Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Polka Dot Angel

Dress - The Whitepepper / Shoes - IKRUSH* / Socks - American Apparel
Necklace - Your Fashion Jewellery* / Bracelet - Black Tied / Rings - ASOS

After a quick break I'm back with an outfit post! The school Summer holidays are finally here which is why I've been a bit absent from the Internet lately. Blogging becomes a bit trickier with a four year old to entertain all day long! Andy also had the last few weeks off from work so we've all been spending time together as a family. We've been doing up the house a bit & going on lots of adventures including our yearly trip to York Maze which is always an awesome time. I've really been enjoying the weather this year as well. I'm normally a bit of a vampire during the Summer because I hate getting even the faintest hint of tan. I've just gone overboard with the sun protection, finally got my hands on a decent sun hat & now I'm happy to spend all day basking in the sun. And good weather means I can splurge on new pairs of cute high waisted shorts & plenty of pretty dresses.

Words cannot express how much I love The Whitepepper. They're pretty much the only independent clothing brand that I constantly check out & buy from. I would quite happily have an entire wardrobe comprised solely of their clothes if only they weren't quite so expensive. This is my fourth of their Angel smock dresses as I can't get enough of their cute & slouchy style. The material of this navy polka dot dress is lightweight, silky & floaty - perfect for Summertime. The Angel dresses are really oversized so I always buy them in size XS or S, the shape is more flattering that way. Dresses with pockets get a big thumbs up from me too. You can wear them to hide a multitude of sins including flabby arms & food babies. Now that's my kinda dress! My obsession with jelly shoes lives on with these silver glitter flatform sandals from IKRUSH. Jelly flatforms have to be the comfiest heels ever! I personally think they look best worn with a pair of frilly socks like these cute ones from American Apparel. I was recently sent this lovely multi-chain silver cross necklace from Your Fashion Jewellery & I think it's a great statement piece. The obsession I have with cross jewellery doesn't seem to be dying down anytime soon either!

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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

SkinChemists Bee Venom Repair & Protect

SkinChemists Bee Venom Repair & Protect* - £79.95

After being blown away the sheer amazingness of SkinChemists Rapid Facial mask I had high hopes for this bee venom-infused skin treatment. There's been a lot of buzz about products with bee venom in ever since people like Victoria Beckham, Kylie Minogue & Kate Middleton declared themselves as fans. But is it a gimmick or is bee venom really the answer to all your skin woes? Bee venom contains a peptide called Melittin. Applying this substance tricks your body into thinking you’ve been stung for real which causes your skin to increase it's collagen production & promotes healing. It's similar to a topical version of Botox because it essentially paralyses the skin to keep it from wrinkling. It also has anti-bacterial properties which can help to heal blemishes.

SkinChemists have used this science behind the skin benefits of bee venom to create the Bee Venom Repair & Protect. This is a targeted treatment that claims to soothe & heal blemishes and have an instant effect on the visibility of spots. Alongside the bee venom this product features Manuka honey which is well known for it's anti-microbial & anti-inflammatory properties. It hydrates & heals the skin, naturally enhancing the skin renewal process. Another key ingredient is Allantoin which promotes further healing. The treatment itself comes in a little tube with an applicator wand. You simply use this to apply the product directly onto the affected area. It smells a bit like a mixture of alcohol & honey. The white substance feels smooth & creamy and is pleasant to use. Just in case you were concerned about the whole bee sting thing, don't worry, bee venom products aren't painful at all. It dries invisible with a matte finish so it would be great to keep with you for continued application throughout the day. The tube is easy to pop in your handbag & it can be used on clean skin or on top of your makeup.

Unfortunately this did nothing for my blemishes. Even when I kept on applying it several times a day it did nothing for the pain, size or appearance of my spots. I don't know if it's because my skin has become accustomed to acids & retinol that it hasn't worked for me but I would've expected this to have at least some effect on my active spots. The Manuka honey kept the area hydrated but otherwise my skin didn't benefit from this product. I can't say that I think it's worth that hefty price tag at all. For eighty quid I would expect a spot treatment to completely eradicate my blemishes within hours. It was certainly an interesting concept but sadly I don't think bee venom products are for me.

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Monday, 7 July 2014

Beauty Duos: Fast Drying Nails

Mavala Mavadry Spray / Mavala Mavadry Top Coat

There's nothing worse than spending ages manicuring your nails to perfection only to smudge them ten minutes later. As a busy mum I never have time to let my nails dry properly. If I want to paint my nails I have to get it done fast which inevitably leads to smears & fabric imprints. For years I've relied on Seche Vite to speed up the drying process but it still wasn't quick enough for me. I'm not too keen on the excessive gloopiness or how it makes your polish peel either. But I've finally come across a solution. Enter this marvellous Mavala Mavadry twosome.

The Mavadry top coat is one of the fastest drying top coats I've come across. It gets to work right away leaving your manicure touchable within a matter of seconds. It appears pale pink in the bottle but applies clear giving your nail polish an incredible glossy finish. Your nails still look wet long after the polish has dried. It doesn't make your polish peel or shrink but it isn't that great at preventing chips. However if you combine it with a good basecoat (my current fave is Sally Hansen Maximum Growth) then your nails will be totally sorted for about a week.

After applying the top coat I like to finish things off with the Mavadry spray. This really cements everything into place & encourages further drying to prevent any chance of smearage. You just need to wait a minute for your top coat to fully dry & then spray this over each nail from about 30cm away. This extra coat reduces chipping & adds lustre with even more protection. It has an oily texture which adds a hint of moisture whilst it dries the polish. The smell is a bit chemical but it's worth it to be able to use your hands again so soon after painting your nails. It's a quick routine for perfectly polished nails. Although you can use the top coat & spray separately I think they complement each other brilliantly. Sometimes good products become truly great when you combine them together.

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