Wednesday, 18 December 2013

IN LOVE WITH: MY NEW FOSSIL ACCESSORIES

image

Fossil at St.Enoch Centre in Glasgow kindly gifted me these two gorgeous bags- a black Memoir Novella Small Flag crossbody bag, and a fuschia Sydney Zip Clutch. I love them. The clutch/purse has lots of room for my phone, some money and cards (in cardslots); and the black bag is so soft and roomy. I thought I would show you how I intend to style them…

image

If you want to check out Fossil St.Enoch Centre’s range, visit the shopping centre’s website for directions and opening times.

Monday, 16 December 2013

BEAUTY REVIEW: FRESHNESS OF MORNING ANTIOXIDANT FACIAL MASK


I was really surprised when I opened this face mask- it comes in dry powder form instead of a wet paste. The instructions tell you to mix a teaspoon of the powder with water until you get a thick paste. I only used half a teaspoon and it was perfectly ample to cover my face. I have to say, it was a bit of a hassle opening the jar and tidying up the powder that spills out etc. A ready-made mask is much easier and quicker to use. However, the results of this mask are great; so it is worth taking the extra time and trouble for.

The Antioxidant Facial Mask is designed to detoxify, tone and exfoliate your skin. I found my skin to be much smoother immediately after use, and the next morning it was a lot firmer and still just as smooth. I also felt that it evened out my complexion and remove my dark circles- now, i’m not a scientist; but perhaps that was part of the detoxification process?

The mask itself looks like powdered charcoal, and when mixed with water it smells very earthy- not unpleasant, just a raw natural muddy scent. It takes around 10-15 minutes to dry, and it quite easy to remove with a cloth. Lastly, pop some moisturiser on afterwards to maximise the benefits.

Everything in the mask (and their whole range) is 100% natural and plant-based. It felt nice to have something good on my skin.

The Freshness of Morning Antioxidant Facial Mask is available for £18 from fomcosmetics.co.uk. They also have a great muslin cloth (£4.50) which makes removing it very easy.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

A SICK DAY BATH TREAT




In the water I used Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath Oil (£37) from Look Fantastic, as it instantly calms me down and helps me sleep.




I’m ill in bed AGAIN. Just when I got over one virusy thing, my throat is now sore again and I have a killer headache. I thought i’d share with you the bath I had this evening to try and make me feel better, as it was so pretty and smelled amazing!


I used my new Underwater Light Show Disco Ball (£7.99) from IWOOT. It floats in the bath and has options for 5 different light shows. This would make a great stocking filler for someone who wants to turn their ordinary tub into a relaxing spa experience.


In the water I used Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath Oil (£37) from Look Fantastic, as it instantly calms me down and helps me sleep.


I’m off back to bed now to feel sorry for myself.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

BEAUTY REVIEW: TOO FACED BEAUTY EDITOR DARLINGS SET



The Too Faced Beauty Editor Darlings set is exclusive to Sephora. This one came from the Boston store in the US and was just $19 (but has contents valuing $58).


image


It features five miniature deluxe samples of much-loved Too Faced products- Lashgasm Mascara in Black, Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Primer, Glamour Gloss Volumising Lip Gloss in ‘Sexpot’, Lip Insurance Smoothing Anti-Feathering Lip Primer, and Primed and Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer.


         image


I hadn’t tried any of these Too Faced products before, so this kit was a great way to test them out and see what I like before making a bigger investment. I love the lipgloss as it enhances my natural lip colour and makes them look plump. I also love the eyeshadow primer as it really enhances the colour of shadows that you put on top.


I’m not a fan of lip primer in general as I find that it feels uncomfortable on my lips. This one does feel funny; but it works and keeps lipstick put. The mascara is a nice black that lengthens lashes well; but is nothing worth going out of your way to buy. The face primer created a really good base for my foundation. It helped it blend more easily, and helped create a more flawless finish that lasted longer. Out of the set I would probably only purchase full-size versions of the lip gloss and the eyeshadow primer.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

HEADING TO LONDON FASHION WEEKEND IN FEBRUARY? GET YOUR HOTEL BOOKEDEARLY WITH IHG!

image

If you aren’t lucky enough to be able to get tickets for London Fashion Week (14-18 February), you can still soak up the atmosphere of the Somerset House tents, and get some fashion inspiration at London Fashion Weekend (20-23 February 2014).

This public (but ticketed) event takes place immediately after LFW, and has catwalk shows and shopping galore. Julian McDonald is the first designer confirmed, showing his latest ultra glamourous collection. You can also get a goodie bag full of treats. It’s the chance to be a real fashion insider for the weekend.

Carrying on the style, IHG’s Holiday Inn Ariel at Heathrow is the perfect place to stay during your visit to London Fashion Weekend. This sleek but affordable hotel has 24-hour room service and a great restaurant.

There is a direct tube (on the Piccadilly Line) from Heathrow Airport to Covent Garden, one of Somerset House’s closest underground stations. It also makes it so much easier for you to catch your flight home at the end of your fun-filled weekend- no fashionista likes getting up at the crack of dawn. Or, if you drove to London, leaving your car at the Holiday Inn Ariel Heathrow is much more convenient that battling city traffic and those dreaded congestion charge zones.

There are always offers running, so make sure you check out the hotel’s website and get booked in early to make sure you don’t miss any of London Fashion Weekend.

BEAUTY REVIEW: WET'N'WILD TRIO EYESHADOWS



I picked these up from Walmart in the US for a couple of Dollars each; but you can buy them on Amazon here- just unfortunately at three times the price when you add in postage.


I love the Wet’n’Wild eye shadows. They create the perfect smokey eye, and are each labelled with ‘Browbone’, ‘Crease’ and ‘Eyelid’ to make the process simple. There is a mixture of shimmer and matte eyeshadows that all go brilliantly together and blend like a dream.






The three trios I got are Knock On Wood, On Cloud Nine and Walking On Eggshells (my favourite). I can’t wait to pick up some more.


Sunday, 8 December 2013

AN UPDATE ON WHAT I'VE BEEN UP TO

image

I have very much switched off for Christmas. As Dawn from Dawniepopsies blog said last week, my phrase of the moment is very much “F**k it, it’s Christmas”.

This weekend, I wrote my Christmas cards to people who have played a part in the success of this blog this year, and in the continued success of my digital title Twinkle Style & Travel Magazine.
I had the cutest cards made at Instajunction with a collage of some of the fun moments of my year from Instagram. I hope the PRs etc who receive one will have fun spotting their events.

Also, as most of you will know, I have been on a diet. In just over two months I have lost one and a half stone. This weekend was my last weigh in until the first weekend in January; so that I can enjoy Christmas guilt free. My plan (hopefully it works) is to lose another few pounds before Christmas, then put a few on over that festive week; so that when I weigh myself in January I should be the same as now.
I’ve been walking in the crisp Winter air with my new pedometer from Ozeri. The
4x3 Motion Digital Pedometer is great as it is so easy to use and measures calories burned and distance too. It also has a 7-day memory which is handy.

Other than writing and watching TV, i’ve been enjoying Christmas films such as Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger. It, and the first film, are so funny and light-hearted. I’ve also been listening to talking books on Audible. I’ve just finished Jenny Colgan’s Christmas In The Cupcake Cafe which was a gentle easy listen with some great characters, and I have just started Miranda Dickinson’s Take A Look At Me Now, which sounds like it is going to be a really good chick-lit story.

I’ve put up all my Christmas decorations, and I’ve also been using a light switch timer in my hall so that i’m not waking up in these dark mornings to a completely dark house. It works on the actual light switch rather than a plug point, and is accredited by the Police. Great for those who don’t like these Winter mornings.

Next week is the Scottish Blogger’s Christmas Party. I have my Christmas jumper ready to meet the dress code, and have my secret santa present wrapped. I’ve also got dinners with friends planned to swap presents. The festive season really has begun!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

DEAR SANTA... LINKS OF LONDON WISHLIST

image


I love my Links of London gold Sweetie Bracelet and charms; but I really want a Silver one (£150). John Lewis have a great selection of Links of London charms- how cute is the little red cherry on this Cocktail Glass & Cherry Charm (£45)?! The Mini Pink Heart Charm (£35) also really appeals to me as it adds a nice touch of colour, and I love pink. Add in a letter ‘L’ Sterling Silver Alphabet Charm (£35) and I have my perfect bracelet.

I also love Links of London’s friendship bracelets with the coloured threads. I love this Mint & Yellow Woven Friendship Bracelet (£140 at John Lewis), as it would be perfect for next S/S14.

Do you have any favourite Links of London pieces?

Post sponsored by John Lewis; but opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

LIVING ROOM INTERIOR INSPIRATION

image

I’m a tad obsessed with fashion designer Kate Spade at the moment. I love her bright and quirky designs. I’ve been wanting to re-do my living room in a Kate Spade style for a while now; but wasn’t sure how to approach it. I was browsing online last night for soft furnishings and sofas when I came across this perfect chair from furniture store Rodgers of York.

image

It is from Clarke & Clarke’s Sonoma collection, and is upholstered in their Creek fabric. Rodgers of York stock lots of Clarke & Clarke’s brilliant soft denim fabric designs; but this one is perfect for my Kate Spade look.
image
I need this chair so badly, so that I can pair it with some bright cushions like in this mood board I have made. I can see it all coming together now!

WHAT I'M EATING: BAR SOBA WEST, GLASGOW

image


My favourite food is Thai and Chinese, so I was excited to try the menu at the pan-Asian Bar Soba West on Glasgow’s Byres Road.

image

image

We went on a Friday lunchtime, and it had a great vibe. It was great to have a seat by the window and people watch. The decor inside is very New York street-inspired with its exposed brickwork, graffitied walls, tin cans as condiment holders and wooden plank tables.

Just as much care has gone into the presentation of the food. Freshly chopped chillies and Asian vegetables add colour to dishes, and act as reminders that everything is freshly made to order.

image

image

For a starter, my husband as I shared the Mixed Sharing Platter (£6.50 per person); which was amazing. The portion size is huge, and we needed a little break before we took on our main courses. It is excellent value for money- you get a large portion of Japanese chicken tempura and vegetable tempura with sweet chilli dip, plus chicken satay skewers and peanut sauce, Malaysian Sate Ayams (which are basically like onion bhajis) and Thai fishcakes stuffed full of fresh fish.

image

image

We both chose Thai curries for our main course. I had the creamy Thai Green Chicken Curry (£10.95), which was mild and packed with flavour. My husband had Thai Red Duck Curry (£11.95) which had a stronger spice factor.

I can’t wait to go back again. The food is so authentic, flavoursome and fresh.

Laura Pearson-Smith

Monday, 25 November 2013

BEAUTY REVIEW: LA ROCHE POSAY EFFACLAR ASTRINGENT LOTION MICRO-EXFOLIANT



This is my go-to toner at the moment when I get a breakout. I know a lot of people who feel a toner is an unnecessary step in a skincare routine, but I have always used one as I find it refreshing after a cleanse. This toner from La Roche Posay, however, has great skin benefits too and I love it.


It contains sebum-regulating (basically ‘oil-regulating’), micro-exfoliating and purifying active ingredients that tighten and shrink pores, and prevent pore blockage (which causes breakouts). It is a great product for those of you with oily skin, to reduce the amount of sebum produced.


It’s what I reach for when spots appear, as it also contains the famous La Roche Posay Thermal Spa Water that is rich in Selenium (which soothes and calms irritated skin).


La Roche Posay Effaclar Astringent Micro-Exfoliating Lotion (200ml) is available online at The Cosmetic Practice for £14.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

COUNTRY LIVING CHRISTMAS FAIR

image



I went along to the opening day of the Country Living Christmas Fair in Glasgow’s SECC today. It is on until Sunday (24th November), so if you are at a loose end this weekend you should definitely pop along. There are some fantastic ideas for Christmas interiors, amazing food produce to taste and plenty of opportunities to max your credit card out on gifts for every member of your family.


image



Some stand-out exhibitors for me were Scottish organic skincare brand Skin Guru (www.theskinguru.co.uk), whose products I have been using for a while now; and the Edinburgh gourmet rock salt company Flavour Magic (www.flavourmagic.com). I picked up three different types to cook and season with- Chilli, Rosemary and Smoked (£10). There was also a great exhibitor called HornyBeasts (www.hornybeasts.co.uk) that sold a lot of stag and deer print items (my favourite this Winter). I adored their Lisa Bliss 100% silk deer head print scarves (£58).


image



The fair was a lot bigger than I thought it would be, with a lot more stands than I anticipated. You could definitely spend a whole day here looking at everything properly and having a taste of all the food.


Tickets for adults, bought on the day, are £12.50, and more information can be found at www.countrylivingfair.com.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

BENEFIT COSMETICS GLASGOW BOUTIQUE LAUNCH EVENT & A BENEFIT GIVEAWAY!!!

Stay tuned until the end of this post for a fabulous Benefit Cosmetics giveaway worth £30…


image


Last week I was invited to attend the opening event for Benefit Cosmetics’ new Glasgow boutique in House of Fraser. This is their first Scottish boutique, and it takes their usual retail counters to a whole different level.


image



                         image


We were given a tour round all the shiny new rooms. They have partnered with Irish organic and non-toxic self-tan brand Vita Liberata and started a spray tan service. This is available for a bargain price of £20; but if you get down there asap and book an eyebrow wax (£12) you’ll get a spray tan or body wax free to celebrate the launch! I’m definitely going to be heading back soon to get a bit of a Winter glow.


image


Another of my favourite additions is the new Benefit VIP counter, situated on another floor from the main boutique. Here you can book a make-up lesson, and sip in a mini bottle of Moet champagne for just £12. The first few hundred VIP bookings will take home a lip product as a gift too.


image


Everywhere is so pretty- I would just love it to be my dressing room. At the launch event we enjoyed champagne and Indian food served by topless butlers, and took home a cute goodie bag. I am giving my goodie bag away here to one of my readers. It contains a full-size Corslista lipgloss (£14.50), and a full-size Creasless Cream Eyeshadow (£15.50). To enter the giveaway, just follow the Rafflecopter instructions below:


     image



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Laura Pearson-Smith

Sunday, 17 November 2013

BEAUTY REVIEW: BARE MINERALS READY LUMINIZER THE LOVE AFFAIR

          image


This is one of my favourite skin finishing products at the moment. A dusting of this on my forehead, cheekbones and nose gives my skin a candlelit glow, and a professional finish.


I usually use more pearlescent-shaded highlighters and illuminating powders; but the golden shimmer of this one gives my exceptionally pale skin a bit of healthy colour. It looks even better if I have fake tan on, so if you have a darker complexion than mine, you’ll love this even more. Pop some on a tanned decolletage for a glowing party look.


image


I picked this up from Chemist Direct for £19.99.


Laura Pearson-Smith

Saturday, 16 November 2013

WHAT I'M EATING: SIMPLY FISH, GLASGOW

image


Recently I was invited for a meal by Simply Fish to review them here on my blog. Simply Fish is a restaurant in Glasgow’s West End, and I took my husband for lunch there last week.

The restaurant is tucked away in an unsuspecting street, so it isn’t one I would have ordinarily stumbled upon, or gone out of my way to visit; but i’m very glad I did.

image


The restaurant is modern and sleek. The food is very elegantly presented despite its relaxed atmosphere and very reasonable prices. It would be a great place for a romantic dinner, a girly lunch or a family feast. All ages would love it, and it has excellent disabled access and facilities.

         image

Despite it’s name, it does offer meat and vegetarian options; but we couldn’t visit and not try what they do best- the fish. It’s all fresh and delivered daily. For starters I had Salmon Terrine with Lemon & Herb Butter. It looked gorgeous when it arrived. The butter was a tad too sharp for me, and overpowered the fresh taste of the smoked salmon; but otherwise it was a generous portion and excellent value for money. I did end up eating some of my husband’s too, after getting chorizo-envy when I saw his Scallops with Chorizo & Black Olive Tapenade. I could eat chorizo till the cows come home, and here it went perfectly with the tender scallops.

         image

As a main course, I revisited an old favourite that I had sickened myself of many years ago when touring Belgium and France- Moules Frites. My mussels were in a really nice garlic, lemon and cream sauce. I enjoyed it; but would have liked it much more with less lemon- it was again too bitter sadly. Luckily though, all the mussels were edible- none had to be discarded due to partially closed shells. The fries were amazing and crispy- just how I like them.

The presentation award definitely goes to my husband’s Fish & Chips. Children would love this. It comes served on pretend newsprint, and the vinegar is in a little spray bottle that you ‘scoosh’ on. He assured me the fish was very fresh, tasty and in a fabulously crispy beer batter. He loved the chunky chips too- crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle.

         image


I was looking forward to the dessert the most. I had the Sticky Toffee Pudding- perfectly stodgy (as it should be) with a delicious sweet caramel sauce and icecream. I also had a taste of my husbands White Chocolate & Coconut Rice Pudding. This is not a combination I would have thought of putting together; but it was heavenly. It was thick, creamy, very chocolately, with toasted coconut flakes to break up the sweetness. Perfection!

We really enjoyed our visit, and would definitely return to try some more of their fish dishes. The staff were very attentive and knowlegable about the menu options.

Laura Pearson-Smith

Thursday, 14 November 2013

MY FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS PARTY LOOK

image

I’ve been trying out some Christmas party looks, and my favourite has been this one- done using the glam Benefit Cosmetics’ Matthew Williamson The Rich Is Back set (exclusive to Debenhams).




The eyeshadows are silky and shimmery. They are highly pigmented, and really ‘pop’; making it perfect for a luxurious smokey eye.

image

On the browbone i’ve used Solid Gold, with Disco Dust as a highlighter. In the crease i’ve used Get Down Brown, and then under the bottom lashes i’ve used Feel So Teal. Party looks are all about statement eyes for me, so i’ve finished mine off with the fabulous They’re Real mascara.

On my cheeks i’ve used the enclosed blusher Gimme Fever, with a few dabs of the Disco Dust eyeshadow on my cheekbones as a highlighter. Finishing off with a slick of the sparkly lipgloss, i’m good to go!

The Rich Is Back set is available from Benefit Cosmetics at Debenhams for £23.85.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

WHAT I'M EATING: CHOBANI GLASGOW BLOGGER DINNER

Last week, myself and 15 other bloggers were invited by yogurt brand Chobani for dinner at The Corinthian in Glasgow.

         image
When we arrived, we went straight up to private dining room The Langley Room, which has great views over bustling Ingram Street. I apologise for the blue-tinged photos; but the room had strange blue lightbulbs. We were greeted with a cocktail containing Chobani, that I personally didn’t like the taste of; but it has inspired me to try and create my own Chobani yogurt cocktails.

We took our seats and chose our three courses from the menu, before the PR Amy explained the history of Chobani. It is really worth a read- link.

image

I chose the Vegetarian option starter- Chobani risotto with sun-blushed tomatoes, spring onion, broad beans and Parmesan. You could taste that it had been made with something slightly sharper than butter or cream; but it was still delicious.

image

For my main course I chose the rack of lamb with Chobani Dauphinoise potatoes, baby vegetables and Chobani mint sauce. The mint sauce and dauphinoise potatoes were so good- i’m definitely going to make the potatoes this way from now on and save myself hundreds of calories.

image

My dessert of Chobani vanilla and honey cheesecake with raspberry syrup was perfection. It was light and creamy, and you would never know that it wasn’t packed with fat-laden cream cheese. I’m going to attempt to make a Chobabi Passionfruit cheesecake this week; so keep an eye on my Instagram to see how I get on.

Let me know if you’ve ever attempted to cook with Chobani!

Monday, 4 November 2013

THE 2013 CHRISTMAS TAG

image


1. Do you prefer a real Christmas tree or synthetic?
I prefer a real one because of the smell; but rarely get one as I have a very realistic large synthetic tree. I put my tree very early also, and I don’t think a real one would last.


2. You’re in a coffee shop, it’s December, what do you pick?
Hot Chocolate, with more whipped cream than liquid.


3. Whats your favourite colour scheme for decorating the tree?
A very traditional mish-mash of colours and decorations. All my favourite ornaments are very different from each other.


4. Giving or receiving?
Anyone who says ‘giving’ is a big Christmas liar. Receiving is best by far. Who doesn’t love presents?!


5. To mince pie or not to?
Eugh! No. Anything chocolate will do me just fine.


6. What’s your traditional Sunday lunch?
HAS to be turkey. Husband challenged me on that once at the beginning of our marriage. He hasn’t tried again. Huge mounds of sage and chestnut stuffing, little sausages, lots of gravy, Wholefoods bread sauce, roast potatoes, buttery carrots. Usually some sort of seafood for starter, and a raspberry dessert of some sort.


7. Christmas day fashion?
Pyjamas and no make-up all the way. Christmas is very private for me, so why not be comfortable.


8. What’s your favourite Christmas song?
Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues


9. What’s your favourite Christmas film?
Christmas With The Kranks… America does christmas soooo much better than us.


10. Open presents before or after lunch?
Before i.e. as early as possible without getting shouted at for waking people up at an upsurd time to watch.


Photo Credit: yvestown via photopin cc

© A Life With Frills | All Rights Reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig