This year, as many before, I have bought, tried and tested an array of products. My top 10 of 2018 in no particular order are:

1. La Mer: The Powderimg_6893

At the pricey end of the market, £75, this powder has revolutionised my makeup routine. The light-diffusing loose powder magnetically attracts to skin for a perfect fit and flawless finish. With the claim that it is composed of the lightest materials on earth that creates an imperceptible finish it sets my makeup impeccably and lasts from day to evening (often the early hours of the morning).

2. Tarte: tarteist ™ Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint – Pillowtalk

This longwear transferproof liquid lipstick in a quick dry matte finish is literally bulletproof. I use it everyday as a lip colour base and it adds longevity to any lip product I layer on top. The white nude colour is perfect for this and also looks beautiful blended into a lipliner, however on its own worn this way can feel a little dry so my preference is to use it as a lip base.

3. Tarte: Shapetape Contour Concealer

This full coverage, super-blendable formula instantly helps brighten, smooth & give my skin a firmer, more lifted look without the need for colour correction. It has a matte finish, conceals my hyperpigmentation flawlessly with the added bonus of being flexible and bendable enough to be used a contour and highlighting product. Once set the product does not flake, move or crease allowing me to wear it from day to evening. PS. It’s vegan too.

4. Charlotte Tilbury: Eyes to Mesmerise – Jean

This cream eyeshadow in champagne pink is a beautiful worn on its own but I love to use it as an eyeshadow base as it makes the colour pop. It’s creamy texture glides flawlessly across the lid, doesn’t clump or settle into creases, is easy to blend and is long wearing.

5. Tom Ford: Soleil Contouring Compact – Afterglow

At the pricier end of the market at £80 the bronzer in this compact is my go to for contour. It is a muted, medium-dark brown with warm, reddish undertones and a matte finish with a buildable pigmentation that is blendable on the skin and lasts all day on my skin. The blush has a dense pigment and if I wore blush I would love it. The highlighter is a little too pink for me but on “no makeup” day the sheerness of it enhances the skin beautifully.

6. Huda Beauty Faux Filter Foundation

When I first purchased this foundation I wasn’t that enamoured by it as I found the texture way too thick and heavy. It is a full coverage foundation but felt heavier than any others I have used. After I decided to give it another go a few months later I adored it. I often thin the texture by adding primer to it but still blends seamlessly with my skin and dries to a radiant matte powder finish that looks luminous, not dry or cakey. It lasts all day, looks phenomenal in pictures as well as face to face and I love it.

7. BECCA: Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter – Champagne Pop

This soft gold peachy creamy highlighting powder enhances my skin, blends beautifully, does not cake and catches the light in just the right way that I have that subtle but very effective glow. The shimmer is gorgeous and I use it on my eyes, cheekbones, nose and cupids-bow.

8. Anastasia Beverleyhills DIPBROW Pomade

This waterproof formula blends into the brow seamlessly before drying to a matte finish. It is long wearing and smudge proof. I wear it at the gym through the toughest workouts and it does not move. That is my ultimate test and this product passes every time.

9. Urban Decay: All Nighter

This setting spray gives my makeup that extra staying power it needs. I have used quite a few but always comeback to this one. It claims to last 16 hours but lasts all day on my skin from work through to play.


10. Lord&Berry: Ultimate Lip Liner: Bark

I love all the shades that they have created and have them in my kit but my all time favourite is Bark which is a lovely soft brown with taupe that creates a beautiful liner for a nude lip look. The pigment of the Ultimate Liners are amazing and the stay power like nothing I’ve seen before.


So there you have it my top 10 for 2018. There are many more products that I love but these are the ones I use everyday without fail.

 

Cherry

This week I had the opportunity to attend a master class at the Urban Decay boutique, Carnaby Street, ahead of their launch of the Naked Cherry Palette and limited edition additions to the Cherry collection through the London Makeup School.

The collection is beautiful!!! The tone of the Cherry Naked Palette is cooler than their other more recently launched palettes and the pigment is intense and buttery in texture. The brush supplied with the palette is gorgeous as usual, however this time the double ended brush has an eye shadow blender at one end and a smudger at the other end.Cherry collection

Another standout product from the range is the blusher palette. It contains a holographic highlighter with a beautiful pink undertone. This product is absolutely stunning on the skin. It is limited edition so I wold definitely recommend popping in store to have a look.

The range officially launches on 15 October.

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Food, you and your body….

As someone whose love of food has taken me to the point of starting my own business and share my passion to get more people in the kitchen, KPHLO has asked me to write a little something on my knowledge about the types of foods you should be eating to keep you looking and most importantly keep you feeling on fleek hunaiii.

I feel like I should start by saying, that just because this article is about the things you can eat and drink to stay healthy, full and looking FINE! by no means think that, that also means bland or tasteless food – absolutely not! that’s not how I work in my kitchen don’t believe me…well take a look at these…

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Now, unlike you lovely lot, I like to look good but don’t have the drive to hit the gym so try the best way I can, to have clean, healthy and flavourful meals that mean maybe I can stave off my need to hit the gym to lose those lbs a little longer. So, let’s start with the stuff we all know.

Fish

The good fat kind, that’s right the old Omega 3. You get this from fish like Salmon and mackerel, they are great for your skin in terms of reducing redness and acne, they are also thought to help against conditions like lupus and dermatitis. Fatty fish is also a great source of vitamin E, getting enough of this helps to protect your skin against inflammation. If you’re not a huge fish fan but are open to the idea of trying here is a good recipe for fish novices

Orange-Rosemary Salmon

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • salt
  • garlic powder
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary roughly chopped
  • 2 large oranges

Preheat grill to medium-high.

  1. Sprinkle salmon with salt and garlic powder. Rub each fillet with half of the rosemary and leave on for cooking. Cut 1 orange in half and squeeze each half over one of the salmon fillets.
  2. Place salmon under the grill and grill until it is opaque (not ‘see’ through) and flaky. About 12 minutes (depending on how thick the fillets are).
  3.  While the salmon is cooking. Slice the second orange into slices and lightly grill on both sides (if you have a small griddle do it on there for that lovely charred look). It creates a whole other level of flavour for the salmon.
  4. Serve salmon over rice (I use brown), with grilled orange slices over the top and any leftover fresh chopped rosemary you have left. REMEMBER you eat with your eyes, so make it look pretty.

Dark Chocolate

Wait, what…yep I said it, DARK CHOCOLATE! Cocoa powder at least 70% is said to be high in antioxidants, a study found 6–12 weeks of participants consuming Cocoa experienced thicker, more hydrated skin, improvements in the appearance of wrinkles and it may protect the skin against sunburn, hydration, blood flow and improved skin texture. Everything in moderation but this really does mean a little of what you fancy does you good! Here’s a great way to get a fix of dark chocolate.

Muffin tin Brownies

  • 340g of dark chocolate chips (70% cocoa)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to gas mark 5 (190 fan). Grease and flour a 12-cup muffin tin. Set aside. (I use the Frylight Butter spray)
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heavy based saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until melted and well-combined.
  3. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs, sugars, vanilla, and salt on high speed 5 minutes, or until the batter is thick and creamy.
  5. Reduce the speed to low, and mix in the melted chocolate until well-combined.
  6. Stir in flour and cocoa powder just until combined.
  7. Add nuts, if using, and chocolate chips. Stir in to combine. The batter should be the consistency of a thick brownie batter at this point.
  8. Divide batter among muffin cups. They should be about 3/4 full.
  9. Bake 15-25 minutes. The brownies will be puffed and the top should be shiny and cracked. Bake toward the lower end of the baking time if you want fudgier middles and longer if you want a cakier brownie.
  10. Let cool in muffin tin for 10 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Red Wine

We’ve all heard this but it’s one I like to reiterate, red wine contains resveratrol, a compound that comes from the skin of red grapes. Resveratrol is credited with; slowing the skins aging – this isn’t license to go overboard BUT just a heads up that you might want to give red wine a second look – but like dark chocolate keep it in moderation.

Turmeric

I love turmeric I love the colour and the flavour, if you like a curry you’re also a big fan too but did you know that by consuming this lovely spice your also, it’s believed, improving your memory. How!?! I hear you ask, well it’s said that it’s an antioxidant and contains anti-inflammatory compounds that benefits the brain by improving memory, eases depression and helps new brain cells to grow.

Spinach

We all know that spinach is a great source of iron but did you know it also promotes hair growth as it contains vitamins A and C.

A great way to include spinach in your date is to use it in salads as an additional leaf or I like to use them as a base to an egg salad in my pack lunch…

Remember what you eat is just as important as how you look and what you put in definitely affects your exterior, so enjoy what you put in because it helps to compliment what’s on the outside.


This is a guest blog post written by Lynette Lucas founder of Lyns Kitchen. She’s a s self-taught who loves food! She’s a great teacher and her passion for cooking and teaching others is infectious. If you want to book yourself a session email lynskitch@gmail.com definitely visit her website to see all the services she offers http://www.lynskitchen.co.uk

According to the Oxford Dictionary beauty is a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight. This sparked an interest in me. We all know that beauty is subjective; after all beauty is in the eye of the beholder; but what is it influenced by?

It is in our primitive brain that our ideas around beauty are formed. This part of the brain is heavily influenced by culture. What we perceive as physically attractive is heavily influenced by popular culture. Take, for example, the massive explosion of contour kits now available on almost every make-up counter globally and the impact a few images Tweeted by Kim Kardashian West had on the make-up industry. This old-school stage-makeup technique which has been used by MUA’s for decades, implemented by the use of foundations, bronzers and concealers before these contour kits were available on the market, became a global phenomenon and is now the desired look by many. Using media tools, such as Twitter and Instagram, she has launched her own product range and is, by

many, viewed as a beauty influencer and pioneer. She has become the first-ever recipient of the CFDA’s Influencer Award. David Bowie had a similar effect in the 1970s, however did not have the added benefits or mass instant global coverage that is now available.

Terry Barber, MAC Director of Makeup Artistry, at The Beauty Insider Takeover Drag-matic Make-up event hosted by Selfriges, discussed how this “look” fashioned by Kim is essentially incorporating drag make-up application techniques into an everyday look. The essence of Drag make-up application is to restructure the male face to soften and hyper feminise the features though the use of light and shade, ergo contouring.

What is clear is that popular and celebrity culture shape and define our idea of beauty.

My 3 favourite “baking products”:

  1. Laura Mercier
  2. RCMA No Colour Powder
  3. La Mer The Powder

References:

Scheel, J. (2014, April, 24) Culture Dictates the Standard of Beauty. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/when-food-is-family/201404/culture-dictates-the-standard-beauty

Shapouri, B. (2012, September, 5) Kim Kardashian Tweeted Out Pictures of Her Makeup Contouring Trick In Progress! Come See the Magic! Retrieved from: https://www.glamour.com/story/kim-kardashian-tweeted-out-pic

Shapiro, B. (2017, June, 9) Kim Kardashian West on Her New Beauty Line and Those Blackface Allegations. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/fashion/kim-kardashian-beauty-line-blackface-allegations.html

Armstrong, L. (2016, January, 11) Androgyny and psychedelic make-up: David Bowie’s impact on fashion can’t be overstated. Retrieved from: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/people/androgyny-and-psychedelic-make-up-david-bowies-impact-on-fashion/