Friday, 24 July 2015

IT by Alexa Chung

Being naturally not much of a reader, I of course had to make an exception for Alexa Chung and purchase her debut book simply titled 'It'. Published in 2013 I'm about 2 years too late, but my obsession for her only recently kick-started after a late night visit to Alex Turner and Alexa Chung dedicated tumblr pages - cringe. Alexa is no doubt an It Girl of the 21st century, and the self confessed groupie has listed her somewhat strange style icons in this book, pulling inspiration from the likes of Wednesday Adams and even her own grandfather.

Even for me, I found this book to be quite a quick read. However, the lack of words is quickly made up for by the vast amount of personal photographs and doodles; a real insight into Alexa's life and musings. The top 10 best seller covers everything from heartbreak, to how to get dressed in the morning, and even tips for the perfect selfie (it helps if you have Alexa Chung's face). If you're looking for a witty read, I'd definitely recommend 'It' - also available in paperback.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit

Contouring is everywhere. I mean everywhere. Probably the most popular contour kit I've noticed being used by bloggers I admire is the 'Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Series Cream Contour Kit'. I find it fascinating that we can give the illusion of changing our face shape and features, solely with the power of makeup, and my favourite instagram photos have to be contouring before and after posts.

Anastasia Beverly Hills was founded by Romanian born Anastasia Soare, who first opened her own salon in Beverly Hills before becoming a worldwide brand name. Being an American product, I was able to purchase my contour kit from UK website Cult Beauty, who offer free shipping over £50 and free samples with orders over £40. Rather than put faith in sites like eBay, I confidently bought from Cult Beauty knowing that they only sell genuine products and are a reputable company.

The biggest decision I've ever had to make (kidding), had to be choosing between the cream or powder contour kits from Anastasia. Both kits retail at £39 and are both loved by bloggers and makeup artists everywhere, it really just comes down to personal preference. Considering I'd been working with a darker cream foundation to contour before, I went for the cream kit in shade 'Light'. The kits come in 3 shades to suit every skin tone.

Before using this, I'd normally contour on a daily basis, quite quickly and with 1 dark shade. The Anastasia Beverly Hills kit is a little more overwhelming and comes with 6 colours to both highlight and contour with. The choice of 6 colours allows for a more natural look, being able to blend contour and highlight seamlessly, fading from the darkest to the lightest shades. Each cream shade is removable and magnetic, but unfortunately I can only find cream refills from American stockists.

From left to right: Banana, Vanilla, Cool Pink, Cream, Nude, Cinnamon

After experimenting with this kit, I regretfully wish I had bought the powder kit instead. The cream kit is very heavy and it's hard to control the coverage, where as with powder the coverage is buildable. This is great for nights out or for special occasions where heavier makeup is perfect, but it wouldn't be my daily go-to choice for makeup. Unfortunately, it was only after I bought this that I had realised the ratings for the powder kit were higher, and it's a higher seller on the Anastasia website. Also, anyone with a pale complexion may find that the shades are a little too warm and 'orangey' for them. Hopefully this review will help anyone who's thinking of purchasing an Anastasia contour kit.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Alex and Ani

'The bumblebee is hard working and extraordinarily loyal to the Queen Bee and the entire community. A symbol of nature's perfect balance, the bee reminds us to slow down, smell the flowers, and taste the sweet honey of life. Wear the Bumblebee Charm to channel the bee's meticulous energy, work diligently towards a goal, and ultimately appreciate the sweetness of life.'

As promised, here's the Alex and Ani bracelet I mentioned in my Olivia Burton post. The 2 just go so well together, and were both presents for my 22nd birthday. Alex and Ani bracelets are the creation of Carolyn Rafaelian, a spiritual enthusiast and each piece is 'made in America with love'. Their jewellery is said to 'adorn the body, enlighten the mind, and empower the spirit'.

I'm not sure how much I believe in the so called 'positive energy' that this bracelet holds, but let's just say I'm a fan of the Alex and Ani look, and what their charms stand for. Leading up to summer, I plan on building my Alex and Ani collection, and starting a 'stack' like the many they share on their @alexandani instagram page. You can find out more about the energy their jewellery has, and see more designs here.


Saturday, 13 June 2015

Mermaid Heels

On my recent trip to Dublin I picked up these beautiful heels in Penney's (our Primark), that can't help but make me channel my inner mermaid. They're maybe the most beautiful shoes I've ever purchased and just happened to be a bargain at €18. They really do shine in their blue and green glory, in real life like they do in these pictures - I haven't edited these one bit! Plus, not only do they look the part but they're also quite comfy thanks to the thick heel. However, not so ideal on Dublin cobbles. As we all know, Primark/Penney's don't have an online store (sob), but I'm pretty sure these will still be in store. Fingers crossed!

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