Thursday, 30 September 2010

Irregular Choice Shoe Haul

Finally some images of the new shoes I got last week. I was super excited when the parcel eventually arrived (it took a while)-although a little disappointed afterwards. I bought from LetsBuyShoes with whom I've shopped several times before. I know that they have a new website now and that the previous points system (whereby every purchase collected loyalty points which could be used as payment towards a future order) was scrapped. However this was the third order I've placed on the 'new' website and although I was a bit miffed at losing the points I had stored previously, I was happy to see that my new total was gradually increasing or so I thought...
First thing I noticed was that they sent me the wrong colour of Making Moves. I ordered the heart print but was sent this purple suede. Now I actually like them (even with the fact that one of the charms was broken-I can't wear all the charms anyway, because they are too noisy), but I thought I should email them anyway to let them know that they were sending the wrong item. Seeing as I had around £20 worth of points I decided to purchase the heart pair that I originally wanted and probably keep the purple too. I was a little surprised at the email that I received back though. For a start there was no apology for sending the wrong shoes "It would just have been the wrong shoes in the box. Our packer would have made sure that the code on the outside of the box matched the order and wouldn't necessarily know the colourway." Well excuse me but surely a website selling several colourways of the same style is going to have problems if the packer doesn't know which shoe to send? I hinted that I would consider keeping the purple pair-but there was no mention in the email of how to return them if I had wanted to (I certainly shouldn't have to pay return postage for something that isn't my mistake) and again I just think there should have been an apology in there somewhere because this wasn't what I ordered but now I'm stuck with them!
The purple aren't even available to buy on the website anyway-so I don't even know how I ended up with them. Anyhow, the main reason for emailing was to ensure that the same thing wouldn't happen again if I reordered. How am I to know that they haven't just put the wrong image on the website? In the reply it said if I purchased them, they would check this time and it shouldn't happen again. So I proceed to try and buy them using my points as part payment with no luck. So after a couple of hours of trying (grrr), I email them again and get this reply: "The points system doesn't apply, sorry it shouldn't be on the site. Letsbuyshoes was taken over by another company and the points have been removed, however the shoes are much less than ever so not all that bad!" Hello, damn right it shouldn't still be on the site!! With every purchase I've made it has said 'you have x points, tick this box to redeem them now' and even when the order is going through it says next to it 'points pending x' and has tallied them up to date in my account. Plus the prices are good because they are old seasons stock-I wouldn't expect to pay full price for them! I was then so pissed that I'd spent the entire morning trying to buy them, that I didn't order them at all (and now they're out of my size). The whole episode has kinda left a sour taste in my mouth to be honest. There's me, happily collecting loyalty points, completely oblivious to the fact that it doesn't exist-even although I can see it! Annoying huh?

My paint splatter Making Moves are a size 6 and are quite tight across the foot, but a little long. I thought I might need the bigger size for the cuff, but this purple pair are my regular size 5 and actually fit a lot better. They don't seem quite as tight and the length is perfect. The cuff takes a few attempts to ensure it is properly zipped up (it's difficult to hold the two sides and insert into the zipper and pull down whilst pulling the zip up all at once)! I love the clash of the pink heel against the vivid purple.
Next we have the flowery Whitney or rather Kim Oh No as they are known this season, which may be similar to Audrina in style, but boy do these fit so much better than the latter. I've mentioned before that I find the vamp comes too far up the foot on Audrina, but you don't have these issues here, because they are cut lower as you can see. I love the floral, love the wooden platform, not entirely convinced with the green section though. It's like fuzzy felt and it's already looking shabby, even before wear. Very comfortable though.
Finally blue Bambino...I told you I'd end up getting these, didn't I! You may recall I had issues with the placement of the buttonhole on the strap with my pink pair (whereby I had to cut a longer hole), so I'll have to do the same again here. I actually didn't think they seemed like they need as large a snip as my last pair. The floral pattern continues onto the heel (my pink have a suede heel), which I love and the little baby is so cute (little boyfriends for my pink girls). Gorgeous haul, just a shame about the problems on the website which kind of spoiled the whole experience.

I Like It Weird!

I've always erred on the side of 'unusual' when it comes to jewellery. In my teens I was fond of anklets, toe rings and adored my jangly combination hand bracelet/ring. I used to pierce my finger nail and had countless rings and charms for that, which really used to freak people out (I don't know why, it's a nail, it doesn't hurt). I like wearing rings above the knuckle or knuckledusters that cover 2 or 3 fingers. I'm also really keen on those ones that cover your whole finger, like armour. I don't have my ears pierced but I'm always looking for innovative clip-ons, sometimes wearing a crystal flower stud at the top of my ear etc
So I was mega excited when I saw this ear cuff on ASOS last week. It's exactly the type of thing I've been looking for. I get really annoyed when clip on earrings aren't interesting as they tend to be old fashioned. Just because I'm not pierced it doesn't mean I'm an old lady-I still want huge hoops, dangly chandeliers and weird cuffs like this. I was about to add it straight to my basket when I noticed though, that it is indeed intended for pierced ears, grrr. There's a hook which clips around the top of your ear (fine) and then a post to secure through your piercing at the bottom (not fine). I'm so disappointed, it seemed so perfect! Oh well the quest for the unusual ear cuff will continue along with trying to find beautiful sweater clips which have been my obsession for the past couple of years!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Review: Cosmopolitan Powder Brush

I was recently sent the Perfect Finish Powder Brush to review from the Cosmopolitan range. Although I was aware of the brands products, I hadn't tried any before. I haven't been feeling up to wearing a full face of makeup every day lately, but the few times I have I've used this brush.
On first inspection, it seems quite girly with the pink writing and the white handle means it stands out from the rest of my brushes. It looks practical, although it's a pity the packet it comes in isn't a little more substantial as I would imagine it would suffer wear and tear easily. It does reseal though which is good if you are carrying it in your handbag.
It's got a nice weight to it, not too heavy or too light and a full head of natural hair. Upon use, I haven't experienced a single bit of shedding (although I would expect some when it comes to cleaning it perhaps). I used it with both loose and pressed powder and it doesn't pick up too much product like some brushes-it just seemed right to me. I wouldn't say it's absolutely the softest brush I've ever used on my skin, but it's certainly not scratchy.
Overall it's a decent brush and the price (£5.95) is around 5 times cheaper than other brands. You can find the brush along with other Cosmopolitan beauty accessories at Superdrug, Tesco and Debenhams.

Extreme Exclusive:Pearl Lowe Peacocks Lace Dress!

Ok, so I got mega, mega excited when I spotted this in Look magazine yesterday. In their section on what's just landed instore on the high-street, they featured this lace dress from Peacocks. Now being the geek that I am when it comes to Peacocks stock and more specifically Pearl Lowe, I knew this had to be from the Christmas PL collection. You may remember I said there would a lace dress similar to the one Daisy wore in the video I posted last month?
This must be it! It looks similar and has a Pearl Lowe price point. I absolutely adore it-if this doesn't suit me, I'll freak. The bad and good news is it's not instore right now-but you've not missed it. Look just got it a little wrong, but it will be available later in the year. As you can see in the full article it does feature the polo neck dress and suit jacket from PL, which are available now in this latest collection, but hold on for this Xmas range, it's obviously going to blow your vintage socks off! I can't wait!!

P.S. the black empire button dress is now available online for those that missed it-I can't decide whether or not to get it? Based on my previous experience with this collection, I'm worried I don't suit sleeves in general now! It's gorgeous though. A little pissed that they started the 10% off and free delivery after me spending £135 last week and in addition 2 delivery charges! Grrrr.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Week 2: Rimmel Lash Accelerator

I've been completely neglecting my duties of presenting my 30 day lash challenge using Rimmel Lash Accelerator. I hadn't realised the time it would take to photograph and post every single day (along with everything else I have to do), so I've now just taken images a few times a week in a bid to catch up. I'm not being a very good Rimmel VIP am I? I'll be struck off! No in all seriousness, I've enjoyed using this and it is the only mascara I've used all month. I haven't worn makeup all that much lately, but I've still been trying this every day because I wanted to see if it really worked or not!

The mascara has performed much the same over the past couple of weeks. I'm definitely starting to notice a difference in my bare lashes-don't you think? They seem fuller-of course I'm sure to the untrained eye you wouldn't notice, but when studying the images and my lashes up close, I'm sure I can see it. Here's some points about the actual mascara itself;
  • Most days I don't need to use a lash comb afterwards because it doesn't clump.
  • I think it performs well when worn with colourful eyeshadow or dark liner which was a worry for me at the start.
  • It doesn't give me the longest and thickest lashes I've ever had from a mascara-but it's by no means the poorest.
  • I'm amazed at how long lasting it is! Absolutely no smudges or flakes and 10 hours later it still looks as fresh as when I applied it.
  • The brush is deceiving, it doesn't look saturated in mascara but it is, so be careful not to apply too much.
  • It holds a curl pretty well as you can see from the side images.
Wearing no other makeup
With smokey teal eyes
Thick, sparkly liner (really crappy images sorry)
Week 3 results coming soon!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Q&A: Invisalign & Anti-Ageing

Something a little different for you now, but well worth a read if you have the time. I was recently invited to a little Q&A session about anti-ageing and this fabulous product called Invisalign®. If you haven't heard of it, Invisalign is a virtually invisible orthodontic treatment that can straighten your teeth and improve your smile without the need for invasive dental procedures. Personally I'm not keen on the super white, same size moulded type teeth that the likes of Simon Cowell (and every other celeb) sport but without a lie, I'd absolutely love Invisalign. I hate my squint teeth (which I swear are getting worse the older I get) and this would straighten my 'real' teeth without the hassle and embarrassment of traditional braces. I've dreamed of a product like this and had no idea something so perfect existed, so I was really keen to hear more about it from celebrity make-up artist, Lina Cameron who is a spokesperson for Invisalign and Harley Street dentist Dr Mark Hughes who is an Invisalign practitioner. For more information or to find a practitioner near you, visit http://www.invisalign.co.uk/

I'm really interested in Invisalign, it appears to be an excellent product given that it is almost invisible. Can anyone of any age use this?
Dr Mark Hughes: I would recommend the treatment to anyone from the age of twelve upwards.
How does Invisalign differ from other teeth straightening treatments?
Invisalign is a series of comfortable, removable nearly invisible ‘aligners’ that help to move teeth step by step to achieve a great smile. It is perfect for enhancing your natural assets, ‘using what you’ve got’ rather, for example, than drilling away the teeth and adding porcelain. If you compare Invisalign to traditional braces, primary differences include there are no metal brackets or wires and unlike traditional ‘train tracks’ you can remove the aligners for special occasions, and indeed daily to eat and to keep up your oral hygiene. Aligners are more comfortable than and not as painful as traditional braces. With the latter you are required to have the wires changed and tightened, which can cause great discomfort. Aligners on the other hand, apply a constant gentle force on the teeth without causing much pain. Finally, you have a certain amount of flexibility as you will only need to see your doctor every 8 to 12 weeks. This means less maintenance - perfect for those with a busy schedule.
Is Invisalign widely available across the country?
Yes – visit www.invisalign.co.uk the website even has a facility where you can enter your postcode to find out where you can go locally.
How long does a course of Invisalign usually last?
This is really dependent on the client – some courses take 3- 4 months, others may take 3 to 4 years. The longest case I have encountered is 3 years – it was a very severe case. However on average, treatment will last approximately 12 to 15 months.

We're constantly being told that the science behind anti-ageing skincare is progressing, can we believe the hype? Can non-invasive treatments really make a difference?
Lina Cameron: Yes, science is absolutely progressing and making a difference with some products even working at a cell level. As for non-invasive treatments, I always encourage my clients to make the best of what they have without resorting to drastic measures or procedures that cannot be reversed. It is essential to have good, clear and even complexion so a comprehensive skin care routine is a must. Regular exfoliation is key, as skin needs to be fresh and dewy to take a good make-up application, foundation can look caked on if you have a dry complexion. A course of microdermabrasion can work wonders but I always advise to do your research and seek out a reputable clinic.

I also encourage teeth whitening as a bright smile is a must and if teeth are white the lips can take any lip colour. If teeth are discoloured, yellow based pigments such as some pinks will exacerbate the yellowness of discoloured teeth and limit colour options.

A wonderful smile sets off a great face of make-up beautifully and gives the utmost confidence. There is nothing worse for me than seeing clients who are unhappy with their smile as it hinders their enjoyment in life.

Invisalign is the only orthodontic treatment I recommend. It works to enhance my client’s natural assets, boosting their confidence by delivering a great smile. It is virtually invisible which is perfect for my clients as they are not interested in traditional fixed brace techniques which only highlight that they have a problem in the first place.
What is the optimum age to begin using anti-ageing treatments? And how should it change as we get older?
We all age differently but looking after our skin is incredibly important so it is ideal to start as early as possible, definitely once you’re within your early twenties. Obviously some creams and products are targeted for an older market, but if you use something with lots of nutrients this will help plump up the skin and effectively acts as an anti-ageing product. Think about cleansing and protecting the skin as this is the best form of an anti-ageing routine you could possibly invest in.
The anti-ageing skincare market is so huge and it can be confusing knowing which product will work best for us-what ingredients should we be looking for?
Ingredients can be confusing, try to look for products that contain a high concentration of enzymes, nutrients, anti-oxidants or vitamins. I would always recommend buying anti-ageing products from dermatologist brands like Dr Murad rather than big cosmetic companies. Put a little bit of research into it and check the brand and its quality. Otherwise I use a very simple technique of deciding whether a product is good for me. Open the jar and smell the product, feel it and decide whether it will make you happy. If you feel like you would enjoy using the product then buy it.
Are there certain techniques we should use during application or are the products alone enough?
If you want to achieve clean and fresh skin, put a cleanser on your skin and leave for half an hour. Then put on a pair of rubber gloves and soak a cloth in hot water to steam your face. Once your face has been steamed, take off the gloves and using cotton wool or a muslin cloth gently rub upwards and towards the side of your face, instead of wiping downwards. Keep this as gentle as possible and try not to stretch the skin.

When it comes to this type of skincare do you really get what you pay for or can high-street brands deliver just as well?
Some up-market products don’t suit certain skin types while high-street brands will, and vice versa. I would recommend mixing and matching and experimenting to find out what is best for you, however I would always invest a little extra in buying the best serum available. Put this on after cleansing but before using a cream. The trick is to not overdo it, only use as much as is needed.
What adjustments should we make to the cosmetics we use as we get older and our colouring changes?
The number one problem women face is choosing the correct foundation. Your skin tone will change as you get older and it is so important to use the correct colouring. Always test out foundations, simply go to the counter and ask for some testers to take home. A good foundation will disappear into your skin and shouldn’t add any colour to your complexion. Aim to use the foundation in the centre of your face only.


Apricot coloured blushers work well with any skin tone and can be used at whatever age. During the winter season or even as you get older, skin becomes quite dry. I would recommend using a good tinted moisturising balm in a light tint colour to leave your skin glowing. Simply rub a small amount on your hands to warm through and pat lightly over your cheeks. Try to avoid applying the balm on to your t-zone area as this will create an oily look rather than glowing.

Young or old, applying a little definition to your eyes using a good eyeliner brush can make all the difference. Finally, add a peachy colour to your lips to finish off the look.

At any age, the cosmetics used are secondary to how you apply the make-up. Any woman can wear glitter on their eyes, but it is how they apply it that makes it look good.

Another top tip to is to keep your eyebrows in the best shape possible, an over plucked eyebrow can be very ageing. Shavata eyebrow studio (Harrods Urban Retreat) do the best eyebrow reshapes. If your eyebrows have stopped growing completely try Talika Eyebrow Lipocils ( £21.00 at Space NK) to help promote eyebrow growth. Perfectly shaped eyebrows make all the difference.

Taaz: Rebecca Romijn

I haven't done a Taaz makeover for a while-I notice they have some pretty cool Halloween themed looks right now (if you ever wanted to see what you look like with green skin?). I tried something a little more tame, this Rebecca Romijn curly hairstyle just seemed to fit with me. It's really versatile, looking great in other colours too.

Here's the original paired with glossy nude lips and smokey eyes...
Absolutely loving the style in this red shade (I probably should've gone more green on the eyes)
I changed the lip to pink for this bright platinum shade
A more natural brunette with the same makeup again
A tad lighter and paired with a darker, browny lip
And finally this is as dark as I could go without it looking too false (and with a nude lip again)

Have you tried any good looks lately on Taaz?

Friday, 24 September 2010

Video: Pearl Lowe Peacocks Lace Collar Dress

video

Ok, final final installment of the Pearl Lowe dresses, because my last one just arrived. First impressions, it's very heavy (very, very heavy). Has a horizontal pleated section around the waist, side zip and some black fabric buttons at the back neck. The crochet sleeves and collar really stand out against the black but it's nice that the skirt section is pleated for added interest. I've heard some people say it looks a bit like a nun or maids outfit, which made me laugh. I suppose it is kinda maid-ish, but it's totally cute so who cares? I've tried it on and it's lovely. It sits below my knee so again there's no need for leggings, some people may find the length a little awkward (I'm 5ft 5 1/2" FYI), but below knee/mid calf is so totally 'in' right now! It'll look great on it's own or with tights. If anything it's a little loose around my middle but not enough to warrant going down a size. I'm really pleased with this one, it's a definite keeper!

Video: Pearl Lowe Peacocks Leopard Shift Dress


video

Final video installment-the leopard print shift dress (original post here). Think I should keep it? I'm still unsure, seems like a lot of money for something that doesn't fit me perfectly and I can't see my boobs shrinking anytime soon! It is very pretty though and I don't currently own a leopard print dress...

Video: Pearl Lowe Peacocks Floral Shirt Dress

video

Yipee, managed to upload another! I think the key is to upload the video first, then start writing the rest of the post. Anyway the floral shirt dress...don't think there was anything else I had to mention about this. Refer back to my original post for more details.

Video: Pearl Lowe Peacocks Chiffon Dress

video

Hallelujah ladies, the video uploaded in record time this morning (hope it works now). I pretty much mentioned everything yesterday-as you can see it's got a lovely fluid feel to it. I hope I didn't appear too negative yesterday-I still love the dresses, just not on me. The slip underneath sits considerably shorter than the chiffon...maybe by 4" or 5", although the straps are adjustable if I remember correctly and I didn't adjust them, so you could probably make it longer if you wanted.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Parcel Day!

My Pearl Lowe for Peacocks order has arrived. The lace collar dress should be here tomorrow, but here are my initial thoughts on the others. I haven't had the chance to try them on yet and my camera is playing up in this horrible weather we're getting today. So instead, I thought I'd take a short video of each dress, just to give you an idea. I'll probably have to upload them in separate posts as blogger takes absolutely ages to upload any video. My Irregular Choice shoes are here too, three new pairs-although they sent me the wrong colour but more about that later (quick pic below-gorgeous huh?).
Ok, forget everything I've just said-I've been trying to upload the videos for the past 4-5 hours and keep getting a friggin' error message, so I'll just have to try another day, grrrr! You'll have to make-do with the crappy pics, sorry girlies!

The first is the leopard print shift. It's stiff cotton/elastane and is fully lined which I wasn't expecting. Little puff sleeves with fabric covered button fastenings and a centre back zip. The corsage is detachable (brooch back). This is really neat, it hits just on my knee, so would look better with tights or bare legs (no leggings). It is tight across my bust though so I'm swithering with whether or not to send it back. I know my boobs are really squished in it, it's just whether or not others would notice and whether I can breathe!
The floral shirt dress doesn't feel nice at all, it's polyester, but the type that goes hard when washed/wet and is 'hand wash only' (grrr). It's noisy and hard without being stiff, if you know what I mean? The print is nice, it looks shorter than the other two, buttons up the front and I like that it has long sleeves. Ok, so I tried it on and look terrible in it. It harks back to my hated school days when I was forced to wear a shirt and tie and despised every second of it. I just don't suit stuff up around my neck! I obviously wore it with a few buttons undone, but it still looked naff. The big downer is that the sleeves are terrible on me-too big and it just makes me look twice the size I am. A definite return for this one and my first disappointment from the Pearl Lowe collection which has worked so well for me in the past.
Finally the chiffon frill dress-one of my original favourites and I couldn't get any images of it, so you'll have to make-do with my description (I'll try and photograph it in better light tomorrow). The colour totally wasn't what I expected-I know it says 'purple' but I was expecting blue like I see on my computer screen. I've also seen a video of this dress and it looked blue there too. Anyhow it doesn't matter because it's a lovely shade, the fabric is beautiful and hangs so well. It has a side zip and a few studs down the front collar section (do they still put old fashioned studs on things these days?) and a satin slip underneath. Tried it on and....I look like a minister! No joke-it's full blown 'hand me a baby and let me baptise it, hallelujah, praise the Lord' style!!! What's wrong with me? Can I not wear sleeves? It looks like a tent on me (although it does skim my curves in places) but the sleeves are too big again and the collar isn't doing anything for me-I'm really disappointed with this one.

I'm now thinking that maybe the plain black button dress that disappeared from the site won't suit me either (when/if it becomes available again)-because...it has sleeves! I'm always looking for dresses with sleeves as well, who knew I looked so daft in them though? I'm thinking that the dress that's due to arrive tomorrow will look ok, because it is more similar to styles from previous collections. I'm so disappointed at being disappointed-after all the anticipation of waiting for them and the stress of buying them and now I'm probably not going to keep any of them-one very unhappy bunny here : (

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