Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Batiste Lace

£2.99 for 200ml
As soon as a new Batiste dry shampoo is released, I jump at the chance to try it as I swear by dry shampoo and love to use it to keep my greasy hair looking fresh and volumised.  The latest release from Batiste is the seductive and elegant Lace.  The fragrance is gorgeous, like a very light perfume and not heavy or sickly sweet like some of the earlier Batiste scents.  Batiste are improving with each release and I find it so hard to choose between them now.  Ever since they released the Brit fragrance the dry shampoos that have followed have just got better and better, I love them!  Lace dry shampoo will be perfect for the summer.  I'm going to be taking a can away with me camping and it would make the ideal addition to a toiletry bag for a festival.

Lace and the other Batiste dry shampoos are available from Boots, Superdrug, pharmacies and supermarkets for £2.99 for a 200ml can.


Monday, 28 May 2012

WhatLauraWore: Feeling Blue

This weekend, I opted for a more vibrant outfit filled with blue hues.  I love this dress, it looks great, particularly with blonde hair.  The dress I wore was from Yours Clothing AGES ago and I still love it just as much as when I first got it.  I'm not usually a fan of blue makeup, it isn't a colour I'd usually wear on my eyes but I feel as though it went well with the dress.  What do you all think?

Dress from Yours Clothing
Jewelled sandals from Dune
Silver clutch bag from a designer in Fenwicks
Bangles from Red Herring, New Look and Evans
Bracelets from Guess and Tiffany & Co.
Earrings from New Look

How have you been spending these hot summer  days?

Sunday, 27 May 2012

WhatLauraDid: Week 22

My best friend and I
Summer is FINALLY here!! I have thoroughly enjoyed the sunshine all week and I am now sporting the beginnings of a pretty nice tan.  I've got lots of sun tan and summer holiday posts coming up in the next couple of weeks as I get excited for my holidays and the summer months in general.  If there's anything in particular that you'd like me to post about then please let me know.  Other than enjoying the sunshine, I've had some great nights out with friends over the last couple of days.  The sun really makes nights out just that little bit more enjoyable.  I've also exercised like a trooper this week; I have been swimming every day, been to the gym and enjoyed Bokwa and Zumba classes a few times too.

I saw a convo going on on Twitter tonight about blogs posting personal information and a debate as to whether a blog has to have lots of personal, real life information in order for it to be successful.  This got me thinking and I thought I'd stick my two pence worth in.  I do like reading blogs where the writer includes bits of their everyday life however I don't read lifestyle blogs, I read beauty blogs so I like the focus to me on just that, beauty.  For my own blog, I must admit, I don't like writing too much about my personal life.  In the early days I would include much more about my personal life than I do now.  There's a very fine line between sharing too little information and too much and if I'm honest, I'd rather sit on the sharing too little side of the fence.  Its not that I don't want to share things with my readers, I just think that there has got to be some things that I keep just for me, what I'm writing is going out on the world wide web after all!  I think some form of self disclosure is important inorder to personalise a blog and occasionally I share photos and anecdotes of my friends, my partner and what I've been up to but I air on the less is more side, after all this is a beauty and fashion blog, not lifestyle.  I've had instances in the past where people have tried to add me, my partner and friends on our personal Facebook accounts which although is very endearing, I have chosen to put myself out there on the internet, my friends haven't and I think that they should be afforded the same choice... I hope that makes sense!  So please don't feel annoyed if I don't accept a friend request, it isn't anything personal at all, I just talk about work and my day to day life where I live on Facebook and I want to keep that private.  However I do think that keeping my personal life private does leave me open to criticism... I'm sure regular readers will remember the uproar caused when someone accused me of only being interested in looks and as though I do nothing else worthwhile with my life.  They couldn't be more wrong but I can see why they formed that opinion of me as I choose not to talk about my career, education and voluntary work on here as it isn't safe to do so and I don't need to as it doesn't fit in with the theme of my website.  What do you guys think? Would you prefer it if I talked more about my personal life?  I hope all of that makes sense, I don't want to sound like a pompous numpty!
This week on WhatLauraLoves, I blogged about a gorgeous summer dress and Barbie pink clutch bag, my hair saving hair brush the Tangle Teezer and I posted my first bargain beauty post reviewing Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder.
What have you all been up to this week?

Friday, 25 May 2012

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

I recently tweeted asking if any of you would benefit from some budget beauty posts and lots of you said you would, so here is the first; the review of the face powder I'm wearing at the moment.

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder
in 005 Silky Beige
Available for around £3.99 in pharmacies & supermarkets
I use a big fluffy brush to apply a sweep of this powder to my face to set my foundation.  It provides a very matte look and keeps my face shine free all day which I love.  It copes really well under heat and lights so it is perfect for use on a night out.  Its also looks lovely when applied without any foundation underneath for a natural, barely-there daytime look.  The powder itself isn't very finely milled and I find that it has to be applied using a light hand otherwise you can run the risk of it looking too heavy and cakey, once you've got the hang of this though, it can work very well in your favour and really help to create that flawless look.  This is a great option if you're on a budget and have oily skin.  One thing I must say about the Rimmel powder is that the shade selection is terrible; perfect if you have very light skin but if you're tanned you have no chance with this powder which I think is a shame as many are missing out and they really should have some darker selections; believe it or not the one I have above is the second darkest and I certainly couldn't wear it when tanned and I'm pale skinned to begin with!

Before using this powder I was using the Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Pressed Powder which I had repurchased a couple of times and before that, the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Powder.  Out of the three, I much prefer the Collection 2000 as it is fantastic quality and works exceptionally well but I'll keep my thoughts for my review.  I'll be repurchasing it once this Rimmel one has ran out!


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Tangle Teezer

Tangle Teezer Original in Disco Purple
As far as hair goes, mine isn't too bad, it isn't the long flowing thick locks that I dream of but it is relatively manageable... except for the tangles.  My hair is highlighted and low lighted and thin hair but I have a lot of it and it is a nightmare to brush when wet as the ends get knotted and the root is just not as easy to manipulate and comb through as I would like.  As for when my hair is dry, it is pretty much ok, except for the underneath of my hair that can get knotted and tangled if I haven't straightened my hair and just left it au naturale after washing.  If I wash, add product and blow dry my hair, I hardly notice many problems after the initial wash but I just don't have time to style my hair in this way everyday.  I needed a tool to help as other brushes just damage my hair by pulling at it and snapping it...

I've been using a Tangle Teezer for the last year now and I have recently repurchased an additional one to keep in my gym bag for when I'm dashing out of the shower to get to work and need a quick fix for my hair and for when I've been swimming as my hair is so difficult to get a comb or brush through after I've been in the pool.  I haven't reviewed the Tangle Teezer on my blog before but thought that since I'd repurchased another I better get round to reviewing it as surely the true testament of the love for a product is in the repurchasing?

A Tangle Teezer is a professional detangling hairbrush that is used in hair salons and loved by professional hair dressers.  It has a unique design that fits snugly in the palm of your hand making it really easy to use and the little different sized teeth of the brush are designed to flex and flick through hair without pulling or yanking it.  The design of the Tangle Teezer is supposed to be quite massaging for the scalp too although I don't brush my hair for long enough to feel that benefit!  What I have found is that whenever I brush my hair using the Tangle Teezer, it glides through my hair and doesn't get caught in any tangles.  It gets rid of any knots and tangles that I have without hurting, snapping, breaking and splitting my hair which is what has been the case with other brushes I've used in the past.  Strangely enough, when I brush my hair with the Tangle Teezer after a bath, my hair doesn't retain the water that it used to so it dries quicker too.  It really is brilliant, particularly for use when hair is wet and especially after swimming!  It is perfect for fragile, fine or colour treated hair and great for  those who wear bonded extensions.

These retail for £10.20, I got mine a little cheaper as I bought it from the salon supply shop using my trade card but you can search online for some great deals.

Oh and another thing I love about the Tangle Teezer is that it was originally snubbed on Dragons Den as being a product that wouldn't sell.  How wrong were they!

Have you tried a Tangle Teezer?  What are your thoughts?

Monday, 21 May 2012

WhatLauraWore: Barbie Pink Clutch

Evening All

Tonight I thought I'd share with you an outfit I wore recently to a party at my friends house.  I absolutely love this dress, I bought it from Simply Be for my summer holiday a couple of years ago and have only worn it a handful of times, I'm gutted that it is not going to fit for too much longer so I intend to get my use out of it now... if the weather gets a bit warmer!!  Simply Be always sell gorgeous dresses and beach cover ups.  They aren't the cheapest but they're certainly good quality, wash really well and have timeless designs.  A big thumbs up from me!

Dress from Simply Be
Flip flops from Jack Wills
Pink bow clutch from Glam by Caprice
Earrings from New Look
Bangles from New Look and Primark
Rose gold watch from DKNY

Do you prefer fast fashion or good quality pieces that last through a few summer seasons?

Sunday, 20 May 2012

WhatLauraDid: Week 21

Some Instagramed snaps from London... follow me 'whatlauraloves'
This week, I had all the intentions of blogging LOADS, that was until I got a call on Tuesday to let me know that I'd won a competition for me and a friend to go down to London to see Ghost the musical at the Piccadilly Theatre. OH EM GEE, I couldn't believe it as I rarely win anything.  Luckily Friday was my day off work so I was fine to go although I was working on Saturday but like any girl who is game for a good time, I didn't let that stop me.  I took my future bridesmaid Jaymee with me and we managed to get a coach there and back (albeit leaving very early in the morning and departing London VERY late at night) for £30 each... as opposed to £500 and odd between us on the train.  Needless to say, we were well up for the road trip and on it like a tramp on chips.  We had a fabulous time.  As part of the competition prize I got a Nazila Nail Glitz manicure and we both were treated to cocktails and a goodie bag which contained some fab bits like eyelashes and the cast soundtrack CD.  Ghost has to be the best musical I've seen.  I've never watched the film before so I didn't know what to expect but the storyline was so easy to follow, the songs were brilliant and the chemistry between the characters was so believable.  What I thought was the most amazing aspect of the whole show was how clever it was, you'd have to see it to understand what I mean but some parts were literally magical and would give any illusion and magic performer a run for their money!

Phew, after all of that excitement... Here's the posts from this week: a WhatLauraWore outfit post with a very ballerina hair and makeup look, and a review of the WEN Cucumber Aloe hair care range by Chaz Dean.

As for tonight, I'm going to finish off watching TOWIE then get to bed.  I'm starting work at half 9 all this week so I'm determined to fit a session in at the gym and swimming pool before work... Alarm is set for 6am!

Hope you've all had a great week and looking forward to the next.  Stay beautiful <3

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Wen Cucumber Aloe Haircare Range by Chaz Dean

Over the last few months I've been trying out the Cucumber Aloe range of haircare products from Wen by Chaz Dean.  I received the Cleansing Conditioner, the Re Moist Intensive Hair Treatment, Texture Balm and the Styling Creme to try out.

Wen by Chaz Dean Cucumber Aloe Range

The Cucumber Aloe range is a selection of natural conditioning and styling products that smell very fresh and clean.

Cleansing Conditioner

The stand out product from this range for me is the Cleansing Conditioner which can be used both as an intensive conditioning treatment and as a leave in conditioner, both methods give great results.  I use this to deeply condition my hair when I am in the bath, after shampooing, I apply 10-15 pumps of the conditioner to my whole head of hair and massage it in.  The conditioner doesn't lather up as it is free from any detergents and sodium laurel sulphates but is still so easy to work with, unlike other products I've tried that don't lather.  Obviously it's a good thing as it shows that the ingredients are natural and don't contain harsh chemicals but usually I don't like products that are lather free, except this!  Anyway, I digress; I then comb through the conditioner with a wide tooth comb and leave it for about ten minutes before washing it out.  It leaves my hair so incredibly soft without weighing it down.  My favourite way to use this product is as a leave in conditioner.  I have greasy hair so I only ever apply two pumps of product to the mid lengths and ends of my hair after washing and towel drying and then leave my hair to dry naturally.  It leaves it so soft, very easy to manage and frizz free.  I was really surprised at how this conditioner worked with my greasy hair, it didn't make it more oily at all and provided a natural, healthy shine.  If you've got fine hair and an oily scalp like me then I would definitely recommend this conditioner.  It retails for £24.95.  Oh and it works really well on my Foxy Locks hair extensions too.

Re Moist Intensive Hair Treatment

Another that I have been trying from the range is the Re Moist Intensive Hair Treatment.  I've been using this three times a week in the run up to getting my hair cut and I do think that it has helping my hair to look more slick as it has become quite dry and frizzy on the ends with it being so desperate for a cut.  I've been applying this to my hair after shampooing and leaving it on for around 15 minutes before washing it out which is quite difficult as it is so thick.  I actually tried leaving it on overnight and washing it out the next day which worked really well too.  It helped to give my hair lots of body, particularly when blow dried straight after use rather than being left to dry naturally, and it was great at smoothing the ends of my hair.  The one thing that I don't like about it though is how oily it feels.  It is very thick and oily and really stuck to my hair which I didn't enjoy and for that reason, I'll not be repurchasing it.  This hair treatment retails for £26.95.

Texture Balm and Styling Creme

The styling products that I received were the Texture Balm (£11.95) and the Styling Creme (£16.95).  Mr WLL has been using the Texture Balm to style his hair and I have used it to add some texture to my hair when it is curled or waved.  This is our least favourite product from the range as it made our hair greasy, didn't provide any hold or texture, it weighed it down more than anything.  However the Styling Creme was a product I did enjoy using, as I found that it if I ran this through the mid lengths to ends of my hair when it was towel dried and then blow dried my hair then it would leave it soft, frizz free and really healthy looking.

All of these hair products are available from the Wen website.

Have you tried any Wen products?  What is your favourite natural hair care range?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

WhatLauraWore: Feather and Fur

Evening All

Just a quick casual outfit of the day post that I wore to catch up with the girls for lunchtime drinks last week.  I'm gutted about this tunic, I bought it at the end of last year, wore it once on a trip to Bruges and now it just swamps me!  I do feel as though it looks much better in real life but in photographs you cant see the shape to it or where the different sections of the material are!  Alas, another top for the Ebay pile!

I'm loving wearing my hair scraped back in a bun lately, it's so quick and easy to create and it's great to team with simple, pretty pink makeup.  Very ballerina-esq.

Feather tunic from Yours Clothing
Black leggings from Simply Be
Gold pumps from Dorothy Perkins
Fur bag from River Island
Knotted rope bracelet from Evans
Rose gold watch by DKNY

I'm so excited as I found out that I've won tickets to see Ghost on Friday night at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.  I'm taking one of my really good friends Jaymee.  We're both watching our pennies at the moment so we've opted to get the coach down to London... leaving at half 6 on Friday and getting the coach back after the show, arriving at half 6 the following morning... its going to be a LONG day.  I'm so undecided as to what outfit to wear as I'll not have anywhere to change so will have to wear the same outfit all day. Hmm... comfort vs. style!

Have any of you seen Ghost?  Whats your favourite musical?

Sunday, 13 May 2012

WhatLauraDid: Week 20

Me and my Daddy
I haven't got much to report on WhatLauraLoves this week, there's been no exciting blog related happenings I'm afraid.  However there has been some pretty good posts, even if I do say so myself.

I started off the week with the low down on the VIP store opening of Simply Be in the Metro Centre, then I blogged about the one product that's been keeping my hair in great condition, Argan Oil.  Speaking of oil, I also blogged about a facial serum from Decleor that I've been using for years, the Aromessence Rose D'Orient.

Perhaps the post I'm most proud of this week is the WhatLauraWore post where I wore a leopard print maxi dress that I bought in the Yours Clothing sale last summer.  I hadn't worn it since last August and it was only when I started writing my post, and had intend to talk about how something that was purchased the summer season before could be just as wearable now, that I realised how much I have changed since then.  I was pretty shocked, I look totally different.  Yes there's the weight loss, but not THAT much or not just that rather, just everything about me seems different.  Perhaps I'm just at a different point in my life now.  Either way, any constructive writing went out of the window!

Hope you're all well and looking forward to the week ahead.  Let me know what you're up to as my week seems pretty boring!


Decleor Aromessence Rose D'Orient Soothing Serum

This is the last facial serum that I've got to review for you all for the time being; the Decleor Aromessence Rose D'Orient which, for the last few years, has been my go to facial serum.

Decleor Aromessence Rose D'Orient
I first tried this facial serum easily about four years ago after I mistakenly used the Clinique 3 Step System on my youthful skin.  Namely the second step in the system, the clarifying lotion, caused the most problems as it acted like paint stripper on my face and my skin became broken, swollen and very sore, perhaps it contains a lot of alcohol, I don't know but either way it wasn't a pleasant experience.  I needed something ultra soothing, something that would deeply and gently nourish my skin and restore it to its former radiance. This was it.

The Decleor Aromessence Rose D'Orient Soothing Serum is a lightweight, non greasy elixir of completely pure and natural essential oils like Roman Chamomile, Neroli, Damask Rose, Petit Grain and Blackcurrant Seed.  The oil itself is perfect for daily use, I've used this morning and night over the years and it blends perfectly with whatever skincare routine and products I have adopted at the time.  I apply three drops using my fingertips, I lightly sweep the serum across my face and press at different points on my face, using guidance from the Decleor Acupressure method (if any of you have had a Decleor facial then you'll know what I mean!).  I do this after cleansing and toning but before my day/night cream.  After the initial horror that my skin faced after the Clinique Clarifying Lotion, I started using the Aromessence Rose D'Orient and found that it was really gentle and helped to soothe my skin back to normal.  It didn't irritate the broken areas and I honestly think that it was this oil that helped to nurse my sore skin.  A few weeks on and to date, my skin is supple, smooth and soft whenever I use this.  My skin isn't clogged or full of excess oil.  This product really makes my skin the best it can be.  I would recommend it to those who have sensitive skin as it is full of natural goodness that wont irritate your skin.  It is a great way to try a product that is slightly scented for that spa like feel, without the fear of it breaking you out!

This product takes a seriously long time to use up, as such, the packaging has changed since I last bought mine.  It is available for £44 for a 15ml bottle from Decleor.co.uk.

Other serums I've reviewed include my personal favourite; the Manuka Doctor Apiclear Skin Treatment Serum which is perfect for blemish prone skin or for skin with fine lines as it is dubbed the 'bee botox', Avene's Eau Thermale Soothing Hydrating Serum which is perfect for sensitive, irritated or reactive skin, Dr Organic's Organic Rose Otto Facial Serum which is a great option for those looking for an organic solution to skincare and the Trilogy Age Proof CoQ10 Booster Serum which is perfect for those who are conscious of premature skin ageing.

Have you tried any serums? What is your fave?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

WhatLauraWore: Still Loving Leopard Print

If you're a regular reader of WhatLauraLoves then you'll know that in this post I talked about wanting to get out all of my dresses from last summer and start to wear them again before they stop fitting the way they should.  That's why when going for drinks over the Bank Holiday weekend, I opted to wear this light leopard print maxi dress from Yours Clothing that I last wore back in August last year and I love it even more now than I did then.  It wasn't until I actually clicked onto the WhatLauraWore outfit post from back then that I realised just how I've much I've changed.  Crazy!

Leopard print maxi dress from Yours Clothing
Leopard print sandals from New Look
Bracelets from New Look and Primark
Earrings by Roam Jewellery
Monogram Sarah Wallet by Louis Vuitton

Whilst this dress was purchased last summer, I think it is just as current now.  Leopard print is always in and you can't go wrong with a maxi dress like this in the summer.  For cooler evenings or for those who aren't a fan of their arms, try accessorising with a little black shrug or a pashmina over your shoulders.

Do you ever see old photos of yourself and reflect on how much you've changed?  Do you wear last seasons clothes or always opt for outfits that are in the shops now?

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Argan Oil- My Top Hair Care Product!

Miaflora Argan Oil from Holland and Barrett, £12.99
One thing I always get asked about on Twitter and on my blog is about my hair; how I style it and the products I use.  Today I thought I'd share with you one of my favourite hair care products, moroccan Argan Oil from Miaflora.

From the outset, it is worth noting that, for the most part, i have very oily hair, with my roots, understandably, being my most problem area.  However my hair is in desperate need of a trim of late and as such the ends of my hair have become dry and frizzy.  This is something that has particularly concerned me as I've never had dry or frizzy hair before and I cannot wait to get it cut next week.  It has been a great time to road test this hair oil over the last few months as I've used it when my hair was newly cut and when it was in need of a little more TLC and I'm pleased to say that I am very impressed.

Argan Oil derives from the kernals of the Argan tree , commonly found in Morrocco and has fantastic nourishing properties that are perfect for protecting and nourishing the hair, skin and nails; as such, a bottle of organic Argan Oil like this one from Miaflora has a multitude of uses.

The most effective use of this argan oil has been on my hair.  I've used it both when my hair is towel dried and left to dry naturally and before blow drying, on my hair extensions and on my hair once it is dry to help to give it some shine and to smooth any split or fly away ends.  I'm so impressed with this hair oil, it works incredibly well and leaves both my hair and my extensions feeling so soft, shiny (in a healthy, not greasy way) and smooth.  It helps to give hair that sleek look and will literally be a life saver for those with dry or frizzy hair as it makes hair so easy to style.  To apply, I dispense the argan oil (half a pipette for my own hair, a full measure if I'm wearing my extensions) into the palm of one of my hands, rub them together and then run my fingers through the mid lengths to the ends.

Argan Oil can also be used as a daily moisturiser for the face and body, particularly on dry areas like elbows and knees.  I personally found that it was a little too heavy to use on my face as my skin is very oily but it worked wonders on my elbows.  I've also used it on my cuticles too.  Although I must admit, I have only tried it on my skin to see what it is like and I wont keep using it in this way.  I have an abundance of products to use on my skin already and I like to save this for my hair as it works wonders.

I've tried a few different hair oils since they became really popular last year but this has to be my favourite, I even prefer it to Moroccanoil as it is lighter in consistency so there isn't as much danger of leaving my hair greasy if I get a little too product happy, whilst still making it just as soft.  I'd recommend this Argan Oil over the Moroccanoil any day and it is much more affordable too at only £12.99 from Holland and Barrett.  I haven't tried it but I've heard that this Argan Oil makes a good bath oil too, although I can't see it being a very cost effective use!

Have you used a hair oil before? What is your favourite?

Monday, 7 May 2012

Simply Be Metro Centre VIP Store Opening

This time last week I was getting ready to go to the VIP store opening of Simply Be in the Metro Centre, Gateshead accompanied by my gorgeous friend Ray.  Whilst I have been to three Simply Be store openings in the past, for me, this is the store opening that I was most looking forward to as it is the closest one to where I live and given the choice, the Metro Centre is my go to place for shopping.  It is open late, all indoors with free parking and has the widest choice of shops around; it ticks all the boxes.  I often write about the store openings that I have been to but this one more so as I'm so passionate about the new Simply Be store, which is dual fronted with Jacamo, the fashionable clothing store for big and tall men, and I know that they will do wonders for plus size fashion in the North East.
Simply Be VIP Store Opening, photos courtesy of Simply Be
Opening a store in the Metro Centre is a stroke of genius for Simply Be and even more so for Jacamo as there is nothing comparable there to compete with.  Up until recently, my dad was too large to be able to shop in straight sized stores and there was absolutely no point in him going shopping in the Metro Centre as there was no shops at all that would cater to him.  Instead he'd have to travel to Newcastle, pay a small fortune to park and could only shop in two stores; Jonathan Charles and High and Mighty which both offer very nice clothes but at incredibly high prices.  Jacamo offers affordable fast fashion and quality clothing for large and tall men and could not be more welcome in the North East.  For women, the Metro Centre has Ann Harvey which caters for the more mature plus size lady and Evans which is heading that way too after moving the majority of their trendy, fast fashion clothing to Style369.com which is aimed at the younger shopper.  There is also the Inspire range New Look which does offer a good selection but the sizes are limited and the range is shoved out of the way, in an embarrassing crammed corner upstairs.  There is nothing about the Inspire range in New Look in the Metro Centre that makes shopping an enjoyable experience and it is always hit or miss as to whether you will find something to suit you.
Photos courtesy of Ray
Simply Be have been around for years and their clothes have always been a firm favourite of mine, however I hate shopping online for clothes as I find it hard to buy something without trying it on in a couple of different sizes first.  In years gone by I would tend to complete a big online order to Simply Be just before I go on holiday for my swimwear and holiday clothes but other than that I rarely order from their website, as I like to be able to go shopping a couple of days before an event or a night out, try on lots of dresses, etc and pick up my outfit and find accessories there and then.  This is why I am so passionate about the Simply Be stores and I am so excited to be able to just drive to the Metro Centre and find a great outfit for every occasion... which I already have done when I bought this dress the day before the VIP opening.
Everything about the new Simply Be store makes it a joy to go shopping, a true experience that makes you feel proud to be curvy rather than ashamed.  I love the design of the store, it is roomy but with a fantastic selection of clothes and the store staff are only too happy to help.  The store has so much to choose from, there is an outfit to suit every woman regardless of size, age, style and for every occasion. They have a great selection of every range from Joe Browns to Grazia and LOADS of swimwear, underwear and shoes.  All of the store staff that I spoke to were so knowledgeable about the store, the brands, sizing and plus size fashion.  Like with the other Simply Be stores, the store boasts glamorous changing rooms with the infamous Magic Mirror that takes four photos of you in your Simply Be outfit so that you can see exactly how gorgeous you look, and allows you to Tweet, Facebook, email and print it.
Photos courtesy of Simply Be
The store opening itself was a huge success with the gorgeous dramality TV star Gemma Collins from The Only Way Is Essex cutting the ribbon.  Champagne, canapes and music was in full swing all night and it was lovely to catch up with the Simply Be PR girls, store staff, bloggers and blog readers and of course, meeting the lovely Gemma Collins and Abi Hill, the face of Simply Be.  I was quite over whelmed by the support for WhatLauraLoves on the night and it was lovely to meet so many people, thank you all for coming to chat to me and tweeting me afterwards.

Have you been to any of the Simply Be store openings?  Which is your favourite store?  Have you had your photo taken in front of the Magic Mirror yet?

Sunday, 6 May 2012

WhatLauraDid: Week 19

The past seven days have been crazy for me.  The highlight of my week was meeting Gemma Collins from The Only Way Is Essex on Wednesday night at the VIP opening of the new Simply Be store in the Metro Centre.  Shes lush; so pretty, very friendly and bubbly and just as lovely in real life as she comes across in TOWIE.  I think that's so refreshing as when you meet someone famous you always run the risk of being disappointed as when you see someone on TV you expect them to be a certain way and when you actually meet them, sometimes it can be a bit of a let down if they are different to how you'd imagined.  I can honestly say that Gemma is exactly the same as she is on TOWIE, very humble, glamorous and such a lovely person.  I love her style and cannot wait for her collection to be released.

This week on WhatLauraLoves I finally reviewed my favourite fake tan of all time, Fake Bake Airbrush, and I also tried out the Fake Bake Original lotion too this week which I will review for you all if you would like to read it?  Surprisingly, I only featured one skincare product this week, the Dr Organic Manuka Honey Skin Lotion which I absolutely adore, mainly because it smells delicious and is great for dry skin conditions like psoriasis.

WhatLauraWore fashion posts this week came in the form of an evening outfit and a casual but colourful daytime outfit.  Of course I posted about the dress that I wore to the Simply Be Opening, it was actually the dress that Gemma Collins wore on TOWIE last week and I also posted a casual coral outfit.  I'm loving coral hues at the moment.  So feminine and pretty.  Speaking of feminine and pretty, after I posted my girlie makeup look post a few of you asked for me to review the YSL Touche Blush in Rose which I did this week, although I can't say I'm a massive fan of it!

Oh and if you're game for a laugh then check out the vlog that I recorded at Aintree Ladies Day.  My commentary is perhaps not the most professional you'll have ever heard!
This long weekend has done me the world of good as I've been able to schedule lots of posts for next week; store openings, WhatLauraWore outfits and product reviews.  Theres lots coming up on WhatLauraLoves but as always, if there's anything specific that you would like to see then do let me know.


Saturday, 5 May 2012

WhatLauraWore: Winter in Springtime

Last week, I'd been looking forward to Sunday, my day off, all week.  I'd planned a trip to Crook Hall and Gardens for Mr WLL's and I and although it was freezing when we got up, we persevered, wrapped up and off we went.  However en route, the heavens opened so we took a de tour and went to a country house estate for tea instead, determined not to let the miserable weather spoil our day.  I'm sick of the weather in Britain at the moment.  It is supposed to be spring yet it feels more like winter!

Alas, here is the outfit I wore.  I tried to keep it springtime bright despite it being freezing cold.

Love jumper from Evans
White gilet from Evans
Coral leggings from Inspire at New Look
Pearl and diamante bow ballet pumps from New Look
Coral bobble hat from River Island
Smile fingerless gloves from River Island
Bracelets from Next
Pearl love necklace from Primark
Rose gold watch from DKNY

What have you been up to in this awful weather?  Had many duvet days?

Friday, 4 May 2012

YSL Touche Blush in Rose

When I first blogged about the YSL Touche Blush in my flirty and girlie makeup look post, a few of you asked me to review it for you.  Well, your wish is my command...

YSL Touche Blush in Rose

First of all, I must say that I think the packaging is ingenious, it's a great innovative design of product, applicator and mirror that is great for on the go touch ups but that, sadly, is where my love for this product ends.  The powder itself is very fine but it is dispensed in little sparkly blobs and since it has virtually no pigmentation, it is practically useless.  In the actual pot, the colour of the blush is gorgeous; a light, slightly dusky rose pink with a hint of sparkle.  It does leave a very faint pretty sheen/sparkle on the skin but nothing that is particularly noticeable or gives a flush of colour; I couldn't use this alone as a blush.  I'm trying to use this up at the moment and have been wearing it over Well Dressed or Dame blush by MAC.

To apply this blush, I smile and then pat it onto my cheek bones and stroke it on my cheek out towards my hair line.  It takes an absolute age to build up.  I'm actually really tempted to just pull the sponge part off and get my brush in there... hmm.

I actually expected a lot more from YSL with this blush and for the £29 price tag, I certainly don't think it was money well spent.  If you're looking for a blusher from YSL, might I suggest the YSL Blush radiance in shades 04, 06 and 02 which are fantastic for daytime wear and combine four shades to give you a natural look.  They're very similar to the Givenchy Le Prisme Blush quads, although I've only tried the shade no1 which is a typical mixture of pink hues, so I can't really comment on the rest of the shade range as a whole.

Have you tried this blush? What are your favourite products from YSL?

Thursday, 3 May 2012

WhatLauraVlogged: Ladies Day At Aintree

I went to Ladies Day at Aintree recently with my friend Clare and I filmed a fairly short vlog with some very unprofessional commentary; I do believe 'giddy up horsey' was used at one point.  Tonight I thought I'd share it with you all on here.  I had intended to post about the Simply Be store opening this evening but ended up going for an early evening trip to the spa near me instead as I've been so exhausted lately and really needed to unwind and relax.  I had an Elemis Exotic Coconut Rub and Milk Ritual Wrap and a Serenity Wellbeing Massage which was heavenly.  A good massage always helps me to feel revived and at ease.

Anyway, I digress, if you would like to see what I wore and where I bought everything from, check out my WhatLauraWore post here.  Other than that, I hope you enjoy the video!

It goes without saying that if you won money for choosing the losing horse I'd be a millionaire by now.  Alas, it was a giggle!

Stay beautiful <3


Wednesday, 2 May 2012

WhatLauraWore: Gemma's TOWIE Dress

Tonight I went to the VIP store opening of the new Simply Be store in the Metro Centre, Gateshead.  What a night!  I'll fill you all in on the event tomorrow but for now I'll leave you with some snaps of the outfit I wore.  The dress I chose to wear is the Beaded Fit and Flare Tea Dress by Rise at Simply Be which the gorgeous Gemma Collins actually wore on The Only Way Is Essex recently.  I received so many compliments while wearing this dress and I spotted quite a few women taking it into the changing room to try on, so it is definitely a hit.  The 40s style is so flattering on a multitude of shapes and the beading makes it a very feminine choice; I felt really pretty wearing it.  The dress is a peachy coral shade so I paired it with a coral clutch and wedges.

Beaded Fit and Flare Tea Dress by Rise at Simply Be
Cork and coral wedges from Primark
Coral and gold studded clutch from River Island
Disc earrings from New Look
Pearl and beaded bracelets from Next
Rose gold watch by DKNY

Hair Extensions from Foxy Locks Extensions
Nail polish is 093 Tropical Temptation by Revlon

I hope you like my outfit and are looking forward to hearing all about the store opening when I post tomorrow evening.

Until then, stay beautiful <3

Dr Organic Manuka Honey Skin Lotion

Today I thought I'd share with you a great body moisturiser that's been keeping my skin super soft over the last month.  I've used this religiously since I received it in the post to review; I'm utterly hooked.  Dr Organic is a brand I am already very familiar with.  I adore their organic, natural products, with my favourite range being the Organic Manuka Honey as it is just so good for my skin and psoriasis and the Skin Lotion is no exception.
The cream itself is a mix of organic manuka honey, aloe vera (great for calming redness), cocoa butter, shea butter, olive oil, sunflower oil, Irish moss and vitamins A and E; its no the wonder it has left my skin so soft.  The cream is thick and rich but very fast absorbing, without leaving a greasy film on my skin.  It is suitable for use on all areas of the body, although I save my Dr Organic Manuka Honey Hand and Nail Cream from the same range for my hands.  It smells amazing, absolutely delicious and almost good enough to eat!  The scent of the manuka honey lingers on my skin after application which I love and my skin stays moisturised all day long.  In a nutshell, it is perfect for me!
Dr Organic is available from Holland and Barrett for £7.19 for 200ml.  I will definitely be repurchasing this when it runs out.  A little bit of the cream goes a long way so it is taking me quite a while to use up, despite using it every morning!  The body moisturiser that I was using before this was the Decleor Aroma Confort Moisturising Body Milk and I must admit, I think I prefer the Dr Organic cream simply because it keeps my skin moisturised for longer, it smells even more amazing and it is much more affordable.

Have you tried any products from Dr Organic?  What is your favourite body moisturiser?
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