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Sunday, October 25, 2015

3 Lesser-known beauty brands to get excited about

LONG TIME NO BLOG: a phrase that has never been more appropriate. The last couple of months have been mad, and have included a trip to Costa Rica and being very busy with work and other things, which has meant my blog has been pushed to the side a little. I'm going to make much more of an effort in coming weeks to get back on the blogging hype, and am starting right here! So ANYWAY... the following are 3 really great beauty brands that are either fairly new or not as well-known as the big players which get a lot of hype from beauty bloggers and journalists: 

1. Smith & Cult: The brand that has all the key ingredients: a stunning product, interesting, luxe packaging and an incredibly passionate & savvy brand ethos. The ladies behind Smith & Cult are friendly, creative and have history in the beauty world, and more specifically in nails. Remember Hard Candy? Well, one of the creators is now a co-founder of Smith & Cult, meaning you can be sure she knows what she's doing. Perfect for christmas presents due to their lovely appearance, these polishes ensure a shiny finish and come in a range of beautiful colours. My favourites are Lovers Creep and Vegas Post Apocalyptic. 

2. Frank Body: Originating in Australia, this new body brand offers products which are all coffee-based (coffee addicts rejoice - it's no longer just for drinking). The owner of the brand owned a coffee shop, and was surprised to find many women came in asking for cups of ground coffee beans. He discovered they had been using the beans on their skin, due to their many benefits on acne, cellulite and other numerous issues; this is when he started his own brand. The coffee scrubs, which come in a range of flavours (with cocao being my ultimate fave - it's literally like rubbing coffee and chocolate into your bod) leave skin seriously soft, and the effects are amplified even more by the gorgeously-scented body lotions and balms to use afterwards. 

3. Oskia: Loved by many bloggers, and yet still fairly unknown to the "outside" world, Oskia is a skincare brand worth its salt. Its hero product is of course the renaissance cleansing gel, but I also love the Get up and glow serum, which I use as a part of my morning routine. My favourite thing about Oskia is its brand integrity. Speaking to those who know the brand well, I've learnt so much more about good and bad ingredients used in skincare brands, and truly believe Oskia cares about its customers and the safety and condition of their skin, and uses the very best ingredients with the very best benefits. 

What are your fave lesser-known brands?

Sunday, August 02, 2015

'What's in my Beach Bag?' with Boohoo

The lovelies at Boohoo recently asked me to reveal what will be in my beach bag when I head on holiday to Costa Rica in a couple of weeks time. I've always enjoyed reading posts and watching videos with the 'what's in my bag?' tag, and really love the summer beach bag spin Boohoo has given in this little challenge! 

So I'll stop chatting on and get right to it - here's what I will be packing in my beach bag: 

1. The bag itself (c/o Boohoo): Keep it bright & made from straw! 

2. My favourite magazine: Yes, maybe I'm a little biased, but there's nothing like kicking back on the beach with the newest issue of GLAMOUR! 

3. A pair of ray-bans: keeping your eyes shielded from the sun is super important on holiday, and Ray-bans are just the bomb.com. 

4. A bottle of water: staying hydrated on the beach is also crucial. 

5. An iPhone with a cute case (SkinnyDip) and a pair of good headphones (Frends): to listen to alllll those summer tunes while laying back and catching some rays! 

6. A cool scrunchie (American Apparel): Remember that time Carrie said scrunchies were totally over? Well, they're making their way back in, and are perfect for scraping back hair when you get a little hot on the beach. 

7. A beach cover-up (Boohoo): This cool crochet frayed dress is ideal for throwing on top of your bikini and heading to the beach-bar. 

8. A good book: I've been waiting to read Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman since it came out, and my holiday will be a perfect time to start it. I'm also going to be bringing my Costa Rica guidebook, so we a. don't get totally lost and b. can throw out a few Spanish phrases. 

9. A cosmetics bag: I would never go to the beach without my SPF. This summer I will be using P20 on my body (after a colleague's recommendation) and Kiehl's factor 50 on my face. I will also be bringing along Sachajuan's salt spray, Chantecaille's Just Skin base and a great Paw Paw lipbalm. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Beauty bits new to my collection which I think are AWESOME: Makeup & nails

It's been a while since I have blogged, and especially about beauty. Since starting at my new job, I have been lucky enough to hear about lots of new beauty launches, and sometimes try them out. I've also been separately picking up & buying a few bits this year to add to my collection which I have been lusting after for a while, so thought I would bring back beauty to my blog by chatting about some new bits to my collection that I've been trying & that I think are AWESOME.  

Starting with the face, Too Faced's Born this way foundation is an oil-free, heavy-duty base which I like very nearly as much as Makeup Forever's HD offering. If you're after something a little (or a lot) lighter, go for Chantecaille's Just Skin Tinted Moisturiser, which gives a 'your skin but better' effect, and is perfect for taking on your summer holidays. A new release from Benefit has also really caught my attention, which is a BB cream for your eyes. Despite not being a necessity (only pick it up if you fancy trying something a bit different), this is pretty handy for preparing your eyes for makeup in the morning without having to awkwardly apply foundation to your browbone/eyelids. The product I'm talking about? Benefit's AirPatrol priming BB eye cream, which is out in September. 

Moving on to blushers and bronzers, I have really been enjoying using Stila's new Aqua glow watercolour blush in Shimmering Lotus. Lily Pebbles has declared her love for this liquid blush, which is an entirely different formula to any other cream blush I have tried before. It's not a cream, or a gel, but has a watery and runny texture which sort of blends into skin and dries when applied. This colour is super pretty as it has gold shimmer particles in its otherwise pink base... really lovely. Bronzer wise, I've been giving Tom Ford's Bronzing Powder in Gold Dust (this is the mini version) a go. It's the ultimate in luxury, and the packaging is to die for. The product isn't half bad either!! For paler skinned ladies like myself, Aerin's Bronze illuminating powder is absolutely gorgeous. It's a very pale-toned bronzer, which can also be used as a blusher and has a highlighting effect too. 

For eyes, two mascaras have been capturing my attention. Too Faced's Better than sex mascara, despite having a slightly ambitious name (am i right...?!) is rather lovely on the 'ol lashes. It gives length and volume, but isn't too clumpy. Benefit's They're Real can often come off on lashes as slightly clumpy, but their new brighter shades are also just too good to resist. The electrifying blue shade is incredible, and with some blue eyeliner makes brown eyes especially look top notch. If you're looking for a new eyeshadow, give Burberry's new formulas a try... they are SUPERB. Their new Eye Colour creams (I have the gold copper shade) are a cream/powder hybrid and are, in my opinion, truly unique in texture and super smooth to apply.  

Finally, there have been lots of beautiful lip and nail options I've been enjoying too. First, Laura Mercier's Lip Parfait Creamy Colourbalms (out later this month) are great, and come in a super pretty range on shades. They're excellently nourishing on the lips, and my favourite colour by far has to be the Juicy Papaya, which is the perfect bright orangey/red summer hue. I've also been trying By Terry Baume de Rose, which is, without a doubt, the nicest lip balm I have ever used. I was really suffering with super dry lips and was using a Sisley balm which was actually making the situation worse. But this By Terry balm smells like sweets and is really lovely & nourishing. For nails, I've been loving Deborah Lippmann's limited edition Rose gold shade Earth Angel, which is a Harrods exclusive. It's soooo pretty, and has gold speckles which add a special sparkle to your tips. My lovely colleague Alice also introduced me to the amazing NailBerry polishes, which are free of nasties and come in the most amazing colours. A bunch of us in the office were totally fan-girling over this Mystere shade, which is a lovely lilac/grey. 

For more detailed reviews of the products, please ask in the comments and I will elaborate!

PS. On a slightly different note, I recently interviewed the hilarious Paul Rudd for his new movie Ant-Man, check it out here: 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The trend that just keeps on giving...

Top: Topshop (sold out) 
Skirt: ASOS
Bag: Accessorize (old)
Shoes: Topshop

Never have I been so dedicated to a trend for so long. And what is this trend, you may ask? The 1970s of course! Yes, I may sound like a broken record as I've been hammering on about all things 70s since the SS15 shows, but this is a trend that is refusing to settle down. 

AW15 saw the continuation of the iconic SS15 trend, with denim, suede and florals galore appearing on the catwalk. Burberry and Anna Sui championed the trend, with ditsy florals, fringed waistcoats and Joni Mitchell-esque vibes. At Chloe, skinny scarves and peasant blouses reigned supreme. Jonathan Saunders also got in on the action, with a set of gloriously nostalgic looks displayed at the Tate Britain (trust me, I was there). 

I love this skirt from ASOS, which is a perfect 70s inspired piece for when you don't quite know what the weather is doing upon waking up in the morning for work (pretty much every day in London, right?!). Combined with this TS striped tee, it is soooo 70s I can barely stand it, especially when finished off with my uber comfy brown mules and cross-body satchel (which, if you squint your eyes, could totally match). Want to rock the 70s trend in the warmer summer months but don't know how to include it into your look? As ever, I have some tips:

Ways to rock the 70s trend throughout the summer months: 

-Flared dresses with neck ties 
-Anything with brown leather or suede 
-Pretty ditsy floral dresses
-Denim button up dresses and skirts 
-Lace up suede brown wedges 
-Tassles - I just bought a great pair of beachy black shorts with adorable tassles from TS. 
-Skinny scarves 
-Peasant blouses in white or mustard 

Now check out NME's top 100 songs from the 1970s, fix up your playlist, and get grooving (yes, really). 

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Dress: Zara 
Bag: Zara (old)
Shoes: Topshop 

This dress is everything. Wanna know why? 'Cos it throws me back to Julia Roberts' cracking appearance in Pretty Woman every time. Ya know that scene, where she's at the races looking like a total knockout and then gets creeped on by Richard Gere's smarmy work associate? Yeh, that one. She's even got those white gloves on and that straw hat and basically looks fucking lovely. That dress represents the beginning of Vivienne's transformation from mouthy corner-working woman to the classy and elegant lady she was always supposed to be. 

Now of course this dress is a cheap Zara knockoff and not NEARLY as class-aaay, but the print is just so nostalgic for me, and I love the pretty strap detailing on the back. With white accessories, it's a perfect summer dress, wedding guest outfit and holiday wardrobe addition. Only prob is, no bra can be worn due to the back and so my total boy boobs look MINISCULE. But hey ho, we can't all have Julia Roberts' rack now, can we? 

Saturday, June 06, 2015

A little life update...

I haven't really blogged for a while and actually talked about what is going on in my life, so I thought a little update was just about due. 

Firstly, I totally apologise for this picture-heavy post, there's just been so much going on that my poor little iphone's photo memory has been having a wobble and it was time to share (the struggle is real). 

So ANYWAY, my main news is that I have started working as the Editorial Assistant for the online team at GLAMOUR magazine. I'm at GLAMOUR for 6 months, and I'm into my second month at the moment and literally feel as though I'm going to have to be dragged out kicking and screaming come November. I literally love my job, and have never felt so happy at work. The people I work with are wonderful, my boss is so so lovely, the work I do is fulfilling and I work slap bang right in the middle of London so my commute is a lot less gruelling than before. As well as working super hard, I have been able to do some pretty cool stuff so far too. Rather than rambling on, I thought I'd share some of the things I've been lucky enough to do in the past month (with a whoooole bunch of pictures to accompany them!):

Working at the GLAMOUR awards
When I found out I was going to be helping out at the GLAMOUR awards, I literally could not contain my excitement. My job for the night was to be in charge of the Vines on the GLAMOUR account, which meant being on the red carpet for the first half of the night, and backstage for the second. You can watch my top Vines here. I really loved being able to get up close to the amazing women (and men) that were in attendance, including Amy Schumer, Kate Hudson, Kerry Washington and Ellie Kemper. I can officially confirm that the nicest people in showbiz have to be Dermot O'Leary (who I had a nice chat with and who followed me on twitter the next day, NBD...I totally freaked) and Amy Schumer, who I have loved forever. More about her up next...

(An ode to) AMY SCHUMER
So newsflash, Amy Schumer is amazing. Like, totally. And I managed to meet her, not once, not twice, but THREE times...oh, and she recognised me every time. I'm pretty new to this whole meeting celebs thing, but I'm pretty sure not all of them recognise you and make an effort to speak to you, which is why Amy really is so amazing. At this year's GLAMOUR awards, Amy won the Trailblazer award, and had the entire room in hysterics with her winners speech (watch here). After her backstage interview, I nervously approached Amy and her publicist to tell her just how much I adore her and to ask for a cheeky snap. Both were soooo nice and sweet and Amy told me she had remembered me from earlier. The picture, which you can see above, came out looking like I was crying, which, maybe through excitement I was a little. Or maybe nobody can look good next to their idol...but hey, it's still pretty awesome.

 The next evening, I went along to the screening of Amy's new movie Trainwreck at the May Fair hotel. After the film, Amy gave a Q&A, which was HILARIOUS - read about it here. Halfway through the screening, I snuck out to the toilet and while Amy was waiting to go on stage she approached me, called me sweetie and asked how I was and how I'd slept. I LITERALLY LOST IT. Oh, Amy. 

Attending the Spy Movie premiere
A couple of weeks ago I went to the movie premiere for Spy, which stars Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law and Jason Statham. The film was so so hilarious, and I was lucky enough to walk the red carpet and have a good ogle at some of the stars. Even better, I had my lovely adopted little sister Olivia with me! 

Makeup with Pixiwoo & Beautisserie
Some of the GLAMOUR online team had their makeup done by the amazing Nic from Pixiwoo, and I was lucky enough to be one of them. Nic was so so lovely and made everyone look incredible. The week prior to this, I also had my makeup done by the lovely Sophie from Beautisserie for a video shoot we were doing for the site. I love having my face made up by women who are really passionate about makeup, and find it really fun to chat with them about their favourite products and techniques.  


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