2020 Beauty Affiliate Wishlist

Wedding Beauty Affiliate Wishlist

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AD/Gifted | Honey Bunny Lashes

Lashes are a staple item that many people wear on a regular basis, whether this is using more subtle and natural ones or going for a bolder pair for events. As I have hooded eyes, people have previously made derogatory comments about the appearance of my eyes which has made me self conscious. Since then, I have found that wearing the right lashes can really open up your eyes and has definitely helped to boost my confidence. There are numerous different options when it comes to buying lashes, and many of them are made from real mink (and minks are animals). I have been a vegetarian for 7 months now and don't buy products made from real animal fur and I cannot stand animal print items for the same reason too, so I'm trying to be as ethical with my choices as possible. Honey Bunny Lashes are the first fully cruelty-free and vegan luxury lash brand in the UK, and they got in touch to see if I would like to test out some of the lashes. They produce both natural and more dramatic lashes that are the closest thing to mink, without actually being made from minks. The company started up in December 2019 with the aim of bringing "cruelty-free vegan glamour to everyone".

The lashes from Honey Bunny Lashes are layered & stacked and also taper at the ends to give the look of mink ones without any use of animal fur. I was really impressed by how lightweight and soft they are and the very high-quality look and feel to them. These ones I was sent are not too dramatic but a little longer and fuller than a subtle lash. As I have blonde eyelashes I'm inclined to think that anything that isn't quite short and thin would be more of a dramatic lash but that's only because when I don't wear mascara you can't see my lashes. If you have dark lashes they are definitely more of a natural style. They are exactly my kind of length and thickness and I would only really wear this style or none at all. I was also sent this super handy Lash Applicator which is going to save me a lot of hassle when applying them. I have previously used a pair of tweezers and nearly always end up dropping them when picking them up from the packaging or poking myself in the eye from using normal pointed tweezers. The applicator is curved to match the shape of the lashes - I've used it backwards in the photo above to help display them, but you can see how they will grip onto the lashes to make application nice and easy.

The lash glue is non-animal tested and as no animal ingredients are used to make it this is suitable for vegans. It has a brush applicator to make applying the glue to the lashes easier, and with the glue being black it means that you are less likely to notice the glue against the lashes. If you do wear an eyeliner then any mistakes with black glue can also easily be blended and hidden anyway. The Honey Bunny Lashes start at £10 and you get free glue with each purchase you make. And when you consider that they can be reused up to an impressive 25 times, it's quite good value. If you wanted to pick up any additional glue you can grab one from £8 and if you normally, like me, struggle when applying your lashes then the applicator is only £8 which I'd say is a very good value given that you'll get a specifically designed product that you will have forever. If you want to pick up some quality lashes while also purchasing cruelty-free then it's well worth checking out Honey Bunny Lashes for your next set.

Products were gifted by Honey Bunny Lashes

AD/Gifted - Pixi Retinol & Jasmine Skintreats Collection

I was really excited to receive a Pixi package in the post recently that contained their new Retinol & Jasmine Skintreats Collection. Pixi is a beauty brand that is passionate about skincare, with its mission being to "bring out the natural beauty in all women - to make women look like themselves, only better". Their products are designed to get you looking your best without the fuss and the need to spend loads of time getting ready. The new collection has been created to renew and rejuvenate your skin. It comes with six products that are used in five steps to accomplish a more refined and renewed complexion. The set came in this super handy travel back that opens up into two bigger sections, a smaller pocket and a hook so you can hang this up while you are away. It's a good size that could pack your essentials in while away on your travels.

The first step uses the Retinol Jasmine Cleanser, with the Retinol to help smooth your skin, anti-inflammatory jasmine oil to soothe, and ceramide to help lock-in the moisture. You can apply this every day and only need a small amount to massage into your face and then simply rinse off with water or a damp face cloth. After cleansing, you'd pick up the Retinol Tonic which contains the time-release retinol to clarify and soothe, the elderflower which illuminates and softens, and the chamomile will help to reduce redness and calm. Simply apply some of the tonic to a cotton pad and wipe across the face, neck, and lower neckline. This can be done both morning and evening after you have cleansed.

The third step of the skincare routine is to treat with oil, one in the morning and one in the evening. A Jasmine Oil Blend can be used in the AM to help your skin to recover from dullness and moisture loss. It contains evening primrose which will improve circulation, the jasmine flower extract to calm and revitalise and the grapeseed oil to nourish. Your PM product is the Overnight Retinol Oil which has peptides to rejuvenate and firm up, ceramide NP to keep the moisture in and time-release retinol to clarify and soothe. Both of these oils only need a few drops to be warmed in your hands and then gently patted onto your skin to apply. 

The next step is to moisturize using the Retinol Jasmine Lotion that has a youth-enhancing effect. Your skin will be clarified and smooth by te retinol, rejuvenated, and firmed up by the peptides and illuminated and nourished by the jasmine oil. It should also contribute to longer-term healthier skin appearance which is always welcomed. The fifth and final step using the Pixi Retinol & Jasmine Skintreats Collection is to nourish your skin with the Retinol Eye Cream. Smoothing and refining are taken care of by the retinol, the caffeine will invigorate and depuff and the peptides will firm and revitalize which all help to reduce the appearance of fine lines. It can be used both around the eyes and the lips. As first impressions go, I've enjoyed trying out the new range. I mean, I love most of Pixi's products and use them on a daily basis. Definitely give them a go if you're looking to try out a new skincare brand, or even have a look at their makeup if you're looking to switch up your beauty regime.

Products were gifted by Pixi

AD/Gifted | My Glossier Spring Picks

I've written about Glossier previously when I reviewed some of their favourite products. The company concentrates on taking inspiration and information from people who share what products they love, to ensure that are creating beauty products that you wish existed. It's about time that I had a pick-me-up seen as our wedding that was due to take place this month has had to be postponed due to you know what. I had a browse through their website and picked out three products to try out. There is something about the Glossier product design that I love, with the minimalist packaging and branding looking great and is one I always recognise as theirs. 

The first product I tried was the Generation G Lipstick (£14) in the shade Cake. It's a sheer matte lipstick designed to always give that freshly applied look without showing any excess product on your lips. The dialled-down pigment provides a casual look, and because it adjusts with your natural lip colour it will appear slightly different on those wearing it. Due to the 'diffused matte texture' you can easily apply this wherever you are and not have to worry, so it would definitely be one to keep in your handbag for the day. The buildable nature of the lipstick means you can layer up without it looking as though you have applied too much product while still providing you with an enhanced lip look. It's a vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, hypoallergenic, allergy tested and dermatologist tested product which will give you some peace of mind when using it. There are six different shades available ranging from peach to plum to give you the choice to match your own style.

You might notice from my last Glossier review post that I loved the Boy Brow Grooming Pomade (£14), so much so that I've decided to pick it up again! I have the Blond shade which suits me better as I have fair skin, but it also comes in Brown, Black and Clear for other skin types and hair colours. This product is a "brushable creamy wax" that will help to shape, groom and thicken your brows. Applying this product can be as easy as one swipe and you're done and it will give you a flexible hold without any flaking or stiffening of the wax. Ingredients contained in the Boy Brow are designed to moisturise and condition your brows while also being alcohol-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, ophthalmologist tested, dermatologist tested as well as being suitable for all skin types. As far as I can say for now, there is no other brow gel that is better. This is a lifesaver.

The last product I picked up was the Soothing Face Mist Rosewater Spray (£13), a face spray to help soothe and hydrate stressed skin without the need to rub into your face. If you apply it immediately before moisturiser and serum it will help seal in hydration to your skin but can also be used during the day when you feel like you need it. I'd just give myself a quick spritz when I desired. The product contains glycerin to seal in the moisture, rosewater to soothe and aloe to hydrate which all come together to provide a refreshing spray. With it being non-irritating, alcohol-free, cruelty-free, vegan, hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested and suitable for all skin types, you can rest assured you are providing your skin with the healthy boost it needs. 

Glossier has a range of carefully designed products for you to choose from including makeup, skincare, fragrance and body products. I already have a few of Glossier's items as staples in my makeup bag and can see this expanding as I try more products. Thanks again to Glossier for letting me test some products and I look forward to seeing what else is going to be released in the future.

Products were gifted to me by Glossier.

My Wedding Dress Story & Experience

Laura Hadley Wedding Dress Experience At The White Gallery Ramsbottom

I have always been really into weddings; watching the tv shows associated with them, adding pictures to Pinterest boards and flicking through the magazines. One thing that I did not expect, however, is that not everyone has this overwhelming day of joy when picking out dresses to try on. The films always go back to the person being young and dancing around in a little white dress or robe, with a bunch of flowers and pretending to get married. Having an extensive scrapbook that won't close properly because there are so many pictures taped into it. For me, there was on Pinterest board (albeit that is the modern-day scrapbook) with images for an entire wedding. I never once knew exactly what I was looking for because I had seen from Say Yes To The Dress that often 1. you don't know your own body type well and 2. that you have to try a range of different styles and fabrics. To add an extra point, I have seen from Facebook groups and sometimes people don't just find 'the' dress and are torn between a few because we're human after all and dress shopping is a one-time experience ideally. I got engaged in December 2017 so I did leave it almost two years until I went dress shopping as we weren't in any rush. 

I went to The White Gallery, a bridal store that I found through a wedding show I went to last year. When I saw their dresses at the time I knew that they had a range of different styles and colour options and because I'm a very indecisive person, I knew this would be the best route to go. I did have a feeling I wouldn't want a ballroom gown/princess style dress as I'm 5ft 4" and my fiance is 6ft 4" so even with heels on I would look smaller and wider instead of trying to look upright and a bit taller. I also had a gut feeling that anything strapless wouldn't look good thanks to my larger chest so my options were slightly limited. I did try the most beautiful dress by Noya and it came in a non-white colour too and it was absolutely stunning but my chest just didn't work with it. I didn't fit in it properly there and felt a bit 'naked' in it.

Laura Hadley Wedding Dress Experience At The White Gallery Ramsbottom

I tried on a fishtail shaped dress that was suggested to me and I could barely walk in it. Comfort is a huge thing for me so I knew this shape was immediately in the 'no' pile. I tried a fitted dress and just felt so uncomfortable, picking out all my flaws and it was exactly what I wasn't looking for. After about 7 or 8 dresses I went back to the second dress. It is a fit and flare style with a little strap and a stunning train. I never even wanted a train but it was so pretty I couldn't pass on it. The reason I tried it on again was that I thought if I wore a strapless bra with it, it would look a lot better. And it did.

I didn't cry, but my Nan did. And that made me feel like it was meant to be. My best friend who I've known since our first year in primary school really liked the detail on the dress which reassured me. There wasn't an overwhelming YES moment but I should have figured it wouldn't be like that because I'm not a really emotional person. I probably get that from my Dad. Speaking of which, when I showed my little Sister my dress he wanted to see it. I showed him a picture and although he isn't a man of many words a lot of the time he said it was really nice, so that made me happy. 

On the day there were a few mixed opinions and it gave me a huge migraine. I left the store not wanting to leave the dress behind, knowing obviously I couldn't bring it with me as it was a sample, but still. I couldn't enjoy the lunch we all had together because I felt a bit of pressure to look elsewhere and try other dresses. I didn't want to go anywhere else though. I cried on the way to the car after I had left the store because I don't like being indecisive and I thought everyone I took would love the dress but it was 50/50. Andy hugged me as we walked back and told me to pick whatever I loved best and it was my dress at the end of the day. 

Laura Hadley Wedding Dress Experience At The White Gallery Ramsbottom

At lunch I showed him the dress on my phone in front of everyone and he really liked it. It's not to everyone's taste as it is a bit unusual but he liked it so that really meant a lot to me. We don't care about traditions in our house. The following week we went back to The White Gallery just the two of us, and I tried the dress on in front of Andy. He liked it even more than on the photo and said it was my style. Even Francis who dressed me said I seem to have a particular style, liking dresses from designers based in Australia and Israel. She said I looked my happiest in this dress. I decided to go for it that day and left a happy gal.

Last weekend I went back to try on my dress. It had come into the store earlier than expected so I got to try it on again and pick my veil. I went for a single-tier veil that is as long or a bit longer than my train. I can't quite remember as I didn't take pictures this time around. I don't have my seamstress fitting for a few months but I can't believe this part of the wedding planning is pretty much over! I couldn't thank Francis and the girls at The White Gallery more. They pay so much attention to what suits you best, what you seem to like, and gave some great recommendations for dresses to try on. They said when I tried the sample of my dress on I was the first person to order it so they've made the dress a permanent addition now. I definitely recommend going to the National Wedding Show and looking at bridal stores there because that is where I found these amazing women. I knew I had to get my dress from them when I saw their dresses. They show a lot of them over on their instagram too.

Once I've had my wedding in the Spring I will do a whole post on the dress itself and a run through of our wedding day. I do have my wedding posts and tips coming up so keep an eye out for them.

My 2020 Resolutions

My 2020 Resolutions

When I think of resolutions for the new year, there's a few that come to mind. I have a huge occasion this year, I'm getting married! I got engaged just over two years ago now and it's finally coming up to the time to tie the knot. So including this, here are a few resolutions for this year.

Finishing making the wedding invitations. Honestly, we've been so behind on this. We didn't even give half the save the dates out because there were quite a few stressful times last year and we just put everything aside. We have made our wedding invitations from scratch which has made the process quite long. I painted two pictures and we used them and added vellum paper and rose gold foil. We did this mostly to save money but we have completely unique invitations which we love.

Make the boards for the wedding. We need an Unplugged Ceremony board then a seating plan for the evening along with programmes outlining the whole day so I guess I need to sort all this out within the next three months.

Get my health sorted. In the last half of the year, my heart has seemed to be playing games with me and been making me feel faint and dizzy. I've had an ECG but I've now been referred to Cardiology to potentially do a 5 day ECG and more tests to see what is going on. I'm on medicine to lower my blood pressure but since my cholesterol and other blood tests have come in good they're not really sure what is going on. I'm so thankful for my Doctor, she is a blessing. Hopefully I can get some answers soon and get on the right track. 

Start painting and drawing properly. I know that I can make pretty designs and I'm hoping to start an Etsy shop soon to turn these into prints. I can already make foiled prints and some other bits so I'm hoping with practice I can start earning money from this creative outlet.

Keep blogging and collab with some great brands. I've already spoken about the last year being stressful and this is the reason I didn't blog as much in 2019. I have my fingers crossed that this will be a great year and I can continue blogging and working with some fantastic brands and companies.

Why I've Gone Vegetarian

Why I've Gone Vegetarian

I feel like this has been such a long time coming and I can't exactly find the reason it's taken until now, but anyway I'm now a vegetarian. The week of my birthday I just felt this need to turn veggie for some reason and the first two days I was toying with it I failed because I obviously hadn't prepared for this. At the start, I didn't put any pressure on myself and said I would still have a meat Christmas dinner two months later if I wanted and it didn't have to be forever. The first full day I was veggie was the 18th October 2019 and it seemed to settle that voice in my head telling me to turn veggie. I still have messed up since then, I had prawn crackers and I didn't know they actually contain prawn, I thought it was a flavouring. I had some Fruit Pastilles and totally forgot they had gelatine in them. I also recently had pesto on some ciabatta and didn't realise that parmesan cheese isn't vegetarian. So I'm still learning and it's not a straight road but it's definitely something I feel more content with.

When I was a fussy eater and when I was around 7 I remember not wanting bacon butties on the weekend anymore, then I stopped wanting fish fingers when I had a Happy Meal. My whole childhood and most of my adulthood I've really disliked the texture of a lot of meats. I wouldn't eat roasted beef, lamb, pork or similar meats off of a joint of meat. I never ate duck because ducks are cute. I never really liked a lot of seafood and only really tried cod/haddock again after the whole fish finger thing about two years ago. Andy warned me not to try prawns because they can pop in your mouth and the thought of that made me feel a bit sick. In 2019 I seemed to have a few nasty experiences with chicken and it really put me off. So throughout the year, I'd been eating Quorn instead. We'd been having veggie stir frys for quite some time now and I'd stopped eating gammon because I just never felt like it. So I'd been a 'flexitarian' for probably the last 5 years now so it finally came to a head and I decided to be a vegetarian. 

I decided not to go vegan for a few reasons. The first being that as someone with disabilities and often needing to have pre-packaged food, the options are limited for me. Although companies are now introducing a lot of vegan foods, in some places there are not always accessible options. The second reason is that a lot of vegan foods substitute eggs with banana when baking from what I've seen and I can't eat bananas as I have an intolerance to them. This also counts for a lot of vegan options that include mushrooms which I'm intolerant to as well. The last reason is that I do enjoy making brownies and cakes and I just don't feel the want or need to have to give them up or change them when I only have them on special occasions anyway. The last reason is that some Quorn and other meat substitutes contain egg in them and where I live there are still limited meat alternatives on the shelf already so I don't want to limit myself too much. As someone with disabilities, I can't cook often and when I can it needs to be quick or something not too hard to do as I have a lot of problems with my wrists and some full vegan meals can be challenging for me to make.

I'm really enjoying being vegetarian so far, and we went to our wedding tasting meal in November and I tried the 'allergy/dietary requirement' 3-course meal which was gluten, dairy, meat etc free and it was lovely. There are a few people who have helped with recommendations for foods to try which I'm thankful for, and although I still encourage Andy to eat meat and that I don't want him to ever feel like I'm wanting him to be vegetarian, he is loving some of the veggie options we've been eating together. He's decided to label himself as a flexitarian and has recently written about this on his blog. Here's to trying more veggie food in 2020!

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