Wednesday, 30 March 2011

NOTD - Gelato Nails




I saw a pic @HealerH posted from Essex Fashion Week on twitter over the weekend. It inspired me to do my own version of a gelato stand manicure. It would stand to reason that the sun has gone into hiding now that I have a summery manicure as well.

There is a selection of Barry M, Eyeko, OPI and a non brand in there. There is also a custom made colour combining a bright pink, lilac and white varnish to come up with a fifth pastel that would suit my skin tone.

I'm hoping the sun will come back out now! I'm thinking this look will go brilliantly with my opal ring!

Kisses,
Rebecca xxx

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Caudalie Vine Body Butter

caudalie vine body butter

This is firmly on my wish list! I go through A LOT of body lotion and I’m forever in search of the perfect consistency, fragrance and results. In the Caudalie Vie Body Butter, I have found my ultimate product. However, as a starving artist type, it is going to have to stay on my wish list for the time being. This doesn’t come cheap at £19 for 200 ml.

I was lucky enough to receive a deluxe sized sample tube a little while ago and I have used every morsel of it with delight! The smell is amazing! It’s like fresh fruit on a summer day! Not in that awful, synthetic way but in that fresh, health retreat kind of way. The luxury continues with a gorgeously squeezable consistency that absorbs beautifully into your skin without leaving it greasy. It really did make my mornings so much better when I’d put it on post shower!

For the week that I was using it my skin felt delightfully smooth and the skin tone on my legs was a lot more even than usual as well. With Bare Legs season upon us that’s a massive bonus. I didn’t ever get that dry, tight feeling that many non-greasy lotions leave you with but I didn’t have to wait around for it to absorb before I threw my clothes on in the mornings to hurriedly get my day under way.

I’m DYING to get my hands on a full sized tube! If you’ve got a birthday or some such coming up you really do need to ask a generous friend to get this for you! It can be ordered here directly from the Caudalie website.

Kisses,

Rebecca xxx

Monday, 28 March 2011

Umberto Giannini Morning After Shampoo




I've finally finished this bottle of dry shampoo. You have no idea how happy I was to place it in the trash! I have a really big thing with waste so couldn't justify simply throwing it away after the first few uses.

Dry shampoo is a staple product in my bathroom armoury. I subscribe to the theory that it's good for your hair not to wash it too often so I make as much effort as possible to wash it every third day. That generally means I'm going to require some dry shampoo for that pesky third day. I'm quite lucky as I really only need it through my fringe, though.

The size of the bottle is great. It's nice and big so you won't have to worry about re-purchasing it for a while. In saying that, it's not particularly purse friendly. Unlike Batiste, it doesn't leave a white cast over your hair if you're a brunette. That's always such a relief as the Granny Look isn't really my style.

However, the pros are far outweighed by the cons in this case. The smell drove me crazy. It's truly awful. It lingers all day and makes me wonder if I live in a chemical plant of some description. It even drowned out the fragrance of my coconut perfume oil. (I didn't think that was physically possible) Then there is the actual performance of the product. At no time did my hair look or feel fresh when I was wearing it. For the most part I thought it left my hair looking lanker and dirtier than before I had sprayed it in! The whole experience was just pretty dismal in general.

I really wouldn't recommend spending your money on this one. The bottle has a cute design but that's pretty much where the performance ends. There are plenty of cheaper and better dry shampoo options out there.

Kisses,
Rebecca xxx

PS, I didn't purchase this product. It was given to me for review purposes.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Great British Hairdresser

great british hairdresser

I’ve become a little addicted to this programme and it’s only been on for a few weeks! Oops! I love the work of both James Brown and Jo Elvin so it was a bit of a no brainer really. Plus, being someone that works on shoots, it’s always interesting to see someone else’s take on it and the looks they create.

I have a sneaky confession to make, though. I find myself watching just as muchjbrown_b for what spiffy outfit Mr Brown is sporting as for the creations of the contestants! I love a snappy dresser and it’s just not that common amongst men these days. Did I mention that he’s from my neck of the woods as well? Well, the neck of the woods I currently reside in (he’s not from Australia!!!).

This is a really fun show to watch so definitely check it out! E4 on Monday’s at 10pm.

Kisses,

Rebecca xxx

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Style Inspiration

fleetwood mac

Ok, so this will never happen but I love the look. All the sunshine we’ve got at the moment makes me hanker for effortlessly gorgeous skin, thick hair and lightweight dresses such as the one here on Stevie Nicks.

I bet a little MAC Face & Body, bronzer, eyeliner, mascara and gloss would recreate this makeup brilliantly. How to de-age myself by about 15 years is still be determined.

A girl can dream, right?

Kisses,

Rebecca xxx

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Winsor Pilates

winsor pilates

This post is SERIOUSLY overdue!!! For that, I really do apologise.

I’ve always thought Pilates was for those tall, naturally skinny people that had very few curves. I figured it was fine once or twice a week alongside some serious cardio action for the rest of us mere mortals but didn’t think it would really achieve too much. Personally, I’m more of a yoga girl. I just adore the stretch you get out of yoga! Apparently that’s quite common for uber-bendy people with hyper flexibility like me.

Before I left Australia I was a bit of a fitness fiend. I would do some serious running and whatnot as part of a Boot Camp group in the mornings, see my personal trainer three lunch times a week and frequently do a spin, boxing or yoga class in the evenings. I kept that up for six months straight before heading over to the UK where I proceeded to become the squidgy thing you see today. I was forever being told by my trainers that I needed to ease off but once you get into it, addiction kicks in. Not to mention guilt. Who gets guilty over only going to the gym once or twice a day? Freak!

More worryingly, the injuries that came out of it were the really big thing. Over the six months I was in Boot Camp and with my little posse of gym addicts I watched us all drop off one by one with this or that injury. Mostly it was thanks to the running we did around the streets of Sydney’s CBD. It’s hell on your joints. For me, I twisted a fragile knee on a day that we ran up and down a notoriously long, steep colonial set of steps 20 times (over 1,000 steps in all by the time we finished) and refused to take days off. Then there is my old friend, the back injury. Originally sustained during a particularly shocking horse fall when I was young, it doesn’t take much to set it off. Before I moved to the UK I had a regular physiotherapist that kept things under control. I switched to a sports specific physio during my Boot Camp phase as they knew that none of us were going to stop running and would patch things up for us to keep on going. It was during this time I was told it was either running or yoga but not both. My option was Pilates. Pfft. Pilates? Useless! But I gave up yoga.

I no longer have the regular physio sessions now I’m in the UK. Things like home ownership and a new found dislike for anything gym related have put paid to that. However, I still need to try keep in shape! As you know, my Shredding experiment ended with me stuck bent over one day putting my tights on in debilitating and painful back spasms. I just can’t run, jump or generally bounce around anymore. Clearly several more horse falls have made it worse and now my neck likes to join in the Injury Gang as well.

When I was sent the Winsor Pilates kit to try out I really didn’t think it would come to much but I was desperate. My back was in some serious trouble. Well, I’ll hold my hands up and say I’m an idiot. I’ve been recommending this to everyone. My back is in great shape. I still can’t bounce around but I am back to doing yoga again and I am confident that I’m not about to be debilitated by a back spasm any time soon!

It’s a quick and gentle 20 minute workout. It flies by and you really don’t feel like it’s hard work at all! It’s the ring that is my favourite thing. Unlike all the normal Pilates classes I used to go to back in the day this actually makes me feel like my core is working! I can FEEL it engaging! Even if I’m sitting on the train or walking around I can feel a strengthened core like never before. Best of all, it makes a really big difference to my figure! I can always tell when I’ve been doing it or taking a break! And it only takes two or three times a week over the course of two or three weeks to see the difference. I took things really easy and did just Winsor Pilates and a little walking over about four months. I only ever did it two or three times a week and often had whole weeks off. Now I’m doing a couple of long walks a week and tend to do yoga a few times a week. Yoga will always and forever be my first love. I keep the Winsor Pilates on hand for when I can feel things not being quite right for my back. It gets things back on track super quickly.

The dvd itself is a little cheesy. I wish I could remember the routine off by heart so I could just listen to my own music and do it! But when it works and it’s only 20 minutes it’s not so bad. I try to tune it out as much as possible.

Best of all, this is super easy on the pocket! It’s only £9.95 plus postage for the dvd, the ring and all the diet plans, etc. I didn’t do the diet. My days of those strict meal plans are well and truly over. (Please pass the Maltesers.) There is also a ten minute fat loss workout but for obvious reasons I’ve never tried that either. I’m all about the 20 minute Pilates workout.

You can order yours online here. I really can’t recommend this enough. It’s perfect for anyone that wants to see results whilst keeping things gentle and without spending too much time on it.

Kisses,

Rebecca xxx

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

How Many Ways Can I Love Caudalie?

caudalie-premier-cru-eye-cream

Clearly I’m a bit of a Francophile. I love Paris and the idea of all things Parisienne. Is it any wonder that I love French skin care? I should add here that I also love Japanese beauty regimes and out of a tiny sense of loyalty to my origins I enjoy a natural Aussie product as well. But back to the French. They’re impossibly gorgeous, they do great food and there is generally good wine involved in that equation as well. What’s not to love?

I’ve loved Caudalie for a long time. My favourite favourite product of theirs has always been the Beauty Elixir. I’d like to think it’s my good nature rather than being impossibly boring, but a lot of my clients feel so relaxed while I work on them that they start to drift off. It’s always the Beauty Elixir being spritzed on them at the end that makes them feel refreshed and perky enough to get out of the chair and go about their business for the day!

When I heard there was a new eye cream being launched by the brand obviously I wanted to know all about it. Especially when it’s name was Premier Cru. It makes me think of champagne. I love champagne. Mostly it was the recent discovery that I’ve suddenly developed the eyelids of an 80 year old that made me desperate to try out whatever was the latest and greatest in eye creams.

When choosing an eye cream I’m all about something to brighten the amazingly dark circles under my eyes and something to firm the eyelids. This claims to be great with both. I’ve been using it morning and night for two weeks now. Yes, my circles are substantially brighter. I have to say that they’re industrial strength circles but there has certainly been some improvement. Personally, I think there has been some improvement in my eyelids as well. I’ll leave it to you to decide. I’ve only been using it for two weeks though so I’m not exactly expecting miracles.

premier cru before premier cru after 2 wks

What’s the big deal about Caudalie Premier Cru Eye Creme? Like the Premier Cru Creme it’s based on all three of Caudalie’s patents: Grapevine Resveratrol, Viniferine from Vine Sap and Grape-seed Polyphenols. Huh??? You might be starting to get the idea behind Caudalie’s main philosophy here. That grapes are a seriously powerful antioxidant not only in wine but also when included in your skin care regime. Essentially, the Resveratrol is for firming, the Viniferine is for brightening and the Polyphenols are the antioxidants that block 100% of free radicals and are 10,000 times more powerful than Vitamin E. I get pretty excited about techy-speak like that.

15ml will last you a fairly long time. You only need to use half a pump morning and night. It’s this half-a-pump business that is my one and only draw back so far for this product. Why can’t the pump just dispense the correct amount? Why do I have to get the pressure and timing just right on my pump? Or could it possibly just come in a tube? That makes life so much easier and it means I can really get every last bit of product before having to buy a new one. (I hate waste. It’s bad for the planet and for my purse.) In the grand scheme of things, this is a teeny tiny element in what is, otherwise, a very results driven product.

There are a few other little bits that make me love Caudalie. They’re 100% independently owned. No multi national investment companies putting their £20 billion opinions in. It’s all about the skin care and how effective it is. There are zero nasties in these products. They’re incredibly natural, pure and fantastic for the most sensitive of skins. They’re not insanely expensive. Ok, this particular product is around £49 but it’s the super high end of their product range. If you’re ever in France, go to a pharmacy and buy up in bulk as it’s loads cheaper!

If a glamorous trip to France isn’t on the cards for you any time soon (don’t worry, me neither) then you can get yours directly from Caudalie's UK website. 

Kisses,

Rebecca xxx

* This product was given to me for review purposes free of charge.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

New CID i-Flick

iflick

I’ve used this pen on a few occasions now. I’ve been sitting on the fence with these eyeliner pens for some time. Personally, I’m a great fan of a cake eyeliner used with a brush. I find it’s the most accurate, versatile and fool proof way to do eyeliner. They tend to have incredible lasting power as well. I can see, however, that for an every day girl wanting an every day eyeliner my method might not be the quickest or most convenient. Enter the eyeliner pen.

I’ve tried a few different ones out and I’ve never really talked about them much on here because I’ve never really found one that I’ve wanted to rave about. You know what I’m like, I hate giving bad reviews and prefer to just say nothing at all. The big thing for me on these pens is that for anyone that has the slightest crinkle on their eyelids it’s just not going to work. Seeing as I’m ageing as we speak here and experience eczema on my eyelids from time to time I’ve found that I have prematurely developed the eyelids of an 80 year old. That makes these pens a disaster zone. Not only is it difficult to draw onto these crinkly lids with such a fine, firm pen but the liner runs into the crinkles in much the same way that a red lip gloss runs into the feathery lip wrinkles of a middle aged smoker that’s seen a chardonnay too many.

So, it was with trepidation (as usual when it comes to new products so often these days) that I tried this latest pen liner out. The cute thing about the i-flick is that it has a regular wind up pencil liner at the other end. I do love a multifunctional product. When it comes to long wearing liner I like to use the “sandwich” method and layer up liquid, pencil and powder so nothing will budge for around five million hours.

So there was a teensy bit of running into my 80-year-old-eyelid-crinkles but nothing nearly as bad as the other liner pens I’ve tried. The key is obviously to run the side of the nib along the lash line as opposed to drawing with the tip like you would on a piece of paper. This technique helps to create a lovely, smooth line. It’s not too hard to go from a fine line to a more dramatic, thick line. By running the pencil over the top it softens out the harshness of the liquid line and hides any little errors you made putting it on as well.

For me, the standout here is the lasting power. There is no transfer, no running and it’s inky blackness stays allllllll day no matter what you might be doing. (Three hour hike through the valleys of Surrey) That's also where one of my little gripes comes in as well. No matter how long I keep the cotton pads soaked in eye makeup remover on my eyes there is always a little black stain left on my eyelids when I go to bed at night. I have quite porous skin but I don’t love it when a product stains it. If you want long wearing liner and it’s your every day look then you probably won’t mind this.

Here is a look where I used the i-flick. Unfortunately the video tutorial is being held hostage by my failing technology set up here at home but hopefully it will be up sooner rather than later.

photo

Having had a look on the internet for a great deal on these, it looks like feelunique.com are doing them for £16.50 with free delivery rather than the RRP of £18.50. Fab! This is the bit where I tell you that I was sent mine for review purposes. Would I part with my hard earned money for this product? Well, lets put it this way, it’s the only pen eyeliner I’d consider purchasing out of the ones I’ve tried.

Kisses,

Rebecca xxx

Monday, 14 March 2011

NOTD I'm Not Really A Waitress and Vampira Polish




I fancied dark nails this weekend but with the sun being out I wanted a little twist with it. I haven't used my Eyeko Vampira Polish forever so felt compelled to use it again. I really wanted the red flecks to be more of a focal point so I decided to layer it up with some OPI I'm Not Really A Waitress.

There are three layers in total with the INRAW sandwiched between the Vampira. Why, you ask? I thought the metallic red in the INRAW would highlight the red flecks in the Vampira through it's sheer, black base.

It's hard to see in this photo but in the sunlight it's doing exactly what I had hoped for.

And so, my mission to create new looks with my existing polish collection continues.

Kisses,
Rebecca xxx

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, 11 March 2011

RapidLash Two Weeks In

So I've been religiously putting my RapidLash on before I go to bed every evening for two weeks now.

Here is a Before pic...





These are the Two Weeks In pics with and without mascara...









I've noticed a little difference. They seem a smidge longer than before. I shall check in again with more progress in two weeks time.

Kisses,
Rebecca xxx

*This product was sent to me free of charge for review purposes.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Jergens Naturals Age Defying Body Lotion

jergens-naturals-age-defying-body-moisturiser-200ml

I’ve been sauntering the aisles of Superdrug again. I’m not sure that my quest for budgetary grooming products will ever cease! I think I also might be the last blogger on planet earth to try Jergens Naturals. As usual I was looking for something purse friendly that would give me great moisturisation and that was cruelty free.

It claimed it would give me younger looking skin in two weeks. The tube lasted me about two and a half weeks and I was using it morning and night. It has a really fresh fragrance that might not appeal to everyone but I loved. It’s green tea based so the fragrance was a perfect match to that kind of vibe. The consistency was just right. It left me feeling moisturised without being greasy and it did a good job of it too. For the most part my skin didn’t feel dry, tight or itchy.

What I loved was all the info on the back letting me know that it was a cruelty free product and that it was produced in the UK so it was pretty minimal as far as carbon footprint was concerned. Yay!

Does my skin look younger? I have no idea! I haven’t really noticed any difference to be honest. How is body skin supposed to look younger? It’s not like it has wrinkles or anything! I do know that I liked it and it’s something I would definitely purchase again. Well, I would if I wasn’t some weird junkie always looking for the next great thing.

You can get yours from Superdrug.

Kisses,

Rebecca xxx

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate

embryolisse_beauty_feature_main

I’ve been using Emryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate in my working kit as a primer for years. I love the finish it gives skin for photography. I recently decided to give it a try as it was intended, as an every day moisturiser. I’ve always loved French skin care so I figured it was going to go pretty well.

It sure has! I’ve been using it for a few weeks morning and night and it’s leaving my skin beautifully smooth and even. At first it felt a little over moisturised but I think that was a user error more than anything. Plus, the recent cold snap has meant my skin has been feeling a little dehydrated so it’s enjoying the extra moisturisation.

I will say that the ingredients list for this product is like a who’s who of parabens and mineral oils. It’s not exactly what one would call “natural”. In saying that, I’ve never had a client that couldn’t wear it or had a reaction to it. My skin breaks out pretty easily and doesn’t love creams laden with mineral oils usually. In this case it’s been fine though!

Embryolisse can be tricky to come by in the UK. I know that a couple of pro stores sell it like Guru Makeup Emporium and Screen Face. Your best bet is to pop into any French pharmacy next time you’re on vacation and pick it up cheaply!!!

Kisses,

Rebecca xxx