Sunday, 24 April 2016

My new skincare routine

I have recently made a move into beauty retailing. Since I was about 13 years old I have worn a full face of makeup every day. With this in mind you would think i have a vast knowledge of makeup and skincare, and in all honesty i thought i had until i worked with makeup and skincare.

So I've been using a few products that I want to share with you all.

One important think that i have definitely forgotten about over the years is setting up my skin so that my makeup performs to its full potential. The only way to do this is a good cleansing routine.

I have naturally super dry and sensitive skin, for this reason i find it hard to find products that I can use without irritation. Since having my first baby and turning 25 I have found products which claim "anti ageing" benefits best for me. I purely put this down to the increased need for moisture in my skin.
My favourite cleansing product is Elemis Pro collagen cleansing balm. (I use this after removing any makeup with hypo allergenic wipes)
This product retails at £40 for a tub, but if you're smart these products can often be bought online at a cheaper price or when buying from John Lewis there are often offers on.
Using this and a hot cloth any remaining makeup is removed and after cleansing my skin doesn't have that tight soar feeling that some cleansers can give. Expensive yes - but totally worth it.

Next and absolutely most importantly my favourite product of my skincare routine is the Pixi Glow tonic.
Use this in place of a toner after cleansing.
The ingredients show that glow tonic has aloe vera to soothe the skin mixed with Ginseng which is known to energise, it really is an enjoyable product to use because of these ingredients. The key ingredient in this however is the glycolic acid. It has 5% which is a very diluted amount of this ingredient - it works as a liquid exfoliator, and for myself who needs something very gentle but is still prone to acne and blackheads this very light tonic is just the ticket.

Moisturising is the 3rd part of my skincare routine. Due to the nature of my skin i use 2 different products. One for nighttime and one for the day.

 these 2 go hand in hand with the pro collagen cleanser as you can imagine. Most importantly though they are really effective products in moisturising but do not leave any greasiness on the skin. For times when i have really dry skin there is an ultra rich version of the day cream which is also really good.

These 4 products for me have been really working. I think an important point to make however is that it is so so important that before you put your makeup on and after you remove it that you treat your skin with as much care as you are able to do, because that is the base for your makeup and will help it look clearer and last longer if your base is well prepped.

For those of you who have read my previous blogs you will be thinking where is the thrift in these highly expensive products - well here it is. Because my skin is treated so well i find i do not have to invest in highly expensive makeup to get the effect i want.
So here's whats in my makeup bag at the moment.

All of these items are available in boots. Nothing is more than £10 and most are under £5.

I have recently added 2 products to my routine that i also highly recommend.

Pixi poreless and flawless primer really sets my skin up with a velvety texture so that my makeup really stays in place all day.

And talking of makeup staying in place I sprits my face with this before i leave and any time in the day i feel i want a bit of a refresh. It has rose water and green tea in and when I'm having a stressful day in work its great to take 5 and go refresh with this product.

Monday, 24 August 2015

5 pairs of shoes every man should have in his wardrobe

Footwear. It's tricky business gents - as if you've not already put enough effort in to your outfit to worry about finishing it off with the correct pair of shoes. 

Here's a list of a simple staple shoe wardrobe that should leave you with something for all occasions and outfits.

1. Casual brogues
A night out, a date, pretty much with all of your casual wardrobe should you want to look a bit more stylish.
These are best in brown leathers choose a tumbled leather (this is where the leather looks slightly creased) or a grey suede for a slightly more casual still look.
(photo courtesy of
(photo courtesy of

2. Work formal
When looking for formal attire it is important amongst all other things that you buy into quality as well as style. Go for something that goes with everything. A personal favourite is the monk shoe. Slightly less common and still as versatile as the popular brogue.

(photo courtesy of
Designers such as Jimmy Choo are known for favouring the monk shoe style. This is an understated classic which shows a flair for design. If you are feeling adventurous this style comes in many variations and materials.

3. Boots
A staple of your winter wardrobe. Go for something comfortable and casual. NO UGG BOOTS!
(photo courtesy of

(photo courtesy of

(photo courtesy of

4. Sneakers
For your truly casual moments. Converse are acceptable - so long as you don't have huge feet. Vans are also fine. If you're buying a cheaper imitation make sure you keep an eye out for wear and tear. Scruffy shoes ruin an outfit. Also, no bright reds greens or pinks!

5. Deck shoes
Controversial. Love them or hate them, they are rather versatile. With a pair of shorts, jeans or chinos they will go with most outfits. If your not wearing them with socks. beware of the pong. Us ladies will notice.
Here's some great ones....

(photo courtesy of

(photo courtesy of

Above all else, try to understand a bit about what you are buying.
When buying footwear set your price you want to pay. Anything above £70 i would be expecting a leather shoe. Brands such as Kurt Geiger are well known for first class design however do not deliver on the make up of their product. For a middle of the range stylish shoe, my personal favourite is Aldo (wait for the sale or a 20% off promotion for extra value)

Please also know this. Although spending a fair amount of money on footwear is advisable to buy into footwear which will be durable and high in quality - it doesn't always suit to pay the high end prices.
Particularly in formal footwear, leather soles are highly sought after and you may hear men who think they know about style talking about being preferable to a leather sole... Unfortunately leather soles have one major downfall. RAIN. Leather is as we know skin - this does not make it water proof. In fact, it absorbed water. Not great to wear on the bottom of your feet.

Lastly. As mentioned above, leather absorbs water. Protect your shoes well be they suede, leather, textile or plastic. The fresh out of the box look will hold greater for longer by using shoe care.
Here are a few of my  favourites.

(Photo courtesy of

Saturday, 22 August 2015

How to dress well, easily - for men

Gents, whilst it is reported that one of the most attractive things about a man is the ability to make a woman laugh - the woman of your dreams will not think twice about giving you the opportunity to do just that without you catching her glance from across a crowded room first!

That in mind, I have put together a fool proof guide to looking good and how to shop the looks.

1. Know your body shape. More to the point know your sizes. 
If you do not know your chest measurement, you could never choose the correct suit, or the right leg length for you jeans.
In addition, the material of your clothing is cut to hang in a certain way for the body shape it is made for, make sure that you wear the right size otherwise the look you are trying to achieve may be distorted.
If you are tall, do not wear skinny jeans
If you are small, avoid sleeves that are too long.

And easy way to shop for your body type is looking at which celebrity body shape you would most liken yourself to. Are you a David Beckham? James Cordon? Or more of an Ed Sheeran? Take a look at what type of clothing your celeb body double wears. Chances are they pay someone well to dress them accordingly.

2. Dress your age. Mutton dressed as lamb can apply to men too.
If you are over 30, skinny jeans are not for you.

3. Invest in key pieces that are transferrable such as;
Straight leg jeans
Denim shirt
Beige chinos
casual blazer
crew neck t shirts in various colours
dress down brogues
desert boots
Are all wardrobe must haves. Chinos and a denim shirt with a crew neck jumper will get you through the day. Add a blazer for the evening - easy.

(photos courtesy of

4. Colour is important.
Don't be fooled into thinking that pink is an acceptable colour for a man. It isn't, and most certainly isn't for the over 25s reading this.
If you have dark hair Dark greens and reds go really well with jeans and chinos, if you're feeling really adventurous some dark red chinos can look really cool with a denim shirt and crew neck t shirt.
Try this colour palette

If you have light hair, you probably are unfortunate to have light skin too. Don't think that doesn't mean you can't wear darker shades too, but maybe adding a lighter shade into your layering could soften your look. The above colour palette will work when you add these colours in to the mix.

It does not matter about your ethnicity, body shape or style neon colours and pastels are risky business on anyone. Don't go there. 

5. Certainly don't be afraid to shop around. 
The pieces mentioned in this blog are wardrobe essentials - this means they should last you through seasons. Yes, TopMan, Zara, River Island and HnM will offer fashion for a high street price, but sometimes you may not find the quality serves the purpose in which you need for this instance.
Retailers such as Marks and spencer offer similar essential lines that have quality guaranteed.

(Pictures courtesy of

We can be conscious of the image that shopping with a certain brand brings - if you take only one piece of advice from this post please take this; FORGET ABOUT BRAND IDENTITY AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED BEFORE GOING INTO A SHOP. 
Browse the internet, look at what your favourite celebs are wearing and browse the internet to see where you can get this from. shop around, then shop some more.

6. Ask for advice
Look at what the sales assistants are wearing, ask what they would wear with the items you have picked up and have the confidence to try on the suggestions the assistant gives.

7. Ditch any of the below items:
T shirts with band names / albums on
Cargo pants
Jesus sandals
Hareem pants
Turtle necks
None are attractive, none will win you attention, all will make you look terrible.
Don't wear your jeans half way down your bum. Back to my point about clothes being cut to fit a body shape. Also - this trend originates from a place where it certainly wouldn't be seen as an attractive choice of attire for the opposite sex.
In addition, don't wear your Nike's with everything. Yes they are comfortable and yes they are on trend at the moment. But really females think they look scruffy and too casual. The same applies for joggers in public.

8. Wash and iron your clothes well. 
Care for them.
This includes footwear.

9. Look after yourself. All the clothes in the world cannot help a men who doesn't groom or exercise.

Most importantly, once you have chosen your style icon, selected your outfit based on your body shape and asked for an expert opinion, Have confidence in your choices. After all confidence is an attractive quality!

Monday, 21 November 2011

The smart girls guide to buying shoes!


Whether it be courts or sandals, moccasins or boots we are constantly shopping for the ideal pair of shoes. But with so much choice how can we know when we eventually choose the perfect pair?

When buying shoes it is easy to go for the bargains, and the styles that companies are offering "20% off for today only!" But if this is the only thing we are interested in as consumers, then how are we ever going to be happy with our purchases, feel good in what we wear or feel like we've got a real steal for the pair you really wanted?
A shoe expert myself (having worked in shoes for 5 years) I believe there are several key rules when buying a pair of shoes.
Number 1. Shop around.
Know what you want. Is there a pair of amazing wedges you want to go with that maxi dress you bought last summer or maybe a pair of courts for work? Know exactly what you want to buy.
The best ways to do this are buying the magazines. Many magazines like Elle or Marie Claire feature shoes from popular retailers and give examples of outfits that would look great with these items. This gives you an idea of what exactly you need to look for and also what is in fashion.
Search the shops, browse the web, look everywhere, whether it's Gucci or New look make sure you have looked at all possibly variations of the style you are looking for to give you an idea of a style that you will feel 100% happy with.
Number 2. Check your bank balance!
How much do you have to spend on your shoes? More importantly how much do you need to spend on your shoes?
If your shoes are for a night out to go with a bright orange catsuit you've bought for halloween don't go mad in Harvey Nics for an amazing fair you've seen that will sit in the wardrobe for the rest of eternity! Go to Primark or Peacocks and give yourself an extra couple of twenties for booze.
If you're buying a work shoe you need something hard wearing and smart. Set aside the money you feel necessary to do this, after all you don't want to find yourself in the awkward position when your heel snaps off on your way to a meeting with your boss about that oh so important promotion you've been waiting for 15 months and sooo not counting. Also to be frank. You don't want your work colleugues to think you look cheap. That is not professional.
When buying winter boots, again quality is key. Don't go for the "Oh but i get ugh boots every year" They look sloppy. Lets face it girls - we won't be married by the time we're 35 wearing those around in our spare time. And also, every year! A good pair of boots should last you at the very least two winters.
Number 3. Buy into a brand you like.
So you've heard the Kurt Gieger in Covent garden has a shoe chandelier, and the Dune in westfield has a shoe catwalk attached to the ceiling. Go! Have a look get a feel for the brand. Don't feel like you have to buy, and definitely don't buy if you don't get good service. Advice from the sales assistants are priceless. Ask them the questions you've always wanted to know, like why do my party feet not work when I wear them in my killer heels? And how do i tell my shoes need re heeling before it's too late? These are the important things you need to know to ensure your shoes last as long as you pay for them to!
Always ask the sales assistant what she would wear them with. Don't tell her what you will be wearing them with because she will always compliment your opinion. Wearing something similar to what you want to wear them with when you're trying on is never a bad idea because then you will get a feel for how you will look.
Wear the right kind of socks. Don't rely on the shop having pop socks or letting you try on without any socks on what so ever. If you're trying winter boots on, take your comfy big socks you want to wear them with. You will never know how they're going to fit without them.
Number 4. Know the quality.
As you can see on the right, usually the bottom of the shoe has some of these symbols. These tell you what materials the shoe is made from. BE AWARE if you pay over £80 it is still VERY common to buy plastic shoes. Companies such as Kurt Geiger and Faith are particularly common culprits.
In my opinion if your budget is above £60 you should be buying Leather outers at least. This is important as leather as we all know is a natural fibre and will therefore be kinder on your feet. When wearing plastic shoes we sometimes get blisters very easily and feet get smelly very quickly.
A rubber sole is a good investment particularly for hard wear. Geox is a reliable brand for both leather shoes and rubber soles. For work courts especially they will last well.
The only exception to these rules is when you buy patent shoes. Patent leather has a tendency to crease and crack and so plastic may be a better option for amore hardwearing shoe. However if getting a plastic outer make sure the inner is still leather as again this will be more comfortable.
Look where the shoe was made. 9 times out of 10 you will see "China or Taiwan" this is a true sign of bad quality. Brazil and Italy are the best places to source leather and when paying high end prices make sure you buy from retailers who take pride in where they source their materials.
If you have questions about the materials always ask the sales assistant.
Number 5. Know the returns policy.
This is one of the most important things to ask when buying shoes as different companies have different policies. Most retailers go by the 28 days refund or exchange with your receipt, however legally you are only within your rights to get a refund or exchange when an item is faulty, so if you may change your mind make sure you know you will be able to get your money back if you want to go elsewhere.
Try the shoes on around the house for a few days before you wear them. Some leather shoes give more than others, if you haven't bought leather will they give you blisters? Knowing this before you spend a 9 hour day in them is very important. Also if you are not happy with them you still have an opportunity to take them back if you haven't worn them outside, therefore saving you money on buying a replacement pair.
Above all else, buy shoes that make you happy. Go for that killer heel because it makes your calves look skinny, buy those amazing sandals with all the sparkles on because you want to feel like a princess. The most important thing to remember is if you put on a few pounds round your waist, or if you spill red wine all down your dress, your shoes are still going to make you look and feel fabulous.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The poor girls guide to essential designers!

Grab that designer bag and don't feel bad!

Ever got that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach after buying your second gucci handbag this season?
Opened 3 credit cards in order to fund your designer addiction?
If these statements sound like you, read on for a few sneaky hints in buying the essential designers.
We're all guilty of it, the "This is my 3rd Marc Jacobs in my collection" conversation with the sales assistant in Selfridges, makes you feel good doesn't it? yes? Until you get home and check out your online bank account!
But what of this is really essential? Every season there are pieces we buy that we never wear, how do we predict what these things will be before taking the plunge? Easy. DONT! Just know what to spend the pounds on and what the pennies will cover.
Sell all your used items on Ebay. Don't collect, the items you have used before will depreciate in price and popularity before your eyes. Use the money you earn on ebay to buy into new items.
Decide what is most important to you.
Every girl should know the key items that are important to them. For me these items are;
- Handbag
- Sunglasses
- Party dress
- Belt
- Perfume
These items are key to my wardrobe and are essential designers .
Whether it be Gucci, Balenciaga or Marc Jacobs these items are important to blend in with the rest of this seasons trends in order to match with the rest of your wardrobe.
Learn what high street brands compliment your designers. For example, Prada with Zara. Both these brand images follow similar trends most season and usually look good together. By mixing the two you are still able to work the "Prada look" whilst enjoying only half the price!
5554121_f260.jpgThere are any brands on the market at the moment that allow you to enjoy an "affordable luxury". These brands ensure you look on trend by following key trends however don't charge the designer prices. Let's take shoes.
Kurt Geiger, Dune and Aldo all are brands that promote a designer look and have a luxury feel. In many stores sales assistants are able to assist in what outfits will match their shoes and know what shoes have elements of this seasons gucci or Louis Vuitton. Use their knowledge as they know best! (trust me I'm one of them)
Buy hand made - something someone has slaved over a sewing machine just to make you a unique item no one else has a garment like is much more to brag about than your new Miu Miu. Especially when it was a killer find at only £20!
Camden, Portobello and Shoreditch are perfect for an afternoon's bargain hunting. And never forget to barter for a better price!
Finally. Don't settle for anything because it's snake print and you've seen a clutch bag in a Prada advert in Elle. Know what suits you and your own personal style and body shape. On trend or not, if you've got 36FF boobs and short stumpy legs please do not wear a high neck long sleeve sequinned dress just because it's on a Dolce poster on a billboard! It will not look flattering and you will not have that oh my god this purchase was a steal feeling when you look at yourself in the mirror.
Above all things. Read the glossy mags. Elle and Vogue give you all you need to know, look at the catwalks take pieces you like and make them you. Having your outfit tell your storey is better than any designer could do for your confidence.