Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Help Me Pick My Fancy Dress Outfit!

In June it'll be my friend's 26th Birthday and she's having a party at her house.  Of course I accepted the invite but on closer inspection, it's a themed party... 80s themed. That means I need a costume! 

After my Manuka Doctor review post where I dressed up as a bee, I'm sure you're all aware that I'm quite partial to the odd fancy dress occasion, but this year I'm a little stumped.  My friend is the kind to go all out and really go to town on the party and her costume, so for me, nipping to the local fancy dress shop on the day just won’t do.  For this party, I really need to plan ahead!

I was born in 1988 so I can't really draw on my own 80's fashion for inspiration as I doubt romper suits and baby grows would quite cut the mustard.  

I do have a “Made In The 80s” t-shirt from a few years back hanging around somewhere, that I thought I could perhaps wear with leggings and leg warmers…although I doubt I'd find it and the chances of it still fitting are next to none, so I am essentially in search of a new outfit.  

When I think of 80's fashion, I imagine crimped and curled hair, jelly bracelets, sports luxe, loads of neon, bright clothes, leg warmers, oversized clothes - so that's what I've been searching for online.  
After a lot of searching, I have found a great website for fancy dress called Fancy Dress Ball, which seems easy to navigate and they’re reasonably priced – which is a plus, as I’d rather keep this expense to a minimum, as it’s just a one-off occasion wear.

There are SO many options to choose from, which made this outfit planning process a lot less stressful.  I eventually managed to narrow my choices down to three... but now I need YOUR help to decide which one to buy!

Madonna's got nothing on me...

So the first of my 80's fancy dress idea is the 80's Wild Child Costume, which comes with a black and gold top, jacket and tutu, leggings gloves and a headband. So all I'd need to do would be to tightly curl my hair, ruffle it up a bit and wear some white heels.  

My second choice is the 80's Party Girl Costume, which is a more bright and colourful take on the 1980's.  It comes with a camisole, corset, reversible pettiskirt and leg warmers  - but I definitely think I'd have to get a brightly coloured wig and some jelly bracelets to go with it.  

My final choice is the 80's Let's Get Physical Girl, which is a fantastic sporty take on the 80's.  This look is all about the brights and comes with a leotard, crop top, shorts and a plaited headband so all I'd need to add would be some bright coloured leggings and some beads!

As you can see, I'm spoilt for choice so I'm really looking for your recommendations as to which look to go for.

Which is your favourite outfit?

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Monday, 29 April 2013

Win An Hour Back

This month, the clocks sprang forward into Spring but in turn, we all lost a precious hour of our day.  This got me thinking about what I would do if I were to have that hour back.  Of course I could spend it snuggled up in bed or catching up on the soaps but I could do that at any time.  If I were to get that hour back, it should be something special.

If I were to get an hour of my day back, I'd spend it with Mr WLL.  We're getting married next year and we're both working so hard in the run up to it that any time we get to spend together is precious.  We love going for long walks in the countryside and finding somewhere to stop for afternoon tea.  We love quaint little sandwiches, scones and cream tea.

Sounds like a great way to spend that lost hour doesn't it?  Well I have been lucky enough to be treated to just that.  Dreams Beds kindly treated me and Mr WLL to a champagne afternoon tea as part of their 'Win An Hour Back' campaign.

Oh and what a treat it was!  Sat in a couple of cosy chairs, in front the huge windows looking out over the lawn with the sun pouring in, we enjoyed some delicious dainty sandwiches made up of cucumber with cream cheese, smoked salmon, ham with mustard and egg mayo, all finished off with an array of sweet cakes and a freshly baked scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam.  Whilst Mr WLL opted for a freshly brewed coffee after his glass of Laurent-Perrier Brut NV Champagne, I chose a warming pot of Afternoon Darjeeling tea.

What really made it a treat though was the time we were able to spend together- that's what really matters.  Thank you Dreams for giving us some quality time together.

You can follow Dreams Beds on their Twitter account and read all about the #WinAnHourBack campaign.

What would you do if you could win an hour back?

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Sunday, 28 April 2013

WhatLauraWore: Stepping Into Spring

Today, the sun is shining and the temperature is heating up.  I'm out with the girls for a few cocktails in Revs this afternoon so I thought I'd share with you the outfit I'm wearing before I go out.

This dress is from AX Paris- surprise, surprise, I have a wardrobe full of dresses from them as they're my favourite retailer for night out dresses, I absolutely LOVE them.  The dress I'm wearing here is the Border Print Collar Dress in their latest print and it is perfect for summer.  The mix of summery shades with the cream skirt compliment each other so well and scream spring time to me.  It is a skater dress shape with a really pretty floaty skirt that really catches the air as your walk.  It has a cute collar and the top buttons up so you can tailor it to your tastes and show as much cleavage as you like!  I'm wearing it here with my cropped denim jacket to keep it casual and some pretty sandals.

Border Print Collar Dress from AX Paris
Cropped Denim Jacket by Joe Browns at Simply Be
White and gold clutch bag from Claire's Accessories
Flower sandals from Primark
Gold diamante watch from D&G at Goldsmiths

What are your plans for the summer?  How would you style this dress?

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Saturday, 27 April 2013

Xen-Tan Dark Lotion, Body Scrub and Mitt Review

When it comes to tanning lotions, the Xen-Tan Dark Lotion is leading the way.  If you're looking for a deep and dark yet natural tan then this HAS to be the false tan for you.  Earlier in the week I wrote about this tanning lotion in a comparative post with two other dark lotions but I love it that much I thought it deserved it's own post.

The Xen-Tan Dark Lotion has a light lotion formula that applies evenly all over my body.  I can even use this on my face without it clogging my pores or giving me spots.  I wear latex gloves and a towelling buffing mitt to apply the lotion as I find that works best for me and my skin but the Xen-Tan applicator mitt below works equally as well (£3.50 from Feel Unique).  The drying time on this lotion is just about right.  It doesn't sit wet on the skin for ages meaning that I have to stand in an awkward fake tan position for an hour and it also doesn't dry incredibly quickly either so that it can't be buffed into the skin.

Dark Lotion includes coconut and walnut oils within it's ingredients and I think that this definitely influences it's effect on the skin.  After application, my skin is left feeling soft and moisturised which is unusual for a false tan as usually they make my skin feel very tight and dry.  It is also left smelling pretty good too- like marzipan and almonds... very similar to Cherry Bakewells.  It is only after it has been left on my skin for many hours that it begins to have a faint scent of fake tan.  The tan really sinks into the skin too and looks even and smooth, making it ideal if you want to apply it and go about your day.  As it happens, I tend to tan at night but I have, on the odd occasion, popped out to the shops wearing this tan and it didn't generate any funny looks- result!

This is one of my favourite false tans simply because of the colour.  It is the one that I turn to when I need a deep dark colour after just one application, such was the case when it came to my photoshoot with Simply Be.  After only one application of the Dark Lotion I was photo ready.  Wearing this tan made me feel more confident, slimmer and perfected.  I never have to worry about turning orange and streaky with Dark Lotion because it has a great olive colour.  Being green toned means that any orange tones are counteracted, giving the tan a gorgeous olive, golden tan.  Think two weeks in the Caribbean.

I find that Dark Lotion lasts on my skin for about a week before I need to scrub the remaining tan off which is more than long enough for me as I tend to tan the night before a specific event or night out.

Xen-Tan is a premium tanning brand so it is more expensive than some of the more budget tans out there.  With Dark Lotion, you really do get what you pay for though and if you're looking for a dark tan but you're worried about going orange or too dark then I'd really recommend this one as it is completely fool proof.  When bought from the official Xen-Tan website it is priced at £28.99 for 236ml however I tend to buy mine from Feel Unique where it is lots cheaper at £20.95 with free delivery!

A new addition to my tanning routine has been the Xen-Ten Body Scrub.

At first I thought this wasn't going to work for me as it isn't very abrasive at all but the more I used it, the more I realised that that's why its so good.    I use my usual abrasive body scrub before tanning as I have psoriasis so I have some dry patches on my skin but once I've tanned, I use this body scrub each time I wash to exfoliate my skin.  It doesn't strip the tan from my skin whatsoever, it just allows it to fade evenly.  I love that it has a fresh minty  smell too.

The Xen-Tan Body Scrub is £10.95 from Feel Unique.

What are your thoughts on the Xen Tan Dark Lotion?

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Friday, 26 April 2013

Rose Gold Jewellery Haul

There's not many WhatLauraWore outfit posts that go by without my rose gold DKNY watch on my wrist.  I absolutely love it but I must admit I don't actually have any rose gold coloured jewellery to go with it.  It's only been the last few months that rose gold costume jewellery has really become popular but up until now, I could only find the more alternative, spike style jewellery.  Now I know what you're all thinking... if that girls buys any more jewellery she'll need to hire out some self storage, but trust me on this one, I HAD to have these.  Behold my rose gold jewellery haul.

For girly girls who want to wear rose gold but with a bit of a sparkle then I'd highly recommend going to Next for your jewellery.  They have some AMAZING pieces.  Lets take a closer look...

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this necklace as it is EXACTLY what I've been looking for and the fact that it is in rose gold is the icing on the cake.  I often see girls wearing these chunky chain necklaces but I have yet to find one that suits me as they all seem too chunky with the chain going all the way around.  This one is half and half so it has a more dainty necklace with the larger chain detailing at the bottom, where your chest would be.  One of the links is covered in diamantes which adds so much sparkle to an already eye catching necklace.  At £12 it is more expensive than the cheap costume jewellery I buy from Primark but I'm really trying to move away from the cheaper jewellery and instead, investing in some great pieces that I can mix and match.  This necklace is great value for money as it is so high quality.

Another take on rose gold are these disc and ring earrings for £8.  Again, these are such fantastic quality and I've worn them several times since I bought them and they are yet to tarnish.  They look great peaking out through my hair and the diamantes really catch the light.

Pink and rose gold were made for each other as this bracelet shows.  I love the different sized hearts on it, they really sparkle and catch the light.  The bracelet is stretchy but it is generously sized to begin with so this would fit many wrist sizes.  At £12 this is another great buy for my jewellery stash.

Cream and gold bangle with the summer coming up- need I say any more?  It's £8, an absolute bargain as it's great quality.  Go out and get it, go go go!

What is your favourite piece?  What great rose gold pieces have you found in the shops?

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Thursday, 25 April 2013

Sleeping Yourself Beautiful

When I studied psychology at college, I learnt all about the different theories of sleep and the repair and restoration theory sticks quite prominently in my mind now.  It's the notion that sleep is essential for revitalising and restoring the body and mind so that remains healthy and functions correctly.  Looking back, I don't think I fully appreciated my student days and the potential sleeping hours I passed up in favour of partying till the small hours and still making it into college for a 9am lecture.  Nowadays, I'm much more partial to an evening in on the sofa in front of the TV and an early night.  With that in mind, I'm always partial to trying out products designed to either aid a good nights sleep or to restore the body while I'm sleeping and I've got a great selection here to share, all from Holland and Barrett.

Black Cherry Concentrate, £11.69
For a healthy alternative to cordial and fizzy pop,  trying adding some of this Black Cherry Concentrate to still or sparkling water.  Use it hot as a soothing, warming drink at bedtime or to combat a cold.  Having a hot drink before bedtime helps you to feel sleepy and so can aid a peaceful nights sleep- its the cooling sensation that can make you feel tired as your body warms up as you drink and then cools back down.  A little goes a very long way with this and you can sweeten it to taste, although I find it doesn't need it.  As this is purely black cherries, there are no hidden nasties and additives so you can rest assured that you're taking in only goodness.  Black cherries are rich in antioxidants and are supposed to reduce inflammation making them a great alternative therapy for gout and arthritis.

Wonder Oil, £10.89

Wonder Oil is a strong, orange scented multi-use oil packed full of oils, herbs and fruits.  Rich Olive Oil, Safflower Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Sesame Oil and Jojoba Oil combine with 14 herbs, Grapefruit, Lemon and Orange to create a potent mix that works wonders on the skin.  Having a hot bath is another way to make you feel sleepy and ready for bed.  Wonder Oil is great for two reasons as not only can it be used as a bath oil but it can be massaged into the skin too.  It is packed full of goodness to keep your body continually moisturised all night long as your skin literally drinks it in and when you wake up, your skin is super soft.  I tend to apply this to the patches of psoriasis that I have as the skin in these areas can become very cracked and sore.  Wonder Oil gets to work on these areas while I sleep, leaving the skin feeling renewed and pain free.  

Lavender Pure Essential Oil, £4.99

Another way to create a relaxing, night time bath is with the edition of essential oils, namely lavender as it is highly regarded for its soothing and comforting properties.  Run a hot bath and add a few drops of this into it before soaking for 15 minutes.  I like to use it most on my pillow.  I drop a little onto a tissue and slide it underneath my pillow case and I really find that it helps me to drift off into the land of nod that little bit quicker and stay there as if I wake up during the night I tend to fall straight back to sleep as the lavender is so relaxing.  Both my body and mind feel the benefits of getting a good nights sleep.  When I am well rested, I am more alert, amiable  and patient, my skin looks youthful and full of life, I don't have unsightly bags under my eyes and I generally feel more positive and energetic.

Dr Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Night Cream, £9.49

The Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Night Cream can be used both on the face and the body to provide bioactive overnight therapy for the skin.  It is packed full of vitamins, antioxidants like Kigelia, Roselle and Boabab, and essential fatty acids as well as organic essential oils and fruit extracts like orange, patchouli oil and aloe vera leaf juice.  While you sleep, it deeply softens and moisturises the skin, increases the levels of vitamin C which assists in the production of collagen, helping you to wake up with more youthful looking skin.  It is thick and easily absorbed into the skin so it is perfectly fine to apply it just before bedtime as it settles into the skin in no time at all.

What products do you use to sleep yourself beautiful?

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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Empties #12

There's nothing more satisfying than chucking out empty bottles and this time, I've got a great mix to share with you all.  Feast your eyes on this little lot...

Estee Lauder Doube Wear Light- Available from Estee Lauder and Boots
Double Wear Light is my favourite foundation.  It gives my oily skin a matte medium coverage that lasts for most of the day and it doesn't oxidise at all unlike Double Wear which I find does start to turn orange when worn for longer periods.  I've done a full review here.

Molecule 01 fragrance by Escentric Molecules- Available from Liberty and Cult Beauty
This perfume is so difficult to explain the scent of.  It is made up of one molecule, the one that is supposed to make you smell sexy and alluring, like natural pheromones.  I was first introduced to this fragrance by Gemma Collins who told me that all of the TOWIE girls wear it.  Well that was all I needed to know and I've been wearing it ever since.  Most recently on a recent night out to some bars in London while I was there attending an event and I couldn't believe how many times I was asked what fragrance I was wearing!  I'd definitely repurchase this.

Klorane Eye Make Up Remover- Available from Escentual and John Lewis 
This is by far my favourite eye make up remover, ever.  I've already repurchased this on a recent trip to John Bell and Croyden in London.  I soak a small amount onto a cotton pad, hold it over my eye lid for a few seconds and then I wipe away the make up.  It gets rid of all eye make up, even the toughest waterproof liquid liner and eyelash glue.  The formula isn't oily in the slightest and it is so gentle that even the most sensitive of skin types could use it.  Read my full review here.

Sugar Crush Body Scrub by Soap and Glory- Available from Boots
OMG absolutely love this.  It smells amazing, just like key lime pie and does an awesome job at exfoliating my skin, leaving it soft and smooth.  I've already repurchased it and I'll continue to for years to come I'm sure! Read my full review here.

Avene Gentle Toner- Available from Boots
If you have sensitive skin then I'd really recommend the Gentle Toner from Avene.  It's alcohol free making it super gentle and it is able to remove all lasting traces of make up, dirt and excess oil without making the skin feel tight.  It is designed for dry and very dry sensitive skin but I find it works great on my oily complexion.  I wouldn't repurchase it at the moment, only because I have a few other toners to get through first but I certainly would recommend it.  Read my full review here.

Dove Maximum Protection deodorant- Available from Boots
My usual cream deodorant is the Sure Maximum Protection Deodorant however I bought the Dove version as it was on offer for £2.50 instead of just over £5, thinking it would be exactly the same as the Sure version.  It isn't.  I didn't find this to keep me feeling fresh all day, unlike the Sure brand.  The pomegranate and lemon verbena scent is pretty but I definitely wouldn't pay the full price for this deodorant as I think it is very over priced for something that doesn't work particularly well.  If I'm spending £5.30 on a deodorant then I expect it to be high performing.  Needless to say, I'll not be buying this again.

Angela Langford Scrub Up- Available from Angela Langford
Scrub Up by Angela Langford is a light fruity scrub that helps to clean and clear the skin.  It isn't particularly abrasive and I have come to realise that I prefer to use something a little more harsh on my skin so I wont be repurchasing it myself but I would definitely recommend it to those who prefer something more gentle as it is lovely.  Read my full review here.

Origins GinZing Eye Cream- Available from Origins and Boots
I love this eye cream as it is so cooling which really helps to de-puff my eyes in the morning and get rid of the bags nestling under my eyes from my regular lack of sleep.  The salmon colour of the cream helps to counteract any discolouration under the eye and the light reflecting particles ensure the eye area is looking bright and awake.

Bare Minerals in Warmth by Bare Escentuals- Available from Feel Unique
Warmth is an all over face colour, designed to warm up the complexion.  I've used this for years and years having received many pots in the Bare Essentials Starter Kits.  It's too orange toned to be used as a contour powder.  I apply this where the sun would hit my face, leaving a sun kissed glow on my skin.

Maybelline Expertwear Blush in Rosewood- Available from Boots
This blush is as old as the hills.  I'm not even sure it is on sale any more!  It was a gorgeous rosy pink, quite vintage looking.  The powder wasn't too finely  milled but sat well on the cheeks and didn't seem to wear off on my oily skin throughout the day.  I wouldn't repurchase it as I have other blushers that I prefer but I did enjoy using it up in its final weeks.

Ojon Hydrating Thick Shampoo and Conditioner- Available from Ojon
Perhaps the most disappointing combo I've ever used.  Yes, they got my hair clean but in terms of thickening or volumising my hair- zilch.  I'll be saving my pennies next time and purchasing something else.

Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover- Available from Clarins
Considering I hate oily bi phase eye make up removers, I quite like this one.  It works very well to remove stubborn eye make up and if I wasn't so in love with the Klorane eye make up remover, then I'd probably buy the full size bottle of this.

Too Faced Eye Shadow Duo in Lovey Dovey- Available from Debenhams and Boots
Lovey Dovey is an eye shadow duo combining Sable Brown and Fawn Shimmer.  Too Faced are possibly my favourite eye shadow brand- they're SO much better than MAC.  These powder eye shadows are so rich and creamy and intensely pigmented, they last all night without creasing.  I got this one a while ago so I'm not sure if these duos are still available but I'd definitely recommend checking out the brand- their palettes are amazing.

Klorane Quinine Shampoo and Conditioner- Available from Escentual
The Klorane Shampoo and Conditioner with Quinine is great for hair that is thinning, limp or lifeless.  I love the smell of it as it reminds me of mens aftershave!  Read my full review here.

I must sound like such a nerd but I've been so proud of myself for using up all of these Empties.  Each time I use up products, I store them in an old Glossy Box until it is full and then I get the box out to review.

I'm so pleased to be able to dispose of all of these empties now!!

What products have you used up recently?

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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

WhatLauraWore: Ditzy Print and Studs All Round!

Last week, I went out for lunch for my best friends birthday and the occasion called for a cute daytime outfit.  I opted for this ditzy print dress from Curve Clothing who are a new brand for women sized 14 to 32 with a great Facebook page offering a prompt delivery service and a cracking place in Hartlepool for all you Northern readers.  If you're looking for fresh and fashionable plus sized clothes then girls, head on over to their page or follow them on Twitter.

This dress was perfect for my lunch out as it looked so pretty and girlie.  The ditzy floral print is bang on trend for the spring and summer and the colourful hues in this dress enable it to be paired with any number of coloured accessories.  It comes with a separate black slip to go underneath and then the light weight dress sits on top of it.  The shoulders and skirt of the dress is frilled at the bottom, adding to the feminine style of the dress.  It buttons down at the bust too showing a subtle hint of cleavage.  It is dual sized and I found it to be true to the lower size.  It fits like a glove and looks great whether you dress it up or down.  I'm wearing it with a waterfall jacket from New Look and some leggings from Simply Be.

The bracelets I'm wearing are the ones I received in my goodie bag at the #NorthMeetUp.  They're from an online store called So In Fashion.  The Lacey Coloured Bracelets are stretchy and provide a great fit on the wrist.  I love how bright and colourful they are and they look great when paired with the Livi spiked bracelet in orange.  The bag I'm carrying is the studded clutch from Simply Be that I wore previously in my photoshoot with them and I'm wearing studded loafers from New Look on my feet.

Ditzy Print Dress from Curve Clothing
Waterfall Jacket in black from New Look
Black leggings from Simply Be
Lacey Coloured Bracelets from So In Fashion
Livi Orange Bracelet from So In Fashion
Studded bag from Simply Be
Spike studded loafers from New Look

How would you style this dress?  What is your favourite piece from Curve Clothing?

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Monday, 22 April 2013

3 Dark Tanning Lotions Tried and Tested

I've tried more than my fair share of false tan so I thought I'd share my thoughts on three self tanning lotions.  I use all of these tanning lotions in the same way.  I apply them wearing latex gloves and using a St Tropez towelling buffing mitt from Feel Unique and I buff the tan into my skin both on my face and my body.  I do this at night, leave it to develop as I sleep and then shower the guide colour off the next morning.

Lauren's Way Self Tanning Bronzing Lotion in Darker Than Dark

The first tanning lotion I'd like to look at is the Lauren's Way Self Tanning Bronzing Lotion in Darker Than Dark.  I'd like to get the negative review out of the way first if I may.  I'd read loads of reviews about this tan and how amazing it is but I honestly don't see the appeal.  I found that the tan smelt ever so slightly fruity in the bottle but as soon as I applied it to the skin that familiar biscuit scent reared it's ugly head.  The lotion is pretty easy to apply though.  It is quite thick for a lotion and takes a little while to dry on the skin but that does allow for plenty of time to buff it in so really it depends on what you look for in a tan. 

I wore this first on a night out around Christmas time (my WhatLauraWore outfit post where I'm wearing this tan is here).  I'd applied it, showered it off and then soaked in the bath, which bearing in mind usually takes more of the tan off the skin than showering alone, and then I went out wearing a gorgeous AX Paris dress.  The tan looked very dark but incredibly orange toned which appeared to be very unnatural on the skin.  As the night progressed I could feel the tan almost seeping out of my skin and I could smell the biscuity false tan scent incredibly strongly.  When I got home and looked at my dress, I was amazed at how much of the tan had transferred onto my dress, it had literally turned the top of my dress orange.  It was absolutely disgusting.  The day after, I had another shower and another long soak in the bath and again the tan was coming off my skin as though I had only just applied it.  I still stunk of false tan after my third bath and the colour still looked very orange until the 5th day when it seemed to have worn off, fairly evenly I must say.  I thought I'd try the tan for a second time but again, the same thing happened.  After this review, I intend to throw the rest of the product in the bin.

This false tan is available direct from the Lauren's Way website and Amazon.  It retails for around £17.95 for 250ml.

St. Moriz Instant Self Tanning Lotion

The St. Moriz tanning lotion is the cheapest out of bunch but is by no means a poor tan.  Now strictly speaking, this isn't a dark lotion.  The bottle doesn't state any particular depth of colour however it is a very similar colour to Xen-Tan Dark Lotion that I've reviewed below and so, I wanted to include it here as I do think that it is dark in colour, plus it is a lotion!

This tanning lotion has very green undertone to the guide colour.  This is brilliant as it ensures the tan doesn't turn out orange toned which is the main thing I worry about when applying a false tan, particularly a cheaper one.  The lotion itself is quite runny which makes it easy to apply but I wouldn't say it was a tan you could apply, get dressed and then wear straight out, it is definitely one to wash off first but since I tan at night, this doesn't matter to me.  The scent is very reminiscent of washing up liquid or soap powder but again, this doesn't bother me as once I've tanned, I head off to the land of nod anyway.  After washing this off, I'm left with a deep tan that looks very natural.  For a budget tan, this one is incredible and is very comparable to the Xen-Tan premium tan I've talked about below.  It doesn't last very long on the skin in comparison- I'd say two showers and the colour has lightened greatly but it wears evenly which is great.  I tend to tan the night before a specific occasion so as long as my tan is perfect for that then I'm happy.  I'm wearing this false tan in this blog post here.

This tan is available for an extremely purse friendly £2.49 for 200ml from Semi Chem.  I got this bottle in my goodie bag at the FABB Bloggers Meet Up in Leeds earlier this year but I would definitely repurchase it with my own money.

Xen-Tan Dark Lotion

This is one of Xen-Tan's most famous products and my favourite out of the three tanning lotions I've reviewed here.  This is the only tan I thought to turn to when I had my photoshoot with Simply Be as it gives such a deep, dark but natural colour with that two weeks in Barbados sun kissed glow.

It applies evenly over my face and body and dries in just the right amount of time- it doesn't sit wet on the skin for ages but it doesn't dry so quickly that you can't buff it into the skin.  When it dries it actually leaves the skin feeling soft as though it has been moisturised which is due to the jojoba oil and nut oils that it contains.  This is pretty unusual for false tan as they usually leave the skin feeling tight and at the very least, dry.  This together with the instant gorgeous colour means that the tan can be applied and you can go out straight after if needs be.  The guide colour is a deep chocolatey brown that buffs into the skin effortlessly and evenly.  I tend to leave this on over night and find that it doesn't transfer onto my bed clothes much at all, plus it doesn't smell too strongly of false tan.  It has a light marzipan, almond scent and after many hours it then starts to smell ever so slightly biscuity.  When washed off it leaves a really natural, streak free tan that lasts for a week.  It wears pretty evenly too up until day 7 where I then find that some areas of my body are a little darker than others and that's when I know that it's time to scrub the remaining bits of tan off.

As this is a high end, premium false tan it does come with a higher price tag.  The RRP when bought from the official Xen-Tan website is £28.99 for 236ml however I find the best deals at Feel Unique where it is £20.95 with free delivery!  This price isn't too much more than the Lauren's Way tan but the Xen-Tan is FAR superior.

What is your favourite tanning lotion?

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Sunday, 21 April 2013

WhatLauraWore & My Make Up: #NorthMeetUp & some Kiss Lashes

A couple of weeks ago I made the journey to Manchester for the #NorthMeetUp organised by one of my blogging friends Em from the blog EmTalks.  A great day was had by all filled with beauty, skincare, hair and cocktails.  I got to meet SO many gorgeous bloggers and I really had fun getting to know everyone.  The event was held in Revolution and it was packed, I had to practically fight my way out the door armed with many goodie bags.  I'll be reviewing the full sized products I received over the coming months and testing out some of the sample sizes too.  I wanted to share with you the outfit I wore to the meet up.  I dressed pretty casually with it being a daytime event but kept it girlie with a summer dress from New Look and my cropped denim jacket by Joe Browns from Simply Be.  I'm carrying my latest Louis and I have my rose gold Ray Bans in my hand.  On my feet I'm wearing my gorgeous flower sandals from the Primark haul I posted in My Summer Footwear Update post.  I can tell these are going to be worn to death this summer!

Cropped Denim Jacket by Joe Browns at Simply Be
White dress from New Look
Sunglasses by Ray Ban from ASOS
Flower sandals from Primark
Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 bag in Damier Azure

Make up wise, I kept it simple with pretty much the same make up that I wore in this post with the addition of some GORGEOUS false lashes.  This is a great make up look for some daytime spring glam.

Kiss are brand that I've been familiar with for a while now.  They make eye lashes like the ones I have here as well as other cosmetics, hair tools and nail products.  These aren't the first lashes I've tried from Kiss as I had some of their Ever EZ Eye Lashes but in all honestly, they weren't for me, mainly because I didn't need the strings attached with them to apply them so we didn't get on.  These lashes however, I LOVE.

The eyelashes I have here are the Kiss Haute Couture lashes in FLIRT.  The shape of these lashes is my favourite out of all eye lash styles available from any brand.  They're shorter at the inner corner of the eye and get longer as they go out to the outer corner.  I find that this particular style looks flirty and feminine and really opens the eye.  They're a subtle kind of sexy and make them perfect for dressed up day make up looks or for evening wear.

The box contains easy to read instructions, eye lash glue, an applicator and of course, the lashes.  I didn't use the glue, simply because I use my Duo Lash Adhesive that's a huge tube and already open but I did pop the glue in my purse in case the lashes came away while I was out... which of course, they didn't!  I trimmed the lashes slightly to fit my eye shape and I found that the lashes held their curve fairly well.  They were SO easy to apply and that is thanks to the pink applicator.  This works absolute wonders and I'm so pleased I have it in my make up tools stash.  The curve on the applicator was great for really pressing the lashes into my lash line and as they open a bit like tweezers, I was able to squeeze my lashes to the false ones.

The lashes feel so light weight on the eye that I could hardly tell that I was wearing them so not only do they look fairly natural but they feel it too.

They're available from Boots and I particularly like that you can get them in multi packs as this saves money and makes sure you've always got a pair to hand.  I will most definitely buy these again.  

Have you tried Kiss lashes before, what did you make of them?

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Stella McCartney Launches SS13 Lingerie Collection

When it comes to lingerie collections, it's not often a new release catches my eye as much as this one from Stella McCartney.  She first enticed the fashion world with her Stella range in 2008 and now her new range features five types of bras with simplistic designs set to support women of all shapes and occupations.  Now, Stella McCartney is delving into a wider range of lingerie for SS13, and the collection is just as stunning as ever. The underwear finds a balance between the typical modern designs Stella McCartney is known for, whilst maintaining a romantic edge to keep the collection feminine and you all know how much I love this style.

Image Source: Figleaves
Stella has expressed how she has always been inspired by lingerie from an early age and how she was obsessed with the beauty of the French slips, handwork and inlays – something which has stuck with her ever since the creation of her graduation collections at St Martins College. What could ring more true – “It’s the starting point of what you wear every day and it has a really big impact on how you wear your clothes, what you wear on top of your lingerie and how you feel in general!”  I couldn't agree more, particularly with her comments on how it will impact what you wear over it.  Good fitting lingerie in the correct style can change your dress size and make clothes you wear fit and hang correctly on your body.

Classic look
The pieces in the collection generally have a classic look. There are plenty of styles to suit many chest sizes, whilst there are the occasional ‘alternative’ designs that you’d expect from a high-fashion collection.  I found the colours to be simplistic and the prints are pretty basic - but still effortlessly gorgeous. Everything has clearly been designed to become an important part of the outfit, whether due to it creating a smooth, feminine shape, or through a bra strap peeking out of a sleeve.

The range is available in the UK, and you find it among the Figleaves selection of lingerie and bra sets – which I believe is one of the few stockists they have in the UK at the moment, other than their own website.
For me, the stand out set from this SS13 lingerie range is the Jodie Rocking bra and knickers set which is a gorgeous herringbone print giving a chic twist on a classic heritage look.  I adore the mix of metallic and black as I really think the design stands out for all the right reasons.  It's available in sizes up to 38D however I know many of you who read my blog are blessed with a larger chest so depending on your cup size, you might be out of luck with this one. I definitely think this could be an idea though, Stella – extending the range of sizes available...  Perhaps if there is enough interest – she may very well do that.  Here's hoping!

What is your favourite piece from the collection?  What SS13 lingerie releases are you loving right now?

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