Saturday, 29 November 2014

Weekend Wisdom: Challenging Yourself

I've learnt a few things in my twenty four years being on this planet, one of which, being you have to work bloody hard to get where you want to be!.. Nothing's handed to you on a plate & you make your own future.

My parents have always brought me and my sister up on the idea that you work hard for your money, if you can't afford it don't buy it & life's too short to sit back and be lazy. I was reminded of this when I started my new job recently and saw the slogan 'You miss 100% of the shots you don't take'. This immediately got me thinking of all the things I want to achieve in life... Boy I've got a list as long as my arm & I'm going to have to work so hard to achieve it all.

Today I'm going to be talking about challenging yourself. Whether it be walking for 30 minutes each day to shift that extra couple of pounds or learning to love yourself & strive for personal perfection. Either way being a challenge, it's something you wouldn't necessarily be doing in every day life & it deserves to be celebrated. As we accomplish our challenges it gives us the confidence to go that one step further & tackle further road blocks. For me confidence is the key to success & surpassing all off life's challenges whether they be iddy biddy ones or big fat juicy ones!

Three challenges that instantly spring to my mind are...
1. I want to be a home owner next year so my challenge is to save as much spare money as possible to put towards a deposit with my boyfriend.
2. I want to pursue a career in Interior Design so my challenge is to complete my portfolio & get it sent to as many Interior Design companies as possible.
3. I want my blog to be as successful as possible so my challenge is to improve content, keep up to date with regular posts & grow my little space of internet. (Psst. I'll be doing blogmas!)

I realise I've said want want want here & that may sound a bit bratish, but these are all things I want to achieve, and believe I can achieve with a bit of time and persistence. It's only me that can make these dreams possible so I'm going to ruddy well go for it! I think this post is going to sit really nicely with a New Years Resolution post that will (aptly) be making an appearance at the start of 2015. So we'll have a bit of a reflection in the new year - Gosh 2015 sounds weird to say!

Have you been enjoying my Weekend Wisdom series? What are challenges you've set yourself?

Thanks so much for having a nosey. Lots of love.


Thursday, 27 November 2014

Beauty: Mac Velvet Teddy

If there's one thing to come out of 2014 it's got to be the Kylie Jenner lip!... That dark nude, super full, super luscious, 90's inspired lip! And because she's so babelicious, that exact colour, Macs' Velvet Teddy has been sold out & an absolute nightmare to get my hands on. But last week, after continuously getting turned away, my local Mac counter finally had this lovely nudey number back in stock! Hallelujah!

Oh my goodness! Was this product worth the wait... Hell yes! What a dreamy little product this is. 

Velvet Teddy is quite a deep brown shade of lipstick that has slight pinkish undertones - It's pretty much the perfect nude! It's strange because nude lips are often very subtle and are used to let your eye make up do the talking, but with this it feels different & much more of a statement lip. I'm forever being complimented when wearing Velvet Teddy, there's just something about it that's so delicious!
There's often a worry with matte lipsticks that they can be quite drying however as per, Mac have absolutely hit the nail on the head with the formula of Velvet Teddy. Once applied it oozes luxury & feels super nourishing on the lip, in fact it almost feels like a lip balm it's that moisturising.
The staying power of Velvet Teddy is brilliant as well, even if it wasn't I'd probably still love it as much as I do, but this lasts for hours - I'm so so impressed with it. It's no wonder this product has been sold out for such a long time.

Also how cute is this Its Christmas Deer* scarf? I was lucky enough to attend the Lush White Rose VIP Opening Party last week where I was gifted with this fabulous knot wrap, it's a multinational reusable 'wrapping paper' however I've been wearing it as a scarf to get myself into the festive spirit. Ho ho ho!

Have you been lucky enough to get your hands on this product? I still need to purchase the lip pencil Soar to wear alongside this lipstick, but that's another one that's currently out of stock. Darn it!

Thanks for popping by. Lots of love.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Outfit: Primarks £2.00 Blouse

Yupp you heard me... Two whole British pounds! The award for top bargain hunter goes to xclaireabella! Woohoo! I picked this up a couple of days ago after having a busy 8 hour shift at work, after finishing & feeling absolutely pooped I thought I needed a bit of a treat & indulged in a bit of retail therapy in the White Rose Centre in Leeds. Any excuse ey...

This may look like a pretty simple basic blouse, but it's made from the most silky, luxurious feeling material, I feel like I've got a complete bargain with this! I love the v neck even though it isn't normally a style I'd wear but I kind of feel a bit more grown up with it.... Like a sophisticated business woman. Primak stocked this in a couple of other colours too so I may be going back for more... If you know me then you'll know when I say 'may' I actually mean 'deIfinitely'... Ooops.
I've teamed my sophisticated blouse with a pair of simple black skinnies, that were also an absolute bargain & my super old super amazing snake print blazer. I absolutely love this look, its funny isn't it how sometimes it's the simplest of looks that really have the biggest impact!

Also I'm super buzzing that I got my hands on Mac's Velvet Teddy after it being sold out for absolutely ages. I'm wearing it here & am so so pleased with it!

Thanks for taking a look. Lots of love.

Blouse - Primark (£2.00)
Jeans - H&M (£7.99)
Blazer - River Island
Satchel - Primark (£8.00)
Necklace - Matalan
Bracelet - Holiday Purchase
Watch - DKNY (£185.00)

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Beauty: Paul Mitchell Lavender & Mint Shampoo & Conditioner*

A little while ago I was lucky enough to be invited to the Paul Mitchell Gift Of Style event down at the Quebecs Hotel in Leeds City Centre. I had an amazing time & was so fortunate to receive a little, but very heavy goodie bag, part of which was this lavender & mint shampoo and conditioner set.

After getting some advice from the lovely ladies who organised the Paul Mitchell event I feel like I've made a drastic hair care change... I've stopped washing my hair... Or I've cut down at least. I've been growing my hair for the last couple of years & it seems to have got to boob length and just gave up on me, so after chatting to the ladies there & doing a bit more research into it I now only wash my hair every 5/6 days, which I thought was going to be really difficult, but it's actually really easy - And took no time at all to get used to. So with this in mind I was super excited to start using this new shampoo & conditioner to restore a bit of health back into my hair.

Both these products have absolutely blasted the moisture back into my hair, it feels so much healthier & loads thicker since using them. When I was younger I was always complimented for my thick hair but since discovering hair straightners, blow drys & any other which way of damaging my hair, it's really thinned. Because my hair has become healthier & thicker I've also found it really easy to style & it actually stays in place all day, I've said goodbye to those flyaway wispy bits of hair. So thank you to Paul Mitchell for gifting me with these beauties!
The mix of lavender & mint to me is a bizarre one, I dunno if this is the general consensus or whether I'm on my own with this one. I like lavender & I like mint, but together it doesn't do anything for me, in fact I find it quite a sickly scent. It's a really potent smell as well, you know the ones that keep your bathroom smelling all day, but unfortunately the mix of scents doesn't work for me.
Now I'm one of those girls who always runs out of conditioner before finishing the shampoo, so for me having the conditioner with the pump application really works! I find myself using less conditioner than normal, which in fairness is probably the right amount so I've got real high hopes that I'll be finishing my shampoo & conditioner reasonably close together.
Lastly lets talk about costs... Without sounding like a complete cheapskate, with the shampoo coming in at £13.95 & the conditioner priced at £14.95, these both are a little out of my price range. Even though I'm so so grateful to have been given the opportunity to try out these products, I doubt I'll be repurchasing. I think if I was going to be paying £30.00 for a shampoo & conditioner set I'd want to be 100% happy with them & unfortunately with these I'm not totally there.

If you've tried these products before I'd really love to hear your thoughts? What do you think of the mix between the lavender & mint scents? Also without being too nosey what would you normally pay for a shampoo & conditioner set? Is £30.00 too much?

Thanks for popping by. Lots of love.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Weekend Wisdom: I'm So Glad I Found Blogging

I first thought about writing a fashion & beauty blog in the shower, it was just one of those daft ideas, but look at xclaireabella now, 10 months down the line... I've stuck with it, grown my little space of internet & feel like I've finally found my passion!

From a young age we're always asked 'what you want to be when you grow up'... And I always thought I knew what my answer was, up until a few years ago when things all went a bit skewiff. Entering my twenties and not knowing what I wanted to pursue as a career was a really scary time. For me equally as frustrating was being asked what my hobbies were. In my mind whatever answer I gave was going to sound really lame & really boring. Truth be told, I didn't know what I was into, I didn't know what my hobbies were, did I even have any hobbies, I don't know. This just added to that feeling of nervousness & apprehension.

That was up until I found blogging!

Before blogging I really don't know what I did with my spare time. Looking back it seems like such a waste, I really wish I'd found blogging so much sooner. But you know, everything happens for a reason & I'm a very firm believer in that. I believe with blogging I've found my way of venting my creativity. I'm constantly inspired by my surroundings & experiences, so much so that I can't wait to document them & write them down. Blogging has completely changed my outlook on life, absolutely anything is possible if you put your mind to it & put the effort in.

You get out of life what you put into it.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Love you all.


Friday, 21 November 2014

Event: Lush White Rose VIP Opening Party

Oh my god! *Insert Essex accent* I've been invited to a Lush blogger event!... These were my first thoughts when I saw the email from Urika ping in my inbox. Since staring blogging I've longed to attend one of Lush's prestigious events and I've always heard such brilliant things from other bloggers. And by golly I wasn't let down!

In the queue (yes there was a queue with red roped barrier - how lah di dah) I met Jess from Glitterbat & Bridie from Upon My Sleve, two absolutely gorgeous ladies I'd met at a previous event. As we chatted & caught up, we were greeted with open arms and a glass of fizz by Urika, the PR assistant for Lush White Rose - An awesome welcome that set the tone for the whole night.

Something I think Lush is famous for is their Bath Bombs & Bubble Bars, and understandably these are kept right at the very front of the store. There were rows upon rows of loveliness, there were old favourites such as the French Kiss, Granny Takes A Dip & Sakura but it was the newie newness that I was really impressed with. Now Lush always pull out all the stops at Christmas time, but for me it was the Luxury Lush Pud & Golden Wonder that really caught my eye! And we were given demonstrations of them both...

The Luxury Lush Pud! A huge bath bomb, made up of loads of little bath bombs - What's not to love! Firstly, lets start with the colours.... How amazing does this look. It foams & froths absolutely instantly with this stunning explosion of colour, all the miniature bath bombs are multicoloured so it leaves your bath looking incredible. This one to me screams relaxation, the citrus scents & addition of ylang ylang oil make this perfect for a pamper night or to wind down before bed. It's absolutely heavenly!

Golden Wonder! This is such a little firecracker! If you give the Golden Wonder a little shake, you'll hear a rattling inside of a smaller, even glitteryer (if that's a word) bath bomb. Again this fizzes immediately after touching the water & gives off the most fantastic swirl of sea blue & glittery gold. If you take a closer look though you'll see loads of little stars floating around your bath which is complete bliss! It's the little things like this that make Lush absolutely unbelievable. This one again gives off a citrus scent, more so than the Luxury Lush Pud, this one's packed full of orange oils, lime oils & citric acid, that just feels amazing on your skin.

As we moved round the store we were invited to make our very own Comforters. All three of our faces lit up simultaneously & we jumped at the chance! Two guys from the Lush Kitchen took us through a step by step guide on how to create this little swirl of gorgeousness. It was super quick to make & I think all three of us were really surprised by how well we had done. I'm super excited to use this, and knowing I've made it myself will make it that little bit more enjoyable.

There were so many different lotions and potions available to try, one which I loved, which I didn't think I would was the First Snow dusting powder. It's almost like a talc in the sense that it mattifys your skin, but it's got a really pretty glittery sheen to it. It makes me feel like one of the vampires from Twilight. It's not overly glittery, it's just got the right amount of sparkle & leaves your skin feeling super soft & silky.  

I also got to try the Angels On Bare Skin cleanser, which has a putty like feel to it but when it's mixed with warm water it transforms into a paste. Granted it does take a little longer than a usual cleanser, but there's something ingenious & innovative about this formula that I just love. I was advised to try this one as my skin isn't too bad, I rarely get breakouts but I can get quite dry patches & sometimes need a bit of a 'pick me up'. This product feels super clean (if that makes sense) when it goes on and it's packed full of calming lavender oils & gently exfoliating ground almonds. Certainly a recipie for success! I think because of the time scale it takes for the whole process this is more of a pamper night product but we all need those nights sometimes don't we ladies.

Face masks! Face masks! Face masks! Oh my goodness, these are just amazing! They're so fresh & have got such potent smells, obviously all of them aren't going to be to anyones taste, but you can certainly tell they're packed full of goodness! My favourite out of all of them is the Catastrophe Cosmetic, its jam packed with soothing blueberries, calming calamine powder & softening Irish moss gel. It smells and feels absolutely divine! 

I've never tried any of the massage bars before but I couldn't leave without buying one of these golden From Dusk Till Dawns... It's another citrus wonder, can you see the theme that's going on here. Anything citrussy & I'm there! These apply so brilliantly, I'm absolutely hook line & sinker in love with them! It's super nourishing & the sensual oils leave you feeling all luxurious & comforted.

I was really impressed with Lush's selection of fragrances & in honesty I didn't realise they had such a large selection. All scents were super strong smelling & long lasting. Considering how much other perfumes cost, I think these are such a good deal & I'm particularly intrigued by the solid pots. They're absolutely delicious & of course Sun is my fave!

These teeny pots of lip scrubs is what I was most looking forward to because I was absolutely desperate to get my hands on Bubblegum! Firstly the smell is out of this world, it's like candy floss, mixed with bubblegum, mixed with sugary sweetness. It's a very strong scent, almost verging on the edge of being sickly, but to me it's completely amazing. The lip scrub is packed full of caster sugar which gently exfoliates your lips, perfect for this time of year & to use as a base for applying other lip products. 

Lastly & most bizarrely we sat down for the most unusual spa treatment I think I've ever had. Our lovely Lush representative had a selection of tuning forks that once struck and placed either on our temples or chest gave out the most extraordinary, remarkable feeling. The vibrations of the tuning forks completely transport you to another dimension. I'm trying not to sound corny here but this treatment really is unbelievable, for such a simple concept especially! 

I had such a fantastic time at the event & it was lovely catching up with Jess & Bridie. The staff at Lush White Rose were completely awesome, every single one of them was friendly & inviting and their knowledge & love for Lush was inspiring! Thank you so much to Urika to inviting me to the event, I knew it was going to be good, but it was incredible. Hats off to you!... And now I can't wait to jump in the bath!

I was also gifted with a fabulously festive set of goodies, which I'll be documenting & reviewing at a later date. 

Thanks for stopping by. Lots of love.


Thursday, 20 November 2014

Outfit: The Black Turtle Neck

I think you get to a stage where you feel old, when fashions that you saw were on trend when you were younger make their way back round for the next generation. Now maybe I'm being daft because I'm only 24 (even though I look about 12) but seeing the Turtle Neck come back has certainly done that to me!

I've had a M&S voucher sat in my purse for a good few months, but because it's been hidden away in the inner pocket I'd completely forgotten about it. It's only when I was frantically searing round for some change for the bus, that the sparkly card caught my eye. And I thought what better way to spend it on, than this new winter warmie! 
As a kid I was always in turtle necks so I was a little unsure after my transition into adulthood wether I could still pull off the look. I had that little niggle in the back of my mind telling me as soon as I'd put it on I'd instantly look like a 5 year old... However... I feel super sophisticated wearing the turtle neck & think it works really well with my outfit today.
I've teamed my super slick turtle neck with my bargainous pair of black leather look trousers. I love the element of colour blocking, I think it's a real statement maker and one that's pretty easy to pull off - Which is always a bonus!
I've added tan accessories with my loafers, cross body bag & jewellery. I've had these loafers for such a long time now, but I very rarely wear them, because they squeek like crazy! If anyone has any tips for curing this very annoying, very embarrasing problem, I'd love to hear from you!... First world problems or what!

Thanks for stopping by. Lots of love.

Top - M&S (£15.00)
Trousers - Miss Selfridge (£20.00)
Trench - H&M (£24.99)
Loafers - Topshop (£45.00)
Bag - ASOS (£20.00)
Bracelets - Sister Vintage (£1.00 each)
Anklet - Present from Portugal markets

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Outfit: Winter Warmies, Midi Dress & Knee High Boots

Hi guys. Hope everyone's keeping okay & enjoying the run up to Christmas. Woohoo! I've got my eye on the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette, it's so beautiful! I just need to keep dropping subtle hints to Dan now to make sure I get it. Eeep!
Anyhow, with the recent drop in temperature I've been reaching for my super fluffy, soper cosy Teddy coat but today I wanted to do something a little bit different. Instead of wrapping up in layers upon layers of knitwear, I'm wearing a dress!... Yupp you heard me right. A dress!

I absolutely love the boots and dress combination! Ankle boots, cut out boots, maxi dresses, aline dresses, you name it... I love it! Today I'm wearing a super simplistic but super cosy midi dress and a pair of knee high boots. Together they're absolutely perfect and I think if you're new to the trend I think this is the safest route to go down - I think there's a very fine line sometimes with boots and dresses where you can look a little 'Julia Roberts in pretty woman' if you catch my drift. It's a tricky one, but I think layering is key!
I've layered my outfit today with an old Topshop batwing jumper & my brand new utterley fantastic Primark Teddy coat. I've literally not had this off my back & I've seen so many other people wearing it, it's absolutely fab! So super warm & cosy, it's perfect for this time of year.

Have you been wearing the midi dress & knee high boots trend? I'd love to see how you've styled them.

Thanks for popping by. Lots of love.

Dress - New Look (£19.99)
Jumper - Topshop
Boots - House Of Fraser
Coat - Primark (£22.50)
Satchel - Primark (£6.00)
Necklaces - Accessorize
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