Thursday, 21 May 2015

SUMMER READY LEGS

Summer Ready legs
Summer ready legs. A phrase that manages to strike the "oh f**k god, my legs look like a pasty, scaly, snakeskin-like mess" feels into me, whilst simultaneously making me laugh out loud - literally LOL - because if we're being totally real here, I'm not sure I ever feel like my legs/body/face/entire being are "Summer ready".

I do however have some tips, tricks (which are probably common sense but just roll with me on this one, yeah? Cool, thanks guys...) and products to make your legs more summer ready, anyway. Oh, and by the way, huge disclaimer - when I say "Summer ready legs", I'm talking getting your skin into tip top condition, not shapes or sizes so screw you Protein World So, after some glowing, radiant, even toned and silky soft skin? Read on...

Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.... (Jesus christ, you know you need to step away from the computer when you're quoting the sound of music in a blog post).

Exfoliate...
Origins Clear improvement scrub
Origins Clear improvement scrub
Origins Clear improvement scrub
Origins Clear Improvement detoxifying charcoal body scrub* (not released yet - sorry! - but will be soon) - I received this gorgeous product when I was invited along to the Origins/John Lewis event a few weeks backs and I have been loving this little pretty ever since. Firstly, the scrub itself is the perfect mixture of being abrasive enough to scrub away those scaly patches (Oh, it's just me that looks like a Basilisk all year round then? Awkward... p.s #HarryPotterFangirlForever) without taking half of your skin off like some scrubs do. It does contain oils which means that it's amazing for leaving your skin silky smooth, however if you're about to fake tan shortly after, you'll need to make sure any excess oil is washed off. It has a really unusual, slightly masculine peppery scent which I personally really like, but it might not be for everyone. Overall it is a truly gorgeous product and I apologise for being such a cock tease because it isn't actually released yet, but it will be soon, so keep and eye out on the website!

Moisturise...
Soap and glory the daily smooth
Soap and glory body butter
Soap and glory body butter
Soap and Glory, The Daily Smooth - I am a very lazy body moisturiser kinda' girl. I want to be able to slap it on, for it to absorb quickly, wack my clothes on and be out of the door in minutes. My top pick to meet my "lazy bi*ch girl standards" is Soap and Glory's The daily smooth body butter. This is perfect as it absorbs well, it leaves your skin silky smooth and really evens out the texture without making you feel all sticky and uncomfortable. It also has a very slight shimmer in it meaning that it's amazing in the summer for making your legs look all toned and honed (without stepping foot in the gym. #winning). Perfect pre and post tan as it doesn't irritate the colour and obviously keeps those limbs scaly skin-free, whilst also nourishing the skin and prolonging the colour afterwards.

Tan...
Cocoa brown tan gentle bronze
Cocoa brown tan gentle bronze
Cocoa brown tan gentle bronze
Cocoa Brown Tan, Gentle Bronze - You only have to look around at the unlimited pale skinned beauties to know that a tan definitely isn't essential to "looking amazing" but for me... I just prefer to be a little bronzed as my natural skin tone is duller than dishwater - Sexy Elle, sexy... - in summer after months of being wrapped up in multiple layers. I mentioned in my previous Spring essentials post that sunbeds and too much sun bathing are not for me, so fake is the way forward (a sentence I never imagined I'd utter...) I also mentioned - i.e totally fan girled over - the Cocoa Bronze tan Gentle bronze gradual tanner. In a bid to not sound repetitive - and bore you in the process - I've linked to that post above but in short; Gentle Bronze is so quickly absorbed, despite the fact that it's extremely moisturising. It develops a very natural glow that can be built up daily to produce a stunning, golden bronze, even colour. The photo's below show my legs before tan - i.e "Yo Elle, Casper called, he wants his legs back" - and after using Gentle Bronze 3 nights in a row... pretty lovely, right? My next stop is to try their 1 hour tan mousse and the scrub... basically all the Cocoa Brown tan products in the world please and thank you ;)
cocoa brown tan gentle bronze
The Extra Somethin' Somethin'
Bourjois gold bronzing powder
Bourjois gold bronzing powder
Bourjois gold bronzing powder
Bourjois Delice de poudre gold bronzing powder - Now, I make no bones about the fact that I am an absolute boring bitch home bird and would much rather spend my evenings in bed, watching netflix with all the pizza I can muster (which is a lot FYI, I am pretty much synonymous for being a total pig). However, on the extremely rare occasions that I do go out, or have an event which means getting my limbs out - f**k my life - then I like to add a little somethin' somethin' to my scrub, moisturise, tan routine and I do that in the form of the Bourjois Delice gold bronzing powder. I received this last summer at the Bourjois Summer event and whilst I'm not a fan of using it as a bronzer on my face, it is the perfect highlight/golden bronze glow to add down the front of the legs, to your d├ęcolletage, arms... basically any high points/places on show to add that bit of a sheeny, sexy glow.

The workout...
Yoga with adriene
An additional extra and not something that I ever thought would be included on this blog. Exercise... Now, don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of exercise. In fact, I bloody hate it. To the point of actually not doing it at all until very recently (when I decided that I no longer wanted to be a sloth and really wanted to look like Tasha Oakley). Over the last couple of months, I have eased myself into some exercise with the help of Yoga with Adriene - who is ridiculously amazing and makes yoga a joy - and the odd Blogilates video - who is also amazing but actually kicks my arse - and I've actually started to enjoy it a little bit. I can't say I've noticed a difference in my legs/body but that's not why I've been doing it. I just feel better in myself, it's much more of a mental thing than physical thing... but that's surely what feeling good in summer is about right? (No? You think I'm talking bull you say? Well, let's just humour me on this one anyway shall we...)

So that brings my "summer ready legs" post to an end. I hope this post was useful and you discovered some new products/tips and tricks, and if you never... I hope you appreciated my "Oh f**k crap, I very nearly exposed my crotch" shots anyway. ;)

I would love to know what your Summer ready products/tips are? What items would you recommend for feeling more confident when it comes to baring those limbs in Summer? I would love to hear your thoughts!

As always, thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post!

xx

Monday, 18 May 2015

BLUEBERRY REVOLUTION (& GEMPORIA GIVEAWAY)

The elle next door
Blueberry revolution, what the f**k on earth could that possibly mean? Well, despite it sounding vaguely like a brand new superfood/smart phone/pancake recipe/or just some other crap that I regularly make up... it is actually my shockingly shit poor attempt at introducing a post about an outfit - and earrings that you can win, more on that later - with blueberry (a posher way of just saying "blue") tones, and an introduction to Makeup Revolution.

Yep, my title attempt really was that lame.

On a slightly less lame note, when I was planning this outfit, I realised that I didn't quite have enough blue items in my wardrobe... i.e cue all the online shopping this week in search of the perfect spring time lavender/blue/wisteria colour'd playsuit, dress, skirt, jacket... everything. Basically all blue ehhrthing...
patterned trousers H&M
Patterned trousers H&M
Wisteria wall
Fashion blogger
wisteria blogger
The Elle Next door
Wisteria
Ellie Adams
Ellie Adams
Ellie Adams
Leather jacket: Topshop (2 seasons back, similar here)
Flowy top that perfectly covers a food baby i.e I need one in every colour: Primark
Blueberry inspired trousers: H&M
Strappy heels that nearly break my neck every single time: Primark (old, but well loved, identical here)
Flower photography
The elle next door
ellie adams
Elle next door
On to the revolution part of my shockingly bad title; my first array into Makeup Revolution. I had a rather embarrassing - Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah's couch style - moment when I saw that Make up Rev (yeah, we shorten brand's full name, cool...) have a section in my local Superdrug, and delighted in buying all the budget goodness.

P.S I've only used each product once so I'll give a little "one sentence, first impression" kinda thing. Cool? Cool...
Makeup Revolution
Makeup Revolution lipstick nude
Makeup Revolution lipstick, Nude - I'm not totally convinced on the formula at the moment but the colour is a really pretty pinky/beige nude. Looking forward to trying this more.
Makeup Revolution Eyeshadow Good wife
Makeup Revolution Shadow, Good Life - So, from the pan, this looks like it would be a taupe/purple/brown colour, right? Wrong... This is actually a really light, almost lilac colour but I actually really love it. It'll definitely be a love or hate colour so make sure you swatch this one.
Makeup Revolution blush Love
Makeup Revolution blush, Love - So, this blush is pigmented. Like, one dip of the brush and you are more than good to go. This is a really pretty, natural pinky peachy which just leaves a nice flush to the skin. 

How about some ridiculously unflattering close ups in an attempt to show them slapped on the face whilst simultaneously shoving it in some wisteria? Sound like a plan? Right, let's do it...
Make up revolution makeup
Daniel wellington
Make up revolution makeup
Make up revolution makeup
Next up are these stunning earrings from Gemporia* which have quickly become my "I really can't be arsed bothered to make an effort so give me all the chic and "put together-ness" in an instant, please and thank you!" piece. They really just do exactly that, completely dress up an outfit and make me feel a little more polished.

I absolutely love the triangle shape alongside the gorgeous blueberry - ahhh, now the title makes sense - quartz gemstone as they are so different to anything I own. But they're also extremely wearable. And do you know what the best bit is? You can win a pair right now by entering the competition/giveaway box at the bottom. [insert thumbs up emoji here] What are you waiting for? Oh, you're waiting for me to shut the hell up stop waffling on and let you get to the end of the post, awkward... ;)
Gemporia earrings
Gemporia earrings
Wisteria
To enter the giveaway, the terms and conditions are that you need to follow this blog on Bloglovin because I am a self-indulgent twat (because a girl's gotta have something for herself too, right?) my Instagram & Twitter accounts - if you aren't already obviously, it's @ellenextdoor just so you know :) - and Gemporia's Instagram & twitter which you can find by clicking on the links in the below Rafflecoptor box below, also.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
So this brings me to the end of this post. I actually really enjoyed putting this outfit together and I was definitely not joking when I said I was going shopping for more blueberry toned pieces. This pretty little thing is already on it's way to me. #SorryNotSorry P.S I also tweeted about this dress and Millie Mackintosh retweeted me. Totally lost my shit!

Don't forget to comment below and leave your email/Social media links so that if you do win, I can find you... and Good Luck!! :)

As always, thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post!

xx

Friday, 15 May 2015

ESSENTIALS FOR FEELING CHIC IN SPRING

Spring essentials
Whilst in reality, I am well aware that I am anything but chic - you say modest, I say true. If only you could see me now, slobbing in bed with all the leftover breakfast crumbs down me and hair containing more grease than a chip shop (Sexy Elle, sexy...) - I do have a love affair with those essential items that instantly take you from drab to fab*, damn to glam* and rough to buff*.

*Be right back, just off to punch myself in the face/report myself to the police for using the most criminal, nauseating acronyms right there.

But whilst I don't always succeed in the daily quest of "I look like Shrek, now make me look like Kendall Jenner please and thank you!" I do have some tips/items that really will make you feel instantly ready - well, more ready anyway - for Spring and the warmer months. Starting with...

The Make up
I am absolutely by no means saying that you have to wear makeup to look chic, but for me personally (and I imagine a lot of you fellow beauty/fashion bloggers reading this) certain pieces of makeup instantly make me feel more "put together", more "polished", and all those other really annoying/slightly ostentatious phrases. ;) Here are my top picks to do just that:
Tom ford spanish pink
Tom ford spanish pink
Tom ford spanish pink
Tom Ford lipstick, Spanish Pink - Lipstick is my favourite way of pulling a look together and instantly perking up my face/making me look less corpse-like and Tom Ford's Spanish Pink is my absolute favourite for that instant Chic. Not only does the packaging make me feel a million dollars - shallow, but true - but the colour is the most gorgeous peachy pink shade that lasts so well on the lips too. It goes with every look and just brightens your face [insert all the "hallelujah"/hands up emoji's here], click here for a full review. 
Soap and glory archery brow pencil
Soap and glory archery brow pencil
Soap and glory archery brow pencil - If you follow me on twitter - Oh, you don't, you say? Well of course I can link it up for you so you can go and follow straight away. Find me at @ellenextdoor ;) - you'll have heard me have a bitch fit moan about the fact that my brand new archery brow pencil broke and fell out, the very first time that I even opened it. I wasn't impressed, however I just can't do a post about feeling chic and put together without mentioning eyebrows - because we all know how much they frame/transform a face - and for those, this Soap and Glory pencil and brush duo really is  the best out there. An amazing spoolie to brush them into place (and keep them there) and a perfect, waxy pencil that literally just draws on hair-like strokes, filling in the brows in the most natural way. Love this bad boy!*

*However, I don't love losing half the product before I've even used it so if you can get back to me now Soap and Glory customer service team... that would be fab! [insert thumbs up/"no, in all seriousness, please do your job and fast" emoji here]
Essie Peach daiquiri
Essie Peach daiquiri
Essie Peach Daiquiri - Nothing quite manages to cheer me up like painting my nails. (Apart from maybe Harvey Spector Suits/Curry/Chocolate/Wine... I'll stop now) I have an outrageous/humiliating/despicable/[insert your own choice of embarrassing synonym here] nail polish collection, however there are very few that I constantly return to, Essie's Peach Daiquiri is one that I most certainly do return to. A lot. For me, this is the perfect colour for Spring/summer... a bright, coral, peachy pink/red colour that consists of just the right amount of neon to keep it summery, but enough red to be classic and not too "in your face".

The Fashion pieces
Rayban Aviators
Rayban Aviators - Not only do sunglasses make me feel (but let's face it, probably not look) effortlessly cool, they're also a girl's best friend for no makeup days. I have more sunglasses than Kim Kardashian's taken selfies so I tend to rotate on a daily basis, but for Summer, I love a classic Rayban Aviator for that cool, chic LA vibe. (Even if the closest thing I get to going to LA is popping down the road to Peckham lido and stalking all the travel bloggers in the world on Instagram).
Breton Shirt
Stripy, V-neck shirt (H&M last season, similar here- I know, I know, it's Spring/Summer and I'm proclaiming monochrome as a Spring essential, but here me out on this one. Firstly, this is an all year round essential and breton stripes - especially on a well cut shirt - is just all the chic a girl needs. But secondly, I love pairing monochrome with a bright, pastel piece in Spring so that I end up dipping my toe in the colours game, rather than diving face first into a pool of "You look like a candy cane/banana milkshake/complete and utter knob twat". My favourite way to style a Breton shirt in spring? Pair it with a White Blazer...
White blazer
The White Blazer - Well didn't that link in nicely, you'd almost think I used to be TV Producer ;) The white blazer is something that I totally wear to death. It looks fresh, it looks smart, it goes with everything... and it's just easy to wear. A total life saver in those "I have 2 minutes to get ready for a meeting and look like a pile of sh*t rubbish" moments. i.e my entire life!
Forever 21 loafers
Silver loafers
Forever 21 Silver Loafers - I know Silver loafers became a bit of a "thing"/trend a little while back now but for me, they have - and will - definitely stay in my wardrobe for a long time. I love that despite being metallic, they're also kinda' neutral in the sense that they go with everything. They're a statement - which is a total contradiction to the previous sentence but let's roll with it - that pair perfectly with an all black outfit (which we all know I am pretty much an ambassador for) and also I love that the pointed loafer shape means they can easily dress up/smarten up an outfit. An all time favourite shoe fave for me, but what do you think? What shoes instantly make you feel chic?
Cocoa Brown Gentle Bronze
Cocoa Brown Gentle Bronze
Cocoa Brown Gentle Bronze
Cocoa Brown Gentle Bronze - Gentle Bronze is one of those gradual tans that you can apply daily and gradually (yep, clue's in the name love) build up a natural tan whilst keeping the skin moisturised. Now, I'm going to keep this short and sweet as I have full review - swatches/before and after's etc. - coming up next week but in short; it is the best gradual tan - in fact, maybe even best overall tan in general - that I have ever used. Unlike most moisturising tans, it absorbs so quickly (sticky/tacky skin is my biggest bugbear and the reason that prior to this I hadn't tanned in years) whilst delivering an even, complete non-streaky natural tan. I think that the vast majority of us feel better, and more confident with a tan - especially in the warmer months - and as I don't condone sun beds or too much sunbathing, this tan is the totally the way forward for me.
Stella McCartney perfume
Stella Mccartney perfume
Stella Mccartney perfume
I am not a very patient person, so saving the best until last usually doesn't work for me, however I have managed to do that today. When Fragrance Direct very kindly asked me if I wanted to receive a fragrance, I totally jumped at the chance as for me, nothing totally completes a look like spritzing your favourite perfume. Now, I'm not going to lie, I am very fussy with perfume so randomly picking a scent was slightly risky - I know, talk about live on the edge. Yolo'ing big time here - but in the end I opted for Stella McCartney, Stella* as I'd heard a lot about this fragrance, and dayum did I pick a goodun...

If I do say so myself...

I am truly awful at describing things so my advice would be to go and smell this for yourself, but according to my untrained sense of smell - and the Fragrance Direct website - this is a really feminine, sophisticated and floral fragrance. It does have a citrusy scent (which some can find a bit much) but thanks to the notes of rose and a warm amber base... it really is totally non-offensive and just a gorgeous scent. Yes, everyone has their own taste when it comes to perfume, but I honestly can't imagine anyone disliking this as it's just such a fresh, floral but warm scent... catering to all needs. I have lost count of the times that I've been complimented on this scent, and alongside Jo Malone's Wood Sage and sea salt... this has rocketed to the top of my favourite perfume leaderboard. (Yes, I totally have one of those). Oh, did I mention that it literally stays on the skin all day long too? Well there you go, I have now...

For me; once I'm dressed, have my nails done, my face painted slapped on and my tan glowing, a spritz of perfume is the one thing that makes me feel amazing - and just chic - before leaving the house. And I think we all know that when you feel good, you project that on the outside, so you look good too. Enough waffling/rambling/"please can you just stop taking" vibes from me, go and have a sniff of this when you're out shopping (and then obviously come straight home and order it from Fragrance Direct ;)).

So that brings my little tips/"Hey, here's what makes me feel fab in Spring" post to end. I personally love reading these types of posts so I really hope you enjoyed this. I would love to know which products/fashion pieces/"things" are your Spring Chic essentials? Feel free to let me know in the comments below :)

As always, thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post!

xx
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