Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Boots Star Gift: Soap & Glory Bubble Act

products from Soap & Glory Bubble Act Christmas set
Boots Star Gift this week is one of the most anticipated each year, Soap & Glory. The set this year is called Bubble Act and comes specially packaged for the promotion in a beautiful tin designed by illustrator, Zuki Turner. The tin is quite different to previous boxes or bags, though still in keeping with that retro feel S&G products have.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Irregular Choice: Tights Collection

You responded well to my Top 12 Irregular Choice shoes of 2018 and when I asked if you wanted to see more 'random' posts like that, you did! You also had some great suggestions, so I am going to hopefully continue with blasts from the pasts and bits of my collection without the need to be relevant to whichever season/collection we are in. Today I have my Irregular Choice tights collection. I didn't even realise I had a "collection" to be honest, I seem to have amassed them rather quickly. I've said this before, but I always thought I was too big for IC tights (they are 'one size'). While my lower legs and bottom are maybe average-ish sized, my tummy, hips and thighs aren't, so I had my concerns. It wasn't until The Muppets collection that it became a case of "I can't live without these" when I saw them on IC's Instagram Stories the morning of the launch and they just looked so perfect with the shoes, that I took the plunge and 13 pairs later, here we are! pile of colourful printed, patterned Irregular Choice tights
These tights are thicker than your average, so less likely to snag or rip, though obviously you still have to be careful. They are mega stretchy and they don't sit too low on my hips (I'm a fan of tights up to my neck!), but I'm just 5ft 5 1/2". I love that the print has no start and finish, so no annoying lines down the outer leg and the pattern always continues all the way down to the toe (if you're wearing with open or peep toes).

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Half Price Revolution Christmas Gifts

It's that time of year again when I feel totally overwhelmed with all the "Black Friday" emails and offers popping up. It wouldn't be so bad if it was a genuine "Friday" or even weekend deal, but I've been getting emails ("to prepare") for weeks already and more often than not, the deals are just regular promotions or sales that they've bundled up into a black bow to look more enticing for this time of year! Then the genuinely good deals, I feel pressured to take advantage of, because it's stuff I want anyway and at a good price, but so close to Christmas, I don't have as much money or shouldn't be spending on myself anyway. However, one place I was keeping a close eye on was Revolution beauty. I really wanted some of their Christmas gift sets as they looked adorable and had exclusive shades in them and from today, they have 50% off. chocolate bar eyeshadow palette with Black Friday banner offer

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Irregular Choice: Disney Shoe Room Collection

Ikea Billy shelves with Disney character heeled shoes on
Do you remember earlier in the year I showed you my Disney shoe shelves in the shoe room? I felt I was at the stage that I had enough pairs to put them all in one unit back then and indeed I did, with a couple of shelves to spare. In the months since, I've accumulated several more and by sheer fluke, had the required 32 pairs for my cabinet (8 shelves, 4 pairs per shelf) and 4 boots left over (All Mad Here, Lost Your Muchness, Hot Diggety Dog and She's Hip, He's Hop) that are too tall to fit in anyway. Last time I tried to do most of the shelf arranging with pictures on my laptop, before tackling the real thing (to save energy), but this time I decided to just go for it (with the help of my sister). I felt there were too many to play around with in photo form.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Irregular Choice Disney: Bambi & Dumbo Teaser

Hello all! Good and bad news for you today. Bad news first, today is the last teaser post for Bambi and Dumbo, noooo!  However the good news is, that's because the full collection launches tomorrow at Irregular Choice! Wowee, that snuck up on us quickly didn't it? You can find the teasers from last week, here and here and IC have definitely left the best until last, as I adore everything I'm about to show you. pair of Bambi deer and Flower skunk ankle boots with embellishment

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Estee Lauder: GWP & Pure Color Love Lipstick Swatches

I was shopping the other week and there was a really nice Estee Lauder GWP in Debenhams. I had my eye on their Pure Color Love lipsticks, but my first choice, then second choice were both out of stock. I was really taken in by the sparkly ones, so got a white one instead (intended to be a topper over liner or another lipstick), but really had my heart set on the other two. The girl told me to take a photograph of the other ones I liked so I'd remember their names if I saw them elsewhere. I thought I had nothing better to do than go home and buy them online, but they were sold out everywhere I could think of. I kept torturing myself with that photo of the testers, but fast forward a couple of weeks and an email popped up about another GWP and lo and behold, they had the lipsticks I was after! I must admit to double and triple checking, because I thought it was too good to be true and I'd got the shade names muddled! However they arrived last week and are the ones I wanted. You'll be surprised because they are quite different for me (not nudes), but lately I've been veering away from lighter neutrals and opting for darker statement lips. estee lauder makeup bag and free skincare and makeup items

Friday, 19 October 2018

Irregular Choice Disney: Bambi & Dumbo Teaser

It's time for another sneak peek at the Irregular Choice Disney collection(s) launching next week. Click here to see an earlier reveal and read on for more from Bambi and Dumbo. pair of yellow bunny shoes with toes touching

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Irregular Choice: Scarves & Rings

In the second part of my Irregular Choice accessories post, I'll be showing you some of the recent scarf and rings. You can find my first post on tights and socks here. I've been buying IC scarves for a while and have amassed quite the collection now. Although I wear them a lot, I wouldn't consider myself a "scarf person".  You know those people that always have a scarf draped around their neck? That's definitely not me or my style, yet I am using them regularly (I know what I mean in my head, just not sure I'm articulating it properly)!  Despite them being quite thin, they can really warm you up on cooler days in or outdoors.  Sometimes when I've got my jumper on and my blanket on and I'm still freezing, I've wrapped one of these around me as a shawl too.  I also wear them on my head.  You know I'm very fond of a headwrap and these are great to use for that as they are so big.  I'm trying to think of something that they are a similar size to... a single bed almost!  blogger wearing fashion scarf as headwrap

Monday, 15 October 2018

Irregular Choice Disney: Bambi & Dumbo Teaser

The latest Irregular Choice and Disney collaboration is due to hit soon and for the 9th collection, we are being treated to a double release. There will be shoes, boots, bags, purses and tights from both Bambi and Dumbo and today I have a first look at some of the collection. Disney Dumbo boots with striped and star platform

Friday, 12 October 2018

Irregular Choice: Tights & Socks

Irregular Choice have always dabbled in accessories here and there, but for the past few years, we've seen a more steady flow of goodies in this department. I've gotten quite a few current season pieces and also from SS18, so thought I'd share them with you. I've split the post into two, beginning with hosiery. irregular choice kimono pattern tights and lamb socks in packets

Monday, 8 October 2018

Irregular Choice: Waikiki Review

floral hula girl heeled shoe on leopard print background
Firstly I'd really like to apologise for the tardiness of this review. I actually took these photos at the beginning of May, not long after the shoes were released, but haven't had time to write the post until now. I'd hoped to get it out before going to London (for the Toy Story launch), but that well and truly didn't happen!  Anyway hopefully this is a little sunshine to brighten up a dreich Autumn day. You know how I posted my Top 12 Irregular Choice shoes of 2017 the other day? I'm calling it now, that these will be in my 2018 favourites, I just love them. I'd unfortunately had to bypass all the new releases at the start of 2018 as I had no money. Then the announcement came of hula girl heels and it was one I knew I couldn't miss. I also got Hono Lulu in blue, which were my favourite until I saw the Waikiki shortly before their release at 12pm. This style was an Ashbury Skies exclusive, so only available through their website and Irregular Choice themselves.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Irregular Choice: My Top 12 Of 2017

selection of Irregular Choice picture shoes boxes from 2017 seasons with heading overlay
I don't think I've ever done a post like this before, but at the start of the year (these photos were taken on a very grey January), I thought it would be fun to put together my favourite Irregular Choice shoes and boots of 2017. I get asked for favourites a lot and I never really have an answer as I find it far too difficult to choose. I've tailored my collection over the years to those I really love and am lucky I can collect anything rather than having to buy specifics, like "black shoes" or "mid heels" etc.  So it's quite hard to pick one over the other, when you collect for passion rather than necessity. There are of course some you like that little bit more and that can be for a variety of reasons, not just aesthetics, but Irregular Choice make such interesting and innovative styles, that it made my job very difficult to select just 12. Actually it began as a Top 10 before I realised that was impossible. Look at it as one a month instead! I haven't included bags and accessories as I was already struggling to whittle it down, but I bought (and loved) a lot of those in 2017 too. I'm going to reveal them in a random order, because rating these 1-12 would've been excruciating for me, although I do kinda have a top 5.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Irregular Choice: Fairy Toadstool Character Heels

Mega excitement today with the arrival of the new Irregular Choice fairy toadstool heels that launched on Friday. I bought two pairs, with the intention of returning the shoes if the boots looked hideous on me, as the boots were my first choice. I don't know when (I'm honestly shattered just from opening the box), but I'll have more photos and info when I do a Shoesday fit review on The Shoe Girl Diaries and a more in-depth review here, but I wanted to give you my first impressions. group of toadstool heels lined up on shoes

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Irregular Choice: AW18 Sole & Box Design

It's always pretty exciting when you catch a glimpse of the new season soles at Irregular Choice, but this season, looked really, really good! I didn't have to wait too long before I got a pair and of course, I've taken photos for you to properly see them. Irregular Choice seahorse printed shoe box for AW18

Monday, 27 August 2018

No7 Serum Sheet Masks: Deal Better Than 1/2 Price

boxes of No7 anti ageing serum sheet masks in boxes on white background
I'm a massive fan of masking. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll likely be aware of this, as I regularly post photos of my masking exploits in my Stories. I was in Boots a while ago and noticed No7 had launched their own sheet masks and I was super excited! I don't know why masking is so fun to me, but it is, I just love it and am always thrilled to see new releases or try one I haven't. 

Thursday, 19 July 2018

High End V High Street: Lucite Heel Comparison

Irregular Choice released another perspex heel style last Friday, the beautiful Blossom Bunny. Since the early days, they've been making carved, lucite heels which have come in many forms; low, wedge, stiletto, even heart shaped, but the chunky one on the new Blossom Bunny is probably the most recognisable as it usually reappears at least once each season. It's little wonder I own so many of them as they've come in every colour or style of shoe or boot you can think of. Not only is it pretty, it's manageable and easy to wear, so it's a firm favourite of mine.  What I see a lot of on social media from first time buyers of this heel though, is that they dislike seeing the screws. In fact many wonder if this is 'normal' or if they got a dodgy pair. In short, yes it's normal and actually completely essential that the heel is attached to the shoe! Shoes, whether cheaper, mass produced or more exclusive and expensive, machine or handmade, will usually have some sort of screw, tack or nail attaching the heel to the shank. So it's a given that when the heel is clear, you will see this. There's not really a way around it. I have to say it's something I rarely notice in the IC heels myself. You would need to be inspecting them very closely and it's unlikely it's visible to anyone else (or yourself) when they are on your feet. visual comparison of an expensive handmade designer shoe and mass produced high street shoe with lucite heels shown side by side
Earlier this year, I added another lucite heel to my collection, non-IC this time, the Charlotte Olympia Barbie Girl. Now this shoe is expensive. Really expensive. Let me preface by saying I paid nothing near the RRP and they're not even the most I've paid for shoes, but at full price, they are a staggering £1145. That's at least £1000 more than the IC ones usually retail for. So with this in mind, I thought it might be interesting to look at both styles and see how a high-end designer like Charlotte Olympia and a high-street brand like Irregular Choice compare in disguising that screw issue.

Monday, 16 July 2018

ASOS Clinique Beauty Box (July 2018)

It was November last year, when I previously blogged about the ASOS beauty box. I've bought most of the monthly boxes since then and July is a special one as it only contains Clinique products. The brand has just launched at ASOS, so the box is to celebrate and it's a great way of trying out several products. Clinique skincare items in ASOS beauty box

Friday, 25 May 2018

Irregular Choice Toy Story: You Are A Toy!* Review

I'm excited to bring you the first of my Irregular Choice Toy Story in-depth reviews. Right now, I'm travelling back from London, having attended the Carnaby Street VIP launch last night. Can't quite believe I'm writing that!! I wanted to blog about it beforehand, as I'm sure you'll realise it's a big deal for me (with my M.E.) to get out of the house, but I haven't had time. Hopefully in due course, I can share all the details. So, today we begin with the new character heel(s), in You Are A Toy!* ankle boots. cloud wallpaper background with single ankle boot sitting with Jessie and Woody cowboy figures sitting atop

Irregular Choice: Disney Toy Story Box

I feel I should start these posts with "howdy partner" or something similar! The new Irregular Choice Toy Story collection is now live, so I hope if you're reading this, you're getting on well with queueing/buying! I know how stressful it can be!  I have a little something to keep you going in the meantime and I really think IC have outdone themselves with this beautiful packaging. Jessie doll from Disney Toy Story wearing cowgirl hat with arms outstretched over shoe box
So, this is the beautiful box the Disney Toy Story footwear will come in. My jaw hit the floor when I saw it and I've been dying to show you it! The biggest reason being, it's not a traditional, signature IC, drawer-style box, but a lifty-lid one! Star Wars is the only other Disney collection to feature a non-drawer box and I adored that one too; it was like an old-fashioned doll box with the window bit. Anyway, this one has a similar theme, it appears to me that they wanted it to feel like a toy storage chest. It has that exciting "ooh what goodies are inside?" vibe to me.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Irregular Choice Disney Toy Story: Teaser 4

The launch date is almost upon us. Just 24 hours to go until Irregular Choice release their latest Disney collection, Pixar's Toy Story. Over the past few weeks, we've been teased with a light up bag, glitter aliens and brand new character heels. Today, it's the turn of (my personal favourite style), yee-haw, cowgirl Jessie! side profile of single shoe in denim, cow and cactus print with yellow and red trim and cowgirl applique face with stirrups on back of shoe

Friday, 18 May 2018

Irregular Choice Disney Toy Story: Teaser 3

It's hard to believe that next week at this time, the latest Irregular Choice Disney collection will be released. I feel like it was just yesterday that the announcement was made. That collection, will of course be Pixar's Toy Story. If you've missed that and the previous two teasers, then you can find them here and here. Before that, take a peek at another item that may be winging it's way onto your wishlist (no apologies for 'winging')! metallic Buzz Lightyear style clutch bag with wings on white background

Friday, 11 May 2018

Irregular Choice Disney Toy Story: Teaser 2

Last week, I teased you with two brand new character heels (Woody and Buzz) from the new Irregular Choice/Disney Toy Story collection, along with patterned tights. This week, I have another couple of items to reveal, which I think you'll be very excited about. single shoe with Toy Story alien printed material, green glitter alien face across toe, sitting at an angle

Friday, 4 May 2018

Irregular Choice Disney Toy Story: Teaser 1

Hot off the news on Wednesday that Pixar's Toy Story will be the 8th Irregular Choice Disney collection, I have the first teasers for you. pair of Irregular Choice Toy Story shoes with blue character printed uppers, red bandana laces, cow print and Woody and Buzz heels

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Irregular Choice Disney: Announcement & My Collection

Irregular Choice announced their 8th Disney collection today, Toy Story! Woody and Bullseye from Disney Toy Story with Irregular Choice branding
Coming soon, this is the 6th character partnership we've seen (both Star Wars and Alice In Wonderland had 2 waves) and a collaboration with Pixar for the very first time. I really appreciate how diverse the ranges have been thus far. As "irregular" as Irregular Choice may be, they still manage to be very inclusive and aim for something for everyone in my opinion. The Disney umbrella itself is a broad one, so if you are a fan, that doesn't necessarily mean every story or character appeals to you. Star Wars for example I've never watched and have no interest in, yet there were shoes I liked.  I'm not the biggest Muppets fan, but that collection was my absolute favourite and I wanted everything from it.  So far Irregular Choice have chosen classic characters like Mickey & Minnie, a traditional Disney princess in the form of Cinderella. Something a little quirkier with Alice, a giant stand-alone franchise like Star Wars, then childlike and crazy with the most recent Muppets. So there's been a wide choice and it'll be interesting to see their take on a more 'modern', Pixar film.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

M.E. On: Giving Up Blogging & Where Do I Go From Here?

This is my umpteenth attempt re-writing this, I've been coming back to it for months and indeed there's a very similar one lurking in my drafts folder from February last year. That in itself is very telling of the theme of this post, I'm struggling. I'm struggling to blog, I'm struggling to share my 'life' on social media. I'm struggling to read or reply to the hundreds of emails that fill my inbox every week (sooo overwhelming), I'm struggling and my body is letting me know that. We've had this conversation before (me and my body and you and I); I think it was one of my earliest M.E. On posts, where I said I'd no longer apologise for missing deadlines, falling behind with work or not doing something I said I'd do and yet a couple of years on, I've fallen into the same cycle and trap of saying "yes" to everything and thinking I can work like a 'normal' person. I can't, so why do I keep pretending I can? In a way, I'm pleased my body has decided to give up. I feel like saying "good on you, you show her she can't do it"! On the otherhand I feel incredibly disappointed and maybe even slightly pathetic, that I went through that horrendous year of gallbladder issues whilst continuing to blog, but now I'm "better", I'm not managing. That's ridiculous though. I shouldn't need another reason besides battling M.E. to find blogging and all that comes with it, hard. It's an extremely debilitating illness and that should be enough. Part of me taking this much time away (and it's definitely the biggest part) is that I'm simply not able for it. I really do have to stress that and I don't want this post to detract from the fact that the physical issues are the biggest and indeed the root cause of everything that I'm about to write. You simply cannot blog when you're in a lot of pain or sleeping. So please take the time to read my (slightly shorter) post here on the added health issues I've been having this year (it'll open in a new tab, so you won't lose your place here) as well as dealing with my usual M.E. symptoms.
face of MYALGIC ENCEPHALOMYELITIS sufferer with blue hair, smiling
There is however, a small part of me that's struggling with motivation or attitude. If I'm really honest I've felt relief that I've been able to wake up each day knowing I didn't have to blog. I didn't have to paste a smile on my face (why do I do that behind a computer screen?) and think up something witty or creative to write or force myself to take photos or edit or promote this and that. I didn't have to do it and I was so relieved. If I were reading that about someone else, I'd say they were better off giving it up if they weren't enjoying and it sounds like I'm not enjoying it. I'm not sure that's how I really feel though, certainly not wholly. The truth is I've been chasing my tail for years, so it's not come as a surprise to me that it's reached breaking point. I chatted with my family a few months ago about the prospect of giving up blogging entirely and they were devastated, absolutely gutted. It came out of nowhere for them. I think the biggest issue for them is, I wouldn't have a reason or purpose to get up each day if I wasn't blogging, as outside of blogging I'm capable of very little. They know it's a lot of work, but I don't think until you're doing it, you can really grasp all it involves. It's taken up every waking hour of my day, 7 days a week for years now and while nobody held a gun to my head and forced me to do it, I have to put in those hours in order to get the work done, because I'm not a "normal" person. It doesn't come easy to me and I never realised how much of a task it would become or how much my health would deteriorate in this time. Blogging has changed a lot over the last few years and there's so much expected of you now, which is a tremendous pressure and one I often don't feel up to fulfilling.

M.E. On: My Health This Year

Disappointment is how I'd sum up the feeling of 2018 so far. Towards the end of last year, I was tiring more easily, but put it down to doing more than usual during the festive period. It had also been an eventful 2017, with the diagnosis of gallstones and eventual removal of my gallbladder in June after 7 months of agonising, random attacks. It's no surprise that I spent a lot of the year in clinics and hospitals, which was a big increase on the activity I was accustomed to. Plus there was the after-effects of an attack, which I felt for several days and all the worry that went with not knowing what was going on (before diagnosis) or when I'd next fall ill. As well as physically, mentally, it took it's toll over the year. A year of worry and non-stop medical appointments is no fun for anyone. Besides this, the surgeon had warned me pre-surgery that going ahead with the operation could worsen my M.E. permanently. This was a big shock to me and one of the scariest things to hear and although on that day, I was determined I wasn't leaving without agreeing to be operated on, it's been in the back of my mind since he said it. I know I couldn't have continued living the way I was with gallstones, but had I just made a decision that would change my life for the worse, forever?
face of MYALGIC ENCEPHALOMYELITIS sufferer with blue hair, smiling

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Review: Retinol Reface

Retinol Reface information card, box and tube of serum
Over the past few weeks, I've been using the Retinol Reface* from Indeed Labs. It's a creamy, skin resurfacing, retinol serum and I've really enjoyed trialling it.