Monday, 29 September 2014

My Top 5 Autumn Buys: John Lewis

With the nights drawing in and winter looming, the shops are filled with new season clothes-my favourite time of the year! I'm not sure why, but A/W fashion always gets me much more excited than S/S. John Lewis have launched their fashion magazine online, brimming with new pieces and trends (it's also available free via the app store if you have a fancy phone/tablet/whatever new thing has just launched-'fraid I'm not that tech minded) and they've asked me to pick out my favourites. Hard job, but someone has to do it, wink, wink! I'm happy to see what I'd consider staples and classics rather than entirely 'new' trends and this little lot has me wishing I was instore trying and buying right now!Jigsaw blue depths dress

Review: La Roche Posay - Effaclar Anti Blemish System

Reviewing skincare isn't the same as reviewing makeup. You put mascara on and instantly know whether you like it or not, the same with lipstick or eyeshadow. After one day wearing foundation you know how it functions and how long it lasts and can pretty much write a review there and then. Skincare though is a whole other ball game because your skin's reaction rather than your personal opinion usually dictates and shapes the review. So I always like to give myself as long as possible to evaluate my findings. I actually postponed this post the other week and I'm glad I did (thankfully without someone breathing down my neck saying I hadn't completed it in time!), because there's been developments that need to be included here. Ok so I'm not kidding when I say this product couldn't have been released at a better time. I was in the midst of suffering one of the worst (if not the worst) breakout I've ever experienced, when I got an email to say there was a new complete blemish system from La Roche-Posay and would I like to try it? I'm pretty sure there was a chorus of singing angels and blinding lights, while I replied "ermahgerd, yes please"! If you've never suffered from acne or anything close before, then you can't really understand how much it shatters your confidence and just how rotten you feel throughout it. I was one such lucky teenager, never having a single blemish, then I hit 25 and it all went downhill from there. I won't bore you with the ins and outs of what I've tried, what the doctor prescribed etc etc. It's almost 10 years since then and I still suffer the odd breakout from time to time and can't say my skin is ever completely clear, but I admit to enjoying being a little less strict with what I put on my face than at other times during that decade. La Roche Posay Effaclar Anti Blemish System Box

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Irregular Choice: New 'Cherry Deer'

Hey ladies (I can't say that without adding "hey fellas, you know you're doing good 'cause they jealous", I used to love that song!), anyway, I have something you want to see...a new colourway of the 'Cherry Deer' fawn heels from Irregular Choice! I'm very excited because I haven't seen them in any of the previews, so was taken aback to find them today.  They are a muted, peachy beige with wine trim and just feel sooo perfectly autumnal.  The bow and cherries blend beautifully with these colours and the fawn heel fits in well, with it's earthy tones.  Irregular Choice Cherry Deer Brown

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Bought & Thought

Hola!  Bit of a funny story for you with Bought & Thought this week.  So you know how I'm a massive fan of the ASOS 'wiggle dresses'? Well I was uber excited by this new one.  It was selling fast and I did the usual, it sold out, but eventually managed to get my hands on it.  It's made from this weird textured fabric, can't say I'm thrilled with the feel of it, but it doesn't look too off-putting in the flesh.  The colour is gorgeous, the bold rose print is beautiful.  So now to the funny bit.  I tried it on when it arrived (nobody home) and managed to get stuck in it!  I do this thing where if I can't get a dress on with the zip closed, it's too small.  I always think if I get into it with the zip open then I'll be really scuppered if it's too tight, because I don't have a zip to open for extra room to get out (hmm, not so great thinking there).  Obviously the waist is the smallest bit, so it was getting that over my chest that was difficult.  I was convinced once it got beyond there, it would be fine.  I didn't quite make it (kinda semi-wedged boobs) and spent the next 20 minutes easing the centre-back zip down millimetre by millimetre to get it off!  All this is going on between my shoulder blades, almost unable to move my arms, not the comfiest way to spend an afternoon!  I eventually got it off, but I was seriously kidding myself it would fit.  Even with the zip undone, the skirt section wouldn't even look at my lower body, so it was a definite return for me.  Such a pity, but I've found that before with these dresses, some are roomy, some fit perfectly and others are tiny.  It's got the usual pockets (love) and tucks at the waist and this is one of the newer styles with V back rather than high neckline.  I've got my eye on the other two new colours and hopefully they'll fit better.  I'll let you know!    ASOS floral wiggle dress

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Tips: Low Energy Beauty Routine

I've been wanting to write this post for some time, considering how much my beauty regime has changed this year, but to be truthful I wasn't sure if it was of any interest to you. I've had to learn and deal with a lot of changes in my appearance over the past few months and of course that's had a knock-on effect to my confidence.  So I decided any pro-self-esteem post was worth writing if it helps anyone else out there. For a little background and to hopefully clear up those "the shoe girl diaries illness" or "what illness does pink haired princess have" searches that are leading to my blog, I have M.E. I know I still haven't finished my (When Life Sucks) posts about my illness and how it came about, but it's not forgotten I promise. I've been ill for over 12 years now and finally got to a point where I was able to get dressed up and 'look' ok, even when I wasn't feeling that great. This year though, my iron dipped to really low levels (i.e. pretty much non existent) and it took a while to diagnose and treat, during which my health nosedived and I've still not recovered. I've been unable to get dressed, do my hair, wear any makeup and have only left the house (since mid-January) for hospital/doctor appointments. Obviously that in itself is a massive blow mentally, socially and physically (and that's putting it lightly) and in comparison a "beauty routine" seems rather trivial, but self esteem and confidence can affect your mood and that in turn can lead to even more issues, so it's something that shouldn't be ignored.  FOTD Selfies Over The Year

Friday, 5 September 2014

Dickins & Jones: Portlethan Dress

It's always good to see more places catering for plus size ladies and House of Fraser are the latest, with a selection of popular plus size brands like Anna Scholz, Evans, Chesca, Lipstick Boutique, AX Paris Curve and Little Mistress Curvy. Alongside that, is in-house brand Dickins & Jones, which come in sizes 8-20 in their main range, with a selection of styles in sizes 22-26. I think it's brilliant to see HoF reaching more customers and understanding that plus size women are like everyone else; shopping on different budgets and looking for a variety of fashionable styles. It's always nice to know there's somewhere else on the high street that we can walk into and try things on (often very rare for plus-size customers) or of course shop online and try at home if we choose. Wearing Dickins & Jones Portlethan Plus Size Dress

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Bought & Thought

This is a true story, for anyone thinking I'm getting creative for 'review purposes'.  When I first opened Colgate Max White One Optic* toothpaste, I couldn't help but "ewww" at the silverish grey colour! It's not exactly standard for a toothpaste is it? Then my "ewww" turned to 'oooh' as I realised it looked kinda sparkly and rather cool (yes I may have slathered it on the back of my hand like a makeup swatch-beauty blogger problem!).  I showed my sister who was nearby at the time, that I had this new toothpaste to try (yes disclaimer, technically there was no 'Bought' in Bought & Thought this week).  I explained it would apparently instantly whiten my teeth, but other than the colour of the toothpaste, she was rather disinterested (not unusual for her, she is not the beauty addict I am-beauty blogger problem part 2)!  I tried it, showed her my teeth "do they look whiter, can you see a difference?" I asked, she literally grabbed the tube out my hand and proceeded to use it herself!  She was genuinely excited (usually reserved for boybands or toys), so I assumed, it had worked!  
Colgate Max White One Optic with Before and After

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.
ASOS Email & Tracking