Debenhams A/W 14 Blogger Style Challenge

Wednesday, 8 October 2014
You know me, I love a good style challenge, and this one I stumbled across on the Debenhams website sounded too good to pass up.

Debenhams is definitely one of my favourite places to shop when autumn/winter comes round. There's just something about going into the store, Christmas shoppers in abundance and thick woolen coats aplenty, fairy lights dazzling and perfumes being spritzed that reminds me completely of this time of year, with the buzz up to Christmas and the endless party outfits to buy.

So, what better time to take part in their A/W 14 Blogger Style Challenge to win an amazing £500 for you and another blogger to spend at Debenhams?! Imagine the shopping spree! The competition is welcome to all bloggers and basically requires you to put together two outfits based around the six key A/W trends; Modern Military, Pastel Palette, Autumn Luxe, Blue Notes, Pinks & Berries or Winter Greens. One of the outfits has to be for you, and another picked out for a blogger friend.

Can you guess which trend I picked for myself...?

Red Herring Grey Checked Embellished Collar Pinafore DressMantaray Dark Cream Pom Pom Knit Bobble Hat / Floozie Pale Pink Heart Hand Watch / Floozie Pink Tweed Cross Body Bag / OPI Princesses Rule! Nail Lacquer / J by Jasper Conran Designer Light Pink Panel Brogues / Miss Selfridge Shawl Collar Fur Coat 

Of course, I just had to go for the 'Pastel Palette' trend. As you probably know by now, pastels are my favourite and I would 100% wear this outfit myself - I mean, can I have it now please?! It's just too adorable and perfect for the coming months. I love how the dress is grey and the pale pinks bring everything together and make the outfit super girly - and how cute is that bobble hat? I also love how the checks on the dress tie in nicely with the tweed on the bag. I can imagine getting wrapped up warm in this on a wintry day and feeling ridiculously stylish! 

In contrast, the outfit I chose for my friend and fellow blogger Steph from Stephanie Dreams is a much more fiery, rock n' roll vibe. Me and Steph actually have quite a similar style in that we love girly pastels as well as grungy, rockier looks, so we could have all the fun in the world swapping outfits! In terms of the trend, I decided to go for the 'Pinks & Berries' trend for Steph as she has gorgeous reddy-brown hair that would look amazing with this outfit...


Definitely a contrast, but I absolutely love everything about this outfit, and think it would look amazing on Steph. The dress is stunning and the brogues and the jumper give it a boyish vibe, whilst the bracelet, lipstick and nail polish glam things up. The dark pink bag is gorgeous and works so well with the dress, it's almost like they were made for each other. 

So, all that's left to say is that I nominate Steph from Stephanie Dreams to take part in the Debenhams A/W 14 Blogger Style Challenge. 

Will you be entering the style challenge? Follow the hashtag #DebsAWStyle to check out all the entries! Wish me luck! 

September Favourites

It's that time again - okay, it's an ever-so-slightly delayed September favourites. Apologies for the delay in getting it up, but better late than never, right?

This month I've been loving a mixed variety of makeup, skincare and random bits and pieces.

First up, Biore's Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser* is something I've been wanting to share on the blog for a while now. I received it a little while ago and I've been using it non-stop ever since. Ideal for oily/spot-prone skin, this cleanser works deep down to clean and purify skin, getting right to the nitty-gritty and getting rid of dirt, grime, blackheads and impurities. It has a rather cooling consistency (probably because it's clay-based) and it leaves my skin feeling super smooth and looking really clear.

I've actually been using it religiously with my Sanitas Cleansing Brush* from Lidl. The two of them together work amazingly well to get rid of my makeup and then give my skin a really thorough cleanse. I've popped up a full review of the cleansing brush here.

In terms of makeup, I've reignited my love for MAC's Impassioned lipstick. You know sometimes you misplace a makeup product and completely forget all about it, only to then find it months later and wonder how you ever coped with out it? That's basically what happened here. I left it in one of my many 'night out' bags and it sat forgotten for months on end, but now I'm reunited with it I couldn't be more pleased. Impassioned is a gorgeous bright pinky red, and makes a really lovely colour for this time of year.

I also discovered a new foundation in September, which is a pretty odd one for me, as I swear by Estee Lauder's Double Wear and never really stray far from it. I stumbled across this after my sister recommended it - I'd ran out of my beloved Double Wear and pennies were tight so I thought there was no harm in giving this £6.49 17 Stay Time Foundation a go. For the price this is by far one of the best foundations I've ever tried - it is seriously thick, full-coverage and fairly long-lasting. I will have a full review up on it very soon, so watch this space!

Another Lidl spesh, I couldn't resist putting their 'Suddenly Diamonds' fragrance* in here, as I definitely got a lot of wear out of it over the month of September. A really fresh floral scent, I received countless compliments when wearing this and for the amazing price it is totally worth a try.

Finally, on to random favourites and there's just a couple this month. First up, the lovely people at Pets Rock sent me over this awesome 'Power Bank'*, which is basically a portable charger that you can use to charge multiple devices up at once. If you're a complete computer nerd and have your devices on the go all the time (like myself) then this would be ideal - it also has enough room for a fair few phone charges and one tablet boost. The best thing about it? It lights up and has a cat that looks remarkably like Katy Perry on the front. What more could you want?

The last thing I was loving last month was stationery-related, of course, in particular stationery from TK Maxx. I could have dropped about £100 in there but luckily I refrained, coming back with only a couple of bits including this cute little 'Notes' book in pink and gold. It looks very Kate Spade-esque to me but was a mere £3.99 so thought it was well worth a mention!

What were you loving throughout September? I'd love to hear!

Zoella Beauty

Sunday, 5 October 2014
Zoella Beauty* - Feel Unique

Unless you've been living under a rock over the past week or so, you'll have probably heard all about how Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella, has recently launched her very own beauty brand.

Now, I'm sure I'm not the first to say that Zoe's was one of the first blogs I ever read and one I immediately fell in love with. Zoe has always been successful - her blog following was huge even when I first came across it back in 2010, and since then things have only got bigger and better. It's been amazing to see how she's gone from strength to strength, gaining six million subscribers on YouTube, achieving book deals, beauty ranges, and even being featured in Vogue. I am happy to admit Zoe is one of my all-time favourite bloggers/vloggers and I watch her vlogs on a daily basis, so to say I was excited about this launch was a bit of an understatement.

So - how do the products actually fair? Well, aside from looking totally gorgeous, these products smell and feel gorgeous too. All of the products are beautifully scented, with a light, fresh and floral scent that I honestly think everyone will like. The 'Let's Glow' candle* is a little smaller than I envisaged but it's super cute and smells amazing too, and at only a fiver for a really gorgeous tinned candle you can't complain. The 'Blissful Mistful' body mist* is probably my favourite product - I can't stop spraying it everywhere as it honestly smells delicious. The 'Soak Opera' bath soak* does what it says on the tin, smells amazing and comes in a huge bottle, which is great for the £5 price tag. The 'Fizz Bar'* is perfect for Lush-addicts out there as it fills your bath with the gorgeous signature scent, lots of bubbles and a lot of fizz. It's like a chocolate bar in that you can break bits off depending on how much you want to use, which I think is a fab idea (just don't eat it!) The 'Creamy Madly Deeply' body lotion* is super moisturising as it's infused with Shea butter and vitamin E, and, again, smells really great. Finally, the cosmetic bags* are ridiculously cute (I have my eye on the Guinea Pig one!) and are the ideal size for carrying your daily makeup around.

I honestly love each and every product in this range and I would definitely go out and repurchase them. I think the range will make amazing Christmas presents and I imagine the ultimate Zoella fan would love to receive a big bundle of all the products for Christmas. I predicted the range would sell out almost immediately and it has, which doesn't come as a surprise at all as Zoe is such a popular figure in online media and she deserves all the success in the world. I definitely feel completely inspired by Zoe's success and it is amazing to think that bloggers can have such an impact on the bigger picture. I can't wait to see what's next for Zoe!

Have you bought any of the Zoella Beauty range? It is available online at Feel Unique and retails around £5-£8. The majority of things are sold out at the minute but you can sign up to receive alerts when they're back in stock, so get in there quick!

Rory Dog

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Say hello to my baby boy, the apple of my eye, my little cutie, gorgeous ball of fluff, Rory. I've blogged about him before, even way back when I first got him (you can take a peek here at the super-retro blog post if you like) but I feel like he deserves another post as I'm currently away from home and missing him lots. 

I got Rory way back in June 2010 (over four years ago now, but it honestly feels like yesterday), and ever since he has completely stolen my heart. I know people some people find it odd to be so attached to an animal, but Rory is honestly like my little boy - he sleeps in my room, sometimes shares my bed (and takes up most of it even though he's teeny), watches the TV and has a way of getting away with everything. He's like a little person (but way better) - he gets mad when some animals come on the television (he hates the Aldi koalas), but cries at others (because he wants to get to them but can't - these are usually puppies), the expressions he pulls sometimes are hilarious and when he gives you the side eye you know he's not impressed. He adores going on walks, is a total piggy (a bit like his mother - that would be me), and gets spoilt rotten by his grandma and grandad (or my mum and dad). 

I always wanted a little, fluffy dog, because I think they're adorable and I wanted a dog I could cuddle and carry around like a teddy bear. I honestly never imagined I would find a dog with a personality like Rory's though - he honestly has the loveliest character and does at least ten things every day that make me smile. He's become a huge part of my life and he is definitely a well-loved member of the family - my mum and dad dote on him and everyone else thinks he's adorable. He's a scruffy little so-and-so, like me, but I wouldn't have him any other way. He's actually a Maltese x Chihuahua in case you wanted to know, and he is honestly the best thing ever to have happened to me. 

When I got Rory, I'd always wanted a little dog of my own, but I never imagined the impact it would have. It's amazing how intuitive animals are - Rory knows when I'm upset, and always looks after me when I don't feel good. He can just tell - I don't even have to be crying and he'll rush up to me, jump up and give me kisses. He is just the cutest little guy. 

They say dogs are the most loyal, loving animals and I wholeheartedly agree. If you're thinking about getting a pooch of your own, I couldn't recommend it more. Rory totally changed my life and makes me happier than I can tell you. I will say, though, that doggies aren't cheap and they sure aren't easy to look after - you need to be prepared to put in a lot of hard work and effort, as well as sacrificing lots of lie ins (this was hard for me - but those 5am starts in the early days were totally worth it), and learning that this entire being is relying on you to look after them. As well as the cost of food, bedding, toys, grooming, collars and leads, there is also vet bills to take into account, and pet insurance. It can all add up to quite a lot more than just buying (or adopting) your doggie outright, so make sure you're 100% serious about it if you're thinking of getting a dog. Aside from the money thing, it's also important to remember your dog is relying on you and so if you work away or don't have anyone who can look after your dog whilst you're out, it probably won't work. If all of that suits you though, I say go for it. I feel like dogs are little bundles of love and happiness and I am so looking forward to snuggling mine when I go home tomorrow! 

If you want to take a peek at all the posts I've featured Rory in, have a look here.

Do you have a dog? If so I want to hear all about them! 

World Duty Free #JetSetBeauty Event

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A few weeks ago I was invited down to London by the lovely people at World Duty Free, to take a peek at some of their new and exclusive beauty products. I'm a big fan of World Duty Free's luxurious beauty products, and having worked with them in the past I jumped at the chance to meet the team in the flesh as well as perusing all the gorgeous things they had on offer. 

Upon arrival at the event it was clear World Duty Free had gone all out - the venue was decked out exactly like a plane, complete with windows, seats, departure boards and everything in between. There was an array of yummy delights on offer, including makeup-shaped biscuits and, of course, the obligatory cupcakes. There was also a lovely nail artist on hand giving gorgeous manicures, of which most definitely took advantage of. 

The main focus of the event, of course, was the gorgeous makeup bits and pieces which were on display to have a play around with. In case you didn't know, World Duty Free is situated at airports all across the country, and specialise in beautiful makeup products and fragrance. They had a plethora of products on show that you can get exclusively at World Duty Free stores, most of which came in the form of gorgeous makeup kits, ideal for travelling. There were some stunning palettes from YSL, a cute little kit from Givenchy, dozens of mini perfumes (ideal for handbags), as well as lots of goodies from Benefit, hand creams from Loccitane, and Estee Lauder's delicious 'Modern Muse' perfume. 

The exclusive bits are definitely worth checking out if you're heading away on your holidays soon, these make it worth the trip to the airport alone! I was lucky enough to go away with a goody bag packed full of exclusive products so I will be reviewing them on here for you over the next month or so! 

Are you heading away soon and planning a splurge at World Duty Free before you leave? Let me know! 

Maxfactor Gel Shine Lacquer Review

Tuesday, 30 September 2014
Maxfactor Gel Shine Lacquer in (L-R) - Sparkling Berry*, Vivid Vermillion*, Twinkling Pink* & Radiant Ruby*

I was pretty excited a little while ago when four shades from the new Gel Shine Lacquer collection from Maxfactor turned up at my doorstep. I'm sorry to say I've never actually tried a polish from Maxfactor before, so I was really keen to see how these new lacquers faired. 

The new range features nine shades in total, and the four I received were Sparkling Berry* - a deep berry shade, Vivid Vermillion* - a totally 'pow!' bright orange, Twinkling Pink* - the perfect bright pink, and Radiant Ruby* - a gorgeous deep ruby red. Each of the shades are seriously stunning and I love the mix of brighter colours and deeper, more autumnal shades. I can definitely see the two reds getting a lot of use over the coming autumn months. 

In terms of quality and finish, these polishes are divine. The above nail swatches are actually from just one coat - proving just how opaque and pigmented these polishes are. They glide on seamlessly, dry quickly and give a completely stunning glossy finish. You look like you've had a gel manicure with these babies on, and the staying power is fantastic, with them lasting a good few days before they start to chip. I'm actually happy to say these are better quality than some of the big name nail polish brands out there, and at so £6.99 each they are completely worth the money. 

Have you tried the new polishes from Maxfactor yet? I've got my eye on this green shade - too perfect for autumn! The polishes are available at Boots and Superdrug stores, and are currently on offer for just £5.99 at Superdrug