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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

THE GEL TOP COAT FOR ANY NAIL POLISH

*Ciate Geltox Starter Kit from ASOS Beauty

During London Fashion Week I spent some time at The Apartment - a base for bloggers to chill out, loan clothes, have some lunch and check out the latest beauty offerings. ASOS Beauty had a space there and were showing all the latest launches and products which was super exciting - the one product that really caught my eye was this Ciate Geltox Starter Kit (which I briefly mentioned in my weekend post). In a nutshell it turns any nail polish into a long-lasting gel effect polish - I genuinely did a happy dance when I found about about this product!

There have been lots of at home gel effect polishes coming onto the market lately but I've not yet seen one that can be applied over a regular polish, this is like music to my ears as I have so many shades that I love but I wishes they were a little longer lasting! On Saturday I decided to give the product a whirl and on first impressions I love it, I painted my nails with Orly Kiss The Bride as it's one of my favourite pastel shades, I applied two coats then left it half an hour so the polish was completely dry.

I then applied a coat of the Ciate Geltox topcoat, placed it under the lamp for 60 seconds and voila, gel nails! It also suggested that you can apply two topcoats for a super high shine which is what I did as I love that effect. One mistake I made is that I didn't go over the very ends of my nails with the polish and they have cracked on the ends slightly, at least I know what to do for next time!

To remove the polish the kit recommends to buy the removal kit but I plan on gently buffing off the gel top coat then removing my polish as normal to save money. Overall, I'm so pleased with the final outcome of my nails, I did them three days ago and they are still going strong, I'm looking forward to seeing how long they actually last and also how easy the removal process is. For now, this starter kit is a current favourite that I can't wait to try with my other favourite shades!

Have you tried the Ciate Geltox Starter Kit? Is this something you'd purchase?
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Monday, 30 March 2015

STYLE CHALLENGE WITH ROB

What Rob's wearing: Shirt: Topman | Jeans: Superdry | Backpack: *Blue Inc | Glasses: *Rayban | Trainers: Vans

The other day I went to an event and was discussing with a few blogger pals of mine about how our other halves dress, if we have to dish them out a few tips on where to shop, what to wear etc. It got me thinking that I’m actually pretty lucky as I’ve never looked at Rob and thought ‘what is he wearing/Christ I’d better take him clothes shopping’ – he’s always had a fairly laid back vibe, I’m talking flannel shirts, trusty Levi jeans with smart brogues (I remember to this day when he came home from TK Maxx with an amazing pair of Kurt Geiger brogues and he was so chuffed that he knew the brand that little face!). Left to his own devices he dresses pretty well and I don’t need to give him any advice (although I wish we had more occasions for him to wear as suit as he looks so nice!).

When Ladbrokes contacted me to see how I’d style Rob I took up the challenge as I thought it would be fun (much to Rob’s un-amusement haha!). Ladrbokes carried out a survey to find out what we as women want from men in terms of their career, dress sense and and the ideal male image! Surprisingly only one in ten that voted that they love the ‘hipster look with beards, and vintage clothes’ *slowly raises hand as that’s me haha! Strange celeb crushes include Eminem which I can also vouch for as he’s definitely a crush of mine! The ‘perfect’ man from the results is around 6ft with blue eyes, with a suited and booted dress sense – ring any bells ladies? For me, personality makes the first impression, I just hit lucky with Rob as he was equally as handsome as we was charming (okay, maybe I’m a tad!).

What do you think of how I styled Rob? What is your idea of a ‘perfect’ male?

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Sunday, 29 March 2015

HOW TO BALANCE BLOGGING WITH A JOB


Last year I decided to take the plunge and work part time, I spend three days a week working in London and two days a week on my blog. Even though it freed up so much time for me to focus on my blog I still struggle to fit everything in, one of my days off is usually spent in London attending events and meeting brands so I have one day where I work from home to organise and schedule my content. 

Whilst I still need to keep on top of emails, take outfit/general blog pictures and reply to blog posts and any comments - it soon becomes hectic again. I thought I'd jot down my top points on how I stay organised, hopefully it will help some of you that are trying to juggle blogging with a job, university or school - I have to say full timers I take my hat off to you because it's no easy task!

1.) Stay organised: Make sure your desk/office space is tidy so when you go to work you can do so with a clear mind, keep notebooks for separate areas of your blog i.e blogging, YouTube, vlogs, social media - so you can note down any inspiration, ideas and plans and refer to the correct one when you need it. I always find writing a to-do list at the beginning of each day and ticking it off as I go along really helps as I can map out exactly what needs to be done that day and it's a great feeling when you see the list getting ticket off. I also have a week planner which I find super helpful!

2.) Plan ahead: At the beginning of the week I sit down and fill out my week planner and know what posts I'm going to write that week, beforehand I'll have a little brainstorming session or flick through my notes for inspiration. I then take my blog post pictures in one batch so then I can go into each post and just write the text. If I'm having a good week I'll try to work on posts for the following week too, I always have an ongoing notebook in which I put all future post ideas (I've also bookmarked my 50 blog post ideas post for reference which is great to glance over!).

3.) Schedule: Anything that can be scheduled in, schedule it! It helps so much and I find it's a weight of your shoulders when you're attending events, answering emails and taking blog pictures - it's something you don't need to worry about. I try to schedule my posts in for the week, I also use the app Buffer for scheduling my Twitter and Facebook posts which is really handy!

4.) Make the most of your time: On the train to and from work I usually schedule in my social media - I try to work 2-3 days ahead of myself so I'm not scheduling in for that day in case for any reason I don't have the time to schedule then there will be a gap in my posts. I also use this hour to answer my emails and post images to Instagram too. Remember to use your time wisely, whether it's on your journey to work or in your lunch hour - this way it gives you time to switch off from 'blog mode' and unwind in the evening without worrying that you haven't done something for the next day.

5.) Don't pressure yourself: Last year I found that I put so much pressure on myself and used to worry if I hadn't scheduled a post in for the next day, but I learnt to go easier on myself this year and have adopted a much more laid back approach to blogging which has enabled me to enjoy it so much more! We're all human, we all forget stuff, we all get so tired that all we want to do is get in bed at 8pm with our friend Ben & Jerry - it's fine, if you don't post for one day or even a week people aren't going to stop reading your blog or forget about you! Allow yourself the time off and you'll be so much more productive with the time you do have!

How do you manage to write a blog and work? Any tips I should know about?

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Saturday, 28 March 2015

5 THINGS TO MAKE YOU HAPPY TODAY


The past few weeks have been a little manic for me, since we came back from Paris I've been non-stop at work, with events and trying to catch up on my blog so yesterday I sat down and took a little time out to think about small things that make me happy that are inexpensive and don't take up too much time. This weekend I'm so looking forward to having a little relaxation time and I'm off for a night out with my girls tonight which I've been excited for all week *cue Sunday hangover! Here are my top 5 tips on how to make yourself a teeny bit happier this weekend....

1.) Buy flowers: I can't actually remember the last time I treated myself to some flowers, in fact I'm not sure I ever have. It's surprising how a nice bunch of blooms can brighten your day (and room!). They don't have to be expensive either - this little bunch I got above only cost me £1.50 and my room is primarily white so they look lovely sitting on my desk. Go on, treat yourself!

2.) Eat chocolate: Girls, this one is a no brainer... Chocolate is scientifically proven to make you happy, so say no more right?! PLUS dark chocolate is proven to be beneficial to our health *hurrah! My favourite has to be the Lindt dark with hazelnut or sea salt & caramel - SO good, they are only around £2 for a bar too, so make sure you pick one up this weekend!

3.) Take a hot bubble bath: My favourite way to unwind and make myself happier for sure, run yourself a hot bath and sink into it with your favourite book/kindle/magazine and just switch off for half an hour. It's so good to just not have to think about anything for a while! My favourite products which I love to use are the Dr Salts+ Himalayan Bath Salts as they come in a massive bag for only £6.99 which is great! They are also used for cleansing, detoxifying and natural healing. I also adore the Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey Bath Oil with notes of Cassis, Acacia Honey and Peach this is 100% my go-to treat-time bath product! 

4.) Read: I find reading really makes me happy, whether it's getting lost into a fictionally fantasy on my Kindle, flicking through my favourite glossy's or reading something educational - it's so nice to get lost in another world for a while. As much as I love reading my Kindle on the train, nothing makes me happier than reading an actual book! Make yourself a cup of tea, light some candles and kick back with your favourite read - I promise you'll feel so much happier after *just don't read anything sad! I read the Book Thief in Thailand and couldn't stop crying for a good day!

5.) Paint your nails: Having some me-time always makes me feel more happy and pampered, it's nice to look nice y'know?! Whether you're going to apply a face mask, tan or paint your nails, make sure you take some time out to indulge for a while. My favourite thing to do is paint my nails, whilst I was at The Apartment during LFW I came across the most exciting product ever from ASOS Beauty which I'm going to try out today so I had to share it with you all!

So, we all have that favourite nail polish ever that we love so much but wish it wouldn't darn chip all the time? You feeling girls? When I discovered Ciate had launched a Geltox Start Kit I internally squeeled (or maybe it was aloud, I can't remember!). In a nutshell, you can apply any ordinary polish and this kit turns it into a long-wearing gel formal *thank the lord! I am honestly so excited to try this and turn my favourite polish into a long standing mani - I'll report back with full details and pictures!

What's making you happy this weekend?

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Friday, 27 March 2015

NEW IN: CREAMY LIP COLORS FROM BOBBI BROWN

New Creamy Lip Colors from Bobbi Brown

When Bobbi Brown launches a new product, I listen! By far one of my favourite beauty brands as everything they do just works, the go-to place for the perfect nude lip, those shimmer bricks and luxe packaging - what more could a girl ask for?! When Bobbi added some extra colours to her top three lip collections; Sheer Lip Colors, Creamy Matte Lip Colors and Creamy Lip Colors I couldn't wait to see what was on offer! I have six of the new Creamy Lip Color additions and boy are they dreamy! *inserts heart in eyes emoji*.

I have shades; 'Golden Bronze', 'Neon Pink' - the perfect shades for on holiday when you're tanned and rocking a little tousled hair/minimal makeup look and want a great lipstick to complete your look. 'Pink Tulip' and 'Raspberry Pink' - both beautiful dusky pink hues for Spring, extremely wearable and perfect for everyday looks. Lastly, 'Soft Tangerine' which is one of my favourite shades as it will be perfect for Spring/Summer and I can't wait to rock this on a Saturday night out with my girls! The creamy formula of the lipsticks leaves a beautiful soft shine - perfect for day or night. You have to check out the new additions to the Bobbi Brown lip collections and can do so here - you won't regret it (your bank might - sorry about that!)

Have you tried any of the Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Colors? Which shades are your favourites?
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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

PARIS TRAVEL DIARY

The view from the top of the Eiffel Tower, eek!
The beautiful view from our hotel room!
Top: Boden | Skirt: Miss Selfridge | Bag: Mulberry | Sunglasses: Le Specs
Cue terrified faces at the top of the Tower!

If you follow me on Instagram (@Frockmeimfamous) you would have noticed that last week I was in Paris for a few days. I booked tickets to see Royal Blood their for Rob's Christmas present, along with our Eurostar tickets as it's such an easy and convenient way for us to travel. We set off from London on Monday around lunchtime and arrive in Pareeeee about half 3, we checked into our hotel then headed out to catch some sights. Our first stop was the Champs Elysee as it was literally a five minute walk from our hotel (we stayed at the Holiday inn Paris Elysees and the location was incredible! It was only around a 15 minute walk from the Louve too so it was really central!).

We grabbed some dinner and watched the sunset on the first evening then had an early night so we were wide eyed and bushy tail for our first full day in Paris. We headed to Notre Dame first thing, which was followed by a trip to the Catacombs which was an amazing experience, albeit a little eerie (if you're claustrophobic do not go but otherwise a must see!). It was an absolute scorcher of a day (around 20 degrees - full on t-shirt weather, whoo!) so we strolled along the Seine and sat at a little cafe for a last glass of Vino then headed back to our rooms to get changed. We popped out for dinner then headed to the Royal Blood gig at the Olympia which was absolutely insane - I have so much love for that band and their performance was on point as always!

The next day we awoke not so fresh (*ahem, nothing to do with the previous night's gig!) and we headed to the Eiffel Tower, we went to the top which was a terrifying experience (cue nervous picture above) but incredible all the same, I have to admit we were so happy to when we come back down to be on solid ground again haha. We spent a lazy afternoon walking around the Louvre before grabbing an early dinner and heading home on the Eurostar.

All in all we had an amazing trip and I adore Paris, it was Rob's first time and he loved it too - we can't wait to hopefully go back someday! If you're thinking of heading to the city of love then I'd 100% recommend checking out the Holiday inn Paris Elysees as I mentioned the location was fantastic, the rooms were really spacious (we had a beautiful view of the cute Parisian streets) and the breakfast was also so delicious - they had Milka muffins... I shall say no more! It's also a really affordable option as it can be a little pricey when visiting so definitely worth a look!

P.s novelist Lady Robinson was so inspired by her time in Paris that she chose to write a book about it called 'Letters From Paris' - here are her top 5 tips on what to do if you're visiting so take note! 

1.       Stay at Hotel Villa Madame, a bijou Hotel tucked away in the heart of Saint -Germain des Prés. The rooms are designed for romance each with balconies overlooking rooftops and winter gardens.
2.       Have your croissants and coffee with the locals at Café Cassette then walk hand in hand across the Seine and through the Jardin des Tuileries.
3.       Take lunch at La Fontaine de Mars on rue Saint- Dominique. The décor is classic with original tiled floor and red and white tablecloths and the atmosphere is pure authentic Paris.
4.       Visit Musée d’Orsay. You must. Even though you won’t have time to take in much of the incredible collection of Impressionist paintings, the view through the Clock Window will take your breath away.
5.       I am a little reluctant to share Racines, the tiny romantic eatery at 8, passage des Panoramas. It’s for lovers. Go there. You will not be disappointed.   

Have you been to Paris before? What were your highlights?


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