Monday, 28 April 2014

Top 10 Tips for Decorating Your Bedroom

I wasn't too sure whether homeware kind of posts would be of interest to you all but I love looking at bits and bobs for my house and wanted to share some of my tips with you all, starting with my top tips for redecorating your bedroom.

Please don't ask me where my pink piggy bank is from as I have no idea, sorry! lol
1. Save up

Last year, Mr WLL and I finally finished decorating our bedroom and we absolutely love it!  We have literally spent years saving up to decorate our bedroom and we didn't spare any expense.  Saying that, we didn't go over the top or waste any money but what I mean is that we saved up so that we could get exactly what we wanted and we're so happy with the result.  I really think that your bedroom is something that you need to spend your time on to get it completely right as it is the one room in your house that is completely for you and it needs to be a place of relaxation.  So my first top tip would be to save up for as long as you need to in order to decorate your bedroom the way that you want it.  In my opinion, there is rarely any point in spending money on things that you don't really want, just to get a room finished.  If you want a bedroom that will last, it is worth waiting for.


2. Create a room that you can adapt to the seasons

When decorating a room, I would suggest creating a room that you can adapt with the seasons but still keep its style.  For example, if you want to decorate your bedroom pink, try not to make it look too summery otherwise it'll be harder to make it look warm and cosy in the winter.

One of the things that I am really thankful for with regards to my bedroom is that we really took the time to plan what we have in it and we've designed it so that I can easily update it between seasons.  For example, during the summer months I have a light throw and cushions on my bed with silk flowers in light colours that compliment the purple and stone paint during the summer, then in the winter, I change my bedding to a darker set with faux fur cushions and throw, wind fairy lights around my bed and add some gold Christmas decorations.


3. Choose Your Colour Scheme Wisely
My third tip is to think wisely before choosing the colour scheme in your room from the flooring to the walls and main furniture because that really influences the accessories that you can opt for and the overall feel to the room.  It's also a good idea to keep in mind how colour can affect a room- blue tones will make it feel cool and oranges warm, for example.  Also consider who will be sleeping in the room; if your partner hates pink, he probably wouldn't want to sleep in an overly pink bedroom.
 
The colour scheme that we went for in our bedroom is a deep purple called Mulberry Burst from the Dulux Feature Wall Range which we have on two walls; the wall where the bed is up against and the wall opposite that.  On the other two walls we have Soft Stone which again, is from Dulux and is a similar colour the roller blind we have up at our window.  Our flooring is a fairly dark, cool toned wood, our skirting boards and ceiling are white and our door is a similar colour to the floor.  All of the furniture we bought is from Ikea and it is the white Hemnes range and our bed is an antique gold/brass wrought iron bed frame.  All of these tones compliment each other and can be made lighter and brighter with accessories during the summer and darkened in the winter months.
 
 
 
4. Invest in your bed
 
My next tip is to really invest in your bed, or more specifically your mattress.  You're going to be spending a large portion of your life asleep so you need to make sure you're comfortable.  For your matress, go into a store and try them all out until you find one that you think is the most comfortable, you can often find matresses for great prices online but it is important to find out what you want first- firm? soft? memory foam?

When choosing your bed, I'd suggest going for something that is equal parts practical and pretty.  If you have pets then perhaps a faux leather bedstead that could easily be scratched isn't the right thing for you, similarly white and little children rarely go together without some marks along the way!  The bed that I have at home is the Serene Jessica Double Metal Bedstead and I have it in the colour Antique Brass.  I got my bed from a local bed shop that doesn't have a website but I have found exactly the same one on this website http://www.bedstar.co.uk.  I really think that the antique brass colour of the bed frame really compliments the paint on our walls.
 
 
5. Buy Good Quality Bedding: Duvets, Pillows, Protectors
Luxury Hotel Collection Bedding
Aside from the furniture as a whole, the most expensive thing that we spent our money on was probably our bedding.  Not the sheets but the actual duvet and pillows themselves.  I've tried countless amounts of bedding and I honestly think that, in the majority of cases, you get what you pay for.  When decorating your room and buying a new matress, I'd really suggest buying a matress protecter to keep it clean and to prevent wear.  To protect our mattress, we opted for the Luxury Hotel Collection Touch of Silk Double Mattress Protector (£70) to not only prolong the life of our mattress but to add an extra layer of comfort as we sleep and the Pillow Protectors from the same range (£40 per pair).  For a duvet, we chose the Luxury Hotel Collection Ultimate Comfort Duvet (£240 for a double duvet) in a 13.5 tog which is great as it is actually two duvets that pop together so you can have a super light one for the summer, a medium one for spring and autumn and a thick one for the winter.  This bedding is available exclusively to Linea Home at House of Fraser and I honestly cannot recommend this range enough.  The bedding is just the best quality we have ever had and we love it that much that when we saw it went into the sale, we went out and bought it for the other two bedrooms in our house.  This bedding will seriously last us years and years and years!
Snuggledown of Norway Pillows
The pillows we went for were the Snuggledown of Norway Oriental Dynasty Ball Fibre Box Pillows (£30 per pair, also from Frasers) as they are soft but firm and retain their shape.  They aren't the kind that your head sinks through and hits the bed!  They're quite thick so although we have four on our bed we only tend to sleep with one each which is so unusual for us as we're both two pillow people!  Whichever make you go for, for whatever price point, my advice would be to buy the best quality that you can because they will last you for years and years, long after you redecorate.


7. Fan of a Tan? Buy Dark Coloured Sheets!
 
If you're a girl (or boy) who likes to wear false tan then I would HIGHLY suggest buying a dark fitted sheet from your bed.  Whilst false tan is pretty good these days in that it doesn't tend to stain the sheets too badly, the vast majority do still transfer onto the sheets a little bit.  If you've got a light coloured sheet on your bed then this can look awful and depending on the quality of your sheets, it might not wash out without leaving some staining or discolouration behind.  Whilst washing your bedding regularly is a necessity, it can be annoying if you have just put clean sheets on and have to wash them after a day because you've worn your tan to bed... and who can plan their live around putting their tan on and washing their sheets, really?

If you're interested, the fitted sheets we went for are the Luxury Percale Deep Fitted Sheets (£13 each from Next) in mauve.  They've been on our bed coming up to a year now and I can report that they have kept their colour very well and haven't faded, they wash extremely well and have remained lovely and soft.  I wash them with a little fabric softener and they always come up lovely.

If you have two pillows on your bed, another tip is to buy darker pillow cases for the bottom pillows if your duvet and pillowcase set is going to be quite light in colour.  This is so that when you have your tan on, you can just sleep with your head on the bottom pillows and take the top pillows off the bed, thus reducing the amount of tan that will show up on your bedding if it does transfer.  This also keeps your top pillows that are going to be on display more in better condition and looking brighter.
For our bed we bought two packs of the Luxury Percale Pillowcases from Next (£6 per pair) to use as the pillowcases for the bottom pillows on our bed.  We bought a set of two in the natural colour and two in the cream as well.  These were in the Housewife style.  Again, they have washed really well.


8. Weigh up your options for bedding- save or splurge

For bedding, you have a couple of different options and really it depends on you and your preference as to which you'll go for.  When it comes to bedding, you can spend A LOT of money on a bedset or you can pick one up pretty cheaply in places like B&M Home Bargains and Dunelm Mill.  It all depends on the comfort you're looking for and how often you want to change the bedding set.  For comfort, the higher the thread count, the more you're going to pay for your bedding.  If cost isn't an option, I would suggest going for the higher thread counts as they'll wash better, last longer and feel more luxurious and comfortable when you're sleeping with them.  However for most of us, cost is a big factor.

I have had bedding sets from department stores costing into their hundreds and I've had sets from B&M for around a tenner with everything included.  What I have noted about going to the cheaper stores like B&M is that generally the duvet cover, etc doesn't wash very well, they can go bobbly quickly, lose their colour vibrancy and they don't feel as soft on your skin.  However all is not lost with them as they enable you to be able to change your bedding much more frequently than if you had spent a fortune on a bedding set which is great for those that like to redecorate frequently.  Then you have the bedding sets that are around £100 to £250 in places like Debenhams and House of Fraser.  These are much higher quality than the ones you would get from B&M and they do last longer however, when we decorated our bedroom, we decided to try Next bedding for the first time and I have to say I am extremely impressed with what we found with their bedding.  They are in the middle of B&M and Debenhams price wise, in that most of their bed sets are around the £50 mark.  They wash incredibly well, feel soft to the touch, come in lots of different styles, keep their colour and shape and they are pretty affordable, so for me they're a win win.  Now that I have discovered their bedding, I wouldn't pay hundreds for a set out of a department store anymore, nor would I spend less money in a cheaper shop for poorer quality, I'd rather wait and save up for the Next set. 

When choosing your bedding, I would recommend choosing two completely different sets of bedding with different display cushions and throw so that you can have two different looks on your bed. This also enables you to adapt your bedding to the seasons- perhaps a darker set for the winter and a lighter set for the summer.  It also helps you out when it comes to washing as well because it means that you can have one bedding set in the wash and another on your bed.
For one of the duvet sets, we chose the Natural Panel Bed Set (£45) again from Next that comes with the duvet cover and two pillow cases and we also chose another one that is white with a big heart embroidered on it which I havent photographed and it is currently doing a 360 in the washing machine...!  They both wash really well and I think they're great quality for the money we spent.

Where I do think you can save money is on the decorations for your bed like scatter cushions and throws.  If you're someone who likes change and wants to be changing the look of their bed a lot then I would really recommend going to a really affordable shop like B&M and Matalan as their designs are similar to the ones that you would find in a posh department store but literally at a fraction of the price, meaning that you'll be able to change up your room more frequently.  For our room, we got our throws and scatter cushions from Next.  We got two large glittery fabric cushions and a small square one for  a summertime look with a lightweight cable knit throw, then for a winter look we went for two huge faux fur cushions, a chunky cable knit heart cushion and a faux fur throw.  All of the cushions were pretty reasonably priced, aside from the faux fur items which were quite pricey but superb quality.  We justified this as we are only planning on changing the design of our room twice in the year- so we will have the lighter pieces on our bed each summer and the fur on our bed in the winter.
 
 
9. Use lighting to create mood in your room
My next tip is to use lighting to create a mood and atmosphere in your room.  I am someone who is massively affected by light- when it is bright and sunny or I'm in a room with a lot of light then I do feel happier, have more energy and feel more productive.  It is also super important for me to be able to let lots of natural light into my room because I take a lot of blog photographs in there.  I'd really suggest considering where your windows are in your room, Our bedroom has a HUGE window in it so letting light in during the day is not a problem for us.  Instead, our focus for lighting is more for the evening and we wanted to opt for soft lighting that would be romantic and really just look good in our room when they're turned off as much as when they're lit up.

In my opinion, lighting is where you can also save some money as some of the more affordable shops have very similar styles to the specialist lighting shops but it is important to bear in mind that lights are quite expensive regardless of where you buy them and the cost of bulbs after you've purchased you light isn't cheap either.  We initially went around all of these different light shops and saw a beautiful set of lights that were honestly absolutely gorgeous but they were ridiculously expensive.  At just over £1500, I couldn't justify saving up to buy them for the amount we would use them, plus they were silver and crystal which, although beautiful, wouldn't fit in with our theme so I think I was getting a case of magpie eye rather than looking at them level headed!
I was picking up a parcel from Next when I saw their mink crackle range.  I couldn't believe that I could get a ceiling light, floor lamp, two bedside table lights and a string of feature lights all for just over £150!  We ordered the set and a few days later they arrived.
We bought two of the small crackle glass bedside table lamps which have a gorgeous antique light gold satin look shade with a mink crackle glass base as well as the tall floor lamp in exactly the same style (oh and that purple box you can see in the photo is actually a linen basket from Ikea).  We also bought the ceiling pendant light which is like a dome ball in the same mink coloured crackle glass style.  These all really compliment the antique brass of our bed frame and our curtain pole and tie backs. See, matchy matchy.

We then bought some cream peony flower string lights and initially we thought we would wind these around the top of the bed frame but we have ended up putting them around my dressing table mirror as this looked so feminine and pretty.  They're excellent quality and look so beautiful.  Using line lights like these really helps to bring a bit of soft lighting and a feminine touch to a bedroom, I'd really recommend them.


10. Accessories are key
My final tip is to decorate your room using accessories.  If you've opted for paint on your walls over a busy wall paper then adding wall art can really change the theme of a room and really help you to put your stamp on it.
 
Having pictures up on the walls really adds a personal touch to any home.  Mr WLL and I really wanted to have photos up of those we love as well as some gorgeous artwork so we have a gallery style wall with lots of friends and family photos on and then we have a few larger canvas prints.
I found the most perfect spot for a square canvas in our room and the gold poppy canvas from Breeze fit the bill perfectly.  It looks absolutely incredible in our room, as the metallic really give it some depth and stand out, particularly at night with our bedside table lights on.  However this is an area that you can really save on.  Rather than go to expensive shops, I would really recommend checking out places like B & M Home Bargains as they often have EXTREMELY similar pieces as Next and some of the department stores for a fraction of the price.  Source good quality, expensive looking pieces at a low cost and you can change your room around more often.  It is also a good idea to get some storage boxes.  I have some big ones from Ikea that go underneath my bed that I keep my spare bedding, throws, pillows and room decoration in when I'm not using them.
Wall canvas from Next
We also bought this set of prints from Next.  They read 'dance as if no one were watching,' 'love as if you have never been hurt' and 'sign as if no one were listening' which is a poem that I absolutely love.
Crackle Glass Lamp from Next
My best friends mam is absolutely awesome at arranging faux flowers so when I bought this vase I knew I was going to get her to help me to put together a floral arrangement.  Well, when I say help me, I mean do it for me.  She's fantastic and just has a much better eye for these things than I do.  The vase is a crackle vase from Next in a gold colour and all of the faux flowers are from Dunelm Mill.  I have put this on a tall table in the corner of our room.  Using mirrored pieces helps to reflect light and faux flowers create a lovely backdrop for photographs if you're a blogger like I am.
Crackle glass tea light holders from Next and flameless candles from Ebay
I also got a pack of three tea light holders from Next in the same style crackle glass as the vase to go along my window sill.  I bought a pack of 12 LED tea lights to go in them from this seller on Ebay.  I much prefer flameless candles to real tea lights as I am always on edge when I have real candles lit.  I'm so terrified of fire I wont leave the room if there is a lit candle in it as I'm frightened it'll set alight and burn my whole house down.  Perhaps a little farfetched there but I remember watching an episode of 999 as a child where a woman had left a few tea lights in her bath and they burnt through and caused this huge fire yada yada yada and that scared me for life.  Anyway, I digress.  the point is, buy inexpensive, soft lights and you'll create warmth and atmosphere in any room, plus the voltives look lush when they candles aren't on.
I also got a crackle glass plate in the same colour, again from Next, to put decorative balls and pot pourri on.  This is to go on the top of a chest of drawers.  I got a bag of the Bloom Creative Florals Decorative Balls in scented vanilla from B and M Home Bargains.  These look really pretty on the dish but they don't give off a lot of scent at all.
I would really suggest choosing an air freshner, diffuser or room spray to give your room a signature scent.  As well as keeping your room smelling fresh, it can also help you to sleep too as if you only use that scent in your bedroom then you'll soon associate that scent with relaxation and going to sleep.  To give our room a gorgeous scent, we opted for the Next Luxury Reed Diffuser in Florence.  This is to go on the top of a tall chest of drawers as it acts as a decorative piece as well as a room fragrance.  Florence is our favourite scent from the Next luxury range and although these are pretty pricey at £20 they last for absolutely AGES- much longer than they say on the bottle that they're supposed to last and they smell fantastic, providing you keep turning the reeds.  I got my best friend one of these for her living room and she always comments on how fantastic it smells, her birthday was last April and it is still going strong now, so I'd definitely recommend checking them out.

That's it for my top tips for redecorating your bedroom.  It's a bit of a long one but I spent that long saving to redecorate my room that I don't think I could have ever squashed it all into a short and sweet post!

Do let me know if you're busy redecorating at the moment and if you like these kinds of posts.

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Sunday, 27 April 2014

Accessories Haul- Primark, Accessorize and New Look

If there's one holiday in my lifetime that I really want to look my best on, its my honeymoon.  Mine is coming up and I absolutely cannot wait.  It is going to be an epic trip in the sunshine and I really want to dress my best while I'm away.  I've been shopping lots in the run up to the holiday and in today's post, I wanted to show you some of the accessories I have bought to take with me.
 
Accessorize Cosmo Zig Zag Cross Body Bag
My first stop was Accessorize where I bought the gorgeous Cosmo Zig Zag Cross Body Bag.  This is an absolutely stunning bag with colourful stitching, beads and stones on the front and a sort of cream waffle material on the back with a fine gold thread through it.
 
 
The lining is a bright pink colour and it has a little pocket inside that could fit a lipstick and some chewing gum in.  The bag has a very sturdy silver zip across the top of the bag and the zipper has a sort of leather like tag on it that makes it very easy to open and close the bag.
 
 
What I like the most about this bag is that there are a few of different ways to wear it; either as a clutch bag or you can clip on the really sturdy silver chain and wear it either across the body or just over one shoulder.
 
 
I can't wait to wear this on holiday and well into the summer as it will look perfect with little dresses and playsuits.  I just hope the beads don't come off very easily as it was quite pricey for what it is at £35 but if the beads last on it then I would say that it is definitely worth it.


 

Accessorize Smart Phone Pouch
To go with the bag, I actually bought the matching Smart Phone Purse for £14. What I liked about this is that I can use it as a purse inside the bag, or on its own as a mini clutch.  This will be perfect for our holiday as some nights we'll be staying in the hotel grounds to eat so the Smart Phone Purse will be perfect because I'll not be carrying a lot with me but then some nights we'll be going out of the hotel for dinner and trips and then the Cosmo Zig Zag Cross Body Bag will be better suited to me.
 
 
The Smart Phone Purse has the same zig zag bead and stitching design on the front with a white zip across the top to reveal the same pink lining inside the purse.
 
 
On the back of the purse there is a pouch for a mobile phone with a popper closure which fits my iPhone in perfectly.
 
 
 
The purse has a wrist strap too which is actually quite small and its a bit of a tight squeeze to get it over my hand (which is surprising as I don't have the biggest hands!) but once it is on my wrist it is fine and has plenty of room on there.


 

Accessorize Cut Out Daisy Anklet
I also picked up this really pretty Cut Out Daisy Anklet from Accessorize for £5.00, although I can't seem to find it online.  I rarely wear jewellery around the pool but on my recent trip to Kenya I wore some gold diamond studs each day so for my honeymoon trip, I am going to wear a little more jewellery but just simple, dainty pieces so as to not spoil my tan.  I'm sure this anklet will probably tarnish with going in and out of the water each day but if I get the full holiday out of it I'll be happy and I think it'll look really pretty with my holiday outfits too.
 
New Look 50's Flower Necklace
Next I went to New Look where I bought this 50's Flower Necklace for £9.99.  I have been absolutely loving the look of statement necklaces over the last few months but I don't have many of my own so when I saw this one (and a couple of others in this haul!) I had to pick it up.  There is a cornflower blue flower in the middle with a pink flower either side of it and a mint green one either side of them.  They each have diamantes on them and gold detailing and the necklace is on quite a thick gold chain.  It has a one of those extenders on it so that you can adjust how low down the necklace hangs too.  I've had a look on the New Look website and I just can't seem to find this necklace.  It is definitely current stock in their stores though.
 



New Look Mint Green Diamante Flower Stud Earrings
I was really spoilt for choice in New Look as they had so many gorgeous pieces in, I could have spent a fortune, so I really had to reign myself in!  I did buy the Mint Green Diamante Flower Stud Earrings though as I thought they would go with the necklace very well and I have bought quite a few mint things to wear this spring that they will coordinate very well with.  These were £3.99.

The last stop on my accessories shopping trip was Primark where I found two beautiful statement necklaces.




Primark Statement Necklace
The first is quite different to anything I have in my collection with it being black and I think it will look very glamorous with an evening outfit- I plan to wear this with a black maxi dress and gold accessories on holiday.  It is called the Mesh Multi Ring Necklace and it was a bargain at £3.  It has a twisted black rope style chain with different gold, silver and diamante rings on it.  This necklace reminds me of the ones from Top Shop that were really  popular last summer but from a much more purse friendly price point.

 
Primark Facet Diamante Statement Necklace
Also on the statement necklace front, I bought the Facet Diamante Necklace for £6.  This is a super heavy weight gold chain statement necklace with mint green and pink thread woven through it.  It has iridescent, pink and mint jewel diamantes on it and large pink jewels too.  I think this will go really well with the bag above too.

Primark Canvas Deck Shoes
The last item I picked up were these Canvas Deck Shoes which were only £6.  I absolutely LOVE Primark shoes as they're always on trend but affordable.  These are in a nautical blue stripe with a little bow at the front and then a faux leather detailing around them which does look pretty cheap when you look at it up close but when you see them from a normal-looking-at-feet distance, they look perfectly fine.  These are so comfortable and I can't wait to wear them this summer.  I have bought some in a similar style from UGG to wear on the plane on my honeymoon so I am going to wait until I pack my case before I decide whether I'll need to pack these too.

So that's it for my honeymoon haul.  Do let me know if you have seen any other pieces you think I'll like for my honeymoon.

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Thursday, 24 April 2014

FemFresh Ultimate Care Active Fresh Duo


If there's one thing I don't read about too often on blogs its feminine hygiene products, they're right up there with other taboo subjects like hair removal and facial hair bleaching.  Although I've seen Ingrid talk about them on her Youtube channel, they are pretty much a rarity in the blogging world and I don't know why, we've all got one; unless you're a man and in that case, you still need to wash too.

So today I'm going to be facing the taboo head on and talking about washing down there...

FemFresh are one of the leading feminine hygiene brands, in fact I couldn't name any others off the top of my head.  All of their products are have been dermatologically and gynaecologically tested and are deemed to be suitable for everyday use; including these two, their new Ultimate Care Active Fresh duo.

The new femfresh Ultimate Care Active Fresh Duo consists of two separate products, a wash and a deodorant, that both use specialist silver ion technology to keep you feeling fresh and clean.  Now I'm not technologically minded but in a nut shell, silver ions are of natural origin and have strong antibacterial and deodorising properties that work in harmony with your body to achieve long lasting freshness which is just what you want from a feminine hygiene product.  The silver ions are perfectly suited to even the most sensitive of skin which is great as regardless of whether the rest of your body skin is pretty resilient or not, the chances are you'll be very sensitive down there.  If you've ever washed with the Original Source Tea Tree and Mint Shower Gel then you'll know exactly what I mean...

I have been trying out both of the new femfresh products and I am really impressed with them.  Whilst they can both be used every day as part of your usual shower routine, I've actually been taking these to the gym for me for when I shower after the gym.  I hate feeling sweaty after a work out so I like to have a nice shower first thing on a morning after my workout and find that with using both of these products, I can go about my day feeling fresh and clean.


The first product is the Ultimate Care Active Fresh Wash* which can be used as a targeted intimate skin was or all over the body as a normal shower gel and since it has a sensitive formula, it wont irritate the skin.  This wash is like a creamy shower gel and contains lactic acid and softening calendula which work together to make you feel clean and fresh from the moment you use them.  It also contain a MUTIActif odour neutralising complex with silver ions that also helps to give you that fresh feeling after use and keep you odour free and feeling comfortable all day.  The was itself does have a soft, delicate fragrance that just smells clean, not overpowering in anyway so again, it wont irritate your skin like some other perfumed body washes can.  It is soap free, hypoallergenic and pH-balanced, making it perfect for use on intimate skin.  Rather than taking a separate shower gel with me to the gym, I simply use this as an all over body wash and would really recommend it as it keeps me feeling clean and fresh and hasn't irritated my skin or made me feel uncomfortable at all.

The Ultimate Care Active Fresh Wash which retails for around £3.49 for a 250ml bottle here.

After using the wash, I have then been using the Ultimate Care Active Fresh Deodorant* which has a similar delicate scent.  Again it is formulated with the MULTIActif odour neutralising complex and silver ions to give you an instant feeling of freshness that lasts for hours and hours.  It has a hypoallergenic formula that is perfect for intimate skin, especially over regular deodorants on the high street and can be sprayed around the intimate area or directly onto underwear, the latter of which doesn't cause any staining on the garments.  When you spray it, the deodorant does feel quite cold and it can be a little shock to the system when you use it for the first time as it is a strange cold burst feeling!  However you quickly get used to it as you expect it the next time you use the deodorant!  It works exceptionally well at making you feel very fresh and clean and I would definitely recommend it, particularly for when you've been to the gym or on holiday when you're going to be feeling hot.

The Ultimate Care Active Fresh Deodorant is £2.99 for 125ml here.

This isn't the first time I've used and featured femfresh products on my blog.  If you remember my Festival Survival Guide post last summer than you'll know that I recommend taking their wipes with you on all festival and camping trips as you can never quite trust the state of the portaloos.  I recently took them on safari with me in Kenya too for when we used local toilets on our way to and from the National Park but more on that in another post.

The full femfresh range is available in Boots and Superdrug online and in store as well as in supermarkets and chemists nationwide.  For stockists, call 01303858821 or go to their website.

Do you use any targeted feminine hygiene products?  Which ones are your favourites?

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Monday, 21 April 2014

WhatLauraWore: Heart Jumper and F&F GIVEAWAY

In today's post, I'm wearing a new addition to my closet which is the Metallic Heart Stud Plus Size Jumper from the new True range at F&F.  The guys at F&F have been listening to their online community and created a line that provides a stylish and fresh look to their plus size range, taking into account the desires of those who will be wearing the clothes which I think is a fabulous idea... as well as making a lot of sense!
 
 
The Metallic Heart Stud Plus Size Jumper is perfect for the in-between weather we're having at the moment.  Yesterday I looked out of my window and saw that it was beautifully sunny but when I went outside it was pretty chilly so this jumper was the perfect attire for my day out.  It is a fisherman knit style jumper in an oatmeal cream colour.  The heart on the front is made up of rose gold and gold studs and squares which looks absolutely gorgeous and adds a touch of glam to the jumper.
 
 
I would say that the jumper is a pretty accurate fit, with sizes running from 16 to 28.  It is quite long on the sleeves but this just adds to the slouchy effect of the jumper, making it fairly lightweight but cosy at the same time.  It is very comfortable to wear on casual days as it is the perfect length to wear with leggings because it covers my bottom.  I think that it looks great with these denim look leggings.  For a casual look, I also added my new deck shoes and a bag in complimentary colours.
 
 
WhatLauraWore:
Metallic Heart Stud Plus Size Jumper* from F&F
Knitted Denim Look Leggings from New Look
Blue Stripe and Tan Deck Shoes from Primark
Speedy 30 Damier Azure Bag from Louis Vuitton
 
Now it's your chance to win a £25 voucher to spend at F&F.  Fill in your details on the Rafflecopter below and I'll choose a winner at random after the 30th April.  The competition is open to the UK only.  I'll be announcing a worldwide competition on 1st May so stay tuned for that if you're an international reader.

Edit: and the winner is... Angie Walton xxx
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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

On The Spot Treatment Products


Today I wanted to share with you four different blemish treatment products that I have been using over the last few months in order to test them out and review them for you in this post.  Some of these I've actually been using for a lot longer but one is a very recent addition.  There is a lot of research being reported that shows that adult breakouts are becoming more and more prevalent from the 20s onwards so hopefully this post will help you to decide which products are for you and which aren't.

I'll start with the Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Pads.  I bought these ages ago, thinking that they were the Blackhead Clearing Pads that I have loved for a long time.  They're basically cotton pads that are soaked in a solution that aims to cleanse the skin, exfoliate it and clear blocked pores that cause break outs.  I find that these are very drying on the skin and can sting if you are using them all over your face and I have by no means sensitive skin.  I tend to use them on areas where I have blemishes rather than wiping them all over my skin and as of late, I have found them effective at reducing the redness in any spots that I have overnight and if I use them on my cheeks, if my pores are blocked then I do find that it encourages the dirt to come to the surface and I get a small white head style spot that is wiped away with my morning cleanse.  They're a very budget option at just over £5 from Boots or cheaper if you go to somewhere like Home Bargains like I did.  I won't repurchase them when the pot has ran out because there are other spot treatments that I want to try that are designed purely as an on the spot treatment, like the Origins Super Spot Remover and that are more travel friendly as the pot is quite big compared to some stick spot treatments.

The second product that Ive been trying out is the Blemish Control Gel Mask* from Good Things.  This is designed as a 3 in 1 mask that is designed to tackle blemishes, spots and excess oil, leaving the skin clear and fresh and shine free. It contains witch hazel extract which is supposed to calm the skin and soothe angry breakouts as well as Willow Bark extract which is full of salicylic acid which helps to unblock pores and prevent future break outs from occurring.



To apply it, you simply smooth the gel over the whole face, leave it on for 10 minutes while it dries slightly and then remove it using a warm water soaked face cloth.  Very simple and easy to use however the mask just didn't agree with my skin whatsoever.  Upon dispensing the product you can really sense how strong it is- it really made my eyes water.  Within a matter of minutes I could feel it tingling on my skin.  I didn't look in a mirror as I thought that it was just the mask working but after a few more minutes the tingling turned to a burning sensation and i had to remove it.



Even a few hours later my skin was still noticeably very red and it felt sore to the touch.  With getting married soon, I didn't want to risk another application to see if the same would happen but I have been using it as an on the spot treatment and I find that that works better than using the mask all over the skin which is just too harsh in my opinion.  I just take a concealer brush and apply a small amount of the mask directly onto the spot and then leave it for ten minutes and wash off and I find that the mask does help to reduce the size of the spot and clear it without drying out my skin because it is only the spot that has the mask on.

The Good Things Blemish Control Gel Mask with superfruit extracts of Mango and Lychee is available from Boots online and in store for £4.99.  While you're there I would HIGHLY recommend their Deep Pore Anti Blemish Lotion which is absolutely FABULOUS.  I've been using Good Things products for years and absolutely love them.

The third product I wanted to share with you is the Dr Organic Tea Tree Blemish Stick which is available from Holland and Barrett.  This is my favourite out of the four that I have reviewed for you both because it is so easy to use but very very effective too.  Both Mr WLL and I use this as an on the spot treatment and it really helps to reduce the size and redness of spots.  It comes in a rollerball formula and the product comes out very easily so you're not having to aggravate the spot further and it is very easy to use.  Tea tree is great as an antiseptic to clean and clear spots and it also has aloe vera which is fabulous at soothing and reducing the redness in spots.  I would definitely recommend this product.  It is affordable too and the size is perfect for travel.  You can buy it from Holland and Barrett for £4.39.

The last product I have been trying out to review for you is the Witch Naturally Clear Blemish Stick.  This one contains witch hazel extract which helps to fight the bacteria that causes spots.  Both myself and Mr WLL have been using this spot treatment for a very long time now.  It works really well at drying out spots and helping them to clearly much more quickly and with less redness than they would have if they were left on their own.  It is an oil free stick formula that you simply rub on the affected area and it feels quite cooling.  I find that it works best if you apply it as soon as possible after feeling a spot starting to rear its ugly head.  It works very quickly on my skin and I would definitely recommend it for anyone but particularly for those with oily skin.

The Witch Naturally Clear Blemish Stick is available here for £2.09.

What spot treatments are you using at the moment?

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Collection Nail Polish in Lilac Daze Review


For the last few days I've been wearing the Collection Work The Colour nail polish in Lilac Daze on my nails and I've honestly never had so many compliments on one nail polish before.


Those comments must be down to the undeniably gorgeous colour of the polish.  Lilac Daze is a very creamy pastel lilac nail polish with a lovely glossy finish.  It needs a good three coats to become completely opaque and I added my favourite Orly Glosser top coat to seal everything in and to make the polish last as long as possible.  I'm on day three now and there isn't a chip in sight!


This is the first nail polish I've worn from the Work The Colour line from Collection and I'm really impressed.  Yes, three layers is a little bit of a pain but the look this colour gives the nails is incredible and the drying time between coats is pretty quick too.


Whilst this nail polish is quite clearly the ultimate springtime colour, it will look beautiful all year round; I cannot wait to wear it in winter, layered up with grey and black clothing.  IN LOVE.


This isn't the first lilac polish I've used as I also have the Eyeko Lilac Polish which is so watery and a lot darker than Lilac Daze and I also have Models Own Lilac Dream nail polish which was my favourite until I started using this one which is slightly lighter but just as creamy.  For someone who doesn't really care for lilac clothing or make up, I LOVE it as a nail colour!


Collection polishes are available to buy direct from their website and from Superdrug.  Now I've been onto the Superdrug website and found the Lilac Daze polish and it's the right picture but the name of the polish is incorrect as it is put down as Sonic Blue... so you might be better off going in store to pick it up.  Either way it is £1.99 and I would really recommend it.

What are your favourite lilac polishes?


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The Dangers of Not Being Able to Hear Properly

Hi Everyone

Today the lovely Debbie will be guest posting over on WhatLauraLoves.  She's written a fabulous article all about the dangers of not being able to hear properly.  You can follow her on Twitter here.  I've also inserted some videos of the artists so you can sing along as you read- talk about multi tasking!
WhatLauraLoves xo

The dangers of not being able to hear properly

A report by the Health & Safety at Work organisation shows that nine million people in the UK are affected by hearing problems. This problem is on the increase, so more people are exposed to potential danger.

Why hearing loss can pose a threat to life

If people do not realise that their hearing is damaged, they run the risk of having an accident as a result of their hearing loss. For example, if someone is in a building when it is on fire, and they don’t hear the smoke alarm, they may become trapped in a burning building. Many people rely on their hearing and sight when they cross the road; this is why electric cars have had their engine noise enhanced, in order to warn a pedestrian that they are approaching. In if doubt at all, consult professional expertise, such as that provided by Hidden Hearing.

Communication problems

Hearing loss can lead to emotional trauma, and can sometimes also result in economic hardship. The World Health Organisation (WHO) believes that 360 million people across the world suffer from hearing problems from a variety of causes. Only 10% of those affected use hearing aids. This means that on a global basis, loss of hearing can lead to difficulties at work, and socially, and can put the sufferer in danger in a range of situations.

Why it is important to have your hearing loss diagnosed

Some people have reported hearing loss as a result of a cold or bug, and do not realise that it’s vital to have a proper test in case the ear has been irreparably damaged. The Daily Mail reported the story of Michael Berkeley, a composer who almost lost his livelihood as a result of an infection. Berkeley was fortunate in that his brain adapted over time, and he did regain his hearing.

Daily risks for deaf people

Many deaf people feel alienated and scared. Their confidence is eroded as a result of their condition, and everyday tasks become increasingly more difficult. Imagine shopping and the store being vacated because of a security risk - the deaf person without a hearing aid wouldn’t realise the urgency of the situation.

That’s an extreme and fairly unlikely example, but even a simple task such as answering a ringing telephone can become a nightmare, especially if you don’t realise that a telephone is ringing in the first place. In many national emergencies, vital information is transmitted via a radio or TV. If this is inaudible, then the person suffering from hearing loss may be in danger.

Overcoming the stigma of deafness

In a fast moving world where communication is vital, a deaf person may well be victimised because they have problems communicating. Deafness does vary from person to person; some people will suffer from constant background noise, called tinnitus. Others may be mildly hard of hearing. If you think that your hearing may be declining, it’s vital that you are diagnosed as soon as possible.

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