Friday, 28 June 2013

Viva Glam Nicki Lipstick Review

I have resisted buying this lipstick for so long as I know that I don't really need another one judging by the small lipstick shop I could open in my bedroom but on a recent trip to House of Fraser with my friend to buy her birthday present, I spotted this lippy on the girl serving at the MAC counter and knew I had to have it....

Viva Glam Nicki by MAC


Viva Glam Nicki is a limited edition lipstick from MAC's Viva Glam range where all proceeds, minus VAT, go to the MAC Aids Fund which helps men, women and children everywhere who are affected by HIV and aids.



Viva Glam Nicki is a gorgeous mid toned pink that is super bright.  It's like Barry M's Pink Flamingo nail paint but in lipstick form and I love it!  The pink shade has a yellow undertone, giving it more of a coral appearance than a cooler, blue toned pink which I think is a very welcome change as all of the pink lipsticks that I have tend to be these kind of true pinks.



The colour of the lipstick is very true to how it appears in the bullet- there is no fooling the shopper with this one as what you see is what you get.  Using a very light hand, you can swatch it on the lips quite lightly, otherwise, it comes out exactly like the colour in the bullet which I love.

Viva Glam Nicki is one of MAC's satin finish lipsticks and it applies like a dream.  Very creamy and opaque with a hint of a sheen.  Absolutely perfect for the summer and I can't wait to wear it with a tan on holiday- bring it on girls!



Viva Glam Nicki retails for £14 and is available here as well as at MAC counters up and down the country.

What is your favourite MAC Viva Glam collaboration?

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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

How I Cleanse My Face- My Cleansing Routine

One thing that I really pride myself on is having good skin.  Don't get me wrong, it isn't perfect but on the whole, it is super clean and clear for the majority of the time.  For me, my cleansing routine is fundamental to maintaining my good skin and if for any reason there is a break in my routine then I can definitely notice it.



Today I'm going to share with you my cleansing routine- the two steps that I take to cleanse my face and a short review of the products that I use.  I do change up the products that I use, on occasion, particularly when testing out skincare bits for my blog but I always use the same type of products- a cleansing water to remove my make up and a creamy cleanser with a facial brush to deep clean my skin.



Out of all of the cleansing products that I have tried, these in the photo above are some of my favourites and they are my most repurchased skincare products.  I use these products both on the morning and at night.



Step 1: The Liquid Cleanse

The first step in my cleansing routine is to clean my face if it is the morning and to remove my make up if it is at night.  To do this, I use the Good Things Deep Pore Anti Blemish Cleanser together with some cotton pads.



I like to use a liquid cleanser as the first step in my cleansing routine, whether it be a micellar water or just a clear cleanser like the Good Things Deep Pore Cleanser.  This is because I find that they refresh my skin and remove the bulk of my make up much better than cream or oil based cleansers do.  I've reviewed the Good Things cleanser in full in this post but in short, it feels amazing on the skin, leaving it clean and clear, really benefiting the skin and it smells incredible- it contains superfruit extracts of fig and strawberry, yummy! It feels so refreshing and makes my skin look and feel so clean.

Morning
When I wake up, I take one cotton pad and dispense a small amount of the cleanser onto it.  I then sweep this across my whole face to clean away any excess oils and bacteria that I may have picked up through the night off my pillow, for example.  This feels so refreshing and really helps to wake me up.

Evening
At night, I remove the bulk of my make up using the same Good Things cleanser on a cotton pad.  Usually I only need the one cotton pad but if I have been on a night out, wearing thicker make up, then I'll need to use two.  I much prefer to use a liquid cleanser to get the vast majority of my make up off as I don't think that my cleansing brush would be as effective if it were to be used on top of a full face of make up.  The Good Things Deep Pore cleanser, effectively removes all but the very deepest set make up (that only would be recognisable thorough face brushing) and doesn't tug at the skin, particularly around my eyes.  I find that it even tackles stubborn eye make up like eyelash glue, liquid liner and waterproof mascara exceptionally well.

The cotton pads that I prefer to use are the Oval Pads from Superdrug.  These are literally only a couple of pounds and are always on offer.  They are my favourite because they're much larger than the little round cotton pads so I use less and, since I hate the feeling of cotton wool, these are great as they have sealed edges so they don't do that horrible pull apart thing... eurgh!

If you would like me to do a full review of the Riosonicleanse then please let me know.



Step 2: The Creamy Cleanse

The second step in my cleansing routine is what I like to call the Creamy Cleanse.  This is where I use a face brush together with a cream cleanser to really deeply clean my skin.



The creamy cleanser that I use the most is the Good Things Fresh Start Creamy Cleanser which I reviewed in full in this post.  Every morning and night after completing step one, I apply quite a thin layer of this all over my face and leave it to sit on top of my skin whilst I brush my teeth.  I then put my Rio Sonicleanse face brush on the highest setting and work it around my face until it turns itself off.  This cleans my skin so deeply that it gets rid of all dirt.  It is very, very thorough.

If you'd like me to review the Rio Sonicleanse (similar to the Clarisonic) in full then please let me know.

After using my facial brush, I remove any excess cleansing product using a towel, dipped slightly in warm water.  Then I splash my face with cold water and pat it dry.

Cleansing my face with these two steps really helps to keep my skin clear.  When following this routine, I find that my other skincare products, like my daily moisturiser and serum, work much more effectively.  Clean skin equals clear skin.

Easy Peasy!

The Good Things Deep Pore Cleanser is £3.33 and the Fresh Start Cleanser is £3.33 both from Boots, the cotton pads are £1.69 from Superdrug and the Rio Sonicleanse is available for £49.99 from the Rio website.

What does your skincare routine look like?

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Monday, 24 June 2013

Kiko Cosmetics Review

The lovely people at Kiko Cosmetics have given me a selection of their make up to review.  I'm so happy to try out their cosmetics as this isn't the first time I've tried something from Kiko itself, I reviewed their Self Tanning Spray last month but this is my first time trying out their make up.

Kiko Long Lasting Stick Eye Shadow


The Long Lasting Stick Eye Shadows from Kiko are limited edition, long lasting stick eye shadows and I have four.  All of the colours were developed exclusively for Kiko's 'colours in the world' collection and they're vibrant, bright and bold.  I love reviewing make up as I get to try out shades that I perhaps wouldn't usually buy if I were in a store.

Shade 33- Smoky Grey


Smoky Grey is perhaps the most instantly wearable from the shade range.  It is predominantly a grey but it does have a lot of brown tones in it.  I would wear this to soften a black smoky eye or to add depth to a grey or brown eye look.  It is great for applying all over the lid and then packing shadow on top, like the Kiko Pigment Loose Eyeshadow in 32 Burning Brown that I'll come to later in this post.  The Smoky Grey Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow has a pretty matte finish.

Shade 29- Intensive Coral


Intensive Coral looks a lot lighter and brighter than it does on the Kiko website.  It is gorgeously creamy and has a slightly glossy finish.  This shade is pretty easy to wear considering it is a vibrant light coral.  I use this to line the lash line of the inner half of my eye and I also work this onto the inner half of my eyelid too.  This really brightens and opens the eyes.

Shade 32- Soft Green Apple


Soft Green Apple is a beautiful bright minty green shade.  I find that the texture of this one is matte like shade 33.  It really adds a pop of colour to the lid and looks great when lining the lower lash line.

Shade 30- Shiny Fuchsia


Shiny Fuchsia looks a lot more purple on the website than it does in real life.  Looking at it now it is definitely a much brighter, more vibrant pink with quite a metallic finish.  This is the hardest shade for me to wear on my eyes but I've been wearing it on my lips instead and it looks gorgeous as well as sticking around for a pretty long time!

All of the stick eyeshadows are very easy to use and provide a smooth and creamy application on the eyes.  I do find them hard to blend onto the eyes so I prefer to use them for more of a precise application or all over a specific area as a base and then to apply eyeshadow powder over the top.

They are definitely long lasting and don't crease easily.  Once they've dried down, they don't smudge or transfer onto the skin around my eye.  Kiko claim that these are water resistant and whilst I haven't tried splashing my eyes with water or been out in the rain whilst wearing these, I would agree that they would be water resistant as they are pretty difficult to remove.  I need to use an oil based eye make up remover to take these shadows off and even then, I feel like I'm tugging at my eyes so they definitely have some staying power!

These are on special offer at the moment for £3.40 from the Kiko website.

Kiko Pigment Loose Eyeshadow

The Kiko Pigment Loose Eyeshadows are gorgeous pots of concentrated loose powder eyeshadow that is made from pure pigments.  There are 6 shades that have been developed for the 'colours in the world' collection as well, like the Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows.  I have two colours and I must say I have a differing opinion of the pigments.

Shade 32- Burning Brown



Burning Brown is an absolutely gorgeous deep brown metallic loose eyeshadow.  I LOVE it as it is so pigmented and looks incredible packed onto the lid or worked into the crease.  If I could liken it to another shadow, I'd say its a great dupe for MAC's Satin Taupe.  It doesn't crease, it lasts all day and I'd repurchase it in a heart beat!

Shade 27- Beaming Beige



Beaming Beige is quite a sheer shimmery wash of colour.  It is quite a peachy shade but it isn't very pigmented.  It provides a gorgeous glittery shimmer to the lid but the colour pay off just isn't there.  Instead, I use a matte shade to highlight my brow bone, for example, and then I wash this over the top to really give my eyes a bit of sparkle.

These are on special offer at the moment for £2.90 from the Kiko website.

Long Lasting Lipstick in Shade 06 Red Orchid



The Kiko Long Lasting Lipstick that I have is in the colour 05 Red Orchid which is from the 'colours in the world' collection.  It is super easy to apply and feels smooth and creamy on the lips.  It is really long lasting as it almost stains the lips.  It smells quite sweet, like vanilla, which I love.  Whilst this isn't a colour I would usually go for, I would definitely like to try other shade of lipstick from Kiko as their formula is fantastic!

The Long Lasting Lipsticks are on special offer at the moment for £3.40 from the Kiko website.

Overall, I'm so impressed with the make up that I've tried from Kiko and I have to say that I think as a brand, they're a great addition to the UK beauty market!

What are your favourite Kiko products?

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Saturday, 22 June 2013

Arbonne Make Up Review

Today I'm going to share with you a review of a brand that I've been trying out for the first time called Arbonne.  At the meet up, we were treated to a talk from Keil from Arbonne which detailed a bit of a background to the company and then we were given some products to try out in our goodie bags


I received a Creme Concealer, Lipstick and Blush, all of which I've been using for the last couple of months and now I'm ready to give you my opinion on them.

Arbonne Creme Concealer in Medium


The Arbonne Creme Concealer is designed to mask imperfections, fine lines, dark circles and puffiness.  I have it in the shade medium which, when I've got my foundation on, should be an ok match for my make up.  However the colour is far too orange.  After looking on the Arbonne website, there isn't a vast shade range- light, medium and dark, all of which are very yellow-orange toned so I don't think that everyone will find a shade to suit them.

The concealer has a lovely creamy formula and feels lovely- very soft and smooth.  It dries to a powdery finish which I really like as I have oily skin so I prefer products that dry powdery and matte rather than remaining creamy and tacky.  It isn't transfer proof either.  I like make up like the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation and concealer that doesn't transfer easily if I hug someone, for example, but this one transfers really easily.  I think that it is the powder finish on the product that comes off.


I find that this concealer really settles into the fine lines around my eyes.  It does a good job at concealing dark circles but when the product dries down to its powder finish, you can really see the fine lines around my eyes and they are accentuated using this.  I've also tried to use this to conceal blemishes but it is very much wipe on, wipe off as I found that it wouldn't stick to the area and was therefore, pretty useless.  The Creme Concealer didn't have much staying power on my skin as I found that it wore off quite quickly throughout the day.

I do really like the packaging of the Arbonne Creme Concealer, it is matte black with a window so that you can see the product through it.  It's simple and effective.

The Creme Concealer costs £18.  Personally, I wouldn't recommend this concealer but just because it didn't work well for me, doesn't mean it wont for you!


Arbonne Lipstick in Shell


Arbonne Lipsticks are designed to be long wearing, feather resistant, full coverage, conditioning and hydrating.

I have one in the colour Shell which is very similar to MAC's Creme D'Nude.  It is very creamy and glides onto the lips, making them feel soft and conditioned.  It is incredibly pigmented and very full coverage.  I can't use this direct from the bullet as it produces a severe case of concealer lips.  However if I apply a lip balm first and then dab this on with my finger then it does provide a pretty wash of nude colour on my lips.  I don't find it to be particularly long lasting but I did find that it wore off pretty evenly.  They look glossy and shiny when applied.

The thing that I like the most about this lipstick is the packaging as it is very sleek and classy.

The Arbonne Lipstick in Shell costs £18.  Whilst I wouldn't recommend this shade, I do like the formula of these lipsticks so I would definitely consider trying some of the other colours.  They have one called Coral Reef which looks to be a beautifully creamy true coral.


Arbonne Blush in Merlot


Arbonne blushes are suitable for all skin types and are designed to be light weight, mineral infused pigments that create natural looking blush to highlight the complexion.

The Arbonne Blush that I have is in the shade Merlot which is a deep, dark red.  It is very highly pigmented so it needs to be applied with a light hand and it feels quite creamy to the touch which is great as I hate chalky products.  It doesn't apply particularly evenly as I find that the pigment clings to the drier areas of my skin so it needs a little careful attention when applying it to my cheeks to ensure that it looks even.  Like the Creme Concealer, this blush isn't transfer or hug proof either.  Whilst I do quite like this blush, I wouldn't repurchase it as it isn't a colour I would get much use out of.

The Arbonne Blush in Merlot costs £20.


All Arbonne products are available on the Arbonne website here.  If you've got any questions about Arbonne, you can contact Keil directly using his email address keil@myarbonne.co.uk or on twitter @keil1683.

What products have you tried from Arbonne?  Which products would you recommend?

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Friday, 21 June 2013

Mulberry Daria French Purse Review

The first of my designer reviews will be of the Mulberry Daria French Purse in   Oak Soft Spongy.  I've chosen this to review first as I think that it is a timeless piece that women of all ages can enjoy.  It is a gorgeous day to day purse that fits all of my essential cards, cash and slips in whilst still remaining compact so that it fits perfectly in my handbag.  This is one of my favourite pieces right now because I adore the gorgeous tan leather, it is a classic piece that goes with everything.  Before I rave about it any further, lets hop right into the review...


Mulberry Daria French Purse Review Image

Material

The Mulberry Daria French Purse is made from Mulberry's unique Soft Spongy Leather  which, as the name would suggest, has a soft and spongy feel to it and the surface as an attractive dimpled effect.  The leather feels so soft to the touch and it is light weight to hold.  I have found that it doesn't mark or scratch easily and for a soft leather, it is very robust, which really reassures me when buying leather goods.

Mulberry Daria French Purse Review Image
Colour

The Daria French Purse that I am showing here is in the colour Oak which is a beautiful warm tan with gold hardware.  I absolutely adore the colour.  Tan is one of my favourite natural, staple colours as it really goes with anything and really is a classic shade.  I always see such brightly coloured, flamboyant designer pieces available each season but I always refrain from buying them as they often go out of fashion within a couple of years or my tastes change whereas with this purse, I'll be still loving it in twenty years time I'm sure!  It is also available in black but personally I prefer the tan and think that it has much more about it and the gold hardware looks absolutely stunning against the grain of the oak coloured leather.

The stitching of the purse is light brown and compliments the oak coloured leather really well. 


Sizing and Dimensions

The height of the Daria French Purse is 9.5cm, the width is 14cm and the depth is  2cm.  It fits comfortable in my hand if I'm walking around to the local shops and it is a great size for the vast majority of my bags from larger clutches to my tote bags.  Whilst being a compact purse, it is substantial and doesn't get lost in the sea of items that I carry around in my bags!  It is also very light weight too when it isn't filled and even when I put all of my cards inside, it isn't exactly heavy.

Mulberry Daria French Purse Review Image

If you prefer longer purses, there is the Daria Continental Wallet which is very similar but much wider at 18.5cm.  I already have a long purse, the Sarah Wallet from Louis Vuitton so the Daria Continental Wallet isn't something that I would buy for myself.  The French Purse style is much better for me as it gives me the option of carrying it in my smaller handbags which I don't have with the Sarah Wallet.


From the Outside In

The Daria French Purse has no pockets or zips on the outside of the purse, which I love as I find that these are usually useless and add unnecessary bulk and I prefer everything to be enclosed within the purse.  On the front flap, there is the signature Daria tree cut out logo on a soft gold plaque with 'Mulberry Est. 1971' on it and the purse opens and fastens with a soft gold popper branded with the 'Mulberry' text.

In the top part of the main flap, there is room for five cards- I choose to put my debit and credit cards in here.  Underneath here, there are two slip compartments that can be used for receipts and other pieces of paper.  I use mine for holding business cards.

Mulberry Daria French Purse Review Image
Showing every compartment of the Mulberry Daria French Purse
The main body of the purse features a further three card slots that can be used for bank cards and alike.  I use mine for my ID and National Insurance Card.  This set of slots has the Mulberry text and tree logo embossed onto it and is at the back of an expandable pocket that I use for receipts as I can quickly shove them in here while I'm at the till and sort through them later.  There is loads of room in this pocket and it opens out quite far so that the contents can be easily viewed.

In front of the expandable pocket is an expandable zipped compartment, perfect for coins.  The zip is made of the soft gold coloured hardware and the tag of the zip is in the shape of a leaf in the same leather as the purse.  It is really sturdy and secure and the track of the zip runs across the top of the purse and down the right hand side of the compartment.  When opened fully, it allows the compartment to fully expand so that its contents can be viewed clearly.  There is a divider inside, splitting this compartment in two.  I usually keep my coins 5p and up in the back section and my ones and twos in the front section.

In front of the purse, there is another slip compartment.  I use this for vouchers and gift cards.

Mulberry Daria French Purse Review Image

The purse opens up along the right hand side revealing another expandable compartment.  This section is great for holding all bank notes although I don't tend to have many of those as I'm like the Queen and don't carry cash!


Gift Giving

This was given to me as a gift from Mr WLL.  We're in a really good place in our lives at the moment, we've been working so hard on our careers and he wanted to treat me.  He has saved money towards something more expensive before but this is the first time he's actually gone into a shop completely in secret and chosen something without any prior discussion with me as to what I may like.  If you asked Mr WLL to make a list of all of the things that I look for in purse, he'd be hard pushed to come up with a couple as its not something we've ever discussed, so for him to come home with this gem is an absolute miracle.  To say that I was over the moon with this gift would be a complete understatement.  Yes its a gorgeous purse but it is the act behind it that I love the most and I'll treasure this forever.

He bought it from House of Fraser in the Metrocentre.  Although they don't stock Mulberry online, I'd highly recommend popping into one of their stores to purchase your next Mulberry piece if you live near one.  Mr WLL said that the service was fantastic, the woman on the desk was able to really help him to pick out the purse for me and he didn't feel pressured into spending more than he could afford to or to make his mind up quickly.  He said that he would really recommend husbands and boyfriends going there especially if they're stuck for what to get for their partner because you really get what you pay for from the item itself to the packaging and the service.

I think that the Mulberry Daria French Purse would make a lovely gift for someone who appreciates good quality goods or who likes a classic designer piece.  It would be ideal for someone young or old.  Perhaps a few adult children could club together to get this for their mum for her birthday?  Everything about Mulberry from the pieces themselves to the way they package their items is elegant, classy and special.


Packaging

Whilst not the be all and end all, I do think that it is important to consider the packaging of an item, particularly when it is a designer piece as the packaging can be used to also preserve the items good condition as well as its most typical use.  The packaging of this Mulberry purse is gorgeous and would make this look fantastic as a gift.  From the carrier bag with thick satin ribbon, huge 'with love' tag and 'thank you' gold writing printed on the inside base of the bag to the gold receipt holder, printed logo tissue paper and solid box, everything attention to detail has been made with the packaging.

Mulberry Daria French Purse Review Image
Carrier, receipt holder and box packaging

Price and Where to Buy

The Mulberry Daria French Purse is available to buy direct from Mulberry online and in store for £250 and in selected department stores like House of Fraser (currently in store only), John Lewis and Selfridges.  I'd say that for the quality of the purse and the way that having it makes me feel, the price is worth it.

Mulberry Daria French Purse Review Image
The Mulberry Daria French Purse Review
If you'd like to read my thoughts on buying and reviewing designer items then please read this post that I uploaded earlier today.

How helpful did you find this review?  What Mulberry items have you been eyeing up?
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Buying and Reviewing Designer Items... My Thoughts

I really hope this post comes across in the right way but basically I'm going to start reviewing some of the designer items I buy or am given as gifts for my birthday, Christmas, etc and a review of a Mulberry purse coming up later today will be first one.  I asked on Twitter whether you would like these kind of reviews and the answer was a resounding 'yes'.  

Whilst I have featured some designer items in my posts previously, these have only been as accessories to my WhatLauraWore outfit posts and I don't go into detail about them or mention them to any great extent.  The reason why I haven't reviewed designer items in the past is that typically, they're expensive and either, quite understandably, out of some peoples price range or they're just not interested in spending a larger amount of money on one thing regardless of whether or not they could afford to, after all  the hard earned cash could go a lot further on other things.  I also don't want people to get the wrong impression of me- I don't buy designer items often, they are a very rare occurrence for me as I have to save up and I don't lead a very flashy lifestyle.  The designer items that I buy are typically the cheaper end of the designer spectrum- I doubt I'd ever be able to afford to buy a Birkin bag and even if I could, I don't think I ever would as there are so many other ways that that amount of money would benefit my life that I couldn't justify the expenditure.  The cost of the purse I'll be blogging about later would go towards paying a good chunk of my bills for a month so I wouldn't spend something that would be a decent house deposit!

Everyone is different, has different budgets and has different tastes.  From a being a teenager, if I were given a budget for something, like say Christmas presents, I would rather buy one thing than lots of cheaper items that add up to the cost of the one item.  I'm very lucky and appreciate everything that I buy or am given and look after it impeccably- I still have the first Gucci watch that I got for Christmas when I was 15- it looks as good as the day I got it and I wear it all the time.

Choosing timeless items is really important to me too.  Since I don't have a large disposable income, I like to save to buy a classic item that I could wear in ten, twenty and thirty years time and then when I finally have enough to buy it, I look after it as though it were made of solid gold- keeping it clean and putting it away in its dust bag.

I have decided to start reviewing some of the items that I have now and may get in the future.  The reason for this is because I think it will be really helpful for others, particularly those with the same mindset as me.  When I'm buying an item, regardless of whether it costs £5 or £500, I really look into it before parting with my hard earned money.  I'm not one to waste any cash or to buy things on a whim.  The trouble that I sometimes have is that I like to really look over something and decide if it is right for me but that is often really hard when standing in a designer store because the sales staff are always stood with you and I feel really rushed to make my purchase.  This is completely my own perception but it is how I feel.

I can always remember going into Louis Vuitton in London to buy my first Speedy handbag.  I'd looked at them online on the Louis Vuitton website but I wasn't sure as to whether I wanted to buy the 35 or 40 size as I wanted to use it as a hand luggage bag when I travel.  I saved up for AGES in anticipation of my trip to London and I remember standing in the shop with the sales assistant rushing me so much and looking as though she couldn't understand why I would need to decide between the two and whilst I knew as soon as I saw it that I would prefer the 40, I don't remember it being as special an experience as I would have liked.  I've actually stood in Primark longer agonising over a pair of £12 shoes.  To me, spending that amount of money on one item in Louis Vuitton is A LOT of money and A BIG DEAL but I felt like this tiny fish in a huge pond as spending what I did was very insignificant to the larger sums that shoppers splash in London's Louis Vuitton everyday and I think this came across in the way that the sales assistant served me.  This isn't the same service as I have received in all designer stores.  Selfridges in Manchester have a fantastic Louis Vuitton section and the service in the Leeds store is impeccable.  Anyway, I'm digressing and becoming a victim of the ramble...

In a nut shell, I think it would be really helpful to read a review of a particular item for those considering buying something that they'll need to part with quite a bit of money for.  Perhaps you're looking to buy the same item as me or you're agonising over two and can't make your mind up which one to go for- I think these kind of posts would come in useful.  When I was looking to buy one of the Furla Sunset Candy Bags, I looked online for weeks for a review of one and for some real life, home taken pictures but I couldn't find any reviews at all and very few pictures to help me to make up my mind as to which colour to go for.  If you follow me on Instagram then you'll know all about me going on about this bag.  When I went to London a couple of weeks ago, I went to the Furla store, saw the gorgeous bags but decided against buying one as they were incredibly heavy to carry and smaller than I needed for the purpose I'd be using it for (as a gym bag).  Had I read a review before hand, I doubt I'd even have gone into the store and that's why I think these posts will be helpful.

What are your thoughts on buying and reviewing designer items?  Would these kind of posts be helpful to you?

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Thursday, 20 June 2013

WhatLauraWore: Minty Fresh at Work

When I first posted about my Apricot Blazer from Simply Be, it got such a great response.  It was so lovely to read that a lot of you liked it as much as I did and ever since I've been eyeing up the same blazer in the colour 'Menthol'.  A couple of weeks ago, I finally took the plunge and bought it in cheeky order from Simply Be.

The Menthol Blazer is a gorgeous mint green pastel coloured blazer that is perfect for the spring and summer months.  It is fairly structured and made from a heavy jersey, ponte roma material with a stripy lining.  It is relatively light weight but does keep you warm because of the choice of material, sometimes a little too warm on really hot days.   I like to keep my jacket open but it can be fastened with the two large pearlised dome buttons on the front of the jacket.

I'm wearing it here with my peplum vest top from Simply Be that I would also really recommend.  I ordered this at the same time as the blazer as I really wanted to try a peplum top and I was surprised at how good it felt when wearing it.  I've kept this look all black so that the mint green of the jacket really stands out.  This is a look that I've been wearing quite often for work but it would be equally suited to early evening drinks, a meal or the cinema.  I'd perhaps add a mint green clutch and some sandals though to make it less work appropriate!


WhatLauraWore:
Heavy Jersey Blazer Jacket in Menthol from Simply Be
Black Peplum Vest Top from Simply Be
Tapered Jersey Trousers from Next
Studded Flats from New Look

What pops of colour are you wearing this summer?

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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Purminerals Beautiful Creatures Palette

I've raved about Purminerals products on my blog in the past and I have been lucky enough to receive one of their limited edition palettes that were created exclusively for the film Beautiful Creatures in America.  It is an absolutely stunning palette that is exclusive to the USA, so this will be a post that will appeal to my American readers the most.  The palette itself contains a selection of some of the best selling colours from the Purminerals range and the product and shade selection is absolutely fantastic for a palette- I really hope that they bring this to the UK.


Inside the box you get an eyeshadow palette, an eyeliner and a lipgloss, all of which are very generously sized and come in very wearable shades.


The eyeshadow palette itself is in a cardboard box, similar to other palettes like the Naked palette.  Inside, there's a large mirror that allows you to clearly see where you're applying the make up and a fluffy eyeshadow brush that is actually very very good.  Usually the applicators that come in palettes are pretty useless but this one is really good, particularly when used for packing shadow onto the lid and blending through the crease.


The eyeshadows themselves come in round pans, a bit like MAC eyeshadows and like I mentioned earlier, there is an awesome choice of shades.  Being inspired by Beautiful Creatures, Purminerals have created a bewitching eye collection that is both charming and dangerous in equal parts.  There is a mix of light and dark shades that combine together to create a capsule collection that can be used on their own to create some gorgeous eye make up looks, making this palette perfect for travelling.


The lightest shades are Secret which is a very sweet light pink and Spellbound which is a neutral cream colour, both of which make great highlight shades and are the only matte shades in the palette.  The rest of the shades pretty shimmery.

Wearing Secret on the brow bone, Fantasy on the lid and Cursed in the crease
There are two purple shades in the palette, Cursed which is a deep dark plum shade that looks almost black and is great to use in the crease to deepen an eye look and Fantasy which is a beautiful violet with a pink sparkle to it.

For those looking for a nude shade with a little sparkle then Supernatural really fits the bill.  Its a light champagne gold that looks incredibly beautiful, especially when worn with Siren which is a gorgeous moss green shade with a hint of gold running through it.

Wearing Supernatural on the brow bone with Siren on the lid
There are two brown shades, Fate which is a gorgeous shimmery mushroom shade which reminds me a of a stronger, more pigmented version of MAC's Woodwinked and Forbidden which is a beautiful taupe.

Wearing Spell bound on the brow bone and inner lower lash line, Forbidden on the lid and Fate blended through the crease 
This is my first experience of Purminerals eyeshadows and I'm so impressed.  They're honestly loads better than MAC eyeshadows- they're incredibly pigmented and have a buildable formula, finely milled, apply smoothly and last for hours without creasing.  I would definitely buy more shadows from this brand in the future.

To complete the eye make up looks, the palette comes with a sultry eye liner pencil in Black Magic which is a deep charcoal black.  This pencil takes a little while to warm up and get the true colour pay off.  It lasts a good few hours in the waterline before needing to be reapplied.


With so much focus on the eyes, this palette keeps it simple with a gorgeous sheer pink lipgloss in Lust.  This applies so smoothly and evenly and leaves the lips with a hint of colour and very glossy.  I wouldn't say that it is uncomfortably sticky, more just a little bit tacky and it lasts on the lips too.  It is the perfect size for popping in my handbag and I love applying this throughout the day.  I find that it lasts for hours on my lips, providing I'm not going for lunch or anything!


This palette is available in the USA from the Purminerals website for $29 which is a great price as it is worth $100!  For those living in the UK, Purminerals products are available from Marks and Spencer.  I'd really recommend their 4 in 1 pressed mineral make up compact that I reviewed here.

What are your favourite Purminerals products?

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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Huge Love for Weleda Minis

With my hen week abroad coming up very soon, I've been testing out lots of travel sized products in anticipation of the weeks antics.  I often go away for the weekend or the odd night in a hotel here and there whether it be for work or on a city break with Mr WLL, so I like to have a stash of travel friendly, light weight products that I can put together at a moments notice.

Weleda have created a full range of miniature essentials so that whenever you travel, you can always take your favourite premium beauty products away with you without compromising on the weight of your luggage.  Simply pop into a clear bag suitable for airport security and you're good to go!


I've got some of my absolute favourites to show you and what is so great about them is that they are perfect for popping into your hand luggage as they're all under 100ml, so if you're just taking a carry on bag with you or you need to do an airport stay mid journey, you'll be able to take these onto the aircraft with you- sorted!

Weleda Wild Rose Creamy Body Wash, £1.95 for 20ml
The first product I'd take with me would be the best selling Creamy Body Wash in the Wild Rose scent.  This is one of my favourite products from Weleda as it is so moisturising and softening on the skin whilst cleaning it thoroughly and leaving it smelling faintly of roses.  I took loads of these minis away with me in different scents when I went on holiday last year and I got so much use out of them.  The best thing was being able to throw the empty tubes away throughout my holiday.  There's nothing worse than getting to the end of a two week trip and having to pack a half empty bottle of shower gel to take home, or worse still, waste money by throwing it away.  When I travel, I like to take just enough product to last me and then save carrying the bulky containers home with me.

Weleda Skin Food, £2.25 for 10ml
This is a bit of a cult product, so I've heard, with even Adele being a fan.  It is a multi use moisturising cream containing plant extracts, designed to be used on dry and rough skin to soothe, nourish and hydrate it.  Whilst it can be used all over the body, I use it specifically on the patches of psoriasis on my wrist, elbows and on any dry or cracked skin on my feet and hands.  I love the scent this product gives off as I use it on my skin as it is very herbal smelling and makes me feel like I'm having a spa treatment!  It works really deeply into my skin and provides some much needed relief, particularly when my skin is cracked, flaky and sore.  Skin Food contains organic sunflower seed oil, extracts of wild pansy, chamomile, calendula and rosemary which really help to perk up the skin and it is fragranced with essential oils including sweet orange and lavandulae.

Weleda Lavender Relaxing Body Oil, £2.95 for 10ml
When I'm not wearing false tan, I love using body oils to moisturise my skin whether being directly applied to my skin or in the bath.  When I'm travelling, often the first night of sleeping in an unfamiliar bed can be a little strange and I find that the Weleda Lavender Relaxing Body Oil comes in really handy during these moments as when I apply it to my skin, the scent instantly relaxes me and helps to aid a good nights sleep.  It contains pure plant oils, is rich in essential fatty acids and anti oxidising vitamins which all help to support the body's natural hydration and the skins regeneration process, increasing its elasticity, making it smooth and supple.  This body oil leaves a healthy sheen on my skin and makes it look as well as feel great.

Weleda Baby Calendula Face Cream, £2.45 for 10ml
This face cream is a great option for babies and adults alike.  I think that it is most suited to those with dry skin as it is a very thick cream and sits on the skin while it sinks in, deeply moisturising the skin and leaving it very soft.   A little bit of this cream goes a long way so the 10ml tube should last a while and I think it'd be perfect for trips away where you'll be out in the elements, like on walking holidays, camping and skiing.  There's a full review of this face cream in this post here.

Weleda Citrus Deodorant, for 30ml
The Citrus Deodorant is ridiculously refreshing.  I like to use it on a morning to wake me up and on an evening when I'm in hot countries to deter mosquitoes.  It keeps me feeling fresh and smells zingy!  Weleda deodorants break from the norm as they are free from aluminium salts and they aren't aerosols which makes them a great option for taking on plane journeys.  It comes in a pump action bottle and the liquid spray dries really quickly onto the skin, making it comfortable to use.


There's so many different fragrances available from Weleda from pomegranate to sage and from sea buckthorn to citrus and the majority are available in the different products like deodorant and creamy body washes.  Whilst available separately, some of the products are available in gift sets like the Mini Body Wash Pack that I reviewed here, so whether you're going away for a weekend break or a last minute week in the sun, you'll always be able to find a mini to suit you.

All of the miniature products I've written about here can be found on the Weleda website.

What is your favourite brand of miniatures?

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