The Casual Bardot

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The Casual Bardot 1 - OOTD featuring Topshop off the shoulder top

It occurred to me recently that I've shown you this top in both a wishlist post and a favourites post, but not actually styled it up for a proper outfit post before. Given that I love it so much, I thought it was about time I put that right! It's the Topshop Structured Bardot, and you've probably seen it all over the internet by now.

The Casual Bardot 2 - OOTD featuring Topshop off the shoulder top 
There's a good reason for this. It's beautifully designed, feminine, made from gorgeous silky fabric and available in a rainbow of tempting colours. I've mostly been wearing mine with skinny jeans and heels for evenings out, but it works really well styled more casually too. Everything I'm wearing here is from Topshop, but other than the top, it's all old. The button through skirt has proved very useful - great in winter with over the knee boots and a striped polo neck, and equally good with bare legs and sandals now it's warmer.

The Casual Bardot 3 - OOTD featuring Topshop off the shoulder top

Top, Skirt, Sandals (similar), Bag (similar) - Topshop, Sunglasses - River Island

For me, a denim mini and flat sandals is pretty much a summer uniform, something I turn to year after year. The bardot top brings it right up to date. On holiday, this is essentially what I wear on a daily basis!

Have you embraced the off the shoulder trend? And what's your summer uniform?

Kate x
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Sunsets and Raspberry Kisses

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It's been a while since I did a makeup look on the blog, so I have one for you today! It was inspired by the Deluxe Lip Lacquer I received from Collection recently, called Raspberry Kisses. This beautiful lip gloss reminded me of the deep pink of sunsets, so I decided to put together a sunset inspired look. Hope you like it!

Sunsets and Raspberry Kisses 1 - Collection Deluxe Lip Lacquer in Raspberry Kisses

Base

I'm currently really enjoying Clarins Extra Comfort foundation again. I've always loved the finish of it - probably more than any other base product I've tried so far. My main gripe with it was always that the staying power wasn't the greatest, but as my skin has been quite dry lately, I've found that it's lasting a lot longer on me. Every cloud has a silver lining, right?! I've also applied Collection Lasting Perfection concealer to cover any blemishes, and I've used Clarins Instant Concealer under my eyes, as it's very good at not settling into any fine lines - again, this is better for me while my skin is feeling dry.

Sunsets and Raspberry Kisses 2 - Clarins Extra Comfort Foundation

Sunsets and Raspberry Kisses 3 - Clarins Instant Concealer

Brows

Nothing special here, I just defined them as I always do using Benefit Brow Zings.

Eyes

Over a base of Urban Decay Anti-Ageing Primer Potion, I applied the shade Snobby from theBalm NUDE'tude eyeshadow palette*. It's a really pretty light peach shade and I love wearing it all over the lid. I blended a bit of Sultry into the crease, curled my lashes and added lashings of Make Up For Ever Excessive Lash mascara*.

Sunsets and Raspberry Kisses 4 - theBalm NUDE'tude eyeshadow palette

Bronzer, Blush and Highlight

I swept Benefit Dallas all over for a nice sunkissed glow, then applied Laura Geller Baked Blush-n-Brighten Blush in Tropic Hues* to the apples of my cheeks. This is a really beautiful product - a swirl of pinks and oranges and hints of gold. It basically looks like sunset in a pan so it's perfect for this look! As well as a gorgeous sweep of warm colour, it also has a subtle sheen to it, but even so I dabbed on a little bit of Mac Soft and Gentle for extra glow. You can never have too much glow. Especially when you're trying to look like a sunset.

Sunsets and Raspberry Kisses 5 - Laura Geller Baked Blush-n-Brighten in Tropic Hues and Mac Soft and Gentle

Lips

As I mentioned at the start of the post, I'm wearing Collection Deluxe Lip Lacquer in Raspberry Kisses*. It's a really beautiful, buildable gloss with plenty of shine. I'm wearing it on its own here, which just shows you how pigmented it is once you've piled on a couple of coats, but they're designed to compliment the Deluxe Lipsticks, which I imagine would give an even more intense result. There is a very slight stickiness to this product, but it's still comfortable to wear and isn't drying at all, probably due to the Vitamin E it contains. It also lasts reasonably well, although you'll probably need to reapply after a meal or after four to five hours of wear. All in all it's a lovely lip gloss with a really nice finish.

Sunsets and Raspberry Kisses 6 - Collection Deluxe Lip Lacquer in Raspberry Kisses and Makeup Forever Excessive Lash Mascara

Sunsets and Raspberry Kisses 7 - Collection Deluxe Lip Lacquer in Raspberry Kisses

And here's the finished look! I love the idea of this makeup on a warm summer evening, sitting at a little restaurant somewhere by the Mediterranean... just need to book a holiday now!

Sunsets and Raspberry Kisses 8 - FOTD

Sunsets and Raspberry Kisses 9 - FOTD

What makeup looks are you loving at the moment?

Kate x

*PR Samples. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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Weleda Skin Food

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Having really loved the Almond Hand Cream I received from Weleda at the last PegasusLive event, I was thrilled to find another product from the brand in this year's goodie bag. Skin Food is not exactly what you would call a new launch. In fact, it's been going for ninety years, and the formula has remained unchanged in all that time. So they must be doing something right!

Weleda Skin Food 1
 
An incredibly rich and thick cream, Skin Food is a bit of a multi-purpose product. It's designed as a heavy duty moisturiser, to rescue particularly dry areas such as hands, feet and elbows. However, you can use it all over your body, as an overnight treat for your face or even to tame the ends of your hair. Like all Weleda products, it's certified 100% natural and is ethically and sustainably produced, right down to the fully recyclable packaging. A fashion week staple, its list of celebrity fans is impressive and includes Suki Waterhouse, Alexa Chung, Erin O'Connor and Helena Christensen.

As soon as you squeeze this product from the tube, you just know that any pesky dry patches are going to find their days are numbered pretty quickly. It's seriously rich, and takes a fair amount of working in. I also find it takes a long time for my skin to drink it up completely, so it's probably not one for those mornings when you're in a hurry! However, it's brilliant to slather on hands and feet (or anywhere you need a good moisture hit) before bed. I've been using it like this on my hands, and by morning they feel smooth and baby-soft.

Weleda Skin Food 2

Weleda Skin Food 3

Possibly my favourite thing about this product is the smell. It contains, among other ingredients, chamomile, rosemary and orange, and the fragrance is a delightful mixture of all three. It's not overpowering at all, but it does linger, which I love.

This is a fabulous product to keep in your stash for those times when you need a bit of extra help with dry skin. You can pick it up from health food stores, pharmacies or Holland and Barrett, or order online from Weleda.

Have you tried Skin Food?

Kate x

PR Sample. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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Rain or Shine

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Rain or Shine 1 - OOTD featuring Topshop, Zara and Butterfly Twists

I really don't want to be boring and bang on about the weather again, but SERIOUSLY. WTF is going on in the UK right now?! Mike and I have been in London for the past few days, and it has quite literally been blazing sunshine one minute and torrential downpours the next. Pretty difficult to pack and dress for, especially when you have various events to attend. (A couple of family meals, plus the Pegasus Healthy Beauty Showcase for me, which you might have seen if you follow me on Snapchat - my username is katelouiseblogs.)

Rain or Shine 2 - OOTD featuring Topshop, Zara and Butterfly Twists

Rain or Shine 3

Luckily, a couple of new purchases have helped to see me through, together with a pair of very cool wellies which I was lucky enough to be sent by Butterfly Twists.

Rain or Shine 4 - OOTD featuring Topshop, Zara and Butterfly Twists

BlouseJeans, Bag (similar) - Topshop, Jacket - Zara, Wellington Boots - Butterfly Twists*, Sunglasses - H&M, Watch - Jord

Zara really are brilliant at these Chanel style jackets, and I managed to pick this one up in the sale, which I was pretty chuffed about. I love the ruffle details, and it's the perfect thing to wear in this changeable weather as it gives you just enough cover when the sun decides to disappear behind a bank of cloud. With this super pretty Topshop blouse underneath, plus a pair of jeans and heels, I felt great when out for a boozy lunch with family over the weekend. Later on, I simply swapped the heels for my new wellies and voila! I was ready to walk it all off in the park.

Rain or Shine 5 - OOTD featuring Topshop, Zara and Butterfly Twists

Rain or Shine 6 - OOTD featuring Topshop, Zara and Butterfly Twists

Rain or Shine 7 - OOTD featuring Topshop, Zara and Butterfly Twists

Not only do the wellies feel cushioned and very comfortable to walk in, they're pretty stylish too. I love the taupe colour as it feels very summer appropriate, and I'm a big fan of the mock croc design. They'd be perfect for festivals with denim shorts! This particular style - the Carlisle - also comes in black or brown and I'm seriously considering picking up one of those colours for Autumn/Winter. As wellies go, they're about as chic as it gets, and I'm all about the chic! (Or at least that's what I tell myself.)

Rain or Shine 8 - OOTD featuring Topshop, Zara and Butterfly Twists

How do you adapt your wardrobe to this crazy weather?

Rain or Shine 9 - OOTD featuring Topshop, Zara and Butterfly Twists

Kate x

*Gifted Item. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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June Favourites

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June Favourites 1

You'd never guess from the weather we've been having (in the UK at least) but it is now July. And we all know what that means, don't we? Oh yes, it's favourites time again. This month, I've got two fashion items, two beauty products and couple of makeup gems for you.

June Favourites 2 - River Island Shoes

1. River Island Shoes - Featured in this post and worn to death this past month. They're suede, with the cutest cut-outs and lace-up detail at the back, and look great with jeans, dresses or skirts. They're also comfortable - I've spent whole days on the go in these. Not much more to say about them really, except that they are currently in the River Island sale, so if you fancy nabbing a footwear bargain then go, go, go!

June Favourites 3 - Avene Thermal Water Spray and Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist

2. Avene Thermal Water Spray*- For years I never saw the point of facial mists. But recently, thanks to blogging, I've had the opportunity to try a couple, and I'm totally converted! (Incidentally, I'm not the only one - it was such a coincidence to read Hanh's post just as I was planning to include two facial mists in my latest favourites! She recommends some interesting ones too so do check it out if you haven't already.) This one from Avene has soothing and anti-irritating properties, and I've found that it's really nice to use after a hot shower or any time I feel as though my face is a bit red and sensitive. You can also use it on your legs if they're feeling dry or irritated after shaving, and apparently it's good for sunburn too, although I haven't actually been in a position to test that yet and hope not to be! The mist is very fine, it feels cool and hydrating to use and does a great job of calming any redness. Basically it's a great multi-purpose product and I can't imagine not having one of these in my stash now!


3. Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist* - The second facial mist I've been loving this month has got to be one of the most divine smelling beauty products in existence. If, like me, you love the scent of roses, you will actually get excited at the prospect of using this every time you pick up the bottle. Another light mist, you can spritz this on any time you feel like your skin needs a hit of hydration, but my favourite time to use it is in the evenings, just before I apply my night cream. There's just something about that beautiful rose scent that makes me feel that it's the perfect bedtime treat.


June Favourites 4 - NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in London 
4. NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in London - I've seen these popping up on so many blogs in recent months and always think they look great, so I decided to treat myself to one. As a matter of fact I've only had it about a week, but it still firmly deserves its spot in my June favourites! The formula is fantastic. It applies really smoothly to a gorgeous "soft matte" finish - that name really is the best way to describe it - and has an addictive caramel scent. It's not amazingly long-lasting, but re-application is easy enough and for £5.50 I don't think you can go wrong with these. The shade London is the perfect nude and has quickly become my go-to everyday lip colour.

June Favourites 5 - Make Up For Ever Excessive Lash Mascara 
5. Make Up For Ever Excessive Lash Mascara* - My goodness, this is good! It gives length, volume like you wouldn't believe, and it also fans out your lashes beautifully. I've tried many a mascara in my time, and this is the closest to a false lash effect I've ever come across. It doesn't smudge either, which is brilliant if you have sensitive eyes like me. An all round winner!

June Favourites 6 - Topshop Off the Shoulder Top

6. Topshop Off the Shoulder Top - The silky fabric and structured off the shoulder detail make this top look a lot more expensive than it really is and I've loved wearing it for evenings out this month. It's so feminine and pretty. Just add jeans, heels and a clutch and you're good to go. I'm still really loving the off the shoulder trend and so far this is my only piece. Think I'll have to get a dress next!

So those were my June favourites! What have you been loving this month?

Kate x

*PR Samples. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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Let's Get Personal!

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I seem to be on a roll with posts about gift ideas lately. And like the savvy blogger I am, I'm tying it all in neatly with... erm, nothing. It's not Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day or even bloody Pancake Day. But it's bound to be somebody's birthday at some point soon, right?!

Personalised Gifts From I Just Love It 1 
Today's offerings come from I Just Love It, a website which specialises in personalised gifts. From engravings on jewellery to monogrammed beach towels, I think we all love to receive a gift that's personal to us. I know I do! I Just Love It is packed full of ideas - tableware, stationery, wall art, even chocolates and champagne - all of which can be tailor made to mean that extra something special to the recipient. Very kindly, they offered to send me a couple of examples of the type of gifts they offer. And that's when I came over all romantic.

Personalised Gifts From I Just Love It 2

For my first gift, I chose a personalised heart map. I think these look so cute, and the idea behind them is really lovely. Pick an address that means something to you, and they will supply you with a detailed map of the surrounding area, all beautifully presented within a frame of your choice. I would have liked to pick the spot where my husband proposed to me - told you I was feeling romantic - but as that happened to be in Belgium I had to go for something else, as the choice of address was limited to within the UK. So I picked the location of the first home we've owned together, and it looks really lovely hanging on the wall.

Personalised Gifts From I Just Love It 3

For my second gift, I decided to get a little present for Mike. I've seen a few monogrammed mugs around recently and I really like them - in fact, I want one for myself! I Just Love It's monogrammed mugs are good quality and come in four different colour options (all against a white background). You can also add a short message on the back. I chose instructions as to how Mike likes his tea - just in case either of us forgets!

Personalised Gifts From I Just Love It 4

I'm really impressed with the quality of both items, and would definitely check out I Just Love It again should I be on the lookout for more personalised gifts in the future.

Are you a fan of personalised gifts? And would you go for either of these?

Kate x

This post features PR samples which were kindly gifted to my by I Just Love It. I was not financially compensated for the post and all opinions, as always, are my own.
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Say it with Flowers

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We may be living in an age of email, texts and social media, but I still believe there's something pretty special about sending a bunch of flowers or a greeting card to let someone know you're thinking of them. In fact, scrap that - I think the fact that it's slightly quaint these days makes it even more special!

When I heard about Flowercard, I was intrigued. As the name suggests, it combines mini bouquets with a cute greeting card, so you can send someone some beautiful blooms together with a heartfelt message, straight through the post. I thought this was a lovely idea, and very kindly, they offered to send me one so I could check the service out for myself. This is what I received. Pretty, no?

Flowercard 1

It arrived with the regular post in an attractive blue box, and certainly made me smile when I opened it up. It was ever so slightly battered from its journey, but once I had given it a little bit of TLC, it looked really lovely. Flowercard provide a few tips on how to look after your gift, and include a little pipette so that you can water your flowers and prolong their life for as long as possible, which I thought was a nice touch.

Flowercard 2

The card I went for is called Peach Frills, but there's loads to choose from. If you fancy having a browse, you can do so here.

Flowercard 3

As for the message, I opted to send myself three motivational little words, but you can of course pick anything you like (up to 100 characters), whether that's "congratulations", "get well soon", "I love you" or just "thinking of you".

A little bit more special than just a card, but without any need for the recipient to arrange a huge bunch of flowers, Flowercards are a very cute way to show someone you care!

Flowercard 4

What do you think? Would you send a Flowercard, and would you like to receive one?

Kate x

*Gifted item. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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