Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Push the door, I'm home at last

On 29th January 2010, 8 months ago to the day, a little seedling of inspiration which had been lurking inside, manifested itself, and my blog blossomed into the blogging world.

When I arose from my stupor today, I was greeted to 2000 followers, which is unfathomable to me. 

I am not going to gush and cite that I never expected to reach x amount of followers, as when I started blogging, I did not know what to expect. But what started out as a mere creative outlet has become something so much more meaningful to myself, and I have you lovely lot to thank. 
Enjoyment in my blog has and always will be there, regardless of the number of readers I may have, but your keen interaction, sweet comments and personable feedback really does make me smile - a big CHEESY SMILE!

So, for fear of sounding too soppy and getting all Halle Berry on you, I shall summarise the point of this post... Thank you to all of you that have helped me from the very beginning when I was finding my baby blogging feet. Thank you to each of my readers for the constant commenting and evident enjoyment you gain from my blog.

Thank you to all the girls I may have met, for being normal and not cyborgs, allowing me to create many new friendlings along the way. I never once imagined that something so transparent and fickle, could bring me so much pleasure, but it has so that's rather splendid really!
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Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Enchanted by Emerald

I was in such a quandary the other night, umm-ing and ahh-ing over what colour to paint my nails. I have far too many nail polishes but sometimes I still cannot find the ideal colour...
Liking to embrace a spot of matchy-matchy, I knew I was wearing some elements of green in my outfit the next day, so I opted for this little gem!

This is Barry M's Emerald Green No.284 and really is a lush, verdant, rich colour. 
I like Barry M polishes, due to the purse-friendly price tag and the large array of colours they have to offer. I did a post back here displaying my ever-growing collection.

FYI - my nails are of the fake variety...courtesy of Nailene
Green has been heralded one of the key colour trends for AW10, from khaki with a military and utility twist to olive green chic and emerald greens rich with texture and depth, as beautifully demonstrated below. Kristin Davis and a look from Oscar de la Renta's Fall 10 catwalk. 

Are you going green with envy this season?
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Sunday, 26 September 2010

London Fashion Weekend

Hey pumpkins
Last night I attend London Fashion Weekend at Somerset House and it was a really fabulous night. I had been before last season, and was over-joyed to be invited to attend this season, accompanied by some other beautiful bloggers. We had such a ball!

If you get the chance, I sincerely urge you to go. The location is stunning, staged in the maze of Somerset House, and it is just a bevy of beautiful frocks, delicately-crafted jewellery and heart-stoppingly handsome handbags, all on display for purchase or viewing pleasure only. As well as the material objects, they have a Toni & Guy blow-dry salon and Elizabeth Arden makeup stands, so you can go and get prepped and preened in between shopping and smoozing.

I plan to compile a whole post detailing the events of the night, the food we ate, the champagne we dabbled in and the shows and sights we revelled in, but for now, this was my outfit for the occasion.

Green jacket - H&M
Ruffle cream blouse - Miss Selfridge
Faux leather skirt - H&M

My fantastic brand-new workman boots from River Island. I purchased these on Thursday and I blooming love these babies. I felt the outfit warranted a flat, chunky boot to balance the frills!

An assortment of finger bling and my ever-so faux Chanel-esque bag.
On my nails I wore Barry M's Emerald Green.

Just a quick peek of the gorgeous gang...

Let me know what you think ladies, and if you yourself popped along to the LFW this season?
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Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Oops . . . she did it again!

Britney Spears and perfumes.
Seems a logical transition really, considering the semi-demise of her pop career, and the well-worn avenue of many a celeb turned perfurmier.
Ms Spears, aka Elizabeth Arden, have turned out several scents over recent times, and I, unashamedly have purchased, sprayed and relished the sweet scent of Fantasy and Curious on many an occasion.
Well-known for the girlie, colourful and frivolous packaging, and the achievable price tag, I have a lot of love for the Spears’ scents.
Today, Wednesday 22nd September 2010, her latest potion was released – Radiance.

The packaging and bottle will not disappoint those die-hard Britney fans. Adequately shiny and bejewelled, the bottle is really quite sweet, with chunky, colourful jewels, perfect to jazz up any dressing table.

This is how those behind the perfume would describe the scent…

"Her ninth fragrance is a feminine blend of red berries, delicate flower petals and soft musk, packed in a bold and girly, light blue and pink bottle, decorated with fake rhinestones.
The alluring aroma of the composition includes notes of berries, tuberose, jasmine, orange blossom, iris and musk."

I was so very full of delirious excitement to receive this and give it the sniff-test! In my head I was hoping for a similar ilk of perfume to her previous sweet and fruity fragrances.
I seized the bottle, squirted jubilantly, inhaled and…oh! I had hoped for light and sugary, I got musk. Mature musk! I could definitely detect the under-current of berries, but hopeful for fresh strawberries…in reality I got overripe gooseberries. I wanted to get a second opinion so I hailed the mother, who was subsequently showered with the fragrance and she resounded that she really liked it.

BINGO! In my eyes, this is exactly what the clever little beans behind the perfume have set out to achieve – branching the Britney aroma empire out to those women who may have previously boycotted the beaming blonde Britney and her blinging bottles! It is heavier and more mature than her previous perfumes, slightly ‘sexy’ and warrants an evening-time airing.

Perfume is such a personal choice, and unfortunately this scent is just not my cup of tea. It is just a little too floral and overwhelmingly musky for my liking however, judging by many other reviews and trusting the mother’s intuition, this is going to be a popular purchase for many ladies.

The perfume has only just been released and is available in store and online at Boots for a very reasonable price:

Radiance 100ml £37.00
Radiance 50ml £28.00
Radiance 30ml £22.00
I would love to know your thoughts if you have sampled the scent yet?
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Monday, 20 September 2010

A Hair Revelation

Last week I trotted off to London to attend the rather messianic launch of the new TRESemme naturals range. I use the word 'new' loosely, as it seems to be the the hot trend of the moment, for many haircare brands to be on a quest for products that offer a more organic approach to hair cleansing and styling, which is applaudable.

The new TRESemme range is formulated without parabens, lower sulphates and is silicon free. They also feature certified organic extracts of aloe vera, sweet orange, jojoba, coconut oil and avocado oil, which should help protect your hair from damage and breakage and control unwanted frizz.
I have previously tried numerous natural hair ranges, including the Andrew Collinge range, The Body Shop's and Liz Earle's new shampoo and conditioner, with varying views of all, so I was as enthused as ever to hear about and try another range and see how the product fared with my troublesome tresses. 

We arrived at the most virtuous venue I have ever attended - The House of St Barnabas in the depths of SoHo, London. This venue operates are a non-for-proft private members' lounge, with all revenue from events, functions and membership going towards The House of St Barnabas charity, which offers support to the homeless, in and around SoHo.

The space was marvellous and exquisite, with its beautifully ornate ceilings and deliate stained-glass windows. It felt awfully sacrilegious of us, as we slurped our gin-based cocktails and loitered around the food-laden table, pictorial of the last supper.

The venue, products and company couldn't have been more apt, as it felt we had been amassed together to witness a host of celestial products, presented to us by some heavenly hair salvation before us.

The banquet was veritable and sumptuous, with mini burgers and brownies, and it was a hard job to tear us girls away...but clutching our olives and cashews, the congregation was seated as the sermon began.

We were treated to a rather hands on, informative and enlightening presentation from TRESemme's own stylist and hair saviour, Matthew Curtis
Matthew's career and skills have seen him foxtrot from designer to film set to fashion show, on a global scale, and when he mentioned he had give up Vera Wang for us that night...we knew we were in rather seraphic company!

The presentation was great and gave us all, not only an insight into the products and how to get the best out of them, but Matthew also offered demonstrations, tips and tricks on ways to style your hair, keeping heat to a minimum. 
Using techniques such a plaiting your hair when damp to create loose waves in the morning, and scrunching up the curls into a romantic, tousled up-do, were all taken on board and demonstrated that certain styles were achievable (with the right hair) without reaching for your hair straighteners every time.

It was really useful to also see the products in action.
The Non-Aerosol Hairspray really excited me, as it isn't your typical aerosol can that coats the hair in a film of spray that then leaves you hair crunchy all day. 
It lightly cascades onto your hair and, whilst still being able to hold a style commendably, it also is angelically easy to comb out your hair, haloing it with a healthy shine. Matthew demonstrated this and it was very impressive. The non-aerosol style spray is also  a lot kinder to the environment.

The Weightless Volumising Mousse was also a winner amongst us, as I know myself, particularly, am always desperate to achieve more body and bounce, specifically on the crown of my head. Matthew shown us the best application of the mousse to avoid your hair getting bogged down with stickiness. He took a pump of the mousse and worked it into his hands first before lightly wafting it through the towel-dried hair in the areas that require some oomph.

The shampoo and conditioner come in two varieties...
Nourishing Moisture: perfect from all hair types and helps prevent hair from damage and breakage.
Vibrantly Smooth: ideal to help control unwanted frizz, infusing hair with moisture without weighing it down.
Both these are suitable for colour-treated hair as well.

The new TRESemme Naturals range will be available from Boots, Superdrug, Tesco and Sainsbury's from October 2010.
All products will retail at £5.39...which I think is pretty epic considering the shampoo and conditioner are a whooping 900ml.

We were kindly blessed with all the products to take home and trial.
I have already been using them religiously and can honestly say I am really enjoying them. Unlike some of the natural ranges I have previously tried, namely the Body Shop's, they don't leave your hair stripped or dry or feeling under-nourished. They smell divine and I have noticed a markable improvement in my hair's manageability.

The mousse and hair spray are godly gifts. I have been using the mousse, worked through my damp hair before drying it with a barrel brush, and oooh hello va va volume! 
The hairspray definitely holds without leaving your hair crispy and crunchy, and a little goes a long way.

I would like to thank everyone involved for a truly divinely inspiring event.
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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Lilac lovelies

Morning petals

Another day, another cupcake order and yesterday I produced these little darlings with my own fair hands.
The cakes were requested by my friend for her nan's 80th birthday and the party was themed as lilac and silver, so I had full reign to be as experimental and creative as I so desired!

I decided to use silver cases for the cupcakes, and then made the lilac buttercream by simply dabbling in red and blue food colouring until I reached the perfect purply hue.
The flowers are cut out of rolled icing with a cutter and then I used silver balls in the centre.
I dusted the flowers delicately with edible glitter, to create a subtle shimmer to the cakes, but stayed away from making them too spangly!

And voila, all wrapped up and ready to be delivered.

What do you think? 
Are any of you going to be donning your pinny and getting domestic with your pink spatula this weekend? 
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Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Art of Darkness

I am near on positive that a quite a few of you are aware that an Illamasqua gathering of the celebratory variety took place last Saturday.
It was in honour of the launch of their brand's new AW collection, and was located in their brand-shiny-new flagship store in London, just off Carnaby Street, which opened earlier this week. The store wasn't hard to find, with its neon-tube lighting flashing in the windows, and the intriguing aroma of some alcoholic potion, wafting through the door. We were greeted by the wonderful team at Illamasqua and were lured over to the elaborate cauldron, proffering a deadly, but enchanting, smoking concoction. 

The store is stunning, mysterious and edgy, with shattered glass counters and mirrors created a cavernous space. Underfoot, we were starry-eyed with a gorgeous, disco-ball glittery floor!

The new AW collection is entitled The Art of Darkness, and we were treated to view the promotional film, followed by a compelling narrative from Alex Box herself, creative director and David Horne, the new Product Development Director.

The store was studded with a feast of colour and a banquet of mythology imagery, reflecting the exotic hues and textures alluded in the new collection.

"With rich rubies, engaging emeralds and beautiful blues, with shots of black, gold and copper, this is an exciting collection to tempt the senses."
(quoted from the Illamasqua blog)

The collection is swelling with a plethora of products, from rich pigments and liquid metals, false eyelashes and some stunning nail colours.

To view the full range, you can visit the Illamasqua website.

Many of us swarmed in awe and witnessed Alex Box in work, creating her own piece of magic and mystery in front of us. She was beguiling to watch, just to see how she creates such amazing, intriguing looks...leaving not a speck of flesh untarnished...

Possibly not your everyday look, but pretty impressive nonetheless!

I had such a fabulous time, and was thrilled and privileged to be invited. Thank you to all involved for making us all feel very welcome and special in your new store, and allowing us a sneak peek at the new collection.
The collection is now available online and at the Illamasqua counters, so go have a play and become enchanted!

A final group shot with some particular precious pixies, I had the pleasure to mingle with.

left to right...
Me! LeanneCarlySarah and Laura

Let me know if you are going to delve into the Art of Darkness this AW?
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Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Pensive in Purple

Hey chickens
I hold my hand up and confess that I may have become slightly extremely enraptured with a certain Miss Lily in recent times.
Not only does she has sensational style, enviable beauty and ombre hair (need I say more) but I have been inspired by her photos.
With my outfit of the day pictures, I have always punted for a full-length shot, but having poured over Lily's blog, I have concluded that I much prefer the closer, "knee-cap up" snap.

So this was my ensemble from last night. I embarked on another trip to the shiny lights of London, to attend a Tresemme hair event. All details shall ensue.

Aubergine tube skirt - New Look
Gold plaited skinny belt - H&M
Silk shirt - Miss Selfridge
Serpent and jewel necklace - Accessorise
Animal print headscarf - um....

What are you thoughts? 
I never wear very exciting shoes anyway, but let me know if you are enamoured with these kind of photos.
And just so you know, I am loving aubergine and camel coloured apparel for my AW wardrobe. I have a rather lengthy list already of some seasonal pieces I am keen to buy!
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Monday, 13 September 2010

Peace, Love & Juicy Couture

On September 8th 2010, it was London Fashion Night Out, a yearly event that sees the West End of London lit up until late, drawing together keen shoppers and many beautiful people, for a night of glamour and entertainment.
Anyone can rock up and join in with the fabulous fun, and mingle with some of the capital's favourite designers and models.
I arrived at the Juicy Couture flagship store bang on 6.30pm, where not only were they participating in the Vogue's Fashion Night Out shenanigans, but were also launching their new fragrance...
"Peace, Love and Juicy Couture"

Ushered in past the burly bouncers, I was met with a silver platter of champagne and the beaming faces of these lovelies...

JenGemmaFleur and Natalya

Oh yes, and that would be Sophie Ellis-Bexter, who was dj-ing during the evening's festivities.

The store was gorgeous, slick and modern, with a quirky twist, It was decked out top to toe with Juicy Couture's characteristic apparel, jewellery, shoes, bags and of course...the velour tracksuits. 

Some adorable cupcake lollipops...

As we were mingling, slurping and spritzing some Juicy fragrance, we spied the one, the only, Linda Robson of Birds of a Feather fame! HA...we were rather geekily excited!

Luckily Sara had appeared just in time to be adequately star-struck with the rest of us!

We got to speak with the team behind the new fragrance who were really passionate and enthused by this launch. I am a huge fan of the Juicy Couture perfumes already, so I didn't need much convincing that this new fragrance will be a success.

And then as our glasses were drained, Pixie Lott who had been a little elusive all evening, came down the stairs to meet her masses!
She seemed lovely for the momentary 30 seconds that we interacted with her, and she allowed us a cheeky picture, before she was whisked away to be greeted by the lurking paps outside. 

In my head I thought she was rather mini in stature, but I think her height staggered us all! Either that or we are all just ridiculously short... The whole evening was grand, and a real treat, to which I was honoured to have been invited.

The beauties with bellinis in Chanel.
GemmaJenFleurNatalya and Sara

I urge you all to visit these girls' blogs and youtube channels. They are all such lovely ladies, and it was a pleasure spending the night with them, fuelled with champagne, laced with the sweet-smell of Juicy and lost in a lot of laughter.

We skipped over to Selfridges to spy the display in anticipation of the perfume's launch.
It looked precious, with oversized Juicy bottles and antique-framed imagery.

As the night drew to an end, our stomachs were in the forefront of our minds, so we moseyed on over to a nearby pizzeria, to indulge in some grub before embarking on our merry way home.

Then the clock struck way-past-my-bedtime, so we bid farewell, clutching our Juicy Couture goody bags, which received many an envious eye that evening...!

I adore the scent of the Peace, Love and Juicy Couture. Inspired by earthly beauty and far-fetched things, the free spirited, hippy vibe of Malibu has been captured.
It is light, floral and fresh.

Described as a "joyous and exhilarating wealth of freshly cut blossoms, natural accents and elegant feminine wood harmonies" it is a luscious aroma, sweet and chic!

Plus the bottle comes with this adorable turquoise-beaded bracelet, reminiscent of a whimsical, beachy, hippie escape.

Thank you to all who were involved in this venture, I had an absolute ball!
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