Thursday, 25 February 2016

Oliver Bonas Sale Haul

Up until a few months ago I had never heard of Oliver Bonas but now that I work five minutes away from the store within London Waterloo Station (and walk through the station every day!) it is fast becoming one of my favourite shops for adorable homeware, jewellery and accessories.

If you haven't been to one of Oliver Bonas' stores before think Urban Outfitters and Joy - very kitsch and sweet! There is currently a sale on and I couldn't help myself but to pick up some adorable goodies. Here are all the bargains I got....

  • Leon Brownies, Bars and Muffins recipe book £3.50
  • Heart ring £5
  • Alphabet necklace £3
  • Alphabet passport holder £3
  • Blue friendship bracelet £5
  • Gold charm bracelet £6
There is free click & collect to your nearest store or free delivery when you spend more than £50 (standard delivery £3.95) so go go go! Check out the sale here.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

#SecretSweats with Women's Health, The Detox Kitchen & GAP

Secret Sweats with Karis Scarlette and Women's Health

This month, Women's Health magazine launched #SecretSweats - a series of free workouts at top boutique studios in London - in collaboration with GapFit. All details of the events were kept top secret until 48 hours beforehand, when participants were told where they would be training! Places were limited but I got to go along to one of the events held at The Detox Kitchen in Fitzrovia - and I could not wait (particularly as it was a great excuse to try out my new Olympus Pen camera!)

The Detox Kitchen

The Detox Kitchen

The Detox Kitchen

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Olympus PEN E-PL7

Olympus PEN E-PL7

Love is in the air this Valentine's Day - because I am totally in love with my new camera. The Olympus PEN E-PL7 was hailed as the "blogger's camera" soon after it's launch due to it's lightweight, compact size (while still producing amazing quality photos), flip-down selfie lens, and built in WiFi to transfer photos to phones immediately.

Trying not to be sucked in by the hype I avoided getting one for ages and stuck with my chunky (and slightly old) Nikon DSLR. But after getting constant backache from lugging it around in my handbag for days, and reading loads of rave reviews on the Olympus camera, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and splurge! So. What exactly is all the fuss about?....

Friday, 12 February 2016

Tips for moving house for the first time

In a recent post I mentioned that I moved to London at the end of last year. My boyfriend and I rented an unfurnished flat in Streatham and had to get EVERYTHING for it ourselves. I definitely underestimated how stressful the move would be but now, two months on, I get such a sense of pride and achievement looking at how we have furnished it and given everything our own little touches.

I am planning to put a home tour up soon with before and after photos of each room, but in the meantime I thought I would share a few tips on moving making your first house a home - particularly if you need furniture!...

  • Freecycle, Gumtree and Preloved are your best friend. All of the furniture in our flat is second hand (apart from two IKEA wardrobes) but is such great quality it looks brand new. We managed to get two beautiful pastel blue sofas completely free from Freecycle, a huge dining table and chairs set for £70 and a white vintage coffee table for £20 from Gumtree.

    If you have never used these sites before, Freecycle is essentially a website where people in your local area list items they no longer want - for free! As a member there is also a 'Wanted' section so you can post an alert if you are looking for something in particular. You can join up to six groups which are split up into locations, so it might be worth joining a group slightly further away from you or if you are able to travel - if it is a nice area people may list slightly better things ;) Freecycle is great for bulky furniture like beds, sofas and appliances, but it is generally collection only!
  • Spread the word. Let people know you are moving well in advance and tell as many people as possible. You never know, a friend of a friend may have a few unwanted items they may want to donate to you (My mum actually got chatting to an old friend she ran into in Tesco and when she told her I was moving it turned out she was also moving house and was about to get rid of her double bed, so gave it to us!) People may spot things going cheap and keep an eye out for you.
  • Do some DIY. Wooden furniture can easily be given a new lease of life with a fresh coat of paint. You can always pick things up cheap in furniture and car boot sales then use them as little up-cycling projects! Plus you feel a lot more pleased with something you worked on yourself rather than bought brand new.
  • An IKEA spree will be needed. Some people prefer to buy what they need slowly over time and build things up but, if you don't have anywhere to store it ahead of time you may be better off doing a big IKEA spree when you move. 
Channel 4 has also started a new series with Phil Spencer, where he helps new homeowners to create a multi-purpose garden, upcycle flatpack furniture and create a stylish work-from-home space. You can check out some more tips in the below video:

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Urban Decay Naked 3 palette

Urban Decay Naked 3 palette

I can't tell you how excited I am to (finally!) be writing this post. I'm a little late jumping on the Naked palette hype and am extreemely behind the times at using Urban Decay's products but I have recently started trying it out and am in love!

Urban Decay Naked 3 palette

So, if you've been living under a rock for the last year or so, a few years back Urban Decay released the 'Naked' palette - a collection of classic neutral eyeshadows in a range of gold-hued shades and different textures (matte, satin, shimmer and sparkle) to create a variety of different looks. Next came Naked 2, which had even more taupe shades and coppery browns. THEN came the Naked 3 - which is all about the pinks! The palette contains 12 brand new rose-hued shades complete with shimmery pinks and dark brown/black to create a smokey eye.

Of course the excitement around this palette when it was released was huge, given the success of Naked and Naked 2, and it sold out fast! Now that the hype has worn down a little I was excited to get my hands on it and see what all the fuss was about.... 

Urban Decay Naked 3 palette

Urban Decay Naked 3 palette

Having fair skin and blonde hair I am not a huge eyeshadow wearer and usually opt for neutral or pinky shades, so this palette is perfect for me! The packaging is a metallic rose-gold tin and comes with a large mirror and double-ended brush.

There are four glitter shadows, two mattes, one matte-satin and the rest are a mix of shimmer and satin. Personally I would prefer one or two more matte shades - but perhaps this is how it varies so much from the other two Naked palettes and I should use those instead! The quality of each shadow is amazing and you can definitely tell you are getting a high-end product.

I have only tried out a few of the shades but am looking forward to using it more. So far I am very impressed and think the palette lived up to expectations. Building on the success of the Naked eye palettes, Urban Decay has now launched an entire Naked range complete with foundation, lipgloss, concealer, powder and illuminating balms. You can check out the full range here.

So, is it worth the hype and £38 price tag? I'd say YES!

Monday, 8 February 2016

London Winter Run 2016

Last year, I never would have thought I would be setting my alarm for 7am to go and run 10km in the rain. I wouldn't class myself as a good runner but I certainly enjoy it, and the London Winter Run Series is just another example of how any little achievement can still feel like the greatest.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Clarins Jolie Rouge Brilliant Lipstick

Clarins Jolie Rouge Brilliant Lipstick

Launched in January, the new Joli Rouge Brilliant Lipstick from Clarins offers a combination of a lip balm with a sheer lip colour in one. The lipstick provides moisture and enhances lips with a subtle shine and sheer finish. It is available in 12 sheer pink, peach and nude shades. I went for Watermelon, which is one of the brighter coral shades.

Clarins Jolie Rouge Brilliant Lipstick

Clarins Jolie Rouge Brilliant Lipstick

Clarins is fast becoming one of my favourite brands and I love it even more with every product I try. Some of my current makeup favourites are the Everlasting + Foundation, lip balm, and BB Cream. I am also a huge fan of the anti-pollution cleansing cream and liquid facial tanner. Part of the reason their makeup is so great is because they combine Clarins' skincare expertise, so the products look after your skin at the same time.

The packaging of this lipstick is very luxurious and glamorous, I love the sleek gold tubes. My favourite thing by far though is the formula. I often get dry chapped lips so sometimes lipstick is not an option for me, but these lipsticks are extremely comforting and make my lips look healthy and shiny. Not quite a lipstick, but not quite a gloss, these are ideal for everyday wear and perfect if you prefer the natural/minimal look. 

They are available online and from all Clarins counters for £19.50.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Homeware Wishlist

Homeware Wishlist

For those of you that don't know yet, I moved house at the end of last year! In October I started a new job in London so in December I made the move up to London with my boyfriend and we moved in to our very own flat in Streatham! As a child I always thought I was really boring because I had never moved house before and had lived in the same place my entire life - but moving has made me grateful that I never had to go through that experience as it was definitely more stressful than I imagined! Still - here we are a few months later and I am fully settled and happy in my beautiful new home. I will be doing a blog post soon about our big move and showing you around my new place - but for now here are a few things I am lusting over....

Speakers. We have been coping with a tiny radio in the kitchen blasting out Magic FM while we've been cooking dinner but I can't wait to upgrade and get a decent pair of wireless speakers where we can use Bluetooth to sync music from our phones! I love these new Hi Fi speakers from Panasonic.

Art work. Our walls are looking very bare so we need to fill them with some pictures and paintings to make it feel more homely! I have seen some great websites that do prints of maps of London, like I know this Great Little Place in London.

A new bed. We got our bed second hand so, on the positive side, it was free, but the downfall is that it is very old and not sturdy at all! I'm hoping to save over the next few months to get a nice, white wooden framed bed. I've seen some great cheap ones in Ikea but will need to look around to find the perfect one.

Coffee table books. My latest obsession! We got a beautiful white coffee table second hand from Gumtree so I have been laying out books and magazines to read. My sister bought me the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual for Christmas so that is out on display as well as some travel books for holiday inspiration! I'm also loving Urban Outiftters' homeware section and their range of books. Our flat is entirely hard wood floor so I we also need to get a nice fluffy rug as the floor gets so cold!

Keep an eye out for my moving house post coming soon and if you have any recommendations for cheap homeware shops let me know in the comments!

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Rush #DoneUndone Masterclass Event

Last week I was so excited to be going along to the House of RUSH hair salon in Piccadilly for a hair masterclass event! The Done Undone class was designed to teach us how to perfect our own 'made up' or 'dressed down' hair look.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The Body Shop Foundation Shade Adjusting Drops

The Body Shop Foundation Shade Adjusting Drops

The Body Shop Foundation Shade Adjusting Drops

Pale people rejoice! Every foundation shade you try too dark for you? The Body Shop has the solution. They recently launched these shade adjusting drops to help create the perfect foundation for you!

If you have light or medium skin some foundations can look too orange. These drops are made from a concentration of white and pink pigments to neutralise yellowness while lightening. One drop will turn your foundation half a shade lighter, so you can slowly adjust it.

I was so excited to give these a try as I recently bought myself a new foundation and was gutted that it was too dark for me, so instead of paying out for a new foundation I wondered if these would do the trick. Here's how I got on....
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