Tuesday, 2 September 2014

ASOS Sunday Delivery

As is usually the way with my shopping habits, I really wanted something but didn't have money for it at the time.  Watched it slowly sell out, sad face, moan, moan, moan, stalked it until I eventually found one in my size and yay, bought it!  It happened a couple of weeks ago and it gave me the opportunity to try out the new Sunday service from ASOS.  I've always been a big advocate for the ASOS UK Premier service, which I've used for years (I promise I've not been asked/paid to say any of this).  If you don't know it's a yearly subscription and in return you receive free unlimited next/nominated day delivery, free returns (courier alongside the usual Collect+ or Royal Mail) along with every issue of the ASOS magazine, special sales, discounts and previews before regular customers.  Lately with free postal returns and free shipping (albeit by a slower method), I've been thinking they might see a reduction in those taking up the offer.  Personally I love the comfort of knowing if I need something in a rush, I have until 10pm to order and can get it the next day, plus for the price (£9.95), you would only need to use it twice for it to pay for itself.  This new Sunday service and later cut off times for ordering I think are a brilliant addition to the scheme.  There I was on a Saturday afternoon, clicking away and then got the surprise that I could have it in my hands the next day.  

So you have until 5pm on Sat/Sun for next day and like I said 10pm during the week.  You get a dispatch email from DPD/ASOS letting you know that your item has been sent and that someone should be home to sign for it (above, bottom left).  You also have the option of changing times, asking that it be left with a neighbour etc but I've never had to use those myself.  On the day of delivery, mid morning usually, you receive an email with an hour slot (middle image), which I find extremely helpful given that DPD deliver between 7am and 9pm!  In this case it was between 12.15pm and 1.15pm, but don't be surprised to be given '2.26pm' and all kinds of random preciseness.  The delivery folks can't actually access your info on that electronic device you sign, until between those allotted times (I've known them to ask me to wait a minute or two until it comes up if they are early), hence why they are so exact and they clearly have to stick to quite a rigid delivery schedule.  Now if you've never stalked a DPD driver, you haven't lived! It's the most fun thing ever (or at least it is for me).  We're rather fond of the driver in our house, I'm quite literally on first name terms with him (embarrassing tale of when he was at my sisters work and got her to sign for something then said "oh are you Gemma's sister?" and described our house and location exactly-hmmm a sign of too many ASOS parcels methinks, though I was impressed he knew I was her sister and not her Mum)!  Anyway when you get that email in the morning, you can click 'follow my parcel' and up comes a map (shown above, bottom right) with where your driver is and your location and it'll say your delivery number and what delivery he's on right now (say you're 59 and he's on 23).  So you can then vaguely guess if he'll be earlier or later within that hour (i.e. if you can or can't rush to the toilet!).  All my deliveries have been on time or like I mentioned a minute early, so there's no waiting around all day and night, like other courier services.  

So you're wondering what I got? Only an Ariel/Little Mermaid sweatshirt (now sold out), whoop, whoop!  Look how pretty she is. Sorry, I can't guarantee the free crackers I got here!  So I'd definitely recommend this new service, though I do feel guilty that the poor delivery man works 7-9, without a day off (it's always the same guy no matter which day/time I order).  I'm sorry he works his fingers to the bone for my shopping addiction!  Have you used the Premier service before, is it something you would consider?

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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Bought & Thought


I've been making a real effort to work my way through all the travel sized skincare products I own before buying anything new.  You sure can rack up the stock, especially when you buy into GWP's the way I do!  Before this one, I'd been using the purple (Renergie Multi Lift) and got on really well with it.  I'd describe the scent like a masculine marshmallow (randomly) and again the Renergie Lift Volumetry worked well for me (scent was more subtle on this one).  It felt smooth to apply and best of all was well tolerated by my skin (which has a tendency to throw hissy fits if I try something new).  This was a surprise to me because of the perfume and the fact the cream is so rich.  I felt my face actually looked clearer, smoother, lost the redness and just looked really healthy.  Most of all, it looked firmer and more plump.  I have very few lines anyway, but they seemed to disappear when I used this.  I had three jars of each, so I've been able to give them a thoroughly good test.  I'm not completely up to date with Lancome moisturisers, but it appears this particular version is discontinued.  The purple one (which worked just as well, though I preferred the silver) is and I'd buy it in a minute (if I could afford it).  I really could not justify £64 for a moisturiser.  So sadly it will be GWP sizes for me for now, but the Renergie range definitely gets the thumbs up from me.      
Post contains affiliate links.  Quote found here.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Bought & Thought

With reviews and hauls over the past couple of weeks, it's been a while since I've done a simple 'Bought & Thought' post.  I can't recall where I first spied this dress, in some magazine I think and I had to track it down, because it looked so gorgeous.  It's from Boden and I buy a lot for my youngest nephew from there but haven't paid much attention to the adults section if I'm honest.  I therefore didn't know anything about their sizing or if they even went up to my size.  I was pleasantly surprised to find the dress in stock, in sizes 6-22 and bonus, it was in the sale!  I'm usually an 18-20 though I'd say a 20 has been more accurate recently, so I thought I'd read the reviews to see if I should size up, down or what!  I was completely overwhelmed by them, there were just so many and all with conflicting opinions and points!  I did that internal thought process of trying to make myself hate it "it likely won't fit me anyway", I'd probably look like a sack of tatties in it, I don't have any money, I don't even wear clothes just now, so it's a waste of time!!  Then I saw Char rocking it on her blog and took that as a sign that I was supposed to buy it, afterall I did love it really.  So I took another look at the reviews and it had been further reduced in the sale (another sign!) and made my decision.

I went for a size 20 (because the 22 had gone, so the fear of it not fitting and 'sizing up' option was taken away, which helped) and in the longer length/tall because I didn't want it too short.  I'm so glad the 22 wasn't available at that point, because the 20 is definitely roomy enough.  I probably could even have gone for an 18 (certainly last year, pre-illness it would've fitted).  It's one of the few dresses I own that isn't pulled tight across my chest and is neat at the armholes (usually they gape).  The waist is a little big, but it's comfy and at the moment that's all that matters.  The length is not quite mid-calf, but definitely below the knee (I'm 5ft 5") and is perfect as I wanted it a little longer for wearing in summer, bare legged.  It's got a V back (not too low) with a centre back zip (I can get it on without opening the zip) and is fully lined.  Both lining and outer fabric are cotton and the colours of the print were exactly as I expected (a lot of reviews mentioned the 'dull' colours).  I absolutely love it.  I wore it to the doctors last week and kept it on all day (usually I'm desperate to get out of 'restrictive' clothes).  I adore the retro shape and print (which was actually inspired by a laundry bag from the 40's) and it's made me more confident about buying from Boden, now that I know I actually fit their stuff!  The Nancy 'Riviera' dress is still available in all sizes (6-22) and is reduced to £35.60 (there's also two other prints available) or there's a skirt in exactly the same print, also in the sale for £20.70.  Have you bought anything from Boden before, do you like this?

As for the quote above, I'm not sure who originally said it, but it's one I've heard and lived a lot.
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Review: Eucerin DermatoClean Micellar Cleansing Fluid*

Do you remember the 'blind micellar water trial' I took part in last year?  Well Escentual thought I'd be interested in trying the latest micellar water (MW) on the block , given that I'd enjoyed the blind trial so much.  That product is Eucerin DermatoClean Micellar Cleansing Fluid 3 in 1 £9 (currently reduced to £7.19 in their sale which ends tomorrow).  It comes in a 200ml bottle, the lid unscrews to reveal a small hole.  You simply apply to a cotton pad and onto the skin without rinsing.  I was a little concerned that the liquid would pour everywhere and I'd waste lots, thinking something like a pump applicator would have been more practical.  However the stopper in the neck of the bottle prevents over-pour (pretty sure I just made that word up).  Basically, I had no issues with it, in fact I felt in control of exactly how much or little I wanted for each application.    
Given that I haven't worn makeup this year with being ill, I didn't really get the opportunity to test it's abilities at removing face and eye makeup.  In my blind trial, I wasn't as keen on MW's for this purpose, preferring to use them for basic cleansing.  I found the effort and soaked pads required to do so (and in some cases giving up and going back to using a separate eye makeup remover and makeup cleanser) just wasn't worth it.  Like I say, it would be unfair to comment on how I think this one would work.  For basic cleansing though, I really loved it.  I've been using it at least once, if not twice a day.  I was amazed at how gentle and light it felt on my skin.  With previous MW's I found a tacky or sticky film was left on the skin, there was no such issue with this one.  My face felt thoroughly cleansed, refreshed and prepped for applying moisturiser, without the need for a toner.  It's fragrance free, alcohol free and paraben free, so it didn't dry out my skin either.  
Imagine my utter disappointment then, when roughly 3-4 weeks later my face reacted with a rather nasty breakout.  Blemishes in places that I'm not prone to breaking out.  Nothing is ever 100% certain in cases like these (and I do have acne prone skin), but I wasn't using anything else new and since ceasing use, my skin has started to slowly clear up.  Obviously I'm not keen to try it out again for fear of the same thing happening, but it's so frustrating as I was really enjoyed using it and compared to my previous experience with MW's, this one was up at the top.  I notice another similar review on the product page, so it's a pity.  So a bit of a mixed review for this one, without the suspected breakout it would've been a brilliant product that I couldn't fault.  Perhaps if your skin isn't as sensitive to change as mine, you'd fare better.    

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Monday, 11 August 2014

Haul: Irregular Choice Fawn Heels


I had a rather disruptive sleep last night due to the remains of hurricane Bertha hitting Scotland! We've had winds and torrential rain from Sunday afternoon and it's only just stopped in the last hour or so (the rain, not the wind or cold). Anyway, I was so excited when I eventually got up, to find my parcel had arrived from Irregular Choice! Before I start, I'll apologise for the slightly intrusive tags on each photo, but despite my best efforts, it seems eBayers would rather spend their time trawling google images and stealing my photos then cropping my name out (yep, really!) than take a few snaps of their own. Sad.
Ok, so I couldn't choose between the two styles on offer last Friday (and still can't), so ended up buying both. Hey I left one colour behind, that's 'willpower' enough for me! I'll start with Angel Cakes. A grey court with paw prints in black all over and some different textured black trims around the shoe and at the heel. The front features this large gold metallic paw with soft black claws and is pretty eye-catching all on it's own.
Then you turn and see the wonderful fawn heel! I've got some comparison photos later in the post to see it with previous character heels, but I think the thing to note is, it's a little chunkier than the others. Maybe more like the bunny, although even it was slimmer. It's therefore quite heavy, but not in a 'can't lift my feet another step' way! Just more weight than say the gnome. Size wise, I'd decided beforehand I'd size up. I was a little worried as it was a slip-on shoe and the previous styles I had to base my decision on were the 'Eternal Friend' unicorns, which I tried in a 38 (my usual size) and a 39 and kept the 38 (albeit they are snug, but the 39 gaped). Plus the 'Dreamy' Santa courts which I bought in a 39 and found a little bit roomy. At first they were ok, but with wear they've loosened up a bit. I swear my feet are growing, so thought it best to size up and deal with insoles, heel grips or whatever than cry because I couldn't get my feet in them!
It turns out the size up was the perfect decision. I honestly don't think my feet would even look at a 38. My foot just slipped into these and felt secure. Brilliant. I also want to rave about the linings. I've moaned a-plenty recently about scratchy, rough or just downright annoying fabrics (complete hypocrite after slagging off the crushed velvet inners that popped up season after season I know), but they've got it just right with these ones. There is the wow, spangly metallic print, but there's quilted velvet in the sides, over the foot and under the ball of the foot. Comfort exactly where you need it and pretty stuff too. I love it, more like this please IC!
I was like geek-excited when I first saw Cherry Deer. Why? Well because the beautiful fabric they'd used in some items of clothing and accessories, including my Bertha scarf (wow, two Bertha mentions in one post), a couple of seasons back, provided the uppers of these shoes. That meant matchy heaven with shoes and scarf! So as much as I love the turquoise blue colour, there was no doubt that I'd be getting the black pair. I'm slightly kicking myself I didn't buy the skirt too when I had the chance, but I worried it wouldn't fit. Could you imagine the matchy bonus points on that combo?
There's something slightly Christmas feeling about these with the red and green, but subtly so. They feature a t-bar on a strap that fastens with Velcro and a huge cherry on the front dangling from a sparkly bow and leaves (yes it can swing freely). Kitsch at it's best and again, a glorious shoe in itself never mind the heel!
I'm not sure if it's intentional or that I just got a 'good pair' but I love that there's a full deer on the toe and back heel of each shoe. Often you find one with a print you like then the other shoe looks almost entirely different, purely because of the print placement. I appreciate the effort here regardless. The heel is identical to Angel Cakes and both soles and inners are also the same. The boxes, I forgot to say are a pastel version of the sole-you can just see glimpses in the background as I forgot to photograph them separately.
Again I opted for a size larger and these feel a bit roomier than AC. I think a 38 would've been tight, but they might have fitted. I'm not too concerned though because this style come with the strap. It means the Velcro fastens all the way across and feels very secure. I really couldn't be happier with both styles, I've just fallen in love with them immediately!  I love the shape of the toes and of both shoes and the fabrics used and the heels are just a bonus.  I haven't spoken much about the actual heel, but it reminds me of one of those painted, vintage deer ornaments.  I adore them, so obviously I like them in shoe form too!  Now here is what over £1000 of shoes look like (well with their other halves obviously).  I didn't realise I'd collected 9 pairs already.  
Here they are in order of launch date, starting with Flopsy on the left, Chuckles, Dreamy, One Who Charms (cream), Eternal Friend, Mouse Trap, One Who Charms (black), Angel Cakes and Cherry Deer.  I'm a bit sad that four pairs (plus my two new ones) have sat unworn for so long with me being ill.  I think it's all the fun I had in the Santa ones that caused it!  
Then I've got a pic of each character; bunny, gnome, Santa, unicorn, cat and deer.  I have to ask, which is your favourite?  Just the heel, not the shoe.  
In this one you can see what I mean regarding the size of Bambi.  A little more rounded and definitely a bigger head than Flopsy. Wee kitty needs some meat on 'dem bones, no?

If you've missed out on these, then keep an eye out because I believe we'll be seeing other variations.  The best way is through the IC Facebook and Twitter pages, my lips are sealed!  Tomorrow you'll get to see an 'on the foot' shot for Shoesday Tuesday, because believe me they look even more gorgeous than they do here (and they're majorly cute already) and I'll have more details on heel height etc.  A couple of weeks ago I posted the Mouse Trap kitties, if you haven't already seen them.  What do you think of these, your favourite yet?  Did your delivery come today if you ordered them?

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Haul & Swatches: Lancome GWP


This post has been neglected for so long! I ordered the stuff back in May and each week it's been 'carried over' into another week because I've not had time.  My health woes this year have been well documented, but this past week I've been struggling with motivation and fighting extreme tiredness on top of hospital appointments and having my nephews here 3 days a week.  Blogging has just been a no-go unfortunately.  I'm still completely shattered today, but have given myself a wee pep talk and the first thing to tackle was this post. There's so much editing and writing required, that's why I'm unable to post them as regularly as I used to.  Anyway enough blethering, on with the Debenhams/Lancome haul. My main only reason for buying was because they had a rather spiffy GWP, but I dithered for so long on what to get (actually I was holding out waiting for the summer collection that never happened), that the couple of things I'd wanted went out of stock. So it was back to the drawing board, as I can't leave a pretty GWP hanging!
This particular gift with purchase has since finished, but there's a lovely wee set out just now with a Jenny Packham cosmetics bag (with 2 purchases online, instore offer may vary). It's been on since the end of May, so I'm not sure how much longer it will last. Plus until 24th August there's 1500 bonus beauty points when you spend £50 on Lancome. Onto my GWP and I was again impressed that Lancome shook it up a bit by adding in some variations. The above photo is the standard gift and with a third purchase I got the extra cleanser and toner shown in the photo below.
Both the Tonique Douceur and Galateis Douceur are 125ml (regularly sold as 200ml for £22.50 and £23), so it's nice big sizes you're getting.
The BiFacil eye makeup remover is actually full size (£21, 125ml) and there's also two small moisturisers. Hydra Zen Neurocalm SPF15 15ml and for the first time (I think) in a GWP, Hydra Zen Nuit 15ml. I've never tried the night cream before, so was pleased to see that in there.
Continuing with skincare, there's a small Advanced Genifique -Youth Activating Concentrate. I've tried this many times before, along with the coordinating moisturiser, so can always put it to use.
Then there's a small bottle of La Vie Est Belle. As you might recall, I stored up several of these thinking I didn't like it, then one day tried it and loved it! So I'm always happy to get a more portable version in GWP's. Onto makeup and no 'Fraise' Juicy Tubes! Really! For summer we get Marshmellow Electro instead. Ok, so I've already got the full-size, but honestly I couldn't deal with yet another tube of Fraise, it was getting ridiculous. Alongside that is a small Hypnose mascara.
What really caught my eye in the set though was this small compact, Blush Subtil in 021 Rose Paradis. It's a rare new colour release from Lancome for their powder blusher and even more rare to find in a GWP. I'm always glad to see something completely fresh included in a GWP, especially as the aim is to entice you to try and therefore buy something new next time.
My compact was really badly scratched from rattling against the other items, but thankfully the blush inside was still intact. It's a very bright blue-pink. It's photographed much warmer here and without that blue tone (cameras hate bright shades). There's sporadic shimmer in the pan, which I didn't notice in the swatch. It doesn't however skimp on the pigment in the swatch. It's just as rich and bold, which is nice to see. I can see me using this a lot and maybe even needing to buy the full-size and that's coming from someone with enough blush to last several lifetimes!
Like I say, it's just refreshing to try something different, although old faithfuls can be good too. So, onto what I bought.  I was really hoping for a new collection as I've got almost everything I want from the main line. One thing I really wanted to get regardless, was a full size La Vie Est Belle. I somehow resisted the urge to pay more for the 'limited edition' glitter version that's exclusive to Debenhams (would've looked so pretty though) and instead got the standard 30ml size. Seeing as they still had some Mothers Day sets left over and for the same price you got the little extras, I opted for that set.
The perfume bottle had broken through the packaging (taking other items with it) and the set was in a bit of a mess really when it arrived. However none of the actual products were broken, it just wouldn't have been acceptable had it been a gift though.
I would try and describe the scent, but I'm pretty rubbish at it and off the top of my head, can't think of a definite whiff of any single ingredient, I just like the overall smell.  Anyway, I love it, it puts a smile on my face every time I spray it. My only worry is the 30ml might not last too long...perhaps I should've gone bigger! Look how cute my wee mini is next to it!
As you've seen in the set, you get mini versions of Le Crayon Khol, Hypnose Star mascara and Gloss In Love in 144 Glittermania. I haven't tried this shade of the gloss before (it was 146 Peach Show I got in my set at Christmas), it's a very warm coral (not as red as it looks here).
The shimmer when swatched, is amazing. It's non-gritty and multi dimensional and the shine on that gloss! Pretty cool.
As you'll notice there are other swatches on my hand, belonging to a couple of lipsticks I bought. L'Absolu Nu in 202 Beige Tulle is in the black case with Rouge In Love in 345B Rose Flaneuse in the silver.  The nude one was pretty predictable (who knew there was a Lancome nude I didn't already own though?), but I like to think I surprised you somewhat with the pink one.         
I was just in the mood for something a bit different and although it looks scary in the case, once it's on, it's not so bad.  It's still bright and there is a lot of colour, but it's not neon.  Again it was difficult to photograph true to life.  The beige lipstick (left swatch) has a pinky tone and is so soft looking, it's very pretty.
To the far right is the lipgloss again.  
I have to admit to another Lancome haul a couple of weeks ago for that gorgeous Jenny Packham bag, when we eventually got the summer collection.  I took some photos last week, so will start editing them soon.  I'm also keen to try the new swan neck mascara wand that just launched, Grandiose.  It looks very intriguing.  In the meantime what do you think of this little lot?

Post contains affiliate links.  Where items are out of stock, I have linked to in stock items elsewhere.    

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