Spruce Up Your Summer Outfits With TK Maxx

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As much as I'm enjoying the beautiful weather we've been having lately, we all know that summers in the UK tend to be pretty short-lived. As a result, I find that I don't spend as much on summer clothes as I do on winter wear, and often, I'll pull out the same dresses and tops year after year. But even if the clothes are still good, a girl likes to change things up a little every now and again, wouldn't you agree? I certainly do, and I always find that the easiest way to update an outfit is by throwing some shiny new accessories into the mix.

When it comes to shopping for accessories, nothing makes me happier than finding a great quality piece at a steal of a price, which is why TK Maxx is the ideal place to look, both in-store and online. They have such a vast selection of designer shoes, bags and jewellery that you're sure to find something you like, and with up to 60% off the recommended retail price, well, you'd be crazy not to give it a try, no?!

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Now I'm the first to acknowledge that not everybody "gets" TK Maxx. I didn't get it myself for years. Their stores don't necessarily have the polish that other stores have - if you're looking for minimalistic, colour coordinated displays, you're going to be disappointed - but if you're prepared to embrace the treasure hunt experience, there are some real gems waiting to be uncovered. The presentation might not be the prettiest, but there are some genuinely good deals to be had if you just look a little closer. In fact, scratch that. There are some amazing deals to be had, and one thing I've discovered is that the more you look, the more you find.

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Still feeling sceptical? Well, as part of their #RidiculousPossibilities campaign, TK Maxx challenged me to update a couple of my summer looks by selecting my five top accessories picks. And with the total price of all five coming in at £100 on the nose, I think it's fair to say that I've managed to do that without breaking the bank. That's got to be worth bragging about, right?! Well, call it bragging or call it sharing, I'm going to tell you what I got!

Look 1 - The Jeans And Blouse Combo 

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My daily uniform throughout most of the British summer consists of skinny jeans and some sort of pretty blouse or top. From working at home to running errands to popping out for lunch or a coffee, this is the look that sees me through pretty much all of it. And truth be told, it can get a bit "samey" after a while, but I've definitely been able to inject a little bit of interest with a couple of pretty new accessories from TK Maxx.

Accessory pick 1 - Backless Loafers - Super on-trend, super comfortable and made from the softest blush pink suede, the quality of these backless loafers is amazing and I can totally see why the recommended retail price is £95. TK Maxx's price? £24.99. It's hard to beat the feeling of glee you get when you land yourself a saving like that! Plus, I love the way the pink adds a little "something something" to my standard blue jeans and white top. Possibly my favourite accessory of the five, I can see these getting plenty of wear throughout the summer.

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Accessory pick 2 -  Stud Earrings - Delicate jewellery always makes the perfect finishing touch to an outfit, and these cute little stud earrings are perfect. I love the mix of silver and gold tones and the fact that they're slightly bigger than my usual everyday earrings. I also love the unusual shape, as you can vary which way up you wear them. These were an absolute steal at £14.99 - they look and feel a lot more expensive than that.

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Look 2 - The Summer Day Dress 

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When things get a little bit warmer, you just can't beat a pretty, summery day dress. This one was bought recently, but the classic cut and timeless broderie anglaise fabric mean I'll be able to wear it for many summers to come. By changing up my accessories, I'll also be able to keep it looking fresh and up to date.

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Accessory pick 3 - Espadrilles - Speaking of up to date, espadrilles are incredibly popular right now, and this dainty neutral pair from TK Maxx cost just under £30. They look great with jeans and shorts as well as dresses and have an effortless vibe about them while still being feminine and pretty. They're super comfortable too.

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Accessory pick 4 - Basket Bag - I've spotted so many bags like this on my Instagram feed lately. I love everything about this one - the pom pom detailing, the rustic wicker look and the fact that it's large enough for everything but the kitchen sink, which makes it perfect to use as a beach or picnic bag. It cost just £19.99 which is a real snatch, especially considering the detail on it and the fact that it's handmade. I also think it compliments my white dress perfectly and brings it right into 2017!

Accessory pick 5 - Pendant Necklace - To complete my second look, I went for this dainty hamsa hand necklace on a delicate gold chain. Just like the earrings, it feels reassuringly solid and the quality definitely belies the £9.99 price tag. I just don't think you can have too many dainty necklaces, and I love the way this one looks peeping out from the collar of the dress.

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Are you a TK Maxx shopper? And do you have any plans to upgrade existing outfits with some of their amazing accessories this summer? If you do, make sure you come back and brag about it! It's all part of the fun, and I'd love to see what bargains you manage to get your hands on!

Kate x

*This post was sponsored by TK Maxx. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Klairs Mid-Day Blue Sun Lotion Review

Klairs Mid-Day Blue Sun Lotion Review - 1

I haven't tried that many Asian beauty products yet, but I have really loved all those that have made it into my collection so far, and this sun lotion from Korean brand Klairs is definitely no exception.

Klairs creates products that promise to be gentle on the skin and free from colourants, alcohol, parabens and artificial fragrances, as well as cruelty free and vegan friendly. Prettily packaged in an adorable baby blue tube, this Mid-Day Blue Sun Lotion* is definitely gentle on skin, but it's also seriously tough when it comes to fending off everything the sun likes to do to our faces on a hot day!

Klairs Mid-Day Blue Sun Lotion Review - 2

For a start, it's a moisturising sun screen which offers SPF 40 protection against UVA and UVB rays, but in addition to this, it also shields skin from the sun's infrared light. This is where the heat comes from, as opposed to the light from UV. Apparently, exposure to heat is a factor in skin ageing, just like exposure to UV. I have to admit, this isn't something I was aware of before, so it was a bit of an eye-opener to find it out! Not only does Klairs Sun Lotion feel cooling and soothing when applied, it's also proven to keep your skin at a slightly lower temperature than it would otherwise be when exposed to infrared light. So you feel that little bit more comfortable, and you're getting that extra protection too. Genius!

When you first squeeze this out of the tube, you notice that even the cream itself is a cute baby blue colour, and when you apply it to your face, it leaves you with a very faint blue cast. This fades as the sun lotion absorbs, though it remains ever so slightly detectable. This is done on purpose, as it neutralises redness (probably quite a handy feature on hot days!) while the guaiazulene (derived from chamomile oil) which gives the cream this blue colour, also has soothing properties. The cream has recently been reformulated to reduce the level of "blueness" left on your skin, and once I had put makeup on, I couldn't see any at all. However, it might be something to bear in mind if you intend wearing it without.

Klairs Mid-Day Blue Sun Lotion Review - 3

In terms of how it affects makeup, I was pleased to find that it absorbed quickly without leaving any stickiness behind, meaning that I was able to apply my usual products and completely forget that I was wearing sun screen.

All in all this is a great facial sun lotion and one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

Have you tried anything from Klairs? What's your favourite brand of sun screen?

Kate x

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

The Coolest Festival Makeup Ever?

UV Festival Makeup from 3ina - 1

I spent what I like to call my "party years" in Belgium, a country that puts on a pretty impressive display when it comes to summer music festivals - the most famous probably being Rock Werchter. This was entirely wasted on me because, I have to be honest, festivals have never really been my thing, even when I was young. I've been to a few in my time... so long as I could get home to my own bed at the end of the night. The camping and the mud? No thanks!

One thing that decidedly is my thing, however, is makeup. And if I'd had some like this in my collection back in those days, I might have been persuaded to go to a couple more festivals, purely to show it off.

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The makeup in question is from a new brand called 3ina, who got in touch with me recently to ask if I'd like to try a few pieces from their UV collection. Designed to look neon in regular lighting, which is already pretty cool, the products also glow under UV lights. I was intrigued by the concept, so said yes right away. They sent me three items - the Fluoro Top Coat*, the Fluoro Eye Pencil* and the Fluoro Cream Eyeshadow* in 402 which is a gorgeous hot pink. They also thoughtfully provided a little UV light torch, so I could see the products in all their glory. I did have a few reservations about the quality, as, after all, the emphasis here is on the "fun" element, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The Flouro top coat can be added on top of any nail varnish. It offers a nice gloss with a slight blue cast in normal lighting conditions, and a fabulous glow under UV. You can also achieve this with two coats of top coat on its own. You just have to be careful how you apply this, as the UV light really magnifies any sloppiness around the edges as you can see in the photo below!

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UV Festival Makeup from 3ina - 4

The Fluoro Eye Pencil applies just like a regular black kohl eyeliner, but look at what happens under the UV light!

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UV Festival Makeup from 3ina - 6

My favourite of the three products is the Fluoro Cream Eyeshadow. It's very soft to apply and looks so effective worn all over the lids. I don't even think you would necessarily need to reserve this for festivals or nightclubs, as I think it would work beautifully on a regular night out if you felt like rocking something a little different. The picture of me wearing the eyeshadow is without UV light, so you can see how vibrant it is in its natural state. If you check out this link you can see how it looks in its full UV glory.

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UV Festival Makeup from 3ina - 8

Are you/have you ever been a festival goer? And would you wear this makeup, at festivals or even elsewhere?

Kate x

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

June Favourites

June Favourites 2017, featuring Chanel Les Beiges Foundation, L'Oreal Color Riche Matte Addiction Lipstick and more - 1

So, precisely how did we get half way through the year already?! June has been a hectic but very nice month. I got to spend a few days in London with my sister, which is always one of my favourite things to do. The weather was so beautiful too so it almost felt like we were on holiday, and with the amount of iced coffees we consumed, let's just say I don't think that Starbucks will be going out of business any time soon.

As usual, I've handpicked a few favourite items of the month, so let's get started shall we?
June Favourites 2017, featuring Chanel Les Beiges Foundation, L'Oreal Color Riche Matte Addiction Lipstick and more - 2

 1. Chanel Les Beiges Foundation - Back when I first started blogging, I only wore full coverage, long lasting foundations and couldn't imagine wearing anything else. Now, partly because blogging has taught me so much about taking care of my skin properly, I feel like I can branch out into lighter bases more. Chanel Les Beiges is one I've wanted to try for a long time and I've been loving it this month. It's a great "compromise" foundation, offering a healthy glow without being overly dewy, and a decent amount of coverage without venturing into mask like territory. There are so many others I would like to try, but I think this one will be a mainstay of my collection for a long time to come. I have shade 20 which is a good match for my fair to medium skin.

June Favourites 2017, featuring Chanel Les Beiges Foundation, L'Oreal Color Riche Matte Addiction Lipstick and more - 3

June Favourites 2017, featuring Chanel Les Beiges Foundation, L'Oreal Color Riche Matte Addiction Lipstick and more - 4

2. L'Oreal Color Riche Matte Addiction Lipstick in 640 Erotique - As far as I can tell there is nothing new about this lipstick range, but for some reason I hadn't discovered it before a few weeks ago. The formula is just gorgeous. The finish is matte, but probably the softest, creamiest matte I have ever encountered and very comfortable to wear. The shade Erotique is a beautiful rosy pink nude and I've worn it almost every day this month.

June Favourites 2017, featuring Chanel Les Beiges Foundation, L'Oreal Color Riche Matte Addiction Lipstick and more - 5

3. DHC Liquid Eyeliner* - DHC is a Japanese beauty brand. I hadn't heard of it before it started popping up on my Instagram feed over the last couple of months, and then as luck would have it, a very kindly PR company sent me a couple of things from the brand. One was this precision point liquid eyeliner. While my favourite Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is difficult to beat, this one comes very close indeed. It has a super fine nib that gives a beautifully precise, black line. I really love the shiny pink packaging too!

June Favourites 2017, featuring Chanel Les Beiges Foundation, L'Oreal Color Riche Matte Addiction Lipstick and more - 6

4. DHC Olive Virgin Oil Swabs*  -  The second DHC product I was sent was this box of cotton buds. Also beautifully packaged, this is such a simple but brilliant idea. Each individually wrapped cotton bud or swab is infused with virgin olive oil, meaning that they are perfect for cleaning up any eye makeup mistakes. I used to dip a cotton bud into makeup remover to do this, and now I don't have to! They're also useful for moisturising small areas like cuticles and around the nose. I did wonder if oil infused swabs would feel greasy to the touch, but they don't at all. They just feel like regular cotton buds until you start to wipe them over your misplaced eye makeup, and like magic, it disappears.

June Favourites 2017, featuring Chanel Les Beiges Foundation, L'Oreal Color Riche Matte Addiction Lipstick and more - 7

5. H&M Skirt - I wore this skirt pretty much every day during the June heatwave (all four days of it!) It's an effortless piece as it goes with everything and the slightly longer length is ideal for city wear. H&M appear to have a slightly different wash in stock now but from what I can see, the cut is the same.

June Favourites 2017, featuring Chanel Les Beiges Foundation, L'Oreal Color Riche Matte Addiction Lipstick and more - 8

What have you been loving this month?

Kate x

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

Bespoke Vegan Skincare From Bio-Extracts

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I've always said that discovering new brands is one of my favourite things about blogging. When those brands turn out to offer beautiful quality products in an exciting way I've not experienced before, so much the better. And I want to share one such brand with you today.

Back in May, I was invited to dinner along with a group of other Thirty Plus bloggers to the uber hip and popular Farmacy, a vegan restaurant in Notting Hill. The choice of a vegan restaurant was very deliberate, as the dinner was being hosted by Bio-Extracts, a vegan skincare brand. Not only did we enjoy a healthy, delicious feast, a few drinks and a good old natter, we also got to hear all about the concept behind Bio-Extracts from the founder, Marina Shcherbinina.

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I was really intrigued by the range, as it wasn't like anything I've seen before. Essentially, you can tailor make your own skincare prescription, depending on your own particular needs, and you can alter that prescription to suit the changes your skin goes through as often as you like. You can do this by selecting from a skincare menu of nine different boosters, or concentrated serums, including Clean to Clear, Redness Relief, Anti-Wrinkle, Lifting, Firming, Hydro, Glow, Anti-Oxidant and Pore Minimising. Each one is presented in the form of a syringe, allowing you to add just one or two concentrated drops to your moisturising cream. Bio-Extracts also produces different moisturisers - Light, Normal, Rich and Delicate - and the one you pick will be dependent on the combination of boosters you go for. The beauty of the system is that you can hand pick the care you give to your skin on a daily basis. After all, we all know that sometimes our complexions crave more hydration, at other times more clarifying, etc.

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The creams use a Multi-Lamellar System which mimics the natural layered structure of skin, acting like a patch to lock in moisture and protect against external irritants. This system is also really effective at distributing active ingredients evenly. The boosters, meanwhile, feature a phospholipids-based delivery system - based on the parts of cellular membranes that regulate cell life - to ensure that the active ingredients penetrate deeper into the skin's layers. All the products have been developed with Bio-Technology to ensure that only the purest active plant extracts are used, while the airless packaging helps to preserve the integrity of the product as well as to dispense exactly the amount you need with no mess or wastage.

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Bespoke Vegan Skincare From Bio-Extracts - 7

My personal prescription, handed to me at the dinner, included the Rich Moisturising Cream* and the Hydro*Glow* and Anti-Oxidant* boosters. So far, I've mostly been using the Hydro booster at night and the Glow booster in the morning and my skin has been loving the results. The Hydro booster in particular is so impressive and I really feel that it's been plumping up my fine lines and giving me a fresh looking complexion. There is a lovely, very faint and very natural, fragrance to the products which I can't imagine anyone not liking, even those who aren't keen on any scent in their skincare. The moisturising cream feels rich and nourishing to use without being heavy or greasy in the least, while the little shots of booster serums mix in effortlessly. I love the packaging too - it's based on the concept of your own home skincare lab, and the different coloured syringes make it easy to pick out exactly which boosters you want to use that day. All in all, I'm loving both the quality of the products and the freedom to adjust my prescription to suit my skin's changing needs. It's such a clever idea and my complexion is definitely grateful!

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What do you think of Bio-Extracts and their custom skincare range? Is it something you'd be interested in trying?

Kate x

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

Smart Casual

OOTD featuring Shein, H&M and Topshop

Do you ever feel like you don't own anything "smart casual"? Like your wardrobe consists of jeans and t-shirts or fancy dresses and nothing in between? This is a situation I often find myself in - particularly with shoes. I have plimsolls or I have party shoes. Well, perhaps that is a slight exaggeration, but what I am trying to say is this - when I saw these studded sandals in Topshop the other day, I knew that they were going to fill a gaping hole in my life.

OOTD featuring Shein, H&M and Topshop

They are the perfect in between shoe. Dressier than loafers (and definitely dressier than plimsolls), they're a lot more laid back than a skyscraper heel, not to mention infinitely more walkable. Which is good, because a girl doesn't always get chauffeur driven to every event, now does she? They're cute, comfortable and flattering, and the stud detailing, in my opinion, makes them look a lot more expensive than their £32 price tag. I can see them being useful on so many different occasions and I'm sure they'll be worn to death in no time at all. If you're not crazy about the black, they're also available in a soft grey colour.

OOTD featuring Shein, H&M and Topshop

OOTD featuring Shein, H&M and Topshop

As for the rest of my outfit, I went for this pleated white midi skirt from H&M which I've had for a while. You can see it styled up quite differently in this post. Pretty, feminine and easy to wear, it's a great option for a smart casual look. I've paired it with this light pink neck tie top from Shein. Simply cut and in a flattering, silky feel fabric, it's a great little multi tasking piece that will tuck into anything from shorts or jeans to culottes and any kind of skirt you can imagine. You can create a pussy bow with the neck tie or you can just leave it knotted like I've done here, offering you even more options.

OOTD featuring Shein, H&M and Topshop

Top* - Shein, Skirt (similar) - H&M, Shoes (grey version), Bag - Topshop

Finally, I've added my trusty little cross body bag from Topshop to balance out the shoes and pull the whole look together.

OOTD featuring Shein, H&M and Topshop

What's your favourite way to do smart casual?

Kate x

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

The Two Types Of Eye Mask You Need In Your Life

Starskin Smoothing Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Eye Masks And Spacemasks Aromatherapy Eye Mask

I've got two products to tell you about in today's post. Although their uses are quite different, they can both be described as eye masks, and they have one other thing in common too - they're both amazing!

First up, these Starskin Smoothing Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Eye Masks. I've long been a fan of sheet masks, but until recently had never tried the kind that are designed for the under eye area. Like most people, I have some fine lines there, so I was curious to see whether these masks were effective at reducing their appearance.

There are lots of brands that make these, but many of them can be quite pricey for what is, after all, a single use product. I decided to go for the Starskin ones as at £8.50 for a set of two they seemed better value than many on the market. I ordered mine from Look Fantastic.

Starskin Smoothing Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Eye Masks And Spacemasks Aromatherapy Eye Mask

The masks promise to intensely hydrate the under eye area, smooth wrinkles, reduce puffiness, relieve fatigue and brighten dark circles. They are packed full of natural ingredients including firming acai berry, regenerating snail mucus, nourishing olive oil and soothing chamomile.

The bright red packaging is attractive, and I like the fact that the masks come in handy, travel friendly sachets. As soon as you open one of them up, you can see just how much serum the masks have been soaked with - there is loads of the stuff. You need to peel away the protective top and bottom layers before sticking the mask down beneath your eye, which is really the only fiddly part of the process. Once it's there, it stays put, and I found I was able to move around and do other things for the ten to fifteen minutes I was wearing the masks.

Starskin Smoothing Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Eye Masks And Spacemasks Aromatherapy Eye Mask

Starskin Smoothing Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Eye Masks And Spacemasks Aromatherapy Eye Mask

You're advised to keep them in the fridge for ten minutes before use to really make the most of the de-puffing effects. I didn't do this, as I don't really suffer from puffiness under my eyes. However, they still felt cooling and refreshing on my skin. In fact, wearing them made me feel as though I was actually becoming more awake, rather than just doing something to help me look that way.

Not only are these a pleasure to use, they're really effective too. I looked so fresh-faced after using these that I felt like they'd knocked a few years off. Plus, they plumped up my fine lines in a way that no eye cream has ever been able to do. Yes, the effects may be temporary, but even so, I was really impressed. I am definitely going to repurchase, as I want to have some in my stash ready for a big event or any time I've not been able to sleep and need to look like I have!

Starskin Smoothing Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Eye Masks And Spacemasks Aromatherapy Eye Mask

The second product I want to tell you about is something that was sent to me - It's called a spacemask*. It's the type of mask you place over your eyes when you want something to help you sleep, but this one is a little bit special. First of all, it starts to heat up as soon as you release it from the sachet, meaning that it feels wonderfully warm and comforting when you place it over your eyes. Secondly, it's scented with jasmine - one of my favourite fragrances - so you get a beautiful aromatherapy hit that helps you to relax even more.

As soon as I put this on, I felt myself letting go and I was honestly ready to sleep within a matter of a few minutes. I will definitely be getting more of these too. You can pick them up here at £15 for a box of five.

Have you tried either of these types of eye mask?

Kate x

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

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