I've FINALLY got around to setting up Instagram properly and actually posting some photos (I know, I know, I'm behind the times!)
Follow me @lht1986
You can also follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin and Google+ to keep up to date with what's going on! Share your links in the comments below or drop me a line - I'm always looking for new people to follow too.
I've had this for ages but only just got round to trying it - still trying to stick to using up one product before I move onto the next, it doesn't always work but I'm trying!
I decided to use this on of those sticky, hot August days where I'd been rushing around and definitely needed some relaxation. I do not deal with heat well really! It was totally refreshing and cooling, way more than I expected it to be!
It contains green clay and almond oil but the mask itself is actually white and isn't actually like a traditional clay mask, it doesn't set hard but sits on your skin like a cream. It also contains cocoa butter (of course), shea butter and vitamin E. It isn't overly scented and I can't catch the famous sweet Palmer's cocoa butter smell, which some people might prefer. It feels really rich and moisturising while at the same time feels refreshing, cooling and almost a bit tingly. It was perfect for the day I used it on and I fell a little bit in love with it.
As this mask didn't dry hard it was much easier to remove than a normal clay mask and came off easily just with water which is always a bonus - it means no ruined towels! My skin looked and felt really fresh and moisturised after using and I felt so refreshed. There's absolutely no tightness or dryness in my skin, it feels so soft. I'll definitely be using this again (and again and again) - I wish I'd taken it on holiday, it would have been perfect!
You know I love gel polish, whether I do them myself or get them done at a salon. At home I use NYK1 Secrets Gel Polish kit (read my review of the full kit here) and I now rarely wear 'normal' polish as I prefer just doing my nails once every few weeks. It's so weird how my beauty habits have changed, a few years ago I used to do my nails pretty much every day and love changing the colour every other day but now I just prefer to look groomed and for it to be convenient.
NYK1 got in touch with me about their summer colours and the fact they've designed a new, better bottle for all of their polishes - it's now in a square bottle with circular ergonomic application (basically you can pop the square top off for an easier grip for neater results).
They very kindly sent me two colours to review - Marina (a light blue polish that looks fab with a tan or darker skintones) and Rock Royalty (a deep purple that's probably a bit more wintery but I couldn't resist it).
So, did I like the new bottle? Much easier to use, easier to store and actually seems a bit easier to keep the bottles clean and in good condition. I definitely prefer it to the previous design. The top and base coats I'm using are still the old bottle so it's easy to see the difference. I found the new brush much easier to do larger areas like toes and thumbs too, a couple of strokes and it's done.
Here are my swatches (sorry for the gratuitous toe pics...eek!), each of these have 3 coats on plus top and base coat, and I find that this gives more than enough coverage on the nails. I've actually got it down to the point where I can do a full set of nails with this kit in 30 minutes tops - they're dry straight away and it's nice and easy to do neatly. It's probably quicker than using normal polish now that I'm pretty well practised and I'm good to go straight away.
My nails are still recovering from having acrylics on them for my wedding/honeymoon (oh, er and the fact I sat and picked them all off, oops) but with my gel polish on you can't tell they're damaged at all and it definitely protects them. They feel much stronger and less likely to snap with a covering of gel polish on.
To check out their range of gel nail polish - there are loads of different colours and glitters available - and other NYK1 Secrets products, visit www.nyk1.com. You can also follow them on Twitter @NYK1Secrets
I don't normally post OOTD's but now the weather's finally gone a little bit warmer I've been wearing this shirt dress from River Island (via ASOS) quite a bit - it's ridiculously easy to wear, comfy and I think fits into that holy grail of an outfit that you can dress up or down. We were just having a chill out day so I had flip flops on with this but you could easily put a pair of heels on with it.
Let's just zoom in on the watch I'm wearing too - as a rule I don't really wear watches that often but I've made an exception for this one which I've been wearing loads this spring/summer!
It's by JORD Wood Watches and is easily one of the most unusual/unique watches I've ever seen, whenever I wear it I get so many people commenting on it who can't quite get their head around the fact that the whole watch is made out of wood! Even at the airport when I had to go through check in the (usually not very talkative) security staff were like 'Wow, I love that watch, it's so cool!' as I took it off to put it through the scanners. That kind of thing doesn't normally happened.
The style I've got is the Dover Koa and Black (made of Koa wood with a black face), which technically is a men's watch but I liked the look of it and the fact it's a little bit oversized so I went for that rather than one of the women's watches. The good thing is JORD resize the watches for you on ordering if you give them your measurements which was really helpful.
I love that you can see the inner workings of the watch too and it's always kept it's time really well. Good thing is it charges through wear so no batteries or anything to replace, just walking around recharges it with the movement of your arm. My boyfriend is actually really jealous of this watch but it's too small for him so he can't steal borrow it - HA! It also comes in some really great packaging too so if you're planning to give this to someone as a gift (lucky them) it looks really impressive when it arrives.
I absolutely love this watch and I've barely stopped wearing it all summer, it even came to the Maldives with me. The only problem is I keep looking at the website and seeing more and more I like - the new Ebony and Copper collection looks amazing!
The Dover & Koa watch is available from the JORD website for £189
Obviously I got back from holiday a few weeks ago and my hair, which was already not in the best condition after my problems with bleaching up to platinum last year (basically all the top of my hair snapped off and it's only just now getting to the point where it's at my ears...eek!) is feeling a bit dry.
We went swimming every day, mostly in the sea, and it was so hot all the time so couple that with the fact my hair's highlighted again and I feel like I need some serious hair repair!
It smells clean, rather than overly scented and is so easy to use, you just pop a small amount (you definitely don't need loads) and rinse out well, you don't need to leave it on or anything. Perfect if you're in a rush but you still need to pamper your hair.
This makes my hair look and feel so much nicer, I'm trying to avoid using heat stylers on my hair these days, and my hair actually looks fine unstraightened/uncurled after using this which is excellent! I've even managed to get rained on, and once my hair dried off I actually got loads of compliments as it had dried full of volume without frizzing (normally it's just fuzzy and rat-taily if I get caught in the rain). Word of warning though, don't apply it to your roots. I did this the first time I used it and I found my hair got greasy at the roots quite quickly, hi dry shampoo! Since then though I just apply it to the ends of my hair and it's fine.
Remember though, prevention is better than cure - when you're on holiday or out in the sun/sea make sure you protect your hair with leave in conditioner or protection spray (or better yet a hat!), comb it it gently with a wide tooth comb when it's wet and keep it tied back if you can to avoid tangles. Use a nourishing hair mask regularly too to keep your hair in tip top condition.
You can buy the L'Oreal Professionnel Serie Expert Absolut Repair Lipidium Conditioner from justmylook.co.uk
With autumn and winter just around the corner it’s time to put away your summer neons and make an appointment to update your manicure, gel polish or nail enhancements and keep up to date with the trendiest talons this season!
Here’s a round up of what will be on the most fashion-forward fingers in the coming months:
Seen on the Burberry and Preen A/W catwalk, khaki is the perfect antidote to summer brights - understated, modern and classic without being too dark or gothic. Keep nails short and neat to work best with this trend.
Nude, neutral, natural
The trend that never really goes away – nude, clean and subtle nails were seen across this season’s catwalks keeping nails looking fresh and groomed without looking over the top.
Two tone nails
As seen at Chanel, two tone nails are back with quirky coloured tips, clean lines and contrasting colours.
Embellishment on the catwalks was kept subtle for the A/W 15 shows with subtle painted crosses, clean squares of colours, small ‘dewdrop’ style nail art and narrow lines being the main flourishes on fashions fingertips.
Red-black is back! An autumn/winter favourite, red-black is the fashion forward way to wear goth nails in winter. Perfect for dark winter days without being too bleak. Try Essie Nail Polish in Wicked or Barry M Red Black.
Which nail trends will you be trying out as the darker nights roll in? Find out more about nail treatments near you here.
As someone who's generally pretty hands on with most things, the thought of a butler or assistant (virtual or otherwise) is kind of an alien concept to me. So when GoButler got in touch to offer me credit for their new online concierge service that was recently launched in the UK I was a bit stumped. What could they do for me that I couldn't do myself?
I thought carefully - I didn't want to waste it or fritter it away on meals out or clothes or something, I wanted to do something exciting and that's when it hit me...travel! Opportunity knocked again and I kindly got some swanky hotel vouchers from work as a wedding present. I worked out that Paris would get us the most for our vouchers for a few days away so, off I set finding out from GoButler if they could book me some flights!
The premise is really simple, you register with them and then text in your request and they'll try and sort it out for you. Whether you want something delivered, a table booked, a price checked or anything you can think of - you just text them. I've seen examples of them being asked to break up with someone on someone elses behalf, someone who split their pants on the way to an interview - GoButler got some new trousers couriered to them before they had to do the walk of shame into the office - and an order of pizza with scantily clad men on the side. The best part is they don't charge for doing this AND they're available 24/7
First of all I decided to try using them to source flights - I told them the date options I could travel, the preferred times for us to go and airports involved. I also specified I wanted cheap flights - I'm not too worried about luxury when I'm only in the air for about an hour.
When the flights came back they were a little more expensive than I wanted to pay so I decided my budget probably wasn't realistic for us to squeeze the maximum amount of time out of Paris as planned. I did a tiny bit of research on flights and came up with something much more budget friendly that compromised slightly on times (and took us to an airport further out - Beauvais).
I then texted again asking to book said flights and after a few messages being exchanged to get information (probably less than trying to arrange a drink with a friend) our flights were booked - it would have been even less if the airline's booking system didn't decide to stop mid-booking.
Thanks GoButler, we'll always have Paris! As soon as I got GoButler's confirmation I went on and booked our hotel room. I haven't been to Paris since I was a kid so I can't wait for our little Euro break!
So, would I use GoButler again? Yeah I would but probably for something a bit less specific than sorting out flights from start to finish. I feel like there's so much planning and decision making with travel plans like that, I wouldn't trust my husband to do it without supervision so maybe it's quite a big ask for a stranger. If you're really time-poor or you just like someone else to sort stuff out for you, this is 100% the service for you!
I always thought I'd get married on a beach somewhere with no-one around but that didn't end up happening and we ended up having a more traditional wedding in the UK. I knew when I realised we'd be planning a 'proper' wedding that I'd want https://www.pinterest.com/lucybatb/wedding-inspiration/ somewhere in my wedding but quickly realised that they're not totally easy to get hold of in the UK and when you find them they're pretty expensive, even to hire.
I started looking into importing sequin tablecloths from overseas and found it cost a similar amount as hiring with the added bonus that I'd own them at the end and could re-sell on to another bride or an events company after use. We made a decision with our budget that spending a significant chunk of money was justified only where there was an opportunity to recoup some of what we spent.
Plus, there's the worry with hiring that they get damaged and you lose your deposit. As the tablecloths are delicate I didn't want to spend the day hovering over guests making sure they used a coaster etc. We flew off on our honeymoon on the Monday after we got married too which made returning stuff that was hired a serious planning mission (driving hungover into the heart of Cheshire with an out of date sat nav to drop off a rather nice wedding postbox anyone?)
I bought mine from Angela Wedding on Alibaba- I had samples sent to me, chose what I wanted and gave the measurements. I then got a price including postage which actually turned out to be similar to the cost of hiring (which I've already mentioned).
Because I was ordering from overseas without actually seeing a product 'in the flesh' I felt really anxious actually throwing down the cash...what if they never arrived, what if they weren't right, what if they looked awful, what if they got held at customs and I had to pay a huge duty? But thankfully it all went without a hitch and they arrived just as I wanted them to.
They were absolutely perfect as part of our wedding, everyone commented on how much they liked them and even our venue were really interested as they don't crease so you don't have to iron them, plus they fitted in really well with the exposed brick etc at our wedding.
Or, if this seems like too much work, I'm actually selling my sequin tablecloths (and some other wedding accessories) on Ebay - check them out here!
As I've mentioned before my wedding inspiration was definitely 'Pinterest-on-a-budget' and the only thing that probably sums up a Pinterest wedding as much as perfect bunting and sequin tablecloths is a room filled with peonies.
Sadly I really didn't want to spend a ridiculous amount on something that just dies at the end of the night my budget probably wasn't going to stretch to huge peony displays everywhere but I do really like the look of them so I decided to get a little bit creative with my centrepieces and try and make them myself. My bouquets and buttonholes were actually real peonies by the way but I think they all worked pretty well together.
I only had to make four centrepieces so I didn't need a ridiculous amount of supplies, here's what I actually used for the floral part of my centrepieces:
A couple of smaller artificial flower bouquets to use as space fillers
Scissors (wire cutters would be much, much easier as there's wire in the stems to make them flexible - that would be my top tip!)
I think each bunch was about £3 in total and they came from China so allow enough time for them to arrive if you're doing this! A lot of the UK based artificial peonies I saw weren't really any cheaper than buying real which defeated the point a bit unless you're using them in your house.
The process is straightforward enough, cut the stems with the flower heads on (leave the stems longer rather than shorter, you can always cut them shorter if you need to) and add the stems into the florists foam, making sure that it's covered and that the piece sits as it should. It's quite time consuming so I locked myself away in the spare room to do them on a Sunday morning with these little guys helping:
Someone told me florists arrange properly not in the foam so it looks how they want overall and then place in the foam to recreate the look. This annoyed me when I tried to do it so I just freestyled. They all looked slightly different and I definitely think they got better as I went on. Here's the bouquets I put together:
A few people thought they were real flowers which was nice because I was worried they'd look really fake and rubbish. One of my friends fell in love with them so much I let her take one of the bouquets home, she's just bought a new house and decided they'd look perfect in her hallway so they're there in pride of place now. I liked her idea so I totally copied and I've got a bunch in my living room now as a nice reminder of the wedding, the rest are in my wedding memory box
I know, I know another wedding post - I'll get over it soon honest! I just wanted to show you my wedding hair and make up. I didn't get any good photos of my bridesmaids hair and make up unfortunately but they were done by the same people and both of them looked gorgeous!
First up the hair - this was done by Hair by Lydia and Hannah who I really would recommend! I was really pleased with my hair and Lydia was really friendly and good at what she does. I had one hair trial for a totally different style but we didn't have time to fit another in on the wedding so she literally turned up on the day and did my hair without trying it first. I had some human hair extensions in from Paul's Hair World too for a bit of extra volume and thickness.
Here's what I had for my wedding hair trial - I decided quite near the wedding that I didn't want it all pinned up after all though I did like the hairstyle:
My make up was done by Sophia Georgiou, again I would 100% recommend her and will definitely be getting her to do my make up again for a special occasion (or two!). I had a trial with Sophia where she really listened to what I wanted (I wanted a glam, fully made up look rather than a traditional dewy, barely-there bridal look, without it looking OTT) and I think she nailed it. Sophia recently did some training with the Kardashian's make up artist, Mario Dedivanovic, which I won't deny I was pleased about! Say what you like about them, but their make up is always on point. The make up lasted well into the night as well!
And finally my nails. I was really indecisive about how I wanted my nails for my wedding, even during my appointment. I knew I probably wanted them pink and definitely not French tips, that I probably wanted some crystals but not too many and that I wanted them a tapered shape. So...yeah, nice and exact then! Luckily the nail tech at Matrix Nails & Beauty was fab and came up with a design I really liked!
I was seriously impressed that I only lost one crystal through the whole time and that was 4 days into the honeymoon - I wasn't careful with my nails either and swam in the sea or pool every day. I love the look of acrylics but I never seem to want to keep them on, I'll get them put on then remove them without ever getting them infilled. I don't know why but I do it every time!
When you're getting your wedding hair and make up done, I'd definitely recommend getting as much inspiration as you can and thinking about what will go with your overall look and wedding style. If you're planning a wedding chances are, you'll be browsing Pinterest. I found Pinterest and Instagram really helpful to work out what I wanted. Check out my Wedding Inspiration board.
Trials are always a really good idea too - it helps you decide what you want, gives you confidence in the person doing it and makes sure that you're happy with the way you're going to look on the big day. One of my friends had trials with 3 make up artists before she found one she was happy with.
Shop around and get price comparisons as well as the costs can vary ridiculously - I'm not saying go for the cheapest MUA and hairdresser you can find by any means, just make sure you're not getting ripped off, that it fits in with your budget and that you're happy with the end result - and make sure that what you want is included. I wouldn't be seen dead without false lashes on so I wanted to make sure that they were included in my wedding make up and they were as standard.
Sorry for the radio silence - I've been busy getting married and going on our honeymoon in the last few weeks, it's been pretty hectic! Everyone says how quickly it goes by and they're so right, the day feels like it happened in a heartbeat.
I don't have much to say other than it was absolutely perfect for us and we wouldn't have changed a thing, so I'll let some pics do the talking:
I've got a couple of other wedding and honeymoon posts planned so keep an eye out for these!