Denman: Brighten Up Your Beauty Routine…

Since discovering Denman, I’ve become a bit of a top fan and have a range of their hairbrushes in my little hair-care bag. Find relevant reviews here & here

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When I heard that two NEW neon brushes were joining their smooth family (pink & yellow), I just had to get on the S/S’14 neon hype and brighten up my beauty cabinet with one of them! Emblazoned with twirly swirly writing, the ‘Tangle Smoother’ aims to do just that, smoothing out tangles in an effortless manner…and has other benefits which my whole family are now raving about! The main one being that the metal pins which are positioned closely together actually massage the hair and scalp…

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My younger sister has a condition named ‘Sensory Process Disorder’ (SPD), meaning she has difficultly processing sensory stimuli from the outside world. She absolutely loved it when I brushed her hair this morning, before putting it into a ‘Frozen plait’ for her. As soon as I was finished, she begged my Mum for one for Christmas, but being the amazing sister that I am, I said that she could have it as soon as I have told the world about it. I know, I’m just too nice…

Mum wants me to make the point that the hairbrush would be a great investment for other people suffering from SPD to give them a relaxing morning massage to set them up for the day. People suffering from the condition find it hard to make sense of the world and like intense sensations to help ground them, therefore the stimulating pins help to relive that feeling of confusion!

Now all of my family have shiny smooth locks and my little sister doesn’t winge when I brush her hair – win win!

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(www.denmanbrush.com; £10.18)

Love & Hairflicks,

Fox & Sis

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Forever Living: Aloe There, Gi’s a Smile…

Aloe Aloe Aloe! How are we all? Yes, I know I’ve been away for a couple of weeks, but to those of you that haven’t hit the unfollow button (and to those of you – thank you), FoxBeauty is back in business, with a pearly grin to suit…

If you read regularly, you’ll know that I’ve written about a few products from the Aloe Forever range before and how beneficial the skincare products & supplement drink were for me, but now I’m going to tell you a little more about the toothpaste in the range. My good friend, Amy, is a sales rep for the brand (https://www.facebook.com/amyataloeforever) and she just so happened to post a before and after snap of someone who had used the Forever Bright Aloe Vera Toothpaste to whiten her teeth, and the results appeared to be phenomenal….

…Add to cart!

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What Forever Aloe says: “Forever Bright Toothgel is a gentle, non-fluoride formula, that contains aloe vera and bee propolis. It nourishes, strengthens and protects teeth and gums whilst fighting plaque and whitening without bleaching agents. A great minty taste in a non-abrasive formula, that children and adults love.”

The first thing I noticed was the crazy green shade of the toothpaste, along with the deliciously minty smell it gave off , similar to spearmint. It also foams up deliciously leaving a squeaky clean after-thought in my mouth.

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Amy says how she uses it after every meal to keep her knashers in tip-top condition, but obviously that can be hard to maintain when you’re a busy bee, so don’t worry if you can’t quite manage such a routine. I have been using it at least use it twice a day (doctor’s recommendations), as well as after any meal’s if I happen to be at home.

Because I can’t always be so strict, I’ve looked to Amy’s friends method of usage, which funnily enough, helps to whiten teeth too (coffee & cigarettes = bad beauty blogger). I simply followed suit and have purchased a gum shield from Sports Direct (www.sportsdirect.com); I cut it down to fit my child-sized mouth and once a week, I lather it in the green stuff before popping it in (not the funnest or most pleasurable of experiences, I must say) and then wait roughly 10-15 minutes before removing it. During this time, the toothpaste does burn and tickle my throat a little, but a little perseverance is all it takes, and there’s no harm done really.

The results? Yes, my teeth are a little whiter, but I must say that I’m beginning to miss the results I see with my usual Arm & Hammer Advanced Whitening Toothpaste and I’m not sure whether I’d repurchase it again for it’s ‘whitening’ elements. Instead, it’s a kind-tasting toothpaste which is suitable for both adults and children, due to its fluoride free formula, but the so-called added benefits I was hoping for have unfortunately let me down a little.

Maybe the true secret is to throw those fags and cut out that coffee, but for now, I’m still scouring the markets for a beautifying best-seller so that I don’t have to rid of what I love!

Love & Smiles,

Fox

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(www.foreverliving.co.uk; £4.79)

BLOGGER COMPETITION: #guessthepolish

Are you a lover of the orange & coral tones which have hit big this spring? I sure am, having a few Tangerine inspired shades for my pout and now, I’ve got a bottle of orange juice for my talons too! If you are a fan, like moi, then listen up for your chance to win a bottle of the good stuff…

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What the brand says: “Quick dry, high gloss and long wear”

 I was hoping that the brand lived up to its statement of drying quickly as I stupidly did them whilst pre-drinking, so needed them to dry before I forgot about them and got orange paint down my nice white dress. Boy, was I surprised that they effortlessly did so and my dress stayed pretty and pure until I dropped ketchup down it at the end of the night – whoops!

The polish is very thick in texture and looks almost shellac-like upon your nails because of it’s glossy appearance – what do you think? It dries quickly enough to slap on another coat not too long after, but I would say that one coat is suffice if you’re in a rush due to the coverage and delicious colour of it from first the first coat. The brush is squared and thick so you only need a stroke or two to get the job done, making it a very effortless process (which is helpful when you’ve had a glass or two of wine, like I had at the time!)

The colour lasted through the night and I’d stop and admire them from time to time when pointing to the ceiling, rocking my best moves. However, I do have a tendency to have a nibble and because it’s so glossy I forgot it’s not quite shellac and that the formula isn’t strong enough to stay in-tact once my dirty habit kicked in, so yes, it did chip however I’d say this is an issue with me as opposed to the varnish. It’s very smooth to touch like shellac though and looks amazing, so can you blame for forgetting? If you are a little more careful with your nails, like I aspire to be, I would say it would last a good couple of days, which is amazing for the price of just £2.99! If not, then it’s a small enough bottle to pop in your bag for touch ups and luckily it blends without that awful bumpy look, so it’s a winner all round really…

If you want to be the winner of this tasty summer-treat, then simply follow the instructions below:

Simply follow me @heids_fox and RT my latest tweet! Also construct your own tweet including me, @heids_fox along with the hash-tag #guessthepolish and your guess of which brand the polish belongs to! Would you like some hints?

-You can see the bottle shape above

-It’s one of 22 new shades for Spring

-It’s a ‘good value for money’ high-street brand

-I’ve used the brand in most of my MUA shoots, under FoxBeauty

The comp is running until Sunday (June 8) and I’ll notify the winner via social networking before popping a spanking new bottle in the post for you to enjoy!

Good luck beauty lovers! I’ll keep my manicured fingertips crossed for you all…

Love,

Fox

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Build Up to Summer with Elemis

The sun can’t make its mind up this year, can it? What happened to the “120 days of hot summer” we were supposed to be having from March? I always feel better with a tan, so I was eagerly praying for it! Yes, we’ve had some lovely warm days so far, and for them I’m grateful, but it could be raining cats and dogs tomorrow (damn the unpredictable English weather) so it’s best to seek a golden glow from a source you can rely on.

Loving Elemis’ Fresh Skin range to conquer my oily skin, I was highly looking forward to trying out their latest products to achieve a healthy sun-kissed look without the premature skin ageing which follows from hours of cooking in the sun. In-fact, the Total Glow Bronzing Body Lotion and Moisturiser state to do the opposite, having firming ingredients, such as red algae within.

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Body Lotion

What Elemis says:This luxurious, gradual tan body lotion instantly moisturises the skin, whilst Vegetan, naturally derived from wheat, subtly builds an even, natural looking tan. Specially formulated with anti-oxidant rich green tea for a more even skin-tone and red algae extract to help ensure long lasting hydration. Enriched with exquisite Abyssinian and elderberry seed oils to nourish and condition, skin is left feeling soft, velvety smooth and with a beautiful golden glow.”

Nourishment: 8/10

Scent: 9/10

Tan: 5/10

Evens Skin Tone: 5/10

Lasting Effect: 8/10

As well as this delicious-sounding explanation, the lotion states how it works best when your skin is buffed up after exfoliating, so I used The Body Shop’s Shea Sugar Scrub all over my bod before applying the lotion from chest to toe.

The smell is truly divine (differing from many gradual tanning products on the market) alike being greeted with a beautiful bouquet of flowers when you open it up! Patchouli flower is a very obvious note, but sweet lemon also comes through making it refreshing and light. The smell lasts, but I must admit that remnants of that classic ‘fake tan’ smell seeps through after a couple of hours, although it’s not overpowering and I don’t think those around you would notice it really – thank god for that!

I like how moisturising and light the formula is, absorbing quickly into my skin so that there’s no sticky afterthought or worry when throwing on my PJ’s afterwards. The problem with this (that you don’t get with instant tanning products) is that you can’t tell exactly where you’ve applied it, whether you’ve applied more to certain areas or whether you’ve missed a patch altogether…I unfortunately discovered this the next morning when I noticed that I was a little streaky.

Luckily, as the tan doesn’t show its full potential until after a couple of applications, it wasn’t highly noticeable but I did have a few finger mark lines, a dirty looking ankle and an arm which was definitely darker than the other, and as I don’t wear gradual tan, I was consciously aware of it. However, my amateur status with such products, being a sunbed abuser in my youth as opposed to a bottled-beauty, means that this could have effected the results. But, as my experience developed, so did my thoughts on the lotion…

Wanting to throw the towel in at first (or at least use it as a scrubber against my skin), I decided to give Elemis the benefit of the doubt and stick at it. I carried on exfoliating in-between uses to lessen the streaks and vouch for better results and by the forth day, I was very pleased that the colour had evened out, with my best friend saying how ‘I looked very natural and sun-kissed as if I’d been sat out in the sun!’. I must say that she’s right in saying that the colour it gives off is a nice natural gold, as opposed to an Essex orange or a dirty brown, and I liked that it lasts (without needing to re-apply) for a good couple of days after. The small bottle I received is 50ml and I’d say that you’d get a week’s use out of it, so the standardized bottle should last you roughly a month, or even longer if you don’t use it every day!

Would I use it again? Mmm, for the safe-tan factor and the stunning fragrance, I would consider it, but for now, I’m praying that the spout of rain we’re due to have is just a myth…

(Available now at http://www.elemis.com; 200ml for £34.50)


Moisturiser

What Elemis says: “This luxurious, gradual tan day cream instantly moisturises the skin and enhances the complexion, whilst Vegetan subtly builds an even, natural looking tan. Specially formulated with anti-oxidant rich green tea and ginger water for a more even skin tone, whilst evodia fruit extract improves luminosity. Skin is left feeling soft and velvety smooth”.

Nourishment: 8/10

Scent: 7/10

Tan: 10/10

Evens Skin Tone: 9/10

Lasting Effect: 8/10

Now here’s a product I wouldn’t hesitate about repurchasing, although I do prefer to use it as a night cream as opposed to a day cream because of it’s moisturising properties and my concerns that such benefits would clash with my oily t-zone throughout the day. I apply a little to my face, working the product upwards and don’t leave my neck out of the equation, before thoroughly washing my hands using extra soap between the joins…after learning that these parts stain quickly and can look rather unattractive.

The scent is less pungent than the body lotion and has a fresher ‘clean’ fragrance to it, which is pleasant as it’s so close to your nostrils. The smell is still sweet though, with floral fruity undertones derived from the scrumptious peach, bergamot and orange oil contained within. After applying the subtle lotion, I can feel it sink into my skin quite quickly and it definitely feels nourished and looks a lot healthier as a result, hiding away imperfections, as let’s face it, we all look healthier when bronzed! Although, I don’t see the bronzing effects until the morning, I am pleased when I do wake to a more glowing complexion, definitely luminous as the bottle states, helping me to feel more confident without make-up on!

There’s no streaks which I’m very pleased about, I require less make-up to look my best and it sits nicely throughout the day AND I must add that the results last a couple of days which means you can make the product last longer – result!

Overall, my body took a bit of work but my face was glowing as though lit from within. Like everything in life, an investment of time and a little bit of patience is all it takes to see results, and this allowed Elemis to live up-to it’s reputable name…

(Available now at http://www.elemis.com; £29.50 for 50ml)

Love & Sun Kisses,

Fox

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Angel Eau Sucree: I’m Wishing on a Star…

I’ve been holding back from writing a post about the exquisite new smell of Angel Eau Sucree; wanting to do a similar ‘Public Opinion Voxpop’ on the scent, alike the piece I wrote for Thierry Mugler’s (also exquisite) scent, Alien Eau Extraordinaire, but… I just couldn’t.

I haven’t managed such a post for one reason only; I am too selfish. How, you ask? Well, I’ve fallen so head over heels in love with the fragrance that I want it all for myself. It is for me and me alone (my preciousssss) and I would have had to say ‘no’ to passers-by that asked for a squirt – and that would have made me look like a bellend! This does highlight my main point though; that it’s a MUST-HAVE limited edition, delicious, almost edible smelling sweet scent, and any Thierry Mugler fans (I know that we come in the thousands) NEEDS to get their mitts on the ‘Star Buy’ before it’s no longer available to purchase.

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The bottle is the same shape as the iconic Star associated with the classic Angel eau de Parfum, but is a paler silvery blue shade in comparison, which is encrusted with sugar-coated tips to highlight the mouth-watering notes within.

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 The bottle comes within a candy-striped box, inspired by vintage confectionary with vertical lines in lilac and silvery blue, very fitting to match the scent which whiff’s up childhood memories of sitting on the wall at Mablethorpe beach (don’t judge), an ice cream in one hand and a bag of fizzy blue and pink sweeties in the other. Instead, I’m looking out of my kitchen window at the rain pouring down wishing that I could transport back to such a care-free day, so I’m wishing upon a sugar-encrusted Star that the sun will bless us again soon.

Luckily, with just one spritz of Angel Eau Sucree, I can transport myself to a whimsical world of summer-time bliss instead. The scent opens with mouth-watering caramelized meringue and this is by far the most noticeable element of the fragrance; light as air and a crisp treat without the calories, perfect for that summer diet! There’s also a tangy zest, which derives from the red berry sorbet, which is juicy and fresh and just as delicious as it sounds. Lastly, the scent warms down to Oriental notes in accord with the signature Angel scent; a trail of Patchouli and vanilla, both woody and soft to combine luxury with femininity and to appeal to all loyal Angel wearers, like myself.

Personally, I thought that the scent was worlds apart from my classic Angel fragrance (but still loved it all the same, as you can see), but what struck me was how since wearing it, I’ve received various comments linking it with the classic. I’ve had a comment from a shopper standing next to me at the wine aisle (of course) and one from my house-mate saying that I smelt amazing and ‘was it Angel, by any chance?’ This shocked me, so I told them all about the latest Summer Edition, and how it’s on a different level, but belongs to the same Mugler family, rummaging through my handbag at the same time to give them a glimpse. What I shortly realised was how the base notes of Patchouli and Vanilla are exactly the same for both fragrances, so that once it warms down, they are identical in scent. Truly beautiful!


The classic Angel perfume has been my favourite scent for as long as I remember, being what I look forward to unravelling on my birthday and at Christmas time, as it’s always there wrapped up for me – thanks Mum. I just hate having to be sparing when spritzing to try and make it last 6 WHOLE MONTHS before I am reacquainted with a new one. But, since having Angel Eau Sucree brought to my attention and I must admit, I’m fonder of the sweeter elements (I’m known for my sweet tooth), I have been a little more generous and am already fearing that the bottle will soon be empty.

However, July 9 is when “I’m feeling 22”, so my fingers are crossed that the scent will still be proudly placed upon the beauty shelves for me, so that I can smell like the essence of summer once more and I hope that, just like last year, the sun will be beaming down to add to the celebrations.

(AVAILABLE NOW at http://www.muglerstore.co.uk; £42.00 for 50ml)

Love & Sweet Kisses,

Fox

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Denman: Dolphin’s with Happy Hair

 

Anyone who follows my blog regularly (and to those of you that do, thank you) will have learnt by now that I have a mass of locks which are untameable and unmanageable at best. I’ve used an array of different Tangle Teezer’s since discovering their miraculous ways, and since then, I haven’t looked back. Before receiving my latest prize from Denman, I’d been using Michael Mercier’s Tangle Teezer especially when heat-styling, to the point where the bristles had flattened and melted (whoops), so was in dyer need of a new hero and luckily, that’s when Denman’s Tangle Tamer popped through the post and brought a big thank-you from my hair….

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What Denman says: “Equipped with soft, flexible bristles, this brush gently separates the hair, smoothing away any knots or tangles.”

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Quite obviously aimed at children (although I love dolphin’s jumping through hoops as much as the next person), the sea-world design and crazy packaging made me a little ‘hmm’ about it, as I am a very mature 21 (ha). Yet, on second thought’s, I guessed that it would work being for children whose hair can simply knot up at the thought of playing in the garden. I can remember the days when I’d cry my heart out as my mother tried to put a comb through my waist-length blonde curls…if only we’d known about the fun dolphin’s and de-tangling elements of Denman 15 years ago (wow that makes me sound old) to turn those traumatised tears into beads of joy.

In other words, let’s not be put off the youthful design, but instead focus on the brush’s benefits. The Tamer is smaller than most other Teezer’s, effortlessly slotting into my bag on a night out, so I needn’t worry if it rains, if I get drinks in it (this happens more regularly than you’d think) or if I whip my hair back and forth a little too enthusiastically, as the Tamer will de-knot it again in seconds. The skinny black bristles look scratchy, but they are really soft and bendy and quite soothing on the scalp and most of all, they effectively work their way through my strands, from root to the tip with no pain, pulling or breakage.

(Ignore the ginger strays)

(Ignore the ginger strays)

Whenever I wash my hair, I usually have to drench it afterwards in de-frizzing products (with my favourite being The Body Shop’s Brazil Nut Define & No Frizz) and heat protectors.  I do still do this to achieve nourished healthy locks, but can surprisingly run the Tamer through my hair BEFORE caking it in products, which is a first. A shocking first. This effortless process is probably because the Tamer is targeted at little-tots who have just been swimming and scream the changing rooms down when their Mum’s try to brush through their chlorine-coated curls. Well Mum’s, trust in me when I say that you won’t regret this little purchase to put a stop to the strops!


Although my Michael Mercier has served me well, I feel that the squashed exterior means bin-time. Not being one to dwell on heartache, I’ve swiftly moved on to Denman and it’s dolphin friends. Let’s just hope I don’t get too many disapproving looks in the loo’s on a night out – although, they’re just jealous that they haven’t got smoothed-out swishing strands and a fun hairbrush to thank for it!

(www.denmanbrush.com; £6.98)

Love & Hair-Flicks,

Fox

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Clarins: Spritz on Some Protection!

When the sun shines, life is simply beautiful! So, it only makes sense to have beautiful skin and hair to match.

Sunday not only provided us with a sneak-peak of what’s to come this summer, with temperature’s reaching up-to 22 degrees (even up in Leeds), it also gave me the chance to hold on to my youth by chilling over Hyde Park with some good friends; sunnie’s on, Strongbow to hand, not a care in the world whilst reminiscing over the days of doing the exact same thing whilst at university. One word…bliss!

But, being that little bit older and wiser than I was during my day’s at university where I used to slap on a no-factor oil (slap on the hand, more like), I instead opted for some sensible sun protection in the form of Clarins Sun Care Oil Spray SPF 30.

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What Clarins says: “For beautiful body and hair UVA/UVB 30. A transparent dry oil with no oily feel. Nourishes and beautified the skin and hair with organic Nyamplung oil, a sacred tree from Indonesia. Helps to boost the look of a radiant tan, leaves the body satin-smooth. Water and perspiration resistant.”

I hopped out of the shower feeling as fresh as a daisy and was ready to embrace the sunshine. I’d usually opt for a heavy body butter on days like this, but I wanted to see the full smoothing effects of the oil. A little worried that it would be greasier than suggested, I only spritzed a little over the areas that would be exposed to the sun, such as my legs and arms, and was pleased to see that the formula absorbed quickly into my skin, leaving it silky soft and noticeably glowing.

Once realising that Clarins could be trusted, I even squirted a little onto my face as my haggard skin needs as much protection as it can get. People believe that wearing make-up with an SPF within is enough to protect against sun-damage and premature ageing caused by those harmful rays, but think again ladies! In order for your make-up to protect alone, you’d have to slap on the stuff layer upon layer until you were as orange as your favourite summer cocktail. Instead, use a high factor cream or oil (I’d say no less than SPF25), to keep your youthful complexion and I assure you, your skin will thank you for it in the long run! Applying a foundation with a high SPF in afterwards is just a clever, safety precaution.

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The sun-kissed gold bottle exurbs luxury, just like the smell. Very subtle (although I’d say it is targeted at women rather than men), it smells quite sweet and fruity – containing ingredients such as mango, kiwi and mandarin – which warms down to a more sensual summer-time fragrance due to the jasmine, sandalwood and amber locked within. Simply gorgeous!

The luxurious oil can be applied to your hair, as well as your body, and the UVB protection is essential for any split ends you may have, as they become more distressed in hot weather climates and can dry out as a result of sea-salt. I sprayed the bottle at quite a distance (to avoid it looking greasy) going over the mid-length’s and the ends. It did look slightly damp in appearance but this faded to a silky-looking sheen once I ran a brush through it!

What I liked most was how the product actually made my ends look as though they’d been glued back together and I even got some compliments when I arrived at the park to how nice and healthy my locks looked. No matter the weather – hot or cold – I’d definitely continue to use this product on my hair as the split-ends NEED some TLC at the moment.

To be on the safe side, I popped the bottle in my bag in-case I felt the need for a top up and headed over to the park to join the others. On arrival, both my auburn-haired friend (Eadie) and Asian friend (Nakita) were both saying that they needed sun-cream, so I happily passed over the oil for them to try.

All three of us didn’t burn throughout the day, and the only complaint came from Nakita who wasn’t entirely bowled over by the texture. But she did generously spray the formula upon her skin. I personally didn’t apply a lot and didn’t need to re-apply during the six hours we were over there (not a recommended length of time from Clarinsbut the product performed all the same and I can’t believe the results.

I haven’t caught a speck of colour, as my skin is used to wearing a milder SPF – being a sun worshipper and a strong believer in that I look better and feel more confident with a tan. However, this simply shows how effective the oil is in doing what it says on the bottle. I’d say that those of you with freckly or pale skin should definitely invest to keep that porcelain beauty throughout the heated months.

I’d happily bring the oil along if I was lucky enough to be jetting off to somewhere hot this year. I suppose anything can happen, and a last minute holiday isn’t completely off the cards (depending on how kind life wants to be to me). But, one thing’s for sure, as long as I have my trusted friend, Clarins with me, there’s no doubt I’ll be looking healthy and smelling summery – even if the furthest length I travel is 5 minutes down the road to Hyde Park once more. I think I may just have to invest in one of Clarins lower SPF oils…we are in England after all!

(Available now at http://www.clarins.co.uk; £18.00)

Love & Sun-Kisses,

Fox

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The Oriflame Event was ‘The One’!

Saturday marked the launch of Oriflame’s latest make-up collection; The One! A collection which prides itself on creating high impact, long-wearing formulas which help to highlight your natural beauty each and every day.

On arrival, I was kindly greeted by the Oriflame team, along with a chilled glass of bubbly; just what I needed to cool down from the heat-wave outside and therefore, I didn’t turn down a second glass, or a third…or a forth for that matter. I then entered the suave function room in The Living Room, Leeds, where bloggers of all calibre gathered together for an afternoon filled with laughter, fine conversation and an arsenal of Top Tips presented by celebrity Make-Up Artist, Gary Cockerill. Always eager to enhance my MUA skills, my listening cap was on and biro at the ready!

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Gary opened the afternoon with why he’s recently become a brand ambassador for the Swedish cosmetics brand, Oriflame – which has taken the world by storm with its high quality products and glamorous results. With roughly 200 products to their name, the ranges are constantly adapting, with their ‘The One’ collection expanding to contain a waterproof mascara, a chip-free nail polish, a sparkling lip gloss, an intense liquid eyeliner and 10 addition’s to their Colour Unlimited lipstick collection.

Present in 60 countries, Gary connected with Oriflame’s philosophy of ‘Making Dreams Happen’. Being a self-taught MUA of over 20 years (working on well-known celebrities and actresses, such as Ulrika Johnson, Katie Price and Barbara Windsor) Gary expressed to us how he loves his job and inspired the room, saying: “If I can do it, anybody can do it…everyone in this room has a dream and we all love beauty – so let’s get started.”


3-D Lips

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Fellow beauty blogger, Una, volunteered to be wowed over by Gary’s lip-smacking techniques. Not being a fan of lipstick herself, Gary decided to go for a S/S’14 pink hue with a splash of orange on top; sweet yet subtle. The general process to achieve a glam pout was to use a darker liner on the outer corner of the lips and then blot with a tissue, repeat the process and blot again. Gary does this 3 or 4 times in order to prevent ‘bleeding’ and to stain the lips before applying lipstick so that it stays on for longer.

He applied a lighter lipstick from the NEW Colour Unlimited Lipstick range #Infinite Rose, going over the shading created in the outer corners with the liner, but blended the application into the middle. Lastly, he stresses the need to apply just a touch of gloss to the top lip to complete the look.

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Look’s amazing, right? After building up the colour and dimensional effect, Una has a stand-out glam pout!

As well as this, I also picked up on a few Top Tips I’ll be looking to try at my next photo shoot. Check these out…

-Use a light exfoliator on the lips before you begin.

-Blot a foundation onto your lips before lining to help the lipstick stick and don’t lick your lips before or during the application process.

-If the model has a strong cupids bow (like Ellie), start the liner in the middle and draw outwards. If the model doesn’t have a prominent bow, then start at the outer edges and draw inwards. If the mouth naturally frowns, don’t take the liner all the way to the outer corners of the mouth, as this will draw attention to this problem. After all, the secret to beauty is to ‘lift’ the face, not drop it!

-To make lips look bigger, use a creamy champagne tone just above the lipstick in the middle of the top lip. Then use a darker matte powder underneath the middle of the bottom lip to create shadows and contouring illusions.


Fluttery Falsies

To highlight the benefits of Oriflame’s NEW Waterproof Mascara, Gary applied his own personal false lashes (#Damsel in a Dress) to his next volunteer, Ellie.

The lashes are made from real hair and I was utterly amazed by their lightweight texture and the natural look they gave to Ellie. Being an Essex gal, I have worn my fair share of lashes, but opting to be more natural, I no longer wear them when I hit the town. However, since seeing the beautifying results, I would most definitely pop off to Harvey Nichols to purchase a pair for my next night out!

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Gary’s Top Tips for applying falsies were:

-Use a plastic application stick – NOT a cotton bud – to apply the glue from end to end.

-Apply the lashes to the centre of the eye on the lash line, not the skin, for comfortable wear and a natural result.

-Make sure you choose false lashes that suit you. Don’t be afraid to trim them down if they look too big for your eyes.

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Before applying mascara, Gary said to curl the lashes using his own little technique. To get maximum volume, start at the root and squeeze the eyelash curlers 10 times, then move the curlers to the middle and squeeze for 10 and lastly move the curlers to the end and repeat again. He stressed how you should NEVER apply mascara before this motion, as it can tear out the eyelashes and make them look clumpy in appearance.

Once curled, Gary stated how Oriflame’s latest waterproof mascara make eyes pop even more prominently. Gary himself is fond of the cube-like plastic brush, which has tonnes of tiny little bristles, perfect for separating and coating each individual lash. He applied the mascara to the lash, avoiding the ends as this can make the lashes look clumpy and overdone.

At the end of the demo, we all called out to Ellie to say that she just had to go out and show off her fluttery falsies. I sure do wish I’d stuck my hand up to volunteer!


A Smokey ‘Wash’

 6 NEW eye-shadow pots have been introduced by Oriflame for Summer, from a deep Midnight Blue to create hot evening eyes, to a subtle Rose shade which is perfect for everyday wear. Gary’s last volunteer was Steph who isn’t an eye-shadow lover, but he soon proved to her how a smoky eye can be worn by all and how a ‘wash’ is softer but can still be intensifying.

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A ‘wash’ is where the effect is kind-of smudgy and can be achieved in minutes or so, perfect for those spontaneous night’s out. To compliment Steph’s fair complexion and fiery red hair, Gary opted for a green tone from the new eye-shadow collection. He let us know about the latest range, such as the differing tones and textures and how the formulas don’t crease, so you can build upon the colour until the desired effect is achieved.

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A little too intense for me, I still think ‘a wash’ is a good way to inject some colour and sex-appeal to an evening outfit. I’m already looking forward to trying out the tips and techniques Gary preached to us throughout the day!

I felt privileged to leave the event with a few like-minded contacts, a Limited Edition Rose painting, created by Gary himself and a goody bag containing: The One Volume Blast Mascara, The One Eye Liner Stylo #Black, The One Colour Impact Eye-shadow #Petroleum Shine, The One Colour Unlimited Lipstick #Violet Extreme, The One Long Wear Nail Varnish and a small sample of their latest perfume, Volare.

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Keep eyes super-peeled for the review to come in the next couple of weeks!

Love & Chit-Chat,

Fox

x

A ‘Swell’ Solution for Fine Hair

It’s just your normal day…I wake up feeling disorientated and dazed, wanting to go back to sleep as per. I grumble from my haven and peek in the mirror with one sleepy eye, shaking my head at disbelief at my funny head of hair. Strands are poking out in all directions and my fringe looks as though a cat’s been licking away at it in the night – what the hell is going on? I struggle to tie it off my face (as my hairband only fits around the thickness twice, ergh) and stumble downstairs for a much-needed coffee and, what’s this? A parcel is waiting for me at the door. Lovely jubly.

I open the package to reveal the Swell hair-care range, specifically created to improve and repair fine and thinning hair and can’t help but mutter to my lion mane that it’s not allowed to even touch the stuff. Well-known for its results and being the winner of the 2014 Beauty Shortlist Award, I was saddened to think that such good products would be going to waste – but, what to do with them? I needed my hair thinning out, not thickening!! Before long, a light bulb switched and I remembered my good friend and housemate, Lou complaining about her fine fuzz and stressing that she wished her hair had more volume….Voila (she’s French), let’s fix this fiasco!

It was the night of her boyfriend’s party and Lou usually ties her hair back to avoid tackling her limp locks. But, wanting to look her best, I suggested she showered with Swell, followed by having a makeover done by my friend and I; she happily obliged. In the girly midst of it all, we were only two hours late, but most of that was down to typical girly chit chat, of course!

 (Make up: Seventeen BB Cream,  The Body Shop All in One Blusher, Beauty UK Eyebrow Kit, The Body Shop Shimmer Cube Palette #Bronze, Diorshaw Blackout Mascara, Clinique Chubby Stick)


(Make up: Seventeen BB Cream, The Body Shop All in One Blusher, Beauty UK Eyebrow Kit, The Body Shop Shimmer Cube Palette #Bronze, Diorshaw Blackout Mascara, Clinique Chubby Stick #10)

Goodbye fine fuzz, hello curvaceous curls! So, let’s see what she said about it all, huh?

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In a little plastic travel bag (which seemingly hopped in the shower with Lou, looking at the water damage) lies a set of 3 travel-sized products; perfect to take with you on holiday, a honeymoon or a weekend away. The kit contains Swell’s Volumizing Shampoo, Volumizing Conditioner and Root Nutrient Complex Spray.

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The products are 97% natural and contain no Silicones or chemical nasties. They work in unison to ‘apparently’ improve hair growth, reduce hair loss and the brand pride themselves on helping hair to look fuller for longer.

The product’s hero ingredients are:

  • Peruvian Maca: Clinically proven to stimulate growth by 93%, protects hair from environmental stresses and reduces hair loss.
  • Blue Lupin: Maintains hair’s colour, protects against damage, improves strength and elasticity and leaves no build up in the hair.
  • Swiss Apple: Increases hair growth and reduces hair loss.

The travel pack comes with informative guidelines on how best to use the three products, depending on how fine your hair is and on the length; so you’ve found the easiest solution to tackle thinning hair, quite literally.

What the shampoo says: “A powerful and colour-safe treatment which leaves the hair squeaky clean and starts the volumizing and growth-enhancement process. Swell’s unisex signature aroma has woody and citrus notes from pure essential oils.”

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What the conditioner says: A conditioner which is nourishing, leaves no residue (no silicones in Swell) and delivers intense moisturising superior volume and a luxuriant gloss. Natural ingredients include anti-static and detangling agents, which increase comb-ability and blow-dries that hold.”

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The Results

Following the shampooing and conditioning, I asked Lou a few questions about the experience…

 How did the shampoo react with your hair?

“It didn’t really lather up and it smelt medicinal, like something you’d buy over the counter. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I’d say it smelt as though it works, if you know what I mean? Like it contains lots of plants to sort out the problem.”

Plants you say? More suited to men, or women, or both?

 “I’d say it’s very unisex. Maybe better for men, because I prefer sweet-smelling shampoo’s.”

 How about the conditioner…how did that feel?

“It definitely left my hair soft, which is rare for conditioner’s with no additives. I’d say it felt less heavy compared to the conditioners I normally use because I tend to use ultra-nourishing ones, but it’s a good conditioner. It also left my hair really shiny.”

Lou came up to my bedroom with towel dried hair and we thoroughly sprayed the Root Complex Spray along her hairline before we began the styling process.

What the spray says: “The vital third step: a unique blend of eighteen active botanical extracts that creates superior volume all day long. A wearable, weightless root spray, which stimulates and nourishes the roots for improved growth and healthier, stronger hair. Sprayed onto the scalp it also assists styling, volume and hold between washes.”

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The following day, I asked Lou some more questions to see whether her strands had stayed looking stylish…

 Were you happy with the results?

“Yes yes, definitely. I had lots of comments throughout the night on how nice I looked!”

Great! Would you say the volumizing effects were still present the next day?

“Absolutely. My hair still looked bouncy and healthy.”

Would you use the products again?

“Yes, but maybe alternate with others hat I have, or just use the shampoo

 And, why’s that?

“Because I have to REALLY like the smell to pay a lot for it.”

It was clear to see that Lou really liked the products, although she simply couldn’t get around the smell of them which is understandable considering she’s girly when it comes to her product stash and because her hair isn’t as fine as it could be.  Hair-care products that are created for a specific function do often have a medicinal smell, as you unfortunately can’t have it all. However, if you suffer from health conditions where your hair falls out, or if it thins under stress, than this is definitely something you may overlook for the benefits.

Although I can’t really have an opinion not having tried the products myself,  I did think that Lou’s hair looked amazing and fuller than usual. Therefore, it would appear that the products do what they say on the label and if you’re looking for something to help tackle your hair-care woes, then this handy travel bag is a steal. After all, thick & healthy looking locks can definitely give you a surge of confidence… and who can put a price on that!?

(www.swellhair.co.uk; £19.00 for the travel-kit)

Love,

Fox

x

Clarins Celebrates the Colours of Brazil!

Arrrrrriba, pave way for the beauty of Brazil. Stemming from when the city was picked last year to host the 2014 Fifa World Cup Games, Brazil is already the talk of the town and prepare yourself ladies, as this will only escalate further when the games commence in June. For just over a month, football will steal away our boyfriend’s – ALTHOUGH the World Cup is an exception, with this footy-hater over here even keeping track of what’s going on and proudly cheering on England!

However,  I understand your pain. Your man’s quick glances and ‘umming’ at you may become a little tedious when you’re trying to have a quick conversation once in a while – sigh – but the lack of attention you’ll receive can be avoided if you have Clarins summer make-up collection to hand. Named The Colours of Brazil,  the iridescent tones and gorgeous textures will ensure that your eyeballs are the main balls on your mans mind…

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Taking inspiration from the gorgeous sandy beaches which run along the 4,500 acres of tropical coastline, Clarins latest collection features an arsenal of beige tones and gold’s to represent Brazil’s sandy haven’s which come together to illuminate your skin and eyes. Vibrancy is represented throughout with sea blues, warm corals and subtle browns which all inject a spot of colour to your look which matches up to the bubbly culture of Brazil.

Being available to purchase from this month, I thought it best to trial the NEW collection for a NEW opportunity that I’ve been faced with this past week. I’ve been clawing my way in competition for a Graduate Scheme and I wanted to make a stunning impression when taken out for meal and drinks with the top dogs in the team on Tuesday night. Here’s how I got on…

The Limited Edition ‘Colours of Brazil’ Eye Quartet & Liner Palette

Scrapping the classic red sleeve which their other palettes are presented in, Clarins has looked to the bronzed babes of Brazil and popped their latest eye-shadow in a brown sleeve to suit.

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The velvety sleeve hides away a palette which can only be classified as a work of art; almost holographic in appearance and embossed with a tribal patterning, I feel as though the innovative design is a worthy product in any girls make-up bag!

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This little beauty opens to reveal the true colours of Brazil, along with a set of mini brushes (a smudger and a double-ended point brush along with a slanted liner applicator). As you can see the colours are truly spectacular, also printed with a tribal pattern to fit the mould.

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The gold tone (top left) works nicely as a highlighter, providing an illuminated glow which shimmers along the lid and brow bone. I used the darkest shade (bottom left) to create a pointed curve along the outer corner of my lid and blended it together by mixing the beige (bottom right) and a little of the coral (top right) together. Lastly, I wetted my slanted liner application and ran it along the deep blue tone and carried the paint from the inner corner of my eye along to the end creating a little flick to finish it off.

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The colours looked natural, which was the look I was going for as I didn’t want to make too much of a statement and the textures sat nicely upon my skin, not smudging or creasing as I unprofessionally got more and more tipsy as the night went on. The blue liner was my favourite element as this helped to make my blue eyes pop and injected some colour to add a bit of personality to my look.

Therefore, as the colours stood the test of time (whilst intoxicated), provided me with a natural yet bold look and sat comfortably upon my skin, I would highly rate this product and would wear it again for an event of similar prestige.

(www.clarins.co.uk; £32.00)

The Limited Edition Lip Balm Crayon

I felt lucky to receive three of these crayons to see which colours suited me best for different occasions. I received 01 My Pink, 04 Sweet Cherry and 05 Delicious Plum.

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Each of the crayons provides a moisturising coating for your lips and have a sheer finish which works well alone or as a top coat for your favourite lipstick shade. On first application, the colour’s are subtle but also buildable which was my favourite element, as this means you can wear them for any occasion, simply building up the colour to suit your plans. The pointed nib provides easy application, with no mirror required after some practice and the colours are suitable for the recent spouts of sunny weather we’ve been having; ideal for the upcoming summer!

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For the meal, I decided to opt for 05 Delicious Plum, mainly because the colour worked nicely alongside the browns I’d used on my eyes from the Eye Quartet & Liner Palette and also because it acts as quite a nude colour when only one layer is applied. It has a delicious marshmallow-like scent which had my mouth watering whilst eyeing up the menu to see which delicacies tickled my fancy.

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How did it last, you ask? Well, in all honesty, because it feels so smooth and supple and leaves your lips feeling ultra soft (because of the Shea butter within), I found it hard not to smack them together after I’d applied it. It doesn’t appear to have a staining agent within, so it did come off whilst eating, but as it is such a gorgeous colour, I was happy to nip to the toilet to re-apply. Even though it doesn’t stand the test of time, the nourishing element, ease of application and pretty pout it provided me with, means that I would definitely use it again.

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Don’t you agree?

I applied 01 My Pink over my favourite nude lipstick for the interview process the next day, as the shade works alongside the natural colours in your pout to highlight and emphasise your natural beauty.

(www.clarins.co.uk; £18.00 each)

All in all, Clarins summer make-up collection had me feeling as confident and beautiful as the bouncy babes at the Sao Paulo Carnival which commenced a couple of months back in Brazil!

Love & Moisturised Kisses,

Fox

x

Tattoo Secret: Show Some Skin…

Tattoo Secret is a brand which creates concealers – not for your face – but for your body, with a great emphasis on covering up tattoos. Being a fond lover of the little fox on my wrist (who goes by the name of Frederick) I never thought the opportunity would arise where I’d want to hide him away. However, last week was pretty important for me regarding interviews (eep – keep your fingers crossed for me lovelies) and I thought that oozing professionalism would be the way forward.

Therefore, foxy Frederick got the cover up (and I must say, he’s looking pretty sad about it)

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I personally don’t see anything wrong with tattoos…in-fact, I love them and believe that artistic creativity should be appreciated and admired. However, some aspects of life, such as job interviews and sentimental occasions do rule by traditionalist values. Therefore, I stuck my own values to one side, and gave Freddy a fresh lick of nude paint…

What’s good is that you can purchase full sets, including finishing powders and paintbrushes, but if you’re a little struck for money and you have a big event coming up then you can purchase a set of 2 or 3 colours to match your skin tone. I have the lightest colours (shades 1, 2 and 3), however I could have done well with just shade 1 and 2, as these were the only shades I needed to give Frederick the finger. Sorry foxy!

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I love how the colours stack together as it keeps them together, clean and organised. Being a popular brand amongst MUA’s, this is such a handy quality as it means that they can have tonnes of different colours to cover up bodily imperfections when needed.

The little pots come with a spatula which is uber cute and ultra-handy. I thought that this tool would be unnecessary for some reason and began by delving my fingers into the pot. But, the concealers are really REALLY thick (hence why they’re suitable for the body) and the spatula comes in handy to get the right amount and to blend it upon your skin. As I have yellowy undertones to my peachy pink skin, I found that the pinky 02 worked well blended together with the yellowy 01. Oh, and don’t forget to thoroughly clean the skin beforehand so that the product goes on better.

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(Top Left: 01, Top Right: 02, Bottom: 03)

When it comes to blending, you have to ensure that you also apply a fair amount around the tattoo and keep blending throughout, applying layer upon layer until the tattoo simply disappears – POOF!

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Impressive!

Yes, you can still see the outline, but if you weren’t looking out for it, you’d genuinely overlook that a tattoo could have ever been there, right? I applied roughly 4 layers to hide Frederick (although he is very dark and stubborn) but once hidden, the concealer lasts well throughout the day. My only critique would be that the product does look a little cakey and sits in your natural creases, but I simply advise you to keep blending it whilst applying to try and hide this element as best as you can.

I was also a little concerned to how the product would work aside a classic wedding dress as the product could rub off ruining the pure whiteness, but I didn’t find that the product rubbed off onto any of my clothing which was a plus!

Is your big day coming up? Do you have an interview which requires ultimate professionalism? Do you have a scar which hinders your confidence? Look to Tattoo Secret to hide your works of art, and bring back the naturalness associated with a bare bod!

(www.tattoocoverup.co.uk; Stack of 2 for £7.50, Stack of 3 for £10.o0)

Love,

Fox

x

Clinique: Pop on Some Conditioning Colour!

Well-known for being a cult product amongst beauty bloggers and product lovers alike, are the highly moisturising Chubby Sticks by Clinique! Understandably, being a beauty blogger myself (hmm, you don’t say?), I wanted some chubby lovin’ too!

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What Clinique says: “Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm is a lip treatment with sheer colour that relieves dry, cracked lips and provides immediate moisturisation. The unique pencil-style applicator provides easy to apply sheer soft lip colour and rolls up for ease of use.”

The pencil-like appearance, ending in a blunt curved point, is really easy to apply and this can be shown by the fact that I don’t even need to use a mirror when stroking it on! It’s much easier to apply than lipsticks because of its unique shape and I do believe that this is one of the main reason’s for it being so popular! This, and how smoothly the formula glides on your lips…

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The formula instantly moisturises from the second you apply it. Yesterday, I woke up with really dry lips for some reason; perhaps the constant weather change? Oh, England. But after popping on a conditioning coat of Clinique, I had a smile ready to tackle the spat of April Showers which greeted me when leaving the house. After all, the only thing I love more than Monday’s, are rainy Monday morning’s… haha yeah, right!

There’s tonnes of chubby to go around too, as the silver bottom rolls up effortlessly to reveal more and more of the subtle nude shade. #Bountiful Blush is its name, and how fitting as I believe it to be the perfect shade for a wedding – what do you think?

It’s natural looking and highly moisturizing to achieve ultra kissable lips for that big moment, and it also works nicely aside a sweeping of blusher. As a matter of fact, I have a wedding booked in for next month and may just have to suggest this to the bride-to-be, as she’s said that she wants me to create a natural look. Personally, I can’t think of a better lip colour to get the job done! Watch this space…

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If you’re seeking a lip colour that you can wear everyday, this shade also fits the role. You can apply a layer to emphasize your natural lip colour, to wear alongside intense eyes to reduce the impact or you can simply use it as a lip balm for when your pout’s feeling distressed. The finish is sheer, not glossy, and my only criticism would be that it doesn’t last very long upon your lips. However, with it being so easy to apply, I didn’t find this to be much of an issue.

So there we have it…the sticks are subtle enough for daily wear, but delicious enough for special events too; therefore, you’d be silly not to have one in your life, right?!

(www.clinique.co.uk; £17.00)

Too subtle for you? Clinique has recently brought out a new range named Intense – featuring eight new shades which are really vivid and glamorous; perfect for the party girl in you! Do you prefer a secretive splash of colour, or a dramatic dousing? Clinique will not disappoint either way, ladies!

Love & Puckered Kisses,

Fox

x

Do Playboy Products Perform?

The Playboy Make-up Launch, which commenced at the beginning of the month, was really something else. I had a whale of a time meeting new people, slurping back the bubbles and trialling each and every make-up item on the back of my hand. But, since getting them home and having a little play with them on my actual face, I’ve started to wonder whether the event was that incredibly good to hide the fact that the make-up is, well, not so good.

I’m sorry to say it, but what’s the point in having a blog if I’m not honest with my beautiful followers, family and friends? Being honest is a quality I possess and look for in others and therefore, if I’m going to share my opinion on the web, I’m going to share my honest one. Sorry Playboy!

 There were other products that were launched by Playboy at the beginning of the month that I have not yet tested, such as their wide range of lipstick colours and vivid nail-varnishes, so for all I know, these could be the best goddam products you’ve ever tried. But, what I did receive was their Kitten Eyes Eyeliner, Sleek Lashes Mascara and Bronze Bunny Bronzer.

Kitten Eyes Precision Liquid Liner

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What it says: “Playboy Kitten Eyes Precision Liquid Eyeliner is a luxurious, rich colour formula that gives all day and night staying power. Formulated with intense pigments to a stunning result that will not bleed or fade.”

This little pot of black is a very unique in shape and has a matte coating which provides easy grip when applying – a very clever feature! The paintbrush-type wand, which I found quite hard to steady, draws lines which are very intense and last a long time upon your lid; so much so, that my feline flicks effortlessly made it through a night with my girls. Very impressive…

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My eyes do water a little when I apply the formula, although this is NOT a rarity, as most liner’s have done this when I first switch to them. However, this is bearable and does tend to stop once my eyes adjust but do be careful if you have sensitive eyes, ladies.

The main element which has stuck with me (and one which has unfortunately put me off using it for now) is that when the formula so much as touches your eyelashes, it turns into this black string (which is like eyelash glue in consistency) and makes mascara very difficult to apply. When you apply mascara, it clumps which makes your eyelashes appear shorter and you can actually peel off the residue once it dries, which is a bit of a faff if you ask me?

My main concern really is that inexperienced beauty users would find it very difficult to apply the liner without coating their lashes, as I have this problem and I’m a sodding Make-Up Artist.  I suppose this problem can be overcome by applying mascara first, but you shouldn’t have to change your application routine in order to use a product.

Sorry Playboy, but I would rate this liner 3/10.

(www.directcosmetics.com; £3.95, RRP £6.95)

Sleek Lashes Mascara

What it says: “Playboy Sleek Lashes Lengthening Mascara allows you to create dramatic and lusciously long lashes with its lengthening formula. This rich, highly-pigmented mascara is infused with wonderful ingredients to keep lashes long, full and soft without clumping or smudging.”

The first thing I noticed when I came across this mascara at the event, was how lovely and big the head was. Therefore, I was expecting it deliver some OTT results – but in a good way, of course. Well, I must say I was beyond surprised with the results.

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If you’re seeking a natural-looking eyelash, then seek out this mascara. It defines, separates and works nicely when you want to slap a little something on when popping down the shops, but I personally find that the coverage is too subtle. Because of this, I’ve given the mascara to my Mum, who loves the natural look it creates and she also likes how the colour is a faded shade of black. I’m aware that Playboy is targeted at young women, but I do believe that this mascara should be aimed at more mature women, as it delivers results which are more suited to their desires…natural, subtle, tasteful.

Due to my love of dramatic lashes, I rate this product 4/10.

(www.directcosmetics.com; £4.00, RRP £9.00)

Bronze Bunny Bronzer

What it says: “Playboy Bronze Bunny Matte Bronzing Powder will give you a gorgeous, golden glow. This rich formula is infused with wonderful ingredients to keep your skin looking bronzed and beautiful with a matte finish.”

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This Playboy emblazoned compact is a lovely golden colour, which effortlessly provides a hint of tan without needing to sit in the sun for hours on end. I do like the colour and it feels very soft to touch – but it creates quite an uneven finish upon the skin, so do make sure you use little of the product and then build upon the colour gradually until you reach the shade you desire.

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As well as brushing the product along your cheekbones and down the bridge of your nose, you can add some colour to your body, sweeping along your décolleté bones, legs, arms…anywhere that’s visible really! Once again, be careful with the amount you apply as you don’t want an uneven finish, but a natural glow when venturing out in your little summer dress. Yes, it’s getting to that time of year again – yaaaay!

Not got a brush to do so? Don’t worry, the compact opens up to reveal a nice flat-headed brush, which works nicely to contour. The brush is extremely soft and durable, and remains clean and handy as it simply slips back into the compact once finished.

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Speaking of contouring, this bronzer is dark enough to get the job done, working well to define and sculpt your features. I’ve been using a special trick recently of delicately drawing thin lines down the bridge of my nose and under the ball, to make it appear thinner before blending with my daily facial powder. Genius, right? Keep eyes peeled for my next FoxMUA post, where I’ll go into full detail on how to achieve the look…

This is definitely my favourite of the products, so I’ll give it a reasonable 6/10 for performance.

(www.directcosmetics.com; £5.99, RRP: £12.00)

So, there we have it, my honest opinion on the range… although the products are not for me, at such cheap prices (at the moment), they’re worth trying out if you’re really skint and looking for something new.

Love,

Fox

x

Medik8: If I Could Turn Back Time…

If I could turn back time, I would have steered clear of killer sunbeds and never took that first lug on an addictive stick of B&H Silver – but a life filled with regret, is a life not worth living at all.

As a result of my rebellious teenage-years, my skin is a little ahead of its time for 21 and I of course, would like to have a shining complexion as many of my friends do. However, since being given the Skin Ageing Essential Kit from Medik8 at the True Grace Spring Summer Press Day at the beginning of the month, it’s as if I’ve travelled back to yesteryear and I’m feeling much happier in myself as a result and don’t mind my skin without make-up on anymore – GASP!

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With a fitting name, using the number ‘8’ as their identifier, Medik8 is an award-winning skincare brand, which tackles a range of skincare woes, from pigmentation to blemishes, and their latest kit comes with all the essentials you need (in full sized bottles) to tackle all of your ageing concerns too.

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This new kit contains four of the brand’s best-selling products which work together to tackle lines & wrinkles, dryness, loss of firmness & elasticity, dullness, uneven skin tone and sun damage…hallelujah!

Although it sounded amazing, my concerns were that the kit is targeted at more mature skin (40+) and I wasn’t sure how the products would react with my oily complexion which NEVER gets dry. Also, at the price of £142, which is amazing for the four products you receive, I know that it’s for those lucky blighters with some disposable income which I sadly do not have at this moment in time – sigh. Therefore, I didn’t want to fall too in love with the results…

…well, it’s a little too late for that now.

Morning Routine

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The two products to be used of a morning are Hydr8 Day Cream combined with CE-Tetra Serum.

Hydr8 Day Cream

The day cream contains an SPF25, which is the perfect factor to be worn all-year round; fighting off sun-damage in the summer and protecting your skin even when its cloudy, as sun’s rays can shockingly still age your skin when it’s cold!

It is very light, quick to absorb and doesn’t have a greasy after feel, which surprised me considering it’s made to tackle dry skin. My concerns regarding how the products would react with my skin-type quickly melted away, as my skin hasn’t been greasier or spottier than usual. Therefore, I believe that the range should state that it’s for ALL SKIN TYPES, as most moisturisers wreak havoc on my oily t-zone. I also feel that once applied, my skin looks as though it’s been given an instant brightening boost, which works wonders alongside the early mornings I’ve been greeted with recently.

The formula contains clinically tested ingredients in proven concentrations which provide cellular protection and hydration. I must say that my face looks as though it’s been plumped up and that greying exterior which acts as a punishment to those of us that smoke, has been completely eliminated.

CE-Tetra

The serum is a high-strength Vitamin C serum which is an ingredient that combats sun-induced damage to the skin, stimulates collagen production and brightens the skin. The brown glass bottle unscrews to reveal a peplum which has measurements down the side in ml’s (from 2ml to 10ml) so that you can give yourself a professional treatment from home.

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It isn’t clear how many ml’s you’re supposed to use each morning, but I’ve been using 10ml after applying the day cream to receive the ‘turbo boost’ effect the range proudly promises.

I must say that this was the product I was most concerned about in the range, as it’s quite oily and I prefer to use serums of a night, so that I needn’t worry about my make-up dripping off my face. However, I find that the oil absorbs into my skin quickly and actually works as a hydrated base for my make-up to sit on throughout the day. It’s also a wonder product to use on a hangover and is the first product I’ve found that rejuvenates my tired-looking skin. Fab for those of you tackling meetings/important events the following day!

 The formula smells just like orange juice and helps to awaken your senses, as well as your cells, for bright and youthful results which seem to get better and more prominent each and every day. Also, with summer creeping, it’s the perfect product to use before your sunscreen. This is because it works to protect your skin in the sun and improve skin’s texture, so that you look like a sun goddess whether your at the beach, the pool side or simply at home under a parasol with a whippy ice-cream to hand.

Oh yeah, one more thing – this kit works out to be a right little bargain, considering this bottle of glowing goodness is £63.50 alone!

Night-time Routine

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The products in the kit that help to give me some much-needed beauty sleep are Hydra8 Night Cream and Retinol 3-TR Advanced Night Serum.

Hydr8 Night Cream

From the same family as the Day Cream, lies the Night Cream which works alongside your night-time sleep process to revive and renew tired and environmentally-damaged skin. It’s a little thicker in consistency in comparison with the day cream, but still absorbs quickly and I feel that it successfully works to eradicate the stresses of the day from your skin. Lovely jubly!

I love the smell of this one, as it’s fresh and relaxing; perfect for bed time! I work the cream over my entire face, and massage it into my neck so that my skins fully hydrated and youthful when I awaken.

Retinol 3-TR

As Retinol is known for the downtime it causes with skin repair – with side effects being redness and peeling – this little kit comes with its own instructions on how to use the serum to prevent such problems. To start with, Medik8 recommends that you should apply the product every 3rd day for the first two weeks, then apply every 2nd day for weeks 3-4 and then everyday from week 5 onwards. The kit also comes with instructions on the dosage requirements which shows how professional the products are and how you’re receiving a quality, world-class treatment which you can apply in the comfort of your own home. Could you ask for more?

 Fortunately for me, I’ve been using products with Retinol in them for some time now, after reading that it’s the best ingredient for those of us suffering from oily skin which is noticeably ageing too. I had a resurfacing treatment a month or so ago too, which used Retinol to improve my skin’s texture and lessen the appearance of enlarged pores. Therefore, I  could get stuck in straight away with this little bottle of anti-ageing bliss!

It’s my absolute favourite product in the kit, and I’ve been using it every night with no problems at all. In fact, it’s been fixing my skincare problems as I fall into a much-needed deep sleep. The product can be used over your entire face, and can even be applied to your eye area. Since using it religiously, it’s worked wonders to erase my chaotic lifestyle from my skin – as it looks bright and healthy, as opposed to haggard from a lack of sleep, computer gazing and long-ass hours at work.

The formula is highly enriched in Vitamin E and Vitamin A.  Vitamin E works to repair the skin, so that your skin is ready to face a new chaotic day come morning. Alongside, the ‘time release delivery system’ means that the Vitamin A is released gradually as you snooze away, so that your skin gets the dose of TLC it deserves. I think that Beauty Sleep has finally met her soul-mate!

I’ve seen dramatic improvements to my skin; with the most important being that the fine lines on my forehead have rapidly decreased, becoming much  smoother and less noticeable. This has provided me with a whopping surge of confidence and is the main contributor to me feeling better when I’m not wearing make-up. I’ve only been using the products for roughly 3 weeks now, so I may be wishing for miracles, but I genuinely think they’ll be near enough GONE by the end of the course. I also have a less oily t-zone, a healthier glow overall and a general look of youthfulness which my skin was lacking before.

Would I purchase this pack again? I wish I had the money sitting in the bank to say YES to this question! Unfortunately life is a little cruel regarding pennies at present, but if I was someone that had some disposable income, I would most definitely re-purchase this wonder kit. The thought of the course coming to an end is something I don’t even want to think about because it’s made such a difference!

 I’ve used prestige anti-ageing products before, from Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II to V7’s Turnover Booster, and I can say with confidence that this kit has delivered the best results thus far and I have and will continue to recommend it to everyone I know. I think that the results come from the fact that the kit contains four products within that work in conjunction with one another, as they all aim to target and repair, to fix and improve skin.

Also, the kit is a bargain compared with purchasing the products individually, and I do think that they’ll last a long time, meaning that you’re only spending a quid or two to look fabulous each and every day. You’d be silly to miss out on such a cracking purchase…

Medik8 is definitely a brand I’ll bare in mind for the day that I’m blissfully swimming around in £100 notes…here’s to dreaming, eh?

(www.medik8.com; £142.00)

Love & Riches,

Fox

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The Body Shop: Putting the Luxe in ‘Sports Luxe’

Did I use The Body Shop make-up products for the main elements of this shoot on purpose? Nope; as I work for the company, I just so happen to have a lot of their stuff but as you can see below, their products happily obliged in helping me to create a killer look. This is ALWAYS my aim, whatever products I use – for the colours and textures to work in my favour, and The Body Shop didn’t let me down.

(Model: Gabby Peeters, Stylist: Sophie Antropik)

(Model: Gabby Peeters, Stylist: Sophie Antropik)

Sports Luxe is a trend which hasn’t ran off of the magazine pages just yet, with last months edition of Marie Claire dedicating a large chunk of their fashion section to the trend. So, although it’s not a look that I’m personally into, I do enjoy the colour palette associated with it when creating the right make-up look… especially when I’m presented with a model to work with – like Gabby – that looks ultimately striking wearing the nude and navy tones.

The two main parts I focused on were Gabby’s skin and eyes – creating a dewy base with iridescent metallic peepers. The dewy base is extremely sporty (and well, hot) and the eyes add that luxury element which brings the ‘Sports Luxe’ look together.

How did I achieve such flawless beauty, you ask? Well, it did help having a stunner on my hands, but listen up and I’ll let you in on my beauty secrets…

Something Blue

(NYFW: Marc Jacobs S/S'14)

(NYFW: Marc Jacobs S/S’14)

I must say that I wasn’t a massive fan of the Marc Jacob’s blocked blue eye-shadow that took to the runway for S/S’14, hence why I wanted to make the look more wearable and sexy and what better way to do this than adding some metallic iridescence? Navy is the colour of sport in my eyes – maybe because my childhood was possessed by navy Reebok joggers, but don’t fear, because the colour can exurb luxury too!

The Body Shop’s Shimmer Cube Palette #20 has all the colours for the job, containing 4 shimmering cubes ranging from shiny blue to pure silver.

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(www.thebodyshop.co.uk; £16.00)

1) I started by coating the entire lid with the white (bottom left) working the colour up to Gabby’s brow bone.

2) I spritzed the palette with Vitamin E Face Mist (www.thebodyshop.co.uk; £7.00), as the darker colours create more impact when wet and stand out in comparison, which is desirable for a photo shoot.

 3)  I then mixed the blue (top left) and gray (bottom right) together with a blender brush and began applying the mixture starting from the outer corner of the eye, sweeping it inwards. I didn’t want the look to be similar to a smoky eye, therefore, I curved and smudged the corner edges for a look that was more worn and effortless.

4) To blend the darker shades in with the lighter ones, I used the same blender brush and thoroughly coated it with the silver shade (top right) and simply swept it across the entire lid, going over the make-up I had already done to create a shiny top coat. This is the most important element, as it blends the colours together, for eyes which glare out elegance and beauty.

Sweat and Sex-Appeal

(Model: Gabby Peeters, Photography: Talia Welka, Stylist: Sophie Antropik)

(Model: Gabby Peeters, Photography: Talia Welka, Stylist: Sophie Antropik)

Unfortunately, these images don’t show off the wet-look skin I had given to Gabby. My aim was to give her skin a glow, so that she looked as though she’d just been for a long and tiresome gym session, but still looked amazing in the aftermath.

I’ve done a few Sports Luxe shoots now for my friend, Talia, and each time I feel that I’m getting closer and closer to cracking the secret behind creating the perfect dewy complexion. Having greasy skin means that I’ve never tried to achieve such the look myself, so my experience doing so is limited.

For my last shoot where I tackled Hannah’s dry skin and somehow made it go the other way entirely, I used a very heavy moisturiser and mixed it into a very heavy foundation. With Gabby, I only needed to use one product, and boy was it a winner! Welcome The Body Shop’s Cool BB Cream (perfect for dry and ageing skin types)

bb cream

(www.thebodyshop.co.uk; £10.00)

The thick consistency is alike a foundation in coverage, but helps to moisturize the skin as it melts onto it with ease. The colour is universal, suiting a complexion as pale as my own and a more caramel tone like Gabby’s.

I generously slapped it on with a foundation brush, building it up until it could be classified as ‘wet-look’. I covered her face and neck entirely, and then applied another layer until I could see that it was glowing with post work-out dew.

Gabby loved the results so much, I gave her a little pot of the stuff to take home…

Love,

FoxMUA

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Elegance as it Should be with Elizabeth Arden…

What comes to mind when you think of the prestige brand; Elizabeth Arden? With me, it’s beautiful packaging, luxurious textures and long-lasting results…and I was pleased to be proved right on all three counts when I dived into my parcel from them a couple of weeks back!

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Beautiful Colour Moisturizing Lipstick #12 NeoClassic Coral

ME

Those of you that follow me on Instagram (@heidsfox) will have seen this snap before, as I made the point of stating that this fine colour was sent to me from Elizabeth Arden. I thought that the springtime colour was perfect to make a smiling impression at the True Grace PR Spring Summer Press Day, and after the cooing fuss made by my mum’s friends before I’d even left, I was assured that it would do just that!

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The packaging is absolutely stunning and will get ‘ooh’s’ and ‘aah’s’ from all of your friends. The golden casing which stands strong like a monumental work of art is one that makes you proud to show it off to whoever’s interested, and I must say that I get it out at every opportunity as I can’t help but fall in love with it a little more each time I see it. Inside is the gorgeous colour you can see below, which is stylishly etched with the classic closed window design known only to be Elizabeth Arden.

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 I wore this delicious coral tone (orange with undertones of pink, to be precise) to the event, as I knew it would add a spring to my step and a spot of elegance to my summer outfit; it also added a surge of confidence which was a happy bonus. My only worry was that it wouldn’t last through the day of me chatting away and sipping many a glass of Pink Lemonade, but the conditioning matte texture melted away such worries, as this is the FIRST lipstick I’ve ever worn that didn’t need to be topped up regularly. Elizabeth Arden promises up to 12 hour wear and they stuck to their word, as my lips were still bright and soft when I returned home after a hectic day. Luxury at its finest, right?

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Although I like the colour, when I first apply it, it can look a little too bright. But, once I dab it with a tissue, lessening the impact, it suits my complexion and personality much better. When I reapplied it before leaving for the event, I used a lipstick brush, which I would recommend to you ladies that like to have a stand-out pout. This is because brushes allow you to apply just the right amount (so that you’re not wasting any product) and you can also play with the colour until you reach the brightness you desire.

(www.debenhams.com; £20.00)

Pure Finish Summer Escape Bronzing Powder

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Since receiving this royal blue compact, swirled with an almost nautical design, I haven’t let it leave my sight (or cheekbones, for that matter).  The natural kabuki brush that comes with the product is perfect for nights out, as its small enough to squeeze into your clutch. Also, its head is the right size to solely focus on your cheekbones and the bridge of your nose, like recommended. It’s very soft, yet its bristles are firm enough to grip the product, giving an even and natural finish to your skin.

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Not only has it become my latest must-have to add a pre-summer glow to my face, but it’s also helped to add a bit of sparkle to my winter-struck body!

Before every night-out, event and date, I’ve brushed some of the golden sparkle onto my legs, arms and décolleté and have even got my mum to dab a little onto my back (although I have used a big body brush to get the best results when doing so). The colour is perfect for my tone, being a honey-like shade with highlighting swirls within, which work to contour and define my bone structure. Hello collar bones and cheekbones…I haven’t seen you here before?

The sparkle lasts through the night, with people commenting on how I look like something from Twilight (a compliment in my eyes) and in certain lights, I can truly see a twinkle. This twinkle helps to tone and add a sun-kissed sparkle my skin, making me feel that bit better compared with when I usually unleash my pale legs from my safe-bet jeans!

(www.debenhams.com; £25.00)

Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant

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Being a cult classic, which most beauty lovers have at least heard of; I was more than excited to see what the hype is all about regarding Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream. My best friend’s jaw practically hit the floor when she saw that I’d received it, having used it herself for the past couple of years. I even remember seeing the tube on the her side dresser throughout university.

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She recommended that I use the thick peach cream on my cuticles before bed, to help strengthen and improve the look of my mands (ahem, man hands). I’ve been doing this, as well as applying a small amount to my lips before bed (as a little is all you need) and I’ve been utterly pleased with the results. Not only are my lips softer come morning, my mands look in better shape too, having an almost feminine feel to them – yes! I find the consistency greasy, but not in an insulting way, as it’s genuinely nice to still feel the residue of the product on my lips when I awaken.

I’d also recommend to slather some on cracked heels before popping on some cotton socks to help it absorb quickly before hopping into bed. After doing this, I woke to feet that look as though they’ve been reborn, hiding the fact that I’ve been thoroughly abusing them recently by standing around all day, hardly giving them a break. Whether you like feet or not, it’s worthwhile – and surprisingly nice – to really treat them once in a while.

The smell of Arden’s eight hour wonder cream is a little unusual, as it’s strong with floral undertones, but you do get used to it and it’s kind of nice to come across something which is truly unique to a brand. I’m certain that if I smelt something similar, I’d instantly revert back to thinking about good old Elizabeth Arden and how her products have enlightened my life.

I’ve got the bronzer in my bag at all times (hence why the logo has already etched off a little, whoops) and I’ve got the lippy on my smile which has been truly pampered thanks to the fabulous eight hour cream!

(www.debenhams.com; £26.00)

Would I recommend Elizabeth Arden? The question is, who wouldn’t?

Love & Moisturised Kisses,

Fox

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Get a Springtime Glow with Clarins!

Let me start by stating that I’ve never worn fake tan in my life. I know what you’re going to say in response… “But why?! It’s simply a safe and healthy glow in a bottle.”

You’re right, my friends, but it’s just never appealed to me. When I was younger and my friends were going through the ‘will you tan my back for me, please?’ stage, I was too busy developing wrinkles on sunbeds (fool) and when I finally weaned myself off of the addictive killers (not easy), I’d already come to associate fake tan with streaky legs, the scent of potatoes and general oompah-loompah comments – therefore decided to stick with the au natural look of pale and pasty, however washed out I looked without make-up on.

But change is good and you’re not going to get a healthier tan elsewhere, so this year I’m saying a massive YES to Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster, as I’d like to add a bit of colour back into my life (and that winter-struck face of mine, preferably)

IMG_2057I was swayed by Clarins compared with otheres, as they haven’t used the words ‘fake tan’ and because their latest product is a booster which you use alongside a moisturiser, so it was easy to incorporate into my daily routine. The oil is just for the face, so I felt a bit more trusting of the possible results as I think I’d miss a patch if I was to apply tan over my entire body (being a first-timer and all) – although, after experimenting, I wouldn’t rule out trying self-tanning body products in the future.

…Wait, did I just say that?

You probably think I’m making a big fuss over nothing, but being an Essex girl who’s seen other Essex girls look as though they’ve just dipped themselves in cow dung, you can see where my complex regarding tanning products comes from. However, Clarins is a brand I’ve injected my trust into over the years, and just like an ice cream on a sunny day, they’ve helped to melt away my apprehension.

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What Clarins says: “It’s like magic! A radiant, healthy glow all year round that is made-to-measure just for you. Simply mix 2-3 drops of this radiance booster with your regular moisturiser, in the palm of your hand, to enhance your complexion with an incredibly natural-looking, radiant tan. Wash hands well afterwards”

Every morning, I’ve been squeezing a blob of my Tea-Tree Skin Clearing Lotion (www.thebodyshop.co.uk; £8.00) onto my hand and then I’ve added 3 drops of Clarins radiance booster to the mix, like recommended. The sleek tube of golden juice is very easy to use, as you simply tip it up over your moisturiser and press its padded bottom releasing one drop at a time, to help regulate how much comes out. Brilliant, right?

IMG_2059The product is oily in consistency, which helps you to achieve that hydrated fresh-faced finish which looks gorgeous next to a tan. I also find that the browny colour of the formula makes it easy to see how well it’s mixing into the moisturiser, and I must say that it mixes well!

I tend to feel a slight sting on my skin when I apply the concoction, but luckily this feeling dies down quickly and isn’t unbearable. I don’t know whether this reaction happens because two completely contrasting formulas don’t want to befriend each-other, or because my skin has been a little blemished recently, which can cause skincare problems at the best of times. Maybe this means that the formula should be targeted at older women who haven’t a blemish in sight? I’m not totally sure – but, I’ve been using the Tea-Tree lotion for years, so unfortunately this shows that my skin isn’t quite warming to the booster.

Although Clarins states that it can be used alongside all day creams (gels, serums etc), I’d be interested to see how the booster works alongside other products made by Clarins, as they would probably have ingredients within that compliment one another.

Any bloggers out there tried such a combo? Do comment and let me know how you got on!

The results

It took a few days for me to see any results with the only difference being that I had a streak between my fingers where I hopelessly didn’t follow the instructions of WASHING MY HANDS WELL AFTERWARDS. Apparently Foxes can’t read? Sigh.

However, this made me realise that the product was working and that it wouldn’t be long before I had a radiant glow, suitable for spring. After 3 days, I began to see a much improved difference to my skin without make-up on, with that washed out look I was speaking of earlier being no more. The glow is natural, tailored to my skin tone (as it isn’t too dark) and it’s also even and streak-free! The formula doesn’t have that god awful smell of potatoes which I can sense a mile off when girls indulge in tacky tan, but instead it’s odourless so that no one suspects your beauty secret.

I’ve been using the little jewel for roughly two weeks now, and can’t believe how little it’s gone down. Once I reach my desired colour, I still think I’ll have tonnes and tonnes left for when I want to start up the tanning process again; showing unbelievable value for money.

Personally, I’d love to see Clarins bring out an oil-based body tan which contains the same concentrated tanning ingredients, as I do find that my body looks lifeless in comparison and I’m unsure about whether to keep tanning because I don’t want to look fake in any way. Clarins recommends that when you reach the colour you’re happy with, to reduce the dosage down to just 2 drops a day, but I personally want to be a little darker. Hmmm, I think I may invest in a natural looking self-tan if anyone has any suggestions? After all, I wouldn’t be a true Essex girl if I didn’t try it out at least once in my life…

(www.clarins.co.uk; £18.00)

Love,

Fox

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Experience Elemis…

Elemis is one of the first beauty brands I ever came across; seeing a range of their products at my local pool when I was just a tween. I remember wishing that I had enough pocket money to try some of them but nevertheless, assuring myself that one day I’d have them all to prod and play with.

I must have been about 10 and I do think it odd that a memory like that stays with you, but it was kind of nice that this was the first thing that popped into my head when Elemis said that they’d send some products my way! Along with thinking how my skin hasn’t changed a bit over the past 11 years, as I still suffer from pesky blemishes and an oily complexion – so this ones for you, hopeful adolescent Fox. Here’s how I got on…

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Above, you can see some of the gorgeous goodies from the Elemis Fresh Skin range along with last month’s addition of Marie Claire (of course), which I opportunistically finished whilst waiting for my face mask to dry – ah, pamper central! The range is suitable for all skin types, however, there’s a clear focus on younger skin (teen’s to 20’s), as it works to brighten skin, balance oils and therefore, target spots at the source.

Peachy Perfect Face Wash

face wash elemis

What Elemis says: “Beauty Benefits: Hydrating chicory extract, conditioning elderflower extract and skin awakening lemon, leave the complexion beautifully soft and glowing.”

No more than a pump away, lies the delicate floral scent (which I instantly recognised to be beautiful elderflower) teamed with a luxurious lathering agent to not only wash your face, but to effortlessly cleanse away the days make-up too. The product states to avoid contact with eyes, so leave mascara, but be pleased with how the foam conquers every other part of your face and neck – with a little squirt going a very long way!

Actually, the head makes it easy to get just the right amount too, as one pump is suffice in cleansing away every speck of dirt and grime. It’s also a beneficial addition to your morning routine, as the lemon extract helps to revitalise your senses and brush off your bed’s demands to come back and snuggle up. Nu-uh bed, I’m feeling pretty darn good now…

The afterthought is ultra-clean and fresh, setting you up for the day or for beddy-byes depending on how often you wash your face (I’d recommend that you use the wash twice a day, like me, to get the best results.) I also feel as though my skin – although not perfect – is definitely clearing up little by little day by day. I haven’t passed the ‘teenage-skin’ finish line yet, but I can see the banner is not too far off…

(www.timetospa.co.uk; £13.00)

Softly Softly Daily Moisturiser

day cream elemis

What Elemis says: “Beauty Benefits: This light and non-greasy daily moisturiser helps defend against free radicals. Rosehip seed oil and sweet almond oil soften and soothe, leaving skin revitalised and more radiant.”

I’m ALWAYS wary of using new moisturisers as most clash with my oily skin, leaving me looking as though I’ve stupidly took the dewy skin-trend a little too far. Not hot.

However, knowing that Elemis is only trying to help and knowing further that this range is specifically designed for others who suffer with similar skin woes to me, made me a little more trusting when moisturising before beginning my day.

The smell is like a bouquet of flowers with really clean, almost medicinal undertones. This may sound like an odd fragrance, but it’s actually very subtle and refreshing –  exactly what I was hoping for, as most spot zappers smell clean. This element helped me to forget that I was trying something new that could in-fact cause catastrophic results.

But, did it? Nope! This is the first time a moisturiser that states that it will hydrate, didn’t overly compensate. Instead, it left my skin looking fresh and smooth, but without a greasy afterthought in mind. Oh, thank the heavens!

(www.timetospa.co.uk; £6.90 for 15ml)

Dreamy Sleep Night-Time Moisturiser

nightcream elemis

What Elemis says: “Beauty Benefits: Intensely hydrating night-time moisturiser, improves skin texture and radiance whilst you sleep.”

Oh, what bliss. What, you ask? Well, to hit the pillow and actually doze off with ease. This is a rarity for me, being a night-time owl who likes to watch crud TV with my fellow night-time owls. But, with long hours at work and very little time to myself most days, I need to feel replenished of a morning to crack on with the duties that that day will entail.

I’m pleased to report that Elemis has given me the key to unlocking such morning moments. The lavender oil contained within showered my senses with calmness, sending me off effortlessly to lullaby mountain! I’m not entirely sure whether it was a placebo effect or just damn good stuff, but every time I’ve slapped the cream on my face before bed, it’s been  – how Paddy would say it – lights out…all out!

I’ve also woken in the morning to softer skin which isn’t greasy or over-moisturised, setting it up nicely for the day.

(www.timetospa.co.uk; £7.60 for 15ml)

Deep Clean Purifying Face Mask

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Lastly, we come to the face masks created by Elemis for combination skin – with one tackling excess oil, whilst the other tackles dryness. You get three sachets of each in a box and I guarantee that each is enough to cover your entire face – and neck too, if necessary!

I didn’t really see the point in trying the Magical Moisture Quenching Face Mask as my skincare concerns circle around the issue of excess sebum (I don’t think I’ve ever had even a touch of dry skin in my entire life), therefore I planned the right time to give the Deep Clean Purifying Face Mask a whirl…

What Elemis says: “Beauty Benefits: The blend of natural clays, goji berry extract and frankincense oil help to draw out impurities and refine skin. Whilst Vitamin E softens and soothes.”

I say ‘planned the right time’, as working within the beauty industry has taught me the pros and cons of face masks, with the biggest problem being that they cause all of the grime to come to the surface, so that it takes a few days for your skin to clear, with it then looking better than before.

I have a little date on Friday, so I applied the yesterday afternoon just to be sure that my skin would clear up in time. A few little pimples rose to the surface a few hours later, however I have a good feeling about how this will pan out with my skin already looking fresher and more radiant this morning. My fingers are crossed that it will look much healthier by Friday, to give me that confident boost every girl wants – wish me luck, ladies!

me looking urgly

Votes on me going looking like this?

Back to the review. The little sachets of clay are more than enough to cover your face, as I had tonnes left over which I just kept slapping on – although, I maybe needn’t have as you know the mask has done its business when it all goes hard. I had some patches of moistness after the recommended time of 10 minutes, so next time I think I’ll apply it less generously and maybe even get two uses from one sachet!

I would recommend that you invest in a thick headband if you don’t plan on washing your hair as the clay isn’t the easiest product to get off without making a mess. Next time, I’m going to slap on the clay before hopping in the bath, mainly because although I like reading Marie Claire in all circumstances, it’s always better in the bath with a few candles for added ‘ahhhh’!

My skin currently feels super soft and hydrated and I although I’m not entirely matte – I’d say there’s a hell of a lot less grease around my T-Zone compared with when I usually don’t wear a powder. Only time will tell with this one, beauty lovers…

(www.timetospa.co.uk; £16.00)

I’ll keep you all updated on how my skin is for Saturday and maybe even post a cheeky snap as I plan on wearing my new make-up items from Elizabeth Arden to make a cheeky impression. Lush! Keep eyes peeled for the general review going live over the next few days…

Love & Kisses,

Fox

x

SpaRitual: Try Their Tantalizing Top Coats!

Add a speck of style to your fingertips with SpaRitual’s luminary Matte Top Coats. Forget boring clear formulas and instead, look to one of the unusual frosted bottles for a manicure your talons will thank you for! 

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The ornamental bottles look almost alien in appearance; with glowing bellies (green & purple) which capture your attention like a brightly-lit spaceship. The innovative lids – which all SpaRitual varnishes have in common- are rubbery and have lots of groves so that they’re easy to open and easy to shut too; so that the formula won’t dry up before its time!

Once opened, you unleash the beauty within. The thick clear gel is vegan and full of speckled particles of different shapes and sizes, that when applied to your nails, gives a look similar to frosted glass. I wouldn’t classify the particles as glittery, because they create more of a print on your nails; a bit like the crackled formulas you can purchase nowadays.

 I’ve seen many different textures on the beauty shelves lately – cement, magnetic, candyfloss- but the luminous crackly effect of these top coats, which can be applied over ANY shade, makes them one of my favourite nail effects so far!

Opaline Luminary

(Do excuse my man-hands and their ability to make any varnish not look great)

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I chose to use Morgan Taylor’s #WellSpent as my base coat, simply because I knew that the burgundy tone would sit nicely beneath the purple speckles and was hopeful that the two formulas would compliment one another (which they do, don’t you agree?)

#WellSpent has a silky finish, however the second I applied #OpalineLuminary over the top, it instantly mattified my nails showing the instant effects of the varnish. I feel that matte nails are the only look that works best with shorter nails, as it gives them a bit of an edge, which I must admit, looks unusual over long nails. It’s nice to find a trend that I can finally jump on-board with, so I highly recommend it to others with flimsy fingernails…

As well as mattifying, the formula dries quickly, which was lucky as I was rebelliously painting away at work just as an influx of customers popped in. Due to the quick-drying formula, there were no smudges or awkward bag-packing techniques at the till… so all in all, I was very impressed with the results.

Citrine Luminary

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Although it’s placed within a deceiving green bottle, the actual shade of the speckles are gold and therefore, a colour that you can wear over any old shade. I chose to paint my nails with Barry M’s Gelly Hi-Shine #BloodOrange as I wanted to put the mattifying element to the test, especially as the formula is so shiny and shellac-like. But, the top coat didn’t flounder whatsoever, creating a pretty matte look which I feel would look fabulous on a night out.

Both gels are thick – like really thick – and I’ve seen an improvement in the strength of my nails since wearing them. This could be because the formula hardens and makes it pretty damn hard for my nail-biting habit to defeat it. I can barely get my teeth through it, so fortunately I realise that I’m trying to nibble just in time to stop myself. This has also helped to prevent chips, as the luminous top-coat locks in the colour below and is obviously hard to break through, meaning that I have tantalizing talons that look stylish for just under a week.

SpaRitual has summoned a miracle. For the first time in years, I have the little white strip of nail to paint (you don’t understand how much this means to me) and my nails look healthier as a result. However, there is still a long old way to go before I’ll be proud to flash them about – so, I’ll be wearing these top coats religiously to see whether I can finally have the long nails I’ve always dreamt of! Keep your fanciful fingers crossed for me friends!

(Available at http://www.sparitual.co.uk & http://www.feelunique.com (free delivery); £10.50 each)

Love,

Fox

x

Playboy’s Pretty Product Launch

I need to start this post by saying, oh what a night! My brain was a little hazy this morning from being doused in champagne (ah bliss), but what I do remember is having an entertaining evening with some witty characters, experimenting with the gorgeous Playboy make-up that is available FROM TODAY and being utterly overwhelmed by the delicious canapes and the swanky venue as a whole!

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Hidden down the back-streets of Mayfair, is the little gem that is The Baroque @ Playboy Club. A dimly-lit building of glass shines out a pretty fuchsia light and the iconic bunny head is emblazoned proudly upon the walls, so that I knew I’d reached the right venue on arrival. After stating my name for the guest-list, I was whizzed inside, cardigan off, cameras flashing as I stood beside the beautiful bunnies in a movie-like manner and to add to the feeling of stardom, I was handed a goblet-like glass of champagne! Phwoar, I sure could get used to this lifestyle…

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And as you can see, the champagne didn’t stop there! This delectable champagne fountain was one of the highlights for me, as I stood in awe at how one bottle after another was poured upon the glasses and at how the bunnies poured them with pure elegance, without spilling a drop all down their outfits, as I would have done.

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The event had a real buzz: music blared whilst bloggers, journalists, celebrities and other people of importance played with the new products and indulged in interesting chit-chat. I put my loud mouth to use and got involved straight away, taking a particular interest in what Bunny Hanna, 26, had to say regarding her fun-filled lifestyle.

She told me that over 70 girls work at the two-story Playboy Club, which has a swanky event room downstairs (where we were situated) and a casino and restaurant upstairs. Hanna spoke of how the girls are all different shapes and sizes, and how the role doesn’t involve being stick-thin, but instead in proportion, healthy and confident in your own skin!

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The girls wear different coloured outfits depending on their role within the club, with starters wearing a black dress until they’ve “earned their ears”! The girls not only serve food and champagne, but dance too, having a specific ‘Bunny Dance’ which works their thighs and stomach to keep them looking trim and well for their regulars.

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Is there  a gym that teaches such dances so I can look like that, ladies?

As well as interesting conversation, there was tonnes of eye-catching make-up to play with to keep us all entertained.

Hidden inside metallic packaging covered in bunny heads is sleek casing which holds some high-quality yet very reasonably priced make-up!

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The Playboy make-up launch introduced 12 shades of lipstick, a matte bronzer, a leopard-printed highlighter, a mascara and an eyeliner.

I plonked myself at the table scattered with lipsticks, and in-between gorging on luxurious duck rolls, salmon cones and basil bruschetta (yum) I got stuck in painting my hands with the different shades to see which colour suited me most.

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(Coral Range)

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(Rouge Range)

The lipstick’s tie in with the tone of S/S’14, being very light and bright in colour. I spoke to Olivia who works for Aqua PR who spoke of how Playboy hopes to expand their lipstick range to incorporate more darker shades/nudes when winter comes a creeping again – although the sun’s only just started shining, so lets forget about that for now.

The first thing I noticed was how moisturising the formulas are (being rich in oils) as they left the back of my hand silky soft even after I’d wiped off them off. They left a slight stain on my skin too, especially the darker reds, which lead me to believe that they would be very long-lasting upon your lips.

Some shades were sheer, whilst others presented a matte finish upon my skin which is predicted to be one of the hot trends for Spring. I absolutely love the lilac tone (second snap, third in to the right) and believe that this would look amazing with a summer-time tan! Which one’s your favourite?

(www.xtras.co.uk; £6.95)

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 The Playboy range is mainly targeted at teenagers (18-25) and just from looking at the designs and colours, you can see that your daughter/cousin/niece would love one of these cute bronzer’s or highlighter’s as their first compact! I’m 21 and I still would definitely opt for one if I came across it in the shop.

The middle compact is a matte bronzer, named Bronze Bunny and is a lovely golden shade for the summer. I was informed on how the powder also works well to contour and as I received one in my Press Pack, I will most definitely be trying out its contouring powers for my next shoot (watch this space)!

The leopard printed highlighter has a goldy brown base, with darker brown sections filled in with pink which work well together to create an iridescent glow upon the skin – perfect for highlighting and lifting facial contours. The girly design stamped with the bunny head makes it truly unique to Playboy and I must say that I found it the most eye-catching out of all the products showcased at the launch.

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I carried on moving from table to table, mingling (and drinking LOTS of champagne) and came across the bold and beautiful bottles of varnish. I met a fellow beauty lover, Georgia and we both fell in love with the glittery bronze shade (third in, front row) which is a gorgeous shade for summer. The glitter particles within are striking enough to make you feel like a bronzed goddess from fingertip to toenail!

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Lastly I came to the table laid out with tubes of mascara and eyeliner and boy was I impressed with some of the things I saw.

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The eyeliner comes in a comfortable tube which has a lovely curved shape, just like the bunnies that served us all night! The head contains a soft brush, as opposed to a pen-like nib and creates super black lines which don’t smudge or falter under water. I was speaking with a group of bloggers and we all were amazed by its durability, as we needed to scratch away the paint on our hands to make it disappear.

I felt privileged to receive one of this little pots in my goody bag and I’ll most definitely be writing a full review when I’ve had a chance to play with it properly. I’m not expecting any upset when I hit the town tonight, but the waterproof elements and longevity have secured my decision to create some sexy feline flicks, with hopes that it’ll be ‘drunk-proof’ too – wish me luck!

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And here’s the mascara I also received – what a lucky girl! I love the size of the head and feel that it will work wonders to separate and elongate my stumpy straight lashes, especially as the Playboy brand is all about those sexy flutters! ll let you guys know how I get on with this one too, as I’m sure I’ll be popping on a layer (or six) to look my best tonight!

One things for sure, I’m going to be feeling comfortable in my own skin as Hanna taught me that this is the most important thing for women to be!

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Love & Kisses,

Fox

x

True Grace PR’s Spring Summer Press Day: Here Comes The Sun, Badadada!

Yesterday marked True Grace PR’s Spring Summer Press Day and the sun was beaming down in approval. Happily, I popped on a summer dress covered in daisy’s, grabbed my sunnies and travelled across to London in excitement of what the day would entail.

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When I arrived at the renowned Phi Clinic on Harley St (swanky, I know), I was overwhelmed by the structural beauty of the tall buildings and prestige feeling the entire street expressed. I entered the fresh Clinic and buzzed like a spring-time bumblebee as I soared up the lift. When I hopped out, I was greeted by the lovely ladies of True Grace PR along with a sparkling glass of Pink Lemonade…could Spring get any sweeter?

The room was laid out with boxes of sand sprinkled with blue glitter which were full of luxurious products from Medik8, Jack Black, Pink Parcel and Tattoo Secrets. Sand wasn’t the only beachy element, as there were also fun inflatable palm-trees jotted around, picnic-like nibbles and a few deck chairs with ladies wearing cool clothing seated within them. Sun is shining, weather is sweet…

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 I got stuck straight in and the lovely Anusha gave me the tour, providing me with detailed information about each and every product, fueling my excitement to try them out myself.

Jack Black

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Here’s Jack Black; the unisex skincare brand which has a strong male following. Being a popular brand in the USA, it’s only recently hit the UK and the royal blue packaging along with the fresh subtle smell makes me think it’s going to be a winner over here too.

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The latest range launched for Spring is the Epic Moisture range (targeted at both men & women) for ultimate hydration and firming results. Within my press pack, I received the Jack Black Epic Moisture Extra Rich Body Hydrator and the Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF25 Mint which I have passed onto my dad as I think they’re perfect to tackle his recent complaints of dry skin. Keep eyes peeled for the review when I gruel him about how he got on…

Pink Parcel

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We moved onto the stand for Pink Parcel which I was very impressed by. These sleek feminine boxes get delivered each month, when you’re experiencing YOUR time of the month and come with much-needed essentials as well as a few goodies to bring you up when you’re feeling groggy.

You select the options online, such as your absorbency requirements, your favourite sanitary brand (Tampax, Lil-Lets etc) and when you’d like it to be delivered. Make sure that you select your box to be delivered a couple of days before your due date for extra safety and voila, your period process is made easy for you.

   The process is made even easier as you receive a pouch and a box brimming with tampons; the nifty velvet pouch is marked ‘For now’ so that you can simply pop it in your bag and go, and there’s a box marked ‘For later’ so that you have some ready for the rest of your cycle.

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As well as your monthly supply of tampons, you get some pampering goodies to treat yourself along with a little something nice to drink and nibble on to help curb those cravings.  This month’s box had a Montezuma’s organic chocolate bar within, which embarrassingly didn’t even make it home with me, oops!  I also recieved a Teapigs Superfruit Tea-Bag, a packet of Femfresh wipes, a unique Pink Parcel mirror and Medik8 Hydra8 B5 Serum. Are you ready for the price? You won’t believe it…

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All of these goodies (which vary from month to month) can be yours for just £9.95 per month. Wowza. No fuss, no hassle, just good clean fun! Well, as fun as a period can be…

(www.pinkparcel.co.uk)

(Medik 8 Hydra8 B5 Serum to be reviewed)

Medik8

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 When I reached the stall for Medik8, I was greeted by Tracy who provided me with expertise knowledge about the different ranges within the brand. I discovered that Medik8  is an award-winning, British skincare brand which is only sold by skincare experts across 30 countries and was pleased to hear that they have specific ranges to tackle all sorts of skincare woes – including redness of the skin, acne (perfect for me), ageing and very dry skin conditions.

 It is a brand known for delivering exceptional results, so I was pleased to find their latest Skin Ageing Essential Kit within my press kit, which consists of 4 full-sized products which work alongside one another to provide you with a more youthful complexion.

The products containing Vitamin C and Vitamin A aim to reduce lines & wrinkles, prevent dryness, firm and restore elasticity, brighten and even skin tone and repair sun damage.

Once I’ve been using the products for the correct length of time to see the best results, I’ll post a review. Not one to miss Beauty Bloggers as I already suspect I’ll be in a wrinkle-free haven…

Medik8 Hand Massage

My love for Medik8 grew when I was passed over to Emma  for a relaxing and smoothing hand massage. Emma is soon to incorporate Medik8 products into her home salon in Guilford and was excited to be a part of the hype; this isn’t surprising considering the amazing benefits of the products which I experienced ‘first-hand’ today –   get it?

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Emma started by using the Cream Cleanser on my hands, using a specialist technique of smoothing my hands and releasing tension by massaging small circular movements along my knuckles all the way down to my fingertips. The Cleanser has an exfoliating agent within to help remove dry skin and soften cuticles for ultimate smoothness.

My mitts were then doused in CE-Tetra Serum which is rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin E to help stunt the ageing process. Emma informed me on how an SPF should always be used when driving, as your hands are directly in the sun during long journeys. A little tip there guys, as I’d never even thought about it! So, if you feel that your hands are ahead of their time, don’t forget to use hand creams with a high Sun Protection when driving.

Being a Leeds-bod and putting my poor hands through the harsh winters up north, the nicer weather hasn’t yet recovered their dryness. Picking up on this, Emma gave me an intensive treatment, using the Ultimate Recovery Moisturiser which is specifically tailored for very dry skin. I instantly felt the benefits as my hands felt softer than they have done all year! By this point, I was also feeling utterly relaxed as Emma not only massaged my hands but had released tension from the joints by holding my finger tip and wiggling it round in circles – more heavenly than it sounds, I assure you!

Emma then placed my hands in a plastic sock and then into her Heated Mitts which were hot, yet comfortable and allow the products to penetrate deeply into the skin for long-lasting results. I looked a little like a penguin flapping around with these on, but my hands have never felt softer when I took them out. Emma also said how she has Heated Booties for those of you that want some tootsie pampering too!

Lastly, my hands and wrists were doused in the Hydra8 Body Moisturiser which had a unique sweet smell which travelled the length of the room. This smell is a result of the sumptuous Cocoa butter and Shea butter within, which are the ingredients to look out for if you’re seeking high levels of moisturisation… and you’re also a sucker for sweet smells, like me!

All in all, a very relaxing and gorgeous treatment which left me rubbing my hands together the entire journey home. When I’m next feeling uptight or stressed, I may just have to book myself in for another…

Tattoo Secrets

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Got a wedding coming up? An interview in the near future? A job where tattoos are deemed as unprofessional?

Don’t fear, Tattoo Secrets are here.  Used by Make-Up Artists, it’s the perfect addition to your make-up bag for a quick fix.

I haven’t tried the products yet, but after seeing the ‘Before’ and ‘After’ snaps of their customers, I can’t wait to either. I have a tattoo of a fox on my wrist which means a lot to me, but I’m intrigued to see whether I can cover it up, as if never inked. I too will post a snap of my ‘Before’ and ‘After’ experience in the very near future so that you can see whether the products provide the coverage needed for your big day! Watch this Space (disappear, hopefully)

The latest product to be launched is there Leg Camoflauge Kit specifically tailored for scars, veins and stretchmarks. I am a clumsy begger and do have a few scars which I’d much rather forget, so I will also provide a ‘Before’ and ‘After’ snap of my knobbly knees so you can all see how effective the concealers are on problem areas!

A Salon Experience

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Lastly, I spoke to the lovely women who work for VelaShape 111! They told me about the sleek new machines which some rich people have in their homes (jealous), how the lovely Kim Kardashian is a fan and how cellulite is reduced after 1-3 sessions, Christ! The treatment is clinically proven to firm the skin and reduce that orange-peel outer layer. The machine works by using Infared Light and Bi-Polar Radio Frequency to heat up the fatty tissue and a Vacuum to ensure precise delivery of energy. I haven’t tried it myself, but it sounds like it delivers amazing results and is therefore totally worth it, simply to feel happier within your own skin without surgery!

(www.ultra-vela.com; £350 for a single treatment)

I was also told about the GentleLaser Treatments they offer across the UK and how they have a salon in Leeds (YES). I will hopefully be experiencing one of these treatments to zap those pesky hairs away and leave me with skin as soft as a wee babby! I will most certainly keep you all informed regarding this one…

Love & Happy Memories,

Fox

x

(Prices will be posted when the reviews go live. Do drop me a comment if you want further information before this time xx)

Boi Thing: Strong Brows, Strong Lips

Think of the gothic yet stunning, Morticia Addams. Now think of her with masculine undertones – stronger features, stronger brows – and you’ve effortlessly conjured up the image: ‘Boi Thing’.

This look is ALL about the brows and lips and keeping everything else as fresh and subtle as possible. You want blusher? You can’t have it ladies. You want mascara? That’s also confiscated, I’m afraid. To be masculine, yet striking, you need to create a minimalistic base and then throw some elements of darkness into the mix. It’s as if Halloween’s come early this year…BOO!

Model: Jessica Healy, Photographer: Tom McCabe, Stylist: Sophie Antropik

Model: Jessica Healy, Photographer: Tom McCabe, Stylist: Sophie Antropik

The Brows

Jess has quite thin brows, very thin in fact, but that didn’t stop me darkening them, expanding them and filling them in. If this sounds like you, but you’d rather have Miss Cara D’s A-list brows, then don’t fear because all you need is a nifty eye-brow kit to hand.

You don’t have to go through the gruelling 4-month process of growing them out to find that they actually look as though someone’s thrown some fluffy caterpillar’s’ on your face – but try the quicker, less risky option of filling in what you’ve already got and thickening the natural shape with a dark and high quality eyebrow kit.

I’ve raved on about it before, but I simply can’t use anything else as nothing beats it – so what’s the point? Beauty UK Eyebrow Kit (www.beautyukcosmetics.co.uk; £3.99) has a very black colour within which worked perfectly to match Jess’s natural hair colour. I used the slanted eye-shadow brush from The Body Shop (www.thebodyshop.co.uk; £9.00) as the width of the head is perfect to thicken the beginning of the brows so that the rest follows suit. The angled tip also ensures ease when trying to create the precise thinner lines at the outer end of the brow.

Also, don’t be shy when it comes to shading the brow in, as the darker the better with this look. Go black, go gothic…go for it, girls!

Model: Jessica Healy, Photographer: Tom McCabe, Stylist: Sophie Antropik

Model: Jessica Healy, Photographer: Tom McCabe, Stylist: Sophie Antropik

 The Lips

You want your lips to be dark but sexy, with a glossy finish. I used The Body Shop’s Colour Crush Lipstick #340 (www.thebodyshop.co.uk; £10.00) on Jess, which was one of the popular purple shades for the dark & daring lip trend which took over the beauty world at the end of last year. Just because this look’s no longer ‘on-trend’ doesn’t mean that you can’t rock purple by trying lighter and brighter shades to match the happier mood we’re all in now that the sun’s shining again.

 On a darker note, I rubbed the lipstick into the black from the Beauty UK eye-brow kit (same as used on brows) and then applied it onto Jess’s lips with your bog-standard lipstick brush. The small head allows you to draw a smooth line, which rarely falters compared with simply slapping the lippy on straight from the tube. I prefer using brushes to apply lipstick, as it gives an even finish and you can build upon the colour if you want to create a stronger effect.

To finish, I applied a touch of gloss to the middle of Jess’s lips as this gives the illusion of a fuller pout (ingenious, right?) and what better shade to use than Bobbi Brown’s purply brown Lip Gloss #Scarlet (www.debenhams.co.uk; £14.50).  It produces shiny results and the moisturising formula works to give an enviable pout which the camera simply loves, darling.

Do you dare to wear?

Love,

FoxMUA

x

Smokers Paradise: White Glo Toothpaste

Okay, so I’m a self-confessed beauty lover and the type of blogger to rave on about what’s bad for your skin and health, but I’m also an ordinary girl who has her own vices – believing greatly in doing the little things in life which you enjoy. So I hold my hands up and admit it…I’m a smoker, however I’m not as bad as I used to be (with my New Year’s resolution being to quit/cut down) and only have 1 or 2 a day now, although I can go a little crazy when I’ve had a glass (or seven) of rose. Slap on the hand, Miss Fox.

However, I’d love to give up as I know the habit is absolutely rank and I find it the most unattractive thing when a well-to-do woman is stood there puffing away on fag. I hate to think that others think that of me, but some things are easier said then done… so the least I can do is disguise the habit until I master the art of ‘giving up’. I’m aware that the smell is gross so always have a nice perfume to hand, with my recent favourite being Thierry Mugler’s Alien Eau Extraordinaire, I’m the girl to go to if you’re seeking gum and I will never even look twice at a toothpaste unless it’s a whitening one. So, when White Glo sent me over their Smoker’s toothpaste to try, I was looking forward to having a deceiving smile which screams I DON’T SMOKE!

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What White Glo says: “Helps remove Tobacco stains & reduce smokers’ breath. Effective whitening formula. Low abrasion- safe for daily use. Fluoride protection against cavities.”

Not only did I receive a toothpaste, but a sturdy toothbrush and a pack of dental flosser toothpicks too; all in all, a nice little package to keep me smiling.

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The Toothpaste

I squeezed a little onto my nice new brush (always remember to change your toothbrush regularly as if you could see the bacteria, you’d never want to pop it in your mouth) and I was shocked with how much the formula frothed up, meaning that a little goes a very long way. It’s nice and minty, as opposed to the cement-like taste other whitening toothpastes provide, so this was a happy plus when scrubbing away.

The minty taste contributes to the fresh-feeling left in your mouth which is also a lot stronger than most other toothpastes. I managed to get the whole way to work (roughly 40 minutes) and was still satisfied with the taste in my mouth, along with the smooth run-your-tongue-over-your-teeth feeling.

As for whiteness? I’ve been using the formula every day and night for just over a week now (with the occasional brush in-between after I’ve gorged on a pongy snack) and I’ve been really pleased with the results. I’ve been blessed with a strong set of teeth anyways as I’ve never had a filling since having my adult set and I’ve also been blessed with teeth that don’t really show my guilty pleasure of cigarettes teamed with cups upon cups of delicious coffee. But, I would say my teeth are even whiter than before and I’ve been flashing my pearly whites with more confidence since I started brushing with White Glo.

The Toothbrush

This sturdy brush is comfortable to hold so that you can give your teeth a good old scrub. The bristles are spaced tightly together and feel pretty hard, but not in a bad way as you can feel them working alongside the whitening formula to really brush away any plaque and lessen the appearance of stains.

Oh, and check out this nifty element…

suckerbrush

This little sucker sticks to your bathroom mirror, the wall, your best friends hair – all sorts of surfaces to ensure extra hygiene. However, make sure that you wet the nib first so that the suction works efficiently and don’t risk sticking it above anywhere grotty, like the bin, just in-case it does drop down during the night – yes folks, I learnt the hard way with this one. It’s not the most predictable of suctions,  and I would still prefer to pop it in a glass jar to keep it safe and as germ free as possible.

(Top Tip: If you do drop it in the bin, pop it in a cup of boiling water -head down – for a couple of hours to kill those pesky germs)

The Dental Flosser Toothpicks

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One of the most unattractive things about smoker’s who’ve been obviously puffing away for years is that browny yellow tar that builds up around their gum line. Fortunately, I don’t have this issue, although I do keep reminding myself that I’m not immune to the bad effects of smoking and it could happen if I carry on my filthy habit – STOP FOX STOP! These plastic sticks which are pretty hard, would be perfect to scratch away at the tar to at least lessen the appearance of it.

The pack comes with eight toothpicks which you could rinse and use again due to the material of them – this element beats other picks straight away. The heads look like mini toothbrushes and work to remove plaque from in-between your teeth and other hard to reach areas. I’ve pretty much knackered out the enamel on my teeth, after years of scrubbing them on a towel after brushing to obviously try and whiten them further (not a good idea folks) and one of the issues related to this is how food can easily get stuck to my teeth. Not hot.

Therefore, I’ve been carrying around one of these little beauties in my handbag when I go out for dinner with the girls and have been removing any leftover food which I WILL NOT be wanting for later.

So there we have it, a Smokers Paradise in hygiene. Not only do you have whiter teeth and fresher breath, but you have a nice new toothbrush which sticks to things (so cool) and some toothpicks to keep your smile foodless and in tip-top condition too. Thank you White Glo for helping me to deceive others with a smile that screams ‘Smoking? Me? Never!’

Love & Smiles,

Fox

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(P.s – I want to make my views clear on smoking. I’m not encouraging others that it’s okay to smoke as long as you have a whitening toothpaste – no, no. Just helping out those of you – like me – that are weak when it comes to willpower! Life’s hard, eh?)

An Assortment of Nivea Niceness!

What comes to mind when I think of the brand, NIVEA? Straight away I think of caring, kind-to-skin products. I think of NIVEA as a brand that has a reputation for providing you with a high-quality experience at an inexpensive price. So, when they sent some of their latest products my way (along with a tasty lip butter I’ve been eager to try), I knew my skin was going to get some loving…

Crème Care Shower Cream

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What Nivea says:  “The NIVEA Shower Cream will envelop your skin with its foam and the unique NIVEA scent leaving it feeling moisturised and smooth.”

Some loving I sure did get.

Anyone who’s ever tried NIVEA products knows that their signature scent is one of freshness, leaving you with an ultra clean feeling from the moment it passes from bath lily to your skin. Their latest crème is one which lathers up deliciously, allowing the fresh smell to cover every inch of you with very little product. Even after a heavy night when you think the smell of liquor will never leave your skin, NIVEA washes it away.

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The fact that only a slight amount is needed makes the product one of great value, as it lasts and lasts. I was also pleased to find that the foaming agent makes it nice for bath-time too, as the tub is soon filled with tonnes of tiny bubbles when poured under the running tap.

I’m someone who believes that shaving gels are pointless, as most shower gels work just as effectively as a pre-shaving product. NIVEA’s Crème Care worked very well indeed, as it moisturised my legs before shaving leaving me with pins that didn’t disappoint when heading out. It’s softening formula, containing PRO-vitamins and essential oils, meant that I only had to apply a touch of moisturiser afterwards because my skin was already as soft as silk.

(www.nivea.co.uk; £2.09)

Powder Touch Deodorant Range

I was sent all the products within NIVEA’s latest deodorant range, giving me the opportunity to choose the best of the lot, so that you beauty lovers out there don’t have to…

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Powder Touch Anti-Perspirant Roll-on

What NIVEA says: “Anti-Residues on skin and clothes, quick dry and soft skin feeling – contains Kaolin powder, 48hr effective anti-perspirant protection and gentle NIVEA care, skin tolerance dermatologically approved without alcohol and colourants.”

 With roll-ons, I like that moist feeling at the beginning because it feels as though you are effectively tackling the issue of sweating. But with most, that feeling can be a little too wet and it’s annoying having to stand in an elbows-raised position until they dry when all you want to do is throw on that silk dress and go. However, NIVEA’s Powder Touch roll-on dried super super quickly – so I felt protected without the waiting process. Perfection.

Protection: 7/10

(www.nivea.co.uk; £2.55)

Powder Touch Anti-Perspirant Stick

What NIVEA says: “Quick dry and soft skin feeling – contains Kaolin powder, 48hr effective anti-perspirant protection and gentle NIVEA care, skin tolerance dermatologically approved without alcohol and colourants.”

This deodorant stick is filled with a super-soft cream which smells fresh and doesn’t pull on the skin as it’s not sticky or hard alike other formulas. The bulbous shape makes it very easy to apply and the wind-up tool at the bottom allows you to push up the right amount, so that the stick doesn’t dry out.

Protection: 8/10

(www.nivea.co.uk; £2.55)

Powder Touch Anti-Perspirant Spray

What NIVEA says: “Anti-Residues on skin and clothes, quick dry and soft skin feeling – contains Kaolin powder, 48hr effective anti-perspirant protection and gentle NIVEA care, skin tolerance dermatologically approved without alcohol and colourants.”

Here is my absolute favourite of the three and the one that I’ve been wearing everyday for the past week! Initially, I found the cap difficult to break but that’s simply because I’m hopeless with fiddly bits – but as soon as I cracked it open, I was very happy with the results. The first time I sprayed it, I didn’t shake it well enough so it went powdery on my armpits – BUT it still managed to be clothes-friendly with my black top staying black (thank god). What I’m trying to say is to make sure that you shake it thoroughly and don’t judge it too harshly if it coats your pits the first time round, as this hasn’t happened since. Plus, the pros are PRO.

For starters, it isn’t uncomfortably cold when sprayed and NIVEA’s classic fresh smell overwhelms the room (beating any room spray I’ve ever used).  This smell lasts with you as the day goes on and I’d give the protection a whopping 10/10, because I was surprisingly still smelling as fresh as a daisy the day after a sleepover!! Did it provide me with 48 hours protection, you ask? Most definitely.

(www.nivea.co.uk; £2.50)

Lip Butters

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The Original

Completely un-fragranced, this moisturising formula helps to soothe cracked lips without being too heavy or sweet-smelling. It’s perfect for those of you that don’t like strong smells and it’s also suitable for you fellahs that think lip butters are ‘too girly’.

(www.nivea.co.uk; £2.50)

Caramel Cream

This lip butter is much more to my liking. Being a gal that eats chocolate all day every day, preferably smothered in caramel with a cup of tea, I unsurprisingly fell in love with the smell of this formula the second I unleashed it (although it did make me painfully hungry too). It reminds me of Werther’s Originals, or perhaps a creamy Crème Brulee dessert? One things for sure, unless on a strict summer-time diet, which girl doesn’t wants that taste upon her lips?

 I’ve been applying the butter every night before bed to soften and sweeten my pout so that I wake up in the morning with lips as tasty as the smell! Question is, which lucky begger gets to taste?

(www.nivea.co.uk; £2.50)

Love & Kisses,

Fox

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The Extraordinary Scent of Alien Eau Extraordinaire!

Being a whopping fan of Thierry Mugler and having worn his classic Angel perfume for roughly six years now, I was eager to find out what the general public thought about his latest eau de toilette; Alien Eau Extraordinaire. For me, it was love at first sniff and I’m now stuck in this sweet-smelling confusion of which I prefer, with my biggest issue being “which one do I ask my mum for when my birthday comes creeping?” For I don’t have a ruddy clue!

Therefore, I decided to get creative to figure it out…

photo

alien

My friend and I made this cardboard sign which I embarrassingly wore all around my local village of Headingley, before detouring further into the sunny town of Leeds like a true journalist on a mission. I asked all sorts of people, with many ignoring my request to be smelt – can’t say I’m surprised. I also gained some odd – but funny – attention from men presuming I was advertising myself to them (LOL) and women thinking that I was the sole creator of the perfume.  I obviously responded with “I bloody wish” as Mugler, to me, is God of the fragrance world. I was pleased to see that most had heard of him, many were fans and have tried/do still wear his fragrances and that those who looked petrified by my forwardness had something to say once they’d ‘Took a Whiff’ – phew!

Here’s the round-up:

Thank you Leeds!

My Verdict

 So it’s clear to see that the public -both guys and girls- could recognise the sweetness of the scent, which had undertones of fruity zest. This is because the top notes of Orange Blossom and Neroli flower delicately fill the air when first spritzed. Some passer-by’s didn’t like this element, whilst others thought it not sweet enough – but I absolutely love it as it’s such a fitting scent for spring!

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The sweet, floral notes that are released when first spritz settle down into a warm fragrance due to the Bergamot Tea, Tiere flower and Cashmerian Wood which lie at the heart of the scent. Then, sensual amber coupled with creamy accents of Heliotrope flower leave a long-lasting sensuality which lasts until dawn.

Together, these ingredients create an irrisitable scent which is captured within a bottle that looks as precious as a gemstone – which I personally prefer to Alien’s original purple design, simply because it looks more radiant and sophisticated.

The two elements that differ from the original* are that the latest fragrance is noticeably sweeter and fresher. The scent is still strong (you only need a little each time you apply it so that it lasts longer) but it warms down into a much subtler scent in comparison with the classic. I know that it’s definitely calmer than Angel in strength, which makes it more appropriate to wear as a daytime fragrance… however, the sensual undertones carry you into the night as well. In other words, it’s a worthy all rounder.

I’m surprised to say it, but I think that Alien Eau Extraordinaire has taken the gold! However, I know that I’ll never fully part from my classic as one spritz douses me in happy memories – so I’ll probably be begging my mother for both come July. Any chance, Mum?

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One more thing I’d like to note is how the outer packaging is absolutely stunning. The eye-catching gold is almost metallic in real life and the charming woman seems to represent elements of beauty, power and sex-appeal. She’s known as ‘The Solar Goddess’ and her aura is like ‘positive energy’ , helping to enhance the sensuality of women everywhere. Fittingly, I experienced an uplifting moment when I first wore the perfume out this weekend as I went for a few drinks with some friends. Before I knew it, my night quickly developed into a romantic escapade of dancing until dawn with a gorgeous stranger…I’ll have to thank the Solar Goddess for that one.

(www.muglerstore.co.uk; £50 for 60ml)

Sorry ladies, the fairy-tale experience is not included in the cost.

Love Always,

Fox

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 (*opinions taken from members of the public who wear the original Alien perfume)

Student365 | Make up geek

Are you a glasses wearer? Are you unsure of what make-up to wear to stand out beneath the frames?

Don’t fear – I’ve come up with the best looks to work alongside your favourite pair so that you have the sex appeal of Zooey Deschanel in her quirky specs!

Student365 | Make up geek.

Love,

Fox

x

(P.s:- Being a busy little so-and-so at the moment, I will only be sending monthly features to Student365 now; with the hope of increasing this again soon when I have some free time spare up. Subscribe by email to see my latest features as and when they pop up)

Aloe Forever!

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This morning, I drank the last of my litre pint of Aloe Vera juice! It’s taken me roughly three weeks to complete the course, consuming 2 shot glasses per day of the liquid over this period of time. The recommended amount per day is 2-4 fl oz – which pretty much equates to a shot glass or two for easy measure…well it’s the closest I had to measure with, typically.

What Forever Living says: The aloe leaf contains over 200 different compounds. Our gel is preferred by those looking to maintain a healthy digestive system and a healthy energy level. Use as a daily nutritional drink for good health, well being and to balance the immune system.”

I’m not going to lie to you all, the taste is bitter and made me shudder every single time. It’s clean tasting though, with an almost tropical undertone which made it just about bearable to drink. It’s got a jelly like consistency which looks kind of bitty (I won’t say what this reminded me of) BUT, don’t let this put you off because the benefits are pretty damn impressive.

I’m one of the unlucky blighters in this world which is cursed with the very unattractive illness, Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Other sufferers reading this will understand the heartache of not being able to eat all of the best foods; such as a hefty baguette or a calorific pizza on a hangover! But, I was told about how Aloe Vera gel aids the digestion process, and was more than happy to hop on board when my friend suggested sending some over.

What did I find? I found that my stomach was less bloated after consuming foods that I sometimes just can’t help myself to – cookies, cake etc. Please turn away now if you don’t like the nitty-gritty, but I also found that the winds had settled too – need I say more? I feel better in myself in general and my tum is a bit flatter so I’m sure that,  along with a healthy diet (something I really need to start working on for Summer) you could actually lose some pounds by introducing this drink into your life. The team at Forever Living have also come up with a ‘Clean 9 Weight Management Course‘ which includes this Aloe Gel – as well as other nutritional goodies – to help you to lose weight and achieve a healthy lifestyle.

My best friend whom I live with has also been struck with the flu recently – bless her! And has been sleeping in my bed, coughing on my sheets and generally been in my company 24/7! I’ve been expecting to be struck down too, waking up each morning to check how I feel, but I’m miraculously okay. I haven’t caught it, I’m ALIVE AND WELL! It’s seriously a miracle. She’s getting over it now, coming to the end of the illness and I’m STILL okay, what the hell? I suspect I won’t be getting it now – well here’s to hoping – and I’m sure that I have Forever Living to thank for that!

Lastly, it’s the perfect hangover cure. As mentioned before, I can’t indulge in a feast of carbs when I’m feeling worse for wear so I ‘ve been taking a post-night out shot of Aloe instead. I’ve found that it refreshes me, meaning that I don’t slump in bed all day feeling sorry for myself and that it also clears me out in a way that I’m not going to go into too much detail about. From this, I’d recommend the gel to anyone who has IBS as there’s no worse feeling than bloating in a pretty little number or feeling like you can’t shake off that soul-destroying hangover. I’m definitely considering stocking up, as I don’t want to go back to feeling how I did before discovering the benefits…

Check me out, eh? I’m healthy, I’m bloat-free and I’ve come up with a hangover cure (which I’ve struggled to find for YEARS!)

So, cheers to you Aloe…

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You can find my reviews on the other products in the range here.

For more information about any of the products from Forever Aloe or if you need help with the purchasing process, do get in touch with my good friend Amy who will help you on your way: https://www.facebook.com/amyataloeforever

Wishing you all Love & Health,

Fox

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L’oreal, Is there Argan Oil in That?

Anyone that knows me even remotely knows that I simply will not buy hair-care unless there’s Argan Oil within. Ever since I discovered the miracle effects of the fatty acid through using DGJ Organics, I’m happy to raid the shelves of every store and search the beauty isles from head to toe in search of the latest products that have jumped on-board the hype!

L’Oreal Elvive is the latest I’ve found, with me coming across their bottles of goodness in the queue at Wilkos; which is thankfully a store which stocks cheap and cheerful products. My bank balance salutes you!

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What the Shampoo says: “Intense Nourishment: Enriched with Argan Oil, an ingredient naturally rich in essential fatty acids, the formula nourishes hair and calms frizz for even smoothing right to the tips. 48Hr Protection: Enriched with a Thermo-Protect agent, the formula has a shielding effect to protect hair from dampness, humidity, static and flyaways.”

Argan Oil is known for its nourishing, taming and smoothing effects on hair. Targeted at coarse, thick, crazy hair – like mine- its no wonder I can’t live without it when washing my lion-mane. A plus with products containing Argan Oil in them (which is really understated), is how they seem to wash out of your hair quickly. Therefore, it’s great for those of you on the go or for when you’re feeling lazy and can’t really be arsed to wash your hair (most of the time in my case).

I’ve written about the delicious smell of Elvive products before and although their Smooth-Intense range wasn’t quite as strong-smelling as their Colour Protect range, it still has a subtlety sweet fragrance to it which lasts past the styling process. Talking about the styling process, this range went up in my estimations when it helped to make this stage stress-free. Those of you with thick hair will understand that it takes ages for us to style our mass of hair, simply to walk outside and watch it transform into frizz again. Well, not with Elvive; they’ve really done their research and you don’t only get soft, manageable tresses, but also frizz-free, long-lasting style too.

One thing that they haven’t really thought about though is placing the formula within a clear bottle, as I now know that it probably won’t last through three washes (the above image shows how much it’s gone down after one wash). However, I do have very long, thick hair which requires a lot of product and I suppose it’s nice to know when I’m close to finishing so that I can stock up again. Also, for the price – why the f*** am I complaining?

(In-store offer of 2 for £4.00 at the moment!)

What the Conditioner says: “Hair 4x smoother. 48 hour anti-frizz. Your hair is silky soft and manageable.”

Smelling twice as nice as the shampoo, I left the conditioner in my hair whilst I connected with my literary soul-mate in the bath; Monique Roffey’s Memoir: ‘With the Kisses of His Mouth’  (a charity shop buy and the best 60p I’ve ever spent. I would recommend giving it a read if you like reading about the different notions of sex in the 21st century.)

Being someone that becomes fully absorbed in a good read, I left the conditioner on for roughly 20/30 minutes – probably not the best idea for those of you with oily hair, but as mine is normal to dry, it worked heavily to my advantage. As soon as I applied it to my damp hair, it softened my barnet and I became aware that I would only need to leave it on for a minute or two if in a rush. Alike the shampoo, it washed out of my hair effortlessly and although I got into the bath with a knotty beehive, I came out with hair that I could run my fingers through – WITHOUT USING A TANGLE TEEZER, GASP!

The styling process was effortless and I found that my Toni&Guy Precision Straighteners curled my hair more effortlessly than ever, and I’ve woken this morning to volumous, loose curls which look as though they’ve just been done. My hair is frizz-free, super soft and the smell has lasted too!

IMG_1706 Here’s a closer look:

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I’ve tried a few products with Argan Oil within, including Charles Worthington’s Salon at Home range, but for the price, benefits and ease of purchasing (DGJ has a £10.00 shipping fee), I feel like I may have found ‘the one’ when it comes to haircare. Thanks Elvive!

Love & Hairflicks,

Fox

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Get the Look: Sports Luxe #2

2014 seems to be whizzing by and it sure has been a crazy and eventful year so far. I must say that I’m a little disappointed it’s taken until March to get back into the swing of things make-up wise, but now that I’m off the ground, I’m going to try and get as high as I can. In other words, watch this space because FoxMUA is back in business! It was finally time to get
creative and decide which S/S’14 beauty trends would work best alongside the Sports Luxe theme. Therefore, I researched tonnes of beauty trends beforehand so that I was fully prepared and ready to go.

 I cleaned my tools, placed my make-up items within my MUA box and lastly, put on my artistic head. I feel that the shoot went successfully (although you can be the judge of that… please post your thoughts) and I’m looking forward to collaborating with the lovely photographer, Talia Welka again over the next couple of weeks! I’ve chosen my favourite snaps from her stunning collection (I’ll be posting the rest to my gallery later) and I’m eager to share them with you all, along with some insider tips and techniques on how you too can achieve some of the hottest trends for S/S’14!

So, listen up beauty lovers…

Get the Look: Fresh-Faced Minimalism

 To tie in with the Sports Luxe theme, I wanted to provide a range of effortless and achievable looks for those of you in a rush to meet with the cross trainer…with a luxurious element, of course. Therefore I thought a minimal face base with either a dash of lippy or a sweeping of eye-shadow would help to create the desired effect!

(LFW: Giles S/S'14 w/ credit to Toni&Guy for hair-style)

(LFW: Giles S/S’14 w/ credit to Toni&Guy for hair-style)

Taking inspiration from Giles’ fresh-faced beauties, I chose not to use a blusher or a bronzer on either of the girls, but simply a photo-ready foundation followed by Dr Lewinn’s Skin Perfect Anti-ageing Illuminiser (www.drlewinns.co.uk; £22.00). The pearlescent cream works to lift and define facial contours (perfect for girls on camera).
I applied the luminous liquid along the models’ cheekbones, working it in small dots from the apple of the cheekbone right up to the temple and then blended it in with my fingertips. I also applied a tiny drop down the nose and along the brow bone to add symmetrically and pull the look together. No brush needed with this one ladies, just clean hands – I always carry around The Body Shop’s Mango Hand Sanitizer (www.thebodyshop.co.uk; £2.50) to stop germs in their tracks and to keep my busy mits smelling lush!
(Model: Jade Daniel; Photographer: Talia Welka)

(Model: Jade Daniel; Photographer: Talia Welka)

I wanted to place all of the emphasis on Jade’s full and luscious pout, so decided to leave her eyes bare and natural-looking. Jade was fearful as she usually wears mascara daily – however, I assured her that the end result would be striking and effortlessly beautiful. It’s safe to say that this was achieved as I couldn’t describe this photo in any other words, could you?

To achieve the look, I used The Body Shop’s All in One Concealer #00 (www.thebodyshop.co.uk; £8.50) to eradicate the appearance of blemishes, dark circles and scarring for a flawless base. I then applied Clarins Everlasting Foundation #105 (www.clarins.co.uk; £27.00) to the rest of her face, focusing on the lids and the eyelashes to almost merge Jade’s eyes into the rest of her face. This look is very daring, but as long as you have a stand out lip colour to hand, you won’t regret the decision.

(Model: Hannah Breen; Photographer: Talia Welka)

(Model: Hannah Breen; Photographer: Talia Welka)

I wanted a more dewy finish for Hannah as she has dry skin naturally, so I wanted to show to her as well as the camera that such a look could be achieved if you suffer from this problem. Therefore I added a hefty dollop of Nivea Visage Pure & Natural Day Cream (www.nivea.co.uk; £5.39) to MAC’s Moisture Foundation #nc42 (www.maccosmetics.co.uk; £25.00) before applying it all over her skin. Although the result wasn’t as dewy as I’d hoped for, it still looked sporty as it wasn’t entirely matte either and Hannah looked radiant as a result.

 I thickened and darkened both models’ eyebrows with Beauty UK’s Eyebrow Kit (www.beautyukcosmetics.com; £3.99) for a striking finish as the slightest change to your brows can change your entire face shape!

Get the Look: Tangerine Dream

Cocktails of orange juice flooded the S/S’14 runways and the colour is quickly making itself known across the beauty market.

(NYFW: DKNY S/S'14)

(NYFW: DKNY S/S’14)

I often look at such tones and ask myself whether I think many girls will wear it and although I ruddy love it, I don’t blame you if you look at it twice and then go for a safer coral-like tone or a classic red. If this sounds like you, then try my little technique below to warm it down into a burnt orange shade.

(Model: Jade Daniel; Photographer: Talia Welka)

(Model: Jade Daniel; Photographer: Talia Welka)

Line the lips symmetrically with The Body Shop’s Lip Liner #13 (www.thebodyshop.co.uk; £8.00) and then apply The Body Shop’s ColourCrush Lipstick #105  (www.thebodyshop.co.uk; £10.00) to the middle of the pout, ensuring that a fairly thick line of red is still prominent around the outside. This creates an orange tone, but one which isn’t too bright so that everyone can feel confident wearing it. After all, it’s worth the risk if you too can have juicy-looking lush lips, like Jade.

Top Tip: Keep the rest of your make-up subtle, as eyeshadowed eyes or even dark cheek colours are sure to make you look overdone if your rocking orange lips as-well. Both together will look a little on the Essex side of beauty – eek  (take it from this transformed Essex bird!)

Get the Look: Pastel Peepers

Pastel colours aren’t just taking over the fashion world this spring because the beauty world is undergoing a girly overhaul too. The pale eye-shadow trend was something I was apprehensive about at first, however I was keen to give it a whirl all the same. I like pretty pastels but wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the colour on myself – BUT it sure did look amazing at the Armani S/S’14 Couture show.

(MFW: Armani S/S'14)

(MFW: Armani S/S’14)

Therefore, I treated the shoot as the perfect opportunity to play with colours (as all pastels are in – from peach to baby blue) and to try some different effects to see which would work best alongside the clothing choices.

hannah 7]

(Model: Hannah Breen; Photographer: Talia Welka)

It was a lot more achievable than I thought it would be and Hannah’s olive complexion suited the green/blue/purple colours fabulously. I was also pleased with how the style – a kind of modern twist on the classic smoky eye – complimented her eye shape too.

How did I do it, you ask? It’s really not as difficult as it looks.

I started by using The Body Shop’s Colour Crush Eyeshadow #Head in the Sky (www.thebodyshop.co.uk; £7.00), creating a flick that daringly goes just below her eyebrow. I then applied the colour to the inner corner of her eye too, blending it into the bridge of her nose. As you can imagine, there was a gap in-between the two blocks of blue, which I decided to fill in using The Body Shop’s Colour Crush Eyeshadow #Sweet Pea (www.thebodyshop.co.uk; £7.00) and grabbed my blender brush to merge the colours together for a two-tonal innovative look!

Top Tip: Don’t try this look believing you’ll see results from only using your standard eye-shadow brush! You need a brush with a bigger head (an actual blender brush preferably) to smudge the lines together for a neat sleek finish.

Hannah’s also wearing a nude-ish lipstick to ensure attention isn’t drawn away from the eye-shadow. This particular shade is from MAC’s Satin Range and is called #Exclusive Event (www.maccosmetics.co.uk; £15.00).

Here’s just a few S/S’14 trends for you to experiment with…which one is your favourite? Or is there a different one from the runway that stole your gaze?

Do drop me a comment and let me know as I have a sexy little shoot coming up and would love to hear your suggestions!

Love always,

FoxMUA 

x

Smile at a Stranger!

Guys, I’m taking the night off tonight and although I’ll always love beauty products (and will always be here to offer you my honest opinion), its nice to remember sometimes that there’s a hell of a lot more to life than your appearance. It’s crazy but I was feeling a little down today and was instantly brought back up when a beautiful woman came into work and asked me to choose from a wad of little pink papers.

Here I present to you the little message written upon it…

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Lovely, right?

Unfortunately I was at work until darkness fell, but I’m praying that the sun will be shining down on me tomorrow as I have the day off and plan to go to some beautiful fields with a very cherished friend and do just that…

I feel that this stranger walked into my life for a reason today. She’s made me realise that I need to make some time for myself and appreciate the stunning and natural wonders the world presents to me each and every day! So, I’m passing on the message to you – my faithful followers and friends – to urge you all to make some time for yourself. HAVE A BUBBLE BATH, GODDAMMIT and try and brush off any troubles that are playing on your mind.

 At the end of the day, we’re all just a little part of this world – insignificant almost –  and that same world keeps on turning regardless of what happens in our little lives. I’m not saying that you’re not important, as we all are, but life does go on and the fluffy clouds are there to remind us of this each and every day. So, slap on a smile and why not pass on a kind message to a stranger? A little act of kindness can go a ruddy long way!

Love always,

Fox

x

I’d like to dedicate this post to the lovely lady that brightened up my day. She had tonnes of little pieces of pink paper and I hope that some good karma comes her way for her little acts of kindness xoxo

Pretty Boxes with Pretty Pink!

I had my first photo shoot of the year on Friday and although I was excited to make over the girls with products that would transform them from ‘your ordinary gal’ to the most striking of models, I was just as excited to test out my quilted black make-up box which I received as a Christmas present last year. It’s been placed on the shelf for three months now and was itching to get down, be filled up and taken out for the day.

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As you can see, the box really is very pretty. Its sleek black coating printed with a diamond design is eye-catching and professional-looking but still girly – which is simply perfect! It’s created by Pretty Pink and can be purchased from Argos, where they state that it’s ‘large’ in size… BUT don’t be fooled ladies as I had to take another bag full of products with me because it was a bit of a squeeze to fit in just my necessities. I know what you’re all thinking – ‘but you’re going to have tonnes and tonnes you want to take with you!’ – yes you are correct, but trust in me when I say that it can still only fit in a minimal amount considering it’s supposed to be large.

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The lock does close (as long as there’s not too many products inside – sigh) but it is a little on the temperamental side and I was concerned that it would snap at any moment leaving me with high-end products scattered and smashed across the road….probably resulting in hysterical tears, which isn’t the most professional look. But luckily, the box did last through the day and I learnt that there was a knack to closing it which made me a little more confident about it’s stamina.

The box has an easy grip handle and even when packed to its brim, it’s a lot lighter compared with other MUA boxes, making it a pleasure to carry around with me. It’s small-ish size meant that I didn’t happen to knock it into any walls (or people for that matter) when I was travelling around, meaning that it’s still in mint condition even after a hectic day on shoot. A rarity, let me tell you…

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The box has an inner core which is fairly deep and split into three compartments; this is where I put my pre-make-up products (such as toner, moisturiser, primer etc) as they’re in bigger bottles. I also had to put eye-shadow palettes into these sections as they wouldn’t fit elsewhere and any other fairly large products got stored away here too.

The box folds out with two shelves on each side with the top one being broken into smaller compartments – I kind of wish the box didn’t have this element though, as it made it difficult to separate my make-up into sections (face, cheeks, lips etc) because some products were larger than others meaning that they wouldn’t fit. This bothers me as I’m an organised blighter that likes to keep things of a similar nature next to each-other, however ‘normal girls’ probably wouldn’t mind so much.

My verdict? It’s lightweight, comfortable to carry and very pretty – so from the outside, it gets a whopping 10/10.

For practicality, it would be better suited as a cosmetics box for the bedroom, perfect for the average girl with the average amount of make-up. For me as an MUA, it was a slight struggle. I’ve used my colleagues silver toolbox in the past, which is HUGE in comparison and is much better suited for the hefty amount of products you need to take with you on the job. We all know that size matters though, don’t we ladies?

For now, I will carry on using it as I don’t want to part with it just yet as it was such a lovely and thoughtful present, but soon it will have to be downgraded to my ‘at home’ cosmetics holder, as I need to invest in something a little larger to do my job to the highest professional level that I can.

So overall, I’m afraid it’s just a 5/10 – and that’s pretty damn generous.

(www.argos.co.uk; £34.99)

Love,

Fox

x

P.s:- Keep eyes peeled for my Get the Look pieces with the beautiful Hannah Breen and Jade Daniel modelling the hottest Sports Luxe clothes-wear and of course, the most-wearable S/S’14 make-up trends (done by moi). The talented photographer, Talia Welka, is sorting out the snaps as we speak…

Eep, exciting!

Aloe Aloe Aloe…

Aloe Vera is well-known for its healing properties and its calming benefits for both your skin and wellbeing. It’s a soothing, cooling ingredient which, when found in a product, is suitable for everyone including those with very sensitive skin.

I saw some posts on Facebook from a friend of mine from school saying how much she’s loving the products by Forever Aloe and just  had to get on-board with the hype to see how they would benefit me

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….it’s nice to say that I haven’t been disappointed.

Forever Aloe Scrub

What Forever says: Our exclusive formula containing 100% stabilized Aloe Vera gel and gentle microspheres of jojoba is designed to lubricate and condition your skin during the cleansing process to protect it from the drying and damaging effects that can occur with other skin cleansers containing synthetic cleansing agents. Forever Aloe Scrub is gentle enough to use every day.”

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If you’re looking for a scrub that’s gentle and effective enough to use every day then look no further than Aloe. The mild formula is baby blue in colour and feels grainy on the skin but not overly abrasive, making it ideal to take in the shower with you to scrub away skincare woes whenever you wish.

I also love the creamy smell. To me, it smells just like sunscreen, which takes me back to holidaying in Spain with my family as a little girl. I love it when a smell takes you back to a grand memory and I just want to be absorbed in that moment and transported back in time – to be honest, this little factor has probably added to my new found love for the product.

I’ve been using it daily for a week now and find that it effortlessly removes dry skin and if I use it alongside my Quinoderm Face Wash; I also find that it helps to keep blemishes at bay. Therefore, I’m left with skin as smooth as silk with fewer blemishes than before. No complaints whatsoever!

(£12.92)

Aloe Moisturizing Lotion

What Forever says: “This unique Moisturizing Lotion is designed to moisturize while maintaining natural skin PH balance and combating the drying effects of wind and sun. Ideal as a face, hand and body lotion, it is also an excellent foundation base for use with make-up.”

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As said before, Aloe is great for sensitive skin and that means super dry skin conditions, such as eczema. Unfortunately, I found this moisturiser far too heavy to use on my face and had to blot it with a towel soon after I applied it…but, if you do suffer from dry skin conditions then I’m sure it’s thick consistency and the many benefits of Aloe will work wonders to improve your skins natural defence barrier and appearance in general.

As it can be used on your hands, I’ve popped it in my handbag to care for them as the formula contains Collagen and Elastin which helps to repair the signs of ageing. When tackling the signs of ageing, many people forget to consider their grubby mits, but unfortunately they can be a real giver of your age. I’m finding the lotion really moisturising and repairing for my pointers – as the skin around my nails gets quite tough and I love the subtle clean fragrance. Do they look more youthful, you ask? Only time will tell.

(£12.24)

Aloe Ever-Shield Deodorant Stick

What Forever says: “Aloe Ever-Shield Deodorant Stick contains no harsh aluminium salts and provides effective protection against underarm odour. Aloe Ever-Shield glides on smoothly and will not stain clothes.”

I hate deodorant sprays as I feel that they’re not effective enough, I hate roll-ons because they’re too wet and go on your clothes if you’re in a rush, but I’ve always been a fan of sticks with this one from Aloe being the best deodorant I’ve had in years! It’s easy to use because of its shape and doesn’t need to dry so you can simply pop the lid, apply and go.

Luckily I don’t, but some people suffer from shaving burns and sensitive armpits, so I’m sure this gentle formula will soothe the pain and keep you odour-free for at least 8 hours! It also smells as fresh as a daisy, so there’s no paranoia when you smell someone with BO that it could be you!

(£6.07)

Forever Aloe Lotion

What Forever says:A wonderful all-purpose skin lotion formulated with 100% stabilized Aloe Vera gel plus collagen and elastin. Aloe Lotion is effective as a moisturizer, toner, conditioner, emollient, skin PH balancer, and hand and body lotion. Our exclusive formula takes advantage of the latest breakthroughs in skin-care technology to make Aloe Lotion better than ever!”

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 This multifunctional cream is really good for those of you suffering from both dry and sensitive skin problems. This is because the formula is quite thick, and if used liberally like the tube recommends, you feel highly moisturised from head to toe! I find that it’s not the best cream for those of you, like me with normal to oily skin, as the white cream doesn’t absorb very quickly leaving a whitish exterior. Because of this, I felt a little sticky afterwards but after a couple of minutes this feeling sank down into supple softness and that’s something that I’m really happy about.

Also, the cream is un-perfumed, so you needn’t worry about the fragrance clashing with your fav perfume which is always a bonus!

(£12.24)

Forever Aloe Lips

What Forever says: “Moisturising conditioning balm for lips that soothes and provides protection in hot and cold temperatures. A handy pocket size stick easy to carry at all times. Suitable for use on other parts of the body to calm irritated skin.”

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 The lip-balm is definitely one of my favourites from the range, with it giving a surge of moisture the second you pucker up. It glides on effortlessly and has a sweeter scent compared with the other products due to the scent of the Jojoba oil within (which is also a very nourishing ingredient). The balm feels similar to Vaseline in consistency and helps to soften your lips…it’s as if winter never came creeping. I like to use it before bed, so that the product can work overnight to give me a healthy looking pout when it’s time to awaken.

(£2.87)

Forever Aloe Vera Gel

What Forever says: “The aloe leaf contains over 200 different compounds. Our gel is preferred by those looking to maintain a healthy digestive system and a healthy energy level. Use as a daily nutritional drink for good health, well being and to balance the immune system.”

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This 100% Aloe Vera juice is yet to be reviewed properly, as I’ve only been drinking it for a couple of days and it needs a little longer for you to see the benefits. Having IBS (gross, I know), I’ve heard great things about Aloe Vera helping to aid the digestion process and weight loss – both things which I need right now (especially with Spring not being so far off now). You’re supposed to drink between 2-4fl oz a day, so I’ve been taking 2 shot glasses (approx 4fl oz) to hopefully see some great results. I’m not going to lie – the taste is foul and bitter, but I’ve been getting through this by imagining it being Sambuca and necking them quickly!

(£20.80)

I’ll let you guys know how I get on over the next couple of weeks…

Please purchase all products from my friend Amy, who is extremely friendly and efficient in providing information about the products & sending them out to you! https://www.facebook.com/amyataloeforever

Love,

Fox

x

Youngblood’s S/S’14 Collection!

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It was approximately 10 minutes before I gave in to temptation and stuck my hand into the goody bag presented to me when leaving the Youngblood Spring Style Event. I’d heard all about the Lip Tints and Eye-Mazing Liquid Pens from Youngblood’s very own MUA; Philip Luque, so was excited to get my mits on the collection and see what Spring Styles I could re-create with my own MUA skills…

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What Youngblood says: “Eye-mazing Liquid Liner Pen allows for a precise and versatile application that allows you to create any look from sleek lines to dramatic strokes. The rich, highly pigmented colours glide on smoothly and effortlessly for intense payoff that dries down quickly and stays put without smudging for up to 24 hours.”

Considering the event was all about creating the hottest S/S’14 make-up trends, I thought that I’d try and re-create one of my favourites from Paris Fashion Week. Haidar Ackerman showcased this empty winged stroke, very much like the make-up for the film Black Swan, which was ultra dramatic and draws a great deal of attention to the eyes!

(PFW: Haidar Ackerman SS'14 Eyeliner Trend)

(PFW: Haidar Ackerman SS’14 Eyeliner Trend)

I feel that it’s a little un-wearable though as it’s so dramatic, so I attempted to create a similar but toned down look, so that you can be a little rocker-chick on your next night out.

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The pens are so easy to use as the nib is sturdy and draws on just like a marker would – so even if you have an unsteady hand, it takes minimal effort to achieve steady strokes and lines. I used a touch of Beauty UK’s Eyebrow Kit (black) to smudge the inner corners and when I made a slight error, I used a cotton bud to fix it. What amazed me was how the eyeliner didn’t budge when I wet the bud and scrubbed the powder, making touch-up’s unbelievably easy (unless it’s the eyeliner that goes wrong). This shows how long-lasting and smudge-free the pens are, so you’ll be confident that your look will last through the night if you decide to pop the lid and be daring.

We spoke at the event about how classic black is and although I would have loved to have received their green shade (Verde) and their brown (Marron), I know that I will wear the black at all times, so it will be a firm addition to my make-up bag from now on.

(Available this month: www.ybskin.co.uk; £20.00)

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What Youngblood says: “Hydrating Lip Tint SPF15 is an ultra-glamorous, multipurpose lip crème that combines long-lasting moisture with a blend of Jojoba, Argan, Avovado oils, SPF protection and sheer natural colour. Formulated with an indulgent scent of lemon verbena and natural flavour, lips are instantly revitalized on contact. Hydrating Lip Tint SPF15 shields lips from everyday aggressors with broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection.”

Here’s one of the four Hydrating Lip Cremes SPF 15 which will soon be available to purchase. #Peony (shade above) is the most subtle – apart from the clear stick – and is a peachy pink, which is looking to be the colour for Spring. The stick is alike a lip-salve as it has very moisturising ingredients within which make your lips feel soft and supple from the second it’s applied.

I must say that the colour was a little disappointing as it added a little tint, but wore off rather quickly. The representatives at the event told us how the colour is buildable and I did try to re-apply the stick to achieve such a result, but found that my lips remained understated. However, I do think it would be the perfect pool-side product on holiday, as it has an SPF within to keep your lips smooth and chap-free when the suns shining and a slight touch of colour to transform you from a beach babe into a beach goddess!

(Available this month: www.yskin.co.uk; £18.00)

Love & Kisses,

Fox

x

Catch Avon if you Can…

My friend & I were darting through the hustle and bustle of Leeds – typical on a payday Friday – when we came across this beauty bus parked right in the middle of the main street. With friendly faces appealing to the locals, I grabbed my opportunity and jumped on-board to see what was going on with David following begrudgingly behind me…

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Recently Avon has been touring the UK showcasing their delightful products to the public. They’ve already passed through Liverpool and will be travelling to Wakefield in March – so if you missed their Leeds visit on Friday, you haven’t got far to go to try some of the latest must-haves.

I loved the idea of a bus in general and its random placing,  as it catches most peoples attention being nearly as tall as the buildings. Plus, all beauty lovers – like myself – are gripped further when they know the tops off the lippy inside.

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The bus gives locals the opportunity to try the products, fall in love with the shades & test out the textures of some recent make-up and skincare launches.

There’s a new brochure coming out in March to help you get on-board with the hottest S/S’14 trends, with a key focus being their New Gel Finish varnishes. They come in 12 shades and have a Shellac-like finish and for a limited time only, they’re half price at £3.50, so get your pointers on them pronto.

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I also love the colour & sheer of their latest overnight bag; from hot red in last month’s catalogue to this calming blue which would be perfect on the arm of any gal visiting the spa! AND If you spend £7.00 on toiletries to pop inside, you can have it for just £15.00 (as opposed to the usual RRP of £60.00)

…Now that’s a deal!

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Oh, now let me present you to my favourite stand during my mini virtual tour. Avon’s romantic perfume; Avon Femme. With an explosion of floral notes being thrown at you ‘wedding-style’, you feel ultra-feminine once doused. A perfect day-time fragrance for this Spring, but the intense sensuality of the scent also means that it will carry you into the night deliciously.

(www.avon.uk.com;£16.00)

So, let this be a lesson to you all… If you see a giant bus parked in the middle of the city, don’t pass up on a ticket. Instead, jump on-board and see where the journey will take you. Mine involved a lot of ‘smelly’ compliments which I’m hardly going to complain about.

What’s your beauty liberator?

Love,

Fox

x

Strengthen with Shellac

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had short stumpy nails which I can’t help but bite the second something bothers me. It could be something as small as a deadline or it could a nerve-wracking event like a flight or an interview, but either way, it’s always too late before I even realise that my nails are throbbing with pain or even bleeding in some circumstances. Not hot.

I used to cover my tired talons with acrylics which proved expensive and probably wasn’t the best way t0 try and improve my knackered nails. Being a college student at the time, I unsurprisingly couldn’t afford them anymore and when I got them removed, they were even weaker then before and broke off at the slightest scuff. To make matters even worse, my nail-biting habit came back in full force as the nerves of going to university were just too much…this was four ruddy years ago and I’m bored of the battle now.

I’ve always wanted healthy-looking feminine hands which a ring would sit prettily upon and that I wouldn’t feel self-conscious about when holding hands with a nice guy. So, it’s time to fix the problem (or at least try to) with a solution that’s been proven to help! In the past I’ve tried the bad-tasting varnishes and actually liked the taste, I’ve tried filing & shaping regularly and ended up with shorter nails than before and I’ve tried fake nails that made my nails brittle and weak. So, I’m giving Shellac a shot!

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My good friend and old work colleague, Kayeligh came over to mine for lunch earlier and I felt bad that she had to work on my distressed nails – but she’s done a superb job if I may say so myself.

She used Crystal G Shellac #Lilac Longing which is a pretty pastel shade, perfect for spring – which we can finally look towards, as the flowers are starting to blossom, yay! The shade reminds me of Parma-Violets, although I’ll not be eating these ones (for once) and I like that the subtle tone will go well aside most outfit choices…exactly what you need when it lasts so long. Kayleigh said how it should last up to 2 weeks and that I shouldn’t be able to get my teeth through the thick formula so I’m hoping to see an improvement in good time.

I’m already running late for my coach back to Leeds today which is resulting in my anxiety levels soaring and therefore, my fingers going straight in my mouth, whoops! I better bounce to at least give my nails a fighting chance, but I’ll keep you nail-biters informed on whether it’s the way forward. If so, I’m sure I’ll renew my Shellac regularly so that I have natural nails that are feminine and tasteful – although, I suppose I won’t know without nibbling away.

I’m also lucky enough that it won’t break the bank, with Kayleigh doing mine for just £10…thanks babe!

Love,

Fox

x

(P.s:- Drop me a comment if you’re in Essex & would be interested in Kayleigh’s services!)

Product Launch: Youngblood’s Springtime Splendour!

Today was a good day…

I woke up excited with butterflies at the thought of my first ever product launch, got ready ensuring my make-up was as good as it could be and set off for Oxford Circus; my absolutely favourite place in London!

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After strutting down the streets of London with my 100% Organic coffee in hand, I arrived at the launch – ridiculously early of course (that’s me all over) and entered the chic little room with a few more butterflies than when I awoke this morning.

Centered in the middle stood the award-winning make-up selection from Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics. The make-up automatically gripped my attention, as laid bare was a range of products to emphasise your eyes, lips, cheeks, brows – well, every part of the face – and I couldn’t wait to see how they could transform us all!

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Oh, and here’s another thing I noticed straight away (of course). These little cakes below were emblazoned with ‘Youngblood ‘ and were such a cute addition to the refreshment stand – sorry, but the fat girl inside just had to show you all!

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Although I love cakes, they weren’t the main reason I detoured all the way from Leeds to London on this Sunny Wednesday; no no. I attended with excitement at the thought of meeting Youngblood’s celebrity make-up artist Philip Luque: to hear all about the brand and what products they’re introducing to fit in with the hottest trends this Spring and to see how he could refresh my face after I’d sweated off my make-up on the Tube…nice.

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The launch was an intimate affair, presenting the opportunity for us to ask Luque questions as a group and also have some one-on-one time when being made-over. 

 What I noticed foremost was that Luque really knew his stuff – especially when discussing the hottest S/S’14 trends with us all.  He spoke of drawing elongated feline flicks to add a sexy 60’s vibe to the plainest of outfits and of course, choosing bright lips to add a splash of colour to your look.  I was surprised to hear that the beautiful Jessica Alba, Jennifer Aniston & Gwyneth Paltrow are all massive fans of the make-up and that their orange lippy: ”Tangelo” is Beyonce’s favourite!

So, whether you’re a girl that bats her eyelashes, or one that pouts for the paps, you can make a statement this Spring with Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics.

Perky Pouts

For those of you lip-salve lovers, why not upgrade this Spring to one of the Hydrating Lip Creme’s?  With an SPF 15, it’s also the perfect addition to take with you on holiday if you’re lucky enough to be jetting away this year!

The lip creme’s contain lots of high-quality ingredients – including Beeswax, Argan oil & Sunflower oil – to keep your lips soft and subtle and the colour within is buildable for those of you seeking more tint. If the colour is still subtle in your eyes, then wear a darker lip liner underneath and watch the intensity grow!

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(#Poppy, #Peony, #Rose)

Keep eyes peeled for my review on #Peony!

(Available Mar 2014 – http://www.ybskin.co.uk; £18.00)

60’s Flicks

Created by popular demand, Youngblood is set to launch five Eye-mazing Liquid Liner Pens next month. The pens come in an array of colours to help create both subtle and dramatic looks.

All with Spanish names for an extra helping of sex-appeal, the colours are long-lasting and create peepers that pop. I asked Luque whether certain pens should be worn for different eye-colours, but Luque assured me that it’s all about being confident and trying new things…in other words, all colours suit all colours!

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(#Gris, #Azul, #Verde, #Noir. #Marron)

Review coming soon on #Noir!

(Available Mar 2014 – http://www.ybskin.co.uk; £20.00)

Luque was a big fan of this Spring being all about bright colours (as was we all), but I must say that I liked his recommendation for those of you who may be a little apprehensive about playing with colour. He said to use #Noir as a base and then use another colour on top to tone down the brightness. Although I’ll be using this technique for a day-time look, I do like making a statement as well.

Picking up on this, Luque decided to use #Azul on me when being made-over, mainly because it would compliment my blue eyes and also because it proved very popular at the IMATS 2014, which Philip Luque attended to represent Youngblood!

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Here you can see the final result and 6 hours later, it’s still going strong! Vibrant, long-lasting and ultra-daring, I’m extremely happy. I must also admit that it was nice to be the one in the chair for once, as opposed to being the MUA. I remember reading last night that Luque isn’t a fan of glitter, so it was nice to have a laugh with him regarding my glitter-bomb eye-shadow, as it was only when I plonked myself down that I remembered – whoops! Luckily, Luque proved himself to be a very nice man with a great sense of humour and I’m glad that I got to meet him in person, and furthermore to be fortunate enough to have a celebrity make-over done by him.

Other products used were:

Anti-Shine Mattifier: A clear cream that you could feel mattify from the second it was applied. It’s a product made for oily skin sufferers – like myself – and I’m sure that it secured my make-up for longer than usual. You can use the product under make-up, or on top when you see shine appear and although it didn’t fight fully against the build up of oils on the trains, my skin definitely looked better when I arrived home than usual!

(www.ybskin.co.uk; £32.00)

Rice Powder #Medium: This powder is more resilient in fighting shine compared with most ordinary powders on the market and it provided a flawless finish on my acne-prone skin which I haven’t seen before. Minerals usually aren’t best under the lens, but the camera-friendly formula makes this powder one I so badly want for my photo shoots, and I’m sure I’ll be splurging out on payday!

(www.ybskin.co.uk; £21.00)

Overall, I had a fabulous morning meeting some bubbly & friendly characters who I hope to meet again very soon. I’ve learnt more about Youngblood and how their reputation stands strong due to the quality of their ingredients and have also learnt a couple of tips & tricks so that I can be a beauty-trend setter this Spring! One things for sure, the event wasn’t as daunting as I thought it would be and I’m already buzzing for my next opportunity to meet new people and network again.

Thank you for having me Youngblood; it was a great experience!

Love & Kisses,

Fox

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Mix it Up with Greenland’s Grapefruit-Ginger Range!

Sealed within futuristic stand-out packaging is an uplifting scent which awakens your senses from the very first sniff. Welcome Greenland’s Fruit Emotions Grapefruit-Ginger range – specifically created to give your skin the stimulus it needs by using scents which help to improve your wellbeing! Grapefruit refreshes and revitalises, whilst spicy ginger works to get you back on your feet if you’re feeling sick… so if you are feeling a little bunged up at the moment then give yourself a well-deserved pamper day and bat away those sniffles!

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Using natural and organic solutions, Greenland aims to give you that moment of ‘me time’ whilst the world hurdles on by. I’ve been a little burnt-out myself recently working long hours and resting little, so was excited to see how Greenland would take me to that place of bliss it so confidently assures it will.

So, I ran a hot bubble bath, grabbed my latest book (The Cuckoo’s Calling) and drowned my skin in the gorgeous uplifting products…

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What it says: “This amazing scrub salt contains very fine 100% Atlantic sea salt. After usage you’ll smell delicious and your skin will feel soft and polished.”

This hefty tin contains lots of individual dry grains, which you’re supposed to wet slightly and then rub into the skin…however, I found this process a little messy as there’s no solid consistency to the formula. But suddenly I remembered being told to mix the scrub together with the massage oil to see what I thought. I did so and only have one word to sum up the experience…

…WOW! (*See Below)

(www.greenland.nl; £9.59)

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What it says: “This massage oil feels soft and sensual on your skin. It’s not greasy and it contains pure, sweet almond oil. Naturally nourishing!”

The massage oil is quite thick in consistency, and is also fairly difficult to use alone as the liquid pours out of the bottle at lightening speed. I’d definitely say that its an oil more suited to a girly night in as opposed to a romantic one, as the smell is more uplifting than sensual!

(www.greenland.nl; £6.95)

(*Cont) I mixed the massage oil together with the salt scrub to create a formula which I hope to never be without again! I simply poured the liquid into the lid and then poured the salt in afterwards watching it gradually thicken into a darker, stickier consistency. I then plopped it out of the lid onto my leg and thoroughly scrubbed it in using circular motions. The feeling was abrasive, yet relaxing and the double dosage of grapefruit and ginger was enough to give the thumbs up to Greenland for sticking to their promise of creating the ultimate ‘me time’ moment!

The result? My legs felt smooth and grease-free, however super softened due to the almond oil within the massage oil! My hairs on my legs felt finer after scrubbing and there was not a speck of dry skin in sight, making the shaving process one of pleasure rather than pain. And the result after shaving? I have enviably soft legs (and other parts hehe) as if waxed! I haven’t quite decided on an outfit for tonight yet, but I feel that I wouldn’t be giving Greenland justice if I cover up my pins. LBD it is then!

One things for sure, I’m going to have a cracking night with my lovely ladies and leave the rest to fate….

Love & Leg-kicks,

Fox

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(Other scents within the Fruit Emotions collection are Coconut-Tangerine, Mint-Lavender, Papaya-Lemon and Lime-Vanilla)

‘Play With Colour’ with Hair Chalk!

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I must admit that when I saw the ladies of Ashish strutting down the runway for London Fashion Week S/S’14, I thought that their hair bordered on crazy with the elaborate multi-coloured stripes being the first thing that caught my eye. I must admit that I hardly thought it would be a beauty trend that would take the world (and my own barnet) by storm. And I must further admit that I was sure I wouldn’t be wearing them when they were launched this week at work…no matter what.

Well, I most certainly proved myself wrong! Not only did I try them out the very day they came out (17th Feb) but I kept the chalk in by choice and purchased it that same day. Easily swayed, much?

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The Body Shop’s Hair Chalks are part of their S/S’14 Collection, which plays on the idea of ‘playing with colour’. As well as the pink (seen above), there’s a turquoise colour which looks really nice on light blonde hair, as well as deep red tones. The pink’s the safest bet though, looking good on all hair types with it blending really well into browny red tones – like mine!

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I absolutely love the different effects you can create, with this dip-dyed look being my favourite! This effect looks best with curly/crazy hair and I prefer applying random streaks when my hair is straight.

You apply the hair chalk by placing tissue under your hair (to protect your fingers and clothes) and then place the chalk face down and use your thumb to press the chalk into your hair as you slide the pot down in whichever way you desire! Personally, I find that using tissue doesn’t allow the colour to come out as boldly as I’d like it too, so I scrap the tissue and use my fingers and simply wash my hands with a strong wash when finished. Yes, there’s still a slight stain on my skin, but look how bold & beautiful the colour looks. Simply douse your hair in hairspray after to lock in the colour and to prevent the colour going onto your clothes as the night goes on.

I like how it’s not as pink as you think it’s going to be, but more of a deep fuchsia which would brighten up any dull outfit… I’ll definitely be adding a colourful vibe to my LBD on my next night out! And what’s better is that the colour washes out easily (along with the smell of smoke and alcohol), so that you can go back to being your professional self the very next day. However, it doesn’t really look like chalk, but semi-permanent dye so perhaps it could become an addition to every day life? After all, it doesn’t look as immature and teenage-like as I thought it would.

What do you think?

(www.thebodyshop.co.uk; £5.00)

Love & Hairflicks,

Fox

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Baker’s Butterfly Scrub…

One thing I always get asked at work is: “Why use a body scrub?” Well girls, they couldn’t be more underrated. A good scrub will…

-Remove dead skin cells so that your shower gel and body cream will penetrate further for softer, moisturised skin!

 -Help prevent ingrown hairs before shaving

-Soften skin’s outer layer so that when you do shave, the razor glides along easily leaving you with super smooth legs!

So these are the main things I hope for when purchasing a new scrub (with a nice smell just to add to the bath-time experience, of course!) I was running low on my Jo Malone Vitamin E Treatment Scrub (pure bliss) and was pleasantly surprised to receive Ted Baker’s Butterfly Wings Body Scrub as a present last month!

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What it says: “Fluttery will get you everywhere these days, so revive your skin with this sumptuous Body Scrub, delicately fragranced with an opulent mix of bergamot, red fruit, turberose and patchouli.”

Firstly, I love the butterfly design – and I’m not the girliest of girls – but how can you not when the colours are so pretty and the design so delicate? Once opened, I was expecting a sensual smell alike my favourite shower gel: Urban Veda Radiance Body Wash as a few of the ingredients are the same, but I’d say that Ted Baker has created a more subtle bath-time experience, with musky feminine notes enlightening my senses instead. The smell wasn’t my favourite thing at first as it reminds me of grannies, but once I’d scrubbed up, it left a lingering afterthought which was womanly (not old) and lush. In other words, don’t base the product on the first whiff in Boots!

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The texture is really thick and reminded me of a cake mixture, as it is highly moisturising as well as abrasive. The formula melts onto skin like butter whilst the grainy sugar-like feeling gets rid of dry skin and works well as a pre-product for shaving.

Feeling cleaner than ever, you’ll hop out of the bath with pins you don’t even recognise as your own, as they’re so damn smooth…oh, and don’t forget to moisturise after to keep that smooth feeling all day long! It just so happens that Ted Baker has a Body Lotion to match so get to Boots quickly ladies…

(www.boots.com; £6.50)

Love & Footsies,

Fox

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The Results of Resultime…

I’ve learnt a few things over the years from working in the beauty industry, with the most important being to understand that it takes 28 days to get maximum results from a new skincare regime. I haven’t had the pleasure of being able to use Resultime for this long before the products ran out, but I’ve seen some nice benefits after using the products for just over a week.

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Cleansing Cream Collagen

What it says: “A luscious, creamy cleansing wash that removes make-up and is an ideal ‘in the shower’ product that may be used around your eyes. Hydrating properties preserve the protective barrier of the skin, leaving your skin clean and soft. Its original formula combines Collagen, Elastin and Hyaluronic Acid to maintain the youthfulness of the skin and leave it perfectly comfortable, supple and luminous. It is suitable for all skin types, and is ideal for dry skin.”

        If you want to go to bed with a face as smooth as your satin pillow, then remove your make-up with this moisturising cleanser. The softening results are instant and the smell is so clean that it really is the perfect bed-time product.

I simply dampen my face and neck and rub the product in in circular motions, taking off all remnants of grime and dirt along with my heavy eye make-up (which is a must-have requirement at work). I’ve trusted in cleansers before to remove my eye slap and have been disappointed, but along with cotton pads this cleanser did not give me panda eyes or black lines down my face but instead a fresh, natural glow which kept me smiling as I trooped off to bed!

I woke up in the morning and my skin was still radiant and super super soft. Resultime says to use the product morning and night, but as it’s most suited to dry skin, I prefer to just take my make-up off with the cleanser at the end of the day as my skin is still soft enough to be pleased with the results in the morning!

(www.resultime.co.uk; £19.50 for 150ml)

Regenerating Collagen Gel 15 Skin Molecules

What it says:This exceptional formula combines Vectorised Micro-Collagen, an exclusive active ingredient patented by Resultime, with 14 other structural molecules naturally found in the skin to regenerate it and preserve its youthfulness.”

Here’s a gel created with a number of functions in mind, as it works as a night-time gel mask, a serum and a moisturiser! I chose to use my sample as a night-time mask, slapping it on before I went to bed in the hope that I’d wake up to healthier looking skin – especially after reading that it’s a celebrity cult product! The formula felt lovely on my skin and absorbed a little as I was watching TV before drifting off, so I wasn’t worried about losing half of it as I slept. Therefore,, I would recommend to apply the gel 10 minutes before you plan to go to bed to let the product settle.

Unfortunately, although Resultime say that the gel is for all ages and skin-types, I feel that it really isn’t for mine. I’ve been prone to blemishes for as long as I can remember and the gel was just slightly too heavy for me, as I woke up with more spots than I’d hoped for (especially as my skin was clear before). Yes, a bar or two of chocolate may have had something to do with the break-0ut but the sheer size of the spots has put me off risking it again. However, scars from previous blemishes were reduced – which I was really happy about – and it’s also known to help with sunburn, which shows the range of benefits the gel provides!

If you have dry, dehydrated or mature skin, I would definitely recommend that you give it a go, as my face definitely looked plumper and repaired the next day. It just happens that there was a few new friends enjoying the youthful look too – and perhaps contributing to it, as I really shouldn’t be dealing with teenage skin at the age of 21…sigh!

(www.resultime.co.uk; £47.00 for 50ml)

Microdermabrasion Scrub Quartz and Vitamin C

My favourite thing about microdermabrasion treatments is how fine the grains are, as they’re surprisingly more intense without the uncomfortable feeling that some scrubs provide! The product gives off a citric scent which isn’t overpowering like most, and provides the deepest of cleans as if a new layer of skin has surfaced.

The spa-like facial gives you lovely soft skin with not a touch of dryness and only needs to be used once a week to see the glowing benefits! Enriched with Vitamin C, you can literally watch your skin transform from dull and damaged to a look of glowing loveliness.

The product is the latest version of the classic Granular Intense Exfoliating Scrub and should be on shelves very soon…it’s definitely one to look out for beauty lovers, as it’s truly fabulous!

(www.resultime.co.uk; £27.00)

5 Expertise Eye Cream Micro-Collagen

What it says: “A unique formulation designed to provide a response to the five ageing mechanisms in the eye contour area: dark circles, puffiness, pockets of fat, wrinkles and sagging. This cream combines an anti-wrinkle Collagen Peptide with a firming active ingredient to fight against loss of skin elasticity, a duo of draining active ingredients to target the visible signs of fatigue and a lipolytic active ingredient to minimise pockets of fat.”

 I’ve recently realised that I seriously need to get some glasses, with my poor peepers looking haggard far before I’d hoped them to. But (for now) I was hoping that my new eye-cream could reverse the clocks and take away what excessive squinting has done to my skin. I can’t say I was disappointed…

I’ve been using the cream morning and night for just over a week and have seen a vast improvement to my eye contours. Lines look less defined and even though I’ve had many a sleepless night, you wouldn’t be able to tell. What’s best is that the cream is really soothing, so it cools and calms after a day in front of the laptop – a real rejuvenating treat!!

The only downside is that the cream’s all finished and my eyes are resorting back to saggy sockets – should’ve gone to Specsavers or perhaps I’ll just whip my bank card out and welcome the eye-cream back into my life! After all, who needs glasses when you have Resultime…

(www.resultime.co.uk; £37.00 for 15ml)

Love & Winks,

Fox

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My Valentines Day Make-Up with Clarins…

It was pretty much 24 hours ago that I was settling down to eat a lovely 2-course meal that my best friend had cooked for us as part of our Valentine’s Day plans together. It’s rare that we both have the time to sit down and do something really nice together, so we thought it would the perfect opportunity to doll ourselves up and have a night dedicated to delicious food and the best of company…

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Pictured above is me modelling my ‘sophisticated’ dress, which can be both dressed up or down and was the bargain price of just £10 from the Miss Selfridge sale back in January. I wore my hair down and voluminous, with help from Charles Worthington Salon at Home Shampoo & Conditioner (review coming soon) and of course, TONI&GUY Precision Straighteners which create the healthiest looking curls!

As for my make-up, the main contributor was Clarins Spring-time Opulence Collection, as it gives a flawless finish to help you look your best, whatever the occasion.

After concealing and before CC cream-ing, I used Clarins Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base #02.

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What it says: “Part make-up, part skincare, this rich, fluid texture with Katafray plant extract naturally boosts skin’s radiance throughout the day and highlights. High-Lumitech pigments enhance radiance and brighten shadowy areas to revive and illuminate your skin day after day. Can be worn alone or under foundation.”

When I first used this product, I used it all-over my face underneath my foundation and found that the hydrating formula was a little too much for my oily skin! Alone – without foundation – I found that it isn’t heavy enough coverage to hide my imperfections, although the light-weight consistency feels very comfortable and would be enough if you don’t have acne scars from your childhood. However I’ve found a way that the product works for me….

The pump makes the application process one of ease, as it squirts out a little at a time so you don’t overdo it and waste any of the iridescent cream. I simply pump some out and dot it along my cheekbones to lift and define my contours so that they stand out. I also apply a little under my eyes to hide dark circles and sweep some down the bridge of my nose to pull the look together.  I feel that this would be the perfect base for those with dry or ageing skin… but if you have greasy skin alike mine, then simply avoid the T-Zone area to get a radiant glow without the fear of your make-up dripping off after an hour or so.

(www.clarins.co.uk; £26.00)

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What it says: “This smooth, cream-to-powder blush helps create a more contoured look and adds a touch of radiant, natural-looking colour to cheeks all day long. A formula enriched with floral waxes (rose, mimosa and sunflower) that cares for the skin and helps to prevent dehydration. Quick and easy results that always look great.”

I applied Clarins Multi Blush #03 to my cheekbones to give them a bit more of a ‘loved-up’ flush for when I handed my best-friend the tulips I bought for her for being such a good host (and friend of course)

I’ve mentioned before how I don’t really like cream blushers, but that’s because they make me look shiny and brash, yet I’ve recently learnt that sweeping powder over the top helps to keep shine at bay and tone down the colour. However, this blushers powder-like finish meant that I didn’t need to use my ‘little trick’ to get the results I wanted. Instead, I blended the hot pink in with my fingertips, working the colour up to my temples for added definition. If you find that this colour is still a little bright, just keep blending in circular motions until you find the right colour to match your tone… I personally believe that it’s best for pale to honey skin tones!

The colour lasted into the night and I wasn’t paranoid about the product turning into shine. I still think that I prefer simple powdered blushers, but Clarins has done well to create a moisturising blush that sits nicely alongside the dewy S/S’14 mermaid look!

(www.clarins.co.uk; £18.00)

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Say hello to my favourite product from the Clarins S/S’14 Collection –The Eye Quartet Mineral Powder #12.

What it says:A collection of luminous eye colours in a smooth, long-wearing, mineral-based texture with a silky finish. The two base shades (gray and pink) deliver smooth and subtle colour; the liner shade (purple) gives intense definition and the highlighter (silver) illuminates. Can be applied dry or damp for a natural or sophisticated look.”

Don’t worry if you’re new to the smoky eye look, as the instructions within give a really basic idea of where each colour should be applied and how to blend the colours together to create eyes that dazzle. Each of the shades goes on effortlessly, and if you prefer a darker, more dramatic finish then wet the brush beforehand to emphasise the colours! Otherwise, use the brushes provided to keep things subtle, using the pointy brush to create wings with the grey tone and then blend the purple tone along the lash line for a warm plum-pie finish…yum!

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My favourite from the palette is the silver glitter as it carries the look from day to night and is an eye-catching tone to catch the gaze of the opposite sex; or in my case, my lovely best friend! Simply apply it to the inner corners of your eye and blend out for a wide-eyed finish. The standard brush helps to build up the colour for those of you with a glitter infatuation.

I’m happy to report that I’m not just pleased with the colours and textures, but also the mini brushes too! I tried using another brush once, as I had misplaced the Clarins brush for a second, and found that it simply didn’t do the job as efficiently. Therefore, I’ve been using the brushes for my other eye-shadows too because of how good and effective they are!

(www.clarins.co.uk; £31.00)

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Here’s Shade 21 from Clarins Joli Rouge Brilliant family.

What it says: “Delivers sheer colour and silky-smooth shine. Deeply moisturising and long-wearing for softer, more comfortable lips.”

It’s a shade I spoke of fondly when recommending Valentine’s Day lip-wear and thought I’d show my love for it by wearing it for my little date night! As you can see, it’s sheer and glossy and gives just a hint of colour so that your loved one won’t be put off!

(www.clarins.co.uk; £18.00)

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Love & Late Valentines Kisses,

Fox

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 (I want to dedicate this post to my best friend, Nakita who created the most mouth-watering homemade gourmet dinner I have ever had. Like, ever! Love you always sugar xoxo)

Kissable Lips for Valentines Day with Clarins…

It’s soon to be Valentines Day and I remember reading once how red lipstick is a man’s worst nightmare…guys, please enlighten us to whether this is true? But what I’d really like to know is whether a delicate colour gets your heart racing? Or is it all about au natural kisses? Fellah’s, It’s time to cast your vote…

The must-have colours for spring are sultry coral tones, which can be refined or more dramatic depending on which shade you choose! For you singletons (or those of you who don’t give a toss what the opposite sex thinks) go all out and opt for the sun-drenched tangerine trend that splashed its way down the runway at DSquared2 during Milan Fashion Week last year!

It sure is hot

(Milan Fashion Week: DSquared2 S/S'14)

(Milan Fashion Week: DSquared2 S/S’14)

If you prefer subtlety like me (and your boyfriend probably) then Clarins has the answer with Shade 21. I like understated lipsticks as I’m a fond lover of eye make-up and therefore prefer lips that don’t scream out for attention. My lips are also quite thin, so it simply makes sense to opt for bold eye make-up rather than drawing attention to a part of my face which isn’t really ‘all that’. However when spring arrives and I’m feeling trendy, I’m definitely going to whip out Shade 19 and live in a Tangerine Dream with lips that match my classic Sex on the Beach cocktail…

Sod what fellah’s think!

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When Clarins sent me two gorgeous lipsticks along with a shimmering gloss to match, I was hoping for a desirable pout that would sit nicely aside the bold make-up looks that I wear on my eyes. And I must say, a desirable pout is what I got…my best friend’s in for a treat on Friday!

The first thing I noticed with both lipsticks was how the formula smells just like Fruit Pastilles (yum) and it’s a luscious smell that lingers as you wear it, so you have the tastiest of smiles! Lips feel hydrated and soft from the second the lipstick’s applied and it leaves a sheer finish for a sexy-looking pout!

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(Shade 21)

Here’s the lipstick I’ll be rocking on Friday as I plan on wearing Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette #12 (Review coming soon) on my eyelids and it’s hardly a palette that needs an accomplice!

This lipstick glides on easily – with no need to line the lips – although this would create a more striking effect if you wanted to do so. It’s dewy as opposed to matte and feels a little like a gloss on the lips but without the sticky afterthought. I like how I could wear this lipstick as a day-wear shade (as it’s more natural then it looks), but it would also see me into the night as it’s got pinky tones within which dazzle when applied.

I’d recommend you to pop this one in your bag as it’s not very long-lasting, perhaps because it’s sheer as opposed to matte! It still leaves a touch of colour once it’s worn off though,  so it’s up to you whether you want to keep it on you at all times. One things for sure, it’s chunky silver casing makes it a worthy addition in your little clutch bag & the other girls will look on envious as you apply it in the toilet mirror!

(www.clarins.co.uk; £18.00)

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(Shade19)

Here’s the brighter of the two colours and I must say that the shade looks even bolder once applied. If you’re aiming to be the Tango trend-setter in your area, than look no further friends. It’s an orangey tone which I can imagine to suit a tan very well and whilst my skin is crying out for some sun, I’ll put it back in my make-up bag until he comes out to play. Any excuse to book a holiday, right?

The lipstick’s texture and wearability is the same to #21 as they both belong to the Joli Rouge Brilliant family, so whatever shade you choose, you’re guaranteed a lipstick that glides on easily with a dewy finish. However, I’d say that the colour does last longer than #21 as it’s naturally brighter and therefore stains the lips a little more when applied.

I’d definitely purchase these lipsticks again, as although they’re going to be hot for Spring; I love how they’re currently keeping my lips moisturised and healthy-looking whilst the cold weather continues to creep…

(www.clarins.co.uk; £18.00)

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Shade11

 And then we have Gloss Prodige which is the perfect lip gloss to go over any lipstick shade – especially coral & pink tones – as it stays on even if you accidently lick your lips and locks in colour deliciously. The fruity smell is even more enticing than the lipstick’s, so it’s a good job that it stays on when lip smacking because the smell leads you to believe that it’s going to taste bloody good… (it tastes like nothing, just to let you know).

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The wand helps the gloss to glide across lips evenly and I was impressed that I was able to achieve a dewy pout without even looking in a mirror…so whether you’re on a train, a night out or just can’t be arsed to move from where you are, you know you’ll still be looking good due to the ease of the application process!

There’s a slight colour to the gloss, with a peachy sparkle taking over my lips once applied. I’m not sure if it’s totally Valentine’s proof as I remember my ex absolutely hating the feel of lip-gloss when we kissed (ex’s are ex’s for a reason though, right?) but I’m single now & if you’re single too and hate every aspect of the commercial day like me then ‘stick it to the man’ and slap it on my lovelies!

(www.clarins.co.uk; £17.00)

Love & Valentines Kisses,

Fox

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Scrub Away Your Skincare Problems with Janjira…

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Janjira is one of the biggest beauty cult brands in Thailand and has recently blessed us with its presence here in the UK! Contained within a luxurious burgundy tube lies their 2-in-1 skin saviour…

Pomegranate & Acai Facial Scrub Cleanser

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What Janjira says: “This scrub cleanser helps to deeply cleanse and exfoliate whilst retaining moisture and brightening the complexion. Walnut shell gently removes dead skin cells, dirt and blackheads leaving the skin soft and smooth. While fruit oils help to reduce the appearance of pores and moisturise the skin”.

Pomegranate is well-known for its firming properties and delicious smell, and the subtle fruitiness comes through when squeezing the product out of the bottle. I noticed that the formula is extremely thick & almost glittery in appearance; giving it a really different luxurious element compared with many other scrub cleansers on the market!

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The walnut shell feels really gentle on skin as the pieces are miniscule, but it still feels super abrasive when rubbing it in (in circular movements for best results) – alike an expensive spa treatment! The smell absorbed me in the bath-tub and whilst on this point, I would definitely recommend to use it when bathing as the formula is so thick that it was quite difficult to remove without getting it everywhere! Personally, I just know that I would have got my hair wet if trying to scrub over the sink, which is obviously a bit of a nuisance.

When washing off the product, it left the most squeakiest clean feeling – similar to soap – where my hands almost slid off my face! I managed to get all of the product off successfully and felt ultra-pampered & happy for the rest of my bath. Although the product is a cleanser, it states clearly to avoid contact with the eye area, so I’m glad I read that before trying to remove my eye make-up with it. Instead, I’d say it’s the perfect step for once you’ve removed your make-up, as it goes one step further in cleaning & protecting your skin, so you know that every spot of grime is removed when finished!

The results? Lovely, really lovely. I noticed straight away that my skin had a subtle glow and I’m not usually the most confident of girls without make-up. I’m only 21, but I also felt as though I looked healthier and more youthful which I’m hardly going to complain about. I used the product last night and as the evening went on the squeaky-clean feeling left my skin and a moisturised feeling took its place. What I loved was how my skin felt soft all the way through til’ morning, so I’d definitely recommend it to those of you that are suffering from ‘winter skin’ at the moment!

I stupidly used the product again when I woke as I didn’t see any change to my open pores & I hoped that I just hadn’t scrubbed them enough. This was a massive mistake, as my skin (especially my forehead) has felt tender all day and this is obviously because you’re only supposed to use the product once or twice a week; in other words, listen to Janjira! One thing to note is how beneficial the product is when used properly, as my skin wouldn’t be suffering today otherwise and it does feel a lot more moisturised compared to usual.

I’ll lay off it for now, but I ‘m already looking forward to using the exquisite product again sometime next week!

(www.janjira.co.uk; £28.00)

Love,

Fox

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Crazy Rumors Crazy Flavoured Lip Balms!

It seems as though the demand amongst beauty-buyers these days is for their products to be brimming with all-natural ingredients; and it’s no surprise as to why. Natural products are kinder to skin in the long run and they’re much kinder on the environment too as harsh chemicals are eradicated in the farming process.

You should never put anything on your skin that you couldn’t eat, as all of the products you use will eventually end up in your body! Crazy, right? This is led me to think of poor vegan’s, as they must have the toughest time when choosing products that are right for them. Vegan’s don’t eat anything that is the produce of an animal – so that cuts out milk & eggs etc –  so it’s no wonder that they wish for something all-natural when looking for the right lip-care!

If you fall within this category, worry no more! Crazy Rumors have brought out an array of different flavoured chap-sticks which are 100% natural and 100% vegan; so that anyone can pick one up and be happy knowing exactly what’s inside!

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So, here we have the Amaretto and Lemonade flavours which are exclusive to Holland & Barrett. If you feel these flavours will leave a foul taste in your mouth then there’s 1o others to choose from to suit you and tickle your taste buds! They all contain certified ingredients, such as Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil, to moisturise and condition your cracked winter pouts – so pop some on & pucker up!

I must admit that they’re not the most hydrating of lip-balms and I felt the need to put them in my bag as I knew that I’d be applying them regularly to feel the benefits. However, this is probably because there are no nasty chemicals in them to make them last longer – so at least they’re healthier for my lips in comparison with non-natural, non-vegan competitors!

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If you like your Amaretto coffee after a hearty meal, you’ll love this strong kicking lip-balm. The smell was a little on the sickly side for me, but perhaps that’s because I associate Amaretto with a night-out where I’ve perhaps had one too many…whoops! The balm glides on easily and I like that my lips don’t look or feel shiny (which makes the product good for guys as well)!

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This one was definitely my favourite, although I’d rename it Lemon Curd as this is exactly what it smelt like, having a creamy afterthought as opposed to a fizzy one! The sweet-smelling formula also has a sweet zesty taste, which I found really hard not to lick off so it’s a good job it’s suitable for vegans right? After all, I don’t have a clue how anyone could resist tasting it at least once! It smells too damn good…

I’ve been applying it every night before bed and although my lips aren’t the softest that they’ve ever been, I’m blaming Jack Frost! One things for sure; it’s working very well in satisfying my late night sweet-tooth cravings! Mmmmm…

(www.hollandandbarrett.com; £3.49 each)

Love & Kisses,

Fox

x

2 Styles, 1 TONI&GUY Straightener…

 Paris Fashion Week S/S’14 showcased Chloe parading poker-straight sass down the runway whilst at London, Topshop Unique was throwing in some beachy vibes by tousling those tresses!

{PFW: Chloe S/S'14}

{PFW: Chloe S/S’14}

CARAD

{LFW: Topshop Unique S/S’14}

Which is your favourite?

Whichever it is, you’ll be excited to hear that you can also be bang on-trend this Spring! You can choose either a sultry straight style or a bouncy bouffant thanks to TONI&GUY Precision Straighteners which I believe to be the all-in-one miracle tool!

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I must admit that I’ve always been a ghd girl, as my hair is so unruly that I simply thought no other heat appliance would compare. But, boy was I proven wrong… these tongs are just a fraction of the price (at £30?!), provide different styles that last for days AND heat up instantly. My only complaint would be how there isn’t a warning sign when they’ve reached their maximum temperature of 210 degrees – no beep, no light, no nothing! This confused me at first; however I’ve gotten used to them now and see that there’s no need for the warning, as within 2 seconds they’re scorching.

 (Top tip: Don’t leave plastic anywhere near them as it does melt…)

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I’ve never really opted for thin straighteners before, as I’ve always seen my natural hair as a bit of an afro and therefore chosen tongs specifically suited to such tresses – mainly to make the process easier on myself as well as my poor unmanageable hair. I was sure that thin plates would make the styling process a million times longer, but was pleasantly surprised that straightening my hair with TONI&GUY only took up a little more of my time with much sleeker results… and curling my hair gives me ringlets better than any tool I’ve used before.

Eureka, we’re onto a winner!

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After using heat defence spray (of course) I blow dried my hair & separated it into thin sections before leaving the rest to TONI&GUY.  The salon tested straighteners effortlessly glide along each strand of hair, reducing frizz and kinks as they work and instead leave behind an enviable shiny coat. I didn’t feel any friction or pulling on my damaged ends and the plates didn’t feel too hot near my ears – which I always fear. The experience is simply a pleasant one and I’m sorry ghd but I don’t even remember where my other straighteners are at this moment in time…

As you see my hair looks glossy, healthy and really bloody long for once.  So, if you’re looking to achieve a poker-straight polish, look no further than TONI&GUY for Spring!

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As I said before, I couldn’t be happier with the curls that these straighteners deliver. Even when I’ve used tongs in the past specifically made to create loose beautiful curls, I’ve been disappointed. But, the shape and size of the plates make the process effortless, taking up even less time than straightening! It’s been my go-to look now for the past week and a half, as it looks casually coiffed and almost natural – which is always a winner! The best thing is how a touch of hairspray keeps the curls locked in, so I’m able to wake up and hardly even re-touch my do before walking out the door. One things for sure, I now have fuller-looking bouncy hair which doesn’t fall limp until I next drench it in the shower….

If I’m experimenting now, won’t I be bored of my look before Spring, you ask? Well, when the sun starts beaming upon us and festival season leers, I’ll simply grab some daisies and slide them in for a hippy-inspired finish like the models at Anna Sui!

So there we have it – just 1 girl, 1 pair of straighteners, BUT 2 hot & current hair trends to see you into Spring! Here come’s the sun, badadada…

MOI

Love & Fun,

Fox

x

(www.store.toniandguy.com; £30.00)

Sleep Easy with Seascape

My brain’s the type of brain that doesn’t like to switch off at night, however much I will it to do just that. My thoughts spin around my head like a washing machine until 2am, spurring out things like ‘what should I have done today?’, ‘what shouldn’t I have done?’, ‘what should I have said in this random circumstance?’ blah blah blah…

So, when Seascape sent me over some soothing Sleep Oil to try, I couldn’t have been more eager to rub some on my temples in the hope that it would peacefully send me off to Hushabye Mountain…

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What the bottle says: “Contains 100% natural essential oil of Lavender oil to relax and calm, as well as 3 other fruit and flower essential oils to balance the mind.”

Firstly, lavender relaxes me instantly as it takes me back to a time of my childhood – as our front garden was overflowing with the purple plants – and more-so of me cutting down the individual stalks to put in sandwich bags to sell for 10p outside my house! Such a relaxing happy smell, which I’ve always been fond of due to the sweet nostalgia it brings.

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The bottle says for you to roll the oil onto your temples, your wrist points and under your nose for ultimate relaxation – so that’s what I did. I was planning on playing ‘QuizUp’ (slight addiction) on my iPhone, but simply couldn’t be bothered once I’d applied the non-greasy, super absorbent oil and just wanted to snuggle up with my favourite cushion and drift off.

Truth be told, I didn’t fall asleep straight away as my thought processes were still all over the place, but I definitely drifted off in record time compared to usual; having some deep-sleep type dreams involving me being a miniature version of myself living inside a bubble (which was actually pretty trippy, but fun). In fact, I was in such a deep sleep that I found it hard to get up for work the next day…

My only criticism would be that I’d like the smell to be a little stronger (although I know a lot of people would like the subtlety of it), but personally I’d like my mind to be tricked into a placebo-like state and sleep the second I hit the pillow – simply for those moments when I have to be up at 5.30am for work. I’d also like the smell to be made into a bath oil, so that after a long day I can blow up my inflatable pillow, grab my book and have a little kip – as there’s really nothing better… although I’ve lost a lot of books to the bathwater over the years!

So thank-you Seascape for helping me to realise that a peaceful night sleep is possible. Lets just hope I don’t get too attached to the idea of living in a bubble, as however fun dream-land is, we all have to awaken to reality!

(www.seascapeuk.com; £10.00)

Love & Sweet dreams,

Fox

x

Writing 101: Day 9 – A Room for Thought

Every inch shone white; the floorboards, the walls and the ceiling, but spread across the purity were little rainbow squares created by the sunshine which beamed through the large glass windows which lined the walls. It was like entering an igloo created by a special tribe; a student tribe whom chose to showcase their thoughts and ideas through the flick of a paintbrush, the depth of a photograph and a mashed up medley of different materials.

The floorboards chirped like crickets as footsteps carefully and gradually made their way from one side of the room to the other. Whispers arose rarely, but other than that, silence prevailed. Silence necessary for observation, thoughtfulness and appreciation.

The room was split into small compartments with tall walls and cracked pillars which concealed different art pieces so that you had to explore each section thoroughly to discover gold. Some pieces were hidden behind a draped white curtain, cut right down the middle, so that you could poke your head through; whilst others were so large and beautiful, they were unmissable. Some pieces shocked, other’s provided a feeling of calm whilst my favourites initiated careful thought processes to form. I looked onwards, wondering ‘how?’ ‘Why?’ and ‘when?’ these concepts were created within a person’s mind.

Side-stepping around the spacious room, I noticed various pieces of artwork which had this effect on me. Never having been to an art exhibition before, I quickly learnt that the pieces which were rich in texture (with overlapping materials, colours and tones) appealed to me the most, as the drastic contrast of them with the blank white walls was truly mesmerising.

Maybe I enjoyed them because my mind relates to such complexity and depth, having thought processes which skip and hop and sometimes dive into a place unknown and unspeakable with others?

Maybe the point of artwork altogether is to get such thought’s stirring and whirring within one’s mind?

Food for thought.

A Room for Thought.

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(Sarah Bingham)

(Georgia Brown)

(Georgia Brown)

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(Laura Flanagan)

Writing 101: Day 7 – A Deserving Dad

She gazes at herself in the mirror. Her piercing blue eyes compliment her golden ponytail which sits long enough to tickle her collarbone. “Today is going to be unusual,” she whispers to herself, whilst brushing her fringe from her eyes. Breathing in sharply, she smooth’s down her summer dress before leaving her bedroom, pulling the door shut behind her.

Trembling slightly, she stops still when she catches sight of her dad. The man that all others must compare to when she’s a little older and learning lessons of love; “ha, Good Luck” she thinks to herself. She watches him yank on his boots, tightening the knot with some irritation. But when he spots her, his mood rapidly changes; he raises his chin and smiles warmly which transforms her fear into a stunning feeling of calm. She throws a weak smile back, before slipping out the front door and into the car, smoothing down her dress once again when seated.

She watches her dad, who progresses more slowly (his poor back has been playing up these days) and she notices that he is biting hard upon his lip; his mind is obviously ticking over something painful. Her cheek is suddenly damp and a lump forms in her throat, but as he eases himself into the driver’s seat, he gently rubs her arm to reassure her, keeping his hazel eyes fixed upon the house – their family home of love and memories – before he starts up the engine of his car.

    “Come on princess. Let’s be on our way.” he says.


     At Stansted Airport, suitcases line up aside families to be examined and weighed. Care-free children run from their parents, arms extended in flight, whilst couples who got stuck on the motorway reek stress and tension as their dream holiday looks like it might remain but a dream.

Not brought here to travel to somewhere exotic, or even to pick up someone they love, the pair waits outside a coffee shop situated near the entrance of the airport. They’re here because it was the suggested place; a place between two worlds. Time passes and even amongst the havoc, the silence between them is deafening.  In the distance, the young girl scans the faces of couples reunited and notices how others have a post-holiday glow – one which arises after a week of pure relaxation and bliss. But suddenly, her attention is stolen away to a contrasting situation; a tall fuzz of blonde curls with piercing blue eyes is confidently making his way towards them. “Is that him?” she wonders.

 His walk is strong and brisk and his face remains cold, however he manages a half-hearted smile as he gets a little closer to them. She grabs her dad’s hand as if she were five again, but he keeps his eyes fixed ahead, using his other hand to scratch away at his wispy brown hair. A lot shorter in comparison with this stranger and a little plumper round the waist; the two men could not look more different. Her dad extends a hand out to him, but no handshakes are exchanged, and after darting his eyes between the pair of them, the stranger looks down, shoving his hands deep into the pockets of his worn denim jeans.

“You’re late!” protests her dad.

“Yeah, sorry mate. Got caught up with somethin’,” he averts his gaze to the young girl “You alright darlin’? Want a hot chocolate or somethin’ from this place?” He points to the quaint coffee shop and her eyes follow. She looks to her dad and then back to the stranger.

“Okay, fine. Maybe somewhere else?” he asks, “no?” He rolls his eyes, before staring at her dad, “Are you stayin’ long pal?”

 “I’m staying until she tells me to go.” He tightens his grip around her fragile fingers, reassuring her of his presence.

“Well, I though this whole thing was arranged so that I got to spend some time with her, ya’know, catch up on life and all that.”

 “Well yes. But, I need to make sure she’s fully comfortable before I leave her,” He looks at her and smiles “that’s if she wants me to – after all, this is a pretty big day for her, don’t you think?”

She stands silent, pained by confusion.

“S’pose so. Just didn’t expect you here. S’abit awkward ain’t it? Where’s her Mum?” he asks, before throwing a sly grimace at her dad.

Those cold eyes throw an ice-pick into her father’s, and tears of anger rise in the sockets. She can feel his hand quivering slightly. Her heart is filled with guilt and regret.

With his lips parted slightly, teeth still clamped together, he answers “Work. So, you’ll have to just make do with my presence, okay? You can do that for her, can’t you? Respect her choice if she wants me here? If it’s the least you do after everything.”

The tension rises and both men visibly puff out their chests a little. The stranger doesn’t hesitate “Actually mate, no. No I can’t. I’m her Dad. I want some time alone with the girl, so you shouldn’t fuckin’ be ere.”

She feels the fury rising up inside her like a volcano ready to spill out words of filth and blood-curdling screams; loud enough to strike fear of an attack in a place like this.

But instead, she calmly says, “Let me speak.” She gently kisses her dad on the back of his hand before she releases it and walks over slowly towards her biological father.

“After talking to you for some time now, I believed I was ready to put my childhood behind me and to see you again. After ten years of not even receiving a blinking birthday card, I was willing to see you again,” she breaths deeply, and continues “I know nothing of you, your hobbies, interests, or of your life in general, and I wanted to meet you, simply to know myself a little better. This was not a day meant for you, as you don’t deserve such a precious chance, it was a day meant for me instead. It was arranged for me to be a little bit selfish because I hoped that I’d get a small memory of happiness with you.”

She stops speaking and looks towards her step-dad; those warm brown eyes, that tender smile and genuine aura makes her feel complete. Just like a jigsaw that has a missing puzzle piece, to one day find that it was stored away in the corner of the box the whole time…

“I see now that I was wrong to come here today. Through seeking a little happiness with you, I have neglected the lifetime of happiness I have shared with the man that I can proudly call my Dad. The man standing right here,” she extends her arm and mimes “I love you” to him. He smiles and nods, eyes glistening proudly. She coldly turns back to the stranger standing before her.

 “I’m actually pleased that you’ve been rude to my family today because it’s made me realise that I will never be like you. I’ve grown up under the roof of this kind and generous man and he’s loved and accepted me as his own, teaching me lessons along the way which have made me who I am today. The biggest being that ‘blood is thicker than water’ and that’s what he is to me – blood, family… my Father.”

“You may be technically ‘blood-related’ to me, but he’s actually been there for me. He has put in solid groundwork and bucketsful of love to deserve the title of ‘Dad’ and for that I’m eternally grateful,” She turns to look at him once more, silent tears dribbling for her eyes. “Did you hear me Dad? I’m eternally grateful…for everything. Never forget that, okay?”

The stranger steps back and allows for this moment to occur between the girl and her dad. He looks hurt and his heart feels heavy with regret. He feels saddened by their bond, but he simply nods, being at a loss for words, before retreating into the busy scenery of the airport – gone as if he’d never returned.

She stands alone with her father, feeling happy, blessed and much loved. A dopey grin spreads from ear to ear and she laughs a little at how long it’s taken her to realise the precious bond that she has with him. As if reading her mind, he grins back and nods in silent agreement. She nudges into him playfully, before nuzzling herself under his wing.

“Hey Dad?”

“What do you want now?” he responds with jest.

 Will you take me home, please?”

He squeezes her shoulder, “Dad’s Taxi Service to the rescue again, eh?” and they both chuckle. He pecks her forehead and they walk together back to the car – to embark upon a journey of a completely different nature from the one on the way there; one of laughter, love and sweet appreciation that they have each other in their lives.


I want to dedicate this post to my lovely dad, Paul Terry, considering Father’s Day is just round the corner. This post is only very slightly real and has many fabrications within, but the words the young girl uses to describe her relationship with her father could not be more true! Love you pops x

 dad and daughter

 

Writing 101: Day 6 – A Stranger of the Night

March 2014

I feel his presence before I see him.

A surge of energy washes over me, and in a self-conscious manner, I look over my shoulder to be greeted with puppy dog brown eyes, as warm as a hot chocolate on a cold winter’s eve. I’m spellbound. He throws me one of those half-smiles only guy’s can do; snarling slightly, allowing a glisten of white to peek through his pink lips. I’m overcome with lust and long to reach out and touch him, wanting to raise myself up onto the balls of my feet to place a gentle kiss upon his welcoming mouth. I yearn to run my fingers through his thick, wavy, chestnut-coloured locks, gently smoothing down every hair fibre before meeting his mouth again, stumbling across a stubbly trail as I go. My hard knees have liquidised and my heartbeat has quickened. Does he have this effect on everybody?

His tall, masculine physique strolls towards me in a confident manner and I feel my knees turn even weaker and my mouth turn dry. Who knew the metaphor of ‘love at first sight’ could become such a reality? A fair few inches taller than me, he stands strong and broad and that mouth I already long for, speaks with a deep tone which makes him even more appealing.

“Hi there. What’s your poison?”

 He strokes a whisp of hair from his face with large fingertips, which I imagine clasping my own, as I smile a girly grin stating how vodka is the way to my heart (quite literally). He winks and turns to the bar, allowing me to analyse his beauty from afar. In a turtle-neck jumper, hidden under a fitted beige blazer and chinos (of course), this stranger of the night oozes sophistication, wealth and irresistible charm. I want to follow him, feeling his energy drawing me closer as he extends a muscular arm out to me. I slot my hand into his gently, allowing him to pull me closer towards him, like two magnets bound together by force.

And like magnets we remain together for the rest of the night. Standing close, breathing close, dancing close together in an old-school manner. His witty sense of humour and interesting way of switching topics like an excitable child grips me and we effortlessly laugh and move together like soul-mates until the sun sheds gold and the birds chirp in the new-born day. Unwillingly yet knowingly, we decide that it’s time to say our goodbye’s. Under a blanket of intoxication, his soft touch and warm lips envelop me one last time, before he strides off into the night, for us to become strangers once again.

What’s that quote again? “It’s not the number of breath’s you take in life, but the moments that take your breath away”. It’s undeniable that I was left breathless and giddy, and I’ll always remember this dear lad (name disclosed for personal reasons) and how we danced into the night together like a well thought out scene from a love story. In some ways, I’m glad nothing more came from the night (as he was leaving to return home to London the following day), as an encounter with a stranger like this is a rarity these days and I’m sure that I’ll always remember the night due to its beautiful spontaneity and heartfelt passion.

Who said romance is dead?

x

Writing 101: Day 5 – Gone, but not Forgotten

Today I felt a pain deep within my heart which rippled through the core of me.

Plank; fork; fist.

Thrown into the darkness of my mind, the white sheet glowed in contrast between my fingertips as my eyes struggled to focus on the words. Innocent words, black intentions. Darkness. A noticeable watermark concealed the word ‘love’, arranging it to read ‘loss’ – truth prevails.

“I want to meet you one last time; to help and guide you to feel my love again…”

Promises of help and guidance. Memories of helplessness and counseling. I folded the piece of paper with trembling fingertips to create a delicate swan; an image of purity, beauty and strength. I stroked the beak and placed a feathery kiss upon the tip, before allowing the river below the solid bridge to wash away the papered-bird, watching it bob erratically in the distance before being wholly consumed by the current.

Gone, but not forgotten.

Continue reading

Writing 101: Day 4 – As Free as a Bird…

I sit here thinking about the future. A future that feels as though I’m stepping back in time; reverting into my past of a year ago. It’s hard to stay composed, not because it was a bad time in my life but simply because I’m scared of losing my freedom (and potentially my sanity) again.

May 2013 marked my last ever academic examination and my peers and I scurried out of the hall through a door of relief, and after weeks, I finally felt my mind settle from panic to tranquillity.

This meant one thing; university –three of the best years of my entire existence – was actually over. At the time, I remember feeling as though a weight had been lifted, mainly because I could stop citing the different parts of Defamation Law to whoever would listen to my lawful mumblings. It obviously hadn’t sunk in that it was the end and it wasn’t long before my tobacco transformed into a 20 deck and was welcomed by vodka, to which we raised a glass. All in chorus: “To the past three years”… “To the past three years!” Looking back now, I don’t even remember whether I went out afterwards. I’m racking my brains for a memory of the night, but there’s nothing. Just blankness and confusion.

Everything happened so fast after that last examination…one moment, I was sat in a clock-watching exam room and at the next tick, I was unpacking my belongings in a completely alien room to me in my family home in Essex (I’d handed over my childhood bedroom to my little brother who has medical needs, as he needs to be as close to my mother as possible). I didn’t even have time to contemplate how my world would shift dramatically, how it would feel to be stripped of my current lifestyle and how I’d cope being separated from my friends and my boyfriend at the time – all still living in sunny Leeds.

 When you ask people what they’re most scared of, you’ll normally hear responses such as commitment and change. It’s because both of these things will require you to sacrifice a little of your freedom for someone or something else. People my age who have been to university are often scared of relationships because they’re giving their heart to someone else and scared of moving back home because they’re saying goodbye to their current lifestyle. These things are tied together with the concept of losing your freedom and I’m no different in fearing its absence after basking in its familiarity.

In August 2013, I moved back to Leeds where I could regain such a feeling by living life how I wanted to again, to be around close friends once more and relax in the comfort of being back at The Body Shop whilst I grieved university and sorted out the next chapter of my life. I have no regrets and it’s been hard, but I can gladly say it’s been amazing as well.

However, after a year of grieving, the time has finally come to move on and put university behind me, taking the golden memories and the friendships with me as a token of my time up here. I leave Leeds on June 22 to move home to pursue a career in Marketing, as I’ve been offered a job that’s just around the corner from my house there. I’ve been waiting for such an opportunity to arise since graduating and I’m eager to grab it with both hands and finally become a ‘young professional’. I also begin a TEFL course to teach English abroad next month and don’t know how that will tie in with it all, or when I’ll have a chance to travel and teach, but at some point in this life, I will hop on a plane and embark on a life-changing journey that will probably teach me more than I can ever teach those little rascals. All of the above are big changes; stressful changes; scary changes and for me, the scariest one is to move back home again…

Once you’ve spread your wings and flown away from your nurturing Mother to create your own nest on the other side of the country, it’s damn hard to drag it home again and have it in a house full of lots of other little nests. My family is full of big characters with big opinions and very very different ways of going about things. This means that we struggle to see eye to eye from here to there and that can often result in conflict.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my family with every inch of my being, and they care for me which can be seen through their kind words and actions. But, it can also be seen through their insistent ways of telling me to aim for the stars and to never settle for less than the best. It’s lovely to mean so much to my family that they want to encourage me to take that next scary step when it presents itself, but strong encouragement can quickly transform into great pressure of feeling like I always have to do well to please them.

Such fears deaden my care-free and spiritual attitude, as I like to let my ‘life plan’ fall down in front of me, being a believer in ‘what will be will be’. I’m in no way lazy, as I am ultra-determined and will always strive for the best as it’s in my nature (hell, I start a new job at the end of this month) but, I love being able to make my own choices and succeed in my own time. Personally, I’ll always want to live how I please, holding my year’s at university close to heart. I’ll always remember being care-free in those three years, waking up late, not so much as making my bed and having a Pot Noodle for lunch. Who does want to wake up at 6 every morning to crazy family-life? Be hassled to clean their room at the age of 21? Be asked how much and what they’ve eaten several times a day?

That reminds me, I’ve eaten coco pops; a banana; a chocolate bar; a ham & cheese melt; yoghurt; a large roast dinner; a sausage roll; a packet of crisps; a bag of nuts; another chocolate bar; a slice of cake and ice-cream. Wounds re-open that have tried to be stitched up and I know now, they can only be put to bed when I’m distant, living without reminders of my past. I’m greeted by a familiar toilet seat.

Old habits die hard.

Writing 101: Day 3 – “Where Words Fail, Music Speaks”

Being the busiest of girls yesterday, I didn’t have chance to complete my writing challenge for the day (boo) -however, the new assignment isn’t released until 14.00, so I’m just in the nick of time to catch up, and do a post which focuses around three songs which are significant to me. Jebus, this one is NOT easy! To make things harder, I have to free-write for 15 minutes, so if this turns into gobble-de-gooch, you know why!

Time: 10.45

A post like this, for me, would usually turn mushy. Mainly because my taste in music and the songs which stand out to me are just that; cheesy, heart-felt and emotional. I just can’t help it…like sobbing at the end of an iconic film, I do also enjoy a verse which reaches out and tugs on my weak heart-strings reducing me to a similar state. But, no, today I am here to ‘celebrate’ three songs and that means picking a few which help to spread a smile across my face when I hear them; to celebrate music as a joyous element in my musical journey through life!

Rod Stewart: Forever Young

(ISN'T THIS A GEM?! Taken from GettyImages)

(ISN’T THIS A GEM?! Taken from GettyImages)

Anyone that knows me even remotely well, will know my absolute LOVE for this man and his music, with Forever Young being a song which has seen me through occasion’s galore. The faster more upbeat version is for moments of joy and I will happily skip around the room, clicking my fingers like a loon the second I hit play. Whereas, the slower version is for those slow and saddening heartaches, for which I am not to speak of today. It’s a song I sing in the shower (most of my favourite songs are) and a song which represents some of the best weekends of my life; dancing with my best friends at ‘The Big Weekend’ – an annual weekend which celebrates Rod to his core (don’t judge), and because we all began going at the more youthful age of 16, hearing that dum…dum, dum dum introduction instantly makes me feel Forever Young at heart.

Toploader: Dancing in the Moonlight

This song, I’ve jacked from my brother and his friends; at Christmas, Birthday’s & other cracking night’s out, this is always the song they close their night on. They grip their arms round each other’s shoulders, show the intoxication in their voices, and f***ing sing it to the 9’s! Being there at Christmas to celebrate with them all, I love being a part of this feeling; a feeling of friendship ripples through each and every one of them, with them kindly including me in the circle, whilst we do indeed, dance in the moonlight. Since then, whenever this song comes on, I can’t help but smile and to make things better, it was the song which closed my 21st birthday  too, with my friend saying just the other day how it reminded her of my party! What a day (and night) that was, although I don’t remember half of it, I do remember everyone dancing in the dimly-lit gazebo to this song at 3 in the morning. Fond times indeed…

Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody

Lastly, here’s a song I can purely appreciate for it’s ingenious structure, gripping lyrics and ability to make one bring out the air guitar, without any fear of being judged – come on, we’ve all done it. I love Queen in their many glories, in-fact my entire family does, so it’s also a song which represents us as a whole, particularly Christmas dinner 2012. My brother and I had just arrived back at the pub, sat down for 2 seconds to eat with our crazy family and Bohemian Rhapsody came on. Well, that was it…I felt far too drunk to eat anyways, and it wasn’t long before we whipped out actual blow-up air guitars and danced around the dinner table whilst our siblings laughed and shuffled around in their seats, and our Turkey went cold. It’s simply a fun song to come on, with everyone nodding approvingly when it does, before trying to keep up with the lyrics and the speed and pulling distorted faces and throwing fingers here there and everywhere as the verses change and the tempo does the same…simply brilliant!

So there’s my celebratory album and I can see just a minute left on the clock; so, there’s only one way to fill then time…

La,la,la,la,laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Time: 11.00

Love & Lyrics,

Fox

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Writing 101: Day 2 – From Megabus to Malta

If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

As I sit on this jam-packed coach travelling from my home-town of Essex back to the land of Leeds, I feel that the question posed above couldn’t be more idealistic to get me thinking. After all, wherever my imagination transports me to has got to be better than this sweaty Megabus.

Knowing that I’m stuck on this coach for four and a half hours means that I have a lot of time to reflect and collect together my thoughts. I gently close my eyes and try to forget the baby’s blood-curdling cries in the background, forget the clammy heat and forget the smell of a traveller’s fishy dinner which has stuck itself to the inside of my nostrils…and instead transport myself to somewhere a little more picturesque.


My leather-strapped flip-flops are rubbing against my little toe, my red bag is heavy from damp towels and my hair is crisp-dry with sea-salt from snorkelling aside the rocks of St Peter’s Pool. I peer up at my big brother, who is walking beside me complaining of dehydration whilst I complain about my latest blister. It’s been a very tiring, but incredible day so far.

Looking for somewhere to relax and grab a beverage, we pass by a little string of café’s on our right. As if duplicated, the walls of each are stone white; a contrast to the bright-red bordered door frames and the ruby tables which glisten outside beneath the Mediterranean sun. Each is preciously shaded with a large parasol and we unashamedly sit down at the first one we see with a glass ashtray plonked in the middle. A blackboard stands boldly at the entrance, with chalky writing which lies upon powdered remnants of whatever was written down beforehand; it reads ‘Special of the Day – Fish Soup’. That’s hardly a surprise as we’ve been hitch-hiked down the steep mountain which conceals St Peter’s Pool to the highly cultural Fishing Village that is Marsaxlokk, Malta. The aura is quaint and peaceful, but with excitable undertones, as multi-coloured flags drape from one archaic building to the next, eagerly awaiting the celebrations to commence, as the following week marks the village’s annual Firework Festival!

We sit down outside so that we can smoke our Maltese cigarettes and order a refreshing beverage before we have to begin our long trip back to the hotel.  The tanned waiter has slicked black hair and his notepad is stained yellow alike his unappetizing pinafore, but he greets us with lashings of Maltese charm before jotting down my strawberry milkshake order and my brother’s classic choice of Peroni. Back’s pressed against the luminous plastic chairs, a little sticky in the sun, our agitations sink away and through the smoky atmosphere, my eyes are drawn to admiring the harbour of Marsaxlokk, where countless amounts of fishing boats gaily bob up and down in the distance. What a sight! These boats, known as Luzzu’s, are one of the many symbols of Malta.

Starting their lives as blank as wood, millions of years of tradition has seen them transform into a work of art. I simply love the arsenal of baby blues, sun-ripened yellows, royal reds and gorgeous greens which douse every inch of their aura. I smile a discovering smile, as looking right back at me is a pair of eyes on either side of the bow; twinkling alike mine at the beauty of the many colours reflecting off of the harbour’s clear waters.

(Photo taken from www.trekens.com)

(Photo taken from http://www.trekens.com)

Malta, 2014: A short piece inspired by my family holiday last year. Most probably as a result of this sweaty old bus, the concept of travel and the fishy feast someone’s snuck aboard!

Love & Thoughtful Memories,

Fox

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BLOGGER COMPETITION: #guessthepolish

BLOGGER GIVEAWAY: 6 DAYS LEFT BEAUTY LOVERS! What brand am I wearing? #guessthepolish

FoxBeauty

Are you a lover of the orange & coral tones which have hit big this spring? I sure am, having a few Tangerine inspired shades for my pout and now, I’ve got a bottle of orange juice for my talons too! If you are a fan, like moi, then listen up for your chance to win a bottle of the good stuff…

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What the brand says:“Quick dry, high gloss and long wear”

 I was hoping that the brand lived up to its statement of drying quickly as I stupidly did them whilst pre-drinking, so needed them to dry before I forgot about them and got orange paint down my nice white dress. Boy, was I surprised that they effortlessly did so and my dress stayed pretty and pure until I dropped ketchup down it at the end of the night – whoops!

The polish is very thick in texture and looks almost shellac-like upon your nails because of it’s…

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