Archive | September, 2012

Spots and Stripes Nails

28 Sep



I realise these nails are a bit messy, but thought I’d share them with you anyway as an example of what happens when I sit down to do a bit of nail art sans plan. They started out as black and white stripes,  but when that was done I still had 20 more minutes of Don’t Tell The Bride to watch so I added some dots as well (watching trashy TV whilst doing my nails is one of my favourite activities…)

While no one has told me they look nice, I did get a “Woah your nails look weird”, which as far as I’m concerned, is praise indeed.


Milan Fashion Week – White eyes at Moschino

24 Sep

moschino-lindsey-wixsonI like to think of myself as reasonably adventurous when it comes to make-up, and I’m sure my dear brother, who often asks whether I’ve “painted my face with Crayolas again” would agree.

However, I’m not sure whether I’m going to attempt the full-on white eye shadow look from the Moschino show at Milan Fashion Week – as seen here on top model Linsdey Wixson.

Although it’s certainly striking, I can tell this is a trend that probably doesn’t translate from catwalk to soggy-commute-to-work very well.

I reckon a more subtle take on the Moschino look is the way to go here – as you can see from the image below, a little white eye shadow in the inner corners of the eye leaves eyes looking bright and sparkling. Although I guess with a face like that, it’s kinda hard to go wrong!

You can see my post on London Fashion Week S/S 13 Make Up trends here.

Must-Have Luxury Hair Products

21 Sep


When I tell people I work for a hair magazine one of the first things they ask me – after “Can you get me a free haircut?” – is which products I would recommend for their hair.

It’s a great perk of  my job getting to try out lots of shampoos, conditioners, treatments and oils, even if my poor flatmate does sometimes despair at the amount of bottles filling up our tiny, slightly mouldy bathroom.

Obviously everyone’s hair is really different and I can’t give a completely accurate prescription to someone with, say, ultra-fine or Afro hair, but there are some universal problems and products I can recommend…



THE SOLUTION: Moroccanoil

I apologise for being predictable on this one but, having tried LOTS of very expensive oils, this one wins every time. It sinks in perfectly without a greasy residue, smells lovely and makes a huge difference to the condition of the hair. I noticed this particularly when I had dip-dyed bleached blonde ends – the only thing that could coax them into good condition was a good dose of Moroccanoil.

RUNNER UP: L’anza Healing Oil

THE PROBLEM: Hair that won’t hold a style

THE SOLUTION: Bumble & bumble Does It All Hairspray

Anybody who knows the frustration of spending hours creating the perfect ghd curls, only for them all to drop out the minute you leave the house, will understand the necessity of a good hairspray. The best one I’ve tried is Bumble & bumble Does It All, which holds hair in place without that horrible crispy feeling (never good when the boy you’ve got your eye on tries to run his hands through your hair).

RUNNER UP: KMS California Hot Flex Spray



THE SOLUTION: U Luxury D Frizz Argan Oil 

This is the only oil I’ve come across available in spray form, which is great when you just want a tiny amount of the stuff to smooth down flyaway hairs and polish off your look. A little mist of the argan oil also leaves hair looking shiny and groomed – nice one to keep in your handbag!

RUNNER UP: Moroccanoil (applied pre-drying)


THE PROBLEM: Colour-damaged hair

THE SOLUTION: Montibel.lo Total Repair Shampoo and Mask

Montibel.lo is a new brand to the UK, but is stocked in over a third of salons in Spain. It was introduced to me recently by a PR, who assured me it was the best thing she’d ever tried on her unruly hair (“whatever” I thought, “I’ve heard that one before!”) Well I take it all back because this stuff is amazing – particularly the Mask which can be used as a daily conditioner for soft, detangled, smooth hair. My locks have been through a lot – just a quick browse through my Facebook photos shows I’ve been every colour from dark brunette to blonde – but this stuff makes it feel as good as new.

RUNNER UP: Philip Kingsley Elasticizer (pre-shampoo treatment invented for Audrey Hepburn no less!)


THE PROBLEM: Greasy roots

THE SOLUTION: Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo

Shu Uemura is one of those brands that just exudes luxury, from the design of the packaging, to the fragrance of the products, to, unfortunately, the price tag. The first ever hair press launch I went to was for the Cleansing Oil Shampoo, and all I can say is – it’s divine. Although you may think that using an oil shampoo to remove grease sounds like a weird idea, the truth is that oil is very effective in removing oil, so if I ever feel a bit like a greasy teenager I turn to this shampoo.

RUNNER UP: Kevin.Murphy Luxury.Wash (gorgeous Australian brand with good green credentials)


Statement Nails

20 Sep


As you’ve probably worked out by now, I struggle with the idea of wearing just one nail polish at a time – with a shopping habit like mine, there are just so many to get through! This is why the idea of a stand-out ‘statement nail’ kind of appeals to me.

I don’t really go in for those big, fake, adorned statement nails  – *cough* tacky *cough* – but I don’t think you can go wrong with a cute little sparkler like this one.

Obviously the glitter nail polish is Models Own Hedkandi Ibiza Mix because it’s AMAZING (like any true fanatic I did a tribute here). Honestly, my love of this polish can only be compared to a hardcore One Directioner, apart from the fact I don’t send death threats to other people who use it.  However, I do sense the forthcoming Mirrorball Collection might steal my heart…

The pink shade is OPI Nail Lacquer in Feelin-Hot-Hot-Hot, which I think we’ll all agree, is an excellent  name. I got this in a press goodie bag at some point and it seems to be a pretty long-lasting little fella.

What are your thoughts on the statement nail? Kelly-Rowland-Cool or a bit brash and unelegant?!


London Fashion Week S/S 13 Make Up Trends

17 Sep





Sultry, feline eyesglossy, jewel-tone lips and lightly tanned skin paid homage to the 1970s at Issa’s London Fashion Week show. A beautiful, flattering look, this could be worn anywhere from the office to a first date (70s disco dancing optional).




Looking liked they’d just stepped home from a sunny stroll, models at Maria Graschvogel’s show were given a youthful, natural look perfect for the spring. Flawless, dewy looking skin is the focus for this trend – couple it with just a slick of mascara and nude lip gloss.




Let your eyes do the talking with this striking look from Moschino, teaming electric blue eyeliner with a barely-there base and subtle lips. Easy to achieve with a swipe of vivid colour, this is a look that’s bound to be popular at summer festivals and parties.




Outlandish eye shadows and chalky pink lipstick complemented the psychedelic sixties feel of PPQ’s London Fashion Week show, creating a daring summer look for the true fashionista. For a subtler version of this look, stick to just one statement feature.




Eyebrows were strong and eyelids had a warm, copper glow at the Sass & Bide show, providing a cool, rock chick look with laidback attitude. For this trend, choose a matte base and add a sweep of bronze eyeshadow before emphasizing brows with an eyebrow pencil.

New trend – lip pens

14 Sep

Every so often a bunch of brands will jump on board with a bright idea and a new product is born. We’ve seen it most prominently this year with BB Creams, but lips pens are also becoming a bit of a feature on most make-up stands – here’s a few that I’ve tested.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain – Rendezvous





For some reason I’m always drawn to orangey and coral lips colours, and then when I’ve bought them realise they actually don’t suit my colouring at all. However I’m quite keen on this one – it’s subtle rather than overpowering, and leaves lips looking full and glossy. I’d say the ‘balm’ part of its name applies more than the ‘stain’ – it’s not that long-lasting but does feel hydrating and is quite fun to re-apply with the little pen!

Rimmel Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Timeless Tango





I luuuurve the colour of this lip colour, which is much more durable than the Revlon offering. That’s probably because it has two ends – one which gives the colour stain and looks a bit like a felt tip marker pen, the other a moisturising clear balm. I have to say applying lip colour with a pen nib makes things a lot easier due to the increased precision, and the colour definitely lasted longer than your average lippie. Like it!

Collection 2000 Colour Pout Lasting Lip Stain – Pucker





Apologies for the slightly blurry end photo here – realised that if I spent any more time poncing about taking pictures of my lips I was actually going to miss my train to work. Again I am really keen on the colour of this – it’s rich and jewel-like, perfect for autumn/winter and the gothy trend. As I reported in my previous post, I’ve been quite surprised by the good quality of Collection 2000 products, and this one stayed on my lips for hours. Next test will be seeing how long it is before the pen dries out!

Blue mascara – The Verdict

13 Sep



A few weeks ago I wrote about the popularity of coloured mascara on the catwalk, so I’ve decided to give the look a go myself.

Since this was a bit of an experiment, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so for the first time since my teenage years, I headed towards the Collection 2000 section, hoping to find something bright.

I was actually quite impressed with the selection of bright eyeliners and mascaras available – apart from Barry M, a lot of the other brands only seem to dally with this look by way of a muted green eyeliner or very dark blue mascara. Collection 2000 had more vivid tones available, and at unbelievably cheap prices (although I’m always wary of make up that costs under £2!)

I opted for Collection 2000 Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner in Teal, and Collection 2000 Colour Lash Mascara in Electric Blue. Both proved to be surprisingly long lasting – particularly the liner – and even though I’ve read plenty of beauty columnists condemning this look as childish and faddy, I actually quite like the results, especially if worn with the rest of the face pared-down.

Will you be embracing this trend?

collection 2000 extreme felt tip liner teal


collection 2000 colour lash electric blue

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