Thursday, 17 April 2014

Fancy A Flamingo?

I've always had a bit of a fascination with flamingo prints on clothing and accessories. Known for being kitsch, quirky and fun, it definitely appeals to my playful side. It's no surprise then that I'm captivated by the new Moschino Cheap & Chic collection, where the pink feathered birds take centre stage. In saying that, the collection is a little less 'in your face' than you'd expect, with fresh white and pastel shades, rather than a more traditional 'tropical' print. The birds feature these cute, dangling beaded legs, which give added movement and dimension to the clothes.  It's a really lovely touch.  
It's well worth browsing that collection even if it's only to 'window shop' because every item is so wonderful, I'm in awe of it all. If I had to pick a favourite, it would probably be the flamingo shaped bag £393.  Every season Moschino produce these wonderful quirky shaped bags, from a 'paper boat', to a 'watering can' or 'cocktail glass' and I've loved every single one. The flamingo comes with a long chain strap and dangling chain legs and would definitely be the statement piece of any outfit.
Luckily there's loads of flamingo items on the high-street right now too, so I've put together my favourite pieces for you. Starting with these wonderful Jay-bird platforms £65 from Office, which you saw at the start of the post.
I put a photo of them on my Facebook page ages ago, after seeing them in a magazine, so I've been waiting to see them online/instore. They are similar to the cat and fruit platforms we've seen in previous seasons and are definitely fun with their wicker platform and pink and orange uppers. Do you prefer the other styles or are these your favourite yet?  You can find them in sizes 3-8 with free UK delivery online.
Top of my 'flamingo list' is this cute H by Henry Holland dress at Debenhams. As you probably know, I own almost every HbHH dress ever made and this one would very much like to join the others in my wardrobe. It's a really lovely print. Available in sizes 6-18, £45, there's even a matching bomber jacket (£40)!
If you find that print too subtle, then you'll love the bright and tropical one on this Topshop body-con dress (sizes 4-16, £34). All it needs is some 'comedy' sunglasses (palm trees, flamingo or cocktails)!
They also have this midi ring £4.50 (S-L), which is designed to sit halfway down the finger. Midi-rings have long been my obsession, so I'll be adding this to my next order.
Another lovely piece from the Moschino collection is this short-sleeved jumper at My-Wardrobe (sizes 8-16, £324). However I've found a cheaper alternative with this fine knit, sequin jumper at Miss Selfridge. In sizes 4-16, it's down to £20 in the sale.
Accessorize have a few flamingo themed pieces, including these 'Felicity' slippers (sizes 36-42, £29.00), 'Gemma' makeup bag (good choice of name!) £10 and the 'Tropicana' handbag £25.
Not quite the Moschino white patent shoulder bag I know, but at almost 15x cheaper, it's a nice little equivalent.
For a nod to the trend, M&Co have this pretty scarf £14, with a lovely fresh flamingo print.
While BooHoo have a bright, tropical one £8. I'm loving that bold turquoise.
Finally, ASOS Curve have this cute t-shirt £16 which I'm keen to get my hands on. It's exclusive to the plus-size range and is available in sizes 18-28.  Sweet aren't they?
Is there anything here that takes your fancy, do you like flamingo themed things?

This post contains links that can earn this blog a small commission when purchases are made through clicking them.  I was not gifted any items or paid to write this post.  All opinions are still my own.  

Friday, 11 April 2014

Escentual Spring Haul (Dior, Clarins, Guerlain)

Guten tag liebe menschen, long time, no speak! Still no improvement health-wise, it's a struggle to stay awake all day and blogging (i.e. using a computer and my brain) has been virtually impossible, hence the lack of activity. It's been and will continue to be tough, but thanks for your messages they are much appreciated.  I've been eager to show you this amazing haul, which I'd been saving up to buy.  I've only been out shopping once this year and when I saw all the lovely new items on the beauty counters, I managed to build up quite the list of 'wants'! Although Escentual already have discounted prices on their products (so I wanted to buy from there), money has been really tight (and my wishlist was rather long), so I waited until a '25% off everything' code in February and managed to save over £50. Brilliant! Typical that when I got it, I was too ill to play with it all! I'll be saving some for Too Pretty To Swatch anyway, because they are very pretty!
So as you can see, the majority is Dior and Clarins with a little Guerlain thrown in. I think I'm developing this problem where I buy almost the entire 'limited edition' Dior range each season. A good problem to have I think (although I'm sure my bank would disagree)! They just keep bringing out ridiculously pretty things, although I did surprise myself by buying no lip products. At all! The Spring 'Trianon' look at Dior is all pretty pastels.  Think sickly, sweet, sugary Marie-Antoinette style.
I really liked the look of the eyeshadow quad in 234 Pastel Fontanges. I kinda don't like being extravagant when it comes to eyeshadow though, because I literally own thousands and probably stick to using the same 15 or so on rotation. After seeing the swatches of this one on Escentuals blog, I decided it wasn't really that special or unique (the colours are just too pale and shimmery) to justify the spend. I did love the darkest shade, if they'd sold that alone, I'd have bought it. However, when I saw the other shade in the collection, 954 Pink Pompadour swatched, I fell in love with it. It's mainly pink, which isn't really a colour I wear a lot of on my eyes and not a shade I'm drawn to, but the swatches just looked lovely.
Firstly the embossed floral and bow print on the powders in this range are just delightful. I know that's really bad that I want it more if it's patterned (hello star print quad last autumn), but it just shows how your opinion can be swayed by something visual like that. As always the palette comes with a full sized mirror inside and a velvet pouch, along with two double ended sponge applicators. I feel all fancy every time I pull out my Dior items to use!
So you have two pink eyeshadow colours on opposite corners of the palette. A pale, frosted shade and a mid-pink, that looks really rich and pigmented. Then there's the darkest shade of the palette, an intense purple and a colour I really like the look of, is the greenish toned silver. I think it's good to bring in something a little different to stop the palette being completely Barbie pink. In the centre you have a highlighter which has less colour than the others and is slightly lilac toned. It reminds me a little of the centre shade in 970 Stylish Move (bottom), which I've had and loved for so long that you can no longer see the shimmer overlay (unless you look really closely at the corners)!
It's definitely quite unique within my vast collection, so I'm keen to see how I get on with it and if there will be a stand-out shade for me, like I found with the star palette. Like I say I will be saving this to swatch in TPTS, but definitely check out the Escentual swatches. Both colourways appear to be sold out almost everywhere actually now that I look, but Feel Unique have both colours here. There are individual eyeshadow colours which also have the embossed design on them (170 Angelique-purple and 427 Opaline-green) along with two new powder blushes (946 Pink Reverie and 763 Corail Bagatelle) in this collection. I really wanted the blush, but after looking at swatches online, I think the coral one looked too similar to this Guerlain one I already have. The pink one that I was initially attracted to, actually wasn't as pigmented as the coral when swatched, so I already scored that off my list. I really debated getting the coral one, but instead opted for this rather magnificent looking palette.
It's the Trianon Palette in 001 Favorite (there's only one colourway in Europe). This design of palette has been seen before (Cherie Bow), but instead of stripes of products with a sectioned off lip colour, this palette includes a powder blush and the products are arranged differently. I know a lot will be swayed by the fact it's all powder products now as many dislike powder and cream together. Surrounding that centre blush are four eye colours. Firstly let's take a look at the packaging. I was verbally 'cooing' over this instore when I saw it. It's like a giant bow, metal clutch. It feels really weighty and opens to reveal a mirror and several applicators along with it's own little pouch (there's even an outer pocket for the blush brush). The silly little details like the bow on the blush brush, just make me giddy!
Isn't it stunning? I know I've just said I wouldn't splurge on eyeshadow and here I am with two brand new palettes! I can't even think up a decent excuse or justification for that I'm afraid!  It isn't really too pretty to touch, yet I'm struggling to swatch it. I just don't want to ruin it's perfect/pristine-ness!
I don't think these powders are the same standard as the eyeshadow quads (I've heard the green is a little disappointing), but this is by no means a 'watered down' palette or quantity over quality. It's just a different product to the 5 Couleur palette. The products seem of a decent size for a palette and I'd use every shade. The blush is a lovely fresh looking peachy pink (I was thinking it would maybe swatch quite similarly to the pink blush in the range) then you have three eyeshadows and a soft, matte black for use as a liner. The eyeshadows are a pale, champagne pink, a bronzey brown and a light grass green. The eyeshadows look to have a frost or metallic finish-I can definitely see some lovely shimmer.
The eyeshadows can be applied dry or wet and hopefully I'll pluck up the courage to use them for TPTS! Ignoring the lip products in the range, I moved onto nail polish. Along with my addiction to buying lots of Dior, I've bought maybe 6 or 7 Dior polishes in less than a year. Here's another two, oops! First up is 204 Porcelaine, a pastel blue (again, sold out in most places, but Boots have some). It's just a lovely colour for Spring/Summer and when I saw it combined with something else, I just had to have it.
That 'something else' is Dior Vernis Trianon Edition in 187 Perle. It's a product that can be used on it's own (a shimmering, frosty shade with a pinky lilac flash), but really comes alive over other colours. Again the Escentual swatches were pivotal in my decision to buy this. They tried it over the other colours in this range (including Porcelaine) and I was sold. Not only does it add that frosty, pink flash, but it seems to change the tone of the colour underneath. I believe it dries matte (but still frosty), so I'm thinking it's a somewhat similar finish to this Lancome one I got at Christmas. I'm really sorry I don't have swatches for you yet, for the first time in 20 years my nails have been bare for months : (
If you check out those Escentual swatches, you'll see that Perle turns Porcelaine into a frosty, icy blue, much paler than it applies on it's own. The hot coral becomes a frosty Barbie pink and again the fuschia shade takes on a totally different form of pink when Perle is applied over the top. I'm not joking when I say I've been desperate to play with this! What would it look like over navy or black? Would it turn green into mermaid-nails? I just want to see it over everything!
Loving a more simple approach to creating new nail effects, I decided to buy the Guerlain Colour Lacquer in 862 Star Dust too. It's the only nail 'colour' in the Meteorites Blossom collection for Spring. Much like the Dior one, it's a shimmer finish (don't think this one turns matte) and it can be worn alone or over a colour to completely transform it.
In the bottle it certainly looks different enough from Perle to justify buying both, as it's got a green/blue flash to it rather than pink.
It's another one I'm really looking forward to playing around with. Unicorn or fairy nails perhaps?!  Coming to the end of my haul and I bought a couple of Clarins items. The full-size of the Lotus Face Treatment Oil, which I already mentioned, after I loved the free sample I had. After using this every night for months now, I don't know where I'd be without it. It's completely fallen in as part of my routine and although it would seem like a bit of a fiddle to use, it's totally not. I warm a few drops in my palms and apply to a slightly dampened face (after toning) in a patting action. It feels so relaxing and there's no mess or wastage with the dropper.
Finally, Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base (what a mouthful), in 01 Rose. A brand new product from Clarins, this comes in a squeezy tube with a pump applicator. It's essentially a primer which can be worn alone, mixed with foundation (for a dewy finish) or under foundation and it's got heaps of skincare benefits along with adding radiance and luminosity and correcting high-colour in the skin.
I'd bought it to wear under/mix with makeup, but I've actually worn it alone on the two days I've left the house last month, as I was too ill to apply other makeup. I honestly look terrible right now and I'm not saying it turned me into a goddess, but it definitely pepped up my skin and toned down redness and my Mum even commented that my complexion was looking really clear (the doctor on the other hand was reaching for a syringe for blood tests because he was so concerned with how pale I was)! It was on the tip of my tongue to explain to him how difficult it is to match foundation to my blue tone!
It comes in three shades which are supposed to be universally flattering, but you could pick the shade most suited to your complexion. Rose is the fairest and brightens with an opalescent sheen. Champagne corrects redness in fair to medium skintones, while Peach restores lustre to matte and medium to dark skin. All three protect against pollution while hydrating and moisturising. It's a 'cheat' to healthy skin and with benefits beyond just masking or giving the illusion of great skin.  So there you have it, another fabulous haul, I'm just sorry I couldn't swatch anything for you.  However when I'm feeling up to it, I'll be dipping into them all and taking lots of photos.  Although I had a discount code at the time for this lot, remember Escentual always have discounted prices on their products, currently around 12% off Clarins, 10% off Guerlain and 15% off Dior.

I also have some current discounts codes for some other beauty sites and I've linked in this post to other sites where the products are in stock, to save you searching.
Boots:  Save £5 when you spend £40 on skincare, code SKIN540, valid until 15th April.
HQHair:  From 12th April, free Luxurious Beauty Box containing the hottest products hand-selected by the HQHair beauty team when you spend £45 or more.  Click here.  Free next day delivery (until 8pm weekdays and 2pm Sunday) when you spend £50 with the code FREEUK (valid throughout April).  The following codes are valid until 15th April-a mystery discount (up to 26% off), discount amount will change regularly, code HURRY26 or 10% off with code HQTEN.
LookFantastic:  Free next day delivery when you spend £50 (valid until 8pm weekdays and 2pm Sunday), code NEXT50.  10% off with code TENAPR or 15% off when you spend £45, code APRIL, both offers valid until 15th April.

This post contains links that can earn this blog a small commission when purchases are made after clicking them.  All products were purchased by myself and I was not paid for this review.