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Beauty: My Christmas Advent Calender Giveaway!

2014 November 28
by What Emma Did

Ho Ho Ho- I have the loveliest treat for you all during the month of December. Whilst we are all indulging in our chocolate advent calenders, I have decided to run my own whatemmadid.com advent calender treats for all my readers and social followers! From 1st December, I’ll be selecting a little beauty, fashion or lifestyle treat everyday which will be available to win for a reader. This will happen every morning from the 1st December – 24th December… think of all the mini treats people will be winning!

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I’m in love with all the beauty and luxury advent calenders I have seen this year, and decided that what better way to let my readers wake up all happy and excited than letting you all win a product a day, whilst getting exciting about what little gift is behind the advent window on that certain day! Eeeeeek – I’m all giddy thinking about running this…

To join in, just make sure you are following me on Twitter, but if you don’t have Twitter, don’t worry – it’s a multi platform competition so I’ll also be treating Facebook and Instagram fans too.

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I can’t wait to launch this! Make sure you head over to the blog every morning from the 1st December – or why not subscribe so you never miss a post – and  check out which mini present the day holds.

Lots of Christmas cheer and spirit over on WhatEmmaDid.com this Christmas for sure!

Lifestyle: Juiven8 Protein Fruit Juice and Home Made Cereal

2014 November 26
by What Emma Did

When I was in Australia, I adapted to the countries healthy living ways and looked into diets, vitamins and nutrients quite regularly. As well as a fitness regime which I’m ashamed to say is non existent now, I tried to incorporate protein into my diet to encourage muscle and new cell growth. In Sydney, smoothie bars are everywhere, and as well as the usual fruit and veg concoctions, they would have protein versions too so it was nice and easy to keep on top of this.

Back in Manchester, I couldn’t be more horrified at my lack of nutritional efforts as well as not working out. I think I went to the gym twice during the whole of November. Maybe it will become a new years resolution for 2015… anyway, something that has spurred on this post is being introduced to Juiven8. A range of protein fruit drinks that aim to recover, restore and rejuvenate, these were presented to me in this handy little carry case along with lots of nutritional leaflets about the drinks and all the benefits…

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Juiven8 have been created to provide a ready-to-drink protein drink for promoting toned bodies, boosting workout performances, supporting weight management and aiding in post workout recovery. They are blended with real fruit and coconut water, therefore packed with antioxidents, vitamins and amino acids. To incorporate whey protein, each 250ml bottle has 12g of whey protein, helping to define lean muscles and recover after exercising.

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You can see from my snap below some of the typical ingredients listed in these drinks…

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At present, Juiven8 have two hero flavours which both taste incredible. They are blackcurrant, acai and coconut water, and mango, pineapple and coconut water. The coconut water adds a really tangy fizz type taste to these drinks, making them more fruity and zesty tasting that protein milk shake type drinks, or smoothies which can tend to be a little flat tasting. They are really lovely to drink, are you know that at the same time, you are getting a good vitamin helping and bringing in the protein to encourage the overall health and function of your body. Mangos, pineapple, acai berries and blackcurrants are classed as super fruits – packed with antioxidants with a high amount of vitamin C. You can order these drinks from the Juiven8 website if you fancy trying a new protein fruit juice which is really enjoyable to drink, and that will support your fitness regimes and overall health in teamed up with a good diet.

Speaking of health and good diets – I am constantly watching the sugar content in certain things I eat (I’m not a calorie counter, just more of a sugar gram watcher) and I especially keep an eye out when it comes to cereals. Yesterday, I ‘accidently’ created a bit of a homemade cereal creation and I loved it that much I wanted to share it with you. I usually bake a healthy flapjack of oats, almonds, mixed nuts, natural peanut butter, honey and bananas, but I had ran out of bananas and wondered how else to make the flapjack. I didn’t really want to use butter, but needed a ‘binding’ ingredient, so I added a little soya butter into the mix and baked as usual…

Anyway, it didn’t really hold together very well, so instead I had more of a nutty crumble bake creation. I then went to make a bowl of cereal and noticed I had the tiniest handful of cornflakes left. So to try and be ‘creative’, I poured what was left of the cornflakes into a bowl, topped up with the toasted ‘nutty crumble’, poured over milk, and voila! Can I just say it tastes amazing – like the best cereal I have tried?! All down to accident too.

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The ingredients for this are so simple; I’m no master baker, so if I can create it, you can! I basically mixed together 1 cup of oats, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 cup of almonds and cashews, 2 tablespoons of 100% natural peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of soya butter, I baked it for 15 minutes until it began to go golden brown and look toasted, then as it won’t have binded together properly, you can mix it up a bit so it forms a crumble type texture. Then just mix into cereal accordingly! Healthy, cheap, quick, easy… thank me later!
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Lifestyle: HD Brows Beauty and Snuggly Ponchos

2014 November 25
by What Emma Did

Two amazing inventions I need to share with you today – nothing else but HD Brows, and a thick, knitted poncho. Two very different things providing the same kind of warm fuzzy feeling inside.

If you have been living in the real world for the past two years you’ll know that brows are big, and if your going to put some time and effort into only one facial feature, then embrace those brows! How many times I have talked about my brows on here… I bet your all getting bored. But if your a new reader I’ll repeat my story; so I’m naturally blonde but cursed with thick, dark eyebrows. But recently, the ‘curse’ is now a ‘blessing’. Oh yes, thanks to the legend that is Cara Delevingne, I get praised everywhere I go for having such lovely dark, defined eyebrows. No one believes I have never dyed them, and when they see me without make-up, they can’t believe how shaped and thick they still sit. Thank god for this beauty trend – before that, I used to have to cover them up with foundation and powder them in, in hope to lighten them. Imagine doing that now?

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Tonight, myself and a friend went along to the Great John Street Hotel in Manchester for beauty event ‘#Thisisme’. Here, we were treated to an eye make-up session and flash eyebrow touch up by the HD Brows team. HD Brows work by styling your eyebrows to their full potential to really ‘wake up’ your face. They transform your brows, not matter what state they are in, and produce works of art sat on top of your eyes to frame your face. The procedure involves a mix of tinting, plucking, brushing, shaping, trimming and penciling. Since mine don’t need any form of tint going near them, I just had a little touch up which included a pluck, a brush, and a pencil. I’m not usually too bad at ‘doing’ my own brows every morning, but I am sometimes unsure of the correct way to corner them off in the middle. So I was very happy with the outcome tonight from the HD Brow team. Check out these show stopping brows!

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The photo quality is once again a little poor due to iPhone 4 shots in my bathroom – but it’s all coming to an end soon as my brand new Canon camera is now on charge! Hopefully I’ll be kissing goodbye to grainey photography soon. Anyway back to the topic – as I was saying, HD brows are fantastic. If you haven’t had a consultation with an eyebrow specialist, it’s really worth doing if your looking for a professional way to improve your facial features simply with a small touch up. It can make you look more youthful, bring attention to your eyes, and have a slimming effect on the face. Gorgeous!!

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Now I have the HD Brow eyebrow shadows kit on my Christmas list along with the general eyeshadow kits. They contain a combination of shades including a highlighter which can be used on both cheeks and under the eyebrow for ‘lifting’ and ‘lightening’, featuring a subtle shimmer. I trialed out the grey eyeshadows set tonight and I am in love with it. My blue eyes were popping out and glistening – it really is amazing what a difference the right colours that compliment your colourings can do. And nicely groomed brows of course!

Second feeling of fuzzy warmth tonight is my new found poncho love. I have always been a fan of cape sleeves and roomy clothing, but how amazing are ponchos? They are just like a snuggly blanket you can hide behind all winter. I bought my new one from Linear at House of Fraser and it’s absolutely beautiful. In purple and black. I just snuggle behind it all day. I love a good turtle neck too – so cosy and much less need to leave the house wearing a scarf.

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This winter essential cost £50, which isn’t cheap for a poncho, but it’s thick knitted material, classic colours and cosy feel mean it will never go out of fashion and will be a wardrobe staple throughout the whole entire season. I already know I’ll be wearing it on Christmas day.

So there you go; my two favorites rounded up. Please go ahead and share with me your thoughts on HD Brows – or ponchos for that matter!

Lifestyle: WhatEmmaDid Top 3 Weekend Loves

2014 November 23
by What Emma Did

In true Emma style, there are way too many things to share and cram into posts this weekend, so here’s a round up of some of my favourite things and finds that I want to share with you all following the weekend…

Travels: Halo Wipes
I was recently shown the different ranges of personal care products from Halo Wipes, which made me reassess what I carry in my handbag on a daily basis. It’s so important to have products such as antibacterial wipes and deodorant wipes on you when your ‘on the go’, just having them in my possession makes me feel that bit more prepared. I read the little slogan over at the Halo website and it couldn’t be more suited to me; ‘You have a busy lifestyle, either at work or play. “You Time” is snatched between the demands of others. Halo wipes offer the ideal personal care solution offering “freshness on the go” where ever you are…’ How true? So before I jumped on a train this weekend to venture to two different cities, I packed these little goodies with me…

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Now that I ventured away this weekend with these in my luggage, and used them accordingly, I’m going to make sure I always stock up on these! They have the loveliest selection of hand wipes, eye make-up remover pads, moistened toilet tissues and deodorant wipes just to name a few. Really happy to have discovered this brand this weekend…

Beauty: My Top 5 Essentials
I’ve noticed I have lately been working the below 5 products into my everyday beauty and cosmetic regimes, therefore thought they are definitely worth sharing with you. All 5 products have been purchased by myself with no gifting from brands – therefore these are products are genuinely buy myself and love using. The best bit is that they are affordable and available to buy really easily. Introducing to you my hero products from Maybelline, Benefit and Inecto… all fabulous at delivering exceptional beauty results at acceptable prices.

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Here they are:

1. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Blackest Black, £4.99, Boots
2. Maybelline Matte Maker Powder in Classic Ivory, £3.99, Boots
3. Maybelline Dream Sun Bronzer in Blonde, £5.99, Boots
4. Benefit Bo-ing Concealer, £11.50, Boots
5. Inecto Pure Coconut Leave in Conditioner, £4.50, Amazon

If you don’t want to splash out on a mascara but still own a classic which delivers jet black lashes and volume, then this one from Maybelline is great. It’s an old favourite, so worth having in your make-up bag as a fail safe. As for the Matte Maker and Dream Sun – I find these really affordable for providing a shine free face and adding that touch of bronze. They both do exactly what they claim to do without being fragranced or have anything fancy to them, and again are really affordable. Try to catch these products when Boots run their popular 3 for 2 offer.

As for Benefit Boi-ing, I have always swore by this concealer for under eye shadows or covering up a spot before putting on foundation. Cannot rate it enough. And finally, as for a hair product… I’ve been using this leave in conditioner from Inecto for the past month and adore the scent and results it delivers. My hair is bleached regularly therefore is prone to breakage and looking dry. I’m not saying this spray transforms it, but for the price, it helps make it feel stronger after blow drying, adds a subtle shine, and leaves the nicest of smells to my hair! Mmmmm coconut! I also find it tames frizz, the image below is how my hair looks just after blow drying. It is naturally straight, but it has that smooth-yet-full look to it too…

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Fashion: South Beach Loungewear
Last weekend I headed down to The Cornerhouse in Manchester with South Beach Official and a handful of North West bloggers. After watching old school retro chick flick ‘Clueless’ (As.If!) and indulging in some tasty treats such as candy floss, pick and mix and delicious pizza, we all explored the current loungewear collections and the upcoming swimwear ranges launching with the brand.

I love nothing more than good old loungewear – comfy hoodies, lounging bottoms, baggy t-shirts and snuggly socks – anything around those themes I have to get my hands on. What I love about the collections at South Beach is that they are always tailored to a cute, adorable girly theme, with lots of pretty pastel colour palettes, adorable slogans and motifs, and sweet little prints. I loved a really simple pale pink zip up lounge top and bottoms set – I need this in my life ideally for Christmas!

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The Cornerhouse was lovely venue to spend the day admiring the latest collections from South Beach, so I want to take this opportunity to thank them for an amazing day. I always have so much fun with all the other bloggers, so when a brand puts effort in to host a great day out for all of us, it really is special. Here’s some photos from the event… it may seem early on to be eyeing up beautiful swimwear pieces, but if anything, it just gets me excited for the Summer months so hopefully it will do with you too. Trust me, there are some perfect pieces in the collection! Thank you again South Beach.

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Beauty: The Top 100 Beauty World Wide Bloggers – I’ve Made It!

2014 November 21
by What Emma Did

Apologies for the very lengthy infographic being inserted into this blog post, I know they can be a lot to look at when they contain 100 different bloggers. But as it lists the worlds Top 100 beauty blogs, the scrolling this time is worth it seeing as I sit somewhere in the middle – number 54 to be exact! Therefore I had to include it didn’t I…

This infographic has been put together by a New York journalist, compiling a list of some of the worlds most established beauty blogs taking from Alexa rankings. My blog will reach 5 years old in January, so it’s nice to see worldwide recognition rather than just UK success sometimes! A real feeling of hard work being paid off…

So here are your top 100 global beauty heroes. Just to note that my social followings are outdated on this as it was designed a little while ago (there are lots more of you lovely lot now!)…

Top 100 Beauty BlogsAn infographic by the team at Rebates zone

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Fashion: Celebrating Boohoo, Dorothy Perkins and Fashion Chick

2014 November 20
by What Emma Did

As last week was back to back with events, Thursday night saw a lovely evening of celebrating Christmas and the party season with 3 fabulous fashion brands – Boohoo.com, Dorothy Perkins and Fashion Chick. Held at Manchester’s Epernay bar, bloggers were treated to an evening of pampering with hair styling, nail painting, canapes, champagne, social media competitions and of course – browsing new collections!

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Boohoo had a sparkling array of accessories and clothing displayed for us all to fall in love with, where as Dorothy Perkins had a lovely Winter collection – lots of faux furs and ‘snuggly stuff!’ The crowds of bloggers chatted over champagne and canapes – and copious amounts of Christmas themed chocolates- whilst tweeting our favourite items from the brands to get involved with the social media competitions.

I got my nails painted a beautiful party shades of deep red and gold crystal, then spent some time playing around in front of the Fashion Chick branded backdrop with fellow fashion bloggers and a photographer, you know, as you do…

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Boohoo and Dorothy Perkins both have some gorgeous festive garments in, so if your looking for a bit of glitter, faux fur, and that something special, take a look at their A/W’14 ranges to get you in the mood for Christmas. They also treated us to some lovely goody bag treats – I finally got my hands on a faux fur collar! I have been lusting after a black one all month, but good old DP’s did one better and gifted me a stunning burgundy style. And now it’s official – I can’t take it off.


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clutchAbsolutely in love with this monochrome ‘Yes No’ clutch from Dorothy Perkins, and as you can see from below, I had some fun with it during a recent night out! (excuse the smokey-ness from the bar…)

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Thanks to all the brands involved, and of course Epernay, for hosting such a lovely party. I love nothing more than an evening of celebrating fashion and beauty, and this event certainly delivered.

Beauty: Fragrance Direct Xmas Party

2014 November 20
by What Emma Did

Last week, I attended a fantastic Christmas bloggers party with beauty retailer Fragrance Direct. Beauty bloggers from across the North West all piled into Manchester’s All Star Lanes Bowling venue, where we were treated to a sweet little private room with our own bar, private bowling lanes, and seating area to hang out and chat.

Make-up themed cupcakes and fizz were on hand for arrival, followed shortly by an American diner themed buffet. Yes, that’s all my beige food favourites such as mini burgers, breaded chicken, deep fried hotdogs, and chicken wings. Throw in copious amounts of dips and sauces, and the perfect bowling-break dinner was served! I opted for smart-casual attire, with a black shift dress and blazer from Topshop, teamed with printed beige skinny jeans from H&M. I’m not a huge bowling fan, so I already accepted I’d be the one stood at the bar socialising rather than throwing balls down the alley…


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After being a fatty indulging on the pretty cupcakes, we enjoyed a bar of tropical themed cocktails, before gathering together in blogger groups to admire the range of Christmas gifts that Fragrance Direct had out on display for us to browse. As we were all there together to celebrate Fragrance Direct’s Christmas gifts, it was lovely to see the gift sets they have put together for gift ideas this year. There isn’t a girl I don’t know who wouldn’t appreciate a gift set packed with cosmetics, perfumes and beauty products, and there certainly are a lot to chose from over on the website. If your shopping for your best friend or sister, I just want to recommend that the ‘make-up‘ gifts page on the website has some brilliant offers right now, with eye shadow palettes packed with an array of shades and brushes coming in from as low as £1.99. Stocking filler inspiration right there!

However, during the evenings event, it was difficult to drag me away from the scented sets… this Valentina one below is a girls dream right?…

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Sneakily going back to the cakes! Cannot get enough of how adorable these are…

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Celebrating some beautiful brand sets such as Clinique, Cargo and Bobbi Brown, this hamper was put together for one lucky blogger to win on the evening. Unfortunately it wasn’t me, but it gave me some inspiration about putting together a beauty hamper for some of my favourite ladies out there for this Christmas. Just pick a selection of products across beauty, cosmetics and perfumes, add a bottle of fizz and a chocolate treat, package together in a cute basket, and there you have it – the Fragrance Direct inspired perfect hamper gift!

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Above is myself (right) with the lovely Ellie and Laura, fellow Manchester Beauty bloggers.

Thank you to Fragrance Direct for your generous make-up crackers that were displayed around the venue on the evening. I now own a super cool collection of lippies and nail polishes (and santa hats and bad jokes) because of these. I am actually wearing one of the lipsticks from W7 that I got in my cracker everyday for work, as it’s a soft pink and it the prettiest shade for everyday wear. I’ve featured it below, so just take a scroll down and you’ll see it along with a fantastic hot red CK lipstick too…

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Beauty bloggers being treated to make-up and nails….

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And here we go – a luscious selection of my two favourite lipsticks from Fragrance Direct I took home with me that evening and cannot get enough of. The daytime option is the one on the left by W7, in shade Apricot Brandy (good enough to eat?) for an incredible £0.99. But my ultimate favourite is the one on the right from CK – the Delicious Luxury Creme Lipstick in #142 Eros. How cheap is this too; it’s a designer lipstick for £1.99! You are saving over £11 on this product. Absolute steal. If you want to treat yourself to a pout popping red lippy for the festive season, then I rate this muchly. I’ve even popped a very sleepy shot of myself this morning popping it on to brighten me up…

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what emma did

Fashion: Nude Jewellery Christmas Pick

2014 November 20
by What Emma Did

Can we all just take a minute to appreciate how unique and uber stylish the Ethereal and Irezumi collection from Nude Jewellery is? I’m a huge fan of statement, show stopping accessories, which worn with simple outfits really give clothes that ‘kick’. Everyone has their own taste in accessories and styles up jewellery differently, and I am either a fan of precious, dainty pendant necklaces and studs worn together, or a large ‘wow’ piece that does all the talking.

As it’s the start of the Christmas season, I’m going to leave my delicate chains in the jewellery box for now and opt for some bold collars and cuffs. So today, I took to browsing on contemporary jewellery website Nude Jewellery to make my Christmas pick! And look what I fell in love with…

collarTa da! This gorgeous Black and Red acrylic choker, £180 by British designer Joanna Bury, combines the deep colours of Christmas with a slightly gothic, ethereal twist, using engraved tribal patterns to provide an ultra modern look. It’s got a lot of intricate detailing going on – yet still looks clean- just how I like my statement pieces!

This striking collar will look beautiful set against a shift dress in a simple block colour of white, black, red, gold or emerald for the party months, and even has a matching cuff and bangle to go with it! The statement choker is my ultimate Christmas pick from Nude Jewellery, however I’m just going to showcase it’s matching pieces below so you can see how cool this collection is. I feel all glamorous just browsing the range!

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Nude Jewellery have got some stunning pieces in their collections at the moment, so if your wanting some Christmas jewellery inspiration either for yourself or for a friend, take a look and let me know what your Christmas picks would be!

Fashion: A Jolly November

2014 November 19
by What Emma Did

The time has arrived to put away any feelings of ‘bar humbug’ and embrace the Christmas season that is so quickly creeping up. I walk past the Manchester Christmas Markets everyday on my walk to work, walk home in an array of glittering lights, and pass the window displays of every retailer running festive offers and promotions for the countdown for the ‘Big C Day’. I have to admit, an email I received about a seasonal brand, Jolly, did make me feel a bit excited inside. Christmas T-Shirts? Reindeers, Santa’s and Snowmen displayed on my clothes? Yeah why not!

Jolly stocks a range of retro Christmas jumper style T-Shirts that actually look rather stylish, for both men and women. In a range of colours reflective the festivities, you can get short sleeve styles for £12.99 and longer sleeves for £18.99. I do like wearing grey, so this is the T-Shirt I got!

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I am getting a new Canon DSLR camera for Christmas this year, although will be lucky enough to get my hands on it earlier, therefore any terrible quality iPhone 4 selfie style shots should soon be a thing of the past. However, I’m sure you can get the general jist – these T-Shirts are super cool and are a winter wardrobe essential if you have a sense of humour!

There is a range of other motifs and colours as mentioned before that are on my little Christmas wish list, and perhaps could be on yours if you are looking for a Secret Santa gift for someone – they can wear the top on Christmas Day – or great to turn up to the office wearing on the run up to the holidays! If you wish to shop at Jolly, you can do so through this link here – do let me know what you opt for! And embrace Christmas people!…

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Fashion: A Winter Wonderland at Forever Unique

2014 November 18
by What Emma Did

Last week saw quite a large number of Christmas parties for me, and although it seem’s fairly early, they are only going to start coming in thicker and faster from now. The majority of events were glamorous blogger parties to celebrate Christmas, held at a range of venues across Manchester, which included us all getting fairly dressed up in our heels and frocks, even though they were during week…

Well it certainly isn’t going to stop there – the next few weeks see’s more blogger and press events, Christmas meals, parties with different groups of friends, birthdays, the annual Christmas work party, and of course – Christmas Day and New Years Eve itself. This calls for something important; show stopping dresses. And if I’m talking breath-takingly beautiful gowns, then I’m talking about Forever Unique


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Forever Unique have launched a Winter Wonderland collection, and I am absolutely in love with it. The dresses are a selection of beautifully designed glamorous designs, finished off with jeweled and crystal embellishments, decorative embroidery, sheer detailing, feathers and sparking sequins. In a rich autumnal colour palette of deep reds, champagnes, jet blacks, burgundy’s and rose golds, they come in an array of lengths and cuts, each one showcasing elegance. There is no other time of the year to indulge in a red carpet inspired dress, so I have  picked out a number of my favorite styles from the brand incase you need any dress inspiration for your season of parties too!


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The following 3 styles are one’s from the Winter Wonderland collection that are really ‘me’, and I would love to own these to see me through the next month’s schedule of events. I don’t usually wear white, but this white tulip style ‘Bailey’ dress has to be my ultimate choice – how fantastic is the neck detailing?


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If your November and December are looking pretty full-on, or your saving yourself for that one gorgeous gown for NYE- head to Forever Unique for a one-stop-shop of all things amazing…