Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Dr Organic Hand & Nail Creams Gift Set

My favourite skincare product is hand cream, I literally cannot live without it.  I've recently been using these hand creams from Dr. Organic that I got in this set which I found to be a fantastic way of trying out different scents from a brand I hadn't used before, without committing to buying a full sized product.  This Hand and Nail Cream gift pack from Dr. Organic would make a great gift for anyone this Christmas, whether male or female, young or old.  I'm sure everyone will enjoy these.
Mini Hand and Nail Cream Pack, £6
You get three hand creams; Manuka Honey, Virgin Olive Oil and Rose Otto which are 20mls each and great value for money at only £6 for the set.  They are handbag essentials as they are small enough to carry around everyday and they are perfect for taking on a flight with you too so that you can have moisturised hands on the move! 

Ive thoroughly enjoyed using all of these little tubes of organic goodness but I must single out the Manuka Honey hand and nail cream as my favourite.  It smells absolutely divine, good enough to eat and is uber moisturising and nourishing even on my dry hands.  Its great at restoring my cracked and flaky skin too.  I found the Virgin Olive Oil hand cream to be nourishing also and it did a great job at hydrating my dry skin and protecting it from the winter elements.  The anti-ageing Rose Otto cream has a lovely strong scent and it is super moisturising and rejuvenating.  The fragrance of all of the hand creams lingers all day after application but does not irritate the skin which is most important.  They can be applied as frequently as you wish, as a guide, I found that I applied the hand cream twice a day, once in the morning and once at tea time.  I also use the cream on my elbows too where I suffer from dry and flaky skin.

I think its important to point out that I have really dry skin on my hands and suffer from psoriasis and dermatitis so my skin is often cracked and flaky... not very attractive.  Whilst these aren't medicated products and I am not a dermatologist, I really found that they worked very well for my skin condition.  I use lots of hand cream to keep my psoriasis under control as when my hands are soft and moisturised not only do they look better but they don't hurt either.  Hand cream is great for everyone to use, particularly in the winter when your hands are exposed to the cold outdoors and then plunged into central heating warmth.  Keeping your skin moisturised is great to help prevent premature ageing of your skin too- some get a face lift or botox in later life to make their face look younger but the skin on their hands will always be a tell tale sign of their age, take Sharon Osbourne for example.  Look after your skin now and it will look after you in years to come.
Manuka Honey, Virgin Olive Oil, Rose Otto
I love the way Dr Organic list all of the ingredients too and they tell you which bioactive, natural and organic ingredients are in each specific product so you know exactly what you're getting. This is great if you have a skin condition like I do as you can choose a cream that has something in it that you know tends to be more effective for your skin type. Ailments like psoriasis aren't curable just controllable and you often find that if you have a skin condition like this then you find certain ingredients in products that work for you better than others, for example, my father who also suffers from psoriasis, finds that olive oil based products work really well for his skin whereas I find that manuka honey works really well for my skin.

You can buy this gift set from Holland and Barrett both online (you'll find lots of money saving offers on their website!) and in store where they also sell other gift sets like the Anti-Ageing Mini Body Lotion Pack for £8, the Rejuvenating Mini Body Lotion Pack for £8 and the Lavender and Rose Diffuser for £12.  They have the hand creams on their own in larger tubes too so I'll definitely be repurchasing the Organic Manuka Honey Hand and Nail Cream.  Dr Organic also sell lots of other bioactive skincare products such as soap, toothpaste, lip balm and serum, blemish stick, body wash, shampoo and conditioner, the list of products is endless and they all are available with different ingredients like the hand creams.  There is a pomegranate range, manuka honey, olive oil, tea tree, lavender and more, which again is great because if you discover which ingredient works for you or that you enjoy the scent of, then you can buy a whole skincare system to suit your skin type.

Have you tried any Dr. Organic products? What gift sets are you buying your loved ones this Christmas? Do you look out for skincare with particular ingredients?

Monday, 28 November 2011

Agent Provocateur Perfume and Travalo Review

The Travalo I ordered from Play.com arrived today and I simply cant wait to tell you all about it... more so because I've finally been able to use a gorgeous perfume that I got last year; Agent Provocateur.  So before I tell you about the Travalo, I thought I'd let you know my thoughts on the perfume.

Agent Provocateur
Agent Provocateur Eau de Parfum Purse Spray 25ml
I adore the smell of this fragrance, its everything I look for in a scent; its sexy, seductive, indulgent and overpowering.  Its the things I love about the fragrance that are reasons why some may not like it.  If you like strong, floral-oriental-musky scents then this will be perfect for you, its definitely not a perfume for those who like something light and fresh.  Its a long, lingering scent that lasts on the skin all day.

At around £30, the purse spray isn't the cheapest of perfumes, particularly for only 25ml of fragrance but its an indulgent treat that will last ages.  Since it is a parfum as opposed to a toilette, it is much more concentrated and therefore stronger, so you will use less and it will still last much longer on your skin.  It such a high quality fragrance, it is well worth the money; it even smells luxurious and expensive.  The packaging is gorgeous too, it screams femininity.

I was given the perfume as a gift for graduating last year and I instantly loved it but after a week or so in my handbag I had lost the little silver spray bit from the top of the bottle and it has remained on my dressing table ever since, rendered useless.  That's where the Travalo comes in...

Travalo

Travalo- The 8cm Refillable Fragrance Spray £6.99-£10 
A Travalo is a refillable perfume bottle that is perfect for travelling or for carrying around in your handbag.  The Travalo itself is really lightweight, fills up in seconds using a pumping action as shown in the photo above, and you get around 50 sprays from one full bullet.  I bought mine from Play.com as a way to still use the Agent Provocateur perfume (I'd tried everything to get the perfume out, even replacing the little silver spray thing... but it was messy and didn't work).  They had a special offer on at the time and the black bullet was only £5 so I figured it was worth spending the money rather than wasting the perfume... and I'm so pleased I did as I have fallen in love with this perfume all over again!  I think they usually retail at between £6.99 and £10 which isn't too pricey depending on how much you will use it.  The Travalo can really make perfume buying economical as it is usually much cheaper in the long run to buy large bottles and decant it into the small Travalo than to buy small bottles time and time again (cost per mls of fragrance).  Since the Travalo is aeroplane friendly, ill be taking this on holiday with me as well as keeping it in my handbag to freshen up throughout the day.

What perfume are you wearing at the moment?

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Bomb Cosmetics Marshmallow Root Candle

Marshmallow Root by Bomb Cosmetics
Mmmm this Marshmallow Root candle from Bomb Cosmetics looks so pretty and smells delicious, literally good enough to eat.  Its sickly sweet and fills the room with its fragrance quickly after being lit.  I love glass jar candles, as you can light them without any fuss or mess as they burn.  This size burns for around 30 hours and retails for £5.99 which is a bargain compared to some other candles out there.

I have seen candles by Bomb Cosmetics in many little gift shops when I have gone for a day out in the countryside but never bought one until a lady selling them had a stall at work.  After googling the company, I've found that they are actually slightly cheaper online than they are from the stockists I've seen so I would recommend just buying from the website, that's what I do now.  Plus, P&P is free if you spend over £25.  The website is brilliant, they sell bath products too that would give Lush a run for their money.

I'm really safety conscious when it comes to anything with a flame; I'm frightened of fire and it put me off burning candles for years.  In recent years, I've just thought to hell with it and I regularly light candles in my home now.  Especially around Christmas time.  Ive still got a Mistletoe Kiss Bomb Cosmetics candle and a Floris candle (the grapefruit and rosemary one) left to burn in the coming weeks.

What are your favourite candles? Can you recommend any to me?

Monday, 21 November 2011

Having a WILD Day!

*NEW* Batiste Dry Shampoo in WILD


It takes a very special product to rival my beloved Batiste Brit dry shampoo but this one just about does it; the new Wild dry shampoo by Batiste.  What attracts me to Wild is the fragrance; its daring and sassy and like Brit, it smells quite like a perfume, rather than a hair product.  I'm useless at describing scents but I think this really smells of vanilla and cocoa.  Its quite musky too.  In a nut shell, its gorgeous.  I adore the packaging too, its leopard print, whats there not to love?!  The WILD packaging is my favourite of all the Batiste sprays, it will look beautiful on my dressing table.

You've all read me rave about Batiste time and time again.  They're my favourite dry shampoo brand and nothing quite matches up to them for me.  Simply spray at the roots, massage and brush through to transform your hair from looking lank and greasy to looking oil free and full of volume.

Wild is available exclusively at Boots for only £2.99 for a 200ml can which is great value for money.

I've tried almost all of the Batiste dry shampoos now.  Id love to try the Blonde one so that's on my list for the next time I'm in Boots!  I don't know if it will beat Wild or Brit for me though.  They really are my favourites.

What is your favourite Batiste fragrance?  Have you tried Wild yet? Do you love the packaging like I do?

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Add The Volume and Create The Shape with Guy Kremer

I love hair that's full of movement and body and volumised all day long, just like this:
Want to know how I inject a bit of life into my hair? Then read on!

As obvious as this sounds, I like a product that works, that does what it says on the tin and lives up to expectations... funny that isn't it?  As a salon brand, I was expecting a lot from the Guy Kremer range of hair styling products and they certainly didn't disappoint.
I have been using these two little gems since I was sent them back at the beginning of October.  I chose to review two products that are a type of product that I tend to use on a daily basis (or every other day, depending on when I've washed my hair).  These products were the Guy Kremer Add The Volume Body Booster Spray (200ml for £8.95) and the Perfect Hold Putty (75ml for £8.95).  I love it when professional, award winning hair dressers bring out salon quality products at an affordable price. Great packaging too- good quality and effective, no fuss design.
Add The Volume range... Body Booster Spray by Guy Kremer
I use this every time I've washed my hair and its fantastic.  Its a simple, no fuss product that really does what it says on the bottle- boosts body.  I simply spritz a generous amount into towel dried hair from the roots through the mid lengths to ends and blow dry with a round brush as I usually do.  This product gives much more volume than any other volumising spray that I have used and most importantly, the volume lasts into the next day; excellent! It gives a glossy finish without leaving a coating or residue on my hair, plus it doesn't make my hair greasy.  This is something that I always look for in a hair product as I have oily hair to begin with so I don't want to be adding to it!  Ive found that no matter how much of this I spray into my hair, it doesn't get greasy... Just volumised! 

Here's how I achieve a quick volumised look for during the day, perfect for work as it only takes ten minutes!

First I spritz the Body Booster Spray through towel dried hair and brush through...

I then blow dry my hair with a round brush (if this were for the evening I would section my hair rather than roughly dry it)...
I then straighten the ends and sometimes I also rub a little bit of the Guy Kremer Perfect Hold Putty through my palms and then smooth out the ends of my hair and lift and squeeze the mid lengths to ensure the body stays in my hair all day...

Create The Shape Perfect Hold Putty by Guy Kremer

This is very much a unisex product and both Michael and I have enjoyed using it since I received it.  This will last us AGES as a little goes a very long way and you don't need to reapply it through the day as it keeps .  Michael has enjoyed using this to sculpt his hair into a style when his hair is getting a little longer and he much prefers it to the gel he was using before.  It has a matte finish so gives him a his hair but better look.  I use the Perfect Hold Putty to scrunch my hair when it is curly or wavy, to smooth down the ends, to boost body and to mess up a choppy hair style or ponytail.

The only thing I'm not too keen on about this range is the smell.  The putty is quite nice but I'm not a fan of the Body Booster Spray.  Apparently its supposed to smell of lavender but I just think the scent is a little odd.  I truly think that this is just me though as every review I've read raves about the smell of the product.  I don't love it, but the majority of people do and it certainly wouldn't stop me from using it as its such a good product.

The Guy Kremer range of hair care products are available from his salon in Winchester and online here. I'm hoping the range becomes available in salons up and down the country too as I love walking into a shop, browsing products and treating myself there and then.

Have you tried any products from the Guy Kremer range? What are your favourite salon brands?

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Anastasia Beauty Express Kit

Want to transform your eyebrows from this.... to this?
Thought you would! I have just the product for you... Read on!


Anastasia Beverly Hills
Beauty Express kit

With so many beauty products on the market, its rare to come across a real gem that you can see yourself repurchasing time and time again; a product that far surpasses expectations and blows the competition out of the water.  For me, the Beauty Express Kit by Anastasia Beverly Hills is such a product.
The packaging of the compact is lovely and the layout of products is great as the powders don't run into each other or get stuck in the wax like some I've used in the past.  The large mirror makes application at home or away easy.
Comprising of brow wax cream, brow shadow duo and eyeshadow duo, an angled brush and eyebrow shape stencils, this kit gives you everything you need to give you perfectly defined eyebrows everyday.  I love mine so much, I've actually stopped getting my HD Brows treatment done.  The kit comes with best practice instructions and when I first got it I started by using it as directed, with one of the stencils to give me the shape I wanted.  I found it incredibly easy to use and quickly started filling in my eyebrows free hand and find that this works effectively as long as my eyebrows are plucked to a good shape, which I keep on top of regularly.

All of the products are high quality, even down to the brush and we all know how badly brushes usually are when it comes to makeup kits.  The Beauty Express doesn't disappoint.  I love the shadows, they are such a high quality, finely milled powder and the shimmer in the highlight is smooth, not gritty. 

I use the angled brush to apply the brow cream to my eyebrows first of all, then I blend the light and dark brow powders together with the same brush and gently apply to my eyebrows.  The brow wax is great because it gives the powder something to stick to.  I find that less is more when filling in your eyebrows; its best to apply a small amount of powder, then step back and look in the mirror and go back to apply some more powder, than to go full steam ahead and layer on thick dark eyebrows that look so unnatural.  After applying the brow powder, i use a little more brow wax cream to set my eyebrows and push any unruly hairs into place.  I then apply the matte eyeshadow shade all over my eyelid to even out the colour and then I apply the shimmery shade to my brow bone as a highlight and on the inner corner of my eye to give me that wide awake look.  When my eyebrows are defined and filled in, they really frame my face and I find that they bring out my other features too.

Take a look at my eyebrows before using the Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express...
And look at them after!

Obviously I got mine in blonde but there is also a brunette version for those with darker hair colours.  The two brow shadow colours give you the ability to blend a colour suited to your individual skin tone and hair colour.  I find that I make my eye brows defined during the day and defined but slightly darker for the evening when I tend to wear more eye make up.
I honestly cannot rave about this product enough, it really is fantastic. I've had more compliments on my eyebrows while Ive been using this than when I had my HD Brows done! Considering the average eyebrow wax is around £10 and I was paying £25 every 6 weeks for my HD Brows treatment, the cost of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express kit at around £26.86 ($39.50) is quite a saving as it will last me much longer. Don't get me wrong, I love HD Brows but I cannot pass up such fantastic value for money for such a high quality product.

Anastasia Beverly Hills products are very readily available from Sephora and Nordstrom in the USA however I have found some UK sellers too.  Nordstrom also now ship internationally and if you look on their website here you can shop in Euros and Sterling which is great for us in the UK.  You can also buy the Beauty Express kit through Shop Style.

Have you tried any Anastasia Beverly Hills products?  What do you use to tame your brows?  Are they preened to perfection or unruly?

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Falling For FOCCO

The bag that I am using at the moment is one that is causing quite a stir in the blogging/youtubing world and I'm sure you've seen it many, many times.  Its the studded bottom duffel bag known as the FOCCO.

The colour I have is referred to as grey but really its more of a mink/lilac-grey than a pure grey.  Its beautiful and the gold zips and studs on the bottom of the bag really compliment each other.  Its very comfortable to carry on my arm, can fit absolutely everything I need in and the material it is made out of is great quality.  It feels just as luxurious as the high end designer bags that I have and in comparison to something of a similar size, like my Louis Vuitton Speedy 35, it is actually much more of a joy to carry which I think is down to the supportive yet soft top handles.  It has two zips down one of the ends of the bag which creates a pocket that I tend to keep small, non valuable things in like tissues or my mittens.  Inside, the bag is pretty unstructured so you can fit lots inside but it keeps its structure because of the board at the bottom where the studs are.  This is helpful as the bag doesn't lose its shape completely when its empty.  There is a standard zip pocket, a mobile phone pouch and another larger pouch inside that I keep the obvious bits and pieces in.  I've had this about a month now and have used it every single day which is extremely unusual for me as I'm always changing between bags.

I first saw this on Laura's blog and absolutely loved it.  The style, the detailing, its just gorgeous.  It wasn't until I heard other bloggers and youtubers like Gemma talking about it that I realised it was actually a take on a bag by Alexander Wang called the Rocco which I saw in Selfridges this week when shopping in Manchester.  They had the new season versions in store and I absolutely fell in love with a white tote, again with the gold studs but with a strap that allows it to be worn across the body.  I'm hoping to get it when I return to Manchester closer to Christmas as it will be perfect for snowy winter days and it will look amazing next summer.  White, gold and black are my summer staple outfit colours.  Classy, summery and glamorous.

I bought my bag on Ebay for just under £30 from this seller and I found it by typing in 'celebrity style studded bag'.  There are other colours available too- black, white and brown although I cant testify for those as I must admit the grey bag I received is a completely different colour to how it looks online (i love it more!).  The seller I used was fantastic, I can completely recommend them as their service was excellent and my bag arrived within a matter of days.  The seller is actually doing the same bags but with the strap to go on your shoulder or across your body now too, similar to the one I want from Selfridges.

My Take On Fake

I'm not a fan of fake bags in the slightest, although I can see why people buy them as there's so much pressure to have the 'in' bag and most girls want the designer look regardless of their budget.  I think the way I see it is that all fashion on the highstreet is influenced from the catwalk.  The high end designers create pieces, display them and the style then filters down in some form to the highstreet.   With this in mind, I think a bag like the FOCCO that is a similar style to the designer counterpart is ok for me (in the same way that you can buy a bag in River Island that is influenced by a particular designer) but the direct copies of the designer bags with labels and such are a no no for me, personally.  Case in point; Chloe Paddington, Chanel Jumbo, Fendi Spy, Marc Jacobs quilted styles and don't get me started on the Louis Vuitton rip offs you see in every shop when on holiday in Turkey.  They're often tacky, poor quality and so blatantly fake.  I would rather save my money and put it towards a good quality high street bag or save up for a designer one than waste it on a rip off that is trying so hard to look like the original that it manages to look a million miles off! This is why I love this bag- its great quality, stylish and isn't a direct copy of the ROCCO. It is in the same style but it doesn't have any writing on it saying Alexander Wang or have the same design features inside as the ROCCO.  As we say up North, its LUSH!

Have you bought one of these bags?  Did you know about the Rocco before seeing the Focco? (or am I just walking around with my head in the clouds again?!) What bag are you using at the moment?  Fancy a whats in my bag post anyone?

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

WhatLauraWore: Wedding Planning and Update

Evening All
I've had a really busy and exciting couple of weeks, despite being poorly.  I went to see Britney Spears in concert in Newcastle last Thursday and she retweeted and replied to my tweet afterwards and she is now following me. OH EM EFFING GEE.  My life is actually complete.  Like a true Britney fan, I then went to see her in Manchester on Sunday night as well, with my friend Vicky.  If anyone is planning a trip to Manchester or going to the MEN Arena then I would really recommend staying at the new Travelodge that's just opened there.  Its called the Manchester Central Arena Travelodge and its literally 2 minutes walk from the arena and 5 minutes from Harvey Nichols.  FANASTIC location, plus its mega cheap.  We had planned on booking the Lowry as I have stayed there in the past when visiting the city but in all honesty we got a room at about a fifth of the price and because of the great location, we saved a fortune on taxis.  We went shopping the day after the concert and it was so nice to treat myself.  Got some beautiful clothes in my favourite shop Yours Clothing and got some gorgeous accessories in River Island as well as some other bits and pieces.  If you get the opportunity to go shopping in Manchester then I would, the Arndale Centre is fab.

In other news, Michael and I have been doing some more wedding planning.  We went to a good friends wedding at the end of last month and it really inspired us to crack on with the planning.  The date we've booked is two years away but I'm sure it will fly by and we need to start booking things now so that we get the companies we want at the price we want!  In today's outfit post, I thought I would show you the outfit I wore when we went to a wedding fayre recently.  It was a really successful outing as we found both our wedding photographer and potential cake maker there- result!

WhatLauraWore:
Grey Fair Isle Dress Evans Evans
Black ankle length leggings from Evans
Grey stud boots from Primark
Studded Bag from Ebay
Black Mac from Evans
Bracelets from a selection at Nomination, Links of London, Pandora, Malatan and Primark
Earrings from Primark
Pink diamante beanie hat from River Island


I love this jumper dress, its so warm and the design is lovely.  Not the best fit on me and I'm not a lover of the round neck but it is so comfortable.  Perfect for those winter days when you need an extra bit of warmth but don't want to wear long sleeves.  Evans have some great knitwear and coats in stock this winter, I'm really really impressed.  The bag I am carrying is the bloggers infamous studded FOCCO.  I'm going to be doing another post about this bag this week so hold you horses :)
Its not even 8pm and I'm actually contemplating going to bed early for once. I'm exhausted and have been poorly for two weeks now.  It all started when I got my flu jab, ironic I know.  I had it on the 21st and the next day I woke up with ear ache and I've been poorly ever since.  Eventually went to the walk in doctors in Manchester on Monday and was told that I have a viral infection... but that they couldn't give me anything to treat it.  Awesome... my own doctors tomorrow it is then!

Also: Ive entered this plus size blogging competition.  I was a little late getting involved so every vote really counts now... Please vote for me here: http://100percentpeople.com/plus-size-awards-2011/plus-size-fashion-blog/ and tweet about it if you can xxxx
Anyway, that's enough from me this evening.  Hope you're all well and not suffering from cold symptoms like me!

What winter outfits have you been wearing recently? Are you planning any big events like me?  Have any of you been poorly after having the flu jab?

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Klorane Giveaway WINNER

And the winner is...
MAXINE CASSIDY

Well done Maxine.  I have emailed you to get your details :)

The winner was chosen at random using random.org
Hope you're all well.  New posts coming soon :)