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Sunday, 7 October 2018

Autumn Additions: The Black Ravens - Gothic Jewellery Review

Hey Bloggers!

Long time no speak. First off, let me start by saying you have permission to slap me on the wrist for the distinct lack of content lately. Since my last post, a tortoise could have crossed the finish line by now, haha! ;) The good news? After my recent hiatus, the time away has inspired me with lots of exciting new post ideas to share with you all in the coming months - so watch this space, guys and gals.

Now that we've caught up, let's get into the zone about today's post shall we? It's a doozy and involves reviewing some GORGEOUS Gothic jewellery which I've added to my #autumn collection. 

I've recently had the pleasure of getting acquainted with an emerging brand that has since become my go-to for all things goth, punk and alternative, and I'm particularly fond of their amazing accessories. 

Let's start by introducing their brand name - I mean how cool does The Black Ravens sound? Pretty damn cool by my reckoning. Whether you're looking for a few spooky additions ready for #Halloween or you're in need of some affordable fashion buys to darken up your Autumn/Winter '18 Edit, The Black Ravens are the holy grail of online alt. retailers.

So without further adieu, here are the jewellery pieces I'm raving about this season (see what I did there?)

Black Triangle Choker Necklace 

Somewhere between a necklace-choker hybrid, this statement edition would definitely be my 'desert island' necklace. If I could only bring one jewellery item with me, this would be the main attraction. Not only does it come with a striking gem-embellished design that guarantees to collect compliments day or night, it also has a strong black rope which serves as the chain. Since I've always been a fan of black coloured jewellery, this piece offers a comfortable fit, a look that's aesthetically pleasing for any occasion, AND a triangular pendant that's 100% unique. So in terms of statement accessories, The Black Ravens have ticked all the right boxes while appealing to my inner goth chic.

Rose Gold and Black Single Band Ring

Next on my autumnal list of must-haves is this two-tone men's ring. Let's just address the sheer frustration of shopping for anything fashion related when you're a curvy gal! The majority of today's high street accessory brands don't offer XL-sized rings, so this minimalist piece is definitely a conversation starter for me. Sure, this is technically a guy's ring, but with the elegant rose gold band, who can tell, right? I find there's bucket-loads more variety once you branch out into the unisex (or men's) departments. What I LOVE about this ring - apart from its alternative look - is the fact that it's crafted from an authentic + solid Tungsten metal that stays scratch-free and won't tarnish. Anyone who knows me will know I never leave home without a fistful of rings to show off, and this single band will forever be ranked among my fave middle finger rings. There's no stacking required either as it's attractive enough to rock without other rings to distract the eye. 

Rose Gold Plated + Diamond Skull Stud Earrings

Image Credit: The Black Ravens

Three is the magic number, and these adorable skull earrings make a glistening gift for Halloween or Christmas! If you're after a pair of studs that are A) Not too small and B) Have instant Gothic appeal while still remaining pretty, these rose gold gems belong in your collection. I'm not one to follow the crowd when it comes to style, but unless you've been living under a rock you'll have noticed rose gold is EVERYWHERE right now: On our Instagram feeds, on the street style blogger round-up, at this year's #FashionWeek, and of course - emerging in full force on the high street at every opportunity. Love it or hate it, I personally cannot get enough of everything rose gold, so naturally, these earrings offer a luxe finishing touch that's right up my street. They also make the perfect fuss-free choice for those windy 'out and about' days while hustling from A to B.  

So there you have it: 3 key pieces from The Black Ravens which I can personally vouch for in terms of unique Gothic design, quality craftsmanship and affordability. Check out their website for up and coming pieces, then go and bag an accessories haul for yourself - you won't be disappointed! 

Thanks for reading, lovelies. ^^

Until next time,

Dawn xx  

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Southport: Britain's Favourite Family Day Out

There are few things us Brits enjoy more than a great day out. When it comes to making family time extra special, what better way to share the moments than in a town that offers a treasure trove of stuff to see and do!

When you picture your fun-filled day out, what springs to mind... a trip to the fun fair, taking in beautiful scenery, delicious food to fill your tum, or perhaps a combination of everything? Visit Southport and you can expect to find the hallmarks of British culture at your disposal, all within one convenient location.

If you're already a regular visitor of Southport, this quaint seaside town needs no introduction. But if you're new to North West England, from out of town, or you just need some inspiration for a vibrant place to go sightseeing, you won't be disappointed - that's a promise!

Southport dates back to 1792 and was originally a Victorian town centred around leisure and tourism. While the town used to be part of Lancashire, Southport is primarily known as a place that's close to Liverpool's heart, in Merseyside. Easy to access by car and public transport, this lovable British hotspot is a must-see if you and the family fancy a change of scenery from big cities.

Southport Tourism and Redevelopment

Today, Southport is famous for its holiday resort look and feel, and has undergone lots of development over the years. From the magnificent Marine Way Bridge next to Southport Pier and a revamped theatre on the promenade, to eateries, cafes and local businesses setting up shop on Lord Street - there's always plenty going on here. Popular events include Southport Air Show and Southport Flower Show, not to mention a roster of food and drink festivals, street concerts, theatre and live music to look forward to.

So whether you prefer to ogle historic architecture, enjoy a slice of fairground fun at PleasureLand, or you're looking for modern nightlife and entertainment options, you won't be disappointed on your arrival. In fact, once you've had a taste of what Southport's really like to experience, you may find it becomes your go-to choice for fun family days out, any time of the year.

With guaranteed attractions and exciting events coming around often, here's a few things to add to your September social calendar...

'Rip It Up' at Southport Theatre

Happening this evening at 7.30 pm, this fun theatrical production is all about getting involved in a good ol' 50's sing-along. If you love listening to a retro jukebox, complete with live musicians and plenty of high-octane dancing, don't miss this rock 'n' roll stage show tonight at Southport Theatre. More details here. Be sure to check out the arts in Southport throughout September.

Image Source: Stereoboard

Southport Pier

If you want to escape the crowds and enjoy a relaxing stroll, why not head down Southport Pier where you'll have sea, sandy beaches and coastal views for miles. Don't forget to grab a pink and white ice-cream or some fish 'n' chips on the way. Yes, these British treats are sold 24/7 here, so you can enjoy them even after summer ends.

Silcock's Funland

A popular Southport attraction for the whole family, take cover and go nuts on Funland's slot machines, indoor rides, prize vendors and so much more. With free entry all year round, this Victorian amusement arcade is nostalgia that never goes out of season.

*All Photography Credits: Ray Wood @gr8lite (Except 'Rip It Up' Theatre Image.)

Friday, 21 July 2017

Athleisure: NOT Just Another Fashion Trend

Written by Dawn Wood

Athleisure Trend - Dawn Wood - Freelance Copywriter

Move over prim and proper, it's time for athleisure to take charge of your smart-casual dress-code. While temperatures outside may be hotting up, nevertheless, fashion continues to hone in on the importance of comfort. July is all about creating a summer wardrobe that's stylish, accessible and wearable. But if the thought of shelving your favourite sweatshirts is making you anxious, not to worry ladies - the athleisure trend has got you covered from head to toe.

Imagine this... if sports and fashion had an offspring, athleisure would be the beautiful hybrid result. Think second-skin lycra leggings with bright graphic prints, slouchy jersey hoodies with modern mesh textures, black trainers with neon laces, oversized sweaters adorned with sporty slogans... the list goes on.

Athleisure Trend - Dawn Wood - Freelance Copywriter

Many of us are choosing to take charge of our health and fitness goals right now. Setting realistic life goals is always a good habit to get into, especially if you want to make exercise a regular lifestyle choice. If you've made joining the gym your number one priority, you've freed up more time to walk the dog, or even if it's something as simple as walking to work and back, there's endless exciting ways to keep moving this summer. And it's reassuring to know that even the smallest active changes can make a big difference to your well being.

When you choose fashion and comfort, this conjures the best of both worlds – you can go about your busy day and look fabulous while doing it!

Athleisure Trend - Dawn Wood - Freelance Copywriter

Let's face it though, no-frills sportswear starts to look a little drab when you're wearing it day in day out. So it's the fashion-meets-function element that really makes the athleisure trend so appealing. If you're the type of person who's always on the move, but you never leave home without a slick of lipstick and a stylish outfit to boot, athleisure pieces are your best friend!

Remember: your wardrobe should work for you come rain or shine, so there's no excuse not to look glam with so many trendy options available online, and on the high street today.

So how should we be channeling this super cool fashion look? Here are two versatile ways to get the athleisure look:

For Fitness

There's a new wave of fashion and lifestyle brands showcasing matching workout top and legging sets, and these are ideal to wear whenever you're hitting the gym. Athleisure clothing offers a wide selection of colours, prints, cuts and fits for everybody, so you can easily mix 'n' match an outfit to suit your fitness activity that day. Whether you're colour co-ordinating a water bottle and towel with your sports bra, or a long sleeve moisture wicking top with UV accents is your must-have outer layer for an evening run; the athleisure trend means you'll be spoiled for practical outfit choices any day of the week.

Athleisure Trend - Dawn Wood - Freelance Copywriter

Outside the Gym

Heading out for a health-kick smoothie straight after your workout? No problem. Go for a lightweight bomber jacket for your outerwear layer. Underneath, your base layer might be a cute crop top, or a slouchy tee if you feel like rocking your favourite sportswear brand.

Athleisure Trend - Dawn Wood - Freelance Copywriter

Athleisure prides itself on layering, so feel free to add or subtract pieces when you're heading outdoors.
Of course, make sure you're dressed for the occasion too. If you want to turn up the colour, include a few neon accents to complement any neutral or darker pieces in your outfit. Fluro soles and laces, yoga pants with striped accents and coloured waistbands work well, especially for hi-vis radar!

Not a fan of neon? Go for lycra leggings with just a few graphic sections on the legs to give your look a fashion-forward touch. An embroidered silk bomber or classic denim jacket are two other popular choices to throw over your casual tee for fun leisure and free time dates.

With athleisure upping the game for sportswear, and steering fashion towards comfort as well as aesthetics - this is one lifestyle trend that's relevant no matter what season is on your calendar.  

Monday, 22 May 2017

Evanesce Coconut Oil - Nature's Miracle Worker!

Howdy Bloggers,

What's new in your world? After what feels like a lifetime away from my beloved blog (yep, freelancer life is all go!) I felt it was about time I got back in the saddle and focused on my own passion project. Sometimes it's good to just brew up a black coffee, pause for thought and let the words pour onto the page...

So today's post is about a fantastic new beauty product which I've had the pleasure of testing out for some time now. Just for the record, this isn't a sponsored/affiliate blog post, and any opinions about the product are entirely my own.

Introducing Evanesce Creme...

Evanesce Creme - Natural Miracle Worker

Type of Product: Organic antioxidant-rich coconut oil

Country of Origin: Thailand

Main Uses: As a day or night moisturiser for the face and body, hair conditioner, skin-nourishing massage oil, lip balm, antiseptic scar healer, tattoo care and makeup remover (to name a few.)

What do I Use Evanesce for? My bathroom cabinet has seen more moisturising tubs than a department store beauty counter, but that's because I care about what I put on my skin. A LOT. If trial and testing facial moisturisers has taught me anything throughout my 20's, it's that you should never scrimp on your skincare products. Trust me, it's worth investing in the right kind of moisturisers, and if you can find one product that does it all from a pure source, even better!

Why do I Love Evanesce Coconut Oil? Unlike other coconut oils, this one is organic and absorbs into the skin super-fast. There's nothing worse than waiting what feels like an ice age for your night skincare regime to dry. And what's nice about applying Evanesce creme at night is that you can let the oil get to work while you sleep. zzzzzz.

The Results: I've been using this oil for just over 5 months now, and still have half the jar left. For me, it's a natural miracle worker! I love that this product contains only one ingredient, yet it can be used for many different purposes. Multi-purpose beauty products are the way forward my friends. My skin is on the oily side, but feels dry at times too. This wonderful little pot of joy makes my face feel baby-soft straight away - no muss, no fuss. It works wonders on reducing redness and scarring and I always wake up with a smoother complexion than I had the night before. The trick is to really massage the oil into the main areas that are prone to dryness, redness or wrinkles.

Perks: Luxuriously chic black packaging, a far cry from supermarket-brand jars of coconut oil. This oil instantly starts to melt as you warm it between your fingertips, so you won't need to apply a large amount at once. Word of warning: When the weather is really hot and humid, you'll be likely to end up with a much softer (or even liquid) coconut oil. This is completely normal, and the product will revert back to its solid state once the temperature cools down.

Overall Verdict: 10/10.

To help you make the most of today's beauty buy recommendation, here's a handy list of tips that Evanesce published on their own website.

What's your go-to beauty product of choice? Comment me below. :)

Until next time... xx

Images courtesy of

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Perfume Pick: Viktor & Rolf 'Flowerbomb'

Hi Lovelies!

Today's blog is short and sweet - fitting really since I don't plan on sugarcoating my love affair with Viktor & Rolf's 'Flowerbomb' fragrance. 

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Bottle

When I first discovered this iconic perfume a few years ago, Dutch duo Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren managed to sell its pretty package to me instantly - even before I got to sample its evocative floral scent. With a polished petal pink bottle, rose gold spritzer and signature V&R branding, Flowerbomb was the debut fragrance by this designer label to hit the headlines. Certainly a luxury item that belongs front and centre on any fashionista's dressing table.

Although I don't own Flowerbomb amongst my worldly possessions just yet, I'm always enticed by its evocative floral notes whenever I visit my favourite beauty counters. I've recently been soaking up some style-spiration from InStyle's latest party issue as well. While flicking through the magazine I spotted a glossy four page spread advertising the perfume, with a pull-out scented sample - just enough to whet any fragrance fan's appetite for floral bouquets.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb New Ad Campaign

Since Flowerbomb is a little on the pricey side (at £45 for a 30ml size) I may have to live off cheese and crackers if I plan on treating myself to this bottled beauty. One day, she will be mine... Oh yes! ;) 

Which luxurious scents are at the top of your 2016 festive gift list? I'm sure there's at least one bottle you'll be lusting over... hint, hint.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Happy (Belated) Halloween Wishes...

Hey Bloggers,

Long time no speak! I hope you're all doing wonderful and enjoying autumn so far?

So major apologies on the lack of blog posts this past year, guilty as charged. Yep, my new year's resolution for 2017 will definitely include checking in on here more often. I mean sure, sometimes other stuff takes over, but I like to remember it like this... When life gives you lemons, make lemonade ;) 🍋

One of the reasons I created Paint Me Up in the first place was to have a platform to call my own. A place to share the stuff I dig with others. So here's to rekindling my passion for blogging and getting back on track! 🍸

Moving onto today's musings... I hope everyone had a kick-ass Halloween and enjoyed the spooky festivities as much as I did. Hands down, Halloween weekend '16 rocked, and I cannot wait to go even crazier come next October! 🎃

What did you all dress up as this year? I would love to see some party pictures from you guys and gals, along with plenty of spook-tastic costumes to boot.

Here are a few choice snaps I collected to celebrate my fave calendar occasion, Halloween. Once you're done browsing today's post, I hope you'll come away feeling inspired and ready to enjoy the fireworks this evening!

Until next time my lovelies...

Dawn 💋

Halloween 2016:

Jack O' Lantern Spotting in Manchester City Centre, Post-Carpenter Gig! \m/

Michael Myers and 'Dead by Dawn' the Ghostie...

The Pumpkin sees all! :3

My Guy made a corpse and hung it from a nearby tree... standard scaring tactics which went down a storm with the local kids! ;)

Our creepy Halloween bookshelf display...

Pumpkin Carving is always fun!

Pretty Day of the Dead Wall Decoration

Did I mention I have a sweet tooth? ;)

... and it wouldn't be Halloween without one final cupcake treat - thank you Patisserie Valerie!

Note: All Photography by Myself (Dawn)

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Oh Hi Autumn, It's Been a While...

Hey Guys,

So it's been a while since I last posted on here, but I'm not going to sugar-coat the fact that sometimes work and life have to take priority. By no means do I LOVE blogging any less, but as we get older, our lives begin to take on that bit more responsibility... who here can relate to this? I'm 27 now, who'd have thought it! ;)

Moving on to today's post, we've officially hit October which is my personal fave time of the year (YAY!) I'm sure I'm not alone when I express my adoration for the autumn season, right? It has all the cosiest things for us to indulge, from stylish sweaters to layer up on, autumnal coffee flavours for the senses to take in, crisp leaves that fall like a breathe of fresh air from the trees, not to mention an excuse to trek new country and go hiking. But let's not forget the main event which happens like clockwork on the 31st... HALLOWEEN! ;) Me and my guy adore all things horror, so I'm sure the rest of this month is going to be a corker.

Trick or Treat?
Just to kick Autumn off to a beautific start, last week I treated myself to a gorgeous lipstick hue. I'm a sucker when it comes to Superdrug beauty discounts, so naturally, perfecting my pout is always the best excuse for me to freshen up my make-up kit while pinching a few purse strings at the same time.

I've heard great reviews about Max Factor lippies, and have been on the hunt for a rustic shade that will serve to polish up my look for Autumn. In that spirit, today the spotlight is on Max Factor's Colour Elixir lipstick in 'Mulberry'...


The focus for fall is all about warm lip tones. This shade is not too overpowering so you can wear it from day to night, and with or without lip liner (always a bonus if lipsticks don't bleed when worn without liner!) Think of a sultry, festive red with a slight metallic sheen... that's what this Mulberry tone is all about, and I LOVE it.

Any lip shade that contrasts with my natural pale skin tone is a winner for me as I just love the retro look. I would choose alabaster skin tones over tanned any day!


Glides on super slick and is very easy to apply, so no cakey textures here! You can feel this lipstick conditioning your pout, but it's not quite as creamy as some of my other products. I always prefer to apply a lip balm prior to wearing lip products of any kind anyway - I'm a tad O.C.D that way ;) It doesn't leave an undesirable outline after eating or drinking either, just fades naturally as you would expect from any lipstick.


Goldfinger would be proud of this one. The gold chrome outer case creates a luxurious experience with every use, and I like the fact that the vampy Mulberry shade can easily be identified at the base of this product, unlike other 'all black' lipstick cases.

Final Rating of Product:

Based on the above points, I would have to score this one at 9/10. This lipstick is only one point short of perfection in my eyes, and that's because true perfection is very hard to find. The shade goes with any autumn outfit, but I like to wear it with my New Look tartan shirt as it picks out the red tones nicely.

Which lip products have you been lusting over lately? :) Let me know what you're up to this October in the comments section below...

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Hello Sunshine!

Now that we've officially hit summer 2015, it's only fitting that I share my favourite new eye make-up look with all of you lovely bloggers who adore beauty as much as I do. :)

We have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to the sunshine. Not only does summer allow us to make the most of enjoying being outdoors (with no umbrellas in sight), but it's also the ideal season to experiment with different make-up colour schemes. Take my sunshine-inspired eyes as a leading example...

#Hello Bright Eyes

The look I've chosen is super simple to achieve. Here are the products used to create my summertime eyes:

* The Body Shop Colour Crush Eye Shadow Pot in 'Sunshine Love'

Image Credit: This shade has a mustard yellow undertone as opposed to a neon glow. The pigment is so amazing and lasts all day, so no need to keep touching it up!

* The Body Shop Colour Crush Eye Shadow Pot in 'Sugar Glaze'

This highlighter shade is a godsend for me. It's not too heavy and has a gorgeous pearlescent sheen that works all year round. You can wear it on the brow bone as I have done, or dab into the corners of the eye for a wide-eyed look.

* Rimmel Soft Kohl Jajal 'White' Eyeliner

As far as pure white liners go, this one is perfection! I have been using Rimmel's white kohl for as long as I can remember and it always freshens up my waterline with every eye make-up look I go for. It's one of those staple beauty buys that every gal needs to have in her make-up bag, and it's so affordable. 

* Bourjois Metallise Metallic Eyeliner in 'Vert Pepite' 

For a look that will have onlookers 'green with envy', build up the intensity of this beautiful metallic liner on your lower lash line. I think the green compliments the sunshine yellow shadow well, and it's a nice contrast.

Note: All images were not taken by me, except the first image marked #

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Blueberry Colour Pop

Hey lovelies,

How are you all enjoying spring so far? Looking forward to summer? :) I love springtime as a season second to autumn, not just for the warmer weather, but because it's an excuse to give my beauty cabinet a good old spring clean! (Pun intended)

Now when it comes to nail polishes, I'm usually a fan of darker, more gothic hues. There's something about black, purple metallic and statement red shades that I just love! I think it's because pale skin pairs so well with deeper colours. But last week while shopping for make-up, I threw my usual nail polish rules out the window and bought this fresh sky blue bottle on impulse. 

I've never tried out any Models Own beauty products before, so I'm always a little bit skeptical as to the quality I'm going to get with some high street brands. But after manicuring my nails with this gorgeous 'Blueberry Muffin' shade, I was pleasantly surprised and will definitely be buying more of these nail polishes in the future!

You have to apply at least 2 coats in order to get that bold pop of colour, but the product itself doesn't streak or leave a 'lumpy' texture unlike certain other nail products, so that's always a bonus. The only thing that did confuse me was the fact this polish is supposed to be scented. Unfortunately, I think this is more of a marketing gimmick than an actual blueberry-scented nail polish.

Has anybody else tried nail polishes from the new Models Own #fruitpastel collection - what are your thoughts?

Here are a couple of images for today's spring inspired nails...

Brand: Models Own - Shade: Blueberry Muffin - Candle: Souvenir from a previous fashion event 
Cool comic effect created by moi ;)
The full 'scented' collection - next on my list is Banana Split!

Gotta include Lita Ford's 'Blueberry' as it's one of my fave glam rock classics! \m/

Note: First 2 images taken by Myself (Dawn)

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