The Weekender!

February payday is just around the corner & you have booked a cheeky little weekend away with your loved one, the girls, a family break or you’re away with work (boooo!).

You don’t want to carry a suitcase because it’s too big for just your undies & a few outfit changes, but you ALWAYS end up with 6 small bags & another full of your toiletries! (come on girls, I know this isn’t just me!).

I’ve put together a collection of weekend bags to cater for all weekends & all budgets!  Weekend away playing bingo with Granny Joan? Romantic Birthday city break with Mr Perfect?  Wild Hen Do with the girls?  You’ve come to the right place!

Family Weekend

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The lovely Cath Kidston is a very cute way to travel away with the family.  Great for throwing everything in & putting in the car, it’s waterproof & will hold all of your essentials for that one night away.

 

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This is their foldaway overnight bag & at just £40.00, you’ll have Aunt Susanne ordering one as soon as you arrive.  With matching travel items available here, it’s a nice little item to have stashed away!

Festival / Camping Getaway 

Your going camping or to that festival you’ve been planning all summer, but you want to look the part?  ASOS have this little beauty to answer your prayers!

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The printed canvas design on this Mi Pac Weekend Travel Bag will have you fitting in immediately & with a removable shoulder strap, it’s easy to lug around to the campsite showers.  It’s also wipe down which is perfect for those festival spillages!

Was £34.99, now £25.00.  You can get it here!

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Romantic City/Countryside Break

Your man has just told you to pack a bag for the weekend.  He’s whisking you away to a log cabin/weekend in London.  For no reason.  This could be it.  It could be your big proposal.  Do you really want to be taking that tatty old holdall that you’ve had since your last school trip to Devon?!

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No!  This is your big day.  This is your future husband we’re talking about here! You NEED something to scream ‘LOOK AT ME!  I AM IN LOVE!’

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Even if your weekend turns into a big flop (his big ‘surprise’ was his promotion at work. Yuk!), then this little beauty will make up for EVERYTHING!!!

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The Louis Vuitton Keepall collection is everything.  It’s something I look at and I go weak at the knees.  The David Beckham of weekend bags if you like.   Starting from around £805.00, this little baby will last you a lifetime!

Activity Weekend

It was January, you needed to get fit, you & the girls had too much wine.  Next thing you know, you ended up booking yourself on a ‘health retreat’ activities weekend.  Running, biking, swimming.  You name it, you’ve signed up to it.

Well now it’s March & you’ve realised that A) You’re never drinking again and B) You actually own no sports gear whatsoever.  In the hope of at least looking like you know what you’re doing, here is your perfect companion to help get you through the weekend!

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This Nike Brasilia Large Holdall can be picked up from Argos & at the moment there is £8.00 off!  Get it online  here!

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I promise, if you turn up with this, Sporty Steve the swimming instructor will be thinking you’re fit as a fiddle from the get go!  Also a nice option to have stashed away for when you do choose to join that gym you have been promising to join!

Working Weekend

So, you said yes MONTHS AGO to that email that went around the office about that conference in Manchester.

I know, I know, WHY?!  But you did (silly!) and the only weekend bag you have is that big fluffy, faux fur number with the pompoms that is fine for those girly sleepovers, but hello! you’re an independent professional woman (or that’s what you want your boss to think!), well up steps River Island.

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A firm high street fave, this is the perfect option to board the early Train & check into the hotel ready to greet Rob from the desk opposite, who you have never spoken to, but find yourself sharing the whole weekend with.

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This is black, quilted & is big enough for everything you would need for the weekend.  Did I mention it’s only £65.00?

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With matching wheelie case & makeup bag available here, you can’t go wrong!

Shopping Weekend

You & the girls have booked a hotel in the city of London & are going to shop until you physically drop (preferably into a large mojito!).

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This Radley large weekender is perfect to take for the whole weekend but also handy to stash away your shopping bags during the day.

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With the pretty pink colours & the signature dog design, this will soon become a firm favourite in your collection!  Prices start from around £90.00 & you can see a familiar  version here.

Hen Do / Party Weekend

You’re planning a weekend clubbing or you’re flying out to Ibiza.

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Another perfect option by River Island.  It has an adjustable shoulder strap & with its black snake print design, it’s fun & a bit more ‘out there’ compared to your work or romantic weekend getaway bags!

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Large enough for a few outfit changes & even enough room for a bottle of champagne, at £65.00 this will be a firm favourite for your girlie weekends!  View this bag here!

The All-Rounder!

There are some things in life that are just perfect for any situation.

Like, a Chanel perfume or a Clarins mascara.

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You can add Longchamp shoppers & travel bags to that list.  These are absolutely perfect for anything.

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Versatile & stylish, these will last you forever.

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Starting from around £53.00, Selfridges have an amazing collection in all shapes & colours.

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SO!  There you have it!  What are you waiting for?!  GET PACKING! x

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VIP Event: Boux Avenue

 

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A few weeks ago I received an email from Boux Avenue about a VIP Ladies Night Event taking place in my nearest store.  Owned by entrepreneur Theo Paphitis (Dragon’s Den), I really do enjoy a trip to Boux Avenue!

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With 20% discounts, prosecco, complimentary bra fittings, manicures & a goody bag, what was there to lose?!

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The event was running from 4pm to 9pm so I headed straight there after work.

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As a woman, there is nothing quite like shopping for new underwear & Boux Avenue wrap it so pretty that it’s worth the purchase just for that!

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Their sleepwear & nightwear range is super cute & I love their Chemises & Cami Sets.  Perfect for a special occasion or just a Friday night around the house!

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I love the layout of the store & the draw storage reminds me of how Victoria Secrets layout their underwear.

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They also have some accessories such as candles, reed diffusers, slippers & compact mirrors to name just a few which would make perfect little gifts for Christmas!

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After a lovely leisurely look around & after a glass of bubbles, I settled on a few things to take home with me!

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After a stressful day at work, it was a lovely girlie evening!

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The Mailbox launch weekend!

Hello & happy Monday!

I have today off work & so my mood is VERY different to a normal working Monday morning!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend & no doubt we’re already on countdown for the next one!

My weekend was possibly the best weekend I’ve had in a long time!

Me & Daniel celebrated our 9th Anniversary on Sunday which was a lovely day! (more on that soon!).

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But on Saturday we attended the Mailbox Sessions.

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This was a celebratory weekend for the Mailbox in Birmingham.  It’s finally opened it’s doors & as you may know, the new (& amazing) Harvey Nichols is also complete!

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Me & Daniel parked in the Mailbox (so handy!) & headed up to grab some breakfast.

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We popped into Cafe Rouge & had our favourite breakfast; eggs Benedict!  We are complete suckers for it!

We had secured tickets to the Gieves and Hawkes Tailored to You show at 10:30am.  The show was being held in the new Urban Room which is located on the floor with all the restaurants and opposite the champagne bar/restaurant entrance to Harvey Nichols.

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The show was fantastic.  It was led by Randall, an employee of the new Mailbox store, along with model, Luke, who modelled the suits that day.

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Randall went through what makes a perfect suit & what Gieves and Hawkes can offer to you.  A suit to a man is like that little black dress for a woman.  It’s SO important! Daniel loved the show & after the 30 minute talk we sauntered over to the Gieves and Hawkes store.

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Daniel picked out a tie & we got talking to the wonderful staff.  They asked what brought us to the store today & we mentioned it was our Anniversary weekend.  Next thing we knew the staff had given Daniel a little Anniversary gift; another tie!  It was such a lovely gesture & we cannot wait to go back & purchase more things!

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At around midday, Daniel went & met his brother to pick & try on wedding suits! (Daniel’s brother is getting married next year; SO exciting!).

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I had got a ticket for the Art of Style show which was led by Grazia Magazine’s fashion editor, Blogger Bip Ling & Harvey Nichols’ Darren Skey.  This was also held in the new Urban Room & a free copy of Grazia magazine was on each chair.  Nice touch!

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This show was a conversational talk all about how art influences style, style icons & a general chit chat about fashion.

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It was fun & informative & made me want to quit my job & work for Grazia!

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After the 45 minute show, I went back downstairs to the shop level where the new & beautiful seating area is.

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They had public dance performances & also a live orchestra playing delightful background music.

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I sat for a while whilst admiring the new layout & the stunning decor of the new building.

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Birmingham has really stepped up its game in the last few years & I am SO proud to live here!

If shopping is your thing then I highly suggest coming over for a whole weekend of retail therapy!  We now have EVERYTHING in the city that London can offer; only less busy & more relaxed!

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As department stores go, we have Harvey Nichols, John Lewis, Selfridges, House of Fraser & Debenhams.  With some fantastic hotels & with the Christmas Market arriving in the next few weeks, it’s perfect for a Christmas shopping weekend away!

So what are you waiting for?  Come & see us here in Birmingham!

Girls Night – Part One

So it’s Friday night, you’ve been to work all week, and you’re going out with your girls in the evening.

If you’re anything like me, you can do your makeup to a certain standard, & that’s about it.

My two friends are absolutely stunning & their makeup ALWAYS looks flawless.

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I decided to up my game & book myself in to Clarins for a makeover.  All of my skincare is by Clarins.  I will not use anything else!  I also use their foundation & have done since the young age of 15.

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I decided to book in at 5:30pm on a Friday evening.  I finish work at 5pm & work close to a Debenhams and a Clarins counter.   I was due to meet the girls at 7pm & so I thought this would give me enough time to get home & whack on a dress!

I arrived at 5:30pm and was greeted by the lovely Sasha who instantly made me feel at home.

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She began by taking off my makeup from the day & cleansing, all with Clarins products.

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She then went & applied my makeup starting with face cream, foundation and concealer.  I use their True Radiance foundation (£27.50).

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She then started to contour which is the most exciting thing ever.  I had never, nor had I ever even attempted to contour.  I am no Kylie Jenner let me tell you.  Sasha knew exactly what would suit me, what colours to use, the fact that I like to use bronzer (I believe in Summer all year round!).  She used little tricks like applying eyeshadows as blusher etc.  She’s a makeup genius.

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The fact that I have long eyelashes, she utilised those with their Wonder Perfect mascara, which is the best thing since sliced bread!  No more drugstore mascaras for me!  Good bye hard earned salary!

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She also used a liquid eyeliner on me because I said I never used it.  She created the perfect little flick.

Sasha chatted to me about what colours I preferred, what I normally wore & what I would like to try.  We also had some general chitchat, which is lovely when you’re sat thinking ‘did I forget to pluck my eyebrows?!’  She really made me feel at ease and it was a truly relaxing experience.

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She then went and applied eyeshadow – I went for a light eye and a louder lip.  I ALWAYS go for the dark eye, pale lip, but in the hands of an expert, I wanted something different.

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The whole look was finished off with some of their Fixing Spray.  I ended up buying some of this on the evening (along with the Wonder Perfect Mascara).  I am SO glad that I did!

My makeup literally lasted 7 hours straight.  Even my lipstick did not budge.  This, may I add, was after a 3 course meal, cocktails AND wine with my girlfriends!  I was so impressed!

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I have honestly never felt so ladylike & walked out of Debenhams feeling a million dollars!  As it’s my anniversary next weekend, I am looking to go back & let her work her magic on me again!  I need her to move in with me ASAP!

So, I was all set for my evening with my girls.  Be sure to check back in the next few days to see what we got up!

 

Kim Sears, my Wimbledon legend!

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Kimberly Sears.  The 27 year old, now wife to Britain’s ace tennis star Andy Murray, is the reason I watch tennis.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like tennis. And I also like Rafa Nadal’s tanned and toned arms (that’s another story!), but as a girl, there is nothing I love more but to wait for Andy Murray’s matches, JUST to get a glimpse of his wife’s outfits!

What I love about Kim is that her style reflects the normal 20 something, professional woman who loves nothing more than a Saturday morning haul in Zara.  

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She loves her Mulberry handbags, an iconic British designer brand and often wears  high street favourites such as Warehouse & Mango.  

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She’s not afraid of adding a pop of colour to her outfits.  

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It’s centre Court at Wimbledon, but hey, who cares?!  She’s wearing a denim jacket!  I would probably get thrown out for looking like a homeless hippy! 

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Sitting in the stands watching her husband, she’s not afraid to shout, yell, cheer & scream with every ball Andy hits.  I couldn’t see Colleen Rooney doing that at a Manchester United football game!  Kim doesn’t care.  And that’s what makes her special.  

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When she wore a statement necklace from Zara at last years Wimbledon, it sold out the very next day.  I know because I was going to buy one.

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Even on her more ‘casual days’ she pulls it off.

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She’s there to support her husband, but at the same time, she feels every emotion that he does.  The only difference is he is sweating like a hot mess on the court, & she gets to look pretty in a delightful Zara dress!

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Every dress that she wears is flattering & ladylike.

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Very Wimbledon & very classy.

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Nearly every dress she wears is knee length or midi. I would love an hour to rummage in her wardrobe!

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I LOVED it when she sported a Parental Advisory sweater to one of Andy’s games.  There were reports of her swearing loudly in the stands & being quite rude, but Kim being Kim, she did the talking with her style!

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I cannot even begin to get started on that head of hair that she has!  I kind of want to shake her parents’ hand for creating such a mane.  It’s heavenly & dreamy & quite frankly, not fair!

I love you Kim Sears.  Any Murray, PLEASE do not let me down.

Midweek Review: Mint Nail Salon

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Working at a computer all day, typing 100 miles (or words!) an hour, can really take its toll on your hands and nails.  I’m just getting over winter and my nails turning blue (yes, it really WAS that cold in my office!).

There’s nothing better, or more girly than going to get my nails done! It’s one of my favourite things to do.

With so many nail salons about now, it’s hard to know where to go.  Who’s the best value for money, who offers the best service, who can fit you in on short notice and who has the best atmosphere?

To be honest, I’m an ‘in and out’ kinda girl.  After a long day at work, I quite like to sit there, relax & unwind whilst getting a pretty colour painted on my nails.

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That’s why I love the Mint Nail & Beauty Bar. With six salons across the country, they offer a wide range of beauty treatments, all at competitive prices.

It’s everything you need under one roof. Need your nails done? Facial? Spray tan? Eyebrows done? Then mint is your place! They will also wax the living day lights out of you if you like!

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I have been coming to Mint for around 3 – 4 years where I always get my gel nails done. They use all OPI products which are my all time favourite. Is it awful that I always want to pick a colour just because of its name?!

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I really like the short, natural look (think Kimmy K!) and I always tend to go for the same three colours – Red, Black or French.

You can’t go wrong with these 3 classics. Sometimes I want to take a walk on the crazy side & pick a ridiculous florescent pink, but then chicken out at the last minute (probably for the best!).

The gel polish is a long lasting layer of nail varnish which will last between 2 to 4 weeks.  It has been known that I have lasted a whole 5 weeks.  Any longer though and my nails would have walked themselves to the Salon!

The girls working there are always smiling and the good thing about Mint is they do go out of their way to accommodate walk in appointments.  It’s ALWAYS busy and I ALWAYS try to book.

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When working in Birmingham I used to pop to the Birmingham branch on my lunch and get my nails done.  Now, and thankfully, with me working closer to home, I go to the branch based at the Merry Hill Centre.

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This particular time I was going to get my holiday nails done. This is always something I look forward to the most. Getting a new, bright colour for my holidays and knowing that holiday is just around the corner just makes me giddy with glee!!

I decided to break my mould and go for “Sweet Morning Dew”. Yes, OK I caved into the cute name and fell in love. It’s a soft coral which is not too in your face, but is a bit more daring than a ‘normal, every day life’ colour!

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The gel process takes around 35 minutes and is 100% dry when you leave the Salon.

If you’re based around the Birmingham/West Midlands area, then take a look at their website here to see the treatments that they offer, their prices & their online booking form.

Happy pampering! x x x

Weekday Treat in Chanel

Chanel-LogoSo, the other week, I was replacing my bronzer  (I swear by Soleil Tan De Chanel. I’ve been using it for over 5 years every, single, day!).

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The lovely lady on the Chanel counter in my local Debenhams asked if I would like to come along for a complimentary eyes & lips makeover for the release of their Summer 2015 Mediterrantee Collection. What girl could say no?!

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I obviously took them up on their offer & invited my two best friends along with me. I went along on a Tuesday evening after work to be greeted by a lovely Chanel makeup artist who then spent 30 minutes going through what colours I liked, what I would normally wear & what suited best based on my hair & eye colour.

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I’m going on holiday next week (make sure you pop back for holiday photos!), so I said I would definitely be back to purchase some bits!

The following was used to create my look:

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Chanel Lumiere D’ete Illuminating Powder (£46) – This powder is shaped as the iconic Chanel Camellia flower, which enhances a naturally golden complexion – making it a holiday must have! It’s Limited Edition so make sure you pick one up for Summer!

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This amazing power was applied using the Chanel Pinceau Poudre N 1 Powder Brush – £44

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Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow in Caroube (dark brown) – £23

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Chanel Le Volume De Chanel Mascara in black – £25 (My friends thought I had applied fake lashes!).

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Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner in brown – £19

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Chanel Ecriture De Chanel Eyeliner Pen – £27

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Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Parfait – £24

The collection is so so so beautiful, with reds, pinks, corals and golds playing a major part. It just screams sunshine & holidays, which is what Summer is all about, right?!

Thank you to Debenhams at The Merry Hill Centre for their time! You can access the Chanel collection online at the Debenhams website here!

Enjoy the rest of your week! x x x