H&M Treats

Hey Ladies! I just wanted to quickly share with you all these lovely treats I got bought from H&M recently. As I mentioned in my Louis Vuitton post, my Dad, Step Mum and two brothers have just been to Hong Kong for the week and they came back with gifts galore. As if a Louis Vuitton handbag wasn't enough, they also made a trip into H&M and picked up a few things for me. H&M is one of my favourite shops and I've been having withdrawals whilst being in Australia. They are yet to catch on to the wonders of H&M you see. I had no idea there would even be a H&M in Hong Kong but I saw a picture my dad put on Twitter and it is absolutely HUGE. I now want to go to Hong Kong just for the shopping. Anyway, my Step Mum picked out these gorgeous pieces for me and I couldn't be happier with them. I don't know which item I love the most as I've tried them on and they all look fab. I think the blue and white boho style dress will look perfect with a tan waist belt and chunky bracelets. I was very pleased with the neon top as I've been seeing this trend everywhere at the minute. I think it will look great paired with a high waisted skirt or shorts. As for the 'mullet' dress, I absolutely love it. It is the perfect dress for summer and I think it will look lovely with a tan waist belt and wedges. I just need to find somewhere nice to wear it now. Overall, I am very happy and a very lucky girl! I'm sure all of these items will feature in outfit posts very soon. I'm not sure how much these cost as the prices were in Hong Kong currency but if any of you have seen these items in any UK H&M's, do let me know what the prices are so I can update the post with them. Thank you muchly.

Sorry for the short and sweet post, I've been pretty busy today and have only just had chance to write a post before I go to sleep. It is currently five to one in the morning here and I am absolutely knackered!

I hope you are all well!

Lots of Love,

Sleek 'Pumpkin' Blush By 3 Palette

Heavily Swatched - Lantern, Squash, P Pie
Heavy Swatches blended out (These are heavy swatches for picture purposes, they do look much more subtle when applied lightly to the cheeks)

Hello Ladies. I have been meaning to write this post for a while now but have never got round to it. I am constantly buying and trying new things so each time I buy a product, I take pictures and they end up stored away on the laptop until I get chance to review them properly. These new(ish) 'Blush by 3' palettes from Sleek have taken the blogging world by storm recently and it seems lots of people have struggled to get their hands on a few of them. Before I came to Oz, I decided to have a look at them in my local Superdrug and see what all the fuss is about. 
There are five palettes in this range and I must admit, I was instantly drawn in by them. At £9.99 for a chic looking palette containing three large blushes and a huge mirror, I was sold. I decided a palette of this nature would be perfect for my travels as it would be pretty much all I'd need. When I was looking through the colours, I realised the palette I wanted originally in the shade 'Lace' was sold out. I had read quite a lot of reviews on it and the shades looked beautiful swatched. However, not one to let a small mishap like this stop me from purchasing, I decided to opt for a different shade. In the end I went with 'Pumpkin'. I have to be honest, it was the best of a pretty shoddy bunch and I didn't have the highest of hopes for it. In the pan these three colours look super clown-like bright. I basically had the option between very bright or dark Morticia shades so I obviously went for the brights. In the back of my mind, a little voice told me to buy it anyway as the colours would probably look much different when applied with a light hand and blended out. I agreed with this little voice in my head and off I plodded to the till. After all, £9.99 wasn't going to break the bank too much and the palette itself looked too pretty to miss out on. 
When I got home, I just had to give it a try and see how the colours would look on my cheeks. I was pleasantly surprised to find that when applied with a light hand, these colours are very pretty. I especially like 'Lantern', the shade on the left, which is the most subtle and 'normal' looking in the palette. It gave my cheeks a very pretty peach flush and didn't look too harsh in the slightest. Not being a pinks person, I've slightly neglected 'squash' which is the neon pink shade in the middle of the palette. I did try it once and when swatched and blended, it is very pretty. If you like pinks, I'm sure you would love this. As for 'P Pie', the bright, bright, bright orange on the far right of the palette, I was actually scared to apply this to my face. However, I had a very pleasant surprise and found that I actually really like this colour. When applied to the cheeks with a light hand, it looks nothing like it does in the pan. It added a nice warmth to my face and as I prefer orange/peach tones, it worked well for me. On the back of the palette, Sleek claim that these blushes are a mix of 'shimmery and matte' finishes but I don't think any of them are particularly shimmery. Not that I'm complaining as I'm not a huge shimmery blush person anyway. I'd say Lantern and Squash are more of a Satin finish and P Pie is matte. One last thing I would like to emphasise is the term 'a light hand'. As you can see from the pictures above, when heavily swatched, these colours are extremely pigmented and could potentially turn you into clown face with the wrong technique. I apply these lightly to the apples of my cheeks and sweep the colour up towards the top of my ear to create a subtle look. 
I must admit, I'm not the biggest blush person in the world but I do really like this and I love the whole 3-in-1 concept. They are perfect for travelling, contain a whopping 20g of product, will last a lifetime and are relatively cheap. What more can I ask for? I still want to snap up the 'Lace' shade but if you do want to buy one of these blush palettes, don't let the bright appearance of 'Pumpkin' scare you off. Give it a swatch and you might be very surprised. I think these colours are perfect for summer holidays and tanned skin!

Have you tried any of the Sleek 'Blush by 3' palettes? They are available to buy in all Superdrug stores.

Lots of Love,

Meet Mr Louis Vuitton

Hey Beautifuls! I hope your are all well and enjoying the UK sun, I've heard lots about it on here and Twitter. I have been so ill with a sickness bug these past two days that I haven't done anything other than hang my head over the toilet or lay around feeling sorry for myself. How lovely? Thankfully I'm feeling slightly better now so I can get back to blogging as I have lots to share with you. My Dad, Step Mum and two little brothers returned from their holiday in Hong Kong yesterday and I was over the moon to see them. I actually burst into tears when they got home as I'd missed having them around and have felt so ill for the past couple of days that I just needed some good old fashioned TLC. Your probably wondering why I didn't go on holiday with them but the reason for that is because my trip to Oz was quite a last minute thing so they had already booked their trip before we arranged for me to come over. It sounds like they had an amazing time though and they said the shopping there is out of this world. They even had a H&M and Zara which I was quite surprised to hear. Maybe I will have to add Hong Kong to my list of places to go and visit. Anyway, as you may have guessed from the pictures above, they decided to treat me (massively) to a Louis Vuitton handbag. Seriously, I am beyond shocked. Now I realise Louis Vuitton bags might not be to everyones taste but I personally love them and have wanted one for a while now. I always go on about how much I love them on Twitter and after seeing my friends I instantly fell in love. I just love how classic they are, the fact they go with pretty much any outfit and in my opinion, a bag like this will never date. It is one of those classic items that will last for years. When my dad passed me the parcel, in an 'Aldi' bag might I add (what a joker), I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the Louis Vuitton logo inside. Now don't think I'm bragging or anything by showing you this, I'm just so excited about it that I had to share. I realise these bags are expensive so I would never be able to buy one of these myself. Lets face it, with a student overdraft still hanging over my head, I barely have enough money to treat myself at Topshop. I have never owned a bag this expensive in my life so I am going to treat it with much tender loving care. Trust me, I'm not a spoilt brat who gets bought designer handbags on a regular basis. If anything, I'm the opposite and this was a one off. My dad and Step mum have tried justifying their generosity by saying because I looked after the house and their five animals for the week they were away, I deserved a treat. I realise thats not the best reason to spoil me as I didn't mind doing it anyway but I suppose it made me feel slightly better about accepting such an expensive gift. Feeding and cleaning five animals was a bit of a nightmare for me as I'm not the biggest animal lover going. Of course I think they are cute to look at but when it comes to cleaning and feeding three dogs, a cat and a bird, I'd rather give it a miss. Shovelling poo and scooping vile smelling dog food from tins is definitely not for me. Yack. Anyway, I hope you love my new bag as much as I do. I am so so so so so grateful for it and I will cherish it forever.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and caught some rays.

Lots of Love,

Dove Summer Glow Gradual Tanner

Hello Ladies. I hope you are all well. I hear the weather over in the UK has been amazing recently? That's a first! It's raining here in Oz, typical isn't it. Anyway, as it is now coming into summer I wanted to review the perfect summer product. Now I'm sure most of you have heard of this or even used this before but I have only recently started using this again and I have rekindled my love for it. As I'm in Oz at the minute, I have obviously been wearing things that show a little more skin so I have been slathering this on to give my skin a tanned glow. I realise I should be sunbathing and getting a real tan but quite frankly, I've had better things to be doing. Dove Summer Body is a gradual self tanner meaning when applied it has no colour but after a few hours it develops and leaves a subtle tan. I personally love to use this at night time, after I've showered and before I get into bed. This means I can put it on before I go to sleep and let it develop through the night. 
To be honest, I have tried a lot of these gradual tanners as I remember them being hyped about a few years ago. The most famous was probably the Johnson's one in the yellow bottle, do you remember that? Yes, it was good but personally I think this one is so much better. I buy the shade for normal to dark skin as I find it gives me a deeper tan after a few applications but there is also an option for light to medium skin if you are worried about going too dark. I especially think these products are great for people who are very pale and think a proper fake than will leave them orange. With this product you have a lot more control over the intensity of colour. If I use this once, it will add a subtle bronzed glow to my skin whereas when I apply it 2/3 times it develops into a deeper tan. This means I can apply as much as I want, depending on what kind of tan I'm after. Also, this tan is great for the face. I have often used fake tans on my face and woke up looking like a patchy brown mess. Due to this being a moisturiser, it glides on to the face perfectly and leaves me with a lovely even colour. I find my makeup looks much nicer if I have a used this the night before as well. Another thing I love about this is the smell. You may of noticed I'm always talking about the smell of products in my reviews but for me, its an important factor. I want the products I'm applying to make my skin not only look but smell lovely too. Well, this certainly doesn't disappoint in the smell stakes. Oh my goodness, it smells amazing. It really does smell like summer in a bottle - fruity and fresh. The texture of the lotion is quite thick but I like that as I feel it really helps moisturise the skin. It sinks into the skin pretty quickly and doesn't leave a sticky residue like some tanners/body lotions can. Just to top it all off, this product is exceptionally cheap. This huge 250ml bottle can be purchased on Amazon here for as little as 3.27, I best get stocked up. It is also available from all the usual places including Boots, Superdrug & most Supermarkets. 

Have you ever tried the Dove Gradual tanner? What do you think?

Lots of Love,

NARS Laguna Bronzer

Hey Ladies! I know you will have probably already seen a million reviews of the infamous NARS Laguna bronzer but I wanted to share my thoughts on it anyway. As you may of noticed, I have featured this in every favourites or FOTD I have posted on my blog. I would even go as far as saying this is my favourite high-end beauty product. I  use this every single time I apply my makeup and it the best bronzer I have ever used. It is the 'best' in my opinion for a few reasons. Firstly, I love the packaging of NARS products and feel so glam when pulling this out of my makeup bag. There is something so sleek and elegant about it and if I could afford everything from NARS, trust me, I'd have the lot. Secondly, I love the colour. You may be thinking, 'it's just a bronzer' but in my opinion you can go so wrong with a bronzer. Lets face it, nobody likes the oompah loompah look that some bronzers provide but luckily, Laguna does the opposite. Rather than providing an orange look, this bronzer creates a lovely bronzed glow. It has an almost matte finish making it perfect for contouring but it does contain very finely milled shimmer meaning it creates a glowy effect. If you are looking for a matte bronzer but are worried about it being too flat, this bronzer is perfect as it has the perfect balance between matte and shimmer. Nobody wants to look like a disco ball right?
As well as the actual product itself, I love how long this stuff lasts. When I have bought drugstore bronzers in the past they have only lasted me around a month. This bronzer typically lasts me 3-4 months and I have repurchased this 3 times so far. The only bad thing about this product of course is the price. Nobody wants to splash out £24.00 on a bronzer but trust me, it is worth it. This provides my face with exactly what it needs in a morning. It warms up my skin tone, gives me a subtle glow and defines my cheekbones. It really is one of my must-have products. Also, I can almost justify the price when I think about how long this lasts me. I think 3 months with everyday use is pretty good going. If you don't wear makeup everyday, of course it will last even longer. I've not been wearing makeup every day while I've been in Oz so I haven't even started to hit pan on this and I bought it 6 weeks ago. If you want to buy this wonderful product it is available on the NARS website, ASOS or Space NK.

Have you ever tried NARS Laguna? Do you love it as much as me?

OOTD - Checked 'Farmer' Shirt

Shirt - Universal
Vest - Primark
Shorts - Marks & Spencers
Belt - Missguided

Hey Ladies. I haven't done an OOTD in ages so I thought it was about time I got my butt into gear and posted one. To be honest, the pictures are totally rubbish because every time I tried taking one my camera wouldn't focus or the natural light was too bright and washed me out. Anyway, that aside, I'm sure you can get the idea from these okay-ish snaps. If you follow me on Twitter you will know I was recently tweeting about my new checked shirt and how much I loved it. Oh and the fact I look slightly farmerish but I still love it none the less. I picked up this shirt from a shop called Universal when I went to get my hair done in Brisbane last week. I went a darker shade of blonde but I'm not sure if you can tell in these pictures due to my messy up-do. I have wanted a checked shirt for a while now ever since seeing Mollie King from the Saturdays wearing one with denim shorts. She is definitely one of my style icons and I thought her outfit looked cool and casual. Of course I then decided I needed to add one to my wardrobe and have been on the hunt for the perfect one ever since. I love the colour and style of this one I bought and I didn't think twice about buying it when I saw it in the shop. I paired it with my denim shorts and a plain white vest, which I think makes a cute casual outfit. To finish the outfit off I threw on my Ray-ban style glasses which I am also loving at the moment. Again, sorry for the crappy pictures but I had to pick the best of a bad bunch. I am hopefully going to have another attempt at some outfit pictures this week so fingers crossed they turn out okay.

Do you like checked shirts? I hope you are all fabulous!

Lots of Love,

Making Over Mel


Hey Beautifuls! As you all have probably gathered by now, I am obsessed with beauty products and although I do enjoy applying makeup to to my own face, I much prefer applying it on other people. Ever since I was a youngster I have always done peoples makeup for them. I think it all began when I would bribe my younger cousins into letting me give them a 'makeover'. I look back now and think 'oh my goodness' as I would apply bright blue eyeshadow and bright pink lips. Thank god my tastes in makeup have evolved since then. Anyway, my friend Mel over here in Oz recently asked me if I would do her makeup before an engagement party we were both attending. I of course said yes and I wanted to share with you a few pictures so you can see my skills. I realise I'm no makeup artist but I still think I did a pretty nifty job for an amateur. Talking of makeup artists, I'm really beginning to think thats the career I should peruse. As much as I love Journalism, I don't think I would enjoy it unless I was a beauty journalist. I can't help thinking this is unlikely to happen due to the high competition out there so I'm thinking my next option could be a makeup artist? After all, I get great pleasure from makeup (hence the blog) and I imagine I would really enjoy working with it on a daily basis. As you can see from the pictures above, I laid out a selection of makeup and brushes on my dads kitchen table and set to work on making Mel look glam. To be honest, she looks great without makeup anyway so I was just enhancing her natural features. I know you'll be reading this Mel so thanks for letting me take pictures of your bare face to splash across the internet. As you can see, I went for a smokey gold/brown eye, peach cheeks and a bright coral lip. Mel was wearing a coral top for the party so she wanted something to compliment it. I think the bronzed/peach look definitely worked well with her outfit and the gold eyeshadow really brought out her bright green eyes. I also applied some lashes to really make her eyes 'pop' (what a cringey word!). Mel was like an excited little girl while I was doing her makeup and she couldn't wait to see the finished results. When she finally looked in the mirror she absolutely loved it and it was such a great feeling knowing I'd made someone feel good about themselves. She couldn't stop looking in the mirror and it was very flattering that she loved it so much. At the party she got endless compliments on her makeup and I was over the moon. She has even got my a proper paid makeup job as one of her friends loved it so much she wants hers doing. How exciting? I really enjoyed the whole experience of applying the makeup, seeing the difference in before and after and genuinely making someone feel fab about themselves. A definite success in my opinion. 

I hope you all had a great weekend! I'm not looking forward to getting up early tomorrow, aren't Mondays just the worst?

Lots of Love,

Sales Assistants - Polite or Pushy?

Image - weheartit

Hello Lovelies! Todays post is something a little bit different but something I wanted to share with you none the less. I'm going to start doing more of these 'lifestyle' type posts as I find it pretty interesting reading about other peoples day to day experiences, wether the subjects be trivial or serious. This post is going to be pretty trivial (we'll leave the serious stuff for another day ha!) and the topic I'd like to discuss is Sales Assistants. Now you may think this seems a strange thing to discuss but I wanted to get your opinions on Sales Assistants and the way the act when we are shopping. I realise most of you bloggers will be shopaholics like me so you may understand where I'm coming from when I say some of them do a darn good job at annoying the heck out of me. 
I was out shopping today at a local shopping centre when I spotted some jeans I liked in the window. I've been on the hunt for a new pair so I decided to go in and try them on. As soon as I walked into the shop the sales assistant was at me like a fly around shit poo. "Hi, How are you today?'. "Do you want me to take those in the changing room for you?". Now I realise you may think she's just being friendly but no, this chick was ready to pounce on me from the minute my foot entered the door. I replied with a short and almost snappy "I'm fine thanks" in the hope she would realise I was trying to have a nice browse but no, she persisted. I made my way into the changing rooms to try on the jeans and I hear a voice over the door calling "Are you okay?", "Can I get you anymore colours or styles in those?". Again, I retaliated with "I'm fine thanks". I then decide enough is enough, i'm sick of being pestered and I just want to leave the shop. I make my way out of the changing rooms and she's straight over asking me if they are any good and basically implying I should buy them. She began showing me different colours and styles and I just though to myself 'Here we go again'. I wasn't planning on buying anything so I handed them back to her and said "I'm going to have a think about it and I might come back later". I certainly wasn't planning on buying them or coming back later but she had been so pushy and eager, I almost didn't want to let her down. In my opinion, we shouldn't have to be made to feel like this when we are out shopping. Don't get me wrong, I realise this girl is just trying to do her job and has probably been programmed to speak to every customer like this by her even more pushy manager but seriously, let me shop in peace and at my own leisure.
I realise some of you and I myself have worked as sales assistants so I realise the pressure on these girls to sell the products. I have worked in Topshop and French Connection and in my opinion they were nightmare jobs. Most girls would dream of working in a nice clothes shop but aside from getting freebies/discount, it was awful. Everyday we would be told to 'sell, sell, sell' and pounce on every customer by awful managers that only cared about their 'add on sales'. Of course I had no problem with greeting people and asking them if they needed a hand, thats just common curtosy but what I was uncomfortable with was pestering people. It's just not me and the way I see it is if someone is going to buy something, they will buy it. If they have come shopping for a dress, they most likely do not want a whole new wardrobe. If they did, they would be on the phone to Trinny and Susannah or Gok. Pestering, pushy antics will not persuade someone to buy an item of clothing. If anything (well in my opinion), it will put them off. 
As well as pushiness, theres just something really fake about some sales assistants and their whole 'OMG, it looks SO nice' attitude. Quite clearly I would look better in a bin bag so lets get read hear. When I worked in retail, I would always be honest with the customers. Yes, I may 'lose a sale' but so what? I'd rather lose a sale than fool someone into buying something that is clearly two sizes too small, clings to all the wrong places and looks unflattering on them. I realise this is a total random and ranty post but I have been left annoyed by one too many sales assistants lately. I'm sure they are worse in Australia too so if any of you reading this are Aussies please let me know if this is a common thing here? For example, me and my Step-Mum went to get our hair done in Brisbane the other day and before our appointments we decided to have a little shop. We went into a shop called 'Universal' and oh my days the girl in their would not leave us alone. Even when we were in the changing rooms she was throwing things over the top that had no relevance to the items we were trying on. One included a hideous jumper with a huge love heart on the front which she kindly informed me was new in today. No thanks. She even said "what are you trying on now?" the nosey blooming parker. My step mum was also getting irate as she was trying to make her try on mini skirts when she had taken in two maxi skirts. How this girl thought that was similar is beyond me? I did end up buying a checked shirt but when she saw I was only buying one item her attitude suddenly changed and she was fairly rude towards me. She packed my bags in a hurry, didn't say thank you when I handed my cash over and looked at me with a stuck up little grin. When we left the shop I had a huge rant and thought to myself, isn't shopping supposed to be fun? This is when I had the idea to write this post. 
I wanted to share with you my experiences and see if you have found yourselves in any similar situations? I am by no means saying all sales assistants do this and some can be very, very helpful but one thing I do find massively irritating is being forced into buying things or feeling guilty if I don't spend enough money. If I like something, I'll try it on. If i need another size, I'll ask. If I want something, I'll buy it. Its quite simple really. As long as you greet me with a warm welcome and let me know your there if I do need anything, I'm happy. Other than that, please just leave me to enjoy a browse instead of trying to sell me your whole shop. 

Do you find pushy sales assistants irritating like me or am I just being a moany miss? Are they just trying to be polite? Please do let me know your thoughts and opinions so I don't bite off the next pushy sales assistants head!

On a plus note, its Friday which means it's the weekend. Yay! Enjoy!

Lots of Love,

© Couture Girl

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