New Year's Eve Outfit Ideas!

I know I'm a bit late and most of you have probably sorted your outfits for tonight's festivities but in case you haven't here are a few ideas for whatever your style and whatever occasion you are going to...

Style: Sexy/Daring
Occasion: Rave/Club


Top: New Look, Leggings: H&M

Style: Smart/Trendy
Occasion: Dinner/Bar


Dress: ASOS, Boots: Office

Style: Casual/Relaxed
Occasion: House party/Pub


Top: Next, Shorts: New Look

Style: Glam/Girly
Occasion: Club/Bar


Dress: Lipsy, Shoes: Kurt Geiger, Necklace: Dorothy Perkins

Style: Cute/Fun
Occasion: Family/Boyfriend


Dress: ASOS, Shoes: Primark


I hope you all have an amazing New Year whatever you do, I'm sure you will all look fabulous and may your 2014 be a stylish one!

Love Lauren xx

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Healthy Breakfast Ideas

So I know it's very nearly Christmas and the last thing you're probably thinking about is healthy foods!  But we will be in 2014 before you know it so I thought I would get you all prepared for New Year resolutions and list a few ideas for healthy breakfasts.  I know it's cliche but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.  I always always make time for breakfast and here's a few that I enjoy to make.  They are all quick and easy.

Porridge with almond milk - this is going to give you lots of energy and keep you full until lunch time.  I prefer to get rolled oats rather than the packet stuff as it has less sugar. You could swap the almond milk for regular cow's milk if you prefer that also.

Yogurt - sometimes if I'm in a mega rush then I can just grab a yogurt and take it to work with me.  I go for healthier ones with less sugar such as Greek yogurt or french style ones.

Grapefruit juice - this juice is amazing to drink because it is full of antioxidants and really gets your metabolism going.  You could also have an actual grapefruit which would be even better!

Banana - these are full of potassium which means they're going to give you energy and keeping you going till lunch.  You could also chop one up and pop it over your porridge or yogurt.

Boiled egg - eggs are low in fat but give you protein which is going to keep you full and stop you from snacking.  I would recommend having two of these or one with a slice of toast.

Peanut butter on wholewheat toast - this is probably my favourite breakfast because I absolutely love peanut butter.  I think you either love it or hate it so this might not be for you.  I have one slice of wholewheat toast and either a low fat or organic peanut butter. The peanuts have got healthy oils in them which are good for your joints.

Black coffee - some people (or maybe most people) just can't start their mornings with coffee so if you're going to do this go for a black without the cream, milk, double whatever from Starbucks.  The Americano has a lot less calories, fat and sugar but will still give you that kick of caffeine you need to wake up.

Orange juice - so many vitamins in this juice, C being the main one.  This is great for boosting you up if you are feeling a little under the weather or hungover!  It will get all those much needed vitamins and minerals back where they should be.  Make sure you go for the real stuff and not the from concentrate stuff though.

Cranberry juice - this is another juice that has lots of antioxidants and is great for cleaning your system out.  So good if you've consumed a lot of alcohol and need to give your kidneys and liver a proper detox (especially after the Christmas/New Year period!).

Cereal with almond milk - cereal can also be very filling but make sure you check the sugar content because a lot of them are loaded with hidden calories and are high in sugar. I normally have Bran Flakes or Special K.

I hope you found this useful.  They are all simple breakfast ideas that you can actually make yourself before work in the morning.  I've had a search of the internet in the past and although they have good suggestions some of them are just not practical for the working person (egg white scrambled eggs with smoked salmon?! I think not!).

This will be my last post until 30 December so I hope you all have a lovely Christmas!

Lauren xx

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Best of Beauty 2013! (Yearly Favourites)

I know I already did a post earlier this weekend on drugstore favourites but I wanted to put together a yearly favourites with a mixture of drugstore and high end products that I have been loving in 2013.  Also, I cannot believe we are almost at the end of 2013!!

Primer

The best primer out there I believe is the Smashbox Photo Finish one.  However, it is a tad on the expensive side so you could opt for Benefit Pore Professional or MAC's Prep and Prime.

Foundation

The best foundation I have tried this year is the Nars Sheer Glow.  I'm not really one for a 'dewy' look because I find sometimes it can look more oily than glowy which is never a good thing!  However, this gives just the right amount of glow without looking greasy and even works for oily skin.

Concealer

My two favourite concealers are the MAC pro longwear and Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection.  The MAC one can be quite heavy when applying but dries flawlessly and is great for covering dark circles which I have. The Collection 2000 one is just a great drug store product and covers blemishes well for under £5!

Powder

My favourite powder that I have literally used everyday this year is the Rimmel Stay Matte.  This is another amazing drug store product, gets rid of oily patches and lasts for hours.  I hear that the Chanel powder is also supposed to be very good but I am yet to try!

Bronzer

The one bronzer that I really really love at the moment is by Fake Bake.  On appearance it seems like it has a shimmer to it but when applied to the skin it gives a really natural tanned look.  Two other bronzers I really like are Benefit Hoola which is also great used as a transition colour on the eyes!  And Nars Laguna.

Blush

I think MAC do really good blushers and I've hit pan on the Fleur Power one I have at the moment.  I also really like Thrrob by Benefit and any of the Bobbi Brown ones.  Rimmel do really good drug store blushers as do Sleek.

Highlighter

A highlighter I discovered this year and which I always reach for on a night out is The Mary Lou Manizer by The Balm.  This is such a pretty highligher, really lifts the cheekbones.  I also use it on my cupids bow, inner corners of my eyes and brow bone.  Sometimes I even pop it on my lids if I'm in a rush and don't have time to do anything fancy.  It's gorgeous!

Brows

I really really want to try the Anastasia Brow Whiz and brow gel because I've heard so many good things about it and everyone seems to have it except me!  I do also like the Eyeko tinted brow gel as this is so easy because it sets the brows and gives a hint of colour at the same time.  Also, Benefit do good brow products.

Eye Shadow Palette

To be honest I love any browny coloured eye shadow palette and every time I see one I just want to buy it. I was even in Next the other day and they have a cute one for £5 that I had to stop myself from buying.  So that said I'd say my ultimate fave is the Urban Decay Naked palettes.  I have also asked for Stila In The Light palette for Christmas so if I'm in luck I'll let you know what that's like!

Eye Liner

I'm not a great lover of liquid liner because I don't find it really suits me or maybe I just don't apply it well.  I do love a good kohl liner smudged on the bottom lashes though and the one I'm using at the moment is Bourjois.  I wouldn't say it's anything special but it does the job and lasts for ages so good for the money. Another one I used to love was the Bad Gal one by Benefit but that is a bit chunky sometimes for every day. I also want to try the Burberry eye definer.

Mascara

I've tried a few mascaras this year but I'd say my favourite was They're Real by Benefit.  It has a really good brush that separates all your lashes and makes them look super long.  I also get a lot of compliments when I'm wearing Blackout by Dior as it makes my lashes appear a lot longer.

Lipstick

It's hard to choose just one lipstick so I'll go with a brand and that has to be MAC.  They have such a huge selection of colours and finishes I could spend hours in there and a whole lot of cash!  My top 3 MACs would probably be Morange, Snob and Rebel.

Lauren xx

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DIY Chocolate Orange Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is one of my favourite drinks to drink all year round and I have loved it every since I was very small.  But there's nothing better than having it at Christmas time all snuggled up on the sofa so I have put a super simple recipe together on how to make orange flavoured hot chocolate and decorate them in festive orange cups.

To start you will need:

Milk
Orange flavoured chocolate
Oranges
Marshmallows or whipped cream
Straws

First you will need to heat your milk in a saucer.  You can do this on the stove or be lazy and pop it in the microwave!  Once heated (you don't want it to boil) you can add the orange flavoured chocolate and melt that in too.  Keep stirring and have little tasters along the way to check it's chocolatey enough for you!

Then you can either stop here and pour the milk into mugs, adding marshmallows or whipped cream and enjoy or for something extra Christmassy you can hollow out an orange, cut off the top and pour the milk into it.  You can then make a hole on the lid of the orange and put a straw through it.  Be careful not to burn your mouth if it's still very hot though!

And that's basically it.  So simple but so festive :)

I hope you enjoy making these and have a fab Christmas.

Lauren xx

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Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara Review

I bought this mascara about 3 months ago now and have been getting lots of compliments about how long my lashes look.

You can buy this mascara at Boots, House of Fraser, Debenhams etc as it is a high end product and retails for about £22.  

It does come with quite a big brush which I personally love as I find it gets through all my lashes without making them clumpy.  The liquid is quite wet so you have to be careful when using as it can go everywhere (I did it on the train once, disaster!)  It's quite a thick, heavy mascara so may not be great if you have short stumpy lashes as the brush may be too big.




This mascara also comes in brown, blue and green as well as black.  I have the original black colour as I wanted it more for everyday/going out.  I do love blue mascara too every now and then to mix things up and I think it looks great on dark eyes.

The colour is really pigmented and even if you have quite a few coats it won't go clumpy. I, like many girls, like to keep my mascara topped up during the night and I hate it when you've put on too many coats and it's goes hard and clumpy but this mascara keeps my lashes soft all night.


Excuse the 'rabbit caught in headlights' look!

One of the problems I did find is that where the brush is so big you can't get into the corner lashes so well and I normally end up smudging mascara everywhere trying. However, I do really want to try the Clinique bottom lash mascara so this could be an idea.  http://www.boots.com/en/Clinique-Bottom-Lash-Mascara_1163242/

Overall I think this is a great mascara if you already have quite long lashes as it really separates them and makes them look even longer.  It doesn't smudge and lasts all day/night.  If you have shorter lashes however it might not give the best results for you as the brush is quite big.  I think I would rate this mascara 4/5.

Lauren xx

Top Drugstore Beauty Products

I don't know about you but when I go into Boots or Superdrug I'm always drawn to the make-up aisles and checking out the latest drugstore products.  I do own quite a few high end products as I like to mix it up but I'll always have a love for drugstore and some products I actually prefer over high end and will continue to purchase again and again.  So here are my faves...


I purchased this about a month ago and I'm really really happy with it (as the name suggests ;))  Although I'm not an overly oily person it does stop my face from getting oily in the areas that do and works as a great base for my foundation.  You do have to blend it in quite quickly as it's rather fast drying but other than that no complaints.


This is a really good foundation and the colour matches me perfect as I do wear fake tan. It has a yellow undertone to it which matches my skin tone and covers any redness or blemishes without looking too cakey.

Concealer: Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection in light http://www.boots.com/en/Collection-2000-Lasting-Perfection-Concealer_984434/

This is probably the most rated beauty product amongst bloggers and I think everyone and their dog should have it.  Okay maybe not dog!  But it's sooooooooo gooooooooood and under £5!  I use this as an everyday concealer and mainly for work to get rid of dark circles.


This is another favourite amongst bloggers and beauty gurus and I'm sure most of you have read all the reviews on the internet about it anyway.  I just lightly dust this over the parts of my face that get oily and also to set my concealer.  It does last most of the day but I like to keep it in my handbag to touch up throughout the day anyway.  It's just amazing!


Another Maybelline product.  This one comes in two shades depending on your hair colour. It has 3 different shades of bronze running through it so it has a really natural finish and doesn't look too muddy.  Also great for contouring.


Two drugstore products that I love for my eyebrows and always use are this pencil by Barbara Daly for Tesco.  It comes out quite light so you can build the colour up and again comes in two colours depending on your hair colour.  The other product is a clear gel mascara by MUA but I use it to set my brows and hold them in place.  This really works AND it's only a pound!


Two different types of eyeliners that I like to use.  One for everyday is the Bourjois khol liner.  This is a really dark colour which I love on my dark eyes.  It's super soft and lasts for hours.  The other liner by Barry M is more liquid which I use on nights out etc.  I'm not the best at applying liquid liner and this makes it so much easier as it's just like using a pen to draw it on.  However, it does give quite a thick line.


Sleek do some really good eyeshadow palettes and I just want all of them!  They have everything from bright colours to neutral to matte to glitter.  You get 12 colours in each palette for £8 which is just a bargain!

Mascara: Bourjois Volume Clubbing in absolute black http://www.boots.com/en/Bourjois-Volume-Clubbing-Mascara_48392/

Another Bourjois product!  This mascara is really thickening and you can either apply a little for a daytime look or build it up for a more intense night time look.  So don't be put off by the 'clubbing' part because you can totally wear this for daytime and it makes your lashes look super long.


This is such a pretty colour and quite subtle as I'm not one for wearing a bright blush.  It really does last all day/night and has a slight sheen to it which gives a gorgeous glow.


I have a tonne of these lipsticks as they're only £1 and I love them so much I couldn't even tell you my favourite.  They are super pigmented and although they only last a couple of hours I really don't mind when they are such a bargain :)

Lauren xx

My Birthday and The Night I Met Millie Mackintosh

Wow this past week or so has been so hectic, hence why I haven't had a chance to get on here and write.  I thought I would just give you an update as to what I've been up to.

Last week saw me turn another year older and to celebrate I partied with Millie Mackintosh from Made in Chelsea, no seriously!  Anyway I'll get to that in a bit..

Before that I was running about in London; Christmas shopping on Oxford St and attending a Human Rights seminar on Human Rights Day (I won't bore you with that, this is a fashion blog so let's stick to the agenda!) then for my birthday I had the day off work and spent it with my mum.  We headed to Bluewater shopping centre for a bit of retail therapy and a spot of lunch.  The mall was not too busy actually as I thought it would be hectic with Christmas shoppers this time of year but perhaps everyone has been organised this year?

We had lunch at Cote Brasserie which is a really really nice French cuisine place http://www.cote-restaurants.co.uk/ and I had salmon fishcakes on a bed of rocket.

As I mentioned in my last post I was a bit naughty and bought the Marylebone Aspinal of London tote so as a very special present my mother gifted me with the matching make-up bag which I am absolutely in love with.  I just need the purse now!




The next day I was back at work with my Christmas party commencing that evening.  This took place at a venue called Trinity House in Tower Hill which was a very traditional building with Georgian style features.  We had a cocktail reception and a 3 course meal followed by a DJ until midnight.  As always I ended up being the last one on the dance floor!  It was a really good night and was nice to see everyone so full of cheer and enjoying themselves after a tough year.


Dress from ASOS

On the Saturday night I went out with my friends to celebrate my birthday to a club in Shoreditch called The Hoxton Pony.  Shoreditch is a very trendy area where the cool kids hang out and Hoxton Pony is a cocktail bar which was voted the best bar in Shoreditch last year.  I'd never been here before but reading the reviews I thought I would give it a try and I was not disappointed.  It was not a very big place but had two floors.  We spent most of the time downstairs as this was where the dance floor was, so obviously that's where you're gonna find me!  They played an eclectic mix of dance and house music and had a good selection of cocktails.  

About an hour after we arrived someone said they saw Professor Green in the VIP area and when I looked I could see him poking his head out and waving to people.  I knew then that Millie must be there because they generally always seem to be out together.  Then about an hour after that Millie and her model friend Charlotte De Carle walked straight past me and I kind of went into panic mode, shoved my drink at the nearest person and fumbled in my bag for my phone.  I then asked Millie if I could have a photo and she agreed, taking my hand to walk over to the VIP area to ask her security guard to take the photo.  She was so sweet, telling me I looked lovely and to have a good birthday.  I cannot believe I met my idol, as anyone who has followed my blog these last few months will notice how much I admire her!  So that pretty much made my entire birthday (and year!) and I'm so pleased that she was such a lovely person.  It makes me like her even more (if that's possible).




Lauren xx

DIY Lip Sugar Scrubs

The temperature has really dropped here in London and I have been suffering with bad flu this past week. One thing I really noticed was my lips getting really dry and flaky (yuk!) and I kept thinking that I must get myself a lip scrub.  Then I realised, why not make one myself!  The ones they use in Lush are made with natural products so I figured it would be easy enough.

The ingredients you will need are:

Sugar - white or brown
Coconut oil
Honey
Olive oil

Those are the basic ingredients, you can add more depending on what you want and I will tell you more about that.




So if you take a little jar that you want to keep the lip scrub in and half fill it with sugar. Using brown sugar will be slightly less harsh if you have sensitive skin.  Then pour this into a mixing bowl.  I just eyeball my ingredients so just work out roughly how much you think you need.  Add about a large spoon full of coconut oil, a blob of honey and a spoonful of olive oil.  Then mix it all together (you should then be able to tell whether you need more sugar (if it's too runny) or more oil (if it's too sugary) you do want it quite sugary to work though!)  Don't mix it too much as it will mix the sugar into a syrupy substance.  Then once you're happy with it, pop it into the fridge and it will last for roughly 2 weeks.  When you go to use it you might want to leave it for about 2 minutes to soften slightly.

When you go to use it, take a bit on your finger and rub it across your lips for a minute or so.  Then take some water and splash it off.  Then add some lip balm and you should have soft lips in no time!

Alternative things you can do is add a little cinamon in to give it a bit of flavour or add some food colouring to make it pretty and colourful.




You could also tie ribbons around the top of the jars and give them as gifts.

Lauren xx

My Winter Fashion Essentials

Winter time is great for getting out all those cosy jumpers and snug boots to keep you warm so I thought I would show you a few fashion essentials that I love to keep me going through winter.

First up is jumpers, probably the most essential item for winter.  This year I've been loving bright neon coloured jumpers and I bought the coolest one from Glamorous earlier this year.  It comes in one size so it has a different fit on everyone.  I'm quite small so it's rather baggy on me but I love wearing it with skinny jeans and a long scarf like I've worn below.




Next up is jeans.  Jeans just go with everything so it's good to have a few decent pairs.  I really like the ripped ones that are out at the moment and have been looking at this pair from Missguided 


I also really like the waxy finish look ones that kind of look leather from afar but aren't.  I have them in black and at the weekend purchased some in burgundy.  The black ones are from River Island although I'm not sure they still sell them but the burgundy are from Tesco and a bargain at just £18!




My next winter fashion essential is a chunky cardigan.  I love throwing these on over a t-shirt and leggings for ultimate comfort.  I can wear this if I'm just chilling around the house or running to the shops.  ASOS do some really nice ones. 


I bought one similar to this last year which you can see me wearing in this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U19dhsvlZoU).

Scarves!  I'm obssessed with scarves and didn't actually realise how bad I was until I realised I had 3 drawers full of them!  So yesterday I bought a new scarf that I just had to have (and yeah I'd seen Millie Mackintosh with something similar), it was this beautiful black fur snood from Next (http://www.next.co.uk/g492224s1#882037g49) and it's so soft and so warm!  It pretty much goes with anything and it also comes in cream or leopard print.

Combat boots are another winter essential because they are guaranteed to keep your feet warm with a pair of thick socks.  They are really comfortable too so ideal when walking around outside especially if it has been rainy or snowy etc.  I bought this pair from Tesco.




Ankles boots are also really good in the winter when going out or dressing up.  They still look really stylish and you can get heeled ones for some height but they will still keep you warm.  Perfect!  Kurt Geiger and Office have some great pairs and I think I mentioned the KG ones I wanted in my last post so you can check them out there if you wanted to..

Then obviously the main winter essential is a coat!  Can't go anywhere in this weather without being wrapped up warm so why not look stylish at the same time.  Zara have got some awesome parka coats in at the moment like this one that just looks super cosy (http://www.zara.com/uk/en/woman/coats/nylon-anorak-c269183p1293338.html) or you could go for something a bit smarter such as the coat I bought from Zara last year which was black wool with pleather sleeves.  It's not as warm as a parka but with a big scarf you'll be fine!

Finally you want to have a good bag in winter.  There are different colours about in winter where the seasons change and I prefer to have a darker colour bag.  I've been pinning over an Aspinal of London bag for ages (yep the one Millie has!) so when I saw they were doing 20% off on Black Friday I just had to purchase it!!  So here it is, my beautiful new addition, the Marylebone Tote.

























So that's about everything I can think of.  I hope you found this helpful.

Lauren xx