Reviews

Top 5 Beauty Buys



Now I’m no self-proclaimed beauty expert, make up artist or health guru like an alarming number of fashion bloggers these days seem to be, but I do love it when product does EXACTLY what it says on the tin. I’ve got thin hair, sensitive skin and brittle nails, so when I find a good beauty saviour it really does make my day. So many brands churn out endless so-called ‘miracle’ products, but I tend to ignore the hype and stick with solid results! Here are five little lovelies (All under £10) that have simply worked for me this month.






Bourjois Nail Polish




I usually go for Barry M, Revlon or Rimmel when it comes to nail varnish as they are cheap, reliable and come in a bigger range of colours, but I picked out this Bourjois bottle mainly because the packaging intrigued me, and I wanted a gel/shellac like finish as I’m so tired of chipped nail paint! This dark, rich red has a subtle shimmer and the brush allows for super-quick, neat application.







Dead Sea Mineral Face Mask




My skin has been breaking out a lot lately due to stress and diet, so on my last supermarket dash I grabbed a face mask to sort it out a little. Surprised at how effective this mask was (for only £1.00 and with about 3 applications worth of product), I am certainly going to re-buy. My spots have noticeably cleared and my sin feels a lot softer. The mask has a delightful texture and smells amazing; such a treat for tired skin.





OGX Argan Oil Shampoo




For fine and damaged hair, this Organix (OGX) Argan Oil of Morocco shampoo has been a lifesaver. It’s super rich and nourishing but without being too heavy or greasy, so it’s fine for a daily wash! It’s also organic and gentle, and protects hair from heat damage = result!!!








Maybelline Gel Eyeliner




Normally I opt for a standard liquid eyeliner, from Collection 2000, for my signature little black flicks, but decided I wanted something a bit different. This gel eyeliner comes with a double edged brush and unlike other gels I’ve tried, it doesn’t dry out, and has staying power but still wipes off easily. What’s great is that you can create a really strong, graphic line in solid black.





Zara Perfumes




Many of us are fooled by brand names, advertising, celebrity endorsement and buying into luxury, but trust me when I say you don’t always need to splash out. I’m not claiming these scents from a high street chain match up to Marc Jacobs, Gucci or Jean Paul Gaultier, but they smell absolutely lush, and surely that’s the purpose of a perfume! ‘Oriental’ and ‘Fruity’ are my favourites.


Ruth @ Urbanity xxx







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London Fashion Week Favourites


Sadly I wasn’t one of the fortunate few Scottish Fashion Bloggers who got a taste of the FROW at this year’s LFW, getting snapped by street-style photographers and spotting the hottest designers and supermodels left right and centre, but that hasn’t stopped me pouring over the collections by Le Kilt, Sadie Williams and Sophia Webster.





Sophia Webster has always been a designer I’ve greatly admired for her utterly fearless and flawless use of print, silhouette and colour. 
Just one look at Sophia Webster on Instagram and you’ll be lusting after every pair of shoes. 
This season’s collection was no different, and indeed went beyond the scope of eccentric. 
I adored the fairytale-come-horror story theme, mixed with breathtaking headpieces

Le Kilt hitting the London Runway’s with their a-typically Scottish signature designs makes me a very happy northern fashion fangirl. Despite kilts often boring me to death, I am always surprised at how fresh and modern Le Kilt’s aesthetic is. It’s impressive how much the brand has blown up in popularity lately; even Kate Middleton wore one to Edinburgh yesterday!



I’ve only just discovered London-based fashion designer Sadie Williams, and I’m already in love with everything on her website. The luxury label’s LFW collection was filled with beautiful shapes and futuristic fabrics. 


Ruth @ Urbanity xxx





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ASOS Africa

I’ve been meaning to write a review of my wonderful ASOS Africa dress for ages, so here it is! ASOS Africa is an ongoing fashion collection from a collaboration between the online retailer and clothing manufacturer Soko, available here. It is full of bold silouhettes, bright colours and eye-catching prints, reflecting tribal tradition but with a modern twist. The range is manufactured in Kenya where “each piece is made under fair-trade principles using local craftsmanship”. 




It’s always exciting getting an ASOS parcel in the post. Sarah and I are huge fans of the website, as shown by our ASOS Marketplace wish lists here and here! But this one was a little different; as you can see, my dress was packaged in a beautiful cotton drawstring bag (which I now use for taking jewellery on trips away!) printed with a stunning tribal pattern and some words in Swahili. The attention to detail for this whole collaboration really is admirable.





So, here is my dress! I do apologise for the shameless dirty mirror selfie but I’m sure you can still appreciate the gorgeously intricate print, handy adjustable spaghetti straps, contrast patchwork detailing and on-trend midi-length, slip dress style. My favourite element to the piece however is the sheer black panel across the knees, as you can see in the picture below. This adds a cool, contemporary feel to an otherwise very feminine look.





We are all guilty of buying mass-produced clothing from unethical retailers; often it’s unavoidable due to convenience or price. But you really can make a difference to textile workers and the environment by investing in something like this for your next occasion piece. Check out Asos’ Green Room here for more sustainable fashion!




Ruth @ Urbanity xxx



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Jack Hinks @ Cabaret Voltaire

Last weekend I was part of the audience at “Jack Hinks” headline gig held at Cabaret Voltaire, and it was quite some show. The collaboration of Guitar (Jack Hinks), Vocals (Jack Hinks and Fiona Liddell), Violins- yes two violinists! (Fiona Liddell and Hannah Dickson), Drums (Gab Zat) Piano (Sam Thorne) and Bass (Will Bleasedale) was so refreshing to see and had set my expectations high- I was certainly not disappointed, not even close.



They began playing their first song, and due to unfortunate sound difficulties the vocals could not be heard at the beginning (the sound issue was quickly dealt with). Instead of stopping the performance they continued to play, taking a comedic and light hearted approach to the situation and managing to glide over it very professionally. “Jack Hinks” work in harmony, giving smooth, energetic performances on every song keeping the audience applauding for more.  




“Jack Hinks” set included songs such as; “No One” “Shock to the System” (which includes a very impressive guitar solo from Lead singer and Guitarist Jack Hinks) ”Boy in the Background” “Summer” and more (but obviously not enough as the audience chanted “One More Song!” after their last!). They are now off the gig scene for a while to record a brand new EP, so stay tuned!

You can keep up to date with the musically gifted bunch at:


Facebook- Jack Hinks Music
Twitter/Instagram- @jackhinksmusic

And be sure to check out our review of their summer concert here!



All Photos courtesy of Perry Johnson Art

Sarah @ Urbanity xxx
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Fashion Collaborations

In the wake of the lustworthy chaos of Balmain’s exclusive collection for H&M, the fashion industry has been mulling over designer-high street collaborations. 

Are they a great way of expanding the market for luxury brands and allowing ‘regular’ customers to access high fashion, or simply an over-hyped limited edition, poor quality fuss over mediocre clothes that people will quite literally fight over and camp overnight outside a store to get hold of? And are we just becoming slaves to labels, splashing the cash just to get hold of anything by a couture house?




Ruth is currently creating a designer t-shirt collaboration for a fashion concepts project at university, and chose to use Anthropologie and People Tree (more specifically, the founder Safia Minney) to collaborate on an ethical product range. 


There is no end to potentially successful designers and retailers teaming up to create something special, and we would love to see more upcoming designers in mainstream stores and high end contemporary brands on the high street. Collaborations are all about picking the highlights from both parties to combine, so often perceived polar opposite companies can complement eachother beautifully. 

Our dream collabs? Commes de Garcons for Cos, Chalayan for American Apparel or Vivienne Westwood for Oxfam. But until these perfect combinations materialise, here’s our top three past and ongoing fashion collaborations!

   


                                                       
Kate Moss x Topshop

An unforgettable fashion moment that worked so perfectly because both are such established British style icons it just had to happen, and will keep coming back as long as Kate stays the fashion legend she is and Topshop keep nurturing model and designer relationships.


Stella McCartney x Addidas

Two brands with perceivably different ethics- one is a high fashion designer with a strong penchant for saving the environment, and the other a sweatshop heavy mass market sportswear company. But this collaboration was, and continues to be, effortlessly well designed and wearable.

Karl Lagerfeld x H&M

How could we exclude the most eccentric man in fashion? The genius behind Chanel and Fendi collaborated with Scandinavian high-street giant H&M for a surprisingly affordable collection of beautiful clothes. Love or hate H&M, it will always be the home of limited edition designer bargains, from Jimmy Choo to Alexander Wang.


Ruth @ Urbanity xxx




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