When heatworld went too far...

Yesterday I read something that made my blood boil. Blood was literally curdling in my veins whilst my ears were exploding with steam like a cartoon character. This wasn't some horrendous news story or anything dramatic in the news, but for me it was the moment that one of my favourite sites went too far. Before going into detail I have to say that I've always been a huge fan of Heat magazine. I love its tacky stories, its glossy kiss and tells, its sensationalism and its obsession with reality telly; it's been a guilty pleasure of mine since its very first issue and during University I had a subscription delivered to my door every week, whether or not I actually had food to fill my belly with. I've got the 'Celeb Diaries' accompanying book, I visit heatworld.com daily and I even got given an annual for Christmas once. My name is Hayley and I'm addicted to Heat.

What made me really mad yesterday though is that my beloved trashy destination had taken one step too far over the bitchy line, leaving the comical observations behind in favour of pure unnecessary bitterness. We all know they love to point out TOWIE stars bad tan lines, Britney's patchy roots and pull apart Michelle Heaton's outfits, but just being a cowbag for the sake of it...? Not good heatworld, not good at all. If you want to read the offending piece then you can do so here. Needless to say the first line gives you a pretty good introduction to how the rest of the 'article' pans out: "Dear oh dear, Abbey Clancy, what on earth have you done to your face?" And that was probably the least insulting line of the lot.

The article was the third installment in the Glamour Awards outfit dissection, namely the 'bad' category. Normally this means a character from TOWIE flashing some minge, a soap star decorating herself in more diamantes than a Swarovski factory or a WAG attempting to rock a catwalk look and failing miserably. What I didn't expect to see was actually a pretty good range of decent outfits that would've otherwise been plopped in the 'good' pile... Heatworld are you now slating women just for the sake of it? Exhibit 1: "Alexandra Burke wore a printed Delia Covezzi gown, but she might aswell have just bought a cheap white dress and asked a child to chew the end of a biro until it exploded all over it." What about saying that it was a lovely, simple chic dress that flattered her figure and nodded to the on-trend patterns we've seen coming through from the catwalk this season? Nope, you want to make her feel like she's wearing a Primark dress that someone has conveniently styled with a felt tip. Ok then...

Exhibit 2: "Amanda Holden, dress your age please! You look like a 15 year old going to a prom in your white lace Jacques Azagury dress." Really, you used the 'dress your age' line? For a woman in her 40s I think she's looking pretty fabulous - if I had a figure like her at my age I'd be over the flipping moon. You don't praise her for her classic style choice, her stylish accessories or how she wears white so well considering it's such a hard colour to pull off? Nope, you choose to pull her apart and compare her to mutton dressed as lamb. Exhibit 3: "Alesha Dixon went for the most mullety of all mullet dresses (which are our new-found fashion hatred anyway), which looked like it was from an Eastend market stall... The gold caged sandals and long necklaces put the finishing bad touches to the outfit." Ok, so I may not like the dress myself, but she's worn a lot worse. A LOT worse. She's paying tribute to the floral and dip-hem trends, looks uber beautiful and has legs to die for. As for the sandals, I've got some quite similar myself so whatcha sayin?

Exhibit 4: "Tess Daly chose a bizarre printed grey, black and silver dress... It's all a bit too matchy-matchy for our liking, so combined with the dress being just plain hideous it's a complete disaster." A complete disaster? A. Complete. Disaster. How absolutely dare someone match their shoes to their bag, let alone even attempt to wear a dress with a PATTERN on it. Have they never read Vogue? Hang on a minute, have YOU ever read Vogue? This is where I actually had to stop reading and rub my eyes to make sure I wasn't dreaming; heatworld had really just started being a complete bitch just for the sake of making content. They crossed a line and started throwing insults in an attempt to be comical, forgetting the fact that we're all free to wear what we like and not be put in the stocks for choosing to do so.

Who made them judge, jury and executioner? There's one thing pointing out a Bjork-esque fashion fail, but picking fault in everything just to make themselves feel like a fashion writer is not the same thing. We're all supposed to be in this together, sticking up for our own freedom of expression and not putting eachother down because we dared to match our accessories. There was a massive backlash some time ago against magazines pointing out cellulite and love handles, so how is this any different? Reading the article I felt mortified for every single one of the ladies featured because they actually all look awesome in their own way. None of them have made a hideous fashion faux pas, none of them have flashed their knickers and there's not a nipple in sight. Why the absolute hatred and bitterness heatworld?

The person that wrote this could possibly be on their period, found out their cat got run over and lost a winning lottery ticket on the same day, but is that really a reason to put out such hateful and bitchy comments and classify it as entertainment journalism? I for one can say it's neither entertaining nor journalism. It's taking easy pops at people while sitting behind your computer being critical... In the blogging world we'd call you a troll. We all like a little bitch, to pick apart outfits and make ourselves feel better by putting celebrities down, but as a site read by many young and impressionable women you're saying it's fine to be a complete cow because it's funny. Finding faults in people for the sake of it will do nothing for the confidence of young women today, with so much pressure already apparent to look right and have the catwalk clothes they lust after. It would've been so easy to put a positive spin on this or even actually pick some outfits that were bad (maybe there weren't any, but that's ok) but instead they took the easy way out.

I want to know who read and approved this, believing it was what their publication wanted to be putting out there. I tweeted this article with the comment 'the most unnecessarily bitchy article I've ever read' and the responses flooded in in agreement, pure shock and outrage that a magazine could put their name to such utter tosh. In a world where traditional magazines are struggling and e-zines are being replaced with blogs, maybe there's an opportunity here to put out positive messages and supportive articles to the hundreds of thousands of young women in this country that could do with a little encouragement. It's easy to be bitchy, but it doesn't mean you have to be. As for the fabulous journalist, they finished it all off with this corker: "Lily Allen just looked horrendous and needs to put her bra away." I have no words.

Did this make you as angry as me? Do you care either way? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Images all taken from heatworld.com


Tweezerman: Tweeze Me, Tweeze Me

Throughout my teenage years I was always buying tweezers to pluck away stray hairs and attempting to style my unruly brows. I went from a cheap pair of Boots ones, through mid-range and eventually invested in a decent pair of Tweezermans. The difference is like comparing a bottle of sparkling Cava to a luxurious bottle of the finest Champagne - a little bit insulting! The experience of using Tweezerman tools has never let me go back to a cheaper range and the panic on my face when I've mislaid my pair is somewhat comparable to entering The Hunger Games. Quality hand-crafted tips make these exceptionally precise, with some calling them the best tools in the world bar none.

Made with stainless steel and weighing a fair bit without being too heavy to use, these are really quite sharp - they grab the hair every single time, removing it swiftly and effectively for minimum pain and fuss. They come in classic styles, decorated with timely designs, as well as more precise tips if you really want to get close to the hair root. I don't know a makeup artist that doesn't use these or thoroughly recommend them, nor a beauty blogger that wouldn't sing their praises. If you're new to the range and don't want to invest a chunk in the full sized versions, they also come in 'mini' for a taster of the goodness to come. These cute little ones are perfect for quick 'touch ups' or for taking away with you and how I was first introduced to Tweezerman. If you need a good plucking (snigger) then these are definitely your first port of call.

Have you used Tweezermans before? Find out about the full range here.

Hair fit for a Queen

Guess what? It's only a flipping four day weekend this weekend! Hoorah! It's not just because we've all been good this year, it's actually for one very special lady celebrating her 60th year on the throne. If there's one signature look of Her Highness it's most definitely her barnet. London Hairdresser of the Year, Richard Mannah, takes a look at Ma’am’s signature style on behalf of Toni & Guy: "Elizabeth Royal favoured a version of the ‘Three Inch-cut’ forming a halo of natural curls from the centre-back of the head, brushed away from the face without a parting. Hair was cut to three inches all over and set or permed on rollers. Not only was this a practical style as women went into service, but the cut was also stylish and remained in fashion throughout the war, and for Elizabeth, her reign so far."

This weekend I'm off to a fancy dress party and will be attempting to re-create the 'Liz' look, but if you're a little more sensible then you may want to give the more modern curl a try. The look above is straight off the catwalk. Richard says: "Pin curling has always been an integral hairdressing technique; with the recent vintage revival we’ve also been using incorporating pin curls onto the Spring/Summer catwalk. For the ‘Issa London’ show we pin-curled the models hair and brushed through to create a soft feminine wave." If you want to create a Right Royal Razzle, then here's a step-by-step guide to help you along the way. I'm sure I'll be sharing my fancy dress after this weekend too, so here's hoping I pull it off!

Are you planning any Queen Liz inspired hairdos? 


Rodial's Brazilian Tan

In my mind faking it is more than acceptable - in the tanning sense at least. I'm pasty pale and with legs and arms being exposed in this warmer weather, I've been in need of a little helping hand. So many ladies have been rocking the pale look this last week, unprepared for the sudden burst of sunshine; the maxi dresses have been out in full force to cover up hairy and blotchy legs! I took the easy way out with a little top-up from Rodial's Brazillian Tan and have been on the receiving end of many tan-related complements. Acting like a more intense tinted moisturiser, this tan gives you a great colour in minutes thanks to its tint, while developing in a few hours to an even and rich tan. The formula is light, easy to apply and dries within a few minutes so you don't have to stand there looking like a wally in a yoga position for fear of smudging.

I've been applying this before bed, taking about five minutes to wack some on my arms, legs and torso using a tanning mitt. The tan doesn't develop patchy, even when you don't pay attention, so it's not necessary to spend hours perfecting your application technique. Because it dries quite quickly it doesn't feel sticky or uncomfortable to sleep in, nor do you wake up looking patchy. Although I'm naturally very pale, the 'dark' version of this tan isn't too dark at all, just giving me a rich and even bronzed colour that lasts up to five days. One of the main selling points is its lovely smell - not biscuity at all, but fresh gardenia that's light and airy. This is one of the most hassle free tans I've used, and although it's £35 for a 150ml tube, I've gotten at least ten applications out of it. I'll definitely be investing in more of this, even though I have about 10 others currently waiting to be used. Do you fake tan? What's your favourite brand to use?

Available now online or through department stores priced £35 for a 150ml bottle


River Island's HOT summer footwear

I don't really need an excuse to buy more summer shoes, but alas, as I haven't taken any of my sandals out of storage yet I felt the need to expand my wardrobe. Although initially shopping for some sturdy brown classics, I stumbled across these beauties and fell in love. Who needs brown and boring sandals when you can get a nude leather pair with rainbow studs? Although initially they may look a bit OTT, if you think about it they'll actually go with every single item in my wardrobe - it's like Joseph's Technicolour Dreamcoat in shoe form.

They're so comfortable thanks to the soft and slightly cushioned material, kept on securely using two ankle straps. I don't have particularly fat ankles (a scene in Friends is coming back to me) but I do have to keep the straps on one of the furthest holes - the issue is that the studs then don't go all the way around your ankle and ruin the effect a little. However, I can't really complain as the sexiness of the shoe just comforts me too much. I'm going to be wearing these at every given opportunity, so if you see me skipping down the street just watch out for the studs... They may catch.

Available now from River Island priced £34.99


Sunday Sunbathing

Hasn't the weather been utterly glorious this weekend? It's been quite a shock to the system, especially seeing as I haven't actually unpacked my summer clothes yet (I've just been buying new ones and using it as an excuse.) My Sunday has been spent catching up on chillaxing time, reading my book and the latest Elle magazine, listening to tunes and drinking a can of Rekorderlig. I've seen a lot of people buring this weekend though, so I just wanted to say: DON'T FORGET THE SPF! It's so very important to use a sunscreen, even when you're out and about and don't think you're going to get exposed. Trust me, you will. You need to get a high factor SPF and ensure you reapply throughout the day. I'm going to do a post soon on sunscreens, but for the meantime read up on the facts here. Happy sunny Sunday!



Liz Earle do colour cosmetics

This collection has been a long time coming and potentially one of the most anticipated launches of the year. When Liz Earle launched her first non-skincare product last August it was one of the worst kept secrets in the blogging world. We all went crazy for it, some of us declaring it the best thing ever to have come out of Liz Earle HQ, and couldn't wait to see the next installment from the brand that is quickly taking over the skincare world. The wait is over as they finally launch extensions to the range; now available in store and online, the range includes lipgloss, mascara, eyeliner, concealer, face powder, blush and accessories.

The range continues the blue theme that the Sheer Skin Tint comes in, packed in cute boxes and all coming in deep blue plastic containers. They feel quality and you can tell a lot of thought has been put into developing them - the powder has a twistable top so that the product doesn't spill out and get wasted, the blush is embossed with the logo and the brush is angled with a delicate dip-dye effect on the bristles. The blusher brush may actually be my favourite part of the range because it's so soft, yet picks up product really well. Angled bristles help you to apply blush in an upward motion and blend out to create a natural pigment to the cheeks, so this is a fabulous daily blush even if you're not a makeup expert.

As a big powder fan I was keen to find out how the Liz Earle compared to my much loved products and it lived up to expectations in some respects - light, easily applied, no caking and definitely no 'powder' haze look where you can't actually make out facial features. The only thing that put me off was the smell; it smells pretty awful, fake and chemical. I know Liz Earle don't add fragrance to products so this is probably the natural smell, but it really puts me off using it. I have to hold my nose to apply it because I hate the scent that much! I'm so used to using powders that smell like talcum powder that this was dramatically different - I smelt the lipglosses in store too and their scent also really put me off buying them. The Liz Earle skincare products are so beautifully and iconically scented that this fragrance issue became even more of a disappointment.

The blush is really lovely, feeling smooth to the touch and heavily pigmented with a strong colour result on the skin. However, this Coral shade is so pigmented that even when applied delicately you can quite easily end up looking like a clown. It doesn't blend particularly well, so when it's on it's most definitely on your cheeks; the first time I swept a layer across my skin I had to remove my makeup and start again. I have a few coral shades that I love, particularly at this time of year when the weather is warming up and pink blushes aren't quite warm enough, but this doesn't suit my skin at all. Although the products I've tried so far have their selling points, they also have drawbacks which would prevent me actually buying them again - it's a real shame that I'm not in love with this range as much as the skincare, but I suppose a girl can't have everything!

Loose powder RRP £19.50, Blush £19.50, Brush £15.00


Vaseline gets patriotic

Another day, another product getting all patriotic and declaring its love for the Union Jack. This one from Vaseline is really rather cute though. The limited edition Vaseline pot holder is fit for a Queen, giving you a perfect keepsake to remember the year 2012 by. It contains a faux pink leather interior and a handy little mirror, so you can keep your lips looking kissably smooth all Jubilee bank holiday long. For £3.99 you get the pouch, plus a little tin of Rosy Lips so you're looking very much the English Rose. It's available exclusively in Superdrug and Sainsburys, but I've got three to give away to you lovely lot in celebration of the impending four-day weekend.

All you have to do to win one of these is to tell me the thing you love about Britain the most. Is it how we always bring out the Pimms, rock uncoordinated sock and sandal looks, burn like tomatoes or pull together when the football is on? Tell me all about it. Make sure you're a follower of this blog and leave your answer, along with an email/twitter handle for me to get hold of you, and we'll get your lips smoochable in no time. Good luck!

T&Cs One entry per person; must be a follower of this blog via GFC and leave valid contact details; open to UK residents only; winners selected at random after closing date of 11.59pm 30th May 2012; no alternative prize available; LBQ isn't responsible for delivery of prize. 


Galaxy Essential Upgrades #1: Introduction and Welcome

If you’ve ever felt a little bit deflated or a in a need of a little lift, then you know that it’s the small things that can really make a difference. You don’t have to buy yourself a new Mulberry handbag to make yourself feel better or go on a weekend away to Paris to inject some culture into your life – the smaller things in life can help to make your day a little bit more special. I’ve teamed up with Galaxy chocolate (yum yum) to help launch their new ‘Essential Upgrades’ campaign and over the next few months I’ll be helping you to find small ways to put a smile on your face.

‘Upgrades’ are not about freebies or luxury, but all about the things a girl (or boy) can do to make an experience a little bit more special. It could be best kept beauty secrets, hints and tips on how you can upgrade your style and even how to treat yourself to a fabulous night out with your friends on a budget. You can feel a million dollars wearing an old t-shirt with a bright red lipstick – the best things in life don’t have to come with a hefty price tag.

This is why Galaxy (yum yum) have assembled a team of Galaxy Essential Upgrades bloggers (myself included) who’ll be on hand to show ladies across the nation how they upgrade their looks, their make-up bags, their outfits, and their nights out – whatever! We’ll be working with some exciting celebrities too, finding out the little changes to their beauty routine, wardrobe and lifestyle that can make a big impact. I’ll be interviewing them in the coming weeks, so make sure you look out for that here and on the Galaxy Facebook page too! I can’t wait to get started, bringing you my personal inspiration and little ideas. I may just have to stop myself devouring bars upon bars of Galaxy chocolate while doing so… (yum yum)

Epilating with Braun

A while ago I was asked if I wanted to talk to Braun's beauty therapist Nichola Joss to find out how to achieve silky, smooth, sexy legs. I asked her a few questions and the results are below. She talks about her epilating check list, what epilating is and how the epilator works. I also asked her how to ensure you maximise your tan and have a bronzed goddess glow too... She answers better than I ever could! If you want to see my original post on the epilator, check it out here.



Rings and Things

Without a couple of chunky bits of metal on my fingers I may as well have left the house without any knickers on. Although Coco Chanel once said you should take off the last accessory you put on, in the age when accessory is king I just can't get enough ring. Quite often I post photos of my nails or holding a bag, inadvertently showing the world the jewellery adorning my digits. So often I get asked where the rings are from that I thought I'd start posting a snippet of my favourites, as well as keep you up to date with my accessory drawer.

The panda ring caused quite the stir when I tweeted a picture of my new manicure a few weeks ago. I picked it up while waiting for a train to Bristol - the Accessorise stores in train stations are somewhat a godsend (or cause me to spend so much money) - and popped it on my finger when I arrived. The cute panda peering over a finger with its little diamond eyes is quite the scene to behold. Especially when it only cost £7.00 - bargain! The blue skull above is from Topshop and is basically a gold ring dipped in a varnish; not by me mind, it's actually designed this way. I love how it goes with pretty much anything and the pastel blue calms down an otherwise hardcore and rocky accessory. The bubble probably wasn't supposed to be there, but I like to think of it as a quirky attribute and my skull has a story to tell. Pretty sure this was around the £10.00 mark.

Pastels are all the range at the moment, so the big chunky multi-coloured ring goes with everything while channelling the candy trend. Hailing from New Look for about £8.00, the ring is pretty huge and leaves me feeling like my fingers are having a bit of a workout to keep themselves upright. It's a strange size too, not quite fitting any one of my fingers, but I do feel like it's the only ring I need when I do manage to put it on. My favourite and practically everyday ring is this silver beast from River Island; the cross is really light and comfortable to wear, sitting across two fingers and being somewhat a statement piece. It goes with everything and isn't too gothic to make a girlie outfit feel wrong... It's possibly the best £7.00 I think I've ever spent.

If you like this little post let me know, and I'll continue to give you a peek into previously unseen LBQ territory! Do you have favourite rings that you can't live without? 


JLS perfume: Kiss

Celebrity fragrances are ten a penny nowadays, so there has to be something a little bit special to get me excited. Take four hot guys, colour coordinate them, stick them on a beach and tell them to sing 'oh oh oh oh oh oh' and I'm there. The X Factor gave birth to them and we've all nurtured them into maturity, three albums and a marriage included. JLS (it stands for Jack the Lad Swing FYI) have just launched their debut fragrance and the world appears to have gone made for it. Simply named 'Kiss', the fragrance was created by the four guys together for all the ladies out there that would quite like to pucker up with one of them.

The scent is quite sweet without smelling like a candy shop, including top notes of peach, cassis and mandarin, as well as black orchid, rose and jasmine. If you're a fan of Soap and Glory products then the scent will be somewhat familiar to you - it smells very similar to their body scrub, which is a bit too sickly for me. However, when sprayed on the skin the scent does settle down to leave quite a fruity floral base. This is how the boys themselves contributed: "Aston loved the cheeky cassis note. Oritsé added the sensual black orchid as it is his favourite flower. Marvin adores Tuberose. JB wanted the hypnotic scent of amber crystals lingering on the skin." Clever lads.

The selling point of this for me has to be the packaging. Simple yet effective, the bottle is a plain while with a simple embossed 'JLS' and a cheeky diamante star for sparkles sake. The cap is magnetic, meaning it fits on perfectly and doesn't roll onto the floor when you're in a hurry. Every detail has been thought of, including a little message from the boys on the inside cover. Absolutely perfect for a present for a JLS fan, this only comes in at £19.50 for 60ml of product or £13.50 for 30ml... It makes me wanna oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh.



Bare Minerals: Ready Eyeshadow

Bare Minerals have brought us wonderous products in the form of mineral foundation, loose powder eyeshadow, overnight treatments and even skincare. They've been so great at creating some of the most iconic products that the fact that they've never had a solid eyeshadow has gone unnoticed. Until now. Launched this May, Bare Minerals have launched 'Ready', a collection of solid minerals in a cute compact so you can look good on the go. Loose mineral powders have their benefit, but they can also be really messy - this new collection brings the best of the ingredients but in a more useable format, all wrapped up in quite a pleasant package.

Available in 22 different colour combinations, the duo eyeshadows are somewhat brilliant. The colours are so vivid and strong that it feels like you're using a cream product rather than an eyeshadow; the formula is super smooth and applies brilliantly to the eyes, creating a flawless result that lasts all day. With one swipe of the brush you have depth of colour that no other brand I'm aware of can compete with - you can build the colour up, but with Ready there really is no need.

Even better is that the formula contains anti-ageing ingredients, including caffeine and cucumber, to reduce puffiness and detox the eye area. I don't know of an eyeshadow available that also works as a skincare product, so this is truly unique to my makeup collection. When you apply it feels slightly cool to the eye, doesn't irritate and is even great for applying around the waterline of sensitive eyes like mine. As you'd expect from Bare Minerals, the products contain no parabens, binders, fillers or harsh chemicals so you can be safe in the knowledge that you're not putting nasties next to your special little eyeballs.

The pigments of these eyeshadows are so stunningly beautiful they make me want to cry. The colours above have a 3D effect where the lighter shade in the duo is an underlying hue in the darker shade, making them perfectly designed to be worn together. The metallic shades are so strong that you could be mistaken for dipping your eyelids in molten bronze - although that may hurt a bit. I am thoroughly in love with these new eyeshadows and urge anyone on the look out for a new piece of makeup to check these out in store.... You won't be disappointed.

Available now online and in selected stores priced £19.00 for a duo.


Steamcream go British

If you haven't noticed by now, we're in quite an important year. As a Londoner you can't go ten steps without coming across a Union Jack flag, picture of the Queen or promotion of the Olympics... Dust off your 'I Heart London' t-shirt, put on the kettle and pull up a chair to turn on Eastenders because it's only going to get worse. Steamcream have jumped on the bandwagon and have released four limited edition tins that are adorned with very iconic London images; from the classic Routemaster bus, to the clock face of Big Ben and this fabulous Union Jack design, there's something for everyone.

Steamcream is made by hand every day on the Dorset coast, so every single pot of cream is fresh. The chefs put together the product using vegan ingredients and essential oils that are absorbed into your bloodstream in just 20 minutes, giving your skin the ultimate uplift. The multi-purpose cream can be used for body, face, hands and lips, so these little tins are perfect for popping in your handbag or leaving on your desk. It smells amazing too, very rich without being too overpowering, and can be worn by everyone from your boyfriend to your Nan. Why not buy the lot and use them as decorations for your Jubilee party? It beats a bit of rubbish bunting.

Available from House of Fraser, John Lewis, Selfridges, Liberty and ASOS priced £12.95


Benefit Sun Beam

The latest addition to the Benefit complexion enhancer range is perfectly timed, mainly because we're all desperate for a bit of summer. Sun Beam adds to the 'Moon' and 'High' beams that are currently available, bringing a beautiful golden glow to skin. Although this may seem a little intimidating or too seasonal upon first glance, the result is actually very subtle. The gold is very much an antique rose gold, perfect for all complexions and tones of skin because it simply catches the light and enhances your natural radiance. One applied to the skin it absorbs and blends extremely naturally, leaving a delicate shimmer that makes you look like you've just been sat out in the sun.

The applicator is the Benefit iconic 'nail varnish' bottle, enabling you to only use what you need and get the most out of the product. The best way to use this is to dab three small dots in an upward line along your cheekbones, blending upward and outwards to sit on the high points of your cheeks when you suck them in. A simple way to create depth to face, inject some subtle radiance and act as a compromise between blush and bronze, this will undoubtedly become another iconic Benefit offering. Gran some now to fake your way into the next season and beyond.

Available now priced £18.50


Chanel do face art

Those posh types over at Chanel HQ do like to shake things up a bit. Not content with creating luxurious and elegant Parisian looks, their latest collection showcased what looked like a cross between the Girls Aloud 'Don't Speak French' video and Lady Gaga. Short coloured wigs, big pink eyeshadow and a beauty spot created from the classic logo, this look is definitely original. I'm not sure I can see this kicking off within the mainstream next season (all the makeup is either available now or from the new collections,) especially as pink eyeshadow doesn't really suit anyone at all. It makes you look like you're either tired, have been crying or need to seriously lay off the vino. I do like the idea of having a Chanel beauty spot though - I wonder how much that privilege will be. Excuse me while I sell a kidney to pay for one...


The Benefit Mascarathon

I've been a supporter of Refuge for some time now and you may have seen me post on here, or on my other social channels, about campaigns they've been running. Every week two women lose their lives as a result of domestic violence; that's over 100 lives lost unnecessarily through preventable events. Domestic violence is something that I've always been a campaigner against, having had close friends and family be victims of violent partners throughout my life. It destroys families, ruins the lives of women and causes deaths which are simply inexplicable. I'm so pleased that one of my favourite brands are launching a campaign to raise awareness and funds to support women and provide the help they so desperately need. Benefit's Mascarathon, fronted by Caroline Flack, is a fabulous idea which I'm wholeheartedly supporting - I hope you will too. I can't explain it any better than the info below, so please take the time to have a read and, if you can, get involved.

For more information visit the Benefit Mascarathon website: www.mascarathon.co.uk


Urban Decay custom palettes

The biggest problem I have with my makeup is storage. I've practically got a mortgage with Muji after buying endless numbers of their plastic storage boxes to home my 600 lipglosses and 2400 eyeshadows. Urban Decay have come up with a little solution that won't be the end to my storage misery, but it will go some way in helping me to tidy up a bit. They've launched this fabulous custom palette case which allows you to store six eyeshadows at a time, one of which is the perfect nude shade (exclusive to the palette) that helps to create a flawless base on which you can build colour. It also includes a blending brush which is super soft and perfect for use with their eyeshadows.

The case comes with five empty spaces which you can fill up with the colours of your choice, changing from season to season when you wish. There's a giant mirror too, making this a pretty ace piece of makeup gadgetry for going on the move or taking away at weekends. The eyeshadows pop out of their little cases with ease (just push the bases up) and slot into the palette with a little click. They're pretty easy to get out again too, so you don't have to break a nail to update your smokey eye look. Sturdy and light, the case is the perfect size and weight for carrying around or just keeping your eyeshadows in one place - if you're like me you can never find the one perfect shade you're looking for, so you can be rest assured they're all in this metal tin.

The eyeshadows themselves have also been updated and re-launched with a new formula and new casing. They're even softer, with more pigment, are long-lasting and crease resistant - everything you need in a durable eyeshadow to get you through the day. I've chosen a variety of deep greens, blues and blacks to create a classic tin of colour for trans-seasonal purposes and I'm loving how the colours pop and stay all day long, even around the water line. If you thought the industry's best eyeshadow couldn't be improved, you'd be wrong! The tin (with one eyeshadow and brush) is priced at £14 - that's a bargain considering you also get a nude shadow and brush which alone would be around the £25 mark. The eyeshadows are a respectable £12 each, but when you add it up it does make a little gadget quite costly (£74 for the full palette) but if you already have the shadows or want to build your collection up over time, it makes the perfect treat or present.

The tin is available exclusively at Debenhams and House of Fraser


Chubby Sticks are BACK!

I love a chubby stick. A big fat stick of chubby lip stuff is what makeup dreams were made of. When Clinique's Chubby Sticks were launched about a year ago I told you how much I loved them and now they're back with even more fabulous shades. There's a choice of a yummy tomato red, a bright orange or even a cheeky flash of plummy purple. I love these because they're moisturising, provide a hint of colour without the need for precision application and it all comes in the chubby format of a pen. Anyone who uses jelly cubes in their promo shots is a winner in my book too, so make sure you get down to your nearest Clinique counter and check out the new colours on offer.

Available now priced £16.00 each
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