Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Style | Black and Blue


I've pretty much been wearing the same pieces on rotation recently. I always have a habit of wearing things to death despite having an overwhelming feeling that I need to 'mix it up'. I'm very rarely daring with my style and being immersed in the social media world makes me feel silly for dressing so ordinary or for liking such a random mix of things that at times my style comes across as confused.


This year I've been making peace with that feeling though, I'm accepting that it doesn't matter that I'm still wearing the same colours and shapes I did two years ago. Maybe it means I'm more settled on what my style is than I realised?

Currently I'm wearing a lot of black and blue (and grey but we'll save that for another post). It's not even intentional, they're just always the colours I buy and pick out to wear. Perhaps I'll gravitate towards a different colour palette at some point but for now it's what I'm most comfortable in.

Top, jacket & bag - ASOS | Trousers - eBay (unbranded) | Shoes - Converse Scarf - Pieces

What do you like wearing? 

Lesley x

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Andre Walker Hair Launch


Last month Andre Walker, the man behind Oprah's locks, launched his haircare line in the UK. As I've already tried and love the Andre Walker Hair TKO Ultimate Moisture Conditioner (reviewed briefly here) I've been keen to get to know the rest of the range which is pretty streamlined. The Andre Walker Hair line contains simply a shampoo, a deep conditioner, a hair oil and a leave-in each for curly, kinky and straight-styled hair which all retail from £10.99 each*. When it comes to styling Andre's products are designed to be used alone (with a philosophy of no more 'cocktailing').


Prior to the launch event I was styled by Andre himself, starting with a thorough cleanse with the Ultimate Moisture Sulfate Free Shampoo and conditioning with the TKO Ultimate Moisture Conditioner. The conditioner was rinsed completely from my hair and Andre applied the Beautiful Kinks Styling Crème Gelee and a little of the Quench-Essential Oil. Having my hair styled by Andre was absolute pleasure. He was so welcoming and he gave me lots of tips and tricks on styling and caring for my hair. He also advised me that my hair was more on the kinky side and suggested it was type 4 of his hair typing system (see his hair typing chart here).

(left to right) Ebony modelling styled Type 3 hair, Kiyarni modelling straight styled hair, Andre Walker and me. 
Photos provided by Glen Nuñez, Bad Branding Creative Agency

I've tried to stick to just using this line for the past few weeks to get an idea on how the products work for me so far. I still absolutely love the TKO Ultimate Moisture Conditioner (£15.99) and I'm now on my second tub. It contains Aloe Vera, Keratin and oils such as argan, avocado and mongongo. This Conditioner does also contain dimethicone but I've never really had an issue with 'cones' so this is definitely at the top of my list to purchase when it's finished. I have so many shampoos on hand that the Ultimate Moisture Sulfate Free Shampoo (£10.99) comes up against some pretty stiff competition. It is gentle but I have far gentler shampoos which cleanse just as well.


With styling I found that the Beautiful Curls Styling Crème (£15.99) works well for me, despite it being designed for type 2 and type 3 hair. It's a smooth consistency that's just so light it moisturises without weighing down my low porosity hair. Beautiful Kinks Styling Crème Gelee (£15.99), which is designed for type 4 hair, is much creamier and thicker in consistency and it gives my curls a lot more hold than Beautiful Curls. Both products are conditioning but are very different in terms of the main ingredients. Beautiful Curls has Aloe Vera, Ginger, Sea Kelp and Acai Fruit Extract whilst Beautiful Kinks contains Shea Butter, Avocado oil, and Jojoba oil. The products are designed to be used alone depending on your curl type, which I've tried, but I actually prefer using them together. I concentrate Beautiful Curls on the looser areas of my hair at the bottom and Beautiful Kinks towards my crown and edges where my curls are much tighter. I have a habit of layering product and I'd say that hasn't really changed though if I had to I could just use Beautiful Kinks by itself. Each time I've styled my hair with these products my hair has been staying moisturised and defined for at least 2 days before I need to rewet my hair and add a little more product.


I've not used a lot of the Quench-Essential Oil (£15.99) but it looks and feels very similar to a serum with cyclomethicone and dimethicone as the main ingredients. It also contains Mongongo and Argain oil and my hair feels smooth and less frizzy when I use this. I very rarely use heat anymore so I haven't tested out the Get It Straight Styling Crème (£15.99) yet but I scanned the ingredients on the bottle (twice) and they are listed exactly the same as the Beautiful Curls product. The same is true of the ingredients listed individually on the brand's website. It could be a misprint, but both products look and smell the same. The only physical difference from what I can tell so far is the packaging. I'll be using both together soon to see if there really is a difference.

Overall I love the simplicity of this line as I am trying to generally use less on my hair but I haven't quite given up 'cocktailing' yet.

Andre Walker Hair products are currently only available through Spell Beauty in the UK and from the brand's website or Target in the US. 

*samples - read my disclaimer here.

Have you tried Andre Walker Hair products?

Lesley x

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Sara Hill Makeup | Pink Opal Collection


I blogged about a few Sara Hill goodies I received back in May here and since the brand has been back in touch. I've dying to try the Pink Opal Collection released recently and kindly it was sent over for me to try a few weeks ago.


The Pink Opal Collection (£40)* is a set of four stunning highlighters containing Sara Hill's best-selling pigment Pink Opal alongside the shades Cosmos, Moon Dust and Rose Quartz. Pink Opal is the only pigment which can be purchased individually so the other 3 shades are currently exclusive to this collection. The Pink Opal Collection is described on the Sara Hill website as 'intergalactic loose pigment highlighters for your inner alien' and I couldn't agree more. All of the colours have a metallic feel to them and whilst I've built up quite a collection of highlighters this year, nothing I have is even remotely like these. It's like a glitter and a highlight had a beautiful (shiny) baby.

Each pigment is smooth and easy to work with and it's so finely milled you almost don't realise there's tiny specks of glitter running through them. A little really goes a long way with these too. The dull winter light has made capturing the true beauty of these pigments difficult but in person they swatch metallic, rather than chalky.

Swatches top to bottom: Cosmos, Moon Dust, Pink Opal and Rose Quartz 

Moon Dust has to be my favourite of the four. I'm always attracted to warm shades and this pigment has a distinct gold tone whilst Cosmos is silver. Pink Opal also looks like a white highlight but when swatched has a very strong, magenta tone to it. Rose Quartz is a deceptively baby pink powder but produces a silver tone with pink running through it when swatched. I've preferred to wear the pinker tones as eyeshadows or dabbed onto the inner corner of my eyes but they look beautiful dotted on the cheekbones, cupid's bow and brow bone too.

As they're quite metallic, to make them more wearable for daytime makeup looks I've been applying them after mixing with a little of Inglot's infamous Duraline. If you haven't tried Duraline yet, a dot of this product turns powders into a waterproof liquid and breathes life into dried out gel makeup. A little duraline makes the metallic nature of the pigments more visible and it allows it to melt into the skin a little more seamlessly.

Overall this is a beautiful collection and as I need to use so little these pigments will last me a long time. You can get the Pink Opal Collection from the Sara Hill website here.

*samples - read my disclaimer here.

Which highlighters do you like?

Lesley x

Friday, 9 December 2016

Style | Puma Basket Heart Launch


I'm definitely more into sportswear than ever and Puma is really changing the game by creating classic trainers with a feminine edge. The Basket Heart trainers are one of the latest in a wave of new launches from Puma this year aiming to deliver both on style and comfort. They launched late last month but held an event to celebrate yesterday evening.


The Basket Heart trainers come with two lace options (chunky and satin) and feature a glossy patent finish. They're available in black and white for adult women and there's also toddler and infant versions. The Basket Hearts are definitely the cutest pair of trainers I own (thanks to Puma) and I'm definitely looking to expand my trainer collection (I need those new burgandy Fenty Creepers which sold out almost instantly yesterday!)

Trainers aside Puma are also aiming to inspire women with their 'Do You' campaign with Cara Delevingne as their newest brand ambassador. At the launch guests were told a little more about their campaign and the idea is to encourage women to accept who they are, to be happy just being themselves and you can't argue with that message.


If you're interested you can get the Basket Heart trainers from most sportwear retailers or through Puma's website here

Which sports brands do you wear?

Lesley x

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Look Fantastic Beauty Box | Dec 2016


With every new month comes the Look Fantastic Beauty box and of course this month's edition features products to keep you looking gorgeous throughout the party season.


Inside this box are 6 producs - Illamasqua Hydra Veil Primer (full size £32), Skin Republic Caviar and CoQ10 Face Mask (£4.99) and Mellow Cosmetics Madness Lipstick (£? $13)*, Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash (full size £16), Bubble T Bath Bomb (£3) and Philip Kingsley Elasticizer (£17).

This may be my favourite Look Fantastic beauty box yet, mostly as I'm familiar with a couple of the products inside. I've already gushed about the Illamasqua Hydra Veil Primer here and here but in short this provides an ultra-moisturising base ready for foundation. My makeup always looks so smooth with this applied first and the colder temperatures has already started making my skin dry so I know I'll be reaching for this often. This mini version is the perfect size for a weekend away I have planned for New Year's Eve too.

I'll also be taking the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer away with me and this was THE pre shampoo treatment I always relied on when my hair was relaxed. Actually most of the time I used it post-shampoo and I also had the 'extreme' version ideal for afro hair. It's pricey but if your hair is dry or damaged the elasticizer really helps it bounce back.

You can never go wrong with a red lipstick this time of year so the Mellow Cosmetics Lipstick in Madness - a ruby red - is a nice touch. The formula is matte but is still quite moisturising so it feels comfortable on the lips. It seems fairly long-wearing too so it goes the distance. I couldn't find this brand available on Look Fantastic currently hence the confusion on how much this retails for in the UK but it's designed and tested (cruelty-free) in New Zealand and the brand's website ships internationally.


I very rarely have a bath (I'm more of a shower person) but the fragrance of the Bubble T Bath Bomb is beautiful. The brand describes it as a 'wild strawberry fragrance' and it's infused with sweet orange essential oil and Goji Berry. Simply drop into running water and allow to steep whilst you bathe.

The August edition of Look Fantastic's Beauty Box featured a Balance Me Congested Skin Serum and I've been so impressed with it I've just purchased the full size (see here). I haven't tried the Pure Skin Face Wash yet, but like the serum, it's ideal for blemish-prone skin and contains grapefruit oil to gently cleanse and brighten the skin. There's also the Skin Republic Face Mask which contains a blend of Witch Hazel, Vitamin E and CoQ10 (which is found naturally within cells in the body and functions like an anti-oxidant). I'm a massive fan of sheet masks so I'll give this a try at some point soon.



You can get this month's edition from the Look Fantastic website. 

*samples - read my disclaimer here.

Have you tried a beauty box? Which is your favourite?

Lesley x