Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Update & Some Current Favourite Products

This is my life at the moment.  I have been pinching myself...loving your job this much shouldn't be allowed!  My coffee table is under there somewhere although it has temporarily been obscured by the millions of wedding magazines and books! 

Now that the business website and blog have been launched, I can concentrate on gathering all the necessary suppliers for every aspect of a wedding.  Sorry if I haven't been as present on here, I have just been so busy with work.  But I will try to keep updating my blog as I go.  I don't intend on giving up this blog any time soon!  

Oh and if you haven't liked our Facebook Page and followed us on Twitter, I would love it if you could.  All these things really help the traffic through our website and blog so it would be a massive help if you could take two seconds to do that.

Our business cards and flyers arrived yesterday...

Receiving things like this in the post just makes it all feel more real.  Our aim is to become the most innovative, unique and creative wedding planner in the North East of Scotland.  It feels really nice to be building a future for myself and having so much control about what direction it takes.

So, on to other matters.  My favourite necklace over the past couple of weeks has been this one I got in Oasis when I was in Cork recently.  It's so summery and I'm just in love with the colour!  

My favourite product of the past couple of weeks has been the Clarins Tonic Bath & Shower Concentrate.  It's described as "Invigorates the body and mind. A rich yet lightweight foam which cleanses gently while helping to tone, firm and energise".

"Aromatic essential oils (Rosewood, Geranium, Mint, Rosemary): fragrance, tone and promote a feeling of well-being.  Cleansing base of plant origin (Coconut): cleanses skin, provides comfort. Extracts of Juniper, Balm, Pine, St. John's Wort, Arnica, Gentian and Witch Hazel: firm and stimulate skin exchanges.Natural water-softening agent".

I have been using this every day for the past two weeks and you can see how little has gone from the 200ml bottle (£17).  You only need a tiny amount of this on a shower puff to get loads of foam.  The fragrance is invigorating and is almost menthol-like (I assume that's the mint) so if you aren't a fan of that type of thing then give this a miss.  I personally love it because it wakes me up in the morning and best of all, the essential oils make my skin feel and look amazing! It cleared up a couple of dry patches I had on my elbows and legs and has made my body beach ready!  Love this stuff and it's well worth every penny.  I will be taking on holiday to Greece to make sure my skin stays hydrated and smooth after days in the blazing sun.

Another miracle product is the Clarins Skin-Smoothing Eye Mask which has single handedly blitzed my puffy morning eyes (due to all the late night working).  It's great if you have partied too hard or just had a late night and need to perk up your peepers.  It soothes the whole eye area and the skin is left feeling silky smooth.  It has Rosewater and Apricot extracts hydrate and soften and Rice Starch to tighten and smooth. It's the first thing I reach for when my eyes have that stingy, tired feeling.  It costs £17.95 here for a 30ml tube.

As you know, I like to have a golden tan and I prefer to use self tanning products that are specifically designed for the skin on my face.  The body versions always seem to block my pores and be that teensy bit too dark for that area.  I'm currently loving the lightweight gel formula of the Lancome Flash Bronzer Self Tanner For Face.  I only use 2 pumps for my whole face and neck area because a little goes a long way.  It's one of those tanning products that is so easy to use, you can just slap it on really quickly and not have to worry about being too exact.  It absorbs really quickly leaving no greasy or oily residue on your face.  It turns my face and neck a lovely, subtle golden hue that lasts for 3-4 days.  Highly recommended if you like fuss-free self tanners for your face.  It's £24 for 50ml here.

I will be heading to Loch Lomond for my 1 year wedding anniversary on Friday morning...I can't believe it's been a year since I got married!

Where does the time go??? Anyway, I'll be back on Tuesday so expect a post then about the weekend.

Also, in my usual randomness, I'm loving this song at the moment (it's a great summer tune for loungey weekends)...

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Holiday Clothes Haul

A holiday to Greece is as good an excuse as any to stock up on some summer clothes.  On my recent trip to Cork, I took a visit to A Wear, since I almost always find something there that I love.  My first mission was to get a maxi dress.  I have never worn one before but since everyone raves that they are so comfortable, so easy to wear and an easy way to do summer sophistication, I felt like this was something I had to tap into!

I spotted this fuschia chiffon maxi dress in A Wear a mile off (it's actually by boutique brand, Miss Harvey).  I love the colour and the floral design and it has the oh-so-handy elasticated section at the back which is a god send for bigger busted ladies like myself.  I have real problems finding dresses that fit me properly because when it fits up top, it's too loose on my torso and vice versa.  But with this stretchy section, I was able to buy a size 10 that fits perfectly.  Also, the stretchy section makes the garment so much more comfortable.

The knotted detail at the bust is also really flattering and I like that the dress doesn't show too much cleavage, making it perfect for daytime wear.  The straps are detachable and can also be altered at the back.  The waist is slightly dropped so it nips in at the smallest part of the body.  It has moulded cups so you don't have to wear a bra and that gives it shape and more support if you want to wear it as a strapless dress. This makes the dress very slimming!

I couldn't find this dress on the A Wear website but if you have a store local to you, then it's worth checking out!

I had been looking for a cute white cotton summer dress and this one fit the bill perfectly.  It's slightly retro with a 50's feel, it has a feminine bodice-style torso, it's the perfect length (about 2 inches above the knee), it has the cutest ruffles on it that don't make you look huge and it minimises the appearance of my chest.  Could I ask for anything more?

Once again it has the genius stretchy section at the back, adjustable straps and a decorative tie back.  It's so easy to wear and the cotton fabric will be super cool in the summer heat of Greece!

This dress is by A Wear and was £15 in their sale (down from £30) and you can buy it here.

I loved this dress so much, I got the polka dot version too!  This is the cutest summer dress ever and looks better on than it does on the hanger.  It lends a 50's silhouette that really flatters curvier girls.

This dress was also from A Wear and was £20 (down from £40) and you can buy it here.

Next up is a dress from the boutique brand, Jasmine and this brand is also available in A Wear.  I liked the Mediterranean feel to the pattern on the dress and once again, the fresh cotton is perfect for hot days.

The cros over neckline is perfect to flatter a larger chest without showing obscene amounts of boobage!  And there we have the stretchy back section again (praise the lord)...

Once again, I couldn't find this dress on the A Wear website but you could try looking in your local store.  I know they also stock Jasmine in various boutique stores around the country too.

I never normally look in Wallis because it strikes me as the type of store that caters for the more mature lady.  However, when I was in Cork, my magpie radar went off the scale when this sparkly number caught my eye...

Its a sheer white longline top with ombre embellishments in various shades of grey/silver.  It has loose short sleeves that drape in a really pretty way.  It would be perfect with skinny jeans or with a pair of those drapey, floaty shorts that are around at the moment.  I still haven't decided whether I need a silk camisole under it to avoid the 'oh my god everyone is looking at my bra' moment.

This top was from Wallis and it was £45.  You can buy it here.

Speaking of those short that are around at the moment, I found a great pair in A Wear for a bargainous price.  They are super soft, very comfortable and a great length that means you don't have to worry about people getting a glimpse of your ass when you bend over.

These shorts were only £8.50 (down from £28.00).  You can buy them here.

This next dress is from the same boutique brand as the fuschia maxi, Miss Harvey.  I thought it was really sweet and would be a great daytime dress for my holiday.

This dress is another one that looks better on than it does on the hanger.  It's quite short in comparison to the other dresses I got so that stops the whole floral/lace theme from being too frumpy.

This is another one you would have to go searching for in your local A Wear as it's not on their website now either.

I really rate Dune shoes for style and durability.  I have pairs that have lasted for years and I was delighted to find a pewter version of the pair I already have.  This style is so comfortable, it's unreal plus they go with just about anything.

They have a zip up back and a small wedge heel (I am incapable of wearing completely flat shoes because I inevitably look like a clown!)

They were only £27.00 (down from £55) with free delivery so a veritable bargain!  Here's the link for the shoes on Amazon.

I have wanted these sandals for ages and when I saw them on sale in Cork, I wanted to snap them up.  BUT they only had a size 6 and even though I tried them on (why do we do that when we KNOW they won't fit!?), the sight of my poor tootsies squashed to oblivion made me realise I couldn't have my beloved shoes.

However...after spotting them in the ASOS sale, I gave out a little squeal (seriously) and hurried on over to the website as fast as my little fingers could type.

These sandals are so gorgeous with their metallic gold colour, pretty fabric and jewel embellishments and slight wedge heel.

They are my perfect summer sandals and are going to look amazing with just about anything I team them with.

They were £45.00 (down from £75.00) with free delivery.  They are definitely worth that price because they feel so sturdy, well made and they are very comfy.  Here's the link for the shoes on ASOS if you fancy picking up a pair.

Where have you found your perfect summer clothes?

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

My Business Website and Blog Launch!

The day has finally arrived! After months of toiling, late nights, early mornings and a few brief tantrums over html code that just wouldn't play business website and blog are now finished!  In case any of you missed any previous posts, I have set up a wedding planning business with my mum called Perfection By Design covering the North East of Scotland.  It's a very exciting time for us and I'm so proud of everything we have achieved so far.  We have done every aspect of the set up ourselves and although it has been exhausting at times, it's really been worth it.  We completed the little photo shoot at our newly decorated office today and here are some highlights...

You can view my business website here.  I also created a blog to compliment the website posting on anything to do with weddings including hair and beauty items, style and trend reports, venue decoration and inspiration boards.  You can visit my business blog here.

I want to create as much buzz as I can for our new business so I would be MASSIVELY grateful if you could take a moment of your time to like our Facebook page, subscribe to our blog and follow us on Twitter.  It would mean so much to me to have your support.

Also, if you know anyone in the North East of Scotland who is getting married or anyone who wants to get married in that general area, but lives elsewhere, please feel free to pass on my details.

Thanks so much!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Review of Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator

Phew! I'm back from my trip to Ireland and have been engulfed in the business since I got back.  The count down is on now for the business launch and as promised, I will keep you guys informed.  I will be posting on it in the next couple of weeks.  I also have a holiday clothes post planned for the next couple of days so stay tuned.

I'm sorry it's taken so long to post a review of this product but I really wanted to give it a few weeks before I could give an accurate and honest review.  Now you all know that I follow a meticulous skin regime and I'm always obsessed with improving or just maintaining the condition of my skin.  Although my skin overall is pretty good, I did have some discolouration and blemish scars when I started using this serum.

Here's the blurb from the Estee Lauder website:

"The first fast-acting Serum from Estée Lauder Research proven to significantly reduce the look of uneven skintone:
blemish marks
dark spots

Instantly, skin looks fresh and radiant.  Skin looks noticeably clearer, brighter and more even-toned. Dark spots appear reduced.  This intensive, yet gentle oil-free serum features powerful technologies to address the look of every key sign of uneven skintone:

Triple-Optic Technology provides skin with a brighter, more luminous look from the very first application. 

CorrectTone Technology reduces the appearance of uneven skintone, while anti-oxidants help prevent its re-appearance. 

Imagine skin so incredibly clear, even-toned and radiant, you have nothing to hide. Proven gentle and effective for all ethnicities".

And here are the before and after pictures focusing on all areas of my mug!

So after 4 weeks of applying the serum religiously every morning and night before my usual moisturiser, what were my thoughts? 
Well for starters, this serum is opalescent in appearance and contains brightening particles to instantly improve the radiance of your skin on application.  It's very light in consistency and absorbs with absolutely no oily residue so it can definitely be worn under make up without disturbing it.  I had blemish scars mainly on my forehead and around my mouth/chin area.  I felt like after the 4 weeks and judging by the before and after pics, these scars had faded considerably and the overall uniformity of colour in my face had improved.  This is definitely a good product for people looking to refine their skin texture and appearance.  Even though my skin is generally pretty good, this product just took it a step further and helped to prepare my skin for summer.  I will be a lot more confident about wearing lighter coverage products on holiday because my skin looks really good.

Any product that gives me more confidence in my skin is a thumbs up for me but just remember that you have to use this serum for 4 weeks + to see real results and it doesn't come cheap.  Don't expect miracles in a week or so because serums are generally products that have to be applied every day and for an extended period of time.  I would only recommend this serum if you have concerns about blemish scars, discolouration or rough skin texture.  I say this because there are loads of really good, wash-off illuminating products that produce instant results so if a lack of radiance is your only bug bear then these may be more appropriate for you.  I am going to continue to use this product because I'm loving my brighter, more even and smooth skin!

You can buy the Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skin Illuminator from the Estee website or from counters nationwide (30ml is £46 and 50ml is £62).

Monday, 11 July 2011

Illamasqua Skin Base & Boots Treat Street

I was given the chance recently to try out a tester of the new Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation and given the buzz around this product, I was interested to see how it would compare to my usual foundation.  

It is described on the Illamasqua site as being "Inspired by the cult Asian market Beauty Balm creams, Skin Base Foundation is a brand new, refined formula unlike anything on the UK market. Easily blendable, it effortlessly creates a perfect complexion, and like the entire Illamasqua foundation range, is undetectable in a professional HD environment. Suitable for all skin types, it smoothes, softens and conditions your skin whilst providing natural, buildable coverage".

I was sent a 5ml tester of shade SB10 which has a yellow undertone to it.  As usual, Illamasqua have developed a wide range of shades to suit every skin tone.  The consistency of the foundation could probably be described as medium because it's not as thick as Estee Lauder Double Wear but it's certainly more substantial in texture than say, Korres Wild Rose Foundation.

It's texture makes it easy to blend into the skin effortlessly and I found that you don't need a lot of product to achieve a medium coverage.  On blending into the skin, you start to notice how it sinks in and leaves your skin looking, well, extremely natural in colour and texture.  My skin looked even, smooth and natural.

SB10 was a good match for my skin and it seemed to brighten my complexion, leaving my skin glowing.  Even at close range, this foundation is undetectable on your skin and I think you could easily fool people into thinking you weren't wearing anything at all.  Here's how it looked once applied with the rest of my makeup...

This foundation is certainly buildable and can be played around with to suit your preference of coverage.  I just have one problem with this product though.  It made my skin look VERY shiny later in the day and my usual foundation doesn't do that.  I wouldn't mind this so much in the daytime or on holiday but I don't think I could rely on this foundation for a special occasion or a night out on the town.  I like my skin to look radiant but not overly shiny.  I had to re-apply powder to my T-Zone 3 times during the day which is unheard of for me (I have combination skin).  If you have oily skin, this foundation may possibly exacerbate the problem.  So, my take on this foundation is that it's fantastic for a 'no-makeup' look, a relaxed day or for holidays but I will definitely be sticking to my Estee Lauder Double Wear for everything else.

Illamasqua Skin Base is £25.00 for a 30ml bottle.

Now, I don't know why it took so long for me to find out about this and I'm not sure how many people are aware of it but you can now use your Boots Advantage card to build up points when purchasing products on other retailer's websites!

It's called 'Treat Street' and basically you can collect Boots Advantage points when you buy products online from retailers like Apple, ASOS, Coast, Ebay, iTunes and New Look.  For a full list of the retailers taking part, click here.  You can only collect the points from purchasing items online and you MUST be logged into the Treat Street website in another window whilst buying the product for it to work.  I don't know about you guys, but I think this is blimmin amazing! I shop online at a lot of the retailers included in the list so this means loads of Boots Advantage Points for me!

If you already have a Boots account, you can just log into the Treat Street site here with your existing Boots username and password.  If you are not registered with Boots Advantage Card, then you can join up via that link too.  You will receive at least 1 point per £1 spent and there may be upcoming offers to receive double points or extra points for every £25 spent.

Just remember that you have to be logged into Treat Street when you click through to a retailer to shop.  Within 5 days of your purchase, you will receive an email to let you know that your purchase has been tracked and recognised.  Within 35 days of your purchase, you will receive a second email, letting you know that your points are ready to be collected.  You can do this by going to your local Boots and using an Advantage Card Kiosk, choosing the 'Extra Offers' option.

Hope this was of some help to you guys!

I will be heading off to Ireland for a week tomorrow night so I won't be blogging again until next Monday or Tuesday.  I hope you guys have a great week!