Sunday 22 April 2018

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

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

Friday 20 April 2018

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

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.


The Ordinary Serum Foundation Review - Does Your Skin Type Matter? - 3

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.


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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.


The Ordinary Serum Foundation Review - Does Your Skin Type Matter? - 5

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.


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.

Tuesday 17 April 2018

How To Style A Jumpsuit For A Wedding

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Spring has (slowly!) crept up on us this past couple of weeks. We're well into April, and wedding season is on the horizon. Like most girls, if I have a wedding to go to, I automatically think about wearing a dress. After all, they're pretty, feminine and easy to style. But dresses aren't the only option, and sometimes, it's fun to stand out from the crowd just a little bit. Recently, House Of Fraser got in touch with a proposition for me (pun intended) - to pick a dressy jumpsuit from the vast selection on their website, and style it up for a wedding. Well, I have always loved the look of jumpsuits, but never actually worn one, so like a true fashion blogger, I embraced the challenge without hesitation.
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At first, I thought I might find it a little difficult. As most of you are probably aware by now, I'm quite partial to all things pink and I love a good ruffle or bow - in a very sophisticated, grown up way, of course! As much as I think jumpsuits can look amazing, the idea of wearing what essentially amounts to trousers to a wedding is definitely out of my comfort zone. That said, I also enjoy trying new things, especially when it comes to fashion. And, as soon as I started browsing the amazing selection of jumpsuits on House Of Fraser's wedding guest outfit page, I knew I'd be able to find something to suit my style. Whether you're a girly girl like me or prefer a more sleek and tailored look, House Of Fraser have a jumpsuit for you. Palazzo style trousers, slim fitting trousers, full length, cropped and any colour of the rainbow, the choices are seemingly endless.

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Eventually, I opted for this chic navy jumpsuit*, with pretty lace detailing over the bodice and wide, culotte style trousers. It's flattering, sophisticated, and provides a refreshing injection of something new into my wardrobe without deviating too far from my usual, feminine style - after all, feeling comfortable in what you're wearing is always the most important thing!

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I love how effortless this is to wear. The crepe fabric is silky and lightweight, while the clever tailoring flatters my figure without any clinging or pinching. And my legs are completely covered, which brings with it one huge advantage - no need to worry about fake tanning! I do kind of wish it had pockets - I love a good "hand in pocket" pose - but as my husband pointed out to me, pockets might spoil the silhouette. He is quite the fashion expert these days!

My Styling Tips 

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As the jumpsuit is quite simple, I decided to have some fun with accessories when it came to styling it up. I added elegant heels and a bag in different tones of pink, which is a colour I always think looks lovely against navy blue. The gold stud details on both tie the two pieces together, as well as adding a little touch of luxury, while my pearl earrings compliment the pearl embellishments on the bag and subtly draw attention back towards the lace detail of the bodice.

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A more pared down look would also have worked nicely, I think. Perhaps a simple, metallic clutch and barely there sandals in a matching hue? Either way, you could add a fitted white blazer or soft pink pashmina into the mix in case of questionable weather. If you're fond of wearing hats during wedding season, I also think a fascinator would look great with this, or indeed any jumpsuit.

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I must confess, I've been pleasantly surprised by how versatile jumpsuits actually are. A wide leg style like mine would look great with wedges - perfect if the wedding you're going to is more laid-back and/or on a beach! Conversely, a sleek, tailored little number in an understated colour could be paired with bright stilettos for a smart city occasion. I love the way my dainty earrings look against the detailed bodice of my jumpsuit, but this season's statement tassel earrings would look fabulous with a plainer, bandeau style bodice. There really are so many possibilities!

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Are you a fan of jumpsuits? If so, I'd love to know how you would style yours for a wedding! Let me know in the comments.

Kate x

*Gifted item. This post was sponsored by House Of Fraser. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Friday 13 April 2018

Michael Buble By Invitation Rose Gold Perfume Review

Michael Buble By Invitation Rose Gold Perfume Review - 1

Way back in October 2016, I reviewed Michael Buble's debut fragrance for women, By Invitation. As I made very clear in that blog post, I loved everything about that perfume. And, in fact, I still do now, although by this point there is not a lot of it left! So naturally, I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to review the new version - By Invitation Rose Gold*. After all, everyone knows that a sure-fire way to make a good thing even better is to turn it rose gold!


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Michael Buble By Invitation Rose Gold Perfume Review - 4

From the box to the bottle, the packaging is pretty much identical to the original fragrance, the only differences being the addition of the words "rose gold", and, of course, the variation in colour, with all yellow gold details from the first version being transformed to a pretty pink. I am a huge fan of the way this looks and think the style of the bottle is striking and very glamorous, so I'm not surprised that the Michael Buble team decided not to mess with a good thing by changing the packaging too much. It really is a beautiful addition to any dressing table.


Michael Buble By Invitation Rose Gold Perfume Review - 5

As for the fragrance, it is of course a little different to the first By Invitation, but similar enough to be recognisable. Opening with magnolia, red fruits and granit pear, it honestly smells good enough to eat on first spritz. Like the original, it is very feminine, but ever so slightly lighter, less sweet, and with almost an exotic twist coming from the pear. The heart notes are rose, peony and black plum, so again you get this beautiful fragrance with a hint of edible deliciousness beneath, and it shares the same addictive praline and vanilla base notes as By Invitation. This is the part of the perfume that lingers on your skin for hours after you've first applied it - warm and surprisingly sophisticated.

Michael Buble By Invitation Rose Gold Perfume Review - 6

If the original fragrance was rich and full enough to make an impact through the winter months, then By Invitation Rose Gold is its perfect summer partner. It's a little bit lighter, with slightly fruitier notes and a hint of spice to it as well. I love it just as much, perhaps even a little more, than the original and am very happy to have both in my collection.

Have you tried either of these perfumes? What are your favourite scents to wear in the warmer months?

Kate x

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

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara - Worth The Hype?

Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara - Worth The Hype? - 1

No one could accuse Benefit of being understated when it comes to new launches, especially where their famous mascaras are concerned. Their latest offering, Bad Gal Bang, was definitely no exception to this rule, and it was hard to miss all the excitement as "something out of this world" exploded across social media back in February. Naturally, I couldn't resist buying one to see if it really is worth all the hype.

Benefit claims that Bad Gal Bang will give your lashes massive volume without weighing them down. Much is made of the gravity defying formula, which contains aero-particles, apparently one of the lightest known materials and derived from space technology, hence all the cosmic themed advertising in their marketing push. In addition to this it is supposed to be smudge-proof, water-resistant, intensely black and enriched with ProVitamin B5 to promote thickness and strength.

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While I normally prefer lengthening to volumising mascaras these days, this claim about the super-light formula really intrigued me. As I've probably mentioned before, I have quite good natural lashes - long and dark. However, they are also dead straight, and make zero impact without first being curled. Even mascaras that claim to hold a curl well don't seem to do so for me - Benefit Roller Lash being a notable example, much as I enjoy the fluttery length it gives. The fact that my lashes are naturally long actually works against me here, because once they are coated with mascara they get weighed down. Gravity takes over, and after a few hours, they've lost their curl. So it's fair to say I couldn't resist putting this new, space age formula to the test.

Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara - Worth The Hype? - 3

The cartoon-like packaging of this mascara isn't my favourite, but it isn't something that bothers me. The wand is plastic and super slim, which I know will please a lot of people who find large natural bristle wands tricky to work with. I tend not to have a strong preference when it comes to mascara wands, but I'm definitely a fan of this one. It's easy and pleasant to use and I find it helps to separate the lashes effectively and to get right into the inner corners. It delivers on both volume and length, although it doesn't quite provide the spectacular false lash effect of Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir.

However, for me, the best thing about this product is the fact that it delivers on its gravity defying claims. My lashes hold their curl for much longer with this mascara than with any other I have tried (and I've tried a lot!) They do drop a little by the end of the day, but still, the difference is noticeable and very impressive. Add to that the fact that it's as richly black and smudge free as promised, and you won't be surprised to hear that Bad Gal Bang has quickly earned a permanent place in my makeup drawer. It's my new go-to for those days when I need my makeup to last the distance.

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Have you tried Benefit Bad Gal Bang mascara? What are your thoughts on it?

Kate x

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

Sunday 8 April 2018

Olivia Burton Watch Unboxing

Olivia Burton Watch Unboxing

Ever since Olivia Burton watches became popular with bloggers a few years ago, I've been lusting after one. I've been missing a classic style in my collection for some time now, so when my eye was caught by this beauty I was seriously tempted, and the fact that it was on sale at almost half price sealed the deal! I ordered the silver and rose gold bracelet watch straight away, and once it arrived, I though it would be fun to film an unboxing video. You can watch it over on my YouTube channel, or right here if you prefer.

Hope you enjoy!

Are you a fan of Olivia Burton watches?

Kate x

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

Friday 6 April 2018

3 Accessory Trends That Will Instantly Update Your Wardrobe

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Last season's dress and a jacket that's so old I can't even remember when I got it... most of us don't have the budget to update our entire wardrobe every year. (Nor do we necessarily want to - I bought this beautiful pink dress from Topshop at the end of last summer, and, due to the typical British weather, never got a chance to wear it, so there's no way I'm getting rid of it any time soon!) Luckily, you can bring last season's outfits straight into 2018 by adding an up-to-the-minute accessory or two, and I've noticed three trends in particular that make such a big impact, they'll make your whole outfit look brand new in seconds.

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Accessory Trend 1 - Circle Bags

This is my favourite of the three trends and the one I've chosen to bring this dress and jacket combo up to date. Circle bags are big news for spring and summer 2018 and I love how cute and fun they are. This studded cream circle bag from Topshop is surprisingly practical. It fits in a lot more than you'd think and comes with a long detachable strap so you can wear it cross body if you want to, which is always useful. I love the way it looks with this dress, but the streamlined style and neutral colour mean it should go with just about everything in my wardrobe. These are available all over the high street right now, and if you go for a wicker one, you'll be ticking off two huge 2018 accessory trends in one!

Shop Circle Bags

Accessory Trend 2 - Narrow Sunglasses

With oversized shades having ruled the roost for years, the narrow framed styles that have started cropping up on my Instagram feed in recent months seem very new and different and have definitely grabbed my attention. This is not a trend I've tried yet, and if I'm perfectly honest, I'm not sure if I like it (though with my ridiculously small head it could be a good one for me!) One thing is for sure - narrow sunglasses are very now, and a guaranteed way to bring your wardrobe bang up to date.

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Shop Narrow Sunglasses

Accessory Trend 3 -White Shoes

From flats to sandals to cowboy boots, white footwear is all over the place this season. The shoes I'm wearing in these photos are actually last summer's, but inadvertently I seem to be on trend here, as they are both white and espadrille wedges, a shoe style which seems to have carried over to 2018. Yay me! White shoes definitely make an impact, and look lovely and fresh for the spring and summer months. I must admit, I have my eye on a number of pairs. As to how I'm supposed to keep them clean when I'm only too likely to get caught in a rain shower... well, that's a minor detail. What's important is, they're pretty.

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Shop White Shoes

Accessories are always so much fun to shop for, and with their power to update last season's outfits and transform your look, they're a worthwhile investment too. Do you need any more excuses? Didn't think so!

What's your favourite accessory trend this season?

Kate x

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

Tuesday 3 April 2018

Two Nail Varnish Brands That Nourish Your Nails

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A lot of makeup products seem to offer additional benefits these days. Foundations and base products contain SPF and added skincare, we have lipsticks that moisturise our lips and mascaras infused with oils to nourish our lashes. Nail varnish is no exception, and I've been enjoying a couple of brands recently which, in addition to boasting lovely shades and formulation, also offer care and nourishment for your nails.

Sally Hansen Color Therapy

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Readily available in most drugstores, the Sally Hansen Color Therapy range is one I started getting into at the beginning of this year. Like a lot of us, I'm a huge fan of wearing nail varnish and I'm more likely to be found wearing it than not. In fact, I often feel as though my outfit isn't complete unless my nails are done. Yet continually wearing varnish, and in particular the regular use of remover, can leave my nails feeling dry and brittle at times. The Sally Hansen Color Therapy varnishes contain argan oil, so they help to add moisture and nourishment back into your nails while at the same time giving them a coat of colour. There is a wide shade range available, but at the moment I'm loving creamy nudes like Re-Nude (my favourite) and the slightly more pink Blushed Petal. They give a beautiful gel-like finish and I'm looking forward to trying some of the brighter shades when summer comes.

Kure Bazaar

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Two Nail Vanish Brands That Nourish Your Nails - 4

Kure Bazaar is not a brand I had heard of before a few weeks ago, but I was kindly sent three of their varnishes recently and I'm very impressed. The shades I have are Rose Snow*, a beautiful nude and my favourite at the moment (and the one you can see in the photo of my hand), Sunset*, a mid-pink that's perfect for spring, and finally, Catwalk*, a striking deep violet. Not only do these varnishes contain Vitamin E and Bamboo to strengthen and repair nails, they also boast a 90% natural formula and are free from some of the more harmful chemicals nail varnishes can contain, including Toluene, Formaldehyde and Parabens. They're not tested on animals and they're vegan too, which is something that more and more people are looking for these days.

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With all these things left out (and replaced with unusual ingredients like cotton, corn, wheat and potatoes!) I was a little bit sceptical about how the Kure Bazaar polishes might apply, but I needn't have worried. The formula is smooth and creamy, and the finish is streak free with a lovely shine to it. The brand isn't cheap, but if you're looking for high performing natural nail varnishes with added nourishment for your nails, I definitely recommend it.

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My nails are usually kept very short so I can't attest to whether or not these varnishes would help to stop splitting or breakage. However, I do feel that they've been looking that little bit healthier in between manicures. Add to that the fact that these are all beautiful colours with lovely finishes, and it's safe to say I'm going to be carrying on using them!

What's your go-to nail varnish shade right now?

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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