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Sunday, October 19

Illamasqua Multi Facet Palette- Aura

My third Illamasqua post of the month so far and oh wow, it's another good one. Illamasqua's latest launch is in the form of an all singing all dancing palette and I cannot get enough.

The Multi Facet Palette is available in two shades; Semblance and Aura*, and my palette, Aura is home to Illamasqua's Gleam in Aurora, their best selling Cream Pigment in Hollow, an Eyebrow Cake in Thunder, a Powder Blusher in Tremble and four beautiful Powder Eyeshadows in Vision, Servant, Feint and Machine. 

A beautiful mix of both powder and creams, Aura works to create a really lovely look when used both together and individually and whether its dimension and light or a pop of colour that you're after, Aura does the job beautifully.

I'm a really huge fan of Aurora and Hollow as it is, and use them to contour and highlight on a regular basis, and so I'm really pleased that this palette has given me the opportunity to restock on a couple of old favourites as well as try a couple of new things, especially the Eyebrow Cake which I absolutely love. The palette also comes with a miniature double ended brush which is super handy.

This is for sure going to become my "on the go" palette as it's so perfect for trips away, chucking into your make up bag and for a no fuss make up routine.

Available to buy now in both Aura and Semblance, the Multi Facet Palettes cost £45 which I personally think is reasonable, in Illamasqua stores and at counters in the likes of Selfridges.


Thursday, October 16

Nioxin Hair Therapy Services and #NioxinTherapy Twitter Party

If there's a time when my hair makes me feel good, it's when it's at its fullest and bounciest and after speaking to friends of mine, it seems that that's the general consensus in my circle. 

Whilst I was pregnant, my hair thickened up beautifully, but now, I'm now anxiously waiting for the moment that all that extra hair starts to fall out, with my trusty Nioxin System Kit by my shower ready and waiting.

Thinning hair can have a huge effect on a hair conscious person and Nioxin have created three new hair therapy services to help with a range of conditions;

DERMA Scalp Renew Therapy: removes dead skin cells and excess sebum, accelerating scalp surface skin regeneration to provide the foundation for thicker, fuller looking hair using the Scalp Renew Dermabrasion treatment and a soothing massage

DENSITY Protect Therapy: helps to reduce hair breakage and restore a dense and vibrant appearance to your hair using the Scalp Renew Density Protection Treatment and a deeply relaxing massage

DIAMETER Boost Therapy: increases the diameter of your hair instantly and thickens hair from the roots. This treatment combines Nioxin Diaboost with a pampering massage.

To celebrate the launch of the three new in-salon treatments, Nioxin are working with a trio of experts, who will each provide personalised advice, to help with both wellbeing and confidence. 

 An expert from The Institute of Trichologists, Tim Weeks- a fitness expert and Madeline Shaw- a nutritional health coach, will be taking part in a Twitter Chat next week on the 23rd October from 12pm-1pm, following their successful Journey Confidence Workshop back in July. 

There to deliver top tips and advice to all, if you have any hair thinning queries or fitness or nutritional questions, the Confidence Coaches can be reached with the #NioxinTherapy hashtag, so do get involved!

I'll be taking part with a list of questions that I'm desperate to have answered by the experts themselves, and I certainly hope to see you there!

*This is a sponsored post

Tuesday, October 14

HARRISON LOVES: Medela Swing Maxi Double Electric Breastpump

Okay, so not much of a Harrison loves, more of a Laura loves here, but the Medela Swing Maxi Double Electric Breastpump was a must have for me during my breastfeeding experience and was something I thought would be worth sharing with those who are/are considering breastfeeding.

For me, breastfeeding was something that I loved to do, it gave me a special bonding time with my baby that no one could take away and gave me the opportunity to provide for Harrison in a way that nobody else could, whilst also having the nicest cuddles. However, as lovely as cuddles and the feeling of providing everything Harrison needed was, with a hungry baby, there's no getting around it- it was tough.

Fortunately for me, I didn't experience any pain with breastfeeding. I don't know if that's because I was expecting horrific nipple torture because of horror stories I had been told of previously, or just because I was a "lucky one", but fortunately the experience was pretty pain free. However, what I did have, was extremely leaky boobs which would on most days, leak through doubled up super absorbent breast pads and even leave my nursing vests dripping wet within two hours. No exaggeration.

From around five months into my pregnancy, I was producing colostrum and very soon (almost immediately) after Harrison was born, I was producing enough Milk to feed a whole bundle of babies.
This meant that the besides having a gorgeous new baby to look after and love, one of my first experiences of being a mum was me and every spare moment being consumed by breast milk.

Feeding a hungry Harrison, meant having him on the boob every 2 and a half hours throughout the day, which when you put into perspective of feeding, winding and changing- the cycle was never ending. The more I fed, the more milk I produced, so I very quickly decided that every evening, I would express a couple of bottles for the following morning, just to give me and my nipples some "time off".

Once Harrison had gone down to sleep of an evening, I'd spend around half an hour with my Medela Swing Maxi and very quickly pump two bottles of 4-5oz ready for the following day. After all, there was no point in wasting milk.

The Medela Swing Maxi took away a little bit of the strain and made things a little easier for me. Although I spent what was probably the only free time I had in the evenings expressing milk, it was cut a lot shorter than it would have been had I used another pump due to its double pump feature- meaning I could do two boobs at a time.

With its range of vacuum levels and two phase expression technology, the nipple is first stimulated to imitate a baby sucking and then pumped at a slower speed when the Milk flows, which has some science behind it, making it quicker and more effective.

Other than giving me a bit of "time off", I loved that the Swing Maxi was so quiet and so easily assembled and cleaned. I ran it off of mains power whilst I was sat on the sofa, but it can also be run by battery, where you can also clip the unit onto you. I found it comfortable to use, and again, it didn't cause any pain or discomfort which I'm really pleased about.

For those of you that are breastfeeding and are looking to express as either a short or long term solution, I really do recommend the Medela Swing Maxi. I'm not sure I recommend you buying it before your baby is here, just incase you don't get on with breastfeeding at all, but it's certainly worth thinking about- I know some stocklists have a longer returns policy!

The Medela Swing Maxi Double Electric Pump comes with two breastfeeding bottles and a Calma feeding device and retails for about £239.99 in Mothercare and John Lewis

Monday, October 13

Illamasqua Once Collection

A recently launched collection perfect now that Autumn is setting in, is the Illasmasqua Once collection.

Bringing old and new together in the form of autumnal colours and textures, Once consists of three Vintage Metallic Eye Shadows (£16.50) in the shades Couriter- a Dusky Rose, Embellish- a rich Cocoa and Bibelot- a Rustic Golden Teal, two new sheer Lipglosses (£16.50) in the shades Opulent- a Rainbow Beige and Exquisite- a Pink Oyster tone, a new Nail Varnish (£14.50) in the shade Melange- an antique Teal and a beautiful Powder Blusher  (£21.50) in the shade Naked Rose which is a super complimentary Pink tone that sits on the skin so softly.

In a metallic cream gel formula, the Vintage Metallic Eye Shadows are absolutely stunning. Out of the three, I've been wearing Courtier the most and like to wear it all over the lid as almost a base for other shades. It sits beautifully and each of them apply really nicely. I tend to use my fingers to apply them, which I know isn't always the most hygienic, but I find it works the product well and blends them out nicer than a brush tends to, probably due to the warmth. Embellish is a rich Cocoa Brown and is probably the most me in the collection, I like to wear a little bit of this in my outer corner and then smudged underneath my eye for a little more drama and think it will be a definite hit for the colder, darker months. 

Even though metallics aren't normally my thing, the collection is really very lovely and I love the new Rose Gold detail on the eyeshadows. The shimmer in the lipglosses would normally put me off, but actually, placed in the centre of the lips, they add a really lovely dimension and although Opulent isn't something I would pick out normally, it's actually very pretty on the lips.

Once is available now at Illamasqua stores and at counters in the likes of Selfridges.

Will you be picking any of the Once collection up? What's your favourite Illamasqua product?

Friday, October 10

Sarah Chapman Skinesis Morning Facial

I'm pretty ashamed to say that since having Harrison, my skincare routine has become somewhat non existent. A quick cleanse and moisturise in the morning and the evening is as far as it gets most days, and that's at a push. 

Products such as the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Morning Facial* have been great for me as quick pick me ups to put a little life into my skin as just like my skincare routine, most days I don't have the time to apply make up. 

Applied underneath my regular moisturiser, the Morning Facial gives my skin some radiance that my dull skin is seriously lacking at the moment and works to minimise fine lines and restore skin with plumpness with active ingredients and vitamin rich oils such as Jasmine, Rose and Neroli, which together give off the most incredible scent. Ever.

It's an in-between of a treatment oil and serum and I honestly can't get enough. The whole of the Sarah Chapman Skinesis range is just divine and all the time I'm lacking on the full skincare routine front, Morning and Overnight Facial are my go-to products for quick, guaranteed results. 

Available to buy in Space NK costing £45, it's 100% worth a look if you fancy a luxurious skin pick me up, as is the rest of the range, which I blogged about here


Thursday, October 9

Illamasqua's Virgin Atlantic Collaboration- Virgin

As an air hostess myself, I'm fully aware of the "glamour" that surrounds the role and know how important the Red lip is in the industry- especially to Virgin dolls. 

If anything, the Red Lip and up-do is the only thing that puts glamour into the job, even more so now that Illamasqua have created a Red lipstick for Virgin Atlantic, to celebrate their 30th birthday. 

The Red Glamore lipstick in the shade Virgin accompanies their fabulous new Vivienne Westwood uniform and will be seen on the lips of both the cabin and ground crew.

Virgin is a classic Red lipstick that is perfect for those brave enough to rock a Red lip daily and for those who want some evening glamour. Perfected into a Satin formula, Virgin sits on the lips comfortably and applies to the lips as you would imagine a creamy Satin formula would.

Although I don't tend to wear a Red lip too often out of work, when I return to work next year, I'll be rocking Virgin on my lips for sure.

Virgin is available to buy now at Illamasqua stores and at counters in the likes of Selfridges, costing £18.50.

 What do you think of Virgin? Does this Classic Red look like the kind of Red you would rock day to day? Will you be picking it up for the festive season or will you be leaving it purely for the dollies?

Wednesday, October 8


I'm very lucky in that Harrison absolutely loves his sleep and I put his twelve hour undisturbed sleeps down to his Snüzpod.

Tucked into bed, close to both Mike and I, the Snüzpod allows Harrison to feel the warmth, comfort and closeness of us both, without actually being in our bed, making it the perfect alternative to co-sleeping, which for us, was always a big no no. 

A safe option which allows us to have Harrison immediately next to our bed with the Mesh breathable wall either zipped on or off, it was incredible throughout the initial weeks of Harrison's arrival, when I was breastfeeding. Using it with the Mesh wall zipped down and not having to get out of bed to get Harrison and putting him back down with no struggle, meant that there was minimal disturbances in the night and for that, I'm (Mike is) forever grateful. 

I mentioned that I mostly use it with the Mesh wall zipped off, but the option to have it as a four walled crib is also there. During the day, when Harrison was a little more content in just laying down and watching, I was frequently known to bring the crib or the bassinet alone over to my dressing area, so that Harrison could lay down whilst I (on occasion) got ready, and still have me in sight.

 Friends of mine use the Snüzpod as more of a stand alone crib as opposed to a bedside crib which they have also really liked due to its rocking stand. The curved wooden base makes for a perfect gentle rocking motion, which Harrison loves to do himself now, on his more active wake ups.

 What I love most about the Snüzpod is that every morning, I wake up and am able to see, touch and cuddle Harrison immediately. Most mornings I wake up to him smiling over at us, because he knows we're there and I really do believe that it's helped him become the happy content baby that he is. The mattress is comfortable for him and larger than a moses basket, it's given him that little bit more space.

Now three months old and growing taller every day, Harrison will soon be making his way into his nursery and although the Snüzpod will I'm sure be greatly missed by us all, it will simply be folded down and put away for hopefully, a little brother or sister one day.

 The Snüzpod is available to buy from The Little Green Sheep in four shades, costing £169.99.

Too Faced Brow Envy Shaping and Defining Kit

I'm all about the brows and those of you that have read Belles Boutique for a while, will be fully aware that I've tried more than my fair share of brow pencils, powders, gels and the like in the past.

With that being said, the newest Too Faced launch was sure to be a big hit with me. Their Brow Envy Brow Shaping and Defining Kit* is as it is named, a brow kit which has been put together to ensure you have everything you need for the perfect brow, arch and shape. 

With two powders in the shades Blonde and Brunette to fill in your brows, a setting wax to set them and a highlighter to enhance your arch, Brow Envy is an all you need kind of quad, perfect for your makeup bag, holding all of the brow essentials, with two shades which can be mixed if necessary.

With three brow stencils, a How-To Glamour Guide, a miniature spooley, a pair of tweezers and an angled brush included, you really can't go too wrong and whether you're new to the wonder that is brow grooming, shaping and filling in or if like me, you're just a huge fan, I can't recommend this mirrored compact kit enough. 

Costing £35, Brow Envy is available to buy now in Debenhams.