10 Ways to Make Life Lovely – The Bank Holiday One

29 Apr

TITLE Good morning, you guys, and happy Friday!

We’re kickin’ off today with a whole host of awesome little ways to make this bank holiday weekend a good one! From Queen B’s new visual album, to our favourite new snack box, delivered right to your door and filled with wholesome, healthy goodies!  We’re shopping for summer swimwear you’ll actually look forward to wearing and seeking out British beaches so good, you’d swear you were abroad!

But first, let’s chat beauty (you didn’t think I could get through a post without mentioning makeup, did yah?!) and let’s talk conscious beauty…

One: Cruelty Free Beauty

We all love a bit of beauty, or in my case a whole LOAD of beauty, right?!

But do we ever consider what these products are actually made of? Or how they’re tested?

Well my friends, I gotta tell ya’ Cruelty Free is the new black and it’s never been cooler to be a conscious consumer, so when I stumbled upon awesome beauty blogger, Cruelty Free Kitty, I may have let out a little squeal of joy!

If you’re looking to completely cleanse your makeup collection of all products tested on animals, then check out her incredible (and pretty thorough!) Ultimate Guide, which also identifies specifically vegan products within each cruelty free brand. It’s been my bed time reading (no joke!) for the past week; totally awesome!

Or you could check out her Favourite Cruelty Free Products of 2015, which includes brilliant cruelty free brands such as Becca Cosmetics (oh hey, best highlighter on the market!), the always awesome Too Faced cosmetics (their Better Than Sex mascara, I die!) and of course Milani (remember that cult fave blusher I mentioned back in Feb?)

Gorgeous makeup. No cruelty. It’s simple!




Two: We are the Berliebers

Yup, Berliebers.

(Can’t believe I just wrote that)

We’re talking Berber rugs!

Both Laura and I are next-level addicted to these traditionally hand-woven rugs, crafted by the Berber people of North Africa.

They’re understated and wonderfully flexible in their design, making them the perfect choice for your lounge / bedroom / office… Well, just about anywhere, really!

We have been LUH-VING this one by Rockett St George, and this one by Mink Interiors.




Three: Beach, PLEASE

Who knew that Britain had such wonderful beaches?

I mean, look at the photo below…

…I’m sorry did someone fly me to Greece while I was sleeping?! Oh no, that’d be Scotland. SCOTLAND!

Achmelvich, in Wester Ross on the west coast of Scotland, to be precise! (I see you frantically Googling ‘beach that looks like Greece in Scotland’!)

Check out these lists by The Telegraph and Buzz Feed and get yo’ booty down to those UK sands this bank holiday!




Four: The Earlybird

Guys. The love I feel for this brand is REAL.

It’s healthy snackin’ like you’ve never seen before; meet Earlybird Snacks.

For a mere £4.95 per box, you get a whole host of individually packaged, nutritionally rich and ridiculously convenient snacks (including a cute little flavoured teabag!) delivered to your front door every week!

Totally customisable to your dietary preferences and you can give feedback on each snack to shape your future box choices, we are head over heels for Earlybird.

Oh, and FYI, their Flat Pack Brownie snack? Heaven. Sheer, unadulterated HEAVEN.





Five: Hey good lookin’

…Whaaaaatcha got cookin’?

Well, this month, it’s been mainly from the Hemsley + Hemsley cook book!

I was gifted this gorgeous, wholesome recipe book and I gotta tell yah, my beau and I have been pretty darn impressed.

This girl power sister duo are taking the food industry by storm, describing themselves as:

‘…home cooks and food lovers with a passion for wellness and delicious, nutrient-dense food. Our cooking is all about creating natural, satisfying and easy to digest meals that make you feel vibrant, strong and healthy; recipes that are full of flavour and goodness and free from gluten, grains and refined sugar. We believe in the nourishing power of real food and that eating well can be easy, affordable and enjoyable for everyone.’

On point right? ENJOY!



Six: #barcelonabridalweek

As a bridal-fashion-obsessed wedding blogger, what do you do when your schedule just won’t allow for that trip to Barcelona’s Bridal Fashion Week?

You stalk the internet. Like a hawk!

If you’re looking for boundary-pushing, astoundingly beautiful bridal wear inspiration, get yourself on Instagram and get stalking the #barcelonabridalweek hashtag… I promise you won’t be disappointed!

With incredible designers like Yolan Cris (one of our FAVES) and the ever-incredible Naeem Khan stealing the show, if you don’t do anything else this weekend (no judgement, I plan on being a lazy-ass too!) make sure you check this out!

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Seven: Holiday Ready

…Because it may not be anywhere near warm enough yet here in the UK, but a girl’s gotta be sunshine ready at the drop of a hat when the weather does decide to turn!

Or, hey, you might be lucky enough to be heading abroad sometime soon! *mutters envious thoughts to self*

There is an abundance of gorgeous swimwear hitting the stores this season, fits for every shape and size, designs for every taste and prices for every budget.

Here’s some of our faves (click to shop!)









Eight: Take me to the Treetops

So, I don’t know about you, but my beau and I are pretty big woodland fans. We got married in one, we love walking our hound through them and we’re lucky enough to be heading back to the gorgeous woodland setting of Cosy Under Canvas this month (remember that Minimoon blog post I wrote, swooning over them?).

And it got me to thinking about other woodland experiences we’d love and, on my internet travels, I stumbled upon this…

8b …I mean. WOW.

Right?! This incredible treehouse is an Airbnb listing in Atlanta, USA, and boy do we wanna visit! Can you imagine waking up to that tree top view?

Surely this is the stuff that dreams are made on?

And just incase you’ve fallen in love but can’t quite make it to the US this year, check out these UK listings at Canopies and Stars.

We’re in love!




Nine: Now watching/listening/worshipping

That’s right. It’s all we’ve listened to this week.

Because, QUEEN.

Just in case you’ve had your head under a rock this week, Beyoncé surprise-released her 6th album last Saturday. Taking the form of a succession of astounding music videos, linked by poetry by Somali-British poet, Warsan Shire, the album includes collaborations with Jack White, Diplo, James Blake, Kendrick Lamar and the Weeknd and eclectically moves into rock, country and jazz in places.

With lyrics like “women don’t quit on themselves” the album has a strong Feminist undercurrent, and demonstrates Bey’s increasing desire to express her political views.

In a world where a lot of popular music isn’t really saying a lot, Lemonade is hugely inspiring (and just all kinds of badass!).

You can get the album, complete with the hour long film on iTunes now, or you can listen to the album for free on Annie Mac’s Lemonade Listening Party.



Ten: Becca’s Cult Primer

And finally. Spring is for dewy skin.

It’s for that no-makeup makeup look. For that ‘glowing from within’ vibe.

And our current favourite (cruelty-free and vegan, of course) product for achieving such a fresh look?

Becca Cosmetic’s Backlight Priming Filter.

Suitable for all skin types, you can apply this primer under foundation, as a stand alone product to enhance your skin’s natural glow, or mix up a little cocktail: a pump of this with your normal pump of foundation on the back of your hand before applying for a super-quick dewy fix.

Let’s hear how it works from the masters themselves:

Ultra-subtle, ‘soft focus’ pigments blur the visibility of imperfections – refracting and diffusing light to lend skin a flawless, lit-from-within look – like somebody inside your head just switched a lamp on (and who doesn’t want that?). With a featherweight texture, this melts into skin – blending seamlessly to create an enviably smooth and dewy canvas – while antioxidant vitamin E and tightening liquorice extract combine to brighten, firm and ward against free radical-attack. The ultimate first step in your make up ritual, this is essentially a photographic filter in a bottle.

…And no-one got harmed in the making of it! We are ride-or-die for this gorgeous product.

Becca, you’re ticking all our boxes!




10c Go ahead and treat yo’self this bank holiday! You’ve certainly worked hard enough for it!

Whether it’s shopping for a new badass swimsuit for that upcoming trip, or a going on a little beauty splurge, or maybe just a little free ear candy courtesy of Annie Mac, however you enjoy your long weekend, have a good one y’all and we’ll see you on the flip side!

Peace + Love

Clare XO

Portraits Bridal Style Box 2016 – Fashion-Forward Hair & Beauty

28 Apr

Eve 3. Naturally beautiful. Kind and loves all living things. Is this heaven? I think so!

Oh. My. Gosh. You guys, I am so excited for today’s incredible post! If you’re looking for a little inspiration for your bridal hair and beauty, then girl did you click on the right blog this morning!

Meet Portraits Bridal

This fashion conscious hair and make-up team are among London’s leading professional hair and make-up teams in the bridal beauty industry, covering the UK and overseas. Portraits take a modern approach, priding themselves on providing exclusive hair and make-up to suit each and every bride. The luxury bridal hair and make-up service is lead by both Zara Vernazza, Head Hair Stylist, and Nadia Matoorian-Farrow, Head Make-Up Artist. This talented duo have handpicked an outstanding team who share the company ethos of providing clients with a modern and catwalk inspired creation for brides.

Leading Hair Stylist, Zara, uses a range of techniques to create all classic, modern and catwalk inspired looks, which are individually tailored for each bride, including the use of hair extensions and hairpieces where required. Head Make-Up Artist, Nadia, focuses on bridal fashion and wedding make-up using the best luxury products, along with on-trend techniques to create seamlessly beautiful and timeless looks. 

…And, might I add, these gals are some of the sweetest in the business and they have freakin’ RAD Instagram feed too! You’ll love them!

Hope 1. Looks innocent, but has a rebellious side.

Frankie 2. Always the life and soul of the party.

Angelica 5. Looks angelic, but is devilish on the inside So, as you can well imagine I’m sure (knowing the beauty-crazed type that I am!) when Portraits sent over their 2016 Style Box I had a mini cardiac and totally might have squealed aloud!

What’s their Style Box? WELL

In order to help inspire brides and to showcase some of their most iconic bridal creations, Nadia and Zara created the unique Style Box Collections (2015 & 2016). Understanding that bridal hair and make-up designs, trends and styles are forever changing, Portraits now annually shoot their Style Box Collections to show clients not only what looks they feel are trending for the year ahead, but also displaying an array of skill and style, as well as an understanding of today’s catwalk looks which can develop into strong bridal trends.

The Style Box Collection 2016 was inspired by the vast diversity of each Portraits Bride. Every look shows how both personality and character can be portrayed through hair and make-up. Ultimately every bride wants to feel like herself on her wedding day and the Portraits team take the time to get to know their brides to build the ultimate picture of her unique hair and make-up creation.

So, enough chatter, let’s get into it! With photography by the wonderful Amber Eggleden, first in the line up, there’s this girl called Eve…

Eve – Naturally beautiful. Kind and loves all living things

Hair: An angelic halo braid softened by wispy tendrils.

Make-Up: A boho inspired soft brown smokey eye wearing only mascara and a light coral natural lip.

Gold Vine Headpiece: Agnes Hart / Etsy Shop
Floral Wreath: Zuzannas Flowers

Eve 1. Naturally beautiful. Kind and loves all living things.

Eve 2. Naturally beautiful. Kind and loves all living things.

Eve 4. Naturally beautiful. Kind and loves all living things.

Eve 5. Naturally beautiful. Kind and loves all living things.

Frankie – Always the life and soul of the party

Hair: Cheeky double Dutch braids were predicted to be all the rage for 2016 brides. This textured look is perfect for those that want a cool on trend style for the big day.

Make-Up: Toffee lips and white eyeliner throw this make-up look right back to the 90s, super on-trend in 2016.

Veil – Ann Marie Faulkner

Frankie 1. Always the life and soul of the party.

Frankie 3. Always the life and soul of the party.

Frankie 4. Always the life and soul of the party.

Hope – Looks innocent but has a rebellious side

Hair: Simple bun for the minimalist bride. A strong low bun, focusing on a smooth silhouette and beautiful, timeless shape.

Make-Up: The ‘barely there’ make-up still looks special with emphasis on contouring and baby pink lips.

Floral Bracelet – Zuzannas Flowers

Hope 2. Looks innocent, but has a rebellious side.

Hope 3. Looks innocent, but has a rebellious side.

Hope 4. Looks innocent, but has a rebellious side.

Hope 5. Looks innocent, but has a rebellious side.

Angelica – Looks angelic, but is devilish on the inside

Hair: A rustic 5-strand braid with a pulled out base softens this bohemian look.

Make-Up: Natural glowing skin with a virginal white smokey eye. Butter wouldn’t melt…

Veil & headband – Ann Marie Faulkner

Angelica 3. Looks angelic, but is devilish on the inside

Angelica 1. Looks angelic, but is devilish on the inside

Angelica 4. Looks angelic, but is devilish on the inside

Sasha – Always turning heads, makes a lot of effort with her appearance

Hair: A fashionable and unique approach to an updo with this twisted and sleek chignon creation.

Make-Up: Pairing gold smokey eyes with a deep berry glossy lip.

Hair piece – Daisy Sheldon Embroidery

Sasha 1. Always turning heads, makes a lot of effort with her appearance

Sasha 2. Always turning heads, makes a lot of effort with her appearance.

Sasha 3. Always turning heads, makes a lot of effort with her appearance.

Sasha 4. Always turning heads, makes a lot of effort with her appearance

Sophia – The most popular girl you know, ever the socialite + a very loyal friend

Hair: A modern take on a classic bridal up do, this elegant hair up is textured and loose in style, yet it is precisely pinned in to hold a beautiful and timeless shape.

Make-Up: The definitive smokey eye with juicy baby pink lips to soften the look making it more wearable for today’s bride.

Crown Headpiece – Agnes Hart / Etsy Shop

Floral Comb – Zuzannas Flowers

Sophia 1. The most popular girl you know, ever the socialite and a very loyal friend.

Sophia 2. The most popular girl you know, ever the socialite and a very loyal friend.

Sophia 3. The most popular girl you know, ever the socialite and a very loyal friend.

Sophia 4. The most popular girl you know, ever the socialite and a very loyal friend.

Violet – Has old fashioned ideas about love

Hair: A simple, chic and modern slick back and elegant ponytail.

Make-Up: Bold and sultry golden eyes with generous fluffy individual eyelash extensions, along with a glossy nude lip.

Hair piece – Daisy Sheldon Embroidery

Veil – Agnes Hart / Etsy Shop

Violet 1. Has old-fashioned ideas about love.

Violet 2. Has old-fashioned ideas about love.

Violet 3. Has old-fashioned ideas about love.

Violet 4. Has old-fashioned ideas about love.

Violet 5. Has old-fashioned ideas about love. Stick a fork in me, for I am DONE.

These looks give us LIFE. So refreshingly on trend, with nothing remotely mediocre or ‘standard’ about them, there’s a look to suit every personality and every vibe.

We implore you, brides-to-be, do not compromise your character and personal style when it comes to your bridal hair and makeup!

And remember: rule book? What rule book?!

Be sure to check out more of Portraits Bridal’s incredible work over on their website!

Now, I’m dying to know, what’s your favourite look? Personally I’m somewhere between an Eve and a Hope… Drop us a comment below!

Peace + Love

Clare XO

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