Look at me, I was so late writing the last Bahlsen book club book that I’ve decided I’m going to do this one as soon as possible!

This, latest, book is ‘A Single Breath‘* by Lucy Clarke which was, possibly, not the best book to read a week after I got married, haha! The book is, essentially, about the journey that a young widow goes through after her husband passes away, they’ve only been married 10 months and had a whirlwind relationship and, so, the emotions behind it are very raw and, obviously, something I was a bit ‘eek’ about when I’m a newly wed myself!

Not one to be put off by challenging emotions, though, I dove straight in to the book and I devoured it in no time at all (surprise surprise). Although I simplified the basis of the story, above, it Really was an over simplification to explain the struggling emotions for me because, actually, there’s so so much more to this story. Eva is heart broken by the death of her new husband and decides to go off to Tasmania to meet his father and brother, in an effort to learn more about him, following their stark absence at his funeral and, also, afterwards when his father won’t even answer the phone to her.

The reception that Eva gets, from Jackson’s Father, is only the beginning of how weird, confusing and turbulent her journey to finding out more about the man she loved is. There’s romance in this story (newly weds, duh!), there’s intrigue and secrets, there’s journey of self-awareness, there’s some beautiful character relationships and there’s so much more. When I saw the cover I thought it would be a romance, when I read the tag line I thought it would be a thriller but, in truth, it sits in so many genres that it’s impossible to categorise it, really.

The book was really well written which helped the story to flow by in no time at all, and the characters were very compelling (even the gruff, distant ones!) because they were written so well. I have a tendency to guess what twits are going to happen and I was on form with this one and guessed it all ahead of time but, despite that, I doubted myself from time to time which is the closest I normally to get to a surprise in most books. Despite having guessed what was going to happen I still really enjoyed the book because it really was an utterly intriguing story with very lovable characters – What more could you ask for?

This is well worth picking up and I’ve seen such acclaim for Clarke’s first book, ‘The Sea Sisters’, that I am bound to buy that in the near future too. If you want to get your hands on ‘A Single Breath’ then you can find it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Single-Breath-Lucy-Clarke/dp/0007481365 and it’s available in a number of formats (the paper back is currently part of a 3 for £10 offer, at the time of writing, and I’m off to see what else is in the offer, I am such a book fiend)

I, honestly, and truthfully, really loved this book and was sad to see it end, it’s one of those books that you keep on wanting to know what happens to the characters you’ve invested in, even if it’s already come to an end. I’ll definitely miss Eva and all of her supporting characters (See, I’m so averse to spoilers that I’m not going to tell you which of the characters continue through the story with her and what new ones are going to pop up!)

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*This book was sent to me for review purposes but, in all honesty, everything I’ve written is based upon my opinions and thoughts on the book*

I thought I’d write a bit about our wedding day seeing as I’ve done so many posts mentioning dresses and shoes and flowers and all sorts of things, I wanted to share pictures with you mostly. I haven’t got many of the official pictures back, yet, but I have got ones which friends and family have taken, which are really good, which I will share with you.

The general gist of how the day went would best be described as – Perfect, simple, relaxed and easy. It went incredibly fast, like everyone days, but it wasn’t this mad, busy rush which is what a lot of people warned of. Because we took out lots of the official stuff (like speeches and first dances etc) it gave us more of a chance to just let things flow naturally. I’m also really glad I bartered with them to give my photographer more time than they wanted to give him because this meant that we had plenty of time to just take things slowly with that, too, and we ended up with time left over before the meal that gave us the chance to see our friends and family and not be rush rush rushing through everything.

One of our official photos – Exchanging the rings

In all honestly it couldn’t have gone better other than the fact that some of my family couldn’t make it due to ill health and the fact that some had to leave early for the same reason. But plenty of people stayed and people disappeared at different stages throughout the day, and then the night, so we were able to spent more time with other people as some left etc 

The venue was perfect, the food was amazing, the cake was perfect and the DJ was so good playing the same songs over and over for Skye. The room we were given for the night was just amazing, it was a proper suite with a living room/dining room, tv in both that room and the bed room, massive bed room with the comfiest, Hugest bed I’ve ever seen and a massive bathroom with a bath and a shower. We made absolutely no use of anything other than the bed and the bathroom which is a shame, but we just didn’t have the time. We did, though, have a lovely time the next morning, having a long breakfast, with lots of extra tea, with Azii’s Mum and her husband, was really nice. 

Walking down the aisle – My beautiful bridesmaids and then my Dad and I. 
The rings and the flowers.
Azii and his brothers.

Me with my brothers and sister.


Azii and Skye – This picture is now featured on the Williams Syndrome facebook page in their ‘Friends with Williams’ album. My sister in law, Sophie, submitted it and it’s so amazing that it’s up there. 

I wish Ethan looked a little less fed up (hopefully our photographer got some smiley ones of this) – but Ethan and I, none the less. 

Azii and Ethan (This one is going on the wall)

My sister and I (yes it was windy!)

My new husband and I. This was not a comfortable position to sit in, it hurt, but such a beautiful shot to come from it.

The beautifully decorated tables – My Mum did everything – Made the posies that sat in the teacups, made the open flowers that sat on  the tables and then she set it all up herself whilst my sister and I were at home getting ready. 

Our beautiful wedding cake.

There’s doing to be lots more photos to come but I think you get a pretty good idea of the day based on the ones we have, thus far. It was better than we could’ve hoped for and I’m so glad we have so many photos, already, to look back on to enjoy the day. 

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I’m so late in the month to be writing an August unboxing but I totally missed out on writing last months Love Me Beauty that I’m going to do this even though it’s late. Love Me Beauty tends to be the last beauty box I get in a month, now, and it keeps ending up arriving when I’m already swamped in posts (or life, it arrived a few days before the wedding this month) but I still want to get these posts up as they are really fantastic boxes. So, without more fussing, here’s this month’s (just about) box.

I went for Edition 3 this month and it came with four full sized items as you can see above. Some rather nice items at that.
The first item is the a la carte brow ink in the shade ‘Blonde’. All three of the options had the blonde shade in which was a bit disappointing, and I know it is something that others weren’t happy with either, but it’s the sort of product I want to try and I know that a la carte is supposed to be a great version. It’s a felt pen style product and it’s supposed to be ‘semi permanent’ and allow you to draw on individual hairs with the fine tip.
The colour, actually, comes out like this when you swatch it to the back of your hand which isn’t miles away from my brow shade (a little pale, still, but not as bad as I expected). I imagine this was picked as quite a universal shade as it’s neither too ashy or too red or too light or too dark, it’s very middling. I Think it’ll probably work with my brows but still haven’t had a chance to try it yet. What I will say, though, is that the idea of it being semi-permanent is quite believable, this swatch took SO long to come off my hand,  haha. This is worth £23 which is rather impressive.
This ‘Beauty Wonder Oil’ by Oriflame is one of the factors that helped me pick this box as I wasn’t overly interested in the other two options available. It’s supposed to be a really multi use product, as many oils are, and it includes beautiful ingredients like tonic ginger oil, coconut oil, vitamin e and almond oil which are all things that are going to get a yes from me. This stuff smells lovely, it retails at £8.49 and can make itself very comfortable in my collection of lovely oils, lovely lovely oils.
Next we have a Marsk mineral eye shadow in the shade ‘Lucky Penny’. I swear I have an unhealthy obsession with copper coloured eye shadows – They do Not go with my colouring but they are so so pretty that I love them anyway! But in this instance it was, clearly, perfectly ok for me to get it as I wanted the Oriflame product and the lip pencil shade so this was just a by-product of that… I’ll keep telling myself that.

 

It’s so beautiful, it’s like it’s aflame… Totally worth it, even if it washes me out and makes me look odd, TOTALLY worth it. (Ps. It’s worth £14.49, that got a bit lost in the worth it-ness)

Getting this shade of the Mirabella ‘Lip Luster Liner’ was a definite reason for picking edition 3, just look how beautiful it is! The shade is called ‘Shy’. It’s described as a ‘sheer, brilliant lip liner’ which us ‘easy to blend and layer’ and, as well as that, it contains aloe vera which is a really interesting ingredient which should help maintain the quality of the lips.

Look how beautiful this shade is, really! You can see in the swatch that it really is light and sheer, as described, and I can imagine it’d be great for a base on the lips. They recommend that you apply it all over the lips and then layer a lip gloss on top and I can really imagine that it’d work perfectly for that – Again I’ve not had a chance to try this but I am looking forward to it, it looks like the perfect autumnal shade to me. This is worth £10.50 which is an impressive end to the box.So that’s the August box. I was quite impressed, really, some very high value, full sized items and really great quality and nice shades too – Hopefully the blonde brow pen will be a fit and then it’ll be wins all around. Looking forward to knowing what’s happening with Love Me Beauty, soon, as I’ve seen some interesting, sneak peak emails recently!

 

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A few weeks ago I was incredibly lucky to be able to attend a showcasing event for The Body Shop – I’ve been really lucky in the events I’ve been able to go to and this was definitely amongst the top few, I mean it’s The Body Shop! I was also lucky that someone I already knew, online, was going to the event so I met up with the lovely Julie from Just Julie so that neither of us had to walk in to the venue on our own (yup, this was a concern for the both of us, haha!)

In short we were given some time to mingle, with complementary drinks, to begin with and then we had a really informative talk from a variety of people representing both The Body Shop and Rakuten followed by the chance to do more mingling, trying products, getting make-overs and hand massages and there was also some really tasty food circulating!

 

The presentation which we were given was, absolutely, full of information about The Body Shop which ranged from their history to their ethos and also some really exciting new products that will be coming up. The Body Shop is one of those brands that I’ve known about since my childhood so, even when my love of beauty developed, I didn’t learn a lot about them because I already had a basic understanding – As such it was nice to actually learn some more detail about who they are and about how, absolutely, passionate they are about what they do; which includes the beauty but also the other good that the company does.

I’d say most of us already know about their lack of animal testing and the fact that their products are vegetarian, this is something that I was aware of way before I became a beauty addict, but the depth of their caring for the environment and the good they try to do is something I was fully aware of. It was especially nice to learn about how far their fair trade works, they can trace every single ingredient which they use which is very different from a standard fair trade policy which may be upheld by other companies. As well as this we were shown a short video about Teenage Cancer Trust, I do remember seeing some things on Facebook but, again, I wasn’t really aware of how much work The Body Shop had done/is doing to help Teenage Cancer Trust which, I’m sure we’ll all agree, is such a worthy cause.

As well as learning more about the company, themselves, we were able to hear some information about Rakuten Marketing and their programmes of work with bloggers. I’ve worked with Rakuten, as an affiliate company (Link Share), relating to a couple of companies so it was nice to see some further ways in which I can work with them in the future. Definitely something I want to look more in to when I get the chance!

I guess I’d better be fair, now, I told you I was going to mention new product and I’ve managed to avoid telling you Anything about that… I’m not trying to taunt you,  honest! The display, above, was for the gorgeous Wild Argan Oil range which was released just after the event, and which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago (See Here if you’d like to see my post) – I’m in love with a variety of products from this range, already, definitely worth checking out.

You may, also, be excited to see that The Body Shop are releasing a rather large range of nail polishes! Just look at all of those beautiful shades! These will be released in September and there’s 24 shades available in their formaldehyde and camphor free formula which contains fair trade marula oil. They’re going to retail at £5 which is a pretty reasonable price, I will definitely be picking up a couple of these (but don’t tell Azii, I already have too many nail polishes!)

These cute little tubes are for the new, mini, hand creams which are new in now! There’s the five above, Moringa, Strawberry, Shea, Coconut and Honey, plus Mango, Satsuma and Pink Grapefruit. I want Shea, Satsuma and Honey – I love everything in both of these scents And they’re mini, mini things are So cute! These are on the website, now, for £3.50 each. 

Something else which is coming in September is the Drops of Youth ‘Eye-Wide Concentrate’ which is aimed to be the perfect pairing for the Drops of Youth Serum (which I used in my Wedding skincare routine HERE) which is already available. This will be retailing at £18 which is at the higher budget end but you can see the rather impressive claims above!

As well as the items I photographed there’s also going to be an Instablur for the eyes (oooh!), there’s some some smokey gel eyeliners which look beautiful! It’s definitely going to be worth keeping an eye on The Body Shop in the coming months as they have some really exciting things on their way and some great things newly arrived.The event really was wonderful, I loved learning so much, I loved the sneak peaks at new releases, I loved getting to meet some of the team from Rakuten who I’d spoken to before, I loved meeting some lovely new bloggers and the food and drink was a rather lovely added bonus. I was very well behaved and turned down most of the alcohol but I did try a rather tasty Rose rum cocktail – That venue made nice cocktails!

As well as the fantastic day we were also given a really amazing goody bag (some of which you’ve already seen as a lot of it is from the Argan oil range).

 

 

We were very, very spoiled as you can see and it’s been amazing to try out products before they were out (or some which are new releases) – I’ve loved using the Drops of Youth eye roll on, it’s So refreshing. I stopped using it for a while, following the wedding, but I can’t wait to start using it again!So, yes, I am so so grateful at having been able to attend such an amazing event! Fantastic day!

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It’d be quite hard to have missed the fact that I got married less than two weeks ago. If you had missed that then… well I got married just under two weeks ago! Since the wedding we had a week to ourselves and then I’ve had a few days of desperately trying to get back on top of things which have become a bit left behind.

I’d planned to get my Wedding Makeup post done before the wedding but, to be honest, some parts of my look weren’t totally decided until the day before the wedding itself; it really hasn’t been a simple ride when it came to deciding what to put on my face!

Thankfully the internet is amazing and I had a whole tonne of resources to turn to. I had help from friends on beauty group, I did some twitter shout outs, I read some fantastic online posts and blogs and I also checked out the new Wedding portal on Beauty Bay – http://www.beautybay.com/weddingbeauty/ There’s absolutely loads of great tricks and tips on there.

In the end I managed to, finally, refine my look – Oh the relief! It took a while but I was finally happy with it. I went for quite a natural look, trying to make my skin as flawless as possible with a little contouring, good lashes and a healthy glow to both my cheeks and lips. As it happens I, actually think I reached that, and here’s what I used!

Sadly I don’t have any pics from the day, yet, which show my makeup too well – We’ve had a few of the official pics but they’ve all been ones that don’t show my makeup too well. But with my blogger brain on I made sure to take a pic of my look the day before when I did a final, test run. Soo, thankfully, I can show you how the look came together.

Not quite the same without the wedding dress on, I know, but it gives you a good idea of the look. Hopefully you’ll agree that it fits well with what I described as my ideal, above. I was happy with how my makeup came out on the day, I am glad I didn’t go for anything more in your face.

So let’s have a quick look at some of the items that I used. A few of them will be getting their own, personal review in the next couple of weeks.

So here’s what I used for my base. I invested in a good foundation, without SPF in it, in order to give the more flawless look I could without needing to worry about flashback. Although I wanted flawless I didn’t want it to be too heavy which is why I went for the Giorgio Armani ‘Luminous Silk Foundation’. Underneath my foundation I was using the Laura Mercier foundation primer which was a bit of a last minute choice as I was umming and aahing over primers a good deal (It did a very good job in the end)

Although I went for lighter coverage with foundation I brought in the big guns for concealer and I opted for my Veil Cover cream* – I used one shade for under the eyes and another for blemishes. As you can see in the above pics, it did a pretty good job (considering my under eyes were very discoloured and I had Plenty of blemishes). To set the base products I went for a relatively new purchase which has become a firm favourite which is the Soap & Glory ‘One Heck of a Blot’ powder. I love that this is one of the only powders I’ve ever used which doesn’t cake at all and it mattified really nicely.

Eye products, next. I couldn’t decide whether or not to include the L’Oreal Blur Cream in base or eyes, I probably should have included it in base but never mind. I love this primer and it became invaluable for my wedding makeup, I used it on my under eyes to help my concealer sit better and it worked really well.
For my brows I went for a firm, long lasting favourite which is the Maybelline ‘Brow Drama’ which just does as a brow gel/mascara is meant to.

For my eye shadow I used the Maybelline Color Tattoo in ‘Pure Nude’ which is a US shade which I was lucky to have been able to get on eBay (Thanks to the lovely Gemma at MissMakeupMagpie for posting about them and sharing her finds!) (please please please Maybelline, make shades like this a permanent part of the UK collection). In the crease I used a shade from the I ♥ Makeup ‘Death by Chocolate‘* palette which you can see swatches of HERE. The shade I used is the dusky pink shade ‘Lick me’

Lastly, for the eyes, I used the Eye of Horus ‘Goddess Mascara’* – This is a mascara I’ve lusted after for a Long time so when I was able to get it to trial for my wedding makeup I was over the moon. The moment I tried it there was no need to try any other mascara, it was a winner instantly – It filled out my lashes and lengthened them So much, I’ll be writing a post on this in the next week or so so that you can see photos, up close, of it on my eye (though you can see, in the picture of my look, that you can see my lashes poking up from behind my glasses frame, that’s how long they are!)


Lastly, for the cosmetics, we have the finishing off products. For my contour there was only ever going to be one choice and that was my Nyx blush in ‘Taupe’, it’s just the perfect contour shade for pale skin and I love it. For the natural glow to my cheeks I opted for my Bourjois cream blush in the shade ’02 Healthy Glow’ – This was another no brainer, I love this range of blushes and this one gave the perfect amount of colour.

Lastly comes the item which I class as the real finishing touch on my look. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to trial one of Love, Honour & Be True‘s lipsticks* for the wedding. I am going to resist the urge to tell you loads about this brand, and about the lipstick, because I am going to give this a whole post of its own. I can safely say, though, that I think this may be my absolute favourite lipstick ever and I am So so pleased with the shade I went for, it couldn’t have been any more perfect. The shade I have is ‘I Do’ which, as you can see above, is a neutral with a healthy pink blush to it. 

 

I thought I’d, quickly, show you which makeup brushes I used. I forgot to include it in the photo but I used one of the Real Techniques blending sponges to apply my foundation. As you can see I used mostly Real Techniques brushes, anyway, the deluxe crease brush for concealer, the stippling brush for cream brush, contour brush, and setting brush for their intended uses. As well as those I used one of my Coastal scents 250 brushes for blending eye shadow and my Nanshy* eye crease brush for applying the shadow to the crease beforehand. The very top brush is an ELF powder brush which was, surprisingly, for powder!

And that’s that, really. I’m sure I’ll share some more of the official photos once we get them so you’ll be able to see my wedding makeup, in use, in those. My makeup did me very well, though, with very little re-application needed. I expected makeup dilemmas all day long but, thankfully, that didn’t happen. 

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*Anything with a star was sent for review purposes, anything without was bought with my own money, but everything said is my own words and opinions regardless of the source of the product*