[BEAUTY] Festive Make-up tips: from the office to the bar

mirror make up

Heading straight to the work’s party from the office? We’ve got five tips for when you’ve only got five minutes to update your look:

tip 1: create a flawless base

1. Create a flawless base:

First things first, make sure you take the time before work to create a proper base that will last you through the day and into the night out. For me, I use a radiance concealer under my eyes to add a bit of brightness. Then I use a primer to keep everything in place, followed by my choice of foundation. Right now I’m using No7 Instant Radiance foundation which makes skin glow without too much shine. When I want my look to last all day and into the night, I apply my foundation with a brush as I find this helps it to last longer.

tip 2: add some shimmer

2. Add some shimmer:

The shimmer eye crayon is the perfect way to add some festive sparkle to your look for the Christmas party. Apply to the base of your lid and smudge up and out with your finger. Add another coat of mascara too, to make your eyes really stand out. No7’s latest mascara release, Midnight Lash allows you to build up the layers without any clumping.

tip 3: get some glitter

3. Get some glitter:

Nails looking a bit chipped? A quick coat of glitter nail polish will disguise chips and dries in super quick time. Boots SEVENTEEN’s tinsel top coat is pretty and seasonal.

tip 4: get a feline flick

4. Get a feline flick:

A cat’s eye liner flick will take your daytime look to night-time in one quick move! I’ve got a few black liners on the go, including a couple of felt tip pen options – great if you’re a liquid liner novice.

tip 5: make a statement in red

5. Make a statement in red:

If you usually wear quite neutral and natural make-up a bright red or bold berry lipstick will ensure you make an impact at the bar.

How do you take your look from the office to the party?

[BEAUTY] The Body Shop: Countdown to Christmas

the body shop countdown to christmas

the body shop countdown to christmas

All through December, The Body Shop is counting down to Christmas with a series of reviews behind it’s virtual advent calendar door. Today, we’re hosting the advent calendar and behind “door 14” is the much-hyped Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet and the Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash.

the body shop vitamin e gentle facial wash

I’ll be honest that I kind of missed the launch of the Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet earlier this year but I’m already looking forward to next summer to enjoy the full effect.

I’ve said before, I hate heavy creams on my face – even in winter. This moisturiser is a lovely light, whipped, mattifying gel. It’s unlike any other moisturiser I’ve used. It absorbs so quickly and leaves my skin feeling hydrated and brighter.

the body shop vitamin e aqua boost sorbet moisturiser

The sorbet will be ideal for the summer months for adding hydration without weighing skin down. It doesn’t have any SPF so you’ll need to make sure to add this – my foundation has an SPF in, so it isn’t necessary for my moisturiser to have it too.

I’ll be wearing it in the winter too, as it is so hydrating and I love it’s lightweight feel.

The gentle facial wash is a lovely creamy texture that goes on easily and leaves skin feeling clean and refreshed. In the warmer months I tend to use a face scrub more often as I’m regularly piling on the sunscreen and feel hot and bothered. In the winter, I prefer something that isn’t so harsh on my skin and this completely ticks that box.

How do you keep your skin clean and moisturised in the cool winter months?

[HOW TO] Wear Red Lipstick

how to wear red lipstick

mac matte lipstick in lady danger

Wearing lipstick requires careful preparation. Cracked lipstick on chapped lips does not look cool, or sexy.

Having recently discovered red lipstick (see here), I have also discovered that my lips are dry (turns out this is a theme – at a recent beauty consultation I was also told my skin was dehydrated – this might all have something to do with my rather laisez-faire attitude to skin care! Oops!). But red lisptick really shows up your lip issues!

As per The Online Stylist’s advice in my post about finding the right red lipstick, exfoliation and moisturisation it turns out are key to ensuring it looks good. It’s a bit like fake tanning – the key is in the preparation.

bliss fabulips sugar lip scrub

I’ve been using Bliss’s Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub (when I remember!) to get rid of flaky skin. It is so easy, tastes and smells delicious (I realise I probably shouldn’t be eating it!) and leaves lips incredibly smooth. Palmer’s lip balm keeps my lips moisturised and smooth on a daily basis.

Of course, if you’re not wearing bright lipsticks, this method also works well to keep lips looking lush this winter!

How do you keep your lips in tip top condition?

[BEAUTY] No7 Make Up Brush Cleanser

no7 make up brush cleanser

Do you clean your make up brushes regularly? Do you make sure do deep clean them on a regular basis?

Or are you, like me, and generally forget or don’t have time to clean your brushes?

Very occasionally I remember that it’s been a while since I cleaned them and it takes forever to get them even a little cleaner. So I was pleased to receive Boots No7 Make Up Brush Cleanser in the post last week. The cleanser is supposed to be for in between cleans. You simply dispense a bit onto a tissue or piece of kitchen towel and then brush the bristles over the wet tissue.

The amount of product that came off the first time I used it on the three brushes I use everyday was truly disgusting! But with each time I use it, there is less coming off, so clearing they are gradually getting cleaner!

Have you tried a brush cleaner?

[HOW TO] Protect Your Skin This Winter

winter hands

cold hands

The cold British winter weather can be disastrous for our skin. Harsh and rapid temperature changes, from the freezing outdoors to centrally heated homes and offices can leave skin looking flushed, red and weather beaten. We all make promises and resolutions to look after our skin but many don’t manage to keep them.

In the summer I find it far easier to add lotion into my skincare regime but in the cold winter months, I find it increasingly difficult to keep up the good work.

We’ve been chatting with Dr Bav Shergill, consultant Dermatologist and British Skin Foundation Trustee, who has some top tips for keeping skin in good shape this winter:

  • Make sure you’re moisturising regularly and using an emollient that’s right for you – keeping skin moist is imperative to avoid it getting cracked and infected.
  • Be careful with the kinds of clothes you wear. Some materials, for example, lamb’s wool may irritate skin and cause flare-ups.
  • One of the best and simplest ways to combat the winter effects on skin is to regularly apply moisturisers and lip salves. This will help replenish the lost moisture from the skin. All skin types benefit from a moisturiser.
  • Avoid harsh, alcohol-based cleansers and soaps. Stay away from cleaning products that contain alcohol and go easy on the exfoliation.
  • Protect skin with warm clothing (a scarf, hat and gloves) whilst outside. If the rain makes your clothes damp, ensure that you change into something dry as soon as possible and don’t leave wet clothes in contact with your skin which may cause further irritation or chaffing.
  • Whilst it’s natural to want to stay warm indoors, even the central heating can affect our skin. The drier air in centrally heated buildings means the skin can dry out, so try not to turn the thermostat up to maximum.
  • Avoid the temptation to have a long hot bath, as this can strip away much needed natural oil from the skin. Try and shorten the length of time and remember to keep the water temperature warm not hot.
  • Apply a moisturiser to skin straight after a bath or shower while the skin is still slightly damp. Drying your skin vigorously with a towel can damage it, so pat dry and don’t rub.

If you’re looking for some products to use this winter, we’ve put together a few of our favourites:

body lotions

Nivea Soft moisturiser is the perfect winter all-rounder. The thick cream is luxurious on your skin and doesn’t irritate. My legs are dry and chapped in the winter, particularly after shaving and many products sting my legs. This cream works to keep my legs moisturised throughout the day. It also works for dry and sore hands, as well as your face if you’re caught short. I always have a mini tub of this in my handbag.

Soap & Glory’s The Righteous Butter is a similarly thick and luxurious cream. This lotion smells delicious too!

How do you protect your skin in the cold winter?

Image via

[BEAUTY] 5 Ways To Festive Party Make-up

Coffee, cake and make-up chat is, in my opinion, the perfect way to spend an afternoon. So when No7 invited me to meet them to discuss Christmas make-up looks, I jumped at the chance!

Meeting with Rachael, No7 Business Manager, and Sophie, from No7 PR team, at the Nordic Bakery in Soho (perfect location for someone who is obsessed with all things Nordic right now!) we got down to the business of cosmetics.

We talked about how to find the perfect red lipstick (see here) and foundation that doesn’t leave your face feeling weighed down (check out the post on this very soon!).

Then it was down to some serious chat about the festive party season and how to achieve a show-stopping look. Here are the five top tips I took away from the chat about how to get the ultimate party look via No7 this festive season:

5 Ways To Festive Party Make-up

1. Shimmering party eyes:

The Stay Perfect Shade and Define eye crayon in Glistening Ray can be used to highlight and open the eye. Using it inside the corner of the eye, just below and above the lash line, can really open your eye and give your look a pop. Carry it round over the lid for a proper shimmering party look.

2. Statement lips:

no7 flame red

As I said, we discussed the perfect red lipstick and the festive party season is the ideal time to give red lipstick a go. If you’re not ready to take the leap and go for a full-on red, Rachael suggested trying one of the No7 High Shine Lip Crayon (maybe the aptly named, Statement) which can be a little more subtle.

3. Spotlight on your best bits:

no7 highlighter

Use a smaller blusher brush (rather than a bigger powder brush) and sweep it across the No7 Radiant Spheres Highlighter palette to pick up all of the colours. Then use it to highlight your cheek bones, blending right to the outer edges. Use some of the lightest shade on a smaller brush under the brows, to really define and highlight them.

4. Fan those lashes:

The new Midnight Lash mascara can be layered for maximum impact. A quick coat will create big bold lashes. Add another for really volumised lashes that will really get you noticed. The blackest black shade really helps to leave lashes looking ready for your Christmas party! No7’s newest mascara contains Black Pearl and Saphire extracts and the wand is a combination of hallow and solid fibres for quick loading volume that maintains separation of the lashes – no one wants clumpy lashes!

Rachael says:

“A good tip for applying the Midnight Lash mascara and to really fan the lashes out, is to turn your head to the side and look into the mirror with just your eye, leaving your head side on to your mirror. Take the wand and lightly coat the bottom lashes first, then wiggling through your upper lashes from the base to the tip. This angle promotes you to fan the lashes outwards rather than just pulling the lashes upwards creating length and volume across a full lash fan rather. (It’s a bit hard to explain but try it and it will all come together for you!)”

5. All about the base:

Primer is a must for creating a flawless base. Totally sold on this as I’ve been using the Beauty Enhancer for a few months now (and have just bought a new bottle). The balm really smooths out any imperfections and feels so so silky. Airbrush Away takes your Beauty Enhancer to the next level acting as a wrinkle filler. It will brighten your complexion, minimise pores, blur imperfections and fill lines and wrinkles.

Rachael says:

“It acts as a perfect base for your foundation but can also be used alone to let your skin shine – it’s your skin, only better! I have a lot of male clients that swear by this as a product they can use to enhance their skin without the need for make up products. You will see instant results with the primer but the full effect will take place after 10 minutes.”

Want to try out some of these looks yourself or find more tips? No7 have a page dedicated to tips and inspiration!

What make-up looks will you be rocking for the festive party season? Will you try something new?

[BEAUTY] Hydraluron Moisture Boost

hydraluron moisture booster

At a recent beauty consultation, I was asked about my skincare regime for my face. I’ll admit now, I looked blank. My what?! I’m useless when it comes to taking care of my skin. I remove my make-up religiously every night. I give my skin a break from make-up every weekend. I exfoliate in the shower as and when my face feels like it needs it. But otherwise, I do very little.

So when two different people at two different brand stands told me they could tell I did nothing and that my skin was very dehydrated, I knew it was time to do something about it. Particularly with my wedding day just over six months away.

hydraluron moisture booster

I was recommended Hydraluron moisture boost as an addition to use BEFORE moisturiser. Which I was also recommend to start using. I’m not sure about the science (as I don’t really understand it) but essentially, the pure hydraluronic acid which holds up to 1,000 its weight in water and therefore, I am told, means that it helps to soak up every last bit of moisture from your face cream and hold on to it.

They also do a moisturising jelly which can be used after the boost but with a load of face creams to use up (that have been used a little and then discarded due to laziness) I am using these until they are all gone – I think I do literally have enough to see me through to the wedding!

I had a quick search online – checking out any and every blog post that was written about this product! There was certainly a lot of hype. I’m not normally one to be taken in by any of that but with my wedding day fast approaching I figured I’d give anything a try!!

I’ll be honest, my skin rarely feels that dry to me. But I have noticed an improvement in the way my make-up goes on and sits as well as a general “glow”. Who’d have thought it?!

The product itself is pretty unassuming, a gel that has no colour and no smell and feels like nothing on your skin really. But that is the key here, it is absorbed almost immediately (or maybe it’s my poor dehydrated skin!) and doesn’t overpower with any scent that might then conflict with anything else you might be putting on your face. The packaging too is simple – I do like the plain white with the pop of pink at the opening!

How to you hydrate your skin?