Friday 27 October 2017

The Colours Of Autumn - Outfit Of The Day / Night

As much as I love fashion, clothes, accessories and shoes, unlike a lot of bloggers I don't really post that many outfits of the day. There are many reasons I guess why I don't do that many ranging from a lack of confidence in front of the camera, to poor body image, and a not very skilled principal photographer (sorry Mummy Lou) but with a big birthday approaching I'm trying to be a bit more accepting of myself and a bit braver all round.

So just before I headed off to Monday night's Intu Eldon Square Fashion Spooktacular, the mother ship kindly shot a few pictures so I could cobble together a very rare outfit of the day post and this was the result...

What I Wore

Joe Browns At Simply Be - Autumn Leaf Wrap Dress
80 Denier Black Opaques - George At Asda 
Madia Tan Buckle Ankle Boots - Dorothy Perkins
Lola Rose Sloane Square Beaded Bracelet - Fire Agate
Olive Wood Wooden Bracelet - Somewhere In Cyprus 

I ordered this dress a few weeks ago now after seeing it on the Simply Be website. Joe Browns don't carry the plus size line on their own website (Why not though? How weird is that??) so I think that this dress is a Simply Be exclusive. It's not hard to see why I ordered it, it's just perfect for this time of year.

In a faux (essential if you're on the curvy side) wrap style, it's made from a stretchy jersey fabric. The dress has a black base which is a perfect foil for the flower and leaf print. Thanks to the brown, yellow, orange, tan, and grey tones, this dress fits perfectly into the traditional Autumnal colour palette, that gets its influence from the changing colours of the leaves and foliage, and those fabulous Autumn sunrises and sunsets.

Outside I teamed it with a black PU bomber jacket, and a black Michael Kors tote bag to tone in with both my holy grail black George opaque tights, and with the background of the dress.

Instead of going for a black boot or shoe though, I teamed this outfit up with one of my favourite pairs of boots, a pair of past season, tan, brown, buckle detail ankle boots from Dorothy Perkins, that coordinate perfectly with the colours on the dress They don't have a huge heel and they aren't too flat either so they're really comfortable which is great when to you need to walk around a bit, as I did on Monday night thanks to a fire alarm. They're quite a classic style so it shouldn't be too hard to find something similar in stores this season. Sticking with the tan theme and thinking of how I can wear the dress in the future I could also potentially wear it with my Clarks Hamble Oak Brogues (see my post here) for a different look.

Because the dress had such a busy and I didn't want to accent my cleavage too much, I decided not to wear a necklace and instead I wore, a bracelet on each wrist. On one wrist I wore a slightly, chunkier stretch bracelet which I got on holiday in Cyprus a few years ago, which is made from a varnished, golden brown toned olive wood, and on the other wrist I wore a Lola Rose bracelet, which I received as a Christmas present a few years ago now. I don''t think it's the easiest one to find anymore but it's the Lola Rose Sloane Square Beaded Bracelet, which originally came from QVC UK and mine is made from Fire Agate,  which with orange and brown tones, again perfectly with the print on the dress.

I know lot of bloggers let their pictures do the talking but you know me I love to talk and I thought it might be nice for you to find out a little bit about the pieces that I wore and why I chose them, even though in most cases here it is down to colour coordination ha ha. I'm really going to try and do more outfits of the day to try and be brave and boost my confidence a bit. Why shouldn't I ? After all human beings do come in all ages, shapes and sizes and we all clothes so if we love clothes we shouldn't we have the confidence to show ourselves off and put ourselves out there. Are you a fan of autumnal tones in clothing, jewellery and accessories? Let me know your thoughts in the comments x 

Thursday 26 October 2017

Intu Eldon Square Fashion Spooktacular*

I don't know about you but the fact that another month starts next week terrifies me, at the moment I'm really feeling as though life is starting to pass me by! As scary as it seems though, it does mean that we're one step closer to my favourite time of year, Christmas. I love Christmas but strange as it sounds I've heard a few people say that it isn't their favourite time of year. There are loads of reasons I guess why that could be, but a lot of people seem to to prefer another holiday or special day and for that reason a certain day next week is their favourite day of the year, What am I talking about? Well Halloween of course!

I must admit that as an adult I can take Halloween or I can leave it, I carve a pumpkin, and get sweets ready for the trick or treaters but I can honestly say that I don't get that excited about it any more. I think I was more a fan of it as a child, with my bin bag costume, my hollowed out turnip and my witches hat but Halloween has come on a long way since then, and maybe that's why some many adults get so excited about it and dress up and decorate their homes as if it was Christmas.

When things become popular understandably retailers jump on the band waggon and play a role in creating the hype. Look in any store or online and the words Glamourween, Do Horror In Style, Hauntingly Beautiful or Scream Queens will jump out at you as retailers promote their Halloween themed fashion, accessories and home ware.

Is that a bad thing? No not my eyes I'm all for people having fun, and whether you're a fan of all things spooky or not, and you live in the North East, take my advice and head to Intu Eldon Square over the next few days to get both some spooky home and fashion advice, and some fashion hints and tips for the Autumn and Winter seasons ahead

On Monday night, myself and a small, select group of North East bloggers were invited down to Intu Eldon Square to experience everything that the Fashion Spooktacular has to offer and to experience a little bit of what's going to be going on over the next few days.

Conveniently sited near to New Look, Debenhams, and Dorothy Perkins, Intu have created their very own spooky themed walk in capsule wardrobe. Step inside and you'll find rails of clothing featuring some of the seasons key fashion and accessory trends from stores throughout Eldon Square including Adidas, Top Shop, and Oasis, intermingled with Halloween themed accessories, such as masks and hats from the likes of Claires, Accessorize and Ann Summers, and even some Halloween home items including pumpkins, wreaths and even black cats.

With Halloween themed music including Thriller by Michael Jackson, Black Magic By Little Mix, and of course the Time Warp from Rocky Horror playing in the background, we started off the evening as bloggers do with some food and drink and some lovely paella, tapas and sangria, courtesy of Tapas Revolution which is now open in the centre new Grey's Quarter.

Then clutching our sangria and day of the dead, skull themed plates we then had the opportunity to get some seasonal themed style advice.

Over the next three days, the team from Intu Eldon Square will be giving you the opportunity to attend their fashion spooktacular and get not only some Halloween style advice but also some more general autumn and winter fashion tips. There are three workshops a day and they are free to attend.

27th and 29th October 2017

11.30am - Creepy Crawly Homeware 

How to achieve the chicest Halloween home

1.30pm - How To Pick A Wicked Winter Coat

Explore some of the seasons key outerwear trends and find out the style advice your need to pick your own perfect winter coat

3.30pm Autumn Winter Capsule Wardrobe Wizardry 

Personal style advice on to pick on trend pieces that can be paired together to maximise your look in the seasons ahead

28th October 2017

11.30am - How To Pick A Wicked Winter Coat

1.30pm Our Top Ten Must Have Autumn / Winter Items

Showcasing some of the key pieces for Autumn / Winter 2017 including boots, statement t-shirts and knits

3.30pm - Scarily Good Halloween Costume Ideas

Tips on how to find and create the chicest Halloween costumes, and well as fun costume ideas for the little ones.

All of the styling sessions and workshops will held by a member of the style team and if you're lucky enough you might get to meet the Fashion Fortune Teller herself, or as she's known in real life Emma, you can find all about Emma and what she does on her own website Stylissimo and let me tell you this lady knows her stuff. She is an image consultant and personal shopper, a fashion blogger and writer and she is also a personal and commercial stylist and she is going to be on hand to answer all of you fashion and style questions over the next few days. 

On the night Emma told us a little bit about the workshops and what exactly each one covers before giving us a taster of the Scarily Good Halloween Costume Ideas session. Yes I know you can go out and buy a costume off the peg but surely there are more glamorous ways to create a Halloween fashion statement? 

Well, there are and Emma gave us some great hints and tips on how to create a chic Halloween look by taking some clothing pieces from some of the stores in the centre and teaming them with cute Halloween themed accessories, and make up sets to create some both fun and stylish looks.

I'm all for versatility when it comes my wardrobe, and although it doesn't look like as times, I do try to shop carefully and consider things like cost per wear when I choosing more expensive pieces, so her advice was perfect for my way of thinking. Whilst a lot of the pieces could be worn as part of a stylish Halloween ensemble, a lot of them could also be dressed down or worn casually or they could even be recycled and used as Christmas party outfits, by changing how you wear them and by changing your accessories. She showed us some beautifully pieces but I fell head over heels in love with this black velvet kimono style jacket from River Island. You can't see it too clearly here but it's covered in pearls and beading and whilst it would look great over a plain black dress you could also dress it down and wear it over jeans and a statement t-shirt, it also comes in the River Island Curve range too which is a bonus.

As I seem to have said quite a lot recently I do love a blog and press events, but the ones that really stand out to me are when you actually get to do something, be it try a new product, learn a new skill, or get really involved in some way and as result the next part of the night was right up my street.

The team from Intu Eldon Square had teamed up with several of the centres stores to set myself and my fellow bloggers some challenges, either individually or in pairs, so after being handed a envelope with our names on, we all went our separate ways, some of us were making bath bombs in Lush, one blogger had an Urban Decay makeover, some went to eat, and some us went to stores such as John Lewis and Top Shop, to create seasonal themed home ware settings and seasonal outfits.

I was paired up with the lovely Laura, and we headed to Dorothy Perkins, where we were asked to create a Christmas party outfit with shoes and accessories with a budget of £100. I'm not going to lie I let Laura take the lead, I love her style, and some of things that she wears, so it was interesting to see how she puts an outfit together. We decided to go for something just that little bit different, sequins, glitter and sparkle are brilliant and they have their place but we went for something that you could actually wear again either together or as separate pieces on a day to day basis. We teamed a khaki (that's what it says online but it's really a vintage, bottle green) Pu mini skirt up with an oriental design, statement print bardot style top, and then picking out some of the colours in the top, we chose a pair of burgundy Mary Jane style, suede effect heels, and a black patent clutch to mix up the textures a bit, and then we finished the look with a pair of long black tassel earrings to compliment the oriental feel, and the off the shoulder top.

It was good fun not only experiencing how somebody else looks at clothing but also because we had a chance to have a good look around the store and believe me they have a lot of things in at the moment that I want!

After snapping a few pics and saying thank you to the team at Dorothy Perkins we headed back to the Fashion Spooktacular zone to compare our experiences with Emma and our fellow bloggers. The next part of the evening and the next thing that the team at Intu had treated us to was a potion cocktail experience at The Alchemist, which is a popular cocktail bar and restaurant which is  also located in Greys Quarter. Unfortunately due to my reliance on public transport on the night I had to pass, and headed home with my arms laden with goodies, including this beautiful flower arrangement / bouquet from Katherines Florists.

Apologies that this photo is taken in the amazing surroundings of Eldon Square Bus Station but I was paranoid that it wouldn't last the journey, thankfully though it did, and now both myself and my mum are getting the chance to enjoy the beautiful autumnal toned flowers and foliage. I'm particularly loving the orange Physalis that remind of little pumpkins.

We also received a lovely day of the dead, sugar skull themed loot bag full of goodies including Halloween themed sweets, a brooch from Tiger, a notepad from Accessorize, a NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream, a Lush Butterball Ballistic make up samples from Urban Decay and Inglot, and discount vouchers from Burtons, Dorothy Perkins, and Monsoon, a makeover voucher for Inglot and we were also very kindly gifted an Intu gift card which I will be putting to good use soon, what will I buy though decisions, decisions!

I'd like to say a huge thank you to Intu Eldon Square for hosting the event, on what was a very trying evening with fire alarms and what not, I also want to thank Emma, and the team from Tapas Revolution, and of course Dorothy Perkins and all of the other retailers involved. If you're in Newcastle over the next few days I would definitely recommend that you pop into Intu Eldon Square, and take advantage of the Fashion Spooktacular and get your self some style tips, for the season ahead. You can find out more about the Fashion Spooktacular and what Intu Eldon Square has to offer on their official website. Any questions please leave me a comment and I will see you tomorrow with a very rare outfit post x 

*Blog Press / Event 
  Some Photographs Kindly Provided By Intu Eldon Square

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Intu Metrocentre A/W 2017 Style Event - Power Dresssing, Pizza And Printing*

Now as much as I love and appreciate every blog event that I get invited to, I always feel an extra surge of excitement when an invitation pops into my inbox from the fabulous team at Intu Metrocentre. I've been to quite a few of their events over the years, and I always feel blessed to work with such an amazing brand. Their events have ranged from the traditional fashion show, to more intimate beauty, fashion and lifestyle showcases. Whatever format they take though, they are always lots of fun and I always seem to learn a lot, be it about beauty brands, or fashion styling tips. A week or so ago now I headed down to Intu Metrocentre for their Autumn / Winter 2017 blog event which took both the educational and fun factors to the next level.

The event took place on the upper floor of Zizzi, which is an Italian chain restaurant situated on the second floor in the Garden Walk area of the centre, close to the cinema and perfect for a pre or post movie bite to eat.

Although it wasn't the main focus of the night, us bloggers like a feed and Zizzi delivered with trays of appetisers including olives, arancini, dips, salads, crudities and mini kebabs. We also had the chance to try out some of their rustic pizzas, and also some of their vegan pizza and garlic bread offerings. I didn't realise that Zizzi offered both a full vegan and gluten free menu so that's a thumbs up in my eyes and I'll definitely be back for a pizza and garlic bread fix in the future.

With a backdrop of food, nibbles and mocktails the stage was set for an evening of fun and education. While half the room was set up with tables, goodie bags, nibbles, clothes rails, accessories, an overhead projector, and subdued lighting, the other side of the room was set up with lots of light and tables full of goodies to explore and play with.

On the night we were lucky enough to have the ladies from The Crafthood with us to help us bring out our crafty sides. The Crafthood is a North East based company run by two lovely ladies Sharon and Kay, who specialise in making bespoke hand lettered pieces for weddings and so on, and other handcrafted and hand designed items. They also run crafting workshops across the North East teaching everything from brush lettering, and calligraphy, to block printing, Christmas crafting and candle making.

I love crafting but in all honesty I'm just not that artistic or dare it say it talented. If you've been reading my blog for a long time you'll know that from time to time, I do indulge in a little bit of paper crafting. When I have the time and the energy I love making my own greetings cards, and I also enjoy scrap booking, and I'm particularly proud of my NYC scrapbook. When it comes to anything with thread, sewing or fabric though it's a different matter entirely. I've never been any good it and my dragon like school textile teacher pretty much put me off for life and destroyed every ounce of confidence that I ever had in my own abilities with needle and thread.

You shouldn't let a lack of ability or talent get in the way of trying new things and having fun though, crafting is all about having fun at the end of the day and when I found out that we were going to be making things and getting our craft on I couldn't wait to get started.

Our task was a relatively simple one, we were going to decorate our own fabric pouches / cosmetic bags with simple block printing. I have a bit of experience with stamping on paper and of course I'd used a potato to print designs before but printing on fabric was something completely new to me, - all I'll say is thank goodness for the practise fabric!

The idea was that we created an on trend monogram, initial style design, which sounded easy enough but it wasn't quite as easy in the flesh, and one little error in my eyes lead to a complete change in direction from the simple, Gucci esq monogram design that I'd planned in my head, to an eclectic star and star burst design.

It may not have gone to plan but it's an original and nobody else will have one that looks like mine :) It may not be perfect but it's mine and I had a lot of fun creating it. The two ladies from The Crafthood were incredibly helpful, walking around and offering suggestions and advice, and in particular helping us bloggers make our tassel's - as I said I shouldn't be left alone with thread as the residue in the picture probably shows! I really enjoyed the session with the ladies and I'm really hoping that this experience will help reignite my crafty side!

As well as our session with The Crafthood, the Intu Metrocentre team had also arranged a speaker for us for the evening. Our speaker for the night was Meridith Towne, a bespoke dressmaker and costume historian. whose speciality is women's history through fashion - The topic she spoke to us about was Women In Power and The Art Of Power Dressing.

How can I summarise such a fascinating and in depth talk in a few lines, I don't think I can in all honesty, but her talk basically covered the history of powerful women and the role that clothing has played in both defining women and creating and defining their roles. She touched on so many things including how the definition of power dressing has changed over time, and how it changes in different countries and in different cultures, and on how social media can be used as both a force for change and as tool for enforcing ideas and ideals.

As well as using as overhead projector and a power point presentation (operated by her lovely mum), Meridith also illustrated her points with clothing, costumes, fabric and accessories from her own collection including a beautiful Victorian gown, 80's suiting, pussy bow blouses, and beautiful hats and African tribal style prints.

She also illustrated some of her points with clothing and accessory pieces from some of the many fashion stores that Intu Metrocentre has to offer, including Top Shop, Aspinal, Accessorize, and House Of Fraser. There was so many beautiful pieces on the rail that perfectly illustrated the concept of modern power dressing and how things come back into fashion. The rail and the bags were particularly lust worthy and I couldn't help but fall in love with the ISSA Maisie Printed Jumpsuit, that Meridith used to illustrate her point about prints - it has cats on it - what's not to love?

As someone who loves fashion and history, and who studied a lot of both gender and women's studies as part of both her BA (Hons) and MSc I found Meridith's talk both fascinating and eye opening - a lot of people think that fashion is just fun or frippery but it really does tell a story and it really can both make a statement and define you with just one glance.

If ever you get the chance to attend one of Meridith Towne's talks then I would fully recommend it. She's very knowledgeable and very passionate about the things that she talks about, and I definitely came away from her talk feeling as though that I had learnt something, and that I'd learnt something that can and will effect me in the future. You can find out more about Meridith and both her costume designer service and her talks via her own personal website.

It was another fantastic event from the team at Intu Metrocentre, and it was probably the most fun, the most tasty and the most educational one to date. I would like to thank, Zizzi, the ladies from The Crafthood, and Meridith Towne for a varied and enjoyable evening, and of course I'd like to thank the team at Intu Metrocentre and all of the stores that were involved in the event and that contributed to our super generous goodie bags. We were kindly gifted a French Connection Monogrammed Fabric Bag, which included a Hotel Chocolat The Yumpkin Milk Chocolate Pumpkin, a travel sized Aussie Shampoo, skincare samples from The Body Shop, skincare samples from Estee Lauder, and Elizabeth Arden, perfume samples from Valentino, and Dior, and make up samples from Benefit, Bare Minerals and Smashbox. We were also generously gifted some bits from Intu and a very generous discount card which I will definitely putting to good use.

Huge thanks again to Intu and if you have any questions on anything that we got up to, or if you want to tell me how wonderful my crafting attempt was ;) then please don't hesitate to leave me a comment below x

*Blog / Press Event

Friday 20 October 2017

The Body Shop Intu Metrocentre Autumn Blogger Event With The G Edit*

Although I had every intention of breaking up my blog and press event posts with some different content some how life seems to have got in the way again, and in the last week I've only managed to upload a couple of unboxing videos to my You Tube channel. Still content is content, and I'm back today on the blog to talk about another blog event and some new and exciting product releases from one of my favourite high street stores, The Body Shop.

Like so many girls that grew up in the 90's The Body Shop has been one of my go to shops for almost my entire life and it's a store that I'll forever associate with growing up, and it's one of the places where my beauty obsession really started. I'm going to talk more about my own history with the brand in a future post but it's safe to say that The Body Shop holds a special place in my heart.

I'm lucky enough to have been to a couple of events in various branches of The Body Shop over the years, and I've always found them to be both fun and educational, and this one was no different.

The previous events I've been to took place when the stores were open, but a couple of Sunday's ago, myself and a number of North East bloggers and influencers were invited down to the Intu Metrocentre store after hours to spend a few hours learning about some products, and rediscovering some old favourites.

We were greeted with glasses of fizz, name stickers and nibbles, and we basically given free run of the store, and given ample opportunity to experience everything that The Body Shop has to offer. There were lots of helpful staff members to answer our questions, and to demonstrate products, and they'd even set up a selfie station with props and bunny ears for us to help promote their Ban Animal Testing petition ( you can sign it instore or online here), and a whiteboard where we could leave our Instagram and Twtter handles and share our favourite products with our fellow bloggers.

If you look really carefully at the whiteboard, you can probably see my social media handle, and the products that I love (I'm @LouLou699 just in case you didn't know ;). For me two things really stand, their Christmas ranges and of course their body butters. I've lost count of the number that I've owned and tried over the years, and they really are an ever present in the my bathroom cabinet. Yes they're thick and they can take a while to absorb, but when my skin is at it's driest in the winter, and after and during a hot holiday, they really are a must have.

I love them and it turns out that a lot of other people do as well, and their body butters, in their various different fragrances and different guises have been one of their most popular products for the last 25 years. It's hard to believe but this year The Body Shop Body Butter is celebrating it's 25th birthday, and in order to celebrate, the majority of stores are giving you the opportunity to print out a free sticker and personalise your own full size tub of body butter. Personalisation is everywhere at the moment and I think that this is a great gift idea, and something just that little bit different.

As a special gift on the night, The Body Shop allowed us to choose a free full size, fruity fragranced body butter, and get our own personalised label printed off. I love anything fruity so it wasn't that easy to choose which one I wanted, but I ended up going for Early Harvest Raspberry. This was a new one to me, and I've spent every minute since kicking myself as to why I hadn't tried it before. It has a lovely true to life, punnet of fresh raspberries type scent, that smells good enough to eat without smelling too sweet or sickly,

Talking of smelling good enough to eat, this year The Body Shop has debuted their first ever range of Halloween themed products with a yummy, Vanilla Pumpkin fragrance. If you're not a fan of the traditional cult pumpkin spice type fragrance, filled with nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon, then this fragrance might be more up your street. It contains real Madagascan vanilla, and with added hint of fruity pumpkin, your left with a sweet and creamy fragrance with just a hint of warmth and fruitiness. Sounds good? well it is, but it is a limited edition range so get your skates if you like the sound of it. It has been introduced especially for Autumn and Halloween but it should be around until Christmas so you should a month or so to get your hands on it.

On the night the lovely people from The Body Shop offered us a special discount on any purchases that we made, so it would have been wrong not to indulge in a bit of pumpkin love. I'm not sure if the same offer is still on but there was an offer in store where you could buy 3 selected bath and body products for £20, so I picked up a few Vanilla Pumpkin items and took advantage. I got the full, 192g size Vanilla Pumpkin Softening Body Butter which normally retails at £15, and I got two, 250ml bottles, of the Vanilla Pumpkin Shower Gel that normally retail for £5 each so I really ended up getting one for free. I didn't see it on the night but you also get a hand cream in the Vanilla Pumpkin scent.

As well the new Vanilla Pumpkin range, we also had the chance to find out more about some of stores other new releases, including their new world ingredients, inspired face masks, including the  Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask, the Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, and the British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask, and we also introduced to their new Liquid Peel exfoliants.

If you like skincare that looks and feels as though as it's working and you want to see results in minutes then The Body Shops new range of Liquid Peels are something that you definitely need to try. They come in three different variations depending on your skin type and the results that you want to see, you can get the Liquid Peels Drops Of Youth Youth Liquid Peel, the Vitamin C Revealing Liquid Peel, and the Drops Of Light Pure Resurfacing Liquid Peel which retail at around £18 each. Basically these peels are exfoliators but instead of being grainy the gel like texture contains ingredients that help to lift up the dead skin and leave you skin soft and glowing. One of the members of staff tried the Drops Of Youth peel on my hand and the amount of gunk that it took off my supposedly clean had was fascinating, in a slightly sick and horrifying way :) I've used something similar in the past and I'm definitely going to pick one of these up the future.

On the night we were given the opportunity to try several of the different treatments and demonstrations that available in store including a facial and a make up lesson, but given time constraints and the amount of bloggers that were in attendance, it wasn't really possible to do everything but I did manage to snap this picture of the lovely Laura from Look At My Clothes having her skincare consultation and facial,

and I did have a few minutes to play by myself with some of The Body Shop's latest make up releases and all I can say it wow! The obsession with the lips is strong at the moment thanks to a certain Ms Jenner and if that's the look you want or like than The Body Shop have got you covered with their new Matte Lip Liquids, and their new Shine Lip Liquids, and their new and very convertible Metal Lip Liquids that are perfect for the party season and have found a place on my current, and overflowing beauty wishlist

One treatment though that I've had from The Body Shop though in the past and loved was their fabulous hand and arm massage (read about my previous experience here), so when I was offered another one I jumped at the chance.

Unlike my previous experience which just involved a bowl of warm water, the Intu Metrocentre branch is now full fitted out with sinks and running water, which just added to the whole spa like feel of the treatment. Unlike last time when it was all about the Christmas collections, the lovely member of staff Hina, let me choose exactly what products that I wanted to use for my treatment. There are so many beautifully scrubs, creams and butters to choose from that it was a hard decision but in the end I decided to try out some products from their Spa Of The World Relaxing Ritual range.

Hina started off by massaging my hand and forearm with the beautiful African Ximenia Scrub, which is sugar based scrub that contains Namibian Ximenia Fruit Seed. This is quite a gentle scrub, which given my love of gritty scrubs, wouldn't be quite gritty enough for me in the shower but it was perfect for a hand treatment. She then dried my hand and followed with a liberal application of the Japanese Camellia Velvet Moisture Body Cream, before ending the massage with an application of the French Lavender Massage Oil.

Afterwards the difference between my two hands was clear to see, the hand that had been treat looked brighter and fresher, and it felt silky soft, and smooth. I can only imagine what the rest of my body would feel like after using these products. The Spa Of The World range isn't the cheapest range that The Body Shop do but if you want real luxury or you feel like you need some serious feel good products then I can't recommend it enough.

I loved the feel of all of the products that I used but I particularly fell in love with the fragrance of the French Lavender Massage Oil and both the scent and the feel of the Japanese Camellia Velvet Moisture Body Cream, which I ended up buying in the small 50ml size. I love white flower, powdery type scents and as well as feeling amazing on the skin, the subtle scent really is beautiful

Since we has such a good opportunity to explore the store, I couldn't resist picking up a few things for Christmas presents. I know some people still think it's a bit early for Christmas but I love it, and I'm a big believer in getting prepared nice and early. The full range of Christmas products isn't in store just yet but it won't be long I'm sure and no doubt I'll be back for another shopping trip when it launches. In the meantime though we did have an opportunity to have a little look and The Body Shop's range of advent calendars for 2017. I really couldn't justify buying one (I already have two advent calendars already!) but I love them, and I particularly love the fact that they have calendars available at 3 different price points in order to suit a wider range of budgets

So feeling pampered, shopped out and with another wishlist as long as my arm, I headed for home with my purchases, my personalised body butter and a little bag of treats from The Body Shop including some skincare samples which included the Drop Of Youth Liquid Peel which I can't wait to try, a 30ml Mango Hand Cream and a 5ml jar of the Oils Of Life Sleeping Cream which again I can't wait to use.

I'm not good at the vlogging thing but I did make a little, super short taster video on my phone so you see what some of your favourite North East bloggers, You Tubers and infuencers got up to on the night x You can also view it via this link x

Again I had a lovely evening spending time with some of my fellow bloggers, and learning and trying lots and lots of new things. Huge thanks to The G Edit, The Body Shop, and particular all of the staff in the Intu Metrocentre branch for their advice, and for sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with us, I'll definitely be back and soon x If you have any questions if you've tried any of the items I've mentioned I'd love to hear from you so leave a comment below x

*Blog Event - This Post Contains Gifted Items, And Items That Were Purchased With A Discount