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Friday, 6 March 2015

Some Of My Favourite Bloggers

I think it's really important as a blogger to take the time to share appreciation for other blogs - we are ultimately all in this together, and there's really no need for competition. I've always done my best to be open about my favourite blogs on Twitter, but haven't written a post in this style before. I want to start doing more regular posts where I share some love for some of my favourite blogs - so in no particular order, here are some of my current favourites. 

Who are your favourite bloggers? 

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Rodial Instaglam Illuminating Powder and Retouch Pen

I love the effects contouring can give my face, but I must admit I'm quite lazy with it. I'd love to have the skill and patience to be able to paint my face into something that resembles Kim Kardashian, but I prefer powder products and tend to stick with a simple matte bronzer and shimmer highlighter to sculpt my face. My usual go-to products are the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette, or Nars Laguna paired with MAC Soft & Gentle. However, after being invited to a Rodial Skin Contouring Event a month ago, I have a few additions to my contouring options.

The Rodial Instaglam Compact Deluxe Illuminating Powder* is a gorgeous champagne toned highlighter that adds a beautiful candle-lit glow to the skin. It contains fine pearls and micronisation technology (resulting in a powder that's nine times finer than normal) within the formula, which helps to give the skin a silky texture and ensure an even application. This is perfect at accentuating your features so I like to use it on my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose and on my cupids bow to create a soft glow to my face.

Next up is the Instaglam Retouch Pen* - a lightweight eye perfecting and brightening concealer with hyaluronic acid to plump out the appearance of fine lines and smooth the delicate skin area around the eyes for instantly wide awake, younger looking eyes. I use this under my eyes to hide any pesky dark circles, but have also found that it's great at concealing redness on my skin. As it comes in pen form it's really handy to make touch ups throughout the day.

The Instaglam Retouch Pen costs £25 which I think is fairly reasonable for a high end brand, however the Illuminating Powder comes in at a whopping £52. Whilst it's a luxury product and the quality and packaging is akin to that, I think that it's excessively pricey particularly when compared to the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow for £3 less with the addition of a bronzer. It would put me off purchasing this product myself when I run out. Nevertheless, if you're looking to treat yourself - these are great products that I've really enjoyed using, I just wish the prices were a bit more balanced.

What do you think of the Rodial brand? Have you tried any of their makeup range? 

Monday, 2 March 2015

Non Beauty Favourites

I'm slowly but surely recognising that a girl only needs so much makeup. With that being said, whilst makeup will always fill me with the most excitement, I have been gravitating towards spending my monthly salary on a wider mix of items - from books to clothes and homeware. I thought I'd share some of my current non beauty favourites with you.

A Little Princess - Frances Hodgson
This book is a classic, and a film I treasured as a little girl. When I saw the beautiful cover of this hardback book, I knew it had a place on my book shelves. The book is part of the In Bloom Collection - a Rifle Paper Co & Puffin collaboration, which redesigned the covers of four classic books. It's the most charming book already, and with the addition of such a beautiful cover I knew it had to be mine.

Chevron Blanket - Primark
Whilst having a browse in Primark recently, I couldn't believe my luck when I saw this adorable red chevron print blanket in the Home section. It's so perfectly to my taste at the moment and really adds a pop of colour to my predominantly white bedroom. Best of all, I think it looks far more expensive than it was at just a mere £12.

Mini Cactus Set - Ikea
This mini cactus came as part of a set of three from Ikea. It's really is the sweetest little thing, and I particularly love it as it requires minimal maintenance. I've tried and tried to inject some green life into my flat since I've moved in, but the majority have sadly died due to my poor care. Cactuses are therefore my new best friend as they like being watered as often as I'm likely to remember (once every couple of weeks).

Enjoy The Little Things - Sass & Belle
I picked up this pretty wall hanging from Sass & Belle on my lunch break a month or so ago, as I thought it would be perfect addition to some of my blog photos. Improving my photography is a big focus on Tea Party With Alice this year, so hopefully these new additions are being well received!

Grey Chevron Straws
I had originally picked up these straws for the baby shower that I hosted recently, however they didn't arrive on time. I absolutely love them though - they were a cheap eBay purchase and will definitely be used to brighten up my smoothies and milkshakes.

Rose Gold Pen Pot - H&M
I've long been a fan of H&M homeware, they have the most beautiful pieces at such reasonable prices. That being said, they're online ordering service is a disgrace and they have very few stores that offer the homeware range. I recently stumbled into their store on Oxford Street and was delighted when I realised it had said range. One of the items that first caught my attention was this gorgeous rose gold pen pot - I literally adore it, and love how it looks sat on my white desk.

Geometric Picture Frame - Primark
Another sneaky Primark find came in the form of this darling little picture frame. I love the soft blue print and shape, and have chosen to fill it with a postcard that I found in a boutique near my house. Primark have some really gorgeous bits in stock so I'm likely to head back again this month to see what else I can find.

What do you think of my non beauty favourites? 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Current Haircare Favourites

Whilst I consider my hair a life-priority, I never tend to show much brand preference in the products I use and tend to switch around a lot (I'm a bit of a hair care floozy). I consider myself lucky that my hair is neither too dry, nor too oily so I don't have a huge amount to contend with - I just like it to be clean, soft and shiny. The last month or two, I've found myself sticking to a few particular products more regularly, so I thought I'd reveal my favourites today.

My most used staple is the Batiste Dry Shampoo (Blush). Not a huge amount needs to be said about this product as everyone and their dog has heard of it but I simply couldn't live without it. I don't like to wash my hair everyday but like it to still look fresh so I use this in between washes to keep any grease at bay. I also love it for giving my hair a bit of extra volume, so will occasionally use this even when my hair has just been washed to give it a boost.

The Milkshake Whipped Cream Leave-In Foam* is one of the most recent additions to my hair routine, and I really like using it. It smells delicious (like sweet milk) and is actually a really fun product to use. As it says on the tin, it's a whipped cream consistency that I apply to towel dried hair (no need for rinsing). It leaves hair silky soft and contains a protective foam to stop any daily aggressors affecting your hair.

One of my favourite hair product discoveries of late has been the Lee Stafford Argan Nourishing Miracle Oil*. It's a rich, nourishing oil that contains Pro-Argan complex which helps to leave my hair super soft and shiny. At £11.99 I think it's a reasonably priced oil that actually works, especially when you compare it to the likes of Moroccan Oil.

Speaking of, the Moroccan Oil Treatment still makes it onto my list, despite it's hefty price tag. This really is the creme de la creme of hair products, but it works so I can see why. I was fairly late to the party with this, only getting my hands on it back in December - but it gives noticeable results from first use, and really does make hair look instantly healthy, shiny and soft.

What are your hair care favourites?

Monday, 23 February 2015

Hosting a Baby Shower

This weekend, I hosted a baby shower for one of my closest friends - Mikaela. She'll be having her baby at the end of April and (sadly for me) is moving back to Ireland in a couple of weeks time to start her family. As a result, I wanted to throw her a little party so she could have a day of being spoilt by all her friends before she left. 

Those of us who are friends with Mikaela, would describe her as the most unpregnant, pregnant person there is - physically she has barely changed shape (naturally, I hate her for this) but mentally she's managed to continue on as her normal, fun loving self. Whilst there isn't a shadow of doubt that she'll be the most amazing mother, for now - she's kept her sense of self. As the original Mikaela isn't one for twee baby themes and games, I tried to transform my living room into a tasteful party space for the afternoon. 

As the baby's sex is a surprise, I chose a neutral mint green and lavender theme. I picked up this gorgeous lace print bunting and these mint green balloons from eBay, and had them filled with helium on the day. For the table, I purchased lavender paper plates and cups and placed everything on top of these pretty vintage style doilies. 

The main event was as is always the case in our friendship group, the food. Our friend Katherine made the most beautiful cake for the day which was the centrepiece of the table, and was so perfect it almost didn't get eaten. I filled the table with the usual party snacks - crisps, dips, sweets, pizza slices etc. 

I also had a stab at making some finger sandwiches, so picked up this darling sandwich stand from eBay. I was so pleased with it as it looked so pretty on the table, and was the perfect home to all the sandwiches - a selection of smoked salmon, ham & cucumber and cheese & tomato.

I also made my infamous Mars Bar Slices (recipe here) to fill these adorable pink and white striped bags for everyone to take home after the day. 

We truly had the best day sharing funny stories, giving presents and eating our body weight ten times over. Hopefully it was the perfect send off for my best friend to go and start her new life, with her soon-to-be new family. I can't wait to watch her as she starts her journey into motherhood.

What do you think of my Baby Shower? Have you ever been to one? 

Thursday, 19 February 2015

MUA Spring Break Collection

MUA have been taking the budget makeup world by storm recently, and their newest launch, the Spring Break Collection - a beautiful range of soft spring hues, is set to cause a similar effect. Their palettes have received infamous recognition in the past (Naked dupes anyone?) and their most recent offering is likely to be no different. The Spring Break palette* is a beautiful collection of neutral soft shades with pinks, rose golds, browns and purple hues. They've also released a beautiful collection of new spring shades to their polish line, in three of my most worn shades - Posy* (a pastel pink), Lavender* and Spearmint*.

I absolutely love the look of this palette, it's full of versatile, wearable shades that are soft to work with and blendable. The polishes are the prettiest of colours and apply well - plus at £4 for the palette and £1 per polish there really is no reason not to check this range out.

What do you think of MUA? Do you rate their products? 

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Clarks Alicia Allie Flats

Clarks have been a shop I've known since I was a little girl - the go to shop for school shoes. However in my (older) age, it's not really been a shop I've considered when looking for new shoes. Whilst I really like shoes, they're not my 'thing' like they are for so many women. As a result, I very rarely invest in good quality pairs. Unfortunately I've really noticed the need for better quality footwear in the last few months as my ankles are getting increasingly weaker (a result of being an ex gymnast). When Clark's got in touch to see if I'd like to review a pair of their shoes I knew it was the perfect opportunity for me to pick out a pair that might last me the distance. 

I was actually really surprised at the choice of shoes available. I'd ring-fenced Clark's as a shop for 'essential' shoes rather than nice ones, but I was wrong. I picked out this pretty pair of pumps* as I thought the colour and design were so elegant and that they'd be the perfect shoe for both casual wear, and dressier evenings. The pair are from the Alicia Allie range (in the shade Oyster) and have a super pretty animal print suede body with a nude bow. The best part for me was that Clark's do half sizes, meaning for once I was able to comfortably sit between the two sizes with no need to compromise comfort in either direction.

Whilst they cost £45 which does seem steep to me, particularly when compared to the likes of a Primark pump, once worn you really can see the advantages in quality and comfort. They have a layer of 'Cushionsoft' technology built into the sole which really helps make the difference in how wearable they are day to day.  

I'd definitely check out Clark's the next time I'm looking to pick up a pair of good quality shoes as I think this pair are lovely, although I do think that £45 is on the higher end of my budget for this type of shoe, so I couldn't guarantee I'd be willing to do it again. 

Do you shop at Clarks? Where do you buy your shoes from? 

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