UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

home touches // Next Home Sale

an image of next home sale purchases
am image of next heart coasters
For the past two years my Mum heads off to the Next summer sale at the crack of dawn, quite literally with the thunder storms we've been receiving. Yet again I declined my invite to join her, staying in the comfort of my bed. As much as I adore you for your homeware Next there's no chance of getting me to wait in line while thunder crashes around. Turns out my Mum did pretty damn well for the teeny tiny section our local stocks.

The first candle find is the largest and my favourite of the home fragrances I have to share. Encased in a frosted glass jar are two scents that pair perfectly together to create a unique fragrance experience. Coastal Walk teams with Oceanic Woods to create a unisex scent, filling the entire room and beyond. It's not often I'm stumped to describe a scent but with this candle I am, it's fresh yet a little musky with a hint of citrus. With a burning time of 90 hours this candle was an absolute bargain at £3 down from £8, with the pot making an excellent DIY in the future.

The second candle Dark Orchid & Patchouli was another incredible deal as the scent is still being carried throughout stores with only the packaging of the line changing. For £2 with 55 hours of burn time and if I'm honest there's no need to even burn this candle, the room smells incredible with it sat on my shelf. If you love warm, touching on the sexy side of fragrances this one is for you. I'm repurchasing the entire line when this little guys used up.

Onto the diffuser side, we all adore Next diffusers in my family. They're inexpensive - especially in the sales and last for way longer than the boxes even state. A good diffuser is hard to find, most rarely scent the entire room, barely soak up through the reeds to evaporate or at the worst leak onto surfaces. Out of the two purchased my favourite has been Wild Pear 60ml (£2), instead of keeping it in it's original bottle I've poured it into the cream diffuser jar from last years sale. With top notes of pear and mandarin, middle of peonies and a base of amber it's perfect for the bedroom. Next Gold claims to contain golden nectar's, sweet vanillas and molten Amber's though I found the scent to smell very similar to my previous jasmine diffuser. Either way the scents are beautiful, much stronger than most brands and again for £3 you can't go wrong.

The last sale pick came tied in yet more ribbon. This set of four slate, heart shaped coasters were half price at £4. You can never have too many coasters especially if you're someone who burns a lot of candles or has many diffusers. I've experienced too many diffusers leaking oils and taking the top layer of furniture with them. Now if only they had the matching place mats.

Not fitting into this topic she also surprised me with a few Autumn-Winter picks that have me counting down the days until I can pull out boots and warm knits. I'm really not sorry. Did anyone else hit the sales as early as my Mum did? Or does anyone else send theirs off with an open list? Lucy xx

What I Had For My Birthday // Haul

an image of 20th birthday haul
an image of my birthday lush haul
an image of birthday lush haul
an image of the satsuma range haul
an image of boots hauls
an image of janet reger lacey underwear
an image of ted baker underwear
an image of floozie frost french underwear
an image of newlook haul july 2014
an image of matalan kimono
an image of primark haul july 2014
an image of primark haul july 2014
an image of primark haul july 2014
an image of primark pastel statement necklace
an image of westie ornament
July 15th was my birthday, the thought of my age initially terrified me thankfully I'll always have a baby face. One day I'll fully appreciate it. I started the day off with puppy cuddles and small gifts in bed before heading downstairs to ginormous doughnuts and brief visitors both of the human and four legged kind. Then as usual I'd asked for money and headed off to start the day of shopping, lunch M&S picnic style and more shopping. The evening consisted of far too much food, drinks and plenty of cake with my favourites. As you can see I'm still no party animal. 

Looking back at all I purchased on the day I was quite restrained. My main stops were Lush, The Body Shop, Boots and Debenhams. Debenhams had an amazing sale on underwear with numerous sets and a couple Ted Baker sets coming home with me. I had no idea they stocked a TB line or how well they fitted along with so many finishing touches. Wave goodbye to your bank balance if you're passing. Despite the high-street not doing it for me clothing wise I still found a few nice pieces and a lot of basics in Primark - shoe wise especially for chucking on to walk Harry and tiny sleep sets. I can't wait to use all my gift cards when AW stock arrives. I've written this blog post several times but alas blogger seems to have had a tantrum and deleted some of my drafted and scheduled work! Thank you for all the sweet birthday messages on the day. Lucy xx

Lush Ray of Sunshine // review

an image of lush ray of sunshine gift set
an image of lush ray of sunshine gift set
an image of lush ray of sunshine gift set
an image of how a lush gift set looks inside
an image of contents of ray of sunshine gift set from lush
an image of a miniature lush sugar scrub
an image of a bar of lush bohemian soap
an image of miniature lush each peach and twos a pair massage bar
As some of you will know it was recently my birthday (July 15th) with one of my gifts being this beautifully wrapped gift set from Lush. It's a bit of a tradition for my brother to select me a Lush gift set. I was besotted with the adorable Igloo knot wrap gift set Christmas '13. I wanted to tear the gift set open so badly to reach the zingy scents inside though in true blogging style I managed to take a few snap shots for a post before I carried them all into the shower.

Lush have recently revamped most of their gift sets with Ray of Sunshine being one them. Inside my Ray of Sunshine were four products, all of which I hadn't had in quite some time. The Olive Branch shower gel in 100g has always been a product I've picked up to take away on holiday. Containing Olive Oil, Mandarins, Bergamot Oil and Vine Leaves there's no better way to describe the fragrance and product as the Mediterranean in a bottle. The same scent is also used in other favourites of mine, Pop in the Bath bubble bar and festive version The Christmas Penguin bubble bar. Next to feature in the line up is the cutest miniature Sugar Scrub which isn't as harsh as I remember it to be and something I must stock up on as it really helped vanish the little bumps on the tops of my arms. Each Peach (and two's a pair) also features in Ray Of Sunshine as another equally adorable miniature replacing the embossed flower branch with a smily face. With mango, lime and grapefruit being some of the zesty fruits going into this bar it's a must have for summer. Last to feature in my personal box is Bohemian soap, if you order online you'll notice the revamp includes Sandstone soap instead. I'm SO pleased to have Bohemian as I'm not a huge fan of the sandy, exfoliating soap bar. Bohemian carries such an uplifting fragrance, I made sure to pick up another large chunk while shopping on my birthday.

Even with the slight change to Ray of Sunshine's (£15.50) contents it's still such a wonderful gift set to give particularly this time of year. It's neither too small or too big with so much thought into the product pairing, all working together fantastically. This is certainly a gift set to look out for if you're shopping for a shower junkie rather than a bath bomb fanatic. Obviously Dan thinks his little sister is Ray of Sunshine... Lucy xx
*Gifted by my brother

Love Me Beauty // July Menu Three

an image of love me beauty july contents
an image of love me beauty july edition
an image of lashem lash serum
an image of ofra eyeshadow in Gold Rush
an image of ofra eyeshadow packaging
an image of ofra eyeliner in black
an image of love me beauty july content swatched
an image of so susan flutter mascara in black
an image of so susan flutter mascara in black
an image of so susan brow palette
an image of teashed skinny green tea teabags
an image of weleda sea buckthorn body lotion
As soon as July's menu choices hit my inbox I'm counting down the days until my Love Me Beauty Box arrives. For those of you who don't yet know who and what Love Me Beauty are, they're a monthly subscription box that specialises in beauty brands who then supply three menu's for us to pick from. If the impossible of all three menus were to disappoint, you even have the option to skip the month. July's product features are incredible and if that wasn't enough there's a surprise full size product too.

Lashem Lash Enhancing Serum (2ml sample) | RRP £40 - Full Size 3.5ml
As the only sample in this months box it's still a generous and quite exciting product to try. I've always stayed away from lash growth serums as they're incredibly expensive and have high expectations to live up to. With lashes in need of some TLC I'll be testing this out over the next two weeks to see if this really does nourish and promote lash growth.

Ofra Pressed Eyeshadow in Gold Rush | RRP £8.80 | Ofra Eyeliner in Black | RRP £7.60
I can always count on Love Me Beauty to introduce me to new makeup brands, with Ofra being one of my favourites. Gold Rush takes it's place in their 'Diamonds are Forever' palette collection, full of vibrant shades and shimmer guessed it make eyes sparkle like diamonds. This shade reminds me of my old favourite from Urban Decay, Half Baked. There's so much pigment and shimmer in the eyeshadow with no fall out and so dreamy to blend. The packaging is brilliant with a hidden mirror, rather than encased in the lid where it'd become an awful mess. Our second product from Ofra is an eyeliner. We've received quite a few liners from Love Me Beauty boxes recently, not that I mind as I have sensitive eyes and love to try out and keep them as hygienic as possible. Most liners will smudge within minutes on my eyes, this however has not though I do wish for a little more pigment. With a synthetic beeswax base the application really is smooth as promised.

So Susan Flutter Mascara - RRP £14.95 | So Susan Dual Brow Powder - RRP £11.95
Having previously sampled some of So Susan nail polishes I couldn't wait to try out more of their products, oblivious to how extensive their range of products really are. I've been using both products since my box arrived and I have to say the brow powders and mascara have been brilliant in this hot, humid weather. My eyes are incredible sensitive to which mascara I use, with So Susan I haven't had any smudging or irritations from the carbon black mascara. 
The formula has been formulated with hyaluronic spheres  to help achieve the darkest, curviest lashes as possible, enabling multi-dimensional lashes. Flutter Mascara is a brilliant new addition to the brand, with the brush completely exceeding my expectations from what I thought wouldn't do a lot for my lashes.  Following on from the mascara, So Susan Dual Brow Powder compact in which comes with two brown shades, mirror and brush. I find it incredibly hard to find brow products to match perfectly though I have to say these two shades mixed together have worked wonderfully. Both powders are well pigmented while formulated with aloe extract and carrot seed oil to nourish and rejuvenate the sensitive skin around the eyes...the idea is great though I'm yet to believe a brow powder could do such.

The Teashed Skinny Tea - 20 Whole Leaf Green Tea Silky Pyramids Teabags | RRP £3.50
As you may have noticed in my last post, Healthy Summer Snacks & Recipes I've been using these teabags in my Green Tea and Blueberry Slush drink. As menus are very similar this month it was down to the varieties of teas to help make my decision. Despite that green tea is renowned for boosting our metabolisms I could never understand how people drink the liquid, let alone keep it down. The Teashed use only whole leaves inside their pyramid teabags, providing a rich, rounded flavour unlike the cheaper alternatives which have a very bitter after taste from being made of the tea leaf dust. A definite repurchase once all 20 are used up.

Weleda Sea Buckthorn Replenishing Body Lotion | RRP £15.95
Our last product comes from Weleda, quite a classic brand in my family and this was a complete surprise being unlisted on all the menu cards. The full size lotion smells absolute incredibly, perfect for summer with a fresh, citrus scent. Despite the light consistency this body lotion is ever so nourishing, thick lotions always put me off from moisturising as often as we all should! Exceeding the cost of a months subscription, Love Me Beauty aren't half lovely to their customers. I'm off to check out the rest of the scents range.

Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.

home touches // Making Your Home Ready For Summer

By now we're half way through summer and boy is the UK getting a scorcher this year. Since we've been busy in my house with all the redecorating and work to the back yard I thought I'd share a few little tips. I think we've done more DIY since getting our little pup than before we ever thought about getting him. It's definitely been stressful at times to make sure he's secure at all times of the work.

One of the easiest ways of preparing your home for summer is replacing bedding. In the summer we don't want rich, warm shades and busy patterns. I personally like to stick to whites, they really brighten and almost enlarge the room. Whether you choose a dainty pattern or plainer embroidered detailing it makes all the difference. Don't forget to hide the heavier duvets in the cupboard and pull out the lightest tog you can find, with sheets on hand for the humid nights.

My second option isn't so easy and one I'm sure most hate to do and hire in a professional. Thankfully my Dad is chief DIY'er in this family and has started to enjoy wallpapering rooms as long as they've been emptied. Dark shades whether on every wall or just a feature cause a room to feel dingy and much smaller. We've been brightening up the place with subtle patterned wallpapers in white and very pale grey - with a tint of lilac. This way we can accessory each season without having to be like my Nan and cause my Grandad to re-wallpaper all the flaming time. So far each room looks absolutely incredible with the amount of light and space 'increased'.

We've recently finished making our garden look a little more presentable by creating one section as the seating area. During the crazy storms at the beginning of the year we lost our large brick built shed due to the winds taking the roof of it. They had the options of rebuilding or knocking down and creating more space. Soon came the challenge of making the walls look a little tidier than what has always been inside the storage shed. The best option for this was to purchase trellis panels, which took a lot of searching to find a local busniess with higher quality pieces. With outside solar, fairy lights and yet more candles the area is transformed and has been beautiful during day or evening.

A much cheaper and effective way of freshening up your home is with candles and diffusers. I like to burn candles whatever the temperature, even taking them out into the garden come evening. Not only do some deterrent bugs away (last year we had a type of beetle that only appears once every so many years), it helped create a relaxing atmosphere whether dining and simply drinks. Stores will have added & reduced their summer ranges, most of which are encased in brighter containers the perfect accessory to any room needing a little TLC. If you have animals or young children diffusers work just as well. Though I'd recommend staying away from cheaper brands as their oils tend to evaporate out the containers onto the surrounding surfaces rather than into the air. My most recent purchases come from the Next Home's sale with a candle in Coastal Walks & Oceanic Woods (£3 from £8) and diffuser in (£2 from £6) Wild Pear. How have you been freshening up your home for summer? Lucy xx

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Home Touches // ft Melody Maison + discount code

an image of melody maison wishlist and discount code
With yet more DIY projects hitting the house over the past few weeks I've been doing some serious shopping, wishing and browsing come evening. My bedroom hasn't been decorated long and with yet another room complete I'm already wishing to do it all over again!? Luckily the items I've spotted & featured below from my favourite website aren't overly expensive. AND guess what!?

Cream Dog Drawer Knob | £5.50
I have no use for these adorable drawer knobs but being the now crazy dog lady I am I feel like I NEED to find a use for them!? I always toy with looking into changing drawer knobs though for the current furniture I have there's no possible way to remove or replace. There's such a large range of drawer and door knobs on Melody Maison, a lot come with free postage. Fun fact for you all, I originally thought about ordering many of their drawer knobs but instead ending up placing my first and very large order of furniture a few years back!

Small Dog Bowl with Stand | £24.95
Even before Harry I'd look at these bowls and try to justify buying them for the day I would have my westie. Fast forward and I've got my fluffball to at long last justify buying such pretty bowls.

Felt Flower Fairy Lights | £19.95
In my bedroom I currently have a few sets of fairy lights, my pearl garland set from Melody Maison being a firm favourite and one which always receives compliments when visitors have a nosey round the room. These Felt Flower Fairy Lights look so dainty and have such a warm glow, perfect for the area around my bed when it comes to relaxing in the evenings.

Natural Polka Dot Heart Footstool | £34.95
I have a feeling I've featured this a long time a go, it's the most adorable footstool I've come across...and now reduced just a tiny bit. Whether I'm to create a cosy corner, pair it with my dressing table area or help reach the higher sections of storage in my room...every little helps.

Cream Wooden Full Length Mirror | £107.95
Switching over bedrooms I decided to leave my old full length mirror in that room and cope with my large dressing table mirror. It's not working and I find it to be the most unflattering thing with the area to stand in. With a brief shuffle around I'm sure I could *just* fit this beauty's simply perfect.
Disclaimer: This post is NOT sponsored 
nor do I earn any commission from any use of the code.
© Lucyy Writes

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