July, 2011


26
Jul 11

Fresh Summer Makeup

I sometimes get a bit unimaginative with my makeup and don’t really switch it around enough to suit the changing seasons. I vary my wardrobe but often find that although I am constantly experimenting with different products, I generally end up with the same kind of look. You know, a grey or brown smoky eye with black eyeliner (always!) and a good helping of bronzer.

So I decided to go for something a whole lot lighter and brighter, with a pop of colour rather than the naturals and greys I tend to opt for. And no black eye liner in sight!!

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So to get this look I used mainly Max Factor products, which I have to say, I really do like. You get great quality makeup and brilliant value for money.

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I started off with Max Factor’s Smooth Effect foundation, to create a clean, flawless base, for the Summer colours to stand out against. It’s a fab foundation – really easy to apply (I used an AOFM small foundation brush) and concentrated on the t-zone and blended outwards. You get a lovely smooth finish.

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I powdered it very lightly, in fact hardly at all. Enough to set it but leaving it fresh and light. Next eyes…

Max Factor’s Smoky Eye Effect chunky pens are seriously easy to use. They are double ended, labelled step 1 and step 2 and you pretty much draw them on, blend with your finger and the job is done. I used Pink Plume – with the light pink colour over the lid, and the purpley mauvie colour in the socket. Simples!

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I then just lined both the top and bottom lashes with Max Factor’s Liquid Effect Pencil in Lilac Flame, put a tiny bit of Max Factor’s False Lash Effect Fusion mascara on (which I use most days) and left it at that!

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I used ‘Cheek 1′ Blusher from Airbase on the apples of my cheeks, to give a subtle rosy glow. For the lips, I used Max factor’s Lipfinity Lasting Tint in 04, let it dry for a minute, then slicked over my fave Burt’s Bees lip balm with Mango Butter.

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And that’s the lot! It all took less than 10 minutes. I want to say 5, but that would be showing off!! And it felt a lot fresher and lighter. I am going to see how long I can stay away from the black liner for!!

Ree
xxx


25
Jul 11

Summer Style Essentials: The Maxi Dress

A good maxi dress is hard to find. I never thought it would be, because I see so many girls looking utterly gorgeous in them, like this beauty (above)  in Betty Jackson Autumn Winter 11, at London Fashion Week. But when I have tried, there have been serious issues.

Generally, the straps are never wide enough to conceal my bra, the bulk of fabric completely hides my waist,  I lose all definition, and end up feeling kind of big, blobby and a bit clumsy. Not at all glam and willowy like the other girls in maxis!!

But recently, I found my maxi dress. My ultimate maxi dress!! It perfectly covers my bra straps, has extra room in the bust, cinches my waist at the smallest part (hallelujah) and is the perfect floor skimming length in flats (I am 5’6″ FYI).

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The bust has a sexy cut, and as long as you are wearing the right size bra, there’s no unflattering spillage. It’s fully lined, so no nasty clinging and it flows over the body like a dream.

And here’s how I found it…

Earlier in the year, I was introduced to a clothing range called Pepperberry (from bra experts Bravissimo), which in a nutshell, sells clothes designed with boobs in mind! Pepperberry clothes come in sizes 8-18 but the most important part is that each of these sizes will come in three different bust sizes – Curvy, Really Curvy and Super Curvy.

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Curvy is similar to a normal high street size whilst Really Curvy and Super Curvy are for the girls with bigger boobage. This really appealed to me as I am a tad top heavy, and generally find the upper body fabric allowance in many clothes a little on the stingy side. I’ve been waiting ever since for the Summer drop to hit stores. And my maxi dress came with it!

The cut on the mid section is so flattering that even if you don’t have bigger boobs, you could seriously fall for this dress (just go for the Curvy fit).

Maxi’s are a summer suitcase definite. They are a perfect cover up for early holiday pasty legs – although never my problem owing to my fake tan addiction, great for daytime over swimwear, and night time for going out. What more could you ask for from any item of clothing?

Oh I know! That it doesn’t crease, will ping out of your case ready to wear, and that you can chuck it in the washing machine with no need to iron. Check, check, check! My dress does it all!! It certainly earns its £69 price tag.

If it could apply SPF to my back and watch my son in the swimming pool, I could virtually never want for anything else on my hols!! Excited!

And now I’ll go and calm down!

Ree

xxx


21
Jul 11

The Cutest Boots and the Newest Nails!

Right! Well I really can’t wait for these but I am going to have to,  because both these unique products don’t hit stores until September 2011! It’s all about hands and feet!

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To start off, I have completely fallen in love with these super cute boots I spotted at a press showroom the other day. They are the result of a clever collaboration between Clarks Originals and Scottish fairtrade company, Thistle and Broom.

And I have fallen in love not only because they are super cute…. and not only because they are seriously limited edition (there will only be 1200 pairs) but because the lovely woolly bits were knitted by nanas!! Well actually that’s a certain breakfast cereal isn’t it, but you get the gist!

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Basically, the wool used in this fab twist on the desert boot (remember those?) was sourced from the historic New Lanark Mill, which produces a superb organic range of Aran, double knitting and Chunky yarns. Then 35 handknitters living across Scotland got to work! Amazing!! A footwear classic meets Thistle and Broom’s Shetland heritage…

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I think they would look gorgeous with skinny jeans and cosy cuddly cardigan. You can tell the weather has been rubbish in London again!

My other September product is from FashionistA at Superdrug. FashionistA is an all new makeup brand that’s promising high end quality at high street prices. I managed to try out some of this fabbie new magnetic nail polish.

It’s crazy stuff. You paint on one coat, hold the magnet over it for a second, and then this special effect happens! It comes in five shades – I’m wearing two of them here. The purple mainly, with the grey just on my ring fingers as an accent. They will be £6 each.

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It looks quite hypnotic, and so different to the millions of other nail products I’ve tried. And it has already provoked a ton of compliments. In my opinion, this knocks the socks off all the crackle polishes, which I have to say I never really went for. I always thought the crackle looked like a polish gone wrong, whereas this looks like a polish gone oh so right!

So whilst I do love to live in the moment, and I never want to wish my life away, September does have lots to look forward to!

Ree

XXX


20
Jul 11

Summer Nails: Neon Brights

I am a nail polish addict. I always wear colour and I think Summer is a great time to really have fun with it. I had some cool multi-colour pastel nails not long ago, courtesy of Barry M, and I had so many compliments that I’ve been desperate to go there again. Even the postman was loving them!

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This time I went for brights.  Zingy, neon, eye grabbing colours that are super fabbie and fun. Even if the sun isn’t shining, these will inject some light into your day.

If you want to try this, but you’re not quite sure which colours to choose, it might help to get yourself some colours in a set like I did. It just gives you a bit more confidence to go for it. These polishes are from MeMeMe and are £14.99 for the set. They’d make a nice pressie too.

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They go on really nicely, dry super fast and have a lovely shiny finish. The picture of my nails above have no top coat on, so it’s fast track to perfection! And if you’re not feeling brave enough to go completely multi-coloured, you could always just have one different colour on your ring finger. Might try that next!

More Summer fun coming soon…

Ree

XXX


19
Jul 11

Miss America Hits London

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I was offered the chance to meet and interview Miss America and it seemed so different and interesting that I leapt at it.

Beforehand, I tried not to think about it too much because there was a whole stack of preconceptions just waiting to jump into my head and cloud my judgement. You know, all the usual stuff about pageant queens wanting to look pretty in their tiaras whilst single handedly saving the world and all that good stuff! So I just waited to see what Miss America would be like.

And I have to say, she was pretty amazing. Now I must give her a name. Obviously Miss America is a rather show stopping title but she is actually called Teresa Scanlon, an incredibly nice, normal and intelligent girl from Nebraska, USA. She was crowned Miss Amercia six months ago and it goes without saying that it has been a hugely life changing experience for her. Before winning, she was working in her local grocery store.

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And Theresa really isn’t your typical beauty queen. She wasn’t primed from a baby, but got involved in pageantry fairly late on and then fast tracked it from a city title, to a state one as Miss Nebraska, then powered straight to Miss America. You go girl!

I asked her why she thought she had been so successful, but as we talked more, the reason became strikingly apparent. She is probably the most ‘together’ 18 year old I have ever spoken to. She was really rather impressive.  Incredibly self-possessed and on the ball, whilst been charming and endearing all at once. Now that’s a skill.

She spoke convincingly about the fashion brand, Joseph Ribkoff that she is here in the UK to promote. Ribkoff is her official designer and she sang the praises of the versatility and wearability of the brand, and it’s ability to suit all body shapes and sizes. Teresa told me that she travels approximately 20,000 miles per month so her clothes have to match up to that challenge. All the pieces in the Joseph Ribkoff collection are super travel friendly and come straight out of the case ready to wear. She puts this down to the quality of the fabric and design.

This is incredibly appealing to me. I have never ironed and never will!! I base all my clothes buying decisions with this factor in mind!

I got a chance to look through the new Autumn Winter 2011 collection for Joseph Ribkoff. It had a very classic, timeless style, with some trend pieces mixed in. Here are some of my favourites:

 

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Teresa spent quite some time talking about the fact that you don’t have to be a skinny minny to look good in these clothes, and this is obviously something she finds really important. As part of her Miss America mission, she champions a campaign to promote positive body image and prevent eating disorders in young girls. In the environment where everything is about what you look like, she has taken on a very responsible role to remind girls that they must treat their bodies well to stay healthy and strong. Teresa said she could not do the job she does without looking after her self and nourishing her body properly. And she is the vision of health for sure!

It was a really wonderful experience to spend time with her. And now I can say I’ve met Miss America! What a funny life I lead!

Ree

xxx


18
Jul 11

Top Tips For Faking It!!

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Self tan can be your best friend if you do it right, but your worst enemy if it all goes streaky-freaky. Get the perfect glow and you can cut down on make-up, get your legs out without the fear of blinding people and most importantly it means you don’t have to waste hours of your life sunbathing which can lead to premature skin ageing, and worst of all, skin cancer.

I have a naturally very pale skin tone, and after years of denial and pointless sunbathing, I finally accepted this fact and have been using self tanner all year round ever since.

Here are my tips for getting a perfect, natural-looking tan straight from the bottle.

Exfoliate.

To ensure you have a lovely smooth canvass on which to apply the tan, it is crucial to exfoliate in the shower before applying self tan. Pay particular attention to dry skin areas, such as knees, ankles, elbows and hands because the self tan will stick to any rough patches and appear darker than the rest of your skin. I have been using a lovely scrub from French beauty brand Melvita. Their Algascience Body Scrub is gorgeously gritty and contains Silica granules to exfoliate. It is super gentle at the same time. The formulation foams up slightly and keeps the exfoliating particles together, so they don’t just rinse straight off like a lot of other scrubs. It costs £16 but you don’t need too much so it will last a while. It contains lots of lovely marine ingredients such as Laminaria Seaweed and Fucus Vesiculosus (bladderwrack to you and me!) to smooth and improve the texture 0f your skin.

 

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If you don’t want to stretch to £16, one of my budget favourites is the new addition to the body range from iconic brand, Palmers. It’s fabulously rich and has good sized bits of crushed cocoa beans that are gentle yet very good at lifting dry skin. The best thing about this (apart from the price – £4.99) is the smell. It’s yummy chocolate. Delish! You can pick that up in Boots. It’s getting brilliant reviews and has already been shortlisted for Stylist Skincare Awards 2011-12 in the best body scrub category.

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Protect the danger areas!

It is always a good idea to apply some moisturiser to drier areas, again, knees, ankles, elbows and hands. Make sure you rub it in well. Another good tip is to apply a very small amount of moisturiser along your eyebrows and on your hairline.  The moisturiser will reduce the absorption of the tan to those areas and ensure you are not left with any tell-tale signs. I usually use a moisturiser for dry skin, and the new one from Dove, Indulgent Nourishment with Shea Butter, is a current fave. It costs £5.10 at Boots and I find it a very effective moisturiser as it is very soothing on my dry skin and absorbs quickly.

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Apply!

My favourite fake tan at the moment is Lauren’s Way, the new tanning range from Lauren Goodger of The Only Way Is Essex. Don’t be put off by celeb endorsement and TOWIE associations; it gives a very realistic golden tan. The formula comes in lotion or mousse varieties and both are super easy to apply. The mousse is light and glides over the skin giving a great even coverage, buffs easily and dries almost instantly. The lotion has a wonderful fresh smell and is slippy and slidy which makes it very easy to work with. The colour comes out very dark at first, but don’t be scared as it easily blends into a natural looking tan. Both formulas have the least self tan (biscuit!) smell I have ever experienced from all the millions of different products I have tried.  They give instant colour but also develop over 12 hours into a long wear tan which last on me for about 7 days.

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My preference is to use a tanning mitt to apply the product as I think they help achieve the most even coverage and are very effective in buffing the colour onto the skin. You can pick them up from Boots, Marks & Spencer or Superdrug and they cost around £4. Some people prefer latex gloves – both will protect you from the dreaded orange palms! Put a small amount of product, about the size of a fifty pence piece on to the mitt and then apply in circular motions. I usually start with my legs and work up. The key is to do it quickly. If you use a self-tan with an instant tint for colour guidance, it is easier to see where you have applied and to ensure even coverage.

The back is tricky! If you are doing it yourself, it involves a lot of stretching and huffing and puffing!! You can buy a long wand applicator but I tend to manage by applying over my shoulders and downwards, and then from my lower back upwards. Ideally it’s best if someone helps but this isn’t always possible (or desirable!) so I go it alone! It is actually possible to cover your whole back you just have to attack it from every angle!!

I use fake tan on my face but just what is left on the mitt, never the actual dispensed product. It is such a small area that you need hardly any product at all so don’t be tempted to over-apply. It’s a good idea to tone your face immediately before to tighten pores and stop too much product getting into them. Fake tan freckles, where the product gathers in concentrated spots in the pores,  are best avoided. My fave toner at the moment is the Eve Taylor Aromatherapy Balancing Toner. It is light, gentle and soothing and contains Rose Otto and Neroli which makes it smell heavenly.

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The moisturiser you have already applied should protect your brows and hairline. Don’t forget to sweep the mitt quickly over the ears as you want them to match as well! Then I take a dry tissue and wipe it across my upper lip to remove any excess product. No-one wants a tan tash!

The finisher is to get a dry flannel and some moisturiser and gently buff the wrist to avoid a line where your palm starts. If you see any other areas where the tan appears too concentrated, do the same gentle buffing.

What happens next…

Tinted self tans can appear very dark at first, but this is mainly due to the colour guide that provides instant colour and allows you to easily see where you have applied the product. It will wash off when you next shower, so don’t be scared. It is best to leave the tan on overnight to develop and avoid getting wet or sweaty(!) for at least 8 hours after application. Try to cover up as much as you can to avoid getting tan on the bed sheet, but don’t worry if that happens because it will wash out. Wear loose clothing until the time is up so you don’t rub off your tan while it develops.

Moisturise well after your shower, where the colour tint will wash away leaving you with tanned looking skin underneath. Keeping your tan hydrated is key to ensuring even fade and increasing the life of your tan, so I’ve been using the creamy but non-greasy Palmer’s Original Cocoa Butter – it smells chocolatey and is apparently a fave for Kimberley Walsh, Cheryl Cole and Jessie J.  As an added bonus, it’s super cheap – just £3.67 for 150mls at Boots.

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Maintenance.

Daily moisturising is a must. Do a very light scrub with exfoliator on the third day after tanning. This will help the tan to fade evenly and prepare your skin for more tan, should you fancy a top up.

If you want to completely remove the tan for a fresh start, I recommended a 10 minute soak in the bath and then just lifting the tan off with a  flannel. Soak the flannel in water and firmly rub over the skin. If it hasn’t all gone, try the tried and tested trick of wiping your skin with milk-soaked cotton wool – the enzymes in the milk are naturally exfoliating so you’ll be back to a lovely clean canvass and can start all over again.

I wish you happy tanning!!

Ree

xxx


18
Jul 11

A Colour and Cut Above.

 Another thing to get in shape for Summer is your barnet. It’s a good idea to get your colour refreshed, have a good trim and then really protect it from the sun. I recently had mine sorted.

Now I have to say that I sometimes find hair salons quite intimidating. You know, the moment you walk in you sometimes feel the whole place stops and looks to see whether you are ‘cool’ (for want of a better word) enough, to be allowed in. The fact that the best word I can think of is ‘cool’ most definitely guarantees that I’m not, and I have spent many an uncomfortable experience sat staring at myself and waiting for it to be over.

It really wasn’t the case when I went to Four London. I felt instantly welcomed and the atmosphere was genuinely inviting and warm. I was disarmed immediately. 

Utterly delightful and a hair genius indeed, Denise took control of my mop, was incredibly polite about my DIY dip dye (always appreciated) and made exciting suggestions about the subtle colour changes I could make to completely lift my style. I agreed with every word and we went for it.

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Denise is second from the left.

And I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I have never loved my hair so much. The colour is amazing, it complements my summer skin tone (all fake) perfectly and transforms my locks from dull to delish! I LOVE it. Combined with a gorgeous cut which has actually managed to make my hair look longer (very important as I’m growing it) and the queen of all blow dries, I walked out of Four with celebrity swagger. I was completely in love…with me!!

Check me out!!!

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I love it!
Ree
XXX

15
Jul 11

Meeting Gok Wan!!

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I have to tell you about this because I love Gok.  He seems such a lovely, kind, fun, vivacious person on TV. His twitter  personality is amazing.  He is constantly smiling and saying fabulous, positive things about people, and I suppose that sometimes you just start to wonder whether it’s too good to be true. Is he really that nice?

I was at the Boots ‘Christmas in July’ event the other day (I know….crazy), and my heart leapt when I spotted Gok. And then it sank. Because I suddenly started to panic about whether he could live up to this amazing person I had perceived him to be.

What if I galloped over trying to hug him (as sometimes happens uncontrollably) and then he ignores me, or doesn’t smile, or worse…??? I so wasn’t prepared to be disillusioned.

Anyway, I was brave, threw caution to the wind and galloped over to him. And you know what? I really needn’t have worried because he was completely amazing. Exactly the person you see on TV. Friendly, funny and flattering… Gok really is Gok!! I was so happy!! Phewph…

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Check out my grin. EAR TO EAR!!

Gok was participating in some fun banter, and friendly rivalry with product competitor Project D, Dannii Minogue’s new skincare line, and he was really hilarious.

He made a comment about my ‘fabulous rack’ (I had a bit of a plunging neckline) and then had a cheeky feel in true Gok style!! So funny!

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Gok proudly chatted through his Christmas product range for Boots, which I have to say is really very good. Delicious body products to get you party perfect and some fabulous accessories too. The packaging is gorgeous and would make a super stylish addition to your bedroom or bathroom.

New for Christmas 2011 is a gorgeous range in dusky pink and antique gold. It looks really classy.

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The range will be in store at Boots around November time and that is definitely enough of Christmas for now!

Back to Summer for the next post. See you there!

Ree

xxx


14
Jul 11

Summer Beauty Essentials: Payot Elixir Beauty Oil

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So to kick off this new blog, I thought it would be useful to focus on the here and now. So let’s talk about Summer…

My beauty regime definitely changes as the temperature rises (or fluctuates wildly, to be more realistic about the British climate) and I wanted to chat to you about some of the products I am using.

And to start off I thought I’d share a new discovery I’ve made.  A super delish multi-tasking oil that will be your holiday best friend, Payot Elixir is the first thing to pack for your summer hols. It comes in a 100ml spray bottle so you can’t get in trouble with those pesky security peeps at the airport, and it’s really easy to use.

The Elixir smells completely divine, can be used on your face, body and hair and will be the perfect solution for the extra stress the sun puts on us. The luscious dry oil contains extracts of Myrrh & Amyris combined with rice, hazelnut & almond oils. The aroma instantly conjures up Summer and sun and all that loveliness, just yummy!

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I have literally been spritzing it all over.  It’s fab for hair overnight and leaves it feeling super soft and nourished.

Here are Payot’s 5 beauty secrets & tips:

BEAUTY SECRET No. 1: Lightly massage ÉLIXIR all over your body, concentrating on your décolleté, arms and hands for a satiny effect and a nourished, beautiful-looking body.

BEAUTY SECRET No. 2: Spray ÉLIXIR in the palm of your hand and apply directly on your skin to give your face a beautiful glow. For even greater radiance, mix your night cream and a spray of ELIXIR in the palm of your hand, then apply on your face and neck.

BEAUTY SECRET No. 3: Spray ELIXIR on your hands and lightly rub into the ends of your hair for a natural beautifying effect.

BEAUTY SECRET No. 4: Spray a generous amount of ÉLIXIR on your hair and cover it with a warm towel for 10 minutes before shampooing to give it extra shine and softness.

BEAUTY SECRET No. 5: Add a few sprays of ÉLIXIR to your bath water for a genuine moment of sensuality and well-being.

 

Fabbie!!! Pack this for your holidays and you really won’t need much else other than your SPF and your makeup bag!

The Payot Elixir costs £31. For stockists call 0207 494 6220

Stay tuned for more Summer faves!

Ree

xxx


12
Jul 11

Hello! This is Ree…


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Hello lovely people and welcome to my brand new fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog created especially for Hello!

Hello! is a magazine that means an awful lot to me. It was probably one of my first glimpses at the glamorous and stylish lives that the beautiful people lead, and massively influential in my own attempts at a stylish life.

And so here I am, with my own little blog for Hello! itself! And, as you can imagine, I am feeling super excited!! Yay!

What I want to share with you, as the title may give away, are my attempts at living a stylish life. The clothes, the makeup, the lotions and potions, where I go, what I do and who I meet.

Since I started my blog, just one short year ago, a whole new world has opened up to me, and I am loving life more than I ever have before. I go to fun events, get to try lots of great new stuff and generally get the scoop on the latest must-have styles and products. I get to meet some amazing people and usually get terribly overwhelmed and then gush about them in the girliest, most indulgent way! I just can’t help it!

I am in love with beautiful things and interesting people, and spend my time trying to find tips and treatments to make the most of what I was born with. I adore high end fashion, but can afford high street fashion and have lots of fun trying to bridge the gap between the two.

I’d love it if you’d join me and my Attempts At A Stylish Life - I promise it will be interesting! (Well if you like that kind of thing…)

And I’d love to hear what you think. So if you are inclined to leave me a comment - whatever it may be - that would make me very happy indeed!

Wish me luck….

Ree

xxx

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