Saturday, 28 January 2017

January Beauty Favourites 2017

beauty, favourites

How are we already at the end of the first month of 2017 already? It's crazy, huh? Well, I'm not sure about you but I'm fed up of the cold weather already and I'm counting down to Spring! It's far too cold! Brrr!! 

So today I'm sharing with you my most favourite, most used beauty products of January 2017. I'd love you to share your favourites in the comments below...

Spectrum Brushes, beauty, makeup brushes, makeup tools

Spectrum Collection 'The Glam Clam' Brush Set (£59.99)
These beautiful brushes are made of mermaids and unicorns. Hmm, maybe not but they totally could be! ;) I picked up the full set for wayyyy less than the RRP at The Clothes Show at the end of last year and it took me a while to use them, I couldn't bring myself to, they're just too pretty! But I've been using them throughout this month and they're just fab. Super soft, easy to clean, a great purchase! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Noughty, shampoo, conditioner, haircare, beauty,

Noughty Rise & Shine Everyday Shine Shampoo & Conditioner (£6.99 each*)
This shampoo and conditioner duo, suitable for every day use is made of almost 100% natural ingredients. 97% in fact. No parabens. No silicones. No sulphates or petrochemicals. Nadda, none. And this is why it has been a firm favourite in the bathroom basket this month. The boys have been using them and I've even been using the shampoo to clean my makeup brushes. Thumbs up.

Boozi, hand cream, beauty,

Boozi Bodycare 'Cheeky Woo Woo' Moisturising Hand Cream (£3.95)
I always have hand cream on my dressing table and use daily as part of my morning and evening skincare routine and this stuff is a pleasure to use. It is lightweight and absorbs quickly. And best of all, the fragrance is SO GOOD. A fruity blend of peaches and cranberries. Who doesn't want to go to sleep smelling of cocktails? ;)

The Balm, Betty-Lou manizer, bronzer, makeup, beauty

The Balm Cosmetics Betty-Lou Manizer Bronzer (£20.00 / Superdrug)
THE perfect glowy bronzer, with a little bit of shimmer. I've been using this every single day through the month, giving me a lovely warm glow whether used sparingly for a natural every day look or a little more bronze for an extra sun kissed look. I definitely want to get my hands on the Cindy-Lou Manizer highlighter now!!

L'Oreal, contour, foundation, makeup, beauty
L'Oreal Infallible Sculpt Contouring Base (£8.99 / Boots)
I purchased this simply because Georgie at As You Wish UK raved about it. I'll admit I was a little confused by it at first. It claims to be the perfect foundation designed for use before contouring, with 'grip technology' to fuse with your contour. Right, okay. But there are just 2 shades; light and medium dark, so I wondered if it is to be used as contour? I did use it as a full foundation base and it has a lovely dewy finish, although probably a bit dark for most, I liked the shade. Took some blending into the neck though. But although I was super happy with the finish, it didn't last all day like my usual faithful foundation. So I started using it as a contour shade, after my usual foundation I added it to the usual contour areas and was really happy with the finished look, I've been using it this way all month!
So, they're my favourites for this month. Are you a fan of any of the above? I'd love to hear what your favourite products are right now! Leave me a comment below!

*PR sample
All words, opinions and amazing wit are as always, my own.


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Choosing the Perfect Winter Coat

winter coat, fashion

Purchasing a winter coat can be hard work. I mean, do you go for comfort over fashion? Is it worth splashing out on a pricey number, or will you be bored of it by next Winter? Let's face it ladies, the struggle is real here!

Some say a Winter coat is one of the biggest, most important expenses of the season. On a recent consultant with a fashion expert, I learnt that spending a lot of money on a Winter coat is a great investment and will last you for years to come, and save you money in the long run.

But maybe you prefer to purchase cheaper coats every few years, depending on how your taste changes?

winter coats, fashion, Miss Pap, Boohoo
                                    [credit]                                                                        [credit]

Personally I prefer to purchase a few different coats for the Winter season. I like a good, bulky parka style coat, like the one above from Boohoo, to keep me warm during the coldest days, and a long, stylish waterfall type coat for evenings out or just when it's a little milder and I want to look a little more elegant! I actually have the exact Megan McKenna Miss Pap coat above left, but in black.

The first thing to work out is where you're going to wear your coat. Will it be for work? For long walks with the dog? I've found a little something for everyone, whatever your taste...

winter coats, fashion, miss pap

If it's a fashion statement you're trying to make, a faux fur coat like this rose one, above left from Miss Pap is just perfect for evenings out or special occasions. It looks so cosy and warm, I wouldn't want to take it off!

A military style coat is a great versatile coat,  even in this khaki colour above, it looks smart enough to wear from day to night. It can be dressed up with a woolly hat and chunky scarf when it's really cold, or just to cover you up when it's a bit chilly as we move through Winter into Spring, and looks great with jeans, smart trousers or a skirt and boots. 

winter coats, fashion, zara, ASOS
                                  [credit]                                                                                      [credit]

I love this grey coat with the wrap collar from Zara. It looks really stylish as well as practical, with it's big side pockets, invisible fastening and chunky collar. Perfect for Winter walks with the family, with lots of pocket space for the kids bits and bobs, as well as evening drinks with the girls.

Or maybe you're on the hunt for a warm jacket you can throw on when you're just nipping out in the car, or as we move into Spring. This quilted bomber jacket, above right, from ASOS is super cute.

And what about colour? I usually stick with black or grey as I know it'll go with anything. But maybe you like a bit of colour in your life? A pop of colour brightens up any dull, Winter's day. I love the royal blue and pink coats from David Nieper, below.

winter coats, fashion, David Nieper

British fashion house, David Nieper have a range of jackets and coats to suit any taste and occasion this Winter. From exclusive occasion jackets in the finest luxury fabrics to casual coats combining classic styling with effortless comfort.

So which one is your favourite? 
What do you look for in a Winter coat?

In collaboration with David Nieper


Friday, 20 January 2017

Ready to Celebrate the end of Dry January?

celebrate, dry january, champagne glasses, House of Fraser

We're coming to the end of Dry January, how did you do?
Personally I'm not a big drinker anyway, I only drink on special occasions and even then I don't like to have too much. Although I do love a good cocktail! ;)
But it's nice to celebrate a special occasion with some beautiful glassware, right? A good set of glassware to bring out when the in laws come over, a special dinner party or just an special moment that warrants a special glass!

celebrate, dry january, champagne glasses, House of Fraser

House of Fraser have some gorgeous glassware for such occasions, suitable for all tastes and budgets. Whether it's a plain, vintage or contemporary look you're after, there's something to suit any taste, in a range of fluted and saucer style options.

I love the simplicity of the above left set. Crystal glass with a tall stem and a slender angled bowl, this Linea Hannah Crystal Champagne Flute Set of 4 comes presented in a beautiful gift box so is perfect as an engagement or house warming gift.  And they're currently on offer at less than £20!

Something as simple as a gold rim can add a little glamour to your dinner table. I love the Biba Gold Rim Optic range, starting at just £12 a glass.

celebrate, dry january, champagne glasses, House of Fraser

If, like me, you like a bit of sparkle in your life, the above glasses are perfect to toast that special occasion. Above left is a perfect gift for a wedding or engagement, with it's silver plated stem and super pretty interlocking heart design. The Arthur Price Present Day Champagne Flute Set is currently on offer at £47.00.

I adore the Linea Angelina Swarovski Flutes, available for £32 for the pair. Beautifully hand cut and finished with Swarovski crystals, these are most definitely my favourite!

celebrate, dry january, champagne glasses, House of Fraser

Or maybe you prefer a bit of colour in your life? The Waterford Lismore Pops Toasting Flutes come in a few different colours. At £130, they bring a little bit of luxury to your next celebratory toast. The Waterford cuts are just beautiful, also seen here in the above right. I love the stem design on this elegant Waterford John Rocha Collection Signature Flute Set (£100) too.  

Do you have a set of special glasses 
you save for a special occasion? 

And what about Dry January, 
will you be celebrating with a glass of champers 
at the end of the month? 

In collaboration with House of Fraser

Friday, 13 January 2017

The Clothes Show say goodbye to Birmingham

The Clothes Show, British Style Collective

I've been to The Clothes Show pretty much every year for the past few years. Grabbing my girls every December and heading for Birmingham for a day involving clothes, makeup, hunky models [did I just say hunky?!] and celebrities, it's my kinda heaven! I've always had a great day and with Birmingham only about an hour away on the train, it's always been an ideal day out!

This year I was invited along as press. 

Whereas I usually head over with friends, I was oddly excited to be going alone. It's not often I get any time to myself, so the thought of a relaxing train journey to Birmingham, a walk around the stalls that I wanted to look at, hang around and stare at the celebrities I wanted to hang around and stare at and just generally do my thing, was exciting!

Held annually at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre since the early 90's, the event is based around a fashion catwalk show showcasing the latest trends and usually include appearances from celebrities and live performances from popular bands/singers. The exhibition centre is filled with pop-up fashion and beauty stalls, and glamorous boutiques for you to shop 'til your hearts content at discounted prices, with food stalls, pamper lounges, paparazzi pens [I'm not the only one that loves a celebrity right?] and smaller runway shows with interviews with a few famous peeps running constantly throughout the day.

There is SO much to do.

the clothes show, 2016, birmingham

the clothes show, 2016, birmingham

I snapchatted throughout the day, but if you didn't see my story [you mean you're not following me on Snapchat?!] let me fill you in on my day.

When I first arrived, I headed for the bloggers and press bar where I was treated to a bra fitting from the lovely ladies at Freya Lingerie who presented me with a fab little goody big with a gorgeous little purple babydoll before I was whisked off to the Alcatel Fashion Theatre for the first catwalk showing of the day.

The 2016 show, named 'Rock The Runway' featured over 40 international models and dancers presenting high street favourites and AW16 trends, as well as newly discovered talent in the form of Daecolm and Charlotte OC. It was a great show and all presented by Made in Chelsea's very own Jamie Laing.

the clothes show, 2016, birmingham

the clothes show, birmingham

I hadn't eaten all day so after popping to one of the snack bars for a quick drink and a yummy pastry, I was ready to hit the stalls and there were some great brands this year. Over 350 stalls altogether, with brands such as Nanshy, Barry M, Flamingo Candles, Mark Hill, Paul's Boutique, David & Goliath, Bomb Cosmetics, Models Own, Punky Fish, Waist Shaper UK, Lee Stafford and In The Style to name just a few. And high end designers had their own little boutique lane for the likes of Religion and Bolongaro Trevor.

I'm a big fan of In The Style so it wasn't long before I'd made my first purchase and picked up two jumpers at an amazing discounted price. I also picked up some underwear and aftershave as Christmas presents and was enjoying wandering around checking out all the fab beauty and hair bits, fashion stalls and having a nosey at everything going on.

Whilst mooching around I managed to do a little celeb spotting in the form of TOWIE ledge Pete Wicks and Judge Geordie & CBB fitty Alex Cannon. And I managed to bump into the super lovely Jamie Laing in his Candy Kittens store. I refrained from spending a small fortune on lounge wear this year and stuck to a bag of their amazing gourmet sweets instead. 

After all, you can't visit The Clothes Show without coming home with a bag of Candy Kittens or two!

Jamie Laing, Candy Kittens, The Clothes Show

candy Kittens, sweets, Jamie Laing

I knew I needed to stock up on Popbands while I was there, as they're my favourite hair bands! I came across them a few years ago at The Clothes Show, cute hair ties that don't snag your hair, leave any bumps plus look super cute on your wrist when not in use. I've been using them ever since

I also knew I wanted to check out the Spectrum stand. I had heard from friends that they had brush sets at amazing prices. Apparently everyone else heard the same, as the stand was constantly busy throughout the day. I spent a good half hour pushing through the crowds looking, feeling and generally fan girling over the brushes, attempting to make a decision over which set I wanted.

The struggle is real when deciding between pretty colours and the brush use!

popbands, hair ties

spectrum, spectrum brushes, makeup brushes

As always, I loved my day out at The Clothes Show and I was actually really pleased with the amount of fantastic brands they had this time, better than previous years I'd say!

But The Clothes Show is moving!

Rebranding as the British Style Collective, this year sees it moving to Liverpool. Set across five of the city's most iconic locations, the British Style Collective is set to take over Liverpool from 7-9 July 2017 and they are labelling it the fashion and beauty event of the year!

I'll be honest, on a personal level I'm slightly gutted about the move, as Birmingham has always been such an great location for me but I'm hoping I get to visit if I can! 

And I don't blame them, Liverpool is an AMAZING city!

Plus moving the date to the middle of the year is a great idea. No more money guilt when I spend a small fortune a few weeks before Christmas!! 

the clothes show, british style collective, birmingham, liverpool

What do you think about the move?
Have you visited The Clothes Show before?

I received a Press Pass to this event.
All words, opinions and amazing wit are as always, my own.


Saturday, 7 January 2017

Blogging in 2017 - Do I Suck At Blogging?


Happy New Year guys! Here's to a happy, healthy, successful year for us all!

A new year is often a time to reflect, plan and set goals and I've been thinking about my blog lately. My little corner of the internet that has grown over the past few years; from a little hobby to a big part of my life. I often have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my blog. Not ever because I don't enjoy it because I adore it, but I often ask myself, 'am I good enough?'. The blogosphere has grown so much over the years, blogging has become a huge industry and there's a lot to live up to nowadays. 

When I first started blogging, it was just a bit of fun, a bit of an online diary, somewhere to hold memories and thoughts and share them with whoever fancied reading them. A few years on, there is a HUGE amount of pressure to 'fit in' and do well. Back then, I was happy if somebody read and enjoyed my posts, but it wasn't long before I was lost in a sea of numbers; how many people have read my post? Did I get many comments? There is SO much pressure.

Earlier last year, a friend of mine contacted me asking me for advice on becoming a blogger. I told her everything I knew. Months on and she has become a really successful blogger, she's getting great traffic and her posts are being featured on respectable websites. In just a few months her blog has become more successful than mine has in almost 4 years. Do I feel resentful? Of course not! She's a lovely girl, her blog is amazing, she deserves it! She has a lot more time to spend on building up her blog and her writing is fantastic. But it makes me question myself. Do I suck at blogging?

That is one thing I lack. I'll admit it, I'm not an amazing writer. And it's reassuring to know I'm not on my own with this. The lovely Leah at Devoted To Pink has just recently posted about her dislike of writing too, a great post if you get a chance to have a nosey. It's not so much that I don't enjoy it, I do. I'm just not great at it. I write like I talk. I know some people like this as they say it makes us more real, a real person with character and personality, rather than it sounding too professional and mundane. But I do wish I was a little more articulate, as I often find I can't get my thoughts down as well as I'd like, as I just can't find the words. Does this make me a rubbish blogger?

Guess what? I don't own a marble backdrop for my photos. Nope. I know what you're thinking... Am I even a blogger? And wait for this bombshell... Letter light boxes, every blogger has one right? Not this blogger. I mean, I like them. I'd quite like one. But I feel like every blogger and it's neighbour has one. Of course I own the shitty plastic plants, fairy lights, candles, I'm in love with rose god and copper accessories as much as the next blogger and I'm known for purchasing things for the sole reason of 'ooh, that'll look nice blurred out in the background of a photo'. And I even furnished and decorated my dressing room to be worthy of blog photos.

But I don't want to feel negative about my blog, I don't want to keep thinking I'm not good enough to fit in this ever growing community. I need to remember the reason why I blog, and why I first started in the first place. 

I need to look at the positives and how well my blog has grown over the past 3-4 years. I'm getting good traffic, I'm making an income, I'm being invited to events, and most importantly to me, I've made some AMAZING friends through blogging. I have THE best time with the girls I've met through the local blogging community. I class them as good friends, we all support each other and build each other up and for me, that's so important in this crazy dog-eat-dog blogosphere. 

So, going forward into 2017 I'm going to set my own goals rather than trying to be as good as others. Yes I'd like my writing to be better. Yes my photos need to be a lot better. But this is my thing, I can only be better than myself.

I work from home and my work schedule is getting busier which means less time to work on my blog. But I want to make sure I get at least 1 post out a week, I also want to look into a brand new layout and look this year and just grow... at my own pace.  I'm excited to see what this year has in store!

What about you?
Have you set yourself any goals this year?

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