Friday, 28 November 2014

Mens Christmas Gift Guide & GIVEAWAY

When it comes to Christmas time, I've gotta say that I'm pretty good at buying gifts for those I love.  Since its Black Friday, I thought I'd share my pick of the gifts out there for the men in our lives so that you can snap up some bargains and Christmas gifts for your loved ones.  There's this blog post and giveaway and also my new Pinterest Board for all of my favourite gift guide ideas for men!

First stop is fashion.

I don't know about your boys but my hubby and my dad tend to wait all year then they do one big shop around Christmas time.  They like to buy in bulk which isn't particularly great on the purse strings but it means that they're looking for quality pieces that are going to last.

Christmas is the perfect time to treat them to some knitwear or a smart shirt for all of those nights out between Christmas and New Year, a warm coat to keep out the winter chill or some clothes to lounge around in munching on mince pies.

Here are my perfect menswear picks this year:

Click the arrows left and right to scroll through my choices and hit the social media symbols to share with your friends and family on social media.

Now of course those fashion choices are pretty serious but what about the traditional Christmas jumper?  Tipsy Elves have got you sorted and after checking out their jumpers for my own Mr, they are the only place I'd recommend to buy a Christmas Jumper or Christmas Onesie/Jumpsuit from for a man or woman in your life this Christmas.  There's some funny ones, some deceptive ones and some down right cheesy ugly ones.  They're all lots of fun and perfect to give as a gift to wear on the big day around the dinner table, especially if you've got a member of the family who is a bit of a joker.

Christmas Jumpers
Aside from the designs, I've got to say that my favourite thing about the Tipsy Elves Christmas jumpers is that they don't sacrifice on quality just because they're a novelty, fun item.  The jumpers are superb quality and will keep the wearer really warm over the cold months.  The Tipsy Elves site has a really good size guide so you can easily work out what the right size will be, plus the items fit true to size.

Tipsy Elves Snowman Jumper*
I have a Frosty the Nose Thief Christmas Jumper to give away to one of you.  You can find out how to enter at the end of this post!

Once you have the menswear sorted, my next Christmas present suggestion would be for some accessories and footwear.  There's something for every man whether they're the sporty type who would love some trainers or the workaholic who'd appreciate a smart tie.

My picks are below:

I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say that I like my hubby to smell good so aftershave fragrances are top on my list of things to get him.

Viktor and Rolf Spicebomb
This year, I'll be treating him to a big bottle of Viktor and Rolf Spicebomb as it is his current favourite and the scent he wore on our wedding day.

There are so many fragrance gift sets available for men and I'd really suggest buying those as you can often get a really good deal as well as complimentry products in the set.

Another option is to get a male beauty gift set.  You could pick up a shaving gift set or take the opportunity to introduce your man to some skincare!

Here are my favourites that are available now:

As well as fragrance and clothing, I'd recommend buying something for a man that he's interested in or will use often whether that's the latest electronic device like an iPad, a really good sound system, an experience day or even something fun like a vintage style game or a coffee table book.

My top picks:

My final gift suggestion is for the coffee lovers out there...

Beanies Coffee*
Beanies have created flavoured coffees in a huge range of different flavours; there's something for everyone.  In my family, we have been enjoying the Irish Cream, Amaretto Almond and Cinder Toffee flavours and loving them but what I like about them the most is that they're syrup free, sugar free and only 2 calories per cup!  Beanies offer instant, like I have here, or ground coffee too.
Beanies have the perfect gift set for any coffee lover called the Beanies Stash Box which contain 9 different 50g jars of flavoured instant coffee.  Plus, you get free delivery with your order, making it so easy to buy this Christmas.

I have one Beanies Stash Box to give away to a lucky reader.

So here's the competition:

There's two prizes up for grabs- 1 Beanies Stash Box and 1 Tipsy Elves Frosty The Nose Thief Snowman Jumper.

The Beanies Stash box prize is open to UK readers ONLY and will be posted direct from Beanies.  The Tipsy Elves prize is open internationally and I will be posting the prize out.

The giveaway will be open until 8th December and the winners will be notified on 9th.  The winner will have 48 hours to get back to me with their delivery address or another winner will be chosen.

In order to enter the giveaway you must follow my blog via Bloglovin and comment below to tell me which prize you would prefer to win (remember if you live outside of the UK, you can win the jumper ONLY).  After that, there are MANY ways to gain additional entries and once you have followed my blog and commented then these options will become available to you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck to everyone!

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Thursday, 27 November 2014

25% off Yours Clothing!

I know we all love voucher codes and discount codes, well one of my favourite plus size retailers, Yours Clothing, has 25% off EVERYTHING online here for a limited time only.

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Trilogy Everything Balm Review

Trilogy Everything Balm Multi Purpose Beauty Balm

If you're not into multi purpose balms right now then you will be by the end of this post.

Today I am reviewing the Everything Balm from natural skincare brand, Trilogy and quite honestly, it is tremendous!

Trilogy Everything Balm Multi Purpose Beauty Balm for dry skin
Trilogy Everything Balm*
The Trilogy Everything Balm is a multi tasking beauty balm that can be used all over the body and face to nourish, smooth and protect the skin.  It is so easy to use, simply swirl your finger around the tin and warm a little of the balm between your fingertips so that it melts slightly, then apply it to the area you want to treat.

The Everything Balm has a light scent and the rosehip oil listed within the ingredients is the most prominent note of the fragrance however it isn't an offensive rose smell.  I'm not a massive fan of strong rose scents but this isn't particularly overpowering at all and I do quite like it.  I have tried multi purpose balm type products in the past, like the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream but I couldn't use it as the scent was so horrid and strong but the Trilogy Everything Balm isn't like this at all so if you have tried to use the 8 Hour Cream in the past but found the scent too much to handle then the chances are, you'll like this.

It has a gentle formula made up of natural ingredients so it can be used on the whole family, even babies.  This is perfect because if you're a mum, you have enough to carry in your bag already without having to take lots of different lotions and potions with you for different members of the family!

The Everything balm is really handy for travel too because it comes in a small tin with tight lid that isn't going to slip off in your bag and as the product is solid inside, you wont risk it spilling everywhere.  It has a light texture that is also very quick to absorb so you can use it on the go without having sticky, greasy hands for ages after use.  It does leave a little bit of an oily residue but this is something that feels very nourishing and continues to soften the skin, it isn't greasy at all.

psoriasis on wrist before treatment
Before using the Everything Balm on a patch of psoriasis on my wrist
You can literally use the Everything Balm everywhere and it is particularly useful at this time of the year when the weather is changing, as its getting colder and often takes a toll on the skin.

Many people, my hubby included, tend to suffer from dry, chapped lips during the colder months and the Everything Balm is fabulous at soothing and moisturising the lips.  If they aren't too painfully chapped, I'd recommend wetting a face cloth with touchably warm water and then pressing the cloth onto the lips and holding it for a few seconds to soften the skin, then either gently rub the lips with the cloth or a clean tooth brush or use a lip scrub like this one to remove the dead skin from the lips.  Then follow up with the Everything Balm.

Mr WLL tried this out and he couldn't believe how soft it made his lips feel and within a few days his lips were completely chap free.  He has suffered really badly with chapped lips for years and has tried Vaseline on them which was completely useless along with countless lip balms without any success.  Last year he used a Blistex lip balm and that worked to some extent and he did really like it but he said that the Everything Balm worked much quicker and made his lips feel more deeply nourished; as a result, he preferred it because of this.

While I don't get chapped lips, I have found the Everything Balm particularly useful when used on a patch of psoriasis on my wrist which tends to rear its ugly head when I'm feeling a little stressed.  The photo above shows the small patch of psoriasis on my wrist and the photo below shows my wrist after one application of the Everything Balm.

after using everything balm on wrist with psoriasis

After one application of the Everything Balm on my wrist

If you're a psoriasis sufferer, you'll know that nothing really clears it away completely and it cannot be cured as such, more just treated and managed.  My psoriasis comes and goes but always tends to be on my right wrist and my elbows.  I have tried so many lotions but they always tend to leave my skin feeling really greasy whereas the Everything Balm doesn't.  The above photo was taken after one small, quick application.  Hardly any product has to be used at all to nourish and moisturise the skin.

The Trilogy Everything Balm works perfectly on the psoriasis patches on my skin as it makes the area feel nourished and it keeps it moist for hours, which stops the super dry skin from painfully cracking.  If you suffer from a dry skin condition then you'll understand what great relief this provides!

I have also found that the Everything Balm works well on the dry skin on my heels and I will be taking it away with me on holiday as my feet always tend to get really dry and the skin often cracks.  I think this balm would be perfect to use then.  Basically, whenever your skin is feeling dry, you can pop this balm on to soften and relieve the skin.  It is also useful when giving yourself a manicure to smooth onto the cuticles before pushing them back or for daily application on the cuticles to keep them moisturised so that the skin around your nails doesn't dry out and crack (another problem that Mr WLL suffers from and has found relief from since using this balm!). 

I would recommend the Everything Balm to anyone but especially those who suffer from dry skin conditions as it has helped me a lot.

Trilogy Everything Balm Multi Purpose Beauty Balm for dry skin

Price wise, the Everything Balm is really affordable compared to some of the other multi use products available.  There's the 45ml and a 95ml; which one you choose is entirely up to you and will depend on how much you'll need when you do use it.  I have been using mine for the last month and I haven't made a dent in it yet which is great as I know that it is going to last for AGES.

You can buy your own from Feel Unique and Look Fantastic.

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

WhatLauraWore: Getting Dressed Quickly

plus size casual outfit michael kors

I really hate the feeling of oversleeping and literally jumping out of bed and being in a mad rush to get ready.  While I've never particularly been a morning person, I like to wake up and give myself enough time to get ready calmly!  However those days where I miss my alarm... or press snooze and snooze and snooze... well, they still happen and for those days, I have my getting ready quickly routine down to a fine art.  I've built up a wardrobe of staple pieces that I can just pull on and head straight out the door in at a moments notice.

My black Pull On Jeggings are so comfortable and one of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe.  They work equally as well when worn during the day or for an evening out and I really should invest in a couple more pairs as I will have worn these out before the year is out with the amount of times I wear them!  These are great for those with a large stomach and slender legs as the legs are very slim fitting.  I always have trouble finding skinny jeans to fit because by the time I've bought them to fit my stomach they're more like bell bottoms on the legs but not with these ones.

When I do order some more, I'll be getting them in the next size down as these are getting a little big for me now but I'll tell you more about that in a later post.

Another item I am going to be repurchasing is this black Swing Vest as I've worn this one so often since I bought it last summer.  It is a basic, soft jersey with a scoop neckline and a relaxed fit.  What I love the most about it is that it is lower at the back than at the front which means that I can wear it comfortably with leggings.  I am longer in the body than I am in my legs so it is rare for me to find a top long enough and now that I have found such a top, I don't want to be without it!

plus size casual outfit michael kors braid blonde steve madden

I like to wear an all black outfit, especially when I'm in a rush because I feel as though it instantly looks put together and anything goes with it.

To keep warm, I popped on my new So Fabulous Back Lace Insert Cardigan.  This is a large fitting cardigan with a relaxed fit.  It is so super soft and surprisingly warm despite being lightweight.  It has full length sleeves making this a great cover up for short or sleeveless tops.  It is a style that is to be worn open which is really flattering especially if you're wearing a block colour underneath.  I love the lace detailing at the back as it is so feminine and delicate.

plus size casual outfit michael kors cream cardigan so fabulous very

Wearing black and creamy white is a great blank canvas upon which to add a pop of colour and my choice was red.  Its all about small pops of colour that really help you to look put together and as though you've really thought about your outfit when in actually fact you pressed snooze one too many times on your alarm and didn't have time to iron the outfit you'd intended to wear.

When I'm in a rush, I like to scrape my hair to one side and braid my hair loosely.  It is a quick and easy hair style that looks good whether you've plaited it tightly or gone for the messy look like I have.  To pull in the red theme, I used one of my red and white headbands and tied it at the end as a bobble.

plus size casual outfit michael kors

The necklace I'm wearing is the Swarovski Crystal Heart Pendant by Vivienne Westwood that I received for my 21st Birthday.  It is a beautiful necklace but one that I don't get too much wear out of as it has a large red heart in the centre and I don't often wear red so I am trying to make a concious effort to wear more red so that I can pop it on.  The VW jewellery is so beautiful.

I am also wearing a red lip with my new Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Lost Cherry.  I have a full review of this lipstick coming very soon but from the outset, I have to say that I am SO impressed with the Matte Revolution lipsticks.  I bought two of them and they are absolutely incredible.  Lost Cherry is a beautiful bright yet muted red that is comfortable to wear and so long lasting.  I am hoping to get some other shades and try out other products from Charlotte Tilbury very soon.  They have some gorgeous gift sets available here that I think would be great for Christmas, especially the mini lipstick trio.

You might remember the bag that I'm carrying as one of the Michael Kors that I picked up on my honeymoon.  You can see my Michael Kors haul here.  I bought it from the outlet store and I can't seem to find it online, at least not in this colour which is labelled as Mandarin; a gorgeous orange toned red that adds a great pop of colour to an otherwise plain outfit like this one.  This is a Michael Kors Saffiano Satchel and I believe this is the middle of three sizes.  It has top handles as well as a long strap making it a really easy to carry bag for everyday use.  It fits all of my essentials in, although I must admit, my essentials don't really stretch to much.

plus size casual outfit michael kors

Steve Madden Graanite SM Studded Slipper Loafer Shoes in Black from Dune
Red and white shabby headband (worn as a bobble) from The Bow Boutique
S Locks by Sinead Hair Extensions fitted at Refine Spa in Whitburn

What do you wear when you're in a rush to get out of the door?

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Monday, 24 November 2014

WhatLauraWore: Plus Size Black Jumpsuit

So Fabulous Very Plus Size Jumpsuit with Gold Necklace

If you're in need of an outfit that you can pop on and look pulled together in an instant, I don't think you can go far wrong than with a jumpsuit.  This one is all black with a gold necklace that can be attached and removed.  I kept it on so that I could match my clutch to it.  I'd recommend sizing up with this jumpsuit if you're larger around the middle like I am but otherwise you should be fine as the legs and the bust are generous.

This is a really quick and easy outfit to put together for all of those nights out over the festive season.

Black peeptoe heels by Anna Scholz from Simply Be
Gold glitter clutch with acrylic bow by Ted Baker from House of Fraser

What did you get up to this weekend?

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Sunday, 23 November 2014

WhatLauraWore: Plus Size Sequin Dress

So Fabulous Plus Size Sequin Dress

Ooh we all know that sequin dresses equal party time and what better time of year to want to party than during the winter months.  Theres always so many Christmas parties to head to and work functions and I have found the PERFECT super sparkly dress from Very.

The So Fabulous Sequin Tunic Dress is black and silver with a silver sequin embellishment all over it.  The back of the dress is actually all black with a stripe of the sequins at the top and at the bottom of the dress which I really love the look of.  I wish they made a dress that looked just like that at the front rather than only at the back!  This is a different shaped dress for me as it is more of a shift style rather than my usual skater dress shape.  It isn't my favourite style but I do like the look of it.  If you're shaped like me (larger around the tummy) then I would suggest sizing up.  I love the V neck as I think that it is really flattering, particularly on us plus sized girls.

I added a sparkly clutch and some heels to complete my outfit.

So Fabulous PLus Sized Very Sequin Dress

So Fabulous Sequin Tunic Dress from
Silver diamante clutch bag from Harrys World
Pandora Bangle from House of Fraser
Silver diamante hoops by Mikey from House of Fraser
Black peeptoe platform heels by Anna Scholz from Simply Be

What will you be wearing to your Christmas parties this year?

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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Winter Fashion Trends: Grey Wardrobe Update

If you've been watching my YouTube videos then you'll know that I have been making a concious effort to switch up my autumn winter wardrobe to some more seasonally appropriate pieces.

The biggest challenge for me has been embracing a different colour palette for my clothes as you all know me; I love my brights, pastels and specifically, the colour coral.  This year I am really embracing darker tones such as black, khaki, grey, red, wine and berry colours as well as different styles of clothes altogether.  You may have noticed from my WhatLauraWore outfit posts that I'm really dabbling with different cuts and full on sequins at the moment!

grey jumper with chain neckline refine spa whitburn sunderland

One colour that I have surprisingly enjoyed wearing is grey.  I always thought that it would make me look a little pale and washed out but I am really enjoying how it looks against my skin tone and hair colour.  The jumper I'm wearing in the photo above is from a little boutique called Tiger Lily inside Refine Spa in Whitburn, Sunderland.  They have some great pieces and go up to a size 30.  You can find them on Facebook here.

Grey clothes come in lots of different hues and I've found that they make a great alternative to black.  I prefer lighter, grey marl colours for my top half and darker greys for my bottom half.  I can wear an all grey outfit without finding that it drowns me by mixing and matching different shades of grey or layer up different grey pieces alongside darker complimentry shades like black and navy to add a little softness to a winter outfit.

My grey obsession started with my grey heart print scarf from The White Company and it just developed from there really.  They have loads of snuggly knitted accessories that I just adore, especially as many are in the sale at the moment.  I have a wishlist of grey pieces as long as my arm.  Some of the plus size clothes and accessories that I am currently coveting are below:

There's quite a selection out there to choose from.  For tops, I've got to say that the grey tops from New Look are my absolute favourite this season.  They have a great selection of slogan and print t shirts however it is their basics that really caught my eye.  They have lots of different shapes that are great for layering and they have every shade of grey you could imagine.  I am particularly keen on the Inspire Dark Grey Wrap Front Top and the Inspire Grey Plain T-Shirt because, aside from being beautiful shades of grey, they are the perfect pieces to take me from day to night.  Staples like these are perfect to have in any wardrobe as they can be worn during the day whether you're going out shopping or to work and then they can instantly be changed up for an evening out look by adding a statement necklace and a blazer.

ASOS Curve undoubtedly have the largest variety of grey toned clothing this winter but it is their selection of grey dresses, skirts and coats that have really caught my eye.  I am IN LOVE with the Dolly Skater Coat.  It has such a fabulous shape that is so youthful and girlie.  The grey marl colour is beautiful and would look great with darks, berry tones and even pastels like lilac this winter.

If you're looking for grey toned jewellery then Boohoo is where its at along with their ridiculously diverse range of grey clothes from the affordable plus size fashion section.  Whereas if you're looking for grey shoes, I have spotted some beauties over on Missguided.  The chunky soles are still in and they don't look like they're going anywhere soon which is great news for me because I'm always worried about tottering around on the frosty ground in stilettos!  Missguided have just launched their plus size line too which I couldn't be more excited about as I love the style of their clothes.  I'll be putting in an order very soon so you can look forward to some outfit posts in the not too distant future!

I literally cannot wait until payday so that I can turn my wish list into a haul *excited emoji face*

I have created a Pinterest board with all of my favourite grey toned pieces and I'll be adding to it over the winter months.  Do give me a follow here.

What are your favourite trends for autumn and winter?  Are you a fan of grey clothing?
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Friday, 21 November 2014

Trilogy Skincare Event & Christmas Gift Sets

Trilogy Skincare

In the past, natural skincare products have been traditionally thought of as being poor performing in comparison to their high-tech synthetic counterparts, however natural skincare brand, Trilogy, have bridged the gap between the two as their products are all natural without compromising on performance.

I recently travelled down to London to attend an event with Trilogy skincare.  This was a great opportunity for me to see the full Trilogy range of products, some I have tried before, some I haven't and I got to learn lots about them all.

Trilogy Natural Organic Skincare with Rosehip Oil

The range above is the original line with their Certified Organic Rosehip Oil which is the signature product from the range and an ingredient that is contained in all of their products.  The golden oil that is extracted from rosehip seeds is an incredibly effective natural ingredient that the skin just loves, including mine!

You can browse the face care line here:

Trilogy Age Proof Skincare Line Beauty Review

This is the Trilogy Age Proof range which is their higher end line that contains some upgraded ingredients.  It has a slightly higher price tag but for ingredients like active fruit enzymes, CoQ10 and hyaluronic acid it is well worth it.

You can check out the products from the line here:

Trilogy Very Gentle Range and Body Care

The range up there on the left is the very gentle line which is designed specifically for sensitive, reactive skin and features a cleanser, serum and moisturiser.

On the right is the Trilogy body care collection and hair range.  As of yet, I haven't tried anything from this line but you can browse them for yourself here:

Trilogy Jua Natural Perfume

I was so happy to discover that Trilogy are a brand that give back too.  They are currently supporting the charity, So They Can who are an organisation that educate and empower African communities.

For every bottle of their first perfume, Juasold, Trilogy will donate two New Zealand dollars to So They Can.  Jua means 'sun' in Swahili and is a completely natural perfume that has a fresh floral scent including notes of bergamot, rose and freesia.  

It was the Christmas gift sets that really interested me as they look as though they would make a great present for any skincare junkie this year.

If you're buying for someone who loves lip balm, theres the Luscious Rosehip Lips Collection which is my personal favourite as it contains a limited edition version of their original Rosehip Oil Lip Balm that has a lip smacking red tint and spicy cinnamon flavour.

My other favourite has to be the Hand Cream Trio.  I LOVE popping a tube of hand cream into my bag before heading out of the door, especially during the winter months where they wind and cold weather play havoc with my skin.  This would be a great set for a friend who works in an office too.  When I worked in a big office, I liked to keep a tube of hand cream in the drawer by my desk to moisturise my hands in between all of the typing I had to do!

If you're looking for a way to introduce your friend to Trilogy then the Rosapene Skincare Sensations Collection is a great option as it contains some of Trilogy's best products- an eye cream, oil and a moisturiser, whereas the Trilogy Botanical Beauties Collection is great for treating someone who likes skincare and body care in equal parts as it contains Trilogy's best selling Rosehip Oil as well as a bottle of their Botanical Body Wash.

Feel Unique have a brilliant range of Trilogy gift sets here that have 10% off at the time of writing.  John Lewis do too as do Look Fantastic, who have 25% off the Botanical Beauties Collection at the moment using code TOP26BEAUTY and BodyKind who offer a free bauble containing four mini Trilogy products when you spend £20 on Trilogy products.  The official Trilogy website also offers the same gift with purchase with any two products purchased.

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil and Vital Moisturising Cream

The most fun part of the evening was when we got to create our own Vital Moisturising Cream.  As bloggers, we sat as a group around a table to add the ingredients to our jars and blend them together.

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil and Vital Moisturising Cream

The whole process was pretty straight forward which just goes to show that there are no nasty chemicals to be added to the mix!

We got to take home our creation along with a mini bottle of the Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil which I love as it is so nourishing and calming on the skin.

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil and Vital Moisturising Cream

The Vital Moisturising Cream is an intense moisturising cream that is designed to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by nourishing and hydrating the skin.  While the formula is a little heavy for my oily skin, this moisturiser works wonders for Mr WLL who has drier skin than I do.  He says that it sinks in quite quickly and leaves his skin feeling soft and supple (or words to that effect!).

Since attending the event, I have been trying out lots of different skincare products from Trilogy and I will be ready to share my thoughts on those very soon!  In the meantime, do let me know what your favourite Trilogy products are in the comments.

You can shop Trilogy products from their website as well as from Feel Unique, Look Fantastic and John Lewis.

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