Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Keep Warm This Winter With SnoodyDo!

One thing I love about winter is cosying up in layers and layers of clothing to keep out the December chill. So when I came across SnoodyDo, I fell in love with their simple but stylish scarf, glove and hat designs, ranging from skiwear to everyday fashion wear. 

As I was browsing their website, my flatmate happened to glance over my shoulder and saw a knitted hat she liked, and so when SnoodyDo generously gifted me this exact hat, I knew it would make a perfect Christmas present for her - after taking some crucial blog photos though of course! The Pippa Knitted Hearts Bobble Hat is made of 80% lambswool so it's super cosy - just what's needed during this time of the year! 


Let's first of all talk about how cute the packaging is! It's no secret that I - along with many others - am a sucker for some pretty packaging and this simple, rustic paper bag style package doesn't disappoint! You almost don't have to worry about wrapping it up if you're giving it as a gift!


As you can see, the pattern on the bobble hat is super cute and I can tell you now that the quality of the material feels amazing! This particular hat retails at £24.99 but prices are from as little as £14.99 (or even lower if you manage to pick up a sale item!) For the quality of the products, I think the price is so worth it, especially if it's something that's going to be worn a lot (which it really really should be).


And here it is in all it's glory! Please excuse my bathroom background. I'm a little bit sad that I gave it away as a present but hey, there's always time to buy an extra one for myself! It fits so well and as someone who isn't usually a hat person, I think it looks pretty good! Have you ever heard of SnoodyDo? Let me know what you think!

post signature

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Locke & Remedy's Festive Treats!


I received an invite recently to a Christmas-filled evening at a relatively new bar & restaurant in Cardiff called Locke & Remedy - situated in a beautiful building in the heart of Cardiff just seconds away from Cardiff Castle. What with it being December, I felt like now was the time to get really into the Christmassy mood, and Locke & Remedy definitely facilitated this!

We were treated to unique cocktails - many of which were classics with a subtle twist - so I was really in my element! Of course what I was really looking forward to was trialling their limited edition Christmas menu which on paper looked delicious. I can confirm that it tasted even more delicious in real life! Locke & Remedy specialise not only in their cocktail-making but also in their mouth-watering burgers and wood-fired pizzas. They decided to put a Christmas twist on these for the festive season, smothering the pizzas in cranberry sauce, maple bacon, pork & sage stuffing, parsnips crisps and more. Every bite was like a mini Christmas dinner each time! The burgers were made of spiced buttermilk-fried turkey breast with a bacon-wrapped pork & sage patty and a gorgeous cranberry mayonnaise. I was absolutely stuffed by the end of the night!



To make the night even more special, my brother (who I brought as my +1) and I were asked if we wanted to try out some cocktail making ourselves. I had done this once before but I was so excited to try it out again! We decided to make a Sailor Hydration cocktail, which consists of rum, vanilla vodka, pineapple juice, lime juice, caramel syrup and a garnishing of mint leaves. I'll tell you now: cocktail making is much harder than it looks! They make it look so easy - I am completely in awe of the bar staff! FYI, the cocktail I made was DELICIOUS so with a bit of training... a new career path perhaps?


I met some wonderful bloggers on the night who I hope to keep in touch with and see at other events in the near future! If you're in Cardiff, I guarantee you won't regret visiting Locke & Remedy for a few cocktails (or speciality ales if you prefer), or even stopping by for a bite to eat!
post signature

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Miss Patisserie Blogger Event!


In the depths of one of Cardiff's hidden gem shopping arcades lies a beautiful boutique - a shop which could easily be mistaken for a dainty little bakery with its array of cupcake-shaped products on display in the window. Miss Patisserie is in fact a Cardiff-based company specialising in bath and skincare products, and I was thrilled to attend their blogger event last Sunday!


I'd walked past the store multiple times yet never ventured in - and since visiting on Sunday I keep asking myself why not! The shop is set up to look so elegant and stylish; it almost feels as if you're stepping into a spa. I was greeted by the aromatic smell of bath products and skincare, complemented by the sleek product packaging stacked up perfectly around the store. 

I was given a goody bag of samples to take away with me, but as I walked around the store, I knew these weren't the only things I was taking home! I can't go into details about what I bought because there might be a couple of Christmas presents in there, but I did treat myself to a peppermint-scented massage bar. As you may have guessed from my Christmas wishlist, I have a real love of mint-scented body products at the moment, and this massage bar is perfect - not too overpowering, and not artificial at all.


Before I left, I was given a hand treatment by the lovely owner of the store, Charlotte. She talked us through all the products she used, tailoring each step to our preferences and skin types. I'd already made my purchases by the time I had my hand treatment, but I know I'll definitely be back to pick up some body scrub when I run out of my current one!


I thoroughly enjoyed the event and would urge anyone in or visiting Cardiff to take a trip to the High Street Arcade and check out Miss Patisserie - you won't be disappointed!



post signature

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Christmas Wishlist 2015 + Discount Codes!


My first ever wishlist! Now I must admit, this is mainly for the benefit of my family and boyfriend (HINT) but I also love reading other bloggers' wishlists to find inspiration so hopefully some of this will rub off on you too! Seeing as my blog is all about student budgets and bigging up high street pricing, I'm also going to leave links to student/external discount codes (also for the benefit of friends and family - Mum, ask Dan for his student discount!)

1. Urban Decay Naked Palette | Feelunique.com | 10% student discount | RRP: £38
Every girl's dream eyeshadow palette! I went for the original Naked palette over Naked 2, 3 and Smokey because I feel it reflected the colours I tend to go for the most. Since receiving the Naked Basics palette from my beautiful friends for my birthday in September, I have had serious Naked cravings. The pigmentation and colours are just like no other!

2. LIB Get The Gloss beauty box | Latest In Beauty | RRP: £15.95*
I received my first ever Latest In Beauty box last year for my 21st and I absolutely loved it! I love that it came with sample sizes of luxury beauty products that I'd never normally be able to afford, and it was in this box that I first discovered Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish, which I still love and occasionally treat myself too. The Get The Gloss box contains a load of products I've been wanting to try for ages!
*Look out for Latest In Beauty's daily codes throughout December - enter the code (e.g. 1st December = DAY1) and you get an extra surprise product when you spend over £10!

3. Salt & Peppermint Bark | Lush | RRP: £5.95
4. Christingle Body Conditioner | Lush | RRP: £16.50
These are two products I had never heard of before I attended the Lush Cardiff Christmas event (which you can read about here!), but I was able to try them on the night and they left my skin incredibly silky smooth! They also smell incredible, both of them boasting a gorgeous minty smell. They're both Christmas products so if I don't receive them as presents, I'll definitely be looking out for them in the sales!

5. Urban Outfitters Marble A4ish Notebook | Ohh Deer | 10% student discount | RRP: £6.00
This is quite possibly the most blogger clich├ęd thing EVER but I will hold my hands up and say I love the marble effect. I also probably already have way too many notebooks but I love the look of this one and think it would make a gorgeous gift.

6. Piss Off Postcard | Ohh Deer | 10% student discount | RRP: £0.75
Ohh Deer do so many different postcards (as do Paperchase if you're not already spoilt for choice) and I think these are a great gift if you're on a budget: you can buy a few of these for less than £1 each, along with a frame from somewhere like Wilkinson, and they look great stood up along a windowsill or shelf. I particularly love this "Piss Off" cat one - it's basically me every morning.

7. Origins Shining Stars | Boots | 10% student discount | RRP: £25
I love this gift set so much! I've been wanting to try Origins products for ages and I feel this is the perfect gift for any beauty lover looking to dip their toes into the world of higher end skincare. While I love my drugstore skincare, I do think it's really important to look after your face and occasionally splashing out on skincare products can really be worth it. I personally think this is such a great price for all of Origins' hero products in one set.

8. This Works Black Spice & Cedar Candle| TK Maxx | RRP: £12.99
Let's be honest, I love pretty much any candle but I just wanted to highlight the amazing range of candles TK Maxx has! I think it's so underrated. Although I haven't actually smelt it, I thought this candle by This Works sounded amazing and the simple packaging makes it look so much more expensive than it is. 

9. Mink Shimmer Velvet Cushion | Dunelm | RRP: £12.99
Who doesn't love a decorative cushion? Okay, probably most men but the opposite is true for most women. I love this one from Dunelm as it'd go perfectly with the decor of my room at Uni which has a slight boho vibe to it. Dunelm do great little gifts for the home and most of it tends to be so reasonably priced too!

That's all for now! What's on the top of your Christmas list this year?!
post signature

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The Best Place To Buy Shoes Online?!



Got a friend/girlfriend/mum/sister/gran who LOVES shoes? Online Avenue has got you covered this Christmas! This online footwear store stocks shoes for women, men and kids, but I'll be focusing on footwear for the females as this is more my forte! 

Thanks to EtailPR, I was sent a pair of shoes of my choice from Online Avenue's incredible range. I went for the Kylee Lace Up Tassel Ankle Boots in Mocha Suede which you can see on their website here. I don't own many heeled ankle boots and I loved the tassel and shoelace detailing of these. I thought they'd look great during the winter paired with some tights and a skirt or with skinny jeans to dress up a more casual outfit. If you're a fan of the tassel detailing on these boots, I also love the Zelda Side Tassel Suedette Ankle Boot which I think is a slightly more subtle option and also comes in a wider range of colours.

I often find it hard to find a pair of heels that I can spend more than an hour walking around in, but I found these boots really comfortable despite their height. In terms of quality, the boots feel robust and well-made, and the suede material is super soft! 

Whilst having a browse on their site, I was amazed at how well priced all their shoes are! My Kylee ankle boots retail at just £20.49 - such a bargain considering how on-trend they are and how good quality they feel. In fact, I noticed that the majority of the women's shoes retail for less than £30 - most of them being priced around £20 - which is superb value for money in my opinion. Being a student, I'm quite money-concious and I feel that these boots would make the perfect gift for someone (or as a little treat for yourself!) if you too are feeling slightly strapped for cash this Christmas. 

Moreover, you can get 20% off these boots (and so many more women's shoes!) with the code LAUNCH20. Be quick though, because this code expires on Friday 4th December 2015!

I'm hoping to show off these boots in a full outfit post closer to Christmas so stay tuned for that. For now, happy shopping!


post signature

Monday, 16 November 2015

Lush Cardiff Christmas Event! #LushWinter2015


Last Tuesday, I attended the Lush Christmas 2015 event in their Cardiff store after receiving an invite from the lovely @urikachiu. I'm one of those annoying people who starts getting excited for Christmas super early, so I really couldn't wait to try out all the sparkly, winter-y scents that Lush bring out every year! I went with Teri who blogs at A Cup Of T and we were greeted by cinnamon-infused sparkling water and mince pies - the perfect start to Christmas! 


We were given a VIP tour around the whole store by Eleri who was absolutely lovely! She gave us demonstrations of the gorgeous Christmas products and I quickly jumped on the Snow Fairy scent bandwagon - a princess pink sweet scent that's enough to make anyone feel like a million dollars! We even got to have a go at making our own bubble bars which is actually a lot harder than it seems (although I'm pretty sure I picked it up fairly quickly - future career?). 


We were totally pampered upstairs, trying out body conditioners, hand creams, face masks and more until our hands were the silkiest they'd ever been! We were also joined by Melanie - another member of the Lush team - who was just as lovely and accommodating as Eleri. We made our way over to the make up, which is something neither Teri nor I had ever tried from Lush. I was amazed at how pigmented some of the lip tints were when I swatched them on my hand - one of them didn't disappear until the next day! I definitely think I'm going to have to go back and treat myself to one before Christmas!



We finished up our purchases and I picked up a candy mountain bubble bar, which has the same scent as Snow Fairy. Teri and I also picked up one of the tea tree toner tabs because it's such an interesting concept I've wanted to try out for ages! We were also kindly gifted a goody bag which along with the press release with information about all the Chistmas products, my bag contained a Yog Nog bath bomb, a Bar Humbug bubble bar and The Magic of Christmas reusable bubble bar. 


I can't wait to try out these pieces I got from Lush - they smell beautiful and have put me in the perfect Christmassy mood! Have you tried any of Lush's Christmas range? Let me know below!
post signature

Friday, 6 November 2015

Have You Got SASS?


When I first set eyes on these products at a blogging event (which you can read about here!), it never crossed my mind that they might be for your... ahem.. nether regions. That's right. These perfectly packaged products from Sass are feminine hygiene products and these are a necessity I never knew I needed! 

Sass is a small brand made up of just three people who provide a prettier, more specialised alternative for all women. Of course feminine hygiene is a must, but do all the products have to look so dull and clinical? I know I always feel embarrassed going up to the tills buying pH-balanced shower gel which looks and sounds like it's been prescribed by a doctor for some kind of contagious disease, when really all I want to do is look after my lady bits! 

I'm so glad I came across this brand because they've honestly changed my perception of intimate hygiene products. I don't mind having them displayed in my bathroom (which I share with my male flatmate) because not only do they look "normal", in my opinion they look like luxury skincare! And as a student, looking like you can afford cool stuff is always a winner for me. They even cleverly hide the name of the product from the front of the packaging so you can proudly display them wherever you please. I'm not saying feminine hygiene is something to be ashamed of - I am literally right now telling you all about mine - but it's not a particularly glamorous side to skincare, and so having pretty-looking products definitely helps to make it seem more bearable.

Another thing I love about Sass is the product range - from a pH-balanced purifying cleanser to use in the shower to prevent irritation often caused by harsher shower gels, to a recovery serum for the sportier types to soothe and cool down post-workout. To see the whole range of products, visit their website here.

I was given a few samples at the blogging event so I've tried these products, and without going into too much detail I can tell you THEY WORK. The scented ones are lovely and refreshing - not artificial at all - and I've felt much fresher and cleaner since using them. ALSO if you visit their website at the moment and scroll down their homepage, you can apply for your own samples to try before you buy! The full Sass range is available at Boots so it's super accessible for us UK girlies! 

Have you ever tried the Sass range? Let me know what you think below!
post signature

Friday, 30 October 2015

Last-Minute Halloween Tutorial For Amateurs: Pop Art Cartoon!

It's almost that time of the year! Halloween might be characterised by carving pumpkins, watching scary films and kids knocking on your door in terrifying fancy dress begging for sweets, but for me it's ALL about the "adult" (as if) fancy dress parties! I love any excuse to dress up as something ridiculous and this year is no different. I probably won't be wearing this look I've created on the night but I've always loved the pop art/comic strip make-up look for fancy dress so thought I'd give it a bash and give you my thoughts as a first-timer (oo-er). I'm no make-up artist WHATSOEVER and unfortunately my GCSE Art qualification doesn't help me much nowadays, so I like to think of this as a tutorial for pretty much anyone! 


I started off with just the make-up I'd been wearing during the day (because I'm lazy) and the main things I used were a black liquid eyeliner from MUA, a white kohl eyeliner also from MUA, an old lipstick in the colour Cherry Pop from Collection and a lipstick from Makeup Revolution in the colour Luscious. 


I started by stencilling the detail on my face using my MUA liquid eyeliner, so I drew a line down the front of my nose and defined the crevices around it. I then defined my chin and around my eyes. I drew on fake cartoon-like eyelashes and filled in between my waterline and the eyeliner line beneath my eye with the white eyeliner pencil.


I wanted to properly define and contour my cheeks, so I used a bronzer along my cheekbone and then defined this with a thick eyeliner line. I used a couple of strokes of the liquid eyeliner brush to make a thicker line, and then filled in any gaps.


One of the pop art characters I took inspiration from had the comic strip-style tears coming out of one eye so I tried to mimic that. The eyeliner brush was quite thick and stiff though and it was hard to curve around, so I'd definitely recommend using a felt tip liner or a very thin brush to do this bit. I also didn't have much blue make-up to add a pop of colour, so I made do with a light blue eyeshadow. This step is totally optional though so if like me, you don't have all the fancy resources, it can definitely be left out. I also added definition around my chin with the liquid eyeliner, which I think made a hell of a difference!


The final bit of definition was in the lips. I first filled in my lips first with the bright red lipstick from Collection. Then, using the liquid eyeliner again, I outlined my lips, making sure to get right into the creases so you don't look weird(er).


The last and most important step is the renowned pop art cartoon dots. For this, I used the coral-coloured lipstick from Makeup Revolution. Starting with my forehead, I dotted methodically in lines until my whole face was complete. And that's it! I'd say if I'd done this without having to take photos in between, it probably would've taken me about 30 minutes, so very do-able on a time budget as well in my opinion! If I'd created this look again I probably would've filled in my eyebrows to make them look more cartoon-like just to complete the look.


And here it is all finished! I hope you like it and perhaps gives you some Halloween inspiration! Have a fantastic time whatever you're doing and let me know what you're planning on dressing up as in the comments below!
post signature

Monday, 19 October 2015

PLB South West Bloggers Meet-Up!

Photo credit: http://www.adelesmith.co.uk/2015/10/plb-south-west-blogger-meet.html
On 10th October I attended my first blogging event since I moved away from London, and I must say it did not disappoint one bit! The event was organised by the lovely Adele and Kirsty at PLBloggers (@PrettyLBloggers on Twitter) - they put on multiple events for bloggers in the South West/Midlands ranging from meetups to blogger sleepovers! I would thoroughly recommend you check them out.

The event was held at Cosy Club in Bristol which is an absolutely gorgeous venue - perfect for lots of photo opportunities! There were two brands there on the day: DryU, a new brand that produce high quality waterproof bags for any occasion in a range of sizes and colours; and Sass, a company that create intimate skincare products for women, that have the most gorgeous packaging to take away the embarrassment of buying clinical-looking tubes and bottles. The brand representatives were so friendly and we were all able to spend time chatting about the products and our own blogs.



We also ordered some super yummy drinks and food to see us through the meet-up and I loved spending time with the other girls there, chatting about all things blogosphere and everything in between! 
Kirsty and Adele organised a raffle to raise money for Mind - a charity very close to my heart having previously worked and aspiring to work in mental health. Everyone received a prize which topped the day off nicely! We also received the most amazing goodie bags (which I did struggle to carry back home) with so many wonderful samples and gifts (including enough Rachel's Organic yoghurt to last me at least a month).

I've already used my DryU waterproof bag for the gym multiple times - it's the perfect size! And I know it'll come in useful for other things such as festivals and travelling next summer. I've introduced my flatmate to Sass (which is sold nationwide in Boots store) and she agrees that it's a great idea! I'm hoping to do a more in-depth blog post about the products too as female intimate skincare is such a taboo topic that really needs to be talked about more!


A massive thank you to Adele and Kirsty for organising such a fantastic event - I can't wait to attend more in the future! If you're a blogger and interested in attending events, see my post I wrote a few months back giving some tips to first-time attendees here!

post signature