Thursday, 22 May 2014

City Chic

I recently took a short trip to Turin and Milan in Italy. The weather was really sunny and fairly warm, but it wasn't hot enough to walk around in short sleeves. You know those in-between periods, where you're not quite sure what to wear?

I'm happy that I made the wise decision of bringing three items in particular:

Trench Jacket - not as long as the coat version (so we can avoid Sherlock Holmes-type looks), this was perfect as it was really light so I didn't get too hot walking around, the material protected me from the rain, and it was easy to fold up and chuck in my bag when the weather got hotter. I bought mine in a vintage shop but I've found a great replica here. 

Black Jeggings ASOS Rivington High Waist Denim Jeggings in Clean Black at £25 to be precise. I normally avoid jeggings like the plague as I find that they lose their elasticity after a while and just become baggy and unflattering. However, I've had this ASOS pair for quite some time now and they are (arguably) my favourite trousers. They're stylish, they're comfortable, they can be worn during the daytime or for nights out, and most importantly, they're black. What more could a girl want?

Heeled Boots - Obviously it's impossible to sightsee in scraping stilettos, but I don't like wearing flat shoes all the time as I don't think it's great for my posture and Italian streets are quite cobblestoned and uneven, so I can feel every nook and cranny beneath my feet. These MAMBO Fur Lined Lace Up Boots from Topshop were amazing. The heel is about 3 inches and chunky so it doesn't exert too much pressure. Additionally, the sole is gripped similarly to Doc Martens and the boot itself takes the shape of a Converse. Like the trousers, these were great day to night shoes and I found them the perfect pair of shoes to balance style and comfort! At only £36, I'd buy them again - Topshop also sell the platform version for those who like a bit of chunk in their step!

The first picture below is of me by the River Po, where I just happened to be wearing all three items! The other pictures further down are of myself in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, where the weather was a bit colder and I teamed the look with a scarf and light knit. 

(Apparently it's good luck to put your heel on the lion's balls and turn three times, so when in Milan...)

G x

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Seven Dials London

I went to lunch in Covent Garden with a friend yesterday, when we stumbled across a fashion event in the area. It was the Spring Shopping Festival where shops including Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Bare Minerals and Benefit were offering 20% off all items in store. 

Additionally, there were lots of food stores and free Pimms, ice cream and popcorn! The event lasted from 12-5pm, and I managed to take some pictures despite the hoards of shoppers and sipping Pimms ;)  

The event was organised by Seven Dials London (check out the free tote bag they gave out below!), so be sure to check their website for similar events in the future. 

G x

Second Hand Secrets

I was rummaging in my local charity shop the other day when I stumbled across this beauty. I couldn't resist buying it as I knew it would go with a lot of items in my wardrobe. It's a metal clutch, with a hard box-like shape similar to a jewellery box. I love the engraving and detailing as it reminds me of the 1920's glamour. 

The bag itself is surprisingly big and can fit all my night out essentials. I can imagine wearing this with a flowing chiffon dress or a plunging tailored jumpsuit. 

It's hard to find an exact replica but I've linked some clutches with a similar style below. 

It's always worth giving charity shops a quick peek - sometimes you'll find utter rubbish, but as well as this bag a few months ago I found a gorgeous MaxMara coat in a north London charity shop!

Good areas in London for charity shops:

Highgate/Hampstead - on the pricier end of second hand clothing, but they do have great staple items and designer pieces. 
Shoreditch/Dalston- known as 'vintage shops', in true east London style these have quirky one-off pieces and cute accessories. 
Brixton/Clapham - For an eclectic mix of high street and high end at fantastic prices. 

G x 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Natural Beauty Look

This look is quite simple, however the key tool is highlighting. Sorry if any explanations are confusing, but I've linked a YouTube video and all the products if you want to research them further. 

1) Firstly I moisturised my face with Lacura Aqua-Complete Moisturiser. This item needs a special mention - it is £1.99 from Aldi (also available at some online retailers) and is truly the best and cheapest moisturiser I have ever used. It's light, refreshing and does the trick - I haven't met anyone who has a bad thing to say about it. Even though I used tinted moisturiser for this look, I feel like it never quite has the same effect as a regular moisturiser so I do both. 

2) I applied Nivea Daily Essentials Tinted Moisturiser using the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge - there is no place this sponge can't reach (on your face, of course)! I put the moisturiser on the back of my hand first, as it is much easier to control and spread. 

3) I then apply Garnier Roll On Anti-Dark Circles under my eyes and leave it to sit for a few minutes before I blend it in. I find that when I blend it straight away, it doesn't cover my dark circles as well. While I'm waiting for it to set, I do my eyebrows using Beauty UK Hi-Brow Kit - it comes with wax to set the brow powder in place so I don't have to worry about my brows travelling across my face over the course of the day. 

4) I carefully dab the under eye roll on with the make up sponge. I curl my lashes using the Cosmopolitan Maximum Effect Lash Curler and apply Barry M White Kohl Pencil to my eye line to make my eyes seem more awake. 

5) From the Sleek Au Naturel Eye-shadow Palette, I use the Taupe shade (the sparkly beige shade, top right) and blend it in using the Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush. To see all the shades from the palette see my earlier post. Don't go over the brow bone, otherwise the look will be too dramatic. With the Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush I apply Mineral Earth (bottom row, 3rd from right) just above my lash line. It's a substitute for eye liner, so just apply it like liquid liner. Nougat (a white shade top left) looks great blended into the tear duct for a bright-eyed look. I blended it all in with a Shading Brush

6)I applied Benefit They're Real Mascara in a zig-zag movement on my top lashes. In order to keep the look more natural, don't re-insert the wand in the tube to do the lower lashes.

7)  I then ran YSL Touche Eclat in shade 2 down the middle of my nose, just underneath my eyebrows, below my mouth and under my eye. The Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush is great for contouring - I applied MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Bronzer in Give Me Sun! down each side of my nose and kept going until both sides joined at the tip of my nose. Then I sucked my cheeks in (pout!) and drew a line cross my cheeks. I did the same with my temples, my hairline and jawline. Carli Bybel has a great tutorial on this technique

8) Blend blend blend! I blended my cheeks using the Retractable Kabuki Brush. As for everything else, I use the Stippling Brush. Yes, I do love me some Real Techniques. Using their Blush Brush, I applied Sleek Blush By 3 in Pink Lemonade to my cheeks to give a rosy glow. 

9) To set the look in place, I dusted my face with MAC Studio Fix Powder in NW20 with the RT Powder Brush

10) Oh, and I put Vaseline Lip Therapy on my lips. Never forget the Vaseline. 

G x

Friday, 9 May 2014

Essie Nails!

I've been a Shellac fan for some time now, but have recently been too busy to find time to go to the nail salon. I was given an Essie nail polish in Naughty Nautical and was really impressed by it's strong colour and resistance to chipping. I'm not someone who normally has a lot of patience with nail polishes (hence why I prefer Shellac), so it was a relief that it wasn't messy or easily chipped!

As a result, I bought two other Essie colours: Pink-A-Boo (pink bottle) and Lollipop (red bottle). They were both £10.95 each. I have yet to try Lollipop, but I'm currently wearing Pink-A-Boo. It's sparklier than I thought it would be and does need about 3 coats in order to develop that bubblegum pink colour. It does still look nice with just one layer, especially if you're looking for a light and sheer touch. Pink-A-Boo also chips more easily than Naughty Nautical but I've heard that Essie polishes do vary in terms of long wear. I like the colour, but I don't love it. There are better baby pink shades (my favourite is OPI's Mod About You, £11.50). Even with a top coat protection layer, I had to top up the colour quite a few times. It also dries quite streaky and has to be retouched, so it's not the best nail polish to use if you're in a rush. However after a week of wearing it I am slowly falling in love with the colour - it's a cute pastel shade for spring. 

Overall, I would recommend Essie nail polishes as a lot of them have fantastic colouring and stay on your nails for ages, but it can be quite hit and miss. I'm still looking forward to trying Lollipop and will keep you all posted!

G x

Update: Here is what Lollipop looks like! I am in love with this shade, it's the perfect summer red.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Bimba Beauty Is Now On BlogLovin'!

Review: Sleek

I recently bought some products from Sleek as I was in need of new eyeshadows, blushers and other bits and bobs. I had read some good reviews about Sleek, particularly for their blusher and contouring kit so I decided to give them a go. 

I bought:

Divine Eyeshadow Au Naturel Palette, £7.99 - I tend to mainly use neutral eyeshadows, but do I have a few bright colours for special occasions/moments of madness. Firstly, to anyone thinking of buying this product, be warned to check the palette itself. I know that it's always awkward to open make up in store, but just check the palette opens easily. My one is a bit faulty and I nearly broke my nails trying to open it at first (I've started opening it with tweezers!). 
However, the product itself is great. The lighter shades are matte which is useful in building up a shadow base - I've been using Honeycomb (top row, 3rd from right) a lot as I can build it up/tone it down really easily. However, my personal favourite shades are Conker (bottom row, far left) and Taupe (top row, far right). They have an amazing shimmer and texture, but aren't too sparkly. Conker is a dark brown but with a gorgeous red undertone. I am normally quite sceptical about shimmery eyeshadows as usually there is only glitter and barely any colour but Sleek have created a great mixture of the two. It's fairly similar to the Urban Decay Naked palette, but without the hefty price tag! A couple of the paler shades are a bit repetitive, but I tend to mix shades together anyway. This product is great value for money, and really makes me want to try the Oh So Special palette too!
Rating: 8/10

Blush By 3 Pink Lemonade, £9.99 - I bought this in-store from Superdrug, but for some reason it doesn't display it on the website. I nearly went for Lace, but then I came across Pink Lemonade and it was love at first sight. The centre blusher is creamy, whereas the outer two are powder based. I personally find this really useful as similarly to the eyeshadow, I can blend them together. What originally attracted me to the palette was the Rose Gold shade (far right) - I've heard a lot of people say it's a good dupe for Nars Orgasm. When mixed with the middle blusher, its staying power is quite strong so overall it is a decent dupe. However it does need to be topped up whenever I reapply powder, but frankly I've had that issue with a lot of more expensive blushers. 
Rating: 9/10

Face Contour Kit Light, £6.49 - Finally the piece I was most excited about: the contour kit! Strangely enough, this was the most underwhelming item I bought, though that's not to say it was bad. It just didn't live up to my (slightly overenthusiastic) expectations. I got the kit in light as medium was more or less the same colour as my foundation, therefore not as useful for highlighting. The brown pressed powder segment is good as it complements my skin tone, is easy to apply and blend and is MATTE (I've got a bit of a thing for matte). The highlighting powder on the other hand, is shimmery and even a lot doesn't go a long way. I need to apply my YSL Touche Éclat underneath just to give it a bit more staying power. Even though medium was a bit on the dark side, I do think the light palette is a bit too pale and can wash me out more so than highlight. 
Rating: 6/10

The next Sleek items I want to try are the Molten Metal and Gold Leaf Pewter eyeshadow duo and their Be Beautiful Blemish Balm. Let me know if anyone's tried any of the products mentions (or other Sleek products too) and what you've thought of them!

G x

Friday, 2 May 2014

Get To Know Me

I thought I'd make my first post pretty straight forward, with some facts about my favourite fashion and beauty items!

Favourite Foundation: Dior Diorskin Forever, Fluid Foundation SPF25, I use shade 20. When it comes to foundation, I'm very much an investor. 

Favourite Lipstick: Girl About Town, MAC. Does. Not. Budge.

Most Worn Item of Clothing: My ASOS Rivington jeans or my Doc Martens, they both go with almost everything!

What I'm Loving Right Now: Co-ordinates, Motel and Boohoo are doing some great ones. This one is my absolute fave! 

What I'm Not Loving So Much Right Now: I'm trying to like extremely ripped jeans (not minor scuffs, those are fine). Every time I try them on I literally feel like I've bent over and ripped my trousers, completely exposing myself. 

Desert Island Item: Lacura Aqua Complete Moisturiser, available from Aldi (yes, really). I'm going to be doing a post on this very soon!

Favourite Perfume: Miss Dior, Dior, every time I spritz some on, I feel like I'm ready to face the world. 

Biggest Beauty Mistake: Over-plucked eyebrows a few years back. My face is just way too round so they deformed me. But if like me, you're foolish enough to try it and regret it, rub caster oil into them every night and they will grow back in no time at all. 

Favourite Place To Shop: Selfridges' first floor beauty department on Oxford Street - I feel like Holly Golightly at Tiffany's. It smells of perfume, it looks bright and pretty, and most importantly, everyone who works there has just the right amount of attitude (and then some). 

Biggest Waste Of Money: The bodycon trend - I bought bodycon tops, skirts, dresses, the works. I also got them in lots of bright colours, because hey, the over-exposure of all my lady humps and lumps wasn't making enough of a statement. Additionally, I bought a gorgeous pair of peep-toe gold Guess stilettos....but my feet were too wide, basically cutting off circulation in my toes. But when they're that pretty....oh hell, I haven't worn them in at least a year. 

Favourite Make Up Style: Winged eyeliner - my mum calls them 'Cleopatra eyes'. Cleo's eyes and good contouring are the winning formula. I used Rimmel Glam Eyes Liquid Eyeliner as it lasts all day and the brush is long and thin with makes it easier to vary the length and width of the flick (what a mouthful). 

My Clothing Style: Depends on my mood. However, my friend once described me as 'elegant grunge'. I really didn't know what to do with that kind of information. So I started a blog. 

Thanks for reading, please stay tuned as I am going to start posting articles/reviews/products and MUCH MORE! 
I'm also setting up a Bimba Beauty email account, but for now feel free to post comments! 
G x