Thursday, 31 July 2014

Claudia Louch Botanical Firming Toner | Luxury Product Review

I'm beginning to fall for Claudia Louch. The brand, not the woman that is! This is the third product I've tried from this luxury range. If you haven't read my other posts, Claudia Louch products are of the highest quality, with scientific backing, and contrary to other high-end 'scientific skincare' I've found them to be very soothing for my sensitive, rather than aggressive or stripping. As usual, the Botanical Firming Toner is presented in a gorgeous white box, and stunning black and clear packaging. I always think these are such great gifts and dressing table products; they just make you feel so treated! I've been using this toner on a cotton pad, swept over the skin before applying my evening skincare. Even the morning after the very first use I noticed a difference - my skin was calm, slightly softer and pores were slightly less visible. From one use, that's pretty awesome! I've now been using it a couple of weeks, and the results are so impressive. Like their (amazing) face-wash, this toner has chamomile as one of the main ingredients, which might be why I'm so sold on it. It also contains cucumber extract, which is probably the magical pore-hiding potion! Another lovely skincare product from Claudia Louch.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Love Me Beauty Box Review | July

Love Me Beauty Box * | £12.95 including P&P

I always get so excited when my Love Me Beauty box of goodness arrives at my front door. This is my third box, and they just seem to keep getting better and better! I picked Menu 2 this month (you get to pick from 3 different menus so you know you won't be dissapointed). Here's what awaited me:

LASHAM Lash Enhancing Serum RRP £40 (for full-size, not the sample) | I've been wanting to try one of these lash growth products for years so I'm loving popping this along my lashline every evening. It's too soon to see any results, but I'm excited! Although this was a sample size, and not the full-size that would cost a whopping £40, it's a generous sample size.

OFRA Pressed EyeShadow in 'Bliss' RRP £8.80 | This is the winner of the box for me. I've been looking for a colour to replace a shadow which I hit pan on in a palette, and this is the most perfect shade. It makes you look glowy and tanned somehow, blends beautifully and doesn't crease. I also love that it's a single eyeshadow for travelling, and it's even got a hidden mirror beneath the pan.

OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in 'Hollywood' RRP £11.60 | The second OFRA product in the mix, and I'm sold. I don't think I've ever swatched a lip product so pigmented. It's super creamy and long-lasting on the lips without being too drying.

SO SUSAN Flutter Mascara RRP £14.95 | This mascara is nice,  lovely even, but probably not nice enough to warrant the nearly £15 price-tag. Even so, it's a great every day black fibre mascara that I'll use until it runs out.

SO SUSAN Dual Brow Powder RRP £11.95 | The two powders in this little compact are beautifully formulated, but are a little warm for me. I'd say to only buy this one if you've got darker hair.

THE TEASHED 4am Tea - 20 whole leaf white tea silky pyramid teabags £3.50 | Love Me Beauty often seems to throw in a lifestyle product, and this month, it's tea. I'm not a tea-drinker, so I passed the testing duties onto my parents for this one. They came back with mixed reviews - my Mum really liked the taste, but my Dad wasn't so keen. Definitely worth a try if you're looking for a tea low in caffeine and full of anti-oxidants.

WELEDA Sea Buckthorn Replenishing Body Lotion £15.95 | A surprise product that wasn't even on the Menu, this full-size body lotion has a gorgeous distinctive scent, sinks in quickly and leaves your skin feeling really hydrated.

I am SO impressed with this month's box - if you add up the value of the contents it comes to approximately £75! Love Me Beauty just keeps on producing great boxes.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Wedding Planning | A Date, a Dress and Drama!

I can't believe I've been engaged for over three months already, it's gone absolutely crazily fast! (Soppy Proposal story here) I wanted to update you Wedding-y type people on all the planning that's been going on. In my first wedding planning post I wrote a list of everything I wanted to plan after two months. BaaHaHa. After two months, we had done zilch, nada. I'm glad about that though - spending time just enjoying our engagement without actively planning the Wedding day was lovely. Howeverrrr, this last month has been super-productive, and we've actually managed to tick off everything on that initial list, wahoo! Here's what been going down (Brace yourself for a long rambly post!):

1. A Wedding Fair: Going to a fancy-smanshy Country House where there's nothing but Wedding-related stuff was so exciting and totally got us both in the mood for talking about the Big Day, even if we didn't actually get many contacts from it.

Oops, my Wedding Pinterest Board is overflowing.

2. 'Feels' and 'Vibes': We (well, mostly me!) decided that the day should be relaxed, romantic, a little bit rustic and totally 'us'. This influenced the style of our...

3. Engagement Photos! I was so happy with our little engagement photo shoot (thanks to my Mum); you can see some of the photos here.

4. A Budget. The not-so-fun part of Wedding Planning, but we've got a budget that isn't stupid to spend on just one day of our lives, whilst still allowing us to create a great day for everyone.

5. A Guest List. As it turns out, there is quite a bit of drama involved in creating a guest-list. Our guest-list is currently very much a work in progress, but we've got a good idea of numbers. We've also picked our Wedding party, with five bridesmaids and five bestmen! (You can probably tell we're not the most decisive couple in the world.) I asked my bridesmaids with these little invites below I created on Photoshop.

6. A Dress. This one I was NOT expecting. Myself, my Mum and my lovely friend Ellie booked an appointment at a local bridal store since they had a Sample Sale on, which only happens twice a year. I thought we'd just have a look at what dresses might suit me, but I ended up choosing between two beautiful (bargain) dresses! The dress I picked is so gorgeous even two sizes too big (my Mum cried), and I'm so excited to go in for my first fitting!

7. A Date! Yes, we have a date! After a fair bit of stress trying to first find any venues that weren't already booked up /affordable /within driving distance, we then had a huge drama finding out Jonny's summer exam dates, and thought we would loose our chosen Venue. Jonny took me out for a de-stressing lunch on Friday, only to give me an invitation - for our own Wedding! (The absolute cutie). Turns out he'd found out when we could book the Venue and booked our Wedding Day himself! We'll be saying our 'I do's' in my local Parish Church, before our Reception at a Golf and Country Club (it's gorgeous, more on this soon).

Next on my to-do list is designing our Save the Dates, looking for Bridesmaids dresses, finding a photographer and working on our guest list! It's all got so real this last month, and even though it's still almost a year away, I'm SO excited! Please leave me any Wedding Planning tips /advice or your Wedding-related blog posts in the comments.

I'm photographing all my wedding-y bits over on Instagram!

Monday, 21 July 2014

How to Wear: Summer Layered Necklaces

I love the look of layered necklaces, especially in the summer, as it seems to make an outfit look relaxed and a bit boho. I've been playing around with some pieces from Orelia and I love the look of these three necklaces together! An easy rule of thumb when layering necklaces that you own is to find ones with the same or complimenting metals. The shortest necklace should be delicate and small - I've gone for a light green gemstone. The middle necklace works well as some kind of bar, or multiple beads in a line to add something more horizontal. The longest pendent can be something of interest like a tusk, a wishbone or a hamsa hand. Of course, this is just one way to layer up necklaces - you can wear five or six almost on top of each other, or just two of similar lengths. I'd love to see any of your photos of layered necklaces for more inspiration, so link them up in the comments!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

30 Before 30

You'll have probably seen people doing this '30 before 30' idea, and although it's not particularly original anymore, I've been wanting to finish writing up my list and get started on it! During the last few months, as I've finished University and got engaged, I've realised how quickly life moves, and how much I want to do that I haven't had a chance to yet. Of course, there are plenty of more general aims I have for the years of my life between now and thirty: I want to be a more positive person, whose happiness is contagious, I want to love my future husband and build a life with him, l aim to laugh everyday, document my life in photos and grow closer to the one who created me. I want to take every opportunity I’m blessed with, say yes to more things that scare me and be more patient, well-read and well-rounded. But I've finally decided on thirty tangible things I want to do before I'm thirty, ranging from the very important, to the completely frivolous, and I've got just over nine years to complete it (most people do these lists a couple of years before they turn thirty, so this should be easy)! I started writing the list at the beginning of year, which is why I've ticked one thing off already. I love reading other people's ambitions and things they hope to achieve, so I thought you might like to have a peek at mine.

Photos Credit: Pinterest

1. Try sushi.
Can't believe I've gone twenty-one years without trying raw fish.

2. Find my perfect wedding dress and get married in it.
This is every little girl's dream and I'm so excited to be completing this one in about a years time!

3. Visit America and take a walk in Central Park.
I've seen this in so many films, it's time to see it for myself.

4. Be in a flashmob.
It would just be awesome.

5. Go wine-tasting at a vineyard.
Because it's one of those fun posh things that I've never done.

6. Adopt a dog.
We want to get a dog one day, and I think it's so important to rehome.

7. Host a dinner party.
This one involves owning a house!

8. Give Blood. COMPLETED 3/July/2014
It was slightly scary, but I hope to do this many more times!

9. Have a walk-in wardrobe.
I will always have too many clothes, and just how cool would it be to have a whole ROOM full of them?

10. Do some kind of missionary work.
Something me and my fiance want to do.

11. 'Release' something - a book, a piece of jewellery etc.
No idea what it might be.

12. Be part of a wonderful Church.
I have been in the past, but I want to again.

13. Try pilates.
An actual class, not just Blogilates!

14. Learn a card party trick.
I just love card tricks.

15. Spend a night beneath the stars.
A bit of a romantic one.

16. Find my perfect shade of lipstick.
I have lipsticks I really like, but none I LOVE.

17. Learn a repertoire of piano pieces.
People often ask me to play, and I have nothing I know to play them.

18. Live in a Pinterest-worthy house.
Does this need an explanation?

19. Take part in some kind of charity running event.
I can't run. I desperately want to be able to run.

20. Watch the sun rise.
Another potentially romantic one, which I can't believe I've never done before.

21. Start a family.
Just before I'm 30.

22. Bake brownies without the recipe.
I've found the perfect brownie recipe, but I want to be able to whip them up anywhere, anytime!

23. Visit Ireland and have a drink in an Irish pub.
Like in P.S I Love You.

24. Swim with dolphins.
This is probably on everyone's bucket list.

25. Give an anonymous random gift.
You never know how far the ripples of a random act of kindness will spread.

26. Enjoy my job.
Sounds so simple, but so few can really say they enjoy their job.

27. Learn how to take photographs manually on my DSLR.
I've been using it for half a year on automatic.

28. Shower in a waterfall.
This would just be the best holiday ever.

29. Go to a friend's Wedding.
I was too young to remember any Weddings I've been to.

30. Go Horseriding.
I have no idea why I want to do this!

Monday, 7 July 2014

Nourish Golden Glow Toning Body Shimmer Review

My introduction to Nourish (a vegan, cruetly-free brand) came in the form of two of their skincare products (see that post here). Recently I've been trying one of their summery products from their Golden Glow Range, the Golden Glow Toning Body Shimmer. Both the products in the range are designed for dull or lack-lustre skin (my pasty legs are begging for some help), and this one is for use on the body. Like me, you may have baulked a little at the words 'Body Shimmer', having flashbacks to Primary School Discos where every girl was glittering with sticky Body Shimmer, but this product is thankfully far more sophisticated. It's not really a product that adds much colour to the skin, but instead one that gives a delicately shimmering sheen. The light reflecting particles are so fine that they appear to even out the skin-tone and give the effect of (like the name) a golden glow, rather than Edward-Cullen-esque shimmery skin. As well as making your skin look more healthy and beautifully sun-kissed, the cream contains a 'nutrient rich phyto-active marine extract' to tone and firm the skin, as well as other complicated-sounding ingredients known to stimulate the production of collagen for softer and smoother skin in the longer term. Nourish have definitely impressed again with this lovely little summery product.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

June Degustabox Review | A Food Subcription Box!

June Degustabox * | £12.99 including delivery

I'm really enjoying subscription boxes recently, and Degustabox is no exception. For £12.99 they'll deliver a box of surprise edible goodies to your door each month, the value of which will always exceed the price you're paying for them. Before the box even arrived, I was kept updated through a text and an email telling me when my box was going to arrive, with the option to delay it if I wasn't in to collect it (they're already in my good books). My box turned up on time, un-damaged and packaged in a cute box, air-filled bags for protection and brown paper. When I opened it up I was immediately impressed with how much stuff was inside! The selection in the June Box had quite a few drinks, but I don't think that's a problem as there was also something sweet, something to snack on, a breakfast cereal and even a product for baking! I won't review every product in the box as we'll be here all day(!) but of the products I've tried so far, everything is great quality, fresh and none are anything I've tried before. Here's what was in the box:

Elizabeth Shaw Milk Chocolate Amaretto Flutes
Urban Fruit Pianeapple - Baked Fruit
Be Fast Be Fast Breakfast - Breakfast Protein-Filled Shakes
Bear Alphabites - Cereal Letters
Lambrini Strawberry
Dr. Oetker Madagascan Vanilla Grinder
Veetee Basmati & Wild - Microwaveable Rice
Estrella Damm Estrella Damm - Spanish Larger
+ an extra product - a Chocolate Milkshake!

Getting a box of food and drink that you wouldn't necessarily pick out is great, and you find yourself enjoying new products that you wouldn't otherwise try. I think it also makes meal-times/snack times and cooking exciting again when you've got new ingredients and things to try. A good range of products and a total of nine products made me feel that Degustabox is good value for money, provided you'll try everything. You can also buy a box as a gift, and I think a box of food treats would make a wonderful present to anyone in a new home, or off at University - I would have been so happy to receive this when I was a new student! Degustabox have been very lovely and have given me a discount code for you which will give you £3 off your first box! Just use the code 1W9LR.  Have you tried Degustabox or another food subscription service?

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

An Introduction to Makeup Revolution | Palette Reviews

I know what you're thinking... 'Another post on Makeup Revolution, reaaaally?' Yes, but I won't apologize, because this brand has been taking the blogger world by storm for good reason. Makeup Revolution are producing so many good-quality, budget-price products that it's no wonder no-one can stop talking about them.

I am a bit of a snob when it comes to palettes, particularly eyeshadows, and almost always buy high-end, but these two Salvation Palettes have actually really impressed me (and they're just £6, yes, Six Pounds). I've been trailing Girls On Film * and What Are You Waiting For? *, both of which are full of both matte and shimmer neutrals and packaged in gorgeous shiny palettes with huge mirrors. The shadows are so much more pigmented and easy to blend than MUA or Sleek shadows, and every single shade is wearable and super pretty. They only show their price-point after around five hours of wear, when the shadows crease on the eyelid, even with a primer. However, if you don't have oily lids like me, this might not me such a problem.

I've also been trying the Ultra Blush and Contour Palette * (again £6, I just can't get over these prices!), in Sugar and Spice, which has a range of bright and muted blushes and two pans of merged highlighter-blush powders. The pigmentation of these is incredible, so much so that the first time I used these I put on far too much! They are not quite as blendable as the eyeshadows, but for the price these are pretty stunning.

I tend to be a bit wary of budget brand highlighters, and you don't get much more affordable than this £3 Vivid Baked Highlighter * in Peach Lights. But again, this product exceeded my expectations! The pink sheen to the highlighter makes it look lovely on pale-toned skin like mine, and although it's a bit too strong for the daytime, this makes for a great evening/night highlight. Finally, their Bronze Shimmer Highlight * (basically a Bronzer, so I'm not sure why they've called it that) is a lovely non-orange toned bronzer (for £4) which isn't actually too shimmery at all. I love bronzers like this which are split into three sections of varying tone so you can select how bronzed up you want to be!

I'm so impressed with the products I've been trialing, and with more and more amazing-looking products appearing on their website, the range is just getter bigger and bigger. Makeup Revolution, you're really on the ball.