Bloggers Royal Wedding Celebration

Thursday, 28 April 2011

As much as I would LOVE to tell you I've received an invite for the highly anticipated Royal wedding, unfortunately, I haven't. However, the lovely Sarah from City Girl's Fashion Box came up with the idea of putting together a couple of wedding outfits (one high street, one designer) on the off chance that me and a few other lovely bloggers might receive a last-minute invite in the post. Here's what I came up with...

High street
Dress: River Island - £59.99
Earrings: Accessorize - £6
Shoes: Missguided - £28.99
Ring: Topshop - £10
Clutch: Accessorize - £32

First up, high street. As you can probably guess, I am a high street girl through-and-through and so was really excited about the prospect of putting together my very own high street Royal wedding outfit. If I WAS lucky enough to be a guest at the Royal wedding, I would definitely wear something like this. I absolutely love the River Island dress - I saw it a few days ago and immediately fell in love. I love the floral design and the ruching, and honestly think this is a beautiful summer dress which would be perfect for any wedding, Royal or not. I teamed it with these stunning heels from Missguided (I'm on the hunt for some nude heels and these would be perfect), some cute jewellery and a beautiful clutch from Accessorize. I was actually spoilt for choice on the Accessorize website; they have such a fantastic range of clutch bags, I could have easily chosen two or three more that would go perfectly with this outfit. Overall I love it - and I think I need that River Island dress in my life!

Dress: Valentino - £5,865
Clutch: Oscar de la Renta - £995
Ring: Ileana Makri - £8,070
Shoes: Alexander Mcqueen - £595
Necklace: Vivienne Westwood - £85

Okay, I'm going to be perfectly honest here, and say that (shockingly) I've never really been that bothered about designer clothes. I know, I know, I love fashion but when it comes to designer I tend to steer clear, purely because I know I'll never be able to afford it. Like I said, I'm all about the high street, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to put my own (ridiculously expensive) Royal wedding designer outfit together to see what I could come up with. I have to say, I'm in love. I absolutely adore every single thing about this outfit, and can't believe I've been ignoring designer for so long. Okay, so realistically I'm not going to be able to buy any of these things, but hey, a girl can dream right? The dress is AMAZING and is by Valentino, and it is just my taste. I love anything girly, pink and flowery so this just screams me. I think it would look absolutely stunning with a tan. I teamed it with some pretty Alexander Mcqueen heels, which I think go really well with the dress, a cute little Oscar de la Renta clutch bag, a ridiculously expensive but nonetheless beautiful gold ring, and a gorgeous bas relief pearl necklace by my beloved Vivienne Westwood. I just adore how romantic and pretty this outfit looks, and I'm on the hunt for a dress just like that Valentino number now!

If you want to have a look at what all the other bloggers came up with, here's a list of all the lovely ladies involved: 

What do you think to my outfit choices? I have to say, surprisingly, the designer is hands down my favourite. I know I love my high street, but I can't deny the fact these designer beauties look stunning together. Which do you like best?

Happy Easter!

Sunday, 24 April 2011
Dress: Internacionale 
Shoes: Office
Ring: Primark
Earrings: Topshop
Bracelet: Thomas Sabo

Happy Easter lovelies! I hope you're all having a fantastic bank holiday weekend eating lots of choccy eggs (my mum got me a Mini Egg one - SO happy). I've spent today spending some time with my family, eating a ridiculous amount of food and sunning myself in the garden with a glass of Rosé - bliss. I thought seeing as it's Easter Sunday I'd dress up a bit, and found this dress sitting at the back of my wardrobe looking a bit neglected and thought 'Why not?!'. I actually got this from Internacionale (I actually HATE that shop with a passion - such bad quality, ick) a couple of years ago when I was struggling to find a dress to wear for a wedding. I spied this in there and had to get it - mainly because I love it but also because it was only £15 - and buy one get one free - resulting in me and my sister getting two dresses for £7.50 each - bargain! It has a really pretty open back with a bow which I probably should have taken a photo of but oh well! Yes, the quality of it isn't the best, but for the price I really can't complain! I really do think it's worth popping into shops you wouldn't usually venture to every now and again, as they really can surprise you. The shoes were another bargain (got them for a fiver in the Office sale a while back) and I love them. Not entirely sure how well they go with the dress but they have a cute little heel so I really wanted to wear them.

The lipstick I'm wearing is my beloved Candy Yum Yum by MAC - such a beautiful, bright colour - perfect for summer! I really wish I'd bought 2 of these instead of getting Playing Koi as well - I really can't get it to work for me!

How have you all been spending Easter Sunday? Eating lots of chocolate I hope! I'm going to dig into my Mini Egg easter egg now - omnomnom! 

Orange Lip Paint Love

Friday, 15 April 2011
Hey lovelies, I hope you're all okay and looking forward to the weekend! Recently I've become a bit obsessed with the colour coral, and in particular coral lips. I've literally been wearing Costa Chic constantly lately and so I went on the search for another coral/orange lipstick to add to my collection. When I saw this beauty on the make up stand in Boots I just had to get it.
It's Barry M lip paint in number 54, and I absolutely LOVE it. It's actually a bit lighter than these pictures show, but I think you get the idea. It's a gorgeous, matte true orange that looks beautiful on tanned skin. It makes me think of summer and I can't wait to wear it more and more as the weather warms up. The only thing I will say is that as with the majority of Barry M lippies, it is really quite drying, so a good lip balm is definitely a must where this lipstick is concerned. It retails at £4.49 which I think is a bargainous price for such a lovely colour. Here's a picture of what it looks like on:

What do you think? Are you loving orange/coral shades at the minute?

Soap & Glory Skincare

Tuesday, 12 April 2011
If you've been reading my blog for a while now, you'll know that I adore Soap & Glory products. I love the packaging, the smell - but most importantly, the fact that they actually do what they claim to. I own a rather shameful amount of their products due to being a bit of a skincare fanatic and so when I spotted a selection of Soap & Glory products on offer in Boots last week, I had to give in and buy a couple. 
I've always loved Soap & Glory's skincare collection and had been eyeing up these products for a while now, but sneakily waited for them to go on offer before purchasing. A lot of S&G's products are a third off at Boots at the minute - definitely worth checking out if you want to save a few pennies. I purchased 2 things - the Hot Cloth Cleanser and the Deep Pore Detox Mask. 
First up - the Hot Cloth Cleanser. This is basically a similar product to the Liz Earle and No7 versions, but retails at £9.19 (I got it for £6.13 on offer). Simply put - I love it. It contains pathenol, sweet almond, orange and lavender oils and is a treat for my skin. It removes makeup easily and leaves my skin feeling and looking beautifully soft and refreshed. You simply rub it into your skin, wait a minute and dab off with the muslin cloth. Simples! I definitely recommend it to anyone with large pores/oily/problem skin as it cleans deep down but is really gentle at the same time. 

The other product I bought (and had been debating buying for a while now) is the No Clogs Allowed Self-Heating Detox Mask. I love this product. Seriously, it's amazing. It's almost a scrub/face mask as you have to apply it to the face, wet your hands, rub it in (you'll feel it heating up) and then either wash it off or leave it for 5 minutes and then sponge off with the sponge supplied. I thought the self-heating idea was really clever and makes you feel like the product is really working. Once I sponged it off I was actually shocked with how amazing my skin felt. Seriously, my skin had never, ever felt this smooth and soft. It is without a doubt the best face mask I have used in supplying instant results, and I can see this becoming my go-to face mask from now on. Love it! It retails at £10.21 but I got it for £6.81 with the third off offer.

What do you think to Soap & Glory's skincare range?

Xen Tan Review

Monday, 11 April 2011

I'd been looking forward to reviewing this product for ages - after all the constant hype, the fab reviews and me finally finding a cheaper price I decided to bite the bullet and invest in Xen Tan. I've been a fake tan addict for ages - I'm naturally very milky white and have become a bit dependent on fake tan over the years. I'm not one for risking my health on sunbeds (see my post here) so much prefer to reach for a bottle of the fake stuff when I feel like my skin is lacking that all important glow.

I've tried countless fake tans over the years; some good, some bad. I've tried gradual tanners, mousses, lotions... and thought I'd finally found my holy grail tanner in the form of St Moritz. I think I'd been using it for about 2 years when I decided it just didn't cut it anymore. As much as I love the colour it gives me and the ease of application I'm just not thrilled by how long it lasts. After 3 days my skin becomes patchy and I absolutely HATE how much it dries my skin out, fading completely uneven and generally making my skin look a little bit nasty (I'm talking scaly skin here - not a good look) St Moritz is SO hard to exfoliate off - I find myself scrubbing for a good half hour to get anywhere with it, and even then there's a lot of tan still left on my skin.

Therefore, I gave my skin a good week and a half of being pale (and completely St Moritz-free) before having a go at using Xen Tan. I'll be honest, I was expecting BIG results. After all the fabulous reviews (and the steep price tag - I paid £17.99 for mine on - cheapest I could find it) I was expecting an amazing tan that ticked all the boxes. When I first applied it, I was immediately hit by how good it smells. Yes, this is definitely the best smelling tan I've ever used - it really does smell like almonds and marzipan - yummy! However I did find the smell kind of turned into the nasty biscuit smell after a while - although no where near as strong as most tans I've tried. When I was applying the tan, I'll admit I came across a few problems. I use a mitt but even so I found that Xen Tan kind of stuck to my skin, making it really difficult to smooth out, and after a while if I felt I needed to apply more it would bunch up and look really nasty (you know, dried up bits of tan sitting on the skin). Luckily the tan DID look really even in the morning, but that didn't help me stressing out whilst applying it! Another thing I struggled with (but I'm owing this purely to the fact it was the first time I'd used it) was how much to apply. The base colour is dark, but no where near as dark as St Moritz. I was really worried about applying too much and waking up far too tanned in the morning, so I didn't go too mad with it. The next day I looked in the mirror and was really impressed - I looked REALLY tanned but not TOO tanned, so I was happy.

Then I stepped in the shower. I'm used to the base colour washing away, which Xen Tan's does, but when I got out I was shocked at just how much tan had vanished. I looked tanned, but not really as tanned as I'd like. I just felt as though going in the shower had washed a lot of the tan off, and I much preferred how it looked before. To be honest, it felt a little bit like I'd just used a gradual tanner. I'm guessing this is a tan you have to build if you want a really glowing colour. However, for the price tag, I'd really want to use Xen Tan as little as possible (I'm talking once a week). This is where my final issue arrives - and the reason I WON'T be purchasing Xen Tan again. For £17.99 I purchased a 236ml bottle of Xen Tan Dark Lotion. I'd been using it once a week for three weeks, and a few days ago I applied my fourth application. I was suddenly aware of how light the bottle had got - and when I went to use the pump, I was really struggling to get anything out. Now I'd not been using an excessive amount each time I used Xen Tan, I used the same amount I would usually apply any fake tan. This is why I won't be buying Xen Tan again. Although I think there is probably enough left in the bottle for one more application, I just don't think I can justify spending £17.99 a month on fake tan. My usual £2.99 bottle of St Moritz usually lasts me well over a month at least. For the price of one month's worth of Xen Tan I could have 6 months worth of St Moritz. It just seems ridiculous to me.

My main reason for purchasing Xen Tan (as well as the obvious fact it's been hyped up so much) is that I'd heard a lot of reviews which claim it fades 'elegantly'. Yes, it does. But that doesn't mean I'm not STILL left with some uneven patches, and I do still get the dreaded scaly effect - although it's not half as bad as other tans I've used. Overall, I think that Xen Tan is a good fake tan - it fades pretty much evenly, smells good, and leaves a natural colour. However, I don't think it gives as good a colour as a tan like St Moritz - it's just not dark enough for me and it calls itself a 'dark lotion'. I think obviously if I applied more than one application per week I'd be happier with the colour, but considering how quick I got through the tan when applying it once a week I just don't think it would be possible. I hate being negative but I just don't think this tan is as fantastic as everyone makes out. Maybe it just hasn't worked well for me (I am very pale so maybe it didn't take to my skin well?) I did love how moisturizing it was, I love the smell and the fact it doesn't leave me with really nasty patches, but I won't be forking out on it again. Another thing I need to add is that Xen Tan stained my sheets like no other tan I've used before. I'd actually heard the opposite about it so was SO shocked when I found my bedsheets covered in the stuff. Not a pretty sight.

I've kind of come to the conclusion that I'm going to go back to using St Moritz - but this time I'm going to make moisturising every day a priority. My main issue with it was obviously the fact it dries me out so much, yet I'm one of those people who really avoids moisturising - I just never seem to find the time. However I know it is CRUCIAL in stopping the nasty crocodile skin so I'm going to make sure I moisturize regularly and hopefully this will make it fade better. I applied some the other day and to be honest, I don't know how I've gone this long without using it. St Moritz is such a lovely, dark colour without being 'too much' and I feel so much more confident wearing it, after just one application. St Moritz, I'm sorry I ever doubted you!

What do you think to Xen Tan? What is your holy grail fake tan?

Sunshine on my window...

Friday, 8 April 2011
All clothing: Primark
Earrings: Topshop
Rings: H & M, Primark
Necklace: Primark

OH MY GOD IT'S SUNNY. I can't actually contain my excitement at the fact the sun has finally decided to (properly) show its beautiful face. I've grown a bit tired of my winter wardrobe, and I'm so, SO happy that Spring is finally here and I have an excuse to wear pretty floral dresses and skirts. The weather man kindly told me that there would be hopes of a heat wave this weekend, so last night I slapped on my trusty fake tan (St Moritz - not Xen Tan - review for that coming soon) in preparation. I also tonged my hair last night in the hope of a Kate Hudson-beach-babe-esque look once the morning came, and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I've gone for a (kind of) centre parting (which I never do) for a bit of an experiment as well. I quite like it! 

Anyway, on to the clothes! I have to admit I've gone a bit Primark-mad lately. Every time I go in there I seem to come out with a bag bursting to the seams with goodies. I just love it in there at the minute! I had a presentation to do at uni yesterday, and so once I'd done it I treated myself to a few pretties from Primark. I got this skirt, top and belt purely because I saw the outfit on a dummy and felt I NEEDED to recreate the look. I never usually do this but immediately fell in love with the outfit and sprinted round the shop finding the things I needed. I love it. The skirt is high-waisted and therefore quite short, so I'm going to have to avoid wearing it on windy days to avoid embarrassment (trust me, I've been there - it was NOT anywhere near as glam as the Marilyn Monroe moment, I assure you). The bandeau is an absolutely gorgeous corally pink colour which I adore, and it was only £3 I think? The sandals are also from Primark and were a bargainous £6. I know some people might think me whipping my legs out at the first sign of sunshine a bit premature, but seriously, we get nice weather so rarely I think we should all embrace the pretty summer dresses and skirts! It's been absolutely SCORCHING today, I've spent most of my time sunning myself in the garden with my pup, reading and enjoying the weather. I hope it stays! 

Puppy Love

Sunday, 3 April 2011
Hey girls - I thought I'd do a teeny tiny post with some pics of my puppy Rory - I posted a photo of him ages ago but he's grown so much since then! He's still a tiny little thing but he's a lot fluffier now! I definitely think he deserves his own post - it's his first birthday this month, I can't believe how quickly this year has gone! I've started pressie shopping for him already, I do spoil him a lot, but he's worth it. I love him so much and he makes me smile all the time :) He's a Malchi (Maltese cross Chihuahua) for anyone who's wondering! Hope you like the pics!

My jewellery addiction...

Friday, 1 April 2011
I'm going to admit to something. I have a bit of an addiction - to jewellery, that is. I'm not sure when it started or how it came about but it's definitely something I really can't ever resist buying - I love anything cute, girly or quirky when it comes to jewellery (being sparkly helps too, of course). The thing is, it's becoming a bit of a problem. I mean, there's only so much jewellery a girl can have, right? (I tell a lie, I don't agree with this statement at all - a girl can NEVER have too much jewellery).

My issue is, predominantly, where I put all of this jewellery (I'm not talking expensive jewels by the way, as much as I'd love to tell you I own half of Tiffany & Co, unfortunately, I do not). Chunky River Island bangles, Topshop earrings and Primark necklaces clutter my dressing table which usually results in an almighty knot of tangled jewellery. I thought I'd solved my problems when I bought a beautiful little jewellery stand from a local boutique, but sadly not, it sits sorrowfully on my dresser, drowning in jewellery with a mass of tangled necklaces at its feet. 
I have, however, found a useful way of storing my beloved earrings. They sit neatly side by side (most of the time) in a pretty little floral tray on my dressing table. I do worry about what will happen when I (inevitably) purchase more earrings, which won't fit on my pretty little tray. I suppose I'll have to come up with another idea on how to store them then!
Instead of blaming myself and my lack of self-restraint when it comes to buying jewellery for my ever-growing collection, I am going to blame Primark. Yep, I said it. I'll be honest, although I do own pretty jewellery from Topshop and River Island (amongst other places) I know for a fact that the majority of it comes from one place and one place alone; Primark. Whenever I go in there I cannot resist buying one, two, three, four items of jewellery. Why? Because it's so CHEAP. I can go into Topshop and spend a tenner on something I'd get in Primark for £2. I mean, it's common sense really. I always, without fail, find a piece of jewellery I really, really like whenever I go in. I honestly think Primark is one of the best places to buy AFFORDABLE jewellery on the highstreet. As much as I adore the treasure trove that is Accessorize, I do find myself discovering clones of their beautiful pieces in Primark. The only downside to this is of course Primark's quality isn't the best - I have had several 'Oh crap my necklace just fell to bits' moments due to Primark jewellery, but for the price I'm not going to complain. Therefore I think my jewellery spending spree in Primark a couple of days ago was completely justified...
I'm SO happy with everything I got. I know, I'm only feeding the addiction, but Primark has some beautiful pieces in at the minute that I really couldn't say no to. Am I alone in my jewellery addiction? What do you think to Primark's range of jewellery?
- brand3 - brand5