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Friday, 30 January 2015

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas | Ted Baker Regency Prim and Pampered Gift Set


Valentine's Day is just a couple of weeks away, so I thought that now would be the ideal time to bring you some gift ideas. Ted Baker's body and beauty products are so charmingly packaged that they are the ideal gift choice, and the Ted Baker Regency Prim and Pampered Gift Set is certainly no exception:






What I love most about Ted Baker beauty products is the little details - from the gorgeous rose gold zip on the bag - to the actual products themselves, which feature wonderful vintage style illustrations and beautiful rose gold lettering:

 
This travel set includes miniatures of Ted’s luxurious Body Wash, Body Spray, Body Soufflé and Hand Cream - basically everything you need to keep pampered and delectably scented whilst on the go:

Body Soufflé: The opulent Mini Body Soufflé boasts a captivating fragrance infused with rose, sandalwood and vanilla - it's truly divine!

Body Wash: Similarly gorgeous is the Ted Baker Regency Houses Mini Body Wash - blended from rose, sandalwood and a delicious twist of raspberry it leaves your skin feeling pampered all day long.

 
Body Spray: I really adore this pretty little body spray! Comprised of a romantic blend of rose, sandalwood and raspberry you will leave a gorgeous waft of fragrance wherever you go!

Hand Cream: This mini sized pamper treat is the perfect size for keeping in your handbag and thanks to the addition of sweet-smelling rose and sandalwood it smells great too! Infused with shea butter,  the hand cream is nice and moisturising - perfect for winter hands!

 
Everything in this set smells great, and of course the products look great too - they've really added a pretty splash of colour to my dressing table! Priced at just over a tenner, this set is a right little bargain that makes the nicest present. I don't blame you if you decide to snag one for yourself though ladies - it's such a handy little travel set to have on hand for an impromptu weekend getaway!

You can view more lovely Ted Baker gift sets on the Boots website here.

Aimee xx

*PR sample

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Review | Clarins True Radiance Foundation


The cold winter weather can be quite drying to my skin, so when it comes to makeup a hydrating foundation is an absolute must. Now if you can find one that not only offers hydration, but one that also fights dullness to make the complexion look healthy and radiant, then I’d say that you’re on to a real winner. Well fortunately, this autumn/winter I was lucky enough to have found this very thing in Clarins True Radiance Foundation:


Clarins True Radiance Foundation has been specifically designed to boost radiance and hydration and to diminish imperfections so that you are left with a luminous, even complexion. It harnesses the power of Moringa seed – a unique plant extract known for its ability to limit pollution particles settling on the skin, and thus acts as a shield against a dull complexion. Since wintry weather can make my skin quite dry, I’m very glad that this foundation is a moisturising one. In fact it contains Tara Gum and organic marsh Samphire plant extract to help maintain the skin’s 24-hour hydration.

Having used this foundation quite regularly for the past couple of months or so, I can definitely confirm that Clarins True Radiance Foundation lives up to its name - as yes indeed it does deliver on the radiance. The radiant healthy glow that this foundation leaves you with is just beautiful! So how is this amazing complexion luminosity achieved? Well it is all down to the “Radiance Booster” complex: Specifically shaped pigments that optimise the reflection of light.

As you can gather from the above, this foundation boasts a cocktail of skincare and make-up benefits. I particularly love the anti-pollution features - perfect for city-dwelling females!

 
Packaging:
A sophisticated glass bottle with a pump – the pump makes the foundation quick and easy to dispense without any wastage: (Well done to Clarins for including a pump...unlike some other high-end brands!)


 
Price:
£27 for 30ml – you only need to apply a small amount of product (I only use a couple of pumps per application) so this bottle is going to last you a very long time.

Shades: 
Clarins True Radiance Foundation is available in 10 different shades (it's actually quite a good shade range). I have the shade ‘114 cappuccino’ which is the darkest shade. During the winter my skin is slightly paler than it normally is, so this shade is currently a tad too dark for me. It doesn't look too bad though as it simply warms up my complexion making me look like I've been away on holiday - bonus! Then once I apply my Ben Nye Banana Powder on top, it seems to bring the foundation much closer to my correct shade anyway, so I can't complain really. 114 cappuccino is actually a great shade match for when I’ll be more tanned during the summer, so you can guarantee that this foundation will get heaps of use!


Above: Shade 114 cappuccino

Texture:
Lightweight but not too runny, the formulation is also lovely and creamy.

Application (my way):
This foundation is quick and easy to apply with either the fingers or a brush. On my busy days when I’m super rushed for time (i.e. 98% of the time!) I just use my fingers and am done in no time at all. Next I use the palms of my hands to gently press the foundation into the skin – this will ensure that the foundation sets evenly and it prolongs the wear time too. Lastly, I set the powder with some loose powder, but only after letting the foundation set for a few minutes first.

Coverage:
I am extremely impressed with the coverage! This foundation provides medium coverage that can be easily built up to full coverage without looking cakey. The coverage is so great that I don't need to use concealer on my minor blemishes...time-saver ey? I love it! I did have to conceal any redness though, which I do so before applying the foundation.

Wear time:
With powder and primer I can get 8-10hrs wear - note I have combination skin, so if I don't use a primer and setting powder then I would only get 4-5 hours wear from the foundation before it started to disappear. For best result, I recommend setting this foundation with powder.

Finish:
I would describe the finish as being somewhere between dewy – matte. This end look is very natural with a slight hint of dewiness.

 
Other great things about this foundation:
- Oil-free and has a SPF 15
- Does not settle in lines or pores
- Makes you look fresh and radiant
- Feels comfortable and light on the skin and does not look heavy
- It doesn’t oxidise (which I am very pleasantly surprised about!)
- However, the biggest pro about this foundation is that it’s dewy and luminous without being shiny or oily.

Conclusion:
This foundation is a must-have for perking up dull winter skin! I am really impressed with this foundation: It makes you look nice and flawless whilst boosting radiance and hydration - what’s not to love?! I still can’t believe how great the coverage is either - all in all, Clarins True Radiance Foundation really is everything that I need for a winter foundation.

I highly recommended this for those who like a foundation with a flawless natural dewy finish. If you like Nars Sheer Glow foundation then you’ll probably like this too.

…Lastly: I just wanted to share a quick snap of the Clarins Rouge Eclat lipstick that I got my sister for Christmas:

 
The packaging is so luxe that I just had to share it with you! The shade is ‘10 pink fushia’ a nice pretty pop of colour.

Have you tried this foundation? Are you a Clarins fan too?!

Aimee xx

*PR Sample

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Lifestyle | Healthy Restaurants in London


With New Year resolutions underway and bikini season just around the corner, eating healthy has once again topped my New Year resolution list. Although it can be easy enough when cooking for yourself, just think lots of salad - however having a social life while on a healthy eating regime proves more of a challenge.

With restaurants sneaking in unnecessary calories to dishes to make them taste great, and alcohol adding what feels like a million calories to your meal; it would be easiest to simply become a hermit for the extent of your diet. However, for those of us in London on a health kick, luckily we can now enjoy our socials lives to the fullest without feeling guilty after dinner!

London is beginning to say goodbye to fried food and hello to an array of healthy lifestyle restaurants – and what’s better? They are some of the trendiest venues in the city. Quintessentially Lifestyle had their restaurant specialists compile a list of some the best healthy dining destinations the city has to offer.

So where to begin? Personally, who doesn’t love a restaurant that serves weekend brunch with a matching cocktail menu for brunch as well? Grain Store offers fresh ingredients with ‘no geographical boundaries.’ The food is inspired by Chef Bruno Loubet, Michael Benyan and Mark Sainsbury’s extensive travels, along with Benyan’s treasured vegetable patch. Early morning breakfast with the girls just became considerably better!

 
A lot of thought has clearly gone into the interiors created by the acclaimed Russell Sage. Designed around the idea of the exploded kitchen, Grain Store boasts a "flexible interior that blurs the lines between kitchen and dining room, with elements of the cooking process spilling over to the table."

 
If you are one of those people we sometimes all love to hate - the super dieter, and wish to go somewhere that not only serves meals but also detoxes, well I salute you and have a suggestion: Nama Artesian Raw Foods has an amazing menu filled with all natural, raw ingredients. Nama’s also offers detoxes, including the Raw Food Cleanse, which they will help you with and begin there.

This is a picture of Nama's raw coconut curry, it is all raw and vegan - doesn't it look delicious?!

 
Many of my friends and family are vegetarian so I can't wait to introduce them to this restaurant. For once they will be able to choose from all the vegan/vegetarian options of their dreams. Nama actually "believe in blowing away the common misconception that a raw, vegan, organic diet is limited" and I'm sure that many will find this a breath of fresh air. Whilst I am not currently "fully-vegetarian" I still remember the struggles of dining out as a vegetarian...talk about limited menu options or what! My veggie sister,  a self-proclaimed foodie, is going to be over the moon when I tell her about this restaurant!

However non-vegetarians alike are sure to fall in love with this restaurant too, just reading the menu alone made my mouth water! You can view Nama's menu here - it's 100% meat, wheat, dairy, and gluten free which I can see being of appeal to many.

With London restaurants finally on all of our sides, this year’s attempt at "eating healthier" seems like it is going to gel with my social life really well.

I hope that you enjoyed these healthy London restaurant options. Do you know any good restaurant recommendations?

Do you like the sound of the restaurants mentioned above?

Aimee xx

*Collaborative post

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

High End Beauty Haul | Bobbi Brown

 
I can't believe that I've never actually posted a "haul" yet, what kind of blogger am I? Well I also told you guys that I was going to be posting more beauty content - so as you can see, today I am killing two birds with one stone by bringing you a little high end beauty haul. Now Bobbi Brown is a brand that I've been using for over a decade, because a) they cater for my skin tone (they actually cater for all skin tones very well) and b) their products tend to be of excellent quality.

All of the products shown below are items that I have been using regularly for the last year, and whilst today's post is just a collective round-up, I will be posting individual reviews of each item:



 
Bobbi Brown Hydrating Gel Cream (£38.50 / 50 ml) - This is basically a moisturiser that has a built-in primer. It's a very lightweight formula and is deeply hydrating. I find that it's the best makeup base to use underneath my Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Compact Foundation.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Compact Foundation (£33.00 / 8g) - This compact foundation is perfect for carrying in your handbag for touch-ups on the go. It is very light and comfortable on the skin and blends into the skin with ease. In fact the foundation was actually designed to disappear into the skin so you get nice coverage without masking the skin's natural beauty - and really this is the whole ethos behind the Bobbi Brown brand. The foundation is also oil-free which is a real win with me.

Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush (£30.00) - I use this brush to apply my Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Compact Foundation, for me it's by far the best way. The compact comes complete with a little sponge which is great for touching-up on-the-go, but asides from that I wouldn't use a sponge to apply this foundation as the sponge will just eat up most of the product. The Full Coverage Face Brush allows you to achieve a flawless, full-coverage look with ease. The short, tightly packed bristles really do help you to achieve a polished makeup look.

Bobbi Brown Corrector and Creamy Concealer


 
Something you should know is that I have the worst dark circles ever (they're hereditary though which makes me feel slightly better), and the only way that I can fully cover them is by using my Bobbi Brown corrector and concealer. Both of these products are extremely opaque and pigmented making them a dab hand at combating my normally-hard-to-conceal dark circles. For me these two products are such a winning duo which is why I have been purchasing both for over a decade.

Bobbi Brown Corrector (£19.00 / 1.4g) - This corrector neutralises and brightens my dark circles a real treat - 'nuff said really. The formulation is long-wearing, crease-free and very easy to blend. I use this before applying the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer.

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer (£19.00 / 1.4g) - As mentioned above, I apply this concealer after my Bobbi Brown corrector. The concealer is rich and creamy and gives me great coverage, but best of all it doesn't crease and is long-wearing.

...are you noticing a pattern here? All of the makeup items mentioned above are long-wearing and crease-free which is why I love them. Like I said before, Bobbi Brown is a brand that I associate with great quality. I can't wait to share more of their products with you in future :)

Look out for the individual product reviews to get my detailed reviews and to see pictures of the shades that I use, which may be of particular interest to those that like me have a medium Indian skin tone. I hope that you enjoyed my little haul/summary :)

Are you a Bobbi Brown fan too? Which of the above are you most looking forward to me reviewing?!

Aimee xx

P.S. If you enjoyed this post then you'll probably love my future hauls too (more high end makeup and a bit of fashion too - I have so much photographing to do)!

Monday, 12 January 2015

LFW | Ashish SS15 – Tackling Diversity in the Fashion Industry

When I think back to the most momentous fashion moments of 2014, the one thing that comes to my mind immediately is the Ashish catwalk show at London Fashion Week SS15...well okay there are actually two things – the other is the Kimye Vogue cover. I still remember the big hoo-ha that it caused, but let's be honest, the whole thing was instigated to shock really. Anyway, let’s get back to some “real” fashion now shall we – the Ashish SS15 LFW show.

Now unless you’ve been living a high fashion-starved life (the equivalent of living in a cave), then you’ll know that for his SS15 LFW show, Delhi-born designer Ashish Gupta chose to feature a cast of all-black models. Lets be serious here, the lack of racial diversity in the fashion industry is an important issue that needs to be addressed, so I’m really pleased that Ashish chose to draw attention to the matter. 

Now before we take a look back at the Ashish SS15 catwalk images I would just like to say that discrimination of any kind is horrid, and hopefully one day we can stamp that nonsense out for good.

So okay, now for the Ashish SS15 LFW catwalk images - prepare to be bedazzled!

Key themes
Sequinned rainbows, snakeprint and a nod to celebrity and popular culture

 
The rainbow of sequins put a smile on my face straightaway :)

 
You can just imagine the sheer amount of skill and craftsmanship that 
has gone into making the sequins resemble snakeskin

 
My favourites - I would easily wear any of the below, especially the dresses and fluffy sandals!



 
Keeping it current - a reference to the world of celebrity and popular culture:

Back in September you may have seen news headlines saying things like "Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend London Fashion Week" - well nope they weren't actually there in the flesh, but Ashish did however feature their faces on a hand-embroidered sweatshirt...and yes of course, peeps on Twitter went majorly crazy for it, along with Ashish's One Direction jeans and Miley Cyrus sweatshirt:

 
As you’ll see from the images above, Ashish's cast of all-black models included vitiligo spokesperson Winnie Harlow – yup, and that my friends is how you redefine the global definition of beauty via the catwalks. Massive kudos to Ashish here – he has long been a favourite designer of mine and now my respect for him has just soared even further.

With regards to the collection, as obvious as it may be, the first thing I could say was "ooh it’s very Ashish!” His signature sequins, glamour and sportswear are all over this shizz. If anyone can show you how to add sequins to your everyday life, then there’s only one man for the job really. I remember reading an interview in which Ashish said that he loathes seeing youngsters going about their normal daily business dressed in plain old gym clothes, so it makes sense really that the king of high-octane glamour would want to bling up his sportswear.

...So there you go, that's how you put on a great runway show and make an important statement at the same time - what a man indeed!!

Thanks for reading,
Aimee xx

Images via style.com

Monday, 5 January 2015

LFW | Busardi SS15


 
I was recently looking through the photos on my laptop and discovered some images from the Busardi SS15 London Fashion Week show that I had almost completely forgotten about. I’m actually quite glad that I hadn't posted these pictures earlier as it means that my first blog post of 2015 is a complete corker – after all, the Busardi SS15 runway show was extremely exquisite (if you haven’t seen the collection yet then you’ll see what I mean in a minute)!

Everything about the show was wonderful – from the beautiful invitation (the fancy ostrich feathers were a great clue as to what was in store for us) to the plush venue (a luxurious Georgian mansion in Mayfair)…to the actual collection itself of course.

As you would expect, there were plenty of stylish guests in attendance:

 
There were tons of VIPs and celebrities such as model and actor Charlie Mills and
model Tom Leigh, who you can see in the picture below siting front row:

 
If you look to the far right of the photo above, you might just be able to very vaguely see Rosie from the popular British lifestyle blog The Londoner. At the time I wasn't 100% sure if it was actually her or otherwise I would have definitely gone over to say hi.

About the collection

The Busardi SS15 collection is titled 'Air' -  here is some background information for you:

Busardi Spring/Summer 2015

Inspired by the incredibly diverse landscapes and microenvironments of South America, the Spring/Summer 2015 collection takes us on a journey with an archetypal Busardi woman, strong beautiful as she soars through the glacier-hewn fields of Patagonia, past the smoking plunge pools of the Iguazu Falls and into the golden pink sand deserts of Argentina.”

Key themes
  • A splendour of exquisitely crafted gowns play with layering and transparency to create new codes of modern femininity.

  • Pulling on a rich tapestry of references, models are personified into resplendent eagles covered in an armour of accessories: ear cuffs, bracelets and necklaces moulded in solid silver and covered with crystals and pearls – challenging the traditional notions of evening wear.

  • Not comprising on luxe detailing, a profusion of floating hemlines and floor skimming skirts maintain the red carpet grandeur.

    • The attachment of soft ostrich feathers on cocktail dresses, evening gowns and jackets nods to exquisite birds in flight, while lace-formed adornments command a serene glacial allusion.

    ...and now without further ado, here are my pictures from the Busardi SS15 LFW show:

    These are all my own images - I'm so pleased at how well they turned out!



     
    The notion of ‘Air’ was also prevalent through the models’ messy, windswept hair, and I really loved the way that the makeup (contoured, flawless dewy skin and metallic eyes) gave the collection a cool, modern edge.

     
    I loved the way that the ostrich feathers floated softly through the air as the models drifted down the runway - the models really did look like birds about to take flight!


     
    My most favourite pieces from the collection are the turquoise gown 
    above and the finale piece below:

     
    A queen of the birds, adorned with hundreds of grey ostrich feathers layered around the shoulders of a trademark cape. Heavily encrusted ear cuffs frame the model’s face, while delicate hand embroidered appliqué finely decorates the waist of a silk dress; her silver tulle skirt trails the runway, mirroring the tail of a great bird as she soars through the Patagonian air:

     
    ...Such an amazing collection. The colour palette of subdued pastels and earthy tones is so beautiful:

     
    When the show finished the models lined up together allowing us to get a close-up of the fine garments:

    (...Not a bad shot actually - considering that I took it whilst walking down the stairs!)

    So I’m sure that you’ll all agree – this is red carpet grandeur at it’s finest! It was really amazing seeing the luxury fashion house’s signature use of embroidery, lace and appliqué up close in person - the sheer amount of fine craftsmanship that has gone into this collection is truly mind-blowing!

    I hope that you enjoyed my pictures and coverage – what are your thoughts on this beautiful collection?

    Aimee xx