A blog for fashion, beauty, hair, cosmetics and lifestyle

30 Jun 2011

Havaianas Festival Competition - the Vote

You may remember a while ago I started a competition for some people to send in their favourite festival look and win a pair of new Havaianas Wellies. So here it is, the vote. Click to vote for your favourites! Voting ends at midnight!

Here are the entries, scroll down to vote

Shivvy from Beauty and the Geek sent in this outfit. She says this is me at T in the Park 2 years ago for my entry - i'm wearing a cotton strappy dress from New Look, leggings and Pink Hunter Wellies! I'm carrying a over the body bag (festival must have to make sure you don't get your purse stolen!), a hoody and a pashmina (we were lucky with the weather so i didn't need a coat, just something for when it got cold at night). My other festival essential would be a hat to keep the sun off - as you can see i was still hunting for mine!!

Olivia Gagan from West Country Girl submitted this entry

She says I've gone for an English seaside theme. An H&M stripy sweater teamed with mint green Topshop shorts and some Ray-Ban aviators. I am actually wearing some Havaiana flip-flops but you can't see those in the picture!

Di Coke from Super Lucky: A Comper's Blog sent us a photo of her favourite festival look - from her wedding day at Glasto!

And Isobelle Forde sent us her lucky bra and hippy cardie look for her dream festival and adds "would look better with the wellies!"

Leanne from A Slice of my Life showed us her look from Ponty's Big Weekend last year. She wore her Peacocks Pearl Lowe dress, short cowboy boots and a denim waistcoat, along with the essential ‘nana hat’! Love the retro chic!

Samantha Coles sent in this festival look

and Dejeniera Pygott sent in this summery look!


I've blocked people being able vote more than once so fingers crossed no cheating and it doesn't become a popularity competition. Remember I can track where you're coming from so don't cheat!!


Let's play! Designer vs eBay snap!

So after reading the vipxo blog, she highlighted an eBay shop to me which I adored, full of designer-alikes. Anyway it got me playing a fun new game! Just type in celebrity inspired and see what faux designer items you can find.

Below is a real designer item and an eBay copy - I want you to see if you can tell what's real and what's the fake. Answers at the bottom

1. Furla candy bag

A                                                                                                    B

2. The Louboutin studded pump

A                                                             B

3. Toywatch Watches

A                                                                                     B

1. A is the Furla Candy Bag, B is from eBay

2. A is Christian Louboutin, B is from eBay

3. A is from eBay, B is Toywatch

There are loads more but they are watermarked pictures so I can't make it ambiguous!

Holiday Adventure Fashion

Next in the holiday series is my post on adventure holiday fashion


What's your ideal holiday? Personally I get bored after one day on the beach/by the pool so I enjoy a good adventure! Here's my picksAdventure HolidayThe top: I have to give a mention to The Dressing Room - they have a fabulous holiday shop at the moment with loads of items I'd kill for although many are out my price range. However I love this tank top by Bobi which looks cool and comfortable for exploring in and it's £25.

The Shorts are £35 from Topshop and are smart enough for going to more cultured places but still stylish and cool for evenings out.

The hat is the Navy Trim Small Boater by Topshop for £22 and I love it! It's very cute (and reminds me of my mum's old convent school unifom!) and stops your scalp from being burnt. Ouch.

The shoes - I looove these tassel loafers. I am considering collecting a pair in every colour including my black work ones I featured a while ago. Ok, so technically they are very stylish deck shoes but you don't have to be on a yachting holiday to love these shoes. They're £45 from Chatham Marine and come in other colours. I was sent 2 pairs to review (Don't worry, I sent them back) and here's what they look like in real life

If you're considering getting these shoes for a holiday I can definitely vouch for them! The leather is incredibly soft and comfortable, the shoes are well-built and I think very pretty and practical.

The bag - you may remember I featured a Healthy Back Bag on my blog a while ago which are designed to look after your spine? Well my mum nicked mine and took it travelling to China and absolutely raved about it! She said it was perfect for travelling and some of the girls she went to China with tried it and bought their own. They're quite expensive, starting at £40 but really worth it. They're available from here

Finally... don't forget your suncream! Again I think a once suncream is perfect for a day of exploring. I've been using this P20 sun cream for a while which I was sent for review and although I haven't got before and after photos (nobody wants to see the same picture twice... because I haven't been burnt) I can  honestly say it's really good. It's clear so no tedious rubbing in and promises you can still get a tan. You apply it just once and it lasts all day and isn't perfumed for sensitive skin (although some of you do love the smell of sun lotion so may not like this so much). It may be expensive at £10-18 but the reviews on the website glow! I'm getting another bottle for Thailand!

Adventure Holiday by laurenlovesblog featuring pleated shorts

28 Jun 2011

Review and Swatch–MeMeMe Elektra Lip Cream

A few weeks ago I read about MeMeMe’s Elektra Long Wear Satin Lip Cream and realised  vibrant pink lipstick colour I’ve been dreaming of.


I rushed out instantly and bought it for £8.50 from Superdrug  and here it is!



The lipstick comes in a box which is matt black and has a lovely description of the goddess it’s named after

mememe lipstick 1


mememe lipstick 2


The tube is sleek matt black also, although the colour label doesn’t look like the colour you get which is odd. Not that I’m bothered, just an observation.

mememe lipstick 4

The product


In the tube, you get a normal bullet of lipstick so it’s easy to apply from the tube

mememe lipstick 7


The product is very creamy as to be expected from the name “lip cream” and very moisturising. I have incredibly dry lips but this went on like a dream and lasted really well. The colour is really vibrant and lasts well, and slightly stains your lips. It doesn’t last past a meal but no lipsticks I own do!

mememe lipstick 5


The swatch shows Elektra on the right compared to MAC Girl About Town on the left – as you can see it’s brighter and more luminous

mememe lipstick 6


Rating – I’d give this an 8/10. I really love the colour and the moisturising consistency, but the price is steep for a MeMeMe product and the range of colours isn’t brilliant. However the colour I have I love and I’d like to try a couple of others.




Holiday Evening Out Fashion

Hope you're enjoying my holiday blog post series so far. Remember if you have any holiday you want some style advice for just let me know!

So you're on holiday... it's a warm evening and you're going out for cocktails and there's fairy lights outside the bar and yummy food (My fantasy holiday evening... I'm getting carried away) What is my dream outfit?Evening OutEvening Out by laurenlovesblog featuring hair bands accessories


Firstly, I love these outfits! I want all 3. My recommendations are maxi dresses, jumpsuits or playsuits for a relaxed but gorgous look. This gorgeous emerald twist font maxi dress is £35 from Dorothy Perkins and is top of my wish list for my birthday next month. The black cowl neck jumpsuit is £40 from Dorothy Perkins  and the coral playsuit is £30 and also from Dorothy Perkins (does everyone else agree that Dorothy Perkins is AMAZING at the moment - they've really picked up recently.)

Accessories wise, I think you can go all out glamour with golds and silvers. I love these elegant drop earrings which would look great with all the outfits and you hair up. They're £7.99 from Miso at Republic. This glitzy bag comes in 3 brilliant colours and I love the tassel - it's from Per Una at Marks and Spencer and is £25. I really like this grecian style leaf hairband which is £7.99 from River Island and to finish the grecian theme, these gladiators are beautiful and £18 from Ipanema at The Dressing Room

27 Jun 2011

Science Behind Sunscreen - How SPF and Sun Creams Work

This week, The Science Behind Beauty Project is getting ready for the summer! Well if it ever turns up! Even though it's raining, I'm sure some of us have some great holidays planned and will definitely want to know more about sunscreen (especially as our skins will not have gotten used to the sun AT ALL). So let's find out more about your summer essential: sunscreen!

First a little history: the first sunscreen is thought to have been engineered by chemist Franz Greiter in 1939 and was called Gletscher Creme (Glacier Cream). Even though it was probably only a factor 2, it was very popular and is actually the ancestor to the brand Puiz Buin.

How tanning works and the different radiations

 Let's start with some basic physics. The sun emits many different radiations: among them are UV (Ultra-Violet) radiations which as you can see from the light spectrum graph are found at a lower wavelength than visible light. There are different kinds of UV light: UV-A and UV-B (there is also UV-C but let's not overcomplicate things). Now the ozone layer blocks about 97-99% of the radiation coming from the sun but that still leaves a good 1-3% of radiation reaching the Earth's surface and thus our skins.

Tanning mainly involves a component many of you might have already heard of: melanin, which is also present in hair and other areas of the body. Melanin is build within our cells as a defence mechanism against UV radiation. When exposed to radiation, melanin absorbs it and dissipates the energy as heat so it doesn't affect the skin tissue. But different radiations affect melanin differently. Whereas UV-A oxidises melanin already present in the skin cells (oxidation is a process during which a molecule loses some of it's electrons changing many of it's characteristics) and activates the release of more melanin from cells; UV-B stimulates the body to produce more melanin. This means the different rays affect our skin (and our tans) differently: UV-A yields a quick tan while UV-B takes two days or so to affect the skin.

What is sunscreen made of?

Well, bar the usual ingredients a cream requires to be soft and moisturise the skin, there are two those of active ingredients in sunscreen: some that absorb the sun's UV radiation and others that reflect it. Usually the compounds that absorb radiation are organic chemicals and those that reflect and scatter it are inorganic particulate. Some are able to do both: an organic particulate called Tinosorb M. is effective at 90% by absorption and 10% by scattering of UV light. Some other ingredients that are very good at their role: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone and ecansule.

What do the factors mean?

Now this is all very interesting (I hope) but it doesn't help you adequately choose a good sunscreen. Let's look into the three things you should keep your eyes peeled for: SPF, PPD and Star Ratings.

1.  SPF - Sun Protection Factor is a measure of the amount of UV radiation required to cause sunburn in skin without sunscreen on. The equation which gives us the numbers is  rather complex but sufficed to say the higher the factor the more it protects. But be aware, a common misconception is that factors mean then number of hours one can stay in the sun without being burned: this is a myth! Another issue here is that SPF only gives you guidance on protection against UV-B radiation; but as we have seen, UV-A is also a concern.

2. PPD - Persistent Pigmentation Darkening? Never heard of it? I thought as much. PPD measures the amount of the UV-A protection in a cream, something most sunblocks completely ignore or have very little of. Thankfully this is now gaming and maybe creams are now designed to block both types of radiations. Technically speaking, a PPD of 10 should allow 10 times more UV-A exposure than without (not 10 hours).

3. Star rating - Recently set up in the UK and other countries, a star rating is a ratio of UV-A to UV-B protection. Ideally you want a cream with a PPD of at least a third of the SPF. Keep your eyes peeled!

What they don't tell you

Although generally speaking all sunscreens provide protection and are beneficial in the fight against various types of skin cancer, they don't provide what they promise and some forget to mention some important facts.

We have already seen that many sunscreens don't block against UV-A radiation, which can increase the melanoma in your skin leading to different types of skin cancer.

There is also the issue of how long sunscreen is actually affective. A lot of testing is being done into the effects of indirect damage from free radicals and reactive oxygen species; some of which shows that after 60 mins of sun exposure some sunscreens can be more harmful than helpful. Photo-stable filtering systems have been created though which allow a longer solar exposure, look out of ingredients like drometrizole trisiloxan, bisoctrizole or bemotrizonol for better protection.  

Overall the main conundrum surrounding sunscreen (and many other creams) is fairly simple: do these UV filters act ON or IN the skin? Sadly this is something our scientists have yet to find out.

So in the meantime, enjoy the sun responsibility (the same way you enjoy your Pimm's) - make sure you always have sunscreen on and protect any sensitive areas. Look out for sunscreens with both SPF and PPD and a high star rating.... And a nice smell of course!


26 Jun 2011

OOTN and My week in photos

Lots of people gave really positive feedback on my "my week in photos" post last week so thought I'd try it again!

My poor little cat got soaking in the rain so I wrapped her in a towel and posted it on twitter. My parents think I'm mad treating her like a baby but everyone on twitter thought it was cute!


I bought a 2 in 1 crosstrainer and bike from classifieds.com. I've used it once and really like it - it was only £40 which was a bargain as it's a month old. Thailand bikini body here I come!


I had conjoined twin smiles! They were exta delicious!


I found After Eight munchies!!!

At the weekend we went up to Sheffield for my Grandar's 80th Birthday party. 


Do you like the vintage theme! I made this jumpsuit using the Marfly F1338 pattern I saw on Gertie's blog and I love it! The back and the front are the same. Maybe the neon pink nailvarnish lets down the vintage look but I love it! Here's the back


I also fell in love with this painting at my Aunt's house - it's by Carloline Appleyard and you can see more of her work here


How was your week? x


23 Jun 2011

Holiday Makeup

In the fourth part of my holiday series, here's my post on holiaday makeup! So I don't pretend to be someone who wears much makeup on holiday, I ususally stick to my suncream but here's what I'd choose for holiday

Holiday makeup

  • Mattefying papers - I got mine from "Home Bargains" up north but you can get them in loads of places like Savers or the pound shop.


  • Waterproof mascara or dyed eyelashes - I've had my eyelashes permed and dyed by the beauty students at the local college and I'd really recommend it if you're having a beach holiday, or you can try it yourself with Dylash (Fab how to on Hey Dollface). Otherwise I love Max Factor False Lash Effect mascara and now they have a waterproof version

 Here's the result fom when I had mine done

  • Bronzer - I LOOOOOOVE Ultra Glow bronzer. I can't rave about it enough. I have the loose powder version and it's amazing. It isn't shiney or sparkley and warms up as your skin heats it up to create a gorgeous, natural glow which suits everyone (even extremely pale people like me!)


  • SPF foundation - I know I've talked about this earlier, but the SunSense daily face SPF50 which is mattefying as has some tint to it is amazing. Always protect your skin girls!


  • Lips - I REALLY want a Clinique Chubby stick. Someone buy one for me please? I swatched one and I like how it's sheer and moisturising, just what you want on holiday.


  • Skincare - This Liz Earle kit is the perfect size for a holiday and for looking after your skin while holidaying. It's £28.10 which is a lot but you get a full size moisuriser and an almost full size face wash. I'd also recommend this kit for anyone wanting to start out with Liz Earle.


Remember girls - please please please look after your skin this summer by applying an SPF sun cream - Nicola Roberts here tells us why:

Click the photo for more holiday themed posts!


22 Jun 2011

Wednesday Etsy Wants

I love Etsy (and I also love Regetsy), you can find some wonderful handmade things there. Here’s a quick list of my wants this week

1. An Ouma dress

I love Ouma’s Etsy shop – she creates some wonderful, fanciful dresses which make me want to be either 6 years old or be getting married. Sadly her items are so expensive which is totally out of my price range but this is what I want if I could afford it:

Blushing in Pink - £531

Allison Wonderland - £367

I think you’ll agree the dresses are gorgeous and very fantastical! I fell in love with an old Ouma dress before my 21st birthday called the “fancy formal” and although I couldn’t afford it, I needed it!

fancy formal


I therefore took this image to the girls on the Burdastyle forum and they told me it was just like the bodice on the Simplicity 4070 pattern which I quickly bought and made with a tulle circle skirt

Here’s my copy (sorry for the bad quality photos)


What do you think of my efforts? In November it’s my parent’s big 25th wedding anniversary party and I think I might make the Blushing in Pink dress and rather than go conservative with the tulle skirt like I did on this, I’m going to go overboard like the pink one.

2. Gold Feather Ring

I love this long ring by The Clasp of Isis and it’s only £6.33

3. A Cute Stacker Ring

I’m quite interested by the stacked ring trend and I particularly love this cute little birdy

It’s £17.10 from Scrape and is sterling siver.

4. Pearl Jewellery

I love pearls! I got a vintage pearl ring a couple of weeks ago but the fake pearl fell off and I lost it Sad smile I like this one

It’s £11.40 from Loriyab

5. Some Seagulls

I keep my love of seagulls no secret!

I therefore adore this golden seagull earrings for £6.33 from Friendly Gesture

6. A hair bow!

Ok so I’m so 2 years ago with this trend but I’d love a (non-hair) hair bow

This pink one by Jeezelouise is so sweet and is £8.86. I love it!

What are you Wednesday wants?

Blogger Template Created by pipdig