Wednesday, 29 August 2012

belated 500 followers giveaway

Okay, so I'm nearing my 600 GFC followers rather than 500 which is when this give-away was promised  but I've been sorting out lot's of university bit's and pieces and kept putting it off till now, so this give-away is to celebrate not only reaching 500 GFC followers but to each and every one of you and for reaching 50,000+ page views. Literally was astonished when I saw that figure pop up on my screen, so here's to me raising an imaginary glass to toast to you all for being such great supporters, especially those whose faces regularly pop up in the comments, it is noted and you really do make my day.

Anyway on to the exciting part, THE GIVE AWAY PRIZE! I've recently fallen head over heels with REN Skincare products and skin care is really sweeping the floor in the beauty world at the moment too. I know plenty of my readers love morrocan hair oils and I thought you'd hopefully love to win a trio gift set of body oils and creams. Currently this Trio Gift Set is out of stock on the REN website so here's a great chance to snap one up!

I know that the Body Wash was picked as In Style's Best Body Wash for the tenth year in a row and whilst researching these products I've heard nothing but the best of things about each and every one of these products and am tempted to snap up another gift set for £17 when they do come back into stock!

Yet again this give-away is international, and I wish the best of luck to you all!

p.s. you MUST be following by GFC, I will be checking ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 24 August 2012

dog days

Let me introduce you to the hairiest member of my family, Storm. No, we did not choose the name because we like a bit of X-Men (although I DO love the trilogy), in fact we didn't name her at all as my nan rescued her from a former abusive home. When we first took her in, she was timid, extremely wary and nervous when it came to any form of interaction, however, despite her not so pleasant, and of course down right cruel, former condition and the 'violent' and 'aggressive' stereotype that is attached to her breed, a Staffordshire terrier, she has never displayed any unruly behaviour and is possibly the friendliest dog I've met.

Whilst my nan is away on a short break I've been dog sitting and on our various walks around woodlands and the fields that back on to my house we have been faced with a lot stigma due to her being a staffie. I understand some people being nervous around a breed known for being quite aggressive but to full on accept that ALL members of that breed are menacing and violent isn't right. Storm is gentle, fun loving, and playful. I have such a soft spot for staffies as my nan has had two more just the same in temperament beforehand, it just goes to show it's not always in their nature, it's how you raise them and treat them that makes them what they are.

Isn't she a little cutie?

                                                               instagram: ohlittlered

Herbal Aloe Outer Nutrition Range

Many of you will know that recently I've been on the hunt for products that support natural ingredients, free from harmful parabens and sulphates and adopting more gentle botanical solutions. The new Herbal Aloe Outer Nutrition Range is brimming with essential vitamins and minerals and so the question is, can you really feel the difference on your skin?

May I add that all of these products smell SO scrummy, a brew of honeydew, lilies, and a hint of lemon blossom combined with the soothing powers of Chamomile (dreamy scent!) and African Shea Butter, is welcomed by both your sense of smell and sense of touch.

Hand & Body Wash* £9.25 - Part of the Refresh and Revive stages on their line-up, this duo wash aims to gently cleanse and hydrate your skin in order to lock in moisture for a healthier glow.  Being an advocate for the sensitive skin brigade a gentle but effective body wash is a great find for me and although I would prefer if it lathered up a little more I really loved this product. It glided on to my skin with no irritation whatsoever, my skin felt immensely clean and refreshed and the calming chamomile scent lingered on my skin.

Everyday Hand & Body Lotion* £8.63 (very precise amount?!) - This is meant to follow the Hand & Body Wash after your shower or bath. This was possibly my favourite from the range, the lotion was light and creamy, without being too watery, and my skin lapped it up and thanked me for it. Locking in the moisture perfectly and leaving my skin with the desired silky, smooth, and supple effect which was even noticed by my boyfriend who then cheekily borrowed some for himself!

Soothing Gel* £8.63 - Second product (after the hand & body lotion) in the Hydrate & Nourish stage of the line-up. I would say that you wouldn't need to buy both products as they both act as ultra-nourishing moisturisers. The difference being is that this product takes on a gel formula which yet again is light to touch and blends into your skin easy-peasy. This is the only product that doesn't have much of a scent as it is fragrance free and possibly suited to those with very sensitive skin. It absorbs quickly and leaves your skin tingling with a cool sensation which I really like as it makes me feel as if the product is really working and this product hydrates and soothes even my most stubborn dry skin. I think this would be great for sun burnt skin as it is really gentle.

I really did like this range, the packaging being very simplistic and easily disperses a good amount of product.  It's not something I think I would be drawn to especially in a shop but for those of you who are looking for ingredient friendly and natural products, or just have particularly sensitive skin, these are safe bet.

To check out more products from the Herbal Aloe Range click here, I particularly fancy trying the Strengthening Shampoo & Condtioner which have been proven to improve hair breakage and if it follows suit with the products I've tested should moisturise and nourish my lock to silky softness, a must!

Are you particularly bothered about the ingredients in your skin care products?

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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

midweek wishlist

Untitled #20

01. Sky Blue Sleevless Top with Gold Tip Collar - Glamourous - 02. Merrily Open Lace Up Shoes - Topshop - 03. Origins Super Spot Remover - 04. Origins GinZing Eye Cream -  05. REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask - 06. Topshop Lipstick in Whimsical

Make-up has been put on the back burner recently, having collected quite a vast array of cosmetic delights recently, I just don't feel like I need to buy much more whilst I already have a fair amount that I could put to good use. Therefore, I've recently got into skincare a lot more than my former naive self who protested 'I'm young so why would I need eye creams and renewal masks yet?!' but now is the time I have realised to take a bit more care and let these act as preventatives rather than miracle cures. 

Both Origins and REN Skincare have been countlessly advised to me and so I took the plunge recently and purchased a few REN facial skin care items which I will review in due course. The Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask did catch my eye and I have read a great review on it by Caroline which added my eagerness to test it out, however, at a handsome sum of £30 I chose to test this product out via 1/2 samples, that I was offered when purchasing the Invisible Pores Detox Mask, before committing to the hefty price tag. I've heard nothing but wonderful things so I'm hoping that it'll improve my blemish prone skin and brighten it up!
Not only have I been suffering from spots lately but dark circles and puffiness has taken over my eye area with a vengeance and that's why I'm hoping to purchase the much raved about GinZing Eyecream, student loan hurry up, please.

I spotted this cheep and cheerful top from Glamourous whilst fuelling my obsession to torture myself by online shopping when I have no money to spend, well done, Lauren, well done. Yet again I was caught admiring the Topshop make-up range of which I am yet to really test out for myself, oh if I was rich..

What have you been lusting after lately?

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Purely Natural Skin Acne Cleanser

This is the second product from the Purely Natural Range that I've been very kindly sent to review, first being their Healing Moisturiser. I chose this product from their collection to test out as not only is it their best seller but acne is something that has plagued my skin on and off for many years now. Like my skin type, this issue is a very sensitive one for me and I've often dallied with the idea of posting my bouts of strugglesome spots. Luckily my acne has always been quite mild in comparison to some of the more ferocious and unforgiving cases but every girl and even every boy I believe will attest that it is something that makes you highly insecure about your appearance and gets your spirits down on many a occasion.

I like Purely Natural Products because that's what they are, purely natural ingredients so the abrasive and harsh chemicals of other products I've tried (and failed with) are thrown out of the mix. Upon first opening up the product I was a little taken back by the consistency, it reminds me very much so of Cookie Dough or an Oat-y dough mixture, it even has a slight cake like smell. Therefore I was a little daunted about how to use it, I'm used to liquid or gel cleansers and so the paste like content of this acne cleanser does take a little work.

I tear off small chunks and warm under water, rubbing between my finger tips to create a finer paste like substance, which, with my muslin cloth, I then rub into my skin using circular motions every morning and night whilst my skin is clean. It doesn't agitate my blemishes, nor does any redness appear which is always a good sign for me, I'm prone to redness and so sighed a sigh of relief. The substance whilst swirled around my facial and neck area became much smoother and even slightly milky leaving my skin feeling softer and clean after every use.

So, has it banished my spots into the abyss? No, not just yet, as I'm having a particularly bad few months skin wise. However, after using this product for just two and a half weeks I have noticed major changes, my skin is calmer, softer and blemishes do tend to shrink in size and do not blare out in redness anymore giving me a huge confidence boost. I think if I continue to use this my skin will only go from strength to strength!

p.s. would you all be interested in a post about my skincare and troubles with acne relief? Have any of you suffered from acne and could recommend any products?

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Monday, 20 August 2012

ghosts that we knew

nude vectra's - topshop

It was a bit hit and miss today weather wise, but nonetheless I sported this cute little mini dress from Oasap. The combination of cut off denim with the floaty sheer skirt caught my eye, I really like the particular detailing of this dress from the grungy zips to the little bow embellishments on the buttons. I paired it with this winged necklace with blue pearl stone which reminds me very much of the golden snitch in Harry Potter, yes I'm a major Potter fan - I even queued up for the new books at midnight in my local tesco's!

I think this dress has much more of an edge and attitude to it compared to the more dainty dress I was gratfeully sent from Oasap which you can view in this post here. The flowing skirt retains the femininity juxtaposed with the collared up and sleeveless denim top half. One thing I would say about the skirt is that it is quite see through so lighter coloured underwear is favoured. I, however, did not realise this till much too late when I was parading around quite unaware that my sexier choice of black la senza lingerie was on display to the local shop workers at Co-op when in fact that view is very much restricted for my boyfriends eyes only. I'll be making sure that's a one time occurrence!

Right now I'm struggling getting started with my dissertation, I have a knack of leaving things to the last minute - not the best attribute when dissertations are all about planning and time management! Any helpful hints and tips would be greatly appreciated!

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Friday, 17 August 2012

toothpaste kisses

shoes - new look

This little beauty only arrived on my doorstop this morning but I just couldn't wait to share it with you as I've fallen a bit in love with it and have been floating around my garden pretending to a fifties housewife all afternoon as it does make feel rather regal.

I love the contrast of the white with the mint pleated skirt (attached as part of the dress) and collar tips, it's such a stunning summer outfit and once slipped on I guarantee you will feel particularly classy and elegant and might have to resist the urge to prance around. Its lightweight feel makes it comfortable to boot on top off gorgeously girly - I even whacked out the pink lipstick! 
There's not much more I can say in terms of bigging this item up, it's taking pride of place in my wardrobe.

p.s say hello to Maxxie, my neighbours cat, who actually lives with us as it just won't leave and scratches at the living room window to be let in if we do try to urge him back towards his owners. He is a cutie though, right?

                                                               instagram: ohlittlered

we're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo

Last weekend whilst London was sporting a bout of good weather and Jon's family decided to make the most of it and took us along, with his three year old niece, to Whipsnade Zoo. Now, I've been Whipsnade dozens of times but I never get bored because I'm such an animal lover and this time Jon decided to take the role of wildlife photographer and got some really lovely photo's - much to the amusement and many jokes of his step-dad donning him the next David Bailey.

We must have walked around the park numerous times, following Syd (his niece) to all her favourite animals as well as the bouncy castle and train ride before she crashed out nearer the end of the afternoon. It was a really lovely day and I would have been set for an early night if it wasn't for a planned birthday trip to Camden in the evening to celebrate my friend Leah's 20th which was also a lot of fun but in an entirely different way...

What's your favourite animal? My top priority when at the Zoo is to go spot the meerkats, they're so cute! Simples!

p.s. a big thank you to the lovely Lydia for making me her blog of the week - go check her out!

                                                               instagram: ohlittlered

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

lush - rock star soap

Lush Rock Star Soap* (I received mine as a Christmas present within one of their gift boxes)
Retails for £3.40 for 100g

I am an avid Lush fan, whenever I go shopping the various scents and array of brightly coloured bathroom treats draw me in and there I can spend up to an hour just sniffing and 'isn't this so pretty Jon?!'-ing away. Lush customer service is for me personally the best around, they're are always so pleasant and willing to play along with you for hours creating massive foam eruptions from bath ballistics and whatnot. Seriously, hours of fun.

I have never had a problem with any Lush product I have purchased or sampled as of yet, and Lush Rock Star soap is no exception to that rule. Christmastime will see me stocking up on their gift boxes as little extra treats for family and friends as I always think they make such a great little present. By boxing day sales I'm stuck right back in there, wrestling my way through everyone else to pick up whatever I can scavenge from their 50% Sale which sends me delirious - last year I think I got £80 worth of stuff for under £40 with other discounts involved as well.

Sweet lovers this soap is for you, if you like a concoction of bubblegum and haribo's then this soap is heaven sent for your nostrils. However, compared to other soaps I've tried from their range Rock Star isn't all that overpowering when you have the smaller slab of soap (bigger slabs at 3.05 oz might be a lot more pungent and leave your bathroom smelling like candyland) and is very subtle when it lingers on your skin after bathtime. 

I find that it lathers up pretty well and is extremely moisturising on the skin rather than some soaps that tend to dry my skin out. I would suggest cutting your Lush soaps into smaller slab sections as to get the most of the product and for easier use. I would definitely buy this for myself!

Do you have any Lush favourites?

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Tuesday, 14 August 2012

storage: t k maxx

Floral Tin Storage containers (which go very well with my duvet cover) - T K Maxx 
large - £2.99
small - £1.99

Just a quick little post to show off my new, very cath kidston-esque, tin storage containers that my nan picked up for whilst we were browsing in her local T K Maxx. I must admit I've never really bothered venturing inside T K Maxx before despite seeing many bargainous homeware hauls on youtube and lifestyle blogs but I'm glad my nan dragged me in their, even if she only wanted to spend twenty minutes sniffing various scented candles...

At just under £3 for the larger container I just couldn't keep my eyes from glaring back again and again at the  aisle they found themselves housed in and my nan soon cottoned on and offered to buy me them on the premise I bake some cakes to bring over in them. I'm not sure whether I'm going to use them as baking tins or just general storage yet but I'm thinking of using the smaller tin as the new home of my nail polish collection!

I love all things knick-knacky, and personally always have a nose at storage posts, so if you have any posts or storage tips please let me know as I'd love to have a gander!

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look loud lips: baby doll

Second of the three Loud Lips lipsticks I received in my Look Beauty Prize was the shade Baby doll (the other two being Toffee Cup and Tangerine Cream). I must admit at first I was thinking of adding this lippie to my give-away prize as I'm not a fan on pink lipsticks no matter what the shade, I just have always doubted that I could pull off a subtle pink let alone barbie pinks and fuchsia's due to my colouring.  But then I stopped to think 'but Lauren you've never tried' and so here we are.

The Look Loud Lips range are housed in baby pink boxes with Ashley Isham print for decoration which is also embossed on the sturdy, magnetic silver lipstick casing. I like the magnetic casing as it shuts close in a jiffy and my lipstick feels protected. Despite not being the most delicate packaging wise I find the print extremely pleasing to the eye.

Baby Doll is a pale barbie pink that applies more subtle than it appears in tube form but can also be build up for a brighter pink lip. Look Loud Lips from my personal experience are a delightful addition to your lips, I love the creamy formula which feels light to touch once applied and buttery soft. I find myself rubbing my lips together often which perhaps isn't the best thing for longevity but they really do feel that soft, and they're extremely moisturising. Pigmentation wise these aren't the best and longest wear I would say would be a max. of three hours but that wouldn't put me off purchasing from their collection, I only wish there was more shade to choose from!

Have you tried anything from the Look Beauty Range?

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Monday, 13 August 2012

photo diary: London 2012 pt.2

These are the remaining snaps I wanted to show you guys of our olympicnic in Potters Fields with a glorious view of the embankment and the olympic rings on Tower Bridge. Perfect tourist photo spot. I can't reiterate enough how electric the atmosphere was and watching the Closing ceremony last night I did get a bit tearful that it was all coming to an end as it's been a fantastic two weeks.

Since Danny Boyles wonderful and super creative opening ceremony I have been hooked to all things Olympic related and watched as many events as I possibly could as being a student without a day job leaves hours to doss around and so the Olympic atmosphere took over in my house. I never knew sport could make me so emotional, I've always loved how it has the power to unite people, unite countries but hosting such a spectacular event in my home city was and is beyond words. Literally magnificent.

As for the Closing Ceremony did anyone else get crazy excitable when they saw the black cabs pull up into the arena hosting the Spice Girls? Literally felt like I was eight again and was ready to whip out my Spice Girl's t-shirt from their last concert as a full group that I was lucky enough to go to. I only wish that they had been on longer instead of Emeli Sande who sang the same song TWICE, um what's up with that then?

I'm really looking forward to the paralympics now and I've got Reading Fest coming up as well, eep!!

What did you think of the closing ceremony?

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Friday, 10 August 2012

photo diary: London 2012 pt.1

Jon and I were were up bright and early this morning to head into central London for the final full day of the Olympics. The atmosphere where I live has just been phenomenal but I knew it couldn't beat the almost electric feel of packed crowds, sipping away at ice cold beers under the much wished for summer sun in the heart of London town. It was a fantastic day.

We headed along to the embankment first and foremost and I became one of those annoying people who becomes a tourist in their own city, snapping away at all the top sights rivalling with the Japanese who are renowned for their group photo shots along London Bridge.  We walked all the way around collecting free Great Britain flags to wave around proudly as well as bumping into many excitable foreign children who are visiting to watch the games. It really was a sight and London has never in my opinion looked and felt so homely amongst the buzz of Olympic fever and pride.

I'm actually feeling quite down in the dumps that it's drawing to an end as I've loved every minute of it and loved jumping up and down screaming with excitement when our olympians such as Jess Ennis and Mo Farrah grabbed us gold!!

If you would like to see more photo's from our day out let me know as I was hoping to do a part two as this post was originally very lengthy with photographic memories of our day!

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Thursday, 9 August 2012

its not easy being green

grey vest top - h&m
 high waisted pastel green pin stripe shorts - topshop
green plimsoles - h&m (old)
necklace - topshop sale (old)

Hello sunshine! Topping off my week by being able to lounge in my sunchair, after dusting it down from its year long hibernation in the shed, and catch up on some reading whilst the rays beat down upon my milk bottle skin adding a new cluster of freckles. Lovely jubbly. I even braved bare legs in these pin stripe hot pants in public which is a big thing for me as I've always had issues with having my legs on show but some how today I plucked up the courage and let the sun beat down on them quite happily indeed.

Earlier this week I was notified that I'd been picked , well this little ol' blog had been picked, by the editor of Pocket Change as their 'Editors Pick' which left me absolutely stunned as I always get whenever my corner of the internet gets any mention whatsoever. Later in the week I was then also e-mailed by Clare from Dotcomgiftshop who informed me I'd been added to their list of top shopper blogs alongside the stunning Gem Fatale! They were awfully nice about me and made me sound so much cooler than I actually am in their little intro to 'Little Red' which you can find here. I'm really chuffed and overwhelmed by all this new found praise and support so here's a MASSIVE thank you to you all once again - cheeseball soppy mode ensues - your support really does mean the world to me so sending you all virtual hugs right now.

Tomorrow Jon and I are off to Hyde Park to enjoy one of the final days of Olympic fever and soak up the patriotic pride that's left London positively glowing these past two weeks. We've prepared a not so little picnic, brimming over with savoury snacks and chocolately goodness! I cannot wait and if the weatherman is correct the sun will add to what I'm sure is going to be a perfect day out. Keep and eye out for a little photo diary post of tomorrows events.

Hope you're all are enjoying the weather, have you got any plans for the final few days of the Olympics?

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