Monday, 15 August 2011

Perfection is a little Parisian adventure!

I went to Paris for a few days at the end of July and although I've been before, I don't think I was old enough to appreciate it because this time I saw the city in a whole new light & pretty much fell in love with the place! It's a stunning city full of history, culture, beautiful architecture, fine food & gorgeous shops! By the end of my trip I had a firm grasp of the metro system & there was plenty more left to see which works out as the perfect excuse to go back! Of course I had to pick up a few 'souveniers' along the way and thought I'd share them with you lovely lot!

As soon as I clapped eyes on a Sephora store I was across the road and in the store before I knew it! I mooched around for ages wondering why on earth this cosmetic cavern ever left the UK. After 40 minutes of walking around, picking things up, putting things back down, swatching products and picking other things up, I left with 4 items which I thought demonstrated a huge amount of restraint considering I would have bought the whole if I could. The first product I bought was a Blu-ray High Definition Blush/Highlighter by Cargo (a professional make up brand from Canada) in Peach Shimmer. It was available in a Pink Shimmer too but I already have quite a few pink tone blushers & thought it would be nice to try a natural pretty peach shade for a change, especially as I think it would look really nice with a tan! The photo on the left doesn't really do the colour or shimmer justice but hopefully it comes across a little better in the pic on the right...! Cargo Blu-ray Blush/Highlighter is available from Beauty Bay for £18.50. Has anyone used this brand before?


Next I spied this Sephora Professional - XL Rounded Power Brush (49) and had to have it! I've had the same big kabuki brush for about 3 years and the hairs on it are now really brittle and dry but I've kept it for so long because it's really big! I'm not a fan of small powder brushes, the bigger the brush the better the coverage! So, it's fair to say I've been due for an upgrade for a while and the Sephora 49 was the perfect candidate! It's definitely my new favourite brush - big, fluffy & super soft!

Although I hadn't planned to pick up a face powder while I was in Paris or even in Sephora, I ran out of my Benefit 'Hello Flawless' while I was there and had to buy something to tide me over. I figured it was a great excuse to try one of the Sephora compact powders and I chose R20 - Cool Nude from the matifying range. To be honest I was a bit disappointed. I don't know why but I had high expectations which the product didn't live up to. I only really use powders to set my foundation so I'm not looking for high coverage, just something light that matifys my skin slightly and dusts across my face evenly and although it does matify, it feels and looks a bit cakey and definitely doesn't give me an even finish. Positives? It smells suprisingly good - like floral talcum powder! I might use it to touch up on nights out but I wouldn't buy it again and if I was awarding stars out of 10, it would get 5.

Last but not least in my mini Sephora haul is this bright pink travel make up bag. I love love love the colour and the fact that it's see through makes it so much easier to find what your looking for when you're out. It also had a tag on it that said 'Aeroplane Approved' which means no more of those little plastic bags when you're going through airport security and instead I can just chuck any liquids I need for the plane in here but the rest of the time I will just be using it as my mini make up bag and it shall live in my hand bag.


It sounds rather vacuous when I say my 1 of my favourite discoveries in Paris was a department store but well, it was! Although it has to be said, this wasn't just your average department store like House of Faser, Debenhams or John Lewis. Galeries Lafayette is a little corner of retail heaven and I never thought I'd say this but it even managed to knock Selfridges off the top spot of my favourite retail outlets (although it's still coming in at a very close second). The architecture inside the store was amazing and if you were on the ground floor (in the beauty department) and looked up you could see the huge stained glass domed skylight. It has absolutely stunning (have included some photos below).

 I saw they were selling limited edition make up bags with the skylight design printed on them, so I bought one as a souvenir of my new favorite department store!

Sadly we couldn't stay for long and barely made it round 2 of the 4 floors and that was just the women's store. Yep thats right, they have a whole department store just for women, another for men and another for home (all across the road from each other)! However, while having a quick mooch around, this scarf by Avant Premiere caught my eye (if you don't already know, I have a serious scarf problem, scarves and bags are my weaknesses). I thought it was a really nice design & would go well with any block colour outfits.

The next day I walked past a stall selling these cute stretchy string bracelets. I love these kind of bracelets for summer as they add a bit of colour to your wrists. There was a shop I always used to go to in the South of France with my friends where they sold the same bracelets and we'd always stock up on them so I thought I'd honor the tradition and pick up a couple. I think they look really nice mixed in with other silver jewellery. Does anyone know of anywhere in England that sells similar bracelets?

On our last day we went to a huge market in the north of the city called Marche Puces de St Ouen. It has over 2000 stalls - heaven! However once we got there we spent pretty much all our time inside strolling around the gorgeous antiques market which were set up more like small open shops than stalls. Everything was gorgeous, one of a kind & unique - from old furniture and vintage Chanel to an array of art, books and records. There was one stall/shop that was completely dedicated to old magazines, ads and publishing artwork (oh that's another thing I'm obsessed with - magazines, so scarves, bags and magazines). I've been looking for some new art for my bedroom for a while so I picked up an original 1950's black and white Chanel newspaper ad and a Parisian women's magazine from the 1940's both of which I can't wait to get framed and hung on my walls! It was the best antiques market I've ever been to and it would be a crime not to go if you're visting Paris - the same goes for Galeries Lafayette!

My final purchase was the smallest costing just 50 cents, a tiny replica of one of the most iconic structures in the world and undoutedly my favourite and now I get to carry it around with me at all times on my keys!

So incase you didnt quite catch on, j'adore Paris! I'll stop going on now but if any of you are thinking about going to Paris and want some recommendations than let me know as I'd be more than happy to offer up some 'must sees' or if any of you have been & have any recommendations for me next time I go then I'd love to hear them in the comments section below!

 À la prochaine!


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Prime Time with Cover FX!

It's fair to say I jumped in at the deep end with primers. I went from never really using one (apart from the occasional fab of Urban Decay's Primer Potion on my eyes) to religiously applying probably one of the most expensive primers out there...! I first discovered Canadian brand Cover FX in House of Fraser while mooching around London one afternoon with my mum. We were both goaded into make overs by one of their sales assistants and after she'd finshed putting numerous things on my face we left armed with testers. I had been given a mini bottle of their foundation, and my mum, a sample of  their facial primer. Both of the samples ended up in my bathroom and although the foundation was nothing to write home about, I fell in love with the primer and went back to buy a full size tube the following week!

Skinprep FX (Nourishing Foundation Primer Makeup and Anti-Aging Serum) has a super light gel like formulation and glides onto skin creating a hydrated base ready for easy foundation application. It makes it so much easier to apply, blend and evenly spread my foundation and (the best thing) it really does keep my make up in place for so much longer than normal, even at the end of the day it still looks perfectly even! Their website says it's an anti-aging foundation primer that 'smoothes skin to blur the apperance of fine lines (fingers crossed I don't have any of them just yet) and pores (but I've got plenty of them instead).

I love this product & can't imagine ever using a different primer and although it's pricey at £44 for a 30ml tube (which lasted me about 4 months), it's definitely worth it! Available exclusively in the UK from House of Fraser.


Sunday, 7 August 2011

Covered in Marc Jacobs

I've had my current iPhone cover for 7 months now, which isn't that big of a deal except that it's record time for me! I'd previously never found one that I really liked so would inevitably end up getting bored after a couple of months & start searching for something new. However, last Christmas I was treated to the Marc by Marc Jacobs soft Dreamy Logo 3G iPhone Cover in hot pink. I put it on my phone and haven't taken it off since!

Apologies for the flash reflection, I was in a bit of a rush when  I was snapping away. Unfortunately the photo hasn't really done the colour justice. It looks quite dull here but it is definitely a hot pink shade. I wanted something pretty but fairly understated, I know hot pink isn't exactly understated but in comparision to the rest of Marc Jacobs 'tech' range, all of which was fairly garish, this was the more subtle choice! The back of the cover features a series of repeated jumbled up letters which one would assume might spell out Marc Jacobs however there is a 'Y' and no 'O' so I'm at a loss. If anyone knows what it is meant to spell out (if anything) please let me know. It's been bothering me for months!

The case is made out of thick silicon which is great for protecting your phone. I've dropped my iPhone far too many times than I care to remember and this bad boy has always protected it! I hope I've done a pretty good job at describing this product but just in case I haven't here's what is printed on the back of the box. Nearly as good as those perfume descriptions I love to have a giggle at ;)

I bought mine from NET-A-PORTER but it's no longer available on their website. If you're in the States you can order it direct from Marc himself here and for everyone else this company (although based in America) ship pretty much worldwide - available from both websites for $28 (approx £17)!