Lippy In The City

British Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

05 February 2017

January Favourites | 2017

Can you believe it's now February 2017! I can't believe how quickly 2016 flew by, and now 2017 seems to be doing the same. With the colder weather still officially upon us there have been a few favourites that I’ve been reaching for that have definitely been helping me get through the grey-er days... #UGGSfolife

Urban Decay Subversion (£16.50) is the best mascara primer I have ever used. I happily use this all year round and under whichever mascara I currently have on rotation. This has a white, mousse like consistency that dries clear and primes your lashes to perfection. The bristle brush is massive which makes coating your lashes with a healthy layer really easy. This makes my mascara last all day without flaking and makes my lashes look easily twice the size.

I’m a massive fan of H&M makeup. Their liquid lipsticks are amazing and I love their eye shadow pencils. My latest purchase is one of their 9 piece eye shadow palettes in the shade Super Naturals (£9.99). I gravitate towards green eye shadows in the fall and winter as they pull out the colours in my eyes. This palettes eye shadows are completely wearable for day and evening looks. They’re highly pigmented and have great staying power if used with a primer. I will definitely be picking up more of these.



With a skin tone that strongly resembles Casper the ghost, and I struggle to find a bronzer that doesn’t make me look ridiculous. Yves Saint Laurent Sahariennes' Bronzing Stones in shade no. 01 (£35) has been my God send. It’s the most perfect subtle, yet warming bronzer that doesn’t give me that tangerine glow. It’s available in three different shades so there’s a shade suitable for most skin tones. It does contain a slight shimmer, but I don’t find that it transfers onto the skin.

I have been applying Estee Lauders Advanced Night Repair (£52) in the evenings before I apply my Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Facial Oil. I finally purchased this cult Estee skincare product back in June and I have been absolutely loving it. It’s one of the most expensive skincare items that I own but it’s so worth it. My skin texture has improved massively since I’ve been using this on a regular basis and I really want to try their Clear Difference Advanced Blemish Serum next.

As well as applying serums and face oils like a crazy lady in the colder weather, I have upped my skin care regime by using a rubberised face scrub to cleanse my face. This reminds me of a manual version of the Foreo cleansing systems. I pick these up for 99p from eBay and they’re fab. The small silicone bristles feel really gentle on the skin whilst effectively exfoliating. I apply a pump of cleanser straight to the bristles, then massage my face in circular motions. To finish I just rinse my face off with warm water then follow up with my usual skincare routine.


What products have you been loving this January?? xoxo
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04 January 2017

My Hopes & Dreams for 2017...

2016 has been a whirl wind of a year for me. I have changed jobs, settled into my own home and ultimately found a better sense of who I am as a person. Yes, it may have taken me 26 years to get there, but for the first time in my life I feel like I'm in control of my own destiny and the direction that I’m going in, and for me, that’s a huge deal!

With that said and done I’m massively looking forward to 2017 and a fresh start to the year. Here are a few of my little hopes and dreams for the next 12 months…

Globetrotting
I’m super excited that my boyfriend Garrad and I are jetting off to Cuba this month. It’s a country I’ve always wanted to visit and I can’t wait to soak up some sunshine, culture, and a few cheeky mojitos! I’ve definitely been bitten by the ‘wanderlust’ bug lately and I can’t wait to explore some new places. Amsterdam, Cape Verde and another trip to Paris (4th time) are also on my visit list for 2017.

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
If you’re a regular reader of Lippy In The City you’ll know that I started my Healthy Mind, Healthy Body series back in 2016. I have to admit I’ve fallen off the band wagon a bit these last few months but I’m determined to get back on track this new year. I've been meal prepping consistently since November so I intend to keep that up as I really enjoy having something warm, tasty and ultimately healthy at lunchtime. I just need to get my evening meals onto a similar wavelength and cut out my daily snacking. I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

Law. Eat. Sleep. Repeat
The majority of my free time in 2017 will be taken up studying for my Law Degree. This isn’t a bad thing though as I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth stuck in, learning all that I can and the opportunities it could potentially bring into my life. This will be my first BA Honours degree and I’m fully aware of the challenges ahead of me, as I’ll be studying alongside working my full time job. When I applied I was very much of the mind-set that if I didn’t do it now, I might never have the right moment again to just go for it, and I’m all for grabbing any opportunity whilst you can.


Lippy In The City
I’m not one for aiming to hit a certain number of stats, followers or likes when it comes to my social media or my blog, but I’d really love for my blog to continue doing as well as it has in 2016 in 2017. 2016 saw my blog have the biggest boost its ever had and that has given me the motivation to really try and keep the momentum up. I’m nowhere near where I’d like to be with my little blog, but I’m so proud of my little space on the internet that I’d like to keeping it going for as long as I can. Thank you so much to everyone that supported Lippy In The City in 2016, your support means more to me than you’ll ever know!

Don't worry, be happy...
Lastly, I'd really like to stay as happy as I have been in 2016, in 2017. I know this may seem like a silly one but happiness and contentment is so underrated in our day and age. Like I said earlier, it's definitely taken me a long time to have the mind-set that I do today, but I think that's something that can come with age and experience too. I try not to take things too seriously and I always take life with a pinch of salt. Like my boyfriend Garrad says, 'Don't sweat the small stuff'.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and New Year - Here's to an awesome 2017! xoxo

Images courtesy of Pinterest
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26 December 2016

There's something about Pearls... *GIVEAWAY* (CLOSED)

When it comes to jewellery, I definitely take a 'less is more' kind of attitude. Without fail everyday though I wear a watch, my rose gold bangle, butterfly pendant, and a pair of stud earrings - that’s it. Occasionally I like to splash out by wearing a statement necklace, but I’ve got to be feeling extra fancy that day for me to feel like I can pull it off.

My signature item of jewellery though has got to be a pair of stud earrings. I honestly don’t feel complete without a pair in; so understandably I was over the moon when Mepora invited me to sample their gorgeous selection of pearl jewellery to review on Lippy In The City. I instantly searched their website for a pair of studs to try out and fell in love with their Melia Fresh Water Pearl Studs in white (currently £19.99, reduced from £27.99!).



The Melia studs are made from Cultured Fresh Water Pearls and have sterling silver studs and backs. The pearls are 7-8mm in diameter have the most gorgeous rainbow iridescence shimmering running across them. I have been wearing these to work consistently since I received them and I feel like they compliment my working wardrobe really well. These pearls are classy and elegant looking, whilst their natural shape gives them a more relaxed feel. I’ve also got to say that they’re incredibly comfortable to wear which is really important to me when deciding if I like a pair of studs.


The lovely people at Mepora have kindly offered 3 of my readers the chance to win £10 off their first Mepora order. To enter simply follow myself, and Mepora on Twitter and leave me a comment on this blog post letting me know what your favorite piece of jewellery is. The competition is open until the Sunday 15th January – Good luck!
Giveaway Terms and Conditions
- Please use the below Rafflecopter widget to enter this giveaway.
- To qualify you MUST follow @LippyInTheCity and @MeporaPearls on Twitter which is the first option on the widget.
- I will select the 3 individual winners at random and each will receive a £10 voucher off their first Mepora order.
- Unfortunately this is a UK giveaway ONLY.
- The giveaway closes at midnight on Sunday 15th January 2017.
- Giveaway vouchers will be emailed within 7 days of announcing the winners.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and have a safe and Happy New Year - All my love for 2017, Aislinn xoxo

Thank you so much to the wonderful people at Mepora.co.uk for giving me the opportunity to experience their beautiful jewellery and offer my readers these 3 fantastic vouchers. The earrings I received were complimentary and for review purposes only, all opinions as always are my own.
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18 December 2016

Glamping Beneath The Stars

 
 
Garrad and I love finding different and unique places to visit and go on holiday. We’re definitely not a ‘sit on a beach for a week’ kind of couple, we’d both end up being bored silly. Last October we visited the Lake District and stayed in a Camping Pod for a long weekend and had the best time. So, this September we decided to do something similar, but we needed to find somewhere that would be dog friendly for our little Westie Oscar too.

One night whilst browsing the internet I stumbled across the website Beneath the Stars. I was instantly drawn in and knew that we had to choose one of their many fantastic options for our next holiday. The one that stuck out for me in particularly was an old fashioned Gypsy caravan called Wind In The Willows. It was like camping, but with all the benefits of a double bed, private outdoor sauna, hot shower and flushing toilet! What was not to love? It was also only an hour’s drive from home and situated in an area that Garrad and I both love.
 
The following week, without hesitation we booked our stay and eagerly anticipated the arrival of September. We had booked to stay straight after my Mum’s wedding, so still nursing a hungover and sore feet from dancing the night away we packed up the car with food, more wine and Oscar and headed off on our very own little adventure.
  
 
 
We had received detailed instructions on how to find Wind In The Willows so we were confident on how to get there and luckily we found it with ease. The only problem was that we hadn’t realised we would have to leave our car at the bottom of the field, with the caravan being situated at the top... Unfortunately, our car wouldn’t have made it up the field so we had to carry all of our food, wine and supplies further than we had initially expected. It definitely gave us a good workout to say the least! 
 


 
The caravan is situated in a fenced off top corner of a field alongside an Eco Hut, outdoor sauna pod, picnic table and open fire pit. This was perfect for us as it enabled Oscar to run around freely within the fenced area, without getting up to too much mischief along the way. The whole area was immaculately clean and tidy, and we were provided with fresh bedding and towels on arrival which was a god send. We quickly unpacked and settled in, which was made all the more easier by the complimentary box of fresh Welsh Cakes that had been left for us when we arrived!
 
The Eco Hut contained an open plan kitchen and living area with a small fridge and full sized cooked, as well as a lovely toilet and shower room. It was also central heated so it stayed toasty and warm in the chilly evenings.
 
 
 
The caravan itself was essentially the bedroom and contained a raised double bed with the comfiest memory foam mattress I've ever slept on, a small wardrobe, under bed storage and a little log burner. Garrad and I tried to light the log burner on one of the coldest nights but due to our own faults we couldn’t get it going. In the end we gave up and realised that we didn’t actually need it. The caravan had thick wool curtains that provided more than enough insulation and I can honestly say from someone that always feels the cold, I never felt cold during the nights.
 
 
 
 
 
The outdoor sauna pod was a great addition but sadly something we didn’t get around to using. It was gorgeous most afternoons whilst we were out and about and getting even hotter once we got back wasn’t something that we fancied. The sauna pod was heated by small log burner similar to the one in the caravan. It’s a shame we didn’t get around to using it though as its such a fab and unique concept.
 
 
 

We had the log fire going every evening and it was bliss to just sit outside, all cwtched up in a blanket with a glass of wine, no phone reception and just watch the world roll by. We did also take my laptop and a few DVD’s to watch in the evenings when the weather wasn't so great. There was no charger in the caravan so we had to charge the laptop and our phones when we were around during the day in the Eco Hut.

 
 
We stayed for four nights at Wind In The Willows and spent our days exploring Monmouth, Abergavenny, Tintern Abbey and The Forest of Dean (which are all dog friendly which is massive thumbs up). It really was the perfect little stay-cation.
 


One of our favourite stops was a little pub in Skenfrith called The Bell. They offered a map showing three different walks that could be done around the village starting and finishing at the pub. We opted for the three mile one which was lovely, but if you ever try it, be warned the hills are steep! When we got back to the pub we treated ourselves to a cider and a rest by the log fire. Oscar and Garrad conked out as you can see...


 On our last night we went to Restaurant 1861 which was about five minutes away by car on the road into Monmouth. We had the best meal there that we’d had in ages. The food was honestly out of this world good. If you’re ever in the area, we’d highly recommend it if you’re a bit of a foodie like us.

 
Our glamping beneath the stars’ experience was one we’ll never forget, we honestly had the best time and we’ll definitely be back in the not too distant future. If you’re after a little holiday with a difference, I would definitely recommend an escape to Wind In The Willows.
 
I’d love to know if you’ve ever been glamping and what you thought of it?? xoxo
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11 December 2016

A Very Dermalogica Christmas...



The best presents come in silver boxes and have Dermalogica written across the front... At least in my opinion they do. I love Dermalogica skin care, and I love Christmas Gift Sets, so when I received this best-selling Brightening Duo just in time for the festive season I was over the moon!

I have been using Dermalogica's Phyto Replenish Oil for the last few months and it's safe to say it has quickly become one of my staple, use-everyday items within my skin care regime so I was keen to incorporate more of their range into my daily routine.

The first product in this luxurious gift set is Dermalogica's Pre Cleanse. This is a gorgeous cleansing oil containing Olive, Apricot and Kukui Nut oils which are designed to cut through make-up and dirt with ease. I dispense two pumps into the palm of my hands and massage it in to my face, ensuring that I really work it into my skin. Adding water transforms the oil into a milky cleanser that lifts make up from the skin’s surface, allowing your second cleanse to clean even deeper leaving you with beautifully clean, fresh skin. I also love that it's been formulated without artificial fragrances and colours.

This cleanser reminds me of my beloved Origins Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil as it has as similar spa-like fragrance and an almost identical consistency. If your not on the pre-cleansing band wagon you really need to be. I've noticed such a difference by adding this small step into my skin-care routine.

As a powder before adding water...
As a paste after adding water...
The second product in this fantastic kit is Dermalogica's infamous Daily Microfoliant. I have loved this product for years and was so happy to get my hands on a new tube. I like to use this exfoliator once a week, usually on a Sunday when I'm fancying a little treat. This exfoliator is unlike any I have ever come across before in the sense that you essentially get a tube of dry powder, that I have to admit looks very suspect on first glance... Once you've added water to it it turns into a gritty paste that you can massage all over your face and neck. I find that it doesn't have much of a scent but it clings to the skin nicely enabling you to really work the product in. I rinse mine off with warm water and a damp flannel, following it with my usual toner and moisturiser routine or a facial oil if I'm feeling particularly indulgent. This exfoliator leaves your skin feeling smooth and looking radiant, perfect for the party season!

This gift set would make the perfect present for the skin care junkie in your life this Christmas, be sure to check out Dermalogica's full range of products here... xoxo


For stockist details, please call 0800 591818 or visit www.dermalogica.co.uk @dermalogicauk.
I received Dermalogica’s best-selling Brightening Duo complimentary and for review purposes only. Information was provided by Dermalogica. All opinions are my own.
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04 December 2016

Personalised Home Scents Courtesy of Amara Living



I’m a massive fan of candles, reed diffuses and pieces that make your home smell clean and inviting. As some of you may know, I love candles so much that I even make my own... (shameless plug)

When Amara Living invited me to take their home scents quiz to find out which scent would be best suited to my individual personality, I jumped at the chance (you can take the quiz for yourself here). I got the scent ‘Fresh’ and I would wholeheartedly agree with this as I’m not a fan of overly sweet scents in the home or in perfumes, and the fresher the scent, the better in my opinion.

I chose two candles from Amara Living's ‘Fresh’ collection to review. The first candle I went for came from the brand Illume and is their Majestic Glass Candle in the fragrance Mediterranean.





Illume’s oxidized glass jar is just too stunning for words and I feel like my pictures unfortunately don’t quite do it the justice it deserves. I was intrigued by the fragrance too as I’d never imaged sea salt as a scent. I've been burning this candle in my living room for the last few days and the smell is unusual but gorgeous! It makes me imagine warm Mediterranean days spent on the beach with the surf lapping at my toes. Perfect to warm me up on these chilly winter nights.



Illume Majestic Glass Candle in the fragrance Mediterranean - £25.00
- Fragrance notes of coconut water, vetiver, sea salt
- Dimensions: D8.2cm x H9.2cm
- Weight: 215g
- Burn time: 64 hours

Amara Living says: 'Transform the everyday aroma of a home with this striking Mediterranean Majestic glass scented candle from Illume. Evoking seaside imagery with a stunning glass vessel with an oxidised finish, the luxurious wax contains coconut water, ozone and sea salt top notes blended with middle notes of orange flower, sea grass, ylang and fig set against a vetiver, cedar and moss base notes. Releasing a refreshing and summery fragrance, this is a great gift idea for the new homeowner.'




My second choice came from the brand Voluspa in the fragrance Elysian Garden (unfortunately it's currently out of stock with Amara). I was initially drawn to both of these candles because of their gorgeous glass votive containers and packaging, yes, as I blogger I am a sucker for packaging...

This candle is so elegant and would look fantastic in pride of place on any dressing table or mantelpiece. I have been burning this candle in my study over the last few weeks and it fills the room with the most gorgeous sunshine inspired scent. I can really pick up the fragrance notes of citrus and green grasses in this one. It evokes summer picnics for me which definitely helps me dream of warmer days when I'm sat blogging in rainy South Wales.




Voluspa Classic Maison Luxury Candle in Elysian Garden (similar fragrance here) - £35.00
- Fragrance notes of warm citrus with gentle green foliage
- Dimensions: D10cm x H11cm
- Weight: 16oz
- Hand poured coconut and apricot wax
- 100 hours burning time

Amara Living says: 'This classic Maison Elysian Garden boxed candle from the Voluspa collection which is fuelled by a love for art, fragrance and elegant illumination. With speckled sunlight shining through the trees onto ferns, moss and a grotto, with warmed citrus fruit and gentle green foliage to release a sweet yet fresh fragrance. Please note due to the hand pouring process and the nature of coconut wax, small imperfections may appear on the surface, these impurities will disappear once the candle is burnt.'

I'd love to know "Which Home Fragrance Suits Your Personality?" and if you've tried anything from Amara Living lately... xoxo


Thank you so much to the wonderful Jessica and Lucy at Amara Living for giving me the opportunity to experience these beautiful candles. The samples I received were complimentary and for review purposes only, all opinions are my own.
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27 November 2016

A Day To Remember...


Every once in a while, you get one of those days that you know is going to stay in your memory forever, this was one of them...

On Friday 16th September 2016, my Mum married her partner of 8 years in a breathtakingly beautiful ceremony at The Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales. I was honored to be asked to be my Mum's one and only bridesmaid, and have such a prevalent role within the celebrations. 
 
The Celtic Manor Resort is a 5 star hotel situated just outside of Cardiff and sits on the border of Newport and the Wye Valley. It has 6 restaurants, 3 golf courses and a Spa to die for! The resort sits on 2,000 acres of panoramic parkland and I was over the moon when I found out that my parents had decided to tie the knot at such a fantastic location.

 
Nana and Grandad on their wedding day (Nana was here in spirit)
 

My Mum and I stayed over the night before the wedding and spent the morning pampering ourselves and drinking champagne... If only all mornings started this way!

We had our hair done by the fabulous Nathan and Damian in Rhys Giles Salon that's situated within the hotel adjacent to the spa. I had never had my hair professionally 'put up' before but the guys made us feel so at ease and the appointment just flew by!

We decided that between the two of us we were more than capable of doing our own makeup on the day. We practised countless times before the wedding and when the day finally rolled around we were on it! We did each step in sync, sharing palettes and helping each other when needed. It was so much fun, I think getting ready was one of the best parts of the day!


My Grandad (my Mum's Dad) stayed in the room next door to us the night before too. At 90 he was undoubtedly the life and soul of the party and stayed up partying long after I'd hit the sack! I honestly love him more than life and it was fab that he could walk my Mum down the aisle.






Team work makes the dream work...

Andy has been a part of our family for the best years of my life so I was over the moon when they finally decided to make it official and tie the knot. The ceremony took place at 4pm on The Rooftop Terrace with a small number of friends and family in attendance.

The Rooftop Terrace gave a magical, whimsical feel to the ceremony with fairy lights and candles lighting up the indoor / outdoor space. We also had exclusive use of the lawn adjacent to the venue too which was set up with croquet, giant Jenga and other garden games. We were so lucky in the fact the weather was beautiful for the entire day, albeit very chilly in the shade.








Probably the best group shot evveerr...
 



My Mum's stunning wedding dress was designed by Lillian West and was from Laura May Bridal in Cardiff. She added the bolero on top to make the dress really unique and individual to her. I fell in love with this dress as soon as my Mum tried it on and I knew instantly that it was the perfect dress for her. I would definitely give her gown a second outing and wear it myself if I was to get married. 
 


 




After the ceremony we enjoyed Pimm's on the lawn whilst the room was changed around for the evening meal and party. By this point we were all very thankful of the little fire pit that was towards the back of the room because the temperature had dropped significantly!

The wedding breakfast was absolutely amazing and was a mixture of fresh paella, mixed salads, mini burgers, pastas and everything in between. As a massive foodie (literally atmo) my eyes honestly popped out of head when I first saw it. This was followed by the cutting of a very decadent chocolate cake, emotional speeches and dancing the night away... Not forgetting the midnight bacon rolls and coffee!





It's rare that you have a day where all your favourite people are literally under the same roof. Mum and Andy's wedding was a day that I'll never forget. As cheesy as it sounds it was literally filled with tears, laughter, too much wine, too much food and lots of memories.
 
I'm not soppy as a person but I do believe in love, and I know that I've never a met a couple that have been together as long as my Mum and Andy have and are still this truly in love. They have a relationship I can only aspire to have... xoxo
 
 
A massive thank you to all the staff at The Celtic Manor Resort who made this day so special. All images courtesy of Sasha Miller.
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