Monday, 30 January 2012

Gok Wan for Simply Yours S/S '12 Collection


www.simplyyours.co.uk

Last week I attended the press day for the new Gok Wan for Simply Yours spring/summer 2012 collection at the amazing W Hotel in Leicester Square and I cannot wait to tell you all about it!

Gok has created a definitive collection of must have shapewear that is exclusive to Simply Yours from 1st March.  He has called it his 'Wall of Fame' collection as he has gone back to basics, looking at key shapes, styles and materials that are classic.  When he was explaining the concept of the collection to us, he painted a great analogy as he got us to think back to when we have had a favourite pair of jeans, a bra, or a pair shoes that fit so well and comfortably and make you look and feel great, that you've worn them to death and wish that you'd picked them up more of them, or in more colours... but when you go to do so, they are discontinued.  I'm sure we've all had that feeling of when we've loved something and worn it religiously, only to find it isn't available anymore and there's no comparison out there in the shops.  That's the concept of Gok Wan's collection, hes listened to Simply Yours customers' comments about their favourite shapewear pieces and applied that to redesigning the best of his range.  His much loved shape wear has been given a make over to perform better than it has ever done before, featuring seamless panelling, boning and powermesh technology which are all designed to provide the ultimate in comfort, style and control.

Gok Wan's forthcoming spring/summer 2012 collection really is his best collection yet.  Whilst I don't think that every shape could wear every single piece in the collection, there certainly is something in the collection to suit everyone and to create the perfect sillouette under any outfit.  There are six key pieces to the collection, there's the multi-way Banger Booster bra, the Pull Me in Pants, the Curve Controller body, the Slicker Knicker, Sassy Slip and Divine Outline multi-way.  They're all available in three gorgeous colours; Crush, Sweet Slate and Blush and all branded subtly with the trademark Gok signature.  I particularly like colour Crush, the beautiful coral colour, as it's the same colour as my wedding theme.  I cant wait to get my hands on the Banger Booster bra and Curve Controller body!  The range will be available in sizes 30-46 A-G cup for the Banger Booster, Curve Controller and the Sassy Slip and the Pull Me In Pants, Divine Outline and Slicker Knicker will be available in sizes 8-32 so SO many women will be able to wear the gorgeous shapewear.  Usually one end of the sizing spectrum is sized out of the range in most underwear brands collections, but not this one.  Thanks Gok!
What do you look for in shapewear?  Which is your favourite colour and style from the collection?

Sunday, 29 January 2012

WhatLauraDid: Week 5

I've had such a busy week, it has literally been none stop and I'm exhausted.  I could really do with a couple of weeks lying on a beach somewhere hot... alas, my trip to Turkey will soon come around!  For this weeks edition of WhatLauraDid, I thought I'd show you some photos from my trip to London on Tuesday for the Gok Wan for Simply Yours press day.
WhatLauraLoves this week

Faux fur, black cabs, London living, fruit salad, caramel latte, paperback novels, ponchos, McDonalds breakfast wrap, Chantecaille eyeshadows, Professor Layton, Celeb Big Bro, pretty dresses, Origins Vitazing, Malibu and Coke, Bio Oil, Smurfs Village, floral jewellery, Fake Bake tan.
I travelled overnight to London on the coach on Tuesday which was absolutely torture and I certainly wont be repeating it again.  It was also a day of firsts for me as I went in a proper London black cab for the first time, it was great to drive past Buckingham Palace and see where Kate and Wills waved after they had got married!  I had a great day at the suite in the W Hotel in Leicester Square at the launch, went in the M&M shop next door (purely for the purposes of touristy photographs) and enjoyed breakfast in Starbucks and a delicious meal in China Town with some other gorgeous bloggers.
On Friday I managed to fit a little bit of shopping in before I went out for a staff night out at a local hotel.  I went out purely to find a contour powder as I've just ran out of my beloved Hoola by Benefit.  Space NK was an absolute let down on the contour front, but somehow the gorgeous Chantecaille Classic Palette seemed to make it into my hands...  It has two eye shadows, a highlight and a blush which are all very luxurious.  Not the cheapest of palettes but a must have for pale skinned girls like myself.  All was not lost on the contour front though as Mr WLL took me to the Metro Centre where I picked up a MAC matte bronze powder (thanks for all your recommendations, I tried to get the Sleek palette but it was out of stock so i'll save that one for next time!) and some gorgeous footwear, dresses and jewellery in New Look.  Successful shopping trip for me, bad day for my bank balance!
Amongst all of the rushing around this week, I did blog about the outfit I wore last Saturday night (Kate Middleton inspired some would say...!) and I also posted about my favourite budget beauty fake tan spray, St Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mist.
What have you been up to this week? What have been your favourites?  Have you tried any new products?

Saturday, 28 January 2012

St Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mist

St. Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mist, £2.99
For a drug store tanning brand, St. Moriz have hit the right note with their Instant Self Tanning Mist.  Their spray tan applies quickly, evenly and I cant really fault the tan itself.  I wear St Tropez (ooh the opposition!) latex gloves when applying it and spray it from a distance before buffing it in with a St Tropez buffing mitt (towelling material mitt).  It dries very quickly so it doesn't take long to apply at all and it doesn't smell too bad either, as far as fake tans go.  There's the ever so slight rice crispy scent but nothing too strong and biscuity like some tans I've tried in the past.  The colour is gorgeous, VERY natural, very even, faultlessly streak free and it wears completely evenly- it just gradually fades.  I love how it doesn't cling to dry skin either- I have patches of psoriasis which no amount of exfoliating and moisturising would take away and it's great to use a fake tan that doesn't emphasis it or turn it orange.  The colour itself is very natural, not orange at all and it is more than dark enough for my pale skin.  However I do feel that others who have darker or more olive skin tones than myself may need two applications before an night out, or they may need to opt for the darker shade than the fair to medium that I have pictured above.  Oh and unlike a lot of fake tans, this doesn't transfer too badly onto clothes and bedsheets so it's perfect to apply before bed and wash off in the morning.

The only let down is the packaging; the 'spray' sometimes fails and comes out in blobs, or at all angles and ends up all over the bathroom.  Its definitely not a neat application.  Michael sprayed my back for me when we first got it and the next morning he woke up with orange feet... Oops.  Despite getting more on my tiles than on me, I usually get 3 full body applications out of one can, depending on how many layers I apply, so the 150ml goes a long way.

If you're looking for a budget fake tan, then this has to be it.  It's super cheap at around £2.99 and available at all the usual beauty and discount places, I buy mine from B&M Home Bargains.  It is an absolute bargain and really gives my holy grail spray tan, Fake Bake Airbrush, a run for its money (more on that next week!).

St Moriz is also available in a lotion and a mousse but I have to say that out of them all, the mist/spray is the best I've tried, the other formula's just don't match up to it.  I wasn't too keen on lotion formula as I found it took longer to apply than the spray and I found the mousse to have a fantastic colour pay off but it smelt soapy and dried awfully... once washed off it is a nice colour but I find that it wears really patchy and it leaves my skin almost speckled.  The spray is definitely the one to go for, I've raved about it to all of my friends and I always have a can in my cupboard.

Which fake tan do you use?  Do you prefer a lotion, mousse or spray formula?

Friday, 27 January 2012

WhatLauraWore: Kate Middleton Dress

Tonight I thought I'd share with you a couple of photos of the outfit I wore on Saturday night when I went out in town with the girls.  I never intended to wear this dress.  I was out shopping during the day and picked up this dress and a pair of plum leggings.  I thought the navy blue dress reminded me vaguely of a casual version of the blue dress Kate Middleton wore.  After trailing round the shops I just couldn't find anything else to wear so I thought I'd make the most of the dress.  Its something I wouldn't usually wear on a night out and I genuinely felt pretty from the the inside when I went out-- a confident girl is a pretty girl.

WhatLauraWore:
Inspire Ponti Belted Dress with leopard print dress from New Look
Cream sandals from Primark
Leopard print bag from Primark
Rose gold watch by DKNY
Animal print bangle from New Look
Diamante and gold earrings from New Look
Hair extensions from Foxy Locks Extensions

My fellow blogging friend Naomi of Diamonds 'n' Pearls also has this dress.  We're very similar dress sizes but we're different shapes.  I'd recommend checking out her post of the outfit she wore at the Simply Yours press day here as this will give you an idea of what the same size 26 dress will look like on someone of a different shape to me.

I hope you're all having a great week.  Its been a bit of a hectic one for me but very enjoyable.  I have a day off tomorrow so I'm going to do a little shopping and spend some time with Michael.  I must go to buy a new contour powder as I've just ran out of my beloved Hoola by Benefit, I want something a little different so I'm going to nip to Space NK to see if they have anything to offer from their brands.  All of the powders I see around at the moment are just too orange, I need something a little muddy!

Stay Beautiful

Sunday, 22 January 2012

WhatLauraDid: Week 4


Eurgh, I'd love to stay and type loads this evening but quite frankly, I'm feeling sick as a chip and I'm reluctant to admit that it is entirely self inflicted.  Rest assured, after a busy week, I will be back tomorrow fighting fit and ready for blogging.  Starting with an outfit post of the dress I wore out last night.  It was a brilliant night... I didn't get in until half 3 the following day and although my outfit looked a little dishevelled, my makeup was in perfect condition so I guess I've got to be thankful for small mercies as I didn't look quite so embarrassing doing the walk of shame up my drive this afternoon wearing last nights clothes... 

I didn't have the chance to post much this week, but I did write about a gorgeous perfume I've been wearing; Lola by Marc Jacobs.  The gift set was an absolute bargain!

I've got an exciting week planned as I'm off to London on Tuesday and getting some caramel low lights in my hair on Thursday!  Will keep you all updated over on my Twitter @whatlauraloves.

In the meantime, stay beautiful :)
P.S.

I don't usually wear sunglasses in clubs-- I found these on the bar!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Marc Jacobs Lola Perfume Bargain

Today I thought I'd share with you my latest perfume purchase:

Lola by Marc Jacobs
Talk about gorgeous packaging, from the box to the bottle, this perfume has been designed to look as though it smells floral and feminine before you've even smelt it.  Imagine receiving this as a gift- it looks great as a gift set and the bottle looks gorgeous on any dressing table.  It's a little on the tacky side but fabulous all the same.

This particular set also contains the silky shower gel and the sensual body lotion.

Scent wise, this perfume isn't something I'd usually go for as I usually like strong scents; I've listed some of my favourites below.  It's unlike anything in my collection and I think that's why I've enjoyed wearing it so much.  Its a long lasting scent without being too strong and overpowering.  It's sexy, very feminine and not something that everyones wearing, which I like.  One of my favourite perfumes is Alien by Thierry Mugler but its so instantly recognisable whereas Lola is a little more mysterious.  Lots of people have asked which perfume I'm wearing which is lovely.  Other than saying its fruity, rosie and floral, I'm useless at describing scents.  I'd recommend giving it a spray at the counter next time you're out shopping as fragrance is such a personal choice anyway.
This gift set was an absolute bargain.  It was originally in Boots for £50 but I managed to pick three of these gift sets up for £25 each in the Boots January sale.  What a bargain!  I'll be keeping one for myself and giving the other two as gifts to friends on their birthday.

My Favourite Fragrances
Elle by YSL, Alien by Thierry Mugler, Agent Provocateur, Gucci by Gucci, Amor Amor by Cacharel, Bond no9 Fire Island, Couture Couture by Juicy Couture, Lady Million by Paco Rabanne, Armani She, Deep Night by Ghost, Jean Paul Gaultier Classique, Deep Red by Hugo Boss.

What are your favourite fragrances? Have you tried Lola?

Sunday, 15 January 2012

WhatLauraDid: Week 3

WhatLauraLoves this week
Pub lunches, Jo Malone Bath Oil, trips out in the countryside, Celebrity Big Brother, Amy Childs, Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream, Bio Oil, black pumps, early finishes at work, afternoon naps, fingerless gloves, counting down the days until payday, fresh bed sheets, iPhone 4S white, burning wax tarts.

I'd love to say that I've done so many exciting things this week but really, its been pretty average.  I've worked a lot and slept a lot, even this weekend which I had off.  It's been great to have two days off together, I've really felt the benefit and feel as though I'll be going back to work tomorrow refreshed.  I upgraded to the white iPhone 4S at the end of last week and finally got it all set up this week.  Thankfully I managed to successfully transfer all of my telephone numbers, texts and apps across from my old iPhone 4, which was stressful in itself as I honestly don't know what I'd have done if I lost where I'm up to on The Smurfs Village... I'm addicted, as sad as it sounds!  In other news, Michael went in for a carpal tunnel operation this week and work managed to get me some hours holiday to go with him (they're great with things like that).  He was in for ages, there was lots of waiting around but soon he was out with his hand all bandaged up.  He's sore and swollen but he's fine.  Thanks to everyone who messaged me on Twitter, particularly those who knew of the operation or who had had it done themselves as it really help to put our minds at ease... there's some horror stories online which turned a relatively minor operation into seeming like heart surgery!  Other than that though, we haven't really done much.  I took Michael out for a run (in the car) out in the countryside and we watched The Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer yesterday, its a great film, not usually my cup of tea but I enjoyed it, and today we had a roast lamb Sunday dinner and did some more chilling out!

This week on WhatLauraLoves I let you in on my worst kept secret for beautifully supple feet, the Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream, I gave you my thoughts on Sheer Cover mineral makeup and I showed you an outfit that I wore to a house party recently.  I also love how Blogger has added the facility of being able to reply to comments!  This is absolutely great news for anyone out there who blogs as it means that they can respond directly to their readers-- I just wish there was something that would alert the person who commented that I have replied, here's hoping for the future though!

What have you all been up to this week?  Any highs or lows?  What have your favourite products been?

Friday, 13 January 2012

WhatLauraWore: House Party

I've got that Friday feeling!  I'm absolutely exhausted as I've been on early shifts this week so it's just a quick post from me tonight I'm afraid.  I'm off work all weekend and I thoroughly intend to enjoy it-- starting with tonight-- I'm making salmon with lemon and dill with roasted vegetables tonight, then I'm going to have a long soak in the bath and an early night.  I really need to catch up on my sleep these next couple of days.

I thought I would show you an outfit I wore to a house party recently.  Its one of those easy to wear outfits that can be pulled together quickly at short notice.


WhatLauraWore:
Tunic from Yours Clothing
Black lace trim leggings from Evans
Black flower pumps from Primark
Charm bracelet by Pandora
Rose gold watch by DKNY
Earrings from Newlook (review here)
Black glitter clutch bag (not seen) from Next

What are you all up to this weekend?  I hope you have a good time whatever you get up to.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream- My Worst Kept Beauty Secret

I adore Clarins, I've ALWAYS adored Clarins.  There is something about the brand that feels so luxurious and high quality that the price of their whole range is justified.  I really trust their products, I trust that they will do what they say they will and so far, I haven't been let down.  Having used their skincare since I was in my mid-teens, I have tried and tested a lot of their products and today I thought I'd share with you one of my most repurchased Clarins products; the Foot Beauty Treatment Cream.  This is one of their best sellers and I always pre order it at my House of Fraser counter to make sure its in stock when I go to repurchase it.  It really is one of the worst kept secrets for silky smooth feet!

Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream

Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream, £20
The Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream is my worst kept beauty secret for soft, supple feet.  I literally buy this for all my friends as part of their birthday gifts because I know they'll love it, I don't know anyone who doesn't.  I have, or used to have rather, very hard, rough and cracked skin on my feet, it was absolutely awful but this cream has completely changed my feet.  When I first bought it, I would use a large foot emery board to smooth down the rough skin where my feet had cracked and then I would apply this cream straight afterwards.  Within a week, my feet were completely transformed-- it has really been a godsend.  I've never liked wearing socks in the house but never wanted to take my shoes and socks off infront of others, now my feet are bare all the time regardless of whose house I am in!

It smells amazing and deeply nourishes the skin on my feet so that the skin becomes soft and has a long lasting smoothness; that will be down to the virgin cashew nut oil and the shea butter that it contains.  I've never had to go back to soaking my feet and filing them.  This is the best foot cream I've ever used and whilst I will try other products, I cannot see me ever not buying this.  Other creams tend to make my feet feel slippy, greasy and don't actively encourage long lasting softness whereas the Clarins cream does and it isnt greasy at all, just moisturising.  I now apply this every evening before I go to bed and my feet stay soft all day long.  I don't need to reapply it after the initial application but sometimes I do, just to make me feel even more pampered or if I have been on my feet all day.  I often retain a lot of water and find that my feet and ankles swell up if I've been walking around all day in the heat.  In the summer I tend to walk everywhere and my feet suffer because of this.  The Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream helps to relieve my sometimes swollen and tired feet.  Apparently it's the Arnica extract in the cream that does this; I don't know much about that buy it certainly works!

Whilst I really enjoy using the Clairns Hand and Nail Treatment Cream, I've found that the Foot Beauty Treatment Cream works really well on my hands too,  Probably because the skin on my hands is dry and flaky and since this cream is ultra moisturising, it really nourishes the skin on my hands deeply too.  It has done wonders for my nails on my hands and feet too.  They just look so healthy and in great condition.

The Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream is 125ml which lasts me about two and a half months, so at £20 a tube, it isn't too pricey.  I usually buy my Clarins products from House of Fraser when I'm shopping at the Metro Centre but recently I've been ordering online from Feel Unique, they have some good discounts on there and the delivery is free and pretty quick too!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Sheer Cover Review

Evening all
Today I have a Sheer Cover review for you to brighten up those Monday blues.  I've tried other mineral makeup brands in the past and really enjoyed the products I tried so when I was asked if I would like to review some products from Sheer Cover I jumped at the chance.  I was sent the Sheer Cover Introductory Kit in the shade set Light and I also received a kabuki brush from them.
Sheer Cover Introductory Kit, £39.99 and Sheer Cover Kabuki Brush, £12.95 from www.sheercover.co.uk
Included in the Sheer Cover Introductory kit is the Base Perfector, 2 pots of Mineral Foundation in shades Nude and Bisque, a Duo Tone Concealer in Light and Medium, an Extra Length Mascara in Black, the Sophisticate Face Palette, a Concealer Brush and a Studio Foundation Brush.  I think this is a great kit for someone who is looking to try mineral makeup for the first time or for someone who is just starting out with makeup, as you get everything you need to complete a gorgeous makeup look.  It's also very reasonably priced for the range of products that you get.


I've been using the kit since just before Christmas and I have really enjoyed using the collection.  For me, aside from the brilliant foundation, there are some stand out pieces, these being the Base Perfector and the Extra Length Mascara.  To create the look above, I used only the makeup and brushes from the kit, except for when applying the eyeshadow where I used my own eye brushes.
Sheer Cover Base Perfector
I must say, I really really like the Sheer Cover Base Perfector.  It reminds me so much of the effect I get with one of my favourite Clarins products, the Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch.  I have been using the Sheer Cover Base Perfector under my foundation every day since receiving it.  Its fantastic at priming my skin and works really well as a base for my make up.  It smooths and evens out my skin, reduces the large pores I have on my cheeks and smooths fine lines.
Sheer Cover Kabuki Brush, Studio Foundation Brush and the Concealer Brush
The Sheer Cover brushes are very densely packed and don't shed.  I haven't tried washing them yet so whether they do after washing, I don't know but they do seem very well made so I doubt they will.  I did find that they start off feeling quite hard but they soften up with use.
Duo Tone Concealer in Light/Medium
This concealer is great, it's incredibly creamy, very easy to blend and can be used above or below the mineral foundation.  The two shades are great on their own and can be mixed to create the perfect shade.  I do find that it can settle into the fine lines around my eyes if I don't take the Base Perfecter right up to my eyes.  I find that with careful application, either with the concealer brush or with my finger, it leaves a lovely natural finish on my skin.  Its great at concealing dark circles and blemishes too.
Mineral Foundation in Nude and Bisque
If you buy the Light Kit then these are the two mineral foundation shades that you will receive; Nude and Bisque.  When I first saw the colour of them I thought that there was no way they would suit my skin tone- after applying them, I found that I was completely incorrect!  The two shades are perfect for light skin tones and can be used individually, for example using one everyday and the other when you're more tanned, or they can be blended together to create your own unique shade.  I've tried using both the Kabuki Brush and the Studio Foundation Brush to apply the mineral foundation and found that both brushes work equally well, although I prefer using the kabuki brush to really buff the foundation into my skin.  For a mineral foundation, I found that Sheer Cover provides fantastic coverage and has a lovely natural finish on my skin.  It gives my skin a healthy glow whilst keeping my oily skin at bay.  It isn't cakey in the slightest and doesn't cling to any dry patches on my face.  I think this would be great for all skin types.
Sheer Cover Sophisticate Face Palette
The Sophisticate Face Palette would be great for someone who is looking to try other mineral products or who is just starting out with make up.  It also makes a really handy, space saving kit that's perfect for travelling.  You get a blusher in the colour Coral Ice, two eyeshadow duos in Sable & Peach and Charcoal & Mauve and a two lip glosses in Ballerina and Caramel Ice.
Swatches from the Sophisticate Face Palette
The eye shadows are quite multi purpose, as in the makeup look above I used Sable to fill in my eyebrows and Charcoal as an eyeliner.  I'm wearing Peach all over my lid with Sable in the crease and the lip gloss I'd chosen to use was Caramel Ice.  I found the eye shadows to be easy to blend, although they weren't too pigmented, the blusher was gorgeous, had great colour pay off and lasted all day and the lip gloss was very long lasting and sparkly without being sticky and gritty.  This type of kit isn't something that I would usually buy myself but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the products, especially the lip gloss and blush.
I really enjoyed using this mascara.  Its not particularly volumising to begin with,as it really separates out the lashes and creates great length.  It can be built up too with a second coating.  It's long lasting and doesn't transfer or flake throughout the day.  I'm really impressed with it and would repurchase it.

For me, the stand out pieces from Sheer Cover are the Mineral Foundations, the Extra Length Mascara and the Base Perfecter.  I would definitely repurchase all of these.

The Introductory Kit is available from www.sheercover.co.uk.  There are lots of offers on and different kits to choose from so head on over and take a look!

Have you tried Sheer Cover or mineral make up before?  Whats your favourite brand of mineral make up?

Sunday, 8 January 2012

WhatLauraDid: Week 2


I'd love to say that I've had this really eventful week but sadly this is not the case.  It's been pretty boring if truth be told as all I've been doing is working.  There was of course the mid week saga when Mr WhatLauraLoves' car failed its MOT but that was soon fixed and all is right with the world.  Today I ventured out to the shops as I've been given the task of Birthday Monitor at work and had to get the gift for one of our colleagues.  We've got him a top shelf bottle of red wine and some red wine glasses.  I hope he likes them.  While I was out I picked up some films and checked out the sale in Laura Ashley; I adore that store.  Asda Living had some really good deals on their DVD's.  We picked up three for £3 each; Bride Wars, The Invention Of Lying, Chatroom and The Life & Death of Charlie St. Cloud.  I know what I'll be doing after work this week...!

This week on WhatLauraLoves, I shared with you my favourite nail polish of the moment, Utopia by Models Own.  Its seriously one of the most gorgeous colours in my collection, its just so different, I really haven't seen anything else like it.

The weather this week has remained pretty mild too, around 10 degrees today which isn't warm... but its REALLY warm for this time of year.  This calls for some in between the season pieces like cardigans and scarves.  I picked out some great cardigans from La Redoute on WhatLauraLoves this week.

I've really been enjoying burning candles this week, well for the last few months really.  I wrote about the Mistletoe Kiss tin candle by Bomb Cosmetics on WhatLauraLoves this week.  Ooh and I've made a recent discovery: Yankee Candles have started doing a range for Asda.  There's large jar candles, the small sampler candles and wax tarts all at lower prices compared to the original Yankee Candles.  The large jars are only £12.  I picked up two vanilla frosting wax tarts for my oil burner today and they smell amazing.

What were your favourites this week? What have you all been up to?

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Bomb Cosmetics Mistletoe Kiss Candle

I'm really enjoying burning tin candles at the moment, like this Mistletoe Kiss one from Bomb Cosmetics.  I just love how this burns, its incredibly pretty; white with little red wax hearts and gold glitter.  Once the wax starts to melt, the glitter floats on top of the liquid wax, gorgeous.  It smells beautiful too, very oriental with a hint of vanilla and musk.  I burn this candle in my bathroom and bedroom.  I could only wish that the scent was a little stronger.  It's fine in a relatively small room like my bedroom, but even then it doesn't quite fill the room with a strong scent, so when it is in my large living room, it is practically there to just provide light and to look pretty!

This candle is £7.99 online from Bomb Cosmetics.  The average burning time of these tin candles is 35 hours so they're great value for money.  I cant wait to order some more, 2012 is the year of relaxation for me... candles and skincare!

What are your favourite candle fragrances?

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Cardigans from La Redoute

The weather this winter has been so unexpected; its January, surely I should be knee deep in snow by now or at least de-icing my car every morning, but no.  The temperature in North East England is mild to say the least.  Don't get me wrong, its still cold but its not THAT cold.  This does pose as a bit of a problem for me as my wardrobe is stocked full of clothes for the warmest summers and the coldest winters but not too much in between.  It's time I went shopping for some in between outfits, and for that a cardigan is perfect.  It's a versatile piece that every woman should have in her wardrobe all year round, regardless of her age, shape or size.  After looking around online, I've found some perfect cardigans from La Redoute.

La Redoute offer a great range of cardigans in different styles, fabrics, thicknesses and sizes.  I've found that they offer something for everyone and there's a cardigan to suit all tastes and budgets.  Here are my top picks:


My Top Picks from La Redoute
1-3 Top row left to right, 4-6 Bottom row left to right
1, The wardrobe staple- Long-Sleeved Cardigan, on sale for £15
2, Jacquard Cardigan with Faux Fur Shawl Collar, £69
3, Cable Knit Cardigan, £27
4, ELLOS Cardigan, £17
5, Knitted Scarf Style Cardigan, £45
6, Long Buttoned Cardigan in Fancy Chunky Knit, on sale for £22

How & When to Wear
For those days where its too hot to wear a coat but too cold to go without or where a bulky coat may be a little obstructive, then a thick, cardigan like those at La Redoute make a great alternative. I absolutely love the Jacquard Cardigan from La Redoute (top row, middle photo) as its thick enough to wear as though it were a coat and the fur makes it look absolutely gorgeous for the winter time.  Wearing a belt with this type of cardigan helps to define the waist and keep the wearers shape.

A cardigan is also a great layering piece and can add warmth to an outfit without adding bulk or weight.  I particularly like taking both long and short sleeved thin cardigans (top row, first photo) on holiday or when I'm going out in the summer as I tend to carry it in the early evening, then I have it there to pop on when the temperature cools down at night.  Cardigans as also great to wear as a cover up over the top of a dress if you don't like your arms or if you're somewhere that it is disrespectful to have your shoulders on show, like in church.  Cardigans make great work wear too as when worn with a pencil skirt or suit trousers, they make a much more feminine outfit than a suit jacket.

Style & Slimming
As a rule of thumb, cardigans tend to look more causal if they're lose and  more dressy if they're pulled in at the waist with a belt, this also has a slimming effect.  For an ultra slimming look, opt for a light coloured dress or skirt and top, with a darker cardigan cinched in at the waist with a skinny belt.  A crewe neck cardigan (i.e. the neckline that you would see on a standard tshirt should the cardigan be buttoned up) will give you a more chic look and if you're looking for a to the preppy style then try wearing a wardrobe staple cable knit cardigan (top row, third photo) or an argyle patterned cardigan in a v neck; think Gossip Girl.

For those days when you're looking for something that's quick, relaxed and casual, a shawl collar open style cardigan (as in bottom row, left) or a wrap around scarf style cardigan (as in bottom row, middle) is perfect.  Wear with jeans and a skinny tshirt or vest top for an outfit that looks casual but still put together.

Colour & Pattern
If you're wearing a top that has a print then I think its best to choose a colour in the print and match your cardigan to that colour. The cardigan will help to bring out that colour in the top. The same goes for if you're wearing a patterned cardigan; choose a colour from the pattern, a more neutral colour looks best, and then wear a top underneath the cardigan in that colour.  To jazz up a plain cardigan, look out for broaches or pins to add a little bit of sparkle.  2011 saw the trend of patches on cardigans and it doesn't look set to go in 2012 either.  I love this one from La Redoute (bottom row right) with the sudette patches on the elbows and shoulders as it adds a contemporary twist on an otherwise plain cardigan, with an additional colour too.  Top marks La Redoute!

Promo Codes La Redoute
La Redoute offers also an opportunity to save extra money just by entering a promotional code. Check this website about the promo codes and get the reduction instantly at the LaRedoute checkout page.

What is your favourite cardigan? Do you like my top picks?

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

NOTD: Models Own Utopia Review

Morning All

Gosh it feels like FOREVER since I last did a 'Nails Of The Day' post, which is quite an achievement considering I wear nail polish religiously.  I guess I just havent found many new shades that I'm passionate about to show you all... until now.

I first saw Rachel from Who Is She wearing this polish when we were out in Newcastle and I fell in love.  It is everything I want from a nail polish- creamy, opaque and pastel.  I just HAD to have it.

Presenting... Utopia by my FAVOURITE nail polish brand, Models Own.


With a smooth application and a super fast drying time, this polish ticks all the right boxes.  After two coats, it is completely opaque.  It dries evenly and glossy and has the most amazingly creamy pastel look.  I'd say the colour is a very pale grey lilac, its beautiful.  I've found that it lasts a good week without chipping too which is great as I'm on the computer all day every day!

I bought my polish in Boots for £5.  There was an offer one where if you bought two products you got Gold Rush polish for free.  So I picked up a Snow White polish too.  You can also buy them from the Models Own website.

Have you tried Utopia?  What is your favourite nail polish?

Sunday, 1 January 2012

WhatLauraDid: Week 1


1, Michael and I attended a New Years Eve Eve party at his best man's house.
2, I did some sale shopping and found this fantastic bargain that I'm going to tell you all about this week.
3, This photo was taken on New Years Eve before we went to a party at my best friends house.
4, I've enjoyed a daily Costa coffee fix thanks to my travel mug and syrup set.  Late nights and early starts at work have certainly been less of a chore!

Since its the start of a new year, I've decided to do a weekly round up of my life to let you all know what I've been loving that week and to give you an opportunity to catch up with WhatLauraLoves posts.  This week on WhatLauraLoves, I talked about Corn Silk Loose Face Powder, I reviewed the Avene Eau Thermale Thermal Spring Water and I did the Top 11 Products for 2011 Tag.

I hope you're all well and have a great start to the New Year this week.

Stay Beautiful :)

Top 11 Products For 2011 Tag

Happy New Year everyone, I hope you're all feeling refreshed and hangover free by now (likely?)!  I spent New Years Eve at a party at my best friends house, it was a fantastic night, I haven't had so much fun in ages!  I'm not setting any new years resolutions for 2012 as 2011 was such a bad year for me that I'm positive 2012 will be a much better year.  I tell myself all the usual things lose weight, spend less, take better care of myself... but really none of that matters.  This year is going to be about enjoying myself and spending time with those I love and who love me.  I'm surrounded by such amazing people at the moment and I'm so lucky to be going into 2012 with them.  Instead, I thought I'd share with you my top 11 products for 2011.

Top 11 for 2011

1, St. Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mist Spray in Natural Medium Glow Fair to Normal- this incredibly cheap fake tan puts every other tanner in the corner.  It applies like a dream, looks so natural and fades really evenly.

2, Decleor Aroma Confort Moisturising Body Milk- its light, absorbs quickly, smells beautiful and is super moisturising.  I often go for a Decleor facial and massage and the beauty therapist always uses this, so when I use it at home, the scent takes me back to the beauty room and I instantly feel relaxed.

3, Decleor Aromessence Solaire Tan Activator Serum- I use this year in, year out, prior to tanning on holiday.  Its great at preparing my skin for sun exposure and helping to speed up my tan so that the moment I step off the plane, I start bronzing straight away, rather than a few days into the holiday. 

4, Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream- 2011 was the year I discovered this foot cream and its the best I've ever used.  Its light, absorbs quickly, has that signature Clarins scent and works gently to soften hard skin, reduce any swelling in the feet and banish any odour.

5, Manuka Doctor Apiclear Skin Treatment Serum- This little gem is like bee botox!  Its perfect at plumping the skin to smooth fine lines and make the skin appear even.  My skin has never been as good since I started using this. Read my full review of this product here.

6, Collection 2000 Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner- This is, hands down, the best eyeliner I've ever used.  I picked it up while doing some grocery shopping at the beginning of the year and have used it ever since.  I hadn't heard much about it online until recently so I'm pleased more and more people are trying this.  It is easy to apply so great for those who don't have a steady hand and it gives the most opaque black line that doesn't budge.  Perfect.

7, Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara in Black- I've really enjoyed using this mascara this year as my others just weren't cutting it on my bottom lashes.  The teenie tiny brush defines, lengthens and separates all of my lashes.  It takes some getting used to but it can be incredibly buildable and if you like the controversial spider eyes look, then you can achieve it with this.

8, YSL Rouge Volupte no. 19- Thick, creamy, long lasting and the most perfect pink colour.  My favourite, most worn lipstick this year by a mile.  Read my in depth review here.
9, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in 2 Light- Another product I discovered while grocery shopping this year.  Its the best concealer I've ever used.  Its thick, blendable and covers absolutely everything.

10, Estee Lauder Double Wear Light- This is my favourite foundation of 2011.  The coverage is fantastic without feeling heavy, it lasts all day without oxidising and it keeps my oily skin at bay.

11, Decleor Aromessence Rose D'Orient-  Another favourite of mine from Decleor that I've been using daily in 2011.  I apply it using the Decleor acupressure method after cleansing and toning.  It soothes renews and softens my skin.

So there you go, my top products of 2011.  I would love to know what yours are!  Many thanks to Tali from The Gloss Goss for tagging me to do this.  If you're looking for a good blog to read, then I'd recommend both of hers.  She's been my must read in the blogging world for 2011!  As for me, I tag whoever would like to do this!  Link it in the comments if you do it, I'd love to read what your top 11 products for 2011 were!

What products have you most enjoyed using in 2011?