Thursday, 30 July 2015

Vitamin E Spray by the Body Shop – Review

Quite soon after discovering youTube I stumbled across Victoria from, this is really where my youTube obsession began and how myself and Alex got talking about making our own channel.

Everything about Victoria’s videos are so beautiful and I often find myself (trying) to recreate her makeup looks. One of the products which I have picked up solely on her recommendation is the Vitamin E Spray by the body shop.

If you have ever watched any of Victoria’s videos (if not go watch them NOW, ok finish reading this first then go) you will see her use the Vitamin E spray to spritz her beauty blender when applying her base, I had been hearing lots of other youTubers also saying you must dampen your blenders as it creates a much more natural look and I already use my eye brushes wet the majority of the time so I thought this is something I needed to try.

I was hoping that this wasn't just an unnecessary extravagance and that it really did something extra to just using water and I have been amazed at the results. Firstly the smell of the product is so fresh and it straight away took me back to my beauty college days mixing up my own masks using rose water, yay I was 16 again. The longevity of my makeup has been increased dramatically by spritzing my brushes, the pigments in my eyeshadows are brighter, the glitter is held in place much longer and my base has a healthy dewy finish.

One of the functions of this product is to give your face a refreshing spritz during the day over your make up, I have tried this and I wasn't a fan, it didn't mess up my make up at all but being sprayed in the face (and yes I held the bottle far enough away) was less than refreshing. So I will not be doing that again.

The price of this product is £9.50 and I am not sure how long it will last but for now at least I am definitely planning on repurchasing. 

If you want to watch Victoria doing her make-up below is one of my favourite GRWM's from inthefrow: 


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Monday, 27 July 2015

Rainy Day Flapjacks

As I type this it is 26th July and it is raining. Full on puddles in the road, need an umbrella, raining. I'm not sure what has happened to summer so to brighten up my day I decided to make flapjacks from a recipe that my dear friend gave me. As he handed me the recipe he said 'Don't show this to anyone else' so naturally I'm sharing it with the blogging world but it's too delicious not to. I won't tell if you won't. 

You'll Need
100g margarine 
1tbsp golden syrup
100g brown sugar
50g Self Raising Flour
50g Oats 
75g Crushed up Cornflakes/Special K

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees/ Gas Mark 5

What to do
1. Combine the margarine with the golden syrup in a bowl

2. Pour in all of the dry ingredients into a separate bowl and gently whisk together

3. Add the margarine and golden syrup to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix until all incorporated together (It will seem as though there isn't enough margarine to mould it all together but there definitely is)

4. Grease a baking tin and spread the mixture in evenly (I found that one which was narrower in width helped as this allowed the flapjack to rise and be a bit chunkier)

5. Bake for 20 minutes

6. Cut into squares whilst warm

It really is the simplest recipe and if you like your flapjack sticky and chewy then this is the one for you. 

Please excuse my rather shoddy looking final piece. It's difficult to make oats look pretty - I'm not sure how the professionals do it. In other words I'm not sure how the professionals take their time to get it out of the tin without crumbling it all in a greedy haste. Al à me. I promise I'll work on that. 

Rest assured it still tasted delicious.

Alex xx


Thursday, 23 July 2015

Could you survive without fashion?

This week I have spent my time in the West Country. Devon is one of (if not my) favourite places I have had the pleasure of visiting in the world.. so far. However after seven Wifi-less days I have been left wondering could I survive without fashion? 
As a blogger/new YouTuber and even in my real life as an event planner I spend countless hours on social media. What are the up and coming trends? Who is wearing what? It’s day to day excitement. I am honestly interested in what translucent powder you think is your die or ride but do the girls running these surf schools in devon give a flying F? 

On a raining Tuesday afternoon myself, several country folk and about 15 dogs spent a couple of hours sheltering from the drizzle, eating ploughman's and drinking cider in the local public house. While topping up my Kate for Rimmel 110 in the bathroom a lady wearing a beautiful tie dye maxi skirt, a crochet top, massive hoodie stating that she loved the ‘Wave Life’ and crocs asked me what perfume I was wearing. “Oh its Pomegranate Noir” I replied and was met with a blank stare … “Jo Malone” I tried … Nope nothing. Jo Malone isn’t a 'someone' in the West Country. This same question in Essex would have been a totally different tale. Does it mean that living in this remote area means an isolated existence? Or is it just the case that different things are important. 

I have spent the week plating my hair, wearing tie dye kimono dresses and indulging myself in sun kissed festival chic. I have even sat here this evening looking for lilac wavy hair styles fully committed in the decision that leather bracelets and wild flowers are my new loves. Can I see myself packing up the car and moving to Devon without ever looking back? Absolutely. Would I stop searching the new in pages on ASOS? Not a chance. There is only one pub in this village but I would be damn sure to be the most trendy punter in there. 

Honestly when you see the sunsetting on the sea you will be crazy not to put your phone down, stop looking at the Public Desire insta account and the latest lace up heels and be in the moment. 

Well I will let you decide.. 


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Monday, 20 July 2015

Banishing the Male Gift Headache

I know that Father's Day has swept by for this year but Dad's are growing old (sorry, Dad) and celebrating birthdays every day of the year and is it just me or are they incredibly hard to buy for?! Socks just don't cut it anymore. Did they ever?

My lovely Father is hitting a big milestone this year and my Mum, brother and I have been racking our brains for a good 9 months trying to conjure up a present for him. He is notoriously difficult to buy for as whatever he likes he purchases himself before we get the chance to and he is too fussy for us pick out anything we like for him. As I've grown up and realised he doesn't necessarily want chocolates and lemon sherbets (his ultimate favourites) for every celebration I've turned to experience gifts instead. I've found and been recommended a number of ideas that I thought might lend well to others out there struggling with an equally particular male in their life. 

Cue the ideas that could save present buying headaches. 

Rick Stein Cookery Course
Located in idyllic Padstow on the north coast of Cornwall,  Rick Stein's Cookery School offers a range of classes from fish to Indian cuisines for the novices or even the skilled cooks out there. My dad is the chef in our house and although he is already rather talented, rustling up new recipes every week, he is also an avid viewer of cookery programmes from Saturday Kitchen to the Great British Bake Off (somebody please let me know when this is back - serious Hollywood and Berry withdrawal symptoms!) taking notes and ideas to use himself. For years Rick Stein has been a firm favourite so for us this was the perfect gift choice.

Ranging from half a day at £98 to a full day course at £200. This would suit anyone who is a foodie and keen to flourish and improve in the kitchen. Plus a perfect excuse for a weekend in Cornwall!

A Swish Meal
Alternatively, for those who can't stand the heat and want to get out of the kitchen, a nice meal is probably the favourable choice.  As my dad is a bit of a food and wine lover, we are taking him somewhere he has sneakily mentioned to us before. There are some great restaurants all over the country but if you want somewhere impressive, I would recommend somewhere in London with a view of the city.

One of the most popular restaurants of the moment, The Shard has a restaurant on the 31st floor, Aqua Shard which is famed for it's vertigo inducing menu and is the perfect place to treat someone special. Duck and Waffle is one of those restaurants that you have to experience and without doubt order the duck and waffle. You can also book a table for breakfast and watch the sun rise from the 40th floor of the Heron Tower. If you're an early riser that is...


Boutique Camping
If the male in your life is an outdoorsy type then Canopy & Stars is definitely worth a look. From treehouses to yurts on offer, this could be a welcome change from the usual muddy and claustrophobic tent. Canopy & Stars offers a range of glamping ideas. For a sweet romantic getaway or a weekend with friends this is a unique opportunity to be at one with nature. They are located all over the country depending on where the mood takes you and you can buy a gift card and let the recipient choose (probably a good idea as there is so much choice!)


Helicopter Flight Over London
This is on a lot of people's bucket lists and I think for a special occasion this would be a really impressive and thoughtful present. The London Helicopter Company offers a range of different flight packages depending on your budget and ideal location. Of course this doesn't have to be in London but a bird's eye view of the capital city would be a brilliant way of seeing the famous landmarks whilst following the River Thames.

I hope this has helped if you needed smidgen of inspiration for a different and novel gift idea. These of course aren't male specific but as they tend to be the trickier people to buy for these might be good alternatives to the usual presents that spring to mind.

Alex xx


Friday, 17 July 2015

The Perfect Primer

In the summer months primers become the top of most beauty enthusiasts list of essentials. Primers help to stop your foundations from running down your face after three minutes on the sweaty tube (YAY for no aircon) and also provide that flawless finish after foundation is applied. I always use Clarins instant smooth as a primer for my foundation, in a past life I worked as a Clarins beauty therapist in the West End, actually a West End mobile was my official title - fancy! The Instant Smooth is the only product that I continue to repurchase again and again and again. Not that I don't enjoy the Clarins products it's just after so many years using them, and now having to pay for them (ouch) I've moved on to pastures anew!
If you haven't come across this product the word for it in the know is 'polyfiller' charming hey? It literally does do just that though. It fills all of your pores in so they no longer exist and it even has a crack at your fine lines. Disclaimer this product will not back you look 18 again (unless you are 19-20 then maybe) however it does take the edge off and I wouldn't be without it.
It is quite a thick substance and therefore I do not use this over the entirety of my face so I have been on the hunt over the last month for a more full face friendly primer. I have purchase two and they are both very different, honestly for what I want a primer to do there is a clear winner here in my mind but I will talk about both and you can make up your own mind.

PIXI Flawless Beauty Primer
I ordered this on a bit of a spare of the moment decision. ASOS had a 20% off everything day (love those) and I know delievery from there is good. I am using the PIXI glow toner and love it so I already knew a little bit about the brand so I went for it.
This primer leave my skin feeling hydrated and fresh, it contains light reflecting particles so adds a glow to your skin without leaving it too shimmery (little 90s body glitter you know that look? Not the one) however in terms of evening out skin tone and slight coverage this doesn't do the job. It is also not particularly long lasting I don't feel like it holds my foundation in place by the afternoon I am ready for a top up.

For my personal needs this primer doesn't really meet my expectations of what a primer should do I would rather use a highlighter for the area's I want to encentuate.

Stila One Step Correct 
So I had been using the PIXI primer for about a week but was feeling a bit meh about it and then during a little haul on beauty cult (new fave because they give you samples with your order yay) this product caught my eye. Firstly the packing is genius there is no way you could walk past this product and not want to pick it up and find out what this beautiful thing does. Basically this primer uses three colour correcting brighteners. A green tone to cover redness and imperfections, a peach tone to brighten and illuminate the skin and a lavender tone which counteracts sallow undertones.

In terms of evening skin tone and providing a light coverage before you apply your foundation this product is fabulous and I have definitely been reaching for it more than the PIXI primer. It is holding my foundation in place for longer and the finish is as flawless as it gets. The only thing that this primer doesn't have is a highlighting effect the peach tone is supposed to cover this function but if it is it isn't too much!



Thursday, 16 July 2015

GRWM: My Birthday Makeup

Birthdays are the perfect excuse to get dressed up and in this week's video I show you my make up look for a special dinner date with the girls.

Don't forget to let us know which products you use to make you feel glamorous on a special occasion!

With love,
Gemma x


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Shop of the Moment #1 Oliver Bonas

I tend to go through phases with different types of shops. When I was younger I used to love nothing better than browsing (and whining my way) around Claire's Accessories. Then I moved on to H&M Kids where I could just about afford a new t shirt or 'cool' new Hello Kitty coin purse that I desperately needed at the time. 

My teenage years came along and my love affair with Topshop began. But sadly it was normally only a window browse through lack of money until I started my first Saturday job and even then I would be asking the bank of Mum and Dad for a loan on a pair of skinny jeans and a pretty, but over priced, Peter Pan collar blouse. 
Fast forward 6 or 7 years and I'm apparently now obsessed with small boutique homeware shops and in particular Oliver Bonas. Most people love interior shopping when they start renting or buy their first home. But for me, it's more about exploring the options for when I do eventually save up enough for my own home. My ASOS basket is going to have to be put on the back burner for this to actually materialise.
Not only do Oliver Bonas sell everything you would need to deck out your kitchen and dining area but they also have books, photo frames, bags & purses and beautiful throws. Basically the ideal place to buy anyone you love a present.

Now the problem is, not only is their kitchenware a joy to look at so are their clothes and in particular their dresses. They are all in the most beautiful prints but at nearly £60 a go the are the type of item that have to wait until pay day. I would definitely recommend looking online at their collection, especially for summer parties and BBQs. Even better if you happen to have one of their shops near you (this can be a hindrance, depending on how you view it...)


Working round the corner from Oliver Bonas means I walk by everyday and once in a blue moon (or rather every other day) I pop in for a browse. I had my peepers on a particular dress for weeks, the Amelie City Print Dress and I finally bit the bullet and bought it after going into a frenzied panic that only one was left in my size. It is a sweet little skater dress in a fabric with different famous landscapes all over it. I thought it would be the perfect little summer dress for days out in London and for my holiday to Corfu in a few short weeks (OOTD to follow)

On another visit I spotted some copper initials and for once the letter 'A' was available. Of course I had to snatch this up before it disappeared too! You have to work quickly in this shops it seems. Initialled items have been popular for years and now the cooper trend is well and truly stuck I just couldn't leave it on the shelf. Plus, I bought Gemma a 'G' for her birthday so watch out for that featuring in the back of a video soon.

I have mentally placed half of their shop in my future house and I'm going to be honest, it looks wonderful.

Have you been pulled into the Oliver Bonas obsession? Where do you like to shop for homeware nic-nacs?

Alex x

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Estee Lauder Double Wear Vs. Nars Sheer Glow Foundation

If you happened to watch our June Favourites video you would have heard me mention that over the last year or so I have been having a bit of a challenging skin time. Anyone who has had an experience with 'adult acne' (gosh I hated being told I had that) will know how horrible it makes you feel. I was lucky enough as a teenager to have good skin so suddenly in my late twenties to be getting all these spots was anything but ideal. It left me feeling self conscious and actually dirty, I felt like all the people I met were actually talking to my spots instead of me and silently judging me.

So I hit the shops looking for some super high coverage foundation, Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Camouflage Makeup for Face and Body was the winner and this foundation has got me through some hard times don't get me wrong. However as my skin has gradually started to get better this foundation has felt more heavy and looked more chalky than I would have liked. I have recently been after something a bit more dewy and the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation seems to be one that a lot of the girls on youtube are raving about. (naturally youtube is the first place I turn for any advice) So during a leisurely stroll around the aisles of Selfridges I sashayed over to the Nars counter and got myself colour matched. I came out as the Ceylon shade so I picked one of those up along with the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in the shade Vanilla. (Which I just love) I must admit I was slightly upset that I had to pay an additional £3 for a pump to use with my newly purchased foundation. Does anyone know why you have to do that? Is it just to make an extra bit of money? I brought one regardless because, well you need a pump right?

I really liked the way the Nars Sheer Glow left my skin looking bright and illuminated however after wearing such a heavy foundation I was left underwhelmed by the coverage. So I had a bit of a brainwave and mixed the two, PERFECT, is that cheating? The mix of them both seems to be just right for my skin shade and coverage needs, ok its pretty pricey to be having to buy two all the time however they will last double the time and that makes it ok, right?

If you know a foundation which is a combination of the two please let me know in the comments box below, I am off for a week in Devon mid July so I will let you know what makes the cut for my holiday make-up bag!

Gemma xx


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Everyday Makeup Routine

If you are interested in seeing what I throw at my face on a daily basis please check out our new youtube video! Any tips for an even speedier morning routine would be very welcome too :) 

With Love 
Alex x 

Monday, 6 July 2015

Afternoon Tea by the Sea

I love Afternoon Tea. What's better than having a pot of tea followed by sandwiches and scones and then more sandwiches if you're feeling particularly peckish and finally finished off with some mini desserts. All whilst served on pretty China with minute jam pots and a sweet little cake stand that I have to resist not taking home with me. It's ok, I settle with taking all the desserts I couldn't quite manage home with me instead. It's so quintessentially British and quaint.

My Grandmother treated my mum on her birthday to Afternoon Tea at The Roslin Hotel by the sea. Luckily for my brother and I we were invited along too. It was during the heat wave we had last week and we had a perfect spot by the window with a beautiful view. Plus we decided to throw a bottle of champagne into the proceedings too. As my mum put it, 'it would be rude not to!'.

If anyone lives in the area I would highly recommend this hotel especially on a sunny day with a glass of bubbly. The location and choice of food, not to mention the spa treatments is has to offer is brilliant. The only minor gripe I had with the selection of tasty miniature offerings was the raisins in the scones. My plate looked like a raisin graveyard. Please think of those who like their scones sans raisins - Thanking you kindly.

Afternoon Tea wasn't the only sweet treat of the day. I ensured my Mum started her day with cake too as I bought her some delicious Hummingbird Bakery cupcakes.  Red Velvet, Black Bottom and Carrot Cake. It's safe to say we were full to the brim by the end of the day but definitely worth it. If not on your birthday then when can you? 

On a fashion side note, I made the most of the unusually hot weather and wore a Topshop floral midi dress with tie side detail . Unfortunately I didn't get a successful shot of the dress (Mother dearest isn't too snap happy but as it was her birthday I forgave her!) so please excuse this candid photograph. It's slightly out of my comfort zone as I wouldn't normally choose something quite so bold but I absolutely love the side detail with the contrasting pretty print.

Where would you recommend I go to Afternoon Tea next? I've got my eyes on the Mad Hatter's Tea at The Sanderson in London.

Alex x 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Has that girl ever washed her face? #youlookdisgusting

Last night during one of my massive sessions consisting of hours of scrolling youtube stumbling across some weird and wonderful videos I got direct to My Pale Skin. Em Ford makes stunning makeup tutorials and various other beauty inspired videos so her channel is right up my street. However, the video Em posted on the 1st July was different. As with all makeup tutorials on youtube you get to see a before and after photo, Em has been suffering with Acne and has made a video of actual real life comments she has received from people judging her on her bare face. 
I was mesmerised for 3 minutes and when the video ended I felt compelled to write about what I had just witnessed. 
There is couple of things that came up for me:
  1. Any one who puts themselves out there faults and all should be commended. This is a scary thing to do regardless of whether your skin is clear or not. 
  2. You will not make yourself better by breaking someone else. It is clear that Em is a confident beautiful woman, but I am sure that reading all this negativity would waver even Kendall Jenner’s confidence. When did we stop following the saying “if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all” ? 
  3. Why is there this stigma around acne that people who suffer from it are unhygienic. The words "Has that girl ever washed her face” turned my stomach. I have suffered with adult acne over the last couple of years, it is something in my genes. My stress comes out all angry and red on my face so I can’t hide it. When I am going through an acne time I feel ashamed of myself for something which is completed out of my control. I feel the need to bring it up before other people do, make jokes about it to cover how low it is truly making me feel and discuss what products I use unprompted, this is because I don’t want people to think I don’t wash my face I never realised why I did this until watching this video. 

If you haven’t watched the video I have left it below so please take a couple of minutes to put yourself in an acne suffers shoes. It is so hard to have your flaws right where everyone is looking... your face! Be Kind ALWAYS! 


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

HUGE Zara Haul

Zara for me is one of those shops where you know you will find something you like, however I find the prices vary quite a lot sometimes you can pick up a bargain and sometimes they will want to charge you over for a chiffon top. I've managed to pick up a few bits, some sale some full priced. If you are interested in what I am going to be wearing now the weather has cheered up please give this video a watch..... and maybe a thumbs up! 

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