Japonesque at QVC

Wednesday, 27 May 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?

Braun Satin Hair 7 Hairbrush Review

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Braun Satin Hair 7 hairbrush*: around £30 from Argos, Amazon and Tesco

It's been quite a while since I've used or owned a hairbrush; my everyday hair tools are a Tangle Teezer and a wide tooth comb and they're the only things I've brushed or styled my hair with for probably close to three years now. But my old faithful Tangle Teezer is beginning to look a little worse for wear with the bristles starting to bend around the edges, and so for the past few months I've been on the lookout for something new. Step in Braun's Satin Hair 7- where technology meets hairbrush. Oh yes, containing 'Iontech' technology this nifty little device works to reduce static in the hair leaving it smoother and sleeker just through brushing. And as someone who battles with static-y flyaways on a regular basis I thought this sounded like something I needed to try!

The sciency bit behind this is that hair generates its own positive charge of atoms on the surface of the strands, this causes them to repel each other which leads to that horrible static feeling in the hair. Once switched on the Braun Satin Hair 7 releases a jet of ions; ions are always trying to get back to a 'neutral' state and so efficiently absorb the positive charge from the hair. So what you end up with is hair that looks sleeker and shinier, and completely eradicates the unmanageable static buildup. The brush head itself is fairly large meaning it's great even for longer hair, and the cushion base is removable which is handy if you prefer brushes without these on. I do find that this isn't quite as gentle on my hair as the Tangle Teezer, however the rounded ends of the bristles glide nicely though the hair without snagging so wont cause damage. It uses three AAA batteries, but there's an automatic switch off so there's no need to worry about forgetting to switch it off and running them down within a day! I find that the static in my my hair tends to get worse at this time of year when the weather is warmer, but since using this I've not had to think about it at all.

All in all this is the ideal brush for me, usually brushing my hair makes the static become worse but this seems to get rid of it well (which in turn makes my hair look a lot nicer!) If you don't suffer with static and flyaways then this brush probably isn't going to do much for you and you'd be better off just going with something cheaper, but for certain people it will be an absolute lifesaver. If like me you look like you've been electrocuted when a balloon goes near your hair or brushing it causes it to 'stick' to the hairbrush, this is something you'll appreciate. While it's more expensive than a regular hairbrush, at just under £30 it's not going to break the bank and is well worth the price for what it does.

Is the Braun Satin 7 brush something you'd buy?

Bringing a Touch of Colour Into Your Home

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

image source
A century or more ago, the majority of people who painted their homes used white because it was considerably cheaper than coloured paint. These days, white and neutrals are a popular choice as they give your home a nice bright and clean look, I'm very much a neutrals decor fan myself but they can definitely leave a room looking a bit stark and bland if you're not careful. But the good thing about white and neutral rooms is you can bring in any colour you like, and can easily change up your colour scheme without having to completely redecorate! Here are some of the ways to bring in a touch of colour to your home. 

Develop Your Colour Scheme
First of all, you'll want to decide on which colour to use. As a general rule, white walls will compliment cooler colours and magnolia/ cream walls will look best with slightly warmer colours. You can choose the colour based on season, function (relaxing hues in bedrooms etc) or just be daring and pick a colour you love as your accent shade. Bringing in colour doesn't necessarily mean a bright colour, in cool toned rooms you could go for a mixture of grey and black shades and in warm toned rooms try varying neutrals like light brown and taupe.

Use Colourful Accessories
Once you've decided on your colour palette it's time to go shopping! The easiest way to bring colour into a room is definitely with accessories. There are the obvious things like cushions, rugs, throws, curtains and lamps- but don't forget things like clocks, candles and silk flowers. Even if you fancy a complete change of colour later down the line it's easy to switch out accessories and use them in other rooms, if you think you're likely to change your colour later down the line just be sure to choose your pieces wisely. For example, a colourful lampshade can be changed for another colour if the base is neutral. The artwork in frames can be switched up, and the flowers in vases can be replaced with another colour providing the vase itself is a neutral shade.

Add Colour With Plants
Another great way to bring some colour and contrast into a room is with some living plants. The bright green of the leaves looks really nice against a plain, light backdrop and you can use colourful plant pots to tie in with your colour scheme. Use striking Dartington Crystal vases to display fresh flowers throughout the year, I love having fresh flowers in the house and always try to make sure I have a bunch in the house. You could go with a bouquet that picks out your colour scheme- supermarkets are good for this as they tend to have bunches that are dyed all kinds of colours

Consider a Feature Wall
Putting up wallpaper is more of a commitment than simply adding accessories, but the good thing about feature walls is they're usually quite small and therefore are a lot less expensive and time consuming than completely redecorating. A feature wall will really tie your chosen colour into the rest of the room, and can add a bit of interest especially if all of the other walls are plain. Be sure to choose your feature wall well, it should be the wall your eye is naturally drawn to when you enter the room. Often they're the wall where the fireplace/ chimney breast is.

How do you bring colour into your home?

New From Kiko: Kiko Milano Modern Tribes- Summer Collection

Monday, 18 May 2015

Based on colours of the earth in bold, enchanting shades- Kiko's new 'Modern Tribes' summer collection is said to envoke the grandeur of modern noble warriors. Now noble warrior I'm most definitely not, however I absolutely love everything about this collection. From the beautiful wooden packaging to the range of products and colours available, these are must-try products for any makeup lover over the warmer months. I've been trialling three face products from the range; the Essential Bronzer, Sunproof Powder Foundation and Sunproof BB cream- here's what I thought! 

I love powder foundations for the summer, the fact that you get a matte finish while still achieving a decent amount of coverage is ideal for keeping shiny skin/ red cheeks at bay on hot days! This product has completely changed how I do my base makeup, rather than applying an all over foundation I've been using a concealer just on my cheeks and then a fine dusting of the powder all over my face. I can't believe how much nicer it makes my complexion look rather than a heavy foundation, and is especially nice for hotter days when you don't want a thick layer of product on your skin. Despite looking quite dark in the swatch, once it's applied it does adapt to my skin tone and doesn't look way off. This is the shade 'light', they also do 'very light' which might have been better but with a bit of luck I get some kind of a tan over the summer- if not there's always trusty fake tan! Not only does this contain SPF 15 but it's also paraben free, hypoallergenic and water resistant. 

Sunproof BB Cream
Containing an amazing SPF 30 this is the perfect 'everyday summer base' product. It feels light on the skin, and leaves a natural finish that's not too shiny or dewy. BB creams are known for being light coverage but this actually covers quite well and leaves the skin looking nice and even, I'd say it's more of a light/medium coverage. It doesn't leave the skin looking completely flawless like a thick foundation would but is great for general day to day wear, especially on warmer days. As with the powder foundation this is waterproof so would be perfect for taking on holiday and wearing to the beach, or just for long lasting coverage throughout the day. Again I'd recommend the getting this in 'very light' if you're pale, this is 'light' which to me seems like more of a medium shade.
Finally my favourite product of the bunch is this absolutely stunning bronzer. Not only is it enormous but the chunky wooden packaging is like a work of art I love it. There's a magnetic closure and a good sized mirror in the lid, and just has an overall feel of quality. This is quite a warm shade and contains shimmer- two things I usually avoid in bronzers but it somehow just works in this. Maybe because the actual product is so big it's easy to use it with a big fluffy brush, I find applying it this way gives it a really natural looking finish. I wouldn't recommend it as a contour bronzer, but applied around the edges of the face and to the cheekbones on a big brush gives a gorgeous summery glow. The large size means it's suitable for face and body, so is easy to bronze up your collar bones/ decolletage too which would be especially nice if you already had a bit of a tan.

Have you tried anything from Kiko's Modern Tribes collection?

Clutch Bag Essentials For a Night Out

Friday, 15 May 2015

When you're out for the evening in a bar or nightclub, it's probably going to involve a few too many cocktails, dancing until your feet hurt and generally having the time of your life- as you do. But when you're out and about, away from home and probably not with your full wits about you it's worth making sure you're organised and have everything you need before heading out the door. As boring as that sounds, being stranded at 3am with a flat phone battery or even having a hair dilemma when you're on a night out isn't fun, especially when it can be avoided with a bit of preparation. Admittedly it can be a difficult one when your clutch bag is the size of a matchbox (and if like me you're used to carrying a huge handbag around that's practically a suitcase) and so you have to be a bit smart with deciding what to bring. Here are a few things that I consider to be essentials, but all of which are nice and compact saving valuable clutch bag space!

Mobile Phone Powerbank
Unless you have the space or inclination to bring a proper camera out with you, you'll probably be snapping away photos of the night on your mobile phone- which as we all know is not good news for crappy smartphone batteries. Having something like this in your bag just gives the extra piece of mind knowing you won't be stuck with a dead battery, they're only small and aren't too heavy so won't take up too much space or leave you feeling like you're carrying round a tonne of bricks. If you own one of these always remember to charge it before you go out especially if it's been sitting in your bag for a while, as they don't tend to hold their charge.

Small Sized Purse (With Extra Taxi Fare)
If like me your normal purse is a huge bulky thing, you're probably going to want to invest in something smaller for when you're out with a smaller bag- I love the look of this one. My regular purse would take up almost all of the space in a clutch, and so something like this is really handy. All you need is enough space for your card, some cash and your ID rather than bringing along a huge thing with a thousand store cards, receipts and load of other random junk that purses tend to accumulate. One thing I'd always recommend is keeping enough money for a taxi home in a separate compartment, even if you already have arrangements to get home with other people.

Hygiene Products
It's always worth making space for a pack of tissues in your bag if you're going on a night out, I like little handbag sized packs. Past midnight in the ladies, tissue is as rare and precious as gold dust- it seems as though most bars and nightclubs are blissfully unaware of this fact as they never seem to do anything about it. Tampax Compak Pearl are another good choice for a clutch bag, not only are they a small and discreet size but are made with a softer and quieter wrapper too which is handy. Plus the wrappers have been given a stylish overhaul meaning they blend in with your other beauty products- good for avoiding mishaps like this! Other good hygiene essentials are chewing gum and antibacterial hand gel, I like these little Bath and Body works ones.

Topup Makeup
With clutch bags being so small you really do have to keep things like makeup to the essentials. I usually just go with the lipstick I'm wearing and a pressed powder to keep any shine away throughout the night. I'm not usually a fan of applying powder with the sponge that you get included, but they're good for times like this when you don't want to be lugging an extra brush around with you. I try to go for a powder with a mirror in the lid like this one by Urban Decay, which saves you needing to bring an extra mirror- bonus.

Brush or Comb
This is something I always have on me, and still make room for even if I have a smaller bag. The Tangle Teezer compact is absolutely perfect for when you're using a clutch, not only does it come with a cover to protect the bristles in your bag but it's nice and small saving you space. When straight hair can go from 'sleek' to 'bedraggled' in about two minutes flat it's good to have something like this on you to avoid the 'dragged through a hedge backwards' look from the wind after stepping outside.

What are your clutch bag essentials for a night out?

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