Beauty – hair and makeup treatments, reviews and wishlists!

London Fashion Week SS16: Oxford Fashion Studio

I kicked off London Fashion Week this year with an invite from the lovely people at Oxford Fashion Studio, as part of their London Collections*.

Backstage, London Fashion Week SS16, Oxford Fashion StudiosOxford Fashion Studio feature established and emerging designers from 30 countries, and produce shows, photo shoots, and launches. The event on Saturday took place at the lovely Devonshire Square, and I was so excited – I’ve never really been to any fashion week events before, and I absolutely loved the show.

I was able to get backstage with my blogger pass before the show, expecting to maybe have a quick chat, but it was just as chaotic as you’d imagine – but it was fascinating to watch these beautiful models prepare for the show!

Backstage, London Fashion Week SS16, Oxford Fashion StudiosBackstage, London Fashion Week SS16, Oxford Fashion StudiosI went to the 3pm show. I actually really enjoyed all the collections featured – Tanya Elizabeth was my personal favourite, as I could definitely see myself in several of her pieces (and I managed to have a quick chat with her afterwards!)

While others, although perhaps not quite so accessible for someone like me, were delightfully bonkers and beautiful anyway (like Lucy Treadwell’s hair-piece accents, or Dorin Negrau’s Romanian-inspired patterned pieces).

Tanya Elizabeth, Oxford Fashion Studios, London Fashion Week SS16, Devonshire SquareTanya Elizabeth, Oxford Fashion Studios, London Fashion Week SS16, Devonshire SquareHere’s a full list of the designers from the event:

Tanya Elizabeth // SS16 // UK
FB // Twitter // Instagram

Hailly London // Hailly London // UK
FB // Twitter // LinkedIn

MERCÊ // Brazil // UK
FB // Twitter // Instagram

Zumruduanka // ZA // Turkey
FB // Twitter // Instagram

Lucy Treadwell

Eskay W // SS16 // UK
FB // Twitter // Instagram

Urchindeep // Explore the Earth // Turkey
FB // Instagram

Dorin Negrau // Dorin Negrau // Romania
FB // Twitter // Instagram

Zumruduanka, Oxford Fashion Studios, London Fashion Week SS16, Devonshire SquareLucy Treadwell, Oxford Fashion Studios, London Fashion Week SS16, Devonshire SquareLucy Treadwell, Oxford Fashion Studios, London Fashion Week SS16, Devonshire SquareIt really was an incredible experience – all the designers were really talented, and the Devonshire Square venue was amazing too.

Lucy Treadwell, Oxford Fashion Studios, London Fashion Week SS16, Devonshire SquareLucy Treadwell, Oxford Fashion Studios, London Fashion Week SS16, Devonshire SquareDorin Negrau, Oxford Fashion Studios, London Fashion Week SS16Merce, Oxford Fashion Studios, London Fashion Week SS16, Devonshire SquareOxford Fashion Studios, London Fashion Week SS16, Devonshire SquareAnd in honor of fashion week, I ventured back to Blo in Covent Garden to get a waterfall braid. While I was there I was able to see Charles Pétillon’s balloon installation in the piazza, which is seriously dreamy.

Covent Garden Balloons
Waterfall Braid, Blo Blow Dry Bar, Covent Garden, LFW SS16Waterfall Braid, Blo Blow Dry Bar, Covent Garden, LFW SS16All in all, I had a fabulous start to Fashion Week, and can’t wait to see the other shows that everyone else has been to on Instagram!

Are you going to any shows this year? Be sure to comment below, and don’t forget to follow me on TwitterFacebook or Instagram!

* I was kindly invited along to Oxford Fashion Studio’s London Collections, but all opinions are my own.

Blo, Covent Garden

Is there anyone that doesn’t love a good blowout? I was super excited when I was given the chance to head to Blo in Covent Garden*. Blo is Gwyneth Paltrow’s blow dry bar franchise, which operates a no cut, no colour service – strictly blow dries and hair styling only.

Blo, Blow Dry Bar, Covent Garden, LondonIt’s a massively popular trend in the States, and definitely a welcome addition! My hair is really thick, and quite hard to style – I blow dry it almost everyday, but as an amateur it doesn’t really seem to hold a style for very long.

Blo, Blow Dry Bar, Covent Garden, LondonBlo, Blow Dry Bar, Covent Garden, LondonLuckily, this isn’t the sort of thing that phases the team at Blo. They have a whole ‘hair menu’ of styles to choose from – from intricate fishtail plaits and braided hairstyles to more traditional blowouts.

Blo, Blow Dry Bar, Covent Garden, LondonBlo, Blow Dry Bar, Covent Garden, LondonHolly Would, Blo, Blow Dry Bar, Covent Garden, LondonimageI decided to go for the ‘Holly Would’ – a fabulous mass of curls, with plenty of volume.

Blo, Blow Dry Bar, Covent Garden, London^^ The standard ‘before’ shot.

Blo, Blow Dry Bar, Covent Garden, LondonBlo Bar Covent GardenThe time it took to wash and style my hair took one hour – a massive feat for my thick mane! All the products they used were vegan, organic and gluten-free, and smelled absolutely incredible.

I was able to relax, chat to my lovely stylist and have a cup of tea through the whole process – really very civilised. On weekday mornings, they also do a breakfast bar with pastries, fruit and porridge – which is such a fantastic idea!

Blo Bar Covent GardenBlo Bar Covent GardenI was absolutely over the moon with the results. So bouncy, I felt totally glamorous – all for just £28!

Blo Bar Covent GardenBlo Bar Covent GardenBlo Bar Covent GardenBlo Bar Covent GardenI would really recommend the experience, especially before a night out on the town! You can also get your nails done at Blo, a perfect way to get ready for the weekend.

Holly Would, Blo, Blow Dry Bar, Covent Garden, LondonHolly Would, Blo, Blow Dry Bar, Covent Garden, LondonHolly Would, Blo, Blow Dry Bar, Covent Garden, LondonI would wholeheartedly recommend the experience – they also have a loyalty card, meaning you can get a styling for free after you go a few times. It’s perfect for a weekend treat, or to get before a big important meeting for work!

Have you been to Blo? What do you think of blow dry bars? Be sure to comment below, and don’t forget to follow me on TwitterFacebook or Instagram!

* I was kindly given the opportunity to go to Blo for the purposes of review – all opinions are fully my own, and I wouldn’t blog about it if I didn’t love the service!

July Beauty Favourites

I haven’t done a beauty post in months – I’ve mostly been travelling around and stuffing my face! I’ve also been trying to be a little more restrictive with my beauty spending – trying to curb it as my mum embarrassingly pointed out during her visit, of the 35 bottles of shampoo, shower gel, moisturiser and conditioner in the bathroom, only one of them belonged to my boyfriend! Living in a tiny studio apartment means that I have to be clever with space.

Which brings me to my first July beauty favourite, which was also my birthday present from my lovely boyfriend – a brand new battlestation!

Ikea Brimnes Dressing TableThis one is the Ikea Brimnes dressing table, which is brilliant for our tiny flat. It’s got a mirror that opens up, and quite a bit of storage space for all my makeup and looks great, too! The best part is the inside of the drawers are red, which means it won’t look too messy with all the brushes and tools I keep inside.

Islandbell July Beauty FavouritesIslandbell July Beauty FavouritesI got my hands on some of these products when I was back in New York, but I have absolutely been loving these in July!

In the top left you’ll find the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact in Bronze. I picked this one up at Sephora, and it’s really delicately shimmery with an almost rose-gold sheen to it. It’s so versatile, and when I’m going away for the weekend I usually take this compact, using it as a bronzer and an eyeshadow – it’s really pretty, subtle and great for summer.

Next up is the Real Techniques Bold Metals Flat Contour Brush. Not only does it look amazing on my dressing table, but it’s such good value for money. This one costs a little more than the usual Real Techniques range, but is brilliant for blending and contouring – it’s just the right length, and the bristles are packed in really tight. It’s definitely one of the brushes I reach for the most!

Inside the little Lush tin is the Honey I Washed My Hair shampoo bar from, unsurprisingly, Lush. I tried their conditioner bars before, and wasn’t a massive fan (I think my hair is far too thick for that) but the shampoo bars are ridiculously good. This one is my favourite so far – it smells like honey and toffee, and has a really satisfying lather – and it saves on unnecessary packaging too. What’s not to like? I’ve had mine for about two months now, so you get a lot of uses out if it (provided that someone doesn’t break off massive chunks at a time!)

On the top right you’ll find the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit. Used with the Real Techniques contour brush, you can (almost) change the shape of your face. Okay, so maybe that is a massive exaggeration, but it’s seriously amazing how a little bit of clever contouring can make your face seem a little less ball-like, in my case. At £39, it’s not dirt cheap, so I still stick to the Beauty UK Cosmetics Ultimate Contour Palette during the week, and save this one for special occasions.

Also from Anastasia Beverly Hills is the Dipbrow in Chocolate. I’ve been using this with the Zoeva 317 wing brush to fill in my eyebrows, and it’s become a holy grail product. The cream-to-powder formula is really, really good, making my eyebrows that bit more defined and helping to frame my face. I’m wearing all the Anastasia Beverly Hills products in the photos below – one smiling, and one where I look a bit grumpy – but so you can really see the difference products make!

Islandbell July Beauty FavouritesIslandbell July Beauty FavouritesI’ve had a few drugstore favourites this month, too! Rimmel London’s Kate range of lipsticks have always been one of my favourites, as I don’t really tend to wear lipstick, but they do a few really good nudes. This month, I picked up Rimmel Kate Lipstick Nude in Shade 43. It’s got a really creamy formula, and the colour is the perfect nude colour for me. I also picked it up in shade 40, but it was far too light and made me look really weird (that is, more than I do usually).

Kate Moss Nude Lipstick, Maybelline 24-hour color tattoo eyeshadow creamy beige and on and on bronze, le roche posay sunscreenI’ve gotten really into cream-to-powder eyeshadows too, and have been alternating using Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24 Hour Eyeshadow in Creamy Beige and On and On Bronze. It is really long-lasting, even without using a primer, so it’s a great one to put on and forget about during the week. In the photo below, I’m wearing creamy beige.

Islandbell July Beauty FavouritesI also turned the big 2-4 in July, and in the past month I seem to have turned into my mother. For my entire life, she’s been obsessed with putting factor 50 on her face everyday, and she could easily pass for twenty years younger than she is. She’s clearly doing something right, so I’ve been taking a leaf out of her book and have been putting a layer of La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Ultra-Light Fluid on every day as part of my daily routine. The name is a mouthful, and almost impossible to pronounce, but it’s been a godsend – it’s so light you can’t feel it, doesn’t make you feel greasy or break you out, but keeps your face protected all day. Win!

Lush Yuzu and Cocoa, Fushi Cellulite Oil, La Roche Posay SunscreenFor skincare, I’ve been really liking the Lush shower gel in Yuzu and Cocoa. It smells like chocolate orange, and is refreshing and comforting at the same time. The only problem I have with it is that I want to eat it!

Fushi Really Good Cellulite OilMy next beauty favourite is the Fushi Really Good Cellulite Oil*. After my beach holiday earlier this year, I’ve been really trying to get in better shape – going to more exercise classes and eating healthier, too. I’ve been supplementing that with this cellulite oil from Fushi, which smells like peppermint. It’s got green coffee bean extract, which is supposed to be really great for combating cellulite! I do feel like it’s making my skin softer, and that it’s working, but most of all I’m just really enjoying using a body oil as it’s not usually part of my daily routine!

Have you used any of these products? What were your favourites last month? Comment below, and don’t forget to follow me on TwitterFacebook or Instagram!

* I was sent the Fushi product to review – but was under no obligation to blog about it if I didn’t like it!

Summertime Virgin Mojito

It finally feels like summertime, which can only mean one thing – mojitos!

DSC03877Mojitos are my go-to cocktail in the summer months, so I was thrilled when the lovely people at the Body Shop got in touch about their new Virgin Mojito range.

Body Shop Virgin Mojito RangeLime and Mint Body Shop Virgin Mojito RangeI’ve tried the body butter, body scrub and body sorbet and the range smells incredible. The lime and mint really come through, with a little hint of cucumber – although that isn’t listed – and it’s a really fresh, summery scent. I’ve always loved Body Shop body butters in particular, and the virgin mojito one is no different. It’s thick and creamy, but with a light scent, meaning it’s not overpowering.

Lime and Mint Body Shop Virgin Mojito Range

To celebrate the launch of Body Shop’s Happy Skin Virgin Mojito range, I’ve come up with a virgin mojito recipe for the summer months.

Summertime Virgin Mojito
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Virgin Mojito Recipe - refreshing and basically guilt-free, the perfect drink for the summer months.
Author:
Recipe type: Cocktails
Cuisine: Cocktails
Serves: 4 Tumblers
Ingredients
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • Soda water
  • Ice
Instructions
  1. At the bottom of each glass, grind the mint using the juice of half a lime, and half a spoon of sugar.
  2. Once the leaves have broken up a bit, add half a tablespoon of agave syrup.
  3. Top with soda water and ice, and a few extra mint leaves to serve.
Lime and MintIt’s really refreshing, and you really don’t miss the alcohol that much, making it the perfect drink for summer nights – particularly during the week!

Body Shop Virgin Mojito Range

What’s your favourite virgin cocktail? Have you tried any of the Body Shop’s latest range? Comment below, and be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

This post was made in collaboration with the Body Shop, who sent me samples to review and reimbursed the cost of producing this post. As always, all opinions are my own – I wouldn’t blog about it if I didn’t love it!

 

March Makeup Favourites

I’ve put myself on a spending ban of sorts, but I’ve rediscovered items already in my possession this month, with some late Christmas presents I missed in my previous beauty post! So without further ado, here are a few of my makeup favourites for March so far:

March Beauty Favourites

The Tools

Real Techniques make high quality yet affordable makeup brushes, and this month I’ve been making use of the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, mostly for blending. I’ve discovered the amazing and cheap-as-chips Beauty UK Ultimate Contour Palette, which has been great – it’s got a cream formula, which is quite hard to find in a contouring palette, especially for under a fiver! I’ve been using it with the Real Techniques Bold Metals Contour Brush. I love the bold metals collection – not only the look, but the soft, synthetic fibres are perfect for picking up makeup and blending.

Real Techniques Bold Metals, Eyelash Curlers

The eyeliner brush is perfect for shaping eyebrows, and looks great on my dressing table too!

I’ve upgraded my old Mac eyelash curlers for a new Shu Uemura, and the difference has been astounding. The results have been really dramatic, and this is one cult beauty tool that lives up to its reputation.

The Products

I’m pretty fussy about perfumes – my go-to scents are Chloe, Elie Saab and YSL Cinema. I got a bottle of Trussardi Donna for Christmas, a brand I hadn’t been familiar with in the past. This scent has fast become a favourite – with base notes of vanilla and sandalwood and a citrusy overtone, it’s in a similar vein to my staples and I absolutely adore it.

Trussardi Donna, Mac Paint Pot, Beauty UK Contour Palette, YSL Blush

For my eyes, I’ve been making good use of my Urban Decay NAKED 2 Palette, the shade YDK in particular. I’ve been building it over the cream Mac Paint Pot in Frozen Violet, which is a beautifully pigmented cream shadow in a metallic taupe shade. I’m not usually a fan of colourful eyeshadows, but this is such a gorgeous shade, and the formula is really long-lasting too.

March Beauty Favourites

This peach YSL blush is one I’ve had for quite a while, and I’ve only just rediscovered my fondness for it – I find myself reaching for the peachy shade the further we get into spring.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your March favourites?