Sunday, 31 March 2013

A Good Friday, Saturday & Sunday

Happy Easter to you all.  I hope you are having a fab day whatever you are getting up to.  I’ve just come back from a wonderful weekend away in the Lake District where we celebrated my boyfriend’s birthday.  I love how beautiful and scenic the lakes are.  We really couldn’t have asked for a more idyllic setting for a weekend away.  It was simply perfect.

We stayed at the Low Wood Bay hotel in Windermere, which was super nice.  It’s a 4* hotel (get us!) and we felt ever so posh whilst staying there.  The rooms are lovely, the staff are really pleasant and helpful and it overlooks Lake Windermere so it’s in a beautiful location.  On the first night, Adam’s actual birthday, we had a beautiful three course meal in the hotel restaurant which was included in the price of our stay.  The food was divine and the service was excellent.  We sat between two middle-aged couples who happened to be wine connoisseurs and insisted on finding a wine to compliment their main meal of venison.  You can imagine our shame in trying to find the cheapest bottle of rose on the menu (which still cost a packet) and trying to order it quietly so they wouldn’t be disgusted!  Hashtag working class problems.  On a whole, I’d really recommend trying this restaurant, and this hotel for that matter, if you are ever in Windermere or it’s surrounding areas.  Both hotel and restaurant are reasonably priced and you certainly will be well looked after.

The rest of our weekend was spent strolling around the different towns close by, looking for cute little lambs, eating far too much food, drinking far too much champagne, ordering room service, chilling in the hotel spa which had a hot tub overlooking the lake and just being generally silly like we usually are whenever we are on holiday and are carefree.

Feel free to peruse our pictures which are mostly just scenery, scenery and more scenery.  I don’t get why we do that?  Take loads of pictures of hills and mountains and then never really look at them again.  The mind boggles!  I couldn’t resist taking a snap or two of my outfit.  I say outfit, I mainly mean my new coat which I was telling you about in an earlier post.  This cost me a grand total of £10 from Dorothy Perkins a few weeks ago and I am still thrilled with my little bargain.  I know it’s not the most flattering shape but then again the ‘cocoon’ style never will be for a short, stumpy girl like more.  I just like the colour and the neckline and think it’s perfect to throw on over most things on a cold Spring day.

I’m off to start getting ready as I’m going out with my friends for lots of Easter drinks tonight.  I have a new dress so I’m very excited but to my dismay my new shoes which I ordered next day delivery from Very sometime last week have still not turned up.  Next day delivery my eye!  I’m very annoyed.  Anyway, hope your’s is a good one and you enjoy ANOTHER day off tomorrow.  Why can’t every weekend last four days long?


Saturday, 30 March 2013

Simple Kind To Skin Moisture Boost Hydro Mist

Again this is another product that made it’s way into my basket due to me being unable to refrain from buying anything with the word NEW on it’s packaging.  But I am so glad that this little beauty caught my eye because it’s such a welcome addition to my beauty regime.

Simple’s Kind To Skin Moisture Boost Hydro Mist is described as the perfect blend of ingredients (lotus flower being the main one) to rehydrate and give your skin an instant boost.  It’s the perfect remedy for dull looking skin and can even be used over the top of your make up.  This product caught my eye as it reminded me a lot of MAC’s Fix + spray that I’ve heard so much about.  I’ve wanted to buy it for sometime now but just can’t bear to part with the money for it unless I know it does some good.  

I say this without using Fix + but Simple’s version seems like a great little dupe for it with a much more friendly price tag.  I tend to use it first thing on a morning before make up to really wake my skin up and get my face ready for the day.  It also comes in handy mid-afternoon at work when I’m having a little lull and need a refreshing pick me up.  It sprays just the right amount of mist on your face so it sinks in quickly and doesn’t look too wet or shiny.  I love to use it after I’ve done my make up too because it stops it looking too ‘cakey‘ and gives a natural dewy effect.

I really can’t speak highly enough of this product but being the beauty junkie that I am, I’m still tempted by MAC’s Fix + and would be interested to see if it’s any better or does anything different to this.  What do you think?  Has anyone out there tried either products and prefer one to the other?


Friday, 29 March 2013

It's all white on the night

Dress - Topshop
Shoes - Unknown (borrowed from Joanne)
Joanne’s top - Topshop

White is a colour I don’t wear all too often with me being naturally quite pale, but when I saw my friend wearing this dress I knew I just had to borrow it from her, regardless of the risks of a white-out.  This little gem can be found in Topshop and is perfect for this transitional period where we are changing seasons.  It’s pretty but isn’t too ‘Summery’ which could look rather silly during this awful extended Winter we are having.  I paired it with some black shoes boots and an over-shoulder bag so it fits in quite nicely with the monochrome trend I’m loving.

I think what really sets off this dress is my golden tan, which came from a bottle of course.  I’ve found a tan that I really love and I’m going to review it in full for you all soon.  Be warned - you may just have to purchase it!  It has me hooked on the fake stuff once more and I think without it, I would probably have blended into the wall behind me.  Not a good look.

I wore this outfit last Saturday for a night on the tiles with my best friend Joanne.  We had one of those nights where we get ready together from scratch and take ten times longer because we can’t stop drinking/gossiping/dancing around the room.  I think sometimes the whole getting ready part is actually better than our time spent out on the town.  We’re doing the same again on Sunday this week and I’m really looking forward to buying a load of alcoholic beverages, putting on some cheesy tunes on and laughing so much we need to re-do our make up.  That’s what bank holidays are all about if you ask me...


Schwarzkopf Got2b Rockin' It Encore Fresh Dry Shampoo

I bought this dry shampoo on a whim when I was shopping the other week.  I’m such a sucker for the word NEW emblazoned on a product and before I knew it this was in my basket before I could even think about it.  I rarely stray from my holy grail of dry shampoos, the one and only Batiste, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try another type.

The Schwarzkopf Got2b Rockin' It Encore Fresh Dry Shampoo is a lightweight product which does a great job at absorbing dirt and grease.  It has a fruity and fresh fragrance which gives your hair that ‘just washed’ smell despite it being in need of a good old shampoo and condition.  As someone who only washes their hair two to three times a week, I depend massively on dry shampoo to give my hair some life when I can’t be bothered to wash it.

I have two gripes with this product.  The first being that although it does give your hair an extra day of life as it claims, it doesn’t work as well on day two or three.  For example, I normally wash my hair on Monday, use Batiste on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and it works just aswell on the third day as it does the first.  I don’t find the Got2b shampoo works quite the same way as it just doesn’t seem to build on itself.  My second gripe is that it sometimes leaves a grey coating on my hair even when I rub it in and make sure it’s not sprayed too close too my hair.

Although I do really like this product I don’t think it’s quite as good as my old faithful Batiste and therefore I don’t think I would repurchase it.  It’s slightly more expensive and just doesn’t work as well for me so next time I’m sticking to what I know does!


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express Flared mascara

After succumbing to the charms of an amazing but expensive mascara (yes Benefit They’re Real!, I am looking at you), I started to think I’d never be able to love a drug store mascara again.  I was wrong!  Cue Maybelline’s The Falsies Volum’ Express mascara, the flared version.  I can’t explain how good this mascara is.  To say I’m really impressed is an understatement!

I’ll start by saying that it doesn’t do exactly what it says on the tin.  It doesn’t have the same effect on your eyes as wearing false lashes and any mascara that says it does is lying.  You just can’t achieve the same length, volume and thickness that fake lashes give unless you have Disney Princess style lashes to start with, which I don’t :( 

But when fake lashes aren’t appropriate and I still want to make the most of my lashes, this is the product I turn to.  Initially I was a little put off because Maybelline seem to have released so many different mascaras which all look and claim to do the same thing but just come in different coloured tubes.  I find it really confusing when I’m in Boots and I’m trying to work out which one will be best but I’m so glad I took a chance with this mascara.  

Personally, I think this is just as good as They’re Real! by Benefit.  It adds both length and volume to my lashes without making them clumpy or too heavy.  The brush is spoon shaped so I use the inside of it to curl my lashes and the back of it to fan them out at the ends.  It’s not a plastic brush which I know puts a lot of people off They’re Real!  So if you’re not a fan of Benefit’s wonder mascara then this may be the product for you.  This mascara is half the price and does the same job therefore it’s no competition for me.  Maybelline Falsies wins every time!


Sunday, 17 March 2013

The Waldorf effect

 Dress -
Bag - H&M
Shoes - New Look
Hair Chain - Amazon

Boohoo is a clothing website that I rarely look at so you can imagine my delight when on the off-chance I had a browse and found this amazing two-toned shift dress.  I love the subtle pattern of the material which gives the dress an element of texture, making it look and feel more expensive than it really is.  The dress is called the Boutique Blair dress which immediately made me think of one of my favourite fashion icons, the perfectly preened Blair Waldorf.  I took inspiration from her for this outfit keeping my hair and make up simple and wearing no jewellery at all for a minimal approach.  I’d like to think I did her justice with this ensemble.

The thing I do really love about this outfit is my new Kardashian inspired hair chain which I found on Amazon for a very reasonable £6.99.  The pearls match the dress perfectly and really jazz up my otherwise boring ponytail.  Apparently you can wear hair chains all sorts of ways such as round a bun or underneath a ponytail so I’m going to have some fun experimenting with it.  I’d quite like an all gold one too for extra Kimmy K points!  Major love for hair bling at the minute!  

I wore this outfit to my friend’s baby girl’s naming ceremony yesterday, which was a really lovely day.  I think this dress is great for formal things like that and I will be reaching for it the next time I need a dress for a wedding, christening, etc.  I’ve spent today recovering from too much wine and dancing yesterday.  I have a takeaway en route and I’m just about to press play on series three of Downton (still obsessed!).  Don’t you just love Sundays?


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Original Tangle Teezer

The first Tangle Teezer I ever saw was being used by my friend's little girl to tame her unruly curls.  Despite being impressed by it's innovative design and bright colour, I wrote it off as a product designed for children and thought no more about it.  My next encounter came during my Grazia internship where I discovered all of the beauty girls were obsessed and had one, if not two, each.  Taking their expert advice, Tangle Teezers were back on my radar and when my hairdresser used a very sleek black one to de-tangle my wet locks, I knew it was about time to invest in one for myself.

Created by award winning hairdresser Shaun P, the initial aim for the Tangle Teezer was to smooth and tame hair without breaking or snapping it.  I'm obsessed with preventing split ends and just about break down in tears if I hear a hair snap or if I accidentally pull out any hair.  My boyfriend once got some of my hair caught in his watch in the middle of a supermarket and it didn't end well, let's put it that way.  I've noticed a real change in my hair since using my Tangle Teezer and I no longer dread brushing my hair.  It used to be a massive ordeal as my hair gets extremely tatty and knotted for some reason whenever I wear it down but now I quite enjoy it.  Unlike a normal comb or brush, the teeth are evenly spaced and a lot more flexible so it's not too harsh on your hair.

In true girly style I opted for the pink one but there are so many colours available in the range so there is something for everyone.  They have some really cool compact ones which fit perfectly in your handbag, they have an expensive-looking chic gold one and they have a one especially designed for use in water - I'm thinking this would be perfect to use whilst shampooing after a backcombing session - definitely my next purchase!  After adding the nifty Tangle Teezer to my hair routine, I can see why the Grazia girls can’t just stop at one!


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Escape to the country

So as I said a few posts ago, my life is pretty hectic at the minute.  I’m working none stop so I can build up some extra hours and a little extra money for my next trip to London at the end of April (beyond excited btw!).  When I’m not working I’m doing my best to keep in the loop with my family and friends so they don’t think I’ve fallen off the edge of the earth.  Finding the time to think about blogging, never mind actually posting, has been almost impossible so apologies if you read often and were wondering where I’ve been!

Trying to find that perfect work/life balance was proving difficult for me and so I decided it was time to have some ‘me’ time.  My boyfriend’s parents’ own a little home-from-home, lodge-style cabin about 40 minutes away from where we live.  It’s tucked away in the country, with not much around so we both decided to retreat there for a few days.  We packed the car full of yummy, naughty food, loads of comfy clothes, a stack of DVDs and off we went.  We hid indoors whilst the rat-race went on without us and became absolutely addicted to Downton Abbey.  Yes I know I’m behind the times with this one but I’m almost caught up.  Isn’t Lady Sybil just fabulous?

On the rare occasion we did venture out, I decided to put on some decent clothes other than my work attire I’d been wearing constantly.  I was given this jumper by my bf’s nana who doesn’t wear it anymore.  Being a fan of ‘granny-chic’, it’s now one of my favourite jumpers and I love wearing it over leggings for a super comfortable, relaxed outfit.  I dressed it up with a little red lipstick (you can always depend on a little rouge to brighten up an outfit) and put my hair up as it needed a wash.  I was complimented by two grannies whilst out and about who quizzed me on where my jumper was from.  They were a little crestfallen when I said it was bought years ago.  Us girls know the feeling all too well don’t we?

I wore this outfit when we went for Sunday dinner and a walk around Alnwick town.  This is my usual everyday look i.e. something I would wear to go shopping, which I did of course when I noticed they had a Dorothy Perkins in their small town.  Can’t go wrong with a bit of Dotty P’s can you?  I’m so pleased I looked in as I found myself a bargain coat for ten pound.  Ten.  Pound.  I couldn’t not buy it.  I will probably share it on my blog soon as the weather chance to remain crap enough for me to get some wear out of it before Summer comes along.  

Me and Adam couldn’t resist doing our take on this super-cute couple’s signature photograph style which got them in the papers this week.  If you haven’t seen them, they take their pictures as below with the girl dragging her boyfriend around some of the World’s most exotic locations, resulting in some amazing holiday snaps.  Naturally, being the greedy guts that I am, I’m dragging him to Greggs!  

And there you have it!  A relaxing weekend Gemma Cloughton style!  I hope you are all well and are having a lovely start to March :) I’m STILL working loads but doing my best to keep myself sane.  Hopefully it won’t be long before I blog again but until I do...

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