Friday, 30 September 2011

wear it pink

This year, on 28th October 2011, Breast Cancer Campaign launches their 2011 event and is encouraging people to Wear it Pink. It is a really fun and easy way of showing your support to the Breast Cancer Campaign and a great way to raise money and awareness. The premise is easy; wear one, or more items of pink (if you are feeling daring), team up with friends, family or colleagues and donate £2 to the charity. It is something we could all get involved with and a simple way to be part of the cure and support thousands of people affected by breast cancer in the UK everyday.

I really want to get involved with the Wear it Pink event so I will be baking some special pink cupcakes and encouraging my office to wear pink on the day, even if it is just a slick of pink lipstick or a flush of blush, perfect for the more conservative of work places! I decided to have a rummage and pull out a few of my favourite pink beauty products which I could wear on the day and/or makeover my work colleagues with!

01. Barry M Nail Paint in Bright Pink
02. YSL rouge Volupte in Lingerie Pink
03. MAC Viva Glam Gaga 
04. The Body Shop baked eye colour in 04 Quartz
05. Benefit Thrrrob boxed blusher

Let me know if you are going to get involved with the Wear it Pink day. If you go onto the website, they have a section of really good fundraising ideas as well as some pink-themed recipes. Lorraine Pascale's pink fondant fancies look particularly delicious; I think I might give these ones a whirl!

This is sponsored content. I will be donating part of my fee to Breast Cancer Campaign.
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Wednesday, 28 September 2011

win this dress

The title says it all really! I featured this gorgeous dress from TFNC London last week and it seems a lot of you like it as much as I do. Well luckily for you, I have one to give away. Thanks to a rather overzealous PR company, I actually ended up receiving the same dress twice so I asked if I could give one away on my blog. It is such a sweet dress, I thought it would be a lovely treat for one of you girls to win. The dress is in small, which I am wearing above, and will comfortably fit a size 8-10.

Please be a follower of Pearls & Poodles
One entry per person
Open to UK residents only
Giveaway will close at midnight GMT on Saturday 8th October 2011
The winner will be chosen by

Leave a comment below telling me, if you were to win this dress, what occasion would you wear it to? Maybe you have an upcoming wedding, party or swish dinner to attend.
Please leave your email address so I can contact the winner.

Good luck girls
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Sunday, 25 September 2011

be a rebel

I struck gold when I won some Rebel Nails through one of their twitter contests. I received the Limited Edition 22 carat gold wraps which I thought looked really fun and I couldn't wait to give them a go. I had never used nail wraps before; call me old fashioned but I quite like just painting my nails rather than messing about with stickers and hairdryers. Rebel Nails however offer some fabulous patterns and finishes which you could never achieve from nail varnish alone, which is probably what makes nail wraps so popular.

On the Rebel Nails website there is a whole step by step guide on how to apply the nails, along with a video so you can ensure you are doing it correctly. But basically, you chose the nail wrap that will fit best on your nail, peel it off and hold it under a heat source, such as a hairdryer, for a few seconds. This makes the material more pliable which means it lies better on your nail and makes it easier to smooth out any bumps or bubbles. Simply smooth the sticker over your nail from cuticle to tip and then pull the wrap taught over the end of our nail and onto your finger. To remove the excess sticker, the video demonstrates just pushing down the sticker with an orange sticker and then file down the edges to get a clean finish.

I have to say I did struggle with the whole technique of applying my Rebel Nails and it was a frustrating half an hour or so. It was all going well until I had to trim the excess wrap off. It looked so simple in the video but I ended up have to snip the end off with nail scissors and then file the edges. I don't think the finish looks as smart as I would have liked and it did take quite a while to perfect them. It was just a bit fiddly and time consuming for my liking although I can't argue with the finished product. They do look very bling bling and extremely eye-catching - certainly a bold look which couldn't have been achieved by nail polish alone. Practice definitely makes perfect, but I think I might just stick to my trusty nail varnish in future! To remove them, you just need to heat them up again and gently peel off.

What are your thoughts on nail wraps? I'd love to hear if you have tried these yourself.
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Saturday, 24 September 2011

this is only the beginning

Scallop dress: TFNC London
Earrings/bracelet: Accessorize
Ring: Thomas Sabo

Last night I went out with Rob and le fam for a rather biblical last supper to bid farewell to my little brother. He is moving to uni tomorrow; off to the London School of Economics to study Philosophy. I will miss him dreadfully but I know he will have an absolute ball and he is only a quick train journey away so I can visit him lots.
For the occasion I wore this gorgeous dress from TFNC London. They asked me if I wanted to chose a piece to feature and l fell in love with this dress instantly. I thought it was very me! I just love the 20's inspired scallops and the beading detail. I chose it in small which fitted me perfectly. I did actually receive this just before I went on holiday but I thought I would save it for when I returned so I could flaunt a natural tan with it. I simply wore this dress with a black boyfriend blazer and nude heels.

I have been back from my holiday for 6 days now and I am well and truly back into the daily drudge again and cocktails on the beach is just but a distant memory. Today however sees the start of the hockey season again. I am really excited to get back into it as Saturdays have been a bit dull without my weekly hockey matches; triumphs, injuries and all. Hoping to start the season with a good win!
What are you up to this weekend?
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Thursday, 22 September 2011

enraptured by waves

I am blessed with natural curls and can achieve poker straight hair with a quick flash of my straighteners, but boho waves have always been the unachievable hair dream for me. I have longed for that beachy, bed head look...big and carefree waves, very Carrie Bradshaw series 3.
Well I think my dream may have come true thanks to this brand new styling tool from Enrapture which I received to review. The Amplify Jumbo Waver boasts 25mm jumbo barrels to create gorgeous 'S' waves, easily and quickly, giving you a bouncy bouffant and fabulous volume in no time.

The Jumbo Waver features polished titanium plate technology which means they are ultra smooth and prevents any snagging of the hair. They also heat up extremely quickly and distributes the heat more evenly giving you a more defined finish, without having to go back over the same section of hair.

For easy storage, the waver has a handle locking ring and also comes with a heat protection pouch. The tool is turned on by the switch under the handle and the heat level can be altered using the dial. This means it can be used on all hair types from the fine to the thick and unruly.
Low temperature - 140 degrees. Medium temperature - 180 degrees. High temperature - 210 degrees.
Once it is switched on, it takes less than 2 minutes to heat up and be ready for use.

The jumbo waver looks quite big and menacing on first appearance, and it does take a while to become accustomed to the best way of handling it. But after a few minutes of use, it becomes very easy to operate. It has a 360 degree swivel cord which is extremely handy.

To create perfect tousled waves, you must first ensure your hair is completely dry. Next you need to take sections of you hair, working from the underneath first, just as if you were straightening it. Take 2 inch pieces and hold the end, pulling the section straight. Clamp the hair between the waver, starting at the roots, and hold for a few seconds. You will slowly start to learn how long you will need to hold the waver in place before releasing it to achieve your desired finish. Next move the styler down the hair towards the end and clamp again. Once all your hair is styled, you can leave the waves defined or lightly brush them out or run your fingers through them to create a looser, beachy look. This is what I did. I didn't want my hair to look too polished and preened, I opted for the messier, bed head look!

I absolutely love this styling tool. It is just perfect for creating the type of waves I have dreamed of having. Because it gets so hot, it can wave quite big sections of hair which means even a mane like mine takes less than 10 minutes to style. If you wanted tighter, more defined 'S' waves, then you could take smaller sections and clamp the waver for longer. I lightly misted my hair with hairspray afterwards and found the style lasted really well.

Enrapture have three new styling tools on the market at the moment, the Amplify Jumbo Waver as featured, the Encode Totem Styler for ringlets and curls and the Extremity Heated Rollers for glamorous volume and root lift. Each styler retails at £74.99 and can be purchased online or from Boots and Argos.
Are you enraptured by this styler?
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Wednesday, 21 September 2011

some nice news

I just wanted to do a quick post to let you know that my blog, somehow rather miraculously and to my wide-eyed bewilderment (as pictured above!), has been nominated for a Cosmo Blog Award. Pearls & Poodles has been shortlisted in the Established Beauty Blog category.
Of course I am so flattered and happy and send my thanks to any of you who may have nominated me. I really am grateful but didn't even ask for any nominations when the awards were first launched as I felt there were so many other more worthy beauty blogs out there. And that's not just me being all coy - this is genuinely how I feel and still see my blog as a very small fish in a big pond. So to see my dear little blog up there against so many other bigger fish is just so humbling. So thank you so very much. 
If you wish to take a look at all the blogs that have been shortlisted over the 14 different categories, then you can click here. You just need to enter your email address. I am under the Established Beauty Blog category, nestled amongst some other wonderful blogs which I urge you to check out. Obviously I would be thrilled if you decided to vote for Pearls & Poodles but I can truly say I am just over the moon to have even been shortlisted so thank you.
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Tuesday, 20 September 2011

palm trees in paradise

So the holiday is well and truly over. Gone are the days where it is acceptable to eat ice cream at 10am and sleep at 3pm. I arrived home early on Monday morning from Sharm el Sheikh after a frustrating two hour delay, greeted by a slightly chillier climate than I have been use to! To say I had a wonderful holiday in Egypt would be an understatement. It was the best two weeks spent with my lovely boyfriend Rob in pure paradise. The temperature was an unfaltering 38 degrees + and many lazy days were spent sunbathing by the pool under a cloudless sky.

Our hotel, the Baron Palms in Sharm, was just magnificent. It lived up to all my expectations and more. It had a majestic air about it with its seamlessly endless marbled floors, plush velvet chairs, cascading waterfalls and aesthetic architecture. Following a breakfast feast of pancakes, waffles and maple syrup, we adopted our position by the pool, book in hand, soaking up the rays, occasionally refreshed by the cooling breeze and a spritz of rose water by the pool staff. We spent most the time lounging around the pool as well as taking a stroll along the sandy beach and finding fishes in the crystal clear sea. We also took a trip out on the quad bikes for a sunset trail through the desert, visiting a Bedouin camp and cavorting with some camels.

Unfortunately I did get ill, really quite ill on my second day, but I went almost half expecting this. It seems you are more than likely to suffer from some sort of bug when visiting Egypt and I packed plenty of supplies to deal with any such eventuality. I wouldn't blame the food or the cleanliness of the hotel in the slightest; it was kept pristine all day long. Rob ate and drank exactly the same as me and he remained unscathed all holiday. It didn't put a dampener on our time away or taint the holiday memories at all. Following a quick visit from the doctor and a mortifying injection in the bottom, I was right as rain the next day. I would definitely recommend our glorious hotel and I would go back to Egypt in a heartbeat. I miss it already...

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