Tuesday 31 July 2012

Ciate Nails

I've heard some great things about Ciate (pronounced see-are-tay) nail polishes and seen them worn by lots of different people include Lisa Eldridge and the girls at Pixiwoo all of whom I trust when it comes to great products but when I tried out the Ciate nail varnish in Boudoir I wasn't blown away.

It's more to do with the colour, which after two coats was still not as solid as I would have liked, or expected. The varnish itself had quite good staying power, being wearable but with a few chips for nearly a week (and probably longer if professionally applied) and was very easy to apply and reasonably quite drying. I'm sure with another coat the colour would have been better but I really think two coats should be enough with any colour.

That being said I would love to try their new Bottled Sunshine Colleciton which look beautiful and I'd be interested to know whether the colour coverage is better with these shades - maybe Boudoir was just a one off.

I'm definitely going to persevere with Ciate colours however as. not only is the packaging lovely but they are certified 3 Free which means there is nothing nasty in their varnishes.

Friday 27 July 2012

Pixiwoo Friday Video

I love the finished look on this...


Wednesday 25 July 2012

Return to Glory

It's rare to find anything at a fantastic price in London and I was dreading booking myself in for a pregnancy massage because I knew that if I enjoyed it I'd want more and we'd be bankrupt before the baby even arrived. But a bit of googling led to me Return to Glory 'London's leading mobile massage and beauty service' who not only offer pregnancy massage but four different pregnancy treatments including reflexology. And they do so many other treatments for the non-knocked up - deep tissue massage, couples massage, Swedish and Thai yoga massage, dance, salsa and Pilate's private lessons, facials, make overs, a whole range of treatments for men and even events for offices and parties.

The fact that you can get whatever treatment in your own home is fantastic but especially if you are in London and want a massage - the thought of being that relaxed and then having to schlep home on public transport thus undoing all the relaxation is what really swung it for me. As I wanted it asap I booked over the phone (0845 485 1195) but you get a 10% discount for booking online so it's definitely worth doing that. I couldn't believe that for £65 someone was going to come to my house with all the equipment and give me a massage.

Agnes appeared at 5 mins to the allotted time and set up quickly even though our room is tiny. She'd bought soothing music (which helped drown out  the noise of upstairs builders) and helped me get my bulk into a towel (which she kept helping me rearrange so I didn't feel like meat on a slab - all exposed). She also explained exactly what was going to happen which was nice - I knew they wouldn't offer or do any treatments that weren't safe but my husband was anxious about me getting a massage which had transferred to me a little so it was nice to have it all talked through before hand. I was getting their Signature Pregnancy Massage and I'd read a bit on the website but what I hadn't taken in was that everything gets rubbed. Your back, legs, feet, arms, face and head. IT IS AMAZING.

Obviously it depends on your therapist but the amount of pressure was just perfect - I was worried that pregnancy massage would be a bit light - and the timing great, nothing was hurried and I definitely got my full hours worth. How can this be just £65. As soon as she left - leaving me in my dressing gown beaming - I re-booked for a months time. I then called my pregnant sister and pregnant buddy and told them they have to try it out. It is really worth giving Return to Glory a go - they are incredibly helpful so if you are not sure what you need give them a call - I'm sure they will have the treatment for you.  


Tuesday 24 July 2012

Sugarbomb by Benefit

One of the many makeup goodies my sister has bought for me over the years from the massive list I give her every birthday and Christmas. This was on the same list as Bella Bamba, another Benefit product I wanted to try but she was advised that Sugarbomb is more versatile as it contains more colours you get a more multi-dimensional colour - more bang for your buck. At first I wasn't convinced that this product was as good as the shop assistant had billed it to be. It seemed incredibly pale but the more I used it the more I loved it and now wear it most days as it really is the perfect mix of colours for a natural, glowing, slightly rosy look with buildable colour. And I'm not the only one who loves it - it was given the Readers Kiss of Approval Ultimate Blusher award at the recent Cosmopolitan Beauty and Fragrance Awards.

I seem to float around Benefit in phases, loving them sometimes and at others wondering if their products are really worth what you pay for them, there are also some quite good dupes around for their block blushers for half the price. No matter how I'm feeling about the brand however,there are some of their products that I am always using - Hoola as a contour and now, Sugarbomb as a great versatile cheek colour. And it seems I'm not the only one to love it - it's getting a 4.7 out of 5 rating from the 125 reviews on their website. It definitely won't work on all skin tones but the colours - peach, soft plum, pink and rose - are incredibly subtle and natural and should work on most people, although you may have to build it up a little. It's like having four blushers in one xx

Friday 20 July 2012

The Morning After the Night Before Make-up - Friday Video

This is called The Morning After the Night Before based on those nights where you accidentally don't go home and need to do your makeup with what you've got in  your bag the next day. There could be a whole series of these as the contents of my makeup bag is always changing although this doesn't really happen to me anymore. If this is something that happens to you a lot you can adjust your makeup bag accordingly with makeup and moisturiser samples, small face wipes and little brushes. From previous experience I usually compensate for a massive hangover and pasty complexion with big flicks with my liquid eyeliner but I refrained in this video...


Wednesday 18 July 2012

Cover FX Skin Prep

There seem to be quite a few primers coming out on the high street at the moment (some of which I'm in the process of trying out) and I love that there are more reasonably priced products on offer. However, I think some products are worth spending a bit of money on and a great primer is one of those things. I'm a huge fan of Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer and it has a regular place in my professional kit but it has some competition.

Cover FX do three primers but the Skin Prep is the most versatile. Incredibly matifying I think this would be a great alternative primer for those with oily skin, it really smooths the skin and provides a lovely base for foundation. I've also found that you need less of your foundation because this primer optimises coverage to make it go much further. You can use it as an anti-ageing serum as it helps reduce the sign of fine lines (which I've yet to see... I don't have that many yet) and does reduce pores.

I've tried a lot of primers and this really does make a visible difference and is even lovely on it's own with a bit of concealer where necessary. My only problem with it is the price - £44 for 30ml is a lot of money even for a product as good as this. I'm going to keep it in my pro-kit with the Laura Mercier (a more reasonable £28 and nearly as good) to use as and when I need it and, if you have money to spend, this is a great product but I'm wondering how much better it will be compared to the cheaper alternatives appearing on the high street. I'll have to let you know.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

The Cosmopolitan Beauty and Fragrance Awards 2012

For entirely self-absorbed reasons I was slightly dreading the Cosmo beauty and Fragrance awards. When you are only able to fit into skinny maternity jeans and t-shirts going anywhere remotely fashionable can be incredibly daunting. The chic venue (One Marylebone) and early start (8.30am) didn't help but it was definitely the most fun I've had at an event for a long time.

Emma Scott, Garnier and Inge van Lotringen Cosmo Beauty Director
One Marylebone is a gorgeous venue and with huge vases of beautiful flowers everywhere, soft lighting and incredibly delicious food and drinks (soft!) on offer. It created the perfect atmosphere for an event that could have been full of bitchy fashionistas but was instead buzzing with friendly people, excited chatter and expectation. As a blogger these parties can sometimes be a bit tricky when you don't know anyone but the lovely Cosmo ladies would swoop in for a chat if they saw you standing alone (I was often edging my way towards another mini smoked salmon bagel). My only complaint would be that the winners were allowed to take their awards straight after the speeches, which is fine, but it meant the products were left with no markers for what they had won.

As for the awards themselves I was impressed with the incredible variety of brands that were included which really shows the dedication of the beauty team and the 13 judges (who included makeup artist Liz Purgh, perfume expert James Craven and beauty journalist Alice Hart-Davis). It would be easy to hand out awards to the more high-end products but there's a great range in these awards which is something I've always thought Cosmopolitan does very well.  Now of course you can't be expected to agree with all of them but, for the most part, I think the awards were pretty accurate and there are definitely some products that I'm going to try out - leave a comment and let me know what you think.

The Beauty Awards:

The Cosmo Beauty Director's Breakthrough product:
Garnier Skin naturals Miracle Skin Perfector Daily All-In-One BB Cream

The Cosmo Beauty Directors Cosmo classic award:
Dior 5 Couleurs

Best budget lipstick - Max Factor Colour Elizir lipstick
Best premium lipstick - Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour
Best lip balm - Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick
Best lip stain - Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres Glossy Stain
Readers' Kiss of Approval Ultimate Lipstick - MAC lipstick

Best mascara - Dior Diorshow New Look Mascara
Best eyeshadow - Chanel Illusion d'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow
Best eye-colour palette - Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couteurs Eyeshadows
Best eyeliner - Maybelline New York Master Drama Kohl Liner
Readers' Kiss of Approval Ultimate Mascara - Maybelline The Falsies mascara

Best cleanser - Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Best facial refresher - L'Occitane Angelica Hydration Face Mist
Best eye-makeup remover - Clinique Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent
Best face scrub - Olay Regenerist Daily Thermal Skin Polisher
Readers' Kiss of Approval Ultimate Cleansing Wipes - Simple Kind to Skin Facial Wipes

Best budget foundation - Rimmel London Wake Me Up Foundation
Best premium foundation - Lancome teint Idole Ultra 24hr
Best blemish concealer - Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer
Best tinted moisturiser - Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturiser SPF15
Best face powder - Bare Minerals Ready SPF15 Touch Up Veil
Best blusher - Estee Lauder Pure Color Blush
Best bronzer - Clarins Bronzing Duo SPF15 Mineral Powder Compact
Best under-eye brightener - Rimmel London Wake Me Up Concealer
Readers' Kiss of Approval Ultimate foundation - Rimmel Lasting Finish 25hr Foundation
Readers' Kiss of Approval Ultimate blusher - Benefit Cosmetics Sugarbomb

Best budget everyday moisturiser - Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Skin-Brightening Moisturiser
Best premium everyday moisturiser - Clarins Hyrdraquench Cream
Best face mask - Philosophy Keep the Peace Super Soothing Instant Relief Mask
Best blemish buster - Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Treatment Cream
Readers' Kiss of Approval Ultimate Moisturiser - Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser

Best anti-ageing moisturiser - Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Relaxing Complex
Best age-busting night cream - Dior Capture XP Nuit Night Creame
Best age-defying serum - Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex
Best line-fading eye cream - Origins Plantscription Anti-ageing Eye Treatment
Readers' Kiss of Approval Ultimate Anti-Ageing Moisturiser - Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Anti-Ageing Moisturiser

Best body cleanser - Elemis Skin Nourishing Shower Cream
Best body scrub - Soap & Glory The Breakfast Scrub
Best bath treat - Aveda Stress Fix Bath Salts
Best body-firming potion - Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift & Sculpt Body Butter
Best body moisturiser - La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP Body Balm
Best hair removal product - Veet Easywax Electrical Roll-on Kit
Best deodorant - Garnier Invisi Mineral 48hr Double Action Deoderant
Readers' Kiss of Approval Ultimate Body Lotion - The Body Shop Mango Body Butter
Readers' Kiss of Approval Ultimate hair-removal product - Gilette Venus Spa Breeze

Best hairspray - L'Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Normal Hold Hairspray
Best volumiser - Mark Hill Love Big Hair! Big Blow! Thicker Fuller Volume Spray
Best frizz controller - Pantene 24hr Frizz Fighter Anti Frizz Smooth Cream
Best home colourant - John Frieda Precision Foam Colour Salon Blends Collection
Best shampoo - L'Oreal Everpure Colour Care & Colume Shampoo
Best conditioner - V05 Gloss Me Smoothly Conditioner
Best leave-in treatment - Moroccanoil Treatment Oil
Best hair mask - Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Keratin Intensive Treatment
Readers' Kiss of Approval Ultimate Hair Colourant - L'Oreal Paris Casting Creme Gloss
Readers' Kiss of Approval  Ultimate Shampoo and Conditioner - Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo and Conditioner

Tool Kit:
Best hairbrush - Shu Uemura Art of Hair Paddle Brush
Best makeup brushes - Suqqu
Best heat styler - Babyliss Big Hair
Best beauty gadget - Clarisonic Opal Sonic Infusion
Readers' Kiss of Approval Ultimate Hairstyling Gadget - GHD Gold Classic Styler

Best budget facial sun protection - Vichy Capital Soleil Anti-Shine Dry Touch SPF50
Best premium facial sun protection - Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Sunscreen Sun Indulgence Lotion for Face SPF15
Best all-over sun protection - Nivea Sun Pure & Sensitive Sun Spray SPF30
Best aftersun - Garnier Ambre Solaire Golden Touch After Sun
Readers' Kiss of Approval Ultimate Sun Lotion - Nivea Sun Invisible Protection Spray SPF30

Self-Tanning and Bronzing:
Best facial self-tan - Lancome Flash Bronzer Self-Tanning Face Gel
Best body self-tan - St Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse
Best gradual self-tan - Dove Summer Glow Beauty Body Lotion
Best wash-off body tanner - L'OReal Paris Sublime Bronze One Day
Readers' Kiss of Approval Ultimate Self-Tanner - St Tropez Selt Tan Bronzing Mousse

Best men's hair product - Wella Shockwaves Re-Create Styling Putty
Best men's face cream - Lab Series Skin Care for Men Age-Less Face Cream
Best men's shaving product - Clinique Skin Supplies For Men M Shave Aloe Gel
Best men's eye cream - Lancome Genific HD Eye Cream
Readers' Kiss of Approval Ultimate Aftershave - Boss by Hugo Boss Aftershave Lotion

Hands and Feet:
Best nail polish - Revlon Nail Enamel
Best hand cream - Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve
Best foot treat - Scholl Dry Skin Instant Recovery Cream
Best nail rescuer - Dr Lewinn's Renunail Nail Strengthener
Best Nail Art Innovation - Ciate Caviar Manicure
Readers' Kiss of Approval Ultimate Nail Polish - Barry M Nail Paint

Fragrance Awards:

The Cosmo Beauty Director's Special Award Most Cosmo Fragrance of the Year - Roberto Cavalli

Best bottle design for women - Valentino Valentina
Best celebrity fragrance for women - Kim Kardashian
Most romantic fragrance for women - Thierry Mugler Angel Eau de Toilette
Sexiest fragrance for women - Estee Lauder Sensuous Nude
Most delicious fragrance bath and body line - Elie Saab Le Parfum
Freshest fragrance for women - Chanel No19 Poudre
Best classic fragrance for women - Yves Saint Laurent La Collection Nu
Best bottle design for men - Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb
Sexiest fragrance for men - Paco rabanne Black XS L'Exces
Best classic fragrance for men - Yves Saint Laurent La Collection M7
Best niche fragrance for women - Miller Harris La Pluie
Best bottle design for women Readers' Award -  Marc Jacobs Daisy
Best celebrity fragrance for women Readers' Award - Britney Spears Fantasy
Sexiest fragrance for women Readers' Award - Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
Freshest fragrance for women - DKNY Be Delicious
Freshest fragrance for men Readers' Award - Davidoff Cool Water
Sexiest fragrance for men Readers' Award - Boss Hugo Boss
Best bottle design for men Readers' Award - Diesel Only the Brave

Best celebrity fragrance for men Readers' Award - David Beckham Instinct


Friday 13 July 2012

Rae Morris - Friday Video

A great video from Rae Morris


Wednesday 11 July 2012

Benefit Speed Brow

There's a lot going on with brows at the moment. Boyfriend brows are popular, big, bushy and often quite dark but having your brows 'natural' is even more trendy looking slightly ungroomed and unplucked whilst actually being groomed and plucked. Some people have brows that need filling in, mine have a few holes that are easily fixed with either pencil or powders while friends of mine need them really shaped and styled to make them stand out.

This is all very well if you are going out, going to a job interview or on a date and want to look your absolute best. Sometimes however I just want them to look good with minimal amount of effort. Usually a bit of grooming with a brow brush (I love this Real Techniques one) will do but recently I've been using Speed Brow by Benefit and find this a fantastic way to get groomed, yet natural brows that stay in the same place all day.

It is a brush on gel in a neutral shade to suit most people, that dries really quickly and has a small brush so it's just fantastically easy to use. If you need to add a lot of colour to bring your brows out everyday then this may not be the product for you - you should probably try something by Anastasia or MAC - but for a quick even out and set this is great. My only problem is that the tube is quite small for £12 so it really won't last too long - I'm hoping that they'll bring out more colours too. I'm hoping they'll fix this!

Friday 6 July 2012

Everyday Lana del Ray Inspired - Friday Video

I really loved this look in Vogue (March 2012) - it's not dissimilar to how I often do my makeup anyway but with a bit of a pinky twist. I've left the lashes off to make this more everyday wearable but this look would look great with Eyelure intense lashes or any corner lashes you can find. So this isn't a tutorial on how to do the makeup exactly... this is just the picture that inspired it...

Products used:

Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream
Chanel Vitalumier Aqua foundation (in 10 beige)
Sleek Makeup Eye Palette in Oh So Special
Marks and Spencer Limited Collection Bronzing powder (in Light)
Prestige Cosmetics liquid liner (in black)
DiorShow Extase Mascara (in black)
Bobbi Brown Corrector (in Light Bisque)
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer (in 03 Medium)
MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy
MAC blush in Pink Swoon
Cover FX translucent setting powder
No 7 Lip Pencil (in Nude)
MAC tinted lip conditioner in Petting Pink

Nail Varnish is Pillar Box Red by Butter London


Tuesday 3 July 2012

MW Nails

Unless its a birthday treat with Miss F, I usually don't frequent fancy nail salons. It is incredibly hard to find somewhere that incorporates high standards, great atmosphere and somewhere you can go with a friend and feel pampered without having to get into a bathrobe. MW Nails have just opened a new nail bar in Spitalfields that makes no apologies for what it is. Whether you are going in for the 101 minute Mile High treatment or a quick Shanghai Shape you are guaranteed a little bit, or a whole lot, of luxury.

Themed like an airline from the 1970's complete with real first class seats for pedicures and old fashioned announcement board showing all the treatments a visit to MW Nails is an experience. Intriguing decor and staff uniforms aside there are some serious pluses to this salon. The sheer range of treatments is fantastic - everything you could want for hands or feet is catered for; shaping, shellacing, gel, acryllic and take the worry about whether you will get a massage or not, you can add one to your treatment for £15.

Not just pretty on paper - I noticed a weird silver funnel on the nail desks and assumed, wrongly, that these were just for show. I couldn't work out what they were - they are actually for filtering the air so are fewer noxious smells in the salon. It really works - I arrived at 3pm and rather than the air being filled with the rather heady smell of varnishes there was barely any smell at all.

For those of us used to going to the slightly scary, damp nail parlor on our road the prices are a little higher but, I belive, very much worth it. I had a Perfect Panama, their signature manicure, shaped and buffed nails, and incredible massage, moisturise, hot towels and gorgeous colour for £29. MW Nails only use Essie and OPI varnishes (usually about £10 each) which have a fantastic range of colours and are great quality.

These are great to book for treats for friends too - for anyone being a maid of honour the Bridal package is a fantastic treat for both of you and, unlike a lot of salons I've been too, you can sit next to each other in first class chairs and have a good old gossip while getting your treatments. I also fancy trying the Caribbean Combo which is a luxurious mani/pedi combo for under £50 and would very much appreciate this as a present since getting pregnant being rubbed is the best experience ever without wanting to sound to weird but everything hurts more and is more sensitive. I was particularly pleased because my knuckles have just got too big for my engagement and wedding rings so a bit of pampering is what my old sausage fingers needed.Stuck for what to get a preggers friend - a voucher for here would be perfect and looks cool too.
This picture doesn't do the nails justice - colour is Tangerine by Essie

What I loved about MW Nails, apart from the fantastic result (thanks Mia!) was that this was an experience in itself. I wasn't dashing in guiltily to get my nails done, I felt relaxed and pampered, without being there for hours and really as if I was getting my moniesworth and that is what I think is lacking from many nail bars at the moment - MW Nails have filled the aching void between guilty secret and OTT luxury and I love it.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© London Make-up Blog. All rights reserved.