Friday, 29 November 2013

Vichy Skincare Review ♥

I've been trying to take better care of my skin in the lead up to my wedding, but it still is pretty bad and spotty. I've been to the docs and they think they're stress related which is hard to combat when you have just started a new job, and have a tonne of wedding stuff to sort and people to keep happy!

I have very oily, spot prone skin so when I read about Vichy's 'Anti imperfection' range I really wanted to give it a whirl. I bought the Vichy Normaderm Night Cream after reading lots of good reviews. I also bought some Vichy Purete Thermal Calming Micellar Cleanser which isn't in the anti-imperfection range but is good for sensitive skin.

I've been using both for over a month now and I'm definitely going to be repurchasing! The cleanser is like a toner type liquid, and removes all make up and grime from the face using a Micellar solution:

Micellar technology groups the cleansing agent in micelles. These micelles trap impurities and any excess of make-up to perfectly cleanse without rubbing or irritating. Ultra soothing Rose Phytophenol, active ingredient issued by neuro-cosmetical research acts on sensorial endings of the skin to calm pulling and itching sensations.

Fancy pants! I love this cleanser as it's so refreshing and calming on my skin, and it removes every single little trace of make up. Even though I have oily skin, sometimes washing with water and a face wash can leave my skin feeling a bit tight, but this leaves my skin feeling nice and clean and fresh. I've been using this in the morning and night and have nearly run out now! So I will definitely be buying another. There is an anti-imperfection one so I might try that next.

The night cream is also a definite repurchase - it's amazing! I've still got loads left in the tube as a little goes a long way. I've definitely noticed a difference in the texture of my skin - the pores are much, much smaller and more refined, and it has dramatically reduced the oiliness of my skin when I wake up in the morning. I am now going to try the day cream too as I am so impressed! It hasn't cleared my spots up but it has improved the overall appearance and quality of my skin in terms of evenness and pore size. The cream itself feels a little strange as its slightly gritty but it's non greasy and doesn't feel heavy. Here is the description of what this cream claims to do, and I have to say, its spot on!

VICHY NORMADERM Night contains the skin permeating technology that enters into the very heart of each and every pore and limits their hyperactivity. The Zincadone A acts to creative a completely new epidermis and re-contract the pores.
By morning the skin is more regular, pure and clarified. The skin texture is evened out. Night after night decongested pores tighten and re-contract. After 4 weeks pore dimension are transformed. They are regular and refined – almost invisible.

I will definitely be trying more products from the Vichy range!

Have you ever tried Vichy products?


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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Bridal Clutch Bags ♥

This week I thought I'd feature wedding clutch bags. They are not necessarily special 'bridal' bags, but ones I've found online that I think would be perfect for a bride on her big day! I'm looking for a pretty clutch maybe with lace or gold detail, to put all my bits and bobs in, like hair brush, lippy, mints, emergency safety pins etc!

How cute is the fairytale book clutch?!

Which is your favourite?


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Monday, 25 November 2013

My Dream Home ♥

I thought I'd continue the 'home' theme from my last post into today's post! I currently rent a flat with my fiance, but we are saving up to buy a house. I love watching programmes like Grand Designs and Homes for £100K and dreaming of how my ideal home would look! One day we hope to buy our own place and we'd like to put our stamp on it. Here are some gorgeous dream home pics from pinterest that sum up my dream living space!

My dream style is Scandinavian minimalist meets Cath Kidston chintz - so two totally opposing styles! I love the pared down neat and chic Scandi style, but also love anything floral and frilly! So my home would be an amalgamation of the two! This image is so cosy and I'd definitely want a wood burning stove in my home. I also love the exposed wooden floorboard, white colour scheme and exposed lightbulb! 

To get the ideal Scandinavian look you need a lot of light and I love rooms with huge windows. This room features Express Bi-Folding Doors, sometimes call concertina doors, and they bring the outside 'in', or the inside 'out'! I love how they open up living space and make gardens and patios part of the main room. As well as letting loads of light in this would be great for summer parties!

More white decor paired with bright patterns and lots of lovely textures with the fur rug and assorted cushions. I love vintage features like the kitsch coffee table, and quirky mismatching lamps in the windowsill.

I love this pastel Scandi kitchen. All the accessories are gorgeous and I really like having them all on display on shelves! I love the painted wooden panelling and the black tap fitting lends a masucline edge to the room! I also have a dream fridge...a Smeg fridge! In duck egg blue <3

I love this little writing corner - I'd like to have something similar set up for my laptop so I could blog all day long in pretty, inspiring surroundings! The mismatched furniture and cute wall decorations are just perfect.

Here's my dream bedroom! A definite amalgamation of Scandinavian clean lines with the white floorboards, walls and furniture, with Cath Kidston floral bed spread and twee, girly touches like hanging hearts and pretty vases, frames and mirrors!

And last but not least - the bathroom! This has an eclectic look with it's big gothic metallic mirror, pretty wooden shelving and gorgeous cast iron bath tub with claw feet - love, love, love!

What is your dream home style?


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Friday, 22 November 2013

Sneak Peek Bedroom Tour ♥

I recently went home to visit my parents and I thought I'd take some snaps of my bedroom there for you to see. It's called 'my' bedroom but really it's another guest room. My parents converted the garage into an extra room for 'me' as whenever all the family visits at the same time, I always pulled the short straw and had to sleep on the most uncomfortable sofa bed ever, in the tiniest box room!

My parents decorated the room in a pretty 'Cath Kidston' style as they know I love all things pastel, floral and girly! Sorry for the poor quality pics - I only thought to take photos when it was already dark outside! Next time I'll take some in better lighting and of the whole room.

The room is painted a nice neutral cream colour, and this ivory wrought iron bedstead is mine from when I was at uni. Unfortunately it doesn't fit in my tiny London bedroom so it resides in my parents house instead! I love the blue & white french country scene patterned duvet. I went through a faze of being obsessed with this pattern and had cushions, bedcovers and blinds all in various versions of this fabric!

There's a lovely cream French style wooden mirror above the chest of drawers which I've draped a wedding accessory over! I got this Mr & Mrs wooden sign from The Range and I'm not sure how I'm going to use it at the wedding yet but I thought it looked really cute hung on the mirror for now!

The chest of drawers below the mirror currently holds lots of teacups that I'm collecting for the wedding, but it also is home to my Mum's gorgeous pale pink glass jar which holds cotton wool, and a pretty pink diamond paperweight! 

The lampshade is a shiny ivory colour with butterfly and flower cut out shapes. It's so pretty and fits in the room perfectly!

I hope you enjoyed my sneak peek bedroom tour! 

What style of decoration is your bedroom?


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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Cute & Simple High Street Bridal Look ♥

For today's wedding post I thought I'd showcase a bridal look created using only high street garments and accessories. There are tonnes of designer dresses and wedding bits and pieces I could display on this blog, and whilst they'd look amazing, they're not realistic or attainable for most people (me included!). So I thought I'd put together a cute and simple bridal look that doesn't cost the earth, but looks beautiful and special enough for your big day!

This entire look costs £334.99 - by no means a small amount of money, but compared to most bridal ensembles, this is pretty good value! As soon as you stick the word 'bridal' or 'wedding' on most things, you find the price quadruples!

This is a very cute fairytale look that's really simple, but so pretty and romantic. I selected a gorgeous Embrace Tulle Dress from Coast costing £295. The short length and full, soft tulle, tutu style skirt is beautiful and made for twirling around in it like a princess! The dress has a silk satin waistband to nip in the waist and has a low cut back. The dress even has a boned bodice and is fully lined so you're sure to get a good fit.

I picked a romantic peach floral crown from Crown & Glory to add even more magic to the fairytale dress. This crown is £15 and is a striking feature of the outfit and very on trend at the moment!

To finish the look I selected the ultimate 'cinderella's slipper' - some amazing sparkly nude embellished heels from New Look. They are only £24.99 and are very pretty and would catch the light beautifully!

What do you think of my high street bridal look?


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Sunday, 17 November 2013

House of Fraser Denim Blogger Challenge ♥

When I was invited to take part in House of Fraser's Blogger Challenge, I was super excited as I had only been recently eyeing up a denim dress on their website. I love wearing denim and I'm trying to be more adventurous with my denim garments as I usually just stick to jeans. The challenge is to come up with a fashion forward denim look, using as much or as little denim as you want! The prize is a £75 giftcard, which would come in handy so I can buy this gorgeous dress!

My look is smart casual and can be worn to the office, or out on the weekend to meet friends for lunch or coffee. It incorporates lots of rich, autumnal colours and lots of different textures. The key denim piece is a Yumi Polka Dot Shirt Dress made from a lovely blue denim material. I love the cute little polka dot pattern, and the shirt style means you can throw on a pretty sweater and have the collar peeking over the top. It's a really feminine, cute piece and it can be worn in so many ways with lots of different clothes and accessories.

For this ensemble, I paired the dress with some cosy White Stuff Roberta tights to keep off the winter chill. The plum colour complements the denim perfectly, and I love the ribbed texture against the dotty dress fabric! For shoes, I've picked amazing Bertie Astor Lace Up Shoes in tan and black. I love smart brogue style shoes, and the chunky block heel makes these less mannish and more girly, and perfect for wearing with dresses. The bag is a Biba Blair Bowling Bag - Biba gets cool points from me any day; I adore the wine red colour of this handbag. The gold accents and tassel detail adds a little luxe to the look.

I've also chosen a Codello Heraldic Silk Square Scarf to add an interesting print and also a luxurious, sumptuous silky texture! I really like wearing silk scarves to spice up outfits and this would pick out the red tones in the bag and tights beautifully. To finish off the look I've chosen some ladylike Hobbs Signature gloves. I love the green colour of these gloves and they'd keep my hands nice and toasty when out and about!

What do you think of my denim look?


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Olay Instant Hydration Eye Cream Review ♥

I finished my Benefit 'It's Potent Eye Cream' recently and I was in search of a (cheaper) replacement. I did some research on beauty blogs and various online reviews, and decided to try Olay Instant Hydration Anti Wrinkle Eye Cream. I bought it for £4.97 on offer at Superdrug as part of their 'better than half price' promotion that's on at the moment. This normally sells for £9.99 so £4.97 is a definite bargain!

This eye cream promises a fresher, brighter looking eye area, and contains 'ocean botanical extract which infuses the delicate eye area with intense moisture, and prevents the signs of ageing'. I've been using this eye cream for a while now, and I am impressed with it for it's price (even at £9.99).

It has made my under eye area feel a lot more plumped up and moisturised, although I haven't noticed a massive change to fine lines. It comes in a tube with a applicator tip which is convenient for dotting around the eye.

When applied it feels quite wet and as though you are going to have to pat it in for ages, but it does absorb really quickly. I have noticed a difference in my eye area and they do feel fresher in the morning. I only apply this at night so perhaps if applied morning and night the results would be even more noticeable.

Overall I think this is a really good product for its price. My only bugbear is that it feels more like a gel than a 'cream' and so doesn't feel as luxurious against the skin. Also, the '30+' age range on the packaging is a bit weird, and like they are limiting their customers! I'm under 30 but still bought this, but did wonder for a moment whether I should or not! Bit confusing and unneccessary I think!

Have you ever used any Olay eye creams? What did you think?

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Friday, 15 November 2013

Bean Ice Gelateria ♥

The other day my fiance and I went out for dinner and afterwards I fancied something sweet. We were walking along when we came across Bean Ice Gelateria on Long Acre (near Covent Garden), and I was immediately drawn to the old American diner style look of the place!

Outside was neon signage advertising delicious crepes and waffles, as well as gelato, and a big hanging ice cream cone sign. Stepping inside was a bit like stepping back in time with its red and white decor, cute glass jars lining the shelves and chrome stools to sit on!

There was a whole array of goodies to choose from, and I was very tempted by a warm waffle covered in melted chocolate (yum!!!) but I decided to choose one of the yummy gelato ice creams on offer. They had lots of flavours including Peanutella (genius), Eton Mess, Mango Alphonso and more! I went for Oreo Cookie - it was delicious and had generous chunks of oreo cookie in it.

I'll defintiely be paying Bea Nice Gelateria a visit again in future. It's not far from where I work so maybe it will come in handy for a Friday lunchtime treat! Next time I'm definitely trying a waffle - they looked amazing.

Have you ever been to Bean Ice?


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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Help me choose my M&S wedding cake! ♥

After much consideration, we have decided to go for an M&S wedding cake. We looked at lots of independent wedding cake makers who make the most extraordinary cakes, but were sadly a little out of our budget. My sister had the Rose Wedding Cake from M&S for her wedding last year, with a sponge base, a chocolate middle tier, and a traditional fruit top tier. It was so delicious, and it looked amazing! She decorated it with lovely flowers and a cool art deco wedding topper.

The whole process of ordering the cake was also so easy - simply place order online in advance, and pick it up the day before the wedding. My sister's cake came readily assembled, but some of them require you to assemble yourself. For us it was a no brainer to go with an M&S cake, for ease, convenience and price. The cakes are a fraction of the cost of bespoke cakes and we were really impressed with the taste and the finish too.

Our only problem now is - we can't decide which one to pick! So this is where I'm hoping you guys will be able to help me. I've listed our top favourites and placed a little poll at the end of this post - do let me know what you think! We are most likely going to have some pale pink, white & cream flowers to decorate with, and maybe a cute painted wooden bride & groom wedding topper too!

This is quite a traditional looking wedding cake but with added cuteness with the little dot buttons scattered over the icing. My only worry with this one is that it may look a bit like a birthday cake?

This is one of my favourites as it involves chocolate (I'm a huge chocoholic!). I like the pretty swirl pattern and the fact this is all chocolate - chocolate cake smothered in chocolate ganache and finished with white chocolate. Yum.

Another chocolate one! This indulgent cake is covered in delicious milk chocolate ganache. I love how this looks with petals scattered, it's a simple but stylish look!

I also really like this 3 tier traditional plain white wedding cake. It's a blank canvas and would allow us to get inventive with decorations. I'm thinking pale pink ribbons and maybe some gold leaf to tie in with my gold theme!

This is the same cake as the milk chocolate one above but with white chocolate. The white chocolate has a more elegant, wedding look to it so would perhaps be a better option! This would look lovely with pale pink decorations.

So, which one do you think I should pick? Get involved and leave your choice in the comments below :-)

(poll wasn't working!)


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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Face & Outfit of the Day ♥

On Saturday night I went out for dinner with some friends and I felt like making a bit of an effort despite being in 'lazy weekend' mode. We went to a local Turkish restaurant, and I had lots of yummy starters like falafel, filo parcels, hummus and tzatziki. For the main course I had moussaka, washed down with a few glasses of rose wine!

I fancied curling my hair but I knew it was wet and windy outside so I just did loose curls with large chunks of hair using my Remington Pearl Hair Wand. This took about half the time it normally does when I painstakingly divide up and curl each section of hair! It created a nice loose, laid back wave, that I wouldn't worry too much about gettting blown in the wind!

I wore a black jersey dress from Dorothy Perkins, with a cute cropped ivory & black beaded cardigan that I've had for ages. I think I bought it from George at Asda. To ward off the cold and rain, I wore thick black tights and my Melody Clarks wedge shoe boots, which are so comfy!

I wanted to create a polished 'starlet' make up look to go with my fancy cardigan and hollywood waves!  I used GOSH velvet primer to create a smooth base, followed by my new Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse foundation & a dusting of Look Beauty Mattify Me powder.

My eyebrows were filled in with 17 Eyebrow Shaper in Natural Brown, and the feline eye makeup was created using Rimmel Exaggerate Eyeliner in purple plum, and Max Factor False Lashes mascara.

I wore my bright red Ruby Tuesday Max Factor Elixir lipstick to finish the look, but blotted it a lot to just get a wash of colour, as I didn't want to look to 'done'.

I don't do many outfit/face of the day posts, so do let me know if you'd like to see more! Apologies for the bad quality photos - winter evenings don't lend themselves well to good lighting, and my little flat isn't the best backdrop either!


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Sunday, 10 November 2013

Breakfast at Bill's in Brighton ♥

I went to a friend's wedding last weekend, and the morning after some friends and I went to Bill's for some much needed breakfast. There was lots of alcohol consumed the night before and so we were all in need of some filling and nutritious grub to help us feel normal again! I used to live in Brighton but I never ever went to Bill's before - it's a seriously popular place and there's always queues right out the door. So I was very excited to finally get the Bill's experience!

The interior is very rustic with an exposed ceiling and lots of cool produce lining the shelves. The cutlery tins on the table were decorated with old labels and looked so cool! There was also lots of dried chillis hung up around the place.

I decided to go for a cloudy apple juice and a veggie breakfast - poached free range eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, hummus, guacamole, basil, toast and bubble and squeak! Oh my god it was amazing! The eggs were done perfectly and guacamole may now be a new breakfast fave of mine - it was so delicious on toast.

I would definitely recommend Bill's if you are ever in Brighton - they do breakfast, lunch, dinner and even afternoon tea! I can't wait to visit again and try some of the other dishes on the menu!

Have you ever been to Bill's?


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Friday, 8 November 2013

Recent Beauty Buys - Superdrug 3 for 2 ♥

I needed some new make up recently so I went to Superdrug to make use of their '3 for 2' offer that's on at the moment. I haven't bought anything new for a while as I've been mega busy and it was nice to take time to peruse all the cosmetic ranges. My hand was a multicoloured patchwork of swatches by the end of my visit!

I've been needing a new red lipstick as my Chanel Rouge Allure one gave up the ghost not long ago. I wanted a similar type of lipstick - moisturising but also pigmented so I can build up the colour from sheer to a bold and vivid. 

This Max Factor lippy in Ruby Tuesday fitted the bill. It has a blue undertone so it's great for my pale skin, and also makes your teeth look whiter! I like how I can dab on and blend for a sheer low key daytime look, or apply more layers for a punchy bright red evening look. I love the gold and sleek packaging too - it looks much more expensive than £7.99. I can see this becoming a firm favourite in my make up bag!

I've been wanting to try a new foundation for a while, as my mineral powder foundation isn't giving me the coverage I need as my skin gets quite shiny half way through the day. I originally wanted to get the Max Factor Whipped Creme foundation which has been raved about on a lot of blogs recently, but when I swatched the product it seemed like it'd be too greasy for skin and quite heavy. So I opted for this Maybelline Matte Mousse, for a matt and weightless coverage.

I really like this product as it glides on to the skin, blends really well and has a lovely, soft, velvet-y feel. In terms of coverage it's pretty good and evens out skintone without using too much product, so avoids any 'cakey' texture or look.

My Benefit 'They're Real!' mascara has run out and it's my absolute favourite but I can't always afford the over £20 price tag, so I chose another Max Factor product - False Lash Effect Mascara (limited edition packaging).

 Whilst the wand is a similar style to Benefit's mascara, unfortunately that's where the likenesses end. If I use this on its own it doesn't really give my lashes any oomph (which the Benefit one would on its own). When used with another mascara it does work better but I don't think I'd repurchase. Some plus points are the fact its not gloopy or flaky, but I'm Benefit all the way!

I ended up getting the foundation for free as it was the cheapest item - I love 3 for 2 offers!

Have you ever tried any of these products?


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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Etsy Wedding Rings ♥

Choosing your wedding ring is probably one of the most important aspects of your wedding. It is the ring you'll wear every day for the rest of your life, so it's crucial to pick a ring that will last the test of time and suit you through different stages of your life and changing fashion! I'm a fan of a classic gold or platinum band, but there also lots of unusual and pretty rings out there to reflect your personality and sense of style. Here are some of my favourites from good old etsy.

What kind of wedding bands do you like best?


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