Lifestyle, fashion and beauty

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week review #04

A little late, but I planned to put this up on Sunday and Asif was ill and then last night I was at #Zomgbloggersbash, so here it is!
A sneak of the outfit I wore to #Zomgbloggersbash
Work was hectic but good the last week. I felt it was really worthwhile and I got lots done. After an annual review I feel much clearer about what I want to do at work and what to concentrate on. Previous reviews haven't been so useful at other jobs I was at, so felt this one was really good.
Had a bit of a shopping spree last week. It was my first time shopping in absolutely ages! It's hard work saving for a wedding, and trying to put money away, but managed to sneak myself a couple of lovely outfits and accessories. One of them was for an event last night.
A card I made at the #Zomgblggersbash. Not brilliant, but in my defence I was gossiping away and not really concentrating.
Speaking of which... I went to the #ZOMGBLOGGERSBASH for the launch of a new lipstick collaboration between Rockalily London Lipstick and The London Lipgloss. It was very exciting!I wore my new red and cream polka dot dress for it. I took loads of pictures and will hopefully put some up in the next couple of days.

This week I have a possible couple of events to attend and another couple of 'A day out in London...' posts with lots of nice pictures for you to peruse. Let me know how your week is going so far.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: Macdonald Spa and Decléor new treatment

Last week I went down to central London to the launch to try out a new spa experience. Macdonald Hotels will be rolling out the new Paradise Escape treatment with Decléor in 24 of its spas across the country from February.
Last week a handful of us had a chance to see what was on offer. The treatment, we were told, was the most decadent and luxurious experience on offer at the spas. And it wasn't difficult to see why. Oils, balms, and scrubs are drizzled, smoothed, massaged and buffed against the skin for the ultimate spa experience.
Decléor was given free reign to come up with an exciting new treatment and didn't disappoint. It includes a full body exfoliation using seeds from a Madagascan fruit boabab. The fruit has six times as much vitamin C as an orange and helps rejuvenate the skin. And when I tried it against my skin it really did hydrate my dry winter skin.
After the exfoliation comes a massage using warm balms over the legs and back, and sink into the skin with the help of a massage tool, the acacia massager. Firstly the scrub was lovely and fruity, without scratching the skin, but you could feel the grains working into the skin. The balms, although solid in the tub, once put onto the skin just melted in almost like an oil. They were lovely and so moisturising. I also sampled the massager, which was surprisingly relaxing. When the therapists used it on the lady above it looked like they were pressing really hard into her skin, but when I had a sample of it, because of its big rounded head it didn't hurt at all, but was quite soothing.
The treatment is completed with a facial massage using an orange blossom elixir and another massage of the body.
We had a chance to try out all the products that can be used with this, and even had lovely hand and arm massages to see the effects of them. I came out of there absolutely glowing and felt like it really did hydrate my skin.
The whole experience costs £110 from Monday to Thursday, and £115 from Fridays to Sundays. Considering what you get with the treatment it seems like a good price. I will definitely be booking myself in for a treatment to get the full experience.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A day out in London - Part 3

Yesterday I went into central London, and being at a loose end went to the V&A museum on the recommendation of Ayshe from Discovering Beauty and Bettina from Beauty Swot. Can you believe I have been in London for 18 months and not been to any museums?! Well I took the day out as a perfect opportunity to take some more pictures for my London project, which is about me rediscovering London. You can see part one and part two by clicking on the links.
I stopped off at South Kensington underground station and went through the underground subway that leads to the different museums. Once inside we went exploring and taking pictures of all the different artifacts. Note: you are allowed to take pictures of most of the artifacts, but best to check as I don't think they allow pictures in the jewellery section.
I was fascinated by the Islamic art and clligraphy. I loved the designs there. We started off looking at Mughal art and jewellery, like the pieces seen above and below. We also saw some artwork from Turkey and Iran.
The top spoon is made from gold, and encrusted in emeralds, diamonds and rubies, and dates from the 1600s.
Above is a Tahveez, a religious pendant worn by Shah Jahan, a Mughal king. And below, my favourite, is a thumb ring worn in the first half of the 17th Century, during Mughal times, and is made of gold, rubies and emeralds. Gorgeous! I wouldn't mind one of these.
After this we had a look at art from China and Japan. The Samurai swords were cool and there were loads of masks and suits of armour.
Here are a few more pictures from my visit, and me messing around on one of the bikes parked outside.

We didn't get a chance to have a look around all of it, but next time will definitely check out the jewellery section, and the fashion section is due to open in the spring.
Have you been to the V&A? And if you have what do you recommend for me to see next time?

Week Review #3

On Wednesday Asif and I did some wedding planning and shopping in Southall. I got measured and fitted for one of my wedding outfits. He checked out his outfit, we looked for a traditional Asian hat to go with it, looked at wedding invites, other outfits, and then had dinner at Mirch Masala. We had aloo keema and butter chicken, and it was lovely. That is probably one of our favourite places to eat out in Southall.  
In the evening I headed over to Mayfair for a beauty event with Macdonald Hotels and Decleor. They were launching a new spa experience, and we had a chance to trial it. It was a lovely event, and I had a goodie bag full of lovely beauty products to take home. The post should be going up this week.

On Saturday I headed on over to the V&A museum on recommendation from Ayshe from Discovering Beauty and Bettina from BeautySwot. And what a recommendation it was! I can't believe in the time I have been in London I haven't visited any museums. I had a fab time, and will definitely go back to have a look at some more of the collections. The post on this will follow soon too.

And finally, today I met up with the lovely Ayshe, from Discovering Beauty. I wanted to have a look around Notting Hill and Portabello Market for my London project and she was kind enough to show me around. We did some window shopping and had a good catch up. It was lovely seeing her! We had a look around the markets and some of the trinket stalls, and then stopped for dinner at Itsu and had a good chat. The sushi was lovely, and although the heavens looked like they were going to open, the weather thankfully held up.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: L'Oreal Color Riche lipstick in crystal cappucino

 I did a review of a L'Oreal lipstick from the Color Riche range and can't get enough of it! This week I am looking at Crystal Cappucino, shade 362, which is a golden brown colour. The lipstick comes in the standard sleek gold L'Oreal packaging, with an easy to close clip lid.
 The shade itself looks like a medium to dark brown colour, with a warm red undertone. It also has gold flecks and shimmer to it. Hopefully this photo shown the gold flecks clearly. But as you can see from the swatch below the brown colour doesn't come out as dark as it looks in bullet form, and the gold flecks are not obvious. There is certainly a shimmer to it, but it looks almost silvery as it catches the light. 
 My thoughts on the lipstick are it is ultra-moisturising, much like the others in the same range. I like the sleek packaging, and the holographic label. But I like the colour more. I do prefer neutral/brown shades for every day wear rather than darker reds, which I save for weekends or days out. For me this is the perfect colour to wear for work and looks great on the lips without being too much. But because of the slight shimmer it won't be everyone's cup of tea.

Regardless, it gets the thumbs up from me! What do you think of it? And would you wear it?

A day out in London - part 2

Last week me and Asif ventured into Canary Wharf. I wanted to test out my camera, and it was part of my personal project to rediscover London. Part 1 of my project can be seen by clicking on the link. The aim is to take pictures in and around the area I live, and rediscover some of the touristy places I haven't seen since I moved here 18 months ago.
So on this particular day we decided to go to Canary Wharf, a particular favourite of mine. Asif used to work there, and we often went out in Canary Wharf for dinner after work. I especially love the skyline at night time as it is one of the most iconic images of London.
We took the DLR to Canary Wharf and had a walk around some of the big banking buildings, tried out my camera and these pictures of us were from me testing out the lenses.
It was eerie quiet with it being a weekend and hardly and workers around. We seemed to be the only people wandering around the buildings. That and the odd police car we passed.
We went to the Canary Wharf shopping centre, and then took the DLR to Island Gardens. I had never been here before and was keen to have a look around. Unfortunately we left it a bit late in the day to have a look in Mudchute Farm, or Greenwich Market and it was getting dark, but we had a look around the gardens and I got some pictures of Canary Wharf from afar. If you are ever in the area have a look down there, despite being so close to the financial quarter it is a little quiet haven in itself and lovely to walk around.
After our walk we stopped off at West India Quay, probably one of my favourite places to walk around and wander, especially because of the bridge. We got some dinner at the nearby La Tasca, which was lovely, and then had a walk around before heading home.
Have you been to this area before? Link me to any pictures you have taken in the area as I am always interested in looking at other people's pictures too!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Review: Bourjois Intense eyeshadow

I love the little Bourjois eyeshadow pots. I have a few of them already because I find that the colours are so pigmented and easy to use. When I have used eyeshadows from the range previously I found the glided on effortlessly, and this one was no different.
I had been eyeing up the Bourjois Intense eyeshadow in shade 01 since before Christmas because it looked like the perfect party shade. I finally got it and love it. It is much like its sister colours because it is easy to use. There is plenty of sparkle and as you can see from the colour below it is a gold/nude colour in the pot, and it pretty much comes out like this on the skin.
You can see from the edge of the pot there are plenty of sparkly bits. When put on the colour pretty much stayed, and the sparkly bits did for a while. But after I brushed the skin they came off more quickly than the colour did. I guess if you wore this with a primer underneath it would help hold the glitter in place more.
Apologies for the blurry swatch photo below, but hopefully it will give you an idea of what it looks like on. Overall, I love the colour. I do think it looks great straight on the lid, and even better to glitterify any eyeshadow for a bit of added party sparkle.
What do you think of it? Have you tried it? And if you have, what did you think of it?

TV: Sex and the City prequel WILL be coming to the small screen

I did a post on this back in the day (September actually) but thought I would update it with news today that not only is Blake Lively in the running for the coveted role of Carrie Bradshaw in the prequel to Sex and the City, but Miley Cyrus, Emma Roberts and Chloe Moretz are being talked about too.

Our favourite Cosmopolitan drinking, Manolo-wearing New York writer Carrie Bradshaw will be returning to the small screen, but with a younger incarnation.

Sarah Jessica Parker approved the Sex and the City's prequel The Carrie Diaries last year, and America's CW network has officially ordered a pilot of the show.

It is expected to document the iconic Carrie Bradshaw character's life before the original series.

The show is remoured to being developed by the producers of Gossip Girl and could be coming to television screens by the end of this year. Rumour has it they are keen to bring another Gossip Girl addition in the form of Blake Lively.

It is expected to follow Carrie's senior year of high school in the 1890s and is based on Sex and the City's author Candace Bushnell's book The Carrie Diaries. Her second book was called Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Book which chronicles her first trip to New York.

So what do you think? Will you be watching it?Who would you prefer played a young Carrie?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker

I have a confession to make. I thought I was having an allergic reaction when I put this gloss on so I wiped it off as quickly as I could. You will be glad to know I am not allergic to Sexy Mother Pucker, just naive. As I have said in previous Soap and Glory posts I am new to the range. I got this one in the Christmas gift set I got for myself, but knew nothing about it, or even what it was. Assuming it was a normal lip gloss, I was quite surprised.
It is actually a plumping gloss, now that I have read up on it! And my first time using one as you can tell. Put straight on the lips it is supposed to give a a tingling feeling and plump the lips.I can't say I saw a physical difference, but OH MY GOD it tingled! My brother will kill me for saying this, but I put some on him to see if it was just me, and he said it just felt warm, but not uncomfortable, so maybe I am just sensitive, or he has industrial strength lips. Thoughts below please. 
OK, the packaging is simple but I like it. Many people don't like the plastic tube, but it's fine. The actual gloss is very thick, and I had to pump it a couple of times to get anything decent out. But when I did it was lovely on the lips - thick but not too gooey. The shade I got was Candy Gloss, which I think maybe limited edition around Christmas time. It looks pink with a gold shimmer colour to it in the tube, but on the lips it looks sheer with a hint of pink and shimmery bits.
Note: I do think this is a good shade to wear alone for a casual look, but even better over a lipstick, and I got less of a tingly feeling with lippie underneath. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Let me know!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Week review #2

Last week was busy, tiring and long. Without being too moany I didn't have much time for anything apart from work. It is a comple of weeks of harder work than usual. The rest of my time has been taken up with sorting out my product review drawer and playing with my new camera. I got a Canon 500D before Christmas and I am still working out how to use it, how to take the best close-up shots etc. Any tips guys drop them below. I am quite enjoying reviewing products more than usual, but need to explore outfit posts a little more. Let me know what kind of things you guys prefer.
Me and Asif went to La Tasca. I love tapas food and we had lots of calamari, white fish, vegetable paella, potatas bravas, and their gorgeous salad. Yum!

The weekend was consumed with wedding planning yet again. I am a reluctant planner and would rather just turn up on the day then take delight in organising it. Nevertheless, invitations, although a tad on the late side, were chosen, sample ordered, and awaiting to see what they look like.

Elsewhere, I have been planning my hen weekend. My first choice of venue did not work out, as what I was told would be exclusive accommodation for my group with a separate lounge hasn't turned out that way. I spent most of the weekend trying to find alternative accommodation for 20 people for less than a month away. Anyway, it is exactly what I would like, and I have loads of ideas planned, I just hope it is accessible enough for everyone in my group, and not too difficult to get to. And I hope it doesn't rain that weekend. Please pray it doesn't rain!!! I will let you know what it is and where it is next week if and when I get it booked.

My weekly review is a little late this week as I have been so busy with planning over the weekend, but let me know how your week was last week, and what ideas you have for hen weekends. I am open for ideas!!

Review: Dr Bronner's peppermint soap

If you know about the Dr Bronner organic range of soaps you will definitely have heard about the peppermint one. This bottle is the best selling of the 18 -All-in-One range, which I didn't quite understand until I read about it.
Let me give you a recap about the range. It is called 18-All-in-One because the idea is one bottle has 18 uses, everything from washing, cleaning, and using it to clean make-up brushes, which I have personally used them for. This one is especially popular for cleaning teeth in place of toothpaste. I thought it was a bit odd to clean your teeth with liquid soap, but it does work! As it is organic you won't get any nasty chemicals in your mouth. It is minty and refreshing.
I have used others in the range to clean make-up brushes and in the shower. The peppermint one is nicely scented and lovely in the shower, but I prefer flowery smells to minty ones to wash myself with. The rose one in the range is perfect for this.

So, to summarise, the peppermint is a good body wash, amongst other uses. And if you were going away and forgot your toothpaste this would double up as a good substitute.

Have you tried anything from the Dr Bronner range? If you have, let me know what you think of the products. x

This was sent to me to me for my consideration and to review by The Spa PR Company.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Review: Cheryl Cole's lipstick for L'Oreal

A couple of weeks ago Cheryl Cole launched her new lipstick with L'Oreal, because she's worth it, and I have been itching to try it ever since. Unfortunately every store I went into was sold out. I guess this shows how popular it has been. Anyway, a couple of days ago I found it in my local Superdrug store and snapped it up and have been trying it out since.

The limited edition colour is called Red Passion and is shade 297 and is from the Color Riche range, which is ultra moisturising. Usually with lipsticks I have to put a balm on underneath because I have dry lips, but there was no need to with this lipstick as it was moisturising enough on its own.

The packaging is cute, I love the look of L'Oreal Color Riche range anyway as it looks sleek, no fuss and has a little click when the top closes on the lipstick. With the addition of Cheryl Cole's design it does look like a unique lipstick.
I have shown you this close up picture so you can see the tiny particles in it that look blue. I'm not sure how well it has shown up in this picture, but it looks pretty cool in person. And the colour itself is a deep red with a little bit of shimmer. Almost like tiny silvery shimmery bits to it, but this isn't too obvious to the naked eye. 

A portion of the funds from sales of the lipstick will go to the Cheryl Cole Foundation in association with the Prince's Trust. Fashionable and charitable! What do you think of the shade? Have you tried it? Let me know your thoughts.

A day out in London - part 1

I have been living in London for 18 months now and wanted to take some time out to rediscover it. I feel if you have lived in a place for a while you forget your initial excitement and stop going to the 'gems' you once loved. I have made it my mission to go around over all the main London landmarks, or places and test out my new camera over the next few weeks.
A collage of shoes from the Kurt Geiger window in Covent Garden
In part one of this 'mission' I went to Harrods and Covent Garden last week. Admittedly I didn't get there until quite late and it was dark, so the best I could do was try out the flash on my camera, but I still took a few pictures. Harrods was buzzing with its sale, which I have never been to before. The perfume section was wall-to-wall with shoppers, and assistants were almost glued to the walls clutching perfume bottles with a terrified look on their faces. I was amused, and the bargains were pretty good. But I am trying to curb my spending and didn't treat myself to anything this time. Anyway, here are a few pictures from my day. Let me know what your favourite place to go shopping in London is.

Covent Garden's indoor Apple Market


Review: Soap and Glory Clean On Me body wash

Just before Christmas I bought myself a Soap and Glory gift set, because lets face it if you are buying Christmas presents for others you really should treat yourself too. I promised you a review of the individual products and I can tell you I have been having a ball! I am new to the whole Soap and Glory range, and only had the Hand Food and a couple of face washes before the gift set, so I was looking forward to trying the others out. Today I will share with you my thoughts on the Clean On Me bodywash, and boy have I enjoyed this one!
I love products that double up, and this one gets points for the built-in body lotion. My first thoughts on using it were how luxurious it felt and how moisturising it was. The info on the bottle recommends turning the shower off while you rub it on, so it doesn't all wash down the drain, adding to the idea how luxurious and precious it is. It comes out as a thick cream, and although not as foamy as a gel wash it does lather well. It feels more like a body lotion in the shower than a wash.
The cream has mandarin peel extract in it, and although it has a slight fruity smell to it, I wouldn't say it was an obvious orange scent. It smelled more flowery to me, almost with a hint of rose to it. Regardless of this I could still smell it on my skin later, so this is another positive.
Plus points for the product are the retro packaging as it makes it stand out, and the nozzle pump. I don't have this on any of my shower creams/ washes, and can be tempted to overuse products. But with the nozzle pump I was conscious of how much I was using and didn't want to waste it.

This retails at £5.11 for 500ml from Boots. Have you tried Clean On Me? Would love to hear your thoughts if you have.

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