Tuesday, September 02, 2014

CARRIE ELSPETH AW14 JEWELLERY










CRYSTAL SENTIMENT BRACELET BLACK: £12.50*
CRYSTAL SENTIMENT BRACELET WHITE: £12.50*
CRYSTAL SENTIMENT BRACELET PINK: £12.50*
RAINBOW CELEBRATION NECKLACE: £14.40*
RAINBOW CELEBRATION BRACELET: £12.50*
RAINBOW CELEBRATION EARRINGS: £9.99*

Recently I've been on the hunt for quality jewellery that will last a lifetime. Sure, everyone loves a cheap buy, but there's nothing more disheartening than your favourite ring turning green after too many wears or your go-to necklace breaking due to the chain being weak! Thankfully, all of that's about the change with Carrie Elspeth Jewellery. A brand that I've only recently discovered, the label create beautiful pieces that merge together quality and style at an affordable price.

Handmade in Wales, I was recently sent a few pieces from Carrie Elspeth's new autumn/winter range and love the designs. The first piece I received was the Rainbow Celebration set. A vibrant design that incorporates a variety of colours, the set features a bracelet, necklace and matching pair of earrings.

The beads themselves are made from Czech glass, with a coating that absorbs light and emits a warm glow. Sounds like a dream right? A statement piece, it can easily be teamed up for day wear or evening wear. In fact, I plan on wearing mine next week when I go out for birthday drinks with a good friend of mine.

Alongside the Rainbow Celebration set, I also received three bracelet's from the label's Crystal Sentiment range. The range features 9 dainty bracelets, three of which you can see in the photo above. Again the beads are made from Czech glass and have a polished sparkle to them. They also feature a variety of different sterling silver charms. Mounted onto pearlised card which has a unique messaged printed across it, they're a lovely little keepsake that can be given to a loved one or friend.

Overall I love Carrie Elspeth's pieces. I think the designs are great for creating a bold look that can be dressed up or dressed down. Equally, all the materials used to make the designs are quality, with the clasps and chains being incredibly sturdy. Price wise the pieces are affordable, with the necklace, bracelet and earrings in the Rainbow Celebration set being sold for £14.50, £12.50 and £9.99. In addition the bracelets in the Crystal Sentiment range are only £12.50. Bargain! You can shop the range at CarrieElspeth.com, in the meantime let me know what you think in the comments below.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews
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Monday, September 01, 2014

TIGI REPARATIVE NOCTURNAL THERAPY




TIGI are known for their fun loving attitude and punchy hair products. Sure, to give you a laugh with their quirky descriptions if nothing else, the brand have shot to the forefront of haircare by creating quality products that really do work. My favourite brand of theirs has to be BedHead. After all what girl can resist bright, statement packaging and a product that does exactly what is says on the tin? Or should I say bottle?

Recently I got offered the chance to move away from my usual BedHead products and try out some newbies from the TIGI Reborn Hair range. I didn't need to be asked twice and judging from my previous experience with the brand jumped at the chance.

The first product I received was the TIGI Hair Reborn Reparative Nocturnal Therapy Hair Treatment. The product is a treatment which aims to rejuvenate damaged hair by targeting the cuticle and helping the areas which need it most. Made from a keratin-kervis babassu oil, the treatment is applied when you go to bed. All you need to do is apply 2 to 3 pumps into your hands and apply from the middle to the end of your hair. In the morning, you'll awake with healthy looking hair and you simply wash and condition as you usually would after any other treatment. Sounds like a dream right?

Overall I love the idea of the product and for £26.95 you can't go wrong. My hair isn't in the best condition. It's not dry or brittle by any means however I do suffer from split ends, strays and flyways. There' no denying it, it's hardly in Hollywood condition and I'm the first to admit it needs a good, thorough treatment at times. However my own bug bearer with hair treatments if the fact I'm busy and some brand just don't seem to understand that! 'Apply and leave for three hours in the day,' That sounds great, but I'm hardly a stay at home Mum who has heaps of time on her hands - no offence to all you Mum's out there. Instead, I'm running about here, there and everywhere, barely having time to eat let alone wait around for three and a half hours for a treatment to work. So for me offering a unique product that is designed to work at night is ideal. But does it work?

I first tried the treatment last night and my hair has never felt healthier. Admittedly I did get it trimmed just a few days ago, so no doubt that has helped with the silky smooth feeling, but in general there's not many knots and it didn't have the 'run your fingers through' feeling it did before the treatment. My strands are no longer sticking up in all directions and for once it's easy to brush, even with a comb! In the past when I've used oil based hair treatments my locks have been left feeling greasy a few days after and/or it's taken several washes to get the product out. However with TIGI's version, as long as you stick to the guideline of 2-3 pumps, styling and washing your hair will be hassle free. Stay turned for the second part of my TIGI review later this week. In the meantime, let me know what you think of the TIGI Hair Reborn Reparative Nocturnal Therapy Hair Treatment in the comments below.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

5 TOP SPA TREATMENTS



THE MOST RELAXING SPA TREATMENTS ON THE MARKET 

Sometimes, we all need to escape the stresses and strains of everyday life and take the time to indulge in some well-deserved pampering and relaxation. More and more health-focussed therapies are now designed not only to alleviate muscle pain and tackle ailments, but also to offer a calming and therapeutic experience that aims to relax both body and mind. For example, if you’re keen to enjoy spa days in London, you can head to leading hotels such as The Landmark London. It offers an array of luxury health and spa facilities, combining the latest techniques with stimulating products to relieve tension and promote inner peacefulness.

If you’re unsure which treatment would be best for you, here are some of the most soothing spa therapies available on the market today:

HOT STONE MASSAGE

Hot natural stones, usually basalt, are used to relax tight muscles and relieve aches and pains. This innovative massage can be tailored to suit individual needs and health conditions by targeting the body’s specific pressure points where tension gathers. It is ideal for people who lead busy lifestyles and who are looking to re-energise.

Usually accompanied by aromatic oils and corrective massage techniques, the treatment works to soothe the body’s core muscles and stimulate the deep tissues. The heated stones create a gentle sensation of warmth that works to improve circulation and induce a feeling of pure relaxation.The stones are usually placed along the back but can also be used by the therapist as tools to massage specific areas of body to rebalance the body and mind.

HERBAL BAG THERAPY 

Using ancient massage techniques, this rejuvenating therapy involves warm bags filled with compressed herbs and seaweed. Using gentle circular motions, the therapist massages the bags into the body to nourish and revitalise. As the bags are pushed around the back, they continually exfoliate and recondition the top layers of skin whilst stimulating the deep tissues.

While releasing an infusion of relaxing aromas, the calming properties of the herbs help to foster a feeling of peace and to improve the body’s metabolism. The soaked bags effectively detoxify the skin, re-energise fatigued muscles and increase the body’s circulation. Many spa therapists will be able to customise the treatment to include camomile oils for maximum tranquility.

BODY WRAP

This all-inclusive body treatment provides the opportunity to truly unwind. Simply sit back and relax as your therapist gently bandages your body with natural, organic elements, usually in the form of seaweed, algae or peat, all high in antioxidants and purifying minerals.

Combined with essential oils, the wrap works to hydrate tired skin, soothe lethargic muscles and combat the signs of aging. The wrap also works to comfortably raise your body’s temperature to eradicate toxins and ensure that the purifying properties are absorbed into the skin. For the ultimate tranquil experience, you can opt for a special muscle-relaxer wrap or even combine your treatment with a soothing scalp massage. Once the therapy is complete, your entire body will feel instantly revived with visible results.

ORIENTAL HEAD MASSAGE

Using traditional oriental massage techniques, this deeply relaxing scalp therapy pays particular attention to the areas around the scalp that are prone to a buildup of tension. Using aromatic oils and invigorating, rhythmic movements, the therapist will work to stimulate pressure points around the shoulders, neck and head to help induce a sense of calm and mental repose.

Primarily used to calm the mind, the massage aims to relieve headaches and drain the stresses and strains of everyday life for an improved sense of wellbeing. Depending on your condition, the massage can be tailored to be as gentle or as vigorous as you desire.

FOOTBATH AND MASSAGE

Everyday, we place a large amount of strain on the lower half of our bodies, so much so that it’s extremely common for feet and ankles to become fatigued and subject to puffiness and pain. With the aim of rejuvenating this neglected area of the body, a typical foot spa will include a cleanse and soak in a warm footbath, followed by an exfoliation.

The lower legs and feet will then be treated to a relaxing warm massage or acupuncture session, topped off with a hydrating mineral mask that gently works to reduce swelling, promote healthy circulation and revive tired muscles.

This type of treatment is ideal if you are suffering from circulatory problems around the ankles and feet or have a general foot ailment.

WORDS: Anon
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

MAC PRO LONGWEAR CONCEALER









I've previously spoken about my battle with foundations, where a spot of acne left scars across my cheeks. Since I've been very skeptical when it comes to shaking up my makeup routine and introducing new base products into the equation. After all, no girl wants a break out when they're in their 20s. However in midst of the skin paranoia and endless attempts of covering up those scars, there's been one product that's stuck by my side through thick and thin: MAC Pro Longwear Concealer.

Priced at £17, it's one product that I live by and I can honestly say I'd be lost without it. Hence why I'm still buying it after the £4 price increase. Ouch. Overall the solution is great for full coverage and is amazing if you suffer from acne or scarring. The liquid itself isn't the lightest of products, however unlike other foundations it's easy to blend and gives skin a soft dewy finish - as you can see in the photos above.

When I've used previous products in the past I've always found thick concealers look 'cakey' on your face and it gives the impression you've applied your base products with a shovel. Not a good look. Thankfully MAC's Pro Longerwar does none of that. I blend the product with my MAC foundation brush and often find a little goes a long way.

Currently I only need one pump of the formula to cover my whole face. However in the past I've used anything up to four - I know, I know, it was probably the result of too much alcohol and a poor diet - and the look has still been flawless.

If you suffer from acne or poor skin I'd definitely recommend the buy for you. I've been using it for 2 years now and believe me when I say it works wonders. Fortunately my skin has cleared up a lot since I was a teenager but when I do suffer from the odd break out I know Pro Longwear is always on hand to help boost my confidence. But what do you think? Have you ever used it? Leave a comment below.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Friday, August 29, 2014

RARE LONDON




RARE LONDON

BLACK PU STRAPPY SKATER DRESS: £38*
NEW LOOK PLATFORM HEELS: £10
REGAL ROSE CRESCENT NECKLACE: £16*

I've got to admit taking outfit photos outside on a windy day was hardly my best idea. Recently I was sent this lovely dress from Rare London. The ideal party must-have, the dress is a statement black PU skater dress with small cut out detail and back zip fastening. Ideal for both everyday and evening wear, I plan on teaming it up with a pair of heels for the night-time hours - as you can see in the picture above - and pair of ankle boots for the day. Let me know what you think of the look in the comments below. In the meantime, I'm going to be working on how to take half decent OOTD photos. Wish me luck!

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

HOW TO MAKEOVER YOUR BATHROOM


COOL ADDITIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN STYLING YOUR BATHROOM

Have dramatic home makeover shows and glossy interior design magazines left you feeling inspired? Perhaps a little too inspired that you want to jazz up your bathroom and splurge a little? With a few quirky and innovative furniture and fittings from bathroom stores, you can do just that. But before you go on a shopping spree, you need a game plan. You need to know exactly what you want. To find out some of the trendiest tips, read below!

HOW TO CREATE STORAGE AND SOPHISTICATION 

In a busy household, you may find the central bathroom in a complete mess after the first day of the week. Keeping this tidy but elegant can be a challenge. But not when you have a storage cabinet. Depending on the size and colour of your bathroom, storage cabinets are a great addition to your bathroom as you can easily store towels, brushes and other bath amenities in one corner.

A NEAT ARTWORK

Are you going to have your parents over soon and want to show off a bit? Splendid. Purchasing an original artwork for the bathroom is simple and effective. Whether it’s an abstract painting or a black and white photograph, an artwork can anchor in the textures and the fittings of your bathroom. Handy Hint: If you have a white bathroom with contrasting tiles, purchase a monochromatic artwork to tie both of these elements together, and create a focal point for the room.

AN ELEGANT LIGHT FEATURE

The light in a room can change the whole atmosphere of the environment. And with numerous bathroom lights to choose from, you’ll be beaming in happiness. Looking for a light fixture near your vanity area? Try and select a light feature that goes well with the other fittings of the bathroom. For example, if you have quite an elegant and sophisticated bathroom - given away by your Italian bath tub – then an antique light with a metallic finish can accompany the chic fittings of your bathroom. Once you’ve found the right light for your bathroom, you’ll be thinking of any excuse to stay in there! Perhaps a brush after ever meal?

SHOWERS AND TUBS

You want your bathroom to be relaxing and enjoyable, and what’s better than a nice, hot shower or bath after a long day at work? To really enjoy your bathroom, you can upgrade your bathtub faucets and shower heads into something a little more luxurious and pleasurable. Think steam showers, handheld shower heads and egg-shaped bathtubs. Don’t forget to add a fresh loofah and bath salts in the shopping list! Before you bust out the renovating tools, it pays to talk to a specialist plumber like Capital Plumbing. You might find that your dream for having a claw-foot bathtub isn’t exactly practical in your current space.

ADD A TOUCH OF COLOUR AND TEXTURE

Do you want a bathroom that’s easy on the eyes? Splendid. If you have a bathroom that attracts copious natural light, contrast this by adding calming tones such as light oranges, browns, mint greens or shades of blue. Having a balance of both the light and darker colours, will create a richness in texture. For those finishing touches, purchase rug sets that compliment with the material of your flooring and the overall colour scheme.

Simple and cost-effective additions to your bathroom can improve the overall aesthetic and appeal of your bathroom. Do you have any other innovative ideas? Feel free to share them by commenting below!

WORDS: Anon
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

DON BROCO IN BOURNEMOUTH






DON BROCO IN BOURNEMOUTH

If there’s one band that will leave you feeling as if you’ve just endured an assiduous workout, it’s Don Broco. Known for their signature ‘walk’ and robust habit of doing mid-set push ups, the Bedford four-piece run a slick operation that merges together off kilter dance moves with a vigorous sound. Sure some of the moves look like they could have been stolen from your Mum’s Zumba class, but as the first chord of pumped up anthem ‘Yeah Man’ marked their arrival at Bournemouth’s Sound Circus the enthusiastic crowd knew they were in for it.

“I need you to make some space around the back. Push it out.” Yelled front man Rob Damiani as the rambunctious backbeat of classic ‘Thug Workout’ echoed off the walls of the dingy confines. Powering fans through intense riffs, provided by guitarist Simon Delaney, and roaring cymbals, courtesy of Matt Donnelly, the song’s confidence did nothing but infuse the crowd with a sense of urgency. Soaring into ‘Whole Truth’, bodies collided in a rapid pit as they scrambled to the front to see Damiani, who played the archetypal, rock star encouraging every minute of it. Belting out each chorus with as much anthemic nature as the next, his stage presence alone highlights how Don Broco truly deserve their fans’ bold admiration.

As the band continued with a new, yet to be named track, the adrenaline of the room remained high. “We played this song for the first time yesterday in Brighton and it’s a brand new one. Literally, it still doesn’t have a name yet,” explained the vocalist. Erupting the audience into an unruly frenzy, fans clapped along to the track’s captivating backbone that blended together audacious riffs with shout-along group harmonies.  Taken from their forthcoming record, that’s expected to be released next year, if the offering is anything to go by fans shouldn’t be worried that the band’s impartially quiet summer has squandered any potential. If anything, they’re boisterous sound and captivating live performances are sure to break us out in a sweat for months to come. Thankfully gym gear and trainers are optional.

WORDS: Emma Matthews

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

HOW TO BE AN ORGANISED BLOGGER


HOW TO BE AN ORGANISED BLOGGER

There are two types of bloggers: the ones who do it as a hobby and the ones who want to make a career out of it. Nothing is wrong with either sort - after all we all blog for our own individual reasons - however one element which remains key regardless of your reasons is organisation. For me, blogging is a somewhat tactical yet extremely fun, game plan and keeping on top of that game is key. From checklists to calendars, personally I love organising and there's no way I'd be able to post the quantity I do without some sort of structure/plan. Sure it may be hard to follow sometimes, especially during hectic weeks, but I'd be lost without one. If you want to up your organisation game or just read about what I do, I've put together a list of tips on how to be an organised blogger. Enjoy!

MAKE LISTS

Before you even think about writing a post it's important to make a list of all your ideas. This allows you to prepare for the week ahead and also prioritise posts that you need to get up ASAP. I often keep lists in both a notebook and on my iPad and they're a great way of keeping tabs on ideas. As well as writing down the idea it's also a good idea to colour code it or rank it. For example some posts are seasonal, so there's no point doing a back to school post in October when everyone goes back in September. Equally why put up a festival fashion post in mid-February? It's not going to work!

PLAN, PLAN AND PLAN AGAIN

Planning is key and I cannot stress it enough. You should always be a week a head and know exactly what's being posted on what day. If you're a daily blogger like me, I'd even invest in buying a calendar. That way you can jot down what posts are going live on what days. Not only does this help improve the variety of content you're posting - after all there's only so many lipstick reviews a girl can read in a week! - but it also helps you keep on top of things such as product samples of sponsored posts. I've been fortunate enough to receive a lot of different products in the past few months but am aware I can't, nor would I want to, constantly post review after review of gifted products. Keeping a calendar allows me to shake things up. By knowing what's going up each day I can publish advice posts, like this, to posts where I've been gifted items or products. Case in point: yesterdays post! It's also great for your PR connections. Just from experience, PRs love it when you tell them exactly when the post is going live. I always try to make mine within a week of receiving the product and planning allows me to do that.

KEEP A POSTING SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT

Linking in to my point about buying a calendar, it's important to keep a schedule and stick to it. I post daily. For me this works well and I can guarantee my readers at least one post a day. Not only does that allow for steady-traffic, but it also guarantees that there will be fresh content on my blog for followers to read every day. I know most people can't post every day, it takes a lot of work and can be time consuming, but try to establish how often you can post and stick to it. For example, maybe your readers can expect a music mixtape every Friday or a beauty post every Monday. Even if it's just once a week, it at least gives readers something to look forward to and read on a regular basis.

WRITE A BATCH OF POSTS IN ONE GO

Often I write my posts in one go. This means I'll sit down and dedicate a day a week to write up seven or eight different posts. Not only does this allow me to have the rest of the week free and work on other ideas, but it also allows me to stick to my schedule. Equally I don't even need to be around to publish the posts as I can just schedule them in advance. Take this post for instance, I wrote this on Monday along with tomorrows! So there we have it, my organisation tips. I hope you found them useful. Leave yours in the comments below.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

RMK MAKEUP







RMK MAKEUP

I'm a sucker for trying out new beauty brands. From a must have lipstick to brand new palette,  I own far too much makeup and am constantly on the hunt for trying out more. Recently I was contacted by cosmetic company RMK and asked to review a few bits and bobs from their new AW14 collection. Prior to this post, I hadn't heard of RMK but after a little digging and Internet snooping I was surprised to find out they're actually pretty big, especially in America and Japan. 

The brand have the slogan, 'Revealing the best and most beautiful you!' and that's exactly what they aim to do. Holding roots within the New York makeup circuit, they're constantly turning out vibrant seasonal collections that include bold eyeshadows, shiny cheek colours and dazzling lipsticks - all of which have fresh scents and edible ingredients. I'm not too sure about eating my favourite lipstick, but each to their own.

Alongside the assortment of theatrical colours, RMK also have a range of liquid foundation that was launched in 1997. Crafted from a special formula, the foundation takes pride in showcasing the brand's signature for dewy, natural skin. Now that I like the sound of!

The first piece I received from RMK was the Matte Shiny Eye Pencil in 05 Brown. The eye pencil is a multi-use product with two unique and useful features. At one end of the pencil, there' s a matte crayon. The crayon has a rich texture which is great to use on both your waterline and upper lid. Adding to the plus points it's also easy and smooth to apply. After all there's nothing worse than scraping or scratching your lids when you're trying to apply eyeliner - we've all been there. At the other end of the pencil there's a shimmery eyeshadow powder. The colour I received was a dusky rose pink with hints of gold and brown. Ideal for adding a mysterious allure to the eyes, the glittery shadow was extremely pigmented and would look great if you wanted to create a flirty look that was  ultra-feminine.

Sticking with shadow, the second item I was gifted was the RMK Eyebrow Powder in the shade 02 Mid Brown. The powder is similar to a pigmented eyeshadow and is a must for those looking to achieve a statement, Cara D brow. Unfortunately the colour was a little too light for my brows. Due to me suffering from vitiligo, where my eyebrows and eyelashes are white, I tend to opt for a darker brown meets black hue. Either way, I wasn't going to let the shadow go to waste and believe me when I say it works just as good on your lids as it does on your brows.

My favourite of the batch has to be the Matte Shiny Cheeks palette. The limited edition buy contains two different colours that can be combined and/or used separately. For those looking for a soft yet textured highlighter, the shimmery shade of cream is ideal and gives skin a luminous glow. Alternatively there's also a brighter hue of pink that can be used as a blush to create prominent, Jolie-like cheekbones. From a contoured look that's sure to wow at your local bar to a more subdued daytime sheen, the  ability to create different looks with the palette is endless. Not to mention the adorable design.

Finally, the last item I was given was the brand's Nail Colour EX in the shade CL-15 Blue. The polish is a great investment buy - especially if you're a girl who wears a colour and sticks to it. For £15.15, the liquid itself is highly pigmented. It only took 2 standard coats to get the light blue to appear as bright as it does on the bottle. Equally the application is effortless. The brush is a suitable size which makes it easy to spread polish without creating streaks and/or dewy gloops. Could there be a better way to take pastels into the winter season?

Overall I was extremely impressed with the brand and I hope they start getting the recognition they truly deserve in the UK market. To shop the range visit BonBonCosmetics.com.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews


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