Monday, 3 July 2017

Style | Okayla Jogsuit


80s fashion has been back in a big way this year and for a lot of the trends inspired by this era it's been a hard pass from me (shoulder pads and bum bags I'm looking at you). Pegged trousers and vintage-style sportswear however I've been into, massively, which you can probably guess from this outfit.


I shy away from wearing anything bright a lot but in the past few weeks my wardrobe has increasingly taken on more colours of the rainbow. I'm exaggerating, many new pieces are the same shades of blue, pink and yellow I'll admit but at least it's progress and a slide away from my habit of dressing head-to-toe in black.

This red two-piece jogsuit from Okayla* is amongst the bolder, colourful items. I love the fit most - it's comfortable without looking too cosy - and as there's a lot going on (for me at least) it doesn't really need much else worn with it so it ticks the easy to throw on box.

Jogsuit - Okayla* | Shoes - Vans 


Photography - Mike Burchardt | @burchardtlens


*sample - read my disclaimer here.


Are there any trends you've been loving this season?

Lesley x

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation


Known for clinical formulations at affordable prices, The Ordinary has been the beauty brand on everyone's lips recently. In December 2016 they first announced they would be adding a foundation range - Colours - to their collection for less than £6 a bottle and the internet went into meltdown. There are currently two types of foundations available - the Serum Foundation (£5.70) and the Coverage Foundation (£5.90). Demand was so high for stock of these that the waiting list was 25,000 people-strong before the launch and in the first week of launching in May, orders amounted to 250,000 units. I was one of those hungry customers, placing orders of both foundations as I had to know if these were worth the hype and at less than £6 each what did I really have to lose?


I have been using the Serum Foundation over anything else recently so I'll only be reviewing this foundation here. It's described as a lightweight medium-coverage foundation with the feel of a serum (hence the name). The way in which the pigments are suspended in the formula are designed to cover imperfections and give a natural, 'flawless' finish. It comes in plastic packaging with a pump - making them easy to travel with. The foundation is also cruelty-free, doesn't contain alcohol or oil and has SPF 15.

There are currently 21 shades available which are divided into 3 categories:
1 for fair and light skintones (9 shades)
2 for medium skintones (5 shades)
3 for darker skintones (7 shades)
Within each category a second digit and a letter indicates the depth and undertone (P for Pink, R for Red, N for Neutral and Y for Yellow).

I have the Serum Foundation in two shades which I've swatched below - 2.1Y and 3.0Y.  (the darkest shade in the medium category and the lightest shade in the dark category both with yellow undertones). The product in the bottles look like two completely different shades but swatched on my arm there's not much of a difference between them. I'd usually need a much lighter shade than these but I've tanned in the past few weeks meaning that I can now get away with wearing either shade though of the two 2.1Y is the better match for my skintone.

Left 2.1Y         Right 3.0Y 

So does this foundation live up to expectations? In short, yes.
The coverage is very good - lightweight as claimed and with a comfortable matte finish. The formula is quite runny but blends well and gives a good even tone to my skin. It isn't obvious I'm even wearing foundation which I love. A few really stubborn dark marks can be seen through as it's not high coverage but these are easy to minimise with a dab of concealer if needed. I've tried this foundation both with and without The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer and it lasts far longer on my oily skin with a primer than without. I get 'smile lines' (as I laugh and smile a lot in person) and the foundation does seem to settle slightly into creases here but not as dramatically as I've found with other foundations. The tone stays true to how it applies too. I've often found with other foundations that they 'oxidise' into a strange orange shade (when they mix with my skin's natural oils and the air). Thankfully there's none of that with this foundation.

I can't help reach for it every day so it'll continue to be my go-to foundation and the price is so good I already know I'd buy it again.


You can get The Ordinary Colours on their website or in-store


Have you tried The Ordinary?

Lesley x

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Style | Fila T-Shirt Dress


The heatwave is still on in London so the layers are staying off and my outfits have become even simpler. A relaxed, comfy fit is usually high on the priority list too so it's not much of surprise this oversized Fila T-Shirt Dress made it into my wardrobe recently. 


I've been collecting a lot of classic sports logo tees so this dress is the perfect alternative for when I don't want to wear jeans. Like most of my clothes this dress doesn't need much styling either so it's easy to throw on without much thought. Vans are still my go-to for footwear, so I couldn't help pair them with this dress, though I'm wearing my white pair here this time. 

Dress - Fila via Urban Outfitters | Shoes - Vans via Schuh | Bag - Fjallraven Kanken | Watch - Nixon


*sample - read my disclaimer here.

What have you been wearing lately?

Lesley x

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Style | Anita & Green Jumpsuit


I've temporarily tossed my jeans to one side - it's just far too hot for denim right now. Instead I've been wearing a lot of jumpsuits, mostly made from light materials to keep me cool when the temperature is high.

Jumpsuit - Anita & Green* | Backpack - Fjallraven via Urban Outfitters | Shoes - Vans | Watch - Nixon*

One of my go-to's is this khaki Anita & Green jumpsuit. My speciality lately is taking dressy items and making them wearable for every day so I paired the jumpsuit with a pair of Vans Old Skool sneakers (which you'll have noticed I've been wearing a lot lately) and a Fjallraven Kanken backpack.



*samples - read my disclaimer here.

What have you been wearing lately?

Lesley x

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Review | NYX Away We Glow Liquid Highlighters


I've been hooked on any (and all) illuminating products lately and some of my favourites are from the NYX Away We Glow Liquid Highlighter Collection.


(left to right above) Liquid Prism, Moon Glow, State of Flux, Golden Hour, Crystal Glare, Daytime Halo, Moonbeam, Gold Rush and Rose Quartz (£8/6.8ml)*  

Released earlier this year, the collection contains 9 shades in total with something to suit a range of skin tones. Each highlighter comes in a transparent plastic tube with a sponge-tipped applicator. They're a little reminiscent of the travel-sized BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector (mentioned here) and as it's one of my favourite highlighters I was interested to see how these measure up. The tubes are a good size, small enough that they're easy to travel with but with enough product to last a decent amount of time. I swatched them below so you can get an idea of how pigmented these are though admittedly this photo doesn't do them justice - I'm not sure why I seem to always struggle with photographing highlighters! 


I tend to use highlighters on a daily basis (even on some days when I'm not actually wearing any other makeup) and these see a lot of use. I tend to dab the product directly onto the skin where needed or onto the back of my hands and then apply with my fingertips. Blending is easy with a few taps or I'll use a damp makeup sponge. They can be sheered out or built up pretty effortlessly so you have the option of a subtle or more intense glow. 

My favourite shades to use are Crystal Glare (white champagne pearl), Daytime Halo (true champagne pearl) and Moonbeam (soft pink pearl) which all give a natural-looking highlight and would work beautifully across a few different skintones. Daytime Halo and Moonbeam are the closest in tone to the BECCA Opal Spotlight Shimmering Skin Perfector but neither match it exactly so these aren't exactly dupes. They do match up in terms of quality and pigmentation however.

I also love to also use the shades Gold Rush (bronzed gold pearl) and Rose Quartz (rose gold pearl) which have a more metallic feel and are so gorgeous worn alone or over a light base for a subtle pop of colour. I reach for the other shades - Liquid Prism (white opal iridescence), Moon Glow (white pearl), State of Flux (lavender pearl) and Golden Hour (true gold pear) less often. Liquid Prism and Moon Glow have a more holographic look to them so these would be ideal if you like to be more daring with your highlight or for festival-inspired makeup looks. 

Overall I love this collection and have already grabbed another of the Crystal Glare shade in preparation for when it runs out! You can get them in-store or online at Boots and also at ASOS

*samples - read my disclaimer here.


Do you use highlighters?

Lesley x

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Thoughts on one year natural


Last month marked one year of me being fully natural. In the past I've put together 'hair updates' to mark any differences or goals reached but what I've noticed is my hair hasn't dramatically changed in the past year. What has changed though is me - how I feel about myself and my attitude - and having natural hair has been a huge part of that.


The change I've seen in myself as you'd expect didn't happen overnight. When I initially chopped off the last of my chemically treated hair back in May 2016 my feelings about my natural hair were mixed. I'd never been totally satisfied with my hair throughout my life and as I've always adored curls on others I thought I'd love my natural hair. In reality I felt ugly initially and I worried whether people would accept the natural me.

With big hair you instantly stick out and being an introvert has always made me want to blend in. My instinct was to hide my hair - which I've done as both relaxed and natural. I'd take select photos of my hair to post online mostly as I felt it was a safe space occupied by fellow curlistas where I could be my natural self. In person however I mostly tucked away my bushy curls from friends, family and my boyfriend by always wearing it up in a neat bun.

As the months went by blogging and working with brands which celebrate individuality and diversity (particularly freelancing with ASOS) encouraged me to wear my hair out more in person. I've found my boyfriend, close friends and family to be nothing but supportive about my natural hair too which made me wonder what I was so worried about. Complete strangers also regularly stop me in the street and on public transport to compliment me on my curls. I'm still stunned every time it happens. I never, ever expected that sort of reaction and I realised most of my anxieties and insecurities were in my head.

The takeaway? I view my negative feelings about my hair as an expansion of how I'd felt about myself for years. I've always been my worst critic and it was truly stifling. I knew I couldn't continue that way and I needed to accept myself as I was (frizz and all). I've stopped pursuing perfection - it's not attainable anyway and my flaws don't need fixing - and this belief has helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin however I choose to wear my hair.


It feels bizarre saying it but the Coco Chanel quote "A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life" has never rung truer for me than it has in the past year. Cutting off the last of my relaxed hair has led to me gaining so much more than a new a hairstyle. It forced me to accept and love things I previously didn't like about myself. It's given me a new lease of life.


I hope you all know what beautiful women (or men) you are already but just in case you feel like I once did know that you are enough as you are. 


Lesley x

Monday, 29 May 2017

Glowwbox | May 2017


This month Glowwbox have teamed up with Design Essentials for a limited edition box including several products from the Coconut & Monoi collection. I've featured Glowwbox a number of times on my blog before but for any new readers, Glowwbox is a monthly beauty box subscription service (£15 + P&P)* aimed at women with darker skintones.


Inside the May edition I received the Coconut Milk Nourishing Shampoo (£7.95/225g), Coconut Milk Leave-In Nourisher (£8.95/266ml), Deep Moisture Milk Créme (£9.50/118ml), Curl Defining Gelée (£9.50/340g) - all full size - and 2 sample packets of the Deep Moisture Milk Soufflé (full size £9.50/340g). In the Glowwbox magazine included with every box it mentions 6 products inside the box so there may also be a sample of the Curl Enhancing Dual Hydration Milk (full size £9.50/266ml).

As the temperature heats up our hair can get drier so this month's box aims to quench our thirsty strands. Each product is stated to be loaded with moisture, containing ingredients like Coconut Oil, Monoi Oil and active botanicals to keep dryness at bay. I've only had the box for a few days so I've definitely not had enough time to fully review these products. So far I've only tried the Coconut Milk Nourishing Shampoo, Coconut Milk Leave-In Nourisher and Curl Defining Gelée once. The shampoo is sulfate-free and cleansed my hair without leaving it dry. The Leave-In gave my hair a moisture-boost without weighing it down and the Gelée defined my hair well but I found it didn't mix well when used with other brands/products I have already. As I'm still experimenting with these products I'll review them fully at a later stage.


You do get quite a lot of products for the subscription price so if this is something you're interested in you can grab this box until the end of May from Glowwbox 


*sample - read my disclaimer here.

Have you tried a beauty box subscription?

Lesley x