Friday, 27 November 2015

Bare Minerals The Royal Court Palette Review

One of my favourite things about this time of year is that all of my favourite beauty brands release their amazing Christmas gifts. There's just something so much more special about Christmas products - the packaging is always that little bit nicer, the prices are better and the products are usually designed with party season in minds whic means lots of pretty palettes, my favourite! If you've been reading my blog for a while, I'm sure you'll know how much I love a palette and my current favourite is the Bare Minerals 'The Royal Court' cheek palette. Just look at it *swoons*!!

I was lucky enough to meet up with Bare Minerals for brunch recently and we had a lovely time chatting all things beauty over some avocado on toast! They told me all about their selection of Christmas gifts and I think it's safe to say they've outdone themselves this year as they're all amazing. I was lucky to receive a couple of the gifts to try out, including this cheek palette and I can't wait to share it with you. It's definitely one for the Christmas list ladies!!

As I mentioned, The Royal Court palette is a cheek palette and it comes with three shades - a bronzer, blush and highlight. I love palettes like this as it means everything I need is in one place. The packaging is really lightweight and has a big mirror too so it's also great for travelling or on the go touch ups. As for the shades, they're simply stunning. Starting from the left, 'Clear Radiance' is the lightest shade in the palette and the perfect highlight for adding that candlelit glow to the face. I'd describe it as a very pale pink with a pearlescent finish - no glitter, just a pretty glow. Bare Minerals actually describe this as a 'Luminizer' so you're not limited to just using this in the areas you'd usually highlight - it can also be used all over the face to add a gorgeous glow to the skin. 

Next up is 'Golden Gate' which is the blush shade. This is a gorgeous pinky peach shade and again, it has a lovely pearlescent finish meaning it leaves a beautiful sheen on the cheeks. I'm not usually a huge fan of pink blush as I feel I look like a clown every time I wear it but this isn't too overpowering and the addition of peach tones make it look more natural than a barbie pink shade. Finally, we have 'Warmth' which is a lovely bronzer. Bare Minerals actually sell this separately so it's nice to see it included in the palette. Much like the other two shades, I can't fault this bronzer. It warms up my complexion, adds a glow and looks really natural on the skin. 

L-R: Warmth, Golden Gate, Clear Radiance

This is a truly beautiful palette and one I think every beauty lover needs in their makeup bags. It's something that almost anyone can use and because the shades are so lovely and subtle, you can build them up to your desired look without the need to worry about looking OTT. I also think this would be a great gift for someone just getting into makeup as they've got everything they need in the one place!! You can get it here for £25 and there's also 10% off today only using the code DAY1.

Do you like the look of this palette?! Which beauty goodies are on your Christmas list this year?

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Answering EVERYTHING About Going Blonde

If you read my blog regularly, you may know that I'm currently working with Schwarzkopf LIVE on their latest #LIVELookbook to freshen up my hair colour! My hair has always been a fairly light shade of blonde but a couple of months ago I decided to go quite a bit darker – and I almost immediately regretted it. Dark hair, unfortunately, just doesn't suit me! I'm a blondie through-and-through!

With that being said, I wanted to take my colour up a few shades and go blonder with the help of Schwarzkopf LIVE. I decided on their shade 'Absolute Platinum' and whilst the term 'platinum' can sound daunting when referring to blonde hair, I wasn't too worried. I feel really light blonde hair suits my complexion and is definitely more fun than my natural mousey brown colour. I couldn't wait to get my colour refresh underway.

Myself and four other fabulous bloggers headed down to London towards the end of July to shoot the new Lookbook campaign with the Schwarzkopf team and their fabulous LIVE hair colours. We were shown how to use the box colours at home to achieve our desired shades and we then talked through the whole process so that we can answer your most pressing questions: how to get the best blonde results at home; why your hair colour might not turn out platinum in your first go; and how to avoid any hair damage in the colouring process!

I'm so happy with how mine turned out! As you can see from the photos I’ve been posting, it’s really light but I don't think it looks too over-the-top which can sometimes be a concern when you’re going really light blonde. Instead I feel it really brightens up my complexion and makes me feel more like myself again. My friend also said going lighter makes me look younger and that can never be a bad thing, hehe! 

Going lighter again has definitely made me realise that this is 'my' colour and the one I'm going to stick with from now on. I must admit that blonde hair does take a little more looking after to ensure it stays and looks healthy but with a little bit of hair oil after washing and a deep conditioner once or twice a week, I haven't had any problems. In fact, going that bit lighter has actually made my hair look shinier. I also like to use a LIVE toner a couple of times a week as this ensures the colour doesn't go brassy. 

If you're interested in knowing more about how I achieved my new colour and how you can achieve it yourself, I've embedded the video I created with Schwarzkopf which answers some of the questions you might have! You can find part 2 on the website here.


Friday, 20 November 2015

Is A Career In Fashion Right For You?

Most people think working in the fashion industry is uber glamorous and whilst there are elements of it that can be, there's also a few down sides. I worked in fashion for two years before recently deciding to take the plunge into full time blogging so I've seen everything there is to see - the highs, the lows, the daily stresses. As I said most people think it's a super fun job that comes with lots of perks and in one sense it is. My favourite thing about it would be that no day is the same - there's always something new going on and its a role that is great for creative people like me as it really allows you to get imaginative and come up with ideas to make the business the best it can be. However, it also comes with a lot of pressure, stress and deadlines. I'd say it requires bags of confidence, creativity and dedication to make it in the fashion industry and without them traits, you'll soon get lost in a sea of competitors all trying to compete for that number one spot. 

It's a very fast paced industry so if you're someone who prefers to go into the office, know what you're doing each day and like to be left alone to get things done, fashion probably isn't for you as there'll always be someone asking you to do something, there'll always be things that crop up at the last minute and you may be required to work outside of the standard 9-5 hours to get things done! I personally worked in the PR, Marketing and blogger outreach department which I thoroughly enjoyed as it's something I have an interest in and being a blogger myself, I felt I had an advantage as I almost know what bloggers want to see and how they prefer to be contacted. If you're wanting to get into the fashion or beauty industry for that matter, having a blog can be a real advantage! It was always a big talking point in interviews I attended and it shows dedication and passion to the industry.

However, as well as the marketing team, there's many other roles within the fashion industry including buyers, designers, merchandisers, e-commerce executives, graphic designers, creative managers, models, makeup artists, stylists and a whole team managing those social media sites you see constantly updated. There's a LOT of people that go into the successful running of a fashion brand and it can be very full on which is something people often forget. You need to be on the ball with everything - important dates, celebrity gossip, new trends and up and coming bloggers just to name a few. There can be very tight deadlines to meet and every role often involves targets. So I guess one thing I'd say is you must be organised, focused and prepared to work under pressure. I personally work better under pressure as it gives you the incentive to get things done that bit quicker and to the best of your ability but I know it's not for everyone.

It's always best to get some experience in your chosen industry before committing to it as your chosen career and that's where internships come in really handy. I actually used to manage interns in one of my previous roles and the majority of girls I had working with me were really willing to get stuck in and learn as much as possible. That's the attitude to have in the fashion industry and it won't go un-noticed. Many interns I worked with were actually hired as full time employees when the internship was up to it just shows, hard work will usually pay off! However, as there's such a huge number of people wanting to work in fashion and only a few internships up for grabs, securing yourself one isn't easy. However, there's always other things you can do to give yourself an insight into the fashion work - there's loads of info online from people in the industry so a big tip would be to make sure you do your research before applying for any jobs! 

A new discovery of mine that isn't too serious but gives you a great insight into the world of fashion is Nintendo's new game for their 3DS console, 'New Style Boutique 2 - Fashion Forward'. The game allows you to run your very own fashion boutique and take on various roles to make it a success! How cool?! I used to be addicted to playing them when I was younger but as I've got older and life responsibilities have got in the way, my time for playing games has gone out of the window. Not good! However, no I have the 3DS (which is sooo cool by the way - 3D games? Yes!), I imagine   a lot of my free time is going to be spent on it. 

The idea behind New Style Boutique is that you can manage your own successful boutique in the city and take on various roles within the boutique. Fancy yourself as a designer, model, make-up artist or stylist? This game allows you to take on all of those roles, giving your customers makeovers and bringing new stock to the shop! As a fashion lover like myself, I've had so much fun doing this and I'm not going to lie, it kind of makes me want to open a boutique! I also have to point out how amazing the graphics are - I'm seriously impressed! The game is available across Europe from today so if you own a Nintendo 3DS and are interested in the world of fashion, you need to get your hands on it!

Have you considered working in fashion? Which role do you think you'd be best suited for?

 *I worked with Nintendo on this post. However, as always, all views are my own!


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Outfit | Styling Lluna Tops

Today I'd like to introduce you to two new items that have recently been added to my wardrobe, courtesy of Lluna. I have to be honest and say I'd never heard of the brand before they contacted me but that's the great thing about blogging I guess, it's always introducing me to new and exciting brands I may have missed out on otherwise. I also love that I can then share these new finds with you guys too!

Lluna very kindly sent me a couple of tops from their website and I love them both, a lot. The brand isn't the cheapest and is a little more high end than I'm used to when it comes to clothing but if you could feel the quality of these items, you'd see that they're definitely worth their price tag. The fabrics are beautiful, they fit like a dream and make my feel that little but special when wearing them.

My favourite of the two pieces would have to be the Space Dye Cropped Jumper as it's so unlike anything else in my wardrobe. It's a fine knitted cropped jumper with a beautiful turquoise, orange and black 'space' print. As you can see on the photos, it fits like a glove and really stands out. I decided to pair it with a high waisted skirt and simple bomber jacket and I think this works perfectly and allows the top to do all the talking! I honesty can't get enough of this top and have already worn is SO many times. I've had so many compliments whilst wearing it too so it's obviously not just me who loves it!! It's available in two colours and there's also a matching skirt available which I just might be tempted to get!!

The other top I was kindly sent is the Ribbed Peplum top. This is a simple black jumper with  fine ribbed detailing all over it and a cute little peplum design around the waist. It's one of those classic wardrobe staples that can be worn in so many different ways which I definitely need more of in my wardrobe! I decided to pair it with jeans, knee high boots and a trench coat for a fairly casual look but I also think it would look amazing for a dinner paired with a leather look pencil skirt or you could even wear it to work with some tailored trousers for a smart business look. Versatile clothes are the best - so many options! As I get older (eeekk!), I'm trying to create a more capsule wardrobe - pieces that I can mix and match and items that are timeless and will last years. I think this is definitely one of those pieces and it's such beautiful quality too.

So there we have it, two new additions to my Winter wardrobe! Which of these tops is your favourite? Make sure you check out the Lluna website here to see what other items they have to offer!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Contactless Shopping Haul

I was recently contacted by TSB and they challenged me to go on a little shopping spree and spend £100 using only contactless in celebration of their new offer in which you'll receive 5% cash back on your first £100 of contactless payments each month when opening one of their plus current accounts - not a bad little offer at all. I'm a self-confessed shopaholic and already a massive fan of using contactless so I was obviously well up for the challenge!! The reason I love contactless so much is because it makes shopping so much easier and quicker - all you have to do it place your card over the screen and wallah, payment has been made. I know that probably sounds really lazy as entering a pin isn't exactly the most difficult of tasks but when you're going from shop to shop and are weighed down with all your bags, it can become a pain in the butt! Especially if you're forgetful like me and regularly have those moments where you go completely blank and think 'oh crap, what's my pin?!?!'. 

Armed with my new TSB contactless card, it was time to hit the shops. I went for a shopping spree in Manchester city centre with my mum and Nanna and we had lots of fun - we even got ourselves some yummy Christmas Costa coffees using my contactless card! I could have gone mad in the shops (so much beaut stuff around at the moment!) but due to the £30 limit on contactless transactions, I did have to hold back a little. I kind of wish the contactless limit was higher than this as it's SO convenient but I can totally understand why it isn't - lets face it, if you lost your card, someone could easily go on a huge contactless shopping spree without the need to know your pin number so its definitely safer this way! Anyway, let me stop rambling and show you the goodies I bought...

I ended up going to Boots a couple of times throughout the day as my mum and Nanna were buying Christmas presents and I knew there'd be some bits and pieces in there that I just *had* to have. The first thing I spotted is this French Connection hand wash and hand lotion duo and I just LOVE the packaging (is that marble effect I spy?!) so I had to have it for my bathroom. Now I'm living in my own flat, I love treating myself to nice hand wash and hand lotions - it may sounds completely sad to those of you still living at home but trust me, little things like this make a house a home. Also, I'd just ran out of my beloved Molton Brown hand wash so this will be a lovely little replacement!

A few more thing I picked up from Boots are a clean cotton Yankee candle jar and the matching tea lights. This is my favourite scent ever ever ever so I just had to stock up on one to keep my flat smelling lovely and fresh. Now I'm working from home, I always have candles lit throughout the day - I find them really calming and when they smell as good as this one, I just want to have it lit 24/7. If you've not smelt this, you need to give it a sniff next time you're passing Boots. It smells so clean and fresh - I love it!! I also picked up this months Glamour magazine as it has the beautiful Tanya Burr on the cover. As a blogger, I'm all for supporting 'team internet' and its amazing to see Youtubers and Bloggers getting theses amazing opportunities. I can't wait to sit down with a cup of tea and read this!!

My boyfriend and I LOVE the TV show Supernatural and season 10 is now on TV but we haven't yet seen season 9 so when I saw this in Tesco, I had to pick it up. It will give us something to watch in the evenings again now Pretty Little Liars is finished - yep, I made my boyfriend watch PLL!! If you haven't seen Supernatural, its about two brothers Sam and Dean (who by the way, are rather dishy ladies) who are 'hunters' - they basically hunt supernatural creatures such as demons, vampires and werewolves. Most episodes are about a new case which the brothers are trying to solve but there's also a contenting storyline throughout about their relationship and you get really attached to the characters! It's definitely one worth watching!!

Okay so this is a super practical and boring purchase but I was in desperate need of some new bedding so whilst passing Argos, I popped in to see what they had on offer. Unfortunately this packaging doesn't have a picture of the bedding on it but it's a lovely grey and white set which matches the colour scheme in my bedroom perfectly. I'm sure I'll be tweeting a pic when it's all ironed and on so make sure you're following me on Twitter @k_leexjx to see how it looks!!

It was my friends birthday recently so I popped into Pandora to pick her a charm up. I'd seen a best friends charm I liked the look of online so I grabbed her that and she loved it! We always seem to get each other Pandora charms has we both have the bracelets and its not something you'd really buy for yourself! I also bought myself MAC 'Velvet Teddy' lipstick - I've wanted it for such a long time but its usually sold out so I was very excited when Selfridges said they had it in stock and I can't wait to give it a try. I'm hoping it'll transform me into Kylie Jenner (keep dreaming Kayleigh)!

So there we have it, all the things I bought on my recent shopping spree. I think this came to slightly over £100 (told you, shopaholic) but that's cool as I'm super happy with everything! PS - please ignore the bottle of Too Faced foundation in the top image - I have know idea why I added it in as that was an online purchase!!

Have you used contactless yet?

*This post is sponsored by TSB but as always, all views are my own.