Saturday, 12 August 2017

Style | Logo Tee & raw hem denim


I'm an explorer at heart but in lieu of a holiday abroad I've been roaming a lot around London. Despite living here my whole life there's just so much I haven't seen and one thing I love about London is there's such a clash of cultures and architecture that so many parts that feel like you're in a different country or era entirely. The backdrop for these photos is one of those spots and for roaming I keep it simple (as with most of what I do), so a tee and denim skirt was a natural fit.

Top - Lee* | Skirt - Topshop | Shoes - Converse | Watch - Timex* | Bag - Monki (old)







Photography - Mike Burchardt | @burchardtlens


*samples - read my disclaimer here.


Lesley x

Monday, 7 August 2017

Nudestix #BABEBOSS Faves Box


I've been obsessed with Nudestix's easy to apply makeup crayons since last year and they recently released the limited edition #BABEBOSS Faves Box (£59/$59)*. It contains a mix of 6 full size bold and nude lip pencils curated by Nudestix Co-Founders (and sisters) Ally and Taylor Frankel with 5 Nudestix 'Babebosses'. If you're a Nudestix fan or want to try the pencils at a slice of the usual RRP this kit has got you. 

As I've posted about a number of Nudestix makeup crayons already here, here and here, I'm only loosely reviewing these shades in this post, focusing on swatches so you can get an idea of how these look on medium skin. 


The basics
1 13x10cm tin with a built in mirror, 6 lip pencils and 1 sharpener

The shades
Purity Intense Matte Lip + Cheek (soft matte nude) picked by Jalessa Moses @saythelees
Pulse Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balm (glossy nude) picked by Samantha Ravndahl @ssssamanthaa
Sin Lip + Cheek Cream (buttery pink) picked by Ally & Taylor Frankel
Boho Magnetic Matte Lip Color (matte brown) picked by Lynette CenĂ©e @lynettecenee
Burgundy Magnetic Matte Lip Color (matte red/purple) picked by Cydnee Black @cydbee
Stiletto Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Color (soft matte red) picked by Karen Yeung @iamkareno


Lip Swatches 



Shades top to bottom: Purity, Pulse, Sin, Boho, Burgundy and Stiletto 

Arm Swatches 

Shades left to right: Purity, Pulse, Sin, Boho, Burgundy and Stiletto 

The Tea

There's a real mix of shades and finishes including Magnetic Matte, Intense Matte, Gel Color and Cream so if you've not tried Nudestix before and love pink/red tones this is a great tin to start with. I love all of the finishes though I'd say the Intense Matte finish is the most versatile as it's long-wearing, feels moisturising and can be used as a blush too. Consequently the Intense Matte pencils are my favourite Nudestix lip pencils to wear and I've reviewed them more in depth here. The Magnetic Matte finishes last a lot longer but are more on the dry side which you'll be able to tell from the swatches as I didn't apply any balm underneath the lip colour to give a true reflection of the finish. The gel color has more of a wet, glossy look whereas the cream lip + cheek pencils apply more like your standard buttery lipstick. All of shades are very pigmented and can be worn on medium skin, though I would say Boho can make me look a little washed out now that my skin has tanned a little. Most Nudestix lip pencils retail at £24/$24 each so at £59/$59 for 6 full size pencils this is one of only a couple of their kits which gives you the most bang for your buck.

It's a limited edition so you can get it whilst stocks last directly from Cult Beauty if you're in the UK or Nudestix (the code 'FRESHLENGTHS10' gives you 10% off orders) and Sephora if you're in the US.


*samples - read my disclaimer here.

Have you tried Nudestix?

Lesley x

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Style | ASOS AW17 Preview


In April global fashion retailer ASOS showcased their collection for the AW17 season in Fitzrovia, London and whilst I'm always excited for new clothes I've been sitting on this preview post for a few months. I definitely wasn't ready to let go of Summer before it had even really begun but somehow we're already in August. So with Autumn right around the corner, expect a season with ruffles, florals, tartan and 80s tailoring firmly on the fashion menu.

I didn't document everything here as the ASOS AW17 collection is so huge I focused on the pieces I've got my eye on or may be popular pieces for this season. The vintage washed denim mini skirt will be the first item I'll be picking up when it's available as it's one of those all-rounders that'll work with a lot of what I have already. The gold caged bag, studded boots and green wide leg trousers with taped detail are also earmarked for my wardrobe and I'm in love with the the neutral colour palette of the menswear pieces.

Womenswear

Menswear

Shoes & Accessories


As you'd expect, a few AW17 pieces have already started dropping on the ASOS website but most will be available from September to December.


Lesley x

Monday, 31 July 2017

Glossier is coming to the UK


Us Brits miss out on a lot of cult brands from across the pond but we'll be able to shop one more, rather than just swoon over on Instagram, very soon. Glossier has announced that they'll be coming to the UK in October 2017.


If you haven't heard already, Glossier was born from website Into The Gloss in 2014 (FYI it's an addictive hub of beauty goss and advice that's been around since 2010). It's founder and CEO Emily Weiss knows beauty and in Glossier world skincare is essential, makeup is secondary - something I've been learning first hand this past year. Their mantra is that makeup is not about covering up or 'perfecting' your look but having fun and celebrating your own, unique beauty. In their own words they create 'beauty products which work for real girls in real life' and that's a philosophy I'm on board with.

Glossier are taking their products internationally, recently announcing that they will be shipping to Canada before the UK this year and also France in 2018. In aid of the UK launch, Glossier hosted a few events in Baker Street last weekend. One was a pop-up giving Londoners a chance to get acquainted with (and drool over) their curated 'pared-down' beauty essentials.


The products at the pop-up were only there to test though samples were available for early birds to the event (which I was not). Luckily I had already received a few products during a dinner hosted by the brand the night before the pop-up so the Stretch ConcealerBoy BrowMilky Jelly CleanserPriming MoisturizerHaloscope and Lip Gloss* are now amongst my beauty arsenal. It's only been a week so I'll put them to the test more before reviewing. I've definitely got the Glossier bug following the pop-up and I've decided I also need the Cloud Paint blushes and the Generation G lipsticks in my life so they'll be my first purchases when the brand launches here in October.



*samples - read my disclaimer here.


Have you heard of / tried Glossier?


Lesley x

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Style | Orange


There are two important things to note about this outfit. One you can spot a mile off, I mean they're bright orange, you can't exactly miss these trousers. The other is the slight bit of midriff on show. It may seem small, but to me these two things signify something big.


Top - Stradavarius | Trousers - River Island | Sneakers - Nike | Watch - Nixon (custom)*

I used to dress how I thought others would like me to look, usually in something ultra feminine and quite mature for my age. I've always been wary of dressing for my body shape too, always things that flatter - curvy, fitted and never cropped at the waist as I couldn't ever have my stomach on show. Now it's a mix of boxy, boyish, comfortable fits and I like to just have fun with clothes. I don't take myself that seriously so I've stopped taking my style too seriously as well - hence the orange trousers and Nike SB sneaker combo.


Photography - Mike Burchardt | @burchardtlens


*sample - read my disclaimer here.


Lesley x

Monday, 24 July 2017

Hair | Braid maintenance


Braids are a great protective style and every Summer the humidity has me itching to try them again. I had my hair cornrowed at EbonyB Salon* recently (see my last style here) and it's been good to give my natural hair a break from daily styling. The fro is back now, but my hair feels so much better after being tucked away for a couple of weeks. I don't change my routine massively but I've outlined a few ways I care for my hair whilst it's braided up below.


Keep styling light
Hair that's braided doesn't tend to need as much moisture as when it's left exposed to the elements. When using products I find it's best not to oversaturate the hair or use heavy products as this only results in build-up. A little of a light moisturiser spritzed over the hair daily is usually all that's needed to give the hair moisture - look for milky rather than creamy products so it can be absorbed easily by the hair. I've been using Design Essentials Natural Coconut & Monoi Coconut Milk Leave-In Nourisher (£9.00/236.5ml) * or Aveda Shampure Thermal Dry Conditioner (£26/100ml)*. Both make my hair feel refreshed and I only need to spray a little over my braids. You can also just dilute your usual moisturiser or conditioner by adding a little water to it in a separate spray bottle. The idea is to give your hair a boost without overdoing it. I also like to apply a little of the Curls Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste (£6.99/120ml) with a toothbrush to smooth my baby hairs/edges but again I don't overdo it to prevent build-up.

Protect 
Cotton sheets tend to soak up moisture and can cause friction on the hair as you move about whilst you sleep. To keep braids as smooth as possible whilst I sleep I'll protect them with a satin or silk scarf or pillowcase as these materials are gentle on the hair. I purchased most of my satin pillowcases from H&M but you can pick them up in a few places and scarves/headwraps can be bought from most Afro/Caribbean haircare stores.

Avoid scratching
Sometimes that itch creeps in and getting my hands up in my scalp for a good scratch is so tempting but it will cause braids to loosen and could damage your scalp. Instead gently pat or try applying a little of a natural oil or an oil mix into your scalp for relief. I like to massage in a little of the KeraCare Essential Oils (£7.60/120ml) or Aveda Dry Remedy Daily Moisturizing Oil (£21.50/30ml)* following moisturising.

Dry Shampoo
As a curly I've been engineered to be wary of both of these words so I avoided using dry shampoo on my curls for a long time. The right dry shampoo can refresh when you can't wash - look for one that's moisturising and doesn't leave residue. I've been using Batiste 2 in 1 Invisible Dry Shampoo & Condioner Vanilla & Passionflower (£4.49/200ml)*. I spray a small amount throughout my roots and gently massage in. It smells so good and gives a quick refresh.

Deep cleanse
Cleansing with water too frequently can make the style loosen quicker - especially if your hair had to be blown out or straightened to braid in the first place. I'd much rather be comfortable and have a clean scalp so I'll remove any buildup after a few days but it's up to you how often you cleanse. I don't use any special shampoos or conditioners for my braids, only what I use normally - but I dilute everything I use with water in a separate spray bottle before applying as this makes it easier to remove from the braids. I tend to only concentrate on my scalp so this is the only area I'll get wet and then I use a damp cloth to wipe away any residue / build-up on the length of the braids.

*samples and complimentary hairstyle - read my disclaimer here.

How have you been styling your hair?

Lesley x