It’s that time again when my lust for new products rears its head. Whether you’re looking for a hair or skin makeover there’s something for everyone in this round up…
These beauties are so much fun and give a quick and easy burst of colour to your hair - perfect for festivals or when you feel like having a fling to pep up your everyday hair. Just be careful not to spray this onto any light clothes (unless you’re going for the whole awesome Mariah Rainbow look…)
Whilst trying to nail the whole Rainbow Bright look I have also been looking for some holy grail skin products as I’ve been having a really awesome teenage throwback episode (note the unsubtle sarcasm). Basically, my skin is one unhappy bunny (thanks to some rather overzealous acne prescription) so I’ve been trying to nurse it back to health using products that will calm and restore it back to some semblance of ‘my normal’ again.
Top of the list was La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo [+] anti-blemish cream - this non-comedogenic (fancy term for love-me-I-won’t-block-your-pores) is a soothing godsend to angry blemished skin. Redness is reduced and I can definitely see an improvement on the marks. My skin isn’t that oily though (a helpful combination type of dry/oily t-zone/sensitive), so I’ve been using this sparingly and in conjunction with La Roche Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel. This is a lovely soothing wash that thoroughly cleanses and removes makeup without stripping the skin and leaving it tight.
I had started by using the La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel for Oily Sensitive Skin, which is another great addition to the range, but as my skin started to dry out I realised I needed to switch up to the Physiological Cleansing Gel to compensate. What I really love about this range is that it is packed with Thermal Spa Water and there are no parabens to aggravate already delicate skin. I’m still on a journey to get my skin back to its happy place but at least I’m on the right path now.
Special mention also needs to go to No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum. I’ve mentioned in the past my love for this range, and prior to my skin’s meltdown, this new and improved formula was working it’s magic for me. My skin literally drank this up at night and I would awake to a plumped and dewy complexion, with a visible improvement on lines (GO AWAY YOU’RE NOT WELCOME…EVER). Until my skin is back on track I’ve had to put this one on the back burner but I will definitely be adding it back into my routine asap!
What are your current hair and skin favourites? I’d love to hear what works for you - especially if you’ve had any breakthroughs in sorting out troubled skin!
I’m a hair obsessive. I think my friends and family would agree it’s a big deal to me and over the years I’ve had enough changes to prove it!
I always love to hear what other friends and beauty experts recommend and after hearing some amazing feedback I decided it was high time I tried Viviscal Maximum Strength for myself.
I started taking the supplement back in April 2014 and here’s my starting length.
I took the tablets as directed for 3 months and used the matching Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair & Scalp Serum as directed. I really loved the luxurious quality of the conditioner, which left my hair feeling super soft and detangled after the first use. The serum was another great addition to the range and was a nice touch to massage in at the roots each day.
Fast-forward 3 months and here’s my hair length today..
As you can see the photos speak for themselves. I’m over the moon at how quickly my hair has grown in just 3 months and will continue to take Viviscal to maintain this growth.
May has been speeding by and in the whirlwind I’ve got to experience some great new hair and beauty products and services!
One of the highlights of this month for me has been the Toni & Guy Fashion Fix service which I was kindly invited to try at the new salon on Curzon Street in London.
Fashion Fix is a 30 minute service offering a menu of 10 gorgeous and commercial looks and is the perfect express styling service on a budget. For £25 you can get an amazing makeover in your lunch hour or after work for that all-important first date. You also get a complimentary mini label.m styling product as part of the service.
It’s a great opportunity to experience some of the new styling products in the label.m collection to find out what works specifically for you without splurging on products straight away. During my styling session, label.m Texturizing Volume Spray was used to create extra body and hold for my Pretty in Punk look. My fine hair was transformed with dramatic body and lovely movement - it’s almost like a combination of dry shampoo, hairspray and surf spray - a truly impressive product!
The finished look is below - I loved mixing up my hairstyle! What looks would you try?
Hope you’re enjoying your Easter weekend! With temperatures rising (minus the odd April showers!) my thoughts have been turning to SUMMER! Ever the optimist, I’ve been daydreaming about hotter, sunnier days and with that a more summery look for my locks!
Having had a few disasters when I went the DIY route I decided it was better to leave this next transformation in the hands of a far more experienced individual and I’m very fortunate to have had the wonderful skills of Victoria Fyfe, Technical Art Director at Toni & Guy, (Covent Garden, London) at my disposal.
During my consultation Victoria asked me about my hair colour history as well as my lifestyle and the ways in which I like to style my hair. I had a few ideas but still wasn’t 100% sure on the direction I wanted to go in - all I knew was that I wanted it to brighten me up and generally feel like a fresher look for when the sun does decide to grace me with it’s presence!
With that in mind Victoria set to work with two colours that would lift and give me a more golden look. To watch Victoria at work is quite special - it’s more like watching an artist as she blended and worked the colour around my hair. Her experience and wonderful personality really put me at ease (a few years ago Victoria took my locks from darkest brown/black to a vibrant red!) so I knew the end result was something to get excited about.
So here it is….
Here’s a silly one from the weekend so you can see how golden it looks in daylight!
Below is a flashback to my red hair, which Victoria masterminded for me back in 2007!
If you’re looking for a fresh new colour head to your nearest branch or better yet book in with Victoria - you won’t regret it!
Where has the time gone?! I can’t believe how quickly this month is going and apologies for the little break in posts but I’m happy to say it’s because I have been a busy bee!
This month I have been meeting lots of lovely beauty people and trying out some new (and not-so-new-but-new-to-me) products! First up, the, quite frankly UH-MAZING premium haircare brand, UNITE Eurotherapy. I have been using the U Luxury Shampoo, Conditioner, Intense Mask and Moisturizing Repair. I have also been trying the Alanna and Bianca Hair Perfumes. These products really live up to their name and deliver with decadent Crushed Pearl, Hawaiian White Honey and Argan Oil. They are also paraben and sulphate-free and, for want of a better word, feel truly luxurious when you use them giving your hair some much needed TLC! I’ve been trying to cut down on my heat styling soI’ve been searching for products that would rejuvenate my battered locks. Both the U Luxury Shampoo and Conditioner have a rich, balm-like texture so you immediately notice your hair is getting a pampering treat. I used the Intense Mask once a week for 20 minutes for an extra powerful treatment. Infused with Amber Extract, a little of this went a long way so would it would probably be better suited to thicker, coarser hair or one that has had a lot of colouring as my fine hair felt a little weighed down after using it. The Moisturizing Repair is another great treatment product from the range, which I preferred as I felt it suited my hair type a little better than the Intense Mask and left it super shiny and soft. The Alanna (floral scent) and Bianca (citrus scent) Hair Perfumes are a great new addition to UNITE’s range and something I’ll pack for holidays and also use alot this summer, as their fresh and uplifting fragrances are a very pleasant finishing touch to hair styling and also protect against harmful UV rays and environmental damage. All in all, a very sumptuous and effective haircare collection (if your budget allows)!
If you’re on a budget then my next product might be more up your street. The Wet Brush (loved by one of my fave beauty ladies, Millie Mackintosh) is a cult detangling brush designed to provide healthy brushing and detangling from wash to style. Whilst I liked the handle and found this to be pretty effective I would still say the Tangle Teezer is a superior brush on wet hair - I prefer the differing bristle lengths on this and find it doesn’t tug at all whereas I still had to be quite careful when using The Wet Brush.
I was also lucky enough to get a makeover and introduction to Urban Decay cosmetics this month. London Area Sales Executive, Michaela Lands and Urban Decay makeup artist Edith Williams took me through the range including their now infamous Naked Palettes and gave me a glam makeover (see the before and after below). Much of the range is vegan-friendly and the brand are currently working towards creating a vegan mascara and lipstick. I was also given samples of their new Naked Skin foundation, which is a weightless ultra definition liquid makeup. It’s infused with Matrixyl 3000 (an anti-wrinkle peptide), brightening Litchiderm and antioxidants Green Tea and Vitamin E. Having tried it, I really like its stamina (full day’s wear required minimal, if any touch-ups) and gave very good coverage without looking like I had a thick layer on!
Products used to create my look were:
24/7 Concealer Pencil in CIA
Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original
Moondust in Glitter Rock
24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil - Naked 3 Palette
Super Curl Mascara
Naked Flushed Original on my cheeks
24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Liar
Revolution Lipstick in Naked
All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
I also went to the launch of a brilliant new app called BeautySpotter at Boxpark in London last month and met its founder and CEO, the lovely Gemma Bellman (pictured below), and a wealth of beauty experts! The Painted Lady team worked their magic on my hair and gave me a lovely voluminous bouffant half-up style. The app enables you to window shop salons and stylists’ services before you book and is the UK’s first ever mobile app for hair and beauty salon discovery.
Download the App https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/beautyspotter./id806275616
Like on Facebook www.Facebook.com/OfficialBeautySpotter
Follow on Twitter @BeautySpotterUK
This week I’ve also been doing makeup and grooming for the great PR agency Campbell Brown on a client commercial project for price comparison site Best VPN. Stay tuned for the finished result on that! Here’s a behind-the-scenes snap from the day!
Hello! Here’s some wonderful exclusive extras from my Rock Sound cover feature with We Are The In Crowd vocalist Tay Jardine. All photos © Nigel Crane 2014. Hair & Makeup by LucyJFreeman.
Read more at http://www.rocksound.tv/photos/article/exclusive-tay-jardine-cover-gallery#Fyx2SuHOUHIDlPgI.99
Hope you all managed to enjoy the mini heatwave at the weekend? It definitely made me excited for the summer - cue long evenings in the park, bike rides and getting a nice glow! Seeing as I’m not naturally blessed in that department (and not wanting to turn leathery in my old age) I wanted to share my experience of St. Tropez spray tanning with you.
At a recent Fashion Monitor event (see my last post) I was fortunate to meet the lovely Michaella Bolder, a St.Tropez Skin Finishing Expert and Celebrity Tanner, who kindly gave me an amazing express spray tan. I’m usually very porcelain (aka Casper the friendly ghost) so I was really excited to see how it would enhance my skin tone. I could already notice a difference after half an hour on my journey home and the next morning I was even more delighted to see how golden I had become.
The tan lasted 6 days and faded gradually with no patchiness. I’d definitely get one again and even feeling braver about doing it myself at home now I’ve seen how good it can look. If you’re thinking of taking the fake tanning plunge here’s some tips from St.Tropez to ensure a perfect finish!
1. If you’re waxing or shaving before tanning, make sure you do it more than 24 hrs before your tan - removal opens up the skins pores and can make you skin sensitive
2. Exfoliate and moisturise the night before - it will mean your skin is silky soft for application and improve the results of your tan.
3. Don’t moisturise directly before tanning as it can act as a blocker to tan development - but do moisturise everyday afterwards to maintain your tan and encourage an even fade
4. Prior to application, moisturize dry areas such as elbows, knees, hands and feet to prevent the tan from clinging and appearing uneven in these areas.
5. Use latex gloves or an applicator mitt - tanned palms are a no-no!
6. To ensure a natural looking streak-free finish, apply your tan in upward sweeping motions, never rub in circles!
7. Struggling to tan your back? Turn your mitt back to front on your hand when tanning your back - you’ll be able to reach a lot further
8. Try and avoid washing your hands for as long as possible in the development time - a minimum of 2 hours.
9. Once you’ve applied your tan wear loose, dark fitting clothing and avoid tight underwear - anything that’s pressing on the skin can make results a bit patchy.
10. Sleeping in your tan is the best way to allow it to develop and achieve a natural looking, streak-free colour.
Here’s my before and after so you can see the difference!
Last week I was kindly invited to a Fashion Monitor event for beauty bloggers and press at the beautiful May Fair hotel in London. Fashion Monitor is the leading provider of contacts, news and events within the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industries. Established in 1989, Fashion Monitor is heavily relied upon by professionals needing the latest and most accurate information available.
Brands involved in the event were:
Feel Unique – Beauty Sponsor of the Beauty Lounge (Fashion & Beauty Monitor’s haven for press during LFW!)
St Tropez (express tanning)
Color Wow (blow-dries)
Decleor (Express facials/treatments)
Urban Decay (makeover sessions & touch-ups)
Blink Brow Bar (brow shaping)
Margaret Dabbs (express manicures)
The night was a fantastic opportunity to meet the teams behind the brands and find out what launches and services they are offering this season and beyond. I met the lovely marketing team at FeelUnique, which is one of the most successful online beauty retailers. They also have a salon, spa and club hotel - definitely on the list for future pampering! I was also lucky enough to get a fantastic spray tan from St Tropez Skin Finishing Expert, Michaella Bolder and there will be a dedicated post on this very soon! Here’s a snap of the results on my legs the next day…needless to say I was thrilled with the results and a week on there is still a hint of a glow so I’m sure this is the start of my new beauty obsession!
I also had a lovely express manicure from the team at Margaret Dabbs and also met the lovely Michaela Lands, Sales and Education Executive at Urban Decay who I will also be featuring in more detail in the near future!
I was fortunate enough to be invited to BeautyMART's press day earlier this week to discover some exciting new products for 2014. For those not familiar BeautyMART was founded by Anna-Marie Solowij, former beauty director of Vogue and Millie Kendall of Ruby & Millie cosmetics fame. All the products you find at BeautyMART have been carefully selected to represent the best of the best. Ultimately, they are there because they genuinely work, look fantastic and have that ‘can’t live without appeal’. As a result of this you will find an amazing and varied selection of luxury and budget-friendly products in their stores.
Along with other fellow beauty writers and bloggers, I had a wonderful introduction to the following products which you will soon see (or already have seen for some lucky people) at BeautyMART this year!
Brownberry New York: Clear Sunless Tanning Spray - Anna-Marie had tanned with this the night before and had a really lovely natural looking golden glow. Definitely one to try for the summer! The formula is paraben-free, oil-free and dermatologist-tested. RRP £30.00
Bronze Buffer Self-Tan Remover Sponges - This fab little sponge is the answer to my prayers! As a ghostly pale lady most of the year I have always longed for a golden glow. Due to some self tanning disasters in the past though I have always steered clear but thanks to the introduction of this beauty, fake tan disasters can be easily corrected using just a little water and this sponge! Anna-Marie demonstrated this on her own arm and the result was amazing so I’ll definitely be getting one in future. RRP £10.00
Embryolisse Rich Balm - I’m already a fan of Embryolisse products and the introduction of this new balm is a great addition to their range. It’s deeply nourishing and packed with olive extract, shea butter and white beeswax and is perfect for repairing, protecting and soothing any areas of dry, irritated skin. RRP £23.
Fairydrops Tokyo Scandal Queen Mascara - I was struck by how cute and colourful this mascara was. It’s a bestseller in Japan (founded by Japanese celebrity Aya Yasuda) and has become a cult favourite due to its smudge free formula and giving lashes a ‘push-up bra’ effect! RRP £18.50
Legology Air-Lite Daily Lift for Legs: I was instantly struck by the wonderfully cool and lifting/lightening effect this had on my skin, as well as the delicious lemon scent - I can imagine it becoming an absolute lifesaver after a long day on my feet or when travelling on long haul flights. Created by Telegraph Beauty Editor Kate Shapland, Kate’s passion for leg care and 25-year beauty writing experience has made this product a real labour of love. Grab one of the limited 500 jars before they go! - RRP £60 for 175ml
Sans (ceuticals) is a New Zealand brand founded by Lucy Marr. The products are plant-derived, ecologically sound and also anti-ageing. I was instantly struck by how wonderful the range looked, felt and smelled! BeautyMART will be stocking the Bio Active Body Exfoliant (£30), pH Perfect Body Wash (£20), Baobab Regenerative Body Cream (£25) and the Activator 7 body + Hair + Face Oil (£35).
Scott Barnes Body Bling - this luxurious moisturiser quickly absorbs into the skin for a sun-kissed and glitzy finish. I would definitely use this on shoots and for nights out as it gave a gorgeous finish and beautiful gilded gold effect to my skin. RRP £28.
DHC Eye Treatment Essence Peptides - this light moisturising serum was specially formulated to fight fine lines and wrinkles in the delicate eye area. I loved the light feel of this and imagine it would work wonders on the eye area - one to try in the future! RRP £33.00.
All products will be available at BeautyMART