Saturday, 18 August 2018

Finishing Touches from Matalan Home

Matalan Home Message Pin Board and Faux Plant Succulent on WhatLauraLoves Interiors

When I moved into my apartment last summer, I did the sensible thing and focused on getting the essentials.  I was on a tight budget but I have to say, I think I did a pretty good job at decorating my home to suit my style, making wise choices with practical, long lasting, beautiful homeware.

Since I now have the essentials I need, I'm starting to add more personality to my space and really make it my own.  I've created an at home bar station in my open plan kitchen-living-dining room that I'll be sharing with you in my next interiors blog post but for now, I thought I'd share with you a couple of the finishing touches that I added to it to make it complete; a faux plant and message pin board from Matalan.


Matalan Home Message Pin Board and Faux Plant Succulent on WhatLauraLoves Interiors

Alphabet pin boards are a leading trend in homeware accessories right now but this message pin board from Matalan. the first one that I've seen that would suit the decor of my home perfectly.  The bar area has a certain rustic, industrial quality to it and the tone of the wood surrounding the black message board compliments it perfectly.

It can be used to set reminders for yourself and others and spell out funny messages or quotes.  You'll see when I publish my 'How To Create An At Home Bar' post but in my case, I used it to spell out a reference to the bar area and my boyfriend and I.

The board comes with every letter of the alphabet with multiples of the more popular letters, as well as all of the numbers, plenty of punctuation marks and a couple of stars and hearts too.  Its 50cm x 35cm x 3cm in size which gives you plenty of space to write the message that you want to display on it and when you have done so, they stay in place really well.  The board and letters are well made and sturdy but you can move them around with ease too.

There are fittings on the back of the board to secure it to a wall or it can be leant against a wall like I have done.  Either way, it looks awesome!

Matalan Home Message Pin Board and Faux Plant Succulent on WhatLauraLoves Interiors

To bring a sense of the outdoors in, I added a faux succulent in a cement pot.  Something that I really love about Matalan home is how they're able to create fairly realistic looking plants and display them really well too so that you can affordably purchase one complete piece rather than having to buy the plant and pot separately.  This one has a cement pot with a rose gold stand which matches my other decor really well and just like the pin board, its really good quality.

I can't wait to show you my bar area now, that's if you haven't already seen the sneak peak I put up on my Instagram stories; get following girls as I'm always sharing interior and homeware inspiration over there!


Matalan Home Message Pin Board and Faux Plant Succulent on WhatLauraLoves Interiors

If you're looking to update your home (I mean who isn't in the mood to add gorgeous decor to their home?!) then head on over to the Matalan website.  I've linked some of my favourite bits below.

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finishing touches and home trends from matalan on whatlauraloves interiors


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What are your thoughts of the pin board trend for homeware?  Do you like having artificial plants in your home?  
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Monday, 13 August 2018

Batiste Launch NEW Speed It Up Blowdry Range

Batiste Speed It Up Review by UK Plus Size Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves

If you're anything like me then you'll have a million and one things to do but not enough hours in the day to do them in.  Prioritising tasks helps massively throughout the day and cutting your time each morning by being organised, having your outfit picked out and having a speedy beauty routine does too.

There are days when you're going to need to blowdry your hair, be it before you go to bed or before you head out the door but when it comes to this mundane task, I imagine I'm speaking for all of us when I say that its the one beauty chore we hate doing.

I'd love to be able to leave my hair to dry naturally every time that I wash it as avoiding heat is good for hair health but my natural locks, as opposed to my gorgeous HJ Extensions, dry so frizzy unless I use a hair dryer.  When I know that I'm not going to be going out and about, I'll leave my hair to dry naturally but otherwise, I'll blow dry it which is a good 90% of the time.

Thankfully, budget hair favourites Batiste, have created a time saving hair hero in the form of their new blow dry sprays.

Batiste Speed It Up accelerates the process of blowdrying your hair, making it speedier and less tedious which means that you have more time to focus on smashing your to-do list for the day or getting an extra half an hour of precious sleep.

Batiste Speed It Up Review by UK Plus Size Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves

There are three to choose from, Frizz Taming, Smoothing and Shine, so you can pick the one that best suits the needs of your hair.

Let's take a closer look...
FRIZZ TAMING: Formulated with Tamanu Oil to defrizz your locks
SMOOTHING: Containing nourishing Baobab Oil smooth out your hair from root to tip
SHINE: Enriched with Ginseng to give you hair thats swish-ably shiny and lustrous.

They're all really easy to use; simply towel dry your hair (squeeze, don't rub girls!) then spritz your chosen spray lightly all over your hair from a distance while its damp and brush through to reduce your drying time by up to 30%!

I used Shine before I blowdried and styled my hair for this Instagram photo and  I love the added glisten that it gave my blonde hair which can often look dry.

The Batiste Speed It Up range also acts as a heat protection spray as it has built in protection within the formula to shield the hair from heat damage up to 230°c.  Since I do highlight and lowlight my hair, I want to protect my locks from as much further damage as possible so I'm always looking for products to help me with that, especially on the ends of my hair where it can be prone to breakage and split ends.

If you want to boost your blowdry time like I have with the Batiste Speed It Up range, its available from Boots now!

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Batiste Speed It Up Review by UK Plus Size Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves


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What are your favourite ways to save time in the morning?  Which of the Batiste Blow Dry Accelerators would be best for your hair?
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Monday, 6 August 2018

5 Tips For Styling Your Hair

5 Tips For Styling Hair By UK Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves Plus Size Simply Be

A lot of women struggle to tame their manes and are often left frustrated when their hairstyles fall short of their expectations. Fighting with frizzy, unmanageable hair texture, unruly bangs, and rebellious curls can take hours on end. Styling your own hair at home can feel like a nightmare, but it doesn’t need to be. Here are 5 tips to help you have beautifully styled hair every time.

1. DON'T USE TOO MANY PRODUCTS
This is a common mistake that most of us make. Pilling on a product after product onto our heads, hoping that they’ll help us get the look we are trying to achieve. The truth is, using too many products may be the reason why your hair refuses to cooperate.

Product build-up often leaves hair greasy, flat, and dull, and may even cause product dandruff as tiny specks of excess product fall off your hair. Besides overwhelming your hair, using too many products is costly and time-consuming. The secret is to use minimal products and stick to the basics.

To create the style that I'm wearing in these photos, I curled my hair that I'd washed the day before, using the Lee Stafford CoCo LoCo tong (also available here) which I love for its long barrel as whether I'm wearing my hair extensions or not, it curls all of my hair in one go, brushed the curls through once they'd cooled and I spritzed the Lee Stafford CoCo LoCo Coconut Hairspray to hold it in place.  This is my secret to getting the look of a big bouncy blow-dry on second day hair.

2. DON'T OVER WASH YOUR HAIR
Washing your hair too often has been another common mistake we are all guilty of making. While this may seem like a harmless habit, it is actually detrimental to the health of your hair. Our scalps produce sebum oil, which keeps hair strands healthy and shiny. Washing your hair too often strips away this natural oil and leaves your scalp and hair dry and it can actually encourage your hair to produce even more oil which, if you're an oily hair gal like me, you don't want! I wash my hair every 3 days.

Also, when your hair is freshly washed, it can also be harder to style; curls drop out more easily and you don't have as much grit or hold when pinning your hair up.


5 Tips For Styling Hair By UK Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves Plus Size Simply Be

3. LEARN HOW TO BLOW DRY
Learning how to give yourself the perfect, lasting blowout is the holy grail of hair styling. A good blow dry is the best base for any hair style and your hair dresser will be able to talk you through how to maintain your look at home the next time you get your hair done.  Watch what they're doing in the mirror when they're drying your hair and look out for the types of brushes they're using.

There are many techniques to blow drying hair depending on the texture. Straight or wavy hair is easier to blow-dry while curly or coarse hair may take a little more practice. Regardless of the texture, make sure not to blow-dry your hair everyday as excessive heat exposure can dry it out and damage it and always make sure you that use a protection spray when you do.

4. Use the Right Heated Tools
There are so many heated tools available on the market that it can be easy to get confused and pick the wrong ones. Not all heated tools are created equal and it is important that you find heated tools designed for your hair type. This will ensure you get the best results with minimal heat exposure, especially when it comes to straighteners. Check out OGLF’s guide for the best hair straighteners.


5 Tips For Styling Hair By UK Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves Plus Size Simply Be

5. FIND STYLES THAT WORK FOR YOU
The reason you’re having a hard time styling your hair may be because of the style you’ve chosen. It is important to understand your hair type, so you know what your hair is capable of doing. Embrace your natural hair texture, so you don’t have to spend hours manipulating your hair with styling tools. Look for hairstyles that suit what nature gave you rather than losing your sanity trying to get your hair to do what it wasn’t created to do.

With these 5 simple tips, you’ll soon be on your way to easy and effortless mane-styling. Remember to work with your hair type and avoid hairstyles that are difficult to perfect at home as they will only stress you out. Find styles and tools that suit you and always protect your hair from heat damage and excessive washing. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to keep your hair healthy.


Remember my tips for later & pin this image!


5 Tips For Styling Hair By UK Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves Plus Size Simply Be

MY OUTFIT
Of course all great hair styles require a beautiful outfit and if you love my frill bardot playsuit then you'll find it at Simply Be.  I love the floral pattern in blue against the black backdrop.  It's the perfect throw on and look fabulous outfit for a summer evening or those afternoons in a beer garden that turn into evenings out!

I'd suggest going up a size in this particular piece as I found it to be a little snug around my tummy.  I'm wearing a size 24 if that helps any of you with your sizing choices.

What are your top tips for styling your hair?
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Monday, 23 July 2018

Taking The Perfect Date Night Photo With My Light Up Selfie Case

WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case

Summer date nights and get togethers with my girls tend to go hand in with my essentials for an evening out; a gorgeous outfit, natural bronzed makeup that let my lashes do the talking and my iPhone 8 Plus with its light up selfie case to capture all of the moments that I want to treasure forever.

This summer has been my best one yet for outfits and new additions to my wardrobe.  I've been really working on finding my style in recent years and I think my WhatLauraLoves Instagram shows how much that's paying off this season.

WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case

Discovering that Quiz Clothing now have a Curve range has been a particular highlight for me.  I'm sure you'll be able to see from my face in my instagram posts just how happy their clothes have made me feel this summer.

The range starts at a size 16 and currently goes up to a 26.  They're the exact kind of clothes I would see girls who are a size 10 wearing and I would long to have them in my size.  That's what Quiz Curve have achieved with their range; it is girly and feminine, bright, colourful and sophisticated, in a range of cuts and styles, at a reasonable price point and in designs that a size 10 would love just as much as a size 24.


WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case


WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case

A great example of how Quiz use the same pattern of fabric across different styles is with this gorgeous Quiz Curve Black and White Floral Stripe Bardot Tunic Dress that's also available as a cold shoulder top.  They have lots of fabrics that are available as a dress, top, playsuit, etc which gives plus size women the choice of a gorgeous print in a shape that they feel suits them the most.

I love the bold black and white stripes of this top and the pink florals really POP against it.  This colour palette really makes a statement; its eye catching for all the right reasons.

Made from a woven material with no stretch in it, I sized up one size to a 26 for the best fit for me as I'm much larger around my middle than I am across my shoulders.  It stays down off my shoulders, doesn't gape in the middle and looks great whether I tuck it into something or have it out like I'm wearing here.


WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case

I paired this tunic with my Ankle Tie Stretch Jersey Leggings from Simply Be and my classic black flatforms from Primark for an evening out with my boyfriend, doing a little bit of shopping and grabbing some dinner.  I know I'll get so much more wear out of these leggings come the autumn as its a little too warm to be wearing leggings a lot right now but on a cool, breezy night like this was, they were great.  I love the deeper waistband on these leggings as it ensures they stay up and the ties at the ankle give these a little bit more interest than regular leggings, making them idea if you want to pair them with heels for an evening out.

The black flatforms are so easy to walk in its unreal.  They give me the added height that I love but they don't hurt my feet.  I feel really secure in them and can walk and dance all night without feeling like I need to take them off... which I have been guilty of doing in the past which is why I no longer wear stilettos very often! 

WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case

WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case

Thanks to having my gorgeous Essential Beauty lash extensions on, I kept my makeup simple with a light yet sculpted base, my brows lightly tamed with Benefit Gimmie Brow in shade 3 and my fave mauve lip combo; MAC Soar lip pencil and Faux lipstick.

I only take a small powder compact and my lipstick out with me to touch up on the go.  The front camera of my iPhone 8 Plus acts as my mirror with the front lights of my LuMee case providing the perfect light for makeup touch ups.  I've been using my case for a week now and I don't know how I've ever been without it on nights out as amazing for when I'm taking photographs and capturing moments with my friends.


WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case
Selfie taken with my iPhone 8 Plus and the front lights of my selfie case on!
The great thing about the Duo Marble Case is that it lights up on the front of the phone and the back so whether you're snapping a selfie or taking a photo of your friends, they're going to be well lit and looking fabulous!

It's really easy to use, simply press the button on the back of the case once to light up the front  facing light and twice for the back.  Press and hold to dim the light or to make it brighter.


WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case
My friend taking a photo of me on the back lights of the light up selfie mobile phone case
I take the majority of my photos on my iPhone 8 Plus these days so the light up feature is perfect for me and that fact that it is all contained within a case that has a sleek design is great.  I used to have a clip on selfie light and it was so cumbersome that I would end up leaving it at home!


WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case


WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case

The case doesn't add much extra bulk to my phone at all and its really durable.  I have been known to drop my phone and this case is tough, strong and protects it really well.  The side rails of the phone are soft too which makes it easy to take the phone out of the case if you need to.  Although it comes with a micro USB cable in the box to charge the case and it just slots in the bottom of the case, the same way the iPhone charger cable fits in the phone so you wouldn't even need to take it out of the case really!

There are so many designs available, I chose the lavender marble and love how glossy the finish on it is.  If you haven't got an Apple iPhone like I have then you can also get these light up selfie cases for the Samsung Galaxy too.  I absolutely LOVE mine and when I upgrade my phone next year, I'll definitely be upgrading my phone case to fit it too!

I hope your week has got off to a great start today.  Don't forget to check out my Instagram for daily outfit and real life, positivity inspo.

If you love my outfit then I'm sure you'll love the Quiz Curve jumpsuit I blogged about here and the other items I put on my instagram too!


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WhatLauraLoves Taking The Perfect Date Night Photo With My Light Up Selfie Case

Have you tried a light up phone case? What are your favourite date night outfits?


*This post is a collaboration with Nakturnal
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Sunday, 15 July 2018

Holiday Shopping Trip Wearing Yours Clothing & A Note On The NEW Primark Extended Size Range To Include Plus Size 2XL 22/24

Yours Clothing Navy and White Plus Size Dress on WhatLauraLoves UK Blogger

Yesterday afternoon, my boyfriend and I went to the Metrocentre clothes shopping for our first holiday together.  I felt so excited sharing a late lunch at Barburrito before looking around a few shops.

I wore my Yours Clothing Navy & White Print Pocket Dress that I got for my trip to Bali in May.  It quickly became a summer wardrobe staple as its so lightweight and thin without being see through, making it perfect for the heatwave we're having in the UK right now.  Apparently the weather is set to be like this until August and I for one, could not be happier about that.

I love the navy and white tile print but there's so many different designs available, you're bound to find one to suit your style.  It has an elasticated waist band and as with most things from Yours, I find that it's true to size.

Definitely one of my top plus size dress recommendations for the hot weather girls!

Couples Holiday Shopping Trip to Primark

As promised, I did go into Primark to check out the new plus size 2XL 22/24 that they've launched.  From what I could see, I wouldn't get too excited just yet as it seems as though the majority of the extended sizing in 2XL is coming with the autumn/winter clothing.

There was very few 2XLs store wide and the ones that were in stock were heavier items like jogging bottoms and hoodies and there was a limited selection of PJs.  I did buy a few pairs of the jogging bottoms though in light grey marl, black and khaki and they're great for £5.  I'd say that they fit like a 22 on me.

For the time being, I'd definitely say don't let the lack of 2XL 22/24 put you off if you're a 22 up top like I am.  Many of the XL 18/20 tops in Primark fit me and I bought several pieces in store including a cropped jumper that I'm going to wear with the joggers on the plane when I go on our holiday.

Today, I'm heading back to Primark to swap a pair of the joggers as they had a hole in them so I'll check out the store again to see if they've added any more sizes and I'll do a haul on my IGTV on Tuesday to show you everything that I bought!

WhatLauraLoves Plus Size Blogger Metrocentre

I'm really excited about the extended sizing, particularly for the stretchy tops as the XL is often so generous to begin with that I think the new size will open up more options for women beyond a size 24 to enjoy the new clothing choices once the 2XL hits stores properly.  Hopefully in the future there'll be a full Primark plus size range that caters for women of all shapes and sizes

Although I must admit that I was disappointed to see that there was so many of the 2XS 4/6 size in the shop across a lot of the ranges but the 2XL was really sparse store wide despite loads of boards advertising the extended sizing.  I'm hopeful that this will improve once the extended sizing properly drops!

While I'd definitely recommend checking out Primark to see whats in store near you, if you're shopping for holiday clothes, I couldn't recommend Yours Clothing more highly.  They're affordable, superb quality and have plus size summer clothes to suit everyone.

What summer clothes have you been wearing most?  Are you excited about the extended Primark sizing?
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