Sunday, 22 September 2013

The Perfect Nude Lip: Autograph 'Nude Pink'

I mentioned recently that my local Marks and Spencer have opened an amazing new beauty hall and every time I pass through I can't help but have a wander around. Nestled amongst amazing brands such as Murad, Nuxe and Ren is one of Marks own make up brands, Autograph.  I decided to try one of the Moisture Colour Lipsticks in 'Nude Pink' and it is one of the most opaque yet flattering nude lipsticks I've tried.

'Nude Pink' looks a lot more peach/nude on my lips than it does in the bullet, but has just enough pink to still make the shade flattering without washing me out.  The formula is very creamy and extremely opaque.  Although the formula isn't drying, due its high coverage and satin finish 'Nude Pink' can  accentuate any dry patches or lines - as long as I prep my lips beforehand I've not found this to be too much of problem.

The packaging is very similar to Chanel's Rouge Allure lipsticks - you press the bottom of the bullet and the lipstick just pops out!  One problem I always find with nude lipsticks is their lasting power, however 'Nude Pink' is one of the longest lasting nude shades I've tried! 

The Autograph Moisture Colour lipsticks are priced at £8.50.  There are so many other beautiful shades I want to try including lots of darker berry colours for autumn/winter - 'Berry' and 'Sugar Berry' are right up my street! 

Have you tried any of the Marks and Spencer beauty lines?

Love Nicola

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Sanctuary Sleep '4 in 1 Restoring Body Elixir'

The majority of my beauty shopping occurs when I'm killing time while on my lunch break and on a recent boredom induced Boots trip, I stumbled across the Sleep range from Sanctuary.  As soon as I smelled the range I knew I had to buy one of the products to try, I decided to pick up the '4 in 1 Restoring Sleep Elixir.   To me, the whole Sleep range smells extremely similar to Tom Ford's 'Black Orchid', if a little more subtle (and a lot less expensive!). 

The packaging might look like deodorant for men, but the oil itself is beautiful.  It contains Ylang Ylang to help relieve tension, Frankincense to help clarify and calm the mind and Patchouli to help reduce anxiety (I think it's the Ylang Ylang and Patchouli that remind me of Black Orchid so much!).  

I haven't tried many other body oils in comparison but I love that they are multipurpose products.  You can use this particular oil on your pulse points, as a massage oil, as a bath oil or as a hair conditioner.  I mainly use the 'Restoring Body Elixir' in my bath and as a moisturiser - I've yet to use it in my hair.  As a moisturiser, it sinks in really quickly without leaving an oily residue.  I normally apply this after I've had a shower or bath to really help lock in moisture.  It's also lovely used as a bath oil and leaves my skin feeling smooth and moisturised.  

I'm going to Portugal in three weeks and think this will be a perfect product to take with me to keep my skin in tip top condition.  I love that the packaging comes with two caps, one being a screw top - no annoying leaks when travelling!

Although marketed as part of the sleep range, I haven't noticed any difference in the quality of my sleep however it does help relax me in the evening and is the perfect addition to my evening beauty routine.  You can buy the Sanctuary Sleep 4 in 1 Restoring Body Elixir for £8.25 - an affordable slice of luxury!

Love Nicola

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Glitz&Glam Double Volume Synthetic Hair Piece

I've had quite a few questions about my hair in recent posts and on my Instagram and yes I's not my real hair!  If you read back through some of my old posts, you can see I've worn hair extensions for a couple of years and absolutely love them.   I also love Geordie Shore and when Vicky Pattison  tweeted about the hair pieces she wears are from a website called Glitz & Glam,  I went straight there to find out more.  Curiosity got the better of me, and I ordered the Double Volume Synthetic Hair Piece.

The piece is made from 140g of synthetic hair which means you can't use any heated styling tools, however the curls hold amazingly well, even after washing.  As you can see, the hair is attached onto a skull cap with two combs; one at the top and the other at at the bottom.  I wear 1b and the piece is 22" long.  

To style, I section my fringe and front two thirds of my hair with a large clip and gather the rest of my hair in a low ponytail before pinning this flat against my head.  I then fit the cap over my head, fitting the bottom comb into the hair at the base of my neck and the top comb where the pony tail is sectioned from the first two thirds of my hair (it helps if you backcomb this hair first).  I normally use some kirby grips around the joint to make sure the piece doesn't move about (especially if I'm going out dancing!)  I then pull my top layers over to cover where the join of the cap and my hair meets.  I've found the more of my own hair that frames my face, the more natural the hairpiece looks - it just takes a little practice!  I've found using sleep-in rollers make this whole process a lot easier - I pop them in in the morning and by the time I'm ready to wear the hair piece my layers are voluminous enough to cover the join easily.

The piece is a little heavy to wear at first, however after wearing extensions for years I'm pretty used to this feeling.  The combs don't hurt or tug my natural hair and as long as I use a couple of kirby grips, I've never been worried that the piece was going to become detached.  After I've worn the hairpiece a couple of times, I wash it using baby shampoo and a gentle conditioner.  I let it air dry and within a day the curls are back to being bouncy, sleek and shiny.  Importantly, try not to over comb your piece as this can cause the hair to become a little frizzy - my tangle teazer is perfect to use if I need to smooth over the ends.  I've found that a little bit of serum combined with washing regularly really helps to keep frizz at bay.  I've included some photographs below to show how the piece looks in:

The Double Volume is priced at £39.99 and delivery is amazingly fast.  I'm lucky in that I know what colour to order extensions in, however if you're unsure the girls over at the Glitz&Glam twitter will colour match you - all you need to do is tweet them a photo!

Lots of Love

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Gucci Guilty Black

As a lover of the original Gucci Guilty fragrance, I was excited to try its new darker counterpart, Gucci Guilty Black.  I've been wearing this perfume daily for the last couple of weeks and wanted to quickly share my thoughts.

With notes of pink pepper, red fruits, violet, patchouli and amber, Gucci Guilty Black is sweeter and more sultry than the original.  It smells particularly fruity when first sprayed, however it settles into  floral fragrance, with the heart note of violet coming to the forefront balanced by the earthy base of patchouli and amber. 

I was initially a little surprised as I expected Gucci Guilty Black to be a much more intense fragrance suitable for nighttime due to the name and the darker packaging.  However, I've found that Gucci Guilty Black is a perfect daytime fragrance; it has the perfect balance of sweetness and earthiness.  

If you like floral fragrances, I definitely recommend Gucci Guilty Intense.  Not overpowering and a little bit sexy, it's become one of my favourite everyday perfumes.

Have you tried either of the Gucci Guilty perfumes? I'd love to know your thoughts!

Love Nicola