Saturday, 30 November 2013

The Dream Shoes

I am multi-tasking to the extreme today peeps! I've got a ton of auctions ending on eBay, so am dealing with the sold items (getting all the details, checking payment, emailing back and forth and then parcelling them up), while listing some more items and re-listing the non-sellers. Add to that, writing this blog post and now all I need to work out is how to watch X-Factor, pack for going away tomorrow, eat something, paint my nails and deal with all those eBay parcels, all at once!  Hmmm, doubtful, I'll manage all that. I've even remembered to properly queue some posts on Tumblr for the next couple of days and have charged my toothbrush, camera battery and mp3!
Anyway you come here for shoes, not my life story and boy have I got some awesome ones for you today. Here are the joyous pair that I finally got my hands on, that have helped mend my broken heart after the Meadham Kirchhoff/Topshop disappointment (they're already processing my refund, so top marks for dealing with it so quickly and can everyone note, I'VE RETURNED THEM, so the emails and requests to buy them off me can stop please)! Anyway, meet my gorgeous little purple heart shoes (obviously looking twice as cute with my pj bottoms)!
They are Georgina Goodman for Luella and this Luella show (SS09) was one of my all-time favourite collections from anyone, ever! I just loved everything (I even blogged about it way back in 2009, er yeah, let's all cringe at the early blogging layout!) and I have longed for these shoes for the 5 years since I first saw them. They went onto my list of 'unlikely I'll ever own' shoes. It's not like I ever had the opportunity to buy them at the time, but I desperately, desperately wanted a pair. I've heard loads of people finding items from this collection in places like TK Maxx (eh, mine would never get something like this) and especially after the demise of Luella, the items became available in discount outlets and none of these places were accessible to me.  I've looked for them on eBay from time to time and think I only ever came across a black pair once, that I wasn't as in love with as the colourful pairs.
I don't know what made me look for them a couple of weeks ago, but I did. Complete chance and there they were! I was like "aaaaaaargh, that's them, that's them...eeeeeeek what size? Please be my size, please be my size, pleeeeeeeeease..." They were indeed a 5.5/38.5 and the Shoe-Gods were truly shining on me that day.
I prayed nobody else would bid on them as they were at a decent price (I didn't even alert anyone to them for fear they'd bid against me) and by fate, luck, whatever, I was the only bidder and paid for them before the seller could change her mind! Let me tell you, that week waiting for the auction to finish felt sooooo long! I didn't want to bid early (my Dad would say "don't show your hand too soon"), but I had visions of forgetting to bid, missing the date, leaving it too late and my computer going slow and me losing it and so on! Anyway, it all ended well. Fantastic actually.
They arrived and fit perfectly. They really couldn't have felt any better on. Orange isn't usually my colour, but I like the contrast here with the purple and lilac and the heart details are just so pretty. There's the large one on the front and this adorable cut-out at the back of my heel. The leather feels incredibly soft and the heel isn't too high, so they feel very comfortable and like I could wear them all day without any issues.
It really was meant to be.  What do you think?

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Comparison Swatches: YSL Cashmere Pink

After my swatch request last month, I had another from Lissa Jaye this time, regarding a YSL lipstick. I immediately came up with some comparisons, but finding the time to write it up has taken longer than I expected, so I apologise for that. I do love getting these requests though (and would kinda like to make it a regular feature) and will respond but it might take some time to fit it in around everything else. Hint-hint if they're lipsticks or pencils or something really easy to swatch then I'm likely to respond quicker : )
So Lissa wanted to know if I knew of any dupes for YSL Rouge Pur in 126 Cashmere Pink/Rose Cachemire. If it's because this line is now discontinued then the perfect dupe is YSL Rouge Pur Couture in 09 Rose Stiletto, the 'newer' version if you like. It's a really good match in colour. However if you're looking for a cheaper alternative then I have some close but not perfect dupes. My product photos aren't that hot (my camera really hates trying to focus on several things in one photo) but my swatches are good and that's what matters.
From left to right we have No7 Moisture Drench in 90 Waterlily, Wet'n'Wild Mega Color in Eternal Rose, Bourjois Docteur Glamour in 19 Brique secouriste, YSL Rouge Pur in 126 Cashmere Pink, YSL Rouge Pur Couture in 09 Rose Stiletto, Clinique High Impact in 17 Rosette and hiding in the corner, Barry M Lip Paint in 73 Mulberry.
I've had a quick look online and I think they discontinued that Barry M shade, Bourjois is definitely discontinued but you might find it on a discount makeup site and as for the No7 one, there is a 'Waterlilly' but I'm not sure if it's the same colour as the number was different and their swatch looks like a light pink. WnW is difficult to find in the UK now and I'm not sure that they still make that particular shade. This is probably proving very unhelpful (!) and I probably should've checked what was/wasn't discontinued beforehand, sorry!  
Ok, so onto the swatches and I've placed the lipstick in question along the top, so it's easier to see how the other lipsticks match up to it.
From left, No7 is lighter than YSL and less 'dirty', it's got an almost coral tone to it. Wet'n'Wild is a pretty good match, although it leans a little more red. I think it's the nearest in my 'budget' lipsticks though. Bourjois is much darker, more brown and reddish and not a good match at all. As I've already said, the YSL 09 Rose Stiletto is almost identical, it's probably a little bit darker than 126 Cashmere Pink. Clinique is more red and also has this copper sheen to it which the YSL doesn't. Barry M is a mauve colour and not much like it at all.
Off the top of my head, I think Lancome L'Absolu Rouge in 06 Rose Nu would also be a really close match, but I couldn't find mine the day I took these photos.  It's certainly worth checking out.  I hope this is of some help and I'm kicking myself for not picking some more alternatives that are available right now.  I already have another request for a discontinued Rimmel lipstick-I've yet to search for it and find dupes, but will get on that when I have a spare moment.  Please let me know if I can help out with anything else and thank you all for your helpful comments yesterday regarding my Topshop/Meadham Kirchhoff stuff.  I parcelled up and sent the return today...broke my heart a little, but there you go.  I thought all of your comments were particularly lovely though.    

Monday, 25 November 2013

Meadham Kirchhoff For Topshop Haul

So here are my Meadham Kirchhoff goodies that arrived from Topshop on Saturday. Weeks of stressing, a few hours of unsettled sleep, a late night, an early start, a helluva lot of money and a near heart attack and computer thrown through the window in rage from the pressure on the day of the sale and I'm afraid to report it's not all good news from here.
The red sparkly shoes, the pair I really wanted, don't fit. I thought they looked small whenever I took their colourful quirkiness out of the box, but actually my foot slipped in Cinderella style and they hugged my feet perfectly. The straps had other ideas though.
They fasten with a metal stud, so it's hit or miss, there's no room for manoeuvre. I could get all but one strap fastened (and none on the other foot strangely) and the other strap isn't even close to closing. Absolutely gutted. Add to that the fact one stud is already broken (not sure if it was already like that or if I broke it opening it-some straps were closed in the box, some open). Had they fitted and the stud was broken, I'd have been even more furious because Topshop don't do exchanges, so I'd have missed out on them through no fault of my own.  You can see the snapped stud below.  Opening and closing them doesn't feel all that secure given that the stud isn't attached to the shoe, but a strip of stretchy leather (not enough stretch to pull and fit me before you ask), so you're pulling on that to separate the stud and it could easily be broken because it's easier to remain on the other half of the stud than pull with you.  
I'm still sorely disappointed though. They were even better than I'd imagined, the shape was just perfect (despite me not usually being a fan of pointed toes) and I so wanted to wear these for Christmas. I'm now wishing I'd got the pastel version which only had one strap across as I'd maybe have had better luck with them, but I can't even remember if they had my size at the time or not. For £180 though, I expect a sturdier fastening and they are too expensive to remain an 'ornament'!
So then I bought the sequin heart shaped bag (hoping to match with my shoes). I'm not sure if I want to keep it without the shoes. I love the lace, although wish it wouldn't curl into the bag like it does, but the looped strap is a little annoying. As it's only attached at one side (but located in the centre of the bag), the bag kinda feels lopsided and spins a lot. Do I keep this anyway or not?
Next, the pastel fluffy shoes. Now these felt big, in length and width. I'm not sure if it's because they are supposed to be styled with tights and socks (but then so were the red pair and there's no chance of that)! The strap on this pair fastens with velcro and I find myself pulling it as tight as I can to make the shoe feel more secure. They aren't uncomfortably big and the leather lining in both pairs makes it feel like they would never rub at or hurt your feet.
Aside from feeling big, they look massive, maybe to the point of clown feet or something! It's something I'm not used to as the majority of my shoes are on the slender side rather than clumpy and clumsy.
I was surprised to see the heel is 4" as they were described as 'mid' height heels and I suspected only 2.5-3" at a push (so that's a plus point for me). Like I thought before they arrived, I love the colours, the bow, the toe shape and the fact that I feel nobody else would be crazy enough to wear them besides me (at least not around these parts)! However I'm still split with them. The sensible part of my brain is saying the fur will get dirty instantly and they would have to be 'fair weather' shoes, only worn in dry conditions and not on grass, mud etc. Not exactly practical, especially in Scotland. I'm also at a loss of how to style them. I think they look great with little socks, but it's the rest of my outfit that I just can't quite figure. I can't think of one dress I own that will look awesome with this.
The shoe obsessive part of my mind is thinking I'll never see another pair of shoes like these again, so should jump on them. Plus it's in the back of my mind that the whole day and stress was for nothing if I send it all back, you know? For £130, I need to be head over heels for them though. I'm not sure I am.  I hope you can see how massive they look (especially as you're accustomed to looking at my feet on The Shoe Girl Diaries), my leg and ankle look like they could snap with the sheer size of the shoes!
Finally the striped socks. I was rather confused to see these thrown in the parcel, not attached to each other, not in a plastic bag or carded or anything. Just loose and tossed in. If I wanted to return these or if someone bought them instore, how do they put them through the till with no barcode or anything to scan or know I haven't worn them? It felt a bit like a free gift that I hadn't paid for. Thankfully I don't want to return them (I might as well keep one memento of the whole mess).
I wish this was all better news and can't express how disappointed I am, especially with the red shoes. It obviously wasn't meant to be and in better news I managed to score a pair of shoes at the weekend that have been on my wishlist for years and that I thought I'd never be lucky enough to own. So I guess it all goes full circle. Questions is, should I keep the fluffy shoes and/or the heart bag? I'd love to hear what you think. Now I'm away to dry these tears : (

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Lancome Haul and Beauty Box 2013

Despite being so excited about these hauls at the time, it's taken me ages to finish the post. It's an extremely daunting task as it's taken three different days of photographing and consists of nearly 80 (finished) photos, two hauls, a gift with purchase and the Christmas beauty box! I'd finished editing the photos a couple of weeks ago, but just didn't know where to start with writing it up and that's been the stumbling block for me. I can't tell you the amount of times the tab has been open and at the end of the day, I've closed it without adding any words! I'm on a mission to complete it today though, because for starters everything in it is absolutely wonderful and well worth reading about. So grab a cuppa and feast your eyes on all these wonderful goodies.
I've already shown you the lipsticks and nail polish I ordered online from Debenhams, along with the GWP, so for more details on that, click here. These purchases that I'm about to show you are from a trip instore last month and it just happened to be the same day that they put the new collection out on the counter. Something quite exciting, yet scary about being the first to stick your finger in the testers! I'd already done my research beforehand, so kinda knew what to look for.
The lipsticks in the Christmas line are gloriously packaged. They are covered in Swarovski crystals and I seriously considered getting one just to look at. The reason I wouldn't use it is I dislike both colours. You know I'm not a red lipstick fan at the best of times but they included L'Absolu Rouge in 132 Caprice, one of Lancome's best-selling shades (which I've tried in a gwp and it is indeed very bright red) and the limited edition shade of 189 Rouge Etincelle. Again this a very bright red (and absolutely nothing like the stock photo below). I can't recall which was which, but one bordered on orange and one was more a pink-red. It's a missed opportunity in my opinion that there's not a nude or deep wine for winter thrown in, rather than two very similar shades. I know it's Christmas and red is as festive as you get, but you know what I mean.
The rest of the collection was much more to my taste though with frosted, shimmering colours. There's the illuminating powder compact, which is typically beautiful, bordering on too pretty to use! It's a very pale, frosty pink with the Lancome rose logo. There's two nail polishes (more about these later), which my counter only seemed to have one of. They replaced one shade with a red (which I knew from my research wasn't in this range), so I decided at that point, I'd order them online when I got home! Then there's the specially packaged Hypnose Star mascara, again in glitter! It's a shiny, lacquered glitter unlike the lipsticks, but absolutely gorgeous and some stick on eyeliner flicks things which I don't recall seeing on my counter.
Plus there's four Hypnose Dazzling eyeshadows. Now these took me by surprise because it's something I probably wouldn't even look at online, but once I swatched them, they really impressed me.
So much that I ended up buying two! They come in these little glass jars and have a spongy, bouncy mousse like texture. The two I bought were, Hypnose Doll Eyes DO 111 Diamant Argente (a light sparkling silver) and Hypnose Star Eyes ST 211 Quartz Taupe (shimmering taupe).  The other two are Hypnose Star Eyes ST 301 Saphir Noir, a sparkling blue toned black which I can't recall swatching and and Hypnose Drama Eyes DR 214 Emeraud Eternell, a beautiful sage green which unusually had gold glitter (unlike the others which all shone silver).  I was really tempted to buy the green too, but seeing as these are the first of these types of eyeshadows I've bought, I thought I'd see how I went first.   
They come with a small brush (so adorable and possibly a new companion for my Dior funnel!), but I find my fingers work just as well.
The texture is extremely light to touch and more so on the lids, you can't feel it, it's so airy. I've been wearing mine over Urban Decay Primer Potion but did note a little creasing the first time I wore the taupe one (after several hours). I didn't notice it on the silver, but haven't really worn either enough yet to see if it's an issue. It is supposed to be a waterproof formula that lasts for hours, so maybe I just applied too many layers. I'll have to play around with them and see.
The other item I purchased was Teint Miracle foundation in 005 Beige Ivoire because I desperately needed another. This is my third bottle and I just love it, it provides a flawless base without feeling heavy and the colour is one of the few lightest enough for my pale skin.
So I qualified for the gift with purchase and free BiFacil, more details about that in my original post (and for some reason I forgot to photograph the little DreamTone you get in the photo below).
Ok, so my main reason for going to the counter was to find the Christmas Beauty Box, which I've bought for the past few years. I love it! I've been so desperate to catch sight of the vanity case and see what's inside and was even starting to worry they wouldn't do one this year because I couldn't find any info about it! However, here it is. The offer for this is slightly different online, so I'll let you know both. Basically you buy x Lancome products and can then buy this set for £50 (it's obviously worth a helluva lot more than that). Instore you need to spend £30, online it's with the purchase of two products (one to be skincare). I explained in my other post why this was a bit of an issue for me, as they discontinued my Baume Eclat cleanser, so I was pleased to see the offer instore was better suited for me.
I've given my family the history of the Lancome festive box which they were less than enamoured with! For those that want to know (!) it is a gorgeous shiny red patent this year! It's the same shape as the gold glitter one last year and is lined in satin, with a zip (double) all around the curved sides and finished with a short handle. I really, really love it, it feels like a vintage vanity case and oh, I've just realised I could take it with me on my overnight stay in a week or so (yay).
What you really want to know though, is what's inside! As always there's a nice mix of skincare, makeup and fragrance, so hopefully something for everyone. Like the recent GWP, I am really pleased to see Lancome add some new items and change colours instead of handing out the same products in every gwp/beauty box. Content wise this could possibly be my all-time favourite beauty box of the...four I've got.

Starting with the 'standard' skincare items if you like, there's a full size (125ml) BiFacil eye makeup remover worth £21, 50ml of Galateis Douceur (cleanser) and Tonique Douceur (toner), 7ml Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate and a 15ml glass jar of Hydra Zen Neurocalm SPF 15 moisturiser.
Aside from the eye makeup remover (which if you don't wear eye makeup you'll never use), they are all 'universal' skincare items that anyone could use. In addition you have this adorable mini bottle of La Vie Est Belle fragrance. The 4ml comes in a glass bottle identical to the full size version, right down to the little organza ribbon around the neck. I think it's a lovely little collector item and just this week, I've fallen head over heels for the scent, it's gorgeous!
For makeup items, you receive two 2ml mascaras, Hypnose and Hypnose Drama and a mini Le Crayon Khol black eyeliner.  All items that I use regularly.  
New for this set are mini versions of Rouge In Love lipstick (159B Rouge In Love) and Gloss In Love (146 Peach Show). The lipstick is a very bright red, which I probably won't get much wear out of. I love that they included the details on the case, like the full-size one. I didn't expect the lipgloss shade to be so bright considering it's in a set like this. I thought they'd want to appeal to the masses with a nude or rosy pink, rather than this bright peach. I haven't tried Gloss In Love before though, so I'm quite excited to have my own little mini.
Then we move onto the two compacts in the collection. The description of the box contents listed on several sites contradicts the stock photo of the blush. In the photo it is clearly a Blush Subtil Palette, whereas it's described as Blush Subtil (02 Rose Sable). I was praying it was the former, as I already own Rose Sable and by the looks of things the palette was different to the other one I bought in the summer. Thankfully it was the Blush Subtil Palette in 02 Nectar Lace. How jammy is that, that I bought the other colourway recently and not this one?! This is a full size item, so it's worth £27. Contained inside the compact is a peachy blush (centre) and either side is a highlighter and contour colour, perfect for my HaCing!
I really wanted to capture how pretty this looks in the light, when you can see all the sparkles, it's just lovely.
I'm really pleased they added a newer product like this into the set. Last but definitely not least is this eyeshadow palette billed as an 'exclusive' but the shade is available to buy separately, so I think they are referring to the special compact it comes in.
It's Hypnose Doll Eyes 5 Color Palette in D01 Fraicheur Rosee, which again is full size and retails for £37. It's filled with nudes and purples to play around with to create various looks. You can see the lovely shimmer in the light with the flash.  It's something I can see myself using a lot.  
Wow huh? I personally think it's a great set and excellent value considering the three full-size items alone would set you back £85. I've also seen the beauty set available to purchase on it's own for varying prices (anything from £80 to £160), but it seems pointless not to spend that extra £30 on Lancome products you'd like and get the set for £50. Roll on next year I say!
I bought that haul the same day I got my Dior items, so I was as happy as a pig in s*** when I got home to ogle everything! However that's not all. Like I said at the beginning of the post (if you've stuck with me for that long), I ordered some more items online when I got home (well actually the next day, so I could qualify for another £10 gift card in a promotion they were doing at the time).
As you can see, I got the two nail polishes from the Christmas look. Vernis In love 071 Etincelle D'Argent (smokey pewter) and 520 Etincelle De Neige (white) and they have the strangest finishes! They are sparkly as you can see in the bottle (I've taken all of these with and without a flash to illustrate), but actually apply matte. A complete contradiction I know!
I'm wearing the grey one throughout this post. It feels slightly rough to the touch and I even tried my Paul & Joe glossy shimmer polish over the top and it still dried matte. To me, it looks like a metal nail file or diamonds in the rough. I'd imagine the white will look exactly like snow.
It wasn't as difficult to remove as I expected and I felt it was quite hardy and lasted longer than a glossy coat would. It's an interesting finish and one I don't have in my collection, which is why I was drawn to them. Finally, I've perhaps saved the best until last. From the Autumn collection (remember I said in this post that my counter never got it?), the fabulous Blush Rose Desir Illuminating Smooth Powder.
In the ultimate tribute to Paris, the outer compact is totally lust-worthy with it's gold Eiffel Tower, lips and rose detail. Then you open it up and the powder is absolutely gorgeous.
An orangey base shade with metallic pink lips and sporadic gold sparkle throughout, mirroring the outer compact design. It's absolutely stunning.  I'm not sure if I can ever bring myself to use this, but the beauty collector in me, just had to have it.
So that's the end of my mahoosive hauls and phew I managed to get through this post (it was actually pretty cool to write up once I found my stride and minus the paragraph that disappeared and I had to rewrite)! The beauty set is available at all Lancome counters, but the offer (or qualifying products to be purchased) may vary. I got mine in Debenhams.  If you have any questions or thoughts, then let me know below.  I will also be bringing you a brand new beauty feature which I'm slightly (no, hugely) terrified about but I suspect you'll be quite excited.  Clue: it could involve a certain item in this post.