18/05/2016

A LITTLE WEDDING UPDATE...I'VE BOUGHT MY DRESS!!!


Finding a wedding dress has always felt like one of the most daunting parts of a wedding to me. Not to sound like a right old tight arse, but they really are ridiculously priced considering you're only going to wear them for one day of your life and I've just always felt like I wouldn't be able to justify that amount of money as I'd end up thinking 'but we could spend that money on the honeymoon.' I always knew I'd get my dress from the high-street as my budget was really quite low (I'll never forget a conversation I had with a customer at work where we were discussing how expensive weddings are and she commented on how they'd had to find "a real budget option" for her daughters wedding dress and it turned out to have cost £5000!!! I nearly fainted when she said it) Me and James have been engaged for nearly 2 years now, so even though we only booked our wedding a few months ago I've had quite a lot of time to browse around and get an idea of the kind of dress I'd like. I really can't recommend Pinterest and wedding magazines (as you can probably tell from the above picture my favourite is Perfect Wedding) enough; although most of the dresses featured were totally out of my price range, it really helped me to decide what length/style/colour/detail etc I wanted.

To begin with I was quite set on having a knee length, prom style dress and I completely fell in love with one from Phase Eight. I sent a photo of it to my sister and we were both pretty sure it was the one, but after a couple of weeks I kept getting a niggling feeling that it wasn't *quite* right. I'm really pale and the thought of having my legs on show was starting to make me feel a bit nervous as I'd have to decide whether to attempt fake tan and all that jazz, and then I started looking around for some shoes to go with it and I just knew it wasn't going to work for me at all. Being a chronically ill gal, I really don't get on well with high heels and James is only a smidge taller than me so I hated the thought of being taller than him in heels. A prom-style dress means there would be a lot of focus on the shoes, so I just completely went off this idea and I felt a little bit disheartened and lost with what I was going to go for.

I was then browsing at dresses online one day I promise this isn't what I've been doing with 99% of my time since getting engaged #oops and I ended up on a website I hadn't even considered before (I'm going to be a right old tease and not share where I bought it from until after the big day) and the minute I spotted it I just knew. I sent the link to my sister straight away and she really loved it too; I just couldn't stop thinking about it and *may* have ended up revisiting the website every day to swoon at it. We'd planned to go to Westfield in London so that I could try it on in real life along with a few others as I was determined not to pin all my hopes on this one just incase I didn't love it as much in real life or it didn't suit me or whatever. But then I was making my daily visit to the website one evening and I noticed that it had gone out of stock in every size apart from an 8 and I swear my heart literally dropped out of butt; I was devastated. I'd always thought I'd need a size 10 as I tend to be somewhere between the two, but with a little convincing from my sister and one of my friends at work I decided to scurry off to the local store on my lunch break to order the size 8 *just* to try it so I could at least rule it out if it didn't fit, rather than always wondering (it was certainly the most exciting Monday lunch break I've ever had!! *insert monkey covering his mouth emoji*)

After a *slight* drama with finding a tiny mark on it (cue heart falling out of my butt again and me having to seriously control myself not to cry and be a right old drama queen) and me having to hastily reorder it and pay next day delivery to have it arrive today, I have finally got my dream wedding dress, and oh my goodness me, it is perfect and it fits me like a glove; I honestly can't believe my luck :) I swear it's going to kill me not being able to talk about it and I almost give something away about 1794378742980 million times a day because I'm just so in love with it and want to talk about it all the time pinky promise I'm not turning into a bridezilla I've already got an idea of the kind of shoes I'm going to wear with it and I've seen a couple of options that I really love and it was luckily a really amazing price too, so I basically haven't stopped grinning since I tried it on :) :) :) :)

It feels super surreal to think I actually have my wedding dress hanging in my wardrobe now (in a protective garment bag of course so James can't have a snoop hehe!) after many many months of searching and dreaming about what it would be like. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a tiny panic about whether it's definitely the right one, especially considering it's the only wedding dress I've ever actually tried on. But finding the mark on it made me realise even more how much I absolutely love it and that it is 100% the dress for me; I swear to god I felt like I was holding my breath the whole time waiting for the new one to be delivered today!! So my biggest piece of advice to anyone looking for their wedding dress is just go with your gut instinct; you know when it's the one and it doesn't matter where you get it from, whether you try it on in a shop or in the comfort of your own home or how much it is (obviously as long as you're happy with the price and it's within your budget) - when you know, you know.

I'm definitely not off to spend the evening staring at the photo my sister took of me wearing it #sorrynotsorry

Love Holly xo
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13/05/2016

MY SPRING BASE FAVOURITES FOR A FRESH & DEWY LOOK...


Simple Illuminating Radiance Cream - I spoke about my love for this in a recent skincare post, but it's honestly become such a game changer in my daily makeup routine. I'd been wanting to try the MAC Strobe Cream for a while but just couldn't justify it's hefty price tag (#heartbreak) so I decided to give this a try instead and I have to admit to begin with I wasn't completely convinced as it does look a little shimmery when you first apply it, but once I've popped some of the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream on top they just make the most amazing combination and give a really healthy, glowy, 'lit from within' kind of look to the skin. I forgot to use this one day last week and I noticed such a difference in my skin which made me realise even more just how amazing this actually is; it's definitely worth it's £8.99 price tag and I can't see myself ever not using this now.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream - I've been a fan of this for a couple of years now and every time I come back to it I remember just how much I love it. I like to apply it with a damp Real Techniques Sponge as I find this gives the best finish and whilst I do need to apply quite a large blob to cover my whole face, it's such a bargain at just £7.99 that I don't mind having to repurchase it every couple of months. Obviously being a BB cream it is a quite a light coverage, but I find this does a really good job of covering redness and evening out my skintone, plus it gives such a lovely dewy finish to the skin - a customer at work actually asked me what I use on my skin and commented on (in her words!) how beautiful it looked, which absolutely made my day as I always feel like my natural skin is a little more on show when I use this rather than a foundation! It's a perfect match for my pale skin too which is a blooming miracle considering every other BB cream I've swatched seems to come out completely orange on me! #casperwoes

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer - I find this the perfect companion for the BB cream as this gives a little extra coverage where I need it (mainly on my dark under eye circles and slight spot scarring around my chin). This is a very creamy consistency which blends like a dream and doesn't go cakey throughout the day, and I raved about it so much in my Budget Concealers On Trial Post I'm sure you already know how much love I have for this little baby! #rimmelwakemeupconcealerfangirlandproud

Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot Powder - I then like to dust this over my t-zone, under my eyes and around my nose as these are the places I can be a *tad* prone to creasing and shininess. I love love love this powder as it keeps everything shine free and in place all day, but it doesn't look cakey or visible on the skin and also manages to still allow the dewy finish and radiant look of the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream and Simple Illuminating Radiance Cream to show through - top points S&G, top points.

Soap & Glory Love At First Blush 'Instant Rosy Glow' Cheek Stick & Maybelline 'Peach' Dream Touch Blusher - In the spring/summer months I definitely prefer a cream blusher to continue the whole 'natural and dewy' look and these two are all kinds of awesome. The Soap & Glory Cheek Stick has a hint of shimmer so it acts a little bit like a highlighter too and it's seriously creamy so blends out like a dream. It's quite a delicate, rosy pink which I love on my pale complexion and it has amazing staying power too *major swoon* The Maybelline Dream Touch Blusher is quite an old favourite of mine; it's a really subtle peach which works with pretty much every lip colour and it's a perfect everyday choice for giving a hint of colour to the cheeks to make everything look more healthy and glowy.

What are your favourite spring base products? I'd love to hear what you think of any of these :)

Love Holly xo
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11/05/2016

MY FAVOURITE SUMMER OUTFIT...

JD Williams Dress
There is nothing I love more than wearing a pretty summer dress with bare legs on a warm day. Unfortunately we don't get that many of these kinds of days in England, but it always feels like an extra special treat when we do and I find myself jumping at the chance to ditch my jeans/tights/leggings to flash my pins. The weather at the weekend was so beautiful, and after working all day on Saturday I couldn't wait to spend the day outside in the sun with James on Sunday. I started the day by sitting outside on our little balcony with my breakfast and favourite wedding magazine which was just complete bliss, and then I slathered myself in factor 50 suncream (#palegirlproblems), popped on my pretty new dress from JD Williams* (available here) and then we packed up our sunglasses, a blanket and food goodies galore ready for a picnic in the sunshine.
JD Williams
I've mentioned before that skater dresses are my favourite style for my hourglass figure, so I found myself doing a little happy dance when I came across this beautiful printed shirt dress which has an elasticated waist and buttons down the front. I've been seeing shirt dresses everywhere recently and I really love them, but so many of them have seemed pretty shapeless and just kind of straight up and down (a.k.a a curvy gals nightmare), so to have finally found one which flatters my shape and cinches in at the waist has felt like a blooming miracle!!  I think the colours on this dress work well with my dark hair and pale complexion and I teamed it with my Primark tan sandals (I think I've had these for something crazy like four years but they're still in pretty good condition and are super comfortable!) and my Warehouse tan satchel which are my go-to summer accessories. 
JD Williams
I love wearing my Dorothy Perkins denim jacket with dresses that go in at the waist as it's a slightly cropped style so doesn't hide the shape of the dress too much and although it was a glorious day on Sunday, I always like to take some kind of jacket or cardigan out with me just incase the weather suddenly gets a little breezy or if a shop has their air-con on high (I've definitely learnt that layering is key with the good old British summer over the years!!) I've already chatted about my love for this denim jacket, but honestly it's one of those items that I have no idea how I managed without before! It's probably my number one staple in my spring/summer wardrobe and it just works with everything - I think I'm going to have to dedicate a post to it soon as I definitely need to rave about it a little more ;)
JD WilliamsThe slightly floaty style of this dress has a lovely feminine feel to it and I love love love that it has a round neck as the majority of shirt dresses I've come across have V necks which I don't think suit me at all and can look a little bit too formal. It earns extra brownie points for having some black detail running through it too as I'll be able to pair it with black tights, pumps and a little cardigan for any not quite-so-summery days this spring/summer! 

Love Holly xo

*This dress was kindly gifted to me by JD Williams, but all raving and swooning is my own ;)

08/05/2016

A LITTLE SUNNY WEATHER ENABLED FASHION HAUL...

With the sunnier weather finally gracing us with it's presence in England (wahoo!!!) I felt like my wardrobe was really missing a pastel coloured handbag as the only summer appropriate one I had was my beloved grey tote from Accessorize and as much as I love it, I was getting a little bored of using it every day. As soon as I spotted this pastel pink beauty in Debenhams I knew it was love. I carried it around the shop for a while to give me a chance to have a think about what outfits I could wear it with and trial whether it was comfortable on my arm etc, and it was one of those 'I really can't put it back' moments, plus it was the only one left so I like to think that means I was meant to have it ;) It’s quite a soft, faux-leather material and is super light to carry which is always a major plus for a chronically ill gal and I love that it has three different sections as it makes it really easy to find everything. It was £25 which I think is quite reasonable for a good quality, everyday bag and I’ve worn it every day since I bought it :) I'm sure you'll be seeing this popping up in lots of outfit photos on my Instagram!
Skater dresses are my favourite style for my hourglass figure but I find them SO difficult to come by  these days (like seriously, why have all of the shops stopped doing them?! #heartbreak) so I'm sure you can imagine my delight when I spotted this on the sale rail for £5 in my local Newlook. I don’t wear blue very often but I just love the pattern on this and the peach/pale pink detail makes it a little bit softer for my pale skin tone. I wore this a couple of days ago with black tights and my denim jacket and had so many lovely comments on it; it fits me perfectly (which always feels like a miracle with dresses!) and is something which I feel really confident in - there’s just something about a pretty dress on a sunny day that gives me a right old spring in my step!
I have a bit of a thing about sunglasses; I’ve just never found a pair that fit me comfortably and didn’t leave awful groove marks on my nose #firstworldproblems The last pair I had were from River Island and they would always leave the most awful marks on my nose after I'd only been wearing them for a couple of minutes, plus they'd usually give me a headache so I ended up never wearing them which would then also give me a headache; it was a blimim nightmare! I decided to make it my mission this summer to find a pair which I actually liked and could wear comfortably and it really is complete and utter love with these little babies! They were only £7.99 in Newlook which I think is a right old bargain and they are honestly so, so comfortable - I’ve been super happy to be able to wear them in the sunshine the past couple of days :) They fit perfectly, don't give me a headache, don’t leave any marks on my nose and I think they suit me ok *major happy dance*
This was one of those ‘do I really need it' purchases as I’d already picked up the other one, but it was only £5 (complete bargain or what?!) and I really loved the colour and pattern of this one, plus me and my sister decided it would go perfectly with my new handbag so of course that sold it to me ;) I’ve got a pale pink cardigan which I think it will work really well with and I like how the colour of both of these dresses can be worn with black tights, as although we've got some warm weather at the moment you can never really rely on England having much bare leg weather!! 

Love Holly xo