Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Drugstore Beauty Wishlist

Hi dolls. Today I have a drugstore wishlist of things that I simply MUST have, I am sure you know the feeling!! It's that time of year when the autumn/winter products are starting to get released so expect more wishlists and hauls imminently.

RIMMEL Match Perfection foundation | £5.94
I absolutely love the Rimmel Wake me up foundation and this one has just about as much hype as the wake me up. I am undecided on my shade, I wear true ivory in the wake me up but the colour seems slightly different in the match perfection.

REVLON photoready skinlights | £8.99
I just adore anything shimmery which gives your skin a youthful sunkissed look. This looks like it would do exactly that. I have used this before in the old formation so surely this must be better?!

MAYBELLINE Colour Tattoo Pomegranate | £4.99
I heard about these after watching a haul on Zoella's youtube channel. After buying 2 the other day in my August Haul, I have decided that this is the most beautiful colour and would look lovely with the other 2 that I already have!

L'OREAL Privee Eva Nude Lipstick | £5
These are gorgeous new lipsticks designed by 6 beautiful ladies, Freida Pinto, J-Lo, Eva Longoria, Cheryl Cole, Liya Kebeda, Julianne Moore and Doutzen Kroes, with their own take on the nude shade. Eva's was the one that I think suited me best but the others are just as beautiful and I may just end up with those too.

BARRY M Dazzle Dust in 39 and 51 | £4.59 each
There is something about these colours for me at the moment. Deep and sultry yet still warm neutral. These 2 from Barry M are just gorgeous shimmery delights.

EYLURE False Lashes in 156 | £2.50
After studying the false lashes in Superdrug for quite a while, I came to the conclusion that these would be the most natural. They are so different to any of the lashes I have at the moment too, surely this is reason enough to pick them up?

I would love to hear what you are currently lusting after in the beauty department!!?

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Monday, 26 August 2013

Notes from my dressing table

I am really inspired at the moment to get my dressing table looking beautiful and have been busy buying bits for it. Here is a look at my latest pieces.

Candle jar £6 TK Maxx
Brush holder £3.99 TK Maxx
Silever tray £3 TK Maxx

I love anything shiny, silver and antique chic. I find TK Maxx really great for home decor at amazing prices, I buy a lot of bits there.

The candle jar I will be cleaning out and using for trinkets after the candle is finished. The brush holder is perfect for the Real Techniques expert face and stippling brush as they have wide bottoms and don't fit in my regular brush jars.

What do you think of my recent purchases? 
Is there anywhere that you recommend for home decor?

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Sunday, 25 August 2013

My Guide to Shopping, Eating and being fabulous in London

After living in London for quite a few years I discovered some amazing and fabulous places. This is not to say I don't enjoy popping to Primark and buying my snacks in Aldi because I do. But incase you do fancy a little bit of a fancy nancy girly time then here are some places I recommend you visit. First thing is first ladies... shopping.


Nearest Tube: Knightsbridge (follow signs to Harrods in station)
Best for: Everything! Harrods is a must visit. They have everything from an amazing foodhall to a fabulous shoe department. Harrods is also a great place to visit for high end make up like Estee Lauder, Tom Ford and they have a great Mac counter.

There are quite a few eateries. In particular, Laduree, on the ground floor. Think delightfully posh salads, french toast with syrup, beautiful cakes and an ice cold lemonade. It is lovely to sit outside there in the summer under the beautiful umbrellas having lunch and people watching. There is also a cute tea and cake place called 'The TeaRoom' on the 2nd floor (Try the Apple Crumble with custard for £7 it is pretty big and tastes amazing) Although be warned, the eateries are pretty expensive.

There is also the world famous Christmas department which opens every year in July. And don't forget to stop at the pet shop on the 3rd floor to have a cuddle with the cute puppies.

Oxford Street

Nearest Tube: Bond Street (Leave station via main exit, turn left)
Best for: Again, an amazing store which you must visit. The make up hall is particularly good with all the brands in one room. You can also find a huge shoe department on the 2nd floor which caters for most budgets from Topshop shoes to Chanel and of course Louboutin, all on the same floor.

They also have a lovely restaurant/champagne bar called Hix situated above the handbag department which is perfect to sit, rest your feet, and marvel at at all the gorgeous brands.

Regent Street

Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus (head south down Regent Street)
Best for: I really like the stationary department in Liberty's. They have some gorgeous own brand printed notebooks and diaries which make lovely gifts. It is one of those stores which is great to say you have been to but it is not a store I visit regularly as I much prefer Harrods or Selfridges as they are a lot bigger.

Oxford Street

Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus Best for: There are a lot of high street stores at Oxford Circus so it is a good idea to get off the tube there and walk down Oxford Street towards Selfridges. You will pass by: TOPSHOP - You must visit this store, it is amazing and huge. 3 floors of fabulous affordable fashion, bags, shoes (on lowest floor). There is also an EAT in there which do great coffees and it is nice to stop for a break while watching all the shoppers. If you want a little spruce up they have a hair blow dry bar which is fab if you are going out in the evening.
DEBENHAMS - I am a huge fan of Debenhams. They have a nice compact make up hall as you walk in and I often visit the home department in this store.
BHS - Again I love the home department here. It is on the second floor. There is also a bathroom in the cafe if you need to make a pit stop (see below for other bathroom pit stops)
HOUSE OF FRASER - OMG you must visit the shoe department in this store. It is full of fabulous high street brands all in one huge spacious room. I love Sam Edelman, Ash, Ugg's, Steve Madden all on the lowest floor. You can enter the shoe floor straight from street level by going down the escalator which is to the side of the main doors. They also have a good ladies department with brands like Biba. ZARA - There are a few Zara's on Oxford Street. You will pass by 2 on the way if you take this route. The one closest to Oxford Circus is just past H & M and it is really great.

Burlington Gardens, W1S
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus Best for: Ogling the hot men who stand at the door oh and the clothes of course. Some love it, some hate it but this is the flag ship store so if you love it, worth a look!

Old Bond Street, Mayfair
Nearest Tube: Green Park
Best for: Fabulous designer stores from Chanel to Joseph, Mulberry, Prada. A huge Louis Vuitton too, Amazing. Take a stroll down Old Bond street, start at the Picadilly end and keep walking. It is especially lovely at Christmas time.

Knightsbridge Nearest Tube: Knightsbridge
Best for: All the top brand designer stand alone stores like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Roberto Cavalli. It is quite a good idea to walk from Harvey Nichols down Sloan Street you will pass by these shops and in 10 minutes be at Sloan Square which is right next to the Kings Road.

Nearest Tube: Sloan Square
Best for: Like Made in Chelsea? This is where a lot of it is filmed. there are some great shops here starting with
PETER JONES - I love this shop. It is the only John Lewis left which is still called Peter Jones. Lots of floors with homeware, a compact make up department, Lovely Candle department. It is just a lovely store to visit. It looks beautiful at Xmas.
ZARA - The Zara is just off King's Road in Duke of York Square. It is a really good one. A nice size and very spacious. Not much of a men's department and medium sized kids.
TRILOGY - across from Zara. This is a great designer Jeans shop.
HEAL'S - I adore Heal's, it is a fabulous home ware store. It is a little further up the King's Road but worth visiting and has great gifts.
INDIA JANE - A great home decorating store with things like ornaments and throws to mirrors and tableware. Mostly traditional and semi modern.


WESTFIELD, Shepherds Bush
Nearest Tube: Shepherds Bush
Best for: A shopping marathon, everything in one place from Marks & Spencer's to Christian Dior. 

WESTFIELD, Stratford
Nearest Tube: Stratford
Best for: A good selection of shops from Kurt Geiger, Victoria's Secret and John Lewis. There is also a cinema and lots of eateries. Nothing too posh, all very casual.

Nearest Tube: Best to drive to. You can get the train to Greenhithe and then there is a bus to the centre. You might even bump in to the cast from Towie!

Nearest Tube: Again best to drive here.
Best for: A whole host of huge shops from Ikea to Tk Maxx and lots of home furnishing stores. I love coming here for a whole day and getting lots of bargains.


Mayfair hotel, Mayfair
Nearest Tube: Green Park Best For: Fabulous cocktails. This is an elegant bar with a long drinks list. A favourite of celebs. Dress to impress. Budget: £30 bottle of wine/£12+ cocktails

Walton Street, Chelsea
Nearest Tube: South Kensington
Best For: Relax in a Chelsea Girls local. Nice wine, cocktails and comfortable seating. Dress casual or to impress. Budget: £22 bottle of wine

Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus
Best For: Cocktails in tea cups. A really fun bar. Also has a lovely restaurant and famous for its alien egg like toilets! Dress casual chic Budget: £7+ glass of wine

Sydney Street, Chelsea

Nearest Tube: Sloan Square
Best For: Light lunches, soup, burgers, salads. It is the location that I love about this place. Pop over to the Chelsea gardener and marvel at the beautiful plants or go next door and have a quick manicure.
Dress casual
Budget: £10+ pp

Selfridges, Oxford Street
Nearest Tube: Bond Street
Best For: Brunch. Croissants and omelettes. Good resting point after morning at Selfridges. Dress Chic casual Budget: £15+ pp

Duke of York Square, Chelsea
Nearest Tube: Sloan Square
Best For: Breakfast or lunch. Great smoked salmon and eggs and lovely pancakes. Perfect to start the day and head off to the Kings Road shopping or pop to the Saatchi Gallery next door.
Dress chic casual
Budget: £15 pp


Draycott Avenue, Chelsea
Nearest Tube: South Kensington
Best For: lunching (easier to get a table) great dinner and great crowd. Lovely fish dishes, yummy fried zuchini and great location
Dress chic, to impress
Budget: £40+ pp

Berkley Street, Mayfair
Nearest Tube: Green Park
Best For: Amazing sushi, wagu beef and cocktails. Don't fancy dinner? Just hop in to the bar.
Dress to impress
Budget: £50+ pp

I would love to hear if you have visited any of these places or do you have anywhere that you recommend?

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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

August Boots Beauty Haul!!

I was rather excited at the prospect of going to Boots for a good rummage after spending a long week working on my diy project. If you follow me on instagram (AshlyLondon) you may have seen the large dresser I am giving a makeover.

I think for once I managed to only buy things I needed and had been lusting after so I didn't go willy nilly and buy the whole shop. Well done me.

Vaseline Spray and Go body moisturiser aloe fresh (£4.99)
I have been trying to hunt down a spray on moisturiser for a while after seeing one in a video on youtube by an American blogger. So when I spotted the vaseline Spray & Go, I was sold. I have used it once so far and it smells really lovely.

got 2b 2 sexy big volume push up hairspray (£2.71)
I needed some new hairspray and spotted this on offer, it is usually £4.07. As I have been loving the salt spray by got2b, see it in my July Favourites here,  I though I'd see how their hairspray fairs. Plus the promise of big volume had me sold!

Dove Caring cream bath (£1.09) 
Is divine and I tend to stick to it for my bath bubbles as it smells lovely and doesn't leave my skin feeling dry. And you can't have a bath without bubbles can you?

Maybelline Color 24h tatoo's 35 and 55 (£3.99 each)
These look so creamy and gorgeous.  I swatched them in boots and could have bought at least 2 others, but I managed to resist. I am so excited to try them!! There was a 3 for 2 offer on Maybelline so I picked up another 'The falsies' mascara (£7.99) too because I love love love it.

Charles Worthington dry shampoo (£1.99)
This was recommended to me by another blogger and I am really excited to try it. I hope it doesn't turn my hair white like the last dry shampoo I tried though!

Have you tried any of these products before? What did you think?

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Sunday, 18 August 2013

REVIEW | Vita Liberata pHenomenol 2-3 week Tan in Fair*

I have seen and heard so much about the Vita Liberata 2-3 week tan for a year. Often seeing it in store, looking at the price (£37) and being put off buying it. The price wasn't the only reason I was unsure about it, the other reason was the promise of the 2-3 week tan. I thought to myself, golly if it is the wrong colour or if I put it on wrong I am going to have to look that way for up to 3 weeks. This was not something that appealed to me.

So when I was given the opportunity to review the product I was intregued and decided to take the plunge. It would either go one way or the other.

I received the Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 week long lasting tan Mousse in Fair. The product comes in a metallic violet box which looks fairly tall and slim. Inside the box is a dark brown bottle with lid and spout which you push down for the mousse to expell. This design is very much similar in shape and function to a lot of other tanning mousse bottles like St Tropez and St Moritz.  They seem to do a good job of releasing the right amount of product.  I also received the Vita Liberata Tanning mitt which is recommended for use in applying the mousse.

I applied the tan as directed, after exfoliating, and using the mitt. Now on the packaging it distinctly states "no streaking and no smells". The no streaking part is absolutely true. I did not have one streak or uneven patch. The second claim, "no smells", is a huge claim to make.  Most products have some smell and this one is no exception. Although it doesn't have the usual fake tan stinky biscuit odour it smells to me of something pickled. It isn't awful or offputting, just different. Once applied to the skin the odour fades very quickly and is unnoticable after half an hour or so.

The application of this product is incredibly easy. It glides on beautifully with no crumbling or stickiness. It feels very light and absorbs in an instant. You would think this could cause a problem with blending but it doesn't at all. In fact I did half my arm went off to answer the phone and 5 minutes later finished the rest of my arm with absolutely no problem.  A gorgeous silky streak free finish. I was so pleased with the absorbtion and imediate colour that I put on my clothes and went out straight away feeling great. Wow the first self tan which actually does dry immediately.

Straight after applying Vita Liberata 2-3 week tan in Fair

One thing I really like about this product is the colour. It is quite different to most other mousse tanners or lotion tanners for that matter. A lot of these are "olive toned" and use a green colour to counteract any orange, which is lovely and I have had no problem with that. However, what I have realised since using Vita Liberata is that the colour of this product is far more suited to my natural fair skin tones.  I can not put my finger on why exactly, but it appears to have less green tones to it. Which suits my blue undertoned skin far better.

I applied the tan at 3pm on Friday 2nd August and bathed 9 hours later at 11pm that night. Throughot those 9 hours I had developed a beautiful golden tan. I was slightly concerned that a lot of it may disappear down the plug hole but in fact the bath water only marginly chained colour, leaving me with a lovely natural tan. I did notice some grabbing at the knees and elbows and noted that I needed to apply moisturiser in those areas before reapplying. After this first coat I was so pleased that I didn't want to 'spoil' my new tan by reapplying, but I was revewing the product so knew I had to follow the 'rules' and reapply to get that 2-3 week tan I was hoping for.
One coat down, the next one went on with exactly the same streak free silky finish. Off I went to bed ready to begin my 2-3 week tan. 

Day 1
I showered leaving a beautiful golden colour to my skin. It wasn't twice as dark with 2 coats in fact there wasn't a huge amount of difference from 1 but I was very happy as I liked the colour after the 1st coat. So off I went for lunch with the girls to be told I was a "lovely colour". It was going down well. The only slight problem was the grabbing at my knees.

Day 2
I feel like my skin is softer than yesterday and looks like I have been away for a month. Brilliant. Moisturising my skin daily.

Day 3
Had a bath and gave my knees a scrub. Looking a bit better now. Gave my skin a rub with a face cloth, with most tanners by day 3 the 'rub test' would reveal some crumbling. No crumbs here.

Day 4
Bathed and noticed very slight fading. Very slight residue on towel but nothing severe.

Day 7
Keep checking my skin for signs of fading or uneveness. Can't see any that are noticable but it does look lighter than when I first applied it.

Day 13
Very faint tan left. Will hold out and see what happens.
Day 14
nearly gone, time to reapply!!

As you can see above, there is very little colour difference between day 1 and day 3. By day 10 there was still a slight tan left and that didn't fade much more leading up to day 14 when I reapplied. The tanner does fade but very slowly and evenly. So evenly in fact that if it wasn't for a small area that I had missed, I wouldn't have been able to tell if there was tanner left on.

Gorgeous immediate colour
guide colour same as final colour
fades very slowly
no flaking 

Price. £37 I have had 4 applications and I would say there is another 2 left in the bottle.
some colour grabbing at knees and elbows

Overall I would say that this is a really great fake tan, and probably my new favourite. I wasn't sure what to expect with a 2-3 week self tanner and was very pleasantly surprised. It does last a lot longer than any other fake tan I have tried and the colour is superb. Will I be buying it again in the future? deffinitely!!!

Have you tried Vita Liberata before?  If not what is your favourite self tanner?

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Tuesday, 13 August 2013

**WINNER ANNOUNCED** Benefit Ultra Plush Lipgloss, Chanel and Creme De La Mer 100,000 Hits GIVEAWAY!


Check the raffle copter below!

As I approached 100,000 hits on my blog, I sat in disbelief. It only seemed like yesterday that I started this little corner of the internet so eagerly talking to space awaiting my first ever comment. Which took quite a while but it did come. I was so happy. Now I do not know what I would do without my little blog. I love spending time writing posts and the best part is all the new friends I have met in the blogging community. I really am so greatful.

Not only is my blog a place where I can share all my tips and tidbits, it is also where I get to share my passions and dreams, with people who may share them with me! Hello #bbloggers!

I wanted to do my biggest ever giveaway to share this milestone and I have been collecting bits for a little while like the Creme De la Mer and the Chanel minatures. Then not only did I hit 100,000 views but I also reached 1,000 twitter followers! Mind.blown. It may not be much to some people but to me it means the world.

I wanted to give you a chance to try some of the products that I have been testing recently. One lucky entry will win the whole lot pictured below including this Brand New Benefit Lip Plush in A-Lister, worth £14.50 alone.

I really hope that you like my giveaway and thank you so very much for reading my blog so far.  Scroll to the bottom to enter via the rafflecopter.


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Monday, 12 August 2013

Blogger Meet Ups! HELP! What to wear, What to Expect and Tips

After a recent #BBloggers chat it got me thinking. We all seem to be in the same boat regarding meet ups. We really want to attend but it makes us very nervous! All the new people, will I recognise anybody? Will I be standing on my own looking like a loner? What should I wear? In this post I will try to answer some of these questions for you. In the hope it may help, even a little with taking the plunge to attend a meet up.

The first thing is actually deciding you are going and booking your place. Some events do have rules about how many followers you need to have or this or that but don't worry too much if you are told that there are no places left. There are plenty of meet ups and surely it is better to be attending the right ones with newer bloggers than diving straight in to events which have restrictions and lots of pro bloggers who already know each other? I really think deciding to go is actually the hardet part so once you have done that you can be really pleased with yourself for plucking up that courage.

You have made the decision to go the next thing is.. oh golly I am going to have to turn up at this place on my own.  Keep in mind that most people are feeling exactly the same. It is totally normal to feel nervous. A quick search on twitter using the event hash tag (if there is one) will help you find others who are also attenting the meet up. Firstly look for girls you recognise who you may have chatted with briefly before. If you don't see any names you recall then send a tweet to a few of the bloggers you see mentioning the event. Say something as simple as "are you going to the #Londonmeetup in May?". Most bloggers will reply and you can start up a conversation about the event. Once you feel like you've got to know them a little ask who they are going with and see if you can join in. A lot of bloggers meet up prior to events so there will always be somebody you can go with.

Now... what to wear? This can be another source of worry, "everyone will be looking at what I am wearing". But actually, I don't think that this is necessarily true. I couldn't tell you one thing that somebody was wearing (Well apart from Sophia Meola's Chanel Bag). Aside from that I really can't remember. I think everyone is focusing on chatting and getting to know each other.  So I would say wear something that you feel confident in. You don't want to be worrying if your skirt is too short or your shirt will pop open. Most people go smart casual, I haven't heard of anybody going in a bodycon dress ready for a nightclub. Obviously it depends where the meet up is but here are some looks for inspiration...

No matter where it is you are meeting, most of all be you. Don't change your style just for a meet up, let your outfit reflect your style and personality.

As the meet up approaches it is totally normal to feel anxious. To save any further worry make sure that you have your travel planned. If it is in an area you don't know well, check transport and routes so that you feel confident about getting there on time. Nothing makes worry worse than running late. Maybe even arrive at the location a little early and have a look around near by shops to take your mind of any anxiety.

Once you arrive at the location there will probably be somebody there to great you. It will usually be whoever is holding the meet up. If not, have a look around and see if there are any stalls set up, if there are make your way to them. It is a great way to distract yourself and have a look at what they have displayed while you settle in. It is also a nice conversation starter, if there are other bloggers looking too. Ask what they think of the products and what their blog name is. The good thing is that you will always have something in common with bloggers... you all have a blog.

Ok so... what do I take with me? A lot of bloggers take business cards with them which is a great idea. I like, they are very good quality and their website is easy to use. This also saves you typing everything in to your phone or writing it down. Also take your camera or phone. If using your phone as a camera make sure to charge it fully as taking pictures eats the battery power like nobodys business.

Phew... that was it! your first blogger meet up, well done!! 

On the way home why not go through the business cards you have and add your new blogger buds on twitter. Get instagraming those pictures you took and tag the bloggers and brands!

Try to remeber that we all feel the nerves and anxiety before a meet up and it only seems to get worse as the date comes closer. But I promise that the more events you attend the easier it gets.

I have attended quite a few meetups and events now, at the first few I really had to pluck up the courage to get through those doors but once I was there and started chatting I totally forgot about the nerves. And that is coming from somebody who suffers with an anxiey disorder.

I would love to hear of your experiences going to meet ups for the first time and any events you are going to soon!

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Friday, 9 August 2013

How I Dip Dye my Own Hair

Today I am going to share with you how I go about dip dying my hair. It really is very quick and easy. I have some hair extensions in at the moment but it is the same method if your hair is all natural.

I am going to be using Schwarzcopf Live Color XXL Ultra Brights. This is a perfect hair dye for anybody who wants to experiment with colour. It washes out after 5-6 washes and causes no damage to your hair. You could also switch up the type of dye used and go for something more permanent. It looks to me like Sprinkle of Glitter has used a very similar colour to this one for her hair.

The first thing I do is make sure that I am wearing old clothes so I don't ruin anything. I also protect the area I am working in or go somewhere like the bathroom that is easier to clean. I prepare well by cutting out strips of tinfoil about 4 inches wide. Once this is done, I pop on my gloves and I am ready to go.

I gentle squeeze a palm sized amount of pink dye in to the mixing bowl. If you have shorter hair or are only doing a small section try a soup spoon sized amount. Depending on how bright I want my dip dye to be will help me decide how much conditioner I add to the bowl. Any conditioner will do. I start by squeezing in a small amount and giving it a good mix. The colour in the bowl is pretty much how it will turn out on your hair so I find it fairly easy to get the colour right. I keep adding conditioner until I get the right colour. Once I have the right shade of pink I also need a slightly lighter version to blend in the dip dye where it meets my natural hair colour. For this I simply add more conditioner to one side of the bowl and keep that separate.

It is time to apply.  I clip up half of my hair and work with one side at a time. Separating my hair in to small sections I take the first one and place the tin foil behind my hair. Carefully brushing the mixture on to my hair making sure that it is liberally covered. Because this is a dip dye, I don't want any straight lines at the join so I use the brush to create some uneven strokes with the lighter shade mixture at the top. Make sure you turn over your hair on the foil and coat the other side too.  I fold over the tinfoil and move on to the next section. I end up with 6 sections of tinfoil.

The dye grips very quickly so if you don't want it bright I only leave on for 10 minutes. This time I chose to leave it on for 20 minutes and briefly blasted some hot air on to the tinfoil strips with a hairdryer.

After removing the tinfoil I run the dyed parts of my hair under warm water until the water runs clear. I choose not to shampoo because I find that due to adding the conditioner during the dying process it makes my hair extra silky.

And here are the results...

What do you think? Do you fancy giving it a try yourself?

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