Thursday, 20 April 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Makeup Launches at Feel Unique!

Girls, I've got some exciting news for you!

Iconic makeup brand and one of my personal faves, Charlotte Tilbury Makeup have launched at Feel Unique!

Join them for their official launch party on Facebook Live TODAY from 1-2pm.

Charlotte Tilbury herself will be revealing her MUST HAVE makeup secrets and much more!

You can now shop #FeeluniqueXCharlotteTilbury on their website here.

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

In March I had the honour of experiencing my first red carpet at the prestigious Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards.  Founded in 1976 by HRH Prince of Wales, The Princes Trust are a youth charity who help young people  that are unemployed or struggling in education to get their lives back on track and achieve their potential by developing their self esteem and skills required for the workplace.

Every year, the Princes Trust honour the achievements of the young people who have been supported by one of the Trust's programmes, with the National Celebrate Success Awards.  Last Autumn, there were 11 Oscars-style regional awards, of which I was delighted to attend the one at The Sage in Newcastle, from which a short list was drawn for the finals that I went to at the prestigious London Palladium.

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

The dress code was business smart which immediately threw me as when I think of a red carpet event, I automatically think of more of an evening dress.  However after a quick dash through to the Metrocentre, I picked out my outfit for the occasion; a Yours Clothing Black Crepe Longline Waterfall Jacket with a jewelled brooch from personal shopper, Cocorichelle1, worn over the Evans Longline Pocket Dress which is available in a round neck or the split that I have.

As I'm sure you'll be aware, I love mixing high end and highstreet pieces together and a great example of this is the Dune Briela Shoes that look so much like Manolo Blahniks, worn with my Primark pearl effect bracelets, River Island earrings and my Chanel WOC that I tend to used when I don't need to carry too much with me!

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

The morning of the Celebrate Success Awards went by in a bit of a whirlwind and while I may have tweeted a couple of outfit photos, behind the scenes I was in far more of a rush to head out of the door than I had anticipated.  When the opportunity arose, I headed to The Alnwick Garden up in Northumberland to recreate my outfit.

Their perfectly preened Serpent Garden was the perfect backdrop for this outfit and when the hidden water features come to life both here and at the bottom of the Grand Cascade, the true beauty of Alnwick Gardens appear even more magical.

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to create and maintain the stunning gardens which are qualities that The Princes Trust encourage in those they help.

Through hearing the stories of the young people at the awards, it is evident that such a positive mindset and productive behaviour has been encouraged and achieved.

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

Many Celebrity Ambassadors were in attendance from North East legends Ant and Dec to Philip Schofield and my Silent Witness girl crush Emilia Fox who wore the most incredible bright pink heels, as well as many dedicated volunteers and staff, bloggers, sponsors and of course, HRH The Prince of Wales himself.

It was amazing to be in the presence of the Royal Guards Fanfare and to sing the National Anthem which really brought home just how much of a momentous occasion this was.

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

We were treated to performances by X Factor winner Matt Terry and the fantastic cast of School of Rock, the musical. Each of the sponsor's representatives and the Trust's Celebrity Ambassadors who presented an award ,spoke candidly about their connection with the Trust, the work that the Princes Trust do and how they have been inspired by the young people that have been helped.  Professional Footballer, Thierry Henry in particular gave a very humble and thoughtful speech that really impressed me.

However it was Prince Charles' sincerity, appreciation, thought provoking words and witty charm at the end of the proceedings that really struck a chord with me.  He spoke with reference to Efaz, who had turned his life around and won the Mappin & Webb Young Ambassador of the Year Award, and his joy at hearing him refer to the The Princes Trust as being a family.

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

When Princes Charles set out in creating the Trust, he aimed for it to be a virtuous circle with one sequence of events benefiting the next.  It was great to hear how this has been achieved, especially with the example of Elizabeth Galton who is the Creative Director of Mappin & Webb, who sponsored one of the awards.  She got started in her career thanks to a travel bursary from the Princes Trust some twenty years ago!

Above all, it goes without saying that the most important people who were at Celebrate Success, and those who had the biggest impact on myself, were the young people who had been helped by the Princes Trust.

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

The Princes Trust help transform the lives of 13 to 30 year olds that are out of work or struggling to progress at school.  They provide expert advice, courses and life skills as well as support and guidance to get them into jobs, education and training.

To date, The Princes Trust have helped over 870,000 young people, almost 60,000 a year.  Many of them are from disadvantaged backgrounds, unstable homes or the care system and many are in vulnerable position, facing the prospect of homelessness, suffering with mental health issues, have been in trouble with the law or are at risk of offending.

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

Its a sad fact that despite living in such a developed, privileged country, not everyone in the UK has an equal start in life.  I think its really amazing that the Princes Trust are there to help as many of those people as they can by giving them the practical and financial support that they need to stabilise their lives, gain independence and give themselves the best chance at a brighter future.  This not only impacts them positively but their family and community too.  I have experience of this as The Princes Trust helped someone close to me which has directly benefited not only their life but mine too.

To me, one of the greatest things about The Princes Trust is the confidence and increased self esteem that they encourage in those who they help.  Belief in ones self is an incredibly valuable asset when entering education, training and work because when the going gets tough, it encourages you to keep moving forward.

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

The Princes Trust are currently working at a fantastic 78% positive result from all of their efforts and I'm sure if even more people heard the success stories of those involved with the Trust, even more young people would be motivated and encouraged to get on board.

You can read more about how the Princes Trust provide help for young people here.

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

Hearing some of the Celebrate Success stories of those who have overcome so many personal struggles and challenges in life to get to where they are today, having taken part in one of the Trust's programmes, was incredibly inspiring.  I've felt motivated to support The Princes Trust for a long time but my experience at the awards ceremony certainly made me feel keen to get the word out to those who they could help.

I felt incredibly proud to be a part of The Princes Trust as I'm sure you'll have gathered by my tweets, live from the London Palladium on the day!  

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

The whole occasion was a very overwhelming experience to say the least, particularly being in the presence of royalty and amongst so many incredibly inspiring young people; a day that I will never forget.

Find out more about The Princes Trust for yourself here and the many ways that you can support them here.


What do you know about The Princes Trust?  How have you been inspired by their work?  What do you think of my outfit; does it meet the business smart dress code?

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Luxury Gifts for Women

Luxury Gifts for Women

Mother's Day may have been and gone but there are so many times throughout the year where I'm sure the women in your lives could do with some spoiling.  For birthdays, anniversaries or even just as a little thank you, they're all gifting times that are very much appreciated.

Trouble is, unless its Christmas, Valentine's or around Mother's Day, its hard to get a lot of gift inspiration if you're not much of a shopper for women because the shops aren't necessarily having a focus on gifting.  Just this morning I had a DM on Twitter from a man who asked for a makeup recommendation for his wife's birthday.  He gets in touch around the same time every year and the same goes for many other men and women who are looking for the latest must have recommendations for their partners.

Worry not though, as I have gifts for women sewn up so even if you don't have a woman's birthday coming up in the next few weeks, book mark this page to inspire you later!

Atkinsons Scilly Neroli Eau De Parfum

It's my mam's birthday this month and she'll be celebrating a big birthday so I've been focusing on scouring the shops to find the most gorgeous gifts for her and now I'll share them with you all.

Let's start with a fragrance...

The Atkinsons Scilly Neroli Eau De Parfum is a fabulously fresh, zesty scent that is perfect for the summer months.  With top notes of lemon, petitgrain and sea notes, a heart of neroli essence and orange flower absolute and a base of ambergris and patchouli, it is a floral yet aquatic and really packs a punch.  

This perfume comes in a huge 100ml and since the fragrance is strong and long lasting, only a couple of spritzes are needed to last the wearer the whole day long.  It is beautifully packaged as you'd expect from Atkinsons.  More on this fragrance in a review post soon!

Côte Noire Blush Roses in Black Glass with Giftbox from Amara Living

For the woman in your life who loves flowers, let me point you in the direction of Côte Noire at Amara Living.  They create the most stunning lifelike floral arrangements in sleek holders for the home which not only update the decor but the scent of the home too as the faux flowers are perfumed.

This particular bloom is the Côte Noire Blush Roses in Black Glass with Giftbox.  I love how luxe the packaging is and it certainly makes a great first impression.  The gift inside is of an even higher standard and the flowers look so realistic.  I do love the look of real flowers but I hate that they cost so much money and then die after a week whereas the Côte Noire flowers will last.  It even comes with a 10ml spray bottle of the rose petal scent that you can use to lightly mist over the flowers to refresh their scent, when needed.

I'm so impressed with this company and will certainly be buying more in future for around my home.  I love shopping at Amara Living as they have such a wide range of homeware and gifts.

For the lady who loves to collect things, a Pandora bracelet that you can add charms to is absolutely ideal as a gift because it gives you instant ideas for presents in the future!

I'd recommend checking out Jewel Hut as they sell both the bracelets and the charms too, including this lovely Pandora Silver Charming Owls Charm from the Enchanting Fairytales Range.  It combines a big owl with a smaller owl so it would be ideal as a gift for a mother or a mum to be, perhaps as a baby shower gift, Mothers Day present or as a birthday/Christmas gift from a child.

The great thing about ordering Pandora products from Jewel Hut is that they offer free delivery on those items which will save you some money compared to ordering from other websites.  The shipping is fast and accurate too; I've never had any problems ordering from them before and the Pandora items arrive with the gift bag and box packaging just as they would if you bought them in store.

Ladurée A6 Notebook Set from Amara Living

For the lady who loves to make notes (what mam doesn't?!) then the Ladurée A6 Notebook Set would be perfect.  Again, I picked these up from Amara Living and they have some other designs too if these didn't suit as well as plenty more stationery from other brands like Kate Spade.

The Ladurée notebook set comes with three lined paper notebooks that have 40 pages in each.  The dog and bunny, floral and cake designs are really charming and sweet.  If the lady you're buying loves going to Ladurée for their famous macarons then I think these will be a hit with them but really, anyone can benefit from having a notebook around the house or in their bag.  I love these ones because the paper is high quality, the outer designs are so sweet and the Ladurée branding adds a subtle yet luxe touch.

Swarovski Stationery Crystal Stardust Pen in Blue

The perfect accompaniment to the notebooks has to be the Swarovski Stationery Crystal Stardust Pen which has around 1300 individual Swarovski crystal stones inside it!  There are so many colour variations of these pens available, this is the blue and there's also ones with USB's in the lid and others that have the functionality of a stylus for use on iPads and other tablets.

The pens are available with black or blue ink and they're refillable too so this would be a gift that the person could use for years and years to come.  Although we're a nation glued to our phones, we always need a pen and having such a beautiful sparkling one like this in a handbag makes writing notes that little bit more special.

Laduree Notebooks from Amara Living and Swarovski Crystal Pen

I've bought lots of these pens for my friends over the years and I have a silver one of my own which has lasted me for years.  They're very well made and the beautiful Swarovski crystals remain just as sparkly years down the line as they were when you first bought it!

By Terry Baume de Rose Crystalline

My final recommendation for luxury gifts for ladies has to be the By Terry Baume de Rose Crystalline.  This is a cult, iconic product that is loved by so many women the world over that it is sure to be a hit with the person you're buying for!  It is available in a pot but this version with the wand in the tube is far more practical... plus the packaging is so beautiful.

Baume de Rose is a rich, highly nourishing lip balm that intensely hydrates the lips leaving them feeling incredibly soft.  It also gives the lips a perfected and full appearance which is perfect for days when you don't want to wear a colourful lipstick but you still want to have something on your lips.

By Terry are one of my favourite beauty brands of all time.  Their products are incredibly high performing as is to be expected from such a luxury brand and they've never let me down.  Whenever I've bought By Terry products for my friends as presents, they've always been delighted with my choices.  They're certainly a fail safe brand for skincare and makeup and are worth every penny.

Luxury Gifts for Women

We all know how much I love my luxury pieces and items that have that special appeal to them but they needn't cost the earth to look luxe.  I do prefer to spend a little more on my parents as I find that they have a real sense of who they are, what their style is and what they like and dislike which makes buying more luxury gifts that little less daunting because there's a really high chance that they'll love the present.

That being said, there are some gorgeous gifts out there that are really luxe and special from a range of different price points that wont break the bank.

I hope this post has provided you with plenty of inspiration!


Which item would you love to gift or receive?

Monday, 10 April 2017

Marc Jacobs Decadence Perfume Review

Marc Jacobs Decadence Perfume Review

My favourite fragrances to wear are deep, sensual and stand out.  I've said it before and I'll say it again; scent is so powerful because it has the ability to  create a lasting first impression and evoke memories.  The scent you choose to wear says so much about you and how you want others to perceive you.

The indulgent, sophisticated and sexy scent of the Marc Jacobs Decadence perfume embodies the power that I want possess.  Its a fragrance that I've worn since it was very first released and I'm now onto my second bottle.

Marc Jacobs Decadence Perfume Review

First things first, lets get the one negative out of the way; I cannot stand the garish handbag bottle.  I love the emerald green colour but the handbag shape with the python pattern on the lid, gold chain and black tassel is just far too OTT for me.  It is designed to symbolise opulence and glamour which I think the fragrance itself does and I can see where they were going with the bottle but in all honesty I think its just a little tacky.

The fragrance however, is INCREDIBLE.  With top notes of Italian Plum, Iris and Saffron, a heart of Bulgarian Rose, Jasmine Sambac and Orris and a base of Liquid Amber, Vetiver and Papyrus Woods, Decadence certainly lives up to its rich, elegant name.

Decadence is long lasting; I can spritz it onto my pulse points before I leave the house at work, enjoy compliments on it all day and still be able to smell it when I get changed as I return home.  That kind of longevity is precisely what I want from my perfume as I like to purchase the big bottles of fragrances and don't like to take them out with me in my bag and there's only so many Travalo perfume bottles one girl can have!

Marc Jacobs Decadence Perfume Review

The effect is far more mature than all of the other Marc Jacobs fragrances I've smelt and definitely my favourite of the bunch.  Its floral but on a much deeper level than you'd imagine because of the powdery woods and the mix of fragrance notes is really quite unique.

If I had to liken it to anything it would be the now discontinued Jo Malone Blue Agava and Cacao.  The only similarity between the notes is the vetiver but the air of the fragrance gives me the same feeling and sense of opulence when I smell it.  If you were as gutted as I was when Jo Malone took Blue Agava and Cacao off then shelves then do give this fragrance a try as it may bring back some memories of that delicious scent.

For those of you who love your memorable, sensual, sexy scents, this one is definitely for you!


What do you think of the Marc Jacobs Decadence fragrance?  Do you love or dislike the bottle?  What is your favourite memorable or sexy perfume?

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Top 5 Summer Essential Wide Fit Footwear Picks from Yours Clothing

Yours Clothing are known for having some of the best and most affordable plus size clothes online and on the highstreet in the UK today.  I love how much variety there is and I can shop from basics and workwear to holiday clothes and special occasion outfits all under one roof.  However what I wasn't aware of until recently was that they actually have an incredible selection of wide fit sandals, shoes, heels and boots too.

Did you know that Yours Clothing sold wide fit footwear?  If you didn't then you're in for a treat as I'll be sharing my top 5 picks for the season in todays post and if you did know that they have a great range then why the devil did you not tell me sooner?  I'm going to be strutting around like Puss in Boots from now on, pleased as punch with my new shoes; except, its spring, so I'll be in sandals.  Gotta show off that pedicure, girl!

The great thing about Yours Clothing footwear is that they range from a women's size 4 through to a size 10 which many shops don't cater for and the shoes are available in a wide fit E or EEE width.  A lot of the shoes have a comfort insole too, especially in their heels, which is music to my ears as while I do love the way that wearing heels makes me stand and walk, I hate how uncomfortable they can be and how much they hurt my feet which is what stops me from wearing them.  Whereas the comfort insole helps to absorb a little more of the pressure, meaning I can dance like no ones watching for far longer.

Yours Clothing Wide Fit Black peeptoe platform sandals heels
My top pick for heels has to be the black peeptoe platforms which I've worn myself and can tell you that they're SO comfortable.

The heel isn't very high because of the platform which gives you the additional height without the pressure on the ball of your foot.

The block heel is very sturdy, as is the ankle strap, and with the added comfort insole, you're sure to be able to walk and dance in these heels for hours and hours without 
Yours Clothing Wide Fit rose gold and white cleated sole sandals
The surprise bargain for me on the Yours Clothing site are the gorgeous Rose Gold Cleated Platforms at only £8.99!  With their chunky white sole, they'll be sturdy and comfortable on your feet while you're looking mega trendy this summer.

Pair them with printed trousers and a woven top or pop them on with a denim dress for the ultimate summer look.  I recently bought this denim bardot top but sized up to wear it as a dress and I think they'd look fabulous with it!

These shoes are perfect for those sunny afternoons where daytime drinks al fresco turn into a party night as they're bang in the middle of casual and clubbing.
Yours Clothing Wide Fit black espadrilles with sequins
For the last two summers, espadrilles have been big news.  They're not going anywhere this year either so if you haven't bagged yourself a pair already, then add the Black Floral Crochet Espadrilles to your shopping cart.  I invested in a pair of the Chanel black leather espadrilles last year and while they're beautiful, they're not worth all that extra money when you can pick up a gorgeous pair like these with subtle sequin detailing for only £18!

Yours Clothing Wide Fit birkenstock sandal dupes white two strap cork effect platform sandals

If you're on the hunt for higher end dupes for your holidays this summer, then skip the pricey Birkenstock brand and check out the dupes from Yours Clothing.  I'm loving the White Two Strap Cork Effect Platform Sandals, an absolute steal at £17 and a buy that will see you through the whole summer whether you're poolside, walking around a Spanish market or heading out in a cotton maxi dress to sample the local delicacies at night.

Yours Clothing Wide Fit white rhinestone toe post diamanté sandals wedding day flat shoes

My final pick has to be the White Rhinestone Toe Post Diamanté Sandals which could be worn to so many different occasions, be it on holiday or at home.  If you're not too keen on wearing heels, these are ideal as they're flat and comfortable but the rhinestone jewels give them that added sparkle that will ensure they're not out of place as occasion wear or on an evening out.

If you're getting married this year and don't want to wear heels all day, these are a fantastic option; you'll still feel like you're wearing something glitzy and special but your dress wont be trailing on the floor straight after the speeches when you divorce your high heels!  Your big day 

A girl can never have too many pairs of shoes so without further ado, strut on over to the Yours Clothing Wide Fit Footwear section to take a look at their fabulous range, all at the affordable prices that you'd expect from Yours Clothing.

Some styles are available in store, including a gorgeous pair of rose gold sandals that I can't wait to pick up next time I visit the Metrocentre store but if you want to shop the full range, online is the place to be!

Which of these wide fit shoes are your favourite?
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