Saturday, 30 July 2011

Mavala - The Elle Red

One of my favourite things about the end of the month (apart from payday that is!) is the arrival of 'Elle' magazine on my doormat. I know that inside I will always find lots of inspiration (not to mention temptation!), not only in terms of fashion, but also in relation to culture, travel and life in general. As I end up buying every issue anyway, last year I signed up for a subscription, as you save on the newstand rate. 'Elle' offer some great subscription offers and always have great free subscriber gifts so it seemed foolish not to ( in my world at least!). One of the things I love about subscribing to 'Elle' is that they do separate covers for subscriber issues. These are always beautifully designed and are devoid of all the coverlines on the standard versions which can interfere with the visual image on the cover.

Kirsten Dunst on the cover of the September issue of  Elle (UK edition)

The September issue of any fashion magazine is always hotly anticipated, heralding as it does the start of the new fashion season. Whilst we may be still trying to make our Summer wardrobes work with the 'joys' of the British Summer, the September issue calls us to look at all of the Autumn/Winter looks that are waiting to be tried out. But that's another post!

This month's little package of fashion delights also packed an extra beauty punch, as it is accompanied by a free nail polish. Having forgotten that there was going to be a free gift with this issue, it was an unexpected bonus for me. The colour in question? 'The Elle Red' by Mavala (5ml). I have never used Mavala polishes and love wearing red nails so couldn't wait to try this out. And I was very glad that I did.

The polish applied really easily and smoothly. I could probably have got away with just one coat, but applied two just to be certain of total coverage. Once the polish has dried, it has a really glossy finish. I am very impressed with this polish and will definitely be trying more colours in the Mavala range, especially as they retail for only £2.99. In fact I think I might just purchase some more copies of the magazine (£3.80), as there are two other shades to try ('The Elle Grey' and 'The Elle Orange' - described as 'an edgy grey' and 'a playful orange').

Friday, 22 July 2011

Give and Make Up

If you are an avid reader of beauty blogs, then I'm sure you will have come across this logo (or a variant of it) on a number of blogs.

Just in case you've never had time to click through to the webpage, then here's a quick post to let you know what it's all about.

Give and Make Up is a fantastic initiative which was set up by the lovely Caroline Hirons a.k.a Beauty Mouth. Caroline is, in her own words, a "3rd generation beauty industry lifer" (her mother and grandmother also worked in the beauty industry). In fact I wouldn't be surprised if there is lip gloss running through her veins.

'Give and Make Up' is a non-profit initiative whose sole purpose is to work with Refuge and Women's Aid, to get daily essentials into the hands of women and children who have had to flee to refuges to escape domestic violence. Each week two women in the United Kingdom are murdered by a partner or ex-partner. One woman in four experiences domestic violence in their lifetime.

'Give and Make Up' take your unwanted make up, toiletries and baby products and pass them on to the women and children who need them. The list of items needed can be found below:

Everyday Essentials
bath/shower gel
body lotion
feminine hygiene products
shaving products
at-home hair dye colouring kits



makeup brushes
makeup bags
curling tongs

Baby Products
all of them!

In Wales, 'Give and Make Up' are working with Welsh Women's Aid (WWA) and 'Escentual' (who are a Cardiff-based online beauty site). If you would like to help, then you can send your items to 'Escentual' either by post (*address below) or you can drop them off at 'Central Pharmacy', Wellfield Road. If you are planning on going to the next Cardiff Blogs meetup, which will be taking place in August (exact date to be confirmed), then we will also have a collection point, to make it even easier to donate your unwanted items.

When I read about this initiative I was really impressed. It's such a simple idea, which can make a big difference to women and children who need help. And on a personal level, it meant that I could clear out my cupboards without having to throw out perfectly good products which just weren't right for me. I also think that it's great that items that might be seen as frivolous, can make a real difference to people's lives. So if whilst you've been reading this post you've been making a mental note of all of the things that you've got in the cupboard but have never used then why not send it 'Give and Make Up's way. It could be that Christmas gift set from Boots that your aunty gave you, or maybe you were just a little over-zealous with the 3 for 2 purchases? Whatever it is, if it's on the list, then I am sure that 'Give and Make Up' will appreciate it.

If you don't live in Cardiff then check out the 'Give and Make Up' site for details of how you can donate items in your area.

*, Give and Make Up, 63-67 Wellfield Road, Cardiff, CF24 3PA

Monday, 11 July 2011

50 Follower Giveaway

I am very happy to announce that my blog has now reached the 50 Follower milestone. Well it was 55 at the time of posting this, but I didn't get a chance to post at the moment when the blog follower clock struck 50! I know that there are a lot of blogs out there with a LOT more followers, but I am really happy to have reached this number. I was pleased when I got my first blog follower (the gorgeous Nicoletta over at Nicoletta's Beauty Space), so to make it to 50+ followers makes me a very happy blogger indeed!

Although I have only been blogging for a few months, I have really enjoyed it, and have discovered some great bloggers and tweeters. Starting my own blog also encouraged me to get more involved with my local Bloggers Meetups in Cardiff. Through that I have met some really interesting people whose variety of blogs never cease to provide plenty of food for thought. And on a beauty-related note, starting my blog has encouraged me to try a wider range of products, and looks, which can only be a good thing. Well, for my style if not for my bank account!

To celebrate reaching 50 followers I have decided to run a little giveaway. I've compiled a selection of products by brands that I've blogged about, that I love, and that people have been enthusiastic about. I hope that you like my version of a Glossybox. The box contains:

  • The Body Shop's Monoi Miracle Oil (150ml) which can be used on skin and hair.
  • Paula's Choice Illicit Lash Maximum Impact Mascara (full-size)
  • Korres Basil Lemon Little Moisturising Body Milk (50ml)
  • Orly Mini Manicure in 'Holla' a.k.a 'Happy Nails' (5.3ml)
  • Etat Libre D'Orange fragrance samples ( 5 x 1.5ml: Rossy de Palma; Nombril Immense; Divin'Enfant; Vierges et Torreros; Encens et Bubblegum). I came across this quirky brand whilst browsing the website. I had never heard of them before so was intrigued to try them.There's a wide range of fragrances to choose from, so I've included a selection, as choice of fragrances can vary widely between different people.
If you'd like to be entered in the giveaway, then here are the rules:

1. You must be a follower via Google Friend Connect.

2. You must comment on this post below, with a random fact about yourself. I decided to go for that, as when Nic over at Strawberry Blonde gave me the Butterfly Blog Award I found it interesting reading everyone's random facts about themselves.

3. If you tweet about this giveaway or mention it on your Facebook page you will get an extra entry: 'I've just entered @LouiseHartrey 's 50 Follower Giveaway over at '

4. The giveaway will close at 11:59pm on 31st July 2011.

If you've got a blog I would love to know what you've found to be the best thing about blogging.

UPDATE - I've just selected the winner of my '50 Follower Giveaway', and the lucky lady is........30SomethingMel . Congratulations. Hope that you enjoy using all the products.


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