Friday, 29 August 2014

Legology Air-Lite Daily Lift

A magic leg cream that promises to banish cellulite and leave your pins looking toned and feeling refreshed –what a load of rubbish, right? Well, I must admit I laughed when my colleague passed me the unwanted sample of Legology Air-Lite Daily Lift* that she’d received and I read that it promised to ‘restore nimbleness’ (what does that even mean?!) improve skin tone and tone and tighten and tone the entire leg.

But after smashing an uphill 6k on the treadmill, I was drawn to slather some on in an attempt to soothe my burning legs. With it's cooling gel-like texture and refreshing lemon scent, the cream got to work instantly by soothing sore and tired muscles. It leaves behind a silky smooth feel and the uplifting 'Capri Crush' scent and it's quickly become my favourite thing about 'leg day'!
I may have been sceptical of it's claims, but a few weeks of using the cream after working out, and I'm starting to actually understand what they meant by "restoring nimbleness". (Turns out I was never very 'nimble' in the first place!) Massaging the cream into tired legs relieves that heavy 'dragging' feeling and has made my legs feel light, bouncy and energised. I feel quicker and sprightlier on my feet, and even if it's just psychological, it's helping me to push myself to run faster and longer.
In terms of its' promises to tackle cellulite and tone your legs, and my legs are far less wobbly than they used to be. I'm not convinced the cream has any part to play in this - more likely the hours of running, squats and lunges, sorry! - but I have noticed a big difference in my skin tone after use. My thighs, in particular, tend to get a little lumpy and blotchy at times, but I've noticed an improved colour and smoother surface on my skin.
It's a lovely, luxurious product that's a dream to use and does deliver some results, but it's not going to magically transform your legs from wobbly to wonderful, and at £60 a pot, it's not a must-have miracle worker. But, if you're an avid runner or suffer from bad circulation or heavy, tired legs - it could be a sensible investment, or if you just fancy splashing out and treating yourself to the ultimate indulgence in leg care!
Would you spend £60 on a luxury leg product? What's your favourite post-gym skincare?
Legology Air-Lite Daily Lift is available to buy from The Treatment Rooms in Brighton, on their website, or from Liberty.

Friday, 22 August 2014

I'm baaaaaaaaack!

It's been a very long time since I've posted on here, but after a catch up at the Gourmet Burger Kitchen this week with some of my favourite blogging girls, I figured it was about time to make a comeback!
I'm not going to go in to detail about where I've been and what's been going down, some things are best kept private - and I'm sure will eventually be revealed during the forthcoming rambles on this blog! But in short, the past few months have been a  bit of whirlwind...!
  • I got promoted at work to Marketing Executive and have been busy busy busy trying to run things while my boss is off recovering from an op.
  • I've lost three stone and a lot of my spare time has been spent in the gym. I never thought I'd be somebody who actually enjoys exercise, but working out has now become something I look forward to. I'm sure I'll be blogging a little more about health and fitness from now on too.
  • I've moved into my very own flat, and been super busy decorating, cleaning and organising. It's nice and big, and the rent is an absolute steal - but it's in need of a lot of TLC!
  • And my personal relationships have undertaken some dramatic changes to say the least...
So, not only has all that left me with no time to blog, but I just haven't wanted to. I didn't want to bring negativity and drama into my positive space, and didn't feel like rabbiting on about lipsticks and hairspray when my mind was full of so much STUFF. And, if I'm being honest, I've really enjoyed stepping away from the internet for a moment and just living real life!
Having said that, I'm excited to start this new chapter of my life and want to take my blog along for the ride!

So - what have I missed in the #bbloggers world since I've been away?!  

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Jamie's Italian

As a massive fan of Italian food, I've always wanted to eat at Jamie's Italian Brighton, so when I was offered the chance to go and review it I was way too excited to go and pig out on bread, cheese, pasta and lots of wine!  

The restaurant, located just off the seafront on Ship Street, has an urban yet rustic feel - farmhouse style wooden tables and chicken wire display cabinets housing Jamie's cookery bookes, paired with red metal chairs and a mural of Brighton's infamous Duke of Yorks stripey legs wearing Nike kicks!
 To start, we shared a cured meats plank, which was beautifully presented on a rustic wooden board, propped up on top of tins of chopped italian tomatoes! It included a selection of italian meats and cheeses, carrot & beetroot salad, and a basket of italian bread and breadsticks. After a four month bread and cheese hiatus, this was pretty amazing. 

For mains, I ordered the special; crab and ricotta pasta parcels in a lemon and herb sauce, with a parmesan and rocket salad on the side. I often tend to order really classic Italian dishes when I go to nice restaurants (there's nothing better than a classic done perfectly in my opinion!) so this was something I wouldn't usually have gone for. It was quite light for a pasta dish and the lemon sauce made it quite refreshing and summery. 

But the main attraction of the evening had to be the pudding - a warm chocolate fudge brownie, with chocolate sauce, salted caramel ice cream and toffee popcorn... mmmm. The mix of warm and cold with sweet and salty was just dreamy!

Overall, the food was great, the atmosphere was relaxed and our waitress was lovely. It's fairly pricey, but for a special treat, the set menus aren't too bad. If you're coming to Brighton this summer, I recommend paying a visit (even if it's just for the brownie!)

Sunday, 25 May 2014

a new look...balayage and a (almost) bob

I fell in love with the balyage effect when we were shown this season's colour trends at the Trevor Sorbie press event last month, and I was very kindly invited back to the salon to review the colouring technique in my beauty column in Women Actually which you can read below... I wanted a whole new look for summer, and decided to freshen up my dull ombre with some brighter blonde balayage highlights, as well as finally taking the plunge and going for the chop I've been umming about for months. As always, the team at Trevor Sorbie Brighton were lovely and did a fantastic job at creating exactly what I wanted. I took in my Pintrest board to show Jamie and Morgan the look I was going for, and they recreated the look perfectly. 

Balayage creates far more natural looking highlights than traditional foils, as the dye is painted on freehand and seperated with cotton wool and cling film to achieve a softer, sunkissed ombre effect. The best thing is, your colourist can completely customise the look to exactly how you want it, whether that's subtle golden highlights or a more prominent dip dyed look. I'm loving having shorter hair too, it's so much easier to manage and style in a hurry (bumble & bumble Surf Spray is my new best friend) and now all the split ends have been cut off, I'm determined to keep my hair in much better condition. 

Shout out to my work mate Sam who took some of these photos for me :-) he's a photographer for the paper but is also an amazing wedding photographer so go check out his site, Page and Picture.

Here's my column... Enjoy!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Radiant Orchid Round Up

When the Pantone Colour of the Year was revealed, I never thought I'd get on with it in make-up terms - it's such a strong shade for someone who tends to always play it safe with peaches, pinks and neutrals. However, I learnt that 'Radiant Orchid' doesn't have to just be the one hue: Pantone 18-3224! but, instead can encompass a whole family of lilacy pinks and intense berry shades that are so wearable on any skin tone or hair colour. 

As my obsession for anything Radiant Orchid coloured grows, so has my beauty collection. I've welcomed a new influx of candy lilac and bold fuchsia shades into my make-up bag (and dug out a few unloved pieces for a breath of fresh spring air).

Benefit Lollitint: This candy orchid coloured cheek and lip stain is so wearable, giving a pretty flush of lilacy pink that can be layered up for a powerful pop of colour. After years of struggling to 'get' Benefit tints, I've finally fallen in love with the budge-proof colours, now that I've learnt to apply them properly. By dabbing a tiny bit of product onto a soft, fluffy blusher brush, the tints can be easily buffed into the skin for a subtle, lit-from-within glow with an airbrushed effect. My previous method of dabbing straight onto the cheeks and rubbing it looked so harsh and uneven - no wonder I didn't appreciate the hype! I was surprised at how well the creamy, lilacy pink colour of Lollitint works on me- it just gives a really subtle, natural looking nod towards the Radiant Orchid trend. When applied to the lips, a few coats give a bang on trend, girly shade that ain't going anywhere all day. 

Benefit Hervana: A heavenly swirl of peach, lilac, petal pink and a pearly highlighter, this box of blusher is the ultimate in achieving a pretty, glowing complexion. Applied alone, Hervana will give the most subtle hint of a peachy lilac glow to the cheeks. Great for when you want a minimalist look with just a wash of on trend colour. Applied atop Lollitint, the shades compliment each other to "intensify" the colour- Not so much in terms of brightness, but to add depth, warmth and a gorgeous shimmer. 

Bare Minerals Loud & Clear Lip Sheer, Berry Remix: If you didn't catch my review of these ultra nourishing, ultra glossy lip balms, click here to read more and see swatches. When working the Radiant Orchid trend in the day time, Berry Remix is a godsend as the sheer coverage gives low-key lip colour. But, layered over Lollitint, Berry Remix adds shine, nourishment, and a more comfortable silky feel to the lips. Lollitint is great in terms build-able pigmentation and longevity, but can be drying and lacklustre. These two products work in perfect harmony to create the ideal Orchid lip. 

Mac Lustre lipstick, Milan Mode: I've rediscovered this oldie but goodie from the depths of my dresser drawer. Milan Mode is a hot fuschia pink, but it's blueish undertones can qualify it to be included in the Radiant Orchid family. It's far bolder than the aforementioned products, with a more intense colour payoff and sparkle. As we know, I fear a bold lip, so a bright coloured Lustre lipstick is about as far as I'll go. The semi-sheer formula provides a decent and obvious pop of colour, which will build up quite bright, but it'll never be an in-your-face, solid block colour. Phew. 

Not too much to say here as you can pop over to my Nail Files section to see individual reviews and swatches of my favourite Radiant Orchid nail shades: Deborah Lipmann; Between The Sheets and Butter London; Molly Coddled. Pretty much all I've been using on my fingers and toes recently and worthy of being included in this round up, even if for pretty photo value alone. Some other shades you may want to check out are Essie; Splash of Grenadine (had this at a salon once, bloody gorgeous), Pop Beauty; Pansy Purple (this has vanished from my collection SOB! Who stole it?! Was it you, Fifi McGee?!) or for a much more sophisticated take that I think my Mum would love- OPI; Significant Other. 

Have you delved into this trend yet? What's your favourite Radiant Orchid make up recommendations? 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

teapigs magic matcha green tea (& a Matcha May giveaway)

I don't quite know what's happened, but I've turned into a little bit of a health freak, and have a new found interest in anything that's green and good for me. I've been drinking green tea religiously since embarking on my new healthy lifestyle in January and reaping the health benefits, so when teapigs told me about their superpower green tea, I obviously jumped at the chance to try it out (and give you the chance to try it too!)

So what makes teapigs' organic matcha green tea* 'superpower'? It contains 137 times the antioxidants of ordinary green tea, boosts energy for up to six hours, gives you healthy skin and helps you lose weight! Amazing!?

The Sciencey Bit...
When you make an ordinary cup of green tea, you end up throwing most of the antioxidants in the bin when you throw the teabag away. But because Matcha powder is made from 100% of the green tea leaf, you drink every last nutrient, vitamin and mineral.

I'm not going to bore you by pretending I know what I'm talking about with long words like thermogenesis (what) but BASICALLY all the goodies trapped inside this green powder is proven to increase energy and alertness, and aid weight loss. It was even voted the best slimming and fitness product of 2011! If you don't believe me and want to nerd up on how it works, read this.

The Yummy Bit
So green tea isn't the most delicious thing in the world, and as suspected, 137x strength green tea isn't exactly tasty. Drinking Matcha as a normal cup of tea certainly wasn't my cup of tea (sorry!) but I did find a few ways to make it bearable, or even actually quite yummy!

Dissolving half a teaspoon of Matcha in a shot glass of water is bloody disgusting, but two swigs, and it's done. 137 cups of green tea in one quick, pretty painless shot, and I'm good to go.

But when I have a bit more time to get my Matcha fix, I've been blending half a teaspoon into a fruity smoothie, and can barely taste it at all. I've been adding it to smoothies of every flavour (raspberry, blueberry, strawberry...) but my favourite super dooper health freak smoothie is made from half a banana, a kiwi, a few handfuls of spinach (you don't taste that either!) a coconut and lime Muller Light and half a teaspoon of matcha.

A Matcha Latte made with almond milk is also quite yummy, and can be enjoyed hot or iced. I use the little electric whisk included in the matcha kit to make the milk frothy and pour it over a teaspoon of matcha dissolved in a little hot water.

Your turn...
teapigs have been very kind and sent me another matcha kit for one of you lovely lot too! It includes a tin of organic matcha tea, a teapigs shot glass, a half teaspoon measure and an electric whisk to whip up your green lattes! If you'd like to win it, just use the rafflecopter widget below! Open until the end of 'Matcha May' to UK readers only. Good luck <3

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Nail Files: Nail Art @ The Final Nail, Brighton

If you're after a bit of jazzy nail art, you have to head down to The Final Nail in Brighton. Alex is one super talented lady when it comes to creating intricate designs on your fingertips, and can do just about anything you fancy - be it pretty prints, cartoons or graphic patterns, lettering or fully blown pictures. (Her colleague and in-house beautician, Lily, has even challenged her to paint the Mona Lisa on her nails, which Alex accepted without batting an eyelid.) Check out a selection of her amazing designs over on their website. As an MUA and established nail artist, Alex has a massively impressive CV, having worked for Fashion houses and high-profile clients, so I was pretty excited to get the celeb treatment!

I popped down to pay a visit to the girls' nail bar and beauty salon, armed with a Pinterest board full of ideas, to get my nails pimped.  We decided to go all out with neon-bright florals, and I opted for a Gelish manicure to make the design last for as long as possible! Alex started with a fluro pink Gelish base, and then painted tiny, intricate flowers on top that look so perfect it's quite hard to believe they're hand painted! I love the mix of the mega bright colours with the floral print, it's stops the design from looking too 'twee' and is so fun and summery. I'm in love with the design, I just can't stop looking at my nails and everyone has been complimenting them and asking where I got 'em done!

I'm totally heading back very soon for something different. For festival season, I'm thinking some 'ethnic textile' inspired nail art a la Lauren Conrad.

Do you have any fun nail-art bars near you? Make sure you pop in to their boudoir-esque salon on Bond Street whenever you're next in Brighton!


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