After Reading This You Might Just Wear Aftershave

Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme

So maybe you’ve got a boo (do we still say boo these days? I’ve been out the dating game so long that I’m no longer down with the kids) and you want to treat them to a new fragrance or maybe you just want to smell sexy in your own right. Both are entirely valid reasons to purchase, or in the very least try Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I truly do believe that 2017 in terms of fragrance trends, there will be a huge emphasis on unisex and frankly sensual scents – think notes of leather and Tonka bean for their ability to offer the closeness of a second skin. That’s not to say you’ve got to ditch your beloved floral notes or signature scent but maybe use the turning trend as an excuse to step a little or a lot out of your comfort zone. As someone who does prefer woodier fragrances, I am no stranger to the world of male cologne, splashes and aftershave but admittedly it can be a fine line to tread. I want to stand out from the crowd not spend the day reassuring both myself and those around me, that no I am not sporting my boyfriends fragrance by mistake. Subtly is what this all pars down to.

Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme has a strong, androgynous, buttery leather top note – one that would not be out of place within a Tom Ford Private blend and as such it sits more the comfortably on both sexes. I hate to be this person as I purchase fragrances to smell great, not to say “hey look at me, I promise I’m flush with money – I might even have a trust fund” but Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme does smell expensive. It is the sort of scent that smells like it belongs nestled upon the ever coveted and tested, but seldom purchased fragrances in a certain beauty hall and yet it is fairly easy to come by. What I’m saying with a long winded approach, is that this is not the most rugged nor obvious of male marketed fragrances.

Other notes within Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme include Woodleather™, Golden Wood™ paired with a trio of patchouli oils and vetiver: overall it is a simple in composition fragrance that is rich, very woody, soft and ever so slightly fresh at the same time. I promise if you step out of your comfort zone just this once, you shall be rewarded.

Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme £54/50ml via House of Fraser – link.

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Winter-Proof Beauty

We winter-proof our cars, gardens & wardrobes, so why not our faces? Every beauty-loving lady knows the struggle: you put a perfectly flawless face on in the morning, and by the time you get to work, your foundation is spotty, your mascara is running & your liner is smudged. No matter what part of the country you live in, rain & snow take a serious toll on your winter-time beauty. So how do you keep your makeup from looking like a hot mess when the weather gets cold?

It all starts, as always, with the foundation. As soon as our foundation starts to run, there’s no way to REALLY fix it without washing it off completely and starting from scratch. Thankfully, we’ve found that water-resistant stay flawless! primer makes our foundation—liquid or powder—hold, even when the weather outside is frightful.


The cheek solution is easy. We’ve always known that Benefit tints hold on for dear life, so it’s a no-brainer that they’re the best flush when the weather is damp. We’re foggy-city girls, so we’re well-used to the moisture trying to destroy our makeup all day long—and the tints keep our flush sexy & smooth all day. An added bonus with the tints: they also provide the perfect, subtle, all-day lip color.


Perhaps the most important stay-still beauty essentials are mascara & liner, ’cause nothing ruins your look like a big black smudge. When we know that the moisture will be plentiful, we stick with BADgal waterproof liner. And when combined with they’re real! mascara, your eye glam will be unstoppable. Trust us—when we checked our compact after 30 minutes stuck at the bus stop in a downpour yesterday, there wasn’t a stray smudge to be seen! Our hair may have been totally ruined, but our eye game was STRONG.


We’ve definitely pinned down our winter-time makeup essentials. What products do you rely on to get you through the storm?

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Why Contouring Is Still Your Secret Weapon (The ‘Trend’ May Be Over, But It’s Quick & Handy Whatever Your Age)


2016 was undoubtedly the year we reached ‘peak contour’ with every blogger, celebrity, makeup brand and instagrammer embracing this simple way to add light and shade to the face. We all rushed out to stock up on anything and everything that offered a way to buff pounds off our cheeks, but according to the queen of contouring Kim Kardashian, in late 2016 the trend was officially over. However, six months later she’s launched her own range of products and has proved that contouring is still very much here to stay – even if in a slightly different form to what we’ve previously been used to. If you’ve been living under a rock (or just decided that contouring isn’t for you,) then this technique is simply a way of using light and dark to create depth and shape to your face; Kim herself has used it to essentially change her face shape, slim her nose and chisel those iconic cheekbones, while there are over 800,000 video results on YouTube that help you perfect the technique. It’s big news and even bigger business.

Although it can be scary (not helped by the fact Instagram is awash with 20-somethings piling it on like its going out of fashion,) if used effectively and subtly, contouring can be a secret weapon for anyone – whether you’re 18 or 80. It can help enhance your features, slim down ones you don’t want to focus on, add definition or even take years off your complexion. The modern and fresh way to embrace contouring is with less precision, a lighter tone and the focus being on adding a sunkissed flush to skin rather than depth that makes you look like Skeletor. “The basic principal of this technique involves highlighting and creating shade. Therefore, everything you highlight ‘comes forward’ and everything you contour ‘stays in the background’. So in short, you want to highlight your good features and contour the ones you want to hide,” says pro makeup artist Daniel Sandler.

You can even use contouring to add fullness to cheeks (which can often be lost as we age,) or conceal a slightly saggy jawline that’s not as defined as it once was. Personally I use contouring most days to help my complexion look fresh, to add definition to my jawline and add fullness to my cheeks; using an angled brush helps to aid application along the cheekbones and circular motions ensure there are never any harsh lines. To help even beginners among you, Daniel has created Sculpt & Slim (£26.50), an easy-to-use pressed powder dual-purpose contour kit that helps create the illusion of defined cheekbones and a slimmer face. With two universal shades and a super soft blendable texture, it’s super easy to use and doesn’t leave you feeling uneasy about creating so much contrast.


1. Look for matte products that are slightly darker than your skin tone – but not too dark or it will look obvious and theatrical!

2. Choose the correct professional formula that suits your way of applying. Cream textures work well for those who like using fingers, whereas those who prefer brushes should use a pressed powder formula. Remember that using a synthetic brush to apply liquids or creams will create a more sculpted, contoured finish – whereas using your fingers will provide a softer, healthier glow.

3. Sweeping sculpting powder along the jaw line creates the illusion of a slimmer face; blend the powder softly down onto the neck to avoid a tide-line. Using a small eyeshadow brush, apply the same contour powder through the eye sockets to set back over-hanging lids. Gently shade around the sides of the nose to help it look slimmer, while applying contour under cheekbones adds youthful definition and reduces the look of puffiness.

4. Contrast against the sculpting by applying a light dusting of highlighting powder above it. This adds a ‘lift’ to your features.

5. Practice makes perfect and always apply contour in even light so you can really see what you’re doing.

6. If you over-apply when using powder, simply blend away any excess by sweeping some translucent powder over the mistake. If you over-apply when using a cream formula, use your foundation brush to blend and tone down the error.

The huge trend of contouring like your life depends on it may be over, but that doesn’t mean we all can’t benefit from a little subtle light and shade to bring out our best features. The key is to create an effortless look that’s blended beautifully, rather than creating strong contrast that can easily look dated… And finding products along the way that help us do that without breaking a sweat.

Are you a fan of contouring? Will you be embracing this effective and easy way to enhance your features?

Daniel Sandler’s Sculpt & Slim is priced £26.50 and available online.

If you want to get to grips with some of the iconic and best selling products from the range, then you’re in luck – because we’re giving one lucky reader the chance to WIN a goodie bag busting with all my fave Daniel Sandler makeup treats, including: Intense Volume Pro Mascara (£18.50), Instant Tan Bronzer (£22.50), Radiant Glow Highlighter (£29.50), Sculpt and Slim Palette (£25.50) and a 4 Piece Watercolour Customisable Kit (£49.50). In total the bundle is worth £145.50! If you want to be in with a chance of winning, just enter via the widget below. You’re welcome!

SPECIAL OFFER FOR LBQ READERS: Get 15% off Daniel Sandler Cosmetics when bought from the website. Just use code LBQ15. (Once per customer; code valid until 31st December 2017

Check out the full range of Daniel Sandler cosmetics on the website:

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This is a sponsored feature in partnership with Daniel Sandler Cosmetics; all opinions are my own.


Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.

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Skin Serenity with Vedani Botanicals + Giveaway!

I can’t even begin to say how much I love this brand and the products I’m going to review today. Safe to say, it’s a lot. I’ve been smothering my skin in Vedani oils since before Christmas now and I’m still just as smitten as day one, even more so because my skin has improved so, so much. These are special, exquisitely crafted oils that I need you to know about. Settle in because I have a review, interview and giveaway for you, so it’s a long ‘un!

Focusing on a more simplistic approach to skincare, the Vedani Botanicals range is small, with only three cleansers and three moisturisers currently available. As you would imagine these are split into sub-categories for oily skin, normal to combination skin and dry skin. I’ve been using the cleanser for oily skin and both the moisturisers for oily and combination skins.

With so many brands to choose from when it comes to skincare, it can be overwhelming to say the least, especially when there are shiny new launches almost every day asking for your money. It only takes a few Instagram images in your feed to be convinced by the hype… I know from experience. I started trialling Vedani Skincare without any opinions on the brand at all, it was unknown to me before Sadie, the creator reached out. I very rarely try something without reading another bloggers’ review first so this was a new experience for me, but talking with Sadie via email told me all I needed to know. This woman knows her stuff, she has true passion for skin and skincare, and this shines through in her products.

The No21 Light Cleanser is a silky feeling cleansing oil that focuses on balancing skin, not purifying or drying it out. The description reads: “A luxurious oil blend for skin that prefers a cleanser with a very light texture.
Combats excess oil, blocked pores, spots and shine.
Leaves skin feeling balanced, healthy, hydrated and comfortable.” Continue reading