Wednesday, 30 April 2014

LINKS I LOVE WEDNESDAY #13



Want A Lipstick Shaped Like Anna Wintour? - being immortalised like this is surely the ultimate for any beauty obsessive.

12 Spring Superfoods - add these to your diet for major health benefits.

Have You Thought About Where Your Shopping Bags Come From? - this is an incredible story that will leave you thinking twice about those bags that you take home your treasured new purchases in.



Photo Credit: Basajaun via photopin cc

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

BEAUTY REVIEW: CRYSTAL CLEAR 10-MINUTE GLOW FACE MASK

               

I’ve been using this anti-aging and radiance-boosting mask for months now, and it is one of the easiest and most effective face masks i’ve ever tried. I use it once a week- usually just popping it on before I go in for a bath, and then taking it off 10-minutes later.

What makes this mask so easy to use is that once you have applied the clear sticky gel formula to your face, it sets and you can just peel it off. It comes away easily from your skin, and leaves it feeling softer, smoother, firmer and like it has had a really deep clean. For the rest of the week, my skin glows (due to the fruit extracts) and doesn’t suffer from the breakouts that some masks can cause.

This is a great product for Spring/Summer to help your skin look healthier as you start to wear less foundation.

It’s available from Crystal Clear for £24.99.

Monday, 28 April 2014

WHAT MADE ME SMILE LAST WEEK #13

I’m so tired I can barely remember the last two weeks; but they have been comprised of some lovely experiences, so here goes…



I went on a beautiful riverside walk on the Ballathie Estate in Perthshire on a press trip last week. We saw three little Roe Deer run out of the bushes just next to us, plus some cute white-tailed bunnies. It was interesting to watch the fishermen on the River Tay too- I just wish they would put the poor fishes back.

                                   

I also made another trip to my favourite Chinese restaurant- Chinatown Glasgow- for Dim Sum. I could eat their Har Kau (Steamed King Prawn Dumplings) until I burst. It’s such a great way to spend a lazy afternoon.

image

Now…yes, i’m nearly 30; but there’s a show on the Disney Channel i’ve just fallen in love with. I’ve watched nearly four whole seasons over the past two weeks. It’s called Good Luck Charlie, and it’s funny and feel-good TV that reminds me of the ‘golden era’ of Nickelodeon’s Sister Sister, Keenan & Kel and Sabrina The Teenage Witch.

HOTTER SHOES HANDBAG GIVEAWAY

     

Last week I posted about my gorgeous new shoes from Hotter Shoes. This week, i’m excited to bring you a giveaway from their handbag range- the Juliet bag. It’s a pretty and neutral cream cross-body bag that’s perfect for Spring and Summer. If you want to win it, enter via Rafflecopter below. Hotter Shoes ship to the UK and US, and the prize will be sent to the winner directly from them.


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

WHAT I'M WEARING: HOTTER SHOES SORBET LOAFERS


Last week I attended an event at the Hotter Shoes store in Glasgow’s Buchanan Galleries. It was really interesting to hear all about the company, and how they design their shoes. I was surprised to learn that this was a completely British company, championing British manufacturing and design. With so much of fashion produced abroad, I will definitely be supporting Hotter Shoes more in the future. They produce a pair of shoes every 20 seconds in their North of England factory, and have 65 stores throughout the UK. They also sell large amounts of shoes to customers in the USA, who appreciate their unique ‘Comfort Concept’. 



All the shoes are designed with comfort in mind, and whilst they still produce shoes that are trend-led (and classic), there are always hidden ‘Comfort Concept’ elements inside- such as soles that bend, hidden cushioning and hidden elastic behind buckles. My first experience of a pair of Hotter Shoes is with my new pair of their Sorbet loafers (£75) in black. These high-quality, sturdy and comfortable shoes are worth every penny. They have such a smart classic look, and I can wear them comfortably all day running about between meetings, photo shoots and shopping! Remember when you used to get your school shoes fitted properly at Clarks?- well, this is the level of attention to fitting detail you will experience at Hotter Shoes.



I have my eye on my next Hotter Shoes purchases already- I love the floral Mabel canvas lace-ups (£45) and the Jewel leather bow flats (£69).

Thursday, 17 April 2014

BEAUTY BLOGGER TAG


I was tagged by shannondarko.co.uk to do this tag, so here goes…

Why did you start blogging and how long have you been blogging for?

I’ve been a freelance journalist for years, and own a digital magazine too. I started the blog as a more personal space where I could write without it feeling like work; but quickly PRs etc got involved and it became a professional blog.

Whose blog did you fall in love with first?

It wasn’t actually a beauty blog; but a fashion one (Fashion Fois Gras), which then got me into reading other blogs.

What was the first blogosphere hyped-about product that you bought? Was it worth the hype?

It was Rimmel Apocalips. They were quite good; but I haven’t used them since, so they can’t have been that good. They were on every blog for ages when they launched!

What are your five favourite things about blogging and being a beauty blogger?

1. The friends i’ve made. Fellow bloggers are much nicer than fellow journalists. Bloggers rock!
2. To get to try lots of new products that I wouldn’t have thought of buying on my own.
3. The blogger community- it’s like having hundreds of colleagues, which makes working at home as a full-time writer much less isolating.
4. Getting to take lots of pretty photographs and actually use them for something.
5. The make-up application and skin care tips I learn all the time are invaluable.

What have you learnt from being a beauty blogger?

So many make-up and skin care tips. Especially how to do good smokey eye make-up.

Have you changed anything since becoming a beauty blogger?

Definitely my skincare routine. It wasn’t that good at all; but reading blogs motivated me into starting a consistent routine and I haven’t looked back.

What advice would you give to a beauty blogger just starting out?

Don’t worry about having money to buy the newest releases to review. There will always be bloggers who have reviewed it pre-launch etc. You won’t be the first anyway. So, just start out with what products you’ve got already and know well.

What are your top 5 make-up brands?

Sleek, Bare Minerals, Benefit, Urban Decay & MAC.

Recommend your top 5 beauty products…

In no particular order- Clinique CC Cream, MAC Vanilla Pigment, all Urban Decay Eyeshadows, Benefit Highbeam and all Sleek True Colour Lipsticks.

I tag…

Ruth at beautyh2t.com

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

MY CURRENT SPACE NK WISHLIST

Space NK is a beauty haven, and I always have a list on the go of what I want to buy. These are all perfect Summer products…


By Terry Cheek To Cheek Syrup Blusher (£29) | Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray Travel Size (£19) | Diptyque Infused Facial Water (£35) | Nars Foreplay Palette (£39.50) | Essie 3-Way Glaze (£11.50)

The By Terry blusher seems to be similar to Benefit’s Benetint, which I love. I’ve heard so much about this Oribe product that I just need to try it because of the hype. In-case it doesn’t sit well with me, I will only have bought a travel-size so no harm done. I’d love perfect tousled beach hair for the Summer months. I love facial sprays and waters- they are so refreshing and packed with benefits. This rose-scented one from Diptyque sounds amazing. The Nars Foreplay palette is exclusive to Space NK. It contains the all-important Orgasm blush, plus a matte pink, a peach shade and a golden highlighter. I desperately need an amazing top-coat. None seem to blow me away. I really want to try this one from Essie, and also the Nails Inc Caviar topcoat too. If you’ve tried these products, send me a tweet and let me know how you’ve got on.

LINKS I LOVE WEDNESDAY #12

Some gorgeous Pinterest images and recipe links for Easter baking…



Tuesday, 15 April 2014

LOOKING FORWARD TO: THE EASTER WEEKEND


I love the Easter weekend, and with less than a week to go, I can’t wait. Easter, to me, means the start of the sunshine and warm weather. I am not religious, so Easter is a chocolate and relaxation celebration in my household.

Working at home means I have days off all the time; but there’s something special about days when everyone is off and you don’t need to worry about what emails are waiting for you. My phone goes off, I eat until I burst and hopefully enjoy some good sunny weather.

Kinder is my favourite chocolate brand at Easter. I’ve loved Schoko-Bons since I discovered them as a child in Austria. Now they have them here in the UK. A couple of bags of these, plus a Kinder Easter bunny, does me just fine.

As I am also such a fan of sending and receiving handwritten cards and notes, I always like Easter cards. Dom & Geri do a great range of personalised cards for Easter (plus other occasions such as Father’s Day), so these will be landing on some family members’ doorsteps this year.

I always associate Easter with daffodils, so i’ll be picking some to go in a vase on Easter Sunday too. I think they are such a cheerful flower.

Whatever Easter means to you, make sure you use the free time to relax and pamper yourself. I think I may cook a Beef Wellington this year to enjoy with family on Easter Sunday.


This is a sponsored post; but all opinions are my own.

Monday, 14 April 2014

EASTER BEAUTY GIVEAWAY: SOAP & GLORY AND MORE...


I’ve put together a nice little beauty bundle for you for an Easter giveaway; which contains some of my favourite brands. It contains a Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker lipgloss in Yummy Plum, an Aveda Smoothing Body Polish, a Dead Sea Spa Magik Algimud Body Mask and some cute little Bioderma skincare samples. One UK-based winner will be drawn at random via Rafflecopter on Easter Monday (21st April 2014), and entry is via the Rafflecopter widget below…


WHAT MADE ME SMILE LAST WEEK #12



I made another cheeky ringsandtings.com order as I loved the other items I got so much. My absolute favourite is the long-line hare necklace. It is really heavy and carefully detailed and was only £4.50. I also picked up a coral-coloured ring trio (£4.90) and a bright lime bracelet (£3.90) to go with the new H! By Henry Holland bag that I got at Debenhams.

        image

I also headed to the Corinthian in Glasgow city centre for their Afternoon Tea (£15pp). It was just the right amount to satisfy my appetite but not make me so full I feel sick. I loved the meringue swans the best, as the meringue was lemon-flavoured which went really well with the raspberry cream.

image

TV-wise, I am so pleased Made In Chelsea is back. I was going to say it’s my guilty pleasure; but I don’t actually feel guilty at all. If you don’t watch Made In Chelsea (now on its 7th series) you should be very ashamed.

If you love a good drama, you also need to check out ITV’s Undeniable. Part One was on last week, and Part Two is on tonight at 9pm; but you’ll be able to see it on the ITV Player for about the next month. It’s about a woman in her late 30s who thinks she’s seen the man who killed her Mum when she was only 7. This man, however, is a family man and a respected Oncologist. It’s a gripping watch, and a definite must-see.

IN LOVE WITH: WATCHBOT PROTECTING MY HANDBAG COLLECTION


In all seriousness, I absolutely love my Watchbot CCTV device for home security. I love that it’s such a small attractive design, and I can watch what it’s seeing through my mobile phone on-the-go.


It doesn’t record unless I tell it to through the Watchbot mobile app, and I can also turn on 2-way sound when i’m out and about too. If I did happen to catch a burglary in progress, they’re going to get a fright, as the device is small enough to fit into inconspicuous places.


I can instruct it to pan and tilt too, so I can be all seeing and all knowing wherever I am. The Watchbot is easy to set-up and operates over your home’s Wifi. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t have an invaluable use for this device- you could point it out the window to watch your car, or use it to keep an eye on elderly relatives (with their permission of course).

A Watchbot 3.0 costs £149.95 and is available at www.watchbotcamera.com


I was sent my Watchbot to review honestly, and all my opinions are my own.

Friday, 11 April 2014

WHAT I'M EATING: HOMEMADE PIZZA


I could eat pizza 7 days a week. I don’t; but I love it. It can be really hard to calculate calories in takeaway and restaurant pizzas; and, let’s face it, we sometimes want something a bit tastier than supermarket fare can offer.

Last week I made my own pizza from scratch; meaning I knew exactly what was in it and could make it exactly as I wanted. It’s not as difficult as it may appear, and is a great rainy day activity too.


First of all, you need to make the dough for the pizza base and leave it to proof (rest and do its ‘chemically stuff’- can you tell i’m clever?). Below are the ingredients I used. Mix them and kneed away until you have a plyable ball of dough.

175g Strong White Flour, Teaspoon Dried Yeast Powder, 1 Teaspoon Salt, 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, Half Teaspoon Caster Sugar.



After you’ve left it to proof, you’ll see it has swelled- this was the yeast working. Roll it out into your desired size, thickness and shape with white flour for dusting. Remember, it will rise a bit in the oven too.


Next, you have to make your tomato pizza sauce. I just added the below to a pan and let it gently simmer for about an hour.

100g Passata, Tablespoon of Garlic Tomato Puree, Pinch of Mixed Italian Herbs.

When the sauce is ready, cover your raw pizza base with it, add your cheese and favourite toppings (I used sweet chilli chicken) and pop in the oven to cook at around 200 degrees celcius.


Times vary according to individual ovens and pizza size, so keep a constant and close eye on it. Mine took just over 15 minutes.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

BEAUTY REVIEW: LUSH EASTER RANGE


Special occasions like Halloween and Christmas are best when accompanied with limited edition goodies from Lush. Easter is no exception, and this year’s products are visually stunning and smell amazing. I wanted to share my favourites with you…

Golden Egg Bath Melt Ballistic (£3.50)

Like the silver star at Christmas, this is glitter mayhem. It’s bath melt on the outside with a bath bomb inside. The cocoa butter and olive oil on the outer bath melt layer really softens your skin. It has the same fragrance as the popular Honey I Washed The Kids.

                       

Bunch of Carrots Re-Useable Bubble Bars (£5.95 for 3)

These look far too cute to use; but use them you must as they smell so good and make lots of pretty bubbles when you hold one under a running tap. These smell of Lush’s sweet and fruity-scented Carrot soap and contain carrot oil which soothes skin and is rich in vitamins. They’re Vegan too, for those with that preference.


Brightside Bubble Bar (£4.50)

Another Vegan product, this Orange-scented bubble bar contains Sicilian mandarin, tangerine and bergamot oils- all mood uplifters. A great energising morning bath addition, and fun too, as it smells and looks like orange soda when it has dissolved.


Carrot Soap (£3.95)

There’s a white cocoa butter bunny in every slice of this soap (even although mine doesn’t look rabbit-shaped at all). I love the sweet and citrusy smell, and the carrot oil in the orange part of the soap is so moisturising.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

DEBENHAMS SS14 PRESS SHOW & NEW HANDBAG

image

Last week I attended the Debenhams SS14 Scottish Press Show in Glasgow, and fell in love with so many of the fashion and beauty items on display. I wanted to share some of my favourites with you, plus the H! By Henry Holland handbag that I just couldn’t resist.

image

I love this multi-coloured jewel statement necklace. The coral goes so well with the royal blue, pastel blue and white stones. It would look great with denim shorts and a vest top in the Summer.

                                    image

This print is so pretty, and is perfectly suited to statement shorts or a skirt rather than a dress. I would team these shorts with a black blouse and sandals, along with a bright over-sized handbag to store all my Summer essentials.

image

This H! by Henry Holland bag is the ‘sister’ bag to the one which I picked up this week. It is a metallic silver saddle bag, and is about half the size of the lime green version I got. Surprisingly, despite the size difference, both are the same price of £39. I still may have to get this one also.

                                    image

I only got a photograph of this from the back; but I absolutely adore this monochrome jumpsuit. It is definitely something I am going to treat myself to in a couple of months, since I have lost so much weight and haven’t really been able to wear jumpsuits before. It goes perfectly with those cute simplistic black flats also.

image

The packaging on these Sweetheart Blush powders from Too Faced are so pretty. The contents are pretty good too. My favourite shade is Peach Beach (£24)- so soft (but with minimal fallout) and gives skin a gorgeous candlelit glow.


After the show, I could not resist this lime green H! by Henry Holland saddlebag from Designers at Debenhams. It is large and spacious, and looks and feels much more expensive than it actually is- if you’ve watched my vlog from the event you’ll see my surprise at the low price (£39). I absolutely adore it.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

WHAT I'M DRINKING: MY POST-WORKOUT JUICE RECIPE


I was set a challenge by Currys to create and try out a post-workout juice using one of their juicers- the Phillips Viva Collection Juicer in Stainless Steel (£79.99 reduced from £99.99). They sent me to get my sweat on at a local Virgin Active gym, and then make a fresh and healthy juice to help my body recover from the gym action. This is the juice I made:


Handful of Spinach (Vitamin K & Iron)
2 Celery Stalks (Hydration & PH Balance)
1/2 Cucumber (Calcium)
1/2 Lime (Flavour)


I added the spinach as it helps with muscle health and helps transfer oxygen through the body. I added the cucumber for the calcium- to help my body retain bone density and help with hormone balance. The celery is there for hydration (great post-workout) and for replacing lost electrolytes. It also helps to regulate body temperature, and the lime greatly improves the taste of the juice.

The juicer was fast and, most importantly, hassle-free to clean and re-assemble. I can’t wait to try out some other juice recipes. There’s a great blog post on the Currys’ blog with some great ideas.


The juicer, ingredients and gym pass were paid for by Currys. All opinions are my own.

Friday, 4 April 2014

FASHION NEWS FRIDAY #11


Giambattista Valli Pop-Up (Vogue) - I love pop-ups; especially when they are selling exclusive pieces, like this one at New York’s Dover Street Market from today.

#CastMeMarc (Grazia) - Marc by Marc Jacobs is casting models for its AW14 ads via Twitter and Instagram. There really is power in the selfie!

IN LOVE WITH: JON FORSTER WOODLAND CREATURE RINGS


How cute are these rings?! They remind me of The Animals of Farthing Wood- which was a sweet animated children’s TV series.

They are British-made, as he handcrafts them all in his Brighton studio.

You can purchase these rings, which range from £299 to £405 by contacting Jon Forster.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

LIVING ROOM INTERIOR UPDATE


I was set a challenge by Debt Free Direct, to accessorise a room with pieces from a supermarket home interiors department. The point, is to show you how easy it is to transform a space on a tight budget, and that supermarket items can look just as good as pieces 4-times the price from the likes of Zara Home or Laura Ashley.



I chose some bits and pieces from Asda for one of my living rooms, and went for a cream colour scheme and a heart/love theme. The quality is brilliant, and the choice is vast. There really is no reason to spend a lot of money on decorating your home.

image

My favourite items are the Union Jack Pouffe- the fabric is really thick, and looks much more expensive than it actually is. I also love the stitching detail on the cushions- some nice touches that you wouldn’t expect to find on ‘bargain’ buys.



Unfortunately some of the items I got aren’t available on the website anymore; but you may find them in store- the Happiness Cushion was around £12, and the Hanging Heart decoration was £3.


So, in answer to Debt Free Direct’s challenge, supermarket home accessories more than rival their high-street and high-end competitors. The quality is impressive, and the designs are innovative.

If you want some more handy money-saving tips without compromising on style, have a peek at Debt Free Direct’s Making Money Go Further blog.


The items I chose in this post were paid for by Debt Free Direct; but all opinions are my own.
© A Life With Frills | All Rights Reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig