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Monday, 18 August 2014

BEAUTY: SUMMER HAIR UPDATE & CURRENT STYLING TIPS



I thought I’d do a follow up post from my trip to Michael Van Clarke salon (full post here). I visited the salon a few weeks ago for a new summer do and wanted to show you a closer look at my hair as well as how I’m currently styling it.  If you read my post you’ll know that I headed to the salon for a chop and some blonde balayage, I’m a brunette girl through and through and don’t normally stray too far from the palette but in the summer I always like to have a bit of a change and the stylist suggested we go for a balayage, so we did!

I loved the results of my balayage, it’s a lot more subtle than a dip dye as they select random bits of hair so it looks more natural. My hair didn’t quite lift light enough to the colour I wanted but I was still really happy with the results. I've visited the salon several times before and have always been really pleased with the results of my hair and this time was no different!

As for the styling, my hair is naturally a bit messy - it's not quite straight nor is it curly it's that sort of in between stage. I try not to use too many heat products on my hair so I'll usually wash my hair, wrap it in a low bun to dry then spray some salt spray to give it that extra help with the bed head look that actually looks styled. 

However, I've recently discovered the *Cloud 9 Micro Wand which is an absolute god send, I've found that it doesn't ever get too hot which is great if you do use a styling tool on a daily basis - I always apply loads of heat protection spray before anyway. I've never really trialled a wand properly (they are so different from the barrel curling tongs I remember having as a teen, oh my!) and are so easy to use, I pin half my hair up and just take sections of hair the width of 3 fingers as I like to have my curls quite loose and messy. The good thing with this wand is that you can achieve any type of curl, whether you're after a ringlet curl or more of just a loose wave each style is easily achievable with this wand. 

When styling my hair with the wand I've also been using this *Redken Sea Salt Spray from Hairtrade and have really been loving it, it gives my hair a real kind of beach waves look but it isn't too dry which is great. If you're looking for a new salt spray then I'd highly recommend giving this one a whirl - if you buy it from Hairtrade it's nearly half it's RRP too, bargain! 

Now if you follow me on Instagram then you’ll know that I’ve had something a little more drastic done to my hair since which I'll be blogging about next week so sit tight for a full review and pictures. 

Have you tried the Cloud 9 Curling wand before? 


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Friday, 15 August 2014

LIFESTYLE: #HELLOSUMMERMOMENTS WITH COSTA COFFEE

Left to right: Essie 'Haute in the heat' | Sharing a Costa with mum | A Costa picnic with treats from the new summer menu | My Costa selfie | Matching my Costa with my nails and my shorts | Introducing
 mum to the new Costa menu (I had a Strawberry & Lime cooler & mum had a Caramel Latte cooler).

Happy Friday guys!! I'm currently in the midst of packing my bag for V Festival tomorrow, I've pretty much spent the past hour trying on outfits and am still none the wiser as to what to take with me, le sigh! Anyway, on another note I've come to the end of my Costa Coffee #HelloSummerMoments challenge, a while back Costa asked me if I'd like to get involved and I jumped at the chance - they sent me a super cute hamper packed with some new treats from the Costa summer menu, some Essie polishes, this amazing 'Hello' clutch bag and a Costa voucher so we could try the new menu. So, here's what I got up to last week...

During our challenge we were set mini tasks on what pictures to take and here's how I adapted my images to the brief. First of all we had to take a #selfie with our Costa pick, after browsing the new summer menu I decided to opt for the Strawberry and Lime cooler which was so delicious and refreshing - can't wait to get me another one! For my picture I decided to do a more of a 'from where I stand' kind of selfie rather than a traditional one (it was a no-wash hair day okay guys!). 

Our second task was to give ourselves a mani or pedi with one of our Essie polishes, this one was super easy as I absolutely love painting my nails so I picked this amazing berry pink called 'Haute in the heat' and got cracking. I'm a huge fan of this Essie polish and loved the shade! Our third picture challenge was to incorporate an item from the summer menu with our outfit - as I'd just painted my nails in the Essie pink I opted for a Strawberry and Lime drink and had pink flowers on my shorts too, so I thought it would be a prime opportunity for an outfit snap!

Lastly we had to introduce a friend or family member to the new menu so I popped into our local Costa after picking my mum up from work and she chose a Caramel Latte cooler which she loved (although she nearly drunk it all on the way home before I could get a snap, haha!).

I hope you enjoyed my #HelloSummerMoments pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them! A huge thank you to Costa for asking me to take part - I had so much fun :) 

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Thursday, 14 August 2014

V FESTIVAL BEAUTY ESSENTIALS WITH PRINGLES

This weekend I’m off to VFestival with Pringles (in celebration of their new speaker launch – they are so cool, once you’ve eaten your tube of Pringles you just attach your speaker to the top of the tube and it acts as a speaker... genius! If you want to find out more about that then check them out here - If you buy two packs of Pringles you get one free, I won’t share any pictures or go into too much detail as I’ll be able to get some amazing snaps of the speakers in use that weekend so y’all have to wait until next week for that I’m afraid!).

Anywho, I’m super excited! I’ve not been to V Festival for about 5 years, I went twice when I was at college but it feels like a lifetime ago now so it will be fun to go back. I’m most excited to see Justin Timberlake (sure there will be several fan girl moments there!), Ed Sheeran, Lily Allen, Sam Smith, Rudimental and so many more!

I thought I’d put together a post on what makeup I’m packing for V to give you some tips on what to pack for a festival if you’ve never been before. I wanted to keep my packing quite light as one of the things that reluctantly sticks in my mind from V is that the camping seemed miles away so I’m packing as light as possible! I picked up this really cute Je T’aime makeup pouch from Forever 21 the other week and love it, it’s great as it’s flat so I can slot it down the side of my backpack – it’s also a good size for a festival makeup pouch as it doesn’t allow you to over pack makeup but only take necessities.

So my must haves… when picking my choices my first reach was the Urban Decay B6 Prep Spray, it’s always good to brighten your skin a little and prep it before applying makeup (especially when your skin gets tired and dull during a festival). Secondly a good base is key and I opted for the Body Shop All-In-One Instabur Universal which is an amazing all new face perfecter which helps shine control, reduces the appearance of pores and also helps hides blemishes - the best multi-tasking product!

Admittedly, I did pack a foundation and a BB cream as I like to have a choice – for me a BB cream is always a winner if it’s going to be a hot day (which I hear Saturday is meant to be nice), this Estee Lauder Double Wear BB cream also has SPF 30 so it will protect my skin against the sun (always put suncream on too though!). The Double Wear BB is my all time favourite as it offers such great coverage but it isn’t too heavy and doesn’t clog up my pores, I will forever re-purchase this stuff as it’s pretty much my holy grail!

My logical thinking of taking two bases was that on Sunday it’s not meant to be as hot so something a little thicker and more durable wouldn’t go a miss, the reason I also selected the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation was becase, well it wakes up my skin! And garaunteed that Sunday morning my skin will need a little extra TLC so this is also coming along with me. On the whole brightening up my skin note, I’ve opted for the Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand which I love as you pump the highlighter from the bottom then just run the highlighter across your cheekbones and brows and it can easily be blended with your fingers to save packing extra brushes.

I didn’t want to go too heavy on my eye makeup as I always tend to smudge it when I’ve had a few vinos and that’s never a good look! I’ve packed a Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand Eyeliner in 'Black Chocolate' (The range is incredible and I’ll be blogging about that next week so stay tuned!). This pencil is great as it’s really pigmented so I can create a feline flick with it if I’m feeling a bit daring or just smudge it in with my finger for a more smokey look. Also for eyes, I’m packing the new Urban Decay Subversion Primer and Urban Decay Subversion Mascara which are an amazing duo (only when used together though as I’ve found the mascara takes forever to dry if you use it on it’s own). This mascara always gives my lashes a high impact look so I don’t feel like I necessarily need any other eye makeup, if you are looking for a volumising mascara I couldn’t recommend this one enough – I’ll do a full review on them soon so you can see the before and after results on my lashes.

As for cheeks I absolutely love the new Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm – I decided to pack shade 'Plumped Up Peony' as it’s a lovely rosy pink. These chubby sticks are so perfect for festivals as you don’t need to pack a blusher brush, just draw it on and blend the colour in with your fingers, you can also double up and use it on your lips too if you fancy, multi-tasking at it’s finest I say! For lips I opted for one of the new Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in 'Poppin Poppy' this is a really noroushing balm and the finish is really sheer with a hint of peach. One of the kind of balms you can apply without needing a mirror you know (perfect when drinking at a festival!). I’ve also opted for the LOreal Paris GlamShine Glam Matte Lipgloss in 'Cherry Crop' in shade as this is probably my favourite matte lip product ever! I’ve also recently had my hair dip dyed pink and this shade seems to match perfectly so it would have been rude to leave it at home!

So there we have it my festival makeup guide, I hope it’s helped if you’re unsure on what to pack. I would stick to the rule of trying (and I use that term loosely as I can’t even stick to it myself) to take one of everything but it’s always good to have a couple of lip options, or eye options if you’re more of an eye girl. Follow me on Instagram @Frockmeimfamous to stay up to date with my weekend at V and I’ll be back with a full report on what I got up to next week.

What are your festival makeup must haves? I’d love to know!
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Friday, 8 August 2014

BEAUTY: A HAIR FREE SUMMER?


Yep, you read that right – a hair free summer… every girls dream, non? I’ve been trialling the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X for the past few weeks now and so far, so good! I’ve been slacking slightly and haven’t managed to use it every two weeks as it’s hard to find a slot to sit down to de-fuzz myself (although I really need to start finding the time as I can’t wait to complete my course and see some hair free pins! You can start to see 70% hair reduction in as little as six weeks, which is amazing considering it's a DIY job from home and it used the same technology as salons!).

I was first introduced to Tria earlier on this year when I went to a bloggers event for the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X, I was seriously impressed by the device, it's so light weight and comes in a range of colours - I absolutely love this mint green one, but it also comes in grey, lilac and pink too. In just under 3 months the device will leave you hair free, it's a fraction of the price that you would pay in a clinic (although still expensive but definitely worth it when you consider the results you're getting). It's also nice to be able to do your treatments from the comfort of your own home and still achieve the same results.

A little about Tria from the experts...

"The first and only clinically-proven cordless laser available for home use, the  Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X uses the same diode laser technology preferred by dermatologists to target and permanently disable the hair follicle for permanent results. Unlike professional laser hair removal, our Hair Removal Laser 4X is a one-time investment. While in-office laser hair removal can cost well over £7,000, Tria Laser 4X delivers the same permanent results for less than one office visit."


So... how to use the Tria at home:

Step 1: Prep your skin - Cleanse, shave and towel-dry for the most effective treatment.

Step 2: Select a treatment level - Customise to your comfort with 5 energy levels. Start on a medium setting and work your way up.

Step 3: You're one pulse away from smooth skin. After each pulse, lift and place the tip in an overlapping pattern.

There are 5 energy levels on the device and I just want to warn you that I'm the biggest wimp ever and have a low pain threshold but I can honestly say that I ramped this baby up to 5 and hardly felt a thing!! I opted to have it on 5 as I thought I'd rather it was stronger so my course of treatment wouldn't last as long, if you think it's uncomfortable then just use it on a lower setting but the 5 was more than comfortable with me. 

I'm going to be doing a full three month review on my treatments with the  Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X too so I can show you before and after pictures, at the moment I don't feel there is much to show - although I've definitely found my hairs are much finer already, it's amazing how quickly the results can show when using this device but I thought it would be great to show you some pictures at the final stages!

I'd love to hear your stories if you've tried the Tria Laser 4x!


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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

AUGUST GIVEAWAY: £100 DEBENHAMS VOUCHERS



I'm super excited to share this month's giveaway with you all, a £100 Debenhams voucher... say wah?!!  The voucher can be used on Designers at Debenhams, Debenhams own brand and all cosmetics - so all of the goodies above you can purchase and SO much more!! All concessions are excluded but I mean there's so much to choose from anyway no point making us even more indecisive now is there?! The voucher is valid until November 2014 - but I'm sure that wont be a problem for y'all spendy lot! I would love to hear what you'd love to spend the voucher on so please leave a comment below!! :) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

*T&C: This competition will end on Sunday 31st of August 2014, a winner will be selected at random by Rafflecopter. The prize is £100 worth of Debenhams vouchers (Can be spent on full price Designers at Debenhams, Debenhams own brand and cosmetics only - excludes all concessions. Voucher valid until 30th November 2014). It is mandatory that you follow me on Bloglovin. All other entries are optional. You MUST be a blogger to enter. This competition is open worldwide.

Good luck and keep your eyes peeled for September's giveaway!


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FASHION: RIPPED DENIM & PETALS

 Top: *Christopher Kane via Harvey Nichols | Jeans: bootsale purchase | Bag: *Ted Baker | Shoes: *New Look | Sunglasses: *New Look | Jacket: Next | Ring: Primark

Today I'm gracing the pages of FMIF with a new outfit post... hurrah!! I shot this look a couple of weeks back after I was kindly sent this amazing Christopher Kane 'Petal' t-shirt -  I couldn't wait to get out and shoot it as it's just so pretty, we picked a cute location near where I live and off we went. *Naturally we had to get a shot with some flowers in the background!*.

I picked these ripped boyfriend jeans up from a bootsale last summer for £1.50 and stuffed them in my wardrobe and completely forgot about them, then when I was thinking about how to style this t-shirt I was digging around and found them and have been wearing them ever since! They are such a comfy relaxed fit, I can't wait to pair them with a tee and some pointed courts for a night out!

This pink Ted Baker 'Markun' bag was the perfect shade to pair with my Petal tee, this bag is leather and is so incredibly soft it's beautiful! It has a stab stitch detail around the edge of the bag and rose gold details which is a lovely touch. As my outfit was fairly plain I decided to add my jewelled New Look sandals into the mix, they are probably my favourite shoes ever right now! Oh, and they've also gone into the sale for £13 which I can't believe so grab a pair before they're gone!


What do you think of this super cute Petal tee? Psst, it's now in the sale for £36 too!
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Monday, 4 August 2014

BEAUTY: A TRIP TO MICHAEL VAN CLARKE


The other week I paid a visit to the Michael Van Clarke salon in the heart of Marylebone for a new summer 'do' and I wanted to share my incredible experience with you all! As you can see, there are no finished look snaps in this post - I've done a post on my new summer hair and also how I style it which will be coming later this week so I'm afraid you'll have to wait for those ;) 

I went into the salon for a chop - only around 1/2 inches off for a tidy up, although I'm wishing I'd had more taken off now as my hair just seems to grow so quickly! I also had a root touch up with a rich brown and some balayage with a warm blonde, my hair is so so dark that it takes a lot to get any form of colour showing. We decided to go for balayage in the end as it was a much more subtle technique for darker hair, initially I wanted a dip dye but the colour specialist suggested the balayage option so we went with that. 

The bleach only took around 20 minutes to take then I had my hair washed (the most amazing hair wash ever, I was so close to falling asleep!) then the toner was applied and finished with an incredible blow dry. I'm so happy with my new hair and I've always had a welcoming experience at the salon, I'm planning on going a little lighter for summer but the balayage is a great technique as you can just keep building on top of what you have - so I think that's whats next for me!

Have you ever visited the salon before? They also have a range of products and the Pre-Wash treatment is an absolute must!!

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

LIFESTYLE: AN OVERNIGHT STAY AT LANCASTER LONDON HOTEL

Lancaster London, Lancaster Terrace, London, W2 2TY 

The other week me and Julie set off to Port Eliot in Cornwall with Bumble and Bumble (see my post all about that here). The night before our train left from Paddington station we spent a night at the Lancaster London Hotel - if you're ever catching an early train from Paddington then this hotel is a must as it's literally a 2 minute walk, so perfect considering I had wayyyy over packed and had a huge backpack (of course i did!).

We both spent the day out and about at meetings and events so we didn't get back to the hotel until around half 7 in the evening, we had the warmest welcome and were shown up to our room (on the 18th floor with the most uh-mazing views, eep!). We dropped our bags off in the room then headed down for dinner at Island Grill  - one of the hotels two restaurants, the other is an award-winning Thai restaurant called Nipa - it's renowned as one of London's best Thai restaurants, I'd love to head back there one day as Thai food is my absolute favourite!

When we arrived at dinner we were both starving and couldn't wait to get ordering - the menu was incredible and there was so much to choose from. Me and Julie are probably the most indecisive people (ever?!) so we ordered some wine whilst pondering over the menu! Here's what I went for (and no, I didn't have two starters - me and Julie shared, although it was so yummy I definitely could of eaten both!):

Starters:
Salt & pepper Salt & pepper calamari calamari calamari 
Golden fried squid with chilli-lime dipping 
sauce & preserved lemon 

English asparagus (V) English asparagus (V) 
Warm asparagus spears and mozzarella, with 
red pepper salsa and garlic crumbs 

Main Course:

Gressingham Gressingham Duck
Roast duck breast with spinach, roasted beetroots , 
chantenay carrots and red wine jus 

Desert:

Apple & Calvados Charlotte 5,50 
Granny Smith apple and Calvados compote baked in a bread & butter 
shell served with home-made cinnamon ice-cream

Wine:

Huaquen Chardonnay Huaquen Chardonnay
Central Valley (Chile) Central Valley (Chile)
Juicy peach with a hint of apricot

If you're ever visiting (the restaurant is open to the non-hotel guests too), they have some great deals and it's actually really affordable! Island Grill is open from 7.00am–10.30pm. From Noon until 7.00pm, the restaurant offers a Prix Fixed lunch and early evening menu, priced at £9.50 for two courses and £12.50 for three courses. My duck main course was absolutely divine and the wine complimented our meals perfectly, I would highly recommend visiting and I can't wait to return myself - I'd definitely stop by if I'm passing!

Once we'd finished our amazing meal we headed back to our room to get ready for bed (realistically we were getting far too excited outfit planning for Port Eliot and discussing what we'd bought that day whilst shopping in London so we didn't get to sleep until 12, I've learnt that Julie is a vampire and doesn't seem to want to ever go to sleep, haha!). The next morning, we were rushing around (true blogger style) so we decided to order breakfast to our room so we could finish getting ready. I chose to have a fruit salad, a muffin and some strawberries with apple juice and Julie had toast with jam and a tea (how British of her?!).

Overall, we had the most amazing stay at the Lancaster London! The location was perfect for what we needed (less than 5 minutes walk from Paddington station). The staff were super welcoming and friendly and the rooms were beautiful (and oh my goodness the views from our room over Hyde Park were something else entirely!). A huge thank you to the Lancaster and Luxe PR for having me and Julie stay, we had a lovely stay and would recommend it to anyone!

Have you stayed at the Lancaster before?

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