Glowing Summer Makeup with the Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette

Tuesday, 30 April 2013
Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette* - £20.00

I'm not usually one for 'natural'-looking makeup, but as summer is growing nearer, I've decided to start experimenting with glowy summer looks and less eye makeup (by this, I basically mean less falsies!), as there is nothing worse than streaming black eye makeup and melting foundation during the summer months. I'm always envious of those who seem to always have that natural, golden, dewy-glowing look about them (I'm talking a Millie-Mac-from-MIC kind of glow), so I thought I would set about recreating the look for myself.

When perusing my product stash for suitable products to recreate this look with, my eyes fell upon the Naked Flushed Palette and I just knew it would be the perfect product for the job. I got this whilst interning at Marie Claire a few months ago and have been in love with it ever since. I'm a huge fan of Urban Decay, but I've only really ever used their primers and eyeshadows, so trying out their blush/bronzer/highlighter palette was an exciting experience, and I had high hopes, if their amazing shadows were anything to go by. 

I wasn't disappointed. The Naked Flushed Palette features three gorgeous products; a matte bronzer, suitable for a plethora of skintones, a shimmery beige highlighter, and a basic pink blush with a slight coral tint to it, again, suitable for multiple skintones. I love the bronzer - it is a lighter shade than I would usually go for but it's buildable and this is great for when I'm paler, or if I just want a subtle bronze over my cheekbones. I love matte bronzers and this is a gorgeous shade. The highlighter is seriously STUNNING. I was a bit underwhelmed when looking at it in the pan, but on the skin it gives the most gorgeous radiant glow. I used it on my brow bone, my cheekbones, my nose, chin and cupid's bow and absolutely loved the healthy sheen it gave me. The blush is also a lovely colour that will compliment so many skintones, and gives a really pretty flush. I used all the products separately in the images above, but they can also be swirled together to create a really pretty mix. 

For the rest of the look, I kept it pretty simple. I used Urban Decay Moonbeam and Sidecar on my lids, some pale shimmery shadow in my tear ducts, a flick of black eyeliner to line my eyes, and swept some mascara over my lashes. I then added a touch of MAC's Please Me lippy to my lips and voila - the finished look. I'm really pleased with how this look turned out and I can't rate the Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette enough. I absolutely love it and it's perfect for when you're on the go. I think it creates a beautiful glowy look and I will be definitely getting a lot of use out of it over the summer. 

Have you tried Urban Decay's Naked Flushed Palette yet? What do you think of the look I created with it?

Salonspy.co.uk


I was recently approached by SalonSpy.co.uk to work with them on reviewing salons in my local area. After a little peruse of their website, I jumped at the chance to get involved. I'm all about giving honest, in-depth reviews and I think the way SalonSpy.co.uk works is amazing at giving people the chance to voice their opinions and let others know about the good, AND the bad salons in their area. 

I am the most nit-picky (pardon the pun) person when it comes to getting my hair done. I am always terrified when going to a new hairdressers, after so many hair disasters in the past I've found myself with a bit of a complex about sitting in the hairdressing chair. However, a website like SalonSpy.co.uk will help put people like myself's minds at ease. The concept surrounding SalonSpy.co.uk is simple; wondering about whether to book an appointment at a hair salon in your area? Simply type it into the search, and you will be met with dozens of honest reviews from genuine customers, discussing not just the quality of service, but the overall atmosphere, the products used, the staff, and how the treatment made them feel. It provides listings for almost every salon and spa in the UK (it currently has over 51,000 listings) - so it's not just hair salons, but beauty salons and spa retreats that can also be looked up and reviewed on there.

It's a completely free service and I'm kind of seeing it as the Tripadvisor of hair and beauty salons (if you've scoured the web for hotel reviews before, you'll know which site I'm on about!). The great thing about it is as well as giving customers the chance to voice their honest opinions, it also lets the salons receive feedback so they can look at improving their services. Some salons are really active on SalonSpy.co.uk and will give responses to reviews, which I think is a great social way of interacting with salon and customer, and will help in bringing quality of service up.

In the next few weeks I will be visiting a local salon and rating my experience on SalonSpy.co.uk, as well as giving you guys an in-depth honest review on what I thought of it. I can't wait to share the verdict with you guys, fingers crossed it'll be a good one!

Have you used SalonSpy.co.uk before? Do you think you'll be using it in the future?

*I have NOT been paid by SalonSpy.co.uk but I will be receiving complimentary treatments through them. Of course my reviews will be 100% honest, as always.*

Paul Mitchell Forever Blonde Review: My New Favourite Haircare Range

Monday, 29 April 2013

Lately I've been making a much more conscious effort to look after my hair. I've ditched the back-combing, cut down on washing, and started taking time out to use deep treatments and hair masks. The thing that I always struggle with when it comes to keeping my hair in good condition, however, is finding a good day-to-day shampoo and conditioner. I go through phases with shampoos and conditioners you see - sometimes I'll be convinced that it doesn't make a difference whether you buy a cheapy shampoo/conditioner or an expensive one, and I will literally buy whatever's on offer, or there are other days where I find myself soughting after the most expensive brand in the shop, convinced it will miraculously transform my hair. I don't always pay attention to what type of shampoos/conditioners I buy either really, but after trying Paul Mitchell's new haircare range tailored for blonde hair, I definitely think I should. 

I was recently sent Paul Mitchell's range of Blonde hair products to try out, and considering I have (faux) blonde hair, this was the perfect range for me to put to the test. I never really pay attention to the 'blonde' ranges I see sitting on the hairdresser's/drugstore's shelf; instead I look for strengthening and repairing products. However, it's important to note that as blonde hair is more than likely a little bit frazzled from all the bleaching and colouring, the majority of blonde-specific haircare products take this into account, and contain strengthening and conditioning ingredients. Paul Mitchell's range is no different. 

All of the products in the range by Paul Mitchell (bar the Platinum Shampoo) contain a unique and exclusive KerActive protein blend that helps to restore and rebuild damaged hair. They are all also infused with safflower oleosomes to help add moisture to the hair, something which blonde hair is always lacking. The Forever Blonde Shampoo is great because it doesn't just cleanse the hair, it nourishes it too, and you can definitely notice this when using the product. It is also sulfate free and so isn't harsh or abrasive on the hair. It's pretty thick, as far as shampoos go, which I really like as it feels like it's looking after the hair whilst cleansing it. The Forever Blonde Conditioner is also extremely thick and creamy, infused with macadamia nut oil, and I absolutely love it as it makes my hair feel so incredibly soft and nourished. The Platinum Blonde Shampoo does a great job of toning my hair down and neutralising brassiness, but other than that it's like most run-of-the-mill purple shampoos. The Dramatic Repair product is a little spray loaded with with all the elements from the other products, in a really light anti-frizz and anti-static detangling spritz. It is great for combing through hair after washing, and gives hair that little extra leave-in boost that it needs for repairing and conditioning. 

Overall I am so impressed with Paul Mitchell's range of Blonde products. Although I felt the Platinum Blonde Shampoo was a tad underwhelming, I cannot rave enough about the other products in the range. Using the Forever Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner, as well as the Dramatic Repair, my hair has improved in strength so, so much. It feels in a much better condition, is softer and smoother, and I've had lots of compliments about how shiny it looks. I've been struggling to find a shampoo and conditioner that I'm completely in love with, until now. The only thing I will say is make sure you press the lid down on these products properly; they need a firm push to click into place, otherwise you'll end up chucking shampoo down the sink, quite literally (I did this, gutted). Other than that I absolutely adore these products and will most definitely be repurchasing. Paul Mitchell products are available at selected salons and online. Although they're not the cheapest of hair products, they are most definitely worth it. 

Are you a fan of Paul Mitchell products? 

Still Into You

Friday, 26 April 2013
Skirt: New Look
Shoes: Primark
Necklace: H & M 
Watch: Michael Kors

Seen as the weather has been pretty damn nice and sunny of late, I've been fully embracing the warmth and 
sunshine and getting into the swing of summer fashion. I love this time of year, it's so nice to no longer have to don a coat everywhere, and my beloved summer clothes are finally getting a wear. I bought this amazing tie-dye crop top from Missguided when they were doing free next day delivery last week and I adore it. I'm not one for getting my midriff out, but with high-waisted things I think crop tops look awesome. It's so many pretty colours too, I love it. 

I decided to pair it with my trusty denim skirt (totally think I need to get another one of these bad boys!) and a statement necklace for a simple yet cute little outfit. I love wearing these kind of outfits, I just wish I had some bright pink high-tops or something to finish it off, as my studded flats don't really pack a punch. Aw well! 

I'm making a conscious effort to stop back-combing my hair so much, in a bid to keep it nice and healthy. I actually really like how it looks in these pics - I think I hide behind my beehive a little too much sometimes. It's nice to have my hair a little simpler, plus, it sure as hell saves on the hairspray! 

I hope you're all okay, and having a lovely weekend! Thank god it's Friday! 

Avenue 32: Fairytale Fashion Wishlist

Thursday, 25 April 2013
Avenue 32
1.Wunderkind Multi Floral Cotton Dress, £750/2.Zara Simon Gold London Ring, £1430/3. Husam el Odeh Frozen Rose Pendant, £230/4.Lena Erziak Clear Lucite Adam Apple Bag, £425/5. Frends Gold Taylor Headphones, £170/6. Temperley London Powder Blue Francine Tattoo Dress, £2500

Now, I'm not usually one to be perusing designer websites, but it is rather nice to have a little look every now and again, and start making a little wishlist, for when I inevitably win the lottery/write a best-seller/discover a money tree and can obviously afford to buy everything. Anyway, I digress. Avenue 32 is a website I recently discovered that sells a wealth of beautiful designer clothing. After having a little browse on there, I put together this little wishlist, which I feel has a distinct fairytale theme to it. 

First up, I cannot gush enough over this abso-bloody-lutely stunning dress from Wunderkind. Embellished with gold flower detailing, it screams ethereal fairytale princess and is completely breathtaking to behold. I'm actually becoming a little bit obsessed with it and considering saving up the £750 smackaroons it costs to buy. Which, actually, I don't think is that bad, for such a beaut of a dress. It is most definitely a midsummer nights dream dress. Next up, I spied this quirky ring and knew it had to go on my list. A must for London lovers, it recreates some of the infamous sights (London Bridge, The Eye and the like) in a simple-yet-stunning ring. As it's made to order, it'll set you back a rather steep £1420. Still, it's a pretty unique piece of jewellery, and I completely love it. 

Continuing with the fairytale theme, I couldn't resist putting this delicate frozen rose pendant by Husam el Odeh on my list. As soon as I saw it, I had visions of the withering rose from Beauty and the Beast, and adding the fact it is rose gold and would go perfectly with the Wunderkind dress into the equation, it just had to make the list. It is so beautiful and at £230, not that pricey either. J'adore. Again, in keeping with the ethereal, wondrous and magical, I stumbled across this amazing clear apple bag, with gold leaf detail. It just screams Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the fact it's clear (almost like glass) had me reminiscing over my dissertation and a piece I wrote about in it called 'Snow Glass Apples' (which is really good if you fancy looking it up!) It's such a simple piece yet definitely gives an impact. Totally love it. 

I'm a bit obsessed with headphones at the minute, so when I spied this super-sleek selection of fashionable headphones by Frends I fell in love. I'm completely lusting after the rose gold pair - need! Then, finally, I just had to finish with this absolute dream of a dress, the Francine Tattoo Dress by Temperley London. It is the epitome of enchanted, ethereal, dazzling and dreamy, in a gorgeous powder blue, with romantic ruffles. At £2500 it is the most expensive item on my list, but it's most definitely one of the prettiest. I can totally picture someone like Millie Mac from MIC wearing this and looking a million dollars. So gorgeous.

Overall I've fallen head over heels in love with these pieces from Avenue 32 and I can definitely see me popping on there more and more to spy their beautiful designer pieces. Have you looked on Avenue 32 before? What do you think to my wishlist?

*This is a sponsored post*

Botanics 'Shine Away' Mattifying Day Cream Review

Wednesday, 24 April 2013
Boots Botanics 'Shine Away' Mattifying Day Cream - £3.49

When it comes to moisturiser, I only really look for the answer to one question; does it keep oil at bay? Having considerably oily skin means I'm always a little reluctant to want to use moisturiser on it, but knowing how important it is, I always look for a moisturiser that has mattifying properties. I've tried a lot of moisturisers - some that focus on clearing acne, whilst keeping oil away, and some that purely aim to control oil. I've tried cheap Simple products and expensive products from Dermalogica, yet I've never really found anything that I'm completely taken with. Until now. 

I've always been a fan of Botanics skincare products - they're cheap and cheerful yet they always seem to do the job. So, when I saw the Botanics 'Shine Away' Mattifying Day Cream on offer, I decided, on a whim, to purchase it. I wasn't expecting miracles for £3.49 - but I'm always keen to try new products and as I hadn't yet found a moisturiser I liked enough to repurchase, I thought, why not?! 

Now, I can usually tell if I'm going to get on with a moisturiser by its texture, and this product is seriously light and fresh on the skin, exactly what I look for. It sinks into the skin beautifully and after using it for a good few months I've been seriously impressed with the results. It keeps my skin matte and oil-free and makes a brilliant base for foundation, as well as keeping my foundation in place all day long. It also contains clarifying willowbark which is a natural source of salicylic acid (a spot-fighting ingredient I swear by) to help keep skin clear. Using it has definitely helped improve my skin and couldn't be without it now. I will most definitely be repurchasing once I've finished with this little tub, and I'm so happy I've finally found a moisturiser that I really love.

Have you tried any of the Botanics skincare products? What did you think?

Clarins Splendours Collection Review

Friday, 19 April 2013
Clarins Splendours Summer Bronzing Compact* (£30.00) and Colour Quartet & Liner Palette* (£31.00)

Introducing my current favourite summer collection from Clarins. To be honest, I've never tried Clarins makeup before and I've never really shown much interest in it, but when I spied the absolutely stunning Splendours collection I immediately fell for the brand. The first thing that struck me about these products is just how beautiful they are to look at. Inspired by the Mayan symbols and ancient ruins, they are ridiculously pretty to look at - almost too pretty to use - and the packaging is sleek and has a very luxe feel.

The Summer Bronzing Compact is fast becoming one of my favourite bronzers - it gives a seriously golden, beautiful glow, and it is so finely milled that it blends into the skin perfectly. It is predominantly a matte bronzer, which is great, but the fab thing about it is in the centre there is a stunning, shimmery pale gold which adds a touch of shimmer to the cheeks. It's great because you can choose to sweep around the centre for a matte look, or use the whole compact and add some lovely summery shimmer. I love how this bronzer makes my skin look and it is completely perfect for summer. Just sweeping it on my cheeks makes me feel like I've been whirled away to some glorious desert island (if only!)

Next, onto the palette. I am a huge fan of neutral shades, golds and browns, so this palette immediately gets my vote. It features four delicious shades; a warm gold, a pale beige, a deep brown and a rose gold. It also comes with a black liner shade. These colour combinations are amazing and I particularly love using the pale beige and rose gold together, or the warm gold with the brown on the outer corner (which is what I have on in the images). The shades are really pigmented, shimmery and blend well, making this an ideal palette if you're a fan of shimmery neutral shadows. Which, luckily, I am! 

Overall I am so impressed with these beautiful products and I can see them getting a lot of use over the summer months. The shadow and bronzing compact combination give me such a warm, golden glow, perfect for days in the sunshine. Absolutely love them! 

Have you tried Clarins' Limited Edition Splendours Collection? What did you think?

There's no place like home...

Thursday, 18 April 2013
Tangled fans - can you spot Pascal? ;) 

I'm a bit interior-obsessed so I thought it was about time I did a little peek into my room. That, and the fact Fashion for Home are running a 'Home Love' photo competition in which you post pics of your favourite room, the prize being a not-too-shabby £500 to spend at Fashion for Home. I'm getting really into my competitions at the minute, and seeing as I've always wanted to do a 'room tour' type post, I thought why not?! 

Like my fashion sense of style, when it comes to interiors I'm obsessed with girliness and florals. I have a love for vintage and shabby chic, adore white furniture and love having cute little knick knacks dotted around. I've had a love affair with Cath Kidston for years, meaning that my room is very much decked out in floral decor. Some might call it complete granny-chic, but I LOVE it. I drape flowers wherever I get the chance, have embroidered butterflies and birds perched on various areas of my room, and can't resist a bit of bunting. 

Unfortunately, I didn't get to show you ALL of my room in this post as my window-area is being redone and so is a bit in disarray at the moment, meaning I couldn't show you my beloved makeup area. However I'll hopefully do another post similar to this in the future, as I just love having a nose round peoples' houses and I'm sure you do too! I'm thinking of maybe popping in some info on shops I recommend going to for pretty-yet-affordable bits and pieces, if that is something you guys would be interested in? 

I hope you enjoyed a little peek into my room and let me know if you've entered the Fashion for Home competition too. Typical me left entering to the very last minute, as it closes at midnight tonight! Eep! 

Lashes of London Giveaway! [CLOSED]

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


A little while ago I blogged about my goooorgous sequin dress from Lashes of London, and the lovely people at Lashes have now given me the opportunity to host a giveaway for all you gorgeous readers. I absolutely adore Lashes of London, their SS13 collection is to die for, so this is definitely a giveaway to get involved with! I have my eye on this beautiful candy-coloured dress - most definitely a must for summer. 

So what do you have to do to enter? Simply 'like' the Lashes Facebook page here, and let me know in the comments below which item from the Lashes website you'd choose - pop your facebook name in there so I can check you liked the page, and your twitter handle or email address in there too so Lashes can get in contact with you if you win. The competition is open internationally and you don't have to be a follower of my blog to enter (although it'd be nice if you were!) 

The competition is going to run for 3 weeks, finishing on Wednesday the 8th of May. Good luck! 

AND THE WINNER IS....


Congratulations to NIE YILE who has won a Lashes of London clothing item of her choice :) 

I'm Really a Mermaid

Tuesday, 16 April 2013
Top: River Island
Cardigan: Primark
Skirt: Topshop 
Sandals*: Peacocks
'I'm Really a Mermaid' Necklace*: I Love Crafty
Icecream Whole Lotta Rosie Headband*: Crown & Glory

Oh how I wish the title of this post were true. Wouldn't everyone like to be a mermaid? I think I would. Or a fairy, or a unicorn. I'm not too fussed on which. ANYWAY. Enough of my fairytale ramblings. How amazing is this outfit?! Okay, it's probably not everyone's cup of tea, but it is 100% my idea of a gorgeous spring outfit. Pastels? Check. Cute sandals? Check. Floral headband? Triple check. Pastel blues and pinks are my favourite, and as they feature heavily in this outfit it's no wonder I love it so much. I got this awesome shell/mermaid print top from River Island last summer when they were doing the 20% off for students (which, coincidentally, they are doing over the next three days) and I love it so much. I thought it would go pretty well with my trusty Primark ombre cardi, and this AMAZING Topshop skirt I also got last year. 

My favourite things about this outfit? The accessories. As you may have guessed, I am a big accessories junkie. I love love love jewellery and lately I can't get enough of floral headbands. This absolutely amazing pastel-coloured floral headband is from Crown and Glory (where else?!) and it has to be my all-time favourite headband. I included it in my Passion for Fashion 2 entry a couple of weeks ago and I just know I am going to get SO much wear out of it over the summer, as it features all my 'signature' spring colours. I can't recommend Crown & Glory enough for their stunning headpieces. Now, onto my other favourite thing. I was recently sent this 'I'm Really a Mermaid' necklace from I Love Crafty and I am so, totally, head-over-heels in love with it. I've wanted something with the 'I'm Really a Mermaid' quote on for SO long, and this mirrored shell necklace is most definitely the cutest piece of jewellery I've ever laid eyes on. There are so many completely gorgeous pieces on I Love Crafty; I basically want ALL the mermaid things.

What do you think to my Spring-has-sprung mermaid-themed outfit? Hope you're enjoying the sunshine! 

Grooming for Guys: Necessity or vanity?

Monday, 15 April 2013
Now, don't get me wrong; I'm all for a man who looks after himself - keeps himself fit, washes his face, maybe even moisturises every now and again. I'll even go as far as to say I don't mind it if he takes longer doing his hair than me (which, by the way, he does), or if he has perfected the fine art of three-day stubble. That's fine. But recently, men have been getting more and more into the industry that I've always felt was pretty much just for us girls. That's not to say I'm completely against men looking after their appearance; I'm always buying my boyfriend or my dad toiletry sets at Christmas, I think the beauty boxes for men are a great idea, and I reckon all men should take anti-aging as seriously as us women do. However, when it comes to things like leg waxing, fake tans, guyliner, manscara and men wearing foundation - I'm sorry, I just can't deal.

Okay, so everyone is entitled to look and wear what they like, but this recent wave of beautifying men has me in a bit of a daze. When I think of a bloke, I think masculine, rugged, a little rough round the edges. Even the clean-cut, mega 'groomed' looking guys have that masculine edge, and appear to know where the fine line between looking groomed and looking made-up lies. But do they? Recently, more and more men are spending longer on getting ready, and are investing in things like fake tans and even starting to wear foundation. A survey by First4Lawyers states that 20% of men have received an injury through using sunbeds, 16% through fake tanning - yet only 5% of women have had the same problem. These stats left me slightly aghast and wondering; are men overtaking us girls in the beauty stakes?

When I sit down and think about it, I reckon they probably are. Okay, so men are never going to have the obsession us girls have with makeup and beauty products, but that doesn't mean they won't spend as long as us (or longer!) doing their hair or preening themselves. I've always envied men for the fact they can roll out of bed looking great, and only have to whack some aftershave on and have a quick brush through their hair before a big night out. But when I actually look at the way things are today - it's not always like that. My boyfriend has been known to take longer straightening his hair than I do mine, I have known male friends get in a tizz over what outfit to wear, and spend ages in the bathroom mirror, plucking their brows or gelling their hair within an inch of its life. Then you have to think of the Mark Wrights and Gavin Hensons of the celebrity world - never seen without an orange glow, and I'm willing to bet they have makeup on 90% of the time.

Now, I'm not saying it's wrong. Each to their own, afterall. However it does make me feel a little sad that some men's vanity has reached a whole new level, so much so that they feel the need to wax, tan, pluck, spray, gel and exfoliate to such extreme measures. I don't think I could ever be with a man obsessed with grooming himself; I'm talking about a guy who would rummage through my makeup bag, use my fake tan and  knick my foundation. That's a big no-no. I like to think that a girl's makeup and beauty regime should be a completely foreign thing to men, so that it adds a bit of mystery and enigma to a relationship. Luckily, my boyfriend always looks completely baffled when I start painting my face with various products, and will pretty much always take about ten minutes getting ready to go out, whereas I take an hour and a half. Okay, so he sometimes borrows my straighteners, but this I can deal with. If I ever caught him going through my skincare stash though, I think we'd need to have words. Thankfully I can't see that happening any time soon!

What are your thoughts on the male grooming debate? Are you all for men getting their glam on, or do you think the making up and primping and preening should be left to us ladies?

Motel Rocks Nineties Press Event

Thursday, 11 April 2013
Motel Rocks AW13 Press Day

Yesterday I hot-footed it down to London for a few events, included the Motel Rocks AW13 Press Day. I always love Motel's events; they showcase the clothes brilliantly and always involve a big element of fun. This one in particular was a really enjoyable event; it was a total nineties throwback, inspired by the nineties revival trend that has recently emerged. Lots of their new collections are very nineties inspired, therefore they went all out and decked the Motel showroom out in full-on nineties flavour. There were slushies, poptarts, retro sweets, Friends on the TV, and a typical nineties girl's bedroom on show, complete with lava lamp, Spice Girls posters and even Polly Pockets! It was so awesome to go back to my favourite decade and get taken away in all the nostalgia of it all. 

As well as all the nineties fun that was going on, including henna tattoos, fabulous coloured hair styles (pink bunches, anyone?) and retro sweetie eating, it was also a fab opportunity to take a peek at Motel's upcoming collections. There were lots of their new releases for Summer, including swimwear, as well as a look at their A/W collection, which was a mix of all-out glitzy glamour, paisley prints and of course, Motel's signature rose-print. I was completely in awe of the stunning evening wear they have coming up for A/W, they were seriously sparkly and definitely upping the ante in the glam stakes! As for their new range for summer, I seriously want everything. I'm in love with their Cosmic Boogie Print items, am completely loving the tie-dye, and I don't think my life will be complete until I have that Pegasus dress and the Donald Duck tee! 

Overall I had a fabulous time and I now have a huuuuge wishlist of things I want from Motel. Are you a fan of Motel Rocks? What do you think to their new collections?
- brand3 - brand5