Friday, 29 September 2017

MONTHLY BEAUTY + LIFESTYLE FAVOURITES: SEPTEMBER 2017


Beauty products I've been coveting in the month of September...

Lips: You know me, rarely seen without lippy. In fact today, (Saturday as I write this) I've organised my lipsticks, by colour into Baco bags. Rock and roll eh?! This month, my favourite lip smear is from Lord + Berry who recently celebrated their 20th birthday. The 20100 lip crayon is a punchy, orange shade that is super creamy, moisturising and hyper-pigmented.

Glow: I love a healthy glow as much as the next person, however, sometimes it can look a look OTT. I've recently been using a new highlighter from the Complexions range at Miss G Couture. I'll be bringing you a full review of their cosmetics next week, but for now - the 'Blush' Pearls Highlighter has provided a really beautiful highlight that is both natural looking and long-wearing. 


Nails: I've grown my nails hooray! Well, until a stressful situation arises and I'll have wrecked them again. To celebrate actually having acceptable fingers, I've kept them painted this month with an old Nails Inc polish in the shade ' St Martin's Lane' Yup, I was feeling SUPER Autumnal with this royal berry shade, almost magenta. You can always rely on Nails Inc for longevity and opaque colour payoff.

Eyes: Strangely, I've also been loving bright pops of colour on my eyes. Now bear with me, yup I love my nudes, golds and orange shades MAC Texture I'm looking at you, but I also love the Lord and Berry individual shadows in the shades 'Sunflower' and 'Lagoon' which are super pigmented and look really nice as a little accent underneath the lower lash line.


Life. TV. Music + More...

Reading: A recent holiday to Zakynthos meant that I had time to absolutely devour a few books on the beach. I read 'Diana in her own words' by Andrew Morton and The Muse by Jessie Burton which was a wonderful story. I have to say, it's a slow starter but the description is vivid and the twist in the story is interesting. In a nutshell, it follows two stories, one in 1960s London and the other in 1930s Spain, both are linked by a painting and a central character. The themes include love (obvs) immigration, art, friendship, mental health, and family dynamics. If you are looking for a new read, I strongly urge you to try this one.

I feel a little like a broken record constantly recommended articles from The Pool, but they're all just so darn good! My favourites this month were: 'Is this the new Chanel No.5?' - a particular favourite line was when author, Lizzie Ostrom describes the scent awakening: "Thankfully, Gabrielle soon cut her toothless grin and started to hiss." As well as Daisy Buchanan's What makes a beauty product 'cult'? - some great recommendations and again, some lovely description.

Watching: Two words. Doctor Foster. I am gripped! The BBC series featuring the babe that is Suranne Jones has a cringey script and a slightly repetitive storyline (cmon it is) BUT I cannot stop watching it. Fuelled by adultery, revenge, and passion, the drama set in fictional Parminster is definitely one to catch on Iplayer (or season 1 is on Netflix!). You kind of need to have seen the first two series to understand what is underpinning the dramzzz but it's fully watchable without. 

Bake off. Obvs. I like Noel Fielding's quirk and I like Sandi because she packs punch for a little lady. I must prefer the new hosts over Mel + Sue, who quite frankly did my head in!  I also think the standard of the contestant's is the best yet. The first week showstoppers, the board games? Phenomenal! 

I also LOVED Pixiwoo's interview with Victoria Beckham, Victoria came across very well -  a little more human, and a little less robotic than you'd imagine. You could tell that Nic was awestruck over being sat next to VB and rightly so. The interview, which focuses mostly on VB's latest iteration of make-up for Estee Lauder, also covers family life and brand collabs. My only qualm would be that VB told us what her favourite products actually are and not listing only her range - But I guess she's there to do a job!

Listening to: This playlist! Really easy to work to and for when you just want a little chill time. It's my go to when i'm in the bath.





What have you been loving this month?



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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

BEAUTY: NARS VELVET MATTE LIP PENCIL IN 'RED SQUARE'


Two words, red lips. I recently discovered that my ideal red shade is anything with an orange undertone. The warmth of the orange sits nicely against my naturally pale skin and helps bring the blue out of my watery grey eyes. I also realised this month that matte finish lipsticks are my bag. 

When scouring Manchester Airport duty free earlier in the month, I stumbled across the NARS counter and naturally found myself swatching red lipstick. There was one in particular that I knew was coming with me.

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in 'Red Square...'

I think that the velvet matte lip pencils might just be my favourite finish ever. They're comfortable, highly pigmented and long-wearing. You could argue that they are smooth as butter. For £20 you get 2.4g of product in a crayon style applicator.


 I have yet to sharpen it, but the MUA on the NARS counter explained that a large sharpener will work fine. I have been wearing Red Square with a neutral eye, just a lashing of mascara - or with a sparkly eye for a killer party look. If you're looking for the perfect red, give it a go.



Have you ever tried the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils?


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Friday, 22 September 2017

BEAUTY: POWDER FOUNDATION - BARE MINERALS ORIGINAL SPF FOUNDATION



Seeing as though we are talking all things 'natural beauty' today, I thought i'd take advantage of shooting amongst the juicy shades of red and green from my parents' sweet little tomato plant.

When I was 14 I worked in a greasy spoon situated in the heart of the town I grew up in. For anybody local to Wakefield, it was called Neptune Diner. I worked there from being 14-18 and loved every minute of my Saturday job cleaning tables, snaffling left overs and hoovering chips and peas off the carpet. It was during this time that I had very typical spotty teenage skin. One particular Saturday, I was walking around covering my chin thanks to a huge boil that had appeared overnight....not the best for a customer service job. A cook, named Sue told my boss I had 'A skin complaint' and ushered me into the toilets with a little tub of powder and a brush - it was the original Bare Minerals foundation.

I have always thought about how much of a saviour that humble powder foundation was however, I was too sold on liquid foundations to ever entertain it again. Opting for a full coverage foundation by the way of Studio Fix Fluid from MAC. Recently, I properly revisited the Bare Minerals foundation...Here are my thoughts.


Bare Minerals Original SPF foundation...Is it sassy?

For anybody unfamiliar, Bare Minerals create natural skincare that doesn't irritate the skin as it is, amongst other things, free from oils, fragrances, preservatives, talcs and parabens. It is particularly good for those with sensitive skin. I bought the foundation and accompanying flawless face brush from duty free at MCR airport a few weeks ago as I remember it being so effective when I used it some 10 years ago.

Dubbed as "foundation so pure you can sleep in it..."


My hand after applying the foundation - blurred, soft and shine free - I haven't demonstrated on my face as i've just returned from holiday and my nose is burnt and my skin pigment highly uneven, it wouldn't do it justice.

Retailing at £27 for 8g of product, this is a high-end foundation purchase. The finely milled powder contains SPF 15 and since its launch in 1995, has become an award winning formula that promotes clearer, healthier skin. Something we all strive for right?

The coverage is surprisingly build-able and the powder can be buffed to create a medium to full coverage look. What's more there are 30 shades available which makes this foundation much more accessible for all women from those with the fairest skin, to the darkest skin. I have the lightest shade Fair 01 - which I am not entirely sure is the best match for my skin, but alas that is what the MUA paired me with. As this is a powder foundation, you can get away with a little shade discrepancy a it simply disappears into the pores and certainly does not leave the dreaded...chin line.




To activate the product, you simply dab your brush (I have the Bare Minerals Flawless Face brush) in the powder and swirl in the lid until the powder disappears into the bristles. Then buff, buff, buff into the skin until you are happy with the coverage. I really enjoy this foundation for everyday wear, especially for days in the office or a weekend running errands. The powder is not at all cakey and keeps shine at bay thanks to the long-wear formula.

This foundation is particularly good for sensitive skin, but I have read that it works effectively for oily, dehydrated and dry skin also. So what do I think?  It's a solid 10 for me having tried it on adolescent skin and again in my early 20s - It's hard to want to pick up a liquid foundation again.

Have you ever tried Bare Minerals? 

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

HAIR: MY HERO HAIRCARE PRODUCTS FROM PHILIP KINGSLEY


I have to start by apologising that this blog post is well overdue. I wanted to review the latest 'Summer solutions' offering from Philip Kingsley hair care during my holiday to Portugal. However, a mix-up with the parcel delivery and a house move caused me to not get my mitts on these new products for quite some time. Luckily, I have just been away to the Greek island of Zakynthos for a week, which made the perfect excuse to give them a whirl. I hope you still find my thoughts useful if you are looking for some hair care specially formulated for those occasions when your hair is subjected to extreme climates.

"Developed with over 60 years in hair and scalp health, 'Summer Solutions' guards against UV, salt, and chlorinated water damage."

My hair is coloured and really takes a battering on holiday. What, with the sun, salt, chlorine and...sweat I have to wash my hair daily after a day on the beach, or by the pool. I was super excited to see that Philip Kingsley has brought out a range of products that target the individual hair complaints that come with a week or two under the scorching sun. You'll have to forgive me, my bottles look a little worse for wear and are covered in sand - proof that they all joined me in my beach bag last week. If you like the look of any of these, you can find Philip Kingsley products online at lookfantastic.com or in store at Marks and Sparks. 


Sun Shield UV Defence - £18.70 This was the product I was most interested in as I've always believed in the need for a 'sunscreen' for your hair and scalp. I applied a generous offering of the light mist throughout my hair every day before hitting the beach. It isn't greasy in consistency and settles nicely. The formula contains sunflower seed extract and UV filters to help diminish the damage and dryness caused by the sun, the ocean or the pool. What's even better, is that the mist also helps with frizz control which is especially sassy in humid environments. 


After sun scalp mask - £17.00 No matter what I do, whether I rock my straw hat or a cute head wrap, I always catch the sun around my hairline and boy is it sore. This calming scalp mask was an absolute gem for applying and leaving on for 20 minutes or so before rinsing off. It is super soothing and cooling thanks to the chamomile and aloe extract. You can use this all year round, so don't reserve trying it just for a holiday because it leaves your hair super, soft and shiny and your scalp feeling zingy. 


Elasticizer Coconut Breeze - £19.50 It was the original Elasticizer that turned me on to Philip Kingsley products, having received a sample of the now, cult hair care product in a Glossybox. It really is a brilliant product that works as a pre-shampoo treatment to deep condition, add shine and reduce breakage and snapping. The latest iteration of one of my hair care staples includes a lush coconut, jasmine and almond scent that smells like holidays. It's also available in tub form rather than a tube which looks pretty cute in the shower. For my damaged hair, this product is a hero and if you try one thing from Philip Kingsley, try this.


Swimcap - £12.75 Originally created for the US Olympic synchronised swim team (wow) the Swimcap is a cream formula that guards against chlorine, salt water and UV damage - all while hydrating the hair. I applied a generous helping of this heavenly scented product every day and found that it helped make my hair less tangled and dry after a day sunbathing. I've heard that this beauty also helps prevent blonde hair from turning green. (Put the ketchup aside ladies) I can't say that my colour was any better extended after only a week of using this product however, the condition was certainly improved.


Instant Beach - £18.70 We all strive for those sexy, tousled waves that come with a day at the beach. I try to emulate them myself with a waving wand, but always end up with a Medusa style frow. Step forward the Instant Beach spray which is possibly the best 'beach wave'  spray i've tried (and there's been a few) It is salt-free, believe it or not, and contains elastin and meadowfoam to create bouncy, tousled waves without drying out your hair and leaving it crispy.

Which is your favourite Philip Kingsley product?

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Friday, 8 September 2017

STYLE: NEW SEASON PRIMARK HAUL - SEPTEMBER 2017


Whenever I walk passed Primark, I am a weak woman. I recently popped in for basic items such as a new pack of knickers (sorry, definitely not fancy here) and some leggings however, I left with considerably more items in my basket.

When you read this, I will be on holiday in Zakynthos therefore, some items were bought for that very occasion, and others well, Autumn init - almost. I found some pretty nice things in there despite a shift in the season.

New from Primark - Transitional Summer/Autumn 2017...
Oversized Stripe Shirt - £10

I would never describe myself as a blue and white striped shirt kind of gal. However, I recently bought a new pair of white skinny jeans and wanted to work a nautical, fresh and polished look. This oversized, roll sleeve shirt is so nice to throw on for comfort and style. I like to wear it with skinny jeans and loafers/pumps.


Yellow Printed Shift Dress - £10-£12 (Can't quite remember which)

I took this gorgeous canary yellow dress off a mannequin. Sue me. Yep I undressed a mannequin in the middle of a HEAVING Primark. I had to buy this in a size smaller than I would usually wear, so the arms are a little tight but the dress itself is pretty oversized. I was really taken with the print and ruffle detailing - not to mention the charming Autumn inspired botanical print. I will be wearing mine this season with black, opaque tights and ankle boots.


Velvet Embroidered Loafers - £8

Faux velvet, sea breeze shade, bee embroidery. SOLD. I saw these loafer pumps in both the turquoise and burgundy for £8. I opted for the blue as it was just so mesmerising. They're pretty rigid so take some breaking in before they wear like an old pair of slippers. I have been wearing mine all week and despite a few pinches and niggles, they look super dreamy. Perfect for this time of year when the weather has yet to dramatically change.


Satin Pyjama Set - £4.50 each

I am a sucker for pyjamas. I bought this satin duo with my pending holiday in mind. Obviously, when it's hot you just want to wear something cool and loose. I believe the whole set was £8 with the items sold separately. Perfect for throwing on when you're getting ready after a shower and the ditsy floral print is super cute.



Mustard Scarf - £6

Finally, I found myself magnetised to the new season scarves. This super snuggly mustard number really caught my eye! I love oversized scarves at the best of times and I am secretly excited for wearing this one with my oversized, fluffy coats when the air begins to nip.


Have you spotted anything exciting in Primark recently?

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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

BEAUTY: NEW PURCHASES + BEAUTY IN MY BAG


If you were to reach under my desk and grab my handbag, you'd find your arm drooping under a rather weighty bag filled with both the neccisary elements and a bucket load of beauty products. It's true - My handbag seems to be the place where cosmetics congregate.

I recently took it upon myself to have a thorough clear out of my 'weekend bag' the prized and much loved Mulberry 'Roxanne'. By some mastery, I managed to whittle the beauty content down to a select few pieces.
Beauty in my bag...

I love scouring the reduced shelf in Boots - take it from me, you can quite often find some gems. Last week I found the L'Oreal Mega Volume 'Collagene 24h mascara' for about 3 quid. It's not the best mascara i've ever tried - but it certainly isn't the worst either. The formula is a little smudgey and tacky but the feathery brush digs deep into the lashes and irons out any clumps. I throw it in my bag anyway - anything has got to be better than droopy lashes worn out by meetings and computer screens.


The idea of a lip palette never really crossed my mind until I found 12 lipsticks in the bottom of my handbag. Also hanging out on the 'reduction shelf' is the L'Oreal Color Riche La Palette Extravaganza. The palette includes 6 x 1g of lipstick in a variety of sassy colours! I am a big fan of the Color Riche lipsticks and this palette includes some of my favourite bold shades to wear. Perfect for on-the-go. My favourite shades include the orange and the burgundy (Very reminiscent of MAC 'Fresh Moroccan.'  


Obviously I have to have a scent in my handbag for all those occasions when you need to give yourself a little pick-me-up. My perfume of choice is L'Aimant by Coty.


What beauty bits do you carry in your bag?
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