Thursday, 21 May 2015

What Are The Top 3 Online Catalogues?*

If you want more choice and flexibility than you can find on the UK high street, catalogue credit account, which will provide you with access to a wide range of products, and allow you to spread the cost of your payments over time.

Here are the top 3 online catalogues:

1. Next

One of the largest and best-known retailers in the UK, Next specialises in men's, women's and children's clothing, as well as homeware and gifts. If you're looking for clothing for work, school, or an evening out, you will be able to find it in the Next Directory. Some of the benefits in applying for a credit account with Next include the opportunity to pay for your order in instalments over time, and having your items delivered directly to your door.

The company also provide a number of discounts, sales, and promotions throughout the year - saving you a lot of money. You will be able to apply for a credit account with Next by visiting your nearest branch of the shop, by calling a member of staff over the phone, or visiting the Next website.

2. Jacamo

Jacamo is one of the most popular catalogues for men's clothing, with sizes in up to 5 x large. You will find several well-known brands, with clothes such as shoes, jumpers, trousers, and jackets available for purchase. There are designs and styles in a wide range of sizes, and you will be able to pay for your order in instalments. Apply for a new account by visiting the Jacamo website.

3. BrightHouse

BrightHouse sell a wide range of products such as homeware, consumer electronics and even furniture. You will be able to apply for an account or by visiting a branch of the store in your nearest town centre. The company provides you with the opportunity to make repayments on a weekly basis

*Sponsored Post

Monday, 18 May 2015

A Little Home Haul Featuring B&M, Primark And More x

Thanks to a recent purchase I'm trying to get my head around some long overdue blog posts and that includes quite a few haul posts. Today's haul post is all about the home, getting organised and making it look and smell fabulous.

First up B&M Bargains, this is one of my favourite shops at the moment, mainly down to the fabulous array of American candy that Mummy Lou manged to procure for birthday but despite the allure of their half pound Reece's Peanut Butter Cups!! my B&M haul is all about sorting out my mind and my clutter.

The first thing that I got was a new weekly planner pad. One of my naughty cats destroyed the last one, and I really think that these pads help me get organised. I use them mainly for planning posts and for documenting what I need to do every day. You can occasionally pick these up in Poundland but I love this bright, floral Cath Kidston esq one which was £1.49.

Sticking with the floral theme, I also picked up a zippered floral storage box, which was £2.99. Currently on the top of my wardrobe I have several cardboard storage boxes from IKEA, that to be honest have seen better days. I just use them to store my beach and swim things but after dragging them up and down for a few years, their more suitable for the bin than for my bikini. So I decided to try one these boxes, they just fold out and zip right the way around, and I'm hoping that they'll keep my things safe and dust free. If I like them I will need a few more but I'll see how I get on

Clearing out my clutter is a big thing for me at the moment and I'm currently working on my extensive shoe collection. I've accumulated so many pairs of flips flops, ballet flats and sandals over the years that I'm having to have a little purge, with one of my local charity shops being the key beneficiary. Shoe storage is always a huge problem I've tried pretty much everything, broken the drawers under my bed and numerous shelves, and the answer always ends up being piles and piles of shoe boxes. So many shoes  don't come with boxes now though I thought I'd be some more to revamp my storage.

I paid £1.99 for a pack of three fold out boxes, and because of the size I should be able to fit a few pairs of flat sandals or flip flops. The boxes are clear enough for you to be able to see what's inside but each of the boxes also features a fun shoe design, and a fun quote or saying all about shoes.

The Cinderella one is by far my favourite but I think these are a cute way to store your shoes, now I just need to decide where to put them.

From one of my favourite shops, to another, Poundland. Do I need to say more, what is there not to love about Poundland, especially when they sell candles that smell as nice as this one does.

This Chewitts Blackcurrant Scented Candle, smell exactly like the sweeties, it's very fruity and mouthwatering. These candles are pretty generic and the Love Heats, M&M's and Betty Crocker ones are all packaged the same and made by the same company. I haven't tried this yet but I'm hoping that smells even a little bit like it does when it's unlit.

This next item is a little bit of an odd purchase but one of my aims for the year is to try and save up a bit of money and although being a pig collector I have several money boxes, this Despicable Me / Minions money tin was a better fit.

The reason why I like this is because it's sealed, if you want to get into it, you have to get a tin opener out and open it properly. I'm not 100% sure what I'm saving up for yet but I'm thinking about maybe something special or meaningful.

The last two home items that I've bought recently were both hanging decorations for my rooms and they are both heart shaped. The first one is a tin hanging heart which was just £1 from Primark. In pastel shades it has the words "Dream Big" on it.

Finally this wooden hanging heart, which came from ebay and was just  £4.95 from this seller.

I love the quote and this one and a bit of research seems to suggest that it was attributed to Marilyn Monroe. I'm not sure on that one but the saying "A Smile Is The Best Make Up Any Girl Can Wear" is maybe something to live by x

So that was my little home haul, as per usual if you have any questions please leave me a comment and I'll try and get back to you as quickly as I can x

Saturday, 16 May 2015

NARS - And God Created The Woman Eye Kit And A Birthday Giveaway

Hi everyone x I hope you've all had a fab Saturday x For me it's very much been the day after the day before. Yesterday was my birthday :) It was an unconventional celebration at best because I spent the day in a local hospital with Mummy Lou whilst she had eye surgery. Thankfully her surgery went well and I spent the night eating cake and opening pressies x I was very spoilt and I got some lovely things which I'll show you next week with a post and a video but I also bought myself a few happy birthday to me pressies, the first of which was from NARS

It's been a while but I'm slowly starting to get back into high end make up and one of the brands that I'm loving at the moment is NARS. I don't own a lot of NARS products compared to a brand say like MAC but I love the products that I have, and recently I decided to treat myself to two of their eyeshadow palettes.

The first palette is the beautiful and limited edition "And God Created The Woman Eye Kit". I've wanted this palette for the longest time and eventually I gave in and ordered it from the NARS website.

Essentially yet another neutral palette, this palette contains 6, 1g, matte, and shimmery eye colours which nearly all have a bit of glitter in them. All of the shades in the palette are well know and well loved NARS shades, and are either available singularly or are part of existing NARS eyeshadow duos.

Top row from left to right - Bellisima II. Kalahari I, and Night Clubbing

and the bottom row from right to left - Alahambra I, Galapagos, and Coconut Grove,

As you can see the colours are very pigmented and despite the glitter and shimmer they feel very smooth and silky. I'm really loving this palette at the moment but my favourite shade at the moment is definitely Kalahari I, gorgeous shimmery, beige, taupe. All of the shades can be worn alone but they also blend together really easily and they wear well.

To improve the wear time though you could use the 2.8g Mini Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, that comes with this palette. I'm a huge lover of eyeshadow bases and so far so good with this one. With a sponge tip applicator it appears to be white but it blends out clear. It has a slight silicone, feel but you can almost feel the eyeshadow sticking to it. It definitely improve both wear time and creasing on my lids and it's something that I'm going to keep using with the rest of the shadow in my collection. The full 8g size retails at £19.50.

The palette also comes with a Travel Size Wide Contour Brush #43. This brush has a large, soft, slanted head, which fits the contours of the eye perfectly. The full size of this brush is worth £26.

If you're a neutral eyeshadow fan like me this is a great palette to have in your collection. The And God Created The Woman Eye Kit retails at £35 and although the price may be out of some peoples price range, I think it's great value. You're getting six shadows, some of which are only available in duos, and you're also getting a good quality brush, and the opportunity to try out NARS best selling eye primer. If you're interested in trying this palette I'd get a move on, it's limited edition and the only places that I can find it are on the NARS UK website and on Sephora.

Since it's my birthday though I've decided to share the love and I also picked up another eye kit to give away so if you want to win your own And God Created The Woman Eye Kit, fill out the form below before the 14th June for a chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open worldwide but don't forget you must be follower, and you must fulfil the relevant conditions to enter - I will be checking and all non complying entries will be disqualified x Thanks for reading and good luck x

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Coffee With Currys And Joe Blogs Blogger Network

Up until late last year I wasn't much of a coffee drinker, I'd have the odd mug or a  speciality coffee when I was out, but at home I was very much a tea fan. Fast forward 6 or 7 months though and thanks to my mum's purchase of a Tassimo machine, I now can't live without my morning cup of coffee.

Last week I took advantage of my coffee obsession to spend the evening with some of my lovely North East bloggers and the fabulous Joe Blogs team, for an event entitled Coffee With Currys.

The event took place not in a coffee shop but in one of most luxurious bars in Newcastle City Centre, Revolution, Set in a former bank ,the bars opulent interior features 30 feet high ceilings, marble pillars and classic wooden moldings.

On entering the bar. we were escorted to a reserved section set aside for the event, and we were welcomed with a delicious Salted Caramel Latte cocktail.

In case you haven't gathered this event wasn't about coffee in the conventional sense, it was about coffee as a cocktail ingredient and the highlight of the evening was a cocktail making masterclass from two of Revolutions fabulously fun and patient employees, Rory and Josh.

Obviously it would have been impossible for all 30 of us to fit behind the bar at once so we divided ourselves into three groups and we each made a different cocktails.

I think I ended up in the wrong group because the cocktail I was going to make was a drink themed around cherries and amaretto - yuck -  As you I'm not a fan so yes, I was Miss Awkward but the guys were fabulous and helped each of tailor our own cocktails depending on what we liked and disliked. Basically mine ended up being a combination of a tiny bit of cherry vodka, some Chambord raspberry liqueur, some gomme (sugar syrup), some cream and some espresso.

It was really good fun and it really tested my hand, eye coordination to the max, pouring the right measures, shaking my stuff with the cocktail shaker, and trying to balance the strainer without throwing my cocktail all over the floor!

I have to say my cocktail was yummy, a combination of sweet tart fruit, strong coffee, creaminess and of course alcohol. Next time I think I'd use a raspberry vodka instead of the cherry but it's definitely something I'll try at home :)

The final group went up to make the cocktails while my group got stuck into theirs and then it was show time, with Rory and Josh doing a full array of tricks that put Tom Cruise to shame. The glasses were then distributed amongst the group and we got to enjoy one of the bars numerous flavoured vodka shots, nestled in a glass of lemonade - mine was a lovely tropical pineapple flavour - yummy!

We then returned to our private booth for a fabulous buffet including pizzas, wedges, salads, and cones of french fries before, some competition winners were announced and then the evening sadly came to a close, and we all headed into the night feeling a little bit merrier than we did before.

If you want to find out more about the event you can read this post courtesy of our event sponsors Curry's .x 

This was my second Joe Blogs event and I have to say they are some of the most fun events I've been too. I've met new people at every event and I've really enjoyed the activities and spending time with some fabulous people x If the Joe Blogs team are in your area, get yourself down there no matter what they're doing and have some fun and meet some new friends x 

Monday, 11 May 2015

Fenwick Of Newcastle Beauty Week - 11th-16th May - Blogger Preview Event

Like most children when I was little I hated shopping, shops were dull, and boring but for me there was one exception, Fenwick of Newcastle. Founded in 1882 Fenwick of Newcastle is the flagship store in the independent and still family owned, Fenwick department store chain. From it fabulous 3rd floor toy department, to it's magical Christmas window, and it's stationary department that seemed to be full of stickers and scented erasers, a trip to Fenwick or Fenwicks as it's known to locals, was one shopping trip that I always looked forward to.

Times have changed but the store is still hear and  it's bigger and better than ever before and although I no longer head to the third floor haven of my childhood, you re still likely to find me drooling over designer handbags and clothing in the famous French Salon, trying to resist the goodies in the Food Hall and sniffing and swatching my way through the Beauty Hall.

With one of the largest selections of cosmetics brands and fragrances in the North East, Fenwick Beauty Hall is the place to go if you're a beauty junkie like me. Today marks the start of the first ever Fenwick Beauty Week, and last week along with several other North East bloggers I was invited along to a VIP blogger preview event.

The introduction to the event took place in one of the stores many restaurants, the Tivoli. This table service eatery has fabulous views of Greys Monument and the city centre but it had been transformed for our visit with a bar serving Prosecco with passion fruit Pop a Balls and bottles of Fentimans Rose Lemonade, and tables featuring cake stands with tiny strawberry tarts, peach Melba's and macarons.

After a drink and some sweet sustinance we were welcomed to the event by head beauty buyer Lucy Watson and given a small talk about beauty week and about the evening ahead. Basically as bloggers we had a free run of the beauty hall, and were given the opportunity to have several complimentary consultations and treatments at some of the stores top beauty houses. There were so many to chose from, Tom Ford, to Giorgio Armani, and Laura Mercier,the list went on and on, the temptation to just get my make done over and over and over again was strong but I decided to try a few different types of treatments.

The first counter I headed to was Clarins, and no it wasn't for a facial or a make over it was for one of their famous red chair massages.

You've probably seen these almost instruments of torture on a number of Clarins counters but I bet you've never given it a try. Well basically what it is, is the perfect means of giving you a really intense, neck shoulder and back massage. Since I suffer from Fibromyalgia and ME /CFS, I get a lot of muscle pain and stiffness and my neck and shoulders are probably my worst areas. You look a bit silly but I would thoroughly recommend it, my lovely therapist Alison, give me one of the best massages I've had in a long time, and I could really feel my muscles popping. Alas I couldn't take a picture of myself so I took some pictures of the lovely Becca to give you some idea of the experience.

As well as the massage chair, Fenwick also has it's very own Clarins Skin Spa, Alison very kindly let me have a little look round and it was so nice and relaxing and perfect for a real spoil yourself facial, or body treatment. There is a buy one get one free option running until the end of May so if you want to treat yourself if might be worth a look.

Next up was Bare Minerals, I've been a huge lover of the brand for quite a while now and whilst I love their powder and ready range, I was yet to try any of their liquids and creams.

So I  headed to the counter where their lovely make up artist told me a little bit more about their new Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30. She then colour matched me to Vanilla 02 and applied some of the product before giving me a sample to try. It's early days with this for me and I'll definitely do a full review but the colour is spot on and I love how weightless it feels on the skin.

I don't get the opportunity to pamper myself very often but when I do I want it to be special so my next treatment was at Jo Malone. A newer edition to the hall, Jo Malone is almost a store within a store, beautifully and luxuriously decorated, the store showcases all of the brands body products, fragrances and home products in a chic and aspirational way.

The treatment that I'd signed up for was a luxurious hand and arm massage. Greeted with a glass of champagne, myself and the lovely Rosy, were invited to sample their new limited edition colognes, Sakura Cherry Blossom, Osmanthus Blossom and my favourite Plum Blossom before being massaged with Jo Malone's beautiful English Pear And Fressia Body Creme. This indulgent treatment ended with several spritzes of the beautiful Plum Blossom Cologne, and I was left feel thoroughly pampered with soft and beautifully scented skin.

It was a little while before my next appointment so I had a little wander around the beauty hall, chatting with my fellow bloggers, and seeing what was on offer. There is every counter that you would expect and more besides, and as well as the main counters there is also an apothecary section, which features a lot of more general, and some niche beauty and toiletry brands, and candles, including products from Neom Organics, DHC and even Top Shop Make Up.

We were also given the opportunity to have a look around the Fenwicks beauty rooms, which are the perfect place for a facial or a massage, and are beautifully scented with Neom Organics candles and reed diffusers.

After that I headed to the Kiehls counter - Although I haven't tried a lot from the brand I think
their Drawing Paste is one of the best products ever invented, so I was more than happy to take advantage of their offer of a complimentary facial. I have booked an appointment on the 30th May so I'll let you know how I get on x

My final consultation of the night was with one of my favourite brands of all time, Benefit. The treatment offered was a contour and brow lesson but to be honest I ended up having a full makeover.

First of all my make up was removed and I was given a full skincare treatment before being matched for Hello Flawless Foundation in Believe In Me, and having my base perfected with Stay Don't Stray in Light / Medium and  Hello Flawless Powder.

Then it was time for the contour, my make artist gave me the option of a strong Kim Kardashian type contour or a more subtle contour - I went for the subtle contour and then had my face sculpted with Hoola, Watts Up and Dandelion. I was surprised at how easy she made it look and since I own all of the products she used I'm definitely going to give it a go myself.

Then she did a quick eye look using Creaseless Cream Shadow in No Pressure, and They're Real Mascara, before giving me the natural brow that I'd requested using Gimme Brow in Light / Medium and finishing off with a quick slick of the Ultra Plush Lip Gloss in Lollibop. This picture isn't the best thanks to my iPhone 4S but I hope you can see the strength of my brow game and my cheekbones x

I really enjoyed the make over and how easy and quick she made it look, and I definitely learnt a few tricks of the trade. I've now got a few more products added to my wish list and I would definitely recommend trying out the Benefit skincare range even if it's just for the fragrance.

As a thank you for attending the event we were each given a goodie bag crammed full of samples from some of beauty houses including Benefit, Bare Minerals, Clarins, Molton Brown and more. It was honestly like Christmas when I started going through the bag and I'll definitely be reviewing some of the samples in due course.

I had an absolutely fabulous time and as someone who was previously quite intimated by beauty counters I definitely feel a bit more confident about approaching counters and brands and asking for advice, and hints and tips.

If you're in Newcastle over the next week I would definitely try and head down to Fenwick Beauty Week if you can. From today until Saturday 16th May, there are live demonstrations, gifts with purchase and the opportunity to sample some new fragrances from the likes of Marc Jacobs, Thierry Mugler, Hermes, Moschino and Roberto Cavalli.

There will also be several opportunities to attend exclusive masterclasses and consultations with some top regional, national and international experts at various beauty houses, and some visiting make up artists who include.

Tuesday 12 May
Benefit Cosmetics Regional Make-up Artist - Hayley Pexton

Wednesday 13 May
Chanel Regional Make-up Artist - Alexis Gray

Thursday 14 May
LancĂ´me International Make-Up Artist -Marc Sinclair
Sisley National Make-up Artist - Paulina Siembor

Friday 15 MayDior – National Make-Up Artist -  Rachael Timpson
Laura Mercier Regional Make-up Artist - Heather Moore
Dermalogica Educator -  Jon Paul

Saturday 16 May
Bare Minerals International Make-up Artist - Jay Miller

Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to be able to get back this week but I would thoroughly recommend making the trip if you can. Oh and if you do go, go to any of the counters and houses that I visited and  just mention my blog LouLouLand to receive a free, deluxe product sample. You can find out more about Fenwick by visiting their website here.