All posts tagged: beauty

Easy summer gifts: Holiday beauty

Holidays!!! If you don’t get excited by the prospect of spending some quality time on the beach (or whatever it is that you love doing during breaks!), you must be either a workaholic, or already living on an idyllic island somewhere in the Caribbean 🙂 I like giving holiday-inspired gifts. It’s a great theme to follow for all sorts of occasions, from birthdays to ‘thank you’ presents and even weddings (I once made a beauty hamper for a bride before the honeymoon…let’s just say she was very grateful, as with all of the wedding prep, she didn’t have time to pack properly). This one was a “Hi, haven’t seen you for ages!” type of gift, as one of my dearest friends has been working abroad for a while. She is shortly going for a well-deserved week off somewhere in Spain, so I’ve given her a few things to make holiday grooming a bit more fun. As you may know, I’m a huge fan of Tangle Teezer, and I’ve been supplying everyone with them (voluntary and …

How to ace your Secret Santa gift

I always dread Secret Santa gifts…They tend to belong to two categories: “attempting humour” (all sorts of pranks) and “last minute” aka “bought on the way to work” (generally Cadbury chocolates, novelty games and books). “Funny” gifts are rarely that good, unless the person knows you well. And in worst cases you spend the rest of your office Christmas party trying to figure out who’s given you a tasteless sex toy (happened to me, for real!), so you can openly hate them for the rest of year 🙂 OK, I’m overdramatasing, no one really cares that much. But hey, nothing is stopping you from actually acing it and becoming known as the most thoughtful person in the department. So, where do you begin? Research is key! At work we use drawnames.co.uk,  a website which almost does the job for you – all names are entered onto the system, and everyone is randomly assigned one person to get a gift for. The best part is that it’s linked to Amazon, so you can pre-select a few things …

My favourite beauty stocking filler

This little invention under £5 is my top 2015 beauty discovery. Every year there’s this one beauty stocking filler that becomes a hit (last year I got three Beauty Blenders for Christmas!). I think this year it’s going to be Invisibobble. These little transparent spirals may not look like something useful or sturdy, but the difference they’ve made to my hair routine is unbelievable. My beauty-savvy colleague told me that I’ve been breaking my hair with conventional elastic hair bands. These little spiral bands apply even pressure to minimise breakage and are surprisingly good at holding my heavy straight hair in a pony tail even during exercise. Ideal for those hair days when you just want it up, I’ve just bought ten of these in different colours to give to my girlfriends as little add-on Christmas gifts, and I cannot wait to hear their thoughts about it. If you’re even thinking whether you need it or not, it’s currently £3.75 with free delivery on Amazon, so I’d say simply buy it and see how you get on. …

COMPETITION (UK only): Win a Christmas party beauty kit

  UPDATE: The winner is Emily Hearts. In association with Ravishing Roses. Hurrah! It’s Christmas party time, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the beginning of the festive season than by giving one of my female readers a beauty gift! If you are anything like me, getting ready for a Christmas party is a long process of dress/shoe browsing weeks in advance, but on the actual day I have about 20 minutes to get ready (we’re all busy ladies, right?). So to make it a bit easier for you, Ana and I have prepared a little emergency beauty kit that will help you sparkle at that special evening event. The top colours for this Christmas are metallics (think golden and silvery tones) and black, so we’ve used this palette to guide our choices. What’s in the bag?  My all-time favourite and an absolute beauty cult classic – compact tangle teezer in gold. I have a full-size one in pink, but I have to admit this one is way prettier. Fits into a …

The “I care about you” stocking fillers

“All you need is love”, argued the famous Beatles almost 50 years ago! Love to me is many things, but the most important showcase of love is taking care of even the smallest needs of your loved ones. It’s definitely winter here in London, so unless you’re a lucky person in tropical far-away paradise, you’re reading this post with warm socks on and a hot cup of tea (or hot chocolate, as it often happens to me!). We’re generally quite good caring about the warmth of our clothing, but we often forget about the only vulnerable part that’s always outside whatever the temperature  – our lips. Boys are as likely as girls to get chapped lips, but they are generally too “manly” to go and buy themselves a lip balm. My boyfriend’s reaction to my suggestion of getting him a lip balm was a categoric “No way!”, followed by a very judgemental facial expression. Cutting the story short, I went out to test lip balms for men in order to find the perfect one. What’s …

Beauty gifting: Shimmering perfection in a cute bottle

French “pharmacie” is finally making big headlines in the UK. Previously, only savvy beauty bloggers were raving about the wonders of Parisian pharmacies, but with more and more brands being available in British stores, every lifestyle magazine features at least one monthly article on beauty finds from the likes of Avene, Bioderma and Caudalie. Now, Nuxe is still a relative newcomer, which makes it particularly good for surprise gifts. Their top product is Huile Prodigieuse (or for the less fancy ones like myself, simply “dry oil”) – it comes in two versions – with or without golden shimmer. I’d say shimmer is more versatile and looks more expensive. It’s available from many online shops with free delivery, just check here and here (I got mine at Marks & Spencer). Who is it for? Girls/women who like their nights out. The golden shimmer looks particularly good in dimmed settings no matter what skin colour you have, so it’s absolutely perfect for romantic dinners and clubbing. “Oily skin is not exactly the look I’m after!” I hear ya! That’s …

The “How to” guide to beauty gifts

Beauty gifting is a bit of a grey area. Despite being demystified successfully in a multitude of blogs (my personal favourite being Ruth Crilly and her AModelRecommends),  beauty is still very much a private affair  –  most of us are happy to share some beauty purchases on Instagram, but we all own items that we’d rather hide even from our closest friends. Which leads to a pretty discouraging conclusion – any attempt to give your female friends something beauty-related has to be very well thought through. Giving up on the idea all together would probably be the wisest choice, right? 🙂 Well…don’t give up just yet! My passion for gifting challenges has taken me to quite a few beauty counters in London and beyond in search for universal beauty heroes which would delight even the pickiest of girlfriends. Not surprisingly,  I’ve found that make up works better than skincare, as girls are generally more playful with their make up than, say, face cleansers. It’s also less likely to cause horrible skin reactions, which is a …

My new fragrance Mecca in London – Bloom Perfumery, Spitafields

Finding the right perfume is one of the most exhausting things that you can possibly go through voluntarily (shoes and bags don’t come anywhere near!). A fragrance has to tick so many boxes that it’s almost impossible to get it right. And having a very vague idea of how you should (or want) to smell like on any given day doesn’t help. “Today I’d like to smell (read: “feel”) forceful yet delicate, as I have an important client meeting, where I will be presenting a new idea, so the fragrance should also project my originality of thought and creativity…it goes on, and on, and on…” How on earth can any liquid, however precious, be able to fulfil this stream of consciousness?! That makes me admire anyone who attempts to solve this nerve-racking puzzle with grace and passion. The newly discovered shop called Bloom is successfully delivering just that. Their original store is based in Spitafields, the weird land between trendy Brick Lane and polished City, where you are more likely to find vintage Dr. Martens …

Marrakesh: the city where you can find green lipsticks and befriend a pet turtle

Marrakesh is one of those unique southern cities that combine a complete lack of order with such inspiring serenity, that it may just take you forever to figure it out. After spending five days there, I can honestly say – I’ve barely scratched the surface of its cultural richness. In this post, I’ll attempt to remove some of the illusions you may have about the city and replace them with my own personal discoveries. Many people associate Marrakesh with cheap shopping. The famous souks in Northern Medina cater for tourists, and shop owners are more than happy to sell you inexpensive leather accessories, jewellery, national garments and spices. However, don’t expect anything “artisanal” – pretty much every stall sells similar things (my guess is that somewhere outside Medina there is a large warehouse, distributing “touristy” souvenirs to local sellers), so if you really like a particular item, it’s worth shopping around and bargaining hard (you can easily knock off 50% or more, as sellers deliberately set initial prices higher). I am terrible at haggling, so …

Three easy (really!) ways to impress your girlfriend this Valentine’s

Valentine’s Day is synonymous with over-the-top flower bouquets, heart-shaped chocolates and lush romantic getaways. As a result, over the years I’ve received some seriously ludicrous gifts from boyfriends. They seemed under so much pressure to “impress”, that the whole romance thing was totally forgotten. I suggest you guys take a step back and think about what every girl is really looking for. I’ll generalise a bit here, but more than anything else we want to feel like you truly care about us. That’s it! It then becomes pretty obvious, that a 100-rose bouquet is not as “caring” as it may seem at first (she doesn’t even have a vase THAT big!) and huge boxes of Cadbury’s chocolates will most likely cause her to overeat and to “feel fat”. Here are a few simple recommendations that are guaranteed to work. As it’s already Thursday, I’ve picked ideas that you can easily find/organise at short notice. Small beauty/make-up gifts Boys are never really interested in our make-up habits, so receiving something beauty-related from a boyfriend would be …