The pursuit of Blogging - My 100th Post and Giveaway!

I can't believe I have reached my 100th post already on my little blog!!
Its a milestone that if i'm honest, I wasn't sure if I would achieve at the beginning of this journey. Nearly 6 months ago when I pressed 'publish' on my first post I was full of buzz and excitement that I had finally pursued a hobby that I had been thinking about doing for a loong time!  
I found that it quickly became the outlet that I was looking for to be a more creative 'me' and document the things in my life that I love doing, seeing and talking about.

At first, I didn't tell anyone about as I didn't want to feel pressurised into writing for the people close to me who I knew would read I took my time and when I felt comfortable and discovered my flow and style of writing, I started sharing with friends and family and was so overwhelmed by the support and lovely comments that I recieved.
I am always so surprised and grateful for each and every follow, share, like and visit that I receive via Bloglovin, Instagram, Twitter, Google + or anyone who just comes directly onto my webpage.

So to celebrate and as a 'thank you' I would like to do my first giveaway to commemorate my 100th post milestone.
One of my most popular posts, up until very recently was 'The pursuit of...three gorgeous scents'  where I reviewed Avon's scent essence range (below).
I am a big Avon fan and these gorgeous fragrances are in perfect dainty little bottles that have a lovely fresh smell for the daytime.  My personal favourite is Vibrant Fruity.

The giveaway is open to residents of the United Kingdom only as sadly I believe there are some restrictions on posting perfumes internationally.
To enter, fill out the form below where you must leave a comment on this post telling me what your signature perfume is for Autumn/Winter and also follow me via Bloglovin.  You can also follow me on twitter @ivygeorge_.

From left: Vibrant Fruity, Romantic Bouquet, Sparkly Citrus

The giveaway will be running for one week ending on the 05th November and three winners will be chosen and contacted after this time for the scent that they would like sent to them.

All the best of luck and thank you to my readers for joining the pursuit!

Love, Ivy George x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The pursuit of...Halle Berry

I recently read that the beautiful Halle Berry has just turned into a business woman by investing in a Parisian lingerie brand called Scandale.
Halle owns 50% of the company and is launching it in the USA as a franchise in Target stores.
The French brand, Scandale, has over 80 years of expertise and its style is sophisticated, timeless, Parisian chic.
Halle Berry has started off with a line of ten collections of classic lace, nude and some animal print lingerie sets.
It will be interesting to see how this collection fairs in the states and whether it will branch out globally.


Halle mentioned in an interview with Vogue that she knows many women who always wear the same 'janky' (her words!) bras and that she wanted to make an affordable line accessible to everyone so that we can emulate the French who really do care about their under garments.
Let's face it, we all do have that favourite bra....and quite often we can spend quite a penny on getting nice new ones, that we end up hanging on to them until they're well past their best!! (I know I have some at the back of my drawer which are pretty suspect!) 

Scandale are a French brand that has a rich heritage in producing elegant and classic lingerie since 1932 - alongside Halle's stunning and covetable looks,  I'm sure they'll be a big rush of women who will be running to their nearest Target stores and snapping up their piece of Parisian chic on a budget.

Have you brought anything from the line?

Love, Ivy George x 

The pursuit of Giselle and Chanel No.5

Last month, I blogged about how much I love the new Christian Dior J'Adore Dior mini film starring Charlize Theron and showed my favourites from their campaigns over the years (see it here).

Well, this month, it is the turn of Chanel who have released their newest mini film commercial for the iconic Chanel No5 fragrance....and I love it!!

This time the face of the brand is the beautiful Gisele Bundchen and Baz Luhrmann has again taken the reins to direct the production.  The result as you would expect is stunning...(see below).
The advert or film, feels like a trailer to a hollywood movie, which is the trademark style Baz Luhrmann gave to the first mini-film ten years ago when he directed Nicole Kidman.

I really love this film and feel Giselle was the right casting to play the role of today's Chanel woman.
Along with the soundtrack - the haunting reworking of the classic Grease number "The One That I Want", the whole production is just beautiful.

In terms of the Chanel fragrances, I must say my favourite campaigns are for Chanel No.5 rather than the Keira Knightley films for Coco Mademoiselle etc.

I'll leave you with another classic that is a favourite of mine from Chanel starring Marilyn Monroe who famously immortalised the fragrance and arguably put it firmly in the history books (below).

What do you think of the new mini-film for Chanel?

Love, Ivy George x

The pursuit of...Bicester Village

Ahhh...I must admit I do have a bit of a penchant for designer items and a few years ago I found out about Bicester Village - the outdoor designer outlet shopping haven and I always make it my mission to visit a couple of times a year.
Last week I made the trip to Bicester in Oxfordshire with my sister for some much needed retail therapy.
Now, it is a bit of a drive for us (about an hour and a half in each direction) so we set off early, had breakfast in our local cafe and then set out on our mini road-trip!

It was busy as usual when we arrived.  Even though it was a midweek day there was still a battle for a parking space.  It's no surprise though, as Bicester Village has now become a tourist attraction with hundreds of people booking coach trips to this shopping destination (there was about four large tourist coaches parked waiting for tired bargain hunters to return when we got there!).

I headed to Lulu Guinness where I couldn't choose between these two fabulous zip pouches.  I have had my eye on the postcard one for a while now (above) but then I spotted the travel list one (below) and I was spoilt for choice! Priced at about £38 this was approx about £16-17 off the original price.

My sister headed to Ralph Lauren Kids where the discounts were really very good.  Again, this store was heaving - everyone seems to be dressing their kids in Ralph these days!!

All of the big brands are here, including: Prada, Jimmy Choo, Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Celine, Gucci, Mulberry etc.  Michael Kors was very busy as their outlet store was full of the very popular 'Jet Set Tote' bags.  It's worth the drive as depending on what you are buying some of the discounts are very good.

In the past, I have purchased a few good bargains from here including a Gucci Purse for £115 - reduction of nearly £120, a couple of Luella bags and some amazing Ralph Lauren pony skin shoes.
Some people say that the bargains here aren't that great anymore....I do personally think that you are more likely to buy something from the outlets at Bicester Village if you go there for a particular item that you've researched and had your eye on for a while. All of the items I've bought, I've set out to buy rather than bought on a whim whilst window shopping - although there are some great discounts, as they are designer items, the prices are still relatively high....I guess it depends how much of a shopaholic you are!!

Pounding the pavements of Bicester Village

So, it was another successful shopping day in old Bicester Village - I probably won't return again now until the January Sales where there hopefully will be a  few further discounts on items that I have my eye the Prada Saffiano Tote bag......hmmmmm.....roll on the sales!!

Have you been to Bicester Village?

Love, Ivy George x

The pursuit of...Bright and Illuminating skin (Vichy Idealia Life Serum review)

I am always on the hunt for new face creams - especially when the weather is a little bit colder and I start to see the effects on my skin like dullness, dryness etc.
When I was in Boot's a few weeks ago, I navigated towards the pretty rose pink packaging of Vichy's Idealia Life Serum (fickle as I am!...).
The serum is in a very cute, ombre pink, heavy based glass bottle with a chrome pump.  It looks very much like a gorgeous perfume bottle (above and below).

The blurb about this serum from Vichy, is that in just 8 days it can transform skin quality by illuminating skin tone, reducing pores and refining skin texture.
Intrigued, I applied some of the tester in store onto the back of my hand and immediately was enamoured by it.  It has an iridescent rose pink colour when you start to smooth it in with tiny flecks of rose gold micro pearls through it. It also has the most beautiful scent.

It applies easily - does not leave any greasy residue and I must say I did immediately see an improvement in the texture of skin from where I had applied it.  My skin looked brighter and smoother.
I decided to buy it and give it a try as my skin was in some much needed uplifting from a few late nights and some unhealthy eating over the last few weeks!

You can just about see the iridescent colour that the rose, gold iridescent micro pearls give to this serum.
I have been using this serum day and night now for the last two-three weeks and I am pleased to say I saw an improvement in my skin straight away.  My skin is smoother, more brighter and it definitely reduces the look of my pores.  I use it alone and have found that it works extremely well as a make-up primer aswell.
When I look at my skin very closely without makeup with this serum applied, I can just about see the little illuminating flecks of rose gold.  That might not be everyone's cup of tea, but for me, as someone who has warm, golden undertones in my skin, I have found it to be very flattering.

The technology, research and clinical studies that Vichy have done behind this product is very impressive and reassuring.  Below are some of the facts and figures from Vichy that prove that you do see results.

In 8 days:

  • 83.9% agreed that skin felt softer
  • 82.2% agreed that skin texture felt smoother
  • 83.9% agreed that skin felt softer
  • 80.4% agreed overall skin quality was improved
  • 1 out of 2 women felt comfortable going out with less makeup or no makeup at all

Another bonus is that it is non-comedogenic, paraben free and tested on sensitive skin.  As I have quite oily skin and sometimes suffer with tiny little spots due to clogged pores this was a major plus for me.

I'm not one for serums normally but I really love this product due to the results that I have seen so quickly.  The only con for me was the price - It is fairly expensive at £29.50 and it is only a 30ml bottle.  However, saying that, you do only need a little bit of it at a time so it should last a couple of months perhaps (the other con being that you can not see inside the bottle due to it's design so you're unaware of how much you have left!).
It was quite a brave move for me to buy this product as this price without knowing whether it would live up the product blurb or not but the tester in store really swayed me.

I'm glad I gave it a try and love how bright, refined and smooth my skin looks since I've been using this.
Based on the results I have seen, I will be buying the Vichy Idealia Life Serum again....I just hope there will be some kind of offer on it by the time I run out!!

Love, Ivy George x

The pursuit of..."Something blue"

Last week I went shopping with my friend who is getting married soon (exciting!!!) and we were following the old adage "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" - the something blue being her wedding shoes!
We ended up in Liberty on London's Regent Street and made our way to the ultimate shoe heaven destination - Manolo Blahnik!

The Manolo Blahnik "Hangisi" embellished shoe (above) is the perfect bride or bridesmaid is just beautiful!! 
So exquisite and the perfect heel height too (not ridiculously high!), it was love at first sight for my friend and I!!
This shoe in deep royal blue was the infamous (now iconic!) shoe seen in the Sex and The City movie as Carrie Bradshaw's engagement present from Mr.Big.
It is such a perfect choice, as who really wants to wear cream or ivory satin shoes again after their big day??! (Does anyone actually really go through with dyeing their shoes so they can wear them again?...) 
With these Manolo's you are able to keep the something blue tradition whilst feeling extra special and elegant on the day itself.  My friends wedding dress is very long but you will just be able to get a glimpse of the fabulous jeweled toe as she will look stunning!

I didn't know this before but the Hangisi shoe comes in an array of gorgeous colours (below).  
Seeing all of the collection displayed on the table like a Manolo Blahnik rainbow was too much for me...I wanted all of them, in particular the emerald green, white, mustard yellow, fuschia, purple, rose get the picture!! How can you choose just one?!!

Priced at £650 they are a luxury...but one that would give you endless pleasure no doubt!!

I also fell in complete love with the "Eufrasia"collection from Manolo (below).  Again, another fabulously embellished toe area and it comes in different colours and a velvet or satin finish.   
The jewel reminds me of an elaborately detailed vintage brooch - I love the emerald stone detail in the centre, 
When I tried these ruby shoes on, even with just my jeans, these shoes looked incredibly chic! 
I spent the whole day dreaming of outfit ideas that incorporated these amazing pumps!!....they also come in white. which again, I think would make a fabulous wedding shoe if you wanted to keep the traditional colour scheme.

Manolo Blahnik "Eufrasia" (£700)

Which shoe do you like? Would you opt for a coloured wedding shoe?

Love, Ivy George x 

The pursuit of...Scandal

I am addicted to the drama series Scandal starring Kerry Washington!
I just love Olivia Pope who is the character that Kerry plays and more importantly - her fashion sense!
Olivia's wardrobe has become a huge talking point - her character is always dressed immaculately in luxurious tailored trouser suits or classic, sophisticated pencil skirts and silk blouses and she has some of the most gorgeous overcoats I have seen on the telly! (below).

Olivia's signature look - neutral, muted and pastel colours and soft, luxurious textures

The notoriety of Olivia Pope's wardrobe has inspired lots of fans of the show to try to emulate her fashion forward look and lucky for us, Kerry Washington has now launched a clothing line reproducing the many signature looks of her character!
The Scandal collection can be found at fashion retailer The Limited (click here) and it has so many fabulous pieces in the typical style of Olivia.
The collection in my opinion is designed for the independent, successful and strong career woman who wants to look powerful without losing her femininity. 
I think my favourites are the capes and oversized coats which are in fabulous muted colours, which just look so chic and ladylike.

Screen shot of The Scandal Collection for The Limited website

Love all of these looks!!
The line has been designed by Scandal's very own costume designer Lyn Paolo so the collection is very authentic with what you would see in the show.
The Limited is a US website although they do ship to the United Kingdom also so if you are a fan of the show and want to channel Olivia Pope next time you're at the office, check it out!

Let me know what you think of the Scandal Collection or if you have already brought something!!

Love. Ivy George x

The pursuit of...Evita


Yesterday I went to see Evita which has been revived in the West End but only for a limited season of 7 weeks at the Dominion Theatre.
Evita, the musical has always been a favourite of mine, ever since the film version came out in 1996 starring Madonna as Eva Perón and Antonio Banderas as Che.  It was at a time when I was attending theatre school, with the hope of one day being able to get into musical theatre.  I used to watch the film (that I had on VHS!) with the subtitles on all the time, so I could learn all the songs - my all time favourite was "Another Suitcase in Another Hall".
....Anyway, I digress!....

Playing the lead in this production is Madalena Alberto who also played Fantine in the 25th anniversary production of Les Mis.  The role is shared with Michelle Pentecost on certain performances and that is who I saw yesterday - A brilliant performance and voice.
Che is played by Marti Pellow of Wet Wet Wet, who although has done musicals before (Chicago), I found his pop voice wasn't really suited for the theatre - it needed more diction and at times it seemed like he struggled with the high notes.

Outside the Dominion Theatre at Tottenham Court Road

You may already be very familiar with this true rags to riches story of the woman who some ended up naming Santa Evita.  If you have already seen the film, it is told in the same way with Che's critical and often funny, scathing narration of Eva Perón, which is supposed to reflect the voice of the Argentine people.

There are plenty of high octane dance sequences, with the Argentine Tango and Paso doble beautifully carried out by the chorus line.
The storyline moves swiftly and starts with a scene where cinema patrons have their film interrupted to be told the news of Evita's death. You see the national outpouring of grief and Che appears singing "Oh What A Circus" before it then goes back in time and show's Eva as a young, very ambitious girl who just wants to be a star.

As you would expect from anything that Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice have touched, the music and lyrics for this show are amazing.  So many, now iconic, songs have come from this musical and it was so good to hear them again.  My favourites are below:
  • On This Night Of A Thousand Stars
  • Oh What A Circus
  • Buenos Aires
  • I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You
  • Another Suitcase In Another Hall
  • Don't Cry For Me Argentina
  • You Must Love Me

I really liked how Michelle Pentecost played the role of Evita.  She was believable as a steely, determined woman, from humble beginnings who climbed up through society into extraordinary wealth, power and status.
One of my favourite lines in the show "They must adore me, so Christian Dior me!" came as she was getting ready to address her people....It's a line that I have to steal and find a way to use it in my normal life!!

I do wonder how much of this depiction of Eva Perón is reminds me of other real life "rags to riches" stories like Princess Diana and Princess Grace of Monaco...some people loved them and some just refused to accept them because of their background.

If you haven't seen this musical yet, you really must do as it probably will not be back in the West End for a long while after this.
It is only on at the Dominion Theatre until the 01st November - there are some great deals on at at the moment, so make the most of it!

Love, Ivy George x

The pursuit of...The inside scoop - My love of fashion docu-dramas

Ever since I watched 'The September Issue (the fashion documentary which gave exclusive behind the scenes footage of Anna Wintour preparing for the elusive September issue of Vogue magazine), I have had a hunger for more of these types of fashion docu-dramas.
I find them extremely fascinating and as I'm someone who has always had a passion to work in this covetable industry, for me, it is also like research as well as entertainment!

Recently, a friend lent me three to watch  and I thought I would share them with you. They are:

Mademoiselle C - From the people behind The September Issue, this time they are following Carine Roitfeld, the legendary former Vogue Paris editior-in-chief, as she sets about creating a new magazine in New York.
A must see for fashion junkies and anyone who's remotely interested in the world of fashion magazines.

Valentino The Last Emperor - Filmed over two years (2005-2007) this documentary gives unprecedented access to the Italian designer and the people who work for him, in particular his partner (personal and business) Giancarlo Giametti.
The iconic designer who is famed for his signature red gowns and has dressed many a Hollywood A lister (Audrey Hepburn, Jennifer Anniston, Julia Roberts etc) shares his intimate moments and the grand preparations for his 45th anniversary in the fashion industry.
It's a great insight into the extravagant life of a man whose personality and image are almost more identifiable as his designs.

Signé Chanel - This lengthy fly on the wall documentary is in French but has subtitles provided.
It is a fascinating, often funny insight into the legendary couture house of Chanel with the iconic, monochrome man himself, Karl Lagerfeld at its helm.
It shows the truly inspiring artistic flair and skills of the seamstresses who produce the most amazing, intricate pieces as they get ready for Couture Fashion Week.
A real must-see for anyone who has a true love for the industry!

Let me know if you recommend any more for me to see!

Love, Ivy George x

The pursuit of...Essex Fashion Week

Essex Fashion Week....(yes, it really is a thing!) celebrated its 5th birthday yesterday and I was very kindly invited and given two press passes to review the event!
Now, I must admit, the last four years had slipped under my radar....but as I started to research it, I noticed that their was a big media buzz on social networks leading up to the big day.
Essex which in the past had become notorious for the white stiletto and orange tan has now become fashionable enough to have its own credible, nationally recognised Fashion Week (well, its actually a day, not a week, but we'll gloss over the technicalities for now!...) 
No doubt the instigation for this event is because of the hugely popular and successful reality show, The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE)....As I'm now an Essex girl (but still a North Londoner at heart!) I can gladly say, Wahey to Essex - it was a job done good!

I took my reserved seat...I'm not bold enough yet to sit on the FROW!

The event was held in a very grand marquee in the grounds of a country club in Fairlop, Essex.
Me and my guest were happy to realise that parking was available in the grounds aswell and we managed to luckily get a space very close to the entrance...(can't tell you how happy we were with that carpark space when we stumbled out of the after-party at 1am into a frosty countryside breeze...Brrrrr!)

Doors opened at 5pm and we arrived 'fashionable late' (of course) just after 6.  We were told the first three rows were reserved for press, bloggers and VIPs so we sat on the second row and had a nosy in our goodie bags.
The headline sponsors were: Fake Bake (of course, this is Essex Fashion Week...), Tresor Paris, Kennet Watches, Gyms Kitchen (where we got a delicious, healthy chicken wrap in the interval), Freeport Braintree and Essex Smiles.
The whole event was powered by Kryolan and in association with Breast Cancer Care.

Jane Norman 
Jane Norman models looking fierce...ish

The event championed some local up and coming designers aswell as some more familiar names.

The catwalk show line up was:

1. Dentelle Bleue
2. Jane Norman
3. Dirty Angels/Kennet Watches
4. Tresor Paris
5. Freepoint Braintree
6. Matthew Hubble
7. Trying To Live
8. Confetti and Couture
9. Kryolan

The Tresor ladies

Me and my guest, Lauren, doing a selfie....I had my hair up for a change and tried 'milkmaid' style braid for the event....I loved hassle free!
My favourites from the collections were Jane Norman, (as you would expect from this high street brand, there were lots of structured and bodycon dresses), Confetti & Couture - gorgeous wedding attire and lastly Tresor Paris....I do like some sparkle!

During the show, we got talking to the guys from the last series of Big Brother as they took the seats in front of us.  They were all up for the full Essex experience (!) and were really particular Bianca who is actually from the Essex area also.

The lovely Bianca and Helen happily pose for my camera snapping

Ex Big Bro housemates from Left: Toya, Matthew, (Me), Christopher and Danielle
After the show....well it was time for the after-party of course and we were asked to wait in the foyer while they transformed the catwalk arena into a club.
Colin Francis the DJ who created the best selling album 'Marbella Sessions' was the guest DJ for the night.

We stayed for a good couple of hours, dancing until our feet hurt and then we called it a night!....Those Essex guys and girls really know how to party!!

The covetable 'goodie bag' bit's - a Jane Norman statement necklace (one of 2 choices), Molton Brown Bath Oil, and Thornton Chocolates.

So, what can I first experience as a blogger at a fashion week....I had a fabulous time and well done to the team for organising and putting on a great show.
Big thank you to Danielle Bigaignon at Miss Penguin PR for the tickets - See you next year!

Love, Ivy George x

September's best bits!

Happy 1st you need any more reminders about how quickly the year is whizzing by?!? time seems to be speeding up!

What to look forward to in October then? Well, a few things... 
First off, it's Black History Month which means there will be a plethora of interesting events put on around the country.   One show I will be making time to see is The Scottsboro Boys which is on at The Garrick Theatre from Oct 4th through to Feb 21st.  
It tells the true life story of nine young black boys wrongly accused of rape in Alabama in the 1930s. The case is now widely considered a miscarriage of justice that eventually produced the end of all-white juries in the South.  
I think it's important for these tragic stories to still be told today and this musical was winner of the Critics’ Circle Best Musical Award 2013 and nominated for 6 Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical.  It is also the final collaboration of legendary composing duo Kander and Ebb of CHICAGO and CABARET so it should be good!

Secondly, at the end of the month I will be sitting on the FROW at my first blogger event in conjunction with Company Magazine!  I'm very much looking forward to a night of fashion shows and also a chance to meet some other lovely bloggers- look out for plenty of pictures and the review after!

Below I have chosen some of my favourite posts from September in case you missed any ;)

Here's my September best bits:

I finally got a chance to visit Borough Market and indulge in the full experience of one of Londons most popular food markets. A fabulous place.

The new Christian Dior commercial for J'Adore Dior premiered on 3rd September with the amazing Charlize Theron at the helm again.  I reviewed my favourite adverts from the campaign.

Went to the Tower of London to see the moving art installation of poppies to mark the centenary of the First World War. Such an incredible display and really worth seeing which will remain in place until Armistice Day.
Black History Month have also got some exhibitions this October, remembering the involvement of the many Caribbean, African and Asian soldiers from the British colonies who also fought and lost their lives during this war.

I looked back at my younger self and asked...what do I know now that I would have wanted to know back then...Take a look at what I came up with!

Lauryn Hill was in London and I finally got a chance to see her whoop whoop!!!
Read my review here.

Lastly, it was Fashion Week again and we all got a preview of what we might be wearing next Spring/Summer.
The most memorable show for me has to be Jeremy Scott for Moschino which he debuted in Milan Fashion Week.  
I love his outlandish, completely OTT, fun, daring style and his whole SS15 collection was inspired by the girl everyone wanted to be at some point in their lives....Barbie!
Some items in my opinion were completely unrealistic to wear in the real world but others I could quite envision popping up on the shores of Ibiza and Marbella (below).

Thanks for reading and stick around to see what Oct brings!

Love, Ivy Geore x 
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