Monday, 27 October 2014

Luxury Wishlist & Gift Ideas | Fine Jewellery

As we edge ever closer to Christmas, you may be thinking about purchasing something special for a family member, your loved one or even a close friend? A piece of jewellery is probably high on a lot of peoples to buy lists or even on your own wishlist?

George Pragnell offer some truly beautiful jewellery pieces including rings, necklaces, braceletes, earrings, brooches, watches and even clocks so you're sure to find something suitable for your loved one, or even as a luxurious treat to yourself? I decided to put together a little wishlist style post with some of my favourite items from the Pragnell website.


Platinum Eternity Ring | White Gold Bracelet | Oval Moonstone & Diamond Earrings | Rose Gold Diamond Collar Necklace | Chanel Watch
 
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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Autumn Style | Fashion, Accessories + Make Up ♥

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Autumn is well and truly upon us, I hope you all enjoyed and made the most of your extra hours sleep this morning? ;) I love Autumn for so many reasons, which I might share in another post but the concept of todays post is all about my AW14 style and fashion, along with some gorgeous make up products and pretty accessories.

My outfit during the colder months usually consists of a pair of thick leggings/tights - Primark is my go to place for these items as they are super cheap, and of decent quality too. Along with these I would usually grab a dress or long top - I got this floral V Neck Skater Dress last year in the sale for just £10, the colours and style are perfect for Autumn! My favourite jackets are leather look jackets, this one was also from New Look - which my Fiance' bought for me about 3 years ago as a Christmas present, I love it and its lasted so well. 

One of the main things we all head out to buy as the colder months set in is a new pair of boots. Mine are the Black Buckle Trim Calf High Boots from New Look. These stylish leather look boots with gold buckle are ideal for the transition from Autumn to Winter. They are really comfortable, a great fit(especially if you have wide calves due to the elasticated strip up the back) and they keep your legs and feet warm too because they are higher fitted than ankle boots etc - nobody likes cold feet! 

I took a trip to Primark the other day to check out their new A/W stock, and although I didn't come out with much I did pick up this leather look black bag with rose gold zippers and buckles for just £5 in the sale. It is an ideal size great for carrying your essentials and has both a shoulder strap and handles! My new favourite purse is this gorgeous Barbour British Waterways Purse - Winter Candlebridge from the Barbour Lifestyle Collection AW14. I've always loved the appearance of Barbour clothing and would love to get one of their quilted coats or jackets one day. The purse is a gorgeous burnt burgandy shade with floral print, and then the inside is a deep leafy green shade with plenty of card slots and a zipper section too. It really looks and feels amazing quality so I'm expecting this to last me for many more years to come!

I recently got my eyes tested and was told that my eyesight had become slightly worse, so needed to get some new prescription glasses. I couldn't really afford glasses from the Opticians, so I looked to www.firmoo.co.uk (For my non-uk readers you should try www.firmo.com) for Online Prescription Glasses, and was lucky enough to be offered a pair for review. I chose the style #F1001 in Black,  which are half rimmed, wayfarer style glasses. I upgraded my glasses to thinner lenses and anti-glare which comes in really handy for driving now that the darker nights are here! They arrived within 1-2 weeks to the UK, and came complete with a stylish glasses case and cleaning cloth, a small screwdriver kit to tighten the glasses and some spare screws.

Having long hair is a nightmare when its so windy outside but I opted for this half up-half down bouffant style, along with my latest new hair accessory from a wonderful shop called Cameliha Hair Accesories. I picked this Gold Flowers Headband, which is made up of gold metallic flowers across the front and then a black elasticated back for a good fit. This is perfect for Autumn and really ties in with the rest of my black and gold accessories. The product not only arrived next day, but it was beautifully hand packed, so I would totally recommend this company as they are passionate and caring about their products and customers! 

Finally, we all know that our makeup look changes as we transition from Summer to Autumn, and No7 have some gorgeous new released for this season. This includes this No7 Matte Lip Crayon - Raspberry Wine which I've donned on my lips many times so far and absolutely love the colour and the wear! Also the No7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow Trio - In The Navy which I have used the light champagne shade to highlight under my brows, and the navy shade under my lower lashes to emphasise my eyes and add a pop of colour. 

I really hope you have enjoyed this post, its something a little different! What are your favourite colours and trends for Autumn? 

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Friday, 24 October 2014

Bargain Beauty Products Haul Direct Cosmetics

I recently discovered a website called Direct Cosmetics who offer a huge range of make up, cosmetics, skincare, haircare and fragrances from loads of brand names and high street brands at discounted prices! There are some fantastic bargains and I have a bit of a beauty haul to share with you today!
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Elizabeth Arden Hydrating Mask - £6.99 (RRP £22.00)

I'm a sucker for face masks, and they make up probably about 80% of my skincare stash - I just can't get enough of them, and there is always a different face mask to try each day. This Elizabeth Arden Hydrating Mask is an intensive hydrating treatment. The formula is similar to a clay mask, but doesn't dry as stiff and is not tight or uncomfortable. Regular use maintains suppleness of complexion for younger and firmer looking skin.

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Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Nourishing Lip Balm - £6.99 (RRP £15.99)

Now that the harsher and colder winter months are setting in, our lips need a little bit more care and protection. This is where the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Nourishing Lip Balm comes into play, as it combines the right combination of vitamins and minerals to indulge your lips with the moisture they need to stay soft and smooth. And will also protect from damage. The squeezy tube has a slanted applicator for an easy gliding motion across the lips! This provides everything your lips need to look radiant, healthy and beautiful all day long!
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Elizabeth Arden Double Density Maximum Volume Mascara - £7.99 (RRP £24.00)

It's really tough for me to find mascaras that I actually like, and can wear comfortably throughout the day, as my eyes are quite sensitive. The Elizabeth Arden Double Density Volume Mascara is ideal as it's safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers because it doesn't smear, flake or rub off. Not to mention the results are amazing, as you can see in the photo above with one eye wearing two layers of the mascara and my other showing my natural lashes! It both lengthens and volumizes - providing fantastic results!
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I've been a huge fan of the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains since they were released! I remember rushing out to buy a few of the shades as soon as they were in store! My all time favourite is the shade "Lovesick" which is a bright and bold hot pink colour! The pampering balm fused with a lightweight lip stain gives you softer, smoother lips with a flush of glossy colour. The products have an enticing minty, lip tingling fragrance, along with a smooth and moisturising formula for truly kissable lips! I guarantee you that these products literally last almost all day!

What's your favourite place for bargain beauty products and have you ever tried Direct Cosmetics? 
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Monday, 20 October 2014

#MyDunelmBag - Dunelm Home Haul | £50 Blogger Challenge

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The lovely people at Dunelm's PR agency recently got in touch with me to let me know that I had been selected as one of five bloggers to take part in their My Dunelm Bag blogger challenge associated with their new TV advert #mydunelmbag and asked if I would like to take part?

If you've read some of my recent posts, you'll know that money(or lack of) has been quite a big issue with the whole "moving into my first home" thing, so this opportunity couldn't have come at a better time, and I am super grateful to be invited to take part. So I instantly replied with a "yes please!" - Thank you Dunelm!

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The concept of the challenge was to create a new look for a room or area of your home by buying products from Dunelm, within a budget of £50! To help me with the challenge I was kindly provided with my own personalised Dunelm Canvas Shopping Bag , the new A/W 2014 Dunelm Catalogue, and a pretty little £50 gift card.

The A/W Catalogue was packed full of inspiration and decor themes/ideas and gorgeous new colour schemes. I picked out a few ideas of what I wanted to buy first but I literally couldn't wait to go shopping! We headed to our local store which is located in Wolverhampton and spent a good couple of hours browsing all the aisles to make sure I didn't miss anything!

With such a generous budget, I quickly realised that not only could I create a new look for one room, but I could re-vamp two rooms in our new house! The rooms we chose to do out are the bedroom and the bathroom!

BEDROOM
For the bedroom, I knew exactly what I wanted, and I loved the "Beautiful Birds" section in the catalogue so much that I had to go and get my hands on some of these items! I have totally fallen in love with Duck Egg Blue and pastel colour schemes lately, and thought this would go beautifully with the decor of our new home...
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Duck Egg Beautiful Birds Duvet Cover Double (£19.99),
Duck Egg Beautiful Birds Storage Box(£4.99),

Wedding Lovebirds(£2.79)

Bevelled Edge Mirror Plate(99p), 

Decorative Heart On A Stick(£1.49)


The duvet cover is obviously the main part of this look, it looks super pretty and really good quality, especially as its piped around the seams. There are a range of colours in the duvet print, so plenty of colours to tie up with in the rest of the bedroom decor - light pink/dark pink/grey/dark brown etc. I then picked up a couple of the storage boxes, as I think these will be ideal to use as storage on our bedside tables. I then picked up a couple of small decorative pieces including the ceramic lovebirds, which will be sitting on top of the mirrored plate on a side table. Then finally I grabbed this really cute heart on a stick, which will look super cute in a tall stem flower vase!

You can find each of these items by typing in the names on the search box on the Dunelm homepage. Or you can see the full Dunelm Bedding selection for more ideas!

BATHROOM
I had no idea I that I was going to be decorating the bathroom, but as soon as I noticed the gorgeous Rose and Ellis bathroom collection, I had to have it all! I love the design and pattern it is very Cath Kidston-esque! The bathroom we will have in our new house is completely white all over, so this gorgeous pastel blue floral look will brighten it up a lot!
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Rose and Ellis Clarendon Collection Shower Curtain(£7.99)
Rose and Ellis Clarendon Collection Lotion Dispenser(£4.99)
Rose and Ellis Clarendon Collection Light Pull(1.79)
Rose and Ellis Clarendon Collection Soap Dish(£1.99)
Rose and Ellis Clarendon Collection Tumbler(£2.49)

I managed to get most of the essentials with what was left of the budget. The main and most noticeable item is the shower curtain, but I then got the matching light pull which was a total bargain! Along with the sink items - soap/lotion dispenser, soap dish and tumbler, all with matching design.

You can find each of these items by typing in the names on the search box on the Dunelm homepage. Or you can see the full Dunelm Bathroom selection for more ideas!

Overall the items came to £49.50! So for just under £50 I have managed to create a new look for not just one, but two rooms for my new home!

If you read my last blog post you will already know that we are getting the keys to our new home on Monday 27th October, I have now added the photo's of what the products I bought look like in our new home! Hope you like it! :)
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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Life | Some good news & a surprise arrival!


First of all, the good news... If you've been following my posts, you'll be aware of the fact that I have been looking to move out of my parents house for quite some time, and with various other problems and financial shortages this had not yet happened. However, my boyfriend has decided he is coming with me after all. After viewing a couple of properties together, we decided we loved the second property we went to see which was a unique semi-detached bungalow/house. We began the application process the very next day and were eagerly awaiting some good news. We got the phone call earlier this week to say our application has been accepted, and we are moving in on the 27th of this month! Which means we have just 1 week until the big day! SO EXCITED! Although this is only a rented property, so we won't be able to make it completely our home I cannot wait to finally have my own space, and make use of all the gorgeous homeware bits and pieces I've bought so far! I will be posting about our new home very soon once we have moved in! Including some homeware hauls and decor ideas - Watch this space! For now you can check out my "moving out" section to catch up on previous related posts.

Onto the surprise arrival... Just over a month ago we took in a stray kitten which had been wandering around and sleeping in our back garden for ages. We do already have a cat, Bob who is about 4-5 years old now, who we also took in as a stray kitten! Well we have been looking after this new kitten (we didn't know what sex the cat was) and we noticed it was getting rather fat, but we just thought it was because of the amount of food it was eating. We were getting ready to take it to the vets to see if there was something wrong with it, and also to get it neutered as it looked quite young. However the cats attitude started to change, wiggling into small spaces(under beds, behind sofa's etc) and also wanting to be in the house rather than in the garden. Then, completely out of the blue, I came home from my boyfriends house one morning and my family were all sat in the kitchen, the cat had given birth to two kittens during the night!! Another one arrived shortly after, so we had 3 in total - or so we thought. a whopping 12 hours later - she popped out another one! So we now have two cats and four little kitties! They are so adorable! They are now just over a week old, and one has opened both eyes! I have never actually seen newborn kittens, so this is a totally new experience for me and I can't wait to watch them grow up. I really hope that our new landlord will eventually allow us to have pets in the house so that I can keep a couple of the kittens as it will be heartbreaking to watch them go!




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Friday, 17 October 2014

Beauty Advent Calendar 2014 For Under £60!

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Since last years beauty advent calenders post was such a huge hit, and the idea of alternative advent caldendars seems to get more popular every year - especially in the beauty world. I decided to do an updated best of beauty advent calendars 2014 post to get you all in the Christmas spirit! Sorry guys, I know its only October, but the big day will soon come around!

I will be doing this post in two parts, today I bring you...
Part 1 | £60 & Under Beauty Advent Calendars! 

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No7 25 Days Of Beauty Treats Advent Calendar | £35.00

Available from 29th October in Boots stores and online.

Last year we had the Boots 25 Days Of Beauty Advent Calendar, but this year, the Boots calendar has been devoted entirely to No7 products. The calendar features a range of make up, nail products and skincare. The products in this calendar add up to a whopping £130(approx) and you can get your hands on it for just £35.00. I guarantee you this beauty will fly off the shelves once released! You can sign up here to be the first to know when it is released.

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Benefit Advent Calendar - Candy Coated Countdown | £60.00

Available from 16/10/14

This offering from Benefit features a range of their best-sellers - which if you look through the contents list on the website, I'm sure a lot of you fellow bloggers will recognise instantly, along with some other lovely little surprises. Although this is a little on the pricey side, its definitely worth it, as you get to try out their products before purchasing the full sizes!


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Ciate Mini Mani Manor Advent Calendar | £49.00

Available to buy now on the Ciate website!

If only I had space in my life for more nail polishes! This gorgeously designed Mini Mani Manor would be ideal for the nail fanatics! It contains 15 mini Paint Pots, 1 full sized paint pot, and 8 effects in a range of beautiful shades perfect for all year round! This advent calendar is already available to buy online on the Ciate website! Go on, treat yourself ;)

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The Body Shop Beauty Advent Calendar - 24 Days Of Joy | £50.00

Available now at The Body Shop in store and online.

I am not 100% sure, but I think this is a first from The Body Shop, as I don't remember seeing an advent calendar from them last year (I may be mistaken). The 24 Days Of Joy advent is packed full of beauty treats including body, nail, hair and face products as well as fragrances and cosmetic brushses!

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You Beauty Advent Calendar 2014 | £49.95

Available now from the You Beauty Website!

I think this calendar was the one everyone wanted to get their hands on last year, and they've done pretty well for the 2014 calendar too, so be quick to grab this one. The products inside are premium beauty products from brands including Liz Earle and Laura Mercier, and have a combined value of over £240! So the £49.95 price tag makes this amazing value!! You can view a list of products included on the website, but don't spoil it too much for yourself ;)

The second part of this blog post - Part 2 | Luxury Beauty Advent Calendars coming soon!
Which beauty advent calendar will you be buying this year? 

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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Make Up | W7 In The Buff Eyeshadow Palette Review

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I remember seeing the W7 In The Buff Natural Nudes Eyeshadow Palette doing the rounds on many blogs a few months ago, and wanting it back then, but for one reason or another I've only just managed to get my hands on it, and I'm so glad I did as it surpassed all of my expectations and also rivals some of my more expensive palettes! 

The palette is very reminiscent of the ever-fabulous Urban Decay Naked palettes, and is a very good dupe for the Naked 2 palette in particular! It comes in a metallic, bronze coloured tin, and has a flip lid with an internal mirror. It also comes complete with a double ended sponge-brush applicator, which I must add is surprisingly good quality!

It's everything I could have wanted a natural eyeshadow palette to be - it has a wide range of shades and both matte and shimmer/glitter finishes, making it very versatile to create many different looks. I have literally used this, and only this to create my eye looks every day since I bought it. 

For my usual everyday work eye look - I first start off using my MUA eyeshadow primer, before applying "Buff" all over the lid, then "Earth" on the lid, with "Topaz" in the crease, before using "Sand" as an under brow highlighter! I even use the "Chocolate" shade to fill in my eyebrows using an angled eyeliner brush. As well as creating natural, every day looks, this palette would be amazing for a smokey eye night out look too. 

The eyeshadows are both blend-able and buildable, as well as being super soft with good pigmentation and very little fall out - making them a dream to apply and work with! 

Overall this is a truly gorgeous palette, and well worth the money! You can pick it up for a mere £5.99 (with free UK delivery) at Xtras!!

Have you got this palette yet, and what are your thoughts on it?
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Saturday, 11 October 2014

Advice & Tips | Running a blog and working full time!

(Image from Pinterest - Edited by me)
If you asked me what was one thing I've struggled with since starting my blog, its the fact that I never seem to have enough time to maintain and grow my blog, due to also working full time office hours! I currently work Monday to Friday, 9-5, which I understand for a lot of people might seem like the ideal job, like it did to me before I realised how much of a pain in the ass it really is! Because I feel like I never have time to do anything, as everyone else works these hours too, and talk about being impossible to contact people during all these hours when I'm stuck at my work desk!

Anyway, over the past couple of years I've tried to find ways to make the best use of the spare time I do have, and make time to keep my blog growing! I understand that these may not work for some of you, and may be completely irrelevant to most of you, but I wanted to share with you a quick post about my tips for working full time and running a blog!

KEEP A NOTEBOOK & PEN HANDY TO JOT DOWN IDEAS AS THEY POP INTO YOUR HEAD!

I've very often found that ideas for blog posts come to me whilst I'm sat at my desk at work (usually because I'm bored out my brains of my mundane, same old job). So try and keep a small notebook and pen in your handbag, and jot ideas down as they pop into your head. You can develop them later on when you have more time to think and plan the post.

BE REALISTIC - QUALITY OVER QUANTITY!

When I first started my blog I published a new post almost every day, but it soon became apparent to me that I was never going to keep that up, no matter how enthusiastic I was about beauty or fashion! I simply didn't have the time, or the energy to write quality posts, to take photographs or engage with readers about my posts. I recommend that you set yourself a realistic target as to how often you can post... even if you only have time to post once a week, it usually means the quality will be better and you will feel better for it! 

PLAN AHEAD & PHOTOGRAPH IN BULK!

I find that I spend a fair few hours on a weekend just photographing products for review. The reason for this is by the time I get home on an evening (especially in the winter months) it's too dark for me to take good quality photographs. Natural lighting is key for good photo's - we all know that!? So why not gather up all the products you want to review during the upcoming week, and take several photographs of each item all at once, then store them in individual folders with the product name for easy access! You can always edit these and plan posts later on! 

WRITE MULTIPLE POSTS IF YOU'RE IN A CREATIVE MOOD & SAVE AS DRAFTS

Sometimes I feel a lot more motivated and enthusiastic about writing, so if I get into the swing of things, I like to write up as many posts as I can and save them in my draft posts in Blogger. You could even schedule the posts for what day and time you want them to go live on your blog, and you won't have to think about it again!

USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO PROMOTE YOUR BLOG WHILST YOU'RE AT WORK.

Promotion across social media is a great way to drive traffic to your blog! It's also a great way to share your reviews with companies! I find that a lot of my page views come from Twitter and Facebook in particular. So you can take advantage of scheduled tweets and status updates to promote your blog for you, even if you can't get access during the day. If you do have a spare bit of time during your lunch break or on the commute to work, make use of this time by replying to tweets and messages via social media too.

I really hope that you have found at least something helpful in this post, if you have any tips that you think benefit your blog whilst holding down a full time job too, then please do let me know in the comments below! 
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Monday, 6 October 2014

Pink Parcel Review | September 2014

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You may have seen my first Pink Parcel review here - But if you missed it, then let me introduce you... Pink Parcel is a unique monthly subscription box in which you receive a set of tampons to see you through your monthly menstruation cycle, along with a few other treats including beauty, lifestyle and food products to give you a little "pick me up" during this time. 

Today I have Septembers box to review, I was actually super impressed with the products I received this month, especially the beauty products, and the overall value works out to much more than the cost of the box!

Box Of Tampax Pearl Applicator Tampons

Most excited to see this in my box! I've been wanting this for ages but couldn't justify the price. Anyway this is a smoothing and perfecting primer with optical effect. 5sec Perfect Blur takes 5 seconds to apply and improves the look of your skin immediately. I'll do a full review on this in the near future.

Find and accentuate every lash you ever had! The long-lasting, smudge-proof mascara will give you thick, superbly separated lashes. I will do a separate review on this product soon too.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I first tried this, it was literally bright green - but it really does what it's supposed to do! Corrects redness and helps to soothe skin using the antibacterial actives of Witch Hazel. Free from oil and containing no artificial fragrance or colour, it helps cover and target imperfections.

Teapigs Bolly Good Chai Tea (1 tea temple) - £1.30 for 2 tea temples sample pack.
A rich, malty Assam tea blended with cardamom pods, cinnamon, ginger and cassia. A satisfying, healthy drink that captures the vibrancy and colour of India in a cup. This tea will boost the awake half, and give the sleepy half a resounding slap around the chops.

Our goji & orange bar is perfect for those of you with a sweet tooth. The delicious chewy texture of the goji berries is paired perfectly with a natural and sweet orange flavor.

You can subscribe to Pink Parcel here, and get your first box for just £5.95! Monthly price afterwards is £9.99. Considering one of the products in this box was worth a whopping £21, this was well worth the price! 

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