Thursday 31 January 2013

NOTD Barry M Coral Cuteness

It's a particularly grey day here and I needed a bit of cheering up so what's  better than a bit of coral manicure,  gorgeous! 

I love Barry M nail paint, it's cheap, cheerful, has an amazing spectrum of colours and has reasonable chip resistance. This shade is Coral, 296. Available from  Superdrug for a purse friendly £2.99. 

Mood is lifted :-) 

Helen X

Friday 25 January 2013

Rimmel Apocalips Review

For all you lip gloss loving ladies!

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Rimmels latest offering of lip products. Apocalips is a lip lacquer that combines the colour of a lipstick with the shine of a gloss.  It promises a conditioning, creamy formula with a high impact colour. Available in eight gorgeous shades, Eclipse (nude), Stellar (a stunning pink),  Luna (peachy), Big Bang (post box red), Apocaliptic (hot pink), Galaxy (plummy purple), Nova (bright pink) and finally Celestial (blush pink). 

I decided to go for the shade Celestial, but in hindsight I wish I'd been a bit braver and gone for something a little bit brighter such as Nova or Apocaliptic as they look stunning in the tube.However, I played it safe and went for a more wearable, everyday shade that would suit me.  

The packaging is great, I think that Rimmel have really invested some time into making Apocalips look really original for a high street brand. It's also incredibly useful being able to see the actual, colour in the end of the tube so it's simple to see what you're buying. The applicator itself is great, no mess or gloopiness whatsoever. There is a little well inside the sponge which enables the correct amount of product to be applied onto the lips with no need to re-dip into the tube. On applying the lacquer it doesn't feel like a gloss or a lipstick, it has a smooth and creamy texture and not at all sticky. It kind of feels more like applying a lip balm than a lip stick or gloss, lovely!

I usually wear lip glosses and steer clear of lipsticks as glosses are just so convenient so I was eager to see if Apocalips would offer a good compromise between the two. I think it does! 

I applied my first coat of Apocalips in the morning and I can honestly say after 3 cups of coffee that even though the product does come off onto cups, the staying power of the actual colour is very good, it becomes more of a lip stain. The glossiness did go after eating and drinking but was quickly resolved with a slick of Vaseline. I reapplied the lip lacquer a couple of times later in the afternoon but other than that I was overall impressed. 

For £5.99 I will definitely be purchasing some more colours to try and I think Apocalips will without a doubt be a new staple in my make up collection.

Available now from BootsSuperdrugRimmels facebook shop and other retailers, this is one product you lip gloss loving ladies must try out! 

Helen X

Monday 21 January 2013

Shoe of the Day

I was a bridesmaid at the weekend and thought I'd share my very sparkly shoes! These glittery beauties are by Paradox London. I love them, they completely suited the wintery themed wedding and looked amazing on. Not so easy to tackle snow and ice in but I'm still in once piece...just!

Helly's Top Tip:  Paradox London have an amazing selection of shoes. Although predominately aimed at brides and bridesmaids it's well worth checking out if you ever need any sparkly or glittery shoes as they have many to choose from. Definitely a case of 'shoe envy' for many of the styles they have!

Helen X

Wednesday 16 January 2013

GlossyBox Review: January 2013

I'd heard about Glossy Box a little while ago, you pay £12.95 (including p&p) and each month you get delivered 5 beauty miniatures to pamper yourself with (although I have read on other blogs that on occasions you do get full size items) After making a little bit of money on EBay I thought I'd give it a go to banish some January blues!

'Detox' Glossy Box - January 2013
I received my first Glossy Box yesterday and with it being January obviously the theme of this particular box is 'detox'. I have read that sometimes the products you receive can be hit and miss and that the delivery can be, at times terrible. However, my box arrived before 11am in perfect condition, no issues there. Firstly, the box and packaging are gorgeous. The miniatures come in a lovely, good quality pink box with the Glossy Box logo on top, the samples are then wrapped in black tissue paper and tied with a cute pink ribbon, how girly!

Glossy Box Contents:

1. Jason Lips Bee Healthier Lip Balm (RRP £1.99 for 4.6g) Useful! Love my lip balms as I've mentioned previously. It aims to quench dry lips by containing Beeswax, Vitamin E, Green Tea Extract and organic Aloe Vera Gel, to moisturise it contains Shea Butter and Sweet Almond Oil. It smells nice and was smooth to apply, will come in handy!

2. Premae Skincare, Balance Rescue Face Tonique (RRP £27.50 for full size 50ml) I love using a nice toner so was looking forward to trying this. I used it last night and it was really nice, my skin felt really clean and refreshed and because it is alcohol free it wasn't too harsh. The information supplied states that it contains antiseptic lemongrass, sandalwood oil and hydrating rose water, it's smells nice also.

3. Duck Island Limited Body Lotion (RRP £24.95 for 2 x 250ml) I'm constantly on the look out for great body moisturisers so was pleased to receive this. It smells  gorgeous, really fresh and citrusy. It is an oil free formulation and contains a fragrant combination of mandarin and bergamot, yummy! I tried a bit this morning and my skin was so smooth afterwards, I really liked this. 

4. Monu Aromatic Mask (RRP £24.95 for 100ml)  I'm not really a fan of face masks as I'm far too impatient to have one on of for 15 minutes! This particular mask does sound lovely. It's a warming clay mask which is supposed to help increase mineral and vitamin absorption instantly renewing and  invigorating the skin. Now I know I need this in my life so I'll definitely give it a go!

5. Elemis Fresh Skin Skin Glow Facial Exfoliator (RRP £12.00 for 100ml) Now this I was looking forward to testing. I like Elemis products and I adore a good facial exfoliator, I think they do wonders for getting rid of dead skin and giving a glowing complexion. This particular exfoliator aims to nurture the skin and prevent premature ageing (I'm willing to try anything!) It contains cherry powder and jojoba beads and smelly yummy. 

The added extra that I received was a Glossy Box eye mask, not something I'd really use but cute all the same!

One of the things I think lets the box down is the leaflet that accompanies. The packaging and most of the products appear quite high end so why not do the same with the accompanying information? 

Overall I was pleased with the items. Next time I'd love to receive some make up items but I'll eagerly await the next box to see what that holds.

Anyone get anything different in theirs?

Helen X

Monday 14 January 2013

Shoe of the Day

I love these Holly Willoughby platforms from Very. I always feel very glamorous (and tall!) when wearing them. They are a lovely light grey colour and have the added bling factor with a gorgeous sparkly heel, they are actually quite versatile as they go with lots of things. Not so easy to walk in however!

Please Note: These shoes are last season but can be found on Ebay if anyone is desperate for a pair! 

Helen X

Thursday 10 January 2013

Beautiful Beauty Essentials

I got thinking about the beauty essentials that I just couldn't live without. Becoming a Mummy I haven't changed my beauty regime I've just learnt how to do it really, really quickly! Occasionally it does mean I have one half of my hair straightened and the other half gets sorted an hour later, but make up wise I'm rarely seen without at least a tinted moisturiser, a nude eyeshadow, eyeliner and bronzer/highlighter. To some this might seem extreme and ditch the make up altogether after having a baby, but the first few days home with Alfie I needed some normality, I needed to be me. 

These are my essentials.

1. Kerastase Resistance Ciment Thermique  I cannot praise this product enough. I swear by it, especially as I straighten my hair daily and use hair dye regularly. It's a must.  I use a 10p sized blob and run it through damp hair. It works by strengthening the internal fibres of the hair and protecting the surface. The result is (in my hair) shiny, stronger, heat protected hair. Although it costs around £15+ it lasts for a very long time. 

2. Tigi Headrush Shine Spray I've been using this product for years and love it. It smells amazing, is so lightweight and creates a lovely shine. I use it before using my straighteners without fail to get added shine and heat protection. Available widely for around £8 and one bottle goes a long way. 

3. Wella Silvikrin Hairspray (natural hold) I don't often use hairspray, but when I do I use this one as I find it gives a lightweight, natural and lasting hold. I also think it smells  nicer than some of the others that are available. 

4. Where would I be without my beloved GHD's ? I love my straighteners and I've been loyal to this brand for years. I think they are amazing, especially now you can curl with them (however there is a knack to this!).  The GHD's you can see in this picture are the 'pink orchid' variety, although the ceramic plates are really more purple than pink!

5. Dove Deodorant - Original What can I say about this?It's a deodorant, It does what I want it to do! Effective protection, fresh smell and lasts for a decent amount of time, definitely one of my essentials as a Mummy!

6. Nivea Cleansing Wipes (gentle) As much as I like to cleanse, tone and moisturise sometimes I just don't have the time (but remember cleansing, toning & moisturising is the best routine for amazing skin). These wipes are so handy and alot more travel friendly than packing bottles of lotions and potions. Definitely a Mummy must!

7. Nivea Creme I've always got a tub of this handy, it's a classic. It's quite a thick consistency to apply but I find if I use it overnight on my hands or on dry areas, in the morning they're really moisturised. 

8. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm This is an award winning , best selling product which I love. I use it under my foundation to make my skin more radiant or on its own if my skin needs a boost.  It helps smooth the appearance of my skin and makes it look alot fresher. It's great but for £28 I use it sparingly. 

9. Kiehl's Lip Balm & Carmex Lip Balm (cherry) Lip balms, lip balms, lip balms. My ultimate beauty essential. I cannot be without my lip balms. I have hundreds around the house and in my bags, I'm always using them. I picked these two as personal favourites. Kiehl's  is spf15 and is also lightly tinted and Carmex (cherry) makes your lips tingle on application and it really moisturises well. 

10.  I love perfume, particularly Ellie Saab. I always like to smell nice (who doesn't!). I discovered Ellie Saab a year ago and it's a gorgeous scent. It's fresh and zesty, I think it's got a really unique scent. I love the bottle design too :-) 

11. Clarins Eyeliner I love a dark kohl eyeliner and this is my favourite. It applies like a dream and comes with a smudger for the perfect smokey eye, quick and easy to apply in a rush.

12. E.L.F Mineral Infused Mascara I've just discovered this and for only £3.75 I'm impressed.  This gives a really nice coverage, not cloggy or clumpy at all. I do find I need 2 coats for a decent effect but overall great. I couldn't live without a mascara, I think it really picks tired eyes up (assuming you've used a decent concealer!). 

13. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick (rose) This award winning highlighter is the best (in my opinion). I've used alot of highlighters over the last few years and this is the ultimate. Not only can you use each of the different strips of colours as eye shadows but the highlighting glow it provides is gorgeous. I use it on my cheeks and decolletage  It's shimmery loveliness.  

14. Last but not least and not strictly beauty but lifestyle instead. I believe every Mummy should have a White Company Candle in their life. After I've put Alfie to bed I like nothing better than to light a candle and relax. This candle is called Verveine and has a light citrusy scent, it's lovely. 

Helly's Top Tips:  Super quick Mummy makeup: concealer, tinted moisturiser, a quick brush of powder to seal, some nude eyeshadow, eyeliner, a lick of mascara and a quick brush of highlighter or bronzer to the cheeks for a brighter complexion. This shouldn't take longer than 5 minutes.

 Now for the men in your life…

It’s always handy to have a list of some top beauty (or grooming) treats for men.  That way you know you have “go-to” options for your gift buying.

For older men, a visit to a hair transplant clinic could be a top beauty essential.  It would probably be a gift for a very special occasion, but it could do a lot to boost their self-confidence.

On the other hand, if you know a man with long hair, try treating them to some silk hair ties or a silk pillowcase (or both).  Silk is super-gentle on the hair and does a lot to prevent breakage.

For men with beards, there are some great beard oils available.  The best ones are basically a cross between hair conditioner and men’s scent.  They’ll appreciate how well it maintains their beard, you’ll both appreciate how good they smell.

Alternatively, if they do shave then a good razor is a must.  There are some great niche brands out there now bringing razors into the 21st century (seriously!).  One of the big differences between the mainstream brands and the new ones is that the new ones often use much more sustainable materials for the handles.  That means a lot less plastic in the world!

Moisturizers are always safe options for anyone, especially in summer and winter.  Men’s scents are also generally a good bet, particularly if you go for the more natural ones.

Anyone else got any good tips? 

Helen X

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Amaze Lamaze

My son has a lot of toys, they seem to multiply, my living room now seems to resemble Babies R Us. My modern, relatively neutral living room is now awash with varying tropical colours that babies seem to adore.  Alfie particularly seems to favour the Lamaze toys, especially 'Captain Calamari' I'm not sure whether it's the crinkly sounds, the bright colours,the rattle attached or the fact he can have a good chew on the tentacles but it's never far from his reach and to be honest it's a bit of a god send when teething!

What I personally like about the Lamaze products is that they always seem to have a lot of detail on them but at the same time they have been created to allow various developmental stages to be explored. More about the Lamaze infant developmental system can be found here. The website states that the object of the Lamaze toys is for the infant to be able to explore and learn about their world. 

Alfie has a few Lamaze toys, he also likes the 'All ears Elephant' (brilliant for popping in  his changing bag), 'Freddie the Firefly' (another one of Alfie's favourite) and a couple of the crinkly books which are also a great distraction toy. 

I bought Captain Calamari from Amazon for around £8.00 and Freddie the Firefly from John Lewis for £8.79 . They are also widely available from many other retailers.

Anything that saves my phone or the TV remote from being chewed and dribbled on is a winner in my eyes!

Helen X

Monday 7 January 2013

Shoe of the Day

These pretties are another pair from Next. They are my 'Dorothy' shoes. I'd had my eye on them for some time and my best friend surprised me with them as my Birthday gift (what a fantastic friend I have!). Shoes like this are far too gorgeous to be hidden away in a box, sparkle, sparkle pretty stiletto's!

I don't think the picture does them justice, they are a beautiful pair of heels.

Helen X

Sunday 6 January 2013

MUA Nail Constellation

One of the recent beauty crazes on the market are the Caviar manicures. It's a bit like taking a tub of hundreds and thousands and sprinkling them over nail polish for a unique and extravagant manicure. I've been intrigued to try this this for a while.

Many make up enthusiasts will be aware of the Ciaté  versions of this which is priced at £18 (!), however MUA (makeup academy)  have brought out their own version of this called 'nail constellation' and at a very reasonably priced £3 it's a steal! Even better at the moment they are on offer for £2 at Superdrug

They come in five different shades Gemini, Libra, Leo, Scorpio and Pisces, I chose the shade 'Gemini'  which is a pastel colour mix and I think it looks lovely in the bottle. The bottle itself has a funnel to enable easy application, instructions are available on the tag which is attached to the bottle. There is also a tutorial available here MUA tutorial.

I used GOSH holographic (shade 549, holographic hero) as my base, also available from Superdrug. I decided to just use on my pinkie's so as not to waste them!

They are actually really simple and quick to use. Here's what I did: 

1. Applied 1 coat of nail polish and then sprinkled the constellations over my nail using the funnel (make sure you have something to catch the excess like a bowl or paper)

2. Gently pressed the constellations into the polish and re sprinkled to have maximum coverage 

3. Working quickly while the polish is still tacky I then dipped the end of my finger in the excess beads to coat the top part of my nail

4. I waited until dry and painted over the top with a clear top coat to ensure extra staying power

In all honesty I was thinking these are never going to last, there is no way that they're going to stay on long at all (especially with an active baby, nappy changes, hand washing etc!) however I was pleasantly surprised. 

I took this picture after 5 hours and think they held up well. I lost a few beads in the middle but other than that they had good staying power. They are, in my opinion really only a one night type of thing as the next morning I had lost quite a few but overall I think they are a great product.

I'm definitely going to be experimenting with the other colours, I think for the price you can't really go wrong and the end result is manicure with a bit of a difference.

Helly's top tips:  When applying, use over a dish or something similar so you can then dip the tip of the nail in to cover that (this also allows you to put the excess beads back in the bottle). Gently press in the beads to the polish (too much pressure and you run the risk of the beads sticking to your finger!). Use a clear top coat when fully dry to ensure maximum staying power. 

Have fun!

Helen X

Shoe of the Day

My new additions found in the Next sale for £16 down from £35,  what a beautiful bargain!

Helen X

Saturday 5 January 2013

GOSH Holographic Nail Polish

Yesterday I discovered this beauty! Special edition holographic nail polish (shade: 549, holographic hero) I'm quite a fan of GOSH products (available from most Superdrug stores) I think for the high street they are excellent quality at a great price, in fact Superdrug are offering 1/2 price on selected GOSH nail polishes at the moment. When I picked this up I hadn't actually noticed it was holographic, I just thought it was silver so was very pleased when I got home and had a proper look at it!

When I first applied this I was a bit disappointed as it went on quite streaky and looked quite pale, however two coats later with a  super quick drying speed I was very impressed. When held under the right light it's absolutely stunning, I found myself just staring at my nails later in the evening as they kept catching the light and looking very prismatic. It's literally like having disco balls on your fingertips!

Trying to capture the total effect of this polish is quite difficult on camera and it looks much more impressive in real life. The bottle states it's for one night wear but in the picture below I've had the polish on for 24 hours and I still think it looks almost as good as on first application.

Helly's top tip: I would suggest adding a top coat into the layers for a little extra staying power but would advise against putting a top coat onto the final layer as it seems to dull the holographic effect to a degree.  Also for the maximum effect, apply before going out as it does seem to lose the intensity after 24 hours. 

Helen X

Epic Hot Choc

Jamie's Epic Hot Chocolate

I've recently developed this obsession with hot chocolate. I've no idea why as I've never really been into the sickly sweet chocolate gloop but the last few months I've enjoyed nothing better than curling up in bed with a mug of hot choc and a good book. 

After watching the Jamie Oliver Christmas special I thought I'd have a go at making his  'Epic Hot Chocolate' recipe. Ohhh it's good, so very good! It's actually a really simple recipe to follow and the only extra ingredient I had to buy was the malted drink (Horlick's etc).  After finding a suitable 'shakey shakey' container I whacked all the ingredients in and boom there you have it, an intense homemade hot chocolate powder!

Obviously I had to test it out for 'research' purposes. It really is epic, it's intense, it's dark, it's chocolatey and it doesn't last long once in the mug! One piece of advice, curl up, read a book and do not think about the calorie intake per mug! 

Helen X

Beautiful Boy

My Cheeky Chappy!

This cheeky chappy is my 7 month old baby boy Alfie. He entered the world on Saturday 26th May 2012 at 08:20 weighing a healthy 7lb 4oz. He is my world and my life. Nothing starts a day better than a big smile from him, Alfie cuddles and silly giggles. This is a new chapter to my life that is different every day!

Helen X

Thursday 3 January 2013

Blooming Beautiful Beauty

Christmas Beauty

Like any other twenty something new Mummy, (ahem, I am still in my twenties although my thirties are approaching far too quickly!) I'm obsessed with all things pretty and anything that will make me look more 'alive' and 'young', and more importantly awake! I say awake as in the last 7 months I've developed more black circles under my eyes than Marilyn Manson, sleep deprivation is something else! 

For Christmas I was lucky to receive some lovely gifts, many beauty related. I was very  pleased to receive some new Guerlain Meteorites which are just exquisite face pearls, rather pricey but beautiful never the less, I will review these in further posts. I also received some delicious Lush products and some new perfume (Roberto Cavalli). After assessing my already rather large make up collection I came to the decision that I needed more makeup in my life and treated myself to some new items. I wanted to try a new brand that wouldn't break the bank and I've favoured brands such as No7 & Rimmel (high street brands) and Clarins, Benefit, Lancome (as a treat) for as long as I can remember and after much consideration and recommendation I have decided to try the E.L.F (eyes,lips,face) brand, I had also been recommended Sleek cosmetics but that will be another month! Once I've received these products I will review these also, I wait to eagerly receive my parcel!

Helen X