Friday, January 29, 2016

Doing It Right: Affordable Blogging Accessories

When it comes to blogging I have tons yet to learn, from HTML to photography tricks. If however I had to choose one thing I am pretty good at, that would be finding affordable yet cute items I can use to make blogging as organised and smooth as possible, aka shopping!

With that in mind I set out to find a blogger's planner but who knew how hard that would be! I saw various printable templates online on Etsy and that famous sold out planner on ASOS (yes the one that everyone has) but they weren't exactly what I was looking for. I turned to Amazon and decided to go ahead and try my luck with a diary shipped from China. I confess I didn't have high expectations but when diary got here around 10 days later I was rather impressed. The Molang Diary Weekly Planner £4.58 contains 2016 as well as 2017 calendars and despite being mostly written in English, the drawings are in Korean which doesn't bother me at all because they're really cute as can be. I'm extremely tempted to get them in other colours too and stickers to take cuteness to a whole other level, because why not!

And because I'm a self-confessed shopaholic with no willpower, I thought I'd get 10 Cute Gel Pens £3.99 to write in my pretty new diary. These too came from China but they were so worth the wait. They come in a neatly packed plastic case, every pen is a different colour and overall, they are beyond gorgeous. Both the diary and pens look amazing on camera and will definitely be popping up as props in my blog photos. 

I never knew blogging would mean so much time spent on my phone so when I finally got my hands on the Iphone 6s Rose Gold I wanted a case that would be adorable as well as very instagrammable (don't judge me). Thankfully I was recently contacted by Caseapp and asked if I wanted to create a Custom Phone Case* and I of course jumped at the chance. At first I didn't really know whether I wanted a case full of pictures of me and the boyfriend, but finally I decided instead to go for something a little more blogging related and find lots of "vintagy" pictures to create the perfect collage. I really like how it came out and the quality is beyond amazing. The case feels sturdy, looks pretty and best of all, actually protects my phone. I can't recommend this enough and if you too want a case make sure to use a coupon I have for you PAMCASE20 for 20% off ; you're welcome.

What do you think about these adorable items? Let me know below!
Wishing you all an amazing weekend ahead! Happy Friday beauties and thanks for reading!


*Items sent by the brand. All opinions are my own (disclaimer here).

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Maybelline Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara: Falsies Alternative?

I'm a self-confessed mascara addict, especially when it comes to the best mascara drugstore brand in my opinion: Maybelline. I have tried my fair share of their products and even discovered my all time favourite mascara last year, the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara which I reviewed here and featured in my favourites more than once here on the blog. So when a new mascara claiming to give a falsies push up effect hit the market and started appearing quite literally everywhere, I knew I had to give it a try and put it to the test. Could this be a new favourite of mine? Keep reading to find out.

Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara comes in a non-waterproof formula only at the moment and is available in shade Very Black, priced at £7.99 in drugstores. When I first saw it, I thought it was a dual ended mascara given the shape of its packaging, but nope, just a normal one-wand-kind-of mascara. In fact, it features a plastic push-up brush with cup-shaped (aka sharp and spiky) bristles,  designed to effectively scoop lashes up at the root and pull them forward for volume and length. The formula is said to instantly plump and volumise the look of lashes, containing Styling Wax to keep them lifted. 

After wearing it for a week or so, I find this mascara to be extremely black and to give a very dramatic and volumised look. I've had no issues with the wand, it applies the product rather well and it stokes through my lashes quickly and easily without smearing my upper or lower lash line. This is partially due to it being a smaller applicator (and partially due to me getting better at applying this stuff), and I can proudly say that I have not poked myself in the eye just yet with it.

However (I really wish there weren't any buts), the formula is very wet and it is easy to make it look clumpy. This happens as a result of too much product on your lashes so the way around this is to wipe the brush on the side of the tube to get rid of excess product so you won't apply as much. I managed to make it work after a few tries and I confess that it did take bit longer than usual to get it looking the way I wanted (ie. clump free) so go easy with it and take your time. On top of that, there are some minor issues with removal as it leaves me looking like a panda unless I use an oil-based eye make-up remover.

Once coat, 10 hours after application.
All in all, I really like how it makes my lashes look longer and thicker. During the wear I didn't have issues with flaking, smearing, or smudging, nor did my lashes look or feel crispy. I wish the formula wasn't so wet and that it melted away like the Lash Sensational upon removal but I got this for £5.99 (introductory offer at Boots) so despite not being quite up to Lash Sensational standards, this is not a bad mascara at all. I would totally repurchase this, maybe in another shade once it becomes available. Overall, I'm glad I gave it try and found out what all of the fuss was about.  Sadly, it's NOT quite an alternative to falsies as Maybelline claims but it does get our lashes pretty close to that.

Will you be giving this latest release a try? Let me know below!
Thanks for reading beauties and don't forget to enter my giveaway here (ends Monday 01/02).



Monday, January 25, 2016

A/W 2015/16 Trends: Faux Fur & Leather

Despite the rising temperatures we have been experiencing here in the UK these past few days, winter is far from over and I have a feeling the chilly air will be back which is great news, especially as I have expanded my winter wardrobe to an extent that I have yet to wear some of what I have purchased. Amongst these new purchases, faux fur and leather are definitely high in numbers, after all when I think of Winter 2015 and 2016 trends, I think fur and leather. 

Seen all over the catwalks, including LFWend which I attended back in September (read here), it's undeniable that faux fur is having a moment this season. From furry scarves and all sorts of accessories to bold winter coats and gilets, there's plenty of options to help embrace your inner Yeti this winter. I personally find that there really is nothing better to wrap up in a warm fur coat on a cold winter's day.

Similarly, the leather look is the way forward this season despite being the luxe, classic fabric we love all year round. Whatever wardrobe staple you're after, making it leather instantly adds something extra to your outfit and the key to making it work is clashing textures, hence the faux fur and leather mixture in this outfit. What do you think?

Faux Fur Coat: Matalan (similar here) // Leather Look Trousers: Matalan (similar here)
Ankle Boots: New Look (similar here) // Crossbody Bag*: here // Watch*: Cluse (here)
This outfit is the epitome of Scandinavian style, it's chic and edgy yet perfectly laid back and simple. For daytime I went with ankle boots for comfort but for night outings I would happily swap them out for black heels or even OTK black boots, because if you know me you will know that I am all for OTK this winter.

What do you think about clashing these textures? Will you be at #LFWend in February? 
Let me know below! Thanks for reading beauties and wishig everyone a great week ahead!


*Items sent by the brands. All opinions are my own (disclaimer here).

Friday, January 22, 2016

Petal Power: Beating The Januray Blues

Despite being an important month for me with so many birthdays, including my own, January tends to be quiet and long. It seems that we are all trying to get back that "real life" rhythm which proves incredibly hard after you've had a nice couple of days off work for the holiday season. February isn't much different even though in theory the month should feel shorter, emphasis on the "in theory". And, to make it all worse (especially for us a bloggers), days are shorter and daylight is nearly non-existent, the sun is continuously hiding behind grey clouds and we are fighting below zero temperatures in the early hours on our work commute. Lovely isn't it? #Sarcasm: just one of the many services I offer.

Yes, I'm feeling blue. I think that I speak for everyone when I say that what makes all of these somewhat better is shopping, eating (more like stuffing your face; diet who?), awards season and, lots of pretty and cute things.  Even better, if you are anything like me, what really helps is some petal power, I'm talking flowery clothes, accessories, homeware and of course, actual flowers. Remember when I spoke about wearing Florals For Winter here, that is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about. Not only flowers effectively cheer me up, they are perfect to brighten up the space around you and get us in that Spring mood. Say goodbye to dark days, hello to blooming lovelies.

Lamp // Watch // Orchid // Diary // Ring // Earrings // Frame // Tea Set // Dress // Cushions
Give spring an early nod and fly in the face of those gloomy winter nights by brightening up your living room, wardrobe and pretty much anything else; be gone dark days! If flowers can't beat those New Year blues, I don't know what will.

What do you think of florals for winter? Let me know below!
Thanks for reading beauties and don't forget to enter my giveaway  here.



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Instant Oil-Absorbing Coverage Cream Mousse: La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur

When it comes to choosing the right base, I always look for something that is long lasting, medium to full coverage and that works well with my combination skin. For night outings, I usually opt for something a little heavier but for day time I am more than happy to go for something lighter, a BB or CC cream for example, given that it will still give me some coverage. Up until now I had been reaching for the Bourjois 123 Perfect Colour Correcting Cream but when La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur came into the picture I was more than happy to try something new. This BB Blur claims to blur the appearance of pores, blemishes and fine lines and absorb oil all day long whilst providing a mattifying effect, aka the perfect base for me? I put it to the test and unlike the CC cream from Bourjois, this is actually comparable to foundation and despite being a cream mousse (a texture I usually hate), I think I have found a new favourite.

Base: La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur // Lipstick: Maybelline Matte in Divine Wine
Effaclar BB Blur is targeted at those with oily skin as it aims to provide day-long control of shine thanks to its cutting-edge ingredient Aircilium, which absorbs 3 times its weight in oil, keeping so the skin matte and with a velvet finish whilst letting the skin breathe. It is suitable for the most sensitive skin (thank GOD!) and gives medium coverage that will erase imperfections and leave a radiant, flawless finish. Additionally, it contains SPF 20 which is perfect for every day use and is designed to conceal acne related skin conditions. 

With only two colour options currently available (Fair/Light and Light/Medium), I really hope La Roche-Posay releases more shades in the near future. I personally went for the Fair/Light shade and it matched my skin tone perfectly despite looking way too dark as it first came out of the tube. But when I read more into it, I found out that shade adapting pigments were included in the formula which explains a lot as these work to colour match the skin on application. When it comes to the texture, I confess that at first I hated it, but the more I tried it the better I got on with it. I find that it applies amazingly well using my fingers rather than a brush and I love wearing this when I want a "no makeup" makeup look as it yields an incredibly natural smooth finish with diminished pores and minimised fine lines (yes, sadly I have those even though I'm only 24). If I need higher coverage I can also achieve that by building it up a little but my favourite feature has to be how well it holds throughout the day despite of my oily t-zone which means minimal touch-ups needed; a massive win!

All in all, if you are looking for a product that offers a blurring effect, effectively tackles fine lines and blemishes and doesn't melt away with your skin oiliness, you might want to check this out! At £16.50 for 30ml, this is isn't exactly cheap for a BB cream, but it's one of those gems that can be enjoyed by anyone, whatever your age and skin type so totally worth the investment. Exclusively available here

Will you be trying this new La Roche-Posay release? Let me know below!
Thanks for reading beauties and don't forget to enter my giveaway here.



Monday, January 18, 2016

My 24th Birthday Celebrations

This weekend was packed with amazing food, great company and loads of fun; what better way to celebrate my 24th birthday! I had the best time and it truly was one of the best birthdays I've ever had. Not only did I have the most beautiful (and fitting) birthday cake made by the talented Alessandra Cake (here), the cutest decor and the tastiest food, my fiancé surprised me with the best gift a blogger could ever receive, the famous and much hyped Olympus Pen E-PL7 camera. Of course, I will be doing a full review of it here on the blog once I've learned how to use all of its features, but in short: A-mazing! Other gifts included make-up, lingerie, clothes, perfume and pretty much anything else girls love so thank you to all of my lovely friends!

For the occasion, I chose this ASOS Purple Dress (here) and I love how it matched the whole party theme. It has these beautiful velvet details both at the front and back and the bell sleeves make it a lot more interesting and boho looking. You can tell I went for the girly look not only with my outfit but with the entire decor, after all turning 24 isn't old at all and I wanted to have a bit of fun with it.

On Saturday night we got together with a bigger group of friends and headed to L'Artista, which in my opinion has the best Italian food in town. The prices are incredible affordable, portions are massive and the food is truly authentic (I'm half Italian so I'm very picky when it comes to Italian food). The restaurant's atmosphere is enjoyable, the decor is fun and they truly make you feel special on your birthday by singing Happy Birthday at the top of their lungs- Italian style. It is located just a few minutes away from Golders Green tube station so if you haven't been yet, I most definitely recommend paying a visit. Next time I'm there, I will be sure to take some pictures of the food and place and share a review here on the blog.

For this night out, I wore a Vero Moda Denim Dress (here) with flared sleeves that scream retro and are very 70s, and my trusty Clarks Over-The-Knee Brown Boots* (here).

Needless to say, this weekend was a big one and I can't believe how blessed I am to have such amazing people in my life to make occasions like these all the more special. Thanks to everyone who wished me happy birthday over here on the blog and on Instagram, and if you haven't entered my Urban Decay Giveaway yet make sure you do so HERE, it closes on the 1st of February and it is open internationally!

Thank you for reading and have a nice week ahead beauties!


*Item sent by the brand. All opinions are my own (disclaimer here).

Friday, January 15, 2016

It's My Birthday: 24 Things Before I Turn 25 + Urban Decay Giveaway

Today I turn 24, Happy Birthday to me! Instead of creating a fashion/ beauty wishlist, I would much rather make plans for the year ahead of me. I find that setting goals not only motivate me more to go after something, but it will also make my year a whole lot more meaningful. This year I decided to come up with Birthday Goals aka a list of 24 things I wish to accomplish before I turn 25 next January and in a year, I will be back here to see how it all went down and hopefully tick as many things off as I can!

1. Read the Bible more and pray more
2. Sing a solo at church
3. Plan my wedding
4. Go wedding dress shopping
5. Have a pre-wedding photoshoot
6. Throw a bridal shower
7. Take a dance class
8. Exercise more (aka get in shape for wedding!)
9. Take a photography class
10. Buy a new camera
11. Have a professional blog photoshoot
12. Blog makeover
13. Go to /hold a blogger's event
14. Go to a brand press release
15. Get a promotion at work
16. Learn how to bake
17. Travel to another continent
18. Go to a concert/ music festival
19. Take mum to a spa
20. Do more charity work/ volunteering
21. Go to the cinema at least 20 times
22. Dye my hair blonder
23. Try nail extensions
24. Take a professional make-up class

Wish me luck! And despite not being in this list, I decided 2016 was going to be the year that I would Give Back more and guess what, here I am to do just that holding my first 2016 giveaway! I know it's MY birthday, but I want to gift one lucky reader with the beautiful Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette & the Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick in shade Liar, both perfect for every day use! 

It’s simple to enter, and easy to win! You must complete the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below. There are no mandatory fields because I know some of my readers aren't bloggers thus they will not have access to all social media platforms and I want everyone to be able to enter. Of course, there are ways to increase your chances, the more entries you complete the more likely you will win the prizes thus you are highly encouraged to complete all fields. This giveaway will run until the 1st of February giving everybody more than plenty of time to enter AND it is Open Internationally!

Terms and Conditions
– This giveaway will run until 1st of February 2016 (Midnight GMT time).
– This is open internationally and I myself will be shipping the prize once I have the winner’s details.
– One winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter, and the lucky winner will win an Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette worth £23 and an Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick in shade Liar worth £15.50.
– There is no purchase necessary to enter this giveaway.
– ALL entries will be checked and verified, with any lacking, dishonest or duplicate entries being removed completely.
– I am providing the prize myself and this is not being sponsored by Urban Decay (I just love the brand too much!).
– The winner will be notified and will have 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, an alternative winner will be selected via Rafflecopter's randomiser.

Good luck everyone!

Thanks for reading beauties and have a lovely weekend ahead!


UPDATE: WINNER is Danielle Kearney
Widget is playing up and won't let me display the winner. Contacted support to resolve this.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Urban Decay X Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette: Worth The Hype?

Yes yes, I realise that this palette has been available for quite some but I thought I’d share my thoughts on it regardless, after all if you know me you will know that I love all things Urban Decay and I couldn't pass the opportunity to write about this beauty. I confess, when I first heard about this collaboration I instantly thought that the shades would be too wild and non-wearable for my liking but surprise surprise, this was not the case at all. Pictures started to emerge in the blogging world and it was like love at first sight. Despite containing mostly neutrals shades, which I already had tons of; I still went ahead and placed it on my Christmas wishlist (thanks for getting it for me daddy!). 

The Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette (£40 for 0.60 oz.) contains 15 eyeshadows of which 12 are brand new and 3 are existing shades, all placed in a compact gold and cream (and gorgeous may I add) palette case, which sadly (and this is my only complaint) does not include a dual-ended brush like we are used to with other Urban Decay palettes. Shades vary between light and medium warm-toned neutrals, with 2 shades bringing pops of colour to the scene; Harajuku and Danger. All shades are described as follows:

First Row L to R:
Blonde: Pale beige with pink iridescent shiftBathwater: Pale beige with gold pearlSkimp: Pale nude satinSteady: Medium rose with metallic gold shiftPunk: Reddish brown matte
Second Row L to R:
Baby: Cool metallic roseAnaheim: Light taupe-brown matte/ Stark: Nude-pink matteZone: Medium brown matteSeriousSmoky gray with iridescent floating pearl
Third Row L to R:
Pop: Pale Coral with iridescent sparkleHarajukuMetallic blue-pink with iridescent micro-shimmerDanger: Deep metallic royal blue with blue micro-sparkle1987: Bright metallic yellow goldBlackout: Blackest black matte
As per Urban Decay standard, shades are all equally pigmented, buttery, soft and easy to work with. I find that they apply and blend well, with minimal fall out and last 8 hours when worn with an eyeshadow primer. I particularly like how, despite having 2 unusual shades, this is an ideal every day palette with many neutrals shades to mix and match and create wearable nude make-up looks. This palette also effortlessly takes you from daytime to nigh-time thanks to its darker shades, Punk and Blackout that yield that smoky evening look we all love. If I had to pick my favourite shades I’d go for Harajuku and Danger, which I know aren't everyone’s favourites but this girl loves colour, the yellowy gold 1987 and the highlighting shade Pop. This is one of those palettes I feel like I will be wearing every single colour, not something I can say very often.

All in all, did I need another neutral palette? No, I most certainly did not. But believe me when I say that this is one of those amazingly high quality palettes you simply have to have in your stash. Packaging and shade wise, I have nothing but high praises for Urban Decay and Gwen, and I am already looking forward to the launch of the rest of this collab which will include lipsticks, lip liners and a blush palette. Anyone else super excited for that?

The UrbanDecay x Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette will set you back £40 but being a limited edition and worth more than £150 it is totally worth the hype and money, so I’d hurry and get one.

What do you think of this palette? Excited for the other releases coming soon? Let me know below! 

Thanks for reading beauties!



Monday, January 11, 2016

The Only 3 Winter Coats You Will Ever Need in Your Wardrobe

It's undeniable, the temperatures have dropped and the so far warm winter we were having is currently waving us goodbye and nearing its end. With dropping temperatures it's time to ditch the capes, blanket scarves and trench coats we were getting away with until now and opt instead for something a little warmer, ready for the snow that is on the way.

Every year, when winter hits I set out to buy me a new coat. Despite already having 8 gorgeous coats waiting to be worn, I of course have my favourites and always end up wearing the same ones. 5 or 6 of these just don't get as much wear as I would like so I found myself recently asking one simple question, did I really need all of these? Take a look at men's small coat collections for example, how does my fiancé, dad and little brother get away with owning just one coat that works perfectly well for any event, any outfit combination AND lasts several years?

With this in mind, I set to clear out my wardrobe and get rid of anything that I haven't worn in a while and things I no longer needed. Whilst doing so, I tasked myself to come up with the perfect winter coat wardrobe. I told myself I could only choose 3 different styles, all of which would keep me warm for the winters ahead and of course, free up much needed space in my wardrobe. Meet the only 3 coats that I believe you will need for ANY winter.

L to R: Khaki Parka, Woollen Coat, Faux Fur.
The Khaki Parka is a classic weekend piece, perfect for fun and play. It works just as well with an all black outfit such as a dress, tights and ankle boots too. A padded parka provides you with the comfort and warmth you need on those chilliest days, besides when is khaki not on trend?

The Wollen Coat is versatile, easy to wear and will work for most occasions whilst keeping you cosy and stylish. Wear it for work for a chic finish or for a night out with the girls. This is the key every day coat so invest in something that will last and remember, neutrals shades such as camel, grey and even black are your best friends as they will go with literally anything.

The Faux Fur coat keeps you warm and on top of your fashion game given it is one of the hottest season's trends. I personally wear mine at night for a more chic look paired with over-the-knee boots or leather pants. But browsing through Pinterest (where else), I've seen it being worn with jeans and trainers for a fun weekend get up and let me tell you, it looks just as good!

Keeping your wardrobe minimalist can be one of those best fashion decisions you ever make. It will save you time getting dressed in the morning, space is freed up for other bits and bobs and best of all, you get to wear your favourites more often instead of forgetting you had them at the back of your wardrobe. All wins in my opinion but what do you think?

What do you think of these 3 essential coats? Do you have one of each? Let me know below!
Thanks for reading beauties and have a nice week ahead!



Friday, January 8, 2016

Making 2016 Matter: Blogging Resolutions

I may be a little late in sharing these a few days already into the year and it may seem like you've read tons of similar "resolutions" publications lately, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, and that is exactly how I felt when it came to sharing with you what I have planned and what I hope I can achieve with blogging this year. Needless to say, blogging has become a huge part of me to the point that sometimes it is all I can talk about with family and friends (#sorrynotsorry). It has opened many opportunities for me in such a little space of time that I will treasure for the many years yet to come, and because of the support, exposure and feedback which so far have been nothing but positive, I dream only of bigger and better things for the future. 

Social Media
The aim here is not to gain number of followers or likes but rather share more of my passions for whoever wants to see them, blogging related or not. In the past, the thought of exposing myself in such way was daunting, I did not think anybody would be interested in knowing what I was wearing on a specific day or what latest make-up look I was rocking. Today, I am much more carefree and engaging, something that resulted in a rise of followers especially on Instagram and Twitter and that was not even the intention behind it.

I don’t want to be another fashion blogger out there simply posing for pictures and detailing what I'm wearing, which according to mum anyone can do, and let me tell you she is so right! My fashion posts not only bring fashion that is affordable and accessible to every woman but they also take into account the season’s hottest trends and how to work these trends. I do NOT want to pose with the newest items in my wardrobe and talk about how I got that purse from my boyfriend and the coat from the sales and how I love them both so freaking much; I do not want to be one more blogger that is doing that. Instead I want my blog's content to be better and different than anything else currently out there and that is something I will strive for even further this year. Only recently a mention was made that 2016 would be the fashion year for (read: 2015 Outfit Recap) and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into all of the fun I plan on having in upcoming fashion related posts.

This is on everybody’s list I'm sure so I will be brief: improve photos quality and learn more editing/photographing techniques. I'm pretty basic when it comes to all of these, so I would love to take a photography related course and have a few more tricks up my sleeve. Would very much enjoy also having at least one professional photoshoot done this year for the blog/upcoming wedding, which will eventually be shared here too.

Not referring about the number of followers I'm hoping to gain; I write my blog to share a passion so growth refers to both blog content growth and me as a person and a blogger. I hope I can reach more people out there with what I have to say, “meet” more bloggers with the same interests, work with both smaller and bigger brands, as well as come out of my shell and attend a few blogger events. 

Give Back
Giving back to the blogging community and my readers is something I truly enjoying doing and, besides who doesn't love a good giveaway?! I hope I can run at least 5 or so giveaways throughout the year, although ideally I would want to hold one every month, and who knows, maybe smaller ones for 12 days of Christmas. This is my way of thanking you for all the comments and love I receive every day, both here and across other platforms.

Tell me, what are your blogging resolutions? Are they similar to mine? Let me know below!
Thanks for reading beauties and have a nice weekend ahead!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© Pam Scalfi♥ . All rights reserved.