Monday Must-Have: Fall for nails…

After years of painting my nails in rotation, one colour off, another on, I haven’t painted them at all since I had Bea. I could find time, but I wonder how they would stand up to the constant hand washing I now do and half of me almost feels like gaudy nails don’t fit against her perfect brand new skin. However, I’m starting to crave seasonal rich jewel like tones, muddy autumnal shades and new textures like this leather effect polish. Here are some of the colours I’m coveting right now…


Ciate Fashionista Sister (Black Purple shimmer) // Essie Wrapped in Rubies // Topshop Nail polish in Exhibit
Essie Snake it up Snake effect metallic blue/grey // Topshop Matte metallic nails in Scream // Nails Inc Alexa (Black) Leather polish
Nails Inc Fouberts Place // Deborah Lippmann Laughin’ to the bank // Essie Armed and Ready

What nail colour are you wearing or wanting right now?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS I love how unexpected the khaki looks. I’ve never gone for green before but I’m really into it right now.

Triple Temptation: Spring Palettes


Bobbi Brown // Nars // No.7

Every spring I’m tempted by the prettiest make up palettes that come out and look simply beautiful along with adding a bit of spring brightening sunshine to your make up look. Sometimes I feel like these are a bit of a folly but I have some lovely ones that I have used incessantly. As long as you pick colours that suit you it can be a hard working bit of kit. These are all brightening or blush compacts so likely to be the most useful of the possibilities out there and make a perfect spring treat for yourself or a gift for a friend.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Give it some Stick

When it comes to beauty I am Lazy. You will never find me luxuriating in hours to do my makeup and hair before a night out but I do enjoy mixing it up a little with different looks. I want impact and good results, but fast. There seems to be a real trend for crayon type lip products recently which appeal to me for their ‘slick on’ ease and I’ve tried a few so I thought I’d round them up here and see if any of you had any recommendations?

Revlon Colourburst Matte Balm and Lacquer
I was drawn to the colours of these and I love a Matte lip but I was really disappointed to find that despite the ‘balm’ name, they were super drying on the lip. I do suffer from dry lips so perhaps I’m not the best judge – I’d be really interested to hear if you liked these. I also though the colour range was a little limited. The lacquer was more moisturising but in a strange range of shades that didn’t suit my skin and still nowhere near a ‘balm’.

Clinique Chubby Stick £17
The original fat pencil lip product, this is like a cross between a balm and a lipstick with good colour density and a moisturising formula. It’s moisturising and has a good range of less outrageous colours perfect for your work bag.

H&M Lip Pen £2.99
I picked one of these up on a whim in H&M whilst shopping because I thought for the princely sum of £2.99 it could hardly disappoint. I wasn’t wrong as it is lovely and soft, moisturising on the lip and the colour builds as you apply. Of course there are only a few shades and the peachy shade I chose is really better for summer, but definitely worth a try for the price! :)

Have you tried any of these or can you recommend a new moisturising lip colour for me?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Triple Temptation: Berry Lips


Stila Crush Lip and Cheek Stain in Cherry £16 // Albeit lipstick in Plum £14 // Marquisette Rouge – & Other Stories £12

Now the mercury has dipped to freezing I’m thinking about pink cheeks and berry lips for a festive look. Equally good for a trip to the Christmas Markets in the day time or brought out for a Christmas get together. I actually purchased the & Other Stories shade in London last week and can vouch for the creamy texture and berry-perfect shade. I also own the Stila lip glaze and was inspired to get it out after seeing Bella wear it a couple of weekends ago (in another shade) but it remains less moisturising than the creamy texture of the lipstick.

Now, what I’d like to know is if you guys can recommend any other brands or shades for a berry pout this winter? Have you tried a berry lip?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Monday Must Have: Old Hollywood

Before we go any further, can we just take a moment to note how fabulous Katie Holmes looks in the Bobbi Brown Christmas campaign: Old Hollywood.

There are very few things in life that make me feel better than a bright pout. Regardless of how tired I’m feeling, or dispirited with my wardrobe choices or weight or whatever, it’s a failsafe pick me up. Bobbi’s look for Christmas demonstrates the power of the pout nicely, I think.

This year my wardrobe for the festive season is likely to be severely limited by budget and although I may stretch to a single party dress, I’m thinking that a mega watt smile in Holiday red would probably do the trick for festive cheer this year.

On saturday whilst trawling the shops for a cheap and cheerful wardrobe update, I came across the Old Hollywood collection and instantly coveted the lot. I’m sure many of you already own a red lipstick, but the nail shades were fab too (and inspired me to paint mine gold for this week,) and the cream shadow stick glided onto the back of my hand like silk, blending beautifully. If not for a little mid-month pick me up, how about putting one on the Christmas list?

Happy Monday readers,
Rebecca
xo

Masterstrokes

The perfect make up needs the perfect tools so I thought I would share the make up brushes I use for an every day face or a more glamorous look. It’s worth investing in brushes – if you look after them, they last for years and £14 here and £20 there feels like less of a splurge.

Everyday:

Bobbi Brown Foundation Brush.
I don’t wear foundation daily, applying a tinted moisturizer (if anything) with my fingers. I do however use this brush for applying cream blusher and blending it across my skin. When I want a full coverage for a night out, I use the other side to apply liquid foundation.

Bare Minerals Max Coverage Concealer brush.
Before this brush I always applied concealer with my fingers and found the result less than satisfactory. For an airbrushed look, I now use a skin matched concealer with this brush and very lightly buff it on – almost just tickling the surface with the brush at 90 degrees to the skin, for the most immaculate coverage. It’s also great for applying foundation or concealer to small areas like the under eye area or sides of the nose, where required.

MAC 217 shadow brush
This is meant for filling in the whole lid with a base shade before your other colours or shading. On a daily basis I’m lazy and tend to just use a neutral tone to even out my eye lids, but this brush works just as well with a darker shade, blending the edges out beautifully.

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage brush
This was designed to be used with the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer. Applied in the same way I described above, it provides really full coverage without any of the caked on appearance. It also really stays put but that’s likely to be more to do with the product itself.

Ruby and Milly brow and lash tidy
I don’t think this is available anymore but most brands offer a similar brush. I use it mainly to brush through my brows in the morning (with the mascara wand-like end) and make them look a little more presentable, but it’s also useful to separate lashes before or between applications of mascara, for a really defined look.

Bare Minerals Blush Brush (Flawless Application Face brush)
Sold as a foundation brush, I use it for my blusher, or bronzer, finding it really soft and just the right shape.

Special occasions:

MAC 266 Small Angled Brush
I think this brush is my sister’s best friend and she is queen of the eye makeup. Perfect for lining the bottom lash line with a complimentary colour to your eye shadow or even using one of the shading colours to draw along the upper lash line, it allows a really precise finish.

Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush
This one is especially for BB gel liners. If I want a retro thick liquid liner look, I use this to create the perfect flick and line, either building up the thickness or using it front/side on for different widths.

Laura Mercier Flat Eye Liner brush
Another special brush, I use this with the tightline cake eyeliner for a subtle but effective lash boost. After wetting the brush, I create a liquid liner by wetting the liner cake and coating the brush then looking up or straight forwards toward the mirror, push the end of the brush into the base of the lashes (from underneath them,) to create a full, thick look to the lashes and a subtle line.

MAC 228 Mini Shader Brush
When I’m creating a party or smokey eye, this is the brush I use to define the eye socket, and particularly to create a feline eye shape. It’s small enough to not take over the eyelid with the product it distributes and soft enough to blend too.

Powder applicator.
Not quite a brush, this is what I use to apply powder and really set my base for a special occasion like a wedding where I need my make up to go the distance. I use a loose powder, applying a light sprinkle to the pad, or dipping it and knocking off the excess. Then you rub the pad together on itself by folding it over in several directions working the powder into the pad. Finally, with fingers through the back of the pad’s loop, press the pad onto the skin, rolling it on and off, first along the t-zone then outwards for the perfect finish.

I hope you found this useful – as I’ve learned how important brushes are, I always wonder what has been used for a particular effect when I see a particularly beautiful makeup look. Have you got any must have brushes you can recommend readers?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Tried & Liked… Beauty

Just recently I happen to have tried quite a few new beauty products for various reasons, so I thought I would do a little round up of some of them here along with my thoughts, in case any of you were looking to make a purchase.

Vichy LiftActive Serum 10 Eyes and Lashes (Available instore at larger Boots branches or here online)

Earlier in the year as part of January Joy, I made some skin care resolutions, including applying eye cream and finding a super serum. So when I was asked to try this Vichy Eye and lash serum I was keen to have a go. The product is supposed to ‘illuminate the eye, smooth surrounding skin and fortify the lashes’. I have to admit, I was very interested in anything that would improve my lashes and had been disappointed to recently find that my renewed enthusiasm for applying my usual eye cream was leading to puffy eyes in the morning, so I was pleasantly surprised by this light serum. Applied with the finger tips around the socket area, as per any usual eye cream, you finish by stroking the serum over the lashes and it feels quite refreshing. As you know the jury is always out for me on whether any anti-aging product works but if you’re looking to invest in an eye cream I really liked this one which is also suitable for super sensitive skins.

Sanctuary 5 minute Thermal Detox Mask, Boots (£3 for a sachet or £10.50 for 100ml)

When my skin is in trouble, I often turn to a mask to calm it down and prevent future breakouts. Previously my favourite has been Eve Lom’s Rescue Mask but having recently run out and always a fan of warming masks I thought I’d try this one. I absolutely loved it – Not only was it really lovely and warm on the skin but it was really effective. It dried up my skin a treat, calmed redness and I felt that it really put an end to the hormonal breakout I was experiencing.

Elemis Freshskin Purifying Facewash (£9.99 online from Superdrug)

Another of my beauty resolutions in January was to try not to go to bed with my make up on. My plan at the time was to keep face wipes by the bed which I did do but another weapon in my arsenal is this face wash. I haven’t used a true face wash in years, finding them drying and leaving my skin uncomfortable afterwards – hence my love affair with the oil enriched Eve Lom. This was a freebie from the Cosmo Blog Awards and I thought I’d give it a go. Despite low expectations I have actually found myself going back to it time and again, when I simply want to freshen up, or when I just want a super quick cleanse. I just wet my face, squeeze out a blob of the cleanser, wipe it all over my face and splash off. Done. Admittedly it’s not super moisturising but it doesn’t leave my skin dry or flakey either. This is actually aimed a young skin and also has purifying ingredients too but I don’t think it matters and would suit any skin as long as it’s not too dry. Great for the shower too.

So, I’d love to hear if any of you have any great recent beauty finds to recommend or if there’s something you want a recommendation for, just leave a comment and I’m sure the readers will have some suggestions!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Spring Series: Pampering Pedicure

Today’s Spring series covers one of those pesky little maintenance tasks you need to do to get in shape for summer. Fear not, we’re simply tackling your tootsies today with my tips for an easy (and budget friendly) DIY manicure that will look as good as any salon trip, with a little effort.

First up, get your equipment together. You will need:

Somewhere to soak your feet, the bath is ideal but you could relocate to the sofa and use a washing up bowl!

  • A coarse body scrub and/or exfoliating gloves.
  • Nail varnish remover (if necessary).
  • Nail clippers, cuticle stick and nail file.
  • Moisturiser (and cuticle oil if you have it).
  • Nail base coat, polish and top coat.

  1. First off remove any polish you are wearing and soak your feet in warm water with a splash of your favourite bath product.
  2. Using either a decent dollop of scrub, or wearing the exfoliating mitts, scrub your feet all over, focusing on area’s of hard skin such as the heel, and around the nails.
  3. Rinse, towel dry and cut your nails whilst soft.
  4. Clean under the nail and apply moisturiser to the whole foot.
  5. Apply cuticle oil if you have it (moisturiser will do) and proceed to gently push the cuticles back.
  6. This next step is amongst the most important for results – filing the nail makes the pedicure appear professional as your nails get a lovely neat and tidy shape so spend some time on this, creating a nice square nail and smoothing the corners.
  7. Dry the nails themselves with a damp towel and paint them. Set some time aside and do a proper job starting with base coat, then 2 coats of colour and seal with a top coat. Allow to dry properly so you don’t smudge the nail.
  8. For extra dry feet (and only if you are sure the colour is dry), apply a thick layer of moisturiser and pop some socks on overnight for super smooth feet.

And voila! You’re ready for summer!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Spring Series: The Perfect Palette

One of my favourite things to do in spring is to peruse the new beauty offerings. All of the big beauty houses bring out spring cosmetic collections in delicious pastels, tropical brights and bronze beauty perfection. Perhaps even more than the colours, it’s the textures that make them so attractive – juicy shades of lipgloss, shimmering highlighters and electric eye liners perfect for warmer weather and tired complexions. So for today’s spring series I’m bringing you my pick of the most coveted items from the beauty halls to treat yourself to.

  • Bobbi Brown has, as always, produced a colour-filled collection called Lilac Rose with her usual limited edition shimmer brick for an all over glow and the trademark pot rouge to make your cheeks really pop.
  • I fell in love with these polishes after seeing it on Ruth – it may just be the perfect gold flecked coral for summer. Dior Vernis Spring Ball.
  • Eye palettes are often expensive but give you a range of complimentary shades and when worn in different combinations, a whole range of different looks. I like the ease with which you can travel light and take just one palette with everything you need for day-to-night wear. Try this one from Dior: Cherie Bow Palette
  • My favourite skin pick-me-up has to be this Laura Mercier Radiance Primer. It’s more subtle than the illuminating tinted moisturiser and can be worn alone or under another tinted moisturiser, BB cream or foundation for a photo-finish glow and great lightweight coverage.
  • Looking for a new mascara? Get Betty Boop eyes with Lancome Hynose Star Mascara for a volumised and curled ‘star eyed’ look.

Have you seen any beauty lust-after’s?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Borrowing from the Boys…

Due to disruption yesterday this post (which should have gone up yesterday lunchtime) is getting a little longer in the spotlight for you all to add your thoughts! Penny will be back with her musical discoveries this afternoon!

Unsurprisingly, my first stop when it comes to beauty products is not the mens beauty aisle in Boots. Last week however when we were on holiday, I dipped into Pete’s washbag and decided to try out his moisturiser, L’Oreal for Men Wrinkle De-crease. A bit of a cheeky present I got him for his thirtieth (with an anti-aging sub-text!) it had only made it away with us as Pete had remembered he might need a bit of extra attention for his skin after a day of sub zero winds and reflected sun on the slopes.

I was really pleasantly surprised, it had a lovely light fluid texture from the pump dispenser, sunk straight into my parched skin and had that bonus male fresh fragrance that I quite liked! After weeks of super cold weather here in the UK alternating with harsh central heating, I’ve really been battling to keep my skin hydrated and fight the flakes I experience on my t-zone without feeling like I have had to slick my face with overly thick or heavy moisturizer. I couldn’t believe something so light and fresh feeling could do such a great job.

Apart from occasionally borrowing deodorant or a razor if I have run out myself, I’ve never really used mens grooming products and it left me wondering if I was missing out?

Is there anything in your beauty routine that you borrow from the boys?

Love,
Rebecca
xo