Friday, 29 March 2013

Happy Easter! (minus the daffodils and Bank Holiday weather)

...Prospera Pascha sit...

Hooray, another Bank Holiday (a kind of double weekend for those of us in the UK)! From the random snow and sleet that we have been getting since last week it is hard to get excited over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend. Nevertheless the snow is clearing and the sun is peeking out here and there (seems like my anger against the snow is taking over my posts lately)! But do not despair, a four day weekend is a good excuse to sit back (indoors mostly away from icy winds outside) and enjoy the festivities (as well as to treat yourself to bank holiday shopping)!
I decided to make an Easter inspired post to get you all in the mood of eating chocolate (if you even need to be in the mood) and watching Easter movies such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is always on the TV around this time of year (some sublime chocolate eating advertisement going on there – note sarcasm)! 



1. Bunny Ear Ring Holder £8.00 from Asos | 2. Rabbit Egg Cup £1.99 from H&M

1.How adorable is this Bunny Ring Holder?! Keep all your rings and necklaces tidy and neat as well as acessorising your dresser table with these two cutesy rabbits! Simply hang them on the bunny ears *aww*

2.Very vintage and traditional, these rabbit egg cups are perfect for that Easter Sunday Breakfast!
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3. Moving Bunny Chase Watch £20.00 from Asos | 4. Shell Pink Double Bunny Jumper £19.99 from New Look | 5. Rabbit Cuff £6.50 from Topshop


3.Such a retro yet classy little watch, featuring three little rabbits chasing a carrot (can it be any cuter)?! It has a similar gold clasp to those of Michael Kors and Casio watches, so understated  perfect and so pretty! Don’t forget to turn your clocks/watches forward this Sunday!

4.Stay warm and cosey all weekend in this dusty pink pastel Bunny Jumper, simple yet so cute and fun!



5. This intricate rabbit headed bangle is unique and different; team it up with a watch or wear it on its own.



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Have a great Easter whatever you are up to (and whatever the weather)! Hope the Easter Bunny brings you a lot of chocolate and good times with loved ones over the holiday. Enjoy!

...ArA...

Thursday, 28 March 2013

#3 Spring Essential: The Uber-Cool Cat-Eye Shades

...Tempus Vernum...

Despite the random sleet weather we have been having lately (yes it is finally clearing), I am still looking forward to the better weather, the sun has been creeping out now and then and at least the weather is less overcast. Spring time is a great excuse to get some vintage shades which will easily make any outfit look sharp or glamour’s depending on what style you chose. I am currently loving the cat-eye trend; it immediately reminds me of those classy 1950’s screen sirens (think of the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor) an effortless sheek way to add some fun to your look.

There are a lot of fun embellished cat-eye sunshades out on the high street too, at a very affordable price which looks quirky whilst still having a relative vintage feel to it. I intend to team up my cat-eye shades with matte finished lipsticks to make an instant style statement; think colourful spring colours like a natural rose colour (or a very “now” fuchsia if you are feeling bold), to more wearable daytime peachy nudes or a classic Hollywood style red to instantly look on trend.

Take a look at five of my most favourite quirky shades…

1.

£12 – Wing Detail Cat Eye Sunglasses In Mixed Frame from Asos

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2. 
£4.99 – Pink Cat Eye Sunglasses from New Look

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3.

£20 – Premium Embellished Cat Eye Sunglasses - from Asos

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4. 
£4.90 – Cat Eye Sunglasses from Forever21

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5.
Similar to my black pair - £15.36 Leopard Cat Eye Metal Embellished Sunglasses from Osap.com

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Lets hope the good weather returns! Despite the Arctic winds I am still loving bit of the sunshine, although I do not recommend whipping out the whole spring ensemble yet! 



...ArA...

Friday, 22 March 2013

J’adore: Ted Baker Body Soufflé and Body Spray Review


UK weather never fails to astonish me, instead of beautiful sunny spells and the smell of spring daffodils we are having to endure another snowfall of sleet and dampness…so typical so UK. Anyway despite the slushy snow outside I have been trying to stay upbeat for the better summer days ahead and been wearing my favourite signature body spray suitable for every day wear.

A favourite scent of mine that always reminds me of sunny days gone is the Ted Baker body sprays and body soufflé (no you cannot eat it, just a very luscious and creamy body butter that smells heavenly)…these have been my usual trusty daily sprays for years (since they first introduced them to Boots) and they are a perfect pick me up for spring time. Ted Baker did re-brand the packaging and some of its range; however I find that they still smell the same.

Ted Baker Butterfly Wings Body Spray | Ted Baker Body Soufflé | Ted Baker Origami Body Spray

I love the girly purple/gold abstract packaging, very modern yet still feminine. They smell really expensive and unique and have a strong lasting power (unlike those other oh so familiar deodorant cans on the market); for the price they are ideal for daily usage. My favourite being the Ted Baker Butterfly Wings Body Spray which contains bergamont and patchouli (all ultra-elegant fragrance notes which are not in usually in other high street deodorant’s - another reason this super quality product is my favourite daily body spray).  I usually wear this in the daytime, it is perfect for everyday wear, not too strong yet it has that lingering scent to it.

Ted Baker Butterfly Wings Body Spray

They also have the Ted Baker Origami Body Spray which is a lot less sweet than Butterfly Wings, it contains sandalwood and rose and hints of vanilla, which again lasts for ages on your skin. I also have the matching Body Soufflé which also has hints of sandalwood and rose, it is best used after you have showered/bathed as it sponges into your skin quicker, think of this Body Soufflé as a Body Butter, it is thick and creamy and is therefore best applied onto clean skin (plus the smell just lingers and lingers…mmm). 

Ted Baker Origami Body Spray
I feel being a British brand Ted Baker’s bath and beauty range is perfect for those on the go looking for a better alternative to the usual female daily deodorants on the market, being a body spray it is a lot gentler yet I still feel its quality fragrance is far better than any other (even dare I say it the hype about Victoria Secret’s body sprays). Overall I love the Ted Baker range; I always have their body spray in my bag when out and about!
Boots have cute little 50ml travel sizes too which are great to be stashed into your purse or bag!

Ted Baker Body Soufflé retails at £6.50 for 300ml pot
Ted Baker Butterfly Wings Body Spray at £5.00 for 150ml bottle
Ted Baker Origami Body Spray at £5.00 for a 150ml bottle


…ArA…

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Monochrome Trend Spring/Summer 2013

"Black and white always looks modern, whatever modern means" - Karl Lagerfield
A trend that is dominating a lot of the high street is no other than the Monochrome trend which is chick, simple and classic! Maybe because of the lack of spring weather or sun I have been living in a lot of black and white colours, just as well that it is on trend. A common misconception about this trend is that it is purely just black and white, even though this is partially true the excitement of surviving the Aztec world-doom-prophecy in 2012 (please note the sarcasm) meant that a lot of designers have seemed to regained an interest in Aztec/tribal prints which are fuelling a lot of edge into this Monochrome look; there are a lot of monochrome prints that you can filter into this trend to add that extra definition of style if you want to be more adventurous.

If you are a girl like me who loves to dabble into those wearable investment pieces then this trend is definitely for you (we all love a bit of regeneration from those splurge moments a couple of months later when the account balance is not so happy with you). If you would rather avoid loud neon colours or you are not overly taken by those spring pastels then you can definitely work with this trend to create your own signature Monochrome look by being inspired by different textures and materials.

What I love about the Monochrome trend that it can be very easy to achieve - anyone can master it by using simple black and white colours to incorporate a neat clean and extremely elegant look. Any age or body shape can embrace this trend and wear it out for dinner with friends or for that last minute business meeting…the smart yet understated look of the Monochrome trend oozes style and sophistication without being too *POW* in your face. It is most likely will compliment your existing wardrobe, you will probably have that staple classic white/black blouse/skirt lying around in that bottomless wardrobe (it is time to re-dust that old black skater skirt from 2011 and re-use it)!

There are a lot of good pieces out on the high street, I have tried to create an edgier take on the Monochrome trend, take a look at the night-time to daytime look to give you all some inspiration…

Night-time Monochrome

Black and White Stripe Panel Midi Dress - £28 from River IslandSilver Tone Gem Stone Skull Drop Earrings - £8.00 from River Island | Strappy Sandals - £49.99 from Zara

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Daytime Monochrome

Black Vertical Stripe Longline Vest - £10 from River Island | Necklace – £9.99 from H&M |
Black Sheer Mesh Biker Jacket - £30 from River Island | Wet Look Leggings - £18 from Topshop | Attack Leather Gladiator Ankle Boots - £65 from Asos | Black Metal Plate Geometric Black Pack - £40 from River Island


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Any monochrome-ers out there?


...ArA...




Sunday, 17 March 2013

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!


...Bon Fortuna...

Seeing as it is Saint Patrick's Day I thought I would do a quick fun post inspired by all things from shades of green – mint green, emerald green, neon green...(grab your shamrocks and leprechauns)! 

1. Lime Rhinestone Ankle Strap Flats - £19.75 from Forever21 | 2.  Green Bird Print Oversized T-Shirt - £15 from River Island | 3. Green Geo Pointelle Two Tone Jumper  - £38 from Warehouse | 4.Green Teardrop Mini Earing - £6 from Asos | 5. Green Pencil Skirt in Wet Look - £30 from Asos | 6. Khaki Green  Blouse - £19.99 from H&M  | 7. Green Chunky Open Knit Pattern Jumper - £35 from River Island | 8. Green Pushlock Crossbody Bag - £35.00 from Topshop
***
 

Wishing you all a very lucky Saint Patrick's Day, I hope the famous luck of the Irish brings you a lot of fun and a merry day!


...ArA...


Saturday, 16 March 2013

#2 Spring Essential: Fashion Forward High Heels

...Tempus Vernum...

There are a lot of alternative killer heel looks dominating 2013; from tall tan gladiator sandals (think bold gladiator goddess) to futuristic style platforms (think contemporary astronaut meets sports luxe diva) to see-through PVC edgy heels. No matter how short or tall you are (even for 5ft 9 me) invest in a good pair of spring heels, they will instantly update your look and will make you feel uber confident. 

Added to this mix there a lot of fun and quirky revivals this season with diverse fastenings (the 80’s style stiletto has made a comeback with strong metallic detailing, and different clasp styles like T-bar to classic angle straps). The classic sturdy wedges makes a strong comeback too, for those of us who need that extra support and are not ready to embrace those extra thin high heels!

What I particularly love about this season is there a lot of different textures and prints (from understated graphic prints to statement suede animal prints to peep toe colour blocks) that can really transform an outfit, this season sassy footwear is actually in my opinion the key accessory needed to give that added *pow* to your look, whether keeping it low key or dressing it up.

Take a look at my five on trend wearable favourites from the high street…

1.



These multi-coloured suede high heels are right on top of my wish list, stunning yet simple. The metallic bronze finish and a thin stiletto gold heel are a classy take on the futuristic trend. Grab them from Asos for £75


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2.


I would purchase every single Zara shoe if I could, Zara never seems to disappoint me. These studded sandals are so on trend with multi-strap fastening and graphic monochrome trend (you can see the inspiration taken from designers such as Valentino, which is strongly inspiring the  high street at the moment) they can be purchased for £59.99 from Zara

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3.



These peach coloured leather sandals are so on trend with a simple buckle fastening (barely there sandals were seen all over London fashion week), team them up with pastel colours for that bright spring look, get them from Mango for £79.99

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4.


For those of you who still want to be very now yet are reluctant to take the plunge, these suede beige (very wearable) courts are for you! The gold cap toe is very in trend and is ideal for spring office-wear or can be teamed up for any daytime combo, (again notice the thin stiletto heel making a comeback). These can be obtained from Oasis for £45

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5.

Another shoe from Asos! I am currently loving Asos shoes, they have quite a diverse range of new spring shoes which to me rival those of Zara. These nude wedges incorporate a futuristic metal t-bar detailing and a contrast peep toe (all in one shoe)! I love these as they are very wearable, wedges are a good option if you want to remain comfortable yet still desire that height. These are at a bargain steal price at £40 from Asos




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Which shoe is your favourite?


…ArA…




Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Weekly Skin Exfoliators: No 7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser & St Ives Blemish Fighting Facial Scrub Review


...Luceat Lux Vestra...

Around every week or so I like to pamper my skin (mostly on a chilled out Sunday) using a good scrub or a spa type treatment to exfoliate my skin; I feel that this routine helps to keep my skin rejuvenated and  smooth without it being too much of an effort. To do this job I usually use two my favourite products (alternating when I can, I like to mix it up); they are no other than the No7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleaner and St Ives Blemish Fighting Facial Scrub. 

No7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser


Let’s start with the No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser, think of this as a gentle spa treatment in the comfort of your own home without the hefty price tag. No7 have come a long way in recent years (from re-branding to branching out in new lines) offering good quality drugstore products which have been trusted by so many. It is no wonder that this cleanser has received so much positive feedback and is one of No7 more popular products.  
Its simple clear packaging enables you to see how much of the product is left and it is packaged with a small muslin cloth. The purpose of this Hot Cloth Cleanser is to give your skin that deep invigorated spa treatment, (give a good old dusting to those pores)! It aims to remove all dirt and grime and exfoliate your skin using the muslin cloth which you simply run under warm water to use.

To do this you simply apply the creamy thick cleanser onto DRY skin using the pump applicator (one squirt of this foamy matter is more than enough), and then (after some optional intermittent-lounging-for-some-time-with-your-cucumber-peels moments) use the wet muslin cloth to wipe away all of the cleanser.  Use warm water to wash away any remainder that is left, and (most importantly) make sure you use cold water after to close your pores.


The muslin cloth acts as an exfoliator to lift dead skin cells and any grime away from your skin (think of it like a brush), to leave it looking baby soft and squeaky clean. Another advantage of using of a muslin cloth weekly is that it encourages circulation to give you that bright hallow glow without it being too harsh on your skin (as you are not frantically scrubbing away daily)!  The only slight minus point for me personally is that I feel the muslin cloth is not that tough, or of a great quality. I don’t feel it lasts that long. I often use my own flannel or a textured face towel which I will put in the wash once I have used it.

This is a great quality product which I would recommend to rival any other hot cleanser, its thick consistency and texture doesn't disappoint on results. It is gentle enough to be used on sensitive skin on anyone who wants to have that indulgent experience!

It comes in a 200ml size which you can pick up from Boots for £9.95 (very economical as it lasts ages - plus if you have a £5 No7 voucher you only pay £4.95 - bargain)!

St Ives Blemish Fighting Facial Scrub


This apricot scented scrub is one of my staples that I have used for years, I remember using this since being in my teens (such fond memories… *ahem*). You only have to look at the Swiss company behind it and look at their glorious blemish free faces to know that St Ives are winners when it comes to facial scrubs, is it any surprise that they are consistently voted as the UK’s Number 1 Scrub band? I use this twice a week (the most) for maintaining clear skin and tame my oil/combination skin.

The secret of a scrub is a bit like a muslin cloth, scrubs exfoliate any dirt and grime away, they mostly contain small beaded ingredients - in this case brown coloured beads, (think of these little wonders as tiny little muslin clothes acting together to add that sparkle to your skin) which help to scrub away the bad stuff such as dead skin cells away to leave your skin polished and clean. In this way they are easier to use as any other daily cleanser, as you just apply it to your face and rinse as you normally would do.


St Ives Scrub lives up to its reputation, it is a no-nonsense tough scrub that you can feel scrubbing against you skin as you apply it. For this reason I would not recommend daily usage of this product, as this can be very harsh to the natural ph and oil balance of your facial skin, (and in actual fact may trigger breakouts if used excessively)!

I love the apricot smell, it surely does smell of all the good natural elements which it is based on, plus it no longer contains no parabens or phthalates *hooray* (even though on boots online they still seem to have the older ingredients listed, for this reason I have taken a photograph of the ingredients for you sceptics to have a look at - see below).  I have found using this weekly (in addition to my daily routine) my skin is a lot less oily and I don’t really suffer from major breakouts (I bet I have just jinxed myself) although I use this to maintain clearer skin and love it for its thick beady texture.

"Formulated without Parabens and Phthalates" 
You can purchase it from any good supplier; I usually pick it up from Boots for £4.29 for 150ml tube.


What are you best skin exfoliators?


...ArA...


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Chanel Coco Noir…Perfume Review

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” - Gabrielle Coco Chanel 
We all have that favourite go-to-go special occasion perfume that becomes part of our classic cult collection (well at least for me). Coco Noir has become my best loved modern classic perfume. This luxury perfume is part of a current three in the Coco Chanel perfumery range (the other two being Coco and then Mademoiselle), each claiming to be an incarceration a different era and showing a different side of the great Gabrielle Coco Chanel herself. For me this perfume takes me away to that special time/place/moment, I see it as an extension of my personality and my "signature scent".

For me this perfume by far is the best and most endearing yet (has there even been a more sophisticated black bottle?!). I feel her elegance and timeless quality is evoked as soon as I wear Noir, it definitely has a grown up no-nonsense ladylike feel to it (unlike Mademoiselle, which I feel is more flirty and playful).

*Drool*

You can smell the oriental evocative tones, of sandalwood and depths of rose and jasmine along with other divine timeless smells (see full list of ingredients on the Chanel website here). Coco Noir has a vintage scent to it that is not too overbearing or too subtle, Chanel have (again) mastered the art to leave a lingering scent creating an evocative mystery soon after the wearer leaves...it definitely creates an impression like any quality perfume should.

I would usually wear this during evening/night, as I feel it has that indescribable sensual musky depth to it which develops after a first hour or so of wear time. You only need one/two spritzes and it will last on my skin for at least 6 hours. For me it is an ultimate signature smell, feminine yet very grown up, it hits the right  balance without being too strong or too weak (plus it sits so beautifully on my white dressing table too)!  
  
A 100ml bottle of Chanel Coco Noir can be purchased from Boots for £106

Do you have that signature perfume which takes you to that place or reminds you of a particular moment in time?



...ArA...

Monday, 11 March 2013

J’adore: Valentino Accessories

"I know what women want. They want to be beautiful." - Garavani Valentino 
Studs. Studs. Studs. Valentino by far has to be one of my favourite designers, who thought that edgy/punky studs could look so sleek and elegant? No other than the designers behind Valentino. I particularly love their accessories range; the shoes/bags/clutches are always designed with that signature studded/metal embellishment here or there, making a very current statement on some otherwise classic looking shoes.

I LOVE their autograph Valentino Rockstud shoes (I want them all)! Valentino always seems to twist this classic by interpreting it differently each season, such as by changing the colour palate, adding pops of neon colour or using different textures/prints to constantly reinvent the Valentino Rockstud without reinventing the entire wheel/concept. Zara in my opinion has definitely been inspired by Valentino designs; their studded sling backs dominated autumn 2012, they have studded sandals for spring 2013 which make an affordable high street alternative to the real thing.

One day soon I shall own a pair of Valentino shoes, until then check out these beautiful pieces that I am dreaming of…

1. £950 from Valentino | 2. £590 from Net-A-Porter | 3. £725 from Valentino  | 4. £600 from Valentino | 5. £625 from Valentino | 6. £1,335 from Net-A-Porter

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Have a nice day!

...ArA...

Saturday, 9 March 2013

#1 Spring Essential: The Tweed Biker Jacket

...Tempus Vernum...


Spring is in the air! (despite the current lack of sunny spells...where art thou spring weather)?!  With the run up to Easter I thought I would make a mini-series of my essential spring-wardrobe-must-haves, all in time to embrace the warmer weather (I hope, despite it currently raining outside)!

A spring jacket is a key investment piece that should be the basic in any girls’ wardrobe; especially at the moment with this transitional weather all in the run up to summer (not to mention the constant worry of English rain).

There are lots of different prints dominating spring jackets at the moment, from tweed to tribal prints. The tweed print has made a comeback with a modern twist (think edgy biker meets Coco Channel) and is still running strong in 2013. Neon colours are dominating the high street and so are tribal/Aztec style prints, although I feel the Tweed Biker Jacket is an investable trend that can take you into autumn 2013 (always thinking ahead); therefore will be more friendlier (*ahem* justifiable) to your purses.

The key things that I look for in a good jacket are the finer things like detail rather than where I purchase the jacket from, look for vintage button embellishments to golden/silvery stylish fastenings…look for pieces that can be styled up or down whatever the occasion. I have rummaged through the high street and have selected five of my favourite spring jackets that I feel are very now! Take a look and be inspired...

1.


This funky lime/neon-ish number (oh so on trend with sports luxe craze) can be picked up from River Island for £70 – it is oversized too so can be ideal for layering on those colder spring mornings, bright and cheerful just like spring!

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2.


Even though this is not tweed I found this tribal biker piece a safe buy, with its leather lining collars and arms it is still very wearable and quite understated yet still edgy, a transitional piece that can be used for those overcast weather moments, it can be obtained from Zara for £99 

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3.

I LOVE this beige tweed, you can see the classic Chanel inspiration oozing through it, its gold zip detailing at the front and cuffs will just glisten under the spring sun! Team it up with big black sunglasses whatever you outfit to add instant glamour. Grab it from Warehouse for £65 

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 4.



This classic cut black biker jacket is right on trend with its zip detailing and tweed print, team it up effortlessly with the monochrome look, buy it from H&M for £34.99 

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5.

This collarless tweed jacket is perfect for that high neck lace top which will elongate your neck or team it up with a silk scarf  to instantly look sheek in spring (very Grace Kelly). This is currently reduced by 50% in Mango for £29.99 (bargain)!



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Have you got your perfect Spring Jacket ready?


..ArA…








Friday, 8 March 2013

Beauty Staple: Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Review


...Minime senuisti!..

With its various celebrity endorsements Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula has been a much loved affordable and trusty body moisturiser. So I decided to give a quick review about my love for Cocoa Butter, another timeless classic of mine.

Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula has been around for a good few years, incorporating cocoa butter (obviously) enriched with Vitamin E (helps to soften skin and keep it oh so heavenly smooth). These agents together have super-power moisturising effects thanks to the natural hydrating elements and vegetable fat origin of cocoa butter (no surprise then that it smells of chocolate, cocoa is one of the key ingredients of chocolate making)! Palmers claim to use the highest quality cocoa bean (sorry to those that did not make the mark) which they press down into the cocoa butter, used subsequently in its formula. Furthermore Palmers formula no longer contain any Parabens, which is another added bonus!

It is usually used by users with very dry/rough skin, although I feel that Palmers Cocoa Butter can be used by users of all skin types, as its moisturising properties can be best taken advantage of especially after a shower/bath when it’s vital to moisturise. Palmers Cocoa Butter can be used all over the body and smells mildly of chocolate (which I have to admit does take a bit of getting used to), although this does not really bother me (a scent free version is available if the smell does bother you).


You may be thinking it will be too rich and greasy to be absorbed into the skin, but the convenience of the pump version of this lotion allows easy application (so you are not wasting it away, or getting carried away by the chocolaty smell), only a few pumps are needed and it absorbs super quickly into the skin once rubbed in (thanks to the buttterrryyy properties of cocoa).  I am left with silky baby soft skin which leaves a youthful appearance. It has a thick consistency, although this can be easily spread if a right amount is used (thanks to the pump)!

I usually stock up on the 400ml bottle with Boots constant 3 for 2 offer (see below), although one 400ml bottle will last me for approximately 3 months! They do have smaller sizes, I would recommend the 250ml for travelling. 

Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula is available in most good stores; pick up yours at Boots for a 400ml bottle for a very affordable £5.30

…ArA…

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Rihanna for River Island


...Talk That Talk...

Rihanna has been known to be a big game changer in the world of fashion, in recent years incorporating an edgy vintage street style which you either love or hate (a bit like Marmite). She launched her own clothing line at River Island a few days ago which was launched at London Fashion Week.

Taking a peek at the online collection I immediately saw the 90’s themed inspiration running through the pieces, consisting of cropped sweatshirts and long maxi style skirts as well as typical 90’s s jersey style tank tops. There is a general monochrome style (another influential summer 2013 trend) running through the collection, with a hint of edge and neon yellow pop colour.  Most pieces have been designed with that undertone of Rihanna’s edginess in mind (take for example the long split maxi skirt, a slit here and there is typical Rihanna). Here are some pieces from  RiverIsland.com:


My favourite piece out of the collection has to be the Black Pendant Backpack, which features a golden eagle motif similar to Rihanna’s midriff tattoo:

Overall I am not totally blown away by the collection, although River Island will be allegedly launching the second part of it sometime later on in May (perhaps we can then expect more summery and brighter neon prints in May)?

I have tried to create my own version of Rihanna’s edgy style and made my own wearable version. I have just teamed up a simple black jersey maxi dress with my statement handcuff necklace, a similar one can be found on Asos. Added to this I have my Zara strappy black sandals. I have teamed this up with my biker Topshop jacket to complete the look. This can be a great evening or daytime look, simply add a studded leather clutch to take it into the night.




What is your favourite piece in the collection?

...ArA...


Battle of the Hair Oils…Kérastase Elixir Ultime vs Moroccanoil


...Quomodo cogis comas tuas sic videri?...

These two giants of the hair oil industry have dominated the salons for some time; the most hyped (and rivalled) hair oil currently dominating the scene has to be no other than Moroccanoil and Kérastase Elixir Ultime. With hair oils vastly claiming to do more by deeply nourishing and revitalising hair, rather than just a quick fix of coating your hair with product residue (gone are the hair serum days), it is an area now where salon results can be easily achieved at home. With their bold claims and alleged results, can hair oil really transform a bird’s nest to a glorious mane of shiny brilliance?

I have used both of these oils for some time on my hair, switching between both and mainly using it after I have washed my hair and then letting it dry naturally (or blow drying for those special occasions and quick last minute dashes).  Although both can be used on dry hair,  I find this usually starts to make my hair roots look greasy which gradually spreads through the lengths of my long hair making it look limp and flat, a look that I would rather leave to the supermodels on the catwalk (whereas I end up looking like something from a horror film). I decided to compare the two and leave my verdict…

Kérastase Elixir Ultime


I have used this product on my hair on and off for a few years, and was using this way before Moroccanoil. Firstly, the look and feel of Kérastase oils are one of extravagance and elegance, I love the gold metallic outer packaging of Elixir Ultime. The Kérastase Elixir Ultime oil range has recently extended its range, offering three other targeted hair oils (which can be used for specific hair types, although they all serve the same multi-purpose usage).

I have also picked up Elixir Ultime with Immortal Moringa which comes in a beautiful metallic green/silvery box, aimed for damaged hair containing the usual Oleo-Complexe (an ingredient in all of Kérastase Elixir range hair oils) and Immortal Moringa extract (commonly known as the ‘Tree of Life’, sounds like a life line to my mane).

These products claimed multi-usage is one of the selling factors that originally drew me into purchasing Kérastase Elixir Ultime. As it has a runny and thin feel to it (therefore not weighing your hair down either *hooray*), it can be adapted and used for more than just a leave in hair oil. I sometimes apply it before shampooing as a pre-cleanser or nourishment mask, touching up hair, using it as an active conditioner before blow drying, or just part of your daily routine to keep those fly always tamed. I find it particularly useful for applying to a finished up-do/beehive style hair-do; it will not only nourish your hair but will leave a glamorous Hollywood sleek look as a finishing touch to your hairstyle (plus it smells sooo heavenly).




Kérastase contains primary ‘four precious oils’ which consist of Maize, Argan, Camellia and Pracaxi to form the basis of its magical Elixir, all designed to keep your hair at its best form long term wise. Another BIG pulling factor for me has to be the fact it does not contain any silicones which is a bonus for someone who tries to avoid silicone based products. These entire oils together act to protect and deeply nourish the hair to leave it feeling light and shiny, all this with only a few drops, I normally only use one pump on my towel dried long hair, applying it mid length and concentrating on my ends (a little again goes a very long way, my current bottle has lasted me for a just over a year)!

As I try to keep heat styling to a minimum I usually let my hair dry naturally after towel drying it. Once I have applied the oil to my hair and left it to dry I am left with hair that feels weightless, glossy, frizz-free and smells of exotic mystic lands far gone (let’s just say I am left with a mane that feels worthy of a L’Oreal hair *swoosh* here and there).

A 125ml bottle of Kérastase Elixir Ultime (or any of the other three Elixir Ultime oils) can be grabbed from luxuryhairandbeauty.co.uk for £27.55 with free delivery.

Moroccanoil


I have used Moroccanoil a lot less than Kérastase Elixir Ultime but have always wanted to test its bold claims. Moroccanoil is based on Aragon oil (from the Moroccan Aragon tree) which is known for its nutritious capabilities.  It contains various other ingredients such as fatty acids and rich in omega 3 oils, although I was slightly disappointed to find that it contained silicones.

I tend to use it on special occasions if I am blow drying my hair, as I feel it’s more thicker and somewhat gloopier (if that is even a word…); it tends to be more suited to hairstyles that scream volume and height (for me at least). Unlike Kérastase Elixir Ultime, it is packaged in a glass bottle, so when travelling keep that in mind (or if you are one of the clumsier inclined that walk amongst us *ahem*).



Again I apply this to damp hair through midway to the ends; it has a more prominent and stronger smell than Kérastase Elixir Ultime, although this goes away mostly once my hair is dried. I feel that one pump is more than a generous amount to be applied on my hair as it is a lot thicker than Kérastase Elixir Ultime.

One of the advantages of Moroccanoil that it speeds up the time it takes to dry my hair, one of the claims Moroccanoil advocates (which is actually does for my hair)…for someone with long hair this can be a life saver. Overall, personally for me I was not entirely blown away by Moroccanoil. Although I can see why people tend to use it for the above reasons, it still left my hair shiny and full of volume…but I would recommend the Moroccanoil Light version for finer/thinner hair as it may weigh such delicate hair down.

A 125ml bottle of Moroccanoil retails at £30.45 with free delivery from lookfantastic.com. 

Verdict...


The versatility of Kérastase Elixir Ultime oils and ingredients and light texture make it very attractive for someone who is quite afraid of any oil product application, yet still desires to reap the benefits; I feel it is better value for money. For this reason it wins the brand rivalry for me.  It is also retails slightly cheaper than Moroccanoil, and seems to last longer than Moroccanoil. Moroccanoil has a thicker and stickier consistency which at times after a few hours of wear left me feeling that I needed to wash my hair again.

Have you jumped on the bandwagon of hair beauty oils?

...ArA...