No-Nonsense Beauty Resolutions


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

beautybag

Now what? Out with the pies and champers and in with the shiny new gym membership and green tea smoothies with wheat grass & anti-oxidants. – Yeah right, and pigs fly!

Here are some no-nonsense new year beauty regimes you can at least attempt to do with little effort that doesn’t require signed any false promises to the hunky gym man or drinking vile grass-like liquids.

1. SPF

Up the anti with the whole SPF thing – Just make an effort to find products that say they contain it.

They all usually do but if you find yourself umm-ing and ahh-ing over two and one doesn’t have SPF protection & one has SPF protection, choose that one. – This is one the easiest ways to stop wrinkles and generally bad skin from occuring, yet people still don’t do it? Get savvy!

Christian-Dior-Skin-Nude-Natural-Glow-Hydrating-Foundation-SPF-10

2. Take it off!

Your mum wasn’t being a nag when she used to say ‘scrub behind your ears!’ as you toddled off to bed when you were little… She was just being sensible. 

- My point here is, don’t just take your makeup off every night (ALWAYS DO THIS!) – Start making sure that you get the areas that are easily missed – ie, under the chin, at the hair line, neck, ears and all the crevasses like the sides of your nose/under ears. 

-Often break-outs are because you’ve just reapplied a product over old product that you missed… It may only seem like a little but every day application builds up a lot – stop the spots and get savvy!

Clarins-Instant-Eye-Makeup-Remover3. Hello H20!

The number beauty secret. It’s not rocket science; Hydration can only ever be good for your skin. Ever got back from a festival and seen your skin dry as a cornflake? That’s because the only water your body saw was the rain. 

- Drink loads and loads of water and see the difference. At the office take a bottle in so you can keep filling it up, same goes for being at home. If there’s a few bottles of water spread around the place – you’ll be more likely to pick that up than trek to the kitchen for a glass of pop… #lazy

-Try one glass an hour [That will get you to your recommended 8 glasses of a day in no time]

-No likey? Add a spritz of lemon.


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4. Exfoliation Station

How many of you really exfoliate? – Okay sometimes it may feel like a genuine work-out but this can only be killing two birds with one stone right? 

Luminous skin is gorgeous! Why wouldn’t you want that? Not only does it scrub away dead skin cells, it stimulates blood circulation and increases oxygen and nutrients around the body. -That isn’t just scientific babble either. Start a new routine in your next shower.

- If you don’t have any exfoliator (come on get some it doesn’t cost the earth) – make your own! SEA SALT is a rough, coarse substance when mixed with a splash of oil, makes the perfect exfoliator. It doesn’t smell like a beautifully scented product – it’s odourless – but that’s what you get for making your own. Try it! It’s fab (and cheap as chips!)

Loofah

5. Shampoo less often!

You said you wanted minimum effort? I’m giving you the go ahead to shampoo less! You can’t blame it on your hair’s personality either.. “But I have thin hair” “But my hair is too frizzy” – no, it’s nothing to do with what you’re hair-type is – it’s to do with your routine: Which you should change ASAP (unless you already do this then… you’re amaze!) -

- Wash your hair every OTHER day – not every day. At first, for the first 3 days of doing this, you might freak out a little – granted – but it’s nothing a little dry shampoo and a top-knot can’t solve..?! After that, washing your hair every other day will create healthier, stronger and fabulous hair. Do you know why? Because you’re not stripping your hair or scalp of its natural oils… Which is what you do if you wash it every day – thus, making it not the best it could be. If you’re reading this and are pretty-happy-with-your-hair-as-it-is-thank-you-very-much, imagine how much MORE amazing it could be, yup, that’s right!

-Dry Shampoo is your friend.

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6. 2012/2013 is the era of nail art – right?

So if you’re going to be drawing attention to your prettily-painted-pinkies then you’ll probably want to avoid conversations like “ooh just ignore my split cuticles” and “woops sorry about the broken skin” – invest in some cuticle oil. It’s a lazy nail-addicts bezzie. 

- Did you know that your cuticles are there to stop infections/germs/bad-stuff entering your body. If you think about it, they are like little seals of the body – so you need to keep them healthy, tight and sealed so no nasty stuff can get in! – Then you can instagram the hell outta them!

o.p.I love you <3

o.p.I love you <3

7. You are what you eat.

- This means, if you eat super-foods, you WILL be super. It’s true!

Ditch the greasy snacks – this is no good for your waist-line nor skin complexion. Even if you think you’re being healthy by swapping your McCoys to Quavers – you’re not. A handful of seeds & a bunch of strawberrys will be so much better. It just depends how serious you are about it….

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8. Brush up on ‘yer brushes!

You may have noticed I’m a bit skin-complexion-obsessed at the moment – but it’s all for a reason!

It’s a basic rule but you just never know – some people have never even thought about it…. CLEAN YOUR BRUSHES.

- This should be done with surgical spirit every other day (it takes 5 minutes to dry because of the high alcohol) and with baby shampoo once a week (available from as little as 40p from Asda’s smart-price baby range).

Think about it… Day 1 – foundation, day 2 – foundation builds on day 1′s foundation, day 3 foundation builds on day 1 and day 2′s foundation – are you getting the picture?

various makeup brushes

9. Smile like you mean it (ah oooooh oooh)

Smiling is the easiest, free-est, beautiful-est way to improve your beauty/mood/impression/confidence.

Imagine a stranger catching your eye and you having a straight, expressionless face. Now, imagine catching a stranger’s eye and you give a little smile. Whether it’s a cute old lady that you just made her day with or the hot-guy-you-see-on-the-train-everyday – smiling will be a win-win situation.

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Wha’dya think?

Think you can stick to these?

Think of any extra ones?

xox

beautybag

Tulisa VS Nicole

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Let’s face it – any beauty addict was more excited to see what the girls’ were wearing than to hear Jahmene’s sweet warble each week. Well, I certainly was. As soon as those over-sized doors wheeled open, me and my girlfriends would analyse their looks from head to toe.

Who were you more impressed by?

Although, we know they have stylists AND makeup artists; they’re modelling the work and we, we are the judges this time.

Nicole pulls of makeup effortlessly, while Tulisa it seems has the ‘all or nothing’ situation. She looks better with a minimal, basic and natural application, don’t you think? Too much and she looks too much. While I think it’s obvious they had the same makeup artist, I think she/he played it safe but played it well.

Fashion wise: Nicole won in my eyes. Tulisa often came across a little chavvy and sometimes tacky. She cannot pull off the more daring items, where Nicole can rock the most quirky things. Don’t you think?

Take this for example, perhaps they would have been better swapping?

'The X Factor Live' TV Programme, London, Britain  - 20 Oct 2012

Oh and I’m so glad T’s blonde hair lasted as long as me on a diet… Soooo not a good look!

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Anyway, you glad James won?

Were you team Nicole or Tulisa?

Nicole all the way… 

No More Mutton!

Is this your role model?

Whether you’re 60 or you’ve just turned 30 and think THAT’S IT NOW – everyone wants to remain youthful. You want to look healthy and happy no matter what age and there are things you can do to keep looking young…

Here are five simple steps that really WILL  make a difference:

1. Less really  is  more.

How many times have you heard that right? As you get older, do you feel like you should be slapping on more makeup to fill in those lines and add that glow you think you’ve lost. Well, STOP!

Keep looking fresh by easing up on the dark eyeshadows and eyeliners. Stick to frosted shadows and instead, opt for a bright lipstick! Focus on your well-cared for skin.

2. How are your locks looking?

If you still have big 80′s bangs and a crinkle perm then sorry but YOU’RE OLD. You’re not helping yourself by having a dated-trim, so pick up the latest mag, close your eyes, point your finger and choose a BRAVE new chop! dare you.

3. Dress well.

There is NO excuse for dressing even a little bit cool. Fashion is everywhere and in every form. Primark do ‘takes’ on Topshop and Topshop do ‘takes’ on the high-end stuff mere mortals cannot afford. So what’s your excuse? Get in there and copy what’s on a mannequin for starters…

4. Trendy Wendy.

Add trends sparingly. Animal print is cool yeah -but- dressing head to toe in it, ISN’T. Match a black-based outfit with a splash of print, like a hangbag, or a scarf – much more on-trend AND youthful.

5. Off the cuff.

Jewellery: Be careful! You don’t want to end up looking like a regular-bingo-attendee, nor do you want to look like you raided the local pawn shop.

If in doubt – think simple. Cuffs are in right now, as are simple pendant necklaces, oh and big rings too. But these trends aren’t allowed at once. One at a time.

So there you have it – 5 simple steps to looking [and staying] young.

Please share this with as many people as possible because, to be frank, I can’t cope with seeing mutton dressed as lamb more much longer – the more muttons that know; the better!

Peace and Love. 

Keep it light girls!

Edible perfume.. Yep, you heard!


What kind of deodorant do you use? Roll on? Spray? A balm? 

FORGET THAT! – Now you can swallow a sweet and it will keep you smelling fresh for up to SIX hours! 

Created by an American company ‘Beneo’ with help from Bulgarian confectioner Alpi – this is unfortunately not available in the UK – but i really wish it was – just to experiment – EVEN at $10 a pop!

It may be more expensive than a can of Sure, but you can’t EAT that can you!

Oh and it’s sugar-free – EVEN BETTER!

I wonder what would happen if you ate too many? 

What do you think?

Find out more info here.

Last minute Halloween!

So you’ve just been invited to a Halloween party tonight and you didn’t expect it. The only thing you thought you’d be scaring tonight is your cat, or your reflection…

Anyway…

OKAY don’t panic! 

You own an old dress you were going to throw out anyway right? Cut it up with rough slits, add fake blood. Don’t worry if you have none! (This is probably normal not too) – Red food colouring? Lipstick? Ketchup? Okay so you might smell like a hotdog but so what – at least you LOOK good!?

Hair – Talcum powder. Everyone owns THAT! Powder into your parting to look dusty and eerie! Now, seriously back comb it all over! – the dragged through the hedge look. Yup!

Okay so clothes and hair done. Easy peasy. 

Now the make-up.

As long as you own eyeliner, you’re sorted. 

You can even go as far as applying as usual on the line of lids and simply smudging it in messy, crazy directions.

Lipstick? Only apply it in the middle of your lips – like a doll. 

Excess blusher in perfect circles for a spooky doll-like effect.

Remember, you’re not making yourself up for David Beckham – so be as WHITE as possible.

Have a look at these examples – and Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

 

o.p.I Love You!

The creme de la creme of Varnishes

A truly long-lasting nail polish is one of the great beauty time-savers. 

O.P.I needs recognition for this one fact.

I have had so so SO many nail varnishes in my life. You know what it’s like.. You buy one for the quirky colour, one for the bottle design, another for the brand and another because a friend told you about it. But, you know what’s good, and what you love. No matter how many different brands you try or much of a bargain a nail varnish may be – you keep going back to the same one. The trusty one.

In this case, it’s O.P.I.

I just can’t get enough. I could go on forever so I better keep it short & sweet (just like the varnishes themselves… hee hee). Here’s my quick review:

Product: O.P.I – Nail Lacquer

abeautybag rating: 9.99/10

A celebrity favourite, packed with pigments for depth of colour and cover.

It has a HUGE shade range, not to mention the quirky names. They are updated almost every week to reflect fashion trends & what’s hot. (This week they released ‘Skyfall’ in keeping of the James Bond Premiere release).

Upside: – Lovely shine & richness. Dried in 90 seconds. Amazing colour, good shine. Excellent coverage. No need for top coat. Lasted 9 days (and i type a lot every day, do housework, etc) – even then it didn’t look horrendous.

Downside: – Trying my HARDEST ever to critique this. I put my makeup expert head on and suggested that this nail varnish may need two coats. I, however would not see it as a downside as I apply two coats with ANY varnish I use. 

Finally, I must add, some may consider £7.99 somewhat pricey. (They are usually £11.00) – but – at The London Perfume Company they are very reasonable. All O.P.I nail varnishes are 15ml which are HUGE and last triple what a standard polish would. 

So what I’m saying is…. o.p.I LOVE YOU!

xox

o.p.I love you <3

Bond: Skyfall Premiere.

Wow, what a night! Full of pure glamour and sparkles. Not to mention Katie Price’s outfit & Poor Daniel Craig’s hot sweat. One particular woman looked better than everyone else! Stay tuned.

But, what we want to know is the contents of their beauty bags…. Please click HERE for more. A lot more!

Victoria’s Secret. Toni & Guy serum.
Dior Addict high shine gloss. Elizabeth Arden powder.

10 must-have fragrances for A/W 2012

Make sure this season you have at least one of these delicious fragrances in your beauty bag…

Burberry Beat Eau De Parfum - £31.99. Burberry Beat is a sexy, energetic and vibrant fragrance for women. Inspired by the blend of British heritage with rebellion and independence that is at the soul of the Burberry brand, this sophisticated perfume features Ceylon tea and iris combined with bergamot, cardamom, pink pepper and mandarin. A soft floral heart of bluebell layers over a woody base of white musk, vetiver and cedarwood to create a unique and innovative scent that defines the Burberry brand.

Also pictured: [top right] – Burberry Beat Eau De Toilette – £25.49 [bottom right] – Burberry Beat for men Eau De Toilette - £18.99. 

Euphoria by Calvin Klein: Eau De Toilette for women - £22.99. Euphoria is a velvety fruity-floral fragrance for women by Calvin Klein. This delicious scent combines the unforgettable blend of pomegranate and apple, the creaminess of lotus and orchid and the sensuality of woods and amber to create a seductive and bewitching perfume. Available in Eau De Toilette spray, this fun scent comes in an uber-chic bottle design.

Also pictured: [top left] – Euphoria Eau De Parfum – £25.49. [bottom left] – Euphoria for him – £33.99.

Bvlgari Jasmine Noir£34.49. Jasmin Noir is a captivating and caressing perfume for women of all ages by Bvlgari. This captivating fragrance boasts a rich mix of floral and precious woody notes with scents of almond and licorice, delicate gardenia petals and refreshing green sap together with a floral heart of sambac, jasmine and satin almond, all luxuriously layered over precious woods, licorice and tonka bean. Available in a chic black and gold Eau De Parfum spray bottle, Jasmin Noir is recommended for evening wear.

Prada L’Eau Ambree De Parfum£45.99. L’eau Ambree is a strong and classic scent for women by Prada. This fresh and easy to wear fragrance opens with top notes of cedarat lemon, mandarin and neroli which lead to a heart of benzoin, gardenia jasminoide and May rose and closes with a sultry base of amber, opoponax and patchouli to create an ultra glamorous perfume for all occasions. This opulent Eau De Parfum is available in a classic black and gold Prada bottle.

Versace Crystal Noir£24.49. Crystal Noir is a delicate yet sensual fragrance from Versace. Featuring warm amber and Donatella Versace’s much-loved flowers and essences, Crystal Noir is an extremely sensual and overtly sexy scent that’s ideal for wearing by night. This opulent perfume is available in eau de toilette spray and comes in a glamorous amber and black bottle.

Bond No 9 – Bleeker Street - £99.99. Bleeker Street Eau De Parfum for men and women by the design house of Bond No. 9 was inspired by the spirit of the West Village of New York City. It is a gourmand scent that opens with notes of violet leaf, cassis and thyme that reveal a heart of jasmine, cedar wood and cinnamon, while the base finishes with oak moss, suede, patchouli and amber. The funky emerald green bottle was designed by artist Rachel Katz and the fragrance itself evokes the feeling of contemporary New York.

What’s your A/W fragrance? 

Go Gradient Gal!

Start from the top left hand corner and work round it like a clock.

1. Base coat – for obvious reasons.

- Apply a light coat.

2. Choose your colour scheme. I chose pink but I’ve seen it done it blue and orange and they look equally amazing!

- Get the lightest colour possible you can get your hands on. Most use white but as I didn’t have white, this pale pink was the closest (and I feel it works just as well!)

3. Apply the light colour all over your nail.

4. Take the next shade up. I chose my OPI strawberry shade nail varnish.

5. Mix with the lightest shade you used in stage 2. (Two to three drops of each should be enough for both hands). – I used a plate to mix on and a cocktail stick to mix with.

- Apply this about a third down your nail so 2/3rds are covered.

- Make sure each layer is completely dry before applying the next (or it’ll get messy!)

6. When dry, choose the shade darker than step 4. I chose my OPI shade ‘You’re a Pisa Work’ which i absolutely adore. Drop about 3 droplets of your darker shade onto the mixing plate.

7. Mix this with the remains of what you’ve been using. Add a drop of the original light varnish if needed.

8. Choose your next colour. and repeat process – This time covering only 1/3 of your nail.

9. It should look a little like this. Don’t worry about any mess – It is easily removed with a good varnish remover and precision brush.

10. You can get darker & darker but I decided to finish with a purple as this is a gradient of pink. I mainly did it because a lot of my pinks are very similar shades, so to create a thorough gradient I went with a lilac shade into a darker purple.

11. This is my lilac from OPI – shade ‘Panda Monium’.

12. Mixed into this deep purplePamplona Purple.

13. Back to top coat. Make sure you leave it dry for longer than usual.

NOTE: I’m not going to lie, it’s a little fiddly but I did manage to do it first time. If you find it difficult, don’t be disheartened – give it a try – afterall; practise makes perfect!