Monday, 30 April 2012

Babyliss and Henry Holland Bring You the Latest Trends

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to a special event with Babyliss and Henry Holland to discuss trends for both fashion and hair.

Champagne in hand we all listened to Henry talk about his latest collection, with Adam Reed (the Reed in Percy & Reed!) discussing the key hair trends and how to achieve them.

Adam used the latest tools from Babyliss, their 'Boutique' collection, to achieve the looks for Henry's latest show. High street prices with professional performance and results, Adam claimed these to be the best hair tools on the market at the moment!

The first look they talked through was from Henry's Spring/Summer 2012 show, with the inspiration coming from 'This is England' - probably not really what you would want to hear in the hairdressers! The aim was to achieve a really slicked back look, to look almost like a skinhead. For a bit of softness, and to make you not look like a complete thug, section of hair are brought forward to frame the face and set with hairspray. What do you think of the result?

The second look Adam and Henry took us through has another, quite unusual, inspiration. This time it was Margot from The Good Life!! The key to this hair trend is to look at though you've been to the salon but then messed it up a bit and placed your hair in a ponytail. Messy chic I suppose you'd say which looked really pretty. Apparently the deep side parting is the only way to wear your hair at the moment as well!!

The final look I think had the most volume and texture. Adam used Babyliss' new Boutique Loose Waves to achieve it. Taking quite large sections of hair he wrapped the hair around the tong and then rolled the tong up and down that section of hair. I had never seen someone tong hair in that way, apparently it gives a more natural look! I'm definitely giving it a go.

In summary, you must now wear your hair in a side parting, have either slicked back or texturised hair, and you can quickly achieve salon results at home with Babyliss' new range. The hairdryer is £70 and the tongs are only £30 so really good value for money. I shall be reviewing the hairdryer very soon.

What do you think of the looks?


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Collection 2000 Big Hair NOTW

This week I need a bit of brightness for my nails to cheer me up! Collection 2000's 'Big Hair' is the perfect antedote for this miserable weather.

A rich tangerine colour it is bang on-trend as well! Apologies for the awful photography, I'm getting a new camera soon.

Very easy to apply, two coats are needed, but it dries super fast. Plus it has minimal chipping so can definitely take you through a whole working week.

I'd recommend Collection's nail polishes to anyone. Great value for money. Check them out!


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Top 5 Body Lotions

Continuing my dry skin theme, today's post focuses on my favourite body lotions. I have dry skin which fortunately means I hardly get spots, but unfortunately means I'll have more wrinkles than more oily women :-( So after a shower I have to use body lotion, otherwise my skin feels very tight and uncomfortable. Whether you use body lotion everyday like me, or once in a while as a treat here are my Top Five:

Soap & Glory Righteous Butter - this is heavenly! A light lotion it feels nice and luxurious and melts into the skin very quickly. Very good quality. It smells wonderful too and is a snip at just £10.50 at Boots for 250ml.
Sanctuary Mande Lular - even though every body lotion I mention here I love, I have to say that this one is my favourite. It is absolutely gorgeous. A 'body souffle' it has a wonderful texture that leaves your skin velvety soft. Probably not an 'everyday' body lotion, this smells really exotic and is more of a treat if your skin is extremely dry or just before a date! Priced at £10.50 at Boots for 475ml, it is actually better value than Soap & Glory.
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Lotion - a classic, super-cheap, it gives you great results every day. The lotion is quite thick but it sinks in without having to massage it too much. Made from 100% cocoa butter with added Vitamin E this had to be in my Top Five. Only £3.79 for 250ml, a bargain!

Garnier Intensive 7 Days - I came across this when I was travelling and it was intensive enough to be used as an after-sun yet light enough to use every day for me. I went for the one with Shea Butter for dry to extra dry skin but Garnier has a range for all skin types. I'd really recommend it. Probably doesn't last 7 days like they claim but still a very good body lotion. £2.99 for 250ml.

Vaseline Intensive Rescue - the one I'm using at the moment, you know you're going to get a good moisturising product from Vaseline. Their Intensive Rescue range has glycerine which they claim 'relieves dryness and increases moisture reserves'. A fancy way of saying it moisturises deep into the skin and keeps it looking healthy. Only lightly fragranced you don't notice much scent at all. Vaseline have focused on what the lotion actually does which I think is best! £3.49 for 200ml.

I haven't done this in any real order. My favourite is Sanctuary's but it's richer, more luxurious and not to everyone's preference. It depends on your budget and skin type.

What's your favourite body lotion? Would you add any more to this list? Let me know!


Monday, 23 April 2012

Review: L'Occitane Hand Cream

When the weather is this miserable it seems my whole body knows about it. My nails start breaking, my hair gets dry, and so does my skin. Especially my hands. I think it must be down to central heating for the most part.

So when the moisture in the air is sapped you need something you can rely on to moisturise and nourish. This is where L'Occitane's Dry Skin Hand Cream comes into play. With 20% shea butter it absorbs really quickly into your skin without leaving your hands feeling greasy at all.

One of their best-sellers and winning a host of beauty awards from Harper's, She and Marie Claire to name a few, L'Occitane's hand cream really is the best quality you can get. I love it and it may be more expensive than other brands, but you get what you pay for. Also, because of the quality, you only need a small amount at a time and therefore it lasts aaaaages. Really good value for money.

£18.50 for full size or just £8 for a smaller 'travel' size.


Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Art of Meditation

A while ago I went to see a chiropractor. As much as clicking my back felt wonderful the most important thing he taught me was how to meditate. This is an important part of my exercise regime now, as much as running or yoga.

Meditation has long been practiced but only recently seemed to take off in the Western world, with many celebrity fans increasing it's popularity. It may not be to everyone's taste but I've fallen in love with it.

With our lives, now more than ever, so busy and constantly in touch with the world it's difficult to switch off and relax. The aim of meditation is to clear the mind and think of nothing although this is very difficult. But practice makes perfect.

Firstly find a quiet, comfortable place for you to sit, straight but comfortable, hands resting in your lap, feet flat on the ground. To begin with aim for just 5 minutes and build it up.

Close your eyes and breath in through the nose, out through the mouth. As you breath in, breath fully into your belly. Your chest should barely move with the breath, it's your stomach that you need to focus on. As you breath out, your stomach will go back in.

You will find your mind wanders to other topics or how much time you think has passed but that's OK. Just bring it back to thinking of nothing. Other things that have helped me are to think of waves with your breathing, or a flickering candle.

Afterwards I feel very relaxed but also energised. Most of us only use shallow breaths so a few minutes of deep breathing is incredibly beneficial. I don't know all the science to it but I know it makes me feel good so I'd urge everyone to give it a try.

Do you already meditate? What are your recommendations to get the most out of it? Or is there no way you would try it? Let me know.


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Adore...Lily Flame Candles

Recently I've got into candles in a big way! It may be me turning into a middle-aged woman, or the fact that when the weather is depressing outside candles make indoors feel more cosy, or maybe candles are simply just nice. Whatever the reason I'm having a bit of a moment with candles!

I can't really take credit for this find. My mum bought me this as a bit of a 'welcome home' present after travelling. Lily Flame candles come in countless scents but mine is called Fairy Dust. Super girly and hand-made these candles are really beautiful.

Pretty enough as a gift or just to treat yourself, Fairy Dust smells amazing. Why haven't they invented smell-o-vision for the internet yet?! It smells quite powdery, and I guess what you'd expect fairy dust to be like. You'll just have to hunt them down and smell for yourselves. But take my word, you won't be disappointed.

They've apparently been around since 1997 but I had never seen them before. Made in Somerset, they're a true English find. As well as this scent I also like Blush, Bluebell Forest, Gardenia and Parma Violets. But they have a very extensive range to suit every taste.

Said to last around 35 hours they are really good quality. The only downside is the pretty 'sugar cubes' of wax obviously get melted down once the candle has been burning for a while. Priced at £8.50 and available at John Lewis, BHS, independent retailers and at


Monday, 16 April 2012

NOTD - Collection 2000 Jitterbug

LOVING this new shade from Collection 2000. Called Jitterbug it's an eye-catching pale blue with a subtle metallic shimmer.

The polish goes on really easily and evenly. It definitely needs two coats to build up to the perfect metallic shade. It kind of has the look of a foil without the inevitable air bubbles but with all the striking appeal.

Available at most chemists and supermarkets, Collection 2000's nail varnishes must be one of the cheapest ranges at just £1.79 each, and are usually on a special offer.

Being cheap doesn't mean their poor quality though so I really recommend them. They have so many different shades to choose from - I got this one and a coral colour to be reviewed shortly, and the shades are always those on trend.

Let me know what you think of this one, or if you there are any other shades you would recommend.


Friday, 13 April 2012

What's Hot; What's Not

What you've been waiting for all week....this week's Hot and Not!!


aMuse magazine - launching on the 30th April, this is a new, completely free, monthly lifestyle glossy magazine. Very excited for the beauty pages. If it can follow in the footsteps of Stylist, with even more great content, I'm sure all us London girls will be very happy!

Adele - announced as the richest young singer this week, she is amazing! She hasn't bowed to pressure to lose weight and is still super-successful, showing you can be yourself and is an amazing role model. Plus did anyone see her performance at the Royal Albert Hall? Wow, I was in tears!!

David Beckham for Elle magazine - they had the photoshoot this week and are obviously not giving us any clue on what he'll be wearing. Hopefully minimal clothing. So until we get to see it, here's a treat to kick off your weekend


Aintree - yet again the Liverpool races lived up to its tradition of women wearing ridiculously unflattering clothes and make-up. Scouse brows (of course!), fake tan and bronzer overkill seemed to be the worst beauty offenders of the day!

Laura Hogg - for those out there who saw The Apprentice this week, we now have a new Samantha Brick, with Laura Hogg claiming how difficult it is to be a beautiful businesswoman. I know it's great to have good self-esteem and be confident but in this country modesty also goes a long way. Being successful, kind, considerate and fun are way more beautiful. I do want to know what eyeliner she uses though...

'Living doll' on Youtube - Venus Palermo made headlines this week by reaching 10 million hits on her Youtube site. She is a 15 year old girl who dresses like a doll and does her make-up and hair to become a doll. Who wants to look like a doll?? One word - weird.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Bikini Body Update

It probably wasn't a good idea to start this just before Easter and the inevitable eating frenzy that accompanies it! But nevertheless it hasn't been too bad.

My main exercise has been going to the gym and running on the treadmill - even got told well done by one of the personal trainers there which was a huge boost! I'd done 3 x 10 minutes (as I get bored if I don't break it down) and psyched myself up to do a sprint finish for a minute. Afterwards as I was trying to get my breath back he came over and said well done. Amazing what an impact such a little thing has. Unfortunately I can't afford a PT all the time. The rest of the day I was so knackered! But it was good and my soundtrack of Beyonce worked wonders!!

A couple of days after I decided to go for a run outside as it was quite good weather and it meant saving petrol (I wasn't one of *those* people who panicked and queued for hours). I did 10 minutes and was beat. I know that running outside you have inclines and differences which you don't get treadmill running but it was really weird. I can do 30 minutes on a treadmill and not even half of that outside.

Does anyone else have this problem? It was quite demotivating...and then when I went back to the gym I could do the 30 minutes with a sprint finish again and I found it was getting I'm assuming I am getting fitter. Maybe outside running isn't for me. I found it very strange as surely it can't be that different.

I haven't started on my yoga DVD yet but I've been meditating every day for just 10 minutes but I find I get restless if I try to do more right now so I'll build up my time slowly.

I also bought myself new trainers which I'm excited to break in. My Achilles was starting to ache a bit and I think my old trainers probably had something to do with that.

So, overall a good first week (and a bit). Diet hasn't been fantastic but hasn't been too bad either. I'm improving my running at the gym, but outside is defeating me a bit. If anyone has any tips please please let me know!


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Review: L'Oreal Rouge Caresse in Fushcia

I haven't been this excited about a new beauty product for a while. There are countless adverts on TV for the next lipstick so I was quite wary to not expect much from L'Oreal's new offering. It appealed to me because of the emphasis on how light and delicate it was with just a hint of colour.

I'm normally a girl who focuses on my eyes with make-up rather than lips so a little smidge of colour which isn't going to dry out my lips or make me lick my lips constantly sounded like a winner.

I plumped for the 202 Impulsive Fuschia shade as the others available either seemed too dark or light and I would absolutely recommend it as the shade for blondes.

L'Oreal really do deliver with this lipstick. Everything they say is correct such as it being lightweight, sheer, soft. It feels like quite an intensive lipbalm with just a quick stroke of the lipstick with a little hint of colour which I think looks very sexy. And the colour stays just as long as any of the heavyweight lip stains on the market at the moment.

This plus a little eyeliner and mascara gives a flawless, understated beauty look for day. For night use two applications to build up the colour slightly and go heavier on the black'll make everyone want to caresse your lips! (Too much of a pun?! Haha)

Have you bought one yet? If so and it's a different colour let me know if you think it would suit I may just be tempted to buy another!!

Well done L'Oreal,


Friday, 6 April 2012

Easter Treat

Apologies for this week being so nail-orientated. I will try to vary it a bit next week!!

But for a beauty Easter present either for a friend or yourself why not get Nails Inc's Easter Parade collection? A beautiful set of eye-catching brights and pastels for whatever mood you're in.

Too pretty for words!!

And especially for Easter weekend Nails Inc are giving 20% off their online shop with the code EASTER20

What more could you need this Easter?...apart from a bit of chocolate and a bottle of wine!!

Happy Easter everyone,


Thursday, 5 April 2012

NOTW - A Wintery Chanel Fantastic

It seems to have backtracked to winter again so I've done the same and plumped for a winter berry shade for my nails this week. Chanel's Fantastic is a gorgeously sumptuous deep red that is a classic for cold days.

Unfortunately the photo isn't the best quality and makes it look quite purple in colour, but I assure you it is a deep red! It has a slight shimmer which makes your nails really stand out without being too over the top.

(Hopefully this image gives you a clearer idea of the shade!)

I've often found that Chanel's nail varnishes chip quite quickly but I've had this shade on since Monday and it's lasting really well. Plus it really suits this cold and wintery weather...a neon right now just wouldn't feel right!

What are you rocking right now?


Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Hero Product - OPI Nail Envy

An oldie but a goodie - OPI Nail Envy in Original can not be beaten for conditioning and strengthening your nails as well as being a great base and top coat to protect your varnish. A true multi-tasker!

I always use this when I do my nails, or even on its own when my nails get quite brittle in winter. Hailed as a maximum strength product it really does work, and uses calcium and protein to naturally help nails look beautiful.

I know a lot of people who have used this after having acrylics for years and their natural nails are a mess. You can buy different varieties but I recommend Original all the way.


Monday, 2 April 2012

The quest for a 'bikini body' begins...

Last week surprised me what with forcing me out of my baggy jumpers and Uggs and into summery dresses and flip flops! Damn that sun!! No not really, but it did make me think I need to do something about getting ready for summer. Exfoliation, fake tan, and some bronzer are quick-fix wonders that helped me last week...but I do need to get fit for summer.

I know I've only recently returned home from travelling and so should be comfortable in a bikini, but a month of home comforts has done terrible things to my waistline!!

So...time to get moving! From my past experience exercise makes more of a difference than diet. Though obviously you can't go to the gym every day and still be eating everything in sight. But I tend not to worry *too* much about diet.

So I am using a combination of gym (mainly treadmill), yoga and Zumba. I used to be massively into running but starting out again is quite painful, but I've definitely missed the endorphin rush!! Zumba is the funnest (I know that's not actually a word!), you sweat loads and the time flies by, so another good cardio work-out.

Then yoga will be my stretching and toning work-out. I find this really beneficial for my running. A few years ago I tore my Achilles tendon and ever since then my whole left side has been a little weak. Yoga strengthens and lengthens my muscles and tendons, hopefully meaning I'll be less likely to get injured. I also find the meditation part of yoga helps with stress and insomnia.

So that's the plan! I'll let you know how I'm getting on every week. And let me know if you have any recommendations.