30 January, 2017

My Lush Everyday Skincare Staples!

I've been using Lush products for nearly two years and my skin has reaped the benefits.  After searching forever to find products that wouldn't irritate my skin I decided to give Lush skincare a try on a friends recommendation and it was the best advice! I have very sensitive and often dry skin, especially in winter so it's hard for me to use products with alcohol or regular pharmacy (drugstore) brands as they have the most have a terrible effect on my skin rather than relieving it. I can genuinely say since using Lush skincare I've hardly had any problems which is the only reason I'm recommending some of my favourites. With some many products to choose from it can be a bit overwhelming to know what to get if you've not shopped at Lush before so I wanted to share some of the products that I use everyday. 

Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask
For winter I like to use face masks that are extremely hydrating to combat the dryness. Lush have some beautiful fresh face masks that are perfect for dried out winter worn skin. My favourite this winter has been the Rosy Cheeks fresh face mask. It has the most beautiful rose fragrance, it reminds me of the scent of the old English roses in my garden back home. The mask has an very creamy thick, rich consistency. Don't be afraid to apply a really generous amount to your skin. I like to put it on after having a warm shower and then just sit and relax while it dries. My skin always feels baby soft after using this mask and smells amazing too so this mask is a definite favourite which I'd recommend you try.

9 to 5 Cleanser
To cleanse my skin I always use Lush's 9 to 5 cleanser, it's very light, soft in fragrance and removes make-up perfectly without feeling too heavy on my skin. I find it excellent for removing eye make-up. I always rub it into my skin with clean hands and rub my eye area to soften and remove make-up then by this point looking like a panda, using two damp cotton pads I gently place them on my eyes and pat them and leave on for about a minute then gently rub off my eye make-up in one gentle swipe. Then I use damp cotton pads to remove the rest of the make-up from my face. For an extra deep cleanse I use of cleansing brush so it gets deeper into my pores, usually once or twice a week depending on how my skin is. I bought my cleansing brush from Primark and I think it was only £1.50 so it's nothing fancy but really helps give you a deep cleanse. They are readily available and varying price so I'd suggest picking one up or if you lots of money you can by a fancy electric one, I can't recommend them as I've never tried one!

Tea Tree Water Toner
To tone my skin I always use the Tea Tree Water, it's really refreshing and the tea tree acts as an antibacterial to keep break outs to a minimum which is why I always use this toner in particular. As it's a light water diffused spray you can use it at any time aside from using it as part of daily facial routine, it great just to spray on to refresh your skin at any time. I find it really good when traveling, a few sprays and yours skin instantly feels clean and hydrated another reason I love this product. It's also great as well for oily or acne prone skin as well as sensitive skin because of it's disinfectant qualities. You can use it as liberally as you like to cleanse or tone your skin whenever you need it, so it's a must have for me.

Cosmetic Lad Facial Moisturiser
Next up, my favourite moisturiser, Cosmetic Lad. It's light, again very hydrating but not too thick so it doesn't clog up my skin. I use this at least one or twice a day and it is the perfect base under foundation; make sure you let it dry into your skin before applying your foundation and your make-up will set beautifully once your skin is perfectly hydrated. I love this moisturiser as it has a very soft fragrance, barely even noticeable. I like this moisturiser for everyday wear and dries really quickly once you apply it, leaving your skin feeling soft and silky. A definite winner and one that I use all year round. It can also be used by your other half for shaving, so keep it well hidden if you don't want them to use it all up!

Santa Baby Lip Scrub
Chapped lips are a winter pest, I like to wear lipstick most days but there's nothing more unsightly than dry, pealing chapped lips with lipstick which is why I started using Lush's lip scrubs. I get extremely dry lips in the colder months and I have to say I find it fantastic since I started using it. I treated myself to Santa Baby at Christmas and I use it as needed, usually once or twice a week and it's the best! It's quite a thick sugar scrub so it really exfoliates all the dry skin away, smells amazing and it's edible too, it tastes like Cola! This particular scrub is of course only available for Christmas but they have lots of different flavours to chose from which I'm going to try once this run outs. You only need to use the smallest amount as it really goes a long way too which makes it good value. I'd highly recommend the lip scrubs for winter months or all year round to keep your pout perfect!

These are just some of my everyday favourites, let me know what your thoughts are on Lush, your experiences...? I'd love to visit a Lush spa and I'm wondering if it's worth it, would love to hear from anyone that's been? I'd love to know what your favourite products are as I'm always looking out for new stuff to try. Oh and I forgot to mention for anyone that doesn't know if you bring back 5 black pots as shown you'll get a free fresh face mask o your choice which is how I got my last face mask. It's a really good idea and nice to see a company encouraging customers to be more environmentally friendly and you get a treat. Anyway, hope you enjoyed this post and see you next time! 

*FYI - None of the this post is affiliated with Lush or sponsored by the company it's simply products that I use and would recommend. All photo's copyright of Lush UK website.

Have a good week!

15 January, 2017

Pregnancy style - where to shop...?

Topshop Maternity Dress
I was hesitant to be one of those people that did maternity blogging, especially a few months ago before I even had a bump. I didn't see the point nor did I want to but as time has gone on and I've get bigger life becomes all things baby related however reluctant you are at first, it's unavoidable!  Before this little person is born it's already infiltrating every aspect of your life but in the best way. It's been a very happy and welcome surprise in our lives. It's hard to even contemplate all the changes that occur so I thought it would be fun to document some along the way...
HM Maternity Top

One thing I hadn't considered until as my regular clothes no longer fit, was what to wear? I love to wear vintage inspired clothing or vintage a lot but appears to be very hard to source for maternity wear and actual vintage maternity wear is not for me as it's really frumpy! So I had to do a lot of online browsing to find maternity wear that would suit my style and to my surprise there are many retailers creating really good maternity lines! Given that I had no idea where to begin with maternity wear I thought it would be nice to share some of my finds and places I've been shopping. Hopefully this may be useful should you be expecting or ever need a reference guide in the future! I'll be doing more pregnancy style related posts in the coming months and how to stay glam throughout, if possible!

ASOS Maternity Range
There are lots of ways of still maintaining your style throughout pregnancy without spending a fortune at such an expensive time. Of course there are much more important things to spend your money on, so keeping costs down is a necessity when it comes to buying maternity wear. Stretchy and lose clothes will become your best friend! There's nothing worse than wearing something too tight when you're pregnant, instead think comfort which wouldn't normally be the first thing on my mind when it comes to fashion. This doesn't have to mean slopping out in sweat pants and baggy jumpers unless that's your style to begin with which is fine it's just not for me!

Campbell Crafts Maternity Dress
Stretchy midi dresses have become my staple for an inexpensive maternity wear. You'll find an excellent range of styles at Primark in pretty much every colour, easy to accessorise and at about £6 they're an absolute bargain. I also found some great skirts, shirts and leggings that will work well for maternity wear, just go a couple of sizes up if you like to have more room and you don't need to buy things that are specifically maternity wear. Hunt around the store and you'll find some excellent bargains, along with stuff for your mini-me!

Another great find for some inexpensive gems is at ASOS.COM. The polka-dot pinafore featured above is one I bought recently. I'm really happy with the fit, style and shape on so I'll definetly pick up a few more dresses next month post payday. Funnily enough, this was the first purchase I made from ASOS and I have to say I was surprised they even they did maternity wear. This sweet polka-dot pinafore is so comfortable and also would be something I'd wear regardless of expecting, I think it looks really cute! This was another bargain find at only £9! I'd recommend checking out their maternity range as it's inexpensive and fun fashion verses boring 'mumsy' style! I'll share some photo's soon on my maternity style I just need to get round to taking some photo's!

New Look Maternity Dress
Another good find was at Campbell Crafts, the only vintage inspired retro maternity clothes in the UK I've found. I know Pin-up Girl Clothing and Modcloth have beautiful maternity lines but they are out of my budget on what I'm willing to spend on maternity wear and the customs cost always put me off buying from the US. The only problem with the dress I found on Campbell Crafts is that this appears to be the only dress in their maternity range, they don't have seem to sell any other products maternity related. I snapped up their maternity dress in the sales for only £ 20, so I recommend if you like this dress to visit their site now as I'm not sure if they are continuing the range as I said this was only this dress within the maternity section but who knows, maybe they will release more in the future and I hope they do. 

Another good high street maternity line you'll find within New Look. It's young, contemporary and pretty inexpensive which is a major plus given I really am trying not to spend a lot at the moment. I really liked this abstract print dress featured above but to my disappointment it's now sold out in my size. However there are lots of other pieces within their maternity range that I would definitely wear. I need to invest in some pregnancy jeans or trousers for the really cold days and New Look have a good selection available so I'm going to give a pair of their jeans a try and I'll let you know whether they're any good or not! Check out my instagram as that's where I post a lot of outfit shots if you're interested is seeing my maternity style; you'll find me @chicguide .

Boohoo Maternity Line
I'm not usually a fan of Boohoo clothing but they too have a pretty good maternity range and I was pleasantly surprised by some of the clothes on their website. I found this really pretty vintage inspired dress which I wasn't expecting.  I love this dress it has a slight vintage inspired feel which really caught my eye and could be worn dressed up or down which makes it better value too! This is one I'll definitely be buying and one or two things from their maternity line so I'll keep you posted on the quality and fit of their range. The range is very inexpensive with items from £10 to £30 so is the most I'll be spending as I want to save money for when the baby arrives plus we've already spent a small fortune buying all the essentials that you need to get before it arrives. 

These are all my finds so far, all the shops mentioned I'm sure you're familiar with but I wasn't aware that most did maternity wear and I can't be the only clueless mother-to-be one out there so I hope this helped if you're looking for maternity clothes. I'll share more with you as I find them and if you know of any good places to shop let me know. Coming up in the next in this maternity/pregnancy series to the blog I'll be showing you how to style maternity wear and look glam!

Till next time, thank you for stopping by! Have a great week.

Much love!

01 January, 2017

New Year, new opportunities!

It's nice to have sometime to actually blog again, hello again! Seeing as it's the start of the new year, I wanted to get straight back into blogging again as I've truly missed it so much over the past few months. This year has brought about many personal and professional changes and challenges in my life. For starters, a new job which is a great opportunity and promotion, I worked really hard to achieve this and feel very proud of but along with the new job I've got to do a second degree in order to do my new job. Which again, is an absolutely wonderful opportunity, but it's takes up so much of personal time it's been a struggle for me to juggle everything. I'm sure so many of you know what I mean but it's a good learning curve and it's so true, nothing comes easy or without sacrifices so you just have to get on with it and work hard!

I'm still learning how to balance my time outside of work effectively and of course where to find time to blog, which quiet honestly, I've completely neglected in the past few months. Most importantly, on top of all the work commitments, study and looking for a new place to live, my partner and I found out the wonderful news the we're going to have a baby in 2017! So to say things have been hectic in the past few months is an understatement! But I'm not complaining by any means, the past few years have been difficult in many ways and we're now finally finding our feet and have a lot to look forward to this year, so I can genuinely say, I'm very much looking forward to everything 2017 brings.

Christmas has been such a welcome break, having the time to relax, refuel and reassess what changes I need to make in the coming months, With a new baby on the way, no one prepares you for the changes both mentally and physically that you undergo and it's been a massive adjustment for me. After months of being really ill with morning/night/day sickness, it never stopped! Glamour, styling and blogging simply went out the window. You don't feel fabulous leaning over a toilet bowl 24-7!! However I'm now feeling much better and I miss my hobbies outside of the day job. That's where I have the most fun and get to create, I plan to get organised and schedule my free time much better in 2017. That's been my biggest learning curve of 2016, organisation, it's something admittedly I'm terrible at but I'm going to make a conscious effort to improve. Plus I have to I've got a baby on the way!

With all the changes to happen in 2017, I want to focus my time with being a new mom but also retaining my hobbies, interests and identity and blogging is the perfect outlet. I'm looking forward to writing about my experiences, new adventures and of course, fashion. So without rambling even further, I have gone on much too long as as it is! I want to wish you a very happy new year and hope you've a wonderful holiday. I sincerely hope that 2017 is a great year for you and yours. Here are some of my favourite shoots from 2016, I can't wait to create more content in 2017 plus the baby bump which will be so much fun!

Happy New Year!

Lots of love


20 September, 2016

Autumn/Winter is all about Fancy Footwear!

When it comes to heels I don't like to think about practicality, that's what flats are for; it should be all about the aesthetics of the shoe. Heels are something that I'm extremely passionate about and which I consider as the centre piece or the coming together of any look so of course it's really  important to get it right. With so many different designers and styles out there it can be over whelming to even know what you want or what to wear your favourite heels are, whether it's a vintage inspired peep toe, classic stiletto or sandals, the wrong heel can ruin the prettiest of outfits so when choosing the perfect heels make sure you've taken the time to select the perfect shoe.

The stiletto heel is of course a timeless classic shoe; it's iconic and screams sex appeal. There is only designer encapsulates the essence and allure of the a stunning heel, of it's got to be a Christian Louboutin. While most couldn't afford either of these ladies extensive Louboutin collections or maybe would not consider spending that much on shoes but it is worth noting, these heels are not simply a shoe, but an investment piece, well a fashion investment nonetheless. A pair of classic black heels (as pictured above) will set you back a hefty £550 but with care and attention these heels could last years... Don't worry however if Louboutins are either not within your budget or is simply just not your favourite shoe designer (which you should reconsider!!) there are many other equally chic designers and high street brands that have excellent collections, check out Shoes of Prey where you can design your own shoes! Check out high street brands and online stores such as Pinup Girl Clothing, ASOS,  Dune, Office, Schuh, New Look, Zara, River Island, Mango, Hobbs, and Topshop which all have wonderful collections. Paired with retro or pencil dressor skirt ankle length vintage inspired high waist trousers. 

Moving on to sandals, while not the most practical for the coming chiller months, they couldn't leave them out of our fancy footwear favourites! Sandals work wonderfully with flowing fabrics rather than more structured dresses. Try pairing with a swing style skirt or dress, to create a more flirty feminine look which is ideal for a more romantic inspired look, perfect for St. Valentines Night. When it comes to sandals, my instant designer of choice has to be Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik. These designers sandals are some of the most sought after designs in the world and with such an outstanding collections year after year is not hard to see the attraction! Again of course these sandals do come with a hefty price tag but like Louboutins, there an investment shoe. Remember that as long as you choose wisely of course these shoes will stay fashionable for years or  if you get tired of them with designer sandals it is easy to resale on eBay even after they have been worn as long as they are in good condition. Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik style have been replicated sandals and equally matched with elegant high street designs. Some of the cream of the crop can be found at LK Bennett, Karen Millen, Nine West, Outnet.com, Alternative Footwear, Very.co.uk, Kurt GeigerShopbop, ASOS, Chockers Shoes, Barretts, Selfridges,  My Wardrobe, Forever 21, Net-a-porter

For a more authentic or unique vintage/ pin-up/burlesque inspired heels there are so many excellent stores available online opened in recent years which stock some of the most beautiful shoe designs available. Some of The Chic Guide's favourites can be found at Remix Vintage Shoes, ModCloth,  Revival Retro, Miss L Fire, Pinup Girl Clothing,  Ruche,  20th Century Foxy, I love Vintage,  Unique VintageLove Burlesque, Sweet On Your Feet. Pair with a vintage or vintage inspired or reproduction suit, pencil dress or any vintage inspired look to create a stunning look for your special date or simply just a glam night out with girlfriends. Remember with any shoe don't be afraid to experiment with different styles and design of shoe to create different looks; a sexy ultra high stiletto helps elongate the leg and crates allure, while quirky design or bold print can add to more fun relax element but most importantly wear what you feel comfortable in and what suits your outfit but your personal style and your sure to look your upmost best. 

Do you know of any shoe store gems that we haven't mentioned if so we'd love to hear from you or reviews on your favourite places to shoe shop, it's always great to hear what your loving....

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