Too Faced Better Than Sex & Chocolate Event

Last week I was invited to Mixology in Shoreditch, by Too Faced Cosmetics for a spot of cocktail making in honour of their Better Than Sex and Chocolate event.

I had never attempted making a single cocktail before, so I was very excited to be turning my hand to the other side of the bar! Mixology is a hidden gem… it looks like a standard office door from the outside, but the other side of the door reveals a bar for the ‘teacher’, and three other bars set up for the ‘students’, filled with everything you could possibly want for a cocktail – bottles upon bottles of alcohol, mixers and garnish…. and for this event, lots and lots of chocolate!
Too Faced uses cocoa powder in some of its products (HELLO CHOCOLATE BAR PALETTE!) – which give off a gorgeous aroma, hence the theme of the event (plus the sex part is thanks to their new mascara – Better Than Sex!), so we were making chocolate cocktails all evening. There was a small group of bloggers who split into teams of three – I was with the lovely Laura of LauraLouMakeup and Zoe Newlove and together we were an awesome trio!
In total, our mixologist taught us how to make four different chocolate based cocktails -from a chocolate, tequilla and chilli tipple, to, my favourite of the evening – the white russian. At the end of the event each team was challenged to create their own chocolate based creation – we came up with It’s Not Terry’s – It’s Mine, a chocolate orange cocktail which was gorgeous even if I do say so myself… and we went on to win!
We left a little wobbly after so many different concoctions, and loaded with Too Faced Goodies – reviews will be coming soon – if anyone would desperately like a review and swatches of anything in particular first, please let me know!

Annie of Epiphanniea contemplating which of the Melted Liquified Lips to try first
Zoe Newlove giving her cocktail a good old shake!

With our winning creation!
Can’t wait to get started on all these!

Lancome Hypnose Eyeshadow Palettes

Yesterday morning I was invited to watch the amazing make up artist Alex Babsky doing a demonstration of the new Lancome Hypnose Eyeshadow Palettes. There are 12 palettes to the range, from natural, neutral looks to dramatic smokey eyes and daring colourful colours.

Each palette contains five pearl-finish shadows which compliment each other – one main colour, one highlighting colour, two shades which work well as a gradient blended with the main colour, and a very dark colour intended to be used as an eyeliner – although could also be used to smoke-out the look even further.

Alex worked with Bain de Minuit – a gorgeous, intense blue toned palette. Here is the look he created on his model.

I recorded the demo, so if you’d like to see the steps involved – have a watch by clicking below.

Also at the event was Maja, the Lancome make up artist that did me up for my day at the EE BAFTA Style Suites earlier this year. She was wearing one of the more daring palettes – Menthe á l’O.

I was given the Vert Mystére palette to take home to try myself.

The Hypnose palettes come in a sleek mirrored compact with two applicators inside. Normally I chuck applicators straight away – but these ones are extra special – the handles and their housing are magnetic! No more dropping them on the floor of the tube when you’re touching up – hurrah! One of the applicators is a fluffy(ish) brush designed for sweeping colour into and above your crease, or to blend shades. The other is a double ended sponge applicator – one to pack on the colour – the other end is super-thin, to be used for lining the eye with shadow.

When you buy the palette, you also get a sticker which you can stick on your mirror as a guide of where to place what colours. The numbering system is like this…

They advise that shade 1 is the signature shade of the palette – designed to be worn over the whole of the lid. Shade 2 is the highlighter to be used under the brow bone. Shade 3 is the eyeliner. Shade 4 is to be used on the hollow of the lid and the outer corners of the eye to contour. Shade 4 is for the inner corner of the eye. 

Alex’s demo showed a different way of using the colours – he used Shade 1 under the eye and to map out the crease of the eye. Shade 4 with a wet brush over the lid, then with a dry brush to blend out the edges. A pat of Shade 1 in the centre of the lid, and Shade 2 in the inner corner of the eye.

I used Alex’s method when trying the palette out for myself. I added Shade 3 (dry) as liner and finished with Lancome Hypnose Star mascara.

The Lancome Hypnose Eyeshadow Palettes cost £37 available from Lancome counters nationwide or – to see the full range of shades, watch my video above.

Debenhams Press Day

Yesterday I went along to the Debenhams press day – it was great to see so many brands all in one place, and drool over the stunning sets they had created.

As well as seeing some of the new make up from the brands they stock such as Illamasqua, Dior, Elizabeth Arden, Mavala, Benefit, Guerlian and Estee Lauder to name but a few – there were a few brands with an area of their own. Bare Minerals were showcasing their new pressed foundation, and Urban Decay and Calvin Klein were doing make overs – I played with the new vault of 24/7 Urban Decay liners, which unfortunately will only be coming out in America – but all the new colours are available to buy over here separately – there are some gorgeous ones there – I particularly loved Ether and Abyss. [Exciting update! It now IS coming to the UK and will be exclusive to Debenhams from 2nd May – yay!].

I hadn’t ever seen Calvin Klein make up before – the foundations look like a lovely finish and they had two nail polish colours (a lime and a frosted turquoise) which are scented with CK One fragrance! The eyeshadow quads looked good too – I had a little of the eyeshadow applied and it stayed put all day.

Benefit were there taming people’s brows, as were Benito who were also doing eyelash extensions  I had my eyebrows threaded while I was there and was really pleased with the finished result.

Beverly C was styling hair using Babyliss, which I unfortunately didn’t have time to indulge in – I had a look for the Perfect Curl as I’m dying to have a go with it but I didn’t spot it. 

Nails Inc were doing manicures – just look at all those polishes!

Scentlab was there too – which is a great way to help people choose which fragrance you might like based on the choices you enter into the touchscreen device. It asks a few questions and based on my answers the perfume it recommended was YSL Manifesto – a perfume I’d never smelt before but is very  ‘me’.

Something I recently spotted on the Debenhams website is the Try Me Guarantee  which I think is a fabulous idea that more companies should adopt. When you purchase a full sized product that’s included within the scheme, you get a sample size of it too – so you can try the sample, and if you don’t like it, can return the full sized unopened product for a refund. Hopefully this will roll out over more products soon as it’s a great way to shop!
A pretty picture-heavy post, but hopefully you’re now drooling along with me!

Superdry Press Day

Last week I went along to Superdry’s Autumn Winter Press Day to see the collaboration with Timothy Everest for the women’s Sibero Collection and sip some rather yummy cocktails created by the Experimental Cocktail Club!

The show was really interesting – rather than a catwalk, they had the four models in a room doing ‘stuff’ and posing every once in a while. I fell in love with the Town Coat, which the model on the left is wearing. It’s navy but the back of the collar is pink (it also comes in other colour options).

The collection sees a tailored look for all different types of people. I, of course, was also checking out the models make up, which varied depending on the personality of the look. They all had matte orangey lips with the variation on the eyes – from simple liner to grungey smokey – definitely a look I will try to recreate myself!

I had a play with some of the Superdry make up while I was there too – I really love the look and feel of the bronzer and highlighter. If you get a chance in store, have a look at them – I was really impressed – although I only swatched them on my hand so do let me know if you’ve got them what you think!

I was lucky enough to take home with me one of Superdry’s fragrances – Neon Pink.

The packaging is very Superdry-esque – cool and functional. It comes in a large neon pink cube box – which is held together with a magnetic flap. Opening the flap reveals the cute, neon pink glass bottle with matte black rubbery lid. It opens like a big zippo lighter and smells really good. It’s quite a grown up fragrance – I couldn’t imagine my teenage sister wearing it – and I really like it. The blurb on their site says it contains Bergamot, pineapple, galbanum, water fruits, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, vanilla and musks – it has a lovely fresh, summery, powdery smell, and I have been reaching for it every day since I’ve had it. It costs £35 from their website.

Motel Rocks – 25% off Motel Sample Sale!

Last week I went down to the Motel Christmas Party with Lisa from Brunette Beauty Banter. It was being held at Floripa in Shoreditch, where there were lots of exciting things going on –  Lee Stafford was there with his team giving people gorgeous hair-dos, myface cosmetics were doing make up, and people were having Eylure lashes applied.

They had special christmassey cocktails made up, a christmas themed photo booth, and Christmas presents for us all when we left.

There were rails of their clothes on display – lots of sequiny, sparkly numbers perfect for the Christmas season and new years eve parties. There were shoes from Jeffrey Campbell, and jewellery from Rock & Rose which Motel stock.

It was a lovely celebration and great to see lots of familiar faces there.
To continue the celebrations, they have a Christmas Sample Sale next week, where you can pick up some of their items for up to 90% cheaper than they would normally be – AND they have given me a voucher to share with you all for 25% off those items! Just click on the pic below, print it out and take it along with you to the Motel Showroom on 6th & 7th December. RSVP here.

Happy shopping!

Avon Arctic Goddess Collection

Last week I attended the launch of Avon’s new range – the Arctic Goddess Collection. It was in the penthouse suite of the Mayfair hotel, with the most stunning views of London. Alesha Dixon, who is the brand ambassador for Avon, was there, and Pixiwoo, who I got to have a lovely chat with – it was a fab event.

The Arctic Goddess collection has focused on the icy blue and green tones it spotted on the A/W catwalks – there were lots of chilly inspired things there – like the ice sculpture housing the 3 new nail polishes!

I got to take home some pieces from the new collection – the Arctic Goddess Eyeshadow Quad, Pink Icicle Ultra Colour Rich Brilliance Lip gloss, and the three nail polishes – Chilling, Arctic Waters, and Green Goddess.

The eyeshadows feature two light, icy, shimmery tones, and two matte bold cool colours. The top left colour is a silvery lavender colour, the right is a silvery aqua. The bottom left is a turquoise which packs a lot of punch, and the right is a dark grey.

The shimmery colours need a couple of applications to give a strong colour, the matte shadows are extremely pigmented.

I would never, in a trillion years, think to wear blue eyeshadow. I normally steer clear of blues, for no reason other than the fact I’ve never been drawn to them – but after trying these ones to take photos for this blog post – my mind has definitely been opened!

In the photo above, I am also wearing the lipgloss, Pink Icicle.

It comes with a small lip brush applicator and is quite a thin formula – it feels quite slippery on the lips rather than sticky and doesn’t have a flavour. It has lots of teeny pieces of glitter in it that look golden, silver, blue and pink, so it’s quite shimmery and leaves the lips looking very glossy and full.

The three nail polishes from left to right, are Charming, Arctic Waters and Green Goddess. I have Shellac on at the moment, so can’t show you what they look like on my nails – but expect nails of the day featuring these, shortly.

Charming and Green Goddess are very frosty looking in the bottle, and all three shades have some iridescence to them. I particularly love the look of Arctic Waters – it looks like the perfect turquoise with  a hint of pearl.  Green Goddess looks like it will be very multi-tonal, and similar to a certain Chanel colour.

This is the first time I have tried Avon make up, and have been very impressed!

The range launches in November, with prices starting from as litte as £6.

The Only Way Is Blogging!

Firstly, I’d like to apologise for the big gap in blog posts – I have been SO busy, that I have found it hard finding time to sleep, let alone blog! I am still really busy but going to try my best to blog whenever I get a spare half an hour – so please bare with me!

Yesterday was the first ever The Only Way Is Blogging (or TOWIB) event, organised by London Beauty Queen. It took place at The Pitcher and Piano in Holborn, in a reserved area just for us. I was a little nervous about walking in somewhere knowing no one, but as soon as I got there I felt fine – lots of familiar faces and everyone was really friendly.

I got there just as MUA were about to start their presentation. Make up artist Katie Hughes created 3 different looks on 3 of the bloggers using MUA products.

First was Sabrina from A Little Obsessed who had a classic red lip and toned down eye…

Next, Sophie from Sophie is Made Up had a smoky eyed look…

And Natalie from Blush Blend Beauty was given bright turquoise colour-blocked eyes…

For each of the looks, Katie used the MUA Bright Orange eye liner pencil – but for everything other than an eyeliner. It was used as a lip base, mixed with foundation to create a softer lipstick, and also can be blended out on the cheeks, as Katie herself was wearing that day. For £1, I am definitely going to check this out.

We had a chance to play with some of the new products in the Pro range – I have fallen in love with the eyeshadow trios and want each of them! For £2.50 a pop, you can’t really go wrong! We were given some products to take home, so keep your eyes peeled for swatches coming up on the blog soon. One of the things I was given was the Pretty Pastels Eyeshadow Palette, which looks gorgeous.

Next we had a talk from Andrew, the skin care expert at Dove.

He talked us through the science behind hair conditioning and looking after your skin. It was really interesting, and he did really well talking to a room full of women! He broke everything down into easy to understand chunks – and the point I found particularly interesting was, that when a brand claims it is “superior” it actually has to be proven – they can’t just say it because they fancy saying it. Dove is a superior brand, fact!

Another interesting point Andrew made was that using a really good moisturiser when you come in from the sun is far better than using aftersun. I am going to give it a go in Ibiza (2 weeks to goooooo!)  using their Indulgent Nourishment body lotion which keeps you moisturised for 24 hours.

We then had a Q&A session with some of the top beauty bloggers – this was my favourite part of the day as we all got a chance to chat amongst each other and get advice from the people that had been there, done that and worn the t-shirt! On the panel was British Beauty Blogger, Really Ree and London Beauty Queen herself. I follow all three ladies blogs so was fab to get to meet the faces behind them and having them being so honest with us.

Ree from Really Ree then stayed behind to give us a demonstration of Lauren’s Way tan. She applied the mousse to one arm, and the lotion to the other. As you may have read on my blog, I was thoroughly impressed with the lotion and intrigued to find out what the mousse was like, so am very pleased that I now have some of the mousse to test out! We also had a feel of the new hair extensions which Lauren has released – having massive hair, I don’t have the need for these myself, but they felt really nice and looked really glossy. 

Ree gave some of her top tanning tips – the most interesting one, to me, was that tan actually works by reacting with the bacteria on your skin, and in effect goes off on you, which is what the brown is. Putting tan on dirty skin, therefore will help to build a better tan. I normally apply it after showering or bathing, so I am definitely going to change this – thanks Ree!

Shortly after this, I made my way back home in the pouring rain. I had a fabulous day, got to meet some lovely ladies, have a list of new blogs to follow and really can’t wait for the next one. Thank you London Beauty Queen for organising such a fantastic day! If you’d to come to the next one, be sure to follow the TOWIB blog for all the info.

Earth Hair Salon

Last week, I attended the Earth Hairdressing event at their Salon in Eastcastle Street, W1. There were a range of activities going on – hair consultations, head massages, eyebrow threading and facials from Melvita. I would have loved a facial, but being vain and having somewhere to go afterwards… it would have meant having to take all my make up off which I just couldn’t do! I watched some others having their facials done and they really did look amazing. If only I had better skin!

Photographs for Earth Hairdressing by Natalie Kaczmarek

I did, however, have a hand massage… something I have never had done before and was very relaxing, and I also had my eyebrows threaded. The therapist which did my eyebrows was such a lovely lady, and honestly did them the best they have ever been done. I have never found a threader I have been happy enough to use regularly, but I would definitely go back there whenever I was in the area. I always try to convey that I would like more of a defined arch, which is usually ignored, but not in this case!
They had been done not long before, so didn’t need that much work, but I love the definition on the bottom of the brow nearest to my nose, and finally, my arch is more defined!
Eyebrow threading at Earth Salon costs £12, they also thread many other things – chin, neck, the whole face! Prices can be found here.

Thank you very much for a lovely evening Earth! x