Saturday, 17 May 2014

See You Soon!!!

Hi everyone!

Wow, it's been a crazy week full of preparing for my holiday and loads of job interviews! I'm so ready for a relaxing break away in the sunshine and I will be finally jetting off to Murcia in Spain this afternoon! 

I just wanted to do a little post to let you know that I'm not ignoring my blog...I'm just on holiday! I will be writing a post when I get back all about my break away - including lots of photos! 

Well I'd better go and finish off my packing.....see you all in a week!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Spring Dresses From OMG Fashion

Back in March I attended the press party for OMG's Spring/Summer collection (see my post here) and, as one of the first 30 bloggers to attend, I received a £50 voucher to spend on their website!

After hours of browsing their amazing online collection I decided on two dresses which I think are perfect for this season!

I saw this Cece Mint Floral Turn Up Sleeved T-Shirt Dress at the press party and instantly knew I had to have it! I love this dress, I think the shape is really flattering and the pastel mint colour and floral pattern tick two boxes for this season's hottest trends. I teamed the dress with some rose gold leather sandals from Faith and a tan belt from Primark. I think it's a perfect daytime look whether you're having a picnic in the park or enjoying the sunshine with friends in a pub garden. I will be wearing this a lot!

My second top pick from the collection of dresses was this Bethan Nude/Black Patterned Collar Skater Dress. This is such a pretty colour and I love the cute collar! I teamed this with a skinny black waist belt from H&M and lace up leather boots from Dune. I think you can really dress this up or down - I'd wear it with flats for a day look or with some black high heels for a night out and still feel glam! 

What do you think of these dresses? Have you shopped with OMG Fashion before?

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Blogger's Brunch With Secret D'Or

Saturday 19th April was a day filled with fun and fashion and it all started with a lovely blogger's brunch hosted by Secret D'Or at SoLita in Manchester's Northern Quarter.

I met up with a couple of my blogger friends (Jessica and Katie) in Piccadilly Gardens before heading to SoLita to meet Camilla (the founder of Secret D'Or) and Andrea (the creative director).

Secret D'Or began nearly three years ago and is a platform for carefully selected independent designers to showcase and sell their creations. Many items are one-offs or limited editions, ensuring that you stand out from the crowd whatever your choice. We were shown a selection of goods from designers featured on the website and I fell in love with the stunning bags from Irish designer, Lisa Ryder, and beautiful jewellery by Flor Amazona.

Whilst discussing our favourite topic (fashion, of course!) we were treated to cocktails and a delightful feast which certainly set us up for the day. I chose the pulled pork sundae to start and the chicken burger with chips for my main course - both were delicious and very filling!

It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon before attending Manchester Fashion Week later that evening. I really enjoyed meeting the Secret D'Or team and discovering some amazing new designers and I'm really excited to work with them in the future!

Since our lunch date I've been lusting over the gorgeous designs on the Secret D'Or website - here are a few of my favourites:

Wedge boots by Vancliffe & Dean, bag by Lisa Ryder and cuffs by Flor Amazona

A selection of gorgeous dresses by Art on Fashion

What do you think of my picks? Have you checked out Secret D'Or yet?

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Do You Really Know What You're Putting On Your Skin?

Last week I attended a small class on natural skincare held at independent health shop 'Healthy Spirit' in Didsbury, Manchester. The class was held by a lovely lady called Anne Conway who is a Wellbeing Advisor for beauty brand, Weleda. I was unsure what to expect from the class and thought we might be mashing up fruit and vegetables to use as face masks - it turned out to be one of the most interesting, informative and eye-opening events I've attended so far since starting my blog. It made me realise that, until now, I was completely oblivious to what I was putting on my skin.

Our skin is hugely important and is the largest living organ in our body. It covers two square metres and weighs approximately 3kg. It has the ability to maintain, heal and replenish itself if we look after it correctly, and we could actually be doing it more harm than good without realising!

If you pick up a skincare product and look at the ingredients would you know what they were? No, me neither - until I attended Anne's class. Would you know if one of the ingredients was actually a harmful chemical? On average, before we leave the house each morning we use over 20 different products. You may think that sounds like too many but think about it - shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, body moisturiser, toothpaste, mouth wash, cleanser, toner, maybe a serum, moisturiser/day cream, hand wash, foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara, eyebrow pencil/powder, blusher, loose powder, deodorant, perfume - the list can go on - and what goes on us goes in us! We absorb roughly around 5lbs of chemicals through our skin each year. It only takes between 5 and 26 seconds for products we put on our skin to be absorbed directly into our bloodstream and our bodies have no real method of breaking down these chemicals. There are probably hundreds of chemicals that are added to cosmetic products but in the class we discussed these three:-

Mineral Oils - such as white oil, liquid paraffin and petroleum jelly. There is no proof that these are harmful chemicals and they are probably the least 'nastiest' of those that get added, however, their purpose is to seal in moisture but moisture needs to leave our body in order to eliminate toxins.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphates - these are in products that stick to us (e.g. lipsticks) or products that foam up (e.g. shampoos, shower gels, mouthwash, etc). Most products will have 'safe' levels of sodium lauryl sulphates which have been approved by the EU, but if you find that a product has left your skin feeling dry, tight, itchy or irritated then it probably contains sodium lauryl sulphates. 

Parabens - these are nasty little things! Parabens are basically chemical preservatives that are added to products to kill and prohibit the growth of bacteria and prolong shelf life. Worryingly, a study carried out in the UK by the NHS tested 40 women with breast cancer and the results showed traces of parabens in all 40 samples. They have also been linked to some allergies, endocrine disruption and reproductive disorders. 

More and more studies are showing that increasing numbers of women are developing certain diseases and disorders - could it be because women use more cosmetic products than men and it's down to the chemical ingredients that are being added? Nothing has yet been proven but it has certainly made me think!

I'm now looking into using more natural skincare and cosmetics, but that too can be very confusing with clever marketing tactics by companies to make you think that something is 'natural' but it really isn't. There are actually no legal requirements for natural cosmetics and skincare products and only 1% of the ingredients in a product have to be organic for a company to label and sell it as 'organic'. Unfortunately, many companies will make us think that products are natural and kind to the skin but in reality they aren't. For example, I have a hand and body cream on my desk at work which is part of the 'naturals' range from a certain company, but when I read the ingredients label I noticed it contains two different types of parabens - hardly 'natural'!! If you want to know for sure that a product you're buying is genuinely organic you should look for certification labels by The Soil Association or Natrue - ingredients have to be at least 75% organic for a product to be certified by them. 

It isn't just the products we use that have an effect on our skin - it's no surprise that what we eat and drink massively contributes to this too. We all know that drinking lots of water is important for healthy skin, but so are leafy greens, nuts and seeds. If we are eating poorly and our digestion is sluggish this will have a noticeable impact on our skin. The way the body eliminates toxins and waste is through our sweat glands (sounds unpleasant, but true!) so if we have high levels of toxins in our body the skin won't be able to eliminate them all. One way we can help is by drinking herbal teas. Here are a few that we discussed:-

Green/White Tea - contain powerful antioxidants.
Rose Tea - has anti-ageing properties and could help to keep skin clear.
Chai Tea - great for digestion.
Rooibis Tea - a great all round tea for your skin. 

I really am so glad I attended Anne's class. It's given me the knowledge and awareness to be able to choose what products I want to put on my skin rather than just believing what companies tell us. I'm now looking forward to trying out genuine natural products from companies like Weleda and seeing the difference they make.

If you want to find out more information or enquire about attending one of Anne's classes you can contact her via Twitter at @rejuvenatemancs or by email  -  I highly recommend it!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Givenchy Ombré Couture Cream Eyeshadow

I absolutely love eyeshadows and have quite a few in my collection, but today was a first for me as I tried out a new cream eyeshadow - Givenchy Ombré Couture in Rose Illusion. I usually go for powder eyeshadows so I was looking forward to trying this out and seeing if it has the staying power that it claims (apparently 16 hours!)

I love the little pot that the eyeshadow comes in and it's a great size for popping in your bag for any touch ups that may be needed.

I applied the eyeshadow with my little finger as that felt the easiest way to apply it for me. It has a lovely creamy texture in the pot and when applied to the eyelids it almost instantly dries to a nice matte finish. It has really nice coverage and you don't need lots of product or several layers.

'Rose Illusion' is a really nice pastel pink colour which is perfect for Spring/Summer. I applied this eyeshadow, added some black liquid eyeliner and lashings of black mascara and I think the final look was really striking.

The Givenchy Ombré Couture Cream Eyeshadow does also have some serious staying power - I applied it at 9am, went shopping for a few hours then sat in the garden and enjoyed the sunshine for the rest of the afternoon and the eyeshadow still looked freshly applied almost 12 hours later!

I'm giving this one a big thumbs up. It may be a little pricey at £18 but I can see this pot lasting for ages and it really does stay on all day long so I think it's worth the price tag. 

Would you buy this eyeshadow? What do you think of the colour?

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