How to Add a Pop of Colour to your Summer Wardrobe

When the sun is shining I feel the sudden urge to get out my bright clothes and I’m not the only one. Knowing how and where to add colour can be hard though as you don’t want to overdo it. I feel at ease with red lips and fun prints but what other ways are there of adding a pop of colour to your summer outfit if you’re not quite so brave?

Colour block skirt
I own more A-line skirts than I’d care to mention and have them in pretty much every length, colour and print. It makes sense then that for summer I like to colour block with a bright skirt and a complimentary colour top. For those with a curvier frame wearing bright colours from the waist down works really well and an A-line shape skims the hips. If you want a more toned down look just pair with a neutral top instead.

Bold Summer dresses
For the ultimate boost of colour and energy to your wardrobe it has to be a patterned summer dress. There are so many patterns that are trending right now- from pastel gingham to bright stripes and vintage florals to fun food prints – pineapple anyone? Aztec prints also never go out of style so I’m keeping an eye out for this trapeze dress from Sainsbury’s holiday shop when doing the weekly shop.

Add colour in your accessories
In winter it’s easier to accessorise with colour simply because you wear more accessories and can layer up with hats, gloves and scarves. It’s still possible to do it in summer though – albeit in a slightly more subtle way. I like to add colour with a big bright bag to carry all of my everyday essentials (i.e. my entire life) or in or a pair of platform heels.

Off the top of your head
You can use your head, quite literally, to top off your colour offering. My cat beret gets a little rest over summer but out comes the sun hat instead. Even if yours is plain it’s always possible to wrap around a colour-coordinating scarf to match your outfit. For another instant colour update using a pretty silk scarf tie it round some classic vintage rolls- with the added bonus of keeping your neck nice and cool!
Finishing touches
Last but not least don’t neglect your face and fingers. If you’ve gone for accessories to add tones to your outfit pick the same shades out in your eyeshadow, lipstick or nails for added zing. While I stick to reds and darker shades of make-up in winter, spring is the time to experiment and I’m not afraid of orange lipstick, purple eyeshadow or pastel green nails – as long as it matches something I’m wearing! If you’re not feeling too brave start with a bold nail colour and go from there. This guide to nail shades covers orange, green, bronze, hot pink and everything in between.
How will you be adding colour to your Spring/Summer looks? I’d love to know.

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Lee Stafford Academy Hair Straighteners review and giveaway

I’m still very much a novice when it comes to hair, really it’s only since I had it cut and coloured in October that I’ve managed to get any kind of grip in styling it myself and my once neglected hair straighteners became one of my most used items. I’d had them for a few years already by this point and over the last few weeks I’d noticed they were failing to heat properly and were losing their ability to you know, actually straighten my hair. So when an opportunity came up to review the Lee Stafford Academy Hair Straighteners* the timing could not have been more perfect.
I’m not hugely au-fait with many hair styling brands but Lee Stafford is one I know well [by which I mean I already own one of his hair dryers]. My previous straightener was by Corioliss and I have never owned a pair of GHDs. Because of this I also roped by Mum in on this review and we both tried out the product- she is the queen of hair straightening so if something impresses her then it’s definitely a good ‘un.
I know looks aren’t everything but these are some sleek looking straighteners which gave a good first impression. I was a little worried about the size of the plates as my hair is very thick and there is a LOT of it and I was concerned that it would prove too much for this tool to cope with. I needn’t have worried.

Thanks to the adjustable heating settings [up to 230 degrees] and handy quick start guide I quickly established the optimum temperature for my hair, waited a mere matter of seconds for the straightener to heat up and got going. This straightener made short work of getting my hair smooth and sleek which in itself is no mean feat. More impressive was that after sleeping on it my hair was still straight the next day- with my old straightener I found that I needed to re-do it the next day as my natural waves had fought back.
Mum thought the same, she was impressed with how easily this straightened her naturally curly hair [please note I have never actually seen it curly] and how sleek a finish it left.

Because I tend to straighten my hair and then curl or wave the top layers with a curling wand I decided to have a go at creating curls with this as well. I probably should have taken a picture but being me I didn’t think of it at the time but this straightener also creates smooth and shiny waves quickly and easily without looking like they had obviously been done with a straightener if you know what I mean?

I 100% would recommend this straightener for anyone who’s on the lookout for a new one, with an RRP of £79.99 it’s on the more affordable scale of things and at the time of writing it’s currently on sale on Amazon for £49.95.

I also happen to have one of these straighteners to give away to one lucky reader- see the widget below for how to enter and the T&C [and good luck!]

Win Lee Stafford Academy Hair Straighteners #1

The giveaway will run until 29th March and the winner will be contacted directly by Review Directory.

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Product sent to me for purpose of review. Opinions and shiny sleek hair are entirely my own.

[Insta]life lately

Well, I’m kind of getting there with making these posts a regular thing again, not that I live an especially exciting life or anything that would explain my desire to share. I can only put it down to being a nosy person myself and some of my favourite posts to read are people’s instagram round-ups. For the full idea of what I get up to you can give me a follow and if you want to know more about any of these pictures just leave a comment below [click on the images to see full size and hover over them for a caption].
Leave your instagram usernames below and I’ll be sure to give you a follow.

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A Touch of Luxury- Nail Art Inspiration for 2017*

You wouldn’t know it from looking at my poor, neglected hands but once upon a time I was big on making sure my nails were always painted and experimented often with nail art. Getting a job in healthcare put paid to that though and despite having not worked for (what is somehow) almost a year I just haven’t got back in to the habit apart from the odd shellac manicure when I was first signed off.

I was recently sent over a copy of a great eBook put together by Ellisons which provides some interesting facts and tips when it comes to your nails- from what your favourite nail polish colour says about you to the biggest nail trends for 2017 (using essie gel from Ellisons).

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ebook redo 2017
The eBook made for a great little read and reference point- apparently my most often chosen pink nails (when I do bother) means I’m a romantic person which I kind of beg to differ on but you know…others may disagree! In terms of the nail trends for 2017 I’m relieved to see they are all wearable and achievable and are certainly inspiring me to dig out my nail polishes. With spring around the corner I can see myself attempting a pastel rainbow vibe (although perhaps not as advanced as the one I’ve pictured further up in the post), colour blocking I can totally see myself doing and once I’m back at work in an admin capacity will probably become a default whilst I make the most of being able to have painted nails at work- I’m loving the idea of a combination of nude tones complimented by navy and perhaps an off white shade.

Where do you head when you’re looking for nail inspiration and what do you think of the predicted trends in this eBook? As I said before I think it makes for a lovely little read and it’s certainly motivated me to give my hands some love.

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New Additions to my Essence Collection

I wasn’t expecting anything to drop through my door this Valentines Day so when a red shiny package turned up I was a little bit excited. Excited with good reason as the envelope was home to some new goodies from Essence- and we all know by now just how much love I have for the bargain beauty brand.
A couple of the products were brand new to me so I thought I’d pop up some mini reviews of them. Whilst you’ll find Essence products everywhere in countries such as Spain and Holland they are much harder to come across in the UK but you’ll find them stocked in your local Wilko store or on the Wilko website so if you haven’t already then I strongly suggest you get acquainted with the brand.
I’ve tried many of Essence’s range of mascaras now and they have never failed to impress me. The Forbidden Volume mascara* is no exception- it promises dramatic volume with no clumping and it certainly delivers. One coat of this is enough for a wide eyed day-time look, a second coat is perfect for a more glammed up vibe without a clump in sight. All for £3- I don’t know how Essence do it but if you’re looking for a budget mascara to try then I strongly recommend their range.
Lip products are another area in which I think Essence excel and I really rate their long lasting lipsticks*. You really do get a good few hours wear out of these, far more than you’d expect from a lipstick costing £2.30. This time I tried shade 21 (très chic) which is a beautiful berry red.
Wearing one coat of forbidden volume mascara and long lasting lipstick in shade 21.
I love the Essence gel nail polish range- at just £1.60 per product they are the most purse friendly way to keep your nails on trend. This one is shade 14 “do you speak love?”* and is a berry toned red which I found really flattering against my ghostly pale hands (and yet forgot to photograph before I chipped my nails a few days later).
The 2in1 eyeliner pen* (£2.50) is a great idea. One end has a super fine tip and the other has one designed for a much more dramatic look. I was slightly disappointed by this as after the first couple of uses the fine liner end lost it’s colour intensity and came out more grey than black. The thick end is still going strong though and you really can’t complain at what you’re getting for the price- and actually I’m quite liking the less intense colour for more subtle day time approach when I want to wear liner but not necessarily something bold and in your face.
Have you tried any of these products or found any new favourites from the Essence brand? They have new products coming out on a regular basis and on the strength of these and the ones I have previously featured I am excited to see what’s next.

(Oh, and my unicorn tea light holder was a recent Primark find incase anyone was wondering!)

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