Guest post: Cracked turquoise nail art

Today's guest post comes from Cherry Sue, a talented beauty blogger who's put together a simple but visually stunning nail art tutorial for you all:

I absolutely love turquoise jewellery, I have several pieces that never fail to get compliments and questions when worn so I thought it'd be the perfect look to replicate on nails.

I've put together a simple How To so that you can try the design with minimal effort should you be a turquoise fan too.

1. Gather your tools first. I used Bourjois 23 (Brown), Bourjois Bleu Model (Turquoise), Sally Hansen Gilty Pleasure, Hole Reinforcers & a fine tipped brush (I picked this one up in an Art store for €2.29/£2)
2. After one coat of Gilty Pleasure, place the hole reinforcers on the top of the nail bed.
3. Paint two coats of your turquoise colour onto the nail, be sure to start your strokes on the sticker to make the lines cleaner.
4. While the polish is still tacky, carefully remove each sticker by gripping tightly, move your nail as you peel.
5. & 6. Using your brown polish & a fine tipped brush draw the cracks onto your turquoise polish. This really doesn't have to be too precise as the cracks appear in turquoise so there really is no 'right' or 'wrong'.
6.5 - Be sure to use a clear top coat to smooth out the half moon at the top of the nail and set the colours together.

The final result looks pretty close to the jewellery, don't you think? Judging by the compliments I had while rocking this manicure I'd have to say it was a winner.

What do we think? Will it be a look you'll try?
LinkThanks so much Sue for sharing your nail art tutorial with us. Be sure to check out her blog for lots more beauty and nail art posts.

Instagram 011 and an update

 Relaxing with a Neom candle/Lots of goodies in the post/Pizza!

 Nars Autumn winter 2012/Missing Australia/Such a pretty hair oil

Buffet time/Free Batiste sample/Celebratory cocktails

Brunch/I have the sweetest friends/Steak

Instagram username @peonieslilies

Can you believe it's been over a month since my last Instagram post?! Unfortunately life got super busy and I had to take some time away from blogging. Thankfully things are back on track now and I can't wait to start writing again. 

I hope you've enjoyed all the guest posts this last month. I've got one last guest post scheduled for later today, and I just wanted to say a big thank you to all the girls for writing such great content for Peonies and lilies!

Summer may be nearly over, but for once I'm actually quite looking forward to Autumn. Next month sees us celebrating our graduation from university and I've got 2 holidays planned. The first a long weekend away in Dublin with an old friend, and then hopefully a week in Barcelona with the boyfriend. Please do let me know if you've ever been, and if there are any sights/touristy things we must do whilst we're there.

Finally, my Elemis skincare giveaway ended this week, and after going through all the entries and using, the winner is.........Heather (What Heather hearts). Well done Heather, can you please email/DM me your address and I'll arrange for your prize to be sent out asap. Thanks again to everyone who entered and look out for another exciting giveaway later next week!

What have you been up to recently? Have you ever been to Barcelona or Dublin?

Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation - A guest review

 Today's blog post comes from Sophia, a fellow beauty bloggers, who will be guest reviewing one of her favourite (and currently a much raved about) YSL foundations:

Every now and then there’ll be a product that sweeps any makeup lover off their feet and for me it’s the Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation! Following the huge success of the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat highlighter it only made sense that YSL would produce a foundation that is equally worthy of the same status!

The Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation comes in an elegant glass bottle with regal gold lid and trademark YSL embossed in red.

The foundation itself is beautiful. It’s a silky liquid which applies effortlessly to the skin and gives medium coverage. One and a bit pumps will cover my entire face and gives such a flawless finish without highlighting any of my (sporadic) dry patches. It feels so lightweight too that you could easily forget that you were wearing it! The foundation does contain SPF 19 though and whilst good for protecting your skin, especially in the glorious sunshine, be wary of it in flash photography! I do get a bit of shine towards the end of the day, but not enough for me to worry about and it’s nothing a little powder won’t resolve.
If you are thinking about the Touche Éclat Foundation, I highly recommend speaking to a sales assistant at a YSL counter and asking them to colour match you. The lovely lady at YSL in John Lewis did a fantastic job and matched me to BD50 (Beige Doré) perfectly.
As with most luxury makeup products the price is clearly more expensive than high street, and the Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation retails at £28 for 30ml. Price aside though, you do get what you pay for – the quality of the product and packaging, and I will be more than happy to repurchase this again!
Have you tried the Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation? Do you think it lives up to the hype?
Love Sophia xo

Autumn/winter fashion part 2 - Guest post

1 - River Island - £35.00
2 - Topshop - £42.00
3 - H&M - £12.99
4 - Miss Selfridge - £39.00
5 -New Look - £19.99
6 - Miss Selfridge - £37.00

Jumpers are all about comfort. I personally feel they make you feel comfortable because they are baggy and you don't have to worry about any problem areas on show! Now I love a good Christmas style jumper - cable knit and fairisle prints such as the ones from H&M and Miss Selfridge I think are great. I also think brighter knitwear is great with black jeans to brighten up your day. I love the New Look coral ombre print jumper as it's summery yet will keep you warm! I love shorts in winter and will for sure be investing in some faux leather ones which would look great with the Miss Selfridge neon stitched jumper! For a bit of glitz and glamour glittery knits are a must like this one from River Island and I also love the studded shoulders on the Topshop knit! Imagine sky high boots, super tight skinny jeans and a slouchy jumper whilst at the bar - you would definitely be getting that New Years kiss!

1- River Island - £35.00
2 - Miss Selfridge - £75.00
3 - Topshop - £58.00
4- River Island - £50.00
5 - H&M - £29.99

For me summer means garden BBQ's and hazy evenings in pub gardens; winter means parties. My birthday is in November, there's Halloween, Christmas and New Years Eve. It is essential that you have at least one amazing dress to get you through the season. Now I feel that you should never stray far from black for that glam winter look, however I will allow deep berries such as this lovely peter pan collared number from h&m and even the odd dark blue/green. Dipped hemmed dresses are carrying on from the summer hype but adding a bit more drama on top rather than on the bottom. I love the Miss Selfridge version with all the glittery goodness on top! It seems that this winter dark sultry but sexy prints are everything. Lace, velvet and baroque prints are elegant but also a tad naughty at the same time. The Topshop dress is my favourite - long sleeves would never normally appeal to me but I think it's the most flirty of all my top picks!

1 - Miss Selfridge - £50.00
2 - Topshop - £75.00
3- ASOS - £55.00
4 - New Look - £27.99
5 - Topshop - £88.00
6 - Office - £85.00

I go straight to boots as soon as October hits and probably won't be out of them until late March. I'm not an Ugg kinda gal and believe you can never have too many good boots, if you look after them they will last you years! I tend to keep near black and brown boot as I like leather/suede effect ones. For the party season you need some killer high ankle boots and the Miss Selfridge ones are a beaut. They come in this lovely tan colour and also black (or you could buy both). I have never purchased any chelsea boots but I love the chunky heel on these Topshop ones - perfect for daytime as well as at night. Ankle boots are must have to show off all the tights - I like to keep them simple and not showy. New Look's tan studded boots are a bargain and would go great with jeans! I tend to stick to ankle boots but I love the riding and biker style boots when you know you have a long day as they are super comfortable! The Office boots will toughen up any outfit.

I really hope you enjoyed this post and if anyone of you buy one of these items because of my recommendations I would really love it if you told me! I hope I won't your bank balances too much!

Nice to meet you all!

Thanks so much Tanice for sharing all your Autumn/Winter finds with us. Make sure you check out her lovely blog for lots more beauty and fashion inspirations!

Autumn/winter fashion part 1 - Guest post

Hi my name's Tanice and I write Tanice Talks About Things. Fei has kindly given me the opportunity to guest post for her!
SoI'm going to talk to you about one of my favourite times of the year when it comes to fashion - updating my Autumn/Winter wardrobe. I'm definitely a summer girl but there's something about warm winter buys which make me feel more grown up. The thought of buying hot chocolates in my new coat and rushing to finish my Christmas shopping in my cosy boots really excites me!
I'm not the biggest trend follower, if I see something I like I'll buy it (if I can afford it)! So rather than show you what is on trend for the A/W 12 season, I am going to share with you my 5 staple items for a winter wardrobe and the top picks of each from the high street and online. My hope is one of you will find your next find on here or at least draw some inspiration as to what you would like to add to your A/W wardrobe this year!
1- New Look - £39.99
2 - Topshop - £98.00
3 - Miss Selfridge - £65.00
4 - River Island - £55.00
5- Topshop - £65.00

A bit of an obvious one but yes the weather will be colder, windier and rainier so you will be needing a coat. I think that coats are one item of clothing you shouldn't skimp on. I usually buy one coat per year that I know will last me. I try to vary their colour and styles each year so I end up with a nice selection to choose from. There's a lot of different styles around this year so I chose my favourite styles. A faux fur jacket is pretty much the epitome of a winter warmer and I just love New Look's selection this year - snuggly yet affordable. A cape style coat is flattering on most figures but on tall girls it will show of your amazing legs to no end, I love the berry coloured one from Topshop. A mac is the ultimate piece in the working girls wardrobe and there's nothing like a beige Burberry-esque coat to make you feel stylish. I can't make up my mind on the leather sleeved jackets but I know these are doing the rounds this season and River Island do a nice casual version of this. A good leather jacket is a must have and Topshop have done a studded take on this which I know we will be seeing on everyone this year!

1 - New Look - £2.99
2- H&M - £6.99
3 - Topshop - £20
4 - New Look - £7.99
5 - Miss Selfridge - £14
6- River Island - £17
7 - New Look - £5.99

In the winter I find a wear less jewellery as less of my skin is on show. My watch will always have pride of place on my wrist but I'd rather keep warm by having scarfs wrapped around me instead of a necklace. I really like snoods and think the pretty skull one would loo great with an all black ensemble. I am really drawn to the cat scarf - I love to be comical but cannot get on board with those horrible bear ear hats that seem to be on trend every winter! Tights and over the knee socks are my go to product for winter; there is nothing I love to wear more in autumn/winter than a knitted jumper, skater skirt and knee high socks inside my boots! Of course for at home comfort you need some warm fluffy slippers and the aztec print on these River Island ones can remind you of the great summer you've had!

Thanks so much Tanice for sharing your Autumn/winter inspirations. Part 2 will be up later this week so don't forget to check back for more outfit ideas.

Guest post: Should magazines keep it real

Hello everyone, Annabella from Skin Scrubs here! The lovely Fei has let me have some space on her blog while she is away this month.
When I’m not reviewing the lastest skincare and scrubs, I have a normal day job and I’m also a board member of a women’s charity in Nottingham. We get involved in promoting women’s issues and one thing that comes up time and time again is how women are portrayed in the media. Several months ago we were looking at the work of women's activist organisation Miss Representation, who asked magazines to publish just one un-photoshopped picture during their 'Keep It Real Challenge' campaign. It shouldn't come as a surprise that there are now too many young women who think that what they see on magazine covers is real - which means they are desperately trying to conform to an ideal that doesn't exist.

I know when I was a teenager in the 80’s I was heavily influenced by magazines and that was before airbrushing/photoshop was a regular feature. I'm sure it's contributed to my constant examining of my face for flaws that aren't really there or at least couldn't be fixed with a few dabs of Clearasil. Now that I'm 42, I'm confident enough to know that everyone gets spots, wrinkles, and has bad hair days. The Daily Mail Fail make a living chasing celebs down the street so they can pap the zits on their chin! My husband and other men I've spoken to also know that their Nuts/Zoo/Maxim cover models are so manipulated that if you met them in real life you'd be shocked/disappointed.

So as women and beauty bloggers - do we expect to see perfection on our magazine covers because that is what we are striving for or because it's just the norm? Do we believe in the fantasy of a pore-less (and frankly impossible) face or do we buy X brand knowing that we won't achieve half the results that are promised in the shiny new edition of (insert your fave beauty mag here). I think beauty bloggers have a big role to play in all of this, as we are happy to put our faces on display to demonstrate if products actually work. I think this has been the appeal in the growth of beauty blogs, who let's face it are predominately written by younger women. So are beauty bloggers pushing back the tide on un-realistic images by honest reviews with photos to match? A few brands have dipped their toe in the water with un-retouched photos but none of them have made a permanent commitment to it.

So what do you think ladies - do you prefer fantasy or reality?

Guest post: Taking your wardrobe from summer to autumn

Hi guys, I'm Jess from Raffles Bizarre, I'm a jewellery designer and makeup artist from South West London, I blog about my work, fashion, food and fact anything that takes my fancy! I noticed Fei was looking for guest bloggers and I jumped at the chance to write a post for her wonderful blog.

We decided I should create a little styling post, sharing some summer-to-autumn transitional outfits and how I would accessorise them with my own handmade jewellery. I've created three outfits on different themes and all the clothing I've featured are from highstreet shops to make them as accessible for everyone as possible! Let's get started!

In this first outfit I have combined pieces from Warehouse, New Look, Topshop and Miss Selfridges - I've chosen the biker jacket to so this outfit that would be perfect in the summer because of the light, sleeveless top can also be worn at night when it's cooler or come autumn/winter. I am loving all the little studded details on the collar, shoes and bag. I'm also a huge fan of exposed zips so these leggings were a must.

The jewellery I have selected are all from my Hidden Treasure collection which features a lot of stones, metal and chunky but intricate and beautiful pieces.

Outfit total - £254.49

Perfect for the festival lovers out there, we're nearly at the end of festival season now but that doesn't mean we need to stop wearing those festival trends. I love the aztec prints that have been floating around this summer, with this oversized jumper you could keep on trend but still be warm. These items were found at Miss Selfridges, River Island and Topshop.

I've paired this outfit with three pieces from my Festival range, I love feather jewellery and it is definately something popular amongst the festival crowds.

Outfit total - £186.00

Pastels were another big trend this summer so it was an obvious choice as the final theme. These are pieces from Topsop, River Island, New Look and Warehouse. I have introduced the blazer and scarf to take what would be a gorgeous summer outfit and make it more appropriate for autumn.

I've chosen three very different pieces of jewellery which are all cute in their own right, the ring is from my most popular collection called Illustrated Jewellery which features my own original artwork on plastic.

Outfit total - £164.13

So there we have it, three very different outfits perfect for the fast approaching new season. I personally love summer so will be sad for the days to get cooler, but I already have a few new chunky, knit cardigans ready for autumn which softens the blow somewhat.

What did you think of the outfits I put together here and how I accessorised them and which is your favourite? I hope you
enjoyed my little guest post and will be sure to drop by and check out my own blog as linked above.

Thank you so much for the guest post Jess! I love the outfits you've put together, and I'm now seriously lusting after that Topshop clutch! Make sure you check out her blog for lots more beauty and fashion posts.

September's Glossybox - The Maggie Li edition

It's almost time for September's Glossybox, and this month they've teamed up with illustrator Maggie Li. Maggie has created a limited edition mint green box, and having seen it in person, I think the design is absolutely gorgeous:

Glossybox September 2012, Glossybox Maggie LiNormally I can't wait to rip open the tissue paper and see what products are inside, but this month it was all about the box for me. Mint green is one of my favourite colours, and I absolutely love the super cute beauty inspired print.

Glossybox september 2012, Glossybox Maggie Li, Glossybox september 2012 review

Product wise, it's not my favourite box but the L'oreal mythic oil makes it good value for money and I am looking forward to using the Rodial 5 minute facial mask.

Glossybox september 2012, Glossybox Maggie Li, Glossybox september 2012 review, Glossybox september 2012 productsI've also included a photo of what else could be in this month's box, so hopefully that'll help you decide if you are thinking about signing up.

Glossybox* retails for £10 (plus £2.95 p&p). Click here for more information and to sign up for your own box.

What do you think about the limited edition print? Will you be signing up?

Guest review: Maybelline Eye Studio Colour Tattoo Eyeshadows

Today's guest review comes from Rachel, a lovely Canadian blogger who I was lucky enough to do an international swap with 2 years ago. Rachel took some time out from blogging, but now she's back with an amazing new blog, and I'm so happy that she's agreed to guest post for Peonies and lilies!

With the recent hype of these eyeshadows, I was incredibly eager to see what all the talk was about! Sure enough, they did not disappoint! I chose to try out the colours ‘Pomegranate Punk’ (30) & ‘Bad to the Bronze’ (25).

Maybelline color tattoo

Pomegranate Punk is a gorgeous dark burgundy colour, perfect for the upcoming fall season. The colour payoff is fabulous, resulting in an opaque, extremely pigmented colour. Bad to the Bronze is a warm metallic bronze, with a golden shimmer throughout. I chose to purchase these colours together, as they compliment each other well & share similar golden undertones.

The consistency of this product is incredibly soft and smooth, allowing ease in application. I also did not notice any smudging or creasing, even when I wore them for extended periods of time. A very similar product that comes to mind is MAC Paint Pots. However, this product comes in at a fraction of the price, at only $6.99 (£4.99).

Overall, I have fallen in love with these cream eyeshadows and would recommend them to anyone! Thank you for reading, and feel free to check out my beauty blog at!

Rachel xx

RRP £4.99, available from Boots and Superdrug

Thank you so much Rachel, and make sure you check out her beauty blog if you haven't already done so!

New shoes!

I pretty much live in flats (and seem to go through them really quickly too!), so when I spotted these on a recent shopping trip, I just had to snap them up straight away:

I've become rather obsessed with navy blue recently, although it was the gold chain detailing which first caught my eye. The material of the shoe was quite hard, so it took a few days to wear in, but now it's much comfier, and looks great when worn with jeans.

The neutral pair on the other hand is made of softer material, has a pretty black bow and goes with almost everything I own. Both pairs were reasonably priced, and I would definitely recommend taking a look in Dorothy Perkins if you're also on the lookout for some cute, easy to wear everyday flats.

Do you prefer heels or flats? Where do you like to shop for shoes?

Elemis freshskin skin clear giveaway

Skincare brand Elemis recently added 4 new Skin clear products to their existing Freshskin range, and to celebrate, they are giving away a set of products to one lucky winner.

Formulated especially for oily and blemish prone skin, the new products contain a potent blend of Iris, Zinc salt and Vitamin A, which works together to regulate sebum levels, gently clean the skin, and help prevent future breakouts.

For your chance to win this set (worth over £60) simply follow Peonies and lilies on Bloglovin, then leave a comment below along with your email address. If you wish to, you can also tweet about this giveaway or follow my facebook page for 4 extra entries each.

This giveaway will be open to all UK readers, and will close at 11pm on 28th September 2012. The winner will be selected at random.

Good luck!

Guest post: Soap & Glory handbag handy products

A few weeks ago, I posted asking if anyone would be interested in guest blogging this September. Luckily lots of lovely readers got in touch, and I've got some really exciting guest posts lined up for you all. Today's guest post comes from Helen, a fellow beauty blogger who will be reviewing her favourite Soap and Glory minis, perfect for anyone who's lucky enough to be travelling this September:

Luckily, when travelling, no one has to lug around large lotions and potions any more as most brands have launched miniature versions of their products. Soap & Glory – exclusive to Boots over here in the UK - are no exception to this.

These miniatures are just the right size for carrying around and the brand’s perky pink trademark packaging makes the products easy to spot in any over-crowded bag or suitcase. All of their products are a purse pleasing £2.50 each so here, for your perusal, are my absolutely favourites for slinging into my handbag or luggage for that hit of beauty on the go.

Soap and Glory travel minis


Usually anti-bacterial hand sanitizers remind me of hospitals but this has such a great fresh grapefruit scent that I sometimes catch myself applying it to my hands even when I haven’t been commuting or touching anything particularly germ-ridden. It soaks into the skin really quickly without leaving that tacky or greasy feeling some sanitizers do. I can’t imagine not having this in my handbag.


This hand cream is thick, creamy and beautifully smooth to apply. It sinks in fast and because its ingredients include Shea Butter, Macadamia Oil and Marshmallow it leaves hands nourished and soft. It’s scented with the usual Soap & Glory fragrance too which is always flirty, floral and fun.


Body butters don’t come better than this one in my opinion. This is thick but easy to apply, giving that hit of much needed moisture – especially in very hot climates. I also know from personal experience that it helps to soothe even the most sun-burnt of sensitive skin without the usual discomfort of fragranced moisturisers.


This is a body exfoliate that multitasks. It may look very coarse but if a small amount is applied to the face and massaged against the skin very gently it also works as an excellent facial exfoliator. I recommended this - and gave my spare pot - to girl I met on my last holiday who was suffering from a flaky nose. She fell in love with it. Obviously it also works very well on legs and arms which makes it the perfect travel companion for the glow-getter that seeks a gorgeous even tan.


I like my shower gels to work hard. This shower gel lathers brilliantly, cleanses, softens, moisturises and leaves a lingering fragrance on the skin. This travel size is perfect for a week away as a little goes a long way and I've managed to eek out 10 showers from just one bottle. With credentials like that, what's not to love?

Soap & Glory travel minis retail for £2.50 each, available from Boots

LinkThanks so much for the guest post Helen. After reading your reviews, I definitely need to pick up a tube of hand food to try out! Make sure you check out her blog for lots more reviews and product recommendations!
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