Bespoke Shoes from Rainbow Club {AD-GIFTED}

After attending the New Look SS14 preview event this week, I trotted over to Dirty Martini at Hanover Square for the Rainbow Club ‘Alter Ego’ event.

 

For those of you that haven’t heard of Rainbow Club before, they’re a company who design, make and dye handmade satin shoes.  I have to be honest and say they were a new introduction to me when I received the invite, but having looked at their website I was very impressed!  They have a whole host of different styles of shoe so you can pick the one you want, tell them your colour scheme and they’ll have them produced for you – how perfect is that for a wedding?!

 

Not just that, they also do children’s shoes, handbags, veil’s and headdresses, so they’re a bit of a one-stop-shop when it comes to those special details of your wedding day.

 

As I was squeezing two events into one night, I arrived at Dirty Martini towards the end of this event and as I walked in the door was given a beautiful satin shoe to decorate and directed to a table full of dyes and accessories for adding detail.  I had less than 10-minutes until the judging would commence so I frantically set about ruining a perfectly good shoe customising it.

 

When my time was up I had a shoe that looked like a toddler had been let loose on it and there were diamantes stuck to my hands and elbows.  I was also sporting a face which said “Please don’t judge me, I only had 10-minutes!”

 

Needless to say, my shoe didn’t win the competition, but to be fair, I’m not surprised.  It’s so horrific that I was actually pleased when they said we could take our shoes home, as I wanted to show K what a terrible job I’d done.

 

Before I show you said shoe, I’ll explain my thought process: I wanted to give it a pink dip-dye look to match my hair.  I then wanted diamantes around the front of the sole and down the heel.  If I’d had more time, I would have put diamantes around the edge of the pink too, to give it a glitzy look and to define the separate colours.  However, in the rush, I was left with just 3 diamantes stuck to the front – all the ones on the heel fell off as soon as I picked the shoe up.  Jimmy Choo, you may rest easy, I’m no competition for you just yet.

 

So, here’s the abomination I created:

 

 

I know, I know, my talents know no bounds!  They look partially acceptable in dull light and hopefully (if you squint really tight) you’ll be able to work out what kind of look I was going for from this picture.

 

The other bloggers all did fantastically though and there were some great entries – the three winners all received vouchers to spend in Selfridges too, with the overall winner taking home £300-worth – an amazing prize!

Aside from my utter crime against fashion and footwear, I was really impressed by Rainbow Club.  As well as the competition entries, they had examples of their shoes dotted around the venue and they’re really stunning.  In fact, they’re so beautiful that they used them to decorate the Christmas tree, which looked fantastic!

 

 

As the event came to a close, we were all given a gift from under the tree.  I had a peek in the box on the train journey home, but it was only when I managed to look at them in the clear light of day that I realised just how beautiful my gifted shoes are.  They’re absolutely stunning and SO comfortable!

 

Of course, I took them out of the box and strutted around the house in them for a while before trying to take some photos of them.  As I was on my own I didn’t have anyone to help me, so I’m afraid Devon was lurking in the background.  He’s a right nosey boy and as soon as I get anything out of a parcel he has to come over and get involved!

 

 

 

Because these shoes are blue, I couldn’t immediately think of what I would wear them with, but I was surprised how good they looked with my jeans.  I thought the two different shades of blue would clash with each other, but it actually looked great!

 

I can’t quite put my finger on what colour blue I would call these; it’s not quite royal blue, nor is it pastel or sky blue.  But it’s beautiful and I love it.  I also think the lace overlay means what could be very ordinary court shoes suddenly become elegant and classy.  These would be perfect to wear to a wedding!  The heel height is also spot-on for me.

 

Overall, I’m really impressed with Rainbow Club.  The shoes are great quality and because they’re satin, they have a really special feeling about them; they’re just that little bit more sumptuous.  The shoe shape I’ve got are called Ella, but with over 80 different styles on their website, it’s definitely worth taking a peek, especially as you can choose a dye them from any colour in their palette!

 

I don’t have any need for bespoke shoes at the moment, but if I ever do, I know where I’ll be going – Rainbow Club!
What do you think of creating your own bespoke wedding shoes to match your style and theme?  And on a scale of 1-10, how hideous were the shoes I created?haha
LilliesandLove xx
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Love At First Sight – My Beautiful Zatchels Bag {AD-GIFTED}

I’ve never believed in love at first sight… until Sunday just passed.
Let me introduce you to my Zatchels bag.
Isn’t it beautiful?
Last Thursday, Zatchels had a blogger event at their new sales area in Westfield London.  I had planned to go but, unfortunately, a late-turn at work put a stop to that, however, as K and I were spending the day in London on Sunday, we made our first port of call Westfield so I could visit the stand.
I’ve only been to Westfield once before and I’d forgotten how huge it is – there’s so many stores there! Despite finding ourselves a little confused about where we were, we soon found the Zatchels store and I was greeted warmly by the staff.
Then it happened.
Tilly gave me my very own Zatchels bag.
*insert excited squawk*
I’ve admired the Zatchels brand from afar for such a long time so I’m completely thrilled to now have one of my own.  I can’t even begin to put into words how much I love this bag (which is good considering I’m a blogger, eh?)
After giving me my bag and me thanking her profusely for making me the happiest girl in the land, Tilly asked if I would like my bag personalised at which point one of her colleagues set off to the machine to create my own nameplate for the bag.
While he worked away, the two girls and I stood chatting and putting the world to rights.  Poor K got a bit bored and wandered off, bless him (he later told me he couldn’t get a signal on his phone so he couldn’t even occupy himself with that so he just sat on a chair staring into space, haha!)
A short while later and my bag was handed back to me – complete with a ‘LilliesandLove’ badge on the front.
There are a few different styles of Zatchels bag in their range and you can choose from numerous colours and designs too; I’m sure that most people would be able to find one to suit their personality.  My bag is a 17.5-inch, dark brown leather ‘Classic Satchel’ and is the perfect size to become my ‘blogging bag’ – it fits my laptop and charger, plus notebook and pens in it easily, and also has room to fit a camera in there too.  It’s just perfect for me!
If you haven’t heard of Zatchels before, I’ll fill you in briefly…
Zatchels in a UK company and each bag is individually made by hand, meaning the quality is top-notch and a great deal of care and attention is put into each and every one.  When you receive your bag, you get a certificate with it which tells you what date it was made, which team made it and who checked it’s quality before it left them.  The bags are made from quality leather which means that if they’re looked after properly, there is absolutely no reason they couldn’t last a lifetime.  I love the idea of that – I don’t think there’s many things these days that we can look at and consider them as potential heirlooms!
As I said, there’s a few different types of bag you can get and there was a huge display of different styles at their Westfield stand.  I snapped a few pictures while I was there to show you:

 

 

As I said, there’s a huge range of designs and colours to choose from!
I’ve tweeted and Instagram’d about my new bag-love and I’ve had such a fantastic response from people, it seems I’m not the only one who loves Zatchels.  What do you think?  Do you love the Zatchels brand?  Which bag would you pick from their range?
LilliesandLove xx
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Code Beautiful Mascara – Eye Love It! (sorry…) {AD-GIFTED}

If you were told you could only have one piece of make-up again for the rest of your life, what would you pick?

 

For me, it would have to be mascara.  I don’t go ANYWHERE without mascara.  If I’m not wearing it, my eyes look tiny and I look ill.  Literally, I look like I have something wrong with me.  Something infectious probably.

 

However, the market is flooded with different mascaras and they all promise so much.  I’m sure you’ve all seen the adverts on television and in magazines, with the teeny tiny small print at the bottom, barely decipherable, but when you hold a magnifying glass up to it, it explains that they aren’t the models real lashes and they’ve been enhanced on a computer.

 

Sneaky Pete’s.

Anyway, I’ve been around the mascara block a few times.  I’ve had my hopes built up and then swiftly shattered again.  I’ve splashed out on expensive brands who promise the world, but when I’ve tried them I’ve been left more than a little disappointed.  I’ve been left A LOT disappointed.

 

Then, a few months ago, I accidentally ripped half the lashes on my left eye out while I was curling them (I’m clumsy).  Following that, a brand very kindly sent me their Growth Mascara which blew me away and – much to my surprise – my eyelashes grew back in the space of a few short weeks.  I was sold and this mascara has been the only one I’ll use since then.

 

However, good mascaras, it seems, are a lot like buses.  Y’know, you wait ages for one and then BAM a second one comes along!  After years and years of looking for a mascara that fulfilled my needs and I could stay loyal to, suddenly a contender has come along and I’ve found my loyalty split.

 

The newcomer on the scene was sent to me by the people at Code Beautiful.  I’d followed them on Twitter for a while but, being on a spending ban, splashing out and trying a new mascara I didn’t know the qualities of wasn’t an option, so when they offered to send me one, I jumped at the chance.

 

 

The mascara comes in a lovely little presentation box, with the product itself being about average size.  The wand is wider at one end than the other so it fits with the shape of your eye and means you can evenly coat your lashes in one go.

 

 

I also love the handy little instructions on the back telling you how to achieve different looks.
So, how did the product fare?

Well, as I said earlier, it’s found itself well and truly within my affections – I love it!  I took these photos after just one sweep from the base of my lashes to the end:

 

 

Look at the length of them compared to my natural lashes!  And just with ONE swoosh from base to tip!  Incredible!

 

 

This mascara added real volume to my lashes and made them look much fuller, as well as feeling like it was giving them some lift.  (This is hard to explain, but I felt like the tips were lifting towards my eyebrows, like they’d been curled really hard).  There was also none of that horrible flaking you can get with some mascaras and it hasn’t smudged at all, even when I had water flicked in my face by my ever-loving boyfriend!

 

Priced at £19.95, you can buy this mascara on the Code Beautiful website.  For a product that has given me such brilliant results, I don’t think £20 is too much to spend, especially when I compare it to some of the ‘high end’ mascaras I have tried in the past and been so disappointed by.

 

You can also keep in touch with the Code Beautiful team on their Twitter page where they tell you all about the goings on at Code Beautiful HQ.

 

Do you have trouble finding mascaras that live up to their hype?

LilliesandLove xx

* PR Sample, but, as always, 100% my own words *

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Ego Professional – Saving Me From A Hair Care Disaster! {AD-GIFTED}

If you’re a social media user, I’m sure at some point you’ve come across the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems.  It’s basically those of us lucky enough to live in the First World complaining about the things in our life that frustrate us which really, when we think about them in comparison to what’s happening in the Third World, are stupid.  However, they still annoy or upset us.
I recently experienced a First World Problem that made me scream “Nooooo!” out loud at 7.30 in the morning (this has highlighted to me that my neighbours would be rubbish in the event of someone breaking into my house).  The reason for my scream?
Prepare yourself for this…
My hairdryer stopped working HALFWAY through me drying my hair.
It stopped working and HALF MY HAIR WAS STILL WET.
Disaster!
I didn’t know quite what to do – half my hair was dry, half was wet.  I had no other means of drying it, I only have one hairdryer.  I looked at my hair straighteners for about half a second before I realised that was a stupid idea and all that would do is wreck my hair completely, so I had just one option.  I tied my half-wet, half-dry hair up into a ponytail and hoped everyone would think I was rocking the ‘messy look’ for the day.
I think I got away with it.
Obviously, with the death of my old and faithful hairdryer, it meant I needed a new one, and thankfully the rules of my spending ban are that I am allowed to buy essentials.  A hairdyer IS an essential, so it was absolutely fine for me to buy a replacement.  However, having searched online I found that they were more expensive than I remembered – for a decent one you’re looking at at least £30-£40.  I know that doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but when you’re putting every penny you have into paying off debts, £30 really IS a lot of money and I felt my heart sink to my boots at the prospect of having to divert that amount of money away from my debt clearance.

Then, like little perfectly coifed angels, the people of Ego Professional tweeted me saying they would like to send me one of their products.

 

I don’t know if they saw my “OHMYGODMYHAIRDRYERHASJUSTBROKEN!” tweets or whether it was a coincidence, but either way, their offer couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

 

Being a professional blogger (or nosey cow, whichever you prefer) I went to have a look at their website.  I’d never heard of them before and I’m always keen to find out about new brands.

On their website, they offer not only hairdryers, but also curlers, irons and brushes, so they cover all the bases when it comes to styling your hair at home.  (You can also buy sets which include several products)

 

 

 

 

bviously, I opted for one of their hairdryers, but I would have been happy with anything from their range, had I not found myself in the predicament I did!

 

 

I have to say, this is the first time I have ever kept a hairdryer in the box it came in.  Normally, the box would be put out for the recycling, but the Ego Professional box is just too beautiful to get rid of!  This photo clearly doesn’t do it justice – it’s sturdy, the lid ‘clicks’ shut and it looks great, so I’m more than happy to keep it!

 

 

As for the hairdryer itself, it’s brilliant!  It’s got 8 different settings to choose from so you can change the speed and temperature of the air, plus it’s lightweight, which is brilliant for someone with thick hair like me, as it takes at least 20-minutes to dry and my arm can get a bit tired!  The fact it’s aesthetically pleasing is a bonus too, I love the colours and the fade of the red to black.  All in all, it feels like a really high quality product.

Of course, quality comes with a price tag, so Ego Professional products are more expensive than those you might pick up on the High Street, with prices starting at £11.00 for a heat mat up to £134.95 for their heated roller system, but if you have the cash to spare and want to invest in professional standard equipment, I definitely recommend Ego.  (You’ll also be in good company as a lot of celebrity stylists use this brand!)

 

If you fancy treating yourself, you can buy Ego Professional online at either QVC or Instant Beauty Fix.

 

As always, if you decide to treat yourself make sure you let me know!
LilliesandLove xx
All prices correct at time of writing
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Handmade Vintage-Style Underwear from Miss Crofton {AD-GIFTED}

Pre-spending ban and before I had all my horrible debts, I used to enjoy shopping.  I’d shop for homewares, shoes, bags, clothes and everything inbetween, but I had one BIG weakness.  Underwear. I would buy myself underwear every single month and – if I had the money now – I’m sure I wouldn’t be any different.

 

Underwear is my Kryptonite.

Since I’ve been old enough to wear ‘proper’ underwear, I’ve always believed in having it matching at all times, simply because you never know what might happen.  Although I’m sure I would have more important things on my mind, I would hate to be in some sort of accident, have the doctors cut my clothes off and be wearing grey-ing, holey, mismatched underwear beneath.  Just the thought of it fills me with horror.

 

I also remember reading an interview with Dita Von Teese (who I love) once in which she said that she felt it was important to wear matching underwear in everyday life, not for anyone else but for yourself; that it can give you a spring in your step and make you feel a little bit special.

 

So, when I was given the opportunity to write about vinstage-style underwear brand Miss Crofton I jumped at the chance!

 

 

Based in East London, Miss Crofton’s pieces have a vintage feel to them, reminiscent of a bygone era when glamour was ‘in’.

 

 

ach piece is handmade which makes them extra special, and you can really tell in the quality of them.  I was posted an example piece and I have to say, it’s really beautiful.

 

 

The waistline is strong, the lace is soft and it’s stunning to look at, as well as being a great fit and very comfortable.  (Don’t worry, there are no photos of my bum on here, it’s safe to continue reading).

 

 

The pair I was sent* are the high-waisted Lovely Lace, but there are a selection of other pieces and styles on the Miss Crofton website, my favourites of which I’ve picked out for you below:

L-R:  ‘Dotty Darling’ set – £54.00,   ‘Bette’ black velvet set – £55.00
L-R:  ‘Style Icon’ high waisted knickers – £24.50,   Black lace knickers – £20.00
L-R:  ‘Fairytale Temptress’ bra – £32.00,   Black lace bra – £23.00
‘Bette’ black velvet leotard – £40.00
I love the ‘vintage’ feel to the Miss Crofton designs and I would happily team the ‘Bette’ black leotard with a pair of skinnies and heels for a night out – I absolutely LOVE it!  (It’s definitely on the list for buying post-spending ban!)
I think it would be impossible to wear a Miss Crofton piece and not feel a little bit special or have a sly smile plastered across your face for the day, although the danger is, with underwear this beautiful, you might want to show it to everyone that crosses your path!
I love this new brand discovery – have you heard of Miss Crofton before?
LilliesandLove xx
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