30 September 2010

St Tropez Tan Intensifier & Body Butter

Summer is now over (did it ever really begin?) and I'm trying to hold on to my natural tan for as long as possible to delay the rigmarole of the laborious fake tanning process.
St Tropez has developed a product especially for this purpose, the Tan Intensifier.

This lightweight gel-based lotion is specially formulated to make your natural or self-tan last longer by providing an instant boost of colour which then develops over 4-12 hours. Infused with Mediterranean oils, vitamin E and a specialist mix of tanners, the lotion helps prolong a golden radiance whilst giving deep nourishment for sleek and supple skin.

With an 'Aromaguard' fragrance technology, St Tropez claim the tell-tale self tan aroma is eliminated by a minimum of 70% and instead gives a subtle, yet refreshing fragrance. The scent was what surprised me the most. Rather than subtle, I would describe it as a strong, floral scent that gradually softened over the hours. I wasn't the biggest fan but I suppose it beats the smell of mouldy biscuits.

The lotion is a creamy milk chocolate colour and once applied, gives a subtle extra hint of colour to your skin. It was smooth and easy to apply, absorbed quickly without leaving a sticky residue and left no stains on the hands. The perfect pick-me-up for your tan!

St Tropez Tan Intensifier has an RRP of £20.00 for 200ml and is available online

St Tropez Body Butter
One of the key's to prolonging a tan, whether real or fake, is to keep skin nourished and moisturised. I've often skipped this step and the result has been a fading, uneven and patchy tan.

I've now got myself into the routine of regularly applying body moisturiser (almost) daily. I found lotions were being absorbed too quickly and wanted something more intense so St Tropez Body Butter sounded ideal. This body butter is a rich, luxurious treat for your skin, filled with cocoa butter and natural oils. The ultra thick cream leaves my skin immediately hydrated and softly scented, perfect for prolonging tans or simply as a cure for dehydrated skin. I'll be using this body butter in between self tan applications to maintain soft, moisturised skin.
St Tropez Body Butter has an RRP of £15.00 for 200ml and is available online

How do you prolong your tan?

28 September 2010

Kim Kardashian Curls

 Over Summer I experimented with trying to perfect Kim Kardashian curls. I've become very fond of this hairstyle, it's glamorous and flattering and makes long hair like mine look a lot less boring. Initially, I was using my Nicky Clarke Supermodel Giant Barrel Tong (bought from eBay.) As much as I loved how these created big, loose curls that resembled Miss Kardashian's, they just weren't holding the curl longer than 10 minutes, no matter how much hairspray I assassinated my hair with. They simply didn't reach a high enough temperature. I'd spend an age waiting for them to heat, patiently wrap my hair around the tongs, hold in position for a few minutes and release, but by the time I'd finished my whole head of hair, the section I'd started with was already dropping.

My search for another pair of large barrelled tongs began and eventually I purchased Boots Style Solutions Jumbo Hair Tongs. Costing only £14.99, they feature 32mm ceramic coated plates specifically designed for creating voluminous, large curls and heat up to 180'C. They only slight problem I have is the length of the cord. Unless you have a plug socket very near to where you'll be styling your hair, you may be in a bit of trouble. The cord was just about long enough for me but it meant I had to rest the tongs on the floor between sections as it was too short to reach any kind of surface. That aside, these tongs create beautiful loose curls like so...

The tongs heat up quickly, the curl lasts a long time and the whole process is complete in a matter of minutes. This is how I'm hoping to have my hair at our wedding next year, let's just hope my hair behaves on the day!

Do you have any tips for creating Kim Kardashian curls?

26 September 2010

Tesco Clothing Shopping Spree!

I don't think I've ever bought a piece of clothing from Tesco before, but after seeing another blogger's goods from the store, I headed there (via the Internet) myself. Before I knew it my virtual shopping basket was being filled with all sorts of gorgeous things and I came out of the experience with almost £90 less in my bank account. Who would have thought it possible?! Here's what caught my eye and is making it's way to me as I type...

And Mary Gold Plated Envelope & Swallow Necklace - £12

This beautiful, girly necklace is part of the 'And Mary' jewellery range stocked by Tesco. The collection is right up my street, featuring delicate designs of miniature teacups, teapots, birdcages and vintage style necklaces. Inside this sweet little envelope is a letter with the words 'I love you.'

F&F Floral Print Wellington Boots - £10

I can't say no to a pretty pair of Wellington boots, especially when they involve pink flowers. You never know when they'll come in handy!

F&F Tailored Dress - £22

I'm always struggling to find attractive workwear dresses so I was delighted to see this on the Tesco site. The ruffle sleeves add a pretty, feminine touch to a structured dress.

F&F Bow Neck Floral Blouse - £18

I thought this would be a blouse that could be worn in different ways - either tucked into a pencil skirt for workwear or with skinny jeans for the weekend.

F&F Brocade Tailored Dress - £25

Another structured workwear dress, I love the brocade print of this dress and the cute little sleeves. It's a nice alternative to the usual black/grey plain dresses that are so often the only kind of dresses offered as suitable for work.

And finally, what I so wanted to add to my basket but they didn't have my size...

F&F Bow Front Dress - £20

A lovely elegant dress that could be worn smartly or casually. I'd love to wear this with a blazer and little pumps. I'll be checking back to see if they stock up in my size at a later date.

Have you ever bought clothing or accessories from Tesco before?

24 September 2010

Nails Inc A/W Collection

It’s that time of the year again. The leaves start to fall, the temperature drops and it's time to pack up your pastels and reach for more Autumnal shades. According to the A/W trend reports, this season's hottest must-have colours are variations of black and an array of gorgeous grey tones. Nails Inc. have got this trend covered with their new limited edition collection of dark, muted shades to compliment the latest fashions spotted on the catwalks.

I love the look of this collection, it offers every shade you need to get through A/W, from dark and gothic to light and lilac - gorgeous!

The A/W Collection includes:

Palace Garden Terrace – this season’s answer to greige

Lowndes Square – a unique shade of lilac/mink

Queensgate Mews – a sultry glossy black grape hue

Duke of Wellington Place – the perfect gunmetal grey

The new A/W collection colours from nails inc. are available as a set for £25.00 or individually for £10.50

22 September 2010

Olay's Big British Beauty Poll

As beauty bloggers we spend our time writing about our views on a array of products and treatments. Now women all over the country have a chance to have their say thanks to Olay who is conducting The Big British Beauty Poll. The reason for the poll? After asking a number of British women whether they thought beauty companies listened to their views, Olay discovered a staggering 92% of those questioned said ‘no’. As a result, Olay decided to launch The Big British Beauty Poll. A comprehensive beauty census, Olay want to find out what really gets our beauty pulses racing, from top skincare concerns to beauty buying habits to discovering the nation’s most iconic beauty of all time.

After considering the most obvious choice as the most iconic beauty of all time - Audrey Hepburn, I decided I'd choose someone a bit different and went for Jean Shrimpton. I love how she looked in her heyday; big Bambi eyes, glamorous makeup and the big bouffant hairdo I so covet.

Not only is The Big British Beauty Poll a great opportunity to voice your opinions, the first 500,000 women to register at http://www.olay.co.uk/ will also be offered the opportunity to test, rate and review a free sample of Olay's latest and most effective luxury super-serum.

In addition, each person to enter the poll will be entered into a prize draw to win one of 10 £1,000 prizes. The Big British Beauty Poll is open to women in the UK aged between 18 and 65 and will be open for entering until 20 October 2010. Head on over to http://www.olay.co.uk/ to have your say, it takes less than 5 minutes!

*This is a sponsored post

21 September 2010

Scarf Storage

Over the past year I've slowly been building my scarf collection. Along with the ever increasing collection came the problem of storage. I didn't want to stuff them into a drawer or box and not easily be able to access them, and placing them on a conventional hanger didn't work either. After a bit of browsing on the Internet I came across Ikea's Komplement Multi-Use Hanger. If purchased from Ikea, this hanger only costs £2.99, but as I didn't want to drive all the way to the store and buying through their online store would mean a £7.50 delivery charge, I turned to eBay instead. In total the price came to about £7 which I though was still reasonable.

The hanger has 28 compartments which can be used for scarves, belts, ties etc, whilst the width of the hanger is no larger than a regular sized one.

On the website the hanger looked as though it was made of white plastic, which I didn't find very appealing. However, I was pleased to discover when it arrived that it had a sort of knitted covering...

... which I think makes it look a little less cheap and more aesthetically pleasing.

At last my scarves are organised and neat!

How do you organise your scarves?

17 September 2010

Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo & Conditioner

Liz Earle are well known for their excellent skincare and they have now extended their expertise to haircare. After 6 years of development, Liz Earle have now launched their Botanical Shine haircare range.

Packed with over 89% naturally derived ingredients including vitamin E, aloe vera and shea butter, Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo is free from SLS and SLES yet still performs and feels like a professional shampoo. I absolutely love using this product, the smell is divine. As I was lathering it up on my hair the thought that came to mind was Starburst. For me this shampoo smells just like the delicious fruity sweets, good enough to eat! I was impressed with the amount of lather considering it was SLS and SLES free and overall I was very happy.

Liz Earle Botanical Shine Conditioner is available for normal, dry and oily hair. Containing over 95% naturally derived ingredients, each conditioner is specially formulated to deliver great results tailored to your hair type. I received the conditioner for normal hair and I found it was creamy, smelled good and left my hair soft and tangle free.

A lovely range of haircare, and at £7.50 for each 200ml bottle, it won't break the bank.

Will you be trying the Liz Earle haircare range?

16 September 2010

Paul & Joe Moisturising Foundation Primer

One of my favourite beauty products which I've been using almost daily for the past couple of months is Paul & Joe's Moisturising Foundation Primer. Arriving beautifully packaged, I was smitten before I'd even tried it. It's always a nice surprise when cosmetics have such lovely aesthetics and the baby pink glass bottle would be a nice addition to any dressing table.

Packed with hydrating botanical conditioners and moisturising hyaluronic acid, this primer not only keeps skin hydrated for hours, it also claims to even out skin tone and conceal blemishes to prepare the perfect base for foundation and makeup application.

Unlike other primers I've used which have been thick and gel-like, this one has a very fluid consistency. The smooth, non-sticky formula is light and melts into the skin, whilst harmful daytime UV rays are blocked with SPF 12.

The scent is delicate, feminine and unoffensive and once applied, the primer leaves a slightly tacky, dewy surface for the foundation to cling to. My makeup looks flawless when using this; shine is kept at bay and my makeup stays in place all day long, even withstanding stifling, humid tube journey's during the summer months.

This is by far my favourite primer and it was recently named as 'Best Primer' in Elle's Hot 100 Beauty Buys.
Paul & Joe's Moisturising Foundation Primer is available in 3 shades...

...has an RRP of £20 and is available online.

15 September 2010

Benefit Erase Paste

During summer, to my horror, I developed dark circles under my eyes as a result of many terrible night's sleep due to hayfever. Under-eye shadows had never been a problem in the past, but I soon found myself on the search for a product that would eradicate the bags. I'd remembered Benefit Erase Paste had often been mentioned as a solution to this problem so I was keen to try it myself.

Available in 3 shades, I chose medium, an almost salmon coloured shade that counteracts any darkness or shadows. Along with the concealer is a small leaflet outlining how best to apply Erase Paste on different areas of the face, very useful if you're a novice, and a small spatula. The instructions advise scooping out a small amount, placing it on the back of your hand and lightly dabbing along your under eye area with your ring finger.

The paste is creamy and easy to apply with no dragging of the delicate skin under the eye. Although expensive at £18.50, only the smallest amount of product is needed for good coverage, so despite being a dinky sized pot, I can see this product lasting a long time. Now my hayfever has subsided I no longer have dark circles to conceal but I continue to use this to brighten up my eye area. A great product that's worth the money.

Benefit Erase Paste is priced at £18.50 and available from Benefit counters or online

14 September 2010

Wedding Inspiration: Dresses

One of the first things I did after getting engaged was to start to collect clippings of dresses that I liked to get an idea of the kind of style I was looking for. Although I loved soft, floaty dresses like this...

...I decided I'd like more of a elaborate dress as it's the only day in your life when you can where a big, beautiful dress. I also thought these softer versions would be more suited to a wedding abroad or a beach wedding and as ours will take place in a Church, I thought something a bit more dramatic would fit better. I've been drawn to dresses that have a fitted bodice to accentuate curves with a full skirt. Here are some of my favourite dresses which I hope to try soon...

Blue by Enzoani-Caldera

Ellie Saab-Caliope




Maggie Sottero-Anniston

Benjamin Roberts-911

This weekend I'll be visiting Wedding Days of Cheltenham with my mum; I'm hoping they'll have these dresses so I can see if I love them as much once I've tried them one. I'm so excited about finally wearing a wedding dress!

13 September 2010

Sugar Strip Ease

I've been more experimental with hair removal this year, venturing out of my comfort zone with shaving to try epilating for the first time. Now another first - sugaring. With the same concept as waxing, sugaring has been used for thousands of years so I thought it must be a reliable method and I was keen to give it a go.

Made from a blend of pure sugar syrups and free from artifical chemicals, Sugar Strip Ease won't irritate the skin and is completely water soluble, meaning no hard-to-remove, sticky residue.

My only experience with waxing has been with Veet's ready-to-use wax strips, so I was a complete novice to heating a solution and applying it myself. However, the instructions were easy to follow and I simply popped the jar into the microwave for 60 seconds and checked it was the consistency of runny honey before applying to my skin.

I was expecting a fair amount pain as my experience with Veet's strips has not been pleasant (and epilating is excruciating) but I was left shocked after whipping these strips off, not from the pain but by the lack of it. In fact I'd almost go as far to say that it was pain-free. So delighted was I by this that I happily went about waxing the rest of my legs. In the past I couldn't bear continuing and have wandered around with a single rectangular-shaped patch of smooth skin. The fact these sugaring strips barely registered on the pain factor means they're ideal for use on more sensitive areas such as underarms and the bikini line.

A big plus for me is that the sugar washes off so easily. No need for 'after waxing wipes' which not only do not remove the wax, but also feel greasy. The fact the sugar is water soluble means the fabric strips are completely reusable so a very economical form of hair removal.

Overall, I found Sugar Strip Ease simple to use, almost pain-free and a good alternative to shaving, epilating or waxing. The packaging is pretty and the price is reasonable too, I'd definitely recommend.

Sugar Strip Ease is priced at £9.99 and available at http://www.boots.com/

Have you tried sugaring? Would you give it a go?

7 September 2010

Ins & Outs

I've been a bit absent from the blogging world, firstly because we were settling into our new house and waiting for an Internet connection, then heading away for a holiday for a fortnight. To ease myself back into it and give a little update on things that are happening right now, I thought I'd do my first Ins and Outs post...


Feeling good after a holiday

My fiancé and I have spent the last fortnight in Turkey where the weather was glorious. I've returned the most tanned I've ever been, my hair a few shades lighter, and feeling relaxed and happy.

Joining the gym

I used to be one of those people who could eat as much junk as they liked and never gain a pound. People I barely knew would come up to me and exclaim, 'You're so skinny.' Alas, those days are now over and I've decided to try the gym in an attempt to shift some weight and tone up. I don't want to spend a lot in case I discover I can never be bothered to go, so I've found a gym called Fit Space which is a no-frills gym and only costs £10 a month, perfect!

Returning to our new home

We've done a lot of decorating since we moved in a few weeks ago but there's still a few finishing touches needed. We've started to order furniture and my new dressing table...

and our chests of drawers...

...are due to be delivered later today. We haven't yet ordered our bed so we're still sleeping on the mattress on the floor which has somehow led to some of the best night's sleep of our lives!

Being inspired to cook

We had some delicious traditional Turkish meals whilst on holiday such as dishes cooked in clay pots and steel pans and it was lovely to taste their casseroles which were so full of flavour. Before going away we also tried Le Mistral, a lovely French restaurant in our local town where we dined on Moules Marinieres - a bowl of mussels with shallots, garlic, white wine and parsley cream and Boeuf Bourguignon - tender beef with shallots, smoked belly pork and mushrooms slow cooked in a red wine stock on garlic mash. It's inspired me to attempt to cook real, tasty food and to step away from pre-made sauces. I'll be looking up some recipes and hopefully soon I'll be making delicious tasty food myself!

Autumn/Winter Clothing

Before we jetted off to Turkey, we did a spot of shopping in Nottingham. It was one of those marvellous days where the shops seem to be full of lovely things and you're spoiled for choice. We spent hours in H&M as they had such an array of gorgeous clothes, so I thought it wise to stock up on for Autumn and ended up buying masses of clothes from there!

Wedding Planning

A year after getting engaged, we have finally set a date! Our wedding will take place on August 20th 2011. I was delighted when a few weeks ago on this very date a personalised card arrived in the post from my fiancé with a lovely message inside. It made me smile...

 Next weekend we'll be visiting my parents and my mum and I will be heading to some bridal boutiques so I can finally try on some wedding dresses!

Missing my fiancé

It was amazing to spend two whole weeks together and to be in each others company 24 hours a day. Now we're back in the real world and it's back to work so we miss each other terribly, I want him back all to myself!

English weather

It rained throughout August, it rained when we departed England, and unsurprisingly, upon our return at 3am this morning, we were greeted with more pouring rain and very cold temperatures. Having spent the last two weeks growing accustomed to a climate where it reaches 45'C by 10am, I went to bed shivering and teeth chattering, trying to re-gain some warmth by wrapping up in my winter PJ's, a hoody and thick fluffy socks. Upon awakening I discovered the brief exposure to the cold whilst hopping off the plane and getting home had left my toes with chilblains. Very painful and itchy.

I'll be back soon with more posts on my latest purchases!