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IMG_5602If you know me personally, you’ll know I make no secret of the fact I love homely touches and given the choice between a Mulberry handbag or a Smeg 6 hob dual fuel cooker, I will pick the latter every time.

At the weekend I went to the Ideal Home Show with my home interior design partner (my mum), brimming with hope for ideas and inspirations. This year’s theme includes giant lamp shades hanging from the ceiling and astro turf OUTSIDE the venue.

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The Ideal Home Show has been attracting crowds for years and if you are interested in the latest features, looks and inventions for the modern house, it really is a show worth visiting.  Exhibitors from around the country convene under one roof so it’s a really good chance to meet brands that you normally wouldn’t find in your local retail park.

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The last time I went to the Ideal Home Show was about 6 or 7 years ago and honestly, it was dreadful. As a regular visitor, it had lost its appeal and had even been scaled down in size. This might have had something to do with its previous owners - the Daily Mail (cough!) who devised the exhibition back in 1908 and continued to do so until 2009 before they sold the event to someone else who have thankfully breathed a new lease of life into the annual exhibition.

This year John Lewis is one of the key sponsors and has created The Quiet Treehouse which introduces the latest technology and appliances that have been awarded for excellence in sound quality and quieter yet high performance design.

There is something for everyone here including shopping, catwalk shows, home interior inspiration, the newest innovative technology, celebrity appearances and more. I spied Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and his elaborate musketeer beard and barnet on the main stage.

If you’ve never been, the Ideal Home Show is split on two levels. The first floor (which tends to be the busiest) is where the home gadgets are – steam irons, steam mops (that one is there every year), cleaning materials, food stalls and more pointlessly, make-up and clothes. What do those two things have to do with the home? They are just space fillers.

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The main floor is where you start to form your dreams and it centres around the ideal home, a temporary built structure that you can walk through every room to see what the ideal home is. This feature always has such long queues so I decided not to wait around for this. I was interested in the garden and kitchen and if you have an agenda, you won’t have to be wander around, feeling lost and overwhelmed.

The most surreal things are the scale of some of the items you can buy which clearly aren’t for the average household yet at the same time, there were items realistically within my reach. I fell in love with gorgeous sofas in this season’s must-have colour scheme of silver/grey and Smeg’s range of polished chrome refrigerators and cookers. The Moroccan/Turkish lanterns I spotted were also a highlight for me.

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The Ideal Home Show is at London’s Earls Court until this Sunday (30th March). If you can find the time to go, go! Sometimes beauty has to take second place to the creature comforts of home.

*I attended the Ideal Home Show courtesy of John Lewis.

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posted by on Blushers, Clinique, Make-Up

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cliniquecheekpops

So who’s bought a Cheek Pop? If not, why ever not? They’ve been on sale on Clinique’s website since the beginning of the month and they are out in the shops finally but if you’re still umming and ahhing,  this will assure you they really do pack a punch as well as look darn pretty.

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I’ve been using my fingers to apply the blusher because it is so buttery and easy to blend. All four shades work wonderfully with my skin tone for a natural flush of colour.

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I’m wearing Peach Pop and I can tell you the blusher stay put. I applied it early in the morning and this picture was taken in the evening. It is frustrating the pictures don’t depict how lovely these blushers appear so you’re going to have to trust me on this one – Cheek Pops are a hit (with me). Berry Pop is my other favourite.

I also find them really convenient and compact to shove in my handbag and top up on colour if I am going out in the evening.

Clinique’s Cheek Pops cost £16.50 each and are available at all Clinique counters now.

*PR samples

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posted by on REN, Skin Care

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RENclarifyingtoner

As someone who dutifully cleanses skin daily, there is one part of the process that I have been awfully lacklustre in – using a toner.

Caroline Hirons spotted this omission and gently slapped my wrist. Yes, I’m fortunate to have trouble-free skin, I drink more water than I used to, I don’t smoke and I always take my make-up off no matter how tired I am but my cheeks always look so dehydrated and that’s because I am not using a toner. Hnnnnnnnnngh, I know that’s bloody terrible but come on, I am being honest! I’ve just been dismissive of using a toner and also lazy.

So for the past couple of weeks, I have religiously been using an exfoliating (followed by a hydrating toner) after cleansing and good golly, Miss Molly my skin is happily glowing as a result of it.

Let’s focus on the exfoliating toner. After reading several beauty blogs, I settled for REN’s Clarimatte Clarifying Toner, which has also earned high praise from customers on its website. Suitable for combination and oily skin types, it is also alcohol-free and therefore absolutely recommended for twice daily use. Toners containing alcohol are harsh for your skin and unbearable (I noticed the discomfort with using Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion 2).

In less than two weeks using REN’s Clarrimatte Clarifying Toner has massively improved my complexion. My skin appears smooth, soft and it has removed the dehydrated areas on my face. I know this because blusher no longer looks patchy on my cheeks.

The toner also feels wonderfully calming and soothing, and I’m sure my skin lets out a happy sigh every time I use it. I bought it for £18 but currently a 150ml is only £12 on REN’s website, which is not to be scoffed at. I would irk at paying a lot more and thankfully REN is grounded on its pricing.

I bought the toner directly from REN’s site which offers a lovely incentive – 10% off your favourite REN product for life. I have a feeling the Clarimatte Clarifying Toner has cemented its place in my skincare routine – really, really chuffed with the results.

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