Monday, 31 March 2014

Boohoo Plus Launch

This month, I popped down to London to attend one of the most exciting fashion launches I've been to at the Sanderson Hotel from affordable, fast fashion brand boohoo who have created their first plus size line.
I love attending events in London as they give me the opportunity to network as well as to catch up with some of my favourite blogger babes.  Upon arriving at the hotel, we were greeted by the lovely ladies from boohoo who couldn't wait to tell us all about the new plus size clothing line before sitting down to enjoy the Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea and chat about the line.

The launch of the boohoo plus size line seemed to come out of nowhere and I couldn't wait to see what the line had to offer, given that I love their original clothing line.  We were taken through to an area with rails of their latest clothing, jewellery, shoes and bags- a girls dream.  We were even able to get a sneak peek at some of their spring/summer items that are yet to hit their website.
If you thought that this was going to be just another plus size range then you'd be wrong and boohoo have created pieces that I have never seen before from a plus size line.
Style Babe Danie browsing the rails, check out her blog here
Remember the shape of the skort that was big in "standard size" fashion last summer but no other plus size fashion line were brave enough to create it for the plus size market?  Well boohoo have a fabulous one for us curvy girls this spring called the Katie Woven Skort which is available in black and pink for only £15.  Amongst their other skirts, the one that caught my eye was the light pink scalloped edge skirt, in the photo below, that will be available online very soon.  I can't wait to buy it to pair it with some Converse and a sweatshirt for a casual springtime look.
One thing that is very apparent from the boohoo plus range is that they haven't shied away from the latest cuts and shapes, lengths (think mini and oversized), prints and colours.  There's plenty of pastels in the range which I was over the moon about, as I'm sure you can tell from my face in the photographs!
Perhaps my most favourite piece is this floral jacket that will be available online on boohoo soon.  I couldn't quite contain my excitement as I posed for this photo; you could hook the hanger onto my smile its that wide!  I can't wait to wear this piece with a black outfit this summer as it'll add a pop of colour whilst maintaining a smart look that will be perfect for the office.
Boohoo have created a line that truly stands out against the other plus size retailers because they've designed what many of us plus size girls have always wanted and that's clothes that our slimmer friends would want to wear.  Great fashion shouldn't stop at a size 14 and boohoo are making sure that that certainly is the case with their range in sizes 16 to 24 and plans to expand the range further should it be well received.
There are several pieces in the line that would fit a lady who takes a larger size than a 24, like the Charlotte Oversized T Shirt Dress which is £16 and available in black, grey marl and white.
Looking through the rails, I was in fashion heaven as boohoo have been daring, contemporary and creative with their collection.  Think acid wash denim, tie dye and matching two pieces consisting of a quilted pencil skirt and jacket, all in pastel hues, print, brights and basics.
Nikki Oversized Jumper
I'm particularly loving the Nikki Oversized Jumper which is £16 and available in mint, cream and pink and is very similar to the Jessie Oversized Jumper that is available in lilac, black and grey for £18.  These make great layering pieces particularly for this time of the year when the weather wont make up its mind.
A little while before I received the invitation to the launch event, I had seen some of the pre launch collection online and was happy to see that another retailer was stocking plus sized clothes but the pieces didn't really excite me- they were very similar to another fashion brand that I haven't really taken to.  However at the event I discovered that they had bought some pieces to test the plus size water, to see how they would sell and that the pieces available from the launch going forward will be boohoo's creation.  Boohoo are passionate about their plus size line being very much an extension of their standard line.  After all, every girl wants to dress boohoo beautiful don't they!
I can't wait to place my order as there's lots of pieces I really want to buy to take on honeymoon with me and of course, there'll be a haul and lots of WhatLauraWore outfit posts when I do.
I'd really recommend you all to check out the boohoo plus website and let me know your favourite pieces pretty please.

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Thursday, 27 March 2014

WhatLauraWore: Dressing for Ladies Day

Well ladies, its that time again.  Regular readers of WhatLauraLoves will know that I'm quite partial to Ladies Day at the races and in particular, Aintree.  I love to plan an outfit for inspiration in advance of the big event so that I'm prepared and excited without the worry of wondering what to wear!

Today I wanted to give you an idea for a Ladies Day worthy outfit for those who don't want to have to wear the traditional hat or a fascinator.  My hair is curled and gently swept to the side.

A floor length gown instantly adds a sense of glamour to an outfit which is definitely what attending the Grand National is all about.  The dress I'm wearing is a coral one shoulder dress that I bought from eBay.  I absolutely love it.  The dress is fully lined to the floor with a satin style material with a chiffon style overlay.  There isn't any stretch in the material and the waist band under the bust has little sequin things attached to it.  In my opinion, the sizing is very poor and the dresses are on the small side so I would suggest ordering a size or two larger than your usual and then have it altered to fit your exact body shape, which is what I would do.

I've paired my dress with some gold jewellery, a gold sparkly clutch bag and some gold heels.

Dress from eBay
Gold diamante heels from Dune
Gold hoops by Mikey from House of Fraser

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Mother's Day Gift Guide and What To Do On Mother's Day

For the last month, I've been trying out some items that I think would make fabulous gifts for mothers day and today I'm going to share them with you incase you are looking for a gift to buy your mum this year or for a female friends birthday.  Mother's Day is this Sunday, 30th March so its time to get shopping!  I've also put together some ideas of ways to celebrate the occasion with your mum too.

For a Mum Who Loves Sparkle

The first item I thought would make a lovely present is the Pandora Mother's Day Limited Edition Sparkling Heart Bangle which Mr WLL actually surprised me with recently.  He bought it from John Greed Jewellery, which is my favourite place to buy Pandora jewellery from, for £99 and it is available in 3 sizes- 17, 19 and 21 centimetres.

The bangle itself is handcrafted from smooth polished sterling silver and it has a clasp that closes in the same way that the regular Pandora bracelets do, except that this one is a round ball with the Pandora logo on one side and a pink pave heart shape on the other.  There is also one charm on the bangle which is a heart shaped pink pave charm which is like a full size, 3D version of the heart on the clasp of the bangle.  I love the way that it sparkles and it makes a great layering piece.  I have been wearing mine with my Pandora charm bracelet and my watch and it looks great for casual, everyday wear.  Then I've been wearing it out on its own for evenings.

Outing Idea:  If you're looking for something to do with your mum then I'd recommend going to a jewellery making class or ordering a jewellery making kit online which would be a fun idea to do together.  I found this one online which is called Spoilt Rotten Beads but there's so many others out there.

For The Mum Who Loves To Cook

Gift Idea: Orb Mechanical Scale by Salter

The second item that I thought would make a fabulous Mother's Day gift is the Orb Mechanical Scale by Salter.  This would be perfect for a mum who enjoys cooking and who is a little girlie as it is available in pink; although other snazzy colours are available too.  I have been using these scales over the last month to weigh out my food before cooking it as I'm really focusing on portion size at the moment.

Salter Orb Mechanical Scale in Pink*
The dial is very clear and easy to see what the weight reading is from a distance which is good if you're trying to put a meal together quickly.  The reading is very accurate as well, measuring in both grams and ounces and they are extremely straight forward to set up and easy to use too.  What I like the most about them is that they're very easy to clean and wipe down, plus the bowl is dishwasher safe, which I'm sure any busy mother would like as well!  Whilst I do have quite a large kitchen in my home, I have SO much stuff in it that I struggle to find space for everything, especially as I like quite a minimalist look.

The Salter Orb scales are incredibly space saving as they're small and compact, making them easy to store in a cupboard or tucked away in the corner of a work top.  These scales would make a great gift for a mother who enjoys cooking for the whole family or even for a grandmother who bakes with her grandchildren as they are very light weight and made of plastic, so heavy lifting down from a cupboard is not needed with these.  The Salter Orb Mechanical Scales are available direct from their website for £9.99.

Outing Idea: River Cottage Cookery School

Remember Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from the River Cottage tv programme? Well you can actually visit River Cottage HQ for cookery classes which I think would make an amazing gift for a mum who loves cooking.  There's a great selection of courses available from meat and fish to baking.  You can check them out here

Cooking classes in general are a great idea because you can go with your mum and do the class together.  There are so many available and you can find them online very easily.  Another website I'd recommend checking out is Red Letter Days where you can find a sushi making class for two for £60.

For The Fun Loving Mum

For a mum who likes to listen to music and who loves a party then I would highly recommend the HMDX Jam Plus Wireless Speaker which you can also get in the colour pink, as well as blue, black, silver and green.

HDMX Jam Plus Bluetooth Wireless Speaker* 
The packaging on this is absolutely brilliant for a start as it comes in like a little jam jar style pot with a twist off lid.  It would probably be quite a chore to wrap so I'd suggest some pretty tissue paper and a gift bag for this one!  The Jam is from the UKs number one portable speaker brand so you know you're getting her something that's high quality that will last.  The speaker itself feels robust, I've had portable speakers before and they've felt really flimsy, this one doesn't at all.  She would be able to connect it to her smart phone, iPod, iPad, laptop or any other device using either the wire or through bluetooth to play her music or watch a film and if you get her two of them then they will play simultaneously in stereo.

You might have seen my recent Instagram video showing this little baby in action...  The RRP on this speaker is £59.99 however I have seen them on offer for £29.99 recently.  You can buy them from Amazon, Tesco and HMV.

Outing Idea: Bingo and Drinks

If your mum is someone who likes music and to have a good time then I'd suggest a night out at the bingo with some drinks; this means that you can have a good natter over the bingo and then a dance afterwards.  Many bingo halls are in town centres so there are places to go afterwards whether it be for dinner or a dance or two so they're perfect for a night out.  The Mecca Bingo in my city is fabulous because when you first sign up you get a booklet with money off so you can play on the slot machines and get some food while you're there with your vouchers.  My best friend and I won £90 on the Rainbow Riches game last time we went which then paid for our night out!  You can also play bingo and games on their website.

For the Mum Who Loves a Pamper

If you have a mum who is always on the go, as many are, then there is one product I'd definitely recommend for a spot of pampering.  When your mum is running around, looking after you, she really needs to take some time to relax and pamper herself.

Gift: Elle Macpherson The Body Aromatherapy Foot Spa by HoMedics

The perfect gift would be a foot spa that your mum can use to pamper herself at home.  The one that I have been trying out is the Elle Macpherson The Body Aromatherapy Foot Spa which is by a brand called HoMedics.

Elle Macpherson Aromatherapy Foot Spa*
I've used many foot spas over the years and this is by far the best one I've used because it is so complex but still very easy to use.  The one I was using before this was more or less a washing up bowl so when I started trying out this hydro massage foot spa complete with LED mood lighting, I felt very well pampered.  It is a 5 in 1 invigorating foot spa that has double the bubbles compared to normal foot spas and whilst it doesn't heat the water up, if you pour touchably hot water into it, there is a keep warm function that keeps the water warm and enables you to use the foot spa for longer than usual.

The foot spa features an aromatherapy mist diffuser and comes with a little bottle of aromatherapy oil to use with it.  I have lots from Holland and Barrett that I sometimes use in my bath so I've really enjoyed trying out different ones with the foot spa.  Mr WLL has even enjoyed using it after he's been on his feet all day at work; I was a little sceptical at first but the foot spa fits feet up to a size 12 so he had no problems getting his tootsies in there.

If you're someone who needs to relax or if you have a mum who is always on her feet and in need of a chill out then this foot spa is perfect as it has acu-pressure nodes, 4 integrated massage rollers that feel a little tickley at first and a 3 in 1 micro-circulation boost in the form of hydro massage, vibration massage (which can be used wet or dry) and magnetic stimulation on your reflexology points.

I'm actually preparing a pst that shows you how I use this foot spa to achieve a fab pedicure with the pedicure attachments to look out for that coming soon, just in time for the summer.

What I really love about this foot spa is how easy it is to use.  It has an easy pour facility so you don't have to worry about spilling water everywhere and the base is angled so that it wont tip over.  Theres like suction cups on the bottom too so if you have a wooden floor then this is definitely not going to go anywhere!

This foot spa really is the creme de la creme of foot spas and I would say that the original price point of £74.99 from Amazon is very well justified for the standard of product that you get.  I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that it is currently on sale on Amazon for £47.95.  You can also pick this up for £45 from Asda and on Debenhams for £75.

Another relaxing gift idea for a mum who perhaps isn't into foot spas but still likes to relax is a candle or room spray.

Gift: Lily Flame Mini Candle Trio and Room Mist

Lily Flame Candle Gift Set and Room Mist
The candles and room mist that I have recently bought are by Lily Flame.  The products on the left are the Girly (pink) Mini Tins and they have three scented mini candles in them- Dolly Rocker, Blush (which smells exactly like Angel perfume) and Fairy Dust.  The other product is the Fairy Dust Room Mist which isn't too over powering but smells gorgeous all the same.  You can buy Lily Flame products here.

Outing Idea: Spa Day

The ultimate thing to do with your mum has to be a spa day.  You can buy vouchers from Red Letter Days or you can buy one from your own salon locally.  Either way, I think they're the perfect way to chill out and relax with your mum.

How will you be spending Mother's Day this year?

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

High End Beauty Haul: MAC and Space NK

Whilst I tend to keep all things personal strictly away from my blog, lets just say, I've had a pretty hard time lately.  I've been looking for a little escapism and a direction in which to divert my attention and that direction? Well it was straight to the shops...  This is the result:
Quite a stash there dontcha think?  It feels great to treat yourself once in a while and I certainly have done here.
Last week I went to London to attend an event for Boohoo Plus and met up with the gorgeous Lucia who is a make up artist and fellow blogger over at UCantWearThat.  Check her out if you're looking for plus size fashion and gorgeous make up looks.  While I was with her she took me into MAC to try out some new lip looks as I always go to town on my eyes and leave my lips as an afterthought as I'm heading out of the door.
I had some shades in mind but there was three looks that I wanted to go for- a nude, a pink and a red lip.  Whilst I intended to just buy lipsticks, I actually bought some lip pencils and a lipglass too.
The lipsticks are £15 each and the ones that I bought are:
Ruby Woo- this is a retro matte lipstick which has a very matte finish and is a vivid blue toned red shade.

Snob- this is a satin finish lipstick in a light muted pink colour.

Impassioned- this is an amplified creme lipstick in an amped-up fuchsia shade.

Sunny Seoul- this is a cremesheen lipstick in a frosted light warm pink colour.
The lip pencils are £12 each and I bought Cherry which is a vivid bright blush red and Whirl which is a dirty rose shade.
I then bought one of the Pro Longwear lip pencils which are £14.50 each.
The shade I bought is called In Anticipation which is a soft yellow pink shade.
I also bought a lipglass in Pink Lemonade too which is a flamingo pink shade and cost £14.
MAC products are available to buy from their website and from Debenhams.

I then headed to Space NK and thats where things really went down.

I immediately made a beeline for the Becca counter where I picked up my FAVOURITE primer of all time, the Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector which was £28.  This is a silicone free primer that is super mattifying even on my very oily skin.  I couldn't recommend it enough.

I then bought the By Terry Touche Veloutee in Shade 2 Cream which retails for £35 and is like a super impressive version of YSL's Touche Eclat.  It is a highlighting concealer that you use under the eyes to brighten the eye area and to conceal dark circles.  It can also be used on the brow bone.

When I tried the By Terry Touche Veloutee, the sales assistant in the shop applied the product on the back of her hand and the dabbed one of the Space NK Shader Brushes into it before applying the concealer to my face.
The brush felt so soft and it blended the concealer seamlessly so I had to get one to try out for myself.  It is £22 and so far I much prefer it to my MAC 217 brush which is a similar shape.

Another product I have lusted after for ages is the Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base but I have been waiting for ages to use up the other products in my collection before buying this and I've finally been able to get it.  It was £19.50 which I don't think is bad if it makes my eyeshadow last all day.

The last product that I bought is the Enlightenment Eye and Cheek limited edition palette from Laura Mercier.  I bought this to take on honeymoon with me as I think it is a very beautiful palette that will create some gorgeous shimmery looks for evenings out.  It has two blushers in blushing and awakening and four eyeshadows in angelic, grace, innocence and pure and it has a large mirror inside the company so it is great for travel.

I haven't had chance to try out these products yet to be able to review them now but if you would like full reviews and swatches of any of these products when I've used them properly then please let me know.

Which of these products would you like me to review?  Have you tried any of these products?
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Friday, 21 March 2014

WhatLauraWore: Yours Clothing Mint Dress and GIVEAWAY

Yesterday was officially the first day of spring and I couldn't be happier.  Pastel shades are gracing my wardrobe like never before and I am so excited to wear them.  Starting with the gorgeous Mint Chiffon Dress with Lace Insert and Sequin Detail from Yours Clothing.
Available in sizes 16 to 26, this dress is the ultimate girlie outfit for a night out with friends.  With black lace inserts and sequins on the straps and under the bust to pull you in, a great contrast is created against the light mint green floaty chiffon dress.  There's a key hole detail on the front that doesn't really show anything so don't worry about it being revealing and the overall fit of the dress is very comfortable.  The waist is elasticated so it will stretch to fit your shape.
I love the ruching detail to the neckline of the dress and how the dress has such a feminine and floaty shape making this dress perfect for a night out, christening or spring wedding.
Mint chiffon dress with lace insert and sequin detail* from Yours Clothing
Jewel bag from a designer at Fenwick
Silver sparkly earrings from Primark
Silver bracelet by Guess from Very
Black and silver buckle kitten heel sling back shoes from Evans
Giveaway Details
Yours Clothing are giving away a £20 gift voucher to use on their website.  Their clothes are available in sizes 14 to 32  with selected lines available in larger sizes and they have so much choice available, you're bound to find something gorgeous to wear.
All you have to do to enter is to follow my blog through Bloglovin and leave your name and email address in the comment box below.  All information is on the Rafflecopter widget and there are some more options for bonus entries there too.  The competition will be open until 12:00AM on Sunday 30th March and the winner will be notified via email and announced on this blog post.  This is a UK only giveaway but don't worry I'll have another international one up very soon.
Congratulations- the winner of my giveaway is Leah!
What are you looking forward to wearing this spring?

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*by entering you agree for your details to be passed to Yours Clothing
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