Thursday, 11 May 2017

YSL Black Opium Floral Shock // Exhilarated

YSL Black Opium Floral Shock  50ml* £61 Debenhams Perfume

As a bit of a perfume collector (I now have about 10 different bottles on the go - Don't tell me I'm a hoarder, I know), I put off buying Black Opium Floral Shock since it started appearing. Trying to cut down my collection to 1-2 key bottles, I decided I had to finish at least 5 before adding any more. Dan had different ideas though, as he knew I loved this scent, spraying it every time I walked through Debenhams or the YSL make up counters. Then I was offered a bottle for review - Literally just after my birthday. And as if I could say no? So now I have a big bottle at home, and a smaller bottle at work. Signature fragrance found, it looks like the bottle collection won't be shrinking any time soon.

I was asked to think of a time when I'd felt exhilarated, to reflect the bold and electrifying aura of YSL's Black Opium Floral Shock. For me, its easy. I've always had a problem with anxiety, and although sometimes I come across as outcome (sometimes) I'm actually a bit of an introvert. Which is fine, until you're shooting 40+ weddings a year with your husband and feel a bit of a plonker being a bit shy. Until now. I've recently lost my excess weight, completely overhauled my wardrobe, and went on a course. It was a Photography course, but a good portion of it was about your own belief systems, positivity and a bunch of other stuff that I'm sure sounds so cliche and boring. But honestly - I walked out of that course a different person. I've told myself time and time again that 'enough was enough,' but I'd never been able to overcome those 'demons,' that hung over me. Until now. I'm not sure what was different about that course, but since then, and alongside everything else, I've felt unstoppable. I've faced fears knowing full well that the fear was much worse than any potential outcome of facing that fear. I've talked to strangers and actually enjoyed it, I've navigated myself around public transport, I've opened the front door to the post man! And at weddings I've well and truly got involved, been a part of the party and been the brides best friend. And my photos are SO MUCH BETTER for it. I've been getting those real value moments I usually only capture by 'candid photojournalism.' I've actually been creating those moments, and that puts me at a whole new level. Exhilarated doesn't even come close. Finding out you're the subject of a bit of a bitch fest? Not bothered. Usually I'd be a nervous wreck. Say what you want, come at me. I don't care. I'm being be - You be you. 

So yeah, I think this splendid little bottle of sass arrived at promptly the right time. The description, if they ever make sense to anyone, includes black coffee, bold citrus notes, and a cool mysterious notes of white musk. In my words, its definitely says sexy rock-chick (reflected perfectly in the pink and black glittered bottle) and is the epitome of edgy femininity. Does that make sense? Definitely give it a sniff - You'll be obsessed, (and it lasts forever)! 

Sarah xx

Sunday, 23 April 2017

No worries in Lake Como








Jacket - River Island
T-shirt - Primark
Jeans - Topshop Joni
Sunglasses - Rayban 3025 

March just gone saw our first wedding anniversary. Time flew, just as everyone said it would, from our engagement in 2014, to the wedding in 2016. Now, here we are, no longer called 'the newlyweds,' another year on. Time really does fly, and although I'm only 28, I find myself clutching desperately onto whatever I can grab, because time is ever more insistent on haste. I made a promise to myself after the wedding - A resolution, if you will. That I'd say 'yes' to more things and deny the worries in my mind the time of day - Spend more time doing, and less time wishing and worrying. The wedding was a huge confidence boost. 
I let Dan plan this trip for our Anniversary. Normally I'd need to know whats going on, to be sure of every single detail, to be in control of it, too. A trait I appear to have inherited from my borderline-OCD Dad. But this turned out beautifully. Don't things look so much better when they're someone elses work? (Anyone else lose their appetite after cooking a huge meal? Why is that)? A reminder that I can have some time to myself from time to time, and a reminder that pushing my worries to the back of my mind won't always end in disaster, as expected. No more pandering to their needs. 

One worry that was difficult to ignore, however, was the weight I'd gained over winter, after breaking my ankle and feeling useless for a while. Then, I had plenty of time, and I couldn't use it as I'd like to. Paint the house, plant the garden, nope. What torture it is to spend all your time watching time. Anyway, I'd gained weight and felt unable to dress myself. Half because nothing I owned actually fit, but half because I felt unlike myself. As soon as I was able to stand long enough to prepare something simple, we started getting ourselves back on track. No more pandering to those worries. Time to deal with them. By the time we'd gone to Lake Como, Dan had lost 3 stone, and I had lost 1 and a half. We had ourselves back to how we felt and looked on our wedding day, and we had an absolute blast in Lake Como.


Also. The Mulberry Lily. Worth every bit of time I spent working for the dollar. 

Adios Amigos
Sarah x


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Happy Valentines // A Biscuiteers Treat


biscuiteers

biscuiteers

biscuiteers

biscuiteers

biscuiteers

Completely handmade and customisable, these cute little biscuits make a really unique gift, especially for those who apparently already have everything they want and need - Who wouldn't want a deluxe tin of biscuits like these? This is the 'Love Letters' tin, but there a lot of 'themed boxes' to choose from and more personal options such as a Marvel comic themed tin, ski themed tin, and my favourite, a Fashionista theme with dresses and make up biscuits. They're so gorgeous! 

On a personal viewpoint, I've already been eyeing this box up as wedding gifts, and love the more subtle offerings of biscuit cards and individual biscuits between £6-£20 for nice birthday presents or for a random appreciation gift. Flowers and chocolates are a bit expected as gifts, right? But these biscuits give a 'little gift' a bit more pizazz! If anyone I know is reading this, feel free to send lots of gingerbread men and dog themed biccies ;)

I have to say, they taste delicious too. The biscuits I received are just vanilla flavour, and very moreish. I'm ashamed to say that Dan and I polished the entire tin off in a couple of days, despite being on a diet, oops! As well as lovely biscuits, Biscuiteers offer my favourite treat, macarons, wedding favours, and cakes, too! 

Also, you get £5 off your first tin! 
More for me please! 
Sarah xx

Friday, 27 January 2017

Liquid Lipstick // Giorgio Armani Lip Magnets '601 Attitude'


(Picture by Kristina Gasperas)




Matte lips seem to be absolutely everywhere right now. I'm not usually a huge fan, mainly because dry lips drive me round the bend, and they usually make my lips look like a wrinkled mess. These Lip Magnets are called as such because they're meant to 'stick' to the lips, with no migration. Long story short, its an appropriate name. 

On first application I have to apply an ultra thin layer - At first, it feels really 'wet' though it dries quickly. After 2 of these thin layers the colour is exactly as intended, with a lovely matte finish. If you prefer something a little more subtle though, they're fine with one layer, too. And being honest, I was surprised with the texture, it feels really smooth and light, and in no way tight or drying, like most matte products I've tried in the past. I applied this at around 4-5pm with a touch of shimmery eyeshadow to the centre of my lips, and it lasted the entire night - Until about 1am. So yes, I'd say its pretty long lasting. Saying that, my pal borrowed it and she needed 'top it up,' so perhaps it depends on your lips. 

Overall, an intense colour pay off, and it feels like velvet. I've been wearing these to shoot weddings and events, when I know I'll be lucky to get a chance to pop to the toilet, let alone check mirrors and reapply make up. I usually just carry a clear lip balm, so its nice to be able to dress my lips up more often! Since then, shade 601 (a deep plum) has pretty much been my 'go-to' colour. Worth every penny, definitely! 


Have you tried the Armani Lip Magnets yet?
Whats your favourite shade? 
Sarah xx

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Giveaway // Temple Spa Trufflesque Ultra Hydration and Radiance Masque









Trufflesque Ultra Hydration and Radiance Masque £50*

A lover of face masks, I was more than excited to try out my 'Goldfinger' impression, with this Temple Spa mask. Its listed as a ultra hydration, radiance masque, which is quite promising and much needed after the Christmas lull. After cleansing, I paint it onto my face, and then chill out for around 20 minutes. The brush makes the application feel luxurious and extra smooth, and it smells absolutely de-licious! After that, I spend a couple of minutes massaging it gently, before rinsing it off. 
As you can see, the formula truly glows, and its fun just for that alone. (I'm the kind of girl that buys kids foaming face masks purely because they're hilarious.) But this is so much more than that - The ingredients list looks just as luxurious as it feels, with gold and silk actives and diamond illuminating powder. To me, those ingredients sound largely gimmicky, but they're said to lift dull skin and protect against oxidative stress - I'm not sure how much they really do. Anyway, it also includes lemon tree honey, black truffles, strawberry and champagne extract, with lots of my favourite hyaluronic acid. Very decadent, huh? Something seems to work, anyway!

Now, its pretty pricey, so its not really your 'once a week' mask, but its a super indulgent treat and feels almost gluttonous. The mask is said to revitalise dull and dry skin, hydrate skin, and leave you with a dewy and radiant glow. Well, I'll definitely use this mask again before an event or something similar, as the mask leaves my skin feeling ultra smooth and a seemingly a bit more refined, so its a winner in my eyes! 

The best thing is, you can win one too - Just enter via the form below for a chance to win! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

T+C's
Winner will be chosen at random on Friday 13th January.
Prize will be send directly from PR to winners address.
If no reply from winner within 7 days, an alternative winner will be chosen.
Winner will be contacted via email/instagram/twitter before this is done.
Email addresses will be signed up to Temple Spa mailing address - Can remove self if required.


Good luck! 
Sarah x

Friday, 2 December 2016

Hearty and Wholesome // The George Inn, Maulden









Butternut and Pumpkin Soup - Seasonal indeed!

 The Bar


 Eton Mess 

All completely handmade! 
Conference room of dreams 
I want our kitchen to look like this!
View from the back, showing the garden, boutique rooms and the village church, too!


The George Inn is local to us, in Malden, Bedfordshire. Its recently changed hands and has been fully restored and brought up to date, whilst keeping grasp of its 16th century roots. As well as the awesome pub/restaurant, there are also seven boutique rooms that are due to open soon - They've even booked a few small weddings here, and for that purpose it seems so perfect. 

I'm very much enjoying this new 'trend' for gastro pubs over the last few years, and the George Inn does it so well! From the photo walls, faux fur throws and festoon lights, alongside the copper finishes and rustic wood. Yep, its just my taste and its well worth a visit even if just for that. There are lots of comfy chairs and I can confirm the latte and red wine is up to scratch, if you just fancied people watching and a laze by the fire in a cosy coma. (Also, you need to see the bathroom)

The menu isn't extensive, but is updated often, and actually I quite prefer that. We all know the pain of flicking through massive menus, pained with endless decisions - And you know a menu that long usually means its all pre-cooked and re-heated, anyway. Theres definitely something for all appetites, throughout starter, mains and desserts, too! Everything here is made from scratch and reviewed and updated often. (Don't tell them I told you, but if you request beforehand, they can sometimes even put something special together for you 'off-menu')
We ordered quite seasonal starters, of which mine arrived piping hot just as it should - If there is one thing I can't stand in restaurants its super slow service and lukewarm food, but despite being busy my butternut squash and pumpkin soup was steaming. If anything it was actually too hot to eat at first, which meant I had a legitimate excuse to assist Dan in testing his meat and bread platter, waiting for it to cool a bit. For the main, I ordered a steak with a good helping of chunky chips. You can always tell how good a kitchen is, by ordering the simple but so important steak. I ordered mine medium and it was utterly perfect, though I would've loved the option of a peppercorn or red wine sauce, too. No points deducted, though, rather topped up with the biggest, scrummiest Eton Mess I've ever seen! 

What I love about this place, even after our first visit, was the atmosphere. The restaurant is divided up into smaller rooms, which are not cramped by any means, but definitely cosy whilst still maintaining an open feel. It was freezing cold when we visited, but we still quite wanted to sit outside on the wicker benches, with the fur blankets provided under the lights. And I wouldn't feel out of place getting a little tipsy in the bar area with my girlfriends, either; (Still something I need to organise, you know how it is this time of year)! After we'd finished eating, we moved to these cosy chairs by the bar and had a friendly natter with the bar staff over the aforementioned lattes (and more wine). We were obviously limited for pictures as it was a busy Friday night when we visited, but I hope these pictures put across just how warm and inviting this place is! 

Will I be back? Absolutely! Even though its local I'm keeping my eyes out for the opening of the boutique rooms so we can have a night away from home, pretending we're miles away. (Guys, can you just add some spa facilities, and I'll move in, okay)? As big foodies, we were starting to get a little bored of the similar style, local pubs, and they're pretty much goners now that this beauty has arrived. Finally, variety in Bedfordshire!

You can see more of the place on their Instagram account here, or their website; The George Inn, Malden (Let me know if you go)!

Sarah xx

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Most Wanted Christmas Beauty List // Black Friday Discounts



1 // Nutcracker Sweet Gold Pigment and Glitter set £26 Mac
2 // 105 Luxe Highlight Brush £12.50 Zoeva
3 // Nutcracker Cheek Compact £29 each Mac
4 // Glamglow Supermud Mask  £39 Look Fantastic (18% off with code 'RUSH')
5 // Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in 'KimKW' £20 John Lewis (10% off)
6 // Charlotte Tilbury Face Kit - £50 John Lewis
7 // Colourpop 'Bumble' Matte Lipgloss - £10 Roses24
8 // Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Honey Bath £30 John Lewis (Save 10%)
9 // Rose Gold Brush Set £75 Zoeva
10 // Farsali Unicorn Tears Farsali
11 // The Glam Clam Brush Set £60 Spectrum
12 // Tom Ford Black Orchid EDP £45 John Lewis (16% off)
13 // Jo Malone Christmas Ornament £22 Jo Malone
14 // ABH Modern Renaissance Palette - £41 Cult Beauty



1 // 'Lets Get Ready to Crumble' Gift Set £19 Lush 
2 // Tartlette in Bloom Eyeshadow Palette £33 Tarte (£25 with code 'Friday')
3 //  Remington Radiance Brush £23 Argos (£5 off)
4 // Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm £34 Debenhams (10% off)
5 // De Reves 6-Shadow Palette  £40 Lancome (20% off with code Lancome20'
6 // Urban Decay Moonstone Palette £31 Debenhams (10% off)
7 // Oral B 9000 Rose Gold Toothbrush £99 Boots (£180 off)
8 // CT Blush in 'Love Glow' £30 Charlotte Tilbury 
9 // 'Something About Bathing' Gift Set £47 Lush
10 // Swamp Queen Palette  £33 Tarte (£25 with code 'Friyay')
11 // Stripe 2017 Diary £32 Kate Spade (20% off with code 'Skyline')
12 // Pixi Glow kit £30 Marks and Spencer (£42 off, and free cosmetics bag with code on site)

So, heres my whopping Christmas gift list, or a few gift ideas for the ladies in your life - The (mainly) beauty edition! With a little help from recent Black Friday offerings, I've managed to bulk up my list to the extreme, whoops. A few things I've actually managed to get my mitts on anyway, such as the Oral B toothbrush, which is still expensive at less than half price, but I've been telling myself for years I'll invest in a top-of-the-range toothbrush one day. Done! Oh, and the Modern Renaissance palette - Finally! Dying for the Mac Nutcracker specials, which seem to be forever out of stock online, and mostly tempted by the Zoeva brush and Tarte/Charlotte Tilbury palettes. Seriously, how many palettes are too many? 

Enjoy.
Whats on your wishlist?
Sarah xx



Burgundy and Rose Gold // Ted Baker Saviy Shoes






Ted Baker Burgundy 'Saviy' Shoes RRP £130 (Currently on offer here)

In my mind, Ted Baker have always been the forefront of 'classy,' and 'glam.' Whether I'm looking for a wedding guest outfit, or something for a party, Ted Baker is one of the brands I'll look to first, knowing there will be enough knee length dresses, full circle skirts and tasteful shoes to choose from and keep me from going home empty handed wondering what the hell I'll wear. 

What really sets these shoes apart from usual timeless courts? Two things that stand out for me and take these shoes from 'like' to 'love.' First, the high back, which really emphasises the stiletto heel, although they're really not that high, thus easy to walk in. Then theres the rose gold trim, which I think makes the shoes look really opulent. Oh, and the cute little bow at the back. ...  Uh, Did I mention the rose gold? As well as looking awesome, these shoes are padded with an OrthoLite insole - Think of your favourite Clarks or M&S work shoes, and you're along the same lines. Except these are replacing your usual painful, pinchy shoes for a night out/event. Function and fashion, not usually synonymous, but seriously, try them out for comfort. 

I totally wish I could take some photos of these shoes on, but I've only had chance to wear them the one time! Since then, I've managed to break my ankle - Not due to these shoes, I must add. I had planned to wear them with my velvet playsuit, or slinky black wrap dress, though I reckon they'd look awesome with culottes, too! Bring on January when I'm out of this cast and Physioing myself back to full heel capability! 


What do you think?
Are these something you'd go for?
Sarah x