Monday, December 5

Monday, November 14

Thomas Sabo Love Coins

Recently myself and five bloggers from Sotonbloggers were invited down to the Thomas Sabo store for a private event to introduce their new Love Coins. We were greeted by  the lovely Francesca, the rest of the Southampton team, and a vast array of pastries, fruit skewers, smoothies and fizz! After grabbing a bite to eat we started our tour around the store and all the different collections including the karma beads, charm club and their newest collection love coins. 

When it comes to charms Thomas Sabo have the goods! I mean there is literally a charm for everything and anything! We could've spent all day lusting over the fabulous collections and trying all the different combinations and I think its safe to say we all walked away with wish-lists' as long as our arms. The bracelets themselves are such good value for money and the black zirconia beaded numbed I had my eye on was only £22!! Charms range from around £20 - £80 with hundreds to chose yet all finished with intricate precision. I instantly fell in love with the globe, passport and plane charms and its safe to say they are at the top of my Christmas list! 

We were then all given the opportunity to personalise one of their love coins right in store. These are gorgeous double sided pendants where you can personalise the inscription on one side. We had a choice of an infinity or tree of life, and then we could chose three symbols, letters or a combination of both. I opted for my initial as I thought this would be classic, can be worn with everything and will remain timeless. You can chose between bold, romantic or script font with a preview coming up on the screen before you commit to any final decisions. Once you were happy with your design, simply click go and watch the engraving happen right in front of your eyes. I was gobsmacked at just how quick this was and within seconds my personalised coin was all ready for me! 

Francesca and her team were incredible and it was the perfect afternoon spent lusting after the most gorgeous jewellery. The event was different to anything else I've been to but everyone was so friendly and we were allowed to play around with all the different bracelets and charms to chose our favourite combination. It was a real pleasure and I am so thankful for my love coin, I absolutely love it. A big thank you to Francesca and the whole team over at Thomas Sabo for a fabulous afternoon. Check out some of my favourite pieces below. 


Monday, November 7

My top tips for the Perfect City Break

So you want to go away for a long weekend but you have absolutely no idea where to start right? Whether its a romantic getaway with your partner, a girly weekend away shopping and partying, or a simple solo trip to relax and have some much needed downtime. Follow some of my best tips and you really can't go wrong.

If you`re a bit of a travel novice the first place you need to head is Skyscanner. A comparison tool for low cost flights around the world, they can show you the cheapest month to travel and the cheapest days in the month to fly. If you're not that flexible they can still find the cheapest options for your dates and direct you straight to agency and airline websites without any hidden extra costs. Holiday Pirates is another starting point that if you haven't checked out you are seriously missing out! They offer some of the best deals around and include DIY packages where you can mix and match the best dates, hotels and flights or alternatively full packages with everything included usually for an absolute steal.  

When it comes to hotels Trip Advisor will become your best friend. You can check customer reviews and locations to make sure you are getting exactly what you are looking for. Make sure your hotel is not a million miles away from local transport links and check if there are any restrictions on checking in and out: you may find some hotels have their reception in a different location to the hotel itself so find out this information before you travel. Comparison tools such as Air B&B and allow you to sort by distance so you can chose how close to the city centre you stay and they let you book right up to the day you’re staying, often with some great reduced prices. 

Although taxis may seem like the easiest option they can often be very costly especially once the driver realises you are a tourist without much clue as to where you are going. Negotiate a price before you set off and have a look online at some basic prices if you plan on using taxis. Public transport is the easiest and cheapest way of travelling around and most European cities offer 24 hour passes which allow you to use all buses, trams and trains for under 10 Euros. You can research transport routes before you go and there are apps you can download which can help you including Google Maps and City Mapper

Sightseeing buses and tours can be a rip off but they can also be a really good deal so make sure you research all options before you go. In Budapest we found the hop on hop off ticket was totally worth it as your ticket includes 2 different routes, an evening bus tour and an evening cruise along the river over 48 hours; whereas in Rome, its easy to navigate between all of the sites and there is so much to see and experience whilst walking around that you miss sitting on a bus that its not worth the 22 Euros you pay. 

If its your first time visiting a city a walking tour can be a good place to start which helps to orientate you and the guides are often full of great tips, do’s and don’ts and must see sites you might have missed. Sandemans offer free walking tours in 18 European cities which operate on a solely tips basis and they are the best at what they do. Many companies offer similar tours so just have a quick google but be sure to check reviews first. They are a great way to cover a lot of ground if you’re not in a city for very long. 

If your flight is not until the evening often your hotel will have somewhere you can leave your luggage whilst you spend your last day exploring. If you’re waiting to check in there are often places you can leave your luggage in most main cities just check online or ask at any main transport station. For a small fee you can leave your bag for however long you need allowing you to take full advantage of your time in the city. 

Be realistic - when we planned our anniversary trip to Italy we didn't put much research in beforehand - only rough ideas of where we wanted to visit and basic prices of travel  and length between cities. As our itinerary wasn't finalised we had to book all train tickets on the day of travel and this led to some hefty prices and credit card bills. We are also guilty of trying to cram in way too much in a short space of time and found that once we arrived in a city our first point of call was to dump the luggage, head to the centre and explore! Be realistic about how long you will be somewhere and how much you can fit in during that time. Don’t overdo it remember this supposed to be a holiday and a break from our mundane day jobs. 


Tuesday, November 1

Freakshakes at Orange Rooms

If you don't know what Freakshakes are then you must have been living under a rock for the last few months - but just in case - let me fill you in. By definition they are monster milkshakes full of calorific goodness! Imagine ice cream, sprinkles, whipped cream, milk bottles - the works! They've been popping up here, there and everywhere so when Orange Rooms introduced their take on the Freakshake, the Sotonbloggers couldn't miss an opportunity to pop down and check them out. 

Orange Rooms is a quirky cocktail bar in Bedford place offering possibly the most dynamic drinks menu and a vast array of street food from around the world. They have several themed rooms which you can hire out for special events and a very chilled, sophisticated vibe. Personally, Orange Rooms is one of my favourite bars in this area as the staff are always welcoming and friendly and the food speaks for itself. On this particular occasion I opted to go straight in with my Freakshake but I would highly recommend you check out their food menu if you`re in the area. The nacho chicken wrap is the bomb and their tiger fries are simply divine!

If you`re looking for something more on the sweet side then you`re in the right place! You can choose from a choice of three flavours: Vanilla topped with a doughnut; Strawberry topped with a jam tart or Chocolate topped with a muffin and they even offer a dairy free option too. You would think that after demolishing one of these bad boys you would be left in a sugar induced coma, but they are in fact the perfect balance and not too sickly at all...although I did have to have a break before attempting the doughnut! Afterwards we spent the afternoon catching up, planning the first episode of Made in Southampton (we think it will be a massive hit) and just generally having a laugh and relaxing. It was the perfect event giving everyone time to get to know one another and have some much needed relaxation. 

A huge thank you to Orange Rooms and Alice from Sotonbloggers for organising the event. All photos supplied by the lovely Rachel over at Illustrated Teacup - a big thank you to her too!


Thursday, July 21

Jouer Mermaid Glow Palette

Jouer's Summer collection this year is Mermaid themed with a whole load of shimmering metallics, glistening iridescent's and bold colours. The collection includes an eyeshadow palette, highlighting palette and five liquid lipsticks - all limited edition. Everything in the collection is absolutely stunning and perfect for packing a punch this Summer but when browsing the collection on Cult Beauty what really stood out to me was the Glow Palette.

The palette features five cream highlighters including three of their best selling shades and two new limited edition shades. The three best selling shades featured are: Camellia, a shimmering pearl white; Tiare, a shimmering gold; and Champagne, a shimmering rose gold. The two limited edition shades are Seashell which is a shimmering pearl pink and Crystal which is an Iridescent lavender pink. As always they come packaged in the click and lock packaging retailing at £35 for all 5 with 10g of product. 

I prefer more of a subtle look with my highlight so I find cream formulas are best to achieve this look. Plus, these ones are enriched with skin-friendly extracts including vitamin E, Japanese green tea and pomegranate extract. They melt into your complexion leaving a gorgeous luminosity with a silky finish. The formula of these highlighters is light, smooth and weightless so it blends into the skin seamlessly to leave a natural gleam. The colours are very buildable and you can even mix and match to create more of an intense highlight. 

My favourite shade has to be Champagne as it just flatters my skin tone perfectly. Mixed with a little bit of Seashell on top this creates the perfect lit-from-within kind of glow every girl desires. The creamy texture holds up well, even in the heat, and my highlight was still going strong after several hours of sunbathing. If you want to shimmer and shine all through the Summer then this is the palette you need but make sure your quick its limited edition!

Thursday, July 14

Jouer Liquid Lipsticks

Liquid lipsticks have become all the rage recently with brands releasing new formulas and colours left, right and centre. A few months back Jouer Cosmetics appeared on my radar and I started seeing more and more hype about their long-wear lip crème liquid lipsticks. Fast forward a couple of months and I finally bit the bullet and ordered a couple of shades to try out. There are 16 gorgeous shades in the collection including four metallics and twelve mattes. I picked up three shades: Noisette (matt warm chocolate brown), Praline (metallic cool bronzed pink) and Cassis (matt cool muted violet).

The first thing I noticed about these products was the grooves down one side of the packaging. After further research I discovered the ingenious packaging allows you to carry your essentials in a customised unique palette by clicking everything together. The entire range of compacts are mix and match allowing you to attach what you need, when you need it. The liquid lipsticks retail at £14 for 6ml and come in a sleek plastic casing with a simple but stylish design. They have a 'doe foot' applicator which has a tapered tip allowing you to precisely apply the product in a smooth, even coat. If you don't like overly sweet scented lip products then these probably aren't for you as they smell like the sweetest vanilla frosting. Personally I was delighted when I first gave these a sniff but I know such a sweet scent will not be to everyone's taste.

The formula of these liquid lipsticks is hands down one of the best I have ever tried. They apply opaquely with one coat leaving a full coverage, highly pigmented, smooth finish. The formula is more of a whipped, mousey formula which is incredibly weightless and leaves the lips super soft and velvety. The shades are incredibly long lasting and so comfortable to wear on the lips - they don't dry your lips out after a few hours like many other formulas. You can eat, drink and smooch to your heart's content without having to worry about any transfer as it takes a lot to shift these bad boys. I've found the best way to remove is with an oil based cleanser otherwise you could be there for a while.

Overall, I would give these a solid 10/10 and I'll be keeping an eye out to see if they release new darker and more vampy shades come Autumn/ Winter. For now the gorgeous array of peaches, pinks, nudes and shimmering metallics is suitable for every skin tone and perfect for the warmer months.


Thursday, July 7

Berlin City Explorer

Top: Miss Selfridge
Jeans: Topshop
Bag: Topshop
Coat: New Look
Trainers: Office

City breaks are my favourite kind of little get aways! Although you can't beat a sun holiday, I love exploring and can never sit still for too long. On our most recent trip we visited Berlin for a week to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday and this time my love affair for the city really began. There is so much history, great markets and shopping, the food is to die for and it holds some of the most beautiful, impressive monuments which leave you completely speechless.

Although we were pleasantly surprised to finish the break with a couple of days of glorious sunshine, the first few were not as hot and so I opted for crop jeans and this khaki side split tank top. Paired with my trusted superstars - this was the perfect get up for walking around and exploring all day. To finish the outfit I added a tassel shoulder bag from Topshop which is just the right size for all my essentials and a lightweight waterfall jacket which is easy to wear, comfortable and adds a little depth to a simple outfit.


Friday, July 1

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Collection

Every Summer my most anticipated launch is the Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess collection which always seems to deliver. On top of the limited edition fragrance which is my signature Summer scent, this year the line up included a gelee bronzer, a liquid illuminator and a multi-palette. Although I have my eye on most of the collection so far I have only picked up a couple of items which I will run you through today. 

First off is the cult favourite and classical Bronze Goddess which is the scent of the Summer. A combination of coconut tanning oil, warm sandy beaches and sweet and juicy fruit - you can really make out the coconut milk, mandarin and vanilla notes. This alluring and seductive scent is pretty much Summer in a bottle and is so uplifting and mood-enhancing that you'll find yourself day dreaming all day long. Although this isn't the longest lasting fragrance out there, when layered on top of the shimmering body oil it does seem to prolong its life. The oil features the same scent and can be used on both the body and the hair to add a subtle, shimmery glow. This is absorbed into the skin so quickly and does not leave any greasy residue like most oils do. It contains the perfect amount of shimmer to enhance a tan and illuminate the skin leaving a silky smooth finish. 

The multi-palette is one of the most beautiful palettes that I have ever owned including a illuminator, contour and a blush - everything you need to create a perfectly sculpted look. The powders are each made with a Prisma technology which is a mixture of powder, gel and liquid creating a smooth and glowy finish. The highlighter is a soft beige with a golden undertone which leaves a very subtle shimmer on the skin. The blush is a rosy pink with warm undertones with the tiniest amount of shimmer. The contour is a medium orange with a hint of brown and next to no shimmer. All the powders in this palette are soft, easy to blend and buildable. Perfect for someone new to sculpting or favouring more of a natural look.

Overall I have absolutely loved everything from the collection that I have tried and I cannot wait to get my hands on the liquid illuminator and gelee bronzer. 

Tuesday, June 28

Latest in Beauty - The Glamour Summer Edit

Latest in Beauty have teamed up with Glamour Magazine once again - this time delivering a box filled to the brim with a collection of holiday must haves. The Glamour beauty editors never fail to disappoint and this lust-worthy collection of holiday essentials comes in at only £20 (free postage) with a whopping £104 value. The box contains: 

- Grounded Chocolate Orange Body Scrub
- Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour
- Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray
- St Tropez Self-Tan CLassic Bronzing Mist
- Ladival Sun Protection Spray SPF30
- Nuxe Prodigieux Shower Oil
- Aurelia Miracle Cleanser and Bamboo Muslin Cloth
- Wow Mask Luxury Facial Mask 

There is something from every section of the beauty department in this box, with a mixture of well known brands to some new discoveries. I have been dying to try the grounded body scrubs and this chocolate orange one smells good enough to eat. I love the formula of the Revlon Matte lip colours and although this shade is a bit too pink for me, I love the rest of the range so I will be picking up another one next time I'm in boots. I love trying new skincare bits so these will be perfect for travelling and the Wow mask promises amazing results so I can't wait to give it a try. 

The showstopper of the box and my main reason for purchase is the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray which retails at £19 for the 75ml bottle: basically for an extra £1 you  can get everything else as an added bonus. I have heard so much about this stuff but with the hefty price tag I've always steered away from purchasing. Now that I've tried and tested it out, its safe to say I've fallen in love and I'm sure a full sized version will be purchased very soon! 

I think the Glamour editors have delivered as always and I am already excited to see what their next colloboration has in store. Pick up the Summer Edit box here - you would be stupid not to.


Tuesday, June 14

Primark Beauty Haul

Primark beauty is something that I have never really delved into until recently. On a recent day trip to London we passed by the Tottenham Court Road store and I couldn't help but have a little wander around. Although it may seem like I went a bit overboard there was so much more that I wanted to try but couldn't get my hands on! I would recommend visiting earlier in the daytime as by the time I got there in late afternoon a lot of the stuff had been opened and ruined but I still managed to pick up a fair amount. 

I will start with the make-up items which I managed to find including three lip liners, two eye liners, a lip pencil and strobing crayons. At only £1 I found the lip liners were quite creamy and long lasting however the shade range is not very adventurous. The lip crayons are so pigmented and creamy, leaving a slight glossy look to the lips. Again the shade range is not great but I love this deep red that I picked up. I am not usually very big on liner - especially in such bright shades, but when I swatched these in store I just couldn't leave them behind. They are incredibly pigmented and so easy to blend, perfect for adding a pop of colour or to accentuate the eyes. Finally the three pack of strobing crayons which is my favourite item out of the entire haul. Highlighter has fast become my favourite and most used item but I am yet to try anything in crayon form. When I saw these I snapped them up without a second thought and although I haven't used them yet I can't wait to give these a real good go as for £3 these could be a real game changer.

I picked up a makeup bag to pop my daily makeup in as my current one has seen better days - this one is so easy to clean and perfect size for storing everything in. Next up I got a couple of packs of their metallic temporary tattoos because you never know when you`re going to need these. I love the gold pack more than the silver as I think the colours really stand out and I can't wait to use these over the summer. For me a Primark haul wouldn't be complete without a pair of their stick on nails: this time I picked up this pointed matte sky blue pair which I am keeping for my next holiday! The gorgeous rose gold necklace is the perfect little addition to any outfit and I can't stop wearing it - its safe to say my rose gold obsession isn't slowing down any time soon!

Finally I picked up a couple of perfumes. I wanted something small to chuck in my handbag and carry round with me so I picked up this small bottle called dream from the till. This is quite a sensual, sweet scent that doesn't linger for too long. I was over the moon when I saw that Primark had started stocking rollerball's as I find these perfect for nights out, and chucking in overnight bags instead of taking giant, bulky bottles. I decided on two shades Coachella and New York which are both light and fruity, perfect for the day time and perfect size for chucking in a clutch for a night out. The last item I picked up in the perfume section was this fragrance stick which I have to say is so disappointing! This barely left any scent on the skin, even after applying several times and although I think the concept is good the product itself isn't worth the money whatsoever!

So, that's everything I picked up and what I thought. Have you tried anything from Primark's beauty range recently?
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