Saturday, 30 April 2011

he loves me, he loves me not...

Crochet dress - H&M
Daisy headband - Primark
Brogues - River Island
Lace socks - Miss Selfridge
Bangles/earrings - Accessorize
Turquoise ring - Spitalfields Market

Today I finally got my hair recoloured after seven weeks worth of roots and faded ends. I think this will be my final flourish with the red. I love the colour dearly, probably ranking numbero uno of all the colours I've been, but the maintenance is beyond belief and I cannot justify the upkeep. Colour care products can and do work; but sadly, red will inevitably always fade. I am already planning what colour to toy with next and it shall either be a rich coppery-ginger or white blonde with peachy sections weaved through. My hairdresser will probably refuse to pacify me with either for fear of my hair falling out!

I bought this dress last weekend, but today was its first outing, as I had to track down a suitable under-layer for fear of exposing myself to the world. I used a simple slip I had from another dress and it seemed to do the job. I really love the flair 70's sleeves and the detailing around the hem. I wore it quite casually today but feel you could also dress this up for an evening soiree with some heels and a skinny belt perhaps. I don't feel I really need to justify the headband - I love daisies and for a £1 from Primark, it was a no brainer. I also feel very proud that I took my first steps today in the shoes and socks combo, something I've wanted to embrace for ages now, but never found the right outfit to do so with. 

I hope you are all enjoying the extended weekend. I am venturing to London tomorrow after my morning Zumba class. I need to return a few items of clothing and then pick up some 'essentials' from MAC, ie: foundation and powder. I am also hoping they have Candy Yum-Yum lipstick in stock there too as I have concluded that yes, I really do need another pink lippie!
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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

cinched in cerise

Kimono top - H&M
Palazzo pants - Primark
Satchel - Primark
Sandals - Accessorize
Sunglasses - Ray Ban

This outfit is a Manchester manifestation. I must praise this city and its glorious shopping. We had an absolute ball oop Norf and thoroughly made the most of the quite unexpected sunny weather. Not a drop of rain fell for the whole three days we were there, bar a light shower whilst we were devouring tapas and sangria at La Vina. I loved the Trafford Centre, a slightly hugely more lavish Bluewater, and felt spoilt with the two Selfridges&Co the city had to offer. We ate cupcakes and drank homemade lemonade at Hey Little Cupcake and said goodbye to the place with a quick spin on the Wheel of Manchester. But, I must say, that my favourite part of the trip was discovering the Northern Quarter - such a creative and contemporary area with many a fabulous vintage shops to rummage in. We had such a fun time and I came home to the clutches of the Essex countryside, heavy-handed with bags, weary but already mentally planning my next visit up there.

I hope you all had an eggs-cellent (!) Easter and enjoy the imminent four day weekend!
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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The Only Way is...Lauren's Way

Love it or hate it, it would be impossible to deny the phenomenon that is sweeping our television screens at the moment. The Only Way is Essex brings us an insight into the lives, loves and lashes of a group of born and bred Essex boys and girls, and their manicured mates. 
Perhaps being a girl from Essex myself, I am a little less enthralled with this series than others around the country, but despite this, you cannot dispute the sheer entertainment factor, and can't help but raise a smile at the dulcet echoes of "Shuuuuut up!" that ring out from our televisions. I can confirm however that Brentwood is not renowned for its tropical conditions, so it would seem that Lauren, and her gaggle of glamorous girls, reach for the fake tan to achieve their golden glows...

Lauren's Way is the creation of Lauren Goodger, star of The Only Way is Essex, who never fails to sport an enviably bronzed body. Striving to become a successful business woman in her own right, she has launched her own merchandise; namely a new tanning range.

Lauren's Way consists of two varieties of fake tanning products...
Gorgeous Self Tanning Bronzing Mousse - £17.95
Gorgeous Tanning Lotion, Beach Bronze Colour: Dark - £15.95

Lauren's Way tanning range can be purchased from Lauren's facebook page or her official website.
I will be giving the lotion a whirl so will report back and let you know how I find it. 
Here's hoping it will give me a tan to be "well jel" of!
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Monday, 25 April 2011

Vo5 reVamp

In my mind, VO5 have been quite vacant from the haircare brigade for sometime now. Of course they haven't, they have been as present as ever on the shelves but I think they have simply been a bit over-shadowed by brighter brands of the moment. However, they are certainly back with a bang with a relaunch and a new look, courtesy of some snazzy and unmisssable pink packaging. Their range sports some gorgeously concoted scents as well, the most used smell being based on Chanel's Chance, an iconically feminine fragrance.
I thought I would give you a quick introduction to the range and let you know my feelings on a few of the products I have been using.

Cherish my Colour: £2.00 each
The shampoo and conditioner I have been using are specific for coloured hair, a divine intervention for vibrant colour. However, the relaunch of their haircare range sees a selection of products to suit all hair types including Nourish Me Truly, Give me Moisture, Revive me Daily and Gloss me Smoothly. I think the conditioner is really good, lovely smell and leaves my hair feeling extremely smooth and soft, thanks to being enriched with an essential 5 oil blend - Avocado Oil, Argan Oil, Apricot Oil, Grape Seed Oil and Jojoba Oil. I can't comment on how it fares in maintaining my colour yet as my hair at the moment is extremely faded and needs a recolour. But once I have restored the vibrant red colour, I will be putting the shampoo and conditioner completely to the test. The shampoo, on first inspection, wasn't that special however, but I need to put these properly to the test once my hair is recoloured.

Miracle Mist: £4.28
A lightweight leave-in conditioning spray with extract of satin silk, aimed to rescue tired, damaged, dry or frizzy hair. It should be sprayed into towel-dried hair and combed through to help improve manageability and protect against heat damage. I have to say I didn't notice much difference in my hair after using this product before blow-drying it. Unfortunately I don't feel it worked very well as a heat-protector as my hair felt quite dry after blow-drying, and was still left quite frizzy.

Miracle Concentrate: £4.98
Possibly my absolute favourite product from the range! This is an intensive leave-in conditioning treatment with Argan Oil. It has the restorative power of an Elixir in its most potent form. This product claims to intensely condition and help repair dry, damaged and frizzy hair, leaving it unbelievably smooth and silky soft. And it really does exactly that! Best used on towel-dried hair, you only need a few drops dispersed through mid-lengths and the roots, but it can also be applied on dry hair as a finishing product to add high gloss and to tame any fly-aways. A true miracle in a bottle.

Give me Texture, Choppy Cream Wax
This product is not really suitable for my hair, but is ideal for those with shorter styles, especially if you have layers cut into your hair. I have actually donated this to my friend who has just had her hair cut into a short, choppy bob and it works wonders at defining the layers and helping keep her style in place. It isn't too sticky, providing you use it sparingly, and it smells lush!

Give me Texture, Tousled Style Spray:
This is a great little product for adding instant style and texture to your hair. Simply spray onto dry hair and then lift, scrunch and twist to give you hair definition and tousled waves, perfect for care-free, beachy summer hair when you don't want to slave over the straighteners for hours. It smells gorgeous too; light and fruity. To avoid your hair becoming weighed down and crispy, make sure you use this product sparingly, misting from far. It can also be used on towel-dried hair - simply spray, scrunch and leave to dry naturally. A real godsend if you are trying to steer clear of scorching your hair with heat this summer.

Give me Texture, Instant Oomph Powder:
When I attended the launch event for this VO5 range, the hairdressers demonstrated the wonders of this product on one of the lovely model's hair. She had a short, sleek bob and after a shower of the white powder onto the roots and a quick rub into the hair, her style was transformed into a voluminous bouffant with body and movement. My initial fears of using a powder like this were, a) to be left with white 'dandruff' like residue and b) the hair to feel sticky and hard.
Well providing you rub the powder in properly, there is no white residue left in your hair, so even those with the darkest of hair can use this powder without worry. The hair does however feel a little bit sticky at the roots, but definitely not as bad as if you had used hairspray, so that's a bonus. And it really does work its magic at creating added lift and volume at the roots. Fab!

In summary; with this range VO5 certainly champion why they are acclaimed the number 1 styling brand.  Products to pick up: Miracle Concentrate, Instant Oomph Powder and Tousled Style Spray
Products to skip: Miracle Mist and Cherish me Colour shampoo

This new range is available from Superdrug, Boots, Tesco and Asda.
Have you tried any of VO5 products?
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Sunday, 24 April 2011

Juicy Couture Travellers

Juicy Couture have conjured up the perfect perfume purchase for those girls on the go and needing a summertime spritz. Taking their delectable and girly 'Juicy Couture' and 'Viva La Juicy' fragrances, they have created these glitzy eau de parfum travellers, ideal for popping in your handbag and spritzing whilst you gallivant. The bottles are extremely lightweight and with an attached lid, hinged with an adorable heart, means you don't need to worry about any spillages whilst out and about.
The silver bottle proffers the 'Juicy Couture' perfume; a really lovely scent with an essence of passion fruit and watermelon, gently tempered with water hyacinth, apple and wild roses. To the sensitive nose, you can also detect the sweet, warm tones of vanilla crรจme brulee, precious wood and patchouli. It is a wearable fragrance day or night.

The gold bottle houses a different scent, Viva La Juicy, which is an equally sweet, sumptuous scent.
Whether it is the striking silver or glamorous gold bottle you opt for, both perfumes come with a cute detachable Juicy charm; a sparkly-studded strawberry or a silky fuchsia bow. 

These Juicy Couture and Viva La Juicy Travellers are available from a number of retailers including Debenhams, Harrods, Selfridges and The Perfume Shop, and retail at £39.50.

Is this something you would pop in your bag and mist whilst you meander?
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Wednesday, 20 April 2011

bon voyage

Pearls and Poodles is packing its passport and is off on vacation! Things shall be a little peaceful around here over the next few days as I am off on my jolly holidays, and am relishing a whole five days off work. My friend Claire and myself are embarking on an epic voyage, one which will bring about fun, laughter, trams and shopping of monumental proportions. We are going for a wee jaunt 'oop north'. That's right ladies, Essex is coming to the bright lights and starry sights of...Manchester! I am currently amidst compiling a list of things to do and places to visit; the Trafford Centre, somewhat unsurprisingly, featuring quite highly. I have also been told I just HAVE to visit "Hey Little Cupcake" in Spinningfields and Rosso restaurant for some Italian fare and cocktails. I am really looking forward to our break away and a change of scenery even if the weather forecast does predict thundery showers on Friday and Saturday. Quelle surprise! 

Right, I really must scoot and tackle the formidable task of packing. I am literally the worst packer in existence. I like to prepare for every eventuality and fear I am going to forget something, so over-compensate my taking everything imaginable. I think this could be a long night...

All suggestions very welcome for things to do during our trip oop North!
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Tuesday, 19 April 2011

8 Hour Cream - Intensive Daily Moisturiser

Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream. It has become quite the skincare necessity in the possession of many a beauty junkie everywhere. A multi-purpose product which soothes, heals and relieves dry, chapped and cracked skin. Its uses are limitless, from styling eyebrows and preventing split ends to soothing hands, nails and softening cuticles. It was only recently however that I paused and wondered why we so readily refer to this cream as 'eight hour'? After a little research, it all became clear. A faithful user of the product applied some to her child's skinned knee and declared that after just eight hours, the skin looked better.

 After the acclaimed success of their headline product, Elizabeth Arden have spawned an entire range of Eight Hour Cream products, all pertaining the similar properties that has made the classic cream so infamous. I have recently been using their Intensive Facial Moisturiser, a luxurious lotion for the face.

Elizabeth Arden says...
"This daily hydrating lotion leaves skin feeling soft, smooth and moisturised for up to 8 hours. Formulated with the perfect blend and aroma of classic Eight Hour® Cream, it even protects skin from the effects of extreme weather and climate changes while SPF 15 shields skin from the harmful effects of the sun."

What I love about this product is its power to soothe any dryness I have on my face. As a whole, I don’t really suffer from dry skin. My skin is normal, with slight areas of oiliness throughout my t-zone. However recently I have been experiencing dry patches on the side of my nose, which this intensive moisturiser has quickly eradicated. As the name suggests, this product is very rich and intense, and you do only require a delicate application. Applying anymore than a pea-sized amount left my face feeling slightly greasy and heavily laden with the product. I have been using this moisturiser before I go to bed after I have washed and cleansed my face. When I awake, I am left with very soft, smooth and hydrated skin and all the product has been absorbed. I do think people with particularly oily skin would find this product a bit too heavy for their skin, but people with dry skin or, like me, with areas of dryness, would really benefit from it. And its use can definitely be extended away from the face, much like the original Eight Hour Cream. I have been using it on my elbows as a perfect prep before fake tanning. Also it is great on your cuticles and relives dry hands. The one thing I am not too keen on is the smell. It is quite heavily perfumed, and offers a herbal-like aroma. I just didn't find it very appealing but it certainly doesn't take away from the cream's effectiveness.

Unsurprisingly, Elizabeth Arden are extremely proud of the Eight Hour Cream range they have established, and are pleased to announce the launch of their new Facebook page.
Eight Hour Cream UK is a community product page where fans can get together, revel in the products’ amazingness as well as swap tips amongst each other and pick up some tricks from some big names in the beauty industry. To celebrate the launch of this page, EA are giving away a product from the Eight Hour Cream range every day for the first two months, effective from 11th April. 

Entry is easy, simply ‘like’ the Elizabeth Arden Facebook page and then click to enter.

I'd love to know if you are a fan of the Eight Hour Cream range.
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Monday, 18 April 2011

Nivea & ASOS: a couture competition

To celebrate the launch of Nivea's new, innovative deodorant, Invisible for Black and White, Nivea have stylishly collaborated with online fashion retailer ASOS to create a limited edition capsule collection of high fashion dresses, exclusively available to win online.
Nivea's latest addition to the deodorant market not only claims to banish those irritating white marks, so very often left on black clothing, but also offers protection from the yellow stains that can plague your whites! Nivea Invisible is the first and only deodorant on the UK shelves to offer this type of protection whilst not compromising on their incredibly gentle skincare and anti-perspirant credentials.
As the artwork may suggest, the four-piece collection is made up of a striking monochrome ensemble, with clean cuts, precision pleats and an essence of 60's glamour. The little white dress could be just as influential as the little black dress for this summer's minimalist trend.
From 18th April to 31st May, Nivea and ASOS are running a competition allowing 50 lucky winners EACH week to receive this exclusive range, just in time for a stylish summer.

To enter: 
simply visit
glam up their four dresses with the hottest fashion accessories
And that's it!
Above is a snap of one of the dresses accessorised by yours truly.

 Good luck girls.

(this is a sponsored post)
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Wednesday, 13 April 2011

mirror shine

I know I am extremely late to the party with these mirror shine on lipsticks from 17 but recently, whilst perusing the aisles of Boots, I was drawn to their slick, shiny packaging and the promise of an ultra-glam and glossy finish. For £4.59 a pop, I was willing to give them a whirl and rifled through the collection of 10 lipsticks, offering an array of shades from nudes and browns to plums and pinks. 
I opted from... 

Peace:- a muted pinky-coral and Hollywood:- a rosy red

The nature of these lipsticks means the finish is extremely sheer, literally giving the lips a glaze of colour. They are the perfect product for those who love the glossy allure of a lipgloss, but aren't enamoured with all the gloop and stickiness that comes with it. In the tubes, these colours look bright and bold, but don't be scared/fooled by this, as once applied, you are left with a barely-there coat of colour. 
The consistency of these lipsticks is very luscious and non-drying, and they do leave the lips slicked with a high shine, glossy finish that is quite long-lasting. I love both these colours, especially Hollywood, a real red. I was however a little disappointed with Peace, having high hopes for a muted orange, I was left more with a light pink. 

I would definitely indulge in a few more of these lipsticks and I believe the much-acclaimed Beehive shall be my next purchase!

Have you tried the mirror shine on range?
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Sunday, 10 April 2011

park life

This is why I love the sunshine!
Yesterday we had a picnic in the park. We took a little portable radio with us so we could listen to some tunes whilst basking in the sun. We ate homemade scones and drank cocktails out the can! 
The strawberries may look amazing but were actually a huge disappointment. I shall definitely be waiting until I can go and pick my own at the fruit farm nearby.

What I wore:
Shirt - H&M
Shorts - H&M
Ballet flats - New Look

I hope you all have had wonderful weekends and have been able to soak up some sun.
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Friday, 8 April 2011

Chelsea Girl

Blouse - River Island Chelsea Girl
Skirt - H&M
Earrings - Accessorize

Let me take you back 46 years when the name on high street was Chelsea Girl, championing a heritage and vintage spirit, encapsulating geometric-inflected prints, wispy fabrics and sinuous shapes. The popular boutique took a lead on the high street with a fusion of fashion and popular culture; bringing together a discernibly bohemian aesthetic that captured the Chelsea Girl mystique. In 1988, Chelsea Girl evolved into the chain we all know and love today...River Island, and after all these years, the iconic pieces that defined Chelsea Girl are making a comeback! 
The new Chelsea Girl SS11 collection, with a unique 21st century twist, has now been released in River Island, and with a lower price point than mainline items, it feels like a 'little sister' to River Island. It mirrors the infamous bohemian styles that made Chelsea girl so fabled. Floaty fabrics, sumptuous suedes and floral prints are all present, making it a really desirable collection perfect for the summer season.

To celebrate the launch of the Chelsea Girl collection, River Island and Cosmopolitan have teamed up, and from April 1st, are offering fans the chance to become a stylist for the day. 
It is a really amazing opportunity and all you have to do is...
Pop over to the River Island facebook page
Build an outfit around the Chelsea Girl Item of the Week (this week is the blouse I wear above)
Each week, the creator of the most individual outfit will win £200 River Island vouchers.
An overall winner will be selected at the end of the four weeks who will get to style a fashion shoot in London, all expenses paid! This will then be featured online at Cosmopolitan and River Island.

I love this range as it completely reflects the style of clothing I like to wear, especially over the Summer, perfect for park life and festival fun. I think my blouse has been really rather popular as it is currently out of stock and not featured on the website, but hopefully it will be making a return, so keep your eyes peeled.

I'd love to know if you plan to enter this fabulous competition, and also what your thoughts are on the new Chelsea Girl collection.
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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

tame the mane

It would be fair to say that I am fraught with frizz! After I have blow-dried my hair I always need something to slick down those mischievous flyaway hairs and add a glossy sheen to my hair. I therefore thought I would share with you two of my current hair heroes; reached for many a time when there is frizz to be fought and a mane to be tamed!

First up is John Frieda's 100% Shine Glossing Mist (aka Serum Finishing Spray) - £5.59 from Boots.
This is a product I have repurchased umpteen times and will inevitably continue to, until something better comes along. It is a glossing spray, to be used on dry hair, that lightly coats, and leaves a lovely glisten and shine to your hair. As well as using this product sprayed directly onto your hair, I like to spritz some into my palms and then work it through key areas such as my fringe, the ends of my hair and those fine 'baby hairs' around my hairline. I love this product as it is so affordable yet offers such a desirable shine and finish to my hair.

Secondly is Aveda's Light Elements Smoothing Fluid - £20.50 from Aveda.
This is the most recent addition to my haircare armoury. It is towards the slightly pricier end of the spectrum, but boy is it good! This product, unlike the John Frieda glossing mist, doesn't add visible shine as such to my hair, but does completely smooth my frizz and flyaways and leaves my hair feeling so soft and supple. It smells amazing, boasting a formulation of plant-based ingredients such as Jojoba and lavender, and with its serum-like consistency, it can be used on damp or dry hair. I personally like to use it on damp hair, concentrating its application near my parting and through the ends of my hair. It is extremely lightweight and after I have blown-dried my hair, I find it is noticeably less frizzy and feels more settled, and a lot easier to straighten. A luxury product but one that is a real treat for your tresses!

And here is my freshly-styled hair after using my hair hero products of the moment! 

Do you use either of these products?
I'd love to hear what you reach for to fight the frizz!
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Monday, 4 April 2011

block party

Jacket - H&M
Vest top - Topshop
Skirt - Never Fully Dressed
Belt - charity shop
Earrings - River Island

I am sure you do not need me to inform you that colour blocking is one of SS11 key trends this season, whether it is showcased in your outfit, accessories or makeup. Catwalks were awash with the bright and the bold, bravely clashing and displaying all the colours of the rainbow. Whether it be the bright pastels or the vibrant tropical shades, I believe everyone can embrace colour blocking and add a splash of colour to their wardrobe. As a girl who never shies away from sporting something colourful, I am delighted to see so much vibrancy on the highstreet, and this outfit would probably have been something I would have worn anyway, with or without Vogue's approval.

I purchased my jacket last year now, in September to be precise, but I have noticed that my H&M, at least, still has a few dregs left so you may be in luck. I wear this item an awful lot, I just find it really flattering and I love the shoulder pads and the graduated front panels. My skirt was a birthday purchase from Spitalfields Market. I first became aware of Never Fully Dressed at London Fashion Weekend last September where I was drawn to their pretty pieces with such feminine, floaty fabrics and beautiful bejewelled cuffs, so I was more than elated when I came across their stall last week whilst at the market. A long pleated skirt has been a wardrobe want of mine for some time now, so this is just perfect. It ends mid-calf, and with it I wore some black suede, high-heel ankle boots.

This was my outfit from Friday night where I enjoyed some equally colourful cocktails with my work friends, as I final birthday fling!
Will you be colour blocking this season?
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