Fashion is everywhere

Clones N Clowns by Aimee Wood

What is your beauty minimum ? #MyNude

At a time when pro tips and low cost makeup seem to be taking over the world, you would think we now have the key to maximum beauty. But wait…. What’s that I hear ? The new trend is NUDE ? Yep, not natural, nude. As in ditch all that stuff you spent a year’s salary on and go to the shops stark naked. Hmmm… More easily said than done, dear Vogue. So I’ve been thinking, over the past few weeks… What IS my nude ? What’s my bare minimum ? How nude is too nude ? I don’t usually wear much make-up which makes this a whole lot easier for me than someone who is used to the whole shebang. However, over time, I have moved on from the single swoosh of mascara I used to sport and little by little more creams and powders have made their way into my bag and every day life. So I tried going totally nude. Fail. I felt like those days when the postman turns up too early – totally invasive if you’re not dressed and done up yet. After a few goes, I have come to the conclusion that I “need” four products : my CC cream, my mascara, my powder and my lip balm. My trick is to use these for more than one part of my face. For instance I use my lip balm to smooth my eye brows and give a bit of glow to my cheeks. I also like to use my contour powder as an eye shadow from time to time… My mascara trick is my favourite though : I press down on the water line for an instant eye-liner effect. So four products, that’s MY minimum. Not saying I literally won’t or can’t go out without them, but that’s what it takes for me to feel presentable the way I want to be. What about you ? This post is a challenge to you as much as to me : comment your minimum OR, if you have a blog, show us your favourites in a post using the tag #MyNude in the title. Linking to this post will mean a link to your own post will appear in the comments down below so that other readers can go and check out your contribution to the #MyNude tag. Get it ? Can’t wait to read your posts ! Get nuding ! xx Aimee

What is your beauty minimum ? #MyNude

DIY Homemade nourishing rosehip face mask

If you have never heard of or used rosehip essential oil before, you’re in for a treat. It will sooth your skin better than anything else. I have already admitted I’m a huge rose fan, in fact my rose water face steam would be perfect to use before this mask. There’s nothing like a home spa to cheer you up on a cold, rainy day ! Rosehip oil is a very good one to have in your cupboard. It is rich in antioxidants as well as calcium, magnesium and more. Some say our skin is the last to benefit from the nutritions in the food we eat, so feeding it naturally from the outside in is also an important step in your health routine. Rosehip oil is known for it’s powers to heel even scars and soothes your skin from extreme temperatures. The yogurt in this recipe is also soothing and hydrating and the honey is good at cleansing your pores. Used on a regular basis this mask can really help replenish your skin. Homemade, nourishing rosehip oil face mask, YOU WILL NEED : – 2 tsp plain (or greek) yogurt – 5 drops of rosehip essential oil – 1 tsp honey In a small bowl, whip your honey until it’s nice and runny and mix in your yogurt. When you have a nice blend, add your oil and mix again until smooth and homogenous. Spread this mask over your face (avoiding eyes and mouth), neck and shoulders. Leave for 15-20 minutes and wash as usual. Oh and by the way – oils aren’t necessarily to be avoided if your skin is already oily. I know that sounds odd, but rosehip oil is a dry, light oil, meaning it won’t overload your face with grease at all. Apparently Miranda Kerr uses rosehip oil on her face every night… Must be worth it ! See you tomorrow for our final cosy week post… Something smells of healthy brunch ! xx Aimee Rose

DIY Homemade nourishing rosehip face mask

DIY soothing lavender face mask

Hello my pretties ! Today, we’re back on the topic of relaxation… After the promises I made to myself a while back, I have been using a homemade almond and honey face scrub as well as this lovely, soothing lavender face mask. It’s beautifully hydrating and calming. I put this on in the evening because ever since I was a child I have had lavender oil on my pillow at bedtime – so I associate the smell with sleep and doze off as soon as I smell it ! Just like a chicken when you put its wing over its eyes ! (Yes, that really happens). In this recipe, you can either use dried lavender (pick it and leave it to dry a couple of days in the sun) or lavender essential oil. Either way, you want to make sure you only put a few drops / flowers in the mask. This quantity is perfect for an appeasing, regenerating face mask. I love it ! The yogurt is not only a base in this recipe, it also works as a hydrating agent too. The honey, as you may know, soothes the skin in depth and kills any yucky bacteria. Try to use organic if you can ! To make this homemade lavender mask : Mix 2 TBS plain yogurt (use greek style for the ideal consistency), 1 TSP of honey and a few drops of lavender oil OR 1/3 TSP dried lavender flowers. Smooth it over your face, neck and bust and leave it on for approx. 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water and apply moisturiser as usual.Here’s a photo so you can see the consistency and thickness of the layer I use : You can use this mask once or twice a week – I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ! For these photos I used my Nikon D7000 with a 50mm f/1.4 lense. The background is an advert for Guess.See you tomorrow for the first of three hair accessory DIYs ! xx Aimee PS – To check out my other beauty DIYs, click HERE !

DIY soothing lavender face mask

DIY Beauty : Almond and honey face scrub

Hello again petals ! Last weekend, I promised myself some me-time. Catching up with myself at such a busy time felt so good and I spent a lot of the weekend in pamper-land, watching films and sleeping… FEELS GOOD ! And I finally got round to mixing up a few beauty recipes again – I hadn’t done homemade beauty in such a long time and I missed its simplicity and benefits ! This almond and honey face scrub is nothing new – I’m sure you’ll agree. But that’s the whole point. It’s simple and yet so good. And I’m putting it out there because I’m sure that even if you know of this special potion, you have never tried it or haven’t used in a long time – am I right ? I’m just as bad as any beauty lover and take any publicity ride going – I love falling for new products, making myself believe they’re essentiel to my life and will make me a better person. However, whipping this together made me wonder why I don’t just stick to simple, natural beauty products that I know work wonders, cost less and take care of my body in the best possible way. I guess if some Hollywood star became the face of Nature we’d all be rushing to the market instead of the beauty aisle… Until then, I’m definitely going to try and make sure I use this again and again, even if I enjoy other products too.  An almond and honey face scrub is the easiest DIY beauty product to make. And yes, it’s delicious, too (as in “oh nooooo, I got it on my fingers……” lick, lick). It is soft on your skin and my face definitely looked healthier after the dull layer of dead skin was gone (eeek, I know). It gives you that special glow that shows you’re fresh and full of energy ! I have read you can use a scrub like this on a daily basis but to be honest I would only use it once or twice a week. Almonds are great for hydration and will exfoliate your face kindly. I would also use almond in place of sugar in any other face scrub, it is much nicer to fine skin. Honey is also hydrating and has the super power to kill yucky bacteria – because we don’t want any of that lying around ! To make an almond and honey scrub you’ll need two ingredients for one easy step : 2 spoons of almond powder + 2 spoons of organic honey.  Mix it all up and scrub your skin in small circles. Remember to do your neck and chest as well as your face. Leave the mix on your face for a few minutes to get all the benefits from its ingredients and then wash as usual. Magic ! And next week I’ll show you a beauty recipe I used after my scrub involving wonderful calming lavender… See you tomorrow ! xx from a café in Shoreditch, London Aimee

DIY Beauty : Almond and honey face scrub

5 ways to make sure you drink enough water

If you’re like me, you probably have an amateur-nutritionist niggling at you at the back of your mind at all times, evaluating everything you put near your mouth never mind in it. Now, a post about drinking water might seem a little off topic on this blog but you see my so-called-inner-nutritionist believes drinking water is the most elementary start to DIY beauty one can get. Healthy, hydrated and glowing with energy are a BEAUTIFUL look. Tired, dry, scaly and wrinkled ARE NOT. Agreed ? I thought so. Over the years, I have found myself complaining about so many things that ended up having just one simple answer : more water. Sometimes dry skin, sometimes greasy skin, fatigue, fine lines, brittle hair… All of these things have been scientifically linked to your water intake and are things I have noticed change when I stay hydrated. After all, even our brains need a decent water balance to function properly… OUR BRAINS ! So yeah, this stuff is serious ! Let’s not forget : * Water makes up 50-70% of an adult’s body weight  – that’s a LOT of water needed. * Your kidneys need water to rid you of toxins – and we don’t want toxins, right ?! * Those toxins are eliminated through urine meaning we have to replace lost liquid with new, clean water in order to keep healthy. Otherwise our bodies shrivel up and we end up with ugly skin and sticky-out veins… Ew. * Moisturiser acts as a barrier to keep hydration in… There’s no point spending a lot of money on a good cream if you’re not properly hydrated in the first place ! * By contributing to necessary processes in our bodies (digestion…), water gives us energy and energy encourages us to DO more and excercise… Resulting in a fit looking godess-like booty. Oh yes. * When the body is missing something essentiel – even water – it makes us feel hungry. When we’re hungry, we eat. So we’re eating instead of drinking, often gaining unnecessary weight and still not getting the water we need. Duh ! The list goes on. So basically, WATER = LIFE. Simples. So why don’t we drink the 2L water we know we should drink each day ? Because – let’s be honest – it’s a difficult habit to get into. It takes effort and, being the lazy ladies we are, we don’t like effort. I often sit down, working away, and simply ignore my inner-nutritionist-wannabe. Other times, I accept she’s right, get up, switch the kettle on, go back to work again and forget to make tea after all. And that can sometimes happen a few times in one day. As a result : I’m thirsty ! But then I won’t drink much in the evening so that I don’t get up in the night… And so it goes on. As a FINAL result : I’m not just thirsty, I’m badly dehydrated. Ugh. Having said that, one of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to make sure I find a solution to this pattern. Over the past few months, there have been days when I managed to get my full amount of water down me without issues, others it has been more of a pain and on other days… well, on other days I have failed. But I’m getting better and actually realising what makes each day a good or a bad water day. With a little help from my inner-health-freak, I have put together a quick list of things that help me make sure I drink enough water each day – I hope they help you too ! 1 / ENJOY IT The first step to making sure you have enough water each day has to be to ENJOY doing so. Of course you will enjoy the results of being hydrated – who wouldn’t – but if you need some kind of incentive (I know I do !), why not try adding a dash of cordial or making tea ? For an even healthier option, why not try aromatising your water with cleansing citrus or refreshing herbs ? Mint’s a great one, but I reckon basil could be tasty too 😉 2 / SET YOURSELF A GOAL When you know you have a lot to do, sometimes it feels good to see some progress. Why not fill a 2L bottle in the morning and work your way through it all day ? You’ll see the water going down with each glass and I bet you’ll feel good about it and drink more ! I tend to fill a glass bottle (so it’s BPA free) and keep it next to my computer all day… When I do this, it’s gone before my work day ends ! 3 / TAKE WITH If you’re on the move, you probably find drinking water is tricky. When I’m travelling and stop for a drink, I rarely chose water over coffee, simply because I can’t stand the fact shops charge so much for a bottle of water ! But then, I don’t particularly want to be drinking coffee all day either, that would be awful. So I have found the best way is to carry water with me. Yes, water can be heavy BUT there are ways to make it easier, check out how many practical water bottles there are out there ! I use one […]

5 ways to make sure you drink enough water

Clones ‘n’ Clowns is one year old !

Yihaaaaaa March 2013 is here and this lil’ blog is ONE YEAR OLD ! One year ago I had no idea how much I was going to put into this blog but here we are, 12 months, a few hundred posts and hundreds of thousands of page views later, and I’m still loving every minute of it ! When I started Clones ‘n’ Clowns I didn’t even tell my boyfriend. I was quite involved from day one but was also very shy and thought it might be one of those things that would last a couple of weeks and fade away… I didn’t want to go on about it if I wasn’t going to see it through. “Yet another ambitious idea” they would say… I’ve always been full of them ! After just a few days, hundreds of people were visiting my DIY walk of fame wedges post (bless those iPhone pics !) and when I realised people were actually enjoying my crafts projects that was IT ! I knew this place was going to become my second home, my baby, my alter ego. I used to get bored of things so easily, needing something new, and yet with this blog I see so much future, so many possibilities, so much potential… I wake up every morning and can’t wait for the day to get started. Who’d ever have thought I would finish uni only to start my own over-intensive course of learning as much as I can a day about photography, Photoshop, Illustrator, coding, webdesign, SEO, blogging in general and just plain old organisation and dedication. I still have a LOT to learn about all of these subjects but I also definitely know a LOT more than I did one year ago ! And I really enjoy learning something new each day. I honestly don’t think a day goes by without me learning something super useful. It’s a never-ending quest for skill and perfection – it makes me feel alive ! Never mind the best excuse in the world to spend most of my time making things 🙂 Oh yes, CNC and I have been through so much already… and yet there’s still a lot more to come ! I’m so excited about the upcoming year – in fact I’m so excited about the upcoming months ! I have loads of fab’ surprises coming up, the adventure is getting bigger and bigger ! It’s been hard enough keeping some bits to myself over the past weeks so today I’m spilling the beans… Here are three projects I have planned for you guys very VERY soon : 1/ My first book Yes ! I’ve known for months and yet couldn’t let the cat out of the bag… Torture ! I’ve written my very first book that is to be published in France by Hachette – unfortunately it’ll all look like gobbledegook to you if you don’t speak French but I’ll be showing you a few piccies on here so you get an idea of what it looks like and who knows, maybe I’ll get a book together in the UK sometime soon too… 😉 It’s called Customisez ! and is all about how you can customise your clothes, shoes and accessories at home with just a few supplies and easy steps. I have always loved crafts books and can hardly believe my bookshelf will soon have one with my name on it…! I’m so proud ! More on that topic in May. 2/ DIY CHALLENGE : 30 DAYS – 30 TEE-SHIRTS Now this is something everyone can enjoy, whatever your language ! From the name of the challenge I’m guessing you’ll know what I’ve got in store but just in case you haven’t figured it out, here’s the aim of the game : 30 DAYS, from March 20th to April 19th (so starting VERY soon !) + 30 basic white tee-shirts, all ready to be customised = 30 tutorials, one every day of the challenge, so that you can find out how to turn the most basic tee-shirt in the world into a 2013 fashion statement !  Get ready, this is going to be a month of hardcore DIYing ! I’m so excited* to get started I could pop with ideas but I’m also pretty nervous (which, let’s admit it, only makes it more exhilarating !). What happens if I get some crafty version of writer’s block ?! I suppose we’ll see, shan’t we ?! I’ll share it all with you RIGHT HERE on CLONESNCLOWNS.COM – even the DIY fails and panics ! But what’s a good challenge without a bit of teamwork ?! I’ll be inviting some other bloggers and creators to DIY and take part in the challenge, to make it even more fun ! I’ll also be launching a very special competition for you guys…… so that you can take part too ! STAY TUNED, it’s going to be DIYing EPIC. * I’m going to make search engins explode with my totally OTT use of the word exciting today, but I’m afraid there’s no better word to describe how I’m feeling ! 3/ Coming soon… Clones ‘n’ Clowns, the BOUTIQUE ! I have wanted to launch a collection of my own products for years now and ladies (and gentlemen?!) the time has come ! I’m currently working on a range of wildly bright tote bags and other bits and bobs, all hand tailored in the most beautiful fabrics (c/o Liberty, Rowan […]

Clones ‘n’ Clowns is one year old !

DIY beauty : 5 ways to use coconut oil

When browsing my local store recently, I came across a massive pot of coconut oil. I was surprised to find it there because I thought you usually would find coconut oil in more glamourous, health savvy shops – this was just the corner store I buy late night Haagen-Dazs from. Anyway, I underestimated eastern cuisine because according to the Turkish salesman it is often used in place of other oils – so healthy ! For a long time, I used coconut oil for cooking, too. I stopped cooking with olive oil after hearing it was cancerogenic and didn’t like to use other oils because of their stronger taste. Coconut oil was the perfect solution : it melts in seconds, cooks lighter healthier food and only has a subtle taste. I don’t know why I stopped using coconut oil to cook, I just ran out and never topped up…! So naturally when I saw the great big pot (for only £2.19 !) at the corner store, I grabbed it and shoved it in my basket. Healthy cooking, here I am again ! Cooking is not all coconut oil is good for – I have used it on my body before too. In fact I would often combine the two, rubbing oil into my hands to give them a deep moisturize at the same time as plonking some in the pan… I just love the way it melts in a split second on contact with your skin, it’s almost fun to watch ! So I thought I would explore a little more now coconut oil and I are back in touch. I feel that including more of it in my beauty routine would be a healthy and economic choice as well as home-spa bliss ! These five DIY beauty recipes take no time to prepare and only need very basic ingredients – in fact, often no more than just coconut oil. I hope you get to try them out at home, I can guarantee your skin and hair will benefit from regular use ! THE PERFECT LIP BALM All you need is coconut oil and a small pot to carry around with you. Coconut oil is the ideal lip balm : it will stay hard in the pot but will melt into a smooth oil as soon as you dip in your fingertip. Keep a pot in your coat pocket at all times and spread on throughout the day for luscious lips. Bonus : It even tastes good ! SMOOTH HAND CREAM For this recipe you will need 50% coconut oil and 50% beeswax. Melt down your beeswax in a plastic pot over boiling water. Towards the end, add in your coconut oil. Mix the two together and pour into a small pot. Scoop up and rub into dry hands for a hydrating treatment. Home Sweet Home : Leave a pot next to the tap so that you remind yourself to hydrate on a regular basis after washing your hands ! WHIPPED BODY BUTTER Whip your coconut oil with an electric bleneder. Adding air to the oil makes it light and silky making a softer cream to use so that you can just scoop it up and splat it on ! This is my favorite one of the 5 🙂 NOURISHING HAIR OIL Use coconut oil in the same way you would argan oil or shop bought hair oil. I like to rub a decent amount into my scalp a couple of hours before washing my hair (sexy, I know). This literally feeds the hair, thickening it and strengthening it at the roots. I also automatically rub oil between my hands and onto the tips of my hair after drying it – this smoothes it and help repair and avoid split ends. Warning : Make sure you don’t use more than a tiny drop of oil, you don’t to go out with greasy hair no matter how healthy it is ! NATURAL MAKE-UP REMOVER Melt down your oil on low heat. Remove from heat and add in almond oil or baby oil (use 75% coconut oil and 25% almond/baby oil). Pour the mix into a pot and leave to set. To remove your make-up at night, simply scoop up a small amount of remover, melt between your fingertips and spread over your eyes and face. Massage your face, softly rubbing in that oil. Now wash your face or use cotton wool to remove your make-up. Psssst – You can use the same oil again to moisturize. And so that’s the story of how I got a home spa for just £2.19 ! xx

DIY beauty : 5 ways to use coconut oil

Roberto Cavalli inspired nail art

When I saw this Cavalli top on net-a-porter.com, I knew I just had to do a DIY. Obviously at first I was thinking fashion DIY, but you know, some things you just have to leave to the designers ! I thought of ways to print and paint, but didn’t think the result would be as good as this beauty. It’s way too detailed. But I love this top so much ! Such an original spin on the regular striped tee… So, unable to let go of the inspiration, I figured out a new project : a nail art design inspired by the pretty print. If you remember my snowy nails from before Xmas, you might also remember me thinking my white nail obsession was temporary. Well, it wasn’t. And I love the contrast of a bright white with this royal blue. To do this design I used two regular Nail Art pens in white and blue (I only used the white with the paint brush so really you just need white nail polish and a blue nail art pen) and followed these simple steps : 1 : Paint all your nails white 2 : Draw a swirly design on your accent nail with the blue nail art pen 3 : Still using the blue nail art pen, draw two slightly curved lines down each other nail (joining them at the cuticle and spreading them apart at the top of the nail) and stripe from that line outwards leaving the centre of the design white. Yes, yes, yes – I’m loving it ! xx

Roberto Cavalli inspired nail art

Rose water face steam

Rose… my all time favorite scent ! And one of the reasons I love the brand Lancôme so much : I wash with rose scented shower gel, I moisturise with rose scented cream, I wear rose scented perfume and I even have a rose scented mascara (Lancôme, Doll Eyes) ! Rose is also my second name. So I think that’s reason enough for you to believe me when I say this little magic trick is definitely one of my favourites – this grannies recipe (that some of you may be familiar with already) pampers me inside and out 🙂 The benefits of this face steam are numerous and start with reminding you you’re a princess ! Your skin will love the soft cleanse as rose water is very soothing, enough so to treat a red spot so imagine all your pores taking this beauty in for ten minutes ! You will benefit from this whatever your skin type but a rose water face steam is particularly kind to sensitive and dry skin. Pssst – I think the ideal moment for this face steam is when you’re in your nighty and slippers, ready to read some good old chick litt with rollers in your hair (I’ll be telling you more about that adventure very soon !). Go on, have some girly time with yourself ! xx

Rose water face steam

Which lipstick to choose for white teeth :D

New Year’s Eve approaches – that night when you have to be the prettiest in town – so I thought this beauty trick would come in handy. Ever since my teenage years, I’ve tried to make the most of make-up to enhance a natural look. I’m not into anything too heavy but love to see a smiley face with just a touch of make-up to brighten it up. Although I wouldn’t say this is the most natural looking lipstick my collection holds, I definitely think it does the job of enhancing a natural smile, and that’s because IT MAKES YOUR TEETH LOOK WHITE ! There’s nothing like a beautiful grin and for this a bright, shiny lippy is the perfect tool. Even though darker colours are often tempting, you’ll find they never quite give you that glowing expression. So for a Colgate worthy smile, pick out a smashing red or a lively pink ! You’ll have the cutest smile around and 2013 will be your best mate 🙂 As you can see above, your smile will be stunning with a bright red lip ! xx    

Which lipstick to choose for white teeth :D