Wednesday, 10 February 2016

GIVEAWAY | Valentines Day Outfit with Scarlett and Jo

Scarlett and Jo Floral 2 in 1 Dress Valentines Day Plus Size Outfit Inspiration

If there's one night of the year that I want to dress up in a cute outfit and really make an effort, its Valentines Day.

I know so many people think that its just an excuse for the card shops to make money but I'm a bit of an old romantic at heart and quite honestly, I love any excuse to dress up for a date night.

I really enjoy the getting ready process; taking my time doing my hair and makeup and pulling on a beautiful dress like this one while listening to my latest iTunes playlist.  It makes me feel great and gives me an inner confidence that shines out of me.

When it came to choosing my outfit for this Valentines Day, there was one dress that immediately sprang to mind from one of my faves, Scarlett and Jo and today, I wanted to share a sneak peek with you of what I'll be wearing on date night this year.  Perhaps it'll give you some outfit inspiration.

Scarlett and Jo Floral 2 in 1 Dress Valentines Day Plus Size Outfit Inspiration

Now taking the photos for this post wasn't easy.

Let me set the scene for you.

I had a vision.

An idea of creating a Valentines Day inspired outfit post, complete with cute heart shaped balloons and the most beautiful dress fit for the perfect date night.


I got the dress down to a T, hair and makeup on point and the balloons were filled and ready to go.

What I didn't bank on was the weather changing from a mild February day, to blowin' a hooley as we say up here in the North East.  What a carry on!

This was the best result:


Scarlett and Jo Floral 2 in 1 Dress Valentines Day Plus Size Outfit Inspiration

Needless to say, heels, balloons and gail force winds don't mix so i'll not be doing that again.  However the saving grace was that I really put the Scarlett and Jo Floral 2 in 1 Dress through its paces.

I've worn this dress on one other occasion which was New Years Eve.  I'm not sure if it had even gone on sale at that point but the amount of compliments that I received when wearing it had me grinning from ear to ear.  Its just one of those dresses that looks so pretty and the floral design on the skirt is stunning.

I love the colour palette as it is very grown up girlie.  The dress really speaks for itself so I decided to pair simple black accessories with it; my most comfortable black peeptoe heels (similar on sale here) and my Lulu Guinness Lips Clutch.

It has a black jersey top that fits like a dream, with 3/4 length sleeves and a beautiful sweetheart neckline, a black elasticated waistband and a floral skirt attached.


Scarlett and Jo Floral 2 in 1 Dress Valentines Day Plus Size Outfit Inspiration

The great thing about this dress is that, like their others, Scarlett and Jo have really thought about the fit and how the dress should move with the body when they designed it.  Theres more than enough material there so that if you're a bigger girl like I am, when you sit down, it doesn't ride up and leaving you battling to keep it from showing too much thigh at the dinner table, tomorrows washing or your bottom when standing up.

The skirt is lined and has a net fitted to it which not only adds flattering volume to the skirt but I also found it helped to keep the dress from blowing up too much in the wind.  The last thing you want on Valentines Day is for a gust of wind to come along and reveal everything to world and after wearing this dress on this particularly windy day, I'm confident that while it'll blow and move it the wind, you're not going to have any embarrassing mishaps!

Scarlett and Jo Floral 2 in 1 Dress Valentines Day Plus Size Outfit Inspiration

What I love the most about this dress however, is the way that it makes me feel.  Like every other piece that I've worn from Scarlett and Jo, it makes me feel feminine and confident and I can't help but smile when I'm wearing it.  That's the difference with #curvyfashion from Scarlett and Jo and the reason why I want to give one of you the chance to win the item of your choice from there.


GIVEAWAY

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is to:


AND



You can visit the Scarlett and Jo website here.  Their clothing sizes range from a 14 to 32 and are a fantastic fit for so many women.  If the sizing isn't for you, you could still enter the giveaway to win the gift for a friend or loved one; what a lovely treat!

More ways to enter are in the Rafflecopter form below.

Giveaway ends at 12:00AM on 24.02.2016.  Winner will be notified on this post and via one of the contact methods left on the Rafflecopter form.

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

What Scarlett and Jo dress is your fave?


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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

3 Fun Fashion Party Ideas

One of my favourite things about writing this blog is coming up with different ideas for what to wear for different occasions.

Whilst my recent post about outfits for a long haulflight was more focused on issues of comfort, this post will be based on some fun ideas for fashion parties that takes inspiration from the glamour of roulette tables, to the latest S/S styles.

Getting glam for spring

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Seeing as we’re still in the dark months of winter, planning a fashion party offers the perfect antidote to beat the winter blues. Some of the outlandish creations at the recent Paris Fashion Week should provide a good amount of inspiration for your outfit, as a fashion party is all about wearing some seriously extravagant looks!

My favourite has to be the sequinned gowns that were worn at the Sonia Rykiel store. These would look particularly great if you decided to add a casino twist to the evening, with Betway offering an easy to use mobile gaming interface so that you can learn from playing online roulette whilst glamming it up to the max in the comfort of your own home.

Wild styles

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The great thing about fashion parties is that they can really allow you to entertain your wildest fashion dreams. After all, part of the appeal about long-awaited movies such as Zoolander 2 is that they can show how fashion is really just an excuse to play dress up.

A bit of research shows that as long as you really go for it with your look, you can’t really lose. Even Stella McCartney’s fashion party featured a wide range of styles from sleek black dresses to Katy Perry’s floral dress and turban combo - unfortunately most of us will have to make do without Johnny Depp making a surprise appearance!

Iconic inspiration

Image Source

Being a bit of fashion fan, I always find it’s a good idea to check the style blogs for a big of inspiration. And Kate Moss always seems to provide some great ideas of looks for every occasion. I particularly like her take on vintage chic, and she manages to prove the golden rule that says to wear black at pretty much every opportunity!

So whether you’re taking inspiration from the roulette tables, or even just the online adventures of the latest supermodel, there’s no end to the fun that you can have at your next fashion party!

What fashion party looks are your favourite right now?


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Monday, 8 February 2016

5 Top Tips For Buying Jewellery On A Budget

5 top tips for buying jewellery on a budget

Whether you're planning on treating yourself or someone special in your life to a gorgeous piece of jewellery, taking a moment to go through shopping tips before making the big purchase could help you save big on high quality pieces! Even though jewellery made with precious metals such as gold or silver and stones tends to be on the pricey side, there are several ways that you can be sure you're getting the absolute best price on your purchase, whether it's a stunning engagement ring or an elegant necklace.

You all know how much I love my jewellery; it was only a couple of months ago that I was gushing over my beautiful diamond ring in this post and my Lucky Eyes London bracelet has hardly been off my wrist since I got it.  I guess you could say that I'm a bit of a magpie when it comes to jewellery and if something catches my eye, I instantly get all heart eyed emoji.  However as theres usually such a high mark up on jewellery, I think its really important to get the best deal you can, especially if you're buying jewellery on a budget so in todays post, I wanted to share with you my 5 top tips for doing just that!

5 top tips for buying jewellery on a budget

1. Look Out For The Discounts

When it comes to jewellery, getting the most affordable option doesn't mean compromising on the quality of your purchase.  Perhaps the most effective (and least time consuming) way to get discounts on top quality jewellery is by checking out which stores offer the possibility to save with coupons. Comparing the discounts offered at each store will help you determine where you could save the most on your shopping. It's also super easy to shop online, just go to Discountrue and look for the best offers. Sometimes it's good to check at non-jewellery stores, too, such as Neiman Marcus – sometimes you can find great pieces where you wouldn't normally expect to.

2. Choose The perfect Timing

Many jewellery stores hold regular sales, deals and promotions throughout the year; the trick to catching the best deals is being aware of when the best times to shop are. While many stores offer promotions during the holiday months to compete with other stores, others offer competitive prices during slower months when most of their inventory is picked over and they're trying to sell as much as they can in order to make space for new items. Select your favourite stores and become acquainted with the routine they tend to follow, so you can shop at the most opportune time.

5 Top Tips For Buying Jewellery On A Budget

3. Buy Jewellery Online

The internet can give you way more options than going to a couple of jewellery stores in your area.  When shopping online, check out the benefits of subscribing to newsletters and/or joining a store's mailing list – many outlets offer exclusive deals to their subscribers and let them know about sales and discounts before anyone else. Be sure to check that the store has a good reputation and that you're aware of the shipping and returns policy before making any online purchases!

4. Know Your Metals

A solid gold, silver or platinum piece of jewellery will cost more than a piece that is coated in a precious metal and has a core made up of a “base metal” (zinc, copper). A gold or silver plated ring can look just as fabulous as one that is coated, at a significantly lower price. However, you should be aware that the plating can deteriorate and wear off with time.

5 Top Tips For Buying Jewellery On A Budget

5. Flexibility Is Key

Finally, if you're not absolutely fixated on one specific design and look, you'll probably have way more options to work with. Talk to your jeweller about the options available within a certain price range – you may be surprised at how many great pieces of jewellery may be within your budget!

Saving can be a lot easier than you may think - follow some of the above tips and you're bound to save a bundle on your next jewellery purchase!

What are your top tips when it comes to buying jewellery?

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Sunday, 7 February 2016

Artdeco Arctic Beauty Collection Review

Artdeco Arctic Beauty Collection Review

Artdeco Arctic Beauty Collection Review

Last year, I was introduced to Germany's no1 makeup brand, Artdeco.  You might remember my post where I shared with you some of my favourite products from their Celebration Iconic Collection.  If not, you can give it a read here as the products are still available now.

Today I wanted to share my thoughts on another range from them and thats the Arctic Beauty Collection which was new for winter.


Artdeco Arctic Beauty Collection Review


The line was inspired by the iridescent colours of the ice crystals, auroras and glacial landscapes of the Arctic.

The Arctic Beauty line has everything that you need to transform your makeup look into one thats sparkly and full of light.  It comprises of several creamy lipsticks and iridescent pearly nail polishes, a pearl highlighter, shimmer blush, shimmer and shine glosses, a sparkling liquid eyeliner, lash gel, shimmer cream, and a shimmer dust.

Artdeco Arctic Beauty Perfect Colour Lipstick
Artdeco Arctic Beauty Perfect Colour Lipstick
Artdeco Perfect Colour Lipstick swatches (L to R) 101 Cool Orchid, 103 Cool Peach and 105 Cool Coral
Artdeco Perfect Colour Lipstick swatches (L to R) 101 Cool Orchid, 103 Cool Peach and 105 Cool Coral
My favourite product from the line is undoubtedly the Artdeco Perfect Colour Lipstick because they each feel so creamy and nourishing on the lips.  I love that they come in metal packaging too so that they don't melt in the heat.  This is great news for me, as you all know how much I love to travel.

This lipstick comes in three shades; 101 Cool Orchid (muted rose pink), 103 Cool Peach (muted cerise with a berry red undertone) and 105 Cool Coral (metallic finish pale chocolate shade with a nude undertone), all of which have a muted hue to them that makes them ideal for the cooler months.  I love wearing coral coloured lipstick but it often looks too summery for the winter but this one doesn't as it isn't bright or in your face.

These lippies do have a bit of a pearly look to them in the bullet and I was worried that they'd transport me back to the late 90s/00s upon application but they don't at all.  The finish simply adds light and fullness to the lips.

Artdeco Arctic Beauty Collection Review

Each shade has the same smooth, even application and great colour pay off.  They feel quite moisturising on the lips but I guess thats because of the Vitamin E in the formula which helps to protect the lips against moisture loss.  This is definitely something that you need when the weather turns cold like it has now!

What I love about this lipstick is that despite being creamy in texture, it is really long lasting and doesn't wear unevenly on my lips. 

Artdeco Arctic Beauty Collection Review


Artdeco Arctic Beauty Collection Review


Along with the lipsticks, Artdeco have also released three new shades of the Glam Stars Lip Gloss of which I have two; 31 Glam Frozen Orchid (muted rose pink shimmer) and 35 Glam Frozen Flower (cool pale pink shimmer).

The great thing about these glosses is that they can be worn alone or layered over a lipstick or lip liner to create a different look entirely.

Both shades have a shimmery finish to they which reflects the light incredibly well.  This can help to give the appearance of a full, juicy pout which is a look that I personally love.

Artdeco Arctic Beauty Collection Review

These lip glosses are free from both gluten and mineral oil.  They also don't seem to have a noticeable scent or taste to them either which I find is something that can make or break a lipgloss for a lot of people.

They feel very comfortable to wear with just the right amount of tackiness to make them stick and last, without them being sticky!


Artdeco Arctic Beauty Collection Review

Next up are the three products from the line that I'll, admittedly, use the least.  They're all still very pretty but they're quite specific pieces that wouldn't be suitable for my everyday makeup looks.


The first being the Sparkling Lash Drops which is a fine silvery glitter, set within a gel.  This product can be used directly on the skin or on the tips of the lashes which is how I have worn it in the makeup look photographed in this post.  While the product is quite expensive for only 5ml of product, a little goes an incredibly long way and looks so pretty when worn on the lashes.

This isn't a product that I'd use every time that I do my makeup but it does set off the lashes very nicely for a night out and helps to bring light and sparkle to the eyes which I love.

Artdeco Arctic Beauty Collection Review

Another product that I'd reserve for nights out and super sparkly occasions is the Artdeco Arctic Beauty Glam Stars Liquid Eye Liner.  Quite like the lash drops, this is a gel product with lots of metallic glitter in it; in some lights it looks pink, in others silver and bronze which is great as you can use it with any makeup look.

It comes with a very fine brush for application and I've found that it works best with a quick swipe to pack the product on as if you're too careful with it, you can end up removing most of the glitter you've applied.

Once the product has set, it does stay on my eyes for hours and hours without transferring but I do find that it irritates my eyes a little, making the skin feel a bit tight and itchy.

Artdeco Arctic Beauty Collection Review

Artdeco Arctic Beauty Collection Review

The product that I probably wont use again is the Glam Vintage Shimmer Cream which is available in three different shades, of which I have 8 Starlight Rose which is a metallic light pink.

This is a cream highlighter that has a beautiful shimmer to it.  It could be used as a highlighter on the skin and d├ęcolletage, as a base for eyeshadow or as a wash of shimmer over the eyelids.  However I find that it doesn't apply very evenly and can sort of clump together in parts.  I've tried applying it both with a brush and with my fingers but I just can't get it to work for me unfortunately.

Artdeco Arctic Beauty Collection Review


Artdeco Arctic Beauty Collection Review

Back onto a more positive note and a product from the line that works very well for me is the Artdeco Arctic Beauty Blush.

With three different muted coral pink hues, this blush is as pretty in the mirrored compact as it is on the cheeks.  You could use each shade separately although that would be a little difficult because of the way that they're shaped, so I get right in there and swirl my blush brush around in all three before applying to my cheeks.

The colour pay off is fabulous and this blush imparts a really beautiful flush of colour to my cheeks which is ideal for capturing that fresh from the cold air makeup look.  The formula is very buildable and it doesn't look cakey or over done on the skin.  It actually contains Vitamin E and C which helps to nourish and care for the skin while you're wearing it and it is free from Parabens, Lanolin, Perfumes and Oils too.

Art Deco Arctic Beauty Collection Review


Art Deco Arctic Beauty Collection Review

Another powder that I love from this line has to be the Arctic Beauty Highlighter, which looks so beautiful in the pan, just like the blush.

Art Deco Arctic Beauty Collection Review

Now don't let the fact that this is called a highlighter con you into thinking that it is a skin highlighter.  Artdeco call this a highlighting and eyeshadow powder which led me to think that you could use it on the cheek bones, etc as well as the eyes but after swirling the shades and swatching (see the photo below), I had a little read up online and found that it is very much a an eyeshadow trio only.

The three shades, known collectively as Antarctica, are all shimmery shades that do a great job at highlighting and adding light to the eye but since there is a variation in colours from a very light pink to more taupe shades, you're able to contour and define the eye using these shadows too.


Art Deco Arctic Beauty Collection Review

Together they make a really beautiful daytime eye makeup look with just the right amount of smokiness.

I've been wearing these shadows all winter so far and I love that I can change my look up for an evening by simply adding a little matte black shadow to the outer portion of my crease.


Art Deco Arctic Beauty Collection Review


Art Deco Arctic Beauty Collection Review


Art Deco Arctic Beauty Collection Review

Next up are the Art Couture Nail Lacquers which I've applied a little haphazardly here just to be able to show you the way they look on the nails.

I really love the look of these nail varnishes because they're very much shades that are subtle and barely there but because they aren't a flat colour, they feel that little bit extra special.

There are four shades and I have three of them; 04 Couture Crushed Ice which is an iridescent shimmer, 608 Couture Pearl which is a white polish with a hint of pink and 955 Couture Ice Flower which is a pearlescent pale pink.

These polished apply smoothly and quickly thanks to their fairly wide brush and are surprisingly opaque.  They dont take too long to dry and last around three days on me before chipping which is more than enough for what I need.


Art Deco Arctic Beauty Collection Review


Art Deco Arctic Beauty Collection Review

The last product in this collection is the Arctic Beauty Dust in Starlight Rose which is perfect for those who love a little extra sparkle for a night out.

This is a finely milled, glittery powder that you can use to add sparkle to your face, legs, decolletage, arms and hair.  It has a light vanilla scent that is very subtle but is a lovely touch, especially if you're adding it to your hair.

I love the packaging of this product as not only does it make the glitter powder fun to apply but it looks so cute on my dressing table too.  While this certainly isn't an essential makeup product to own, it is definitely a pretty one!

Art Deco Arctic Beauty Collection Review


Art Deco Arctic Beauty Collection Review

The Artdeco Arctic Beauty Collection is available for purchase direct from their website here and also from Beauty Bay where, at the time of writing, they currently have a 10% off promotion running so grab your faves quick while you can!

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Sunday, 31 January 2016

How To Prolong A Holiday Tan | Lancaster Tan Maximizer

Lancaster Tan Maximizer how to make your holiday tan last longer

When I go on holiday to a hot destination, I really like to come away with a beautiful suntan.  Having a sun kissed glow is important to me as I love the way it makes my skin look and the confidence that it gives me.  Achieving a tan safely, using plenty of SPF is always at the forefront of my mind but when my holiday is over, my focus switches to maintaining my tanned skin.  In this post, I am going to share with you how to prolong your holiday tan and the best product to use.

For a lot of people, when they're away on holiday, the sun dries out their skin and it can often peel or flake.  Keeping your skin well exfoliated will certainly help with this, whichever method you choose, but it is so important to moisturise your skin to keep it hydrated as well.  The best way to do this is with a body butter or aftersun.  These two steps should be completed while you're away and while you're back at home and will certainly help to keep your tan but the absolute best way that I have found to prolong a suntan is by using the Lancaster Tan Maximizer.

The Lancaster Tan Maximizer is a soothing aftersun lotion that you apply to your skin after you've been in the sun.  It contains Lancaster's reinforced Tan Activator Complex which was developed for a prolonged natural melanin release in the skin.  This helps to boost your tan as though you were still in the sun which is why this product is so effective, even when you return home from sunnier climates!

For all it is lightweight, it does a great job at hydrating the skin and leaves it feeling beautifully soft and looking silky smooth.  If you're using it on holiday and perhaps you find your skin is feeling a little tender if you've mistakenly spent a little too long in the sun, then I think you'd find this lotion to actually feel quite soothing on sun kissed skin.  The soothing and moisturising properties that this aftersun lotion has are what makes it aid the skins natural recovery process.  This decreases your chances of peeling because your skin is hydrated, supple and smooth.

It has this beautiful perfumed scent that I've come to associate with happy holiday memories and it lingers lightly on your skin.

I've tried out various aftersun products and moisturisers over the years but nothing keeps my tan hanging around for as long as this one does.  While exfoliating and moisturising will help to support your tan, I've found that using this lotion once a day really helps to keep my skin looking sun kissed for longer.

I've been using it for years now and highly recommend it.

You can buy the Lancaster Tan Maximizer online here and you can also pick it up in duty free at the airport.

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How do you make your holiday tan last longer?

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