Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Summer 2016 Getaway | Fashion Picks

Set the scene. You've been washed up on a desert island dressed head to toe in attire somewhat similar to that of Jane Porter. Except in this case there's no Tarzan to head to your rescue. Or so it seems.. Upon your arrival you stumble across a message in a bottle (Clichè much?!) encompassing a map of the island. After a long and tiring walk, you've made it to the other side of the island; into a town they call, 'Utopia'. A local resident greets you and offers you a clean change of clothes. You graciously accept this offer and so are directed towards a treasure chest located in the centre of the town. Inside the chest contains your dream desert island outfit. Watch this space Jane, the island is your runway..

Keep reading to discover my dream desert island outfit!

I want to say a thank you to the team at Far Fetch for partnering up with me on this post - It's been so fun discovering the desert island outfit of my dreams. Fun, vibrant and full of colour yet classically tailored and co-ordinated, simple yet refined. 
Home to more than 400 brands and boutiques, Far Fetch is your ultimate, online fashion destination. Whatever the weather, whatever the season. FF has got you covered! I'm now feeling super inspired for this year's holiday shop - bring on all the tropical leaf print! 

What would be your ideal dream desert island outfit? Leave your suggestions in the comments below - or feel free to tweet me at @ClarkeCouture using the hashtag '#islandcouturestyle' 
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Monday, 25 July 2016

New In: Beauty Haul

Last week I headed to London for the weekend and after a long few months of saving and being on a beauty spending ban, the time had finally come for me to splurge! With trips to Westfield, Oxford St and Covent Garden you can hardly blame a girl for giving into temptation and treating myself to some new beauty goodness. Read on to discover what I bought... 

Urban Decay: 'Beached bronzer' 
Shade: 'Sun-kissed'
Is it bad that the first thing that drew me towards this product was its palm tree packaging? Yes, most likely.. I had seen this product featured quite frequently on other blogger's Instagram feeds and so decided it was time to pick it up for myself and explore beyond the Instagrammable packaging. Although I am yet to try this product I did give it a quick swatch in store. Against my pale skin tone I would describe the shade as a medium toned brown with a slight peach undertone. The darker shade in the duo 'Bronzed' appeared orange against my skin - a massive no no in the beauty world! The product seems to have a silky smooth texture which I hope means this shall be super blendable when applied to the skin. I'll be sure to report back once I've gave this a try!

NARS: 'Illuminator'
Shade: 'Copacabana' 
Another holy grail product in the beauty blogging world that I just needed to finally add it to my collection. As well as a sun-kissed bronze glow, for me the summer is also all about having a fresh and dewy looking glow to the skin. In the past I've tried MAC Strobe Cream, Benefit Girl Meets Pearl and Benefit That Gal. My skin tone favours a champagne pink toned highlight to a golden bronzed toned option and so Copacabana seems right up my street! 

Topshop: 'Glow cream'
Shade: 'Polished'
I purchased my very first glowing pot of joy two years ago in the Topshop Oxford Circus store. Two years later and I've only just used up the entirety of this product. I loved it so much that of course I had to make a repurchase whilst I was in London last week. If you've been reading my blog for a while now then you'll know that I love mixing this with Benefit High Beam for the perfect pink iridescent glow.

Benefit: 'Ka-Brow'
Shade: 5
2016 is certainly the year of the bold brow and so Benefit's newest brow launch has been highly anticipated by many. Ka-Brow in particular reminded me of the MAC brow gel creme which I use every day for my brows and absolutely love. I was certainly right to see the similarity. Both products offer a creamy texture, making it super easy to outline and define the brows with ease; giving a bold finish which still looks natural. As Ka-Brow features its own angled brush within the packaging this makes this product the better option for travelling. 

Benefit: 'Goof Proof brow pencil'
Shade: 6
Just as it says in the name, this is so easy to apply; it truly is goof proof! Simply twist the nib to reveal the product and glide through the brows to shape and define. As I personally prefer the look of having big and bold brows this isn't a product I would reach for on a day to day basis but if I'm having a lazy day and going for the 'no make-up make-up' look then this would be perfect to add some natural definition to my brows.

Benefit: 'Gimme Brow'
Shade: 1
Gimme Brow is and will probably always be one of my all time favourite brow products. If I'm not using the Maybelline Brow Drama to set my eyebrows for the day then it's because I'm using this beauty. Its small brush head makes it super easy to fill in even the thinnest of brows. I like to use gentle brush strokes beginning from the middle of the brow and dragging through to the tail, then lightly brushing over the front of my brow where the hairs are more sparse. I actually picked this product up in the newest issue of Glamour magazine. Shade 1 is a light brown tone which I'm hoping shall work well for the front of my brow to create an ombrè effect. 

Benefit: 'Ready Set Brow'
Shade: Clear
This clear brow gel basically works the same as Gimme Brow except for the fact it's clear rather than tinted. Therefore defining the shape of your brows but not adding volume and the illusion of thickness in the same way that Gimme Brow does. It keeps hairs locked in place all day long whilst giving them a clear and defined shape. This product is a little life saver for trips to the gym, no amount of sweat, blood and tears will push your brow hairs out of place when wearing this treasure. I love it! The packaging further highlights that in a consumer panel of 32 women, 100% of them agreed it kept brow hairs firmly in place all day. Now you can't argue with that one!

Benefit: 'Dream Screen sun cream'
SPF: 45
Last week I visited the Good Ship Benefit for an evening meal which if you haven't seen the Instagram photos, it was to die for! When purchasing Ka-Brow from the store on the lower deck of the ship I received a free sample size of the Dream Screen. Being the pale lass I am I certainly am prone to burning easily so this will definitely come in handy on my travels this summer!
PS - If you're in the London area I'd definitely head to the Good Ship Benefit by the Embankment underground if you're planning on purchasing some new Benefit products. Free samples, a 10% discount and even a free sticker are all on offer with your purchase! 

Have you bought any new products recently? What's on your current beauty wish list?!

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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Packing For A Weekend Break | Tips

As exciting as packing for a trip away might be, alongside all of that excitement usually comes a tonne of stress. Particularly for shorter breaks I always have a bad habit of over packing. The weather has been extremely temperamental in England recently and for my trip to London tomorrow I have no idea whether I'll be dressing as though it's October or it really is July. And so the burning question on everyone's lips is.. jumpers or vests?! 

It's common sense but of course the most important thing to do before you even start packing is to check the local weather of the area where you will be staying. Then you'll have a clearer idea of whether you need to pack your prettiest summer dress or your biggest winter coat. But of course, the weather is never 100% reliable so do prepare to bring some thicker layers no matter how sunny it is predicted to be.

If you don't plan on shopping whilst you're away then you'll have no choice but to bring your face wash, shampoo, conditioner etc with you. If this is the case then you can squeeze the product into smaller travel sized bottles to help save room in your case. This kit from Topshop is perfect, especially as it's currently on sale for just £4!! I'd also recommend heading to your local Boots/Superdrug as they usually have a range of products available in travel sized form. 

If you do plan on hitting the shops however, you could buy some travel sized products whilst you're actually at your destination. This will save you having to carry extra bits and bobs within your case and if you share with a partner you're more likely to use them up during your break and therefore not need to bring them back with you either. Perfect!

This tip has become an absolute life saver for me when it comes to creating more room in my case. Rather than folding your clothes, roll them into a sausage like shape. If you're staying in an apartment with an iron then you'll be able to remove any creases upon arrival. However, as the rolling method does create creases amongst your clothes and you aren't lucky enough to have an iron on hand then folding will have to do. But fear not, rather than folding clothes the traditional way; place them upright in a stack (So on their side rather than their back!) which should help to save you a tonne of room.

My worst packing habit is definitely overpacking. For longer stays, clothes can easily be washed and re-worn. Simply mix up your tops with a different pair of pants and no one will even notice your 'crime' of outfit repeating. For shorter stays, it's pretty likely you'll be shopping and no doubt buy some new clothes. It's far easier to pack less, save room for buying things there than pack more and then struggle shoving everything into your case on the way back. 

Compact make-up products are your best friend when travelling and there are several beauty brands which have got your back for trips away. Think the Urban Decay Naked on the Run palette. Five eyeshadows, a highlighter, blusher, bronzer, eyeliner, mascara and lipgloss all shoved into one convenient palette. Could packing your make-up quite possibly get any easier?! If you aren't lucky enough to already own this beauty (It was a limited edition last year!) then have no fear as The Balm have got you covered. The Balm Voyage palette features nine eyeshadows, a bronzer, highlighter, two blushes and two lip and cheek creams. Another one of my favourite beauty duos is the Maybelline Master Sculpt. A bronzer and highlighter combo featuring a compact mirror, perfect for on the go touch ups. 

Yes okay, I'm guilty as charged for being that kid that would make checklists of everything I would need to take away on holiday with me. But especially for shorter breaks I tend to leave packing to the very last minute and therefore I'm more likely to forget something. I know it seems tedious but it's better to be organised than to realise halfway through the train journey that you've left your face wash at home!

What are your top tips for packing?!
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