Thursday, 28 August 2014

See By Chloe Perfume Review

When I visited America back in May, I headed into Sephora and bought one of their Sephora Favourites Prelude To A Kiss fragrance sampler sets.  You can see it in my Sephora haul here.  The kit is made up of a variety of different perfume samples and when you've chosen the one that you like the most, you can exchange it for a rollerball of that perfume.  At the time, I chose the Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb rollerball as I wanted to get it on the same day as I knew I wouldn't be going back to Sephora before the end of my trip.

I continued to try out the other samples in the set while we were away in Barbados and I absolutely fell in love with one of the other perfumes; See By Chloe.

See By Chloe is unlike any scent in my collection because it is much lighter than any other perfume that I own.  I've been looking for a lighter fragrance to wear during the day but I love my musk scents which tend to be quite deep and sensual smelling.  This perfume actually has warm base notes of musk and vanilla but it is contrasted by top notes of bergamot and apple which give it a fruity, quite tart scent.  The heart notes are jasmine and ylang which give the perfume a truly floral smell.

See By Chloe is very much a fruity floral fragrance that has a young, edgy spirit.  I'd recommend it for those in their teens and twenties as a daytime scent.  The scent isn't particularly strong so it doesn't last all day but I decant a little into my Travalo and I top up while I'm out and about.  For me, this is strictly a daytime fragrance as I prefer a much heavier scent when I go out at night.  This has quickly become one of my favourite scents in my collection because of its delicious, daytime appeal.  I love it and will definitely repurchase it when it runs out.  I think I'll try to get the gift set next time so that I can layer up the scent with the body cream to encourage it to last longer.  You can read my guide to layering fragrance here.

In America, you can buy this perfume from Sephora and in the UK it is available from Fragrance DirectSelfridges, Click Fragrance, The Perfume ShopEscentual and Boots (where theres an incredible money saving deal on right now!).  There are several different sizes available as well as a gift set and complimentry products.  I bought the 75ml size purely because I find the larger bottles more economical.

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

WhatLauraWore: Lovedrobe Kimono

When was the last time you got an item of clothing and became addicted to it?  Tell me about it!

That was exactly what happened when I got the Racer Back Jersey Maxi Dress from FD Avenue.  I have a post coming up later in the week all about this dress but essentially, it is the most comfortable dress I own.  I can dress it up or down and it has really encouraged me to mix and match items from my closet as I've worn it THAT much in just a few short weeks that I've really had to change it up so that people don't think that I live in it... which I practically do.

One of the easiest and most effortless ways to wear a plain black maxi dress like this one is to wear a kimono over it.  The one that I'm wearing in todays post is from Lovedrobe by a brand called Koko.

The Blue/Multi Floral Print Kimono is simply stunning as it has such an eye catching print that can only be fully appreciated in real life.  The sheer fabric has a gorgeous print of dark and light cobalt blue hues with a floral design that is complimented by rust coloured hues.  It really is a stand out piece that is perfect for late summer and autumn, especially if you're into layering your fashion like I am.

There is a double layer to the front of the kimono which is black.  This is good if you're wanted to wear it with a top that isn't black because it helps to break up the colours between the kimono and the colour of the top you're wearing.  I've also worn this kimono over jeans (my favourite denim knitted leggings) and a white top.  It looks great as the kimono has a gorgeous floaty shape and is quite long so it helps to skim over a multitude of sins.

I did size up with this kimono as my stomach is a lot wider than my bust and I wanted a relaxed fit so that it would hang in a loose manner however the kimono is generously sized anyway so I needn't have sized up at all.  It is very comfortable to wear as it is light weight and the material feels breathable.

This kimono is a great piece for taking your outfit from day to night as it really instantly makes an otherwise plain, casual outfit look that little bit more special.  In this outfit post, we were heading out on a last minute date night to the cinema.  I was already wearing this dress so I switched out my flip flops for some flat floral sandals and scraped my hair up into a top knot.  Popping on the kimono and adding a clutch took my look from day to night straight away.

If theres one metallic colour that I think goes well with blue, its gold.  I love the way that the two work together so pairing gold details with this outfit was always going to be my first choice.

My clutch and shoes are black with gold hard wear; I'm sure you've seen them many times on my blog.  The stand out accessory that I'm wearing is my gorgeous gold tone beaded bracelet from the Michael Kors range at Harvey Nichols.  I love this bracelet because it is so dainty but eye catching at the same time.  It is made up of small gold beads with four sparkly crystal beads positioned in between them, making the bracelet look so feminine and classy for a style that could be deemed quite casual.  Plus it enables it to be worn with the white gold jewellery that I never take off, i.e. my wedding and engagement ring, without making them clash.

The Michael Kors bracelet itself is elasticated so you can stretch it over your wrist without worrying about any fiddly catches.  That's the beauty about Michael Kors as a designer as the pieces that he creates are very easy to wear and classic.  I also like that I am able to make the bracelet larger or tighter using the leather loop that again, has gold detailing on it and also the MK logo tag which is a nice touch.  If you saw my Michael Kors haul from my honeymoon, you'll know that Michael Kors is one of my most worn, iconic, all-American designers.  This is one of my favourite pieces in my collection because it is minimalistic which makes it very wearable as a layering piece.

Gold ring long necklace from Yours Clothing
Black box clutch from French Connection
Black flower sandals from Primark

What are your favourite ways to style a kimono?

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Sunday, 24 August 2014

Charles Worthington Instant Root Concealer

A few weeks ago, I got back from a week away in Turkey with one of my besties.  We wanted to get away purely to relax and chill out after what has been a very busy year so far.  When I walked through my door I was greeted with a lovely package from the lovely people over at Charles Worthington and inside was a can of their Instant Root Concealer to try out and it really couldn't have come at a better time.

In some of the more up to date photos of me on my blog, you'll notice that my roots are HUGE in some of them and there's a reason for that- I've been growing my hair out.  My natural hair colour is a warm toned light to mid blonde and it is very golden.  When I have my hair done I always have a light ash blonde highlight and a an ashy brown lowlight put through my hair; three foils of low light to every one highlight.  I much prefer cool toned hair to warm toned hair on me and that's why I've always opted for the full head of highlights and lowlights.  However since having my extensions out in April, I could tell that my hair had grown loads while I'd had them in and my hair was in really condition when I had them removed, so I made the conscious decision to leave my hair and let it grow out naturally over the summer to see what the result would be with the hopes of achieving a balayage style when I next have my hair properly done at a salon.

Just before my wedding day I had my highlights and lowlights done and on my wedding day I wore clip in extensions rather than my favourite Great Lengths bonded ones.  Since then, I've literally just left my hair until very recently when I had only low lights but through my hair.  These photos were taken just before I had my hair done so my root is at its largest.  I've been using very little heat on my hair, probably once every two weeks if that, and I've been using lots of treatments and oils on my hair to help it to grow.  I'm pleased to say that it has grown more but obviously that creates the issue of roots.  The problem that I have with my roots is that I tend to get this gradual tie dye effect as I go on holiday abroad at quite regular intervals and my hair bleaches up lighter in the sun very easily so my lowlights never last five minutes and my hair goes bright blonde which then makes my roots look super dark when they're not.  Argh, its a pain.

To combat the problem with my roots, I've been testing out the Charles Worthington Instant Root Concealer to see if it will help them.  This product is a temporary colour spray that covers grey hair and hides root growth.  I have the Light Blonde shade but it is also available in dark blonde, brown and dark brown.  You can check out the different shades and the shade of hair they're suitable for here.

When I first saw the can I thought- great idea but its going to be a bit messy to use.  I was so wrong as now that I've given it a go I can definitely say that it is so easy to use and it doesn't create any mess as it has a really precise nozzle that it comes out of and the spray of the product itself is super fine.

The Instant Root Concealer is really easy to use.  All you do is part your dry hair as you normally would and then spray the Instant Root Concealer from a distance of about 20cm onto the hair.  I found that it is best to do light sweeping sprays rather than spraying a lot all in one go because it looks the most natural this way.  The product comes out as like a khaki-ash blonde colour and its surprising how far a small spray goes; you really don't need to use a lot of product at all.  I found that when I first sprayed it, I didn't think that the root concealer had done anything, until I waited a few seconds and stepped back to look in the mirror in natural light and I could notice a subtle but definite difference.  My roots were not completely covered, that would probably look a little unnatural, but they appeared lighter and blended into my hair.  While I could feel the product on my hair, it didn't make my hair feel awful, it was still very much touchable and I found that I could brush through my hair easily.

I found that once I sprayed it into my hair, it dried really quickly so if I needed to add another spray of product then I could once it had dried and this would build the colour up.  I found that I needed to use more product at the back of my hair than the front as my roots seem to be darker at the back.  Once the root concealer is dry, it remains on the hair all day until I next wash my hair.

I did find that if I was a little too adventurous with the spray then I may catch my skin and end up with a very faint blonde splodge on my skin which was easily rectified with a little water on a cotton wool bud.  What I liked about this root concealer is that it didn't make my hair feel dry or crispy.

The best way to use this spray is when you have already styled your hair.  It works really well when I'm wearing my hair simply down and straight or wavy but it can also be used when your hair has been put into a particular style like an up do such as a top knot using a hair doughnut, which is a look I tend to sport quite often.  I'm planning on showing you how to use the Instant Root Concealer on a Front to Back Side Braid style so keep checking back to see that post very soon.

You can buy the Charles Worthington Instant Root Concealer here.

I'm coming towards the end of my masters degree and my little fingers are tapping away like theres no tomorrow on my computer so please stick with me on the blogging front until I'm finished!

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Friday, 22 August 2014

Collection Work the Colour Eyebrow Kit Review

The Collection Work the Colour Eyebrow Kit is a palette of three very generously sized eye brow powder shades, a clear brow mascara and a small double ended eyebrow brush to apply it.  There's even a mirror in the lid.  This is one of the best, most comprehensive eyebrow kits that I've found from a budget beauty brand.

The three brow powders in the kit are very generously sized.  There's so much product in there that it will last you for AGES.  I've been using mine for about 5 months now and I have hardly made a dent in it.

The shades are designed to be used on any eyebrow colour and I have to say that I agree.  All of the shades are mid toned- not too ash and not too warm.  I use this on my brows and have had no problems at all using it when my hair is low-lighted with warmer tones or cooler tones.  Plus I've used it on many of my friends brows when I'm doing their make up for events and nights out and it has suited them each and every time.

In the kit there is a blonde, a mid brunette and a very dark brunette, almost black shade, all of which are not too dissimilar to some of the shades I've seen in the HD Brows Palette, for just a tiny fraction of the price.  They can be used individually or mixed to create your own bespoke eyebrow shade which is great if you're lucky enough to not have a run of the mill hair colour.

The powders are all finely milled and very pigmented so you don't need a lot to be able to fill in your brows, especially if you're using the darker shades.  Plus each of the brow powders can be used as eyeshadows if you so wish too.  I like to use the darkest shade as a liner on my top lash line.  There's no way I would be able to use it as a brow powder as it is simply too dark so I like to apply it along my upper lash line using an angled brush and then I smudge it in a little to create a more subtle smoky look.

The double ended angled brush that comes with the kit is good if you're away travelling as it can really help you to save on space in your make up bag by not having to take along an extra brush with you.  For a brush in a compact, it is pretty good quality.  However when I'm at home, I much prefer to use a full sized angled brush as I find them easier to control and quicker to use as they pick up more product.  The one that I have been using for years is from Models Own.

I like to set my brows in place using either a brow wax, a clear mascara like in this post here or a clear brow mascara like the one that comes in this kit.  To be honest, I can't tell the difference between a product labelled as a clear mascara and a product labelled as a clear brow mascara; they're all the same to me.  The one that comes in this kit is great as it applies so easily and the brush gives you great control over how you groom your brows.  It sets and holds my brows in place all day without making them feel hard or crispy as it gives a very natural finish.

I've used many brow palettes in the past where they have come with a brow wax which I love but I find that the waxes always run out quicker than the powders so I like that this is a mascara as I find that I tend to use less product than I would do if I were using a wax to set my brows.  Having a clear brow mascara in a kit is quite unique I think as all of the other ones I've tried have always had a wax so it is a welcome change and great for those who would like a more subtle look.

Here I've used the lightest colour from the kit, the more blonde shade
Out of the three brow powders, I tend to use the blonde or the brown shade, which are the lightest and middle shades.  In the above photo I'm wearing the blonde shade.  I link to select the lightest shade when I'm going for a more minimal make up look and I just need something to fill my brows in rather than to really define them.  I find that a lot of blonde brow powders tend to be quite warm toned and yellow looking whereas this one isn't.  It is quite a mid tone blonde that is slightly ash coloured.  I've found that this product is really buildable so you can layer it to an intensity that will suit your brow colour. 

My natural hair colour is ridiculously fair on my brows so I need to fill them in and elongate the line where my brow hairs are the most sparse in order to make them visible and to really lift my face.  The brows are the framework to your face and they can really change the look of all of your features so I like to make sure that I fill them in even when I'm opting for as little make up as possible.

When I am looking for a more bold brow look, which is the vast majority of the time, I opt for the middle shade in the set, the brown.  I absolutely love the defined look this shade of powder gives my brows.  I use it with a pretty light hand and build up the colour until it is a shade or two darker than my hair colour for extra definition.  I feel as though this really changes the way my face looks and I love the way my brows look when I'm using this powder.  When you see a lot of selfies of me on Instagram, this is usually what I'm wearing on my brows!

The Collection Work the Colour Eyebrow Kit is available here and here.

Check out my Instagram account @whatlauraloves over the weekend as I'll be wearing my new FD Avenue dress on a date night with Mr WLL and this will be my eyebrow kit of choice!

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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Empties #25 Another Holiday Edition

At the beginning of July, I escaped to Turkey for a week with my oldest friend.  We had a week of total relaxation, caught up on sleep, topped up our tans and pampered ourselves with some lovely products, some of which we used up completely and today I'm going to share those with you.  As always, I've linked where you can get all of the products from in case you fancy them for yourself.

The first product was the Avon Skin So Soft Original Dry Oil Spray which I reviewed in my last empties post too.  I take a bottle of this away with me every time I go on holiday and I use it to spray on my body before I go out to help to protect my skin from mosquitoes.  It contains citronella which helps to keep the little blighters away.

The after sun that I used while I was away was the Bioderma Refreshing After Sun Milk.  This is the second bottle of this after sun that I have used up in the last year (another review here) and I absolutely love it because it is so cooling on the skin and very moisturising.  I kept mine in the fridge in the hotel room while we were away and it was heavenly to apply after a shower each day.  The milky lotion is quickly absorbed into the skin and dries pretty quickly.  It feels so hydrating and moisturising for such a lightweight milk and I feel as though it really helped to keep my skin in good condition after a day in the sun.

The hair oil that I took away with me was the Moroccanoil Treatment in a little 25ml bottle.  I'd been using this for quite a while before I went away so I didn't finish it all in one week as a little goes A LONG way.  If you have fine hair like I do, you need to be careful about using this oil as I do find that it can weigh your hair down and make it too oily if you apply too much product.  I used this on holiday when my hair was wet and once it had dried to smooth the ends of my hair.  It left my hair feeling very smooth and silky which was very welcome after a day in the sun.  If you're blow drying your hair then this oil is absolutely brilliant as it really helps to create a glossy sheen on the hair.  I used this a lot when I was wearing my Great Lengths Extensions and found that it worked exceptionally well with them.  While I do find that it works very well on my natural hair, I don't think that it is as good as the Macadamia Oil and for that reason, I wouldn't repurchase it again as I'd rather buy the Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment which is also less money for more product.  Moroccanoil do make a light version which I have since used and this one is now my favourite out of the two as I think that it is more suited to my hair type.  Now that one, I would buy to give it a thorough road test!

The last product that I used up completely while on holiday was the Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Mineral Hair Rescue Masque that I reviewed in full in this post.  If you're looking for a masque that's going to make your hair easy to comb through and maintain, smooth and soften it from root to tip and leave it looking sleek and healthy whilst smelling amazing, then this is the masque for you.  What I love the most about it is that it works in only one minute so you can apply it while you're in the shower, shave and wash your body in super quick time and then wash it out of your hair and you can feel immediate results that only improve once your hair is dried.  Whether you dry your hair naturally or you blow dry it, this mask makes your hair feel hydrated, soft and full of life.  I sometimes have quite brittle hair underneath at the nape of my neck but not with this masque, it is fabulous.  I will definitely repurchase it.

What products did you use up on holiday this year?

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