Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Style | Anita & Green Jumpsuit


I've temporarily tossed my jeans to one side - it's just far too hot for denim right now. Instead I've been wearing a lot of jumpsuits, mostly made from light materials to keep me cool when the temperature is high.

Jumpsuit - Anita & Green* | Backpack - Fjallraven via Urban Outfitters | Shoes - Vans | Watch - Nixon*

One of my go-to's is this khaki Anita & Green jumpsuit. My speciality lately is taking dressy items and making them wearable for every day so I paired the jumpsuit with a pair of Vans Old Skool sneakers (which you'll have noticed I've been wearing a lot lately) and a Fjallraven Kanken backpack.



*samples - read my disclaimer here.

What have you been wearing lately?

Lesley x

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Review | NYX Away We Glow Liquid Highlighters


I've been hooked on any (and all) illuminating products lately and some of my favourites are from the NYX Away We Glow Liquid Highlighter Collection.


(left to right above) Liquid Prism, Moon Glow, State of Flux, Golden Hour, Crystal Glare, Daytime Halo, Moonbeam, Gold Rush and Rose Quartz (£8/6.8ml)*  

Released earlier this year, the collection contains 9 shades in total with something to suit a range of skin tones. Each highlighter comes in a transparent plastic tube with a sponge-tipped applicator. They're a little reminiscent of the travel-sized BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector (mentioned here) and as it's one of my favourite highlighters I was interested to see how these measure up. The tubes are a good size, small enough that they're easy to travel with but with enough product to last a decent amount of time. I swatched them below so you can get an idea of how pigmented these are though admittedly this photo doesn't do them justice - I'm not sure why I seem to always struggle with photographing highlighters! 


I tend to use highlighters on a daily basis (even on some days when I'm not actually wearing any other makeup) and these see a lot of use. I tend to dab the product directly onto the skin where needed or onto the back of my hands and then apply with my fingertips. Blending is easy with a few taps or I'll use a damp makeup sponge. They can be sheered out or built up pretty effortlessly so you have the option of a subtle or more intense glow. 

My favourite shades to use are Crystal Glare (white champagne pearl), Daytime Halo (true champagne pearl) and Moonbeam (soft pink pearl) which all give a natural-looking highlight and would work beautifully across a few different skintones. Daytime Halo and Moonbeam are the closest in tone to the BECCA Opal Spotlight Shimmering Skin Perfector but neither match it exactly so these aren't exactly dupes. They do match up in terms of quality and pigmentation however.

I also love to also use the shades Gold Rush (bronzed gold pearl) and Rose Quartz (rose gold pearl) which have a more metallic feel and are so gorgeous worn alone or over a light base for a subtle pop of colour. I reach for the other shades - Liquid Prism (white opal iridescence), Moon Glow (white pearl), State of Flux (lavender pearl) and Golden Hour (true gold pear) less often. Liquid Prism and Moon Glow have a more holographic look to them so these would be ideal if you like to be more daring with your highlight or for festival-inspired makeup looks. 

Overall I love this collection and have already grabbed another of the Crystal Glare shade in preparation for when it runs out! You can get it from in-store or online at Boots and ASOS

*samples - read my disclaimer here.


Do you use highlighters?

Lesley x

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Thoughts on one year natural


Last month marked one year of me being fully natural. In the past I've put together 'hair updates' to mark any differences or goals reached but what I've noticed is my hair hasn't dramatically changed in the past year. What has changed though is me - how I feel about myself and my attitude - and having natural hair has been a huge part of that.


The change I've seen in myself as you'd expect didn't happen overnight. When I initially chopped off the last of my chemically treated hair back in May 2016 my feelings about my natural hair were mixed. I'd never been totally satisfied with my hair throughout my life and as I've always adored curls on others I thought I'd love my natural hair. In reality I felt ugly initially and I worried whether people would accept the natural me.

With big hair you instantly stick out and being an introvert has always made me want to blend in. My instinct was to hide my hair - which I've done as both relaxed and natural. I'd take select photos of my hair to post online mostly as I felt it was a safe space occupied by fellow curlistas where I could be my natural self. In person however I mostly tucked away my bushy curls from friends, family and my boyfriend by always wearing it up in a neat bun.

As the months went by blogging and working with brands which celebrate individuality and diversity (particularly freelancing with ASOS) encouraged me to wear my hair out more in person. I've found my boyfriend, close friends and family to be nothing but supportive about my natural hair too which made me wonder what I was so worried about. Complete strangers also regularly stop me in the street and on public transport to compliment me on my curls. I'm still stunned every time it happens. I never, ever expected that sort of reaction and I realised most of my anxieties and insecurities were in my head.

The takeaway? I view my negative feelings about my hair as an expansion of how I'd felt about myself for years. I've always been my worst critic and it was truly stifling. I knew I couldn't continue that way and I needed to accept myself as I was (frizz and all). I've stopped pursuing perfection - it's not attainable anyway and my flaws don't need fixing - and this belief has helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin however I choose to wear my hair.


It feels bizarre saying it but the Coco Chanel quote "A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life" has never rung truer for me than it has in the past year. Cutting off the last of my relaxed hair has led to me gaining so much more than a new a hairstyle. It forced me to accept and love things I previously didn't like about myself. It's given me a new lease of life.


I hope you all know what beautiful women (or men) you are already but just in case you feel like I once did know that you are enough as you are. 


Lesley x

Monday, 29 May 2017

Glowwbox | May 2017


This month Glowwbox have teamed up with Design Essentials for a limited edition box including several products from the Coconut & Monoi collection. I've featured Glowwbox a number of times on my blog before but for any new readers, Glowwbox is a monthly beauty box subscription service (£15 + P&P)* aimed at women with darker skintones.


Inside the May edition I received the Coconut Milk Nourishing Shampoo (£7.95/225g), Coconut Milk Leave-In Nourisher (£8.95/266ml), Deep Moisture Milk Créme (£9.50/118ml), Curl Defining Gelée (£9.50/340g) - all full size - and 2 sample packets of the Deep Moisture Milk Soufflé (full size £9.50/340g). In the Glowwbox magazine included with every box it mentions 6 products inside the box so there may also be a sample of the Curl Enhancing Dual Hydration Milk (full size £9.50/266ml).

As the temperature heats up our hair can get drier so this month's box aims to quench our thirsty strands. Each product is stated to be loaded with moisture, containing ingredients like Coconut Oil, Monoi Oil and active botanicals to keep dryness at bay. I've only had the box for a few days so I've definitely not had enough time to fully review these products. So far I've only tried the Coconut Milk Nourishing Shampoo, Coconut Milk Leave-In Nourisher and Curl Defining Gelée once. The shampoo is sulfate-free and cleansed my hair without leaving it dry. The Leave-In gave my hair a moisture-boost without weighing it down and the Gelée defined my hair well but I found it didn't mix well when used with other brands/products I have already. As I'm still experimenting with these products I'll review them fully at a later stage.


You do get quite a lot of products for the subscription price so if this is something you're interested in you can grab this box until the end of May from Glowwbox 


*sample - read my disclaimer here.

Have you tried a beauty box subscription?

Lesley x

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Style | Lace & Beads


Topshop has stolen all of my coins of late. I'm on Oxford Street a lot and the Topshop store there is absolutely huge with so many brands that I'm always wandering in to buy a last-minute outfit. I've had a few formal events lately where my usual ultra-casual attire doesn't quite cut it so I've grabbed a few dressier pieces.

The latest addition is this cami top with pep hem from London-based brand Lace & Beads. The label's speciality is embellished pieces, tulle dresses and floral embroidery - ideal for special occasions. When I need to be dressed up this top works well with a black midi skirt and heels but I purposely picked it to mix with the rest of my wardrobe when I don't need to be so formal. I wore it casually here with Topshop Mom jeans - my favourite cut of denim currently - and some crisp new Vans.


Top - Lace & Beads (via Topshop in store) | Jeans - Topshop | Shoes - Vans (Schuh exclusives)


Photography - Mike Burchardt | @burchardtlens



What have you been wearing? 


Lesley x

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Style | Monki Dungaree Dress


Denim pieces account for most of my wardrobe but finding ones that actually fit properly, especially dungarees, has always been a bit of a challenge. In the past most brands of dungarees I've tried have been too baggy or fit awkwardly around the waist. I finally found this dungaree dress from cool Scandi fashion brand Monki last month and it fits perfectly.

Dungaree Dress - Monki | Shirt - ASOS (old) | Sneakers* - Reebok | Bracelet* - Fiyah | Ring* - Magpie On The Run



As well as the fit, I love the bleach wash and rose gold button detailing. This lighter hue is definitely perfect for the warmer months and wore it with a loosely tucked in striped shirt from ASOS (an old favourite) and a pair of Reebok Freestyle Hi from the Face Stockholm collection*.


Accessories-wise I always tend to keep things pretty minimal so only wore a couple of pieces here. I love anything with a classic, simple design and this sterling silver Link Bracelet* I received recently from Fiyah really fits the bill. If you're interested, the brand has also supplied a discount of 10% off orders when you use code 'FRESH'. The ring is an old favourite from Magpie on the Run, I'm pretty much always wearing it!



Photography - Mike Burchardt | @burchardtlens


*samples - read my disclaimer here.


What have you been wearing? 

Lesley x

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Style | Topshop Fluted Blouse


Blouses are almost entirely absent from my wardrobe currently. I've been too accustomed to buying tees but I really love exaggerated and floaty sleeves so I couldn't resist this peachy number from Topshop. It's a beaut and I find it hard not to swish around (like an absolute idiot) in this.


It comes in a few other colours including black (which I usually gravitate towards) but I thought I'd try a different colour for once and I really love it. You may see me in more colour soon as a result...maybe. 

It's so easy to dress up or down, like most of what I buy, but I've mostly been wearing this top casually. I have a habit of finding something I like and buying it in every colour - hence the addition of another a-line denim skirt here but I've also been wearing this blouse tucked into shredded mom jeans.

Blouse - Topshop | Skirt & Ring - ASOS | Belt - H&M | Choker - Regal Rose | Watch - Shore Projects*


Photography - Mike Burchardt | @burchardtlens


*sample - read my disclaimer here.


What have you loved wearing lately? 

Lesley x