UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

GIVEAWAY // Ideal Home Show Tickets

an image of WIN Ideal Home Show Tickets 2016
I hope you all had a lovely weekend, I'm so excited to be sharing today's post with you guys. I've teamed up with Thomas Sanderson to give you guys the chance of winning tickets to the incredible Ideal Home Show (18th March-3rd April 2016, London). As the main sponsor of A traditionally British Home, one of the full size houses within the show. Thomas Sanderson have styled in conjunction with celebrity designer Linda Barker - definitely one I'd love to see!

Five winners will win tickets to this years Ideal Home Show, where you can tour every room of the four-bed house to see stunning styling trends, be inspired by the hottest home colour schemes of 2016 and learn more with Thomas Sanderson's, by getting tips of how to make energy saving stylish, not to mention home automation window blind products.

You can find out more about Thomas Sanderson's Conservatory Blinds, Window Shutters and Window Blinds on their website.

Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more. Prizes sent by PR. CLOSED

What I've Been Buying // Feb 2016

an image of newlook sale haul 2016
an image of newlook sale haul 2016
an image of newlook sale haul 2016
an image of l'oreal extraordinary clay range
an image of garnier ultimate blends delicate smoother review
It's always an expensive couple of hours when either of my furry friends go to the groomers. With it being pointless to drive home and drive back again, I always pop into the local shops where I end up making one too many purchases in Boots or Newlook. This week however was a different story, I may have purchased one too many shoes BUT it didn't cost me a penny thanks to left over gift cards & Boots Advantage Card points.

With a Newlook card having sat in my purse for months, I finally managed to find a few items. Pre-Christmas I'd spotted a pair of light brown ankle boots, with my size never being stocked in-store. I was over the moon to finally find a UK3 in the sale section, which then turned out to be further reduced again. For £12 I have boots that I can easily wear throughout all the seasons, whether it be with skinny jeans or a cute dress. Having been debating a pair similar on Ted & Muffy, I'm much happier with the shading of these and of course the price. The boots are still in-stock online, in multiple shades. Another of my sale finds were these brightly jewelled sandals, which are actually from the 915 range, however were sat in the regular line when I came across them. I always hit Newlook for my summer sandals, they're always made well & so affordable. I just know these will be getting more than their fair share of wear this year & only cost £5. I'm sure there will be something similar in this years collection.

I've also been wanting a pair of White Converse having worn my Grey pair so much over the summer & always being the choice of shoe when I was learning to drive. Online I'd been eyeing up the white Dainty Converse OR white Crochet Converse, which obviously retail for a lot more than the Newlook option I picked up this week. I can't get over JUST how alike they are. The soles are the exact same - bar a different colour but apart from the logo at the back, everything is the same, even the soles 'grooves'. It's kind of ridiculous I'd of happily ordered the branded version. A UK3 fits perfectly, with the option of black also online though I definitely prefer the white. The Newlook Crochet Laceless Plimsolls retail for just £10.99, with sizes 1-7 available. Obviously I had to pick up another pack of 'Ballerina Socks' - basically socks that don't show and while I was in that section I couldn't help but pick up a few knickers in spring patterns/shades. My last shoe find, I finally gave in to the whole hype of Lace Up Pumps. I ended up looking in the teen range for a pair with the usual range only having larger sizes and being a little too pointy for my liking - not to mention wide on my narrow feet. 

Moving onto Boots I didn't really have any products in mind, anyone else totally forget and end up browsing the entire store? This time around I was sucked in by haircare, with multiple shampoo & conditioners purchased, along with heat spray and a hair mask. Whilst purchasing two different ranges may be excessive I easily get fed up of the same hair products, not to mention being highly sensitive. With everyone raving about the latest L'oreal products - Extraordinary Clay, I decided to make use of the 3 for £10 offer, grabbing the 'anti-dandruff' shampoo, re-balancing conditioner & clay masque - which is a pre-shampoo treatment. Also on offer were Garnier products, with the Delicate Oat, rice cream & oat milk line heading into my basket. I grabbed the shampoo, conditioner and heat protection milk - all of which were £1.94-£2.99. They smell SO good, I'm definitely heading back to grab the scent in the body moisturiser & body balm. What have you been purchasing recently? Lucy xxx

Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay // UDxGwen

an image of Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay
an image of Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay
an image of Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay
an image of Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay
an image of Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay
an image of Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay
an image of Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay
Now I know what you might be thinking? Lucy you've taken another hiatus. Life decided to get complicated again. However; If there's one celebrity beauty collaboration to buy into this year, it's most definitely Urban Decay's Gwen Stefani line. Having received the Gwen Stefani eyeshadow palette back in November I couldn't wait to test out the expanding range of products because lets face it, is this not the most beautiful 'celeb' collaboration you've ever seen!?

Joining the Eyeshadow Palette are FOUR more limited edition UD Gwen Stefani products. Kick-starting with the incredible Blush Palette (£35) which has been stealing just as many hearts since the launch. Featuring six shades of blusher, bronzer and highlight, each one features the famous Urban Decay 8 Hour Formula. If you're yet to try out any of Urban Decay's blushers I urge you to, they're so buttery & highly pigmented. Left to Right we have Cherry, a light pink satin blush which is my most worn blusher from the palette. Next we have Easy, a deep rose with delicate gold shimmer followed by Angel, a champagne-nude with shimmer which looks beautiful on my pale skin. In pan form I did worry that some shades (despite being created by Gwen) would either not show OR look too 'orange' on my pale skin. Underneath we have Lo-Fi which is another of my most worn shades, this is a soft-bronze matte which I've relied on to keep me looking 'alive' this past week. Hush and OC follow, with Hush being a medium pink with gold shimmer and OC a soft pink with peach undertone - I definitely need to wear this shade more. 

A product I wasn't expecting to see in the collection, or at least not yet was a Brow Palette. I feel as if most brands are creating various Brow Palettes and majority of the time they just don't get the shades right for blondes? I really love how compact this little palette is, not to mention how it carries on the design of the blush/eyeshadow palettes. Inside features two super versatile brow powder shades created JUST for Gwen, mini tweezers, two mini angled brushes, two mirrors (one that magnifies) and lastly a wax to set the brows. I'll be honest I haven't yet tried out the brow palette, since it's in the shade 'Bathwater Blonde' - dark blonde/light blonde & I tint my brows. Keep an eye on LW or my Social Media to see how you can win the Brow Box (£19.50) for yourself.

It wouldn't be a Gwen Stefani Collection without a bold lip right? Gwen and UD have whipped up a total of 8 lipstick shades, two of which are online exclusives along with six lip liners. My favourite of the six I have, has to be Ex-Girlfriend (£16), I rock a nude lip most days and boy is this nude the perfect shade for me. It's all I've worn since the Gwen package arrived. It feels so light on the lips, glides on and almost feels balm like despite packing a punch of colour thanks to the 'Pigment Infusion System'. Ex-Girlfriend is described as a sheer, nude-rose with a very subtle shimmer. I honestly don't know how anyone could not like this shade. BUY - along with the matching lip liner.  Other shades include Firebird - a deep fuchsia cream with blue undertone. 714 - a bright red - the mega matte of the lot but not at all drying. Rock Steady - a deep wine/red cream, followed by Spiderweb, another red though this is a satin, red cream. While Wonderland is a dark pink-red cream, my favourite of the reds. The online exclusives are Phone Call & Plaid, Phone Call is a sheer, bright pink while Plaid as you can guess is a sheer deep berry.

Despite there being 8 lipsticks in total, there are only 6 lip liners. Five of which I'm lucky to have here while the sixth is the online exclusive, Phone Call. Would I recommend buying into the liners? Absolutely. I hadn't actually owned any of the 24/7 Glide on Lip Pencils (£14) previously, now that I do I want to replace others in my collection for UD. The creamy texture is waterproof, stays put for hours and really preps the lips for your lipstick, not to mention how nourishing they feel whilst containing Vitamin E, Jojoba Oil & Cottonseed Oil.

I'd love to hear what you have or you're planning on picking up. Don't forget, with Mother's Day & Easter coming up, you won't disappoint with any of the Gwen Stefani collection that's for sure. Even my own Mum is a huge fan of the collection. I'd like to see Gwen add to the line even more, perhaps matching glosses with the lip products being such a success. Lucy x
Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.

Mini Egg Bundt Cake // Lucyy Bakes

an image of mini egg bundt cake
With Valentines Day to soon be out of the picture, it's all about the Easter Treats if you ask me. I love nothing more than using the seasonal treats as an excuse for more baking. Recently I was lucky enough to receive a Baking subscription box, Bake Box which featured an incredible silicone Bundt Cake mould. I've since been hooked on making various Bundt Cakes, with today's post featuring our favourite to date. The whole bake is effortless, instead of making up my own cake mix I decided to use the Red Velvet cake mix from Betty Crocker we had lying around. It saved a lot of time compared to a lot of the other Bundt Cake recipes I've made. I also saved time when it came to decorating the cake. Having made my own White Chocolate Ganache previously, it was such a faff that I had a little google for simpler recipes. Switching dark chocolate for a white chocolate & the lighter version of condensed milk, the cheats White Chocolate Ganache was quite the success, with all us preferring it to the real thing. Here's how to make my Red Velvet Bundt Cake with my 'cheats' White Chocolate Ganache, finished with Crushed Cadbury Mini Eggs. Let me know if you happen to have a go at making one! Lucy xx
RECIPE IMAGE TO BE EDITED :) - sorry.

Cheats Guide //
Buy Red Velvet Box Mix, make cake and pour into well greased tin. Bake until golden. Allow to cool for an hour or so. Pop out the mould. Turn right side up. Icing time. Condensed Milk & White Chocolate melted together. Pour over cake and allow to cool and set. Top with Mini Eggs. Lucy xx

Breville Blend Active review // Lucyy Writes

an image of breville Blend Active review
an image of breville Blend Active review
an image of breville Blend Active review
an image of breville Blend Active review
You might remember that I once started the series Lucyy Blends on LW, where I shared a couple smoothie/slush recipes. I soon fell out of love for making smoothies, seasons changed, posts were left in my drafts and using such a large blender became quite the chore. All has changed recently after I decided to finally pick myself up a Breville Blend Active.

I'm sure most of you have heard about the Blend Active from Breville, the personal blender that everyone seems to be talking about. Competing with so many other blenders on the market it's definitely the fun and stylish design of the Blend Active that's winning us all over, not to mention the price. You can quite easily pick up the twin bottle Blend Active in your local supermarkets and Amazon for around £20. Designed to create smoothies and shakes without the fuss, you can blend and go, taking your smoothie to work or the gym in a matter of a minute. Simply switch the blades for a lid.

Blend Active is so easy to use, fill your bottle up with fruit, veg, supplements and your choice of water, juice or milk. Screw on the blades and lock into your blender unit. There's no need to worry about which button does what with the Blend Active, there's only one. The blades easily crush ice, allowing you to create a whole host of healthy drinks - and some not so healthy. What may look like a small blender is actually super powerful, yet takes up very little room on your worktop.

Being the marketers dream that I am, I opted for the limited edition Pink that Breville launched some time last year. They also launched a blue, which I would of picked up had they ran out of pink. There's even an orange. Of course the most popular is their original green, which retails for a little less than the other options, as well as being available in a family pack consisting of the unit and four bottles - two 600ml & two 300ml. I do wish that Breville sold the 300ml bottles separately, as they do with the 600ml bottles. I personally easily fill up a full 600ml though when I've made them for others, not everyone is so keen to have such a 'large' smoothie.

Each 600ml bottle is durable, odour and taste resistant. They're also leakproof thanks to the superseal leakproof lid which also contains the easy pour/wide spout whether you're drinking on the go or decanting your latest blend into your favourite cup. Personally I always decant as I always like to use straws. The portable & easy grip bottles fit into the majority of car drink holders, along with bike cup holders. Just like the blades, the bottles are also safe to go in the dishwasher. Oh and if you're accident prone like myself you'll be pleased to hear they're also shatterproof due to being made from Eastman Tritan Copolyester.

Having owned the Blend Active for a few weeks I'm really impressed. For the price I paid you can't go wrong. I've used the blender most days, usually making smoothies in both bottles every time. After a week of watching myself and my Mum enjoying the smoothies I was creating, my Dad even came around to the idea. Whilst he took care of the breakfast wraps, I whipped up the smoothie of his choice - totally taking away the goodness of a smoothie right? If this carries on I'll definitely be grabbing a couple extra bottles. I've not had any trouble blending up any of my ingredients. It coped very well blending up a whole variety of fruit, frozen fruit, vegetables and ice. I'm yet to add nuts into my smoothies though with how well it's blending I can only imagine I'll have no issues. It's also not as noisy as expected, compared to my larger blender it definitely is a little quieter and works much quicker. I've read that many people use their Blend Actives for soups and sauces, the bottles would be perfect to keep your soup safe until your lunch break.

Since I'm enjoying using my Blend Active I've decided to finally restart my Lucyy Blends tag, armed with my favourite Smoothie App alongside Pinterest, I've been whipping up plenty of concoctions & adjusting as I go. Are you guilty of not getting your 5 a day? Lucy x
© Lucyy Writes

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