Work+Play at Malmaison – A Girly Night In

Last week I was invited to enjoy a girly night of food, pampering and cocktails at the very stylish Malmaison. It was strictly ladies only as we were treated to manicures, blow dries, makeovers and arm massages, whilst the prosecco flowed and food was served in the guise of the new Malmaison menu. If all this wasn’t bliss enough, we also had the chance to create a special cocktail that matched the colour of our nail polish.

Malmaison is home to the lovely La Petit Spa, a haven in the heart of the city where you can enjoy full spa treatments, as well as manicures, pedicures and make overs. On the evening espa were offering hand cocktails that left your skin smelling divine and feeling silky smooth and soft. There was also the opportunity to have a manicure using the new CND Shellac and Vinylux colours, adding a nail colour of your choice. My nails were in particularly bad condition, but they were shaped beautifully and my trademark red shade was added – it proved to be very popular on the evening.

Once the paint on my nails had dried it was time to create a cocktail to match the colour. Thankfully, there were no Bloody Mary’s in sight as I opted for a raspberry martini styled cocktail that contained a lot of vodka, including Absolut Raspberry. It was very sweet, totally delicious and it looked amazing too, although, as a Mojito fan, I did wonder whether I should’ve opted for a green shade, just to create my favourite cocktail of them all.

Cover FX make up, who you can find in both Harvey Nichols and Selfridges in the city, were on hand to find your perfect foundation and also introduce their brand and hero products. I love the fact that their custom enhancing drops can be added to your moisturiser or foundation to create a new dimension to a base product, whether it be to add a metallic glow, a sunkissed look or even to highlight your cheekbones. Custom FX really is a brand of beauty innovation, a brand I was not familiar with, but already love.

With nails and make up sorted, hair was next on the menu, with blow ltd on hand to create the perfect express style look. Blow are sometimes referred to as the Uber of the beauty world, as they will come to your home and sort all your beauty needs. On the evening we were looking at the fast beauty to go menu, and I was so pleased with the beachy waves that I was treated to.

 

And, of course, there was food. I loved the chargrilled chicken breast and crunchy Thai salad – a perfect summer dish, whilst the desserts were to die for, particularly the fresh red berries and vanilla marscapone (pictured below) and the warm steamed summer pudding. I love a good dessert and these rated really highly on the pudding-o-meter.

I left Malmaison feeling totally relaxed and pampered, with gorgeous hair and shiny nails. It was a wonderful night in a fabulous destination.

*With thanks to Malmaison and East Village PR for the invitation.

July Outfit Post

July was my favourite month of the year so far. This was because I spent half of the month in wonderful Cyprus, and, more importantly, I got to see my little brother get married. It was a month of sunshine and fun, and, to top it all off, there was a sleepover at Warwick Castle and a theatre night too. A busy month that was full of fun.

My outfits this month all suggest sunny days and a warm climate, which makes perfect sense as Cyprus was going through a bit of a heatwave at the time (40 degrees plus most days – basically melting weather). There are new buys from Spanish favourites Mango and Zara as these are always brands I stock up on when I’m abroad, along with new pieces that I picked up before I went away that may well now be in the Summer sales that seem to be everywhere, in the most jumble sale fashion. Where I can link to an item or something similar I have done just in case you want to check it out for yourself, although looking out the window this morning, it seems like British Summer time came and went a few weeks ago, and the rain is now set in.

What did you do in July? Have you had your summer holiday yet?

Holiday dressing

Glasses Michael Kors Kaftan/dress Holiday buy from Menorca Flip Flops Haivainas Bag Accessorize

A night on the town with the girls

Top Primark, skirt New Look, Bag Matalan, Sandals Primark, Necklace Kleshna

White Floral Print Mesh Hanky Hem Skirt
£16.00 Click to visit New Look

Yellow Floral Print Hanky Hem Skirt £16.00 Click to visit New Look

A family meal

 

Dress Mango Sandals Grendha Bag Matalan

Ruffled chiffon dress now £19.99 Click to visit Mango

Flamingo Bag

ASOS BEACH Embroidered Flamingo Clutch Bag £15 Click to visit Asos

Cyprus Fish and Chips

Dress and Bag Mango Necklace Cyprus find Sandals Matalan

Yellow Dresses

Open Back Midi Swing Dress
£65.00 Click to visit Topshop

PETITE Cross Strap Slip Dress
Was £29.00 Now £10.00 Click to visit Topshop

My brother’s wedding

Dress Asos Shoes Debenhams Roland Cartier

Mint Dress

Chi Chi Vogue Dress
£67.99 Click to visit Chi Chi London

Vila Mint Lace Halter Neck Maxi Dress
Was £48.00 Now £25.00 Click to visit Dorothy Perkins

Party Night

Dress Simply Be Sandals Matalan Brooch Vintage

A day at the pool

hat Matalan, dress Primark, bag Accessorize

Similar Dress

White Bardot Neck Beach Dress
£17.99 Click to visit New Look

Another holiday night

Top and Bag Dorothy Perkins Skirt TK Maxx

Navy Spot Ruffle Edge Bardot Top
Was £12.00 Now £5.00 Click to visit Dorothy Perkins

A day at the pool

Beach dress Sports Direct

Nat’s Hen Night

Dress La Redoute Sandals Matalan Necklace Mango

R édition
Bustier Dress
now £13 Click to visit La Redoute

At Paphos Harbour

Glasses Michael Kors Dress Teads Sandals Marco Tozzi Bag Accessorize

First night in Paphos

Dress Giles at Debenhams sandals Primark

Mango dress

School run and football in the sun

Jacket from Paphos Dress Zara Sandals Tu (charity shop find)

Warwick Castle

Top New Look Jeans Dorothy Perkins Bag from Paphos

Blue Stripe Bardot Top
£5.00 Click to visit New Look

Warwick Castle Knight’s Village

Top Primark Skirt M&S Shoes Vintage Bag from Menorca

Funny Girl Press Night

Top Tu Skirt House of Fraser Shoes K Jacques Bag Matalan

Warwick Castle Day 2

Top Mango Skirt Zara


Pleated top
£3.99 click to visit Mango

 

Charity Shop Haul – My Recent Bargains

I love clothes and I love shopping. That’s no secret. But if I was to spend all my time shopping on the High Street or online, I would quite frankly need to remortgage my home.  Which is why so much of my shopping time is spent visiting charity shops in market towns, the sort of places where you can pick up great bargains and unusual pieces when you are on a strict budget.

I love charity shops, the idea that you can find something that has been preloved and give it a new lease of life. Charity shops serve a great cause in raising money that is much needed, and also work well in recycling clothes that could otherwise go to landfill, hence helping the environment too. They can also be the cheapest option when searching for vintage clothing, definitely cheaper than dedicated vintage shops or ebay.

Charity shops can also be hiding designer bargains too. Recently I have found pieces from Louboutin, Vivienne Westwood, Dries Van Noten and Calvin Klein – all for under £25.

Here are some of my most recent charity shop finds, along with a few more tips on what to look for if you are charity shop shopping.

Look for classic shapes and prints

Animal prints, stripes and polka dots or plain, block colours, all these are perennials that never really go out of fashion and are worth picking up. In a similar way, a shift style dress is always a winner, with 1960s shift shapes like the striped M&Co dress below being a great option for dressing up or down.

F&F Dress £4.49 from BHF

M&Co Dress £4.50 Katherine’s House Hospice Shop

Kaleidoscope dress £5.99 Acorns Hospice Shop

Look for Vintage

Vintage is so much cheaper if you can pick it up in a charity shop, and there are some brilliant finds out there. 1970s and 1980s labels are the easiest to find, but you may pick up something earlier, like the 1960s yellow dress that I snapped up for £6.99.

1980s dress £4.99 BHF

1970s print skirt £3 and Hobbs shell top £3.99 Katherine House

Tea Dress 1970s £3 Salvation Army Shop

1960s dress £6.99 Giles Hospice shop

1960s suit £4 Save the Children

1980s jacket Giles Hospice shop

1960s dress £4 Fresh Fields

Look for Designer and Quality Labels

Charity shops are not just about ‘old clothes’ and High Street Labels, you can also find premium High Street labels and Designer labels – you just need to look!

Hobbs Dress £2.50 Severn Hospice

 

Louboutins Pigalle £25 Age Concern

Dries Van Noten dress £8.99 Giles Hospice

 

Have you found any good bargains in charity shops lately?

Shop Online

Oxfam http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop

BHF https://giftshop.bhf.org.uk/

Sue Ryder on Ebay http://stores.ebay.co.uk/suerydershop/?_trkparms=clkid%3D890980944738164266