Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Sparkle and Shine with Aussie!

Hello lovelies!

So as you know, I have recently became an Aussie Angel and with this great power comes great pampering. Well our pampering was took to a whole new level when the lovely Sarah over at the Aussie office sent me out a bottle of our beloved '3 Minute Miracle' conditioner and a note that the Angels were being sent on a pamper day at the Chancery Court Hotel Spa to celebrate the lifesaving conditioner - and let me tell you, after a long four weeks on my teacher training course a pamper day with Aussie products really was a life saver!

As the week dragged on, finally Saturday arrived and we were whisked into some Aussie robes & slippers, taken to a relaxation room with magazines, fresh fruit, and a delicious lunch buffet and lounged around until called in for our massages - it's such a hard life being an Angel, isn't it? After being thoroughly relaxed with a back massage by a masseuse (who I wanted to steal and keep at home for particular stressful days thanks to the little dears at school), I was whisked on further to my own personal hairstylist who turned my lion's mane hair into a work of art, and then for a surprise announcement from Aussie... Do you want to know? Of course you do! But first -

 So, onto the exciting news! Aussie have announced their new star range: Miracle Shine! Yes, it does sound like a Take That song but it is 100X better, and I can vouch for that as one of the lucky Angels who have spent this week showing our hair some love with the new range. Not only does it smell amazing with a cotton candy fragrance made with a mix floral and fruity scents (I always pick out the raspberry smell!), but the pearl powder gives my blonde locks a real shine which is one of my big musts from a hair product. 

So without further ado, I introduce you to.... MIRACLE SHINE!


         Before - The Frizzball.                                       After: Super Smooth & Shiny Angel.

Will you be trying out the new Shine range? 


Monday, 10 September 2012

My Autumn Must Have Hair Products!

Hello my dears, so Autumn is upon us - the olympics/paralympics are over, and the summer dresses have been put away and replaced with scarves as well as the hairdryers being pulled out ready for daily use along with the brittle hair that comes hand in hand with it. In preparation for this, I have stocked up on some necessary hair products to try and keep the blonde bob in relatively good condition so on my next visit to the hairdressers they don't scold me whilst becoming manic with the scissors and cutting off a lot more than a trim would be defined as (as they quite often do...) 

1) Aussie's Miracle Moist Shampoo - £4.49

Ok, so technically this is an all-year-round shampoo that I love using to make my hair soft and smell gorgeous, but it is especially stocked up in my shower during the Autumn/Winter months. It just adds that extra bit of softness to my hair when it starts to get brittle from the extra blow-drying, straightening, and harsh winds. Also, it smells like bubblegum and holidays for me so it's just a great way to start the morning because I'm always like 'aaaah' when smelling it.

2) Aussie's 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner - £4.99

I've just run out of this so not photo, but it's getting restocked ASAP as this is my daily conditioner as I find that it works wonders on my hair - especially if I have been treating it a bit more roughly (well you know, the wind-swept Pamela Anderson beach look just does not go well with hair brushing). I use this a daily contioner because it smells great (obvs.) but also you don't have to leave it on as long as my Kerastase conditioner (below) which is perfect when showering in the morning for work whilst still having a condtioner that softens up my lion mane hair.

3) Kerastase Masque Force Architecte - £26.20 

This is one of my little luxuries, and as you can tell from the price tag it has to stay that way. However, it is my all time favourite conditioner and has quickly restored my split ends to shiny, soft ends instead which is something that makes me want to go back this conditioner in bulk. I use this probably a couple of times a week and it doesn't need to be a huge handful used, but a small amount because it spreads through quite well. It recommends leaving it on for the bare minimum of five minutes, but I have been recommended by my hairdresser to try and leave it on for 30mins when I can - exactly why it's not a daily product! Although the price tag makes me have heart palpitations, unfortunately it becomes addictive to use because its so effective at keeping my hair in fantastic condition & strengthening it to remain looking healthy whilst smelling of citrus/freshness and shining like nobody's business. A little money saving tip, on lookfantastic it goes down to £20.95 - maybe a little more bearable?

4) Kerastase Ciment  Thermique - £18.90

I know Kerastase is incredibly overpriced, it is, but it works fantastically so I have stocked up a little while ago when lookfantastic had 15% off deal going on. This is in the same strengthening group that Masque Architecte is in, but it is a leave-in conditioning milk that reacts the more you use heat products on it - fantastic for autumn/winter! It actually recommends using straighteners on it - how many products do that?! I was pleased as punch at that, as normally using straighteners makes me feel incredibly guilty at burning my hair. You only have to use a tiny amount, so despite the price tag, it can last months & months which is always a positive. It has already made a significant difference to my hair and I've only used it for a little while, my hair is soft and my ends are well under control - it strengthens & repairs the more fragile parts of your hair and can last up to five shampoos! Plus it smells divine, and the smell lasts all day so I look like some nutcase when swishing my hair back and forth to get a sniff!

So these are my four Autumn must haves to keep your hair in tip-top shape during these colder months where you swap the summer skirts for scarves, and the hairdryer is making a daily experience - and not just to warm up after the shower with!

Do you have some autumn must have products for your hair?


Monday, 3 September 2012

A Weekend in Canterbury.

Wow it has been a long time since another post! I'm going to be honest with you, I literally have just become a sloth over the past six weeks holiday and despite having taken tons of photos for blogposts I just never got round to the actual blogging... I'm ashamed. Anyway, I'm back (not in black) and blogging! 

At the beginning of the hols the boyfriend was a complete sweetheart and booked for us to go away for a weekend to visit our university town, Canterbury. We were incredibly lucky as the weather was fully on our side and it meant that we got to spend the day wandering around Whitstable Castle & Beach nomming on some ice creams AND I got to debut the summer wardrobe - winwinwin!

Dress: H&M; Cardigan: New Look; Belt: Boohoo; Shoes: L.K.Bennett

 Pretty lily shoes!

 Supporting Tom Daley's dive in: Official 'Team GB' t-shirt; Next Paralympics Scarf; Skirt: New Look
 Nom! The essential Chinese takeaway the entire time I was at uni. Glasses: Bvlgari.

 My uni halls - Dress: New Look; Shrug: Topshop; Shoes: H! by Henry Holland; Bag: Next

 Us at Whitstable Castle/Beach

Dress: Vero Moda; Cardigan: New Look; Pumps: Primark; Bag: Next

It took me around an hour or two to choose these outfits - I hate not being able to pack my entire wardrobe every time I go somewhere! Does anyone else have this complex? I need one of those Mary Poppins bags clearly. Anyway, because we can never be too sure with British weather I had to pack outfits that could easily convert with the rain to look good with tights - luckily, the tights remained stashed away! Nevertheless, despite the massive amount of dithering when it came to packing there was one item that had been packed straight away -  my new LK Bennetts. Since buying them a few months back I have been looking for the ideal occasion to debut them to the blogging world, and a romantic dinner seemed it. 

Signing off now as it is my first week at my new school so early nights are needed, but more blogging will occur - especially focusing on both the Olympics & Paralympics!

What do you like to pack for a weekend away?


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Shoe Addiction Continues - LK Bennett & Dorothy Perkins.

I love shoes. I do. They're pretty and can instantly dress up or down an outfit which can double your wardrobe styles whilst staying on a budget! However, I do not have the space for new shoes nor the funds really to buy every pair of shoes that I fall in love with (but then again, does any girl really have the funds to buy any pair of shoes she wants unless she is Blair Waldorf?). Despite this shoe-ban I have imposed upon myself, there were two sneaky exceptions which just crushed my shoe self-control: L.K. Bennett & Dorothy Perkins.

Firstly, I have loved L.K. Bennett shoes from the moment I saw Kate Middleton strolling about in her nude sledge shoes, they just looked the epitome of elegance. Unfortunately, I cannot afford myself a pair of sledge shoes, but found these beauties instead in the sale:

I love them. I love them possibly as much as I love my boyfriend. I originally tried these on in black, but opted for the nude-y colour as I have quite a few pair of black platforms and did not really need to add more to the collection. It was the lily decoration that caught my attention at first, with such detail being put into it that you could see it was a lily, followed by the elegantly sculped platform heel - a mix between a block & stiletto heel.

They were originally £130 and went down to £65 in the sale - an extravagant treat I have to say but one I do not regret even though I may not have worn them out yet! I ordered them online and one of the things that impressed me straight off was that they arrived the next day - fantastic! To add to this, they came in their own material bag inside of the shoe box to be completely protected from any scuffs that could possibly occur on the journey - I like how much thought has gone into this presentation! The soles are also lightly padded which makes wearing them a lot more pleasant than normal platforms which after about five minutes for me have my feet throbbing. 

 These picture are quite deceptive about the size of the heel as they look quite average sized, but they are in fact in the sky-scraper heel boundary, giving me a good four inches of extra height. 

Originally I wanted to wear these to work but feel they are a bit too special for that, what occasions would you recommend wearing them to?

The second pair:

These were much more work orientated when being purchased, as they had more of a kitten heel rather than being platforms. I have come to realise that the only navy pair of shoes I owned were my nautical ballerina pumps which, as much as I adore them, can pick up dirt quite quickly, as well as having a more casual feel than these do. I liked these as they had a vintage 1920s feel to them with the strap and design of a contrasting trim. It's also an ink coloured navy which just looks smarter than a washed out navy shade which are my pumps. For only £30, I was quite pleased with myself for snagging these and have already worn them a couple of times at work, being complimented on them in the process - thank you DP!

So those are some of the recent purchases, going to split up the rest with other posts but I have been having a little bit of a spending spree from ASOS to Yumi! 

What sort of shoes do you get sucked in by - ballerinas or platforms? And how do you store them?


Thursday, 2 August 2012

Summer Skin Regime #1 - Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions.

Hello my lovelies! It's back to blogging again, and I wanted to write about the new skin regime I have started myself on. Now, I hate to admit this as a beauty blogger but I have not always been the best at looking after my skin. I know, I know its awful! But I just couldn't be bothered after work and took the lazy route of a quick wash with soap rather than a more cleansing routine. However, my skin started to rebel against this attitude and eventually I began trying new skincare products to solve the problem of a combination skin type that led to unwanted outbreaks, but none seemed to work. Until...

As a previous user of Clinique products, I felt quite confident in purchasing a small heap to kick my skin back into a healthy submission. I had used them a little during university , but stopped because it was becoming an expensive habit that I just couldn't afford to keep up. I was lured back recently, partly because I had some extra money to spoil myself with but more so  with the free gift offer that Clinique were running with various mini sets of skincare products to suit your particular skin needs. Out of the four kits they had on offer, I went for the 'Anti-Blemish Solutions' one which had a bar of Anti-Blemish Cleansing Bar, a 60ml bottle of Anti-Blemish Clarifying Lotion, and a 30ml Anti-Blemish Moisturizer. 

I have previously used the Anti-Blemish Solutions 'Clear Blemish Gel' and found that it worked brilliantly when attacking blemishes directly but isn't really a whole face product. Nevertheless, it made me feel confident that choosing this particular kit would be worth-while and after using it for over two weeks I can attest that it works pretty damn well. 

Considering these are only minis and are still being used twice a day, everyday, for coming up to three weeks now they have lasted remarkably well! I have literally just finished off the clarifying lotion, but the 30ml moisturizer is still going strong, along with the soap!  Along with their lasting power, I have felt that my skin is becoming significantly clearer but also feels deeply cleansed - especially by the clarifying lotion. I am still having little outbreaks, but I have noticed a definite difference in my complexion in that my pores are tighter, my skin is clearer and I am having fewer break-outs which proves that the products are keeping to their names. The moisturizer is a favourite simply because a little can go such a long way (making it worth its' money) as well as being a brilliant primer for make up - plus it's not oily which is a worry for me with moisturizer. 

I loved that this is in such a cute little pouch (perfect for travel), and that it was decent sized minis that have given me a chance to really test out these products. I am quite tempted that once I have finished my next set of Clinique products for a 'dry combination' skin type, that I may go back to the Anti-Blemish Solutions set. 

The full size product prices (as shown on are:
- Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Bar - £14
- Anti-Blemish Solutions Clarifying Lotion - £17
Anti-Blemish Solutions Clearing Moisturizer - £18.50

Next time, it will be the 'Dry Combination' Three Step Starter Kit. 

Are you a Clinique fan? Which products of theirs have you found the most effective?


Thursday, 26 July 2012

I'm Dreaming of an Aussie Summer Sizzle Party!

I'm back! And what better way to celebrate my back to blogging antics than with a party? 
Unfortunately, due to bad weather and being unable to reschedule it I couldn't actually throw my Aussie Summer Sizzle Party (boohoo!) but it did give me the chance to create the dream Aussie Shindig - you know, the sort of party that you would throw if you were as wealthty as Blair Waldorf. So here goes:

Bondi Beach, New South Wales. 

 Via Google Images
The gorgeous Bondi Beach jumped straight to my mind when planning my Aussie party, because of the TV Programme, I mean who wouldn't want to meet a Bondi Beach lifeguard?! I would fly my guests out in the ultimate Aussie Angel style (first class, with cocktails all the way) to this paradise to celebrate the awesomeness of Aussie in its namesake place! 


Now, being the dream party, there are no limits to pampering my guests (and myself, of course) which means no lying down in the sand, oh no no no! Instead, a private marquee will be set up with sofas and tables filled with every cocktail that you can think of! I may even have a stolen a couple of cheeky Aussie guys to work the BBQ - because, being the princesses that the Aussie Angels are, we cannot do the BBQ-ing ourselves!

 The cocktail of choice was the delicious, and aptly named, Sex on the Beach, with a supply of cocktail cherries readily available on demand because who doesn't love an extra few cherries in a cocktail?!

(Images via Google)

So whilst we are waiting for the BBQ to get going (the manservants are clearly too relaxed), we've got the iPod pumping out some of the best beach tunes:

1) The Beach Boys - Surfin' USA 
2) Colbie Caillat - Brighter Than The Sun
3) Katy Perry - California Gurls
4) Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Ukulele)
5) Sitting, Waiting, Wishing - Jack Johnson
6) The Beach Boys - Wouldn't It Be Nice
7) All Shook Up - Elvis Presley
7) Hawaaiin Rollercoaster Ride - Lilo and Stitch
8) Without You - Usher
9) I've Got a Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
10) Honey - The Hush Sound

With our aussome music blaring out, the classic dance of my friends that always comes out is our custom made dance - The Crow. Although we may not be in beach wear, whenever we feel the need to groove, The Crow is our go to move (its so awesome it results in rhyme)

After working up a sweat with our amazing dancing skills, we have earned ourselves a treat, and what better way to celebrate the amazingness of being an Aussie than with an excellent burger.

So that's my party - the rest of the time we will just be chilling, chatting, and enjoying the sun! It’s the Aussie effect and motto – to just be relaxed and enjoying life, which was the theme of my party! 

My Aussie Extravaganza Look was a relaxed, beach style dress with gladiator sandals in neutral colours, with some lovely beach waves hair (similar to that of a lion mane, thanks humidity!) thanks to my beloved Aussie Summer Save Kit:

My final thought went to ‘what new product would I like to have in Aussie hair care products?’ It did not take long before it clicked - coconut! For me, coconut is the ultimate chill out scent: Pina Coladas, Hawaii and sun cream (aka holiday time!). I would love my hair to smell of coconut everyday whilst being glossy and gorgeous, so that's what my secret ingredient would be!

Now, does anyone actually want to add to the 'Stephie Wants an Aussie Party' fund so we can get on over to Bondi Beach?!


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Unexpected Abscence.

Hello my lovelies!

It is just a quick note from me today as I wanted sincerely apologise for my lack of blogging for  the last month! It has been one hectic month starting with a severe stomach flu and following on with my Graduate Teacher Induction days and the craziness that ensued from that! 

It is the last week of term for me at this school before I move onto becoming a teacher at my new academy, so everything is a bit manic! However, I have been stocking some blogposts up including my recent shopping hauls, Clinique haul, Harry Potter Tour, and LK Bennetts! 

So here is my promise - as the summer holidays dawn upon me, I shall make up my lack of blogging there! And I am excited to get back to it :-)

Thank you to all my followers who have been patient enough with me despite my disappearance from the blogging world, and a big hello/thank you to my new followers. It means a lot to me that my followers have stayed loyal despite my mini break, and it makes me smile when I am having a rough day that my blog/readers are there! 

Be back in a week!


Thursday, 21 June 2012

That Touch of Mink Polka Dots.

Good evening lovelies. At this moment, I am tucked up under a blanket with a warm ribena trying to gain my voice back - this is the first day off since I returned to work after my operation and I'm so frustrated that I had to take it! Alas, trying to control kids at school with mime discipline would not go down quite as well as shouting 'Be quiet!' a hundred times a day, so I camped out at home and thinking what a perfect time to blog!

A little while ago I bought a gorgeous dress from H&M as a treat and although I have posted about it in  my Work Week Outfits in Instagram posts, it didn't quite express my sheer adulation for this dress. 

Dress: H&M
Tights: M&S
Pumps: Primark
Belt: New Look.

So what is it that I love so much about it? Well, being a woman on a budget my dresses generally need to be quite versatile so that I can wear them to give the illusion that I have more outfits in my wardrobe than I do. It is also the 'create a whole different look for the weekend' idea that makes it necessary for them to be versatile, because sadly my work & weekend wardrobe seem to be merging more and more at the moment.This dress has that. With the neutral mink colour and cream/white polka dots, it goes perfectly with browns, pinks, navy, cream cardigans & pumps. Perfect! 
It was also the whole design of the dress, going for the vintage feel with the cute mini dress style and full skirt, with the mix of polka dots and capped sleeves - pretty much combining everything I want in a dress into one adorable package. 
Price wise, I couldn't complain - it is made of quite thick material so it's not a thin summer dress and I will easily be able to wear this in winter with black tights (as shown in the picture), along with no tights in summer. For £19.99 it was quite the steal in my opinion as I have seen similar dresses in other stores that are charging at least £25.

However, the dress is not perfect (but it is preeeeetty close). The only thing for me where it could be improved would maybe be the length, to have it around half an inch longer, but its not a huge issue for me (as shown by buying it). What the good thing is about the skirt of the dress is that its longer in both the front and back, with it being a little shorter on the sides. The back of a dress is an issue with me as it tends to come up shorter making me paranoid everyone can see up my skirt - something Miss Manners would not approve of. 

Well that's it, my review for one of my top favourite dresses. I'm going to try and get a couple more posts done tonight as I should be away this weekend for my three year anniversary with the boyfriend, so want to get my blogging in now :)

Do you like to have dresses that work both for winter & spring, or do you like a whole seperate wardrobe?