Sunday, November 13

I took on the Love Your Mouth Challenge with GSK

Hi beauts,

So,  was contacted by GSK a little while back about their latest campaign to get us all to focus on our oral health. Not a particularly sexy topic I know but it really intrigued me, what with all the hype that goes on with teeth bleaching and whitening. I swear every other vlog or post is about how to get brilliantly white 'Hollywood' teeth. Yet whilst everyone is trying to make their smiles look stunning but aren't really focusing on what they should be... looking after the health of their teeth.


My teeth are naturally very white. They always have been and I guess I'm pretty lucky for that. So I've never had to or wanted to think about buying teeth whitening kits. However, with white teeth often comes weak teeth as my enamel isn't as strong...that, pairing with an embarrassingly sweet tooth has meant that I've had more fillings than hot dinners and had to have a root canal at Uni. Not a pleasurable experience I must say! 

So I do try to think about the health of my teeth and I think it is important that we all take some time to look after them.. they're the only set we've got! This is where the Love Your Mouth Challenge comes in. Firstly I answered their short Mouth Check survey which then used the answers I've given to recommend the right products for my mouth. 

My answers recommended I use Sensodyne ProNamel toothpaste and mouthwash so when they were sent to me in the post I started using them straight away. I've been using both for the past three weeks now and I'm pleased to be focusing more on my oral health.

The toothpaste is different from Colgate, my usual brand but I quite like the taste, it's nice to have a change. Hubby on the other hand isn't too keen on it and prefers the minty taste of Colgate - I think it depends on your preference! I like the mouthwash the most as its tinglingly refreshing but doesn't start to burn your mouth after 10 seconds like many if tried.

I think it's good to be using the right type of oral health products for my mouth and..... for my sugar-filled diet! 

Find out more about Oral Health advice at the Love your Mouth site. 

Love
LauraClaire

Monday, October 24

Ombre Style for A/W16 with Dylon

Hi beauts,

I've been challenged by Dylon to create my own take on winter fashion using their easy-peasy kits. 


Dylon – ‘Dyes of London’ – was founded by two young entrepreneurs who began selling colourful dyes from a garage in central London. True British entrepreneurial spirit at it's best! 

My mum's used Dylon a fair few times but, although I knew the brand I'd never actually used them myself. Yet, I'm always up for a good challenge and so rose to the occasion.

Revamping Ombre for A/W16


I always think of Summer when I think tie dye, and ombre. Bright colours, sunnies and a festival vibe. However, Mint Velvet gave me the perfect inspo for this challenge with their gorgeous A/W16 range. Their ombre jersey and batwing knit use the soft muted autumnal colours that are synonymous with Mint Velvet. But retailing at £59.00 & £69.00 their also lavish on the Christmas credit card.

This was where Dylon came in for me. I wanted to create my own Mint Velvet dupe but without the price tag.


You'll need: 
1 Dylon hand wash fabric dye in Pewter Grey

Salt (you'll need 10 table spoons) 
A stainless steel sink or a bucket
A £4.00 white cotton Primark polo neck (bargain!) 
Rubber gloves




Gorgeous muted tones


I filled my sink with warm water (roughly 6 litres) and poured in the salt. Then I submerged the polo neck fully before scrunching it out and leaving it damp on the side. Damp clothing takes more evenly and salt helps the colour take better.

Next I added the pebble grey dye. Making sure the dye had dissolved evenly in the water I then took the top and submerged it again in the water letting the dye wash over all of it. Totally satisfying thing to do for some odd reason! 

Once the colour had taken to the entire top I then pulled it out 3/4 of the way and left the rest to soak for a full 45 minutes. Once time was up I drained the sink, washed out the top and sealed it with cold water before allowing it to dry. 



Dylon Ombre Dye Outcome


Before         After


I'm really impressed with the result of my first attempt at dying clothes - especially ombre dying. I think the top looks brilliant with my winter outfit and is a real steal at £4.00 for the top and Dylon Pewter Grey dye retailing at £3.39. The dye could have easily be used to dye at least 4 more top too.




The actual dying process wasn't hard at all - it did get a little messy at times but was easily wiped clean. One thing I would learn for the future though is that the dye on the fabric looks a great deal darker when wet and, as you'll see from my top, creates a much lighter colour when dry. I think perhaps leaving the colour to take for longer may have created a deeper ombre contrast. 



Win with Dylon!

For the chance to test out your own ombre hand dye and machine wash dyes to revamp your winter look enter the below rafflecopter giveaway now. Just follow and tweet to @LauraClaireUK on Twitter and follow @laura_claire88 on Instagram for an extra bonus entry. 


What you'll win: 

  • Dylon Toffee Brown Fabric Dye Machine Wash 
  • Dylon Terracotta Brown Fabric Dye Machine Wash 
  • Dylon Pewter Grey Fabric Dye Hand Wash

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Note: Competition open to UK residents only. 

Love 
LauraClaire



Monday, October 10

Shadow Switch Review

Hi lovelies,

I'm so pleased to be able to tell you about a new beauty aid product that was sent to me the other day by Beauty Essentials.

Let me introduce you to Shadow Switch the neat little tool that lets you dry clean your make up brushes in seconds. The cute little tin contains a scouring sponge that is washable and re-usable and in a few sweeps of your brush on the sponge it is clean again. How simple is that right. It's as light-weight as you'd imagine too so just perfect for popping into your make up bag on trips.

Over the years I've gathered an impressive collection of eye shadow brushes and kept a strict 'colour type' policy for them so as to avoid the dreaded colour-merge (especially important when going from darker shades to lights as I've experienced a little too often than I care to say #clownface). Yup, that means I have a specific brush that has only been in a long term monogamous marriage with my MAC Shroom eye shadow.

This works perfectly when you're home and can stand in front of truck-load of makeup - not so good however, when you're travelling. This is really when Shadow Switch works a dream.



Quick, easy and super cute. Shadow Switch quite literally, does what it says on the tin! (sorry I couldn't resist)

Buy your dry brush cleaner from Amazon for £5.99 including free delivery now.

Love

LauraClaire

Thursday, September 29

72 Hair Product Review

Hi Chickies,

Well, my life has been insanely epic of late... In the space of about 2 months I started a new job which I absolutely love, I turned the fantastic age of 28, I went on an incredible trip to Bali and the Gili Islands and... I got ENGAGED!!


Wedding planning has well and truly begun and, as a beauty & fashion blogger, that means hair, make-up and dress planning heaven :)

With all this in mind the lovely goodies that the fab lot at 72 Hair sent me recently have been going down a treat (BTW I'm obsessed with their blow dry cream).

New Brand on the Block: 72 Hair


72 Hair are a cool new brand creating premium hair care products for salon across the UK. I was lucky enough to be sent some cheeky samples of their products before they'd even got their packaging sorted and fell in love then. So I'm super excited now to see and test the final products.

Keeping your hair in good condition is so important pre-wedding day but if your like me finding time to go to the salon for a treatment can be painful so I like to make sure my hair-care products are salon standard. I think with hair care you really can tell the difference.

I was sent three products; the 72 hair Intense Moisture Shampoo, the Hydrating Conditioner and the Blow Dry Cream which all retail on their website at £14.99 with free delivery.

Sustainability, science and totally nourished locks


So, if you read my blog often then you know what's coming next, yep it's my packaging obsession! I just think that packaging is so so important and I love the cool slick product styling that 72 Hair have gone with. The soft muted tones of their brand are gorgeous and I love their tag line 'For the Love of Hair'. What I also particularly love is that their a brand that goes more than skin deep. Their bottles and packaging are recyclable, they use certified ingredients and encourage 'green' tech. 

As you'd expect from their names these products are all about nourishing your hair. All three products contain Hydrolysed Keratin which 'revitalizes the hair and helps rebuild strength. Increases hair elasticity and reduces breakage' as well as Hydrolysed Collagen which 'creates a protective shield against irritation and exposure to chemical treatments; adds body, manageability and increased tensile strength'. 

I was particularly impressed with the deliciously creamy texture of the Hydrating Conditioner. So often conditioners are watered down and they feel watered down. However, 72 Hair's conditioner felt luxuriously creamy and hydrating. 

After toweling dry my hair after my last few washes using 72 Hair products I've been applying their Blow Dry Cream before drying. I always use some form of heat protector before drying or heat styling my hair so I've tried out a fair few now. Unlike some I've tried it isn't horridly sticky, something I hate with a passion. However, neither is it too watered down so that you feel like you have to towel dry your hair all over again after applying it. It's the perfect consistency that is quick and easy to scrunch into my locks and away we go!

My Thoughts on 72 Hair... 

For me, hair care should be all about moisture and nourishment and 72 Hair have smashed it where that is considered. Having long and thick hair my only query would be how long the products will last as I'm used to buying larger bottles and 250ml won't always get me that far.  Yet their trio of hair care products has left my hair super shiny and I've loved the luxurious smell and texture that comes with using professional salon brands. Certainly a brand I'd use again, check out their full range.

Now I just need to sneak a budget line for 72 hair products into the Wedding spend!

Love 
LauraClaire

Tuesday, August 9

Summer Holiday Haul

Hi Lovelies, 

Hope you're all well. I've been a busy bee and time has been ticking away on me. So much so that in only a few days time I jet off to beautiful Bali for two weeks... excited doesn't cover it!

Excited though I may be I am still obsessively organised with it. My packing list was written out, then my check list of what I had started to pack was ticked off. Outfits were planned and shopping lists prepared. Are you the same?

As I stared down at my long list I thought it high time I write a little post about all my planning and purchases!

Malibu & Piz Buin Sun Protection



So firstly and most importantly I stocked up on sun protection. Bali is going to be incredible but also roasting and looking after your skin is so important. I've used Malibu sun creams before and like their smell (mmmm sun lotion smells amazing in general!).

However, I'm intrigued to test out the Miracle Tan element to the Factor 30 Malibu lotion. It's water resistant and as well as protecting skin and promoting tanning it also claims to enhance it. Finally, I bought a Piz Buin Factor 30 lip balm. I don't know about you but my lips get so very dry in the sun and it's an item I often forget to carry in my beach bag.. prepared this time!

Zara Haul 



I have a ridiculous amount of clothes so I wanted to try to tone down my pre-holiday spending but also treat myself to a few new items I could mix and match into my current wardrobe. Making sure new items complement those in your current wardrobe is so important and something I only recently started to take into consideration.

Zara is my absolute favourite store at the moment! So my haul is pretty much just from there. I bought two super cute shorts: high waisted khaki and floaty tropical florals. Keeping to the block colour and tropical print theme I also bought two crop tops: a floaty pink floral off the shoulder and a tight fitting white crop. They're the perfect colour tones to mix and match with and either combination will suit the Primark faux ostrich leather clutch & M&S brown suede heels.

I wanted some fun accessories too and so popped to Accessorize to pick up some beaded flip flops and transfer tattoos. Can't wait to try those out!



Love 
Laura Claire

Monday, July 18

Find your Love Match with Personality Match

Are they the one?

Are we the perfect match?

Why are we so great together?


They're all questions we're all guilty of asking right? And if you're anything like me you've also done some Facebook stalking, read up on each others zodiac signs and forced him to take the '5 languages of love' test (id recommend it.. its really good actually!). 

So yep, I sound crazay and it makes me cringe but I'll be the first to admit I'm guilty of it. And why not too.. we all want to have just a little bit of external confirmation that the person who is so, so, totally Mr right for us, well, actually is.





PersonalityMatch App


Personality Match is the latest app I've used to do just that. Its free, quick and simple to use.

There are lots of 'love match' quizzes and tests on the web (trust me I know!). Most are good fun but are pretty much based around nothing... I'm thinking those mentioned in the eHarmony advert right... finding your perfect match is actually a camel based on your joint love of long walks on the beach?!

Yet Personality Match is a little different. Its questions are based behind theory. The app is based on the classic psychological tests by Katharine Cook Briggs, Isabel Briggs Myers and the theories of the psychologist Carl Jung. I'd already taken the Myers Briggs Indicator test at various different workplaces and always found it fascinatingly accurate. So I was intrigued to see what this test would say about me and how I matched with my own 'Mr Right' Jason.

PersonalityMatch Features:


  • Sophisticated personality test
  • Match your personality with friends
  • Learn about your friends’ personality type
  • See your compatibility score
  • Identify common frustrations and how to solve them
  • Get personalised advice on how to improve your relationship

So I took the test and my personality test result came out as The Commander - ENTJ. It was so interesting reading through the characteristics linked to me.




Jason also took the test and came out as The Visionary. Next I clicked match to find out how well matched mine and Jason's personalities were. It was a bit of a tense moment to say the least!

PersonalityMatch Results 


However, we matched really well I think.

We had a 75% match of personality traits. Jason and I are so similar to each other and we've always said it so it sort of confirmed what we thought. The app has been designed to highlight areas that could do with improvement.

What was interesting was the Lifestyle results showed us at different ends of the spectrum. It pretty much hit the nail on the head.  I'm pretty tightly wound, I like order and lists and organisation, whereas Jason is much more laid-back and relaxed.  I'm totally drawn to his easygoing attitude - Jason keeps me fun!



I was really impressed with the level of detail PersonalityMatch had about each person's results. And the personalisation. For example, my match results with Jason talk about Jason and I in the results- they're tailored to us which is just brilliant. It worked seamlessly. A really fun, easy and simple-to-use app that gives you a great insight into you and your other half and most importantly, how you fit together.

Definitely worth a download!

PersonalityMatch is free and available on iTunes and Google Play.


Love
LauraClaire 

THIS IS A SPONSORED POST

Friday, July 8

My Skincare Routine with Janjira


My Brightening Skincare Routine


After cleansing each morning with Garnier's Micellar Cleansing Water (which is amazing BTW!) I'll used the Janjira toner, followed by the Radiant White Day Cream. The toner is refreshing and gentle containing Vitamin C, Algowhite and moisture content boosting Sodium Hyaluronate so my skin is ready and able to retain the Janjira day moisturiser. As well as working as a UV and anti-oxidant protector the day cream is non-greasy, soft and has a beautiful delicate fragrance. I can be lazy with applying a day cream each morning before my primer but I've noticed a difference in my skin since I've used the day cream as my base - before my base haha. 

I find the Janjira eye lift cream fantastic in the morning - the metal applicator is gorgeously cold on my puffy morning eyes. As well as Algowhite and Vit B3 it contains Ash Bark Extract to strengthen blood capillaries - perfect for fragile skin around the eye. 

The Janjira Bubble Mask I tend to use once a week at the weekend. Its really fun with, bubbling up (as used expect from the name) immediately. Just like the day cream it smells gorgeous. Janjira say that is detoxifies and brightens when applied to skin and I agree. The results are smooth, soft and calm skin. 


Should you include Janjira into your skincare routine?


With Janjira present on the pages of Cosmo, Mode and Tatler to name just to name a few it has the approval of the media. 

As well as Janjira's best selling Pomegranate and Acai Concentrate Serum heralded as 'Sienna Miller's secret to a glowing and flawless complexion'. It appears that I am not the only person to be impressed with the luxury spa products born in Thailand. 

Although not perhaps the cheapest alternatives I would highly recommend all of the products I tested. They don't fail to add a touch of luxury to your skincare routine and I'm very please with my results. 

If purse strings were tight and you had to pick one? I'd make it Janjira's Brightening Eye Lift cream. I'd be puffy-eyed without it! 

All products along with other ranges are available to buy online at janjira.co.uk 

Love 
LauraClaire

Tuesday, June 28

Rush Hair Salon Greenwich


Rush Hair Greenwich Review

On the 21st of May Rush Hair opened its doors in the prime location of Nelson Street just a stones through from Greenwich Park and the Cutty Sark (ooo I'm in quite a rhyming mood today aren't I!). I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch party but unfortunately wasn't able to attend and so instead was given the opportunity to review the new Greenwich salon with a complimentary cut and blowdry.

Kieran Austen is the Franchisee of Rush Greenwich and has over 7 years of experience having trained and worked for Rush specialising in Colour. Perhaps then it's Kieran's influence with colour that has given this salon it's gorgeous style. Each room is an array of muted and dark tones which create a sleek, chilled and luxurious vibe.

I'm not a regular at hair salons I must admit. Having long hair I tend to just leave it to do what it wants and so I was really excited to get my hair cut and styled. Especially as Rush is such a well respected chain. They currently have over 70+ Rush salons across London, Essex and the South East and have won numerous awards for their work including British Hairdressing Award Winners 2015.

When I entered the Rush Greenwich salon everything was bustling. Rush salons are always filled with clients.. a good sign! However, my appointment was not delayed and I was seated downstairs in one of their luxe rooms with a juice and Lindt chocs while my super friendly stylist and I discussed what I had planned for my hair. Make sure you read the top 5 things Rush recommends you need to tell your stylist.

Parted Bangs for Small Foreheads

I love parted bangs/fringes and also wanted some of the thickness taken out of my hair (as it was beginning to take hours rather than minutes to dry it!). We opted for a chin-length parted fringe with feathering to the front, a blunt cut with soft layers. Beauty Riot give you the full lay down on the best bangs for your face shape.

As I have a small forehead a longer length parted fringe works best. Anything shorter would make my forehead look even smaller. So this long length fringe/bangs is the best for my small forehead. Check out some other hair cuts for small foreheads.

Once the cut was complete my hair was blow-dried into soft loose curls which looked absolutely gorgeous. I floated out of Greenwich Rush salon I must say. Friendly staff, great service and a happy customer.

My Cut and Finish would have cost around £34.00. Here's the full Rush price list. What do you think of the look?

Love 

LauraClaire

Tuesday, June 21

Two Tone Colour Combination Nails with Semilac



So, the fab lot at Semilac sent me two gorgeous shades of nail polishes in the post recently. I've been loving my OPI polishes though so have only recently got around to testing them out.

Semilac Nail Polish

Semilac are best known for their Gel polishes and that is how you may know them but they also do a large range of standard polishes in the colours of the UV Hybrids which you can purchase online.

They kindly sent me two 7ml nail polish colours, 006 Classic Coral & 063 Legendary Red from their Diamond Cosmetics range. Each retails at £4.25. Classic Coral is a soft red with a gently raspberry tone whereas Legendary Red is a pure Marilyn Monroe red without any orange or cherry tones.

Both colours applied smoothly and easily although I did have to apply three thick coats to get the truly opaque colour I wanted. However, I was impressed at their drying time, all three coats dried very quickly. I've now been wearing the polish for three days... ample time for me to scratch or chip a nail trust me... and so far so good! They've lost the ultra shine that I adored on the first day but that's just standard when you're not using a gel don't you think?

All in all, very pleased with both these colours, especially as they colour combine so beautifully...
Total Nail Inspo!


Colour Combination Nails

If your anything like me the idea of colour combination nails takes you back to be being 9 years old again and painting each nail crazy glitter colours. However, colour combination nails if done correctly can look brilliant.

The trick is to be picky with your shades for a grown up take on the look that's just a little bit fun.

Voila.. easy and fashionable DIY nails right at your fingertips!

Alternate similar shades to create two tone nails

Both Semilac polishes are gorgeous red tones and really complement each other so I thought I'd put a fun twist on the classic red mani by alternating these shades on each nail. I just love the finished look - as the colours are only subtly different they create a gorgeous two tone nail look.

Check out these colour block and easy DIY nail inspo too.

Love

LC

Wednesday, June 15

How to Tan Better

If you're anything like me you're guilty of coveting an enviable tan. I spent much of my teens and early twenties in constant pursuit of this rare and precious post-holiday glow. 

I've tried it all, instant quick tans which ooze thickly out of their squeeze bottle and must NEVER be applied with anything other than a tanning mit (oh the horrors!). If you need a tan in 2 minutes flat I'd recommend Rimmel's Instant Tan. It's the best I've tried and it perfect for nights out when you finally let your pasty legs out for a good old boogie. 

For quick mousse tans I've heard people rave about Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter One Hour Tan Mousse. I've not tried it myself but Millie Mackintosh holds it as her go-to tanner. And if it's good enough for her I think we'd all try it right? At £7.99 from feelunique.com it doesn't break the bank either. 

I've also tried sun beds. Yes, I know. How could I? You're an idiot? They're so dangerous? yes yes. I did use them, and in all truth, I did like them (she won't be saying that in 5 years I hear you whisper). Many people like them too of course, simply because the tan you get inevitably looks natural.. because it kinda is right? 

They're the sort of tan lines you want, as opposed to the "Oh I missed a spot" streaks of fake tans. However, I agree it's not something to do regularly or for long periods of time or without sunbed lotion. Check out this guide to tanning bed lotions for more information. Most smell delish and, because they contain bronze sheens or activating ingredients it means less time on the bed. 

Yet, at the moment I've been loving gradual tan lotions. They've come a long way over the years. No more horrid smells, sticky lotions, brown-tinged bed sheets or deep tanned elbows! Or that is what I've found. Because they're very much like a body lotion you can slip them neatly into you current shower regime without too much hassle.

Although I do follow a fairly strict regime to ensure my gradual tan looks as good as possible. So here is my how to tan better guide. 


How to get the best out of your tan 


First invest in the right tools and products for the job. Exfoliating gloves have to be one of the best inventions of the 21st Century! They're super cheap, brilliantly simple and easy to use and work a treat. You'll find them at almost every department or drug store. Superdrug have some for sale at £2.99. 

Once a week, usually on a Saturday (I'm not sure why) I exfoliate my entire body. It's a habit I made a while back and one I've always stuck too. Getting rid of dead skin whilst boosting your circulation prepares your body to soak in the tan - evading blotchy patches. 

Next choose the right tan. Personally I prefer creams to gels - they absorb better into my skin and are less drippy and gloopy. I'm currently loving Dove's Derma Spa Summer Revived Gradual Tan Lotion for Medium to Dark skin. It retails are £6.99, smells lovely and builds a 'people will ask how you did it' glowing natural tan. I can say that because people really did ask! 

I apply my gradual tan throughout the week. Every time, or every other time I shower (dependent on how my tan is looking of course). In truth you should notice a new glow to your skin after the first few applications. However, after consistent use of gradual tan lotion I was able to build a tan that was natural, even and easy. 


Top 5 Gradual Tanning Hacks 


Although it's gradual and you can apply it with your hands be sure to wash your palms with soap and water afterwards to avoid dreaded tanned palms. By washing palms and finger creases only you can still maintain a tanned look on the backs of hands. 

Pat, instead of rub gradual tan onto your face. It will go on just that little bit thicker giving you a deeper glow. Focus on forehead, tops of cheeks and bridge of nose to mimic where the sun would naturally kiss you skin. 

Don't forget your feet! Rub a little lotion onto each foot and up your ankle. 

Gradual Tanning lotion doesn't mean Sun tan lotion. If you're heading out don't forget to apply sun protection over the top. Tanned and protected perfection.  

Apply lightly but never lather over dry skin areas like elbows and knees. Although there are less tan blotch issues with a gradual tan build up in these areas will still cause you a fake tan faux pas.

What tanning products do you use? 

Love 
LC 

Friday, June 3

Healthy Simple Smoothie Recipe: #SummerOfMatcha



Hi Chickies, 

Are you ditching Java if favour of Matcha? Matcha tea has seen a massive increase in popularity and has been a big hit in the fashion world too – Rumours of Match shots at New York Fashion Week anyone?

The folks over at EatCleanTea have kindly sent me over a sample to create my very own delish Summer Matcha Tea recipe.

But first, here’s the lowdown on Matcha…

  • It’s a form of green tea. The word ‘Matcha’ literally means powdered tea. Traditional green tea is infused using the leaves that are then thrown away. With Matcha tea the leaves are powdered, so you’re drinking the actual leaves.
  • It does contain caffeine. Even as much as 3 times more than you’d get in a steeped green tea.
  • It is rich in antioxidants which help with better blood sugar regulation as well as guard against heart disease and cancer.
  • As well as being a tasty caffeine hit on the go it was originally used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. 


My Simple & Tasty Matcha Tea Summer Smoothie Recipe




What you'll need:
5 ice cubes
1 whole banana
18 raspberries 
2 of Matcha green tea powder 
1 teaspoon of seed mix 
1/2 a baby watermelon 
300ml of coconut water - I used Vita Coco
A blender - I'm loving Breville's Blend Active Pro

The Recipe. Easy as 1 - 2 - 3:
Step 1 - Cut up, measure out and pop in all of your ingredients into the blender. 
Step 2 - Blitz in short sharp bursts to break the ice and blender well. 
Step 3 - pour out into your favourite glass, garnish with a raspberry and cute straw and enjoy! 

Have a Healthy, Happy and Wholesome Summer!

Love 
LC 




Monday, May 30

Guest post: thelifestylebloggeruk.com

Watch out this Summer?



I have been a lover of analogue watches for as long as I can remember and have an ever growing collection of various styles, sizes and branded watches. To me, watches are part of an outfit, not just a fashion accessory really. I think my love for watches began when I was little, those Fick and Flack watches were so adorable and it’s what I learnt to tell the time on so they really take me back…many, many years! Anyway, my point here being, it was back then with these old and simple watches that started my passion for analogue watches.

I have never really used a digital wrist watch, they just look so ugly, I much prefer the ‘proper’ ones! Over the years my collection has grown pretty big but watches to me are part of an outfit or at least an accessory to an outfit so I have all kinds - chunky watches, men’s watches, beautifully simple and elegant style watches…if it’s been made, I probably have that style somewhere in my collection!

In my search for beautiful watches I have come across so really great places to buy branded watches at really low prices or places that offer huge discounts, one of which is the DiscountWatchStore based in the US (they do ship to the UK too for very cheap). The reason I like this company so much is partly down to the huge discounts they offer but also the vast range they have on offer; from really well known brands like - Michael Kors, DKNY & Kate Spade to the not so famous brands, but still gorgeous in their own way - Bulova, Casio and Invicta. I don’t think you can be a true watch collector without having a Casio somewhere in your collection!

In case you are based in the UK and would rather buy from the UK (makes sense), another really great watch shop that I use often is the House of Watches website. OK so they aren’t as discounted as the American company but they do still offer a fab range of watches; from Daniel Wellington (who seems to have taken over Instagram photos with bloggers lately) to super brands such as Gucci. The House of Watches brand range from below £30 to a staggering £1,000! One of these days I will be able to get myself a £1,000 watch without crying or totally breaking the bank!

Because I have so many watches, I thought I would show you one of my favourites and how I would wear it as an outfit. This watch is actually from the DiscountWatchStore and is one of their Invicta watches. Yes, as Rose Gold is ‘in’ at the moment, it only seemed right that I showed you one their gorgeous rose gold watches. It is quite big and chunky watch but it’s soo pretty and worn with an outfit like the below image would look just stunning! I also have quite a few men’s watches in my collection. I love how fashion accessories can totally change the look and feel to an outfit so easily and yes, even something as small as a watch can change the look and feel too.





Also, this kind of watch is great if, like me, you have tiny wrists and need to remove a lot of the links to make it fit! My local jeweller knows me really well after the millions of watches I have had to take to them to get fixed over the years!

I hope this has given you some inspiration for new looks and thinking outside the box when it comes to accessories. I also really hope that with more bloggers and vloggers seemly talking about and posting photos of gorgeous new analogue watches on their social media accounts, the digital age, when it comes to watches anyway, will be stopped and analogue will come back again!
Vote Analogue!!



About the blogger... 
Becky is the owner of lifestyle blog thelifestylebloggeruk.com. She's a busy lady, posting daily about things that make her smile as well as running her on online store!

Monday, May 23

How to take your makeup from day to night

Hi beauts,

If you’re planning a fabulous day out followed by a glam evening (preferably with cocktails!) choosing the right makeup to match both day and evening can be tricky.

In this ‘how to…’ I’ll show you how I turn my day make up look into a night look with just a little prior planning.


The day makeup look


Think of your makeup application in the morning as applying your base.

Apply your primer, foundation & powder as usual. I use Boots No. 7 Stay Perfect foundation in Warm Beige as it stays put all day. As a primer I use highlighter B. Sweet Popping Candy Highlight Serum to make my skin glow. Finally, I dust Rimmel’s Clear Complexion Transparent Powder to finish.  

Sculpt your brows as normal and sweep your blush. Here I’ve used Benefit CORALista blusher and Rimmel’s Professional Eye Brow Pencil in Hazel.


You’re aiming here to have your base make up look set for the day.


Eyeshadow daytime look

This is the important bit. This look should be soft and subtle. I like to use muted colours like taupe, beige, light pinks and soft browns. This creates the perfect setting to pop a key bright colour into as evening hits.

However, be mindful of your colour scheme. A daytime look of soft blues, greys and beiges for example will pop brilliantly for the evening with a bright gold or yellow, or look dramatic with a dark blue.

Always think about what your key bright or dramatic evening colour is going to be and plan your daytime base colours around it.

My go-to daytime eyeshadow look includes MAC Shroom as an all over base. I love using Vapour in the corners of my eyes to make them pop. I use Mulch in the outside crease of my lid as it’s a darker and finish off with a little Mythology blended into the centre of my lid for its beautifully warm pinkish tones.

Finally, apply lashings of black mascara. I use Benefit’s They’re Real.

How to turn day make up to night


So you’ve had a brilliant day and the sun is finally setting. With so much action going on you need an evening look that is elegant and dramatic but can be created quickly and easily (and after a few too many glasses of Prosecco perhaps? Am I right?).

Your prior planning means this is all achievable!

With your base set, apply your key evening eyeshadow colour. Chosen a bright colour? Apply it to the very centre of your eye lid. Chosen a dark dramatic colour? Apply this to the outside crease of your eyelid. Blend well whilst topping up your daytime eyeshadow colours.

I chose MAC goldmine which is a gorgeous bright yellow gold for the centre of my lid to make it pop. I also added depth to the MAC Mulch colour I had used at the outside creases of my lids previously.

Next use your contour kit or bronzer to sculpt your face. Apply in a line underneath your cheekbones, either side of your nose and chin and finally around your hair line. Blend as required. I use and love Benefit’s Hoola bronzer. If your kit contains a highlighter use this along the ridge on your nose, your brow arches and the top of your cheekbones.

Finally, prime your lips with your balm then line and fill them with your evening liner and lipstick. I used here a really dark dramatic lipstick from MAC called Cyber.

Voila!

What you’ll need in your purse

A transparent powder
A tinted lip balm for day use
An evening lipstick (and lip liner if you wish)
A small eyeshadow palette containing at least 1 of your daytime colours and your evening colour. (I use MAC palettes in various sizes – they’re so handy!)
2 eyeshadow brushes
A contour kit or bronzer
A black eyeliner (for those who can’t live without one!)

The products I’ve used

No 7 Stay Perfect Foundation - £14.50 at Boots
Benefit CORALista Blush - £23.50 at Benefit online 
Rimmel Clear Complexion Transparent Powder - £3.99 at Boots
B. Sweet Popping Candy Highlight Serum 30ml - £14.99 at Superdrug
Rimmel Professional Eye Brow Pencil - £2.99 at Boots
MAC palette eyeshadows - £13.00 (£10.00 for Pans) at most department stores or MAC online
Benefit They’re Real Mascara – £19.50 at most department stores or Benefit online
Benefit Hoola Bronzer – £23.50 at most department stores or Benefit online
MAC Cyber lipstick - £15.50 at most department stores or MAC online

So that's how I achieve it, what are your tips?


Love

LauraClaire 

Monday, May 16

How to lose weight well

Hello lovelies,

A quick type into Google’s auto-predict search on ‘How to L’ brings up something interesting and wholly accepted in our society. The top 4 options, based on others search terms are:

How to lose weight
How to lose belly fat
How to lose weight quickly
How to lose weight well

Odd how that, with only one letter in ‘How to L’ the word ‘lose’ is brought up in every single case, quickly followed by the topic of weight.

Odd and sad really. As of course there are so many brilliant alternative words that begin with ‘L’... Love and like and look. But what about the word ‘learn’, that’s far more appropriate isn’t it?

You’ve stumbled across this post because it is about how I lost weight well. Don’t click out just yet!

However, I want to focus on what was and still is the most important aspect, really vital in my weight change, and that’s what I learned.


Learn to look after yourself


Let me take you back to nearly three years ago. A painfully bitter breakup, a forced move back to mum and dads and a flat purchase I’d saved for years to own falling through had me at breaking point. I didn’t eat for 4 days. A sentence that those who know me well would audibly gasp at. I’d always loved my food.

Yet through this turmoil I found a sweet revelation – self-analysis. Something we all think we do correctly but often confuse with self-criticism. Instead, I stepped back and looked at myself as I am. I reviewed what I liked about my mind, body and soul. I looked back and remembered moments when I was happiest and saddest and proudest. I allowed myself to love the great bits of me and I forgave myself for the bits that weren’t quite how I wanted them to be.

I realised my previous self-analysis was all external. What I had to achieve to be happy or worthy or better. And all the self-analysis I thought I was doing was pure self-criticism – I was bullying myself. How did I cope with this self-‘tough love’ as it were? I ate my way through it. I thought I was being kind to myself when I ‘treated’ myself to cheer myself up, to feel good or as a reward.

This revelation changed things. Learning to love and forgive and focus wholly on myself taught me to care for myself. It felt difficult and selfish. Woman are rarely taught to care for themselves but to focus on others care. Yet when I did it was freeing.

My painful truth was I was overweight, pitifully unfit and unhappy something that had continued for years as I self-criticised with tough love weight loss.

Yet when I finally allowed myself to care for my mental and physically health and wellbeing it was like I’d found the something that had been missing for too long.


How I lost over 2 stone


Two whole stone is a lot of weight. It holds you down and holds you back. It took me around 6 months to lose and maintain. When weight loss is not your only focus it is always easier. Weight gain for me is my minds sign that something is off-balance. That is generally the same for everyone right? A change in weight is a sign. A sign you’re ill, a sign you’re not happy. I lost that chunk of weight because I learned and listened to the root cause instead of just trying to battle the sign of it. Something I had done half-heartedly for many years previously.

If you have taken that time to explore your root cause and feel your weight is not who you are but how you’ve been feeling these are my tips for what I do to get back to a weight that sits well with me.

I’m a believer that mind and body are very much intertwined and to lose weight you must focus on both. Pick exercise, classes, sports you love. Try new things and exercise your mind just as much as your body.

Keep a life journal. This is something I do when things don’t feel quite right for me. A minute a day tracking how I nourished myself, how I moved, how I felt is incredibly insightful. It is particularly useful to look back upon.

Plan your meals. Prep, prep, prep! Write out a meal plan for the first few weeks to get you into the swing of things. Just make sure they are as equally delicious as they are healthy. Your mind needs the flavour and your body needs the nutrients. Fuel both.

A big part of my weight was down to my use of food as ‘treats’. Don’t ever stop treating yourself just change how. Go for a massage to treat yourself, and you’re aching muscles for going hard in spin class that week instead. 

Take a long look at yourself in the mirror. Every morning, just before I get dressed for the day I take time to look at myself. Some days I’m bloated, some days my face is puffy, some days I’m practically perfect in every way! Whatever it is, I acknowledge who I am. Exclusive Mirrors have the cutest designs.

Set mini goals but never an end date. You’ve changed your mind-set and your lifestyle. This isn’t a diet, there isn’t an end.

Set your sights to lose 2 pound a week. It may not seem quick but it’s healthy and achievable. After the first three weeks you’ll have lost enough to love your 2 pound plan.

Just one final note. I’m currently life journalling at the moment to lose the 7 pounds I put on recently. Check out A Food Lover's Journal currently at Paperchase. 

Life is set-back as well as success but learn how to look after yourself and even after countless slip-ups it will be something you can always go back to.

I would really really love to hear your experiences, please do comment below and I wish you the very best of luck in your own self-education. 

Love
LC
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