Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick in Hot Pepper.


My mummy bought me a little gift in Boots a couple of weeks ago... and this gift was something I'd been eager to try for a little while now.

They've been out for some time, but the hype surrounding the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick is showing no signs of going anywhere, with every beauty blogger from here to Timbuktu raving about them.

Having browsed the lipsticks on many an occasion the last few months, I have to say I was slightly disappointed with the initial shade range, which is part of the reason I held off purchasing... whilst it's probably pretty extensive for Caucasian skin-tones, the nudes and pinks just weren't very appropriate for mine. And just as it happens, the one shade that tickled my fancy, Hot Pepper, was constantly sold out at my local Boots.

I'd like to mention that I'm not really a 'true red' kinda gal when it comes to my lipstick, and always opt for corals and berry-toned shades over reds, as I feel they're a little more flattering against my skin colour... and it goes without saying that Hot Pepper is most definitely a true red. Sometimes I really do surprise myself.

Anyway, I eventually managed to get my hands on the aforementioned shade... so what do I think?

The lipstick itself is a liquid formula, which dries to a matte (don't be misled by the 'velvet' in the product title) finish. Having dabbled in matte lipsticks before, I've been sorely disappointed at the inability to layer coats of lipstick over each other, but no such problem with these. Even with 3 to 4 coats of the Rouge Edition there was no awkward matte flakiness to contend with. The doe-foot applicator is good, and allows quick and easy application, and the slightly pointed end means you can be a little neater when it the edges of your lips. Colour pay off is good, but I always find I need a couple more coats of lipstick than most people due to my lips being quite pigmented.

I have to say I quite disliked the feeling of these on my lips... especially as I wasn't expecting the matte texture. It's bearable, but the powdery sensation took a little getting used to, and I'm not sure I was all too used to it even by the time I took the lipstick off.

The formula is something wonderful though, as it is totally budgeproof. I wore it for the pictures above, then kept it on for around 3 hours (it still looked freshly applied!) before wiping it off to go to out, and was met with, "Ambika... maybe you should wipe that red lipstick off before we go out." by my mother (we were going to the supermarket... in the daytime. Hardly a red lipstick appropriate environment). These things definitely leave a hefty stain, and I'd imagine the colour probably lasts a couple hours longer before you'd consider touching your lips up.

As I said, I'm not really a red lipstick kinda gal so I probably won't be wearing this product all too often, but will save it for the odd occasion when I fancy changing things up. I've seen there's now a berry-toned shade available (Grand Cru), which I'd be keen to get my hands on, especially as the formula is so long-lasting making it great for an evening out... I think I'm going to have to man up and get used to that slightly odd sensation on my lips, particularly as it would only feel even more odd after a couple of G&Ts...

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipsticks are priced at £8.99 each, and are available at Boots.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

#whatnormalfeelslike.

As you may already know, I'm a medical student, and happen to have a special interest in women's health... so when I was contacted by CoppaFeel! to promote their brilliant new campaign, I jumped at the chance.

For those of you who aren't familiar with CoppaFeel!, it is a wonderful charity whose aim is to get girls to learn to check their breasts regularly...  the ultimate target being the eradication of late detection and misdiagnosis of breast cancer. CoppaFeel! want us to know more about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and for us to get to know exactly how our breasts should feel and look, and to remind ourselves that we shouldn't be embarrassed going to the doctor to get ourselves checked if we feel something's not quite right.

Studying Medicine has made me realise that we are a nation of people that seem to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to their health, and when it comes to ladies and their breasts, the head-burying may simply be down to not feeling confident enough to say to a doctor... "There's something up with my boobs." In the UK, 5% of breast cancer cases are detected in the later stages of disease, and breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in women under 30, with 181 new cases and 12 deaths each year. CoppaFeel! are striving for a country where no one dies of breast cancer due to late detection or misdiagnosis.


In short, ladies: we need to get to know our boobs... and not just in terms of size.

Society has totally sexualised boobs, and as a result, us girls seem to have become rather focused on how big/small ours are - CoppaFeel! want us to start thinking beyond size and get to grips with what our boobs actually feel like... enter their brand new campaign #whatnormalfeelslike. Here are a couple of examples from Ella Eyre, Foxes, Jorgie Porter and Jess Glynne
 

To celebrate the launch of #whatnormalfeelslike, CoppaFeel! are running a 4 day pop-up event from 18 - 21 September at 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL in association with beauty brand 'I Love...'. There's even an exhibition by world-renowned photographer Paul Rankin showcasing original imagery from the campaign, which features bare-chested women body-painted with the word that best describes their breasts to them.

You'll even be able to get in on the action and create your own campaign-style shot for yourself... and if you dare to bare, you'll walk away with an I Love... filled goodie bag. There'll also be a chance to get yourself primped to perfection, with WAH Nails and Barry M on hand on Thursday and Friday to get your nails looking tip-top, and Paul Mitchell and Vintage Hair stylist around on Saturday and Sunday to help you create gorgeous up-dos.

Even if you can't make this great event, please just get checking your boobs. There are no excuses because it will take you all of 5 minutes... and who doesn't have 5 minutes to give?! You don't have to do it everyday, but make sure you get checking a couple of times in the month (your breasts and how they feel can sometimes change depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle). It's easiest to do when you're having a shower or bath, and if you'd like more information on how to do it, click here.


Remember that once you get familiar with what normal feels like, you're more likely to detect when there's been a change, meaning you can get yourself to your GP quickly... I've checked mine (for the record, I'm going with squishy) so get checkin' yours, stat.

For more information about the #whatnormalfeelslike campaign, click here.
 
All images from CoppaFeel! (except the last one, that's all me!)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.


Last week, after finding 3 hairpins that I'd put into a fishtail plait one week earlier embedded in my hair (and yes, before you ask... I had washed it in those 7 days!), I decided enough was enough... it was time to lose the Rapunzel locks.

I booked an appointment at my salon, and off they came... and despite the protestations, gasps and sighs of the woman watching me get my hair cut (to her I say: you ain't the one washing and styling it all, love) I couldn't be happier with the finished result.

The cut is mid-length, with subtle long layers added for extra bounce, and was inspired by my current beauty crush, Jenna Coleman. I've got rid of the ombré I had done last year by using Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color in 4.15, Iced Coffee; a warm, chestnut-chocolate hued dye... the conditioner in this is dreamy... hello shiny shampoo advert hair.

I know loads of you will be horrified I've hacked all my hair off, but using three hair elastics for a simple ponytail was getting rather annoying (#longhairproblems)... and combined with the twice-daily wrestle with a Tangle Teezer, the endless time it took to style and, finally, the loss of countless hairpins over the last few years, it was time to say sayonara. 

My hair grows at an alarmingly speedy rate, so I just figured I'd go for the chop... and if I hated it, at least it would be back, fast. But I don't hate it... I love it, so no problemo.

Now excuse me whilst I go and find a swivel-ly desk chair to sit in whilst swishing my hair about... that's what they do in the adverts, right?

Friday, 29 August 2014

Human + Kind Wash Off Facial Cleanser,


After months of using a rather stripping cleanser which kinda reminded me of Fairy Liquid (FYI, it was the Eucerin Purifying Cleanser*, and I recommend you steer clear of it), I was on the market for something a little more gentle.

I've been using the Human + Kind Wash Off Facial Cleanser* for the last few weeks... and it's been something of a welcome change for my poor complexion.

Human + Kind is a beauty range which uses natural ingredients, does not use animal-testing methods and is suitable for sensitive skins.

The Wash Off Facial Cleanser has a luxurious, creamy formula enriched with soothing aloe vera, cocoa seed butter, rosehip seed and marigold oils... all of which are wonderful for the skin.

Whilst the cleanser says it can take off makeup, I haven't really found that as I wear a fair bit. I think it's much better as an AM cleanser, with heavy duty makeup removal (waterproof mascara and the works) left to a good ol' balm.

The product has some rather chic packaging and comes with a deep-cleansing cloth... I have to be honest and say I wasn't too taken with this... instead, I massage a small amount of product into my wet skin, and remove it with a flannel, rather than the cloth supplied in the box. For gel cleanser addicts, it doesn't form the most satisfying of lathers, but I guess that's probably down to the stripped-back ingredients list... and to be frank, it doesn't need to lather, as it does its job perfectly well. When I use the cleanser first thing in the morning, it leaves my complexion feeling really clean, without feeling stripped (as most wash-off cleansers seem to do)... I actually think it leaves my skin looking soft, plump and nourished! I've found it really gentle but effective at healing breakouts (both old and active ones) without aggravating them.

It's been formulated to suit all skin types, and I can vouch for it working a treat for a combination skin type, like mine.

I love this company's ethos of using natural ingredients as far as possible... and being a very proud bunny mama, I'm really pleased to be using a quality product which hasn't been tested on any of my little ones' furry friends :-)

Human + Kind Wash Off Facial Cleanser is priced at £14.95, and available at Big Green Smile. 
  
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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

I'm Not One to Kiss and Tell...


... well, not normally anyway.

Cheeky have just launched their new Kiss and Tell Lip and Cheek Tints, and I'm sorta obsessed with them.

At the moment, there's 2 shades for you to have a play with: Bed of Roses (a bright rose pink), and Flare Play* which I've been testing out this week.

It might not look so tempting in the pan (hello scary bright red), but I pinky promise that it actually comes out as a gorgeous peachy-coral shade, and can be used on both the cheeks and the lips as I did, above... us girls just love a multi-tasker.

The product is housed in some pretty cool, kitsch packaging, and the tint itself is enriched with beeswax, Carnauba wax and Castor oil, all of which act to hydrate the skin and leave a healthy, dewy finish to the cheeks. The tint can be a little drying on the lips, but it's nothing a little lip balm lovin' can't solve.

You can apply this with your fingers, but I've taken to using the Real Techniques Stippling Brush with it, taking off excess product on the back of my hand before lightly stippling onto the cheeks. The product blends beautifully, and leaving a gorgeous, glowy finish. I've found some cream blushes to be seriously difficult to work with as soon as they're on the skin, but the tint doesn't set too quickly, leaving plenty of time to blend it out... or in my case, slap on even more.

The Tints aren't available online quite yet, but keep your wits about as they'll be going live soon... but if you're London-based, you can pick up them up at the Cheeky Parlour in Shoreditch....  I might just have to make a little trip to London to get my hands on the other shade.

Cheeky Kiss and Tell Lip and Cheek Tints are priced at £10.00 each, and will be available at www.urcheeky.com very soon.

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