Thursday, 30 May 2013

The Smoothie Conversion

Banana Apple Smoothie 1

   This Summer I want to start beefing up my health and fitness regime. I'm not doing this to 'lose weight' or 'get thinner'; I'm changing my lifestyle to look and feel healthier. At the moment, I do hardly any exercise and I eat a fair amount of processed foods - this has resulted in me feeling groggy in the mornings, sleepy towards the afternoons and peckish at night, not to mention my skin looks pale, I have bags under my eyes and my body is not as toned as I'd like it to be. 

   All of this has to change this year.

   To begin, I'm slowly changing my diet, easing out refined and processed foods and introducing natural foods which contain healthier nutrients. My first point of interest is my breakfast.

   For years I've either had sugary cereal or a fry-up for breakfast, both of which are fine in moderation, but I never feel great afterwards. When I drink a smoothie, the whole day is different; something changes inside my body that makes me feel positive and energised.

   I've started looking at different recipes and I think the best way to approach smoothies is to experiment. Any fruits or vegetables are great, so you can't really go wrong.

   Smoothie number one is a banana, apple and honey smoothie.

   Bananas are great sources  of potassium, which regulates water and mineral balance throughout the body, maintaining a normal blood pressure. They also contain vitamin C, which helps keep cells healthy, and vitamin A, which strengthens the immune system.

   Apples are, of course, full of vitamin c, and also dietary fiber, which lowers cholesterol and speeds up food digestion.

   Honey is one of my favourite ingredients to use in smoothies. Not only does it taste amazing, but it's high in iron which counteracts anemia by helping in the production of red blood cells.

   So overall - this smoothie's definitely a good breakfast!

    Banana Apple Smoothie 2

   I've used two apples, two bananas and one tablespoon of honey, which created a smoothie that will last at least two days.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

OOTD - Belle

   If I could capture the feeling you get when your online order finally arrives at your door, I would bottle it and make a whole load of money.

   I received my order from Boohoo today after coming home from work: a scuba skirt that will definitely brighten up my wardrobe. 

   I'm told that 'scuba' is the new 'skater', which means that, apparently, this skirt is on trend - always a plus.

   The flocked embellishment provides a three dimensional texture and emphasises the gorgeous detail - so much better than all the plain skirts that currently reside in the bottoms of my drawers.

Earrings - Forever 21
Shirt - Forever 21
Skirt - Boohoo
Shoes - Boohoo

Belle 1 Belle 3 Belle 2

Monday, 27 May 2013

OOTD - Flora

Flora 1 Flora 2 Flora 3 Flora 4

Flower Crown - Etsy
Necklace - H&M
Jumper - New Look
Disco Pants - Boohoo
Boots - Kitsch Couture @ Bank

Sunday, 26 May 2013

5 Of The Best: Slimline Wedges

   I much prefer the slimline wedge to its bigger brother. The slimline wedge is so much less 'clunky', and walks just like a stiletto, not to mention its chic, streamlined appearance. 

   This style is so versatile, it can be worn with anything, yet most versions of the shoe I've seen are kept simple in bold, neutral colours. Perhaps this is to emphasise its versatility, promising a different look with each outfit.

   Fastening are also simple - no thick straps; these would take away from the minimalist aesthetic. My favourite is the t-bar option (number 3, below), which draws a vertical line of sight and elongates the legs, despite the ankle strap. Or no strap at all (number 2 and 5, below) - even simpler.

   Here are my pick of the five best slimline wedges at affordable prices.

1. Prism by Melissa @ Kurt Geiger - £90.00 -
2. Covert by Dune - £79.00 -
3. Pivotal by ASOS - £45.00 -
4. White Pointed Sling Back Wedges by River Island - £55.00 -
5. Kraska by Aldo - £39.98 -


OOTD - Alice

Alice 1 Alice 2 Alice 3 Alice 4

Sunglasses - Primark
Sheer shirt - Forever 21
Necklace - Claire's 
Skirt - Primark
Satchel - Bank
Galaxy Litas -

Friday, 24 May 2013

The Daytime Eyebrow

   So I used to get teased when I was younger for having thicker eyebrows, in a time when tadpole eyebrows were totally on-trend and girls practically waxed their eyebrows off just to draw them back on again. 

   Enter Cara Delevingne, and suddenly I get complimented on my eyebrows. Amazing how one gorgeous model can change opinions of beauty worldwide.

   I decided to produce a tutorial detailing how I make my eyebrows a little more defined - hope this helps your inner Cara.

Products used:

Elizabeth Arden Curved Eyeshadow Brush (get similar here)
Illamasqua Medium Pencil in 'Elate'
Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in 'Dark Brown'
Soap and Glory 'Tricks of the Shade' Eyeshadow Palette (get similar here)

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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Product Review: Illamasqua Cream Blusher in 'Dixie'

Illamasqua Cream Blusher 2

   If this is what all cream blushers are like, then - wow - I am hooked. Yes, this is my first cream blusher and, yes, I am a bit late on the scene, but I've been waiting to finish my powder blusher before moving on.

   I can admit that powder blusher is not my friend. For me, it never blends completely, so I'm always left with a huge blotch of it somewhere on my cheek. Plus, I never achieve the right amount - it's ALWAYS too much or too little, either leaving me looking like I'm a Russian Doll, or a bit ill.

   With Illamasqua's cream blusher, I picked out a shade that I thought would look nice against my skin. However, any shade of this blusher could work, as it's just so easy to blend. A small amount of product can create a sun-kissed daytime look, while a heavier application can produce a super vampy nighttime look. 'Dixie', the shade that I picked, is a light, pinky-peachy tone that I believe can suit any skin-tone as it's really versatile.

   The texture of this product is amazing! It's so smooth when used with a blusher brush, and so user-friendly to apply. I practiced applying it over liquid foundation and over powder foundation and it blends well over both, with no blotchiness or streaks, giving a smooth-textured, dewy appearance.

   It stayed on for more than twelve hours; so much longer than I was expecting! In contrast, my previous powder foundation wore off in less than half that time.

Illamasqua Cream Blusher 1

   I am completely impressed with Illamasqua's cream blusher, and would 100% recommend it to anyone - the price tag is definitely worth it!

£18.00 for 4g

Scent - N/A
Texture - 5/5
Efficiency - 5/5
Price 4/5
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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Product Review: Illamasqua Lipstick in 'Over'

Illamasqua Lipstick 3

   You may have seen me tweeting about my recent Illamasqua purchase at @JlouiseArtist. I was so excited to receive my goodies that I felt I needed to embark on a full scale Twitter marathon updating you on the progress of my order.

   So here is my final outcome. For the next few days I'll be producing product reviews of the items I bought from Illamasqua, starting with their lipstick.

   First of all, I really love Illamasqua's use of packaging. The sleek black materials really give the brand a super-luxe feel. Great for quality assurance.

   I bought this lipstick in the shade 'Over', however it does come in thirty-one other shades. This is advertised as a "bright coral pink, with a matt finish". After applying a transparent lip balm, I swiped the lipstick on and it appeared true to its description, apart from the matt finish. I don't know if the lip balm made it slightly more shiny (that shouldn't really happen), but it definitely wasn't matt.

   I wasn't really bothered by this, as the high level of pigmentation made my mind up about this product.

   Illamasqua are known for their extrovert advertising campaigns, with costume-like looks created using highly pigmented makeup. Their lipstick range does not fail this, as shown in the photos below - my lips are a clear bright coral.

   Another thing I love about this lipstick is that Illamasqua don't skimp. They offer a huge stick of product compared to other makeup ranges I've tried, which gives you great value for money, considering you're paying £16.50.

Illamasqua Lipstick 2 Illamasqua Lipstick 1

   In terms of staying power, I wore the lipstick for four hours before I needed reapplication. During this time, I was drinking a lot of tea, so it was bound to wear off - but it didn't!

   All in all, a great product that I am very impressed with.

£16.50 for 4g

Scent - N/A
Texture - 4/5
Efficiency - 5/5
Price - 4/5
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Monday, 20 May 2013

OOTD - Sara

Sara 5

   As promised, this is the Pierre Cardin shirt that I bought yesterday at Judy's Vintage Fair in Ipswich. It was priced at six pounds but I negotiated the price of a fiver - every little helps!

   When I saw it, I knew I was going to buy it, even before seeing the label. The stripes make it look so nautical and summery - and the fact that it's a man's shirt makes it so casual and easy to wear.

Sara 2
Sara 3 Sara 4 Sara 1
Shirt - Vintage Pierre Cardin

Necklace - Miso at Republic
Chinos - New Look
Watch - River Island
Wedges - Dorothy Perkins


Sunday, 19 May 2013

Judy's Vintage Fair - Ipswich

   Today Ipswich was home to Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair, a seven-year-old national roaming fair that encourages vintage retailers from across the country to take up a stall and sell their items.

   I've been wanting to go to this fair ever since I read about it on Becky Bed Bug's blog here, so when I saw that it was coming to my county, I jumped at the chance!

   With over thirty stalls, there was so much to choose from. The Corn Exchange hall was full of bedazzled brooches, fur coats and silk scarves, sold by enthusiastic and generally lovely people.

   I managed to get my hands on a nautical-looking Pierre Cardin shirt for only £5! I'll put up some photos of the shirt itself, plus styling, in tomorrow's post.

   I also saw my friend, Kelly, from Fairweather Vintage, who had so many great items up for sale - as usual! You may have seen me write about her lovely vintage store here.

   Here are some photos that I took today - everything was so colourful and unique, I couldn't take my hands off my camera!

Vintage Fair 1 Vintage Fair 2 Vintage Fair 3 Vintage Fair 4 Vintage Fair 5 Vintage Fair 6 Vintage Fair 7 Vintage Fair 8 Vintage Fair 9 Vintage Fair 10 Vintage Fair 11 Vintage Fair 12 Vintage Fair 13 Vintage Fair 14

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Product Review: Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Shine Spray

Awapuhi 1

   The Awapuhi collection is a set of salon-level products by Paul Mitchell. 

   The collection's main focal point is its inclusion of the ingredient, 'awapuhi', which comes from a type of ginger found in tropical countries. The plant can be used as a medicine, food flavouring and, most commonly, as a shampoo/conditioner for hair.

   In its countries of origin, women take the juice straight from the plant and apply it to their hair for softness and shine.

   The Awapuhi Shine Spray promises these exact things - condition and illumination - as stated on the packaging. I've provided some before and after shots below to show you the results.

Awapuhi 3 Awapuhi 2

   As you can see, there really isn't much difference. I had used this spray straight after washing, blow-drying and straightening my hair, hoping for it to add smoothness and shine.

   A good spray later and it had smoothed down the flyaways, but I didn't see any notable difference in the tone of my hair.

   I had gone to work for eight hours after applying the spray and, after coming back home, I brushed my hair and noticed that it was significantly less tangled. This is great as I often find my hair gets so tangled, especially after I've straightened it.

   The scent is also a nice touch. It has that salon-smell, which I love because it makes me feel like I've just had my hair done professionally.

   Paul Mitchell products are already hard to come by, but I can't find the Awapuhi products anywhere in my area. Disappointing.

   Overall, I didn't notice a difference in the appearance of my hair, even after generous application. However, the product did condition my hair, making it less tangled and slightly smoother.

£18.95 for 125ml

Price - 2/5
Scent - 5/5
Texture - N/A
Efficiency - 3/5
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Friday, 17 May 2013

OOTD - Alexandra

Alexandra 3 Alexandra 2 Alexandra 1

Blazer - H&M
Necklace - Miso at Republic
Denim Shirt - Burton
Disco Pants -
Black Litas -

If you like reading my blog please vote for me for 'Best New Fashion Blog' in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2013!!
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Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2013

   As you may have seen on my Twitter, I've entered into the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2013!

   If you love reading my blog, I would LOVE you to vote for me in the 'Best New Fashion Blog' category. 

   This would be the highlight of my year - and just to share my excitement with you, if I get shortlisted I will host a huge giveaway competition on my blog, just because I adore you all so much for participating with me on this blogging journey!

   If you'd like to vote for me, click on the image below. When you reach Cosmo's blog awards page, scroll down and click the 'Next Page' button. There you'll be given a form to vote.

   Thank you for taking the time to read this, and please comment below if you have voted so I can thank you personally!

   Much love,
   Jennifer x
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