Monday, 30 December 2013

Glitter-tastic New Year's Eve Outfits ♥

I love wearing glitter but it's not always acceptable throughout the year, but on New Year's Eve glitter is embraced by all! Hooray. I love glittering dresses, sparkly shoes, and shimmery make up! Here is a little wishlist of mine of all things super sparkly and pretty, perfect for NYE celebrations and parites!

Katy Perry Eylure Sunset Strip Lashes / Gold Sequin Midi Dress / Kate Spade Clink Clink Necklace / Dune Glitter T-Bar Sandals / John Zack Sequin Dress / Gold Glitter Crossover Clutch

What are you wearing for New Year's Eve? I hope you all have fun plans!


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Friday, 27 December 2013

Macadamia Natural Oils - Deep Repair Masque ♥

I hope you've all had a brilliant Christmas and are enjoying the Christmas fall out of chocolate scoffing, cheese and wine-ing and film watching! I thought you may want to read a little hair care review as I'm sure a lot of you will be already preparing for New Year's Eve celebrations, and a gorgeous mane of hair is a must for partying!

I bought Macadamia Natural Oils Deep Repair Masque from Amazon recently as I'd heard rave reviews about the brand.  I've never tried this brand before as it's quite pricey but you can get the products for cheaper on Amazon (I paid £7.45 for this but it normally retails for £12.75!) and I've spotted them for sale in Tk Maxx too.

Macadamia Hair's website says it's products are for 'problem hair':


The Macadamia Natural Oil™ line has been created specifically to help those with "problem hair". If you feel that your hair has one or more of the following "problems", our products will be a can't-live-without addition to your daily beauty regimen.
  • -damaged (chemicals, wind, sun)
  • -frizzy
  • -dry
  • -colored, straightened, permed
  • -hard to manage
  • -tangled
  • -dull, lifeless
  • -brittle, not soft, lacking "touchability"
  • -out of control, wild
  • -thick, bushy
My hair is definitely damaged (from bleach/highlights), dry, coloured, tangly, dull and lifeless! Poor hair. I've been trying to find something that would perk up my locks a bit and make it seem a bit healthier. I'm also trying to take better care of it in the lead up to my wedding as I want to grow it long and so I need to keep it in tip top condition! The products claim to use 'macadamia oil and argan oil to replenish the hair's natural help nourish and protect the hair from UV rays while repairing hair follicles for improved elasticity and shine'.

I've been using this conditioning hair masque for a few weeks now (you're not meant to use more than twice a week) and it has definitely helped improve the condition of my hair, so much so, that several people have commented how healthy and shiny it looks! So I'm thrilled! I'm definitely going to buy more products in the range as they have shampoos and leave-in sprays etc.

The masque has a lovely, slightly tropical smell but not overpowering at all. It's quite subtle once your hair is dry. It felt really nice to apply to my hair, and you can leave it in for up to 7 mins so it's good if you are taking a bath! My hair is much easier to comb after using this and when blow dried feels so glossy and healthy, and not at all weighed down or greasy. I'm very impressed and will definitely be repurchasing!

Have you ever tried this product range?


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Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Festive Love ♥

Happy Christmas!!! :-)
I hope you are all having a lovely Christmas Day with your friends and families and that Santa has brought everything you asked for!

This week's wedding post is not really wedding themed but more 'love' themed! I've found some lovely festive romantic pics on pinterest - Christmas is a time for being with those you care about and I hope this post will get you in a feel good festive mood!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


Sunday, 22 December 2013

Sleek MakeUp Blush - Rose Gold ♥

Here's a review of the blush I bought with my competition giftcard mentioned in my last post. I've been looking for a blush to potentially use on my wedding day and I was drawn to this one by the colour 'Rose Gold'. My engagement ring and my wedding ring are rose gold, so I thought it may be a sign! I'm not a big blush fan so I'm not sure what really suits my skin tone best. The sleek website describes Rose Gold as 'a rosy pink with gold shimmer ideal for all skin tones, offering a golden pink highlight'.

I really liked the matt black packaging as it made the blusher feel a lot more expensive than the £4.49 it cost! 

The blusher itself is a a pretty pink with lots of shimmery gold. There's also quite a large mirror inside which is handy if applying on the go. 

I was a bit worried when I opened up the blush as it's quite a bright colour but when swatched on the hand it becomes a lovely iridescent gold and pink shimmer.

I tried to get a pic to show it on my skin but the lighting was really bad in my flat! It doesn't come across as shimmery as it does when swatched but I think I probably either haven't applied enough, or applied in the right places (any tips would be appreciated!) - I just applied to the apples of my cheeks. I also need a proper blush brush as I'm in awe of all this contouring business that can transform the face! But overall it didn't look really wrong on my pale skin, or overly glittery or pink. It may be a contender! 

I've read some reviews online and it's often compared to Nars Blush in 'Orgasm' (oo er!). The Nars blush is described as 'peachy pink with golden shimmer'. Without actually trying the Nars I'd say this was about right although the Sleek blush seems more rosy pink than peach.

Have you ever used this blush? What is your favourite blush product?


PS - also featured in this post are my rose gold stud earrings (seen in pic above!) - also bought with my competition win giftcard!

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Friday, 20 December 2013

Competition Win - Holiday Gems ♥

I recently took part in Holiday Gem's blogger challenge to win an all paid for trip to Barcelona! You can see my entry here. Unfortunately I did not win, but they gave me and another blogger a runner's up prize of a £50 Amazon gift card which was very generous of them! It took me ages to decide what to get and in the end I got a big load of different bits and bobs - £50 goes very far on Amazon! Most are beauty products so I shall do an individual review of all those bits for you in the coming days.

Here is what I bought!

I managed to get quite a lot for my money! I hadn't realised how small the teNeues diary would be when I got it (it's tiny and pocket size) but apart from that I'm really happy with all my purchases! The drop earrings are so sparkly and really pretty, and I may wear them on my wedding day or in the evening for some sparkle. The stud earrings are also cute but more for day-to-day wear! The Blue Sky nail polish is for my shellac machine which I was given as a present for my birthday (in March!!) and I still haven't tried it out yet. But I definitely will soon as I want to shellac my nails for Christmas! I'm quite impressed with Amazon for beauty buys. I hadn't even realised they sold beauty products! 

What beauty products do you buy on Amazon?


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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Christmas Weddings ♥

I think most people think 'tacky' when they think of themed weddings, and of Christmas themed weddings in particular. It does dredge up visions of Christmas roast dinner with naff crackers and cheesy Christmas music, pound shop decorations and fake snow! However I think if done right, a Christmassy style wedding can look so beautiful and special. I've made the below mood board of gorgeous Christmassy wedding delights, and posted some wedding ideas and tips too. Hopefully they will be useful to any festive brides out there!

I love the rich colours associated with Christmas - deep reds, dark greens, gold and glitter! They can be used throughout a wedding. I love the emerald green bridesmaid dresses above, and the bright red bridal shrug. The cranberries candle decorations are stunning and the pine cone bouquet is festive without being tacky! I think the key is to steer clear of anything plastic-y or gaudy and stick to a colour palette of 2 or 3 colours to avoid looking like a box of Quality Streets!

Here are some Christmas wedding tips and ideas!

♥  Get Christmassy with sumptuous golds, greens and berry reds

♥  Use pine cones as table decorations and/or attach name tags to act as place names

♥ Embrace the twinkly fairy lights and create a festive & romantic atmosphere (white only, multi coloured may look a bit garish!)

♥  Give red & white striped candy canes as wedding favours

♥ Use a Christmas tree with name tag decorations as a table plan

♥  Serve spiced warm mulled wine to your guests on arrival 

♥  Find a venue with an open fire for a cosy Christmassy vibe

♥ Tis the season to be sparkly! So go all out with bling bridal jewellery

♥ Keep warm and look glamorous with fur stoles

♥ Use ruby red poinsettias as flower centrepieces

♥ Go for an all white colour scheme for a snowy but chic look!

Have you ever been to a Christmas wedding?


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Monday, 16 December 2013

Costa Christmas Drinks ♥

I'm a big coffee fan and probably spend far too much money on it, but I just love trying out all the different blends and visiting lots of different coffee shops - chain coffee stores and independent ones. Recently I went for a winter walk and passed a Costa Coffee store and was lured in by the extremely cute christmas coffee cups they are using at the moment, not to mention the delicious christmassy flavours on offer!

I picked a Salted Caramel Latte which was served in a very sweet gingerbread man coffee cup! It was delicious and had generous lashings of cream and caramel sauce on top...mmmm! Other yummy sounding Costa coffees I'd like to try are Chocolate & Orange Mocha Latte, Gingerbread & Cream Latte and Black Forest Hot Chocolate - nom nom!

Have you tried any of Costa's festive blends?


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Friday, 13 December 2013

Christmas Stocking Fillers for £5 or Under ♥

It's nearly Christmas and the shops are full to the brim with lots of gifts and goodies. It can be a bit overwhelming at times to decide what to get for people, and I know I struggle with small token gifts for friends, stocking fillers or Secret Santa pressies that are budget friendly, but not cheap and tacky! I've created a list of pressies all for a fiver or under - hopefully you'll find this useful when doing your Christmas shopping rounds this month!

LEOPARD PRINT GLOVES £5 - Dorothy Perkins
OWL KEYRING £4.50 - Oliver Bonas
BARRY M LIP PAINT £4.49 - Superdrug
HOLO NAIL WRAPS £3.50 - Topshop
PEARL BRACELET £5 - Oliver Bonas


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Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Wedding Wednesday - DIY Guestbook ♥

Today's wedding post is a DIY tutorial on how to make your own guestbook! I've seen loads of nice guestbooks around which are decorated beautifully but they come at a pretty hefty price tag. I like the idea of 'DIY-ing' bits and pieces for your own wedding day, as it makes things that little bit more memorable and special.

I had access to some 'dummy' copies of books from my job at a publishing house, so I've used one of these. Dummy copies are plain white and unprinted, and so are perfect for a guestbook if you get a nice landscape sized one. Although I've used a dummy copy, this DIY can easily be applied to any plain white notebook or sketchbook, like this one on ebay.

1.) Paint your guestbook in a pretty colour to match your colour schemes, or just any colour you like! I used a pale pink acrylic paint mix and painted all sides of the guestbook cover, including the spine. I let this dry out for over a week to make sure it wasn't still wet or tacky, but it had probably properly dried long before then! Make sure not to overload the cover with too much paint as you don't want it to go soggy and warped.

2.) Buy some wide decorative trim - I chose a lovely intricate 3" ivory lace trim to match the vintage 'afternoon tea' style/theme of my wedding. I bought 1 metre of this off ebay for £1.95. You could pick a lace trim, or a patterned wide ribbon, or even a wide sample of a pretty fabric you like - just be sure the edges won't fray.

3.) I then ironed the lace trim with a tea towel over the top to prevent scorching. Some of the little petals on the trim had started to poke up and I wanted a nice flat finish for when I glued the trim to the book.

4.) Using a glue gun I affixed the edge of the lace trim to the inside edge of the front cover. Take care not to squirt too much glue everywhere or the book won't shut properly when it's dried - just a thin smooth layer will do with no big blobs. Then you need to wrap the trim around the front cover, over the spine, the back cover and affix with the glue the other end to the inside of the back cover, like you did with the front.

5.) The guestbook will be shaping up already but you may find the trim quite loose on the book, and gaping slightly, so you'll need to glue the trim a bit more. I glued the lace down on the spine to centre the trim, and then glued under all the pointed edges of the trim over the whole book - front/back cover & inside. This affixed the lace securely and flush to the book without causing pulling.

6.) After dotting the glue under the trim as mentioned above, pat down gently to fuse the glue to the surface. Take care not to burn your finger though - the glue is hot! It dries quite quickly so make sure you know what you want to stick before you apply the glue, so it doesn't dry in a horrible lump.

7.) Voila! A pretty guestbook for the fraction of the price of a shop bought, or fancy Etsy one! I'm really pleased with my guestbook and I think it will fit in with the wedding day colours and vintage style perfectly. Years from now when I read all the lovely comments from friends and family, this book will be that extra bit special because of the memory of the love and care put into making it!

I hope this has inspired you to perhaps have a go at making your own guestbook, or even customising one you may have bought already. I'd love to see a pic if you try this out!


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Monday, 9 December 2013

DIY Christmas Cards with Hobbycraft ♥

I love making things at Christmas - nothing gets me in a more Christmassy mood than creating homemade cards, gifts, decorations and yummy treats. This year I wanted to have a go at making my own Christmas cards for an extra personal homemade touch, so I was delighted when Hobbycraft offered to send me some crafty bits to make some Xmas cards!

Hobbycraft have a wonderful Christmas range and selection of DIY bits and pieces. You can make your own cards, gift wrap, tree decorations, wreaths and even advent calendars - the choice is endless! I always end up with several bags full of goodies when I visit Hobbycraft as I just want to have a go at making everything!

I received a lovely red stocking in the post and inside were some gorgeous red felt flowers, gold metallic cards & envelopes, glittery angel shapes and some gold 'Merry Christmas' stickers. Armed with my trusty glue gun and some other bits and bobs from my craft box I set about making some festive greeting cards!

I used some wrapping paper as a background to the oval window cut-outs in the gold cards - the reindeer paper looked so cute on it's own that this card needed no further decoration! I stuck some pretty glittery angels on complete with the Merry Christmas sticker wording, and also some little flower embellishments from my sewing box! My favourite has to be the red polka dot one which simply uses wrapping paper, a pretty christmas bird sticker, gold lettering and a matching red polka dot bow.

Hobbycraft is a great place to go to get all the bits and bobs you need to DIY and they're all super easy to put together, no matter what level of experience you have. I love these gold plain cards which are a great base for lots of different designs, so you can personalise each card to each recipient! I haven't used the felt flowers yet but my plan is to attach them to brooch backs, to make gorgeous festive flower brooch gifts that will look lovely pinned on winter coats and jumpers!

Do you make your own Christmas cards and gifts?


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Friday, 6 December 2013

Winter Warming Drinks ♥

In this chilly winter weather I'm always on the look out for yummy, warming drinks. I love nothing more than curling up under a blanket on the sofa with a warm cup of tea or hot chocolate! It's so cosy and it's a part of winter that I love! I spotted some new things in the supermarket the other day that I'd never tried before, so I decided to give them a whirl.

First up is Options Additions Hot Chocolate sachet. I like to try the low-fat hot chocolates but they're sometimes lacking something and are a bit bland or watery. I was excited to try this one as it is belgian hot chocolate with a sachet of chocolate flakes, crispies and marshmallows to sprinkle on top, and it's only 99 calories! You simply pour hot water over the powder, stir well, and sprinkle all the yummy bits on top!

I really loved the flavour of the hot chocolate, which was creamy, chocolately and definitely didn't taste low-fat and bland. The topping I was in two minds about. I loved the marshmallows and the the chocolate flakes, but the crispies did go a bit funny when heated up and stuck to my teeth a lot! It definitely felt like a real treat though and much more naughty than 99 calories, so I would buy this again!

I've been having trouble sleeping recently and I think I just have too much on my mind, so I was keen to try Clipper's Sleep Easy tea bags to try and help me get my beauty sleep! I'm always a sucker for anything by Clipper as their packaging is so beautifully designed! I spotted this on the shelf right away and popped one in my shopping basket!

The tea is a blend of cinnamon, chamomile, valerian and other natural herbs, and it has a lovely orange flavour. It claims to help promote and maintain healthy sleep. I don't know if its psychological but I have found getting to sleep much easier after having a mug of this in the evening! Valerian is a natural sedative and so  this is perhaps what is helping me nod off! I prefer this much more to my usual chamomile as it really does help me relax, so I'll be buying more of this too!

What's your favourite winter drink? 


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Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Bridal Make-Up Practice ♥

I recently went for a hair and make up trial, and whilst they did a good job I realised I think I'd much prefer to do my own make up on the day! Hair is another matter which I'm still trying to figure out/find someone! But make up I'll probably do myself.

I bought some new bits and pieces to practice at home. Here are some pics of the bridal look I created. My only worry is that it is not too different from what I wear every day, so perhaps I need to glam it up a bit more. I'm not wearing blusher in these pics so I think that'd be a nice finishing touch. If you have any ideas on how I can make this extra special, do let me know!

To create this look I used used a moisturiser and primer base, followed by Revlon PhotoReady liquid foundation in 'Shell'. This is about medium coverage, and I think I'll need to go for something a bit heavier in coverage on the day as my skin is quite uneven and has a lot of blemishes. I also noticed the foundation had kind of worn off a few hours later, despite setting it with Look Mattify Me translucent powder.

For eyeshadow I used Soap & Glory It's About Prime eyeshadow underbase first. I've never used an eyeshadow primer before really, and now I'm totally sold! I applied this and then No.7 Wheatsheaf Stay Perfect Eye Shadow - it did not wear off or crease all day! It was like magic. I always, always get creased eyeshadow so I'm super excited to have a solution. I will definitely be wearing more eyeshadow from now on!

I then lined my eyes in a feline flick style with Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner in brown. I wear a flick like this every day. I then used lashings of mascara (my new max factor one) and then I applied some Eyelure Black Individual Lashes . I've never been able to get the hang of putting these on, but I think I've finally cracked it! I put a few towards the outer edges of the eye. I think I used a bit too much glue as in daylight you could see shiny bits where I'd stuck them on! I'm going to keep practicing to perfect application as I loved the full lash look. I also pencilled in my eyebrows a bit with a light brown brow pencil.

For lips, I used Soap & Glory Sexy MotherPucker Lip Crayon/Gloss in a lovely soft pink colour called 'Bashfull'. This lippy promises to plump up your lips for a fuller pout, and I did notice a difference! The colour is nice and sheer and can be applied without a mirror which is perfect for inbetween photo touch ups! It's also a nice vanilla flavour.

Do you like this look? What would you add to make it that extra special?


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Monday, 2 December 2013

Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea, Sanderson Hotel ♥

The other weekend I went to an amazing afternoon tea at the Sanderson Hotel in London. I went with some family members and it was a really nice day out. The afternoon tea was Alice in Wonderland themed, a 'Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea'. It was an afternoon tea with a quirky twist and it was so much fun!

When you are seated you get to choose what tea you'd like to drink, and I was going to go for a traditional English Breakfast but I decided to get into the swing of things by choosing one of the specialty teas. I chose mint chocolate chip, which sounds strange for tea but it was amazing! It wasn't too chocolatey and was more of a peppermint with a hint of chocolate. They also had strawberry & cream, rhubarb & custard, and apple pie tea blends to choose from!

My tea came served in a gorgeous monochrome tea pot with a playing card king on one side and a queen on the other! It also had a cute black crown on top! All of the cutlery and crockery was in this monochrome theme, and had little clock face and time references which is very apt for the Alice in Wonderland story and 'I'm Late!' White Rabbit.

The way the menu was presented to us was one of my favourite things of the day! It was hidden inside a vintage copy of Pride and Prejudice which was so clever and a really nice touch. You can't really see what is on the menu in this photo (sorry for bad photos - lighting wasn't great!), so here's the full list!

Smoked Cumbrian ham with wholegrain mustard on sun-dried tomato bread
Cucumber and chive cream cheese on spinach bread
Cold smoked salmon and lemon butter on dark rye bread
Egg mayonnaise with watercress and smoked sea salt on lemon bread
Daily quiche

Carrot meringue served on a bed of pea shoots
'Strawberries and cream' homemade marshmallow mushrooms
'Tick Tock' traditional Victoria sponge
Melting mango cheesecake
Matcha green tea and white chocolate mousse served in chocolate tea cup
'Drink Me' Potion 
Selection of homemade savoury and sweet scones,
served with herb butter and fruit preserves with clotted cream

You can see most of these items in the first pic - they were presented on a cute cake stand with a teacup on the top with the little carrot meringues on top! The savoury and sweet scones were delicious and very fresh, and we also had some cheese and mushroom quiches which were so yummy. The sandwiches (below) were also really yummy and were served in sweet little 'swiss roll' shapes. 

The sweet items were very plentiful and I think if I could change one thing it would be a few more savoury options! There was an amazing 'tick tock' victoria sponge drizzled in strawberry sticky sauce, and a delicious white chocolate cheesecake tear drop which had a surprise mango middle! Also we had mushroom shaped marshmallows and green tea mousse in chocolate cups! Everything was made and presented so perfectly, it was very fun to try and taste everything.

Another aspect I really liked is that you could ask for more of anything whenever you wanted! We ordered some more sandwiches as they were so scrummy. We also had some extra pots of tea.

 There was lots of nice little details, including the sugar cubes being in this musical jewellery box with a twirling ballerina and pretty tune! There was also lovely metal tea strainers to use, and the napkins were wrapped in a white band with a riddle on top!

This was another fave part of the tea! The 'Drink Me Potion' was such a cool touch and nod to Alice in Wonderland and it was so tasty! It had 3 different fruity layers so as you drink the bottle you get a different flavour experience. It was like a fruit smoothie and it was very yummy.

I'm definitely going to be revisiting this afternoon tea, maybe with some friends next time. It costs £40 or £50 with a glass of champagne. I think it's worth the money as you really do get well fed and watered and looked after well by the staff, plus it's an afternoon tea with a twist and much more interesting than the standard tea packages!

Have you ever been on an unusual themed afternoon tea?


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