Sunday, 30 March 2014

True Blue

Hi everyone!

What a wonderful weekend it has been. The sun has been shining and I spent the weekend back up north visiting my parents. It has been amazing to completely chill out and I now feel ready for whatever the new week has to offer.

While out with my dad yesterday, I popped into the Body Shop with the intention of buying some new eyeshadow. I bought the Shimmer Cubes in shade 06 Warm last year and have used them for many an evening out. The colours are perfectly matched so there's no faffing around trying to find different shades to blend together. However, this time I decided to step a little out of my comfort zone and inject some colour into my make up bag. The palette I opted for is 22 Green (R.R.P £16), a beautiful mix of turquoises and sea blues.

I have avoided blue eyeshadow for years out of fear of looking like a teen model in 'Shout' magazine, but have seen others wear it beautifully so was inspired to try it again myself.

To create this look, I used the following items:

Left to right:
Eyeshadow brush (Body Shop)
Eyeliner (MAC in Feline)
Eyeshadow (Body Shop Shimmer Cubes in 22 Green)
Mascara (L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Diamantissime)
Liquid Eyeliner (Collection 2000 Fast Stroke Eyeliner)

I used the lighter shade over my whole eyelid, not forgetting the inner corner towards my nose. Then, I worked my way from about the middle of my eyelid to the outside layering up gradually darker shades and blending the colours together. When using the darkest shade on the far side of the lid I found that, by using a flicking motion with the eyeshadow brush from the eyelashes outwards with my eyes open, I was able to drag the colour past the eyelid crease and towards the eyebrow in one single, smooth movement. After some more blending, I then polished off with liquid eyeliner.

Once the eyelid was complete, I used an eyeshadow brush to put the darkest eyeshadow shade underneath my eye to avoid the colour looking too top heavy. I then used a black eyeliner pencil on my waterline and softened the line by blending into the eyeshadow with the eyeshadow brush. To complete the look, I used L'Oreal Million Lashes Diamantissime on my top and bottom lashes. I got this mascara for Christmas and it's perfect for adding a touch of sparkle to your eyes and finishing off an evening make up look.

I am by no means a make up artist but I'm happy with how my first attempts with blue eyeshadow have turned out. Practise makes perfect as they say, and I hope to experiment with more colours in the coming months.

Have you tried any eyeshadow palettes recently that you think deserve some love? Holla at me!

Want more? Follow me on twitter @jobancroft or on facebook.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Lola make up at M&S


Just a quick mid-week post (well, over mid-week, thank the sweet lord) to let you know about one of the newest beauty brands to hit the M&S beauty aisles - Lola. Lola is a British professional mid-range beauty brand that is exclusive to M&S. I was particularly excited to find out they are based in Clapham, being a South London dweller myself!

After exploring the range with a lovely M&S representative, I was really impressed with the brushes. They are incredibly well priced for the quality, costing £15 on average. I will always be a huge advocate of MAC brushes but they are pricey. If, like myself, you can't afford to kit yourself out with the entire range, these are a great alternative that won't break the bank. They look really professional and are super soft.

Another thing that caught my eye was the beautiful range of colours that the cosmetics come in. All the colours are bright and summery, with plenty of peach and orange hues. The nail polish I'm wearing in the picture below is called "prom queen" and I absolutely love it. I'd say these nail polishes are on a par with Boots' No.7 price and quality-wise but the range of colours is far better and more seasonal.

All in all, I think Lola is a fantastic mid-range brand and is perfect for those who want to treat themselves to something a little special but without the hefty price tag. You can check out the collection here.

Have you tried out any new, lesser-known brands which you think deserve recognition? Let me know!

Want more? Follow me on twitter @jobancroft or on facebook.

*Disclaimer: M&S is actually one of the brands I work for at my PR agency. However, I promise that I was in no way asked or paid to write this post and all opinions are my own!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Springtime simple messy bun

Hi everyone!

With spring getting underway, it's time to think about refreshing your hairstyle with a touch of something special. I have always loved styles that incorporate French plaits but have never been able to do them (and believe me, I've tried). I don't know if it's something to do with the layers in my hair or just my own incompetence, but it's a skill I've never been able to master.

So, one very uneventful day, I had a bit of an experiment to see if I could create a look that incorporated something that resembled a French plait but without all the tricky stuff. It was then that I came up with this hairstyle which I am wearing increasingly as it gets more sunny and I want to dress up a casual outfit. It's super quick (I did this in under 10 minutes including taking the photos) and looks a lot more complicated than it is.

So without further ado, here's how it's done:
1) Start with clean dry hair with a side parting. It doesn't have to be straightened or curled, just as it comes (admittedly I often do this hairstyle when I can't be bothered to wash my hair too because, as I admitted to a rather horrified colleague, I think the twisted detail distracts from the fact that my hair hair is unwashed).

2) Take a section of hair from the front and pin it back, twisting it once before you fix with a hair grip. It's useful if you think of this first section of hair as the amount of hair that would be in a side fringe/ use your actual side fringe if you have one. Oh, and another thing, don't pin it flat to your head, it looks better if there is a little volume in there.

(World's most unflattering picture)

3) Take a smaller section of hair from the side of your face and below the section you just pinned up. Twist this section of hair once and pin in place below the previous section of hair. Again, don't pin it too close to your head to add a bit of volume.

4) Repeat step 3

5) When you're done pinning, it's time to make your messy bun. For this hairstyle, a low bun works best - a higher bun will just mean that the grips get all caught up in the hair elastics and other such first world problems. I tend to use two thick hair bobbles to make sure my bun is extra secure. Using the first elastic, make the bun by tying your hair up as if tying a ponytail but don't drag your hair all the way through the elastic the last time.

6) To finish the bun with a messy look, use another hair elastic to wrap around the bun to take away the neat shape so that various strands of hair are sticking out randomly. Pull a few strands loose around your face to soften the look, fix with hairspray and voila! You have one super easy, springtime messy bun.

Do you have any quick and easy tips for creating springtime hairstyles? If so, please share - I'm always looking for ways to speed up my morning routine!

Want more? Follow me on twitter @jobancroft or on facebook.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

So Me Beauty & Wellness opens in Clapham Junction

On Tuesday I took my two lovely housemates along to the opening event of So Me Beauty & Wellness in Clapham Junction. As I have mentioned previously, I used to work in the branch at Clapham North so I was eager to see the new salon and show my support.

What struck me immediately was the location. For those of you who are local to South London, the salon is located on 43 St John's Road and so is slap bang in the middle of the high street, making it perfect for sneakily treating yourself when you're meant to be doing your errands at the weekend. The interior is also beautiful and the girls had put in a real effort for the event with balloons, canap├ęs and champagne. 

And the best part of the evening? We were given the opportunity to sample the treatments! All three of us had a back and shoulder massage which we thoroughly enjoyed. Working in PR, healthcare and as a teacher, we all lead quite busy lives and it was such a treat to be pampered. The massage made me feel so relaxed and as if a literal weight had been taken off my shoulders. Next was eyebrow threading. I have been having my eyebrows threaded by the So Me girls for over a year now and cannot find a better service in South London. My eyebrows always look perfectly groomed (and last evening was no exception) and it's excellent value for the area.

The manicure area at the new salon

The pedicure area

On our way out we also each got a really cute goodie bag to take home with vouchers and product samples inside. I was particularly excited by the sachet of Glam Glow Youth-Mud Tinglexfoliate Treatment. I have only heard good things about it and am looking forward to trying it out.

All in all, it was such a lovely Tuesday evening with friends as well as offering a great mid-week respite (we also made chocolate and raspberries pancakes when we got home to top off the indulgence). If you live in the South London area, why not click here to see the full list of treatments that both So Me salons have to offer. 

Want more? Follow me on twitter @jobancroft or on facebook.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Happy Saturday - blow dry and pugs

Hello and Happy Saturday!

I don't know about you, but this week has been incredibly tiring for me as there has been so much going on. As happy as I was to go for a few drinks after work yesterday, as soon as I got home I felt like I never wanted to leave my bed again. So, when I woke up this morning, I decided to have a lazy Saturday and treat myself by having my hair done.

I used to work at a salon called So Me Beauty & Wellness in Clapham as a receptionist alongside doing my Master's degree and have kept in touch with all the girls who work there as they are all lovely (as well as being an absolute dream to work with). The environment in the salon is always so friendly and I immediately felt 10 times more relaxed when I stepped through the door. The hairdresser, Kamila, was her usual smiley self and trimmed and styled my hair wonderfully.

Hair styled by Kamila at So Me Beauty & Wellness - Apologies for the selfie - I tried to make it as uncringeworthy (real word) as possible.

Today I am also wearing my 'Group Pugs' t-shirt that I bought from New Look a few weeks ago. It genuinely puts a smile on my face every time I wear it. What's not to love about a t-shirt with animals on?

New Look T-shirt R.R.P £7.99 - buy it here

In conclusion, let's all raise a glass to Saturdays and I hope you all have a wonderful evening, whatever you have planned.

Want more? Follow me on twitter @jobancroft or on facebook.