Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Products I've been loving this week

Clockwise from left: Orangeasm body butter, Garnier Micellar water, Kiehl's BB Cream, ARK primer, Body Shop blush
1. Soap & Glory Orangeasm body butter. I recently did a review of this which you can see here. The smell is very different from the original Soap & Glory scent and is zingy and fresh! The thing I love most about this is it has tiny shea massage balls in it which burst as you rub it in to make your skin extra smooth.

2. Garnier Micellar cleansing water.  Before trying this I tried a micellar lotion from Avene and did not like it at all, so automatically assumed I disliked all micellar waters. Then Garnier brought out their own version and the blogging world went crazy for it, so I thought I'd give it a try. How wrong I was about micellar waters! I absolutely love this and have been using it daily for the last couple of months to remove my makeup. I ran out of my bottle I purchased in June, so immediately went and got another one a couple of weeks ago. It is definitely the most effective product to remove makeup while still being extra gentle!

3. Kiehl's Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream. A perfect alternative to foundation that is good for your skin and leaves it feeling soft and healthy! With the cold weather coming my skin starts to dry out and look a bit dull, so foundation can be a bit harsh on my skin. This BB cream contains Vitamin C and makes my skin look fresh and radiant.

4. ARK Anti-ageing Skin Protector Primer. I received this primer at the ARK skincare event a couple of weeks ago. It is super luxurious and smells like a spa product! It not only helps to reverse ageing effects but also protect young skin from the signs of ageing. It's perfect for dry skin as it helps to moisturise skin and makes your foundation stay put throughout the day.

5. The Body Shop Baked to Last blush in Coral. This 2-in-1 blusher & highlighter duo is long lasting and gives a healthy pop of colour. You can use the two shades individually or swirl them together. Perfect for perking up dull winter skin!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

My stay at the Village Hotel, Farnborough

As some of you will know, I am a journalist for my local newspaper. As with most jobs it can often be quite stressful, but it does have some perks too! I recently wrote an article on the Village Hotel in Farnborough, which is in my patch area, for our business section and, as a thank you, they very kindly offered my boyfriend and I a free night's stay!

(Picture from Village Hotels website)
The Village Hotel is part of the Village Urban Resorts chain, which is part of the De Vere group. The hotel is only a ten-minute drive away for me so it was nice we still had the feeling of a weekend away without having to travel too far.

We stayed in one of the "Upperdeck" rooms which had a few added extras like a mattress topper, iPhone speaker dock, Sky Movies, Starbucks hot drinks package and access to some brand partner offers and discounts. The room was wonderful and if anyone has the chance to stay there I would recommend upgrading! We were so busy we didn't have time to take advantage of the Sky Movies or watch any TV the bed was so snuggly and comfortable and we had plenty of space in the room.

The room also had a large desk area with a lamp. As the hotel is named the Village there was a "V" theme going on throughout. The shampoo, conditioner and body wash in the bathroom were labelled as v. soft, v. shiny and v. zingy which I thought was a nice touch.

The bathroom was bright and airy and all the essentials were provided too. Once we'd checked in we made use of the gym, pool and spa facilities. The gym at the hotel is huge and really spaced out and airy which is always a plus. There was more than enough equipment and it was fairly quiet when we went in so we made full use of it. Unlike the gym, which was really bright, the pool was more of a chill out area and had mood lighting so it was perfect for relaxing in after a gym session. There is also loungers by the side of the pool for anyone that just wants to have a lie down! The pool is quite small but for a quick hour swim it did the job perfectly! We also had full access to the jacuzzi, sauna and steam room - heaven!

I'd recently picked out this Seafolly tankini from Coco Bay which arrived just in time for me to wear at the pool!
After showering off after the gym it was time for dinner in the hotel's Chop House restaurant. It wasn't too busy when we went in and the service was faultless - even with a huge function going on at the same time! I went for ham hock terrine to start, lemon & thyme chicken breast as my main course and sticky toffee pudding for dessert. The food came really quickly and tasted great, there were no problems at all over dinner and I was extremely full after!
(Picture from Village Hotels website)

We had a wonderful stay and I am extremely grateful to all the staff at the hotel for their wonderful service. 

Friday, 26 September 2014


With my latest giveaway you can win a Clarisonic Aria facial cleansing brush in White worth £155! Clarisonic cleanses 6x better than manual cleansing, helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, pores and wrinkles and helps skin care products absorb better.

The Clarisonic Aria has three speeds and comes with an adjustable timer, detachable USB charger, sample size cleanser, a sensitive brush head and a drying stand for the bathroom.

The giveaway ends on 30th September and I will contact the winner once it has finished. Enter via Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 week tan lotion review

I am an avid fake tan user but am very lazy in terms of after-care and maintenance so the longer I can leave my tan without having to reapply it the better! Vita Liberata's latest luxury self tan claims to last up to four times longer than others - so I couldn't wait to try it!

The great thing about this fake tan is that it is completely odourless, is very moisturising and is light to apply. It is a tinted golden colour so you get an instant tan and it dries quickly so you can get dressed immediately after application.

I tried it out and found it lasted about seven days before it started to fade. The packaging does state that you will have to reapply it once a week in order for the tan to last longer and if you reapply twice it will last around three weeks. Although I was disappointed it didn't last as long as expected I was impressed that it did fade really evenly and I didn't get any dry patches.

This fake tan does come with a pretty hefty price tag (a 150ml costs around £37.50) so if you don't mind splurging on your products I'd recommend trying it for yourself. I wouldn't say it is my favourite and I have had better results with some other fake tan brands. It isn't as long-lasting as I'd hoped but still provides a lovely natural colour and doesn't dry my skin out.

Have you tried Vita Liberata fake tans before? What are your favourite tanning brands?

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Clinique Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick Review - Matte Magenta

Clinique's latest lipstick formula - Long Last Soft Matte - is pretty much faultless. It lasts all day and has a great pigment so you get a good dose of colour. The matte finish is soft, modern and velvety and doesn't dry out your lips!

I chose the shade Matte Magenta and have been wearing it pretty much daily. I dab it on my lips to give a natural look for work during the day and for nighttime wear I just add an extra layer to give my lips more colour. The colour is bold and always wakes up my skin.

This lipstick is the quickest and easiest way to update your look. The range comes in eight different shades which range from bright colours to more natual shades (such as Matte Beauty and Matte Suede). At £18 the lipsticks are a great affordable treat - this one is definitely my favourie lipstick at the moment!

Have you tried Clinique lipsticks before?

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Hothair Brianna 3/4 Wig Review

I've never used hair extensions or hair pieces before (let alone a wig), so when I was contacted about the Hothair 3/4 wigs I was a little intrigued. I tried out the Brianna 3/4 quarter wig, which is a long style with waves through the ends. As this is just a three quarter wig it clips on to the back of your head, the clips made it very easy to put on although I did take a few goes as I had never tried it before! It felt a little strange wearing it at first and it didn't feel too secure but I soon got used to it and it stayed put.
Wearing the Brianna 3/4 wig gave my a hair a lot more volume and made it look really bouncy, which is a look I often struggle to achieve. I regularly curl my hair but because it's so fine it goes flat within seconds.

It arrived in this Hothair box which is perfect for storing it in so it can keep its shape and style. 

I chose the shade "Golden Wheat" and when it arrived I was worried it wouldn't match the colour of my hair but it blended with my natural hair and matched perfectly. As it is synthetic hair it can't be styled, but I found that it kept its shape and style well.

All in all I was really impressed with the Brinna 3/4 wig, especially as this was my first time wearing any kind of hair piece. It felt a little strange wearing it so I'd be nervous about wearing it on a night out in case it came loose! But with a little extra hairspray I'm sure it will stay in place. It added instant length and volume to my hair and I loved the style of it.

Have you tried any similar hair pieces?

Monday, 22 September 2014

OOTD: All Miss Selfridge everything

Top - Miss Selfridge £35
Skirt - Miss Selfridge £15

I love the detail on this top. It goes with practically everything and is perfect for day and night wear. The skirt is a mix of both pastel and neon and I picked it up in the sale for just £15.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Bloggers Love LFW Gifting Event

On Monday (15th September) I attended the Bloggers Love gifting lounge event as part of London Fashion Week. I have never been to such a busy bloggers event before so it was a little manic! But I have come away with some lovely goodies and a great experience.

The event was held at The Penthouse in Leicester Square. I was worried I wouldn't find it but it was easy to spot by the huge queue of bloggers waiting outside!

The room was full of bloggers networking with brands. I spent so much time in queues and rushing around trying to speak to people that I didn't take many pictures and didn't get much time to speak to many bloggers either.

I had never been to a gifting event before so I didn't really know what it entailed. On one side of the room there were beauty companies having a chat to bloggers about their companies. I found the beauty companies a lot more approachable and had a chat to people from Montana Tan, RUSH Hair and Optimus Marketing (who represent clients such as The Jewel Hut, Elemis, IKRUSH and lots more) and took away some lovely goody bags which I can't wait to review the contents of!

There were also lots of fashion companies there. I enjoyed looking at their collections but found some more difficult to approach and network with. Some were also very selective about who they spoke to and gifted products to (obviously I'm not a huge fashion blogger so I wasn't expecting anything but, strangely, there were a lot of former X Factor and Big Brother contestants there that the companies were very keen to give clothes to so they could get papped in them). I pepersonally value the opinion of a blogger much more than a "celeb".

After a busy night browsing the many stalls and racks Bloggers Love then held a fashion show to showcase some of the different brands and companies that were at the event. By this point I was dead on my feet and headed off to meet a friend who lives in London and we had a lovely dinner at Hummus Bros!

Then it was time to head home! These were just some of the lovely things I got in my goodie bag from the night. I received a £5 gift card for The Jewel Hut which I am looking forward to spending and also a full size bottle of Montana Tan which I can't wait to try out. I also picked up a gorgeous black sequin skirt from Valour & Valkyrie - I adore their collections!

Did you attend any events during London Fashion Week? I'd love to see your posts on them!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

OOTD: Motel Rocks Jumpsuit

Ok I am slightly nervous about this post! Ever since I started my blog I have mainly written about beauty but this week I started to get more motivated and decided I wanted to incorporate more fashion into my blog - mainly outfit posts. I love looking at everyone else's OOTD pictures on blogs and Instagram and often wished I could do them myself but there were two things stopping me; 1. I didn't have anyone to take pictures for me and 2. I wasn't sure how to make them look "right". So in a spur of the moment decision on my lunch break at work I decided to go to Argos and get myself a tripod and a remote for my camera  - both were relatively cheap and so easy to set up and use! So that solved one problem. As for not knowing how to make the pictures look good, well I'm just going to go for it and I know the pictures won't come out great just yet but practice makes perfect. So here goes!...

Jumpsuit - Motel Rocks
Shoes - Primark

I spotted this jumpsuit on Motel Rocks a while ago but decided to save my money and didn't get it. Then I noticed it was in the sale last month so I snapped it up at the bargain price of £19!

Remember you can get 20% off at Motel Rocks with my discount code 'nataliegarland'. Enjoy!

Friday, 19 September 2014

ARK Skincare #InsideOutBeauty event

Last Friday I was kindly invited to an event hosted by ARK Skincare and The Elixir Clinic as part of London Fashion Week. The event was held at Grace Belgravia health club in Knightsbridge and had a theme of Inside Out Beauty - which was all about looking and feeling good both on the inside and out.

When I arrived there was a lovely selection of juices and sushi to tuck in to. I was then greeted by someone from ARK Skincare who talked me through their products. I have already tried ARK's anti ageing primer (you can read my review here) so I was a huge fan before I got to the event, but it was great to learn more about the products in detail. Unlike most skincare brands, ARK prescribes its products by age rather than skin type.

The event was beautifully decorated with a selection of ARK products for us to have a look at and there were lovely flowers everywhere. The whole event was really relaxed and chilled out.

ARK were also doing manicures on the night for anyone that wanted a little pampering.

Picture from Hanhabelle. L-R: Hanh from Hanhabelle, Kate from Kate Louise Blogs, Jess from The Beauty Sanctuary, Karen from Style Sunrise and me!
 The best part of the event for me was meeting some lovely bloggers! I haven't been to a blog event in ages so it was nice to chat to people with similar interests and hear more about their blogs.

At the end of the night we took home these goody bags that contained an ARK Regenerating Skin Defence and Skin Protector Primer. I have since been using the Regenerating Skin Defence daily under my moisturiser and love it! I will be sure to do a review soon.

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