Tag Archives: bridal beauty

WIN A ‘You Are Beautiful’ Prize Pack from Olivine Atelier

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One of my favourite treats in our San Francisco Blogcademy goodie bags was an adorable little perfume sample set from Olivine Atelier. With it’s sublime packaging and branding (done by none other than Ms Shauna Haider!) I instantly gravitated towards it… but that was only the beginning!

I tested each and every one of the seven perfumes we were treated to and when I came across Amongst The Waves I knew I’d found my new signature scent.

Imagine walking down a sandy beach, with your toes in the ocean. Imagine a cooling breeze with a sea salt lingering in the air. Imagine staring up at the sky at sunset, coconut-based cocktail in hand!

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Crazy for Coconut: 10 Ways To Use It

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I promised myself that 2014 would be the year that I finally started taking better care of my body. I don’t know if it’s hitting 30 that’s done it, or the fact that I’m going to be on the road so much, but I desperately feel the need to give myself some TLC as often as possible. I’m eating better, I’m trying (but failing) to drink less, and I’m investing in some really great beauty products and treats. But taking good care of yourself doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise.

My newest obsession is coconut oil. In fact so enamoured am I with my latest discovery that I’m dedicating a whole blog post to it. You totally need to jump on the coconut train with me! Not only is this one stupidly cheap product (I bought a massive 800g tub of Biona Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil on Amazon for less than £15) but it has so many amazing uses!

Here are ten genius ways you can incorporate coconut oil into your daily routine:

1. Eat it! In smoothies, fry with it in instead of other oils, spread it on your toast, blend it into a milkshake… there are so many yummy ways you can eat this stuff. The possibilities are quite literally endless.

2. As the best make up remover you’ll ever own. Fact. Plus it makes your face smell delicious.

3. As a pre-wash hair conditioner. This is my favourite use and I can’t believe it took me so long to discover it. Rub it into your hair (mostly the ends) and leave in for an hour – or overnight if you’re feeling extra indulgent – and simply wash out with shampoo in the morning.

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Summer Bridesmaid Hairspiration

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You know me, I’m no wallflower, so when Claire’s asked me if I’d like to play dress up using some of their brightest of the bright brand new hair adornments, I really couldn’t say no. When that trademark lilac packaging landed on my doorstep and I tore into it, I was greeted with so many pretty florals and bright colours that it instantly lifted my hump day mood. I immediately started thinking of ways I could dress them up, bridesmaid’s style!

So, on a slightly damp Tuesday afternoon, Shell and Elbie jumped on a train bound for Reading and we brought our own kind of sunshine to the proceedings! This was such a fun project, and from Shell’s amazing photographs you’d never tell we shot these in my (definitely not very glamorous) kitchen and back garden!

Neon Pop Flower Princess

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How I Rescued My Bleach Ravaged Hair

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I’ve been bleaching my hair on and off since I was 16. I started doing it myself at home, and then progressed to getting it done at a salon every six to eight weeks. Not really knowing any better, I was going to a well known chain (one that rhymes with ‘phoney and pie’… ahem) for around three years, and unwittingly allowing them to ravage my fuchsia tresses more and more with each visit!

I’m not really sure if it was just inexperience with unnatural colouring or what, but when I became friends with Elbie and decided to go to her for my hair preening instead, she informed me that my hair was… to put it bluntly… completely fucked.

Obviously we can’t know for sure, but she suggested that it looked like the bleach had been applied really carelessly. My hair is naturally very dark so perhaps it was just left on for too long, under too much heat. She said it also looked like the bleached areas had overlapped each time, again, most likely in an attempt to get it as light as possible.

When I started to see Elbie, my hair resembled chewing gum when it was wet (stretchy and thin!) and was like crunchy straw when it was dry. It was also THIN AS HELL. What a cacophony of delights!

You can see how awful it used to be in these photos. Look at the ends especially – frazzled! My hair also wouldn’t grow any longer than this, it would just snap off. Sad times…

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Still don’t believe how bad it was? How about an extreeeeeme close-up?!

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I’m not gonna lie, when I first had this realisation I cried. A lot. I was actually very near just chopping the whole lot off and starting again, or at least going back to my natural colour. Luckily my fairy hairmother pulled me back from the brink and promised that we could fix it. That was probably about two years ago, and now my hair has never looked better!

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Blissed Out Birthday at The Nirvana Spa

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When my Mum asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year, there was only one thing on my mind – some rest and relaxation! So, after quickly tearing into my other presents on Monday morning (I was totally spoilt by my friends, I love you guys!) Gareth and I hopped into the car and headed to the tranquil oasis that is the Nirvana Spa, located just outside of Reading.

We were booked in for a Time Out Package which gave us access to everything the spa had to offer for three blissful hours. There’s outdoor jacuzzis, six pools filled with pure spring water, a sauna, steam rooms, the new Tepidarium suite which has heated ceramic loungers, and my personal favourite – the bubbly hydrotherapy surf pool!

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DIY Tutorial: Glitter Gel Manicure

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I’m slightly obsessed with gel manicures. I find nothing more annoying than nail varnish that chips the first time I wear it, so I love that gels last up to 4 weeks and without damaging your nails underneath. However getting them done professionally all the time can be really blooming expensive. After realising what a dent in my bank balance my love affair was having, I decided to see if there was a DIY option. And so I uncovered a brand new obsession.

Unfortunately I quickly found out that the gel brands used by the professionals (Gelish, Shellac etc) aren’t available for purchase by us mere mortals. Everywhere I looked you needed a trade card to be allowed to buy them. BOO to that!

Refusing to be beaten I kept on searching high and low, and I think that I’ve now not only finally uncovered my perfect formula, but I’ve figured out how to do a DIY glitter manicure too! Even the professional manicurist I went too didn’t have glitter options with as much coverage as this method gave me.

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The first thing that you’ll need is a UV LED lamp, which cures (hardens) the gel. I did a little test to see if it was possible to do it without one and it’s just not. I left some gel polish on a piece of paper and 24 hours later it was still sticky.

I bought the SensatioNAIL Starter Set from Boots. It comes with the lamp, nail primer, cleanser, base and top coat, and your choice of colour polish. While the lamp does the trick I was disappointed with the colours available. I bought ‘Rose’ which was the brightest pink they had in stock but the results were baby pink, almost nude finish nails. That simply would not do! I also found the top coat to not be very effective. The first time I did it my nails started to peel within 2 – 3 days.

The starter set costs £69.99, which may seem like a lot initially, but when consider that getting them done professionally costs upward of £30, it pays for itself after just a few uses.

In terms of the colours, Bluesky is the best non-professional brand I’ve found so far. You can buy them on Amazon, they’re only £5 a pop and there are literally hundreds of colours to choose from. There are so many in fact that it’s a little overwhelming. The one I’m using in this tutorial is Neon Cherise, a super hot neon pink. Love it!

OK, so enough gassing, on with the tutorial!

Supplies Needed

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♥ UV LED lamp
♥ Gel nail primer
♥ Gel nail cleanser
♥ Gel base coat and top coat
♥ Gel polish colour of your choice
♥ Pot of glitter, mine was from Hobbycraft
♥ Tissue/ cotton pads
♥ Orange stick
♥ Nail file

Method

Step one: Trim and file your nails to the desired length. Prep the nails by wiping with the gel cleanser and then apply a thin coat of the pre-gel primer. Leave to air dry for 30 seconds.

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