Thursday, 16 August 2012

Clarins Enchanted Eyes Colour Quartet & Liner

It's not often that purple eye shadow catches my eye but this image from the Clarins Enchanted Summer Collection really demonstrates how you can wear purple as an accent colour on your eyes.  By lining the lower lash-line with a purple hue, it can really add some more interest to a neutral eye...

Even by using a delicate lilac/purple with a nude lip can look so pretty like the following Rachel McAdams image:

The packaging and overall appearance of the eye shadow palette from the Clarins Enchanted Summer collection was inspired by India and specifically, the colours and motifs found on traditional saris.  The design on the outer packaging is gorgeous.  I was surprised that this palette was made from plastic as I expected the  same weighty luxe compact that I have become accustomed to with Clarins.  However, on the flipside,  the heavier compacts are not practical for travelling so this can be forgiven.

The eye shadow pans would turn the head of any beauty junkie with gorgeous bronze, brown, purple and ivory shades.  Each eye shadow pan features an intricate design which of course disappears after the first use.  The compact also comes with a mirror and two sponge applicators (one with an angled brush head for the liner)

I know...beautiful, right!?

But how do the shades swatch? Here's a run down of my thoughts on each shade (going from the bottom of the swatches up):

Warm gold with strong orange tones and a metallic sheen - This shade has really good pigmentation, it's smooth to apply and the colour is greatly intensified when applied damp.

Violet purple with blue-violet iridescence - This eye shadow needed a little extra building up because the colour was very slightly sheer.  It also looked more intense when applied damp.

Warm medium-dark bronze brown with orange and gold shimmer - This has to be the best shade out of all of them.  It's rich, well pigmented and really lasts with a good eye shadow base.

Pale sheer silvery ivory - This is a very shimmery eyeshadow and was the weakest shade out of the palette as the formula is sheer and the shimmer in it tends to migrate onto your cheeks which is a bug bear of mine!

Deep dark chocolate brown eyeliner with gold reflects - This liner is almost like a cream/gel eyeliner as it applies really well when you dampen the brush first.  It has great pigmentation and I love the way it shimmers subtely in the light.  it meshes so well with the other shades in the palette.

Overall this palette is beautiful, it's a real eye-catching item with lovely colours.  It's the type of palette that you just want to look at for ages and bask in it's beauty. 

However, I think if you are going to spend £30 on an eye shadow quartet with an eyeliner then it should be flawless. Every shade should be perfection.  I love the packaging and the appearance of the palette and I will definitely use the bronze and purple shades together with the brown eyeliner but I would have preferred to have a lovely iridescent ivory in the place of the silvery shade because, for me, fallout is just a no-no.

*This palette was sent to me for consideration*

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Warehouse, ASOS & A New Project

I had hoped to post a couple of OOTD features however after a long day at a client's wedding, I realised I had left my tripod in my mum's car.  Taking photos of your outfit is nigh impossible without a tripod so instead of posting below-par images, I figured I would just take pics of a few recent purchases on the hanger instead.

My day-to-day outfits often consist of skinny jeans and a loose-fit blouse so when I spotted this beauty in the Warehouse sale, it was destined to be mine:

This blouse is 100% silk and features a contrasting snake print in tonal greys with a sheer cream back to it.  It features the current dipped hem trend at the back and is best worn with a vest top underneath (unless you are comfortable flashing your bra!).  It was originally £48.00 but was reduced down to just £ a total bargain!  This blouse looks really smart with black skinny jeans and striking with red skinny jeans too.  It's a perfect smart casual piece that's ideal with a blazer. It's only slightly oversized so I would stick to your usual dress size if you like tops to be a bit floaty or go one size down if you like the more fitted look.

I also bought this pale peach sleeveless embellished blouse from Warehouse for £20.00 reduced down from £50.00.  I do think a lot of Warehouse items are overpriced as I wouldn't have paid the full price tag for it anyway.  I love the subtle sequin embellishment on this piece and also the fantastic nude shade that will go with just about anything!

This blouse is made from 100% polyester and is slightly oversized so I went a size down from normal because the ruched sheer back panel gives that extra bit of room.  This type of garment is perfect for client meetings for me because it's trendy, smart but not too ostentatious.

I bought this gorgeous grecian-style coral ASOS dress from this Ebay seller, however I have spotted that a few sellers on Ebay carry this piece so shop around for your size.  The dress is a gorgeous hue and is made from 100% polyester so easy to take care of.  The wide shoulder straps and cross over bust make it extremely flattering on ladies with larger chests like me!

It's fully lined so no need to worry about people seeing your knickers! The back of the dress features a lovely cross-over design and open back.  Now this does cause an interesting problem when it comes to the choice of bra.  I do have a more decorative cerise bra so I will be wearing that with it Carrie Bradshaw-style.  Going bra-less just isn't an option for me I'm afraid.

I have been obsessed with the combination of coral and lilac recently so naturally I will be teaming this dress with my new lilac suede platform court shoes from ASOS:

I am in love with these shoes! The platform, the almond-shaped toe, the colour...everything about them is perfect.  I picked them up in the ASOS sale for only £27.00 and there are still a lot of sizes left if you want to get yourself a pair!

And onto a new house project that I decided upon a few days ago.  We have a small box room in the new house and up until now it has pretty much just been a place which houses most of my shoes, overspill from my wardrobe and the bulk of my make up collection.

I have now decided that I want to transform it into a boudoir-style walk in closet/make up room.  I have been collecting some inspirational images from Pinterest and here are some of the ideas I would like to recreate:

I particularly want to have a feature wall of gorgeous wallpaper where I will have wall-mounted shoe rails, somewhere to house all my jewellery, a make up display area and an area to hang my bags too.  I have always thought that it would be a lot easier for me to put outfits together if I could see everything I have.  Too many times I have thought "oh I should have worn those shoes with those jeans but they were buried in the back of my wardrobe so I didn't see them!".  Maybe that's just a sign that I have too much stuff though! ha ha.

I also want a huge full length mirror, a cosy rug, a lovely chandelier and a nice comfy chair in there.  The only thing that has been done to the room so far is the oak flooring.  The skirting boards are yet to be done but once that's taken care of, I can get on with decorating properly and letting you guys see the transformation when it's all done!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Still Loving...

To say the weather here has been changeable would be an understatement.  You never quite know what it's going to be like from day to day.  So lately, the most practical option has been jumpers and lots of them.  My favourite casual jumper is this Topshop one I picked up after seeing Holly over at The Yummy Mummy's Beauty Blog tweet about it.  It is a relaxed slouchy fit, strewn with sparkly crystals in a star-burst pattern, features a dipped hem at the back.  In other words...perfection! It's one of those items that when it has finally seen better days, I may have a little cry!

Next up is a jumper I just bought recently from Warehouse via the ASOS sale. It is available on the Warehouse site for only £15 BUT there's only size 16 left.  ASOS still have quite a few sizes left.  It's an angora/wool blend with a lovely cable contrast trim in metallic thread.  This doesn't show up in the photo but it's really pretty in real life.  This jumper also features a dipped hem at the back as with most jumpers at the moment.  This one doesn't have as much of a relaxed fit so if you prefer your jumpers less fitted, it's best to just stick with your normal dress size.  This pale grey jumper looks great with white skinny jeans!

Another jumper I picked up recently was this fluoro pink one from H&M.  I couldn't see it online but I'm sure you could pick it up instore.  It's more of a cheap and cheerful garment that I know won't last for years, but given that it's bright pink, it's a trend-driven piece anyway.

I'm still in love with my new Zara statement necklace.  It just seems to go with so many things in my wardrobe.  Zara have a great selection of chunky and colourful statement pieces so definitely check it out if that floats your boat!

I had spoken about these Faith pumps in a previous post and they have been a constant in my outfits recently.  The nude shade can be paired with almost any colour palette and there is, of course, the comfort factor!  I love the embellishment all over the toe and find that it distracts from the fact that I have big feet.ha ha.

So what are your mainstays in your daily wardrobe at the moment? 

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Review Of Butter LIPPY

I remember the dark dismal days when I was too scared to wear bright colours on my lips, for fear that it would make me look like a clown.  I stuck with nude lips all the way until one day, I was feeling experimental and tried out a vivid shade, you know, just for the hell of it.  Little did I know it would start a torrid love affair with bright lipsticks!  Now my lipstick collection features various shades of hot pink, coral and red.  I must admit that I generally limit my bright lips to night wear because I still feel a little conspicuous walking around Asda with full on red lips.  It just doesn't seem appropriate!

This post is going to feature two Butter LIPPY shades that have, quite literally, rocked my world.  The shades in question are Snog - a hot pink and Trout Pout - a creamy peach canteloupe (love the name!!!).  Sometimes I am a little cynical when it comes to nail brands developing other products.  However, in this case, the lip glosses have far exceeded my expectations on colour, pigmentation, consistency and longevity.

"Introducing LIPPY by butter LONDON. LIPPY is a range of long-wearing, lacquer-like lip glosses in shades to match our famous nail lacquers. Like the butter LONDON nail lacquers, LIPPY colours are rich and heavily pigmented for a look that is deliberate, high fashion, and luxe. LIPPY does not contain parabens, phthalates, sulphates, or bismuth. If you’re being LIPPY, look the part."

They weren't kidding when they used the word 'luxe' in the product description.  That's exactly how the formula feels when you apply it to your lips.  It's creamy, heavily pigmented, non-sticky and really lasts.  For glosses which are as intense in colour as these, it's important that they are also comfortable and don't look chalky on the lips or leave that awful scummy layer on the inner part of your lips.  They also smell amazing! I think the scent is watermelon.

The Trout Pout shade is just perfection for a natural daytime look whilst providing a bit of brightening peachy colour.  I really like the slightly opaque, creaminess of the shade and the way it just lifts my whole complexion and makes my face look fresher. I prefer this formula to the sheerer glosses I have in my collection because this one just packs that extra punch of colour.

The Snog shade is deliciously intense and goes on like a dream.  The colour is vivid, rich, creamy and actually a lot easier to wear than a lipstick.  It lasted ages on me which was a surprise given it's a gloss so I will definitely be rocking this colour next time I have a night out!

These glosses are priced at £14 each and given their high quality formula and finish, I think they are more than worth it.  If you are looking for an easy to apply, long lasting formula that can be used without lip liner then give these a go!

I wanted to also show you how the Laura Mercier Silver Baked Eye Shadow that I previously blogged about looked once applied:

I have really enjoyed using this eye shadow and it looks great with both the peach and hot pink lip colours.  I just added a little bit of a taupe eye shadow in the corner and through the crease to add subtle definition.  I am also wearing the Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Pink Tourmaline in all of these pics and although it doesn't necessarily show up in this light, you can see how it give your skin a glow.  It's seriously challenging my love for my Dior Amber Diamond Shimmer Powder!

*These two Butter lipglosses were sent to me for consideration*

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Laura Mercier, Voluminous Hair & A New Bag

I haven't delved much into the Laura Mercier brand so when I was given the opportunity to try these three items from the Limited Edition Summer Jewels collection released in May 2012, I jumped at the chance.

The first item I want to talk about is my favourite out of the three.  It's the Shimmer Bloc in Pink Tourmaline which features a quartet of:

warm iridescent pink
pink-beige shimmer (akin to UD Sin)
pale opalescent pink
frosty ivory

When these four shades are combined with a brush they give a shimmery pink finish which can only be described as a powder version of the effect Benefit High Beam gives.  Gorgeous!

I am VERY fussy when it comes to highlighters, with Dior's Amber Diamond Shimmer Powder and Benefit High Beam being my favourites.  There's something so pretty about the way a highlighter can bring attention to your cheekbones, reflect the light and make you look all glowy and ethereal.  I'm all about the glowy skin!

This highlighter has impressive pigmentation and it doesn't take much buffing to get the desired effect.  The baked shades when considered separately would make great eye shadows as well.  I like the fact that you can use the shades individually, say if you wanted a more bronzed look then you could just dab your fingertips in the beige-pink and apply it that way.  Great for when you are travelling or on your holidays!

Although this highlighter is shimmery, it's sheer texture ensures that it never looks overly frosty once applied.  I would stick to using this solely as a highlighter and not a blush due to the fact that it's paler in colour.  It's completely day-appropriate giving cheekbones a gorgeous glow.  Love this! If you like Benefit High Beam, this will be right up your street!

The other two Laura Mercier products are the Baked Eye Colours in Silver and Rubellite which can be used wet or dry.  By using them with a damp brush, you can increase the pigmentation ten-fold and get a really intense finish.  The silver shade appeals to me more as I can't see myself wearing a hot pink eye shadow.

The silver metallic shade would serve as a perfect base for a gorgeous smokey eye.  The pigmentation of these baked eye shadows is intense, with no fall out, they have a smooth texture and good longevity on the lids.

The Rubellite shade could possibly serve better as a blush shade for most people.  Used sparingly, it gives a nice pink flush to the cheeks with no shimmery particles to speak of.  This has definitely given me a thirst to go buy some items from Laura Mercier, namely the Starlet Mosaic Shimmer Bloc and Lip GlacĂ© in Bellini.

Another product which has impressed me this week, albeit a impulse buy was this Andrew Barton I Love Volume Body Building Shampoo.  I was looking for a new daily shampoo and popped it into my ASDA delivery for the week with little to no expectation of it's performance.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it left my hair feeling light, bouncy and more voluminous.  I love it when that just randomly find a star product that works for you.  I have fine hair so it's really important that I use a shampoo that doesn't leave a residue or weigh my hair down.  This shampoo is reasonably cheap, smells good, does what it days on the tin (or bottle) and is widely available. 

I have been doing a bit lot of Ebay browsing lately and I picked up this little studded gem for only £9.99.  It's a Dune box clutch with an optional carry chain.  Let's face it...if it's studded, I'm having it!  I thought it would be a neat little addition to perk up an otherwise simple outfit.

I have my eye on a few other things on Ebay at the moment including two lust-worthy Topshop jumpers, a pair of Reiss platforms and a Reiss dress.   Wish me luck!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

New Shoes & An Amazing Body Moisturiser

I have a problem.  I have a problem and it concerns shoes.  See the thing is I have a lot of shoes and no matter how many I have, I convince myself that I need more. I don't think I'm alone in this.  Hubby often comments "But you already have a black pair of shoes".  Oh how little they know about footwear!  

Lately I have been concentrating a little more on flat, comfortable but smart pumps that I can wear whilst I work.  I am not particularly a fan of how my feet look in flat shoes (they resemble that of a clown's!) BUT the nature of my job demands a, dare I say it, practical shoe.  However, something which gives the illusion of smaller feet in this type of shoe is a little detail on the toe.

These nude/pale pink pumps from Faith at Debenhams seemed like the perfect go-with-everything shoe and at only £28, the price wasn't bad either.  They are mock suede which actually works out better for me in that they will be easier to clean/take care of.  The beading is stitched on and not just glued so I don't have to worry about the embellishments falling off after a week's wear.

I figured I would also need a nice black pair of pumps and I unexpectedly found this lovely pair on the Dorothy Perkins site.  I love the gold emblem on the toe and I now have my eye on the nude coloured ones too.  At only £23, they are really good value for money and I will probably end up buying every variation they come up with!

Ok so these aren't flat shoes but whilst I was browsing Faith for footwear, I spotted these and I'm a sucker for a platform shoe!  These dark peach suede platforms were down to £27.50 and the ankle straps make this type of shoe SO much easier to walk in.  I love the summery colour and they look gorgeous with white skinny jeans that hover just above the ankle.

I am still working on my shoe storage for the spare room.  I have been searching around for ideas on how best to store shoes and have seen some great ideas on Pinterest.  I can't wait to have my very own dressing room! It's work in progress but I will of course keep you guys updated on the decor and little details.

This week I also placed an order with Zara and one of the things I picked up was this gorgeous multi-coloured necklace.  They have some really lovely summer statement necklaces at the moment!  I teamed this piece with a simple white silk blouse the other day and it really made the outfit.

One product I just HAD to talk about is this Aveeno Moisturising Creamy Oil.  This stuff is nothing short of amazing.  To me, the perfect body moisturiser is super hydrating but also easily absorbed with no greasy residue.  This combination is not easy to find.  I have tried body oils in the past but they generally leave a greasy film on my skin, which can end up ruining your clothes or irritating your skin.  This is the first oil based moisturiser I have used that sinks into my skin almost immediately and I can't rave enough about how it has transformed my skin.

I apply this creamy oil every night before bed and wake up with the softest, silkiest, smoothest skin EVER.    I have talked about having Psoriasis in previous posts and this moisturiser has also helped to clear up small patches of dry skin on my elbows and legs.  The colloidal oatmeal and sweet almond oil in this formula have done wonders for my skin and I have now stocked up on 2 back up bottles...I can't be without it now!  Without doubt, hands down, the best body moisturiser I have ever used.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

We Have A Winner!!!

The moment you have all been waiting for...the winner of my massive give-away!

I wanted to make the winner selection process as fair as I possibly could so I made a list of everyone who entered, being VERY careful to add extra entries for those who tweeted about the competition, shared it on Facebook or blogged about it.

I then entered all the names and extra entries into random list maker so the names were shuffled and numbered:

Then I generated a random number between 1 and 158 (the total amount of entries plus extra entries):

This generated the number 60...which is Sophia a.k.a Tattooed Tealady!!!!

So huge congratulations to Sophia! Please email me your postal address and I will get the big package delivered to you!

A massive thank you to everyone who took the time to enter my give away and share it on Facebook and Twitter.  I really appreciate all the support you have shown for my blog.  I may even host ANOTHER big give-away in a couple of months!