Friday, 21 November 2014

Top Five Autumn Lipsticks... The Reds | Fashion & Beauty

Hello! So this is kind of like a companion piece to my Five Autumn Nails post from a few weeks ago: I'm doing a round up of my favourite lipsticks for the autumn season, and where better to start then with the reds. There's something so perfect about a red lip this time of year. Whether you're stalking the streets of Dalston in a leopard print fur and jet black skinnies, or strolling down South Molton Street leaving a fresh red imprint on your takeaway Starbucks cup, there's a shade of red for every gal. All my picks are high street friendly, from Rimmel to MUA to everybody's new favourite, Make Up Revolution.
 Actually on that note, Superdrug in Stratford Westfield really need to step up their game - I was in there today browsing (Read:looking to drop some ££ on make up) and they didn't have a Make Up Rev stand! They seriously need a Feng Shui-cum-visual merchandising genuis to bring that place out of the nineties - drabbest Superdrug ever!
Anyway, on with the reds!

Left to right (above and below):

elf Matte Lip Color in Rich Red
This looks slightly more glossy than it really is. It's a great matte formula without being too drying or flaky. The handy pen style makes it easy to chuck in a bag and omits the need for a lip liner. A true red shade, without any brassiness and has pretty good lasting power for a £3.50 lippy.

What Autumn lipstick countdown would be complete without this little beauty. This became the biggest thing to ever hit the make up stratosphere a few years ago and is still reining supreme. Here's a little story. Years ago I went to see The Kills live, and as I'm thrashing and singing away, I look up to the VIP section and see Kate Moss (Kills guitarist Jamie Hince's then girlfriend, now wife). Apart from the fan-girl moment, I was absolutely obsessed with her lipstick shade - a warm, deep raspberry. I then went on a hunt for a shade similar, trying endless different brands and shades all to no avail. About six months later I see the advert for the brand new Kate Moss Matte shades on TV and what do you know? MY SHADE! Was it definitely the shade I saw her wearing that day? Who knows, but it was damn close. I then scavenged a total of three Boots and two Superdrugs before I found it. It's been my staple ever since. Moral of this story: Kate Moss is awesome.

MUA Lipstick in shade 13
This is a gorgeous pinky-red that as you can see has a lot of slip to it. Okay so maybe this won't survive three glasses of champagne and as many canap├ęs as you can manage, but it's a super pretty shade, and as long as this can fit in your clutch it's still useful this party season. And it's £1! 

You may recall I included this little baby in my haul and after trying it out a few times I'm pretty  darn happy with it. A true red, with enough orange tones to make it pop without crossing over into brassy. Another £1 miracle, this lippy will definitely find its way into my regular rotation.

I picked this lipstick up on a whim from Fragrance Direct a year or so ago, mainly because it was £1.99. Can you tell I like a bargain? Anyway I was pleasantly surprised - super creamy (as the name would suggest), conditioning and long lasting. This is another pink toned red, so will complement a multitude of outfits

What reds are guys loving at the moment? Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of my autumn lipstick picks!

Drea xo

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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

12 Uses of Coconut Oil and a Beginners Guide | Homemade Home

virgin coconut oil

Hello! So since I posted my essentials haul, I got a lot of questions about the uses and benefits of coconut oil. I'm sure a lot of you are thinking, is coconut oil really worth all the hype? Simple answer - yes. There are a million and one uses for coconut oil, but first lets find out more about it:

Coconut oil - What is it?

Coconut oil comes from the meat of the coconut being extracted through either a dry or wet process. Normally, it's in a solid state in cooler climates, but will melt on contact with low heat (such as the body). Be careful though because it will become liquid in hotter temperatures, as I unfortunately found out this summer when my huge bag of coconut oil melted in my cupboard and caused something of a drama! There are a couple different forms of coconut oil, each of which have different uses:

Virgin Coconut Oil

virgin coconut oil

This means it's been dry or wet pressed and the oil extracted, with minimal heat and without adding chemicals to the process. It's the most natural, and retains the most nutrients. Virgin coconut has that signature coconut smell that is just heavenly!
My Favourite Brands: Holland and Barrett Perfectly Pure, Tiana, Lucy Bee
Where to buy: Holland and Barrett (half price at the moment!), Real Foods, Amazon and in some larger supermarkets

RDB - Refined, Deodorized and Bleached

refined coconut oil

This means the raw coconut has been treated with either/both chemicals and heat, giving it a neutral smell. I find it slightly harder than virgin oil and it's useful for times you don't want the coconut smell (like in beauty products where you'll be adding essential oils). It's also significantly cheaper than virgin raw. I wouldn't tend to use this in cooking because of the treatments it undergoes, though you can get organic coconut butter used specifically for cooking that doesn't have the coconut smell or taste, but still retains the nutritional content.
Where to buy: Holland and Barrett, KTC brand from various supermarkets and Asian stores, or buy in bulk from wholesalers (like Soap Kitchen)


fractionated coconut oil
Anyone else think I need to place another order? Haha
Simply put, some fatty acid chains are removed so the coconut oil stays liquid in all temperatures. Again, I wouldn't use this in cooking as it's been treated, but it's useful to use in homemade beauty formulations that need to remain liquid (such as shower gels). 
Where to buy: Best to get from wholesalers (see above)

Coconut oil - 12 Uses

These are all ways I personally used coconut oil, though there a dozens more ways to make use of coconut oil!*: 


Use instead of vegetable oil in shallow frying.

Add a tablespoon to smoothies to give a yummy coconut taste and add essential fatty acids

Use instead of (or in combination with) butter in baking - works really well in brownies!

Add a tablespoon or two to recipes calling for coconut cream/milk for a healthier option.

Add a teaspoon to coffee for coconut aroma and to introduce more good fats into your diet.

Add half a tablespoon to porridge.


Use on skin straight from the jar when you're fresh out of the shower.

Blend with other oils and make your own body balm (recipe coming soon)

Use as mouthwash - sounds weird, but "oil pulling" is a great way to get rid of mouth bacteria - swill about half a tablespoon in your mouth for a few minutes then rinse.

Use as a hair mask - coat your hair in coconut oil and leave on from half an hour to 2 hours, before shampooing. Will leave your hair silky soft.

For very dry and Afro hair, add a few drops of lavender and rosemary essential oil  to your coconut oil and use a small amount on your hair daily. 

Add a tablespoon to your bath - aside from smelling great, it's super moisturizing - just be careful when getting out of the bath as it may be slippery!

*Some people use it in the oil cleansing method - massaging into your face to remove make up and to cleanse. I tend not to use coconut oil on my face, as it's pretty high on the comodegenic scale, meaning it's likely to clog pores. (I'll write a post about different oils and their uses!)

Do any of you guys coconut oil - what do you use it for? Also, what kind of posts would you guys like to see about homemade products - recipes, beginners guides? Let me know what recipes you want to see!

Drea xo

Where to Find Me!

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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Essentials Haul | Fashion & Beauty

Hello! So the past few months I have been less than spendy, for numerous reasons. 1. It's coming up to Christmas. 2. I'm learning self restraint. 3. I'm pretty broke, which is pretty much the only reason one needs. But sometimes spending bans are futile, there will always be some things you just need to pick up - whether or not they seem essential to everyone. So here are the bits and pieces I've gathered over the past month or two, each as essential as the next one. 

Cafe de Bain Bath creme in Sweet Vanilla Madelene, Superdrug | Nail Polish remover, Superdrug | Dove go fresh deodorants, Boots | Sudocrem, Boots | Dr.Organic lip balm in pomegranate, Holland and Barrett

So I couldn't resist cracking into the bath creme. I was perusing the aisles of Superdrug (a store I don't tend to head for - I'm a Boots girl - but my High Street has a pokey little cupboard of a Boots so Superdrug is really the only drug store near me) and came across the Cafe de Bain range. I think it must be new as the entire range was on offer and good grief there are some wonderful smelling items! I went with the Vanilla Madelene which is as sweet and dreamy as it sounds, and produces a pretty good bubble or two! 
As a former employee of Holland and Barrett, I became obsessed with the Dr. Organic range. Quite a few products from the line have made their way into my skincare routine as they tend not to include sulphates (more on the story later) and this lip balm is wonderfully softening and soothing!

Xylitol sugar alternative and coconut oil, Holland and Barrett | Twinings Plum Earl Grey tea

If you have a sweet tooth like me, then a natural sugar substitute comes in handy. It has the same consistency as sugar so it's perfect in baking!
Coconut oil is just every thing. I tend not to use this coconut oil on my hair and skin (I use cosmetic grade oil as it's slightly cheaper as I tend to cover myself in it!) but this is the stuff I reserve for cooking and baking. Snap up a jar now, as it's on in Holland and Barrett for half price!
What can I say about this tea, other than it is Ahh-mazing. If you're an Earl Grey fan give this bad boy a try (would also make a lovely stocking filler for a tea fan!)

Cushion and Candle, Primark | Fragrance oils, eBay

Blackcurrant and Orchid

Italian leather, Properly Pear, Watermelon

Okay, so maybe these aren't essential. But in my opinion, what's a home if it isn't nice smelling and well accessorized? I got this little heart shaped pillow to add to the pillow collection that is slowly taking over my bed. And as you can see, I have completely obliterated the candle (which I must admit is burning as I type this, and probably as you read it). For a candle that was £3.50 it throws off an impressive scent and looks pretty too. I'm most definitely picking more of these up! 
As I may have mentioned, I'm obsessed with making my own candles and burning fragrance oils. Got these three little beauties to add to the collection (would you guys like to see a fragrance/essential oils collection?) Italian leather makes a great base note, and for making smells slightly more masculine - my favourite blend at the moment is leather, fig and tea tree. 

Clothes, Books, Make Up 
Crop Top, New Look sale

Okay, maybe this isn't essential but it was £4! And oh so Autumnal. 

The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan, Charity shop
I'm trying to read more McEwan, as his prose is always so beautiful and mesmerizing. And £1 in a charity shop? Say no more.

Make Up Revolution Lipstick in Dare, Polish in Adore and Girls on Film Eyeshadow Palette, Superdrug

Okay this is devolving into anything but essential but WHATEVER. I first saw the new Make Up Revolution line in Superdrug a couple of weeks ago, and resisted. Then I went back. The first thing that struck me was the very pretty packaging - something I feel a lot of low cost brands seem to forget about. Then of course I was lured by the price. £1 lipsticks? £6 eye shadow palettes? Sign me up. I plan on doing a full review on each of these items so look out for that soon!

What are your shopping essentials? 

Drea xo

Contains affiliate links.

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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Unlikely Style Icons... Adriana La Cerva | Fashion & Beauty

Unlikely style icons appear as if out of nowhere, quietly carving out a style niche that many overlook in favour of their more classically stylish counterparts. So the Joan Harris' and Olivia Popes', the Cher Horowitz's and Holly Golightlys' and the Rihannas' and the Blake Livelys', step aside. We salute you, but there's something fascinating and inspiring about the offbeat and the obscure - from TV characters to news anchors and everything in between.

Double denim Adriana. Played by Drea de Matteo

Music today is Frank Sinatra's "It was a Very Good Year". Mob classic.
 And also the opening song from season two of The Sopranos. I know my trivia, people.

Oh Adriana. Aside from being possibly my favourite female TV character (apart from Carmela Soprano. And "Nurse" Jackie Peyton. So, Edie Falco basically) and being one half of my ultimate OTP - Adriana and Christopher, she is one of my unlikely style icons. 
Let me preface this for those of you who aren't die hard Sopranos fans like I am. The Sopranos was the grandfather of the modern TV culture we are all enjoying right now. One of the original HBO series (along with Oz and Sex and the City), The Sopranos is a very character driven show centering around the Soprano family, headed by Tony - a panic attack having, duck loving, mobster. Yes, you heard me. Adriana La Cerva is the long time girlfriend of Christopher Moltisanti, Tony's hapless mobster newbie nephew.
What I love about Adriana is her constant sense of occasion - taking out the trash is an event worth tonging her hair for. She is the queen of the early 2000's New Jersey Girl style - big hair, long nails, tight pants and gold. Lot's of gold - Aid doesn't wear clothes, she wears outfits. But she's a simple girl at heart - she won't leave home without her gold crucifix and hoop earrings and that's what I love about her.  

So do you think you have what it takes to be a New Jersey mob girl? Let's take the test:

Ripped jeans and white patent boots? Check. 

Tight white pants? Check.

Colour co-ordinated outfit and Chanel bag? Check.

Pink fur coat? Check.

Mini-skirt/bare midriff combo? Check.

And my favourite? 
Adriana looking every inch the mobsters wife. They remind me of Henry and Karen from Goodfellas - Just perfect. And check out Christoper's revere collar/gold chains combo!

Things I've learned from Adriana La Cerva:
1. It's all about accessories.
2. If it doubt, blow it out (hair speaking, of course)
3. Forget what everyone else says: sometimes you gotta go tight, low cut, cropped and mini.

Who are your unlikely style icons? Check out the first in this series here!

Drea xo

Where to Find Me!

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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Procrastinating Beauty Blogger TAG & My Interview! | Fashion & Beauty

Hello! So firstly, I'm super stoked to share with you all the awesome interview Daisy from Pretty Green Tea did on me for her Career Inspiration series. We chatted about my film work, blogging, and what I've got planned for the rest of the year. Check it out here and let me know what you guys thought!

Anyway, I saw this tag over on Oh Hello Mango and I thought it looks kinda cute so hey thought I'd give it a go, and I don't think I've ever done a tag on my blog! So without further ado:

Name a beauty regime that you rarely do?
There's a couple. They're all pretty small but I'm super lazy when it comes to them: Plucking my eyebrows, curling my eyelashes, and shaving my legs. I'm such a goddess.

Is washing your make-up brushes something that you do regularly?
I'm a naughty brush washer, I literally keep telling myself to do it. Totally going to tomorrow.

How long will you last with chipped nail polish?
Lately I've been keeping up with painting my nails, I used to let my nails chip into oblivion but nowadays I'll repaint after the first chip or two.

How long will you put off buying/replacing a beauty product, even if you need it?
Depends on what it is - if it's foundation I'll try and replace it before the last one has run out, but other things I'll wait for ever. I'm also a real scrape-every-last-drop-out-of-the-packaging kinda gal, so once I've been doing that for a couple of days I'll drag myself to Boots.

What is your worst beauty habit?
I used to be really bad at taking my make up off every single night, or relying on face wipes, but recently I've been pretty good. Here's hoping I keep it up!

Name something non-beauty related that you put off doing all the time?
Replying to emails! I'm the worst, sorry to anyone who's been affected by my tardiness!

When going out somewhere, do you leave getting ready to the last minute?
I will get ready in stages usually, so I'll start about 2 hours before I need to go out. The problem comes with getting distracted by YouTube videos and ending up sitting around in a towel for an hour and making myself late!

Can you commit to spending bans?
Not really. I can stop myself from going on big shopping sprees, but i'll always end up buying something little at some point.

How organised are your make-up and nail polish collections?
Super organised! I have 6 Muji drawers stacked on my desk with all my make up, separated by category in each drawer, and further separated by brand (I like to organise things okay?!) My nail polish sits in a little basket in on of my cupboards!

Anyone out there have similar answers to me? Let me know if you guys do this tag, or leave a link below!
Drea x

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Sunday, 2 November 2014

My Favourite Music Videos | Books, Music & Culture

Still from Hole's Celebrity Skin

Senadee | Robot Love (find him here)
Dir: David Allain

So to celebrate release of Senadee's new single and video Robot Love, a video I had the pleasure of working on at the RANKIN studios earlier this year, I got to thinking about my favourite music videos. I'm a Rock n Roll girl at heart, so when I was thinking of my top five, they all seemed to be alt-rock tracks - mostly from the nineties I also must add. I thought maybe I should switch it up and include some other videos from different genres and eras but I figured hey, this is my list so might as well make it honest, right?

So without further ado, here are my top five music videos, in no particular order:

1. Hole - Celebrity Skin (1998, dir Nancy Bardawil)
What I love about this video is it's raw energy and fun. It has that gloriously nineties girly vibe - glitter, pink guitars and a plethora of women in purple dresses suspended from the ceiling. But it's seriously Rock n Roll too - Courtney and Melissa looking like baroque rock goddesses, Patty slamming away on the drums and Eric ripping into that Fender. And how gorgeous does Courtney look at the end in that red dress?
Fun Fact: I saw Courtney Love perform live in 2009 during her tour for Hole's album Nobody's Daughter. I cried. A lot. 

2. The White Stripes - Blue Orchid (2005, Dir Floria Sigismondi)
The White Stripes had such cool and creative music videos (who remembers Kate Moss pole dancing for 3 and a half minutes?) but this is definitely my favourite - I love that old film feel to it, and practically every frame is a beautiful photograph. I also love how everything is black and white apart from Karen Elson's hair (Mr Jack White has a thing for redheads!)
Fun fact: Jack White and English model Karen Elson met on this video shoot and swiftly got married, had two kids, then divorced. True Rock n Roll love story. 

3. Radiohead - Just (1995,  dir Jamie Thraves)
So I'm kinda a big Radiohead fan. When I say big, I mean BIG. This song just so happens to be on my favourite Radiohead album (The Bends) but that's not why I love this video. I mean, just watch it. To the end. It's incredible. And any eagle eyed Londoners - does this look like a 90s Liverpool St to you?! 
Fun fact: My brother-in-law who is a DJ and music producer once played a DJ set with Thom Yorke in Sydney. I know, I hate him too. 

Nine Inch Nails - Closer (1994 dir Mark Romanek)
This video is like a work of art - it's as if Luis Bunel and David Lynch got together and decided to make a music video. Super creepy, weird and bizarre, its premise being a throwback to a 19th century mad scientists laboratory. Oh, and Trent Reznor looks mighty fine in it.
Fun fact: There's a version of this song on the soundtrack to the David Fincher movie, Se7en - the lyrics "you get me closer to God" are heard right at the end of the opening credits. 

5. Eminem - Stan (2000, dir Philip G Atwell and Dr. Dre)
Oh Stan, how do I count the ways? This video is just perfect to me, Aside from Dido's dodgy acting skills at the beginning, this just pretty much is exactly how I imagined this video. Okay let me explain that, I am a pretty hardcore Eminem fan, and my sister and I used to listen to the Marshall Mathers LP all day every day on repeat. So when this video came out it was pretty much exactly how I had always envisioned it would look - the song lends itself so well to a visual story. And of course it stars the hero of my youth Devon Sawa (of Final Destination and Idle Hands fame).
Fun fact: On Eminem's latest album, aptly titled The Marshall Mathers LP II, he does a sequel to Stan - "Bad Guy", where Stan's little brother Matthew comes back for revenge.

What are some of your favourite music videos? I want to go on a video watching spree!

Drea xo

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