Beauty - Smashbox Primer Water Review

My favourite primer has always been Smashbox's Pore Minimising Photo Finish Foundation Primer - so when I heard they had a new primer water out I couldn't wait to try it. I love Smashbox and I always have - so many of their products are my go to's, from their Full Exposure Mascara (amazing at defining small lashes!) to their Baked Fusion Soft Lights Bronzer (just enough sheen!) - so I had high hopes. I never like writing reviews where I'm not raving about the product, but this one just didn't do it for me.

Its pitched as a minimal primer thats simple, fast and light, making your skin superhydrated and therefore ensuring make up is easier to apply. This was true, and once I got over the spritzy-ness of it (definitely primed my hair a few times!) and it had dried it did give a nice base for my foundation. However i cant help feeling that any facial spritz would have done this (I tried with Neals Yard Frankincense Facial Mist and had similar, but better smelling results!).

In terms of making my make up last longer, I just didn't notice any difference, and it actually seemed to have the opposite effect on my eyeshadow due to the moisture on the eyelids. Similar to Mac's Fix+ in idea, unfortunately this primer water has a bland formula and the only beneficial antioxidant in it is caffeine. And the 'reviatlizing electrolytes' Smashbox talk about aren't going to benefit the skin because they cant be absorbed topically. 

Beauty Review - Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley for M&S Autograph Supermodel Make Up

I love a new make up collaboration, and when I saw Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley was expanding her range with M&S Autograph from lingerie and sleepwear to a include make up - I knew I had to get my hands on it. Launched at the end of Jan, this is a lovely neutral collection of browns, pinks creams and subtle metallics, with rose gold Vintage Inspired packaging adding a touch of sophisticated to your make up bag. Rosie was heavily involved in the development of the range which makes sense - the amount of hours this woman has spent in hair and make up I'm sure she knows a thing or two about cosmetics!  

Launched at the end of Jan the range has had a fantastic reception (even Glamour beauty editor Alex Steinherr has given it glowing instagram report) and I can see why. Below is a summary of some of my favourite products in the range:

Transluscent Finishing Powder in Supermodel Silk £18
This is a fab finishing powder, it felt light on my skin and unlike other setting powders I've tried I really did feel like this actually set my make up and kept my face shine free and matte with just a little top up half way through the day. 

Beauty - Hair Heroes / the best of the rest

So when it comes to hair, the beauty gods were not kind to me! I have fine, lifeless locks, made worse by years of bleaching, straightening, and frazzling in the sun during the two years I lived in New Zealand, there was definitely more than one occasion I suffered from the faux pas that is a burnt scalp. So all in all, hair isn't my strong point- and any help in that department is always greatly appreciated! This is probably why I have been on a quest over the years to try and test pretty much every hair reconstructor, oil, treatment, balm, spray, volumising mousse, powder, cream, mask . . . . . . . . . . you get the idea. All of which I think gives me a pretty good perspective with which to rate new products - mainly because I have tried so many that do nothing, and sometimes the opposite of what they claim! With that in mind I thought I would share with you my hair heroes - products I currently love using and give amazing results.

Now I love a high street hair brand, and regularly use Aussie Haircare (the smell is absolutely bonza!) and Tresemme heat protectors, but the below beauties are my tried and tested heroes that cost a little more, but really deliver amazing results - I look at them as an investment in the shiny mane of my future!

For Conditioning/Reconstructing

Living Proof Restore Mask Treatment £35
Living Proof has a lot of hype around it so I was excited to try the products now they are available in the UK - any brand with Jennifer Aniston as their poster girl is always worth a try! This restore mask treatment is, quite simply, the bomb. When I bought this I did think oooh it's a bit pricey, so I'm glad I wasn't disappointed in the results. Ive tried many a hair mask that left my locks feeling heavy and a bit lank afterwards, but this restores softness and shine weightlessly, and my hair always feels deeply conditioned and nourished. A winner for when the winter chill and central heating frazzle your mane.

Korres Conditioner Sunflower & Mountain Tea for Coloured Hair £10
Apparently Sunflower oil and mountain tea are natural sources of polyphenols (nope me neither) which protect hair colour and deeply moisturise coloured hair. All I know is that it leaves my hair soft and tangle free, and tends to keep my blonde ombre ends nice and light too, reducing any yellowy colour build up. Lovely!

Living Proof Restore Target Repair Hair Cream £25 
As my hair is fine I try to keep styling creams to a minimum, but this really is weightless and makes a big difference and now I never wash and style without it. The cream is applied mainly to the ends after washing while hair is damp and prior to styling, it prevents split ends, smells delicious and again leaves hair feeling weightless and moisturised.


Bumble & Bumble Hairdressers Invisible Oil 100ml £32
Although it comes in a slightly terrifying fluorescent orange shade, this hair oil is faboosh. It's quite like a serum in its texture and a little goes a long way,  I basically use this to detangle and de frizz, while the blend of nourishing oils strengthens hair against breakage. My dry frizzy fllyaways are tamed and theres a smoothness I just cant achieve with straighteners. Bumble & Bumble never fail to impress, I'm a long time lover of their products and this is the ultimate hair helper!

Bumble & Bumble Brilliantime £20.50
BB Brilliantime is a strange and wonderful hair balm, it gives high shine and polish, and a sort of slept in, casual look with a 'soft' texture, which I can never achieve without it. Its like the moisturising version of their much talked about sea salt spray, which I love but it does tend to dry out my bleached hair. The 'undone' texture it creates is difficult to explain but give this a try once and you'll never look back!

So there you go, my current hair faves - do you have any go to products you cant live without?

J xx

Beauty - Moisturising Serums, testing out Nuxe Crème Fraiche Serum De Beauté

I made a little purchase last week and wanted to share a quick write up on it because I'm loving it! I've used Nuxe's Masque Crème Fraiché for a long time, a great hydrating mask I usually leave on while I have a soak in the bath that always gets rid of any redness and soothes the skin, but I've never tried anything else by the brand.

So I picked up this little beauty and I'm glad I did! Perfect for sensitive skin, this light (but also extremely moisturising) serum sinks into the skin and I really don't need anything else on top, even on a day when its 2 degrees outside. For extra dry skins I'd say layer up wth a light moisturising cream but for me this is just the perfect amount of hydration. I'm really enjoying using moisturising serums at the minute as opposed to creams as they just feel so much lighter and sink in better with no clogged pore issues.

Do you prefer moisturising serums - yay or nay?
J xx

Beauty - Birchbox @ Selfridges

I've subscribed on and off to Birchbox for a few years now and when I heard there was a pop up in The Manchester Exchange Selfridges I had to go and check it out! Faced with a whole lot of beauty brands (unfortunately most of which I had already received in my Birchbox - this was definitely a promotional pop up aimed at driving new customers but hey ho) I filled my box with six samples for £15 and trundled off a happy lady. A few new bits to try at any rate - see contents below:

Rituals Honey Touch Body Cream 
Wild About Beauty Lip Pencil Duo in Amber
Huygens Exfoliating Cream 
Percy & Reed Session Hold Hairspray
POP Eyeshadow Trio in Naturally Bare 
This Works Sleep Plus Pillow Spray 

J xx

Belated Valentines Day Hurrah!

I know it was a few days back but I hope you all had a lovely valentines day - safe to say I was spoilt! All the love
J xx

Jewellery - 4 Ways to Update your style

As I've mentioned before, jewellery is one of my first loves and after years of spending most of my income on it, and doing some work in the industry - I now have a great collection I adore.  Having said that it always seems to be one of those elements of my style that I get into a rut with quite easily - the jewellery boxes stay closed gathering dust and I rotate the same few pendants and bracelets/rings until I get bored and think what am I doing?! Wear the collection woman! So here are four easy ways to update your jewellery style that always work for me:

Stacking Bracelets 
There is something totally beautiful about an armful of delicately stacked fine bracelets -at the minute I love the friendship drawstring style as below and mixing gold/silver tones, but fine costume jewellery bracelets look lovely too - Accessorize have a particularly pretty collection. For aan investment piece, Astley Clarke's Kula bracelets above with precious stones are the original gemstone stackers and are definitely next on the wishlist!

Valentines Day Ideas for the all the single ladies - and the taken ones too!

So when it comes to Valentines Day, I really am on the fence. On the one hand, I'm really not a fan of overly commercial events invented by retailers just to get some extra cash out of us consumers - Halloween I'm looking  at you. (cynical - moi?!). On the other hand, I love love, romance, fun and who would ever turn down the opportunity to dress up?!

Whether your taken or single (I've had great Valentines nights either way) staying in or going out, I've picked my favourite beauty and make up beauty products for both a relaxing pamper night in,  and a Va Va Voom make up look for a date night out.

Relaxing Pamper Night 
Valentines day is a great excuse to have the ultimate chilled night in - indulge in some Hotel Chocolat, pop the Prosecco cork, and use some of these amazingly relaxing products.

So run the bath, light some candles (Diptyque are always a winner if you want to feel really special - this is the time to light those expensive candle you've been saving!) and start by taking off the days make up:

Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm 105g £39.50
I'm now addicted to cleansing balms and this one is my current favourite. The lavender scent is super relaxing, whilst the balm dissolves make up, daily grime and pollutants. For that extra deep cleanse I like to steam with a muslin hot cloth too, with the added benefit that all those aromatherapy oils are released - heaven!

Style - Screen Actors Guild Awards 2016 the fashion, the jewellery and the beauty hits!

There is nothing I love more than poring over the fashion and beauty at an awards ceremony, and in preparation for the big one (28th February its the Oscars people! One year I actually booked the day off work the next day so I could watch the whole thing live - bordering on insanity) I've been looking at the beauty and fashion looks from the Screen Actors Guild Awards held last Saturday on 30th January. 

The Fashion
I felt the dresses on the night fell into two categories, Colour Pop Brights and Neutrals and Blacks. The above are my 6 favourite colour pop bright looks - a rainbow of gorgeousness! 
1. Emilia Clarke in Dior 
2. Sophia Vergara in customer Vera Wang
3. Lily Rabe in Lela Rose
4. Marisa Tomei in Zuhair Murad - this beautiful Verdant Green was definitely one of the colours of the night

In love with Chanels new Healthy Glow foundation and sheer powder

So I finally got around to getting my hands on the newest addition to the easy to wear Chanel Les Beiges Range - the healthy glow foundation launched on Jan 15th. I rarely review foundations, mainly because to be honest, I've never really found one I absolutely love. I'm very conscious of feeling like my base is too heavy, and certain brands I have used in the past have always made me feel a little too 'smothered', especially for everyday. For the last 6 + years I have been using Mac Studio Face and Body foundation, which basically looks and feels like a tinted moisturiser, with easily buildable coverage. However in the quest for a foundation  that I can use for evenings and those days when I need a little extra help - I seem to have found the perfect partner.

jewellery - The Finer things ♡

Jewellery is a HUGE love of mine, I never can quite walk past shiny things and have been collecting for years,  as a result my now somewhat extensive collection is constantly overflowing from my jewellery boxes (also ever expanding as a necessity!)

At the minute I'm really favouring finer styles, in silver and rose gold, especially the more fashiony pieces such as midi rings, ear crawlers and front and back earrings.

Beauty - New Skincare Winter Faves

Since we (finally!) seem to be reaching the end of January, I thought i'd just do a short run through of the products I have been reaching for the most this month.

My skincare routine in winter always steps up a notch and this year is no exception, the switches between the freezing winds, central heating and air conditioning all mean dehydration and dryness can really become an issue in the winter months. Also excessive heat and cold are common triggers of sensitive skin like mine, so in order to address this I decided to switch up some of the products i'm using for more winter friendly formulations.

This Works Deep Sleep Range (and they do!) + tips for a great nights sleep

So even though we start January with the best intentions, it does start to get difficult to maintain the positive factor towards the end of the month. Between the freezing weather, the short days (it can't be time to get up its still dark!), and the lack of comfort food if you've taken the healthy eating/dry January vow, things can start to get you down. So on that note, I've decided to look at some beauty products that promise to destress and relax in order to get the ultimate beauty and mood enhancer - a good nights sleep!

Deep Sleep Pillow Spray 75ml £16

Infused with essential oils of Lavender, Vetivert and Wild Chamomile to soothe the body and mind this spray is now an absolute essential in my nightly routine. A few spritzes cools the pillow and the essential oils really calm the nerves and help you drift off into a natural cocooned sleep.

New Year New. . . . .Me?!

Okay so I know everyone writes these posts in January - New Year New Me! Get fit! Detox! Become one of those people that takes separating the recycling seriously! But that's because January is such a great time to push the reset button on life. A whole new 12 months feels like a fresh start and a new chance to get rid of old habits and start some new (better) ones. So heres to a fantastic 2016 full of new experiences and more importantly - new beauty products, fashion and eateries i'm going to be giving you the lowdown on.  Enjoy!

J x

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