On Saturday 8th June, in what was that morning, my rather grey and gloomy hometown of Llangollen, James and I tied the knot in St Collen's Church - ceremony lead by the fabulous Reverend Phil.

The week preceding had been one filled with angst over the weather and what effect the forecast of torrential downpours would have on our big day (due primarily to the fact that we had chosen to host the reception in one of the Canvas Tent Co.'s incredible tent pole marquees - something that ordinarily in June would not have posed a problem).

Luckily however, we decided a couple of days prior to hire an industrial heater (best decision ever), and despite some rain in the afternoon, we managed to keep everyone toasty with the day turning out to be epic. I'd go so far as to say the best ever - the sun even came out for us in the end!

By having the marquee in our own family field offset by the backdrop of the hills of North Wales, this really did enable us to create something special - a one off that no one else could mirror, with these personal touches helping to produce the relaxed, boho vibe that we had both envisaged. It was exactly as we had both imagined and wanted it to be - a day surrounded by our nearest and dearest, where you could feel the love generated by each and every person throughout.

In future, I plan to write a mini series on here about the day and the build up, both in order to share some tips with any future budding brides and to provide more information on our wonderful suppliers - all of them having gone above and beyond to ensure we experienced the perfect day. For now though, I just wanted to bring you all some of the incredible photographs that the ridiculously talented Tash - Love Luella Photography, has been kind enough to share with us as a little sneak preview of what is to come. Tash has also written a post about the day on her own site here, if you would like to take a look.

I have listed below, links to all of the wonderful people who helped us make the day what it was. If there is anything you spot that you would like to know more about feel free to ask as I would be more than happy to share. For now though, one final thank you - and that is to every one of you who traveled from far and wide to share the day with us. Your presence was sincerely felt and we love you even more now than we did before for your having done so.

Sarah & James. x

The Lineup

Photography - Tash (Love Luella)

Marquee - The Canvas Tent Co.

Caterers - Horseradish

Flowers - Leanne @ Serendipity Flowers and Events

Stationary - Beautifully Lost Studio/Dahlia by Lauren/Crum & Co

Cake - Lindsay @ White Lace Cakes 

Dress - Rosa Clara Karela @ The Knutsford Wedding Gallery 

Hair - Annie Elizabeth Bespoke Bridal 

MUA - Laura Shelton Makeup

Shoes - Manolo Blahnik

Suits - Ted Baker

Bridesmaid dresses - Hobbs

Entertainment - ASG Entertainments/EM String Quartet/Hope Street Busking Band

Favours - Honeywell Biscuit Co. /Hearth & Heritage

Confetti - Shropshire Petals 

Glassware (Charger plates) - Whitehouse Event Crockery 

For a while now, I have been creature of habit when it comes to skincare, especially cleansers - alternating between my trusty Glossier Milky Jelly and Oskia Renaissance. Whilst away on a trip recently however, I managed to leave the latter in my hotel room never to be seen again, and decided at that point that it might be a good time for a change - step forward Lixirskin's Electrogel Cleanser. 

The brand had been on my radar for a while and when I saw that ASOS had started to stock it, I decided to take advantage of my premier delivery and added it to my basket. It describes itself as providing 'a mix of universal essentials for everyday skin needs and targeted night care for skin concerns' having 'an advanced yet relaxed approach to good skin.'

There is a focus not on natural products, but on the use of pure molecules with published clinical results - something that founder Dr Collette Haydon knows all about, having produced some of the most coveted beauty products for cult beauty brands. Lixirskin though, is her own baby.

Comprising three key products - 'The Universal Trio' (Electrogel Cleanser, Vitamin C Paste and Universal Emulsion) alongside which appear the 'Night Switch Molecules' (to be used in conjunction), the collection is compact but aims to pack  a punch and cover all bases.

The concept of the cleanser itself in this case, revolves around the theory that what is bad for the skin  (toxins such as polution nanoparticles,  heavy metals and free radicals but to name a few) generally tends to have a slight positive electric charge. By adding a very small negatively charged electrogel into the formula the theory is therefore, that the two will attract and can then simply be washed away. 

On first impressions, I must admit that my skin did feel incredibly clean and soft after use and so the detoxifying claims were definitely something that I felt stood up. The other thing that I really enjoyed in addition, was the scent - something that if I hadn't read about the ingredients beforehand, I would have assumed to be entirely natural. Unsurprisingly, the addition of geranium, sage, rosemary and chamomile helps to create this impression - the former being one of my all time favourites. 

Though the texture of the cleanser is of a creamy consistency, I found it to be incredibly good when it came to make up removal including any pesky mascara residue. In fact I would go so far as to say that it was more effective than any gel/oil cleanser I have used previously and irritated my eyes far less - bonus! 

I will be continuing to use over the coming weeks so that I can report back on the longer term effects. For now though, I am already suitably impressed and will definitely be looking into trying more from the brand. 

Sarah x 

If you're a regular reader around here, you'll know what a fan I am of Estee Lauder as a brand. The Advanced Night Repair Complex, Global Anti Aging Eye Balm and of course the Double Wear Concealer are some of my all time favourites when it comes to both make up and skincare, and so when I saw the free gift with purchase currently available at John Lewis, I jumped at the chance to be able to share it with you all.

There are over thirty beautiful 'bundles' available - which you can view online here - that when purchased, mean you'll also receive all of the following, alongside a gorgeous cosmetics bag to keep it all in;

Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam 30ml
Advanced Night Repair 7ml
Supreme Global Anti-Ageing Cell Power and Creme 15ml
Revitalizing Supreme Eye Balm 7ml
Pure Colour Envy Eyeshadow Quad Compact
Double Wear Stay-in-place Eye Pencil in Onyx
Sumptuous Knockout Mascara in Knockout Black 2.8ml

The bundles generally comprise of two of Estee Lauder's 'cult' products, and include a mix of both skincare and make up for you to take your pick from. Included are best sellers such as the Double Wear Stay-in-place Foundation and the Advanced Night Repair Complex itself, and so if you're after a special gift for someone or are just looking for a reason to stock up then this is the perfect opportunity.

Personally, I love getting free gifts like this as it gives me the chance to test out some new products that I perhaps wouldn't have considered trying previously. And, even more of a bonus if you're a 'travel sized' hoarder like me, is when some of your favourites arrive like this in miniature form!

Make sure to let me know if you decide to take advantage of the offer, and if you do, whether you find any new loves as a result! 

Sarah x
Dior Monogram Scarf  |  Monica Vinader Friendship Bracelet  |  ASOS Chevron Jumper  |  Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer  |  Byredo Tree House Candle
After a long hiatus from posting on here, I thought I would kick start things again with a trusty wishlist. It's my birthday next weekend, and so I've a few things in mind that I might treat myself to in celebration of turning another year older - you've got to spoil yourself sometimes, right?

I've liked the idea of the whole 'scarf wrapped round the bag handle' trend for a while now, and the Dior monogrammed scarves are just too beautiful to resist. I also feel like the grey and blush tones in this one would be perfect for spring.

Sticking with the pastels - I'm a fan of anything and everything Monica Vinader, and this mint coloured bracelet is super cute. I've quite a few pieces from the brand now, and really like the fact that they offer free engraving, hence I'd quite like to take advantage again and get something 'personalised'.

Make up wise, I've spent the last few months trying to use up/whittle down what is in my substantial stash, and so it's been a while since I've tried anything new in terms of base. There has been so much hype around this new offering from Clinique though, that I am dying to give it a try. The fact that is claims to be both a foundation and concealer in one is the obvious draw, though I'm most intrigued by the giant applicator! It looks so convenient!

One of my favourite things that I got in the Liberty advent calendar I had this year, was a Byredo hand cream in the scent Bal D'Afrique. I had never tried anything from the brand before, and so I was very pleasantly surprised. I had been tempted to invest in one of their scents, however, my perfume collection is overflowing at the moment and so I thought I might check out one of their candles instead. I've heard quite a lot about Tree House, and the top notes of bamboo and pimento sound right up my street.

And of course, no February birthday could be complete without a jumper to cosy up in. I love the block colours of this ASOS offering!

What's at the top of your wishlist right now?

Sarah x
Apart from the infamous Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, I must admit, I am a bit of a novice when it comes to the brand. When I was browsing the counter one day a few months back though – focussing, unsurprisingly, on the liquid lipsticks they had on offer – the shade 500 Blush in their Lip Maestro’s caught my eye and I picked it up on a bit of a whim. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s not often that you'll go wrong with a liquid lipstick. Some are better than others, but in general they have good staying power and unless they are ultra drying they normally turn out to be worth your hard earned pennies. ‘Blush’ is, as you might expect – a warm, rosy pink – vivid enough to brighten your complexion a little, but nothing too in your face. There are 23 shades available in the range, with most of them quite bold - reds, purples and a few brighter pink shades the prevalent colours amid the bunch. There are only three that I would consider to be real neutrals - Blush being one of them, Casual Pink another, and lastly Dolci (which if you’re into you’re 90’s brown hues might be the one to try). And so, although I think the shade range could be expanded upon to cater to a wider clientele, this didn't put me off as the thing that really made me fall in love with these was their formula. 

Yes its matte, or at least the appearance is on the lips – but it is actually incredibly creamy and feels beautiful to apply. They are marketed as being 'the first matte lip lacquers' and are by far and away the least drying ‘mattes’ I have tried. They may not last as long as the likes of the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, but they do still stick around for a fair few hours and fade nicely when they do eventually start to wear away. They are not dissimilar to the theBalm Meet Matte Hughes Liquid Lipsticks that I talked about a couple of posts back, but much creamier and with less of a scent. If you’re into your high end make up then I would definitely recommend checking these out as I’m quite surprised at how they haven’t yet (at least not to my knowledge) gained more of a cult status within the beauty world. 
If you’re after a high street/drugstore counterpart though, look no further than the Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipsticks. I had seen these pop up on the shelves some time ago – in fact it must have been pretty soon after they were released. I had cast my eye over them a couple of times, yet for some reason I didn’t pick any up until quite some time later (I think perhaps because I had been unable to swatch in store and it’s always a bit of a gamble when that’s the case). I bit the bullet last week though when I had a little Boots splurge (let me know if you’d like to see the rest of the spoils from that little excursion) and the shades ‘Nude Thrill’ and ‘Nude Flush’ ended up coming home with me. Again, I was predictable with the colour choices – the former being on the beige-y nude side and the latter it's pink equivalent – not at all unlike the Giorgio Armani 500 shade. But that is not where the similarity ends. 

I can honestly say that shades aside (despite the similarity of six of the eight Maybelline shades still sitting firmly on the bold side of things with not a lot in between), the formula of these seems to me to be practically identical to the Giorgio Armani Lip Maestros. They are creamy, super pigmented and give you that soft matte finish without any resultant dryness. As with the Lip Maestros, the applicator itself is a little longer than your standard doe foot and has a little bend to it which I find is great when it comes to ensuring ease and accuracy when applying. As a direct comparison re what it is you are getting for your money, the Lip Maestros weigh in at £27 for the 6.5ml of product provided, where as for £6.99 you are getting 8ml from the Maybelline Vivid Mattes

I really love both products, but unless you have plenty of cash to spare and are a high end make up fiend, then I would definitely recommend Maybelline over Giorgio Armani in this instance. If the shade range had been more extensive on either side then that may have pipped it for me, but as things stand it’s a win for the drugstore dupe in the battle of the liquid lipsticks! 

Sarah x