Thursday, 19 December 2013

New Years Eve Outfit Ideas

If you haven't already read my 'Christmas Wardrobe' post then go and have a peek at that to see some fantastic pieces for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and of course Boxing day.
Now I am going to talk about New Years day and show some fantastic party dresses right from our high street.

New Year is the time for gliz and glamour and sequins are a must to impress on the dance floor. Here is my pic of three dresses destined for the celebrations...

The first dress comes from my favourite store, Warehouse. I have tried this on in store and although it is a tad short for me the fit is exceptional so if you have some killer pins then go for it! The beading on this dress is beautiful and timeless which justifies the not so bargain price of £100.00. Just think though, you could wear this over and over again.

Next is from River Island at a price of £40.00. I love this dress I think it looks so expensive and celebrity-worthy. The dress speaks for itself, but if you think it needs blinging up I think it would look great with a statement necklace. I know a black dress can be a little dull, but I think everyone can agree this is the sexiest black dress they have ever laid their eyes on.

Something a little more up my street is this beautiful design from Miss Selfridge. In the sale at a bargain price of £59.00, this intricate detailed dress will be sure to wow. Although the midi length and sleeves would be super flattering, the dress doesn't lose its sex appeal.

Once you have picked the dress, next comes the accessories. I tend to go by the rule that less is more, and really what else does a girl need but a black pair of killer heels and a simple black clutch? The shoes are by Topshop in the sale for £72.00 and the clutch is available from Accessorize for £25.00.

Quick Info:
Sequin Wrap, Warehouse £100.00
 Black dress, River Island £40.00
Sequin Lace Midi, Miss Selfridge £59.00
Strappy Heels, Topshop £79.00
Clutch, Accessorize £25.00

Christmas Wardrobe

For me, what I am going to wear around the festive season is everything. I start to think about what I am going to wear for Christmas day as soon as the collections hit the shop, it is a little obsession. Looking glamorous is key over Christmas, its a time where you can get dressed up and impress whatever your doing.
Here are my top pics to wear this Christmas that you can get your hands on right now:
For Christmas day I have actually brought this exact red dress from Oasis. Oasis have so many great items in right now and have really impressed me with its latest collection, and this dress does not disappoint. It looks fabulous with opaque black tights and black shoes and will be sure to impress over the dinner table.
Even though I am more likely to dress up on Christmas day, I like to make an effort on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. Of course it depends what your plans are, but for me I will be wearing my leather skirt from Reiss with a Christmas jumper on the eve and some skinny jeans with a similar tunic on Boxing day. Tunics are a great way to hide that over indulgence the day after!
Of course, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas if you didn't have a killer pair of heels. I have these Kurt Geiger's in plain black but have been eying up these studded ones for a week or two and fair to say I will purchase them before the festivities begin!
Clothes (available in store and online):
Red lace dress, Oasis £48.00
Jumper, Topshop £46.00
Leather skirt, Reiss £185.00
(yes I know this is very expensive, but it is extremely good quality real leather. However, you can find alternatives in Zara, Next and Dorothy Perkins)
Sequin Tunic, Next £35.00
Skinny Jeans, New Look £9.99
Stud shoes, Kurt Geiger £120.00
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

REVIEW: REN Skincare

I have always been interested in Ren skincare as a lot of beauty bloggers tend to favour their facial masks. However, for one reason or another I haven't tried them but always looked on fondly thinking one day I would. Today was the day, I headed into town for one thing and one thing only and that was a eyebrow brush but got side tracked into Marks and Spencer. Big signs hit me straight on '20% off beauty and fragrance' and before I knew it I was typing my pin in the card machine purchasing a 'Kit for Combination Skin'. I swear, I have a problem.
The little kit contains 3 miniatures of the Cleansing Gel, Detox Mask and Day Fluid so gives you the perfect opportunity to try out the range for a fraction of the price.
Cleansing Gel
I thought I would try these out in one night, in typical order of cleanse, mask and moisturise therefore the Cleansing Gel came first to get rid of all that make up and everyday grime. At first look, the formulation looked runny and very thin compared to other gels I have used and because of this it is a tad difficult to massage into your skin without dropping a bit so stand over your skink! It advises to rinse off with warm water so this is what I did with some large cotton pads. It removed every inch of make up and grime and left my skin feeling fresh and smooth - I was impressed.
The only beef I have with this product is the fact it isn't great at removing eye make up. While it removed the last bits of eye shadow it didn't effectively remove my gel eyeliner nor my waterproof mascara. For me, I like a cleanser to do the whole works so I don't have to bother with eye makeup remover as this adds a un necessary extra step.
Detox Mask
This is the product I was most looking forward to testing out as I have heard such good things about the Ren masks and I wanted to compare this to my beloved Sanctuary 5 minute detox. The formulation is thick and clay like but is still easy to apply to the skin. I put the product all over my face but I think it is something I will only need on my oily t-zone. It instructs to wash with warm water after it dries on your skin but I wasn't expecting it to dry so quickly - literally in a couple of minutes it seemed ready to be removed.
After I removed the mask you could see my skin was much less congested and super clean, my pores looked smaller too! I love this mask, at the moment the same as my Sanctuary but this could change if it continues to minimise my pores!

Day Fluid
This day fluid is essentially a moisturiser for oily skin types therefore it is going to give your skin the moisture it needs without the added grease factor. This is a light formula, similar to my fave La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo and similarly sinks in nicely to the skin. It made my skin feel super soft and a lovely finishing product to my mini Ren facial. Do I think it is better than my La Roche Posay? No. However I think this one will need to be used for a few more days to determine whether it actually works.

Overall, I was impressed with the Ren Skincare set and for £9.60 I think it was worth every penny to try out the range. However, I do think you can get similar results with different brands for a cheaper price for example using a cleansing balm then mask such as Sanctuary and then La Roche moisturiser for a smaller price. No, I don't think I will change my skincare routine totally to this, but the mask was definitely worth while and definitely on my shopping list.

Friday, 23 August 2013

REVIEW: Clinique take the day off cleansing balm!

A few months ago I wrote a blog in utter despair - my skin was heavily congested, spotty and ridiculously oily. I turned to the skincare expert Caroline Hirons for help and scoured her blog for solutions -  one that kept cropping up was to try out a cleansing balm.
Now, I am going to confess that while I love foundation, my skin took a back seat and generally I didn't use any sort of cleanser to take off my layers of make up. According to Caroline, using just a make up wipe is not enough for your skin and you should always use a decent cleansing balm, she suggested Emma Hardie. Instead of going straight out and buying a Emma Hardie cleanser I shopped around and the Clinique lover I am, I went straight to their counter (naughty me!). I picked up their new Take the Day Off Cleansing balm and tried it straight away!
I also love the look of the packaging - it looks super luxe on my dressing table!
The texture of this balm is kinda strange. It looks like lard in the container but when massaged into the skin it turns to oil. You then wipe away with either cotton pads or a muslin clothe with hot water. This balm takes all your make up off in one swoop and your skin is left make up free and feeling fresh. A week later and my skin was looking so much better, it looked much less congested, smooth and almost spot free! I would 100% recommend this balm as it done wonders for my skin. I'm sure that this cleanser isn't the only cleanser that would help skin with imperfections, it is just a case of making sure you  cleanse every night - don't think a wet wipe does it all!  
Go out and buy yourself a cleansing balm - you won't look back!
Elles x
Caroline Hiron's skincare blog:

Tuesday, 16 July 2013


I adore Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation, it is definitely my 'go-to' product. After using it for years to cover bad skin it has served me well however, during the hot weather we have been currently experiencing I needed a lighter foundation. I now have good skin, with the odd blemish therefore didn't need anything too heavy. I looked at millions (not literally) of reviews online and kept coming back to the Double Wear Light therefore I had to purchase! I had to get a sample of the foundation first to test whether it agreed with my oily skin, and it did! That's the one thing I love about Estée Lauder, the fact you can go up to the counter and receive good sized samples, this really makes a difference to whether I am going to purchase a product - especially a high end one like this foundation!
Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation
This was the original foundation I brought. I initially picked this up about a year ago as I wanted a foundation that was full coverage and would stay in place all day and this did the trick. It is a high coverage foundation therefore great for my spot prone skin, it is so good that on good skin days I didn't even need a full face, let alone concealer. Another bonus is the staying power, this baby stays in place all day even on my oily skin.
The texture is thick hence the immense coverage but this means you only need to apply a small amount. I literally cover the top with my finger, tip and then back and that's all I need so the bottle lasts a life time!
My only beef with this product is the packaging. Yes it is luxurious with the frosted glass etc. However, with no pump it is very easily to over judge the amount and waste valuable product! Please, please EL can you not bring out a pump that fits perfectly?
Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation
As I briefly mentioned before, my skin has been getting a lot clearer in the past few months which has been making me eye up some lighter foundation. This, and the fact it has been blooming hot in the UK prompted me to make a move on a new foundation purchase. I searched the web to look for oily skin friendly, light coverage foundation and the reviews just sent me straight back to this one.
This foundation is obviously lighter in coverage than the original, however still gives a pretty flawless base. It is surprising how lighter it feels on the skin also, which is great for summer.
I was worried that because the coverage wasn't as intense, the lasting power wouldn't be also. I have to say, this product surpassed my expectations on lasting power. No, it doesn't last as long as the double wear but lasts a pretty long time for foundation! It gets to around mid day when I need to have a little blot with powder but then again I don't use a primer so maybe I should try that! 
My only complaint with this foundation is the lack of shades they do it in compared to the original. The intensity 1 was slightly too light while the intensity 2 was slightly too dark. That being said, I went for the latter and was surprised how well it blended in and on the skin it doesn't look at all too dark.
All in all, I love Estée Lauder foundations and would recommend them for oily skin as they are sure to last you the duration. In terms of what you go for, if you have good skin then pick the light and if you need a higher coverage go for the original. Also, don't forget to take advantage of their sample service - it is a really good way of trying out the products before you invest!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

My Holiday Packing Essentials!

I am a total over packer, I will ram my case full of endless items 'just incase' I need them. Over the last few years however, I would like to think I have mastered my holiday packing to a T only packing the bare essentials in order to stylishly survive and I am going to share with you my ideal capsule suitcase.

The Wardrobe...

The Bikini, River Island £25.00
I find it so hard to find a good bikini but River Island does it for me year on year. I love their bikini collections as they fit well but still super stylish! This baby is so pretty, it is sure to turn heads around the pool! If you are looking for something a little more covered up or more support, River Island offer many different styles but also try M&S and Monsoon for great alternatives!
Wedges, Topshop £42.00
I have these wedges in tan and I adore them! The coral pair are on my wish list, but for now I will just share the beauty with you. I think the coral colour will go with many outfits including the maxi shown here. I always pick wedges over heels while on holiday simply because of the comfort factor, they also give a really chic edge to an outfit.
T-Shirt, Topshop £14.00
This t-shirt from Topshop is a fantastic basic for your holiday, and the great news is they do many, many colours!
Denim shorts, Warehouse £26.00
Denim shorts are a definite essential for my holiday as they go with every top for day and night! These simple shorts from Warehouse are ideal for that.
Sandals, Monsoon £39.00
These sandals are a bit of a splurge however, I have had mine for years now and they still look as good as new! They are so versatile you can literally wear them with everything, even when you are in the UK with jeans.
Maxi dress, Oasis, £55.00
I can't live without my maxi dress, they are great for both day and night teamed with flats or heals. I like this one in particular because it is in a dark colour therefore it will look great on your hols but also when you get back. Just team it with black heels and a blazer or cardigan and you're good to go!
Necklace, Warehouse £13.00
You always need a necklace to bling up your outfits and I love this gold one from Warehouse... it is so pretty!

Ultrasun sunblock SPF 30, John Lewis or M&S £19.00
I have such pale skin and burn so easily, literally every sun block I have tried haven't worked great for me. Last year my mom gave me some ultrasun before my travels and I haven't looked back since! It is a once a day sun cream and really does last all day, with just one application I didn't burn once during my holiday last year - it is truly brilliant! It is quite expensive however, you have to take into account the fact you do just apply once a day so one bottle lasts for more than one holiday.
No7 Body Shimmer Aftersun, Boots £9.50
I love, love, love this product! I have been using it for absolutely years and wont stop soon. You should always use an aftersun, even if you don't burn as it stops you peeling and the added bonus with this is the beautiful shimmer it leaves which looks totally beach chic.
Toni and Guy Sea Salt Spray, Boots £7.50
A texturising spray is a must on your holiday, it makes hair look instantly more beachy. I personally love this Toni and Guy spray but if you are looking for something more pocket friendly Loreal's is great for half the price.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation, Boots/HOF/Debenhams/Selfridges £28.50
I was in love with the original double wear foundation but found it too heavy for the summer weather. I then went out and brought the light version in intensity 2 and I can truly say it is just as good! It's light to medium coverage is brilliant for people who are skin conscious yet it feels like a bb cream and lasts all day through any weather! (Full comparison and review coming soon!).
Urban Decay Naked Palette, Debenhams £36.00
I adore my Naked palette but the Naked 2 is even more perfect for summer time. It is a mix of beautiful light shimmery shades great for blending in the heat. Yes it is pricey, but the eyeshadows are of brilliant quality... and you get 12!
Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara, £16.50
Clinique mascaras have been a staple in my make up back since forever and I love their new waterproof formulation. It is so stubborn you need a remover to get rid of this bad boy but this makes it great for all the swimming/ sunbathing you will be doing!
Nars Laguna Bronzer, House of Fraser £26.00 (review coming soon!)
This bronzer is a must whether you are on holiday or not, but to add a subtle glow it will be fantastic and long lasting.
Clinique Chubby Stick in Woopin' Watermelon, £17.00
I lust after these chubby sticks and own one in almost every colour - I am obsessed! Ok, they don't last as long as a normal lipstick but they are super moisturising and look amazing on your lips. My favourite colour for summer is Watermelon as it is subtle yet buildable and will look fantastic with the Naked palette!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

REVIEW: Sanctuary Spa 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask

My skin was, well, awful to say the least. I suddenly came out in a multitude of spots that covered my face and I was in termoil. Having spots was the least of my worries but the sheer amount of them was unbearable so I had to take action!
I headed straight to Boots and picked up a mixture of products including the La Roche Posay A I cream for a targeted spot treatment (blog post coming!) and this baby - 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask. I was looking for a charcol mask to just simply calm down the redness on my skin and leave it feeling and looking beatifully cleansed and I couldn't have asked for anything better!

So a little background on this product and the brand. Sanctuary Spa is a relitavly new brand featured in most larger Boots stores, originating from the highly successful spa in London's Covent Garden. This mask is particuarly for oily skin (which mine is) and generally cleans the skin thouroughly to soothe and calm. The idea is you wet your skin first to make the mask go on a little easier, rub all over your face then remove after five minutes.
Firstly, I love the thick, gloopy formulation of this mask - it gives a lovely thick layer on to the skin. However, it isn't the nicest smelling mask in the world, the calming heat makes up for it. As you rub it in to your face, it gently heats relaxing all your muscles and you can literally feel it working! I have to say, this heat doesn't last the duration of the mask but is nice while it lasts.
The mask comes off like a dream... I used a hot clothe to get rid of the whole mask. This is where the product comes into it's own, my skin was left ultimately refreshed and you could totally see a difference straight away. For me, this mask was a mirical worker in my time of need and I have been using it weekly ever since... and guess what? My skin is totally clear!
I would reccomend this product to anyone who has oily, spot prone skin. However, if you have dry skin I would stay away as it has left my small patches of dry skin extremely dry. This is fine for me, I have just had to moisurize extra carefully. If you do have dry skin however, Sanctuary have some wonderful products for you and they are all avaliable in Boots stores and online!