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    Outdo Alexa Chung with Chanel’s Breathtaking Mascara

    As a mascara-maniac I thought I’d already found the perfect mascara, that was until last week when I ventured outside of my comfort zone and tried out Chanel’s Le Volume de Chanel mascara and ended up with lashes that would give even Alexa Chung a run for her money.

     

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    Alexa Chung and her dreamy lashes!

     

    I’ve always had a rocky relationship with mascara as I have sensitive eyes paired with fair lashes which aren’t short but certainly aren’t long and although not sparse, I wouldn’t say that they  are voluminous – I guess what I’m trying to say is that they’re my lashes are just very ‘blaaaaah’. My eyelashes don’t stand out on their own which is why mascara is probably the most important tool in my makeup kit.

     

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    Alexa’s lovely lashes. Again.

     

    Before now, I had been religiously using Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara (RRP £19.50) which I loved, in fact I loved it so much that I wrote about it in a previous post.  However, as great as this mascara was, I couldn’t help but want to try a new mascara because, well, I get easily bored using the same makeup products time and time again and whether they’re good or not, I still like to mix things up and hunt around for other products (I like to live life on the edge, you see…….well, on the edge of a mascara wand at least!).

     

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    Chanel’s Le Volume de Chanel Mascara (RRP £24)

     

    Now don’t get me wrong, I am a massive Benefit junkie and their They’re Real Mascara is amazing BUT I’d always wanted to try out a Chanel mascara.  I don’t know why I had a Chanel craving other than perhaps just the word ‘Chanel’ makes me go a little bit weak at the knees whether it’s used in a fashion, perfume or makeup context.  After a sizeable chunk of my day spent researching Chanel mascaras, I found myself drawn to their Le Volume de Chanel Mascara, why?  I really don’t know, but it happened so I just went with it and bought it to satisfy this craving of mine.

     

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    Sorry Alexa, but you’re not the only one working those longer lashes now!

     

    I genuinely couldn’t have been anymore nervous when I applied the mascara for the first time, there was just so much hope and expectation in that tiny bottle full of eyelash dreams.  The application of the mascara is incredibly smooth – there are no lumps nor clumps or even bumps!  It immediately separates your lashes and adds both volume and a little length but in a subtle way.  The subtle factor of this mascara is ideal for daytime makeup as it’s enough to open up your eyes without looking like you’re ready for a full-on night out.  The magic of this mascara is it’s buildability, I found that I could add more coats to create a more dramatic eye which gave it a versatility that few mascaras in my opinion can compete with.  It’s available in three shades – Noire (a glossy rich black), Bleu (a gorgeous rich blue) and Prune (a dark burgundy) which are all stunning in their own right.

     

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    My sad little lashes before Le Volume de Chanel was applied

     

    As someone who tends to avoid wearing false lashes due to not only finding them damn near impossible to stay on but also because the eyelash glue sometimes makes my eyes water, I can feel a little self-conscious about my lashes looking unimpressive when I see all my beautiful friends wearing their lashes and looking fab.  However, this mascara makes me feel confident with my natural lashes without any need to reach for the those falsies and that eye watering lash glue which is ideal!  Plus, this mascara looks awesome with a smoky eye.

     

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    My much happier lashes after I applied two coats of Le Volume de Chanel

     

    I really feel like this mascara is ‘The One’ – it’s versatile, looks great on and doesn’t affect my sensitive eyes – what more could I actually want?  This is definitely as good as it’s ever going to get for my lashes and I’m completely ok with that, well I’m more than ok, I’m ecstatic!

    Have you tried Le Volume de Chanel mascara before? Got some good mascara recommendations? drop us comment and let us know!

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    Get the WAH Factor Like Little Mix And Paloma

    ‘Hi,I’m Live Like a VIP writer Amanda and I’m addicted to nail art’ is what I’d say if there was such a thing as NAA (Nail Art-aholics Anonymous – just in case you were wondering!) Rihanna would be my sponsor and a wondrous place like WAH Nails would be 100% off limits.  So THANK GOODNESS NAA does not exist because I decided to check out WAH Nails recently and it was most possibly the highlight of my life (not to be too dramatic or anything!).

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    With celebrity fans including Paloma Faith, Eliza Doolittle, Nicola Roberts and Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson, WAH Nails’ star has risen ever since being set up by founder Sharmadean Reid in 2005.  WAH Nails has since moved from a salon in Dalston to take up residency at Topshop’s flagship store in Oxford Street giving it centre stage in all things fashion and giving me no choice but to pay it a visit.

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    If it’s good enough for Paloma…

    After much consideration, and by consideration I mean an internal monologue which went a bit like this: ‘Should I get my nails done at WAH Nails? Yes.  Yes I should.’  So just like that, a life changing decision had been made and my fate had been sealed.

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    Little Mix’s Jesy has the WAH factor!

    Deciding what to get was daunting as the ‘Do I get acrylics?’ question was something that needed to be seriously considered as I’d never had them before.  I chose to go all out and get the acrylics, at £52 they’re not exactly cheap but you do get a £10 discount on nail art so that helps making the paying part a little bit less painful.

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    WAH Nails at Topshop

    The beauty of WAH Nails being in Topshop means that if you arrive early for your appointment you can browse all the delights that this store has to offer.  Which is exactly what I did.  When my WAH Nails time came, I was shown a whole range of nail art designs on the wall to choose from which almost brought me to meltdown and I finally came to understand the saying ‘like a fat kid in a candy store’.  Prices ranged from £25-£40 for the nail art but you could mix and match so if you chose one design which was £25 that would be £2.50 per nail just like the £40 design would be £4 per nail – this was all explained to me when I was choosing my designs so I knew exactly what I would be paying.  There is also a £5 mix and match fee which is only added if you opt for different designs on each nail.  I decided to do the mix and match option and made sure that I chose designs which I knew I would never be able to create myself (I mean, call me crazy but choosing designs that I could do would have felt like somewhat of a waste of money).  In the end, I chose a comic book themed ‘POW’ design, a tuxedo, the American flag, two swallows with a smattering (love that word!) of gems including Swarovski crystals and a cartoon happy face.

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    My finished WAH Nails!

    I won’t lie to you, my appointment took a fair while but I kind of expected that it would so it wasn’t exactly a shock.  My nail artist was lovely which made the time go quickly, she informed me that herself and a few other WAH girls had been doing the nails for the dancers and singers at a Will.i.am gig the night before and if it’s good enough for Will.i.am’s entourage then it’s good enough for me!

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    Nicola Roberts hiding behind her WAH Nails

    Once my nails were finished, I could not stop staring at them.  It was ridiculous.  My nails had just never looked that amazing before, they were like teeny tiny works of art.  They came to around £76 which may sound pricey but it was completely worth it.  The amount of compliments I got on my nails justified the price in my opinion.  I probably wouldn’t get acrylics again, purely because they weren’t particularly practical in day-to-day life and since taking them off my nails feel quite weak and flimsy.  However, I would definitely get the nail art done again as it was visually stunning and would be a fair bit cheaper minus the acrylics.

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    The infamous design wall at WAH Nails

    As far as I’m concerned, everyone should experience WAH Nails – it’s edgy, it’s fun and it’s as close to nail art perfection as you’ll ever get!

    What do you think?  Have you visited WAH Nails before?  Do us favour and let us know what you think because we bet it’s something pretty great!

     

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    Hot Weather Heroes: Top Five Star Products

    July was a scorcher and if this hot weather continues into August, it’s worthwhile investing in some new beauty products. I’m talking products that make it look like you sweat less, products that make you smell better, products that make you feel cooler and lighter and generally cleaner. Is that all too much to ask?

    During the hot weather spell we had  in July I was a bit of a beauty bee.I say bee because if I heard buzz round a so-called Miracle product then I would fly over to try it faster than a bee to honey…but if I got whiff of something sweeter it would be bye bye to product number one and onto product number two.

    Some of the products I got sent by PRs and some I bought myself but there are only a handful that I’m going to be sticking with come August. These are:

    (1) Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

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    I’m starting with the best, a product that I can never be without for the rest of my life. If you think this sounds dramatic then it might be because you haven’t tried it yet. It’s only recently come to the UK, previously a Stateside phenomenon with VIP fans from Madonna to Victoria Beckham. Paraben-, oil-, and fragrance-free, it preps skin beautifully and renders makeup completely water-resistant. This means make-up stays on for LONGER – up to 12 hours even in the sun. Get it at Liberty’s – £52

    (2) Ioma Soothing Gel For Legs

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    Do you ever feel tired and sluggish in all the heat? This is the product for you. Sometimes I can’t be bothered to move and then when I do go outside, everything hurts and there’s no pool to jump into to cool down if you work in London like me. This soothing gel really relieves the sensation of tired, heavy legs – it’s like jumping into a pool without getting your hair wet! It’s not cheap – £55 – but a lot cheaper than the cost of a holiday to sit by the pool and its a decent size so it will last you all summer. Buy it at Harrods online

    (3) Kiehls’ Skin Rescuer

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    New Yorkers Blake Lively, Natalie Portman and Claire Danes are huge fans of Kiehls (so naturally I’ve always been first in line to jump on the celeb bandwagon and try new Kiehls products). However, until now I’ve never found the product that makes me want to swap anything out of my beauty regime to include it. Until now. This is a stress-minimizing hydrater and I have to admit that sometimes I can be a little highly strung. I never realised the effect this had on my skin until I tried this Kiehl’s skin rescuer as a moisturiser each morning – I feel fresher faced for sure. It’s £29.50 at Kiehl’s online

    (4) Bliss Triple Energizing Oxygen Face Mask

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    I love the Bliss spas and so do the celebrities. Their havens of beauty in London and New York are visited by all the chicest stars – Jennifer Lopez, Madonna and Uma Thurman are some of the names that spring to mind – because they have some unique and luxury treatments. One of the most popular is the triple oxygen facial…and now we can get the salon glow at home with triple oxygen products. Oxygen is necessary for cell metabolism – as you age, your oxygen levels decrease drastically, which is bad news for collagen and elastin production. But what I liked about this product is that it only takes 3 minutes to develop and it makes your skin feel hydrated and not tight, like some other masks. Hydration is vital for summer! It’s £39.90 at Bliss online

    (5) Alterna anti-ageing caviar shampoo and conditioner

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    I know caviar sounds like a fad but don’t mock it until you try it. Katie Holmes is the new face of Alterna shampoo – one that my hairdresser Fabian from Haus of Hair made me try. I loved it! When dry my hair felt silkier and lighter than it had done in years. In hot weather, my hair gets really greasy so I found this a life saver. It helped my hair to go two days without washing, which is a miracle given the fact I sweated rather a lot running round the parties to get some celeb goss during this time. The drawback – it’s £33.50 a bottle, but I’m told the cheaper Alterna Bamboo shampoo is almost as good. Hmmm. Check out the products at LookFantastic.com

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    The latest craze: Snake-skin Manicures

     

    At LLAVIP we always love to find out the latest and craziest beauty trends for you and this one is right up there…Jennifer Anniston has been getting snake-skin pedicures. Yes you read correctly, snake-skin pedicures where dead snake-skin is placed on finger nails or toe nails for the ultimate luxury pedicure. However, Jennifer hasn’t actually used the real deal because her fiancé Justin Theroux, who has been a strict vegetarian for years, wouldn’t approve as he loves animals. Instead Jen uses a synthetic version which looks just as fabulous.

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    This does sound like a very strange process to me but apparently the results are amazing. The real snake-skin manicure and pedicure are the hottest new trends overseas. Just to be clear – no snakes are hurt for this beauty process as real skin is used which has been naturally shed by a healthy snake.

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    Terri Silacci came up with the idea of using snake skin to actually create a whole new kind of manicure and pedicure. She has said “one snake’s trash is a toenail’s treasure.” The whole process takes about 2 hours as it is a very meticulous process – the snake-skin is hand cut to fit the shape and size of each nail and is placed between a thick layer of instant-drying gel base colour and a chip-resistant clear sealant. The manicure/ pedicure can last up to 3 weeks.

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    You could get a real snake-skin manicure or pedicure in the Hand and Foot Spa in Chelsea back in 2011 however, it’s popularity died down. Now with Jennifer Anniston re-sparking this trend in America, will we soon see this treatment available in the UK? I think so, as everyone in America, particularly New York, is going crazy for the snake-skin manicure.

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    Of course, this wacky and wild latest beauty trend comes with a hefty price tag – ranging from £150-300. Would you get a real snake-skin manicure or pedicure? How do you feel about snake skin being used as a nail effect? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting @zoegriffin or emailing info@livelikeavip.com.

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    The Latest Buzz In Celebrity Skincare: Manuka Honey

    Skincare products containing Active Manuka Honey and bee venom have recently been creating a buzz in the beauty regimes of the hottest celebs. Millie Mackintosh, Caroline Flack and even the Royal Family are all fans of lotions and potions containing Manuka Honey and bee venom and a whole host of brands are launching products geared around these wondrous ingredients.

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    We’ve tried a fair few, and have recently added the Beetox Face Mask to our overflowing skincare cabinets – and only a lucky few make the cut these days, so it must be special! The Beetox range is the very first to contain UMF20+ (Unique Manuka Honey Factor), which makes their products super calming as high levels of Active Manuka Honey have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. I’ve been road testing their Manuka Honey and Bee Venom Face Mask, which claims to lift, tighten and firm the skin.

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    First of all, how luxurious is the packaging?! This little pot would look right at home sat on the Royals’ dressing tables! The instructions say to apply a generous layer onto clean skin and leave it for 20 minutes to work its magic. I massaged it in and took to my iPad to catch up on the latest gossip in celebrity beauty on Allure magazine’s website, which passed the time nicely!

    Once the 20 minutes was up, I ran a flannel under warm water and buffed off the mask, making sure it was removed thoroughly. I was a little disappointed that the initial results weren’t very noticeable, so I carried on with my usual evening skin care routine and went to bed thinking the mask had been a little disappointing.

    However, in the morning I woke up to see that an undefeatable, juicy spot on my chin had been reduced dramatically. I’d been battling with the little blighter for almost a week, and after using the Beetox Face Mask it had completely calmed down. It had reduced in size and the swelling had disappeared, leaving a manageable red mark that was easily covered with a bit of concealer, so it seems that the UMF20+ isn’t just a gimmick and that it really does have amazing anti-inflammatory powers!

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    The Beetox Face Mask seriously impressed me in the end, and whilst I can’t vouch for its ability to lift, tighten or firm the skin, I can say that the Active Manuka Honey is certainly amazing when it comes to calming and soothing the skin. I imagine this would be great for anyone suffering from mild acne, or even those of us who are unfortunate enough to be prone to spots every once in a while. I’m now desperate to try the serum and moisturiser from the range!

    The Beetox Face Mask retails at £55, which makes it a real VIP product, and you can get your hands on it at beetox.co.uk

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    We Love: Karl Lagerfeld For Shu Uemura

    Things grow on you sometimes, don’t they? This beauty must-have has been around for a bit and and we’re still loving it! It’s German born fashion giant Karl Lagerfeld’s collaboration with cult Japanese beauty brand Shu Uemura featuring his own hand-illustrated packaging.

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    As if Karl didn’t already have enough cool points (he was once creative director at Chanel and he’s friends with Cara Delevingne), he’s also turned his hand to creating amazing beauty packaging. The Mon Shu (or ‘my darling Shu’) collection is a celebration of Japanese pop and European chic, brought together in Karl Lagerfeld’s very own hand-drawn illustrations.

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    We love the super cute mini make-up box which folds out to six tiers and has removable trays – perfect for any girl with a make-up collection bordering on being obsessive. It doesn’t come cheap at £300, but can you really put a price on owning make-up storage that has been designed by Karl Lagerfeld?! This is a must-have for any make-up artist/addict who wants to travel in style.

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    Shu Uemura’s cult Premium Cleansing Oil (£56.50) has also been treated to the Lagerfeld redesign for a limited time only and it’s well worth keeping hold of if you’re a Shu Uemura fan – we bet these are going to be collectables in a few years! The red and white false eyelashes (£50) in the collection are also pretty amazing if you’re brave enough to wear them, but if not, no doubt these will become collectors’ items too. Shu Uemura are famous for their amazing eyelash curlers, and Karl Lagerfeld’s take on them makes them even better – how cute is the little keychain addition?!

    Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura Ruby Eyelashes

     

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    The Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura collection is still available at Space NK, Harrods and shuuemura.co.uk priced between £15 and £300 – not cheap, but it’s pretty special.

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    Zoe Visits Perfect Eyelashes For Lashes Like Eva Longoria

     

    Are you the girl (or know the girl) who reapplies make-up before her boyfriend wakes up so he thinks she’s naturally beautiful? Do you dread the gym because your make-up runs when you get sweaty? Then read on, my lovelies, I’m about to introduce you to a concept that is changing my life – eyelash extensions. In particular, the eyelashes expertly applied at Perfect Eyelashes. This is founder Agnes dos Santos with I’m A Celebrity star Jessica Jane Clement.

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    Lots of celebrities visit Perfect Eyelashes to extend their lashes naturally. In addition to Jessica Jane, Agnes and her team have beautified Lucy Watson and some of her Made in Chelsea friends  and they’ve done the lashes of gorgeous acid attack survivor Katie Piper. So I went in with a challenge…could they make me look like Eva Longoria? Or maybe Megan Fox?

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    Just like hair extensions, there is a lot of snobbery surrounding eyelashes. So before you have time to remember your own scary stories, I’m going straight in to show you the end result. How amazing is my transformation from stumpy and clumpy lashes on the left to a full set of flutters on the right? That really is me.

    perfect-eyelashes-zoeAnd here’s a close up of one of the eyes, so you can really see the growth in length and volume.

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    So was it painful? This is the main complaint of most people who’ve had bad experiences with extensions. Either the glue is sticky and causes a burning sensation in the eye or the lashes themselves are heavy and painful as they weigh down the eyelid.

    However, I knew immediately I was in good hands with Agnes, who told me she has been applying lashes for seven years. The visit started with a thorough consultation where she asked me what I wanted (glamorous, of course) and then showed me what I had to start with. The Perfect Eyelashes philosophy is that they work with what you have already so if you’re missing bits of lashes like I am on the ends, they won’t apply anything on the baby lashes as this will cause them to fall out. And if your own lashes are curly like mine then they won’t put on a heavy thickness as your own lashes won’t be able to handle them and again could fall off.

    The 90-minute application felt as good as a massage as I laid on a bed and almost fell asleep. And when I woke it felt like a dream had come true as I saw my new eyelashes. I’m told they’ll last for eight weeks, although I may need a top-up after four. And as they are so good on my natural lashes, I can keep getting them done again and again without worrying about any damage to my natural lashes.

    AND THE COST? Prices for a full-set of glamorous naturally light mink lashes start at £80 while a full-set of shinier, almost weightless diamond lashes start at £100. VISIT THE PERFECT LASH WEBSITE FOR FULL PRICING AND BOOKING DETAILS

    As a single girl about town, I’m now off to put these lashes to good use…wink, wink :)

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    Kate Middleton: Most Influential Beauty Icon

    Kate Middleton has been named the UK’s most influential beauty icon by online beauty retailer Feel Unique in a recent study. She beat Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne and Victoria Beckham to the top spot, and apparently us women are three times more likely to buy a product if it’s used by the Duchess herself. We can’t deny that Kate always looks impeccable, so we’ve found a few products that will help us on our way to getting her look.

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    1. Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Highlighter in ‘Rose Illumination’: £19.55 at feelunique.com

    This highlighter is actually the one Kate uses herself, and luckily for us it’s in a universally flattering rose gold shade. It’s really finely milled meaning it gives a subtle, shimmery glow to the tops of the cheekbones and décolletage – perfect for summer! The packaging is beautifully luxurious too, we can see why it wouldn’t look out of place on Kate’s dresser!

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    2. Chanel Le Crayon Yeux Precision Eye Definer in ‘Noir’: £17 at Boots

    It’s no secret that Kate loves her black pencil eyeliner; she’s rarely seen without it. You could just use any old eyeliner to copy her look, but for more of a luxurious feel we definitely recommend a Chanel Precision Eye Definer. The packaging is a little more luxe than the likes of Rimmel or Bourjois, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Kate herself was a fan of Chanel’s beauty line. The best thing about this eyeliner is that it comes with a smudger and a sharpener, so you can really get that defined, yet not too harsh look that Kate seems to love.

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    3. Lancome Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate: £92 at Selfridges

    Now Kate’s in her thirties, it’s important that she steps up her skincare to avoid those fine lines, wrinkles and general dulling of the skin that can occur as we get a little older. It’s well documented that she uses Lancome’s Youth Activating Concentrate, and at £92 the price tag is fitting for her royal status. Lancome claims the serum ‘smoothes fine lines and deep wrinkles, boosts radiance, clarifies and evens skin tone, improves skin texture, increases elasticity and tonicity, firms skin and hydrates’. Well, that’s a lot to live up to but we have to say that Kate’s skin always looks great, and if it’s down to this, then it’s worth the money!

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    Summer In A Bottle: Estée Lauder Bronzed Goddess

    Cannes may have been and gone, but all those palm trees, yachts and beaches has well and truly got us in the mood for summer. Even if you aren’t jetting off to somewhere hot and sunny this year, we’ve got the most perfect perfume that will definitely make you feel in the holiday spirit (and if you are going to be sunning it up, this is a must have!) Rumour has it that Gwyneth Paltrow is a huge fan too, and if  she loves it, it’s most certainly something we want to get our mitts on!

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    We’re talking about Estée Lauder’s Bronze Goddess Soleil Fraiche Skinscent (£45), aka. summer in a bottle. Everybody knows and loves that ‘holiday scent’, and once a year, with the fragrance that accompanies their annual Bronze Goddess collection, Estée Lauder manage to bottle that smell. It’s a warm, citrus, floral blend inspired by the Mediterranean, and (with a bit of imagination) a quick spritz of this is the next best thing to laying on a sun lounger with a cocktail in hand.

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    If it’s possible for a perfume to make you feel VIP, then this is the one; the packaging is decadent and glamorous, so it’s not just the scent that’s special. It doesn’t come cheap, but we think it’s 100% worth it! If you really want to get into the summer spirit, here are our top make-up picks from the Bronzed Goddess collection…

    Illuminating Powder Gelée in ‘Heat Wave’, £30

    Dust this over cheekbones and décolletage for a warm, golden shimmer that will look amazing with a tan, real or fake!

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    Eyeshadow Palette in ‘Batik Sun’, £35

    Wearable nudes combined with a bright coral and a tropical turquoise for a flash of colour when you’re feeling adventurous – perfect!

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    Sample The Celebs’ Skin Care: Eve Lom Travel Essentials

    Eve Lom is a brand famous for its celebrity following and their cleanser has even been dubbed the best in the world by Vogue. Kate Hudson and Jennifer Lawrence are both big fans of Eve Lom products, and with the allure of ditching the foundation for sheer and dewy bases this summer, we need our skin to be in the best condition possible.

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    Eve Lom’s reputation comes with a hefty price tag, and a full skin care regime from the range would cost you almost £500… eek! If luxury skin care is your thing though, you can try a couple of items for a fraction of that price with the Eve Lom Travel Essentials (£75).

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    This little set is perfect for getting your skin summer-ready, or even for taking away on holiday to ensure all that sunscreen and sweat  doesn’t cause breakouts (nice). It includes a 30ml tube of their world famous Original Cleanser (which is accompanied by a muslin cloth), a mini version of their Morning Cleanser for a lighter, more refreshing start to the day, a pot of their clarifying and exfoliating Rescue Mask and a tube of their TLC Radiance Cream to moisturise and illuminate. Oh, and it’s all encased in a beautiful, chic white wash bag which is perfect for travelling after you’ve tried and tested the products inside.

    We think it’s great that super expensive brands like Eve Lom create little ‘essentials’ kits like this. Whilst this one’s still pretty darn expensive, it’s a great way for luxury skin care junkies to try a few stand-out products from the range. Plus, who doesn’t love a miniature?! There’s something really appealing/cute about having all your skin care in tiny little bottles; we think more brands should take a leaf out of Eve Lom’s book and roll out the tester kits!

    The Eve Lom Travel Essentials set is priced at £75 and is available at cultbeauty.co.uk.

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