Posts tagged Luxury
Arura Nini Heavy Knit Cardigan / Wrap London Lace Front Dress / Dr Martens Hazil Virginia Boots / Primark Tights / Sam Ryde Onyx Moon Pendant /
If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you’ll probably know that I like my wardrobe to have a combination of cheap and cheerful, as well as luxury investment pieces, and I feel this outfit combines the two well!
This gorgeous heavy knit Nini cardigan was recently sent to me by a local luxury knitwear brand called Arura. Arura was founded in 2016, and specialises in creating diverse clothing and accessories, crafted on a limited basis in the UK and Europe.
The craftsmanship of the cardigan is fantastic, and it looks and feels so well made, as the wool is top quality with a softness and weight to it, and it’s also lined with a silky fabric. I just know this is going to be a staple piece in my wardrobe throughout autumn and winter as it’s so comfy and cosy, but I’m also getting use out of it during Spring. It makes for great outerwear on chilly days and evenings when a coat would be too much.
For this look I teamed the cardigan with a dress by Wrap London, which brand new would probably have cost around £100, but I managed to bag this one from a charity shop for just £3! As my outfits tend to consist of mostly black, I like to add interest by mixing textures or flashes of colour, and I love how the lace panel looks against the knit of the cardigan.
What would you pair the Nini cardigan with? Keep an eye out for future posts to see how else I style it!
Over the last few months I’ve been trialling a hair treatment from a small hair care company called Old Wives Tail. Old Wives Tail specialise in luxury organic hair treatments, all of which are handmade, vegetarian and vegan, and free of gluten, parabens and sulfates. They’re also animal friendly and aim to eradicate animal testing in the beauty industry, so 10% of their profits go to charities which save animals from being tested on.
The treatment I’ve been using is the Jojoba and Clove Organic Oil Treatment, which retails for £13.99 for a 100ml jar. The treatment is described as a ‘hydrating, natural and balancing hair treatment for dull, thinning, brittle or broken hair’. My hair is quite unusual in that, though it can get quite oily at the roots, the ends get very dry and split easily, especially during colder months, and the overall look is very limp, lifeless and damaged. I opted for this particular treatment as, according to the Old Wives Tail website, ‘jojoba oil gets to work at penetrating every hair follicle to add strength, volume and texture to weak, lifeless hair’, which is just what I want.
The treatment has a very strong aroma of cloves, which hits you as soon as you open the jar, but it isn’t too overpowering as it is offset with a slight sweetness. It’s also quite a dense treatment, with a slightly waxy texture, but as it warms in your fingers it melts into a smooth oil that glides through damp hair incredibly easily.
The directions for use say to massage the product into your scalp, and to leave it on for one hour before washing out with shampoo and water, and conditioning the ends of your hair. As a ‘wash and go’ kinda girl, an hour is quite a long time to wait, so this isn’t a treatment I would use on a daily or weekly basis, but it’s great for a fortnightly or monthly pamper session at the weekend. Especially as it gives quite an intense treatment.
I’ve used the treatment a few times now and the results are brilliant. A little goes quite a long way, so though the jar is small, it will last a good while. The product massages in nicely and feels lovely and soothing on the scalp. When I first used it I was slightly worried that, being an oil, it would leave my hair feeling greasy, but it washes out well with shampoo, although I find it takes a little while to wash out completely. After blow drying and straightening my hair, the difference is really noticeable. It leaves my hair looking silkier and fuller, and the result is also long-lasting.
Unfortunately, as I’ve had an incredibly hectic couple of months, I haven’t yet managed to get any before and after photos of my hair, but I will be updating this post within the next week or two, so check back soon.
All Old Wives Tail products are available online here, and they cater for all hair types. They offer free worldwide delivery on any order too!
*This Jojoba & Clove Organic Oil Hair Treatment was sent to me by Old Wives Tail for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
I love a bag of salty crisps and a big bar of chocolate as much as the next person, but when it comes to snacking I’m always on the look out for something a little bit different, and a little bit healthier, that at the same time is slightly more satisfying than a piece of fruit or veg. As such, over the last few months I’ve been trying lots of different snacks, and I now have a few new favourites that I’ll be sharing with you over the coming weeks. All of the snacks are also vegetarian and/or vegan, and ethical – two of my favourite things when it comes to food!
Today’s recommended snack comes as a nice alternative to your average potato crisps. Leighton Brown are a British company, run by three friends, who create gourmet vegetable crisps. They pride themselves on using ethically sourced, natural ingredients, with no additives, and aim to provide high-quality luxury snacks, that are also affordable. Their range currently only features three flavours – Parsnip & Manuka Honey, Beetroot, Horseradish & Dill, and Sweet Potato, Cheese & Jalapeno – but they have more flavours coming soon, and I can’t wait to see the range grow.
Parsnip & Manuka Honey
Leighton Brown’s Parsnip & Manuka Honey crisps are made from British grown parsnips which, when combined with manuka honey, give the crisps a pleasant sweetness. However, the sweetness is balanced with a subtle spice and saltiness, which make these crisps incredibly satisfying and moreish. The crisps also have a lovely crunch (as do the other two flavours), that isn’t always present in vegetable crisps, which gets an extra thumbs up from me.
Beetroot, Horseradish & Dill
As you can see, these Beetroot crisps are made from both purple and orange beetroot, which not only looks great but tastes great too, as the flavour of the beetroot is very powerful. Crisps that don’t have much flavour always disappoint me, but these really get the tastebuds tingling with the warm tang of horseradish and the fresh herbiness of dill. Perfect for anyone with a savoury tooth.
Sweet Potato, Cheese & Jalapeno
These Sweet Potato, Cheese & Jalapeno crisps won a Gold Star in the Great Taste Awards in 2013, and I can see (and taste!) why. I have a soft spot for sweet potato so these were always going to be my favourite, but they’re so much nicer than I even dreamed they could be. The balance of cheese and jalapeno is just right, so they’re not too cheesy or too hot. Rather, the flavours mingle to create sweet and savoury perfection with a hint of heat. I love them!
Leighton Brown vegetable crisps are currently available in 130 delis, bars and coffee shops throughout the UK, so check out their interactive map to find out where to get them near you! You can also find them in Fenwick Newcastle and Selfridges.
*These Leighton Brown crisps were sent to me by Leighton Brown for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
To celebrate the opening of the new Cruise Fashion store in Leicester, I have teamed up with Cruise to bring you another exciting giveaway! Cruise specialise in luxury designer clothing and accessories from iconic international designers, and are offering one of you lucky readers the chance to win a pink and black Ted Baker iPad Case worth £50!
The giveaway will run for one week, starting today, and will end at midnight on 20th December, so the winner should hopefully have their prize in time for Christmas! To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below. The first two entries are mandatory, and your email address will be passed on to Cruise to be added to their mailing list, and there are several other optional entries to give you a few extra chances of winning. The giveaway is open to UK residents only (sorry to my international readers!), and the winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter once the competition closes, and their entry has been verified. The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be chosen. Good luck!
The new Cruise Fashion store in Leicester is located in the beautiful 19th Century building on the corner of Church Gate (opposite the clock tower), so stop by if you get the chance!
With only a week left to go until Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share a gift idea with you which puts a luxurious twist on the traditional bunch of red roses – Jurlique’s Rose Essentials. If you have a beauty-obsessed loved one to buy for this year, or even if you want to treat yourself to a pampering session, then Jurlique’s rose scented skin care products are ideal.
The Jurlique Rose Essentials set contains three luxe rose scented products, and they come packaged in a beautiful gift box, which definitely makes this set a pleasure to receive! Once you remove the red and gold cardboard wrap, the box you are met with looks like a gorgeous gold treasure chest, patterned with delicate roses and leaves, which fits the Jurlique tagline perfectly – ‘Your gift of beauty to treasure’. It is even sealed with a sticker that looks like a lock, which makes the set feel that little bit more special, and builds the anticipation as to what you will find inside.
The three products inside the box are wrapped with red tissue paper, and the gold ribbon and embossed brand logo all add an extra touch of luxury. The products are a 100ml bottle of Rosewater Balancing Mist, a 300ml bottle of Rose Shower Gel, and a 150ml tube of Rose Body Cream.
Here is a brief review of each product to give you an idea of what they are like…
Rosewater Balancing Mist
Jurlique’s Rosewater Balancing Mist contains Rose Essential Oil, Marshmallow and Aloe, which combine to form a hydrating mist which improves and balances skin tone. I like to spray this on to my face after a long day, as it refreshes tired skin and, unlike some mists, is delicately moisturising so it doesn’t dry your skin out or leave it feeling greasy. The packaging the mist comes in is very plain in contrast to the gift box, which is slightly disappointing as I like a bit of colour, but the glass bottle makes it look and feel a bit more impressive than if it were plastic.
Rose Shower Gel
This pinky orange coloured shower gel contains a mix of natural essential oils, and like the mist leaves your skin feeling fresh, and extremely clean. I usually use shower creams as normal gels sometimes dehydrate my skin, but Jurlique’s Rose Shower Gel is actually quite moisturising, which is lovely, and can be used all over the body. The lather that one pump of this gel gives is impressive, and a little goes a long way.
Rose Body Cream
The Rose Body Cream is my favourite product in the set. It is enriched with Jojoba Oil, Shea and Cocoa Butter, so as you can imagine it is intensely moisturising, but it is also a lot lighter than some body butters. The cream doesn’t sit on the skin making a greasy mess either, rather, it is easily and quickly absorbed and is very kind to the skin. I suffer from dry hands so have been using this as a hand cream, and so far the results are good, and my hands feel a lot softer!
All three products have a very sweet but authentic scent of roses, which is reminiscent of an English garden on a summer’s day (how corny and romantic!) It’s a very feminine scent, and isn’t at all overpowering, so the products can be layered for a long-lasting, gentle aroma.
This whole set just oozes quality. The products are all generously sized and feel amazing on the skin, and the packaging is incredible. The Jurlique range is a bit of a splurge (products start at £10 each, ranging up to around £30), but sometimes these things are worth it, right? You can view Jurlique’s range of skin care products here, at LookFantastic.com. Or, if Jurlique isn’t for you or your loved one, LookFantastic also stock a wide selection of other Valentine’s Gifts, including Nails Inc Bling It On Leather & Skulls, which I reviewed here.
*This Jurlique Rose Essentials set was sent to me by LookFantastic.com/The Hut Group for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
Last week I received a very special delivery from Millennium Hotels… A goody bag stuffed full of Hotel Chocolat treats! Millennium Hotels are a luxury hotel company who have many hotels and resorts in exciting locations all around the world. To add something a little extra special to every room, they are currently trying to choose a luxury chocolate to place on their pillows for their guests, and I was asked along with a few other bloggers to help them choose by sampling each chocolate in the goody bag. How could I say no to that?! Here is what the bag contains…
From Left to Right:
Eton Mess Slab.
Choosing a favourite out of these five delectable delights is very difficult (I am a chocoholic, after all), as they are all different, and all extremely delicious. However, a decision has been made! Read on to see what I thought of each one, and to see which one is my overall winner.
The Smiley Lick consists of a disk of thick milk chocolate on a lollipop stick, which is happily adorned with a smiley face. This one is fun to look at, fun to nibble and it really shows off the high quality of Hotel Chocolat’s chocolate. The chocolate is extremely smooth and has a rich, sweet flavour. I gobbled this up rather quickly in one sitting, and was left wanting more. Delicious, but I don’t think it’s quite right for a hotel pillow as it’s a bit too bulky looking!
Eton Mess Slab
The Eton Mess slab is absolutely beautiful to look at, as the pink chocolate swirled with cream and scattered with strawberry and meringue pieces makes it look like a work of art. The chocolate itself is strawberry flavoured, with vanilla chocolate running throughout. It isn’t as smooth as the milk chocolate as the real fruit bits give it a bit more texture, as do the little chocolate cookies hidden inside (which I wasn’t expecting when I first bit into it!), but it is divine!
If you have a sweet tooth then this is definitely for you – it smells and tastes just like a strawberry milkshake. I can only handle a little bit of this at a time, but at least that means I can make the bar last and savour it. This would be the winner if my sister had a say – it was her favourite out of all five choices.
I have always enjoyed the contrast between sweet chocolate and salty caramel, and these are the best salted caramels I have ever tried – the balance of flavours is perfect! When you first bite into the chocolate the caramel comes oozing out, and you are hit with a toffee sweetness which has a slight tang of sea salt. These perhaps wouldn’t be to everybody’s taste, but I think they’re a very sophisticated little treat and I’d definitely have these again.
Hotel Chocolat’s Gemstones are made of white and dark chocolate drops, which have been fused together to create silky and shiny little spheres, which melt slowly on the tongue. They might be small, but each one gives big flavour, with a creaminess from the white chocolate and a bitter edge from the dark chocolate which stops them being overly sweet. Out of everything in the goody bag, these are the ones I keep going back to… They’re very moreish!
Last but not least, Billionaire’s Shortbread. These unusual truffles are made of milk chocolate, and have a caramel praline inside which has a lovely soft texture. Each one is also sprinkled with little pieces of shortbread cookie, which add a delicious crunch to every bite. These really do taste just like the dessert of the same name, but their delicate size makes them that little bit more refined. My other half absolutely loves the Billionaire’s Shortbread chocolates and I think these would win if it was his choice!
Though I like everything in the goody bag, my overall winner has to be the Gemstones! They might be the simplest chocolate of them all, but I think that would make them suitable for any guest to enjoy, and their beautiful taste and dainty size make them the ideal snack to nibble on throughout the evening, whilst you lounge in your comfortable hotel room. Bliss!
If you fancy a stay at a 4 Star Millennium Hotel (I know I’d love to stay at the London Mayfair hotel myself), now is a good time to book… They are currently offering 30% off room rates until the end of March, and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this could be a lovely way to impress your loved one! Click here to find out more, and don’t forget to treat them to some Hotel Chocolat chocolates too.
*The Hotel Chocolat Goody Bag was sent to me by Millennium Hotels for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
I bought this lipgloss from Illamasqua’s summer sale back in July, and promised in my unboxing post that I would review it. So, after almost two months, I thought I would share my thoughts on it. In all honestly I haven’t worn it very many times yet as I have been saving it for best, but I have used it enough to be qualified to talk about it!
On first impressions the lipgloss is pleasing to the eye as it comes in Illamasqua’s signature black packaging, which I always think looks very classy and luxurious. The lipgloss tube itself is rounded at the application end and tapered at the other, which is also quite appealing. The lid clicks on, rather than screws on, and the gloss applies by squeezing the tube, rather than with a brush.
I have to say, I’m not too keen on this type of applicator as Illamasqua’s gloss tubes are quite stiff, so it can be difficult to get much product out of the hole. Also, I find that squeezy application can be a lot messier than using a brush as it’s harder to get even coverage and neat edges.
The formula of the gloss is fairly good, however. It’s a little bit sticky, but luckily not too thick so it doesn’t feel heavy or cloying on the lips. It has a light fruity scent and flavour, almost like raspberry sweets, which reminds me of the colourful ice pole lollipops I used to eat as a child. I know some people don’t appreciate being able to smell and taste their make up, but this is so delicate I actually really like it.
I don’t own many higher-end lipglosses so I don’t have much to compare Illamasqua’s to, but Tantrum lasts a surprisingly long time on the lips. I applied it earlier today before having a drink and a snack and it looked exactly the same after as it did before, and continued to do so for a couple of hours. The same can’t be said of some of my cheaper glosses! Although, it is still outdone by my favourite gloss of all time – Avon’s Glazewear Lip Gloss.
On Illamasqua’s website Tantrum is described as ‘a deep berry pink’ colour, and looks dark purple in their photographs. However, as you can see above, it is a lot pinker in reality. I am a fan of pink so I don’t mind, but I was quite surprised by the difference in colour when I first received it. However, the glittery particles in the gloss have a silvery blue hue which is what gives the gloss its purple shine.
Since the gloss is sheer, the colour doesn’t translate as boldly onto the lips as it looks in the tube, but it is there subtly and it has a nice shimmer finish. It can easily be built up to achieve a more striking look, and it makes a nice top layer over matte lipstick for a strong shine.
Tantrum was £7.50 for a 7ml tube in Illamasqua’s sale when I bought it, which is a decent price, but at £14.00 full price I’m not sure I would pay it. I do like this gloss and it is a good quality product, but it isn’t especially outstanding. I’ve used countless glosses in the past which were worse than this one, but I’ve also used many better ones, which were also cheaper. I’m glad I have it in my collection though, and I’d still like to try Illamasqua’s lipsticks out for size.
What are your thoughts on Illamasqua’s Lipglosses? If you want to try them for yourself, you can find them here.