Shot of Beauty

Here’s the products YOU brought into my life
February 15, 2013, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Blogging, Eyes, Face, Hair, Lips, Make-up, Nails, Skin care | Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve always loved reading a good glossy mag to find out what’s hot in the big wide beauty world, but everyone knows the quickest route to the crème de la crème of cosmetics is via the blogosphere.

Thanks to you lovely beauty bloggers, I have seen so many amazing products lately for Spring/Summer 2013. So, to acknowledge these great finds (and fab bloggers!), I have dedicated today’s post to the products YOU introduced me to in your blog posts. As this post could potentially go on forever, I have given myself the tremendously tricky task of picking just five must-have beauty essentials. Enjoy!

What’s the product? Daniel Sandler Dual Action Make-Up Remover
Who featured it? Sheenie Shaikh, Just Nice Things


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For years, I used face wipes to remove my make-up, but a few months ago I decided that enough was enough – I was spending so much money too often on a product that did nothing spectacular for my skin. So I decided to move on to a thinner liquid make-up remover and buy cotton wool pads to go along with it, and it has been so much better for my skin. That’s why I am excited about this perfect potential purchase – a dual make-up remover from the highly-acclaimed Daniel Sandler. What’s not to love?

The 120ml bottle costs £15.

Read Sheenie’s full product review here.

What’s the product? Bumble and Bumble Deep Conditioner
Who featured it? Adrienne, The Sunday Girl


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I’m always sceptical when it comes to deep conditioners – in the past I have been a sucker for marketing hype and haven’t seen a return on the majority of my hair care investments. However, because Adrienne has thick hair like me, I really trust that this product could be one to beat.

Plus, I have heard amazing things about Bumble and Bumble, but am ashamed to admit I have never tried anything! So I think you’ll find that’s at least two good reasons why I need this product in my life.

The full-size bottle (150ml) costs £21.50, but there’s a smaller version (50ml) for £9.50.

Read The Sunday Girl’s full review here.

What’s the product? KIKO Glamorous Eye Pencil
Who featured it? Grace, All that Slap


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Not only do I love a high-quality, pigmented eye pencil, but also I adore midnight blue. That’s why I completely fell in love with Kiko Cosmetics’ Glamorous Eye Pencils when I saw them on Grace’s blog last week. Retailing at only £4.90 each, these pencils are a really beautiful bargain.

Read Grace’s full review here.

What’s the product? Maybelline Baby Lips
Who featured it? Jane, British Beauty Blogger


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Jane is always at the top of her game when it comes to what’s new and worth buying. One of the most exciting products I have seen on her blog lately is Maybelline Baby Lips. Originally from the US, Baby Lips is now going to be launched in the UK (much to many beauty bloggers’ delight). It’s available in several shades, has a sun protection factor of 20, and is said to provide 8 hours of moisture and rejuvenation.

See where I discovered this range here on Jane’s blog.

What’s the product? Bobbi Brown Brightening Finishing Powder
Who featured it? Amelia Liana, Liana Beauty


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If I had to pick one product that screams Spring/Summer, it would be this uber pretty Bobbi Brown brightening powder. Formulated with mulberry, grape and brightening plant extracts, the powder illuminates the skin while also maintaining a natural effect.

At £40, it is quite expensive, but the fact that it’s so special kind of justifies the cost.

You can check out Amelia’s full post here.

Do you have any of these products already? What do you think of them? xxx


Celebrate pancake day, beauty style
February 11, 2013, 2:41 pm
Filed under: Bath and body, Eyes, Face, Hair, Lips, Make-up, Nails, Skin care | Tags: , , , , , ,

You’ve been to the shop, you’ve got your list of ingredients and you’re ready to go, but wouldn’t be it be so much more fun if you had beauty products to go along with your pancake day experience?

I decided to set myself the strange but wonderful task of finding beauty equivalents to the basic ingredients and toppings we use every year to make delicious pancakes. Plus, I thought we could all do with a smile considering how wet and cold it is out there! Let me know what you think and if you have any alternatives.

Ingredient: Salt
Beauty equivalent: Aveda Stress-Fix Soaking Salts


Lavender and clary sage infuse these salts with a relaxing aroma

Ingredient: Flour
Beauty equivalent: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant


Shake this white powder onto your hands, mix with water and you have an exfoliating paste

Ingredient: Eggs
Beauty equivalent: Illamasqua Limited Edition I’mperfection Nail Polish in Speckle


Pretty and purple like a trendy speckled hen

Ingredient: Milk
Beauty equivalent: L’Occitane Shea Butter Milk Shower Cream


Ultra rich shower gel and shampoo

Ingredient: Water
Beauty equivalent: La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water


Soothing toner alternative

Ingredient: Butter
Beauty equivalent: Korres Jasmine Lip Butter


Shea butter and rice wax hydrate and soften the lips

Ingredient: Sugar
Beauty equivalent: Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub


It tastes as good as it looks – lick it off your lips after use to see!

Ingredient: Lemon
Beauty equivalent: Dr Hauschka Lemon Lemongrass Body Moisturiser


Revitalising lemon and lemongrass body moisturiser

Ingredient: Strawberries
Beauty equivalent: Body Shop Strawberry Beautifying Oil


Instant hydration for body, face and hair

Ingredient: Chocolate Syrup
Beauty equivalent: Illamasqua Neutral Palette


Mix and match this gorgeous essential neutral palette


Will you be buying any of these pancake day beauty essentials? xxx

A Beauty Expert’s Guide To Healthy Skin: Five Minutes With Esther Fieldgrass
February 7, 2013, 4:44 pm
Filed under: Face, Skin care | Tags: , , , ,

Esther Fieldgrass - Medium Res

Within minutes of meeting beauty expert and EF Medispa Owner Esther Fieldgrass, she knew what I had to do to transform my skin. And with 40 years of experience as an industry insider, I should think so too!

It all started at a chic restaurant in St John’s Wood, where Skinceuticals was holding its launch event for the Balancing Micropeel. With a glass of orange juice in one hand and a notebook in the other, I spoke with Esther about her favourite treatments and what she loved most about the beauty industry. But then I was faced with the big, dreaded question: ‘What do you with your skin?’ If she had asked me 6-8 months ago, she would have looked at me in horror; however, luckily, I no longer use face wipes (sorry Esther!) and have been converted to the wonderful science-based skin care of Skinceuticals. I replied: ‘I have quite oily skin, and I cleanse, tone and moisturise with the Retexturising Activator.’ It was at that point that I knew there was something else on her mind – looking after my inner wellbeing (diet, hydration and stress management) should be a higher priority than it is right now. And that is the real key to having and maintaining healthy, glowing skin.

I just had to share Esther’s advice with you as I found it so interesting and helpful, and I hadn’t thought about the points she made in any great depth in the past. If you too have oily skin, I would love to know what you think of the top tips below and whether you would like to make any changes for not only your skin, but also your general health.

Top Tip 1. Go On An Alkaline Diet
‘You need to go on an alkaline diet’ were the first words of wisdom I heard from Esther, which was quite amusing at the time considering we were standing next to a table full of acidic foods and a glass full of fresh orange juice. To clear up any blemishes or oiliness, Esther told me it is best to avoid drinking coffee (weak tea, if desperate) and eating too many dairy-based products, and start drinking a lot more water to keep my skin hydrated. The acidic content of my food is definitely not something I had thought of before talking to Esther – I do drink a lot of tea during the day and do like cheese quite a lot, but I never considered how the acidic content of what I eat and drink could affect the health and appearance of my skin.

Top Tip 2. Don’t Shy Away From Oil-Based Skin Care
One thing I was dying to speak to Esther about was skin hydration and what products I should use to keep my skin under control. I told her how apprehensive I was when it came to facial oils and oil-based skin care, as I was worried it was going to make my skin worse and increase the likelihood and severity of my breakouts. I was right to be concerned; according to Esther, your skin needs to be constantly hydrated, otherwise more oil will be produced, making the condition of the skin a lot worse. She also said that the use of some toners can strip the skin of its oils, making the skin feel dry and therefore producing even more oil, exacerbating the problem. So, the takeaway message here was to keep the skin very cleansed and clean, and use hydrating serums as opposed to moisturisers and oily creams. SkinCeuticals do a B5 serum for rehydrating that she particularly recommends, as well as the Retexturising Activator which is great for oily skin. But, most importantly, water intake needs to be steady and often.

Top Tip 3: Don’t Overdo It With Topical Vitamin C
Vitamin C as a topical formulation is one of Esther’s favourite skin care products. When looking at my skin, she advised me to just dab it on once a day (every morning) and not to use too much on every application, as the skin builds up a reservoir of vitamin c and so does not need to be topped up as much as you would think. I never knew this before and found it so interesting, especially as so many skin care products include vitamin c as a staple ingredient these days.

Top Tip 4: It’s All About Maintenance
To achieve and maintain healthy skin, one treatment will never do the trick. Just as life goes on, skin care goes on. So, to look after your skin well, you need to attack all bases, including eliminating bodily toxins and using high-quality skin care to cleanse and hydrate the skin. Use a broad-spectrum SPF every day, no matter what the weather is like outside. Come rain or shine, every season is sun protection season, and Esther couldn’t have stressed that point more.

Top Tip 5: Preparation Is Key
The skin is the largest organ, and so it must be treated well. Before having any chemical peels, the skin must be prepared for at least 2 weeks to take on the power of the formulation, and should also be hydrated. If the skin isn’t prepared thoroughly, the peel won’t work, will be uncomfortable and may dry out the skin. It’s not about what you do at your appointments – it’s about what you do between them that really counts. Never pay a lot of money for a treatment without knowing what state your skin should be in before it takes place. You want to see results to justify the cost.

New in from Selfridges, John Lewis and House of Fraser
January 28, 2013, 5:25 pm
Filed under: Accessories, Bath and body, Face, Lips, Make-up, Nails, Perfume, Skin care | Tags: , , , , , , ,

It’s about time I had a look at the new offerings from some of my favourite department stores for beauty – Selfridges, John Lewis and House of Fraser. As usual, I wasn’t disappointed with what I found, especially when I realised Selfridges has some new exclusive additions to offer!

The most interesting exclusive was Rodial’s Bee Venom Moisturiser (£150 for 50ml). The first thing that came to mind was the price, as it is certainly way over what I would usually pay for a moisturiser, but I think this is more of a high-end anti-ageing skin care product, and so the cost could be justified in that respect. I love the bright yellow packaging and that the cream is infused with hyaluronic acid. Having said that, there are probably better products on the market for less, so it would be interesting to see how this one compares with the industry’s current ones to beat.


The only thing related to bees that I would come close to!

Next on the list at Selfridges are the bold and beautiful new nail polishes from Bobbi Brown in Valentine Red and Valentine Pink. Both cost £11 and are completely gorgeous. Bobbi Brown has managed to get just the right tone of each colour for these beauties.


Valentine’s day date no.1


Valentine’s day date no.2

The final must-have product from Selfridges is the Dior Vernis nail polish in Tutu (£18 for 10ml). This shade is so cute and would be perfect in Spring. What I love about this shade is that it could be worn day and night and still look amazing with different outfits. A chic twist on the nude trend.


SO god damn cute

At John Lewis, there is a new Philosophy Lip Shine in Cinammon Buns (£10 for 15ml). Anyone who loves cinammon swirls will be on this straight away, sticky fingers and all! I just love the smell and taste of cinammon and would love to try this. Plus the shade is great for a barely-there shimmer in the daytime. I love it.


I’m licking my lips already!

How cute is this Catseye (£12.50, small; £17.50, larger size) make-up bag? It’s girly, I’ll give you that, but I think it’s adorable. Perfect for day-to-day storage and a weekend away.   


One for the girly girls

Finally, at House of Fraser, I will start with this SUPER cute new facial cleansing oil from Shu Uemera (£56.50 for 450ml). It looks divine and I love the colours this brand uses on all its products. This one is a limited edition product and was designed by the company’s artists. A little pricey, but I’m not put off at all by that, as you get a lot of product for your money.


Round trip to Japan, anyone?

Second on my wish list from House of Fraser is Molton Brown’s Rok Mint Antibacterial Handwash (£16), which sounds tres tres fresh. Infused with basil, blackcurrant and mint, this one looks to be a real treat.


Blackcurrant, basil and mint make this handwash amazingly fresh and revitalising

Finally from House of Fraser is this Givenchy Vernis Please! Nail Polish in Private Grey (£13). I surprised myself with this one big time, as I would usually go for bright and bold colours, but this one was so smooth and sophisticated. Mocha to go, anyone?


Mocha latte miracle

Have you bought anything lately from these stores? Let me know below!

January 22, 2013, 2:42 pm
Filed under: Face, Make-up, Skin care | Tags: , , , ,

Today is a very special day. It’s not my birthday, but it might as well be. That’s right, this snowy January day marks the beginning of my hunt for natasha’s next top foundation, and I’m the head judge. But I need your help to make the best decision on what product to award with a massive ‘buy me’ gold star, so I have detailed my shortlist below with pros and cons, and would love it if you could all vote for the one I should buy.

It’s ok to admit that nothing would make you feel better than doing a good beauty deed this early in the week.

Thanking you in advance…:)

1/Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation, £28


WHY? Everyone knows that the YSL Touche Éclat Complexion Highlighter is a staple product, so I have high expectations for the foundation and I always find YSL products to be high quality, which prompts me to try it. Also I am probably one of the minority who hasn’t yet tried it!

WHY NOT? My skin needs a lot of moisture, so I want to be sure this one will deliver. Also looks quite small in size for the price? I would ideally want a foundation to be long-lasting and allow for many applications, but not too sure this fits the bill? Would love to hear if any of you have tried it.

2/Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, £34


WHY? The product description for this offering by Giorgio Armani makes it clear that it is hydrating, oil-free formulation, which would work great on my combination skin.

WHY NOT? It’s a little pricey for 30ml, but I am willing to look at quality over quality when it comes to foundation.

3/Clinique Superbalanced Makeup, £21.50


WHY? Having tried Clinique products previously, I know that the brand is all about keeping the skin healthy and keeping looks natural. I think the Superbalanced Makeup Foundation would do wonders for my skin, keeping it under control where necessary. Good price.

WHY NOT? I usually go for a medium-heavy coverage, and I reckon this one is on the cusp of medium. Thoughts?

4/Laura Mercier Oil-free Supreme Foundation, £33


WHY? After hearing so many positive things about Laura Mercier foundations, I would love to try one. Oil-free, non-drying formulation makes it better.

WHY NOT? Again, a little pricey for 29ml.

5/Nars Sheer Matte Foundation, £29.50


WHY? I love NARS’ blushers and eyeshadows, so I have a great impression of the brand. The idea of it being matte in effect draws my attention too, as my skin can be oily and it would be good to have a matte foundation with plenty of moisture underneath to prevent drying.

WHY NOT? The matte effect could potentially work against me, but it’s a risk you take when using a new brand.