Myself plus a friend were kindly invited along to the launch of the Made.com showroom in Liverpool's Metquarter to admire the current collection, eat one too many macarons and have a natter with the other guests. It was a lovely little evening with a cheeky prosecco on arrival, sweet treats from Patisserie Valerie and delicious canapés by Casa Italia (both places located in the Metquarter), a dj, beauty treatments by Urban Calm and the chance to walk around and look at the gorgeous A/W15 collection and meet some lovely new people.
We were also given tablets which you could scan over the + tag on all the items you liked, create a list then email to yourself to buy online later. Snazzy eh?
I managed to catch the lovely Annabel Kilner, UK country manager of Made.com, for 5 minutes to ask her a few questions about her and Made.com...
So, tell us a little bit about Made. com & yourself...
So, Made.com was started up 5 years ago. The founders spotted a gap in the market for great design at affordable prices, particularly online - so of course there is Ikea that obviously sells good and affordable products but design wasn't their key thing at the time then you've got John Lewis, M&S, and Next but they're not particularly design lead and then there are the higher end brands - so there was a gap in the market for something different like Made.com.
The other thing about the market, particularly in the furniture industry, is that they will normally order in advance twice a year, whereas we have a very different business model. We are a made-to-order business so essentially we design something, prototype it, sample it, photograph it, put it up on the website and then it's made to order for the customers. We really look at the demand for that product and then order just in time for it.
What is the process of buying and marketing for Made.com?
So we're constantly bringing out new collections- around 30-50 new products a week and then they go onto the website. Essentially if we see that they don't sell very well then we will probably stop them which may happen to around 10% of products but it enables us to see what's popular and then we can continue to manufacture those ones quickly.
Then that helps you see what'll be good in the showrooms?
As for the showrooms, we have 3 now-Leeds, London Soho, and now Liverpool, of course! So what we've actually done for this particular store is we've looked at what have been the most popular items in Liverpool that've sold so far and then the customers can essentially walk in and find exactly what they want and imagine it in their own home.
So what kind of trends do you think we'll be seeing interior wise in the coming Autumn/Winter season?
I think we'll see a lot of metallics, copper and bronze's like our Alana Bed then a lot of rich velvets as well. We've got the Wolseley velvet sofa which is very popular as well as our Scott sofas that come in leather as well as velvet which we've noticed really pick up at this time of year.
What's your favourite thing about working at Made.com?
My favourite thing about working at Made is the fact that there's a very dynamic culture so we're not afraid to try things out and get things done. It's a very fast-paced environment and as you can tell we're always bringing out new products - it's just very exciting!
What inspires the product team?
The product team are always out looking for different trends in the market. They'll also look at what our competitors are doing and also what's going on in the fashion sector. Broadly, they just look at all the trends that are going on. They need to design to cater to different styles and tastes. We have a fairly eclectic style at Made.com, so we're not just about traditional, not just about modern or retro- it's a real mixture of everything so that enables the team to find lots of different things.
We work with a community of designers because they all have different styles. We have a main studio where we design but we also collaborate with over 50 designers who are bringing out new product designs all the time that we'll then manufacture for Made.
So items that can fit into anyone's home?
Yes! So we're looking for strong accent pieces that when people walk into your home they go 'Wow!' and the product is a real conversation starter, they love the item too and want their own- that's what we want people to do.
Lastly, how did you get into interiors?
I used to actually work for another interiors company before Made.com called Mydeco.com and for me, I personally love doing up my own home, I have a real taste for it.
I can imagine your home looks as amazing as the store!
Yes haha! My home is 50% Made.com. But yes, I think originally for me it was the opportunity to work in the E-commerce and I love homeware so it made sense to go into that. It's such a fragmented market so when the opportunity struck, I took it.
...and that's a wrap. Ok maybe that seemed slightly longer than 5 minutes but I swear it was, it says so on my phone. It was lovely to meet an inspiring entrepreneur like Annabel and get an insight into her job and Made.com. I hope you enjoyed it too!
Lots of love, Lucie Rose x
Special thanks to Carousel PR for organising a great event & a special thanks to my lovely pal Una for taking some of these photos- you're a real sweetie!
Ok, so it may be over a month since I got back but in fairness I have never used Imovie...and I can get easily distracted so that would be why it has taken me this long to get round to making a vlog about China- but I finally did! And even more so, I've posted it on my Youtube channel...which will make it my first ever video!
You can watch it here on my blog or be taken to my channel here. Remember to crank it up to 1080 HD!
I hope you like it and that it gives you a little feel for my travels over there. Sitting here in the library thinking of all the work that lies ahead of me is definitely giving me some travel bug blues. Let's hope this is the first of many vlogs to come!
Lots of love, Lucie Rose x
There's always something different and exciting to go to in Liverpool from gigs to exhibitions to shows and more...and even trainer festivals too. Nope, i'd never heard of such a thing either until recently. Laces Out! is a trainer festival that takes place right in the heart of Liverpool's Baltic Triangle at Camp & Furnace. The festival is for everyone and anyone with a passion for trainers, fashion, music and culture. There are womens, mens and unisex trainers ranging from £50 and up whether you want to add to your ever-growing collection or style up a sports luxe look with a feminine dress and some Nike Blazers.
The event took place on a cloudy Sunday last weekend from 12pm right through till 6pm at only £5 a ticket!
There was a film & talk about the recent Adidas Specialz range, a Dj providing some groovy tunes, delicious street food (nachos, pizza, chips - you name it) and tons of hard-to-find trainer, clothes and footwear apparel all under one big roof.
Not normally a huge trainer enthusiast (or 'sneaker-head') myself, I was curious to experience this event and i'm glad I did! It made for a fun and different day out and it gave me the chance to explore one major part of the fashion industry. I would definitely go back (and hopefully, actually buy a pair of trainers) and I would definitely recommend you hit up this event on it's next tour. See more details by clicking here.
Lots of love, Lucie Rose x
Before I actually get into this post, here are two (ok, rather odd) photos of me. Half with make-up, half au naturel...same person and same personality with and without the make up...though the make up seems to have a big impact on how I feel about myself and of course, how I look. I'm going to be honest, it makes me slightly nervous putting this photo out into the interweb for others to see. However, this blog is like my diary and I want it to be a place where I can be open about things even if that means showing you all I look like a 12 year old boy without make up. Today I'm just going to have a brief chit chat on why I feel "prettier" with make up on as it's something that's been playing on my mind lately.
Since from the age of about 13 I started experimenting with make up. I wish I could go back and ask my younger self what it was that triggered that initial, "I want to put make up on." Was it seeing my older sister and mum do the same? Was it the models I saw in magazines that made me feel like it was a necessary thing to do? Who knows. All I know is that I wanted to start wearing it, experiment with colours and see what all these weird and wonderful products did. Ever since then I have continued to wear make up to help myself look and feel better. Not for men. Not for women. Not for anyone else. For me. Though it amazes me that some people still think that if someone wears a lot of make up, therefore we must be insecure, dumb, vain...etcetc. Which is absurd, because what make up I put on my face doesn't reflect my intelligence or confidence, it just reflects my damn good make up skills BTW. I'm aware that make up won't solve my insecurity issues I have since that's only something that can be sorted from the inside anyway (skin deep n all that). I also know i'm not dumb - I'm smart, I think, have ideas, I study... just like anyone else, just like any other intelligent men and just like any other intelligent girls who choose not to wear much or any make up.
So why do I love to wear make up? and why do I feel "prettier"with it on?
Because it enhances all the features I already have. It allows me to be creative and experiment and it makes me feel good about myself. I have never once thought, whilst applying a lipstick, "I hope he/she likes it". I couldn't really give a monkeys if i'm honest because I like it, and I like how it looks on me. I guess if someone else likes my make up then that's just a bonus. I've never considered or seen myself as a natural beauty. I don't consider myself very blessed with natural beauty and make up gives me more confidence. I've also suffered with bad acne for a long time and I think I look slightly 'boyish' without mascara on so for me, make up allows me to create a look that i'm happy with! It makes me happy with what I see in the mirror. I love seeing my face transform with the use of different products, I actually find it all pretty fascinating and i'm not even ashamed to say that! We all have our different reasons I guess.
And how do I feel without my make up on?
If i'm alone and going about my day, the lack of make up doesn't bother me. If I go out and see people, and/or allow people to see me for the first time without, it's hard for me to adjust and I do think 'wow they must think I look like a totally different person'. But honestly, I personally feel like the same person though I may not appear to look the same from the outside. I'm not going to lie, it does make me slightly nervous for the day I will have to show my face to a man who will see that I don't look the same without all the make up - only my family and close friends have seen me without it really. However i'd like to hope that when i've found the right person, they won't give a crap about my face without make up BCOZ BEAUTY IZ SKIN DEEP LIKE. I can enjoy spending a day at home without make up on and I feel *sometimes* comfortable going out without it but, 9 times out of 10, I feel better with it on. So yes maybe I do lack some confidence therefore that's why I wear make up, to make me feel better, but it's not like I wipe off the confidence with a wipe at the end of the day, it's still there, just enhanced with a few powders and brushes before.
Hey, I probably would wear less make up if my skin was better and I was more blessed with a perf face - but it's not and i'm grateful that make up exists and allows me to create the look I want. It's something enjoyable and fun, just like experimenting with fashion, different styles, tattoos or different hairstyles and colours. What i'm trying to say is that there is nothing wrong with the two. Wearing make up doesn't make you shallow and not wearing it is fine too. Don't judge someone for the products they use, it's not your face, not your problem.
Well heeey there. It's been months since I last posted about my current beauty favourites so today's post is pretty chocka-blocka! I've bought quite a few (understatement) new make up and beauty items over the past few months which have now ended up being part of my daily make up routine and I couldn't imagine my make up bag without 'em! Here they are with a little review and photos of myself sampling the products. Enjoy!
First up is this bad boy, the MAC matchmaster concealer. I was on the hunt for a contouring stick, and was actually going to buy Illasmasqua's gel sculpt which, when I visited the store, they were already sold out in *boo*. So, I popped into MAC next door to see if they had something similar. One of the lovely artists gave this a try on me as their nearest equivalent. I think she actually surprised herself how well it worked as a contouring stick, and not just a concealer for darker skin and after that I was pretty much sold! To use I apply it along the hollows underneath my cheekbones, down the sides of my nose, on my jawline, around my forehead and temples. It's also really easy to blend with my fingers and gives a natural, contoured finish and actually makes me look like I have some sort of bone structure and not a potato face.
While in China I ran out of mascara so literally picked up the first one I saw, Maybeline Rocket Mascara. I'd never ready any previous reviews on the mascara so it was kinda, it's either gonna look good or it's just gonna look rubbish. Initially it was a bit 'wet' as new mascaras can be but after a few uses I was really pleased with the results. I curl my lashes beforehand (there is never a time I don't before putting on mascara) then apply as many coats of the mascara as needed, and it doesn't clump the more coats you apply either. It separates the lashes and it adds so much length you'd think I was wearing falsies! I love it.
Is it illegal to be in love with a make up brush? Ok that's a bit far but, I bloody love it! I didn't like the hard/un-natural finish the brushes included with the Naked 2 palette left so I invested in this brush/magic wand to achieve a better finish. It's amazing! It is the softest brush i've ever used and leaves my eyeshadow beautifully blended and flawwwwless. I also use it for contouring and highlighting- it's a right little multi tasker!
4. Beauty Blender (bought in China) available here
These beauty blenders have been all over the blogisphere lately so when I saw one while on my travels in China for 16RMB (£1.60) I had to nab it and see what all the fuss was about. It's now become a staple in my make up routine when blending foundation/concealer. It takes away those 'tide line' worries and also helps you get make up into those pesky areas like under your eyes and around your nose.
If you know me then you'll know I have a bit of an addiction to MAC's lipsticks so of course I bought some more colours to add to my lil collection. Diva is going to be my go-to lipstick for the next few months as it's the perfect autumnal shade, much darker than a red but with a hint of purple. Lady Danger was one of my favourites during the summer- it's lighter than my usual Russian Red with an orange undertone. It looked great with my tan (more on that below) but added a nice bright pop of colour with Summer clothes and looks especially good with blue denim.
6. Nip N Fab 365 Body Glow Fix (free in magazine) available here
My sister gave this to me to try out as she's already naturally tanned as it is (some have all the luck) and I think she was hinting that I'm a bit on the pale/Caspar the friendly ghost side of things. I can't disagree... I don't tan well, it's a fact. This little gel product claims to give you a healthy looking glow within just 4 hours! I'm normally anti-fake tan nowadays after all the streaks that previous brands left as well as fake tan covered sheets and hours exfoliating and waiting but I think Nip n Fab has changed me! I won't lie, my first application was streaky- my bad for not exfoliating. However, after a few more practices it's actually left me with a healthy looking, natural glow! I can put on my clothes 5 mins after application which is a huge bonus.
Late nights, early mornings and generally just not enough sleep has left me with sad looking wee eyebags. The solution: this magic golden beacon of wonderfulness. I think everyone and their dog knows about this concealer, it's been about for a long time now and has raving reviews to boot. Yes, it's slightly more on the expensive side but definitely worth the money! I use it on other imperfections such as my scarring from acne and it makes them practically invisible! Easy application, only requires a small amount and leaves you with illuminated, clear skin and completely eye-bag less.
I couldn't exactly photograph this in use, as it's a clear product and is used under foundation so I guess you'll just have to take my word for it. I've been curious about it for ages as it's another one of those cult products which has been hailed by make up artists and customers all over so I took the plunge and got it. I definitely noticed a difference in the longevity and finish of my foundation. Instead of my foundation sinking into my skin towards the end of the day or coming off, the primer has actually helped it to stay put throughout a whole day and not budge. It gives my foundation a more professional, matte and flawless finish. The product is very light, completely invisible and you only need a small dot on each part of your face and that's it...wondaaful.
One of my favourite tricks to give that more wide-awake, fresh look to my make up is putting white liner on the water line of the eye. This pencil was cheap as chips and the colour is really pigmented too and doesn't require several applications. Note: be careful when applying to the waterline and don't poke your eye like I did, my eye was watering for 10 mins after (like a pro).
The best way to get a quick, even flick is with this liquid liner by Rimmel. The felt tip applicator makes for a super easy application and allows you to shape and build up your flick to your liking. This is by far my favourite liquid liner as it only takes about 5 minutes to get the perfect cat eye and it doesn't budge for hours either.
Looking like someone stole my last chip.
I love seeing what products other bloggers use and when this popped up on my Instagram feed I was rather intrigued indeed. I went onto read its reviews online and every single person said how amazing it was...easily swayed as I am and I clicked 'add to cart' woopsie. Anything that will make the condition of my skin better and I'm always ready to give it a go! I really love it and would recommend it to everyone with sensitive, acne prone skin. I use it every morning before putting on make up as it wakes up my face and leaves it feeling super smooth and grease free. The best thing about this product is that unlike other exfoliators, the beads are so tiny that you don't feel like the product is scratching your skin at all. You only need a pea sized amount for the whole face so the product goes far and you get your moneys worth.
For aaaages I had been looking for the solution to get the perfect matte lip. I tried some tips and tricks that I found online like using lipstick with powder on top but nothing really left that real, professional looking, matte finish that I was after. Thank the make up gods for Lime Crime! Velvetine goes on liquid but dries within a few seconds to matte- it's like make up magic, kids. As well as that, the brush applicator is the right size to apply straight to the lips leaving a perfectly even finish and allowing you to get the product into the more difficult parts but not getting it all around your mouth either. The Red Velvet shade is the perfect shade to accompany a clean, casual look with jeans and a white tee or with an LBD for a more special occasion. All the other shades are just as beautiful, I want them all.
Here's a lil collage where the mascara, matte lipstick, white liner, foundation primer, beauty blender, contour stick, concealer and eye blender brush were all used and help make me look human- not much of a natural beaut unfortunately.
With Autumn on it's way, the mornings are a lot chillier which means chapped lips, yey. My favourite lip balm of the moment is Burts Bees which nourishes the lips and is also, as it says on the tin, refreshing because of it's pink grapefruit scent. It smells good enough to eat, no lie.
What are your current beauty favourites?
I sometimes forget how lucky I am in to live in France and have the opportunity to hop on a train or share a car and be in some of the country's most beautiful and buzzing cities within a few hours. I don't visit as much as I'd like to or should but with my sister just moving to the outskirts of Bordeaux last week- I took this as a chance to finally see somewhere new! In return I agreed to help her move in and sort out her new apartment, give n take and all that. A short 10-15 minute tram ride from her apartment and we were in the city centre ready to explore (and eat)!
I think the first thing that grabbed me about Bordeaux was the gorgeous architecture! You can't get any more typically and traditionally French than the buildings in Bordeaux...it felt like Paris but without the overload of tourists, cars or noise.
We headed straight to la Rue Sainte Catherine aka an absolute haven for shoppers. There is every shop imaginable along this street as well as cafés and restaurants to stop for a break and do some nosey people watching. The road starts out with markets, individual boutiques and make up stores then towards the other end of the street are old favourites like H&M, Zara, Mango and Pimkie as well as a must-visit when in France, the Galaries Lafayettes with all the high end brands. You could easily spend a full day here exploring all the different shops and getting a whole new wardrobe...so get saving!
We left slightly later than planned and had some errands to run beforehand so by the time we arrived in Bordeaux it was already mid lunchtime so we hunted around for somewhere reasonably priced to eat that would leave us satisfied but not so full that we'd need to take a nap! Luckily we came across this little gem - Locadillos.
We were that kind of starving that any idea of food made us weak at the knees so when we saw this place with it's modern, chilled vibe, customers dining al fresco and homely interiors - we were pretty much drawn in.
I'm not going to lie, I was a little confused by the menu seeing as I can barely speak Spanish but the friendly staff explained it all to us, what was on offer and we finally settled on the lunch menu at only 9,50 euros a head. You choose two different types of montaditos, a side and drink. Me and my sister both had a delicious glass of chilled wine each (when in Bordeaux ey), the 'Azteque' and 'Di Buffala' montaditos with patatas bravas on the side.
As if this restaurant couldn't get any better, we were also given a little mobile (we're talking Nokia circa 2005) with a number and were told we would receive a text when our food was ready to collect...how amazing is that?! Best text i've ever received.
The meal was presented so perfectly I almost didn't want to touch it, but I was hungry so of course I wasn't going to just stare at it, was I? Nah. As you can tell by the photos (are you drooling?) it was pretty damn beautiful. Everything was delicious with lots of flavour and it left us both feeling full up and satisfied but not stuffed...which in my eyes, ticks all the boxes!
The 'azteque' montadito had chicken, fried onions and homemade guacamole and the 'di buffala' had juicy tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and homemade pesto and the patatas bravas drizzled with a red pesto type sauce. There was one big flavour party happening in my mouth guys. ANYWAY before you end up drooling all over your computer/smartphone- in short, this restaurant was like a little gift sent from the food gods. If you're heading to Bordeaux, you must visit here! DO IT or regret it for the rest of your sad montadito-less life.
Locadillos: 137 cours victor Hugo, Bordeaux.
While my sister was off at the hairdressers (her priorities), I went for a little wander round the streets myself and stumbled upon Freep'Show. I felt right at home as soon as I stepped in the door...The Cure was playing, I was surrounded by vintage clothes with a disco ball above my head and the walls lined with vinyls...basically, I was in my element. There was everything from vintage dresses to skirts, shoes, bags, leather jackets and much more- for women and men. A real little treasure tucked away in the city centre of Bordeaux- don't miss this place if you're a vintage lover!
Freep'Show friperie: 80 rue du loup, Bordeaux.
We made a little pit-stop at Place Saint-Projet, a nice little spot with open terrace cafés to stop and recharge your batteries over a drink and do some people watching!
We took a walk down the Garonne riverside where you can see Bordeaux from a different perspective. There are more shops (yes, more), cafés and river cruises to be enjoyed in this area as well as it being a popular spot for joggers, cyclists and picnickers (is that even a thing idk)...a nice quiet part of Bordeaux to be discovered!
Because looking at nice pictures of cakes doesn't make you put on weight and it's (almost) as enjoyable.
After a long day of walking about, eating, window-shopping (it's a hard life) we called it a day and headed back to my sisters apartment. I've been through Bordeaux on my travels but never had the chance to see it properly like this so I was glad to finally discover what it has to offer and I already want to come back again!
It's a buzzing but easy-going city with something for everyone whether you're keen on museums and galleries, trying out the restaurants, shopping or of course, drinking the Bordeaux wine! Luckily my sister will be in fact studying wine for her year there so if she ever needs a second opinion when wine tasting ... eheh!
So, is Bordeaux on your bucket list?
Lots of love, Lucie Rose x