Friday, 28 October 2016

Clarins The Essentials Christmas Eye Palette

Considering we are so very nearly into November now, I feel like I am allowed to mention the C word on my blog...yes? Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!! For the past three years now, I believe, Clarins have released a very special festive eyeshadow palette and this season is no exception. It has become quite a collectable, coveted piece now and something to look forward to every Christmas time.

This year, the sleek eco-designed palette, contains ten eyeshadows in a variety of different finishes - matte, satin and a special iridescent sparkly number for those Christmas parties. The powders are luminous and seriously gorgeous when applied onto your eyelids. The blend beautifully together and can be used for a subtle look or full-on party glam! There is a definite purple/plummy type tone running through this palette which I personally love. Its funny, I adore berry-toned eyeshadows but I feel I only wear them during the festive time but now this palette has arrived, I can start powdering on the purple early! They all contain natural ingredients so offer nourishing benefits and ultimate comfort when you wear them. What more could you ask for? Ah well, the kind folks at Clarins will also plant a tree in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest with each purchase of this palette which is pretty super and just another reason why this is such a fantastic festive eyeshadow palette to pick up this Christmas!

This Clarins Festive Eyeshadow Palette (£35) is out now on counters and online.
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Thursday, 27 October 2016

Tanya Burr Cosmetics Autumn Collection

There's nothing like a spot of rose gold packaging to catch any beauty lover's eye and with Tanya Burr's latest launches showcasing the prettiest of exteriors, you can practically see the heart-eyed emojis popping up! Tanya Burr Cosmetics' new Autumn Winter collection includes a selection of gorgeous new lipsticks, 3 cheek illuminators, a body and face illuminator and a gorgeous eyeshadow quad.

Let's look at the lipsticks first. Following the success of the Tanya Burr lip glosses, it was about time we saw some lipsticks hitting the shelves, and these new releases are really lovely and worth the wait! There are six shades from a striking red, hot pink and the perfect AW berry hue, to a light pinky-nude, brown and peachy-coral. The formula is smooth and comfortable to wear and all the lipsticks are well pigmented and last a good length of time on the lips. The gold packaging is sleek and makes a fancy addition to your makeup bag and all the lipsticks are adorably named too...Happily Ever After and Birthday Cake happen to be my favourites.

The cheek, body and face illuminators all form part of the Glow Your Own Way range from Tanya Burr Cosmetics and promise to kiss your skin with an iridescence and gorgeous glow. The cheek illuminators are fab, coming in a pink, bronze and pearly shade. They can be used to add colour and/or highlight to your makeup and are creamy to apply and blend in. The face illuminator can be used alone or mixed in with your foundation to create a lit from within glow and gives a really pretty lightness to your complexion. The body illuminator is going to be a great product for the upcoming party season as it can be used on arms, legs, shoulders, anywhere really to give a sun kissed, warm glow to your skin. Both these products smell amazing too!

Finally we have a eyeshadow quad - the Midnight Smoulder palette which comes in Tanya Burr Cosmetics' recognisable packaging with a heart-shaped mirror, perfect for touching up your makeup to take you from day to night. The quad contains four complementary shades to create a smokey, smouldering eye look. I love the navy and plum tones and the highlight colour works wonderfully just under the brow bone and in the corner of your eyes. The pigmentation is good and they blend together seamlessly with a little iridescent and shimmer. A great product to keep in your makeup bag to transform your look if you fancy something a little smokey and sultry this season.

New products all available from Feel Unique now.
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Sunday, 23 October 2016

MAC Liptensity Lipsticks

PicMonkey CollageWhen I am after a brand new lipstick, I always find myself navigating towards my nearest MAC Cosmetics counter. It is fair to say that when it comes to offering you a ridiculous array of colours, textures, intensities and finishes, MAC has it all! And just when you thought they couldn't cram any more options into their much-instagrammed arrangement of lipsticks, MAC have released 24 new lip colours forming the new Liptensity range.

This new collection is all about an extreme, unprecedented spectrum of colour intensity. There is nothing shy about these new lipsticks. They are bold, unashamed and use a new pigment technology that deliver a show-stopping colour and finish. If you love your bright lips then this range is for you! You can expect every colour of the rainbow here from your reds, pinks, oranges and browns to some unexpected additions too. Blue or black lipstick anyone??

Above I have featured Burnt Violet (dark plum), Habanero (vibrant orange-red), Gumball (creamy blush pink) and Double Fudge (intense dark brown). All such striking shades that seem to last and last on my lips. My only bugbear is the flat-shaped bullet. It does make it tricky to apply the lip colour precisely and I would highly recommend a lip brush to accompany these intense lipsticks. Other than that, this new collection certainly packs a punch and even has some stunning nude shades for those more modest lipstick-wearers out there!
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Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Nourishing Milk

When I was little I was always told that a glass of milk a day would help you grow big and strong. So what about a drop of milk, on your skin? Well of course I am not talking about real milk but in fact Bobbi Brown's new Extra Repair Nourishing Milk - that hybrid product we have all been waiting for; a mixture between a face oil and a repair treatment.

This svelte little glass bottle with pipette dropper has slipped in nicely into my skincare routine and I am really enjoying the results so far. Formulated for all skin types, the milky (funnily enough!) texture is lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin, despite boasting various oils such as olive, sesame, sweet almond and jojoba. I expected it to feel greasy and heavy and would only really work when applied at night, but in actual fact it is wonderfully light and can be layered with skincare or makeup.

So the Repair Nourishing Milk can be applied on clean skin or as a sandwich filler between your serum and moisturiser, but for me this would be too much product on my skin. I like to use it instead of my serum, before my moisturiser or simply to prep my skin before my foundation. The silky emulsion only needs a few drops to cover your whole face and leaves the surface feeling so smooth and refined once it has sunk in. This product renews and rejuvenates the repair process for a healthier complexion as well as smoothing away fine lines and wrinkles for a firmer, plumper look. It also hydrates thanks to all those lovely oils and the sodium hyaluronate, which helps the skin's surface retain moisture. Finally it corrects skin damage by stimulating natural collagen production and strengthening the skin's protective barrier.

This is one of those skincare products that does exactly what it says on the tin bottle. It truly nourishes your skin and cares for a variety of skin problems you might be suffering with. It feels luxurious to use, a real treat that could just be used once or twice a week, or whenever your skin needs a bit of TLC.
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Thursday, 13 October 2016

Lifestyle: Our Family Photoshoot

Before I got engaged and started planning our wedding, I would have recoiled at the idea of doing a photoshoot. The idea of us awkwardly posing, cheesy grins with hands on hips made me feel quite uneasy and I certainly never thought I would be the type of person contemplating blowing up some prints to mount on our walls at home! I use to find it quite bizarre when I would visit someone's home and every which way you turned, you saw a family portrait smiling back at you! But I guess that's what becoming a wife and mother does to some people - I have turned into a soppy, sentimental soul who is so proud of what we have done, and where we are now, I am happy to hang the occasional family photo about my abode.

The thing is, the few photoshoots we have done with Katherine Ashdown have totally convinced me that there doesn't have to be any cheesiness or forced smiles involved - especially when you have a wiggly baby who keeps you giggling. Katherine was our wedding photographer and was like a soft breeze in the background, busy documenting the day in the most natural of ways - capturing those candid moments and orchestrating some shots with beautiful artistry. As a prelude to that day, we arranged an engagement shoot with Katherine and had the best time ever, messing about on the beach in Wells-Next-The Sea, Norfolk. They are some of my favourite photos of Rob and I and love that we were able to anticipate what it would be like having Katherine there on our wedding day.

Two years later and Florence entered our lives and I felt compelled to have a family photoshoot back at the same location where our engagement shoot took place. To sit on the edge of the same beach hut and walk along the same woodland path, now with our darling daughter, seemed like the sweetest idea (if a little sickeningly sentimental!). We had the best time and I am so pleased we took the plunge, driving over two and a half hours on one of the hottest days of the year with a 7 month old, because the end results are stunning and I couldn't be more thankful to Katherine for capturing this little moment in our lives.

It is cliched but so true - "the days are long but the years are short". I am so scared I am going to blink one day and wonder where my little baby has gone as I trot her through the school gates. So for now I know I will always have these photographs to remind me of this moment in her life - on a sunny September day in 2016, Florence had just turned 7 months and was finding her balance sitting up. She had a gummy smile and the brightest, biggest eyes. She was a girl full of funny expressions and was easily comforted to sleep on my shoulder with a gentle sshing in her ear.
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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

A Fresh Look, A New Start

photography by Katherine Ashdown
Over six and a half years I began blogging. I set up Pearls & Poodles one night, on a whim, back in 2010 and the rest, they say, is history. Back then I was 23 and my life was quite a contrast to what it is now. My priorities, interests and style were completely different and when I open up my blog now, I don't feel the aesthetics and content genuinely reflects me and where I am in my life anymore. So it is time for a makeover.

Firstly you will notice that the name, Pearls & Poodles, is no more...I have decided to ditch the alliteration and have kept it simple by calling it my name, Milly Naomi. I know this isn't a groundbreaking, novel idea but I feel it keeps my blog personal and gives it the ability to grow with me as I transition and develop as a blogger. Next month I am having my website redesigned and rebranded, so there will be a whole new look when you come to visit my page in the future.

So what can you expect from Milly Naomi going forward? I am going to slightly change the direction of my blogging but still promise to deliver you a mixture of content from beauty features, lifestyle, baking and of course, babies! I don't want to abandon my blogging style nor do I want to create an editorial website as this genuinely is not me. I want to keep it relatable, personal and packed full of snippets from my unfiltered life. I simply want to create a more mature, streamline blog that is inviting for you readers to land on and spend some time reading through my posts. I want to seamlessly categorise all my posts so I can accommodate all my readers, rather than alienate them. I know that not everyone is interested in baby-related posts, and I also know I have attracted a lot of new-mum readers, like myself, (did I mention I had a baby?!) who may not want to hear about my latest skincare routine. I want it to be easy to navigate around and laid out to give a pleasing, aesthetic look with larger photos and clear social media links. I also hope to grow my presence online and put some time into my YouTube channel so do let me know what type of videos you would like to see.

I really hope you all stick around during this transition and enjoy what I have planned for my blog going forward. Please do let me know what you like seeing on my blog or what else you would like to see featured. Here's to the next step on my blogging journey and hopefully another six years of writing and sharing my life and loves with you all.
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Friday, 30 September 2016

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Kye Collaboration

The Shu Uemura Art of Hair conditioners have been given a colourful makeover as the brand collaborates with creative talent, Kathleen Kye, who is one of Asia's most talked about designers. Kye is a stylish icon amongst the youth generation who takes her inspiration from street style to create her original unisex look. She could best be described as fun, fresh, innovative, ultra vivid and full of energy.

Kye has teamed up with Shu Uemura to transform the bottles of their iconic Art of Hair conditioners (Ultimate Remedy, Moisture Velvet and Colour Lustre) to really capture her unique style. Kye's crafted design is inspired by today's Korean youth movement, accented with iconic playful graphics to highlight Asian beauty style in the world.

I love these playful, fun bottles and they make a real statement in my bathroom cabinets. The conditioners are pretty incredible too and I have been using them non-stop over the past few weeks and my hair has been feeling super soft and well-loved. The Ultimate Remedy Conditioner provides extreme restoration for ultra-damaged hair. The Moisture Velvet Conditioner is nourishing for dry hair providing suppleness and a velvety touch. Finally, my favourite, is the Colour Lustre which is an illuminating treatment for colour-treated hair. It is nourishing, detangling and leaves hair feeling polished with a gorgeous shine!

These limited edition conditioners (£32) are available online and from selected premium salons nationwide.
*this post contains samples gifted for review purposes
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