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Beauty

I talk a lot with my hands so having well polished nails is really important to me. Like shoes, having an arsenal of nail polishes in different colours, finishes, textures is something every woman should have. And like shoes, that fluoro pink is nowhere near the same colour as that hot pink, I totally need both, seriously

Happily, the recent Models Own 6 for £20 promotion meant I was able to top up my already bulging nail varnish collection for Spring, and recently welcomed four new nail colours from their various current collections, a matte top coat varnish and for kicks, a cream eyeshadow.

Models Own Packaging Psst! Very Damien Hirst!

Models Own Haul

Clockwise from left: Matte Top Coat Nail Polish £5, Nail Polish in Utopia £5, Speckled Eggs Nail Polish in Swan Lilac £5, Velvet Goth Nail Polish in Obsidian £5, Cream Eye Shadow in Phantom Black £5, Artstix Nail Polish Duo in Freak Betty £6

MATTE TOP COAT

This is a texture I always wanted to try. For review purposes, I paired it with a pastel pink from Barry M called Strawberry Ice Cream before applying a layer of Models Own matte top coat. It brushed on super light and dried to a lovely Barbie-like matte finish! It’s really a gorgeous look and definitely a keeper.

Models Own Matte Top Coat

SPECKLED EGGS – Swan

I was quite excited to try this colour as it’s part of Models Own’s newest collection, Speckled Eggs. it’s essentially an opaque pastel with varying sized matte black glitter. It’s a fantastically time product as Easter is just around the corner, and is very reminiscent of those sugar coated chocolate eggs you’d find around this time of year.

Models Own Speckled Eggs

Other colours in this collection include: Dove (Pastel Pink), Goose (Lemon Yellow), Magpie (Mint Green) and Duck (Sky Blue)

I chose Swan, a vibrant pastel purple as it most closely resembled Pantone’s Colour Of The Year, Radiant Orchid. As 2014’s hot colour, I wanted to make sure I was sporting the shade. I applied two coats of Swan and finished off with one coat of Models Own matte top coat to give it an eggshell finish. I absolutely adore this collection, yes even after my partner described them as ‘dinosaur eggs‘.

Models Own Swan

THE CLASSICS – Utopia

I wanted a chic and easy neutral shade for french manicures and for days when I’m after “quieter” nails. I already owned a neutral iridescent so only an opaque nude would do. Models Own don’t do watery nail polishes, and two coats was all I needed for a perfect, even covering. This shade borders on greyish pink with a hint of lilac and is most definitely très chic! I finished off my nails with my favourite top coat, No.7 Gel-Look Shine Nail Polish in Clear, although I should note the end result was quite shiny even before I applied anything over it, so you can choose to go without!

Models Own Utopia Swatch

VELVET GOTH – Obsidian

Models Own Obsidian

Models Own describe this collection as multi-faceted, offering both a sparkly and matte finish. It comes in a cute, flock-topped bottle and is packed with silver glitter mixed in with the odd large iridescent glitter to add dimension. This collection is not a quick dry formula but I found the polish dried very quickly. I applied two coats to achieve an opaque covering. Once all done, I had to fight the urge not to apply my usual glossy top coat; had to remember this is meant to be matte! I’m keen to try the other colours in this collection. This colour, Obsidian, reminds me of a pair of wet-look leggings or the matte sheen of a bad-ass leather jacket. Not a bad look at all!

Other colours in this collection include: Valerian (Navy), Amethyst (Dark Purple), Sardonyx (Deep Red) and Absinthe (Jade Green)

ARTSTIX NAIL POLISH DUO – Freak Betty

Models Own Artstix Duo in Freak BettyI love the idea of essentially having two bottles of polish in one. I mean, who actually ever finishes a whole bottle of glitter polish? The Artstix duo suggests you “paint it” with a base colour, then “cover it” with sparkles (or in some duos, a pearly sheen).

Here, I’m wearing the Freak Betty duo and dabbed a bit of the accompanying glitter on my ring finger (as you do), but if I were going out to somewhere special I’d definitely cover all my nails with it! Once again, the quality of Models Own nail polishes are great – full of colour and only requiring two coats for complete coverage. The end result, which I would describe as a true navy, is again, super shiny before I even put on any top coat to finish.

Models Own Freak Betty Duo

Other duos in this collection include: Cloud Drops (Cream/Gold Glitter), Terra Crystal (Chocolate/Rose Glitter), Ember Red (Scarlet/Fire Glitter), Blue Spray (Pearly Sky Blue/Iridescent Glitter), Blibble (Hot Pink/Silver Glitter), Jade Flakes (Jade Green/Clear Glitter), Nude Jack (Latte/Clear Glitter), Snow Mix (White/Rainbow Glitter), Pink Stuff (Baby Pink/Pink Glitter), Utopia Ocean (Blush Nude/Iridescent Sheen) and Boogie Dream (80s Pink/Electric Pink Glitter)

CREAM EYE SHADOW – Phantom Black

Models Own Cream Eye Shadow

I’ve never used a cream eye shadow before so was curious to try this out. You don’t need to wear primer as the creamy base makes up for where powder shadows need something to hug on to. I applied this in the same way as I do my powder shadows, with the added bonus that I could use my fingertips to smudge the colour on as well. It’s a creamy formula and highly pigmented which I loved, and found that it blended like a powder. I finished with a sweeping of my usual powder eyeshadow in a matching shade over the top to set it in place. I think I still need to get my technique down with cream eye shadows – so unfortunately no photos!

Other colours in this collection include: Mash-Up (Mauve), Anthracite (Silver), Piper (Pale Pink), White Pearl (Silver Shimmer), Gold Pearl (Pale Gold Shimmer) and Fix-Up (Fudge)

So there you have it, are you a die-hard Models Own fan as well? What is your favourite product? I’m hoping to do another beauty review soon on Models Own Hyper-Brite lipsticks. I already have their blinding Hot Pink lippie, so am just waiting on Orangeade to be back in stock first! Stay tuned.

Photos: Blogger’s Own

The metallics trend is never too far away, and SS14 happily champions this shining staple yet again. From foil prints, molten metal finishes to frosted pigments and holographic hues, metallics have a way of being rather season-less, working as a standalone statement or as an accent to an existing trend. No matter how you want to embrace it, the good news is what ever piece you invest in now, know that it will be a keeper.

A Touch Of Tonal
Opt for barely there metallics for a frosted, feminine flair.

Rose Gold MetallicsClockwise from leftStella McCartney Silver Foil Jumper £725Clinique “Goldspun” Long Last Glosswear £16Too Faced Teddy Bear Hair Brush Set $65Coast Rex Cuff £35Charlotte Olympia Gummi Bear Clutch £945J.Crew Metallic Bobby Pins £14.50

Mermaid Magic
Tin Man-meets-90s Club Kid, this metallic palette is all about fun.

Mermaid Metallics

Clockwise from leftMiista Zoe Iridescent Silver Brogues £145American Apparel Hologram Leather Skirt £140ASOS Round Sunglasses £12Bex Rox Rainbow Collar £640Vivienne Westwood Cote D’Azur Bag £639Essie “For The Twill Of It” Nail Polish £10.95

Deep Space
Silver tones rule in this minimalist offering, while sparkling black metallics will have you seeing stars.

Galactic Metallics

Clockwise from leftAlexander Wang Rockie Leather Bag £730Shu Uemura Black 995 Pressed Eyeshadow £11Next Metallic Shell Top £14DKNY Soho Silver Watch £89Anya Hindmarch Crisp Packet Clutch £995ASOS Sterling Silver Star Earrings £20

makeup

My M.O. is smouldering, smokey eyes – be it Summer, Winter, day or night. If there were two things I couldn’t live without, it would be a kohl pencil and a pot of charcoal eye shadow. My beauty regime starts with my eyes; building up layers upon layers of carbon shadow set in place by primer and a knack for handling a shadow brush. They say the eyes are the windows to your soul, I’d like to think my smokey eyes say both, “Come hither…” and “I mean business!

With all this attention on my eyes, I regretfully hadn’t given much consideration to what was going on north with my brows, outside of the usual tidy that is. However, with Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse and Rita Ora championing the power brow all of last year, and without a budge in sight set for 2014, I better get on the beauty bandwagon – and quick!

Model eyebrows

And on that note, I made a visit to Selfridges this week for a bespoke eyebrow threading session with Blink Brow Bar.

Founded by Vanita Parti, Blink were the first brand to launch the concept of putting eyebrow threading bars into department stores, where you can pop in for a beauty treatment quickly and easily. Eyebrows are known to define the face, and a lot goes into finding the best shape that works for you – your nose, cheekbones, jawline all play a role, so I left this up to the professionals to show me the way!

This was my first time having the treatment and my lovely therapist, Kinnari completely put me at ease and truthfully, I felt a little embarrassed to show her the state of my neglected brows! But she was completely understanding and very professional. Since the shape of my brow was somewhat already there, Kinnari suggested I go for a tidy up under and above so that the shape was more defined.

It was good to know that the actual experience is fairly painless. Skilled hands worked quickly and efficiently over my brows, lasting around 10 minutes. The attention to detail was amazing! Kinnari then combed, trimmed and filled them out using Blink’s own Indian Eyebrow Powder. I found the effect a little too dramatic, which Kinnari happily removed and instead used a Blink Eyebrow Pencil. To seal the deal, a few lashings of their Eyebrow Gel meant my newly manicured brows would stay in top shape throughout the day! Lastly, I was treated to a mini massage.

On my way out of Selfridges, I couldn’t help but catch myself looking into any mirror or reflective surface I could find as I had completely fallen in love with my brows! My new defined shape highlights the area around my eyes, and perfectly compliments my signature smokey eye. Thanks to Blink Brow Bar, I’m completely converted – threading is the way forward!

And this is the finished result! If you’re keen to get my signature look, I’ve used the following beauty products…

Get The Look

Clockwise from left: Too Faced Shadow Insurance £17Model’s Own Eye Liner £4Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Blackout £14Topshop “All About Me” Lipstick £8

 
Images source: Pinterest / Artwork: Blogger’s own

It’s payweek and we’re finally getting our bank accounts replenished after those hedonistic weeks of unrelenting spending and rummaging through our poor wallets, of which I’ve dubbed it as “the Christmas pillage”. And, with that joyful/dismal day in February that you either love or loathe looming, it’s also the perfect time to shop for Valentine’s Day.

Coupled or not, there are some seriously lustful things out that will keep you going until new season truly kicks in. So, drop your lover the hint to gift you something gorgeous – or as Destiny’s Child encouraged us back in 2009, simply continue being an independent woman and proudly declare, that Jimmy Choo clutch bag? I bought it!

Valentines

First row: Essie Nail Polish “After Sex” £10.95, Jimmy Choo Candy Lip Print Clutch £650, Valentino Rockstud Leather Headband £130

Second row: Topshop Red Rose Satin Bralet £22, Maria Francesca Pepe Broken Heart Earrings £95, Kurt Geiger Britton Shoe Necklace £25

Third row: Marc by Marc Jacobs Isa Scrunchie $32, ASOS Rabbit iPad Case £15, Benefit Bathina Body Oil Mist £26.50

Fourth row: Lulu Guinness Red Lips Keyring £45, Vivienne Westwood Melissa Lady Dragon Heels Was £155 Now £77.50, Isabel Marant Hoshi Star Bracelet £50

Pantone Colour of the Year 2014

So early this month Pantone announced the colour of 2014, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Enter Radiant Orchid.

Exuding just the right amount of fluoro intensity and panache to translate it from simple child’s play to serious chic ensemble, it works well across fashion, beauty and home. Where pastel pink might be a bit too sickly for some, this shade bodes well with those wanting to wear something to celebrate their femininity, but with an added hint of rebellion thrown in.

If you need any more convincing, just let Gogol Bordello’s anthem, Start Wearing Purple be your new mantra.

The good news is we can get ahead of the trend now with these illuminating finds…

Topshop BoutiqueTopshop Boutique wool boyfriend coat, £195

Models OwnModels Own scented nail polish in Grape Juice, £5

Bleach

Bleach London Salon, Prices vary

Satchel

Cambridge Satchel Company, £115 (Orchid illustration by Johanna Kerrman)

Penny Boards

Penny Skateboard, $110

Hair

To quote Beyonce, I wear my hair to the left, to the left…everything north of my shoulders is swept to the left.

And anyone who knows me also knows I style my hair in a way that can only be described as crashing waves of voluminous, chaotic, tumbling hair. A misconception follows me that I’m a chronic backcomber. In fact, very rarely would a brush go through my tresses, if at all – unless I’m sat at a salon and only after I profusely apologise to my stylist for the endless knots and tangles.

In reality, the path to panache is through a mix of product and technique. (And perhaps a head full of straight Asian hair to begin with.)

Herbal Essences Uplifting Volume

Step 1. Wash & Repeat After Me

I settle, mostly by default, on Herbal Essences as my go-to shampoo and conditioner combo. Their bottles of Uplifting Volume just works. It smells light, citrusy and lovely. The perfect base for big hair.

Step 2. Towel & Tousle Dry

Get that hair damp to touch.

Toni & Guy

Step 3. Massive Mousse

When I was younger I used to play with my Mom’s can of mousse in the downstairs bathroom. It fascinated and frightened me how a little dollop of this crazy liquid(!?) grew in my hand when it came in contact with air. Spooky!

Nowadays, I’m more like, this shiz is the bomb…and the holy grail to my volumising regime. I wholeheartedly use Toni & Guy Volume Plumping Mousse.

Sometimes I alternate with Umberto Giannini’s Glam Hair Massive Mousse but I prefer Toni & Guy’s formula as it’s a thicker product and leaves my hair with better texture. Depends on what result I’m after.

Salt Spray

Step 4. Salt Spray

I used to use Bumble & Bumble’s Surf Spray until I just couldn’t shell out the £14 anymore for a 125ml bottle. It was criminal. Luckily, there’s Umberto Giannini’s Glam Hair collection which retails at a third of B&B’s prices. And with names like Sex Bomb, Backcomb In A Bottle and Glamour Puss…you know what you’re in for!

Spray, spray, spray… Overuse and abuse ladies.

Step 5. The Blowout

First get into position: stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent and dry your hair upside down, full power on the mid heat setting and lifting at the roots.

Claw Clips

Step 6. The Pin Up

Ah, claw clips. What would I do without you?

If time is on your side, this step is pretty crucial as it ensures maximum volume that’ll last for the next 2-3 days – less if its humid out.

Once your hair is 95% dry, pile and clip all of it atop your noggin, then forget about it for an hour or so – or overnight if washing your hair pre-bedtime is your thing.

After set amount of time, unclip, unfurl and blow dry again on low heat, this time styling your hair into place – Voila! Sexy, voluminous bed hair with a subtle wave. Now sweep it all over your left shoulder and you’ve got my New York-meets-London look!

Images source: Pinterest, Artwork: Blogger’s own