Category Archives: Beauty

Beauty School Drop Out

Harvey Nichols fashion illustration.jpgHello! I’m back from San Francisco and while I sift through my photos and recover from jetlag, here’s a little pre-holiday blog post. A couple of weeks ago I popped along to Harvey Nichols for their Beauty School Drop Out event, a cocktail of beauty demonstrations, pampering treats and, in my case at least, a very full bag of penny sweets.

Whilst there I had my portrait drawn, listened to school-room style beauty tutorials, met fellow bloggers Amie and Dulcie, and even had time for a cheeky hand and arm massage from Jo Malone. I also discovered a whole new area of the ground floor that I didn’t even realise existed.

If you’re familiar with the Bristol branch of Harvey Nics, you’ll know that as well as the usual suspects waiting for you just beyond the doors, such as Jo Malone and Space NK, there is also a brow bar and Strip concession. What I hadn’t noticed is that right behind the brow bar lies the Beyond Beauty department – the store’s hand-picked selection of beauty brands. Bliss, Cowshed and even selected Neal’s Yard Remedies products (swoon!) all make an appearance, sitting alongside brands I’m less familiar with, such as Ole Henrickson and Rodial.

Harvey Nichols Beyond Beauty department.jpgFortunately for me, HN Bristol’s Beauty Manager, Rachelle Howells, was on hand to guide me through this dinky but delightful area of the store…

What brands does the Beyond Beauty department stock that shoppers can’t easily find elsewhere in Bristol or on the high street?

Our Beyond Beauty department is a treasure trove of amazing, exclusive brands and you can easily spend hours there playing with all of the beautiful products and gadgets that we stock. We stock some less well known brands such as Ole Henrickson, Dr Jackson, Deborah Lipman, Red Carpet Manicure, the list is endless…

Do you have a favourite brand stocked in the Beyond Beauty department?

Show Beauty is exclusive to Harvey Nichols and is the ultimate in indulgent hair care. The products smell divine and the packaging is so glamorous and luxurious, it looks amazing on your dressing table.

What beauty trends will we all be lusting after this S/S year? 

This season is all about flawless, glowing skin which of course starts with a great skincare routine. I use Rodial’s Bee Venom Moisturiser, which contains plumping agents to smooth the appearance of fines lines, and hyaluronic acid for intensive hydration. Another secret weapon of mine is Ole Henrickson CC cream. This award winning product leaves skin looking so healthy and illuminated and evens the skin tone, too. A pop of colour, such as coral lips or blue eye shadow, as seen at many of the SS14 shows, completes the look.

What’s your favourite beauty tip?

Never, ever go to bed with your make up on! Even if I’ve had a late night and am too tired for my usual skin care routine I will remove my make up with Ole Henrickson ‘Truth to Go’ wipes. 

Finally, if you could only use one beauty product for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

It would without a doubt be mascara. I have spent years searching for mascara that leaves no trace of darkness under my eyes, and have recently found Code Beauty mascara. It stays on all day without smudging under my lashes and makes them look so thick and long, an absolute must have!

Thank you Rachelle, and thank you to Harvey Nichols Bristol for a great evening. Here are some more snaps from the night…

Tom Ford beauty demonstration.jpgHarvey Nics Bristol Beauty School Drop Out.jpgPenny sweets

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Sleek Blush By 3 in Lace review

Sleek Blush By 3 palette review.jpgAside from lipstick, I think blusher might be favourite type of make-up. I’m not a fan of foundation, I don’t wear mascara and eyeliner unless I’m going out of an evening, and I haven’t attempted eyeshadow or bronzer since 2007. But blusher, as I came to realise only a couple of years ago, has the power to transform your whole face. A little colour on the cheeks can make your eyes brighter, your skin appear healthier and your complexion glow.

When I saw reviews for the Sleek Blush By 3 palette in Lace, I thought it would be the perfect budget-friendly way to expand on my blusher collection, which mainly consists of Benefit’s Benetint, and I’m not even sure that counts as blusher?

Anywho, despite seeing photos online, I was surprised to find such bright colours waiting for me when I opened this palette up. Crochet is a peachy orange, Guipure is a shimmery rose gold colour and Chantilly, the most intimidating of the trio, is a deep coral pink.

Sleek Blush By 3 Lace palette Formula-wise, Crochet and Chantilly are the more chalky, powdery of the two, and despite their intense colour in the palette, on the skin both are easy to build up subtly, with Crochet definitely a more peachy finish than the Tango orange that it would initially suggest. Guipure is arguably the ‘safest’ shade of the trio, as the rose gold colour and shimmery finish would look pretty on any skin tone, and perfect for days when you want a ‘no make-up’ make-up look.

The compact comes with a mirror and the packaging is, for want of a better word, very sleek, fitting perfectly into my dinky Origins make-up bag. At £9.99 you can’t really go wrong, and if these shades aren’t floating your boat, there are five more colour combinations in the range. I’ve recently bought another Sleek blush and their Matte Me liquid lipstick in Party Pink, so I’m looking forward to trying those out soon, too.

Have you tried anything from Sleek? What make-up brands are you loving at the moment?

Sleek Blush By 3 Lace palette swatches

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Magnitone Pulsar sonic cleansing brush review

Magnitone Pulsar electronic cleansing systemI’ve wanted to try a sonic cleansing brush – such as the Clarasonic, which is the popular kid on the block – for a while, but the price tag, combined with having very sensitive skin, has always put me off. I barely have to swipe a cotton pad over my face for it to react, so the thought of using what is effectively a giant electronic toothbrush on my skin has always left me curious yet apprehensive.

Luckily for me, I spotted an opportunity on British Beauty Blogger back in January to trail the new Magnitone Pulsar, so I was excited when I was picked as a tester. Naturally I thought I’d blog about it, too!

Before applying for the trial I spotted that the Magnitone comes with a sensitive setting, as well as a sensitive brush head which I thought would be ideal for my stressed out skin. Although the cleanser says it can be used daily, I started using the Pulsar once every three days (with Origins Clean Energy cleansing oil) on the ‘sensitive’ setting to allow my skin to adjust to the product. The first thing I noticed was a) how clean my skin felt afterwards and b) how ticklish my nose is!

After a couple of consecutive days of using the Pulsar, I did notice that my skin started to break out a little. This is apparently very common with most sonic cleansing systems so I didn’t worry too much, simply giving my skin a break for a couple of days before resuming use.

Magnitone Pulsar cleansing brushSo far, after four weeks of using the product, my skin feels exceptionally clean and soft after each use. I find that using it three times a week is sufficient enough for my dry, sensitive skin. I use the Origins Drink Up overnight face mask once a week, and this definitely sinks into my skin a lot easier since I’ve been using the Magnitone. I also suffer from dry patches of skin, especially in the winter, and using the Magnitone in addition to a rich moisturiser has definitely helped the problem, though my skin does occasionally still breakout.

The set also comes with body brush head which can be used on legs and arms – similar to dry body brushing but you use it in the shower. As with my nose, it turns out that my knees are also seriously ticklish!

My only complaint is that there is know way of timing the use of the device – it’s suggested that the Pulsar is used for a minute, broken down into use on different areas of the face. My electric toothbrush beeps every 30 seconds and I feel like a similar function on the Magnitone Pulsar would be useful, to make sure users aren’t over stimulating their skin.

At £129.99 the Magnitone Pulsar isn’t cheap (though at the time of writing it’s currently on offer in Boots and Superdrug for around £85) but it will last a long time before the brush heads need replacing and it is great for a deep clean, particularly if you have oily skin or like to exfoliate daily.

Do you like the idea of sonic cleansers and have you used one before?

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Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple

Revlon Lip Butter in Candy AppleI know, I know, you’ve seen swatches of Revlon’s Lip Butters, you’re positively bored of them cropping up in beauty ‘favourites’ posts and you probably own a shade or two yourself.

The hype surrounding these part-balm, part-lipstick hybrids was off the charts when they launched in 2012, but not even Esteé and her infectious love for them could persuade me to give Lip Butters a try. The quilted, opaque packaging came in strong shades that I found really off-putting – the sugary pink colours in particular looked a bit cheap and too intense for the sheer ‘buttery’ shine that was promised.

But then one day after work I found myself without a pot of Rosy Vaseline or Rimmel Colour Rush Balm, and dangerously close to Superdrug, so I figured I’d see what all the fuss was about. Parting with £7.99, I chose the shade Candy Apple, a bright, slightly orange toned red.

Despite the claim that this is a sheer product, I found Candy Apple to be vibrant, creamy and intense shade – the photo below perhaps doesn’t quite do it justice. Obviously I can’t speak for the other Butters as I haven’t tried them, but I was pleasantly surprised at the punch Candy Apple packs, so much so that I repurchased it when it was on offer a few weeks ago (£5 in Superdrug – go, go, go!). My only issue is that the bullet is so soft that the casing can get quite mucky quite quickly, but that’s perhaps to be expected with this kind of formula.

Revlon Lip Butter in Candy AppleHave you tried any of Revlon’s Lip Butters yet? What’s your favourite shade?

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Rimmel Colour Rush Lip Balm review

Rimmel Colour Rush Lip Balm in The Redder The BetterThe world has been going gaga for colourful, chunky, crayon-like balms and lip stains since Clinique’s Chubby Sticks came on to the scene a few years ago. Right now it’s all about Revlon’s ColourBurst Matte Balms, which arrived in the UK last month.

To date I’ve seen hardly any reviews of Rimmel’s addition to the pack – Colour Rush Lip Balms. I picked up the shade The Redder The Better in November last year and, along with Revlon’s Lip Butter in Candy Apple, it’s been a permanent resident in my satchel ever since.

The appeal of using a stick or crayon of colour is undeniably satisfying, which might account for my recent NARS purchase – it’s just like wielding a crayon as a child – you can get as scribbly as you like without doing much real damage. Just like your favourite Crayloa crayon, the Colour Rush Lip Balms have a solid, waxy appearance, though, unlike the aforementioned children’s favourite, these glide onto the lips with ease, leaving a satin finish which won’t cause your mother to wield a bar of soap in your direction.

Rimmel Colour Rush Lip BlamAlthough I’ve only tried The Redder The Better (there is a limited selection of five or six shades) I’m sold on the creamy formula and subtle vanilla sent. The staying power of this product is also impressive – it stays put throughout lunch, unlike Revlon’s Lip Butters, that transfer onto anything they come into contact with.

I also love that despite the strong depth of colour (I’m guessing the technical term here would be pigmentation) the balm feels light and moisturising on my lips. The Redder The Better is a vibrant cherry red with a slightly blueish tone and it suits my pale skin down to the ground.

At £5.99 these crayons are quite the bargain, and well worth picking up if you’re after an alternative to Revlon’s balm crayons.

Are you a fan of Crayloa-esque balms and stains?

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