Monday, 13 August 2018

Batiste Launch NEW Speed It Up Blowdry Range

Batiste Speed It Up Review by UK Plus Size Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves

If you're anything like me then you'll have a million and one things to do but not enough hours in the day to do them in.  Prioritising tasks helps massively throughout the day and cutting your time each morning by being organised, having your outfit picked out and having a speedy beauty routine does too.

There are days when you're going to need to blowdry your hair, be it before you go to bed or before you head out the door but when it comes to this mundane task, I imagine I'm speaking for all of us when I say that its the one beauty chore we hate doing.

I'd love to be able to leave my hair to dry naturally every time that I wash it as avoiding heat is good for hair health but my natural locks, as opposed to my gorgeous HJ Extensions, dry so frizzy unless I use a hair dryer.  When I know that I'm not going to be going out and about, I'll leave my hair to dry naturally but otherwise, I'll blow dry it which is a good 90% of the time.

Thankfully, budget hair favourites Batiste, have created a time saving hair hero in the form of their new blow dry sprays.

Batiste Speed It Up accelerates the process of blowdrying your hair, making it speedier and less tedious which means that you have more time to focus on smashing your to-do list for the day or getting an extra half an hour of precious sleep.

Batiste Speed It Up Review by UK Plus Size Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves

There are three to choose from, Frizz Taming, Smoothing and Shine, so you can pick the one that best suits the needs of your hair.

Let's take a closer look...
FRIZZ TAMING: Formulated with Tamanu Oil to defrizz your locks
SMOOTHING: Containing nourishing Baobab Oil smooth out your hair from root to tip
SHINE: Enriched with Ginseng to give you hair thats swish-ably shiny and lustrous.

They're all really easy to use; simply towel dry your hair (squeeze, don't rub girls!) then spritz your chosen spray lightly all over your hair from a distance while its damp and brush through to reduce your drying time by up to 30%!

I used Shine before I blowdried and styled my hair for this Instagram photo and  I love the added glisten that it gave my blonde hair which can often look dry.

The Batiste Speed It Up range also acts as a heat protection spray as it has built in protection within the formula to shield the hair from heat damage up to 230°c.  Since I do highlight and lowlight my hair, I want to protect my locks from as much further damage as possible so I'm always looking for products to help me with that, especially on the ends of my hair where it can be prone to breakage and split ends.

If you want to boost your blowdry time like I have with the Batiste Speed It Up range, its available from Boots now!

Save this post for later by pinning the image below!

Batiste Speed It Up Review by UK Plus Size Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves


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What are your favourite ways to save time in the morning?  Which of the Batiste Blow Dry Accelerators would be best for your hair?
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Monday, 6 August 2018

5 Tips For Styling Your Hair

5 Tips For Styling Hair By UK Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves Plus Size Simply Be

A lot of women struggle to tame their manes and are often left frustrated when their hairstyles fall short of their expectations. Fighting with frizzy, unmanageable hair texture, unruly bangs, and rebellious curls can take hours on end. Styling your own hair at home can feel like a nightmare, but it doesn’t need to be. Here are 5 tips to help you have beautifully styled hair every time.

1. DON'T USE TOO MANY PRODUCTS
This is a common mistake that most of us make. Pilling on a product after product onto our heads, hoping that they’ll help us get the look we are trying to achieve. The truth is, using too many products may be the reason why your hair refuses to cooperate.

Product build-up often leaves hair greasy, flat, and dull, and may even cause product dandruff as tiny specks of excess product fall off your hair. Besides overwhelming your hair, using too many products is costly and time-consuming. The secret is to use minimal products and stick to the basics.

To create the style that I'm wearing in these photos, I curled my hair that I'd washed the day before, using the Lee Stafford CoCo LoCo tong (also available here) which I love for its long barrel as whether I'm wearing my hair extensions or not, it curls all of my hair in one go, brushed the curls through once they'd cooled and I spritzed the Lee Stafford CoCo LoCo Coconut Hairspray to hold it in place.  This is my secret to getting the look of a big bouncy blow-dry on second day hair.

2. DON'T OVER WASH YOUR HAIR
Washing your hair too often has been another common mistake we are all guilty of making. While this may seem like a harmless habit, it is actually detrimental to the health of your hair. Our scalps produce sebum oil, which keeps hair strands healthy and shiny. Washing your hair too often strips away this natural oil and leaves your scalp and hair dry and it can actually encourage your hair to produce even more oil which, if you're an oily hair gal like me, you don't want! I wash my hair every 3 days.

Also, when your hair is freshly washed, it can also be harder to style; curls drop out more easily and you don't have as much grit or hold when pinning your hair up.


5 Tips For Styling Hair By UK Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves Plus Size Simply Be

3. LEARN HOW TO BLOW DRY
Learning how to give yourself the perfect, lasting blowout is the holy grail of hair styling. A good blow dry is the best base for any hair style and your hair dresser will be able to talk you through how to maintain your look at home the next time you get your hair done.  Watch what they're doing in the mirror when they're drying your hair and look out for the types of brushes they're using.

There are many techniques to blow drying hair depending on the texture. Straight or wavy hair is easier to blow-dry while curly or coarse hair may take a little more practice. Regardless of the texture, make sure not to blow-dry your hair everyday as excessive heat exposure can dry it out and damage it and always make sure you that use a protection spray when you do.

4. Use the Right Heated Tools
There are so many heated tools available on the market that it can be easy to get confused and pick the wrong ones. Not all heated tools are created equal and it is important that you find heated tools designed for your hair type. This will ensure you get the best results with minimal heat exposure, especially when it comes to straighteners. Check out OGLF’s guide for the best hair straighteners.


5 Tips For Styling Hair By UK Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves Plus Size Simply Be

5. FIND STYLES THAT WORK FOR YOU
The reason you’re having a hard time styling your hair may be because of the style you’ve chosen. It is important to understand your hair type, so you know what your hair is capable of doing. Embrace your natural hair texture, so you don’t have to spend hours manipulating your hair with styling tools. Look for hairstyles that suit what nature gave you rather than losing your sanity trying to get your hair to do what it wasn’t created to do.

With these 5 simple tips, you’ll soon be on your way to easy and effortless mane-styling. Remember to work with your hair type and avoid hairstyles that are difficult to perfect at home as they will only stress you out. Find styles and tools that suit you and always protect your hair from heat damage and excessive washing. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to keep your hair healthy.


Remember my tips for later & pin this image!


5 Tips For Styling Hair By UK Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves Plus Size Simply Be

MY OUTFIT
Of course all great hair styles require a beautiful outfit and if you love my frill bardot playsuit then you'll find it at Simply Be.  I love the floral pattern in blue against the black backdrop.  It's the perfect throw on and look fabulous outfit for a summer evening or those afternoons in a beer garden that turn into evenings out!

I'd suggest going up a size in this particular piece as I found it to be a little snug around my tummy.  I'm wearing a size 24 if that helps any of you with your sizing choices.

What are your top tips for styling your hair?
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Monday, 23 July 2018

Taking The Perfect Date Night Photo With My Light Up Selfie Case

WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case

Summer date nights and get togethers with my girls tend to go hand in with my essentials for an evening out; a gorgeous outfit, natural bronzed makeup that let my lashes do the talking and my iPhone 8 Plus with its light up selfie case to capture all of the moments that I want to treasure forever.

This summer has been my best one yet for outfits and new additions to my wardrobe.  I've been really working on finding my style in recent years and I think my WhatLauraLoves Instagram shows how much that's paying off this season.

WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case

Discovering that Quiz Clothing now have a Curve range has been a particular highlight for me.  I'm sure you'll be able to see from my face in my instagram posts just how happy their clothes have made me feel this summer.

The range starts at a size 16 and currently goes up to a 26.  They're the exact kind of clothes I would see girls who are a size 10 wearing and I would long to have them in my size.  That's what Quiz Curve have achieved with their range; it is girly and feminine, bright, colourful and sophisticated, in a range of cuts and styles, at a reasonable price point and in designs that a size 10 would love just as much as a size 24.


WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case


WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case

A great example of how Quiz use the same pattern of fabric across different styles is with this gorgeous Quiz Curve Black and White Floral Stripe Bardot Tunic Dress that's also available as a cold shoulder top.  They have lots of fabrics that are available as a dress, top, playsuit, etc which gives plus size women the choice of a gorgeous print in a shape that they feel suits them the most.

I love the bold black and white stripes of this top and the pink florals really POP against it.  This colour palette really makes a statement; its eye catching for all the right reasons.

Made from a woven material with no stretch in it, I sized up one size to a 26 for the best fit for me as I'm much larger around my middle than I am across my shoulders.  It stays down off my shoulders, doesn't gape in the middle and looks great whether I tuck it into something or have it out like I'm wearing here.


WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case

I paired this tunic with my Ankle Tie Stretch Jersey Leggings from Simply Be and my classic black flatforms from Primark for an evening out with my boyfriend, doing a little bit of shopping and grabbing some dinner.  I know I'll get so much more wear out of these leggings come the autumn as its a little too warm to be wearing leggings a lot right now but on a cool, breezy night like this was, they were great.  I love the deeper waistband on these leggings as it ensures they stay up and the ties at the ankle give these a little bit more interest than regular leggings, making them idea if you want to pair them with heels for an evening out.

The black flatforms are so easy to walk in its unreal.  They give me the added height that I love but they don't hurt my feet.  I feel really secure in them and can walk and dance all night without feeling like I need to take them off... which I have been guilty of doing in the past which is why I no longer wear stilettos very often! 

WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case

WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case

Thanks to having my gorgeous Essential Beauty lash extensions on, I kept my makeup simple with a light yet sculpted base, my brows lightly tamed with Benefit Gimmie Brow in shade 3 and my fave mauve lip combo; MAC Soar lip pencil and Faux lipstick.

I only take a small powder compact and my lipstick out with me to touch up on the go.  The front camera of my iPhone 8 Plus acts as my mirror with the front lights of my LuMee case providing the perfect light for makeup touch ups.  I've been using my case for a week now and I don't know how I've ever been without it on nights out as amazing for when I'm taking photographs and capturing moments with my friends.


WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case
Selfie taken with my iPhone 8 Plus and the front lights of my selfie case on!
The great thing about the Duo Marble Case is that it lights up on the front of the phone and the back so whether you're snapping a selfie or taking a photo of your friends, they're going to be well lit and looking fabulous!

It's really easy to use, simply press the button on the back of the case once to light up the front  facing light and twice for the back.  Press and hold to dim the light or to make it brighter.


WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case
My friend taking a photo of me on the back lights of the light up selfie mobile phone case
I take the majority of my photos on my iPhone 8 Plus these days so the light up feature is perfect for me and that fact that it is all contained within a case that has a sleek design is great.  I used to have a clip on selfie light and it was so cumbersome that I would end up leaving it at home!


WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case


WhatLauraLoves wearing Quiz Clothing Curve and using a Light Up Selfie Case

The case doesn't add much extra bulk to my phone at all and its really durable.  I have been known to drop my phone and this case is tough, strong and protects it really well.  The side rails of the phone are soft too which makes it easy to take the phone out of the case if you need to.  Although it comes with a micro USB cable in the box to charge the case and it just slots in the bottom of the case, the same way the iPhone charger cable fits in the phone so you wouldn't even need to take it out of the case really!

There are so many designs available, I chose the lavender marble and love how glossy the finish on it is.  If you haven't got an Apple iPhone like I have then you can also get these light up selfie cases for the Samsung Galaxy too.  I absolutely LOVE mine and when I upgrade my phone next year, I'll definitely be upgrading my phone case to fit it too!

I hope your week has got off to a great start today.  Don't forget to check out my Instagram for daily outfit and real life, positivity inspo.

If you love my outfit then I'm sure you'll love the Quiz Curve jumpsuit I blogged about here and the other items I put on my instagram too!


Love this post? Pin it for later!

WhatLauraLoves Taking The Perfect Date Night Photo With My Light Up Selfie Case

Have you tried a light up phone case? What are your favourite date night outfits?


*This post is a collaboration with Nakturnal
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Sunday, 15 July 2018

Holiday Shopping Trip Wearing Yours Clothing & A Note On The NEW Primark Extended Size Range To Include Plus Size 2XL 22/24

Yours Clothing Navy and White Plus Size Dress on WhatLauraLoves UK Blogger

Yesterday afternoon, my boyfriend and I went to the Metrocentre clothes shopping for our first holiday together.  I felt so excited sharing a late lunch at Barburrito before looking around a few shops.

I wore my Yours Clothing Navy & White Print Pocket Dress that I got for my trip to Bali in May.  It quickly became a summer wardrobe staple as its so lightweight and thin without being see through, making it perfect for the heatwave we're having in the UK right now.  Apparently the weather is set to be like this until August and I for one, could not be happier about that.

I love the navy and white tile print but there's so many different designs available, you're bound to find one to suit your style.  It has an elasticated waist band and as with most things from Yours, I find that it's true to size.

Definitely one of my top plus size dress recommendations for the hot weather girls!

Couples Holiday Shopping Trip to Primark

As promised, I did go into Primark to check out the new plus size 2XL 22/24 that they've launched.  From what I could see, I wouldn't get too excited just yet as it seems as though the majority of the extended sizing in 2XL is coming with the autumn/winter clothing.

There was very few 2XLs store wide and the ones that were in stock were heavier items like jogging bottoms and hoodies and there was a limited selection of PJs.  I did buy a few pairs of the jogging bottoms though in light grey marl, black and khaki and they're great for £5.  I'd say that they fit like a 22 on me.

For the time being, I'd definitely say don't let the lack of 2XL 22/24 put you off if you're a 22 up top like I am.  Many of the XL 18/20 tops in Primark fit me and I bought several pieces in store including a cropped jumper that I'm going to wear with the joggers on the plane when I go on our holiday.

Today, I'm heading back to Primark to swap a pair of the joggers as they had a hole in them so I'll check out the store again to see if they've added any more sizes and I'll do a haul on my IGTV on Tuesday to show you everything that I bought!

WhatLauraLoves Plus Size Blogger Metrocentre

I'm really excited about the extended sizing, particularly for the stretchy tops as the XL is often so generous to begin with that I think the new size will open up more options for women beyond a size 24 to enjoy the new clothing choices once the 2XL hits stores properly.  Hopefully in the future there'll be a full Primark plus size range that caters for women of all shapes and sizes

Although I must admit that I was disappointed to see that there was so many of the 2XS 4/6 size in the shop across a lot of the ranges but the 2XL was really sparse store wide despite loads of boards advertising the extended sizing.  I'm hopeful that this will improve once the extended sizing properly drops!

While I'd definitely recommend checking out Primark to see whats in store near you, if you're shopping for holiday clothes, I couldn't recommend Yours Clothing more highly.  They're affordable, superb quality and have plus size summer clothes to suit everyone.

What summer clothes have you been wearing most?  Are you excited about the extended Primark sizing?
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Thursday, 5 July 2018

Summer Fashion Trends That I Love Year After Year

Summer Fashion Trends That I Love Year After Year by UK Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves

While layering up in the winter months can look snuggly, cosy and down right cute, the warmer months are definitely my favourite for switching up my outfits, trying new styles and really feeling girly and glam.

There's so much that I love about summer fashion and while I wouldn't say that I was particular trend led, I definitely do wear some pieces that are on trend because I'm buying and picking out whats on the rails now.

The great thing about fashion is that different styles come and go but one things for sure, they always come back around.  I'm not just talking pastels in the spring and jewelled tones in the winter; remember when the fringing of the 70s came back around a couple of years ago?  I got a gorgeous tan fringed bag and while its not something that I'm using right now, I'm definitely keeping it because it looks as good as new and I just know that in a summer or two, I'll be rocking it again.

Summer Fashion Trends That I Love Year After Year by UK Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves

There are plenty of key style elements that I love about typical summer fashion that seem to come around year after year and these are the pieces that I'm often on the look out for because I know I'll be able to pull them out of my wardrobe year after year.

BRIGHT FLORALS
Summer fashion prints are all about the bright florals.  They're bold, stand out and look so feminine, just take the Efixelle Jersey Dress as a prime example.  Find a dress in a cut that you feel most confident in and you'll be wearing it for years to come.  Alongside florals are the tropical prints that have come into play in the last year or two and by the looks of it, are here to stay.  Remember that bangin' tropical palm print jumpsuit I wore in Bali last summer?  I'm still getting my wear out of it this year!

PALAZZO TROUSERS
Ultra wide leg, light weight and elongating, palazzo trousers are perfect for the summer when you want a little more coverage on your legs but don't want to over heat when the sun reaches its peak.  I picked up some khaki beauties in the sale earlier this year and have been styling them up ever since.

While they look great with an embellished T shirt as you can see in this plus size style post, they're also perfect for taking on holiday with you to slip on over the top of your bikini or swimsuit.  Choose swimwear in a coordinating colour and it'll act as a top to the pants when you're browsing the shelves in a local store or sitting at the pool bar.

Summer Fashion Trends That I Love Year After Year by UK Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves

DENIM
Forever a style staple for me, denim is the one fabric in my wardrobe that I cannot be without.  Shorts, jeans, jackets, you name it, I've got it and in a multitude of colours and washes.

This summer I've been wearing a gorgeous light wash denim dress so often (thanks for the love for it on this Instagram post!) that I'm considering investing in another in a darker wash.  I've spotted a gorgeous plus size denim dress on Peter Hahn that I think would make a great investment piece.  Like leather, denim just seems to get even better with age doesn't it?

PLAYSUITS
For years now, playsuits have been my go-to wardrobe staple in the summer months.  They're so quick and easy to pull on and have you looking put together and ready for day in seconds.  This summer, I've combined two of my favourite style elements by picking out a denim playsuit.  I'll be sharing it with you all on the gram very soon!

BIG SUNNIES
Last but by no means least are big sunglasses.  I love sunnies in all shapes and sizes but my favourite are plastic frames because I can pop them up on my head without them getting caught in my hair, tortoise shell brown in colour as I find them to be the most complimentary to my hair and skin colour and the bigger the better to keep the sun out of my eyes, preventing me from squinting.  It's lovely being out in the sunshine but I don't want to give myself wrinkles prematurely or damage my skin and eyes that's for sure!

I'd love to know what the summer trends that you love year after year are.  Let me know in the comments!
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Wednesday, 4 July 2018

The Quiz Curve Oriental Floral Print Jumpsuit Review

The Quiz Curve Oriental Floral Print Jumpsuit Review by UK Plus Size Fashion Blogger WhatLauraLoves

Wow well this morning has certainly been manic!  Ever since I posted this shot of the gorgeous Quiz Curve Oriental Floral Print Jumpsuit on my WhatLauraLoves Instagram page, so many gorgeous fashionistas have been getting in touch to ask about fit, where to buy and all the good stuff.

Thanks so much for all of the love on the post, I struggle to put into words how much it means to me but what I can do is answer those style DM questions in this blog post!

The Quiz Curve Oriental Floral Print Jumpsuit Review by UK Plus Size Fashion Blogger WhatLauraLoves

This jumpsuit is the ultimate way to update your wardrobe for summer without breaking the bank.  I've loved it ever since I tried it on in the Simply Be store in the Metrocentre.  The pink and orange wild floral print is stunning, especially against the white backdrop which looks gorgeous against tanned skin.  Plus, it has POCKETS!!

The wrap top of the jumpsuit instantly gets a thumbs up from me.  This is one of my favourite cuts when it comes to the shape and styling of outfits as I find the v shape to be so flattering and subtly sexy.  This deep v is continued onto the back to the dress too but it isn't so low that you can see the back of your bra strap, rest assured girls!  Plus its held together at the top with a thin band of fabric which also adds to the aesthetic of the design, especially if you sweep your hair to the side.  I do think I could do with a little stitch in the front at the bust though as it gapes a little where I'm not that busty!

The Quiz Curve Oriental Floral Print Jumpsuit Review by UK Plus Size Fashion Blogger WhatLauraLoves

This Quiz Curve jumpsuit is made of a light, woven material which makes it perfect for the heat wave that we're having in the UK right now but that also means that it doesn't have any stretch either.

With that in mind, I'd recommend going up a size if you're shaped like I am.  When I first tried it on in Simply Be, I picked up the size I'd usually choose in a non-stretch fabric jumpsuit, a 24, which did fit but was a little tight across the tummy.  The 26 is a better fit on my shape and more comfortable.

There's also a tie around the waist that you can use to cinch in your waist further if you'd like but in all honesty, its not necessary to wear it so if its something that you don't like about the design, just slip it out of the loops.

The Quiz Curve Oriental Floral Print Jumpsuit Review by UK Plus Size Fashion Blogger WhatLauraLoves

The Quiz Curve Oriental Floral Print Jumpsuit Review by UK Plus Size Fashion Blogger WhatLauraLoves

With such a gorgeous colour palette, you could pair virtually anything with this jumpsuit, be it white, black or colourful accessories.  I choose to add my tropical floral print, jewelled heels that I got from River Island last summer but any sandals or heels would look lush with this jumpsuit.

It really is the most gorgeous outfit to pop on for a date night, cocktails with the girls or a more dressy summer lunch in the sunshine!

The Quiz Curve Oriental Floral Print Jumpsuit Review by UK Plus Size Fashion Blogger WhatLauraLoves

Now its going out of stock like absolute wildfire so your best bet is to keep checking the retailers that stock the Quiz Curve range.

First stop is their actual website and specifically, the product page for the jumpsuit here (they also have smaller sizes of this jumpsuit in their standard range here).

Then I'd head to the link that I popped on my Instagram stories for Simply Be.  They have limited sizes left of this jumpsuit, all of which are now low stock but when I last checked it was available in stock in a 16, 18, 22 and 24.  I have a discount code for the Simply Be website if you'd like to use it; LPJ10 which should be valid until mid July.

All I can say girls, is don't miss out or you'll regret it!

How often do you wear jumpsuits? What do you think of this one?
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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

How To Save When Planning A Wedding as a Bride, a Maid Of Honour & a Wedding Guest

UK Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves wearing Chi Chi London Curve Clothing Janine Dress

Even if you're doing it on a tight budget, there's no doubt that weddings are  still expensive for all involved from the happy couple to the bridal party and the wedding guests.

However there are plenty of opportunities to save money when you're planning a wedding and in todays post, I'm going to share with you how you can do this as a bride planning the day, a maid of honour arranging the hen party and as a wedding guest attending the wedding.

UK Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves wearing Chi Chi London Curve Clothing Janine Dress

THE MONEY SAVING BRIDE
Without a doubt, the happy couple are going to be the ones with the biggest financial responsibility when it comes to planning a wedding but there's plenty of ways to save money too.

Start with your guest list.  Compile a list of everyone who you and your partner feel as though you should have at the wedding and then cross off those who you're not really bothered whether they attend or not.  If you look at the cost per head, the amount of money that it'll cost you to have all of those relatives you haven't seen since Aunty Mabel's funeral 6 years ago is unreal.  Focus on having the closest people to you at the day do.

Don't set yourself unrealistic goals.  If you'd love to walk down the aisle to the sound of a string quartet, you can still achieve that with the music on a CD and save yourself the £600 on the live musicians if you don't have the spare cash.  I promise you, on the day, you wont even care as you'll be so focused on one another.  That's what a wedding is truly about.

Spend your budget on things that will last forever such as your rings and videography, not wedding favours.  Often people get so caught up in spending a small fortune on elaborate table gifts that they get really disheartened if they're left on the table at the end of the wedding breakfast.  Save yourself the wasted money by ordering cheap wedding favours that still look really effect but serve a purpose too.  I find ones that are consumable such as sweets, chocolate, mints or alcohol go down a treat and are less likely to be left unused.

UK Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves wearing Chi Chi London Curve Clothing Janine Dress

THE THRIFTY MADE OF HONOUR
Planning a hen party tends to start off fun and exciting but can very quickly become tedious when you're trying to organise activities for lots of demanding girlies.

From experience, the best hen parties are kept simple with an easy to get to venue without a complicated schedule of events and a clear pricing structure of what its going to cost each women to attend together with what they need to do/wear/bring with them.  Food and drinks always goes down a treat and theres plenty of places that offer meal deals for large parties or happy hour pricing if you're dining earlier in the day and if you're having a buffet, there's plenty of affordable snacks that you can bring along to bulk up what is served such as crisps, nuts and sweeties.

Fun games always go down a treat at a hen party and prove that you really don't need a fancy pants venue or expensive excursion to have a memorable hen.  There are plenty of hen party printables that you can find online to get everyone mingling and getting to know each other which is exactly what you need to break the ice when you're bringing lots of people who you don't know together.  Hen party games are so much fun and create lots of photo happy moments so make sure someone has a camera on hand to capture them!

UK Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves wearing Chi Chi London Curve Clothing Janine Dress

THE COST CONSCIOUS WEDDING GUEST

Lets not forget the cost to the wedding guest as things can get pretty pricey for them too when it comes to attending someone elses big day.

My tips for them are to book their hotel accommodation, if needed, well in advance.  I went to a wedding recently that was absolutely fantastic but the cost of the rooms at the venue was astronomical considering we hardly spent any time in them.  To reduce the feeling of that financial outlay, I booked the hotel as soon as I knew that rooms were available for the wedding night and put £10 away each week into a savings account to cover the cost, that way, I didn't have the money to pull out in one go on the day itself.

Another option is to look at neighbouring hotels and guest houses which can often be cheaper than some of the real fancy venues but again, reserve your room in advance to not only lessen the feeling of pulling the money out so close to the wedding but also to make sure that you actually get a room as if other people do the same thing, they'll be fully booked very quickly!  Don't forget to factor in any additional costs involved with travelling to and from the venue though as these can sometimes outweigh the money you'll save by booking elsewhere.

UK Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves wearing Chi Chi London Curve Clothing Janine Dress

Then there's what you'll wear to the wedding as a guest.  Always check with the bride or maid of honour to see if there is a dress code for you to adhere to as it would be awful to turn up to the nuptials wearing the same colour as the bridesmaids if thats expressly against the couples wishes.

Plenty of guests love to really dress up when they're going to a wedding as they're such a special occasions but don't feel pressured to spend hundreds on your outfit.  You can find some absolutely stunning dresses for well under £100 that really rival some of the more premium high street brands.

Chi Chi London is definitely one of those brands.  I've worn a few of their dresses now, including one to my friends wedding evening celebration earlier this year that I also wore again to my other friends 30th birthday party, as you can see in this post on my WhatLauraLoves Instagram.  Their dresses are so well made, beautifully designed and really embody their brands signature style.

UK Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves wearing Chi Chi London Curve Clothing Janine Dress

The outfit that I'm wearing in this post is the Janine Dress from Chi Chi London whose curve clothing range has some stunning occasion wear that's perfect for a wedding, prom, christening or special birthday party.

I love lilac and think that the colours of the digital floral print on this particular dress compliments it beautifully.  A combined bardot and sweetheart neckline is feminine, flirty and so pretty especially when combined with the skirt of this dress.  I love the pleated skirt with the dip hem as it gives you that extra coverage in the back for when you're sitting down but still shows your legs off which is perfect if you have a tan!

If you're looking for a gorgeous plus size wedding guest outfit then I'd really recommend checking them out.  I'd suggest going a size up as the dresses do tend to fit on the small side.

I paired mine with some sparkly chunky heels from Primark which again, don't break the bank, and the gorgeous Pandora jewellery that I always wear.  Pieces like these never come in wrong so if you find a dress you love that would be perfect for a wedding or shoes that would go with so many outfits or jewellery that you can wear for a multitude of occasions, then snap them up in advance, using promo codes or a cash back website if you can to save some dosh.  That way, you're not pulling the money all out in one go and if you can buy the pieces you love in the sale, then you'll save even more!

UK Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves wearing Chi Chi London Curve Clothing Janine Dress

So there you have it; some of my tips on how to save money as a bride, maid of honour and a wedding guest!

How do you save money when it comes to weddings and special occasions?  What are your top tips for wedding planning?

*This post has been sponsored by Real Weddings.  All opinions are my own.  Images by Mark Dawson.
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Monday, 2 July 2018

Get Ready For Warm Days with the Sanctuary Spa Summer Sun Beach Bag

Get Ready For Warm Days with the Sanctuary Spa Summer Sun Beach Bag from Boots

Ladies, listen up because I've got an INCREDIBLE deal for you.

Fancy all of these Sanctuary Spa goodies for only £22?  Here's how you can quite literally bag this deal...

Sanctuary Spa have been a high street favourite of mine since my teens, largely due to the amazing scent that their products have, not to mention the fact that they perform really well too.  If you're familiar with their signature scent then you'll know exactly what I mean, if not then you'll be needing to pop down to Boots pronto to give it a sniff.

This season, Sanctuary Spa are helping you to say hello to summer and #LETGO with their luxury beach bag packed full of sizzling summer favourites to get you perfectly prepped for a holiday, day at the beach or warm summer night out.

Get Ready For Warm Days with the Sanctuary Spa Summer Sun Beach Bag from Boots

I couldn't believe what was included in the bag and the huge saving that you'd make against buying the products individually but what first caught my eye was the bag itself.  If you watched my Instagram LIVE on Sunday then I'm sure you could see my excitement at how gorgeous it is!

A lot of the time, the bags that come with beauty products and gifts with purchase aren't that good and I generally wouldn't really use them.  However this bag is amazing quality.  Its made of a thick canvas that's coated on the outside so if you get it wet or spill something on it then its just going to wipe clean.  It has a gorgeous thick striped pattern combining copper with an off white, with this white rope straps, a sturdy zip and copper hardware.  It isn't obnoxiously branded like a lot of beauty bags would be and it really just looks like a gorgeous beach bag that I would actually buy on its own for myself or as a gift.  It's absolutely beautiful, practical, roomy and perfect for a holiday!

Inside there are 7 products plus a body puff to use in the shower.  My boyfriend absolutely loves these as they're great for lathering up and scrubbing the skin after he's been to work.

From this point, I've got to say that if you are adverse to the Sanctuary Spa signature scent (boo you!) then don't bother buying this collection for yourself as all of the products have the same fragrance.  However it would make a great gift as I generally find that on the whole, most people LOVE the smell as much as I do.  Everyone aside from the scent haters... here's the contents:

Wet Skin Moisture Miracle- This is a product that's new to me and I can't wait to see how it performs when I go away this summer.  Its really unique in that you apply it as you would a normal body moisturiser but literally as you turn the water off and are still stood in the shower soaking wet.  Then you towel dry and get ready as normal.  A really different idea that's designed to maximise moisture at the skins peak hydration moment and it has been clinically proven to lock in double the hydration to give you instantly softer and smoother skin!

Infused with apricot and avocado oil, the Wet Skin Moisture Miracle is designed to be faster absorbing and quicker to use than a standard body lotion so its going to be great for when you're late in the mornings as you can still be beautifully hydrated as you run out of the door!

Sanctuary Spa Body Wash: A total classic from the brand that I've used for years.  It contains essential oils and jojoba beads which leave your skin feeling clean, moisturised and smelling incredible!  When used with the shower lily that's also included in this set, it lathers up beautifully too.  Definitely a must try at any time of the year!

Body ScrubMade up of natural pumice and essential oils within a gel, this product is the least abrasive of all of the Sanctuary Spa body scrubs so it is ideal for more regular use or for those with sensitive skin.

Heel Balm: Enriched with Shea Butter and Wheatgerm Oil, this balm is ultra nourishing on the dry skin on my feel.  It feels so moisturising that I apply it all over my feet, not just to my heels!  I apply it once I'm dry from the shower and the moisture boost lasts all day.

Hand Cream: What the heel balm does for the feet, this cream does for the hands.  The Sanctuary Spa hand cream not only smells incredible but it feels luxurious on the skin too.  It is absorbed quite quickly, feels instantly nourishing and doesn't leave the skin feeling greasy.  I couldn't ask for more!

Luxury Bath Float: Now in all honestly, its far too warm for me to be having a bath right now but this would be great on cooler summer nights to help you to relax before bed.  I find it harder to get to sleep during the summer months when its still light outside so a nice warm bath can often help with that.  Plus it could always be used as a body wash instead.

Body Moisture SprayI've used this product, albeit in different packaging, from Sanctuary Spa for YEARS now.  There's jojoba oil, sweet almond oil and vitamin E within the formula and of course, it has that incredible Sanctuary Spa fragrance.  The body moisture spray is a really quick way to hydrate your skin, moisturise your body and leave it with a gorgeous sheen in record time.  Perfect for lazy moisturising girlies and those who want to be ready and out the door quickly!

Get Ready For Warm Days with the Sanctuary Spa Summer Sun Beach Bag from Boots

How much is it? I'm sure you're all wondering by now.

The Sanctuary Spa Summer Sun Beach Bag is on SPECIAL OFFER for an unbelievably low £22 instead of the retail value of £45, saving you £23!

The Sanctuary Spa Summer Sun Beach Bag Set is available from Boots online and in larger Boots stores.

It would make a great gift for any woman in your life, especially as its suitable for veggies and vegans too so if you have a birthday coming up for someone who is cruelty free conscious then I think this set would be ideal!

Be quick, its limited edition!

If you want to read more of my thoughts on Sanctuary Spa products, then check out my reviews:


Which Sanctuary Spa products have you tried?  What types of products do you love to use during the summer time?


*Thanks Sarah for taking these photos for me down at South Shields beach!
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