Wednesday, 28 February 2018

bareMinerals BAREPRO Concealer & GEN NUDE Lip Lacquer from World Duty Free Review

bareMinerals BAREPRO Concealer & GEN NUDE Lip Lacquer from World Duty Free Review

BAREMINERALS are a brand that have been in my makeup bag since day one.  I remember buying one of their powder foundation starter kits from a local beauty salon, Pure Bliss, before they had even made it into UK department stores and there was still that total confusion over whether they were bareEscentuals or bareMinerals.

Nowadays, I've branched out into trying their other products as they've expanded their range and clearly I'm super happy about it...


WhatLauraLoves bareMinerals BAREPRO Concealer & GEN NUDE Lip Lacquer from World Duty Free Review
Love my outfit? Its all from In The Style, check out this post all about it!
With bareMinerals products, I know that I'm getting the most incredible formulation that sits perfectly on my skin, a beautiful colour and practical but pretty packaging and I couldn't ask for more.

Over the last few weeks, I've been trying out a couple of products from their new GEN NUDE and BAREPRO range and as I expected, I've been really impressed!


bareMinerals BAREPRO Concealer from World Duty Free Review

The BAREPRO 16-Hour Full Coverage Concealer is the creamy stick concealer I feel like I've been waiting my whole makeup wearing life for.  For a combination-oily skinned gal like me, it has the soft matte finish and ultra longevity that I need but it has a smooth and creamy formula that glides onto my skin, doesn't drag and most importantly, doesn't crease on my tired 29 year old, girl boss under eyes.

The BAREPRO Concealer is great for those who want one product that does it all; conceal dark circles, cover blemishes, colour correct dull or sallow areas of the skin or even contour if bought in a darker shade than you'd usually wear.

I love that it stays in place and doesn't crease throughout the day.  I do have fine lines underneath my eyes and makeup has a tendency to settle into the lines which looks unsightly.  I show quite a lot of expression on my face so of course I still have lines when I smile but the bareMinerals makeup seems to move with my skin and doesn't crease under my eyes or around the sides of my nose and mouth.

It comes in a retractable stick so its great for a quick and easy fuss free application, ideal for travel and perfect for popping in your handbag if you're someone that likes to touch up on the go, although I have to say that I haven't felt the need to touch it up throughout the day as of yet.  I've been wearing this concealer exclusively for the last few weeks for varying amounts of time and in different conditions such as on work days, running around doing errands, evenings out, etc and it holds up so well on my skin.

The formula is waterproof and humidity-resistant so if you're someone who has oily skin, is prone to sweating or travels to humid destinations then I'd urge you especially to try this product.  I really need a product thats going to be long lasting as I'm not someone that actually tops up on the go, aside from my lip product here and there.  I like to apply my makeup in the morning and have it last all day and this concealer definitely does that.

Theres a wide 10 shade range, designed to match the BAREPRO Liquid and Powder Foundations perfectly, from very light to very dark.  The shades seem to adapt themselves to suit varying hues so I'm pretty confident that when I go on holiday and have a tan, I'll be able to use the same concealer and blend it out to suit my tanned skin rather than having to buy a darker one.

I have the shade Light/Medium Neutral 05 which is spot on for my complexion, highly pigmented and covers precisely what I want it to while still keeping my skin looking natural and not drying it out.

As a brand, bareMinerals are known for their skin loving formulas and back in the day, they had a tag line along the lines of makeup that was so pure you could sleep in it.  While I wouldn't advocate sleeping in your makeup, this concealer can be worn all day without your skin hating you for it; there's nothing worse than your skin feeling dried out and thirsty after then end of a long day.

This concealer contains lots of skin loving ingredients including, bamboo stem extract to smooth the look of pores and fine lines, antioxidant rich raspberry seed oil, blackcurrant seed oil and sea lavender which helps to nourish and hydrate the skin and help to protect the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals like pollution.


bareMinerals GEN NUDE Lip Lacquer from World Duty Free Review

Another newbie to the bareMinerals range is the GEN NUDE Patent Lip Lacquer  which has to be my most favourite lip colour and formula that I've tried since I discovered Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk.

If you're in the market for a lip product that'll give you the full coverage of a lipstick with the shine of an incredible lipgloss in one swipe then you simply MUST try this lip lacquer.

The mineral-rich formula is hydrating on the lips and leaves them looking plump, juicy and kissable.  My lips feel soft and moisturised when I wear it and its long lasting with just the right amount of tackiness to it so that my hair doesn't stick to my lips if its windy but the lip product sticks around on my lips for hours and, most importantly, stays around without bleeding.

The collection is made up of stunning nude shades from mauves and pinks to peaches and beiges and whats awesome about them is that they suit all skin tones regardless of whether you're pale or dark skinned.  Need proof?  Scroll through the images on the link above and you'll see the shades swatched side by side on varying skin tones.

There are 10 shades available in the UK right now and 20 on the US bareMinerals site.  I'm hoping that more will be added to the UK offering as the range expands as I'll definitely be needing to repurchase the shade that I have, a spiced rosy brown called 2Legit when it runs out!  Thankfully, its available from World Duty Free and since I'm travelling soon, I'll definitely be checking out the bareMinerals stand in the airport.


WhatLauraLoves bareMinerals BAREPRO Concealer & GEN NUDE Lip Lacquer from World Duty Free Review
This plus size aviator jacket is from In The Stylecheck out this post to read all about it!
I'm a firm believer in not paying full price for something if you don't have to; its like chucking money away that you could save... or spend on more beauty products, lets be honest here.

With that in mind, let me point you in the direction of World Duty Free Beauty.  I travel as much as I can and whenever I've got a trip booked, I start to put together a list of the things that I want to buy in duty free.  I check in at the airport as soon as the desks open for my flight to maximise my shopping time so that I can grab all of the products that I've had my eye on but for a reduced price, making my money go further.  I'd recommend you to do the same if you're travelling soon but there's always bargains to be had online as well.

Did you know that an edited selection of bareMinerals products are available at a reduced price on their online website too?  Check out the bareMinerals page for gorgeous makeup at World Duty Free prices!

You'll also be able to find bareMinerals products in store and online; you'll find the BAREPRO Concealer on Selfridges and Sephora and the GEN NUDE Lip Lacquer on Selfridges, House of Fraser, Look Fantastic, Macy's and Sephora.

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What are your favourite bareMinerals products and what would you love to try from them?
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Saturday, 24 February 2018

5 Things That Money Can't Buy


Money; we all need it and at the end of the day, its what makes the world go round but its not the be all and end all.  Some of the happiest people in the world have nothing in terms of cash flow but they are wealthy in so many other ways.

I've reached peaks and troughs in my lifetime with money but I've always been taught to value and respect it because you never know how long you'll have it for.  If moolah has taught me anything over the years its that it doesn't buy true happiness.

Sure it can make life easier and knowing how you're going to pay your bills next month is definitely reassuring but there are so many things that money can't buy.

Here's five of them...


HAPPY MEMORIES // It doesn't matter how much time you spend working to earn your money, you need to physically be there to make happy memories.  You can have all the money in the world to buy the fanciest cameras to capture happy memories but you need to be in the moment in order to make them.

INTELLIGENCE // We're very lucky in the UK to all be able to go to school to be educated.  While paying for private education is for the privileged few, I don't believe that it can make someone automatically more intelligent.  Sure it can help to buy people into particular social circles which can give you a leg up on a who you know basis, it can afford you more opportunities and perhaps help you to reach your potential if you're hard working enough but I don't think that it makes someone more clever than the rest.

There's loads of different types of intelligence and I'm a firm believer that you can't pay to make your child brainier!  Some of the smartest people I know went to state school and I wasn't privately educated and I'm a pretty smart cookie even if I do say so myself.



A LONG LIFE // Money might be able to buy you great things in life but it can't buy you a long one, let alone a life thats truly happy.  We never know how long we're going to be on this planet for and life can be gone in an instant, which is why I think that its so important to to appreciate the little things, tell those you love how much you love them and be a good person so that you leave behind an awesome legacy.

STYLE //  If theres one thing that money can't buy you, its style.  Sure it can buy you fashion but that's just clothes.  Style is individual to you and how you wear your fashion.

I really feel as though I've developed my personal style over the last couple of years and while its something that's always evolving, I'm really loving what its growing into.  I feel as though I have a great idea of what suits me and makes me feel good.

I'm beyond excited for the spring to arrive because I've got so many gorgeous new things that I can't wait to like the Black Floral Print Dress from Billie Faiers Collection at In The Style.  While the weather is still chilly, I'm going to be wearing it with leggings and my River Island boots but come the warmer spring days, I'll be popping on my peep toe heels and styling it up like I have done here.

This piece is from the In The Style Curve range which I am OBSESSED with right now.  I bought it in a couple of sizes bigger than my usual with it being a shirt style so that the buttons didn't gape and I love the way that it fits and feels.  The tie is great for synching in the waist and the flared sleeves bring back the 70s vibe thats so in right now.


MANNERS // I have had the pleasure, and often misfortune, of meeting so many different people from all walks of life and one thing I've realised for certain is that money cannot buy you polite manners.  Rude people exist across the socioeconomic spectrum... although I'd argue that some of the wealthiest people I've met have actually been the rudest!

Do you agree- are these five things that money can't buy?  What do you think of my In The Style Curve dress (total beauty, I know!)
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Friday, 23 February 2018

Sustainable Fashion and What It Truly Means

Sustainable Fashion and what it means

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE FASHION?

I'm sure a lot of you may have already heard the term sustainable fashion and some may have an idea of what it actually means as well.  If not, then let me fill you in; sustainable fashion is a movement in the fashion industry that is dedicated to contributing towards improving both the environment we all live in and also the society that we have built ourselves.

For a long time, it felt as thought the fashion industry, particularly on the highstreet, became very throwaway but times are changing which is awesome.  Nowadays, more companies and consumers are adopting a more sustainable and productive attitude towards fashion and I hope that as time goes on, this will continue to make the fashion industry fairer and kinder especially to the environment, resources and workers.

A BRANDS PERSPECTIVE

Some brands are already trying to produce and maintain their products without actually impacting the environment in a negative way.  The basic idea is to reshape the fashion industry in such a way that its current carbon footprint is reduced to a minimum. 

Some brands have even been built on such ideas, for example, the Beulah brand has gained a fair a bit of popularity in recent years for their line of sustainable designer clothing and accessories.

What I find the most impressive thing about Beulah's ethical clothing is that they built their company on sustainability, as they decided to donate 10% of their profit to the "Beulah trust"; an organisation founded and funded by the fashion brand to train women who have previously been victims of the sex trade to become skilled workers. Not only is this ethically sound, but by creating more skilled people the brand is making the world a more sustainable place. You can read more about this here.


A CONSUMERS PERSPECTIVE

The general consensus seems to be that it doesn’t really matter what you buy because the manufacturers will be make things in the way that suits them best but actually, it does matter.  A LOT!

If there are enough people supporting the cause then this encourages and pushes designers and brands to move their shift their production standards to go with the flow of the sustainable fashion movement.  Even if you leave the conscience factor out of it, it’s just simple business sense to give your customers what they want.  It may take time but nothing ever happens overnight and every movement that is worth anything has to start somewhere.

When buying from sustainable designer clothing brands, you are supporting the brands who have already made a sustainable choice and they really do need the support to make it last.  If the environment and society is something that you care about then letting your fashion represent your mindset and philosophy.


WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SUPPORT THE SUSTAINABLE FASHION MOVEMENT?

Anything that you can do to support the sustainable fashion movement helps to create change and I'd encourage everyone to make a change to help, however big or small.

Aside from purchasing from brands that have taken the difficult green step, you can also try out some of the following:
  • If there’s a very special designer item that you want, buy it second hand if you can; websites like Vestiaire Collective are great for this and will verify that the item is genuine so you know you're in safe hands when shopping on there.
  • Invest in high quality clothing that will last you a lot of years rather than updating your wardrobe every couple of weeks.
  • Donate or repair your garments instead of throwing them away if there's a small tear or a button missing.
  • Avoid brands that use animal fur in the creating of their clothing; thankfully a lot of renowned brands are leaving this practice altogether.

While these are not the only aspects of sustainable fashion, they will definitely help you get started on the right path and realise what it’s all about.


WHAT DO I DO TO SUPPORT THE SUSTAINABLE FASHION MOVEMENT?

I don't have a huge budget to spend and I love wearing new pieces but even I am doing my bit to support the sustainable fashion movement and have been doing so in recent years.
  • I'm terrible for getting rid of something because it has a tear, button missing or stain on it.  So in 2018 I'm making it my mission to learn how to properly wash and care for my clothes and I'm going to learn how to sew so whether its a little rip or a missing button, I'll be able to fix the item that I've got rather than buying a new one.  I've even started a button box so that when I get a new piece I can keep the spare buttons altogether.  I just keep the little packet that the button is in and use a Sharpie to write on the packet what item the button is off.
  • Buy clothes that I can wear for multiple seasons and layer up depending on how cold the weather is.  A great example of this is the dress that I'm wearing in the image above.  Its the gorgeous Billie Faiers Black Floral Print Dress from In The Style Curve that I have featured more in this post.
  • I don't buy clothing that contains fur as wearing real fur and the practice of how companies savagely obtain the fur is not something that I agree with at all.  There are so many awesome faux fur options out there to choose from!
Have you heard about the sustainable fashion movement?  What are you doing or would you do to support it?
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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Dairy Free Express Lunch at Pizza Express, Dalton Park

Dairy Free Express Lunch at Pizza Express, Dalton Park UK Lifestyle and Food Blogger WhatLauraLoves

I've been to Pizza Express twice in my lifetime; once in London a couple of years ago with friends where I enjoyed their incredible Diavolo pizza and yesterday when I visited the Dalton Park restaurant in Murton where I also enjoyed a Diavolo.  The difference?  This time, it was dairy free.

After a visit to Central Healthcare Newcastle around this time last year, I discovered that I had a severe intolerance to dairy.  Eliminating all cows milk products from my diet was really difficult but the real challenge came with eating out.  Its unbelievable the amount of restaurants that can't cater adequately for those with a dairy intolerance.  A lot of the time I feel left out while my friends are tucking into tasty meals and I'm sat there with a half arsed dish from the menu that's lacking flavour and texture as its been cobbled together and missing ingredients from the recipe without dairy-free substitutes.

The trouble is, I enjoy eating out; I love catching up with friends for dinner and many of my work meetings are done over lunch so eating out is a prerequisite.


Dairy Free Express Lunch at Pizza Express, Dalton Park UK Lifestyle and Food Blogger WhatLauraLoves

I'm always on the look out for restaurants that have fantastic dairy free options and I've decided to start sharing them on here in the hope that it may help others out there in a similar position.  I've wanted to do this for ages but felt as though it was important to get to grips with being dairy free first as making the switch isn't easy, especially when you've enjoyed cows milk protein products for so many years!

The place that I'll start with was an unlikely contender for me; Pizza Express.  I'd assumed they'd have next to no dairy free options but after hearing that they'd won the award for the Best Vegan Pizza at the PETA Vegan Food Awards 2017, I learned I was wrong.


Dairy Free Express Lunch at Pizza Express, Dalton Park UK Lifestyle and Food Blogger WhatLauraLoves

As it turns out, Pizza Express is a great place to visit if you're vegan as they can accommodate your dietary requirements perfectly and therefore its ideal if you're dairy free too with their wealth of pizza toppings and bases, and of course, vegan cheese.

I never knew I would miss cheese so much or dairy produce in general until I discovered that it was what had been making me ill for years and had to cut it out completely.  I'd always enjoyed pizza but it wasn't my first choice if I ate out as steak or a chicken dish would always be my go-to.  Then when suddenly something isn't an option anymore, I began to crave it.

I can't tell you how much I've wanted to have a proper pizza this last year and although I've tried making a dairy free one at home, the base resembled a frisbee and the vegan cheese was a stinky, greasy let down.  I thought I'd leave it to the experts and give Pizza Express a try, especially after checking out their thorough allergen menu online.


Dairy Free Express Lunch at Pizza Express, Dalton Park UK Lifestyle and Food Blogger WhatLauraLoves

Dalton Park is an outlet shopping centre in Murton, County Durham.  Its a great place to have a look around if you're wanting a homeware, clothing or beauty bargain and for a relatively small place, it has a great selection of restaurants to choose from as well as a Cineworld which I've been to a couple of times now.  I love the smaller screens and plush seats as it feels more luxe and exclusive.

The Pizza Express at Dalton Park is a real gem.  The decor is stunning, really crisp, clean and incredibly Instagrammable!  There's plenty of seating inside but its the ones outside that I can't wait to sit my tush down on when the warmer weather gets here. I can just imagine enjoying a crisp, cold glass of white in the sunshine while waiting for my Diavolo to arrive!


Dairy Free Express Lunch at Pizza Express, Dalton Park UK Lifestyle and Food Blogger WhatLauraLoves

The service is attentive, friendly and helpful at Pizza Express but most importantly for me, its conscientious.  Our server swiftly brought the allergen menu over to me (you can also download it here) and came back to check if I needed any help with it and clarified a question I had regarding one of the dips with the chef in the open kitchen.  Not once did either of them sigh, roll their eyes or shrug like some have done in restaurants before when I've asked a question about dairy.

Such a positive experience from the start filled me with comfort and reassured me that I could enjoy a meal at Pizza Express safely.  The last time I ate at a restaurant that wasn't quite so contentious, I ended up in hospital on liquid morphine so as I'm sure you can all understand, eating out is a little daunting for me now.


Dairy Free Express Lunch at Pizza Express, Dalton Park UK Lifestyle and Food Blogger WhatLauraLoves

The great thing about Pizza Express is that all of their pizzas can be created with their Italian-made vegan mozzarella alternative so the combination of toppings and options is endless, especially for me who is dairy free but not vegan so I can enjoy the meaty toppings too.

Diet Cokes and ice cold water arrived first followed by my first ever portion of dough balls.  8 fluffy, warm and delicious dough balls, cooked to perfection and the perfect portion size for two at lunchtime.  With a choice of dips available, we opted for the pestorissa on which is a harissa spiced tomato dip that's dairy free and suitable for vegans too.  Think finely chopped sundried tomatoes with a light spice and smoky flavour to them; so delicious for dipping that we asked for an extra portion of the dip to enjoy with our pizzas.

I'd always thought that dough balls would be too heavy to be followed by pizza but these were light and fluffy, meaning that we still had plenty of room for our pizzas afterwards.  I hope Pizza Express will add more milk free options to their range of starters, perhaps something not dough related like a dairy free version of their calamari, so that we could have a couple of options to share between us.


Dairy Free Express Lunch at Pizza Express, Dalton Park UK Lifestyle and Food Blogger WhatLauraLoves

It wasn't long before our dairy free pizzas arrived.

My favourite, the Diavolo; hot spiced beef, pepperoni, tomato, green pepper, Tabasco and a mix of hot green, Roquito and jalapeƱo peppers, but this time with the vegan mozzarella, all loaded onto a Romana base.  This is the bigger, thinner and crispier pizza base that was inspired by the pizzas made in Rome.

The Diavolo pizza was every bit as good as I remembered it to be and the vegan cheese didn't take away anything from the flavours at all, if anything, it enhanced them.  The  mix of peppers was a great recommendation from our server as they gave the pizza a different level of kick with each bite.

I was so happy to see that the Pizza Express pepperoni is dairy free too.  Its amazing the amount of foods, particularly processed ones, that contain dairy that you wouldn't necessarily think about and pepperoni tends to be one of them.  Buying it in the supermarket is a nightmare because you need to check the back of every pack to make sure you get a one that hasn't got it in!


Dairy Free Express Lunch at Pizza Express, Dalton Park UK Lifestyle and Food Blogger WhatLauraLoves

Our second choice was the Fiorentina on the classic, 1965 original base, chosen purely out of amazement that a egg could be added to the top of a pizza.  This delight is usually topped with spinach, a free range egg, tomato, mozzarella, garlic oil, black olives and finished with Gran Milano cheese but we switched out the two cheeses for chicken and the vegan mozzarella alternative.

What an incredible combination; the creamy taste of the vegan mozzarella was perfectly suited to this dish and brought all of the flavours together.  I'd have never thought to put an egg on a pizza but by god it was delicious, especially alongside the flavour from the spinach and olives which I think I'd like even more if they were cut up and distributed more across the pizza so that they could be enjoyed with more bites!

The chicken of course wasn't a necessary extra addition but definitely a one we appreciated; succulent and tasty, it is one of my favourite pizza toppings.


Dairy Free Express Lunch at Pizza Express, Dalton Park UK Lifestyle and Food Blogger WhatLauraLoves

Although I've since found out that Pizza Express also do a fabulous dairy free dessert, I am yet to give it a try as we were full up and in need of a wander around the shops to work off our lunch and spend the pennies we'd saved...

Enjoying pizza on a lunchtime, especially at Pizza Express, felt like a real treat but it was very purse friendly too as they have a fantastic lunchtime deal of a classic pizza (small supplement for the Romana base) and soft drink for only £6.95.


Dairy Free Express Lunch at Pizza Express, Dalton Park UK Lifestyle and Food Blogger WhatLauraLoves

For the starter, two pizza mains and two drinks, our bill came to less than £10 each and as someone who is really focusing on cutting back and saving money, I can't say fairer than that.

I think this deal is a great option if you're looking for a meal before going to the cinema and its ideal for parents too.  Its Monday to Friday until 4pm so mams and dads could take their children for an Italian treat after school, dine from this menu and get the kids something from the Piccolo Menu which offers 3 child friendly courses for the same price, without breaking the back.

To have such a tasty dairy free lunch on a budget has really given me faith that I can eat safely and save money while still eating out.

I think its important to note that Pizza Express didn't know that I'd be writing this review or that I work as a blogger .  I took the snaps of the decor and outside of the restaurant after we had eaten so their amazing service, attention to my dairy intolerance and their incredibly tasty food really is a testament to how great they are as a business and not something that was perfected in order to receive a positive review.

At Pizza Express, I was able to feel like everyone else in the restaurant as I had so much choice and my food didn't look any different to anyone else's.  When you have an intolerance or allergy to a particular ingredient, its really important to find a restaurant that you can eat in without fear of being given something that could make you very unwell and at Pizza Express, I felt to confident and reassured.

Yesterday may have only been my second visit to Pizza Express but it'll certainly not be my last!

Dairy Free Express Lunch at Pizza Express, Dalton Park UK Lifestyle and Food Blogger WhatLauraLoves

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*Please be aware that I have tried to make this post as factually correct as possible at the time of writing, based on the allergen information that I have; at any time a restaurant could change their menu or make a mistake.  Don't take my words for gospel, check, check and check again, don't take any chances with your health!
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Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Dressing For A Girl About Town In Spring

Dressing For A Girl About Town In Spring, Plus Size Outfit Blogger WhatLauraLoves

Since I moved to South Tyneside last summer, getting into the city of Newcastle has never been easier! There's so many metro stations for me to choose from that'll have me strutting me bang in the city centre in less than 45 minutes.

It was great over the winter months when I needed to get my Christmas shopping in and go for festive drinks at Hadrian's Teepee but since the days are getting a little longer and drier, I've been dreaming of cocktails down the quayside.

On a rare mild day in February, that's exactly where I went...

Newcastle Upon Tyne Photograph by India Jackson on WhatLauraLoves UK Blog

Dressing For A Girl About Town In Spring, Plus Size Outfit Blogger WhatLauraLoves

Dressed in my gorgeous new spring top from Yours Clothing with the Scarlett and Jo houndstooth leggings I've had in my wardrobe for the last couple of years, I headed out with the girls for drinks.  If you're ever in Newcastle, the quayside is my favourite area to go to for dinner and a few cocktails as theres loads of choice, the architecture and views is lush and the vibe is really great no matter what time you go.

I'm loving this black top with the 'Check It Out' houndstooth slogan that couldn't pair more effortlessly with these leggings if it tried!  I adore picking out little details like this when I'm putting my outfits together so you can imagine how happy I was when I spotted the pattern on the text!  The soft jersey fabric is stretchy and really comfortable to wear but the gorgeous frill sleeve detailing gives it a little structure.

Dressing For A Girl About Town In Spring, Plus Size Outfit Blogger WhatLauraLoves

Oh and that beautiful floral embroidery detailing has me feeling so excited to wear more colour and prints for springtime.  When there’s such a statement pattern like the monochrome houndstooth and that gorgeous pop of pink floral, I reckon its best to keep the rest of the outfit pretty plain with one main colour rather than adding extra patterns or prints into the mix.  That’s where my most trusted duo for an afternoon on the pop with the girls comes in; my black Chanel WOC and uber comfortable black Primark flatforms.  I think a pop of colour in any of the hues of the embroidered flowers would look lush too but really, the houndstooth is such a statement that sticking to all black for the other main parts of the outfit really is key, even for the spring months ahead!

This is the second piece that I've worn from the spring update at Yours Clothing (first spring outfit post here) and if this is anything to go by, I am BEYOND excited for what is to come from the brand and how my spring wardrobe is going to look.

If only it was warmer because let me tell you, while it looked mildly warm outside when I got ready, it certainly didn't when I was taking these street style photographs!  Drinks definitely took place INSIDE Pitcher & Piano rather than in their lush outdoor area!

Dressing For A Girl About Town In Spring, Plus Size Outfit Blogger WhatLauraLoves

In fact, I am convinced the sun is flirting with me.

I wake up on a morning, look outside to see the currant bun gleaming brightly in the sky, only to get outside and realise that yes, it's still bloody freezing and no, it would appear that spring is not on its way!

Granted its deceptively cold but one things for sure, the low level sun really can be blinding, especially if you're driving.  Sunglasses are essential at this time of the year, just as much as they are in summer.  I love how they add a cool, chic vibe to any outfit (providing you're outside during the day, I’m not in any way suggesting that night time, in a club sunglasses wearing is a great idea girls!) and keep the sun from glaring in your eyes while you’re behind the wheel.


The latest sunglasses in my collection are from Hipster Sunnies who kindly sent me over a couple of pairs that I picked out from their website; St Tropez from their classic collection and Aphrodite which are a gorgeous gold, attention grabbing pair for all the right reasons!

I love how statement Aphrodite are with their reflective lenses and metal detailing on the frame.  A lot of sunnies that I've tried that are shaped like this tend to have a very flimsy frame but these are sturdy, robust and will definitely last me all summer long, wherever my travels will take me!  Check me out wearing them on another bright winters day in this instagram post.

Newcastle Upon Tyne Photograph by India Jackson on WhatLauraLoves UK BlogBy comparison, the St Tropez style that I'm wearing in this post are much more of a classic shape.  They're far rounder than I’d usually go for but in the signature tortoiseshell that I look for in sunglasses with this kind of frame.  Chunky plastic frames in black look far too harsh against my pale skintone and light blonde hair and colourful frames are too cool and quirky for my personal style so the brown of the tortoiseshell is far softer and more flattering.

I like how the St Tropez sunglasses bring a vintage flare to my sunglasses stash which is something that my collection definitely lacks; usually I have more big, glamorous bug eye sunnies or aviators, so these round, throwback ones are a great update and again, they're super high quality.

Newcastle Upon Tyne Photograph by India Jackson on WhatLauraLoves UK Blog

Hipster Sunnies are available with worldwide delivery so you protect your eyes from the sun in style no matter where you are in the world.  The come really securely packaged so I'm sure they'll arrive to you in as pristine condition as they did for me.

The sunglasses themselves do only have a slip case so I'd suggest popping along to the high street with your sunnies and pick up a hard case to store yours in in your bag or suitcase as it'll give them a little extra protection from getting knocked in your bag!  I've seen plenty of different styles in Primark and River Island that wont set you back too much money at all.

Dressing For A Girl About Town In Spring, Plus Size Outfit Blogger WhatLauraLoves

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What is your favourite style of sunglasses?  Are you looking forward to the warmer months?  What have you updated your wardrobe with recently?

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Sunday, 11 February 2018

Keeping It Khaki With In The Style

In The Style Curve Outfit on Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves

Few things make me feel as though I've hit the jackpot more than when I stumble upon a sale item online that I lusted after at full price.  The Curve Binky Khaki High Waisted Palazzo Trousers from In The Style are one such find.

An elasticated waist that sits high on the body in a khaki green hue sees these palazzo trousers tick so many trend boxes for me.  The ribbed detail through the wide legs has an elongating effect on the already super long pants and I love that they're high waisted both from an aesthetic and comfort perspective.

Khaki is definitely a universally flattering shade that seems to suit EVERYONE I've seen it on and I LOVE it on me!

In The Style Curve Outfit on Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves


In The Style Curve Outfit on Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves

They're from Binky's collection with In The Style and as you'd expect from her they're effortlessly chic and comfortable too; lightweight, stretchy and really great to wear.  I'm pairing them with heels right now but come the summer, these would be awesome with a cropped top and sliders, especially on holiday for a cool, laidback look.

With all sizes still available and at a mega deal of £7.99, down from the full price of £27.99 when I first ogled them, they're a sale buy I just couldn't miss out on!

In The Style Curve Outfit on Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves

Of course when shopping the sales, its easy to get distracted by full priced items, such was the case when I spotted the Curve Cheri T Shirt Dress but the good thing about In The Style is that their clothes are really reasonable to begin with.

When it comes to fast fashion, on trend pieces, I'd rather not spend a fortune as they're usually clothes that I'll wear for a year or so and then switch them out for something else to update my look with.  Shops like In The Style are great for this as they always have really stylish pieces that are ahead of the curve.

In The Style Curve Outfit on Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves

Now if the title of this piece didn't give it away, I'll let you into a little secret, this is in fact a dress and you'll see me style it up on the blog in a future post but you can get an idea of how awesome the In The Style Curve T Shirt dresses are in this post.

I bought the Curve Cheri Dress in the next dual size down from the one I'd usually buy so that it fit a little closer to my body as I aimed to wear it as a t-shirt, tucked into these pants, pulled out a little and folded over.  The fabric of this oversized T works really well for this as its thick and not flimsy at all.  I love the added features of the turned up short sleeves and that stunning jewelled detail around the neckline.

Tops with statement necklace embellishments have become really popular in recent months and the trend is right up my street.  I'd rather have something sewn onto material than hanging around my neck like a traditional necklace would as it gives a similar effect but is far less restrictive.  The jewel detailing on this top is really secure and I'm confident that its not just going to fall off at a moments notice and it washes really well too.

In The Style Curve Outfit on Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves

This is the fourth t shirt dress that I've had from In The Style and again, I'm so impressed with the quality.  It pairs so well with the khaki palazzos but will look equally as lush with plenty of other pieces in my wardrobe.  They also stock this piece in white and I'm seriously lusting after it!

To complete the look, I added a Gucci wristlet that I bought with some birthday money many moons ago and some River Island chunky cork heel wedges that give me the much needed extra height with these super long pants  I'm really hoping they repeat in more colours this summer because these are seriously comfortable!

Gone are the days of painful heels for me; they went out as soon as Beach night club in Sunderland closed down...

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How would you style these pieces?  What sales bargains have you bagged recently?
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Saturday, 10 February 2018

3 Fail Safe Gifts For Women


Valentines Day is fast approaching and if you're wanting to bag a gorgeous gift for the woman in your life then you'll need to act quick.  Don't leave it to chance; no one wants to be an afterthought if you turn up with garage flowers with a reduced sticker slapped on them.

That being said, I'm sure the lady in your life deserves to be treated throughout the year be it for her birthday, Christmas or just to say thanks so to make your shopping easier, I've put together my top 3 fail safe gifts for women for any occasion... but especially the day of love!

Cue sweeping generalisations of what women love (but I bet I'm scarily accurate!)...

HOME FRAGRANCE

Jo Malone Sweet Almond and Macaroon Home Candle Gift Guide

When treating the woman you love, you simply cannot go wrong with a candle, reed diffuser or linen/room spray from a luxury brand like Jo Malone, Neom (who even have a body treatment candle that you can pour onto the skin to use during a massage!) or Diptyque.

I received a Jo Malone candle a couple of years ago in the Sweet Almond & Macaroon scent and I actually have it out in my hall way as a decorative piece rather than burning it.  The jars themselves are so beautiful and they look truly stunning around the home.  I'm actually saving up for one of the ginormous ones right now to have as a decorative piece and then I'll burn this one but if I had to recommend one to you to buy, I'd suggest the Red Roses scent.

The Jo Malone Red Roses Candle has this beautifully fresh, pure rose scent without any artificial notes to it at all.  It is deep, sensual and very distinctive.  The ultimate in luxury, style and love.

SHOP LUXURY CANDLES FROM JO MALONE, NEOM & DIPTYQUE

JEWELLERY

Chapelle Jewellery White Gold and Diamond Flower Necklace Gift Guide

Another fail safe gift would have to be jewellery.  Whether the woman you love enjoys bold and statement pieces or something understated, you'll be sure to give her a serious heart eyed emoji if she were to unwrap a piece of jewellery.

I love delicate pieces and compared to times gone by when I was all about the statement costume jewellery, now I prefer to invest in higher quality pieces and really get my wear out of them.

If you buy jewellery for someone that's in a timeless style then it'll never go out of fashion and the person you've gifted it to will always be able to wear and enjoy it.  The White Gold Flower Pendant from Chapelle is one such piece.

Chapelle Jewellery Gift Guide

Made from 9ct white gold and set on an adjustable 16-18" trace chain, this gorgeous necklace is delicate, superb quality and the perfect sparkler to give as a gift.  The little flower pendant has a genuine diamond at the centre of it which catches the light beautifully.

Presented beautifully in a red Chapelle gift box, this would make the perfect gift and it'll not set you back too much either as far as fine jewellery goes; right now you can save an incredible £150 off this piece and bag it for £145!

Chapelle are a company who stock designer jewellery at up to 70% off their RRP.  They have an online store that you can visit here as well as retail shops.  If you're in the North East like I am, they have a store in the Dalton Park Outlet Centre that I'd really recommend checking out.


PERFUME


Jimmy Choo L'Eau Fragrance Review

My final fail safe gift for the lady in your life is a fragrance.  Of course scent is a very personal thing so I'd recommend checking out her current perfume collection and make a note of the scents she has already.  You can easily look online or head to any perfume counter and they'll be able to give you a nod in the right direction of scents that have similar notes to the ones she already loves.

Another option is to choose a fragrance that's either an update or limited edition release to one she already has or a scent from the same brand.

For example, many women love the original Jimmy Choo fragrance but they may equally enjoy the Jimmy Choo L'Eau EDT if they were given a bottle of the scent to try out.

This scent was developed as an expression of the dynamic, alluring and adventurous Jimmy Choo woman and I feel as though they've encompassed that air perfectly with this scent.  It is full of contrasts; delicate yet powerful, elegant but audacious, strong and still feminine.


With top notes of bergamot and hibiscus flower, a heart of nectarine and peony and a base of cedarwood and my favourite, musk, you cannot go wrong with this scent for women who love floral, feminine fragrances.

SHOP

So there we have it, 3 fail safe gift ideas for women to make your shopping throughout the year even easier.

Now off you pop to treat someone you love!

What are your go-to, fail safe gifts for the women in your life?  What are your favourite luxury candles and perfumes?  Have you checked out Chapelle jewellery yet?
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