Yardley London Lily Of The Valley And English Bluebell

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As anyone who's visited my blog before will probably know, I'm a huge fan of floral fragrances. I'm also a sucker for pretty packaging, so when this lovely delivery from Yardley London arrived on my doorstep last week, it made my day. I've reviewed some similar products from the brand in recent months (check out my timeless beauty gift sets post if you missed it), so I'll keep this short and sweet, but Yardley do these little affordable luxuries so well that I just had to share. This time, they were kind enough to send me body washes and body lotions from two very spring appropriate ranges - Lily  Of The Valley and English Bluebell.

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Body Washes


My favourite thing about Yardley body washes is that they are equally good used as a shower gel or a bubble bath. They foam up beautifully, and leave behind a lovely floral fragrance that lingers subtly on the skin. As tempted as I am to use them up myself, I think I'm going to leave them in my guest bathroom. They look beautiful lined up on the shelf, and I always think it makes visitors feel more at home to have some nice toiletries available for them to use.

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Body Lotions


Lightweight but hydrating, these body lotions are ideal for the warmer months, or whenever you want to smell like spring flowers! Just like the body washes, the floral fragrances are beautiful without being overpowering. Again, I think these would make a lovely addition to a guest bathroom. Often, when I'm visiting friends or family for a night or two, I'll travel light and maybe skip a body lotion as a non-essential item for a short trip. On those sort of occasions, it's lovely to find one sitting ready for me in the bathroom.

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I love both the Lily Of The Valley and the English Bluebell fragrances, and it's such a nice idea to use them now while both are in bloom across the UK. I actually took some outfit photos with a backdrop of bluebells recently and they'll be coming to the blog soon!

Whether you keep them for yourself or offer them to guests, these products are a pleasure to use, smell wonderful and are really affordable too, with each one coming in at well under £10.

Are you a fan of floral fragranced products?

Kate x

*Gifted item. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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How To Wear Coloured Jeans

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How To Wear Coloured Jeans - 1

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I spend most of my day-to-day life in jeans. They're comfortable, practical and suitable for just about every non-fancy occasion, which to be honest equates to about 90% of my life! The average pair of jeans doesn't require much thought when it comes to styling, and that's the beauty of them - they just work with everything. But a recent scroll through the Topshop website presented me with a bit of a dilemma. I fell in love with a pair of jeans that wasn't my usual "type". Pastel pink and covered in tiny diamanté studs, they're about as far away from practical as you could possibly get. Nevertheless, I loved the summery vibe of them, so I decided I just had to make them work. As a result, I've come up with a few tips on how to wear coloured jeans, and because one new obsession tends to spark another, I've also put together a few of my favourite coloured denim pieces that are available on the high street right now.

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Choose The Colour And Style That Works For You


This might sound a bit obvious from the outset, but I think it can be easy to get carried away by the idea of trying something radically different when it comes to choosing coloured jeans. Picking a colour that you already know works well for you, and that will fit into your existing wardrobe, makes it a lot more likely that you're going to love and actually wear your new coloured jeans. The same goes for the cut. In my case, skinnies are my comfort zone, so that's what I've gone for here.

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Build The Outfit Around The Jeans


Standard blue, black or even white jeans tend to be a bit of a fall-back item. When I'm planning an outfit, I'll generally choose the top I want to wear first and the jeans get thrown in as an afterthought, because I know they'll work with anything. Coloured denim turns this on its head. Whether they're rainbow bright or soft and pastel, coloured jeans are a statement piece, so you need to build the outfit around them.

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Neutrals Always Work


There's a bit of a trend at the moment for wearing different bright colours together and if that's something that looks good on you, go for it. It's a look I really admire on other people, but not one I can pull off myself. Neutrals, however, are always going to work. My relaxed fit white shirt is the perfect partner for these pink jeans, although I think a soft lacy top in the same hue would work just as well. In fact, I think that white tops and jackets in general would look great with any pastel coloured jeans - I love the idea of lemon or lilac. If brights are more your thing, red jeans with a Breton striped top and navy blazer would work beautifully - you cannot beat a classic nautical combination - while black or grey would look amazing with cobalt blue. 

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Coloured Jeans Are Not Just For Kids


Before I bought my pink jeans, I was of the opinion that coloured jeans were more of a "young" trend, but now I think it's all in the styling. Having had mine for a couple of weeks, I actually think it's quite easy to make coloured jeans look grown up. For me, the key is to add at least one smart piece into the mix. A tailored shirt, blazer or Chanel style jacket would do the trick, or perhaps a structured handbag or a smart pair of shoes. Just one piece like this adds instant sophistication and polish to your outfit and makes you look like a grown up, even if you are wearing bubblegum pink jeans covered in tiny diamanté studs.

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I'm definitely a convert to coloured denim now, and not just for jeans. Below, I've put together a little collection of some of my favourite coloured denim on the high street right now. I am seriously tempted by the pink skirt. 

Shop Coloured Denim


Are you a fan of coloured jeans, or coloured denim in general? Do you agree with my styling tips, and do you have any of your own to add? I would love to know!

Kate x

Some links may be affiliate links. This poses no extra cost to you, the customer. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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April Favourites

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April Favourites 2018 Kate Louise Blogs

This is a little bit belated, but on the other hand, is there ever a bad time to share a few of my favourite things with you? Didn't think so! This month, some accessories I've been wearing to death, a couple of new beauty discoveries I'm obsessed with and the TV show that's been the highlight of Saturday nights spent chilling at home.

You can watch my April Favourites on my YouTube channel or right here if you prefer.



What have you been loving lately?

Kate x
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The 2 Hero Products You Need For Summer Ready Feet

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As much as I welcome the arrival of sunshine and warmer weather with open arms, they do bring with them certain concerns. Have I topped up that tan? Am I going to feel body confident in a bikini on that beach holiday that's suddenly around the corner? And are my feet fit to be seen in summer sandals after what feels like an eternity in boots? When it comes to the latter, I have to admit to being a little lazy over the winter months. The UK was treated to a mini heatwave a couple of weeks back after months on end of freezing weather, and let's just say that my feet in strappy sandals were most definitely not fit for a princess. Obviously, something had to be done about this, and fast. So I headed straight back to basics, and back to the place that I find pretty much impossible to beat when it comes to products for getting your feet summer ready - The Body Shop.

Hero Product 1 - File A Foot


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This is about as basic as it gets, but in my opinion, you really cannot beat this simple £5 foot file. Resembling an oversized nail file, it has a rougher side and a smoother side and is incredibly effective at sloughing away that unpleasant, tough dry skin that can build up on feet, especially heels, if we neglect them. While I have tried one of the fancier battery operated foot exfoliators in the past - and found it excellent - the effortless simplicity of this foot file seems to suit me best right now. You don't have to faff around with changing batteries or rollers and it gives you pretty much instantaneous results.

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The first time I used this after a winter of neglect, I couldn't believe how much softer my feet felt. Having used these in the past, I know that it will last a long time before I need to replace it, and I'm very happy to have this low tech but super efficient little tool back in my routine. I'm using it every morning before jumping in the shower, and even if I did nothing else, it makes a world of difference by itself to the state of my feet.

Hero Product 2 - Heavy Duty Hemp Moisturiser


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The Body Shop moisturisers in general are some of my all time favourites, and the hemp range is their most intensive. Dubbed the "heavy duty" moisturiser, it really does feel incredibly thick, rich and nourishing on the skin. It doesn't have a beautiful scent like many of their other body butters and it's that little bit more expensive too, but trust me, if you're suffering with any areas of persistent dry skin anywhere on your body, this is the stuff that will sort it out. There is a dedicated foot cream in this range, but I've gone for the body butter version instead. I actually prefer the more solid texture of this and feel as though it's the most effective at moisturising my feet. Not only that, but it's twice the size of the foot cream yet considerably less than twice the price, so it's better value for money too. (This is just my personal preference, and I'm sure the actual foot cream is also wonderful.) I love slathering my feet in a generous amount of this and then popping some fluffy socks on until it has sunk in.

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I only reintroduced these products into my routine a few days ago, but already my feet feel so much softer and look so much nicer. All I need now is some pretty polish on my toe nails and they will be ready for summer and all those open sandals!

What are some of your favourite products for getting your feet summer ready? And which nail polish colours will you be rocking on your toes throughout the warmer months?

Kate x
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Do You Know Your Dosha? An Introduction To Samaya Ayurvedic Skincare

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Until recently, Ayurveda was something I had only vaguely heard of. I was aware that it was an ancient tradition that had to do with keeping the body in balance, and I was aware that there was such a thing as Ayurvedic skincare, but that was about it. When a brand called Samaya got in touch with me, offering to help me discover my Dosha and thus the most appropriate Ayurvedic skincare for me, my first thought was, "what on earth is a Dosha?" After reading into it a little bit more, I was fascinated by the concept. So I gave it a try, and naturally, I'm going to share my thoughts with you.

What Is Ayurvedic Skincare, And What Is A Dosha?


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The core concept of Ayurveda is the pursuit of balance between mind, body and soul. When these three elements are in harmony with one another, we are physically healthier, feel more at peace, and our skin is at its most radiant. Ayurvedic principles hold that each of us falls into one of three Doshas, or types - Vata (air), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth/water). Each Dosha has its own recommended practices for lifestyle, exercise, diet, beneficial herbs and more, including skincare ingredients. By knowing our Dosha, the theory is that we can make the best choices for ourselves in all these areas and thus achieve balance.

How To Find Your Dosha


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Samaya's website features a short questionnaire which you can work your way through in order to discover your Dosha. In keeping with Ayurveda's holistic approach to self care, the questions cover everything from body type to hair texture and even your sleeping patterns. Most people will find that they are a unique combination of all three, but one Dosha will be more dominant than the other two. After completing the questionnaire, I was informed that I fell into the Vata Dosha, with 70% of my responses placing me in that category. The description of Vata is as follows:

"Energetic and creative in balance, but worried, tired and indecisive when out of balance. Often of slender build and suffers from cold hands and feet. Tends to have delicate dry skin and hair, which may need extra moisturising and nourishment to keep it glowing and healthy."

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This fits me perfectly except for one thing - my oil-prone t-zone (mostly my chin.) Samaya had very kindly offered to send me a skincare product to test, and I was slightly worried that skincare designed to fit the Vata category might actually be too rich for my skin. Nevertheless, the concept intrigued me, and particularly when I discovered that rose was a key ingredient of the Vata products. Apparently, you are most drawn to the aromas that fit with your Dosha, and we all know how I feel about anything that smells of roses!

The Vata Hydrating Cleanser


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The Product I was sent was the Vata Hydrating Cleanser*. As you can see from the packaging, this is an award winning product, and it's not hard to see why. Housed in an elegant glass bottle, it's beautiful to look at, and while it isn't cheap, using it feels more like a luxurious spa experience than simply cleansing your face. It's a creamy product and you can really feel the rich, nourishing moisturisers in it as you massage it into your skin. It cleanses effectively, but hydrates at the same time, while the beautiful rose fragrance makes me feel relaxed by the simple act of opening the bottle.

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I started using this right around the time that we were experiencing some unseasonably cold weather in the UK. The conditions were making my skin dull and dry, and the Vata Hydrating Cleanser felt like an indulgent treat that helped it to look and feel so much better. However, I know from experience that overuse of rich cleansers can cause my chin to become too oily and/or break out, so I have since stopped using this every day. Instead, I keep it in my bathroom for use once or twice a week or whenever I feel like I could use some extra hydration, and it works well for me this way.

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While I don't think the Dosha concept is a foolproof way of determining exactly what your skin type is, I also don't think it's necessarily meant as that. Instead, it's a holistic approach to discovering certain ingredients that are beneficial to you, and by combining that knowledge with what you already know about your own skin, chances are you will find products that work for you.

What do you think? Have you tried Ayurvedic skincare, or is it something you would like to try? And do you know your Dosha?

Kate x

*Gifted item. Some links may be affiliate links. This poses no extra cost to you, the customer. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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Get Ready With Me - Pink Toned, Simple Spring Makeup Look

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Get Ready With Me - Pink Toned, Simple Spring Makeup Look - 1

Soft pink with a bit of glow is definitely a go-to look of mine when it comes to makeup, and it's perfect for the sunny weather we've been enjoying recently. If you like this look, you can watch my Get Ready With Me to find out how I created it, either on My YouTube channel or right here. If you don't like it, I'd advise you not to watch, as the sight of my makeup free face right after a couple of days of illness just isn't something you need to see if you're not invested in the end result! If nothing else, this video is proof of the transformative powers of even the simplest of makeup looks.


What makeup have you been enjoying since the weather took a turn for the better?

Kate x
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The Ordinary Serum Foundation Review - Does Your Skin Type Matter?

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The Ordinary Serum Foundation Review - Does Your Skin Type Matter? - 1

I've been keen to try something from The Ordinary for a while now. Rarely has a brand been more hyped, and there have been so many glowing reviews for many of the products. As I was in need of a new foundation, I decided to go for The Ordinary Serum Foundation as my first purchase from the brand. At less than £6, it's probably the cheapest foundation I've ever bought! I decided to go for the Serum Foundation rather than the heavier Coverage Foundation as I had read from several sources that it offers a lightweight, natural finish, buildable coverage and is suitable for all skin types. 

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I used Findation to find my shade. It's a website where you can input the shades of foundations you already own, and it will tell you which shade to buy in any other. This is handy when it comes to buying a foundation that isn't easily available in a store. I was matched to shade 1.0N, which is possibly a little too light for me but definitely an acceptable match when you add a little bit of bronzer.

Packaging


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Super lightweight and with a pump applicator that can be closed during transit, the packaging of the Serum Foundation is about as user friendly as it gets. There's something quite chic and stylish about it too, and even though it doesn't look as luxe as my Chanel foundation, it's still pleasing to the eye when displayed on my dressing table.

Application


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The consistency of this foundation is very light, almost watery, and if I'm honest I find it difficult to apply. It tends to slide all over my face, regardless of whether I use a brush or my fingers. I have learnt to apply it with a buffing brush first as best I can, and then perfect it with my fingers after that to get rid of the unsightly brush strokes, which seems to do the trick. I've never been a fan of makeup sponges, so don't possess any, but perhaps that would be the best tool for the job. Once I have battled through the application process, it seems to take a minute or two to settle down, so I tend to go away and do something else before attempting to apply the rest of my makeup.

Finish


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Once the foundation has settled, it looks beautiful. It provides a radiant glow without being in any way too dewy, and gives a decent amount of coverage while still looking totally natural. The lightweight formula is also very comfortable to wear. All this for less than £6? At this point, immediately after application, it feels like the best foundation ever.

Longevity


Unfortunately, however, the lovely finish doesn't last very long. Or at least it doesn't on me. Strangely, for something that is so wet to apply, after a couple of hours it starts to take on a powdery appearance. I have my share of skin concerns, but large pores has never been one of them. Yet somehow this foundation seems to find them and sink into them. The picture below was taken after I had been wearing it for about two hours. After another two hours, it looks quite a bit worse than this, and I wouldn't want to be out and about without the means to fix my makeup.

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While this is far from ideal, I have found a way to prolong the life of this foundation. With a mattifying primer underneath (I've been using Ren Perfect Canvas Skin Finishing Serum) and a fixing spray over the top (my current favourite being Pixi Make-Up Fixing Mist) I can get closer to four hours out of it before it starts to deteriorate. 

So Does Your Skin Type Matter?


My skin type is best described as "temperamental" - it can go through dry phases, but is usually slightly oily through my t-zone, especially my chin. My cheeks are definitely not oily, yet both the slippery application phase and the powdery deterioration that happens later seem to affect my face as a whole, so I can't really say that it would be more suited to either drier or oilier skin types than mine. Perhaps, after all, it's equally suited to all skin types, but is just generally a bit difficult to work with!

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Would I buy this again? Yes, because it is so affordable, because the finish is so lovely and because I have found a way to prolong that finish to a semi-decent amount of time. However, if one of those three criteria had remained unfulfilled, I would probably have said no.

Have you tried The Ordinary Serum Foundation? If so, I would love to know how it performed for you and what your skin type is! Let me know.

Kate x

Some links may be affiliate links. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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