Tuesday, 4 December 2018

the christmas gift edit: BENEFIT'S MAGICAL BROW STARS





Benefit have always been my go to brand for brow products so when I spotted this 'Magical Brow Stars' set in boots I had to snap it up. With gift sets like this you usually get minis but these brow products are all full size. It cost £49.50 but it is worth £118 and these products will last absolutely ages. This set is perfect for this time of the year making the perfect Christmas gift for someone (if not yourself!)

I've used Brow Zings and Benefit's Brow Bar for ages but this set features so many of their newer releases and I couldn't wait to try them out. Shade wise this kit is number 3 'medium' which I think is pretty perfect for blondes, redheads and people with lighter brown hair. They also have a shade 5 available which is 'deep' and better for darker hair colours. I used to like my brows quite dark but I've been doing them lighter recently and this set can work for both depending of how much you build the colour up. 


FOOLPROOF BROW POWDER
This brow powder is a really cool idea, you apply this powder with the lighter shade from the start to the arch of your brows and the deeper shade from the arch to the tail end. It mimics the soft and gradual look of natural brows and I absolutely love it. I have made the mistake many times over the years of going too dark especially at the start of my brows but you literally can't go wrong with this product. It's super compact and comes with a blending sponge, a spoolie brush & a mirror which makes it perfect for use on the go. The powder is super velvety and it lasts all day too which is great, once I've done my brows I really don't want to have to keep topping them up!

KA-BROW
Ka- Brow is a cream-gel and it has such a nice consistency and colour pay off. I've used this before and I loved it. This product is super compact and it also has a built in brush which is super easy to use. I would say once you've opened it it's best to use it as your everyday GO-TO. When I last tried it it dried up towards the end which is the only down fall but if you use it pretty much everyday you shouldn't have too much of an issue. Overall I really like pomade products because they are super easy to build up or keep looking natural depending on the look you're going for.

PRECISELY, MY BROW PENCIL
This brow pencil is amazing, you can achieve super natural yet defined looking brows from a few strokes. It's so simple to use and you are essentially adding hair like strokes which makes your brows look so much fuller which makes a huge difference. Benefit say to go in the direction of your brow hairs starting at the base using hair like flicks when applying and then blend with the spoolie. This brow pencil requires no sharpening as it's a twist up product which is always super handy. The tip is quite delicate though so you do have to be careful not to snap it off as it would waste so much product!


GOOF PROOF BROW PENCIL
This brow product is also a pencil but it's wider and slanted unlike 'Precisely, My Brow.' It only takes a couple of strokes to build up the colour and this one doesn't need sharpening either which is always a bonus. Benefit say you should use the pointed end to define the tail of your brow and I would say this is one of the quickest products to use out of this set.

GIMME BROW
Gimme Brow is essentially a mascara for your brows. I wasn't too sure I would be able to pull this product off at first because I thought maybe my own brows weren't in a strong enough shape for it to work but I was pleasantly surprised. Benefit say to stroke the brush tip along your brow to define the shape, brushing through to blend and build. The wand is tiny and the perfect size to adhere to skin and hairs creating a super natural look. I love the colour this product brings to my brows as well and how easy it is to use. The volumizing microfibre gel is perfect for use on it's own but I sometimes use it with one of the pencils to add a bit of a fluffy brow look to finish.

ANGLED BROW BRUSH AND SPOOLIE
In this set you also get a full size dual use angled brow brush and spoolie which is great for extra precision and definition. The angled brow brush is perfect for applying powder. I feel like the key to amazing brows is brushing them through with a spoolie to get rid of harsh lines and blend the product in.

MAGICAL BROW STARS


I love all of these products in this set and I'm most definitely sorted when it comes to my brows for quite a while! I think 'Magical Brow Stars' is such an amazing buy and gives you the chance to try a few different products to figure out what works best for you!

I'm going to get back into regular Blogging and posting on Insta from now on and I cant wait. One of my goals for the new year is going to be to post on here at least once a week and keep it as consistent as I can. My content from now on is going to be a mix of everything really from fashion to lifestyle to travel and I can't wait to get back into it all again.

Thank you for reading,
Until next time
A x
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Monday, 5 November 2018

GUCCI ACE EMBROIDERED SNEAKERS- FIRST IMPRESSIONS, FIT & SIZING




It has been a bit of a while since I last uploaded on here but I'm super excited to get back into blogging. I thought I would upload a post all about my new Gucci Ace Trainers to get started. My boyfriend kindly got me them for my birthday last month. This post is going to be a first impressions talking about what I think about them and how I find the sizing/ fit etc.

The Gucci Ace Trainers come in a few designs and different colours but I went for the ones with the gold bee embroidery detailing. I also really like the Studded Pearl Sneakers and the Rhyton Chunky Sneakers. Gucci do detachable patches to personalise and change up your trainers too which is cool.



I really like the embossed snake panels at the back of the trainers and they have got the OG one's red one's green thing going on so of course my dad made a comment about how I've got odd trainers *face palm!* They feel super comfy on and they are made out of a really smooth leather. I will update this post about how they break in and how comfy they are further down the line once I've gotten more use out of them!



I'm going to try my absolute hardest to keep the trainers clean and look after them the best I can but I am a little bit clumsy! They come in a really nice box and both have their own flannel bags which I thought was a nice little touch. Gucci recommend you keep the stuffing in the trainers you get when you first buy them and put that in every time you're not wearing them to keep the shape and absorb humidity too.

I went into the shop in Old Bond Street in London to get them, I knew I would have absolutely no idea when it came to sizing and I really didn't want to guess and go through the hassle of sending them back and reordering.

I'm usually a size 5 & a half or 6 in trainers but I got a 37.5 which is a size 5. I have quite wide feet so I would definitely recommend sizing down half a size if not more if your feet are narrow. I'm pretty sure I would've got the sizing wrong if I tried to guess online but I think you need to be 100 percent when buying something like this.

These trainers are so different to every other pair of trainers I own. With the chunky trainer trend being so popular at the moment it is nice to have something slightly more classic and slimline in my collection. I feel like they are quite versatile and you can dress them up or down depending on the occasion and wear them day to day aswell.


Thank you for reading!

Until next time,
A x


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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Getting My First Tattoo






At the start of August I got my first tattoo done and I went for a simple floral design on my ribs.

When I decided I wanted to get inked I created a Pinterest Board pinning all the tattoos and illustrations I liked the look of. I showed a few images to my tattoo artist and he designed this.

I did sit on the idea of what I wanted done for a few months just because I am a little bit indecisive and I wanted to be sure because "it's going to be on you for the rest of your life" and all that jazz I've been told 100 x over.

I can't say this tattoo has some meaningful reason behind it but I am really happy with how it turned out. I wanted something quite hidden which is why I went for my ribs but I think it will look quite cute when I get it out on holiday. I went for my left side after changing my mind so many times on what would be 'the best side' to get it done on.

In regards to pain I was quite honestly expecting the worse, especially with it being on my side but it just felt like an annoying scratch. I think it was a lot less painful because it's fine line but then again everyone's pain thresholds are different so you won't really know until you get one done. It didn't take very long either and I would say it took between 20 mins & half an hour. Price wise it cost me £40 which is super reasonable, most tattoo artists charge by the hour.

I went to Royal Ink in Leamington Spa and got this done by Thomas Cardiff and I cannot recommend him enough.

I think it still needs to heal properly but I thought I would upload it on here anyway. Aftercare wise I haven't soaked it in the bath or been swimming yet. I've also been moisturising with Vaseline Aloe Sooth or Bepanthen Baby Moisturiser every time I come out of the shower.

Thank you for reading.
A x
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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

MY TEETH TRANSFORMATION | COSMETIC DENTISTRY: GETTING RID OF MY GAPS WITH COMPOSITE BONDING (NO VENEERS!)


Getting rid of the gaps in my teeth was something I've wanted to do since I had my braces off in the Autumn of 2013.

Why Braces Didn't (100%) Work For Me

My teeth are super stubborn and no matter how many painful nights I endured wearing my retainers, they always seemed to want to move back to where they wanted to be. From the start of the day to the end of the day there was a noticeable difference in the formation of my teeth which made putting my retainers back in quite tough as they never wanted to slot in to the plastic mould without a fight.

On many an occasion I would wake up in the morning without my retainers in, I soon realised it was because I was subconciously pulling them out in my sleep. I just didn't like the achy pain of my teeth repositioning every night.

I did need braces to sort an unruly tooth out on my lower jaw line (which was resolved) but I couldn't help but feel like the 18 month process was a complete waste of time.

My Orthodontist pretty much just told me I would have to wear these retainers for the foreseeable future. Considering my teeth wouldn't even stay put for an hour, I definitely couldn't see my myself sticking it out for next 10 or even 20 years of my life like I had been told I had to.

After a good couple of years of playing the retainer game the plastic started to crack from all the pressure and eventually snapped. It would've cost over £100 to get a new pair of retainers and by the time I could get another appointment my teeth would've shifted back to where I didn't want them to be. This means I would've ended up with retainers to fit my gaps so it would've been counterproductive.

Getting Rid Of My Gaps

I just wanted to point out that I am by no means saying there's anything wrong with having a gap in your teeth, I just wanted to get rid of mine for now. In this post I thought I'd talk you through what I had done to improve my teeth and let you know the option is out there if you're looking to get something similar done.

The technical term for this process is 'Composite Bonding' and it is a form of Cosmetic Dentistry. I just want to point out that since my gaps have been concealed I do feel so much more confident and a lot less self conscious about my mouth.

I checked my dental records and my Dentist and I talked about Composite Bonding in 2015, that's 3 whole years of me procrastinating for absolutely no reason. I have decided that 2018 is the year I get things done and change things that I'm not happy with.

What is Composite Bonding?

Composite Bonding is the process of applying a dental material, composite resin, to your teeth. The resin is then shaped & moulded and improves what you've already got. This process is a particularly good cosmetic solution for gaps, chips or if your teeth as not as white as you want them to be. Composite Bonding can fix smaller problems and is done tooth by tooth.

This process is extremely quick and I was in and out with Composite Bonding in about 45 minutes. I was & still am, thrilled with the results. I did go back a couple of weeks later for a follow up appointment so my dentist could double check that I was happy with the shape, this also gave her a chance to tweak anything before finishing up.

Straight after you've had your teeth done you are told to avoid anything that may stain your teeth like tomato ketchup, sauces, curry etc & to only drink tea or coffee through a straw for the first week or so.

Composite Bonding VS Porcelain Veneers 

I knew I was never going to go for something like Veneers, especially not at 22. I've always looked after my teeth and had the importance of regular visits to the dentists drilled into me since a very young age.

I also didn't like the idea of something so irreversible that could cause so much damage to something I've looked after so well. Not to mention Veneers would have cost me an absolute bomb. Not only is Composite Bonding a fraction of the price of Veneers it's super quick, pain free and it's reversible too. Veneers are a much more involved procedure and can take up to three weeks to complete but with Composite Bonding you're pretty much in an out within the hour.

Unlike Veneers, the Composite Bonding process doesn't damage the existing tooth which is perfect and there is also no drilling or filing involved either so it's pain free. Composite Bonding isn't as permanent as Veneers, the process usually lasts around 10 years depending on how well you look after your teeth and how good your Dentist is. 10 years is still a long time and my teeth are something I will continue to invest in so I'll just have them done again if I decide I want to.

I do like the fact that it's not a life time fix and it is reversible to give you a chance to trial the new look out. If you do change your mind your teeth won't you have suffered when the composite resin is removed so you're not left with any short term or long term damage.

How Much Does It Cost?

I had six of my front teeth bonded together and it is priced up per tooth. It cost me £240 in total which would've worked out at £40 per tooth so I think that is really good. It would've cost me thousands for Veneers and for all the risks they come with it just wasn't worth it for me, especially not in my twenties anyway.

If you are from the Warwickshire area I went to Euston Place in Leamington Spa for my Composite Bonding and I cannot recommend them enough. I would always say go to a proper Dentist so you know what you're getting; It's so much safer and they will always put your dental health first.

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I am now four months down the line from when I first had my teeth done and I'm still very happy with how they look. I feel like I've finally got the teeth I've wanted for years! I'm all for doing things that makes you happy and it has helped with my confidence so much.

I hope this post has been of some help!

Thank you for reading.
Until next time,
A x
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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

TESTING FAKE TAN// ISLE OF PARADISE: THE TANNING WATER, THE TANNING DROPS AND THE SELF TANNING MOUSSE



Fake tan was just one of those things I never seemed to get on with. After having many a tanning mishap (everything you could think of going wrong, going wrong!) I just kind of thought it wasn't for me and gave up altogether. At the end of April I spotted Isle Of Paradise on Instagram so I popped into my local Boots (where it had just launched!) to pick it up and give fake tanning another go.

I did a bit of research beforehand into what the brand and the products claimed to do and I was super impressed. Isle Of Paradise just seemed like a really fun brand with amazing tan and a great ethos so I knew I had to give their products a go!

The Isle Of Paradise- WHO ARE THEY & WHAT ARE THEY ALL ABOUT?

Isle of Paradise was founded by Jules Von Hep, a tanning expert to the stars. He began working with colour correction after a spray tan and had a light bulb moment which led him to combine the two. Not only do these product claim to give you the most beautiful most natural looking tan but they brighten and reduce redness too. The products are also enriched with the superfood ingredients coconut and chia seed oil.

The tanning range is enriched with eucalyptus and peppermint so it smells pretty good too. Thanks to IOP you can now say goodbye to that annoying biscuity smell that seems to come with every tan out there. Isle Of Paradise products are Vegan, Cruelty Free & Organic too so it just keeps getting better and better.

Which Shade Should I Go For?

I wasn't sure which shade to go for but I went for Medium first which is colour coded Green. They also have Peach which is their lighter shade and Violet which is the darkest. I was thinking maybe I could maintain a light tan in the Autumn/Winter by using the lightest so I will try that soon. I have also been using Violet in the past couple of days because I was getting low on the Green.

If you're unsure on which colour to go for I'm super pale and I haven't had any issues with the medium or the dark & I honestly can't see much difference in the two. I just think the Violet is possibly a tiny bit deeper than the Green meaning I need to apply less product which is a win-win. The colour just seems to adapt to your skin tone really well, on paper the darker shade should have looked ridiculous on me and it really doesn't so it just goes to show. I was obviously feeling brave when I picked up Violet but it was worth giving it a go and trying something new.

I would just say get too hung up about which colour to try first, just experiment a bit and see how you get on.


Since using this stuff I have so many people telling me I look like I've been on holiday so I guess it's doing the trick!

I picked up The Tanning Water, The Self Tanning Mousse & The Self Tanning Drops in April. After nearly two months of testing I'm going to talk you through all three. I'm also going to let you in on my tanning routine and what I find works best alongside this range too.


The Self-Tanning Water 

This stuff is actually game changing, it's a completely revolutionary product and I've never seen anything quite like it. There was a huge gap in the market for something other than tanning mousse and the Isle Of Paradise have absolutely smashed it, I cannot recommend this product enough.

What Do Isle Of Paradise Say?

This Tanning Water has colour corrective actives and a green base for a natural, golden glow with no smells, no streaks or orange tones. Formulated with super balance complex to reduce redness, calm the skin and 'improve your karma!'

Isle Of Paradise recommend you moisturise dry areas prior to application, mist until your skin is totally saturated and then blend with a tanning mit in sweeping motions, covering hands and feet last, you are then supposed to wash palms thoroughly after use. 

Pros & Cons 

I absolutely adore this product, it is so easy to use and the colour it develops into is spot on. This stuff also doesn't go flaky and there are no orange tones either which is perfect. The Tanning Water just gives me a really nice glow and the colour correction worked perfectly hiding my red undertones. You get such a good amount of product and you can use it on your face too without having to worry about it looking super obvious, it really is seamless.

I have been using this product alone and in conjunction with the Mousse too. If I've put the mousse on my body I sometimes apply The Tanning Water to my hands, feet and my face, the most stubborn areas when it comes to tan. I always rub my hands together and make sure I get it in between my toes too because it can be super obvious if you forget. I feel like hands can be the biggest giveaway that you're wearing fake tan especially if it doesn't go quite right. My hands always go a lot darker than the rest of my body so it is a little bit difficult to get it right.

The only negative of this product that I can think of is that you can't actually see where you've applied the water as it's translucent and there is no guide colour. You kind of have to keep a mental note of where you've been, which can be tricky when you're doing your whole body all in one go. I know Isle Of Paradise say you should spray all over and then blend it in but it is so much easier splitting it up and working your way around your body in sections to keep track.

The first time I used The Tanning Water I did have an obvious white patch on my arm where I had missed a bit. This product may be streak proof but it is super obvious where you have a really nice glow then a white patch where you've forgotten to spray the water. It did however make me realise how much of an improvement this product made to the colour of my skin.

I usually sleep in my tan, The Tanning Water is not sticky at all and you don't have to worry about transfer on to your bed sheets or your pyjamas either so I was pretty impressed. If you are short on time I would say you could apply it in the day because you don't have to worry about the guide colour before you wash it off, just don't come into contact with water. It does takes about 6 hours to kick in so you'll have a nice glow by lunch time if you apply it first thing.

I would love to see some Express Tans introduced into this range, tan that takes 1-2 hours to develop. However they do have the Happy Tan & Disco Tan available which are kind of similar.

The Self Tanning Drops

The Self Tanning Drops are similar to the Tanning Water, this stuff goes on clear and it's another one of those game changers. It comes in a little glass bottle with a pipette and it's great because you can use it with your every day moisturiser that you already know works for you. The drops kind of feel effortless to use and as if you're not doing anything that differently.

What Do Isle Of Paradise Say?

"Married to your moisturiser? But want a super tanned glow too? No biggie! Simply add the colour correcting Magic Tanning Drops to your moisturiser for a natural, sun-kissed glow."

Pros & Cons 

Isle Of Paradise recommend you add 1 to 12 drops into your moisturiser, mix it together and apply directly to your skin. The more drops you add the deeper the tan. I found 8 drops and 3-4 squeezes of moisturiser was quite a good ratio. It really is trial and error though, 1-12 drops is quite vague. I feel like it would be a little bit more helpful if Isle Of Paradise had more of a guide for this or something to refer to in regards to colour pay off.

I found this product was a lot quicker to apply, it is great if you don't like spending a ton of time on the fake tan application and you were looking for something low maintenance. 

I was initially a little bit unsure about spending £19.95 on what appears to be a tiny bottle but a little goes a long way. It's a great tan for 'people who don't fake tan' and I have been using it on my face mainly with my serum.

I found the Self Tanning Drops had the best longevity when going in the pool too so it would be a good one for holidays. I just think this stuff is super quick and convenient as I would apply moisturiser at some point after applying the tanning water and the mousse anyway but with this stuff you are good to go.

The only con I can think of is that it has seemed to have tinted my eyebrows slightly orange so it's best to learn from my mistakes and keep your brows covered, especially if you're quite fair.  I would also say wash your hands thoroughly after applying it to your face, this will help you avoid stubborn patches of colour being left behind. 

The Self Tanning Mousse

After using the Tanning Water, The Self Tanning Mousse was a bit of a doddle to use. I realised I was taking the guide colour for granted and I didn't have any white patches at the end of it which I was very happy about. I usually try and set aside half an hour when tanning with a mousse to make sure I'm doing it properly and don't miss anything.

Just like most tanning mousses on the market you apply it in the same way (pump it onto a mitt and apply in sweeping motions!) This mousse contains a SuperBalance complex to reduce redness, this is great because it evens your skin tone out in order to give you a your-tan-but-better kind of glow. In an ideal world where I could tan (and not get sunburnt every damn time!) the colour this product develops into would be my perfect shade.

Pros & Cons 

This stuff is so easy to apply and foams up really nicely, a little goes a long way and it dries really quickly too but somehow doesn't streak even if you apply it in a streaky way. I have also had no problem with colour transfer either. I know a lot of people who have turned their loo seats pink from fake tan but I've not found this an issue at all with Isle Of Paradise and I'm so impressed.

I also don't have to wait ages to get into my pyjamas (because I'm waiting for my tan to dry) so it's a good one to apply before bed, I hate feeling sticky at night! The Tanning Mousse also doesn't cling to dry patches, it fades so naturally too which is pretty good.

I can't really think of any negatives with this product to be honest but I just don't really like using a mousse on my face. My skin is quite sensitive anyway and it can leave it feeling dry and tight but The Tanning Water & The Tanning Drops are better products for that kind of thing anyway, so it isn't really a problem.

Sometimes a mousse can be trickier to work with in more awkward areas.  For your hands and feet you are advised to tan those last when you have less product on your mitt but as I mentioned before The Tanning Water goes on really seamlessly so that's another option.

The guide colour for the medium tanning mousse is slightly khaki but it's worth keeping in mind that it does counteract the red tones so that's probably why, when you wash it off there is no trace of green at all. I do prefer the base colour of their darker tan just because if you needed to pop to the shops with the guide colour on it is less obvious.


My Tanning Routine 

I didn't realise how much of a difference prepping your skin before applying tan can make. I knew I wanted to get my base right this time when I gave tanning another go. To be honest this is probably one of the things I went wrong with in the past. I did hours of research, watching youtube and reading blogs this time round and I went out and bought some products to help me out a bit.

SKIN PREP

My skin is quite dry so I new moisturising would be key, I also found shaving and exfoliating important in getting the perfect base when applying the tan from scratch to help it last for as long as possible.

I usually top my tan up a couple of times a week but sometimes it's nice to get it all off and start again, going for a swim is a good way to get rid of tan quite quickly. I always come out of the pool a lot lighter than when I went in which is sometimes a good thing, sometimes really annoying.

I do know there are some super cool products that take it off for you and Isle Of Paradise have one called 'Over It'  that can do all the hard work for you as well as a Primer called 'Prep It' which is a PH balancing water that claims to help your tan stay on for three days longer.

Before I apply my tan I would generally shave a couple of day before. I also like to lightly scrub my skin around this time too to get rid of any remaining patches of tan and flakey skin. I do only scrub/ exfoliate If I'm starting from scratch with a fresh tan. I don't exfoliate when I'm maintaining the colour though because for me moisturising is enough and I've found it's not very good for keeping the colour up.

I have gotten into the habit of moisturising and it took me a while to find one I really liked. The one I use is the 'Aloe Soothe Lotion' from Vaseline. It keeps my skin looking healthy, glowy and hydrated which I think is probably down to the fact it has aloe vera in it which just seems to be good for anything skin related. Moisturising was definitely something I could never be bothered with before, which isn't great considering how dry my skin can get.

I have also found it so important to avoid oil based products and use body washes without it in. Oil can shorten the tans longevity by loosening it and making it look patchy which is not a good look so it's worth double checking what you are using as I was so surprised at how many body washes had it in.

APPLICATION 

I've found a Double-Sided Tanning Mitt is actually a god send, not only does the product go on better but it means you don't have to take the mit off every few seconds to change sides. I've also found that it saves so much time too.

I do have to do some freaky moves to completely cover my back but this mitt makes it so much easier to get the tan into those hard to reach places. The one I use is super spongey and easy to use but at the same time it doesn't absorb all of my product which is really good. I also have zero transfer of tan through the mitt onto my hands which is a problem I've come across when using a cheaper tanning mitt.


I'm absolutely obsessed with Isle Of Paradise and I love seeing them do so well. It has given me so much more confidence to go out with no foundation on. All of the red patches I used to worry about have been colour corrected and are no longer visible.

I was going to do a series where I try different tans but I'm so attached to this brand so It's going to be harder than I thought. I definitely want to try their other products as well to see what difference they can make to my routine.

Isle of Paradise have definitely made me fall in love with self tanning and it has made me realise how amazing it feels to have a tan on.  Not only very slimming but my hair looks super blonde when I have it on and I've found more colours suit me too. On top of all that my outfit shots also look better for it so it has helped me out a lot.

I really cannot recommend IOP enough. Whether you're a tanning pro or just starting out you really cant go wrong and there is a product for everyone.

Hopefully as the Summer goes on I should have more beauty and lifestyle posts coming your way. I definitely need to update my beauty receims so that means trying and testing exciting new products in the process.

I would love to know your thoughts if you have tried this brand, I am very much a self confessed Isle Of Paradise enthusiast.

Thank you for reading!
Until next time,
A x
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Thursday, 7 June 2018

MY NEW GUCCI BELT & NEW SHOPPING RULES


I have wanted a Gucci belt for such a long time and I've been umming and ahhing about getting one for at least two years. On Thursday I went to London (VLOG coming soon!) and I finally got one. I figured that the amount of time I have been thinking about it meant I really wanted it and all the time I've been wasting wanting it I could have been wearing it. Now I know £320 is really expensive for a belt but with things like this you have to think about cost per wear and I'm almost definitely going to be wearing it for years to come.

I thought to myself that if I didn't buy it on this shopping trip I probably would've frittered the £320 on lots of cheaper bits away sooner or later anyway and then I would've regretted it. I'm just not going to go crazy for the rest of my month on other items. I'm absolutely obsessed with this belt, It can make any outfit just pop and I'm super into gold hardware at the moment too. I was so surprised at how heavy it is in real life, you could seriously knock someone out with it.

I went to the Gucci on Old Bond Street which is the flagship store, we did look for the one in Knightsbridge but we think it's closed for renovations. I picked up the size 95 which is equivalent to a size 10. I had no idea where to start with sizes so instead of taking a wild guess online I thought it was best to just go in and ask. I was a bit nervous about going in but after leaving the store I just loved Gucci as a brand even more. I cant wait to go back and make some more purchases in the future.

After seeing so many people being in between sizes in Youtube Videos I was quite surprised that my belt fitted me on the waist (great for dresses) and in the loops on my jeans too. If you do have the problem where it doesn't fit quite right I have been told that you can take it to the Gucci in Harrods and they can punch an extra hole in it which will sort the problem out.

THE GUCCI BELT - £320

NEW SHOPPING RULES

I have decided to start investing in some designer pieces. I'm trying to be a little bit more mindful in places like Primark where I can get so carried away and easily spend a fortune every time I go in. Yes I still love Primark and it's amazing for nailing trend pieces, essentials and holiday clothes, but in general I'm going to think about my wardrobe a little bit more and what I want in it, not just buy for the sake of buying. I'm going to spend a bit less in one trip so I can incorporate some designer pieces into my wardrobe as well and have the best of both worlds.

I've made some rules for myself before I buy something new. I'm going to ask myself if I really love it, if it will actually last, if I'll actually wear it (or if it will just be taking up space in my wardrobe) and if it will flatter my body shape. If the answer to any of these questions is a no I'm not buying it.

Equally if I misjudge it and buy something and haven't worn it and I've left the tags on for more than couple of weeks I'm going to take it back because I probably will never get round to wearing it and I can't like it that much. I either wear something to death or don't wear it at all, there is no in-between with me.

I also want to start shopping with complete outfits in mind too and think about how I can style things with existing pieces I already own. I'm also going to outfit plan and play around with different looks and reinvent different pieces too taking pictures of potential outfits so I can look back at this for those 'I have nothing to wear' moments.

Doing a lot of style blogging does mean shopping the 'New In' section keeps things current and fresh but I can't do this every time so I will have to compromise and link similar items otherwise all of my money will be gone just like that. I have also got a list on my phone of things I actually want/need in my wardrobe and if I go to make an impulse purchase I can refer back to that too and think about if it's actually worth it in the long run.

I want to keep in mind the quality of the fabric a bit more too. I eventually want to have a capsule wardrobe for all year round but just a little bit less limited so I can have room for new additions and I can update it with new pieces when the seasons change.



I'm now eyeing up the rest of the Gucci belt collection but I've really want a couple of pairs of their trainers, a bag and possibly even a t-shirt before I buy another one. I wasn't sure if I was allowed to take pictures/ film footage in Gucci so I kept it quite low key. I might do a little designer wish list post soon. I'm doing a lot of hours at work at the moment (for now!) so I may as well treat myself and put some money aside while I don't really have any responsibilities, work hard play hard and all that.

No doubt you'll see no end of this belt on my Instagram & on here in my outfit posts. I'm also going to do a '10 ways to style' post which I am super excited to put together so stay tuned if you would like to see that! 

Thank you for reading
Until next time,
A x
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Monday, 7 May 2018

WHERE TO EAT: DRINKS AND TAPAS | HOUSE LEAMINGTON










Last week I went to House in Leamington Spa with the work lot, it's a really nice contemporary pub that does amazing food and insane cocktails. The interior is also super cool and I would definitely recommend this place. We opted for the nibbles and I had mozzarella sticks, chicken poppers and nachos which were so nice. The fish and chips and burgers are really good too and they are meant to do amazing roast dinners on a Sunday. I thought I would pop in a few pics on here as well as what I wore, so I hope you enjoy!















Until next time,
A x 


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Thursday, 3 May 2018

BENEFIT'S BADgal BANG! MASCARA | MY THOUGHTS*








Last month Benefit got in touch to ask if I would like to try their new BADgal BANG! Mascara and I honestly jumped at the chance and I got so excited! The excitement stemmed not only from the idea of getting to have a play with a new mascara but at the amazing opportunity to work with Benefit on an Instagram collab- HOW ON EARTH HAS THIS HAPPENED?! 

I picked up the original Badgal Lash Mascara in a goody bag from the Clothes Show way back when. It must have been around 7 years ago when I was 16 and I used that religiously until the launch of 'They're Real'. They're Real is probably my absolute fave mascara of all time and one I always seem to go back to, I just love everything about it. 

I then started alternating between They're Real and Roller Lash (when that was the new mascara on the block) and now I've almost gone full circle with the launch of BADgal BANG! & O M G I love it so much. 

I just want to say that I absolutely love the promo and marketing that goes into all Benefit products and this one is no exception. I love the packaging and the space theme, it's just really cool. Benefit have stuck to a black, hot pink & silver colour palette and they have also given this mascara a studded lid which is quite unique and something I'm sure we'll be seeing more of in drugstores from other brands really soon.

This mascara wand is super easy to hold thanks to the custom big 'Slimpact! brush which is streamlined 'to reach root-to-tip, corner-to-corner, upper & lower lashes for big volume with 360 degrees reach.' This is really good for me as sometimes a bulky mascara can get on my nerves a bit and test my patience. The bigger the wand the harder to control and I end up with it all over my lids and my nose, in the same spot, every damn time. 

The mascara is rubberised which looks quite nice but it's not the most practical as it gets filthy. I'm not the neatest with my makeup bag and as soon as the bullet has the slightest contact with bronzer or foundation it seems to disperse so quickly and it makes a right mess. Everything seems to stick to this mascara like nobody's business. I had to give it a thorough wipe down before I took these pics!!


Benefit claim that BADgal BANG! lasts for up to 36 hours and is a full blast volumising mascara that creates massive volume without weighing lashes down. The 'gravity-defying' formula contains 'aero-particles'- even though I've never heard of them it is supposed to be one of the lightest known materials, derived from space technology which sounds kinda cool. 

This mascara is pitch black and although I do prefer brown mascaras I actually really like the intensity of it and it is claimed to 'layer easily for bigger & BIGGER impact.'

BADgal BANG! Is said to be a smudge-proof, water resistant & volumizing. 90% saw dramatic volume, 94% said it instantly lifted lashes & 92% said it lengthened lashes. It also contains ProVitamin B5 which is known to fuel thickness & strength so not only does it make your lashes look instantly volumised but it also takes care of the condition of them too which is always good. 

Benefit advise that to achieve the biggest baddest lashes you should wiggle the Slimpact! brush from base to tip. They recommend you apply one coat to both eyes and repeat as desired to build more and more volume. The wand is cone-shaped and the consistency is quite wet but I have learnt to be patient with it and slow down during application as I have managed to smudge it everywhere the first time I tried it but the more time I take with it the better my lashes look. 

I have started wiping off the excess onto the mascara tube before applying it because it's not the best idea to go in with too much initially as it takes longer to dry on the lashes. I have noticed the 'wet' formula has startening thickening up slightly the longer I've had it. 

Like They're Real I wouldn't recommend trying to remove it with wet wipes alone. It's a little bit more tricky to get off but it's nothing my holy grail Cleanse & Polish can't handle. This is a blessing is disguise though because once it's on it doesn't smudge or budge, this is especially good for everyday wear at places like work where I don't have the time nor the patience for regular mascara checks and top ups.


I either really get on with a new mascara or absolutely hate it, it's definitely not a one size fits all thing and I have seen mixed reviews but it gets a thumbs up from me. 

I would say this mascara gives you full, dramatic, elongated, super intense black eyelashes and I can definitely recommend giving it a go if you are on the look out for a new one. 

BADgal BANG is on the market for a RRP of £21.50 which is admittedly on the pricier side of the mascara spectrum. John Lewis & Debenhams are price matching at the moment so you can get your hands on one for less at the moment. I always think Benefit products are so worth spending a few extra pounds on though. 

I just want to say a big thank you to Benefit for giving me the opportunity to work with them in giving this amazing mascara a go.

Thanks for reading,
Until Next Time!
A x 

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