Saturday, October 31, 2015

Outfit of the Day - Comfy & Casual

If I've planned to head and do some serious clothes shopping, I want to ensure that I'm wearing something I can slip into and out of fairly quickly, but I also want something which looks as though I've made a bit of effort to look nice.
Today I'm wearing:
Coat: Fleur East for Lipsy - Faux Fur Stole Coat 
Top: Oasis - Oversized Stripe T
Jeans: Marks & Spencer - Limited Edition
Shoes: Clarks - super old
Bag: Dr Martens
My prep actually started the night before when I had a shower and washed my hair. As I'm trying to avoid using too much heat, I sectioned my hair into 6 and plaited each section before heading to bed and removing the plaits next morning and ruffling them up a bit. Nothing complicated at all eh? It's actually a trick I seem to recall using a fair old bit when I was younger but as it's quick and easy, I'm not going to turn my nose up at it now!
Then it was time for my favourite skinny fit jeans which are uber comfy and full of stretch, boots which slip on and off quickly thanks to the zip and a loose fitting and baggy t-shirt which I can avoid getting my make-up all over. 
I featured this coat on the blog last week and I've been living in it ever since. You can see I've removed the faux fur stole which gives things a much more boyish yet classic feel. It's great to just slip on over a t-shirt or jumper and really does help to pull things together in my mind.
Today I wasn't really feeling anything in the stores, hence my slightly non-plussed face but that is by the by. I did however, discover a new shop which I think holds some serious potential namely the White Stuff which was full of fun and whimsical prints which I would love to add to my own wardrobe in due course.
To show the stores there's no hard feelings, enjoy the above photo. I'm always about avoiding only putting up the best photos of me, sometimes it's good to show you guys I'm only human and no-one looks fabulously polished all the time.

What's your go to shopping outfit? Show me your non-plussed face when the shops just ain't doing anything for you! It's always good to have a giggle together!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Pads - A Review

During my recent online grocery shop, I became suckered in during the checkout process and may have popped a couple of bits and pieces from Nip + Fab into my basket. They were 50% off so it kinda seemed rude not to!
Today, I just want to to talk about the Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads which come in a pack of 60 for £12.95 if you're purchasing full price. As an aside, I would say it's definitely worth looking around before purchasing anything as Superdrug were also doing a deal of 1/3 off selected Nip + Fab when I purchased these bits.

If you're trying to figure out where you might have heard the name, Nip + Fab have become quite popular in recent days with Kylie Jenner being a notable fan claiming that this particular product leaves her skin super clean. This left me keen to see what all the fuss was about, especially given the affordable price point!
As you can see, the product does make certain claims as to its skincare benefits whilst also helpfully confirming some of the ingredients.

As you can see it contains the following:
  • Glycolic Acid to retexturise and resurface skin
  • Hyaluronic Acid to moisturise, refresh and hydrate skin
  • Blue Daisy to sooth and calm
These particular pads only contain 2.8% glycolic acid, but if you want something with more punch, then there is a night time version available which are more potent at 5% glycolic acid.
The pads come pre-soaked and are ready to use straight from the container. It's simply a case of taking a pad and wiping it across the face and neck before popping into the bin and continuing with your usual skincare routine.

I've not been using these daily but have enjoyed using them twice a week or so as an acid tone type step when my skin needed a bit more exfoliation. I was a little surprised as I had expected some sort of tingling sensation when using but I didn't get this at all. They were really pleasant to use, didn't strip my skin and actually left my face feeling really refreshed and moisturised.

When using these I will generally cleanse, use one of the pads, tone, eye cream, serum and moisturise as per usual.

Overall I think these are really good value for money and if you're looking for an easy step to add into your current routine then this is certainly it! I am tempted to try out more of the range to see if it really is worth all the fuss.

Have you tried Nip + Fab products? Is there something you'd recommend I try? Have you used the Night Time version of the Exfoliating Pads?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Outfit of the Day - The Aztec Print Dress

During a recent bout of sale shopping I tried to grab a few pieces which were a little outside of my usual comfort zone. I think it's safe to say that this boldly printed maxi is not something you'd expect to find me wearing.
Today I'm wearing:
Boots: Black Suede Ankle Boots - Next
Fedora: Felt Fedora Hat - Ted Baker 
Bag: Dr Martens
When I purchased this piece, it was only £12 and I kinda thought to myself "what the heck, what've you got to loose?" and added it my basket. I think it's safe to say that with its bold Aztec print it adds something a little different to my wardrobe. To keep the focus solely on the dress, I've added a plain black fedora, a pair of black ankle booties and my fail-safe handbag.
Despite maxi dresses being affiliated with warmer times of year, the weighted fabric and the flared kimono-esque style sleeves do lend this dress to cooler weather. You might not believe that I'm actually wearing a pair of  black thermal tights under this baby to keep me toasty! This dress is pretty opaque despite the white panelling so don't worry about revealing anything untoward.
When I first tried this on, I wasn't convinced it was very me at all, but Ad convinced me to keep a hold of it. I've got to admit I'm glad he did, he's really grown on me. I mean the v-neck is obviously timeless and chic and the elasticated waist nips me in just enough to keep this dress from looking frumpy.
The weightiness of the fabric ensures this dress hugs me just enough without highlighting all of my lumps and bumps. Plus, the best part of all? This dress does not crease! I mean not at all, after a whole day waddling around London, popping out for dinner, and a stint in the movies, there was not a single crinkle in this baby!! 
As such, this dress would be perfect for travel or packing away for a holiday away in the sunshine. Just add a fedora, a pair of sunnies and some sandals and you're ready to go. As I've said above, whilst the fabric is weighty, it fits and skims in all the right places without being restrictive, it's so comfy.
Today, it was all about simple pared back make-up. Today I'm wearing Estee Lauder Double Wear Light, No.7 Wheatsheaf eyeshadow and Tarte Lipstick in Primrose. I've curled my hair with my Babyliss curler as it's goof proof and ensures the curls last for hours.

How would you style this dress? Have you tried any of the Tarte Lipsticks? Have you purchased South dresses before? I think I might be a new convert!

Monday, October 19, 2015

My Current Everyday Make-Up Routine

Today I'm sharing my everyday make-up routine, and of course, by everyday, I mean, this is what I wear to work.
In all honesty, it's nothing particularly special and, as you can see it's fairly basic given that at 6:20am I cannot be bothered with a full on face of make-up. I want something which will even out my skin tone whilst at the same time, perking up my face making it seem like I've had 12 hours of sleep. We can all dream right?

I'll start with the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue in shade 01 Opal which I've raved about on the blog before. It's packed full of skincare benefits and is the best of a BB, CC and a tinted moisturiser. This basically means it evens out my skin with just the right amount of coverage and leaves my skin looking super natural. I tend to buff this into my skin with the Bobbi Brown full coverage face brush for a flawless finish or use my fingers if I'm in a wicked rush.

If there are any pesky patches, I'll use the Estee Lauder Double Wear Brush-On Glow BB Highlighter in 2W Light Medium. This is a lightweight concealer which, as the name suggests brightens skin whilst minimising the look of imperfections. I tend to use this around my nose, under my eyes and over any blemishes. It's super easy to blend and I find it to be really long lasting as well which is ideal as I hate lugging my make-up around with me.

Next, I use the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion on my cheeks to give a natural flush. This powder is gorgeous and the swirl of colour and highlight gives me a hint of radiance as well which is ideal if my skin is looking a little sallow.

On my eyes, it's a quick sweep of  No.7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow in Wheatsheaf which I've been using as a base colour since I was 16. It's got a subtle shimmer to it which helps to brighten up the eyes and is a great everyday basic taupe shade. 

Before heading out the door I use the Max Factor Masterpiece Mascara in the waterproof formula as it gets kinda rainy in the UK and I don't want to risk things running down my face. Apart from the £9.99 price tag, I also love the fact that the brush isn't a bristle brush so there's no chance of me poking myself in the eye first thing in the morning! I find this mascara gives great definition and a good amount of volume without having to apply lashings of the stuff making it ideal for early morning rushes.
What make-up do you wear everyday? Do you have different for looks for the office and weekends at home?  

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Outfit of the Day - The Off the Shoulder Number

Now you wouldn't typically wear an off the shoulder number during autumnal/winter months, but I reckon I've managed to take a bardot dress and make it work.
Today I'm wearing:

Coat: Lipsy by Fleur East - Faux Fur Stole Coat - £95
Dress: Lipsy by Michelle Keegan - Floral Print Bardot - £35
Boots: Clarks - super old!
Belt: Topshop - again, very old.
I spotted this dress in the sale and thought it might be something a little different to add to my wardrobe. Whilst I'm not usually one for celebrity endorsed clothing, the print and cut of this dress really caught my eye.
Whilst the dress does come up a little shorter than what I'd normally go for, the addition of black tights and cute ankle booties means I can get away it at this time of year. I love that the all over floral print and sheer sleeves keep things feeling fun and playful, even as the temperature takes a turn.

If you wanted to make things a little more slinky, sheer tights and knee high boots would certainly give things a totally different feel.
The bardot neckline was everywhere this summer which I suppose makes me a little behind in terms of fashion trends, I never was one to follow the crowd though! In any event, this dress has been well constructed meaning that a) I wasn't constantly having to tug the dress down to make sure I wasn't showing anything I shouldn't be and b) the bardot neckline actually stayed that way, I've witnessed many women having to tug at their clothing to keep their shoulders on show as their outfit was constantly riding up.
In terms of fit, I found this really flattering. The waist is elasticated with a good amount of give. The dress does come with a fabric belt in a similar print to the dress, but I prefer using my own belt to ensure that my waistline is really nipped in.
Finally, I want to talk about this gorgeous coat, again by Lipsy and part of their new collaboration with Fleur East. It's a universally flattering camel colour (I don't own anything else like this!) with a soft and fluffy detachable faux fur stole.

It has a slightly oversized feel to it which fits with my mostly androgynous wardrobe. The oversized fit means that I will get away with some serious layering in the event of snow and the faux fur stole adds a slightly 70's twist. RESULT!

How would you style this bardot dress? What do you think of my latest addition to the coat collection?  

Monday, October 12, 2015

My Haircare Essentials

Over the years, I've tried numerous hair care products in a bid to keep my hair healthy, shiny, nourished and strong. Whilst there are some products I'll quite happily rotate, there are others which have earned themselves numerous repurchases. Today, I thought I'd share some of the bits and pieces I use on my barnet.
First of all, shampoo and this Pure Hydrate Shampoo from Pureology is something which I cannot do without. Having tried numerous shampoos over the years, my hair is never healthier than when I'm using this. At £25 for a full litre of shampoo, this lasts for well over 3 months with both Ad and I using it on a daily basis.

The whole range is gentle on coloured hair (vital given I colour my hair several times a year), smells delicious, lathers up an absolute dream and is free from sulfates. As an added bonus, everything is suitable for vegans.

Once a week however, I do like to use a detoxing shampoo to get rid of any product build-up and to clarify my hair. At the moment, I'm using the Purify Shampoo, again from Pureology which was about £11 for a 250ml bottle. It has a lovely menthol smell, no doubt thanks to the tea-tree and witch hazel which makes it really refreshing to use. A little goes a long way so I can see this lasting me for several months.

Again, once a week, I've been using this Hair Growth Treatment by Lee Stafford which you massage into your hair and scalp post-shampoo and leave on for around 5 minutes. It contains some sort of protein complex which is supposed to help your hair grow faster whilst strengthening your follicles. I loose a lot of hair over the summer months (literally feels like I'm malting!) and this seems to reduce the amount of hair which is falling out which can only be a good thing when it's so fine.

Then we get onto conditioner and I've really been loving the John Frieda Beach Blonde Detangling Conditioner. Now, don't let the name fool you, this isn't just for blondes! I find this to be great for smoothing and calming my hair without being overly weighty. As my hair gets longer, it has a tendency to get pretty knotty and this helps to prevent that. It's super minty smell is also divine.

If my hair needs a little more nourishment, then I'll reach for the Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Hair Rescue Mask which I've purchased on several occasions. To use, it's a case of scooping out whatever you need and massaging into your hair and scalp, leaving in for a minute and then rinsing out. It's enriched with Argan Oil and Mineral Proteins which leave my hair feeling super soft, nourished and uber shiny.

After I'm done in the shower, I tend to blast my hair dry with some sea salt spray (most brands have a version which does the trick) or leave it to air dry as I'm trying to reduce the amount of heat damage I subject my hair to! If I feel my hair needs it, I'll run a couple of drops of hair oil through the ends to keep them from splitting.

What are your hair care essentials? Are there any products which you repurchase?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Outfit of the Day - The Paisley Print

I'm not one to really follow trends and fashion, but there's something about the 70's revival that I really do love. I know that boho style prints and flowing fabrics are totally within my comfort zone and they're something I'm quite happy to rock from time to time.
Naturally the flurry of loose fitting t-shirts, flared jeans, slouchy boots and relaxed fitting dresses within the stores meant that I was kinda desperate to grab one or two bits to pop into my wardrobe.
Today I'm wearing:

Dress: Black 70's Print Gypsy DressRed Herring at Debenhams -£38
Boots: Aldo - Incredibly Old!
Bag: Dr Martens
Being a bit of a bargain hunter, I was able to nab this piece during a blue cross sale at 20% off. What really drew me in was the paisley print with swirling teals, greys and earthy tones. This neutral palette made me feel quietly confident that I'd find several ways to style this with bits and pieces already in my wardrobe.
Today, I decided to style it simply with leggings and slouchy leather brown boots but I know it would look equally fabulous with a black roll neck top, faux fur gillet and fedora hat as the weather gets cooler.
As you can see, this came complete with it's own faux leather belt, and subtle tassel detailing and metal beads on the neckline. The fit is loose and flowing with more 'traditional' style boho billowing sleeves.
Whilst I'm usually a size 10, I had to size up when purchasing this dress as my forearms and upper arms are quite muscley and they felt quite squashed in the 10. The fabric on this dress does not stretch and the sleeves are not elasticated. If, like me, you're a little more rounded in the arms, I would recommend you do the same.
I kept my hair super scruffy and my make-up really natural. I wanted to keep things totally fuss free and relaxed in order to really embrace the gypsy feel of the dress.
How would you style this dress? What pieces are you loving as part of the 70's revival? Are you a fan of boho?

Monday, October 5, 2015

My Current Evening Skincare Routine

During the week, my evening routine usually starts with me coming home from work in the city before bashing out a 30 minute workout at home. After which, I finally get to relax with a nice toasty shower whereon my evening skincare routine starts.
I get an awful lot of joy from my evening routine and take my time completing each step. First of all, I'll start with a cleansing oil such as the Clean Energy Cleansing Oil from Origins which is a great first cleanse. I massage this into dry skin for a good minute whereon the sunflower oil, sesame oil and safflower oil really go to work at removing the days make-up and grime from my daily commute. I'll then dampen my hands and massage again which causes the oil to turn into a milk before rinsing my skin clean.

Then it's time for my second cleanse, and depending on how my skin is looking and feeling I'll either go in with a super gentle face wash such as the Yes to Cucumbers Daily Gel Cleanser which always helps to sooth and calm an angry complexion. If my skin is starting to look red and angry, this always helps to keep make my skin happy again.

If my skin needs a bit of an extra oompfh then this 3 in 1 face wash from Soap & Glory is packed full of all sorts of fancy technology and vitamin c which help to smooth, purify, energise and brighten my skin. It foams up nicely without being stripping the skin and the vitamin c does seem to give my skin a bit of a boost. 

After double cleansing, it's time to move onto the good stuff, namely eye cream, serum and then either a night mask or moisturiser.

First up, on the eyes I've been using the Snail Repair Eye Cream from Mizon. Don't be put off by the word Snail, it doesn't smell of anything and the texture isn't offensive either. The mucin actually has a powerful regenerative effective which stimulates cell renewal and stimulates collagen which all helps to tighten and brighten the skin around the eyes. Try it for yourself and let me know how you get on, at only £18 a tub it won't break the bank.

Then we're on to serum and I've been using the Midnight Recovery Concentrate from Kiehl's for well over a year, the bottle just keeps on giving!  It's packed full of powerhouse ingredients which help to rehydrate my skin, plump it out and generally make it look more radiant the following morning. It's just a miracle in a bottle and my skin looks noticeably different when I don't use this in the evenings. My favourite way to use this is to mix 2-3 drops with my moisturiser before massaging it into my skin.  

My final step is either a moisturiser or night mask as I've said above. Most evenings I've been using the Day and Night Cream from Flora Mare which again, seems to last forever and is only £26 for a 100ml tub. It's packed full of avocado, olives, argan and even almonds to make for a luscious, rich and super hydrating face cream. This is far too rich for me to use during the day, but it's ideal for the evenings when I like to use much more nourishing products. It leave my skin feeling soft and supple the next morning so it's obviously doing something right.

On the night mask front, I'm trying out this Good Night White Sleeping Mask from Mizon. It's packed full of hyaluronic acid, glycerin and niacinamide which hydrate my skin, condition my skin and as the name would suggest, help to brighten my skin and even out skin tone. It melts into the skin nicely and does seem to be doing a good job. I've only used this three times so it's still early days but I can see this becoming a winter skincare staple in the near future.

So there you have it, my 5 step routine to keep my skin looking lovely. Once a week I also use a face mask which will vary almost every week but that's another post altogether!

What products are in your evening skincare routine? Do you have any Holy Grail products which you ALWAYS use? Would you use a snail cream?

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Outfit of the Day - Cherry Blossom Print Shift Dress

Generally I'm not one to buy into a celebrity line of clothing as they can be incredibly hit and miss. However. when I saw this print, I knew this was one item that I needed in my wardrobe as they're the perfect colours for autumn/winter.
Today I'm wearing:

Dress: Rochelle Humes Floral Shift Dress - Very - £49
Belt: Obi Belt - Mango
Shoes: New Look
Like I say, the thing that really grabbed me about this dress was this absolutely gorgeous cherry blossom style floral print. There's shades of pink, red, orange with a base of black to tie everything together.
As I prefer things to be a little more nipped in, I opted to wear this with an obi style belt to accentuate my waist. Without this, the fit is typical of a shift dress and fairly straight throughout the body, however, there are a couple of aspects which make this dress stand out from your average run of the mill shift dress.
First of all, the sleeves, as you can see in the above shot are quite long, slightly wide and almost fluted in style thus giving a nod to the current 70's trend which has swept the nation. 
Next up, the length of the dress is a little shorter than your typical office dress. This was advertised as being a mini shift dress, but at 5ft 6" I didn't think this came up particularly short on me, in fact, I found the length to be perfect for me. 
Overall, the higher neckline, longer length sleeves and shorter skirt make this the perfect dress to go from office to bar. It also helps that the fabric has a nice amount of stretch which not only makes the fit snug in all the right places, but there's also a bit of give should you decide to over indulge!
As I was popping out for a lovely lunch with the other half, I decide to keep my make-up and hair super fuss free for fear of being totally over dressed! My hair is at that difficult length where I can't do anything particularly fancy with it so I just pulled it into a tiny side plait which duly fell out 10 minutes later, I tried though!

How would you style this dress? What would you do with your hair...I'm in need of suggestions! What do you think of the print? Are you a fan of celebrity collaborations? 
Design by Studio Mommy (© Copyright 2015)