Saturday, 29 January 2011

The most important thing you will ever read

OK, I am probably exaggerating but please, stick with this...!

Raise your hand if you love beautiful underwear?!  But are you splashing your cash on the right size?

I wrote this post when my blog was just a baby but I feel it needs another outing.  This was primarily inspired after seeing some girls tweet Laura (lollipop26) about what happened when she went to get measured recently.  It just shocked me that so many women are still scared of getting measured.  Let me reassure you:
You do NOT need to take your bra off!!!

During my gap year before University, I trained in a House of Fraser lingerie department and gained so much knowledge about underwear that I think really needs to be passed on.  We all love reading fashion blogs but no outfit can look fantastic without a proper foundation.  

However, even in today's day and age, a worrying proportion of women still wear the wrong bra size without even realising.  The scary reality is though - if your bra doesn't fit right & doesn't support you properly, you're breasts will probably sag.  Scary thought??

Don't is at hand!

The art of a perfectly fitted bra all centres around 3 basic factors: 


This is the band that runs horizontally around your rip cage and is truly the most important part of the bra.  It is where you get all your support from and therefore prevents the dreaded sagging.
This band should be TIGHT.  And by that I mean - you should only be able to pull it out 1 inch or so, when on the LOOSEST hook.  Any more and it is TOO BIG.

Obviously, as you wear the bra, it will loosen over time and that is when you move to the next hook. When you are on the tightest hook and can pull it out more than an inch or two ... you need a new bra. If you wear a bra day in; day out - expect it to have a 6 month life span.

It may seem strange at first with it so tight but you will get used to it; I promise!


Your breasts should be fully encased in the cups with the centre piece flat against your breast bone. This is common sense but how many times have you seen a woman walking down the street with the 'four boob effect'?! If your breasts spill over or the centre piece is coming away from your body?  Go up a cup size.

(Horrible bra but the best example I could find)

Also, check the bra wire is not cutting into your breast tissue at the side - this is another sign that the cup size is too small and usually the main cause of discomfort. 


Many women believe that this is where you get your support from.  This is however not the case, with the band providing the support - hence why a correctly fitted strapless bra can be as supportive as one with straps.
Primarily, on the loosest setting of the straps, you should only be able to stretch them up 1 inch or so - as with the back band.  Then tighten them as you wear the bra in.

If your straps always fall down or you always need to tighten them, it means the weight of your breasts are not getting support from elsewhere.  You therefore probably need to go down a back size, up a cup size or both.

In general, the most common mistake women make is believing to be bigger in the back and smaller in the cup.  I for one, before my training, believed I was a 36DD.  I now know, that for my frame (size 12) a 36 back is far too big.  I was actually a 32F.  Did it feel weird and tight at first? Very.  But now I have got used to it I realise how baggy my bras were before.  Now my tops fit better, I stand straighter and my back does not hurt anymore.  All because I am getting the correct support from that trusty firm back band - it really is your best friend!

Just try now - reach around and pull the band of your bra out.... How far can you stretch it?? More than an inch or so??!  Go get yourself measured girl!!

The general rule of thumb is, if you need to go down a back size, go up a cup size and vice versa.

For example...

36DD = 34E
34E = 32F

The assistance of a trained lingerie fitter is invaluable though.  Please don't just rely on this tip - get measured by a professional.  Even if you are sure of your size, it won't harm to check...and it will always be free!  

  • Steer clear of M&S and La Senza - I have never been fitted right in these stores.  In M&S, the women just looked at the bra (36D) and said it was OK.  As a company that many woman put faith in, that is just not good enough.
  • Don't rely on the tape measure - I never once used one when working.  All bras are sized and manufactured differently and for this reason you cannot purely go on a measurement.  Trying bras on and looking how they fit is the most effective method.
  • NEVER put a bra in a washing machine or a tumble dryer.  The force and heat will probably cause the wire to pop out and not only cause you discomfort but reduce the life span of your bras.  Always hand wash and air dry!
  • Don't assume once you get fitted, that will be your size for life.  Hormonal fluctuations can cause us to change size and just the sheer difference in bra manufacturing can mean varying sizes.  As a general rule, always take advantage of the changing rooms and qualified staff to ensure you leave with a great fitting new bra.
Now what are you waiting for?!  Go and get fitted...then treat yourself to some beautiful new lingerie!


Sunday, 23 January 2011

Bring On The Bling!

This polish, released late last year in honour of Cher and Christina Aguilera's new flick Burlesque, is the latest addition to my OPI collection.

I honestly love it!  Having purchased possibly the world's worst camera - stick with Canon or Nikon ladies... Fujifilm is awful! - it was unfortunately nigh-on impossible to fully capture the effect it has.  The predominately gold glitter is shot through with pink, silver and green particles leaving a beautiful effect that is sparkly and eye catching but in no way tacky or in your face.

The application was easy and painless - fully opaque in two thin layers and a super quick drying time.  I have applied a top coat to a few of my nails but apart from making the nail surface slightly smoother, I wouldn't say it affected the look or durability of the polish.  It is fantastic all on its own!
As my first glitter polish, I am more than impressed!  Any other glitter recommendations?!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Not worth the hype: Umberto Giannini Backcomb In A Bottle

Oh volume - how I covet thee!

Now I wasn't expecting miracles from this super sleek can but I was hoping the mist would inject some much needed volume when I occasionally straighten all signs of life out my hair.  Unfortunately, as you can probably tell by the title, Umberto and his gang failed to create a product to grant my wish...

I did give it a really good shot and used it...

- on freshly washed hair
- on 2 day old hair
- with my head upside down
- from 6 inches away (recommended)
- from 2 inches away
- from 10 inches away
- with a hairdryer

and a combination of all these.

Can you tell I really wanted to love it?!

Unfortunately, it just left my hair not only without volume but also lank, greasy and sticky (basically my greatest fear...)

I know this is a product which has had the blogging community buzzing but it did just not do it for me. I can get great results from a can of dry shampoo which is not only cheaper, but much more widely accessible.  Not is all lost though, my best friend Molly loves it - as do so many others of you out there - so will be going to a loving home soon... :)

What were your experiences with Backcomb In A Bottle?  Please tell me I'm not the only one to hate it??!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Mini haul Featuring Cosmopolitan, Collection 2000 and Revlon

I am on a slight spending ban due to my travelling plans for after graduation but as a self confessed product junkie, my Christmas money had to go somewhere...

Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection Sponge

I've been aware of the Beauty Blender for quite some time but I could never force myself to part with upwards of £15 for what was, essentially, a sponge.  
However, when I saw Holly recommend this sponge for under £5 I mentally saved it and had to purchase it when I just happened to stumble into Superdrug..

Revlon Contour Shadow Brush

Another beauty tool, another recommendation.  This time from the wonderful gossmakeupartist aka Wayne.  Not only is he an extremely talented make up artist and brutally honest about products, he's also a complete babe - honestly, I could watch him for hours!
When he stated that this brush was a dupe for MAC's 224 brush, I was instantly sold.  Who wants to pay twenty odd pounds when you can try this for £7-ish?!  I will report back on it...

Collection 2000 Volume Sensation Waterproof Mascara and 24 Hour Felt Tip Black Liner

To be honest, two slightly unnecessary purchases.. I needed a new waterproof mascara as I find they hold the curl so much better and I was bored with my L'oreal liner - I'm so fickle!!

Revlon Fire & Ice Lipstick

As a lover of all things 1940s, I just couldn't resist the new re-promote of Revlon's classic lip colour from the era - Fire and Ice.  Supposedly a neutral based red, I felt it the easiest and most classic way to try the red lip.  I personally think it is quite orange based but it is flattering all the same and I absolutely love wearing it.  

Prepare for a FOTD coming this way soon..


Monday, 17 January 2011

Modern 60s

Dewy skin, dark cut crease and pinky nude lips


Chanel Pro Lumiere Foundation
Bobbi Brown Corrector then Creamy Concealer under eyes
No 7 Transparent Créme Touch Powder to set

No 7 High Lights Illuminating Powder in Island Glow to Contour
No 7 Blushers in Soft Damson and Honey blended onto cheeks
MAC Hush Cream Colour Base to highlight cheekbones


MAC Bare Canvas Paint all over lid
Urban Decay Whiskey eyeliner through socket and on upper & lower lash lines
Urban Decay Buck eyeshadow blended through the socket over the liner
Sleek matte black shadow put lightly through socket to darken
L'oreal Super Liner Carbon Gloss along upper lash line and flicked out
L'oreal Voluminous Mascara
Sleek matte brown shadow through brows

[In hindsight, I would have thickened the flick and added lashes - but there is always next time!]


Prestige Silk Lip Liner
MAC Hue Lipstick
Revlon Peach Petal Lipgloss


Sunday, 16 January 2011

Soap and Glory: The Breakfast Scrub vs Flake Away

As a self confessed Soap and Glory addict, I have noticed the new additions to their ever-expanding range then quickly picked up my old favourites and dashed to the till.  What can I say, I'm a creature of habit!

I was therefore excited, but dubious, to finally try out The Breakfast Scrub that arrived in my Pink Big.  If only to see how it fared against my all time favourite, Flake Away...

The Breakfast Scrub
300ml - £9.25

As soon as you unscrew the lid to this product, you can see where the name comes from...I defy you to not crave pancakes and maple syrup when you smell this!

The domed tub, with the classic S&G design we've all come to know and love, is packed with golden sugar particles; banana, almond and honey extracts; shea butter and gentle oatmeal grains. It really does smell good enough to eat (not advisable..).  

These ingredients combine to form a scrub that is harsh enough to provide a great exfoliation but is gentle enough not to leave your skin red raw.  I think this lies with the oatmeal grains that are large enough to buff your skin but in a soft way.

My skin was left touchably soft from the exfoliation with a very slight sheen thanks to the shea butter and scented beautifully from the maple syrup fragrance - a solid 10/10!

Flake Away
300ml - £6.64

Having gone through numerous tubs of this scrub, I knew to expect the classic Soap and Glory fragrance with this scrub.  Pretty, floral,'s pretty good!

However, as soon as I started scrubbing with it I realised it is a lot harsher than the Breakfast Scrub due to the large grains of rock salt.  Some may like this - and I do when I need to get rid of stubborn fake tan - but compared to the gentle Breakfast Scrub it was a bit of a shock.

My skin however did thank me for it and was left super soft and also with a gentle sheen, much like its counterpart.

The Winner?

Ooh this is a tough one - picking a body scrub is of course very important in the grand scheme of things..!

It's a tie I think!

The Breakfast Scrub is fantastic for a gentle regular body polish.  The scent definitely wins me over.

Flake Away still holds a place in my heart for tanning - either prepping the skin or getting rid of the old stuff.

What are you opinions on these?  Do you have a firm favourite or is their place for both of them in your bathroom?!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

MAC Cham Pale and Stylishly Yours Haul

MAC's latest offerings have caused a stir in the beauty community and this time, for a good reason.

The gorgeous Cham Pale collection beautifully described as the 'ultimate luxury..shimmering with all the bubbly optimism & golden glow of the best that's yet to be' pretty much sells it to you on the spot.

As for the the Stylishly Yours collection, it's promise to be 'always flawlessly fabulous' entices you in.

I am a marketing man's dream...

Chromographic Pencil NC15-NW20

A flesh coloured pencil has been something I've been searching for for what seems like forever.  This silky soft pencil, when applied in your waterline, very much opens up tired eyes.  When smudged into the very corner of the eye socket, it also gives a wonderful highlight.

   Virgin Isle Cream Colour Base

If you have been following me for a while, you will know that Hush CCB is one of my all time favourite products.  The other colours have therefore been on my mental list, especially Virgin Isle after seeing Nic (Pixiwoo) use it in this video.

Rumour has it that this is now discontinued on the main line and is now a Pro product so I snapped it up in this re-promote.

It is such an amazing colour - so highly pigmented, blends beautifully and lasts on the cheeks for a long time.  It has unfortunately sold out now online but if you can get yours hands on one, I would highly recommend it as a product.

What did you pick up from the collections?  Am I really missing out on the Cham Pale paint pots?!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

TIGI Bed Head Brunette Goddess

When I received this trio from a beautiful friend, to say I was chuffed would very much be an understatement!

I have used and loved many TIGI styling products over the years but I've never treated myself to any shampoos or conditioners.  In fact, not just from TIGI but from any high end hair care range to be honest...

Well now thanks to Samantha(!) it's going to be hard to go back to my faithful TRESemmé..!

The beautiful shampoo enriched with nutrients smells truly amazing and lathers so luxuriously that it really is a treat to use.  It also helps to de-tangle my hair which is something I can whole heartedly say a shampoo has never done for me before.

The real gem of the collection has to be this miracle working conditioner.  I could talk about the liposome delivery system that releases nutrients; the soy and wheat proteins which retain moisture and revitalize shine or the panthenol which strengthens the hair to help resist breakage and reduce split ends..but all I will say is that it leaves my hair feeling instantly manageable, silky soft and frizz-free whether I blow dry it or leave it to dry naturally.  It also smells bloody gorgeous too!

The third and final step of my new hair regime leaves my hair so shiny when spritzed all over my final style.  It is not at all sticky or greasy which is always a worry when putting something on your finished 'do.
It also has the amazing sweet smell of the other two products which for a girl with a sweet-tooth like me is the cherry on top of the very good cake!

TIGI can be bought in hair salons, online retailers such as Feel Unique and occasionally in TK Maxx Stores.  The whole range of products can be investigated on the brand's website...which has reminded me that I was a huge fan of the Control Freak products and I must invest in some of them again...

What are you experiences with TIGI?  Any must-have products?!

And a very special P.S - Thank you Sammy for spoiling me with this - you are too kind to me! XXX

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

New Year's Eve Make Up

Happy New Year my fellow beauty addicts!

This New Year's Eve was relatively low key - good food and drink with some of my dearest friends and then a trip to a local small establishment for drinks at midnight and dancing into the early hours..

I had planned to dress in line with this casual plan but who was I kidding?!  I teamed a sparkly dress with killers heels and got my make up stash out - I can't resist a chance to get dolled up!

MaxFactor Xperience Foundation
Bobbi Brown Corrector
Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer
No 7 Créme Touch Translucent Powder
MAC Dainty Mineralize Blush

MAC Dark Edge (from Cult of Cherry Tempting quad) through brows

MAC Bare Canvas Paint - all over lid
Urban Decay Gunmetal - all over lid
Urban Decay Creep - blended out through outer third and crease
Barry M Navy Glitter Dust - lightly placed over entire lid 
L'oreal Voluminuous Mascara

17 Beehive Lipstick
Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lipgloss

I gave the Xperience foundation another try since the texture of my skin has improved significantly since using the Oilatum cream.  Unfortunately, it still didn't last long and is definitely a day-only foundation from now on.  And the Soap and Glory lipgloss?  Amazing and addictive...!