expr:class='"loading" + data:blog.mobileClass'>

19 Oct 2014

A Woodland Walk with Joe Browns

I have just got my Joe Browns Catalogue through the door and a couple of pieces really stood out as perfect Autumn Day Wear. I already have a similar pair of boots but the Secret Support Leggings sound ideal, they seem to be thicker than usual and, according to the reviews, good at smoothing out lumps.  I have to love the Poncho too, I have a grey one already which I love but it isn't often the weather to wear it, as it can't be too cold nor too warm, or raining, so I only get to wear it a handful of times per year.


15 Oct 2014

The Autumn Tag

A saw this Tag over at Sailboat and had to join in because I LOVE Autumn.  BTW how cool are these leaves for falling of in nice neat rows, one of those rare moments you just have to catch.

What is your favourite seasonal drink from a high street coffee chain?

I am not a big fan of seasonal flavoured coffees etc.. the only exception being the Creme Brûlée latte from Costa.  I pretty much stick to the same thing everyday (grande, skinny, one shot latte, to have in) I like habits, they make me feel safe, which is why I still haven't dared to try soya milk in my lattes yet.  As a special treat I do like to add whipped cream and Salted Pecan Slice though.

Accessories - What do you opt for, boots, scarf or gloves?

The accessories are my main reason for loving Autumn  I have a ridiculously large collection of  scarves, long fingerless gloves and winter boots.  I justify this total over-the-topness by living in the UK, and not liking wearing coats (I'm a Northern lass at heart)

Music - What do you listen to in the Autumn?

Apart from Christmas songs and Summer hits, my listening habits don't really change due to the seasons.  I like Kiss FM in the car, Radio 4 in the Kitchen and Spotify at the computer.

Perfume - What is your favourite scent this time of year?

My Husband just bought me back a Jimmy Choo fragrance from New York and I really like it.  I like it so much that it is my current "going out" fragrance which means that I only wear it a couple of times a week.  It is the EDP not EDT and it lasts a ridiculously long time.

Candles - Which scents will you be burning this time of year?

Candles are a big thing in our house, my Husband cannot go near  TK Maxx without buying at least one. We spend all year stocking up christmas candles so we can burn them everyday over Christmas.   Currently we have a  Bahoma Graprefruit and Lime (not very autumnal but lovely and fresh smelling) and a Tilly Parker Orchid and Ginseng (now this one is very seasonal.) I am pretty sure Tilly Parker is one of TK Maxx's fake brands but whatever they smell great and last forever.

What do you love most about Autumn?

I love dressing the kids up for Halloween.  I get pretty overexcited when it comes to doing costumes for the kids and so Halloween is always an excuse to go all out.  Here is Charlottes Web, The Worst Witch, Alice in Wonderland and a generic party witch.  I actually sat for 2 days at my sewing machine to make the Alice dress as all the shop bought ones looked nothing like the real one, obsessed much.  The spiders web tutu and stitched t-shirt were other homemade pieces.

Favourite Makeup look

I really enjoy getting my pale skin back so that I can crack out the berry colours.  I really like more plum lips and blushes.  I also love metallic eyes, so my Urban Decay Naked Palette gets used constantly.  A recent re-discovery was my Bobbi Brown Long wear Cream Shadow in Berry Noir, this is a great plumy/metallicy brown that can be worn as an eyeliner if you use a decent amount on a liner brush or you can sheer it out for an eyeshadow.  I am also seriously in love with OPI My Private Jet nail varnish at the moment.

Bobbi Brown Long wear Cream Shadow in Berry Noir


What are you looking forward to most this season?

One of my favourite things to do as the nights get darker is, light the fire on the Lounge, put on some candles, get the Harry Potter Lego out and then we put on a Harry Potter film.  One each Sunday till Christmas.  This is a great way to spend a miserable Sunday afternoon with the kids.

Over to you... feel free to join the TAG and link to it below.  What are your favourite things about Autumn?

13 Oct 2014

Grown Up Style - Top 10 Best Style Bloggers Over 30

Just because your not a fresh-faced 20 something doesn't mean there isn't a wealth of super stylish ladies snapping their OOTD's for you.  Here are some of the ones whose style resonates with me, perfect for some new autumn outfit inspiration.  I have a such a few over 40's in too.

My Pick of the Best Bloggers Over 30

super-stylish-over-30's bloggers

Top -Love Maegan - Maegan has such crazily creative ideas and a penchant for cute fancy dress outfits, love her fun blog.
Bottom - Thirty Something Fashion - Carly always looks glamorous without being OTT.

    see links below

    • Top Right & Centre- Chic on the Cheap - Lydia has a great byline, never sacrifice style for savings
    • Top Left and Bottom Left -Grit and Glamour - A sexy lady with a killer sense of style, probably not for the school run though!
    • Bottom Centre and Right - Not Dressed as Lamb- over 40 stylish red-head with a fantastic sense of colour.

    see links below

    • Top Left -The Average Girls Guide - Alyson is a Florida based blogger who covers lots of bases, from lifestyle to beauty.
    • Top Right -Ava Graces Closet - 40 something style with cute fashion pics and she evens includes her kids too.
    • Bottom Left - Grechens Closet - A women the same shape as everyone else, looking great, love this ladies outfits, she has figured out what works for her and stuck with it, you could actually wear these looks in real life!
    • Bottom Right - Jacket Society - Super Luxe with amazing accessories, some perfect shoe porn.

    I have made a Pinterest board (obviously!) with some of my favourite grown up bloggers best bits on, feel free to follow here.

    If you are an over 30's blogger please leave your links below.  I love to find some new blogs to read.

    For my all time favourite blogs see here.

    10 Oct 2014

    Lush and Body Shop Blogger Meetup at Victoria Place

    I was so excited when the latest Beauty Blogger meet up was at Victoria Place in Victoria Train Station.  Firstly because I could actually go for once, and secondly because I love Lush and Bodyshop products.

    The first hurdle was the obvious matter of what to wear.  I knew we would be walking around and stood up for a while so I jettisoned the heels in favour of some comfy flat brown knee high boots I had got from Clarkes via Very and the went for a tunic dress with sheerish tights.

    I had just bought the classic OPI shade called My Private Jet so I painted my nails with that and the ubiquitous top coat of Seche Vite.  For make up I decided that if there was one time I could wear a full face of makeup, then a beauty blogger meet up would have to be it.  So I went of everything, all at once!

    Please excuse laundry basket and bits of random wood in shot, I was rushing.
    Brown Boots - Clarkes at Very £99
    Black Wool Tunic Dress - La Redoute £29
    OPI My Private Jet - Very £11


    First off we visited Lush which is on the same level as the train platforms and I have walked past on many occasions, but always at full throttle on my way to catch a train.  I doubt this will happen again, as there was so many great well-priced products that I will most definitely be visiting this convenient little gem more often.

    We were given a demonstration of many of there new christmas products and then we got to make our own Big Blue bath bomb.  My favourite products were the reusable bubble bar and the shower jelly snowman.  I was also very impressed with the snow glitter powder that I KNOW my girls will go crazy for at christmas.  They very kindly gave a sweet little bag with a couple of sample products and our bath bomb to take home.

    Erica from Makeupfun making a Big Blue bathbomb.

    Top 3 Lush Products

    On my shopping list for future shops are;

    Reusable Bubble Bar £5.25- such a great idea and very affordable, the amount of bubbles and the scent was incredible for such a small amount of product.
    Snowman Jelly £3.50 - this is such a cute idea.  A snowman shaped jelly that comes folded up in a pot, when you open him up you just rub in a little water for a great smelling (lemon and bergamot)shower gel
    First Snow Powder £4.75 - the kids will adore wearing this at christmas it has a lovely sheen, kind of like a highlighter but in powder form, plus it smells divine too.


    We then visited Bodyshop where we were introduced to there new Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate and the original best selling Drops Of Youth Serum.  Both products felt lovely on the skin and sell like hotcakes.  The serum has amazing reviews but I doubt their efficacy as I have seen no compelling evidence for the ingredients being used to formulate them, having any particular anti-ageing properties, it just seems like a well packaged form of glycerin to me.  Luckily they gave us some samples of the serum to try so we will see if there is anything to the claims.
    The lovely staff also makeover a couple of the braver amongst us.

    On a more positive note the makeup counter has been completely over-hauled and they have bought back nail varnishes,Yay!  The colour burst lipsticks also looked gorgeous and glided on really smoothly.

    Top 3 Bodyshop Products

    My favourite things i tried on the night were;

    Smoky 2 in 1 gel eye liner in brown £10  This has an inbuilt brush, I am not sure I will find the length of the brush a problem, but the liner itself left a lovely soft finish that would be ideal for everyday wear. Best of all it can be used on brows too, for £10 it is very reasonably priced.
    The new Argan Oil Range £13, this smelt very top end and felt super smooth and nourishing, I didn't like the idea of the solid lip oil but the body butter smelt divine. I will definitely be getting this when I have voucher as at £13 it is a bit steep.
    Mango Hand Gel £2.50 - this smelt gorgeous , a cute product to pop in your handbag for those times when the public convinces are less than sparkling.

    Cafe Rouge

    We were then treated to a glass of champagne and a Planche Rustique (rustic plank) for starters at Cafe Rouge.  I like the old fashioned French feel of the restaurant and the menu looked amazing, I would have chosen and main course and been happy.  I went for the chicken breast in a cream, mushroom, leek, courgette and wine sauce with buttery mash which was divine although not in any way a healthy choice.

    The Christmas Lunch Menu looked fantastic and included creme brûlée gateau which would be so perfect for a group night out. The staff were incredibly welcoming and made a real effort to treat us all.

    Thank you so much Becs from Biteable Beauty and Rebecca from Carousel PR for organising the event.  It was a lovely evening and I will most defiantly be visiting Victoria place for a spot of shopping next time I have a wait at Victoria on the way home.  I didn't even know there were shops upstairs until that night.  I also spotted a fantastic looking shop called Hema which is really big in Europe, this is their first UK shop and it sells a arrange of cute storage, stationary, beauty products  and health foods, it's a bit like Tiger or Muji.  What really attracted me was the prices, everything seemed so cheap!

    It was so lovely to meet some other bloggers, feel free to check out their blogs/vlogs below.

    Becs - Biteable Beauty
    Juliana - Buzzing Trends
    Erika - Makeup Fun
    Yaroslava - Slavabeautytips
    Nadja - Throw Me Something Beautiful
    Natasha - A London Thing
    Olivia - Beauty from the Fjord

    7 Oct 2014

    More Mature Makeup

    Do we need to avoid certain sorts of makeup as we age?

    This was the question begging me to click in The Telegraph this morning. My first thoughts on this were, why should we have to alter our makeup just because we are ageing. Then I thought for a second longer and realised how, in so many ways, I had changed my own makeup over the last 10 years to account for my changing needs.


    I realised that I had;

    • Stopped wearing black eyeliner (too harsh)
    • Let my brows grow more full 
    • Reduced my use of face powder
    • Increased my use of under eye concealer

    Here is the original article from The Telegraph and as a quick summary, here is what they tell you to avoid after a certain age.

    What to avoid if you are over 30

    Too much face powder
    Glitter Eyeshadows
    Full Coverage Foundation
    Strong Blush
    Multicoloured eyeshadow
    Lip Gloss

    What to avoid if you are over 40

    Frosted Lipsticks
    Liquid Eyeliner
    Face Powder (completely)
    Powder Eyeshadow

    What to avoid if you are over 50

    Brow Kohl
    Bright Eyeshadow
    Powder Foundation
    Black Liner
    Brown Toned Lipsticks

    I obviously have a LOT of opinions on this, as you can imagine.  To start with lets tackle the 30's, As a lady who is mid thirties herself.  I reckon I know the ground pretty well by now and I agree wholeheartedly with too much face powder being a cardinal sin, I must say that lip gloss has it's place.  I agree it needs to be toned down (slightly) but I think it can help add a more youthful fuller looking pout and so in my makeup bag it goes.

    In the Over 40's category I have one main point to be made and that is "who the hell is still wearing frosted lipsticks!" I guess darker frosted lipsticks might work (possibly????) but anything pale and frosted is just a crime against makeup and should not be singled out as a faux pas for the over 40's only.  I disagree on bronzer being put in the naughty corner too, as most of our skin looses pigment as we age and a carefully applied flush of bronzer can really help.  As always, you need to find the right shade for your skin and apply with a delicate hand, but this is a rule across the board. Onto liquid eyeliner, I have to agree here, as I have gotten older I have noticed a slight "crepenening" of my once smooth eyelids which means that liquid pens can drag and leave gaps.  So I have already switched out to gel eyeliners or just a dark shadow used with a liner brush and smudged in.

    Here is Kate Moss being 40 and breaking all the rules.  She's all over the liquid eyeliner, bronzer and shimmer, take that silly Telegraph article.


    For the over 50's I have little personal experience but I imagine bright eyeshadow and black liner would only serve to drain colour from an already slightly diminished facial colour palette.

    As a reference here is the ever-lovely Carol Vorderman aged 53.  She is breaking at least one of the rules with a brown toned lipstick, plus she definitely has bronzer applied and her brows filled in, but she looks AMAZING!


    Another of my favourites is the much-maligned Nigella Lawson (54).  She has on some serious bad-ass makeup here but she wears it so well.  Again her eyebrows have been filled with more than just a brow gel, her contouring/bronzer is in full effect and she has on a fuller than full coverage foundation (just expertly applied.)  I found this excellent tutorial for this exact look over at the wonderful Pixiwoo girls, see below.


    So to sum it all up, I think some beauty products don't work as well on older skins but application - as always- is key.  when you hit 35+ then stepping away from anything that makes your skin look drier is a definitely a good thing, but bronzer and full on eyes never date.  I say wear what suits you, and if someone who's taste you trust mentions that your look may becoming a bit stale then go try some new products out, it's just makeup, and can be washed off in seconds.

    If you want to read more mature beauty ramblings feel free to sign up with bloglovin here.

    3 Oct 2014

    GIVEAWAY! Glamour Beauty Power List 2014 Box - worth £80

    Have you always wanted to try beauty boxes, but balked at the idea of getting a collection of crap in exchange for your hard earned money?

    Well now's your chance.  I have one lovely crispy new Beauty Box from Latest In Beauty to giveaway.  I was so happy with what I got in mine that I bought one for a giveaway too!

    Here is what is contains and the combined cost of the products would be £80.  It costs just £15.99!

    1x Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
    1x Eyeko Eye Makeup Remover Wipes
    1x Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defense
    1x Laura Mercier Foundation Primer
    1x James Read Sleep Mask Tan
    1x Bourjois 1 Seconde Mascara
    1x Maybelline Stripped Nudes by COLORsensational
    1x GLAMOUR Magazine Subscription for iPad/iPhone

    For your chance to win this beauty enter using the Rafflecopter thingy-ma-jig below.

    I have had mine for a couple of weeks now and the best things are the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, the Bourjois Mascara and the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish.  These alone are worth over £30 plus a whole years iPad subscription to Glamour!

    Good Luck

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    30 Sep 2014

    Minimal Makeup

    This is what I take when I am going to meet my Husband for lunch after making use of the gym near his office.  Quick and easy makeup must-haves.

    Laura Mercier - Foundation Primer - does not budge
    Revlon Colorstay - 180 Sand Beige - super matte
    Bourjois 1 Seconde Volume - waterproof - lasts and lengthens
    Lancome - Flash Retouche - banishes dark circles without looking white
    Rimmel - Glam Eyes Liner - gets close to lashes
    L'Oreal - True Match Powder in Golden Ivory - nice yellow undertones in a high street powder
    Benefit - Browzings in Medium - had for 5 years and still going strong
    Daniel Sandler - Watercolour Blush in Cherub - natural and long-lasting
    Maybelline - Color Tattoo in On-and-on Bronze - everyday essential in my house
    Maybelline Colour Sens Nude in Tantalising Taupe - moisturising, lets the eyes stand out.

    18 Sep 2014

    Caudalie Polyphenol C15 review

    If like me you love a bargain then this is the post for you. This is one of the best deals I have seen for a while. I have mentioned in a previous post that I love Latest in Beauty’s Boxes.  I like knowing what I am getting in advance and so they are ideal for people like me who are far too fussy about products to spend £10 on what is essentially a lucky dip.  The first one I ordered contained 3 decent sized samples of Caudalie's Polyphenol range for £9.95 inc P&P, the contents are worth around £30!

    Here's what I got for my money.

    Caudalie Polyphenol C15 sample reviews latest in Beauty
    Look how cute the mini pipette bottle is, that is going to go in my collection of "things to repurpose for travelling" which inevitably get forgotten when I actually travel.

    Full price for 30mls is £35 so works out at £11ish.

    Caroline Hirons rates this, which is always a plus for me, as everything she reviews I agree with (except using flannels not muslins).  I really like this serum, I am alternating it with Soap and Glory's Make Yourself Youthful Rejuvenating Serum and it is great.  The glass bottle with pipette is a really nice touch and give it a sciencey feel along with making it feel like a quality product.  The texture is nice and silky, yet it sinks in almost immediately.  It is packed full of antioxidants such as polyphenols and stabilised vitamin C which are supposed to zap all the nasty free radicals created by suns and pollution damage. I will have to wait a couple of years to see whether this truly works, but it does seem to plump fine lines, which I guess is the hyaluronic acid at work. Overall a really nice product which I will repurchase when I have enough money to spend on nonessential skincare items.

    Full price for 15 mls is £26 so works out at £8ish.

    This is the real star of the box.  It can be worn under makeup and feels lovely on, not tacky or overly slippy.  It contains Matrixyl 3000 which is one of those ingredients you usually only get in top-end anti-wrinkle creams. This, along with Retinol, is one of the few proven ingredients that can reduce signs of ageing. I apply this both morning and night and it really smooths the lips ready for lip products.  I am definitely getting this again, it seems to be lasting really well, as you only need the tiniest amount.  For £26 for 15ml this seems pretty good value for the quality of the ingrediants.

    Full price for 40ml is £29 so works out at £11ish

    I like the idea of this, as it supposedly protects skin while smoothing and hydrating. I have a sneaky feeling that, like most SPF's, it breaks me out.  I am pretty gutted about this as I thought this was perfect to wear when going out for a run (trudge around the park) as it is light yet protects me from the sun.  I will however try again in couple of weeks time when it is a different time of the month (ahem!) Currently not re-purchasing due to bumpy skin.

    I am really happy with this box and will definitely repurchase the Eye and Lip Cream, and probably the Serum.  I have even considered just buying another box as it works out cheaper than buying them full price!  I have been using them for 2 weeks now and have not got even vaguely close to using them up.

    Has anyone else had any luck with this range.  It's aimed at those who are 30+ and I can see myself trying more and more from their lovely looking arsenal of anti-ageing products. I always avoided them in the past as they seemed like one of those organic/ineffective companies but I will eat my words.  I like Caudalie.  Now I just need to learn how to say it, good job I'm a blogger not a Youtuber.

    16 Sep 2014

    At Last - A Beauty Box that isn't a Rip Off

    I don't know where I first heard of Latest in Beauty (LIB), beauty boxes, but what made me look twice was the unique idea, that you got to see what was in it before you paid.  Now I'm sure this spoils the fun for a lot of you, but for me it was a godsend.  I hate the idea of handing over money for a pile of tat I could get in the Poundshop for less, but just wrapped in a pretty box.

    LIB is different to other beauty boxes because they list all the products that the box contains and you just buy it the same way as you buy anything else.  I think this is great as it inspires them to keep creating great boxes and also means that they will get lots of repeat customers as they will hopefully like the contents seen as they already know what they are getting. My favourite part is that I can research the products and see whether they are likely to be useful to me or suitable for my skin/hair.  You can even create your own box if you like, I wasn't so keen on this part though as the products were a little less exciting.

    I started off with the Caudalie Ployphenol C15 box for £9.95 inc P&P! I did a quick price comparrison and the products work out as worth around £30. I had been wanted to try Caudalie products for a while as wanted to incorporate a really good antioxidant and skin protector into my routine.  The prices had however put me off, the last thing I need is another unsuitable beauty product remonstrating me from my dressing table.

    I enjoyed my first foray into the world of Beauty Boxes so much that I have already purchased their latest offering.  It is called the Glamour Beauty Power List 2014 and has a host of 5 star products that I had been interested in trying for just £16 inc P&P. I even had a 10% off code so it cost just over £14 all in.  This was such a good deal I bought two, one for me and one for a giveaway  as they look so good.  It has Liz Earle, Laura Mercier and Bourjois to name a few, it also includes a whole years subscription to Glamour magazine on your iPad.

    See my post here for a full review of the Caudalie Polyphenol goodies I got.  I will also be posting the giveaway soon after I receive the Glamour Box, so keep your eyes peeled.

    Latest in Beauty have not sponsored this post, nor do I receive any commission from my links, this is just something great I wanted share.

    15 Sep 2014

    FAB First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads Review

    I have been using these for about 2 weeks now so I feel it is time for a review.

    I first read about them on Caroline Hirons blog.  What attracted me to them was the promise of a gentle exfoliation and brighter skin. I regularly have congested skin and as I get older, my skin has also dulled.  I use Aspirin masks and my Clarisonic to help with exfoliation, but I wanted something more regular, so I took the plunge with these.
    They weren't cheap at £16, but then neither were they crazily expensive. You get 60 pads which I use once a day, so I should get 2 months use out of them (look at me and my super-advanced maths!)


    They are labelled as fragrance free but they have a very definate smell, that whilst not unpleasant, it is not entirely delectable either.  The packaging is pretty unimaginative, but does the job.  Each pad is soaked in the exfoliating liquid and has a smooth and a more textured side.  I use the more textured side in my cheeks, chin and forehead and keep the more delicate side for my eyes and lips.  I find that they are very generously soaked, but in an ideal world I would just buy the lotion and use my own cotton pad.

    I have noticed a real change using these. When I first started I had just returned from holiday and my skin was slightly thickened due to the sun and I had a tan.  I wanted something to soften my skin and help bring down my tan to a shade that was somewhat closer to my usual foundation and concealer shades.  These did both these things really well.  I think my skin looks much fresher after using and I will definitely add these to my long term skin care routine.  They also don't sting or make your skin feel stripped.  The inclusion of glycerin and hyaluronic acid makes them beautifully moisturising on my oily skin. The active ingredients are lactic and glycolic acid along with a variety of fruit acids which work to dissolve any dead skin cells of debris on your skin.

    Would I buy them again?  Without a doubt.