Friday, 27 September 2013

How To ... Leave The House Faster

No matter who you are, what you do or where your from, chances are you all share the same stress when your trying to do a million and one things, get ready and leave the house on time. Not only are you more likely to forget something being stressed, it puts a dampener on your day from the get-go. Since I was 10, I've traveled over an hour to school, across a busy city in rush hour, so I'm well used to morning stress. Now 21, I've got my routine down to military precision, so I thought I'd share with you some of the things I use to leave the house faster and more relaxed.

So first things first, there are a number of products that can really save you time when you haven't got a minute spare. The KMS California Free Shape Quick Blow Dry Spray(*) protects your hair from heat styling and speeds up the entire process. I've got short hair, but even on my hair it sped up my blow dry by 3 1/2 minutes, and it will probably be far more for longer hair. As an addition bonus, it also made my hair a lot sleeker! Benefit's Fine One One is great for adding a swipe of colour to your cheeks without tools. It literally takes me less than 10 seconds to apply this blush and as it has a built in highlighter, it really defines my cheeks. Lastly, I swear by my Korres Pomegranate Lip Butter as it gives my lips a lovely natural tint whilst hydrating them. Why apply a balm and a lipstick or gloss, when you combine the steps and save yourself precious time?!

Lastly I'm going to share some of my top organisation tips. They may sound a bit obvious, but sometimes its the simple things that work the best. To save spending hours in front of your wardrobe, have a rough idea of what you want to wear before you go to sleep. More importantly, make sure you can actually wear it. The amount of times I've planned to wear an outfit and its been dirty/in the wash/not weather appropriate. While your doing that, spend 5 minutes putting stuff you know you need to take with you either in your bag, or by the door. Mentally go through your day from the start and tick off what things you'll need in your head. That folder with you assignment/research in? You may think you won't forget it now, but when your trying to push the dog back inside the house while juggling car keys, and multiple bags, a folder is the last thing on your mind. Anything you need to take, or remember, just keep it on show somewhere you will have to stop for a moment and your more likely to remember it. Lastly I'm going to share the 5 minute rule. If you spend 5 minutes every evening just tidying up the mess you created in the morning getting ready (lets face it, were all like mini hurricanes in the morning trying to get ready at top speed), you'll be able to find those shoes you wore two weeks ago. It's ok putting things off like tidying up, but searching through piles of junk can really slow you down when all you want to do is speed up.

So those are some of the things I do to make sure I'm on time for Uni and whatnot. What do you do to help you get ready super speedy?


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

AW13: Accessories

This is the last of my AW13 posts talking about the key trends. This week I'm focusing on accessories and the four main looks that will be spilling into the stores.
AW13: 4a

Pony Skin is one of the key textures this winter. While I adore Mulberry's pony skin finish, I think I'll be sticking to the high street's take on the trend, with a cute leopard pint structured bag. The standout piece for me is River Island's beautiful black waist belt, with lovely embellishment. One trend I'm not 100% on though is fluffy texture. I'm a huge fan of angora jumpers, but faux fur accessories aren't my thing. The Cossack hat has stood out to me and would look cute, but the bags really don't appeal to me. The only way I'll be wearing this trend is through a faux fur collar/cape over a party dress or teamed with my winter coat.
AW13: 4b

Highly embellished necklaces are more popular than ever. The high street is amazing at coming up with necklaces that could be family heirlooms, and my favorite place is New Look as they seem to have the best range at the most reasonable price. Perfect for dressing up outfits and transforming them from day to night, as we get closer and closer to Christmas, these will be more in demand. Apart from tortoise shell nail design's, accessories have also had a makeover, with everything from watches and glasses to phone cases donning the print. Wearing a pair of tortoise shell glasses like these from River Island is the easiest way to channel geek chic while giving a nod to the fashion trend.

What are you looking forward to most? Let me know!


Monday, 23 September 2013

Look Beauty Mini Makeover Palette in Baby Blue Eyes

Mini Makeover Palette - £6
I've been a proud subscriber of Look Magazine for quite a while now. As magazines go, I'm not the most loyal reader, but I will happily read every issue of Look. Saying that I've been pretty late off the mark trying their beauty range. I've dabbled in some of their heavily hyped blushs but never really looked much further. When I saw an advert for their mini palettes with a shade selection based on your eye colour (aimed at making them pop), I quickly added one to my basket.

I think the entire Look Beauty range's packaging is lovely. This credit-card sized palette has a black shiny, hard plastic casing allowing the product to be protected from any trauma your poor makeup bag might be subjected too. To me the pink and black look really cute, and give off a bit of a retro vibe. The lip colour and blush is in a small pull out section and it has a a good sized mirror for touch ups. I really like how Look haven't included those rubbish applicators most brands insist upon. Not only does this save space, but you haven't got them flying out if you open it a bit clumsily. 

I've come to the conclusion that Look Beauty is amazing for powdered products. The eye shadow shades are perfect for my light blue eyes and very wearable. The shadows themselves are extremely pigmented, creamy, easily blended and there is no fallout, as is often the case with cheaper powder products. This goes for the blush. If you've tried a Look Beauty blush, the standard is exactly the same, crazily pigmented, and very flattering. I love this shade, and would love Look to make a full sized version as its the most beautiful apricot with gold shimmer running through it, a warmer version of Nars Orgasm if you will. However its the lip products that let the side down just a little. I may be biased in that I don't usually get on with lip products in palettes but initially I was quite impressed with the shades. However, the pigmentation wasn't their for me as I'm not one for a sheer wash of colour. 

All in all, I would still 100% recommend this product. For the price, its an amazing emergency kit to keep in your bag if your prone to arranging after-office plans a little late. Its also the perfect size to keep in a clutch on a night out. Whilst the lip products did let me down a bit, I would most likely have used a conventional lipstick anyway through preference and hasn't knocked my opinion of the brand as a whole.

What do you think? Have you tried any Look Beauty products? 


Friday, 20 September 2013

Huge Liberty of London Beauty Haul & GWP

I'm going to hold my hands up, gifts with purchases suck me in. I know their designed to make me spend more than I normally would, but if I see some products I've been dying to try, I just can't help it. I tend to save up high end purchases, if I can, until a decent GWP comes along, and then buy everything in one go.  I've not done any major shopping since my birthday in July so I was definitely due a huge splurge and stock up on my beauty essentials.

So down to what I bought, which was a lot. Firstly I snapped up NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Mount Blanc. Yes I am aware skin is matte this season but this doesn't look dewy on me. I have quite dull skin, so any products claiming their dewy, actually just make me look awake! This shade is always sold out in store, and I loved it when I had it applied at Space NK so I'm glad I've finally got my hands on it. My next NARS purchase was a satin lip pencil in Rikugein. I have naturally pigmented lips and this is my perfect 'my lips but better' shade. I'm obsessed with lip pencils at the moment too, and just think they are so convenient and easy to use. So many bloggers have raved about the Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask, and as a mask addict I've been meaning to pick this up for absolutely ages. I've never tried Aesop before but the packaging alone excites me! Another brand I've never tried is Kiehl's but their Midnight Recovery Concentrate has been on my wishlist for absolutely ages. I've been looking for a new evening serum so hopefully this will be the answer to all my skincare needs. Pure Breathing Sinus Remedy was a bit of an impulse buy. I seriously suffer in AW with my sinus' and I'm actually allergic to tree spores which come out around this time of year. This promises to help you breathe easier, so fingers crossed it might be my ultimate survival product. Molecule 01  is another blogger-encouraged purchase. Basically this smells completely different on everyone, and apparently makes you smell amazing. I'm so intrigued by this! Last but not least I got the Mane 'n Tail Shampoo and Conditioner. As the name suggests this can be used on both horses and humans, and is supposed to give you smooth, shiny and manageable hair! 

Now for the GWP. I did try to arrange them, but honestly, there is that much stuff, it would be a pointless exercise. But, if you're nosey like me, this is everything I got: Large Liberty Wash Bag; Trish McEnvoy Blackberry &; Vanilla Musk; Hourglass Opaque Rouge in Icon; Diptyque Baies Candle; Liberty Lavender Body Wash; ESPA Fitness Body Oil; Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist; Shu Uemura UV Base Mousse in Beige; Philip Kingsley Elasticizer; Eve Lom Cleanser; Aesop Classic Shampoo; NARS Illuminator in Orgasm; Laura Mercier Foundation Primer; Chantecaille Faux Clis Mascara in Black; Decleor Aroma Confort Gradual Glow Hydrating Body Milk; Aromatheraphy Associates Revive Body Gel; Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser; QMS Medi Cosmetics Lift-o-Firm Body; Margaret Dabbs Nail File; Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer; REN Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash; Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel, and Cowshed Cow Herb Restoring Hand Cream.

All I can say is WOW. I am going to have so much fun trying all these out, especially brands like Malin + Goetz which is completely new to me. Definitely an amazing GWP.

What do you think of my haul? Have you tried any of these products? Are there any that you'd like me to do a more detailed review of? Let me know?


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

AW13: Girly

3rd in the series discussing AW13 trends, today I'm going to be focusing in the girlie fashion filling up the rails on the high street.
AW13: 3a

If you thought pastels were reserved for Spring your very much mistaken. Cool pastel tones in primrose, violet and pistachio are filling the stores, with baby pink coats set to be one of the biggest trends of the entire season. I adore this Topshop version which even manages to tick the fluffy texture box as well. Another key trend is boudoir. Think vintage silk PJ shirts, lace vest tops and sheer detailing and your on the right lines. Miss Selfridges have got some beautiful vintage-inspired dresses in which look like works of art. Buy them now and get your monies worth until the Christmas party season, by then I'm sure a lot of them will have sold out.
AW 13: 3b

Possibly the most flattering way to stay on trend this season is to channel the 1940's. Channel screen sirens with a swipe of red lipstick, wearing ladylike full skirts and faux-fur wraps/collars over your coats. One of my earliest memories is of my Nanny wearing a fox scarf, and I remember thinking how glamorous she looked. This one is going to be amazing come the party season. I'm actually looking forward to donning a polo neck too. They are so versatile, and you can get them in all sorts of styles from crop tops to jump suits, so there really is something for everyone. If your still a bit unsure, go for a high neck and mock-polo like this stand out blue dress from Miss Selfridges. It gives a nod to the polo neck trend, but with a much shorter, subtle neck detail.

What are your favorite trends this season? Let me know!


Monday, 16 September 2013

Brush Care

Since starting my blog over a year ago I've learnt a lot about brushes, and my collection has grown dramatically. Spending all this money on make-up brushes, I didn't want to have to replace my brushes in 6 months, so started to try and find a routine that works well for me. At the moment I use two products to help care for my brushes, the Sigma Dry 'n' Shape and No 7 Make Up Brush Cleanser

Because I have quite a lot of make up brushes, I can usually get away with washing my brushes once every two/three weeks, but after a big night out or event I'll wash them soon after. I used to use Johnson's Baby Shampoo but I now use No. 7 Make up Brush Cleanser. This is like Bioderma for brushes. Its a water like fluid that you pump straight onto a damp brush, swirl it around in clean water and watch all the build up wash out. I've seen foundation stains from a while ago be shifted after one use of this. It doesn't leave any trace of residue on the brushes and they are so soft, they feel and look like new! For something so amazing too, the price tag is a shock! £8 really rivals other popular brush cleansers so much so that I can't see me buying another bottle of MAC's anytime soon.

I'm currently having my bathroom completely re-done and when its all finished I don't want the top of the storage unit to be littered with drying make up brushes. The Sigma Dry 'n' Shape is like a make up brush roll. The idea is you push you brush threw the leather slot and slip it into the smallest elastic end that fits the bristles. The elastic end is meant to speed up drying to 6-8 hours and help maintain the brushes shape. I initially tested this on Real Techniques brushes as they are some of the bulkiest I own, and while the leather section is quite tight around the handle, they fit fine. It definitely does what it says it does. While the brushes are drying I simply fold the wrap up using the closings and store it away. Although this is a bit pricey, I see it more as an investment and something that will pro-long the life of my brushes, keep my new bathroom tidy and speed up the entire process making it less like a chore. 

What do you use to make brush care hassle free?

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