Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Home Improvement Hero

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I'm no expert on how to decorate a home, it's something I have never done before. When MoneySupermarket asked me to take part in the latest project, Home Improvement Hero and I wanted to take up the challenge. We were given £50 to spend on things that would improve a room. As expressed in my beauty storage post, I live in a rented property so I can't do anything to my room apart from add accessories to it, so this is exactly what I did. 

Usually when I want new things for my room, my first stop would be IKEA or Primark and if I'm feeling a little flush, I'll check out Debenhams! I didn't want to go to any of these places for this challenge because IKEA and Primark seemed to obvious, and Debenhams is out of my price range for this challenge. I made a beeline for Home Sense (/TK Maxx) where I know that everything is discounted. I manage to spend a good hour in there picking things out and calculating the prices to make sure I stuck to the budget. In total, I spent £46.93 and here's how I got on:

To brighten up my room, I got two pink candles. The small one is a Yankee Candle and smells of guava, and I don't know what the scent of the large square one is but it smells like chinese medicine/streets of Hong Kong. Not a pleasant smell and I won't be lighting it, but it's a very pretty candle, I really like the pattern on it. The photo frame cost £7.99, something that goes with my shabby chic drawers. The picture inside is from a notecard with robots on it, I cut it up and placed it inside the frame and I quite like the contrast between elegant frame and quirky image. The glass bottle is a reed diffuser oil, I thought the bottle made a nice accessory, it is something I can keep afterwards.

I got a "treasure chest" which has a nice Parisian print on it - this cost £7.99 and will be used to store more beauty products. Finally, the most expensive thing I bought was the cushion (£9.99) which sits nicely on my bed, it has a cat on it and it's floral - two of my favourite things! It couldn't be more perfect! 

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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

LOVE Pendant Necklace

nikki lissoni necklace, love pendant necklace, coin pendant necklace
nikki lissoni necklace, love pendant necklace, coin pendant necklace
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I have been wearing this Nikki Lissoni *necklace a lot lately and I wanted to show you it in more detail, because it is quite a special little piece! Their jewellery is beautiful, but at first glance I wasn't sure if it would suit me. When I was looking through the catalogue, I spotted this LOVE pendant straight away and now I can't stop wearing it with everything! I have fallen in love with it, more than I thought I would. The rose gold is really pretty and the necklace itself is even better in person! It's quite a casual, chunky piece of jewellery, it's not like a dainty pearl drop necklace that you can only wear at certain times. It goes with almost eveything in my wardrobe, including this smock dress that I wore to the beach, and this smart "work-wear" style outfit.

The unique thing about Nikki Lissoni necklaces is that it's interchangeable. I'm quite a sucker for quirky things like that. You can buy the chains in gold, silver or rose gold and it comes in different lengths. The pendant setting also comes in small, medium and large sizes, this opens up and you can change the coins. Then are then various coins to choose from and here is the latest collection, there's so many and price info can be viewed at this UK stockist website! You can mix and match the colours aswell which is really cool, I wish I got a silver chain and pendant setting with a rose gold coin but I love that mine matches! Maybe I will buy myself a silver coin to go in the setting!

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Sunday, 28 July 2013

Monochrome in Summer

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Jacket Primark / White Top Primark / Jeans Topshop / Watch ASOS / Shoes* Freed Of London / Bag Mulberry / Necklace* Nikki Lissoni / Sunglasses ASOS / Rings Stylight

The weather seems to be a little confused at the moment, but that is expected with the typical British Summer! After two or three weeks of lovely sunshine, I welcome the cooler breeze. The rain, however, can piss right off! I started the day in a baby blue smock dress and sandals, but it suddenly became grey and cloudy before I left the house, so it was a more sensible idea to change in to a monochrome outfit which consisted of my trusty skinny jeans, shiny ballet pumps and my new little jacket, which I've been eager to wear! We managed to get these photos done before the rain graced us with it's presence.

I went into Primark for a belt and inevitably came out with a couple of extra things, including this monochrome blazer/jacket with an aztec print. I can't remember how much it cost but they had other patterns and colours available, I might go back and see which other ones suits me. The front of the jacket has a life of it's own though because it doesn't quite sit well, but like with all Primark clothes, you can forgive the less-that-perfect quality. The material is thin so it makes a nice jacket for Summer, for warm days when the heavens have opened!

My shoes, which are from Freed of London, are a welcome addition to my growing shoe collection. They do need wearing in, but I have never been good at that! Freed are the leading provider of dance shoes and they are expanding their range at the moment. Being on their website brings back memories of dance class, I started going to ballet lessons from the age of three and I gave up when I was fifteen or so. I did all sorts of dancing when I was younger, but giving it all up is something I now regret! I can just about remember my time steps from tap dancing!

I thought I'd turn my hand at being the photographer for once, and as he looked stylish and trendy in his new shirt, I thought I'd snap a pic! Makes a change for him to be in front of the camera! He should start his own blog! What do you guys think?

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Friday, 26 July 2013

Mavala Nail Polish | Review

mavala nail polish,
mavala nail polish swatch
mavala nail polish swatch, mavala review

Four new nail polishes arrived through the post this week and as usual, I couldn't wait to try them! Once I opened the parcel, I was tempted to paint each nail in a different colour but eventually decided to go for the bright orange for now. It's pigmented and opaque, with only two coats applied. After a few days, it still hasn't chipped yet so I'm impressed with the staying power!

The shades pictured above are from the Chilli and Spice collection and you can purchase Mavala polishes from Boots, Fenwicks, Debenhams and John Lewis, each bottle retails at £4.50. Not a bad price for a good quality polish - it is long lasting, very opaque, dries quick and it's free from parabens, animal ingredients and heavy metal! - But the size of the bottles are a bit on the small side (but I adore anything in miniature size!) Despite showing up a little "textured" on the colour wheel, be assured that the formula itself is smooth and high-shine when applied on your actual nails.

The orange shade I've got on is called Jaipur, the pink is called Bali, the purple is Samarkand and the beautiful turquoise is named Bomaka. There are two other ones in the collection (red and blue) and each one is wonderfully vibrant. The shades in this collection are all very "fiery colours" and goes well with the Chilli and Spice theme. I had no problems with applying this, the brush was easy to handle and I managed to get the lacquer on my nails quite neatly! I think I'll try the purple one next, I don't own anything quite like that shade!

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Thursday, 25 July 2013

Boxdelux July 2013 - Review

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This month, I have blogged about three sample boxes when I usually only stick to one, but it has made me realise that there are other services out there that give Glossybox a run for their money! Boxdelux* is something that is different to the beauty boxes that get all the blog hype so I thought this was a nice one to show you. The general idea is the same - you sign up and receive a box filled with samples to try. What is it that they do differently? What to do they bring to the table? Well, Boxdelux does not claim to be the next Glossybox and they have more of an emphasis on lifestyle products. You've probably heard other brands say this but this time, they have stuck true to their word. This box I received was filled with products, some full sized and most of them were edible! 

I received nine samples in mine and these were: A bag of cherry and nougat rice pudding (which makes 6-8 portions), a box of muesli and a pumpkin bar from Rude health, Moroccan Argan Oil for body and face, Awake Potion which is meant to re-energise and revitalise, three small tubs of lotion and lastly, a bottle of nail polish from SPAritual. 

The Argan oil is nice, really nourishing and a nice travel size. Yellow is one of my favourite nail polish colours so I'm happy to get this in the box. I have given the rice pudding to my mum (because I'll probably burn it!). I've never thought of putting nougat in to rice pudding before, so I can't wait to try this. The little tubs of lotion is not full, I'd class all three tubs as one sample. Overall, I'm happy with the contents, each one is a high quality product.

How much does this cost, I hear you all ask? This is aimed at a different market to Glossybox and Birchbox. They're probably older too. You get a lot more than you do with this service, and that inevitably means it's going to cost more. Boxdelux is priced at £35 per box - Very pricy, right? The price will put a lot of you off, that is completely understandable, but if you were intrigued and wanted to give it a chance, they have an offer on at the moment where the first box is £17.50. There's also a 50% discount when you sign up the newsletter. I also have a discount code to buy three boxes for £25 per month (that will be £75 in total inlcuding delivery), the code to use for that offer is boxme3.

Like with a lot of these types of services, they make great presents, if anything. I've bought my friends a 3 month Glossybox suscription before, and they loved it (I think!). You can buy one-time or subscribe to it for a longer period of time. Boxdelux boxes might make great presents for mums and your favourite aunties, it sure does safe a lot of hassle during Christmas time! They also recognise that some subscribers might like to know what's inside the box before buying it but for the price of each box, I'd expect to be able to see what I'm buying anyway. I don't think anyone here would want to gamble £35 on a monthly surprise.

Would love to know what you think of Boxdelux!

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