Weekly Window Shop: All The Nudes

window shopping

I’m having a bit of a nude moment, when it comes to fashion and beauty; so pretty, so uplifting for spring and (though not quite so low-maintenance) such a lovely change from black. Black is timeless and chic, but so is nude – it just takes nerves of steel to wear it. If you’re anything like me, anyway – give me five minutes in a light-coloured top and I will have spattered it in spaghetti sauce or leant against a freshly-painted wall or offered to help someone with their pram and smeared my sleeves with dried mud from the wheels. (True story.) Show me a nude-coloured accessory – bag, purse, belt – and I will find a rainstorm to take it out in and I will be wearing dark jeans with non-colourfast dye.

ruth crilly nude fashion

But these are the nudes I’m lusting after and the beauty items that kickstarted my obsession. My weekly window shop, if you like. From left to right on the top row: Equipment Silk Shirt (here – I’m torn between this one and one with hearts printed on it), Bobbi Brown Illuminating Powder (brilliant for adding a glowy finish, find it here), Saint Laurent Quilted Envelope Clutch (here). Ugh, I absolutely love this clutch, but can I – anyone – really justify it? When did tiny bags get so expensive? This one is 19.5cm by 12.5! It’s hardly any bigger than my iPhone. In fact I think I’d be hard pressed to fit anything in it except my phone…

ruth crilly nude fashion

On the bottom row the Coco Mademoiselle Touche de Parfum from Chanel (here), a gorgeous cashmere sweater from Hush (here – I love these ice-cream colours), and the New Nudes lipstick from Marc Jacobs, review here. The Equipment shirt and the Hush sweater I can see going very nicely with my Karen Millen buttery skirt – I just need to source some camel/nude pointed courts with a mid-heel in a soft leather and THEN I’ll stop window shopping…

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Glowing Makeup for my Tired Face…

makeup tutorial video new mum

The baby has started sleeping through the night. Hurrah, you might think, but no: I have developed, for the very first time in my life, a kind of strange almost-insomnia that sees me spend much of the night in quasi-dream-mode and the rest of it listening out for the baby monitor. Sod’s law, eh?

So I’m completely shattered, but the upside of this is that I’m really starting to appreciate the true transformative powers of makeup. I’m not talking about transformative in the editorial kind of way, where dramatic makeup techniques can make you look like a totally different person, I’m talking about transformative on a much more basic level. The “starting off looking dead and ending up looking a bit more alive” level. Brightening the skin, lightening circles, widening the eyes and bringing colour to the lips. Sod the smokey eye (momentarily, at least): this is makeup for those who simply don’t want to scare the children.

Suqqu Sheer Glow: launches soon.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation in 52: http://tidd.ly/efe3805f

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer: http://tidd.ly/b9b84e21

Bobbi Brown Illuminating Powder in Bare: http://goo.gl/aVEyIE

Soap & Glory Highlighting Stick: http://tidd.ly/7f2a697b

Well People Highlighting Stick: http://goo.gl/FQGwYW

Rosie for Autograph Cream Blush in Camisole: http://tidd.ly/44e7877c

Rimmel Shadow in 002: http://tidd.ly/4fd3cd

Chanel Rouge Noir Le Volume Mascara (27) – I very much doubt anyone will have this in stock as it was for Christmas, but I bloody love it! Here it is in black: http://tidd.ly/439e7d39

Lancome Juicy Shaker in 142, Freedom of Peach: http://tidd.ly/3cd75f21

My jumper is from Hush Homewear, but it was last year!

Disclaimer: this post is not sponsored. Links may be affiliate links. Products are press samples unless otherwise stated in video or description.

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Ten Beauty Products To Try In 2015

1. A Lip Mask

Lip Masks

Lip Masks are going to be a thing for 2015, I’m convinced of it! If you can resist the urge to lick your lips while wearing a lip mask, then you should reap the ultra hydrating benefits for an intense infusion of moisture. The Japanese Choosy Lip Masks above are £2.99 each from Ebay (HERE), but there are several brands hopping on this trend, including Kaplan MD, £37, at Cult Beauty (HERE) and Jamela 24 Carat Lip Masks (£46) HERE. If you buy the solid gel lip ‘sheets’, you can’t talk or eat while it’s on and you have to lie down otherwise it falls off! The lip mask that’s currently getting rave reviews is Bite Agave Lip Mask ($26) – a thick cream application that you use overnight. Currently, Bite isn’t available readily in the UK so it’s a Sephora or Ebay order.

Ladival IRD

2. Infrared Blocking Sun Care

I’ve a feeling that Ladival IRB is going to be huge next summer. Bottom line is that it’s next generation sunscreen that’s taken advantage of new technology that can separate infrared-A rays from the other sun rays to see what effects they have on the skin. It’s so complicated, I have nearly torn my hair out trying to find a way to explain this, so I will stick to the absolute basics. Infrared-A rays can’t be blocked on the skin’s surface in the way that UV rays can, so it needs a very specific formula to do so. Standard sun creams protect against UVA and UVB but infrared accounts for 37% of damage. Years in the making (research provided by the University of Dusseldorf), Ladival IRB will be the sunscreen to watch in 2015 when it launches later in the year.

Rodin Cleansing Powder

3. Cleansing Powder

One of the newest cleansing powders on the market is Rodin Olio Lussio Facial Cleansing Powder – it’s pricy at £50 at Liberty (not on-line yet) but there are other versions available. If you haven’t tried a cleansing powder yet, you might want to start with a more budget friendly option such as Nude Fizzy Facial Wash (£38) HERE or DHC Face Wash Powder (£9.50) HERE. Cleansing powders, like BB creams, are an Asian import that we’re just scratching the surface of at the moment. You can expect many brands to be looking at a powder version of cleanser. Usually, they’re rice bran based with enzymatic action that smooths the skin – you add a tiny splash of water to make a paste that you then apply to the face. I like them for oilier skin types and wouldn’t recommend for very dry skin. I’ve been a fan of Givenchy Hydra Sparkling One Minute Glow Powder (£29.50) HERE for a while and have used it on and off all year, but it’s more of a brightening exfoliator than an actual cleanser.

Ma Cherie

4. A Negusi ‘Bed Hair’ Spray

I have the brilliant blog at Ratzillacosme (HERE) to thank for this emerging trend. But, how to explain?! Okay.. a Negusi spray isn’t a leave-in conditioner as such, but you use it in your hair in the morning so that re-styling is quicker and easier – a fragranced ‘reviving’ spray, if you like. It tamps down frizz and fly aways. We have similar products in the UK but not many of them – Tigi Bed Head Spoil Me is one to try. It’s £14.95 HERE. Otherwise, it’s an Ebay or GMarket search for Shiseido Ma Cherie Perfect Shower Spray, above, if you want the real Asian experience.

Pur Minerals

5. Cushion Foundation

There’s no doubt that Cushion Foundations are coming – the race is on to see which brand gets them to the UK market first! A cushion foundation is a new way to dispense foundation using a pre-soaked ‘sponge’ within a compact. A cushion foundation’s main bonus is portability – a liquid foundation in a solid form – but formulas vary from mousse texture to skincare ingredients. Our best hope, in the UK, is Pur Minerals (above) – the range is currently stocked in M&S and therefore easily available – we just have to wait for them to stock this particular item. If you can’t wait for the UK market to catch up, the cushion foundation that has had consistently positive reviews is Laneige Snow BB Cushion and it’s easily available on Ebay for around £20.

Vita Coco Oil

6. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been drifting around 2014 as a trend already, but you know it’s going to avalanche when coconut water brands start to produce and market their own solid oil. VitaCoco is swift on the coconut oil trend and what’s interesting is that they’re pointing it firmly at the beauty market as well as the food market. Use it for moisturising and conditioning hair and skin – and you only need a tiny amount. I’ve had a go at oil pulling (omg..never again), but it’s one of my top trends to try this year. It’s currently HERE for £5.09.

Shiseido softener

7. A DIY Lotion Mask

This is a bit fiddly, but a fun Asian trend to try. Although DIY Lotion Masks aren’t new at all, they’re not very well known in the UK and as the Asian market opens up to us even further, I’m guessing this could become a micro-trend. Japan and Korea use beauty ‘lotions’ or essences which are somewhere between a water and a cream – a bit heavier than a micellar and usually opaque. They’re an extra step in skincare, generally used after cleansing and before moisturising and help your hydration products to work more effectively (allegedly!). I love versions of essence from Shiseido and L’Occitane, and the liquidity of the formula means ingredients are rapidly absorbed.

Cotton wool

You’ll need some (ideally) square, layered cotton wool pads (try Muji) that you saturate with essence. Once the pads are wet, you can start peeling them apart so they’re very, very thin layers which you then place on your skin. After that, it’s a simple matter of lying back and relaxing until the pads have dried out a bit, before you remove the pads to reveal softer skin. It really does work in the sense that your complexion feels like velvet and there’s a noticable difference when you put your moisturiser on afterwards. Expect a great skin day from this trend. A great product to try this with is Shiseido Pureness Balancing Softener (Alcohol Free), £24.50 HERE.

MUFE

8. Marsala

Well, Pantone certainly pulled a tricky shade for beauty lovers to name as their colour of the year! Marsala is the shade where everything can go badly wrong from start to finish, whether it’s an eye shadow, a blush or a lip colour. This tone of red-wine-soaked, heathered pink is so close to a bruise colour that you’ll need to either embrace the Corrinne Roitfeld ‘tired-all-the-time’ eyes and exacerbate with smudgy kohl or use it carefully with other shades to accent rather than to be a main feature. I’ve highlighted MUFE Satin Ash as we have both the brand and the trend to look forward to in the UK in 2015. Ir’s perfect for ‘byojaku face’ – yes, it’s really a thing – a look that makes you appear ill.

Shabon Roller

9. Skincare Ingredient Fuelled Soap

All the indications are that skincare soaps are on their way, big time. Soap bar cleansers are not new exactly, but are enjoying a revival in more sophisticated forms, but the real emerging trend is ‘beauty bars’ – soap like bars with more than just a cleansing action.  Current kings of soap cleansing are Erno Lazlo and Clinique, but Perricone has Glycolic Bars (£56) to exfoliate, cleanse and reduce pores. Clarins Beauty Soap is simpler, with shea butter and organic hazelnut oil, but they’re all fuel for beauty areas that aren’t tapped to their full potential. I blogged the Non F Shabon Roller soap from Victoria Health before Christmas HERE but the high foam element is key to fusing the Asian cleansing trend with serious skincare.

YSL Lip Oil

10. Lip Oils

As soon as I tried the YSL Tint-In-Oils, I was in love with the formula. Heading up the trend for tinted oils are Clarins and YSL, but bear in mind that YSL is part of L’Oreal who cascade their formulas – I’d be very surprised if we don’t see a L’Oreal Paris and a Body Shop version really soon. Lip oils glide onto the lip in the softest possible way throwing a little bit of colour as they go. They’re lighter and less sticky than gloss but feel softening as balm. I imagine that every other beauty brand has thrown away their 2015 schedule to get working on a similar version. If you love an interesting texture and a light and glowy tint, then take your pick from either Clarins or YSL for now. Neither has launched yet so they’re both a treat in store for 2015!

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Stationery Scorn: The Louis Vuitton Agenda

louis vuitton agenda

Every January for the past – I don’t know, twelve Januaries? – I have had a little ritual with my Louis Vuitton yearly planner. Carefully extracting all of the previous year’s diary pages and opening a new, box-fresh set, excited at the prospect of crisp, blank pages. Placing all of the used pages into a pile, securing with the paper band – meticulously preserved for a whole 365 days – and sliding the whole thing back into the original presentation box, marked with the relevant year.

Now forgive me, because I don’t want to ruin anyone’s “New Year Vibes”, but this January I am simply not feeling it in the stationery department. I am less than enthused with the 2016 edition of the Posh Filofax/Louis Vuitton experience. I do realise that this is a luxury problem of the most epic dimensions – carry on reading, I address this later on – but I rely on the thrill of a new diary to propel me into the new year and motivate me to start work again. And the thrill has not made itself known.

louis vuitton agenda

Which is outrageous, really, because the refills for a Louis Vuitton Agenda start at £32. Thirty-two pounds! And for that, I want to feel seriously organised and also spoilt. I want tick-lists and maps and fold-out schedules and thoughtful little note sections and borderline-cheesy sections for dreams and wishes and all of that bumf. And what do they currently include?

Poems.

Poems, some nice illustrations and a sheet of stickers. A sheet of stickers! Oh, and a cardboard “luggage tag” that looks like something you’d buy from Paperchase to label Christmas presents with. Everything about the Louis Vuitton refills used to feel so luxe and special – I used to really enjoy un-parcelling the pages. This year, there’s not even a Louis Vuitton plastic ruler included!

louis vuitton agenda

Granted, I have eleven of these Louis Vuitton plastic rulers – why do I need one more? – but come on. For over thirty quid I want my plastic ruler. Even if it is only four inches long. Not even long enough to measure willies.

You might be asking yourself, at this point, why on earth I would ever spend thirty-two pounds on some diary refills and I will say this: a) I don’t buy them, Mr AMR does, as a kind of yearly ritualistic thing and b) I am weirdly superstitious about my Agenda and having the correct refills. Back when I first had the Agenda, Mr AMR used to call it The Book of Gold because almost as soon as I started using it, good things began to happen. I got – in quick succession – about three or four very big advertising jobs. Bearing in mind I was only about twenty-two, twenty-three years old, we were talking good jobs. So I became convinced, subconsciously, that my Book of Gold brought me good luck.

Indeed, the one year I didn’t get the official refills and plumped for the WH Smith alternatives, things in my work life went really badly, which only went to strengthen my weird, superstitious diary habit. (I’m not really superstitious in other areas of my life, although I do salute lone Magpies and say “morning/afternoon Mr Magpie”, which is totally Mr AMR’s fault.)

louis vuitton agenda

So yeah. As ridiculous as all of this sounds, that is why I find myself on the receiving end of extortionately-priced planner inserts. And it is lovely to get something small and luxurious – if I weigh it all up properly, then I can say that for less than the price of a Tom Ford lipstick I get a luxury that lasts all year and that I use all of the time.

But still, it’s just posh paper and LV need to pull their finger out when there are tempting alternatives around from the likes of Smythson and – far cheaper! – the Happiness Planner. (More on the Happiness Planner another day.) Here’s what I would like to see in 2017 (no pressure!):

  1. Proper sticker sheets like the ones they used to put in. With dozens of little round logos and symbols for planes, wine glasses, suitcases and so on. I never used to stick these in, ever, but I liked to look at them. So please – more stickers. With some gold stars, if you want – then I could self-congratulate after a particularly satisfying week. Maybe some Emoji stickers. Blatantly off-brand but it would amuse me endlessly – the gritted teeth emoji, the one with the sarcastic eye-rolling…
  2. Weekly “to-do” list pages with tick boxes that I can check off when I’ve achieved…stuff. Even if it’s “remember the dog worming tablet”. Because I need to tick boxes – it’s a basic instinct.
  3. A space for meal-planning. Granted, the target audience probably don’t meal-plan and have “people” for that (and also to remember the dog worming tablet) but I like to have dedicated spaces for things. Ditto one for exercise, because it might make me actually do some.
  4. Some kind of magic iPhone app – bear with me here – that turns my iPhone calendar into the Louis Vuitton iPhone calendar. So that my iCal matches my paper diary. I don’t know what kind of technical wizardry you’d have to employ to achieve this iCal “skin” but I’m sure you have the resources.
  5. A plastic ruler.

That is all. Merci.

You can find the Louis Vuitton Agenda at (strangely enough) Louis Vuitton.

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March Beauty Favourites with Caroline Hirons

ruth crilly and caroline hirons beauty video

Just as an FYI: this video with Caroline Hirons started off being twenty-nine minutes long. Trying to get it down to anything below twenty took an effort of epic proportions, and finishing off with something that was seventeen? Well. I deserve some kind of Youtube editing medal. You’ll be pleased to know that I left in my rendition of Hakuna Matata from Disney’s The Lion King, and pretty much all of Caroline’s various eyebrow raises and looks of disgust and/or incredulity. So, y’know, there’s plenty to distract yourself with if you hate listening to people bang on about beauty products.

ruth crilly and caroline hirons beauty video

Though if you do hate listening to people bang on about beauty products, I fear you may be in the wrong place..

ruth crilly and caroline hirons beauty video

I’m not going to go into massive detail here about any of the products mentioned: safe to say that we cover them quite extensively in the video itself. A special mention must go to the Clinique Clarifying Lotion in “Mild”: I had no idea this existed and it has changed my view (slightly) on the whole “3 Step” idea. Also worth a quick explanation, because I had to cut out around four minutes of Caroline and I going on about Argan Oil and Goat Poo: when I talk about the Neal’s Yard Remedy Argan Oil being top quality and brilliant, I mean it. It’s very well-sourced and produced – you can read more about it in last year’s post here. The long and short of it is that some Argan is collected via Goat Poo, which is easier but often necessitates a little…deodorising…of the final product. If you’re after a pure Argan, with none of the sh*t (HA!) then do read my post.

ruth crilly and caroline hirons beauty video

Right, onwards beauty soldiers: brace yourself for the long-haul. I’d suggest: cup of tea or glass of wine or both, perhaps a biscuit, some olives (with the wine) or some lovely mature cheddar on crackers to nibble away on. The drinks trolley won’t be passing until the show’s over, so make sure you have everything you need…

Caroline’s Video is HERE

Ruth’s Favourites

Time Bomb Complexion CCocktail: http://tidd.ly/581cc86a

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Eye Cream: http://tidd.ly/f6b4108f

Neal’s Yard Remedies Argan Oil: http://tidd.ly/8dfb5999

Lush Gorgeous Moisturiser: https://www.lush.co.uk/products/gorgeous

Laura Mercier Radiance Primer: http://tidd.ly/b19ac4aa

Burberry BB Cream (Medium 02): http://tidd.ly/d89e712a

Caroline’s Favourites

Kai Bathing Bubbles: http://goo.gl/YbQPQb

Tata Harper Cleansers: http://goo.gl/EaNkQi

Clinique Delicate Clarifying Lotion: http://goo.gl/Ihk9dM

Tatcha Face Oil: http://www.tatcha.com/shop/beauty-oil-gp

Royal Brush: http://www.royalbrush.com/beauty/reta…

Charlotte Tilbury X Normal Parkisnon Collection launches in July.

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