“Nailing it” at The Beauty Boutique

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I have been wearing nail extensions since I discovered them at age 16. As a nail biter my nails never looked long and pretty so when I stumbled across gel nails I became hooked! I never really stuck to one nail salon or nail technician and went through phases of letting them grow out until they fell off or picking at them before trying a different salon, disgusting I know!

This was until I met Sarah-Jane, owner of The Beauty Boutique, I came across her page on Facebook and made and appointment for gel nails, this was exactly a year ago and I have never looked back. Her beauty rooms are situated in Vanilla Hair Design in Glanmire where she caters for all your beauty needs, but above all she is my nail guru!

When I first walked into the salon a year I was blown away by the amount of bright, vibrant and current colours she had, she has the best selection of gel colours I have ever seen!

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My very first set of talons from Sarah-Jane

She can do a range of designs and nail shapes and doesn’t charge extra for my desired almond shaped claws as can be seen above.

I go back to her every three weeks for refills but mainly for the chats, it’s really like going to meet one of your best friends, though I now can’t choose a nail colour without her say so!

As someone who uses their hands a lot, I normally only got about 10 days to two weeks with my nail extensions, however, with Sarah Jane my nails last anywhere between three to five weeks and I have had these nails during my electrical engineering degree in college!

Recently I have upgraded my gel extensions to acrylics with Sarah-Jane and I can safely say I am never going back. For those of you who have ever gotten gel nails you will have most likely experienced the pain of the gel setting underneath the UV lamp, not with acrylics!

Beauty does not have to be painful!

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First Set of Nude Acrylics

Acrylic nails are a mixture of liquid monomer and powder polymers that harden in air providing a hard canvas in which any of Sarah Jane’s selection of gel polishes can be applied to, the above photo shows the acrylic nails hardened with a clear gel polish. These beauty’s lasted me over a month!

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These are my most recent set, a stunning autumnal burgundy colour, perfect for the new coming season!

A full set of gel or acrylic nails from The Beauty Boutique are €40 with refills being €30 and appointments can be made here.

Until next time,

Happy Shopping,

Not So Dumb Blonde X

10 Tempting Treats under €10

Hi All,

I wanted to put together a post of all my favourite bargain items. Most of these items are my go to holy grail beauty bits, and the best part? They are all under €10, trust me you are going to love these!

  • Catrice All Day Matt Foundation
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4 shades available in the Catrice range

I was sick of using my good foundation for work and college so I picked this baby up on a whim for only €6.49 on the Catrice stand. Now the consistency of this, in my opinion, is exactly like MAC Studio Fix Fluid, practically down to smell. It promises full coverage, long-lasting, matte coverage without drying out the skin. It is both full coverage and long-lasting, however I would say it gives a more demi-matte sheen to your complexion. It can be made dewy and lightweight if you mix in a little bit of highlight with it.

It’s also perfect for us oily/combination skinned girls as it is oil-free and it has no SPF in it so it can be worn on nights out without selfie flashback. It comes in 4 colours and I wear the lightest shade 010, for those of you MAC lovers that is NC15.

  •    NYX Above & Beyond Concealer

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I bought this in the new NYX stand in Boots on Half Moon Street in Cork City, and it has been love at first use! I use two different concealers in my everyday makeup looks, one to brighten up under my eyes and one to cover those pesky spots. Benefits BO-ING concealer has been my holy grail full coverage concealer since I was 13 but at €26.50 part of me dies a little inside each time I need to repurchase. This is an exact dupe for Benefits best-selling concealer, at only €7.75 in pharmacies nationwide it is an absolute steal!

It also ranges in multiple colours for different skin tones but can also be bought in green yellow and purple etc. depending on your skin correction needs!

It’s Amazing!

  • Cien Mascara from Lidl

During the summer Lidl released a makeup range, and let’s be honest I couldn’t help being a little sceptical, but, for the sake of my followers I bought a few bits, for “research” and all that jazz.

There was very little mascara left in stock in my local Lidl so I had to try the waterproof mascara, I don’t do waterproof mascara, because, makeup removal is an effort without making it waterproof!! LOL

However, for €2.49 I just couldn’t leave it behind me. It has a big hybrid type mascara wand, in between a brush type and plastic type mascara wand that gives both volume and length to your lashes. The results can be seen above! The brush just grabs onto lashes, giving them a blacker than black push-up effect.

Perfect Doll Eyes!

  • Catrice Mineral Highlight

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This Ladies & Gentlemen, is my favourite highlighter in the whole world! At only €5.50 it can rival any other highlight twice its price on the makeup market. Its silver/pink iridescence matches any skin tone and its colour pay off is just gorgeous.

I even used this on a whole wedding party for a summer wedding and it gave the most beautiful summer glow!

Everybody needs this in their lives…..

  • NYX Liquid Eyeliner

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This is the best liner I have ever used, and trust me, I have been wearing winged liner since I was 12 and I reckon I have tried them all. I seem to have greasy eyelids or something, but every single eyeliner I use smudges and leaves that dirty black faded line on the top of my eyelids by the end of the day. I have tried EVERYTHING to counteract this, from setting powder to setting spray to leaving a longer drying time, to gel liners and NOPE, nothing sticks, or well everything sticks!

So for €7.75 I decided to try the NYX one, once it dries in it leaves a lovely black line that stays for days. It’s teeny tiny brush end allows for expert precision and a perfectly sharp line. There is nothing I don’t love about it!

  • Catrice Illuminating Blush 
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Illuminating Blush in the shade Berry

A friend once told me that the Catrice blushes had the same colours and pigment pay off as the Benefit blushes for €34 each, I had really been wanting to try out a berry coloured blush but didn’t the massive price tag that was attached to the limited edition Bobbi Brown berry blush palette I have been lusting over in BT’s.

At €3.49 this berry shade beauty has become one of my makeup bag staples, due to its illuminating nature it doubles up as a highlight for those mornings when I’m really rushing!

This is VERY pigmented however, so try not to be heavy-handed with the application, as I have learned the hard way clown cheeks are not attractive!

  • Cien Lipglosses from Lidl
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Lipgloss Range from Lidl

I just love these lipglosses, the range consists of 6 colours from glittery clear to a pinky berry shade to a cappuccino brown colour there is something for everyone. They have a very moisturizing formula with vitamin E oil to hydrate lips and they smell AMAZING!

I bought two shades; Glitter Pink which is almost a champagne colour which is stunning over a nude lipliner and a berry colour which I can be seen wearing in the above makeup look! They are sooo perfect for everyday wear and are €2.49 each.

  • Cien eyeshadow from Lidl

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Another gem from the Lidl makeup range, again at only €2.49 each these are perfect for any beauty addict, the creamy matte colour above is perfect for that all over lid colour or I have been using it to set my under eye concealer!

The blue and the pink shades are very pigmented velvet type shadows, the pink shadow is gorgeous as a highlighter on the cheekbones or on the inner corner of the eyes. The blue shadow, when blended almost has a violet tinge to it, and can be seen in the makeup look above.

  • NYX Brow Pomade
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Brow Pomade in the shade Blonde

There is a little bit of pattern going on with all the NYX stuff, but it is such a great affordable brand. Their stuff is amazing.

This is easily one of my favourite brow products, I use the shade blonde as can be seen above. Its waxy texture both frames and fills in your brows without looking too severe. The best thing about this product? It’s waterproof so it lasts all day!

This is also only about €7 and can be bought in NYX stockists nationwide.

  • NYX Liquid Suede

Last but not least, is my latest find in matte liquid lipsticks. The new Liquid suede range from NYX, the whole shade range and swatches can be seen above. I have the shade Vintage which is a vampy reddish-brown that I picked up in Boots in Half Moon Street for €9.75.

Some matte lipsticks make my lips feel like they’re in the middle of the Sahara Desert, but so far so good with these lippies. Their liquid texture stains the lips so they’re incredibly long-lasting and oh so pigmented.I just LOVE them!

I hope you like my little collection of bargain beauty bits…

 

Happy Shopping.

Not So Dumb Blonde X

A Solo Performance- A Cut Above the Rest

A year ago I had the worst hair cut ever!

My desire for that “oh so current” grey blonde, lilac washed toned bob was sadly met with a dodgy yellow toned blonde mixed with dark purple highlights which I fondly referred to as my racing stripes. It was a “hair-tastrophy”. Fast forward 6 months of bottle bleaching my blonde to mask the remnants of purple mess that was my hair I nervously took the plunge to once again enter the door of a hair salon! That’s when I stumbled into Solo Hair Design with my brassy, fried tendrils of hair.

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Solo Hair Design

Centred in the heart of Cork City, Solo Hair Design, resting at 2 Camden Wharf is where I met my hair guru, the miracle worker himself, senior colourist Dean.

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Gone was the yellow mess of brassy blonde, as my hair was transformed into an icy mixture of dark and ash blonde balayage.

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From Brassy to Classy

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The Before & After photos just speak for themselves, you really get what you pay for. The condition and shape of my hair lasted for over 12 weeks without a top up, which really gave my hair a chance to recover after months of bleach abuse.

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Solo Hair design- Best Blow Dries

Solo Hair Design is a real gem of a salon, each and every member of staff is so friendly and professional, and above all incredible at what they do. I have gone there, time and time again and their skills are second to none.

They really are a cut above the rest!

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Samples of their amazing work can be seen on their Facebook: here

Happy Shopping,

Not So Dumb Blonde X

Lancome Miracle Cushion Foundation

**I was given this foundation to trial and review, this in no way influences how I view this product and all opinions are my own**

The Miracle Cushion Foundation is the first fluid foundation on the shelf from Lancome. It promises a dewy weightless no makeup makeup effect with a hydrating formulation and an SPF of 23.

Now I am a full coverage base gal so I was pretty sceptical about this foundation. I tried it out on my hand and it seemed to give a slight glow with a light tinted moisturiser like texture.

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Lancome Miracle Cushion Foundation

Now I love the packaging for this foundation, it is so FAB for your handbag, it comes in a little compact with a magnifying mirror and a little cosmetic sponge, I found myself reaching for this on a daily basis when time was of the essence.

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Miracle Cushion Compact & Sponge

I have used this for about two weeks to get a real feel for the product, and I have to say I am converted. It is just gorgeous for that day to day natural glow, It gives a dewy all round face perfected base that just enhances your natural skin tone.

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My New Day Makeup Look

If you combine this with a little bit of concealer and face powder it increases the staying power of the foundation without taking from its dewy glow, which is perfect for no makeup makeup days. I am in LOVE with it!!

The Miracle Cushion foundation can be bought on Lancome counters nationwide and I received mine from Joanne in Sam McCauley Chemists.

It costs €38 to buy for the compact and the cushion but refills can be purchased when it runs out for only €25!

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Compact with replaceable refill

The replaceable refill is fantastic for the changing seasons when you need to lighten or darken your foundation without breaking the bank!

Until next time!

Happy Shopping

Not So Dumb Blonde X

Lancôme Hydra Zen Masque Review

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Hydra Zen Masque, photo credit Lancôme USA

I was recently gifted this gorgeous Lancôme face mask from work to try out for my blog, as I regularly use the Lancôme Hydra Zen range I was super excited to try this. The Hydra Zen range is best suited for those with sensitive skin, between the 20-30 age group. This luxurious skincare range is known for its cooling, calming effect on sensitive, irritable skin effected by the everyday environment.

 

The Hydra Zen Masque marries both a face mask and a serum in one, with a gel like serum texture the mask soaks quickly into the skin with an immediate cooling and calming effect. It feels incredibly soothing and hydrating on the skin without feeling too heavy, perfect for us sensitive skinned gals!

It is an intensive hydrating overnight mask that immediately reduces visible signs of your skins stresses and reveals a more radiant and even complexion. It really gives an overall glow to the face! What more could anyone want?!

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Hydra Zen Pamper Session

The gel like consistency can be seen above, coming in sleek silver and pink packaging, so pretty and girly and it makes you look like you’ve had a great nights sleep.

 

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Bare Faced Selfie

 

Now normally one would never see me sans makeup, but here goes, this is my “No Makeup” selfie after using the mask for approximately one week and I can really see the difference!! My face looks clearer, softer, my imperfections look blurred, my skin tone looks more even as if I have an all round healthy glow! I really love it!

This mask retails at €55 and can be bought at Lancôme counters nationwide, I got mine from the fabulous Joanne in Sam McCauley Chemists in Blackpool shopping centre. I cannot recommend this lady highly enough, she really knows her stuff!

Happy Shopping

Not So Dumb Blonde xx

 

 

Diary of a Doomed Dater

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Do you know what it’s like to be constantly rejected by guys?

I do.

I hate myself for getting upset by it because I am a feminist, I did engineering, in a class with all men, I saw first-hand exactly what they’re like and I still get caught up with the flattery and the one liners and all the other rubbish that comes out of their mouths.

However, this is not a sad piece, everything I say is dripping with some form pessimism or plain old sarcasm as I aim to give you my own failed experiences as a doomed dater on Tinder.

I was on Tinder, so therefore I am a serial dater, or so I like to think, I thought I was skilfully playing this game just like the guys because if I’m honest I am not exactly on this desperate search for someone to be my boyfriend, I just wanted to get out there, meet some people and if it happened it happened. Well guess what, five deleted Tinder accounts later I admit defeat, if anyone wants to send me their cats I promise I’ll give them a good home.

What is with the pessimistic views, well the majority of lads are total eejits, you can’t berate them or call them assholes because they’re actually too stupid to know what they even did wrong.

I have gone on a lot of first dates, even second dates, but never a third date, because that may mean something serious, or even mean that a guy could be developing feelings, so a third date with the same girl just means ball and chain, and these free single stallions could never possibly be tied down, for shame!

I feel like my love life has turned into some form of bad reality TV show where I am getting Punk’d constantly with a shot of First Dates thrown into the mix for good measure, because I have had the shiftiest first dates imaginable, trust me, I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

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Let us meet the eligible bachelors that Tinder has to offer;

Our first tinder-fella is closer to 30 then 20, still lives with his mother, and hasn’t had a relationship for longer than eight weeks, because he thinks all women are psychos trying to trap him, yeah why wouldn’t you date him like? Well Einstein here thought he was a catch, because “we were on the same wave length”, well two dates later, he is trying to schedule me in between binge drinking sessions with his friends because he doesn’t want to feel like he’s missing out on life. Seriously dude you have been single practically your whole life, have you not gone out enough?

So this thorough gent was supposed to be taking me out Sunday, which meant THIRD date, I know I was also hearing wedding bells….NOT, until he got roaring drunk with his friends the night before and didn’t get home in time to go out. This didn’t bother me of course, because I always have a backup plan in place and thought no more about it. Being a 21st century strong independent woman I asked him out last night, because I’m young free and single, I wholeheartedly did not expect to get sideswiped by his response of “getting back with the ex I told you about”, followed by the super romantic, “what can I say she “convinced” me to give it another try”, this was also followed by suggestive winky faced emoji’s, I have totally no idea what he meant of course she obviously made a persuasive argument….

Needless to say I am totally devastated and I just don’t know how I can go on.

Which brings me to the next tinder-fella, hiding behind door number 2; This guy was a personal trainer, he was and still is beautiful, however, he dissed my choice of soft drink, annihilated me at pool twice, lectured me on being sarcastic and pessimistic because it isn’t the “universes” way and told me he didn’t watch TV because he simply had a life, I only asked had he seen any good movies lately! Dream-boat!

I didn’t get a second date because he felt there wasn’t a “spark”, well I guess he is more than just a pretty face isn’t he.

Tinderfella number three and I are still great friends, he, however, is not boyfriend material, but he is young he may learn yet, but from my previous experience and research, please see above, I can’t see that happening! Now we went on two dates, to the same cinema to see the exact same movie, now maybe it’s me and my creative imagination but usually if you go to see a movie you have already seen you aren’t going to watch the movie? *wink*wink*nudge*nudge*

Well I saw Batman vs Superman twice with the same guy, I could write a pretty specific summary and review of it, unfortunately.

He liked me so much he moved to Dublin to get out of a third date, so by no means have I not considered that maybe I’m the issue here……

Now I will be totally honest, tinderfella number 4 is a sore spot, this guy I had been talking to for a while, a good while, he was out of a long term relationship about 8 weeks when we met, yes, I ignored the little alarming voices in my head telling me to run for the hills, in my defence I told him it was too early to date anyone else, but he spent weeks convincing me otherwise, this resulted in a dinner date, followed closely only a few days later by date number two, where he met me after work to see a movie. Now this one even arranged date number three because he felt a “spark”, but of course too good to be true came to mind and he decided he wasn’t ready for another relationship because his ex had hurt him so much, he is still on Tinder looking for love, so please form an orderly queue.

Well if that isn’t four good enough reasons to stay off Tinder I really don’t know what is, however if you do manage to match with any of them I wish you the best of luck on your two dates!

If anyone needs me I’ll be in my pyjamas somewhere feeding my hundred cats.

tinder wine match

Lots of love but not third dates,

Not So Dumb Blonde

xxx

 

February Favourites

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Hey there my lovelies,

So today’s post is all about the things I have been loving all throughout February, yes I am totally aware we are half way through March, like where is the year gone?! But, you know what they say, better late than never!

  1. Skull Candy Hesh Paul Frank Headphones

I got these beauties as a birthday pressie from my lil bro and I LOVE them. I normally wear the usual in-ear headphones when listening to music on the bus to and from college, as I have never really found a comfortable pair of on-ear headphones, this is because I have a massive head, no seriously headphones just don’t fit!

But these babies are fantastic, the sound is just brilliant, they are almost cancel out noise, which is super handy when on the bus….But they’re also incredibly comfortable, and just look at that design, Paul Frank is known for the trademark monkey logo, but I just love the blue and red colour scheme. I feel so cool, ha ha! These were bought in TK Maxx and cost €36.99.

2. Kerastase Ciment Thermique

This was first introduced to me by a trainee hairdresser who did my highlights about 12 months ago, it is a leave in conditioning treatment that is used after washing & conditioning your hair and just before blow drying. This is part of the anti-breakage, anti-damage range from Kerastase, specifically for over coloured, over processed hair. It is supposed to protect against heat from styling, while repairing damaged hair. This stuff smells Ah-mazing!! It is heat activated and leaves my hair feeling silky soft!

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This can be bought in Peter Marks and other Kerastase Stockists, I think it costs about €35 but because you really only need a teeny amount the tube should last about a year, and I have really thick hair!

3. Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara and tinted primer.

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Now I’m no stranger to Benefits mascara, I have used it on and off for a few years and I have a kind of love/hate relationship with it. I love it as a mascara, this stuff is unreal, it has the plastic comb like brush that grabs every single lash giving them the right amount of length and volume. The mascara formula is the best I’ve ever used, it lasts all day on my lashes leaving them looking long and black, like false lashes. The only con I have with this is it is sooo hard to take off, use a makeup wipe and it will take half your lashes with you, however use something like coconut oil as your eye makeup remover and the mascara just melts off your face!

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Now the tinted lash primer has only been released recently, this again was a birthday present, and lets be honest I was very skeptical about this, I thought it was sold as a gimmick and my poor mother was conned into thinking that this mascara hybrid was the new kid on the block. However, I take back everything I thought about it because I was totally wrong. Now like the original mascara this has a plastic comb like wand however, this is much softer and more flexible than the mascara.

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This is basically a brown mascara, but it nourishes your lashes, it doesn’t feel heavy on and it doesn’t make your lashes hard or crispy like some mascaras. Now you could totally wear this on it’s own as a natural day look and it makes your lashes look lovely and long, but if you wear it under the original mascara, this is really where the magic really happens, the combination of the two makes your lashes look amazing, false lashes are not needed anymore ladies, take note! These can be bought in Boots Stores and any other department store and are €26 each.

4. Nyx Liquid Eyeliner

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Now I am a liquid liner fanatic, winged liner for me is my everyday makeup look, but I struggle to find an eyeliner that doesn’t smudge on me, at the end of the day my liner has printed a copy of itself on my eyelids. This annoys the heck out of me! I don’t know if I just have oily eyelids or something but nothing sticks. I bought the Nyx liner from a recommendation by “Faces by Grace”, this is an absolute bargain at only €7.99 from Sam McCauley chemists LTD, and once it dries in it lasts all day, I love it!

5. Avene Skincare

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By now you may have realized I am skincare obsessed! Having struggled with acne and sensitive skin I have had to pair back my skin regime to use very gentle products to clean my face. While I have managed to find a face wash, moisturizer is something I find difficult to wear, everything seems to burn or irritate my skin. The thing is with acne because you layer your skin with so much harsh chemicals to dry out and clear the spots you end up stripping your skins natural moisture causing an over production of oil which causes the dreaded spots. Vicious circle eh?!

A friend of my mom’s recommended the Avene skincare range and I picked it up on a whim. Avene is a french skinare brand which is hypo allergenic and fragrance free made from thermal spring water which is pledged to be suitable for sensitive skin. I chose a moisturizer and eye cream from the skin recovery range, this is for particularly irritable skin that needs to calmed and soothed, and so far so fantastic!! Both the moisturizer and eye cream are very creamy and rich in texture but it dries nice and quick which is perfect under makeup, it is very hydrating and soothes my skin. The moisturizer is €22 from Boots and the eye cream is €14. So far they’ve been worth every penny.

6. No. 7 Twist & Glow Cream Blush

I’m not generally a fan of cream blush, they frighten me and if I can’t apply it with a brush then it’s a big no no. I got this cream blush as part of a No.7 free gift at Christmas and I find myself reaching for it on a daily basis. This is more a cream to powder blush, you just rub it on your cheekbones and blend either with a dense brush or your fingers. I love this for a natural day look for college. It gives a beautiful subtle glow, unfortunately I have no idea what colour this is, but you can see from the pic above that it is a mixture between a coral and a dusky pink.

7. Daniel Wellington watch

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Last but certainly not least is this baby, my Daniel Wellington watch, I generally don’t do watches, I forget to wear them and end up relying on my good ole phone for the time, but not this time, see what I did there?!

I love this watch. It has swarovski crystals around the face instead of numbers and a black leather strap with gold details. It has a beautifully classic edge to it and has really become part of my everyday wardrobe.

So there you have it my lovelies, the things I have been loving all through February up until now. If you would like any specific reviews of any of my favourites please let me know. I hope you enjoyed it and talk soon!

Until Next Time,

Not So Dumb Blonde xxx