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If you’re anything like me, you buy 101 hair elastics, grips and clips but when the moment comes for using them, they’re nowhere to be seen. But I bring rather good news. One of my favourite brands for hair accessories – Scunci is now available at high street giant Primark! Whether you’re after a paddle brush which speeds up blowdrying, or headbands which mould to your head to prevent headaches, you’ll be spoiled for choice!

Scunci Hair Accessories are available now in-store at Primark

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This morning I was up early. Super early. Like 4.30am early on a Friday, and to be honest, there isn’t much which would tempt me out of bed this early, especially when I have a whole work day ahead of me. But then, it’s not every day that Rihanna launches her new beauty line. If you’re in the UK, Harvey Nichols is the only place you will be able to get your hands on the brand, if you’re in the US, your best bet is Sephora at JCPenny.

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There’s been serious buzz building online about the brand. The most obvious message is one of diversity. First off, there are 40 foundation shades, meaning that no matter your skin tone, you’re going to find a match. No matter how light or deep your skintone, you’re going to find a true match here. Split into 4 categories, there are warm, cool and neutral undertones available, and the foundation applies as a lightweight liquid and dries down to a soft matte finish. There is also a gorgeous primer which provides skin with a hit of hydration whilst smelling delicious.

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The Match Stix are similarly varied in shade. These are real hero products – available in mattes and shimmers you can use them as a stick foundation, as concealer, a highlight and even as contour. There are all the usual skin-tones as well as a rather fabulous Unicorn and Confetti. These blended out leave a dusting of iridescent glitter which has to be seen to be believed! You can grab a trio of the Match Stix is colours of your choice – and a fun little extra? The packaging is magnetic so they all clip together – buh bye makeup bag!

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One of the most intriguing things about the line was the lack of lip product. Lipsticks are normally seen as a real workhorse of makeup brands – but at Fenty Beauty there is just 1. A universal Lip Luminzer – Gloss Bomb. A universal rosy nude which adds both gloss and colour with an added dose of sparkle!

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The products which grabbed the most attention though were undoubtedly the Free Style Highlighters. Ranging in tones from icy white (Metal Moon) to the sparkliest of golds (Trophy Wife) and deep coppers (Ginger Binge / Moscow Mule) every skin-tone is going to find their perfect glow.

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The collection isn’t limited to makeup either – there are a whole ranges of brushes and even a beauty blender! My favourite was the Cheek-Hugger with a specially designed shark-tooth design to hug and sculpt cheekbones.

The collection is incredible – well balanced, thought out, and executed, I can’t wait to give it a real go! The new counters in Harvey Nichols stores are just beautiful, and you can book in for a ‘Fenty Face’ and ‘Fenty Face Extra’ appointments which are complimentary. Within 20 and 40 minutes, you can grab a little of that Fenty glow. I guarantee – you won’t be disappointed!

Fenty Beauty is available exclusively in-store and online at Harvey Nichols here.

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When it comes to dramatic makeup, Lipstick Queen always come up trumps. I’ve tried and loved their frog prince range (review here) which turns from green to pink, but that seems like nothing compared to their Black Lace Blush.

A dinky little compact covered with what looks like the finest French lace, Black Lace Rabbit is one of those products you’re going to want to apply in front of friends, just to see the looks on their faces! Describing itself as a ‘haunting black’ which turns into the perfect berry shade when applied, this is one magic trick which you don’t need to reserve for parties!

Shot through with a delicate golden shimmer, even though the blush looks like a true black in the pan, when applied it’s a sheer berry which can be built up depending on how dramatic you want your look to be. Talking of buildability, it is possible to go overboard with the blush, so take it slow at first. A gentle pat with fingertips give cheeks a perfect tinge of colour, whilst on the lips it looks berry-stained.

It’s such a great product for autumn (and especially Halloween) and the berry is a flattering change from my usual pink and nude shades of lipgloss and blush. The formula of the blush is an absolute delight too! Designed to mimic silk stockings, it’s incredibly lightweight – leaving a sheer trace of colour on the skin. It lasts for a good eight hours as a blush and around two on the lips without feeling in any way drying.

The Black Lace Rabbit Blush is priced at £22 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

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When it comes to eyebrows, it’s far too easy to go very wrong. I’m terrified of leaving myself looking perpetually surprised, so I tend to leave my brows alone, picking up a few stray hairs here and there when absolutely necessary. So, when I heard that Shavata herself (she of the eponymous brow bars) was headed to Edinburgh, I threw the tweezers into the back of the drawer, and didn’t so much as look at them for a good two months.

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The result was brows which were more than a little bushy (to be honest, I didn’t realise quite how out of control they were until I was in the chair). Not to worry though, Shavata got to work using only a few strands of thread. A completely bespoke service, Shavata (and her specially trained therapists) look at your face shape and structure to find the shape which best suits you. Then brows are snipped and threaded into submission. Without so much as a twinge, fifteen minutes later my brows were transformed – gone was the mess, and in it’s places were sleek arches.

The difference that perfect brows have made to my makeup routine is insane. Rather than trying to deal with unruly brows, a quick flick of a pencil and gel and I’m done!

You can find out more about Shavata and Harvey Nichols here – threading appointments start at £18.

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When it comes to top spa treatments I’ve ever had, the Margaret Dabb’s Medi Pedi (review here)  I tried earlier this year comes pretty much in the number one spot. Seriously relaxing and even more effective, I don’t think my feet have been that soft since childhood.

So, in an effort to keep everything as silky feeling as when I left the salon, I got my hands on Margaret Dabb’s Fabulous Feet Discovery Kit. Filled with 4 mini versions of the brand’s hero products, it’s the perfect way to try out the brand for yourself.

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If I’m giving myself something of a spa evening, I start with the foot soak. I add a couple of pumps to a bowl of warm water, soaking feet for 5-10 minutes. It’s the perfect antidote to a long day on my feet, or if I’m feeling a bit blah.

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Then, once everything has been adequately soaked, I take a little of the Exfoliating Foot Mousse, paying particular attention to problem areas like my heels. This sloughs away dead skin, and leaves skin feeling nourished. Then, using lukewarm water I since my feet, and gently dry them with a towel.

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If my feet aren’t feeling too dry, I follow up with a slick of Foot Lotion. This is a lightweight yet nourishing formula which sinks in to skin. I then pop on a pair of clean cotton socks to keep in all the goodness.

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If I’ve been on my feet for days, or if I know that I’m going to be in scrappy shoes, I opt for the foot oil. Not greasy, this gives a real dose of moisture to skin and nails. Again, once  I’m done I pop on a clean pair of socks and head to bed.

The products are absolutely magical – you wake up with the softest feet in the world. It’s (almost) as good as heading to the salon!

Margaret Dabbs Fabulous Feet Discovery Kit is priced at £39 and is available here.

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When it comes to facial oils and serums, if you’ve got oily or pimple-prone skin, they can seem like the last products you’d be picking up. But new-to-me brand Odacite have you covered with their Black Cumin Serum which is a Pumples Solution Serum.

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It’s a dinky little bottle, complete with dropper applicator, and can be used as an all-over treatment for problem skin, or as a sort of problem-fixer if your skin is normally ok. Since the product is a serum concentrate, it’s also a bit stronger than your regular serum. This means you can add a drop or two to moisturiser, or just apply it direct to skin.

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The Serum Concentrate has a rich, yet not greasy consistency, and absorbs right into skin. The active serum helps to achieve blemish-free skin and smooth the complexion. The purifying properties of Black Cumin oil control the spread of breakout-causing bacteria while therapeutic Cajeput acts at the source of the problem with potent antiseptic properties, helping to prevent further pimple eruption. It’s an absolutely genius little product which stops breakouts in their tracks!

Odacite B1+C Black Cumin + Cajeput Serum Concentrate is priced at £27.50 and is available here

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The moment you hit 25 your collagen production starts to really slow down. It’s a sad , but happily it’s something you can combat super easily with a sachet of Daily Dose’s Absolute Collagen. It’s an easy, and affordable addition to your beauty regime, and honestly, the results within a week or two of using the sachets are recognisable. Skin feels hydrated, softer and fuller, and with prolonged use with benefit hair and nails.

A 2 week supply is priced at £29.99 and is available here.

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When it comes to lippies, I think that Too Faced may just have my heart at the minute – their new Melted Latex glosses are just perfection. Glossy enough to look cute and summery, and balmy enough to wear on a regular basis, I am such a convert to these little tubes.

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My most-worn shade is Peekaboo – a peachy toned pink which is just a step up from my natural lip shade. This means that a slick of the gloss can easily be used to balance out a smoky eye, or add a little something to an otherwise neutral face. It’s a seriously comfortable gloss to wear – it’s not sticky or gloopy, and it wears well into two hours.

Too Faced Melted Latex Glosses are priced at £19 and are available here (UK) and here (US)

 

 

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When it comes to makeup, I really do like to keep everything as simple as possible. On a daily basis I usually slap on a little tinted moisturiser and call it a day when I’ve applied some bronzer on top. But when I’m going out, and want to look altogether more done, I’ve been relying on my newest gadget.

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I’m not going to lie – flawless foundation thanks to sonic technology, I was more than a little intrigued. The Color Me Pro Edition couldn’t be simpler to use – just saturate the sponge with foundation prior to starting, then apply foundation to the areas you wish to cover.

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Then using the tool, simply blend your foundation in. The sonic vibrations pulse 15,000 times a minute, mimicking the tapping movement used by makeup artists. The result is a smoother, more even veil of makeup than you could ever achieve using your fingers or a sponge. The result is a super natural, flawless finish which stays perfect for hours. Using the Applicator also feels incredible – it’s a gentle little hum, paired with the soft sponge makes it feel like some sort of spa treatment. Confession alert – I’ve even started to apply moisturiser with it!

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The Color Me comes with two sponge heads, as well as a handy little case which keeps everything neat, hygienic and tidy. It’s a fabulous little tool which makes getting makeup artist-worthy makeup an absolute cinch! You can also purchase replacement sponges, allowing you to keep your skin at 100% at all times!

The Color Me Pro is priced at £58 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

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As a rule, I shouldn’t be left unchecked in SpaceNK on my own. I promise myself I’m just popping in for a look, and half an hour late I’m skipping out the store clutching a black bag full of goodies. It’s not the worst habit to have admittedly, and it’s allowed me to find some real makeup gems. Case in point? Hourglass’ Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Diffused Bronze Light.

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I’ve developed something of an obsession with Hourglass powders (I’ve loved and finished  the original palette and reviewed a more recent one here). So I felt it was about time that I treated myself to a ful-sized bronzer. They’re a thing of beauty – all mirrored packaging and marbled powders, so after humming and hawing for all of two seconds – Diffused Bronze Light was mine.

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There are four shades to choose from, with Diffused Bronze Light being the lightest. All four of the bronzers are marbled, thanks to the mixing of the brand’s iconic Ambient Lighting Powder and the bronzer shade. I really thought that it would give skin a light hint of colour, but this stuff is pigmented.

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When I say use a light hand with the bronzer, I mean it. Honestly, I whacked this on like a regular bronzer and ended up looking not unlike an Oompa Loompa. Now I use the biggest, fluffiest powder brush I can find, literally touch it into the powder and then apply. The effect is a glowy natural looking tan, and since you need so little, I have a feeling that this is going to be a go-to for a good while to come!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers are priced at £45 each and are available here (UK) and here (US)

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Last week I played hooky from work (kind of) and headed down to Harvey Nichols to get my brows threaded by British Brow Guru Shavata. When I say the appointment was overdue, I’m not exaggerating for impact, or talking about a few stray hairs – I hadn’t touched my brows in a good two months leading up to the appointment, and they were ready for her to work her magic. A few minutes and a couple of feet of thread later I looked like new woman – sleek arches where I’d been a furry mess. It was the perfect time to give YSL Beauty’s Brow Wardrobe a whirl!

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Comprising of everything you need for the perfect arches – YSL offer a range of products which suit every brow and situation. I tend to pick and choose products depending on how quickly I want to get out the door. My most-used has to be the Couture Brow Palette* (£35).

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A chic gold compact containing three buttery ashy-blonde shades as well as dinky little tweezers and a brow brush, this is the no-fail, starter pack which every beauty stash needs. Available in 2 shades (mine is 1 Light Brown, whilst 2 is Dark Brown) these powders are soft enough to blend into your own bespoke shade – I particularly like focuses the lighter colours to the start of my brows, with the darkest shade in the arch and tail.

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All three shades are ashy enough in tone to look natural yet still groomed – and they’re staying power is insane. In the interests of fairness, I gave these a whirl applied only with the provided brush, and left off my regular brow gel. The colour applied smoothly and evenly and it lasted all day long without fading or smudging. The shades can also be used as a shadow if you’re after a cute monochromatic look.

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The Eyebrow Pencil (£21) is probably the quickest in the lineup to use, and it’s pretty much impossible to go wrong with it.

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Prior to starting out, I brush my brows up, then, working from the start of my brows, I fill them in, using short strokes to fake extra hairs. There are four shades to choose from – mine, 04 Ash is the lightest, but they have two browns and a near black for those wishing for a bolder look.

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When I say that the Eyebrow pencil has the perfect texture, I’m not exaggerating. Easy to sharpen with a perfect colour payoff, the formula is firm enough to fake natural looking brows. Then, once I’ve drawn everything in, I brush through my brows again to soften everything up. Ordinarily, I then finish with a lick of brow gel, but even without, the pencil keeps brows looking groomed all day long without smudging or fading.

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Perhaps the most unusual of the lineup is the YSL Couture Brow Marker (£21). Resembling perhaps the glitziest of highlighters (stationery, not makeup) the Brow Marker is like nothing I’ve ever used before.

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After brushing my brows up, I then just draw light feathery strokes with the Marker. It’s surprisingly easy to use – a few quick strokes fakes model-worthy brows, and once this is on it will.not.move. If you’re looking for a product which is as quick to use as it is effective, this one is for you.

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Last up, but certainly not least is the YSL Couture Brow Gel (£22). Available in two shades, the Brow Gel can be used as a lightweight tint, or as a kind of hairspray to keep everything in place.

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What I love about the Brow Gel is how much product you get – the tube is about the size of a mascara tube, and you get a dinky little spoolie to use too! It’s fabulous at keeping unruly brows in check, and it never leaves behind crispy brow hairs. At the weekend I usually just brush a little of the gel rather than using a whole range of products.

What are your favourite products?

 

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