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afshanesque

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Nails
Blog

Favourite Autumn Nail Colour

Seasons come and go but some seasons are just perfect for certain things and can create nostalgia. It is the Autumn or fall season and what a good way to welcome the season in by changing up the wardrobe or nails. Some colours create warmth and I particularly feel like this dark purple from OPI called Eiffel for this Color (as shown above) is a great Autumnal colour and my favourite.

This is just my favourite – what nail colour is yours?

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What's in my bag
Beauty Blog Travel

What’s in my handbag

So seeing what’s in my handbag seems to be the in thing. Just take a look at whatsinmyhandbag.com to see what the hype is all about and what’s in other people’s bags. Go on, you know you want to! You might even find things you may want to include in your own handbag.

So here comes the key product; the handbag and the most important accessory you can have. It provides a haven for your belongings and an accompaniment to any outfit and ultimate fashion accessory.

My handbag is a beautiful Radley bag which was a present from my sister-in-law for my birthday, so it’s even more special. It is not only sleek but also comes with lots of pockets and storage space.

So now here’s what’s in my handbag:

My diary, bought from Boots which I must admit is a bit girlie, but nonetheless I like it for the cute illustrations. 🙂 I also like the fact that it has a separate month at glance page, so that I can record important dates.

I have my foundation, which is a convenient trial size from Maybelline, small enough for the handbag. See my full review here.

Other usual items include a black mini makeup bag, Rimmel Provocalips, Little Mix palette, Rimmel Matt powder, some brushes and a few lip products.

I also have my pass, work Blackberry, keys, lip liner and a refillable travel atomiser spray. All perfect for when travelling and on the move.

So… What’s in your bag?

N.B. Did you notice that some of the contents of my handbag are my footer?

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provolips
Blog

Kyley Jenner and Provocalips

I have seen many a Kylie Jenner lip video, tutorial and have to say hats of to the girl for creating such a stir in the beauty world for the perfect lips, or should I say lip colour.

I have been fascinated by the way her lips look so full and unique and it has a lot to do with the way she styles/lines her lips.

It’s a wonder why such a craze started, but you have to see the pics to believe it.

Although I didn’t go for a hunt specifically to pick up the perfect Kyley Jenner lipstick. However, I did stumble by chance across the perfect shade of one of her lip looks.

The star lipstick is by Rimmel and is called Provocalips, in the shade 230 Kiss Fatal.

Lips

No need now to buy seperate lip liners and lipstick, Rimmel Provocalips does it all! This is a dual ended matt lip product with colour on one side and a glossy top coat on the other (see picture, although it looks more mauve then it is). Just add the matt colour to the lips (I don’t use the glossy side) and either have it full on or how I like it, by blotting it with tissue. The added bonus of it all is that it lasts all day!

The cost is £6.99, so it won’t break the bank and will give you that perfect Kylie Jenner look 😉

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum
Blog

Team building or beauty in building?

I had the great opportunity to go on an team building exercise recently. I have worked in the online industry a very long time, which can often be hectic and means being glued to the desk – so it was a great breath of fresh air to literally get some work done in the great outdoors.

Westonbirt, The National ArboretumHere comes the link to the fresh air
Basically we had a day out at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, near Tetbury in Gloucestershire. To all of those who don’t know it – it is a place where a collection of trees are kept and grown. But more relevant to our trip was the fact that we were there to enjoy the arboretum as it moves from summer into autumn and capturing the beauty of this spectacular season. Autumn being a great and colourful time.

I never really saw trees in the way I do now, after having visited the arboretum and would highly recommend it. Now I see trees as a thing of beauty.

Now for some history

The arboretum was established in 1829 by Robert Stayner Holford and was later extended by his son George Lindsay Holford. George, had a passion for gardens and orchids and devoted much of his time to his property at Westonbirt. The Times made the following comment which I particularly like, as it captures the essence of the place beautifully.

“He was indeed, one of the most successful amateur gardeners of the time, and though famous as a grower of orchids, amaryllids and Javanese rhododendrons, his garden and estate show a wide catholicity of taste. The arrangement of the many rare and exotic trees there and the skilful use of evergreen species as background and to provide the shelter so needful in a cold district like the Cotswolds, have rarely been equalled; there is no crowding of the trees; each is able to show its true form and all have been well cared for. On few estates has the autumnal colouring of deciduous trees been so cleverly used by harmony and contrast, as, for instance, in the planting of Norway maples and glaucous Atlantic cedars”.

The arboretum comprises some 18,000 trees and shrubs, over an area of approximately 600 acres numbered by the stakes and not the spooky kind (See the link to Halloween :-). It has 17 miles (27 km) of marked paths providing access to a wide variety of rare plants.

What I learnt

Plant propagation is the process of creating new plants from a variety of seeds, cuttings, grafting and plant parts.

As many as 300 plants a year could be propagated by their seed. Some trees can stay in quarantine for 6 months up to a year.

collageAlso that plants or seeds are sourced from different areas, including Chilli, Morocco, Vietnam and America. So gaps are looked at then sourced accordingly. So for example there are less species of Cedar of Lebanon and therefore these were sourced and found.

The plants are quarantined and grown in special pots that are black with holes, which need lots of water, as the holes tend to dry them out.

Interesting experiment

The arboretum are carrying out a climate experiment with several countries around the World whereby trees are planted in the same spot and/or land across different countries to see the different effects of climate change.

By selecting trees from milder climates, specialists hope to identify suitable substitutes which are able to withstand extreme weather and help to protect the long-term future of Westonbirt’s world-famous autumn colour – awesome.

Back to the day

The beauty of autumnThe day was both fun and informative. The Westonbirt arboretum is a great place to go during the autumn months, when the trees are in their full bloom. The various colours make for such a breath taking background and injects the colour back into life.

It was therefore nice to work together, bond as a team and enjoy the great outdoors at the same time.

Walking and other activities
There are many walks that can be taken and not exclusive for just keen walkers. Bring your family and the family pet (however the old part is restricted to dogs). For the children there is a nicely built wooden climbing frame. There is also a restaurant that offers both hot and cold food as well as ice cream straight from the farm, yum!

It’s well worth a visit.

Make your own skincare
Blog

Home skincare remedies

There is a fine line between what we want and what we need. These rules also apply to beauty. We all would love a luxurious cream that would cure all our skincare woes. Luxury skincare may make us feel good but the reality is that what we desire is not always what we need or that the retail high just might be a cost that we just can’t justify (Or do and shouldn’t).

Is it the desire to have perfect skin or is it just the buy in to good marketing?

Skincare remedies

So here’s where comes in the home remedies that are easy to make yourself and way more affordable. Beating shop bought skincare any time (just have to make the time).

Firstly I’ll start with the remedies that have double benefits with not only providing great benefit but also tasting great too!

Drink (blend) the juice of 1 beetroot, 1 carrot and a small piece of ginger together and enjoy it every day for one or two weeks and see the benefits! It makes minor blemishes disappear leaving an overall good complexion. This is even better when taken a few weeks before a special occasion such as a party or wedding, paving the way to flawless skin, ready for a night or day out.

Another great remedy for skin is to mix equal parts of Glycerine, honey and lemon or rosewater and apply it overnight and wash off in the morning. (Whether you use lemon or rosewater the benefits are the same). This remedy will leave your face feeling smooth and soft to the touch.

There are others that are as equally as good like using olive oil to remove eye make up. Vaseline applied to the eyelashes at night making them longer and thicker. Honey and brown sugar is also great for use as a body scrub or for wiping away the dry skin from chapped lips.

Grandma Tips

Here’s another great tip and remedy straight from my grandmother – and she swears by it!
Mix gram flour (A yellow powder used for making/cooking pakoras or also known as Bajiyas, can mainly be found in Asian shops) this mixed with yoghurt; when applied once a week to keep the wrinkles away!

How I maintain my skincare

I often get complements about my skin and how young I look than my years. I find simplicity is the best remedy. The trick for me is to drink lots of water to cleanse my body and skin. Personally I have experienced the benefits of the above remedies and haven’t had to rely on expensive creams. I can say that I am lucky and so is my purse!

The question is?

When should we make an exception to the rule? Making the time to use homemade skincare has its benefits. The question is: Do we really need luxury skincare in our lives? Or is the pull of some retail therapy or the woo of the sales pitch really too much for us to handle? Is the power of persuasion, marketing and social media just too great!

sap-favs
Beauty Blog

Monthly Favourites

This August and September I am loving…

Plus… My son, love him all the time! Not just for Christmas, I mean August and September!

He wanted to feature in my monthly favourites, and I obliged.

So here are my favs:

Little Mix Love All About Eyes Palette
Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow, Instant Focus Beauty Flash
Rimmel London Stay Matt Powder
Benefit’s It’s potent! Eye cream (Birchbox)
Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman shading brush
NUDE ProGenius treatment Oil (Birchbox)
Rimmel Apocalips Lip Velvet Matt Lipstick
New ankle boots from New Look

Also, featuring my bedsheets and 2014 Diary – Little Violet.

Little Mix Love All About Eyes Palette

This palette is amazing! As recommended by one of my favourite YouTubers Amelia Liana. Thank you so much, as I love this palette. It is a really great price and to top it off I got a pound off, so it was a bargain at only £2.50.

eyes

It has all the colours you need. The browns compliment each other and the black over the lashline creates a smoky eyeliner effect and is a change to the traditional liquid liner.

Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow, Instant Focus Beauty Flash

The Beauty Flash is a great elixir. I love Charlotte Tilbury, she is an inspiration, and so is her Wonder Glow which creates a great glow on the skin and adds something extra underneath your favourite foundation. I would recommend this and as a bonus – its suppossed to be great for your skin too!

Rimmel London Stay Matt Powder

Just love this powder! It creates a flawless look to foundation, matifies the skin and to top it all off, it’s only £3.99. What’s there to quibble about?

Benefit’s It’s potent! Eye cream

This was from September’s Birchbox and is lovely, it has made a difference to my dark circles. Enough said. 🙂

The Real Techniques shading brush by Samantha Chapman

This brush is great for packing on eyeshadow and shading, so is really versatile. The Real Techniques brushes are of highest quality and are highly recommendable.

NUDE ProGenius treatment Oil

This oil was with the August Birchbox and really highdrates the skin. It was great to try it and I have found it really good on my dry patches.

Rimmel Apocalips Lip Velvet Matt Lipstick

These are great for a pop of colour with a non-drying matt look. The colour I chose isn’t your typical colour and looks fab on my lips. I can’t however capture it on camera. I can say that it is a colour that is an alternative to the red, which doesn’t suit all. It’s between red and dark pink and is divine! It’s in the shade 307 and is called Meteoric Matte and would look great on all skin tones, especially on Asian skin.

New ankle boots from New Look

New Look have some fabulous boots this Autumn. I wanted some boots that would see me through Autumn and not too long (I have reserved long boots for the Winter season.) So whilst visiting Oxford I came across these fabulous boots:

sep-favs2

These are not the usual ones I would go for (a bit biker-ish), but it’s good to be different, once in a while. 🙂

What have been your faves?

birchbox
Blog

September Birchbox

This month we’ve seen another great box from Birchbox.

For those not lucky enough to get the beauty blender last time, this time they got it! I did first time, so was pleased for those who got them (my sister).

This month we got the usual five sample products to try, plus 2 lifestyle products. The two lifestyle products were fun and fruity!

The fruity mango chunks were tasty, from Urban Fruit – Magnificent Mango and made a great snack. Birchbox also added a Happy Days Photo Clip, to add some photos / happy moments to your mantel piece or workspace.

Now for the five added sample products.

Let’s start with the non-surprise. This month we were allowed to choose one product, it was a choice of two lip lacquers and a mascara, all from ModelCo. I chose the one in the Morocco shade and can say I was very pleased with it. It isn’t highly pigmented, however, the colour is nice (one of those Cheryl Ann Fernandez-Versini, formerly Cole type colours) and leaves a great sheen.

The other products included were the Agave Healing Oil Treatment, Benefit it’s Potent! Eye Cream, Korres Citrus Shower gel and the Skin & Co Truffle Therapy Serum.

I loved all the products this September, but I particularly liked the Benefit’s eye cream, (which made a difference to my dark mascaraed circles), the Skin & Co Serum and the ModelCo Moroccan Lip Lacquer.

Thanks Birchbox!