Dubai – A Dream Come True (Part 1)

Ten years ago I came across the city of Dubai whilst creating mood boards for a school project. At this time, many of the architectural masterpieces that reside there today were dreams of what the future of this international hub of trading, business and technology could become. Today, many of these structures have been created, from skyscrapers reaching towards the stars, the city sprawling and stretching out into the desert, and fresh land being reclaimed to form spectacular man made islands.

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My fascination with this city began with the beautiful imagery that was born out of this luxurious destination. As a gateway between Europe, Africa and Asia; it is formed of a magical, multicultural combination of Arabian and international cultures to form a destination that is wealthy, prosperous and unique.

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When an opportunity arose for entering a competition to win a 3 night trip to this dream destination I had to go for it! I wrote how I would spend three days in the city, combining my interests of exploring the more traditional side of Dubai to indulging in its modern counterpart of more recent developments, along with my pure fascination in the architectural wonders it holds. You can read my post here if it is of interest! After a few days of anxiously waiting I received the most amazing news via Twitter that I had won! It took a while for the news to sink in as it truly was a dream come true.

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Travelbag, who the competition was in conjunction with, made the booking process so easy. Our trip was handled smoothly and efficiently by all involved, particularly Ashley in the Brighton office and the lovely ladies in the Kensington office who ensured that all of our flights, hotel and transfers were confirmed. I ensured an itinerary was planned, with limited time in Dubai and so much to see, I really wanted to ensure we made the most of our time there. I booked our trip up the Burj Khalifa prior to going which was so easy to do online. It also enabled you to pre-book a time slot which meant no time was wasted by queueing. Click here to book your tickets!

Although we didn’t have enough time to do any specific excursions, they are definitely worth considering when going to Dubai. For our transfers to and from the hotel to the airport we had excellent guides who talked about the area, the various buildings en-route etc. This was amazing considering it was my first time in Dubai and there was so much to see. To see the city and learn about it when first stepping off the plane was incredible and I am so pleased we had such an excellent driver. He was part of Arabian Adventures, a company that offer a whole range of fantastic excursions, from city tours through to a desert safari, definitely worth taking a look prior to heading to Dubai to see if there is anything you would like to see in particular!

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On Thursday 12th May we had an early start off to London’s Heathrow airport. We headed over to a (quiet!) Paddington station to catch our Heathrow Express train to Terminal 3. Being located in West London the trip to Heathrow would have been fairly quick by underground (the Piccadilly line goes straight to the airports terminals) however we opted for the Heathrow Express for the accessibility (most notably the lack of stairs to drag a heavy suitcase up and down!) and comfort, the leg room is excellent and there is ample room for suitcases and other luggage. If you are looking for a cheaper option, I would highly advise the underground as there are very frequent services to all terminals. The journey to Heathrow was extremely quick and we arrived at our departing terminal within 15 minutes! The terminal was easy to navigate and after finding no queue at the check in desk we were able to promptly drop off our bags and head up to departures. After experiencing the new, efficient, full body scanner, some security gates seem more sensitive over the metal plate in my foot than others! We headed through duty free into the departure lounge. I was feeling both slightly apprehensive but also fairly excited about my impending flight. It was the furthest I have ever travelled but I was so looking forward to flying with Emirates.

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It was a smooth six hour (approx.) journey which was made comfortable through the wonderful ICE entertainment system with access to film, tv shows, radio and music along with the option to view the plane’s journey with three onboard cameras! Our plane had a smooth landing in Dubai as the sun set over the city and we headed into the largest airport terminal I have ever seen in my life! To top it off there was the largest fountain to welcome us, along with a wonderful lady from Emirates to direct us to our transfer through the airport arrivals, which helped to make everything so efficient for us.

Our journey to the hotel was unforgettable. I still remember every second now. The awe of seeing the row of skyscrapers dominating Dubai’s skyline, through to the Sheikh Zayed Road – six lanes across in some places – it was a marvel in itself! The most priceless moment however, was the journey across onto the palm, turning the corner to see the fantastic Atlantis hotel standing grand against the horizon, it was stunning, an architectural wonder.

Heading onto the palm was surreal, although I had seen pictures, these were often from the air, to be actually on the island it felt as though we hadn’t really left the mainland at all. It was only when we got to the far end of the palm to our hotel, the Sofitel Palm, that we realised how far out to sea we actually were. It was pitch black, besides the lights from the hotel. When looking back to the shore it was a beautiful sight to see all the twinkling lights in the distance. We headed down to a beautiful steak dinner at the Porterhouse restaurant as part of our half board package. This was quite beneficial as there were not too many restaurants nearby on the palm so we were secluded to our hotel. It didn’t matter, there was a wonderful range of restaurants to choose from!

Stepping out onto the balcony was a bit of a shock in the morning. The warm air engulfing me as I stood looking out over the Arabian Gulf. I could only stand out for a few minutes before heading back into the fridge of the hotel room!

By 11am the pool and beach were looking super busy. Fortunately, we were able to ask the hotel staff to find us some loungers on the beach (a free service that they provide) along with an umbrella for some shade. They also provided towels too meaning we didn’t need to bring our own. It was so nice to set up camp for the morning – sipping on an ice cold frappucino from the local shop, overlooking the view of Dubai in the distance!

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Friday was family brunch day in the Porterhouse restaurant. Not sure what to expect, we took our seats overlooking the beautiful gardens of the Sofitel. We were handed two menus and explained that they would be bringing ALL the dishes on the menu so we could choose – buffet style, what we would like to eat.

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After brunch we headed over to Deira in our gleaming white, beautifully air conditioned Lexus (oh yes, we only travel in style in Dubai!) to head to the souks. Upon arrival we were immediately approached by several men all asking if we would like to buy designer handbags, watches and jewellery – although I cannot say for certain how legitimate these items were! We politely declined and headed off to the gold souk.

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We must have been spoken to by every shop owner in the souks that day – each asking if we would like to see what they had for sale and saying hello in a multitude of different languages. It was a beautiful sight to see all the beautiful gold sparking in the windows, and the spices of spice souk all piled up producing such delicious scents. Although I have visited these types of markets in previous years I felt bit overwhelmed and so did not go into any of the shops on this occasion. Now I know what to expect I would definitely go back on my next visit to try out my bartering skills and I’m sure would get some wonderful bargains!

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After heading through the spice souk we reached the sparking Dubai Creek. The fresh breeze from the water was truly welcome at this point, a soothing break from the dry heat of the city. We came across the Abra (water taxi) who explained that we could either have a trip up and down the Creek for AED 14 (£2.63) or we could make the quick trip across for AED 1 (0.18p!) We went for that option.

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After an eventful ride on the Abra, testing my balance with getting on and off the boat! We took a walk through the back streets of Dubai exploring little alleyways and witnessing everyday life. Piles of shoes outside houses and Dubai’s local community going about their daily routine. We headed past a Sikh temple before getting back to the waters edge of the Dubai Creek. Following it along we noticed the juxtaposition of the beautiful yachts moored against the bank, to the wooden abras ferrying travellers from shore to shore. We headed back inland and stumbled across the Dubai Museum, quite accidentally! It was late afternoon by this point and wanting to get out of the heat so we headed inside.

The Dubai Museum has a wealth of treasures. You start your journey in a courtyard area, there are wooden boats and examples of bedouin life. You head inside and into the fortress, following a spiral ramp down to the galleries. The galleries explored the history of Dubai, an in depth look into the rich history of the city and its culture. It looked at the importance of the sea to the city and then the recent development of the city – the desire of the city to be home to the tallest, the widest, at the forefront of architectual design. It was an extremely insightful introduction to the city.

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On leaving the Dubai Museum we took a walk through the city, a mixture of the residential and industrial parts of the city. We followed a group of young men for a while who had a kitten walking beside them, much like a dog would, after a while one of the young men scooped it up and carried it. We eventually returned to the coastline and came across an old friend, the QE2, which had reached her final destination of Dubai before being turned into a beautiful hotel. I remembered saying goodbye whilst living in Southampton from my bedroom window, watching her sail down Southampton Water and into the Channel on to her final destination.

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Heading back to the hotel we decided on dinner at the Hong Loong restaurant, a gorgeous Chinese restaurant hidden away in a corner of the hotel – you had to get a lift to find it! We had such delicious Chinese cuisine, including Beef in Black Bean Sauce with Strawberry crushed ice for dessert accompanied by the most gorgeous Oriental Cosmopolitan I have ever tasted! I am so looking forward to recreating that at home – but I’m not sure it will match up to the same standard!

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Make sure you keep an eye out for part 2 of my Dubai adventure – coming soon!!!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

 

25. Miss Milly

My featured business this week is…Miss Milly!

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Miss Milly are a wholesale jewellery business that I came across when I attended Pure London last February. Launching in 2012, they have some stunning pieces which look like miniature pieces of art!

Usually I’m not overly keen on large designs in jewellery unless I’m wearing a fairly plain, simple outfit, however all of these designs seem so versatile that I feel I could quite easily adapt an outfit to the design of the jewellery I choose to accessorise with.

I have a super long wishlist of jewellery from Miss Milly, most of which will definitely be going on my Christmas list this year. The colours are absolutely gorgeous and they can be dressed up for a night out or can be worn in the daytime to work or out with friends. All jewellery is nickel-free, lead-free and cadmium-free.

Every item has free delivery in the UK and comes with free gift packaging – the perfect way to shop for Christmas gifts!

After buying my gorgeous faux fur scarf from Miss Selfridge recently, I have gone navy obsessed! Navy is definitely the new black for me so when I came across this necklace (and matching bracelet!) on the website I knew it had to go top of my wishlist for Christmas.

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I have received three beautiful pieces from Miss Milly to review with each item delicately wrapped in a purple tissue paper, they were beautifully presented. The first was this stunning long heart necklace. Decorated with intricate detail, this pretty necklace has a long chain with a heart charm. I was pleasantly surprised by this necklace as I often find these to be made of quite a thin metal. This necklace however, felt well made and durable. £11.85

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The second piece was this set of starry earrings. Besides my pearl earrings that I literally wear on a daily basis, I go through phases of getting addicted to wearing the same pair of dangly earrings. I feel like space, stars and planets are definitely in trend for Autumn/Winter 2015 so I’ll definitely be using them to glam up my evening Christmas party outfits! I love the different colour metals used, it definitely gives them that unique, handmade look. £12.45

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My favourite piece that Miss Milly has been kind enough to send through to me has to be this blue disc bracelet. I loved the stones in this bracelet and love that it is elasticated meaning it is so easy to put on and take off. When holding the bracelet up in the light the stones sparkled with a rainbow of colours. I will definitely be taking this on my holidays next year when I jet off to Dubai. The perfect way to accessorise a cute holiday outfit!£16.50

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Make sure you follow Miss Milly on Twitter @MissMillyUK and click here to visit their website.

Best of all, in association with Miss Milly I am delighted to offer my readers a 10% discount! Make sure you use the word TEN in the shopping basket before going through to the checkout. Perfect for Christmas shopping!

Do you have a favourite piece of jewellery from Miss Milly? Let me know in the comments!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

*Items were supplied by Miss Milly to review for this blog post. Thank you Miss Milly!

Images are either my own or taken from the Miss Milly website.

Dreams of Dubai

“Dubai, with all of its glitz and glamour rose in the heart of the desert.”

Soroosh Shahrivar, The Rise of Shams

Personally, I find the city of Dubai one of the most fascinating destinations in the world. With its contrast of old and new, historical and modern and it’s merging of a variety of cultures that use the destination as a gateway to the rest of the world, it is the ultimate city of dreams. When I was a little girl I first discovered the city of Dubai in an encyclopaedia (with the rise of the internet I’m not even sure they still exist!) At school I would create collage after collage of research in the form of images of future designs of architectural magnificence that Dubai was looking forward to, in any other city these would have stayed pipe dreams. Not in Dubai.  Most of these mesmerizing structures have now come into fruition or are certainly under development.

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The city of Dubai. Image from Tumblr

When the opportunity arose to take part in Travelbag’s blogger competition with a prize of a trip to Dubai came up I was beyond ecstatic. It took me back to those school days where I would be cutting and sticking images of a destination I could only ever dream of visiting and I had to get involved.

There are two sides to Dubai, and it is these contrasting sides that I would absolutely have the pleasure in exploring. The history of Dubai as a small fishing village; growing, developing and expanding into the metropolis it has become, a symbol of the modern UAE. A symbol of a prosperous future for not only the city but the country as a whole.

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History of Dubai. Image from Viralnova.com

On the first day we would start with a day of visiting historical Dubai. We would enjoy a historical tour, savouring the cultural aspect of Dubai, marvelling at the fashions, savouring the tastes and smells of the souks. We would visit the food souk, the spice souk and the gold souk exploring what each of these had to offer. This would be followed by a visit to the Jumeirah Mosque. I find mosques absolutely beautiful and fascinating. They are such a peaceful environment as well which provides a calmness and sense of wellbeing.

Jumeirah Mosque. From Flickr.com

Jumeirah Mosque. Image from Flickr.com

In the evening we would escape the hustle and bustle of the city to the desert on a Desert Safari. Enjoying the surroundings of the bedouin camp we would enjoy belly dancers and arabic henna painting into the night.

The desert of Dubai. Image from 99traveltips.com

The desert of Dubai. Image from 99traveltips.com

Rising early, the second day would take an intense look at the architecture of Dubai. This is a city which has a landscape that looks like something out of this world. We would start the day by taking a visit to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, standing at 829.8m tall, venturing to the dizzying heights of the 125th floor to view the landscape around us. We would marvel at the World’s largest the fountains of the Burj Khalifa lake as they perform their daily shows, at night sending beams of light into space!

The Burj Khalifa - Image from Harpers Bazaar.

The Burj Khalifa – Image from Harpers Bazaar.

After coming back down to Earth we would visit the Dubai Mall. We would have some retail therapy, before exploring the other attractions the Mall has to offer, such as visiting the DubaiDino, a dinosaur that has been transported all the way from the USA and Sega Republic for some video gaming fun! No doubt we would also end up in the candy heaven that is Candylicious!

The most beautiful candy in the world! Image found on valentinadepertis.blogspot.se

The most beautiful candy in the world! Image found on valentinadepertis.blogspot.se

We would take in the beautiful city scape, including the many towers that dominate the skyline. My favourite would have to be the Twisted Tower, the Cayan Tower standing at 306m high.

Cayan Tower. Image found on skyscrapercity.com

Cayan Tower. Image found on skyscrapercity.com

Ending our exploration would be a visit to the manmade islands of the Palm and The World. These fascinated me as I was growing up, a playground for the rich and famous, these are located in the waters of the Persian Gulf and as the name suggests are in the shape of a Palm Tree and all the countries of the World. 

The second day would end with a trip to Burj Al Arab, the most luxurious hotel in the world. It was this architecture that first drew me into want to learn more about Dubai. This is the ultimate icon of Dubai and an architectural wonder. We would enjoy cocktails in the sky bar looking over the beautiful coastline and city of Dubai as the sun sets.

Burj Al Arab - Image found on homedit.com

Burj Al Arab – Image found on homedit.com

After two days of absorbing the architecture and the cultural aspects of Dubai Day three would be time for some fun in the sun! Ironically, the first activity of the day would not be in the sun and would involve a visit to Dubai’s Indoor Ski Park located in the Dubai Mall. A faux winter wonderland, this ski park is 22,500 square meters with a variety of activities available including skiing and snowboarding.

The Dubai Ski Park. Image  found on thechive.com

The Dubai Ski Park. Image found on thechive.com

After a couple of hours skiing we would head to Dubai’s Miracle Garden, the world’s largest natural garden full of the most colourful displays and breathtaking landscaping I have ever seen! When I was researching more about these gardens I was absolutely convinced to put them on my bucket list and I’m sure after seeing the images below you will too!

Dubai Miracle Garden - Image found on travel.cnn.com

Dubai Miracle Garden – Image found on travel.cnn.com

Dubai Miracle Garden. Image found on icosnap.com

Dubai Miracle Garden. Image found on icosnap.com

Our final day would end with a trip to the Atlantis resort. Located on The Palm, this breathtaking hotel is a reflection of the Atlantis in the Bahamas and plays host to rooms surrounded by an aquarium so you can literally spot stingrays and beautifully coloured tropical fish from the comfort of your own bed! Aquaventure Water Park is also part of the resort with some of the best water rides in the world and we would spend the afternoon zipping down water slides and relaxing in the sun. After enjoying a fun filled afternoon of meeting sea lions, visiting Dolphin Bay and enjoying the sights of the Aquarium we would visit one of the 23 fantastic restaurants to choose from for the most delicious meal before sorrowfully heading back to the UK.

The Atlantis Dubai. Image found on telegraph.co.uk

The Atlantis Dubai. Image found on telegraph.co.uk

“Pilgrims from all over the world were making their way to the place deemed the pearl of the Middle East. The city was reminiscent of a modern-day Persepolis. Its buildings, like towering pillars, tested the sky’s limit. The evenly paved roads belched with the smell of new tarmac, as if a million masons woke up every morning and by hand lay asphalt one grain at a time. People of all colors, ethnicities, creed and social statuses came bearing money, knowledge or experience in order to build their legacies in the new kingdom, sprouting out of the desert.
Dubai had arrived.”
Soroosh Shahrivar, The Rise of Shams

Becky at Pretty & Petit

23. Jewellerybox.co.uk

My featured business this week is… Jewellerybox.co.uk!

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I came across jewellerybox.co.uk at the #bigbloggersconference that I recently attended. Each blogger received a cute little gift from them which was beautifully wrapped up in brown paper. My gift was a set of stunning earrings with bracelet of a pretty little flower.

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When visiting their website I was pleasantly surprised! There was the option to choose by jewellery type, metal type, by occasion and by recipient – which makes choosing a gift for someone super easy! Perfect for special occasions or when you’re not sure what to get someone for their birthday. It’s also perfect for having a browse on a rainy afternoon.

I absolutely love the range of the designs available. From beautiful miniature flowers, to dinosaurs and seashells there’s something for everyone no matter what they are in to! Most items are also under £10 providing excellent value for money with free shipping on orders over £10*

As usual, I’ve included my favourite products from their website below but I’d love to know what your favourite products are! Let me know!

Sterling Silver Abalone Teardrop Necklace - £12.50

Sterling Silver Abalone Teardrop Necklace – £12.50

9ct Rose Gold Oval Locket - £75.50

9ct Rose Gold Oval Locket – £75.50

Sterling Silver Prancing Unicorn Necklace on Trace Chain 16 - 22 Inches - £8.60

Sterling Silver Prancing Unicorn Necklace on Trace Chain 16 – 22 Inches – £8.60

Sterling Silver Solid Tyrannosaurus Rex Dinosaur Necklace - £16.70

Sterling Silver Solid Tyrannosaurus Rex Dinosaur Necklace – £16.70

Sterling Silver Personalised Name Necklace with 5mm CZ Crystal Heart Birthstone - £25.40

Sterling Silver Personalised Name Necklace with 5mm CZ Crystal Heart Birthstone – £25.40

Sterling Silver Celtic Knot Toe Ring - £5.00

Sterling Silver Celtic Knot Toe Ring – £5.00

9ct Yellow Gold Pink Enamel Ballerina Stud Earrings - £30.60

9ct Yellow Gold Pink Enamel Ballerina Stud Earrings – £30.60

Abella Bee Earrings in Sterling Silver & 18ct Dipped Gold - £14.00

Abella Bee Earrings in Sterling Silver & 18ct Dipped Gold – £14.00

Sterling Silver Pink CZ 3mm Round Stud Earrings - £3.40

Sterling Silver Pink CZ 3mm Round Stud Earrings – £3.40

Sterling Silver & Blue Crystal Drop Earrings - £16.40

Sterling Silver & Blue Crystal Drop Earrings – £16.40

Sterling Silver Small Seashell Stud Earrings - £6.00

Sterling Silver Small Seashell Stud Earrings – £6.00

To view the full range of products on their website please click here.

Becky at Pretty & Petit

*Offer is correct at time of publication Monday 21st September 2015

All images either my own from the #bigbloggerconference event or product images taken from the Jewellerybox.co.uk website.

22. My Flash Trash

This week my featured business is… My Flash Trash!

My Flash Trash are a jewellery business based in London. I first came across them at a Pure London event as I spotted their mini trash cans and thought they were such a unique, cool way of storing jewellery! They were originally founded by Amber Atherton who developed a blog into an online marketplace for up and coming jewellery designers. My Flash Trash now has a celebrity following with everyone from Rihanna to Beyonce, Cara Delevingne to HRH the Duchess of Cambridge.

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They specialise in charm jewellery and specifically a unique style of charm bracelet. I love charm bracelets as they’re such a cute way to keep memories with you and My Flash Trash offer a range of different charms for every occasion. I have included a couple of my faves below!

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I absolutely love their quote: “we create playful and bold accessories to bring out your sassy side. we share a passion for not taking life or fashion too seriously, and believe in empowering girls to run the world.” I love the playful nature of this business, emphasising that girls just want to have fun!

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My Flash Trash has recently also just launched in Topshop so make sure you head down to Topshop Oxford Circus to check out their range of fun charms available and why not personalise your own!

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To visit their full range click here to visit their website and let me know in the comments which are your favourite charms!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

All images are taken from the My Flash Trash website.

19. Iced Rainbow

This week my featured business is… Iced Rainbow!

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Iced Rainbow is a fun, quirky jewellery and accessories business which creates fun unique pieces of jewellery using brightly coloured and metallic perspex.

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I loved the bright colours used within the collections and the range of different designs available. I purchased a selection of items from the website which came very quickly and were packaged well and they go perfectly with my summer outfits! These items (shown below) came from the Eclectic Collection which is part of the SS15 collections.

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I also love the Rainbow Collection which is a new collection for SS15 and includes fun Summer inspired necklaces including designs such as a cute ice cream, funky fruit and golden rainbows.

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Click here to view the full range and make sure you enter discount code: P15 to receive 15% off your order!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

All images taken from the Iced Rainbow website or by myself.

MUA Cosmetics Review

Today is an exciting day as I am doing my first ever beauty review! I want to bring you some of the best budget, mid range and luxury brands out there ranging from store own brand to MAC and Benefit products.

So for those who know me, they know I love to stick to the same beauty regime every single day! Currently in my make up collection I use the following:

Benefit – The Porefessional Primer

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Max Factor – Skin Luminizer Foundation in Natural

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Rimmel London – Stay Matte Powder in Silky Beige

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Benefit – Boi-ing Concealer in 01

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Benefit – Hoola Bronzer

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Bourjois Paris Blusher – Rose Eclat

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Benefit – They’re Real Mascara

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Benefit – Bad Gal Liner Waterproof

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Topshop – Smokey Eye Palette in Golden Aura

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MAC Lustre Lipstick in Viva Glam V

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MAC Dazzleglass in Rags to Riches

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I absolutely love these products, but I’m also open to trying new ones and love mixing it up with lots of different brands (although I have been known to splurge quite heavily on Benefit cosmetics as you can probably tell from the list above!)

So this week I’m bringing you MakeUp Academy (MUA) Cosmetics. I found my products in Superdrug and they had an amazing 3 for 2 deal on for all cosmetics – get down there quick if you want to get involved! It’s an amazing offer! I bought a mixture of eyeshadows and primers, both of which are essentials in my beauty regime and also bought a new highlighter which I have pretty much fallen in love with! My reviews of all these products below with a Beautify or Bust review, letting you know my verdict. Let me know if you are loving or hating the MUA Cosmetics range and if you have any faves in the comments below.

MUA Pro-Base Smooth, Set & Prime – £5

Usually I use Benefit’s Porefessional and I absolutely adore it, so for me to step away for a moment was a difficult choice to make! I love the clear simple packaging of this product and I found the difference of it being in a pot rather than a tube interesting. It sits happily alongside those pricier products on the shelves and does a good job at providing a base for my makeup. However, I found I had to use quite a lot of the product to get an even base and my face still felt quite oily after using it. It certainly made my skin feel smooth though after using it.

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Verdict: BUST – I love the packaging of this product but not overly keen on the scent compared to my current Benefit product. I really like the smoothness of the product though on my skin so would probably use this for every day use however definitely prefer the product being in a tube rather than in a pot.

MUA Pro-Base Prime & Conceal Powder – £4

Obviously, not being a make up pro when I first saw this powder I was slightly confused wondering why I would want to put a bright green and purple onto my face! This baked powder is beautiful and a wonderful addition to my make up collection. It feels so light on my skin too which is amazing!

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Verdict: BEAUTIFY – I love this product! It gave my skin a nice smooth, matte finish and reduced redness and blemishes. If I wanted to use a primer that was a powder instead of a cream I would definitely opt for this every time! In terms of using it as a concealer, I would most likely use an additional, although it did reduce redness I still needed to use an additional concealer to hide any additional blemishes!

MUA Undress Your Skin Shimmer Highlighter in Iridescent Gold – £3

I saw this highighter on Ninkcompoop’s YouTube video review (go check out her videos – I’m addicted!) and literally fell in love with it to the point that I went out and bought it that same afternoon! The colour is absolutely gorgeous, a shimmery gold and the pattern on the powder is so pretty that I want to display it for all to see!

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Verdict: BEAUTIFY – Not having used a highlighter before, I absolutely fell in love with this product. I loved how it brightened up my face and my eyes and the sparkle it provided. I definitely recommend!

MUA Eyeshadow Pallette in Hall of Fame – £4

I absolutely love the colours on this pallette. A mixture of golds, creams, blush, warm browns and dark blues to create a smokey eye effect. This pallette contains some of MUA’s most popular shades ever and I love the flexibility to get creative with it.

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Verdict: BEAUTIFY – I absolutely love the range of colours available in this pallette, ranging from nudes and golds to blues and black with a touch of sparkle. This is one pallette that I think will last me a very long time!

MUA Merged Trio Eyeshadow in Theatrics – £2.50

Firstly I absolutely loved the name theatrics, this was closely followed by the amazing baked colours. They literally look like planets! It was difficult to choose which trio to go for as there were so many to choose from and they all looked amazing, however finally settled on a mix of purples and golds which I thought would be a perfect combination.

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Verdict: BEAUTIFY – I love the smokey eye effect this trio gave me and the additional sparkle in each eyeshadow. An amazing budget purchase and so pretty!

MUA Brow Define Tinted Brow Mascara in Dark Brown – £2

This product came in a couple of fab shades to choose from depending on how dark your brows are. It was easy to apply and the product went easily onto the eyebrow, brushing gently through. A perfect product for defining brows!

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Verdict: BUST – I can see how it would be a fab product, and it definitely does stay on and emphasises my eyebrows but as my brows are quite dark already I’m not sure this is the product for me. It made me look quite theatrically angry as the product was quite dark! I think I will be sticking to a powdered product in future.

Becky at Pretty & Petit

All images taken from linked websites. MUA review images are my own.

13. Alex Monroe

My featured business is… Alex Monroe!

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This week I am featuring jewellery designer, Alex Monroe. I first came across Alex Monroe on Facebook as another small business had shared their post on their newsfeed. The post caught my eye featuring their stunning new ‘Beyond the Sea’ collection which has recently been launched in store, online and also in Liberty.

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London based Alex Monroe has been designing jewellery for over 25 years and is inspired by natural world creating all of his original designs by hand. I think it is fair to say that I absolutely love every single item on this website! From floral rings to honeybee earrings and bicycle necklaces in gold, rose gold and silver. There is something to go with every outfit. I absolutely love watches by Olivia Burton and these natural world inspired pieces definitely compliment them!

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Beyond the Sea is their most recent collection. A collection inspired by sea creatures, boats and all things nautical! I love the statement octopus necklace below and the cute intricate detail of the crab ring.

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As I love so many bits and bobs on their website I’ve had to start making a wishlist! Here are a few of my absolute faves. I’d love to hear what your favourite pieces from the website – let me know in the comments below!

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Make sure you check out their website by clicking here as I’m sure you will love the collections as much as I do!

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Becky at Pretty & Petit

All images taken from the Alex Monroe website.