Monthly Mustreads No.4

Welcome to the fourth edition of my Monthly Mustreads (you can find the rest here) where I jabber on about my favourite books of the moment. When it comes to books I mainly read around the fantasy genre, but also of course beauty and fashion. Other areas I love are books about films. What are you favourite book genres? For Christmas I received a few books that I've wanted for ages and two of which are the books you see above; The Grand Budapest Hotel and the new illustrated copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Received any books this Christmas?

If you're a regular reader then you'll know I'm super with Harry Potter; so much so that news that artist Jim Kay was reimagining our beloved characters on page made my day. On his website you can see the journey he took from rough sketches to the beautifully coloured art that you see on each page. This has to be my favourite illustrations of the Harry Potter series and I hope he does them all eventually! Each gorgeous page is embellished my a neat splatter of paint and I couldn't have imagined a better way to bring Harry Potter back to books. What do you think?
One of my favourite movies of 2014 was Wes Anderson's masterpiece The grand Budapest Hotel; I love his style of directing and he always has a stellar line up of actors that bring the story to life. The film follows a hilariously intelligent Hotel manager, M. Gustave, escaping jail and death whilst teaching his new lobby boy Zero all he needs to know to survive in the Hotel business and there's nowhere better to do that than at the Grand Budapest. If you have't seen this tale of friendship, coming of age and acceptance, I highly recommend you watch it soon. 
One things for sure, this book is not the story Wes Anderson based the film on; instead, it's an in-depth look at the characters, the making of the set and what went into putting all the pieces of the story together. If you loved the film then why not read about how it was made? The costumes, the creative directions, the music and the art are revealed in this beautiful book. Its a must have. 
What are your mustread books of the moment? Read any of mine?

Top people to follow on Snapchat

For me snapchat isn't just about socialising with close friends. Its a unique opportunity to experience and see parts of other peoples lives, namely celebs, that normally you wouldn't get to see at all. Following people like Rosie Huntington Whitely for example, can be very handy in that she always posts her makeup and skincare products so we can see what she uses (all of which automatically go on the wishlist). I've read dozens of articles in magazines telling you who you must follow and of those people and some I've followed myself, I've made a list of the people who I most enjoy/benefit from following. Who do you follow?

1. Pop Sugar @popsugarmag
2. ASOS @asosfashion
3. Charlotte Tilbury @ctilburymakeup
4. Claire Marshall @heyclairehey
5. Cosmo @cosmomag
6. Estée Lalonde @essie_button
7. Jordyn Woods @jordynnwoodss
8. Rosie Huntington-Whitely @RosieHW
9. Gigi Hadid @itsgigihadid
10. Jayde Pierce @jaydepierce
11. Kylie Jenner @kylizzlemynizzl
12. Mario Dedivanovic @makeupbymario
13. Pia Mia @princesspiamia
14. Sophia Amoruso @sophiaamoruso
15. Val Mercado @val.jpg

Don't forget to add me on Snapchat for a nosy in on my life outside the blog (mostly more beauty stuff, ootd's and selfies)! All you do is press and hold when in camera mode and it will add me! Feel free to leave your usernames below so we can add you too, mines asocalledbeauty.

Follow any of these accounts already? Who are your faves?

My Current Blemish Solutions

Whilst my skincare routine can sometimes fluctuate from product to product, I like to stick with some particular blemish creams/serums that are effective on my skin, for the long hall. In winter my skin is the most sensitive it can get and I often have to deal with a lot of pesky blemishes mostly on my T-zone. Today I thought I'd share my go-to and current favourite blemish solutions that are really working for me right now. What are yours? What are your main skin concerns in the winter months?

La Roche Posay's Effaclar Duo [+] (£11, Feel Unique) is a cult classic and using it is a daily ritual of mine. Even when my skin isn't blemished, I like to use it around my nose and on my forehead to protect against future spots appearing and get rid of any white heads. If you go to the gym or workout at home, the build up of sweat on your face is one of the biggest causes of spots appearing, so I like to make sure my skin is fully ready for that. Duo [+] is a step up from the original Duo, but the line has always been fantastic. My skin feels fresh, smooth and my pores unclogged after every use. 
A new addition to my go-to blemish solutions is Cellnique's Skin Action Sebum Gel* (Naturawhite, £31). Oily skin on the T-zone is a key issue for me, not to mention black and white heads (especially on my nose). To achieve visibly smooth, radiant skin, I've been using this gel daily for the last while now and I really can see the difference. For those of you not familiar with Cellnique, they're branching out to the UK having taken Asia by storm (one of these tubes is bought every 40 seconds over there!), providing professional products with real results. This sebum gel, unclogs pores, softens skin and reduces black/white heads whilst always locking in the needed moisture. I highly recommend you give it a try!
My final serum is by Britain's no. 1 skincare clinic, Sk:n. On the stronger, more fast acting side of things, their Anti Blemish Control Serum* (Sk:n, £26) is my go-to saviour when my skin needs immediate help. Picture this; you wake up in the morning or take your make up off after a long day only to find several nasty new blemishes have suddenly appeared. In that kind of situation I like to rely on the Salicylic Acid in this serum to take action as fast as possible. When applying this serum after a cleanse, you get a slight tingle on the skin however the eventual effects are much appreciated. The skin is less red and those harsh blemishes are significantly reduced. Phew.

What are your current go-to blemish solutions? Tried any of mine?
*This post contains press gifted samples, all opinions are my own.

Blogger Christmas Giveaway Day 9 - Sandy Theme

The days are zooming by and Day 9 is already here! For today's Blogger Christmas Giveaway, I have collaborated the Etsy store Sandy Theme. I love their templates because they have such a range to chose from; whether you're a fashion, beauty, lifestyle, or photography blogger, Sandy Theme has you covered. These templates are lush, expertly designed and super easy to navigate. Another exciting feature of this collab is that Sandy Theme have created a unique coupon code to use throughout the store for you guys! Enter Christmas10 for 50% offWhat do you look for in a blog design? Want a new template for 2016?

Trust me, you will get lost looking through Sandy Theme's templates, they're stunning. As they are all responsive blog templates, they include share buttons, scrolling top bars, unique add ons and gadgets, plus so much more. If you're looking for a new, sophisticated, modern and chic look for blog, I highly recommend going to Sandy Theme on Etsy. Here are my favourites:

Rosepin, £20  - Live demo

FashionQ, £26 - Live demo

Rosevalley, £20 - Live demo

Jasmine, £20 - Live demo

Zadory, £20 - Live demo

What do you think of todays giveaway post? Entered any others?

Blogger Christmas Giveaway Day 8 - Girl In The City Designs

We are coming to the last of my Christmas Blogger Giveaway's but this one is one of the best. I've collabed with the Etsy store Girl In The City Designs and it's owner Lisa has also given my readers a coupon code to purchase her lovely templates at a  reduced price. Lisa's templates are ideal for fashion, beauty and lifestyle so Girl In The City Designs are not short of choices for your blog! Looking for a new blog design in 2016?

Girl In The City Designs range from simple, cute and chic, with an edge. Fully customisable and responsive, you're blog will look modern and high tech with one of Lisa's gorgeous templates. Here are my favourites:

Mint & Marvel, £24 - Live demo

Dear Diary, £16  - Live demo

The Avenue, £16 - Live demo

Emilee, £16 - Live demo

Girl In The City Designs Template of your choice!
What do you think of Girl In The City Designs? Looking for a new blog design for 2016?

Blogger Christmas Giveaway Day 7 - Themes Art Design

Welcome to Day 7 of my Blogger Christmas Giveaway series! Today I'm collaborating with Marcus from Themes Art Design for beautiful Wordpress Themes (and a beautiful Blogger one too) on Etsy. You may have noticed that recently my blog has had a serious change especially my template. I adore the way it looks now and I couldn't be happier with the results. I opted for Marcus' store and chose the theme Helen for Blogger. What do you think?

As well as Helen, Themes Art Design have 4 sensational Wordpress templates that have everything you could ever want in a blog template. Marcus also offers Theme Installation (basic and advanced), Font change and custom orders, all at very reasonable prices. He also offers a Wordpress Responsive Theme package with a blog template and a magazine template! As for the Blog templates, here are my favourites:

Claire, £24 - Live demo

Vomoda, £24 - Live demo

Christine, £24 - Live demo

Diane, £24 - Live demo

Themes Art Design Wordpress/Blogger Template!
What do you think of Marcus' Etsy store? Which is your favourite template?

Farfetch Fashion Challenge - Dolce & Gabbana

When I think of Dolce & Gabbana I think about Italian luxury, classic silhouettes and a regal take on all things at the heart of european Fashion. Each season I am blown away by the elegant, yet modern representation of their all Italian aesthetic. Thanks to Farfetch, I have the opportunity to create my own unique set of Dolce & Gabbana pieces surrounding one of their many iconic Sicily bags. I've created three looks surrounding some of my favourite Sicily tote bags that I feel fully embody Dolce & Gabbana's all Italian meets modern look this season. What do you love about Dolce & Gabbana?

The first Sicily Tote I chose to work with is this beautifully and intricately designed bag; its pops of pink and red work well with the detailed and artistic overlay. It reminds me of stain glass windows in old Italian churches and monasteries; it has an almost religious element to it. The main feature of the outfit is the gorgeous Cut-out Embroidered Brocade Shorts. Once tucked in, the Floral Lace Bib Blouse adds to the silhouette and creates the base of the look. My choice of footwear had to be the Pump Over-the-knee Sock Boots perfectly complementing the shorts. To finish the look off, the only coat that I felt truly embodied the classic Italian style true to this collection was the Fox Fur Collar Cape; it adds much sophistication and effortlessness.

For my second look, I worked around a very similar Sicily Tote bag with, this time around, a red, yellow and pink base complemented by the gorgeous Italian art we saw previously. When styling around such colour and design intricacy, I stuck with more block colours starting with the Lace Trim Strappy Dress. It's chic lace detail added layers without clashing with the other textures. For this look, a flat pair of shoes gave it a street style element with the Embellished Brogue Chelsea Boots, perfect for Italian street wear. The Fringe Knitted Cape gives the look an oversized quality and I think it really suits the dress as well as allows the bag to have the impact it deserves. 

My final look is probably my favourite look of the three; I chose to base it around a Sicily tote Backpack with a more edgy side, embellished by fur in an awesome shade of red. Red is probably the most iconic colour to truly embody the rich Italian fashion of Dolce & Gabbana. The Floral Crocheted Lace Shirt adds texture to this look and tucked into the Child's Illustration Skirt, they complement each other perfectly. I adore this combination, but lastly to add more edginess to the look  I chose some Stiletto Booties; these boots are truly beautiful and add a final testament to this classic Italian chic look. 

Own any Dolce & Gabbana? Like my three looks? Which is your favourite?
*This post is in collaboration with Farfetch, for more info visit my disclaimer page. 

Blogger Christmas Giveaway Day 6 - Labina Studio

For Day 6 of my Blogger Christmas Giveaway series I've collaborated with Gatra Labina of Labina Studio, seller of Custom and Premade Blogger templates. Today is the opportunity to explore an Etsy store with some of the most chic, modern designs that will totally revamp your blog and update its look. It's Christmas and that only means one thing; the new year is rapidly approaching. Why not make the change for 2016? What do you look for in a blog design?

Labina Studio works with a chic simplicity that makes colours pop and ideas multiply. The very basic looks of some templates are complemented by a high tech, modern format, something that draws people in instantly. Here are some of my favourites:

The New Yorkshire, £8 - Live demo

Belle Plagne, £12 - Live demo

The Wine Route, £12 - Live demo

Gatra is allowing me to giveaway one of her premade blogger templates to one lucky winner; I have chosen the template New Yorkshire to giveaway this Christmas. Enter below:

Labina Studio Blog Template of your choice!
What do you think of Gatra's templates? Looking for a new template for 2016?

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