Monday, 30 June 2014

MAKING MY OFFICE WALL MORE INSPIRING

                                 

I have been starting to create a quirky gallery wall in my home office area, of hanging trinkets, frames and pinboards to make me more inspired.



I realised one day while I was browsing on Pinterest, that I hadn’t actually had an actual pinboard on my wall for years. So I got one. I also printed out some of my favourite Pinterest quotes and framed them. Now I wasn’t just looking at them on a screen; but was bringing them into my real life.

If you love Pinterest and Instagram, think about how much joy you would get from printing out your favourite images and incorporating them into your home. You don’t need to pay for expensive online printing services- just save your favourites to a memory card, get some photo paper and use your own printer to create some unique wall art.

Pinterest and Instagram are great for sharing; but nothing beats the real deal. I’ll let you see how my office gallery wall develops!

This post is a collaborative post with Cartridge Discount; but all words, photos and opinions are my own

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Friday, 27 June 2014

A JO MALONE GARDEN TEA PARTY


Earlier this week, I spent a simply delightful afternoon in the company of Jo Malone London and Scottish mental health charity SAMH at a garden tea party in SAMH’s 18th-century garden in Edinburgh.



The event was to celebrate the opening of the Jo Malone-funded herb garden and roundhouse at SAMH’s Redhall Walled Garden. SAMH helps sufferers of mental ill health to gain confidence, socialise and learn new skills through working as a volunteer trainee gardener. The trainee gardeners are so dedicated to their important work of keeping the space beautiful.


I particularly loved the many hidden benches, offering spectacular views and spectacular smells. The garden is open to the public, and it’s well worth a visit.





We were treated to the most amazing afternoon tea spread by Glasgow’s Three Sisters Bake, with delights including mini victoria sponges, iced lime and courgette cake and chocolate brownies. If it had been in my own garden, I could easily have eaten myself into a sugar coma; but this was in public, so a little decorum was called for!



We also had a relaxing hand and arm massage with some of the scents that Jo Malone use the herbs in. I had Jasmine & Mint layered with Blackberry & Bay, and the smells lingered for a long time. Then, afterwards, we got to take home a lovely potted Lavender plant, along with a gorgeous Jasmine & Mint candle.


If you want to support the work of SAMH’s Redhall Walled Garden and the other gardens in Jo Malone’s Urban Community Garden Project, you can purchase a Rose & Rosemary candle, and Jo Malone will donate the full price of £45 to the project.

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FASHION NEWS FRIDAY #16


A round-up of my favourite fashion world news this week…


Juicy Couture Insists It Isn’t Dead Yet (Fashionista) - stores are closing; but not for the reason you think.

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Image Credit: The September Issue (2009) | Roadside Attractions

Thursday, 26 June 2014

FASHION ACCESSORIES HAUL PART 2





I got sent a gorgeous ring (£24) from Henryka - a Silver & Amber jewellery company. I love it, and think it’s so pretty. The flower petals are Green Amber, and go perfectly with this floral print silk kimono that I got a couple of years ago. You need to know your ring size if you are going to order from them. They have such a large selection of pretty rings, necklaces, brooches and bracelets.



I didn’t have a sturdy backpack, and when I go on short trips to London, I hate pulling about a wheely case or carrying a holdall, so I got myself a laptop-proof black backpack (£39) from Samsonite to make things easier.

Have any of you used Depop yet? It’s an app to sell things- a cross between Ebay and Instagram, and is mainly used by bloggers. I don’t really trust this buying method and don’t think I would buy something with any real value on it; but I did try it out by purchasing a cute & brand-new nautical stripe hairband for £1.50 plus 50p postage. I love the little bow on it.





Finally, Pamela Mann kindly sent me a selection of hoisery to try. I can’t wait to wear the heart print ankle socks (£4.99) with a dress and some platform sandals, and the star print tights (£7.99) will really make a simple dress more interesting. I also got a pair of floral tights (£9.99); which I think will look great with a denim skirt and plain vest top. Look out for them in upcoming outfit posts.

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By Laura Pearson-Smith

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

TRYING KIM KARDASHIAN CONTOURING!

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We all know that Kim Kardashian’s ‘glam squad’ make-up artist Scott Barnes made her the queen of contouring when this Instagram snap of her pre-blending was published online.



Everyone has tried to emulate her sculpted look ever since, and yesterday, I had a try using the Studio 10 Face Definer Palette that I was sent. I am by no means a make-up application expert, and contouring is one of the hardest things to pull off; but I found the below YouTube tutorial by Cult Beauty using this product and followed this, along with the images the brand sent (also below).


The Studio 10 Visible Lift Face Definer Palette (£30 from Cult Beauty) contains a matte bronzer, along with a cream blusher and cream golden highlighter. They are paraben-free, and contain moisturising Hyaluronic Acid and anti-oxident Nyamplung Oil.

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After you have applied your base foundation, it’s time to make the bold and scary marks on your face with the bronzer, highlighter and blush. The image above shows you where to put each; but basically, the highlighter should go in the areas that light naturally hits, and the bronzer in natural areas of shadow to create depth.


When I started to apply the highlighter, I noticed that it didn’t look at all like the images. It didn’t add light, but instead disappeared in with my skin colour- making it very difficult to see where I had put it. It didn’t look like the same product being applied to the model at all! It was also very greasy and oily, and left my face looking like i’d been leaning over a deep-fat fryer all night.

I carried on though, hoping that it may look better when blended out; but it didn’t. The bronzer is a great one on its own for contouring (so I think i’ll de-pot it); but the blusher and highlighter are just too greasy to work.

I had to do a repair job with pressed powder, concealer and Benefit’s Rockateur to take the horrible shine off my face, and get my skin looking normal again.

I had high hopes for this palette from the YouTube video and the images I had seen of the model; but it greatly disappointed me and isn’t one I would pick up and use again sadly.

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Image Credits: 1) Kim Kardashian (Instagram), 4) Studio10

LINKS I LOVE WEDNESDAY #16

                          



7-Minute Microwave Caramels - the perfect sweet treat for those in a rush.

DIY The Bouffant Bun - the un-done look that is anything but!

Image Credit: Pink Serendipity via Pinterest

Monday, 23 June 2014

WHAT MADE ME SMILE LAST WEEK #16


The weather here in Glasgow has become really hot and sunny, so I enjoyed my first barbecue of the Summer this weekend.



I marinated mini chicken fillets in Nandos’ Medium Peri Peri Marinade (£1.99, Tesco) for hours before cooking, and had some sausages and toasted marshmallows too.


To drink, I enjoyed some of the new Strawberry Lambrini (£2.99 from Tesco); which is a really refreshing alcoholic sparkling drink, and is perfect for Summer.



On another note, my Mum brought me back a really nice statement bangle, and soaps, from her holiday in the South of France.

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Also, at the moment, I am changing anti-depressants/OCD medication (which hasn’t made me smile this week!). My psychiatrist has made it a really gradual change; but it still means i’ve been spending a lot of time under my duvet reading and watching TV. Cheerful chick-lit novels i’ve been enjoying over the last couple of weeks have been The Single Girl’s To Do List by Lindsey Kelk, Don’t Tell The Boss by Anna Bell and You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane. I really recommend all of those if you want a feel-good read.

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Photo Credit: susivinh via photopin cc

TOP TOPSHOP UK SALE PICKS

It’s sale season, and Topshop have some great sale items you can make use of this Summer…

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Bright Yellow Stone Necklace, Was £20 Now £10 | Eclectic Pastel Flower Collar, Was £20 Now £10 | Heavenly Two Part Wedges, Was £30 Now £15 | Ash Zest Studded High Tops, Was £175 Now £79 | Small Folk Suede Duffle Bag, Was £35 Now £15 | Limited Edition Rose Embellished Maxi Dress, Was £180 Now £70 | Tropical Print Wide Strap Top, Was £26 Now £12 | MOTO Bleach Wash Denim Skort, Was £32 Now £18

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Friday, 20 June 2014

GIVEAWAY: WIN THE JOHN FRIEDA FRIZZ EASE RANGE

The lovely people over at John Frieda have given a set of 10 of the Frizz Ease products to giveaway to one of my lucky followers. That’s a whole heap of Summer frizz-taming, smooth hair-inducing goodness!

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The set is worth £65.80, and includes Frizz Ease Extra Strength Serum (£6.29), Frizz Ease Original 6 Effects Serum (£6.29), Frizz Ease Perfect Finish Polishing Serum (£6.29), New Frizz Ease Miraculous Recovery Crème Serum (£6.29), New Frizz Ease Unwind Calming Crème (£5.89), New Frizz Ease Go Curlier Heat-Activated Spray (£6.99), New Frizz Ease Nourishing Oil Elixir (£9.99), Frizz Ease Dream Curls Shampoo (£5.89), Frizz Ease Dream Curls Conditioner (£5.89) and Frizz Ease Miraculous Recovery Mask (£5.99).

You can enter via Rafflecopter below. The prize can only be posted to a UK address, and will be sent to you directly by the John Frieda PR team. The giveaway ends on Friday 4th July 2014. Get entering, and good luck!

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SUMMER COLOUR POP NAIL ART TUTORIAL USING CIATE

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Today i’ve picked some of my favourite popping brights from Ciate to show you some simple nail art. The shades i’ve used are fuschia (‘Main Stage’), hot orange (‘Hopscotch’), khaki green (‘Tweed and Tails’), metallic silver (‘Fit For A Queen’) and mint (‘Pepperminty’).

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This first look is a simple floral pattern. I’ve used two silver coats as a base, and let those dry. Next i’ve made a dot of orange in the centre, and drawn a quick stem with leaves using the green. Once they are dry, add the fuschia petals all around the orange dot- whatever size, and however many you choose.

Lastly, i’ve done a two-toned striped look with a transparent silver stripe down the middle. First I painted two coats of the mint and let that dry. I then painted half the nail with the fuschia- this is a thick shade that goes opaque with one coat. Once the nail is dry, add a wide stripe of the silver lightly up the center- just one coat, as you want to be able to see where both the mint and the fuschia join together underneath.

Tweet me if you try either of these looks!

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Thursday, 19 June 2014

WONDERING HOW TO GET FREE PRODUCTS TO REVIEW ON YOUR BLOG?


As someone personally sick of the nonsense on the #prrequest hashtag, I thought i’d stick my own two pence-worth in. That is the point of a blog, right?

If you are wondering how to be sent products from brands for review, you are beginning by asking yourself the wrong question. The question you need to be asking, and actioning, is how do I build a strong blog? You need to start thinking of your blog as a business- how does it look?, what is your niche?

Only once your blog itself has a firm identity and is like a brand in its own right, will PRs start approaching you. That, along with the necessary and obvious elements of having a readership and a strong social media presence/interaction level. There are hundreds of bloggers tapping away at their keyboard with their thoughts on various products they have bought, or on their fashion opinions, but they have no authority on those topics and their writing is poor. Authority comes from being a long-standing trusted source of information by readers, and from experience and education.

If you are a new blogger, you will need to work hard before brands and PRs will send you products to review. Products are not in infinite supply. PRs and brands have a limited number/budget set aside for samples, and they need to ensure that these go to people who a) will write and photograph them professionally; b) who have both authority, and readers who will act on their opinion and c) whose blog and readership fits the brand. This is a business, and you need to start thinking of it as such- it may be ‘free stuff’ to you; but to a brand it is an investment. Work on building your blog and social media channels (all written in correct English and not text speak or without punctuation) and brands will notice you.

You can, of course, help them notice you by writing well about their brand off your own back, and sending them the links ‘just for their information’; but whether they act on it by adding you to their press release lists etc is down to the professionalism of your blog and its accompanying social media presence.

Some blogs to follow to help improve your own blog are Independent Fashion Bloggers and Quick Sprout.

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Photo Credit: Mexicanwave via photopin cc

FASHION ACCESSORIES HAUL PART 1

I’ve picked up quite a few bits and pieces over the last fortnight, so I thought i’d put them together in a post since they are all accessories. There is so much though that i’m splitting it up into two parts- one this week, and the other next week.




Let’s start with jewellery. These pieces are all fantastic bargains. If you read this blog regularly you’ll know I love the Rings & Tings site. There are quite a few reviews of my treasures from there if you look back. The stuff is all ‘cheap as chips’ price-wise; but is excellent quality and looks much more expensive. This time I got a stunning colourful statement necklace (£6.50), and a triangular bright green bunting-style necklace (£4.30) that reminds me of Kate Spade’s designs. I also thought this ring was so cute and simple with it’s plain black heart (£3.50).


From another site, Lola Joesph , I got this golden key necklace filled with colourful stones (£6.99). It’ll look great teamed with a plain vest top. I also couldn’t resist this black cameo ring (£1.99), although i’ll be saving that for Autumn & Winter.



My flip-flops for the Summer are sorted with these wonderful inventions from Flopz (£40). They are basically standard flip-flops except for their amazing knobbly lining which massages your feet as you walk. Genius! I love their new Coral Collection, and think the pink with silver of the Siam design is so pretty. They come in a drawstring bag to keep them good too.


I’m a bit of a sunglasses collector, as my wishlist post from earlier this week shows. These ombre black sunglasses (£26.91) jumped out at me from the Firmoo site and I just had to have them. You can add a prescription to them if you need one, or just get them as non-prescription as I did.


Finally, for all you Glasgow readers, you need to get yourself down to one of the city’s main shopping places (St. Enoch Centre, Buchanan Galleries, House of Fraser, Debenhams or Princes Square) in the evenings after 5pm (until 30th June) to nab yourself one of these free limited edition Glasgow Style Mile tote bags designed by local fashion designers. There are 5 prints to collect- by William Chambers Millinary, Chouchou, Obscure Couture, Joanne McGillivray and Rebecca Torres.

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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

HOW TO DO PINK & GREY NAIL ART WITH NAILS INC


Nail art doesn’t have to be difficult. Even the simplest of designs can liven up a one-colour look. I picked up the limited edition Nails Inc London Love Collection Set around Valentine’s Day. It had 3 full-size varnishes- Notting Hill Gate (a hot neon pink), Kensington Square (a creamy baby pink) and Hyde Park Place (a creamy muted grey). I love the formula of the grey and baby pink; but i’ve never really been a fan of the Nails Inc neon formulas, and this one is no exception- I find it thin, and that it chips very easily. I also don’t think the shade goes very well with the other two great ones in this set.



I have been loving creating some nail art designs with the creamy shades in this set, as they look great together. The first is a simple yet striking chevron look- a grey triangle on top of the baby pink. I added a little of a gold glitter top coat to the triangle just to make it ‘pop’ a little more. Apply one coat of the pink and let it dry before painting on the grey triangle (the brush is fine enough to do this free-handed) with two coats. When that is dry, trace round it with a final coat of the pink, and add the glitter to the triangle.

Next, I did a swirly marble effect with the grey and the neon pink (I had to find a use for it somehow). I applied two thick immediate coats of the grey, and then dotted on a little on the neon pink before swirling them together lightly with a cotton bud. This will take quite a while to dry. When it does, apply a thick clear top coat to lock it in place.

Finally, I did a dotty design with the grey and baby pink again. You can never go wrong with polka dot nails. Apply two coats of the pink, and when they have dried, make little dots with the grey. It really stands out against the light pink background and looks so cute. When they have dried, pop on a clear top coat to keep the dots safely in place.

These three polishes are no longer available together as a set; but you can buy Nails Inc polishes individually at House of Fraser . If you head to their site, enter the fab £2000 beauty giveaway. That would make one epic haul post!

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Monday, 16 June 2014

HIGH-STREET SUNGLASSES WISHLIST

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