Wednesday, 30 March 2011

a fashion facelift

As the Summer season fast approaches and we all look to transform our wardrobe and step out in a new couture, it seems we are not the only ones getting a new style for the season. Nivea's best selling product worldwide, Nivea Soft Moisturising Cream, has come face to face with Spanish fashion designer Josep Font who has given this trusted product a bit of a fashion face-lift. 
Josep Font is one of catwalks top fashion designers. He is renowned for his avant-garde pieces and is enthused by the fashion crowd; with his thrilling pieces being sported by the likes of Lady Gaga. Josep Font has collaborated with Nivea, a brand he describes as having "incredible prestige around the world", and has channelled his visionary creativity to produce three new designs. These designs follow the key trends in his collections and all aspire to his one main objective - 'the beauty creation'.

* Estella - inspired by Expressionist Sculptor Frank Stella, depicts the eyes of a fantastical female figure flash through a kaleidoscope of shapes and colours
* Sea - incorporates the motif of a mermaid wearing a turban of starfish
* Dreams - evokes a mysterious night time world

"The designs represent the inspiration of my haute couture collections and I thought that they were perfect for Nivea Soft's philosophy."

Despite the revamp, this popular product remains unchanged, with the esteemed formula still delivering a fresh feeling moisture boost that is easily absorbed. The moisturiser is enriched with Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E which leaves the skin supple and silky smooth. It really is a lovely rich cream and can be used on your face, body, hands and feet so you are tip to toe ready to bare your skin this summer!

These limited edition products are available from April - July 2011 and will retail at £6.59.
for stockist information, please feel free to visit the Nivea website.

What are your thoughts on this colourfully-creative collaboration?
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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

celebrations in the city

On Sunday, Rob took me to London for my birthday. With coffee in hand, we whittled away the hours around Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane, unearthing the weird and wonderful (vegetable pens!) this place has to offer. Time flew, we were having so much fun. We foraged for hidden treasures in the abundance of vintage shops and paused to marvel at the cultural dishes being cooked up; flooding the streets with a spiced aroma. We went for celebratory crepes to refuel; I opted for apple and cinnamon with butterscotch sauce, Rob went for the manly option of Nutella, plain and simple. Now feeling invigorated with sugar in my system, I revisited some of my favourite stalls and picked out some gorgeous pieces of jewellery, namely rings, a lovely vintage scarf and a bold fuchsia pink pleated skirt. 

In the afternoon we moseyed over to the West End and spent some time on Oxford Street. I popped into Topshop, a place that usually fills me with such elation and expectancy, but I just wasn't getting the buzz. I think having spent the morning surrounded by such uniqueness and creativity, I just wasn't feeling inspired by the racks of sameness. We left and headed back to Spitalfields for drinks and dinner. There was still much commotion even at 6 o'clock and we took our pew above the market and enjoyed our drinks overlooking the hustle and bustle down below. Mine was the white wine spritzer in case you were wondering!

Dinner time and we decided to dine at Giraffe for some yummy cocktails and tasty food. The night was topped off sweetly with a birthday brownie, afloat in a pool of chocolate sauce and crowned by a dollop of vanilla ice cream. I wish I had got a photo but it was consumed rather too swiftly!

It really was a perfect birthday and one I shall remember for a long time.

My outfit:
skirt - H&M
boots - River Island
(p)leather jacket - H&M
tie-dye snood - River Island
belt - River Island
bag - Louis Vuitton speedy 35
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Saturday, 26 March 2011

a spring in my step

Linen shirt - H&M
Skirt - H&M
Cardigan - Topshop (sale!)
Bangles - Accessorize

Ever so slowly I do believe we are edging our way into Spring.
We were blessed with a few glorious days this week, hitting the balmy highs of 14 degrees, catapulting the country into chaos, and bringing the unnerving sight of bare legs and flip flops! I certainly am not ditching my tights or leggings any time soon, but I did adopt a rather more Spring-like attire yesterday at work. 
The skirt was only £7.99 and the H&M staff were only just wheeling them out of the stockroom when I clapped my eyes on their beauty; you know I love my high-waisted apparel. They have the same style in literally 5 or 6 different prints, the dark blue paisley is next on my list. The linen shirt is pretty self-explanatory, everyone needs a linen shirt in their wardrobe. The cardigan was probably my most heroic find, battling through the elbows and cascade of clothing at the Topshop sale, bagging myself the final one in my size!

Today is my last day as a 24 year old, merely a few hours away from entering that rather daunting 25-30 box. I had a wonderful meal out last night with my beautiful friend Claire to celebrate. Tonight I shall be enjoying some time with my family and boyfriend, warmed by the log fire and fuelled with some good food and a glass or two of Champagne. Tomorrow, on the big day, Rob is treating me to a day out in London, the morning spent frequenting the numerous markets about town, and then onto an afternoon of shopping and dinner. I am really looking forward to it all. :)
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Thursday, 24 March 2011

fighting the fade

I feel like a broken record at the moment, banging on about my hair again. But currently my hair has become the most consuming part of my beauty regime. Before I use to search for the perfect foundation or the most desirable cleanser, but now it is all about the barnet. 
It has been exactly two weeks now since I had it recoloured after the dreaded fade struck, and I am really pleased with how the colour has stayed. I went back to my hairdressers this afternoon for a cut and blow-dry and even she seemed in awe of how radiant my hair has remained. Shamefully I can't remember the last time I had my hair cut, it was definitely pre-Christmas last year, so I had a much needed three inches snipped off as well as having a heavy side fringe swept in.

I asked you, my oh-so trusted readers, in one of my previous hair posts if you had any tips, tricks or recommended products you could enlighten me with to help me fight the fade. You came up trumps, so I thought I would compile a little overview of all the suggestions I received. I have not tried all the products mentioned below so cannot vouch for their effectiveness yet. However I tried a Wella toner sachet (99p from Boots) and didn't think it did anything spectacular for my hair. I am washing my hair as little as possible and have notched down the temperature of my water quite dramatically, both of which I believe have helped maintain my colour.

* Redken Colour Extend range
* Limited hair washing (luckily I only need to wash my hair every 4-5 days)
* Use cold water to rinse, this closes the pores and stops fading/bleeding
* Wella's wash in/wash out colour toner sachets from Boots 
* CHI organics tone and shine in Red Auburn (THIS looks amazing)
* John Frieda Radiant Red range
* Aveda Madder Root
* Mixing part hair dye to your shampoo or conditioner each time you wash your hair
* I also found this post from fellow redhead, Messy Carla, really useful

For the past two weeks I have been using Tresemme's new Colour Protection range. I think the above photos speak for themselves in regards to the performance of these products. I am very impressed.

Long live the red!
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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

innocent until proven guilty

This was my outfit from Saturday night - but have only just gotten around to posting about it. I went out to the cinema, sufficiently bloated myself with popcorn and some questionably-colourful slush drink, and watched The Lincoln Lawyer. I am a true geek when it comes to legal dramas and courtroom showdowns. I honestly love them. I highly rate the film; it was high-paced and full of twists. My viewing pleasure was also, somewhat, enhanced by the screen presence of Mr McConaughey. 

My outfit was pretty casual. My brown-camel tee with pocket detail is from Topshop. Such an easy piece to wear and stocked in a plethora of colours. I bought it a few sizes too big so I could sling it off my shoulder. I wore some slouchy black harems from H&M and workman style boots from River Island. My cinema is notorious with being a little effusive with the air-conditioning, so I draped myself with my cranberry knit cardigan also from Topshop.

My headband and bangles are from Accessorize. I bought this headpiece maybe a year ago, but it has solemnly hung off my mirror feeling a little unloved for quite some time. I think it was the recent hair colour transformation that revived this piece, and I just love how all the colours marry together perfectly. Plus it adds a bit of pizzaz to an otherwise pretty plain outfit!

I hope you are all well and have had a pleasant start to your week. 
I am officially now on birthday countdown...5 days and counting.
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Sunday, 20 March 2011

you got me in a spin

Let me introduce you to Bourjois' latest innovation, set to revolutionise your mascara application, with every speedy rotation. Mascaras nowadays seem to have a life of there own, vibrating all over the show, and regarded somewhat as slightly...gimmicky? Call me cynical, but I admittedly passed on all these pulsating products and stuck to the trusty, old-fashioned method of application.
So it would be fair to say I was slightly dubious when I was confronted with Bourjois' Volume Fast & Perfect Mascara Rotatif, booted with a new auto-rotating brush. 
"In just one coat it gives a false eyelash effect in record time."

The brush bristles are soft and full. I find this type of brush much more favourable than the silicon rubbery bristles that you get with some mascaras. The brush offers perfectly even distribution and deposits the mascara on each individual lash without the fear of overload. The high resistance volumising formula contains natural waxes, vitamin E and jojoba oil complex, making it suitable for the most sensitive of eyes. I found the formulation really nice, not overly drying or cakey and wasn't too stressful to remove.

I really rate this mascara, despite a hesitate start. At first, I found the brush kept catching my skin and leaving a smeary mascara mark over my eyeshadow, causing upmost frustration. But through a little bit of practice, it becomes simple to use and gives great results. The brush rotates through your lashes, literally catching each one, rolling them around and coating them completely. It is the perfect lazy girl's mascara, and does a grand job in volumising and lengthening the lashes. I found the best method for applying the mascara was to be very gentle and literally let the brush do the hard work. I half-close my eyes and tilt my head slightly downwards.

Bourjois Volume Fast & Perfect Mascara Rotatif will retail at £11.99 (16.99 ROI) and shall be released to the expectant consumer in May 2011.
It will be available from Boots, Superdrug and ASOS.

Are you dancing in circles over this revolving revolution?
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Saturday, 19 March 2011

Liz Earle's Brightening Treatment Mask

Another glorious offering from the extensive Liz Earle skincare range, and yet again, it doesn't fail to please me or my skin. The Brightening Treatment Mask, a fast-acting 'minute' mask, is ideal for whenever dull skin needs a quick fix and some rejuvenation. It is packed full of fancy, naturally active ingredients such as aloe vera and witch hazel, which help to cool and tone the skin. White Clay is also present, a super-fine powder which absorbs excess sebum on the skin and draws out embedded impurities.
This mask is perfect for those who don't have time to sit around with cucumbers on their eyes, slathered in a sludgy solution for half an hour. It acts quickly, invigorating your skin whenever it needs a boost of radiance. Simply apply to clean, dry skin and leave on for any time between 30 seconds to 2 minutes. The product comes with Liz Earle's infamous pure muslin cloth. Soak this in hand-hot water and then gently wipe your face to remove the product.

What I love about this product is that you can tailor its use totally to your needs. In the mornings, I am mad-dashing all over the show and cannot justify 2 minutes out of my tight timetable to let a face mask linger on my skin, however 30 seconds is completely acceptable! And I honestly do feel the effects from such a short time. It perks my skin up, leaves it zesty-fresh and completely cleansed. Due to the active ingredients, you will experience a wonderfully tingly sensation on your skin, which is completely expected. However, Liz Earle do advise this product may not be suitable for very sensitive skin.

I would say, I do prefer this product more as a quick step in my regime, rather than as an indulgent face mask, and I don't think it quite compares to the Deep Cleansing Mask I featured last year and still use on a weekly basis. 

This Brightening Treatment Mask is available online and the 50ml Starter Kit (as featured) is £13.
Are you a fan of Liz Earle and is this something that appeals to you?
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Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Purity by Illamasqua, one fifth of the Toxic Nature's nail collection launched last week online. Purity nestles up with a host of intoxicating greens and lurid oranges, so by comparison, this shade is rather understated. However, this muted peach hue shouldn't be readily dismissed. It is such a rich unique colour that sits so prettily, I am in love with it already.
Taking two coats to achieve complete opaqueness, and like with all Illamasqua nail polishes, it is a joy to apply and goes on silky and streak-free. 

Available online now for £13.50.
Are you peachy for this polish?
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Sunday, 13 March 2011

present in petals

High waisted jeans - Gap
Floral print top - Miss Selfridge
Sequin jacket - H&M

Hold the phone, I am wearing jeans! These are the only pair of jeans I own and have ever held in high regard! I think the high waisted style is mildly flattering on me, and works best for my figure. High heels are completely necessary with them so I wore my cream patent heels that I featured in this outfit post.

I hope you have all had wonderful weekends. Mine, as ever, has been jam-packed. I played hockey on Saturday during the day which is my standard weekend ritual and I simply love it. This was my attire for the evening. I went out with my boyfriend Rob and two other couples. We have all been friends for years and we always endeavour to meet up as much as possible. Unfortunately, due to relocation and hectic schedules, we don't see each other as much as we'd like, but when we do, it is always guaranteed to be like time has stood still since we last met. We ate pizza, drank cocktails (well the girls did) and had a fabulous night together. Today, Sunday, more exercise resumed, kicked off with my twice-weekly Zumba class. Always assured to blow the cobwebs away. And then I played another hockey match this afternoon which was a bit dismal, not only because we lost but the heavens decided to open half way through.

I just wanted to say thank you for all the really lovely comments on my latest post regarding the new hair do. I have taken note of all your suggestions and will keep you posted on my battle to fight the inevitable fade!
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Friday, 11 March 2011

seeing red

It was five weeks ago to the day that my chameleonic transformation from blonde to red began. The results were more than pleasing, but the words of warning from my hairdresser rang emphatically in my ears as I left the salon. Red is an extremely tricky colour to maintain, expect fade and expect it fast! Over the past five weeks I have mourned my colour every time I have washed my hair. Blooded water coated my shoulders, my bath awash with a ruby tinge, my hair becoming less and less red. 
Five weeks on and my hair was drab and lacklustre, yet I was torn between my head and my heart. Do I continue my plight for the red tresses I so desired or throw in the towel, surrender to nature's way, and opt for a more maintainable colour?!
These below images swayed me. A girl only lives once...

And so back to the salon I went tonight, having previously briefed my ever-patient hairdresser, and the necessary dye specially ordered in. This time around I wanted something a little bit more vivid and true. I am not shy when it comes to hair colour and I really love the brilliance of the results....

Unfortunately these photos don't fully capture the true intensity of the new colour, and it looks quite similar to how it was before, but believe me, it is a lot more wow!
And so begins my quest again to try and keep this colour as vibrant as possible, for as long as possible! If anyone has any tips or tips for protecting coloured hair, or any holy grail products I should use, then please please do share.

Happy Friday to you all and I hope you all have wonderful weekends.
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Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Toxic Nature

Toxic Nature - Illamasqua's Spring Summer 2011 collection. A colourful juxtaposition of intoxicated neons, powerful pastels and dirtied earthy tones represent Illamasqua's visionary concept of nature's battle against a genetically modified society. Toxic Nature is unpredictable, raw and unchartered. It is a paradox of tones and hues, a beautiful contradiction, a clashing deliverance of unbound creativity.


I attended the Illamasqua event last week and met with other bloggers with a similar anticipating disposition. The mystical setting was perfectly apt to host the unveiling of their new collection. Rainbow-bright macaroons enticed us from a far whilst earthy foliage, enlarged critters and smouldering forestry propped the room. It was a privilege to witness the collection in all its unabashed glory, as well as being treated to having our nails lacquered by the lovely ladies from WAH nails. 

The collection comprises of the following products;

5 x cream pigment (£17)
 Emerge (peach) Bedaub (mint) Dab (lilac) Hollow (toffee) Delirium (rose taupe) Mould (grape)

5 x nail polishes (13.50) as above...Gamma, Stagnate, Purity, Radium, Bacterium

2 x lipstick (£15.50) Atomic (fuchsia violet) and Flare (bright orange)

2 x sheer lipgloss (£13) Torture (coral peach) and Divine (fuchsia pink)

Precision Ink (£17) Glister (a wonderfully enchanting opalescent nude)

I have received a few products from the collection which I will duly swatch and show in a future post. I am most excited to try Purity nail polish, a lovely true peach hue.  

This collection is available to the masses online from Thursday 10th March and subsequently launches in the Illamasqua store and on counters on Thursday 17th March.
What are your thoughts on this eclectic collection? 
Are you ravished by Toxic Nature?
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