23 October 2011

Indigo & Ivory

Blouse: Reiss
Jeans: Topshop Kristen
Watch: Michael Kors
Necklace: Etsy
Shoes: New Look
(Trying to demonstrate the shoulder detail unsuccessfully)

I recently fell out with jeans, then realised one day it might be that the style of jeans I was wearing weren't particularly flattering, so I turned to Topshop's high waisted Kristen jeans in the hope they'd rekindle my love for jeans. I wasn't sure if they'd make my legs look too long, as I'm already 5'9, but something about the cut and fit of the jeans makes me love them. They're a lot more chic than skinny jeans which sit on the hips which is where I think I was going wrong. These are the indigo version and I love the colour - smarter looking than traditional denim but not as intense as black. I bought these in a 26W/34L and although they fit snugly on my legs I could have done with the 25" to fit my waist better, but as my hips are a good 12" bigger than my waist and Topshop jeans aren't designed for hourglass figures, I didn't fancy my chances of squeezing my hips into them. I'll definitely be investing in more Kristen high waisted jeans in the future.

I paired them with my new Reiss blouse. I love Reiss, the clothing is simple and chic but it is expensive so I only shop there during a sale. This silk blouse was originally £95 but it had been reduced down to a much more reasonable £28 so I snapped it up. It features sweet little buttons at the sleeve and extra fabric at the shoulder which softens the look and adds a feminine touch. The neckline can be worn two ways - open, like I've done above, or buttoned up which results in a much higher, more square neckline. It's these little extra details which make a fairly basic blouse into something a little more unusual.

22 October 2011

Sleek Makeup Brow Kit

I've always been a firm believer in the importance of brows in transforming the face and framing the eyes. For me, my makeup isn't complete until I've filled and defined my eyebrows. Until now I'd been Clinique's Superfine Liner and ELF's Eyebrow Kit on lazy days. Then the new Sleek Makeup Brow Kit landed on my doormat. 

The Brow Kit is available in two shades, quite simply 'Light' and 'Dark.' I was sent the light version but ordinarily I would choose the darkest shade to match my hair. The kit includes shaping wax, setting powder, mini tweezers and angle and blending brush. Sounds familiar? It's pretty much identical to the much pricier Benefit Brow-Zings kit. I love how the kit contains a mini pair of tweezers (what the ELF Brow Kit is missing) as I'm constantly having to search for my tweezers whenever I go to fill in my brows and spot a few stray hairs.

The wax was creamy and easy to apply - I have used brow kits in the past where the wax has been too hard and unmalleable. No such problems with this product, despite the cooler temperatures which could have resulted in hardened wax. The angled brush was the perfect size, shape and density to help create an arched brow so even newbies should find using this kit quick and easy. The powder was too light to make much difference when I applied it but it should be a good colour match for the blondes amongst you. 

Overall I think this a great little kit to have in your makeup bag. It's identical to Benefit's Brow-Zings but at a much more affordable price and contains everything you need for perfectly defined brows. What's not to love?!

The Sleek Makeup Brow Kit launches on 26th October with an RRP of £7.99

21 October 2011

Boudoir Prive October Box

 Included in the box:

Rose & Co Rose Petal Salve
I was delighted to find a full size Rose Petal Salve in this month's box. The best selling product from Rose & Co Apothecary, this beautiful rose scented salve not only soothes chapped lips, it can also be used on dry skin, to tame unruly eyebrows or condition and define lashes. 

Korres Guava Body butter
I've heard fantastic things about the brand Korres but so far had only tried their lip butters so I was pleased to find a generous 50ml tube of the Guava Body Butter. This intensely rich cream smells divine and combats dry and chapped skin so it's ideal for winter. This left my skin ultra smooth and nourished.

Studio Makeup Liner Style Pen
I use liquid liner daily so I'll get plenty of use from this liner pen in the shade 'Blackest Black' - exactly how I like my eyeliner! The nib allows for a really fine lines or a more dramatic thick flick. A great addition to the box, especially as it's worth £12.

Cetuem Illuminating Mask & Creme de Lite
Autumn/Winter is when I turn to face masks and skin treatments in a bid to brighten my skin and eliminate uneven skin tone. Cetuem is listed as one of the top 100 beauty brands by Harper's Bazaar so these products sound perfect for the job.

Leonor Greyl Huile de Palme
This pre-shampoo conditioner made from natural ingredients claims to soften and nourish dry and damaged hair, which is exactly what I need after dying and bleaching my hair 4 times in the same amount of weeks!

Memo Paris Les Echappes, Voyages Naturels & Les Orientaux
This was the one sample from the box I didn't like. It's a mix of three (very expensive!) fragrances from the new Paris based niche line created by Clara Molloy. I enthusiastically sprayed this on my wrists but the incense-like scent wasn't to my taste. You can't win 'em all!

Overall I'm very impressed with this month's box. The well picked selection includes a lot of generously sized products which I will definitely use - unlike some beauty boxes where the samples are a bit too out there, usually in the shade choice. Well done Boudoir PrivĂ©!

To find out more or to subscribe, head on over to www.boudoirprive.co.uk

16 October 2011

If You're a Bird, I'm a Bird

Back in July my husband and I had our pre-wedding shoot. For once the weather was on our side and amazingly it was the most glorious sunny day. We were feeling nervous but as soon as we met with our photographer Rachael Connerton we were completely put at ease and the next few hours passed in a blur of fun and laughter. Here are some of our favourite shots...
Makeup wise I wore Estee Lauder Doublewear foundation, MAC Ladyblush cream blusher, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Powder Pink, Clinique Defining Liner Lip Pencil in Plush Pink and Estee Lauder Crystal Baby lipstick. The Doublewear didn't let me down and remained flawless despite the soaring temperatures!

It's lovely to have some precious photo's of the two of us together in our pre-wedding excitement to treasure. Keep a lookout for our wedding pictures coming soon!

15 October 2011

Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara

 I'm a mascara junkie and I'm on a constant quest to find the ultimate mascara - one that gives me super long lashes in a voluminous, fluttery kind of way. One which separates the lashes but not in a spidery way, holds curl, is intensely black and smudge free but remains easy to remove. Max Factor's False Lash Mascara is probably the best I've used. The wand is huge and the plastic bristles do an amazing job of grabbing every lash. This mascara looks fab with just one coat but can easily be layered for more dramatic lashes. So if you want huge, wide awake Bambi eyes, this could be the mascara for you. Here it is in use...

Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara costs £10.99 - quite pricey but definitely worth it!
What's your favourite mascara? 

14 October 2011

Jo Malone Boutique Nottingham

Last month I was invited to the opening of a new Jo Malone boutique in my hometown of Nottingham. I'd heard good things about Jo Malone, mostly with regards to their exquisite fragrances, but my knowledge of the brand didn't extend much beyond this so I was keen to learn more. 

Tucked away in the fashionable Lace Market, the boutique is the perfect addition to the quaint square. The boutique is gorgeous - the black and cream decor stays true to the brands iconic packaging and remains minimalist chic whilst looking lusciously luxurious. The boutique is complete with a Tasting Bar, where customers can take a seat and indulge in a complimentary and luxurious Hand & Arm Massage whilst discovering how to create a bespoke scent through Jo Malone's philosophy of Fragrance Combining by mixing, matching and layering colognes. 

 I was kindly sent away with a goody bag which included a Body and Hand Wash in Jo Malone's latest fragrance, Wild Bluebell. I love the quintessentially English and whimsical promo images for this scent which have something reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland about them. The scent is deliciously feminine and surprisingly long lasting. Whilst going about your everyday mundane tasks you'll get a waft of this beautiful delicate scent and be transported to a magical English country garden filled with bluebells and sunshine. It's unlike anything else I've ever smelt and I'll be investing in the cologne.

8 October 2011

Illamasqua Freak Eau De Parfum

 Renowed for their unconventional approach to makeup, Illamasqua have now extended their collection and offer you a new way to explore your alter ego with 'Freak.' The dark and mysterious debut fragrance epitomises everything the brand represents in a concoction of dangerously exotic flowers which Illamasqua has blended together to celebrate the night.

Top Notes - Black Davana, Opium Flower and Belladonna
Heart Notes - Poison Hemlock, Datura and Queen of the Night blossom
Base Notes - Frankincense, Oud and Myrhh

The promotional vido below perfectly encapsulates the vibe of Freak, which I must admit, I did find a little scary...

Upon first impressions, I didn't think Freak would be my cup of tea. It's no secret I'm partial to uber sweet, light, unashamedly girly fragrances and Freak is the polar opposite. Everything from the underworld style promo images to the deeply dark bottle featuring a snail is completely out of my comfort zone. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the scent. Definitely the heaviest perfume I've ever tried, Freak is deep and intoxicating yet not overbearing, and a far more 'grown up' fragrance than I'm used to. To me it smells woody and musky, personally a fragrance I would rather use at night but certainly wearable for daytime and a lovely warm fragrance for the depths of winter when you want to feel sultry and mysterious. The fragrance settles down nicely into a softer scent and I've learned my lesson - don't be imitated by packaging!

Illamasqua Freak EDP is priced at £59 for 75ml
Available to pre-order now from their website
Launching nationwide on 20th October 2011

"Freak is you, freak is me, freak is her, freak is he, freak's who you are and want to be, freak's the door, freak's the key, freak is out, freak is free. The freak's will inherit the earth."

- Alex Box, Illamasqua's Creative Direrctor -