Thursday, 31 March 2016



Even the name immediately conjurs up images of devotion, dedication and a sense of strong religious following. And if there is something that beauty lovers can vow to devote themselves to, it is a good skincare routine. Oil and balm cleansers have rocketed with meteoric fashion into the beauty sphere within the last year and are everything if you are the sort of girl that dreams of a happy, hydrated face.


Brand pioneer and skilled beauty industry pro Arabella Preston soon realised that the use of oils within skincare had profound effects on mind, body and soul and did much to enhance the overall client experience and so Votary was born.

Hours of experimentation within her home inspired Arabella, alongside friend, former colleague and co-founder Charlotte Semler, to invest in a greater vision and take the brand from kitchen to consumer. The pair sourced a family business within the UK to produce their formula on a larger scale, leaving those trendy, city-slickin' New Yorkers to handle all aspects of their branding and visual appeal.

Their tag line is, "Natural. Luxe. Beautiful", and for me this offers a succinct summary of their game plan. Natural ingredients, with a luxury high-end feel that result in multiple "good skin days".

Can I get a cleanse, rinse, repeat?

Acclaim from our most popular glossy publications, glowing reviews from blogging gurus around the country (Caroline Hirons) and a stateside launch at beloved boho brand Anthropologie, it would appear that Votary have tapped into a recipe for success.


So, should we buy in? Well, quite frankly, YES, I do.

Votary offer a range of facial oils for morning/evening use depending on your most common complaints or which aspect of the ritual you would like to focus on more intently. They also have a Rose Geranium and Apricot Cleansing Oil* which was the product I was keen to try.

The oil can be used to perk skin up as part of the morning cleanse, or to dissolve the day/shake things off and inject a little nourishment into your down time.

From personal experience, I always have more time to lavish on a night time routine. There could be something in the psychology of it, but I feel a couple of extra steps can go a long way to help my relaxation and well being, plus I just get to be in the moment. Facial massage promotes amazing benefits for the skin, so if you can form the habit hopefully you will reap the rewards.


Put a few pumps of the oil into your hands and work it between your palms to heat it up, this makes spreading and application a breeze.

Then the fun part. Work it in over a bare face, or your daily make-up, concentrating on those tricky areas, especially the eyes. Follow that with a splash of water to emulsify the oil and move it around the face. You can also use this opportunity to cover your face with a hot/damp flannel or cleansing cloth (by far, one of life's greatest pleasures!)

Take these few seconds to breathe and get the full benefits of a deep clean. You can then begin to rinse the last traces of make-up from your face. If part of a night cleanse, you can repeat the process until your face feels comfortably clean. Top it off with a final splash of water and you are ready to pat dry.

If you fancy some guidance, Arabella has a handy step-by-step guide here for you, so go ahead and take a look.


The oil feels extremely pleasant to use and I found the scent comforting, calm and for me, it aides the sensory experience people crave when seeking to max their relaxin'.

With a £45 price tag per 100ml it is perhaps another one to chalk up for high end obsessives. What can I say? I like pretty things.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy snapping up the "3 for 2" Boots deals as much as the next girl, but in my view it is unfair to compare. If you are considering using something from the range, view it as investment rather than bargain. With Votary you are buying into a completely different brand experience rather than striving for that maximum money save.

Perhaps I was massively swayed by the rose gold vibe, but then again I have always been a complete sucker for attractive packaging. It looks nice. It feels nice and for me this further heightens the draw when reflecting on the luxury market.

To recap: it smells beautiful, leaves my skin feeling fresh, adds a sense of lux to the daily grind and is stocked in two of my all-time favourite stores(Anthropologie and Liberty London). So, if you are curious as to whether Votary gets my vote when all is said and done, the answer can only be a resounding YES. Hoping products like this will be a life-time love, rather than just a Spring-fling.

The high end re-purhcase guilt might get me in the end, but currently I am too zen to care...

*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes only. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

How can I connect with Votary?

Facebook: Votary
Twitter: @VOTARY_London
Instagram: @votarylondon


Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Blurred Lines

... "I know you want it" (hey hey, hey)... No, I'm not talkin' about that Robin Thicke chart topper, I want to think for a second about primer.

Truth to be told, I am not usually a keen subscriber to primer/powder when I am setting my face in place. My skin tends to be normal/dry so I don't struggle with the slip "n" slide effect of make-up roaming around during the course of the day. Recently I have had a little rethink when considering the longevity of my base (no matter how light), especially if I am pulling a long shift, or heading out straight from the office (yep, occasionally I don't run home to throw on my PJs)... HONEST.

Dermalogica are pretty much a skincare powerhouse and have released many cult classics throughout the years. They don't obsess over pretty packaging with their products which results in a "clean" aesthetic. It's what is inside that counts, right?

The science whizzkids at Dermalogica clearly know their stuff and the research/knowledge that goes into formulating their products is tried, tested and true. You've probably spotted some familiar favourites on your mum's bathroom cabinet or nightstand. Or perhaps your grandmother might swear by certain items that have kept her looking fabulous well into her 80s. It can be difficult to weigh up exactly when to go the extra mile with a high end product. Either way, if I receive a Dermalogica recommendation it instantly receives some serious kudos because I know they have done their homework.

At the beginning of March Dermalogica launched their new lightweight HydraBlur™* primer into their existing skin primer range. I have been trialling it most days for the past month and I thought I would give you the scoop.

What tempted to me to throw this onto my face was that it was lightweight, blurs fine lines and wrinkles whilst promising a luminous, silky finish to the skin. If you are telling me that my base will stay around to play a little longer and I can rock a little "glow from within", I am there...with bells on. At first thought, this seems perfect for those sweet summer nights when you are itching to stay out and play and don't need the added fuss of starting from scratch.

The consistency of the primer is quite strange in colour (white/grey tinge) which I wasn't expecting if honest, but any pigment soon disappears into your complexion within seconds. I found this best applied by placing a few dots around the face and then blending into the skin with a foundation brush/duo fibre brush. Alternatively, you could crack out a damp beauty blender and bop away until your heart is content, depending on what tools you have up your sleeve. Failing that, you can easily smooth the product in with the warmth of your fingers, so fear not if you are travelling light or just want to keep it simple.

HydraBlur™ feels lovely on the skin, immediately wakes thing, up leaving me free to happily continue with the rest of my daily look. After one whole month in test (I prefer to give things a good run) I am impressed. This holds the make-up in place and I feel confident that I can still look fresh faced at the end of my day at the office rather than flat, dull and just a bit tired.

Another neat little feature is that the box includes a tube wringer, which you can attach to the tube to squeeze out every last drop of this liquid gold. I have cut the ends off way too many tubes of product in the past to testify that this is a winning move. Bravo Dermalogica, it's like you can read my mind!

There are a host of wonder-working ingredients, but the key to HydraBlur™ is the H2ORelease™ Complex which, to cut the chase, ensures that moisture is released steadily throughout the day to keep skin hydrated. Abyssinian Seed Oil also helps with smoothing and overall skin texture and the tint activates on application to neutralise and brighten. For those concerned about shine, the mattifiers contained within the product reduce oil, create a smooth canvas and blur the imperfections you might be less happy with. Mushroom extract deals with pores and fruit extract provides a welcome radiance boost. Kind of like a soft-focus lens, for your face. How magical!

So, would I recommend it? Absolutely.

Obviously it is entirely up to you if you have the spare dosh to spend £38 on a primer. The 22ml size does feel a little stingy for the price point, but you really only need a couple of pea sized dots each use, and with the help of the handy tube wringer you can definitely make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. That being said, there are many decent drugstore alternatives out there if this is beyond your budget. Personally, I may save my extra pennies for one of their infamous cleansers instead... but that's just me.

For those who crave a little facial photoshopping, or want to ace their base (and happen to feel a lil' spendy) then drop this into your basket *shreds bank statement*...

(DISCLAIMER- This product will not make you look like RHW.)

*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes only. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

How can I connect with Dermalogica?
Facebook: Dermalogica
Twitter: @DermalogicaUK
Instagram: @dermalogica

Friday, 18 March 2016



It's Friday and yes, I am going to chat about pizza. *drool*

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Blogger Brunch, Southpour

This past Sunday the sun was riding high in the sky and the good people over at Southpour threw open their doors to invite us in for a lovely bloggers brunch in Edinburgh. I mean, you had me at the mere mention of brunch...

Friday, 4 March 2016

Farfetch Beauty

...attention all beauty lovers, this just in!

Farfetch, a global community of over 400 fashion boutiques, are excited to announce a new partnership with swoon-worthy beauty retailers Space NK Apothecary making it even easier for fashionistas and beauty buffs to shop until they drop and bag all their latest must-haves in one place.

Back at There goes Claire HQ, I am switching up my current faves and packing them into my adorable Catseye London make-up bag to ensure that I have all I need for a few touch-ups on the go or if I am taking things out on the town after hours.


The Bag

Catseye have an incredible range of purses and pouches for the girl that loves quirky prints and a little something that makes them stand out from the crowd. I tend to rotate my everyday go-to make-up bag and the current flavour of the month is the Seaside Make-up bag from the Through the Lens collection at Catseye. This small pouch is the ideal size for cramming in a few of your main beauty essentials whether you are chillin' beach side or transitioning from desk to disco.

Make-Up your mind

It can be super tricky to select a few items from your main stash to carry on the go. Use this as a opportunity to force yourself to change up your favourites from time to time to keep your collection looking fresh, as well as your face. It can be so painfully easy to get stuck in a rut with our style. So what did I choose?

Nars Lip Pencils

It seems that Nars can't set a foot wrong when it comes to their lip pencils. I have chosen a couple of shades from the Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret which offers a selection of their infamous velvet matte and satin finishes. For everyday wear we have Descanso, a hydrating peach-pink that I can throw on even without a mirror. I have also popped in the striking shade, Yu, a shocking, fuschia pink for when I want to amp things up in the evening.

Sara Hill Blush in Orchid

Having had the pleasure of spending time with Sara in person earlier last year, I have been mostly found raving about her make-up launches ever since. The orchid blush adds an ideal radiant flush if you are suffering from tired chops or a classic case of winter face. For me, blush really makes or breaks a make-up look, so don't be afraid to go in strong with the confidence that you can rock it, but with a light hand. Layers are always buildable. It is a little more difficult to undo the clown look! Awkward.

Mac Soba eyeshadow in Soba

Soba adds more a subtle edge rather than a dramatic difference to lids. I return to this eye-shadow time after time if I really can't decide what to wear. Fine as a stand alone shade, it also works beautifully as a blending crease colour to smooth away harsh lines. It is something of an unsung hero, but some days you will be really glad that you popped it into your kit.

Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder

When it comes to a bronzed complexion and a hint of faux glow, you will find me constantly switching up the Soap and Glory Solar Powder and this bronzing powder from the body shop. Pale girls, don't panic. You can practically never go overboard with these shades, so feel free to just layer them up until your heart is content and you feel a little more fabulous. Don't stop 'til you get enough...

Mac Eye Kohl in Teddy

This eyeliner is somewhat of a staple that refuses to budge from my collection and is yet to outstay its welcome. An inviting, warm brown tone that offers flattering definition without being harsh on days when I fancy a subtle wing, quick slick or feline flick.

Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara

This was a gift from a friend and a common repurchase when I am state-side. Lash Blast is a classic for a trusty mascara that you can rely in on pump up the jam when it comes to luscious lashes. If you want a little something closer to homem check out the collection from Max Factor if you are this side of the water. The packaging varies, but the product is the same as our yankee cousins.

Farfetch Faves

Farfetch have added so many cult beauty favourites to their site it is easy to fill up your basket pretty quickly, and just keep on going! Here is what I would like to get my hands on:

1. Oribe Shampoo for Brilliance and Shine- Oribe are reknowned for their Dry Texturising Spray, so I want to check out a few more items from the range. A pricey shampoo perhaps, but there must be a reason people keep coming back for more. Are they worth the hype? Let's find out!

2. Oskia Renaissance Cleansing gel-One of my all-time favourite cleansers for night time. Nothing feels better than massaging this in after a long day to remove make-up. It's a no-brainer!

3. Sarah Chapman Skinesis Morning Facial- Sarah Chapman is a skincare goddess and every item she has released in the Skinesis collection has risen to cult status. A morning facial sounds like the perfect addition to my routine to ensure that I start my day on the right foot.

4. Chantecaille-Just Skin Tinted Moisturiser-This has received a lot of acclaim in the beauty-sphere and could be an amazing choice for those hazy summer days. Sun protection, good ingredients and a dreamy coverage. Ok, keep talking...

5. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Moonstone-Champagne Pop has been in hot demand since the Jaclyn Hill collab was released but Beauty Guru Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup lists the alternative Moonstone as a personal favourite and honestly, I trust whatever this gal is raving about. This could be the softer approach to highlight. Feeling ready to get my glow on and embrace luminous skin as we transition into Spring/Summer 16.

So, what do you think?

Luxury fashion, lifestyle and now beauty all under one roof? Could this be too much of a good thing? Doesn't sound so farfetch-ed to me....

How can I connect with Farfetch?
Facebook: Farfetch
Twitter: @farfetch
Instagram: @farfetch

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