Thursday, 20 August 2015

Occasion Dresses on a Budget

There's nothing I like better than to dress up in a nice dress to go to a party, I bought a beautiful dress for my best friend's engagement party at the beginning of this month and it's given me a bit of a bug for pretty dresses I think. I'd got myself into a bit of a rut of buying quite plain 'nothing' dresses for whenever I went out anywhere and it felt so nice to be wearing a dress that really stood out of the crowd. I will admit though, that finding a dress wasn't an easy task; I must have spent hours and hours trawling through different online stores and then I spent a day in a shopping centre so it did end up being quite time consuming so I've put together a collection of some of my favourite dresses for different special occasions to save you some time if you've got something coming up on your calendar:

The Ball/Prom

When you think prom style dresses I think you automatically think they're going to cost an absolute fortune but they don't have to if you shop in the right places. There are hundreds of prom dresses under £100 to be had on*; here's a selection of my absolute favourites...

I love how this one is cut; because it falls lower I think it would be so flattering if you're conscious about the bottom part of your stomach (I know that's the part of my body that I'm insecure about) and it comes in over 30 different colours.

This also comes in over 30 colours but I think that white is really beautiful, I'm really into grecian dresses and I love the embellishment detail on the straps of this one. 

Again we've got a bit of beaded embellishment going on here, I absolutely love the cut of this and the simple skirt teamed with the beaded top.  

The Wedding 

You've got to be careful not to upstage the bride and I definitely wouldn't recommend wearing white at a wedding; luckily, ASOS have been very helpful and they've put together a collection of wedding guest dresses and there's some real beauties...

Dusty Pink Floral Pencil Dress (£52.00)
I'm loving floral prints because you don't have to spend as long considering accessories I don't think, as you can see on the model you could team this with a pair of simple black strappy shoes and I'd probably wear quite a simple fascinator.

Drape Midi Dress (£55.00)
I think this is my favourite of the 3 from ASOS, I love the colour and the drape effect.

Off Shoulder Printed Dress (£70.00)
This is quite different to what you normally see with it being a 'high-low' kind of hem but I really like it and I like the print.

Where are your favourite places to get occasion dresses from?

*Post in collaboration with

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Friday, 14 August 2015

A few of my favourite things

It's been a while since I've done a proper favourites post on Girl Up North and I got to thinking the other day and realised that there was definitely a few products which stand out from the crowd that I've been going for again and again just recently. Aside from the haircare products that I mentioned the other day, here are some of my current beauty favourites:

Bath & Body Works Champagne Sparkle Hand Sanitiser (£1.99, eBay)- I know it's kind of annoying when bloggers mention stuff that you can't get hold of easily here in the UK but these little hand sanitisers are actually widely available on places like eBay and they're not too extortionately priced. I bought 5 when I went to Florida in May and I've been using them really sparingly so I have enough to last me until my America trip in October. This Champagne Sparkle one is gorgeously sweet and has little sparkly bits in which magically disappear when you rub your hands together. 

Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector (£19.00, Boots) - I've been loving this for a good while now and I realise that I need to buy the full size because it's my go-to lip product for casual wear; it's barely there but leaves a lovely sheen on the lips and keeps them feeling soft and moist. 

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Oil Cleanser (£11.00, The Body Shop) - This is my second bottle, and I love everything about it. It melts away makeup including eye makeup (although it does sting a bit if you get it in your actual eye, I don't recommend that), it's gentle and my skin reacts really well to it and it's in a pump bottle which makes for perfectly simple dispensing. Winner!

Naked Basics 2 Palette (£20.70, Feel Unique) - I'd toyed with the idea of this for a long time because I'd heard it was better than the first Basics palette for people with fair skin. I snapped this up from Beauty Bay for an absolute bargain of about £13 and I've never looked back; I wear it almost every day and I honestly didn't think matte shades could work well for me but they really do with this palette. 

MAC lipsticks (Twig & Velvet Teddy) (£15.50, MAC Cosmetics)- I fell out of love with MAC lippies for a while because they put the price up and I realised that you could get equally as nice lipsticks for a lot less money but then Twig and Velvet Teddy came into my life and I had to change my opinion because these two shades are my go-to ones 8/10 times that I wear lipstick. I love Twig for going out and I love Velvet Teddy for more casual wear, yep they're expensive for what they are but these are an absolute must for me in my collection.

YSL Black Opium Perfume (£38.00, Fragrance Direct)- I wrote about this when I bought it with my Quidco cashback and I've loved it ever since. I'm trying to use it carefully because I'm running out fast and I really want to be able to buy another bottle with my next lot of cashback because then it feels free, haha! It's a quite a strong but beautiful scent, especially for night time, it's the perfect floral oriental fragrance I think.

What's on your list of favourite things at the moment?

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Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Summer Scenting with Fresh Fig

In all honesty if you'd have asked me last week what a fig smelt like I wouldn't have been able to tell you, I've eaten them a couple of times but I never had them down as a fragrance of choice for anything really. However it would appear that Fig is a hot scent for lots of summer collections this year; The White Company have released their 'Fresh Fig' home scenting range and The Body Shop now have their Italian Summer Fig bath and body care collection.

The White Company are known for their beautiful homewares and candle collections so I knew they wouldn't disappoint with their latest fragrance: Fresh Fig. It's a strong fruity/citrus scent which totally envelopes the room when it's lit; even the Signature Candle* (£20.00) packs a punch when it comes to filling a medium sized room. The jar is clean and simple which is my perfect kind of decoration; I don't like too much going on and because the candle is filled with high quality mineral wax to ensure it burns cleanly without leaving that horrible black soot on the rim of the glass. In the same Fresh Fig collection they also have a reed diffuser, a four wick candle and a room spray so if you like the scent you could choose a product to suit your needs.

If you like fresh, summery scents then the new Italian Summer Fig collection from The Body Shop should tickle your fancy; it's fresh and green which is perfect if you aren't keen on the usual sickly sweet summery scents. Paired with the refreshing soap-free Shower Gel (£6.00)*, the Body Butter (£13.00)* is beautifully thick and leaves your skin feeling soft and silky for hours whilst building up the fig fragrance on your skin. I love using Body Shop body butters when I've just got out of the bath/shower because they just melt into warm skin and I know that I can give the product a little time to soak in before I have to put any tight clothing on. 

I love it when brands come up with different ideas to break the mould of what we usually expect from summer fragrances and Fig definitely won't disappoint if you're looking for something a little different to scent your house or to get your shower routine into the swing of summer.

Have you ever tied any Fig scented products?

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Thursday, 6 August 2015

Hair Styling Products for Dry/Damaged Hair

I've been really quite impressed with the condition of my hair just lately and I've put it down to a few products that I've been using for the past couple of weeks. Blonde hair can be a real pain to keep in good condition; my hair has often looked quite dry, split and damaged because of the heat styling/bleach that I've subjected it to. Obviously there's no denying that you can't actually 'repair' hair once it's split but you can reduce the appearance of split ends and keep it in as good condition as you possibly can to try and prevent further damage. 

Schwarzkopf Weightless Dry Oil Mist £4.05 £2.70 - This is the perfect finishing spray for me, a little bit like Tigi Haute Iron Spray but better and a sight cheaper. Getting any kind of shine on blonde hair is difficult but this makes my hair look and feel really healthy, it really is weightless but it makes my hair feel perfectly silky smooth after straightening. 

Schwarzkopf Dry Shampoo £4.05 £2.02 - I always say that no brand could get me away from Batiste when it comes to dry shampoo but this puts up a good fight. It's not as powdery and heavy, it smells nice and it does the job just as good if not slightly better. 

Schwarzkopf Heat Protection Spray £4.05 £2.70 - I went through a stage where I didn't use any heat protection at all before straightening and I could really tell a difference in the condition of my hair. Not only does this offer protection up to 220 degrees I also think it helps to keep my hair straighter for longer.

Label M Rejuvenating Oil Mist* £24.95 - This has fast become an important step in my hair routine, I spray this on wet hair before drying it and it is better than any serum or oil I've used in terms of how  smooth my hair is even before I've straightened. I think it's probably to do with the spray which means that it's more evenly distributed as opposed to a blob of serum/oil which is often concentrated on a certain part of your hair. Obviously I don't use this on my roots but for the ends of my hair I really think it's making a massive difference. It is a little bit pricey but I've said it before, for a product that works I don't mind paying!

The first three Schwarzkopf products are on offer at the moment in both Boots and Superdrug so if they've caught your eye then now would be a good time to buy them before they go back up to full price; I know I'll definitely be stocking up because I've totally fallen in love with all of them! 

What are your favourite hair products at the moment?

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