Monday, 27 April 2015

Review: Clarins Aquatic Treasures Summer Bronzing Compact

Since the first rays of sunshine in 2015 have made London bloom I have started to add a little extra colour to my every day makeup routine. Being naturally super pale I have been having a love affair with the stunning Clarins Aquatic Treasures Summer Bronzing Compact*.
With 4 colour quadrants ranging from light to deep this bronzer is absolutely perfect for this transitional period as I can pick and choose the intensity I need every time I use it! I use the darker shades when I have applied self tanner and stick to the lightest on days when I want to keep it more natural.
While being super pigmented this powder blends beautifully. As it is cool toned and on the matte side it works perfectly for both contouring and bronzing!

The Clarins Aquatic Treasures Summer Bronzing Compact is currently retailing (at 10% off) for £27 here.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Wedding: Precious Petals - Preserving Your Bouquet!

Planning your wedding is a huge task that can feel totally overwhelming! However, I think that the more effort you put in the more amazing it feels to know that you have created a beautiful event that all your friends and family can enjoy. I would encourage everyone to make sure they pick the best photographers and videographers as the day goes by far too quickly and it is so important to be able to have those memories to look back on. Many brides can feel a little lost following their wedding, but I am super sentimental so I made sure I would still have a few wedding related projects to look forward to after the big day. One of them was my beautiful bouquet, which I had preserved and framed so it could have pride of place in our living room.
Personally, I loved organising my wedding as I am a complete perfectionist so I wanted to create all the unique aspects of our day to reflect us as a couple, as well as my personal style. Although our wedding was pretty traditional all the elements were unique as I made sure to research everything thoroughly and then very specifically design details to fit together. This may sound rather ‘Bridezilla’ to some, but as I worked with a lot of small, independent suppliers it was very much a collaborative creative process. I know lots of people wouldn’t want the stress and would rather pick a cake or set menu from a directory, but that just wasn’t for me. All our suppliers were amazing and as they were genuinely passionate about their art they were enthusiastic about creating new pieces for their portfolios. One of the aspects I loved learning about the most was the flowers! I had seen so many beautiful arrangements, but as we had a number of tricky spaces to fill (our church was very large and we had different rooms for our champagne reception, dinner/dancing and bar/ cake/ coffee areas) I had to design arrangements that would look impressive and fill the space, without being garish... and all within our budget. The flowers looked beautiful on the day and I was very sad to leave them behind at the venue so instead we gave away most of the smaller arrangements to our guests and donated the rest to a nearby children’s hospital. 

I was so happy to have arranged for my bouquet to be preserved so I could keep it as a memento! After doing some research about freeze drying flowers I came across Precious Petals. There were different options available on their website including keeping the bouquet in a cube, having the flowers pressed, or preserving a select few flowers in a paperweight. I chose a 3D method that would let my whole bouquet be preserved in a frame that I could hang on the wall. Precious Petals did an amazing job! After keeping my bouquet in water overnight I sent it to them on the Sunday following my wedding. The process does take 12-16 weeks as they have to disassemble the bouquet and preserve each flower individually before rearranging and framing it, but this just means you have something to look forward to long after all the photos are seen and the thank you cards sent!
If you are getting married I would highly recommend getting your bouquet preserved as a special memory from the day! I was so pleased with the service from Precious Petals and would definitely recommend check them out!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Beauty Trio

If you have been reading this blog for a while you will already be aware that I am huge fan of Liz Earle skincare, especially their Cleanse & Polish. I have been using this cleanser with a muslin cloth for many years and though I still adore it I have become somewhat desensitized to its distinctive fragrance. I was therefore super excited to see that Liz Earle had launched a Beauty Trio to celebrate 20 years of of the brand!
The set comes in a beautiful turquoise tin and features 3 limited editions of Cleanse & Polish plus 2 pure muslin cloths. These include calming Rose & Lavender, zesty Grapefruit & Patchouli and soothing Orange Flower & Chamomile.
 I am so excited to try all the new scents!


Thursday, 16 April 2015

La Roche Posay Anthelios

With the hottest day of the year so far already with us in April it is definitely a good time to talk about sunscreen! Seeing all the bare legs and shoulders at lunchtimes all across the City definitely spurred me to test out La Roche Posay's new Anthelios* range. Having actually been foolish enough in my younger years to have to go to hospital due to a severe sunburn I am a huge advocate of using a high factor SPF to protect from the sun! Nothing ages you more than sun exposure so it is incredibly important to make sure your skin is well shielded all year round, but especially as the weather gets warmer!

I was really interested in trying it out the Anthelios range as it promises a high degree of sun protection for sensitive skin. Being super pale (and learning from the above mentioned bad experiences) I go for the highest SPF possible, however I hate feeling like I am wearing a heavy sunscreen and am always on the search for the best of both worlds.
For the face I have been trialling the Anthelios XL Anti-Shine Dry Touch Gel-Cream SPF50+. This formulation doesn't feel at all heavy, is non-comedogenic and sets matte so it is perfect to use under makeup. It acts as a great base as it sinks into the skin quickly and sets to a dry touch while being water resistant. It has no parabens or  fragrance, just a faint, clean scent.
For the body I chose to go for the total opposite with the Anthelios XL Nutritive Oil SPF50+. I have never used a tanning oil before as they tend to have minimal protection (and if anything are generally used by those looking to increase their tan and sun exposure), however this oil is completely different. It can be used on the face and body to nourish and protect the skin. It has a dry oil formulation so sinks into the skin quickly without feeling sticky or too 'oily'. While still being paraben free and water resistant it does have a slight fragrance.

Have you tried the Anthelios range? What do you think of it? I hope you are all enjoying the sunshine safely! :)

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Review: Invisibobble

If I am totally honest having seen Invisibobble* pop up all over the internet I didn't at first understand the appeal! Every time I saw them they reminded me of telephone wires! However, after being sent some to try I have to say I have totally changed my mind and I just can't get enough of them. I have a couple in my handbag at all times, in my bathroom and dressing table and a special section for them in my gym bag.
Even though my hair has plenty of its own curl and texture the moment I tie it up it tends to get a massive kink where the hair tie was. I find this incredibly annoying as my hair is long and heavy so if I tie it up loosely to try and prevent kinks it just doesn't stay. I don't like to wash my hair more than every 3 days, but I am a regular gym goer and definitely can't work out (or sleep) without making sure that every strand is out of my face.
The Invisibobble has been a life saver as it really doesn't leave my hair kinky, even when I loop it around a few times to make sure it stays. It's also great for tying up a bun as it doesn't kink the ends, but holds the bun comfortably. The curls in the Invisibobble provide some extra grip so that they don't slide out of my hair, despite being super smooth. They also don't get tangled and are super easy to remove as there is no glue or metal connectors like in regular hair ties! I just love them and totally see what all the fuss is about!
For me the fact that Invisibobble works so well totally outweighs the aesthetic aspect. However, if you are not a huge fan of how they look you can always try to go for a clear one or one that's close to your hair colour!
Looking through their website I have also found lots of really fun hair tutorials, which I think are definitely worth checking out!

Have you tried Invisibobble? What do you think of them? I can't believe how quickly they converted me and I can't wait to try out more styles using them!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Simple Micellar Cleansing Water

For many years I have been using Bideorma's Sensibio Micellar water to remove my makeup before cleansing my face. I have always preferred micellar waters to traditional makeup removers as they are incredibly gentle and feel just like water! However, Bioderma was never readily available in the UK so I would always have to bulk buy when I was abroad (especially in France). I am so happy that micellar waters are finally taking the UK by storm and that I can now find a fabulous alternative in my local pharmacy!
The Simple Micellar Cleansing Water* is a perfect blend of multi-vitamins, skin loving ingredients and gentle cleansers to cleanse the skin while removing make-up. I normally use a generous amount on a cotton pad and wipe it across my skin and eyes to remove all makeup before cleansing my face.

The key ingredients of the Simple Micellar Water is triple purified water, vitamin B3 to restore, soften and smooth the skin, Vitamin C antioxidant and Hexylene Glycol to help dissolve makeup and condition the skin.

The Simple Micellar Cleansing Water is £4.49 at Boots

Sunday, 12 April 2015

OOTD: Date Night

This week my usual 7pm Friday conference call (love working across time zones!) was rescheduled so the hubby and I celebrated my unexpected evening freedom with a long overdue date night!

Dress: Roland Mouret for Banana Republic

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Home Improvements: Making a House a Home!

Over the last year I have updated our home to make it a little more modern and a lot more reflective of my current tastes. After five years I felt like my living room definitely needed an upgrade!
Here is a little before photo (taken on the night hubby proposed, but it gives a good feel of the room - very brown and a lot of leather).
 And the after...
The first thing I decided to change was the colour scheme and feel of the room. I have become obsessed with grey furnishings and wanted to balance out the muted grey tones with warm blush pinks and a touch of cream.
I purchased two Chesterfield sofas in a rich grey and added a little texture and colour contrast with velvet cushions and a grey faux fur throw. I kept the rest of the furnishings, including the side tables and coffee table, in ivory.
I also added an ivory sideboard that worked perfectly with our new Vera Wang photo frame, cacti and the bonbon holders that we had left over from the dessert table at our wedding.
The last part was our dining table and chairs. Both were purchased from
I love the lacquer table as it not only looks simple, modern and stylish, but is also extendable and super easy to clean.
For the table settings I used our old plain black glass settings and covered them in marble contact paper to make grey marble placemats and coasters. The napkin and napkin rings were purchased from Zara Home.

Let me know what you guys think! The photos aren't quite Instagram worthy, but I have really enjoyed researching and putting different pieces together!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Review: Freddy WR.UP

Since I started my fitness journey I have tried to keep myself motivated by following a bunch of gorgeous gym bunnies on Instagram. Since then my feed has been full of so many new activewear brands and Freddy has popped up many times. Their jeans and leggings are so different to anything I have seen as they really accentuate curves.
After working hard in the gym to build any sort of behind (I naturally have very little in that area) I thought that it wouldn't hurt to see how they would fit. So a few months ago I decided to treat myself and popped into their King's Road store to purchase my first pair of Freddy trousers. It was difficult to choose, but I decided to go for the most practical black pair WR.UP Shaping Effect Low Waist Skinny (£62).
As soon as I put them on and tentatively emerged from the changing room, feeling a little self conscious as they were so tight, my husband's eyes lit up and he practically ran to the checkout counter. When he suggested we actually go and purchase another pair I knew they must be something special... he has never (and I mean ever) suggested I buy any more clothes! 
(This is the same style but obviously not my bum.. I wish!)

Although they look more like trousers (with a front zip and pockets) they are completely opaque and very figure hugging so feel more like leggings with their 78% cotton/ 22% elastam mix. The special Freddy cut really does lift and pull you in in all the right places, but for me the best part is just how comfortable these are. Unlike other leggings or skinny jeans the Freddy bottoms have a strip if silicon inside the belt that helps to adhere so they never slip and give you that dreaded 'builder's bum'. As I have round hips most other trousers are cut straight so tend to dig in and give me love handles or gape at the back when I sit down, while the Freddy trousers just move with you! Plus a little extra shaping in the back never hurt anyone!
If this isn't enough motivation to do my squats then I don't know what is...

Have you tried Freddy WR.UP? I am excited to try some of their workout clothes and jeans in future!

Monday, 6 April 2015

OOTD: Easter

 Dress: Whistles (on sale on Asos)
Shoes: Melissa
Bag: Chanel
Hair: curled in small sections using the Babyliss Curling Wand Pro
I hope you are all having a wonderful Easter break!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Review: REN Keep Young and Beautiful Firm and Lift Eye Cream

It's somewhat ironic that all through last year I was on the quest for the perfect eye cream and at the beginning of this year I accidentally stumbled on to REN's ideal offering. Being on the wrong side of 25 I have noticed some fine lines forming around my eyes and wanted a cream that would help hydration, improve dark circles, tone and prevent formation of further lines (so not asking much). I have struggled to find a formulation that was suitable as the heavier creams were oily and gave me milia and the lighter gels left the area dehydrated.
I picked this cream up on a whim when shopping in SpaceNK as I have really enjoyed many of REN's products in the past. REN's Keep Young and Beautiful Firm and Lift Eye Cream promises to be an ultra lifting, firming and replenishing eye cream that dramatically reduces the appearance of wrinkles, crow’s feet and deep expression lines around the delicate eye area. It is moisturising without being heavy and still feels very light on the skin while giving deep hydration. Just one pump is enough for both eyes and I have found that the 15ml tube has already lasted me 3 months - so a little definitely goes a long way. The only negative is it's difficult to tell how much product is left in the packaging... I'm hoping there's a little more before I have to repurchase!
The REN Keep Young and Beautiful Firm and Lift Eye Cream is £28 from the REN website or SpaceNK.
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