Seeking Out Summer

Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Dress*: AX Paris
Sandals: River Island 

As the weather has been unseasonably warm lately, I've been all about getting the most out of my summer wardrobe. I always find I buy loads of summer clothes, and end up wearing them once or twice, so I'm all about making the most of the warmer weather now it's with us. I was sent this dress from AX Paris a while ago and it's the perfect dress to throw on and dress up or down. It's currently in the sale too and will probably sell out asap so get your mitts on it now if you can! 

I paired it with my River Island sandals, another item I'm trying to get a bit more use of before autumn comes to the forefront of fashion. I'm pretty excited about it to be honest - whilst I love summer fashion there is nothing better than tartan scarves, red wine hues and chunky knits. But for now I'm happy to keep summer alive until it turns chillier! 

Are you making the most of the weather and using up the last of your summer wardrobe? 

The Uh-Mazing £9.99 Clarisonic Cleansing Brush Alternative

Monday, 15 September 2014

I've been lusting after a Clarisonic for absolutely ages, but paying over £100 for something I'm not entirely sure I'll get along with just doesn't sit well with me. Whilst Clarisonic cleansing brushes have received rave reviews, some of us just don't have the cash to make that kind of investment. 

However, the skincare gods have answered our savvy-shopping prayers by releasing a considerably cheaper cleansing brush. One that fits the bill in terms of Clarisonic's proportions, but comes at a teeny fraction of the price. 'How much?' I hear you ask... Just £9.99. Pretty unbelievable, right? 

That's right - Lidl, everyone's favourite discount grocery store, has jumped on the cleansing brush bandwagon and has well and truly come up with the goods, releasing the Sanitas Cleansing Brush, at a ridiculously affordable price. I've been lucky enough to receive a brush to try and I just have to fill you guys in on what I think to it. 

First of all, I will just say now that I've never had the pleasure of trying any of the 'big gun' cleansing brushes out there, so this is my first experience with one. I will be keen to see how other bloggers who have previously tried the likes of the Clarisonic think this fairs, however. 

Okay, so if you're new to cleansing brushes - they're pretty simple. The general idea is that you use them along with your favourite gel/foam cleanser to give a much deeper, more effective clean. The brush works by rotating at a variety of different speeds to buff away at the skin and get rid of makeup, dead skin cells, dirt and grime, leaving your skin feeling smooth and soft. It's said to remove considerably more makeup, dirt etc. than traditional cleansers, which is what has made cleansing brushes such a popular choice over recent years. 

So, what do I think to Lidl's cleansing brush offering? Honestly, I love it. I've only been using it for a couple of weeks but for the price I think this is a complete must-have if you're all about skincare on a budget. I'll be the first to admit, I can be pretty lazy when it comes to my skincare, but having this bad boy on hand has made things so much quicker and easier. I simply rinse my face, whack a bit of cleanser onto the brush, push the button and move the brush in circular motions over my skin. It usually creates a bit of a lather (depending on the cleanser you're using), and after a minute or two your makeup and muck is buffed away. Then all that's needed to do is rinse it off and voila - perfectly cleansed skin. 

It can take a bit of getting used to, having this machine vigorously cleansing your face, but it is totally worth it and after a couple of days you become accustomed to it. Since using it my skin is so much softer and smoother, blackheads are reduced and I feel like for once my skin is getting a proper clean. Usually when I wash my makeup off and go to apply my toner tonnes of my makeup is still on my skin - but not anymore. Very little, if anything at all, remains on my face once using this and that definitely gets me excited. There is nothing better than the feeling of properly cleaned skin. 

I have noticed a few spots pop up since using this brush but I think this is what is known as the 'purging' stage - where your skin kicks out all the bad stuff due to having such a good clean, making way for gorgeous skin. It's literally just a few little pimples though and not cystic acne - the overall appearance of my skin's texture etc. has improved a lot so the pimples don't bother me much! 

Overall I am a huge fan of the Sanitas Cleansing Brush and would completely recommend it to anyone who feels like they're not giving their skin a good enough cleanse. For £9.99 it comes with three replacement brush heads, as well as the batteries needed to keep it going (unlike the Clarisonic it isn't mains powered/charged but relies on disposable batteries). It might not be pink but it sure is good at what it does, and I would 100% recommend it. 

The Sanitas Cleansing Brush is available from Lidl and is released TODAY, so get your hands on it asap. I predict this product will sell out straight away, so go hunt it down whilst you can!

An Ode to Stationery

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Hands up if you love stationery!? I'm yet to find a blogger out there who doesn't, and writing up stationery posts are actually one of my favourite things to do. Aside from, you know, buying stationery, using stationery, and gushing over stationery. It's safe to say, I'm a tad obsessed.

I've written posts in the past professing my love for all things pen, paper, notebook and sticky note-related, and I thought it was about time I did another, with a few new things which have recently entered my endless collection of 'back to school'-esque goods. I always find September the best month for stationery lovers - it's when the shelves of WHSmiths and the like become full to the brim with more folders, pens and pencils and lined paper pads than you can shake a sticky tape at. I adore it. As I know some of my readers will be heading back to school, college and uni this month, I thought now was the perfect time for a good old gush about stationery. 

One of my favourite places to buy my stationery from has got to be Paperchase. The above kitten book is actually from there, and a great deal of my favourite stationery bits also are. The only downside to Paperchase is the price - it certainly isn't the cheapest, and so a splurge in there can really leave your purse looking a little sorry for itself. However, they currently have 15% off online for students so that's definitely worth checking out. On the other side of the spectrum, places like Wilko are really good when it comes to affordable stationery. Nowhere near to the quality of Paperchase, granted, but you don't always necessarily need great quality when it comes to things like post-it notes and plastic files. The Parisian-themed plastic folder above is from Wilko for a mere 80p or so and it does the job perfectly fine. 

A stand-out brand I've recently discovered in the stationery world is Galison, which has some of the cutest stationery around (it's just a case of hunting it out). The above cupcake post-it notes and macaron notebook are both by Galison, which is actually available to buy online - hooray! I've become a bit obsessed with Sharpies lately, and the neon ones above were a steal from Asda in the sale. The sticky dividers are from Staples in their Martha Stewart range, which is a girly girl stationery lovers dream. Seriously. 

Other shops I find are fab for stationery purchases are the likes of WHSmiths, The Works, and even supermarkets like Tesco and Asda have a great range. Online-wise, Amazon can be a great place to find stationery goodies, and are particularly good for things like cool Post-It note dispensers and funky features for your desk. If you send parcels/envelopes out a lot through having your own business, using Ebay, selling things regularly on Depop or even having a penpal, I think another great website for funky envelopes to pack your parcels etc. in is Envelopes24, which has everything from brightly coloured envelopes to these groovy pink bubble ones. I've never seen a website with such a wide range of envelopes before so definitely thought this was worth a mention. Also, if you're a fan of Kawaii stationery (and I certainly am) Tofu Cute is a fab website to find some cool stuff on. Also, if you search on Ebay for 'kawaii stationery' you'll find some amazing bits and pieces, just be sure to check where they're shipping from as they will take ages if they're from Hong Kong/China. 

Where is your favourite shop for finding stationery? Are you as obsessed with it as I am? 

Next AW14 #NextNewIn Event

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

A couple of weeks ago I took a trip down to London for the #NextNewIn event, previewing Next's A/W 2014 collection. I absolutely love Next when it comes to events - they always put on such a good spread, and it's always nice to catch up with some of my favourite bloggers over drinks, as well as perusing (and photographing) the upcoming collection. As well as taking a peek at all the fab new pieces, there was plenty of delicious food and drink to be had, an illustrator on hand to draw your picture and even a palm-reader ready to tell you your fortune. I, of course, took advantage of all of these things and ended up having a whale of a time. It was so nice to catch up with people and it definitely made me excited to get back into blogging and going to events!

Next really excites me when it comes to A/W fashion and I wasn't disappointed with everything they had on offer. I love that this season pastels are still on trend - as you can probably guess, I'm a big fan of them. Upon walking in to the event I laid eyes on the dress in the first illustration and immediately fell in love - it's a must-have party dress for me, that's for sure. As well as cream chunky knits, furry gilets and dusky pink coats, there was also a wealth of trusty black outfits on display, perfect for seeing you through the party season. I had my eye on a couple of the embellished dresses, but there were also some dreamy jumpsuits available, as well as embellished tops and skirts aplenty.

There was a multitude of silky and sexy lingerie on show, as well as some gorgeous pyjamas (you know how much I love a good pair of pjs, right?!) in a wide range of luxe materials, in stunning navy and oxblood hues. The shoes and accessories were also absolutely divine - there was an abundance of glittery shoes, in both heel and flat form, as well as boyish brogues and tough biker boots. I fell in love with a pair of floral flats, as well as some seriously cool almost holographic heels.

Overall I am seriously impressed with everything Next has coming up for A/W. I definitely think it's worth checking out their 'new in' section as the weeks go on, as it's going to be filled with some seriously stunning clothes (and shoes, and bags...). I had a wonderful time at the event and want to give Next a big thank you for having me!

Are you excited about Next's collection for A/W? Let me know which pieces you love the look of!

Elephants on Parade

Tuesday, 9 September 2014
Dress*: Lavish Alice
Shoes: Boohoo
Necklace*: Luxe London

Say hello to the first outfit post in ages from me - I've been really struggling to get outfit pictures taken over the past few weeks but I managed to get some done in bulk (sneaky) the other day so this is the start of lots more from me. Seeing as we're supposedly going to have a really warm september, this cute elephant dress from Lavish Alice seems more than appropriate. It's a gorgeous design, I love the colour and it fits really nice. The only thing I dislike about it is it's pretty short - it has a rounded hemline that goes in at the side making it all the shorter. Probably not the best for tall/long-legged ladies! 

I paired it with my gorgeous necklace from Luxe London, my favourite dolly shoes from Boohoo and my Anna Smith bag in baby blue. I really like how the outfit turned out, and fingers crossed the weather stays nice and warm so I can get a few more wears out of it! 

What do you think to my elephant-print dress from Lavish Alice? Is it something you would wear? 

Little Things #9

Monday, 8 September 2014
Homemade Decorative Accessories
It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago, and I was lucky enough to receive this sweet little handmade mouse from my sister. I really don't think you can beat homemade decorative accessories - I've built up quite a collection over time due to having a rather creative family, and this one is a definite favourite of mine. It's decked out in floral material, of course, and looks so cute sitting on my side table. I love it and think it makes such a cute present. 

The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter*
I've been getting heavily into The Body Shop lately and this wonderful cleansing butter has been a firm favourite of mine over the past few weeks. After using up my beloved facial oil I decided it was time to give a balm a go, and I haven't been disappointed. This stuff is incredible at getting my makeup off, smells delicious and leaves my skin looking seriously clean and feeling super soft. You simply rub a little bit onto your skin and watch your makeup slowly melt away. I love it and it's currently my go-to makeup-removing/skin cleansing product. 

Bingo Websites
I have a confession - lately I've become a bit addicted to Bingo websites. As embarrassing it is to say, having an occasional go on a certain Bingo site has become a part of my routine, and being a big fan of Bingo anyway (I'm such an old granny at heart) I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner. Considering I have quite an addictive personality it probably isn't the wisest decision for me to make, but I'm being very, very careful and making sure it doesn't become too much of a regular thing. I think the occasional play once or twice a month is allowed, right? Tell me I'm not the only one! 

Lidl's Suddenly Diamonds Perfume*
What's that, you say? A Lidl perfume? Yes, you read right - a new found love of mine has got to be Lidl's uh-mazing 'Suddenly Diamonds' perfume. After hearing all about the hype of their original perfume release being a dupe for Chanel, I was really excited to see how their latest offering compared. In short, this perfume is completely gorgeous and smells incredibly like Hugo Boss' 'Boss Orange' perfume. It's long-lasting and one of those 'what is she wearing?!' perfumes that begs to be noticed. I love it and I can't wait to see what Lidl come up with next! 

Pastel Accessories 
I'm such a homeware-shopping addict, and after recently discovering the wonders of B&M, I have since acquired a great deal more beautiful pastel homeware to add to my ever-growing collection. I actually bought an awful lot more than what is pictured above, but these are just a few of my favourite purchases. I got myself a little set of wooden utensils from Tesco, a petite pink pan from B&M and a tin vintage-style tin bucket, also from B&M. I have lots of homeware stuff to show you, so I'm thinking about putting it all into a haul video, if you're interested? Let me know in the comments! 

Finally, the last thing I've got to show you is another birthday present - #GIRLBOSS, a book I have wanted for ages and am currently loving. It's written by the founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso, and is perfect for all women with ambition. I'm currently only part of the way through but I am loving it so far. Let me know if you're currently reading this too!