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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Happy One Month Birthday Blonde Vision!


I feel so guilty about not blogging in what feels like forever but as everyone who follows me on twitter knows, I started a new job this week so I’m just adjusting to the 9-5 (although in my case it’s more like 7.30-7.30!)

As my lovely little blog is turning One Month Old today, I decided it would be good to write a post to firstly thank everyone for all their support, but secondly make resolutions for the future of Blonde Vision so here we are!

  1. Write at least one post a week… MINIMUMWhile I don’t agree with posting for the sake of it, I do aim to post at least once a week, gathering inspiration and photos whenever I can in the week and then finding a time to put it all together. Not that I’m usually short of inspiration for posts but I do have a notebook I carry round with me that I like to jot ideas down in!
  2. Take part in a least 3 blogger chats on Twitter per weekI love twitter chats so much and think they’re a great way to meet new people, find new blogs to follow, and encourage others to have a look at mine. I absolutely love twitter chats – I think we all do. It’s so great for the whole community to come together to discuss topics whilst encouraging and supporting each other. I’m going to aim to take part in at least 3 a week although ideally I’d do them all! I guess working on a computer all day now means I don’t always want to come home and sit on it all night too! My twitter is @blonde_vision for those who don’t already follow me!
  3. Get my blog designed properlyI didn’t get my blog designed professionally to begin with as I didn’t actually know how much I’d enjoy it! Now I know I’m here to stay I think it’s time to get my blog designed! If anyone can design them, or has a good recommendation of someone, please send them my way!
  4. Take better photos an spend more time editingDue to not having much time, I don’t spend too long composing photos and editing them ready for my blog. I currently take all my photos on my phone which I know I shouldn’t. With so many photographers in the family you’d think I’d learn! I love editing photos so I really need to put more effort into editing the ones going on my blog too!
  5. Keep finding more blogs to followI follow so many amazing blogs, too many to name them all but still love finding more! If I’m not already following you, comment below or tweet me your link!
    So there we are, my resolutions for Blonde Vision in the next few months, I'm sure I'll review them at my 6 month milestone!

Love Lauren xx


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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Travel: Playa Blanca, Lanzarote

As everyone has probably seen from my Twitter, I've just got back from the beautiful island of Lanzarote so thought it was about time to write a review of the resort and the lovely villa we've been living in for the past week!

We decided to go to the canary islands for the (supposedly) sunny all year weather and ideally wanted a villa for some peace and to avoid the usual morning sun bed fight at most popular hotels. This villa was recommended to us and I have to say it was a goodun! There aren't many smaller villas with a private pool and as much space as we were really lucky to find this gem. 

Playa Blanca

Once a small fishing village, Playa Blanca is now Lanzarote's most up and coming, and also the second busiest resort. The resort itself is spread out along the Port, Town and Rubicon Marina (see photos below) with a range of restaurants to suit every taste. There isn't too much in the way of nightlife (if you're looking for that then stay/have a night in Puerto Del Carmen near the airport), but there are a few bars which get particularly lively at the weekend. 

Playa Blanca is the newest of Lanzarote resorts with the Rubicon Marina still looking fresh and brand new. It's a lovely walk from the Port, into the town and then on to the marina, but probably about a mile long. The only thing I would say lets the resort down is the lack of beaches. Playa Blanca does have a small beach but these can get quite crowded. The Papagayo beach is about 2km away and is said to be absolutely beautiful with lovely little coves. They charge a small entrance fee which I think is per car but I'm sure it's worth it - definitely a must see for my next trip!


The Port


Rubicon Marina



Playa Blanca Centre and Beach

Villa Overview

This villa was located quite far away from the town. It took us 1 hour 10 minutes to walk which obviously we didn't try twice (!) but we had a cab number to call and they turned up within minutes which was great. Taxi to the town was 5€ while the Marina was slightly more at 6/7€ so not much at all. There was also a shop and about 5 restaurants 5/10 minutes walk away where we got fresh bread everyday. 

The villa had two bedrooms and two bathrooms with a sofa bed in the lounge so could potentially sleep 6. We were amazed how well equipped it was with all kitchen amenities and tools you could possibly need, a dishwasher, washing machine, ironing board, full Sky+HD, Wii and games, and Wi-Fi. 

The outside area really sold us the villa, it was beautiful with five different (and mega comfortable) seating areas of rattan furniture which I love! We had an outdoor pool, BBQ area and hot tub; it really was a home away from home. The villa itself was in a gated community which felt really safe, was peaceful and wasn't really overlooked. 


Outside sofas and dining table


BBQ area and hot tub


Panoramic view of outside area


Outside seat and lounger - where my holiday posts were written!



Two dining tables (one under cover) and outside sofa area - please excuse my boyfriend in the background with his eyes glued to the World Cup!


View from the master bedroom of pool and loungers

Overall, I definitely think I'll be returning to this villa, it was amazing for the price and had everything we need. The only thing that let it down was that it didn't have air conditioning which meant it was really hot at night.

If anyone is interested in visiting this villa for a holiday, please let me know I'd be happy to pass on the details! I've also previously stayed at the Bahia Blanca Rock, Rubicon Palace and another villa near to the town so if you're looking to stay here let me know if you want any info on these places too!

Here's a couple of holiday snaps of Luke and I seeing as my plan to photograph my OOTD was ditched quite early into the holiday!! Sorry!







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Friday, 20 June 2014

Schwarzkopf got2b Beach Matt Mermaid Look Texturizing Salt Spray - Review

My hair drives me absolutely nutty. While I'm lucky enough to have never dyed it, relying on the sun to bleach it (hence the light on top and dark underneath!), generally, it's a lifeless mess. I love my hair when it has volume and life in it but it gets greasy quickly so I'm always looking for products that aren't too heavy. 

I only ended up buying this product as it was on offer in Sainsburys and I was attracted to the bottle packaging (I'm a sucker for good packaging) and the 'Beach Matt Mermaid Look' name - what girl doesn't want mermaid like waves?!






They say

Want to feel like you just stepped off the sand with that windblown, tousled beach look? got2b beach matt texturizing SALT SPRAY gives your hair beachy waves - mermaid style! The salt infused formula provides you with hair full of texture and a tousled finish anytime you want and all without the crunch! Now you can rock mermaid waves all year long, even when the beach is nowhere to be seen.

How to use the product

Spray evenly on dry or towel-dried hair. Scrunch or tousle-style as desired. Blow dry or let the wind to do the rest!

The results

As with my previous post, please excuse the quality of the photos! Taking them whilst on holiday so front facing phone camera quality is't great but I'll re-do them at some point!

Before (Natural hair, unstraightened) and After using product


Verdict

I'm really impressed how this product creates waves without the need for a curling wand or any other tools. It smells great and is so easy to do. I love how the product can be used on wet or dry hair (I used it on dry hair this time) as it makes it really versatile. The only downside is that I find the waves drop out after an hour or so (story of my life!). I haven't tried putting hairspray on after as I didn't want to ruin the texture but may try this next time! Also must say I've since tried this product after I had created waved with my curling wand and absolutely love the results, the waves hold for longer and definitely create the beach wave look! Overall - 8/10

If anyone has any recommendations on products to add volume/life/ANYTHING to my hair I'd love to hear them!! :-)

Love Lauren xx
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Thursday, 19 June 2014

Thoughtful Thursdays - Marc and Angel Chernoff

A close friend recently introduced me to the wisdom and inspirational words of Marc and Angel Chernoff. Their blog, “Marc and Angel Hack Life” features over 600 articles on happiness, productivity, emotional intelligence, relationships, and general self-improvement, and has attracted over 100 million page views and 100 thousand subscribers since 2006.

The site has since been added to my favourites, I could spend hours browsing it but I wanted to share one particularly article with you all, '30 things to start doing for yourself' as I think it's something everyone should read and reflect upon. These '30 things' are all great mantras to live by and I think we should all be more aware of things we can do for ourselves to be happy. 

I've only included the list in this post but to see the full version click here!


  1. Start spending time with the right people
  2. Start facing your problems head on
  3. Start being honest with yourself about everything
  4. Start making your own happiness a priority.
  5. Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly
  6. Start noticing and living in the present
  7. Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you
  8. Start being more polite to yourself
  9. Start enjoying the things you already have
  10. Start creating your own happiness
  11. Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance
  12. Start believing that you’re ready for the next step
  13. Start entering new relationships for the right reasons
  14. Start giving new people you meet a chance
  15. Start competing against an earlier version of yourself
  16. Start cheering for other people’s victories
  17. Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations
  18. Start forgiving yourself and others
  19. Start helping those around you
  20. Start listening to your own inner voice
  21. Start being attentive to your stress level and take short breaks
  22. Start noticing the beauty of small moments
  23. Start accepting things when they are less than perfect
  24. Start working toward your goals every single day
  25. Start being more open about how you feel
  26. Start taking full accountability for your own life
  27. Start actively nurturing your most important relationships
  28. Start concentrating on the things you can control
  29. Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes
  30. Start noticing how wealthy you are right now

Love Lauren xx


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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

FOTD holiday edition

I always love reading FOTD posts as I find it interesting to see the mix of products everyone else uses and how they achieve their look so I thought this would be a perfect time to write a holiday edition post! 

This is my usual holiday night time look, I'm not very good at experimenting with colour which is something I really need to learn to do! Laying all the products out has made me realise actually how many I use!! Oops!!

Please excuse the awful quality of the photos - I only have my phone here and the front-facing camera quality isn't great!




The Make-up Bag


Ted Baker 
A present from my boyfriend because I was carrying everything around in a plastic bag (yes, seriously)! I love this as it's big enough to fit everything in and it's pretty too which can't hurt!

Products Used




Face Base




In order of application:

MAC - Prep + Prime Primer
MAC - Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NC35
Avon - Flat Foundation Brush
Avon - Smooth Minerals Powder Foundation in Medium Beige
Black Bristle Brush - I have no idea where it's from it's so old sorry!!
Urban Decay - Highlighter in Glint
Mac - Brush 224
Avon - Bronzing Pearls
Avon - Angled Brush
Avon - Shimmer Block
Avon - Powder Brush


Eyes


In order of application:

Urban Decay - Base Eyeshadow in Minor Sin (forth from left)
Urban Decay - Main Colour Eyeshadow in Nameless (third from left)
MAC - Crease Eyeshadow in Typographic
ELF - Contour Brush
Avon - Super Shock Gel Eyeliner in Black
Urban Decay - Underneath Eye Colour in Remix (second from left)
Liz Collinge - Small Shadow Brush
Rimmel - Professional Eyebrow Pencil
Avon - Super Shock MAX Mascara in Black



As I've mentioned in a previous post, I rarely use anything on my lips except a bit of clear gloss in the form of Avon's Lip treatment (see holiday haul post) as I usually have really dark eyes and don't want it to be too much but maybe I should try?!

If anyone has any FOTD posts, please post them below or send them to me via twitter (@blonde_vision), I love reading them!!

Love Lauren xx
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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Mac Duty Free Mini-Haul


I'm sure not many of us can walk through Duty Free at the airport without being tempted to buy something! My much loved Chanel Vita Lumiere foundation has run low extremely quickly so I knew I needed a new foundation and what better opportunity. 

I haven't used Mac foundations for years but thought it was time to try them out again. The lovely girls at Mac Luton Airport did a lovely job (despite rushing as my flight was called mid-powder)!


I ended up buying a foundation and  primer, they used a lovely bronzer on me but unfortunately it was out of stock which was probably just as well but I'm sure I'll be purchasing it when I get home!

MAC Prep + Prime Primer


Obviously I couldn't just go in there and buy a foundation, it just makes sense to buy the primer too right?! I've read so much about the Mac Prep + Prime so I thought it would be a good time to buy it. 



I've tried out this primer a few times now since I've been away and I love it! It's so velvety and makes my foundation much smoother. I'd be really interested to see what it looks like underneath my normal Chanel foundation (which I didn't bring on holiday) as I'll know whether it's the new Mac foundation or the primer (or both) making all the difference to my skin. Also love how much longer lasting my foundation is after applying it! 

MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 in NC35

Anyone who knows me would know I'm massively obsessed with foundation and forever on a quest to find 'The One' so I'll never turn down an opportunity to try a new one. 

This colour was a shade to dark for me when I bought it at the airport but knowing I was about to sit on a sunbed for a week to soak up the sunshine, I thought it best to go darker! I did think the colouring was quite yellow at first look but maybe that's just the bottle?! 



          

This was taken the first day of the holiday so the shade is still slightly too dark but the foundation takes really well to the skin, minimises pores and gives an all over flawless finish (used with the primer too!). Seems to be long lasting and has barely needed a touch-up during the evenings despite the humidity and wind here which is promising. I'll be interested to try it when I'm back home to see how it holds after a day in the office so I'll keep you posted! Now all I need to do is invest in some decent foundation brushes, I'm finding the flat brush quite hard to work with now as it just lays foundation onto the skin - may be time to try a buffing brush!

If anyone has a foundation (or brush) recommendation please send it my way!

Love Lauren xx

*Note: These photos haven't been edited and are true to colour :-)
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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Holiday Haul!

 I'm so excited to be going on holiday this week I wanted to write a post to share a few holiday essentials I bought last week! Couldn't do a post to include everything I've bought so I've included the best picks!

Sun Care

 
L-R
Fresh Protection Lotion - Very water resistant SPF 30
Protect and Glow Moisturising Sun Spray SPF 15
Maxi Tan - Tan Enhancing Oil Spray
Cooling After Sun Spray Lotion with Vitamin C 

I'm not going to preach to you all about the importance of using SPF, we all know this, and I'm sure we can all admit we probably don't use enough - I'm definitely the first to put my hands up to it! However, I've been using Avon sun care since I became a rep four years ago and haven't touched anything else since! I always get complimented on my tan and I swear it's down to these products!

The Fresh Protection Lotion is new to the Avon sun care range so I haven't tried it yet but it does smell amazing and rubs in well - I hate lotions that are really thick and leave a white tinge! I've been using the protect and glow religiously for the last few holidays I've been on and it's great. It does dry quickly so needs to be rubbed in straight away but it protects well while moisturising your skin to avoid it drying out in the sun.

I know using oil isn't recommended but I'm a self confessed tan addict! The tan enhancing oil spray doesn't have an SPF in so I usually use it along with the protect and glow SPF 15. It smells lovely, is moisturising and isn't a sticky oil which I hate! I'm lucky to have skin that tans easily but I wouldn't recommend this product to people with pale skin that burns easily! 

Finally, the cooling spray is a god send for those evenings when you fee like you've overdone the sun a bit! Really does what it says on the tin and is gives a perfect cooling sensation while also being moisturising - a must have for holiday!

Beauty

Avon Care Royal Jelly Lip Treatment SPF 15

My total count of this product has just reached 9 so obviously it's at the top of my packing list too. I suffer from dry lips so I always have one of these to hand and it's perfect hand bag/clutch bag/any bag size. This lip treatment has an SPF of 15 and comes out like a gloss, making it great for both night and day. I highly recommend!

Avon Glow - Nailwear Pro+ 'Watermelon'

I'm a huge lover of Avon nail varnish and just had to buy yet another shade of pink when I saw it in the brochure last week! I haven't tried it yet so I'll keep you posted on the results but it is no doubt a beautiful colour.

Fashion

Primark Mint Shorts
 
If you've read my first post, you'd know how much I love anything and everything mint this season! They're only £4 and have loads of colours so I've stocked up and I'm sure will be featured again in my holiday OOTD's!

Boohoo Misty Neon Floral Skort Playsuit 'Pink'

Anyone who knows me will know I've never been a print kinda girl, until this season. I've been loving all the prints in at the moment and have tried to steer clear of my block colours to go for something a bit different. This skort playsuit does look lovely on, but it would be so much better if it had a zip as getting into it is quite difficult (or maybe there was a zip but I'm too blonde and haven't found it?!). Potentially won't actually wear it on holiday as it's quite tight and thick so possibly a bit hot but we'll see!

Shoes

Primark white sandals

These were a massive impulse buy because I needed a pair of white sandals for holiday and didn't have enough time to look around. Not sure why I bought them as they're wide fit and my feet are ridiculously narrow but they are comfy at least, just look a bit big! I think everyone can identify with the pre-holiday impulse buy!



Aldo Vedessana Sandal 

By far my favourite item on this week's holiday haul and well deserving of two photos to admire their beauty! I love the gold trim detail and the padded heel which my delicate blister prone feet will thank me for, I can't wait to wear these!

 Aldo Hickoryhills Clutch

I fell in love with this multi tone clutch the second I saw it! The magnetic clasp on the flap secures the bag, it also has a strap to put over your shoulder which is great for when I don't feel like carrying it! Planning to only take this clutch with me, I know I won't want to use anything else with this beauty as an option!


So there's my holiday haul picks, from the last week I'm planning to do OOTD's while I'm away (with my boyfriend hired as the photographer) so I'm sure you'll see all of these again! Anyone else bought anything summery/for holiday recently?


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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Urban Decay Face Case Shattered - Review and Swatches

This double-layer palette was given to me by my boyfriend's lovely parents for Christmas, and what a present!! I've used at least one shade in it everyday since (as the heavy dent in 'Nameless' shows!), and the added extras of the two mirrors,  two lip colours and an eye liner, make it my go-to palette, particularly if I'm in a rush. Overall, the colours are highly pigmented and the eye shadow shades complement each other well. Full review below!

They say
"The ultimate all-in-one palette for the most discriminating beauty junkies, Shattered Face Case has all the essentials for a range of looks-including five NEW and EXCLUSIVE Eyeshadow shades. Shattered Face Case includes five shades of Eyeshadow (featuring our Pigment Infusion System™ for rich, velvety color that lasts), two shades of blush (in an exclusive new powder formula), a highlighter, two Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color and a travel-size 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil" 

Packaging



Please excuse the battered and bruised packaging, but it has been well used! I love the packaging, in keeping with the brand and really like back cover detailing all the shades of each of the colours. Great to refer back to if I'm looking for them in the future!




Even though it's double layered, the palette is lightweight and small enough to fit into a make-up bag or handbag for top ups throughout the day.



Inside:


First layer of palette: (L-R) 
Shakedown, Remix, Nameless, Minor Sin, Bleach
Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Colour in Lovechild 
24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero


Second layer of palette: (L-R)
Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Colour in Lovechild
Blush: Overexposed and Temper
Highlight: Glint


Swatches and Review


(L-R) Shakedown, Remix, Nameless
These three shades are the ones I probably use the most, with Nameless being used everyday. Shakedown and Nameless are satin shades, highly pigmented and stay on well although I have found that they are quite similar when applied. Remix is a beautiful shade which I sometimes use as a liner to dust along the bottom outter corner of my eye to add a pop of colour (I generally wear smokey eyes all day every day, whatever the occasion!). Remix has a slight micro-glitter pigment which makes it perfect for turning a daytime smokey eye into something wearable at night. 


(L-R) Minor Sin, Bleach
Minor Sin is again a satin shade whereas Bleach is a matte. I tend to only use these two if I'm doing an evening look but I probably should experiment more! Both go on well and also have good staying power. 


(L-R) Blush: Overexposed and Temper, Highlight: Glint
These two blushes are great for anyone who wears pinky tones as again they're highly pigmented, but unfortunately that's not me! My cheeks are naturally quite red and I spend enough time covering with them with foundation to put anything a remotely 'flushed' colour back over! Also, as I wear heavy eye make-up everyday, it definitely looks too much to add anything but bronzer to my cheeks but maybe I'll experiment one day!
The highlight however is absolutely beautiful and as you can see from the photo of the palette, well used! I've never previously used many highlights so don't have much to compare it to but it goes on smoothly and blends well creating a subtle shimmer. 


Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Colour in Lovechild 
24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero
There are two lip colours in this palette and one travel sized glide-on pencil. Firstly, the lip colour is definitely high gloss! Comes out beautifully and the colour is great. As with pinky cheeks, I don't tend to wear much on my lips unless it's nude because of my heavy smokey eyes but this lip colour glides on well and does look beautiful when applied. 
I absolutely adore glide-on pencil/crayons, they're so easy to use, last for ages and have a strong heavy colour (just what I love with my smokey eyes!). While this isn't the best one I've come across (Avon - Supershock Gel Eyeliner my holy grail), this one works almost as well just isn't quite as strong a colour nor does it last as long, but it still does it's job well. 


Overall Verdict

Overall I do love this palette and use it daily. I would personally prefer if one of the blushes was a bronzer and one of the lip colours was a mascara - that way it really would be an entire 'face case' and I'm not sure it would ever leave my hand! As I've mentioned, it's a great size and weight to keep in your handbag for top ups throughout the day, the shades are highly pigmented, blend well, and have good staying power so all round it's a great buy! May upload a photo of how I use the palette but I'd need to grow some balls first!


Love Lauren xx

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