30 Sep 2015

Holiday!

A couple of weeks ago, Sam and I made the annual trip to Alora, in Andalucia, Spain. Sam's dad lives out there, in the mountains north of Malaga. It's a great place, full of friendly locals who invite us to all sorts of amazing events. Nobody speaks English so it's a great opportunity for me to practice my Spanish and get an authentic slice of Spain. 

Sam's dad has recently moved so we got to see his new flat, complete with gorgeous pool! 


Finally getting the opportunity to wear my ASOS swimsuit!

On Sunday we went to the Romeria - a pilgrimage of the Virgin of the Flowers. Everyone dresses in traditional costume, the women dance flamenco and the men ride horses. It was amazing!






The next day we headed down to the lakes - El Chorro! They're gorgeous dammed lakes where you can jump off cliffs or rent pedalos.




We got Sam's Dad's first selfie!




I even got brave enough to get my scoliosis spinal fusion scar out! 

We saw so many gorgeous views, did lots of sleeping, eating and drinking and had a fab time!  I'd totally recommend going if you like quiet, country places with friendly people and yummy food. There's an amazing hotel called La Garganta in El Chorro where I'd love to stay.


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28 Sep 2015

Outfit Post: Autumnal Weather and Massive Handbags

I love Autumn, particularly those gorgeous sunny days with a slight chill in the shadows. Last weekend I wore one my favourite transitional pieces - a jumper dress. I've been wearing them over normal dresses so I can stay cool or warm up whenever needed! 


I'm wearing Topshop jumper dress from eBay, black shoes from Topshop, H&M hat and my new leather bucket handbag c/o Yoshi. This is the Yoshi Borden bag in navy which costs £70. It's perfect for going back to University - big enough for all my books, my laptop and essentials. Hopefully being real leather, rather than my usual knock-offs, the straps will survive! 





Shame some of the photos are blurry - I'm still teaching Sam how to use my new camera!



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25 Sep 2015

Video: Lullabellz hair extensions review and hair style ideas

I'm not normally drawn in by Facebook adverts, but recently one for gorgeous hair extensions caught my eye. I have really long hair, so I wasn't interested in them for length, but for the beautiful volume they had! These hair extensions were by a company called Lullabellz who I hadn't heard of before. I bought the thick straight set for £25 in honey blonde.




The extensions aren't made of real hair, but they feel really great, thick and don't have that plastic hair shine. They move really well and you can style them up to 160 degrees. The team were really helpful, getting me colour matched via a facebook chat and doing a free swap when I chose the wrong colour! As you can see the honey blonde are a great colour match and I am really pleased to have found them!

I've created the vlog below to show you how the hair extensions clip in, what they look like and move like in the hair, and finally a section on how to create certain hairstyles using extensions such as a ponytail, a chunky side braid and a chunky halo plait.

for anyone wondering, I'm wearing the relaxed burnout stripe top from Long Tall Sally


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24 Sep 2015

How do you promote your blog?

Whenever Fashion Week comes round it makes me think of my blog, what I'm doing with it and where I might go with it. Usually in the context of "what do I have to do to be invited?"! 

It got me thinking, what do other bloggers do to promote themselves but in a genuine, likeable way? I'm not very good, or confident, at self-marketing my blog, yet I love discovering other blogs and commenting on them. This increases conversation, links us bloggers together and ultimately promotes your blog. I also love blogger events, it's been a great opportunity for me to meet fab other bloggers and begin a new blogging friendship! However, I always forget to bring anything about my blog with me to these events, and often end up hastily scribbling my blog URL on the back of a receipt. It made me think, what can I do to promote my blog better? 


 I have got some business cards for my blog which can be really helpful to give out at events, and super-cheap too. However there's something unforgettable about cards, and I am certainly guilty of binning them when I have a bag clear out!


A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a company called USB Makers, who can make batches of USB sticks in loads of styles, with your logo on. They come with a range of options for every pocket, such as larger USB sticks to smaller memory, different designs and prints, and free delivery. Plus you also get some samples to check out with your brand on. I got a few with my logo on which I'm thinking of putting some great photos on and links to my blogging details, maybe like an electronic business card. Then when I go to blogger events, I can hand them out or use them to pick up electronic files from others while subtly advertising!


I'd be really interested to hear from other bloggers, about the ways they have managed to gain more followers, increased traffic and promoted themselves for inspiration!
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23 Sep 2015

How to: Eyebrown shaping and maintenance

Eyebrows really frame a face. I didn't appreciate this until very recently, but having groomed eyebrows really sets up a makeup look and gives you the polished, professional look. Being an enhanced natural blonde, I was always afraid of doing my eyebrows in case they looked super dark and made it clear my blonde-ness was helped by bleach but once I overcame that hurdle and practiced with different colour eyebrow waxes and powders it became much less scary!


First of all, take a good look at your eyebrows from far away. When we get up close, we lose perspective on what they look like on your face as a whole and that's how we get skinny brows! 




The first stage in shaping your eyebrows is brushing them so they lie neatly. This also helps me find where my arch is - the hairs between the bridge of your nose and the arch will brush up nicely, then where the arch begins, they resist brushing up and want to lie pointing down towards your ear!



You then want to measure your brows. I find it helpful to use an eyebrow brush to do this. Your brows should start in line with the edge of your nose, and should end at an angle with your nostril! This is hard to explain so check the picture.


Next we pluck them to perfection. Take your time over this step, take frequent breaks away from the mirror to look at the results and don't overpluck! I only pluck under the brow and leave the tops. Keep brushing your brows up to find your natural arch .

I like to create a really straight line under my brows like below. Don't worry about any hairs which stand the wrong way (like the ones around the bridge of my nose for me). Leave them as they are and don't pluck them out.



Now get some tiny scissors because we're going to trim the hair to perfection. Slowly, brush up the hairs and gently snip the ends of the longest hairs. I particularly focus on the unruly hairs which grow outwards around the middle.


For me, the snipping highlights the patchy areas where I used to over-pluck in the early 2000s! Don't worry if you're the same though, we're going to cover it.

PATCHY!


Finally, using an angled brush and an eyebrow palette, we're going to fill those brows. I particularly like the Barry M Brow Kit which costs £5.99


I initially use a tiny dab of the middle powder on the bits which are missing hairs, and then use the wax on the left to brush my eyebrows into perfect shape!

Results:


Groomed brows make a big difference, and with these tips you won't end up with scouse brows! They really frame a face and I love the look.


Happy plucking!
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22 Sep 2015

TTYA x Long Tall Sally AW15 Collection Launch

As a recent convert to all things Long Tall Sally, I was looking forwards to the latest collaboration with TTYA. The spring launch was gorgeous with that blue duster coat. The Autumn/Winter 2015 TTYA x Long Tall Sally collection launched yesterday, and it's just as delicious. With lots of 70s vibes, wide leg trousers, abstract prints and the most beautiful grey trench coat ever.

I tried out the off the shoulder jumpsuit from the collection for a recent evening out, although had to take the photos indoors due to the rain and dark. Boo winter weather coming!




The jumpsuit is made of a lovely crepe fabric with elastic on the shoulders so the off the shoulder peplum doesn't fall down. It has pockets which is a really cute touch, although from the sides  it can look a little pouchey! There's a zip up the back which makes it slightly harder to put on but gives the jumpsuit a slim, tailored look. 

The trousers are a palazzo cut which is really flattering, and they're long enough that I can wear heels! Normally I have to choose jumpsuits with elasticated ankles because all other styles swing around my ankles in an unflattering, too-short way! However this fitted perfectly and would be great for those with long torsos too. 



 I really felt great, although a little overdressed, when I wore it. It would be great alternative to a maxi-dress for occasions and I am looking forwards to wearing it over the Christmas party season!

The jumpsuit is £95 from Long Tall Sally

My other favourites from the collection are this cocoon jumper dress


Leather look pencil skirt 


And the grey coat of dreams. I will be saving up for this as my winter coat!


Tall girls rejoice, we finally can wear lovely things!
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21 Sep 2015

Review: Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment

Being a complete skincare junkie, I was scrolling through Pinterest and saw the most gross image of someone with a face mask on, with blackheads popping out her nose! It was so graphic but made me feel strangely satisfied, the idea that I could also have blackheads popping out my nose! 

I found out it was Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment mask and that they were selling it in Marks & Spencer but it was £45! I couldn't bring myself to spend that out on a face mask. However last week, my mum gave me a voucher for 20% off Marks & Spencer that she had through her credit card or something. I almost literally ran all the way to M&S and got my hot little hands on the mask. (I have since found it for £33 at Allbeauty and feel a little silly)


First up, the box is huge and has lots of interesting, skin miracle promises on the label. It says you can use it as a full face mask or it could last thousands of treatments as a small, spot on mask for those nasty spots.


The little bottle is fairly small, but looks completely full (no hidden half bottoms making you think you have more product than you do).


The mask is a very dark grey with little lumps of solid mud in it. It has a funny, aniseed smell and applies well. So here are the results: 

My natural face - my issue which I wanted treatment for was blackheads on my nose and small bumps on my chin which have improved recently, but I wanted more oompf in the treatment. 


When you first apply the mask it's really strong smelling and tingles like MAD! I was getting a bit anxious by the tingling, but reminded myself that to see Pinterest-like results I had to let the mask work. 



Then the gross results... squeamish people look away!



As you can see, it's highlighted all my blackheads and drawn out the oil from them. Apparently it works by being super-absorbent for oils and impurities. When it dries, they suck the impurities out and when you wash the mask off, apparently wash the impurities away. The acids also help to lightly exfoliate your skin, leaving it feeling and looking smoother afterwards. Here's the close-up proof:


Before: My nose has a few little visible pores along the end and between my eyes. I also didn't notice until looking at the before and after that my skin looks a little rough before.
During: If you study them (like I did) you can see the dark circles do line up with blackheads on the before photo. This is super gross and makes me feel gross to share!
After: My nose looks smoother, and the pores look smaller and less black-heady. I am actually really impressed

Pros: I can see a visible difference in the before and after photos which is rare after a face mask! It is also super-satisfying seeing all the junk washed away!
Cons: The price tag is high. It's a real treat for me to own this and I think it will last a long time. I also don't like that it's in a pot. I've been using a little make up scoop I got in my travel kit to take some out the pot because I think putting my dirty fingers in is unhygienic.
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