Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Sunday Post: Autumn Evenings & Panic Buying

Dark Grey Boyfriend Coat - New Look
Aubergine Silk Top - Zara
Skater Skirt - Topshop
Buckled Boots - Boohoo

I have been a right old busy bee this week dashing around London in my new heel boots to upcoming a/w launches and drinks with work pals, I barely had a moment to myself. That being said Jon and I took it upon ourselves to go for an evening stroll in some local gardens to get a good dose of fresh air and test out my new coat. It was so nice to just get out from all the hustle and bustle, really catch up - I've been plunking onto our bed as soon as I'm home and falling asleep - with the only noise being the faint moo of a cow in the distance.

I did treat myself to a spot of retail therapy for a second week on the trot. I'm essentially panic buying for the Cosmo Awards at the minute. I want to look glam but not OTT, I'm really not feeling dresses at the minute so I've picked out some alternative options in case I really go off what I picked out last weekend. I'll be posting my final choice next week and you can check out all the goings on on my instagram (@ohlittlered), as I'm sure to be documenting the evening like crazy! I'm getting super excited about it now, not only will I get to meet lot's of lovely bloggers that I've spoken to online but never had the chance to meet face to face, but it's also Suzie's birthday! So, I really cannot wait to celebrate her birthday with her in style.

Question time! What sort of posts do you want to see more from me? I have been particularly proud of how my posts and photography have been turning out this week and loved all your positive comments so I want to keep up the anty. Let me know!

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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The Beginners Toolkit: The Bare Necessities

Every now and then and e-mail crops up in my inbox asking what products, brushes, and general beauty bumf I could recommend for those starting out in makeup and wanting to get a basis of their collection. I thought I would start up a mini series that goes over makeup brushes, cosmetic tools, everyday makeup, all starting off today with my bare necessities that can always be found lurking on my person.

Tools wise, brushes are your first port of call. Finger application can work just as well in some cases, but I find a buffing brush (see Real Techniques), a duo fibre brush for powders and highlights, and a flat shader brush for eyeshadow to be top of my list. I'll be posting a more lengthy makeup brush guide next week, but these three are essential, in my opinion. Add some eyelashes curlers (I recommend Shu Uemura), and invest in a good pair of tweezers (Try Tweezerman) to your shopping basket, not forgetting cotton buds and pads, and you're good to go.

Makeup wise, I find a creamy brown eyeliner is flattering on everyone without the harsh outline a black eyeliner can create. Champagne shades and taupes for the eyes won't fail you, with a lashing of black mascara - I'm loving Lancôme Hypnose Star mascara at the moment! Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm is a staple in my makeup bag, as well as a good every day lip shade like MAC's Angel or Hue. I also love having a powder foundation in my bag with me, as it's great for setting makeup or for those lighter coverage days.

This is all pretty basic stuff, so if you want any product recommendations leave them in the comments! I'll be doing posts on brushes next week and will follow with lipsticks and eyeshadows that help create a great beginners toolkit!

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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

A Foundation Fav? Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk

I've recently become somewhat of a foundation fiend, long gone are the days where I would stock pile my favourite drugstore L'Oreal Lumi Magique like there was going to be an apocalypse. Despite being a hoarder of all things cosmetic, I was never really tempted to try a high end foundation scared off by the price tag when I was already quite content with my cheaper alternative. However, I began to realise that different formula's were needed for the colder months, or days where I want a bit more coverage and so I began to stock up.

Now, don't get me wrong I still love my L'Oreal Lumi Magique with it's light dewy finish, it was perfect for everyday wear during the Summer but with winter coming it was time to branch out. I love my Estee Lauder Double Wear for nights out and days where my skin is just not co-operating, and I've tried and tested Lancôme's Teint Vissonaire which again is good for coverage but was slightly too dark for my skin tone. But, after hearing many a good thing about Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk Foundation I had to give it a go...

This foundation is perfect for the winter months and those of us who battle with dry skin, I apply moisturiser before hand and no longer suffer with those dry foundation patches that were the bane of my life. The shade range is bloomin' marvellous with 21 shades in all, you can tell I'm the palest of the pale as I was matched up to Shade 2. It blends into my skin seamlessly and the colour match is spot on for me, something I again have trouble with having to often mix and match shades. I have found myself reaching for this more and more with the only downside being it retails at £35 a bottle and I can see myself running through this within a couple months. 

Have you tried Luminous Silk? What's your go to winter foundation?

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Autumn Wardrobe: Back to Basics

Last weekend I decided to have a bit of a wardrobe cull, the bin bags were whipped out and any salvageable's donated to charity. In total three bin bags worth of old, unwanted, and those items that you always say you will wear but never do, were filled to brim and cleared out.  Now, the hunt for some new autumnal staples could begin...

I noticed whilst sorting through my wardrobe that I had a distinct lack of 'basics' - y'know those pieces that can be easily layered up or just go with everything - and so yesterday I scouted out many a rail to pick up the bare necessities. I love a winter jumper more than most but wanted some looser cosy knits that could be layered up with jackets and coats. H&M, Zara, COS, and Topshop are great for picking these up. I opted for neutral colours such as creams, charcoals, and a pastel lilac which is set to be on trend this season. Button up shirts, silk cami tee's and a leather jacket will never fail you. Burgundy, khaki green, and black and white shades are perfect.

Next up, ask yourself have you got a pair of trusty leather heeled boots? These for me are a must have for autumn in both flats and heels. You won't find me out of these bad boys till February people so they are well worth the investment. Topshop and Zara again are great for this. For those on a tighter budget I couldn't recommend New Look, H&M, and Boohoo enough. I picked up the pair above for a measly £25 from New Look and I loooove them.  Pair these with Topshop Leigh Jeans in black and you've got a match made in heaven, suitable for work as well as looking chic. Win, win.

Okay, so strictly speaking MAC lipsticks aren't wardrobe essentials but I think every girl should have a true red lipstick and a nude on hand. Ruby Woo and Hue are personal favourites and jazz up any autumnal outfit. A simple statement necklace can also glam up a simple knit and jean combo, think Zara, Topshop and ASOS. 

What are your staple items for your basics wardrobe?
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The Sunday Post: Triple Threat Facial

Sunday's mean only one thing at LR HQ, pampering. I like to spend my Sunday getting lot's of blog posts drafted whilst sporting a face mask and munching on an assortment of berry fruits. Every now and then my skin feels more congested than usual and that's when I know it's time to call out the big guns and the triple threat facial steps in...

Recently I've been favouring the following trio to banish pesky blemishes whilst also injecting a much needed dose of moisture back into my skin. I start off with REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask, whilst soaking in the tub. I usually put this on just after I've conditioned my hair and leave both to do their magic for ten minutes or so. I love this mask because it highlights all my open pores and minimises them.  Next up is a personal favourite for those times when you're suffering from a breakout and need some damage control. I tend to whack out my Origins Out of Trouble Mask at least once a month and it really gives my skin a good clear out of skin nasties and impurities. I also love the cold tingling sensation this mask gives as the mask really works its way in there and gives a much needed detox.

The final step in the TTF routine goes to adding moisture back to the skin. I have various masks that do this job well but my weapon of choice at the moment has to be Jurlique Moisturising Cream Mask*. After the first two steps of where my skin has been cleansed, purged, and tightened I like to give my skin a bit of a break to calm down before following up with the next stage. So, pop the kettle on and catch a few episodes of Friends on Comedy Central. When ready, I massage the Jurlique mask softly into my skin in small circular motions, really let my skin lap up the product. I love this part as I find it really soothing, to really get the feel of an at home facial I sometimes call in the boy to massage my skin whilst I shut my eyes and dream I'm lazing on some Caribbean Island...

The next day I wake up to fresh and hydrated skin, ready to start the working week. Do you have a pamper routine you like to pull out at the weekends?
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Saturday, 21 September 2013

Sponsored Video: Joop! Miss Wild Perfume

Joop! have launched a counterpart to Joop! Homme Wild with their new Joop! Miss Wild Perfume. A fresh floral fragrance with notes of vanilla, spicy bursts of pink pepper, and sexy base notes of rum this fragrance is not for the light hearted. The rum notes are perfect for an autumnal evening and the clash of   the milder floral notes and spicier undertones work well together without being too overpowering.  Matching its punky purple packaging this definitely is a fragrance with a kick. I particularly love the leather bow around the bottle neck, which gives it a rock chick edge alongside the skull features on both the bow and the bottle itself, sweetened up with hearts for eyes to reflect the sweeter side of this fragrance.

The perfume does have a unique scent but I do feel top ups are need ever four hours or so as it doesn't linger on my skin as much as other perfumes I have tried. The floral notes are mild and lose their scent to the strainer, spicier tones which smell amazing nonetheless.

'Because, sometimes bad feels so good...'

Ever wondered how 'wild' you really are? Take their video quiz here, and discover your inner wild child. Are you Sweet Wild, Sexy Wild, or Naughty Wild?  Turns out that I'm 'Sexy Wild' - get me!

*Post Sponsored by Joop! photo lauren-signature_zps4149a168.png

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Repurchase Roster

I'm guilty of splashing my cash on the latest cosmetic releases, and always wanting to try new products out but today's post is a celebration of those staple products that always find their way back in to my shopping basket.

Now, the Naked eyeshadows palettes can be found in many a makeup hoard and these babies truly do last forever. However, I reach for the Naked 2 pretty much every single day and some of my favourite shades such as Bootycall, Tease, and YDK are on their final legs so I'll definitely be picking up another one. For my brows, I'm sticking to my trusty Eyeko Brow Gel*, which sets my brows nealty in place as well as given them more definition. Perf.

MAC products tend to be either hit or miss with me but I've gone through three bullets of MAC Hue and am now on my second Plumful, a beautiful shade for a/w. I'm even wearing it today...
If you're looking for that go to everyday wash of colour to your lids, pick up All that Glitters from MAC. Definitely, a product I can't do without in my stash.

I've also recently purchased Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, a match made in heaven for my combo skin tone. Not too heavy duty but enough to cover up any pesky blemishes. I think I have found a winner.

Also, working their way into my repurchase roster has to be Kate Moss 101 Lipstick by Rimmel, a cheap and cheerful blue toned red, Stila's Convertible Color in Lilium and Maybelline Gel Eyeliner which is another bargainous pick up.  I also couldn't do without having two buffing brushes by Real Techniques, this brush is a dream and one that I could not do without in my tool kit.

What products do you repurchase most often?
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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

New In: NARS Fall 2013 Color Collection

Autumn has to be my favourite season. The Fashion. The cosy nights in. Oh, and a/w makeup collections. NARS are one of those brands that never fail to make me 'ooh!' over their new releases. I have a few items from their latest Fall Color Collection which have wet my appetite for plum lips and metallic eyes.

Their Pure Matte Lipsticks in La Paz* and Peloponnese* caught my eye the most, however they are not as matte as I would like. I'm not a great fan of shimmer on the lips and these lipsticks do have a glittery effect to them. La Paz, the plum purple shade, has to be my favourite of the two and suited my fair skin tone whilst also packing a punch for an autumnal evening look. I think I'll find it harder to wear Peloponnese, which is a bronze toned nude. NARS describe this shade as a 'ginger pink' with its copper like tone, I think this shade would suit darker skin tones especially.

As for the eyeshadows I was lucky enough to test out Bavaria* which is described as a 'Deep Sea Blue' yet I find it leans more to a teal green hue. This is the only shimmer shade in the fall eyeshadow collection, which works wonderfully as a highlight in the inner corner or sweeped over for a more metallic look. I would love to pair this with the shade Kamchatka, I think it would make a gorgeous navy smokey eye look, perfect for these colder nights.

What do you think of the NARS a/w collection? What would you pick up from it? Shop the collection here.
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Monday, 16 September 2013

Hospital Beds & Cabin Fever...

Those with a shrewd eye will have noticed how absent I've been from pretty much every form of social media as of late. I've had lot's of lovely messages and tweets, which really cheered me up as I've been stuck in my bedroom watching re-runs of One Tree Hill and nursing a hot water bottle pretty much all day, every day for nigh on ten days now. Not so fun. 

I've been having issues with my thyroid on and off this Summer and thought it was all over but then I found a cyst and so found myself staying in hospital opposite an old lady who kept screaming she was on fire... 
Annoyingly I have 'delicate veins' and so my anxiety was heightened when after half an hour of trying to attach my fluid drip they had to give up because my veins kept collapsing. I was very thirsty that night, trust me. However, besides that the op went smoothly and I'm on the mend and EXTREMELY ready to get back to work. Being stuck in get's old very quickly. 

You know the saying when all the buses come at once, well I can relate. As within the same week I was again brought back to A&E for severe heart pains and muscular spasms, so I've been pretty stressed out to top it all off as it's all come at the worst timing ever. SOB. I feel really bad for having no posts scheduled but I haven't even attempted to go online until now, but I'm hoping to get everything back on track for this week and so on. Thank you for sticking with me and I'm amazed that I have now surpassed 2,000 followers, that just seems crazy to me so thanks a million!

I'm back to work on Tuesday and cannot wait! Again, I'm sorry I've been so MIA but hopefully that will be my dose of sickliness done but for a VERY long time!

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Sunday, 1 September 2013

At Home: My Dressing Table

Instead of the usual 'The Sunday Post' today I thought I'd kick start my At Home with Little Red series with my most requested post, my dressing table. I get a lot of questions asking where my dressing table is from - it's from Dunelm Mill and comes with a matching stool - bargain. My mum bought this for me for my 21st birthday and I couldn't take my eyes off of it for the first few weeks that it settled itself into my bedroom. I really love the floral design seen above of the drawers, around the mirror, and down the legs of the table. I just think it's beautiful!

I like to keep my dresser quite neat and tidy and try not to clutter it with cosmetics and such, so that's why there's not lot of snaps of my makeup collection - that's being saved for it's own specific post! In my dresser drawers I keep eyelash curlers, scissors and tweezers on the left hand side, my blogging notebook in the centre drawer and then just my daily moisturiser, lip scrub. and Origins Super Spot Remover on the right hand side. I like to keep only the essentials on display with everything else housed in my IKEA Alex. Keeping everything minimal helps me concentrate when typing up my blog posts over here.

My main selection of brushes that I tend to reach for everyday are kept in a cute butterfly design pencil holder from Paperchase. I also keep my MAC Lipstick collection on display in an acrylic stand that I found on e-bay, I like to have these visible and they're my favourite go to lipsticks. I also keep out my Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm and a pot for my bobby pins and hairbands to try and keep on track of them as they have a tendency to go missing...
I also keep a mini house shaped chalk board next to my dressing table in order to jot down any blog post ideas or products that come to mind. Super handy and very cute!

So there you have it, my favourite bedroom addition - what do you think? What would you like to see from my At home series - makeup storage and collection?

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