Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Style | Another ASOS Floral Dress

Can you tell I have a thing for florals currently? I'm usually a monochrome kind of girl but this summer has me wearing all sorts of prints and patterns. This is yet another dress from ASOS which I bought a couple of months ago. It's so easy to dress up and down though I've mostly been wearing it casually with a denim jacket.

This dress has seen a lot of wear as my wardrobe is still fairly small after my big purge at the beginning of year. I've not been buying that many clothes (like I used to) but to make my (working) life easier I've been pretty much getting most of my new fashion buys from ASOS, so expect a lot more ASOS-related posts in future! When I'm not posting here you can see a lot of what I'm wearing/buying/using here.

Dress, Jacket, Shoes, Watch, Bracelet & Filigree Cross Rings - ASOS | Bag - Boopacks | Choker - Regal Rose | Twin Bar Ring - Rebecca Gladstone

*sample - read my disclaimer here.

What have you been wearing lately?

Lesley x

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Nudestix Magnetic Eye Pencils

I blogged about a few Nudestix pencils I received from Look Fantastic last month here and since Nudestix sent over more from their range including 10 shades from their Magnetic Eye collection. Ideal for oily lids, the Magnetic Eye pencils are stated to provide intense colour and prime the lids for all day wear. It's quite a claim but when I first received these I quickly swatched a few of them (here) and was stunned when the shades wouldn't budge at all when I tried to rub them off with my finger. I haven't worn them all yet, but I have been playing around with a couple of simple eye looks to get a feel for these.

Satin shades - Queen Olive, Twilight, Rustique, Copper Foil, Angel & Gilt

The Magnetic Eye pencils now come in two finishes - satin and matte - with the matte range newly launched across the pond in Sephora this month. Each pencil comes in an individual tin with a built-in mirror and a pencil sharpener. As mentioned in my last review, the brand's whole concept is using makeup to enhance rather than cover up your natural beauty and the crayons are intended to be foolproof - so you don't need to be a makeup pro to use these. I'm trying to experiment more with makeup in general but I always find blending eyeshadow shades tricky. I find powders in particular difficult to work with and I don't have the patience to take my time when applying eyeshadow.

Matte shades - Chocolate, Fig, Army & Taupe

Usually eye pencil products of this type tend to slip and slide around on my oily skin but, like the swatches I made on my arm, these colours don't budge once on my lids. They are so easy to use too. I was a bit dubious at first at whether I'd get the hang of these, but all I've been doing is scribbling the colour onto my lids and blending in with my fingertip or a brush. The result looks like I've put in far more work and the pigmentation of the shades are stunning. All of the colours I have could flatter a wide range of skintones and work great mixed together too. These pencils work as an eyeshadow, eyeliner and lid primer. The satin finishes have a metallic feel to them too so also double as a highlighter. Win.

The Magnetic Eye pencils are available for £24* from a few places in the UK like Look Fantastic, Cult Beauty or Space NK and in the US on the brand's website here (you can get 10% off orders with the code 'FRESHLENGTHS10')

*samples - read my disclaimer here.

Have you tried Nudestix pencils before?

Lesley x

Monday, 22 August 2016

Summer Beauty

This Summer I've been hauling like crazy. I mean really crazy. I actually like having a small makeup collection but working in beauty has given me an excuse to buy excessive amounts of makeup (and it's actively encouraged). It's also made me experiment more as until recently I bought and used mostly MAC makeup. I've now changed almost every item I rely on daily so I thought I'd share some of the products I've been reaching for most this summer.

Bases & Primers 
Priming my skin is now an essential step for me and I've been using Illamasqua's Hydra Veil most*. It's super hydrating which in all honestly I don't totally need (as I have naturally oily skin) but I'm less fussed about having a super matte face recently. I also made the switch to NARS foundation after pretty much only using MAC bases for years. MAC has just been far too pink for my skin recently (even though the same shades used to match perfectly before), which means I constantly have to adjust the tone (see here for how). I'm used to foundations not matching straight out of the bottle so I wasn't expecting much but I'm using the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Barcelona and it's perfect. I also grabbed the radiant creamy concealer in Ginger as so many of you have recommended this concealer to me. I love the texture and have been using it to brighten my under-eye area.

A few months ago I didn't own a single highlighter. I now have 10. It's excessive and unnecessary but I've become obsessed with having glowy-looking skin. My favourites are the Becca Glow on the Go Minis I shared with you back in May (here) and the NARS Illuminator in Super Orgasm (I probably won't get over that name, it literally makes me blush). They're all richly pigmented so you barely need to use any to get beautiful glowy skin. I might actually get another of the NARS Illuminators but in a different tone. I love it but Super Orgasm is a peach/pink shade, so I prefer to use this on my cheeks only whereas the Becca minis look more natural applied anywhere.

Liquid lipstick 
I rarely reach for actual lipsticks anymore and instead liquid or glosses are the products I use most. There's a few brands I've been buying but I have bought more NYX lip colours than any other recently. They're so affordable (well they are until you buy loads at once) and I just love the colour range. I have a few of the Lip Lingerie shades and the Soft Matte Lip Creams but the Intense Butter Glosses are my go-to currently. The wear isn't amazing but the colour pay-off is absolutely gorgeous.

I've changed a lot of other aspects of my makeup routine (like how I do my brows) but I'll save the details for another post.

*sample - read my disclaimer here.

What beauty products have you been using this summer?

Lesley x

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Wash Day with Briogeo & Antidotestreet [Video]

It's been a while since I've made a wash day video so I've gone back to basics and show how I shampoo and condition my curls here. This video is sponsored by antidotestreet.com, an online retailer for black hair and skincare, and they've kindly provided the Briogeo products used in this video.* I've been using the Briogeo Rosarco Reparative Shampoo & Conditioner for the past few weeks and they're great for adding strength back to limp curls. Check out the video to see exactly how I use them.

The Video 

Both Antidotestreet & Briogeo have also provided discount codes if you're interested in trying these for yourself.

UK & Europe
Code: LESLEY15
Discount: 15% off
Excludes Big Hair No Care and Hair Consultations

Discount: 20% off all products
Term: 08/17/2016 - 09/17/2016

*This is a sponsored post - read my disclaimer here.

What's your wash day like?

Lesley x

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Style | ASOS Floral Print Dress

I've been lazier than ever with styling this summer. I like to keep it simple generally but some days have been so humid here I don't feel like wearing much more than a loose dress and trainers. I bought this floral number from ASOS a little while ago. I don't usually like to wear much white (as I can be pretty clumsy with food) but I love the print and I do have a bit of thing for long dresses which cover the scars on my leg nicely.

I used my new compact camera (Canon EOS M3) for these shots and I'm still not crazy about the quality and the lighting is so off but I may just have to get over it to take more outfit pictures on the go. 

Dress & Bracelet - ASOS | Shoes - Lacoste | Bag - Boopacks | Square Ring - Forever 21 | Twin Bar Ring - Rebecca Gladstone* | Watch - Olivia Burton

*sample - read my disclaimer here.

What have you been wearing lately?

Lesley x

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Look Fantastic Beauty Box | Aug 2016

This month Look Fantastic have curated a selection of their favourite British brands for their August beauty box. Most of the brands here I've tried in some capacity before and loved so this box was a winner for me. Inside is Ren Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist (£24/60ml), Renu Lip and Eye Active Lift (£52/25ml), Bloom and Blossom Rejuvenating Facial Spritz (£15/100ml), Percy & Reed Wonder Balm (£18/75ml), Balance Me Congested Skin Serum (£16/15ml), Bee Good Vanilla and Honey Lip Balm (£4.75/10ml).

The stand outs for me are the Bloom and Blossom Facial Spritz and Ren Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist as I've become a little obsessed with face mists lately. They are admittedly a bit gimmicky but the more hydrated my skin is the better it seems to look, so I love that both of these sprays are small and easy to carry for a quick moisture boost on the go. Just close your eyes and spray away - they work over moisturiser and makeup. The Bloom and Blossom spritz is made with Aloe Vera and Lime Oil whereas the REN mist contains ingredients like manganese Amino Acids which aim to protect the skin from harsh environments.

Another favourite is the Bee Good Vanilla & Honey Lip Balm. You all know I love a lip product and this balm smells so good. The ingredients are winners too as it's also made with Beeswax, Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter as well as vanilla and honey. This definitely another handbag hero.

I always slack when it comes to eye creams, I have so many but I always forget to apply them regularly. As someone who never gets enough sleep I could definitely do with having a solid approach to soothing my under eye area to minimise any baggies. The Renu Lip & Eye Active Lift claims to stimulate collagen and firm the thinner skin around the eyes and lips. The full size is pretty pricey so I naturally have big expectations for this sample. Lets see if I can stick to applying this regularly to improve my dark circles.

Percy & Reed is a brand I've used a few times before when my hair was relaxed (straight) a few years ago. I used to apply the wonder balm on damp hair to soften without weighing down my strands before blowdrying and straightening. I'll give this a whirl at some point on my curls but my hair needs a lot of product so this sample is probably more suited to those with (less dense) straight or short hair.

Last but not least is the Balance Me Congested Skin Serum which aims to zap away spots with natural antibacterial ingredients like aloe vera and lemon. The ingredients list is pretty impressive so I'm pinning high hopes on this product to calm my spot-prone skin. If it works I'll definitely be grabbing the full size.

You can get this edition from Look Fantastic here 

*samples - read my disclaimer here.

Have you tried a beauty box before?

Lesley x

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Hair Update | August 2016 [Video]

It's been a while since I sat down for a quick chat on my YouTube channel so I filmed a hair update recently. A lot of you who follow me on Instagram (here) know I've been fully natural since May so this video is really for those who wanted to know what was going on with my hair and whether I was still relaxed/texlaxed. My journey to natural has definitely hasn't been a straight road, there's been a few zigs and zags in there (no pun intended) but I can honestly say I feel a lot happier with my hair now. It feels so freeing not having to worry about the hair growing out of my scalp not matching the lengths! Odd I know but when you've had chemically-treated hair for most of your life it's quite novel accepting (and enjoying) what comes naturally.

The Video

As ever if you have any questions let me know in the comments.

What have you been doing with your hair lately?

Lesley x