Saturday 30 June 2012

Review: John Frieda Frizz-Ease Range.

After seeing a few John Frieda Frizz-Ease products floating around on various blogs, I have been interested in trying them out as my hair is prone to frizz, even more so now that has been ombred and dried out. I had always put off buying it however, as I just tend to use whatever shampoo is sat round the side of the bath, but I thought I would take the chance when I was offered to try them out.

L-R: John Frieda Frizz-Ease Smooth Start Shampoo* & Conditioner*, John Frieda Frizz Ease Straight Fixation Smoothing Creme*

I don't think there is anything particularly special about the packaging of John Frieda products, but then again I never do.  I do think that the simple, sleek packaging makes it look like a professional salon quality brand, however.

Smooth Start Hydrating Shampoo*
What it says: Formula with Frizz-Mending Complex and olive oil replenishes moisture and restores hair's natural frizz defences.

John Frieda products have a trademark fragrance which I am not going to try to explain as I am rubbish at describing scents, but if you have tried any John Frieda product you will know what I mean. I think it is nice none-the-less; it takes me back to high school, when I used to use the Radiant Red range to maintain my bright red flashes. The product has a typical shampoo consistency and lathers up well. It does it's job of leaving my hair feeling clean and fresh, and I do notice that my hair is a lot less frizzy and easier to tame when I get up in the morning. The scent also lingers for a couple of days, which is always good.

Smooth Start Hydrating Conditioner*
The conditioner has the same trademark John Frieda fragrance, which actually reminds me of the kind of product that they use in salons as it is quite strong and lingers for a while, adding to the professional quality that John Frieda goes for. It has the typical, thicker consistency of a conditioner. As with all conditioners, I tend to leave it on my hair for around 10 minutes before rinsing it off. I find that it makes my hair feel a lot more hydrated and easier to untangle, and again, my hair looks a lot less frizzy when I style it in the morning.

Straight Fixation Smoothing Creme*
What it says: Smooths, moisturises and aligns strands for silky-straight styles that last up to 24 hours.

I always find that if I straighten my hair, the humidity in the air means that my hair starts to go wavy again within a couple of hours, so I was interested in seeing if this product would really help it last for 24 hours. This smoothing creme contains a Thermaguard Complex which helps to protect your hair against heat damage. To use, you apply the product to damp hair before blow-drying. I found that it made my hair easier and quicker to style, I didn't have to repeatedly drag my straighteners through my hair to get it straight once it was dry. Unfortunately, I cannot say that my hair stayed straight for 24 hours after using this, however it did last around five or six hours of being out and about which I am quite happy with, so if your hair tends to stay straight for quite a while naturally, this may make it last even longer for you. If I am not wearing my hair straight I also like to just apply a tiny amount of product to the lengths of my hair to smooth it down.

I have really enjoyed trying out these products and I do see myself repurchasing them as I love the smell of them and I am always for a product that helps tame my hair when it is being wild! I definitely recommend trying these if you have very dry hair.

You can purchase John Frieda products in Superdrug and Boots; the shampoo and conditioner are £5.69 each (250ml) and the smoothing creme is £5.89 (100ml), which may seem a little expensive compared to most brands, but I would say it is worth it if you have dry hair as it does the job well and you get a decent amount of product.

Have you tried anything from the John Frieda Frizz-Ease range? What are your favourite John Frieda products?
*DISCLAIMER: PR samples. My opinions are still 100% honest.
Friday 29 June 2012

#caratblogshop: Carat Media Event.

On Wednesday, I attended an event in Manchester held by Carat Media, which was put together by their lovely team to help us fashion bloggers make the most out of our blogs. We were greeted in the reception area and given badges to wear complete with our names and blog URLs, before being taken up to a room where we were able to mingle with the Carat team and other bloggers, sip on a glass of wine, and meet some of the brands who were sponsoring the event. After we'd made the most of the wine, sausage rolls and strawberries, we all took a seat and listened to a series of talks by Rahul, Mark and Pete who gave us some fabulous tips for directing traffic our blogs and the do's and don'ts of blogging. Here are just a handful of the things we learned:

  • Keep your posts up to 500 words long, don't make them too long but give your post some meaning.
  • Key words, labels and tags are key.
  • Having your own domain will help optimize search engine results to your blog.
  • Long blog rolls are like socks and sandals- Don't do it! 20 is the magic number.

The talks were very informative and I am definitely going to take the tips and tricks that were mentioned on board. It was also lovely to talk to some of the brands who were at the event, such as Matalan, Kaleidoscope and Swimwear365, and we were treated to a lovely bag from Matalan and a sneak peek at their A/W 2012 collection (You might want to start saving your pennies, there are some gorgeous things hitting the stores soon!). I had a great evening, loved meeting and talking to some other bloggers as usual and I would love to see Carat host some more events :) Here are some of the pictures I took:

Kaleidoscope- Some of these clothes you wouldn't think are designed with more mature women in mind!
Gorgeous swimsuits from Swimwear365.
Enhancing my inner cat lady, thanks Matalan! Cat Face Bag: Matalan £8*

Were you at the Carat event? I didn't get chance to talk to everybody! :(

Thursday 28 June 2012

Outfit: Love is Hard.

I had been wanting a pair of crochet shorts for a while, and had my eye on this Zara pair, but I can never justify spending over £20 on a pair of shorts, especially as I already own so many, so when I saw this pair on Oasap, I snapped them up. They are a very budget friendly price at £16.56, and I think the scalloped tiers are very similar to the Zara ones. A downside is that they only come in one size, but they should fit a size 6-10 just fine (the measurements are on the website). I also love this H&M top that I picked up in the sale, it is so lightweight and easy to wear :)

 I am sorry that I am looking away in all these photos. My face just didn't want to co-operate today :( haha.
 Top: H&M
Shorts c/o Oasap*
Tights: Marks and Spencer
Shoes: Desire Clothing
Earrings c/o Oasap*
Ring c/o Oasap*
Belt: Local market

I also thought I would let you know about an amazing competition that Oasap are currently holding. They are giving away 152 dresses from their website. All you have to do to enter is click here and follow these steps:

1. Register, or sign in your account on
2. Choose the dress you like and pick your size and then click "vote".
3. One account may have a maximum of three entries.
4. The giveaway ends on July 10, and the winners will be contacted by email.

Good luck, and I hope you like my outfit! :)
*DISCLAIMER: Starred items are PR samples/ gifted items. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Wednesday Wishlist #18

 I only managed to find four things for my wishlist this week, but all of these pieces I absolutely love, and am having a very hard time trying to resist purchasing them!

It seems that tapestry designs are going to be big for Autumn/Winter 2012, and I love it on these loafers. They are only £22 aswell, which I don't think is bad at all for Topshop!

 Every time I browse the RedRock website, I find something that I fall in love with. This cropped t-shirt is probably something that will turn a lot of heads, but I love it. It is part of RedRock's collaboration with Oxfam too, which means part of the profits made from sales will be donated to the charity!

 I know the pewter version of these were in my last wishlist, but look. Black Disco Pants. For £30. If anybody would like to buy me a pair, feel free ;)

LovelySally has the most amazing leggings ever, the designs are so pretty! I think these ones are my favourites but I want them all!

I hope you like my picks! Have you had your eye on anything this week?
Tuesday 26 June 2012 High Heels Event + Win a VIP Pass to the Liverpool Event!

Just a quick post to let you all know about an exciting event that is taking place in Liverpool next week!
On Thursday, July 5, are holding an event at Newz Bar in Liverpool. It starts at 10PM (over 18s only, sorryyy!) and the first 100 people through the door will be treated to a goodie bag, filled with treats from their sponsors. Furthermore, the first 150 guests to arrive will get a free pair of shoes, courtesy of!
Anybody can turn up to the event, but I have kindly been allowed five VIP passes to offer to my readers, which will grant you and a friend priority access to the party, meaning that you can get in before everybody else and claim your free shoes! 
To enter my giveaway, all you have to do is head over to my Facebook page and like it, and also like my post about this event :) I will select the five winners at random on Monday, July 2.

It sounds like a great event so make sure you enter! If you are not in or near Liverpool, are holding these events in twelve different cities up and down the country, so check here to see if there will be one near you! You can also RSVP on that page to increase your chances of getting a VIP pass!

Good luck, and I hope to see you there! :)

Sunday 24 June 2012

Healthy Green Smoothies.

I do like to try and be healthy, although I will be the first to raise my hand and say I am partial to some pizza and chocolate cake probably a little too often. I love eating fruit and veg, but I know how difficult it is sometimes to incorporate five portions in to your meals. Today I decided to dust off the blender that has been hiding away in the corner of my kitchen for the past couple of years and start making smoothies again, as they are a really good way of getting your recommended daily allowance of fruit and veg- a smoothie can count as up to two of your five-a-day.

Now, fruit smoothies are pretty versatile, you can just throw in any combination of your favourite fruits and you're good to go! But recently, I was doing a little research in to some good recipes, and came across some that contained an ingredient that I never thought I would put in to a smoothie... Spinach.

I have always loved spinach with my meals, ever since I was little and was convinced that eating lots of spinach would allow me to have superhuman strength, like Popeye. Including spinach in a blended fruit drink sounds bizarre though!

However, I can assure you that it isn't as bad as it sounds. Lots of people include spinach in their smoothies as it is a superfood (meaning it is very good for you), but doesn't have a strong taste, therefore the spinach is masked by all the other ingredients but you are still getting all the health benefits from it. Just a handful of the health benefits from spinach are:

  • Vitamin K to help strengthen bones
  • Contains anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene and kaempferol, which fight heart disease, cancers and eye conditions such as cataracts
  • Improves brain function and protects against aging 

     Now I know my smoothie isn't exactly a green smoothie, I'm not brave enough yet to put enough vegetables in it to make it turn green. To be honest, a green smoothie probably looks more appetising than the pukey colour that mine turned (do you like my strawberry and raspberry garnishing and brightly coloured straws as an attempt to make it look a bit better?), but I promise you it tastes a lot better than it looks, it is essentially a strawberry and banana smoothie with a handful of spinach thrown in (just throw a few more berries in there to make it turn red haha!). Here is what I used:
    • Ice
    • 200g fat-free natural yoghurt
    • 1 and a half bananas
    • A handful of chopped strawberries
    • A handful of raspberries
    • A handful of spinach

    What is your favourite smoothie recipe? Do you add spinach in yours?
    Saturday 23 June 2012

    Review: LUSH Bubblegum Lip Scrub

    This probably isn't a very exciting review that I have for you today- You probably all have seen or tried this product before, but it has seriously been a holy grail product for me recently, so I thought I would do my own little write-up on it for those of you who may not have tried it.

     Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub.

    The lip scrub comes in a little glass jar that holds 25 grams of product, which will last you a long time. As you can see, mine still has a lot left inside and I have had it since Christmas. There is only a handful of ingredients in the scrub, it is essentially just a pot of castor sugar with colouring and flavouring, which is the reason why a lot of people (including myself at first) would say that this is overpriced for what it is.

    It is quite expensive for little jar of sugar, but now that I have it I would say that it is worth it; the pot is handy for carrying it around in your bag, it will last you ages, and it smells and tastes delish!

    The smell and the taste of the product is exactly like bubblegum, very sickly sweet and hard to resist just eating! To use the scrub, you just take a little bit of product on a (clean) finger and rub it gently in to your lips to exfoliate off all the dead skin cells. You can then either lick off the product as it is completely edible, or use a tissue to wipe it off. It is quite abrasive and can leave your lips feeling sore if used too often, so I choose just to use it every morning and occasionally in the evening before I go to bed aswell.

    I have been loving using this product lately. I don't know why, but my lips have been really chapped and dry recently, and this is great at keeping them in good condition, paired with my Carmex lip balm.

    The Bubblegum Lip Scrub retails at £4.95, which yes, is dear for a small pot of sugar, but in my opinion completely worth it. As well as Bubblegum, it comes in two other flavours; chocolate (Sweet Lips) and mint chocolate (Mint Julips).

    Have you tried this or any other lip scrubs?
    Friday 22 June 2012

    Names4Ever Name Necklace.

    I have always loved the idea of personalised jewellery, and I have wanted a necklace with my name on it for the longest time- I have always been faced with the frustration of looking through pre-made personalised items in shops and "Frances" appearing to be an unheard of name. So when Names4Ever contacted me asking if I would like to review a piece of their personalised jewellery, I jumped at the chance!

    There are lots of different styles of pendants to choose from on the website; you can choose a name necklace similar to mine or you can have your name engraved in to a shaped pendant. They also have charms for charm bracelets and engraved rings, which I love the look of!
    The necklace I chose was the silver two name necklace in the Patricia Raymon style. Prices vary depending on whether you want one or two names, an added crystal, gold or silver, or just a plain necklace.
    The ordering process was pretty straight forward, you just click on the image of the style you want, enter all the details and away you go! It was a little confusing when it came to payment details, but this might have been because I was receiving the item for free but had to order my necklace the normal way.

    My necklace arrived four days after I received a confirmation email, which I think is really good considering your necklace is made from scratch and is shipped from the Netherlands. It comes packaged in this cute little presentation box, making it nice if you were to buy this as a gift for somebody. I love my necklace, it looks and feels very well made and I am so happy to finally have a personalised piece of jewellery! :)

    The necklaces come on a standard 45cm Figaro chain, although you can have a longer chain at a little extra cost. I like the length of this chain, however, it falls at just the right place on my chest.

    The necklace I chose costs £58.00, which usually would be a little dear for me to spend on myself, however I think these would make a beautiful gift for somebody. Also, shipping is free, which is always a good thing! If you would like to check out the jewellery that Names4Ever has to offer, visit their website here.

    Do you have a name necklace?
    *DISCLAIMER: This product was kindly sent to me for free for review purposes. My opinions are still 100% honest and my own.
    Thursday 21 June 2012

    Outfit: Pastel Peacock.

    What is going on with the weather?! Yesterday was so nice and sunny, and then the moment I get a chance to get out and capture some outfit photos, rain starts lashing down from the heavens! However, I just couldn't wait to show you my new skirt from Jovonna London so I chiefed through the gloomy weather and did my best to capture the beauty of it the same way it would show on a sunny, breezy day. This skirt is now my new favourite item in my wardrobe, it is part of the Jovonnista range and I just love everything about it; the pattern, the colours, the leather and the stud detail! I am not normally a maxi/midi skirt person as I don't feel I am tall enough for them, but this falls beautifully at my ankle. I have to give props to Jovonna London for their attention to detail aswell; I have ordered from them previously and each time, they deliver your item nicely wrapped in a dust bag, and they throw a cute little wrist strap in there too (which I forgot to photograph on but I have thrown in a quick photo of it at the end of this post!)

    Skirt: c/o Jovonna London*
    Cami: Primark
    Shoes: New Look
    Necklace: c/o Names4ever*
    Bracelets: L-R Fiorelli, Dorothy Perkins, c/o Cutey*
    Nails: Barry M Mint Green & Models Own Ibiza Mix

    I hope you like my outfit! Have you purchased anything from Jovonna London?
    *DISCLAIMER: Starred items are PR samples, giveaway prizes or gifts.

    Wednesday 20 June 2012

    Wednesday Wishlist #18

    Totally didn't realise it was Wednesday today until about three hours ago haha, so I was really unprepared for this post! I wasn't majorly inspired by the New-In sections this week, although after scouring around for a while I did find a few pretty gems :)


    This top looks like any ordinary sequin embellished top from afar, but I fell in love with it when I took a look at the close-up photos on the River Island website. It is so colourful and I bet it would look really pretty for Summer parties.

    This looks like such a simple, black going-out top, but I love the unusual cut and shape and think that this would make it a statement piece in itself.

    I adore the pastel colours and floral print on these shorts from Tesco. At just £10 they're a steal too!

    I love a red lip every now and again, but I have always leaned towards blue toned reds as I am terrified of yellow toned lipsticks making my teeth look yellow! I love the look of more orange-reds though and I think Sartorial would be a good place to start as it isn't too in-your-face. I also have my eye on the shade Rio Rio, too.

     I love the things in the shops lately that are ever-so-slightly patriotic, but aren't just a union jack slapped in the middle of it.  I think these Matalan tops look really pretty- they have other designs such as Big Ben and Tower Bridge too.

    I have wanted a pair PU panel leggings for while, but I always thought that PU leggings clung to me funny and looked a little saggy. These jeans might fit a little better, and I really like the added double zip detail.

    I hope you like my picks! Have you had your eye on anything special this week?
    Tuesday 19 June 2012

    Liverpool Haul: Primark, H&M, Dorothy Perkins

    Today, I hopped on a train with a good friend of mine to Liverpool for a catch up and a mooch around the shops. I treated myself to a few things with my birthday money- I am quite proud as everything I picked up was under £7 and my grand total for the day came to just over £20.00! Saying that, my friend managed to come home having only spent £5. Oh.

     Black and White Cami Tops: Primark £2.00 each
    Feather Head Scarf: Primark £3.00 £1.00
    I am definitely proud of myself for only spending £5.00 in Primark, mainly on essentials too! I had been meaning to pick up a couple of camis to wear under sheer shirts, so I thought I would pick them up here at only £2 a pop. I am also loving wearing head scarves when I have my hair up in a top knot, so I picked up this pretty feather print one.

     Love Is Hard Top: H&M £9.99 £5.00
    If you haven't already checked out the H&M sale, you should, there are some amazing bargains to be found! I love the print of this top and the fact that it buttons down at the back, too. It is also slightly cropped and made of a lightweight material, so it is perfect for keeping cool or layering up.

     Colour Block Pleated Skirt: H&M £14.99 £7.00
    I picked up this skirt as soon as I saw it. I have been looking for a simple, everyday pleated skirt, and I love the cornflower blue hem on this one.

    Silver and Gold Cross Bracelets: Dorothy Perkins £5.00 each £2.00 each
    I love crosses and I remember a similar bracelet to these (minus the engraved detail) being sold in Miss Selfridge a while back but I missed out on them, so I was pleased when I spotted these! I couldn't decide whether I liked the silver or the gold better so I picked up both haha!

    I hope you like my purchases, have you shopped the H&M sale?
    Monday 18 June 2012

    Review: E.V.A Unbreakable Hair Repairing Mask.

    Before I start the review, I just thought I would apologise for my disappearance over the weekend. I have been feeling very stressed out and lethargic lately, so I thought instead of posting half-hearted blog posts every other day, I would take a few days out to relax and get my blogging cap back on. I am feeling much better today and ready to get back in to action with lots of blog post ideas lined up, so if I don't post every day this week, it's smacked hands for me!


    Prior to having my hair dip dyed, I went about trying to find a way to get my hair in as good condition as I could. It wasn't too damaged anyway since I hardly heat style my hair any more, however my ends were a little bit frazzled due to straightening my hair religiously a year or so ago.

    I spotted the E.V.A Unbreakable Hair Repairing Mask in TK Maxx at a discounted price of £12.99 instead of £25.99. Normally I wouldn't even spend £12.99 on a hair mask, but the tub was a generous size and I had been interested in trying out a product that contains Argan oil, so I thought I would give it a go.

    The mask contains Keravis Protein which is derived from vegetable oil, and repairs the elasticity and strength of your hair. It also contains Argan oil which is already a wonder product in the blogging world, and leaves your hair feeling smooth and moisturised. What is even better, is that the product is free of parabens and sulfates, making it safe to use even on colour-treated hair.

    The product comes in a thick, creamy consistency, similar to that of a typical conditioner. The directions on the packaging say that this can be used either as a weekly treatment or an every day conditioner. As it is quite a pricey product with rich ingredients, I prefer to use this twice a week after shampooing my hair. My favourite thing about this product is the smell; it is absolutely divine! I don't know exactly how to describe it, but it is sweet and reminds me a little of cocoa/ shea butter.

    To use the product, I just smooth a generous amount through the lengths of my hair after shampooing and then wrap my hair in a warm towel. The directions say to leave it on for 2-5 minutes but I like to keep it on for around 10 minutes whilst I am relaxing in the bath.

    Once I rinse the product off, I can feel the results right away. My hair feels so much softer and easy to manage. My usually dry and frizzy hair looks and feels more moisturised and any split ends don't look half as bad. The gorgeous smell sticks around for a couple of days, too. Thumbs up for this product.

    If you are in the UK, you might be able to pick this up at your local TK Maxx for £12.99 for a 500ml tub; I have seen it a couple of times in my nearest TK Maxx recently. I am not sure about everywhere else in the world, although if you are in the US, I believe you may be able to find it at Walgreens, or purchase it online here.

    Have you tried this product? What is your favourite hair treatment?