Thursday, 28 August 2014

See By Chloe Perfume Review

When I visited America back in May, I headed into Sephora and bought one of their Sephora Favourites Prelude To A Kiss fragrance sampler sets.  You can see it in my Sephora haul here.  The kit is made up of a variety of different perfume samples and when you've chosen the one that you like the most, you can exchange it for a rollerball of that perfume.  At the time, I chose the Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb rollerball as I wanted to get it on the same day as I knew I wouldn't be going back to Sephora before the end of my trip.

I continued to try out the other samples in the set while we were away in Barbados and I absolutely fell in love with one of the other perfumes; See By Chloe.

See By Chloe is unlike any scent in my collection because it is much lighter than any other perfume that I own.  I've been looking for a lighter fragrance to wear during the day but I love my musk scents which tend to be quite deep and sensual smelling.  This perfume actually has warm base notes of musk and vanilla but it is contrasted by top notes of bergamot and apple which give it a fruity, quite tart scent.  The heart notes are jasmine and ylang which give the perfume a truly floral smell.

See By Chloe is very much a fruity floral fragrance that has a young, edgy spirit.  I'd recommend it for those in their teens and twenties as a daytime scent.  The scent isn't particularly strong so it doesn't last all day but I decant a little into my Travalo and I top up while I'm out and about.  For me, this is strictly a daytime fragrance as I prefer a much heavier scent when I go out at night.  This has quickly become one of my favourite scents in my collection because of its delicious, daytime appeal.  I love it and will definitely repurchase it when it runs out.  I think I'll try to get the gift set next time so that I can layer up the scent with the body cream to encourage it to last longer.  You can read my guide to layering fragrance here.

In America, you can buy this perfume from Sephora and in the UK it is available from Fragrance DirectSelfridges, Click Fragrance, The Perfume ShopEscentual and Boots (where theres an incredible money saving deal on right now!).  There are several different sizes available as well as a gift set and complimentry products.  I bought the 75ml size purely because I find the larger bottles more economical.

Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

WhatLauraWore: Lovedrobe Kimono

When was the last time you got an item of clothing and became addicted to it?  Tell me about it!

That was exactly what happened when I got the Racer Back Jersey Maxi Dress from FD Avenue.  I have a post coming up later in the week all about this dress but essentially, it is the most comfortable dress I own.  I can dress it up or down and it has really encouraged me to mix and match items from my closet as I've worn it THAT much in just a few short weeks that I've really had to change it up so that people don't think that I live in it... which I practically do.

One of the easiest and most effortless ways to wear a plain black maxi dress like this one is to wear a kimono over it.  The one that I'm wearing in todays post is from Lovedrobe by a brand called Koko.  You can also buy this kimono from Curvissa.

The Blue/Multi Floral Print Kimono is simply stunning as it has such an eye catching print that can only be fully appreciated in real life.  The sheer fabric has a gorgeous print of dark and light cobalt blue hues with a floral design that is complimented by rust coloured hues.  It really is a stand out piece that is perfect for late summer and autumn, especially if you're into layering your fashion like I am.

There is a double layer to the front of the kimono which is black.  This is good if you're wanted to wear it with a top that isn't black because it helps to break up the colours between the kimono and the colour of the top you're wearing.  I've also worn this kimono over jeans (my favourite denim knitted leggings) and a white top.  It looks great as the kimono has a gorgeous floaty shape and is quite long so it helps to skim over a multitude of sins.

I did size up with this kimono as my stomach is a lot wider than my bust and I wanted a relaxed fit so that it would hang in a loose manner however the kimono is generously sized anyway so I needn't have sized up at all.  It is very comfortable to wear as it is light weight and the material feels breathable.

This kimono is a great piece for taking your outfit from day to night as it really instantly makes an otherwise plain, casual outfit look that little bit more special.  In this outfit post, we were heading out on a last minute date night to the cinema.  I was already wearing this dress so I switched out my flip flops for some flat floral sandals and scraped my hair up into a top knot.  Popping on the kimono and adding a clutch took my look from day to night straight away.

If theres one metallic colour that I think goes well with blue, its gold.  I love the way that the two work together so pairing gold details with this outfit was always going to be my first choice.

My clutch and shoes are black with gold hard wear; I'm sure you've seen them many times on my blog.  The stand out accessory that I'm wearing is my gorgeous gold tone beaded bracelet from the Michael Kors range at Harvey Nichols.  I love this bracelet because it is so dainty but eye catching at the same time.  It is made up of small gold beads with four sparkly crystal beads positioned in between them, making the bracelet look so feminine and classy for a style that could be deemed quite casual.  Plus it enables it to be worn with the white gold jewellery that I never take off, i.e. my wedding and engagement ring, without making them clash.

The Michael Kors bracelet itself is elasticated so you can stretch it over your wrist without worrying about any fiddly catches.  That's the beauty about Michael Kors as a designer as the pieces that he creates are very easy to wear and classic.  I also like that I am able to make the bracelet larger or tighter using the leather loop that again, has gold detailing on it and also the MK logo tag which is a nice touch.  If you saw my Michael Kors haul from my honeymoon, you'll know that Michael Kors is one of my most worn, iconic, all-American designers.  This is one of my favourite pieces in my collection because it is minimalistic which makes it very wearable as a layering piece.

Gold ring long necklace from Yours Clothing
Black box clutch from French Connection
Black flower sandals from Primark

While on the subject of pretty fashion pieces, I've been on the look out for a new watch for AGES.  Basically, I want one to wear during the day as all of my other watches are either ceramic or covered in diamantes which aren't particularly robust for during the day.  I've seen the Daniel Wellington watches on a few different blog reviews but before I ask the birthday fairy for one, I was wondering if any of you had any recommendations for a casual, daytime watch?  If so please leave them in the comments box for me to check out, failing that I'll hopefully have a Daniel Wellington one on my wrist by my birthday*fingers crossed*.

What are your favourite ways to style a kimono?

Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Charles Worthington Instant Root Concealer

A few weeks ago, I got back from a week away in Turkey with one of my besties.  We wanted to get away purely to relax and chill out after what has been a very busy year so far.  When I walked through my door I was greeted with a lovely package from the lovely people over at Charles Worthington and inside was a can of their Instant Root Concealer to try out and it really couldn't have come at a better time.

In some of the more up to date photos of me on my blog, you'll notice that my roots are HUGE in some of them and there's a reason for that- I've been growing my hair out.  My natural hair colour is a warm toned light to mid blonde and it is very golden.  When I have my hair done I always have a light ash blonde highlight and a an ashy brown lowlight put through my hair; three foils of low light to every one highlight.  I much prefer cool toned hair to warm toned hair on me and that's why I've always opted for the full head of highlights and lowlights.  However since having my extensions out in April, I could tell that my hair had grown loads while I'd had them in and my hair was in really condition when I had them removed, so I made the conscious decision to leave my hair and let it grow out naturally over the summer to see what the result would be with the hopes of achieving a balayage style when I next have my hair properly done at a salon.

Just before my wedding day I had my highlights and lowlights done and on my wedding day I wore clip in extensions rather than my favourite Great Lengths bonded ones.  Since then, I've literally just left my hair until very recently when I had only low lights but through my hair.  These photos were taken just before I had my hair done so my root is at its largest.  I've been using very little heat on my hair, probably once every two weeks if that, and I've been using lots of treatments and oils on my hair to help it to grow.  I'm pleased to say that it has grown more but obviously that creates the issue of roots.  The problem that I have with my roots is that I tend to get this gradual tie dye effect as I go on holiday abroad at quite regular intervals and my hair bleaches up lighter in the sun very easily so my lowlights never last five minutes and my hair goes bright blonde which then makes my roots look super dark when they're not.  Argh, its a pain.

To combat the problem with my roots, I've been testing out the Charles Worthington Instant Root Concealer to see if it will help them.  This product is a temporary colour spray that covers grey hair and hides root growth.  I have the Light Blonde shade but it is also available in dark blonde, brown and dark brown.  You can check out the different shades and the shade of hair they're suitable for here.

When I first saw the can I thought- great idea but its going to be a bit messy to use.  I was so wrong as now that I've given it a go I can definitely say that it is so easy to use and it doesn't create any mess as it has a really precise nozzle that it comes out of and the spray of the product itself is super fine.

The Instant Root Concealer is really easy to use.  All you do is part your dry hair as you normally would and then spray the Instant Root Concealer from a distance of about 20cm onto the hair.  I found that it is best to do light sweeping sprays rather than spraying a lot all in one go because it looks the most natural this way.  The product comes out as like a khaki-ash blonde colour and its surprising how far a small spray goes; you really don't need to use a lot of product at all.  I found that when I first sprayed it, I didn't think that the root concealer had done anything, until I waited a few seconds and stepped back to look in the mirror in natural light and I could notice a subtle but definite difference.  My roots were not completely covered, that would probably look a little unnatural, but they appeared lighter and blended into my hair.  While I could feel the product on my hair, it didn't make my hair feel awful, it was still very much touchable and I found that I could brush through my hair easily.

I found that once I sprayed it into my hair, it dried really quickly so if I needed to add another spray of product then I could once it had dried and this would build the colour up.  I found that I needed to use more product at the back of my hair than the front as my roots seem to be darker at the back.  Once the root concealer is dry, it remains on the hair all day until I next wash my hair.

I did find that if I was a little too adventurous with the spray then I may catch my skin and end up with a very faint blonde splodge on my skin which was easily rectified with a little water on a cotton wool bud.  What I liked about this root concealer is that it didn't make my hair feel dry or crispy.

The best way to use this spray is when you have already styled your hair.  It works really well when I'm wearing my hair simply down and straight or wavy but it can also be used when your hair has been put into a particular style like an up do such as a top knot using a hair doughnut, which is a look I tend to sport quite often.  I'm planning on showing you how to use the Instant Root Concealer on a Front to Back Side Braid style so keep checking back to see that post very soon.

You can buy the Charles Worthington Instant Root Concealer here.

I'm coming towards the end of my masters degree and my little fingers are tapping away like theres no tomorrow on my computer so please stick with me on the blogging front until I'm finished!

Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //

Friday, 22 August 2014

Collection Work the Colour Eyebrow Kit Review

The Collection Work the Colour Eyebrow Kit is a palette of three very generously sized eye brow powder shades, a clear brow mascara and a small double ended eyebrow brush to apply it.  There's even a mirror in the lid.  This is one of the best, most comprehensive eyebrow kits that I've found from a budget beauty brand.

The three brow powders in the kit are very generously sized.  There's so much product in there that it will last you for AGES.  I've been using mine for about 5 months now and I have hardly made a dent in it.

The shades are designed to be used on any eyebrow colour and I have to say that I agree.  All of the shades are mid toned- not too ash and not too warm.  I use this on my brows and have had no problems at all using it when my hair is low-lighted with warmer tones or cooler tones.  Plus I've used it on many of my friends brows when I'm doing their make up for events and nights out and it has suited them each and every time.

In the kit there is a blonde, a mid brunette and a very dark brunette, almost black shade, all of which are not too dissimilar to some of the shades I've seen in the HD Brows Palette, for just a tiny fraction of the price.  They can be used individually or mixed to create your own bespoke eyebrow shade which is great if you're lucky enough to not have a run of the mill hair colour.

The powders are all finely milled and very pigmented so you don't need a lot to be able to fill in your brows, especially if you're using the darker shades.  Plus each of the brow powders can be used as eyeshadows if you so wish too.  I like to use the darkest shade as a liner on my top lash line.  There's no way I would be able to use it as a brow powder as it is simply too dark so I like to apply it along my upper lash line using an angled brush and then I smudge it in a little to create a more subtle smoky look.

The double ended angled brush that comes with the kit is good if you're away travelling as it can really help you to save on space in your make up bag by not having to take along an extra brush with you.  For a brush in a compact, it is pretty good quality.  However when I'm at home, I much prefer to use a full sized angled brush as I find them easier to control and quicker to use as they pick up more product.  The one that I have been using for years is from Models Own.

I like to set my brows in place using either a brow wax, a clear mascara like in this post here or a clear brow mascara like the one that comes in this kit.  To be honest, I can't tell the difference between a product labelled as a clear mascara and a product labelled as a clear brow mascara; they're all the same to me.  The one that comes in this kit is great as it applies so easily and the brush gives you great control over how you groom your brows.  It sets and holds my brows in place all day without making them feel hard or crispy as it gives a very natural finish.

I've used many brow palettes in the past where they have come with a brow wax which I love but I find that the waxes always run out quicker than the powders so I like that this is a mascara as I find that I tend to use less product than I would do if I were using a wax to set my brows.  Having a clear brow mascara in a kit is quite unique I think as all of the other ones I've tried have always had a wax so it is a welcome change and great for those who would like a more subtle look.

Here I've used the lightest colour from the kit, the more blonde shade
Out of the three brow powders, I tend to use the blonde or the brown shade, which are the lightest and middle shades.  In the above photo I'm wearing the blonde shade.  I link to select the lightest shade when I'm going for a more minimal make up look and I just need something to fill my brows in rather than to really define them.  I find that a lot of blonde brow powders tend to be quite warm toned and yellow looking whereas this one isn't.  It is quite a mid tone blonde that is slightly ash coloured.  I've found that this product is really buildable so you can layer it to an intensity that will suit your brow colour. 

My natural hair colour is ridiculously fair on my brows so I need to fill them in and elongate the line where my brow hairs are the most sparse in order to make them visible and to really lift my face.  The brows are the framework to your face and they can really change the look of all of your features so I like to make sure that I fill them in even when I'm opting for as little make up as possible.

When I am looking for a more bold brow look, which is the vast majority of the time, I opt for the middle shade in the set, the brown.  I absolutely love the defined look this shade of powder gives my brows.  I use it with a pretty light hand and build up the colour until it is a shade or two darker than my hair colour for extra definition.  I feel as though this really changes the way my face looks and I love the way my brows look when I'm using this powder.  When you see a lot of selfies of me on Instagram, this is usually what I'm wearing on my brows!

The Collection Work the Colour Eyebrow Kit is available here and here.

Check out my Instagram account @whatlauraloves over the weekend as I'll be wearing my new FD Avenue dress on a date night with Mr WLL and this will be my eyebrow kit of choice!

Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Empties #25 Another Holiday Edition

At the beginning of July, I escaped to Turkey for a week with my oldest friend.  We had a week of total relaxation, caught up on sleep, topped up our tans and pampered ourselves with some lovely products, some of which we used up completely and today I'm going to share those with you.  As always, I've linked where you can get all of the products from in case you fancy them for yourself.

The first product was the Avon Skin So Soft Original Dry Oil Spray which I reviewed in my last empties post too.  I take a bottle of this away with me every time I go on holiday and I use it to spray on my body before I go out to help to protect my skin from mosquitoes.  It contains citronella which helps to keep the little blighters away.

The after sun that I used while I was away was the Bioderma Refreshing After Sun Milk.  This is the second bottle of this after sun that I have used up in the last year (another review here) and I absolutely love it because it is so cooling on the skin and very moisturising.  I kept mine in the fridge in the hotel room while we were away and it was heavenly to apply after a shower each day.  The milky lotion is quickly absorbed into the skin and dries pretty quickly.  It feels so hydrating and moisturising for such a lightweight milk and I feel as though it really helped to keep my skin in good condition after a day in the sun.

The hair oil that I took away with me was the Moroccanoil Treatment in a little 25ml bottle.  I'd been using this for quite a while before I went away so I didn't finish it all in one week as a little goes A LONG way.  If you have fine hair like I do, you need to be careful about using this oil as I do find that it can weigh your hair down and make it too oily if you apply too much product.  I used this on holiday when my hair was wet and once it had dried to smooth the ends of my hair.  It left my hair feeling very smooth and silky which was very welcome after a day in the sun.  If you're blow drying your hair then this oil is absolutely brilliant as it really helps to create a glossy sheen on the hair.  I used this a lot when I was wearing my Great Lengths Extensions and found that it worked exceptionally well with them.  While I do find that it works very well on my natural hair, I don't think that it is as good as the Macadamia Oil and for that reason, I wouldn't repurchase it again as I'd rather buy the Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment which is also less money for more product.  Moroccanoil do make a light version which I have since used and this one is now my favourite out of the two as I think that it is more suited to my hair type.  Now that one, I would buy to give it a thorough road test!

The last product that I used up completely while on holiday was the Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Mineral Hair Rescue Masque that I reviewed in full in this post.  If you're looking for a masque that's going to make your hair easy to comb through and maintain, smooth and soften it from root to tip and leave it looking sleek and healthy whilst smelling amazing, then this is the masque for you.  What I love the most about it is that it works in only one minute so you can apply it while you're in the shower, shave and wash your body in super quick time and then wash it out of your hair and you can feel immediate results that only improve once your hair is dried.  Whether you dry your hair naturally or you blow dry it, this mask makes your hair feel hydrated, soft and full of life.  I sometimes have quite brittle hair underneath at the nape of my neck but not with this masque, it is fabulous.  I will definitely repurchase it.

What products did you use up on holiday this year?

Click here to enter my HUGE giveaway to celebrate blogging for 4 years!
Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Outfits To Make A Statement At Any Occasion

Hi Everyone

The lovely Debbie is guest blogging over on WhatLauraLoves today while I work on my final project for my masters degree.  The deadline is drawing ever closer and I cannot wait to be finished as I have so many plans for my blog!

Hope you enjoy Debbie's post.  I did.
WhatLauraLoves xxx

Clothes make the wearer. Even before you talk, your clothes and how you look provides an insight on how you will act and how the people around you will react to you. Thus, it is important that the clothes you wear suit every event you go to, and make a statement for you.

Here are some clothes that make a fashion statement on different kinds of situations:

Depending on the work environment, your clothes can be casual or semi-formal. However, what it should always be is smart and professional.

When choosing clothes, pick styles according to your body type. If you prefer clothes that hug your figure, choose a suitable length and cut. Don’t wear a mini skirt to work, instead opt for a hip-hugging pencil skirt. If you prefer flowing clothes, don’t overdo it. Wear one at a time, and match it with one that suits your figure.

Neutral colors like black, grey, navy blue and brown are versatile colors. Incorporate accessories, including colorful and printed scarves, statement necklaces, or bracelets. The rule is not to go overboard with accessories – make them a part of your outfit and remember that less is usually more.

Night Out
Working for five days a week can be stressful. Friday nights is the night to go for a night out with your girlfriends, or a movie with a loved one, or just spend the night at home, sipping wine and enjoying a quiet dinner with the family.

For the young and the young at heart, Friday is best spent outside partying. To make a statement the moment you enter the club or the dance floor, choose clothes that will hug your body and show your upbeat and active lifestyle. Invest in sexy party dresses; you always need one. Whatever the age, whatever the weather, you need no excuse to lay down your hair and party the night away. Subtle sparkles and that little black dress will also go a long way.

When attending a wedding, there is only one rule, don’t wear white because you might upstage the bride. Other than that, unleash your inner goddess and make a fashion statement.

If it is a daytime wedding, something light and breezy will do the trick. If it’s an evening wedding, cocktail dress is the way to go. Pick something sexy and easy to dance in. If it’s a black tie event, wear something smart and formal.

Black Tie Event
A black tie event is the time to unleash that inner queen. Wear a formal cocktail dress that skims the floor. Tonight is the night to show off your sparkling jewelry and beaded accessories. Drape a sheer glittering cape over your bare shoulders and walk inside the ballroom like you are royalty.

High-heeled strappy shoes are best for these events. However, don’t wear a dress or shoes that will restrict movement. Black-tie events often include some dancing and you wouldn’t want to be the only one sitting down while everyone is on their feet, would you?

There is no excuse for dressing up and making a fashion statement, whatever the event may be. Just know the rules, break them from time to time, but break them cautiously. 
Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //

Monday, 18 August 2014

WhatLauraWore: Bethany Mota for Aeropostale

The vast majority of the outfits that I've worn over the past month have been of the casual variety.  I'm coming towards the end of my masters degree in PR and I just don't have the time for nights out partying in pretty dresses.  Its all about comfortable and casual but put together looks for me at the moment but fear not, the end is in sight and I'm hoping my birthday next month will call for some pretty party dresses.

In todays post, I'm wearing the Geo Print Kimono Top which is from the Bethany Mota line at Aeropostale.  I love the mix of muted bright colours in the geometric design.  It really reminds me of a kaleidoscope.  For my top I kept it plain and simple with this easy to wear swing vest from ASOS Curve.  I have this top in black as well as pink and what I love about it the most is that it is long enough to cover my bottom so I can wear it with leggings if I want to.  In this outfit, I'm wearing it with some tapered jersey trousers from Next.  If you're looking for some super comfortable trousers that you can dress up or down for work or play then these are definitely the trousers for you.  I have them in black, navy and white and for only £18 they're incredibly good quality.

For accessories, I popped on some super cheap flip flops, carried one of my favourite bags and for jewellery, I kept it simple with some of my favourite pieces from Monica Vinader and Guess.

Geo Print Kimono Top by Bethany Mota from Aeropostale
Pink swing vest from ASOS
Tapered jersey trousers in black from Next
Pink and navy striped flip flops from Primark
Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac Bag in Biscuit from Nordstrom
Silver Fiji bracelet by Monica Vinader, available here and here
Guess bracelet from Very

What are your favourite go-to outfits at the moment?

Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //

Saturday, 16 August 2014

3 Uses For Clear Mascara and Collection Little Mix Review

What at first may seem like a pretty bland product, a clear mascara can actually be your best beauty friend if you know how to use it.

I remember back in the early years of secondary school when we weren't allowed to wear make up.  Always one to bend the rules, I joined forces with a clear mascara and the rest, as they say, was history.

Today I'm going to share with you my top uses for clear mascara, yes there's more than one, and I'm going to review the one that I'm using at the moment which is the Collection Little Mix Leigh-Annes Full On Crystal Clear Mascara*.  A bit of a mouthful, I know, but its a great product because it defines and separates each lash whilst conditioning them.  What I like the most about the mascara is that it holds each hair in place without making them feel hard and crispy which makes them look and feel natural.

So onto the uses for clear mascara:

Clear mascara as, well, a mascara

It goes without saying that clear mascara can be used very well as a mascara in itself.  Used alone, it wont give you amazing, stand out lashes but it will certainly give you a little bit of definition, especially on no make up, make up days.  I simply curl my lashes and add a couple of coats of the Collection Full On Crystal Clear Mascara to lock in the curl.  This works particularly well if you already have dark lashes or if you tint them.  I used to use clear mascara all the time when I first started secondary school because I loved the wide open eye look you can achieve with it that doesn't look overdone at all, super natural and you're not going to get a telling off from Mrs Head Teacher.  I often add a slick of the Collection mascara when I'm going to my belly dancing fitness class along with some tinted lip balm just to make me feel a little put together and to give me a confidence boost.

Using the Collection clear mascara to set my brows and on my lashes
If you're someone who likes to wear black mascara on their top lashes alone, try adding a coat or two of clear mascara to your bottom lashes.  The Collection clear mascara is great for this because it adds some definition and separation without risking smudging or flaking throughout the day as well as the heavy spider lash look that some people don't care for.  It'll keep the focus on your top lashes but ensure that you look as though you've still paid attention to your bottom lashes.  Perfectly preened and well groomed, check!

Coloured mascara is all the rage at the moment but it is surely a trend that wont be too long lived.  If you don't want to invest in a colourful mascara that you can't see yourself wearing too often then you can make your own using a clear mascara.  Simply mix a little bit of eyeshadow pigment into the mascara tube and this will transform the clear mascara into a coloured mascara of your choice.  If you don't want to change the colour of the full tube of clear mascara, you can also pick up disposable mascara wands from ebay and salon supply shops like Sally's and you can dip those into the clear mascara tube and then spread a little pigment onto the wand using a cotton wool bud.

Wearing the Collection Full On Crystal Clear Mascara to set my brows and on my lashes

Clear Mascara as a Brow Tamer

My favourite use for clear mascara is to use it to tame or set my brows.

Perhaps you have unruly or bushy brows that are in need of a little taming.  Take control by running the clear mascara through your brows to rein them in.  This is particularly effective if you're young and are perhaps not allowed or able to have a professional brow treatment like threading or waxing.  If you are though and you do have a treatment done then you can use a clear mascara like this one to simply set your brows in place.

The brows are the framework to your face and should be treated with great importance in your make up routine as they can really change the way your face looks.  As I'm so fair, I need to fill in my brows by using a brow powder and an angled brush or a brow pencil in order to be able to see them, otherwise they have no impact whatsoever.  Many people have quite sparse brows naturally or as a result of over plucking and need to fill them in too and some simply choose to because they like a full or defined brow look.  If you're someone who fills in their brows as part of their make up routine, set them using a clear mascara.  The Collection clear mascara holds my brows in place all day and they feel natural too, not crispy or hard.

Clear Mascara to Smooth Those Fly Away Hairs

My final use for clear mascara is to use it to smooth down fly away hairs.  If you're someone who wears their hair back in a ponytail or in a top knot a lot and finds that some of their hairs can be wispy or fly away, then you can use a clear mascara to swipe it through the hair to hold down the wispy hair.  In this sense, the Collection Full On Clear Mascara works a little bit like a heavy duty, freeze hold hairspray, without the shiny look and crunchy, crispy feeling that hairspray can often leave on the hair.  The clear mascara can be used in a concentrated way to focus on specific hairs to hold them in place.  I have some baby hairs around my hairline so this is a trick I use quite often to perfect my hairstyle.

Using the Collection clear mascara on my lashes, brows and to tame fly aways around my hair line
I've been using the Collection Little Mix Leigh-Anne's Full On Crystal Clear Mascara for the last few months now and I really love it because it is so natural looking but effective for the uses that I need it for.  I'd definitely recommend it and I certainly can't foresee a need to buy a different brand when this one runs out, I will be repurchasing it.  I'm really impressed with it as for only £2.99, it is very friendly on my purse strings too.

You can buy your own here and check out the full line of Collection products here.

I hope you have found my three uses for clear mascara useful, do let me know if you have any other uses for it in the comments section below.

Click here to enter my HUGE giveaway to celebrate blogging for 4 years!

Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Before, During & After the Beach Essentials

Now we all know by now that I'm a bit of a travel bunny.  I love nothing more than jumping on a plane and heading to a hot destination to relax, explore and top up my tan.  Whether I'm by the pool or laying on a sandy beach in the sun, I have some essential products that I always use and today I am going to show you the ones that I use before, during and after the beach.

I was lucky enough to be in Turkey this summer when it was National Bikini Day so it felt very appropriate taking these photos then, although it was absolutely boiling at 42 degrees so do forgive me if they're a little rushed!


Before I hit the beach, I like to make sure that my body is fuzz free as I like my legs to look sleek under my summer dresses and no one wants to see any stray hairs peaking out the sides of my tankini bottoms as I'm knocking out the Z's on the sun lounger.

Nair Ultra Precision Bikini Brush-On Hair Removal Cream*
I have been using the Nair hair removal products on my whole body for well over a year now and I love them because they don't irritate my skin.  I'd been fearful of using them at first after a nasty experience with another hair removal brand that left my skin feeling sore, burnt and looking red however I have never experienced anything of the sort with Nair and I use it on far more areas than my legs.  If you've read my post about taking off my tash then you'll know exactly what I mean, if not, then catch up here.

Before this holiday, I used the Nair Brazilian Spa Clay (review here) the day before I went, along with the Nair Ultra Precision Bikini Brush-On Hair Removal Cream (buy here) on my bikini line.  This was my first time using this particular hair removal cream and I have to say, I am really impressed.  It comes with a little brush that is attached to the lid of the bottle so when you unscrew it, the brush comes out of the bottle.  You apply a generous layer to the area of unwanted hair and then leave it to develop.  The brush makes the application really precise and I found that the hair removal cream didn't sting or irritate my skin at all which is good given that the skin there is sensitive. 

It is recommended that you leave the hair removal cream on the area for between five and fifteen minutes which is a little longer than the standard hair removal cream.  I would imagine that is because the hair in that area is often thicker and more coarse than the hair on your legs.  I left it on for about ten minutes before removing with warm water and a wet cloth.  The results were great- all of the hair had been removed and my skin was left soft and smooth thanks to the Lily Flower Extract and Cotton Seed Oil in the cream.  I didn't need to reapply the cream during my week away as only very minimal regrowth occurred towards the end of the holiday.

Nair hair removal products are one of my essential products to use before hitting the beach or pool as I am yet to find a bad one.

You can shop the full Nair range here.

Collection Work The Colour Nail Polish in Tropical Pink
Another before the beach essential for me is a manicure, whether that's an at home polish or a salon treatment.  I usually have my nails done with Artistic Colour Gloss, which is a type of gel manicure, before I go away but on this particular occasion I decided to paint my own fingernails and toe nails as I was trying to save some money and start making inroads into using up the nail polishes that I have in my collection.  For this holiday, I painted my nails using the Collection Work the Colour Nail Polish in Tropical Pink which is a gorgeous pinky coral.  This is a fabulous summer colour that I haven't stopped wearing for the last couple of months now.  It reminds me of Pink Flamingo by Barry M (review and swatchesand Elephantastic Pink by OPI (review and swatchesbut a little more coral.

One of my favourite brands is Collection and I love their Work The Colour nail polishes because, while their brushes can be a little hit or miss quality wise, for the cost they're superb overall.  Tropical Pink applies opaque in two coats.  It is relatively fast drying and leaves a lovely sheen on the nails.  I found that it lasted a couple of days on my finger nails before chipping so I took my Sephora twisty nail polish remover pot away with me and reapplied it a couple of times during the week.  It didn't chip on my toes at all although the colour did fade a little because of the sun so they only needed a quick top up coat towards the end of the week.  You can buy this polish and many other colours here.

The ring I'm wearing is from Pandora.  I don't like to wear my wedding and engagement ring while around the pool as they're too precious!


For while I'm at the beach or the pool, my essentials definitely start with sun protection as it is super important that I don't burn my skin.  One area that is often forgotten about when it comes to sun protection is the hair and scalp.  I discovered the Boots Soltan Head and Hair Dry Touch Transparent Suncare Spray SPF 30 (buy hereearlier in the year and I've been using it on my holidays ever since.

Boots Soltan Head and Hair
When the sun is really strong, I can easily burn my scalp.  I'm so fair and I'll often end up with a bright read scalp that makes brushing my hair painful and ends up peeling after a week or so.  Since I have been using this spray I haven't experienced that at all.  I simply spray it through my hair and reapply throughout the day and it stops my head from burning.  It feels a little sticky in my hair but that soon dries and although my hair doesn't feel completely natural while it is in there, it stops my head from burning and that's all that I am bothered about.  This is supposed to stop your colour from fading too so if you have hair that is very heavily dyed then this might be a product for you to try out.  I found that my hair didn't bleach up as light in the sun after using this although it did still get lighter.  My hair is so porous the sun only has to glance at it and I'm super bright blonde!

While on holiday, my friends and I often like to enjoy an ice lolly or lunch on the beach so another essential for me is hand sanitizer or cleanser.  The one that I have been using at the moment is by Nannic and it is the QC Crackling Gel (buy here).

Nannic QC Crackling Gel*
This is an absolutely genius little product as you squirt it out like a gel and then it quickly foams into a mousse and crackles and fizzes as your rub it between your palms.  It feels SO incredibly cooling on the skin and makes your hands feel light and airy which is just what you need when you've been out in the heat for a long time (you can even use it on your tired feet if you like!).

It is antibacterial so it cleans your hands and it deodorises them too, leaving them with a fresh melon scent.  You don't need to wash it off so it is perfect for taking to the beach.

Another essential product to cool off with while around the pool or at the beach is the Avene Eau Thermale Thermal Spring Water (buy here) which is a water spray that is designed to soothe the skin.

Avene Eau Thermale Thermal Spring Water
I take a can of this with me whenever I travel as it is a fabulous way to cool me down and refresh my skin while I'm away whether it is on the plane or out in the sunshine.  This water spray is extremely cooling and it really soothes my skin if it is looking a little red or feeling tight from the sun.  Even those with the most sensitive skins can use this as it has a formula that doesn't irritate the skin at all.  I have a full review of this water spray from a long time ago but I list the benefits of it and talk about I use it to soothe my psoriasis in that post, so check it out here.  I would definitely consider it to be one of my travel essentials as not only do I use it while sunbathing but I also use it as a burst of hydration while on the plane and as the third step in my skincare routine after cleansing and toning my skin.

Hit The Beach Bikini Bag*
Another essential product for taking with me to the beach is a good beach bag (I get mine from KPink Bags, you can read my review here) and a bikini bag like this florescent pink 'Hit The Beach' bikini bag which is available here and here.  The bikini bag that I used prior to this was from Primark which is a really affordable alternative at only a couple of pounds although they are quite a bit smaller.  Either way, bikini bags are great because if you get changed while you're out then you can put your wet swimwear in them or you can keep your poolside products in them like I do.


After I've been to the beach or pool, it is so important for me to wash my hair and put some nourishment back into it.  I like to use a good shampoo, conditioner and hair mask, followed by one of my absolute essentials, a hair oil.  The one that I used on my most recent holiday was the Moroccanoil Treatment.

I massage quite a few drops between my fingers and then run them through the mid lengths and ends of my wet hair, really making sure to work it into the ends.  Then I quickly run my hands over the rest of my hair.  The oil feels quite substantial, it isn't an overly runny oil so it is easy to control where you're distributing it in your hair.  When I'm at home and my hair isn't quite as thirsty for some hydration, I use far less of the oil as I find that the original formula can be quite heavy and oil inducing on super fine hair like mine, however I do not have this problem on holiday.

I generally leave my hair to dry naturally right until the last moment and then I blast it with the hair dryer on a mid heat.  This enables me to lock a style in place with my round brush whilst causing the most minimal heat damage to my hair.  The Moroccanoil gives my hair a lovely healthy sheen.  My hair looks glossy and very smooth after using it.  I then run a very small amount of the Moroccanoil through the ends of my hair to make my hair look smooth and sleek.  This is particularly effective if I happen to have some split ends.  After a night out on holiday, I apply a little more of the Moroccanoil all over my hair and then tie it up for bed.  I find that this helps to infuse into my hair while I sleep and help to protect it from drying out in the sun the next day.  I'd definitely recommend taking a hair oil away with you when you travel- its an absolute essential for me to keep my hair looking and feeling healthy.

Sanctuary Spa 7 Day Moisture Miracle Oil Balm*
My last essential for using after the beach has to be a very rich balm to apply to the very dry areas of your skin.  The one that I am using at the moment is the Sanctuary Spa 7 Day Moisture Miracle Oil Balm which is absolutely amazing.  It has a solid oil texture in a tube that you really need to squeeze hard at first to get it out.  Then you warm the balm between your fingers and as it warms up, the balm becomes more of an oil consistency that feels incredibly luxurious on the skin, especially after a day in the sun.

The balm to oil warming occurs very quickly on contact with the skin and because it is so rich, I like to use a body butter or after sun all over my body first and then I use this oil balm on the extremely dry areas of my body like my knees, elbows, wrists and hands.  On holiday my feet tend to dry out very easily, especially my heels, so I also apply some of this there just before I go to bed at night so that in the morning I wake up with nourished skin.  This is a holiday essential for me because it gives my skin the extra nourishment and hydration that it really needs after a day in the sun.  It leaves my skin feeling extremely well moisturised and softened.

If you're in a hot country, I would definitely recommend keeping this product in a cool place as if you take it out with you then it will totally melt in the tube; don't worry, it will harden up again later but you may find yourself using much more product than you need to when it is a runny oil as a little goes an exceptionally long way.  If you're not in a hot country, somewhere like England like me then you're fine to keep this in your handbag, plus the gold packaging looks super sleek and luxurious.  It is a multi use oil so you can keep it in your bag to massage into your hands and cuticles if you're at your desk at work or giving yourself a manicure.  If you're a fan of Sanctuary Spa products then you'll love the scent of this too as it has their super delicious signature scent.

Buy your own here from the Sanctuary Spa website or from Boots.

What are your essentials for before, during and after the beach?  Please let me know in the comments!

Click here to enter my HUGE giveaway to celebrate blogging for 4 years!

Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //
© What Laura Loves. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig