Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Forever young

The future of my skin scares me. Obviously how we treat our skin determines how it will look throughout our life, and the thought of a face like the side of a raisin probably bothers me more at 24 than it does most. So with this is mind and with such a love for beauty products I've set it my mission to get the best skincare to suit my complexion.
When I first started using this range, my skin was on the dehydrated side (I got a 'pocky' finish to foundation after a few hours as my skin craved moisture) with dry flakiness around my nose and eyes in particular. I'd been using decent products of both spa brands and fashion houses but this was the first time I've used a whole collection.
With that in mind I'm firstly going to talk about the two serums of the range (excluding the eye serum for now). (Excuse my little chubby child hands ha!)
The first one launched was the Youth Liberator Serum, as featured with the left 'blob'.
This is a really lightweight serum which absorbs into the skin well after moisturising. It's not intended for use around the eye area as Yves Saint Laurent claim the serum is 4 times more intense than the rest of the range, which is just too much on delicate skin.
So what do YSL claim the Youth Liberator will do for you?
This little video gives their explanation..., yeah! Basically the ingredients in the range - in particular the serum (patented to YSL and used for the first time in skincare) - encourages older skin to function the same way as younger skin but preserves younger skin by keeping activity going. The sales associate was very helpful and explained to me that the information found whilst studying this activity has won 7 noble prizes, with 'Glycans' being the key focus.
While this is all well and good when it comes down to it does it work?

I'm 24, so I cant speak for an older lady but they do say that damage to the skin is irreversible and what we should be looking at is preservation, so on that front I can't make much of a personal judgement but I will say this.
After using this product for quite a while now I can't live without it. It's easy to see why somebody may overlook their skincare routine in favour of products with immediate effect (ie. foundations/lipsticks) but I noticed a difference on my skin long term which essentially has a knock on effect on the finish of the rest of our makeup - or the bits we want people to see.

So, I found dehydration dramatically reduced and makeup lasting longer on my nose area which was often an issue in the past. My skin was also brighter - I found that if I'd had a late night while using the serum, there were never any signs of a potential hangover and again my makeup remained even. Having a job requiring me to wear a foundation for 8 hours a day, in the past it would seem as if I had missed patches and over applied in other areas however now my foundation lasts significantly longer and rather than patchiness I find my foundation fades evenly.
Obviously though, this isn't ideal so I'd still recommend using a great primer or BB cream but as far as a skin care product goes I can't falter it.
I would say however to keep an eye on how much you're using on a day to day basis. The instructions state use is necessary on both a morning and evening, but if you have an oily skin I've had friends develop blemishes with more than one daily use. However swings and round-a-bouts, the product would last you longer.
Also its important to stick to the 5p rule as this is really all that is necessary and any more takes time to absorb effectively. Worth noting however is the helpful YSL video on application techniques, though obviously this isn't for everyone.
I'd recommend everyone to try this at some point, and out of the whole range, both the serums I will continue to go back for in future. In conjunction with the Light Creator, YSL suggest using this on a morning for instant radiance.
Prices start at £61 for a 30ml (50ml - £82 as in top picture and 75ml - £95), but if this seems quite steep for a product you have never tried before, YSL usually sell gift sets around the christmas period with a half sized bottle free. Last year the purchase was a Touche Eclat and mascara with an additional complimentary makeup bag. I'll be returning to a counter soon to stock up!
Forever Light creator to follow...

Monday, 14 October 2013

Paula Reed...the truth?

Paula Reed 
As it was announced a few days ago that Harvey Nichols has lost one of its newer editions in the form of one Ms Paula Reed, Mr Joseph Wan - the companies CEO - was quoted as saying ‘I am saddened about Paula’s departure and I wish her well in the future.'
The role of Fashion Director was created for Paula, so its imaginable that her departure is quite a sting for the company as they were very proud to add her to their team, however Peta have been very open about the fact they consider it a result of their recent protests about the new HN fur policy.

What is my opinion on fur used in the creation of garments? I loathe it. And its not just the barbaric nature of modern day fur farms (no matter how they try and justify their practices - how do we know whats happening behind closed doors?) but its also the arrogance that betrothes a character wearing a fur garment. We are living in a time when everyone know the consequence of such 'luxuries' and seeing them wear a MontClair with a RRP at over £800 is merely a gesture of self righteousness to me rather than wealth.
So it leads me to wonder wether Peta are correct in their claims? Harvey Nichols fur policy has been in effect since around 2004 and fur has slowly become available since Paula stepped up to the plate.

These musings are purely my own opinions and perhaps Paula is merely a martyr and a face to blame for their change of policy, and if this is the case then I really do hope this doesnt have an effect on her career (and I'm sure it won't). However if she is responsible (and to a degree she must be), hopefully this will give her a new perspective on her responsibilities as a public figure in the british fashion world? It's a cruel world we live in, and people will always try and exert their evoluntionary advances on other species. I do believe Harvey Nichols is still in a position to win over the public, and I hope they take this opportunity to do so.
I'm sure we'll see you again soon Paula, hopefully next time under better circumstances.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil

I'm painfully lazy with cleansing but like my skin to feel as though its had a thorough clean - liking my eyeliner as much as I do I also either fly through a cleanser or wake up in the morning with black streaks down my face. Obviously cleansing is vital to a healthy skin and makeup wipes are not an option due to a high alcohol content which leaves the skin dry and dehydrated.

So when I was offered the opportunity to try a new cleanser I lept at the chance. Initially I tried a sample and returned to purchase the Premium A/I in the frosted bottle, which claims to target sensitivity and dryness in skin and boost it with radiance and moisture. Sensitivity isn't generally a problem for me but dryness can appear which can make any foundation look cakey.

The inserted instructions state to use two pumps of oil on a dry skin and the product dissolves makeup upon application. Then we are told to wash it away with warm water and are left with fresh skin as a result. It took me a while to get the quantities right as I was convinced I could removed my makeup with one pump for a very long time, but this is simply not enough and I'd still find mascara clumps attatched to my lashes afterward, so heed the two pump instructions when trying this yourself!

All of this happened three years ago and I am still using this cleanser everyday and I absolutly LOVE it. Makeup does literally dissolve and the skin is left clean once the oil has been washed away. My dry skin was also rectified over a few days though I do still get dehydration on my nose so I wouldnt let using this product put you off a really good moisturiser and serum.
 In the last three months my skin seems to have developed oilyness in areas, so I moved onto the green oil (anti-oxidant based with anti-aging benefits) and will definatly be sticking with this one from now on - the consistency is a little lighter where as the frosted yellow one was a little like syrup. I'm always won over by anti-oxidant products!
A final and vital point worth noting is that the larger bottle lasts a year - mine tend to be from August to August so I keep that in mind and it's not let me down yet!

If you decide to try it (which I have recommended everyone I know to do so) then I would suggest talking to a consultant to determine your skin type and confirm which would be better for your needs. If you like a waterproof mascara it would probably worth trying a sample first to see if the oil would be sutible as these can be a little pesky to remove.

If anyone has tried or is going to do so I'd love to hear what you think!

For more information direct from Shu Uemura themselves visit
150ml £29.50
450ml £59

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Armani Eyes to Kill - 4 shadow palette No. 9


So here I present you with my latest purchase from Armani cosmetics. From the Eyes to Kill range (featuring a variety of shadow palettes and mascaras) this quad in particular stood out to me because the rich mossy greens and the deep black. Now I'm a girl with green eyes and I find these are some of my preferable tones as they give an intense smokey eye finish, while using a colour which doesn't make you look like an 80's throwback(blue shadows being the usual culprit).

The inside of the quad lifts to reveal two sponge applicators. I tend to avoid these for a number of reasons, the primary two being that they are impossible to clean and they don't provide as much control as a professional makeup brush. There are branded though so are very sweet. (The small half moons are magnets to hold down the upper quad - a consistent design through Armani beauty products).
Just as a side note, the packaging of Armani cosmetics is second to none. Its a high shine and glossy finish which doesn't tarnish in your make-up bag like alot of designer beauty products may do, but I wouldn't recommend carrying an eyeshadow palette around with you unless you need it. They tend to be a little more expensive and can be shattered if dropped, rendering them useless (I believe there's a tutorial online about fixing them so I'll keep an eye out).

So the colours...
Here I used all 4. The second colour as a base with the deeper green mixed with the black for contouring. The browns have been used underneath...
I used the YSL Youth Liberator eye serum first, followed with the Touche Eclat No. 1 as a base (I shall review both of these in future!). The colours themselves applied very easily using a standard flat application brush, however there was a little drop down underneath which could be quickly fixed using the Touch Eclat. Either that or a sheet of tissue placed underneath the eye would solve the problem. 
After applying the softer green I applied a slight amount of the warmer green to the outer contour, but didn't see much difference when layed on top of the lighter green - perhaps this would be better on its own but it did seem to provide a little base for the black. Initially the black seems very dark but does require alot of building to get the pigment deeper. This also makes a nice eyeliner when used with a liner brush for a softer finish.
The brown underneath the eye gives a nice subtle finish and added green blended to the outer shade of black brings the whole thing together.

Overall, I found these shadows easy to use. The colour clung to the brushes very well and laid down upon the lid easily, though did require a little building to increase intensity. Unfortunately I did find the black a little disappointing but I'm yet to find a deep black I am entirely happy with so perhaps I'm just pickey!
Overall though,I would consider this quad a good buy! I think I may invest in more in future.
Armani Eyes to kills quad £49.50
I shall be wearing it with the Armani Maestro shade 201!
Armani beauty can be purchased from:

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Black Violet

Today I am wearing...

The beautiful Black Violet by Tom Ford

Now ladies and gentlemen, should you be yet to have a look at Tom Ford's Private Blend range I would absolutly encourage you to do so. They are a selection of oil based fragrances tailored to a variety of tastes - from oud to coffee to musk I'm sure there is definately one for everyone. Now the quality reflects the price, and these start at a modest £140 mark, but you pay for what you get and Black Violet is no different from any other of Mr Fords products.
It's important to highlight these are all unisex (or 'gender-less') which proves them very popular in Eastern markets where gender is rarely considered when selecting the perfect fragrance. I truely believe this is how fragrance should be - who is who to say what you should like.

Anyway Black Violet is a deeper variation of the range and it holds woody notes as its backbone which is light in comparison to many other woody fragrances. However I truely believe the Violet lifts it in a floral direction. This is not the sweetest of fragrances - I would imagine it may stretch to the affections of the Flowerbomb crowd, but not enough for fans of Creed's Acqua Fiorentina.

There is an air of mystery to the fragrance though I will say, and I believe some would consider it appealing on a lady. It would stand out in any collection, and I can still smell it on myself slightly 8 hours later. Slightly but it's there.

If you are looking for a nice chypre fragrance for a gift, this is definately one to get for someone you admire - rather concubine than companion.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Bravo Lancome, Bravo...

Now, I'm a fan of Lancome as are many, but my personal hic-up with the brand is just how nice they are. I very much would consider them YSL beaute's cotton wool younger sister - YSL have Opium, Lancome have La Vie Est Belle which I feel supports my point entirely. La Vie with the vanilla and  praline and Opium with moroccan spices.

This is something we see quite often with their campaigns featuring the beautiful Julia Roberts and more, and their latest edition is Phil Collins daughter, Lily. Stepping up to the mark in January 2014, the image above has been released and it is truely gorgeous. There is a clear reference to the Lancome niceties, but I think their use of such a classic beauty is a very clever step. In the most obvious manner, her likeness to Audrey Hepburn is clear - there are differences but she holds the same kind of delicate, feminine beauty...
Vanity Fair April 2013
We don't see this as frequently in modern day fashion. We spend so long looking for that face with the over the top features deeming them memorable in an overpopulated advertising world. I wish her all the success in the world.

Marc Jacobs steps down

The great MARC JACOBS steps down from LOUIS VUITTON



When I decided to create this blog, I believed my first post would be based on something from the beauty industry - a review or something of the sorts. However when the news broke after a fortnight of speculation that Marc Jacobs was in fact stepping down from the legendary house of Louis Vuitton, I felt it was something that could never be ignored!

I adore a designer with the ability to leave their mark on the world - this is why Coco, Yves and Christian can be referenced on a first name term and Chanel, YSL and Dior are the first to enter the heads of those with a minimal interest in the fashion world. I really believe Marc Jacobs is the discreet modern day equivelent, as quoted by Vogue as turning Louis Vuitton into an international "powerhouse" after introducing a Ready-to-wear line when they previously specialised only in leather goods and luggage.

His finale featured this morning (02.10.13) and nodded time and time again toward his past shows. It was, in a word, spectacular. If you havent viewed it already I would encourage anybody to do so!
The show opened with a reference to his work with Stephen Sprouse featuring the graffiti print we first saw in 2001 with Brit Edie Campbell walking.
This thing I loved about this the most is it wasnt until after a few minutes I realised she was naked - desexualisation of the female form at its most vunerable really ensures this was infact about the design and nothing more, but I really personally found that the model selection combined with the strength of the pieces was second to none. They were all wearing the garments very well and not the other way around!

Another favourite of mine amoungst the glamourous neo-gothic theme was the use of blue denim. I enjoyed the contrast of colour whilst fitting in with the other biker styles.
There were nods towards LV heritage outside the Ready-to-wear but this show was very much Marcs own,focusing solely on shades of black and detail. And is it just me but is there something slightly 1920's about this beaded gown?
The flooring was production genius where the gown hemlines were concerned for dresses like the one below. It caught them beautifully and gave the crowd chance to see the in all their flowing glory.
The detailing on this is exquisit.
Notice the short matt nails...
I could witter all day about every detail, but like I said before its impossible to understand the beauty without seeing the show. I would recommend the Vogue article - they have a vast gallery of every garment and my images were taken from there.

On a final note I have to acknowledge the clock spinnning backward as the show ended, a clean nod toward a previous show of Marc's representing the end of an era.

Makeup was fresh and porcelain with contouring highlighting the cheek bones. Brows were heavy and straight keeping the black theme consistent.
And can I just acknowledge the head dresses? Stunning. Mr Jacobs you will be solely missed.