Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Hydrating skin is for life, not just for summer

A little play on words there, but it’s true. Keeping the skin, particularly the face hydrated, is really important and as much as creams are a great way to treat the problem, I have found a friendly ally.
I bought M.A.C Mineralize - Skin Hydrating Mist during the summer with my lovely friend Sian (who also highly recommended it), and is mainly used as a way to keep makeup looking fresh after a long day; but I also found it a handy cooling device and was such a big help when it was hot. So I thought, maybe this could be a handy tool for winter, too? I decided to give it a try and for the past two weeks have carried this hydrating spray and used whenever I felt my skin becoming a little tight. Now, I’m not one for fads, and the idea of a water spray with a few minerals in it may seem extravagant, but this has been a huge help in just a fortnight. A couple of sprays an inch or two from the face and your skin will feel instantly refreshed and thankfully, the spray is very light so there's no walking around with a dripping face while you wait for it to dry.
So if you’re tired of having to pull out a bottle or tub of cream every time your skin feels the brunt of the bitter cold, I would highly recommend trying this fab hydrating spray. I’m always interested to see what other alternatives may be out there, so I will keep a look out for other blogs of this nature – you can never have too many options!

‘til next time!

Love and hugs,
Isha Reid

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Liquid Foundation Success – FINALLY!

So this is a bit of a change for me because I’m going to talk about makeup. I did a shoot a good while ago now and the MUA, Al Philly, was amazing and incredibly lovely. She showed me ways to use makeup for my skin type I’d never thought of before. This rings true particularly with some of the colours used and when I expressed my surprise at how well the colours looked on my skin, Al said that it wasn’t about the colours, but how much was used and where. This blew my mind because as a woman of colour, there were certain colours I would never go near through fear of looking ridiculous. Makeup for black skin can be really tricky to get right and there is often a fine line between looking like a clown and looking as though you’re wearing a mask – I would of course want neither of these things, but also want to experiment slightly with different colours.

It’s funny, because although I’m very much a girly girl (after living my teenage years being a tomboy and living in jeans and t-shirts) one thing that didn’t and to a certain extent, still doesn’t really excite me, is makeup. I know there are many of you who do internal cartwheels when a new range comes out or there’s a new exclusive blush or lipstick, but that’s not me at all; if you’re talking about a new collection of swing dresses? Well that’s a different story ;p But that doesn’t mean when I do want to wear makeup I don’t want to have a play.

The first port of call was foundation or more pointedly, liquid foundation. I have never used liquid foundation because liquid foundation for black skin is like the Holy Grail. I do not have the time or money to buy different shades to mix in a caldron in the hope to get somewhere near my skin tone, so I have for many years opted for powder. My weapon of choice is my ever-trusting M.A.C powder and it’s perfect. Now, my skin is very irritable and prone to breakouts, so the last thing I want to do is paste my skin and clog my pores with a heavy foundation, plus the many years of being unable to find one to match my skin, powder has always been my way. The great thing about powder is that it is super light. I don’t like to wear a lot of makeup as again, I don’t want to look like I’m wearing a mask, so powder has been the perfect companion for me and I have no complaints whatsoever. One layer of application and I’m good to go!

Foundation: M.A.C, Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation – Shade: NW45
However, I still wanted to see if I could find a liquid foundation that I was able to wear without my skin feeling weighed down but also, a shade that matched my skin, so I headed to central London with my dear friend, Shel (who always has the most perfectly applied makeup) to look for a foundation I would be happy using. I didn’t want to have to go a fancy boutique to find a foundation for my skin type, so wanted to check out high street makeup – enter Boots. We went to the one near Bond Street tube station and the hunt began. Unfortunately, there was little on offer for me there or any of the other typical "high street" cosmetic stores, so resorted to buying a ton of other things like lipstick, eye shadow and blush, but I was really disappointed. However, I struck gold the following week. I went into a larger Superdrug near my work and wandered over to the Sleek Makeup stand. To my surprise, the majority of the foundations on offer were for those with darker skin – I had to stop myself from fainting! I had a try of a few shades and found the perfect fit - Henna! At first glance I thought it would be a little too light for me, but I thought I’d still give it a try. Upon application to a small part of my skin, the colour didn’t lighten my skin but blended beautifully with my natural skin tone. I knew I’d found the one and bought it immediately with itchy feet to get home to try it properly. I thought I’d not only try this fab foundation, but also create a fun but simple look for an evening out for dinner or drinks. But first things first – prep!

Pre makeup skin care: (from left to right) Simple Moisturising Facial Wash, E45 and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula
This is my skin care routine regardless of whether or not I’m applying makeup, but makeup rule No.1: ALWAYS apply makeup with clean skin. My skin has a tendency to be oily (apart from Autumn/Winter time) so using Simple products is a must – no grease, no perfume and nothing artificial; instead this face wash is full of vitamins and minerals that are critical for keeping skin hydrated. E45 is my BEST FRIEND during the colder months. My skin gets these weird dry patches around my forehead and cheeks, and I use E45 throughout the day to keep dryness at bay. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter is my normal body butter, but I buy myself a bottle for dry skin during winter months. I love how Palmer’s feels on my entire body, and the smell….delicious!

Alternative: Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes
If you’re unable to wash your face with a facial wash, the very least you should do is use facial wipes. I carry a pack of these awesome wipes whenever I know I’ll be away from home but going out later in the evening. OK, now time to apply some makeup….

Concealer: M.A.C, Studio Finish SPF 35 – Shade: NW45
You can always rely on M.A.C. Sometimes this concealer is the only thing I use before leaving the house. This shade fits my skin tone so perfectly you’d never know I was wearing it!

Foundation: Sleek Makeup, New Skin Revive – Shade: Henna
The feel of this is great. It’s not sticky or greasy in any way and a thin layer does the perfect job for full coverage. I left this on for an hour before applying the rest of the makeup to see if there was any dryness. I’m happy to say there wasn’t and I’m so happy I found this!

Eyeliner: L'Oréal, Super Liner – Shade: Intense Black Eye Shadow: Seventeen, Solo Eye Shadow – Shade: Regal

I applied a thicker line of eyeliner than usual because I wanted to have a clear thin line of eye shadow for contrast.

Mascara: Max Factor, 2000 CalorieDramatic Volume – Shade: Black/Brown
I love using Black/Brown mascara as it gives a softer look compared to the harshness of Black. I also think a softer look on the lashes works really well with dramatic lips (below) and the shimmer of eye shadow.

Blush: Sleek Makeup – Shade: Rose Gold
I would never have picked this colour up before meeting Al. Again, I wanted to go with something soft as I wanted the focus to be on the eyes and lips. This colour is wonderful on darker skin and I’m sure a more dynamic look could be easily achieved with additional application.

Lipstick: Rimmel London – Shade: Tantrum
And the look is complete! I love the intense red here. It draws the eyes in and would work perfectly if on a date ;)

So the moral of the story is there's hope out there for black skin on the high street without having to break the bank. I may do another post doing a proper hunt in various stores to see which cater for darker skin, but thankfully there are some great smaller brands who are doing what bigger brands aren’t – sound familiar?!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading!

‘til next time.

Love and hugs,

Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Perfect Storm

Hi guys,

A few weeks ago I took a half day for really important business – to eat cake with Hanna! Ideally, I would have taken an entire day to eat cake, but decided on this occasion that a half day would have to do ;p Unfortunately, as the day arrived, I wasn’t feeling very well so ended up getting a mere drink. The drink was yummy, but I was disappointed not to dive into the gorgeous looking cakes at Nordic Bakery.

The dress I decided to wear for cake shenanigans was from Lady Vintage London. This dress is a different cut to what I usually wear, but it’s the print that does it for me. I’ve named this post ‘The Perfect Storm’ because that’s exactly what the print looks like to me – beautiful whirlwinds, waves, with an array of blues and turquoise. I fell in love with the print online but the pictures on my Mac did not do the dress justice, and the pictures for this post probably don’t either, but it’s a stunning dress!
Dress: Lady Vintage London
Cardigan: South (via Very)
Tights: Boots
Boots: eBay
Pretty belt
The fabulous print <3<3<3<3<3
Er, a little too much wind here :/
That's better! :)
Hanna's goodies (YUUUUUUMMM!)

I hope you’re all well and enjoying a lazy Sunday :)

‘til next time!


Sunday, 10 November 2013

Plus London Three Aftermath – The dresses!

So when you’ve got a weekend like Plus London Three, you know as a blogger you have to make a bit of an effort but when you’re one of the organisers, you can’t pitch up in just anything! As Simply Be were our main sponsor, they were incredibly kind in offering to dress the organisers for the Saturday. We thought we’d have somewhat of a theme and decided we would use blue as a feature.

I headed over to the Simply Be website and saw the below dress. I loved the cut, the pattern and the sheer ‘V’ at the top so immediately picked that as my option. When I opened the package, I was so surprised at how soft the material was; it’s an almost leather/ wet-look dress so thought the material would be a little more abrasive than it was, but it was super soft and very comfy to wear all day:

Dress: Courtesy of Simply Be
Shrug: eBay
Tights: Boots
Belt and Shoes: Dorothy Perkins
Close-up of print <3

On Sunday we decided that ease and comfort was the way to go and for me, there is only one place to go for that – Lady Vintage London. Regular readers will already know how much I adore Lady V and I recently discovered my dress count is nearly in its 20s. It just goes to show though, once you find a place that fits your needs, why feel obliged to change?! I love how their dresses fit my body and I always feel great whenever I wear one (and that’s very often!):

Dress: Lady Vintage London (of course!)
Cardigan: South (via Very)
Belt: Dorothy Perkins
Tights: Boots
Uh-mazing Boots: eBay
Look how gorgeous! 
The incredible street art in the backyard of our venue

I love the contrast in both dresses and each were perfect choices for the days I wore them. Everyone looked amazing and there were a lot of “where’s that from??” conversations which is the ultimate compliment from anyone, but particularly a fellow blogger.

I hope you are all well and I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts about PL3 :)

‘til next time!

Love and hugs,