Julian Charles Bedding Review

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Bedding is one of my favourite things to buy for my home, and as sad as it sounds I even enjoy making my bed in the mornings and making it look pretty. When the bed takes up so much of your room it's worth making it look nice, plus is there anything better than getting into freshly washed and ironed sheets?! But one of the problems I have when buying bedding is finding places that do nice sets for the size of my bed; one of the things I didn't realise when I was buying a super-king size bed was just how much it would limit my duvet cover choices. Most places only go up to king size, and so finding bedding that I love is even more difficult. Luckily for me I was recently introduced to Julian Charles who are a shop selling luxury soft furnishings including curtains, cushions, duvets, pillows and bedding. They're a family run company who have been around for over multiple generations, and have plenty of superking sized bedding for me to obsess over!

There are so many sets here that I could have happily chosen, which is pretty much unheard of for me as I'm quite picky (I usually end up going for plain sets and just dressing up the bed with throws and cushions). I eventually decided on the Gosford Natural set, I absolutely love the design of this and think it's such a classy print. The jacquard pattern is pretty while still being subtle meaning it's easy to accessorise without prints or colours clashing. I find a lot of sets that you get on the highstreet are quite bold patterns which can be difficult to match with the rest of your room, Julian Charles duvet sets have a much more subtle design so it adds a little something without looking garish or over done. As much as I love how this set looks, the standout feature has got to be the quality of the material. It's the most beautiful thick, silky soft material that feels expensive to the touch- cheaper sets I've had in the past have been quite thin whereas you can tell this is luxury. With it being quite a heavy bedding set it will be ideal over the coming autumn and winter, with it being so hot right now we've been taking the duvet off completely and using a thinner throw blanket instead (who else dying with the heat at night at the minute, because I am!) But as soon as it starts getting chillier I'm going to love getting into bed with this on as it's so cosy. I've accessorised mine with cream and duck egg blue cushions along with a white fluffy throw at the end of the bed for now, but it comes with a matching bedspread and a couple of different types of cushions and pillowcases if you wanted to go for the full set (for reference you can see how it all looks together here). I think all together it looks so beautiful, I'm planning on investing in all of the matching extras!

This set costs between £27 and £48 depending on the size of your bed. This is 70% off the original price, originally the super-king size would have been £160 and you can definitely tell just from the feel of the material. So if you're on the lookout for gorgeous new bedding, and want a luxury set without breaking the bank Julian Charles is one to look into!

Have you ever heard of Julian Charles?

Maintaining the Colour and Condition of Blonde Hair

Thursday, 25 June 2015

It's fair to say that maintaining blonde hair is no easy task. I've had just about every hair colour imaginable, and while they all come with their challenges blonde has got to be the most difficult. Not only is the lightening process drying and damaging-even if you're extra careful or get it done professionally- but keeping a nice clean colour that's free of regrowth and brassy tones can be time consuming. But for me personally I think it's worth the effort, I feel much more 'myself' with blonde hair and think done right it's a really pretty and striking shade. Luckily for us blonde addicts, Touch of Silver have brought inexpensive yet highly effective products to the highstreet that mean maintaining blonde hair is that bit easier. Along with their famous colour correcting shampoo and conditioner there are also some other fantastic products aimed to keep the colour and condition of blonde hair at it's best. Here are some of the products in the range, and what I think of them!

If you're looking for a damage-free way correct brassy tones in blonde, white or grey hair this is the best way to go about it. The primer in step one smoothes the hair cuticles while locking in shine, this helps to prepare the hair for the shampoo to give it an even result. You can use the colour correcting shampoo and conditioner without this step, but for the best result (especially if your hair is quite dry or damaged) it's well worth spritzing through with this first. Followed up with their brightening shampoo and intensive conditioner, small amounts of violet pigments are left behind which effectively cancel out unwanted warm tones. Unlike other purple toned shampoo and conditioners these work so well as the colour of the products are a really intense purple colour and leave a good deposit of colour in the hair. I wrote a full review on their colour correcting shampoo and conditioners here if you want to find out more!

Maintaining the condition of blonde hair is an ongoing battle, once you've gone lighter using bleach anything that promises to hydrate and repair will be your new best friend. I was extremely excited about these 'treatment shots', they're unlike anything I've used before. In a bowl you mix a 'shot' with water which creates a deeply conditioning hair mask, you can adjust this depending on the condition of your hair but for very dry hair it's one shot with an equal amount of water. The mixture itself looks a little underwhelming (and as though there's not going to be enough there to make a difference) but the effects are amazing. After just one use my hair felt noticeably sleeker and smoother, unlike regular treatment masks you obviously don't need to slather your hair in bucket loads of product for it to make a difference. While the Touch of Silver range is designed with blonde, white and grey hair in mind, a product like this can of course be used on any hair colour. Unlike some of the other products in the range, these wont adjust the colour in any way. Perfect for anyone who uses colour, chemicals or heat on their hair or just feels that their hair needs a highly moisturising pick-me-up.

Dry Shampoo/ Conditioning Shine Spray
Over washing bleached hair is never going to end well- not only does it dry it out even further but top that off with daily blowdrying and it can be a disaster for hair that's already delicate. And so dry shampoo to the rescue- if like me you feel like a greasy mess if you don't wash your hair every other day this means you can stretch it out a little bit further. This one is formulated with a UV absorber to help protect against sun damage and fading, while refreshing and reviving the hair. The 'dry conditioner' is another favourite of mine from this range, I use regular leave in conditioners a lot but with them being a wet formula I find they can weigh down the hair and leave it looking a bit lank between washes. This is really handy for adding moisture to the hair on days that you're not washing it, it's nice and lightweight but still delivers a great moisturising hit. It contains silk proteins to add moisture and shine, and reduces unruly flyaways.

Hairspray isn't a product I use often these days as I tend to go for softer and more relaxed styles. However I have given this a go and as far as hairspray goes this is a nice one- it holds well without leaving the hair crispy or sticky. As with the conditioning spray it contains silk proteins to add shine and a UV absorber so is actually good for the hair. 

How do you keep your bleached or coloured hair in good condition?

Win a £50 Custom Canvas Voucher!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Today I'm teaming up with Custom Canvas and giving you the chance to win a £50 voucher from their site! With Custom Canvas you're able to create any sized canvas with a photo or design of your choice, making it the perfect gift or just a treat for yourself to hang in your home. The giveaway will run for two weeks, best of luck!

Terms and Conditions
-This competition is open to UK residents only.
-The winner will be randomly selected and contacted directly by Custom Canvas within 2 weeks of a valid e-mail address being supplied.

-The prize will be an E-voucher up to the value £50 to be used on the Custom Canvas website and has no cash value

Japonesque at QVC

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

If you watch American beauty Youtubers, chances are you've heard of Japonesque. They're well known in the cosmetics world for their beautifully crafted luxury tools, but have recently introduced a range of makeup products too. And best of all, they're now available here in the UK thanks to QVC! Japonesque is a brand I've admired from afar as a beauty blogger, it was previously difficult for us here in England to get our mitts on and so I'm so excited to finally be able to give them a whirl. Here are some of the Japonesque products available on QVC, but check out their site for the full range. 

Velvet Touch Finishing Powder With Brush: £30.55
I love products that give a 'velvet' finish, I find they give an almost airbrushed effect with a natural matte finish that's neither glowy or too flat looking. Despite this being a rather scary looking bright white shade in the pan it's most definitely a translucent powder, it's universal so you don't have to worry about colour matching which is always handy when buying online. The brush is made with super soft synthetic fibres, it's not too densely packed meaning it's great for applying the powder without accidentally piling on too much. Always a good thing as too much powder really can be disasterous, there's been more than one occasion where I've glanced at my face during the day and realised I've been overly generous with my Rimmel Stay Matte- hello chalky skin! I think £30 for this set is pretty good, they're in no way budget products but £15 each for a high quality brush and a powder that leaves a beautiful finish is more than reasonable in my book. This is Japonesque's best selling product globally; and seeing as they're such a top selling highly respected brand, that speaks wonders about the product.

Japonesque's Velvet Touch primer is a weightless gel that glides over skin to create an invisible canvas, smoothing and mattifying the complexion. It really does make your skin feel like velvet too- it smoothes out the skin and so if you suffer with things like enlarged pores, fine lines or patches of dryness this works to even everything out creating a perfectly smooth base ready for foundation. It's been quite a while since I've regularly used primer as I can be quite lazy with my routine (and let's face it, primer is a step that can easily be skipped) however after using this it's definitely something I plan on incorporating into my makeup routine again. I've been getting a much nicer overall finish, my base makeup lasts longer and my skin can still breathe which is especially important now that the weather is warming up.

I think this eyelash curler has to be one of my favourites of the products I've tried. I never used to believe that eyelash curlers really worked (probably because at the time I'd only ever used rubbish ones) but this is amazing. They're made from high-quality stainless steel with a unique pivot design, which applies a consistent straight-line pressure on the lash for even results. You get three replacement silicone pads too so you'll get the best performance for a really long time. I can't believe the difference it makes to the lashes, it makes mascara look better and even if you're not wearing any makeup at all- a quick curl with these gives way more definition to the eyes. When you buy this from QVC it comes in a set with Japonesque's Lash Loading mascara, I haven't tried this myself but judging by how great everything else is I'd put money on it being amazing.

Lipstick Duo: £25
When you purchase one of Japonesque's lip duos from QVC you get the choice between the 'bronze and berry' set or the 'nude and coral' set. Colour wise the bronze and berry set would be a great autumn/ winter choice while the nude and coral look like pretty shades for the summer- I only have the berry shade on it's own but I absolutely love it.  Not only do you get a bit of the pretty colourful themed packaging on the lid (the packaging for the colour cosmetics range is individually hand crafted meaning no  two designs are the same!) the colour and formulation are everything. A stunning deep berry shade with the smoothest formula that just glides on leaving amazing pigmentation. Plus berry is a universally flattering shade that will suit all skin tones regardless of how light or dark- I know this is going to become a favourite when the colder weather rolls back around but it's also a gorgeous, sophisticated shade for nights out too.

Have you tried anything from Japonesque?

Faking a Golden Glow

Monday, 15 June 2015

An 'effortless' bronzed, summery look when you're pale is never going to actually be effortless- it's just never gonna happen. If you can roll out of bed in the morning and look beach ready just by swiping on some bronzer and scrunching a bit of salt spray into your hair, count yourself extremely lucky; I think the fact that it's taken me two layers of fake tan, two different bronzers and enough peach blush to put well...a peach to shame speaks wonders really. I'm sure those of you who are 'pigmentally challenged' like myself will understand- how amazing it must be to roll out of bed looking golden and glowing every day? I've never been much of a sun worshipper or sun bed go-er (probably a good thing really seeing as they're horribly bad for you!) and so to get a bit of colour in my pale face it's all about fake tan and makeup. I'm in no way suggesting that this is summer appropriate makeup (I wouldn't fancy sweating all of these layers off) but if you're wanting to look a bit bronzey for photos or a night out it can be done. Here are some of the products I use!

St Moritz Fake Tan in Medium
Good old St Moritz, the best of the budget fake tans. Any bronzey look is going to involve some kind of fake tan as a base, and this is the one I've used for close to two years now. I will say that if you're quite pale and plan on putting this tan on your face, you WILL need to apply foundation over the top to even it out and sort out the colour. While it looks nice under makeup (and is fine as a body tanner) I just find the colour looks a bit unnatural on the face if you have nothing else on it. If I was planning on having lighter makeup I'd go for a lighter and more subtle facial fake tan, but in order to actually get a base colour onto the skin this is always the way I've done it. 

Elf Cream Contour Palette
After applying a foundation (I use one that's good few shades darker than my usual shade to match the fake tan) I go in with a cream bronzer, for this look I went with the St Lucia palette by Elf. I apply this to the usual contour areas- the hollows of the cheeks, temples and jawline which puts down the contour and some colour. I also apply the peach cream blush to the tops of the cheekbones. This is a great little duo, while the shades are better suited to a more medium skin tone it's perfect for when I'm fake tanning and need something a little darker.

Benefit Hoola/ Mac Peaches
Once I'm done with the cream products I set them with powder bronzer and blush, this makes everything last for a lot longer and also gives me the chance to finally even everything out. I've used Hoola to keep this look matte, but a shimmery/ sheeny bronzer would also look nice here too (I spoke about some of my current favourite bronzers here). Finally after bronzing I add the final colour to my cheeks with a peach blush. Peaches by Mac is still my favourite, it's been used and abused so much now the packaging is falling apart and everything. It's just something everyone should have in their collection as it would look great on just about any skin tone. I think a peach rather than a pink or coral blush adds more warmth to the skin and compliments the rest of the bronzey look really nicely.

Kate Moss for Rimmel Shade 26/ Urban Decay Naked Palette
Once the bronzed base makeup is complete, I think warmer toned eye and lip colours really finish everything off. I only really reach for my original Naked palette when I've been fake tanning, but it's the best thing ever for a golden makeup look. I mainly used the shades Half Baked and Creep to do a gold smokey eye. And finally Shade 26 from the Rimmel/ Kate Moss collection is my favourite warmer toned nude lipstick.

How do you fake a bronzed glow over the summer?

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