*This post is sponsored*
It’s my current mission to get all the beauty tools needed to ensure I am on trend come A/W.…not because I think it is necessary to copy catwalk looks exactly, but because it can be incredibly fun to use them for inspiration….and what a lovely excuse to splurge! As well as my goal to update my make-up looks for the new season, I wanted to purchase the vital ingredients from new shopping destinations.
Today I ventured to Brent Cross, which is a simple sit on the Northern Line, but there are also plenty of buses than can get you there if you aren’t a fan of the tube.
Before I embarked on today’s beauty haul, I wanted to check the Brent Cross PLUS app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.match2blue.ignite.brentcross&hl=en_GB
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/brent-cross-plus/id950683610?mt=8 just in case there were any offers that would be useful during the day. There were various attractive foodie deals, so many in fact, I had to be quite strict with myself.
Having had a very unhealthy festival weekend, one which saw me scoff a chocolate orange for breakfast, I was going to try and be a bit more sensible come lunchtime. Brent Cross didn’t make it terribly easy for me, with all my favourites captured within the centre (Pizza Express, Nandos, Wagamamas, MacDonalds). However I remained strong and headed to Leon, which has equally delicious options whilst being relatively kind to my ailing body. When ordering my Thai green curry with brown rice, I headed to the ‘offers tab’ on the PLUS app and found that I’d get a free drink with my meal – in keeping with my very temporary health kick I opted for a freshly squeezed orange.
Feeling pepped and ready for action I headed to Fenwicks. I always try to go to the big department stores first so I can get a grasp of all the brands available to me in that given location. There’s nothing worse than settling on a product under the header of ‘it’ll do’ to then find out your favourite brand was available to you. It had all the well-known high end beauty brands you’d hope for, as well as one that has been harder for me to find in other shopping centres.
I was embarrassingly giddy to discover the Charlotte Tilbery stand, with its beautiful 1920’s inspired design and impressive array of hero beauty products. Working within the fashion industry for a number of years, she is someone I have admired for a while – lauded for her beauty expertise backstage at fashion shows, painting the gorgeous faces of some of our greatest and most iconic supermodels. In recent years she has been a constant in my life thanks to glowing endorsements by beauty bloggers and journalists alike. If reviews are to be believed her years of work have helped her to create extremely beautiful and covetable products…that also do the job their labels boast.
Today would be the day I would finally be able to see what all the fuss is about. To tick off the copper eye trend I decided to purchase one of her eyeshadow pencils, which had been heartily recommended to me by a fellow YouTuber. The display helps you choose a colour that will complement and enhance depending on your eye colour. For my brown eyes – Amber Haze, which is a warm coppery hue, was their recommendation for a night time look – I guess because it gives a rather sultry aesthetic.
So did Charlotte and her famous eyeshadow pencil live up to my high expectation?….It is a glittering and empathetic yes from me. It is glaringly obvious why I was told this particular product was a must-have. I don’t find applying make-up terribly easy, but this was one of the simplest products to apply. It is impossible even for me to muck this up. You simply sweep the pencil across your lid and under your lower lash line if you want that coppery smoke effect – and smudge if you feel it necessary. The formula is the perfect consistency leaving your lids feeling smooth, unlike other pencils that can leave a waxy finish. The best thing about this trend is that it can be worn day or night (just add eyeliner to make it more dramatic) and suits pretty much everyone.
It was only last week that I bought my first MAC lipstick…I know, I’m extremely late to the party. I aim to make up for last time though, and foresee it becoming a pretty expensive addiction….and not very helpful to my bedroom clutter levels. On my Brent Cross expedition I wanted to tap into the matte red lip again, but this time focus on an orangey hue as opposed to a classic scarlet or primary. Acne was one of the design houses that opted for a bricky orange, which tells you that this is a slightly younger and edgier take on the trend. The great thing about these tones is that as well as adding punch to your wintery clothing palettes, they look fab in summer against bronzed skin and vivid clothes.
I don’t believe you can follow every trend and expect them to work flawlessly for you. Sometimes it takes experimentation and amending them to suit your looks and/or lifestyle. I wanted to make sure I bought a shade that nodded to the trend, but most importantly looked great on me. It’s always hard to access what works for you, so I asked one of the MAC staff to put a couple of shades on me and tell me honestly which one looked better.
One was a deep terracotta shade, a bit more adult and safe. The other was brighter and more daring. I play it safe far too often, so decided to be a daredevil and go for the shade they call ‘So Chaud.’
But there is no point spending money on a beautiful new lipstick if you are going to put it on top of a surface that’s cracked, chapped and looking everything but luscious. I’ve been using a wonderful Lip Scrub from Lush that sloughs away all the flakey skin, but I still need some help to keep them feeling soft and nourished.
I‘m going to carry Maybelline’s Baby Lips with me at all times from now and try to resurrect these weathered lips of mine. Kissable lips here I come….
While I was in Boots I went on the hunt for a really affordable lipgloss. I don’t get much joy from buying a clear lipgloss, it’s rather low on the excitement level when it comes to make-up purchases, so I never want to spend too much on it. The fact that it is likely to be used with great frequency this coming season, means that a low price tag would be extra beneficial. On the catwalk it was not only used on the lips but to add a dewy nature to cheeks and eyelids. At a mere £1.99 this one from Natural Collection would be just perfect.
Models that sported this low maintenance undone look on the catwalk also showcased hair that looked like it had been cuddled by nature’s elements. To achieve this look I’d require a spray that added rough texture and body to my hair.
I found this Sea Spray in Lush which promises to not only leave your hair smelling fresh but full of body and volume. Big hair has always been my thing, my pursuit of Bardot hair a lifelong mission.
Before returning to Boots to tick off the rest of my trend boxes I wanted to refer to the PLUS app, just to check I hadn’t missed a vital shop out of my schedule…..thank goodness I did. I still had beauty mecca, John Lewis, to visit.
To complete my copper eye trend I mentioned earlier you should really add some bronzy elements to your face. Contouring is all the rage at the moment thanks to the Kardashians, but you don’t have to make it a lengthy and convoluted process. This Benefit product with its very specific brush allows you to enhance that cheekbone line in one quick swipe. The helpful ladies on the Benefit counter in John Lewis explained how popular the product was with its customers, and just how easy it was to achieve the desired look. As you can see from the images above it really does enhance the structure of your face, and tone in wonderfully with your coppered eyes.
The next trend takes us away from make-up and beauty for a bit, and that’s hair decoration. It goes from simple to intricate, so there is something for every type of girl.
I wasn’t sure where would be the best destination for this particular trend, so I searched jewellery in the PLUS app shop finder. Educated with the results I headed to River Island and Topshop. Topshop had some beautiful hair chains, but they weren’t quite right for the look I was hoping to create. River Island had some great oversized leather bow headbands too, which I may pop back to buy another day, but I need to stay focused.
Accessorize and various concessions within Fenwick and John Lewis had hair accessories and embellishment but a lot of them featured feathers, flowers and colour. Claire’s Accessories would prove to offer an extensive choice of hair jewellery that looked almost as good as the real deals. Not everyone wants full on glam and glitz. The more nonchalant fashionistas out there will want to go for a simple but edgy black leather band, a la Proenza Schouler. I found a great plaited leather-like alice band at Claire’s Accessories. While I was there I was astonished to find the above bejewelled hair clip for a gobsmackingly brilliant £10. It is made up of 4 connected clips that hinge in a way that allows you to style it in many different ways. If you want to emulate Prada style then slick your hair into a high pony and clip your sparkler at the crown. But if you are off to a wedding at the weekend like myself, you may want to try various romantic updos (see above).
Wanting to stick to my budget I headed back to Boots, where they house so many affordable beauty brands, as well as the higher end names.
Even if the fashion gods rewrote the rule book forever and said that we should never wear eyeliner, it would always remain a staple in my regime. I never feel complete, nor look alive, without a slick of eyeliner on my top lids. I already own a turquoise liner by Lancôme
to mirror the teal graphic liners which were a funky hit this season, sported most notably at Antonio Beradi. Today I wanted to find a formula without the glittery element of the Lancôme example. L’Oréal’s Emerald Green Superliner hit the spot, and proves to be extremely proficient at creating very precise lines. If you wish to mirror Anna Sui’s double flicks this may well be the best tool to use.
At Suno we saw a chunky block liner, which I thought would be easily achieved with a felt pen style liner or an applicator with a thicker nib of some sort. I have only ever tried bath and body products by Soap and Glory, but was happy to come across their Supercat liner in Boots – I was drawn in by the seriously cool packaging and design. When a brand that is famed for a certain type of product delves into other areas you can’t help but feel skeptical, but so far I am very impressed the first item of Soap and Glory make-up I have tried.
To achieve a sexy smudge I turned to Revlon and their Photoready Kajal in black. It comes with a spongy end to enable you to move the pencil once you’ve drawn it across your lids and under your waterline. I found it a tad rough for my sensitive eyes and turned to my trusty fingertips to create that celebrity mainstay…the smokey eye.
My mission was almost complete, but with little budget left I still had an integral bit of kit to source. For some, mascara is their only daily essential, the one thing they won’t leave the house without applying first. It has the ability to bring a look together and give it that final push. I wanted to find a product that gifted volume, to really enhance the eye looks I had achieved with my other purchases. Collection (in Boots) came to my rescue with their comparatively budget mascara, Volumising 10X. It’s brush is noticeably denser and chunkier than the norm and achieves a pleasing result considering its low price tag.
So there you have it…that’s how I continued in my quest for A/W make up perfection via Brent Cross.
If you are visiting soon, make sure you download the Brent Cross PLUS app from the App Store https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/brent-cross-plus/id950683610?mt=8 or Google Play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.match2blue.ignite.brentcross prior to your visit, and register to make the most of their offers.
Join me in my next blog post, where I try even more products that tap into the stand out A/W Beauty trends, this time purchased from Croydon’s Centrale shopping centre. Till then….
P.S OFFERS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE…..
Free clutch bag at Balenciaga. Get a free Balenciaga clutch bag when you purchase a 50ml B by Balenciaga fragrance at Fenwick.
Free weekend bag at Jimmy Choo in Fenwick. Buy any 50ml Jimmy Choo fragrance and receive a free weekend bag with your PLUS app.