The Three Best Bronzers*

DSC_0076I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but it kind of feels like summer is coming to a close. We’ve had an absolute tonne of rain recently, and it’s getting a bit cooler. Not only that but it’s getting dark earlier and I’m feeling paler than ever, so in an effort to combat the oncoming winter-blues, I thought I would gather together three of my favourite bronzers which are making me feel a little more human! I’ve not featured these three on the blog before, so I will have in-depth reviews of each very soon, but I thought you’d appreciate a quick overview!

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Burberry’s Summer Glow Warm Glow Natural Bronzer in 04 is the perfect choice for a super natural, beach ready tan. Packaged in a seriously luxe compact, etched with the iconic Burberry check, this is a real show-stopper of a bronzer, and I’m happy to say, the formula is as great as it looks! The powder is also pressed into an abstract check pattern, and it’s almost a crime to use it. Well, it would be if it wasn’t such a great little gem of a bronzer. It’s super lightweight and provides a seriously natural glow.

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Sisley’s Phyto Touch Illuminating Powder might just be the most glamorous compact in my collection! A seriously shiny silver compact, which opens to reveal golden sun beams, complete with an embossed ‘s.’ Sisley’s Phyto Touch looks like it should be used exclusively on Victoria’s Secret models as it’s just the most gloriously shiny confection. It’s a hybrid gel-powder which gives skin a serious glow and a natural hint of colour. I’ve been saving this one for evenings out as it’s such a gem!

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Last up is Rodial’s Instaglam bronzer. As the name would suggest, this one feels like a filter in a (rather glam) compact! Unlike the other two, Rodial’s offering is completely matte, meaning it’s just perfect for everyday wear. I love a dusting of this for days when I want to feel casual, yet still pulled together. It’s almost a multi-use product as, because it’s matte, it’s also perfect for a little subtle contouring.

Burberry’s Summer Glow is priced at £31 and is available here.

Sisley’s Phyto Touch Illuminating Powder is priced at £66.50 and is available here.

Rodial’s Instaglam Bronzer is priced at £52 and is available here

Burberry Cat Lashes Mascara*

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I feel like it’s quite a feat to make mascara feel glamorous and fun to use. I’ve got a couple of firm favourites which I rotate through, and don’t think much of it until something new comes along. So, when Burberry’s brand new Cat Lashes arrived, I could hardly contain myself.

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Like all of the brand’s beauty offerings, the packaging for the Cat Lashes mascara is the definition of chic. It’s a weighty tube, etched with Burberry’s signature check. I love how classic the packaging is, and it feels like a real treat to use each morning. It’s also a whole lot bigger than regular mascaras, so it’s easy to find in my makeup bag if I’m fumbling around in the morning!

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The mascara wand is a curved plastic one, which grips every single lash, lengthening them and coating them in the super black formula. One coat of the Cat Lashes mascara gives me a perfect everyday look with length and definition, whilst an extra coat or two really amps up the volume. I usually finish at about three coats, as I just love how dramatic a look it gives. Lashes are super long, pumped up and incredibly black, it’s everything you could ask for! It even lasts like a dream – even when I’ve applied it first thing in the morning, it stays looking fresh all day, and I’ve never had even a hint of a smudge or a flake!

Burberry Cat Lashes is available in three shades (black, brown, and lighter brown) and is priced at £24 and is available here.

Penhaligon’s Trade Routes -Alizarin & Oud de Nil*

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When choosing a fine fragrance, I think there’s nothing nicer than a bit of tradition. I love the feeling that the bottles are special little jewels, only to be enjoyed by a select few. To be honest, I’m not sure that you can get much more special than Penhaligon’s. The fragrance house was founded in London in 1870, and has been a favourite of Royalty ever since. So, when I was offered the chance to try two of the brand’s Trade Routes perfumes, I couldn’t accept fast enough!

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The Trade Routes Line of fragrances couldn’t feel more exotic – inspired by the shipping routes of the British Empire there have been two brand new releases – Alizarin and Oud de Nil. They’re both wonderfully exotic scents, which feel like they’ve been plucked from some far away souk. Even the boxes the perfumes come in are wonderful – they’re big hulking things, which open up to reveal the jewel-like bottle nestled inside.

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The first of the duo that I tried was Oud de Nil. It looked to be the lighter of the two fragrances, and so better for daytime wear. At first spritz, I was instantly taken back to my time living in the middle east. It’s not surprising really, considering that even the name contains ‘Oud,’ but rather than being a deep single note, Penhaligon’s have captured the heat and exoticism of the desert with a mix of deep heady rose alongside the woody depth.

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For daytime wear I only use a single spritz of the perfume, pressed onto my wrists and my neck. It’s a warm, rich scent, even when first apply, which performs best worn subtly and on the skin. When first applied, the Oud is the note which I find most dominant. The floral accents become more noticeable as it heats up, and it’s just a delight to wear! I love that it’s so different to my regular scents, and I think that it will just be perfect when winter rolls in, and I need a little desert mysticism in my life!

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Alizarin was the second scent I tried, and I have to say, it does feel like a trip back in time in a bottle! Again, it’s a scent which is heavily reliant on Oud as a dominant note, and I’d probably say this is one reserved for the boys, or for the most glamorous of evenings out. It’s been inspired by the red dye Alizarin (hence the name) which has been cultivated in Egypt since the time of the Pharaohs.

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It’s an incredibly, deep, almost dark scent to wear which makes me think of warm, balmy nights spent under the stars. The mix of vetiver and rare resins give Alizarin an old world glamour, and it’s definitely become one of my most-prized fragrances! One spritz gives me a whole day of smelling gorgeous!

Follow my Instagram here, and there might just be a giveaway coming up really soon!

Penhaligon’s Trade Routes Parfums in Oud de Nil and Alizarin are priced at £156 each and are available here.

Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil*

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When I popped into Harvey Nichols last week to learn about Dermalogica’s brand new Phyto Replenish Oil (read about it here), it would be fair to say I fell more than a little bit in love. As someone with dry skin, I’m always on the lookout for great skincare, and I was just blown away by the new addition to the brand’s line up. Containing extract of Chia Seed oil and Sunflower oil it the perfect thing for salvaging summer-ravaged skin.

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Packaged in a chic little white glass bottle, the Phyto Replenish Oil may look inconspicuous, but it’s an absolute powerhouse of a product which most skin types will absolutely adore! In addition to some serious skincare benefits, which I’ll get onto in a second, I just love the fragrance of the oil. It’s light floral which is just so calming and relaxing – every time I press this into my skin, I feel little closer to the spa!

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I think what I love most about the Phyto Replenish Oil is it’s sheer versatility! It’s one of those rare products you find yourself reaching for in the morning and evening, even on days where I’m wearing makeup!

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In the mornings, after applying my regular moisturizers and serums, I add a drop or two of the oil to my foundation before applying it with a densely packed brush. It adds a subtle luminosity to my base, as well as adds a little much-needed moisture. In the evenings, after my regular cleansing, I warm three to four droplets of the oil in my fingertips and press into my skin, focusing on my driest areas. My skin just drinks the oil up, leaving it feeling super soft and smooth – not at all oily!

Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil launches September 1st and will be priced at £40.00

Bobbi Brown opens Edinburgh stand-alone store*

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Last week I was kindly invited to the opening of what might just be my favourite store on George Street – Bobbi Brown threw their doors open with a rather glitzy party. Situated just off Hanover Street, the new stand alone store is the first of it’s kind in Scotland, and I have to tell you, it’s all kinds of gorgeous!

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I popped in straight from work, and it was like stepping into a makeup lovers dream! Rows and rows of everything you can imagine were laid out along the walls, whilst makeup artists beautified all the guests. Considering Bobbi Brown professionals always makeup you look amazing – they were in serious demand!

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Getting to see everything that the brand produces in one place was a real thrill. I purposely left my purse in the car, because with it, I think I would have walked out with pretty much everything. No-one does beautiful, everyday neutrals quite like Bobbi!

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Standing perusing the counters, I can’t tell you how long my wish-list has grown! There is every lip gloss or lipstick you can imagine, and chatting through what my best picks would be was incredibly helpful!

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At the back of the store is a gorgeous little secret – a private beauty room stacked with everything you need to beautify yourself. It’s an absolute gem if you’re off somewhere fancy and want to look your best, and it’s also where you can get your brows threaded. For £17 (redeemable against products) you can get your brows planed and threaded (plus you get to walk away with a shiny new makeup goodie!)

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You can also sign up for makeup lessons in the studio, so I’m sure it’s going to be a serious little Edinburgh gem!

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Throughout the evening, everyone was well kept by Haig Club who has the cutest little bar set up going. Set in the back of the store, it was the perfect little nook to enjoy the wisky concoctions which were getting whipped up. Even though I don’t usually drink whisky – the cocktails were a delight! I opted for one full of elder flower and ginger beer, and it just tasted like summer in a glass!

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It was so much fun to get to see all of Bobbi Brown’s goodies in one place – as well as the much loved makeup, there is even a whole section just packed full of the brand’s skincare. I often think not enough people know about how great their products are, but seeing all the different masks, moisturizers and accessories in one place was just a delight!

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It’s so lovely to see a brand like Bobbi Brown expanding in Edinburgh, and I’m sure it won’t be long until my next visit!

 

August 2016 Glossybox*

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This month is Glossbybox’s fifth birthday, and to celebrate, they’ve released a box filled with subscriber favourites, and if you’re into gorgeous neutrals, this is the box for you! Before even cracking the open, can we discuss the box itself? It’s an adorable monogrammed pink and grey number which is just adorable!

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There’s a good mix of makeup, skincare and accessories in this month’s box, and subscribers are able to choose which palette they receive from a choice of four. Since they’re all a good mix of neutrals, you can’t really go wrong!

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The first of this month’s goodies is the full size Spa to You facial brush. A mix of soft bristles and silicon rods, the brush is designed to exfoliate skin as well as help foaming cleansers work more effectively. I love a good face brush, and I’ve never tried one with silicon bits in it, but this makes foaming face washes get super lathery and I like to use it about twice a week to keep my skin looking clear.

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I was super excited to see the mini bottle of The Cowshed Body Lotion in this month’s box. Every time I’m down in London, I tried to head to the salon’s Notting Hill location, and their products always feel super luxe to use. This one is Wild Cow – an invigorating mix of lemongrass, rosemary and ginger. It’s so lovely and fresh, and leaves skin soft and smooth.

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I’m going to assume that the MUS Makeup Academy’s Hall of Fame Palette will be a serious most-loved element of subscribers boxes. Mine contains 12 of MUA’s favourite eyeshadows.

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They’re a stunning cool-toned mix of mattes and shimmers, and I have to say, the metallic shades are insane. The pigment for them is seriously comparable to premium shadows in my stash, and they add a perfect sheen to neutral toned eye looks.

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I think my favourite part of this month’s box is is the luxury sized tester tube of Mudmasky’s Facial Detox Purifying Recovery Mask. If you’re looking for a Glamglow-esque mask, this is the one for you. It’s pretty lightweight, and smooths on easily and dries quickly. It feels lovely and cleansing to use, and I’m very much a fan!

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The last part of this month’s box is a Rae Feather monogrammed beauty bag. If you’re initials are GB you’re in luck! Glossy box state that it’s worth over £20, which feels like an awful lot for a canvas bag. Since my initials aren’t anywhere near the monogram, I’m probably not going to reach for it. Instead of including one in the box, I do wish there had just been a voucher for the store to personalise one with my own monogram.

All in all, though, I thought this month was a really great one for Glossybox – I’m going to be using most of the products seriously regularly!

Maybelline Master Contour*

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So I think it’s fair today that contouring isn’t going anywhere. I can’t even begin to count how many tutorials I’ve watched, listened to and attended, but it’s always felt a little high maintenance for me. I wake up super early, so I don’t really trust myself to play around with an absolute tonne of product.

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So when Maybelline’s brand new Master Contour crayon popped through the door, I couldn’t help myself! It’s everything you need to create a Kardashian-esque look without the hundreds of products! Instead, it’s a super easy, all-in-one product which lets me apply then run out the door!

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Using the Master Contour couldn’t be easier, and I love the fact that it’s a crayon formula. It feel like it just blends into skin flawlessly, leaving you looking believably sculpted. After applying my foundation like usual (at the moment I’m finishing off my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua) I make a rather instagram-worthy kiss face and swipe a little of the bronzer shade in the hollows of my cheeks. I add a little to the outside of my nose, then to the sides of my jaw and forehead.

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Then, using the light side, I focus the high points of my face – I swipe it down my nose, add a little to my forehead, and then sweep it along my cheekbones to the temples. Then, using a soft dense brush, I blend like my life depends on it! The formula of the Master Contour crayon is pretty much perfect – it disappears into skin, leaving me looking far more defined than when I started!

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The colour on the darker side is definitely buildable, but it can also be blended out too; meaning that those with both light and medium skin tones will be able to enjoy the Master Contour crayon in light. It’s also available in a medium tone for richer skin colours. I also love the lasting-power of the crayon. Even after applying it first thing in the morning, I still look more defined in the evening.

Maybelline Master Contour is priced at £6.99 and is available here (UK) and here (US).

Lancome Grandiose Liner*

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If there is one makeup trend which I would kill to master, it’s the cat eye. No matter how big or subtle it is, a quick flick of black immediately makes you look seriously pulled together, as well as giving you some of that French je ne sais pas which I’m sure we’re all after!

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So when I caught sight of Lancome’s brand new Grandiose Liner, I knew I had to get my hands on it, to finally perfect my feline flick. Thankfully, Lancome have made it so easy with their brand new Grandiose Eye Liner. Available in a range of three colours (there is also a navy and a brown) the cap of the liner bends and twists to allow you to feel as comfortable as possible using it.

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I like to crick the cap a little to the right so that it nestle snugly into my hands, and then I get to work. Although I love a dramatic eye look, I have quite mastered mine yet. Instead, I focus the super thin brush along the lash line, finishing in a tiny little flick upwards – a kitten, if you will!

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The formula itself is silky smooth and incredibly black. It just glides onto lids, meaning your lines can stay beautifully sharp. It also dries incredibly fast, meaning I don’t need to worry about smearing or smudging before applying a flick of mascara. It dries down to a perfectly matte finish, and it stays in place for hours!

Lancome Grandiose Eye Liner is priced at £23 and is available here

Windle & Moodie Foundation Spray*

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As someone who bleaches, heat styles, and all round beats up on my hair, I’m always on the lookout for products which undo some of the damage I inflict. Top of my list are products which promise to treat, care for, moisturise and detangle, and happily, Windle & Moodie’s Foundation Spray is a bit of an all-rounder!

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Packaged in a sleek black spray bottle, the Foundation Spray is all about getting salon-esque smooth, shiny hair. I apply a liberal couple of spritzes to freshly washed, still wet hair, focusing most of the product onto my ends. I do apply a little to the drier front portions, and am careful to brush everything through. The foundation spray is wonderfully lightweight, and it’s the perfect product for heat-damaged hair. The formula is pretty genius – there’s a balancing agent to refresh and soothe the scalp, silk protein to condition, and active honey to give hair shine. I then get to grips blow drying and styling my hair as usual. It feels like it takes less time to blow dry, and my hair is so much smoother and shinier when I use it!

Windle & Moodie Foundation Spray is priced at £13.50 and is available here.

Hair Care Tips with Tangle Teezer

Ten tips for healthy hair

Everybody wants smooth, sleek tresses but not everyone knows how to perfect their hair. Here, Tangle Teezer share their ten top tips for smoothing your style:

Don’t blow dry hair when it’s dripping wet

You’ll usually only blow dry your hair when it’s dripping wet if you’re in a hurry. However, while you think you may be saving time, dripping wet hair takes longer to dry than hair that has been towel-dried.

Before you reach for the hair dryer, gently pat your hair with a towel to remove excess moisture. This will considerably reduce your blow dry time.

Don’t rub your hair

Towel drying your hair is simple, right? You just grab a towel and rub your hair — wrong. Rubbing your hair can cause frizz and damage to your hair. Instead, remove moisture by gently patting your hair.

Don’t over-colour your hair

Many women dye their hair, but it can do a lot of damage. Try to limit how often you dye your hair — if you just need to recolour your roots, look for specific root touch-up kits that only need to be applied to the problem area, minimising damage to the rest of your hair. No-ammonia hair dyes are a great choice too, as they are gentler than some other colourants.

Don’t wash your hair too often

How often do you wash your hair? Many women only need to shampoo their hair around three times a week. If you’re washing your hair every day, you could be removing too much oil from your scalp, leaving your hair feeling dry and more prone to breaking. Washing too often will also expose your hair to the blow dryer more frequently, which could cause even more damage.

Try to space out your washes through the week. If your hair does start to feel and look greasy, use a dry shampoo to refresh it in between washes.

Eat a balanced diet

Tempted by that greasy burger? Think of your hair! Many people don’t realise that what they eat can impact the strength and overall appearance of their hair. By eating a diet of the 13 essential vitamins, including Vitamin A and E, you can keep your hair strong, shiny and healthy.

Be careful with wet hair

Wet hair is more fragile than dry hair, so brushing it straight after washing is a big no-no. Before you brush, allow your hair to dry first. Even if it’s not completely dry, a slight delay between washing and brushing will give the bonds of your hair time to strengthen, minimising damage.

Keep heat to a minimum

As you’ve probably heard, heat styling can cause major damage to your hair. Whether you’re using tongs or straighteners, the intense heat can leave your hair feeling dry. Try to minimise the use of heat on your hair to improve its condition. You may need to try alternate styles to do so.

Braid before bed

As you starfish out in bed, your hair can become tangled and tatty. Before you hit the hay, put your hair in a loose plait. The structure of the plait will keep your hair tangle-free, and you’ll wake up with soft waves too — bonus.

Wash in room temperature water

Regularly hop into boiling hot showers and baths? Just like straightening and heat styling, hot water can damage your hair. It may not sound too appealing but washing your hair in room temperature water is better for it.

Keep products to a minimum

You may be tempted to layer up the haircare products on the assumption that it will make your hair appear sleeker and shinier. However, too many haircare products can weigh down your hair and sometimes make it appear greasy. As a general rule of thumb, you should use four products on your hair: shampoo, conditioner, protector and styling product.