Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Affordable Online Fashion Favourites!

This may come as a bit of a shock to some, but I actually don't like clothes shopping. The queues are always too long, everything is too expensive, crowds make me nervous and I usually spend the whole experience thinking about something I'd much rather be doing. Like having a bath or watching Sarah Silverman.

Unfortunately in this modern world, buying clothes is essential in avoiding a state of perpetual nudity and nobody wants to see that. So when my wardrobe needs updating what do I do?

 Me and my near-empty purse log onto my favourite cheap & cheerful online shopping sites, that's what.

Here I'm going to share a few of my go-to online destinations I visit from the comfort of my couch, clad in a onesie, with a cup of tea in hand and Sarah Silverman on the TV.
When I feel like treating myself to a little something and payday is but a tiny dot in the distance, Missguided is generally my go-to shop. Affordable and on trend, with the option to shop by celebrity style, this store has earned its place in my desktop favourites. They have a great selection of quality leggings too, and if you know me, you'd know I'm a bit of a leggings junkie ;)
Missguided tartan leggings £8.99

I'm not going to lie, Boohoo is a pretty fantastic place to shop for an instant style update that won't drain your precious savings. They always seem to have an absolutely huge selection of seasonal and up to date pieces as well as an array of humble wardrobe staples like jersey basics
They stock an awesome selection of dresses at very nice prices too, such as this peplum dress for £20 and this scooped maxi for £10!

Fashion Vouchers is the holy grail for penny pinching fashion hunters! Here you can find discount codes, sales and special offers for your favourite high streets outlets such as Miss Selfridge and Urban Outfitters as well as high end brands and stores including All Saints and House of Fraser. My sister is borderline obsessed with Urban Outfitters, so she was over the moon when I referred her to the 15% off code!

This place always seems to have amazing sales featuring big brand names including Superdry and Fred Perry, so if you're into high quality pieces at up to 75% off, you should give this place a click. I actually bought my Motel Jordan Jeans from here for £30 as opposed to the rrp of £48. Edit: Ark seems to have been acquired by JD Sports
Motel Jordan jeans £30 from Ark Clothing

I've been interested in Very since I attended their Diana Vickers bloggers event and had the opportunity to thumb through the racks and have a good look at their pieces. I was actually surprised at the quality of the clothing I checked out and have ordered from them many times since. One of the great things about Very is that customers are able to pay off purchases in three installments, which means you can get your hands on something gorgeous without giving up the piggy bank. I used this option to buy my guitar - not exactly fashion, but you get the idea ;)

While Glamorous isn't particularly cheap and cheerful across the board, it deserves an honourable mention for its version of the much coveted Disco Pants.  At £29.99, these are a cheaper option for girls lusting after the £70 American Apparel Disco Pants.
Glamorous Disco Pants £29.99

Asos Marketplace 

This is my favourite online destination when I'm hunting for unique jewellery to complement an outfit  - there are so many independent jewellery designers and cute little online boutiques selling gorgeous original pieces for next to nothing.  My picks? Skellingtons Handmade Day of The Dead Skull Jewellery and Tessies for exceedingly cute and inexpensive pieces.

There are a lot of 'cheap' online stores out there, but I think many of them focus on the affordability of the pieces rather than the quality, which is really no fun for anyone. 
So those are my favourite places on the web for finding quality, cheap bits and pieces for my closet. If you've  found any gems and you'd like to share them, please let me know!

Thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

White + Green Should Always Be Seen

My friend/ flatmate India was about to step out for some frolicking in the sun when I was compelled to stop her in her tracks and take a few snaps because her outfit was just so darn pretty.

Sometimes simple is best, and this bright maxi from Topshop speaks for itself when paired with a simple white vest by Kookai.

India actually bought this skirt last summer, so this outfit is living proof that the humble maxi is unlikely to ever be considered a  fashion faux pas ;)
Topshop (last year) £40
Are you recycling anything from last summer's wardrobe or are you all about the dipped hems and split skirts currently littering the high street?

Thanks for reading and thanks India!

Skellingtons Handmade Day of the Dead Skull Jewellery

I have Twitter to thank for introducing me to the cute, unique and oh so quirky world of Skellingtons Handmade Day of the Dead Skull Jewellery. After perusing the brand's Asos Marketplace collection I was instantly hooked by the whole Skellingtons vibe.

Mr & Mrs Skull!
Skulls are massively popular on the high street at the moment, but Skellingtons jewellery is way ahead of the fashion pack as they offer up vibrant and playful custom made and one off pieces.
A Skellingtons adjustable bracelet with tassel

Inspired by Mexico's Day of the Dead celebrations, designer Bev Johnson creates rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and more that add a little something special (and a tad spooky) to your outfit. 

Each piece is unique with intricate detailing
The pieces feature a gorgeous combination of skulls, beads, flowers and jewels to reflect the traditional decorations of the Mexican celebration.

The morbidly cute skull beads are formed from semi precious howlite (a 'stress relieving' stone for those interested in crystal healing) and each one is unique, so therefore no two pieces of Skellingtons jewellery is the same. Cool, yes?
A cheeky Skellingtons Phone Charm

With prices starting as low as £3.50, I recommend you click on over and grab a Skellingtons piece of your own!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Lipstick I Love: MAC Russian Red Review

You may have noticed that I'm pretty partial to a red lip and I'm fairly sure that it's one make up look that won't be going out of fashion any time soon. Though I'm usually seen in brighter hues (Ruby Woo, I'm looking at you girlfriend), sometimes I need to channel my inner vamp(ire) and whip out something a teeny bit darker.

It's times like these that I turn to the slightly sultry Russian Red by MAC Cosmetics.
Picture of Russian Red MAC Lipstick

Russian Red is a blue toned lipstick, therefore an instant smile brightener.
It's often compared to the cult MAC shade Ruby Woo, though it's slightly darker.

While both shades are a matte formula, I find that Russian Red is a little creamier and doesn't stick around as long as it's sister shade, but this minor glitch won't stop me wearing it. :0

You can find this vampy lippy at your nearest MAC counter with the extortionate price tag of £14, but perhaps this is a small price to pay to trot about feeling a bit like Rita Hayworth?

As always, thank you for reading :*

p.s. Does anyone else find MAC stores a bit scary? :0

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Topshop Blush in 'Flush'

By now, you've probably seen quite a lot of info on the cream blush range from Topshop but I figure there's no harm in putting in my two cents as well.

I actually picked up the cream blush in the shade Flush a couple of months back during an impromptu visit to the Oxford Street store and have been using it most days to perk up my complexion.

I'll be honest, I'm a bit of a newbie in the world of cream blushes and was a little bit scared I'd end up looking like I'd had a terrible lipstick accident but this blush proved me wrong as it delivered a lovely dewy result that blends and builds easily.

I chose this rather bright pink shade because it's a little out of my comfort zone and the colour is like Summer in a palette.
The texture is sort of greasy and powdery at the same time and melts onto the skin as it's blended (I just use my fingers), resulting in a pretty and natural looking flush- hence the name ;)

At £6 this blush is a pretty decent investment. It's easy to apply, highly pigmented and relatively long lasting all wrapped up in a rather cute polka dot compact with mirror. What's not to love really?

How do you feel about the Topshop make up range? The lipsticks are among my favourites and now this cream blush is a staple in my make up bag.

Thanks for reading :D

Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser

As far as shower and bath products go, Philosophy is hands down, my number one favourite and now the cheeky American brand has gone and converted me to their best selling cleanser - Purity Made Simple.

It's actually quite rare for me to repurchase cleansers, because I'm constantly enticed by the plethora of new skincare products that keep popping up in Boots, but I'm on my second bottle of this, and for very good reason too.

Gentle yet effective, this award winning cleanser is a multi tasking wonder product that melts off make up, deeply cleanses the skin and conditions the complexion all at the same time.

The best bit? This stuff doesn't sting my (relatively sensitive)eyes, so removing mascara is fuss free and eyeball friendly.

How do you use it?
Massage a little dollop into dry skin for about 30 seconds and rinse with warm water. I usually repeat this but it's probably not necessary!

What's in it?
A few unpronounceable's (such as sodium trideceth sulfate) and a whole load of nourishing and cleansing bits including rosewood, sage, carrot and sandalwood oils and  pepper seed extract.

The Consistency
Somewhere between a gel and a cream that slightly foams upon contact with water.

The Scent
This is essentially unscented, but I can definitely smell something a bit peppery.

The Price Tag
I buy the little 90ml bottles of this from Boots for £8 (a great size if you just want to give it a try for a few weeks) but you can also get your hands on a 240ml bottle for £17.50.

The Verdict
Purity Made Simple is easy to use, effectively removes a full face of slap and leaves my skin squeaky clean yet hydrated in one step. All in all, I love this product.

You can find Philosophy products at Boots, online and at department stores.

Have you tried any of Philosophy's skin care products?

Thanks for reading :)

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Cheap Thrills! Boots Ingredients Coconut and Almond Intensive Hair Mask

Once again I've come across something that's both deliciously scented and affordable, this time in the form of a rich, gooey, nourishing hair mask.

The Boots Ingredients range is one that I've always overlooked for some reason, but since I squeezed out the last of my Alberto Balsam Intensive Conditioner I was on the hunt for something cheap to cheer up my dyed-within-an-inch-of-its-life hair.

Enter Boots Ingredients Coconut and Almond Intensive Hair Mask.

Long name? Yes.

Expensive? Non!

A generous 350ml tub of this glossy mask is priced at a measly £1.99 and I'm here to tell you that this stuff is  more than worth its weight in Advantage Card Points.

After shampooing my hair and squeezing out excess water, I pop a handful of this gooey goodness on the ends and massage it up to the roots.

For a serious treat, it should be left to work its magic for a few minutes, otherwise it's really lovely as an everyday conditioner that doesn't weigh my hair down.

I'm seriously happy with the results of this hair mask - once dry, my hair is smooth, incredibly soft (even the bits that were dip-dyed and bleached) and smells delicious and coconut-y.

If you've got normal/ dry hair and you've not tried this yet, hop along to your nearest Boots and grab it.

It's cheaper than a cup of coffee, and almost as satisfying ;)

Edit (02.17): unfortunately this super cheap hair mask is no longer available but you can find it's replacement here at Boots.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Disco Pants by Glamorous UK

Every fashion blogger and her dog seem to be rocking a pair of American Apparel Disco Pants and I salute them!

Unfortunately for me, I simply can't spend £70 on a pair of trousers, no matter how fantastically flattering they are but luckily I could slip my pins into something very similar by the affordable, fashion forward brand Glamorous UK.

Presenting the Glamorous Disco Pants:
Initially, these curve-huggers were only available in Pewter but a 'Black' option has now been added.

The reason 'Black' deserves inverted commas is because these pants are actually not black, but more of a charcoal colour, a fact that Glamorous have now specified on their website.

Even though these aren't a true black, I really like them. They make me want to sing and dance around a carnival with John Travolta, if you know what I mean.
With Flash

Without Flash
At £29.99, these are a pretty good duplicate of the American Apparel Disco Pants and a great product in their own right. The material is slightly different to the AA version in that it's thinner and doesn't quite 'suck me in' as much.

I'm still coveting a pair of American Apparel Disco Pants, but in the meantime I'm very happy with these, even if I can't sit down in them ;)

*I'm wearing the Disco Pants in size 10, though I think my tummy wishes I'd gone for a 12.

What do you think of these Disco Pants? On the wishlist or frightened you'll look like a seal?

If you're loving them, check them out at Glamorous UK here

YSL Touche Eclat Foundation

When I heard that luxury cosmetics house Yves Saint Laurent were launching a foundation version of their legendary Touche Eclat pen, I was excited to say the least.

However, when I found out that they were providing colour matched samples of the foundation, I dropped everything and approached the YSL counter at Debenhams with all the restraint of an unleashed doberman.

I received a 7 day supply of the foundation, complete with a little application paddle.

I really think this product lives up to the hype - it seems to illuminate the entire face with the same glorious light reflecting technology as the Touche Eclat pen.

Naked Face!

With YSL Touche Eclat Foundation (and mascara, no other makeup)

With Foundation - No Flash

I found that shadows were basically erased, spots were disguised, and my face took on a healthy looking, dewy sort of glow.

The formula is quite thin and watery and is gives a light to medium coverage, though I was quite surprised at just how well it covered imperfections, given the liquid consistency.

Price-wise, it's pretty steep at £28, but a worthy investment if you find it's the perfect foundation for you.

The YSL Touche Eclat Foundation is available in 22 shades and launches nationwide from the 9th of this month. Start lining up ladies!

Thanks for reading my ramblings! x