25 February 2014

Ren Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser

Since the start of the year I’ve been trying to be a lot stricter with my evening skincare routine, this means always using a cleanser after I’ve removed my make-up instead of just Bioderma (I’ve switched back to this from L’oreal Micellar water, but that’s a whole other post). I’m a huge fan of Ren cleansers as I’ve found that my skin isn’t as sensitive as it used to be with moisturisers and serums but is still quite picky about cleansers. My recent cleanser of choice has been the Ren Hydra Calm Cleansing Milk as this is perfect for sensitive skin but still manages to remove all my make-up, so when I heard they were launching a new hot cloth cleanser I was very intrigued. The Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser* is a rich and velvety two-phase cleanser containing rosa centifolia to tone and revive the skin and cocoa butter to lock in moisture.

As Ren are known for their all natural ingredients with no nasties I find this perfectly gentle enough to use in the morning and evening. Although I do tend to remove my make-up before cleansing I must say that on the few occasions I have only used this it does an excellent job of removing every last patch of make-up, even mascara. I find that I only need 1 pump of the light cream to smooth all over my face and neck then use the muslin cloth (included) to remove all traces of the day leaving my skin looking clean and fresh.

If you have sensitive skin I would almost always suggest you try the products from Ren as I’ve never had a problem with them and for how long they last they’re not too pricey. 

24 February 2014

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

I'm a huge lover of a nude natural eye, I love the Urban Decay palettes, I do but sometimes I find them a little too glittery to wear in the day. That's where the new wonderfully delicious Full Exposure palette from Smashbox (£36*) comes in. It contains 8 matte shades and 8 shimmer shades, which are all completely wearable- the perfect eyeshadow palette? Quite possibly. Smashbox eyeshadows are incredibly creamy and well pigmented so they're super easy to work with even if you're totally new to make-up. The shadows range from warm to cool tones, which means that you can achieve a number of looks form day and night. I really love using one of the lighter nudes all over the lid, with the coffee brown (7th in the bottom row) blended through the crease and a shimmer by the tear duct. 

Not only does this palette allow a number of different looks it also comes with a free double ended brush and mascara. One side of the brush is perfect or using on the lower last line to add a little definition and the other is great for adding a wash of colour over the lid and blending. I must admit I'm quite picky when it comes to mascaras but I actually really like this one, it's a really big brush that manages to coat all of my lashes adding a fanning effect whilst also lengthening. Winner. When I travel I normally only take one palette to save space and I'm almost 100% that this will be the one I take with me for the foreseeable future as I just feel like I can create a look for any occasion with these shadows. 

*PR sample


22 February 2014

What's In My Bag- LFW Edition

For a first what's in my handbag post I thought what better way to start than with what I carried around with me during London Fashion Week! First of all, the bag I used pretty much everyday during the 5 days was a lovely light pink satchel from The Cambridge Satchel Company. This was kindly lent to me through their LFW lending scheme for bloggers and I have to say I was extremely sad to give this back at the end of the week. 

One of the main reason of my attendance at London Fashion Week was all down to Toni & Guy, so one of the most important things in my bag was definitely my camera to make sure I had plenty of shots backstage and of the shows. As you meet so many different people during the week from bloggers to designers it's so important that you have lots business cards to hand out so that you can get your name and blog out there. Of course my iPhone was another staple so that I could Tweet (@GemmaLondonLife) and Instagram (@GemmaLondonLife) all of my goings on. I did take a note pad with me although I found  that I really only used the notes on my phone as it was much quicker to write down speedy notes- this pretty little note pad is from Scribbler. 

Next up, make-up staples. I made sure I always had the lip product I was using for the day and this seemed to alternate between the Nars satin lip pencil and my beloved Revlon lipstick in shade Pink Cognito. If you've seen my previous post on the Spring collection from Clarins (Post here) you'll know how obsessed I am with their new cream blushes particularly Grenadine*, so this came everywhere with me. Lastly, I always had my Nars Laguna for touch ups through out the day. 

18 February 2014

London Fashion Week A/W14 Day 4- Giles Deacon

Image taken from Getty

Yesterday marked my last an final day of London Fashion Week with Toni and Guy and what an incredible 4 days it has been. To end my week I attended backstage at Giles Deacon where I met Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn and Kendall Jenner. It really was the perfect end to a perfect week. The look the stylists created for this show was a mixture of melancholy and nature to go with the invite which featured thorns and kingfishers. To create this look the team used sea salt spray and hair spray to really give the hair a messed up feel. They then blasted all the hair forward with a hairdryer to make it look like the model had just taken a motorbike helmet off.  

I really cannot put into words how amazing the past 4 days have been, I've got to do things which I could have only dreamt about when I first started blogging and it's all thanks the to incredible PR team at Toni & Guy. It's been an exhausting whirlwind where all the days seem to have blurred into one but I wouldn't change it for the world. 
Here's hoping next season will be just as crazy and fun! 


17 February 2014

London Fashion Week A/W14 Day 3

 Top: H&M
Necklace: Zara
Boots: New Look

For day 3 of London Fashion Week AW14 I was booked in at the Toni and Guy Blow-Out Bar at Somerset House for a much needed trim and blow dry. My lovely stylist Darren brought my hair back to life using a number of the Toni and Guy volume boosting Label M products whilst I sipped my prosecco (the didn't have water). Next I made my way over to the backstage area at Fashion Scout for a preview of the Vita Gottlieb hair and make-up. For this look the stylists wanted to a create a combination of an up and down style but very simple. They tied the hair in a low ponytail and then with the two pieces of hair left at the sides they wrapped these around the elastic band. The only products used for this look were the Label M volume mousse and some resurrection style dust. Once again, Toni and Guy were amazing and placed me right on the front row so I had an amazing view of the show. Vita's inspiration behind the show was caged birds fighting for flight so we saw a lot of deep reds and golds. I ended my day with a lovely manicure at the Debenhams Beauty Lounge with some friends. 

More tomorrow on an incredibly exciting Day 4- if you follow me on Twitter (@GemmaLondonLife) you'll already know why!


Penhaligon's Lily of The Valleys- Official LFW Scent

Penhaligon's have teamed with the British Fashion Council to produce the official scent of London Fashion Week AW14- Lily of the Valley. This new scent is a modern take of the original Lily of the Valley candle with a twist of the classic fresh, and floral scent. This is a lovely feminine smell with touches of citrus and bergamot before you are infused with a creamy, white heart overflowing with rose, ylang ylang, jasmine and lily of the valley, of course. To add an earthy scent, the fragrance contains notes of sandalwood and oakmoss which is what allows the smell to linger long after you've blown they candle out. 

If you're not a huge fan of floral candles then this could be one for you to try as although this does have quite a strong rose scent I do find the deep notes of sandlewood and oakmoss tend to add a little masculinity to balance it out. 

*PR Sample


16 February 2014

London Fashion Week A/W14 Day 2

Image from Fashion156.com

Yesterday I was lucky enough to have a later start for Day 2 of a busy London Fashion Week with Toni and Guy- I had 3 backstage passes and shows planned at Fashion Scout so at least I didn't have to run between Somerset House and Covent Garden in the rain. For my outfit I wore a chunky pastel lilac knitted jumper from Zara, skirt from Fashion Union, Shoes by New Look, Coat by ASOS and bag from The Cambridge Satchel Company. 

My first show was with Bella Sauvage where there was a very strong military theme with a collection inspired by regal attitude and femme fatale. The clothes featured prints of chains and lipsticks with a main colour scheme of red, black and gold. My second show and my favourite of the day was Hema Kaul where we were taken back to the 1950's with intricate beading and vintage glamour. The hair for this was a large bun like bob, which displayed elements of vintage elegance with a modern take. The stylists used a number of Toni & Guy Label M products to achieve this look including a lot of volume mousse and hair spray to keep down any fly aways. For my last show of the day I attended the beautiful Ashley Isham show where the pieces were inspired by the gentrified English countryside which featured a lot of tweeds and floral prints. As all the models wore hats for this show the hair was designed to be quite simple from the front so not to distract from the clothes but then a woven braid at the back inspired by an equestrian theme. The only product used for this look was hairspray to keep the hair super sleek and flat. 

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