Friday, 19 June 2015

Holiday | Beach bag chic

We're in the throes of holiday season and every time I look on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat, someone I know has posted a selfie of themselves on some beach, cocktail in hand... So phone in one hand, I'm rolling my eyes whilst maneuvering a buggy and a basket around Sainsbury's (oh the glamour!) when I spot a gorgeous beach bag. Love a good beach bag, it immediately conjures up beach and pool life images in my mind's eye and for a moment I'm off, sipping cocktails on my sun lounger. FOCUS! Ok, make that mocktails! No! Back to the bag... It's got everything you could want in a beach bag - kinda monochromatic with a touch of embellishment and colour, pom poms, zip top, foldable and big enough for your 'stuff' so that it can double as a carry on tote/holiday tote and can even work as a weekend or daily bag in the warmer months. I'm calling it my 'easy cheap chic no brainer supermarket sweep' beach bag (hereby known as ECCNBSS) and at only £16, you'll still get change from a twenty!

ECCNBSS beach bag, £16, Tu at Sainsbury's (in-store only)
If my ECCNBSS beach bag isn't your cup of tea (or mojito!) then I've rounded up some of my other favourite beach bag options...

B E S T  O F  T H E  R E S T

C L O C K W I S E  F R O M  T O P  L E F T :
1. REVERSIBLE BEACH BAG, £28, River Island | Love this silver metallic reversible beach bag - which works really well as a throw-everything-in-it tote, transforming from silver to black in one second flat. It also comes with a super handy matching pouch for storing valuables whether on the beach or in the city!
2. ECCNBSS BEACH BAG, £16, Tu at Sainsbury's (in-store only) | As above
3. CANVAS BEACH BAG, £22.99, Zara (summer sale) | I'm a huge fan of huge tote like beach bags that double up as bags to throw the kitchen sink into (I don't do small bags...much!) and this one is a nautical gem - love the typography and the blue/white colour combo. It also comes with a detachable inner pouch.
4. STRIPE CANVAS BEACH BAG, £9.99, Mango (summer sale) | Can't get more beachy than this stripey white/navy number, which also comes in grey. A great basic beach all rounder that you can throw your sunscreen, Kindle, water and snacks into whilst on vacay then whip out again at the farmers market when you're back home.
5. ANCHOR BEACH BAG, £22.99, Zara (summer sale) | Even more nautical than its' beachy cousin above (see no.3) again comes with an detachable inner pouch for your jewellery and phone. Perfect for the plane too and love this dusky pink hue!
6. COPA CABANA TOTE BAG, £24, Accessorize (summer sale) | This beach bag screams holiday! The perfect accompaniment to your strawberry daquiri (hunky waiter optional), comes complete with holiday pom poms and is ready to board its flight to Ibiza (please fill with snacks, books, magazines and duty free buys!)
7. FINDS EN SHALLA FRINGED RAFFIA & LEATHER TOTE, £85, Net-a-porter (summer sale) | The luxe fringed basket option. Love this playful yet sophisticated coastal companion. It features a cheery floral lining and its sizeable interior means you can chuck in spare clothes, tablet, spare shoes, snacks, drinks, heck whatever you want! Love the cobalt blue hit of colour against the cream raffia and the fringing detail - shimmy shimmy!

W H I C H  O N E  I S  Y O U R  F A V O U R I T E ?
W H E R E  A R E  Y O U  V A C A T I O N I N G  T H I S  S U M M E R ?

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Beauty | In the Nude...

...My Seven Favourite Nude Lipsticks

I know, I know! Why seven? Such a random number! I mean where do I even have to go these days where I can wear these seven nude lipsticks?! I guess I just went through my make-up bag(s) and handbag(s) and these are the seven nude lipsticks I like to slick on the most! You may think they all pretty much look the same, but believe me they are all different and I love them all! Swatches and deets below...

From the top:
1. MAC Patisserie, £15.50 | The ultimate my-lips-but-better (MLBB) nude - love the name and the fact that it's a bit pink, with a touch of brown with a really nourishing texture on the lips. I find it looks different on everyone!
2. Rimmel Moisture Renew in Notting Hill Nude, £6.49 | Love the really moisture drenched formula, as well as the name (hate lipsticks that just have numbers - boring)! This is more on the brown side of nude, but it's still the perfect everyday nude to slick on and make you look polished, plus it's budget friendly!
3. Chanel Rouge Coco in Adrienne, £26 | Probably my favourite of the lot! It's currently in my handbag makeup bag, and it's the one I'm reaching for the most right now. It's a peachy-pink, creamy, dreamy nude and it's the perfect marriage of lip balm and colour, whilst still being a lipstick. These were recently all reformulated and I'm loving the texture of them - so comfortable to wear!
4. L'Oreal Colour Riche in Eva's Nude, £6.99 | Another budget friendly drugstore option that's part of the Exclusive Nudes Collection. Eva's shade is 'Barely Golden' and features a hint of golden sheen. It's another contender for perfect MLBB nude, wrapped up in a moisturising, long-lasting formula. I think the pink to brown ratio is spot on!
5. Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Bitch Perfect, £23 | The rose gold packaging, the name, the formula - arghhhh! The rosier side of MLBB nude, in a super pigmented, luxurious and creamy formula, perfect paired with a smoky eye. Works equally well in the daytime as it does in the evening.
6. Rouge Dior Baume in Escapade, £23.40 | This is more of a lip balm with a serious amount of tint and I love this shade, which almost borders on nude with berry. It really does the job as a lip balm but at the same time it packs a punch with the colour. Another star of my makeup bag, it's so easy to slick this on and look chic and polished.
7. Tom Ford Lip Colour in Indian Rose, £37 | I swear I didn't just buy this because of the name! The most expensive of the bunch (duh - it's Tom Ford!) but also the pinkest. It's the perfect nudey pink - enough nude, enough pinkiness. It's especially lovely as a spring/summer nude and I love the rich, moisturising formula, plus who can resist that packaging (and that very satisfying click!). This is my special occasion nude...

What are your favourite nude lipstick shades?

Friday, 12 June 2015

Travel | (Free) Bite-sized Beauty

It's that time of the year again, summer feels like it's finally here and that means jetting off for a summer holiday. Whether you're going short haul, long haul or on a staycation, an essential part of packing will be putting together your beauty kit.

Now, no-one wants to be lugging around huge bottles of toiletries (wouldn't you want to save that suitcase space for local mementos and souvenirs?!) so this is where travel sized beauty comes into its own. These days, you can find a huge selection of travel minis of just about anything at the likes of Boots, Superdrug, Space NK and heck, even Primark. But before you start filling up your basket, I have another source for those ever-so-cute travel minis - July's magazines. Yep that's right, some of this month's magazine titles (all UK) are offering a treasure trove of beauty delights for free as cover mount gifts - what's not to love about that? I've rounded up what you get below.

Selection of free beauty travel minis, with July magazines
Pictured above:
Malin + Goetz Travel Minis Set (lip conditioner, face cleanser and face moisturiser) - free with Elle July issue
Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel - free with Marie Claire July issue (it's a choice between this and the Pro-radiance Illuminating Flash Balm)
Lanolips Ointment - free with Conde Nast Traveller July issue
This Works In Transit Camera Close Up (mask, primer and moisturiser in one) - free with Harper's Bazaar July issue
Ren Vita Mineral Lip Balm - free with Red July issue
Classic Aviator Sunglasses - free with Cosmopolitan July issue (two other styles also available)

Also available:
Nails Inc nail varnish in four different shades - free with Instyle July issue
Models Inc make up products - a choice between blue eyeliner, mascara, lip gloss or black eyeliner - free with Glamour July issue
Designer Sunglasses in five different styles - free with Tatler July issue

Some pretty fab beauty mini freebies! Perfect if you use some of these already, or if you don't and want to try some of these brands. The Cosmo sunglasses are pretty flattering and are perfect if you're the kind of person who's always losing/breaking sunglasses! Not only will you be ready set go with travel minis, you'll have plenty of holiday reading material too - perfect for the plane/train/car/boat journeys.

A selection of gift with purchase, free sample and beauty box minis

On a side note - if you're a subscriber to Birchbox, Glossybox, My Little Box or any other beauty box subscription service, or have purchased one-off beauty boxes (such as the recent Space NK one or Look Fantastic ones), now's the time to dig out your beauty stash - go through what you need, and see what fits the bill in the mini department from some of these boxes. The same goes for gift with purchases and samples. Short breaks and holidays are the ideal time to sample new skincare, haircare and make-up products - and in mini size there's minimal commitment! That way, if you really loved something you could pick it up in duty free on your way back!

If you spend £50 or more at, you get four free luxury sized samples, if you have a treatment or buy any full sized products from Aromatherapy Associates you usually always get free samples and if you buy a fragrance or candle from Jo Malone you usually get a free fragrance sample.

Jet, Set, Go! What are your favourite beauty minis?

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