31 Dec 2011

2011 – A Review

Firstly I’d like to say a huge thank you and love you to all my readers - 2011 for me has been a huge year. So much has happened to me personally and in blogging so I thought I’d give a end of 2011 round up.

 

 

Personal


I never thought this time last year that so much would have happened to me.

  • Firstly I bought myself my own house! I would never have thought this a realistic dream but with hard work and the help of my parents and my boyfriend’s parents to do renovations, we are almost living there. If you loved Changing Rooms, head to my home blog www.laurenmakesahome.blogspot.com


front view edited

 

  • I went to Thailand! As someone who had never left Europe that was a huge step and so exciting!


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  • I graduated from my Master’s degree!

  • It’s not all been great. My nan, who I’m very close to got seriously ill and although she’s on the mend slowly now it cast a huge shadow over what would be a perfect year.


 

 

Blogging


My top 5 most popular posts were

1. Review & How To: Lauren’s Way Fake Tan from TOWIE’s Lauren Goodger

2. Lauren Loves Big Hair – how to get massive hair tutorial

3. I did my own Minx nails

4. Lauren investigates Careprost and Latisse – solutions to make your eyelashes grow

5. Hair Review: Enrapture Amplify Jumbo Waver

 

 

My Top 5 search words were (surprisingly)

1. Lauren’s Way fake tan

2. Careprost

3. How to get big hair

4. Enrapture waver

5. MAC Creme Cup Lipstick!

 

 

My favourite outfits of the year were:



The vintage dress my nan gave me (post here)

 



My first hen do dress (yes I like green!) – post here

 



My new leather miniskirt which I’m still trying to find ways to wear. Post here



And the day I let go of all my senses and bought a crop top! Post here

 

 

Hope you liked my unusual summary of the year. I love reading others so link me if you’ve written one too xxx
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27 Dec 2011

Hair Diary Challenge with @Aussie_Hair_UK #AussieMore Week 2 and a half!

So it's been over a week since my last Aussie post (click here to see week one's styles) and I've been playing some more with my bigger bottles of Aussie and styling my hair. Here's 6 styles since the last post. Again I apologise for the camera phone quality pics!

 


Wash 6: sideways french pleat (I will make a video for this when I have a spare second!)


Wash 7: a high bun done with backcombed hair


Wash 8: Normal french pleat


Wash 9: Natural down hair!


Wash 10: a spikey, wrappy, mad up do. Not sure how to describe this one


Wash 11: low side pony-tail with a little quiff (which you can't see sadly).



What do you think of my second round of styles?

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26 Dec 2011

Christmas OOTDs!

Merry Christmas! I hope you had a lovely time. I did, and although I'm not a fan of present posts I got a few house bits and lots of chunky knitwear.

 

Christmas is a great time for dressing up. I always go out Christmas eve to exchange Secret Santa gifts and then to the pub. I won an Issa dress(yes, as in THE Issa from Kate Middleton fame! Squeal!) from WeightWatchers and Tommy's Clothing Confessions competition (see my post here for my confession). For Secret Santa I wore my favourite coat from Marks and Spencer and earmuffs from Accessorize


 

and then my Issa dress for the pub with some Marks and Spencer jeggings!



 I didn't ask their permission for this photo by the way. Sorry guys!



On Christmas day, I wore an ASDA jumper dress which is so soft and lovely.



and my cat got a new collar!



Boxing day I'm afraid I wore painty overalls as I'm doing my new house up. We painted the kitchen. Check out www.laurenmakesahome.blogspot.com for an update!

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20 Dec 2011

Review: RUSH Hair Christmas Cracker Makeover

I'm afraid the Advent Calendar has gone a bit wrong this year. I got really poorly on Thursday (had a cold since last Monday) and I've been in bed since then so not felt up to anything I'm afraid.

On Saturday, feeling unwell and sorry for myself, I dragged myself to RUSH in Portsmouth for the Christmas Cracker Makeover treat (for £30). This involves a cut, conditioning treatment and a posh styling session which sounded like the ideal thing for me to make me feel better and a bit prettier. I was greeted at the door by the lovely team who took my coat, offered me a drink and showed me to my seat with some brand new magazines which was exciting.

 



 

The salon was glossy and modern which was lovely. After only a few minutes, Bradley, my "stylist" came over and we discussed what I wanted. With my lack of voice I managed to say I wanted BIG hair, something rocky and style-able, but not Cheryl Cole cutesy smooth. Brad seemed to get what I wanted straight away and I was whisked off to "the spa" to get my hair washed and treated.


I had a lovely relaxing head massage and a chat with a girl who loved false eyelashes more than me! I was then taken back to the main salon part for the "big" do.

 

Brad set my hair in massive rollers while we laughed about looking Desperate Scousewives and he did fantastic impressions. I think I looked quite chic in the rollers!


I had such a great time chatting to Brad. He knew his fashion stuff and we chatted for ages about our favourite designers (Mine, Valentino; He, so many fab deisgners). He also gave me some amazing tips on how to style my hair such as how to back comb properly (firm pushes from the mid section of your hair and comb out before another push to not damage hair), what root boost spray I NEED and also how to style my fringe, blow-dry it properly and so much more. I had the most fun chatting to him without the old "so where you going on holiday then?" talk! I don't think I stopped giggling. The whole team were also lovely, passing and making compliments or joining in the conversations.

 

Finally when the rollers were out, Brad went about cutting my hair. I have a huge phobia of hairdressers - I've been to the same hairdresser since I was about 4 and the only time I strayed, my hair was dyed yellow! Bradley was very kind though and showed me how much he wanted to trim off at each stage and reassured me. He found a few places where my hairdresser had "stepped" the layers and they didn't blend in at all (eek!) and also where my growing out fringe had been cut badly (gulp!) but he made that right and my layers do now sit softer and my fringe is 100% better. SO... here are the before and after shots so you can see the makeover!

 


 

As you can see my hair looks big, gorgeous boho flicky, but also the layers are softer without that big "step" in the first picture. The volume is amazing and I was promised that the blowdry would last up to a week with dry shampoo.


Christmas jumper!


Overall, the price of the salon in general is cheaper or equal to the others in my area, with a cut and blowdry for £39 and half head of highlights for £66. Plus 25% off your first visit and £20 off if you recommend a friend (and they get theirs half price). I was a little irked when someone tried to sell me the range of products they used, and if you wanted a conditioning treatment you'd have to pay extra which was different from what I'm used to I guess but is probably again comparable to other big salons.


I had a really fantastic time, walked away with celebrity hair and will be going back for trims (sorry regular hairdresser!). I want to say a BIG thank you to everyone there for making me feel better and look gorgeous.


Here's the team who washed and styled my hair!



If you want the Christmas Cracker deal like I had, it's available from Boxing Day  and Salons are around the South Coast and London - just go to here to find your nearest

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19 Dec 2011

Dove Christmas Hair 'Mare!

Disclaimer: Sponsored post, but interesting and funny anyway!

 

On a bit of a hair theme this week... Dove have created the funny new "12 'dos' of Christmas" to help us with the Christmas party panic!


This season is packed for all of us (especially those of us working up to Christmas and trying to go to work post-Christmas party! - woe is me!) However Dove are to the rescue with tips on how to save our hair from the excess styling, heat and terrible condition I know my hair is escalating into at the moment.

 

For example, if you've used the straighteners or hot curling wand too much this week (guilty) then you're going to need some of the Intensive Repair Regenerating Mask  which helps your hair look strong and smooth and de-frazzled but also protects it against more damage. I'm also really interested in this Overnight Creme, I've never thought of something like that but nighttime when asleep is my only opportunity at the moment to fit anything in so this looks made for me!

 

Anyway if you want a funny break from work today, watch the video and see how many of your friends you can spot. I'm totally the "Zuzhing moments". Here's the lyrics!

The night before my Christmas party, Dove Hair said to me... Smooth on some Overnight Crème


On the day of my Christmas party, Dove Hair said to me.... 2 Nourishing Oils


 “On the day of my Christmas party, Dove Hair said to me... 3 Minute Mask


On the day of my Christmas party Dove Hair said to me... 4 Trendy Styles


On the day of my Christmas party, Dove Hair said to me... 5 Large Rollers


 On the day of my Christmas party, Dove Hair said to me... 6 Zuzhing Moments


On the day of my Christmas party, Dove Hair said to me... 7 Glam Friends


On the day of my Christmas party, Dove Hair said to me... 8 Secret Santas


On the day of my Christmas party, Dove Hair said to me... 9 Facebook Photos


On the day of my Christmas party, Dove Hair said to me... 10 Cheeky Winks


On the day of my Christmas party, Dove Hair said to me... 11 Powder Room Minutes


On the day of my Christmas party, Dove Hair said to me... 12am Home Time



 
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14 Dec 2011

Hair Diary Challenge with @Aussie_Hair_UK #AussieMore Week 1

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll have seen recently that there's been a BIG palava going on with Aussie! Last week the cheeky scamps sent out massive bottles to celebrate their new massive bottles (apologies for camera phone photo-arama today)

 



That's right, the new bottles come to your waist!! Nah, I'm kidding. It's an inflatible bottle. The new ones look like this:


As you can see quite a bit bigger, and only a couple of pounds more. (Still the conditioner is smaller than the shampoo though which isn't the best for super-long haired girls like me!).

 

Aussie challenged all the Angels to see how long their bottles can last now they're bigger and asked us to document our hairstyles. I've been doing this on twitter, but not to leave out you lovely blog readers, and also because I love hair styling (as proved by posts here and here) I thought I'd share my first week with you guys too.

 


 Day 1: Curly up do with my GHDs


Day 2: German style french pleat buns


Day 3: Double french pleat halo (see my video here for how to do a basic halo)


Day 4: A messy bun. Well I was painting my house!


Day 5: a face-lift creating high ponytail


 

Which style do you like the best? Stay tuned for week 2... next week!

 

 
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13 Dec 2011

Advent Calendar Day 13

So the winners of the smellies giveaway was Sarah from Sarah Lou, Ria from The Miss Dudette and Karla from Crafty Karla who I have already contacted and the parcels are on their way. I'll announce the mug winner later. But for now... here's a fab discount code for an exciting brand. Click the door for your present!

 

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Day 13 - Nail Wraps and Discount Codes

I love nail wraps! So when I saw offered to try some from Rebel Nails and a DISCOUNT CODE for all my readers I had to go for it! I was sent the gold nail wraps and the dark purple glitter nail wraps (shown below)


They were so easy to apply. All I did was take off my nailvarnish, and then measure each nail with the handy guide I was sent. Then I heated the wrap for each nail with my hairdryer and applied it while giving it a little stretch. Then I bent the wrap over the end of the nail and filed it off. I found their hoof stick which I was also sent was great for smoothing the edges on properly.

 

I wore these for 2 days but by the 2nd day they were starting to peel and catch in my hair (but didn't come off so could have lasted longer). They were easy to remove with heat from my hairdryer and my nails have been left undamaged. I can't wait to try the gold ones for the work Christmas night out which I think they'd be fab for.

 

Rating 4.5/5: They were really quick to apply so great if you're pressed for time. They were really easy to apply once you got the hang of it and lasted a while. I was impressed.

 

Rebel Nails have kindly offered 10% off all orders for Lauren Loves readers. Just enter the code LAUR10 when you pay!

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Loving Christmas at Bicester Village


Disclaimer: Sponsored Post

 

I am SO excited about Christmas! I love sitting in coffe shops or cafes in the cold, with a gorgeous hot chocolate and cake, hot soup and a roll. Especially if it's a break in shopping!


I also love a bargain and it's no secret I loveBicester Village (Especially the Mulberry and Michael Kors stores! Is it just me with a Mulberry Bayswater Satchel on my Christmas list?) and I also love Christmas so thought you lot might be interested in the Christmas event they are throwing, called Bicester Village Festive Secrets
Bicester are running their Festive Secrets competition online with fab prizes available such as weekends away, pieces from the stores and BICESTER GIFTCARDS! All you do is head to their  Festive Secrets  page and look out for the 3 giveaways:

Bicester Village

The three types of prize are bronze, silver and gold.

Bronze - go to the Bicester Facebook page and like them to enter the competition to win a £100 gift card and a trip to Warwick Castle

Silver - recommend a friend to win a gift from your favourite Bicester boutique

Gold - find the gold reindeer hidden on the Bicester website by exploring the website. I found one! He was pretty well hidden (in the kids section!) but if you find one, click him to enter a competition to go shopping in Fidenza Village in Milan including flights and accomodation! (just don't be a dim as me and click the gold reindeer icon in the top right corner... that isn't him!)

 

Are you going to enter? I've entered all 3 competitions and I'm definitely heading up to Bicester in the Christmas holidays to soak up some Christmas spirit!
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12 Dec 2011

Advent Calendar Day 12

We have a MASSIVE treat today! Enter for an exciting new giveaway! Just click the door to see the surprise!

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Day 12 - Jewellery Giveaway


The LOVELY team at Eclectic Eccentricity have given me a really cute "Best In Show" necklace to give away which is so exciting! I've been nagging my boyfriend for a sausage dog recently!



So to enter!


Pop over to the lovely Eclectic Eccentricity facebook page and "like" them (and come find me at the same time here)


Comment below and in Lauren Loves competition style, let me know your favourite breed of dog! (before you ask, mine would be a Welsh Terrier!)


Leave your email address in the email box, only I can see it.


Giveaway closes Friday 16th December so hopefully you'll get it in time for Christmas!


Competition Rules of Entry


1) The winner of each competition will be drawn at random from all the correct entries received.


2) Only one entry per person per blog.


3) Offer is open to the UK only.


4) No cash alternative available.


5) Prize is non returnable and non exchangeable.


6) Judges decision is final.


7) Entrants details will be used for the sole purpose of forwarding your prize should you win.


8) All queries regarding the competition should be sent to info@eclecticeccentricity.co.uk


9) Giveaway ends on Friday 16th December at 23:59


And make sure you check out these lovely ladies too to see their prizes


Frills n Spills - 5th Dec
The Hi Fashion Site.com - 6th Dec
Golden Divine - 7th Dec
Wolf Whistle - 8th Dec
Pocketful of Dreams.co.uk - 9th Dec
Ellie and - 10th Dec
She Dressed in Black - 11th Dec
Lauren Loves (me!) - 12th Dec
Little Bird Fashion - 13th Dec
I Heart Vintage - 14th Dec
Vintage Folly - 15th Dec
Mel Wiggins - 16th Dec


 
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11 Dec 2011

Advent Calendar Day 11

I've been a bad blogger and didn't manage to do the advent calendar for 2 days. Sorry if you've been enjoying it. To make up for it I hope you're entering my giveaways here and here which end today and tomorrow, plus another massive giveaway tomorrow!

 

Today I have another post people always say they love so you know the drill. Click the advent calendar door!

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Day 11 - Blog loving

I know I've been a terrible blogger the last 2 days and haven't been able to do the advent calendar but I'm making up for it with what seems to be the most popular post - a blog recommendation post. Here's some fab bloggers you must check out.

 

Which Way to Wonderland?



Fash-ling

(who also went to Thailand this year!)


 

A Slice of my Life...

 

 

Knight's Eclectic

 

The Blind Dating Marathon

 

and a final mention to my other blog! For all fans of changing rooms, DIY SOS and other home makeover programmes - Lauren Makes a Home


 

 

 

 
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8 Dec 2011

How to Wear: Leather Miniskirts

I'm a BIG fan of the leather miniskirt but I do tend to get odd looks when I say this. In my head I have...

Images from PurseBlog forum


 

But in everyone else's heads they see...

source


Oh dear.

 

Anyway in the hunt for the perfect skirt, I do what I do best, I went on eBay. I came across the shop "Charming Magpes" who are also accessable as a Vintage shop in Winchester (near me! YAY!) and bought a vintage 80s leather skirt. However I thought, how do I wear it without looking slutty? I came up with some simple rules:

 

1. Wear it with something oversized if it's a tight leather skirt

leather skirt: Charming Magpies, T-shirt with doggies on: River Island


2. Mix up the textures with chunky knitwear


I love this winter look! Leather skirt: Charming Magpies, Cable knit jumper: C&A in Germany


3. Don't be scared to mix sheer and leather


Leather skirt: Charming Magpies; Sheer shirt: Topshop


No I don't mean sheer, see your bra and look slutty sheer, but something floaty. I love the contrast.


What do you think of leather skirts? I can't wait to wear it tucked in to something as it's high waisted! I wore the final outfit last night to the pub quiz!! Sadly it didn't help us win though!

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Advent Calendar Day 8

Well the winner of the hand warmers from Day One was Emma Computergirl! Well done Emma, I'll Tweet you later for your address. Remember you can also enter another giveaway here

 

Meanwhile we have a giveaway here and I'm about to launch yet ANOTHER giveaway! Click here!

 

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Day 8 - Some smellies to give away!

A lovely "friend of the blog" has given us some smellies to give away this week, perfect to prep you for the party season. You could win one of three prizes, up for winning is...

 

Prize 1 - Soap and Glory

Clean on Me, Body butter and shower pouffe!


Prize 2 - Baylis and Harding set


Contains Cream WAsh, Body Cleanser, Hand and Body Lotion and Body Polish



Prize 3 - Perfumes  set


Contains Prada, Chopard Pink Diamond Wish and Salvador Dali Laguna



To win:

  • Comment on this post with “enter me” and tell me what your favourite smelly item is

  • Leave your email address in the email box below – only I will be able to see this.

  • Giveaway closes 23:59 on Sunday 11th December 2011 and winner will be announced soon after

  • Only open to people who follow my blog or facebook. For an extra entry you can also tweet “Come join @laurenlovesblog advent calendar and weekly giveaway http://laurenlovesblog.com “

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Day 8 - Smellies Giveaway

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7 Dec 2011

Advent Calendar Day 7

Today's treat is for all you who love a good competition... Just click the door!

 

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Day 7 - Giveaway Heaven!

Do you love blogs? Do you love giveaways? Well then Liloo has a treat for you. Her amazing blog, Les petits Cadeaux is the one stop source for all the best blog giveaways, updated on a weekly basis

 

 

In her own words, Liloo describes this blog as ""Les petits cadeaux" is the French for 'Little Presents'. It's about discovering beauty blogs through the fun of giveaways and offering a once a week update on some cool beauty blog giveaways to its readers. "

 

 

So there's your treat for the day. Good luck with competitions team!

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6 Dec 2011

Advent Calendar Day 6

We have another giveaway! Today's treat would be a great gift or romantic present. Click the door to have a look and enter!

 

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Day 6 - Giveaway

Today's treat is another giveaway from Cornishware at TGGreen - "a couple of mugs"


These gorgeous mugs are worth £25 and are personalised to what you want on them!


 


These would make a fab romantic gift or something lovely for parents or parents in law (don't tell my parents in law this is what I'm getting them!) but they have given me a set to give away! They are guarenteed to be delivered for Christmas if ordered before 16th December. If you want your own, you can order them from here


What would you get on yours? I'd probably get soppy nicknames... Simon would kill me but I call him Seagull (because he steals my chips) and he calls me Lobster (because I'm cold and clammy!)



To win:

  • Comment on this post with “enter me” and tell me what you would have on your mugs (unless it's too personal!)

  • Leave your email address in the email box below – only I will be able to see this.

  • Giveaway closes 23:59 on Monday 12th December 2011 and winner will be announced soon after

  • Only open to people who follow my blog or facebook. For an extra entry you can also tweet “Come join @laurenlovesblog advent calendar and weekly giveaway http://laurenlovesblog.com “

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