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Review: Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour

27 May 2016

On the lifelong hunt for the perfect lipstick, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw beautiful Michelle Keegan/Wright (girl crush) wearing a beautiful matte nude. Although we're nowhere neaer the same colouring, I instantly decided it was the new lippie for me so went shopping!


These are the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colours which are £8.99 each - although I got mine from Boots for £6.99 each and on 3 for 2! I got thee colours - Seduction, Devotion and Passion


Seduction is a nude and actually quite flattering! I'm not usually a nude colouring person but I really like it! 

Devotion is a mid-toned pink, with a hint of nude. Again flattering


Passion is a deep, bright red. I found it quite hard to apply evenly, as it pooled at the edges and needed lots of layers. I wasn't such a fan of this one. 

Overall, the colour range is lovely! I found it hard to choose which ones to buy! I prefer the nude pinks, rather than the darker ones which are harder to apply. They dry to a satin finish rather than fully matte and do require you to have well-exfoliated lips. I found the colour lasted a long time and didn't transfer too much onto cups or my boyfriend! I'd definitely recommend buying seduction as a lovely nude with staying power and easy application! 

The Ruff Fashion Show - Much Ado About Portsmouth

23 May 2016

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to the Ruff Fashion Show, part of the Much Ado About Portsmouth celebration of Shakespeare's life. It was a spectacular organised by the very brave and ambitious Leonora Asomanin in association with the University of Portsmouth.



Firstly, huge photo credit to Sarah Benstead who takes really amazing photographs in the worst of lighting conditions. ALL my photos came out blurry and ridiculous so the majority are taken with permission from Sarah. She was an absolute delight, putting the models and designers at ease before the show.

The theme of the show was to fuse Shakespearean era fashions with the modern - some designers took this to a really modern stance and created items I'd or my partner would wear, whereas others created pieces fit for the stage in a Shakespeare play.

The show was best captured by this video created by the talented Ceejay Foster-Walters




The show featured 5 designers, with three prizes up for grabs: 


Aisha Ally from Shantonio (first place)



Briefly describe the look you went for: the look I went for are these Classy, sophisticated, luxury and fashionista/trend setter.The inspiration of the collection was the love of Shakespearean work, the creativity of play on words, the elegancy and beauty that can transform words to imagery. Being a designer you have to do just that. Have to the imagination to create beautiful dresses with elegance, classy and women can look sexy without needing to expose too much. I had to make sure that I still kept the theme of Shakespearean as well as keeping the image of what Shantonio is all about.

What was your favourite part of the show? I loved the whole show, it was great seeing other designers work the different of texture of certain fabrics, helping each other. I guess I never see these competitions as competitions at all. I see talented people getting together to showcasing their work we are all friends and we make new ones. every designer has a style which is unique to another. To me that's the best part.  


Tell us something about yourself or your brand: hhhhmmmm.... about myself hhahahaha! not very exciting but just a bit of background! Ex-Student of University of Portsmouth, studied Biology, single parent of my 6 year old son Shantonio. And lucky enough to posses 3 cultures West, Middle East and African. I have travel a lot in my younger years and I can truly say this job still gives me that opportunity, love meeting new people that are like minded with the love of fashion.

Shantonio is a brand that is dedicated to elegance and attention to details. Shantonio give their clients an opportunity to customise our ready to wear  clothes – without having to go to the expense of a fully bespoke garment. Shantonio offers a range of evening, special occasion and office attire. For that special occasion or special day we can provide you with a unique outfit that will have elegance and give you that "star of the day" sparkle. Shantonio is not your average high street store – we are able to Focus on Quality not Quantity.

The CEO and Founder of Shantonio is working to develop a Fashion based school, in East Africa specifically Zanzibar  which will be a registered charity. The school will focus on young women that have left school but who cannot afford further education. The school will aim to give a basic trade to girls and ensure they have a good grasp of basic  Maths and English; increasing  their self esteem and self worth as women. We will give them an oversight of all aspects of the fashion industry with an opportunity for some to travel and work abroad>All the fashion shows that Shantonio showcases are to promote the brand and it's ethic of helping others (specifically by raising funds for the school). For every Shantonio product sold, a percentage will be guaranteed to go towards the school in Zanzibar. It is hoped that once this  school is well established  the concept can be expanded to other countries In the UK Shantonio will focus on students that are in their last year at University to do their internships at the Shantonio workshop based in Portsmouth, giving them the chance to showcase their own collections as well as Shantonio at events that are organised during fashion weeks. 

Abigail Young of NATiVE.MiEN




I'm Abigail Poppy Young, 23 and living in Portsmouth. Born out of the city, I went to a pretty regular school and finished with pretty average grades. What I took away from school is the realization that there are issues within social structures. In year 9 I broke away from "the popular friend group" and started to mingle with any and everyone. In the end I would walk around school and everyone I passed would say hello. From this point, by making all of these friends I managed to integrate all friend groups in our year together. One day I remember sitting on the school field with a few friends while more and more people came to sit with us. Eventually I noticed that the entire year were sat together, talking, playing and listening to music. I looked around with a subtle satisfaction that I had helped for this to happen. It was an empowering and joyful moment for me.

I am a huge people person and I would consider myself a fairly confident woman but despite this I can still find myself shy in certain situations, like formal ones; I find wearing a suit is like wearing a mask!

In life there are hierarchies, class, judgement, success, wealth, pressures in life that make you concentrate or worry about the wrong things, and act a certain way that is not of yourself. These pressures lead people to conform, hiding away their true colours for the fear of not "fitting in". Ultimately, society is teaching people not to love themselves but love status.The love that I have for clothing that had lead me to NATiVE.MiEN. ...


Anca Iancu from ANKA

 
Briefly describe the look you went for:
My collection is a mix of Elizabethan and modern fashion. I put together the Elizabethan elements (ruffles, gathers, high collar, crinoline or embroidery) and modern ones (short dresses, fitting silhouettes or evening gowns) in order to create four looks based on the idea of mixture between history and modernity.
 
What was your favourite part of the show?:
What I liked the most was the atmosphere during the presentation. The four looks matched the models perfectly, they looked gorgeous. The music completed the atmosphere with a combination between modern and classical music. It was easy to see that the public loved the show and we managed to create a historical atmosphere with a modern twist.  
 
 
Tell us something about yourself or your brand:
The garments I create are quite unconventional. I play with different shapes and sometimes I reinvent them, because I don’t believe in “the perfect silhouette” but in the one that makes you feel great. I want to transmit emotion and feelings through my collections, to make people feel good in their skin, to accept the imperfections as perfect features; to make clothes that create a visual balance of the body.
I like the asymmetry in garment construction, the high level of details or to accentuate a certain segment of a garment. I aim for a balanced piece of clothing. I also love the idea of mixing fashion with different arts, to create a wearable piece of art.


Carol Pullen-Wakefield and Oceana Lucas from Oceana Carol Designer and Makers (second place)


Describe the look you went for: We were inspired by Shakespeare's Midsummer Nights Dream and influenced by butterflies. Our outfits were designed for someone who feels they are as Royal as Titania and to wear for a special occasion in the summer time. Each of the outfits had hand painted silk incorporated into them which had a butterfly wing pattern painted onto it.

What was your favourite part of the show? We both enjoyed seeing our 4 outfits finally being worn by the models before they went out on the catwalk. 

Tell us something about yourself? Oceana and I are daughter and mother and this is the first time we have worked collaboratively together. Oceana studied Fashion design and construction at the same time I was studying Costume design and construction. We are currently working on a larger collection named Beauty Devours the Beast and has a theme of the elements running through it.



Emily Streatfield and Jade Willis from MayoJayDesign and Emily Frances Streatfield (third place)



Briefly describe the look you went for: JadeOur collection was inspired by Shakespeare’s Sonnet V and explores the idea that nothing of beauty survives winter unless it has been preserved but once preserved, it can always be remembered. Seasons evolve into winter which in turn encapsulates any remaining beauty. Visual ideas from the sonnets lines and an element of Shakespearean fashion inspired both the structural and petal shaped panelling. The preservation of summer and beauty of winter is alluded to through our print and colour palette. 

What is your favourite part of the show?: Jade: For me it was finally seeing our collection on models and all together as a collab collection! We done our fittings using the toiles/mockups so we didn't see what they looked like before the show at all, nor did we see each others work before the show besides in photos on whatsapp. I think it all worked out together really well and our collection looked great as a whole! Plus of course, we won 3rd prize so that was a bonus!

Tell us something about yourself or your brand: Jade: I'm a graduate from the university of Portsmouth, currently working within the university in the Eldon workshop. I'm working towards setting up my own fashion/textiles brand, which is proving to be difficult but fun venture. My brand focuses on unique, individual unisex fashion and I like to use a wide range of inspires as I feel fashion doesn't have a boundary when it comes to looks and I like making wearable statements. 


And this is me! 



I wore a sheer white shirt from Mango which sadly got ruined - the team who own the venue, the Square Tower in Portsmouth, decided to paint the chairs with black gloss that day which was a huge mistake. Most of us ruined our clothes or bags. I got away fairly well with only a ruined shirt and some on my Zara coat! I paired it with my New Look high waist skinny jeans and my gold Long Tall Sally peep toes

Well done to all the fantastic designers, the Southsea Shakespeare Actors for the play extract and South Zone Street Dance for the great dancing entertainment! It was a real find to get to go to a local fashion show, and made me think I really need to follow local colleges and Universities on Facebook to keep up to date with all the local events. 


My journey to fitness - Fabletics Review

20 May 2016



When I was 16 I had my spine fused from my neck to my waist (read my blog post here for more information). I then spent 11 years keeping very still, scared I would hurt myself and end up having to have another operation, or paralysed! However as I got older and got a desk job, my back muscles became weaker and I started to get a little achey. Also, I was completely sedentary and began to consider my health. So two months ago, my housemate and best friend Sarah and I signed up to Anytime Fitness gym and I began a gentle introduction to exercise! I've been going around 4-5 times a week and my favourite thing has been classes! I love Boxercise, Body Pump, Yoga, Pilates and "Beach Booty Bootcamp". I have been doing some stuff in the actual gym, but thought I should get my form correct in classes first so I don't injure myself.

I was only working out in my PJs and leggings, looking very unstylish because I didn't own any sports clothes! Then I was contacted by Fabletics, the super cool activewear brand by Kate Hudson, asking if I'd like to review some of their pieces, which I leaped at, tired of looking like I had no idea what I was doing (even though I had no idea what I was doing).


How it works

The site offers complete workout outfits which are in fun colours, prints and styles, although initially it's a bit confusing. If you're new there are three prices by each outfit! Guest prices which are higher, VIP prices which are much cheaper, and new member prices which are dirt cheap! Basically, I gather it works like this: you can either shop as a guest without an account, or you can get a VIP membership which is like a subscription service for £44 a month. In this, you get your first outfit half price (pick wisely! I suggest an outfit with a sports bra!) and then you get to pick an outfit every month as part of your membership which is half the price of the guest prices. If you decide you don't want another outfit that month, you can either skip the month at no cost (you can skip as many as you like) or you can choose to save up the credits to do a big shopping spree at a later date. If the outfit is more than £44, you pay the extra, and if the monthly outfit is less, your account gets credited. You can cancel your membership at any time too. You also get free deliveries and returns, reward points and some other perks. Got it? If you're still a little confused, I found this page helped.

Anyway, I did a quiz about my activity. I said I enjoy yoga and the gym (I clicked "I mix it up!"), that I work out at the gym rather than other locations, then I chose I love all colours. I was then asked details about my body shape (lean) and asked what size I was in tops, bottoms and sports bras. Once I'd given them my email address, I was given personal outfit picks which suited my workout style. I chose a yoga and a cardio outfit!

Yoga/Pilates

Twice a week, I have been doing yoga and pilates. For my yoga outfit, I chose the Switch Back Tee II in "Vixen" colour (£18), and Hamilton Long Sweatpants in Graphite (£30)


 I love yoga because it doesn't matter how "good" you are! With my inflexible spine it's lovely to do some toning, stretching exercise without worrying how I look!

I love the top, the colour is great and I think the cut is really unusual and pretty! It was really soft and comfortable so I felt I could move, and with a sports bra on I didn't have to worry about showing a little skin. I felt it helped me cool down during sun salutations (phew, they get the heart pumping!) but keeps me warm during the meditations.


The trousers came up on the large size. I chose an XS/8 but felt they were more a large size 10. However they are really cosy and stayed up when I was doing downward dog poses! I liked the elasticated ankle which meant I could push them up for some balances, but they didn't ride up when I did headstands.




Cardio

 I've been really loving Boxercise, Body Pump and Circuits, but gosh I get so warm! I decided to get these funky Carrie Short II in Popsicle Print (£26) and a nice basic, the Balm Tank in black  (£13).


 The shorts are WOW! The print and cut is lovely, with the scooped up sides. They are quite short so I might wear them with some little shorts underneath, but I love them! I found I had lots of room to move around and get lunging!


The top is lovely and light, and I like the slightly unusual cut, with a v-shaped back and thicker straps than a regular vest top.


Thank you Chris Phelan for being photographer! Didn't he do a great job? Chris, or PhelanFit as he's also known, is the best Personal Trainer in Gosport, he's ex-navy and is a great combination of really supportive, but pushing to get the best out of us! If you're local, hunt him down! I've started getting actual muscles thanks to him! I'm looking forward to getting fitter and stronger in the future.

Overall review of Fabletics - I really liked it! I enjoyed the process of picking outfits and I loved all the items when they arrived. I think it's definitely a service I will use whenever I need new gym stuff. I guess the only issue is I'll have to remember to skip months between. I'm hoping the monthly email will prompt me, but if not at least I can save the credits up.

Other gym wear - I love my strappy sports bra from Forever 21, and got some cheap running shoes for people with flat feet from Sports Direct. I'm also wearing a Pebble Time Round - a fitness tracker and smart watch.

How to pack cabin baggage for a long weekend holiday

17 May 2016


Last week, Radley sent me their Fleet Street Small 4 Weel Suitcase, a cabin-sized, solid suitcase with built in locks and cute doggy design! I thought it would be useful to think about how to pack for a long weekend using only cabin baggage (for 3-4 nights)

To wear on the flight

Skinny jeans
Pumps
Cardigan
Coat
Wrap/Shawl


To Pack


The essentials

1. Evening dress and jumpsuit
2. 3x shorts
3. 3x tops
4. 2x flip flops (day and night)
5. 3x underwear
6. jumper
7. clutch bag
8. bikini, cover-up and floppy hat
9. Travel documents wallet
10. phone charger
11. makeup
12. hair styling things
13. statement jewellery
14. lingerie and washing bags
PJs (not shown... forgot!) 


Beauty Essentials

Packing makeup and skincare for holidays with only cabin luggage is a real challenge due to the limits on liquids in the cabin. Over the years I've stripped back my makeup for holiday to hard working, multi-tasking essentials. Here are my holiday essentials, remember your clear bag to put them all in! 

Eyeliner pencil - YSL Dessin Du Regard Stylo Waterproof Eyeliner. Hardworking, waterproof and great quality. Perfect for holiday when you can't take liquid eyeliners
Lips and Blush - YSL Baby Doll Kiss and Blush. A 2-in-1 product reducing liquid amounts
Mascara - Benefit Roller Lash. Still my favourite
Brows - Benefit Eyeshadow in a suitable colour (excuse my old packaging!)
Concealer - I just love Seventeen Phwoarr Paint and the small cream doesn't take up much liquid allowance 
Foundation - Clinique Age Defense BB Cream provides SPF and natural coverage, allowing your holiday skin to shine. They also do an anti-blemish one. If you can, go for bonus time for the tiny moisturiser, otherwise...
Moisturiser - Body Shop Vitamin E moisturiser - perfect for face or body, and with vitamin E to help skin recover from sun damage
Lips - Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Lip Protectant - also great for dried out skin or small areas of sunburn 
If possible - go to the counter of your favourite perfume brand and ask for a tiny tester bottle you can take with you
Remember to pack an array of grips and bobbles so you can plait your hair and make it wavy, or wear in a bun for curls in case your hotel doesn't have a hair dryer. 

At the Airport

The other essentials are things you're going to have to buy at Boots after you've checked in. I'd advise you get:
  • a small shampoo and good conditioner (which you can leave in when you're away if your hair gets dry)
  • SUN CREAM (please make sure you protect your skin from the sun)

I then packed these essentials into the suitcase. The case has two halves, separated with a zipped panel which also contains small zipped pockets. I used these to store my travel document wallet and cosmetics so they were quick accessible for going through security, another compartment for my shoes so they don't get my clothes dirty, and a compartment for my washing bags. I think the zipped sections are a great idea so you don't accidentially flash all your underwear to everyone when you need to get things out your case! 

I packed everything into each half of the case, and still had room for more clothes! You could definitely travel for up to a week with this case. I also liked that it has a solid shell so you know it will always fit in the airlines' sizing bins, no matter how tightly you stuff the bag! I also really like it has a lock on and is super bright because sometimes I've had my bag put in the hold when there was no more room in the overhead lockers (thanks EasyJet) and I've had a panic that 1. I didn't have a lock on my case, or one with me, and 2. my case was so bland I didn't think I'd recognise it on the carousel! 

The case has those lovely, twirly wheels meaning you can easily glide it round the airport, and you can get matching larger luggage if you want!

This size bag is £129 and comes with a 5 year guarantee. Check it out here and the rest of their luggage here



A day in the life of my dog Teddy!

9 May 2016

What happens when you follow your dog for the day? That's the question I was asked by Petplan who wanted Teddy to take over my blog for the day! (apparently I should write from Teddy's tone of voice, which makes me feel a little cringe but here goes!) I've used lots of brackets because I imagine my ADHD dog's brain is always off on a tangent (Squirrel!)





Hi Lauren Loves readers! I'm Teddy, the two year old Miniature Pinscher (or Min Pin for short). I look like a tiny Doberman, but I'm not as fierce (although I think I'm the same size as a real Doberman). My main hobbies include running really fast, sniffing things, wearing jumpers, sleeping and barking at the cat (who I am secretly scared of). My favourite food is carrots or anything the humans put down, and my least favourite food is strawberries. I love hanging out with Lauren, although Sam is my favourite because he lets me play rough! I am a typical handbag dog in that I shake constantly! 


The other day Lauren (I refuse to call her mummy), attached a huge harness with a camera to my back and expected me to walk in it! Silly. Here's the video of what happened when she did. It sounds a lot like she's making fun of me! 


So as you can see, it turns out tiny dogs really enjoy shaking with anxiety/excitement/any emotion, eating treats and running free, and don't enjoy massive heavy harnesses or dogs who take your owner's attention. I hope you enjoyed this video and me being a silly monkey (as Lauren calls me). I'm off to bark at the cat and lie in a beam of sunshine! 

Teddy x


Well thanks Teddy, who clearly can't type, for that post. Although this post is sponsored, all views are my own and please do insure your pet. I couldn't imagine having to decide if I could or couldn't afford Teddy's care, it would break my heart. 
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