Thursday, 18 May 2017

TRAVEL BAGGAGE

Luggage



BURBERRY Leather Holdall / Yves Saint Laurent Beach Bag / Backpack Crossbody / Aranáz Pouch Purse, £68 / Top Handle Purse / Brown Leather Tote Bag / Longchamp Handle Backpack / ASOS Bag, £31 / Samsonite Foldaway Duffle Bag, £20 / ASOS Shoulder Bag, £22 / Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis, £1,380 / Lulu Guinness Lips Case

One of my favourite things about going on holiday is planning my wardrobe, luggage, accessories and basically everything...

Today's round up features some of my favourite travelling bags which are suitable for the trip itself, airport, beach, bar, shopping etc!

I like to inject a dose of colour into my 90% black wardrobe when travelling so whilst there are some rather lovely black bags above, I am loving the brighter colours, metallic leathers and kitsch pineapple from ASOS! Considering I tend to carry everything but the kitchen sink in my airport bag I need something that will fit all of my essentials along with the travel pillow, extra socks, big headphones, skincare and entertainment! 

What are your travelling essentials? Am I missing anything?
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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

MICROBLADING MYTH BUSTING

BEFORE
DURING: PERFECTING THE SHAPE
STRAIGHT AFTER THE TREATMENT
ONE WEEK LATER
'Before Microblading the therapist will shave off your brows'

'Microblading is really painful'

'You don't get any pain relief when having your eyebrows Microbladed'

'You get really bad scabbing when you have your eyebrows Microbladed'

'The therapist will just draw on hairs wherever they think'

'Microbladed eyebrows are really bold and dark'

I could go on with the various things I thought about microblading before I actually had it done. I think the biggest myth I thought was that they shave off yours to add in the hair strokes which couldn't be further from the truth! This post is all about busting those microblading myths following a fantastic appointment with Cara from Cosmetic Tattoo Manchester!

I liked Cara immediately when I met her and felt at ease, I asked ALL the stupid questions in my consultation and was confident Cara knew exactly what I was and wasn't looking for! In my actual appointment where blade hits brow, I was first of all smothered in numbing cream whilst Cara measured my face and marked up what she felt would be the most flattering outline to stay within and colour matched the pigment.

I love it when beauty becomes technical and Cara made sure I knew what she was doing at all times. When we had agreed on the brow shape and style I wanted, the other brow was marked up and then the first hair 'incision' made!

I'm not going to lie, I was slightly apprehensive as microblading sounds harsh just in it's name! Blades near eyes just don't go together for me but it isn't like a stanley knife like I was envisaging! A small flattened needle is more what I would describe the microblading tool as and it was probably a 2/3 on a pain scale out of 10! Cara goes over each brow 3 times and numbs and tints in between each go. The most uncomfortable part is probably when the tint and numbing cream goes on for the third time as your skin is feeling quite sensitive and it feels slightly stingy but that is probably for 30 seconds whilst the numbing cream works!

One thing I will say is that your first appointment is quite lengthy, but I would much rather someone took their time with something that is semi permanent! I was really pleased with how natural the end result was and I can't wait to go back for my follow up appoint to add in some finishing touches! I have perfect brows that need very little doing to them apart from a slick of clear brow gel to keep them in place. They are so subtly enhanced that people haven't really noticed anything other than commenting that my brows look great so I see that as a job very well done!

As for the days after the treatment there was no pain, no discomfort, a little bit of itching but an application of the ointment Cara gave me soon sorted that. The healing process Cara explained to me in depth as she said that's where she gets the most questions. As the pigment is put almost under the skin, it can appear as having faded alot as the skin closes again after being opened up. As the skin layers shed the pigment moves closer to the surface.

If you want to check out some of Cara's work then have a look at her Instagram Page and get in touch for a no obligation consultation 😍

I will do a follow up post once I have had my second appointment and report back, but for now I am just CHUFFED that my brows are permanently #onfleek!!
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Monday, 8 May 2017

ESTEE LAUDER X YOU CAM MAKEUP

At the end of April I head over to Selfridges at The Trafford Centre to hear all about Estee Lauder's new collab with You Cam Makeup App where you can virtually try ALL of Estee Lauder's Lipsticks!

Now, I don't know about you but I have often wanted to try on all different lipsticks but you can't really do that with testers, it would be expensive if you took the lipstick home and didn't like it on yourself and let's face it once you try a bold colour it ends up all over your face unless you have some proper removal supplies!

I really think this concept is perfect for the perfect purchasing experience. Having sampled the app myself, I am blown away by how real the different finishes translate to the images. Matte, shimmer etc, you get a real idea of how it would look on you! Bottom centre is when I went a little further, changing my eye colour digitally and of course adding some lashes.... 😜

I will leave Estee Lauder's Press Release down below for all the information and the download link but I am genuinely really impressed by this so had to share!!

From April 13th beauty fans can experience YouCam Makeup for the first time in the UK at Estée Lauder Selfridges counters and the Estée Edit Carnaby Street store.

With over 4 million downloads in the UK alone (and over 400 million downloads globally)YouCam Makeup is the smart cosmetic app, harnessing accurate augmented reality and facial mapping technology for a true-to-life virtual makeover.

To celebrate the launch of Estée Lauder’s new Pure Colour LOVE lipstick, consumers can now try on all 30 shades in real-time (or on a static photo) directly through the app.

“Estée Lauder is excited to announce this partnership with YouCam – their first beauty venture in the UK” explains Chris Good, President, United Kingdom and Ireland The Estée Lauder Companies. “As a brand we no longer just sell lipstick. We offer the consumer a unique experience – and YouCam gives us the opportunity to bring innovative technology and a real digital first concept to the makeup loving millennial. And there is no better place to bring technology, social engagement and beauty together than at Selfridges and at our Carnaby Street store.”

“YouCam Makeup is honoured to partner with the iconic beauty brand, Estée Lauder, to deliver a one-of-a-kind instore beauty experience to their UK market,” said Perfect Corp. CEO, Alice Chang. “The seamless integration of YouCam’s virtual instore magic mirrors elevates the beauty shopping experience to a new realm inviting customers to play and experiment with products, discovering the entire Pure Color Love lip collection in a matter of seconds. Together with Estée Lauder UK, we are able to provide the ultimate in store shopping experience of the future.”

Estée Lauder Beauty Advisors will be on-hand across locations to show consumers how to download and use the YouCam app allowing them to immediately try on every Pure Colour LOVE lipstick shade across the finishes - Ultra Mattes, Shimmer Pearls, Cooled Chromes and Edgy Crèmes. This is a true omni-channel experience demonstrating how mobile can drive traffic to services in store.

“We know experiential technology is important to our customer and central to the evolution of beauty
retail. As a beauty tool, YouCam offers a service that is fun, shareable and genuinely useful; we’re
delighted Estee Lauder is bringing this future-gazing partnership to our customers.”
Melissa McGinnis, Selfridges Beauty Buying Manager.

YouCam will also be hosting a competition on their Instagram social channel (@YouCamApps) for UK residents to enter with the chance of winning an Estée Lauder Lip Effect makeup service at Carnaby Street and the entire collection of all thirty Estée Lauder Pure Colour LOVE lipsticks!
Consumers can watch Estée Lauder Beauty Advisor tutorials by using hashtag #LoveLipRemix to search and follow the actions outlined at @EstéeLauderUK @YouCamApps @TheOfficialSelfridges.

Visit the following Estée Lauder locations for the Estée Lauder Pure Colour LOVE and YouCam Try On Now experience:

Estée Edit Carnaby Street: April 13th –May 31st

Selfridges Oxford Street: April 13th – May 31st

Selfridges Manchester Exchange: April 20th – May 31st

Selfridges Manchester Trafford: April 13th – May 31st

Selfridges Birmingham: April 13th –May 31st

YouCam Makeup is available for free download on the App Store and Google Play.


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Sunday, 7 May 2017

#VIKINGARTYPARTY

The Viking Arty Party was one of those events that really make you feel so grateful to the blogging community. I know I work hard on my blog but I am always super grateful for the opportunities that come my way as a result and spending an afternoon being all crafty with like minded ladies was so so lovely!

Hosted by Viking at King Street Hotel we learned how to do calligraphy with Joyce Lee from Artsy Nibs, Block Printing and Notebook Customisation with The Crafty Hen! I am quite creative as I'm sure you will all have read at points as I talk about how my blog is my little creative outlet that contrasts nicely with my day job!

King Street Townhouse is such a lovely venue, we got to see some amazing views across Manchester whilst getting our craft on! I think my favourite session of the day had to be calligraphy, I've been dying to attend one of Joyce's workshops so was really chuffed that Viking made it happen. I thought I would post one of Joyce's creations - the Prosecco written so beautifully that I will have to frame it!

Big thanks to Viking for hosting such a lovely event, you have ignited a crafting passion in me!
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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

TASTE OF BARBADOS


Barbados Comes to South Molton Street on Friday 5th – Sunday 7th May 2017!

Immerse  yourself  in  Barbadian  culture  and  cuisine at Taste  Of  Barbados,  a  culturally authentic experiencetaking place on South Molton Street, London from Friday 5th – Sunday 7th May.

This three - day extravaganza,  brought  to  you  by Barbados  Tourism  Marketing  Inc, will celebrate Bajan  culture,  cuisine, music, art and of course, rum – all  of  which centres on embracing  life  and  happiness.  

Barbados  is  enveloped  in  a raucous  festival  fever throughout the  year with two popular festival highlights; Cop  Over Festival in  July and August  and  the world  famous Food  and  Rum  Festival in  November. 

Taste  of  Barbados will  bring  the Caribbean flavour to your doorstep and provide you a teaser of what the stunning island has to  offer. In  addition, visitors  will  have  the  chance  to  win  holidays  to  Barbados (including flights and accommodation) with daily competitions.

“Our island is a treasure trove of wonderful and very diverse events and activities which cater to all ages. Taste of Barbados is a special event designedto not only showcase our local culture and
gastronomy but also to give potential UK visitors an insight into some of our exciting upcoming events on the island
" said Cheryl Carter, UK Director of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

‘South Molton Street and the surrounding streets in Mayfair areiconic shopping destinationsfeaturing an international mix of stores and restaurants. We are delighted to partner with leading brands to create this event and look forward to an exciting weekend.'

A selection  of  Barbados’  world - class  chefs  will be descending upon  South  Molton  Street to cook up a storm of wonderful Bajan flavours and tantalising dishes. This will include cookery demonstrations from top Barbadian chefs, such as Michelin trained, Jason Howard and Anthony  Cumberbatch, plus don’t miss the Iron Chef Culinary Cook off on Sunday at 1pm when these two chefs go head to head preparing their own creative masterpieces right before your eyes.

Experience  the  ultimate  rum masterclass with Miguel  Smith,  an  Ambassador  for  Mount  Gay Rum, the oldest rum brand in the world. This golden rum offers a taste sensation like no other.

Miguel will  be providing insider knowledge  on  Barbados, the  birthplace of  rum,  while  also providing  samples of some of the world’s oldest distilled alcoholic beverage.

Get  hands  on  with  interactive  mixology  classes hosted  by Global Rum  Ambassador, Ian Burrell.  Ian will  be  lending  his  expert  knowledge  of  rum, teaching  guests  about  the different  styles  of rum  and  mapping  the  flavour  of  each  as  they  sip  their  way  between  the islands.  Visitors will also have  the  opportunity to  create  their  own  bespoke  blend  with  a selection of Caribbean rums.

Londoners  will  be  treated  to  a  medley  of  Bajan  talent  incorporating  calypso,  spouge, contemporary folk, jazz and reggae as some of Barbados’ hottest acts including Arturo Tappin &
Band,  Cool  Breeze  DJ,  a  Barbadian  Folk  Choir,  and  several  vocalists  ranging  from
acclaimed  Calypsonians  Red  Plastic  Bag,  Biggie  Irie  and  Nikkita  and  Jazz,  Gospel  and  R&B vocalists  Tamara  Marshall,  and  Marissa  Lindsay take  to  the  main  stage  to  create  Caribbean
infused vibes. 

This eclectic mix of Barbadian music styles will provide visitors with a taste of Barbados’ exhilarating Crop Over Festival, which celebrates the end of the sugarcane harvest in July and August on the island.

There really  is something  for  everyone  at Taste  of  Barbados including  health  and  wellness fanatics with  a yoga  demonstration on  Saturday  afternoon when  experts  will  be  on  hand, teaching different types of yoga and the benefits of each.

If art is more up your street, talented photographer Raymond  Maughan will  be  showcasing  his  photographic work of all things Barbados.

There will be plenty activities for children including, drawing and dance classes.

British Airwayswill have their very own simulator operated by BA pilots, offering guests the chance to fly a jet aircraft. All ‘student pilots’ will be presented with a certificate showing their flight path and overall score.

Carter  added, “With additional flight routes, Barbados is now more accessible than ever and our  stunning  coastlines  and  rich history  makes  our  island  the  perfect  choice  for  a  relaxed getaway.”
 
Find  out  about  all  the  exciting  events  that  are  happening  on  the  island  at  the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. marquee. With 2017 being the Year of Sport, there will also be lots of information about the new and existing sporting activities on the island plus hotel partners will be on hand to provide details on their resorts and offerings.

So embrace the Barbadian vibes on South Molton Street this May; from rum tastings and cooking demonstrations to music and food - filled festivities the weekend exudes ‘extravagance’.

Don’t miss out on this wonderful event, with plenty of giveaways including trips to Barbados, the idyllic island is right at your fingertips!
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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

CHAPEL STREET SALON MANCHESTER

GALS and GUYS! For those of you who work and or live in the City Centre or just like to learn about tried and tested salons I have a newbie for you, Chapel Street Salon in Salford!

Formerly Glowing Salon, Chapel Street Salon is a Brazilian inspired hub of all things beauty, a stones throw away from Manchester City Centre. Imagine having your hair done whilst being on holiday, fantastic brazilian music and stunning decor... it is this which really sets Chapel Street Salon apart from other Salons nearby!

I popped in for a blow dry and immediately felt relaxed by the music and friendly welcome. A mere 35 minutes later I was out the door feeling fantastic and ready for dinner with my friends. The Salon is a short walk from House of Fraser in Manchester so perfect for nipping to for a lunchtime or after work blow dry or other beauty treatments!

Thank you to the team, I really enjoyed my visit so big thumbs up from me!

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

#MYDUBAI DIET WITH FAT LOSS FEAST



In 4 weeks I am heading on a girls trip to Dubai with my bff and I cannot wait!

For the past two weeks and for the next 4 weeks I am working with Joe from Fat Loss Feast to drop a few lbs and get beach ready. Joe offers Online Personal Training and nutritional advice and I am ready and raring to see some great results.

For the past two weeks we have been exchanging information and working together to get a programme that will work for me. Joe records me workout videos that I can complete when I have time and he has also prepared me a meal plan so that when I am feeling a lack of creativity in the kitchen I can rely on his suggestions to stay on track.

I have already seen some great results and I will continue to document my experiences on here as the countdown is on to my holiday. In two weeks I have lost 4 inches from my total measurements and it has felt easy and achievable. So far so good!
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Sunday, 23 April 2017

MY EDUCATION AND WORK EXPERIENCE



Unless blogging is your full time career or you work in digital marketing, PR or blogger outreach it can be hard to relate being a blogger to your work and explain why you spend your evenings and weekends sat behind a computer and snapping pictures to your hearts content.

I actually used to hide that fact that I blogged from my colleagues as I stupidly thought they would think I was frivolous, shallow and at worst not committed to my actual job! I always get asked when people hear about my blog if I want to do it full time and the honest truth is no. Whilst I am so proud of what I have achieved and massively enjoy blogging, I am also really passionate about my career in HR and want to progress. I am really ambitious and think my blog has really positively enhanced my skillset and I thought I would describe exactly why I think that is the case!

Like most, I got my 9 GCSEs, 3 A-Levels and 2 AS-Levels and did I have a clue in sixth form what I wanted to do? Of course not. I have always loved magazines and had dreams of getting into beauty journalism. When the time came to decide what next after school, I had my heart set on attending the University of Manchester and to study something quite general so it could set me up for numerous career opportunities once I left. I opted to study Management and Leisure which was Management Studies but with a focus on the leisure industry, which was perfect for me given my 'if I don't get the grades for uni' contingency plan was to study Beauty Therapy.

One of the biggest pieces of advice I could give people in the last few years of school or at uni would be to get work experience. As much as you possibly can. This will make you stand out from the other thousands of young people who all come out of uni with a massive debt and keen to jump on the career ladder. I was really fortunate that my university course incorporated placements each year as a part of the course requirements. It was through this that I found I really did enjoy the beauty industry along with having a knack for writing and marketing.

Cue a few roles as a Marketing Assistant, I soon realised that I loved being creative and working on internal comms and campaigns that meant something. A new bonus structure, company newsletters, christmas parties, you name it I was there with bells on and keen to make my mark. I have been made redundant a fair few times now during my career and each time I have been really fortunate to fall into something that was right at the time when I needed a new opportunity. It was the first redundancy that lead me down the HR path as I applied for and was successful in getting a HR job with my employer when my marketing role was redundant. I wasn't afraid of retraining and actually it gave me an opportunity to find something I really really loved. I had attended College in the evenings when I worked in Marketing to do Manicure and Pedicure (told you that love for beauty never went away!) so retraining in HR was just something I needed to do and it's the best thing I ever did.

To be successful in HR, alot of employers like to see you being CIPD qualified, so that's what I set about achieving. First the Certificate in Personnel Practice then a Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management, all studied part time in the evenings. Hard work? Yes. Did I resent the evening and weekend study? Again, yes. Would I do anything different? Absolutely not. I am currently working towards my application to become a Chartered Member of the CIPD which basically means you really know your stuff in the HR world. You have to be able to demonstrate certain knowledge and responsibilities and I want to prove to myself and my network that I am precisely that.

Now, you maybe thinking to yourself, what does all this have to do with blogging and how on earth does she think the two are linked?

Stay with me.

As a HR professional, I have often been involved in recruitment and candidates will be assessed against certain competencies. When you are interviewing for a role, having a healthy work life balance, networking, trying to climb the corporate ladder, everything is about having a drive, enthusiasm and ambition. My blog has encouraged me to get out there, network, attend events, be more confident and PR myself. All very worthwhile skills for the workplace. And that's before we touch on being creative, being discplined, organised, a good communicator and being able to work to deadlines.

I have realised that my work and my hobby can go together hand in hand as I can merge my skills between the two. My love of beauty is catered for in a relaxed, non pressured environment, I can be creative, at work feel like I am really contributing to people's lives (cliche I know), and above all be happy with how my career is going, what my goals are and how I plan to achieve them.

I am really very passionate about being ambitious, I think it is healthy and attractive in others to want to better yourself. I enjoy learning and I like to be respected. I read Girl Boss and really admired Sophia Amoruso, her sheer determination and having some impressive business balls! I think there is a lot to be learned from her words and I for one will be continuing with the Girl Boss mentality!!

If any of my readers want to chat about CVs / transferable skills / interview technique then please feel free to email me I would really love to help!
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Saturday, 22 April 2017

#MYBAGXCSC

I was fortunate to be invited to a lovely little afternoon tea at King Street Townhouse with MyBag and Cambridge Satchel Company to get a sneak peak at the new summer collection which I am DROOLING over!

I didn't realise that Cambridge Satchel Company did bags other than the usual satchels and some of the shapes are very Mulberry-esque for a fraction of the price but still amazing quality.

A major blogger perk of the day was that we all received our very own mini poppy bag in terracotta (a MyBag exclusive!) which was personalised with our initials. Such a lovely touch and I am so grateful for such a generous gift!

The afternoon tea was absolutely delicious and everything about the day was super thoughtful and was one of those pinch me moments as a blogger.

I have my eyes set on this neon coral number to add to my collection next! *inserts all the heart eyes emojis*

Thank you to My Bag and Cambridge Satchel Company for a wonderful afternoon xx
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Thursday, 20 April 2017

ESPA EXPERIENCE AT HARVEY NICHOLS


You know when your skin feels dull and in need of some TLC when people start to comment that you look 'tired' which let's face it is a polite way of saying you look like crap...

This has been my issue for the past few weeks so when the lovely ladies at ESPA in Harvey Nichols in Manchester invited me in to show off the GORGEOUS new packaging of the products and have a facial I jumped at the chance!

Nestled in the Beauty Hall the counter is really lovely and ESPA also have use of the Harvey Nichols Beauty Treatment Rooms once a month for a week which is great as it means you can pop in for your ESPA fix and take advantage of a facial too!

The Treatment Rooms are the most lovely calming location just off the Beauty Hall, I was settled onto a super comfy bed and immediately felt relaxed from the scents of the products. I always think ESPA is unique in the way they use your sense of smell to determine what your skin needs in terms of product range. This time I needed a routine to address the combination of dryness and oiliness which I didn't even have to describe.. evidently my nose knew!

It was a god send for my skin and I have really noticed a difference in the weeks afterwards. I have felt much more awake looking and fresh faced which let's face it, that's all anyone wants!

If you want to book in for a treatment then you can call ESPA direct on 0161 828 8839, you will not regret it!
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Monday, 10 April 2017

WHAT'S IN MY EVENING BAG?


I am so nosy and really enjoy reading this type of post.. I have never done the whole what's in my bag tag so today is the day!!

This is what tends to be in my bag during the evening and I will show you what is in my day bag at a later date.

So let's get started. First up we have to discuss the bag. This is my current go-to evening bag as it is just so versatile and my fave shoes are my multi buckle numbers from Topshop so the Pewter colour goes perfectly with the silver buckles. It is the Charles and Keith Pewter Weave Chain Shoulder Bag and can we just pause to appreciate how lovely it is and also how cheap! At £59, I think this was an absolute steal. It's really high quality and I love everything about it. It fits a surprising amount in it and I will definitely be adding more Charles and Keith bags to my bag collection. Just FYI this isn't a sponsored post but I feel more people need to know about this amazing brand!

If I am travelling by public transport then I HAVE to have head phones with me. Mine are the bog standard Apple iPhone ones and I find them to be pretty good.

Makeup and fragrance wise, this is what seems to fill my bag.. (vain much??!!). I carry my perfume which is the Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille which smells like a dream, a Tilbs Lipstick, Mariah Carey for MAC Lipgloss, Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk and an eye chameleon crayon, pressed powder, Kabuki Brush from SpaceNK, MAC Fix + Spray and my Hourglass blush and highlighting palette because it's just so beautiful and can be a use everywhere product!

My purse is a little Aspinal of London Pouch which fits in my cards and some cash but isn't too bulky. Finally, not pictured but FIRMLY in my handbag is my phone! I am using the iPhone 7 Plus and I really love it. I have a HA Designs Personalised Phone Cover and if you are looking for personalised phone covers or other personalised products then definitely check out HA Designs.

What are your evening bag essentials?
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