Category Archives: Beauty

Beauty Empties #1

Beauty empties postIt’s rare for me to completely use up beauty products so I’m not sure why I numbered this post, but I seem to have finished using several products at once, so I figured an ‘empties post’ was in order.

I enjoy reading about what my favourite bloggers have used up because it feels like a strong endorsement to say that you’ve used up every last drop of a product. That’s definitely the case with the items on this list, two of which have already been repurchased.

Lip Butter in Candy Apple by Revlon

So good that I’ve already bought another one, this lip product was a surprise hit with me. I let my feelings about the packaging get in the way of trying this for such a long time, despite Lip Butters being such big news in the beauty blogging world when they first came out. I used this till it was impossible to apply from the bullet anymore, and I love the sheer wash of colour it offers. Check out my full review of it here.

Roots hair treatment by Lush

Would you believe I only tried Lush products for the first time this year? I was introduced to the brand at a Bristol blog meet in January and not long afterwards I picked up Roots. I have incredibly dry skin which includes my scalp, and normal shampoos often have ingredients that aggravate my scalp and hairline, so I wanted to try something soothing and cleansing. This mask has three different types of mint in it and, for want of a better word, is very zingy when applied to my scalp, but it cleans my hair like a dream. It’s seriously amazing and I’m already on to my second tub…

Beauty empties summer 2014They’re Real mascara by Benefit

Given that you’re supposed to use up mascaras within six months, I think I must have had this one for at least a year. I first picked a tube up in London not long after its launch and although I was previously a BadGal fan, this quickly became my new favourite. I think it’s down the shape of the brush and the way it applied, though it’s not as lengthening as the Rimmel one I’m currently using.

GinZing eye cream by Origins

I got this pot of eye cream for free last year when I bought a couple of Origins products. It came in a little travel set and while I was too forgetful to apply it religiously day and night, the slight shimmer to it did brighten my eyes and take the heat off my increasingly prominent dark circles. I picked up a pot of Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado at the airport on the way to Uganda, so I’ll have to see how the two compare.

Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Day Cream by Dr Organic

I received this moisturiser in a goodie bag last year but only started using it a few months ago. I think I waited because I was unfamiliar with Dr Organic, but I was pleasantly surprised as it didn’t upset my ordinarily temperamental (dry and sensitive) skin. Given I only used it in the mornings, I’m surprised at how quickly I raced through it – I can make a moisturiser last a looong time. While I didn’t notice any of the firming and toning claims, I did like that the ingredients were all natural and organic, including plenty of oils such as lemon peel, macadamia seed and rosewood.

Have you tried any of these products before?

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Fool-proof Festival Hair Ideas

Festival hairstyle tutorialWhat to do with your mane at a festival seems to be an age-old dilemma that rolls around every summer. For me, french plaits used to the the way forward – I used to sleep in them and everything – but after several years of attending festivals my style has evolved somewhat.

If you’re heading to a festival this summer, here are four easy ways to wear your hair that will hide grease and look stylish at the same time…

Festival hair essentials:

Hair grips
Hairbands (plural – bring one and you’ll inevitably loose it in your tent or lend it to another festival goer)
Dry shampoo
Square headscarf
Exciting headpiece

Festival hair tutorial floral crownDay One: The floral crown

Wash your hair (and enjoy that final shower for a few days) the morning you set off, and blow-dry in your usual style. Make the most of it while it’s clean by wearing it loose with a floral crown or headpiece. Want to make your own? Check out my floral crown DIY here.

Festival hair idea side ponytailDay Two: The side pony

Your hair has survived its first day of festival fun-times and one night of sleeping on a makeshift travel pillow, so now is the time to sweep it into a side ponytail. Spritz your roots with some dry shampoo, massage in and brush out, bringing your hair to one side and fastening with a hairband. Use a couple of hair grips to keep hair in place.

Festival hair tutorial heidi braidsDay Three: The Heidi braids

My favourite festival style – this one is practical and pretty in equal measure. The plaits will disguise greasy roots and this style also keeps hair off your neck, which is ideal in hot weather or sweaty dance tents. Part your hair down the middle, plait each side and wrap across the crown of your head, using hair grips to pin in place.

It doesn’t matter if the plaits are a little messy – this just adds to the carefree look. If the sun is shining while you’re wearing this style, don’t forget to apply sun protection along your parting – sunburn is the last thing you want while sleeping in a ridiculously hot tent for four days!

Festival hair idea vintage headscarfDay Four: The vintage headscarf

I tend to wear headscarfs in this style when my hair just doesn’t want to behave, or when I really should have washed it the night before but got distracted watching Game of Thrones… Chances are your hair will be in a similar state by day four, so consider a square vintage headscarf your new best friend. Unless you have a fringe, you won’t even need dry shampoo.

Simply brush your hair into a low ponytail, double back on itself and secure against the back of your head with hair grips before adding the scarf. Fold it into a triangle with the longest edge at the base of your neck and tie at the top of your head, tucking the fabric under the knot so your whole head is covered.

What’s your festival hairstyle of choice?

Check out my festival beauty essentials post for a list of practical essentials to get you through Glastonbury/Bestival/Download.

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Tory Burch Beauty: Eau de Parfum and Lip & Cheek Tint

Tory Burch Beauty collectionWhen I think of Tory Burch, I think of leather handbags, Gossip Girl, pretty pumps and that instantly recognisable gold ‘T’ logo. At the end of last year Tory added another string to her bow with the Tory Burch Beauty collection, and recently I was lucky enough to sample some of the range.

Tory Burch Eau de ParfumTory Burch Eau de Parfum

Tory was apparently inspired by childhood memories of the perfume bottles and atomisers on her mother’s dressing table, and that comes across in the opulent packaging and rather 70s orange and gold colour palette that feeds through the rest of the collection.

Much fresher and lighter than the packaging would have you believe, the scent is citrusy with hints of jasmine and sandalwood. There is very little in the way of sweet or heavy floral notes, a good thing in my book, resulting in an almost androgynous scent, which really appeals to me. The only downside is that the staying power isn’t particularly lengthy, but I prefer to spritz a mist of perfume and walk through it (does anyone else do that?), rather than apply it directly to my skin, which is probably why it didn’t last all day on me.

Tory Burch Beauty capsule collectionTory Burch Lip & Cheek Tint in Cat’s Meow

Tory has kept her accompanying make-up line very small, with just one lipstick, cheek compact and make-up brush, and this Lip & Cheek Tint in Cat’s Meow. This little gold pot is my favourite of the collection and a thing of sheer (excuse the pun) beauty.

I almost sprung for the Josie Moran Coconut Watercolour Cheek Geelee in Sephora when we visited San Francisco a couple of months ago, and I suspect that this product is very similar. The capsule collection comes with the tagline ‘natural, polished, super chic’ and this tint embodies that to a Tory-shaped ‘T’. It smells liked powdered sugar and offers a rosy, dewy finish on the cheeks, or a sheer, glossy finish on the lips. I don’t really wear that much of a base so I don’t know how this would perform on top of foundation, but it’s perfect for giving a slight flush when you only have five minutes to get ready in the morning.

Tory Burch Lip and Cheek TintAt £27.50 this tint doesn’t come cheap, but it is dual-purpose and worth it for how pretty it makes even the, eh-hm, messiest of dressing tables look. It’s currently out of stock on the Tory Burch website but is available from Harrods, which you can find here.

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The Day I Felt Most Beautiful

Wedding converseIt’s not often that I get overly sharey about my relationship, but this week Mr Ship-Shape and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary, and I realised I blogged very little during the hectic time that was our wedding. Lots of blogs I read feature long term partners, fiancées and wedding planning posts – I still love reading these, not to mention Rock n Roll Bride – and it seems crazy to me that my own wedding day was that long ago.

My hair and beauty tastes have changed quite a bit since the wedding so for any new readers, here’s what I looked like in 2011…

ship-shape gets marriedThe Hair

Back in 2011 I was still experimenting with highlights. My biggest bridal hair issue was how to keep my flyaway fringe in place, the answer to which is a miricale hairstylist, a little luck and lashings of hairspray. I dyed my hair red not long afterwards, and have stuck with auburn variations ever since. I kind of wish it had been red for the wedding but who knows, in another three years time my hair colour may have completely changed again!

The Make-Up

Originally a trained MUA friend was going to be with me on the day, but the wedding clashed with her filming schedule, so I decided to do it myself. It was the best decision because I was able to take a moment to myself and, crucially, be myself. When you think about it, it’s kind of strange to ask a total stranger to do something that you’ve been doing every day for years. I don’t remember exactly what products I used but I don’t wear very much make-up, so I remember that it was pretty minimal. Benefit’s You Rebel tinted moisturiser (do they still make that?) definitely featured as a base, and I wore their Bad Gal mascara on my lashes – other than that I kept it pretty basic, with a smidgen of lip colour and a touch of blusher.

wedding prepThe Dress

I still joke that we need at least 10 weddings for me to wear all the different types of dresses I had my eye on, and up until the moment I put it on, I was convinced that the dress I’d chosen wasn’t ‘The One’. Aside from the vintage looking lace and sweetheart neckline, one of the reasons I chose this dress was the fact it was nameless. Lots of modern bridal gowns are given female names by the designer, but I didn’t much fancy the idea of walking down the aisle in a ‘Paula’, ‘Elise’ or ‘Rebecca’. I wore a two tier lace-trimmed veil too, and if I could get away with wearing this every day then I probably would.

The Shoes

I’m not the kind of girl who ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ over expensive, towering heels, so when I saw a pair of pristine white Converse while visiting family in Florida a few months before the wedding, I knew they would make the perfect Big Day shoes. Mama Ship-Shape was less keen on this idea, so as a compromise I wore a pair of my grandmother’s vintage cream peep toe heels  for the ceremony, before swiftly changing into the previously unworn Converse afterwards. I still wear these today, though they are looking a little worse for wear now…

Veil mishapThe Finishing Touch

The thing that made me feel the most beautiful? Probably the fact that I was marrying my best friend and the love of my life. When I look back at photos of that day, I can’t find fault with a single one (even the ones of us jumping up and down like lunatics during our first dance) because I had a permanent grin on my face. Never has the quote ‘you’re never fully dressed without a smile’ been so accurate…

All images by the talented Shell de Mar

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Sharing the Blog Love: The Beauty Edition

Beauty blogger blog lovet’s been a while since I’ve penned a Blog Love post but since I’m in the middle of tidying up my dressing table and increasingly large make-up stash, I thought it was time to spread a little love and list some of my favourite beauty bloggers…

Vivianna Does Makeup

I started watching Anna’s videos in December and her personable, chatty descriptions of products and make-up looks has kept me coming back for more. I love the informal language she uses on her blog and the way she isn’t afraid to make fun of herself and her beauty mishaps. If you start reading her blog though, I can assure you that you’ll be buying up half of your local Space NK before you can say ‘enabler’!


I’ve only been reading Jen’s blog for a couple of months but the crisp layout, simple but considered photography and honest, story-telling copy has me hooked. Although there are plenty of make-up and skincare reviews to read, there are also regular posts about blogging and life/organisation tips – it’s always interesting to see the work process of others so this is an added bonus.


I came across Kate’s site a few weeks ago when I was researching the skincare brand Pai. Her recommendation for the Pai rosehip facial oil was so in-depth and helpful that I tracked down a bottle the following week and have been using it daily ever since. The girl knows her stuff when it comes to skincare, and regular features such as ‘Game-Changing Beauty’ offer a different angle on beauty product reviews.

What are your must-read blogs to read at the moment? Share links to your favourites in the comments below!

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