Saturday, 27 December 2014

The Best of the Boxing Day Sales

The Boxing Day Sales are finally here and I know that many of you have been looking forward to them. After the Black Friday madness, I thought that I was all shopped out but the deals this boxing day really are too good to miss.  Whether you're buying gifts to put away for people through the year, investing in decent kitchenware for a forthcoming house purchase or spending your Christmas money on a treat for yourself, there are deals to be had and I am going to share my favourites with you.

For all things beauty, Boots, Space NK and Look Fantastic are definitely the places to go.  Look Fantastic are offering sales of up to 50% off and free delivery whereas Space NK are also offering up to 50% off and free standard delivery on orders over £60.  I actually shopped the Space NK sale early this year, on Christmas Eve, as it wasn't advertised on their main homepage but I typed 'sale' into the search bar and all of the sale items came up at their reduced price.

I managed to nab myself an Aromatherapy Associates and a By Terry make up gift set that have both sold out ridiculously quickly as they were such good deals but there are still some ridiculously brilliant sale bargains to be had.  My choice would be to look out for the REN and Laura Mercier products as they're incredible value for money, particularly when in the sale.  Shop the Space NK sale here.

My Space NK sale faves:

When it comes to buying luggage, the January sales are the perfect time to do so as there are some serious discounts to be had.  House of Fraser seem to have the best selection this year with brands like Boss, Aspinal of London, Linea and Antler all available in the sale.

My luggage faves from House of Fraser are here:

For designer handbags, you must visit the Selfridges sale.  There's more designers than you can possibly imagine, all at low prices.  I'd be pretty gutted if I'd spent a small fortune on a handbag for Christmas, only to discover it had been reduced by hundreds the day after!  Only trouble is, they do tend do sell out quickly as everyone and their dog knows about the Selfridges sale.  I'd personally recommend heading to Net-A-Porter as they have up to 50% their sale items, plus they deliver worldwide and its not just their bags that are amazing, check out their shoes and accessories too.

Here's my best bits from Net-A-Porter including a pair of stunners that will be on WhatLauraLoves very soon:

The boxing day sales are the perfect time to update your wardrobe, especially as it has just started to snow so it doesn't look like the cold weather is going to go away any time soon!  Esprit have some great pieces all at really affordable prices and their sale has 30% off and more! I personally love their basics which make great layering pieces- perfect for hopping in and out of the cold this winter.

Some of my favourites from the Esprit sales, images taken from their site
For electricals, you can't go wrong with John Lewis.  They have a great clearance sale on with some ridiculously good discounts, I'd also recommend checking out their home items.  Many of my friends have bought their own houses this year so I know they'll be hitting up the John Lewis sale for their washing machines, TVs and other household items.  We've bought a few things from there and they always offer such good advice in store and we have found their insurance/warranty guarantee on items to be really straight forward and hassle free.

Shop the John Lewis Discounts here:

So that's my pick of the sales.  Let me know about the bargains you've picked up in the comments!

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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Last Minute Christmas Eve Shopping Guide

We all know someone who leaves everything to the last minute; the shopper who battles the Christmas Eve rush and stays up until the early hours wrapping.  Personally, I like to get it all out of the way early but now is not the time to gloat as theres some last minute shopping to be done.

Don't worry, I've got your back with my save, spend, splurge guide to last minute Christmas Eve Shopping and if you've already finished then let this be a heads up for the best sets to look out for in the sales.

Under £15- SAVE

Collection Lip Set Tesco Last Minute Cheap Christmas Gift Present
Collection Lip Set*
So if you're on a budget, are looking for a stocking filler or are looking for something to bulk out a main gift, then I'd recommend the Collection Lip Set which is £8 from Tesco but if you're quick, you can get it on sale for £4!  This is an absolute bargain as you get five products housed in a pretty pink tin that is certain to please any girlie girl.

Collection Lip Set Tesco Last Minute Cheap Christmas Gift Present

Lip gloss lovers will be pleased as theres three high shine miniature lip glosses in this set as well as two flavoured tint lip balms (in Strawberry Shortcake and delicious Raspberry Ripple) that are ideal for keeping the lips looking and feeling mistletoe ready this winter.  Whether the girl you have in mind likes to party the night away or prefers a quiet lunch with the girls, this set is sure to please!

St Moriz Tanning Gift Set Last Minute Cheap Christmas Gift Present
St Moriz Salon Essentials Gift Set*
For the girl who loves to be tanned then swing by Semichem to pick up the St Moriz Salon Essentials.  It includes a tanning mit for a flawless application, the medium tanning mousse which imparts a gorgeous golden glow onto the skin and the oil free body moisturiser to keep the skin feeling soft, supple and ready for a golden glow.  This is the tan that I wore to my graduation and it gave me a really healthy glow.  The medium tan shade is a great all-rounder and a fail safe option for the girl in your life.

Failing that, if you've got a little more time, perhaps if you're not seeing your friend until after Christmas or if you have an early January birthday to buy for, then head to Feel Unique where they have an abundance of St Moriz Gift Sets!

If you're looking for a small gift for more or less any woman, then I cannot think of a gift more suitable than the Trilogy Limited Edition Luscious Rosehip Lips gift set.

Trilogy Limited Edition Luscious Rosehip Lips Gift Set Debenhams Look Fantastic
Trilogy Limited Edition Luscious Rosehip Lips*
Wrapped in beautiful packaging, containing two lip balms- the Rosehip Oil Lip Balm which gives the lips a natural sheen with a zingy peppermint flavour and the limited edition Holiday Lip Balm with a festive cinnamon flavour and a beautiful red sheen, this set is sure to please.  The balms are very hydrating and nourishing on the lips so they are perfect for using particularly at this time of the year.

This set retails for £12.50 at Look Fantastic but has just gone on sale at Debenhams for £8.33 so if you want to snap one up, you better head there quickly!

Under £35- SPEND

For the lady in your life who appreciates aromatherapy and relaxation then I would definitely recommend the Wake Me Up and Wind Me Down aromatic mist duo from Temple Spa which can be purchased from their website for £18 or in spas up and down the country (perfect for a last minute gift- pop in and get her something to unwrap and a voucher for a facial).

Temple Spa Wake Me Up and Wind Me Down Aromatic Mist Duo
Temple Spa Wake Me Up and Wind Me Down Aromatic Mist Duo*
Whether the lady in your life needs to feel energised and revived, perhaps first thing on a morning, or calmed and relaxed at night, this is an aromatic mist duo gift set that will provide an instant remedy  for your special person.

Temple Spa Wake Me Up and Wind Me Down Aromatic Mist Duo

It contains two ten ml sprays, the first being Quietude Calming Mist for Me and My Space which is a blend of relaxing essential oils which help to induce a peaceful and calming feeling and Spiritude Energising Mist for Me and My Space which is an aromatherapy pick me up blend that promotes vitality and alertness, perfect for using on a morning when you're waking up and it is still dark outside.  This one contains mandarin, passion fruit and ginger and is my personal favourite as it smells very revitalising.  Both of the scents in this set are unisex so are perfect for anyone this Christmas.

Trilogy Rosapene Skincare Sensations Gift Set Feel Unique Debenhams
Trilogy Limited Edition Rosapene Skincare Sensations Gift Set*
I've spoken about Trilogy products on my blog many times before and at the latest Trilogy event, I got up close to some of their new Christmas gift sets.  I've been trying them out recently and I've got to say that the Rosapene Skincare Sensations gift set is the perfect present to buy for a skincare lover this winter.

Trilogy Rosapene Skincare Sensations Gift Set Feel Unique Debenhams Present

The Rosapene Skincare Sensations gift set contains three of Trilogy's top selling products that are sure to be a hit- a 7ml Eye Contour Cream, a 25ml Vital Moisturising Cream and a full size 30ml bottle of Trilogy's signature product, the Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+ facial oil.  The products come packaged in a gorgeous gift box that can be reused.  I've tried out each of these products and have found that they're high performing while being very natural so I'm sure they'll be well received this Christmas.

Buy from Debenhams and Feel Unique for around £20.

Over £35- SPLURGE

For the health concious person in your life, then I would highly recommend getting them an Up by Jawbone.  I don't think I'm stepping out of line here by saying that the vast majority of people define January as a new beginning, '2015 is my year', 'I'm going to get more sleep/ lose weight/ get fit/ eat healthier/ stop drinking/ save money', etc the list goes on.  However how many people actually achieve that?

Jawbone Up Fitness Health Band Healthy Eating Sleep Kick
Up by Jawbone*
The Jawbone Up gets you off to the right start because it is a device that you can wear on your wrist to track your activity levels and sleep and synch it with your phone to record your eating as well.  I know myself how much a visual aid really helps me and as someone who is trying to rehabilitate myself back to being more active after an accident, I have seen already how using the Up has helped me.  I'll be doing a full review of it on my blog in the new year but until then, I would definitely say that after using it for a few weeks, I would recommend it to anyone.

This one usually retails for £80 but it is currently available on Currys for £39.  I have the blue but there are so many different colours you can get and three different sizes which are perfect for men or women!

If you're looking for a special beauty gift for a woman then there are two kits that I think are absolutely perfect.  If the lady in your life is anything like me then she'll enjoy to be pampered and to pamper herself at home too.

The Nails Inc Electric Footfile Kit- Powered by Micro Pedi couldn't be more ideal for this.  It contains everything you need to create peep toe ready feet in minutes.

 Nails Inc and Micro Pedi Fabulous Feet in Seconds Electronic Foot File Kit
Nails Inc and Micro Pedi Fabulous Feet in Seconds Electronic Foot File Kit*
Inside the kit is the Micro Pedi electronic foot file which powers a mineral roller that gentle buffs away hard skin from your feet leaving them feeling soft and smooth, particularly if you had any rough patches of skin.  Once you've finished filling your feet, you can use the Nails Inc polishes included in the set to paint your nails.  The two I have in this set are a bright coral pink called Brook Street and a bright orange called Porchester Place which are both colours that can be worn on winter sun holidays or throughout the warmer months.  Nails Inc polishes are lovely because they're super good quality and come in lots of beautiful colours that have a shiny finish to them.

This set is a bit of a bargain as it was £59.99 but it is currently available on Boots for £39.99 which is an absolute bargain considering the two polishes alone are worth £22!

Rokit Gel Polish Professional Kit
Rokit Gel Polish Professional Kit*
The final gift set that I would recommend is from Rokit.  Their new gel manicure kit is a professional set that you can use at home to create your own at home gel manicure.  The set comes with everything you need to get started- some tools, a UV lamp to cure the gel, a dehydrator to prepare the nails for the polish, a remover to take it off and a bottle of the one step polish in Shock Pink which is a staple colour in any girls polish collection.

Rokit Beauty At Home Gel Manicure Kit

The kit is so quick and easy to use and can be applied to the toes or finger nails.  If you really want to surprise and delight someone this Christmas then wrap one of these up for them!

You can buy it from Debenhams.

So that's it for my last minute, Christmas Eve shopping gift guide.  Now if you will excuse me, I'm off for a mince pie and to get merry.

Happy Christmas you lovely bunch!

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Monday, 22 December 2014

Shu Uemura Silk Bloom Restorative Shampoo Review

Last week, I reviewed the Shu Uemura Silk Bloom Restorative Treatment and if you read that review then you'll know that I wasn't completely blown away by it.

When I bought the Restorative Treatment, I also bought the shampoo from the same line which I have enjoyed using more than the treatment.  So in the interests of keeping things balanced like the Libra that I am, here is my review of the Shu Uemura Silk Bloom Restorative Shampoo.

This is the shampoo I've mostly been using since September and I have to say that I really do like it.  It has been formulated to repair damaged hair as it contains argan oil which helps to restore the hair while giving it body and a silky feeling.  As with the Restorative Treatment, the shampoo also contains ceramides and vitamin E which work with the argan oil to help to fortify the hair fibre and build strength.

Usually shampoos for dry or damaged hair make my oily roots very greasy however this shampoo doesn't.  It really deeply nourishes my hair while cleaning it very well, particularly on my scalp where I get lots of product build up.  The shampoo actually smells like Battenberg cake which is sweet although I don't find that it lingers on the hair.  It lathers up well and washes out really easily and after using this shampoo, my hair does actually feel stronger, looks healthier and has a gorgeous natural sheen to it.  It doesn't weigh my hair down or make it more greasy quickly but it does make my hair very soft which I personally love but I know that some of you prefer the feeling of second day hair so you may need to use a texturising spray after you've dried your hair to give your hair a little more grip.

Another thing that I have noticed is that my hair doesn't have a lot of fly aways after using this shampoo and my frizzy ends are definitely tamed, even if I leave my hair to dry naturally.  I would definitely recommend it!

You can buy this shampoo from Look Fantastic and Feel Unique and you can shop straight through the photos here, just give them a click:

What is your favourite shampoo for when your hair is feeling a little dry or damaged?

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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner Review

Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner Review Feel Unique Look Fantastic Natural Organic Skin Care

This year I have really got into using spray toners.  I started using them more and more as the weather became warmer as I felt that it was a step in my skincare routine that I was missing and in the warmer months, I felt as though I needed a refreshing spritz to perk up my skin each morning.  This is a step that I have continued all year and will certainly continue going into 2015.

The one that I am using at the moment is by Trilogy and it is the Hydrating Mist Toner.

Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner Review Feel Unique Look Fantastic Natural Organic Skin Care
Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner*
The Hydrating Mist Toner is a refreshing spray toner that you spray onto your skin after you have thoroughly cleansed your skin.  It combines water with components of natural essential oils to create a very gentle formula that is designed to provide a hit of moisture for dehydrated skin.  The rose petal, lavender and geranium in this mist help to invigorate, hydrate and tone the skin.

I would think that this mist would be suitable for all skin types, even those with dry skin as it alcohol free so it wont dry your skin out and I also think that it would be great for those with sensitive skin as rose petal tends to be quite soothing on the skin and can help to ease redness.

Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner Review Feel Unique Look Fantastic Natural Organic Skin Care

I have been using the Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner for the last couple of months and have really enjoyed how awakening and refreshing it is to spritz on each morning.  I haven't felt too many immediate deep skincare benefits as such, aside from the refreshing feeling, as I always follow up with my daily moisturiser which gives me the most hydration and nourishment however I have certainly noted how invigorating it feels which aids my mood as well as my skin!

If my skin is feeling a little sensitive, perhaps after using a powerful mask, I have found that spritzing this onto the skin straight after removing it, does help my skin to feel a little less squeaky and tight which shows that it must hydrate the skin in some way.

I think that this toner is perfect for use all year round but especially at this time of the year when even my super oily skin tends to dry out from being outside in the cold to coming inside with the central heating on.  The toner provides an instant boost of moisture to the skin which makes it great for spritzing onto your face throughout the day, particularly if you work in an office with air con, are on a flight or are in a house with air conditioning which can all dry the skin out and leave it looking dull; it can even refresh your make up if it is looking a little cakey.

Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner Review Feel Unique Look Fantastic Natural Organic Skin Care

You can buy this from Feel Unique and Look Fantastic or shop the post here:

What are your favourite spray toners?

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Saturday, 20 December 2014

WhatLauraWore: Plus Size Eyelash Jumper

Earlier in the week, I posted my guide to choosing a colour palette from your wardrobe.  In that post was a sneak peek of todays outfit post which shows just how I am utilising the colour scheme of some of my daytime wardrobe clothes this winter.

The jumper I'm wearing is my absolutely FAVOURITE this winter.  It is by Lovedrobe but I got it online at Very as I love that I can order loads of things in different sizes, get it delivered the next day and then just send back what I don't want to keep.  The Leopard Star Feather Knit Jumper is one of those eyelash style jumpers that were really popular last winter.  This one is gorgeous as it has gold tread running through it in the middle of the leopard print that takes up the main body of the jumper.  The top portion has lots of black stars on it which provide a lovely contrast to the leopard print.

If you're looking for a warm and snuggly jumper to wear over the winter then I would really recommend this one as it looks beautiful and can easily be dressed up for an evening dinner out (I've worn this with black skinny jeans, peep toe heels and a black clutch) or down like I have in these photos.  The fit of this jumper is pretty generous and although I ordered my usual size, I could have easily sized down by one or two sizes, so that may be something that you may want to consider when buying the jumper.  It washes really well and doesn't lose its shape or anything like that.  The only negative thing that I have to say about it is that it catches really easily, especially where the gold thread is.  It literally catches on everything from bracelets to bags, zips and rings so I doubt it would be a jumper I could bring out for years to come but even if it lasts me only one winter, I'd be happy as it is so pretty!

I'm wearing it with my favourite denim leggings from New Look (via ASOS here).  These have been a staple in my wardrobe for goodness knows how many years.  I love the dark denim colour and they fit so well as they're very stretchy but a slim fit, making them a great option for those who aren't a fan of traditional jeans.

I always struggle to get jeans to fit slim enough on my legs whilst being large enough to fit my tummy at the same time, so these stretchy denim leggings are a fantastic option for me.  The ones I'm wearing in these photos are actually a couple of sizes too big for me now so I really need to repurchase them in a smaller size as they're really baggy around the calves which is so unusual as the fit of them is normally good.

The bag I'm carrying is the Michael Kors Hamilton Shoulder Flap Bag in luggage leather (tan) with gold hardware that I got on my honeymoon in Florida.  It is so comfortable to carry and I can fit a lot in this bag considering its relatively small size.  The beautiful soft tan leather goes really well with denim, khaki  and cream colours, like this very old River Island scarf.

My coat is an oldie but a goodie from AX Paris who annoyingly don't stock their own plus size range on their own website any more.  I got this last winter and reviewed it here and I've loved wearing it ever since.  It is the perfect way to introduce khaki into a winter wardrobe.  There are so many khaki coloured plus size clothes around at the moment, I have a couple of coats but I really want to take the plunge and order something other than outerwear in khaki!

The shoes that I am wearing are by Steve Madden.  I got them from Dune in the sale earlier this year and absolutely loved them.  They're the Graanite SM Studded Slipper Loafer Shoes and I have them in gold which are the ones I'm wearing here and also in black.  However while they may look pretty, I must say I would not recommend these one little bit.  I bought both pairs for a lot less than their usual price but the quality of them has been absolutely disgusting and I would never repurchase a pair of Steve Maddens like these again.

I have the boots with a thick sole and they have been brilliant however the coated sole of each pair of these wore off the first time that I wore them and they were literally falling to pieces within a few wears- the material seemed to just be shaving away.  I have thrown out my black ones today because they have large holes through the soles that you can actually see my feet through.  I've taken photos although I doubt I'll actually complain, I think I'll just put it down to a bad experience and not purchase again.  They've hardly been worn yet I've had longer use out of a pair of £4 shoes from Primark!

Inspired by the tan and gold hardware on my Michael Kors bag, I popped on one of the Daniel Wellington watches that I got for my birthday.  This is the Classy St Andrews and has a tan strap with a rose gold face.  The rose gold tone is quite subtle and could easily be mistaken for yellow gold in some lights so it doesn't clash with the other gold tones that I'm wearing here.

I'm also wearing the Michael Kors Gold Tone Beaded Bracelet that I got from Harvey Nichols.  This has been an absolute staple for me since I got it back in August.  It is so easy to wear and slip on that I reach for it most days!

Khaki coat from AX Paris
Steve Madden Graanite SM Studded Slipper Loafer Shoes in Black from Dune
Michael Kors Hamilton Shoulder Flap Bag in Luggage Leather from the Michael Kors Outlet
Cream and Gold Thread Scarf from River Island

I appreciate that a lot of the items that I feature are from stores based in the UK and now that my blog is attracting more and more readers from the US, I will be trying to feature items that you can buy on both sides of the pond, as well as sharing lots of great deals and coupons that are available to you.  If you love shopping at the store 6pm then I have found some great 6pm Coupon Codes 2015 for you to enjoy.  There's quite a few similar items to those that I have featured here on there too.

If you've spotted any great khaki coloured plus size clothes, let me know in the comments so that I can check them out!

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Friday, 19 December 2014

Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment Review

If you came here looking for a short review, then this is it:

'This is by far the best hair oil I have EVER used.  Trust me; buy it.' WhatLauraLoves

However if you were looking for a more comprehensive review then please read on.

The Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment is a hair oil that can be used to soothe and smooth any hair type and that's something I really stand by.  While you'd think that a hair oil would only be suited to those with very dry and damaged hair, I have to say that it has worked exceptionally well for me and I have very fine, greasy hair.  I've tried other oils in the past, such as the Moroccan Oil but it just doesn't work wonders for me the way that this oil does.  I've recommended it to my friends with afro hair, countless friends with thick hair, curly hair, fine hair, course hair, Chinese hair, long hair, short hair, you name it, I've recommended it and they have all, yes really ALL, loved it.

What sets the Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment apart from other hair oils is that it really, truly does work miracles on the hair and when you stop using it you can really tell.  It is very effective without being thick and heavy in texture which is a real benefit to using this oil, especially if you've been disappointed with even oils designed for thin hair in the past.  I've tried many products from Macadamia Natural Oil before and this is by far the best.  I have repurchased many of the smaller bottles and finally received one of the big bottles for my birthday this year.

I first saw the benefits of this oil when on honeymoon in Barbados.  I started to apply the oil to my hair after washing it and left it to sink in right until the last minute before I blow dried my hair to style it.  I found that my hair looked glossy, healthy and smooth, particularly on the ends which were a little frazzled by the sun.  What I loved about it the most was that I could reapply it before going to bed and I would wake up with healthy, shiny hair that wasn't greasy or oily in the slightest.  At last, I had found an oil that wasn't so heavy that it weighted my hair down and made it look even more greasy!  This oil is literally PERFECT for me.  Towards the end of the holiday, I ran out of the hair oil and I could notice a massive difference with my hair as it looked wild, a hell of a lot drier and it had lost its glossy, healthy look.  It was also more difficult to brush through and become less manageable, even when trying to use other products in place of the hair oil.

Since getting back from my honeymoon, I have used this oil religiously.  I have tried out other hair oils for my blog but I have found that my experience with them has been short lived as I've always had to come back to this one as nothing else compares to it.  I use it when blow drying my hair to give a sleek, glossy, nourished finish to my hair and ends and I use it on dry hair to finish off a style to smooth it and on my hair before bedtime to deeply nourish my hair overnight.  The oil sinks in very quickly and doesn't leave a greasy feeling on my hair or hands afterwards.  It leaves my hair feeling extremely well nourished and looked after, as though I've just stepped out of a salon.

I have also tried out the hair oil on my hair when wearing micro ring extensions and I have found that while my hair is usually quite difficult to comb through when I have washed my hair and extensions, it isn't when I have used this oil.  My natural hair isn't particularly unruly generally but it can be hard to comb through with the extensions in and this oil really solves that so if you have hair that is in need of a bit of a detangling, then definitely try this out!

I'd also recommend it for those who have frizzy hair as it gives a really sleek, frizz free look to the hair, without having to use straighteners.  I tend to leave my hair to dry naturally and then finish it off with a hair dryer and as this product provides natural UV protection, I don't feel the need to overload my hair with other products.

I honestly cannot sing its praises enough, give it a go for yourself and you'll understand why I love it so much!  I've just ran out of this bottle last weekend and I'm kicking myself that I didn't pick up another bottle when I last placed a Feel Unique order as I can notice a difference in my hair already with not using it.  I'll definitely be repurchasing!

There are so many different sizes available from shops like Feel Unique and Look Fantastic, as well as different gift sets available for Christmas.  You can click through to shop here:

Let me know what your favourite hair oils are in the comments and if you've tried this hair oil, please tell me what you think about it!

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