Monthly Archives: August 2013

Product Review: B. Naked Foundation

I love a good makeup prize find – especially when it is this affordable. A couple months back, the team over at Superdrug’s B. Range sent me some of their foundations to try out. Among them was their B. Naked – Light Hydrating Foundation. This retails in Superdrug for around £8.99.

2aFor anyone who follows my work, you will know that price is not as important to me as quality. I have tried some very expensive foundations which I find completely useless.

So the past few months I have been trying this makeup on different skin types, with different primers (go for cream or water based primers) and powders and I must say I am very impressed. The name is ‘B. Naked’ and I think that represents this foundation quite well. It is a lovely light illuminating foundation which is very buildable. You can build this up into a great medium coverage foundation very easily.

It works will all skin types from dry to oily, young to mature.

This has everything you would expect from a high-end foundation. It protects your skin against sun damage with UVA/UVB filters and contains Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate your skin. B.Range also claim that this product is transfer resistant for 8 hours. I haven’t put this to the test, but have no reason to doubt it, I’ve not had any disaster moments with it transferring.

The product comes in a sturdy glass bottle complete with a pump applicator, which gives it a premium feel. The pump can be unscrewed for pouring if that’s what you prefer, it also means you will have minimum wastage as you get to the end of the bottle where the pump is no longer of use. One thing I have noticed with most of B.Range’s foundations are that the pumps can be quite high pressured, so if you are pumping some out on your hand, do it away from your body and with the pump facing away also to avoid getting any product spray on your clothes or surrounding areas. You will get used to the pump very quickly though, I had it mastered in no time!

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This foundation is advertised as having a ‘naturally matte finish’. I have to disagree, I found this foundation to have a beautiful illuminating finish, which is great because that’s what I love from a foundation. So if you are buying this for sole purpose of it being Matte, I would recommend you go in-store and try it for yourself first. Otherwise, this is a beautiful foundation. B. Naked comes in 5 shades, ranging from Linen to Golden and as previously mentioned is priced at £8.99. However, since this is Superdrug’s own cosmetics range, you are always sure to pick up a bargain on this range. Their current offer is ‘Buy one get one half price’ which means you get them for around £6.74 each.

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So if you are looking for a fresh new foundation for Day time wear, I would definitely recommend giving this a try. I have been trying out a few of their other foundations too, so I will post about them shortly.

I have set up a little poll below to see who has tried the foundation and what your thoughts are, I’d really love to hear your feedback if you would take a moment to click an answer.

Tanning Friday – What to wear while faking up!

7aThere are many questions regarding tanning, most of the time you will read advice on skin prep for before you have your tan, and how to apply the product.

However, you must know what to do once the tan is applied! There’s no point in going through all of the correct motions before and during tan application, if you’re not going to see it through to the end, and look after it once you’re all faked up.

Always wear loose, dark clothes. Long sleeves and long trousers are crucial, as they protect the entire tan while it’s developing, as well as anything that you may come into contact with.


7bDark tracksuits and pyjama sets are a great idea, and the recent craze of ‘onesies’ has provided another comfy option for us fake tanners. Granted, it is not the most flattering look or sexy and romantic option. But I’m afraid, if your partner wants a gorgeous, tanned beauty on their arm, then they will have to put up with the occasional frumpy trackie!  

Only wear items that you do not mind staining, as the dark coloured clothing helps to protect the bed sheets throughout the night while your tan is developing. They act as a barrier to prevent the colour from rubbing directly onto your lovely, clean bed sheets.

7dAnd hey…once you’re tanned up and looking like a beautiful bronzed goddess…then it is time to ditch the frumpy clothes and put on your sexier items for that very patient partner of yours!

Next week I will be reviewing a new tanning product by the fantastic Vita Liberata, which is both ground breaking and incredible! You don’t want to miss it…

Dress of the Month – August 2013

This stunning dress has only been with us a few weeks, but she has fast become one of my all time favourite wedding dresses! Her name is Flora and she is the cutest dress ever!

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A gorgeous soft chiffon gown with an a-line silhouette, the uniqueness of this dress is all in the neckline! High necked, capped at the shoulders with the stunning feature of an embellished peter pan collar, this gown makes a really unique statement.

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I’ve only seen her on a few girls so far but I really like how flattering it is on more petite frames, although I can imagine it working really well on taller girls too.

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The gown is gathered in towards the waist so will flatter most body types, and the soft a-line of the skirt skims gently over a tummy and hips.

I can’t wait to see this worn at a real wedding!

For more information about this dress or to try it for yourself, please contact Catherine at Cathedral Gowns (Tel: 028 4461 2532)

Embrace the here and now…

6a“Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude.” – Denis Waitley

 

Every morning when we wake up we ask ourselves one question: what is today going to bring? Trying to overcome all that life tosses at us, we sometimes forget that the simplest things make all the difference in the pursuit of happiness. Through the fragile pages of existence, we do our best to push for a decent way of living, making sure that our loved ones are always safe and looked after. We are all bounded by different experiences, careers and fates. Being sucked by the wheel of constant race and growing responsibilities, we start to chase our own shadows forgetting about our inner balance, that is crucial for each one of us to embrace.

6bTired and wrinkled by life we loose the confidence, drive and passion for what really matters. In my previous post I have mentioned that everyone should take a step back and seize the day! It is extremely vital that we all give ourselves a small break and in silence or noise (whatever way we choose) we get in touch with our inner self.  We throw away all we read in silly magazines, we clear our mind from what day has put us through, we take a deep breath and inhale the joys of life.

 “Self confidence is the most attractive quality a person can have. How can anyone see how awesome you are if you can’t see it yourself?” – Unknown

Good morning world, today I will keep smiling no matter what! I wake up with this phrase on my lips everyday and always make sure that no one and nothing destroys that state of mind I inject every morning. I take a long refreshing shower, put my favorite facial cream on, throw some comfortable fashion peace on and have a nice cup of earl grey. Whilst putting myself in a good state of mind, I plan the whole day, starting from looking at my diary. My hobby is cycling, therefore no matter what, I always make sure that I have at least 2 hours per day for some fresh air work out, that not only clears my head, but puts an 6cunbelievable smile on my face. Of course, let’s not forget about the favorite motivating music that makes my legs go faster with every beat. There is nothing better than a fresh air hobby. Obviously, all sports have their negatives; two weeks ago I have been singing out loud on a bike and I swallowed a fly. Thankfully, I didn’t choke or fall of the bike, I continued with a smile on my face to cycle. Some people look at me in a weird way, as I cycle to all my clients, friends, I even do shopping whilst cycling. Am I bothered, are my clients or friends bothered? No, because I carry a full bag of confidence with myself knowing that if I won’t feel comfortable about myself and my hobbies,  it will all lose its meaning.

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In life we need to be more courageous than we already are, and some of us think that grabbing the bull by its horns is often impossible. I can tell you now: it all depends on our approach. We are the makers of our own fate, it is us who write our own biographies. We are both the puppets and puppeteers at the same time, depending on various situations that we come across.

“Life is short, live it. Love is rare, grab it; Anger is bad, dump it; Fear is awful, face it; Memories are sweet, cherish it.” – Unknown

You all are probably wondering, how do I do it, I have so much going on, no time for change, no time for myself, I will wait for a better time. But as we know from experience, the “right time” rarely comes; we need to create it ourselves in order to make our dreams come true. Don’t we all deserve a break from this spinning? I know I do, and it is about time you did too! Life is too short to keep sobbing and worrying; it is too short to forget about why we are here; it is too short to be alive but not live your life. At this very moment we all need to make ourselves a nice cup of tea and put a plan together, a ‘this year’ resolution, not ‘next year’. If you want to change something, do it now, do not wait around for miracles, the miracle is you. This is what we all should remember everyday, I was born for a reason; I have those skills for a reason; my experiences shaped me into who I am now; and no one and nothing will stop me making at least the small dreams come true. But you need to believe! Stand in front of the mirror and say: today is another day of my adventure, and I will breath it in deeply!

Tanning Friday Review: Garnier Ambre Solaire – No Streaks Bronzer, Natural Wash Off Gel

6aThis week’s fake tan is an instant, wash-off gel by Garnier. This is a great product for anyone who has either forgotten to tan in preparation for an event or night out, or who has an event sprung on them and needs a beautiful, natural looking tan asap! Instant tan is great for these situations because as soon as you have applied the gel, you immediately have a gorgeous summer tan!

However, as you will know from my other reviews, advance skin preparation is extremely important for any kind of fake tanning. This makes it difficult when you haven’t had time to prepare, but still want that perfect bronzed look! A lot of instant tans, however quickly they develop, still only look great and streak free when the skin has been prepared in advance.

6bAll that being said, this little beauty is a bit different – it is enriched with apricot extract which helps to keep your skin hydrated for up to 24 hours. This means that if you are caught out short, and have to quickly shave and exfoliate that same day, this is one of the only tans that I have found, which still goes on smoothly with no streaks, even when the prep is done just before application! So for me, this is a true instant tan, as you really can rely on it in these last minute situations.

I love the colour of this tan! It is extremely natural. Rather than orange, or drastically dark, it develops into a lovely, warm olive colour. Which means you can confidently apply it for day events as well as evening do’s.

6cThe gel is non-greasy and non-sticky and once applied feels smooth on your skin. Then on top of that, as mentioned, it keeps your skin hydrated so there is no drying out. This also means that you don’t get any offensive dry, orange patches forming in the usual places such as elbows, hands, knees and feet. I would still recommend using a bit of moisturiser in these areas before application though; this is a rule of any fake tanner that must always be done!

6dAs this tan is a gel, it is very easy to apply. Rather than a lotion which can run away from you and become hard to absorb, this gel is very easy to manage and rubs in easily, without any streaks whatsoever! I would always recommend using a tanning mitt for any fake tan application, however – again, if you are caught short and can’t find your mitt or don’t have it at hand, then this tan can be applied with your hands (as long as you wash them 6estraight away afterwards!)

This product has next to no smell. When applying you may get a small hint of a fruity, sweet aroma (which I really like), but once applied there is no noticeable smell at all.

If you are after a stunning and natural looking tan which is very easy to apply, and really can be used at the very last minute, then I would strongly recommend this product! It is also now available in a shimmer as well, if that’s the look you prefer.

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Then, once you are all partied out, and have some very gorgeous pictures that you can’t wait to upload and proudly showcase to others…simply wash off with soap and water, it is easily removed.

At around £6.99 a bottle, this really is great value for money. It is available in Boots and many other beauty stores online and on the high street. And please let me know if you would like me to review any more of their fantastic range of products, which you can explore here

Is Yoga really all that Hot?

If I’m going to do a workout, I want to really feel like I’ve got the most out of the time I’ve spent doing it. I love high impact classes, which get my blood pumping and my muscles burning.

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Which is why I never really saw yoga as my sort of thing. It all looked a bit hippy for my liking and I could never quite see how stretching around on the floor could make THAT much of a difference. I’m the first to admit I was more than dubious when Geri Halliwell swore her teeny tiny post-Spice Girl frame was down to regular yoga practice.

In school we had a new headmistress who was an ex-ballet dancer – one term she decided to get a yoga teacher in for after school classes. Whilst it was very amusing as a 14 year old, I can’t say I got anything out of it.

As the years went on I continued to dabble in the odd class, determined to find something in it (after all – millions of avid yogi’s can’t ALL be wrong?!). In my final year of university a few friends and I decided to give the yoga society a go – unfortunately as we stopped off to pick up a couple of the girls on the way, we somehow managed to make it to the kitchen for a cuppa and a biccy and spent the whole evening there instead!

Since my pole addiction has resulted in a continuous quest for flexibility, I thought I’d give yoga another go. A Groupon offer for 10 classes for £29 at London studio was the perfect excuse I needed, except this time it was different. This wasn’t just any yoga….this was HOT yoga.

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I’ve heard about the benefits of hot yoga before, and as ever was willing to give it a go. Some of you may have heard of Bikram Yoga, which is a set series of postures performed in a heated environment, however hot yoga encompasses all sorts of practices just with the high temperatures. And boy do they take some getting used to!

Most classes are performed in up to 40-degree heat, which is LOVELY if you’re tanning on the beach, but harder to deal with in a sweaty room with no air circulating. Within minutes I could feel my skin tingling. 15 minutes in and my heart rate was elevated, and I was very aware of the heat. Half way through the class and sweat was pouring into my eyes! If like me you like to feel a workout, I would highly recommend any of the Vinyasa/Ashtanga/Rocket or Power yoga classes. I like to think of myself as relatively fit but I was definitely struggling with holding some of the poses! The heat helps relax your muscles and really ease into the stretches, and I’ve noticed a marked improvement in flexibility. And best of all, the next day I woke up aching….the perfect sign of a great workout.

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The classes were full of all shapes and sizes, men, women, and yogis of all ages and abilities. After a single class I was hooked, and have regularly been back for more. I noticed great improvement in my strength, and even some new ab definition! After a month off from yoga recently for holidays, I took my first class back yesterday and my body really noticed I’d been away. The heat can be a shock at first so take your first class slow; take a towel and drink plenty of water before, during and throughout to keep hydrated. It can be quite a shock to the system so be prepared to take plenty of breaks throughout if you need it.

I can’t quite bend myself into a pretzel just yet…but I’m definitely on my way!

You can take 10 hot yoga classes for £40 at Fitness on Fire, near Old Street, London at http://fitnessonfire.org.uk

 

 

Will you have ‘Mismatched Maid’s’ on your Wedding Day?

Following on from last month’s blog on how to style your bridesmaids, I thought I’d cover the topic of the biggest bridesmaid revolution I’ve seen since Cathedral Gowns opened! This is the story of ‘Mismatched Maids’!

Traditionally bridesmaids have been dressed in identical dresses, with their shoes, jewellery, hair and make-up exactly the same, and up until now bridesmaids have been happy with that deal, but recently there has been a big shake up in how brides are dressing their attendants! Brides are opting for and embracing variety and individualising each look to suit each bridesmaid. Instead of making each girl a clone of the last, each bridesmaid is being given the chance to actually look like herself!

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As with many wedding trends, this one seems to have started in America, and I’m guessing has a lot to do with the fact that in the US the bridesmaids pay for their own dresses. Having watched episodes of ‘Say Yes to the Dress Bridesmaids’ it is fair to say that American bridesmaids are far more vocal about what they are or are not willing to wear, and fair enough really if they are the ones spending the money. But it isn’t just about the aesthetic; comfort has become a really important factor, especially for the girls with figure concerns or who need to be able to wear a non-strapless bra. It is fantastic that bridesmaids are now being given the chance to tailor the dress and the look according to their own style, taste and body type.

So if you are thinking of giving your girls some freedom in the dress choice, it’s a good idea to decide in advance how much say you will let them have, and how much you are willing to compromise. Before you go shopping it’s a good idea to know what your own wedding day look is, and whether your wedding dress choice will dictate any elements of the bridesmaid dresses, without this your bridesmaids will have too much choice.

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There are lots of different ways that you can tweak, tailor and individualise your bridesmaids’ dresses. The easiest way is to pick a standard dress and adjust each neckline to suit each girl. Straps can be added, a straight across can become a sweetheart, you get the idea. This way you can be kind to each girl, and be considerate of their body type or any figure concerns, but you are still working with the one dress style and one cohesive aesthetic.

There are so many options if you chose to keep the overall ‘from a distance’ look the same.

You can:

  1. Dress the girls in the same colour, fabric, length and general shape, but make them very different from the waist up. Lots of designers offer dresses that are different only from the waist up.
  2. Tweak the necklines, some can have cap sleeves, or halter strap added, or necklines can be curved or dipped.
  3. Tweak the skirt shapes to flatter girls the best. It’s pretty straightforward to make an a-line gown more fitted, and is especially flattering on more petite bridesmaids.
  4. Adjust the hem lengths, keep some girls full length and make it knee or ballet length for others.
  5. Keep the dresses the same but give each girl freedom with hair and make-up.
  6. Changing their accessories. One of our recent brides had each of her girls wear the same shoes but in different colours, and it worked so well with their short dresses.
  7. Adding things to change the look, one girl might have a coloured sash or a brooch to make her stand out.
  8. Make each girl’s bouquet totally different.

So you can subtly adjust each girls look to suit them, take into account what matters to them, but you still retain a cohesive aesthetic that makes sense. So whilst it’s fair to say that your bridesmaids shouldn’t wear a uniform, you do still want them to look like a team and that they belong with you.

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But lots of girls are going even further with individualising for each bridesmaid! This is your chance to really showcase your personality, be creative and even eclectic! You can make each of your girls look totally different and unique, different dresses, different colours, different fabrics or even all of the above! Think Carrie Bradshaw’s bridesmaids in the first Sex and the City movie!

You can dress your girls:

  1. Different colour same style.
  2. Different style same colour.
  3. Completely different colours and styles but coherent theme. You could have different dresses with a unifying feature such as a belt or a brooch, but pick something to be cohesive, such as the skirt length or shape.
  4. Different shades of a colour, creating an ombre effect.
  5. A range of colours with a cohesive look or theme, such as ice cream shades, colours of the sunset etc.
  6. Have one girl in a pattern, or even a combination of patterns for all the girls.
  7. Have just one girl different, maybe the junior or maid of honour.

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There are so many ways and things you can do to make each girl look different from the next, but I definitely think that if you are going to dress them very differently that it works best with larger bridal parties. It definitely has more impact with three or more adult bridesmaids. It’s tough to narrow it down to just one dress that you love, so this way if you love three very different dresses, you can have them! And the best bit is that you since you aren’t looking for multiples of a style, you might strike it lucky and find your perfect dresses hanging on a bridal shops sale rail!

Going for completely different dresses for each girl is definitely a trend that is building momentum, and it is not as alternative as it once was. But the traditionalists will most likely be horrified by even the suggestion of different styles for each bridesmaid, so if you are thinking of going this route you’ll need to be prepared for some of your guests to be shocked and possibly even negative.

Ultimately I love how fresh this look can be! It’s like all of a sudden the rule books have been thrown away, and I absolutely love it!

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