• Welcome to the House of GlamDolls Welcome to the House of GlamDolls
  • Models Own Diamond Luxe Polishes Models Own Diamond Luxe Polishes
  • StickyWings, Brick Lane StickyWings, Brick Lane
  • Debenhams #ShareToWear Debenhams #ShareToWear
  • Matte Bronzers for Pale Skin Matte Bronzers for Pale Skin

     


Welcome to the House of GlamDolls

David Horne is nothing short of a creative genius. The name probably rings a bell – David was formerly Director of Product Development for Illamasqua, and is the brains behind cult products such as Skin Base, Hydra Veil, Gleam, the Glamore Nudes… pretty much everything, really. David parted ways with the brand a few months ago to pursue other projects, and I was honoured when he invited me down to his new space in Islington one evening last week to see what he’s been up to. This is the House of GlamDolls.

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Put into the simplest terms, the House of GlamDolls is a space for professional makeup activity. It’s a Kinder Bueno, really – it will be whatever you want it to be. With his 24 years of experience as an industry expert, David and Creative Director Chinyee Chu have created a weird and wonderful hybrid of everything; the House of GlamDolls is a makeup school, a unique venue, a capsule range of products and above all, just an environment that fosters creativity and artistic expression.

If you want to hone your makeup skills, learn new techniques and unleash an artistic talent you never knew you had, it’s David and Chinyee you’ll want to teach you. The House of GlamDolls offers seven short makeup courses, ranging from two and a half hours to five days long and covering all bases from vintage makeup, bold and dramatic colour and male makeup.

Then there’s the capsule range of products – a selection of false eyelashes which David and Chinyee created specifically with makeup students in mind. Lashes can get really expensive, so their affordable range is designed to combat that and complement pretty much any style of makeup imaginable. As for the lipsticks, I’m loving these. In a collaboration with MDMFlow founder Florence Adepoju, House of GlamDolls have created an exclusive shade to add to the epic MDMFlow lipstick line – named GlamDoll, of course – which is available to buy at the House along with the rest of the MDMFlow shades.

The House of GlamDolls is also available to hire, as a venue for essentially whatever you want. If I had the spare cash floating around, I’d hire it out for the day as my own personal blogging hideaway as it’s such a ridiculously inspiring place. There’s something about it that just gives off a raw energy of inspiration that you can actually feel in the air.

I wish David and the House of GlamDolls all the luck in the world, and hope that I get the opportunity to return there soon and soak up some of that deliciously creative atmosphere!

Models Own Diamond Luxe Polishes

A kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but nail polish is a girl’s best friend… and apparently, new Models Own Diamond Luxe Nail Polish* contains real diamond dust. Blimey.

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L-R: Princess Pink, Asscher Blue, Pear Purple

This is a cute little collection – ten vibrant shades that are varied enough to work through all seasons, infused with a sophisticated shimmer. A shimmer that’s not particularly visible in my photos, but it’s definitely there! I threw together the three shades I have in a saran wrap manicure, just ’cause I’ve not done one for a while.

The polishes are smooth and easy to apply, but the formula is ever so slightly on the thick side so watch out for that. It dries relatively quickly, but I’d always suggest capping everything with a fast drying topcoat anyway. Asscher Blue and Pear Purple are almost one-coaters, although a second coat never goes amiss for the sake of completeness, and Princess Pink is a little sheer on the first coat but opacity is perfect after the second. Wear time is about average, managing a good few days without any noticeable tip wear or chipping.

All in all, a good collection from Models Own with some really nice colours. There’s an emerald green and a hot fuchsia that I really want to add to my collection, along with a grown-up taupe shade that would all be perfect for the impending autumn/winter season.

Models Own Diamond Luxe nail polishes will cost £4.99 each, and launch online from this Friday (19th September), then in Models Own Bottleshops from the 20th and in Superdrug stores nationwide from the 24th. Will you be taking a look at them?

StickyWings, Brick Lane

Buffalo wings. Something that, if you’ve been to the States, you’ve doubtless eaten by the bucketful. Something that, if you’ve eaten before, you will find its UK imitation very lacklustre by comparison. Fortunately, there is a tiny little place on Brick Lane, East London, that can transport you to buffalo wing heaven in just one mouthful – allow me to introduce you to StickyWings.

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If you can make your way down Brick Lane without being forcibly dragged into a below-average curry house, you’ll find this unassuming little restaurant on the corner of Brick Lane and Chicksand Street. StickyWings is owned by Darul, one of the nicest restaurant proprietors I’ve ever encountered, and someone who your quest for wings will not be complete without chatting to.

The menu is perfect in its simplicity. Chicken wings – bone in or boneless aka breast pieces – come in 4 flavours and two sizes. The UK portion contains 6 wings, and the US portion has 11 for you to fight your way through. Both sizes come with a side of the most mouthwatering, crisp and fluffy fries this side of the Thames with not a drop of grease in sight, but you can swap these out for one of StickyWings’ other sides if you like which include celery sticks (a match made in heaven for buffalo wings), onion rings, and corn on the cob. Your order also comes with your choice of dip; blue cheese, ranch or chili, which is entirely necessary for wing-dippage action.

As for the flavours, you can choose between classic American Buffalo, StickyWings BBQ, Jerk Twist and Hot Chili. I’ve tried all the flavours and Buffalo is definitely my favourite – there’s something about that combination of hot sauce and butter that is just so wrong in its sinfulness that it just feels right. I’m also a big fan of Jerk Twist which is full of spicy citrus flavours, and BBQ is deliciously sticky and sweet. Hot Chili is slightly too hardcore for my precious white girl tastebuds, but on our first visit Darul described it as ‘a lip burner, not an internal burner’ which sums it up pretty nicely. Don’t worry if you have trouble deciding on a flavour – you can mix and match for both UK and US portions.

If you fancy something different, you can have your wings in a wrap but I prefer mine unadulterated. If you don’t fancy chicken, then a) what the hell are you doing visiting chicken wing Mecca? and b) you’re in luck. The Boom Burger is the only beef option on the menu – an absolute beast of a beefburger served in a bagel with lettuce, tomato, ketchup and plastic cheese (which I always ask to be left out!). Now, I know my beef and I’m telling you this is seriously one of the most hardcore burgers I’ve ever had, the taste is out of this world. Still, I’d only recommend the burger for subsequent visits – you must acquaint yourself with the Cult of StickyWings by ordering a portion of American Buffalo Wings. Seriously.

There’s just one dessert on the menu – the Funky Cheesecake. One dessert choice sounds a bit wank, I know, but trust me this is a damn good one. A creamy, indulgent cheesecake topped with Dulce de Leche and filled with profiteroles. That’s right, profiteroles. Despite being a dessert-within-a-dessert, it somehow manages not to be too sickly sweet and is the perfect way to finish off an already diet-killing meal. A basket of wings, a hefty slice of Funky Cheesecake and a drink won’t set you back more than about £15, so it’s a cheap date, too.

I highly, highly recommend a visit to StickyWings. Sheenie and I have been about 7 or 8 times now, and have converted at least a dozen people, not one of whom has left disappointed. They’ve thought of every last detail, from lemon-scented towelettes to wipe your inevitably mucky fingers post-wings and a little bucket on every table to chuck your bones in. Just go, you won’t regret it, I promise.

StickyWings can be found at 40 Brick Lane, London, E1 6RF. Darul is a little short-staffed at the moment, so opening times are 6pm onwards from Tuesday to Sunday, closed Mondays. The menu is also currently restricted to wings, boneless wings, sides and drinks – but those are the main attraction anyway. Oh, and everything’s halal, too. Off you go!

Debenhams #ShareToWear

As you may or may not know, I work for a company called Buyapowa. One of our newest clients is none other than department store extraordinaire Debenhams – and I never post about work-related stuff but honestly, I’m really excited about this offer Debenhams are running and it’s definitely relevant so I just had to let you know about it.

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In the Debenhams #ShareToWear event, you join by purchasing a £15 gift card HERE. Just for taking part, the gift card is instantly worth £20. As more people join, the value of the gift card increases, all the way up to £30 – so you can essentially double your money and still only pay £15. The gift card can be spent on anything; hello Debenhams Beauty Hall!

Obivously, to get other people to join you need to spread the word. You can do this via Facebook, Twitter, email, however you like. When you join, you get a unique referral link to share. When someone joins using your link, you gain 1 referral point. The more points you get, the higher you move up the leaderboard, and the person at the top of the leaderboard when the event finishes will win £100 to spend at Debenhams and a personal shopping experience in the store of their choice. Pretty cool, huh?

There are only 300 gift cards available so this is a really limited offer – if you want to take part, do it quickly! Here’s a link to the event, which is live now. And no, that’s not a referral link!

So again, to clarify – yes, this is powered by the company that I work for but I haven’t been asked or paid by anyone to write this. I just thought some of you would be interested. Enjoy!

Matte Bronzers for Pale Skin

If you, too, are Casper-like in skin tone, you’ll know just how difficult it can be to find a decent product to bronze or contour your face that doesn’t make you look like you’ve been Tangoed. I’ve tried a lot of horribly shimmery orange bronzers in the last few years, but fortunately I’ve also found some real winners. With something suitable for any budget, here are my pick of the best matte bronzers for pale skin.

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Swatches L-R: The Body Shop, Too Faced, Delilah Cosmetcs

I’ve spoken before about my love for The Body Shop Honey Bronzer as a nearly-there replacement for my beloved but long-discontinued holy grail Illamasqua Hollow blush, and you can see how well loved it is! This costs a very reasonable £12 and comes in four shades, the lightest of which has just the right amount of cool tones in it to provide a realistic looking shadow to the face without looking grey. This is the least warm-toned bronzer of the three here, so works well for more precise contouring as well as general bronzing. It gives quite a subtle look that is hard to overdo, so Oompa Loompa syndrome is off the card. Find it here.

Stepping up a price point, Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer* retails in the UK at £25. This one, like the Too Faced Chocolate Bar eyeshadow palette and Cocoa Powder foundation is enriched with (you guessed it) cocoa powder, which is packed with anti-oxidant qualities and of course has the added bonus that it makes the products smell delicious. I am a chocoholic but even I had never had chocolate cravings at 7am until I introduced this to my makeup routine! A little stronger in pigment, this one works well for a light bronzing but I find it a touch too dark on me as a sharp contour. Find it here.

Getting even higher into the luxury end of the scale, Delilah Cosmetics Sunset Matte Bronzer* comes in at an eye-watering £34 and has been my first foray into the new boutique British brand on the market. The Sunset bronzer comes in two shades, this one’s Light Medium and the powder is ultra fine and so silky in texture it almost feels cool to the touch. A combination of soft-focus pigments, Vitamin E and Jojoba oil provide a radiant and even finish on the skin, and honestly everything about the product just looks and feels expensive. It truly is a luxury to have and to use, so if you’re feeling spendy I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Find it here.

So there you have it – three of the best matte bronzers for pale skin. Are there any others you’d recommend?

Clarisonic Cashmere Cleanse Luxe Brush Head

When Clarisonic first launched their original sonic skin cleansing system, the beauty world exploded. Everyone who’s anyone has advocated the use of these nifty devices, and I got myself a Mia 2 back in 2012. These days, Clarisonic no longer have the sonic skincare market monopolised, with many other brands releasing their own, more affordable versions. This means Clarisonic have to continue to do new and innovative things to keep their crown as king of the sonic cleanse. Enter the Clarisonic Cashmere Cleanse Luxe Brush Head*.

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I’ve always used the ‘Sensitive’ version of the standard Clarisonic brush heads. These are the ones that come attached to the unit when you buy it, and I never saw the point in trying the Normal or Delicate heads when repurchasing since the Sensitive one worked well for me. But the Luxe heads are a different story altogether! I’ve pictured the Clarisonic Cashmere Cleanse head here next to one of my Sensitive ones, and you can see how much longer the bristles are. They’re also considerably softer and more flexible, yet still manage to clean deeply and effectively.

Those with truly sensitive skin might have been put off by using a Clarisonic before because even the Sensitive and Delicate heads are probably a bit hardcore, but the Luxe heads are certainly worth a look as a route into the world of sonic cleansing. They’re so gentle on the face that I can’t see them causing an issue for anyone, and the softness of the bristles compared to the standard ones helps to create more lather or emollient texture in your cleanser, too.

Clarisonic Cashmere Cleanse sits alongside two other new Luxe brush heads. There’s Satin Precision Contour, which is much smaller in surface area for easier use around trickier areas like around the nose, and Velvet Foam Body, a body brush (which I believe might only fit the Clarisonic Plus model but I could be wrong). They are slightly more expensive than the standard brush heads at £25 apiece, but it’s definitely worth giving on a try next time you need to replace your brush head.

If you have somehow managed to reach this point in time without owning a Clarisonic – HOW?! I promise it’ll be one of the greatest skincare investments you’ll ever make. There’s some gorgeous limited edition coloured ones online at the moment, where you can also of course pick up the Luxe brush heads.