Friday, 30 May 2014

Haul: Honeymoon and Summer Undies and Shoes

My names Laura and I'm a shopaholic.  You'll come to see just that over the next few weeks as I post my hauls on here as I've been doing A LOT of shopping lately in preparation for my honeymoon and while on honeymoon.  Today I wanted to share with you some of the things I picked up to wear this spring and summer and whist on honeymoon.  There's a few pairs of shoes and some underwear from Primark, La Senza, Boux Avenue and UGG (via Very).

First up, I headed to Primark to see what they had that was summertime appropriate.  I generally find that their shoes and accessories always hit the spot with me when it comes to the summer as they are super girlie and colourful.

Flower Hair Bun Bands
For my honeymoon, I knew I'd be going out a lot during the day and night for the first part of our honeymoon so I decided that wearing my hair in a bun would be best as it is quick and easy to create but it looks super chic and put together.  To make them a little more summery, I bought these flower hair bun bands to pop over the top of my bun.  I ended up wearing these LOADS on holiday and I'm so pleased I got them. 

I also wanted to buy some bikini tops in Primark to wear with shorts while relaxing on the balcony on my honeymoon.  I also sometimes like to wear bikini tops rather than bras while I'm away as I don't need too much support and they're more comfortable, especially if you've been tanning your back all day.

Coral bikini top
I bought this coral bikini top because I loved how sweet and girlie it is.  The top has light padding and is white and coral stripes with a ruffle and coral bow at the front.  It is a halter neck which is my preferred style of bikini top.  Coral was the theme of our wedding so it was lovely to find clothing in the same colour to take on our honeymoon.

I also bought a mint green and white striped bikini top in a similar style but with coral straps and a cute nautical button in the centre (its on the right of the picture above that I posted on my Instagram- follow me for lots of mini hauls and quick outfit posts) and then I found a triangle bikini top in white with a gold chain detail, which is a very Kim Kardashian bikini style I think!

White bikini with gold chain
The summer before last, I bought a couple of pairs of wedges from Primark and they were the most comfortable heels I had owned until they started to fall apart last year as I'd worn them so much.  They've never had them back in stock since but I did find these platform wedges which I fell in love with.

Black suede effect wedges 
Nude Suede Effect Wedges
These wedges are the most comfortable heels I have EVER worn.  That's probably because they're almost flatforms as there isn't much of a heel to them at all.  They were available in nude, black, red and blue and I bought the nude and black pair as I thought they'd go with so many of my outfits this summer.  Now that I know how comfortable they are I seriously wish I'd bought two of each colour as I know these will never be off my feet for events and nights out.  They were around £10 which is an absolute bargain.

Next, I went to La Senza to buy some underwear.  I know some people think its strange to post hauls featuring undies they've bought but we all wear them so I thought I'd show you some of the pieces I've picked up recently in La Senza.  I'll just put this out there- I don't wear knickers, hipsters, girl boxers or anything of the sort as they just roll down on me as my bottom is small in comparison to my stomach.  TMI? Anyway they just don't stay up (does this happen to any other women?!) so I tend to opt for thongs and g strings as I find they're much more comfortable.

Here's what I bought:

La Senza, along with Boux Avenue, is my go to place to buy underwear from as they're really good quality, come in lots of different styles and designs and they're affordable too.  La Senza often have a deal on where you can get five pieces for £25 which is great as they're usually £10 each and 7 for £20 on some of their more plain pieces.  I bought all of these pieces specifically with my honeymoon in mind as they're bright and colourful- perfect for the summer.

Speaking of Boux Avenue, I also bought a bra in there.  Very simple, there isn't much to it but it is their Microfibre Moulded Strapless Bra in white.  I've bought quite a few of these over the years and they're a staple in my wardrobe as they're very comfortable to wear and hold me in place very well.  This is actually the bra that I wore under my dress on my wedding day.  I didn't want anything fancy, any typical bridal style bra or something corseted, etc I simply wanted to feel comfortable and this bra looked great under my dress.  I also picked up a pack of the 2 Hook Bra Extenders for use with other bras.  They come in nude, black and white in each pack.  You can read about how I use these here.

I was also on the look out for some comfortable shoes to wear on the plane when travelling on my honeymoon.  While I was browsing on Very for some holiday clothes for Mr WLL, I came across the UGG Chivon Nubuck Shoes.  They had them in red and chestnut, the latter of which I opted for thinking that they would go with lots of different colours that I wear during the summer- tan goes with EVERYTHING!  I wore these to travel to the airport hotel in and on the plane to America and they were ridiculously comfortable.  I wore them with denim look leggings, a black peplum top, a chunky knit but light weight pink blush cardigan and my coral Longchamp bag and they looked great.

UGG Chivon Nubuck Shoes
They have such comfortable soles that enable them to be worn all day long without hurting your feet.  They're easy to slip on and off and they have a little bit of sheep skin where the heel is to prevent them from rubbing which I think is a lovely touch.  What I like the most about them is that they kept my feet cool and they didn't rub or make my feet sweat which is the last thing I would want on a long flight.  A little word of warning though with these- SIZE UP.  I know that UGGs usually come up big but these don't.  I usually wear a 7 and I have quite narrow to normal width feet and these were tiny.  I ordered the UK 7.5 and had to send them back for the 8.5.  Yes the leather does stretch as it relaxes but not by that much- I couldn't even get my feet into them!  That aside, I would absolutely recommend them.  They were pricey at £65 which is much more than I would usually spend on shoes but they're completely worth it.  I'm even thinking about getting the red ones, I love them that much!

That's it for my haul today, just wanted to show you all whats out there to give you some inspiration when you're out shopping this spring.  There's plenty more where this little lot came from so check back soon for more hauls from WhatLauraLoves!

Which was your favourite piece from my haul today?  How do you feel about bloggers posting underwear hauls?

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Saturday, 24 May 2014

Men’s Engagement Party Outfit Ideas

Hi Everyone

Some of you may be aware that I got married at the beginning of the month and I'm currently away on my honeymoon with my lovely hubby.  I've been asked if I'll be doing some wedding posts and I will be but I'll also be doing more wedding tips posts as I spent a long time planning mine and I've learnt a lot along the way.  While I'm sunning it up, today's post will be brought to you by the lovely Lora who will be sharing with you some engagement party outfit ideas for men.  I hope you love them.
WhatLauraLoves xo

Men’s Engagement Party Outfit Ideas

You’ve just announced your engagement and all your family and friends are high on excitement and they want to ask you a million and one questions. Have you set a date? How did you ask her? Who’s going to be your best man? It can all be pretty overwhelming but you’ve got to be prepared for it.  

But don’t worry; we only want to ask you one question. What are you going to wear?

The importance of looking good at your engagement party is of course pretty high. And, of course what you wear depends on a number of factors. Is it a casual or a more formal event? Is it in the evening or the daytime? Whatever the level of formality DQT got a few keys trends to give you some inspiration for the party times ahead. This is your chance to really show your personality, you don’t have to be constrained to any traditional wedding stereotypes, you can be as fresh and funky as you like.

Printed Trousers
Now this isn’t a trend for the faint hearted. It’s also possibly more suitable for a daytime event where you don’t have to be too serious! From camouflage, to flag prints to floral, printed trousers are definitely the way to show some serious personality. Pair with some quality tan leather loafers and a crisp Oxford shirt.

Slim Cut Suit
Slim cut suits with skinny ties are the perfect simple but classic look for evening events. You could upgrade the classic slim cut suit with a different fabric, for example linen and seersucker are huge this season. They make a great alternative to the usual thicker suit fabric and look great in the early evening sun.

Cotton is also another great spring summer fabric and goes fabulously with the nautical sailor-inspired trend. For a daytime event, try a striped nautical shirt with some cream jeans or chinos and boat shoes for a smart but casual look.

White on White
This is a great trend if you’re really confident with your fashion. It’s especially great if you’re having a holiday wedding away somewhere really hot. It could look a little bit it takes a lot of money to look this cheap rich rapper if you’re not careful so make sure things are fitted, but not too tight and great quality. All white is probably not a great look, so add in another few pale colours such as blue or pink. And definitely no white shoes.

Don’t miss the chance to stand out! Visit DQT to view more products.

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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Sothys Beauty Travel Kit

If you're a regular reader of WhatLauraLoves then I'm sure you'll know by now that I love to travel.  I probably seem as though I go on holiday a lot but it's what I work for.  I'd rather save up my money through out the year and have a few trips away than go out partying every weekend- I've kinda been there and done that.

As well as loving to travel, I also love beauty products and with travelling comes miniatures and with miniatures comes a very happy beauty blogger.  The latest set of miniatures I've been trying out are from the brand Sothys which are one of my skincare brands of choice; think French, think luxury, think highly effective.  This is a travel collection that ticks all of the right boxes, regardless of the destination you're travelling to.

Sothys Beauty Travel Kit*
The Sothys Beauty Travel Kit comprises of five of their best products in a capsule collection, all suitable for travel, whether its a weekend away in London, a lay over in Dubai or a trip to Paris that you're going on.  I gave these a thorough road test on a recent trip to Kenya where we stayed in London for a couple of nights before our flight so I got to test them in typical British weather and in much warmer weather too.  The products are designed to cover 5 Sothys essential cares for travelling- to cleanse, to hydrate and to visibly restore the skin's youth and to take care of the body.

The beauty about this collection is that all of the products are under 100ml so they're ideal for carrying mid journey, through security at the airport to help you freshen up or if you're only taking a carry on with you.

Inside the box, the products are all in a generously sized, clear zip lock bag that again, complies with airport regulations, saving you time and money from buying those plastic-waste-of-money bags at the airport that will only end up in landfill at the other end.  You can fit lots more of your other essential products in alongside these five too and it is reusable as well so you can take it on future trips with you.

The five products centre around your basic washing and skincare needs and they're all available in full size too, making this a great set to purchase even if you're just looking to try the smaller sizes before committing to the full size as there's nothing worse than buying a full size bottle of a product and hating it which I did recently with a VO5 volumising hairspray.

Sothys Conditioner Shampoo
The first product is the Sothys Conditioner Shampoo which is a very generous 30ml size.  I got 4 washes out of this and my hair is very long so that is good going in my book!  Simple to use, just the same as any shampoo- apply on wet hair, work up to a lather then rinse out thoroughly.  This left my hair clean at the first wash without the need to repeat.

I must also give a nod to the Macadamia Oil Nourishing Leave In Cream that I've been using after the shampoo as the two together have been working wonders on my locks.  Its basically like a leave in conditioner and smoothing cream that I run through my mid lengths and ends before blow drying and it makes an incredible, noticeable difference to the condition of my hair.  When I travel, I always take smaller sample sizes of this away with me and you can buy them in 10ml sachets here which generally give me three applications.

The two together, leave my hair feeling smooth with a healthy shine.  The shampoo in particular leaves a beautiful light floral scent on my hair.  I have oily hair and find that this doesn't irritate my scalp, nor does it dry my hair out or make it become greasy more quickly, so with that in mind, I think that the Sothy's Conditioner Shampoo would be suitable for all hair types.

Sothys Shower Cream
Another in-shower product in this set is the 30ml Sothys Shower Cream.  Again this lasted me for four washes, making it perfect for a short break.  The Shower Cream lathers up really nicely, particularly when used with a small shower lily.  I have one from The Body Shop that I take away with me when I travel.

The smell of this Shower Cream is incredible and leaves the light scent of cherry blossom and lotus flower on your skin after use.  What I love the most about this product, aside from the scent is that it leaves the skin clean but not squeaky clean, as it is very creamy, making my skin feel nourished.  It works really well in conjunction with the body lotion in the set.  Infact, all of the products work really well with one another, making it a particularly well thought out collection.
Sothys Hyda-Nourishing Body Lotion
The 30ml Sothys Hydra-Nourishing Body Lotion is an absolute star in this set.  Perfect for sun drenched or cold weather beaten skin, it is a delight to apply.  The consistency is very much a lotion- thinner than a cream but with much more substance than a milk.  It smoothes onto the skin and literally leaves it feeling nourished instantly and what's more, it makes the skin look healthy and nourished too, without leaving a greasy residue or tacky feeling behind.  This really is the stand out product for me- I'm in love and will definitely purchase the full size bottle when I've got through the small mountain of body lotions that are currently taking over my bathroom.

Sothys Morning Cleanser
The Sothys Morning Cleanser is a beautiful cream cleanser than you massage onto damp skin both morning and night... so I have no idea why it is called the Morning Cleanser.  Name aside, this is a fantastic product.  I have used a Sothys cleanser before in the form of their Purity Cleansing Milk (review here) which I have repurchased twice since I first tried it last summer as I absolutely love it.  The Morning Cleanser is fabulous too.  Much thicker and creamier than the Purity Cleansing Milk and id say it would be great for all skin types.  It has a light, non offensive fragrance and it is easily removed with warm water and/or a face cloth which is how I prefer to remove my cleansers.

When used in the morning, this cleanser removes any excess oils from my skin, leaving it clean, soft and ready for the rest of my skincare and makeup from my morning routine.  When used at night, it removes all of my makeup, even stubborn liquid eyeliner and again, leaves my skin feeling clean and soft but not stripped of any of its natural oils.  The rest of my skincare routine applies really well after I've cleansed my skin using this.

Sothys Hydradvance Light Hydrating Cream
The Sothys Hydradvance Light Hydrating Cream is an absolute joy to use.  It leaves my skin feeling so incredibly soft and smooth and it provides a hydration that lasts all day or night until I next cleanse my face.  It isn't as light as the name would perhaps lead you to believe as I was expecting the cream to be more of a lightweight lotion but it is very much a cream product.  I would say that it would be perfect for dry skin types as it does sit on the skin for a while as it continuously hydrates but this does not pose a problem to oily skins like mine either as its finish is almost matte... but a softening matte.  Ok, that probably didn't make any sense but either way, it left my skin feeling smooth, hydrated and free from excess oil production and it made a lovely surface to apply make up onto.  I'd definitely purchase the full size of this.

I would recommend this Sothys set without a doubt, particularly if you're going on a short break in Europe, for example.  Like a Paris mini break perhaps (hint hint Mr WLL).  A lot of the products are very lightly fragranced so those who are very allergic to mosquito bites should just be a little careful of using them when in mosquito prone areas as they're often attracted to fragrance but I used these in Kenya and had no problems whatsoever which I was very surprised at as I'm usually eaten alive if I wear something with a fragrance in before I go out at night!

You can head on over to the Sothys website where you can find a list of stockists in your area, or alternatively you can buy the Beauty Travel Kit online, here.

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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Watch Out! 4 Great New Watch Styles to Try

Hi Everyone

Today the lovely Sue is guest posting on my blog again while I'm enjoying my honeymoon.  She's written a great article about four different watch styles that are out there for you to try out.  I'm in the market for a new watch so I enjoyed reading it myself!  Happy reading....
WhatLauraLoves xo

Watch Out! 4 Great New Watch Styles to Try

This season’s athletic inspired trends have been spotted both on and off the runway, ranging from sporty snapbacks, varsity logos or racerback silhouettes. Try out the trend with the latest “Sport Chic” watch from Gc. Effortlessly chic, this watch offers a sense of timeless luxury and stays on point with the latest global sport trend. With an exquisite ceramic exterior combined with mother of pearl inlay, this classic style is bound to be a versatile staple throughout the season. This “Sport Chic” watch pairs well with preppy stripes and offers an ideal balance for bold colourblocking hues. Available online at Watches of Switzerland.
Watches of Switzerland

The irresistible “Interlocking G” from Gucci features an intertwining double G letter design, offering a bold but sleek take on the iconic Gucci logo. The design has a slim leather strap with a subtle sunburst dial that possesses a cool feel. Turn up the volume a notch by styling this “Interlocking G” watch with a printed jumpsuit, silver accessories and ankle strap heels. A word of caution, this hot new style might incite some serious double-takes and uncontrollable envy. The stainless steel frame contrasting with the black leather accents make this minimalist watch surprisingly sexy. This edgy new piece will add a breath of fresh air to any summer wardrobe.
Image Source

This spring and summer, embrace all things feminine with this classic “Molly” design from Marc by Marc Jacobs. The hazy rose coloured indexes and silver belted ring accents stay true to its overall elegant design. This sugary sweet design is bound to be a go-to choice for garden party events and nights of music under the stars. Match the “Molly” watch with an all-over floral printed dress to keep things fun and flirty. Plan to keep this girly design on hand as a cute add-on for sunny picnics and hot summer barbecues. This style is available in other seasonally appropriate pastels, like light blue and mint, offering a plethora of colour options for this season’s palette. Or, opt to keep things simple by choosing more traditional wardrobe staples like gray and black.
Image Source

The new “Madison” wrap watch from Coach is perfect for any jetset fashionistas on the move this summer. Just in time for festival season, the “Madison” wrap watch is an apt choice for piling on with additional bangles, rings and arm candy. The double-wrapped style is both playful and stylish, seamlessly blending in with any globetrotter’s wardrobe favourites. The geometric gold-plated face creates a delicate contrast with the layered leather strap design. Evoke a rock n’ roll vibe by pairing with a crop top, high waist denim cutoffs and gladiator sandals. Complete the look with round retro sunglasses and a floppy hat to keep cool in the shade. The layered look of this watch is perfect for mixing or matching, whatever your fancy on your next big adventure. This new “Madison” watch is a must for all the free-spirit bohemian lovers all over the world.

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Monday, 19 May 2014

WhatLauraWore: Taking My Steve Maddens Out

I love the springtime with all of the new blooms and the days getting longer but that doesn't always mean the weather is nice and hot. Spring in the UK can be very hit and miss so I tend to wear a lot of layering pieces so I can be warm but easily strip off if the weather gets a bit warmer.... Oooh!

The outfit that I'm wearing today centres around this ASOS Curve Swing Dress in Mono Flower Print.  ASOS swing dresses are so comfortable and easy to wear and they look great with leggings. I wouldn't say that they're the most flattering style on my exaggerated apple shape but they certainly hide a multitude of sins and are great for the days where you're feeling a little bloated and don't want anything too restrictive.  I love the black and white monochrome print of the dress as it's eye catching and can be paired with almost any other colours to brighten it up once the weather gets a little warmer.

Layered over my swing dress and leggings is my waterfall cardigan from Very.  This was part of a collection by Holly Willoughby many moons ago.  I've had it for absolutely years and wear it right through from autumn to mid spring. It is relatively light weight but keeps me warm and there is so much material that I can really wrap it around myself and snuggle in on colder days.

I'm carrying my Louis Vuitton Damier Azur Speedy 30 with all of my necessities in but the star of the show really is my new Steve Madden boots that I picked up this winter from Dune. They're the Monicaa Studded Biker Boots and they have quickly become my favourite boots in my collection, not just because of the rose gold studs on them but because of how comfortable to wear and easy to walk in they are.  I was amazed at how comfortable they are, right up there with my UGGs which is amazing considering these appear as though they'd be a lot harder on the feet than the UGG sheepskin offerings that I have in my shoedrobe. They're honestly so comfortable and although they were expensive, given that I rarely spend a lot of money on shoes and get them from Primark, they are worth every single penny. I can see these lasting for years and years and the leather looks like it will age brilliantly on them. I honestly cannot recommend them enough. I can't wait until the weather gets cooler later in the year so that I can style these with lots of different outfits. How would you style them?

Swing Dress in Mono Flower Print from ASOS Curve
Waterfall cardigan by Holly Willoughby from Very
Black leggings from Simply Be
Steve Madden Monicaa Studded Biker Boots in Black from Dune (also available at House of Fraser)
Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 bag in Damier Azure

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