How gorgeous did Wolf of Wall Street actress Margot Robbie look at this year's Academy Awards? I loved her dark lips and have been looking for the perfect shade to recreate her look ever since. Finally, I have found it - Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain in Violet Edition. With the texture and shine of a gloss but also the longlasting power of a stain, this product is my new go-to for luscious lips.


Golden Globes

It's that time of year again... the Awards season is here! And what better way to spend a Monday morning than looking through the photos from last nights Golden Globes. Whilst some celebs did get it wrong (ahem Julia Roberts I'm looking at you), most did very well in the style stakes and choosing my favourite look of the night wasn't easy.

My best dressed celeb of the night has to be Emma Watson, who looked absolutely stunning in Dior Couture. What looked like a glamorous red dress from the front, turned out to be a far more unique get-up when Emma revealed she was wearing black cigarette pants underneath. Teamed with an understated low bun and a statement pink lip, Emma looked as beautiful and elegant as ever.

A close second for best dressed has to be Caitlin Fitzgerald in Emilia Wickstead. I love, love, love this cornflour blue shade, plus the high neck and voluptuous wavy hemline are the ultimate in elegant seductiveness. It's not a look everyone can pull off but Caitlin sure wears it well!


The Lowdown on Micellar Waters

Micellar waters may be new to the UK, but they have been a firm favourite with the French for many, many years with good reason. These clever waters are essentially an alternative cleanser that remove dirt, makeup and impurities as quickly and easily as a cleansing wipe but with the added benefit of microscopic oil spheres that cleanse without stripping skin. Suitable for even the most sensitive of skin, micellar waters are gentle cleansers that leave skin softer and hydrated. I've tried and tested as many as possible to bring you this edit of the best micellar waters so that you can decide which is most suitable for you.

La Roche Posay Physiological Micellar Solution
Out of all the micellar waters I tried, this was definitely my favourite. Rich in selenium - an antioxidant known for it's anti-irritating properties - as well as being soap, paraben, alcohol and paraben free, this is the perfect option for those with sensitive skin like me. My skin felt really clean and refreshed afterwards, minus any dryness or irritation.

NUXE Micellar Cleansing Water
This alcohol free cleansing water left my skin the smoothest and didn't dry it out at all. It's also got a great rose scent that isn't too strong or overwhelming. What's great about this micellar water is that it comes in a pump bottle - something that's really useful for avoiding spillages!

Eau Thermale Avene
Another great option for sensitive skin, this paraben and preservative free micellar water (which was created with sensitive skin types in mind) cleansed and hydrated my skin without causing any irritation. This was also the gentlest on my eyes and removed more mascara than most, although micellar lotions in general aren't the best for removing stubborn eye makeup.

L'Oreal Micellar Solution
Hypo-allergenic and alcohol free, L'Oreal's micellar solution was really good at removing my makeup. If you tend to suffer from breakouts then this is the one for you as none of its ingredients aggrevate acne. I got through this bottle a lot quicker than the others, but it is a lot cheaper to buy so it's not too much of an issue. Just stock up now while it's still on offer.

REN Skincare 3 in 1 Cleansing Water
My second favourite of the bunch, REN's micellar water worked a treat on my sensitive skin, but it was just a little more drying than La Roche Posay's offering. That said, it wasn't actually drying at all, it left my skin looking and feeling great and was one of the best for removing my makeup.


It's time to get cheeky!

Cheeky parlour on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch (Cowshed's naughty little sister) is officially my new favourite place. Nail and hair treatments at affordable prices, scrumptious food & drink and a selfie studio to photograph your new hair and nails, you can't really ask for anymore from this East London beauty parlour.

Treat your nails or your hair (or both!) to a cheeky manicure or a cheeky blowdry with no need to even book an appointment. Simply walk in, grab a numbered ticket and wait your turn instead. And while you wait (which FYI is not for very long in my experience) you can grab a drink and some food to enjoy. Homecooked, vintage-style food and drink, I was in my element here. I tried (and loved) the crumb-top macaroni cheese and cherry B with lemonade, which is a drink everyone needs to try!

On my visit to the Cheeky parlour I was treated to a cheeky manicure (pic below). With a range of nail art designs on offer, including Christmas puds, snowflakes and reindeer, it was difficult to choose what look to go for, but I eventually decided to try a black matte and shiny gold triangle design. What's great about getting a manicure at the Cheeky parlous is that each manicure uses a brand new pot of polish and it's yours to take home at no extra cost, bonus!

Cheeky's collection of 21 nail paints and 14 freshly scented products that range across bodycare, haircare and cosmetics are as fun as the parlour itself. Who couldn't resist a matte topcoat nail polish called 'Matt Demon'?! The delicious smelling Dare to Bare body balm - a pink, non-greasy body moisturiser that has a fantastic putty-like texture and absorbs into skin quickly and easily - is one of my favourite Cheeky products, as is the Pump it Up hair plumping powder. A little shake of this lightweight volumising powder on roots will give you an instant lift without overloading hair.

Find out more about Cheeky Parlour here


How to Contour and Highlight

Good news ladies, cheating supermodel cheekbones isn't as difficult as you may think!

As celebrities like Kim Kardashian prove, the difference a little contouring and highlighting can make to your face is incredible. With just a little bronzer and highlighter, you can say hello to the appearance of a slimmer face and more defined bone structure in minutes, it really is that easy.

Step 1 - Apply your regular foundation as usual. Be careful not to just cover your entire face in a thick layer of foundation though as this doesn't look natural. Instead, apply foundation on the areas that need it most only.

Step 2 - Swirl an angled brush like MAC's 168 brush in a bronzing powder like Bourjois' Delice de Poudre and then pat it gently onto the back of your hand to remove any excess. 

Step 3 - The best way to apply bronzer is in a '3' shape. Starting at the middle of the top of your forehead, sweep the bronzer along your hairline down towards your temple. Suck your cheeks in to find the hollow of your cheek and then continue to sweep along the underside of your cheekbone and then back towards your ear.

Step 4 - Continue to create the '3' shape by then sweeping the bronzer around and under the jawline. If you want to add bronzer to your neck also, then use a Kabuki brush to cover your whole neck, remembering to cover the sides and right up to the ears also.

Step 5 - Grab a cream highlighter like Topshop Glow Highlighter and a Illamasqua's highlighter brush and apply in a 'C' shape, starting at the middle of your forehead and sweeping around to your temple and then around the outline of your eye and along your cheekbone. Be careful not to apply too much concealer as this is supposed to give a healthy dewy glow and not an alien-like sheen!

Step 6 - Go over the hollows of your cheeks with a little more bronzer, just to emphasise your cheekbones. Again, just be careful not to go OTT.

Step 7 - If you've got fairly red skin like me, then you can skip this step if you want. For everyone else, smile to find the apple of your cheeks and apply a little blusher like Nars Blush in Orgasm (this is a cult product for a reason) with a good blush brush like Real Techniques Blush Brush in 1407.

Et voila!

I hope those steps don't sound too complicated. If you give it a try you'll realise just how easy it actually is. Do let me know if you give it a try, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Your contour + highlight toolkit:

  • Your regular foundation
  • MAC's 168 brush
  • Bourjois Delice de Poudre
  • M&S Limited Collection Kabuki brush
  • Topshop Glow Highlighter
  • Illamasqua's highlighter brush
  • Nars Blush in Orgasm
  • Real Techniques Blush Brush in 1407


White chocolate marshmallow topped brownies

It is my friend Tarjan's 21st birthday tomorrow and so I thought I'd release my inner Nigella for the evening and bake him something special - brownies topped with white chocolate and mini marshmallows! They're super easy to make and extra scrumptious to eat. If you fancy giving them a go then here's how:

Buy your ingredients
- Betty Crocker Brownie Mix
- Milkybar buttons
- Mini marshmallows
- Vegetable Oil
- An egg

Empty the brownie mix, oil, egg and water into a mixing bowl (look at box for amounts) and mix together.

Pour the mix into a suitably sized dish (approx 27" by 13") and pop into the oven for 25 minutes

Once the brownies are out of the oven, leave to one side to cool. Grab the milkybar buttons, pour into a bowl and heat in the microwave for a couple of minutes until melted. Then pour the melted chocolate over the top of the brownies, scatter the mini marshmallows over also and then leave to cool.

And this is what it should look like:

Enjoy! Let me know if you decide to give it a go!


Dr Lipp Nipple Balm for Lips

Dr Lipp nipple balm (yes nipple) for lips is my latest beauty discovery that I just had to share with you all. It's an ultra-moisturising balm that was originally created for breastfeeding mothers (hence the name), but that can be used on lips also, or any other rough skin areas.
What makes Dr Lipp so darn moisturising - it's actually proven to "reduce skin roughness by up to 40% in one hour" - is that the oils and waxes in key ingredient Lanolin (an oil with moisturising properties) are very similar to the natural oils found in our epidermis (outermost layer of the skin), meaning they are more easily accepted and absorbed by the skin. 
Lanolin cleverly repairs the skin's natural barrier, helping prevent moisture from leaving the skin, whilst also protecting it against the environment, which is particularly important in these harsh winter months.

I've been using this balm for just over a week now and I am completely in love with it. At this time of year, it's easy for my lips to become chapped and dry, and when they do it normally takes a couple of days with my standard lip balm to get them back in good condition. But with Dr Lipp, I noticed a massive improvement in just one use!

The texture is quite waxy and thick so you only need apply a tiny bit to coat both lips. It's clear, tasteless, odourless too so that it not only nourishes lips but also leaves a glossy finish too. Plus it's great for other dry areas. I'd recommend using it on cuticles and elbows - it works a treat.

Have you tried Dr Lipp yet? If so, let me know what you think of it!

Case of the blues?

Clockwise from left: Bag - Givenchy, Nail Polish - Butter London, Clutch - Warehouse, Dress - Topshop, Corset - Topshop, Slip Dress - Topshop, Eyeliner - Nars
Is it just me, or does this cold, dreary weather seem to make everyone feel the need to dress in equally dark and miserable clothing? Yes black is flattering, but it can also be really boring, so why not mix things up a little this season and try wearing navy blue instead. Navy is super easy to wear, plus it's just as slimming as black, but is a little more fun at least. Above are some of my favourite navy clothes and accessories out now. 
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