Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Live Below the Line

A quick post which isn't my usual kind...

my very good friend Bee is doing something incredible for charity. She's living below the poverty line (£1/day) for a week to raise awareness of global poverty and hopefully raise £200 for this worthy cause!

I will definitely be supporting her, will you? There's nothing so beautiful as a kind heart!

Live Below the Line

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Couple of Cute Spring Finds!

Just a quick Sunday afternoon post! Whilst on Monday's pilgrimage to Oxford St I picked up a couple of cute bits worth mentioning..
 This lovely floral maxi skirt was £9.99 (ish, maybe £12.99) from H&M. I love love love how much fabric you get for your money! The blue background is a gorgeous shade and the little pink/white/blue flowers in the floral pattern are ideal for wearing with a top/blazer of the same shade!
It's hard to photograph because it's so long, but it has an elasticated waist and sits beautifully just above the hips, making the fabric flow fabulously down to your feet. I already have 2 jersey maxi dresses and 1 denim maxi skirt but none of them are quite like this one - its really cute & easy to wear!
However it is quite long - I'm 5'6 and it's almost too long for me so beware if you're any shorter as you might have to wear it with wedges!

These super-cute shorts, also from H&M (absolutely BARGAIN at £12.99) may be the new LOVE OF MY LIFE! Not only do I adore the colour (same as a high waisted skirt I bought a few weeks ago, see earlier post) and the pattern (dinky little doves) but the way they fit me is perfect, almost as if they were made for me! They're high waisted & have a tie also around the waist which you can do into a little bow to add extra cute factor to your outfit! Not too short to wear during the day either!
I've already worn these out with 10 denier tights, a white vest top, rust blazer & cream brogues and got lots of comments! I'm also keen to wear them on a night out, maybe to an indie club with bare legs & a white boob tube? (I tried this on and it really reminded me of Katy Perry in the Gym Class Heroes vid for Cupid's Chokehold/Breakfast in America - and I LOVE her style!)

What do you think? Have you bought any amazing shorts for spring? Do you love/hate Katy P? Comment away!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Liz Earle Review

I'm currently going through a brief bout of insomnia so thought I'd make use of my night owl status and post a quick beauty review of the Liz Earle 3 step facial skincare routine! I used to use Simple Cleanser, Toner, and Moisturiser but have been using that for about 4 years now so thought it would be nice to make a change!
I purchased the Hot Cloth Cleanser, Toner & Moisturiser on the recommendation of a friend (and after much researching online!) and because the 3 step system was on offer on the website as part of the 'Springtime Offers' for £41! (this includes 2 cleansers, a toner, 2 x muslin cloths and a moisturiser)
I even got a GORGEOUS free Liz Earle wash bag - which I think is far too pretty to ever make it out of my bedroom (it's currently on my dresser storing all my Liz Earle stuff!)
I love the customer service from the team at Liz Earle - my purchases arrived in a cardboard box individually wrapped in tissue which made me feel so special! I am a sucker for personal little touches like this!
First, the Hot Cloth Cleanser. I don't know about you, but I have heard SO MANY people raving about this product, it's often the first thing that's mentioned whenever the topic of the 'holy grail' of skincare comes up! So I decided to ditch my Simple Cleanser for this beautiful product!
You basically apply the cleanser all over your face, rub it in and then remove it with one of the FREE 100% cotton muslin cloths which come with the set, once you've run it under a hot tap and rung the excess water out of the cloth first. I do this every evening without removing my eye make up first as I've found it to be pretty effective at removing make up and mascara. It's a really nice routine to get into, I often cleanse just before I brush my teeth and then I can tone before night cream and bed (watch this space for a night cream review!)
Overall I really like this product - it smells lovely (very eucalyptus-y), it's a nice creamy consistency (not too heavy) and I honestly think it works better at declogging my skin and removing make up than my previous cleanser. Recommended! It might be a little pricey but I think if you're going to invest in something and be a big spender just once, it should be for skincare! You only get one face!
I've been using up the FREE cleanser tester I received with my order - pictured where it currently lives in my bathroom cupboard! (Yet again a nice touch from the team at Liz Earle that makes you feel like a valued customer even if it's your very first order!) Apparently every order comes with a freebie sample so get ordering!
I really really like the toner - bit expensive for what it is, however it makes your skin feel squeaky clean and has done a better job of cleaning the leftover grime from my skin than anything I've used before! I've been playing around with different skincare routines since I was 11 years old, so trust me when I say this one's a winner!
Onto the Liz Earle Moisturiser (which, by the way, made me feel oh-so-grown up as until now my day moisturiser has always come in a squeezy bottle, I always associate jars with higher end, more mature brands!) I took the test on the brand's website to see what my skin type was and it said I was 'Dry/Sensitive'. No surprises for me there, as I've had extremely sensitive skin since I was a baby, and I do get dry patches on my cheeks and next to my nose in the winter months. However I also sometimes get oily patches on my foreheard, so I often go for sensitive or combination skin products. But Liz Earle's test told me to buy this moisturiser, so I did!
The first time I applied this cream I was seriously impressed - it's very thick in the pot so you only use a tiny bit at a time (I've been using it for almost a month now and you can see that hardly any has gone, very good value for money!), but when you actually come to apply it onto the skin it's quite thin in consistency. I liked the way it felt on my skin and the smell was nice too.
BUT - I'm afraid I will not be recommending this moisturiser. It leaves your face sticky and almost greasy even after leaving it to sink in for half an hour! I never had this with any Simple moisturiser so I am seriously disappointed. Luckily, I use powder mineral foundation which effectively soaks up the excess oil but I shouldn't have to worry about being oily at the beginning of the day because of my moisturiser! I also discovered at the end of the day that my face was shinier than usual, and my forehead was really greasy and oily. I have a fringe so don't wear foundation on my forehead, and the oily issue has never occurred before when using Simple.
Overall the moisturiser was a massive disappointment. For the amount of money charged (this stuff is £17.60 a pot!) I expected much better results, and will be switching back to my Simple Radiance Moisturiser as soon as this pot has been used up (which may be some time!)!

Before I go - a quick word to all you lovely readers!
Please feel free to comment on any of my blog posts with your comments, suggestions, criticisms and recommendations, a bit more interactivity would make my day!
I would also love love LOVE it if you could follow my blog :) & I'm more than happy to return the favour!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Tantalising tops!

I paid a visit to Oxford St on Monday in the glorious warm sunshine with the sole purpose of finding some cute new tops to wear with my skirts in the Spring season. I was more than just a little successful!
This gorgeous butterfly print jersey top is from H&M and was a real bargain at £9.99! It finishes just below the bust on me so I plan on wearing it with a black vest underneath, probably with my black pleated midi (see previous post) or with my high waisted skinnies.
This beautiful lace top was hard to photograph - its a lovely peachy colour and is pattered in sheer and lace fabric. It was a steal at £12.99, also from H&M, and I think it looks much more expensive on! I think this will look good with a nude or contrasting coloured vest underneath and either high waisted skinnies or my denim tiered maxi skirt (see previous post).
This cute short-sleeved jumper is actually a brilliant layering piece and I've already worn it out this week with my black pleated midi skirt and a gold & teal plaited skinny belt - I really enjoyed the contrasting colours. It's a bit thicker so more versatile in terms of when you can wear it out, but it's not very well fitted so a belt is a definite must! H&M, £12.99 (I think! But might be £14.99 - as I say, I've already worn it out and cut the price tag out!)

I wore this 70s style white lace top yesterday with my denim tiered maxi - obviously really going for the 70s look! I really enjoyed the outfit & got lots of compliments throughout the day! I styled it with the maxi skirt, a white vest underneath and some simple sandals but I think because it's white this top is quite flexible in terms of what you can pair it with - it'd look cute with some skinnies and ballet pumps, for example. H&M again, £14.99. I actually liked this top so much I also bought it in black but I'm not sure whether I'm going to keep the black one or not.
Finally, this white jersey cropped tee, also from H&M for £7.99. This top has tiny little holes all over it so obviously has to be layered with another top underneath. I love its texture and especially want to pair it with my rust midi skirt from Miss Selfridge (see post below) as I think the contrast in fabrics will be really nice! It's sort of an off-white colour too which is a nice change. Bargain!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Shoes, Glorious Shoes!

Last week I happened to pass by Peacocks on my way to the supermarket & noticed they had a 3 for 2 offer on across the whole store. Not normally much of a Peacocks fan, I thought it was worth a quick 5 min browse.. I came away with a skirt and 5 pairs of shoes for the grand total of £68! Amazing!
I LOVE this gorgeous pleated black midi skirt! It was a bargain at £18 even without the offer on, and is made from a lovely chiffon-y floaty material. A deadringer for the same style of skirt that's selling for more than double that price in other high st stores! I am counting down the days until it's warm enough to wear out with a vest, blazer & cute pumps!
These moccasins are adorable! They're a much brighter red than in the pic and I think they'll look great on a Spring day with some skinnies! Another bargain at £14!
I've been after some feminine brogue-style shoes for months now and I am besotted with these beauties! At only £14 they're made incredibly well and are super comfy! I wore them out in London today in the damp drizzly weather and they kept my feet dry too!
I have a bit of a thing for peep-toe flats and these are so cute! They look really nice on with some colourful toenail varnish and I think they'll be ideal for wearing alongside the 70s trend staples of the upcoming season. The tan colour will work brilliantly with the rust orange shades of Spring skirts! And so much cheaper than they look at a mere £15!
Okay so hands up who loves wedges! Everyone right? I'm no exception. I adore how wedges are back in a big way this season, they're super comfy and super stylish in equal measure! I also think the tan colour will work really nicely with floral dresses or skinnies and blazers, and it matches my F&F tan rucksack perfectly! £18!
Finally these funky little sandals for £12! I really like how they're a different colour to what you'd expect in a sandal, whilst still rocking the whole gladiator-style that's been huge for a number of summer seasons now! I feel a bit daft investing in sandals as early on as MARCH but I'm sure I'll pop these on as soon as we get a nice bit of dry, sunny warm weather in London! Perfect addition to my holiday wardrobe too!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Recent Fashion Finds

*Gasp* 2 new posts in one day?! I must be ill! I just thought it'd be nice to share with you some of my favourite fashion finds in the past couple of weeks!

Adorable faux-suede vintage style clutch - £5, Dorothy Perkins

Gorgeous butterfly print tribal style jersey maxi - £15, Dorothy Perkins
Beautiful grey sheer net vintage style shrug - £15, Dorothy Perkins
Sheer sleeved burgandy dress with grey beaded detail - £24, Dorothy Perkins
Ditsy floral print summer dress - £7.99, Zara
INCREDIBLE black faux-fur synthetic shoe boots - £35, Schuh
(I've wanted these for MONTHS and got them finally in the sale!)


AVON Mascara, Lipstick & Face Perfector

I'm not feeling too well today, which is bad news for me but good news for you because it's given me plenty of time to test my free AVON goodies!

First up is the SuperShock Mascara in black
This is the picture from the AVON website, because I really wanted to show you the style of the brush on this mascara. I usually use Body Shop Define & Lengthen but have been looking for something new for a while! Perfect timing! The brush on my Body Shop mascara is very much your more traditional brush made from bristles, whereas the AVON is modern, made from plastic and appears to have shorter bristle-y bits.
This was my terrible attempt at getting a pic of the brush - see why I used the website?

I applied the mascara in the usual way but decided against using any brushes or wearing any other make up - I wanted you to see what the mascara does on its own. And..... drum roll please..... I'm really impressed! I've never used an AVON mascara before so I really didn't know what to expect but it went on nice and smoothly, and did a pretty good job of lengthening and defining my individual lashes. I think I've been converted!

Here's the best pic I could get of the result - left is the mascara'd eye, right is my other eye which has no make up on at all (for comparison).
Impressed? I was! AVON's SuperShock Mascara retails at £8.50 but is currently on offer for £5.00. Bargain!

Next up is the AVON Moisture Seduction Lipstick in Red Kiss.
Again, I'm using a website pic to show you the pretty swirly pattern on the lipstick as it was decidedly difficult to photograph!

I'm a big lipstick fan and love trying out different shades of pink and red. I have very fair skin and really enjoy experimenting with bright shades to see how they come out against my complexion. This beauty did not disappoint. I applied a tiny bit of lip balm prior to application, as I always do with lipsticks. Then I applied and blotted x 2. This is the result:
(Excuse my lopsided smile!)
I'm super impressed with the colour - even on the first application the lipstick was very highly pigmented and really stood out. It has dried my lips out a tiny bit, but I think given the shade it's going to be quite a high maintenance look overall, so before reapplying I'd recommend slicking on some balm first.
Overall I'm very pleased with this lipstick, although I don't know why AVON decided to name it 'Red Kiss' as it's certainly more pink than red! Nevertheless, I really love the colour and it had decent staying power for such a bright shade. RRP £8.50 but currently selling for £6.00, it's definitely worth getting if you're looking for a bright shade for Spring!

Finally, the AVON Face Perfector.

My comments on this product will be brief, as there's really not a lot to say! It's a brilliant base for your foundation as it gives a lovely matte finish to the skin. It comes out as a sort of dry cream (sounds bizzare I know) and it blends into the skin to even out imperfections! It does a pretty good job of evening out the skin tone but not enough for the difference to be obvious on camera, hence no photo! I used this product a few years ago before I started wearing foundation. It helped my skin photograph better and also because I have quite an oily T-zone it gave my skin a matte finish.

Overall good for under make up, but with an RRP of £10.50 (currently selling for £7.00) I wouldn't repurchase, as I already use Lily Lolo Finishing Powder in Flawless Matte as a base for my foundation.


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Staple Skirts of the New Season

I am SO excited about Spring/Summer 2011, especially because of the radical changes to skirt lengths and styles!

I have surgical scars on my knees and I only became brave enough to bare my legs without tights when I was 19! So I've been trying to make up for lost time since by wearing skirts as often as possible! I already have a wide collection but with the retro styles and lengths heading back into the mainstream for the upcoming season, I couldn't resist adding some key staples to my wardrobe.

Absolutely EVERYWHERE on the High St is the midi skirt - and I love it! I think it's a really fresh way of getting your legs out but maintain a demure look. I bought this fabulous midi from Miss Selfridge for £22.00
I also bought a more traditional summer skirt - the maxi - except with another fresh twist as it's denim! I'm a bit of a denim addict anyway, and I love this light shade. I think the tiered effect will look brilliant in the summer sunshine with some sandals and a vest, but it will work equally as well with a blazer in colder weather. £14.99 from H&M. Can't wait for Spring so I can wear it out!
I'm also a bit of a fan of the retro trend, and couldn't resist buying this incredible blue polka dot skirt that sits just above the knee. The colour is just divine, I haven't seen anything the same colour on the High 
St. I'm also in love with the scallop hem and the button details - the shape gives the illusion of having wider hips so it balances me out (I'm top heavy). This was a steal at £19.99, also from H&M.
Finally, I won this gorgeous silky GAP retro print skirt on eBay at auction for £0.99 - incredible steal! I love the way it's fitted at the waist but flares out around the hips - again good for creating shape. The colours are perfect for S/S11 and the red gives it a lovely 70s kick. I look forward to teaming it with a blazer, pumps and some oversized sunnies!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Dorothy Perkins freebies, Glamour & free Clinique lipstick!

Hello and welcome to my blog! I hate those tedious first blog posts, so I'll delve straight in to the juicy stuff...

I received an order from Dorothy Perkins today, after only placing it a few days ago! Very impressed with the quick delivery, but what really put a smile on my face was the FREE AVON GOODIES I received alongside my items! I appear to be ignorant to whatever offer is going on at the moment, but I received an Avon Super Shock mascara, an Ultra Colour Rich lipstick in red kiss, and a Magix Face Perfector for free! I will be testing them all and reporting back on how I find them soon!
In other news..
I bought the April issue of Glamour magazine on Friday to read on the way to a friend's wedding at the weekend. Part of the reason I bought it was the FREE Clinique High Impact lip colour spf 15! As a vegan I'm ultra careful and cautious about buying from brands I don't already use, but I googled around and discovered Clinique is a non-animal testing company so I was happy to get the lipstick with my Glamour!
I tried it on Friday night and thought it went on very nicely, and it didn't seem to dry my lips out at all. The colour was a really goregeous deep red, which coincidentally totally coordinated with my planned outfit for the wedding! I stuck to simple lipgloss for the day service (Soap and Glory Sexy Motherpucker, watch this space for a review!) but whacked on the new lippy for the evening reception.

The colour lasted quite well, but I wasn't eating any food, just drinking from a glass with a straw so couldn't test its durability whilst eating. I also can't comment on the kiss factor of the lipstick, as I am a single gal and wasn't swept off my feet by any gentlemen that evening either! However the colour did seem to last throughout the night and my lips felt a lot more moisturised than they do when I'm wearing other lipsticks. I only reapplied once in the evening too!
All in all I'd recommend the lipstick to those who have a bit of a bigger budget and are looking for a good quality lippy with a nice colour and lasting moisturisation. I'm not sure if I'd buy it again (not that I bought it in the first place, but you catch my drift!) as I don't tend to purchase the more high end make up, but I guess we'll have to wait and see! I'd certainly encourage you to go grab a copy of Glamour so you can try it for yourself though, it's only £2 and the magazine itself is rather good too!