Yearly Archives: 2018

Fragrance: Roja Parfums Scandal Pour Femme EDP

Posted on June 19, 2018

You may remember a few months back I had my first experience with Roja Parfums – Un Amore Eteno was and still is just beautiful. I’m now very excited to share my second Roja fragrance, Scandal Pour Femme Eau De Parfum…

Firstly, I love the name. Scandal just sounds exciting, thrilling, dangerous and tempting – all the things I need more of in my life!! Seriously though, this fragrance sounds like just my kind of scent, it’s described as sweet, warm and very sensual, and it includes two of my favourite fragrance notes: tuberose and jasmine.

“I remember when I first encountered Tuberose, I was shocked that a flower could be so sensual; as you inhale its perfume it becomes almost narcotic. I love how it transports you to the sun, removing you from the grey skies of England. I blended it with other white blossoms, creating an effect that is at once floral, sunny, and deeply sensual.” – ROJA DOVE.

The main attraction here is of course, tuberose. Scandal is an intense, luxurious and seductive fragrance. It’s a chic, ultra feminine woman turning heads, dripping in couture, classic yet striking. This fragrance is both elegant and refined, and it really does smell expensive.

There’s no doubt this is an evening fragrance – Scandal Pour Femme is fresh and warm, yet incredibly sensual. The scent opens with fresh Bergamot, leading directly to a wonderful bouquet of white flowers – Jasmine, Rose, Gardenia, Lily of the Valley, Orange Blossom, and Freesia intertwine at the heart. The base of Sandalwood, Musk, and Orris Root blends perfectly with floral notes of Tuberose and Lavender, for a beautifully creamy and warming dry down.

  • Top Notes: Bergamot.
  • Heart Notes: Lily of the Valley, Freesia, Rose de Mai, Gardenia, Orange Blossom, Jasmin de Grasse and Tuberose.
  • Base Notes: Sandalwood, Orris Root and Musk.

Roja Parfums Scandal EDP is available now at Roja Parfums.

Urban Decay x Feelunique Beauty On The Go Kit

Posted on June 18, 2018

Urban Decay have recently teamed up with Feelunque to bring you their fantastic Beauty on the Go Kit – priced at a very reasonable £45.00 (with a value of £69.00) this set includes a must have selection of both full size and travel size Urban Decay products…

The Urban Decay Beauty on the Go Kit Powered by Feelunique contains the following –

Anti-Ageing Eyeshadow Primer (Travel Size, 5ml) – Apply before your eyeshadow for more vibrant, crease-free colour that lasts for 24 hours. This not only locks shadow in place but also improves tone and texture, while optical blurring pigments create a subtle, soft-focus effect that instantly wakes up tired eyes and minimises the appearance of redness and other imperfections.

All Nighter Setting Spray (Travel Size, 30ml) – Mist on this travel-size weightless spray to give your makeup serious staying power. The All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray keeps your makeup looking gorgeously just-applied for up to 16 hours, without melting, cracking, fading or settling into fine lines.

Perversion Mascara (Travel Size 4ml) – Build, separate and define the look of each lash. This mascara has a creamy, full-bodied texture that’s not too dry, not too wet, so you can go ahead and pile on coat after coat.

Naked Basics Palette (Full Size) – One of my personal favourite Urban Decay palettes, it contains six versatile neutral shadows, with five mattes and one satin shade – which is perfect for an inner corner highlight. All shades are great for wearing on a daily basis and have a smooth, luxe finish.

Moondust Eyeshadow (Full Size 1.5g in shade Diamond Dog) – This single eyeshadow is dazzlingly sparkly with a super refined finish – there’s no chunky glitter here!

Holographic Cosmetics Bag – The perfect size for all your makeup, or if you don’t fancy using it as a makeup bag, why not use it as stationery case or travel bag?

The Urban Decay Beauty on the Go Kit is available now at Feelunique.

My Top 5 Stores for Fabulous Home Accessories

Posted on June 17, 2018

Happy Sunday! I hope you’re having a lovely Father’s Day whatever you’re up to 🙂

I’m currently embarking on a bit of a mission to make over my house – I’m working room by room and planning on upgrading some furniture, painting walls, accessorising, basically just revamping and making my house finally look like my home. My main problem is I’m quite fussy when it comes to things I like, and I’ve spent more time that I’d like to admit scouring the internet for fabulous bits and bobs that I love – so I thought I’d put together a list of my top five online home accessory stores and tell you exactly why I love them!

If you’re a fan of designer labels and high end, luxury products, Amara is an essential site for your home accessory needs. Initially starting life as an interior design business, Amara now houses over 300 of the world’s most luxurious home fashion brands, including Ralph Lauren Home, Versace Home, Missoni Home, Fornasetti, Jonathan Adler, Alessi and many more.

Amara really does stock the most coveted luxury brands, and I’ve included their fabulous products on the blog quite a few times already. A couple of my favourite products have to be my Fornasetti Candle and Seletti Mouse Lamp. They also currently have a massive up to 50% off sale on at the moment too, so be sure to check that out!

Next, I had to include Rockett St George. I remember when I first came across the site probably about five years ago, and I was completely wowed by their stunningly eclectic selection of products. Rockett St George’s Ethos is to ‘revitalise the interiors market with unique treasures, oddities, and curiosities … breaking free from chain store offerings, by sourcing unique, authentic and quirky pieces bursting with individuality’.

To this day, the founders of Rockett St George continue to treasure hunt across the world in search of unique, glamorous, eclectic, witty and rock ‘n’ roll home accessories, furniture, lighting, kitchenware, art and gifts that you cannot find elsewhere – and this is why I love them!

Graham & Green is another fantastic site, offering products to die for as well as amazing inspiration for your own interiors. Their style is actually quite similar to Rockett St George, again offering an eclectic mix of vintage inspiration, contemporary style and fabulous finds from around the globe. I absolutely love this octopus cande stick!

I also had to include Wayfair – did you know that they offer one of the world’s largest online selections of furniture, home furnishings, décor and goods, including more than ten million products from over 10,000 suppliers! I love shopping at Wayfair just because you never know what gems you’re going to discover. There’s no set style or look here, Wayfair really does offer a bit of everything, to suit pretty much all tastes, whilst covering a massive price range too. I also wanted to mention Groupon, which you’ve probably heard of by now, it’s definitely worth checking out their latest deals for Wayfair, which include daily deals, upcoming sales, discount codes and much more. I’ve recently been browsing the Home & Garden section on Groupon and they really do have some excellent deals on right now!

And lastly, Urban Outfitters. Did you know they’ve been around since 1970? I love Urban Outfitters hipster chic style, their home accessories and gifts are always kitsch, quirky and fun – my only niggle being their US site always has so many more products available than the UK site, however I have found some pretty cool bits and bobs at UO UK. I’ve recently picked up some awesome cushions, mugs and wall art which will be coming up on the blog very soon!

I’d love to hear which online stores you love for home furniture and accessories?

This post is sponsored by Groupon

The Father’s Day Luxury Gift Guide

Posted on June 15, 2018

Father’s Day is almost upon us, and I’ve gathered together a few fantastic luxury gift ideas if you’re looking to treat someone special. I’ve included an array of fragrances, skincare, gift sets, tech and more. Enjoy!

Firstly I have this beautifully understated Daniel Wellington Watch – featuring a simple white face, with a gold bezel and navy blue leather strap. This watch would make the perfect Father’s Day gift – and if you’re interested, you can currently save £34.00 when you purchase from Browns Family Jewellers, just click on the above link!

On to fragrance now, I have quite a fabulous selection to share with you! Starting with a couple of niche scents – Amouroud Oud Tabac is described as deliciously intoxicating and unforgettable. The fragrance opens with spicy top notes of coriander and ginger, alongside saffron and sweet heliotrope. At the heart is an accord of oud, olibanum and amber wood, followed by an oriental base with toasted-caramel notes of vanilla bourbon, musk and Alaskan cedar wood. This is a stunningly addictive and unforgettable scent, perfect for for the more refined gent.

And Prudence Paris Alexandre EDT – The inspiration for this fragrance was Prudence’s father, Alexander who had a distinguish career as an officer in the Australian Navy. Spices permeate all aspects of the olfactory triangle starting with top notes of cardamom, mugwort and mint, before developing into a heart of orange blossom spiced with cinnamon and cumin. The final notes are a heady mixture of sandalwood and cedar, tinged with powdered notes of vanilla, amber and tonka bean at the base.

Fans of the brand will know you can’t beat L’Occitane for gorgeous gift sets, and the L’Occitane Cologne Cedrat Collection is perfect for Father’s Day. The Cedar scent is refreshing, energising and masculine, blending citrus notes of cedrat with icy cool mint and woody spices. The gift set contains 75ml L’Homme Cologne Cedrat EDT, 250ml L’Homme Cologne Cedrat Shower Gel Body & Hair and 130ml L’Homme Cologne Cedrat Spray Deodorant. All housed in a luxury L’Occitane gift box.

Now for something a bit different, how about The Personal Barber Shaving Subscription? You can purchase a single box (which includes everything above) or sign up for a subscription, where the recipient will receive a premium selection of classic wet shaving goods delivered to their door every six weeks. I think this is a great idea!

For music loving dads, the RHA Audio MA550 Headphones are a fantastic investment. Combining elegance and comfort without compromise, the MA650 are wireless, premium bluetooth in-ear headphones, designed for seamless compatibility; whether exercising, travelling, working or relaxing. The headphones feature a massive 12 hour battery life from a single charge, they are moisture, sweat and stain resistant, and offer enhanced audio with aptX and AAC streaming.

I always think cufflinks make a lovely gift, and these smart yet fun Paul Smith Cufflinks would make a wonderfully colourful addition to any Dad’s wardrobe. Crafted from silver toned brass, the cufflinks are adorned in a multi-coloured button design, complete with enamel plating and classic t-bar fastening.

Back to fragrances, next on the list is Laboratory Perfumes Amber EDT – Warm, sophisticated and distinctive, this fragrance evokes Britain’s country and coast with its complex scent that evolves on the skin, this fragrance is designed to follow you through your day with top notes of grass and greenery that matches the energy of the morning, the scent then matures into the rich spices at the heart and finally warm and earthy undertones of wood and balmy ambergris at the base exude a more subdued and reflective tone of the evening. I think my Dad would love this scent!

And YSL La Nuit De L’Homme EDP – Playing on contrast and overdose, Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit De L’Homme Parfum is a woody oriental fragrance opening with a fresh burst of bergamot and anise, immediately followed by the spicy, virile warmth of black pepper. Notes of lavender and labdanum release all their power to the trail, with the sensuality of patchouli and vanillaVetiver adds the final note to a stunning and unique fragrance.

How about the Urban Apothecary London Oriental Noir Candle – Daringly dark, this sumptuous fragrance entwines extraordinary floral notes with soft spices and wood. Infusing perfumed particles of powdered white orchid and lily intensified by spicy nutmeg and clove, it has an intoxicatingly smooth base of coffee, patchouli leaves and black vanilla pods to bring a lasting and luxurious depth to the scent. Hand poured and stirred by skilled artisans, it is encased in a black glass holder and is made from natural soy wax.

And lastly for fragrance, Dior Sauvage EDP (available at Demenhams) is definitely worth considering. Inspired by the desert in the magical hour of twilight, the powerful freshness of ‘Sauvage’ exudes new sensual and mysterious facets. The scent opens with notes of juicy Calabrian bergamot, and the woody ambery trail of Ambroxan is wrapped in the smoky accents of vanilla absolute – this scent would really make a fantastic gift.

Sipsmith London Dry Gin from Debenhams would also be very well received (in my opinion!) This is gin made the way it used to be. Sipsmith London Dry Gin was born out of a desire to see gin production return to the city where it earned its name. With a nod to traditional hand crafted production, this gin combines traditional copper pot distillation with a recipe that wouldn’t look unfamiliar to an eighteenth century Master Distiller. Bold, complex and aromatic smooth enough for a Martini, yet rich and balanced – perfect for a refreshing G&T.

Or maybe this rather nice Ted Baker Hip Flask – so Dad can enjoy is favourite tipple on the go? This flask is wrapped with navy blue faux leather and includes two stainless steel shot cups which sit comfortably within the popper lid – this is a fun accessory for nights out.

And lastly, what would a luxury gift guide be without Tom Ford? In fact I’ve only recently realised Tom Ford has his own For Men collection, including a selection of skincare and grooming products…

Tom Ford Noir Extreme EDP is a stunning scent, perfect for those wanting to make a statement. An enhanced version of the signature Tom Ford Noir Spray, Noir Extreme EDP is a bold and sophisticated woody-oriental fragrance – this is definitely one my husband would love!

Tom Ford For Men Purifying Face Cleanser – This water-activated, foaming gel cleanser has been developed to condition while it cleanses. Its lightweight formula conditions and hydrates the skin as it unclogs pores and prepares skin for a smooth shave. It rinses beautifully without drying, so your face looks and feels smooth, refreshed and energised.

And lastly the Tom Ford For Men Brow Gelcomb – Exclusively designed for men’s brows, the Tom Ford For Men Brow Gelcomb Defines Brows into a natural, healthy shape essential for the polished and sophisticated look preferred by Mr. Ford. With a specially designed precision comb and easy-to-use twist up applicator, the lightweight gel easily glides onto hair to tame and set brows into place. In a universally flattering tinted hint of colour, the brow Gelcomb adds shine and can be used on all hair colours and skin tones.

Tips For Turning Your Blog into a Brand

Posted on May 17, 2018

Back in the day, way back in 2013 when I started TSNC, blogs were overall pretty simple and straightforward online diaries, you’d write about whatever took your fancy, take a few snaps on your phone and Bob’s your uncle. Over the last five years though, blogging has completely changed – and though there still are people that blog solely for fun, it’s now a recognised and extremely lucrative industry – and more and more people want in on the action.

So now we’re in 2018 and content creators are more than ever producing engaging, innovative content as well as beautiful magazine-worthy imagery, resulting in them being coveted by brands across the globe. And in terms of numbers of content creators, the blogosphere is pretty much saturated – especially when it comes to fashion, lifestyle and beauty sectors, so it’s more important than ever to establish your brand if you want to stand out. It’s hard though – there are no rules. There’s nobody telling us what to do or how to do it, and most of us are just figuring it all out as we go along…

So with that in mind, when I was invited along to a Brand Building Workshop event in collaboration with Currys PC World and Microsoft, I was intrigued to find out what was in store, and how it could help me. Anna Hart from One Roof Social Influencer Marketing hosted and talked us through her ideas and tips to help bloggers on their way to branding success. I found a lot of this information interesting and some incredibly helpful, so I thought it would be a good idea to summarise the bits that stood out to me, and put them across in an easy-to-digest way so hopefully they might help you too!

I don’t just want to regurgitate word for word what was said at the event, instead I’m going to go through the talk in sections, and just share what I consider to be the best bits, as well as a few of my own thoughts (sorry this is a bit long!) –

Firstly, we learned a few stats about Influencers & Bloggers

  • 90% of influencers are on Instagram.
  • The UK only accounts for 7% of the world’s influencers, compared to 30% in the US.
  • Last year 27k people declared earnings to HMRC as Influencers or bloggers. This is expected to grow to 100k by 2020.

Interesting stats, no? These figures just show how incredibly fast the number of bloggers and influencers are rising – and therefore how important it is to cement your brand as soon as possible.

Something Anna said that was quite interesting, was to think of the Influencer Marketplace like a newspaper stand holding different publications. Some will be quarterlies and coffee table reads, you know the type of magazines that seem to only be printed once in a blue moon, the ones with gorgeous imagery – these offer memorable content which helps grow brand awareness. At the other end of the scale you have your weekly publications, where content is aimed at directing sales across a season or occasion, and lastly the daily reads, these are short snaps of content that’s quick to digest, including offers with limited timeframes.

Now this really got me thinking, if my blog was a magazine, where would it fit in? This is definitely a good starting point when working out your branding.

Next, one of the most important things is to Recognise your USP – this is your unique selling point, the thing that makes you and your blog stand out from the crowd. I think for many bloggers (myself included) this can be really difficult to figure out. There are so many of us now, doing what essentially boils down to the same thing. So what makes you or me special? What makes your blog stand out? What’s unique about it? I think when you’ve figured out your USP, it really gives you a sense of what your blog is about, and in turn what your readers expect from you – which then also helps with branding and future direction. To help you figure out your USP, you can start by answering a few questions –

  • What sort of content do I want to produce? (what do you want to create)
  • What sort of content do I want to discuss? (what topics)
  • How do I want to produce my content? (blog / instagram / Youtube etc)
  • What is my aesthetic overall? (what look are you going for)
  • Who do I want to communicate with? (who are your audience)

You can then gather your answers to get a clear idea of exactly what you want to portray – honing your brand, and giving yourself direction and a framework for future content.

Next – STRATEGY! We all need a strategy for both our content and social. Personally I know this is not one of my strong points – as in I don’t actually have one at the moment. It’s ok though, I’m planning a big overhaul behind the scenes so look out for me upping my game very soon! A good place to start when it comes to strategy is your Google Analytics (and if you don’t have Analytics, hurry up and get it set up) The point here is to take a good look at your stats, and learn from the information they’re showing you. Look at what’s doing well and what’s not, look where readers are engaging and learn from that what works on your site (and social) and of course utilise this information moving forward.

SEO – I’ll admit I’m pretty clueless when it comes to SEO – I know I should really know what I’m doing by now but I’ve just never really taken the time to figure it all out. A few simple tips Anna has offered might give you a good start if you’re a bit of a novice like me –

  • Always name your image files – goes without saying really!
  • Title your content logically – use descriptive words like the name of the item you’re talking about and brand names.
  • Link correctly – make sure your anchor text is relevant.

Understanding How Brands Work – Now I have to say, I found this part particularly interesting. When it comes to working with brands, from my own personal experience I’ve worked directly with the actual brand, via third party retailers (department stores for example) I’ve worked with brands via PR companies, and also via affiliates and SEO companies. It’s important to understand that not every one of these will have budget to offer for collaborations. Its worth noting that PR Agencies are usually relationship based, where the focus is who fit’s the brand’s look and style, and PR’s are often not given budget for influencer campaigns. Content Marketing and Performance Marketing teams are usually the ones that can create contracted work between brands and influencers.

Gaining Collaborations & Connections – This can seem tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Firstly get yourself a media kit put together, include all the usual stats, info about you and your blog, as well as your best bits – are you a Pinterest whizz? Is your engagement sky-high on Instagram? Maybe you have a loyal following in Slough!? (I’m sorry I couldn’t resist that) – but you get my point – anything that’s unique to you that makes you stand out, make sure it’s in there (and if it’s relevant to the brand you’re contacting, even better) Sell yourself!

Use your social networks to connect with others, LinkedIn can be great for this – and don’t be afraid to Pitch to Brands – it’s important to aim to create meaningful partnerships that are beneficial to both parties. Let the brand know why you love them, why you’d be the perfect fit, and most importantly what you can offer – back this up with stats, examples and previous work. And of course they may say no, and that’s totally fine, just make sure you ask why, and use it as a learning experience for next time.

I also wanted to touch on Transparency – Never underestimate how important it is to be transparent when it comes to your content. Your blog post is sponsored? Say so. You were gifted an item? Say so. It only takes a moment to include this in your content and it’s incredibly important for readers to feel like you’re being straight up with them.

There are a few other bits that I haven’t included, but we’d definitely be here all day if I did! So lastly, I just wanted to talk about Technology & Kit – I know may people will say you can just use your phone to do everything, but my personal opinion is that as soon as you decide you want to take blogging seriously, you really need to buy the best kit you can afford. Blogs are becoming more and more professional in appearance, and the fact is, if you want to keep up you’re going to need decent technology. I’ve recently upgraded my camera and it was the best decision I’ve ever made! This is what I’m using right now –

  • Canon 80D Camera – This is my brand new camera and I absolutely love it!
  • Sigma 18-35mm Lens – And this is also my new lens, it was pretty expensive but I got it second hand, and I definitely see it as an investment.
  • Apple MacBook Pro – My current laptop, again pricey but worth it.

And I also wanted to give special mention to the Microsoft Surface Pro – I haven’t actually used a Surface Pro, but Microsoft were on hand at the event to talk us through their latest products, and I have to say it sounds fantastic – and a great alternative to a MacBook if you’re looking for something more portable. The Microsoft Surface Pro has been developed specifically with creative types in mind, and of course it features the latest tech to help you develop your ideas and work at your very best. It’s great for editing complex documents, business use, editing photos, and anything else you do throughout the day. Essentially its touch screen device incorporating the lightweight portability of a tablet, with all the features of a laptop, so it’s pretty handy. You can type on it (with the added Typecover keyboard) just like you would a normal laptop, you can use the touchscreen, and also draw on it with the Surface Pen. It honestly sounds really good! (and their new Office 365 Suite sounds pretty awesome too!)

In the interest of transparency, I also wanted to mention that this blog post is not sponsored, but it does give me a very small chance of winning my own Surface Pro – how amazing would that be! Keep your fingers crossed for me guys!

Anyway apologies for this being a super long post, I actually cut a fair bit out already! I hope the info I’ve included has been of some use – if you have any other tips on how to help build your brand, please do let me know xx

FREE MAC Cosmetics Treats At Debenhams!

Posted on May 8, 2018

Hi Guys!

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty partial to a little gift with purchase treat, especially when it comes to beauty products. Debenhams have just launched a really exciting offer which I want to share with you today – when you purchase £60 or more of MAC products (only at Debenhams) you will receive an amazing complimentary gift, including some of MAC’s favourite products, all housed in a handy MAC makeup bag!

This is exactly what you’ll receive –

A MAC Neoprene Makeup Bag – An essential hold-all for your new MAC treats!

A FULL SIZE #168 Large Angled Contour brush – Worth £28.00 alone, this is the perfect brush for the application of face and cheek products, it’s ideal for sculpting and blending.

A MAC Foundation Sample – Just take your dramming pot along to your nearest MAC counter in Debenhams stores to claim your complimentary 10 day foundation sample.

A Prep & Prime Natural Radiance 6ml – This fantastic primer adds a soft golden hue leaving skin looking smoother, radiant and ready for foundation application.

A Cleanse off Oil 6ml – This is a luxurious oil-based cleanser that gently removes makeup – including waterproof products, leaving skin feeling soft and conditioned.

And lastly, an In Extreme Dimension Mascara 1g – This is MAC’s ultimate mascara for creating extreme volume and curl.

If you’re a MAC fan, you’ll know that offers like this rarely come along, so be sure to snap this up while you can, the above treats will only be available while stocks last!

This offer is live right NOW – go grab your MAC gift here.

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post is sponsored by Debenhams.

Michael Buble By Invitation Rose Gold SIGNED Fragrance Giveaway!

Posted on May 3, 2018

Hi Guys!

It’s been quite a while since I last hosted a giveaway, and I’m back today with a fabulous extra special fragrance that one lucky reader will win!

Just to rewind a bit, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while (thank you) – you may remember about a year and a half ago I was whisked away on the trip of a lifetime to New York, specially for the launch of Michael Buble’s debut fragrance, By Invitation. I won’t go into too much detail (you can check out my post on that here) but it was an amazing trip, and the fragrance was just as beautiful as I’d hoped.

Well, Michael is now back with a bang – in terms of fragrance, and he’s recently launched the next addition to the By Invitation line – By Invitation Rose Gold…

For those that have already tried the original By Invitation fragrance, in comparison, the Rose Gold edition is more intense. It’s a floral oriental gourmand scent – very feminine and sensual. It’s of course similar to By Invitation, but this sister fragrance offers another level of glamour and luxury, and I guarantee if you liked the original, you’ll love By Invitation Rose gold.

The fragrance opens with sophisticated top notes of radiant magnolia, red fruits and granit pear, leading to a tender rose and peony heart, with a hint of black plum. The base features notes of lingering praline and vanilla, with just a touch of precious spice, leaving this beautiful scent with an elegant and warm dry down.

Today I’m giving away a massive 100ml bottle of By Invitation Rose Gold Edition, and the box is signed by the man himself! This truly is a collectors piece, and would be just perfect for Buble fans! To be in with a chance of winning, just enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway will run for two weeks and is open internationally. If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch – good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx