Tuesday, 29 March 2016

A Simple Contour // Nars Paloma Contour Palette

(Worn here on the left side of my face only).

Its no secret that contouring has gone crazy. I've always been more attached to highlighters, but over the last year I've embraced a little contour into my routine. 
What I don't understand, is the crazy contour palettes that realistically will only have half of their shades used, and day-to-day, out of camera/film, a yellow tinge to the face and three completely different tones just make the face look... Odd. 

One contour shade, that suits your skin tone, and some kind of highlighter. Surely, thats enough? Well, I have become obsessed with this little kit from Nars. I used to use Nars Laguna as a contour shade, but somehow this formula feels much more 'buttery' to apply, and in turn is amazingly easy to work with and blend, and the pinky undertones feel a little more natural. Here, I'm wearing 'Paloma,' the middle of the road option. It felt ridiculously dark for my pale skin, but I'm surprised as to just how perfect it is.

The highlighter shade is very matte, and not very illuminating, which I would probably prefer. I usually use this under the eyes, on the chin and forehead, and then add an Hourglass offering for the peak of my cheekbones. If you're looking for an entirely natural look, however, you're probably okay to stick within the lines of this small palette.

A super quick contour, in a couple of minutes. I'm not even bothered about the Anastasia offerings! 

Have you tried this?
S xx

Monday, 29 February 2016

What I Wore // Burgundy Stripe

Top - Zara
Skirt - Oasis
Jacket - Primark
Boots - Topshop

There are certain types of clothes, colours and textures that just make me feel like 'me!' Playing around with this leather skirt from Oasis, I paired it with my classics. Stripes, and burgundy. I was one step away from wearing my burgundy Dries Van Noten and frilly socks, but decided to stay away from the complete 22 year old Sarah look, and wore these black tassle boots I found in the Topshop sale. Yes, I also have 10+ pairs of black boots, but I can never have too many black shoes. I think I'll always be a lover of monochrome and a single colour. Thanks Nubby Twiglet! 

What makes you feel like 'you' clothing wise?
S xx

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera // Winter Snaps

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 and 10 Film Pack £65*

Usually one for running around at weddings with my DSLR, its nice to try something completely fun and simple. I was contacted by Ocean Loans to take part in a Winter Polaroid Project, taking photos of my favourite winter moments. As you can see, we haven't had much of a winter past the frosty mornings that are gone by 10am - But its still been cold enough to make the most of winter foliage, candles, wooly hats and staying in doors cuddled up with the dog. Yep, that was pretty much my winter. And wedding planning. Lots and lots of wedding planning.

So, I chose the Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera in a baby pink colour, mainly to keep Dan from stealing it, but also because I thought its a splash of girliness in my usual 'black n' white' life, reflecting the fun the camera itself offers! I love how incredibly simple it is - Pop a couple of batteries in the side, a few self explanatory settings (theres a picture-orientated quick guide if you really need it) and snap away. A few seconds, and a polaroid style picture is making its way out to you. Theres something about the lack of control in getting the shot 'right' and waiting to see how it develops over the next few minutes.

My only concern is how expensive the film is (it works out about 70p per image), but for a few events, I'm really looking forward to using this and reckon its worth it for the novelty alone! I'm thinking it'll be a nice extra to use with my bridesmaids when we're getting ready on the morning of our wedding, or to take on our honeymoon - Scrap book anyone?

Have you got one of these?
What have you used it for?
S xx

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Multi-Benefit // Shea Moisture Superfruit 10-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner

 Shea Moisture Superfruit Shampoo £10.99*
Shea Moisture Superfruit Conditioner £10.99*

It it said to be: age defying, hydrating, nourishing, and strengthening. It helps to hydrate, protect, revive body, improve manageability, and has anti-stress properties. Blimey, thats the whole hog, and its quite the claim to live up to. As well as that though, there are no nasties in the ingredients. No sulphates, parabens, mineral oils, and the list goes on. 

I must say, at first, I really didn't understand this duo. No, I hated it. My hair felt thick and 'claggy' after first using it, as though it was unclean and had a lot of thickening products in it, particularly at the roots. However, when I rinsed my hair properly - I.e under the shower rather than sitting in the bath with a pathetic over-bath shower head, I realised why this had won an award. I have no idea why an absolute thorough rinse is crucial, but with this it really is! After drying, my hair was definitely shiny, felt super swishy, and after a few weeks of using it, definitely stronger. All of this, with mountains of lather that I usually find lacking in shampoos with no sulphate. The duo give off a really fresh, zingy fragrance that is more than welcome into my shower. 

I do feel like, if really trying to nit-pick, the shampoo perhaps left my hair a little tangled. However, the conditioner is pretty much a holy grail of a moisturiser and detangler. Admittedly, I loved the conditioner even more when I used it with a different shampoo. I will absolutely definitely buy that again, though I could get by without the shampoo in my life, though its worth it just for the smell alone.

Shea Moisture is available in Boots too - Worth waiting for 3 for 2? 
Have you already tried this or others from the range? 
What else is good from it? 
S xx

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

An All-In Dog Subscription Box // Wagglepets

It started with a beauty box, and now theres a subscription box for all sorts of things. Hair accessories, sanitary goods, baby bits, and now, the best of all in my opinion, a doggy maintenance box! People joke that we treat Penny as our baby, and as silly as it may sound, I guess we do just that.  I wouldn't trade her for the world, but as I've been looking where to cut money to save for the wedding, I've come to realise how much owning a dog really costs! With her insurance, high end no-grain food,  flea treatments, joint supplements, toys and treats, it really adds up.

Wagglepets is a dog subscription box, indeed. But really its so much more than toys and accessories. This bundle also includes a monthly delivery of food, a high end insurance policy, and some funky gadgets, too. They've even thought about doggy litter bags..! As an example, Penny's first box included multiple packs of Pedigree Dentastix, plenty of poop bags, bedtime lavender biscuits, training treats, a huge 20kg bag of RSCPA dry kibble, a Whistle activity tracker (yes, a dog fitbit), and the start of a More Than pet insurance policy. Since then, we've received more food (more than she can even get through), more treats, toys, poo bags, and other bits. 

Large dogs usually cost approximately £140 a month, so although this seems quite expensive initially, its pretty good value considering it contains *everything* you need for your pooch. 

You can sign up here, AND get 50% off with the code:  SARAHB50
Enjoy! S xx

Monday, 1 February 2016

Wedding Prep // Alternative Photo Guestbook

 8x10 20 page photobook £170 Photo Productions
(prices vary depending on size)

A short while back, we settled on a photobook to use as a guestbook at our upcoming wedding. As photographers ourselves, we've seen all sorts of alternatives, and we wanted to keep it relatively simple, and have something special to look back on. We particularly like huge frames, with signatures and well wishes surrounding a picture of the happy couple - But we thought it would only take one person to deface it and its no longer suitable for the wall (with my family, its possible haha), so we decided to use a photo guest book by Photo Productions, adorned with images from our engagement photoshoot, ready for guests to sign around. 

I put a lot of albums together, and it does take hours, but I always have a template by said album company to work with, make my own templates and the like. I found this process a little strange. I just sent the images in, and they were put together. As someone who spends ages choosing the images to go together, and making sure they are in alignment perfectly, I found the choice of layout a little strange. Bearing in mind I asked for space around each image for 'signing space,' I still would've liked consistency in the image heights (like the second album image, rather than the first where all images are completely different heights -  It hurts my OCD tendency). Saying that, I haven't a doubt in my mind they wouldn't have changed it a million times if I asked them too, but for the purpose we wanted it for, it was fine. I absolutely can't fault their service, they were responsive, and always polite - There isn't enough of this around anymore, and its priceless! I only ask that one day, they have a template system - That'd make me a 'come back again and again' customer, and we'd probably offer them to our clients, too! 

The book itself, is absolutely worth it. With an acrylic front and back, the book feels heavy and solid to handle. When you're investing in a lot more than a cheap photo box, you're likely to expect something that will last a lifetime, and I've no doubt these thick pages with a flawless lay flat and clear print quality will smash that. I can't believe how many people still go for a cheaper cost over supreme quality - The lay flat pages itself provide a luxury feel that a cheap coffee table book will never match, let alone the thick pages and clarity that professional images crave. They're better than GraphiStudio albums, anyway, which is what so many pros provide as wedding albums (and we don't like). Recommend? Definitely! 

S xx 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Decoration Ideas // Filling Gaps with Shelving

Crate - Next
Bust - M&S
Clock - Next

Foil Print - DottyRocks
Bird Ornament - Dunelm

 Copper frame - Paperchase
Pineapple - TKMaxx

One part of our house I'm forever messing about with, is our floating shelves. We swore we would chop up some old wood and make our own shelves, or at least add a rustic veneer to some cheaper shelves, but as it happened we ended up throwing these up, to save money and just keep things simple (not that either of us actually did the dirty work of putting them up - Thanks Dad). They're pretty cheap from most hardware shops - I think all 8 of ours cost£120. Much cheaper than a custom cupboard would've cost, if we went down that route! 

I'm constantly changing where things are - One week hoping for a minimalist look, and another wanting the shelves to be a little more functional, and then putting it back to its usual mess. We've spent a fortune on high end photo frames for our wedding, so they'll be the first thing to be replaced, but other than that I'm pretty stuck at the moment, with how I really want them to end up.

One thing I'll always stick with though, is proportion. I have a bit of a rule with shelving - I halve the shelves, one side of the shelf can be 'cluttered,' i.e two items or more, but then the other half needs to remain clear, with just one item. Then the shelf below or above, will be the opposite. I feel that this way, my inner feng shui can settle. It just has to be in proportion! Obviously the crates at the bottom kind of throw this whole concept off at the moment, as it keeps to have become my wedding organising corner, but this will all change eventually! 

Do you have shelving in alcoves like this?
What have you done with it? And how would you improve this setup?
S xx

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Nars Steven Klein Collection // Eyeshadow and Blush Palette Reviews

Dead of Summer Palette £29
Dual Intensity Blush - Vengeful £30

Well, its love. As per usual, Nars have hit me right in the cupid spot and I'm head over heels with the new Steven Klein collection. In a bit of a whizz, I spent a bit of a fortune at the Nars counter, and in a bit of a daze, just asked the lovely lass working there to show me what she is loving recently (I love being able to do this) and this is what she came up with. She reproduced on me the eye make up that she was wearing that day, and although I don't seem to be able to apply said products with such expertise, I'm pretty happy. 

Yes, that is a blush and highlight palette, and I am wearing that bright red shade on my eyes as well as my face. I'll be honest, I was utterly terrified to be introduced to such a shade, but  pleased to find that it adds a shade of warmth with the tiniest touch of a brush to the cheeks, and as a halo to the eye crease. 

As a devotee to Urban Decays Naked palette, and others around that colour palette, its a bit of a step beyond my comfort zone to venture into a copper and bronze shade, but its a much welcome change. Whilst I'm not sure I'll always love shimmery shades, these super pigmented shades require just a touch of the brush to pick up a good helping of colour. 

All of the Steven Klein collection can be used both wet, and dry. To be honest, they're pigmented enough used dry. Whenever I've tried any 'use wet' product, its ended up rendering it useless for dry use, somehow, so I've not dared try it. I do love though, that the eye palette includes an awesome, very intense eyeliner - I'll take that over a useless mini brush any day! 

Have you tried anything from this collection?
What did you think?
Sarah x