Sunday, 31 October 2010

Cheryl Cole's Malaria Vogue

I remember when Cheryl Cole collapsed this summer following a photoshoot but I hadn't realised the shoot was for British Vogue (October). In her recent Piers Morgan interview Cheryl said her lips were blue when she woke up that morning and Cheryl's manager recalled that her face had looked a little puffed up when she arrived for the shoot. Considering this is mere hours prior to collapsing with life-threatening Malaria she looks pretty good to me!


Thursday, 28 October 2010

Bouffant My Barnet

The last time I was in for a trim my hairdresser asked if I often wore my hair in a low ponytail. Horrified, my response was a sharp, 'No! I'm not Jane Eyre!' Rather than broken-off strands, she was looking at the layer of 'new' hair that's grown back since RA drugs caused a little hairtastrophe. (Always take a folic acid supplement if your specialist tells you to! Your hair will fall out!) It has taken forever to get my hair back to anything like it was before and I still have new hairs appearing all the time. I'm bored rigid of my medium-length, layered style but I can't do anything different while it's getting back to normal. However, what I'm craving is a long fringe and bouffant 'do as worn by 1960's beauties Brigitte Bardot, Goldie Hawn and Jean Shrimpton. Oui Je t'aime! (Although Jane Birkin's hair didn't make the collage. Soz.)

Plenty of modern-day lovelies are also fans of this look thanks to its face-flattering properties. Seems as though there's nothing drastic about a long fringe I thought I might have a go at cutting it myself... Préparez-vous pour une autre catastrophe. Would you wear le bouffant? 

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Timberland Earthkeepers

Blogging has brought me a lot of good things in the past ten months: new friends, work contacts, a sense of community, inspiration... Well screw all that because now it has brought me new shoes.

The Timberland Earthkeepers range features rugged boots made from extensive recycled materials such as Green Rubber from recycled car tyres and PET from plastic drinks bottles. Once you've eventually worn out your Earthkeepers, simply give them back to Timberland and they'll recycle up to 50 per cent of their components.

I was offered the chance to try out any boots from the range; meaning subsequent days spent trying to decide on a pair. I finally settled on the Bethel Buckle Tall Zip-Up Boot in burgundy (middle). I like the fact they're chunky, an unusual colour and also the mixture of textures. 

I was very keen on the Cabot Pull-On Tall Boot (right) and the Cabot Tall Buckle Boot (left) as well but in the end I opted for the Bethels because their smaller calf width is better for my slim legs. I cannot wait to stomp around in the autumn leaves with my new boots on! I know I'm a lucky girl. Do you think I made the right choice? Actually, I'm not sure I want you to answer that. You'll throw me back into turmoil! 

Monday, 25 October 2010

Lashes and Liner for Birthday Fun

I went to Bristol at the weekend for my best friend's birthday and decided to don some falsies for the occasion! All previous solo attempts at applying fake eyelashes have failed spectacularly but having bought Duo Eyelash Adhesive when I dressed up as Mini Mouse I figured I'd have another go. Turns out Duo really is the answer. I picked up some £1.99 lashes by Perfect Girl from Savers in 'natural flirt'. How very apt.

For my favourite winged liner look I applied Eyeko Graffiti Eyeliner in jet black. What an awesome felt tip liner! Super easy to use and gives a long-lasting inky black line. My new fave.

To give some definition to my blondie brows I used Prestige BrowPerfection in light/medium. I bought this marbelised brow pencil in the US but it will be available in UK Boots stores from spring 2011. It's the perfect ash blonde colour; hard enough not to apply too heavily but easily buildable. It also has a handy mascara-style brush on the end for combing through brows. $5.99 versus however much for the Laura Mercier version I almost picked up in Sephora. Cue smug face.

I used my new Sleek Blush in rose gold on my cheeks, which gave a pretty peachy glow. I'm impressed with the fine texture of the powder and how subtle the shimmer is.

Lots of other makeup besides, including Chanticaille Brilliant Gloss in sweet on lips (I later added some MAC lipstick in Vegas Volt – a gift  in case you were thinking I'd broken my boycott), Shu Uemura Cover Crayon on my waterline, Chanel Bronze Universal as a cheek contour, backcombed hair, and earrings from Forever 21 in New York.

What do you reckon then guys? It's frustrating how much photos bleach out my makeup because I'm so pale but hopefully you get the gist.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

New Season's Kate Kanzier Shoes

I've written previously about my joy at discovering Kate Kanzier shoes. The new collection isn't exciting me as much as previous seasons but I am rather taken with the diamante skull ballerinas. Fabulously trashy.

Clockwise from top left:
Coco, £25
Chrissy, £25
Halle, £20
Dee, £20
Eleanor, £25
Veronica, £25

Monday, 18 October 2010

Liz Earle Shampoo and Conditioner Review

I've been using the new Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo and Conditioner since I attended an exclusive blogger preview back in August. Having seen Liz Earle herself on the evening I was left more convinced than ever of the merit of both the brand's skincare line and the new haircare range. After all, super shiny hair and youthful, glowing skin speak for themselves.

The team at Liz Earle spent six years on the creation of this range, never settling for less than perfection in terms of raw ingredients, performance and even scent. The resulting one-suits-all shampoo and three different conditioners are designed to look after every hair type. Between 26 August and the product launch date of 2 September, eager Liz Earle customers placed over 9,500 pre-orders.

Botanical Shine Shampoo
The challenge in creating a shampoo free from sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate was to find an ingredient that produced a similarly satisfying lather without stripping hair. After much trial and error the humble coconut came to the rescue, providing the ideal cleansing agent for foam with no chemical nasties.

This shampoo deserves not to be confined to the 'SLS/SLES-free' category, as it performs on a par with high-end shampoos of any type, leaving hair clean, manageable and shiny. A 10 pence-sized dollop of product produces a good lather, distributes well and rinses quickly.

The scent is derived from a combination of eight essential oils and is very unique, without being overpowering. The formulation is also colour-safe and contains 89 per cent natural ingredients such as aloe vera, vitamin E, and apple and orange extracts to leave hair nourished.

What I like most about this shampoo is that it feels mild and gentle on my hair. I don't have to worry about switching shampoos to avoid build-up as it doesn't rely on synthetic silicons to impart shine.

Botanical Shine Conditioner
The conditioners in the line are aimed at three different hair types: oily, normal and dry or damaged. I opted for the latter to repair my highlighted, frazzled ends – even though my roots are oily. I apply it mainly to the lengths and ends but don't find it too rich or heavy should some go on my scalp.

The texture is thick and luxurious thanks to yango oil pressed from seeds harvested by tribes in Kenya and West African shea butter from the Tung Teiya Women's Shea Association in Ghana. The use of these ingredients provides jobs for poor communities and ensures that valuable ecosystems are protected.

These products leave my hair squeaky clean, moisturised and healthy. Both shampoo and conditioner cost £7.50 for 200ml, which I think is excellent value, particularly considering the quality of the ingredients. Whether you have a sensitive scalp and need to steer clear of SLS or are simply after a shampoo and conditioner to give you swingy, sweet-smelling hair, I fully recommend the Liz Earle Botanical Shine range. It's available at Liz Earle shops, and John Lewis.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered my NY giveaway. The winner is...

* Primp and Preen! *

Thursday, 14 October 2010

How to Get your GHDs Repaired

GHD. Three little words that mean so much to so many. Were it not for the straightening power of their GHDs a whole generation of fluffy-haired honeys would certainly refuse to leave the house.

These straighteners don't come cheap at around £100, meaning it's a dark day when they decide to give up the ghost. Any GHD addict worth her salt knows the number one symptom of straightener breakdown: beware the little red light. Once it begins to flicker intermittently or, worse still, refuses to turn on at all, it only means one thing. Imminent. GHD. Death. It's happened to the best of us.

I have a friend – a straightening fanatic if ever I saw one – who must be on at least her third or fourth pair of GHDs by now. (Julia, if you're reading this, seek help. It doesn't have to be this way.) That's a very expensive habit. If only there was a service to repair and rehabilitate old GHDs so that they might live to fight another day's unruly frizz...

Simply package your broken GHDs up and send by mail to GHD Repairs Direct and for a fixed price of £19.99 their technicians will repair whatever electrical issues your straighteners are having and send them back to you as good as new! All repairs are guaranteed for six months so you can splash the £80 you would have spent on a pair of shoes.

One of my friends runs this business, meaning I can guarantee your GHDs will be in safe hands. They fix all models and if you have an additional problem like a snapped arm, just contact the guys before sending your straighteners in and they'll brief you on the cost of any replacement parts.

For more info and the address to send your broken GHDs please visit

Friday, 8 October 2010

Love her Look: Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie has been looking extra stylish since returning to her cute blonde bobbed hairstyle of a few years ago. She's debuted adorable outfits at each of her appearances to publicise her novel – 'Priceless'.

I never thought I'd admire blue velvet hotpants! And even those ridic Willy Wonka sunglasses aren't enough to dampen my enthusiasm.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The Brand Grudge

I haven't bought a single Maybelline product since I tried their stick foundation many years ago and decided that it gave me spots. It wasn't a conscious decision to boycott the entire brand but I've not felt tempted to buy from them again.

It occurred to me yesterday that maybe my 'brand grudge' was a bit harsh, however it's difficult to change habitual thought. Brand loyalty is a funny thing. Once lost it's difficult to get back.

I really hated Revlon's DoubleTwist Mascara. In my opinion it's supremely bad. I'd probably not buy another of their mascaras because of it; after all, why would I assume that they'd be any better? My judgement has been cast. I'd still buy their other products but the only way Revlon could win back my mascara-buying custom would be to put a free one on the front of a magazine or similar. If it were amazing I'd count DoubleTwist a clumpy-lashed, dumpy-wanded anomaly. There are just too many other decent brands out there for me to waste time and money on crap that doesn't work.

Clearly I'm pertinacious. In fact, writing this I was both amused and alarmed to detect echoes of Mr Darcy's famous line: 'My good opinion once lost is lost forever'. I love Pride and Prejudice but, as Elizabeth Bennet would say, that is a failing indeed.

Would you have shunned Maybelline foundations for a decade due to one bad experience? Could Revlon's two-lashes-per-eye clumpfest have poisoned your feelings towards all of their future mascaras? Do leave me a comment while I google images of Colin Firth...

Monday, 4 October 2010

Eyeko Should Coco

On Saturday I attended an event to celebrate ten years of Eyeko at Wenlock & Essex in Islington. After being ushered away from the main bar and upstairs we emerged into a full-on 80's disco complete with multicoloured light-up dance floor!

Having been handed a cherry bellini we were given an introduction to Eyeko's new makeup products (launching before Christmas) by founder Nina Leykind.

I was particularly impressed with the new powder blushers, which Nina explained were inspired by Nars Orgasm and Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks. The colours are dense with pigment and they give a subtle glow without being sparkly. Nina was wearing the colour below and it looked gorgeous on her olive skin. The new Liptastik Glossy Lip Pens also looked to pack a colour punch.

Swatched (above left): Liptastik lip pen and three different Fat Balms. 

Swatched: the new powder blusher.

Michelle (doing her Blue Steel) and Milly.
Milly, me and Hannah.

After our intro to the new products we were left to play with the various makeup goodies scattered everywhere, enjoy yummy cocktails, get manicures, hair and makeup done and even have our tarot read! LOLA's Bakery cupcakes were scarfed pretty quickly by those with a sweet tooth (or popped in one of the handy boxes provided and eaten on the train home à la me).

I got to meet up with some of my favourite bloggers and meet others that I've not met before and I left with a bulging goodie bag of makeup treats. Thanks so much to Eyeko for a fab evening and Happy 10th Birthday!