Friday 28 November 2014

Friday Video - The Cheats Guide to Buying Foundation for Someone Else

Now only buy a foundation for someone who you know wears a foundation. They are expensive and non-returnable but if you are going to brave here's my advice....


Monday 24 November 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas - Skincare

These would actually be great presents for a girlfriend/sister-in-law/sister… the list goes on but I always get a bit scared giving skincare products to people I don’t know love it, in case they think I’m being rude… again. With the make-up suggestions I wanted there to be something a bit special about them – the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar packaging is wonderful and the price prevents a lot of people getting it for themselves – but with skincare you need to get something that is going to work. So that’s what I’m suggesting. 

  • Emma Hardie Amazing Face – there's a great Emma Hardie gift set that will be in the gift set post but this cleansing balm is a permanent fixture in my cupboard and everyone I have recommended it to loves it. Not that easy to track down on in shops (Space NK stock it here) so a fab present for those who aren't too keen on Internet shopping.
  • Ole Henriksen Truth Serum – another brand that will feature in the  gift set post but their Truth Serum is a wonderful gift on it’s own. Available in three sizes the smallest 15ml one is only £18 so is great if you are doing what I like to call a ‘random boy purchase’ this could be the one to go for.
  • Origins – One of the brands I have been consistently using for over a decade. It’s hard to whittle it down to one recommendation as it depends on what you are looking for so here are my suggestions for exfoliating, dry skin, the traveller and a more general day cream. I’ve tried, re-bought and loved them all.  Never a Dull Moment – I usually use acid toners to gently exfoliate a couple of times a week but every now and again I use this and love it for it’s natural ingredients and incredibly gentle but noticable exfoliation. Make a Difference + - my go-to moisturiser for the winter months when my skin is dryer this works a treat and smells divine. This range also does a night cream and variations suitable for all skin types. The All Purpose High Elevation Cream – the moisturiser to get for those who travel a lot. I take with me when flying as it does everything and is so deeply moisturising that you can feel it (in a non-oily way) even after you’ve landed. A Perfect World – If I need to buy a moisturiser in the spring/summer I’d go for this one (it is available with an SPF25 if you want) it’s lighter than the Make A Difference so if you are buying for someone with normal skin this is the one to go for.
In terms of things for the body I am finding it difficult to find products that I love enough to recommend as Christmas presents but I've got some and I've had a bit of help.
  • Ren Body Oil - as recommended by my friend Bree who says this feels really luxurious and even though it's an oil doesn't leave the skin feeling greasy.

Friday 21 November 2014

Friday Video - Make-up Christmas Gift Ideas

I thought it may be helpful to see some of the products I've recommended as Christmas gift ideas...

I look a bit aggressive in the thumbnail but this is meant to be helpful not scary

Wednesday 19 November 2014

The Best Pedicure I've Ever Had

Do not take this statement lightly. I would love to pretend to be one of those low maintenance women who can say they once got a pedicure because they got a free voucher. I'm not. I love pedicures and I will use anything as an excuse to have one. Pregnancy is the best I've come up with so far especially awesome that I literally couldn't touch my feet or get shoes on them past 6 months so I had to wear flip-flops and it would have been rude of me to not have nicely done feet as they were on show all the time. Even if they were three times their normal size and seemingly made of dough. I love manicure's too but can live without them but the bliss of having someone else deal with and rub my feet is something I find a necessity especially since having Ned. The bliss of an hour with a cup of tea and a magazine while technically doing something. I mean I can't wander around whilst my nails are being done. That would be silly.

My love of a pedicure does not mean that I get them regularly however, no no, my mostly-stay-at-home-mum bank account doesn't stretch to such luxuries on a regular basis but my sister and I decided it would be nice to treat my mum when she came up to London on her birthday in September. We didn't have a lot of time so a pedicure seemed like the perfect thing but where in Chiswick? There were a number of options and I left it up to my sister to books it having mentioned a couple of places I thought looked good. She chose The Beauty Lounge on Turnham Green Terrace and without knowing it we walked in to the best pedicure I've ever had.

I actually think it was a fab place to choose for a birthday as it looks pretty lovely and chic but that's not what was so fantastic. What makes this place worth mentioning (let it be noted I don't review every beauty treatment I have on this blog) is that we had our nails done on September 13th and I eventually removed the nail varnish on November 8th not because it needed it - there was not even the smallest of chips - but because my nails had grown so much there were huge half moons of pink toe showing. I suppose I should have left it on to see just how long it lasted but I can't bear bare toes. I had cut them and still no chip. That is amazing longevity of polish and therefore value for money. And it wasn't just me - my mum came to stay and said 'is your toe nail polish still on?' she'd been on a beach holiday and hers was still going strong.

The pedicure itself (we had the Beauty Lounge Pedicure) wasn't the cheapest at £35 for an hour but this was properly done even without knowing how long the colour was going to last. There's a lovely range of Essie and OPI colours to choose from (I took my own from Butter London) and your feet are soaked in lovely hot water - so often it can be tepid-cold which is hardly relaxing or I would have thought very helpful at softening the skin. I am also a big fan of the use of those terrifying razor-blade things rather than a file - such is the dryness of my feet - but they used a file and got my feet completely smooth. The massage was done properly and for long enough and the colour perfect, beautiful and long lasting. 

If you are in West London and want to go somewhere were they really know what they are doing, have incredible service and long-lasting results go to the Beauty Lounge on Turnham Green Terrace.

p.s I spoke to my mother about writing this post and she said she eventually removed hers on the 18th November because the regrowth was more than the colour and there was still not a chip to be seen. She confirms it to be the best pedicure she's ever had.

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas - Make-up

Buying make-up for someone else is really difficult but it can be done with clever buying and maybe a bit of sneakiness. If you are too scared to buy actual make-up then I’ve put some brushes and other things below which are fantastic too. 

My husband has a tendency to panic-buy things whilst out Christmas shopping, if you do this to then my advice is to go somewhere with a lot of counters (Selfridges, House of Fraser, Debenhams) find someone on a make-up counter who's make-up you like and ask them what they'd recommend. Remember you don't have to buy it though!

If you are brave enough to buy a foundation (remember you won’t be able to return it once it’s opened) then a bit of spying on what make-up they own already will help. Look at all the foundations they own and write down the brand, the name of the foundation and the colour (so for example MAC, Face and Body, N20). The brand and the name should be obvious, the colour which may be a number, will be on the bottom or the back. If in doubt take pictures on your phone. Any make-up counter worker worth their salt should be able to match you a colour if you take them these details. 

I will add this to the list as soon as its available.I will also add things as and when I think of them.

  • EM-J Company – Everything you could possibly want if you are a professional make-up artist but also lovely personal brush wraps. I’m a huge Jiminy fan myself but there is really is something for everyone in these designs.
  •  Rimmel ScandalEyes Shadow Stick Eye shadow pencils are the latest trend and these are a great budget buy/stocking filler. Available in lots of lovely colours very long lasting considering the price. I have Bluffing which would suit all eye colours. . 
  • CharlotteTilbury – there are more suggestions on my ‘What I’d Like’ recommendations but from what I've tried these are my top two. Filmstar Bronze & Glow – this suits all skin tones I’ve tried it on. The packaging is fabulous and would be a real treat for anyone who’s into make-up. Make-up Bag – this would be a lovely stocking alternative, stocking filler or present. I don’t have one of these by my god I want one.
  • Urban Decay Naked Palette – I love this palette (and all the Naked Palettes) but for me it’s the original here that is the best to give as a gift for sheer variety of colours so something for everyone.

  • Diorskin Star Fluid Foundation If you are brave enough then this is a beautiful foundation that would make a lovely present (festively named!). It’s quite a full coverage so only get this for someone if they are a wearer of foundation! 
  • Too Faced Cat Eyes Palette - some really gorgeous colours for those who love a bit of drama wet and dry formulas, matte and shimmer this is incredibly versatile with one of my absolute favourite gold/bronze shimmers from any palette. 

Friday 7 November 2014

Friday Video - Quick Review of Maybelline Better Skin Concealer

Constantly on the hunt for a great high street concealer and this one is good for the £5.99 price tag. Definitely one of the best I've tried... not entirely convinced by the 'better skin' claims. Please forgive my lack of lipstick.


Wednesday 5 November 2014

I will be doing some Christmas gift suggestion posts...

I always always get asked what to get people for Christmas so this year I thought I would do a few posts with my gift ideas for different kinds of people from make-up addicts to your mother-in-law, book lovers to the outdoorsy types - I’m hoping there should be something for everyone here. It’s been really tricky to do so I’ve tried to do a full range of ideas for each topic including stocking fillers to the rather more extravagant presents and, unless otherwise stated I’ve stuck to things I’ve tried and tested myself (or someone I know and trust has recommended). The last post is going to be what I’d like – this may seem like an extravagant hint to my husband (Hi Joe) but in fact it’s a list of things that I as a woman in my 30’s with 2 dogs, 1 child, (currently) 1 husband, living in London and an enthusiast of lots of things would like and make-up/beauty products that I haven’t tried. 

There was going to be a post every day in November but then I remembered the above list of dependents and didn't want to die from blogging so the posts will go up as and when they are ready and I'll also add to them if anything else springs to mind so if you need to find them you can just choose 'Christmas Gift Ideas' from the tag list on the right!
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