Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm Review

23 May

Elemis_Pro_Radiance_Illuminating_Flash_Balm_50ml_1367399430As far as adding new products into my beauty routine goes, I’m normally quite reluctant. When the options are either a) stay in bed for an extra 10 mins, or b) get up to cleanse, tone, apply eye cream, sun protection, moisturiser and all other kinds of goop to my face, I’ll hit snooze every time.

However, I’ve recently discovered that Elemis Flash Balm is a THING THAT YOU NEED TO HAVE. It might seem like a brand new pre-make-up product to worry about, but in fact it saves you time, acting as an amazing moisturiser-primer-highlighter combo that does wonders for lacklustre skin.

I’ve been trying out this product for a few weeks now and I absolutely love it. You only need to use  a small blob each time and it sinks in easily, leaving skin feeling hydrated and soothed after cleansing.

However, the really wonders of this product become apparent when you apply make-up. It creates a perfectly even base for foundation, and holds it in place for longer, as well as giving you lovely glow-y skin. This is particularly great for when you want to use a more bronzed shade in the summer, as it gives it a more natural edge (overly-matte and orange is not a good look, as anyone who watches Snog Marry Avoid? will know).

£32, buy it here.


Urban Decay Glide On Eye Pencil Vault

1 May

urban-decay-glide-on-eye-pencil-vaultsI so wish I was writing about this product because I had a set to review, but I’m afraid the new Urban Decay Glide On Eye Pencil Vault  – featuring 40 full size eye pencils in various shades – will have to remain a dream purchase for me.

Soon to be on sale from Debenhams.com at an eye-watering £240, this set nevertheless saves a whopping £320 on the price of buying each pencil individually (£14 per pencil, in case you’re interested).

Just imagine having that much choice! I love a good eye pencil, and find it’s a much more flattering and easy way to add a splash of colour to the face than eye shadow.

What’s more, these Urban Decay pencils are good for your peepers as they’re enriched with vitamin E, jojoba oil and cotton oil.

A girl can but dream!

Darphin Perfecting Body Scrub – Review

29 Apr



Last week, a confusing thing happened. I was looking out of the window in the morning, and there was sun. People were walking to work without coats. I couldn’t see one puddle. I turned to my flatmate in bafflement, because I’d actually forgotten what to wear in such circumstances. Do you need a jacket in 19 degree temperatures? Can you get your legs out?

In the end I did both, feeling incredibly adventurous by bearing at last 4 INCHES of leg above my ankle for the trip to work. Unfortunately the legs in question were pasty and dull, after a winter in which they only times they’d been revealed were during marathon training sessions (needless to say, I didn’t even bother shaving them for those outings). Undoubtedly, it was time for operation summer skin had to commence.

I’ve been sent loads of fake tans recently so I’ll be reviewing those one by one, but first of all let’s look at one of the items I’ve been using to prepare myself for all that tanning – Darphin’s new Perfecting Body Scrub.

One thing I love about this product is that it’s much more gentle than some of the scrubs I’ve tried previously – the apricot seed flakes are big enough to exfoliate effectively, but not so big as to irritate the skin. It also washes off very easily, so you don’t get out of the shower only to find you’re still covered in little granules.

The smell and texture are very luxurious – as you would expect of a product of this price – although if you’re the type of person you likes a really foamy, lathery body wash you might be disappointed. Another sticking point is the packaging – maybe I’m being stupid but the cap on the bottle is really hard to open, especially if you have slippery wet hands in the shower!

Overall though I’d definitely recommend this product. It leaves skin feeling refreshed and radiant, ready for the next steps of your summer-goddess prep (to be continued…)

£29, buy here

Running my First London Marathon

25 Apr



Blogging has taken somewhat of a back seat over the past few weeks – just like my social life, wine habit, high heels and ability to talk about anything other than running. That’s because I ran the London marathon on Sunday – and I bloody finished!

It’s been a long 16 weeks in training through the most godawful winter in living memory, but the day of the marathon turned out beautifully bright and warm. Strangely, I wasn’t nervous at all when I woke up at 6am to  set off for Greenwich, even though this was my first marathon. Perhaps that’s because I’d been to the London marathon expo during the week, and noted that while there were loads of super-fit lycra-clad people walking around, there were also many fellow normals schlepping about in their work clothes. I wasn’t alone.

Even the day before the marathon I was fairly calm. In fact my overwhelming feeling was that I was absolutely stuffed – a week of carbs and water left me never wanting to touch a piece of bread again (gladly, that’s passed!) Reluctantly I shoveled down an entire Waitrose pizza – this would normally be a dream come true – and glugged my umpteenth glass of squash before waddling off to bed.

In the morning, I ate a bowl of porridge and put on my snazzy British Dyslexia Association vest, filled all my pockets with carb gels and set off on the tube for Greenwich. It was great to see lots of other runners on their way too – for once the tube code of conduct was broken and we actually chatted to each other anticipating the day ahead.

I arrived at the race start area about an hour and a half before the actual marathon began, which gave me time to put my bag on the luggage truck, reply to my good luck texts, eat two bananas, go to the loo FOUR times and stretch out my legs in preparation. Then it was off to the starting zones (I was right at the back in zone 9, along with all the clowns and rhinos!) to get ourselves ready to run.

The starting zones were buzzing with excited chatter and nervous energy – some people there were seasoned marathon runners, others, such as me, had no idea what to expect. Having gone up to 21 miles in training, and absolutely hated it, I was planning to take the marathon slow and steady, aiming for a pace somewhere between 9.15 and 9.30 minute miles.

A 30 second silence in memory of the Boston bombing victims brought a sudden sense of calm and peace to the proceedings, and was followed by a huge cheer before the race got underway. Inevitably, starting right at the back meant a fair amount of dawdling before I actually crossed the start line – but 20 minutes after the gun went off, I got there and my first ever marathon began.

It’s a good thing I was planning to go slow at the start because frankly you didn’t get a choice – just the sheer volume of runners meant I was often stuck behind other people. However, the benefit of not going too fast was that I was able to really get a look around – at Greenwich looking rather gorgeous in the sun, all the people who had come out of their houses to cheer, the little old ladies waving from their windows and some of the amazing costumes around me (full kudos to the guys who did it trapped inside sweaty Mr Men outfits!)

The first 20 miles were lovely, sunny and easy. Going round the resplendent Cutty Sark, as I’d watched so many marathon runners do on TV in the years before, was great, and crossing Tower Bridge with huge crowds cheering either side was one of those moments I’ll remember forever. I loved pounding the streets between the imposing skyscrapers of Canary Wharf at mile 18, and was given an extra boost when I spotted my friends there screaming their heads off and waving banners.

By mile 19, I was happily pondering on the fact I might never hit ‘the wall’ and then, at mile 20, it came. Suddenly every step was both a mental and physical effort, and every mile seemed to stretch on into eternity. From here on in, it was focusing on tiny things that kept me going – one person shouting my name, thinking of the feeling I’d get when I crossed the finish line, the refreshment of just a tiny sip of water and thinking motivational thoughts such as “if bloody Amy Childs can do this, then so can I.”

By the last mile, I was sweating, grimacing and literally grunting (much to the bewilderment of the poor guy running next to me), but the sight of Big Ben and then the approach to Buckingham Palace meant I knew the end was in sight. Turning the corner onto the Mall and seeing the finish line just metres away has to be one of the most beautiful sights of my life, and I even managed to put in a sprint finish, taking me over in 4 hours 13 minutes – by no means amazing, but not bad for a first timer.

As soon as I’d crossed the line, I could barely walk, and even went to the wrong van to collect my bag because my brain couldn’t handle the numbers! But I’d done it, and after meeting friends and family I went home and celebrated just how any classy girl would – by eating sausage batter and chips and watching 4 hours of The O.C. on the sofa.

Product of the Day – Monochrome Bag

5 Apr

accessorize bag


I know monochrome is in, but wearing all over black and white just feels a bit overkill to me. This cross body bag from Accessorize offers a more subtle take on the trend.

£25, buy here

Product of the Day – Topshop Clogs

4 Apr



I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want…THESE SHOES. ON MY FEET. NOW.

£48, buy here.

Models Own Ice Neon Nail Varnish in Bubblegum

2 Apr



photo (7)


Models Own are always bringing out on-trend collections, and the Ice Neon range is a great way to tap into this summer’s fluoro look.

Available in pink, purple, yellow, green and the orangey-red I went for, above, these colours are basically a more sophisticated version of when you used to colour in your nails with highlighter pens at school.

Apparently you’re meant to keep them in the fridge as well, as this helps the fluorescent colour last. However, I noted that Boots were just keeping them on the shelves – a policy I might stick to since my flatmates will kill me if my beauty habits starts to find their way into any more areas of the house.

I love the punchy colour of Ice Neon Bubblegum – it’s bright and garish (i.e. all the things I love). It’s also a great summer shade, and would look great on sandal-clad toes as well as fingers.

But but but…don’t expect this bad boy to last. Much like one of those friends who is wildly good fun on a night out but you then don’t see for months, you can’t rely on this polish to stick around. Mine was badly chipped by the second day, and right now I’m typing with approx. 10% of my nails still clinging onto the colour.

All in all – great shade for a night out, but will take major maintenance if you want to keep it on for more than a day.

£6 from Boots.




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