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VANITY FAIR – RED OR DEAD

Missed me? I’ve been working my beehind off on some huge back-to-back client projects, 7 weeks in London, and boy am I glad to be back home on the farm. This morning I found out that one of the big projects I worked on (and one that I’m the most proud of) was a success and the company won the account we were pitching for. Big news in my ‘real life’ work world, so tonight merits a drink or two to celebrate!

But, enough about work, let’s get back to the pretty pleasures in life. There are big changes on the horizon, next week I’m trading in my brunette/ombre locks for something altogether more wild…

Red Head

Yup, I’m going red, and I’m going ALL the way!

The first thing I did once I’d decided to make the change was to poll my twitter and facebook friends to find a really good colourist. While I dye my hair at home 99% of the time, when making a big change like this it’s always best left in the hands of the professionals. When the lovely Natasha, Deputy Editor at Elle, name checked the colourist that had taken her from brunette to red head and told me how wonderful she was, I was sold. So, I booked myself in for a consultation (I’ll tell you who and where once the deed is done!) and off I went.

These are the pictures that I showed my colourist during my consultation, I wanted her to know that I don’t want wishy-washy red-ish hair, I want FIRE! Go big or go home is my motto when it comes to these things. While I often skip the 24hr patch test with home hair dyes, this is something I’m not cutting corners on. I’ve had a few hair scares in my time, and it’s taught me to scope out the stylist you’re considering to make sure they’re listening to you, and in turn being honest with you about what your hair can or can’t take.

So, I’m all booked in. Next Tuesday is The Day. I’ve already edited and restocked my make up bag in preparation for my new look, and ordered some John Frieda Radiant Red shampoo and conditioner to keep the colour looking hot for as long as possible (I know there’s going to be a lot of upkeep involved, but I’m up for it!)

So, watch this space – I’ll be sharing the before and after with you, as well as the highs and lows of being a red head. And if you have any advice for maintaining red hair, I’m all ears.

 

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VANITY FAIR | NUDE PROGENIUS TREATMENT OIL

Nude proGenius Treatment Oil - Coquette & Dove

I’ve been a big fan of Nude since the brand launched in 2005. For years I was a devotee of their facial cleansing oil, and still use it when I travel, or when my skin is feeling particularly sensitive. I was also a big fan of their lip balm which, unfortunately, they don’t seem to make any more.

After a few years without Nude in my life, I recently decided to invest in their Natural Radiance set. I’d been wanting to try the ProGenius Treatment oil for a long time in the hopes that it might be kind to my rosacea-riddled skin, but could never quite bring myself to spend the money. This way, I got a half bottle of the oil (15ml), a travel bottle of the cleansing oil (and that stuff really lasts) and a travel bottle of the Radiant Day Moisturiser.

After only a few days I was completely hooked on the oil. Used sparingly morning and night, my skin drank up this oily cocktail (10 precious oils make up the magical formula) and glowed from within as a result. My complexion was (and still is) noticeably clearer and softer, and when I apply a teeny bit (patting it into damp skin after a shower) before I put my make up on, the result is radiant and not at all oily. Of course, my skin is looking so much better as a result of using it that I rarely wear more than mascara and lip gloss when I leave the house. Happy days!

Like the  facial cleansing oil, a little goes a long way, the teeny bottle lasted me a good 3 months, so in my mind it’s very much worth the investment, and I’ll soon be investing in a big bottle (and decanting into the teeny one for traveling, perfect.) I also rub any residue after applying into my cuticles, or if I’m going to bed, add hand cream and give my digits a little treat.

The Radiant Day Moisturiser wasn’t quite up to the job of hydrating my dry skin on a day-to-day basis, but I do keep it in my permanently packed wash bag for my frequent trips to California where it’s perfectly suited to those super hot days where anything else just ends up as an oil slick all over your face.

So there you have it, rosacea friendly, multi-tasking, skin beautifying goodness.

 

 

 

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VANITY FAIR | LANCOME VIRTUOSE MASCARA

Lancome Virtuose Mascara

 

I’ve blogged before about my favourite mascaras, but there are a few new kids on the block looking to knock them of their perch, and first up is Virtuose from Lancome. Purchased in a duty free hustle, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’d been a fan of Hypnose for a long time, but had given it up when something better came along (I forget what, I’m not much of a mascara monogamist).

The mascara is billed by Lancome as providing ‘Beautiful all day curve with divine length’. Well, I’ll certainly admit that the ‘all day’ bit is true. This stuff does not come off. Even when you want it to. Granted, there’s no drop down during the day which is a real bonus, but removing it takes some work. Cleansing wipes, soap and water, eye make up remover – they just don’t cut it. So I was relieved to discover that my new cleanser – L’Oreal Skin Perfection 15 Second Miracle Cleansing Oil was effective, otherwise I’d be waking up with waxy stuck together eyelashes for the rest of eternity!

So, to the curve and length – It’s certainly easy to create a nice sweep on the lashes, but I would put that down to the curved brush rather than any magic in the formula, and length-wise, there’s not a huge difference, but I think the plus here is the ‘thin’ formula of the product, which doesn’t go on thick and clumpy, creating the illusion of long, slender lashes.

All in all, I have to admit that I’m a fan and this might just be a new favourite.

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VANITY FAIR | ROYAL APOTHIC @ ANTHROPOLOGIE

Confession: I am a bit of a perfume junkie. Left unchecked, I could easily amass a collection of flacons and atomisers that would rival that of any large perfume hall. Smell is so evocative and so incredibly personal, and a good ‘wardrobe’ of scents can help tie together a look and add a layer that makes it multi-dimensional.

So, it was with glee that I tripped along the King’s Rd last night to attend the launch party of the Royal Apothic pop-up shop in The Gallery at Anthropologie. The event also marked the launch of a bespoke frangrance to mark the historic centenary of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, a stone’s throw from the store. Antiquarius Petals is the creation of Royal Apothic’s ‘nose’ Sean O’Mara, and he was on hand last night to talk guests through the creation of the new scent along with the rest of the Royal Apothic collection.

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Antiquarius Petals is inspired by stately homes, gardens and abundant blooms of the flower show and named after the historic and well-loved Antiquarius building in which Anthropologie’s Chelsea store stands. Infused with top notes of blackberry with citrus tones of grapefruit, mandarin and tangerine whilst floral mid notes of jasmine, orange blossom, violet and rose resonate. The base notes of patchouli, eucalyptus, sandalwood and exotic musk and vanilla bring a sensuous quality to the fragrance – reflecting a quintessential Chelsea Summer’s day.

Of course, there weren’t the only ‘flowers’ on display, the brilliant Flower Appreciation Society were also on hand to create bespoke floral head dresses for attendees…

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And there were floral cocktails in abundance (the violet gin fizz was amazing!) to help with the retail therapy…

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If you’re a perfume lover, then I’d highly recommend you hustle on down to SW3 while Royal Apothic are in residence, and snap up a bottle (or two, or three…)

Royal Apothic at The Gallery, Anthropologie
139 King’s Rd, London SW3 4PW
Open 16th May – 30th JUne

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VANITY FAIR | L’OREAL SKIN PERFECTION 15 SECOND MIRACLE CLEANSING OIL

It is no secret whatsoever that I am a total beauty junkie, and with a two month blogging hiatus behind me, I have a rather large stash of new beauty treats patiently waiting for their 5 mins of fame on these here pages.

First up – my continuing obsession with oil (which you can read about here, here, here, here & here. Yup. Obsessed.) And my newest obsession is L’Oreal Skin Perfection 15 Second Miracle Cleansing Oil.

L’Oreal Skin Perfection 15 Second Miracle Cleansing Oil

I’m a big fan of oil based cleansers, and I know some people feel nervous about washing their face with oil (it seems counter to what you’re trying to achieve) but  I have greasy/combination skin and I will always choose oil over any other formula. In fact, *humblebrag alert* I would credit my years and years of using oil based cleansers for the fact that my skin looks noticeably  younger than it really is!

So, how does L’Oreal’s Skin Perfection 15 Second Miracle Cleansing Oil measure up? Well, it completely removed my new almost-favourite mascara (more on that soon) which is practically impossible to remove. It removed my new favourite all-day red lipstick (more on that soon as well) which had stayed put through cocktails, nibbles and  three courses of dinner. And it left my skin soft, clean and hydrated.

Not too shabby. Sound too good to be true? Well, if you’re adverse to mineral oils in your beauty products, then yes. it is. But it wouldn’t be half the product it is without them, they’re what removes all that super-stay make up without the need for parabens and other skin-drying soapy nasties.

I’ve read some reviews where people have bemoaned the fragrance, but it’s so low key and just a clean/soap/ever so slightly fruity smell, that I really don’t think it’s a big deal.

So, a couple of pumps, massage into dry skin, rinse off with a muslin cloth soaked in warm water and Bob’s your fresh-faced clean as a whistle uncle! It definitely gets a thumbs up from me, and at £7.99 a bottle, it’s a darn sight cheaper than any of my previous oil obsessions.

 

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NOTES ON STYLE // FLOWERS IN HER HAIR

Wether channeling her inner Lana de Ray, throwing on a cheesecloth dress and dancing barefoot in a meadow, or walking down the aisle towards her beloved, there’s something so enchanting about a girl with flowers in her hair…

Flower Head dresses

{images: Free People // Vogue China // Aleksandra Zaborowska // Anthropologie // Darren McDonald }

So how about paying an homage to spring? You never know, it might help coax it along!

Flower Child

01 // 02, 05, 06, 07, 08 // 03 // 04

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VANITY FAIR | PERFECTLY POLISHED PASTELS

It just so happens that the pictures I’ve been feverishly pinning of late…

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…go rather well with the Nars Nail polishes I’ve been greedily eyeing up…

Fanciful Fingertips

 

01 // 02 // 03 // 04 // 05 // 06

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GET THE LOOK // BIG HAIR AND METALLIC EYES

This look is right up my street. Big, textured hair, flawless skin, metallics – it’s a very modern 70s look and I’d wear it everyday if I had half an excuse!

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Get the Look

 

Prep clean, dry hair with L’Oreal Professionnel tec ni art Pli, and set on Babyliss Nano Titanium Hot Sticks. While the hair is cooling, rub a little of Aveda’s Pure Abundance Hair Potion into the roots (much easier to do this while the roots are neatly exposed!). Once your hair has cooled, remove the hot sticks and gently pull out the curls with your fingers, pushing back up the hair to create volume.

Use NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Hollywoodland to create soft, golden eyelids, and line with Guerlain’s Liquid Eyeliner.

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick in 09 and MAC Cremesheen Glass in Floating Lotus complete the look.

{ image of Yana Shmaylova by Zhang Jingna }

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NYFW // MARC BY MARC JACOBS FALL 2013

marc by marc jacobs fall 2013 new york fashion week 414

I’m having a serious hair and make up moment. The look that the models at Marc by Marc Jacobs were sporting is just sublime. That hair, all soft and bouncy, but still healthy looking, I wanna run my fingers through it! Scratch that, I want mine to look like it and for Eddie Redmayne to run his fingers through it! And the lips + that alabaster skin… serious beauty lust.

marc by marc jacobs fall 2013 new york fashion week 313

And for those of you pondering how to get the look…

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Two things are key to this look.

1. Make sure that the hair is completely cool before unpinning.

2. Brushing it out at the end is not optional. If you’ve used the right products, you shouldn’t be afraid to really brush through the curls.

And on top of all that, the collection itself was just as fabulous…

marc by marc jacobs fall 2013 new york fashion week 515 marc by marc jacobs fall 2013 new york fashion week 616 marc by marc jacobs fall 2013 new york fashion week 717 marc by marc jacobs fall 2013 new york fashion week 818 marc by marc jacobs fall 2013 new york fashion week 919 marc by marc jacobs fall 2013 new york fashion week 1020

 

{ images via style.com }

 

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VANITY FAIR // NUANCE ANTI-AGING SMOOTH AND FIRM ELIXIR

 

I wrote last year about the latest addition to my personal ‘beauty hall of fame’, Burt’s Bees Orange Cleanser, and it’s about time I introduced you to the other product that’s making my skin look so good I’ll happily go out of an evening with nothing on my face, save for a waft of a mascara wand and a slick of lipgloss.

Salma Hayek’s Nuance brand isn’t new to me, I’m already a convert to the Quinoa Smooth & Shine Shampoo & Conditioner, as well as the Body Cream, so it was a bit of a no brainer when I found myself in CVS looking for some new products to take for a spin.

My skin is already in much better shape thanks to the Burt’s Bees Orange Cleanser (which I mix with Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant once a week for a super scrub), and the Nuance Smooth & Firm Elixir takes it to the next level.

With extracts of sea buckthorn, a plant which is crammed full of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins (A, B1, B2, B6, and C) and which is used to treat skin rashes and prevent infections, the serum is perfect for sensitive skins prone to eczema or rosacea. My rosacea breakouts are far less noticeable since I’ve been using this, and if you’re a sufferer then you’ll know what a big deal that is. My skin most definitely looks smoother after a few weeks of use, and I’ve found that 6 weeks down the line, if I skip a day or two, my skin doesn’t panic and revert to type.

I mix the serum with my night cream (currently Dr Nick Lowe The Secret Is Out Anti-age Lift & Repair Night Cream, which I LOVE) and that’s that.

One last thing, which the geek in me loves, is that as you close the bottle, the dropper button on the lid depresses and locks down, as you open the bottle it releases, drawing the product up into the dropper ready to use. I know. Genius. It’s the little things!

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