Saturday, 31 October 2015

WINNER | Best Plus Size Blogger


I'm so happy to let you all know that I have won the award of Best Plus Size Blogger at The Curvee Awards.

It is so lovely to be recognised for something that I put so much hard work into.  I'm not someone who really wins these kinds of things or puts myself out there so to find out that people have voted for me to win makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

THANK YOU to each and every one of you who voted for me to win.  Without you reading my blog, I wouldn't be able to continue doing what I love, so thank you.  Its quite crazy to think that I've been writing my little corner of the internet for the last 5 years and it really has been so enjoyable for me.  I can't wait to develop as a blogger and put out more content that you enjoy reading!

Many thanks also to Katherine from Murder of Goths who not only hosted the awards but who created this great illustration of me as well as all of the other winners.  They've all been announced over on her Instagram page here.

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Friday, 30 October 2015

YSL Skincare and Makeup Makeover at Selfridges Trafford

The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall Experience

If you've been reading my blog this month then you'll know that I have visited the amazing Selfridges Beauty Hall in the Trafford Centre in Manchester.  If you're needing to catch up then check out this post.  I have been trying out some services that are available at the various different beauty counters so that I could report back and let you all know how I got on at them.  You can read about my skincare experience at Kiehl's here and see the gorgeous Express Manicure that I had done at Nails Inc here.

The last stop in my Selfridges Beauty Hall experience was the YSL counter.  I've loved YSL for years, their Elle perfume was the fragrance I wore on my first date with my hubby and I have worn their makeup ever since I was in my teens when I first started experimenting with makeup.

At the counter, I was greeted by Rebecca who was clearly so incredibly passionate about her job and YSL as she was so knowledgeable about the brand and a real credit to Selfridges.  Plus she had a great Scouse accent that I couldn't help copying!  If you know me in real life then you'll know that I LOVE the Liverpool accent, it is my absolute favourite accent so I could have sat listening to Rebecca talk for hours!

It was so refreshing to sit down and talk beauty with someone who was excited about it as me.


Rebecca started by taking me through a selection of the vast YSL skincare line with a focus on the Youth Liberator line before moving onto makeup with a specific focus on the new autumn releases.


The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall Experience

I've used a lot of YSL makeup in the past but never their skincare and I was very pleasantly surprised to discover just how fabulous it is.  Having been developed with over 100 years of research by top scientists, YSL has 7 Nobel Prizes behind their skincare range.  Since I had already had a facial from Kiehl's Rebecca focused on applying the majority of the skincare to the back of my hand so that I could feel the texture and see the difference for myself, so as not to overload my skin.

The Forever Youth line contains an innovative ingredient that contains a combination of glycans called Glycanactif which unlock the cells in the skin to reactivate their vital functions and liberate the youth potential at all levels of the skin.  This ingredient is particularly key to the success of the Forever Youth line as the majority of skincare products only work on the surface layers of the skin whereas this aims to work deep down with has a longer lasting effect.  The discovery of the revolutionary glycobiology has been deemed to be one of the ten fields of science that will change the future of medicine so YSL being an exclusive beneficiary of this technology is pretty amazing stuff.

The YSL Forever Youth Liberator Cleanser was the first product that I tried out and it just goes to show you that you should really try products out before dismissing them as this is described as a foam which I would have usually not gone for, thinking that it would be stripping and drying on the skin but it isn't at all.  It actually feels really creamy and gentle on the skin.  My favourite of all of the skincare products have to be the YSL Forever Youth Liberator Essence-in-Lotion which has an oil in water formula and the serum which are both incredibly light on the skin and leave it feeling plumped up, hydrated and like velvet to the touch.  They smell absolutely incredibly good too!

After looking at skincare we moved onto makeup, specifically the products that have been launched for the autumn/fall 2015 season, including the gorgeous eyeshadows from the Pretty Metal collection that are on my lids in the below photo.

This collection combines the kind of highly pigmented, seasonal colours that you love from YSL with absolutely stunning packaging that anyone would feel a little smug pulling out of their handbag.  The YSL Metal Clash eyeshadow palette combines a deep plum, pale lilac, chocolatey brown and a dirty burgundy with the most gorgeous metallic gold that will set off any eyeshadow look this season.  All 5 shades are super pigmented and look superb whether they're worn alone, together or with other eyeshadows to create a different look entirely.  There's also a fabulous compact mattifying powder in the collection which managed to mattify even my oily skin without leaving it looking flat, dull or cakey.  It is completely translucent on the skin, making it suitable for any skintone to use and Rebecca explained to me that because it isn't heavy, it can be used to set the makeup of those with super dry or oily skin and everyone in between.  There are plenty of lip products in the collection as well as some more eye products including the YSL Couture Kajal Pencils.  These are a great multi purpose release as they can be used as liners or as eyeshadows to create a super smokey look that is perfect for channelling your inner Cara Delevingne for the party season, especially when used with the YSL Couture Brow tinted eyebrow gels which give you a buildable amount of colour and a gel like hold that will ensure even the bushiest of brows will stay in place all night!

I was happy to find out that some old favourites are still available from YSL and are as good as ever, such as the Touche Éclat which is fabulous for highlighting underneath the eyes.  However I was most happy to find out that my favourite mascara from them, the Effet Faux Cils, has been reformulated to stop it from drying out quite so quickly, which was the only downside that I could find about the mascara when I'd tried it before.

My favourite makeup product that I got to try out was the YSL Te Blur Perfector which comes in a gorgeous pink compact.  This balm powder has received lots of recognition including an award for best powder of the year.  It is a powder that acts like a priming balm.  You can wear it alone or under or over makeup to smooth the skin, blur pores and imperfections and create a great base for makeup.  Its a bit of a princess product but one that I think would be a great addition to my makeup bag!


The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall

I really liked that Rebecca hand selected products that would not only work well for my skin type but that are a popular choice for a lot of different skin types so that I could give you all an overview rather than sticking to just things for oily skin.  This showed that she really knew her stuff and I'd definitely recommend heading to the YSL counter if you're looking for either high performing skincare or makeup.  I must also recommend that you check out the Black Opium fragrance by YSL.  I spritzed it on just before having my makeup done and it smelt so incredible, definitely one to add to the Christmas gift list!

You're able to book in for makeovers at the counter but if you're just wanting to try a new lipstick and you're unsure which colour to go for then just pop along and you'll be able to swatch lots, perhaps try one on and decide there and then.

Similarly, if you're looking for a new foundation whether it be new in formula or if you've been on holiday and become more tanned or more pale now that its coming into the winter, then I'd highly suggested going along to a store to try out the products at the counter rather than just blindly buying online.  Its always best to give a product like that a trial run first of all.  The girls at the counter will be more than happy to help to match you up to your shade and if you're unsure as to whether the foundation is right for you then you could even ask for a little sample pot to take away a couple of days worth of product to try yourself at home.  This helps you to see how the foundation works with your other products, to see how it lasts on your skin and to check to see whether the shade is right for you.

I have super oily skin so this is something that I do every time I buy a foundation for the first time and I always make sure to get the name of the person who has served me on the counter so that I can go back and purchase the product from them.  It also means that if you have any follow up questions then you can direct them to that person too.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the Selfridges Beauty Hall and especially at the YSL counter.  I can't wait until I am able to visit again!  I bought a couple of lip products from YSL while I was there as I'm really enjoying making a feature of my lips at the moment.  I'll be reviewing those very soon on my blog so stay tuned for that!

What is on your YSL makeup or skincare wishlist?

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Thursday, 29 October 2015

MULBERRY | Designer Handbag Unboxing and Review

Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size

My new video for this week has just been published and I wanted to share some snaps with you on my blog to show you the item in more detail.  I'm sure you'll have guessed by the title but it is a designer handbag unboxing.



I haven't done one of these videos before and although I do own a few designer bags, I haven't really talked about them in depth too much because I'm not sure how that comes across.  To me, they're a luxury purchase but one that I save up for and spend a lot of time researching into before taking the plunge and buying it.

If you read my latest outfit post then you might have seen a few snaps of my new bag already, the Mulberry Lily.  In my video, I unbox it and talk you through an overview of the bag and in this post I'll be sharing lots of photos of it with you all incase you were considering it as a purchase too.  I've been using the bag for the last couple of weeks so I'm able to review it more now and tell you what I think of it.


Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size

Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size


Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size


Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size


Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size

I bought my bag from House of Fraser in the Metrocentre however they don't stock Mulberry online.  Thankfully, the Mulberry website does and you can buy it  from this website here.

If you're in the North East then I'd highly recommend purchasing your Mulberry from the House of Fraser department store.  I bought my first Bayswater from there as well as my hubby's wallet and he bought me my Daria French Purse (review here) from there too.  Their service is second to none and the counter staff are so knowledgeable.  Its also a great place to pick up a Mulberry bargain as when the sales are on, they have the best pieces at the best discounts and it still comes beautifully packaged.

Whenever you buy from Mulberry, the packaging of the items is absolutely stunning.  My Lily came in a huge silver grey bag with grey handles and the gold logo and lettering on the front.  'THANK YOU' is also printed on the inside of the bag on the base which I think is a lovely touch and a nice surprise when you pull your treasured item out of the bag.

The gift bag is fastened together with a chunky Mulberry printed ribbon in the same colour as the bag and theres a white luggage label style tag on it with gold lettering that you can write out should the item inside be a gift for someone else.  I've purchased smaller items from Mulberry before such as a purse and a wallet and a passport holder and they've all arrived or been handed to be at the till point in the same kind of packaging except the smaller goods tend to be packaged in a box inside the gift bag whereas the handbags come in beautiful grey dust bags with the gold lettering and logo on them.  They feel super soft and really help to protect the bag when you're not using it.

Mulberry always include a sheet of their branded tissue paper over the top of the item inside the carrier bag and their bags are stuffed with the tissue paper as well.  This is always handy to keep a hold of so that you can stuff your bag when you're not using it to help to maintain its shape and because the tissue paper is acid free, there wont be any colour transferred which could damage the inside of the bag.

Inside the carrier you'll also find a receipt within a wallet.  This makes it discrete if you're giving it as a gift and also something to keep the receipt safe as you'll need to store it for a number of reasons.  For example, in the future you may like to sell the bag on and the receipt will help prove its value and authenticity, or you may, heaven forbid, have a house fire of flood where all of your things are damaged or a theft and need to show the insurance company proof of your purchase so that you can recover the cost of the bag towards a new one.  I would also recommend taking a photo of the receipt and having it scanned into your computer so that you can save it in the cloud.  That way, you've always got it incase of fire damage, etc.  It might seem like a bit of a faff on to begin with but if anything ever happened to your things, the last thing you want is a battle on with the insurance company trying to prove what is lost, stolen or damaged.

There's also a card with care instructions on that comes inside Mulberry bags, usually it is to be found in the zip compartment inside the bag, if it has one, which this one does.


Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size


So here it is, my beautiful Mulberry Lily.

The Lily is a classic piece from Mulberry and one that has a high chance of never being discontinued as it is a much loved, staple bag shape from them.  They do bring out limited edition colours and leathers but the bag itself is a classic that will be around for years to come.

It is currently available in many different colours and different sizes.  Size wise, this is what is classed as the original, regular sized Lily.  There is a Medium Lily which is quite a bit bigger than this one and a Mini Lily which is tiny in comparison and they're both available in a whole range of colours and each season they seem to bring out some season specific colours too.

There are so many different variations of this bag that I love but when it came to making this purchase, there was no other colour for me except black.

Believe it or not, this is my first black handbag.  I have two black clutches, one from Lulu Guinness and one which is a WOC from Chanel with silver hardware, but they're both very small, evening only bags and they don't fit a lot in them at all.  Despite having quite a few bags in my collection, I don't have a big or even small black bag, just very small.  So many people will agree that a black bag is a style staple and as my own personal style has evolved, I've really started to notice the gap in my collection for a black bag over the last couple of years.

Although there are so many absolutely beautiful handbags on the highstreet, I do prefer to buy designer where I can when I know that its going to be a classic style that I can wear for years to come.  I look after my things really well so see it more as an investment as once I've bought a piece, I never have to buy something similar again.

Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size

Knowing that there was a gap in my collection for a black bag, I then picked the size.  I decided that the Mini is just far too small for what I'm looking for and it wouldn't add any additional value to my choices in my collection because my Chanel and Lulu Guinness take care of the small bag options for me for when I'm not carrying much at all.  The Medium Lily is an absolutely stunning bag and it would make a perfect everyday day to day bag but it was a little too big for what I was looking for.

I wanted something that I could use daily as a handbag as now that I have a neck problem, I can't carry around a lot of stuff anyway, but I also wanted to be able to use it as an evening bag too.  During the day, I tend to carry around my purse, phone, tablets (medication, not iPads!), keys and anything else that I need for the day for example, calling cards for the Post Office as I constantly miss parcel deliveries.  If I'm going somewhere nice and feel like I might want to freshen up, I'll take some perfume and a few makeup bits but this isn't everyday.  At night, I'll condense my purse into a card holder as I don't need my full purse but I'll also take my Canon S120 camera out with me as I'm often at events and such.  So as you can imagine, I don't actually carry around that much to warrant the Medium Lily but I have too much for the Mini and even on a night out if I'm just taking my phone, coin purse and lippy, my two black clutches are big enough to fit those in but not my camera too, even though it is quite small, which makes it a bit of a pain as I then have to carry my camera.  When you're at an event with a canapé in one hand and a glass of bubbles in the other, this isn't ideal!  This is why I felt as though I needed a small bag to bridge the gap which is why I picked the Mulberry Lily.

The height of this bag is 17cm, the width is 21cm, the depth is 9cm and the handle drop is 29cm.

Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size


Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size


Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size


Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size


Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size

The outside of the bag is classic, simple and stunning.  I picked the black in the glossy goat finish leather as I wanted the bag to be hardwearing, especially for if I get caught in the rain as some other finishes and colours aren't as forgiving.  I chose the gold hardware over the silver because I felt as thought I was missing this metal from my collection.  My Chanel WOC has silver hardware so it is perfect for wearing with my silver jewellery and cooler toned pieces but I wanted something in gold to wear with my gold jewellery, etc.  I have some Michael Kors flats that I'm sure you've seen me wear in countless posts and they have gold hardware on them so when I bought this bag, I was thinking that they would look great when worn together, which they do!

The gold hardware on this bag is a soft gold, it isn't brassy or too yellow which makes it very classy and chic.

I'm hoping that with these images, you'll get a better idea on the size and shape of the bag.  The back is plain and theres a big flap that secures at the front with the classic Mulberry Postman's Lock that has the little tree logo on it.  On the top of the bag, theres two gold metal loops that the chain is secured through.

The chain is in the soft gold metal with black leather woven through it.  It can be worn as a short double strap for over the shoulder, as a single long strap again for over the shoulder which will sit at hip height on the majority of people, or as a single long strap for cross body wear but as I'm very wide, it sits too high on me for it to be worn in this way.  I bought this bag with the intention of wearing it in the first two ways so not being able to wear it cross body is not an issue for me.

The front has a hanging leather fob with the Mulberry tree logo embossed into it and theres a soft gold, branded padlock inside that has MULBERRY on one side and the tree on the other.  This is a lovely design feature and something that I wouldn't say is necessarily designed to be used.  I think very few people would make use of this accessory, I certainly wont, and it is more for show.  I love the way that it looks.


Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size


Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size


Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size

When you open up the bag, you're greeted with a gorgeous black lining that I should imagine would be easy to keep clean, as will the outside of the bag as Mulberry treat their bags to being with and also offer cleaning products that you can buy to ensure that your bag stays nice and clean.

The lining is a microfibre that has a suede feel to it.  The soft gold components continue onto the inside of the bag.  Theres a zip pocket at the bag that is quite sizeable compared to the size of the bag and it would be ideal for popping keys inside that may scratch your other pieces in your bag, as well as loose change and cards and receipts, that kind of thing.  It is fastened with a zip closure that is finished in gold with a leather tab on it.  Underneath the pocket is a leather patch with the Mulberry logo in gold on it with a Mulberry branded metal fob underneath.

The shape of this piece is incredibly versatile because I find that I can fit so much into it and, as yet, I have never been stuck trying to rearrange my things to fit everything inside.  At the I'm carrying around my Mulberry Daria French Purse (review here), iPhone 5S (this bag would also more than accommodate a 6 Plus for those that might wonder), my car and house keys, tablets and a pouch with my headphones, lippy and Travalo (review here) in it and theres still plenty of room to spare if I wanted to pop my camera, etc in.

Considering the main part of the bag is one open compartment, it actually holds its structure quite well whether you have a lot of things in it or you've packed it sparingly.


Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size


The Mulberry Lily is so incredibly beautiful and it is a joy to use.  It feels light weight in itself, whereas I have a Bayswater that really is quite heavy before you've even put anything inside!  The Lily is noticeably very well made, it is sturdy and feels as though it'll last a lifetime.

The Postmans lock feels very secure when fastened and I don't think it would be easy for someone to get into to try to pick pocket you!  The strap is very sturdy and substantial and it sits comfortably on my shoulder.  The only downside is that it does have a tendency to slip down a little if I'm wearing something thats particularly slippy but thats very rare.

I have so far been able to fit everything inside that I need to without stretching the bag and from the look and feel of the leather, I think that it is only going to get better with age.


Mulberry Lily Review Black Glossy Goat Soft Gold Hardware Regular Original Size

I couldn't be happier with my new Lily and after using it over the last couple of weeks, I can totally see why it is such an iconic bag from the Mulberry line.

I'd love it if you could click through to my new video on Youtube and give it a thumbs up for me please.

SHOP MORE MULBERRY LILY BAGS
What handbags are you currently lusting after?

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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Nails Inc Express Manicure at Selfridges Trafford Centre

The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall Experience

Earlier this month, I blogged about my trip to the Selfridges Beauty Hall in their Trafford Centre department store.  You can read all about it here.

I was lucky enough to be able to visit a few different counters to get a feel for the kind of treatments that customers are able to book in for while shopping there.  I reviewed the complimentry facial experience for customers of Kiehl's in this post and today, I wanted to share with you a review of the next stop on my beauty counter tour, Nails Inc.

At the Nails Inc counter, they not only stock their whole collection of beautiful Nails Inc polishes but they offer a number of treatments too which can be booked and paid for by yourself or given as a gift for someone else which makes a lovely treat, especially for a birthday or as a Christmas gift.  These services are great for if you're off on holiday or have an event to go to and you want your nails to be looking pristine for the occasion and they're especially handy if you have other things that you need to buy while you're visiting Selfridges.  Perhaps you're picking up a dress or a bottle of wine in their Foodhall (read about that here!).  Its so much more convenient to be able to get everything that you need under one roof.

The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall Experience

At the Selfridges Trafford Centre store, Nails Inc offer an express manicure which is perfect for if you need your nails to be spruced up but you're in a rush,  a pedicure which is great for if you're looking to get your toes sandal ready and a crystal pedicure which looks incredibly sparkly and finally, a gel manicure which I've actually had in the past and it was the longest lasting gel manicure I'd ever had.


The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall Experience

I was treated to an Express Manicure which is their signature 15 minute manicure, ideal for those looking for a quick shape and polish to refresh their nails when they're in a rush or on their lunch break and going out that night.

My first task was to pick out the colour that I wanted my nails to be painted.  I say task as there are that many different shades and varieties of polish that are available at Nails Inc that it took me a fair few minutes.  Eventually, I decided on Berkeley Street which is actually a polish that I'd been eyeing up for a few months, every time I'd pass a Nails Inc counter!
Nails Inc Berkeley Street is actually one of the Gel Effect polishes that they sell which is one of my favourite nail polish formulas from Nails Inc thanks to its gorgeous glossy finish.  Berkeley Street is a gorgeous hot coral colour that perhaps isn't the most well suited to this time of the year but it is definitely one of my favourite shades.  I love pairing colours like this with black, white and grey at this time of the year.

The Nails Inc Gel Effect polish range contains their plasticiser technology that enables you to achieve a flawless manicure at home.  They're super smooth so they glide onto the nail effortlessly and their wide, shaped brush ensures an easy, even application.  All of the Gell Effect polishes that I've tried could be left at just one coat if you were in a rush but for a full coverage effect, I'd always go for two.  Plus they have a plumping agent in the formula which acts to level out any imperfections on the nail.  That's why I always think you're best off adding two coats to make the nails look seamless.

The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall Experience


The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall Experience


The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall Experience

My nails started with a quick shape with a nail file that I was allowed to keep and take home with me as Nails Inc don't reuse any of their nail files.  I was really pleased about this as it is actually a really good nail file and I have been using it since to keep my nails short and in shape.  As I type a lot, I like to keep my nails short so that they don't catch on the keys.  I have quite large nail beds so find that aesthetically, my nails look better short too.

After shaping, my nails were buffed to even out the surface before a coat of the Nails Inc Nailkale superfood base coat was applied.  This helps to strengthen and protect the nails and actually leaves them with a gorgeous glossy finish so it would be a good product to buy for those days were you're wanting something on your nails but not anything in your face or colourful as it can be worn alone.

Following this, my nails were painted with a couple of coats of the Berkeley Street Gel Effect polish which applied like a dream.  So pigmented, creamy and glossy, it almost didn't need a top coat.  I was pleased the manicurist applied one though as she used the renowned 45 Second Top Coat with Kensington Caviar.  I'm a big fan of quick dry style top coats and I'm always on the look out to try new ones.  This is one of the best I've tried as it ensured my nails were touch dry in record time and gave them a gorgeous shine.  When my existing fast drying top coat runs out, this is definitely the one that I'm going to buy, especially as I feel as though it prolonged the life of my nail polish.  I got 6 days out of my nails before they started chipping which is great for me!

I was so impressed with my Nails Inc Express Manicure and I loved the effect of the products used; my nails looked so shiny and pristine, just as though I'd had a gel manicure except I didn't have to spend time with my hands under a UV light to cure the polish and I didn't have to spend time soaking it off either.  It was a fast manicure, completed in just under 15 minutes but with great results as though I'd been sat there for far longer; as a busy girl, I love quick turn around treatments like this.

What is your favourite Nails Inc nail polish shade?

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The Best Flat Iron For Straightening AND Curling from Lorion

The Best Flat Iron For Straightening AND Curling from Lorion

Girls, I cannot wait to tell you all about my new hair straighteners from American hair and beauty brand, Lorion.

Lorion are an exclusive beauty brand who use the finest technology to create unparalleled hair and beauty products from nourishing hair care and styling tools to age defying skincare that will help you to look a million dollars.

Up until recently, Lorion were a brand that I wasn't too familiar with and as you all know, I love to discover new companies, especially when their products are this good!


The Best Flat Iron For Straightening AND Curling from Lorion

When I first took a look at their website, I was amazed by the number of different hair styling tools that they had from blow dryers to flat irons (or straighteners as we say in the UK) and curling irons.  They're offered in different widths so you can choose the one thats best to suit you depending on your hair type and the look that you're wanting to create.

Something that stood out to me was the wide choice of colours that are available in each of their products.  There are so many different colours to choose from ranging from sleek and chic black or white through to bright pink, yellow and turquoise and printed patterns such as lace, peacock and polka dot.

I picked out the 1" Professional Flat Iron in the Peacock print to try out and I seriously couldn't be more impressed.

Despite ordering from the USA, they arrived promptly and securely via USPS and my package was fully trackable so I always knew the status of my order.

The flat iron was packaged really safely too so it arrived in pristine condition.  They come in a gorgeous presentation box with a magnetic closure that could be kept to store the straighteners when you're not using them however I like to keep mine just on the side of my dressing table for ease as these are actually the only styling tool I've been reaching for since I came back from my holiday last month, except for my hair dryer of course.

The Best Flat Iron For Straightening AND Curling from Lorion

The first thing that I noticed about this flat iron was the stunning print.  I definitely made the right choice in picking the peacock design as it is so eye catching with a number of different hues of blue and green in the design.  I've never seen a hair tool brand offer this print before and I really think that it enables the Lorion products to stand out.

While the colour of the flat iron doesn't have any impact on how well it works, it certainly makes it look pretty on my dresser and I feel happy whenever I look at it or use it!

The Best Flat Iron For Straightening AND Curling from Lorion

This is the Professional Salon Model Diamond Flat Iron, meaning that Lorion have designed it so that it can be used equally as well in a professional setting in a hair salon as it can be at home.  I love to choose salon quality hair styling tools because I find that they're so much better quality, hotter and able to create that salon result that I love at home.

They're suitable for all hair types which is ideal for me because so many of my friends come to mine to get ready before we go out on a night out and its great to know that we can all use the same straighteners.  I have really fine hair and some tools that I've used in the past just haven't been hot and strong enough to straighten my other friends thicker, coarse hair.  I also find that the cord on salon quality tools is a lot better than standard hair tools because it is super long so if your plug socket is quite far from your dressing table, that wont be a problem!


The Best Flat Iron For Straightening AND Curling from Lorion

Lorion have harnessed state of the art technology in their straighteners with refined diamond and titanium plates.  They're super smooth so they literally glide through the hair quickly and effortlessly.  The plates are 1" wide which I think is pretty much the average width for flat irons, comparable to GHD, etc.  They have an advanced ceramic heather for better recovery time and the diamond technology ensures that the heat is evenly distributed across the plates so you get an accurate, even effect, every time that you use them.

When Lorion state that they use state of the art technology, they're certainly not kidding.  This flat iron uses nano silver technology and negative ions to help to seal the hair cuticle to lock in moisture inside your hair shaft which helps to protect your hair from humidity.  This is particularly relevant for those who find that if they straighten their hair and then go into a hot, humid environment their hair starts to go frizzy and their ruin their style because these straighteners should help to prevent that.  They also utilise far infrared technology to promote healthier hair with less visible damage.

The Best Flat Iron For Straightening AND Curling from Lorion

While I can't say that my hair styles wouldn't have held in place without this flat iron, I can say that the result that I get with these straighteners is really long lasting. I've been using them to both straighten and curl my hair and I find that my style mostly keeps in place so that I don't have to redo my hair the next day which saves me lots of time.  Plus, I haven't noticed any extra damage to my hair through using these which is great because its not too often that you find a flat iron that heats up so high (450°F/ 230°C) without visibly damaging the hair.

I love how quickly this hair tool heats up to the maximum temperature and I don't find myself waiting around for it to get hot enough to work.  However it also cools down quickly as well when you turn it off which I love because I often forget I've had my tools on and go to pick them up while they're still hot!

My hair is very fine and thin but I have a lot of it.  While my hair is oily in the roots, it is dry and quite brittle on the ends so I do need to be careful so as not to cause any additional damage to the ends that would make it snap.  My hair hasn't broken or snapped as a result of using this flat iron.  I tend to use it on the highest heat setting because I like to get my hair done quickly and because these are so good, they glide over my hair and I just have to run them over my hair to create a straight style that still has plenty of shape to it.

I love the way that the straightener is shaped.  As you can see, the flat iron doesn't stop at the end of the plates.  The casing of the plates continues on and is shaped so that it bends outwards.  This enables the straighteners to pick up and slide into the hair really easily which is especially useful for if you're just roughly straightening your hair or just going over it without sectioning it off and uniformly styling it.

The Best Flat Iron For Straightening AND Curling from Lorion

My favourite thing about these straighteners which is what I feel sets them apart from every other flat iron I've tried, including GHDs, is that it curls my hair incredibly well.  Far better than any other flat iron I have ever used and it holds a curl in my hair better than any other straightener I've used as well.


The Lorion website itself is actually really helpful as when you go to the page of the flat iron, here, if you click on the 'Directions' tab, it gives you some great handy tips on how to add body, volume or waves, create an ultra sleek straight look and a head of curls.  These directions are really easy to follow and even for someone who has been doing their hair for years, I found them helpful.

Curling my hair with these straighteners is so easy.  I find that they can create a tight or loose curl with ease depending on how much pressure is applied and how quickly you run the flat iron through your hair.  They're really easy to hold and grip onto which makes them easy to be able to manipulate to create your desired look.  I've never been able to create such tight, bouncy curls with straighteners before and the look I'm wearing here was actually my first attempt.  I was going out for dinner and drinks with my friend and my curls held in place all nice night with only a light spray of hairspray.  The next day, they were still there and had only dropped a little bit.  I just gave my hair a quick ruffle with my fingertips and went about my day without having to restyle or go over my hair.  I don't like to repeatedly heat style my hair everyday as I don't think that it is particularly good for it, especially with dry ends like I have, so I love that I don't have to do that with these straighteners.


The Best Flat Iron For Straightening AND Curling from Lorion


I love that this product comes with a 3 year warranty as well.  I always find that American companies tend to be so much better when it comes to the warranty on items and for returns that a lot of UK companies.

You might be wondering if this post is aimed more at my lovely American readers and I would say certainly not as the Lorion Pro Salon Grade 1" Flat Iron has a universal voltage so they can be used anywhere is the world.  Having a guarantee that they will work anywhere is not only great for if you're ordering these to be shipped to your home outside of the US but it also makes them great for when you're travelling as you know that your tools are going to be able to work, heat up to the right temperature and work just as effectively when you're on holiday or away on business as they will when you're at home.

Once you've got the plug sorted, you simply plug in and go.  There's no set up needed with these straighteners.  They have an on button and a + and - so that you can adjust the heat setting to suit your hair type and the look you're wanting to create.  They're really accurate and easy to set as they have an LED screen so you can see exactly what temperature they're on which I much prefer to a dial like some hair styling tools have had that I've used in the past.  They also have memory technology to remember your personal setting for your preferred temperature and they have an auto shut-off time too which is so helpful for me as I always worry myself sick that I've left my flat iron on when I leave the house!

They do come with an American plug so if you're wanting to use them in a country that has a different socket, such as the UK, you'll need to pick up an adaptor which you can buy cheaply from Amazon.  Your other option is to change the plug.  I have a pretty handy daddy and he was happy to switch the plug over from a US flat two pin style to a UK three pin for me.  I wouldn't have a clue how to do this but he said it was very quick and straight forward.

I would highly recommend the Lorion 1" Professional Flat Iron.  You can shop it for yourself here and check out their whole range on their website here.  I've got my eye on their curling wands next as if their straighteners are this good, I would put my money on their curling wands working really well too.

The power of beautiful hair is in your hands with Lorion!

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Monday, 26 October 2015

Top Skincare at Kiehl's in the Trafford Centre Selfridges

The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall Experience

Earlier this month, I blogged about my experience at the Trafford Centre Selfridges Beauty Hall which you can read about in this post.

While I was checking out the Selfridges Beauty Hall, I was able to get booked in for some treatments from a few of the brands to learn about their products and to try some of them out.

My first stop was the Kiehl's counter and today, I'm going to share with you my customer experience.

The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall Experience

The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall Experience

The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall Experience

The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall Experience

Kiehl's are one skincare brand that I have been very interested in learning more about for some time now as after trying a couple of their products, I have been seriously impressed with how well they work for my skin.  If you've been reading my blog for a while then you'll know that the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado is my all time favourite eye cream (review here) because it is so smoothing and hydrating and their Ultra Facial Cream that I wrote about in this post, is really keeping my skin smooth and soft at the moment.

Kiehl's offer a complimentry facial to their customers, regardless of which products they buy, so that they can have a skincare pick me up and a chance to try out other products that they might otherwise have not thought about trying.  This is the treatment that I was able to try out from them and the facial took place is a separate room, away from the shop floor which offered complete privacy away from other shoppers.  The products used were hand selected for my super oily skin which I thought was great as this meant that I could try out products products that could potentially be used as part of my everyday skincare routine.

You can see a photograph of the products used on my skin below:

The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall Experience

The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall Experience

The Selfridges Trafford Centre Beauty Hall Experience

My facial was relaxing but very informative at the same time as the lady who completed the facial on my skin, explained each step to me thoroughly, including what the product was, why it would be good for my skin and how best to apply it.  The product that appealed to me the most was the Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence which hydrates the skin, which I certainly need as my skin is so dehydrated, while also resurfacing it, which again, is what my skin definitely needs and I actually feel as though this is a product that I'm lacking from my current skincare routine.


My skin felt and looked so hydrated, plump and radiant after my facial, I really felt as though it had done my skin the world of good and I left the treatment room looking more fresh and glowing than I had done when I first went in.

After my facial, I went back out to have a look around the Kiehl's counter.  I absolutely love the apothecary appearance to the counter and the Mr Bones skeleton at the front that I couldn't help but grab a selfie with.  I'm sure he didn't mind, he's quite photogenic!
Kiehl's have such a wide selection of skincare products that it can seem a little daunting at first but the skincare sales associates on the counter are so helpful and know their products inside out that it is easy for them to help you to find the products that are right for your skin.  I love that they have a big selection of mens products too as well as a bodycare range which makes it so easy to shop for everyone in your life!

Especially with the weather getting colder everyday, I'd really recommend switching up your skincare routine to some more hydrating and moisturising products.  After my visit to Kiehl's I'd say that they are a great place to start for a skincare pick me up.  You'll be able to find yourself some new products to add to your routine, while having a quick skin treatment to try some others out on your skin if you wish.  Plus, Kiehl's are very generous with their samples and if they have some sachets available of products that might benefit your skin, then they're happy for you to try them so that you can come back to purchase them, safe in the knowledge that you've been able to try them out for yourself first.

What are your favourite products by Kiehl's?

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