Monday, 19 June 2017

SHOW Beauty Lux Volume Shampoo and Conditioner Review

Luxury haircare and blow-dry brand, SHOW Beauty have launched their new Lux Volume Shampoo and Conditioner.  I've been trying it out over the last month and ever since, I've been loving the gorgeous locks I've been swishing around.  Great hair is worth investing in and enjoying daily!

Imagine if you could only carry one handbag for the rest of your life.  You'd take damn good care of it wouldn't you?

Now think of your hair in the same way.  It is the accessory you never take off; you wear it every single day yet so many people still neglect to look after their hair and give it the best that they can.  Many years ago, I used to spend a lot of money on styling products but I didn't have the basics right when it came to regular salon visits (I'm now a regular at the best hair salon in Sunderland, Frances Marshall) and washing and conditioning my hair.

Since I made the switch to high quality cleansing and conditioning products and treatments, I've noticed such a difference in the strength and health of my hair, how it looks day to day and how long it holds a style for.  In just the same way that makeup sits better on well cared for skin and a great foundation, styling products work so much better on clean hair thats in great condition.

I've always had fine hair but quite a lot of it.  The lack of volume is a challenge for me and in the past I'd really focused on using volumising styling products and back combining which really isn't good for your hair in the long run.  Now I focus on creating volume right from the point of washing and blowdrying my hair and that's where the SHOW Beauty Lux Volume Shampoo and Conditioner come in.

The NEW SHOW Beauty Lux Volume Shampoo is the creme de la creme when it comes to washing your hair.  Enriched with white truffle and wheat protein, it is designed to add weightless lift throughout the hair and a boost of volume at the root to give the hair a fuller appearance and feel.

It smoothes onto hair effortlessly and still lathers up a little as I massage it into my hair which I really like because it makes me feel as though my hair is getting an even more thorough clean.  

The ingredients within this shampoo are second to none and you'll not find many of the chemical nasties within the formula that appear in a lot of lower end shampoos.  Instead, you'll find Caviar, a rich protein source, along with vitamins and amino acids to nourish and moisturise the hair.  It also adds tensile strength to the hair which means that it makes the hair stronger and less prone to breaking when under tension.

To use following the shampoo, SHOW Beauty have released the Lux Volume Conditioner which is packaged just as luxuriously as the shampoo.  There really is something very special about SHOW Beauty products and their premium packaging which looks incredibly swish in my shower!

The SHOW Lux Volume Conditioner aims to give the hair weightless volume and a glossy, healthy finish.  It contains Pro Vitamin B5 for body and bounce, Wheat Protein to improve the density of the hair and Caviar and White Truffle to enrich the hair with amino acids and minerals for moisture and strength.  As with every conditioner I use, I apply the bulk of the product to the mid lengths and ends and leave it on for a couple of minutes, then I smooth the excess over the top part of my hair, right before rinsing.

The SHOW Lux Volume Shampoo and Conditioner work like a dream team together.  A lot of the volumising duos that I've used in the past seem to dry my hair out in order to give it a bit of grit, volume and texture but the volume that these two create is much more subtle and my hair is always touchably soft after use.  Used together, these products give the hair a really weightless bounce and lift.

The volumising effect isn't OTT or massively noticeable to others as you just look like you're having a great hair day everyday which is what I love about it.  I like to call it, low maintenance volume as by using it each time I wash my hair, my hair feels really clean but not stripped or dry at all, and it has a natural fullness and bounce to it.

These products are so luxurious to use and feel like a treat every time I use them.  I love how gorgeous the packaging looks in my shower and how pampered I feel when I use them.  If you're a lover of luxury haircare like I am then I'd definitely recommend checking out SHOW Beauty.


What are your favourite SHOW Beauty products?  How do these ones sound to you?  What do you think of the gorgeous packaging?

Monday, 5 June 2017

5 Things to do Before Your Next Summer Holiday

The day I have been waiting for in beautiful Bali is finally here; I'm off to Bliss Sanctuary in Canggu.  More than a luxury Bali retreat for women, Bliss is a chance to totally relax, unwind and switch off from the world outside with massages and spa treatments, yoga, sightseeing with personal drivers and freshly prepared food; all UNLIMITED!

We all know how much I love to travel and my stay there is set to make this the trip of a lifetime.  I've become a pretty dab hand at planning and organising my vacations over the years and today I thought I'd share some more of my tips with you.  This time, its all about the things to do before you go away.

1. Book your Travel Vaccination Appointment

Once you've booked your summer holiday, the first thing to do is to make an appointment at your doctors to get your inoculations.  There are different travel vaccine recommendations for each country and its important that you check which ones you need before you travel, with plenty of time to spare to get booked in and complete treatment.  Three sites that I find particularly helpful for this are Travel Health ProNaTHNaC and Fit For Travel as they will tell you the recommended injections for each country depending on what area you're going to be staying in and what you're going to be doing while you're there.

In the UK, some injections that you need to have before you travel to another country are free on the NHS such as Hep A, Tetanus and Typhoid, which I needed for Bali, and your nurse will be able to advise you on which ones you aren't up to date with but others need to be paid for privately.  This can get costly but it is essential as its pointless planning a fantastic trip if you're going to end up risking your health for it.  Paying for them through your doctor can be more expensive than through a travel clinic so my advice would be to book in there; Superdrug offer a service, as do Boots who I usually book through.  The appointments are free and you just pay for the cost of the injection or medication that you need.

For Bali, I required Japanese Encephalitis which was two injections, a week apart at £89 a pop.  Not cheap to say the least but definitely worth it to protect me while I'm out here amongst the rice paddies and plantations.  Plus, when I travel to a country where it is required again, a further top up injection will see me covered for 10 years.

Some countries have injections that are mandatory before travel such as Kenya with the Yellow Fever Vaccine.  They must be taken and a certificate of proof given as you can be denied entry to the country otherwise.  At the time that I travelled there, the vaccination was in short supply in the UK so this is one that you really needed to get booked in for, way in advance of your trip.  You'll also have to arrange some malaria prevention too, such as Malarone tablets, as the mosquitos in Kenya can carry deadly malaria.

2. Buy Your Sun Protection

Sun tan lotions aren't the most inexpensive of toiletries to buy but they're the most essential when you're travelling to a sunny climate.  Protecting your skin in the sun is not only going to help to prevent your skin from ageing prematurely but it is also going to dramatically decrease your chance of burning and protect you against skin cancer.

Sun protection is worth investing in to make sure you getting the highest level of protection, quality and skincare benefits.  One of my longstanding favourite brands is Clarins who have a fantastic sun care range.  Whether you love a milk-lotion spray or the oil, there's a formula for you and they even do a separate one for the face that wont clog your pores either.  Clarins SPF is incredibly high quality, smells divine and leaves your skin soft, nourished and well protected.  I like to opt for the highest factors (SPF 30 and 50) in all varieties and have never burnt while using it.

3. Prep Your Skin

Many people are under the misconception that wearing a higher factor SPF stops you from tanning; this is completely untrue, it only prevents you from burning.  You can still achieve a beautiful suntan wearing SPF 50 as I do whenever I go away and you can still help your skin along without risking burning and damaging it.  Prepping your skin before your holiday is essential for this.

Give your whole body a really good exfoliation to get rid of the dead skin cells clogging the surface.  My favourite is the Elemis Lime and Ginger Salt Glow which you can read a review of in this post.  Remove the body hair you'd rather not have; for me that's Nair Hair Removal Cream on my legs, a Hollywood Bikini Wax and shaving under my arms as I'm currently having IPL Laser Hair Removal at top beauty therapy salon, Pure Bliss in Sunderland.

4. Collate Your Travel Sizes

If you're anything like me then you'll have travel sized toiletries from beauty boxes and gifts with purchase all over the place!  Collate these things together and head to Boots for whatever you don't have.  The drugstores always have a great selection of travel sized beauty products and they're often on special offer too.

Whenever I'm given a sample size of a product, I keep it in a draw in my bathroom so that when I travel, I'm able to simply pull out that draw and take out everything that I need.

This particular trip to Bali is a long one for me so these products here are by no means everything that I brought with me but they should give you an idea of what great travel sizes are available.  Look out for the fantastic Gift With Purchase deals that Clarins do throughout the year too as their deluxe sized samples will see you right through a two week trip!

5. Write a Packing List

My final tip is to write a packing list of everything that you need to take with you before you start packing.  Organise it into clothes, shoes, accessories, hair, makeup, skincare, toiletries, sun protection, etc and make sure you don't forget things like chargers and adaptor plugs for each electrical that you pack.

I always write a list of absolutely everything and then I draw a calendar with the days of the week that I'm going to be there on.  In each box, I write the outfit that I'm going to wear, along with accessories and footwear, for the daytime and evening.  Some outfits will overlap, in which case I'll just draw a line through the box, as I tend to take a different outfit for each evening but will wear casual, daytime clothes more than once while I'm away.

Organising myself in this way does take a little time but it ensures that I never over pack, only take what I need and therefore don't end up with ridiculous excess baggage charges!

So there we have it; 5 things to do before your next summer holiday.  I hope my tips help you!

What tips do you have for someone to do before embarking on their summer holiday?

Sunday, 4 June 2017

VICHY Idéalia Peeling: Perfect Overnight Peel for Sensitive Skin!

VICHY Idéalia Peeling Review: Perfect Overnight Peel for Sensitive Skin!

French skincare fave VICHY, the number one anti-ageing brand in European pharmacies, have launched the first hypoallergenic overnight liquid peel that is suitable for all skin types, even those with sensitive skin!

VICHY Idéalia Peeling is designed for the modern day young woman who typically burns the candle at both ends while leading her fast paced lifestyle.  Early morning meetings, late nights out and weekends spent partying don't leave much room for sleep and that excess, together with other lifestyle factors and the environment can show on the skin.

I can always tell when I haven't been getting enough rest or when I am feeling exhausted and stressed as it shows in my skin with it looking lacklustre, dull, drained and quite honestly, a lot older than its years thanks to an increase in dehydration lines and zero radiance!

Through skin research, VICHY has found that the effects of stress and exhaustion have led to the phenomenon of cutaneous exhaustion.  This is said to be where the skin mirrors the effects of lifestyle factors on the body and I have to say that I totally believe in it from the effect that I have seen stress and exhaustion have on my own body.  Through cutaneous exhaustion, damage to the skin's lipids, proteins and DNA is caused and there is a decrease in cell renewal too.

VICHY Laboratories have identified what they claim to be the three main physiological factors that are responsible for skin's exhaustion; oxidative stress which causes changes to cells and molecules and therefore reduces skin quality, glycation which makes the skin look more dull and metabolic disorders which affects the cells energy production and creates a vicious circle of oxidation in the skin.  All of which, VICHY Idéalia Peeling helps to combat.

VICHY Idéalia Peeling Review: Perfect Overnight Peel for Sensitive Skin!

Idéalia Peeling aims to combat exhausted skin, activate radiance and restore the skin's optimum glow overnight in what is the latest addition to their 'life-proofing' skincare range.

It is an overnight skin peel that performs as an antioxidant rich supplement to refine, renew and reenergise the skin.  The unique water-light formula has the power of a serum to refine pores, improve the surface texture of the skin and smooth fine lines.  It aims to do so in only 4 weeks while improving the quality of the skin and giving it a more radiant appearance day after day.

Idéalia Peeling is an acid peel, with 4% Gylcolic Acid and 5% Hepes, that is unlike any out there on the market because it is designed to be used on even the most sensitive of skin types.  Its gentle formula contains 5 key natural extracts; antioxidant rich Blueberry Polyphenols which counteract the effects of oxidative stress, Kombucha Tea Extract which helps to restore the skin's quality with its anti-glycation action, Hepes which is an active ingredient that works as an exfoliating agent to help to shed the excess, dead skin, Glycolic Acid which also exfoliates the skin and helps to improve the softness, brightness and luminosity of the skin and finally the 15 mineral enriched VICHY Mineralising Thermal Water, which is clinically proven to strengthen the skin's barrier function and accelerate surface skin cell renewal... all while being gentle on the skin!

VICHY Idéalia Peeling Review: Perfect Overnight Peel for Sensitive Skin!

I've tried chemical peels in the past as a way of exfoliating my skin but I've always gone back to manual abrasive exfoliators as the acid ones have either been too harsh for my skin or not as effective.

I could get on board with the Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Pads but the Pixi Glow Tonic is one of the most awful products I've ever put on my skin.  It works so incredibly well for so many people but it broke me out horribly; I'm talking big deep, purple scaring spots.  I tweeted them and they recommended using it less frequently and atop a cotton pad soaked with water but it still didn't have the amazing effect that it has on others skin unfortunately.

Then I reluctantly tried the VICHY Idéalia Peeling and the game totally changed.  Sure enough, I read that it was suitable for even the most sensitive skin, having been tested on sensitive skin under dermatological control but I was still skeptical as to whether it would work for me or not.  It absolutely does!

The VICHY Idéalia Peeling liquid is absolutely fabulous; easy to use, super gentle and with no negative side effects.  From the very first use, I noticed a difference in how radiant and healthy my skin looked and after a few weeks of use, I found that my skin looked smoother which benefits my makeup application too, more youthful and naturally perfected which is the reason I have continued to use it.  Especially with summer coming up, I like to wear as little makeup as possible so having my skin look its best is even more important to me than usual and this overnight peel really helps with that.

Unlike many other peels that are designed to be used once every few days, once a week or only when applied by a medical professional, Idéalia Peeling is gentle enough to be used at home, daily.

To apply, simply remove all makeup and cleanse the skin, then apply Idéalia Peeling to a cotton pad and sweep over the skin before applying your chosen night cream.  It doesn't sting, hurt or leave the skin feeling tight or itchy.

Something that I love the most about Idéalia Peeling is that it is advised that you apply your night creams after using it which ensures that it doesn't dry the skin out.  Since the night peel works as like a serum, which again is unusual for products like this, it helps to draw any products that you put on top deeper into the skin.  By increasing the penetration of serums and night creams, they work more effectively and you really get the best out of them.  I've been using my trusted Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum and By Terry Baume de Rose Face Cream (review here) over the top of Idéalia Peeling most often and I feel the benefit of their hydrating and renewing properties even more with this combination.

VICHY Idéalia Peeling Review: Perfect Overnight Peel for Sensitive Skin!

I would highly recommend VICHY Idéalia Peeling as I've seen such fantastic results from it.  If you want glowing, gorgeous skin, pick up a bottle from  Feel Unique, Look Fantastic or Beauty Expert.


How does this sensitive skin wonder product sound to you?  What other VICHY products would you recommend to me?

Friday, 2 June 2017

Tropical Print Plus Size Jumpsuit at the Harris Tuban Hotel, Bali

Yours Clothing Tropical Palm Print Plus Size Jumpsuit on WhatLauraLoves in Bali

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

When in Bali, wear a tropical jumpsuit.

Yours Clothing Tropical Palm Print Plus Size Jumpsuit on WhatLauraLoves in Bali

Ladies, if you're heading off to a sun soaked destination this summer, then make sure you pack a jumpsuit in your suitcase.

This all-in-one style is perfect for summer holidays and weekend days out back home because it ensures you look fabulous with very minimal effort.  When the sun is shining, that's exactly what you want; simply, pull on and go.

Yours Clothing Tropical Palm Print Plus Size Jumpsuit on WhatLauraLoves in Bali

On holiday, I'm all about quick and easy looks and that's why a jumpsuit is so essential.  Add a pair of chunky heels or sandals that'll match a multitude of different outfits, a pair of sunnies that'll have you looking stylish whatever the weather, along with a fantastic SPF and some makeup essentials that can take you from day to night and you're sorted.

For me, that means a tinted moisturiser, my fave being the Origins Vitazing, a tinted lip balm such as the YSL Volupté Tint-in-Balm that I can't get enough of right now and some false eyelashes which instantly make me look and feel more awake!  False lashes can be as subtle or as bold as you like; on myself, I prefer ones that give a noticeable enhancement to my lashes while remaining natural looking.

Yours Clothing Tropical Palm Print Plus Size Jumpsuit on WhatLauraLoves in Bali

Ever since jumpsuits and the shorter version, playsuits, or rompers if you're from across the pond, came back into fashion, I've been enjoying wearing them.  Aside from how effortlessly stylish they can look, I have to admit that their main draw is how comfortable they are and how easy they are to wear.

One of my current favourites is the Yours Clothing Tropical Palm Print Jumpsuit which is perfect for wearing out here in Bali thanks to its lightweight fabric.  After all, I don't want to be sweating anymore than necessary in such a hot climate!  This makes breathable materials an essential to me, plus the thin composition ensures that they'll fold up really small, giving me extra room in my suitcase.

I'm sure the shopaholics amongst us will understand where I'm going with this...

Yours Clothing Tropical Palm Print Plus Size Jumpsuit on WhatLauraLoves in Bali

As with the vast majority of items that I find from Yours Clothing, the Tropical Palm Print Jumpsuit is true to size.  I got the size that I would usually get for trousers and found the jumpsuit to be a great fit and for all there is no stretch in the material, the relaxed fit ensures that there's plenty of room for me to comfortably move about it in it.

You'll see the stylish shape from the photographs; wide, cropped legs cut into a culotte style.  Uber flattering, easy to wear and perfect for styling with flats, heels or wedges.

However what makes the cut of this jumpsuit so special is actually the very simple addition of the elasticated waist and neckline.

Yours Clothing Tropical Palm Print Plus Size Jumpsuit on WhatLauraLoves in Bali

Unfortunately, not all jumpsuits are made equal in this world and the cut and shape of some I've tried from other stores has been nothing short of comical.   You wouldn't believe the amount of jumpsuits with a round neck I've tried that are made of a stretchy jersey material with a more than generous body but then a completely rigid neckline (ASOS I'm looking at you) with no zip or button on the back of the neckline so they have no give in them whatsoever to help you get into them.  With the best will in the world, a stomach as wide as mine is not going to fit through a hole designed for a neck without it busting the stitches!

This makes me appreciate the fit of this particular Yours Clothing jumpsuit even more.  Plus, it has pockets so whats not to love?

Yours Clothing Tropical Palm Print Plus Size Jumpsuit on WhatLauraLoves in Bali

The adjustable straps offer the ability to customise the size to fit you more precisely and since they're not too thin, you could wear a normal bra underneath if you didn't want to opt for a strapless style like I have.

The straps give you the option of going bare on your arms which is particularly handy for hot climates or adding a cardigan or pashmina to cover your arms if you would feel more comfortable that way.  This jumpsuit is very versatile as it can be dressed up with heels and a clutch for summer nights out or down with sandals and a cross body bag for during the day.  Again, this is a space saver when it comes to packing for your summer holidays!

Yours Clothing Tropical Palm Print Plus Size Jumpsuit on WhatLauraLoves in Bali

Another option for switching up the look of this jumpsuit is by adding a top underneath.  If you're a follower of trends and loved the 90s then you might remember dungarees and dresses with skinny spaghetti straps worn over t shirts being all the rage.  Taking inspiration from that look, I can envisage a close fitting, white t shirt or cropped top looking fabulous underneath this jumpsuit; the palm print would stand out even more!

The print on this jumpsuit with its mix of greens and blue is so striking against the black backdrop and the mix of hues makes it easy to pair with any accessories and footwear from a similar colour palette.  This makes it great for travelling because you're not having to pack specific shoes that only match one outfit.

Yours Clothing Tropical Palm Print Plus Size Jumpsuit on WhatLauraLoves in Bali

I paired it with my River Island Khaki Snake Strap Cork Block Heel Sandals to pick out the green within the print but it could easily be worn with greens or blues, black or even metallic silver or gold.

These River Island heels are an absolute dream; aside from looking gorgeous, they fit securely on my feel without rubbing and I can walk, dance and stand for hours without them hurting my feet.  Stilettos, and in fact the majority of heels, really hurt my feet to the point where I'll just not even bother buying them, whereas the chunky block heel and the wide base make these so incredibly comfortable.

I have them in the khaki with the snake print and I have bought them in the dusky pink too as I know that they'll see me through many summer parties for years to come.  Finding shoes that are so comfortable and fit so well is quite a rarity for me, especially for heels, so I like to snap them up in the colours that I love while I can!

River Island Khaki Snake Strap Cork Block Heel Sandals on WhatLauraLoves in Bali

Whether you're off on your holidays this summer or enjoying plenty of what our British summertime has to offer, I'd highly recommend adding a Yours Clothing Tropical Palm Print Jumpsuit to your wardrobe.  I've loved wearing mine so far in Bali and it was the outfit that I chose to wear on our first day here, leaving the Harris Tuban budget hotel that we stayed in after our late night flight and travelling to our first luxury accommodation, the Alassari Plantation.

If you're travelling to Bali and are looking for an affordable hotel near the airport, then I'd really suggest checking out the Harris Tuban which is part of the Harris chain of hotels.  We booked through and paid only £25 for the night which provided us with a really comfortable nights sleep.

The room was spacious, clean, had tea and coffee making facilities, a safe and all of the amenities that we needed without opening our suitcases, such as a hairdryer, toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and shower gel.

Breakfast the next day was around £4.60 extra each and definitely worth it for the delicious mix of traditional Indonesian and western cuisine, served as a buffet.  The Nasi Goreng was a particular highlight.

Yours Clothing Tropical Palm Print Plus Size Jumpsuit on WhatLauraLoves in Bali

After breakfast, we had a few hours to wait until our driver arrived to take us to the Alassari plantation, which we used to enjoy the hotel's facilities, namely the pool which was surrounded by the most comfortable sun loungers and rattan day beds.  While the pool may have been small, it was perfectly formed and ideal for relaxing around after such a long flight; I even managed to get a little bit of work done on my iPad while lying out in the sun.

This summer, I've really come to acknowledge the benefit that being in the outdoors when its warm and sunny has on my productivity and its definitely something that I'm going to consciously continue with when I get home.

Creating an outdoor space with rattan garden furniture will be first on my list of things to do when I get back as the old wire dining set we have in our garden at the moment is not comfortable enough to sit at to do work, let alone to gather friends around for afternoon Pimms!

Yours Clothing Tropical Palm Print Plus Size Jumpsuit on WhatLauraLoves in Bali

For being so close to the airport, the Harris was a surprisingly quiet hotel and of a much higher standard than I expected.  The great rooms, outdoor areas, cafe and bar are only overshadowed by the friendly, smiling staff.  It is a hotel I'd recommend you check out when travelling in Bali!

I'll be sharing so much more from my trip over the coming weeks so do check back to see more hotel recommendations, tried and tested beauty and SPF products and plenty of outfits to inspire your holiday wardrobe!


What are your summer wardrobe essentials?  How do you style jumpsuits?  Have you ever travelled to Bali and how did you find it?

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Getting To Know... WhatLauraLoves with Chris Ord Photography

Getting To Know... Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves with Chris Ord Photography wearing Yours Clothing

Earlier this month, I caught up with North East photographer, Chris Ord, to be interviewed as part of the new 'Getting To Know...' segment on his youtube channel.  This is a series where Chris interviews creatives from across the North East to find out more about their work.

If you have checked out my review of the Orangegrass Thai restaurant in South Shields, then you'll have spotted Chris' photography as he is the guy behind the lens of all of those delicious food shots.

Getting To Know... Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves with Chris Ord Photography wearing Yours Clothing

During the interview, I talk openly and honestly about the impact that I want to have with each blog post and why maintaining integrity when reviewing products is vital too me.  I give you an insight into why I started blogging, the reservations I had about sharing plus sized fashion posts and the advice that I would give to those wanting to start out writing a blog.

We look at what its like to be self employed in this industry, my thoughts on reviewing products and the debatably small number of bloggers who are in it for the freebies.  I share my least favourite things about blogging such as the hate and jealousy, particularly woman against women or blogger against blogger, and the impact that this can have on other readers, as well as the things that I love about blogging and one of the main reasons as to why I blog; inspiring other women to be the best version of themselves every single day.

Do you find it difficult to praise or describe yourself?  Self depreciation is my  forte while being concise certainly isn't my strong point.  During the video, Chris asked me to describe myself in 5 words, which I can assure you, took far longer than the clever edit made it look!

Getting To Know... Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves with Chris Ord Photography wearing Yours Clothing

Finally, we look at some red carpet fashion fails before giving you a behind the scenes look at shooting photographs in the beautiful gardens at Jarrow Hall.

I chose to wear an outfit that represents typical workwear for me to shoot the photographs in; a pair of Yours Clothing White & Navy Stripe Palazzo Trousers and the Navy Sleeveless V-Neck Jersey Top.  This pair are a great duo whether it be for work or a weekend day out shopping with friends.  I'll be reviewing them soon on my blog.

Getting To Know... Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves with Chris Ord Photography wearing Yours Clothing

I'd love to know what you think about my interview so please do give it a watch over on the Chris Ord Photography Youtube Channel.

It was great to meet Chris and be the first to feature on his channel as part of this new series; show him your support team internet!

Chris Ord Photography specialises in commercial, fashion, food and headshots so if you're up in the North East and looking for a photographer or training in photography, check out his website.

Follow him on Instagram and Facebook for insanely good images and photography tips and tricks!


What did you enjoy about my interview?

Friday, 26 May 2017

QVC Beauty TiLi Box

Ladies, listen up!  The new TiLi Box from QVC Beauty has launched and I'm sure you're going to LOVE whats inside; I certainly do!

TILI stands for Try it Love it which is aptly named as inside each TiLi Box you'll find deluxe sized samples of the latest products and cult classics, all from brands available at QVC.

Some you may be familiar with, others may be new to you but with QVC, you know you're always going to get high quality and great value; that's the beauty of this box.

Unlike other beauty boxes, you're not signing up to a contract with TiLi Box; if you like what you see then you can purchase it for a small, one-off fee which could save you money in the long run.

How you may ask?

Well, how many times have you made a beauty purchase and regretted it?  I'm sure many of you are raising your hands right about now.  The fact is, not all beauty products work for everyone; we all have different preferences, skin types, sensitivities, etc which makes it impossible for all products to suit all people, all of the time.

With TiLi Box, you're able to try out generously sized samples before committing to the full size, which could save you a pretty penny in the long run if you don't end up enjoying the product.  Similarly, you may just discover your new holy grail beauty product!

This box is the 4th edition and its clear to see that the TiLi Box team of beauty experts have dedicated a lot of time to carefully curating its contents.

Inside, you'll find the perfect mix of makeup, skin, hair, nail and body care, all beautifully packaged along with an overview card that also details the ingredients of each product.

If you're someone who loves to be one of the first to try new launches, then you'll love that they've included the NEW Alpha H Liquid Gold Rose, a QVC exclusive, which I actually attended the launch of in London last March.

The formula is a little more of a gentle chemical exfoliator than the original and it has added rich and aromatic botanicals, antioxidants, minerals and clinically proven moisture boosters in the form of rose, sacred lotus and orchid petal.  If you've tried the original Alpha Liquid Gold then I do think that you'll enjoy this version and if you found the original too strong then this one is definitely worth a try; the generously sized 50ml bottle will give you more than enough product to really decide if it works for you.  Simply apply to a cotton pad and sweep it over your face, neck and décolletage on alternate nights.  Follow up with your usual skincare or skip it for maximum benefit overnight.

I have a full review coming up on this product soon on my blog as I've been using the full size for the last month.

When using a product such as the Alpha H Liquid Gold Rose, wearing sunscreen the day after is even more important as the skin will be more sensitive and therefore susceptible to burning and sun damage.  For that reason, I love that there is a 25ml tube of the Ultrasun Face SPF 30 included within the box.

The Ultrasun face sunscreen is absolutely fantastic as it is suitable for all skin types, even very sensitive skin, and it is very high performing.  My hubby and I used the full size version throughout the few weeks we spent in the Maldives at the beginning of the year and didn't burn our faces at all.

SPF is worth investing in to get the best possible protection and this once-a-day cream with heavy duty UVA and UVB protection is perfect because it maintains the skins moisture levels.  It smoothes onto the skin beautifully and since it is lightweight, it absorbs effortlessly and doesn't clog the pores.  Only a small amount is needed so this tube would make a great travel size for your suitcase this summer.  

The great thing about the TiLi Beauty Box is that on the website page for the box here, they not only list what each product is and what it does but also how to use it as well.  While it wouldn't be necessary for the Julien Farel hyaluronic acid enriched Vitamin Shampoo and marine collagen enriched Conditioner which, lets face it, is pretty self explanatory, it certainly is needed for some other products such as tanning and skincare.

'How to use' information is something that I find is lacking with other beauty boxes and it can result in the product not being used in the correct way which can cause skin reactions at worst and at least, it can mean that you may not use a product at all or you may decide that you don't like a product when actually, you're just not using it in a way that makes it perform at its best.

I turned to this information when I was looking at the Erno Laszio Cleansing Oil and Cleansing Bar as I wasn't sure which way round to use these skincare products.  They're essentially a high end double cleanse regime and you use the two products together morning and night to remove dirt, makeup and impurities from the skin.

There are two different sets so each person who purchases a TiLi Box will either receive the Firm set which has a formula that helps to plump and firm the look of your complexion or the Hydrate set which helps to restore moisture to the skin.

Both are used in the same way; simply massage a couple of pumps of the oil onto dry skin, then wet the cleansing bar and rub it directly onto the skin to combine it with the oil, before rinsing and patting dry.

Another skin cleansing product comes in this edition of the TiLi Box in the form of the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser.  This is a cult classic that I'm sure most of you will have tried out and if you haven't, this box is a great way to try it.  The contents of the tube are all you would need for a weekend away this summer and you get a pure muslin cloth included too which helps to exfoliate the skin gently while the cleansing cream is effectively breaking up the makeup and dirt on the skin.

The product that I am most intrigued to use from the box is the Vita Liberata 10 Minute Tan, infused with rosehip and neroli extracts.  You read that correctly; 10 MINUTE TAN, unbelievable!  It is a self tanning lotion that you can apply to the skin and leave on for only 10 minutes to achieve an odour-free golden tan that develops within four to six hours.

Not only do QVC have the hair, skin and body covered but the TiLi Box contains makeup and a nail polish too.  I've been a fan of the Benefit They're Real Mascara since I picked one up in duty free earlier this year and I can't wait to see how Roller Lash compares!

The nail polish in the box is by OPI in the shade Getting Nadi On My Honeymoon.  I love OPI polishes as the formula, drying time and staying power of them is really top notch.  Plus they're not cheap polishes, so getting one as part of this box makes it even better value for money.

Each TiLi Box will contain one of the shades from the new spring/summer 17 Fiji Collection and this one is a gorgeous lilac-toned pastel pink.  I can't wait to wear it when I get back from my holiday as I think it'll look incredible with a suntan!

Another product that I'm really excited to try out is the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream.  I've heard blogger Anna Gardner from The Anna Edit talk a lot about IT Cosmetics and this product in particular so I'm looking forward to seeing if it lives up to the hype.  The shade in the box is medium so whether or not that shade is right for me, only time will tell but I'll certainly be able to test out the coverage, finish and longevity of it, regardless of what shade I use!

The QVC Beauty TiLi Box is only £20 and with such a great selection of deluxe sample sizes to try out inside from some of the top brands, I think that it is great value for money.  Not only does this box give you the opportunity to try out a varied range of products before committing to purchasing the full size but it is also giving you the chance to do so without a subscription.  You can't say fairer than that!

If you love what you see inside this edition of the QVC Beauty TiLi Box, then order yours here!


Sunday, 21 May 2017

Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct Perfume Review

Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct Perfume Review

When spring rolls around, there's always one new launch that particularly stands out to me and this year, it was the release of the Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct For Her perfume.

If you're a fan of their premium quality casual wear then you'll know that Abercrombie & Fitch are not new to the fragrance market.  They have released many different fragrances exclusively in their stores over the years, but this is the first time that they have released a perfume for sale on the fragrance market at a range of retailers from Debenhams and John Lewis to Feel Unique.

The fragrance was developed exclusively with Inter Parfums who are the team behind many highly regarded perfume brands from Agent Provocateur, Anna Sui and Jimmy Choo to Mont Blanc, Paul Smith and Van Cleef & Arpels.

Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct Perfume Review

Following hot on the heels of the mens version that came out last year, First Instinct for women is an absolutely beautiful fragrance that in all honesty, I wasn't expecting.  I can't lie, when I thought of Abercrombie & Fitch, I imagined either something overly fresh or too sweet, basic and forgettable.

In reality, First Instinct for women is far more unique and has a beautifully layered choice of fragrance notes that make it stand out from anything else I have in my collection... and if you know me by now, then you'll understand that I'm referring to quite the collection!

Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct Perfume Review

Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct is a Floriental fragrance, inspired by the first moment of attraction between two people; a moment that cannot be put into words.  It represents a spark, initial connection and first glance which translates into a beautiful yet uncomplicated, easy to wear fragrance.

It has a sophisticated yet playful opening of fruit and floral top notes that I think will surprise many people who try this scent.  Think of sun-kissed magnolia blooms, uplifting and awakening grapefruit zest and the sweet dewy brightness that comes with passion fruit.

The heart of First Instinct takes femininity and brings out something sensual and captivating with floral notes of wild orange flower, butterfly orchid and exotic water lily, before settling on the most incredible base.

The base of First Instinct is all about contrasts with warm amber, creamy tonka bean and addictive musk, which we all know by now is my favourite base for perfume.

The result is the most beautifully combined scent that is playful and feminine yet alluring and sensual.  It is the perfect mix of notes for me and one that I think many women will love, especially those in their twenties.

The scent is unique and unlike anything else I can think of.  The eau de parfum formulation isn't terribly long lasting but that can work in its favour as the scent isn't overpowering or too heavy, making it a fantastic daytime fragrance whether you're out at work or uni, as well as it being equally suited to evening wear.

First Instinct would make the perfect date night fragrance, especially for a first date where you don't want a scent that is going to be too heady or offensive.  It is a fragrance that enables you to smell effortlessly feminine, girly and sophisticated.  There's a playful, flirty feel to it that I find really endearing.

Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct Perfume Review

Everything about this perfume is beautiful and pretty but in a very authentic, easy to wear way.  It isn't a scent that is trying too hard; it is effortlessly beautiful and original without even trying to be.  This makes it perfect for wearing day to day.

The femininity of the fragrance transpires through to the packaging too which was developed by Fabrice Legros who wanted to combine masculinity with femininity.  The bottle is rectangular in shape yet is then rounded off to give it a softer, more feminine feel.

The light pink perfume inside the glass bottle combined with the metal cap and Abercrombie & Fitch stamped metal plaque that are also in a light pink hue, give a further feminine touch to what is often thought of as the styling of male packaging.

Undeniably, this is one fragrance that will not look out of place on any dressing table, beauty cabinet or dresser.

Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct Perfume Review

Since First Instinct for her is such an easy to wear fragrance that I think many women will love, I'd suggest it as being the perfect choice when buying a perfume as a gift.  I can't envisage many women not loving this beautiful scent!

Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct for Women was launched exclusively at Debenhams and is now available in stores nationwide and online.

Check out the retailers below or head to John Lewis and Feel Unique where you'll find 30ml, 50ml and 100ml bottles of the fragrance.

There's currently a gift with purchase available from some retailers, including The Fragrance Shop, who are giving away a great quality Abercrombie & Fitch cap with purchases of the 50ml and 100ml size First Instinct.


How does Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct sound to you?  What do you think of the packaging?
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