MariesConnections

A beauty, lifestyle & photography blog.

This is my number 2 from my "5 Things" series, basically its a round up of 5 things that I love for the past few months it could be from beauty, food, fashion, book, art etc. basically anything that rock my world. Its a bit like a monthly favourites but without being every month. My 1st one from back November 2018 (which you can find here) went down a treat so lets welcome No 2 episode!


BOOK

Christelle Dabos - Les Fiancés De L'Hiver - Part 1.
If you really like  Philipp Pulman books such as The Northern Lights, The Amber Spyglass etc. then you will love Les Fiancés De L'Hiver -Part 1 by Christelle Dabos and don't worry the talented young French author from South of France (oh! hello my home country!) had her book translated in English so look out for the English version: A winter's Promise - Part 1
The Plot-
Long ago, following a cataclysm called "The Tear", the world was shattered into many floating celestial islands. Known now as Arks, each has developed in distinct ways and a different pace; each seems to possess its own unique relationship to time. Ophelia lives on Anima, an ark where objects have souls, with which Ophélia can communicate. When she is promised in marriage to Thorn, from the powerful Dragon clan, Ophélia must leave her family and follow her fiancée to the floating capital on the distant Ark of the Pole. Though she doesn't know it yet, she has become a pawn in a deadly plot"
My though-
I read that book in a matter of days. As soon as I had a moment , basically when not running after my toddler, I would grab it and read few pages just so I could satisfied my reading thirst. The imagination behind is grandiose and you felt transported by the story and his heroes. This story embark you in a twisted tale of betrayed, death, jealousy but also kindness and hope in a world beyond your imagination. You live and breath with the characters. I purchased lately Part 2 which I am hoping to start as soon as I finish my current read (Artemis by Andy Weir) . anyway if you like fantasy world then get it, you won't regret it.


MUSIC

Bibio -Curls
I am a huge fan of Bibio since, my now husband, introduced them to me about 6 years ago. They are not widely known and that's a shame (or perhaps make it more unique?) either way they are my type of music. I am not a fan of actual pop musics artist for me someone talentless like Beyonce, Ariana etc.  just bored me to death and are soul destroying. I know shocking! But its my blog and my opinion.

I am always on the look out for little know brand and Bibio is one of my favourite along with Tycho (which I am so excited to see at the Green Man festival this year) anyway call me snob or hipster , I dont care I know my taste are different than most average people and I like that fact about me.
Bibio just came out with their new tune : Curls
Listen and judge after. 







SKINCARE 

B. Radiant Day Cream by B. Phase 2.
Sometimes you just want an affordable day cream that offer hydration, SPF and is perfect for your older type of skin (yes I am in my happy 40's) and just like this you find something that didn't cost the world and give you everything that you wish for. This fabulous day cream is the B. radiant Day Cream- Skin phase 2. This cream is from a range of 4 cream phases.
The phase 1 its for younger skin: for 20 to 30 years old , the phase 2 for 30 to 40 years old and so on. 
I cannot stress enough how this very affordable cream is great, its very nourishing but not greasy and won't leave any residue. It is very easy to apply and have a very gentle & subtle perfume. My skin absorb it very quickly and a small amount is more than you need. I even find myself not even using a serum before ( I know shocking!) as I felt my skin so hydrated that nothing else was needed. I just can't believe I only paid £5.35 for 50 ml although, having said that, I have the feeling it was on a special offer at the time I purchased it (I believe actual price is £10.99) so better to grab it now before price go up. Either way this little pot is such an affordable and luxurious cream that would make green of envy more prestigious brands. Try it !!

NETFLIX
Sex Education.
It was a dull afternoon, I felt a bit "meh" and I needed to watch something to make me forget basically ...a shit day. Well its literally what happened when I randomly decided to watch Sex Education on Netflix. In all honestly I was expected a "teenager" series with bad lines, silly story lines and questionable humour, which I would probably have quit after watching one episode. Well....to my surprise it turned out to be quiet the opposite.
I am not really good at reviewing series but it is glorious, funny, heartfelt & eye watering . 40 millions of us tuned in on the first month of release and it is love by so many of us all that series 2 have been confirmed and due to start production this coming spring. If with all that you still don't know what to watch on Netflix then I don't know what else to say? I leave the trailer link below for you to enjoy!








MAKEUP 

Illuminating Touch Foundation by Collection.
I was looking for a while for an affordable dewy kind of foundation, and for some reasons my local Boots & Superdrug did not really seems to stock any? Or at least any of the brand they are hosting. All brands seems to be on the Matt foundation wagon? Until lately when my local Superdrug had a massive renovation and all their makeup stands are now super large and trendy. To my delight they also added extra brands to the makeup area. Anyway long story short they are now offering the Collection makeup stand and I was delighted to find the Illuminating Touch Foundation which seems to be what I was looking for a while.  
I took this bad boy back home and tried it on the next day. Well let me tell you something this little bottle deliver! Not only it give me a nice little glow but also it last hours and it is easy to apply. In all honestly at £5.99 you can't really go wrong. I tried much more expensive foundation in the past ranging from NARS, L'oréal, Bourjois, Chanel etc. and this product delivered like any other higher end makeup.  I actually sometimes wonder why the brand Collection do not get more coverage on blogs etc. is it perhaps its a cheap brand so people are snobbing it or  are too embarrassed to talk about? Who knows? But I love make up and I love trying from all prices from high end to low budget.  Sometimes it fails and sometimes its a win and that s what I love make up so much because you might get the cheapest items on the street and just like this it end up in your top 5 favourites. 





What was your latest favourites?  Tell me all by commenting below.
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Since as far as I can remember I always have a thing for Bumble bee. I mean what is not to love , their cuteness, big butt and their attitude to bump into everything without a care in the world. Pretty much sounds like me really. Perhaps I was a bumble bee in a past life? Who knows? All I know that they are a fascination of mine and I could easily spend hours watching them in my garden flying to flower to flower during spring and summer time. 
So of course with that in mind and my odd fascination I had to get my hand on a bumble bee necklace. This was my goal for the whole 2018. I mean I almost not even exaggerating. 

Then out of nowhere like a bumble bee god heard me or something Lily Rose London appear on few of my social medias with the cutest bumble bee gold necklace ever. I had to have it and lucky enough the day, my husband ask me what I wanted for Christmas, all I had in mind was one thing only and that was Lily Rose bumble bee necklace. It did not go in the hear of a deaf person.
I got his laptop out, I went into the Lily Rose web page and just point at the Bumble Bee necklace with a smile as big as my head and I said: " that is the only thing I wish to have for Christmas along with shed lots of yummy food ". He got the idea...well that's what I though until days later he asked me yet again: " so what do you want for Christmas?" I mean I do not know if men are just here to just not listen to us, women, but that time around I emailed him every other day the link of my bumble bee necklace with title such as: "you still ask your wife what she wants for Christmas here the perfect idea" or "bored to keep asking what she wants, here the perfect gift", "bumble bee by Lily Rose dream necklace perfect for your wife" you get the idea.
I mean if you ever need someone to send reminder emails after reminder email to your love one then DM me for detail.
But in all seriousness he knew I am generally not bother about gift but he could see I was very excited about that one. One evening he came to kiss me tenderly and he then murmur in my hear "I ordered it". 
 Yes !!!! Junk email tactic finally work wonder. And ...."Oh Hello sexy husb of mine" ;)
so here my absolutely beautiful Bumble bee by Lily Rose London in all its glory.


I can only say positive thing about it . I just have love for it. This brand provide quality at affordable price jewellery. I wore, pretty much every day, my Bumble Bee necklace since Christmas and the colour or the precious metal have not a single scratch or mark on it. Also I shall point out for the excellent customer service that my husband share with me back in December last year. 
My necklace was sent late, and Lily Rose London team emailed my husb, few times, to apologise on the delay, as they are a small family run business and they didn't have the facility as other giant companies have. In all honestly, even if I had receive my necklace days after Christmas, I would have not been bother. My partner and I were just happy they care about their customer and we were happy to give our money to a small business. 
Also they also do a Bumble Bee bracelet. I think I would have to order it soon! I may as well have the whole Bumble Bee collection.
PS. They have sale on right now, find the link here.
Do you have a Lily Rose London jewellery? Tell me all by commenting below.
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Its been 2 years since we moved from our small rented one bedroom flat in London to our very own 3 bedrooms house in the heart of the Cotswold. 
Even so we found or dream house, it come with the ex-owner taste. I do respect that everybody have different taste but... When we discover that the ex-owner had a bold and colourful taste and mostly love red bright colour and animal print it surely didn't go hand to hand with my more Bohemian style. But we knew it was only cosmetic and with some good old elbow grease, few hair pulling, bucket of paints and trip after trip to B&Q we would eventually live in our home that reflect us and not someone else 90's home decor. 

Special guest: My cat Pumpkin.


When we first visit our future house the agency sale man was proudly shouting to, whoever wanted to hear, that yet all rooms were a "bit" dated but the master bedroom was actually newly redecorate. 
Yes it was perhaps newly decorate but for me the result resemble more as a 70's porn studio than a stylish newly decorated bedroom. 
The master bedroom have been freshly decorated with zebra print wallpaper, matching zebra curtain (because why not..?), multi grey stripes carpet, zebra print canvas (you may as well) and on the bed the the ex-owner that left behind (she already moved out before selling her place) was covered with an animal print duvet cover. Hello Safari theme !!!
Being who am I had to mention that it was a questionable taste or choice of decor for a master bedroom and certainly the lovely zebra curtain would go along with everything else. 
The agency sale person was not impressed and probably though I was, yet again, another "twat from London".
He was probably right.
2 years later, I can ensure you the zebra print have been sent to a recycle bin, along with the curtain. The animal print duvet cover went happily to a charity shop along with the grey stripy carpet. All gone to be-reused elsewhere but not in my home. 
As I do love a before & after, here how it looks like before (A safari theme in all its glory):

THE BEFORE
  THE IN BETWEEN 
THE INSPIRATION
As most of us, when we are looking for inspiration, there is really 2 places to look: Instagram and Pinterest. Even so I was  inspired by many real home budget design Instagramers such as : Linsdrabwellhomemy_british_homethecraftyfox  and many more my main source  really ( and still is) was Pinterest
My main inspiration was bohemian based but with few touch of luxury detail like gold such as mirror etc. mix with dark navy colour along with grey, white and a touch of mustard/ rusty tones. My Pinterest inspiration board, which you can find here, kind of look like this at the time :

Now that we had an idea of what we wanted it was time to execute.
Walls:

I wanted a dark navy wall but I was not inspired to have the whole bedroom in a dark navy (worrying it would make the room too claustrophobic) I decided for one wall at the back of the bed to give a focus point. The paint chosen was by Dulux but originally we went with a cheaper paint from wicks that was not at all like the sample and turned out to be very chalky, it was a disaster until we paint over with the Dulux paint. 
Floor:

My husband and I did not want a carpet at all. We never been fan or carpet and having now a 2 years old toddler we though it would be much easier to have a wooden floor for cleanness and practicality. Originally we wanted to keep the original floor board but unfortunately we discovered that they were badly done and damaged.
It would have cost a fortune to replace the wooden floor and because we did not have the budget we decided to go with laminated floor. Choosing a laminated floor was a difficult decision due to the amazing range that most DIY shops offer, from thickness, colours and durability. At the end we went for a sturdy 10 mm thick laminated floor that was built to take on furniture weight, wear and tear. It cost more money but I can already tell it was worth every penny. We went for a light grey wood effect tone to go with my more bohemian style .Also I wanted a change from a more conventional wood colour. 
Furniture & Decorations:

When we used to live in furnished rented flat in London we always have rubbish and uncomfortable  beds. Having now our own house we did not want to get a cheap bed. 
We went all out by getting a Made.com bed with a large comfortable head rest . It was a dream for many years and I can sure you this king size bed by Made.com is the absolute dream and worth every penny. This is not sponsored but I wish it was. You can find our bed here.
As for our chest of draw we decided to go with a simple grey tone chest of draw from Ikea, which you can find here. 
My dressing table was the biggest headache of all. I literally spent hours and hours scrolling different web sites and magazine to find a dressing table that look a bit mid-century and bohemian too. And from all places we end up buying it on Amazon Home! A place I will never though buying a piece of furniture one day. The dressing table is no longer available  but is still advertising there at around £150. I absolutely love it . I found it very different to what I seen before and I believe it match my taste and style perfectly.
My 3 mirrors are probably one of my favourite decoration it is from a brand called Umbra. Do check their website for unique decoration pieces.

THE AFTER








In no mean our bedroom is finish, the truth its I would like much more print on walls, a large washed Moroccan style rug and other bits and bobs but overall my husband and I are very pleased with the result.  
I will probably be doing, in a year or 2, an update but for now we love our bedroom as it is. It make us feel calm and at peace. A far away feeling from the safari theme that use to gave us headache.
The cost or renovating this room including new furniture and flooring cost us approximately  £1600.
What do you think? Do you have a similar project? Tell me all by commenting below.
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My wedding was just over two weeks ago and I never though I will share my experience and in particularly my hair and make up Wedding experience. This is also my first blog post of this year and what a better start of this year talking about something that gave me so much love and happiness. 

My wedding was on the 19th of January and long story short my now husband and I only had a simple registry office ceremony (although it may have been simple it was very beautiful and emotional) follow by the yummiest wedding lunch at the beautiful: The White Horse in King Sutton but more of this in an other post.  As I was saying we had a "simple" registry ceremony because we are planning to do a big Wedding Celebration Part II in July this year and we cannot wait for that too but in the mean time let me take you though of what happened on the face and hair situation on my registry office ceremony few weeks ago.


HAIR INSPIRATION

Pinterest have been my allied and with that I created a whole board (see it here) of all the hair style that was just stunning to me. I found the style that I wanted pretty quickly I knew I did not wanted my hair lose but have them done in some kind of messy but classic hair do with the addition or pearl or ornament or even flowers. 
I love the Bohemian vibe as you probably know already so of course my choice of hair style are largely base on this type.
Here how my inspiration Pinterest board looks like :

MAKEUP INSPIRATION

I have to say even so my hair style inspiration was fairly classic and simple, I definitely did not wanted to go the same way for my make-up. As it was a Winter Wedding (and that my bold lips are my face feature after all) I could not hide them into a nude colour ( although I did though about it at first)  or a very simple and classic make-up, so with in mind I went for the whole dark red lips, fake lashes, contouring and highlight vibe. Here my Pinterest board inspiration board:
WEDDING DAY - HAIR STYLE 
My hair style was done by the lovely Natalie at The Hair Book. I booked Natalie back end of 2018 and on my trial we went through the different styles I saved on my Pinterest board. We decided to go for a mermaid plait running from the top of my head to the back of my head and finishing by a large bun. Although I really like the plait I was not too sure about the bun. I had few weeks to think about what I really wanted hence why for my wedding day we decided to changed completely and we went for two plaits running from the side of my head and meeting at the back in a lovely arranged twist along with arranged Gypsophila Paniculata flower, which was also my bride bouquet.

Pictures talk better than words :

WEDDING DAY - MAKEUP 

My wedding make up was done by the lovely and talented Helen at the Helen Silver Make-up, I wanted glamour, I wanted the fake lashes and I wanted bold dark red lips. She listened and she executed divinely. Not only she used cruelty free make up (such as Charlotte Tilbury, Becca, Too Faced etc.) but she made me feel at ease straight away. 
My look was as I wanted : Glamour. My eyes, my skin and my lips. I had the glow and everything else in between. 
My make up last all day and all night I only slightly retouch my lipstick after lunch and dinner but apart from that it was the perfect make up (by the way the lipstick was my own , it was the Maybelline Divine Wine No 975.)
I have to admit when I discovered the final result ( along with my hair being done) I had a tear. A tear of happiness as I felt so beautiful, a word that I haven't used on me for a very long time. When you feel not adequate most times by just scrolling Instagram it is an absolute dream to feel beautiful and even more dreamy on the day of your wedding. 








Once again many thanks to Natalie and Helen, they were the dream team, both absolutely lovely and very professional. I can not recommend them enough. If you live around the Oxfordshire /  Northampton area, I strongly recommend this lovely blond duo.


What do you think on my Wedding hair and make up? 




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I am not usually someone that is bother with gifts at Christmas or for my birthday (by the way my birthday is a week before Christmas hence why I regroup both celebration into one post) I find that its always lots of pressure for people to buy things and I am more than happy to just have a meal and drinks but of course receiving gifts its still very lovely I wont denying it. I am more of a person that prefer giving than receiving. having say that there is few bits a bobs that have been wishing to have for few months now I will most likely buy all myself and I don't expect anyone form my family to get them for me but i though i regroup them into my wishing list. it is very home based apart one skincare product. but lets talk about each of them. 




Lily Rose Bumblee Gold Necklace I have a thing for bumble bee since like...forever so since I saw that beautiful bumble be necklace by Lily Rose I had to have it. This necklace have been in my wish list for weeks and I truly hope I will be able to purchase it or to have it as a gift ( I did mentioned it to my partner a while back) 

Dusty Pink Velvet Chair - Last year I had for my birthday a dressing table, which you can find my post about it here, but I still have no charir to go with (I know silly) so my drssing table get very little use as it is always a struggle to go downstairs to get a charir from my kitchen etc. anyway This chair is just going to be perfect especially with the gorgeous dark feature wall in my bedroom and all the wood and gold accent deco etc. 

Natural sheepskin To go with hopefully the above chair I would actualy love a sheepskin not necessary natural as I do not know if its better or not for the environemet and animal welfear ( I need to do some research on this) but to go by my dressing table and chair will be the perfect companion.


Oliver Bonas Drinks Trolley  well this is more something my partner and I wish to have in our newly refurbish living room, We do like our gins and liquors and we do not really have any place to put them all so a gold and marble like trolley would be fabulous and look right at home in our living room.

Drunk Elephant The Little Kit Its been a long time (think at least 2 years) that I haven't try something new or lets say something a little bit more luxurious than my Superdrugs own brand day cream at £3 (its actually a good one). I would absolutely love to try this Drunk Elephant mini kit after many good reviews I heard or read around. Have you try this brand? 

Ikea Gold & White Candle Holder  well I do love my candle and of course candle holder. lately we finished refurbishing our fire place and all it need its few accessories like this holder trio with a big of gold accent ( that would work perfectly with our dark grey feature wall).

Rose Quartz in his natural appearance. I love my gemstones & crystals which remind me I shall do a post about it soon. But in the meantime having few more to add to my ever growing collection would be great. Any types will do I pretty much all of them. 


Crystal Clear Quartz Pendant- As mentioned above I do love my crystals and there is something soothing and relaxing about a crystal clear quartz and this pendant is just a dream. 


Have you made your Christmas wish list ? Tell me all. 
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It's been a while since I did a little beauty haul, in fact not because I was not interested or I did not feel like sharing them anymore but purely because I did not buy any new beauty goodies since the beginning of this year. Why ? You may ask! Well... I wanted to use my already large stash of makeup and I felt, only until lately, that I did not needed anything new. I guess my love for make up was too strong and I gave up on a a year without buying anything new but personally I deserve the biggest pat on the back as I went about 10 months with no purchase and not many of us can say that (not judging!).
Essence is an inexpensive beauty product that I feel doesn't get enough good justice. I truly believe that their quality are the equivalent of more knows high street brands selling for 2 to 3 times the price.
Let me take you around my little haul which I have to admit have a very Autumnal feeling even so we are days away from entering officially the Winter season. 

First all lets start with the Colour Boost Liquid lipstick in matt. This beautiful nudy mauve in the shade: 04 Mad Matters is just truly beautiful and right on trend at the moment. I tried it and it delivered high on the 'stay on your lips for many hours after application' deal . It is highly pigmented, it does not feel heavy or sticky and it is matt as promised. In all honestly all you need its one swap and you are ready to go without worrying about anything else. 
Also lets not forgot to mention the scent which as a cocoa / coconut fragrant I am not sure if it is intentional or just how the product smell but either way it is a nice fragrant. This liquid lipstick collection come s in 6 other shade so grab one or all before it's too late and at £2.80 you can't get it wrong really.
 



Oh I do love an Autumnal nail polish shade it is pretty much what I own the most in my large nail polishes collection and I have to admit that a large part of my collection is from Essence nail polishes. I picked up shade ref: 117 Pumpkin Spice which is literally the best name to describe it. Its literally a pumpkin colour nothing more to add there. Its vibrant, beautiful and yet again goes perfectly with the season so what more to ask? Being a big fan of Essence nail polish and having years of experience with their quality trust me that you can not go wrong with it. They usually need one quote and if apply with a top or base quote they can last as long as any more expensive brand. Come on girl ! Go get them !!


Last but certainly not least, I finally picked up that also absolutely gorgeous single Essence melted Chrome eyeshadow. The shade is ref: 06 Copper Me. And as the name describe it, it is a beautiful chrome effect copper. I am absolutely in love with it at the minute and once again absolutely perfect for Autumn and Winter! I am all about copper or dark gold type of eyeshadow at the minute. I will not wear anything else. This single eyeshadow have been my little mate for few weeks now and it deliver high on the pigmentation, the liquid chrome effect and is easy as apply as any other more luxurous brand out there. What I really enjoy about it its you can go all casual for a day at the office and building it up, for a more dramatic effect, for a night out in town with the girl r a date night with the boy. This eye shadow cost me only £3 and it is part of 5 Melted Chrome shades.


What do you think about my little Essence haul? Have you tried Essence before? Tell me all by commenting below. 
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