My all time TOP 5

Or should I say my long term top 5, cos let’s face it, you never know who, I mean what is around the corner… I’m sure there’s some gems out there I haven’t tried yet.  Now choosing just five is tough, if I’m realistic it’s more like 55, but the following are firmly inducted in my beauty hall of fame….

Givenchy Eyebrow Show

“It’s all about the eyebrows!” Fast becoming my catch phrase because I Love, Love, LOVE eyebrows. This Givenchy pencil has saved my life after my beloved Clinique one was discontinued. I searched for a replacement, testing and buying almost every brow pencil in existence – No7, YSL, Benefit, Rimmel, Lancôme, Mac. It’s been a long and expensive process. You see, I like a good old fashioned pencil, I’m not a fan of these sudo, automatic non-pencil pencils that have popped up everywhere. I don’t like ones that are too creamy, but I do like ones that have a brush on the end. Finally I’ve found the right shade and texture with Givenchy. Just as well since I’ve been going through the painsaking process of growing my eye brows out. As a teenager I fell victim to over-tweezing (something I could wax lyrical about and is best left for another post).  It’s great for filling in the gaps. The powdery texture looks very natural and last all day, plus the brush on the end is great for sculpting.

£15 Available in three shades, I wear Brown

 Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream

This needs little introduction. The cult classic, developed by Ms Arden herself over 70 years ago, has really stood the test of time. If I was stuck on a desert island, this is all I’d need (this and some food, water and wine). It really is a wonder product.  This skincare classic helps to soothe, restore, soften and protect dry or mildly irritated skin. It has so many uses… I apply it to eye brows at night to help hold them in place, it’s fantastic on dry lips and can be dabbed onto cheek and brow bones as a highlighter. I have one in my bedside table and one in my handbag so I’m never without – it lasts and last and lasts too!

50mls approx. £20 Available in various sizes, tubes and pots

Guerlain Terracota Four Season Bronzing Powder

When it comes to bronzers, I’ve played the field a little, but with Guerlain Four Season Bronzing Powder I’ve found my match. The caramel hues are so far away from the orange shades we’re used to. It’s very strongly pigmented so a little goes a long way and the finely milled powder applies like a dream, so smooth and flawless. There’s no glitter or sparkle, yet it’s not too matte, more of a satin finish I’d say. What makes it one of my all time favourites is that the four shades take you through the year, no need to change to a lighter one in the winter or darker in the summer; it’s like a customisable palette. Great for contouring and the lighter shade can be used as a touch up powder. Read full review here.

Available from Debenhams and House of Fraser £46

YSL Touche Eclat

Another that needs little introduction. For years YSL’s iconic Touche Eclat has been the go-to concealer for millions of women around the World. Another multi use product – it’s a highlighter, a concealer, a touch up pen. There are lots of competitors in that market, but for me it’s still unrivalled. A sold member of my beauty hall of fame; there’s a reason that one pen is sold every 10 seconds! 

RRP £24 but dicounted prices on CheapSmells.com

Lancôme Hypnose Mascara


I have been using Lancôme’s mascaras since I was 13. From Defincils, Amplicils, Hypnose and Hypnose drama, it seemed each offering got better and better.  From time to time my eye has wondered (with Benefit Bad Gal, Clinique’s High Impact and Diorshow), but I always return to my faithful Hypnose. For me, the key is in the brush  – it’s just the right size, not too clumpy and no other mascara creates volume like it. It can be layered for maximum impact, doesn’t smudge or clump and lasts all day.  I prefer the standard Hypnose but Hypnose Drama is pretty good too. It also has the royal seal of approval – believed to be Kate Middleton’s wedding mascara of choice.

£20.45

So that’s my top 5, what’s yours?

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17’s Miami Pop Bronzer – Possibly The World’s Worst Bronzer?

I blogged a while back about my excitement for 17’s impending summer collection, Miami Pop. A super cute amd colourful summer range inspired by Miami’s iconic Ocean Drive.  A sucker for all things summer, it sounded right up my street. I expected the jewel in the crown to be the Miami Pop Bronzer, a gold, baked bronzer with a marbled shimmer… how wrong I was.

 

I skipped along to Boots on launch day and was thoroughly DISAPPOINTED. Now I don’t say that very often, but the Miami Pop Bronzer is awful. It’s everything a bronzer shouldn’t be – ORANGE, GOLD and SPARKLY. It reminds me of really bad fake tan. I’m all for a bit of shimmer, especially in the summer months. I expected this would be a great holiday buy, but it’s not shimmery, it’s fully shiny and sparkly. Put it this way, the only people likely to wear this bronzer are Katie Price and the cast of Geordie Shore!

I swatched a little on my hand – looks like I’ve been tangoed.

Imagine what it would look like on your face! Not a good example for 17’s target audience!

On a positive note, the nail varnishes are cute and the Hot Pink Lipgloss  £3.99 is very nice – juicy, highly pigmented and super shiny.

Avoid the post wedding blues with a few mini pick me ups

It’s back to reality with a thump this week. The Royal Wedding’s over, Easter’s over, the endless run of bank holidays are over and we’re back to the 9-5 grind – Booo!

Before we slip into another Blue Monday, hatch a plan to cheer  yourself up… WARNING, it could cost you money.

1.  Paint your nails

I’ve painted mine shocking pink today and I must admit, every time I look down at my hands I feel quite proud of my bright finger nails and they’ve caught many an admiring glance. I’m wearing No7 Foxglove – two coats with a base and top coat.

2.   Treat yourself to some summer make up

Especially important if you also happen to be having a fat day. Something like a bronzer or a bright lipstick should do the job. I just purchased a gorgeous 17 Lasting Fix Lipstick in Hawaii Pink £4.79. Perfect for that LIP N GO look. There are few things I love more than make up, but the Sun I worship. So when it’s shining I can’t afford to waste vital tanning time applying a face full of make up, nor would I want to. However I still want to look summery and fresh, so I slapped on some bright lipstick with some concealer and a touch of mascara and I’m good to go.

Here’s the lippy in action

 

I’m wearing the lipstick, L’Oreal Touche Magique Concealer and a light coating of Clinique’s high impact mascara.

A new bronzer is also a good idea. In the summer months you can normally afford to go up a shade. I love the look of Urban Decay’s new Bronzing Powder £20 and my much loved Guerlain Terracota Four Seasons Bronzer needs a little break – at £46 it’s not for daily use.

This lovely, fine bronzer is baked in an oven and even hand-finished. Great for fake tan phobics, this beauty gives a gorgeous light, golden glow for a sunkissed look. Speaking of which…

3.  Fake it to make it

Most of us look, and feel better with a summer glow. I’m all for safe sunning, but it can be a slow process and it doesn’t hurt to give yourself a head start – especially your legs! It’s pretty scary unveiling those white, spikey, scaly tree trunks at the start of the summer months, but it’s amazing what a shave and a hint of colour can do.

San Tropez, still an eternal classic, is a great false tan, but can be messy and stains your clothes. I reserve it for events – weddings, holidays etc. For frequent use, I prefer everyday tanning lotions like Dove’s Summer Glow Body Lotion.  Slap it on after your shower, wait a few minutes to dry and you’re good to go.

 

Follow these steps (or some of your own mini pick me ups) and voile, a whole new you. And if that doesn’t work, there’s another bank holiday in three weeks.

I wonder how poor Kate Middleton’s feeling a week on– the fairy tale wedding is over, her new hubby’s back at work and she’s holed up at home… except home is a palace so boo hoo.

Coming soon: 17 Miami Pop Summer Collection

When it comes to the weather I’m typically British. The first sign of some sun and I’m digging out the flip flops, searching for summer dresses and getting excited over summery make up.  With summer just around the corner, I’m getting hot under the collar about upcoming collections. I’ve already blogged about Mac’s surf baby, next on my lust list is 17’s uber cool Miami Pop collection.

Inspired by Miami’s Ocean Drive, this is all about bronzed skin and a pop of bright colour.

Bright, tropical, summery and aptly named Miami Pop, the new upcoming limited edition summer range from 17 mixes neon metallic bronze tones with on trend brights and vivid neons.

The range includes vinyl nail polishes, a volumising mascara which promises to give you thick ‘wow’ lashes and a weightless ‘skin adapting’ SPF15 foundation, but for me, the jewel in the crown is the Miami Pop Bronzer, a gold, baked bronzer with a marbled shimmer.

It’s fun, it’s bright, it just screams summer. Available at Boots from 17th June 11 £2.99-£6.49

Coming Soon… MAC’s Surf Baby Collection

Calling all you beach babes, launching next month will be Mac’s limited edition Surf Baby collection.

“Grab the board, hop in the Jeep, cruise the Pacific Coast Highway… Surf’s up! The lure of the endless summer starts here with My Paradise Cheek Powder, Mini Blush Sticks, a Summer Stash of Crushed Metallic Pigments, Hibiscus Lipstick and Splashproof Lash Mascara that just won’t smudge. Colourful, lustrous, and full of life… journey to a world where feeling the rush means taking a risk. Hang Ten!”

Details are very hush, hush, but with hues of corals, pinks and peach, it’s the perfect addition to your summer make over. The packaging is bright and fun, but it does look a little cheap from the promo photots, but it’s what’s inside that counts. I’m chomping at the bit to get my hands on the mini blush sticks.

Surf’s up baby.

Possibly the best bronzer in the World… Guerlain Terracotta Four Seasons Bronzer

Rid your winter complexion and step into Spring with the award winning Guerlain Terracotta Four Seasons Bronzer.If like me you’ve contemplated buying this bronzer, but were put off by the price tag, I’m here to tell you it’s worth it, and so are you!

For the first time ever Terracotta from Guerlain, the hero of bronzers, give us not one but four bronzing powders.  I delayed buying this product; for £45 I thought to myself, I can buy two bronzers and have some change! So I bought a Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder, which was too sparkly, then the Nars Laguna Bronzer, which cracked and crumbled within weeks. They say if you buy cheap, you buy twice – I sure learnt that the hard way…. Not that Blobbi Brown and Nars are cheap, but there’s a reason Gerlain’s Terracotta has such a cult following.

My first impression is that it’s a very substantial product. The compact is quite heavy and the powder sufficiently packed in, no danger of this one crumbling. It also comes with an instructions leaflet and a suede pouch…. although for £45 it should come with some suede shoes.

Available in two colour ways –  Blonde and Brunette (this one is the Brunette version). The colour is amazingly intense. The caramel hues are so far away from the orange shades we’re used to. It’s very strongly pigmented so a little goes a long way. The finely milled powder applies like a dream, so smooth and flawless. There’s no glitter or sparkle, yet it’s not too matte, more of a satin finish I’d say. Furthermore, the 4 powders allow you to easily create the colour that suits your complexion and the season.

This product is an instant lift – I looked sunkissed every time I use it. Yes it’s pricey, but I’ve been using this one for 6 months now and it’s barely gone down.

Go on ladies, treat yourself… you won’t be disappointed!

THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED ON MY NEW BLOG SEE IT HERE http://beautyandlechicblog.blogspot.com/

Topshop Make Up Sandstorm Collection for Spring/Summer 2011

Topshop – not content with ruling the high street fashion world, they’re now set to dominate the make up one too, and with this new Spring/Summer 11 Sandstorm collection, beauty insiders are sitting up and taking serious notice.

The collection, inspired predominantly by The Burning Man Project festival in the Nevada dessert – hence the name, is a beautiful selection of one off formulas in contrasting metallic finishes and sun bleached neon’s, delicate pastels, sandy hues and peachy lips.

The collection includes, the eagerly anticipated Duo Blush, a versatile blusher and bronzer in a marbled dome for both highlighting and contouring, marble effect baked eye shadows, metallic cream eye shadows and vibrant nail polishes. This fiercely vibrant collection is perfectly on trend with for this season’s 70’s glam rock revival and the perfect companion for the coming festival season.

This limited edition capsule collection from £5 is set to hit stores and Topshop online next week. In the mean time, quench your thirst with tutorial.

17/2/11 Update

Sandstorm now available online, but it’s selling out quick!