Tuesday, 22 July 2014

BLOG EVENT // HOUSE OF FRASER CHRISTMAS 2014 PRESS PREVIEW

Last week, I was invited to attend House of Fraser's Christmas 2014 press preview. Being that Christmas is my favourite time of the year, I of course jumped at the chance to bask in seasonal celebration a little early, if only for an afternoon during one of the hottest days of the year. Admittedly, it was slightly weird walking out of the boiling hot sunshine into a winter wonderland but hey, I'm not complaining!

I had the chance to preview their fashion, beauty, home and gift Christmas collections which was a lot of fun. It was nice to see what it deemed to be popular this Christmas and also to have some ideas of gifts I'll be buying when the time comes! There were tons of stunning beauty products, as well as lots of high end and classy gifts for both ladies and men. The fashion itself was to die for, with House of Fraser offering lots of sparkle and sequins, as well as a fair amount of black satin and delicate silk all making an appearance in their Christmas fashion collection.

I think perhaps though, my favourite part of the day was walking around their showrooms which showcased all their different home and decoration themes for Christmas. I absolutely love anything that looks Christmassy and get so over excited by simple things like hanging baubles, sparkly tinsel etc so being able to walk around and mooch at all the different room sets was so fun!

Some of their home Christmas themes included high society, frosty, and two of my personal favourites, enchanted forest & black magic. Each theme was elegant, seasonal and all matched without being too over bearing. But why don't I just let you see for yourself with the many many pictures I took!

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Blog Event // House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; House of Fraser; House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview, HOFpressday
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Blog Event // House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; House of Fraser; House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview, HOFpressday
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Blog Event // House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; House of Fraser; House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview, HOFpressday
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Blog Event // House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; House of Fraser; House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview, HOFpressday
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Blog Event // House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; House of Fraser; House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview, HOFpressday
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Blog Event // House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; House of Fraser; House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview, HOFpressday
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Blog Event // House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; House of Fraser; House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview, HOFpressday
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Blog Event // House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; House of Fraser; House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview, HOFpressday
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Blog Event // House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; House of Fraser; House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview, HOFpressdayInspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Blog Event // House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; House of Fraser; House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview, HOFpressday
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Blog Event // House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; House of Fraser; House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview, HOFpressday
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Blog Event // House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; House of Fraser; House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview, HOFpressday
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Blog Event // House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; House of Fraser; House of Fraser Christmas 2014 Press Preview, HOFpressday

Everything is so pretty, right? The room sets are glamourous and beautiful, whereas the clothes are sparkly and showstopping. And don't even get me started on the luxurious gift sets...! What do you think? Will you be shopping at House of Fraser this Christmas? Drop a comment and let me know!

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Monday, 14 July 2014

LETS TALK ABOUT BOOKS // THE FIVE ALL TIME FAVOURITES

I've always been a self confessed book worm, ever since I was a little girl. I loved going on all kinds of adventures, whether that be making a mud pie with my two best friends one summers evening, or delivering post with the Jolly Christmas postman (sort of, in my mind anyway...) in winter. It's safe to say though that I was more likely to have my head buried in a book, as opposed to playing kiss chase down the park. A slightly different topic of conversation for a moment though - what REALLY was the point of kiss chase? Weren't we all too scared to kiss once we were caught anyway, and instead demanded it was the opposite sex's turn to run instead of us?

...anyway. Books have always been my escape and to this day I always have one book or another buried in my bag for breaks at work, long bus journeys or for just when boredom settles in. There's something real special about how just turning the pages can allow you to be someone entirely different for even just a few minutes at a time. You can completely forget about everything going on around you or in your life and lose yourself in an entire different world. Books can make you cry or laugh. They can inspire you and inform you. They can even get you thinking about becoming a writer yourself!

So in aid of my love for books, I've decided to post (in no particular order!) about my five favourite books of all time. 

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lets talk about books // The five all time favourites; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; Married With Zombies; Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist; I Heart New York; Johnny Be Good

The bad-ass one that is completely different from all the others
Married with Zombies | Jesse Petersen

The first time I discovered this book was technically due to research purposes, since for a long time now I've been planning to write my own zombie/chick lit novel. I had no idea that anyone had crossed these genres before, and although this story isn't THAT chick lit, it's still pretty damn cool and bad-ass too. It's the first of a trilogy and follows married couple, Sarah and David, who have to survive the zombie apocalypse...whilst being on the brink of divorce. It's witty, funny and extremely refreshing to read something that is lighthearted without giving in to the usual girly cliches of chick lit.

The one that really opened my eyes
Noughts & Crosses | Malorie Blackman

I've had this copy since I was a teenager and have re-read it so many times that some of the pages are almost falling out. I'd like to think that if I ever had kids, I'd one day pass it on to them as I think it's the type of book everyone should read at least once. It's a real eye opener and a story that deals with racism - only it's white people who are being discriminated against, many of them poor and even unable to attend school. It's a pretty haunting account of what life used to be and still is in some ways for people of different races and on top of everything, it's also a dramatic and moving love story that never fails to make me cry every single damn time.

The effortlessly cool one
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist | David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

I fell in love with this movie, then it's soundtrack and then finally the book that it's all based upon. Yes, I've already reviewed the movie and book on this blog, but it's still a favourite of mine I read time and time again. It's an almost entirely accurate account of what really goes on in girls and boys heads when they like each other and just how easily signals can get mixed up. It also pays homage to those epic and seemingly never ending nights fulled by music and/or alcohol that you'll remember for the rest of your life.

The one that inspired me (and everyone else..!) to take a chance do everything
I Heart New York | Lindsey Kelk

Okay so almost everyone has read this anyway but I'm not surprised since it's so damn good. The character of Angela taught us that it's alright to have a little cry when you go through some tough shit like your douche bag of a boyfriend cheating on you, but it's even more fun to then do something drastic like fly halfway across the world to start a new life in New York. Sure, we can't ALL do that, but you'd be lying if you said you haven't been tempted to move to NY after reading this book, especially in the hopes of bagging a band boy like Alex *swoon*. Seriously though, this book is every girls best friend that is lighthearted, funny, inspiring and it's just the perfect read no matter what madness is going on around you. (Unless it's a zombie apocalypse, in which case I'd suggest putting the book down but instead perhaps grabbing book #1 on this list for future reference...)

The one that taught me that it is possible to marry a rock star one day and very occasionally bad boys can be tamed (but I won't hold my breath about it)
Johnny Be Good | Paige Toon

Another chick lit, but this time one that's not all lighthearted and focuses on drama and some real issues that come with hooking up with a huge rock star, this is definitely the type of book to read when your current life is boring you. It's the only book of Paige Toon's I've read (bar it's sequel) but boy was I impressed. You'd think the story line about bagging the dream job of becoming a rockstars P.A and then becoming involved with said rockstar would be completely cliche and unbelievable...but somehow this is so realistic that I'm beginning to think that may Paige Toon did shack up with a rockstar once (tell us who!) because this story is spot on about what a rockstars life is really like behind closed doors. 

I could never fault any of this books, and these five are the few that I can re-read over and over again without getting bored. Each time I read each story I pick up on something new, laugh harder then before, cry (discreetly) more than before...no matter how many times I read these, I never find myself knowing exactly what's going to happen, more often then not submerging myself in the stories without much clue of what's going to happen next on each page. Which is exactly what a book should do, right?

Do you have any favourite books you end up coming back to time and time again? Let me know!

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Saturday, 12 July 2014

MUSIC // THE JULY PLAYLIST

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Music // The July Playlist; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; Playlist; New Music; Chromeo; The Downtown Fiction; Coldplay; Anarbor; The Maine; Jack's Mannequin; Kasabian; The Kooks; Santana; Only Real

Since working at H&M, not only have I been spending all my money on lovely clothes, but I've also been checking out loads of cool artists or digging lots of new releases since they play some pretty cool playlists. There are an odd few songs I don't like, but generally the songs have to be good if you don't mind listening to the same ones every single day. 


Which I don't.

Cause some of them are real good.

So I've put together a little playlist of what I've been listening to recently and what songs I think are going to be big this month. There's a mix of new releases, old classics (for example, an old favourite of everyone's - Smooth - which I've been listening to a lot since my friend was randomly listening to it) and just a few funky songs that have a real relaxed summer chill vibe to them. I simply cannot get Cadillac Girl out of my head and it just makes me think of long summer drives.

There's not much to say except for enjoy!


And let me know what you think!

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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

REVIEW // L'OREAL PARIS COLOR RICHE COLLECTION IN SHADE FRIEDA'S NUDE

The fourth L'Oreal Paris lipstick I have to review today is another belonging to the exclusive color riche collection. This one is designed by Frieda Pinto and is a lovely basic nude shade, one much like the colour of my lips originally.

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Review // L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Collection in shade Freida's Nude; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; L'Oreal Paris; L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Collection, Frieda's Nude

This shade is real cute, but I can't say it's one I'll wear again. Although I think it's a beautiful nude shade, it's simply too close to my own lip colour to make much difference. In the pictures it looks more purple but in actual fact it's a very pastel purple. It gives my lips a little more colour but simply blends into my look too much to stand out and doesn't really look like I'm wearing lipstick.

Additionally, if it does give anything to my look, it's another colour that has a lot of glitter elements which seems a little pointless to me as it just looks like I'm wearing glitter! 

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Review // L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Collection in shade Freida's Nude; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; L'Oreal Paris; L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Collection, Frieda's Nude
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Review // L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Collection in shade Freida's Nude; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; L'Oreal Paris; L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Collection, Frieda's Nude
Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Review // L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Collection in shade Freida's Nude; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; L'Oreal Paris; L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Collection, Frieda's Nude

I will say that it's a long lasting shade - even after hours later I could still feel that I was wearing it, just unfortunately I could not tell by looking. I think this is a very basic and versatile shade that would suit a lot of skin tones, but would probably stand out more for those with darker skin. That said, just because it blends in a lot with MY lip colour, does not mean it will not stand out on others.

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Review // L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Collection in shade Freida's Nude; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; L'Oreal Paris; L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Collection, Frieda's Nude

In conclusion, I think the pictures speak for themselves. A lovely shade, but perhaps not for me as I prefer something less subtle!

What do you think? Is it worth spending your money on subtle shades that don't make much difference, or are these ideal for day to day wear when you can't afford to go bold? Let me know with a comment!

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Sunday, 6 July 2014

EAU THERMALE AVÈNE // THE SKINCARE RANGE OF THE GODS

It has taken me a good nine or so years (or however long it's been since I began to get acne as a teenager) but I think it's time I can finally admit, hand on heart, that I actually sort of like my face. I mean, don't get me wrong, I don't like the bags under my eyes, the blackheads on my nose or the shape of my nose from the side...but in terms of skin? I think it's kind of alright. As in, I can remove my makeup at the end of the day and look at myself in the mirror and actually like what I see. 

This might not be a big deal for some of you but for me, it's definitely a big deal. As a teenager, like most girls my age, I had spotty skin. I wouldn't say I had a particularly severe case of acne, but at the age when your hormones are all over the place, I can't say I was particularly confident with how I looked. As I've grown up and become more confident in my own skin, this has never been a massive issue for me because it's never been something makeup can't fix or cover up.

But admittedly over the past few years, I started to wonder when my skin would clear up. I was no longer a teenager and again, even though it wasn't THAT bad, I would still get acne and my skin would be temperamental - one minute dry, the next greasy. It was driving me mad because I'm now a grown up! I shouldn't have skin like a teenager, even though I eat loads of junk food and am partial to a fair amount of alcohol on a night out. In conclusion, I knew I had to start taking care of my skin and being in my early 20s, I could no longer blame hormones for my temperamental skin. Although I've calmed down a little on the drinking and junk food since, I have one skincare range that I can thank for finally making me entirely comfortable in my own skin, with or without makeup. 

And being a woman, I know how important it is to dedicate yourself to a decent skincare regime. There are so many different skincare ranges out there and sometimes it can take so long to find the one that works. For example, I used to use different ranges for different things, simply because it was easier for me to buy one range for moisturizer and another for toner. I simply picked up whichever was cheapest at the time that each ran out. I once spent a good amount of money on Dermalogica which had been heavily recommended to me and found myself severely disappointed. It did nothing for me, except perhaps bring out more spots. And I know that is nothing against the range in particular as everybody's skin is different. So back I went to using makeup to cover up my temperamental skin.

Until finally, my sister suggested EAU THERMALE Avène to me. 

The moment I logged onto their website, I was impressed. I love how the brand has different products dedicated to all skin types, meaning that you're bound to discover some products just right for you. The website is easy to use, answering all your questions and even including a glossary of terms which is ideal for me. Sometimes it's daunting hearing lots of medical terms that supposedly make a product great but not even knowing what these words mean makes it all jibberish to me!

Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Eau Thermale Avéne // The Skincare range of the Gods; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; Avéne

I think my favourite part about this brand though is that you can log on and take a skin diagnosis, answering questions to help develop a personalized skincare routine for you. The questions are really through too, so even though you might think your skin is oily and needs a certain type of product, this test eliminates every option such as whether or not your skin is hydrated well enough or if you have facial redness. It then suggests a routine fitted around what type of skin you have and you can even request a few small samples of the products suggested. It's perfect because I find it pointless wasting money on products unless they're going to work and although Avène isn't too pricey, it's not cheap either.

Since using Avène, I've noticed a huge difference in my skin. My blackheads haven't disappeared (as they were there before I started using the products), but I haven't developed any new ones either. My skin is softer, smoother and more clear with less blemishes. I do still get the odd spot depending on my lifestyle choices, like if I've been eating a lot of junk food, but they're nowhere near as severe as before and when I have been eating healthy and drinking lots of water, my skin is in ideal condition.

Better yet, my skin genuinely does feel clean and refreshed after using my products. Some products I've used in the past have just made me feel icky, as I don't like using ranges that have a lot of chemicals in their products or whatever. But Avène genuinely feels healthy and natural.

Although I'm well aware that everyone's skin type is different and what works for me may not work for you, I would definitely suggest at least logging onto their website and checking out the skin diagnosis. Because they've developed various products designed for all different types of skin, you'll most likely find something just right for you. The great thing is that you can try some testers from the routine designed specifically for you before spending any money.

What do you think? Have you ever tried Avène? Do you have a skincare range you absolutely swear by? Let me know!

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