Monday, 29 December 2014

The Clothes Show Live 2014 // Part 1

Earlier this month I attended the Clothes Show Live held annually at the Birmingham NEC in the first week of December. Tickets to the event include entry to a 45 minute catwalk show in the Alcatel OneTouch Fashion Theatre, hosted by a number of presenters, additionally featuring a performance from current artists. As I went on the Saturday, the show was hosted by Rick Edwards with a musical performance form Jetta.
Here are a few snaps from the show (it was so hard to just chose a few!):

An absolute fiend for the Beauty Hall, I usually buy my ticket last minute, not really worrying where I will be sitting for the catwalk, but as this year was my mum's first visit to the Clothes Show, as a special treat we decided to upgrade and purchase platinum tickets. Previously going a number of times as a standard ticket holder this was definitely a nice change! As a platinum ticket holder you get a seat much closer to the front (which was a total highlight for me as I could pretty much see every sequin on the gorgeous gowns on the catwalk) as well as a goodie bag containing the show programme and various samples, fast track entry to the Fashion Theatre, exclusive access to the Saks Platinum Pamper Lounge, the Manhattan Bar and the Designer Outlet clothing stand. The price difference between the tickets is around £12-15 which I think is reasonable (when the goodie bags alone are sold for £8). I prefer to see the show in the morning to have the rest of the day to roam the stalls and check out what's happening at the event in general.
My favourite section as usual was the Beauty Hall, where I spent most of the day. Adjoining, there were (I think) three fashion halls containing a variety of stalls including a vintage section. Throughout the day there were a number of performances held at Olympus Pen Designer catwalk stage and at the Image Catwalk stage (which was in association with which displayed work from established designers, fashion students around the country as well as catwalks showcasing the latest trends on the high street.
 (This outfit was completely painted on by one of the fashion students! So impressive but must have taken her hours!)
Another thing I love about the Clothes Show is the opportunity to crowd spot or meet celebrities, where you could do so at the THX total hair experts pen. Frequent Clothes Show celeb visitor are the cast of Made in Chelsea including Andy, Stevie, Proudlock and Jamie and TOWIE including Amy Childs, Lauren Goodier and Mario. This year one of my favourite bloggers Fleur from Fleur De Force was also there, doing a lovely Q&A session which was definitely a treat!
All in all in was an amazing day shop till you drop day and I had a great time. Probably went a little too crazy on the spending but hey, who isn't guilty of that at the Clothes Show?
This has turned into a pretty long post so please check out my Clothes Show Live Haul/Part 2 blog post to see what I purchased.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Birchbox // December 2014

December's theme was "Put on your party shoes", perfect for this month's festivities. The box was an exclusive design by Sophia Webster who put a gorgeous jewel twist on the regular design.
My box contained: Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel, BiOrganics Perfect Rebalancing Shampoo, Eyeko Fat Eye Stick (a full size Birchbox exclusive), Benefit Christmas Cracker High Beam (a sample Birchbox exclusive), Models Own Nail Polish in Obsidian and Magic for Skin Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, with the Lifestyle item this month - a purse also designed by Sophia Webster.
Overall thoughts - this has taken over as my favourite Birchbox so far! Once again, receiving such a well compiled box reminds me why I subscribed in the first place. This box is a classic example of how a mix of high street and high end items can work together and I extremely looking forward to trying out these items. In fact, I think the nail polish will be my go-to for NYE nails. I've only got one more box left of subscription and I'll definitely be subscribing again! Just one last thing - how CUTE was the Benefit Cracker?!

Friday, 26 December 2014

Christmas Day NOTD // Barry M and Nails inc.

Merry Christmas y'all! Hope you have had a great festival season eating lots of food and spending time with your family.
Christmas is one of my favourite times of your when it comes to experimenting with beauty products as there is glitter and sparkle everywhere, with a constant excuse to wear sparkly nail polish. For my Christmas day nails I used the Barry M Superdrug Xmas 2012 Limited Edition polish (a silvery blue shade) as my base colour with the Nails Inc Nail Jewellery polish in Piccadilly Arcade - which is a gorgeous glittery green. I have a feeling that the gorgeous Piccadilly Arcade is soon to become my favourite nail polish of the season.
I am now off to enjoy the boxing day sales - hope you are too!
 Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

NOTD // Christmas Party nails with Jack Wills

In the run up to the New Year I like to sift through all of my make-up boxes, drawers, bags and any other random places to dig out forgotten treasures that tend to get saved for special occasions but  then seem to be hidden forever. In my recent find I discovered a 'Holiday Season' nail varnish set by Jack Wills, with 5 gorgeous colours to choose from. Purchased some time ago, I think I've only ever managed to use one of them, with 4 more autumnal/fall colours yet to play with. With my work Christmas party coming up next week I decided to go with a gorgeous glitter fuchsia combination in the shades Cerise and Pink Glitter, as a trial run.
Here is the finished product:
(It looks much shinier in person, I promise)
Glittery pinks and purples are perfect for the party season and now is the time to dig yours out! As much as I love this colour combo I was really not impressed with the quality of these polishes, especially Cerise. Not for writing negative reviews usually, but I think that nail varnishes are definitely not JW's strong point. The base polish tried with translucent finish, which in my opinion doesn't look nice at all with darker colour. Two coats later the covering still wasn't too my taste. The pink glitter disguised this so well and I was initially very happy the finished effect. unfortunately on the second day of wear I noticed some chipping! Quick chipping polish is a big issue for me and happens fairly quickly no matter which brand I use, but to only make it one day in perfect condition, was a bit much. I will keep rooting through my collection to find a similar shade to go with the pink dress I will be wearing to my Christmas party.
What colours are you wearing this party season?

Sunday, 30 November 2014

A Trip to Leeds

Fancying a bit of a change I went off to explore the wonderful Leeds, of course stopping by a few stores. I was most excited about heading to Kiko Cosmetics as I haven't yet been to a Kiko store in UK but have heard them spoken about in the blogosphere. Like a kid in a candy store, this is what I went for:

The smart lipstick in 906, two nail polishes and two water eye shadows in 215 (shimmery dark blue) and 213 (shimmery dark green).

Tucked away a couple of doors was this absolute gem of a store - The YorksHire Soap Company (one of only three stores; Leeds, York and Hebden Bridge). It was a lovely shopping experience and I was served by the founder himself, who was very passionate about the products. I was also impressed by the friendly and knowledgeable staff who were really helpful.

All the products very beautifully scented and I really didn't want to leave. In the end I opted for a cherry bakewell cupcake and a birthday cupcake for a friend, but I was super tempted to get a slice of cake in apple blossom - maybe next time eh! Gutted there isn't one these in Manchester.

Next I set off to Sally's Salon services where I picked up Ardell Lashes in 111 and a Heel to Toe Exfoliating scrub.

A few bits from Holland and Barrett:

And lastly, on my way home, grabbing a drink from Asda turned into picking a selection of Yankee Candle samples in Vanilla Frosting, Merry Berry, Christmas Treats, Soft Cotton and Camomile Tea.

Leeds definitely gets my seal of approval!


Monday, 24 November 2014

Birchbox // November 2014

This month's Birchbox is 'Cosy at Home' themed, with November being all about "fireworks, bonfires, snuggly nights in and wrapping up". November's box came filled with: Weleda Lavender Relaxing Body Oil, Beauty Protector - Protect & Detangle, English Laundry Signature for Her, Lord & Berry Mini Bronzer in Sienna, Dr. Jart + Pore Refine Tight Effect Toner and for the lifestyle item this month I received a Montezuma's Mini Chocolate Bar.
Thought - very pleased indeed! I am most excited to have a play with the Lord & Berry bronzer as well as the Dr Jart+ Toner. I've heard/seen Lord & Berry mentioned a lot but have never tried anything from this brand before so I hope it doesn't disappoint. A large full sized item was also a treat this month! So far full size products have been lip balms or nail polishes - but with a full size toner worth £19 it really feels like you're getting your money's worth. Can't wait to try these out!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The Body Shop Early-Harvest Raspberry Collection

Never really jumping on the Body Shop body butters bandwagon, I now realise that I've been missing out. I purchased this set some time ago whilst on promotion for no doubt and absolute bargain (around £15 I think); it contained the Early-Harvest Raspberry Eau de Toilette fragrance, body butter and shower gel, which all smell absolutely divine!
The body butter is very thick and creamy and leaving my skin feeling well moisturised for a prolonged time after application. I usually apply it post shower just before going to bed and wake up still feeling super soft with a hint of raspberry still present. Because it is quite thick I feel like it needs to be worked into the skin rather than just gliding on smoothly, which I'm not a great fan of. All in all this is a lovely product to use and after many uses I've barely made a mark in it so I can see this lasting a good while. As I generally prefer products with a thinner consistency I don't think I will be repurchasing this.
The Eau de Toilette is perhaps my favourite out of this set, mainly due to the insanely amazing scent! Warning - it smells VERY sweet, which may not appeal to all, but I think is amazing. Although it does smell oh so wonderful, it is has got a rather runny consistency so once sprayed it seems to trickle down my arm rather than staying put. The lasting power is also questionable, but the scent is definitely around for long enough to brighten up your day...especially if need a pick-me-up on a rainy day (which in the UK, we surely do get a lot of).
Lastly the shower gel, which as you may have guessed, also smells amazing. The consistency is great and it lathers well, so I find that a little goes a long way - I've been using it for months and it is still going strong! I have only used the Mango shower gel from the Body Shop before this one but I prefer this one a lot more, although they are pretty much the same formula the Raspberry one feels nicer on the skin.
Last week I spotted the Raspberry collection in the Body Shop half price sale section so if you're quick you may be able to snap this up at a bargain. :)


Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween ... Meet Fred the pumpkin!
What will you be doing this Halloween?