Monday, 31 March 2014

New & Old Beauty Favourites

I've been quite ill in the last six weeks unfortunately and now that I'm on the road to recovery I thought I'd share the beauty essentials that have got me back to health. Some are old favourites, some are new favourites and some are old favourites rediscovered!

1. Tangle Teezer, £7.80 (with free delivery), Beauty Bay - Old Favourite
My hair cannot survive a day without this genius, magic, de-tangling brush, whether used wet or dry it banishes knots (and tears!) in seconds. When you're ill and have fragile hair, the last thing you want to be doing is having a fight with your barnet! I'm trying to convert my whole family to using this...
2. Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado, £20 for 14g, Space NK - New Favourite
Whilst I was ill, the skin under my eyes became very dry and irritated, and applying concealer there was a just a no-go, but a few weeks of using this thick and creamy (yet easily absorbed) avocado cream has helped restore the levels of moisture.
3. Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Transparent, £3.99, Boots - Old Favourite Rediscovered
This is a real budget friendly option that does the job well - sets makeup, combats shine and looks natural without looking cakey, all with change from a fiver!
4. Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation in BD50, £30.50, Feel Unique - Old Favourite Rediscovered
My daily staple Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua wasn't cutting in to deal with the aforementioned dry 'ill' face (yuck), so I rediscovered this bottle of glowy stuff! It's lightweight, really illuminating and because no doesn't contain any opaque powders, it avoids that mask like look, instead giving a lovely dewy finish.
5. La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense, £16.50, The Garden Pharmacy - Old Favourite
Love this thoroughly soothing and moisturising emulsion with the added bonus of UV protection. It soaks in like a dream and makes the best base for make up. Has been very helpful in getting rid of 'ill face'!
6. Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, £14.75, Liz Earle - Old Favourite Rediscovered
I stopped using this only because I got taken in by all those miscellar water cleansers (damn you Bioderma!) but I really missed the ritual of properly cleaning my mug and exfoliating it lightly at the same time. Takes your gunk off in a flash and feels so nice to boot!
7. L'Oreal L'Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick, in Nude Ballet, Molto Mauve & Fuchsia Drama, £8.99 each, Boots - New Favourite
I hadn't tried any liquid lipsticks before these - I've heard a lot about the Rimmel and the YSL ones but I hadn't gone for it. I really like the formulation of these - non sticky, non gloopy, pretty pigmented and easy to apply, plus pretty damn moisturising to boot! The shade 'Nude Ballet' is the best nude I have come across, and really give you that 'my lips but better' groomed look!
8. Aesop Resurrection Hand Balm, £19, Net-a-porter - New Favourite
I'm addicted to this hand balm which smells reassuringly herby and expensive (that'll be the notes of mandarin orange, lavender and rosemary leaf then!) it has softened my dry mitts without being overly greasy. Plus I love the apothecary style packaging!
9. Homeoplasmine Ointment, £8.49, Bliss Pharmacy - Old Favourite Rediscovered
This is essentially the French pharmacy version Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream, and it's been the only magical tube to sort out my horrible, flaky, chapped lips. I first discovered it years ago when I picked up a tube in Paris, and come back to it every time.  Trust me I have been through a LOT of lip balms to get to where I am today lol. Seriously this is kick-ass.

So there you have it my little beauty arsenal of sorts... What are your favourite beauty saviours for getting you back to being you?

Monday, 17 March 2014

The Search For The Perfect Black Leather Tote

There's something about so chic, minimalist and pulled together about a black leather tote bag, also known as a shopper.  Usually rectangular or bucket shaped and made of soft buttery leather, it's unstructured shape is perfect for slinging all your belongings into and finishing off your look, whether for work, post work or weekend, without looking like you're hoarding a big bulky bag. I always seem to be attracted to black leather totes - on the street, in shops, on Pinterest, everywhere! 

Of course, this isn't an accessory that's on trend right now - it's a classic, wear forever piece, that will work anytime.  Lots of designers do these lovely leather totes, as do the high street. Try COS, & Other Stories, Jaeger and Zara. Personally I'm a fan of the ultra simple, no label black leather tote variety. The key things to look out for are: a good quality soft yet durable buttery leather; a good sized bag that will fit all your belongings and still look chic; thick, strong handles with a good amount of shoulder drop - properly fastened handles that will stay attached; and inner pockets.  The number of bags I have rejected because they just looked like a big black leather bucket with handles and no inner pockets! 

Black Leather Tote Inspiration - all photos from Pinterest

I happened to be in H&M this weekend and came across their new Premium Quality Collection - which features shoes, boots, accessories, bags and clothing in supposedly better quality fabrics and leathers.  Of course I was captivated by the black leather leather tote bag in the collection -  it's bucket shaped, made of a soft textured leather, has thick handles, features an inner pocket and extra outer pocket, plus has a lovely contrast gold lining.  Priced at £69.99, I thought - not a bad price, pricey but you have to pay for good quality! I decided to go for it - the search for the perfect black leather tote was over! The deal was sweetened further when I got 25% off by using the Glamour discount card - free with the April 2014 issue of Glamour (UK edition), currently on newsstands and also features a free Model Co beauty gift. 

H&M Premium Quality Leather Tote Bag, £69.99
H&M Premium Quality Leather Tote Bag - Gold Interior
Are you a fan of the classic perfect black leather tote bag?

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