No-Nonsense Beauty Resolutions



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!


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.


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!)


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.


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 ❤

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….


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.


Wha’dya think?

Think you can stick to these?

Think of any extra ones?




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.

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!


o.p.I love you ❤

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!

Paris Fashion Week’s influence on my beauty bag…

After seeing London Fashion Week kick off (and kick ass) last week; I was inspired. And so was my beauty bag. So inspired, I wrote a blog about it, here.

So Paris Fashion Week arrived and I was eager with anticipation to see that the trends and fashion have focused on similar areas. Catwalks are no longer just about the art of material and clothing but the art of beauty, makeup and cosmetics. So, being a beauty-addict – I watched closely.

Reoccurring themes of ‘go hard or go home’ appeared. Okay not quite as brutal, but it was a case of ‘wear strong colours or don’t bother at all’.

Nina Ricci
The impact of a deep red lipstick

The rule that most beauty-addicts would adhere to would be dramatic eyes OR dramatic lips – notice I said OR, not AND – either or and you’ll be safe. To do both you need a seriously professional eye (and a seriously good reason), you’ll only really see what I call ‘circus makeup’ on high-end fashion shoots & campaigns for high-impact. So the photo above, I love. The deep rouge lips make this whole look, just look back at the photo and imagine her with pale lips – rubbish huh? This lipstick makes the clothes look like something else! However, now look back and imagine her with heavy black eye makeup on – rubbish again! … Makeup is a magical thing.

Something else I took from Paris Fashion Week’s parade of beauty, was an innovative way to use eyeliner. It has to be liquid eyeliner to get the desired effect. Look! You’ll know what I mean…

Paris Fashion Week:
The new eye-shadow!

You like? I do! I predict it’s going to be the new eyeshadow. Where eyeshadow is dated, a little predictable and let’s face it, a bit tedious – a simple line of colour gives that edge and is moving makeup in a new direction.

All taken into account, this will take quite a while to catch on and to move into the mainstream beauty trends. But it will come, it will come… and i’m excited!

Another example of ‘eye-lines’ – The new eyeshadow

SO #bbloggers and makeup addicts all over the world. Two things…

1. High-impact lipsticks. [Red is a timeless classic]

2. Ditch the eyeshadow – Get creative with beautiful lines of colour!

I will leave you with some more examples of how a strong lipstick can change your outfit. [Remember: imagine them with no lipstick on]. Told you.

Clashing army green with a pinky-red — Who’d have thunk it?!

Stunning red lips enhance the light blue blouse.

Classic red lips against white.
Match with a simple red hair accessory, perfect!


*[DISCLAIMER: All photos have been taken from Pinterest & each one is linked back to the original source]

50 Shades of Grey: The stuff that really makes you happy

While I recognise you might have clicked on this for a review of the book that spread faster than a cold in an office; you’re sadly mistaken. However, this is the stuff that creates genuine screams and squeals, real excitement and a feeling of pure happiness; why I’m talking about makeup of course.

 But in true dedication to the cheeky literature by E. L. James, I’ve chosen items from the amazing website and I’m sharing the real pieces of Grey you want to experience.

 Just look!

OPI Nail Lacquer – Silver Shatter

Toni&Guy Serum Polish Stick
(RRP £8.49) – £5.49

Stila Pencil Sharpener
(RRP £6.00) – £3.99

Christian Dior Capture Totale Nuit Intensive Night Restorative Crème.
(RRP £112.00) – £95.99

Yardely Lace 15ml Eau De Parfum, Compact Mirror & Volume Boost Heather Lipstick Gift Set
(RRP £12.95) – £4.99

Christian Dior Global Anti-Age Concentrate Radiance
(RRP £132.00) – £119.99

Tigi Bed Head Hard Head Mohawk Gel for Spiking and Ultimate Hold
(RRP £12.79) – £11.99

OPI Nail Lacquer – It Totally Fort Worth It
(RRP £11.00) – £7.99

Tigi S Factor Creamy Moulding Wax
(RRP £15.90) – £12.59

Prada Tendre Purse 10ml Eau De Parfum X 3 Gift Set
(RRP £39.99) – £25.99

So there’s my must-have shades of grey. Not quite 50, but I reckon 10 is enough to keep you satisfied.

I love because 99.9% of the products are always cheaper than what’s on the high-street. Why would I leave the comfort of my own home to get something double the price when I can get bargains at the click of my finger!? Their products are always so professional (and their delivery is soooo fast) so I never have to wait long!

What’s your favourite website to get your beauty products? Let me know!


The Perfume Bottle: Stash or Trash?

Perfume! Whether sweet, woody, fruity or musky – everyone has a favourite. People today use perfumes like an accessory. You’ve got your hair done; clothes smart and jewellery present… what tops it off? A good squirt of your favourite fragrance of course!

Perfume has become ‘wearable art’ – just like clothes and jewellery – it takes careful consideration to choose the perfect product.

So with this in mind I was clearing out my apartment as I had way too much clutter for my own good. Out went the stacks of magazines that were piled so high they were taller than my 2 year old nephew and out went the makeup cases that have been empty for years (but because they cost me a small fortune I couldn’t bear to dispose of them). Anyway slight tangent but it brings me to my question…

Have you ever kept hold of your old perfume even though it’s run out simply because the bottle is so beautiful?

Yep, me too..

It got me thinking as to just how many people took part in, what can only be described as, ‘unnecessary hoarding’ .. and I was pleasantly surprised that it’s not a totally crazy thing to do.

So here are a few bottles that I fell in love with and not only would keep if they were mine, but I want them anyway! Enjoy.

Bond No 9 Eau De New York Eau De Parfum
£116.99 (RRP £155)

LOLA by Marc Jacobs

Beautifully pink

From £42.99

A sweet treat

The iconic Jean Paul Gaultier
£41.99 (RRP £47)

Bond N09 Andy Warhol Silver Factory Eau De Parfum
£133.99 (RRP £170)

Can’t go wrong with Chanel

The Classic Chanel No 5
Refill £50

Vera Wang – Princess