Style // Beauty // Happiness

My most popular posts of 2014


2014 has been a great year for my blog. I'm taking a lot more time creating content and am always liaising with PR's for better quality images and information. The only thing that makes life a little more difficult is that 2014 was the year EVERYONE started blogging.. there's so much competition now that it's difficult to get noticed. So I'm very grateful for every follower and every bit of feedback I receive. Here are my most popular posts of 2014. 









Last Minute Stocking Fillers (For Girls)

Hopefully we're all pretty much there with the Christmas shopping now but if you still need a few more ideas for the stockings, here are my top ten favourite picks. Have a merry Christmas!!

Notebook Tri, £20, radley.co.uk

FILOFAX iPad Mini Case

I'm a massive fan of Filofax and can't live without my bright pink leather organiser! But today I am reviewing the Metropol iPad Mini Case - perfect for the super organised workaholics (just like me!) - so I was delighted to see this delivered on my doorstep. Not only is it an affordable, productive treat for yourself, but it's also a great gift.

Features:
- Secure 360° rotatable iPad mini frame can be stood up for use in multiple viewing positions
- Designed for simultaneous paper and iPad use
- Suitable for both left and right handed use
- Elasticated smartphone pocket
- A5 notepad/document pocket
- Elasticated card pocket
- Elasticated pen holder

£26.00

Luxury hand creams for winter

From left to right: Liz Earle, Oliver Bonas, Eve Lom, Crabtree & Evelyn
(All products sent for review)
Photography by Hannah Driscoll

If you're like me and suffer with terrible dry skin, particularly in this cold winter weather, then you've come to the right place. I've reviewed four hand creams from some of my favourite luxury brands to help you decide which is best to keep your hands soft and nourished this winter.


Oliver Bonas
Hand & Nail Cream in Lychee & Green Melon, £8.50
If you're a lover of fruity, delicious scents then this one is for you! The cream contains shea butter, making it ultra silky smooth to treat your hands and nails. I just have one little piece of criticism and that would be that the tough metal packaging may make it difficult to get any last remains of the cream out of the tube. Other than that, it's an affordable luxury product and small enough to fit in your handbag!
Available here

Eve Lom
Hand Cream SPF 10, £22
This luxury hand cream is very simple and minimal, ideal for people who don't like any fuss when it comes to beauty products. It has no fragrance but it very easy to massage and absorb into hands with it's shea butter smoothness. Also with an SPF 10 you can use the cream even in the sunniest of weathers! The packaging states not to apply to broken skin, which is a problem for me as I suffer with eczema so unfortunately I'll have to avoid using it but for anyone with mild dryness, it is perfect.
Available here

Crabtree & Evelyn
Citron, Honey & Coriander Hand Therapy, £15
This hand cream will give you endless hours of softness, containing a blend of ingredients including macadamia nut oil, honey and shea butter. There's no stinging sensation to cuts which is a bonus for me! It smells amazing and again, is easy to pop into your handbag during the day or on a night out.
Available here

Liz Earle
Hand Repair, £20.75
I would say this is my favourite hand cream of the four. It has a super 'easy to use' pump so there'll be no problems at the bottom of the bottle. The scent reminds me of a spa! It's so luxurious, organic and fresh. Its application is smooth and easy providing instant relief. They have it spot on naming it "hand repair", as I believe it really does repair any moisture loss and makes you feel all pampered!
Available here

Let me know which one is your favourite!

THE LUXURY ADVENT CALENDAR

The countdown to Christmas has never been so indulgent with Jo Malone London's luxury advent calendar. Each morning, open the doors of Jo Malone's Georgian town house to reveal a spoiling surprise. The calendar is filled with little luxuries - refined colognes and rich & nourishing body creams - perfect for creating your own seasonal signature scent this Christmas. 

RRP £250

New season umbrellas!

Now that the rainy weather is here, it's time to invest in a new, stylish umbrella! Here's my top picks to keep you dry this winter.

£18, Beyondretro.com

9 things that made me happy this week


1. Sitting by the fire
One of my favourite things about coming home in the winter is sitting by the fire that my daddy lights when it's cold outside. There's nothing more comforting and homely than a warm lit fire. 

2. Christmas hot chocolate
You know it's Christmas when the coffee shops are selling their special festive flavoured drinks! My favourite was the Orange hot chocolate at Costa. Also a winner is the honey & almond hot chocolate from Starbucks!

3. Travelling first class
For the first time ever I sat first class on my train journey home. Plush leather seats and free snacks - was a very nice, relaxing treat!

4. Petit Bateau t-shirt
I was delighted when I received this adorable Petit Bateau t-shirt from FLAX PR. It's fits perfectly and is just so cute. Definitely a little pick-me-up on a rainy day! Take a look at their range here

5. Mayfair
Ah, my favourite place in London. I was on my lunch break and after purchasing a new Chanel fragrance, I came across a cute cafe called Drunch. I had a delicious detox smoothie and was delighted by the friendly staff and beautiful decor. Take a look at their website.

6. Fenton's Ice Cream
THE yummiest ice cream I have ever had - even better than Ben & Jerry's! I treated myself to the cookies & cream flavour and it was amazing!! For those of you that don't know Fenton's, take a look at their website.

7. Rainbows
My Auntie looking down on me & my family :)

8. #MontyThePenguin
Of course the Christmas John Lewis advert! It brings a tear to my eye every time I watch it. And the window display in their Oxford Street store is so cute. 

9. New friends
I met a new friend this week who I got on with so well and had such a laugh with. Making new friends is a great feeling! 


What made you happy this week?

Review: Paco Rabanne Black XS Potion

Paco Rabanne Black XS Potion*
Truly the most gorgeous perfume I have come across in a long time. I've managed to stay faithful to my Chanel fragrance for a while now but after discovering this.. I'm afraid Chanel and I are taking a break. Black XS Potion has a gorgeous mix of scents - grapefruit, violet, sandalwood, amber, hellebore rose and baccara rose! With the rock 'n' roll packaging and daring name, the Black XS woman is targeted at the rebellious Princess - sensual and mysterious. 

One thing I hate about perfume is when it's not even noticed by others around you. When someone comments on how nice you smell, you know you've got a good 'un! And that's exactly what I got from Black XS Potion. Lots of compliments and not to mention, a long lasting mood-boosting scent! Highly recommended.


Want it? Go get it..
Paco Rabanne Black XS Potion Men's 100ml EDT - £48.50
Paco Rabanne Black XS Potion Women's 50ml EDT - £39.00
Available nationwide in all good stockists

From day to night..

 Last weekend I met up with my lovely new Photographer, Hannah Driscoll, for our first shoot together at the beautiful Kensington Gardens in Chelsea, London. Take a look at our shoot where I demonstrate how to completely revamp your outfit, taking it from day to night, with just 3 simple changes and no fuss!







TO NIGHT - With a simple change of shoes, bag & coat, no one will notice you're actually wearing the same outfit!









LOOK ONE
Blouse, Topshop | Coat, Covent Garden | Trousers, New Look | Boots, DKNY | Necklace, Warehouse | Bag, Jimmy Choo.

LOOK TWO
Waistcoat, Steve Madden | Heels, Matalan - available here | Clutch, Matalan - available here | Ring, Pandora - available here.

LOCATION
Kensington Gardens, Chelsea, London

PHOTOGRAPHY BY
Hannah Driscoll

This week's 5 most inspiring articles


I love an inspiring read, and I'm sure you do too as other wise you wouldn't be reading this right? So I've put together 5 of the most inspiring articles that I've read this week. Spending your Sunday relaxed wrapped up in a duvet? Great - these posts will be perfect company! 


Cosmopolitan.co.uk - 20 things to do in your 20s - read here
I have a never ending list of 'things to do' but I like it. Ticking things off the list is evidence of you living your life and fulfilling your wants and dreams! 

Redonline.co.uk - What the most successful people do before breakfast - read here
Success is one of the most important things to me so it's great to here what all of the big business people in the world get up to in the mornings! "My goal is to build a life I don't need a vacation from". 

Fromroses.co.uk - Going down your own path - read here
It's scary when everyone starts going their separate ways, isn't it? It feels like there's so much pressure to do well. I'm a big fan of this blog in general but what she says about 'going down your own path' is very inspiring!

Glamourmagazine.co.uk - 19 ways to feel better today - read here
Sometimes we can all feel a bit down.. maybe you've had a bad day at work or you really wanted to go out but all your friends are busy. Or worse, you're going through a tough time. But Glamour's top tips are here to get you through! 

Littlemisskaty.co.uk - 10 happy moments in a bad week - read here
I discovered Katy's blog this week and I absolutely love it. In this post I love how she admits she's had a bad week but can still pull out all of the happy moments within it. Let's all look up to Katy :)


Which article is your favourite?

Best Halloween Accessories

I've never been one to go all out on Halloween, but for some reason this year I cannot wait to get partying in my vampy gear. (I think it's because I've been invited to Swankys this year!) When it comes to dressing up, some people like scary, some people like stylish. And here at GEMFASH, we like super super stylish. From floral face masks to spooky home accessories, here are some of my favourite Halloween inspired pieces to get you through the night! Be sure to drop me a comment and let me know what you'll be wearing for the event, and don't forget.. Have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Trick or treat ballerina flats, £8, ASOS.com

London Weekend

I've had such a lovely weekend visiting a few of London's most beautiful locations - Regent's Park, Primrose Hill and The V&A Museum. Click 'read more' to enjoy a series of photos sharing my journey :)

Primrose Hill

Grey accessories

Embellished clutch, £15, Matalan - buy here
Grey suede heels, £18, Matalan - buy here

Another shopping trip, another blog post. This time I've invested in grey accessories. I've wanted a glamorous clutch for a while and completely fell in love with this embellished one from Matalan. And for £15, it didn't take much persuasion to buy! It's so pretty and can be worn with any coloured dress. It even looks amazing with the grey t-bar heels. Due to the thick heel, they're comfy making them suitable for work which is a big plus for me! I can't wait to wear them!

Today is Saturday and I'm off for a lovely family lunch in the country side. Have a nice weekend x

Things I've learnt since turning 20


A lot of people tell me, 'you're still so young' 'you have the rest of your life ahead of you', and yes maybe I do. But turning 20 is the end of an era - out of your teens and into your twenties. The next ten years is when we do the things we want to do; see the world, get your dream job, meet the love of your life, maybe get a mortgage. It's a scary decade in your life where you create the life you want. Here's a list of things I've learnt since turning 20:

  • It's important to appreciate the little things
  • Sounds cliche but take care of the people you love and don't take advantage of their existence because you never know when they'll be gone
  • Don't waste your time on people that don't matter, concentrate on your true friends
  • I've already started saying things like "back in my day"
  • Making money is important and mostly reassuring 
  • I was one of those that hated PE at school, but now I enjoy exercise. It makes me feel good!
  • You will come across many different characters in your lifetime - good and bad. 
  • Taking time off work is important
  • No matter how hard I try, I will never be a size 8
  • I don't even like drinking anymore. Sometimes I'm out with friends and I will order a glass of water with ice and lemon! Alcohol makes me feel unhealthy.
  • Friends is my favourite programme and always will be
  • Success = happiness
  • Be proud of what you have achieved so far
  • Spend money on experiences, not things
  • Be open to change - everything happens for a reason
  • A smile can go a long way
  • Life isn't perfect

What have your learnt in life?

Friday Favourites: Autumn Edition

October is approaching and it's safe to say I'm swiftly slipping into the Autumnal mood. Tan, burgundy, navy and teal - all lovely rich colours that I can't wait to incorporate into my wardrobe and make-up palette. I'm having a manicure this afternoon and definitely feeling a dark red or green! So without further a do, here are my must-haves to get you through the Autumn season.

£65, Oliviaburton.com
Nothing screams out Autumn more than this beautiful Olivia Burton timepiece. The gorgeous neutral tone florals and tan leather strap make this watch the perfect Autumn accessory.

Hello! Fashion Monthly - What's it all about?


Another fashion magazine, you may think. Wrong. Firstly, Hello! Fashion Monthly (or otherwise abbreviated as HFM) kick off their first issue with style icon Olivia Palermo as cover star. Olivia Palermo as in THE most fashionable woman in the world. So straight away you know you're about to be drifted off into a world where it's okay to spend your last 6 month savings on those Valentino boots, but simply not okay to walk past Liberty's astonishing window displays and not have to delay your schedule by a good half hour. HFM offers so much more than just trend pages and get the looks, presenting us with catwalk to high-street, galleries to stunning photo shoots, street style to celebrity style, beauty tutorials to the hottest spa getaways. HFM will help you live your life every step of the way, for only £1. So what are you waiting for?

Top London locations for a manicure

Manicures make me feel so much nicer and girly for every day life so I like to have one every 2-3 weeks. Here are my favourite places to go in London.

Cowshed - Foubert's place, Soho http://www.cowshedonline.com/
Cowshed focuses on luxury and comfort. Your sat in a plush cushioned sofa seat with your arms resting on a giant cushion that's placed on your lap. I always go for the Cowshed Manicure that comes with exfoliation and an arm/hand massage. And the varnish won't chip for a good whole week! Would definitely recommend Cowshed, and they're based all over the country so you don't have to be in London.

Cowshed Manicure £42

W Hotel - Leicester Square http://www.awayspalondon.com/
The W Hotel is beautiful and located just outside Chinatown/Piccadilly/Leicester Square. Take your mum or best friend with you and you can have a mani next to each other. Beauty therapists are friendly, experienced and approachable.

55 minutes for £50

Nails & Brows - Mayfair http://nailsandbrows.me/
Nails & Brows is a small but clean/luxury nail salon located in Mayfair. Staff specialise in nail art so if that's what you're into then I'd strongly recommend! I'm not such a fan of printed nails so I went for subtle polka dot thumbs which were really cute.

Signature Manicure £48


Corinthia Hotel - Embankment http://www.espalifeatcorinthia.com/
If you're looking for pure luxury then the ESPA life at Corinthia is perfect for you. It's pricey but the Corinthia is a 5 star hotel and will leave you with long lasting results. "Repair, replenish and condition".

Advanced Manicure £70


So that's my top four! Where do you like to go for a manicure?

Friday Favourites

It's just been a normal day for me in the office. I'm heading home tonight for a lovely weekend with my family. But before I head off, here is my outfit of the day and a few of my Friday favourites... 

Shirt; Warehouse, Blazer; New Look, Jeans; River Island, Sandals; M&S, Watch; DKNY, Bag; Jimmy Choo
£4 Rock n Rose - buy here
£3.50 POP Bakery - buy here
£995 Olivia Palermo Shoe Collection - Exclusive to net-a-porter.com 
£58 Warehouse - buy here
£52 - Buy here

Health Regime

Recently I've been really into the health and fitness thing, which is great for me! I'm going to the gym at least 3 times a week taking part in fitness classes such as spinning and 'freestyle' which is similar to circuits. And I've also cut out as many carbs as I can (no rice and pasta, particularly in the evening), as well as no chocolate, crisps etc. I'm not dieting as such, just simply eating healthy. Although I was a bit naughty today and ate a cookie, but we won't talk about that.. 

Sorry the above meal doesn't look particularly appetizing but what you can see is a boiled egg, sweetcorn, avocado and hummus. It filled me up and is a healthy balanced meal with protein and veg there! Also one of my favourite things at the moment is juice. My favourite is Joe & The Juice - pure mixes of fruit and tastes sooo good! They are pretty pricey at almost £5 each but I do like to treat myself to one every now and again. 

What do you do to keep healthy?

Family Day

Last week I went to the beautiful Tortworth Court back home in Bristol with my family. We had a lovely lunch - steak and chips in fact(!) - and a relaxing stroll in their back courtyard. We stayed here overnight for my mum's birthday a few years ago and fancied coming back as it is so beautiful. They also have a spa and a bar. The venue is very popular for weddings and events too! I love it so much that I wanted to share some pictures with you all! What are your thoughts? 

What's been happening?

You may have noticed I haven't posted in a while.. so what's been happening? Well, I've been mega busy at work for a start. Going to the gym 3-4 times a week, and trying to fit in a social life too!

Dress, M&S; Jacket, Primark
I've been going to lots of cool events! On the left is an image from where I attended a free drinks and meal evening in association with iMedia and Adtech London. It was a fun evening, met lots of great people and of course, took down plenty of free wine and delicious food.
You may have heard of the new programme Virtually Famous on E4.. well, I was invited to watch in the audience! Such a cool experience.. I was sat in the second row, about 5 feet away from the likes of Helen Flanagan, David Haye and Sean Walsh! The programme aired a couple of nights ago.. unfortunately there was no close up of me on TV but hey, can't have it all!!
A few weeks ago I visited the Aqua bar in Soho. Everyone had been talking about the balcony view there so I thought it was time to go! And they were right.. out on the beautiful (but busy) balcony was a gorgeous night view of London (see below). I love visiting new places.. I still want to see St. Paul's cathedral and go out along Southbank!

Aqua Bar - Argyll Street, London, W1
I was also lucky enough to go to the Jimmy Choo sample sale, where I fell in love and got a mega bargain bag!!! I won't put a price on it but I honestly couldn't believe my luck. It's so gorgeous and I've been wearing it every day! I have to say though, Jimmy Choo shoes are just not walkable. Literally.

Jimmy Choo
 I've also been taking lots of inspiration from social media, blogs and even the information board in my local station! Every day they write up a new 'thought of the day', and it's what I look forward to most during my commute to work! One example below!
North Acton Underground Station
Anyway, I'm really hoping to get some more fashion posts up of my outfits so stay tuned and follow me on twitter for updates every day! https://twitter.com/gemfash

Mwaah xx
© Gemma Carey

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