Victoria’s July Beauty Favourites

She and Hem | Victoria's July Favourites So, this is my first attempt at a favourites post. As beauty certainly isn’t my specialist subject, do please bear with me! I thought I’d give it a go as some of the products I’ve been using this month (and over the past few months!) are definitely worth sharing as they have contributed to making me look (slightly) more human on a daily basis.

It’s no secret that Soap and Glory products are amazing. They smell heavenly, they look dishy in your bathroom, and just seem to last forever. I’ve been using their Righteous Butter body butter since January and it isn’t even half empty. It’s easily my favourite Soap and Glory body product for moisturizing, as it’s made my skin feel softer and look smoother than ever.

She and Hem | Victoria's July Favourites After using my nifty butter I have to wash my hands, as although they would smell great, they would be so sticky my cat would get stuck to them. To do this I’ve been using English Rose soap* then protecting them with Verbena hand cream* from The Somerset Toiletry Company (support your local businesses Hemsters!). As I have very sensitive skin, I find most hand washes aggravating. So, I’ve recently switched to bars of soap after being told that liquid soaps contain more fragrances and other additives that would make my hands feel sad. No one likes sad phalanges.

I’ve included Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream not because I love it, but because I really want to love it! I’m just struggling to understand how to use it (because I am a wally) and I need your help kind readers. The day I bought it I got over excited and smothered it over my whole face. This was a big mistake as this cream is stickier than a Panini sticker factory. How does it work for you?

The Elemis lip balm which came in my Company Blog awards goody bag. I usually stick to Vaseline on my lips but thought I’d try this out and I’m so glad I did! I put this on one night when my lips were feeling more chapped than usual and when I awoke, they felt silky smooth. It’s a peppermint dream!

She and Hem | Victoria's July Favourites My nail polish of choice this month is Ciate and their enormous range of magnificent shades. I really rate the quality of this nail varnish, as I find that it doesn’t chip once applied and seems to lasts a lot longer than other brands. I’ve been loving the four colours below, which are ‘ladylike luxe‘, ‘maybe baby‘, ‘mines a mocha‘ and my personal favourite ‘spinning teacup‘, which I have been wearing constantly and can be seen in the lipstick pictures.

She and Hem | Victoria's July Favourites She and Hem | Victoria's July Favourites

The Witch concealer stick is one of those products that you don’t know that you need until you have one, and then just can’t live without. It’s a quick and easy way of covering up blemishes AND treating your skin at the same time. Winner!

She and Hem | Victoria's July Favourites She and Hem | Victoria's July Favourites She and Hem | Victoria's July Favourites Above we have the Jemma Kidd Lash Xtension Mascara and The Body Shop Shimmer Bauble which I have been using as a shimmery highlighter. After doing a little research for this post, it seems that the baubles were a limited edition piece, but I’d definitely recommend trying to get your hands on one, especially if you take a lot of pictures of your face!

The mascara is very cute and comes with a step by step make-up class from Jemma herself, and I can confirm it does indeed add length to your lashes and stays on all day long. Hemsters, here’s a little secret for you. I actually bought this from The Original Factory Shop as I have recently discovered their make up is SO cheap, but please don’t all rush and clear their shelves, save some for me!

She and Hem | Victoria's July Favourites

She and Hem | Victoria's July Favourites

We love a bit of vintage here at She and Hem, so I was predictably hyped to receive this lush ‘Debutante Pink‘ lipstick* from vintage experts Besame. The packaging is pretty ravishing, as is the lovely pink shade you can see above and in this post. Pretty in pink or what!

I will see you in August for another round up of beauty favourites.

Victoria

She and Home: No.3 Hairdressing, Bath.

She and Hem | No.3 HairdressingShe and Hem | No.3 HairdressingA couple of weeks ago, after enjoying a post we had written about Fashion Bloodhound, the talented bunch at No.3 Hairdressing in Bath got in touch and offered to tame our manes in their beautiful Georgian hairdressers. We have to admit, we are usually both quite daunted by the whole hairdressing experience. Small talk is not our forte! Thankfully, our worries vanished upon our warm welcome from the girls (and guy – hi Stefano!) and we were soon bonding over Cara Delevingne’s eyebrows, Game of Thrones inspired hair do’s and Taking Back Sunday’s upcoming Bristol gig!

She and Hem | No.3 Hairdressing She and Hem | No.3 Hairdressing She and Hem | No.3 Hairdressing

After chatting to the girls over a cuppa about styles we like and what would look jazzy with our outfits for the Company Blog Awards later that evening, we both decided on our do’s. A big thank you to Lucia and Jess for understanding instantly what we wanted and for not trying to persuade us otherwise, which is something that we’ve both dealt with before when visiting the hairdressers.  Lucia created an incredible fish tail plait for Jo in under 10 minutes. Nothing fishy about that! Meanwhile, Jess whipped my hair into an all over plait so sturdy that it still looked awesome a week later! Jess explained that this was very much due to the magical power of Bumble and bumble’s Prêt-à-powder

She and Hem | No.3 Hairdressing

She and Hem | No.3 Hairdressing

She and Hem | No.3 Hairdressing

The interior of No.3 is right up our street with a boutique yet friendly feel, so it was really easy to relax, be pampered and get giddy about the night ahead. We just wish this was a normal day in the life of She and Hem! The fun did not stop there though gang, as we also had our nails made somewhat more excellent by Tina. What a fab job she did too! We chose Topless and Barefoot (cor blimey!) and Bond with Whomever (I say!) by Essie. The nail varnish colours were a lot more subtle than their saucy names, but just as alluring. For our little pamper session Jo wore a floral jumpsuit (similar) from Topshop and an Olivia Burton watch and Victoria wore Modcloth’s Air of Adorable dress.

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She and Hem | No.3 HairdressingShe and Hem | No.3 HairdressingShe and Hem | No.3 HairdressingShe and Hem | No.3 Hairdressing

Thank you so much to No.3 for making us feel so chilled. We will definitely be back soon!

V&J

Sleeping Beauty

She and Hem | Sleeping Beauty

If you read this blog often you will know that I (Jo) really struggle with looking tired. It’s something which I am always aware of and I drive my loved ones crazy by constantly questioning them on just how tired I look. Over the years I have tried everything and anything to combat those dreaded dark circles and puffiness but, really, the obvious solution is to combat my horrendous sleeping pattern! When I was younger I could never fall asleep and would lie awake for hours (until I became a teenager when instead of lying awake I simply spent all night on the Internet).Now that I am older I seem to have developed the opposite problem in that I wake up at stupid o’clock and can’t get back to sleep! Frustrating, much? So when an email landed in our inbox from Time4Sleep offering me some extra help with getting enough sleep and, crucially, covering it up when I haven’t, I had to say “Yes”. A few days later a little box of goodies arrived which I have been using as part of my routine, alongside my usual ‘I’M AWAKE’ staples.

She and Hem | Sleeping BeautyShe and Hem | Sleeping Beauty

Let’s begin with the lotions and potions! A while ago I put a plea out on Twitter for eye cream recommendations and the lovely SJ from Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion pointed me in the direction of Origins. I’ve tried approximately one million things that claim to reduce dark circles but none have impressed me as much as this Dr. Andrew Weil cream. I really feel it has made a difference! As a result of this success, I decided to also buy their No Puffery Roll as it had such great reviews. I now always have it about my person for some emergency eye cooling and I’ve been enjoying using it alongside the cooling Dr Organics Aloe Vera gel*!

Eye cooling, I’ve discovered, is key. If I am off somewhere important and haven’t managed to get anywhere near enough sleep I will use the pink mask shown in the top photo. It lives in my fridge and does a wonderous job of reducing puffy eyes and waking me up for the day. I remember wearing it to breakfast on the morning of my best friend’s wedding like some sort of bridesmaid superhero. It worked though. No tired eyes in those important photos!

She and Hem | Sleeping Beauty‘Conceal, don’t feel!’. Oh boy, I am forever indebted to whoever invented concealer. I am never without it. I would wear it around my neck if I could! The two above are my current favourites, although having borrowed my fair share of Victoria’s Collection 2000, I fear I may be adding a third. The Bourjois one is a bit of a blogger fave and for good reason. It does a great job of combating those dark circles and I apply it pretty liberally on top of my Smashbox hydrating under eye primer to ensure that it stays put all day long.

She and Hem | Sleeping BeautyShe and Hem | Sleeping Beauty

But what of my sleeping pattern, I hear you cry? Well, I’ve been trying all the top tips. No TV or phone for an hour before bed, calming chamomile tea, aromatherapy candles, three shots of whiskey. It all seems to be helping. I have also been super impressed with the Aroma Home Luxurious Eye Mask. It’s full of lavender seeds, which help with soothing and relaxation but, more importantly, it does a fantastic job of blocking out the light so when I wake up at 5am, I can pretend that it’s midnight.

Jx

Tooty Scrutiny: Harvey Nichols and YSL

She and Hem| Harvey Nichols and YSL

This might seem slightly obvious, but last year we both had a bit of a moment when we realised that good quality makeup is worth investing in. That doesn’t mean there won’t always be a place for budget products, there will, and in some cases the bargain items more than hold a candle to their supposed superiors.  But it turns out there really are some products that are simply worth splashing the cash on. The problem is, where do you start? There are so many products offering any number of miracle fixes, it can be a daunting task to choose just one item (which is certainly all we can afford at a time!) and we very often find ourselves lost in the pretty world of high-end makeup.

So, step forward the distinctly high-end Harvey Nichols, who very generously offered us the chance to sample some beautiful YSL makeup. This was two great things rolled into one as ever since bring introduced to a Dr Hauschka bronzer by the fab team at their Bristol store, we’ve come to trust Harvey Nics’ beauty credentials. As for YSL, there’s a reason why everyone bangs on about Le Touche Eclat! It’s simply the best concealer EVER and so we were therefore both rather excited to try out some of their other products. After a lot of umming and ahhhing, we settled on the Limited Edition Blush Radiance in Beauty Blossom blusher* and the Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in Luminous Orange*.

She and Hem| Harvey Nichols and YSLShe and Hem| Harvey Nichols and YSL

She and Hem| Harvey Nichols and YSL

First off, this blusher simply looks beautiful. It was created to celebrate Chinese New Year, which is why it is a limited edition palette (if you like it, move quickly) and it is adorned with gorgeous jewels, inspired by one of Yves Saint Laurent’s dresses. Nice! It has a good sized mirror inside, which is always a must for blusher and it honestly feels worth every penny of its £32 price tag. And that’s before even applying it! The pallete itself is made up of two different shades of pink and I mean proper, proper pink. It gives such a lovely rosy glow and wears really well!

She and Hem| Harvey Nichols and YSL

She and Hem| Harvey Nichols and YSL

She and Hem| Harvey Nichols and YSL

We’ve found that a lot of lipsticks can be awfully drying on our lips, so we were very pleasantly surprised to discover that the Rouge Pur Couture lives up to it’s promise of keeping lips suitably moisturised, due to it’s emollients. It’s particularly suited to our (pasty!) paler complexions, so perhaps if you have a darker skin tone (lucky you!), you might want to try the fuchsia shade from the same collection. Beware, this lipstick will cause major friend envy as it lives inside the most beautiful golden case. Popping it out of your make up bag for a top up certainly isn’t a chore. We’d both certainly recommend it as it’s suitable for a daily make up look, but also just about jazzy enough to party in!

J&V

Tooty Scrutiny: Beauty Bounty

Hello! It isn’t often that I foray into the world of beauty as, despite caking myself in makeup and cementing my hair in place most days, I just feel a little out of my depth when it comes to talking beautification. But, you know what? I LOVE reading about what other people have been using so, with that in mind, here’s what I’ve been buying, trying and loving of late.

The New 

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Rimmel Scandaleyes | Urban Decay Naked 3 | Bourjois Liner Featre & Bourjois Liner Stylo | Dove Style + Care | Rimmel Fix & Protect | Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick in Berry Me

I think part of the reason I am writing this post is (a poor attempt) to justify my recent splurge on beauty products. I had been reading so many rave reviews about the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette that when I saw Debenhams had it for 20% off I had a moment of weakness. Oops! I’ve only had it since Saturday but I already love it so much. The gorgeous neutral tones are perfect for me and I can see that I will be using it on a daily basis. I also made the mistake of popping into Boots during 3 for 2 season. I’ve been after a new eyeliner and couldn’t decide between the two Bourjois ones (felt tip! exciting!) so decided to buy them both (obviously) along with the much-lauded Rimmel Scandaleyes mascara. The Dove Heat Protection Spray, Rimmel Fix & Protect primer and Body Shop lipstick are all new versions of old favourites.

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Continue reading Tooty Scrutiny: Beauty Bounty

Hem and Away: South West Bloggers Meet

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South West Bloggers Meet 2013! Photo by Kerry Dyer

Last Saturday we attended the South West Bloggers Meet in Exeter, which was organised and hosted by gorgeous bloggers Liza Pardeux and Kerry Dyer. We had been looking forward to this meet-up for what feels like forever so it was with great excitement that we boarded our train from Bristol!

Ex3The event was held upstairs at John Gandy’s cocktail bar, a lovely venue tucked away on a charming cobbled street located a mere few seconds from the hustle and bustle of the main high-street. On arrival we were greeted by a huge table of Lush goodies! Heaven! We promptly dropped our bags and began sampling the sumptuous smellies! The lovely Lush ladies were on hand to demonstrate how to apply the Snow Fairy massage bar, which smells divine, and to show off their Christmas wares. We were slightly dismayed to learn that our favourite seasonal Lush product, Ruby Red Slippers, won’t be making a return this Christmas. You can’t be truly festive unless you’re bathing in red glitter. An online campaign might be in order.

Ex6However we soon got over this news after a swift perusal of the cocktail menu! We settled on the strawberry daiquiri, pictured above, which was rather dreamy!Ex7

As well as Lush, Pearlys were also on hand to demonstrate their teeth whitening products. There’s nothing quite like watching a bunch of bloggers stand around scrubbing their teeth with a tiny finger mit! We couldn’t resist trying it out and were surprised at just how instantaneous the results were. We also got a little over excited by the above lip gloss which has a fully functioning light within the lid and a mirror on the side. Genius. Continue reading Hem and Away: South West Bloggers Meet

Tooty Scrutiny: Save the Blow Dry Review

IMG_5125It has finally arrived! A shower cap that I can wear to keep my hair dry without looking like a doddering old lady in the rain. Not only does this one look cute but it also has a hidden secret! An internal layer of toweling which protects your hair from the humidity and condensation which usually destroys any attempt at pre-shower styling. It really does Save the Blow Dry!

IMG_5128I straightened my hair yesterday so decided to test the cap today to see how well the styling held after a shower. I love a long shower, so I really did put this to the test. I am pleased to report that it was very simple to use, as you would hope! All my hair fit snugly inside, the cap felt comfortable and didn’t push ill-fittingly against my face, which is my issue with the Cath Kidston shower cap that I have been using.

IMG_5124Another perk of Save the Blow Dry which I didn’t know until it arrived was how it has two uses. If you turn the cap inside out, so the toweling is on the outside, you can pop the cap on over a hair treatment. This lets the treatment work more effectively, as well as allowing you to potter around and make a cup of tea while you wait, without leaving a soggy puddle behind!

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A slight negative about the Save the Blow Dry cap is that it does take quite a while to dry naturally. The morning after I tested the cap and went to use it again, it was still a little damp. So, I would recommend popping it near a window to speed up the process. Apart from this slight hitch, I think it’s a solid gold invention and would thoroughly recommend it to those of you who just don’t have the time (or the patience!) to style your hair everyday.

V x

She and Home: Cirque de la Nuit

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The lovely folk at the Southgate Bath branch of Boots invited us to a ‘Cirque de la Nuit’ themed bash to celebrate the opening of their four new beauty counters: Smashbox, Liz Earle, Bumble and bumble and Ojon. Never ones to turn down the opportunity to rack up some Advantage Points, we duly went along.

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We’ve admitted before that we aren’t exactly beauty buffs, so please don’t treat us as an authority on the subject! However, it was wonderful to go around the new counters and get some advice from the pros.

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Jo: Makeup should really be my area of expertise as all the things that make me self conscious about my appearance also happen to be on my face. GO TEAM. My puffy eyes and dark circles are the absolute bane of my life and have been for about 15 years now. No amount of sleep or water has ever improved them and I actually dread to think of the money I’ve chucked at ‘miracle’ creams and concealers. Nevertheless, I’m glutton for punishment and so I shall continue my quest for the perfect remedy.

I’m not usually one for chatting at makeup counters due to the aforementioned crippling face fear. However, after a couple of glasses of wine I became most amenable and Continue reading She and Home: Cirque de la Nuit

She and Home: Benefit Cosmetics

Benefit7Benefit at House of Fraser Bristol kindly invited some local bloggers for an evening of makeup, wine, cakes and sweets in order to introduce us to the rocking world of Rockatuer, Benefit’s latest blusher. As Benefit fans, it was hard to resist an evening of indulging in all of their pretty offerings!

We both LOVE makeup but are by no means experts so it was really useful to watch the Benebabes, the lovely Lucy and Kate, demonstrate how things should be applied. We both find buying makeup quite an overwhelming experience. There’s just so much choice and I (Jo) am usually far too self conscious to ask for help from one of the assistants. I have tended to go for Benefit purely because I like the packaging and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here! Thankfully for me, Benefit packs just as much substance as it does style!

Benefit8Lucy showed us how easily the Rockateur blush, which is £23.50, can be layered up to take it from daytime wear to an evening look. We were both really impressed with the beautiful rose-gold colour and how nicely it lifts the face. Benefit describe this blush as being  for “girls who don’t blush easily” which perfectly fits the cheeky tone of the brand and is also true of the product! Lucy then used the Watt’s Up highlighter, £24.50, (which I loved so much I ended up buying – naughty!) to bring out Kate’s cheekbones and used the Smokin’ Eyes Kit, £28.50, to create a beautiful smokey eye. The look was completed with a quick swish of the They’re Real mascara, £19.50. Smashing.

Benefit4Benefit3After the demonstration, we were all given the opportunity to have ours brows mapped.  This involved measuring to find the exact points at which our eyebrows should be! After marking out the perfect points, Lucy used Benefit’s Brow Zings (£23.50) to create the new brow. The transformation was surprisingly drastic and we both loved our newly improved look! For me, it turns out that my eyebrow shape is as it should be but that I should add a bit of length! I’ve already got quite a lot of brow so I was slightly unnerved about adding more but it turns out it’s a much better look!

Benefit6benefit2Jo: I bought this beautiful Cath Kidston dress a couple of months ago from the St Peter’s Hospice charity shop in Clifton Village, Bristol. I did an audible gasp when I saw it on the rack! It’s exactly my style with its beautiful sleeves, autumnal colours, floral print and unusual neckline. Phwoar! With all that going for it and the fact it was my size, it was clearly meant to be! The slight dip in temperature meant I could finally wear it last week and, I’m pleased to report, it was certainly worth the wait! I teamed it with black patterned tights from Topshop and my F&F red polka-dot shoes (reviewed here). Continue reading She and Home: Benefit Cosmetics