Tuesday, 9 December 2014

ASOS Wishlist

My 'Saved Items' list on ASOS grows by the day at the moment. ASOS is my all time favourite online shop and I dread to think of the hours I've spent scrolling and scrolling on their site. The sheer variety and quantity of products on there is unrivalled and being an ASOS Premier member it makes it almost too easy to order something and have it arrive the following day, me and the courier who delivers my ASOS parcels have an amazing relationship now!

I wanted to share with you a few of the things that are currently sitting in my Saved Items just begging me to place an order. Some of the items are ASOS own brand and some are other brands which ASOS stocks. All images are from the ASOS website.

New Look Short 2 Embellished Heel Chunky Heel Sandals - £29.99

Whistles Bolt Cuff Bracelet - £30.00

ASOS 90s' Style Dungarees - £45.00

ASOS Top with Long Sleeves and Scoop Neck in Textured Rib - £14.00

ASOS Metallic Cross Front Cutout Skater Dress - £45.00

ASOS T-Shirt with Christmas North Pole Dancer Foil Print - £18.00

I have a sneaky suspicion I would be able to hold off getting the long sleeve top but I am trying to be less spendy in the run up to Christmas!

Thanks for reading,
Laura x

Find me on:
Twitter: @laurasivers
Instagram: @laurasivers_
Tumblr: helloenvy-o

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Sunday Style Scroll | All things oxblood

Oxblood, burgundy, maroon, crimson, wine...so many different names for what is basically a dark red colour. During the winter months especially I love everything about oxblood red. Be it clothes, shoes, accessories or make up, it is such a beautiful colour. And because of the variations in shades it suits absolutely everyone. 
Here's my collection of oxblood inspired style photos I've been re blogging on my Tumblr this week. For original sources and images you can find them on my Tumblr page http://helloenvy-o.tumblr.com.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Winter Skincare & Body Essentials

As soon as the temperature drops my skin tends to go a bit haywire. The combination of the cold air outside and central heating inside causes so many dry patches and flakiness, it is not a pretty sight! I know I'm not alone with this so here are the skincare and body products I have added to my routine to combat this.

No. 1 - Ultrabland from Lush
This is a beautiful cleansing balm with so many moisturising and calming ingredients so it's almost guaranteed not to upset your skin. I apply a small amount of this to dry skin and massage it in then remove with a damp face cloth and it removes all traces of make up and leaves my skin feeling really clean but still super nourished. It has no scent whatsoever which I definitely prefer from my cleansers and it says it is suitable for all skin types. This is also a super affordable cleansing balm compared to others that I've tried and it does the same job for a fraction of the price.

No. 2 - Intensive Glow Pads Brightening Treatment from Bare Minerals
As my skin has been so dry is was seriously lacking in any radiance and was looking so dull I needed to seriously inject some life back into it. I was in Boots with my Mum one day and was having a pretty loud moan about my horrible skin to her and the girl from the Bare Minerals counter grabbed me and showed me these. Bare Minerals isn't a brand which I would usually pay much attention to and I haven't heard much about their skincare but I am so impressed with these. They come in a tub and contain pads already soaked in the solution so they're really quick and easy to use. After cleansing you just sweep the more textured side over your skin (avoiding eye area) then repeat with the smoother side then dispose of the used pad and you're done. Even after just one use I noticed a huge difference, my skin was a much even texture and a really stubborn dry patch on my forehead had almost completely gone. After a few more uses my skin was considerably brighter and radiant. They are an acid exfoliator so not to be used more than 3x a week and I was at first worried they may upset my skin a little but so far I haven't had any problems. The only downside it the price as they are £34, but the tub does contain 60 pads so really it's not too much money compared to how many uses you will get from one tub.

No. 3 - Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream
I think this moisturiser featured in a Favourites post this time last year. If I could only use one moisturiser for the rest of my life it would be this one. For me it offers unbeatable hydration which lasts throughout the entire day or night without feeling heavy or greasy on the skin. For such an intensive moisturiser it is so lightweight and sinks in so quickly, my skin absolutely loves this stuff. It doesn't have any SPF in it so I usually just use this as my night time moisturiser but if I know I am having a day inside then I sometimes use this in the morning too as it sits really nicely under make up. As with Ultrabland it is completely unscented so won't upset any skin sensitive to fragrance.

No. 4 - Rose Hydrate Intense Moisture Mask Superfacialist by Una Brennan
This mask is very heavily rose scented so this will either be a love it or hate it product. If I'm using a face mask I like it to have a nice fragrance and I am a big rose fan so I adore this. It's not thick in texture which makes it very easy to apply to your skin. Once applied it instantly feels calming and moisture boosting and is just a lovely experience. I leave it on for 5-10 minutes then rinse the majority of it off with a splash of warm water then I take a damp face cloth and remove the rest of it properly and continue with the rest of my skincare routine. It leaves your skin feeling so plump and hydrated and a nice addition to my winter skincare routine a couple times a week. I also like the fact it comes in a tube as it makes application much less messy compared to masks in a pot.

My hands probably suffer the most throughout winter, they get so dry the skin ends up cracking and becoming so sore. This Kiehl's hand cream helps so much. It almost creates a moisturising barrier against the cold which is exactly what I need. It contains avocado oil and sesame oil so it is very nourishing for poor dry skin and it smells gorgeous. It does take a while to sink in thoroughly but in winter I think that is actually a good thing as it provides longer lasting hydration and protection from the cold. I apply this to clean hands just before I'm about to go outside. This is a miniature version which is perfect handbag size, the full size version however is really huge and I would not want to carry it around in my handbag. 

Not the most glamourous or exciting beauty product but for me it is such an essential. E45 is a magical brand and one that has been in my house my entire life. The original E45 cream was used on my skin throughout my childhood and I've used it on all my tattoos whilst they have been healing. During winter it's not just the skin that is exposed to the elements that dries out, it effects my whole body so I picked this up a few weeks ago after my friend with eczema said it helped his skin. I don't have eczema but this has definitely done a great job of hydrating the skin on my body after showering or bathing. As it's a lotion it is much thinner than the original E45 cream which makes it very easy to smooth over large surface areas and to my surprise it sinked in so quickly which is essential during cold months as standing around waiting for moisturiser to sink in before getting dressed isn't fun in winter! Again it's another unscented product and is hypoallergenic so is perfect for even the most sensitive skin. Also £5.99 for a big bottle is so affordable, you can't go wrong.

This definitely wasn't the most luxurious of posts but these few products really have been a saviour for my dry skin and I can't recommend them enough so anyone suffering with similar over the winter season.

Thanks for reading
Laura x

Twitter: @laurasivers
Instagram: @laurasivers_
Tumblr: helloenvy-o

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Me-Time Tag

Estée from EssieButton and Amelia Liana are two of my all time favourite Bloggers and YouTubers. I love all their posts and videos although I think their vlogs are my favourite, especially when Reggie and Duke are featured in them - who doesn't love cute puppies?

They recently created a tag called the Me-Time Tag which a lot of other YouTubers and Bloggers have done so I thought I would jump on the band wagon and do it too.

What do you watch or read during me-time?
I mainly watch YouTube videos, I love propping my laptop or iPad up so I can watch stuff when I'm in the bath - that's not weird or TMI is it? I'm not really a big reader to be honest.

What do you wear during me-time? #nobra
Haha, I am not very gifted in the boob area so I am guilty of not wearing a bra whenever I can get away with it which is probably 70% of the time! But during me-time I will be found wearing some form of PJs - I love the really cosy, fleecey ones you can get from Primark which are super affordable.

What are your me-time beauty products?
Masks, masks and more masks. If i'm having a proper pampering me-time session I will use two or three face masks. I've been getting constant break outs on my chin for the past couple of months so start with a purifying mask on that area such as the Body Shop Tea Tree Face Mask then I will use a radiance boosting mask over the other areas of my face. Then I always finish with an ultra hydrating or moisturising mask. I'll often put a hair mask on as well but currently I haven't got one which I'm really loving.

Current favourite nail polish? 
I've recently rekindled my love for glitter nail polishes as it's getting close to winter party season. Essie A Cut Above is the most gorgeous pink sparkly polish which I pretty much wore throughout the entire month of December last year and I whacked it out again last week and had so many compliments on it. It works over light or dark polish shades but my favourite way to wear it is layered over Rimmel Space Dust in Aurora but I think that has been discontinued now.

What do you eat/drink during me-time? 
I do love a cup of tea - milk, two sugars FYI ;) - but lately I have been obsessed with hot chocolate and mini marshmallows. To eat I like little things to snack on like granola or nuts or something like that.

Current favourite candle?
At the moment I'm burning Yankee Candle Christmas Cookie. If you don't like sickly sweet scents then you will hate this but I absolutely adore it. It's my favourite pre-christmas candle as I like to save the full on warm spicy scents for when it's really close to Christmas.

Do you ever have outdoor me-time? 
Yes, I have a gorgeous springer spaniel called Alfie and I love taking him for walks. I can walk 5 minutes up my road and I'm on the South Downs where it's lovely to walk with him in the woods or up the hills listening to my music and just enjoying being outside with my puppy.

Would you ever go see a movie alone? 
Probably not. I love movies don't get me wrong but I always struggle going to the cinema a bit as I get restless so easily. I'm so used to being able to pause what I'm watching and go off and do something else for a bit, sitting in a cinema knowing that I can't do that makes me even more restless so I tend to avoid it and wait until films come onto Sky or online.

Favourite online shop? 
ASOS have online shopping nailed. You can't beat the variety of things on their and being a Premier member makes ordering and returning things so easy, almost too easy at times! Selfridges is also one of my top online shops for beauty related things.

Anything to add? What else do you do during me-time?
Baking is always one of my favourite things to do if I have some me-time. I find being in the kitchen really relaxing and I love experimenting and trying new recipes.

So there's a little insight into what I do when I'm chilling out or having some downtime.
Feel free to comment below on what you like to do in your me-time.

Laura x

Find me on twitter: @laurasivers
Instagram: @laurasivers_

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Sunday Style Scroll #3 | A Hint of Winter Sparkle

As the Christmas party season approaches here's some inspiration for all you fashion magpies out there. Love a bit of glitter!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Ultimate Chocolate Mug Cake | Recipe

For me chocolate cravings always come at the most inconvenient time. They usually happen when there is nothing chocolatey in my house, it's dark/raining outside and i'm normally already in my PJs so there is no way I am venturing to a shop. This is when the ingenious invention of mug cakes come into play.
Basically a 'mug cake' is all the ingredients to make a normal cake but downsized to a single serving, mixed together in a mug and cooked in a microwave. This whole process takes about 3 minutes so is perfect for when you in desperate need of a sweet treat. I've experimented with a few different recipes I've found online - some have been great, others disastrous - and I have come up with the Ultimate Chocolate Mug Cake.

Here's how you do it:

28g melted butter
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon raspberry jam
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 tablespoons plain flour

1. In a mug melt the butter in the microwave.
2. Add the water, vanilla, jam and salt to the mug of melted butter. Whisk well with a fork.
3. Add cocoa powder, whisk well.
4. Add sugar, whisk well.
5. Add flour, whisk well.
6. Microwave for 60-90 seconds depending on how gooey you want the centre.
7. Wait for a minute or two then enjoy your delicious chocolate treat.

It is super important to make sure everything is mixed together and is a smooth even mixture before microwaving it. I sometimes eat this with a dollop of ice cream served nicely on another plate, or I just grab a spoon and eat it straight out of the mug! It's so simple and quick to make and really does satisfy those chocolate cravings without having to leave the house. Also feel free to add in your own extras such as chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, nuts, peanut butter - anything you fancy!

Let me know if you try this out.
Laura x

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Spotlight on Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair

Estée Lauder is probably the first beauty brand I ever came across. My mum has been a huge fan since before I was born so I grew up with receiving her cast offs and hand-me-down products - I still have one of the eye shadow palettes she gave me when I was about 11 (I dread to think of how much bacteria that must be crawling in!). 
Skincare wise I always thought Estée Lauder was aimed towards more mature skin so I never really considering trying it until one evening about 18 months ago I stole a little of my Mums Advanced Night Repair serum. This was the start of a long and happy relationship with ANR serum.

I don't know exactly what it is about this serum but it manages transforms my uneven, dull and lifeless skin into smooth and glowing skin over night. The packaging includes a little pipet which makes distributing the correct amount of product very easy and fuss free. The consistency is quite gel like and so nice and cooling to apply to your skin and feels so hydrating without being oily or heavy. I do on occasion skip moisturiser after using this as sometimes it feels unnecessary. I have tried other serums and oils since using this such as the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate and the YSL Forever Youth Liberator Serum but neither of them gave me the same effects as Advanced Night Repair so I have always come back to this.

Then a new member of the family was introduced, the Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum. It just seemed logical that as my skin loves the normal ANR serum that I needed the eye serum in my life as well, and I was right. I would describe the consistency as a very light cream rather than a serum but you are supposed to follow up with an eye cream. It's only really been in the past 6 months or so where I've been more conscious about taking care of my eye area, mainly as a preventative for when I do start showing signs of ageing. I really have noticed a difference in the way makeup sits around my eye area, under eye concealer especially just applies much more smoothly and doesn't settle into any dry or uneven patches. When I bought the ANR Eye Serum I also received a miniature eye cream as well which I have been using after applying the serum which has the same cooling and hydrating feeling as the face serum which feels even more delightful around the eye area.

I cant sing high enough praises for the Advanced Night Repair range and what it does for my skin. I guess the only down side to it is the price but for me I really don't mind investing in good skincare, especially if it's products I know work well for me and I really enjoy using. I just hope taking care of my skin now whilst I'm in my 20s does make a difference in 10/20/30 years time!

Thanks for reading
Laura x