Monday, November 16, 2015

Christmas Gifts for Beauty Lovers

Yes, it's the first of my festive themed posts which will at some point include a list of bits and pieces I currently have my eye on for myself. Nope, I'm not ashamed to admit that throughout the festive season I enjoy indulging in a little bit of self-gifting, it's only fair right?
To start off my beauty themed gift list we have the Stila Sending My Love Set which can be grabbed for £39. As you'd expect, it's packaged beautifully and includes two pretty palettes, one for eyes and one for cheeks. The eye palette includes a combination of both matt and shimmering shades all of which are super wearable and can be made to work for both day and night looks. The cheek palette includes a lush champagne highlight, a universally flattering bronzer and a super cute rose pink blush. On top of this you also get a smudge-proof eye liner and pretty pink Lip Glaze thus making this kit ideal for the make-up lover in your life.
Next up we have the Real Cheeky Party by Benefit at £29.50 which is completely gorgeous. I got a similar set last year which I've used almost every single day since! This set is fantastic value for money and includes five of Benefits best selling blush shades namely Dandelion, Hoola, Sugarbomb, Rockateur and CORALista. If you're a lover of blush and can never pick just one to wear then this is for you. As well as blush this set also includes a mini They're Real mascara, They're Real push-up liner and Watts Up highlighter. Phew!
The final gift recommendation for the make-up lover in your life is the Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani palette which isn't yet released but will be clocking in at £40. From what I've read thus far, this palette is for those who can't quite decide between the Urban Decay Naked 1, Naked 2 or Naked 3 palette and will include some absolutely stunning neutral shadows and some vivid colours should you feel the need to experiment more. 
Now it's onto body care!
Every year the Body Shop bring out some gorgeous limited edition festive themed scents, this year is of course no different. Whilst they've brought back the Glazed Apple and Frosted Cranberry scents, this year they've introduced Frosted Plum a sweet yet fruity floral fragrance which is available in the Tin of Delights at £28. This tin is literally full to the brim of goodies and includes a shower gel, body butter, shimmer globe and lip balm all packaged in a gorgeous tin. The shimmer fragrance globe is ideal for Christmas because, as you'd expect, it's full of sparkle! If you have a Body Shop fan in the family, then this Tin of Delights is a beautiful bargain.
Finally, if you're on a budget but still want to show someone you care, then the Rituals Ancient Beauty set at £17.50 could be for you. It contains a body scrub, shower foam, shampoo and body cream all in the Indian Rose and Sweet Almond scent which is, quite simply, divine. It's really calming yet luxurious in scent with the quality of the products being fabulous. I regularly use the shower foam and find it to be nourishing, hydrating and uber foamy to say the least. The whole range feels like a real treat to use.
What beauty products are on your beauty gift list? Is there anything else you'd recommend I check out?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Getting Qwerky with Qwertee

Today I wanted to share with a brand I've only recently discovered, Qwertee who sell awesome t-shirts, hoodies and jumpers for a limited time only and for a pretty sweet price of £8 per t-shirt, £15 per jumper and £24 per hoodie.
Their whole philosophy is one t-shirt, one day only at one incredible price and I certainly think £8 for a limited edition t-shirt is a total steal. As you can see, Ad and I have pretty big collection which is growing week by week. I find the quality of clothing and the print to be great, they're not the sort of prints which will just wash off once you've popped them in the machine once or twice unlike some pieces I've grabbed from Primark over the years.
Given I'm a total nerd, you can understand why these t-shirt would appeal to me, I mean a Totoro and Snorelax, how cute is that? It's the ultimate pillow fight underneath a sakura tree, this t-shirt couldn't be any more me if it tried.
The designs on offer vary each and every day with the designs having been voted to print by Qwertees' customers. The designs are all created by the Qwertee community and being a community full of gamers, manga lovers, anime enthusiasts and general pop culture aficionados I love most of the images for print on offer.
The sizing comes up a little small so I've opted for a medium when I would usually be a small (I'm a size 10 if it helps). Ad is the same and usually goes for a small in both shirts and t-shirts and has gone for a medium in both the t-shirts and jumpers when he's ordered them.
I think at £8, you can't really go wrong, if you don't like what you've received, there is the option to exchange (if there are any left in a different size) or opt for store credit on something else which takes your fancy.

The only other thing I would say is that you need to be prepared to wait a little while for your order to arrive. Once you've placed your order, they will tell you when they expect the order to dispatch which is usually around 3-4 working days after the design is removed from sale. On average, we tend to wait around two weeks for the clothing to arrive but we're not in any rush.

They do ship worldwide so if anything takes your fancy, get on it quick!

Have you tried Qwertee? Are you into limited edition t-shirts? Any other cool websites I need to check out?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Thumbs Up Nail Wraps - A Review

Glamour Magazine recently purchased their annual Christmas gift guide. Being a total beauty magpie I was drawn to the festive themed nail wraps which they'd featured from a brand called Thumbs Up. Naturally this saw me hunting them down online and being thrilled to discover they're a London based design company.
As I've never tried nail wraps before, I ordered a few different styles and designs to try out. Namely, the Awe Wraps, the Rosa Wraps and two festive styles in the form of the Jolly Jumper and Ginger Bread wraps.
The designs on the festive themed wraps are uber cute and at £5.99 for the Ginger Bread Wraps and £6.99 for the Jolly Jumper Wraps they'd make great stocking fillers or secret santa gifts for those of us on a tight festive budget. 
Up close, you can see that the level of detail, even on the festive wraps is amazing, From the little reindeer to the snowflakes, these give a tasteful nod to the Nordic inspired Christmas jumper trend which rears each head each year. 
As well as novelty nail wraps, Thumbs Up also have a wide range of fashion forward designs with inspirations ranging from rock and roll to vintage and art deco to geometric. This time I went for the Rosa floral wraps and the Awe wraps.
Again, the level of detail in the design is fabulous and certainly not something I'd be able to achieve myself without some serious help. 
Each packet of nail wraps come sealed in a packet of anywhere from 16-20 individual nail wraps in varying sizes. There are clear instructions on the back of each packet as to how they should be applied and I was surprised at how easy it was.
As the packet says, it's a case of the following:

1. Clean and buff your nails
2. Peel off the cover and select the nail wrap best fits your cuticle size, if you can't quite find the right size, then use a pair of nail clippers to trim the closest size down a wee bit
3. Gently lift the nail wrap by the silver tab
4. First apply at the cuticle side
5. Smooth the wrap towards the nail edge until wrinkle free
6. Lift the wrap gently to re-apply where necessary, they are surprisingly stretchy so don't be scared of tugging it around a little
7. File off the excess wrap in a straight down motion using a nail file
My first time applying I didn't get them quite as smooth as a like so I think it does take a little bit of practice, perhaps if my nails were a little longer it might have been easier. The application process was fairly easy and it was quick to remove the excess with a general run of the mill nail file.
Overall I have to say they look fabulous! They're said to last between 3-10 days depending on your lifestyle and I'm currently on day three. I've done a 60 minute Les Mills workout, attended the fireworks, scoffed street food, dusted, hoovered and had several showers and we're still going strong.

When I've had enough, it's just a case of removing using nail varnish remover. I have to say I'm super impressed with these and reckon they'd be ideal for holidays instead of packing a ton of nail varnish bottles.

I can't wait to try more styles, so, Thumbs Up, if you're ready then I am! If you've been tempted to try Nail Wraps, I can't recommend these guys enough, they're such an affordable way to dabble with a trend.

Have you used Nail Wraps before? Any other brands you reckon I should take a look at? Would you give these as a cute stocking filler?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Outfit of the Day - The Retro Skirt

Welcome back to another outfit based post, I've really enjoyed posting more of these over the last 6 months or so and I hope you're enjoying them as well. Today, I've gotten a little vampy and given another nod to the 70's trend.
 Today I'm wearing:

Cape: French Connection - Blanket Wrap 
Jumper: Oasis - Black Polo Neck
Shoes: Clarks 
Hat: Ted Baker - Felt Fedora
This week, you're almost getting two outfits for the price of one thanks to this super snuggly blanket wrap from French Connection. 
The blanket wrap is the perfect trans-seasonal cover-up! Even though it may look thin, it's actually incredibly toasty and the shades of blue, grey and black ensure that it'll go with almost everything in my wardrobe. I was a little sceptical at first, but now I have one in my collection, I've actually come to realise how versatile it actually is. I also suspect this would be perfect for keeping you toasty while travelling, especially on a plane. It folds down to a nice tight package.
On to outfit number two, we have naturally reverted to my go to store, Oasis. Firstly we have this gorgeous a-line skirt with a muted paisley print covering a spectrum of creams, burgundys, green and mustard is perfect for autumn.
Whilst I've played things safe with a plain black polo on this occasion, you could team this with a sweet cream Victorian inspired blouse or add a pop of colour with a teal crew neck sweater.
To keep the focus on the skirt and wrap, I wanted to keep the outfit pretty simple, hence the super safe polo, black tights and ankle booties. A cute gold sparrow necklace adds an element of fun, and of course, I'd plaited my hair the night before to give some lived in waves.
This week, I'd decided to be brave with my make-up and tried out a vampy red lip courtesy of Divine Wine from Maybelline.
It's a little scary for me, I'll be honest, in this light it almost it's almost purple/black however, in my bedroom light at home, as per the below it looks very Wednesday Adams!
Whilst I'm not totally convinced by today's make-up, that's the beauty of make-up! It's supposed to fun and a chance to experiment and shake up your look. If you're not happy, it's simply a case of wiping it off and starting again.

Anywho, that's it for this week, next week who knows what persona I'll be channelling?

How would you style this skirt? Have you donned a vampy lip this season? Have you been taken in by the 70's trend?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Catfight - A Review

I've got a bit of a lipstick problem at the moment. It's taken me many many years to realise that instead of upping up my entire make-up game in an attempt to look polished, all I need to do is add a bright pop of lipstick and voilĂ , instant glam.
I have only just discovered Urban Decay lipsticks, in part because my local House of Fraser has only just installed one of their concessions. Perhaps this new arrival is the start of a very slippery slope because no sooner had I purchased one lipstick, only in September I might add, I now have four of these bad boys...Ooops!

Can we just take a second to appreciate the packaging before we talk about the luscious colour? A gunmetal faceted tube with the signature Urban Decay purple inside? Completely and utterly gorgeous, who wouldn't want to be caught pulling this little beauty out of their make-up bag?
Anyway, back to the post, the lipstick which started this slippery slippery slope is the Urban Decay Revolution in Lipstick in Catfight which I reckon is a bit of steal at only £15.50. The Revolution Lipsticks are incredibly pigmented and deliver serious colour pay off with just one swipe. 
Catfight, which I've been pairing with a Barry M Lipliner in 12, is a gorgeous pink fuchsia shade which I am totally obsessed with. It's super creamy, doesn't drag when applying, doesn't apply patchy, and even without a lipliner, the colour actually lasts an incredibly long time.

It's not a matt shade and, as you can see from the swatch does have a little shine to it but I love this. It feels hydrating on the lips thanks to the inclusion of jojoba oil, cocoa butter, shea butter and avocado oil which also keep things feeling cushiony and soft.
Here it is on, I've been loving wearing this lipstick and it's fast becoming a Laura based staple. It means I can keep the rest of my make-up super simple and paired back but still look as though I've made a fair old bit of effort. It is seriously gorgeous, I can't waffle on about it enough!

Like I say, I was so impressed with both the longevity, price and depth of colour, I now have three other new shades in my collection, namely F-bomb, Shame and Jilted. 

Let me know if you'd like to see some other swatches and/or posts on the other shades. I hope to have some pictures of me in the lipsticks so you can add to your own collections! Are there any other shades you recommend I try out?
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