It's been just over a year since my husband and I bought our beautiful 3 bedroom Victorian home and besides the occasional glimpse in a photo I've not yet dedicated any blog posts to the interior of our home. When we moved in the house was completely empty save for the pieces below as we couldn't wait to be rid of the cheap (and pretty useless) furniture which had seen through the two years we'd lived in our tiny rented flat. Our house was a blank canvas and we couldn't wait to make it into a beautiful home!
Being a fan of country cottage, shabby chic style decor has its perks. The look can often be achieved with very little cost. Although the shops are full to bursting with shabby chic paraphernalia, they most often come with a steep price tag. However, if you have the time or inclination to shop around and regularly visit charity shops and car boot sales, you can find some lovely pieces for a very small cost.
The walls have been decorated with Laura Ashley wallpaper and Farrow and Ball paint and we splashed out on new furniture for our bedroom, but a large part of the house has been decorated using second hand furniture which I adore. Each piece is unique and irreplaceable which makes our home feel all the more special.
Welsh Dresser - £30
We spotted this in our local Sue Ryder store when we still lived in Loughborough and I was so delighted to find a Welsh dresser for such a low price. It was a pain lugging it up 3 flights of stairs and having to store it in our tiny hall, but since we've moved it's had a nice home in our spacious kitchen. We sanded it down, applied an undercoat and a couple of coats of matt white paint before adorning it with pretty things.
Standard Lamp - £2
We picked this up at a carboot sale for a mere £2, much to my delight. We re-wired it to be on the safe side and I painted the base in a white eggshell paint. The shade was pretty grubby and we had planned on recovering it, but the cream and duck egg went well with our Laura Ashley wallpaper. This is where our Miele vacuum cleaner came in handy! I popped it on the upholstery setting and the dirt just vanished!
(How teeny was the old kitchen!)
Breakfast Stools - 3 for £5
These stools were a brilliant find in an old factory building selling all kinds of second hand furniture. Our kitchen has a breakfast bar but I'd only seen modern breakfast stools being sold so these were perfect for keeping in with the country cottage theme. We roughly sanded them down to make the seat a lighter rustic colour then I painted the back rest and legs with an undercoat and a coat or two of white eggshell paint. It was immensely tedious but I love the finished result.
Pine Bookcase - £70
We had a lot of books stored in the cellar so I was desperately seeking a reasonably priced pine bookcase that would suit our home. I eventually found this one on eBay and it looks perfect in our dining room filled with a few of our favourite books!
A couple of days ago I was surprised with Carmine's November instalment and I was pleased to find it's a good one this month! The box wasn't quite as difficult to get into as last time although a good deal of frustrated huffing and puffing still took place.
New CID i-Pout Lipstick
I was happy to find a lipstick in this months box. I've started to experiment with more colour on my lips lately so this bright Fuschia was a welcome addition to my collection. The packaging contains a mirror and light so it's perfect for carrying around for touch ups.
Dainty Doll Eyeliner Pencil
After my initial excitement over an item from Dainty Doll which I've been eager to try, I was disappointed with the colour as its not something I would personally wear. As for the quality of the pencil itself, it lacks pigmentation and it has a hard consistency so I found it impossible to apply without injuring myself!
Cosmetics a la Carte Brow Ink
I'm all about big brows so I loved this item being included in the box. The shade is a middle-of-the-road taupe which was obviously picked so it would suit all customers. I'd say it's more suited to the lighter hair tones so it's too fair to show up on my browns sadly but a good quality product nonetheless.
Lulu's Time Bomb Flashback Night Cream
A bit of a niche product as it's targeted towards a specific age range so this isn't something I'll get much use from.
Neom Organics Body Lotion
I've tried Neom Organics candles so it was nice to enjoy a generously sized sample of their skincare line too.
I really like the contents of Carmine's November box. It's refreshing to see a beauty box which offers a good amount of makeup items, it's just a shame not all of the shades were suitable for my colouring.
The Carmine box is priced at £10 plus £2.95 postage
With Christmas fast approaching it's time to find the perfect party dress, sort your nails and perfect your hair in preparation for the festive season. I never step out to a party without a pair of false lashes on, so when the lovely Imogen from Foxy Locks Extensions offered me the chance to review some Foxy Lashes, I jumped at the chance to trial even more styles and shapes in search for the perfect pair.
These lashes are perfect for adding length to the outer corner of the eye for a fabulous feline look.
If you like your lashes natural looking these are perfect for an understated look that adds definition to the eyes.
I love how wispy these lashes are...perfect for flirty fluttering!
The lashes are light and lovely to wear and as they have a clear band they blend in seamlessly so there's no need to worry about trying to conceal them. I also love the girly pink packaging!
Foxy Locks Lashes are priced at £4.99 and are available to buy from the Foxy Locks website.
I am a huge fan of big, loose curlsà laKim Kardashian and Victoria's Secret Angels so I was delighted when I was offered the chance to review the Instyler which is unlike any other hair tool I've seen before. The InStyler combines a rotating hot iron with a bristled comb which not only gives long lasting loose curls, it adds volume and lift and can be used to straighten hair too. As a collector of curling tongs and hair straighteners in varying sizes, a product which promises to do it all appeals to me.
♥ 3 Heat Settings
♥ Up to 196'C Ceramic Heat
♥ 3 Metre Cord
♥ 30 Second Rapid Heat-up
♥ Auto Safety Shut-off
♥ Contains DVD, Comb, Travel Bag and Heat Shield
The InStyler’s rotating heated cylinder gives your hair just enough heat to help style and straighten and as the cylinder is constantly moving, it won’t press and bake your hair like traditional straighteners. The InStyler’s bristles comb and separate your hair, while the rotating heated cylinder gently glides over your hair, smoothly polishing and styling each strand. It takes a bit of getting used to but the InStyler gave me the loose bouncy curls I adore.
(Out of all the stills that could have been chosen it had to be the most unflattering one...)
This year I was asked to help judge the UK Beauty Awards, where I took part in assessing the Best New Mass Market Bodycare Products. You can take a peek at the shortlist below...
(Click to enlarge)
The winners of the UK Beauty Awards will be announced at The Clothes Show Live on Friday 2nd December at 12.30pm within the spectacular Fashion Theatre at the Birmingham NEC and I'm offering one of my readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Clothes Show for the same date.
- One entry per person - Open to UK residents only
I've been in desperate need of some new flats so when my Elle subscription arrived and a £25 Kurt Geiger gift card was included, I headed straight to the site to peruse the shoes. I spotted these Miss KG Licorice 2 beauties and knew they were the ones. I recently rekindled my love for glitter after trying Models Own Pink Fizzso these gold glitter pumps with a dusky pink bow were the perfect additions to my shoe collection. I love how gorgeously girly they are and best of all, they cost just £20 with the gift card!
Sleek Makeup has launched yet another fantastic product - this time in the form of The Berry Collection. Priced at just £9.99 for three full sized products, this festive collection promises a splash of seasonal colour with on-trend berry shades. This would make a fabulous gift, either as a treat for yourself or as a stocking filler.
True Colour Lipstick in Cranberry
A deep berry shade, this colour is sure to draw attention to your perfect pout. This is the first True colour Lipstick I've tried from Sleek Makeup and I'm impressed. Cranberry is vividly pigmented whilst being deliciously glossy and moisturising.
Blush in Fenberry
Fenberry gives a matte flush of natural winter rosiness to your cheeks.
Kohl Pencil in Mossberry
This rich purple-toned chubby kohl is smooth and creamy allowing for easy smudging to create a smoky, sexy eye. A refreshing change from the standard black kohl.
Sleek Makeup's Berry Collection launches on 23rd November 2011 for a limited time only.
Available to buy online from Sleek and in Superdrug stores nationwide with an RRP £9.99