Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Clarins FEED 2016 Gift with Purpose & Fenwick Newcastle Event on Saturday 1st October

Clarins FEED 2016 Gift with Purpose & Fenwick Newcastle Event Saturday 1st October Image

This Saturday, Clarins in Fenwick, Newcastle are hosting a fabulous event to celebrate their FEED campaign.  How does a day of bubbles and tapas, bollywood dancers, prize drawer raffle and of course, the amazing Clarins product range with a gift with purpose sound?

The Clarins FEED campaign and their Gift with Purpose gives back to children all over the world while giving you some discovery size samples to enjoy at home.  In today's post, I'll be giving you the low down on the event as well as letting you all know how you can join Clarins on their mission to FEED 1 million meals to starving children around the world!

Clarins FEED 2016 Gift with Purpose & Fenwick Newcastle Event Saturday 1st October Image

While our lives in Britain are by no means comfortable for all, we're so lucky in the UK to have access to a range of food stores at different price points to suit our budget as well as welfare, charity and food bank options for those whose budget cannot stretch far enough.  However for many people in the world, hunger is a struggle that a lot of people face with on a daily basis.

Did you know that 1 in 8 people go to bed hungry every night?

Did you also know that roughly 100 million children are underweight?

Although these statistics are shocking, they're not without hope.  Hunger is a problem that can be solved and Clarins are helping that cause with FEED.

Feed and Clarins have a longstanding successful partnership which, at the end of 2015, had provided over approximately 10 million meals to children all over the world.

Clarins FEED 2016 Gift with Purpose & Fenwick Newcastle Event Saturday 1st October Image

This year, Clarins aim to raise a whopping 1 MILLION nutritious meals for children all over the world in association with FEED, as part of the UN World Food Programme, with their latest customer offer.

Forget Gift with Purchase, this is all about a GIFT WITH PURPOSE!

For every two products purchased in store, one to be skincare, you will receive a FEED10 pouch containing five discovery sizes of Clarins favourites with a combined retail value of £56!  Clarins will then donate 10 nutritious school meals to hungry children world wide.  They'll be updating their progress with a live counter on their website here.

This really is a campaign that gives back to those who need it the most.  While I've loved Clarins products for all of my adult life and I always buy their products when they have their gift with purchase on, this is my FAVOURITE one because not only do I get something in return for my purchase but children around the world do too.

Clarins FEED 2016 Gift with Purpose & Fenwick Newcastle Event Saturday 1st October Image

The discovery size samples that Clarins offer in their gift with purchase bags are fabulous because they're so big that you can really get a feel for the product with multiple uses and decide if its something that you'd like to buy in the full size.  I always save mine for travelling.  When I'm on holiday, I love that luxe touch that having Clarins products with me adds to my getting ready pamper routine.

The Clarins FEED mission will be worldwide so check out your local counter for more information as the contents will vary depending on where you are in the world.

The Clarins UK FEED10 pouch is amazing.  Inside you'll find:

For a Clarins lover like me, this is the perfect opportunity to repurchase some of your favourite products before you run out and if you're new to Clarins then it is an ideal time to try out something new from the brand.

Clarins FEED 2016 Gift with Purpose & Fenwick Newcastle Event Saturday 1st October Image

Clarins offer a complimentry Skin Analysis service where you can try out some of the products that would be best suited to your skin type and you can even take home smaller samples to test out at home too.

If you're in the North East, then I can personally recommend popping along to see Nikita in Fenwicks.  She always looks after my skin whenever I go to counter and I really trust her recommendations- I even followed her to the Fenwicks store when she left the Clarins counter in another department store!

Saturday 1st October would be the PERFECT time to head to the Clarins counter in Fenwick, Newcastle as they're hosting a fantastic ALL DAY event to celebrate FEED.

There'll be a plenty of champagne bottles popping, delicious tapas from around the world and Bollywood dancers to get the party started (from 1.30-2.30pm) as well as a great raffle where you can win some AMAZING Clarins goodies!  The Clarins girls will be on hand to showcase their latest products, including their brand new autumn makeup and Extra-Firming Facial Mask.

Walk ins are welcome but to secure your champers and tapas, give the Clarins Newcastle counter a call on 0191 230 5033 to book in.

Clarins FEED 2016 Gift with Purpose & Fenwick Newcastle Event Saturday 1st October Image

Follow the conversation about FEED on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #FeedforClarins and if you head to the event in Newcastle on Saturday, share your experience on counter using #ClarinsFenwickNCL.  I'll be there and can't wait

What are you waiting for?  Join the campaign and give back with Clarins today!
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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Stepping Into Autumn in my Simply Be Lace Trim Dress

Simply Be Lace Trim Dress, Tan ankle boots, River Island tote bag, WhatLauraLoves Image

The weather is flirting with me at the moment... there's no other way to describe it!  One minute the sun is cracking the pavement and the next, its misty as hell and raining.

The shops have taken their summer clothes away but it doesn't seem cool enough to wear thicker, autumnal clothes yet so I'm opting for transitional pieces like the Simply Be Lace Trim Dress.

Simply Be Lace Trim Dress, Tan ankle boots, River Island tote bag, WhatLauraLoves Image

Transitional clothes are ones that are suitable to see you through the latter days of one season and through to the next.

This Simply Be dress is perfect because it can be worn alone as I have styled it here and when the weather gets a bit colder, I'll be able to wear a pair of leggings with it.  When its really cold, a faux fur gilet would create a gorgeous look.

Simply Be Lace Trim Dress, Tan ankle boots, River Island tote bag, WhatLauraLoves Image

The Simply Be Lace Trim Dress is ticks so many style boxes starting with its navy colour which is ideal for autumn and lets face it, we all know how I feel about navy... *insert heart eyed emoji here*.

The lace up detailing to the front which is bang in the middle of being sexy and a throwback is totally on trend right now as well as the lace detailing which is EVERYWHERE at the moment.

This dress also features flared sleeves which I'm really starting to see coming through into more and more highstreet clothes and I certainly think it'll continue throughout autumn and winter.


Simply Be Lace Trim Dress, Tan ankle boots, River Island tote bag, WhatLauraLoves Image

Not only does this dress look great but it feels great to wear too.  It is made of one of my favourite fabrics; jersey.  Favourite because it makes this dress so stretchy and soft to the touch which gives it a great fit and ensures that it will be comfortable to wear.  The skater shape in that it goes in at the waist with a floatier skirt helps with this too and the two together are a winning combination.

Many of the day dresses at Simply Be are a similar shape which means that you'll have plenty of stylish yet comfortable options to wear during the day this autumn.

I ordered my usual size and found it to fit true to size.  As a guide for the length, I'm 5ft 5" and found that this was the perfect length whether I'm wearing it along or with leggings.  I would keep in mind that I am disproportionately large around my middle which will make the dress sit shorter on myself than it may do on others.

Simply Be Lace Trim Dress, Tan ankle boots, River Island tote bag, WhatLauraLoves Image

Simply Be Lace Trim Dress, Tan ankle boots, River Island tote bag, WhatLauraLoves Image

If truth be told, I only got this dress last week and I've already worn it three times!  Thankfully, I was out with different friends/clients to different places but I can't begin to tell you how many compliments I've had on it both when worn alone or with my ASOS Curve leggings.

Here, I paired the plus size dress with the tan ankle boots that I featured in this plus size autumn look book and my River Island tote bag.  Both of these pieces are no longer available, but I've listed plenty alternatives of the navy tote and the tan ankle boots below.

Simply Be Lace Trim Dress, Tan ankle boots, River Island tote bag, WhatLauraLoves Image

For a look thats bang on trend and so versatile that you can take it from the late summer through to the winter, I don't think you can go too far wrong with this dress!

You can shop the Simply Be Lace Trim Dress on their website and I've shared plenty of alternatives for this outfit below.

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What fashion styles or clothing items are you looking forward to wearing this autumn?
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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Artdeco Sound of Beauty Collection: New Makeup Releases for Autumn Winter 2016

Artdeco Sound of Beauty Collection Autumn 2016 Blush Couture, All In One Mascara, Repair and Care Lip Oil Review Image

Artdeco have released their brand new collection for autumn winter 2016 and let me tell you, its a beauty!  The Sound of Beauty Collection consists of classic autumn hues, everyday products and stunning packaging.  Dark and dramatic earth and violet shades are presented together with softer mauves and gentle nudes for a collection that is set to have you covered this autumn.

I've been trying out three key pieces from the collection and I love them all for different reasons.  However what really stands out to me about this range is how wearable everything is.  There isn't anything thats too out there or boldly different.


Artdeco Sound of Beauty Collection Autumn 2016 Blush Couture, All In One Mascara, Repair and Care Lip Oil Review WhatLauraLoves Image

Artdeco have really created a range for the everyday women who wants to look her natural best everyday with a colour palette suited to the season.  There isn't anything here that's going to be controversial or a daunting prospect to apply.

Artdeco Sound of Beauty Collection Autumn 2016 Blush Couture, All In One Mascara, Repair and Care Lip Oil Review Image

The first piece that I've been trying out is the Artdeco Repair and Care Lip Oil.  Now I must admit, I didn't think that this looked like much when it arrived.  A clear lip gloss at best.  However I was far wrong.  This lip product is absolutely STUNNING.

The Artdeco Repair and Care Lip Oil is a highly nourishing product that is hard to described in texture.  This light vanilla scented lip oil is as nourishing as a balm yet looks like the most beautiful gloss on the lips.

It has the most gorgeously soft, shiny finish that really makes my lips look perfected and fuller which I love yet it doesn't feel tacky or sticky in the slightest.  It is packed full of rich oils and nourishing ingredients from jojoba, argan and sunflower seed oil to shea butter and aloe vera, to condition and moisturise even the most chapped, cracked and dry lips.

If I had to liken it to anything, it would be one of my favourite products; the Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil.  However the Artdeco one has no tint to the product at all and the Clarins one does have a slight tack feel to it thats still very comfortable to wear and far less sticky than other lip products but the Artdeco is even less still!
Artdeco Sound of Beauty Collection Autumn 2016 Blush Couture, All In One Mascara, Repair and Care Lip Oil Review Image

My most worn piece out of the three has to be the Artdeco Blush Couture which has become my daily go-to blush over the last few weeks.  It is such a wearable shade that goes so well with all of the makeup looks that I'm wearing right now that I'm finding myself not needing to reach for anything else.

The shades included in this blush compact are very soft, earthy nude tones with a deep mauve that you can either use individually or all together.  Personally, I think that because of how they're distributed in the pan, you can really only use these swirled together as a blush as the darkest shade is too small to get a blush brush in alone.  Swirled together, they're beautiful and create a natural, buildable look that is really complimentry to the complexion.  These shades actually look really nice when used individually as eyeshadows too.


Artdeco Sound of Beauty Collection Autumn 2016 Blush Couture Swatches Review Image


Artdeco Sound of Beauty Collection Autumn 2016 Blush Couture, All In One Mascara, Repair and Care Lip Oil Review Image

The blush is long lasting on the skin and blends well on the skin with and on top of other products whether they be powder, liquid or cream.  The formula is free from parabens, lanolin, perfume and mineral oil.

Out of the three products that I've tried, I think that this one would make the most beautiful gift as the design on the outer packaging through to the compact and the print on the powder is absolutely stunning.


Artdeco Sound of Beauty Collection Autumn 2016 Blush Couture, All In One Mascara, Repair and Care Lip Oil Review Image

The final product that I've been trying out is the Artdeco All In One Mascara.  Designed to be an all round mascara for volume, length and curl, it combines the effects of two lash brushes in one.  Theres carnauba wax within the formula to nourish the lashes and maintain their flexibility.

When I first started using this mascara, for the first week, it gave my lashes so much length and separation but not too much volume.  However once the formula started to dry a little, thats when I began to see the buildable formula from this mascara.  It gives my lashes a lengthened, separated effect with a good amount of volume for daytime wear.


Artdeco Sound of Beauty Collection Autumn 2016 Blush Couture, All In One Mascara, Repair and Care Lip Oil Review Image


Artdeco Sound of Beauty Collection Autumn 2016 Blush Couture, All In One Mascara, Repair and Care Lip Oil Review WhatLauraLoves Image

Together, these three products create a gorgeous look that you can use with your existing products to create gorgeous daytime looks.  Their buildable formula means that its really easy to amp up their impact for evening looks and I've particularly enjoyed wearing a smokey eye and keeping the rest of my makeup soft with this blush and lip oil for evenings out.

Artdeco Sound of Beauty Collection Autumn 2016 Blush Couture, All In One Mascara, Repair and Care Lip Oil Review Image

The Sound of Beauty is essentially an everyday, capsule autumn makeup range that is absolutely beautiful!

Artdeco products are available direct from Debenhams and Beauty Bay but I've found that the Sound of Beauty Collection is quite hard to find online at the time of writing this post.  I have found a website called Beauty Spin where you can pick up all three products.  I'd highly recommend them all!


Artdeco Sound of Beauty Collection Autumn 2016 Blush Couture, All In One Mascara, Repair and Care Lip Oil Review Image

You can check out the full makeup line on the Artdeco website.

If you enjoyed this post and want to find out more about Artdeco makeup, I posted about their Arctic Beauty Collection here and their Celebration Iconic Collection in this post.  Many of the products from both collections are still available now.
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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

AX Paris Curve at Simply Be Floral Wrap Dress

AX Paris Curve at Simply Be Floral Wrap Dress UK Plus Size Fashion Blogger WhatLauraLoves Image

From the moment I saw the AX Paris Floral Wrap Dress (also available here), I knew that I had to buy it.

While my style of late has very much been plain and simplistic, I absolutely loved the floral pattern of this dress and it really captured my attention.

The pink and light blue floral pattern against the navy backdrop of the dress is so beautiful; very feminine and girly but definitely still grown up 

AX Paris Curve at Simply Be Floral Wrap Dress UK Plus Size Fashion Blogger WhatLauraLoves Image


AX Paris Curve at Simply Be Floral Wrap Dress UK Plus Size Fashion Blogger WhatLauraLoves Image


The sheer sleeves of the AX Paris Curve Floral Wrap Dress make this a great piece for transitioning into the warmer months and they're ideal for those who would prefer not to show their arms.  This isn't really something that I think about but I know that its important to many women so definitely worth a mention.

The wrap over detail in the dress is gorgeous, very flattering and makes for a comfortable fit.  Theres a tacking stitch in the bust to close the wrap over further which I preferred to keep in tact as I'm smaller busted but it can be snipped away for those with a larger bust.

The dress is fully lined with a navy fabric to match the outside of the dress.

I will say that this dress is a small fit.  Its generous on the bust but I found the bottom half of the dress to be a small fit and while I did try to buy my usual size in the dress, it did look too tight in my opinion.  I sized up three sizes to get a more loose comfortable fit so if you're as generously shaped like I am then I would recommend sizing up.



AX Paris Curve at Simply Be Floral Wrap Dress UK Plus Size Fashion Blogger WhatLauraLoves Image


AX Paris Curve at Simply Be Floral Wrap Dress UK Plus Size Fashion Blogger WhatLauraLoves Image


This dress looks fantastic while worn alone which I'm intending to do for one of my birthday nights out with my friends later this month but for this occasion, I decided to pair it with some of my plus size black leggings.  These are a staple of me in my wardrobe and I wear them to the gym, with casual outfits and under dresses.



Keeping the look all black on the bottom, I wore my Evans platform boots which are a past season piece, although I've linked plenty of alternatives for you below! (very similar, budget options here and here and high end alternative here and here).  I really feel that keeping the outfit all black on the bottom really helps to keep the attention and focus on the dress itself and with such a beautifully bold print, that is definitely needed.


AX Paris Curve at Simply Be Floral Wrap Dress UK Plus Size Fashion Blogger WhatLauraLoves Image


AX Paris Curve at Simply Be Floral Wrap Dress UK Plus Size Fashion Blogger WhatLauraLoves Image


AX Paris Curve at Simply Be Floral Wrap Dress UK Plus Size Fashion Blogger WhatLauraLoves Image


My bag of course is my navy O Case with gold hardware from Chanel.  Its an absolutely beauty and I do tend to wear it at any navy given opportunity!

The navy of the bag compliments the blue of the dress so well and while the flowers are light in colour, I do think that its the perfect dress to take you through into autumn, especially when paired with boots and leggings as I have.

For my makeup, I kept it nude on the lips and smoky on the eyes as I usually do and wore my hair straight with a kick to the ends which is a style I haven't worn for ages up until the last week or so.  With my root stretch from top Sunderland hair dressers, Frances Marshall, I'm really feeling this look right now and feel... dare I say it... a bit trendy! Joking...



AX Paris Curve at Simply Be Floral Wrap Dress UK Plus Size Fashion Blogger WhatLauraLoves Image


I'm heading down to a meeting, theatre show and event in London next week and think that this will be the perfect outfit to wear while I'm there but perhaps with flat shoes as there'll be a lot of walking.  Its dressy enough for the evening without looking too overdone for during the day.

Its definitely a winner for me!

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How would you style this dress?
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Monday, 12 September 2016

August Degustabox plus AWESOME DISCOUNT CODE!

August Degustabox Food Subscription Box Image

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been trying out a fabulous subscription service called Degustabox.

While I'm sure you're all familiar with beauty boxes, this one is different as its a food and drinks box, packed full of delicious treats for you to cook with and snack on.

When customers sign up, they're sent a monthly box with 10 to 15 new products inside to try.  Some are from emerging brands while others are firm favourites that you'll probably already recognise as household names.

The fantastic thing about Degustabox, aside from getting to try so many new products, is that you're able to do so for much less than they'd cost if you were to buy them individually in the shops.  This is great as it saves you money and allows you to experiment with new foods without wasting too much money if you don't enjoy something.

The August Degustabox came with such a variety of products that I really think there's something for everyone inside.

August Degustabox Food Subscription Box Image

What I love the most about this months box is the selection of drinks inside; talk about pleasing everyone!  There's the Lime & Ginger Green Tea from Clipper Tea (£1.59) which is ideal for giving you a kick in the morning.  Its is a great alternative to coffee for those looking for something to perk them up and the taste is delicious; subtle and not bitter like some green teas can be.

The Get More Vitamins Drink (£1.45) is idea for those who want something thats sweeter and more interesting than water but that isn't packed full of sugar.  It is a low calorie drink, made with carbonated spring water, natural flavours and plenty of vitamins and minerals to give you a boost.  I had the sparkling lemon and lime flavour which had a bit of a kick to it and was great for cleansing my palette after lunch.

Also inside the box were two other drinks and subscribers to the box will receive one or the other.  I haven't had the chance to try these yet as they're currently in the fridge, ready for a movie night once I've finished writing up this post!  However the drinks are the Fentimans Sparkling Lime and Jasmine (£2.79) premium adult soft drink (I've tried lots of the Fentimans drinks before and they're DELICIOUS!) and the Mahou Cinco Estrellas premium lager (£1.20) which is made in Madrid using the finest varieties of hops and yeast to create a well balanced taste.

August Degustabox Food Subscription Box Image

A lot of the ingredients in the box lend themselves well to snacking, perhaps with a movie.  The Willy Chase's Fit Corn (£2.19) was a great hit with my hubby.  This brand makes popcorn on their farm in Herefordshire, so you couldn't get any more British!

The flavour that we received was the Apple Cider vinegar which would have been up my street had it been as a flavour for crisps but it wasn't to my taste for popcorn as I prefer sweet & salty varieties.  My hubby however loved his first bowl and he'll no doubt be enjoying the rest of the bag later today... he says that they're very much a once you start, you can't stop kind of snack!

August Degustabox Food Subscription Box Image

My favourite snack has to the the Oloves which are juicy green olives, seasoned with chilli, garlic and oregano.  They're pretty heavily flavoured which I love and they're softer than other green olives I've had which again, I prefer as I think they taste better.  These are a great snack as they're low in calories and full of natural goodness.  Plus, they don't have any stones so they're great for enjoying on the go, popping in lunch boxes or even taking into the cinema with you!

I do think that at £1, these are a little over priced for the number that you get however they are delicious and I think they'd make a great treat now and again.

August Degustabox Food Subscription Box Image

If you're someone who loves cheese and crackers then I'm sure you'll love the Rakusen's Plain (£1.29) and Gluten-Free Snackers (£1.49) that came in the box.

They were far too dry for me, as all crackers are, but again one my hubby and my dad loved them, especially with cream cheese on top or my famous guacamole.  I love that they have a gluten-free option too as I have a friend with a gluten allergy and have experienced first hand how difficult it is for her to find foods to suit her intolerance.

August Degustabox Food Subscription Box Image

For meals on the go, the Nutripots (£2.49) in this box are fantastic.  There's the Aromatic Thai Noodles Nutripot which you simply add water to and enjoy its spicy flavour while getting 50% of all of the 28 vitamins and minerals that your body needs daily as well as plenty of protein and fibre.

Then theres the Moroccan Couscous Nutripot which was my favourite of the two as I made it at home and added some chicken and pepper to it on my plate for quick, tasty lunch.  This one contains a low of protein to keep you feeling fuller for longer and its low in saturated fat, has no added sugar and is free from artificial colours or preservatives.  This is great news to me as so many on-the-go foods are full of all of these things!

August Degustabox Food Subscription Box Image

Our Degustabox contained several items to cook with.  Firstly the Tabasco Sweet and Sticky Barbecue Sauce and Marinade (£1.99) which is absolutely DELICIOUS and just the right balance between the hot, smoky chipotle and sweet barbecue flavours.  We'll definitely be repurchasing this sauce and we'll be using the money off coupon that came inside the box too!

August Degustabox Food Subscription Box Image

Secondly, the Geeta's Curry Pastes (2 x £1) of which we received the Tikka and Rogan Josh flavours.  Both have a medium level of spice and after trying out the Rogan Josh flavour a couple of nights ago, I'd say that's pretty accurate.  These sachets create enough for two people which is ideal whether you're dining with your partner or cooking for one and leaving the remainder for lunch or dinner the next day.  I'm going to make the tikka one this week and try the rest of the dish inside a tortilla wrap for lunch the day after.  I'll report back to you on Twitter to let you know how that works out!

This was my first time trying out anything from the Geeta's range and I have to say that I'm really impressed.  The authentic indian flavour is definitely there and the blend of spices in just right.  We received a pot of their Premium Mango Chutney inside too which was delicious with poppadoms.  I've saved half to use in a side dish when I cook the Tikka this week as I've found a recipe online... I'm just hoping it tastes as good when I cook it as it looks in the image!

August Degustabox Food Subscription Box Image

The last item that I received in my box is actually my favourite of all and thats the Dorset Cereals Bircher Muesli (£3.49).  Its a little like making overnight oats but in record time as Dorset Cereals have created a bircher mix containing finely milled oats and dried fruit that can be soaked and enjoyed in only 30 minutes which is far quicker than the overnight soaking period that you usually give to bircher muesli.

The box that I received was the Raspberry and Blackcurrant flavour and it even came with a scoop so that you can achieve the perfect measurement.  I've been enjoying this most mornings, topped off with a few strawberries and the result really is delicious; perfect for the summer months as its cooling but creamy and sweet at the same time.  I'll definitely be buying another box when it runs out!

August Degustabox Food Subscription Box Image

Each Degustabox is an affordable £12.99, with free shipping and although you sign up for a monthly delivery, you're not tied into a contract and can cancel at any time; can't say fairer than that!  You also have the option of giving Degustabox as a gift with the option of boxes for 1, 3 or 6 months.

I have a discount code for you all too; enter BLDEG15 to receive a whopping £7 off your first box!!


What would you most like to receive inside a Degustabox?
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