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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

House of Fraser SS15 Press Preview

When time allows, I really enjoy attending press days because I love getting an advance preview of what’s to come from my favourite brands and labels. So of course when I recently attended the House of Fraser SS15 press day I was naturally in my element. I took lots of pictures so check it out, get ready to get excited as the SS15 collections are amazing!!

Biba SS15

Biba's gold leather jacket – had all of us gals swooning all over it – it’s so fab-u-lous!! What's more, the arms of the jacket detach to transform it into a gilet!

 
The Biba gold leather jacket is part of their SS15 Biba Gold capsule collection and it hits the stores in March so note it down in those diaries girls!

There were several stylishly attired mannequins dotted around the showroom:





Yup, it's that amazing gold jacket by Biba again! The pink clutch bag is a bit too swoon-worthy too!

 
Linea


 
Opulent evening dresses with beautiful embellishment:

 
These paint splash jeans by Polo Ralph Lauren are so cooool:

 
Bags

There was a fantastic selection of SS15 bags on offer for us to view from brands such as Michael Kors, Radley, Furla and much more. For SS15 it's all about the brights and pastels...

Furla particularly have some really great bright colour pop styles:

 
...or if on the other hand you like your pastels then you'll love this lovely Radley number:

 
Menswear

There was also a small menswear section so I quickly popped in to have a look. Here's a quick pic for you:

 
Homeware

Lastly I had a quick look at the home. It was lots of fun and I picked up a few home decor ideas. 

...Naturally as someone who loves things from the past, I absolutely adored all the vintage-inspired styles:




 
I love this picnic basket for summer!

 
...and that concludes me little summary of the House of Fraser's SS15 Press Preview. I had a really enjoyable time looking at all the upcoming fashion and homeware. There were statement bags galore so you know that snazzy handbags and standout clutches are going to by key this spring/summer. 

I hope you enjoyed viewing the above pictures and now have some inspiration for what to put on your summer shopping lists!

What did you think of House of Fraser's SS15 collections?! Do you have your eye on any of the above?

Aimee xx

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Blogging Masterclass With Primark and 'Inthefrow'

Blogging Masterclass With Primark and 'Inthefrow' - Victoria Inthefrow 
A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to be selected to attend an exclusive blogging masterclass with Victoria from Inthefrow over at Primark HQ in central London. The event was held in association with Oxford St Fashion Showcase to celebrate London Fashion Week and was an opportunity for bloggers to grab an cheeky sneak preview of Primark's (then unreleased) AW14 collection followed by a Q&A session with successful blogger and YouTuber Victoria aka Inthefrow.

When I first arrived at the event I was a bit shy, especially as the event was on a smaller more intimate scale than some of the past blogger events that I have been but of course I soon opened up!

Here's some pics from the event:

On arrival we were treated to a very tasty spread:


 
Our seats for the Q&A session:

 
Previewing Primark's AW14 collection in advance...

As I mentioned above, before the Q&A session started we were able to preview Primark's AW14 collection which at the time of the event, September [yes I know I'm really late posting this as these photos were lost in the depths of my laptop!] - hadn't hit the shops yet so it was quite exciting getting a cheeky preview!

...naturally I took pictures for you of course!

Everything that you see below is currently on sale in Primark now. I took close-ups of all the things that I want to buy - yup I'm totally using my blog as my personal shopping list lol!

 
I was particularly impressed by the quality of the winter coats and knitwear, especially the items on this rail below as they were really thick and heavy making them ideal for winter:

 
There were so many great winter coats!

  
Below: I really really love this jacket and yup it's definitely at the top of my shopping list! I'm going to the massive Primark store on Oxford Street in a fews days time so hopefully it will be mine very soon (provided that it actually suits me of course)!



These two necklaces are definitely on my shopping list as well!

 
Shoes:

Primark's autumn/winter shoe collection is awesome, and I'm particularly loving the cleated sole styles:



 
Menswear:

Primark Menswear Primark Menswear Primark AW14 Menswear

Primark Menswear Primark Menswear Primark AW14 Menswear - Primark Autumn Winter Menswear


Victoria mingling before the Q&A session began:

 
The  Q&A begins!
The session was led by Karina Nobbs, Fashion and Branding Lecturer from London College of Fashion. Karina asked Victoria a really fantastic range of questions, asking her about how she first got into blogging, what her inspirations are and what advice she had for anyone thinking of starting a blog of their own...and much more! It was a very comprehensive set of questions and later when it was our turn to ask Victoria questions, I found that mine had already been covered during Karina’s session. So generally it was a thoroughly useful session, Victoria gave us lots of great advice, and I really enjoyed learning more about her blogging journey and successes to date.

 
After the session had ended we got a chance to talk to Victoria and have our pics taken with her. She was absolutely lovely and so down-to-earth! 

Once again guests could browse the rails before they left:



All in all it was a very pleasant evening and I thoroughly enjoyed everything - from previewing Primark's autumn/winter ranges to hearing Victoria's inspirational tips and advice! Thanks to Primark for having me and also for the generous gift voucher and goody bag. I'm starting to love Primark even more now as it was really nice of them to host the event and inspire the next generation of bloggers. Their choice of speaker was spot on, Victoria was certainly the right person for the job as she's such a positive role model. Victoria actually made a point of stating the importance of being nice to people, saying "it doesn't cost anything to be nice" which I really loved - imagine what a lovely place the world would be (let alone the blogosphere!) if everyone thought like that!

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed the post! ...Have you got your eye on any of the bits above? 
...Have you bought yourself anything nice from Primark lately?!

Aimee xx

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Review | Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder

Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder review Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder review Beauty Blog Beauty Blogger www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com

The lovely people at Escentual recently sent me the Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder to review on my blog. I have long heard a lot of good things about this product via other beauty bloggers so was excited to trial it for myself. Having now used the powder for a good few weeks I thought it was time to share my findings with you:

What they say
"Reinforce and enhance the hold of your make-up for up to 16 hours with the translucent Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder.

This long-lasting SPF30 powder will set your make-up and significantly prolong its life. It has been specifically formulated for use with the Dermablend Corrective Foundations but is suitable for use with other foundations and bases."

Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder review Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder review  Makeup Reviews Beauty Products Beauty Blog Beauty Blogger www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com 
My thoughts
The very first thing that I noticed about this powder was just how white it was, I was actually really surprised to discover that once fully blended it was invisible on my skin. For reference I am a NC42-43.5 in MAC foundation, i.e. quite tanned, so finding a non-coloured translucent powder that doesn’t leave a white cast is almost unheard of for me. Thankfully Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder really is “translucent” - I know, yay!

Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder review Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder review Beauty Blog Beauty Blogger beauty reviews makeup reviews www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com 
The powder has a silky smooth feel to it and makes my skin feel soft to the touch. The micro-fine texture ensures that the product blends into the skin effortlessly and doesn’t settle into fine lines or accentuate pores – I actually found that the powder helped to minimise my pores.

This product is widely described as having a matte finish, so I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that it actually has a slight pearlescent-like sheen, and thus it imparts the skin with a beautiful radiant satin finish.

The powder isn’t cakey in the slightest, nor does it look chalky on the skin. I really like how light and comfortable it feels on my skin and have to say that this powder really does do an excellent job of locking my makeup in place.

Note, if you have very oily skin then you may need to blot at some point during the day, after all this is a setting powder and not a blotting powder. I have combination skin and during a 12-hour day I only had to give my face a quick blot once halfway through the day and overall the powder did an excellent job of keeping my foundation intact for the whole time. That said I can’t really fault this product at all – I love it!

The powder comes packaged in a nice sturdy plastic container and unlike a lot of other loose powders it doesn't make a huge mess everywhere since there aren't too many sifter holes:

Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder review Beauty Blog Beauty Blogger Makeup Reviews Beauty Products Beauty Blog Beauty Blogger beauty reviews makeup reviews www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com 
Recommended directions for application
"To use tap a small amount of the powder onto the included powder puff and gently pat on the face to set make-up. Dab off the excess. If using a brush, lightly dip it in the powder and then gently tap it against the lid to remove any excess. Sweep across the face to ensure long-lasting hold." However, you only need to use a small amount of powder so I personally find that the powder puff provided picks up too much powder for my needs, hence I prefer to use a flat top kabuki brush to gently buff the product into my skin. Nonetheless it's still nice that a powder puff is included and I'm sure that many people will find it very handy.

Key points
Micro-fine silky texture
Satin finish - makes skin look flawless and radiant
Translucent so will suit all skin-tones
Does what it says on the tin – prolongs the wear of your foundation
Great value for money - comes packaged in a nice big pot so should last you quite a while

Additional info
Fragrance-free
Paraben-free
Allergy tested and suitable for sensitive skin

Conclusion
Prior to trying this product, my setting powder of choice was my beloved Ben Nye Banana powder (which I wrote about here), however Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder has fast become one of my daily makeup essentials and now has pride of place on my dressing table – next to my Ben Nye Banana Powder of course. I’ll definitely repurchase this product when mine runs out.

This was my first time using a Vichy product and I’m so impressed with the quality that I’ll definitely be trying other products from the brand very soon. I also got some Vichy foundation samples in my package so I look forward to trying them too.

Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder is priced at £17 and is available from www.escentual.com, link here.

Have you tried this powder or anything from the Vichy brand before too?

Aimee xx

PR Sample

Monday, 10 November 2014

LFW | Ashley Isham SS15

Another one of my favourite Fashion Scout SS15 shows was Ashley Isham. Anyone who is familiar with Ashley Isham’s work will know that he is renowned for creating the most stunning red carpet dresses, so when an invite to his London Fashion Week show falls through your letterbox you know it’s going to be high-octane glamour from the get-go really. Don’t believe me? Well just ask Princess Zara Philips (oo-er!!), Kylie Minogue, or Lady Gaga – having all worn the renown fashion designer’s spectacular creations they’ll all know this. Bottom line, whenever you hear the name Ashley Isham expect ze glamour, oodles, oodles and oodles of it!

Speaking of glamour, the invitation to the show was pretty darn glamorous too. I’m not too ashamed to admit that I did a big crazy (completely undignified of course!) happy dance around my kitchen when the Ashley Isham LFW invitation floated through my letterbox:

Ashley Isham SS15 Ashley Isham LFW London Fashion Week SS15 runway fashion blog UK fashion blogger www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com
…So gold and shiny – very reminiscent of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory isn’t it?

Ashley Isham SS15 – The Inspiration:
“Ashley Isham found inspiration for his Spring / Summer 2015 collection in the legendary and exotic Mata Hari. Inspired artistically by Asian and Egyptian style and performance, Mata Hari brought an exotic element to dance and fashion that was revolutionary for European performance. It is this excitement that has drawn Ashley Isham’s eye back to the turn of the 20th Century.”

Key points:
– Isham’s signature draping and strong tailoring were aptly prevalent throughout the whole collection.
– Delicately hand crafted and hand draped elements are juxtaposed with razor sharp tailoring that is nonetheless soft and sophisticated for a feminine silhouette.
– Luxuriously rich vibrant hues and clean, crisp, modern silhouettes.

Ashley Isham SS15 Ashley Isham LFW London Fashion Week SS15 runway fashion blog UK fashion blogger www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com

Ashley Isham LFW London Fashion Week SS15 runway fashion blog UK fashion blogger www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com
Ashley Isham LFW London Fashion Week SS15 runway fashion blog UK fashion blogger www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com
Ashley Isham LFW London Fashion Week SS15 runway fashion blog UK fashion blogger www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com
Ashley Isham LFW London Fashion Week SS15 runway fashion blog UK fashion blogger www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com
Ashley Isham LFW London Fashion Week SS15 runway fashion blog UK fashion blogger www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com
Ashley Isham LFW London Fashion Week SS15 runway fashion blog UK fashion blogger www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com

Do you see the way that the delicately draped fabric caresses the models’ body in the most flattering way? This is exactly what Ashley Isham is all about - he knows how to dress the female form in the most exquisite manner.

Ashley Isham LFW London Fashion Week SS15 runway fashion blog UK fashion blogger www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com
Ashley Isham LFW London Fashion Week SS15 runway fashion blog UK fashion blogger www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com
Ashley Isham LFW London Fashion Week SS15 runway fashion blog UK fashion blogger www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com
Ashley Isham LFW London Fashion Week SS15 runway fashion blog UK fashion blogger www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com
Ashley Isham LFW London Fashion Week SS15 runway fashion blog UK fashion blogger www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com
Ashley Isham LFW London Fashion Week SS15 runway fashion blog UK fashion blogger www.thebellenarrative.com www.thebellenarrative.com 
My personal highlights from the show – there are so many!
– I loved the Eastern influences, especially the nod to the sari
– The way the models swayed down the catwalk was pure sass - I'd walk like that too if I was wearing a stunning Ashley Isham creation too...it would be wrong not to really.
– I loved the harnesses – now that is how you rev up an evening dress!!!
– The neon yellow heels were pretty cool too – so yup, it’s all about harnesses and heels for me!

Overall, I loved the drama and theatre – especially the finale where the lights were dimmed completely...momentary casting the room in darkness, so you can’t help but think: Ooh hello what’s going on here…and then when the lights slowly started to come back on again, you see the model seductively peel off her beautiful floor-length dress (well, you know, as you do...) to reveal a gorgeous metallic bathing suit. You can view footage of the show here and see for yourself just how captivated the audience is. It's the type of show that when it ends, it makes you turn to the person next to you and say, "yeah that was a good show innit?"

With his stunning designs and sweeping red carpet dresses, Ashley Isham sure knows how to make women look and feel not only beautiful, but empowered too. ...Oh and he also know how to put on a pretty darn good fashion show - what a legend!

What do you of this stunning collection?

Aimee xx