Friday, 18 April 2014

NARS Copacabana Illuminator

I picked up this NARS illuminator a few months ago in a blog sale and my life has never quite been the same again. This has, without question, turned into a holy grail product that features in my day to day make up look.

I've always been a fan of highlighters but started to move towards powder highlighters like MAC Soft & Gentle in recent times as I just find them easier to work with. However, when I started mixing this illuminator with my foundation my life became that little bit better.

Copacabana is a pearly pink liquid highlighter that is very similar in tone to Benefit's High Beam. It looks fairly shimmery in the swatch but when on the face (and properly blended) the effect is very subtle and flattering. It has a collection of light-reflecting liquids that glide on to refresh and enhance the complexion and whilst it's incredibly sheer it really does add a beautiful sheen of luminosity.

As a fan of the dewy look, this works as a great multi purpose product for creating sheer radiance. It's perfect for adding to the high points of the face to illuminate (either under or over foundation), but mixing it with my foundation to create an all over glow is by far my favourite of it's many uses. Ever since I started doing it, I've had a number of friends ask what my secret is.

I couldn't find this shade on the NARS website, but you can buy this from Selfridges here for £22.50 for 30ml which is lasting me for ages.

What's your favourite liquid highlighter?

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Essie's Play Date

As the sun has been shining this weekend I feel like we've officially transitioned into spring, so I thought I'd share my current favourite polish - Essie's Play Date with you. Play Date is part of the 2012 Go Overboard collection and is one of their cream formulations which I really like as they apply so well. 

Play Date is a unique colour because although it's a pastel shade, it has a bit more depth to it and borders on having neon hues. It manages to remain soft and subtle, yet also vibrant which makes it perfect for the spring-summer period. As ever with Essie polishes this isn't streaky, dries fast and reaches opacity in two coats. 

What is your favourite spring shade?

Friday, 11 April 2014

Beefayre 100% Organic Lip Balms

I was recently sent some products from the brand Beefayre which included these gorgeous organic lip balms*. Beefayre are a company that strive to create great quality products that are sustainably sourced and rich in benefits whilst also educating the wider public about the plight of the honeybee. This is known as their 'beethos' - and they donate 3% of their profits to bee conservation and research. 

Beefayre's organic lip balms are made with natural beeswax and Melissa oil. The oil is extracted from fresh flowering tops, leaves and stems of the Melissa plant and is said to have antibacterial and antiviral properties. I was sent the Orange & Lemon flavour which is a fresh citrus scent and Chocolate and Wild Mint which is by far my favourite as it's fantastically nostalgic and immediately takes me back to eating Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream on the beach.

The balms have a hard formulation (much like candle wax) but soften under the warmth of a finger and apply to the lips with a smooth and hydrating sheen. These literally feel like butter on the lips and that's not something I've come across in a lip product in a long time. Whilst the hydrating effect of these balms is definitely not as long lasting as with some other products, I love the sensation so much that I still find myself reaching for them all the time and I'm starting to wonder if I'm addicted. I had some of my colleagues try the lip balms when they first arrived at my office and they all agreed that they felt so smooth and buttery on their lips.

These cost £5 each and there are nine fabulous flavours to choose from. I think these would make lovely gifts as they're really affordable, gorgeous to wear and who wouldn't want to help the friendly bees?

Do you like the sound of Beefayre's products?

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Moving House with LOVESPACE

It comes as no surprise that moving house is categorised as a major life event and trigger for stress. Last weekend I had to go through the big upheaval of moving out of my home and into my friend's flat whilst I wait for a decision to be made on my visa. 

Whilst my friends were kind enough to let me inflict myself on them and their home, I couldn't expect them to take all of my belongings too, so made the executive decision to book my non-essentials into storage. I originally booked a storage unit at Access All Storage for one month (approx £65 not including insurance) but once I realised my main problem would be transporting my items from my flat to the unit without access to a car, I knew I was going to have a difficult time. It was then that I stumbled across LOVESPACE.

LOVESPACE are a company that promise to make storage simple. Over and above the fact that the pricing between my original storage unit and LOVESPACE was cheaper (and they include insurance), the main selling point was that they collect your items for free and deliver them back to you (for a reasonable cost) when you’re ready to have them back. The system I used was essentially ‘pay as you go’ as I chose how many boxes I wanted to store, when I wanted them to be collected, and for what time period. As another bonus, if you want to purchase the necessary storage materials to package your life up they can get these sent out to you in advance. 

On the day of my collection, I woke up early to realise that I hadn’t read the website clearly and hadn’t printed out the labels I was meant to stick to my boxes. I rang them up in a great panic convinced that they’d refuse to collect my boxes but I was assured it was no problem and they’d do it for me. As I didn’t pay extra to book a specific delivery spot, I knew they could arrive at any time between 7.30am - 6.30pm but they came at a convenient 3pm. I had been expecting an external driver, but actually received the rather dashing Ben who works as Head of Partnerships for the company and had stepped in to help as they were having a particularly busy day. Within 5 minutes, he’d taken all 11 of my boxes and I was sat on the sofa amazed it was all over so easily. 

Moving house was in no way stress free for me, but having my boxes collected so smoothly was a huge weight off my mind and I would recommend LOVESPACE to anyone else in a similar situation without question. They have an online chat feature which was so convenient when I was at work and didn't have time to make a call, I almost felt like I was dealing with friends. They kindly offered me a 20% discount to write this review, but as ever this hasn’t in anyway compromised my opinion of the services I received.

If you're moving house in the near future, LOVESPACE have offered a 10% discount to my readers which you can redeem at checkout with the code LOVETEAPARTY.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Lunch at Bill's

I've been absent from my blog this week as I've been moving house, celebrating my birthday and just generally settling in. I had a lovely birthday and was spoilt rotten so feel like a very lucky girl. I should be back to normal service this week but thought I'd share a few photos in the meantime as I spent the day with my sister this weekend. 

We hit up MAC to spend my birthday vouchers, I bought a beautiful new coat from Zara (more on this soon) and then we headed to Bill's in Covent Garden for lunch which was delicious as always. 

Crispy lemon squid with garlic and lemon mayo.

Bill's hamburger with skinny fries.


Mac 'n' Cheese with leek, asparagus and mozzarella topped with a crispy crumb which was amazing yet I did have a little choke on a bit of mozzarella which was not so great. 

What did you get up to this weekend?

Monday, 31 March 2014

Afternoon Tea at The Millennium Hotel Mayfair

This Mother's Day, I was very kindly invited to the Millennium Copthorne Hotel in Mayfair for afternoon tea with my mum. Sadly, my own mum lives down in Dorset and wasn't able to attend so I roped in my honorary mother and sister, Kate and Mikaela to attend with me. 

As we arrived early (as is the case with everything I do) we decided to use the opportunity to take some 'family' photos in Grosvenor Square Gardens opposite the hotel. 

The Millennium Hotel is a 4 star luxury hotel that sits in the heart of fashionable Mayfair. It's an 18th century London mansion which was originally built as a stately townhouse but has since been converted into a beautiful hotel that has retained many of it's original features. 

We were greeted with a much appreciated glass of Prosecco, and then given a tour of part of the hotel, including the conference rooms and suites. 

After the tour we sat down for our afternoon tea. We shared a table with Tom and his mum Gill who were fabulous and completely enhanced our enjoyment of the day!

Afternoon tea was served on charming Wedgewood Wild Strawberry crockery and included a selection of finger sandwiches (smoked salmon, chicken, egg mayonnaise and cucumber), scones with clotted cream, fruit preserve or lemon curd and a selection of mini desserts. The food was delicious, so much so that we were constantly discussing how we could get our greedy hands on more.

 Somebody enjoyed her food...

A big thank you to the Millennium Hotel for inviting us - we left very happy with full bellies. If you're looking for a reasonably priced afternoon tea in London then the Millennium Hotel has a couple of price options which you can see here - it's highly recommended by us all!

Where are your favourite afternoon tea spots?

Saturday, 29 March 2014

OOTD: H&M La Nouvelle Belle

Despite it being a beautiful day outside I've been constrained to my house as I'm currently moving. I wish I could tell you where I'm going but for the next few weeks it's unknown. As I've mentioned before, I'm currently in a visa process to transfer to San Francisco and I find out in two weeks (initially) whether that will happen. Luckily my lovely friends are taking me in until I get an answer. 

As such, I've been wearing a really casual outfit that's comfy and easy to move around in as I'm constantly hauling boxes around. I bought this adorable H&M striped top about a week ago after having my eye on it for a while. White and navy stripes are one of my favourite styles to wear, and as I've got a penchant for anything french - the 'la nouvelle belle' was a winner for me. 

The top is slightly cropped and I think it'll look great in the summer tucked into a long chiffon maxi skirt for evenings out. Hopefully those evenings will be spent in California - but we'll soon see!

What have you been up to this weekend?