Shine and shade with the gorgeous Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit palette

hourglass_ambient_lighting_edit_palette_review - 1Can Hourglass do anything wrong? From what I can gather, the answer is no. I am flooded with fear every time I approach the counter as I know I am about to part with a great chunk of money.

With the Ambient Lighting Edit palette is no different. In fact I knew it wouldn’t as last time they brought out an ambient lighting trio, I was very close to buying it.

This one has six amazing products – a powder, two highlighters, two blushes and a bronzer.

The powder, called iridescent Strobe Light and is new to the brand, gives that airbrushed effect, it’s almost translucent for my skin tone, with a glow sheen to set and tune skin to perfection.

I have to admit that this is only good for me when my problem skin is having a good day as it doesn’t conceal much.
hourglass_ambient_lighting_edit_palette_review - 4The highlighters are beautiful; a subtle, non-glittery shine that catches and reflects the light beautifully.

Dim Light has a peach undertone to blur and highlight and Diffused Light is pale yellow, or white-golden to boos clarity and conceal redness.

Both work very well. hey are so subtle that you will only realise they are hard at work when the light catch it. Beautiful and long lasting too.

hourglass_ambient_lighting_edit_palette_review - 3The blushers are marvellous. Mood Exposure has a soft plum tone and is fused with Mood Light powder, for extra brightening. I didn’t think would go with my skin, but it’s my favourite.

Luminous Flush is a champagne rose shade combined with Luminous Light powder, to add a candlelit glow.

The fact they are marbled with some of the powders created a gorgeous colour which is subtle, multi-dimension and multi-tasking. They are very pigmented, extremely blendable and complimentary to the highlighting powders.

The bronzer, Luminous Bronze Light, was my biggest surprise. A medium tan shde is fused with Luminous Light, for a very soft and warm glow.

hourglass_ambient_lighting_edit_palette_review - 6It is subtly glittery, it has good pigmentation (a little goes a long way!), applies well and makes for a decent light contour.

Every single product in this palette is very wearable. The compact is gorgeous and a pleasure to whip out of the makeup bag, although not that small. It is great for a day to night transformation or touch ups in the day. Hourglass says the colours are complimentary to all skin tones.

The deal breaker with the Ambient Lighting products is their Photoluminescence Technology, which filters out harsh light and refine the appearance, as if the skin is glowing from within and not the surface. Hourglass products are free from parabens, talc, fragrance, nanoparticles and gluten.

  Is it with the £65 price tag? If it’s within your budget, definitely yes. I taught I was going to regret. Well, I didn’t, especially when I picked it up at the beautiful Liberty London.


A spray on-nail polish? Nails Inc Paint Can is here!

nails_inc_paint_can_spray_nailpolish - 1There was frenzy. Media outlets around the world covered the spray nail polish Nails Inc. announced, only a few days before the big launch. You could even pre-order!

Is it the end of manicures as we know it? I even asked myself. Well, now I can report that Paint Can is not really going to stop my usual mani routine. Why? Read on.

Delivery was quick; I pre-ordered, the product went on sale on a Thursday and on Monday I had my delivery. It also came with a £10 off a nail service at Nails Inc shops or concessions, which I thought it was rather lovely. The can is quite small, to be honest, I had seen it at the Debenhams Christmas event but couldn’t remember it being that tiny.

I set up lots of magazine pages (thanks Glamour) onto my dinner table, as I was worried about the mess. And added my usual topcoat (I didn’t buy the Nails Inc. one) to all my clean nails.

I decided to try it on a “busy woman” scenario. It was 22:30 and I had to sort out my nails for the next morning before bed.

nails_inc_paint_can_spray_nailpolish - 3A couple shakes and a nervous me sprayed the silver – I went for Shoreditch Lane – on my talons. Instead of doing the “one-press-move-around-all-fingers”, I pressed individually on each nail, which I think helped minimise the mess. Overall, that was less that I expected.

Pigmentation is very good; I had to go over a couple nails twice, but in general, I was quite impressed. The shade is a lovely glittery silver with a smooth and shiny finish.

I applied my trusted Seche Vite topcoat to seal the paint and after a few minutes, although I was digging the silver dipped finger, I used a wet wipe to remove the excesses around my fingers.

nails_inc_paint_can_spray_nailpolish - 4

Immediately after cleaning with a wet wipe

That was probably the best bit of all: how amazingly easy the excess came off. Admittedly, the final result wasn’t tidy enough for me (easily solved with a wooden stick, cotton wool and polish remover) and my hands remained glittery for a couple of washes with water and soap but really, wow.

Usually, I’d remove the excesses on the skin around the nail with a dry wooden manicure stick soon after applying the topcoat, which is what I’d do for a flawless mani. As I know most women don’t do that, I decided to skip that step for testing purposes.

After tidying up

After tidying up

So I fine-tuned the finish with the wooden stick, cotton wool and nail polish remover and went to bed. It dries mega quickly after applied, even before the topcoat and I went straight to bed and there were no marks. Points for that.

The whole process was very quick, possibly slightly quicker than a simple paint job (especially when drying is involved). And the result was very good.

Although Nails Inc says that using a topcoat the duration is up to four days, that for me isn’t that great. It chipped within two days and in three there was considerable peeling. I think pretty much in-line with the brands promises.

The one finger I didn’t put a topcoat on purpose, got scratched so I could see the nail by the end of the first day.

Worth remembering that my usual manicures last between 7-10 days, chip free, using the same base and topcoat I used with this one.

nails_inc_paint_can_spray_nailpolish - 2It might be that using the Nails Inc 2 in 1 base and topcoat, which is recommended by the brand would improve that, but, although that product is very good, it doesn’t seem to be new and exclusive for the Paint Can, and probably on the same quality to the one I used.

The verdict: great for emergencies and/or a quick change. Nails in a hurry, for a couple of days, fab for the party season. Otherwise, give me the traditional method any day.

Having said that, it was a lot of fun to apply, quite pretty and let’s not deny, revolutionary. It is after all, the first in the world and I praise Nails Inc, a brand I am a big fan of, for the innovation.

Would I buy again? Head says no, but the nail junkie in me says “let’s try the pink”.

Nails Inc Paint Can costs only £10 (plus p&P) and can be purchased on their site. I believe it is well priced and was very happy to pay that amount.

I was told it sold out three times in pre-order and is currently sold out on the site, but you can sign up to get notified when it pops back in stock.


The video was recorded especially for this post; the trial described above was my very first use of the product.

Stepping into another era in Camden, with Collectif Vintage Clothing

100 dresses. No, it is not number I go through every morning before deciding what to wear, silly. It is the number of Collectif dresses donned by lovely ladies at the Collectif Big Camden Party, which lived up to its “night of style, sass and swing” tagline wonderfully.

Choosing from seven beautiful Collectif vintage inspired dresses, we were treated to a fabulous retro hair do as well as a few glasses of prosecco and an unlimited amount of fun at the Collectif shop at Stables Market, in the heart of Camden Town.

I am a huge vintage inspired clothing fan. I don’t make it a lifestyle and don’t really stick to an era, but I pepper it around my own style; and the 50s are by far favourite time.

I love pencil skirts, cinched waists and I think that’s the best shape for my body; I feel comfortable and of course, pretty!

After squeezing myself into the gorgeous Yvonne Hanna Check Trim pencil dress and with my head suitably adorned with Victory rolls (by Lucy’s Vintage Hair) we moved on to Solomon’s Yard for the party.

And what a party it was. We were promised live bands, DJs, burlesque, magic, hoola hooping and Unicorns (yes, UNICORNS) ad boy, did they deliver that and more.

Welcomed by a vintage car and motorbikes, the stage was always filled with the most amazing acts: the Victory Sisters, an impeccable wartime vocal trio wearing pretty Collectif Maria Woodland Bloom Swing dresses.

There was beyond sassy burlesque from stunners The Folly Mixtures, with two cute and sexy acts, music spanning the eras between performances, courtesy of DJ Gem Precious and Diana Thompson.

Fabulous in orange drag queen Meth killed the comedy lip-syncing and got us all singing and laughing, and I even got some bonus spanking from the hilarious Levitating Elvis, with his boxing glove hair, an act so weird that is wonderful.

I do have to single out the not only gorgeous but super talented The Tootsie Rollers.

All five of them wore sultry siren Ingrid Fishtail evening dresses and left me smiling throughout the whole performance of pop sons with a swing twist. Extraordinary.

Finally, the unicorns. They came all the way from The Fabulus of Unicorns, a group of horn wearing, glitter-spreading people whose sole purpose is to disseminate love and happiness among humans. I mean, I just felt so happy around them that it’s not even funny.

I was of course, “kissed” by a unicorn and can still find glitter all over my house.

And there was dancing. Laughing. Such a fabulous atmosphere, fantastic happy people, all supporting a great brand with glamour that keeps giving.

My dress (and all the others I tried – sorry guys, you were fabulous and so kind trying to accommodate me) has an excellent finish and detailing, amazing cut, fits well and made me feel a million dollars.

All their clothes are amazing, the designs are obviously, vintage inspired, but very wearable. I have my eyes on a few little numbers, I tell you!

You can browse the beautiful Collectif Vintage Clothing collection on their website, I highly recommend it.


Pillow face no more: meet this works light time skin plumper

thisworks_lightime_skin_plumper_review - 1This works is a brand I like more every time I use a product or discover a new one. They don’t seem to do much wrong in my eyes.

The light time skin plumper is one of those things we all need in the morning. I am definitely not a morning person,so welcome anything to make me feel or look alive.
It’s a face moisturiser with a very fluid consistency and a lovely “wake-me-up” smell.
The secret? Hyaluronic Filling Spheres that help smoothen up the skin appearance. Although the effect is quite subtle, I do feel some plumpness in my skin after application.
It’s absorbed quickly, skin feels good and the cream behaves very well under makeup.
thisworks_light_time_skin_plumper_review - 2
Antioxidant vitamin C and Persian silk tree extract help the hyaluronic acid work in moisturising, plumping and smoothing the skin.
Overall, a good morning product. It is recommended for day and night use, but I think this is more a day cream than night, to be honest, especially in the winter.
The this works light time skin plumper cost £29 for 30ml and is available online and from selected retailers.
This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Dani’s Little Book of Fashion: a little quirk

outfit_quirky_somanylovelythings - 20I started this outfit with the shoes. There. I said it. I fell in love with these lovely boy-ish brogues in silver leather and cow’s hair (yes, how amazing is that?) from Office and had to style it.

Coords are another little obsession of mine and I am finding quite hard to find AW ones; but this Zara number fit the bill ok.

outfit_quirky_somanylovelythings - 23The fabric is thicker and slightly textured; the trousers are super wearable. Although the sleeves are shorter than 3/4, it looks great under a little jacket! Also, I love the little buttoned up details on the back and the small roll neck.

Plus, it makes decent office wear, just add heels and voilá: it’s business proof!

outfit_quirky_somanylovelythings - 7Bag wise, as I went for another little bit of quirk, I opted for my gorgeous Lulu Guinness Lips clutch, in black. I’ve wanted a LG lips clutch for forever, so I am glad I got one to call my own!

outfit_quirky_somanylovelythings - 12For the colder days, a fur coat, which is another obsession of mine. This one is short, from H&M, a discreet black ombré, with purple-burgundy “roots”.

Since I wore black lips for LFW, I’ve been dying to wear again. Admittedly, it is not a look that you can insert anywhere in your life, but I am trying to make some space for it.

That shift to striking lip colour really made me think more about different shades and purple was always something I wanted to wear. So I got my NYX Face Art Purple Blaze eyeliner and filled it in.

To amp it up, I added MAC’s impossibly bright Nicki Minaj Viva Glam pink in the middle, to create a subtle ombré.

Eyes were simple, with MAC’s Vex across the lid and brow bone and a little bit of MAC’s Iris, a fabulous lilac perfect for bringing out brown eyes (and lifting them when you are tired!) on the crease.

They were lined in a super flick with Urban Decay Ink for Eyes in Perversion and I added my super fave Eylure Fleur Loves lashes for a discreet flutter.

A comfortable, simple outfit with a few quirky twists; a very easy way to incorporate a different touch to you neutral daily outfits – a bag, a funky lip, striking shoes. Only one will make your outfit pop!

And I am still on the lookout for winter coords! Send them my way if you spot any!


Styling and posing: Dani Dutra

Photography: Andy Edwards

Location: Stratford’s Gerry raffles square

Three at the Roundhouse – a night of music

three_at_the_roundhouse_somanylovelythings - 6I cheated. On my iPhone with a Samsung Galaxy S6. Admittedly, it was a one night stand and I have to say  the performance impressed me.

Especially the camera quality, the beauty mode (hello, pretty) and various other options. Cool.

Three UK, rated by YouGov the most reliable network presented us their  recently launched their 4G SuperVoice which has a better coverage – even in the depths of Roundhouse –  and allows us to make call via 4G.

Using a complete different handset was easier than I thought; the network didn’t fail me and I manage to social network away!

Three took me for an exclusive tour of the iconic music venue Roundhouse, in Camden, London, to find out more about their great work with young creatives, who can use the studios in the Paul Hamlyn Roundhouse studios to develop their talents, be it music, TV, radio, performing arts and much more.

Young artists can join courses, programmes or hire studios and equipment for very affordable fees.

If you are between 17 and 25, and want to develop your talents, get in touch with Roundhouse to check out their offer, they have a fab support system to help you thrive!

Three partnered up with the Joe Strummer Foundation for this event. We visited the Strummerville studio, which has some original Joe Stummer lyrics on the wall and also heard about the foundation charitable work and were invited to The Monarch for an intimate performance by two of their recently signed artist: Lyza Jane and Bless.

Lyza Jane is singer, songwriter and producer, but also a lovely bright little thing with the kind of singing voice I like: soft, almost raspy, lingering and striking. She sings from emotions, has supported Alabama 3 and has been going solo for about three years.

She also performed in Glasto at the Rabbit Hole a few times! Definitely one to watch out.

You can catch her on YouTube and Soundcloud. She also has a cute and sassy clothing range, Pantsu & Pantsu which has tees and knickers, mainly, with embroidery and pom-poms. worth checking!

The other act was a band, Bless, which has a heavier sound and I caught myself dancing(ish) along to.

The guys are great fun, we had a fab chat; it is amazing to talk about what inspires their creations, the process in a group and the sudden suggestion of shots!

They all know each other from a long time, were in different bands before and decided to do music together in January.

They’ve been touring France and will have their first London gig on the 11 December at the Monarch.  You can check out their site for dates.

Overall, a great night! Thanks Three UK for having me and for the AMAZING furry hand selfie stick I came home with.

If you want to know more about Three UK, check out their site for all available handsets and options.


New glasses? Yes please!

superdrug_online_opticians_review - 3Am I addicted to glasses or what? It looks like I cannot say no to exciting new frames.

To be honest, I wear glasses everyday. I don’t wear the same trousers everyday, so it’s fair to have a few pairs to rotate. Right?

Superdrug has recently joined the high street opticians game with very competitive options.

superdrug_online_opticians_review - 2They launched Superdrug Online Opticians and I recently received my glasses from them, delivery was quick and painlessly.

After attending their Christmas press day, I fell in love with some simple big-ish black frames and the rest is history.

The total cost of these glasses is £25, which include the 2439 frames, of course, single vision lenses and free delivery!

Is that a fabulous value or what?

They are pretty simple and unbranded, but have a great fit, are very light and are quite fashionable. Their range include hundreds of frames from £25.

There is also a £9 value glasses range. You can get all the details on the Superdrug Online Opticians site.

Four eyes, me? More like 24 with my glasses collection, I say!


This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Let’s talk intimate hygiene with Sass Refreshing Mist

sass_intimate_refreshing_mist - 2We just don’t talk enough about our private bits and that’s a fact. Our intimate area is just as important as any other part of our bodies and should be cared for accordingly.

That’s why I really like what Sass brings to the market: a modern range of intimate care products for the modern woman.

I have tried a few but am going to start with the Intimate Refreshing Mist, a handy spray to give that freshness burst when you need the most.

It is perfectly natural to sweat in the intimate area and for the vagina to build odour. If you have long days, rushing from one place to another, you may feel you need to freshen up. I certainly do!

The fragrance is subtle and crisp. It feels very comfortable and refreshing upon application, plus, it dries quickly. Although the product contains menthol, there is absolutely no tingling!

Personally, the mist is most welcome over my period, which is a particularly uncomfortable time where I can certainly do with a few refreshes during the day, especially when rushing from work to blogging and social events.

sass_intimate_refreshing_mist - 1The bottle is small enough for the handbag. From looking at it, it could be a mouth spray, glass lenses cleaner, face mist, whatever.

The branding is super discreet both in colours and literature, with a contemporary design. And that approach runs across the whole range; none of them scream VAG at you.

Not that I have a problem with that, but I do know some people who do, who would hesitate to buy or display in their bathrooms. This could be any beauty product!

It contains an odour neutraliser, soothing aloe vera and is suitable for use during menstruation and pregnancy too. The brand does not test on animals and is suitable for vegans.

The Sass Intimate Refreshing Mist is available from Boots and costs £8 for 30ml.

Sass has a great range from shaving gel that help with ingrowing hairs, cleansers, serums, dryness gels and sports products for the intimate area, well worth a check.

I can definitely say I #GotSass! :D


This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Get ready to party with Topshop

topshop_party_roomCertainly I am not the only one that wished I had a lovely place to get changed after work to head off to a party. This festive season, Topshop gives you just that.

The Topshop Party Room at Oxford Circus is a little secret that gives you the comfort of a private room to get ready with your friends, from the 12 November to the 23 December.

Personally, I find the concept super interesting. I hate getting ready in the office or gym toilets, especially when the event is more sophisticated and demands special hair, makeup and clothes.

Just adding a pic of Lola's cupcakes because I can...

Just adding a pic of Lola’s cupcakes because I can…

The experience comes with a personal stylist, complimentary makeovers (Topshop Beauty) and hair styling (from Hershesons), refreshments and cupcakes from Lola (yum) and a festive good bag with party survival essentials and makeup.

Oh, and there’s a photobooth (you all know my love for photobooths) and a bar open to those who are 18+!

It costs £10 per person, minimum of 4 people, and the amount is redeemable against purchases on the day, which frankly i find super cheap. Get mor info on the Topshop website. I took a look and is selling out fast. HURRY!


The end of nail-painting as we know it?

nailsinc_paintcanCould a spray change it all?

Nails Inc is stunning us all and bringing out a spray nail polish, the Nails Inc Paint Can. And it’s understandably causing a stir.

Will it soon be time to retire our nail polish brushes? Is this the future of manicures? Bear with me, I don’t have the answer quite yet…

Spray on nails will be quick, but uncontrolled. How hard it actually is to remove the excesses, how much mess it makes in the surroundings and the finish are the key to the success of this polish.

nailsinc_spraycanApplication is simple: spray and done. Obviously there will be some mess, but according to the instructions, after applying a base coat to the nails (a must), you just spray it on and wait until it is all dry and to remove the excesses you just wash your hands with soapy water or use wet wipes. Eh?

The nail polish sticks to the base coat, or old nail polish you have on, for a quick refresh. If that really happens seamlessly, this will be amazing.

Other questions I have would be around uniformity of coat, pigmentation, need for multiple coats and durability – although they do recommend also using a topcoat.

Really, it is not often that something this revolutionary hits the nail market and I am dead excited. Plus, it would be an amazing helping hand to all of the time-strapped ladies beautifying on the go.

On top of that, it could make a great quick drying base for nail art.

Being a Nails Inc product, you can pretty much guarantee great quality.

There are two pretty colours, a silver shade called Shoreditch Lane and a metallic pink hue, Hoxton Market, both brand new.

I cannot wait to get my claws on it. It’s available from November 12th, but you can pre-order it now from the Nails Inc site. It costs a reasonable £10.

While I don’t get my mittens on it, you can see all my Nails Inc posts on the blog.