Sunday, September 21, 2014

Guest Post | The Importance of a Skincare Routine

Today's Guest Post is by the lovely Amy Loves, Amy Loves is a Holistic Therapist & Lecturer and Skincare Specialist with over 12 years industry experience. Amy started her blog Amy Loves in June 2013 as a platform for discussing Natural Beauty & Wellbeing - looking at beauty from the inside out. Today the topic is the importance of a Skincare Routine:

I have a few questions for you ...

* What accounts for 15% of your body weight?
* What type of cells do you lose up to 40,000 of an hour?
* What is on average 21 square feet when opened out?

Did you guess correct? The answer is SKIN!

The Skin is the largest organ of the human body. Yes, Skin is an organ! It breathes, it absorbs substances and it has many responsibilities including:

* Providing a protective barrier against mechanical, thermal and physical injury and hazardous substances
* Prevents loss of moisture
* Reduces harmful effects of UV radiation
* Acts as a sensory organ (touch, detects temperature)
* Helps regulate temperature
* An immune organ to detect infections
* Production of vitamin D.

Our skin is working all hours of the day to deliver the goods it needs to look, feel and operate at its best. This is why it is so important to treat our skin with the utmost love and respect it deserves. Cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising are the most crucial steps to take in order to maintain a healthy looking skin - and something we should be doing on a daily bases.

Cleansing your face morning and evening is easy. Would you leave for work in the morning without brushing your teeth? No! The same rule applies to your face. Think of all the make up, pollution in the air and fragments that sit on our skin throughout the day - It is vital to wash off all impurities before bed and then again in the morning after the skin has been rejuvenating over night. Cleansers don't need to cost the earth, you could even make your own if you desire. Cleansing is the first step to a healthy looking skin.

So your skin sheds around 30 -40,000 dead cells per hour ... Where do they go? Well 80% of typical household dust is dead skin cells!!! So what about the other 20%? It's probably left on your skin making your appearance look dull and sallow. By using a gentle exfoliator 2 -3 times a week will ensure the removal of dead skin cells, allowing your skin to look more radiant and hydrated. Again, please don't think you have to spend £££ on a professional exfoliator. If you can that's great, otherwise I am a big fan of making my own products at home. The ingredients for a simple home made exfoliator are: a teaspoon of unrefined sugar, a squeeze of lemon and a dash of extra virgin olive oil, mix it up and away you go!

OK, so you drive to work with your heating on, you get to work and spend eight hours in an office with the central heating blasting - all you are doing (apart from keeping yourself rather warm) is stripping your skin of its natural oils. Deep within the second layer of our skin, the dermis, live glands called sebaceous glands. These glands produce a natural, protective and hydrating oil called sebum. The oilier your skin is the more sebum your sebaceous glands are producing. If you are constantly stripping your skin of its natural oils through one way or another it will just keep producing more oil thus Oily skin. Producing these natural oils are essential for a healthy and hydrated looking skin, however sometimes our skin needs a little help locking in these natural oils (or producing more if you have dry skin). So, how can we help ? We moisturise .... Twice a day! Once in the morning and again before bed. By moisturising twice a day you will ensure a soft, supple skin which will instantly make your skin look nourished and radiant. After all if you are making 40,000 skin cells an hour, you need to keep them in tip top condition.

So I ask you - Will you adopting a new skincare routine?

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Guest Post | Cream Blushes - An Overview

Hi everyone, I’m Gyudy and I blog over at Gyudy’s Notes Of Beauty. For this guest post on the amazing blog written by Stacey -  I send you a big hug! - I thought I would tell you a bit about my cream blushes collection and what I generally think of them.

I have to admit I’m not a massive cream blush wearer. I like them when I use them, but on an everyday bases I still prefer powder blushes for their quick application and great lasting power. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to setting my makeup with powder - I don’t always need it but I often wear makeup for long days and I don’t want to be bothered with touch-ups - and powder under them or over the top often takes away the gorgeous sheen they give. The ones I’m going to show you today are all great though, and pretty much set without the need of powder on top, and generally take a little veil of it pretty well. Let’s see them!

Chanel Le Blush Crème de Chanel in 61, Destiny
You can’t beat a bit of Chanel, and this blush is simply gorgeous. It’s great on its own for a natural sculpted look or used as a hybrid blush-contour with something more brightening on the cheeks. It blends like a dream and is insanely pigmented (the swatch you’re going to see is from the tiniest dab on the compact), and it’s a great staple in my collection.

Clarins Multi-Blush in 02, Candy
These has to be, unfortunately, my least favourite. It’s the less pigmented, which can be good for some but not so much for me. It’s also the one that likes a sheer veil of powder less. It’s still gorgeous though as it’s an amazing shade, and with a sheer foundation can make a great no make up-makeup brightening blush. I still use it, it’s just not my favourite!

Make Up For Ever Second Skin Cream Blush in 330, Rosy Plum
Let’s talk about this gorgeous number from MUFE now. It’s foolproof in application as it blends into the most gorgeous sheer veil of colour on the cheeks, still keeping its brightening power and really stays put throughout the day. It’s a lovely shade of pinky that’s at the same time bright and mauvey, and I really recommend you to have a look at this range as they’re great.

Kiko Cheeky Colour Creamy Blush in 03, Strawberry Pink
Well, surprisingly for a high-end girl like me my favourite of the bunch has to be this recent Kiko release. It was part of the summer collection Sportproof Active Colours that should still be able to find in stores, and on sale too! It’s one of those gorgeous bright pink that look a little bit more red when compared to a true fuchsia, and the lasting power of this is just insane. It looks like freshly applied even after 18 hours of wear and it’s amazingly pigmented while being perfectly blendable. Hopefully you can see the lovely sheen it has from the picture, I just love it!

Here it is, my little cream blushes collection. I know a lot of people like to apply them with fingers or a stippling brush, but my favourite tool has to be the Buffing Brush from Real Techniques, that shockingly I didn’t like so much for foundation. I concentrate the colour on the center of the bristles and it literally blends products without thinking about it. For a more sculpted look with the Chanel one I also like to use the Sculpting Brush also from Real techniques, as it’s just perfect for that.
Hope you enjoyed this little overview! I can’t wait to come back to read your comments!
Sending a lot of love to Stacey - hope you’re getting better as quickly as possible! - and a big thank you to Gemma for giving me the opportunity to help.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Guest Post | Beauty & The Bees


I’m Stace’s guest! I’m her guest! I’ve put these products to the test! Um- yep, I’ve lost myself there. I can’t remember the rest of the lyrics to ‘Be Our Guest’ to change them, and, if you don’t know what I was trying to do… well- AKWARD! 

 A big hello to you all! My name is Martyne, and whilst I am not an alcoholic I am a bit of a skincare-o-holic. Typically I will write about my latest hauls/loves related to fashion at but I am partial to spending my hard earned on creams that tell me I will look 21 in one application.

 I’m the grand old age of 33 and OK, getting old doesn’t bother me, but I don’t want a face full of wrinkles or to look 80 when I am 40. I mean THIS COULD HAPPEN. So, when my eye cream ran out (you must have heard me scream) I thought I would ditch the Estee Lauder night eye cream and try something different. I am open-minded. I can do this. Cue the following:

Nip & Fab Viper Venom eye roller and Nip & Fab Bee Sting Fix. 
 The Viper Venom is very similar to the Garnier eye roll- you know the one, this is just twice the price. It says after use it will reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. It contains LIFTONIN + SYN-AKE – I mean, that sounds like a mini eye lift in a roller! I have been using it the last three weeks and in all honesty- I think I would have been better off just getting the Garnier one! I haven’t noticed anything dramatic. On the plus side, I haven’t started hissing or anything.

 Let’s talk about the Bee Sting Fix, I did read good things about this product. The name sounds somewhat aggressive and up for the job. This is meant to reduce the look of fatigue and two of the active ingredients are: Bee Venom: This controls the facial muscles- apparently. It increases blood circulation gently plumping out and firming the skin. It also claims to fill and smoothe fine lines and wrinkles. So, with the roll on above my lines shouldn’t even be visible. Propolis Extract: this is a substance harvested by bees on flower buds and it is meant to be a great skin healer, anti-oxidant and antiseptic. Well, bee schmee. It feels more like a primer to me than a cream and whilst I am going to continue to use it, I just haven’t noticed anything ‘WOW’. Why am I so hard to bees? For the love of God just give me eyes that look as fresh as a daisy! Would I buy this product again? I don’t think I will. 

 Can we move on to lips a minute? How many of you are like me? You buy a million lip balms, don’t finish them all, pick up more Vaseline’s simply because it’s a different ‘flavour’… you know the drill.

 Yep, that’s me. Usually I don’t suffer from overly dry lips, but when I was wearing one of my nude lippes last week, my skin looked too dry and flaky for my liking. All of my lips looked uneven and I thought right, let’s get exfoliator hunting. 

I have tried ones from Benefit, Lush, Clarins, Clinique and they just didn’t cut the mustard. I remembered a product from The Body Shop that I owned a few years back but something told me they discontinued it. I checked their website and was happily proved wrong! YAY! Boy do I LOVE this stuff! It comes lipstick stylee and is what I can only describe as a minty conditioning stick with exfoliating grains in. It buffs away all the dead skin off your lips (which I wipe off with a tissue) and leaves a bit of the moisturising stick on too. I would advise to wipe this off though- unless you like the just dug up look. It’s mint green. Finish with a slick of one of your 50 lip balms and you are hot to trot! This baby cost me £8.00. Would I repurchase? HELL YEAH! 

 And last but not least- I wanted to talk about the romance that has rekindled with me and my Clarisonic face brush. How many of you use one of these brushes? They are just amazing! Mine has been on the shelf for the last 5 months purely because I have been too lazy to repurchase a new brush head. I have brought it out to play again and I can’t believe I was that stupid to have not used it the last few months. It cleans my skin like nothing I have experienced. Imagine a clean face- well this gets you ten times cleaner! You know when you brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush and you notice a huge difference to your teeth as opposed to using a standard one? They look cleaner and brighter? Well, this is just that. It’s a huge toothbrush – for your face.

 It uses a sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second, working with the skin's natural elasticity to thoroughly remove any impurities. You are left with smoother, softer and healthier looking skin. It’s also meant to absorb your skincare a lot better too- meaning you save money in the long run. (This was my justification, just go with it). Honestly, I am never, ever, ever going to let this sit on the shelf for months until I buy a brush head again! I have two coming in the post as I type. My one cost around £200.00. YES it is expensive. I get it. But it is your FACE! Ditch the wipes to get rid of your make up. Your face is NOT a bum. Would I recommend a Clarisonic as part of your everyday skin routine? HELL YEAH! 

 Big thanks to Stacey for having me! We all know how tough things must be for her right now, but lots of positivity from Wales! Along with plenty of cwtches! Xxxxx 

 And- before I go- if anybody does have any amazing eye cream that you think I should know about- please drop me a line!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Guest Post | Isabelle's Favourite Makeup Brushes

My name’s Isabelle, I blog over at Minnebelle about beauty, food, traveling and life in general and I’ll be guest posting for Stacey today. It’s a massive honour to be featured on her website! I’ve been admiring Stacey’s hauls and eye for quality products ever since I discovered her blog, and my mind has been with her each day for the past six weeks. It’s amazing how brave she is in all she’s going through and it’s also heartwarming to see how many people are supporting her in the blogging community. We hope you feel better soon, Stace!
We all know Stacey has a weak spot for lipsticks, and my own personal weak spot has definitely got to be makeup brushes. I definitely have way too many, and I’m definitely going to buy many more. It’s that bad. I’d like to share my favourite brushes with you today and perhaps give you some inspiration for your next brush purchase. Because you know.. You can absolutely never have too many brushes. Trust me.
My favourite eyebrow brush has got to be the angled 110 brush by Make Up Store. It was one of the very first decent brushes that I bought and it’s still in perfect shape after all these years. It’s quite thin and allows for precision eyebrow shaping. For foundation, I’m in love with Sigma’s Tapered Kabuki brush. This is just sheer perfection - I use it for blending in liquid foundation, but it’s also a great tool to blend in liquid concealer under the eyes. By Hakuhodo I really love the J5522 brush, which is one of the softest tapered crease/blending brushes you’ll ever come across. If you’re looking for high quality brushes - you most definitely need to browse Hakuhodo’s range. It’s hard to find similar superb hand-made quality for the same price. Lancôme’s 17 brush has become my blending brush of choice for daily soft looks - it’s slightly tapered and quite long and soft, which diffuses and blends eyeshadow perfectly.
Zoeva’s Concealer Buffer is a very budget friendly brush that is just perfect for applying and blending out concealer. The shape is big enough to allow ease of blending, but also small enough to reach every corner that needs coverage. Dior’s Backstage Full Coverage Liquid Foundation brush is the perfect high coverage brush. It has very dense bristles and a perfect flat surface that allows you to stipple and blend foundation onto your complexion to your liking. The result is absolutely flawless! For highlighting I really like the Real Techniques Contour brush. It’s small enough to allow precision application and has the perfect shape and bristles to deposit just enough highlighter onto the highest points of your face.
Lancôme’s 22 brush is the best all-over eyeshadow brush I’ve come across. This one is perfect to use every day to quickly sweep eyeshadow all across your lid. I’m really surprised that there’s not more buzz around these brushes. Another one from Real Techniques is their Blush brush - which is absolutely perfect to me for applying blusher. Some people like to use smaller or thinner brushes for blush application, but I like the ease of just softly sweeping this brush on top of my cheeks for a quick and even dash of colour. Lastly I’ve also included Zoeva’s Smokey Shader, which is a great brush to add a quick extra pop of colour onto the moving eyelid and smoke it out for an easy daytime look. At Zoeva’s price point, it’s almost hard to go wrong. I hope you enjoyed this post in absence of Stacey - let’s hope she’s feeling better soon so we can read all about her favourites in no time!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New launch-Dior 'Rouge Dior Baume'

Christian Dior Rouge Dior Baume review

Christian Dior.  Oh Dior Dior Dior.  I could be addicted to Dior.  But I figure there are worst things to be addicted to right?

A recent dash into Sephora with Vanessa and Anne found me, as usual loitering with intent around the Dior stand.  And I noticed the new 'Rouge Dior Baume' lipsticks had launched here in Dubai.  Coming soon to the UK I believe.

I am a huge fan of the original Rouge Dior formula which launched last year and have amassed quite a collection.  Not to my epic Mac lipstick collection proportions but it's getting there and is certainly in double figures.  See my first post on them here.

Christian Dior Rouge Dior Baume review

Christian Dior Rouge Dior Baume review

For me, these would be the perfect Spring/Summertime launch rather than Fall given that I see myself getting most use out of them then.  The perfect 'throw it on' sheeny shiny colour that perks up your lips with zero maintenance.

The packaging is very elegant, a slimmed down version of the big sister Rouge Dior.  Personally I love the navy blue with silver trim.  Swish.

Girls who love the TF engraved into the nib of Tom Ford lipsticks, only to momentarily despair when after one swipe the initials disappear are going to go through the same trauma with these lipsticks.  The engraved 'CD' didn't even survive the swatch on my hand.

Christian Dior Rouge Dior Baume review

Christian Dior Rouge Dior Baume review

Happily the formula makes up for it.  Those who dislike heavy, high maintenance pigmentation and texture are bound to find a good match here-the texture is light, balmy and hydrating.  There are 19 shades varying in pigmentation and the two I chose, Spring and Diorette have a lovely non sticky, glossy, sheer, almost slippy consistency.  But not too slippy, there is no wandering outside your natural lip liner which is sadly a condition I am afflicted with with many a lipstick.  Surprisingly good wear time also for such a light formula-especially from the slightly heavier pigmented 'Diorette' shade.  My lips felt completely hydrated and nicely plumped.

I wasn't sure I was going to love them as I haven't been a big fan of previous Dior sheer lipstick launches (Dior Charmante and Bow lipsticks from the Cherie Bow 2013 collection ended up in my blogsales due to poor pigmentation) but Dior is ticking all my boxes with this new formula.

Christian Dior Rouge Dior Baume review

Christian Dior Rouge Dior Baume review

Thoughts?  Has Dior missed the boat launching a sheer glossy lipstick in Fall when bloggers are reaching for deeper vampier berry shades?  Or is there never a wrong time for a Dior lipstick?  I'm firmly in the latter category.