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Monthly Favourites | April & May 2017

  • Sunday, 28 May 2017


I have really enjoyed May; it feels like I’ve done loads! I got the chance to go down to London and go to the F&F Clothing Autumn and Winter Press Event, meet Lydia from Fashion in Flux at the Topshop Your Best Dress event in Sheffield, take a trip to Centre Parcs and celebrate two of my best friends from university getting married! June promises to be a busy month with a trip to Edinburgh with my mum, another wedding and at the end of the month James and I are going to Glastonbury! I can’t wait for all of these exciting plans and I will be sure to document it as much as possible! 

Moving on to today’s post… 

I didn’t end up writing a monthly favourites post for April. I had a few new things that I had been loving, but I didn’t want to force a post just because it had come to the end of the month. So I decided that I would combine April and May’s monthly favourites into one blog post. This Monthly Favourites round up seems to be fairly beauty based. I have tried a few new things lately that have become staples in my every day beauty routine, but there are also a couple of fashion pieces thrown in for good measure.


One of my absolute favourites over the past few weeks has been the Exuviance Moisturiser*. This was suggested to me as I struggle to keep my oily areas at bay whilst ensuring that my skin remains hydrated. It has an SPF of 30 and it soaks straight into the skin. I have been combining this with the Dr Botanicals Coco Noir Facial Serum*. This is a beautiful serum that is really lightweight and is designed to improve the appearance of the skin, which is great on the build up to summer. Dr Botanicals have also given my readers the discount code of MADOLYN1 so that you can purchase this product for just £19.99.


Another favourite of mine over the last few weeks is the Fleur De Force Lipstick in collaboration with Mac. I was on the hunt for the ‘perfect summer nude’ and I instantly fell in love with this beautiful shade. I posted a full initial thoughts and review blog post the other week, but it is a lovely consistency, has great longevity and is exactly what I was looking for. From lips to hair, the Natural World Hair Shampoo and Conditioner* has been another beauty favourite that I have incorporated into my regular routine. I have mentioned these products a few times, both as a review of the Mint & Charcoal Range, and also as part of my Charcoal Beauty Products post. 


I have also loved the FFS Samantha Razor*, which is party of the Friction Free Shaving service. FFS is a monthly subscription box that contains one razor handle and four blades. The idea behind the service is that you are provided with a different blade for each week of the month and at the end of the month you are delivered a new box. It is a great service that ensures that you change your blades regularly and it fits through the letterbox so you don’t need to sign for anything!


I recently attended my friends wedding, which was so much fun and a beautiful day. It also meant that I finally got the chance to wear these beautiful Jessica Simpson shoes that have been sat in my wardrobe for about six months! I absolutely adore these shoes and think that they are so pretty and ideal as a focal point for an outfit. I love the colour and think that I will get a lot more wear out of these as we head towards the summer months. I also bought this really cute Primark Pale Pink Clutch Bag for the wedding, which has become my favourite going out bag. I think that it is perfect for this time of year and it goes with so many of my spring/summer pieces. It was the bargain price of just £5 and is the perfect size to fit in everything you need on an evening out. 


I have also filmed a monthly favourites video which is live over on my YouTube channel if you wanted a closer look and more in depth review of each of the products mentioned above.


What have been your monthly favourites? 

Madolyn
xxx

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Recent Reads | May 2017

  • Friday, 26 May 2017


Happy Friday! The last few days I have been in Centre Parcs with my family and it has been such a lovely way to spend the tail end of the week. I am also really looking forward to having a chilled out bank holiday weekend and I have all of my fingers crossed that the weather stays just as warm as it has been this last week. Today's post is a round up of the last few books I have had my nose in, and I few that I plan to read in the next few weeks.


The Muse | Jessie Burton

Can I just mention the cover of this book, it is so pretty! I picked up The Muse as soon as it was released as a paperback. I read Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist last year, and I was eager to read her next book when it hit the bookshops. I really enjoy Burton’s writing style and find that I am capsulated in the story line from the word go. She has an interesting way of writing the is fairly descriptive and provides a lot of information, yet the story maintains a fast pace that keeps you wanting more. 

The Muse has two parallel story lines, one is set in the late 1960s in the heart of London, following a young woman who has moved to England from the West Indies to peruse her dream of becoming a writer. The other is set in the 1930s in Spain, following a young artist that is trying to live in a country on the brink of war, with her family. All the characters are linked in an unusual and unlikely way, and Burton drip feeds the links to the reader in a way that keeps you guessing and makes you want to find out what has happened. 

Library of Souls | Ransom Riggs | The Third Novel Of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children

I began reading the Miss Peregrine Trilogy late last year after I received the first novel for my birthday in September. I fell in love with the concept straight away and love the premise of the story. The books follow a young boy who is trying to get closure after the death of his grandfather, only to discover that there are other people in the world that are a little different, just like him.  It uncovers truths about his Grandfather’s life that helps to explain why he is the way he is.

It is a fantasy novel filled with drama, excitement, time travel and mystery. Each of the novels have been a real page turner for me, and I have loved the sense of escapism that comes with reading each book. I would really recommend the series to any fantasy lover that wants an exciting read that isn’t too deep and hard going, a perfect summer holiday trilogy. 


The Million Dollar Blog | Natasha Courtenay-Smith

My dad bought me this book as a present a few weeks ago when I first decided to Take A Leap Of Faith and go part time in order to focus more on my blog. It is a really interesting an informative read that I have been dipping in and out of over the last few weeks. I think that it is useful no matter if you are an aspiring blogger or have been blogging for years and have it as your full time job. It is jam packed with loads of information and I want to make a conscious effort to finish reading it this coming month.

The Essex Serpent | Sarah Perry

I have been wanting to read this book since I first saw it on the shelves in Waterstones. I was so tempted to pick up the hardcopy edition but was glad I didn’t when I saw it in Sainsbury’s a few weeks ago on their paperback book charts for just £2.99! Quite a saving from the £20 hardback copy. I am excited to dive in have a read of this highly talked about mystery novel. Hopefully the weather will keep in check and I can enjoy this award winning read outside in the sunshine with some ice cold beverages. 


What have you been reading lately?

Madolyn
xxx

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Wedding Season | Wedding Guest Outfit Of The Day

  • Wednesday, 24 May 2017


I think that we are well and truly into wedding season now, and I attended my first one of the year the weekend before last. We had a wonderful day spent in the heart of Yorkshire celebrating two of my best friends from university, tying the knot. It was a glorious weekend with lots of beautiful food and drink and we had some amazing weather along with it. 

As with every wedding, deciding what to wear played a key role and I had spent many an evening perusing the internet for the perfect wedding guest outfit. I wanted something that was dressy enough to wear to a wedding, but was also versatile enough so that I would be able to wear it again.


I opted for this floral, bardot, skater style dress in the end that was from New Look of all places. I bought it from their ‘Occasions Wear’ range, which was filled with some beautiful pieces. I absolutely love that high-street stores such as New Look and Topshop, are starting to bring out more high-end fashion items that can be worn to formal events. I had a number of weddings last year and I bought a skirt from Coast for £70, but this dress from New Look was only, £34.99, A fraction of the price yet I think that it portrays the same amount of high-end quality and finish.


Due to the collection of different colours within this wedding guest outfit, I found that I was able to mix and match my accessories, without feeling limited to wear just one particular colour. There is nothing more frustrating than trailing the shops in an attempt to find a bag and heels with the exact shade and tone of a colour that needs to match your dress!

I decided to team this light and floral dress with my pair of Jessica Simpson red sued stilettos. I have had these for about six months and because they are so beautiful, I haven’t yet had an occasion to wear them. I thought that they would be a perfect shoe to wear with this outfit however and I loved the bright pop of colour which I then extended to my nail and my lips.



I didn’t want to go too overboard with the red and I wanted my shoes to stand out as a focal point, so when it came to my shawl and handbag I decided to wear subtler tones that still complimented my dress. Both items were from Primark with the dusky purple/grey shawl costing just £4 and the pale pink, envelope clutch only setting me back £5. 


It just shows that you don’t have to go overboard when it comes to occasion wear. I think that there is a pressure sometimes to wear expensive, labelled pieces when it comes to a special event, but as long as you find something that looks nice, I don’t think it matters where it comes from. I think the key is shopping for staple pieces that you can style with less expensive, high-street items that don’t break the bank but still look really pretty and suitable.


Have you got any weddings coming up?

Madolyn
xxx

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For The Love Of Charcoal | Beauty Products

  • Monday, 22 May 2017


It seems as though charcoal is fast becoming a really popular ingredient in beauty products. Recently I have tried quite a few beauty products that have featured charcoal as an active ingredient ranging from hair products to toothpaste. It is a really cleaver product that is extremely cleansing without stripping away anything natural making it an ideal cleaning product to feature in lots of different beauty products.


Natural World Charcoal & Mint Range*

I have been using the Charcoal & Mint Shampoo and Conditioner by Natural World over the last few weeks, as well as their Hair mask. I have already written a full review of the Natural World Charcoal and Mint range if you wanted more of an in-depth read. They are such a lovely products to use in the shower as the mint and citrus oils smell absolutely amazing whilst I’m washing my hair. The Charcoal within the products is really cleansing and makes my hair feel so so clean after I have used it. However, it doesn’t strip any natural oils from the hair and so it feels silky soft once dry. 


7th Heaven Nose Pore Strips*

I have been a huge lover of nose pore strips for years now and feel that they are the best way to tackle those annoying blackheads that reappear on my nose. Once the skin has been cleansed, the nose pore strip is placed on the nose and after it has dried, it is slowly peeled off, pulling with it lots of little black heads. I find it such a satisfying thing to do and I feel extremely cleansed afterwards. 

7th Heaven have brought out a charcoal nose pore strip that is ideal for normal, combination and oily skin. The active charcoal ingredient aids to absorb excess oils and blackheads, which cleanses and reduces the appearance of pores. 


Beverly Hills Charcoal Toothpaste and Mouth Wash*

I have also been using the Beverly Hills Charcoal range, which is a brilliant toothpaste and mouthwash. Like the other products mentioned, the active charcoal ingredient acts as a cleansing agent. What is great about these products is that the charcoals aids in getting rid of plague and bacteria that causes bad breath, without eroding the enamel on the teeth. This is great as my mouth always feels really cleansed both morning and night after using these products. 


Do you like using beauty products with active charcoal as an ingredient? 

Madolyn
xxx

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Topshop Styling Service | Your Best Dress With Fashion In Flux

  • Sunday, 21 May 2017


I was so excited to have the opportunity to attend the Your Best Dress with Fashion In Flux Topshop event at Meadow Hall in Sheffield on Thursday. I am a huge lover of Topshop clothes and always think that they have a beautiful range of on trend products, as well as fashion staples, available for all shapes, sizes, preferences and tastes. I have been following Lydia from Fashion In Flux for ages now, and I love her fashion style, the way that she dresses, as well as her beauty and makeup skills. 


Topshop Stylist

The event on Thursday was designed to promote the amazing Styling service provided by Topshop. Meadowhall has a lovely suite downstairs that is separate to the rest of the store and it has a lovely reception and two really spacious changing rooms. The Topshop Stylist service allows you to book an appointment and have your own changing room to try on a range of clothes, without the stress and strain of trying to find something on the racks. 


This service is great if you have an event coming up such as a wedding, a prom or even a holiday. You can arrange an appointment, discus your personal style, you size, any body hang-ups and anything else that you look for when shopping for clothes. This allows you to turn up to the Stylist Suite and try on a range of clothes that have been pre-picked out for you based on your requirements. I think that this is a great way to shop as a lot of the hard work has been done for you. It seems like a fantastic service, especially as there is no minimum spend, I can’t wait to book my appointment and get shopping!


Fashion In Flux

After learning all about the Topshop Stylist Service, the beautiful Lydia from Fashion In Flux did a talk all about how to dress your best, whilst showing pieces that were picked out from her stylist session. I loved the items that she had picked out and her advice on dresses and what to wear was really useful. It was so nice to meet Lydia, she is so down to earth and came across just as warm, friendly and funny as she does on her blog and YouTube channel. 


 Have you tried out the Topshop Styling Service?

Madolyn
xxx

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Finding The Perfect Summer Nude | Fleur De Force Mac Lipstick | First Impressions

  • Friday, 19 May 2017


I am a huge fan of Mac lipsticks and I especially love to wear a ‘my lips but better’ nude lip. I usually wear Mac’s Brave on a day-to-day basis but was keeping my eyes peeled for a warmer nude to take me into the summer months. When I was in London the other week for the F&F Autumn Winter press event, I decided to pop into Selfridges and have a peruse of the Mac Lipstick collection. 


I ended up picking up this beautiful ‘perfect nude’ shade that was not only exactly what I was looking for, but it was created by the beautiful Fleur De Force! Fleur is a hugely successful Blogger and YouTuber and she has had other really exciting collections such as her eyelash launch with Eylure. I think that it is so amazing to see her name on a Mac lipstick and it is so cool how much brands and the general public are giving such amazing exposure to bloggers and influencers. I think it is a sign of even more exciting things to come. 


Colour

Fleur describes the colour of this lipstick as her ‘perfect nude’ and I really agree with her. I usually opt for a nude shade with slightly more pink tones, but I find that this is better suited when my complexion is paler in the cooler months. However, as we are slowly creeping into summer and my skin is beginning to look a little more sun-kissed, I feel like I want an everyday nude to have more brown tones within it. 


Texture

The texture of this product is exactly what I look for in a lipstick. It is soft on the lips and glides easily to create a full look. It feels slightly matte in a way that I don’t feel it will smudge or need reapplying constantly, yet it seems to retain enough moisture so that it isn’t drying on the lips. 


Finish 

I really like the finish of this lipstick. It feels really long lasting in a way that it is easy to wear throughout the day with minimal top-ups.  The product appears slightly highlighted in a way that it catches the light and looks glossy, even though it is not a wet and glossy finish. What I love about this lipstick is that it can be worn with lip balm for a slight pigmentation or can be applied heavily for a full colour finish.


When I bought the lipstick I also received a little note from Fleur herself, which was really sweet, and a Mac makeup sheet that includes all of Fleur’s favourite Mac products to wear with this lipstick.


What is your pefect lipstick shade?
Have you tried the new Fleur De Force Lipstick?

Madolyn
xxx

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Bloggers Spotlight | An Interview With Sam From Samantha's Beauty Loves

  • Thursday, 18 May 2017


Happy Friday! I am so excited for the weekend to start and I am also excited to introduce you to May’s feature of my #BloggersSpotlight series; Samantha’s Beauty Loves. I first met Sam at Scarlett London’s Bloggers Festival, which was the first ever blogging event that I attended. Sam always looks so flawless with her amazing makeup skills and technique. Her beauty and makeup collection is to die for and her photographs are seriously on point. Be sure to keep reading to find out more about the blogger behind the blog.  


1. Introduce us to Samantha's Beauty Loves, what can we expect to find there?

My blog mainly focuses on beauty products, especially makeup and it’s a big passion of mine. I mix up my posts between hauls, routines and tips and tricks. I also throw in occasional lifestyle posts and recently I am adding in some fashion and travel posts. When people read my blog I want them to feel as passionate about makeup as I do and love the products as much as I do if they buy them.


2. Why did you decide to set up a beauty and makeup blog? 

Makeup had been a passion of mine for a while and I always read blogs and watched makeup tutorials on YouTube so I thought what a better way to talk more about it than a blog?!


3. Where do you get your beauty and makeup inspiration from?

I think a lot of it came from my family, my Mum, Grandma and Auntie have always worn makeup and I think growing up I would watch them use lots of products and take tips from them. Although, I think now I’m in to makeup as much as I am, they take inspiration from me and are always asking for tips. I also take inspiration from tutorials on YouTube and I’m constantly trying to recreates looks from my favourites.


4. You're pictures are always so flawless, do you have any photography tips and tricks?

I’m a big fan of bright and white photos so I always take them during the day when it’s nice and bright outside, I do have artificial lighting but I’m not always keen on using that. I’ll then brighten on my laptop, I just use the photos feature on my MacBook but there are great websites such as Pic Monkey and Fotor if you don't have a Mac. For the pictures themselves I always use my trusty marble background, which is just sticky back plastic on a board. I try to add props also to add something a little different to the picture and you can pick some great ones up from Primark, B&M etc.

5. What are the top few beauty products you couldn't live without and why?

My number one products I probably couldn’t without is highlighter. I’m such an addict I probably own way over 30, but my favourites are the ABH Glow Kits, theBalm Mary Lou-Manizer and Becca Champagne Pop. Another favourite of mine is the ABH DipBrow Pomade and its the only product I really use on my brows, you really cant go wrong with their brow products. A more recent favourite of mine is the new Nars Soft Matte concealer as its one of the only things that truly covers my dark circles and doesn't crease of wear off throughout the day.


Be sure to follow Sam on Bloglovin, Twitter and Instagram!

Madolyn
xxx

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Press Event | F&F Autumn Winter 2017 Collection

  • Sunday, 14 May 2017


This week. I was invited to attend the F&F Autumn Winter collection launch in London. The event was held at the beautiful location of the Crousel down Blandford Street, which provided a really cool and modern atmosphere.  


 The collection was split into three sections of women, men and children across the different floors in the venue.  I focused mainly on the women’s wear which was the largest collection being showcased. I was genuinely blown away by the quality, style and price of all of the products and literally cannot wait for F&F’s official launch.




There was a collection of clothes that are due to hit shop floors in July, which were so dreamy. The theme felt slightly Victorian and vintage with the high neck tops and lace detailing. The key colours were teal, duty pinks, mustard, grey and blue. It is such a beautiful palette and each item really focused on textured detailing such as embroidery, lace, ruffles and fringe.  


Not only were these pieces undoubtedly on trend, fashionable and made with such a high quality, the price range of these items was considerably low. Within this collection was a long puffer jacket that felt extremely luxurious, and although it was the most expensive piece at the showcase, it was only £55.



Moving on to the Autumn/Winter collection, which is launching in September, has a lot of black, red, gold and floral within it. Much like the July collection, there is a lot of texture in each of the autumn and winter pieces and I love this beautiful black velvet jumper, which is covered in gold studs. 


There was also a big focus on sheer tops and layers to add definition to outfits, which carried on with the embroidered floral effect. I absolutely adored the long black dress over lay with red embroidered flowers that could be styled in many different ways for both smart and casual occasions. 


As well as textured detail, there is a lot of emphasis on the sleeve detail on many of the items. Many of the tops have flared sleeves, ribbon or tie detailing with lace finishes. I think that this golden lace top with the flared sleeves is absolutely stunning and would be a perfect winter top, giving all of the Christmas vibes. 


Carousel provided some amazing drinks, canapés and rainbow bagels!! They were so so pretty and I have never seen anything like it. The elderflower spritz was especially good and the salted caramel profiterole with gold popping candy was out of this world.  



There was an entire lingerie and nightwear section that was so beautiful and feminine. I loved the classic and vintage feel to each of the pieces with silky dusky pinks and creams and lace, providing a real fifties style. 


The fitness range was very cool and had a real ‘Sweaty Betty’ feel to it due to the floral leggings and crossover tops. There was a fantastic range of items available for any fitness gal, weather you’re a keen runner or just want something to throw on for a relaxing yoga session.  


Accessories wise, everything felt very relaxed and casual. There were some beautiful leopard print boots and lots of cute little trainers that again, continued with the textured theme, as there was a lot of velvet and textured finishes. The bags, hats and scarves were kept plain but I liked this as I thought that it complimented the busy, intricate designs of the clothing.  


 After an afternoon of dragging James around the F&F Autumn Winter collection and getting him to hold up the clothing so that I could photograph it, we decided to treat ourselves and headed to Honest Burger for tea. I seem to go here for food practically every time I’m down in London – I can’t rave about it enough!


 I am so excited for the F&F A/W collection to come to Tesco stores in September and know that I will be having a huge shopping spree when it is officially launched.   


Be sure to have a watch of you YouTube Video which is a mini Vlog of the day!

Madolyn
xxx

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I attended the F&F A/W Press Event as a representative of Hit The Floor Magazine. 
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