A week of relaxation by the sea

Sometimes all we need is a week of walks by the beach, cuddles with the youngest member of the clan and unlimited cider consumption to recharge our batteries.

By the seaside


So, after a mammoth few weeks of weddings, teaching and early prom appointments, I headed south to the seaside town of Porthcawl, not too far from the capital Cardiff. We stayed in a gorgeous caravan, which was perfect for late morning laziness, early evening snacking and late night drinking!

The weather may not have been on our side- but sometimes a seqa breeze is all you need to reset your sails!

Finally giving these Cath Kidston pumps a whirl!

Porth Cawl

 

I also tried my hand at archery- which was surprisingly easier than I ever expected! It’s a great sport to try if your not particularly sporty (I’m definitely not!!)  and I’d highly recommend it!

Not a bad attempt!


Plus we managed to spend two pre-wedding milestones together- now there is less than 10 months and 300 days to go. EEEKKKKK!!!!

Cheeeese!

The best way to spend the day


What plans have you got this Summer?

I’ve said YES TO THE DRESS! 

It’s happened. It’s purchased. It’s mine!

I’ve finally finally found THE DRESS- and what a beauty of a dress it is!


Obviously I can’t really tell you anything at all, but I will tell you it’s different to what I imagined, but in the best possible way.

And when people say ‘you’ll just know’ and ‘the dress will feel different to all other dresses’ For me, IT DID. I definitely knew it was the one as soon as I stepped into it, which I was worried I wouldn’t do.


I visited quite a lot of bridal boutiques along the way, and had a real mixed bag of experiences. But the experience I had at Boutique Brides in Crosby, Merseyside was top notch, first class. Friendly, knowledgable and Honest, without being sales pushy or too ‘Say Yes to The Dress‘ OTT. I truly felt at home here, and knew the girls were speaking the truth when I asked for their honest opinion on certain dress elements or accessories. 

So a note to all you brides-to-be, wait for that feeling and that boutique. It’s the dress of your dreams after all…. And shouldn’t be a nightmare experience.

Behind the scenes with Mark Hill and Jordan Bone

This week I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time in sunny Yorkshire. Well I say sunny- it was hot, sunny and humid for all of around 6 hours before every other weather hit. Thunder, lightning, rain and hale plus a flooded motorway to boot. British Summer hey?!

Anyway, I was in Yorkshire to join the Mark Hill team for their latest exciting launch, which features 4 gorgeous bloggers.


I was working with the beautiful and inspirational Jordan Bone, and together we decided to create a soft, warm smokey eye with a pop of copper teamed with a contoured cheek and creamy nude lip. Jordan would wear this make up to accompany her slot alongside Mark Hill stylist, Tash. I can’t tell you too much about the styles created, but they we all fabulous in their own way!

Make-up time !


I chose my favourite foundation range, Make up Forever Ultra HD in 140 with Make-up Forever colour correction primer in Yellow and Purple to even out Jordan’s skin and create a camera ready flawless base. Whilst I selected Illamasqua Copper Liquid Metal and MAC Pink Bronze Pigment to create those sultry eyes.

Jordans’s finished look

It was then time to get on set! You’ll have to wait a few more weeks to see what Mark Hill have no offer- so until then, make sure you follow their Instagram for lots of behind the scenes gossip!

sneak peek!

Behind the scenes at QVC

Phew, a long, exhausting day is over!

You would never believe how tiring  a QVC TSV is- considering its generally 5-6 20 minutes shows, I feel like I’ve ran a marathon! Even repeating the same advice, tips and pro secrets becomes exhausting. Who knew?!

Anyway, what a day it was! The staff at QVC were as ever, fabulous! 

backstage finds

QVC is a rather fabulous place to be- it’s super pretty, so friendly and with a chilled, fun atmosphere. You’d almost never think it was live everyone is so cool, calm and collected!

what a camera!

Even the backstage area is gorgeous, and I was  lucky enough to have my very own dressing room- which was soon occupied with copious amounts of make up!


dressing room love

The backstage team was headed by Roo Maurice, who is absolutely incredible and such an inspiration to work with. She created the models hair styles backstage and even styled mine between shows- and it was lovely to be sat in the chair for a change! We were sharing our backstage salon with Percy and Reed, another inspiring brand!


After all the prep was complete, it’s time to hit the air! For these shows I was representing Instyler and talking about their cult products- The Titanium Barrel and Tulip Auto Curler.

on set with Instyler


models on set


If you tuned in, what did you think of the Instyler tools?!

Instyler Titanium Hairstyling System 

Curling, straightening, smoothing, volumising. All from one tool.

A straightener? No. A wand? Nope. A tong? Not too far off

No, the tool that creates so many styles is another treat from Instyler, this time their Titanium Hairstyling System. 


Designed for making daily hairstyling quick and easy for the  every day women, this multi functional tool is ideal for all hair lengths, textures and types. It can add body to fine, limp hair, eliminates frizz, transforms into polished straight locks from natural waves and can even create smooth curls. 

Simply detangle dry hair and take 1-3 inch sections at a time.

The Instyler features a heated rotated barrel with two sets of ionic bristles brushes- one to smooth and align hair and the other to polish. One you insert hair and close the Instyler, the barrel begins to rotate, smoothing and lifting each individual hair strand. 


Slow and steady wins the race, and unlike traditional flat irons, this won’t lead to indentation marks or damage. In fact you can run the Instyler over hair up to 3 times without risking damage to her hair- all thanks to the ceramic tourmaline barrel.

Frizzy or kinky roots? Open the Instyler and gently run the barrel over the root area before clamping the tool over the section of hair you wish to style.

With two heat settings and lots of techniques at hand, you really can create anything.

For example, when you fancy flicky ends, run the Instyler down the hair shaft as normal until you reach two thirds of the way down. Release the hair and flip the Instyler over so the Barrel is on the top. Twist your wrist at the end to create a gentle flick of the hair. 

Or maybe you want a loose, soft curl. Open the Instyler and wrap your section of hair round like a traditional tong. Close the tool and hold in place for a few seconds. Release the hair to reveal a smooth, shiny curl!

This really is a ‘no effort’ tool- say goodbye to your round brush, rollers and flat irons, this little beauty does it all!

I’ll be on QVC showcasing the Instyler range on May 30th, with lots of special offers!  

My new Crown Brush staple. 

You can never have enough brushes. Make up brushes, hair brushes, I collect them all.

Luckily for me, at So Coco Rouge, we stock my favourite brush range Crown and have recently introduced two of my absolute favourites to our collection!

Silicone Liner and Domed Dual Fibre. 

I already have more than enough angled liner brushes and I’m up to my eyes in dual fibres, but these two are just too good not to live in my growing collection!


Love a flicked liner but HATE the way product clogs up the bristles? Then you will love the Silicone liner. Product quickly and easily wipes away, whilst the brush tip keeps its shape and precise fine edge. I always find my bristles splay and loose their definition within weeks of use, but you’ll never have this issue with this little beauty. 

Then there’s the dual fibre… Foundation- check. Powder- check. Blusher, contour, highlight- check, check, check.


Apart from eyes and lips I can pretty much do my whole face with a dual fibre, but the shape of this one just makes it even easier. You can get right under your eyes, sculpt round cheekbones and delicately highlight any area. Love love love. 

So much so, I have 3. One to use, one in cleaning and one drying. You know, just in case I don’t have one ready instantly!


You can purchase all Crown brushes by visiting their website or if you are luckily enough to live in Liverpool, by popping into the So Coco Rouge salon in the city centre. 

You won’t regret it! 

Instyler Tulip

Pretty much two years to the day I left, I found myself back down in London within the fabulous studios of shopping channel QVC

I always feel an odd sense of nostalgia visiting aspects of my life or career I thought I had left behind, and almost a vibe of déjà vu. 

Anyway, the brand that’s led me to return to the big smoke is Instyler, and their cult product, the Tulip.  


Instyler have created a range of products designed especially with the consumer in mind, however they work just as well in the salon or photo shoot environment. 

The Tulip is an auto-curler which quickly and easily creates a range of curls and waves within a matter of seconds. From beachy waves, loose curls, vintage waves, big bouncy curls or even defined, sculpted ones, Tulip can create it all!


The beauty of Tulip? You simply insert your hair, press a button, wait for 3 consecutive beeps and voila! 

With 3 heat settings, 3 time options and even 3 directions to choose from, Tulip can be used on all hair types, textures and most lengths. 


Now, the direction button might not seem such a big deal at first- but for me, this is the greatest tool. When creating beachy, soft waves you want to change the direction of the curl with each section. Trickier to do than you’d imagine! When I curl my own hair, I can master one direction whilst massively struggle with the other, leaving sections of my hair looking a tad lacklustre to say the least.

With Tulip, you simply select ‘Alternate’ directions, and leave it to do the hard work for you! This also takes the concentration out of hair styling- it can be tricky to remember which way you should be going next! 

If you like to style your hair into a vintage wave, you want all your curls to be uniform and following the same direction- again Tulip makes this easy peesy! Simply select the correct heat and time setting for your a medium curl for your hair type and let Tulip work it’s magic! 

Scared about burns or even tangling? No need. Tulip comes complete with Anti-Tangle technology and a handy Petal guide, to ensure you select the correct amount of hair to insert into the barrel.

Said barrel is contained with the Tulip unit, meaning you have no risk of burning your skin, ear or scalp. I’m pretty sure we’ve all burnt our fingers or forehead at one time when using traditional heated barrels haven’t we?!

So what’s not to love?! Salon worthy hair in the comfort of your own home even sounds good to me!

You can catch me talking all things Tulip on QVC on 30th May 2016. There’s a pretty  TSV special offer you just won’t want to miss too!