Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dermalogica Facials at Selfridges

Last week I had the pleasure of sampling an amazing facial by the lovely Mari at Dermalogica in Selfridges Trafford Centre.

It was literally a god send after a fairly stressful week, after having a car accident AND flat hunting, so I was really looking forward to trying Dermalogica for the first time.

I sat with Mari and we ran through the consultation card and discussed my skin woes.. which were dryness to the cheeks and forehead but then blemishes around the jawline. My skin has been a bug bear of mine throughout the duration of my twenties with it taking on no particular type, I especially dislike gritty face scrubs so when Mari explained that Dermalogica specialise in grain free exfoliators, I was intrigued to give it all a go!

I was whisked over to a little haven of a treatment room that was housed behind the fragrance section of the Beauty Hall. Quiet, private and comfortable, I settled on the treatment bed and Mari set to work applying the lotions and potions to my face. The treatment lasts for one hour and quite honestly was bliss. My face felt baby soft afterwards and the day after I was shocked at how bright and calmed my skin was.

Mari gave me some samples to take away with me and I have been giving them a whirl at home!

The facial costs £60 but the cost is redeemable against products, so if you are a current Dermalogica product user then you could stock up on your faves and get the facial for free!

The dates available to book in for a facial are as follows;

25-29 April
5-14 June
27-1 July/August
8-11 September
23-26 November

Dermalogica's contact number is 0161 748 0080.


Improving Your Home

Transform your dilapidated home 

Is your home looking tired and run down? Whether you’ve just invested in a dilapidated property, or whether you simply haven’t updated the home in a while; there are various things you can do to bring it back to life. 

No matter what your budget, you’ll be able to carry out at least one job to transform the look of the property.

Starting with the structure

There’s no denying that repairing the structure of the home is often the most expensive task. If the property is really falling apart, you’ll need to spend a good amount of money on repairing it. 

However, some homes may only need a few structural repairs. Check for any cracks in the wall. If they are tiny you can likely get away with filling them in yourself, but if the cracks are quite large, make sure you get a professional in to take a look as they could make the building structurally unsafe. 

Repairing the windows is another small job you might want to focus on. Older homes tend to have draughty windows. Not only does this increase the amount of noise you hear from outside, but it also makes the home colder. Investing in sash window repair will help to make the home feel much warmer and cosier. 

The roof is also something you need to check over. Older buildings often suffer with a leaky roof. If moisture is getting into the home, all of your indoor renovations could become ruined pretty quickly. So it’s important to focus on the structural repairs before you move onto indoor renovation.

Renovating without breaking the bank

There are so many ways to save money on the renovation of your home. Replacing cabinet doors or simply giving them a fresh lick of paint with a new door handle will help. 

You can also update the worktops. Marble and granite worktops tend to be popular these days and they are also really easy to clean. Glass splashbacks can help to add character, as well as a modern ambience to the kitchen.

Creating your own soft furnishings will also help to give life to a run-down home. Opt for bright, cosy colours. Add sofa throws, cushion covers and light fabric curtains. You can also replace the flooring as this will make a huge difference to the look of the home.

It can be difficult knowing where to start. Work out your budget before you decide what needs doing. It’s important to start on the structural repairs before you work on the cosmetics.

Friday, 21 March 2014

The BEST Sports Bra EVER...

Pretty big statement from Freya Lingerie about their new sports bra..

Bikini season is coming up and if you are currently trying to get in shape for the summer then keep on reading!

I have been trying Freya's new sports bra at the gym and as I prepare for my upcoming Manchester 10K attempt.. *hyperventilates*  I have been super impressed with the bra, as let's face it girls, there is nothing more annoying or distracting than fearing for a Janet J style wardrobe malfunction whilst throwing yourself round a gym.

I do a circuit class at my gym and sometimes I have to jump around.. not only does it make it harder to do the activity when you don't strap them down, but it's really not good for you or the various others who have to witness the jiggling..

So don't just take my word for it.. here are all the technical attributes of this wonder product from Freya!

The incredible new Freya Active sports bra has undergone rigorous testing at Portsmouth University and the results are amazing! The Freya Active project is world leading and is the very first to study the 3 aspects - movement, strain and pain at multiple locations of the breast (applying up to 19 markers on the breast) testing across 7 different bra sizes from cup sizes 32FF to 36E.

Each of the different aspects has been researched in depth with the following results;

The new Freya Active sports bra reduces strain to just 3% in the inner region of the breast, compared to 28% in an everyday bra.

The new Freya Active sports bra reduces strain at the nipple to 1%, reducing potentially damaging levels of strain at the centre of the breast.

The new Freya Active sports bra reduces pain by 97%, while an everyday bra reduces pain by only 58%.

Testing found the new Freya Active sports bra reduces independent breast movement. 92% of participants in testing felt no independent breast movement wearing the bra.

It was more effective at reducing forwards and backwards movement in the upper section of the breast than other sports bra styles in the study.

Strain of the skin and the breast tissues occurs during movement due to the deformable properties of the breast tissue itself. Strain of these tissues may lead to stretching and tension of the skin which may cause pain, damage and breast sag.  Other breast problems we experience during exercise can also be a barrier to participating in sport, reducing confidence and changing our breathing and upper muscle activity.

The study tested against 7 other sports bra styles currently available on the market and identified that most breast strain occurred at the centre nipple line and mid-section of the breast. Interestingly, the brand new Freya Active sports bra topped other styles at providing reductions in strain around the centre, base as well as upper pole areas of the breast. The sports bra reduced breast strain in the inner region of the breast to 3%, compared to 28% strain reported in an everyday bra. It also almost eliminated strain at the nipple, reducing strain to just 1%, compared to when wearing no bra, reducing the risk of damage to this area.  

Dr. Joanna Scurr, specialist in breast health from the University of Portsmouth who conducted the research said: “Breast strain may occur during exercise when the breast is not supported correctly and there is tension on the ligaments and skin of the breast.  Over time this may lead to a stretching of the breasts natural support, which could lead to permanent breast damage.  This important research helps us to identify products that are effective at protecting the breasts.  Reducing strain across the mid and upper parts of the breast will reduce the risk of damage to the internal structures of the breast.”

The new Freya Active Bra is available at multiple retailers online and on the high street for £40 RRP.

MASSIVE thumbs up from me!

Thursday, 13 March 2014


I was recently contacted by the lovely Aimee over at Halo Hair Extensions to attend a Blogger event one quiet Sunday.

As someone who loves big hair but struggles with hair extensions, I was intrigued as to how the Halo would work for me and I am literally hooked.

My normal issue with hair extensions is that I really like to give my hair a good wash.. so whilst I love the effect of a weave, I find it far too high maintenance. Clip ins seemed like a good alternative, but I don't like the constant fear of one of the clips sliding through my hair and having a 'hold on to your hair' type moment! So I had come to the conclusion that I couldn't have extensions and achieve the full haired look like the Kardashians! I have been proved wrong!

The event was held at the Cornerhouse in Manchester (amazing venue by the way!) and we were given an overview of Halo, by their MD. We were spoiled with Macaroons and the most amazing Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake, Fizz, Manicures and Massages, before having our Halos styled. As I have ombre hair, I wasn't sure how we would match it up, but I am now the proud owner of a blonde halo to match the lightest parts at the bottom!

The Halo is a strip of hair wefts attached to a clear wire. The wire is slipped over your head (like the first pic) and then you put your own hair over the top of it. It feels very secure and I am pleased to report it has passed two windy evening outings with no embarrassing moments! I wear mine for thickness rather than length and I absolutely love it. I have worn it many times since getting it and honestly it is one of my favourite things from February. They are fool proof to put in and because they are human hair you can style it as though it is your own.

The event was probably one of the nicest blogger events I have ever been to in all honesty. Numbers were kept relatively small and there were a good few familiar faces that I could catch up with, and I genuinely felt as though Halo really were interested in hearing our thoughts and feedback. They truly have an excellent product and are obviously happy to invest in spreading their message using normal girls rather than celebrities.

If you are interested in purchasing a Halo then check out their website, bear in mind that they are happy to help with colour matching so don't be shy and ask for help if you need it! :)

Big smiles and huge thumbs up from me!


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

#Shoetopia at The Trafford Centre

In early March, the Trafford Centre very kindly extended an invite for me to attend their #Shoetopia Blogger Event.

I love shoes and on the promise of hearing all about what your shoes can say about you, I was the first one to shoot over my 'hell yes, I will be there' message!

I approached Bar 360 in the Orient and was greeted by one of my newer bloggy pals Fiona. We were handed a glass of Skinny Champagne and proceeded to get comfortable, avoided the temptation of the cupcakes and had a chat with Amanda Thompson who has pioneered the production of Skinny Champagne in the UK. The concept of the fizz is that there is no added sugar, and good lord that stuff is good! I am not normally a huge Champagne lover but I really genuinely enjoyed it. Check out their twitter page - @skinnychamp.

As more and more Bloggers came in and we all took our seats, Kate Nightingale from Style Psychology took the mic and talked to us about her company who specialise in helping brands with consumer behaviours. They create meaningful relationships with customers and bring together all aspects of the purchasing process.

Interestingly, the psychology behind shoes can reveal a lot about a person, with wearers tending to select a pair based on wanting to make a good first impression, or having a positive experience associated with a particular pair of shoes, thus raising self esteem.

There are many shoe trends coming at us for SS14 and Kate touched on some of the key characteristics a particular shoe can tell us about a person;

Flat Shoes Revolution; Flat shoes wearers tend to opt for comfort, are decisive, string, independent, successful and professional.

Male style shoes for women such as brogues reveal the person as being creative, robust, supportive, powerful and reserved.

50s and 60s style elegance often includes lower heel height and shows an elegance, professional, house wife and feminine individual.

Sports Luxe shows a glam person who may be adventurous, courageous, creative, sociable and friendly (if there is sparkle involved!)

So, you can see there is a pattern involved in terms of what our shoes say about us!

We were then set the task of answering some questions in the Shoe Quiz! I was delighted that my freakish knowledge of celebrity shoes won me a pair of Lego Louboutins!!!

Then we were handed a really amazing goodie bag - it was so generous of the Trafford Centre to provide us with such treats and I really had a lovely time :)

If you want to hear me talk about shoes then check out my interview on Trafford Centre TV. I apologise now for the fact I move around a hell of a lot!!!


Wedding Season has commenced!

You may recall I spent a lot of my time last year on Bridesmaid duties whilst a few of my friends got hitched. I don't have any on the horizon this year and it kind of makes me sad! I love weddings and the whole concept of getting glam and having the best damn day of your life with all of your nearest and dearest!

I love looking at gowns, venues, photos and accessories so that I still get to enjoy all the pretty things and happy faces! I stumbled across this online bridal gowns shop and was impressed by their offerings for bride, her maids, mother of the bride and many more. They have beautiful gowns at really reasonable prices!

It has proved to me that just because you have a budget you can't have the wedding of your dreams!

This lead me on to wedding jewellery and earrings.. I have an earring obsession at the moment and very much enjoyed looking at the beautiful specimens on My Jewelry Box.com, like this pair.

I love finding online dupes and sellers who can make your dream day a reality as let's face it, a wedding can be super expensive if you don't know where to look! My tip would be to ensure that you do your research and take your hunt online to find the best prices for what you need!

I apologise now if your bank account takes a battering as a result of these two recommendations! 

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The #MCRFW Show Schedule

Manchester Fashion Week (#MCRFW14) has recently announced its return to the city for 2014 taking place between 18th and 21st April at Hallé St Peters, Ancoats.

The four-day event will comprise of a series of fashion shows over the Bank Holiday Easter weekend.
Following much anticipation, the schedule for the first three days has been released;

Friday 18th April 
Saturday 19th April 
Sunday 20th April  
Caiti Betterton 
Sofia Douvari 
Get Clobbered 
Sophie Ho 
Boda Skins 
Annie Oaks 
South Beach 
Fair T's 
Lucy Cowan 
Netty Ratti 
Leah Jones 
304# Clothing 
Muscle In 
Adam Jones 
Didi's fashion Boutique 
Catherine Hudson 
Protected Species 
Helen Colville 
Virgin Rebel 
Rachel Wears 
Abigail Wright 
GinTonic Vintage 
Zeena Dee 
Nina Burton 
OMG Fashion 
Aouse of Jones 
Luke 1977 
Khu Khuz Fashion 
Dead Legacy 
Laundry Boutique 
Adnan Bayyat 

SVE Fashion 

Lily Lulu Fashion 

The full line up for the much anticipated final day will be announced over the coming weeks.
Tickets for each of the shows are onsale now from TicketWeb.

For more information on tickets, visit www.ticketweb.co.uk or contact info@mcrfw.com


The Grand National: Racing, Betting and Style!

As someone who's always on the lookout for new events that showcase the best of fashion and seasonal style, I've recently been getting excited about the beginning of the international horse racing schedule—and more specifically, the coming Grand National in Liverpool. Now, this isn't exactly a "new" event; actually, the Grand National has been going on since 1839! But nevertheless, it's a unique event to look at from a fashion perspective, as major horse races tend to bring out some of the wackiest, most vibrant, and most inventive looks of the year. I, for one, can spend hours leafing through old photos from America's Kentucky Derby!

Before I get into some of the style you may see at an event like the Grand National, however, I thought it might be a good idea to offer a preview of the actual competition, which essentially means going over what it is and how you can bet on it. After all, the races and the wagers make up the action at the Grand National—the style just makes up the atmosphere!

The actual horse race at the Grand National is held at the Aintree Race Course as part of the National Hunt horse race. It's classified as a steeplechase race, lasting 4 miles and 3.5 furlongs (or just over 7,000 metres). There are 30 fences for the horses to jump along the way, which really means that there are few spells of uninterrupted sprinting, with the race broken up consistently by some pretty ambitious leaps.

As for betting activity at the Grand National, there are plenty of options for spectators who want to place bets, and really even placing a small bet helps you to enjoy the experience more—it's almost like tradition. But rather than just learning where to bet, it's also important to go about the process in a way that will help you to make good decisions! Online sports platform Betfair provides a wealth of tips in this regard, with a section devoted to updates on the popular horses at the Grand National. You can also place bets based on the latest odds, which will give you a better idea of which horse is expected to win the event.

Having a stake in the races, even a fairly insignificant one, adds a thrill and makes the experience more complete. But what really rounds out the experience, in the end, is the fashion of it all!
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