Tuesday, 30 October 2012

ITV Superstar Perfomance!

Tomorrow night I will be attending a charity event to raise funds for the Meningitis Research Foundation.  ITV's Superstar Jon Moses will be singing and helping to raise as much funds as he can as this is a charity that is very close to his heart.  Tickets can be bought on the night on the door, all are welcome and I'd love it if any of you in the local area could attend and help this worthy cause.  I'm travelling down with my friend for the evening which promises to be a great night of entertainment.

 
If you're unable to attend then PLEASE help support this cause on Jons Just Giving Page.  I know times are hard at the moment for everyone financially but please give what you can.  I know I will be digging deep on the night!
 
 

Monday, 29 October 2012

WhatLauraWore: Golden Girl

Wow this dress caused a stir on my Twitter and Instagram yesterday as you all seemed to love it, thank you so much for all your lovely compliments!  I had intended to post this on Wednesday but I brought it forward as so many of you were tweeting to ask if it was a skirt or dress and to ask where it was from.  So here it is; the Sequin Gold Chiffon Dress from AX Paris.  Oh and to find out how you can get an exclusive discount of 20% off at AX Paris, have a look at my post here.
Sequin Gold Chiffon Dress, £40
When I first clapped eyes on this dress on the AX Paris website, I knew I HAD to have it.  Its sparkly, sexy and gold; I don't know about you but I can't think of anything more perfect for the party season.
The dress is a gorgeous champagne gold in colour that looks so classy and even more beautiful with a tan (out of interest- mine is natural at the moment and I'm waiting for it to fade so that I can start reviewing my Lauren's Way products for you all!).  It features a gold sequin skirt with a lined top that has a flattering chiffon bag effect to it.  The length of the dress is approximately 95cm which feels quite short when you're wearing it as the skirt of the dress is a close fit.  However I didn't feel worried about bending down when wearing it as the material stays put and doesn't ride up too much.  This is one of those dresses that needs to be shown off and worn in the right way- heels, clutch, glam hair and make up, any other way would not do it justice.  That said, I didn't feel the need to add too many accessories as the dress speaks for itself.  My gold diamante D&G watch was just enough to add an extra bit of bling.  I'd recommend this dress for Christmas parties and nights out as it is so glam and gorgeous.
To get this dress to feel great as well as to look great, the sizing is really important.  If you have a fairly flat stomach and your hips or tummy aren't your problem area then I think you'll be fine with your usual size, even if you're busty as there's plenty of room in the bust with this dress as with all other AX Paris dresses I've tried- they're great for girls with an ample chest as their sizing is spot on.  However if you're an apple shape or someone who is more shapely around their tummy, bottom or legs then I'd definitely size up.  I went one size up in this dress but think that I could have done with going another size up.  Remember, it doesn't matter what size is on the clothes label girls, it's how the garment looks and feels on you.  My stomach is an area I always struggle with when buying clothes as I'm SO much smaller on my top half and on my legs than I am in my tummy area.  This dress is good for me in that way as the bag effect of the top of the dress is baggy and flattering- it hangs just right, so even though I've sized up in order to get the fit I want, it hasn't jeopardised the look of the top of the dress.  The baggy part of the dress really compliments the figure hugging skirt and keeps the balance between the two parts of the dress just right.  Another trick to slim down your figure in short dresses that are more figure hugging is to wear a waterfall style jacket as they are so flattering.  I think this one from Inspire at New Look compliments this gorgeous dress perfectly.
I got loads of compliments when I was out in this dress.  It really is a show stopper and shows that bigger girls can sparkle too.
I uploaded this to my Instagram last night.  To follow me on there, my account name is @whatlauraloves (how original!)
WhatLauraWore:
Black Waterfall Cardigan from Inspire at New Look
Clutch bag from Select
Peeptoe heels from Matalan
Watch from Dolce and Gabbana
Which AX Paris dress would you wear this party season?


Sunday, 28 October 2012

WhatLauraDid: Week 44

 
Let me start this one off-- how could I forget to mention in last weeks post that I went to see Cheryl Cole in concert?!  She was, as we say up North, MINT!  Oh and this week I totally unashamedly booked tickets to see Girls Aloud next year and I've got amazing seats.  I love their style, so glam so I'll totally have to hit up my favourite dress shop AX Paris for the perfect outfit.  I Instagramed a photo of my wearing a dress from there tonight and it caused a bit of a stir so I'll get that post up first thing in the morning too.  This week I blogged about an exclusive discount that you can get on AX Paris too, check it out here.
 
Other than that, I've not been up to much really.  Exercising loads and the 'Now That's What I Call Running' album has really got me through those 30 minutes on the treadmill.  I was actually thinking of doing a fitness post... yes a plus sized girl doing fitness.  I'm not sure how it would go down but I've lost nearly 6 stone and I think it would be pretty good to see how someone who isn't a size 8 gym bunny keeps fit, perhaps?
 
Speaking of weight loss, I featured a couple of WhatLauraWore outfit posts this week wearing clothes in sizes much smaller than I would have worn this time last year.  The first outfit was a really simple dress I wore one night on holiday at the beginning of the month, it could actually be worn as a beach dress too.  The second outfit was something that's been requested a lot on Twitter and email and that's a more casual daytime outfit for autumn/winter.  Again, its a one that you could wear on an evening too with just a few minor changes.  Let me know what you think.
 
A lot of the makeup that I've been wearing in my latest posts is from NYX and this week I reviewed three of their products; their AMAZING Doll Eye Mascara, the auto eyebrow pencil and the Matte But Not Flat Foundation.
 
Oh and before I go, it's not too late to vote for skincare favourite Dirty Works in the Sainsbury's Beauty Awards, read all about it here.
 
Have a great week.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

AX Paris Exclusive Discount

I have an exclusive discount code that you can all use to get 20% off at one of my favourite online retailers, AX Paris.  You all know how much I love their dresses, in fact, I'm wearing a new one on a night out this evening so you can expect an outfit post of that dress coming up next week.  For now though, I hope you enjoy shopping :)

Friday, 26 October 2012

Dirty Works Needs YOU!

One of my favourite affordable skincare brands, Dirty Works, has been nominated for two awards in this year's Sainsbury's Beauty Awards.  This is for the Buff Your Stuff Body Scrub in the category of Premium Bath and Body and for the Banish The Bags Eye Cream, one of my favourites- review here, in the Beauty Hero category.  These are two great products that would really deserve to win your vote.
 
 


 
As an added extra, for every award Dirty Works win they will be giving 50 of their Facebook Fans the chance to win both products! Here is the link to the site where you can vote for them. I'd love it if you would vote and I really hope they win!
 
I've mentioned this a few times on my blog over the last few weeks but it's the last push before the voting closes on 31st October and we all know you'll be out trick or treating then, so why not take a couple of minutes out of your day to vote now?  I'd really love to see Dirty Works win, so PLEASE get voting!
 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

WhatLauraWore: Day to Night Casual

I've been asked quite a few times on Twitter, Facebook and through email to start doing some casual WhatLauraWore outfit posts for autumn and winter, so when I got my voucher came through from Evans for winning the Blogger Style Challenge, I placed an order for some new daytime clothes.  Here is my first outfit, I hope you like it.
 
 
WhatLauraWore:
Big heart motif jumper from Evans
Leggings from Evans
Boots from Primark
FOCCO bag in grey from Ebay
Watch by Gucci
Bracelet from a market stall in Turkey
 
 
I love this outfit as the jumper can be dressed up or down which will be perfect for those days when I'm wanting to go straight out after work or to the cinema and for drinks afterwards.

I've also been sent a code that my friends and family can use to get 20% off Evans until Sunday 28th October.  The code is FAMILY12.  Do let me know if you use it!
 
What smart-casual autumn outfits have you been wearing lately?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

NYX Cosmetics: The Review

NYX Cosmetics are a much raved about make up brand from the USA that have launched in the UK at long last.  I cannot tell you how pleased I am about this as I've heard so much about their products on blogs and on Youtube for years but haven't found them to be too easily accessible, until now.  In the past, I've ordered a few things from eBay but in all honesty I'm much more of a eBay seller than an eBay shopper so now that NYX have launched their UK website, I'm a happy bunny.
 
Over the last few weeks I've been trying out a few staple products from NYX; a foundation, an eyebrow pencil and a mascara.  Here's my thoughts.
 
The stand out product for me is the Doll Eye Mascara, so let's start with that.
 
 
NYX Doll Eye Mascara

NYX Doll Eye Mascara, £8
 
Wow this mascara is actually amazing.  It is up there with my favourite mascara of all time, YSL Faux Cils, so yes it has achieved holy grail status.  That is not to say it makes my lashes look the same as the YSL mascara, completely different in fact, I just love the way it makes my lashes look just as much as the YSL mascara.  The NYX Doll Eye Mascara comes in three different versions (what a fabulous idea); lengthening, volumising and waterproof, all with the same wavy shaped wand that creates the most fantastic curl in the lashes.  I have been trying out the Volume version and boy do I love the results.  Very fluttery, doll like lashes that fan out at the ends.  The nylon fibers in the mascara combined with the natural oils and Vitamin E combing to really lengthen my lashes, make them super black and volumised without drying out or becoming clumpy.  The mascara itself is quite wet, not runny in consistency but wet enough that it makes it very easy to work with.  The wand literally grabs every lash, even those on the very outer and inner corners that I find so hard to reach.  I love the wispy, fluttering look that this gives, almost as though I'm wearing false lashes.  The effect it gives to the natural lashes is very similar to that of wearing a pair of Ardell Demi Wispies and I don't even need to curl my lashes before I apply it, in fact, it looks better when applied to lashes that haven't been curled!

NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil
in EP03 Medium Brown

NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil, £4
 
Whilst on the subject of eyes, lets take a look at the Auto Eyebrow Pencil. It is available in 8 shades and I have the shade EP03 Medium Brown which is  probably a little too warm for my colouring but a very natural colour all the same.  That's one of the main things I've found when looking on the NYX website, their colour range is realistic and natural.  The pencil is retractable which is great as I cannot abide pencil sharpeners; they're so messy and the pencils still manage to snap every time I use them so this retractable twist up pencil is a much better option for me.  It also comes with a brush on the end which is handy for combing through the brows before and after application.  The eyebrow pencil itself is smooth to apply, produces a colour that is buildable once it is warmed up and it is very easy to use and blend.  Since the colour is buildable it allows you to keep adding to your brows until they are defined to your liking, rather than going in too strong and ending up with the scousest of scouse brows.

 
NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation

NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Foundation, £9
This is one of those products that really taught me not to judge a book by its cover as on first inspection, I didn't think much of the product, simply because of the packaging.  There isn't anything wrong with the packaging at all but it is a far cry from the higher end Estee Lauder Double Wear/ Double Wear Light that I usually wear. The packaging just looked basic to me and I thought the product inside would be too but I was sooooooo wrong.  This is a really lovely foundation, particularly for the £9 price tag.  If you're looking for something that's going to cover almost everything, even your skin tone and keep it matte but full of life then this is for you.  For a more budget end foundation, I think it is excellent value for money and a great product all round.  Its a medium to full coverage foundation that is water based so its going to hydrate your skin rather than dry it out which is great for a full coverage foundation and since it is oil free and adding water rather than oil to the skin then it is suitable even for oily skin.  I'd say this foundation is probably one of the few that is perfect for all skin types.  Many people with dry skin stay away from matte foundations because they dry out their skin further and make it flaky, whereas this one doesn't.  It is also great for people of all ages too as it is light in texture which not only makes it easy to apply but it doesn't sit too heavy on the skin which is something younger people tend to look for in a foundation but it also contains Vitamin E which helps to soften blemishes and fine lines which will be a hit with those who are older.  The foundation itself is pretty long lasting too.  I have really oily skin and find that it lasts about 7-8 hours on me before I need to top up with a little powder which is perfect for days when I'm at work.  I apply it using a flat top kabuki brush and find it really easy to blend and it works really well with my other makeup products too.  There's a great selection of 15 shades too which should mean that the majority of people will find a shade to suit them.  This foundation definitely gets a thumbs up from me.
 
 
To see a full makeup look using these NYX products, have a look at yesterdays Green Eyed Monster makeup post.

To have a look at the other great products from NYX and to order online, pop on over to their UK website here.
 
What are your favourite NYX products?  Come on girls, give me some recommendations!

Monday, 22 October 2012

WhatLauraWore: Holiday Brights

Evening All
 
I'm poorly at the moment so I thought I would share with you a quick snapshot of an outfit I wore on the holiday that I got back from at the beginning of this month, where I was looking a lot more healthy and full of colour than I am now!  This dress was a great budget buy from TU at Sainsbury's for around £10, very easy to slip on, flattering on the figure and it even has little pockets in the sides.  I paired it with some flip flops with from the same shop- Sainsbury's had some great summer offerings in this year!
 
 
WhatLauraWore:
Bright floral dress from TU at Sainsbury's
Flip Flops from TU at Sainsbury's
Pink clutch bag from Glam by Caprice at Very.co.uk
Large pink flower earrings from Primark
 
 
 
Are any of you off for some autumn/winter sun? What outfits will you pack?

 
 
 
 

Sunday, 21 October 2012

WhatLauraDid: Week 43

 
Amongst having a cold and working, there hasn't been much time left this week for anything other than exercise in my spare time but despite sniffling constantly, I'm in such a happy place right now.  Life is going really, really well and I'm loving it.  I'm getting involved in so many great projects at the moment that I can't WAIT to tell you all about but I have to remain tight lipped for the time being...
 
For now though, I'll leave you with the posts from this week which were full of beauty favourites, particularly in my holiday empties post and in my Green Eyed Monster makeup look (a review of the NYX products I used in this post is coming up on Tuesday next week).  I also reviewed a gorgeous neck and decollete cream from Dr Nick Lowe.
 
There was also three fashion advertorials on WhatLauraLoves this week which you can check out here, here and here.
 
Hope you all have a great week.
 


Saturday, 20 October 2012

Green Eyed Monster Makeup

When I'm in a rush to put my makeup on for an evening out, I like to stick to products I know are easy to work with and create a fail safe look with no fuss and that's what I've done here. Since I was out to celebrate my birthday with my dad, I thought it would be the perfect occasion to show off my new AX Paris Peacock Dress and what better way to accessorise than with green eye makeup to compliment the look?  Hazel eyed ladies take note; green eyemake up will bring out the colour of your eyes.  Wear it.
For my base, I used the NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation in 03 Natural on a flat top kabuki brush with a little of the Under Eye Concealer from George which is one of those wonder products you rarely come across in life, all set in place with the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in 005 Silky Beige. This look wasn't so much about contouring as it was to show off my already bronzed skin underneath my foundation and concealer and with that notion, I deviated away from my faithful MAC Matte Bronze Contour powder and flirted with my old friend, the Bare Escentuals Warmth Powder to give my most bronzed areas a colourful boost. Of course a little of the MAC bronzer had to be used to contour the sides of my nose, after all no one deserves to be subjected to that landmark starring back at them. A quick sweep of the Bare Escentuals blush in Laughter across my cheeks and my coral bronzed face was well and truly back in business.
Moving onto the eyes and it was time to revert back to my fail safe look when it comes to eye make up- a light matte shade on the brow bone, something darker but still light on the lid blended up to the brow bone, with particular attention paid to the inner corner of the eye, and a darker shade on the outer third blended through the crease. This works with any colour combination and is perfect for when I'm in a rush as I don't have to think about what I'm doing, my trusted friend autopilot kicks in and my eyes are finished in no time. This evening saw In The Buff from the Naked Eye Palette by Too Faced swept across my brow bone to lift and highlight my face, with my new Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Fantasme placed delicately over my lid, blended with my finger up to the brow bone, with a little extra added to the inner corner for some added sparkle- oh this really is a gem. Oh and that darker shade I talked about? Well this time it was the turn of MAC's De Menthe Eyeshadow to be blended through the crease, complimenting the dark green of the peacock feathers in my dress perfectly. Bringing out my features was the NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil in EP03 Medium Brown across my brows whilst I lined my eyes using yet another classic product of mine (hey, if its not broke, don't fix it) in the form of Collection 2000's Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner in black across the upper lash line and my favourite Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil in 01 Onyx along my waterline, all topped off with a coat of my mascara of the moment, the NYX Doll Eye Mascara.
When it comes to lips when going out for a meal, I'd suggest a lipstick that is neutral but moisturising and hydrating so as not to leave you looking patchy, dried out or ridiculous, if it decides to make a run for it across your face. My suggestion? Slick on a bit of the cult favourite Beehive from the 17 Mirror Shine range. Oh and don't forget to pop it into your Mulberry for a quick touch up in the bathroom just after the main course.
A review of the NYX products will be coming up on WhatLauraLoves very soon...
 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Dr Nick Lowe... The Secret Is Out!

For the last two months I've been trying out a new product, new for me that is, not new to the beauty industry, as I've never tried a neck cream before and thought that The Secret Is Out Neck and Decollete Firming Cream from Dr Nick Lowe would be a good place to start.  After all, I regularly spend a small fortune on facial skincare products to keep my skin looking young and fresh but what's the point if my neck and decollete look old and crinkly?
 
Dr Nick Lowe
The Secret Is Out Neck & Decollete Firming Cream
£29.99 for 50ml from Boots

The Secret Is Out Neck and Decollete Firming Cream from Dr Nick Lowe is a thick, luxurious cream that is designed to prevent, protect and repair the skin.  It actually targets the signs of skin damage that occur to the neck and chest area which are often the tell tale signs of age.  I've seen so many women with great wrinkle free skin on their face- either through a good face cream, or botox- but their neck looks saggy and the top of their chest full of lines that become more prominent with a sun tan.  The sun is one of the biggest causes of premature ageing and this cream helps to combat that as it contains SPF 15 and advanced UVA/UVB protection to protect the skin against sun damage now and in the future.  I think if I can do as much to prevent this happening as possible while I'm young then it can only benefit me in the future.  Everyone is going to get old eventually but I'd like to stay looking young for as long as possible.
 
The Neck and Decollete Firming Cream has a lifting, restructuring and protective formula that is full of skin tighteners, anti wrinkle peptides, skin restructuring extracts and fatty acids which help to improve the skins elasticity, therefore reducing the chance of wrinkles, firm and tone the neck and chest area and target irregularities in pigmentation.  Oh and what specifically are these super skin ingredients you may ask?  Well theres a great website for top dermatologist Dr Nick Low that explains all about this super cream's ingredients.
 
Above all, this cream claims that with regular use, the appearance of skin will be improved and look more youthful, toned and radiant and wrinkles will appear reduced.
Dr Nick Lowe Top Skin Secret: "Skin on the neck and chest can age more quickly and appear older than facial skin.  Make twice daily care for this delicate area an essential part of your skincare regime"
 
To use, I simply massage it into my neck and chest area in upward stroking movements (always in an upwards direction so as to not encourage the skin to sag) after I've been in the shower. It can be used once or twice daily and I find that once is enough as it is so moisturising and the hydration it gives the skin is long lasting. I only tend to apply it twice if I'm going on a night out or somewhere special as it is a lovely treat to use.  Once applied, the cream is quite quickly absorbed which I was surprised about as it is so thick.  Aside from being a luxurious, relaxing treat, I wasn't expecting the cream to show results quite so quickly.  Products like this are usually about preventing the ageing of the skin for the future which I believe this product would do but it does definitely improve the appearance of the skin in the present too.  It made my skin, particularly after my holiday, very soft and almost plump looking which in turn made the fine lines on my chest blur and keep looking youthful.
 
I think this is great for those who are concerned about ageing and who want to look after their skin in general.  Add this to your skincare routine and I'm sure you'll not look back!
 
The Dr Nick Lowe The Secret Is Out Neck & Decollete Firming Cream is available from Boots for £29.99 for 50ml.  A little goes a long way with this cream so a 50ml pot should last you months!
 
What Dr Nick Lowe products have you used?  Can you recommend a good neck and decollete cream to me?
P.S. I'm off to see Cheryl Cole tonight at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle and I absolutely cannot wait, I'm SO excited!!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Empties #08 Turkey Holiday Edition Part 2

Today I thought I'd share with you some more products that I used up on my recent holiday to Turkey.  Here's the first post and I hope you enjoy part two!
 
 
Schwarzkopf Gliss Liquid Silk Shampoo and Conditioner
I absolutely LOVE this shampoo and conditioner and would repurchase without a moments thought.  They're designed for dull, brittle hair which mine certainly is, but it's also very oily at the roots; I was interested to see how these would perform.  The shampoo is targeted at hair repair and contains liquid keratin, liquid silk and gloss enhancers which help to smooth and soften hair leaving it shiny and glossy but above all, clean.  I found that on my chlorine, sea salt and sun exposed hair this shampoo worked wonders at removing the build up from my holiday hair and softening my hair that was very sea crisp!  The conditioner softened my hair further and made it so easy to managing whilst adding a lovely healthy shine to my hair without making it greasy.  I was able to use it all over my hair and it didn't make my roots any more oily than normal.  The gorgeous pearlescent pink packaging and slight floral fragrance just add to the beauty of this duo.  As I said, I'd repurchase in a heart beat!

O Mega Body Buff from Mama Mio Skincare
I got this in a Glossy Box AGES ago and kept it to one side to take on holiday.  I must say, I'm not a fan and wont be repurchasing.  I don't like the smell of it, which is quite herbal scented.  It is full of finely ground bits which are pretty abrasive when used on dry skin but are rendered almost useless when used on wet skin.  This is definitely one to use out of the shower.  I had some dry peeling skin on the crease of my elbow and shoulder and used this on my skin before getting into the shower and it was great, removed all of the dry skin and prepared my skin for another day of tanning.  That aside, there are far better body scrubs out there.

Piz Buin After Sun Tan Intensifier Lotion
I've used this aftersun for years and whilst I don't think it lives up to it's claims of 24 hour hydration, I do think that it is one of the few aftersuns that actually moisturise the skin to some extent and make it feel soft and smooth.  In the past I've used other aftersuns and once they've dried I've ended up having to use another body moisturiser straight afterwards but not with this one.  I tend to apply it, go out for the evening and before I go to bed I top it up with a little body moisturiser if I feel the need.  It contains vitamin E which helps to prevent premature skin ageing which I like the sound of too... I'll let you know in 20 years time if it has worked!  Whilst the Piz Buin lotion contains 'tanimel' to intensify the wearers tan, I'm not sure how far I believe that it has deepened my tan but I do think that keeping the skin moisturised and hydrated after sun exposure helps to prolong the tan and reduces peeling.  It has that great Piz Buin scent too that just screams HOLIDAY to me!  Whilst this is a nice after sun, I wouldn't repurchase it.  I actually have quite a few of these in the house that I'm trying to use up as a couple of years ago I found my holy grail after sun and I've never turned back...

Piz Buin Tan Intensifier SPF15
This is a medium strength sun tan lotion spray that does the job of keeping me burn free whilst away on holiday.  Again, this is a product I've used time and time again over the years and whilst I prefer an oil formula in sun protection I still take one of these away with me on my travels.  I find using a lotion as my first sun tan application of the day and then topping it up with an SPF oil spray keeps my skin hydrated and produces the best tan whilst stopping me from burning.  This tan also has the signature Piz Buin scent that I know and love!

Clarins Water Purify One Step Cleanser with mint essential water
This one step cleanser is a staple in my inflight beauty routine and I took loads of these away with me on holiday this year.  It really is just one step and removes all of my makeup, excess oil and dirt in one go.  This one is designed for combination or oily skin and it is soooo cleansing and purifying.  I love it as it is so simple to use; I tip a little onto a cotton pad and leave it to dry, there's no need to rinse off at all.  I have the full size of this at home but always pick up these samples when I go to my local Clarins counter for when I travel.

Clarins Pure and Radiant Mask with pink clay and Planet Spa from Avon Dead Sea Minerals Facial Mud Mask and Hydrating Olive Oil Mask
Face masks are an essential part of my holiday toiletry bag and I used several of these little minis while I was away.  The Clarins was just a sample, a very nice one but not big enough to fully give my opinion on.  I would definitely purchase the full size to try out and fully review for you all, simply because I trust the Clarins brand so much.  I applied it to my t zone, left it for 10 minutes to harden and then washed it off using a face cloth ran under warm water as a little extra exfoliation.  The results weren't instant, I think you'd need a couple of full face applications but from what I saw, I liked.  My t zone was deeply cleaned, oil free and the skin was looking bright.  As for the Planet Spa masks, they're great.  The olive oil once is really hydrating and moisturising, I would often leave it on over night to really sink in and then wash it off with my morning shower and the dead sea minerals mask was, aside from the bright blue colour, very deep cleansing- perfect for days spent applying lots of sun tan lotion!  The Avon face masks come in handy one use 5ml sachets which are perfect for travelling and great to keep in your hand luggage bag to save the extra weight in your suitcase!

Dirty Works Banish The Bags Eye Cream
This is a great brightening eye cream that I used throughout my holiday from my time on the plane to the evenings after I'd removed my make up before bed.  I reviewed this here and would definitely repurchase it.  It's a great budget beauty buy.

Dirty Works Lift and Firm Super Skin Serum
Again this is another product I used on the plane and as part of my morning and evening makeup routine.  I've already repurchased this.  Read my full review here.

Wilkinson Sword Xtreme 3 Ladies Razor
I always have a pack of these disposable razors in my beauty drawer at home as they're perfect for travelling.  They're really sharp without being a cutting hazard and stay that way for the duration of my two week travels when I go abroad.  I'd definitely recommend them.

Decelor Aroma Sun Tan Accelerator
This is one of Decleor's pre sun care products.  It contains essential oils and plant extracts in signature Decleor style and has lots of good ingredients inside to help prepare the skin for holiday tanning.  I use the full size of this for about a week before I go on holiday all over my face and body, morning and night and then I tend to take a little sample away or decant a little into another bottle for the first couple of days to use on my face while I'm on holiday.  It really helps my skin to develop a gorgeous golden tan.

Decelor Aroma Sun Expert Soothing After Sun Milk
Remember that holy grail after sun I mentioned?  Well this is it, from Decleor.  It is my favourite out of all of those I've tried over the years and I repurchase it year on year.  The packaging is a bit of a pain as it doesn't get all of the product out so it can be quite wasteful if you're not careful but it's the most moisturising and hydrating I've ever used, even more so than the Piz Buin and smells amazing.  It is very creamy, very milky and very, very hydrating whilst being a fantastic moisturiser; I cannot fault the aftersun itself.  I love, love love it!

What products do you take away with you?

Sunday, 14 October 2012

WhatLauraDid: Week 42

 
It's been a busy week for me this week.  Not for any particular reason, I've just had loads to sort out and I've been trying out lots of different products ready to review.  I also got some great news too- I won the Evans blogger style challenge from this post that I asked you all to like my photo on Facebook for so thank you all so much for voting for me.  I've won a mini Evans shopping spree and received my voucher this week so I'm busy picking out some pieces from their latest items.  I'm actually going to pick all casual clothes because it has been requested SO many times by email and on Twitter that I do some day time WhatLauraWore outfit posts and well, your wish is my command!  So I'll be spending my voucher on clothes to put together outfits for you all... isn't that nice lol.
 
Speaking of fashion, I blogged about the gorgeous peacock print dress from AX Paris this week and I know I said I'd have the makeup look up straight after but by the time I got home from work the lighting was rubbish to photograph the products I'd used so that will be coming up this week instead.
 
For hair, I blogged about some samples I'd tried out from Davines which are perfect if you're someone who has chlorine, sea or sun exposed hair; think holidays, surfing, skiing, you name it these products are great for it.  Another product which is great for keeping your skin soft all year round whether you're at home or away is the Pore-Fect Face Scrub from Dirty Works, check it out and please vote for them at the Sainsbury's Beauty Awards.
 
Oh and saving the best until last, I blogged about a cleanser and a holy grail status body butter from Good Things that just has to be tried out.
 
Hope you've all had a good week.

Dirty Works Pore-Fect Face Scrub

You all know by now how much of a fan I am of the Dirty Works range of skincare, available from Sainsbury's online and in store.  A while ago now I reviewed the Blemish Buster 2 in 1 Scrub and Mask which was the first facial scrub I'd tried from Dirty Works and I was so impressed with it as it literally gives instant results.  Lately I've been keeping that to use as a weekly exfoliating face mask treat, leaving space for a more regular face scrub in my life and the one that I have been using is the Dirty Works Pore-Fect Face Scrub.
 
Pore-Fect Face Scrub from Dirty Works
 
£4.99 from Sainsbury's for a 125ml tube
If you need a bit of extra help waking up in the morning then I'd really recommend this as a scrub to use in the shower as it has a very invigorating and awakening feeling and scent.  Quite fruity yet with a hint of, i dunno, eucalyptus or mint or something... whatever it is it gives that cooling, slightly tingling sensation on the skin that, admittedly not everyone will like (if you have sensitive skin I'd recommend the Blemish Buster 2 in 1 scrub and mask to use as it doesn't have the cooling sensation) , but it is certainly a hit with me as I feel like it helps to clean out and tighten my pores.  I tend to use this when my skin is damp after splashing it with warm water as I find that it is most abrasive and effective that way.  I work it around my face in circular motions, paying particular attention to the areas where my skin tends to have the most problems- eyebrows for dry skin and nose and cheeks for blackheads and enlarged pores.  The scrub itself is abrasive enough to remove all of your dead skin but gentle enough to use every other day.  It leaves my skin feeling soft, smooth and refreshed.  Goodbye lacklustre skin, hello bright, radiant complexion!
 
Have a look at the whole Dirty Works range on their website and then get shopping at Sainsbury's... go on, you know you want to!

Oh and please take a couple of minutes out of your Sunday to do me a HUGE favour.... Dirty Works have been nominated for two awards in this year's Sainsbury's Beauty Awards in the categories of Premium Bath and Body and for Beauty Hero. For every award they win they will offer 50 of their Facebook Fans the chance to win the two products that have been put up for the award for; the Banish the Bags Eye Cream and Buff Your Stuff Body Scrub. Here is the link to the site where you can vote for them. I'd love it if you would vote and I really hope they win!

Hope you have a lovely Sunday, tell me all about any Sunday pampering you're getting up to.  I'm off to have a bath now!
 

Friday, 12 October 2012

The Great Thing About Good Things

Two products that I've used religiously since returning from my holiday have been the Deep Pore Anti Blemish Cleanser which is great for those with skin that is oily or prone to break outs and the Ultra Rich Body Butter from Good Things.  This has been the first opportunity I've had to try out products from this brand and I have to say, I am ridiculously impressed, I can't wait to tell you all about them.


All Good Things products are free from a lot of the nasties that you find in other skincare products like parabens, sodium laureth sulphate, animal ingredients (making it suitable for vegetarians and vegans) and mineral oils, so you know you're getting absolute natural goodness that can only be a good thing for your skin when you use these products!
 
Good Things
Deep Pore Anti Blemish Cleanser
 

£4.99 for 200ml from Boots
 
First up is the Good Things Deep Pore Anti Blemish Cleanser which I've been using to cleanse my face in the morning and to remove my makeup at night.  In fact, I tend to double cleanse at night so first I'll use one large cotton pad to take my make up off, which this cleanser does a very thorough job at, and then I'll use another cotton pad to really deeply clean my face.  Rather than washing it off, I just leave it to dry so it really is a simple, no fuss product.  It leaves my skin feeling very clean, without being stripped of natural oils and uncomfortably squeeky.  It feels soft and smooth and ready for a good moisturiser and makeup, for which it provides a lovely base.

The good thing about this product is that it is actually a cleanser and toner together and when I use it I can really feel and see that it has cleaned my skin right down into my pores which in turn has reduced the number of black heads I have and has tightened my enlarged pores particularly those on my cheeks next to my nose.  It removes makeup effortlessly, even my stubborn eye makeup, as well as taking away excess oil and sebum which clog pores and cause spots and blackheads.  My favourite thing about this cleanser, other than the way it performs is actually the fruity scent.  It contains superfruit extracts of fig and wild strawberry and boy can you smell the strawberry in it!  It is gorgeous.  The superfruit extracts have great beneficial properties to help the skin too, like the fig extract is there to soften the skin whilst the wild strawberry extract is what makes the skin look radient after use.  This cleanser is great news for those who suffer from break outs as it contains extracts of licorice and willow bark which are both brilliant at keeping spot causing bacteria at bay!  I really believe that it is the superfruit extract in this cleanser that really does my skin the world of good.  It has kept it clear, soft and smooth, youthful looking and blemish free.  What more can I ask for?
 
Good Things
Ultra Rich Body Butter

£5.99 for 300ml from Boots
I thought I'd keep my favourite product until last, the Good Things Ultra Rich Body Butter which quite frankly, is fantastic.  This is hand on heart THE BEST body butter I've ever used.  Forget The Body Shop famous body butters as this literally laughs in their face.  I first started using this when I got back from Turkey.  My skin was deeply sun skin but drying out, in danger of peeling and in desperate need of a bit of deep moisturising, so I thought that would be the perfect opportunity to try out a body butter claiming to be ultra rich and if I'm honest, I could never have predicted the treat this product had in store for me.  For starters it is so thick, I could literally take the lid off the tub and stand with it upside down above my head for days and the product wouldn't go anywhere.  It is ultra thick, ultra moisturising and ultra luxurious.  The thing I love most about this body butter is the length of time it keeps you moisturised for.  I can apply this, for example, on a Sunday night and by the Monday evening my skin is still feeling ridiculously soft and moisturised and it is directly from this body butter.  I'm finding it quite hard to explain, even though it is something so simple, I guess it's just one of those things that has to be used- and seen- to be believed.  You know that feeling when your skin feels really soft and it's because you have just applied an intense cream, that feeling where you know you have a product on your skin but not in a greasy film leaving way, well it's like that but even more long lasting.  Normally I'll use a body butter, lotion or cream at night and it makes my skin lovely and soft and the next morning I feel pampered but by the evening I'm needing to reapply, well not with this body butter it keeps my skin ridiculously soft and for that reason I can only deduce that it is physically making my skin improve and become softer rather than just adding a softening layer to my skin.

I tend to have a bath or shower every night so I'll apply this all over my body after I've got out and dried off.  Because it is so thick and creamy, it takes a bit of work to get into your skin which is so worth it and I believe this helps to improve your circulation as you're working it into your skin.  The body butter itself leaves my skin intensely hydrated, deeply moisturised, super soft and smooth but also firm.  Like with the Good Things cleanser, the body butter also contains superfruit extracts, this time with mango seed oil and papaya which smell amazing and help to lock in precious moisture into the skin for a (hang on.... I'm just reading the back of the tub now for the first time) 'proven 24-hour moisturising effect'.  Well judging by the paragraph above, I can certainly vouch for that!!

Good Things have a great website where you can read more about the brand and have a look at all of their products.  I've been doing a bit of window shopping on there, taking a mental note of all of the products I'd love to try out when I'm next at the shops.  Speaking of shops, the Good Things range is available to buy in store and online in Boots, Superdrug and Sainsbury's.  Personally, I tend to find that Boots has the biggest range of products, plus they're on 3 for 2 at the moment which for an already affordable skincare brand is brilliant as there are even more savings to be made!

It goes without saying that I would absolutely 100% repurchase the products I have used here and more from the range, I've been recommending them to all of my friends and I'd recommend them to you all too.  Give them a go, you'll not be disappointed, I promise.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

WhatLauraWore: Peacock Loving with AX Paris

Last night my daddy took me out for a belated birthday dinner as it was the first time I'd seen him since before I went away on holiday and celebrated my birthday.  We went to a lovely upmarket pan Asian restaurant and I thought I'd share with you some quick snaps of the gorgeous dress I wore to dinner.
The dress I'm wearing is the gorgeous and very comfortable to wear Peacock Printed Drop Back dress from my favourite place to shop for evening and party dresses, AX Paris.  I love the unusual peacock print of the dress, it's so beautiful, very (dare I say it) 'on trend' for this season and it is unlike anything else I have in my wardrobe.  For an evening out in town, a party or celebration or enjoying a dinner with friends, this dress is perfect.  The dress has a drop back making it quite short at the front and dropping elegantly low at the back which looks great when walking in it, very floaty.  The dress is lined down to the shortest part of the bottom of the dress at the front and continues onto the back so it covers everything.  I love the cut of the dress, particularly how it comes up high underneath the arms, not unusually high, it just leaves the right amount of arm hole space which I find many plus size clothes don't.  It has plenty of room is the bust and is elasticated underneath the bust so it cinches you in a creates shape to your figure.  A little shrug could be worn to cover up your arms if you're not a fan of them but with this dress, I doubt you'd need to as everyone would be looking at the gorgeous print of the dress!

WhatLauraWore:
Earrings: Primark
Heels: Black peep toes from Matalan
Bag: Mulberry Daria Clutch
Watch: DKNY Rose Gold bracelet watch from Earnest Jones
I'll be posting a face of the night style post tomorrow showing the makeup I wore in this post.  I love green eye makeup on hazel eyes as it looks gorgeous and brings out the colour of the eyes.  I'll also review some of the makeup I wore too as I was trying out some great bits from NYX.  Stay tuned for that!
Hope you're all well, stay beautiful

Monday, 8 October 2012

Protect your Hair with Davines

Davines have created the SU range, designed to respond to the needs of your hair before, during and after exposure to the sun.  They are recommend for hair that is exposed to the sun, salt and chlorine so they are perfect for use on holiday where you'll be sun bathing and swimming in the pool and the sea.  There are three signature products in the range; Su/Creme the Protecting Moisturising Cream designed to protect your hair, Su/Shampoo the Renewing Protective After Sun Shampoo designed to cleanse your hair and Su/Pak the Nourishing Replenishing Mask designed to treat your hair, all of which I've been trying out while on holiday in Turkey which seemed like the perfect place to see what they can really do.
 
These sample sachets lasted me three days so I chose to use them on the days on holiday when my hair would be put through its paces the most; the day before, day of and day after a boat trip in the sun to celebrate my birthday.  I really enjoyed using all of the products
 
Davines Su/Creme Protective Moisturising Sun Creme
This is a protective moisturising cream for the hair that is designed to be applied to dry hair before sun exposure to stop it from drying out and to prevent it from being damaged by chlorine, salt and the sun.  This product contains one of my favourite hair care ingredients, Argan Oil which is very anti ageing and when applied, you can really tell that it is in there as the moisturising cream itself is so softening and makes your hair silky smooth.  This product also contains antioxidant agents, and essential fatty acids omega 3 and 6 as well as UVA and UVB filters which protect hair from damage caused by the sun.  It really did keep my hair feeling soft and sleek while sun bathing and especially after swimming in the sea where my hair usually goes really dry and crispy from all the salt.
 
Davines say that this product is best for fine and dry hair which mine certainly is, well dry on the ends and very fine, however I can see this working equally well on thick and oily hair too because it's so moisturising and you would wash it out before going out on an evening anyway so it doesn't matter if you've used it on oily hair.
 
To apply, using the full size you would usualy spritz through the hair but since my samply was in a sachet, I squeezed a small amount out, rubbed it over my hands and then applied it evenly over my hair when it was dry.  I then used a wide tooth comb to comb it through my hair to ensure it was evenly distributed and then I applied some more to the ends of my hair.  I found that concentrating the product on the ends of my hair really helped to stop my ends from going frizzy and splitting in the sun through drying out.  I then went about my day in the sun as normal and on the day of the boat trip where I was in the sun literally all day, I reapplied the product because I had been swimming, etc and wanted to make sure my hair was fully protected.  At the end of the day, I washed out the cream using the Davines Renewing Protective After Sun Shampoo.  The full size of the Protective Moisturising Sun Creme retails for £17.40 for a 125ml spray bottle.
 
Davines Renewing Protective After Sun Shampoo
This shampoo was absolutely brilliant at removing the build up of salt and chlorine in my hair when I was on holiday.  I used it as I would a normal shampoo, making sure I had massaged it in well into my scalp and then thoroughly rinsing my hair and I couldn't believe how clean my hair felt afterwards, very thoroughly cleansed.  I think the shampoo works hand in hand with the Protective Sun Creme as it makes the hair really clean and therefore the sun creme is able to really protect the actual hair fully because it doesn't have all of the build up that comes with sun stressed and sea/pool exposed hair to contend with.  The after sun shampoo contains almond proteins that have protective properties as well as ceramides, fatty acids and avocado oil that have restructuring properties.  The full size of this product retails for £13.20 for a 250ml bottle.
 
Davines Nourishing Replenishing Mask
Oh this mask is lovely after a day in the sun.  The sachet states to leave it on for 1 to 5 minutes before rinsing but would I actually leave mine on for 2 hours while I had my late afternoon nap and after rinsing it out my hair was always so soft, easy to manage and very healthy looking, not a frazzled frizzy strand in sight!  The almond butter and argan oil in the mask really deeply nourishes the hair rather than masking the hair in silicones.  The full size of this product retails for £18.05 for a 150ml tube
 
I'm so impressed with these Davines products, I'd definitely repurchase the full sized offerings for future holidays.  If you're off for some winter sun then I'd definitely recommend them.  You can check out my other Davines review here where I look at a gorgeous leave in conditioning mist and a shampoo for fine and stressed hair.

Davines is available from leading salons nationwide and if you'd like to find out where Davines is stocked in your area, please contact 0203 3015449 for more information.