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.


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,


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.


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?


Found: Extreme Party Mascara

Ok, so I feel like I’m turning into a walking talking Bobbi Brown advert recently, what with the make-over I shared and the gorgeous lip colour I also bought. But today’s find is a bit of a fluke really, albeit one I couldn’t keep to myself.

A couple of Fridays ago I was heading off to a friend’s wedding, we were running a little late, Pete was getting grouchy and so I piled all my make up into my make up bag and planned to finish it in the car, base already seen to. No sooner were we on the motorway when rifling through said bag I realised I had left my mascara behind, and there’s no way I was getting dolled up to the nines to then going without mascara. Oh no. So like any self respecting woman, I directed Pete to make a stop at the Trafford centre and hot footed it into the John Lewis make up department to pick one up. It’s partly chance that Bobbi Brown is pretty much the first counter I came across and partly because I had heard of the Extreme Party Mascara and thought the name sounded like the kind of effect I love on my lashes, that I purchased one and left, in such a rush that I only checked that it was in fact black, after I had paid. The sales assistant must have thought I was mental.

Fastforward to the ongoing car journey, marital harmony restored and I started layering it on. And oh my goodness, the effect was amazing. So amazing that I felt obliged to take a photo and tweet about it there and then, with one eye mascara’d and the other not. I think it makes for a pretty impressive comparison.

Apparently Bobbi created the Extreme Party Mascara for women who ‘wanted the effect of false lashes without the fuss,‘ and it promises ‘Unbelieveable volume, endless build, exceptional separation.‘ I actually would say it’s better than that. It seems to curl the lashes, widen my eyes, makes them ridiculously long and thick and also gives the promised separation. The picture I took above is a single coat and you can build it for even more drama. Seriously, look at the difference right to left!

See why I couldn’t keep it to myself?

I promise, it will be the best £18.00 you have ever spent.


Recommended: Bobbi Brown Make Over.

So, a couple of weekends ago, I went to Bobbi Brown with Jess, as it was her birthday and I thought I’d treat her to a make up session. I thought it would be a fun afternoon and get us both glammed up for the evening, and I also needed some new bits and pieces. As with most make up counters, the booking fee is redeemable against products purchased and it’s easy to treat yourself – I found out just how easy!

What started as a bit of a fun idea turned into a really interesting couple of hours (we had back to back 1 hour sessions) and a real insight into Bobbi Brown’s make up. I was already a fan, for several reasons, but sometimes tired of their ‘classic look’, the gel liner and colour pop cheeks, however flawless the skin. More recently however it seems there is always a new and interesting collection available which keeps things fresh in the beauty world, where collections tend to get released, sell out, then frustratingly hang around on the counter for months before something new replaces them.

I do tend to change my make up seasonally, to accommodate not just trends and my own style preferences but different skin tones throughout the year and occasions so I thought I’d share some of the lovely bits I discovered and the purchases I made. It’s worth noting that I was looking for some new things to freshen up my every day routine, although the make-over I had was party make-up.

It was so good I went back with my sister over this weekend, for a mini-eye makeover, prior to us hitting the town for my birthday – all the images in this post were taken at the Bobbi Brown counter in Selfridges, Manchester. The mini-makeovers are completely free.

So here’s what I bought!

1. I’ve long known the secret to flawless application of foundation is having the right tools and I recently switched to applying my liquid concealer with a brush, so it was time to branch out on the foundation front too with this foundation brush. I have a couple of Bobbi Brown brushes and this one is lovely.

2. I’m not usually one for foundation, getting by with tinted moisturisers and a touch of concealer. However sometimes you have a formal event to go to, or just have a bad skin day (or week) and need a bit more coverage. This Moisture Rich Foundation was recommended to me by the make up artist who did my face on my first visit along with a primer, and it was perfect for my long suffering parched skin.

3. Blusher is definitely my go-to make up item and I usually opt for a real colour pop bright, in pinks or coral tones, depending on the season. Sometimes though, I can’t help but feel it’s a bit ‘fake’ looking, after all do your cheeks really look like a victorian doll’s? It’s not very sophisticated or take-me-seriously for work. I completely fell in love with this shade of the Pot Rouge in a cream formulation that give a subtle flush of warm colour and definition to the cheek. I apply it with the brush above for blending.

4. Lastly, the lovely shimmer brick. A fan since Bobbi first released the original bronze, I’ve always wondered how to justify or indeed fit another shade into my make up bag and routine, but this one in Rose Gold dusted delicately where you would like the light to hit your face gives a real lit-from-within glow and radiance with subtle colour.

I have picked up a couple of other bits (one by one or as presents I hasten to add) but I’m going to save them for another day.

Tell me, have you got any Bobbi Brown products you can’t live without, or have you bought any new make up for spring lately?


Spotted: Bobbi Brown Neon and Nudes

This week, with all the #lfw tweets, blog posts and online articles flying about, I’m certainly feeling the excitement of new trends that spring brings. Of course that doesn’t just extend to fashion but also beauty, as models are sent down the catwalk with striking looks and sometimes extreme styles. The trick is, how to translate this to the high street?

I don’t cover every cosmetic house’s new collections, just the ones that appeal to me, Florence Finds is after all an edited collection of things I love and hope you will too, so you’ll understand why I’m sharing this look. It’s right up my street. Allow me to share the Bobbi Brown Neon and Nudes collection

Usually known for wearable subtle looks, this one is no exception when it comes to wearability, but is significantly less subtle. I love Bobbi’s lip colours and the three additions within this collection could well be winging their way directly into my make-up bag. Look out for Neon Pink, Atomic orange and a ‘perfect nude’ to balance the eye shades that are part of this collection. Not normally a fan of nude or a pale lip, even I might be tempted to try this one out.

A full on bright lip needs a pared back face and Bobbie has created two softer blush shades to work with, not fight against, the lip shades. Add to that the super user friendly felt tip ink liner and you’re good to go.

Of course, neon lips aren’t a look everyone wants to rock, but if you prefer the focus on your eyes there are two lovely (and more subtle than they look in the palette) shades – bluebell and ultra violet. Personally I think the most wearable item in the collection also easily makes it into the must-have list for every woman’s make-up bag – a palette of classic nudes for every occasion.

Lastly, check out the bright and juicy glosses – perfect for spring and again, a lot more subtle than they look

There’s even a how-to video…

So can Bobbi convert you? I’d love to hear about your favourite neon brights for lips – drop a comment in the box below and share your top buys.


What to Wear: Polka Dots.

Good morning readers! This morning you get to have a gawk at my fashion choices because we have finally had a spot of good weather (although a touch chilly!) in Manchester and I’ve been able to get out and take some photos of my recent purchases.

Today’s choice, polka dots, comes to you with a huge tip-off… it may not feel like it but we are nearing the end of the A/W’11 season and soon the shops will be full of Spring/Summer clothes, despite the fact we’ll still want to curl up in front of a fire in a thick woolly jumper. Luckily, today’s is a trend that will see you through.

The Whistles pre-collection has just been released featuring spots and dots and Marc Jacobs spring/summer 2012 collection also used the playful print heavily. It’s a look that reminds me of the eighties, Princess Diana-style tiny polka dot midi dresses and oversized spots in nautical navy and white. No-one wants to look like an 80’s throwback though, so this is how I’m wearing them…

First up my Emerald green and black polka dot skirt from Topshop. (Find similar here and here.) As ever in these posts I’m not claiming to be some kind of fashion guru and as a result, I’m not afraid to admit that this skirt has given me some serious trouble. Firstly getting hold of it – after falling in love with one in-store where there were only 6 and 8’s, I then struggled to track down my size only to find that it’s flown off the rails because Kate Middleton picked one up months ago in a Topshop spree. I’m wearing a 10 here which as you can see is…. snug.

The second problem was what to wear it with. I don’t wear black, which for someone a little more conservative than me would be a natural choice to match the polka dots, (I’m thinking a chic fine merino polo neck,) and after trying burgundy and grey (both very ‘school uniform’) I decided to go the whole hog and try green on green which I love. This for me is a work look, smart yet retaining my own sense of style, but for the purposes of the photos I teamed it with my yellow bag (similar here) and worked a colour block look, also a trend that will still be big in 2012.

I really love this skirt. I like green anyway, but the polka dots are a super tactile flocked texture which really lifts them off the background. The blouse was an absolute steal at the Dorothy Perkins sale and has a nice gathered back detail. I accessorised with a chunky MADE for Whistles necklace and a slick of Ivy shimmer Bobbi Brown Gel liner for a subtle nod to the green without looking like an extra from Wicked.

Next up is my favourite blouse, this white with navy spot Zara number. I’ve paired it with my trusty Whistles pinstripe tailored shorts and black opaques with Pied a Terre shearling ankle boots (now in the sale) for winter cosiness. The cardigan is an old Whistles one that I’m desperately searching for a replacement for.

With a more neutral outfit I added my new find for lips, the Stila lip stain in Acai crush, which lasts for literally hours and the bag is the first ever Kate Moss for Topshop collection.

So that’s it, pick up some polka dots in the sales and stay ahead of the fashion curve into 2012 🙂



Winter is slowly approaching and I don’t know about you, but the can’t-make-up-its-mind weather flashing from mild to chilly with winds, the return of central heating and cosy evenings under a blanket are all playing havoc with my lips.

I am a total lip balm addict, and I say that not alluding to the rubbish brands that seem to make you want to re-apply every five minutes, but with reference to the fact that I have enough of them to keep one in every regularly occupied room of the house. I have several on the go in each handbag I’m using and apply religiously day and night. So I don’t mind considering myself something of an expert!

I thought that if I am suffering then now would be a good time to share my favourite balms and a few famous faces, then ask for your recommendations to keep your lips super soft all winter…

1. Original Chapstick. The original and the best, this isn’t just cheap and cheerful but has a slightly medicinal smell guaranteed to transport you back to childhood memories. Ideal for a quick lunchtime purchase on those days you’ve left yours at home.
2. Bobbi Brown’s Lip Balm. The Queen of base also does, in my humble opinion, the absolute best lip balm out there. apply it at bed time and not only will your lips be perfect come morning, but they will still have the balm on them, it’s that good.
3. Eve Lom Kiss Mix. For a bit of posh for your pout, this is minty fresh and another ‘super soft’ balm that I hope to find in each years Christmas stocking.
4. Lush Honey Trap lip balm. Because I love honey, it smells amazing and again, really works.
5. Burt’s Bees Honey balm – Another honey balm, in a stick this time.
6. Philosophy Kiss Me lip balm. Alos available in clear or original, this comes in tinted formulations too, smells good and has the right moisturising but non-sticky consistency.
7. Smiths Minted Rose lip balm. An iconic brand and with a gorgeous range of designs, this one gets extra style points when you have to touch up at the table.
8. Korres Lip Butter. A recent find of mine, these are lovely and moisturising but also quite densely pigmented offering some fast colour for your lips. I’ve got the corally Quince for summer and rose pink Pomegranate for winter.

You might be wondering why I haven’t included the legendary Vaseline tins but I’ve got to just come out and say it… I don’t rate it. Vaseline just slides off my lips and leaves them drier than before after I’ve slid it around all over my face and I think it belongs in the self-perpetuating camp that cause the need for ongoing reapplication. Feel free to object in the comments box though!

In case you haven’t guessed, it’s Bobbi Brown’s Lip Balm that gets Florence’s gold star for being the best I’ve ever found.

So now it’s your turn. Can you recommend any of these or have I missed something you rely on in the winter months. Drop me a comment below and share your favourite 🙂


Bobbi Brown Holiday Gift Collection.

Now I wouldn’t normally venture to mention (shhhhh, whisper it,) Christmas, until Halloween and Bonfire night were well out of the way, however I swear I have a good reason today. Really I do. It’s a great reason in fact.

Every single year I buy somebody I know something from the Bobbi Brown holiday gift collection and I have to mention it now before it all disappears, because it always sells out, waaaaaaay before Christmas.

Without fail there are the most gorgeous glittering compacts – my favourites are always the metallic eye colours (which you weren’t previously able to buy apart from as part of these limited edition sets) and this year is no exception.

And here are my favourite finds from this year’s offerings…

The Black Ruby Sparkle Eye palette – this one is my must-have for £32, it’s perfect for my eye colour and the sparkle shadow glimmers like no other.

The Smokey Eye collection is a little pricey at £52, but includes a mini gel liner and mascara along with the five shades ranging from pearl through greys and silvers to graphite black.

The Warm Party Eye Palette – £39 for a golden eye!

And finally, the almost-too-pretty-to-use Pastel Sugar Sparkle Eye Quartz at £30.

If you want them, get there quick ladies before they’re gone.


Liner Love

I was recently asked for my eye liner recommendations by a friend and thought I would share them all with you too.

These liners have all been personally tried and tested by me and come recommended, but please feel free to share yours too – I love a good tip.

First up, the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner for £16.50. The only down side to this great product is that you need a brush to apply it. Bobbi recommends the Ultra fine eyeliner brush at £21.00 which is another hefty outlay but I suppose is either useful for other things or could be replaced by something you already have, depending on which way you look at it.

I have this one in Graphite shimmer – a grey black with a slight shimmer and Ivy shimmer – an emerald green (both shown above,) which is quite dark but also shimmers.

If you’re looking for a bargain, or for something that is super easy to use, I’d recommend a felt eyeliner. I tracked this one (Topshop Felt Pen Eyeliner) down as a present for a friend who wanted to start dallying in liquid liner because I think it’s an easy (read: fool proof) way to get started (don’t ask me how to do true liquid liner – not my forte at all!) It’s a steal at £6.50 too 🙂

The Creme de la Creme however is this little beauty by Laura Mercier. Again it needs a brush and I don’t think you can substitute the preferred LM one for another brand (but I’m open to any suggestions?) and get the same effect, but it’s worth the outlay. Instead of applying this one to the eye lid itself, you wet the cake and make a paste or thick liquid with some water. Then you apply with the brush held flat, from underneath the lash line, wiggling the brush into the base of the lashes. The effect is that of a lash transplant – no kidding. Your eye lashes look thicker and fuller and your eyes get real definition, but you don’t look like a drag queen. Bonus!

I dare say you could apply this above the lash line too if you were trying to create a sixties flick and it would kill two birds with one stone easily. The Laura Mercier Cake eyeliner is £18.50 and available in Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Space NK online, the flat eyeliner brush is £22.50.

Drop me a comment in the comments box below if you have used any of these or if in fact you think they’re all pants and that there are better/cheaper/longer lasting products you’d like to shout about! We’re all ears!


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