28 Feb 2011

Liquid eyeliner product comparison and tutorial

Liquid eyeliners, felt-tip eyeliners, gel eyeliners... how's a girl supposed to choose which one to use? Well here's my little show of different types of eyeliners, the effects they give and finally my first beauty how-to video: how I apply liquid eyeliner!


From L-R: Bourjois Liner Feutre, Collection 2000 Fast Stroke Eye Liner,


 



Bourjois Liner Feutre



This eyeliner comes in the form of a felt-tip pen to make it easy to use. As you can see the nib is very precise and does give easy application.


It's a great products for first time users, the nib gives a steady flow of liner and makes eyeliner easy. My only complaint is that it's not a very dark line, it's more watery and grey.

 


Here's the result. A great line and really easily applied but I'd prefer something more bold.

Collection 2000 Fast Stroke Eye Liner


This eyeliner comes in the traditional pot-and-brush format, the handle on the blog is the perfect length to hold easily and balance on your hand for a smooth line. I like the tip of this brush too, it's a felty brush which I find easier to use than the traditional bristles brush.


You can see the brush holds together and isn't bendy so gives a great line. Here's the result



You can see it gives a bold line, it's not too thick and application is really easy and controllable.

No7 Gel Eyeliner


This eyeliner is an ink pot and brush application. The brush has a very small handle which is quick fiddly, and apparently the eyliner dries up in the pot after a while. The brush length is really good though, nice and short for precise application. As you can see in my old review, it's really lovely to use, but maybe not a first-time liquid liner to use.

Here's the result



This liner gives a very bold line again, and as you can see from the very first photo, in comparison to other liquid eyeliners it looks more gel and shiney compared to the others.

The last thing I have to show you is a liquid eyeliner tutorial! This is my first ever video and you can probably see I'm really nervous - I'm glad I managed to keep a smooth hand through the video! I can't believe it chose such a terrible first image though. I look like a duck!


 




 

 My new YouTube channel is here if you want to come and be my friend!


 


Hope this information and tutorial was useful! x

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27 Feb 2011

The 2 weeks to better skin challenge

Is your skin spotty, dry, dull, wintery? Yeah me too. My skin is disgusting at the moment so therefore I've taken the 2 weeks to better skin challenge. Your body needs a detox after the excesses of Christmas, and so does your skin from the excess of dry weather, foundation and abuse.


Here's my diary as I complete the challenge, showing you the progress from my makeup-free skin on Day 1 to the progress on Day 14. That's right, I'm going to show you my makeup-free, spotty face and write my diary from self-conscious and spotty to hopefully glowing and gorgeous.


So here's my face without makeup on. This is a brave moment for me. I suffered from acne since I was 11, and even though I was on roaccutaine a few years ago, I still get spots and still have the "acne sufferer mentality" where I feel spotty and minging. But never once did I think I'd put my makeup free face on the WORLD WIDE WEB!



So what are the rules of this challenge?


For the next 2 weeks I will be following these rules:




  • Cleanse, tone and moisturise in the morning and before bed. Really look after your skin and you'll quickly notice the difference. Here's the products I'm using:



Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, Liz Earle instant boost skin tonic, and Liz Earle skin repair moisturiser. I'm using Liz Earle because I have really sensitive skin and these products are perfect to sooth my skin and stop me getting spots. Use the products that are good for you and you know agree with your skin




  • Exfoliate twice a week, apply a deep cleansing mask once a week and use a spot cream on problem areas. I'm using the new Liz Earle Problem Skin set which is £20.65 for the exfoliator, face mask and spot on, including a fetching hairband which I'm wearing in the above pic, and sponges. You can get it from here, I'd really recommend it.

  •  
  • Don't wear foundation for the whole 2 weeks. This is the hardest part but letting your skin detox and breathe for the whole 2 weeks is really important. You can still wear all your normal make-up and wear under-eye concealer and a bit of concealer on your spots, but no blusher, bronzer, powder or foundation to clog up your skin.

  •  
  • Wash all your makeup brushes!





 




  • Wash your hair up-side down with the shower head if you can. Shampoo, conditioner and hair products are full of chemicals which can do allsorts to your skin. If you can, washing your hair up-side down so the shampoo doesn't go on your face is REALLY helpful. I noticed a difference really quickly. You know if you have a slight shampoo/conditioner allergy if you get bumpy spots around your hairline, forehead and temples/jawline - the places that the water runs down.

  •  
  • Drink lots of water. Everyone knows this is good for your skin.

  • 

Day 1:


Today I left the house with no makeup on other than my eyeliner, mascara, lipgloss, under-eye concealer and concealer over a spot on my right cheek.


I felt disgusting. I went shopping in Southampton, and walking through John Lewis I felt like all the beauty counter girls were staring at me thinking urgh. I wanted to hide my face, luckily for my tube-neck jacket.


I started to calm down though, and when I caught myself in a mirror, I realised that I didn't actually look that hideous, it was all in my head. Yes I didn't look as well made-up and neat as I usually do covered in foundation, but I looked alright, and some young lads made sexual comments to me as I walked past (yes the kids in the area I live are rude, but it was a bit of a confidence boost that they made lewd comments rather than run away screaming I was a spotty monster).


When I got back, my boyfriend didn't say anything about me wearing less makeup, but did say I looked lovely. I thought that was because he HAD to say it, but he said I looked less orange and more pretty!


Verdict - it's really hard going cold-turkey so this had better pay off!


Day 2:


Due to my self consciousness yesterday, I decided to try an unusual "halo pleat" hair-do to distract from my skin.



I still feel self-conscious, I recorded my first YouTube video today (which you can see here) and felt the whole time when people are watching it, they must just be thinking "eww look at her terrible skin, look at her acne scars". Some lovely comments from the girls on Twitter reminded me that people aren't hunting out my imperfections and the hair distraction is working!


I'm again wearing liquid eyeliner, mascara, under-eye concealer, concealer on my spot and some lip balm. My skin is looking a bit better I think, the angry looking under-the-skin spots on my forehead seem reduced, but I'm expecting a flare-up sometime soon because I'm a pessimist.


Verdict - it's getting easier to cope without foundation, I'm learning to forget my skin and it was a huge compliment that none of my YouTube video watchers commented on it! Gave me a reality check that nobody is staring at my skin.


I'll keep you updated on my progress over the 2 weeks. Are you going to take the clearer skin challenge? x
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Crimes of Fashion Weekend - Sunday

Who's your style icon? Lauren Conrad? Alexa Chung? Princess Jasmine? If so, your luck is in as ASOS take the hareem pant to whole new levels!





Even the model's face is like "you're joking... right?"


So if you want to go out, looking like you're in fancy dress and with people looking at your pants, then ASOS is the place to go. These are being marketed as "beach trousers" but I don't think that's a clothing item that's really been explored before now - maybe they made up that title to get people to buy them?


If you do want to get them, maybe you have a fancy dress party coming up, they are £28 from here.


x
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26 Feb 2011

Crimes of fashion weekend - Saturday

Today our crimes of fashion come from Topshop!


Crime number 1:



First we have these foil joggers by KTZ which cost a shocking £130. Not only are you paying for jogging bottoms made of shiney, odd material, but they are also see-through! Just what you always wanted to waste £130 on. If you have more money than sense, they are here.


Crime number 2



Ever wanted to look like a cowgirl? Me neither! But if you have some strange urge to wear suede fringe leggings, then these are £28 from here. All I can think is that the tassles would be REALLY annoying, a little big ridiculous and probably get caught on something and rip.
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25 Feb 2011

Steal Celebrity Street Style - Alexa Chung

This week's celeb is again the lovely Alexa Chung, pictured here at the LFW Burberry show. I love what she's done with her hair, the natural dark brown is much more flattering on her than that ombre do I think.

Alexa Chung street style

So how do we get this look?

  • The key to the look are these leather (real or pleather) leggings. I'm sure Alexa's are very expensive, but you have 2 options here - the ones on the left are £20 from Topshop or the ones on the right are more like Alexa's and are $65 from All Saints

  • Layer  up with an unusual bobble jumper, and ignore the "no black and blue together" rule with pride! This one is £22 from Dorothy Perkins and reminds me of a jumper my mum made me when I was little!

  • Alexa has accessorised this look with lace up wedge boots, these ones from Schuh are now £34.95 and are almost exactly the same!

  • The unusual mint-coloured handbag really stands out but also goes with the outfit strangely. This very similar one is £10 from BooHoo
    Finally Alexa wears a really simply circle necklace. This one is £22.50 and made from silver. I love the double layer to give it a bit more interest. It's from Oliver Bonas.


x
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23 Feb 2011

London Fashion Week using anorexic models? Start the debate:

This week it came out that fashion designer Maria Grachvogel's collection, which was shown on Friday morning had problems with the models - they were too thin. Maria Grachvogel is known for making clothes for "real women" (I'm sorry but I HATE the term real women, I'm a real woman and a very healthy size 8-10 and I have friends who are healthily a size 6! real does not always = size 14+! Rant over) and therefore modelling her items on size 10 models, yet this year there weren't enough, and it is said she had to take in many of the items for the models available. This does not surprise me sadly, and it must be really hard for models who are average UK sizes to get into the fashion industry because people "don't want to see a fat person wearing designer clothes" or some other rubbish. However I'd much rather see a "fat" size 10 girl model clothes than the girls seen this week. For example, the picture on the right is of model Martyna Budna, modelling here for Mark Fast. I can't even think of the words to express my sadness at this picture. This poor, young girl is working in the fashion industry and obviously being praised for her figure which is estimated to be around a BMI of under 15.

London Fashion Week is all about aspiration right? We look to the clothes and think "I wish I had that" in the same way that I also sign when the My-Wardrobe newsletter plonks into my email inbox. For many women this also applies to the models - they look to the models and think, "I want to achieve that". I'm not going to go into why women become anorexic because it's a hugely complex tangle of psychological influences and problems, but needless to say, anorexia should not be promoted in fashion but sadly it is. As I said in my article on airbrushed models, it is not my place to say that models should be a certain size, they should just be healthy and some girls at LFW were really not.

Other worrying pictures include that of Chloe Memisevic, the young Swedish model pictured left at the Erdem show who has worryingly prominent bones and very hollow cheeks. This isn't something that most women can achieve without putting themselves at risk of illnesses, bone disorders and early death.

You may be asking why this is an important subject, girls on the catwalks have been underage and underweight since FOREVER, but you have to remember how impressionable this group may be, if you're hearing everyday that you're not thin enough or beautiful enough, no matter how much strength you may have to ignore the pressures of being a model, it's bound to get to you one day right? And think of all the young, fashion loving girls out there, a huge proportion of who will read blogs on fashion week and look to catwalk shows for inspiration which is really great, but some will also gain "thin-spiration" from these pictures and "ideals". As Giles Deacon pointed out - the fashion industry can impose some "unrealistic ideals" on women, and it's true - for the majority of us these figures are unrealistic and very unhealthy. In many cases biologically impossible to achieve without some long-term health implications. Take this example from Grachvogel herself:
 "The model industry is international now, and body shapes that a decade ago were unusual in Britain have become standard. Ten years ago, the standard British body shape for a 5ft 10in model was a size 10 with size seven or eight feet. Now there are many, many Eastern European models who are that tall, but with very fine, narrow bone structure. Typically they have size five or six feet. They are built differently."

 So for many of us, these kinds of sizes are biologically impossible and shouldn't be attempted.

I'm shocked that the authorities at London Fashion Week would allow such thin models, as it was being questioned whether this should be legal at one point. You only have to remember the case of the model Isabelle Caro who died in November at the age of 21 who made a very public campaign against eating disorders to see the devastating effects that an eating disorder can have.

 



Yes, eating disorders are not due to fashion, they are a hugely complex problem caused by psychological illness, and I know importantly for fashion shows – size 0 women don’t have lumps and bumps in places so dresses fit all and the seamstresses don’t have to worry about tailoring the clothes to fit those of us who are pearshaped or have bigger boobs etc… because size 0 women don’t have these bumps! But for those on the slippery slope to an eating disorder, images of glamorous, successful, beautiful and THIN models are very influential. I don't have an eating disorder myself thankfully, but I have several close friends who have/had one and I've seen the devastation it causes. So come on London Fashion Week, please start thinking of the young women who can't afford your clothes, but aspire to.

For more help, go to the websites of MIND or B-EAT, if you are suffering from an eating disorder, please go see your doctor. Finally, if you want to support those with eating disorders and live in the Brighton region, go to the Free Clothes - For Better Mental Health clothes swap event which you can see here on Facebook.

Please all add your opinions, for or against my post. I'd love to hear your points of view x
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17 Feb 2011

Lauren Loves... Crimes of Fashion - Prehistoric Edition

Hey girls, want to look like Pebbles from the Flintstones? Well here's your chance!


 


 

A Wear have created a playsuit which allows you to look just like your favourite cave person


 


I'm kidding obviously... This dress is clearly styled on the designer Jeremy Scott's S/S 2010 catwalk show where Pixie Geldof strutted her stuff and a very similar dress



see?


 


If you want this playsuit and want to look like a crazy cave lady, it's £35 from ASOS.


 


x

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16 Feb 2011

BRIT Awards Outfits judged

So the BRIT awards were last night, and here's the round up of the outfits. Let's start with the good ones...

GOOD


Rihanna shocked in her on-stage outfit and wore a very unusual dress on the red carpet, but I loved the dress she wore to pick up her "Best International Female" award. This feminie, beautiful dress may look a bit weddingy, but with her ample cleavage on display and her bright red hair it was kept modern and different and really showed off her gorgeous figure.



 


Sophie Ellis-Bexter turned up looking pale and interesting in this gorgeous spotty prom-style dress. It's a classic 1950s cut and really suits her. I love it!



 


I loved former Pussycat Doll Kimbery Wyatt's sheer dress and Marylin Monroe style hair. She looked perfectly dressed for the occasion - not too dressy but not to casual. I love the earrings too, keeping the accessories simple and gorgeous



 


I love Tinie Tempah - mainly for his style! He wore this unsual two-tone suit with (fake) glasses - in the pre-award show, Dave Berry uncovered the truth behind those glasses! I think he looked really modern, but smart and I love the bow tie!



 


The gorgeous Adele - lots of people have slagged off her outfit, skin coloured tights and size (with someone on TheMail Online saying "she could do with saying no to chips for a while" but I think it's gorgeous. It's an elegant, classic outfit, but kept young with sheer sleeves and that gorgeous 60s style makeup.



 


I really thought Ferne Cotton's chain mail dress and red shoes were so different and made her stand out for the right reasons! Although I feel bad for her because you can kind of see her Spanx! I also love her tiny feminie handbag but I'm not sure it goes with the outfit. I'm glad to see Ferne looking more blonde again.




BAD


Oh Rihanna, you have such a gorgeous figure but this outfit did nothing for you. We all know Rihanna is skinny as anything, but the combination of an unflattering leg-line and shoe-boots make her legs looks short and chunky compared to her skinny body. Someone get the girl some nude heels!



 


I normally love Ellie Goulding's style, but this dress was so unflattering on her. I love the thigh-high split, but the strange material around the waist did nothing for her. I like her new lavendar-shaded hair though and love the fierce shoes!



 


This dress is beautiful, but again did nothing for Cheryl Cole's gorgeous figure, with some girls on Twitter commenting on her "food baby" yesterday. I love the thigh high split again though, but the hair and heavy makeup along with this dress makes her look older than she is.



 


I really didn't like Jessie J's outfit last night :-( I normally love her style, and elements of this are great like the colour of the dress against her skin tone, the sexy Louboutins and the tights, but the shape of the dress is just odd, the skirt is VERY short and the red lipstick doesn't go... sorry.



 


I thought Cee-Lo Green's chav-tastic outfit last night was hilarious! He'd just flown over from America and was clearly exhausted, so what else to do but wear a tracksuit... with bling! This diamante encrusted wonder was really different and maybe a little dressed down?! Love him for wearing it though!



 


Now this is a fashion crime! Actress Preeya Kalidas turned up in this skin-tight catsuit with stripper heels. It is not flattering even on her tiny figure and camel-toes will never be in fashion!



 


Finally my 2nd favourite Radio 1 presenter (after Scott Mills) Sarah Cox turned up in this very strange dress which didn't really suit her at all. It's just very bland, a bit Western bar girl and part can-can dancer.



 


So that's my round up of the Brit's outfits. What did you think of the outfits? Did you watch The BRITS last night?


All images from The Mail Online and HeatWorld

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Steal Celebrity Street Style - Alexa Chung

Today's "Steal Celebrity Style" Icon is the ever-gorgeous Alexa Chung.




Alexa Chung Style
 Alexa Chung Style by laurenlovesblog


Alexa was spotted out last week in LA looking smart but in a really different way. I love the mix of blue and black (even though it's a fashion "rule" that blue and black don't go together) and the use of a white masculine tux.


Here's how to achieve her look:

  • Pop on these gorgeous tailored shorts - these are £35 from Therapy at House of Fraiser

  • Tie it all up with this lizard-skin style belt. This one is £25 from John Lewis

  • Tuck it into this gorgeous peter-pan style shirt which is expensive but lovely, £45 from Pins and Needles at Urban Outfitters

  • Put on this white blazer - £65 from Debenhams

  • Add these stripey slingbacks for some nautical style. These are about £36 from heels.com (they ship to the UK)

  • Finally tuck this pale blue clutch bag under your arm - this one is £15 from Dorothy Perkins


What do you think? x
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15 Feb 2011

Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection Sponge Review




My post last week on the Cosmopolitan beauty brushes I won really created some interest and I was asked to review the brushes - in particular, this rather odd looking foundation sponge. So here it is.


Firstly, I normally use a brush to apply foundation so this was a different experience. I find the pro's of using a brush is that it gives a flawless coverage and reduces the amount of (expensive) foundation used for each application. However it takes some practice to use a brush, so a sponge is a great alternative. The pro's of a sponge is that they can be used dry to give a full, airbrushed coverage, but can also be used damp to give a really sheer coverage.


The Cosmopolitan blend perfection sponge is available for around £4.99 from Superdrug or Boots and is made of a strange latex material - almost like one of those squeezy stress balls. It therefore works very differently to a normal foundation sponge. It's to be used in a "bouncing" motion over the skin, with the larger ball area covering the face, and the pointy end to get into all the nooks and crannies like around the nose or eyes. The bouncing motion means you are stippling the foundation on to give quite a thick and airbrushed finish, but I found that rather than using one pump of foundation, I needed to use 2.


Here's the result, using the sponge and my trusty Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Hydrating Foundation.





excuse the terrible hair! I scraped it back to show you the effect. As you can see, it gives a flawless but quite thick coverage, but didn't pick up any dry skin like a kabuki brush can. I don't know if I'd use it on a daily basis, I prefer my brush for a more natural coverage. However for a night out which requires heavier coverage then I'd choose this. I'd be really interested in trying it damp to see the effect.


I actually used the large end to apply my cream blusher too - I found it gave again a thick coverage but it was easy to blend with the sponge; and I also used the pointed end to blend my under-eye concealer in. It's definitely a handy multi-purpose tool to have in your makeup bag, and much cheaper than the very similar BeautyBlender makeup sponge which is £14.81


What do you think of foundation sponges?

x
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14 Feb 2011

MAC Girl About Town dupe - Barry M 145 Punky Pink

I'm sure you're all fed up of me banging on about MAC Girl About Town lipstick, the same colour Cheryl Cole reportedly wears, but it is my most favourite lipstick colour ever! However for £13.50, it's a real treat. So imagine my glee when I realised an old favourite, Barry M lip paint in 145 - Punky Pink is a perfect dupe - and only £4.49!

Here's the evidence...


The swatches show the huge similarity in the colours, which doesn't come across as clearly in the tubes here. However I'd say the colour match is really close!


The formulas are very similar, with the MAC formula being more creamy, giving better colour pay-off and thicker coverage, but for the price, the Barry M is a fantastic dupe, and is also moisturising unlike many Barry M fomulas.


 


 



 

Here's the swatches on lips, MAC on the left, Barry M on the right. Ignore the trout pout!



As you can see, the MAC on the left gives a thicker coverage and is slightly darker. The Barry M is brighter and thinner, you can see the un-even coverage on my bottom lip. However as I said before, for the huge difference in price, the Barry M is a great replacement.


x

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13 Feb 2011

My custom made Valentines Day card

My AMAZING friend, Megan Hedges - graphic designer and top-notch fashion journalist for The Chichester News designed a gorgeous Valentines card for me to give to my boyfriend!

See what she made me!



isn't she clever? I'm so pleased with it, I hope Simon loves it too.

If you want a custom made card, just visit her website and look through her previous work.



You may recognise the stunning Katie from Fake It 'Till You Make It on one of the cards!

What do you think of my card?

x
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