Lifestyle, fashion and beauty

Monday, October 31, 2011

X Factor outfits week 4

Well it was surprise surprise this week with one of my faves Misha B in the bottom two this week. I don't think the Tulisa bullying rumours did her any favours in the popularity stakes, but at least we got some drama, a bit more of a back story (as if she didn't wring her current one out enough) and we can safely her whoever she is up against she will always get chosen as the judges favourite and will be safe.

This week Kelly was ill, and Alexandra Burke filled in. She was annoying, Tulisa had a catsuit on, and to be completely honest I can't be bothered to find out where it was from. It was a catsuit and you can find it in most fancy dress shops. At least she had the sense to take off that horrendous cat ears hairband half-way through the show. Negative comments can be posted below.


The lovely Sophie wore a Falguni and Shane Peacock ready to wear dress from the A/W 2011/12 collection and she looked fab. Her jewellery was from Topshop. Not too sure about the bushy pom-poms on top of her head but we will allow it since it was fright night.


Misha B wore a devil-red custom tutu and a hood by Skin Graft. She is always a bit out there with her dress sense and hairstyles so this wasn't a million miles from what I expected her to wear. Her wedge boots were from Fiore. Love the tutu by the way.



Kitty looked fab tonight. Did you see her Swarovski lips? Cool. Her shoes were from Topshop, her leather-look leggings were from Asos and her corset was another winner - again from The Blonds, as was her first-show corset.


And Janet Devlin wore a customised vintage gown. Not sure exactly where it is from, but it looks gorgeous. What did you think of the outfits from the show, and what did you think of the departure of Sophie?
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Elemis spending spree

I was introduced to Elemis a few weeks ago when I went to a press event at Mandara Spa. After a skin analysis the beautician recommended a tri-enzyme face wash for my skin for my acne scars and pigmentation.

So off I went to John Lewis in Westfield Stratford to have a look at this so called miracle fase wash.I tested out a few but decided to go for the original one I wanted and looked at some other products because there was an offer - buy two products and get five samples free.

My pretty bag of goodies!





A peek inside my bag.
 
 

I also opted for the Papaya Enzyme Peel which can be used as a face mask three times a week or twice for sensitive skin to help renew the skin.



I also got the stated five samples free and an extra one! I got wild lavender hand lotion; pro-radiance cream cleanser; pro-collagen marine cream; pro-collagen quartz lift  mask; pro-collagen quartz lift serum and the extra freebie freebie pro-collagen lifting treatment for the neck and bust.



And as another freebie freebie freebie (yes really!) I got this little gift box....

With a skin nourishing milk bath lotion in it. Cute! And I am very pleased with all this lot.

As part of the offer if you buy two products you also get half price on a tri-enzyme facial, which would be £45 normally.

I will post reviews as I try these out. What do you think of my shopping spree?! And have you tried any of these products?
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Made in Chelsea looks episode 6

Well the reequests are rolling in from Made in Chelsea fans. Quite a few of you want to get the Made in Chelsea look and want to know where to get the girls' clothes.

I have been busy at it this week in an attempt to find out where some of the items are from .

Caggie and the hit girls hit Paris this week and our favourite blonde one wore this gorgeous camel-coloured coat from Zara.


It's the perfect colour for her. She seems to have quite a few camel-coloured coats worn throughout this series.


I had to feature Millie's cream dress that she wore for drinks with the girls in Paris because it is so beautiful. It fits her like a glove and gives her a Greek Goddess look. No wonder she bagged a French man!
Well you are in luck as you can also get this look. It is called the Bailey Maxi, in shade Blush from Girl Meets Dress - a boutique which is a bit of a favourite with the MIC girls.


The dress is also available in a turquoise colour. They are both available from their online store.

And Louise Thompson has the bold-lip look down to a 'T'. She always looks great in dark, vampy colours. This colour is from Mac in shade Rebel.

And lastly, going back a little bit to episode three Louise wore this fab t-shirt when she went to meet Millie in Taylor Taylor.

The t-shirt from Issa has a great print and looks casually chic.

What have been your favourite looks this series? And who do you think is the most sylish?
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Idina Menzel concert

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to The Royal Albert Hall for the first time. My friend Sarah kindly took me to a concert to see Idina Menzel.


Now I had never heard of her, but when Sarah explained she was Rachel's mother in Glee I knew who she meant. Idina has also been in Hollywood film Enchanted, but I didn't know she was best known for roles on Broadway, and was the original Elpheba in the musical Wicked as well as winning a prestigious Tony award.

On that night she performed in London to a sell-out crowd for one night only. She was accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra who were stunning.


The orchestra, accompanied by conductor Marvin Hamlisch opened the show. You could hear a pin drop with how intently the crowd listened - who were a mixture of die-hard Idina fans, and some newcomers off the back of her Glee role.

I loved the personal touches throughout the concert. She treated us to stories of her life, from growing up in Long Island, New York, to becoming a wedding and Bar Mitzvah singer. How during one of her gigs someone had a heart attack, but she was ordered to keep singing. At another her and a friend were pelted with food and they retalliated by pelting the young boys back, then proceeded to hide in the toilets for two hours.

There were a few moments which brought a lump to my throat. One of the most poignant was when she told about her first professional role in Rent. The creator Jonathan Larson died, and she said it had a lasting effect on her. She sang a touching version of No Day But Today from the musical. 

But it was when she sang For Good in an acapella style - without her microphone(!) that really moved me because it felt so raw.

video

My favourite standout song of the night had to be Defying Gravity from Wicked reprising her role as the original Elphaba. And let me tell you that sitting three rows from the stage this was quite an experience! It brought the house down when she finished and showed what a stunning singer Idina really is.
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Starry-eyed

I wanted to share with you my new favourite earrings at the moment.


These gorgeous star earrings are from the lovely Temporary Secretary and I adore them!


If you don't know her website it is full of cute kitsch hand-made jewellery. I got these at the London Blogger Meet in September and I'm glad I picked the goody bag that had them!


What do you think of them?
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review - Burt's Bees mango lip butter




Skin feeling dry, painfully chapped lips?Oh yes it is that time again and the dark nights closing in should have been a giveaway - bring on the onslaught of winter.

Every year when winter comes I am left scrambling for something that will see me through the coldest season, as my usual lip balm that I wear all year round just doesn't cut it anymore. Short of carrying my Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream tube around with me nothing seems to work, until I found this Burt's Bees mango lip butter. Not entirely a new product - but it is new to me as I didn't really notice it before.


I know some of you hate pictures of used products and I didn't take a picture of the inside before using it so will just show you the tube.

I absolutely love this lip balm, not only because of the cute packaging, but also because it smells divine. I have been using it every day for the past two weeks and it really is moisturising. I wear it during the day, and under lippie in the evening, and it really is helping to keep them chap-free.

Do you have any favourite lip-balms to fight off the effects of winter? Would love to know your tips.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review - Dr Bronner soaps

A few weeks ago I was sent three products from Dr Bronner to try out and review. Now if you don't know the range like me when I was sent them you are in for a treat.

They are organic, fair trade and vegetable based - and did I mention a pretty good price too?! And the history of the company is pretty inspiring too. Emmanuel Bronner was a third-generation German-Jewish soapmaker whose parents were killed in the Holocaust. He promoted a belief in the goodness and unity of humanity and took his recipes to America in the 1920s. It has now become the top-selling natural brand of liquid bar soaps in America.


The three I was sent were the 18-in-1 hemp citrus orange pure castile soap, another 18-in-1 lavender soap, and an all-one hemp tea tree solid soap.


Now the citrus bottle was the first one that stood out for me because I love citrus-fresh smells that leave you feeling clean. I hate it when creams and shower gels have just a 'hint' of the smell they are meant to be, but this one smells just like oranges! It's a lovely liquid soap and a little goes a long way.


Next was the solid bar of soap, which I actually had a go at using to clean my make-up brushes. Now when I usually clean my brushes they never have the squeaky-clean feel they had when I bought them, but this bar definitely helped get that feel so it gets the thumbs up from me.


And lastly was the lavender soap which is my favourite of the three. I used both of the liquid soaps in the shower, but it is worth mentioning these are not called 18-in-1 for nothing. They can be used for facial packs, on the scalp and as a soothing body rub for a start.


Their website says the 18 most common uses are as a:

* facial cleanser
* liquid hand soap
* bodywash
* bubble bath
* shampoo
* shaving cream
* toothpaste (there are some mint-flavoured products available for this)
*  mouthwash
* denture cleaner
* mint deodorant
* massage oil
* baby oil
* sun tan oil
* toilet cleaner
* car cleaner
* laundry soap
* dishwashing liquid
* pet cleaning

Not bad eh?! And kind of money saving too. I haven't worked my way through theseuses yet, but some of them do sound good. I think they are too good to be used as a toilet cleaner, car cleaner or dishwashing liquid, and would rather save them to use on myself.

They are available at Asos.com and Topshop.
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X Factor outfits week 3

Here is my X Factor round-up from Saturday night. A little late - but better late than never. Firstly I have to say the whole show was a little cringe-worthy for me. I didn't understand why all of a sudden there were all the catty comments and judges turning on each other. I liked that it was different this year and they seemed genuine and to get along. It seems Simon Cowell has had a little injection of his own and told the judges to spice things up

Secondly Gary said he didn't want to lie and told Frankie Cocozza that he was terrible the week before but he had improved. Thanks for the honesty - but why lie the week before? Less credible when you do fess up to the truth eventually when we knew Frankie couldn't sing from the get go.

Ok, now on to some of the outfits. Kelly looked absolutely gorgeous in a leather dress from good old Topshop! It's not available to the public yet, but I'm guessing it will be a sell out when it is. Not liking the crazy hair, I prefer her with sleek hair, but it is nearly Halloween so I will allow it.


Whereas Tulisa went for a floor-lenth Herve Leger dress. beautiful, but as she demonstrated while waddling down the steps of the stage, very difficult to walk in.She is looking very sleek these days, but I would like ot see her with her hair loose more often, making her look more her age. 


Misha B wore a customised cape with ankle-length fringing from Mrs Jones.I LOVED the cape, which you can see on the shoulders. I have a very similar cape, minus the fringing, and love it to glam up an outfit.



Janet's fab tights were from Marks & Spencer's. She seems to be rocking this look every week now. And her feathery shrug is from Ted baker. Not so keen on the hair though, think it's time to invest in some straighteners.


And I was pleased with Sophie's look for once. I hate that they have been styling her to look 10 years older than she is. She is only 19 and they should let her have fun with her look. I think they got it right this week and she looked good. Her accessories were from New Look and her fab leather-look leggings were from Guess.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Preview - Kate Hasted - probably the most amazing scarves I have seen!


Kate Hasted is a new up-and-coming print designer and maker who recently launched her new accessories collection. 

She is based in Tunbridge Wells and her hand-created prints and patterns have been used as inspiration for fashion ranges and have been used as prints in menswear, women's wear and home furnishings for designers including Donna Karen, Calvin Klein, DKNY, Armani and Banana Republic to name a few.

Her new collection 'London' features prints named after iconic places in the Big Smoke. The names of the prints Mayfair, Regent, Sloane, Piccadilly and Knightsbridge should give you an idea of the type of feel she has gone for.


She told me: “I named the prints after some of my favourite places. I feel these places are exciting and fashionable and show quality, style and innovation – I wanted to represent this in my first accessories collection.”


They have all been designed from Kate’s hand-created samples and then digitally put into repeat and printed.

She invited me to the launch of her new collection, unfortunately due to work commitments I wasn’t able to attend. But she kindly answered a few questions from me.  


1 – Who did you design these for?

The accessories are designed for women who love prints and high quality hand made items who wish to own a piece that they will wear again and again - not just for one season. My customers value that my products are all hand designed, printed and made in England and have more exclusivity because they cannot be found on every high street. 

2 – Who would typically wear these?

I can imagine a variety of women wearing my pieces - fashionable graduates, business women, mum's, and celebrities, what unites them is that they love the striking prints and quality.


3 – Where are these available?

I currently sell through an accessories boutique called JUEL in Tunbridge Wells.  I sell at selected events throughout the year - for example pop up shops, through exhibitions and craft fairs, I also sell a selection of pieces online with Swanky Maison and Etsy and I am currently in the process of developing my own online shop where customers will be able to purchase items direct from me.


4 – What is your favourite piece from this collection and why? 

My favourite piece is the 'Sloane' velvet backed narrow scarf because of the striking colour and pattern.



5 – What plans do you have for the future?

I hope that the future will bring me more opportunities to sell my accessories through a variety of boutiques and outlets and that I will be able to exhibit my work nationally and internationally.
I hope to expand the work that I currently do in New York to be able to sell my prints in other areas such as LA, the UK and Australia.

I would find it quite exciting to collaborate with other designers who work in different disciplines such as glass or ceramics and I also hope that I will be able to continue to travel to gain inspiration for my designs so I always have exciting new print ideas.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mandara Spa - press day

Last week was Feel Gorgeous Week - and it was a great excuse to go pamper myself (like I need an excuse!). Spas around the country pulled out all the stops to pamper women who wanted a quick pick-me-up or who just wanted to try something new.


I was lucky enough to be invited by Wahanda to the Mandara Spa, at the Park Plaza, near Westminster Bridge, Central London - probably the most luxurious spa and hotel I have ever been to. Wahanda is a website that specialises in spa and beauty days and packages - perfect if you are looking for a good deal on a spa day - and lets face it they are not that cheap usually. I also met Lopo Champalimaud, CEO of Wahanda, who was lovely and talked me through his website and what they offer.


Once inside we were treated to gorgeous nibbles - three course style! They even had mini desserts - a definite plus. We had the chance to check out the spa and sample one of their mini treatments. I had a good look around, there was a gym, with a separate swimming pool area, and the treatment area was very private. There are plenty of big rooms if you want to have a treatment done with a friend or on your own. 


The staff were friendly and informative - and they knew their stuff. I could choose one of their treatments and thoought about having an Indian head massage, or a manicure, but was told about a face-mapping service. The beauty therapist used a microscope to study my skin and advised me on how to improve it and what products to use. It sounds scarier than it is, but it literally takes five seconds for it take to a picture which is processed into a computer, and the image comes up on the screen on the treatment table. A little daunting looking at your face in such detail but it was invaluable. (I haven't had a chance to scan the pictures in, but when I do I will update this post with the pictures.)


It is able to pick up whether your skin is combination, normal, dry or sensitive; how sun-damaged it is; whether you have any sensitive areas; and where your spot prone areas are.

The therapist studied my skin and gave me a print out of the results. I was told my skin was classic combination skin, it was in good condition and I had very little skin damage.

Fab lights in the hallway

She asked me if I had any concerns with my skin - which I do. I have acne scars on my chin from when I was a teenager and cover up with make-up. She was able to show me a 3-D image of the skin on my chin to see the extent of the damage and how to treat it. I have been told in the past to try micro-dermabrasion, which I am not too keen on, but she suggested using a tri-enzyme resurfacing facial wash from Elemis for a month and I should see instant results.


Apparently in tests 90% of those tested said they saw smoother skin after a month of using the product. I was pleased because I don't want a harsh treatment, and will definintely be trying this. For this advice alone it was definitely worth the visit to the salon!



Some of the fab Mandara Spa products on offer, one of which I was given one of in my goodie bag!
 
All in all the spa is worth a visit. It has a range of treatments from manicures, to their signature Balinese massage treatment, used to relieve tension, improve blood flow, ease stress and calm.


A big thank you to Wahanda, The Spa PR Company, and Mandara Spa for inviting me to the event.
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