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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bedroom Design Trends For 2015


CHECK OUT THESE BEDROOM DESIGN TRENDS FOR 2015
  FROM NATURAL TIMBERS TO BOLD COLOURS...

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The new year is the perfect time to rethink your domestic decor and where better to start than your bedroom? There are plenty of interesting and exciting interior design trends to watch out for in 2015 and by staying ahead of the curve, you can create the best possible boudoir. Here are some style ideas that are likely to dominate over the coming 12 months.

LUXURY RULES
MINIMALISM AND MODESTY

There’s a place for minimalism and modesty, but your bedroom’s not it - certainly not in 2015 anyway. This year is all about indulgence and lavish design touches, meaning you have the perfect excuse to really go to town when you’re choosing your furniture and accessories. Don’t be afraid to invest in a standout bed with a real wow factor. Perhaps a four poster would make the ideal addition to your room, or maybe an ornate French-style creation would be better. There’s certainly no shortage of options. Don’t forget to top your bed with a luxury mattress too. As well as looking the part, these items will help you to get a great night’s sleep.

Other fabulous furniture options include an elegant chaise longue and a decadent dresser complete with multi-panel mirror. By purchasing products like these for your bedroom, you can make the ultimate style statement.

BOLD COLOURS
DEEP BLUES, VIBRANT GREENS AND BRIGHT ORANGE

Bold colours are also big news this year. Deep blues, vibrant greens and bright oranges are all bang-on trend. If you don’t want to put these striking colours on your walls, you can opt for a neutral paint or wallpaper and then accessorise your space with vivid window dressings, bedding, cushions, rugs and artwork.

Try offsetting vibrant hues with darker tones too. For example, oranges and pinks can look fantastic next to charcoal grey.

NATURAL TIMBERS
STRIPPED FLOORS AND PLANKED WALLS

Wood is nothing new in the world of interior design, but designers are bringing it back with a vengeance this season. It’s appearing in everything from stripped floors to planked walls. This means now could be the time to rip up any tired old carpets in favour of this natural look. Bear in mind though, soft rugs are a must if you go for timber flooring.

LESS IS MORE
OVERCROWDING IS A BIG-NO

Although luxury is a major theme in 2015, don’t be tempted to bust your budget cramming too many items into your bedroom. Less is most definitely more in the world of interior design right now. Select a small number of top-quality pieces and let them do the talking. Overcrowding is a big no-no. As well as being easy to create, minimalist rooms can have a soothing, relaxing effect that’s spot-on in this part of the home.

These are just some of the trends to look out for when you’re revamping your bedroom this year. However, bear in mind that there are no hard and fast rules. After all, it’s your space and you should feel free to do whatever you like with it.

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EMMA MATTHEWS
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Go From Day To Night With BaByliss



TWO EASY STYLES THAT LET YOU GO FROM DAY TO NIGHT
  USING THE BABYLISS DIAMOND HAIR STRAIGHTENERS

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I've recently teamed up with BaByliss haircare to show you how you can create two effortless hairstyles that take you from day to night. Hands up, I admit when it comes to hair I'm lazy. Half the time I end up either throwing it up in a messy bun, which quickly resembles a Troll Doll, or I quickly brush it five minutes before I have to leave in house in bid to look somewhat presentable. That being said, thankfully for me and you, BaByliss' new Diamond Radiance range is full of dryers, straighteners and stylers that help you create polished, chic looks in minutes.

For this tutorial I used the BaByliss Diamond Hair Straighteners. Priced at £79.95, the straighteners are perfect for both curling your locks and, as the name suggests, making them straight. In my two looks I've given you the option of doing both. Not only does this highlight how great the tool actually it but it also offers flexibility and caters for a variety of hair types. Let's begin, shall we?!


The photo on the left shows you what my hair was like before this tutorial. Naturally, I have a subtle wave to my hair, so often I find it hard to style it straight without some form of moose or hot tool. First I started off by parting my hair in sections. Once I had done this I began to run the tool down the length of my hair, straightening it in the process.

As I said before, I have very little experience when it comes to styling hair. The most I've used is a pair of GHDs back when I was a teenager. I always remember they were the 'in' product back in secondary school and you wouldn't dream of getting another brand of straighteners, as GHDs could instantly make your locks pin straight in seconds. Of course, that was a good few years ago, so I was surprised to see how far competing companies like BaByliss have come.

The Diamond straighteners worked just as well if not better than my old go-to. They were hot enough to create a style which stuck, however weren't so hot they would leave your hair with that horrible smoky smell that everyone hates. In addition the price is amazing and looking back I would have definitely picked these over GHDs.


After straightening my hair, I backcombed a small section of the top of my head. This gave me enough volume to create a quiff which I pinned back with bobby pins and hair slides. Naturally, I didn't want to go too Elvis with this hairstyle as I wanted a hairstyle that could be worn every day. In order to avoid this and tone down the quiff, I added extra bobby pins to the sides of my hair to create a rounded shape. This can be seen in the third photo where the subtle beehive shape is really emphasised.



Once I finished pinning strands back. I parted the rest of my hair to create the finished look you can see in the photo above. Overall I was extremely happy with the results and felt that you could easily wear a look like this to college, work or even a casual lunch. I'm always cautious that pin straight hair makes me look a lot younger than I actually am, but by adding volume to the top I feel it's created a maturer style that I can easily pull off. 


For the next look, I wanted to show you how the tool can double up as a curler. Talk about getting the most for your money. The photo in the top left hand corner shows you my hair before I started curling it. Having just brushed it out from the previous hairstyle, as you can see it's pin straight however has a fair amount of volume due to the amount of products I've used on it today. 

I feel volume is extremely important for this look and anytime I plan on creating it, whether that be for a night our or special occasion, try not to do it straight after I've washed my locks. Instead I aim to do it on the second day. That way my hair won't be too fluffy and I can style it extremely easily.

For those of you who have had little experience curling hair with straighteners (don't worry I was in the same boat) bear with it as it does take a little practise. Essentially what you want you're aiming to do is grab a section of hair and slowly turn it within the two plates of the tool. The longer you leave your hair between the plates the tighter the curl.  For this look, I didn't start at my scalp as I wanted the majority of the curls to be towards the bottom half of my hair. Therefore I used the tool from my shoulder down and slowly turned my hair in it until I achieved the curl in the picture on the right. 



I continued with this until I was happy with the amount of waves in my hair and then I sprayed it with Lee Stafford Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray. This is a product I've been using for years and it definitely helps when it comes to creating boho style waves, in comparison to more prim and polished ones. Once I sprayed it on both sides of my hair, I scrunched my locks up like you can see in the image above. I did this a few times on each side before letting go and ruffling them out. 


Once the spray dried, not only did my hair smell amazing but it also left me with the gorgeous waves you can see in the image above. In the first photo, you can see a before and after comparison. Add a bold lip colour and voila you're good to go and party the night away. 

I'm not one to harp on about how great a product is just to please a brand or specific PR company, so you can trust me when I say my opinions are truthful. Honestly I couldn't believe how well the Diamond Hair Straighteners actually worked. They were easy to use and created flexible styles that even the most clueless bloggers can create (a.k.a me). But I want to hear what you think! Do you like the sound of this product? What style do you prefer? Would you like to see me to do more tutorials in the future? Let me know in the comments below. 

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Win A Bundle Of John Frieda Goodies


FANCY WINNING A EXCLUSIVE BUNDLE OF FIZZ EASE JOHN FRIEDA GOODIES?
  OF COURSE YOU DO

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Get ready girls, I've teamed up with John Frieda to give you the chance of winning a bundle of their brand new Frizz Ease haircare products. What a better way to kick start the new year?

Ideal for those of us who need a little help taming our locks, the prize includes the brand's Smooth Start Hydrating Conditioner, Smooth Start Hydrating Shampoo and 3 Day Straight Semi Permanent Styling Spray.

To enter all you need to do is fill in the form below and follow Beauty and Rags on Bloglovin. In addition you can earn extra entries by following my social media accounts. The winner will be picked on Friday 27th February. Good luck!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Meet Emily In Barbour's New Campaign


BARBOUR HAVE LAUNCHED A NEW ONLINE CAMPAIGN
  HERE'S EMILY AND HER BARBOUR STORY

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Decked out in lashings of tartan, knitwear, and statement quilted jackets, luxury clothing label Barbour have released a new online campaign that gives you a behind the scenes look at their customers. 

Targeted at a variety of age groups, the campaign centres around a Tumblr site called Barbour People. On the site fan's can scroll through years worth of photos of Barbour's previous devotees as well as have the the opportunity to upload their own look. Camera's at the ready girls!

In addition, the label have also released a series of films about some of their vibrant customers. An artist from Oxfordshire, Emily loves the great outdoors and has a passion for painting people. In the video she talks about how she never meets the subject of her work. Instead she keeps her distance and sketches them from afar. 

You can watch the video in full below. Let me know what you think of the campaign in the comments below. Would you upload a photo to Barbour People?


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EMMA MATTHEWS
BARBOUR PEOPLE
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Monday, February 09, 2015

What I've Been Listening To


EIGHT TRACKS I JUST CAN GET ENOUGH OF THIS JANUARY
  INCLUDING ROYAL BLOOD,  FOO FIGHTERS, FALL OUT BOY AND MORE

FEATURING:

LITTLE MONSTER - ROYAL BLOOD
IMMORTALS - FALL OUT BOY
BLANK SPACE - TAYLOR SWIFT
SPEAKING IN TONGUES - YOUNG GUNS
READ MY MIND - THE KILLERS
OUTSIDE - FOO FIGHTERS
UPTOWN FUNK - MARK RONSON
ELASTIC HEART - SIA

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With five reviews and three features currently stacked up in my inbox, it's fair to say I've been to a quite a few gigs this week. From brash rock to more buoyant pop, it's no surprise that after a gig there's bound to be a flurry of tracks you just can't get out of your head. Yes, Fall Out Boy I'm looking at you.

Having spend the past few days annoying the death out of my housemates by having them stuck on repeat for what feels like the 46378 time, I thought it was time to share them with you in a February playlist. Sure, it might not be full of quirky love anthems or die hard Titanic classics, but it's a singletons take on the holiday and believe me when I say I'd probably have more fun rocking out to a Dave Grohl track than I would on the Isle of Fernandos anyway. I hope you enjoy them and don't forget to let me know your favourite one in the comments below. 

















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Sunday, February 08, 2015

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit





CONTOUR LIKE A PRO WITH THE ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS CONTOUR PALETTE.
  WHO SAID TRYING TO BE A KARDASHIAN WAS HARD?

FEATURING:


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There's no denying it, ever since the Kardashians made their TV debut way back in 2007 they've taken the beauty world by storm. From thick, shiny locks to flirty, statement eyelashes, they've pretty much nailed every girl's dream beauty routine. But in midst of the winged eyeliner, smokey eyeshadow and in more recent months statement lipstick, arguably the sisters most talked about feature is their cheekbones. Yes Kim, I'm looking at you.

But don’t fret girls it’s not all natural. After posting an Instagram snap early last year, her contouring secrets were revealed. Resulting in a storm of products being bought out to help us achieve the look. One of those is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit. A seek palette that features six blendable powders to help define and sculpt features, it’s arguably the most popular contouring product out right now, so naturally when I visited America last month I picked one up and decided to try it out. But does it live up to the hype? Let’s discuss.


COLOURS AND TEXTURE

There are two contour kits to choose from. There’s Light to Medium and Medium to Tan. Due to me being fairly pale, I opted for the first one and am surprisingly satisfied with the colours. Initially I thought they would be far to dark, particularly the bottom row that features Havana, Banana and Sand as they’re a mix of various oranges and browns. However when blended well they can create a carved, bronze look that even the palest people can pull off. Trust me.

On the top row, there’s three lighter shades, which are ideal for highlighting. The first one’s called Java and is a matte pale pink that can be used to lighten various areas of your face. Next you’ve got Vanilla, which is a yellower equivalent to Java. Finally, there’s Fawn. Unlike the other two, this hue has got a shimmer to it and can create stubble sparkle that looks great on your cheekbones and front of your nose.

Personally, I use Banana to shape my cheekbone, followed by Java to lighten under my eyes and Fawn to highlight the bridge of my nose. I feel these colours suit me best on a day-to-day basis, however there is plenty of scope if you wanted to go lighter or dark depending on the time of year and how tanned you are.



APPLICATION PROCESS

Alongside the contour kit, I decided to purchase a brush to go with it. In the end I opted for the Sephora Pro Contour Brush #75, which was $30. I’ve previously used Sephora brushes and feel that they're great value for money in comparison to more expensive brands like MAC. As expected, this buy is no different. The brush is amazing to use and can easily buff colours out and blend lines. Equally, the handle is sturdy and the bristles are extremely soft and aren’t harsh on your face. Talk about double win. 

The only issue I do have using it is contouring my nose. I can’t define the bridge of my nose very well due to it being quite large. However it can easily be overcome by applying the powder with a smaller eye shadow brush and using the larger contour brush to buff it out. Overall, I still think it’s an excellent buy and if you plan on getting this palette would be a worthy addition to your makeup bag.



THE RESULTS

So the big question is ‘would I buy this product again?’ and the honest answer is yes. I’m not a massive fan of trying out new base products like foundations, concealers, blushers or bronzers. Mostly because my skin is always prone to acne and I don’t like experimenting too much incase a new buy leads to a break out or results in a rash. However, I’m so glad I plucked up the courage to try this palette. 

As briefly mentioned before it’s ideal to use when you’re going out for the night or simply want to spruce up your everyday makeup routine. In the image above, you can see briefly how I used it to create an everyday makeup look. There’s nothing particularly fancy or extravagant to it and as I was only off to University I didn't feel the need to go as far as a Kardashian. However, I did use Banana on my cheeks, which you can see make them look a lot more defined.

I plan on doing a lot more with this palette in the future. Particularly a post featuring a more dramatic, contoured look. In the meantime, I hope it gives you an overview on the things you can do and the colours featured.  Let me know what you think of it in the comments below.

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