Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Sleek 24K Gold Collection

Last month I was invited along to take a look at the Sleek 24K Gold Collection. An event with a very exclusive theme, all about shimmer and shine - it felt like Christmas was certainly around the corner. 

So at Century Club in Soho the drinks were flowing, celebs were dotted about - I love a bit of celeb spotting (Chloe Goodman and Stephanie Pratt are very very pretty up close!) canapés were being passed around and there were some shiny new products to take a look at. 


The Christmas tree was decorated with a selection of their gorgeous Glitter Me Lip Glosses which looked amazing! - I wish I could decorate my tree with beauty products, that would look great!


The glosses are available in 3 gorgeous shades perfect for the festive season.
"Uptown Girl"fuchsia pink with blue/purple toned sparkle.
"Private Jet" red with tiny pink specks of glitter for the perfect vampy pout and
"Money Talks" a beautifully subtle metallic gold which is lovely over a nude lip.


All are quite sheer with a lovely glitter shine to them. The tag-line says 'an intense sparkling lip gloss' which might sound like it's going to make you look like you've dipped your lips in a glitter pot but the result is lovely, it's not too much at all. They look wonderful over a bold lip to add a bit of shimmer. These are great to keep in your bag to transform a day-look with no trouble at all. 


The make-up artist showed me the Gold Standard i-Lust Palette which looked a bit bold for me at first but once she worked her magic on my eyes I was left with a really pretty golden smokey eye. The palette is actually my favourite piece from the collection and I've used it a lot since. It consists of  6 shimmery metallic shades which are really pigmented, 2 of which are cream and 4 powder. A section of warm golds and browns give you a lot to work with.


 I saw the make-up artist using the deep plum shade which worried me a bit but it looked great in the crease to create a festive smokey eye. I use the golden cream shade 'Margiela' along my bottom lash line and it really makes my eyes pop. Although this palette looks like it's more suited for a 'party look' I've found it great for the day too. The lighter shades are great swept over the eyelid and they are so pigmented that they can be applied super quick - just what I need in the mornings .

 Another excellent product is the Midas Touch Highlighting Palette. Doesn't it look gorgeous?! Very 'ice queen'


There are 3 baked powder highlighters and 1 cream highlighter. 

The cream (top left) "Solitaire" is a silvery shade which is very versatile, sweep it across  cheekbones to attempt a bit of strobing, or along the brow bone and around the eye to add some shimmer to a smokey eye. 

Next to that "Tanzanite" is my favourite. A champagne-pink and is lovely on the cheeks, cheekbone or even dusted over the shoulders. I think it would suit all skin tones and it's unlike any other highlight shade I've tried.

Now at the bottom left "Rhinestone" looks a little scary, I know. Blue in a highlighting palette shocked me a bit and we joked about it being perfect for an avatar theme but it actually looks great around the eyes and I think it could work on a darker skin tone on the cheekbones.

The lightest shade "Cubic Zirconia" is to add to the cupids bow and the inner corner of the eyes to really brighten them up.


I have to mention the gorgeous range of semi-matte lipsticks. I love a matte finish, especially in the winter. There's 6 shades available and I 'think' this is the darkest of the lot. The Lip VIP Semi-Matte Lipstick in "Backstage" It's a beautiful colour - it looked even better on me after a bit of bronzer. It's a hard one to describe so bare with me... I'd say a pinky-red-ish-coral! It feels festive without being the typical 'Santa red' and will work in the Summer too. The finish is interesting, it goes on really creamy  -I actually had to double check that it really said semi-matte on the side! It includes shea butter, coconut oil and vitamin E so your lips are well looked after.  It has a lovely velvety feel to it and it has the feeling of staying put that I find with most matte lipsticks without feeling like it's drying your lips out. 

I've only really stuck to the i-Divine eyeshadow palettes in the past but I'm already putting a few bits from Sleek on my Xmas list! I need some more shades of those lipsticks for sure!

What do you think of the 24K Gold Collection?

*These were all kindly gifted to me at the event but all thoughts are my own


Monday, 23 November 2015

My Birthday and an announcement

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago -the 11th to be exact. And it was a big one, the big 3-0! Turning 30 has a bad reputation. I saw my 20's as a decade of learning (a LOT of learning) and I feel like as I turn 30 everything has fallen into place. I'm just happier in myself, I have my head a lot more screwed on than a few years ago and everything is great. 

As it was a 'big' birthday I wanted to stretch out my celebrations as much as possible.

I wanted to do something a little more special with my London girls. Whenever we all meet up Sam and I have to leave at around 10 to get home. I love London, it's a really special place for me and there's always something to do, needless to say there was no question as to where we'd be going.

Celebrations started a week before my birthday. Sam planned a trip to the Shard and a meal at Barbecoa so we had a nice day planned for the two of us. We decided we would get a hotel so we could spend a bit longer with everyone and not rush for our last train back to the trees and the bush. We dropped Mason to nursery in the morning and jumped on the train to Waterloo.

The first stop was Blo Blow Dry Bar in Covent Garden for me to get my hair sorted. It was much needed as it was wet and windy down our end so I looked like I'd been dragged through a hedge backwards. I was given a 'hair menu' where I picked out the style I was after. They washed my hair with a voumising shampoo and conditioner and added mousse before giving my hair the much needed volume and shine it required. It was a lovely, relaxing start to the day - I love a bit of pampering! 


After a quick coffee we hopped into a cab to the Shard. I was feeling ever so glamorous at this point with my blow-dried hair before 11am!


The Shard has a lot of meaning to us. Sam and I used to work together and in our early stages of seeing each other we'd travel to work via London Bridge around the time it was being built. Every day we admired the building and commented on how it was coming along. We've sort-of always followed it's story and it's grown with us so I was really excited to finally pay it a visit! 

We took a couple of very fast lifts up to the viewing gallery and as soon as we got there I was stunned by the view. As I said I love London so I was really excited looking out at all of the landmarks. You can see for miles and miles! It's incredible. 

Sam pointed out the platforms at London Bridge station where we used to meet. We talked about how long ago that was and how far we'd come. Then he was down on now knee! He proposed! 


All of the staff were in on it, Sam had arranged that a photographer captured the moment and we were greeted with cheers and glasses champagne. I was in total shock! The ring is beautiful, he  actually had a different one made but when in a jewellers a couple of weeks before I commented at how I wasn't a fan of round diamonds -which is what was on my ring originally! He had to run down to Hatton Garden and get it sorted asap! I'm glad he did though as I've seen the original ring and we both agree this one is much nicer and a lot more 'me'  -it's so beautiful and it means so much that he designed it himself. The best bit is we can build on it over the years so over our anniversaries we're going to add bigger diamonds and change it up a bit. Building on it over time just like we saw the Shard do before our eyes! I love it when things tie-in so nicely. 


I've never been a fan of cliche proposals that have had no thought put in, something in a predictable place that millions of people have also got engaged at would just make me cringe. Nothing against the people that go for that option, I'm just more about the personalised aspect. I love how much thought Sam put in. This was looking over the city that we met, that changed my life in so many ways and made me the person I am today. He almost popped the question in Disneyland earlier this year but thought better of it, I'm really glad he waited as this means so much more.


We were encouraged to take the lift up a little further which took us outside - even though it was windy it had to be done. We were now a massive 72 floors up and I was already feeling giddy from the excitement and the champagne. We didn't stay there long -it was far too cold! But it was a wonderful experience.

After all the excitement we got a cab to our hotel overlooking St Pauls Cathedral, a perfect location for the night as it's right near One New Change which was where our restaurant for the evening was as well as the rooftop bar we were meeting the girls. He thought of everything! We also walked past where First Dates was being filmed, we asked if we could go and see Fred, the Maitre'd but they were busy filming -we did see him standing at the door though! oooh what an exciting day! 

At this point we didn't post anything on social media as we really wanted to surprise the girls when we met up that night. It was actually nice keeping it to ourselves for a little while. We're in a world where everything is shouted from the rooftops within seconds it's good to keep things a little personal for a couple of hours at least.


After relaxing, asking Sam a million questions about how he planned it all and calling our families we started to get ready for the evening. We were getting hungry so I knew we were really going to enjoy this meal. Barbecoa is Jamie Oliver's Steak restaurant and I was so excited to try out some of his amazing food. When we were greeted we were treated like royalty, they knew about the proposal too (Sam didn't miss a thing, did he?!) and we were given champagne and a table with an incredible view. I had Lamb Rump with Creamy Wild Mushrooms and Thyme with a side of Creamed Spinach. Sam had Fillet Steak with Bone marrow, Smoked Béarnaise, Herb Salad and a side of Beef Dripping Chips. Our dessert sharer had congratulations written across it and I was so impressed with how attentive the staff were and the food was absolutely incredible. We'll definitely be going back for anniversaries in the future.

Then it was time to take the lift up to Madison to meet the  girls. I was dying to tell them the news and I was struggling to hide my left hand while we waited for everyone to arrive. Needles to say when we shared the news we were met with shrieks of excitement, everyone was so happy for us and we all had a brilliant night of pornstar martinis, prossecco selfies and laughing along with more incredible views of the city. It was absolutely perfect that he'd chosen to propose on the day we were seeing the girls, it meant a lot to be able to celebrate with them.


By this time it still wasn't even my birthday! I had been so spoilt even before the day was even here! It was all about the engagement so far really anyway. Birthday-shmurfday! 

My 'actual' birthday was a lovely day with my 2 boys. and I was given a load of lovely presents. Firstly a bunch of Dutch Lilies and Dutch Roses - my new surname is going to be dutch so that's a great little nod to that - and one thing ticked off the wedding ideas list too. 

Sam got me a new Juicy Tracksuit (for lounging about indoors, it's not 2005 I won't be walking about with a tiny dog in my bag and0 a tracksuit on) a Massage chair ('cos I'm old now), A bottle of Chanel Chance, a couple of Dresses to wear on the nights out that we had planned and a No 7 Palette - which was actually an impulse buy as I'd forgotten to pack my Naked palette for our night away! 

I met up with my bestie for a catch-up, a coffee and a muffin. Little did I know she was going to surprise me with 2 huge balloons, a caricature of the two of us on the Titanic (our favourite film that we can quote 'till the cows come home) and Trip to Belfast! The excitement was too much! I couldn't wait! I'll write more about our amazing trip soon. I spent my birthday evening feeling incredibly lucky to have such wonderful friends.

That weekend we went out with our friends and family from 'our end' for yet another night of being treated brilliantly down to the new ring on my finger! I could get used to this! Champagne, cocktails, and lots of laughter - another perfect evening! 


The last day of celebrating was with my family. We went out for an amazing roast at Harts Boatyard. More free champagne, more laughter along with loads of meat! I had a trio of roasts, -a feast including Beef, Pork and Chicken, a pig in blanket, apple and vanilla puree, crackling, pork, apricot and sage stuffing, goose fat roasted potatoes, honey roasted carrots and parsnips, greens, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. I'm surprised I could move afterwards! God that roast was good! Every time I look at the pictures I get hungry!


I have to mention a couple of lovely presents. My parents bought me a gorgeous Rose Gold Bracelet engraved with the thing that means to me most 'family'.

My brothers and Girlfriends got me a Minnie Mouse Bag and Purse, a scarf, and a pair of nude heels. I don't think there's ever been a birthday where I haven't been bought some heels -people just know me so well.


I can string out my birthday even longer as my sister bought us a Spa Day which I can't wait for! She also treated me to a blog planner, and a brilliant personalised Disney book! 

So all-in-all turning 30 was pretty fantastic! I can't believe I spent that last week of my 20's basically on cloud nine and engaged to the guy I met when I was 24 and fell head-over-heels for. 

So now I'm 30 and I have a fiancé - mad. I won't be making this blog all about weddings because it's only recently that I've even thought about them being a positive thing and because of that I have no clue about what I want! I've learnt some good lessons about what not to do and every decision will have a lot of thought put in will be personal to us. Most importantly everyone involved in our wedding will be treated as well as we are. Everyone will be people we will both know and love for the rest of our married lives and it's going to be a wonderful day. But for now it's all about enjoying being engaged, and looking forward to Christmas!


Monday, 9 November 2015

My Birthday Wish List

So...It's my Birthday this week. *Excited Face Emoji*
It was Sam's on Thursday, that's how we sort-of met. We worked together and as our birthday were around the same time we always had joint celebrations. That tradition has continued ever since. We started celebrating on Friday, anyone who follows my Instagram will know how much fun that was -others will have to wait for those little details! 

It's a pretty big birthday for me this year, I'm 30! Some might find that scary but I'm at such an amazing time in my life and I've never been happier in myself or how my life is going. I have all the right people around me and I'm feeling great. This is way better than my 18th and a MILLION times better than the let-down that my 21st was. Who said getting older is a bad thing? 

So in the lead up to the big 3-0 I've had people asking me what I'm lusting after. I've got plans with my friends and family which is all I need to keep me happy but if a birthday isn't an excuse to get a little materialistic, I don't know what is!

These are a few bits I love the look of....

You can't go wrong with a bottle of Chanel can you?! Chanel Chance smells amazing and it's the ultimate treat.

Of course there are some shoes I like! These nude Court Shoes are really cute and I love the bow detail. I would wear these to death, I just know it! Nude shoes go with everything!

I usually wear my Michael Kors watch but this Watch from Next has a bit of a Cinderella theme to it and I love the little shoe charm. Disney and Shoes is a great combination. The colour of the strap is so lovely too.

I've told myself I really don't need the Naked Smoky Palette but I DOOOOOOOO. The others are such good quality and I get so much wear out of them I just know it's worth it.

I was looking for a dress to wear on one of our birthday nights out. There are so many gorgeous dresses but I'm very aware I'm approaching 'mutton dressed as lamb' territory and I might have to leave the tiny bodycons to the 19 year olds! I'm not toning it down too much, I really like the look of this Skater Dress by Little Black Dress, it's not too understated and the full skirt makes it something a little bit special. I think I'd feel very Victoria Beckham in it!

I know it's not like me to like any kind of layers or even contemplate dressing for the cold weather but I really really like this Coat from Michelle Keegan's collection. How sensible of me, I must be growing up! Soon I'll be throwing out all my heels and replacing them with Toms or something (not really... god, it even hurt to joke about it) 

I absolutely love rose gold at the moment, and this Ted Baker Bangle  is really pretty. There's just the right amount of sparkle there without making it completely bling and in-your-face. Not that I'm against that at all!

I'm after some new make-up brushes and I've heard good things about the Real Techniques Duo Fibre Brush Set. Apart from my Stippling brush which fell apart last week I've loved all of the RT brushes and the sets are great value. 

This one is highly unlikely, given the price. I might have to wait for a trip to New York before I'm treated to this but I love this quilted Kate Spade Purse . Kate Spade is one of those designers that can do no wrong, I love everything and I have a huge wish list of Kate Spade products alone.

I actually dreamt I owned these Lace Up Heels  and ever since I've decided I can't live without them in my life. They are such an amazing price and they are the first lace-up shoe that I've loved the look of.

On to the pampering side of things, this Champneys Hamper caught my eye wandering through Boots earlier today. I love the hamper and the contents are so luxurious. After what I feel might be a month of celebrating I'll need a good pamper session!

I'm very VERY excited about this birthday. Everything is so good at the moment and I can't wait to properly fill you all in on all the details!!


Boots and Superdrug 3 for 2 Haul

Frivolous spending is hard to resist these days, the high street has such great products that it's easy to treat yourself. There is always some sort of offer in Boots or Superdrug to tempt you, 3 for 2 on all Rimmel Products, Buy one get one half price on all Maybelline... but the most tempting of all is when you can mix and match all make-up brands. Oh the possibilities!  


So when both Superdrug and Boots had 3 for 2 offers on and I had time to kill, new make-up was inevitable.

So first I nipped in to Superdrug, I'd seen a small selection of the Max Factor Lipfinity Long Lasting Lipsticks (£8.99) in Boots but Superdrug had more shades to choose from. 

I picked up a bubblegum pink - 10 Stay Exclusive and a purple looking shade - 55 Eternally Luscious that is actually more pink when on the lips. The gold packaging makes them look a little more high end and they stand out more in my never ending pile of black lipstick bullets. 

They are really long lasting and they have great pigmentation too. I reviewed the Lipfinity Long Lasting Lipsticks in more detail if you want to see how they look on the lips. 

I also repurchased the Maybelline Eraser Under Eye Concealer. It is one of the best concealers I've tried. It's been a life saver when I've struggled to sleep, it covers dark circles brilliantly and it brightens the under eye area. It's foam applicator makes it quick and easy to apply too. 

Superdrug also gave away a tote bag with the 3 for 2 offer which is really handy to keep with me now that plastic bags are frowned upon. 

A couple of days later I popped into Boots for a sandwich and ended up with a couple of treats too. We've all done it!

I needed to repurchase my L'Oreal Infallible 24 hour foundation (£9.99) as it was getting low. This is my 'night out' foundation and it's a pretty good alternative to MAC's Pro Longwear. It's medium to high coverage and claims to have a 24 hour non-stop formula. I have never worn a foundation for that long but it really stays looking fresh all night. 


I've never found an eyebrow product I completely love so overtime something runs out I try something new. I'd heard great things about Soap and Glory Archery Brow Tint and Pencil (£10) and powders can be a little fiddly at times so I thought I'd try out this double ended device.... (e-hem)

The 'felt tip' end has such a thin brush it's really easy to add thin lines of the bow tint throughout the brow to fill them in and look natural. The best thing with that means you can be as light or heavy handed as you want to be and have total control over how strong you want your brows to look. The pencil end is creamy enough to sweep over quickly to fill in any gaps and then go over with a spooly brush and you're sorted in no time. You can use either end alone or they work well together too. I've got the darker shade 'Brownie Points' which is a perfect match for me. 


9 times out of 10 I struggle to find the perfect 'free' thing. It takes a lot of thought, it needs to be something you kind-of need but also something in the same price range as the 2 items you've already got. I very nearly picked up another mascara thinking 'well I always need mascara' and then I spotted something shiny at the No 7 Stand. At first the No7 Shimmer Palette in Rose (£13.50) seemed a little on the glittery side for me but the lovely lady at the counter tried it on me and it instantly added a lovely warmth to my complexion. I was sold and with the help of a No7 voucher I had myself a little bargain too!


I also picked up the Colour Excellence Highlights Brightener (£7.99) for blondes. 
It apparently works to naturally remove product residues and environmental build-up to keep highlights looking as good as new - without harming your hair.
  • It is only a one-use product so you apply it a little like a hair dye. I'm hoping it will brighten up my hair a bit as it's a bit dull at the moment. 


Thursday, 5 November 2015

October- What I Wore, Ate, Read, Watched and Used

With September over we're now well into Autumn. Leaves are everywhere making a big old slippery mess - no fun for my heels, I can tell ya! It wouldn't be a proper round-up of mine if I didn't mention the weather, it's been pretty nice for October hasn't it? 20 degrees?! More of this please Mother Nature!

This month we celebrated my gorgeous friend's birthday and it was lovely to give her the Michael Kors purse I picked out for her. When I saw it in pink I knew it was a perfect present for her. She's been an incredible friend to me over the years and she deserves to be treated. I love seeing my friends happy so I was thrilled when she was close to tears opening it. 


We've spent a lot of time with family over the last couple of weeks and had a couple of interesting days out together. I was celeb spotting at the Sleek Event (more of that on the blog soon!) and I've also done a lot of shopping getting presents ready for Sam's birthday.

What I wore-
Now these aren't technically mine but I got to try on an amazing pair of heels at Stylist Live. These Pacman Heels are by Nicholas Kirkwood from his "10" Collection.  I'm just completely wowed by them so I was very happy that they where in my size and I had the chance to put them on. They are made to order so I can't even imagine how much they charge for them but I keep looking back at the pictures in complete awe! I was wearing my 'High Heels, High Hopes' top from H&M which was very appropriate!


What I ate- 
I think I am actually getting old. I flicked through a little free booklet about 'my local area' (first step towards the zimmerfame)  and I found a recipe for a meal that looks delicious. I cut it out bought the ingredients and found it was mighty good. I've always looked at recipes online but something about ripping out a recipe from a booklet made me feel ancient. However it was damn tasty so maybe this is the way forward. Maybe this is how Nigella started...? 

I tweaked it a bit to make it a little easier, I didn't fancy roasting a pig for days or whatever it was suggesting and who has time to boil rice these days?!

To make my new and improved Chinese Pork and Vegetable Fried Rice you roast 500g of Pork Tenderloin in a shallow dish. I used pre-sliced steaks as they were on offer and I'm a thrifty girl. 

You mix together 3 tablespoons of Hoi Sin Sauce with a tablespoon of Soy Sauce and pour it over the pork. Cover the dish with a lid (or foil will do) and leave in the oven for about half hour on Gas Mark 6.  Fan assisted ovens may vary, probably. 

Next dice 2 or 3 carrots and a red pepper. Fry the carrots in a little vegetable oil for 5 mins and then add the peppers. Throw in some thawed peas and sweetcorn and wiz them all about for 2-3 mins. 

Whisk up one large egg and throw that in and keep mixing it up while the pan is on a high heat. Microwave a bag of those brilliant micro rice bags then throw the rice in too. Add some Soy sauce and some black pepper and dish it all up together. BAM.


What I read-
I finally got round to finishing The Girl on the Train and I'm so looking forward to the film now. It's really so so good and if you're into thrillers or even want to step away from chic-lits a bit then this is for you.
Now the next 'book' is technically not being read as I have  downloaded Audible which means I can listen to a book as I go to sleep. I'm currently reading/listening to Down The Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison. It'd read snippets of this playboy bunnies tales from the Playboy mansion and it fascinated me. This is going to give me something light to focus on as I go to bed. It's going to make a big change from The Girl on The Train but I can see this having a few great revelations. A guilty pleasure at it's finest - I'm just wondering how 'honest' she's allowed to be!


What I watched-
I've been waiting forever for the Apprentice to start. As always I'm hooked. I have no idea who's going to win but it's always a laugh watching these 'great businessmen' cock-up massively in front of Lord Sugar. It's cringy to watch at times but I love it.

What I used- 
This Rose Shimmer Palette from No 7 has changed my life (ok... I've been told I exaggerate) After some rather excellent service at my local No7 counter I found that it wasn't as shimmery as it looked once applied and it gives me a lovely glow and really highlights and brightens. The packaging is gorgeous, you wouldn't think it was No7, would you?! It's great for this time of years as I'm heading well and truly into party season! It was £13.50 (but £3 off when I used one of my many No7 Vouchers!) There's also a bronze version which is every bit as pretty. 


I am SO looking forward to November! It's full of birthdays, firework night and my 30th so I'm ready to celebrate! We've got a lot of lovely things planned and I am really looking forward to spending time with my friends and family. It's going to be really special, I can tell!

How was October for you?