Monday 29 December 2014

New Year's Eve Party Look - Beauty

In my last post, I promised to write about the makeup I'm planning to wear on New Year's Eve. This includes what I'm putting on my legs - I do like a bit of a tan and something to disguise blemishes if I'm going bare-legged. My current favourite fake tan is by Cocoa Brown, and when I heard about their Lovely Legs Spray* I was intrigued. Instant, spray-on flawless legs? Yes please! In terms of my makeup, I've decided to go for a peachy nude lip, sparkly eyes and a generous dollop of highlight.

Cocoa Brown Lovely Legs spray

These are the main products I used. The palette is the Sleek i-Divine palette in Au Naturel, from which I used Taupe (back row, furthest right) and Moss (front row, second from left).

FOTD New Year's Eve Party Look

FOTN New Year's Eve Makeup

New Year's Eve Party Makeup

On my face:

Base - Revlon ColorStay foundation in Fresh Beige, Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in Fair, Rimmel Stay Matte powder in Peach Glow.

Eyebrows - Benefit Brow Zings Palette.

Eyes - Maybelline Color Tattoo eye shadow in On and On Bronze as a base, then Moss and Taupe from the Sleek i-Divine palette pressed over the top. I concentrated Moss (the darker shade) at the outer corners and Taupe at the inner corners, not that you can really tell in the photos. I used Collection's Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip liner on my upper lash line and a Lancôme kohl pencil to define my water line. My mascara is Lancôme Hypnose Star.

Bronzer/Blush/Highlight - Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess bronzer (lightly dusted all over for a warm glow), Mac Peaches blush, Benefit Watt's Up highlighter (top of cheekbones, under arch of brows, bridge of nose).

Lips - Rimmel Nude Delight.

Now for my legs. As I said, I like to give them a little TLC if I'm planning on showing them off, but with a regular fake tan, you need to be organised enough to remember to apply it the night (or morning) before you go out. I also like to add some leg makeup to cover a few pesky thread veins that I have. (If you're interested in what I use for that, I blogged about it here.) Now, all this takes up quite a lot of time, and as much as I would like to spend hours primping and preening myself for an evening out, it isn't always realistic, especially at this time of year, when there's a lot of family around who I would rather spend my time with. Cocoa Brown's Lovely Legs Spray is quick and easy to use and is designed, according to their website, for "ladies who feel they need some coverage on their legs to hide veins, stretch marks or any lumps or bumps". That would be me then!

The instructions are to spray the product onto a tanning mitt and then buff onto the skin. I have to say, when I first saw the colour of it, I thought I was going to hate it. It's practically neon orange! But I applied it anyway, and was pleased to see that it soon settled into a lovely warm bronze. It dried very quickly, and was a vast improvement on my pale, pre-tanned legs!

Cocoa Brown Lovely Legs spray

Before and after

You can see that the spray has smoothed out the appearance of my legs as well as giving me a nice tan. I did have to dab a little leg makeup over the most stubborn of my thread veins, but I certainly didn't feel the need to apply it all over as I would normally do. As a result, the whole process of prepping my legs for an evening out was much quicker than usual.

Whereas the regular tan from Cocoa Brown lasts quite a few days, Lovely Legs washes off with warm soapy water. In my opinion, it's perfect for the winter months. Most of the time we're in jeans or tights, so why bother with a full on fake tan? This is a great product to have on standby for those occasions when you want bare legs and need to get them looking their best in a hurry.

So my makeup for New Year's Eve is all prepared! Let me know what kind of look you'll be going for if you're out celebrating - I love finding out what other people are planning to do! Also, have you tried Cocoa Brown's Lovely Legs spray? If so, what do you think of it?

Kate x

*Gifted Product

Saturday 27 December 2014

New Year's Eve Party Look - #OOTN

Did you have a good Christmas? Mine has been hectic but very enjoyable. I've had trips into town with my sister for coffee and last minute shopping, restaurant outings and big family dinners. My husband and I spent the day itself with his family, at his sister's house in the Netherlands. Much fun and laughter was had by all, presents were exchanged and plenty of food was consumed. (And I do mean plenty of food!) But the festivities aren't quite over yet, because there's still New Year's Eve to look forward to. I love any excuse to dress up, and I always think that New Year's Eve is the perfect excuse, whether you're going out to a fancy event or even just celebrating at home with family. I'm not exactly sure what my plans are yet, but I know what I'll be wearing, so I thought I'd share it with you.

#OOTN New Year's Eve Party

 Dress - Warehouse (Similar style available in black and pink), Shoes - Zara, Bag - Mango, Ring - Accessorize

I actually first wore this dress a couple of months ago at my sister's engagement party. For that occasion, I styled it with black heels and a black clutch bag, but I felt it was versatile enough to re-spin it for New Year with touches of gold. Plus, I really enjoyed wearing it, so wanted to wear it again!
#OOTN New Year's Eve Warehouse DressThe dress is from Warehouse's Spotlight Collection, which I love for pretty and affordable occasion wear. This one is so feminine and easy to wear, and I reckon it would look just as good for a summer wedding as it does for a party. I love the pleated skirt and lace panelling, and the colour too, even though I'm not usually the biggest fan of blue.

I decided to pair it with my favourite nude sandals from Zara. These are pretty comfortable as heels go so they're great for a party where you might be dancing or standing around chatting for hours on end. The gold bag and ring I've added for a "seasonal twist" are ancient, but you could easily find similar pieces if you're interested in recreating the look.

Accessorize ring and Barry M Lychee Nail Polish

On my nails is Lychee by Barry M. I've been obsessed with this brand all year - especially the gelly hi-shine range. I thought about a glittery gold, but in the end preferred this more understated creamy shade.

Pleated Warehouse Dress, Mango Bag

So that's my New Year's party outfit sorted! I'll post about my makeup - a sparkly gold eye and nude lip - in the next couple of days, not to mention a great speedy tanning product that will come in very handy when I'm rushing to get ready on the big day. So stay tuned for that!

What are your New Year's Eve plans, and what are you going to wear?

Kate x

Thursday 18 December 2014

Jo Malone Bath Oils

Jo Malone is a brand that's very close to my heart. My first experience of it was when a friend of mine spritzed Red Roses cologne all over me just before I went on a first date. It was the loveliest perfume I'd ever come across. I fell in love with the romantic scent, the sophisticated packaging, everything about it. (The date went pretty well too - it was with my husband! I'm not sure how much the perfume had to do with it, but I'll always feel attached to it for that reason!)

Since then I've tried quite a few of the brand's other fragrances, either in perfume or candle form. Vintage Gardenia, Nectarine Blossom and Honey, Wild Fig and Cassis, Peony and Blush Suede... I love them all! Yet it's only very recently that I've tried any of the bath oils, and I honestly don't know what's taken me so long. At the moment, I'm obsessed with two: Amber and Lavender and Pomegranate Noir. At this time of year, with the weather getting colder and life getting busier as Christmas approaches, I'm appreciating a nice hot bath in the evenings more than ever, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. So what better time to talk about these two gorgeous products?

Jo Malone bath oils in Amber and Lavender and Pomegranate Noir
Amber and Lavender - This is the perfect scent for this time of year. I've always loved lavender - it's so comforting that you can almost feel your muscles unwinding as you breathe it in. Add to that exotic, musky amber and you end up with a warm and wonderful scent that fills the whole bathroom when you add a capful to your running bath water. It's opulent and luxurious, wrapping itself around you like a comforting blanket. Some might find it overpowering, but I love it.

Pomegranate Noir - This one is very different. It's much lighter, yet you still get an intense, fruity hit from it that reminds me (for some reason) of a freshly opened bag of sweets. Again, the scent is released as it hits the hot running water, although this one is, as I said, more subtle than Amber and Lavender. After the initial sweetness, there's a definite warmth to it, which adds an interesting depth to the fragrance and makes it equally perfect for the cooler months.

Both oils contain jojoba, avocado and almond oil which leave your skin feeling lovely and soft when you emerge from your bath. Best of all, the gorgeous scents linger on your skin for ages afterwards, which I love. There's nothing better than lying in bed, all relaxed from your bath and smelling amazing!

Have you tried Jo Malone's bath oils? Which is your favourite fragrance?

Kate x

Friday 12 December 2014

#OOTD - The Pink Coat

It had to happen sometime... Winter has finally hit the UK with a vengeance and I for one am freezing! But despite the cooler weather, Kent was bathed in the most beautiful sunlight last Saturday, and once I was wrapped up nice and warm, it was a pleasure to be outside. There's something really lovely about a crisp and clear Winter's day, even if it's bitingly cold, and I'm really happy that Mike and I were able to capture it in these outfit shots. (Lucky Mike - if there's one thing he loves more than trailing around the shops with me on a Saturday afternoon, it's playing fashion photographer. ;-))

I've been wanting to do a daytime outfit post for ages. This one features the black Topshop jumper I first wrote about here, and the Zara handbag I showed you here. I've been wearing them with Topshop Jamie jeans in a mid-blue wash, black suede over the knee boots and a chunky gold necklace. At this time of year, outerwear and cosy accessories often take centre stage, and I've really being loving this pink coat from Zara. Because of the colour, I didn't think I'd get that much wear out of it, but actually it's surprisingly versatile and adds interest to a simple outfit.

Zara pink coat #OOTD
Casual Winter Outfit #OOTD

Zara, Topshop, River Island, Oasis

Topshop Jumper #OOTD

Jumper, Jeans - Topshop, Coat (available in green), Bag, Boots - Zara, Scarf - River Island, Hat - Oasis, Necklace - H&M, Sunglasses - Chanel

This jumper is incredibly warm, and with a long-sleeved t-shirt underneath plus the coat and scarf I was quite happy to stand around in the cold having my picture taken. That's a good thing to know if you're a wimp about the cold like I am! I don't see this coat on the Zara website any more, though it may still be available in store. The green version is available online and is equally lovely - my sister has it so I can say this with authority! I also love the fact that the fur collar is detachable. While I'm loving it now, I reckon taking it off will give the coat a new lease of life come early March, when the weather's still cool but I'm getting impatient for Spring/Summer fashion.

What do you guys think of this outfit? If it's cold where you are, what have you been wrapping up in?

Kate x

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Five Minute Makeup #2 - No Brushes Required!

Let's face it - it's makeup that takes up all the time in the mornings, isn't it? It certainly is for me. If I'm organised enough, I can pick out my clothes the night before, and if my hair's not cooperating I can run the straighteners through it and it's sorted in a flash. But making my face look acceptable enough to leave the house... for some reason it seems like more of a challenge to find a short cut for that! And, like everyone else, there are some days when I really need a short cut. So when I find one, I get excited about it, and when I get excited about something, I share it on the blog!

This look is super quick and easy to do and I've been really enjoying wearing it on those days when I have to be out of the door in no time at all. The stars of the show are these three lovely products.

Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Blusher, Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet, Maybelline Color Tattoo
From back to front - Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Blusher in Pinker Belle (review here), Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet lipstick in Nude-ist and Maybelline Color Tattoo Eye shadow in On and On Bronze

Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Blusher in Pinker Belle, Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick in Nude-ist, Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in On and On Bronze

The great thing is that all these products are cream-based, so you can just slap them on with your fingers, which I think is a great time saver. No faffing around with brushes here! The swatches from left to right in the photo above are Pinker Belle, On and On Bronze and Nude-ist. I love the rich, jewel-toned effect of the three products together. Perfect for this time of year!

As I mentioned before, I have already reviewed Soap and Glory's cream blush here on the blog and I still wear it regularly. It's a lovely product to have and much easier to top up on the go than powder blush. Equally, the other two products have become firm favourites with me over the last couple of months, so I feel it's only fitting to mention a few points about each one.

Maybelline Color Tattoo in On and On Bronze - I am quite possibly the last woman on the planet to buy one of these and now that I have, I can't get enough of it. One quick swipe across your eyelids and it looks like you've spent hours with a palette and blending brush. The shimmer of this particular shade is just gorgeous. I find a dab of my trusty Collection concealer underneath helps the colour to look slightly more intense and last for longer. If you are organised enough to have an actual eye shadow primer I imagine this would work just as well! I definitely want to get more Color Tattoos.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Nude-ist - There are some products you're just always excited about using, even when the novelty of them should have worn off ages ago. That's definitely how I feel about this lipstick. It's like silk to apply and dries to the loveliest matte finish. Plus, it lasts practically untouched through a huge Sunday lunch - believe me, I have subjected it to some tough tests! The shade Nude-ist is just beautiful. I'm not sure if it is actually supposed to be a nude; it certainly isn't on me, but I don't mind at all. And needless to say, I want all the others. Why do I feel like I say that about every product in every blog post?!

Here's the finished look.

#fotd - Maybelline, Soap and Glory, Bourjois

#fotd - Maybelline, Soap and Glory, Bourjois

On my face:

Base - Revlon ColorStay foundation in Fresh Beige, Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in Fair, Rimmel Stay Matte powder in Peach Glow (OK, I lied - I used one brush for the powder!)

Eyebrows - Benefit Brow Zings Palette

Eyes - Maybelline Color Tattoo eye shadow in On and On Bronze, Lancôme Hypnose Star mascara

Blush - Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Blusher in Pinker Belle

Lips - Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet lipstick in Nude-ist

What do you think of this look? Do you have any time saving tricks when it comes to makeup?

Kate x

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Estee Lauder - Evelyn Lauder and Elizabeth Hurley Dream Pink Collection for Breast Cancer Awareness

I'm one of those people who never wins anything. At least, I was until about six weeks ago, when a package arrived out of the blue from the lovely people at Apparently, I had been selected at random from their list of beauty bloggers to win a free gift - and what a free gift it is! This Estee Lauder Dream Pink Collection consists of a Pure Color Lasting Shimmer lipstick, two Pure Color Nail Lacquers and a fold-over makeup bag, and is the result of a collaboration between Evelyn Lauder and Elizabeth Hurley in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.

Estee Lauder Dream Pink Collection

Estee Lauder Dream Pink Collection for Breast Cancer Awareness

Evelyn Lauder and Elizabeth Hurley Dream Pink Collection

The lipstick is full-sized; the nail polishes miniature (5 ml). All are beautifully packaged, and all, of course, are pink.

This nail polish is called Berry Hot. It's a beautiful shade of what I would call "Indian pink", deep and vibrant, with a delicate sprinkling of gold glitter running through it. It is beautiful - far more so than I've been able to capture in the photo below. Damn the UK Winter and its near-total absence of light!

Estee Lauder Nail Lacquer in Berry Hot

The second polish is called Blushing Lilac and it's probably my favourite item from the set. It's a gorgeous, glossy, pinky nude that just looks so flattering on. Like Berry Hot, there's the tiniest amount of fine gold glitter in this that adds the subtlest of sheens. Both polishes are nice and smooth to apply and take two coats to become opaque.

Estee Lauder Nail Lacquer in Blushing Lilac
Finally, this is the limited edition lipstick in Dream Pink. My apologies if this photo looks more like I'm trying to show you my eye makeup - lighting issues aside, it was "one of those days" and this is the only shot of the 40,000 I took in which I don't look like something from a horror movie. But you can still see how beautiful the lipstick is. It feels creamy and moisturising to apply and it lasts all day. The colour is nearly identical to the Berry Hot nail polish and I will definitely be rocking them together for maximum impact on a night out soon. I reckon the vibrant pink would really stand out at a Christmas party amid all the usual reds, berries and glitters. I also think it would look equally amazing in the Summer.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick in Dream Pink
If you like the look of this gift set, it retails at £28 - a bargain if you consider that you can pay up to £24 for an Estee Lauder lipstick alone. Add to that the fact that £10 of that goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and I reckon this would make a fantastic Christmas present for any makeup lover.

What do you guys think?

Kate x
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