’ve tried a few TRESemmé products, but I just don’t think they suit my hair although I know other people have had great success.

King of Shaves Super Gel Ultimate Shaving Gel 

Another non-glamorous purchase, but a necessary one! The skin on my legs can be pretty sensitive and I sometimes get an un-slightly and sore shaving rash – not with this stuff though. It feels really gently, and I by far and away prefer the gel texture to a traditional shaving mousse – for one, it creates far less mess in the shower! Again, this will be a re-purchase.

Let me know what products you’ve recently finished up – and whether you’ll be re-purchasing! – in the comments below!

Monthly Favourites #1 – July

Well, we’re now into month eight of 2013 – where is the year going!?

I thought I’d do my first monthly round-up of favourite products, and there’s a mix of make-up, skincare and haircare this time round.

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Skincare

Nuxe – Reve de Miel Lipbalm

I picked this up when I was in Marseille for the day a few weeks ago, along with some other French skincare pieces. This lip balm is amazingly moisturising, but (and this is my favourite feature) completely matt and not at all shiny. I’m not a fan of shine on my lips, and hate the slippery, gloopy feeling you get with so many lip products. This smells and tastes great as well, so it’s hard not to lick it straight back off again!

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado
As part of my skincare revamp, I was on the hunt for a simple, effective eye cream that didn’t break the bank and this fitted the bill perfectly. I’m only 28, so I don’t need anything too powerful yet, just something to keep the area feeling fresh and hydrated.

This product has an interesting texture – when you first take a little from the pot it feels very rich and thick, but if you work it between your fingers it turns into a more water-like texture which is really easy to massage into the delicate eye area. I’ll definitely be re-purchasing this one!

Nivea Shower Gel with Oil
I love these – they feel so moisturising and smell gorgeous – like a far more luxe product! They are usually priced at £2.50 per bottle, which I feel is a bit steep as they’re so often on offer – I just stock up then.

Haircare
Toni and Guy Cleanse Shampoo and Conditioner for Fine Hair

I have pretty fine hair, though lots of it, and I’m enjoying using shampoos designed to add some body and oomph, and stop it clinging quite so tightly to my head. This Toni and Guy pairing had left my hair feeling so clean, soft and smooth and with a bit more substance to it – really loving these, and think I’ll repurchase and alternate with my other favourite, L’Oreal Ever Riche, in the fine dry hair variety.

Make-up
Soap and Glory – One Heck of a Blot Face Powder and Glow All Out Luminizing Powder

I’m loving these so much this month, I’m not going to talk too much and instead I’m going to do a full review tomorrow!

Nails
Barry M Jelly Nail Paint in Lychee and Guava

It’s no major surprise I’ve included these I suppose, as the whole blogosphere has been going crazy for these. I will say that I find the texture does take a bit of getting used to, as it is very thick and you can only do one layer at a time (if you try to go straight back over to touch up any area it seems to drag – it needs to be completely separate coats with time to dry in between) but the colour pay-off packs a punch, and the finish is super glossy. These didn’t last massively long on me, but no nail polishes do sadly. I tend to get bored and want to change the colour anyway!

Fragrance
Miller Harris, L’air de Rien

I’d been lovingly smelling this every time I went into Space NK, but couldn’t quite bring myself to splurge the cash on it. A few weeks ago I was browsing the Space NK online sale, and there it was – half price! For reasons unknown in retrospect (why didn’t I go for the bigger bottle!?) I ordered the 50ml size. I also dithered over the candle but didn’t take it – now I wish I had, as it would make a beautiful home fragrance too.

This scent is a stunning oriental fragrance, with notes of oak moss, neroli, amber and vanilla. I just can’t stop smelling my wrist when I wear this – it is undoubtedly one of my all time favourite fragrances – I think the dry-down is really unusual and wearing this perfume makes me feel sophisticated and chic.

Let me know your July favourites in the comments below!

Beauty Mart

Beauty Mart

I was super excited to read Sali Hughes interview with Millie Kendall MBE (formerly of Ruby and Millie cosmetics) where she talks about her new business venture, Beauty Mart, which opened last September. Not being based in London, I won’t be able to rifle through the shelves of the physical store on the 3th floor of Harvey Nichols anytime soon, but I was equally excited to discover their online store, which stocks the best in cult beauty buys such as Embryollise Lair Crème Concentre and Daniel Sandler’s Watercolour Blush. Items for sale are cherry picked from beauty brands, rather than stocking the full range – Kendall believes this shows their commitment to quality, and as a consumer I’d agree it gives me the belief that the products they stock are tried and tested by people in the know.

I like the design of the website – they’ve gone for a striking red and black theme, quite different from what one might imagine of an online beauty store (white tends to feature more on beauty sites, probably to foster the subconscious link to all things clean and fresh?). I personally like the design, although it doesn’t look as sterile as some simple and perhaps competitors but I quite like that, it gives the feeling that you’re shopping somewhere a bit rock ‘n’ roll, with people who know how to be cool!

In terms of the items they stock, they wanted the store/ website to have a ‘curated’ feel with hand-picked items and I like that there is a full range of price points on all product types, something Kendall is at pains to point out was a conscious choice, to cater for women of all budgets. As well as some brands I was sort of expecting, there were a few featured I wasn’t familiar with such as DHC and Besame. The ethos of the website would encourage me to venture into these unknown brands more so than if I had seen them on Cult Beauty or Look Fantastic, which I think is a result of clever marketing and a good understanding of the consumer. I’m sure I’ll be ordering some bits and pieces from the website, and I’ll let you know how I get on!

Kendall confirms they are planning on expanding into the high street, with an aim of opening three discrete stores (rather than concessions) before the end of 2013. I love the concept of this store, and I’m crossing my fingers that they open a branch in Scotland sometime soon!