Every season I like to do a style guide, working my way through three categories; home, style and nails. It's nice to talk about some different things and to get myself excited about the new season ahead! I know a lot of people are saying "but it's Summer?!"... but here in the UK the sun has only just come out and I refused to talk Spring when it was thunderstorms and rain... so here we go. So watch this video if you want some style inspiration, some new bits to add to your home or some pretty new Spring shades for your nails. Enjoy!
I haven't really spoken about Charlotte Tilbury since this post on her Dolce Vita look. She's such an inspirational person and a joy to be around. Last time I saw her she was literally about to give birth but still looked incredible and was happy to sit and chat about beauty for hours. Her passion and drive is ridiculous and her range really reflects that. I recently got my hands on some of her best-sellers and one of her new launches so I thought I'd give you guys the low-down...
First up, her Light Wonder foundation. She calls it the "youth boosting perfect skin foundation" and it is supposed to illuminate, hydrate, smooth and minimise pores. You have to shake it up before applying and it really reminds me of the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, not just for this reason. I have shade 3 and I like to apply it with my fingers and the finish is beautiful. It's breathable, fresh, dewy but with a really nice medium coverage. The packaging is perfect and this has shot up my list of favourite foundations after just a few uses. It really does illuminate the skin and add light in all the right places.
Now onto her Colour Chameleons and I have wanted to try these for so long. I have the shades Amber Haze (worn above), Bronzed Garnet and Dark Pearl. These are super easy to apply as they're creamy but once blended in they set in place and don't move around the lid. The shades are nice and shimmery so they flatter the eye for day or night. The best thing about these is how easy it is to pick a shade to suit you. Each pencil is recommended for a different eye colour so if you're not sure then it's easy to pick the right shade.
The Retoucher concealer stick is also a very well-known Charlotte Tilbury product and has a similar idea to the YSL Touche Eclat. I find this one to have better coverage though so you are able to use it as a concealer and a highlight. It's lovely for the under eye area and blends in well with a finger or a brush and doesn't crease throughout the day. The added light under my eyes looks really fresh and brightens up the whole makeup look.
Finally, a sneak peak at her new launch called Matte Revolution. She's created a new kind of matte lipstick that instead of being chalky and drying is light enhancing, moisturising and comfortable to wear. I'm wearing the Sexy Sienna shade, created with Sienna Miller in mind. The '3D glowing pigments' give the beautiful dimension, the papaya and orchid ingredients give it that nice feeling on the lips and the square angled bullet makes it just that little bit easier to apply without a brush. These are out in September and will be £23 so you'll have to be patient, but it'll be worth the wait!
If you asked me if I'm a big fan of Clarins I'd probably automatically shrug my shoulders and say "they're ok". But actually, when I think about it, it's a brand I really like and a lot of my favourite beauty products are from Clarins.
Their skincare is ace and the makeup is great too, so here's the lowdown on my favourite bits from the counter...
Clarins do a great cleanser and my two favourites are without a doubt, the Extra Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream and the Pure Melt Cleansing Gel. Cream cleanser lovers, this one ticks all the boxes, removing makeup and leaving skin feeling good. If you prefer more of an oily formula the gel cleanser rubs into the skin really nicely, turning into an oil before you rinse it off along with all your makeup. This bad boy tackles eye makeup better than most cleansers I've tried and leaves my skin feeling incredible.
If you're a waterproof mascara girl or you just like an intense smokey eye, then you must try the Instant Eye Make Up Remover. It removes everything with one cotton wool, in one swipe. It's by far the best I've tried and nothing else has ever come close.
When I tan I don't usually use my body tanner on my face. Instead I like to use the Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning. For one, I know it's not going to break me out as it's specifically made for the face and I also love the finish it gives. I apply it with cotton wool at night and in the morning I wake up with a subtle, golden tan. It's nothing drastic but it makes all the difference in the world!
Now onto the Extra Firming Neck Cream... yes, I use neck cream. I think the neck gives age away more than any other part of the body and a turkey neck is not something I want when I'm older. This firming cream is also just really nice to apply in the evenings, so it's become just another step in my evening skincare routine.
When it comes to makeup, my two favourites are the Instant Light Complexion Perfector and the Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector. The complexion perfector is foundation's best friend. You apply it like a primer and it adds the perfect amount of glow without any glitter or shimmer. I use this most days because I do love a bit of glow... The Lip Perfector is the perfect mix of lip balm and lip gloss. The shade 05 lives in my handbag and it's my default lip look.
So here's a question for you guys, what's your favourite Clarins product?
Sorry, I do love a good seasonal theme. I hope you enjoy today's video, it's just a simple makeup tutorial for the look I've been wearing a lot lately. If you like fresh skin and pink lips, click play.
During a recent trip to the Topshop flagship store I popped into the makeup section to have a browse in their 'new' section. I'm a big fan of Topshop makeup, everything from the packaging to the quality of the product always seems to impress me.
I went a bit wild and grabbed everything that made me "ooooh", so after a couple of weeks of testing there are two products I love and two that I don't think are as great.
Let's start with the bronzers. They have two new types of bronzers out, a matte and a highlighting with two shades of each. I picked up a matte bronzer in 'Mohawke' which apparently is the darker of the two but when I swatched it it looked more ashy and less orange than it's lighter version. It's a really nice and soft bronzer that is great for contouring or for just bronzing up the face. It reminds me a lot of NARS Laguna with quite a buttery texture that is really easy to blend with a fluffy brush. The highlighting bronzer is in the shade 'Reflect' which is the less pink of the two. This is lovely for the Summer as it adds a bit of bronze but the slight shimmer makes it softer and not as harsh as a matte bronzer. It gives the perfect amount of glow without being glittery at all and I'm a little bit in love...
They also recently released some new lip products so I picked up the Lip Varnish in 'Field Day' (bright pink) and the Sheer Lips in 'Alibi'(soft pink). Neither of these really wowed me but I'm not surprised as I haven't ever really got on with Topshop lip products. The Lip Varnish wowed me at first with it's gel-like, thick texture because it really stands out and makes a great statement lip. The problem I found with this is it didn't dry down at all so it stayed very sticky making it hard to eat and drink and act normal with your lips. For photos this would look amazing but for everyday life it's a bit of a faf. The Sheer Lips seemed promising and I was imaging a beautiful, soft wash of colour. Unfortunately I found the same problem that I have with their original lipsticks and it kind of went patchy on me. It didn't give an even layer of colour and just looked a bit cheap on the lips.
Two out of four wins is good for me, so have you tried any of the new Topshop makeup?
Living in London means getting on public transport a lot and although I don't mind it, my skin does. I try to deep cleanse at least twice a week and one way I like to do this is with a clay mask. I find clay masks the best for really getting deep into the skin and cleaning out any congested pores.
The 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask from Sanctuary is a "warming charcoal treatment" that literally warms up on your skin. The sensation is quite strange as it warms and then cools but it really works great for congested areas. After cleansing I usually massage a small amount onto my forehead, nose and chin, wait for 5 minutes and then remove it with a muslin cloth.
It helps to brighten the skin and draw out any impurities from the skin. I've been using it twice weekly and my skin is feeling great!
I often get tweets asking me "do you still like x product" and I'm so glad you guys ask me. Some products that I might have raved about last Summer I may no longer like, but most the time I still love them but have just moved onto other things. Feel free to tweet me any time @lilypebbles for a product loving update!
So here are some long lost products that I still love but just haven't spoken about in a while...
My skin is more on the dry side of things these days so I've been reaching for my balm and oil cleansers more often, but when things are feeling a little greasy or spotty I still love to whip this one out the cupboard. Imagine the feeling you get from a clay mask but being working into your skin like a cleanser? My skin feels incredibly clean after using this so it's great when things are feeling a little congested.
When I first bought this it was like angels appeared in front of me, singing in a choir. It was probably my most coveted beauty product. I haven't used it for a while because it's definitely one for special occasions. The mixture of highlighting shades gives an intense highlight that works perfect for evenings but it's maybe a bit too much for the day. I love the finish though and it's still as special to me as it was when I bought it.
I was so obsessed with this last summer. The shade I have (002) is a little too light for me at the moment but after just one application I was reminded of how great this product is. It is a BB cream but unlike others, this one has very decent coverage. It leaves a sort of velvet finish a bit like the new Chanel foundation. The smell is divine, the application is easy with fingers and I even love to tube/pump packaging. This is definitely still one of my favourite BB creams.
This little gem was picked up on a trip to New York last year. It's basically a gel blush so the formula itself feels very strange, sort of wet and bouncy. You can swirl your finger in the pot for as long as you like but you'll always be left with a sheer wash of colour on your cheeks. It's a fool-proof blush for those who never know how to apply it. It's great for the summer months when you're on the beach or by the pool and it gives that beautiful juicy look to the cheeks.
Jouer Matte Moisture Tint // As far as I'm aware Jouer are still the only brand to offer a tinted moisturiser with a matte finish without sacrificing the lightweight texture we all look for in a tinted moisturiser. It's not at all heavy or cakey, but leaves a pretty velvet finish to the skin. It's great for really hot days if you tend to get shiny and can be built up to a medium coverage if you layer it. I love to revisit old favourites so let me know if there are any other products you'd like an update on!
The whole reason for the trip was to attend the Isle of MTV festival. It's a giant concert held in the main square in Malta. The event is free so pretty much every young person in Malta attends! The atmosphere was so exciting and we spent the night dancing away to Dizzee Rascal, Nicole Sherzinger and Enrique Inglesias. We had such a funny night!
On our first night in Malta we went to a local restaurant in St George's Bay for dinner called Paranga. It's mainly a seafood restaurant which was fine with us! I had spaghetti with cherry tomatoes and clams and Anna and Zoe had tuna. it was delicious and very romantic!
I love being barefoot in the Summer and I find myself grabbing my flip flops at any opportunity. The only problem with this? Gross feet. I am terrible at looking after my feet and making sure things look maintained down there. So I like to have a good pedicure at the beginning of the season. My absolute favourite place to go in London for a pedicure is the Cowshed spa. It's a genius concept... a non-clinical spa where you can relax with friends, have a drink in the cafe, do a spot of shopping and just feel like you're in your living room. The fact that the staff's uniform is jeans says it all really.
The Ultimate Cowshed pedicure is £55 which sounds like a lot but I swear it is so worth it! Whilst sitting in the comfiest sofa chair ever, sipping tea and snacking on olives they start by soaking your feet. They scrub, they buff off dead skin, they remove in-grown toenails, they soak some more and then they massage... uh, the massage. So good!
The paint job was done to perfection and we weren't at all rushed out the salon whilst we sat and waited for our toes to dry. The whole process took 75 mins and I wanted it to just keep going. I was trying so hard not to fall asleep!
Cowshed vouchers are probably the perfect present for a girl who loves to be pampered and it's such a great place to go with friends. I definitely want to return for another pedicure before my holiday in August!
The list of Cowshed spas are here, have you ever been to one?
It's come around so quickly! It's time for me to round up the month with a list of my favourite products. This month I feel like I discovered and rediscovered some absolute gems that really got me excited!
I hope you find some new bits to try amongst my recommendations. Enjoy!
Full on cosmetic surgery isn't really my thing, but I'm all for the next level beauty treatments. I call them 'next level' as they're past the point of products but are still nothing too drastic.
So here are three treatments that I either regularly have or am currently having...
Laser Hair Removal //
Now I may as well call this blog 'the diary of a hairy girl' seeing as I talk about it so often, but seriously... it's always been a real issue for me. I was always terrified of having laser and to be honest, I've never been able to afford it either. Some of my friends have bought good Groupon deals and I was lucky enough to find a local lady who is reasonably priced. I have ipl laser on my face and upper lip regularly. I chose this area as the hair is dark and is 'virgin' hair that's never been shaved. I used to wax my upper lip but it was breaking me out and was very soar. The amazing thing about laser is the more you have it, the less you have to go back. The hair starts to grow back thinner and at a much slower pace. I also tried it on my under arms once but it really hurt because the hair is much thicker there. The thing I hate about laser is how the area must be shaved first, so yes... she had to shave my face. I cried. I don't find it to be too painful though, it's like lots of small electric shocks. It's definitely worth looking into though as a way to cut down visits to the beauty therapist.
Brazilian Blow Dry //
I've had the Nano Keratin treatment done quite a few times over the years. I usually use my own hairdresser who is slightly more affordable as he comes to your house, but last week I went to House of Rush in Piccadilly to have it done before the summer kicks in. The treatment has it's pros and cons but overall it's great and really helps me manage my hair better. It's basically a deep conditioner that helps keep the frizz at bay and make straightening my hair a lot quicker and easier. It's a lengthy treatment though. After applying the product all over the hair you need to sit there for up to 3 hours before they blow dry it into the hair. This part always stings my eyes and it's quite unbearable actually. After they have blow dried the product in it's essential to keep the hair dead straight and dry for the next three days. This means no washing, no tying up, no waves, nothing. It's always quite hard over these few days but once it's done my hair is in such better quality. It's 100% worth it!
Clear Braces //
If you follow me on Twitter you may know about my braces but I haven't actually mentioned them on here yet. At the beginning of May I was fitted with my first brace from this course and I'm now onto my second set. I'm using a company called Clear Guide and so far it's been great! It's pretty much pain free and although it's a change of lifestyle it's something you get used to. I've had every type of traditional brace going but this new way of having braces is really cool and I can't wait to tell you more about it. I'm going to be doing a whole post about it when I'm half way through my treatment so if you have any specific questions, please leave me a comment on this post! So hopefully this helped answer some questions and queries but feel free to tweet me @lilypebbles if you have any other questions!
With the Summer months comes the need/want for a tan. I actually love the pale look too, but we can't help it can we? A tan does look lovely. I all against sun beds and lying in the sun for too long so I've been researching and trying out lots of fake tans. From instant, to gradual, body to face and I even threw in some bronzing makeup items too!
I'm no expert but hopefully this'll help you if you're looking to bronze up for the warmer months! Enjoy!
Elegant Touch recently offered to host a girl's night for me and my friends and well, how could I say no?! My friends were so excited for a night filled with food, drink and most importantly nails.
Elegant Touch are launching their first ever lux gel manicure system so we got treated to manicures on the night to try it out ourself. I'm sure by now you've heard of these 'at-home' kits and personally I think it's great that we're able to do something at home that before could only be done in the salon. I am all for doing my own nails, so this is perfect for me. It works just like normal nail polish but lasts like gels. So you paint the colour onto your nails, rest them under an LED lamp and you're sorted for apparently 15 days. It's great for holidays, especially on your toes! The process is a little bit lengthy but once they're done they dry instantly and it's so nice not to have to worry about smudging them. The starter kit is quite pricey at £69.99 but comes with a top and base coat, two gel polishes an LED lamp, nail file, lint free pads and a wipe off cleanser. The only separate things you need to buy is the Removal Accessories Kit (£7.99) and extra polishes. There are 18 polish colours available at £9.95 each. It definitely works out cheaper than going to a salon and it's fun to be able to switch and change shades yourself when you want to. Have you tried at-home gel manicures?
One of my favourite non-blogging related things to do is to sit in the evening and watch nature programmes with my dad. He loves a good documentary and I think it's rubbed off onto me now too.
So when I heard about Lily Cole's new project to help SKY save the rainforest I wanted to do my bit and help spread the word. She spent time in Brazil learning about the rainforest and how they extract rubber from the trees without damaging them at all. The Amazon Rainforest is the only place where rubber tress grow completely in the wild. I've seen how they make rubber on a trip to Thailand a fe years ago and the whole process really is amazing.
To help keep the trees standing and to raise awareness, Lily Cole has collaborated with Veja to design a limited edition footwear collection. Not only is the sole of the shoe made from the rubber from these trees but for every pair of trainers sold, Sky will donate £10 to Sky Rainforest Rescue and WWF.
I thought it was a really nice project and how cute are the trainers!!? To find out more about the project go to the Veja website and let me know what you think of the trainers I picked!
I am such an eyeshadow girl. If I had to pick between doing my eyes or doing my lips, I'd always pick eyes. So when news of some pretty amazing new eyeshadows got around, I had to check them out.
I'm a big fan of the L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadows so I already knew to expect great pigment and colour payoff from their new shadows. The L'Ombre Pure shadows are slightly different though. Instead of being a loose pigment, pressed down with a stopper, these are more traditional pressed eyeshadows.
I picked up three shades, two of which I love. Nude 201 is a gorgeous shimmery taupe that looks really pretty all over the lid picking up light in all the right places. Matte 106 is an easy to wear, everyday, cool-toned matte brown. Both shadows have an extremely buttery texture, similar to the infallible shadows. You can apply them with your finger but I find it easier with a brush and they blend seamlessly all over the lid.
They seem to have a lot of shades out of stock every time I pop into the shops but I'm looking forward to trying some other shades soon!
I'd definitely recommend trying these as they're great affordable eyeshadows with quality comparable to brands like Urban Decay and Too Faced.
This week Anna and I had our NARS/Space NK meetup and it was incredible! I had the best night... but more on that in my vlog next week! It was a sunny day so I decided to wear my River Island dress. I really like it because the print looks a bit like something from All Saints and although it's monochrome, the cut-out shoulder details makes it a little more summery. It's loose fitting so it's really comfortable and I love wearing it with boots. Thanks Yang for the photo!
Last Sunday my friends and I went to Calling Festival in London. This is the second time I've been as the line up is always so good! We danced away to Paloma Faith and Jack Johnson but the main reason we all went was for Stevie Wonder. Stevie has been one of my favourites (and I mean proper, know all the songs, favourite) since I was very little. I had such a good time singing and dancing with my friends!
I have another restaurant recommendation for you this week! They've been building up the King's Cross area for years now, making it less of a no-man's land and more of a 'place to be'. Right next to the University is a really nice little group of restaurants and one of them is Caravan. During the day it's a chilled out cafe/deli style restaurant and in the evening it's a bit more like a traditional restaurant. The coloured fountains outside are beautiful and makes it feel really special. I had the most insanely delicious pizza, but all the food on the menu looked great with a real mix of stuff to pick from. The coffee is also definitely worth trying!
This week I opted for something a little more neutral on my nails. 'Camden Passage' is a gorgeous greige and is the sort of shade that goes with anything.
I was interested though to try the Nails Inc Latex Effect formula. It applied really thick on the first coat but I went on to apply two just to even things out. I was expecting a rubberised effect and quite quickly the top coat dried down to a matte finish. I think if you like that matte effect then you can leave it there and without any topcoat it should keep that matte effect. I did try it but I'm really not a fan of the look or texture.
So I added a topcoat and although I really like the shade it seemed a waste as it just looked like regular polish. So if you like a matte nail it's worth checking out the latex formula but if you're not... I'd say stick to the usual formula!