Monday, 20 March 2017

Style | Back in Black

Monday, 20 March 2017

Just as I was starting to retire my Winter clothes to the back of my wardrobe the sunny weather quickly faded back to grey and windy this weekend. As much as I'm itching for some more sun I do love having an excuse to throw on this faux fur aviator jacket from Topshop. I bought this jacket at the beginning of January and it has got me through so many cold London days. The lining makes it so warm and cosy I've only really needed to wear a t-shirt underneath recently.

Jacket - Topshop | Top & Joggers - ASOS | Shoes - Converse | Choker - Regal Rose

I've been trying to experiment with colour but I always gravitate back to black, hence the almost all black affair here. I can't help it, it's my comfort zone. Speaking of comfort, I'm pretty much always in slouchy, oversized fits now too. I've been wearing these ASOS White denim joggers almost constantly since I got them so I think I'm going to have to grab another pair. As usual the styling is simple and I teamed them here with a cropped polo and converse that have seen better days.


A tad sidenote but I just wanted to take a moment to thank the photographer who took these photos - Mike Burchardt aka @burchardtlens. Style posts have always been few and far between on this blog mostly as I usually take a lot of my photos myself indoors where I don't have much space. It's that or have to pester my poor boyfriend to tear himself away from work or studying to take a few shots. I've always felt really awkward in front of the camera too and hated taking pictures in public (ironically) but in the last year my confidence has soared and I'm definitely excited to work with more photographers in the future.  


What have you been wearing lately?

Lesley x

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Style | Jaded London Mesh T-Shirt Dress

Sunday, 12 March 2017


The grey and cold has finally started to ease off slightly lately which means I've been ditching the extra layers and showing (a little) more skin than usual. I've always been obsessed with mesh pieces and I've somehow managed to accumulate quite a collection. My favourite at the moment has to be this mesh shirt dress with embroidered detailing from Jaded London. It's technically an ASOS Tall exclusive but I've found this fits my 5'6" frame perfectly and sits above my knees.


You all know by now that I like to keep styling pretty simple so I wore the dress over an old slip from Miss Selfridge and paired with a denim jacket and Puma Suede Hearts. The Jaded London dress also works really well worn over a bralet and shorts so I think this will be one of my go-to pieces as the temperature (hopefully) heats up.

Mesh Dress - Jaded London via ASOS | Black Slip Dress - Miss Selfridge | Denim Jacket - ASOS | Shoes - Puma* | Necklace - Rock N Rose 


*sample - read my disclaimer here.

What have you been wearing lately?

Lesley x

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Skincare | Frank Body

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

I've always been a bit obsessed with body scrubs so it was only a matter of time before I got my hands on Frank (Frank Body products that is). Famed for their coffee scrubs, the Aussie brand has taken Instagram by storm and 'babes' across the globe (myself included) are hooked on the so called 'Frank effect'.

I grabbed the Original Coffee Scrub (which I've now finished), Coconut Coffee Scrub, Body Cream and the Lip Scrub and Balm duo at the end of December. My skin was looking pretty lacklustre at the time, partly from a neglected bodycare routine and the cold weather just made my skin so dry. Since I've noticed continued use of these products together has helped my skin feel the softest it's been for a long time.


My favourite product of the bunch is the Coconut Coffee Scrub (£13.95/200g) which contains only a few (all natural) ingredients including brown sugar, Grapeseed oil, Vitamin E, Jojoba beads, sea salt, coconut flakes and, of course, coffee. The ingredients are stated to help with a number of skin-concerns including stretch marks, psoriasis, cellulite, eczema and acne. Huge claims right? I apply the scrub on damp skin in the shower and scrub well before allowing to sit for a couple of minutes and rinsing. It's messy so I tend to do this on days I have time to spare but the results are so worth it. The oils in the product keep moisture locked into my skin and I've noticed scarring and dark patches on my legs are gradually lifting though old stretch marks on my inner thighs seem the same. I'm not crazy about the packaging as I find awkward to scoop the product out of, but there's always the option to transfer the scrub to a pot. The scent does linger on your skin too which some will love or hate. I don't find the Coconut Scrub too overpowering but with the Original Coffee Scrub I used a little shower gel afterwards to dull the scent before exiting the shower.


The Lip Scrub and Lip Balm Duo (£12.95) are also solid favourites and they smell so delicious. The balm contains natural ingredients including Coconut, Safflower and Olive Oil and Lanolin which absorbs and keeps in moisture. I reach for the balm daily but only need to dab a little on to keep my lips soft and hydrated. I tend to use the Lip Scrub weekly and it contains raw sugar, beeswax, Macadamia Oil, Coffee and Coffee Seed Oil. Again I only need a little product to smooth and buff away flaky patches. Together these are perfect.

The Body Cream (£17.95/200ml) like the other products contains natural ingredients and literally has the scent of cake icing. It smells beautifully sugary and I get so hungry (for cake) when I've applied it. This cream is so thick and rich I find it takes time to really settle into the skin. I usually have to dot small amounts onto my body and work it in well. Of the products here it's the only I don't think I'd repurchase as it just takes too long to apply and I find I'm reaching the other creams I have first.

Overall I'm in love with most of the Frank Body products I've tried and the Body Balm and newly released Glow Mask are now on my wishlist.

Have you tried Frank Body or Coffee-based products?

Lesley x

Monday, 27 February 2017

TreasureTress | February 2017

Monday, 27 February 2017

I'm no stranger to beauty boxes though I haven't tried anything specifically curated for naturally curly and kinky before. Cue TreasureTress, a UK-based monthly subscription box, unique in that they provide 3 different boxes each month for young children, teens and adults (Mini Me, Tween and Qween) all priced at £20 + P&P.* You simply pick a box according to your age and the idea is that both mothers and daughters can try out a range of new hair products tailored towards their hair. 


I received this month's Qween box which contains Palmer's products mostly from the Manuka Flower Honey range which I've not tried before. Inside was the Manuka Flower Honey Strengthening Shampoo (£6.99/350ml), Manuka Flower Honey Nourishing Conditioner (£6.99/350ml), Manuka Flower Honey Protein Pack Deep Conditioner x2 (£2.99/60g), Manuka Flower Honey Leave-In Spray (£5.99/250ml), Manuka Flower Honey Leave-In Cream (£6.99/190ml), the Olive Oil Conditioning Spray Oil (£4.69/150ml) and a useful card containing information about the products and a few tips.

With all beauty boxes the main selling point is that you can try something new for a snip of the usual RRP and you do get quite a lot of products in this box. This is really ideal for those who haven't quite found the right products for their hair yet. The subscription cost is worth it providing you like the products inside and where most beauty boxes fall down is that you don't actually know what's in the box until it arrives. Currently you need to have started your TreasureTress subscription before the 5th of each month to receive that month's box and there's no hints about what might be inside. I think it's quite a lot of products to receive each month too but it is handy to have full size products so you can really get an idea on whether you like them. The subscription can be cancelled at any time too and there is the option to skip the next month when you open an account.


I've had these products for almost two weeks but I usually like to spend a couple of months using hair products to really get a feel for them so I won't be reviewing these in detail here. As you can guess from the name, the Manuka Flower Honey products all contain Manuka Flower Honey as well as Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and Amla Oil. The products are also formulated without sulfates, parabens, phthalates and dyes and are stated to be for all natural hair textures. The products are scented, and whilst I don't love the scent, thankfully it isn't too overpowering. 

So far the standouts at the moment are the Nourishing Conditioner and the Leave-In Conditioner Spray. Both leave my curls feeling really soft and hydrated and I'd buy the conditioner to use as co-wash. The Leave-In Conditioning Cream I had less success with. It's really thick and, whilst I followed the instructions which suggest applying to clean dry hair, my hair didn't really absorb the product - it just kind of sat on top and made it feel a little sticky. I tried it again the next day but this time with my hair still wet first and the product seemed to work better but I have other hair creams which I'd reach for over this. I haven't yet tried the Protein Packs or Shampoo. The Olive Oil Spray works great for added shine but I don't tend to use these types of products often when styling as I only really use oils or oil-based products when I'm conditioning.

Overall this month's Treasure Tress box was a great introduction to Palmer's haircare products and as someone who's tried a lot of products before it was great to experiment with a brand I'm not familiar with already. I'll continue to use the products to see how they work for me over the next couple of months.

If you're interested in subscribing check out the TreasureTress website here

*sample - read my disclaimer here.


Have you tried TreasureTress?

Lesley x

Monday, 20 February 2017

3Thirty Salon [Revisit]

Monday, 20 February 2017


I've been itching to get my hair cut again so went back to 3Thirty Salon on Old Street, Shoreditch this week. I first reviewed the salon back in June (see here) and I really loved my haircut as it gave my hair so much shape.

Since my last visit the salon has had a revamp. The decor still has a modern yet French baroque inspired feel but there's now a coffee and cake bar within the salon. They do more than just coffee though (for the hot chocolate and tea obsessives like me) and there's also a hot desk area which freelancers can work from.


I met with Salon owner Tiff-J again and explained I wanted a similar shape to before which had slightly grown out and I needed some sort of style to the shorter front pieces of my hair which I usually don't know what to do with when styling. She suggested a moisture-packed treatment before a small trim and she would blend the pieces at the front with my layers to create a slight fringe.*

Similar to my last visit Tiff started by cleansing my hair with Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo and to condition she applied a mix of MIZANI Moisturfusion Silk Cream Conditioner and L'Oreal Fiberceutic. My hair was then detangled before Tiff trimmed the ends and brought back the shape. She then re-rinsed my hair and styled and diffused my curls with Moroccanoil Intense Curl Cream applied.

I absolutely love the cut and like before I feel like it's made such a difference. My hair has grown a lot since my last cut and I think the extra weight was making certain areas look quite flat so it's like it's had some life injected back into it.

As I've had two really good experiences at 3Thirty I will definitely be returning when I need another haircut. Whilst they're most known for styling afro hair, they also have expertise working with European and Asian hair. If you're interested there's more details on their services on their website here.


*complementary treatment received - read my disclaimer here.

Do you go to a salon?


Lesley x

Monday, 13 February 2017

Valentines Day Beauty 2017

Monday, 13 February 2017

Looking back at last year's Valentine's Day makeup post made me realise how much the products I use and my approach to beauty in general has changed in the past year and I think this makeup look really reflects that.

I try to keep a 'natural' base now and wear less foundation in general. Before my foundation always had to be high coverage because I felt like every inch of my flaws had to be covered. I think the change is mostly as I'm a lot more confident in myself as a person and less caring when it comes to what others think of me or the fact that I didn't bother to conceal that annoying spot on my chin. I've (finally) accepted that my skin won't ever look perfect too. I have under-eye bags, hormonal acne, smile lines and random broken capillaries and it's okay if the world sees that (occasionally).


I started by priming with Smashbox's new Radiance Primer which I've been using on and off since it launched in January. It highlights the skin and makes it look really dewy and you can also use it over makeup for an added glow. Next I applied a little of the EX1 Invisiwear Liquid Foundation which gives pretty light and natural-looking coverage. It doesn't really cover scarring or blemishes but I love that this evens out my skintone and gives a smooth finish without it being really obvious I'm wearing makeup. I swept a few shades from the new NARS unfiltered cheek palette over my lids and cheeks for a pop of colour and extra highlight. This palette is so amazingly pigmented I had to have a really light hand with this! I then filled in my brows, added a little mascara and a simple slick of gloss on my lips to finish as I didn't want to look too overdone.


Base 
Smashbox Radiance Primer*
EX1 Invisiwear Liquid Foundation (7.0)

Highlight & Blush 
NARS Unfiltered I Cheek Palette (Watch Me & Me First)*

Lip 
3ina Lip Oil Balm (Rasberry)*

Eyes 
NARS Unfiltered I Cheek Palette (Me First, Out There & Chic)* 
Benefit Roller Lash Mascara (Black)

Brows
Benefit Precisely My Brow Pen (05 Medium)

Powder 
NARS Pressed Powder (Eden) 



*samples - read my disclaimer here.

How will you be wearing your makeup for Valentine's Day? 

Lesley x

Monday, 6 February 2017

Review | Beauty Bakerie Lip Whips

Monday, 6 February 2017

I've been collecting a lot of liquid lip colours in the past year and my latest additions are the Lip Whips by the adorably branded Beauty Bakerie best known for their smudge-free formulas.

The American beauty brand first caught my eye a few months ago on Instagram with their bright lip colours and cake-inspired products. Creator Cashmere Nicole is also an intriguing and admirable woman and has made it her mission for Beauty Bakerie to perpetuate the message that it's okay to be sweet and kind which I love. I've always been called 'cute' as I don't have this badass, super sexy persona, and I like that a brand is actually celebrating that. To top it off, Beauty Bakerie's Instagram is full of videos (like thisshowing lip colour swatches being rubbed under a tap and not budging at allI was hooked, I had to try them for myself. Could these sweet lip colours really smudge-free?


I have 4 Beauty Bakerie Lip Whips (£16/5ml) currently, 2 matte and 2 metallic (I did have another matte but annoyingly I haven't been able to locate it since returning from holiday). The two matte shades - Gingersnap and Syruptitious* are my favourites and most worn as the shades are perfect for everyday wear. I reach for the metallics, Berried* and Cinnamon Roll, less often but they are both absolutely gorgeous shades.

I'm an absolute sucker for the packaging of these and the branding is almost spot on. The products have adorable cake-based names and cute 'nutrition facts' on the boxes (all of the Lip Whips are 'No Calories' and '1 Sweetie Per Serving'). Only one thing is really missing - none of the products actually have a sweet scent or taste and the Lip Whips don't exactly look 'whipped' but this is something the brand is working on.

Shades left to right: Cinnamon Roll, Berried, Syruptitious and Ginger Snap 

The Lip Whips can last throughout the entire day without touch-ups depending on what you're eating/drinking as these only come off with an oil-based remover. This means if you're eating anything oily or greasy you'll have to reapply but otherwise these stay on amazingly well. I find the mattes tend to be easier to apply as they are more opaque whereas the metallics can look a little patchy without enough coats. The key to perfect application is to apply thin coats and allow each layer to dry fully before applying another. This can take a few minutes but the results are worth it.

Whilst these Lip Whips do wear well, I find the mattes in particular a little drying (see here) so I really make sure my lips are buffed and smooth before application. Usually I dab on a little balm underneath to counter any dry lip products but this does affect how well these stay on. For maximum staying power the brand suggests to avoid using lip-liners, moisturisers or balms with the Lip Whips.

Overall it's hard not to love these and I can forgive the dryness as the staying power is so good. They are a little on the pricey side in comparison to some of the other liquid lip products I have but as reapplication tends to be minimal I do think they're worth it and I will be grabbing more soon.

The Lip Whips are available from ASOS or Cult Beauty in the UK or you can buy directly from Beauty Bakerie

*the two shades marked are samples from the brand - read my disclaimer here.


Have you tried Beauty Bakerie products? 

Lesley x

Fresh Lengths + BLOG DESIGN BY Labinastudio