Red Carpet Round-up: Met Gala 2018

By Elle.

I haven’t done one of these posts for aaages because red carpet attire of late has been dull AF. If I don’t feel an immediate urge to type out my feelings, then I refuse to pull proverbial teeth over crap outfits. Surely the Met Gala won’t let me down…?

Each look is scored out of 10 on a) strength of urge to type out my feelings b) embodiment of the theme; Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and Catholic Imagination. Dreamy.

Rihanna
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My Rihanna obsession means she could wear anything and I’d offer my undying approval, but this really is good. If I was being super-picky, I’d say that I expected more from her beauty look given the noise her Fenty range is making RN. And the shoes need to be more dramatic – this is where a pair of Alexander McQueen hoof platforms would’ve been perfection.

Riri scores a) 8 and b) 9.

Janelle Monae
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Now, this is a lewk. It embodies the theme while staying true to her own personal style – and manages to look stunning to boot. Her skin is utter perfection.

Score: a) 8 b) 8.

Kim
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Kim’s efforts last year were woefully disappointing so this is a much welcomed return to form. Let’s face it, she’s never gonna go all-out conceptual couture, so although this could be a little more exciting, she looks banging, and true to brand.
Score: a) 8 and b) 6.

JLo
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The styling is what makes this look. The dress is beautiful but pretty obvious really, so the hair and makeup upgrades it and gives it that trademark JLo slick & sexy look. As do the shoes, which Rihanna should take note on.
Score: a) 8 and b) 8.

Cardi B

Embed from Getty ImagesThis look screams bow down, bitches. For her first Met Gala experience, Cardi went all out, hooked up with a designer who’s perfectly matched with her ethos, and even nailed dressing a baby bump to boot. Time to sack off Fashionova, Hun.

Score: a) 9 and b) 9.

Diane Kruger

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Diane’s appearance seemed to almost go unnoticed – I only spotted her once I was about 657 outfits deep, but I’m delighted I did. This is so pretty and so effortless. She rarely disappoints me. Except for when she broke up with Pacey.

Score: a) 7 b) 5.

Olivia Munn

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I think this might be my favourite…which is unexpected as I can’t say Olivia is usual on my fashion radar. I’m not even wild about the dress as a standalone piece but combined with the hair, make-up and headpiece, I’m finding it quite breathtaking. She looks ethereal.

The Letdowns…

No tea, no shade, but….
Amal
Wtf Amal, seriously. You’ve let us all down, but worst of all you’ve let yourself down. Luckily you’re still clever and pretty.
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George knows.

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Kylie

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I wish she’d just relax and be herself. She’s turning into a Kim caricature – she should’ve gone for something far younger and fresher. Maybe Kim vetoes anything nice.

Who was your fave when you debated with your colleagues over the Daily Mail this morning? Do share.

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The £5 Moisturiser That Saved My Skin

By Elle.

All hail the French Pharmacy Skincare Gods…

Last week, two days before a business trip, my face decided to go uncharacteristically mental. Not long after washing it in the evening, my skin started to feel hot, itchy and tight, and erupted into loads of small red spots. Make-up managed to hide it the next day at work, but I was so uncomfortable and at a loss as to what had caused it (more on that later).

After much googling, I decided to take a punt on La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5. Reviews were overwhelmingly positive, and there was nothing in the ingredients that made me worry about making the problem worse. After cleansing that night, I hopefully applied it, and felt instant relief. When I woke up the next day, the spots and redness were hugely reduced. I used the cream again under my makeup that day (it was actually a great base for my dry skin) and reapplied at night. By day 2, my skin was back to its best. My boyfriend has quite problematic skin that flares up easily and he’s now a convert too.

I think the key to its magic is the combination of antibacterial and soothing ingredients – it doesn’t worsen spots/infection by being too rich, but still eases dry skin. You don’t need a lot either, so value for money really is excellent. If you suffer from any kind of skin irritation – from acne to rosacea – you need this on standby. It’s usually cheaper online, but is in Boots too for instant skin-emergency availability.

As it turns out, I’m pretty sure the cause of my flare-up was a new cleanser. One that pretended it was all gentle and kind with its pink packaging and PETAL ON THE FRONT…Anyway, I’ll reserve my rage for a full post about my new skincare routine to follow soon…

 

The Beauty Basics You Need To Own

By Emilie.

Five products you need to have in your beauty drawer right now.

1) Johnson and Johnson Face Care Make Up Be Gone Pampering Wipes

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OK, so they might not be the first choice in skin care regimes – sorry, Beauty Eds –  but in terms of sheer convenience, you can’t beat a make-up wipe. As a regular wearer of a pretty decent amount of make-up, we’ll say this: lots of them are sh*t. They feel like scraping a dry towel over your face and have quite possibly contributed to at least six extra fine lines around my eyes. These ones, on the other hand, are juicy, skin-quenching cloths of nectar that never seem to dry up.

2) Mitchum Anti-Perspirant

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It doesn’t exactly scream glamour, but it sure as hell does the job. This guy has saved us from many, many emergencies. Y’know, like when the air con is broken and you’re in a boiling hot meeting with only some man-made fibres between you and the professional suicide of HAVING A PERSONAL ODOUR ISSUE AT WORK. That one.

3) Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara

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Trouble finding the perfect mascara? Well, for us, it has to be this one. It’s not too wet, it builds up individual lashes nicely without clumping, and doesn’t migrate onto your cheeks half way through the day. Hey, it’s a classic for a reason.

4) Estee Lauder Double Wear

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It’s tricky to find a good foundation. We’ve fallen for a whole lot of bad ones in our time; glide-on sticks, mousses, wet and dry, and a whole of other gimmicky nonsense. No more. We have learned, grown, and now settled on The One; Estee Lauder’s Double Wear. It gives great coverage, lasts all day, and DOES NOT MOVE.

5) Aussie Three Minute Miracle

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We’re not prone to believing what hair products tell us. We were purveyors of Sun In once upon a time so, y’know, we’re probably lucky to actually have hair left. But anyway, this deep conditioning treatment is different. It says exactly what it does on the bottle, and then it does it. Just like that. It is indeed a miracle!

Do you agree with our picks? Let us know in the comments section!

 

Beauty review: Charlotte Tilbury Look in a Palette

By Elle.

Charlotte Tilbury could sell me anything. “Darrrling, you need this! Everbody needs a JML light-up handy hoover! It will make you look like a sex goddess from mars!” SOLD.

I’d be umming and aahing over what to buy from CT for ages, when a friend gave me a birthday gift voucher for charlottetilbury.com – I could finally justify the price and dive in. After an eternity of lipstick swatch analysis, I went for a lipstick in Red Carpet Red. Annoyingly, the website fucked up and didn’t take the voucher off my total. Customer services were helpful and reallocated the amount to my online balance, but it left me with the same amount to spend again! Which turned out to be a beauty blessing as I didn’t like the lipstick. I’ve given it to Riley, so jury’s out to see if she liked it better.

And so to the actual point of this review – second time round, I put the money towards the Instant Look in a Palette in Beauty Glow, £49.00.

I’d forever been looking for a palette that housed everything I’d need for a work trip or holiday without having to take separate bronzers, blush, eyeshadow, etc., and this seemed ideal. There are a few shade options, but this was my favourite – bronzey, glowy goodness.

My initial impressions weren’t great – the compact was lovely and had a good mirror, but when I swatched the shades, I could barely see them!

This was done with a brush, and gone over several times. Ouch. I think we’ve all become a bit obsessed with pigmentation, and it doesn’t always equal quality or endurance, but this seemed really poor show for a £50 product.

Luckily, when I tried the whole palette on my actual face this morning, all was forgiven. The eyeshadows applied beautifully, with the ‘smoke’ shade in particular being really lovely. The ‘swish’ blusher shade is too dark for my skin tone, so I used it on my eyes instead – it’s actually much more useful that way anyway. I feel one blusher is enough – especially as the pink one is excellent and super-flattering. At first I felt the bronzer and highlighter weren’t strong enough. It was only when I’d finished my whole face and stood in a decent light to see it altogether that I saw how good the palette was – everything just worked so well together; I looked glowy and fresh, and my eyes look bright. It was a properly cohesive look – just as Charlotte markets her products, and it totally works.

The eyeshadows really complemented my brown eyes, but I think they’d do the same to any eye colour. I’m a little more reluctant to say the same for all skin tones. While the dark blusher that didn’t work on me would look amazing on medium to dark toned skin, I think the bronzer would be redundant. This is definitely a product that’s best tried in-store first.

All-in-all, I would recommend the palette, and think I’ll be investing in the full-size Filmstar Bronze and Glow for sure.

 

 

 

Review: The Ordinary Skincare – Worth the Hype?

By Elle.

I own far too many bottles and jars of disappointing half-used skincare products, so I waited a good few months before finally caving and buying some The Ordinary products. Another reason it took me so long was the rather overwhelming choice. While refreshing to have ingredients broken down properly for once, and simple does-what-it-says-on-the-tin names, it did make me spend ages trying to work out exactly what would be best for me.

My first port of call was Stephanie Nicole’s excellent in-depth video – find it here. Every time she described a product that suited my skin, I screengrabbed a pic. The Ordinary’s website also explains things pretty well – especially when it comes to what order to apply the products in.

My skin is dry and dehydrated but otherwise ok, bar the odd spot. Although recently I keep getting weird blocked pores on my nose, which I inevitably go Dr Pimple Popper on and end up with red marks.

The three products I ended up with are Glycolic Acid Toning Solution (£6.80), Buffet (£12.70) and Rosehip Seed Oil (£9). I ordered them online from victoriahealth.com because the glycolic toner was out of stock everywhere else. Service and delivery was great, so I’d definitely recommend.

On to the reviews…

Glycolic Acid Toning Solution, 240ml, £6.80

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Feted as a cheaper alternative to the much-raved-about Pixi Glow Tonic (£18 for 250ml), this is the product I was most excited about trying. I’m using it nightly after cleansing with Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil – you just squeeze a little on to a cotton pad and wipe over your face, avoiding the eye area. I concentrate it on my T-zone, where I suffer most from dry skin and blocked pores. One little skoosh is enough for my whole face, so I’m hoping this bottle will last a while. The sting factor wasn’t as much as I was expecting – very mild in fact, but I don’t have sensitive skin. Straight away, my skin felt super-clean and soft.

Buffet, 30ml, £12.70 

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This isn’t their cheapest product, but is billed as a great all-rounder, which appealed to me over trying to decide which vitamin C product to go for. It’s basically an anti-ageing serum. I apply this after using the glycolic toner. Again, I am impressed with how little you need – a 5p piece is enough for my whole face, and it sinks in beautifully. My skin immediately felt hydrated.

100% Organic Cold-pressed Rosehip Seed Oil, 30ml, £9

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The Ordinary’s argan oil comes in at £5.90, considerably cheaper, but I opted for the rosehip due to its supposed benefits — hydration, evening skintone, and reducing spot scars and fine lines. Also, I’ve used the Trilogy Rosehip Oil (£19.50 for 20ml) in the past and my skin loved it. I apply a 5p piece to my whole face after Buffet. If you’re a bit scared of oils, don’t be — this one in particular absorbs really well, and I tend to see positive results within one use. Skin feels plumper and brighter in the morning.

UPDATE: After 1 week of following the above routine…

In the first few days, my skin looked the same. I’m impatient. I like instant results. But I continued, every night without fail, to follow the full routine… and it was completely worth it. The clogged pores on my nose have gone and my skin is even and clear. It looks fresher, brighter and, well – just better. It feels less dehydrated too and makeup is applying nicely.

So, I’m sticking to my new new routine – the products seem to be lasting well, so I’ll update this post again when they run out.

TLDR: Great products, excellent prices, results within a week – I’m impressed. 8/10.

5 Beauty Products You’ll Definitely Re-purchase

By Elle.

I’m a beauty product junkie. There’s nothing like dropping £40 on an eye palette you’ll never use because an Instagrammer did a really nice lime green cut-crease with it. But as much as I love the thrill of a new find, recently I’ve noticed there are several products I’m buying religiously again and again because THEY WORK.

  1. Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil, £3.39 (full price £6.99)

simple

Since I started using this, I’ve never strayed from it. You hardly need any – just rub a little over your dry face – on top of makeup, even eyes – then remove with a warm flannel. You can repeat if needed or follow up with a micellar water if you like. It gets absolutely everything off, leaves no irritation whatsoever and doesn’t strip my dry skin. It’s pretty much permanently on offer in Superdrug or Boots so I usually buy a couple at a time. It’s  a mere £3.39 HERE right now.

2. Fleur De Force by Eylure Fleur Loves Lashes, £5.45

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I have tiny eyes which are easily overwhelmed by false lashes – too long and heavy, and I just look comical. These 3/4 length ones are PERFECT. They’re easier to apply and I never get that annoying bit on the inside pinging up, because they stop before they get to that point. They also make my eyes look bigger and emphasise their almond shape. Huge props to Fleur for creating these as I could never find anything like them before. I have given up trying any other false lashes – that’s how good they are.

3. NYX Micro Brow Pencil, £8.00

nyx

Best eyebrow product out there, hands down. I love that it’s super-skinny so you can pencil on fine hairs and fill in small gaps. The spooly on the end is also the perfect size. The only negative thing I will say is that I tend to go through these pretty quickly, and £8.00 therefore seems a little pricey. I’ve tested out numerous cheaper options but until I find one half as good as this, I’ll be sticking to it.

4. Mitchum Anti-perspirant & Deodorant in Powder Fresh, £2.00 (full price £2.89)

mitchum

May as well keep it real, eh? It’s taken me actual years to find a deodorant that properly works all day and night, that smells nice and is cheap. This is it. My boyfriend steals it constantly which is further proof of its efficacy.

5. Essie Gel Couture Nail Colour, £9.99

essie

I’ve properly fucked my nails with years of extensions and gel manicures, so have had to resign myself to a few months of rehab. I just can’t have bare nails, but normal polish chips within actual minutes on me, so I went on the hunt to find a long-lasting gel effect polish that didn’t use LED to cure. After reading lots of good reviews, I gave this a go and love it. You apply two coats of colour, followed by the top coat (you have to buy this separately, so your initial outlay is £20). It dries pretty quickly and genuinely looks like a gel mani. I get about a week’s wear before little chips set in, which is really impressive. It’s not the cheapest, but is usually on offer. If you get it HERE, it’s on buy one get one half price.

What To Buy In The Zara Sale

By Elle.

Warning: do not be lured into an actual Zara store during sale season. Walk right past those big red signs in the windows and spend your lunch hour doing something less soul-destroying; like adding up the calories in your Boots meal deal. Earlier this week I did not heed my own advice and ended up in what I can only describe as something akin to the pits of hell.

The air conditioning was broken. So they’d hired portable units which were inexplicably pumping out HOT AIR. The queue was so long it merged with the one for the fitting rooms. There was shit everywhere, and yet about three nonchalant sales assistants manning the entire store.

So, do yourself a favour and buy yourself something nice online. Here’s what I’m eyeing up:

BIKER JACKET WITH STARS AND STUDS

jacket 39.99

£39.99 (was £59.99)

Every wardrobe needs a black biker jacket. Mine already has one. But this is, like, cooler. It’d look so good with a little going-out dress and ankle boots.

DRESS WITH FRILLED SLEEVES

dress 19.99

£19.99 (was £29.99)

I’ve gone a bit mental for frilled sleeves recently. They’re strangely flattering — perhaps because they skew your proportions and make everything else look smaller? For twenty quid, this little beaut will do nicely for work, or after-work drinks.

LEOPARD PRINT SKIRT

skirt

£12.99 (was £19.99)

I’m addicted to leopard print skirts. I have four and this one is destined to be my fifth. I need it to wear with the biker jacket anyway.

STRIPED SWEATER

jumper

£15.99 (was £25.99)

Here I go with my flouncy sleeves again, but this little knit is the perfect weekend staple – throw on with black skinny jeans and Gazelles and pretend you’re a Parisian blogger.

Annoyingly, a few of the things I’d seen in-store have sold out online, so I might just have brave another visit after all…