Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Perfect Party Hair with Platinum

Last week I dropped in to Platinum's Perfect Party Hair event and heard about their extensions, salons, products and upcoming projects. Then we were talked through three looks that could be created for the party season using said extensions and products.

Throughout, I was fascinated. I've been considering extensions for a while now, missing the incredibly long hair that I cut over a year ago, despite having enjoyed my shorter hair since then. I get bored of my hair so quickly that I'm always thinking about what I'm going to do next and, often, am attracted to extremes: from long to short and short to long, light to dark and dark to light. By the end of the presentation, I wanted extensions even more and left that evening, thinking that I might just bite the bullet and commit. It was only in later research that I realised I wash my hair too often and am far too lazy to style my hair, making permanent extensions somewhat impossible.

Yet, I didn't come away from the event without anything that I could actually apply to my own situation and hair. In the gift bag that I was given upon leaving, there was one particular product that I have fallen utterly in love with: the Platinum Fix & Finish Fixing Spray.

First of all, I love the fact that it is a spray with decent hold that isn't an aerosol. Secondly, you get quite a lot of bang for your buck as each bottle is relatively slim but has a lot of product in it. And, finally, a couple spritzes as I brush my hair after showering is enough to ensure that it air-dries smooth and neatly. It's basically the perfect product for someone lazy, like me, who doesn't really style their hair on a regular basis but also suffers from fly-aways and hair with a mind of its own.

I was immediately impressed upon using it but, after almost a week of use, it has really become indispensable and I grab it every time I wash my hair.

If you are looking for extensions, Platinum really do offer top-of-the-range hair and application, but for someone as lazy as me, I'll have to just make do with their rather excellent range of homecare products.


Platinum Prestige The Wet Look


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(This product was given to me as a press sample. However, I was not paid for this review and all opinions are my own.)

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Monday, 28 November 2016

Primark SS17

Primark gets cooler and cooler each season and I'm pretty damn excited for SS17 to land in stores. In fact, I think a lot of the pieces could do with dropping right now. The silhouettes and concepts being presented are exactly what the cool-girls of Instagram are sporting right now - lots of streetwear, sporty, edgy pieces in an array of vibrant colours that people are normally too afraid to even dream of wearing.

This particular strand through the collection is very strong. Think Vetements-inspired oversized tees with text down the arms, the gothic fonts adopted by Kanye and many others, wide-legged pants with sportswear-inspired stripes down the leg, exaggerated silhouettes, neon oranges and a vast selection of slides (including some furry versions that evoke a certain Puma collection long since sold out) and baseball caps to choose from.

However, streetwear and edgier clothes are not all that there is to SS17. You'll also find a very pretty section of dresses, shirts and tees in pale blue, white and cream cotton that epitomise breezy summer dressing and look great layered or as is. This is complemented by gingham looks in the same fabrics that are tailored beautifully and offer a very feminine and sweet look.

In addition there is a strong strand of the collection that serves a seriously pretty rock and roll look: leather jackets that are both embroidered with roses and studded, broad-striped monochrome blazers and brilliantly tailored killer jumpsuits.

Finally, there is also a strong 80s vibe that runs through a lot of the collection: over-sized, light-wash denim, pink suits, metallic bombers and densely patterned floral tops and dresses.

It is in the accessories, though, that Primark really killed the game this time around. There will be plenty of awesome sunglasses, hats, shoes and bags to choose from next season, which make for a cheap, cheerful and easy way to incorporate new trends and ideas into your wardrobe without an overhaul of the whole thing.

Be excited. Be very excited.

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Sunday, 27 November 2016

REVIEW: BeautyPro Collagen Masks

Beauty Belle is an Irish online store, based in Newry, that sources innovative nail and skincare products from around the world. The website largely stocks sheet masks that target all sorts of skin concerns and many of which have won awards for excellence.

The brand got in touch with me and sent me out two masks from their collection to try out: the BeautyPro Collagen Mask in Brightening and Rejuvenating.

I used both in a week where I was targeting hormonal breakouts by masking every night and the results were pretty damn good. The blemishes healed quicker and my overall skintone became clearer, brighter and more even. I can't speak to the particular long-term effects of the masks in question, as I wasn't using them exclusively or for an extended period of time, but I can discuss how they were to use compared to the large catalogue that I have previously trialled from a long list of different brands.

Unusually, these masks felt warming, rather than cooling, on the face when applied. I don't know if that was my imagination but it was somewhat comforting and soothing. The shape of the mask itself fit really nicely to the face, not having holes around the features that were too large, leaving big swathes of skin untreated, as is the case with many masks. Another bonus is that the masks are pretty essence heavy, meaning that the skin is left exceptionally dewy and soft after use, with plenty left over to spread on the arms and decolletage. 

One downside is that the material of the mask isn't absorbent enough to retain sufficient essence for a second use of the reverse side. This, however, is something I've only found with one or two high-quality masks in the past and is really only an added bonus. 

To be honest, I've found that no matter what one particular mask is meant to be targeting, most really provide the same results, which are a big boost in moisture and bringing glow back to the skin. In the case of these two masks, they did exactly that. This isn't really a criticism though as who doesn't want softer and brighter skin?

These masks and a wide range of others are all available at Beauty Belle and, for Cyber Monday, there is a special 3 for 2 offer on their award winning Glacial Snow Algae and Apple Stem Collagen masks.

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(This product was given to me as a press sample. However, I was not paid for this review and all opinions are my own.)

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

COS SS17

COS SS17 is a sensual collection. Texture and fabric choices are king. It is an even more pared back collection than we have seen in the past from COS, if you can imagine such a thing.

The pops of colour that often stuck out in previous seasons are absent and, instead, the palette remains an almost utterly undisturbed ocean of natural, neutral and earthy tones - blushes, beiges, denims, blues, olives, greys and white tones. Even the more glamourous garments are dark metallics that shimmer but do not shout.

Translucency, silkiness and texture abound, drawing the eye to the form and the hand to the garment, wanting to touch and explore. COS silhouettes that are more oversized or boxy are present, as one might expect, but this proliferation of billowing fabrics also allow for more fluid garments that move, drape and hug the human form.

Do not expect elaborate detail - none of the embroidery, brocades or prints we've seen elsewhere for SS17. However, that is not to  say that there is no visual interest at play or charming details. A-symmetry, draping, gathering and origami-inspired details adorn the collection. 

Contrast is key throughout the whole collection. The contrast of boxy and billowy. The contrast of earthy and industrial tones. Soft and rigid. 

There's something particularly sexy about this collection - the fabrics, the movement, the ease, the simplicity, the not-having-to-try-very-hard, It's not a million miles from what COS normally does but it does feel as though new life was breathed upon existing ideas. 

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