My Prom Dress Picks For Under £100

Friday, 17 April 2015

While my prom days are over (not like we really get prom over here in England, it's usually more of a second rate 'leavers ball') when it comes to pretty dresses I can't help but have a browse. I wish that I had the kind of lifestyle where I could wear dresses like this on a regular basis, because you can get some genuinely beautiful pieces these days for such good prices. I've been scouring through this years prom dresses and thought I'd share with you some of my favourites, hopefully it gives you some inspiration if you're off to prom this year!

If I was off to prom this year, I'm almost certain I'd go for a blue dress. Over the past few years my favourite colour has switched from pink to pale blue, I find it's such an elegant colour and is pretty without being too girly. The dresses above are some of my favourite cheap blue prom dresses, at under £100 each they're such a bargain and I'm sure you'll agree they're all just stunning. My favourite is the dress on the left, I love the sparkly detail and the layered skirt! In terms of fit, these are all the types of dresses that will flatter any figure due to the fitted bust and waist and flowy skirt.

I'm obsessed with the style of mermaid dresses, while I'd personally go with something less fitted for myself they're a perfect option if you're body confident and want to show off your figure. A mermaid dress will accentuate your curves while still having the drama of a standard ball gown with the voluminous skirt. These cheap mermaid dresses are the ones that caught my eye, I particularly like the yellow one on the right. This probably isn't a colour I'd have considered before, but after seeing this I like that it's a bit different and is a great spring/ summer shade.

Finally if you wanted to go for something different altogether then how about a short prom dress? Back when I was choosing a dress for my prom I don't think going for a short one ever crossed my mind, but these days they're definitely something I'd consider. A short dress can look just as glamorous as a long ball gown, especially if you go with something with nice detailing on like these ones. I think the one of the left with the short front/ long back is just amazing- it's a nice way to get the best of both worlds if you can't make up your mind! Otherwise if your legs are your best feature or you have a nice tan you want to show off don't rule out a short dress, it might be the perfect style for you!

Are you off to prom this year?

Making Your Daily Regime As Simple as Possible

Thursday, 16 April 2015

It doesn't matter who you are or the kind of lifestyle you lead, I think it's fair to assume that we all find mornings a challenge. If I haven't had enough sleep I'm quite honestly the worst person to be around, meaning that mornings are often not my favourite time of day! But as I've gotten older I've realised there's so much you can do to make your morning run more smoothly, and so even if you're still tired your day can get off to a much more positive start. With a little bit of organisation (and simplifying and streamlining tasks) you can set a good start for the rest of your day.

Wake Up Well
Even if you have to wake up at what feels like an unnatural time, doing it in a natural way can help a lot. Alarm clocks that start low and gradually increase in volume (or that gradually fill the room with imitation sunlight) will help you feel much better as the day begins. Personally I find that choosing the right alarm tone can make a huge difference too, anything too harsh has me wanting to throw the thing out of the window the second it goes off! Open the curtains as soon as possible after you get up, and having a shower will make you feel instantly refreshed and more awake.

 Plan Your Outfit
This is definitely something I've learned to do over the years, and ideally your outfit (including shoes and accessories) should all be laid out the night before. The amount of times I used to assume something was hung up in my wardrobe just to wake up late and realise it wasn't where I thought. Full morning meltdowns usually followed where I've been rushing around trying to locate a certain item of clothing or a lost shoe. Do yourself a favour and spend five minutes the night before making sure everything is set out, while you're there you could check that your bag has everything you need for the following day too.

Take Charge of Breakfast
I find the best way to jolt myself fully awake and get rid of that morning fuzzy head feeling is with a hot cup of coffee. Tassimo coffee machines take the hassle out of making it, leaving you free to prepare breakfast. A good healthy breakfast will get you off on the right foot, you could even pop on the radio while you're preparing and eating it to catch up on the day's news. If you're feeling particularly enthusiastic you could walk or cycle to walk which will not only mean you avoid traffic but means you get a bit of exercise into your day too.

Keep Organised
It’s a whole lot easier to get things done if you have familiar systems to help you manage your activities. Some things like washing up, laundry and general tidying will have to be done daily but for other chores you could assign different tasks to set days so you know exactly how your week is going to run. Keep track of things in a diary or on a calendar so you know what you need to do, where you need to go and when- this will help to avoid missed appointments and deadlines too. Keeping your home tidy and organised will make the daily jobs in your routine much easier, and so it's well worth keeping on top of.

Treat Yourself
Making your way through weeks where everything seems much the same can be daunting, but planning regular treats for yourself really livens up your routine. Studies show that people tend to feel lowest on Tuesdays because they don’t have as much energy as on Monday but there’s still most of the week to go. A Tuesday treat, whether it’s a meal out, an evening with friends or a long pampering bath can give you something to look forward to just when you need it. Being organised like this can be time consuming at the outset but it will soon pay off and leave you with a lot more energy for enjoying life. 

What do you do to make your daily regime as simple as possible?

Five Summer Safety Essentials

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

With Easter under our belt and spring well underway, I think it's fair to say that we're all counting down the days until the summer arrives at this point! While your shopping trips are probably focused on sandals and summer dresses at the moment, it's well worth taking the time to think about your sun safety essentials too. They're an important thing to consider whether you're off to a sunny country or just staying at home; it's easy to assume that just because you're not on a beach that you don't need to worry about sun protection or hydration. But while it might not be a typically warm climate here in the UK, there have been days that have been known to hit temperatures as high as 33 degrees celsius- which is as hot as Hawaii and Florida in the summer! So shop smart and be prepared for some potentially scorching weather in the next few months- here are some essentials to jot down onto your summer shopping list.

Not just for practical reasons (no-one wants to be squinting their way through summer!) sunglasses provide protection against damaging UV rays. Over time UV rays can actually cause catarracts and macular degeneration, which is pretty scary! Oversized sunglasses are most effective, not only do they look ultra glamorous but will protect the delicate under eye area from premature aging too. I love the Givenchy pair above from SCLO, they have a huge range of styles including designer brands, polarized and prescription sunglasses.

Water Bottle
It's so easy to become dehydrated on a hot day, it's important to not wait until you're thirsty to have a drink and is recommended that you take sips of water throughout the day. It's easy to do that if you have a water bottle on hand, and is especially important if you're out and about with no easy access to drinking water. I love these fruit infusion bottles as they give a nice natural hint of flavouring, you can pick them up cheaply from places like eBay. In order to stay hydrated on hot days be sure to limit caffeine and alcohol.

You know summer has really arrived when the floppy straw hats come out. A sun hat will shade your eyes and face from the sun's UV rays and also protect your scalp from sunburn. A hat will also help to protect your hair, which can easily become frazzled in the sun (if you know you're going to be outside in the summer, use a heat protectant!) I think this one from Asos is really cute, and gives a relaxed festival kind of look to a summer outfit.

On a hot day it might seem like the last thing you want to do is cover up with sleeves. But I'm not talking about throwing on a chunky knitted jumper, a nice lightweight top will help to keep damaging UV rays off your skin without making you too warm. This is especially worth bearing in mind if you have a skin tone that's prone to burning, and tends to burn even with a high SPF. Something like the kimono above will keep the sun off your shoulders (which are particularly prone to burning). Choose lighter coloured clothing, as dark colours will absorb heat and cause you to get too hot.

I think when most people think about SPF, the first thought that comes to mind is horrible heavy sticky lotion that takes ages to absorb and leaves a white layer on the skin. But sun protection products have come a long way in the last few years, and you can pick up things like mists and sprays that are light on the skin and absorb almost instantly, as well as products that are especially designed for the face. My favourite is the Nivea Protect and Refresh spray which not only provides sun protection, but gives an amazing cooling effect to the skin. Just what you need on roasting hot days! Be sure to also choose a lip balm with SPF too, as lips are susceptible to burning and damage just as much as the rest of the face.

What are your summer essentials?

The Perfect Smokey Eye With Yves Rocher

Friday, 10 April 2015

 Products from Yves Rocher*

A neutral smokey eye with black liner is the look I go for pretty much every time I do my makeup, I find it gives my eyes great definition without being OTT for the daytime. Over the last week I've been creating my smokey eye look with the help of these gorgeous Yves Rocher products, I've made no secret of how much I love this brand and it's no wonder when everything is always just so good! Another bonus about Yves Rocher is they always do amazing sales, and if you're on the site at the right time you can snag some absolute bargains. I'd have no problem at all recommending these at full price because they honestly are worth it, but those sale prices are unbeatable making it a no-brainer if you fancy treating yourself to some lovely new products.

Fixing Eye Primer 
(RRP £12.50 Sale Price £7.50)
 All good smokey eye looks need to start with a good base (unless you want to look like a panda by midday) and this one by Yves Rocher is great. It's nice and light, keeps the shimmer in place and stops any eyeshadow from migrating down your cheeks. It's a light, velvety texture that makes the eyelid nice and smooth and even ready for eyeshadow. You only need the tiniest dab of this, so I imagine this little tube will last for ages.

 Volume Vertige Mascara 
(RRP £22 // Sale Price £11.50 )
I've had this before, it's probably my favourite mascara that I've ever tried (and probably shouldn't admit that I used the last one way past the three month mark because I loved it and couldn't bear to throw it away!) So having this back in my life was an extremely welcomed addition, and it's every bit as good as I remember. The shape of the wand means it keeps the lashes clump free, and it's enriched with botanical ingredients. The formula of this one is quite wet especially when its new, but it's the type of mascara that gets better and better as time goes on.

100% Kajal Liner 
(RRP £15.90 // Sale Price £9.95)
I'm extremely picky with black eyeliner, after using what I consider to be the ultimate (Urban Decay Perversion liner) for the past year I felt as though nothing else could compare. But the second I swatched it I knew me and this liner were going to be the best of friends. Highly pigmented, bold and blacker than black- it lasts well, doesn't smudge and all in all I'm just obsessed with it. I really love the unique twist up style they've gone with for this, it's perfect.

Quad Eyeshadow Palette 
(RRP £25 Sale Price £12.50)
Finally, the pièce de résistance is this absolutely beautiful eyeshadow palette. Everything from the luxurious rose gold packaging to the soft, highly pigmented shadows is just stunning. I didn't own a nice compact little palette like this up until now, I know it's going to be the perfect travel companion whenever I need to pack a bag. The shades are so pretty and would suit everyone, and just from these four shadows you can easily create a light everyday look or a bold smokey eye. I've gone with the taupe colour on the lid with the light brown through the crease and the darker brown for added intensity on the outer edge and under the lash line. The sparkly gold is a really nice highlight, or as all all over lid colour for a lighter look.

Have you tried any of these products?

DIY Hair Repair Remedies

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

image source
When long healthy hair is so highly regarded as reflecting youth and beauty, it's no wonder we all want to get in on it. Maybe you're one of the lucky ones who are naturally blessed with gorgeous locks, but for the rest of us it can take time and effort. I personally have hair that not only grows at a snails pace, but what I do have is so wispy and fine it doesn't exactly stand up well to being abused with hair dyes, bleach and heat styling tools (which you'll know I clearly can't leave alone if you've read any of my past posts!) I recently spoke about some of my favourite repairing hair products, but you don't always have to resort to expensive treatments. There are so many home remedies with excellent repairing properties that you probably have in your kitchen or fruit bowl right now! Here are some of my favourites, and how they benefit the hair.

Rich in fats and protein, eggs are great for applying to the hair once a month to strengthen and nourish the strands. While it's the yolk that contains most of the beneficial properties, the whites have bacteria eating enzymes that are great for gently removing oils from the hair and scalp. A protein hair treatment like this should always be followed up with a deep conditioner to stop hair from going brittle- and only use once a month as loading it up with too much protein is actually damaging. Whisk them up in a bowl and carefully apply the mixture to towel dried hair- don't go randomly cracking eggs onto your head, as hilarious as that would probably be I'm pretty sure most of the mixture would end up everywhere other than your hair.

Bananas and Avocados
These are both incredibly healthy fruits with amazing vitamins and healthy fat content, which are not only beneficial when eaten but deliver a huge moisture boost to the hair when applied as a mask too. Because of the soft texture of these they're easy to mash up to form the base of your DIY mask, just be sure to get the mixture as smooth as possible for the best effect (take it from me, washing lumpy bits of fruit out of your hair is horrendous and takes forever!)

Honey is one of natures miracle ingredients. Anti bacterial, anti fungal, has healing properties and even acts as a 'humectant' which attracts moisture- perfect when it comes to using on the hair. It nourishes and enriches the hair, and mixed with some of the other ingredients you don't need much of it to reap great benefits.

Natural Oils
Some natural oils that are particularly beneficial for the hair are coconut oil, olive oil and sweet almond oil as they're able to penetrate through the shaft of the hair in order to provide moisture (unlike other oils that will only sit on top of the hair strands). They condition and moisturise, promote scalp health and fight off fungi and bacteria among other things, it's no wonder women around the world have been using these on their hair for centuries.

This might seem like a bit of an odd one, but vinegar can be really beneficial for the hair. It's a great clarifier which can help remove product build up, dirt, oils and pollution. I honestly cant stand the smell of vinegar, but as I do a lot of intense deep conditioning treatments I find it's handy to have in the kitchen for when my hair starts to feel a bit weighed down and so try to grin and bear it. Simply rinse all the way through your hair once a month, and follow up with your regular shampoo and conditioner. A great, gentle alternative to expensive clarifying shampoos!

Once you've decided on the ingredients you want to use, you're ready to make your DIY hair mask! Carefully mash or blend any solid ingredients to a smooth paste, and mix in your oils or liquids to form your mask. Run it through damp towel dried hair and generously wrap some cling film around it, which will stop you from making a mess (plus the heat from your head will speed up the conditioning process). Then all that's left to do is wait for it to work it's magic and relax for twenty minutes- try something like online bingo at Gamevillage Bingo; for just £5 deposit you get a whopping 400% bonus plus a free spin on fortune wheel with the chance to win cash, bingo tickets and freebets. Who knows, you might win yourself a nice prize in the time it takes to condition your hair!

What are your favourite DIY hair mask ingredients?

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