Wednesday, October 29

Debenhams Beauty Picks

Debenhams Beauty is my favourite spot for an online beauty shop. The brands, the selection and the offers are always super appealing and with the rewards of a Debenhams Beauty Card, I can't help myself.

Stocking some of my favourite beauty brands including Bobbi Brown, MAC, Chanel, YSL, Urban Decay and Tom Ford, whenever I fancy a peruse of the online beauty hall, it's not often that I don't come away without a few extra treats.

This time around, my beauty picks were Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum, the Bobbi Brown Basic Brush Collection and one for both Mike and I to share, Tom Ford Black Orchid.

With three points per £1 of your spend, it's easy to get carried away for extra rewards and as you can see, this time I went a little bit crazy.

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle is an all time favourite of mine. It's one of those fragrances that I don't buy all the time, but when I do decide to treat myself to a bottle, it's extra special. The packaging and of course the scent, are equally delightful and there's something about pulling it out of my handbag that makes me swoon every time.

Bobbi Brown brushes are a personal must have for me in my collection, and lasting practically forever, they're very much worth the investment. I prefer to pick up Bobbi brushes in a set as they're that little bit more reasonable that way, and this Bobbi Brown Basic Brush Set is a dream to own. Consisting of a Concealer Brush, Foundation Brush, Face Blender Brush, Eye Shadow Brush, Eyeliner Brush and an essential for me, the Eyebrow Brush all homed in a sleek Black Case, priced at £145, it works out at  £24 per brush which works out at a saving of, well, a free brush! 

Tom Ford Black Orchid is one of those classic delicious fragrances that is loved by all. There's something about its luxurious deep sensuous scent that captivates both males and females, and although it is one that's made for the girls, it's one that Mike pinches for himself, so this one is to share.

As if the shopping isn't enough, Debenhams offer a variety of rewards via their Beauty Card and I've been a huge fan since it was first released. With samples and makeovers available at the show of your card as well as free delivery, extra offers, bonus points and exclusive competitions and opportunities to try products before they're released, it's a beauty lovers dream card and if you haven't got yourself one already, then I suggest you do!

 I have my Debenhams Beauty list ready for Santa to take a peek at, and I would love to know what products you would pick from the site. Do you have a Beauty Card and what will you be buying to get your rewards rolling?


*This is a sponsored post
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HARRISON LOVES: Izziwotnot White Gift Wicker Moses Basket

Sadly, now coming up to four months old, the time has come that Harrison has outgrown his beautiful Izziwotnot Moses Basket. 

Gone are the days that I wish could have lasted forever; the days that his tiny tip toes touched the bottom and his fingers were far from brushing the top, where he spent his first few days at home overlooked by all who loved and adored him and where I picked him up from many a nap and moments of tiny tears for a cuddle.

 Izziwotnot's White Gift Moses Basket was one of the first things that I got for Harrison and after searching and dreaming about it for so long, is one of my most precious possessions and something that I will be sure to treasure forever.

Beautifully designed and perfectly suited to my taste, the White Wicker Moses Basket and stand oozes baby luxury in the most simplistic of ways. Serene and stylish, it is home to the softest padding and White Cotton Waffle fabric which on the accompanying foam mattress, comforted Harrison perfectly for his first few months in the world. 

With its White Cotton hooded canopy which blocks out bright surrounding light and creates a cosy atmosphere for a newborn to rest, it looks beautiful and was perfect for positioning Harrison by the window, in the Summer months, when he needed as much natural daylight as possible to help with his slight jaundice, without being overwhelmed by the sun.

Although Harrison only spent his days in his Moses Basket, I really couldn't have been without it. With its strong Leather handles which create an even more luxurious appearance, I was able to move it out of the living room and take it around the house and even put it into the car and take it over to my parents house with such ease, making it a perfect option if you're looking for something luxurious, comforting and easily portable.    

With perfect touches such as tie bows, a bunny toy, a velvet trim and a bunny tag, there really isn't anything bad to say about this moses basket. Along with being sturdy and safe, it's the nicest first bed to put your new baby into and although realistically it is just a bed- it's the perfect place to take baby photos too!

Available to buy on Izziwotnot's online store, the Premium White Gift Wicker Moses Basket with the matching stand costs £110, with it available to buy singularly for £89.  

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Tuesday, October 28

Clarins 2014 Essentials Palette

This time last year, give or take a couple of days, I featured Clarins 2013 Essentials Palette, which I absolutely loved and have been using non stop for the past year and so I'm so pleased to be today, featuring the 2014 Christmas Edition. 

Home to another ten stunning shades, varying from the most delightful Gold tone to sultry Greys, this palette is fantastic and offers the most amazing pigmentation through a range of wet and dry satin, matte and pearl finishes.

My favourite tones are probably 5-8 as they have been the ones I have been reaching for most of the time when wearing a fancy Bronze smoky eye.

Just like the previous Clarins Essentials Palette, Clarins have included a double ended brush as a nice touch to the palette- one end for defining and the other for shading and blending which I find okay. I don't particularly love it, but I certainly don't hate it- it does it's job well but I would probably prefer one end to be slightly more fluffy as I like to use the palette to create something a little more dramatic as opposed to a simple one wash of colour.

Available to buy now at Clarins counters in the likes of Debenhams, House of Fraser and John Lewis, this mirrored ten shadow palette costs £35.00.

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Monday, October 27

Caudalie C15 Polyphenol Ultimate Wrinkle Defense Set

I've wanted to try some of the Caudalie Polyphenol Anti Wrinke Defense range for quite some time now, but for some reason, hadn't quite got around to it, however, with it now available to buy in a gift set for Christmas, it's the perfect excuse for everyone to give it a go.

First and foremost, don't let the Anti-Wrinkle statement in the name make you question whether it's right for you, because although it is aimed towards the later side of the twenties/early thirties, jam packed with some fabulous ingredients, it's pretty much suitable for all skin types on all ages.

Containing the Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti Wrinkle Defense Serum, the Broad Spectrum SPF20 Anti Wrinkle Protect Fluid and the Anti Wrinkle Eye and Lip Cream, Caudalie have it all covered in providing you with three steps in your skin care regime. Whether it's wrinkles you're worried about and want to tackle, or whether you simply want protection from the daily stresses that pollution and UV rays cause your skin, each of these products will do a swell job.

Although each of the products in this gift set are screaming out at my tired, stressed skin- the Anti Wrinkle Eye and Lip Cream has been the one I have been most excited about. With promises that the gel-cream formula will help to diminish my dark circles and signs of fatigue, I'm all over it, like I'm sure most mums would be! With Matrixyl 3000 (an anti-ageing formula), fern, horse chestnut, liquorice and witch hazel combined with the Polyphenol and Vitamin C, the area the product is applied to, in this case the eyes and areas around the lips, are smoothed, tightened and moisturised.

Second up, is the oil free Anti-Wrinkle Serum, which works to block the main causes of wrinkles as well as again, defending against the aggressions of daily life that cause stress to the skin, such as pollution and UV rays. It contains Hyaluronic Acid which makes it a winner for me- who doesn't love Hyaluronic Acid, and also has plumping and moisturising effects, making it now, a must have for me.

Finally, is the Broad Spectrum SPF20 Anti-Wrinkle Protect Fluid, which acts as a moisturising shield for the day. Again, like the others, including Vitamin C, Polyphenol and Hyaluronic Acid, this works to plump, protect and perfect skin. Both morning and night, this is applied after your serum and sits on the skin really nicely. The scent is pretty incredible and I would go as far as to say it's my favourite smelling skin care product. Zesty and mouth watering, it's a delight to apply and the smoothing effects are practically immediate, making it a very lovely product to use.

Available to buy now, the Caudalie C15 Polyphenol Ultimate Wrinkle Defense Set costs £35 and is available to buy from the Caudalie website as well as in Selfridges

*This post is sponsored

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Sunday, October 19

Illamasqua Multi Facet Palette- Aura

My third Illamasqua post of the month so far and oh wow, it's another good one. Illamasqua's latest launch is in the form of an all singing all dancing palette and I cannot get enough.

The Multi Facet Palette is available in two shades; Semblance and Aura*, and my palette, Aura is home to Illamasqua's Gleam in Aurora, their best selling Cream Pigment in Hollow, an Eyebrow Cake in Thunder, a Powder Blusher in Tremble and four beautiful Powder Eyeshadows in Vision, Servant, Feint and Machine. 

A beautiful mix of both powder and creams, Aura works to create a really lovely look when used both together and individually and whether its dimension and light or a pop of colour that you're after, Aura does the job beautifully.

I'm a really huge fan of Aurora and Hollow as it is, and use them to contour and highlight on a regular basis, and so I'm really pleased that this palette has given me the opportunity to restock on a couple of old favourites as well as try a couple of new things, especially the Eyebrow Cake which I absolutely love. The palette also comes with a miniature double ended brush which is super handy.

This is for sure going to become my "on the go" palette as it's so perfect for trips away, chucking into your make up bag and for a no fuss make up routine.

Available to buy now in both Aura and Semblance, the Multi Facet Palettes cost £45 which I personally think is reasonable, in Illamasqua stores and at counters in the likes of Selfridges.

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Thursday, October 16

Nioxin Hair Therapy Services and #NioxinTherapy Twitter Party

If there's a time when my hair makes me feel good, it's when it's at its fullest and bounciest and after speaking to friends of mine, it seems that that's the general consensus in my circle. 

Whilst I was pregnant, my hair thickened up beautifully, but now, I'm now anxiously waiting for the moment that all that extra hair starts to fall out, with my trusty Nioxin System Kit by my shower ready and waiting.

Thinning hair can have a huge effect on a hair conscious person and Nioxin have created three new hair therapy services to help with a range of conditions;

DERMA Scalp Renew Therapy: removes dead skin cells and excess sebum, accelerating scalp surface skin regeneration to provide the foundation for thicker, fuller looking hair using the Scalp Renew Dermabrasion treatment and a soothing massage

DENSITY Protect Therapy: helps to reduce hair breakage and restore a dense and vibrant appearance to your hair using the Scalp Renew Density Protection Treatment and a deeply relaxing massage

DIAMETER Boost Therapy: increases the diameter of your hair instantly and thickens hair from the roots. This treatment combines Nioxin Diaboost with a pampering massage.

To celebrate the launch of the three new in-salon treatments, Nioxin are working with a trio of experts, who will each provide personalised advice, to help with both wellbeing and confidence. 

 An expert from The Institute of Trichologists, Tim Weeks- a fitness expert and Madeline Shaw- a nutritional health coach, will be taking part in a Twitter Chat next week on the 23rd October from 12pm-1pm, following their successful Journey Confidence Workshop back in July. 

There to deliver top tips and advice to all, if you have any hair thinning queries or fitness or nutritional questions, the Confidence Coaches can be reached with the #NioxinTherapy hashtag, so do get involved!

I'll be taking part with a list of questions that I'm desperate to have answered by the experts themselves, and I certainly hope to see you there!

*This is a sponsored post

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Tuesday, October 14

HARRISON LOVES: Medela Swing Maxi Double Electric Breastpump

Okay, so not much of a Harrison loves, more of a Laura loves here, but the Medela Swing Maxi Double Electric Breastpump was a must have for me during my breastfeeding experience and was something I thought would be worth sharing with those who are/are considering breastfeeding.

For me, breastfeeding was something that I loved to do, it gave me a special bonding time with my baby that no one could take away and gave me the opportunity to provide for Harrison in a way that nobody else could, whilst also having the nicest cuddles. However, as lovely as cuddles and the feeling of providing everything Harrison needed was, with a hungry baby, there's no getting around it- it was tough.

Fortunately for me, I didn't experience any pain with breastfeeding. I don't know if that's because I was expecting horrific nipple torture because of horror stories I had been told of previously, or just because I was a "lucky one", but fortunately the experience was pretty pain free. However, what I did have, was extremely leaky boobs which would on most days, leak through doubled up super absorbent breast pads and even leave my nursing vests dripping wet within two hours. No exaggeration.

From around five months into my pregnancy, I was producing colostrum and very soon (almost immediately) after Harrison was born, I was producing enough Milk to feed a whole bundle of babies.
This meant that the besides having a gorgeous new baby to look after and love, one of my first experiences of being a mum was me and every spare moment being consumed by breast milk.

Feeding a hungry Harrison, meant having him on the boob every 2 and a half hours throughout the day, which when you put into perspective of feeding, winding and changing- the cycle was never ending. The more I fed, the more milk I produced, so I very quickly decided that every evening, I would express a couple of bottles for the following morning, just to give me and my nipples some "time off".

Once Harrison had gone down to sleep of an evening, I'd spend around half an hour with my Medela Swing Maxi and very quickly pump two bottles of 4-5oz ready for the following day. After all, there was no point in wasting milk.

The Medela Swing Maxi took away a little bit of the strain and made things a little easier for me. Although I spent what was probably the only free time I had in the evenings expressing milk, it was cut a lot shorter than it would have been had I used another pump due to its double pump feature- meaning I could do two boobs at a time.

With its range of vacuum levels and two phase expression technology, the nipple is first stimulated to imitate a baby sucking and then pumped at a slower speed when the Milk flows, which has some science behind it, making it quicker and more effective.

Other than giving me a bit of "time off", I loved that the Swing Maxi was so quiet and so easily assembled and cleaned. I ran it off of mains power whilst I was sat on the sofa, but it can also be run by battery, where you can also clip the unit onto you. I found it comfortable to use, and again, it didn't cause any pain or discomfort which I'm really pleased about.

For those of you that are breastfeeding and are looking to express as either a short or long term solution, I really do recommend the Medela Swing Maxi. I'm not sure I recommend you buying it before your baby is here, just incase you don't get on with breastfeeding at all, but it's certainly worth thinking about- I know some stocklists have a longer returns policy!

The Medela Swing Maxi Double Electric Pump comes with two breastfeeding bottles and a Calma feeding device and retails for about £239.99 in Mothercare and John Lewis

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Monday, October 13

Illamasqua Once Collection

A recently launched collection perfect now that Autumn is setting in, is the Illasmasqua Once collection.

Bringing old and new together in the form of autumnal colours and textures, Once consists of three Vintage Metallic Eye Shadows (£16.50) in the shades Couriter- a Dusky Rose, Embellish- a rich Cocoa and Bibelot- a Rustic Golden Teal, two new sheer Lipglosses (£16.50) in the shades Opulent- a Rainbow Beige and Exquisite- a Pink Oyster tone, a new Nail Varnish (£14.50) in the shade Melange- an antique Teal and a beautiful Powder Blusher  (£21.50) in the shade Naked Rose which is a super complimentary Pink tone that sits on the skin so softly.

In a metallic cream gel formula, the Vintage Metallic Eye Shadows are absolutely stunning. Out of the three, I've been wearing Courtier the most and like to wear it all over the lid as almost a base for other shades. It sits beautifully and each of them apply really nicely. I tend to use my fingers to apply them, which I know isn't always the most hygienic, but I find it works the product well and blends them out nicer than a brush tends to, probably due to the warmth. Embellish is a rich Cocoa Brown and is probably the most me in the collection, I like to wear a little bit of this in my outer corner and then smudged underneath my eye for a little more drama and think it will be a definite hit for the colder, darker months. 

Even though metallics aren't normally my thing, the collection is really very lovely and I love the new Rose Gold detail on the eyeshadows. The shimmer in the lipglosses would normally put me off, but actually, placed in the centre of the lips, they add a really lovely dimension and although Opulent isn't something I would pick out normally, it's actually very pretty on the lips.

Once is available now at Illamasqua stores and at counters in the likes of Selfridges.

Will you be picking any of the Once collection up? What's your favourite Illamasqua product?

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Friday, October 10

Sarah Chapman Skinesis Morning Facial

I'm pretty ashamed to say that since having Harrison, my skincare routine has become somewhat non existent. A quick cleanse and moisturise in the morning and the evening is as far as it gets most days, and that's at a push. 

Products such as the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Morning Facial* have been great for me as quick pick me ups to put a little life into my skin as just like my skincare routine, most days I don't have the time to apply make up. 

Applied underneath my regular moisturiser, the Morning Facial gives my skin some radiance that my dull skin is seriously lacking at the moment and works to minimise fine lines and restore skin with plumpness with active ingredients and vitamin rich oils such as Jasmine, Rose and Neroli, which together give off the most incredible scent. Ever.

It's an in-between of a treatment oil and serum and I honestly can't get enough. The whole of the Sarah Chapman Skinesis range is just divine and all the time I'm lacking on the full skincare routine front, Morning and Overnight Facial are my go-to products for quick, guaranteed results. 

Available to buy in Space NK costing £45, it's 100% worth a look if you fancy a luxurious skin pick me up, as is the rest of the range, which I blogged about here


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Thursday, October 9

Illamasqua's Virgin Atlantic Collaboration- Virgin

As an air hostess myself, I'm fully aware of the "glamour" that surrounds the role and know how important the Red lip is in the industry- especially to Virgin dolls. 

If anything, the Red Lip and up-do is the only thing that puts glamour into the job, even more so now that Illamasqua have created a Red lipstick for Virgin Atlantic, to celebrate their 30th birthday. 

The Red Glamore lipstick in the shade Virgin accompanies their fabulous new Vivienne Westwood uniform and will be seen on the lips of both the cabin and ground crew.

Virgin is a classic Red lipstick that is perfect for those brave enough to rock a Red lip daily and for those who want some evening glamour. Perfected into a Satin formula, Virgin sits on the lips comfortably and applies to the lips as you would imagine a creamy Satin formula would.

Although I don't tend to wear a Red lip too often out of work, when I return to work next year, I'll be rocking Virgin on my lips for sure.

Virgin is available to buy now at Illamasqua stores and at counters in the likes of Selfridges, costing £18.50.

 What do you think of Virgin? Does this Classic Red look like the kind of Red you would rock day to day? Will you be picking it up for the festive season or will you be leaving it purely for the dollies?

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