Monday, 31 May 2010

Massive Aldi Beauty Haul

It's a beautiful sunny day today and not overly hot (thank goodness)! So Mum and I went out for a walk. We have an Aldi supermarket along the road from our house and my Mum regularly shops there for vegetables while I've never been. She took me in today and said "never again", because I spent £16.18 on skincare and cosmetics! Only I could go out for a leisurely walk and come home with a massive beauty haul! However, my real reason for purchasing (honestly) was to try out the products for you. I've heard some great things about the moisturisers and I'm really very curious to see how they perform and to share that knowledge. At this price too, I felt I couldn't really go wrong. Just look at the amount of products I got for my money.There was quite a lot of choice, but I didn't bother reading very much about anything and just bought a selection. Siana Moisturising Anti-Wrinkle Day Cream (for all skin types) with Bioflavone and Co-enzyme Q10, 50ml jar £1.99. You'll pay £9.99 for a similar moisturiser from Nivea or even a fiver for some Boots Co-enzyme Q10 capsules! All other products I bought are Lacura, next up is the Q10 Night Cream with Retinol Complex and Co-enzyme Q10 50ml jar, £1.99. Then a 15ml tube of Moisturising Eye Cream, again with Co-enzyme Q10 only £1.49 and Eye Roll-On 15ml with caffeine, provitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid £3.99-the similar Garnier product is £9.99. I'm really, really excited to try these, maybe they'll smell like pee or something, but surely they are worth trying?

I also got 200 cotton buds for 35p-I love these for smudging eye makeup and Compact Powder in 10 Transparent £2.39-I'm not holding out much hope for this, but we'll see. Finally two lipsticks £1.99 each. The tester colours looked so dark in the tube, but actually when you tried them, they were rather pleasant, so I picked up 410 Coffee, brown with oodles of beautiful gold micro-sparkles and 415 Pink Rose a medium neutral pink (no shimmer). They were out of stock of the other one I wanted, but once I looked at these at home, I'm over the moon with them! The packaging for the makeup items are pewter, mirror-like and reasonably weighty, the powder comes with a little puff and mirror inside the compact. Swatches and more pictures will follow later in the week and I'll let you know how I get on with the skincare items. I actually have loads of exciting new products that I'm trialling just now, so this summer will be a massive review-fest! Let me know if you like my reviews or if there's anything you would like to see more of.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

You're Kidding Right?

I just posted on The Shoe Girl Diaries about lunch with my friend. She is getting married this summer and hand delivered my invite today. I was quite excited until I read the small print "Ladies-please note stiletto heels are unsuitable to wear at the Ballroom unless protectors are used".

I'm shocked!!! Seriously what 'lady' isn't going to wear heels to a wedding? It's ludicrous that such a place would use unsuitable flooring for it's purpose! The heel protectors they suggest you purchase are from and the cheapest pair are £4.99 with £1.50 I'm going to pay £6.50 for those suckers! They have to be the ugliest things I have ever seen and I'm not letting them near my lovely shoes. They look like the rubber suckers for sticking things to car windows and I have visions of getting stuck to the floor and leaving my shoes 10 paces behind! I'm not willing to go barefoot either, not only because I never do, but the whole wedding ceremony and reception is in the same building and if I don't get to wear shoes all day and night, there's not much point to it at all! The whole situation reminds me of my least favourite Auntie who asked me not to go into her conservatory because I was wearing heels and she didn't want me to ruin her floor! She cornered me before I even stepped foot in the house, bee-atch! I'm also not some heavy footed person that struts until I leave a mark!
The protectors (image above taken from the cleanheels site) could even come with a swarovski heart attached if you desire, for only (!) £9.99. As if a little sparkling heart could detract from the big sucker on the end of your heel! Of course when used as above on grass, I can see the genius behind the idea, they literally are 'heel' protectors, but in the ballroom, it's the floor that needs protecting, not my heels and this is my dispute. Also why doesn't the hall just hand out a pair to every female that requires them and ask for them back at the end of the night, if they are so worried about their precious flooring? Personally if I was organising any function there and they told me I couldn't wear heels, I'd say 'thanks for your time' and never look back! The life of a shoe girl is never easy!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Review: Gillette Venus Oceana

I've been trialling these gorgeous disposable Oceana razors by Gillette Venus. You may remember my review for the Spa Breeze recently-I loved them and must admit I was a little apprehensive to leave them behind to try something new, because I adored them so much!
The Oceana razors come in a 3 pack and are a lovely summery aqua shade. The pearlised rubber sections on the handle ensure it doesn't slip when wet and it just feels really lovely to hold. The rounded head pivots and has an almost spring like action when in use. I really liked this as it glided around my body with ease, reaching those difficult areas like ankle and knees and underarms.
I don't think I was quite as confident when I started using this as I was with the Spa Breeze (which had built in shaving gel and felt like a pillow!), but after a couple of uses, I realised it wasn't going to cut me! That's what I love about all of the Venus razors, they really do care for your skin and you can get as sloppy as you like with shaving and they still work wonders. I have to sheepishly admit that my legs were in a bit of a sorry state before I started using the Venus razors and I honestly see a vast improvement in them now. No bumps or razor burn or cuts.
The 3 blades give a close enough shave and are surrounded by protective cushions and an aloe strip which helps to glide. Although these are disposable razors, they absolutely feel like a premium product. I'd happily show them off to my gal pals and thoroughly recommend them, another top product from Venus!

Friday, 28 May 2010

Bank Holiday Discount Codes

Some bank holiday weekend treats for you, enjoy!

Barratts shoes; free delivery on all uk orders
code; SPRHOL
expires; midnight tuesday 1st june

Linzi shoes; free delivery
code; DECK
valid; all weekend

Look Fantastic; free uk delivery
code; SHIPMAY (enter on basket page, then click update)
expires; midnight monday 31st may

Yours Clothing; £2 off every order
expires midnight 31st may (can be used on an as many orders as you wish)

HQHair; 15% off everything
expires; midnight 31st may

Spoiled Brat; 30% off all orders
code; BH30
expires midnight 31st may

Oli; free delivery
code; RLGP
expires; 8th june

Benefit; free delivery when you purchase 'Bathina Take A Picture, It Lasts Longer'
expires; 4th june; 10% off
code; MAYXP1
expires; midnight 31st may

Jelly Pong Pong; 10% off
code; summer2010
expires; limited time/unknown

Miss Selfridge; free uk delivery when you spend £40 or more
code; MSMAY10
expires; midnight 1st june

Lipsy; 10% off
expires; wednesday 2nd june

Monsoon; free delivery when you spend £30 or more
code; no code required
expires; midnight 31st may

Aldo; free delivery
code; no code required
expires; limited time/unknown

Dorothy Perkins; free delivery when you spend £40
code; no code required
expires; midnight 31st may

George at Asda; free delivery on all clothing/shoes when you spend £25
code; bankhol2
expires; midnight 1st june

Moda In Pelle; 20% off any bag when purchased with shoes
code; BAG20
expires; 31st may

I Want Kitsch!

I'm rather obsessed with the SS10 Miu Miu collection, as many of you are. Although I am a little surprised by the universal appreciation of the collection and more-so the shoes as I didn't think they would appeal to all. I loved the fabric colours and prints from the minute I saw them, cats+swallows+florals=totally cute, in my book. The shoes weren't an instant hit with me though, it took a little while for me to get past the clumpy, block heel 90's shape to see their true beauty. Now, however, they are all I can think about! The pale pink swallow print heels encrusted with crystals are the pair that I'm completely lusting after. I can't put into words, just how much I need them!
It annoys me when I'm quite prepared to pay the big bucks for designer shoes, but I just can't find them anywhere. Living outside of London and not being able to visit the Miu Miu department or store in person means you have to rely on online shops such as Net-A-Porter and they pretty much sell out of the shoes the minute they arrive or they don't get them at all! I realise the chances of owning these shoes are now extremely slim...probably impossible. Just as I admit defeat though, River Island (my other current obsession), come to my rescue with their take on the Miu Miu.
You've got the satin fabric in pale pink (below) or navy blue (above), the kitsch print (cherries instead of birds), the chunky heel (although this one tapers in) and the platform (not as large as Miu Miu). The cross-over straps and gems (yipee) finish the look. River Island have of course changed the style slightly and added features like a peep toe and extra ankle strap, so don't expect to be purchasing a replica. I prefer this though because while I can't always afford the designer item but still want the look, an exact copy i.e. something pretending to be the real design doesn't sit well with me (it's blatant copying not to mention the unethical underworld of fake designer goods).
When payday rolls round on Wednesday (*please don't sell-out before then*) I'm hoping to purchase these...probably in pink, £54.99 and a couple of dresses I've had my eye on for a while. The only thing I wish is that the platform was slightly larger, then I'd be 100% in love with them. What do you think?

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Make Malaria No More

I just wanted to write a quick post about this gorgeous new Markus Lupfer dress that's available now from Asos. Lupfer is the latest designer to get behind the Malaria No More charity (remember the gorgeous Stephen Webster mosquito ring?). It's a really great cause and this mosquito net inspired dress is a fashionable bargain at £55, available in sizes 6-18.

My New Phone

Posting may be a little sporadic this week due to my birthday celebrations! I'm pretty tired already to tell you the truth (getting old!). I wanted to show you some of the lovely gifts I got, although haven't had time to photograph them. I got a vintage birdcage from my sister, which I adore and it's quite freaky because I was going to do a post on that last week, but didn't have time. I'm not sure what I'm going to keep in it yet, maybe my Harajuku Lovers fragrances or a doll or something! My nephew suggested "birdies"! Like I was an idiot for considering anything else. "Put it outside, open the little door, the birdies will fly in, then shut the door and the birdies stay in"! Didn't have the heart to tell him, I didn't actually want it for use as a 'bird' cage!
My parents gave me a new phone, which was totally unexpected. I'm not really a gadget girl, I can appreciate them, but prefer dolls, makeup and shoes! However I love this phone and really needed it because my other one sucked! It just came out last month and the guy didn't want to sell it because he didn't know very much about it (I hate 'phone shop guys', they treat women like idiots, but anyway...) My Mum said "it's pink, so shiny that she can use it to apply her lipstick and the keyboard is cool, she'll want it"!
As you can see, it's square and looks like a makeup compact, I've shown it here with a lipstick so you get an idea of size. It's pale pink and has a 'qwerty' computer keyboard (I've never been one for predictive texting, so no more pressing the button 3 times to get the letter you want)! I pretty much only use my phone for texting or as a mirror-so this is perfect. My first text message took 15 minutes to write because I had no idea how to work it, but I'm getting the hang of it now and it has a camera and mp3 player too (one gadget at a time for me though!). More pressy pics later in the week!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Shimmering FOTD

Face: Yves Saint Laurent Matt Touch foundation Shade 1, Jelly Pong Pong Wakeup Makeup Palette (eye brightener), No7 Quick Cover Concealer 02 Extra Fair, Wet'n'Wild powder blush in Naive.
Eyes: Too Faced Shadow Insurance, MAC Shimmermoss (more green than it shows up here) and Lancaster Chameleon e/s in 106 Midnight Ocean in crease. L'Oreal HIP Crayon in Perfectionist and L'Oreal Super liner in Carbon Black with Too Faced Starry Eyed glitter eyeliner in Drunk Dial on top. Rimmel 123 Looks mascara on level 1.

Lips: Barry M Lip Paint in 101 Marshmellow.

Quick FOTD

Oh my goodness, it's been soooo hot today. I think I've just realised that I'm a winter bunny, all this heat makes me feel like I'm melting (trying not to complain about it though!). Plus, I can't seem to find anything to wear that's cool but not indecent! I used to think I was the opposite, that I didn't do layering and cold weather dressing very well, I've definitely changed!
I had a lie-in this morning which has done wonders, I really needed it. I've been feeling so lethargic and fat and just out of sorts all week. I had a nice cool shower, then pinned my hair up (so it's nice and curly tomorrow) and properly wore makeup for only the 2nd time this week. I ended up wearing a white floral dress from Dorothy Perkins and popped a little black cardi over the top and black leggings for going out in, then took them off the minute I got home! It was just as hot inside as out though, we had fans and open windows and doors and everything going on! And my afternoon cuppy had to be replaced with a Mars ice-cream, yum! I only took this one image today, I wore my MAC Fafi scarf to cover my hair, Lancaster Chameleon eye shadows in 113 Dream d'Azure and the slightly darker 106 Midnight Ocean in the crease with Lancome Ombre Eclair pencil in Silver on the lower lash line and inner corners to highlight. My lips are The Lap Of Luxury lipgloss and my blush is Fashion Frenzy, both by MAC.

My FOTD from the other day is coming up shortly and I also wanted to mention-just because I think it looks so prominent in this image, my scar next to my...left eye (had to check which one it was there!). I fell against the corner of a coffee table when I was a toddler and have been left with this little dent. I can vaguely remember it and it all the blood but I don't even notice it much now. Although, it's funny because my Mum mentioned it the other day, saying how with hindsight they probably should've taken me to get it stitched at the time. What can I say, I'm a hardy lass! I also have a little scar next to my nose on the right side of my face, going into my cheek, it's not too noticeable-I had a lump removed just before my 18th birthday. That one scarred me for life, mentally, I can still shudder and feel the pain of the injection, there's nothing that can prepare you for having someone repeatedly stick a needle into your face, then there was getting the stitches out which was almost as bad, because the surgeon made them so tiny. The nurse made it bleed trying to grab a hold of the stitch, but that's probably too much information, sorry guys!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Review: Pearl Lowe For Peacocks Dresses

When I tried on the first Pearl Lowe for Peacocks dress yesterday I was surprised by the was actually quite large! I needn't have worried about not fitting these dresses, because they are all cut generously. I would perhaps suggest buying one size smaller than usual, because I have a very large bust and even on me, these dresses were roomy.

I am over the moon with them though, really I am. It's so nice to find flattering dresses that make you feel good, look stylish and aren't bursting at the seams! All too often it's easy to settle for second best because there just isn't the same amount of choice and variety for us larger girls. These dresses however, are the type that I'd be proud to wear if I were a size 10 or a 20.

Now I'm someone who appreciates a well-made garment. At Uni we were taught so many technical things about garment construction and hems, seam allowances, overlocking etc etc and then suddenly the high street changed and along came masses of unfinished looking pieces. It's acceptable to wear a t-shirt with an overlocked or freshly cut hem with no proper seam. Interfacings (I used to adore the machine we used for this btw, it was so much fun) and linings are a rare thing to find these days and while I understand it's mostly because of the Primark et al boom and the need for fast, cheap and throw away fashion, it's still nice to see that these skills haven't been completely forgotten.

All of these dresses are well made and have proper interfaced pieces and neatly finished hems and covered fabric buttons with proper button loops. I was a little sceptical that the 'designer name' alone was the reason for the pricing, so I'm glad to be proved wrong, it's definitely because of the higher quality finish.

Anyway first up is this black tea dress with red roses on it (as seen on Holly Willoughby on This Morning). This is quite a difficult length to pull off, below the knee and is definitely for tights or bare legs-the proportions with leggings would be all wrong. The sleeves are split and overlap and there is a tie around the waist. This is the first one I tried on and probably the largest on me. It's quite high around the neckline (back and sides) which is taking a bit of getting used to. Typical 50's shape and with ample room for my boobies.
This pale green and blue floral number is the shortest of the bunch and perfect with leggings. I was really concerned about the top half of this dress, but needn't have worried, because although it is the neatest fit, it isn't too tight (I thought I'd be squished into it). The colours in this are just beautiful, it ties around the waist and the short sleeves have lovely button details. One button on mine though has been stitched with the sleeve folded back, so I'll have to unpick it then sew the button back on-it's just been caught in by mistake (as shown in the image). Love the crochet hem detail.
Another green one, probably my least favourite. It's pretty, don't get me wrong, but the others I love more. It's button through all down the centre front, but because it's quite roomy, there's no gaping (yay). I think I'll need to wear a camisole top under this as it's quite low cut. Again, it has the nice button detail on the sleeves and is slightly longer in length so best with bare legs or tights.
This is the most expensive piece in the collection and I absolutely adore it. Holly also wore this one on This Morning-she has good taste! It has a decent quality slip underneath which is attached at the shoulders of the dress, then this sheer blue polka dot dress over the top. As I anticipated, it hangs beautifully, with pretty pleats from the waist. The belt has a lovely surprise at the back as it is gathered red fabric, not at all cheap looking and a beautiful contrast to the blue. I love the ruched sleeves and smocked shoulders, I want to wear this every day! Please produce it in other colours Peacocks and I'll buy every single one! I hope you get a decent enough idea of them on the hanger, click images to enlarge.
Update 18th June *Peacocks now have additional stock of these dresses on their site now after some styles and a lot of sizes sold out.*