Monday, May 30

Guest post:

Watch out this Summer?

I have been a lover of analogue watches for as long as I can remember and have an ever growing collection of various styles, sizes and branded watches. To me, watches are part of an outfit, not just a fashion accessory really. I think my love for watches began when I was little, those Fick and Flack watches were so adorable and it’s what I learnt to tell the time on so they really take me back…many, many years! Anyway, my point here being, it was back then with these old and simple watches that started my passion for analogue watches.

I have never really used a digital wrist watch, they just look so ugly, I much prefer the ‘proper’ ones! Over the years my collection has grown pretty big but watches to me are part of an outfit or at least an accessory to an outfit so I have all kinds - chunky watches, men’s watches, beautifully simple and elegant style watches…if it’s been made, I probably have that style somewhere in my collection!

In my search for beautiful watches I have come across so really great places to buy branded watches at really low prices or places that offer huge discounts, one of which is the DiscountWatchStore based in the US (they do ship to the UK too for very cheap). The reason I like this company so much is partly down to the huge discounts they offer but also the vast range they have on offer; from really well known brands like - Michael Kors, DKNY & Kate Spade to the not so famous brands, but still gorgeous in their own way - Bulova, Casio and Invicta. I don’t think you can be a true watch collector without having a Casio somewhere in your collection!

In case you are based in the UK and would rather buy from the UK (makes sense), another really great watch shop that I use often is the House of Watches website. OK so they aren’t as discounted as the American company but they do still offer a fab range of watches; from Daniel Wellington (who seems to have taken over Instagram photos with bloggers lately) to super brands such as Gucci. The House of Watches brand range from below £30 to a staggering £1,000! One of these days I will be able to get myself a £1,000 watch without crying or totally breaking the bank!

Because I have so many watches, I thought I would show you one of my favourites and how I would wear it as an outfit. This watch is actually from the DiscountWatchStore and is one of their Invicta watches. Yes, as Rose Gold is ‘in’ at the moment, it only seemed right that I showed you one their gorgeous rose gold watches. It is quite big and chunky watch but it’s soo pretty and worn with an outfit like the below image would look just stunning! I also have quite a few men’s watches in my collection. I love how fashion accessories can totally change the look and feel to an outfit so easily and yes, even something as small as a watch can change the look and feel too.

Also, this kind of watch is great if, like me, you have tiny wrists and need to remove a lot of the links to make it fit! My local jeweller knows me really well after the millions of watches I have had to take to them to get fixed over the years!

I hope this has given you some inspiration for new looks and thinking outside the box when it comes to accessories. I also really hope that with more bloggers and vloggers seemly talking about and posting photos of gorgeous new analogue watches on their social media accounts, the digital age, when it comes to watches anyway, will be stopped and analogue will come back again!
Vote Analogue!!

About the blogger... 
Becky is the owner of lifestyle blog She's a busy lady, posting daily about things that make her smile as well as running her on online store!

Monday, May 23

How to take your makeup from day to night

Hi beauts,

If you’re planning a fabulous day out followed by a glam evening (preferably with cocktails!) choosing the right makeup to match both day and evening can be tricky.

In this ‘how to…’ I’ll show you how I turn my day make up look into a night look with just a little prior planning.

The day makeup look

Think of your makeup application in the morning as applying your base.

Apply your primer, foundation & powder as usual. I use Boots No. 7 Stay Perfect foundation in Warm Beige as it stays put all day. As a primer I use highlighter B. Sweet Popping Candy Highlight Serum to make my skin glow. Finally, I dust Rimmel’s Clear Complexion Transparent Powder to finish.  

Sculpt your brows as normal and sweep your blush. Here I’ve used Benefit CORALista blusher and Rimmel’s Professional Eye Brow Pencil in Hazel.

You’re aiming here to have your base make up look set for the day.

Eyeshadow daytime look

This is the important bit. This look should be soft and subtle. I like to use muted colours like taupe, beige, light pinks and soft browns. This creates the perfect setting to pop a key bright colour into as evening hits.

However, be mindful of your colour scheme. A daytime look of soft blues, greys and beiges for example will pop brilliantly for the evening with a bright gold or yellow, or look dramatic with a dark blue.

Always think about what your key bright or dramatic evening colour is going to be and plan your daytime base colours around it.

My go-to daytime eyeshadow look includes MAC Shroom as an all over base. I love using Vapour in the corners of my eyes to make them pop. I use Mulch in the outside crease of my lid as it’s a darker and finish off with a little Mythology blended into the centre of my lid for its beautifully warm pinkish tones.

Finally, apply lashings of black mascara. I use Benefit’s They’re Real.

How to turn day make up to night

So you’ve had a brilliant day and the sun is finally setting. With so much action going on you need an evening look that is elegant and dramatic but can be created quickly and easily (and after a few too many glasses of Prosecco perhaps? Am I right?).

Your prior planning means this is all achievable!

With your base set, apply your key evening eyeshadow colour. Chosen a bright colour? Apply it to the very centre of your eye lid. Chosen a dark dramatic colour? Apply this to the outside crease of your eyelid. Blend well whilst topping up your daytime eyeshadow colours.

I chose MAC goldmine which is a gorgeous bright yellow gold for the centre of my lid to make it pop. I also added depth to the MAC Mulch colour I had used at the outside creases of my lids previously.

Next use your contour kit or bronzer to sculpt your face. Apply in a line underneath your cheekbones, either side of your nose and chin and finally around your hair line. Blend as required. I use and love Benefit’s Hoola bronzer. If your kit contains a highlighter use this along the ridge on your nose, your brow arches and the top of your cheekbones.

Finally, prime your lips with your balm then line and fill them with your evening liner and lipstick. I used here a really dark dramatic lipstick from MAC called Cyber.


What you’ll need in your purse

A transparent powder
A tinted lip balm for day use
An evening lipstick (and lip liner if you wish)
A small eyeshadow palette containing at least 1 of your daytime colours and your evening colour. (I use MAC palettes in various sizes – they’re so handy!)
2 eyeshadow brushes
A contour kit or bronzer
A black eyeliner (for those who can’t live without one!)

The products I’ve used

No 7 Stay Perfect Foundation - £14.50 at Boots
Benefit CORALista Blush - £23.50 at Benefit online 
Rimmel Clear Complexion Transparent Powder - £3.99 at Boots
B. Sweet Popping Candy Highlight Serum 30ml - £14.99 at Superdrug
Rimmel Professional Eye Brow Pencil - £2.99 at Boots
MAC palette eyeshadows - £13.00 (£10.00 for Pans) at most department stores or MAC online
Benefit They’re Real Mascara – £19.50 at most department stores or Benefit online
Benefit Hoola Bronzer – £23.50 at most department stores or Benefit online
MAC Cyber lipstick - £15.50 at most department stores or MAC online

So that's how I achieve it, what are your tips?



Monday, May 16

How to lose weight well

Hello lovelies,

A quick type into Google’s auto-predict search on ‘How to L’ brings up something interesting and wholly accepted in our society. The top 4 options, based on others search terms are:

How to lose weight
How to lose belly fat
How to lose weight quickly
How to lose weight well

Odd how that, with only one letter in ‘How to L’ the word ‘lose’ is brought up in every single case, quickly followed by the topic of weight.

Odd and sad really. As of course there are so many brilliant alternative words that begin with ‘L’... Love and like and look. But what about the word ‘learn’, that’s far more appropriate isn’t it?

You’ve stumbled across this post because it is about how I lost weight well. Don’t click out just yet!

However, I want to focus on what was and still is the most important aspect, really vital in my weight change, and that’s what I learned.

Learn to look after yourself

Let me take you back to nearly three years ago. A painfully bitter breakup, a forced move back to mum and dads and a flat purchase I’d saved for years to own falling through had me at breaking point. I didn’t eat for 4 days. A sentence that those who know me well would audibly gasp at. I’d always loved my food.

Yet through this turmoil I found a sweet revelation – self-analysis. Something we all think we do correctly but often confuse with self-criticism. Instead, I stepped back and looked at myself as I am. I reviewed what I liked about my mind, body and soul. I looked back and remembered moments when I was happiest and saddest and proudest. I allowed myself to love the great bits of me and I forgave myself for the bits that weren’t quite how I wanted them to be.

I realised my previous self-analysis was all external. What I had to achieve to be happy or worthy or better. And all the self-analysis I thought I was doing was pure self-criticism – I was bullying myself. How did I cope with this self-‘tough love’ as it were? I ate my way through it. I thought I was being kind to myself when I ‘treated’ myself to cheer myself up, to feel good or as a reward.

This revelation changed things. Learning to love and forgive and focus wholly on myself taught me to care for myself. It felt difficult and selfish. Woman are rarely taught to care for themselves but to focus on others care. Yet when I did it was freeing.

My painful truth was I was overweight, pitifully unfit and unhappy something that had continued for years as I self-criticised with tough love weight loss.

Yet when I finally allowed myself to care for my mental and physically health and wellbeing it was like I’d found the something that had been missing for too long.

How I lost over 2 stone

Two whole stone is a lot of weight. It holds you down and holds you back. It took me around 6 months to lose and maintain. When weight loss is not your only focus it is always easier. Weight gain for me is my minds sign that something is off-balance. That is generally the same for everyone right? A change in weight is a sign. A sign you’re ill, a sign you’re not happy. I lost that chunk of weight because I learned and listened to the root cause instead of just trying to battle the sign of it. Something I had done half-heartedly for many years previously.

If you have taken that time to explore your root cause and feel your weight is not who you are but how you’ve been feeling these are my tips for what I do to get back to a weight that sits well with me.

I’m a believer that mind and body are very much intertwined and to lose weight you must focus on both. Pick exercise, classes, sports you love. Try new things and exercise your mind just as much as your body.

Keep a life journal. This is something I do when things don’t feel quite right for me. A minute a day tracking how I nourished myself, how I moved, how I felt is incredibly insightful. It is particularly useful to look back upon.

Plan your meals. Prep, prep, prep! Write out a meal plan for the first few weeks to get you into the swing of things. Just make sure they are as equally delicious as they are healthy. Your mind needs the flavour and your body needs the nutrients. Fuel both.

A big part of my weight was down to my use of food as ‘treats’. Don’t ever stop treating yourself just change how. Go for a massage to treat yourself, and you’re aching muscles for going hard in spin class that week instead. 

Take a long look at yourself in the mirror. Every morning, just before I get dressed for the day I take time to look at myself. Some days I’m bloated, some days my face is puffy, some days I’m practically perfect in every way! Whatever it is, I acknowledge who I am. Exclusive Mirrors have the cutest designs.

Set mini goals but never an end date. You’ve changed your mind-set and your lifestyle. This isn’t a diet, there isn’t an end.

Set your sights to lose 2 pound a week. It may not seem quick but it’s healthy and achievable. After the first three weeks you’ll have lost enough to love your 2 pound plan.

Just one final note. I’m currently life journalling at the moment to lose the 7 pounds I put on recently. Check out A Food Lover's Journal currently at Paperchase. 

Life is set-back as well as success but learn how to look after yourself and even after countless slip-ups it will be something you can always go back to.

I would really really love to hear your experiences, please do comment below and I wish you the very best of luck in your own self-education. 


Tuesday, May 10

Lush Oxford Street Face Mask Workshop with Blogosphere Magazine

A photo posted by Laura Claire (@laura_claire88) on

Lush Oxford Street

So last Sunday - the bestest and sunniest weekend of the year so far - I took a trip into Central to take part in a Lush face mask workshop at their flagship store in Oxford Street. The event was hosted by Blogosphere magazine. In case you haven't heard of it Blogosphere Magazine is a curated directory of the best bits of the blogging world - and is well worth a read! 

After a quick meet and greet with the other bloggers at the event (everyone is always so so lovely!) we were given a private tour of the store. It's massive! And, would you believe, includes its own luxury spa treatment rooms. I AM GOING BACK FOR A TREATMENT! 

A photo posted by Laura Claire (@laura_claire88) on

Lush is a well-known brand globally and I don't think there is a girl around who can say she hasn't been tempted in by the gorgeous smells and fab colours of their products. However, I really didn't realise the extent to which their products and sourced, designed nor how fresh and harsh chemical-free they are. It really struck me. 

A photo posted by Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger (@laura_claire88) on

I read recently that is only takes 26 seconds for the chemicals in your beauty products to get into your bloodstream through your skin. Although that is of course dependant on the chemical, the area of the skin, the individual (the list goes on) it really made me think about what I'm lathering onto myself these days.

So when we sat down and were told about the natural and fresh ingredients in all of Lush's products I was impressed. Making the face mask was perfect proof.. plenty of popping fresh blueberries! 

We made the Catastrophic Cosmetic Mask using fresh blueberries, calamine and chamomile, rose, and almond oils.

It was such a fantastic morning learning, chatting and creating. My little pot of handmade fresh Catastrophic Cosmetic Mask smells divine and I can't wait to try it out! 

What's your favourite Lush product? 


Saturday, May 7

Creme de le Mer Review

Hi Lovelies, 

So we've all heard of it haven't we? Creme de la Mer, a rather expensive treat for the skin that is heralded to be the secret of skin youth and beauty from the sea. 

A photo posted by Laura Claire (@laura_claire88) on

The Creme de la Mer Back Story

The Creme de la Mer story started 12 years and 6,000 experiments earlier when aerospace physicist Dr Max Huber unlocked a concoction of fermented, nutrient-rich ingredients which visibly restored the skin. Well, sounds good so far! And what did he call this potion you ask... his 'Miracle Broth'. I'm not going to dwell on that of course... filthy minds the lot of you haha. 

At £108 for a pot of this dream cream it is far from a 'fling fix' alternative to your usual brand as you stroll down the isles at Superdrug! At £108 a girls had to have done their research, prepared themselves mentally for the risk that it may be the answer to all their skin-based prayers and have made their peace with that. And ladies... that's exactly what I did! 

I'd know about Creme de la Mer purely by chance. It cropped up in hand cream form on the desk of a fellow marketing exec in a job I'd been in about three years ago. She'd lather the stuff on her hands and rave about how young hands are important, how this stuff was so so expensive but totally worth it and finally (the key bit) about how her friend used it and her hands were insanely beautiful and wrinkle-free. 

I immediately Googled the product, as we all would right? What followed was a mini fit at my desk when I saw the price. Back then I wasn't earning too much and the thought of not eating for a week but having nice hands swayed my desire to purchase. Through hard work and a touch of fate I've seen my career blossom a little allowing me to divulge in a special treat purchase from time to time. 

And so, I was desperate to test out this miracle cream for myself. 

I browsed their website at and, after a bit of reading opted for 30ml of the Ultra Rich and Dewy Finish Moisturizing Cream for the Face. The website explains the secret to the cream is in activating its renewing power and benefits through a ritual of warming the cream for a few seconds between fingertips (and the white cream turning translucent) before applying gently by pressing into the skin. 

What I also liked about the website was that, along with my face cream, I also got to choose three other different products in sample size. I've since been onto the website and they have another array of freebies so it seems that you always get at least one extra treat in some form for your payout. It eased the £100+ blow for me at least! 

I've got to say, the more you spend the more excited you are. Pathetic I know but its true. So for the few days I had to wait until it arrived I was super excited to try it out. It was packaged beautifully. It felt special. 

All about Creme de la Mer and the Results 

My cream and little spatula haven't left the box they came in since I got it. It sits there so cutely and I just have to pull of the box to get to the cream. I like that... too many boxes get thrown away. I like packaging as you well know! 

Do I use the little spatula? No, I think it's pretty pointless! 

Do I always warm the cream between my fingertips? Not once. My face is pretty warm right? 

Do I pat it only my skin gently? There is nothing slow and gentle about my approach to skincare. Quick & lazy all the way... the harder you rub it in the better it works right? 

However, do I love this product? Gosh yes! I honestly do. The word 'love' often gets thrown around too frivolously but, I must say, I do. 
So much so that in fact would I buy it again? Yes, I definitely would and I intend to when this pot runs out. 

Why do I rate it? Although a small and expensive pot of cream it only take a little bit to go a long way. It smells lovely and feels silky and the best part it hydrates my combination skin literally perfectly. No greasy patches or dry patches, no feeling like you're wearing a layer of cream on your face half an hour after applying. It absorbs quickly and perfectly. 

The results? Well, I'm 27 years old, so although I could claim to have the tiniest forehead wrinkles really it's just about maintaining and caring for my skin at the moment. And in those terms I feel Creme de la Mer does that brilliantly. A combination of improved diet, exercise and Creme de la Mer skincare has given me lovely glowing skin and calmed my combination (rogue spotty) skin!

Are you sold?

Receive a deluxe sample with this moisturiser to try
first. Simply enter TRYCDLM at checkout.
Changed your mind? Just return the full size,
unopened moisturiser for free.

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