26 June 2016

Three Reasons To Order Your Wedding Dress Online

Jusere showroom
For many brides looking to buy a wedding dress, a traditional dress shop or boutique is their first port of call. However with the cost of weddings rising, you might be considering ordering online from abroad instead in order to cut costs. This might be bad news for brick and mortar wedding dress stores, but there are a number of reasons why this type of online service is hugely beneficial, and can make things so much easier for a bride-to-be. Here are three reasons why it's worth considering ordering online.

Better Customisation Options
Long ago most brides would buy their dresses under the guidance of a salesperson. However these days, with websites like Pinterest and access to thousands of images of wedding dresses online, brides have a much more specific idea of what they want before even stepping into a bridal shop. Even the largest wedding dress stores are unable to cater to this, and the fact that they do not offer customisations (or if they do, they're very expensive) there has become an urgent need for this service. An online shop offering customisation will give you free reign to choose fabrics, styles, different lengths- you have a million different choices and can create the perfect dress instead of simply choosing from a set number of styles.

2. Less Expensive
Possibly one of the main reasons you'd choose to order online as opposed to a bridal shop- the prices will be much more affordable which is ideal for brides on a budget or those looking to save money. If you don't have the means or inclination to spend thousands on a dress you'll wear once, you can cut this back to a few hundred or less by ordering from an online wedding dress shop. These sites will be happy to send you pictures of actual dresses they have made if you ask, so you can get an idea of the quality of work they produce. Some websites will have their own factory made up of skilled workers whereas others will source wholesale wedding dresses such as these from Jusere Wedding dress. 

3. More Thorough Consultation
An appointment in a bridal shop is only ever going to be a limited amount of time. If you order a custom piece online you're able to email back and forth, and include a lot more detail of exactly what it is you're after and how you want your dress to look. Be sure to ask questions about the materials and include all of the little details you're after, sending pictures where possible. While there are a few horror stories of badly made gowns, the majority of these stores are extremely professional and create excellent pieces. Just be sure to do your research, and check out reviews for the company you plan on ordering from.

Would you order a wedding dress online?

25 June 2016

Oils of Heaven by Ooh! Review

I'm a huge fan of facial oils, and have used them in my skincare routine religiously for a couple of years now. Regardless of the season or combination of products I'm using, you can pretty much guarantee it will feature an oil of some description. If you're still a bit suspicious about using oils on your face in the worry that they'll cause spots or clogged skin, trust me it's time to push past that way of thinking. These types of products are specially formulated for delicate facial skin and will benefit just about everyone, so even oily or acne prone skin types don't need to shy away. Two oils I've been testing recently are from the brand 'Oils of Heaven'- a company who scour the world to find the most effective beauty oils, sourcing from small local suppliers which in turn helps communities (particularly women) to establish a livelihood for themselves. I really do love brands like this, who not only produce amazing products but have also thought about the ethics of their business.

Both oils have a similar consistency, and don't have a scent which is great if you prefer fragrance free products (or have very sensitive skin which some perfumes can irritate). They're not as light on the skin as some oils I've tried, however they do still absorb nicely within a minute or two and don't leave any residue on the skin. Because they're so hydrating and take a little longer to sink in, I've found it's better to apply them in the evening rather than right before makeup. While they feel similar in texture and application, they both contain different ingredients which offer different skin benefits. The organic moringa oil is designed to detoxify the skin; it's ideal for preventing free radicals and other skin damaging agents, and is also an excellent cleanser and moisturiser. If you live or work in a big city or are generally around pollution a lot, this can help to undo the effects and prevent premature aging. The cacay oil is aimed at preventing aging; studies show that cacay nuts contain 50% more vitamin E and twice the amount of linoleic acid than argan oil, as well as three times more retinol than rose hip oil. Truly a wonder ingredient, offering loads of amazing benefits to the skin.

There are two other products in the range: an organic argan oil aimed at intensely hydrating the skin, and an organic rosehip cell which helps to regenerate skin cells. So regardless of your skin concerns, Oils of Heaven pretty much have you covered. I've been hugely impressed with both of these oils, I've been using them for a number of weeks now and feel a distinct improvement in my skin. They're going to be especially great for preventing dry skin over the summer, and will definitely be coming along with me on any trips or holidays this year. These aren't budget products but you do get what you pay for. If you are looking to add a facial oil to your routine it's worth checking out this offer. if you buy a bottle of cacay oil you get a rosehip oil (worth £19) for free. 

Do you use a facial oil in your skincare routine?

21 June 2016

Planning A Renovation? Don't Make These Mistakes!

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Planning on any home renovations this summer? Sprucing up your home and making a positive change is always a great feeling, however with bigger projects there's always the worry of what uncertainty and risks lie ahead. Here are three things to bear in mind when you're renovating your home.

Come Up With a Plan
Don't just jump in feet first;, plan, research and plan some more in order for things to go as smoothly as possible. Make all big decisions before the work starts- depending on how things progress you may have to be flexible and make changes along the way, but it helps to have an idea of what you want from the beginning. Spend time creating mood boards, use Pinterest and scour similar projects to help you in the planning phase.

Create a Realistic Budget
Financing is hugely important, making sure you can actually cover the cost of what you want to do will mean you don't end up with half finished jobs that you cant afford to complete. If you can’t pay for the work outright then you may need to look into home owner loans and other solutions. Be sure to secure all the materials you need before day one of construction, even little things like a tin of paint being late can throw everything into the air. Do the maths; get quotes for labour, price up materials and work out how much everything likely to cost. Always have a contingency fund, an extra pot of money put aside for any unexpected expenses. It's naive to think you'll get away without having to use it!

Decide If It's Worth It
When you approach a contractor for a quote, they may not readily admit it but it's not worth it to renovate some properties. Consider the 'ceiling price' (this is the maximum price people will pay on a property in an area) this means that regardless of the renovations and amount of money you spend, it will only ever be worth a certain amount. This is fine if you intend on staying there, but means if you want to sell further down the line you wont make your money back. Before carrying out renovations, decide if you should spend the money elsewhere in your home first. For example, there's no point adding extra rooms and features if your home needs new insulation or electrics.

Do you have any tips for people currently renovating their home?

19 June 2016

Wedding Guest Outfit Ideas

There's no doubt about it, choosing an outfit for a wedding is difficult. Since wedding season is now in full swing, if you're due to attend any this year you're probably wondering what exactly you're going to wear. If you've scoured your favourite shops and are coming up blank, why not try looking in a shop that sells prom dresses? It might not be the first place you'd think to look for a wedding guest outfit, but there are tonnes of cheap prom dresses that are absolutely gorgeous and if you choose the right style are just perfect for an occasion like this. Here are a few of my favourite prom dresses 2016 that would be ideal to wear as a wedding guest.

I really love this, the lace design is just gorgeous. While this is shown in ivory (which would look lovely worn with some pretty pastel accessories) one of the bonuses with ordering from a custom made dress shop, is that they offer their items in a huge range of colours. Short prom dresses like this are great for special occasions as they don't look too 'prom like' and are suitable for other occasions too.

This is something that would be great for both the ceremony as well as the after party. It could be worn with a blazer and fascinator for a very appropriate daytime wedding look, but the lacy back detail means it would look amazing for the evening celebrations too.

Chiffon dresses are always really flattering, and the beaded neck detail of this one means you wouldn't need to wear lots of accessories as it already looks dressy enough for the evening. It in no way looks like a poofy prom dress, and again adding a jacket would finish the look for the daytime ceremony. 

As with the others this comes in a wide range of colours, although I especially love the coral and think it would be a great choice for a summer wedding. I love the wide straps and the fact that it looks almost like a skirt/top combo. A perfect example of prom dresses that's also suitable as a general evening/ special occasion dress.

Have you been invited to any weddings this year? 

18 June 2016

Kiko's Summer Collection

Kiko never fail to get me excited about makeup; I've always raved about their products and had great things to say about the brand, but they have well and truly outdone themselves with their new summer collection. Beautiful products all packaged up in the most gorgeous, glamorous gold casing- these have caused a storm in the beauty world since their release and it really is no wonder. There are a number of products in this collection, but here are a few that I've been trying out!

At almost £23 you might be thinking that this is approaching high end pricing territory, however, this is a huge bronzer. If for example you compare it with the similarly priced Benefit Hoola (eight grams) this contains a whopping twenty grams. Baked makeup products are always pretty to look at and this is no exception, the marbling running through the bronzer looks so gorgeous. It has a satin finish on the skin, not too shimmery or glittery but you do get a highlighting glow which is great for the summer. There are two shades available, I have the lighter one which is ideal for light and medium skin tones.

Desert Dunes Baked Blush: £16.90
This baked blush comes with a trio of shades, so you can either choose specific areas or swirl all three colours onto your brush. The pigmentation is top notch and the formula is velvety smooth, it applies really nicely and you only need a small amount for the perfect flush of colour. As with the bronzer it has a satin, highlighted finish so when you're wearing this there's no need to apply a highlighter as well. This is the shade Impulsive Mauve which is a dusky pink, there's also a coral and a more bronzey colour in the collection which look really pretty.

Mirage Lip Stylo: £13.90
Possibly the most swoon worthy lipsticks I've ever seen, not only do these look absolutely stunning but the formula and shades are just perfect too. They glide on effortlessly, provide great pigmentation and lasting power and are all-round just amazing lipsticks- they even have a magnetic closure in the lid which makes them feel really expensive and well made. I'm obsessed with shade 01, it's such a great wearable colour and looks so nice with a summery bronzed makeup look.

Despite not being housed in the same pretty packaging, this is possibly my favourite product of the bunch. I'm obsessed with this thing, it's the most gorgeous creamy yet matte lip and cheek crayon. I've not used it much as a blush but as a lip crayon it's amazing; it lasts all day, it's comfortable on the lips and this nude/ coral shade is so perfect for this time of year. This is actually one of the least expensive things in the collection, if you're making a Kiko order then don't overlook this!

Containing jojoba oil, shea butter, wild mango butter and vitamin E- these lip oils are designed to nourish the lips while giving a glossy finish. I do prefer matte lip products over glossier ones, although I do still like these especially because they actually benefit the lips as well as just looking nice. There are three different shades available, however on the lips they're pretty much clear and so I wouldn't spend too much time deciding between colours. I love that they've tied the packaging of these in with the rest of the collection with the gold lids.

will you be picking up anything from this collection?

17 June 2016

Quick and Easy Ways To Give Your Bathroom A Makeover

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Is your bathroom up to the same standards as the rest of your house? Bathrooms are so hard to get right, sometimes they lack style and other times they're just too small and don't have space for the necessary storage. Probably the worst thing about the room is that they are hard to design; not only do they take a lot of work, but they're also expensive. Here are a few ways you can give your bathroom a makeover without too much hassle.

Add More Mirrors
Mirrors reflect light and make spaces look bigger, which is exactly what you need in a tiny room like the bathroom. Place them strategically (opposite windows usually works best) and don't be afraid to use a large statement mirror even in a small bathroom. The best thing about them is that they're cheap and only take a few minutes to install. 

Fresh Coat Of Paint
Paint makes everything look nicer, even the most dated bathrooms will look better with a fresh coat of paint. Light shades will make the room look bigger so opting for a white, pastel or very light neural shade will always be your best bet in the bathroom- keep bright or bolder shades for elsewhere in the house!

Spruce Up The Fixtures
Fixtures can start to look dated just like decor can, but updating things like taps will bring a new lease of life to your bathroom and make it look much more modern. Tiles and panelling are great choices, take a look at a Showerwall sample for some ideas before taking the plunge. Alternatively give your current tiles a good clean, re-grouting or simply using a grout pen will make the entire area look a lot cleaner and fresher. 

Multi-Purpose Storage
Small bathrooms suffer from a lack of storage, but you can change that with a handful of accessories. What you want are storage solutions that look good and fit your space as well as being practical. Consider using a wall mounted cabinet mirror, as well as slim and tall sets of drawers (that will offer a lot of storage without taking up too much floor space). Hooks on the back of your bathroom doors can be used to hang towels on, and shower caddies will keep all of your most used products neat and tidy.

16 June 2016

Five Ways To Make A Statement In Your Home

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Your home is somewhere to showcase your style and personality; most of us aim to create a space that we're happy and comfortable in, as well one we're proud to show to family and friends. If like me you're crazy about neutrals, you might find that your rooms can lack a little something that really make them stand out. But there are ways of going about it without stepping way out of your comfort zone, here are five ways to make a statement in your home!

1. A Statement Wall
Statement walls can immediately bring interest into otherwise plain rooms, and can make a space look much more complete. There are tonnes of bold and beautiful wallpaper designs to choose from, but if like me adding loads of colour and loud patterns isn't really your thing you can still create a statement wall. Even muted neutral shades and soft and pretty patterns will still draw your eye to the main wall in your room, and give a gorgeous homely appearance.

2. Lighting
It's important to think carefully about what lighting options are going to suit a room, ideally you will have a variety of different light sources to create different moods. For example along with the main overhead light you could add a couple of smaller table lamps and a large floor lamp or even wall sconces; this will give you a lot of different options for how bright or dim you want the room depending on what you're doing in it during the day and night. You can buy your floor lamps at Lamp and Light, as they have a great range of sizes and colours that will suit your room. LED lights behind and around furniture and strip lights under kitchen cupboards all look really effective too.

3. Artwork
Artwork is a fantastic way to make a statement in your home, and is one really easy way to show your tastes and personality. The world is your oyster here, you could choose anything from a designer piece to something you picked up from a shop or local art gallery. You could even create something yourself if you have the skills! You could invest in an expensive piece of art, or if you're on a budget have something printed and frame it yourself. 

4. Furniture
When it comes to main pieces of furniture I always think it's best to play quite safe, and go with plainer designs that wont look out of style within a couple of years- after all it's not cheap to simply change them whenever you get bored. However there are ways of making a statement with furniture that doesn't cost the earth; for example if you've invested in a plain sofa, team it up with a less expensive statement armchair or footstool. If you can get hold of solid furniture second hand, you could always give it a makeover and turn it into the perfect statement piece.

5. Soft Furnishings and Accessories
Possibly the easiest way to make a statement in a room is with accessories and soft furnishings. Simply adding lots of cushions in different shades, prints and textures can immediately transform a plain looking bed or sofa. A large statement rug and some throws and you can bring colour or patten into a room without spending much, and can easily switch them up whenever you feel like a change. Another way to bring in some vibrant colour is to add a large plant or a vase of fresh flowers, then you have an excuse to buy yourself fresh flowers every couple of weeks too!