ebony lauren nash posts

REVIEW: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

May 31, 2014

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Check me out: three posts in as many days, I’m well and truly back bitches – I mean, ladies/(gents?). Today, I’m going to be writing up a cheeky review of my new wonder product, and seemingly, the wonder product of the entire blogosphere: the drug-store holy grail that is Garnier’s Micellar Cleansing Water. Generally, I’m the reigning queen of lazy make-up apathy: the traditional, three or four step wash? You’d be lucky. I save that for showers – don’t judge me. Given that face-wipes are universally known as the beauty devil incarnate, I’ve recently revoked my love affair with those too and, following the finals of my third year, a replacement was needed and it was needed yesterday. If you spotted my post from Thursday, you’ll be aware that I am now currently living off scraps and thin air after a (£91) Boots binge – during which I picked up this critically acclaimed Bioderma dupe and a L’Oréal Skin Perfection Toner, anticipating something mildly wonderful to happen. Although, there is one thing I do have to question with the concept of switching up your skincare routine and actually getting results: how do you know it’s not merely an improvement simply because having a new product is a novelty factor and therefore, you’re more inclined to use it religiously? To be honest, I think in this case, it is very much a mix of the two and, as someone plagued with the odd mega-spot party at the (surely-too-old) age of 21, I sure ain’t complaining either way.

The formula is applied with a trusty cotton pad and smushed around the face until you feel all make-up has been suitably removed. Or, in my case, halfway through the pad packet by the time you’ve scrubbed the panda eyes away. The beauty of this product is that you can be as lazy as you like – personally I keep the product and pads next to my bed – so I can idly wipe everything off in the screffy fashion I did with face-wipes, but I wake up the next morning pristine and, most importantly: hydrated. Instead of essentially burning your skin cells off with removal, the water is perfectly hydrating and doesn’t even leave me cringing to use astringent-y toner afterwards. I would totally, totally recommend this product to anyone who hasn’t got their life straight enough to even sort out a sensible bedtime, nevermind construct a lengthy, religious washing routine. However, I’m not advocating true laziness: I always use St Ives Apricot Scrub in the shower. Squeaky clean ladies, squeaky clean…

At £3.99 instead of £4.99 in Boots at the moment, I am totally advocating a little shopping time.

Who else is a fan of this product? Let me know in the comments or drop me a tweet @Ebzo.

 

MAC Kohl Liner in Smolder GIVEAWAY.

January 28, 2014

I mentioned this a week or so ago on Twitter but: here’s my next giveaway. This time, it’s out of my own pocket – you lucky so ‘n’ sos. I joke, I’m really appreciative of all the lovely feedback I’ve had of late, so I thought I’d treat you guys to a little MAC number – namely, their kohl liner in Smolder, which usually retails at £14. What’re you waiting for? Get entering:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in SB02.

January 15, 2014

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I’ve had this foundation for quite some time now – the second anyone mentions it on Twitter, I can’t help but swoop in with adulation and pale-girl solidarity. It’s a gem. As a ridiculously pink-toned pale lady (I know, awful combination), finding a foundation that manages to get me from one season to another has been a huge strain on both my patience and bank account over the years. However, at least six months on; I’m still very much infatuated with this little beauty. A couple of bloggers were interested in trying out the shade and suggested I did some swatches and a post – so here you go – hope it helps!

illamasqua-skin-base-foundation-swatch-02As you can see, the foundation is super pale, with a more yellowy undertone than my skin really deserves (does a great job of toning down my pinkness!). It goes on reasonably smoothly, though I’d suggest applying in light splodges with a brush at first, then smoothing in with fingers – it doesn’t take too well to my MAC foundation brush. To be honest, I think it looks best when applied with fingers alone, but that’s often more time consuming. The only flaw I can note with this product is that, undoubtedly due to its insanely pale pigment, it isn’t the best of foundations for covering up pesky spots. You’re still going to need to rely on your good pals Mr Concealer and Miss Powder with this one. It is definitely best for general consistent coverage on pale skin. Below is a picture of me wearing just the foundation as a base, without concealer/powder/blush (without flash too):

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Review: Birchbox January 2014 Edition.

January 14, 2014

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Beauty subscription boxes are a funny one with me: all well and good when you’re in the zone of ordering one and getting excited for its dispatch, but an absolute tyranny of fear and often disappointment when you realise it’s choc-ful with a load of shite you’re not going to touch, ever. I used to subscribe to SheSaidBeauty boxes, but I got absolutely bored to tears with the products in there and realised I could put that £12 a month towards stuff that I’d, y’know, actually use – Christ, I could’ve been laden with Chanel skincare products by now – the amount of blue boxes I have in my room. Kudos though, those boxes are about the best thing that came out of my torrid affair with subscriptions boxes: those little babies come in handy! Anyway, yadda yadda, get to the point Nash. Recently, Birchbox contacted me and asked if I’d like to try out their January box and, being a curious cat and freebie creep that I am, I obliged. Worryingly: I’m not completely disappointed with what they sent me…

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  • Vasanti Detox Nutrient-Rich Purifying Facial Cleanser 20ml – full size (150ml) retails at £18

Christ alive, this product has to win the award for ‘Most Waffly Product Name’, if nothing else. I just tried this stuff and, given its undeniably highly nutrient-rich formula (we’re talking attributes packed with shea butter/fatty acids/grapeseed and omega 3), I’m either placeboing out of my arse – or this product has made my skin reasonably smooth. We’ll see if it helps shift these pesky breakout spots around my chin first, eh?

  • Radial Bee Venom Moisturiser 5ml – full size (150ml) retails (at a staggering) £150

Weirdly, it’s a little bit like Birchbox read my mind on this one. I have been trawling Holland and Barrett stores country-wide trying to get my hands on their Manuka Doctor bee venom moisturiser and, lo and behold, they throw in this far superior little number. Upon first applications, I had flashbacks to getting stung on the bum outside of Boots as a kid – terrifying images of potential allergic reactions and my face blowing up so much that my sizeable bottom lip just decided to combust. Fortunately, this did not occur – but the effects thus far (four days of usage) have been incredibly dull. I’ve had good skin days, I’ve had bad skin days. I wouldn’t pay £150 for that imbalance.

  • Benefit ThePorefessional 7.5ml – full size (22ml) retails at £24.50

I can’t turn my nose up at this product as a devoted lover of Benefit, and the owner of a quickly depleting original sample that this one will proudly become successor to soon. If you’re a beauty blogger, you should really already know how essential this piece is. Nice one, Birchbox.

  • Premae Anatomy Nutrients Instant Renewal Body Oil 20ml – full size (100ml) retails at £9.50

As a pale lady, with a tendency to resemble something on death’s door due to bad circulation, I tend to avoid body oils, as they only seem to exacerbate the problem. However, in the warm, sunny light of my yellow-tinted desk lamp, it looks pretty good on my arms, and they feel soft enough. The sunflower (mate, do sunflowers even have a smell?) and rosewood scent has got me longing for holidays.

  • Itsu Miso Soup 25g sachet – full size (6 pouches) £11

After recently embarking upon a vegan adventure (that is, slightly less dramatically, after doing a month last year – I have decided to go vegan since the New Year), I’m looking for all the vegan friendly nosh I can sniff out. Not sure why that sounded quite so dirty, but we shall continue… I haven’t tried this yet as, after my last packet of Pop Chips that I picked up at an LCM show got devoured this afternoon, they will be going into my emergency food stash. Sounds nice enough to me, anyway. Not sure I could afford to keep that habit up though, so I’m kinda hoping I’m not a fan…

  • Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Conditioner 20ml – full size (250ml) £19

This looks remarkably like toothpaste, and I just squirted half the tube up my nose trying to find out what it smells like for you. I hope you appreciate this, guys. It smells pretty high class – but a little too Chanel No.5 for me: absolutely lovely, but not right for my juvenile twenty-year-old self. Good call though guys: I’ve just ran out of Herbal Essences – cheers.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with the box. I’m half-tempted to opt in for the next one just to see if they manage to pull it out of the bag twice in a row, but I’ll keep you posted on Twitter about that. Everyone else though: what’s in yours this month? Are you happy with it? Link your reviews below!

Rings, Rings, Rings and Things.

January 14, 2014

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(Excuse the paleness of this shot – I’m not sure whether this is the design, or urr, their printer was out of ink?)

For months on end now, I’ve been eyeing up rings all over the show – in a desperate (and arguably vain) attempt to create a little collection to disguise the absolute trotters I have for hands. I started this collection last week when I picked up a gorgeous pearlescent in the Accessorize sale, and recently I was sent the following pieces by kitschy jewellery brand Kukee. Needless to say, my hands are going to look like this religiously now – even if I do look a little like I’ve escaped from a cult (wearing a pentagram choker doesn’t help, either).

For the price, these are brilliant little additions to anyone’s ring collection. The seal at the back of the spiral-look rings is a little shoddily finished, but that goes to the back anyway and is barely noticeable. Considering all I usually do is whinge about items I’m sent – I’d actually recommend Kukee’s products for cheap and easy way to round-up some stackables.

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 From R-L: Kukee Celestial Midi Stacking Ring Set (inc. Moon ring on left) – £6* | Kukee Twist Midi Ring Set – £3* | Accessorize Sterling Silver Mother of Pearl Oval Ring £6 was £12 | Kukee Moon Ring (out of stock)*

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Review: Prairie Charms Mystery Box.

January 13, 2014

On Boxing Day, I spotted a tweet (I spot many-a-tweet, often comes as a side effect of having no life) from Prairie Charms about a mystery box deal that they were working on: pay a measly fiver and receive a mystery set of goodies worth over £30+. Now, I’m a capitalist wet dream: anything to do with offer, sale, on the cheap, I’m on it like my life depends on it (and weirdly enough, it never does), so I jumped on the opportunity to get involved with the scheme. A couple of days back, I received my parcel and quickly got to work tearing it up, to find: two large floral hairbows, a small glittery red bow and some coloured hair ties that absolutely baffled me (thanks for clearing that up, Stephanie!).

I’ll give you a run through of each product but, on the whole, I’m happy with my purchases and will definitely have to keep an eye on Prairie Charms.

  • Floral Bows – usually £10 a piece:

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Flippin’ Nora, trying to get those shots was a bicep workout and a half. These are my favourite pieces out of the bunch and, in all absolute candid honesty, the only ones that I’ll probably wear on any sort of regular basis. This isn’t any reflection on the brand, simply down to personal preference: I wouldn’t have necessarily picked the other two products – but I’ll let you read about those in a minute. These bows are nice and versatile, attached to a long elastic which – I’m assuming – can either be used as a hair tie or a head band, but I think I’d look a right nonce with a bow sticking out of the front of my fringe. I’d definitely buy one of these again – I’m already eyeing up their pale blue heart-dotted number…

  • Teensy Tiny Red Glitter Bow – usually £9

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As a predominant lover of chunky hair ties, this little baby bow looks slightly daft on my head right now. I want to love it – it’s crafted nicely, it’s aesthetically pleasing when it isn’t sized up to the wonky ratio it creates with my big head – but it really needs to be bigger given how long and thick my hair is. Again, I can’t particularly blame Prairie Charms for this, they didn’t get to witness the bird’s nest that my hair is before sending out my package.

  • Hair Ties – usually £7

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At first, these just absolutely dumbfounded me: what are they, why are they? According to Prairie Charms themselves, who explained it all to me: they create these thinner ties in order to prevent snagging and to make them generally easier to use. I’m all for this but, as an avid black bobble fan – due to my jet black barnet – I don’t think I’ll be getting much use out of these. That purple one is definitely growing on me, though…

All in all, I’m still glad that I opted for this deal – I feel I’ve definitely got my money’s worth from even one of the bows. If you want to check out more of their pieces, have a gander at: Prairie Charms.

OOTD: Dissertation Dash.

January 13, 2014

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Today marked the first Doomsday of my calendar: the dreaded return to university, rounded up to terror stages by the addition of a 5,000 word essay deadline and a dissertation meeting with my tutor who ever so slightly scares the living shit out of me (she’s coo’, though). I had to dash from Wigan back home to Lancaster, which included having to write up the referencing for my essay on a bus – surprised I still have a MacBook left (if you know Wigan, you’ll understand) and stupidly telling a chav to ‘eff off’ after he jumped in my path to scare me enroute to the bus stop. Surprised I still have a MacBook and a pulse. Anyway, drama was averted eventually and the day, whilst tiring, has been made exponentially better by this absolute bargain outfit.

Everything I’m wearing (necklace aside) comes from the Primark sales – the entire outfit came to TWELVE POUNDS. Yes. Twelve measly pounds. The jacket is proving an excellent purchase but there are many bloopers of me realising that you can fully see my bra through this dress with the flash on. Not sure whether that’s just the quality or something to do with the fact I’m wearing a bright white bra under a dark green dress – urrr.

I’ve got absolutely tonnes to be blogging about this week, so keep your eyes peeled.

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Make Up

Face: Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in SB 02 | MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder | Revlon PhotoReady Concealer in Light | Benefit Hervana Blush

Eyes: L’oreal Brow Pencil in Dark Brunette | Ted Baker Liquid Liner Pen | MAC Kohl Liner in Smolder | Benefit They’re Real Mascara | Smashbox Smokebox

Lips: Estée Lauder Pure Colour Lipstick in Black Cassis

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Outfit

Primark Pleather Sleeve Bodycon Dress – £5 was £10 | Primark Floral Jacket – £7 was £17

Empty Casket Amethyst Pentagram Cord Necklace – £15
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Apologies for the utterly pants image quality on these: I didn’t have any time to take pictures before the sun went down, so these will have to do! Definitely need to get someone to start taking my pictures for me – I am fundamentally useless.

OOTD: Library Day of Pain.

January 10, 2014

I’ve been awake since 9am and, somehow, still managed to procrastinate myself into the afternoon: it’s almost a skill. Outfit of the Day posts are something I said I’d get around to doing more often, so I thought I’d keep up my promise – despite my tripod currently being 40 miles away (hence the bizarre ALT angles) – and shave a few more minutes off my impending visit to the library of doom to start my essay. Some of the shots are a bit awkward, but I was fighting against the Lord of the Self-Timer whilst balancing my camera on some books, and I’ve weirdly come to love them. Still about as edgy as a satsuma…

Outfit

Urban Outfitters – Floral Bodycon Dress | New Look – Marl Red Jumper – £22.99

New Look – Black Lace-Up Boots – £24.99 | Empty Casket – Amethyst Pentagram Cord Necklace – £16

Brown Distressed Satchel – Topshop

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On The Move: London for LCM Part II.

January 9, 2014

As I’m writing this, I’ve just discovered I have only about a fifth of a bottle of water to last me a 6 hour 30 coach journey, so I’ll apologise in advance, lest I start sounding like a whiny bitch at all. Also, forgive the slightly too literal 90s goth vibe I’ve got going on above – I just can’t shake that choker… It’s all over: four crazy days of London living, and now I’m back on the ol’faithful Megabus lamenting the five-month waste of life that my degree currently feels like: can’t I just move to London now? Please?

There are many things about London that are just right up my street:

  • Everyone keeps themselves to themselves, and it’s pretty kosher to storm around the city wearing mental clothes, huge headphones and a natural scowl.
  • There’s so much shit going on: I love the feeling of being interconnected with creative processes actually happening – I wouldn’t survive five minutes in the sticks.
  • Nobody asks questions when you cheesily go into McDonalds after working all day to ask for just salt (emergency piercing cleaning materials, but he didn’t need to know that). “Would you like anything with that?” “Uh no, cheers – s’laters” *scarpers*

There are many things about London that make me want to set fire to people:

  • Carrying a suitcase. On the Underground. With a camera bag, a backpack and a shopping bag: it really ought to be illegal. I’m sorry if I ran over your foot. But if you’re one of the nobs who point-blank refused to say ‘thanks’ for me holding the door open, I hope you lost a toe to gangrene.
  • The try-hard fashionistas. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people I saw wearing absolutely bonafide outfits, until you looked up and saw they were wearing something akin to a birdcage on their head. Mate, I know you want to get street-snapped, but come on now – you look like Dame Edna.
  • Drunk coach-dwellers. Had the privilege of spending a two hour coach journey with a drunk old man and his equally drunk daughter behind me. Cackling. My distaste peaked when he leered “Oh hello, what’s yer name?” as I fought my way back down the aisle after chancing a wee on the motorway. Charmed.
My new favourite eatery - Hummus Bros - I lived off this mushroom/houmous mix and Wagamamas.

My new favourite eatery – Hummus Bros – I lived off this mushroom/houmous mix and Wagamamas.

One of the few show shots I actually caught - Agi & Sam A/W14.

One of the few show shots I actually caught – Agi & Sam A/W14.

Patisserie Valerie cakes that my Vegan self wanted but couldn't have.

Patisserie Valerie cakes that my Vegan self wanted but couldn’t have.

Day 3 was the end of my brain.

The best news about this week is the fact that I’ve been asked by WJ London to return to cover London Fashion Week with them.

Catch my LCM articles for WJ London here.

 

On The Move: London for LCM.

January 4, 2014

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Just thought I’d post a little update on what’s going down with me at the moment – managed to tear myself away from the schedule my adorable new Filofax keeps screaming at me. A week or so ago, I saw a post from Camilla Hunt of WJ London looking for LCM and LFW (London Collections: Men/London Fashion Week, for any non-fashion folk) contributors to cover the fashion shows – so I dropped her over my CV and some blog links, with a touch of subconscious begging and pleading. A couple of days ago, to my surprise, Camilla contacted me again to inform me that I’d been selected as one of the contributors – I’ll try and refrain from doing a smug hair flick.

So, my current state is revolving around fervent fearful outfit-planning and nervous carrot stick nibbling. Neither of which are going particularly well – I’m just staring at my suitcase with dismay. Last time I went to London for a fashion event, I dressed like an utter pillock, so one can only hope the gods of fashion shine down on the creative side of my brain tonight.

I will be posting links to my features but, if you want to keep on the ball with what myself and the team are getting up to – bookmark WJ’s fashion page. 

There’s a whole host of other shiz going on with me right now too – I’m rushed off my pathetically small feet. I’ve got to finish copy for a website for Monday, write a blog post for my new Social Media intern post at Neon Rose, start a huge new copywriting project, write a Literature essay for the 13th and oh, clean my new nipple piercing. There ain’t no rest for the wicked…


Ebony. 25. Manchester.
Marketing Manager who likes to mouth off on here about stuff she cares about. Expect mental health, Borderline Personality Disorder, and reviews - from restaurants, to books, to fashion. Talks to cats more than people, but seemingly has a lot to say.
ebonylaurenn@gmail.com