Wednesday, 31 July 2013

French Connection eBay Sale! - UPDATED

Up until yesterday I didn't know there was a HUGE French Connection sale happening on eBay (I know, where have I been?!) but it's definitely worth a look. There are some incredible pieces and even more incredible savings to be had! Here's my pick...

'Carlotta' Dress- £28 (Was £110)

Embellished Shift Dress- £20 (Was £100)

Taupe Satin Dress- £39 (Was £160!!)

Jumpsuit- £39 (Was £97)

As i'm sure you'll agree, these are some crazy prices. All of these pieces are pieces I really, genuinely love for reasonable prices- especially for such a high end brand. I was lusting over the embellished shift dress which I fell head over heels for and actually ended up ordering it after I first posted this piece (oops!) but who can resist an embellished bargain? Certainly not me. I'm so excited for it to arrive already and although I had to go for a size '8-9' (so strange!) i'm hoping everything will be ok with the dress and that it'll fit me perfectly.. fingers crossed!

Have you picked up any bargains on eBay? Any buys from the French Connection eBay sale?
I'd love to hear from you, as always!

G xxx

Monday, 29 July 2013

Benefit Lipstick Review- 'Lady's Choice'

Another day, another lipstick review...
The majority of my beauty reviews seem to be based on lipsticks but they are honestly my only beauty weakness. I see the majority of make up as a bit of a chore when it comes to putting it on myself but lipsticks are the one beauty essential i'm totally obsessed with. 

Today's lipstick is one i've actually had for a while. I was given it to me by my mummy who is also a bit of a lipstick magpie and whose make up bag I frequently raid. It's a benefit one called 'Lady's Choice' and you can find it here for £7 which for Benefit, is beyond a bargain. Online this is advertised as a 'nude' and on me it is nude but it's definitely a brown based nude instead of the usual pink base.

I really love this lipstick. I'd actually forgotten how much until I wrote this post so i'll definitely have to dig it out again. The lipstick, compared to a lot (including my Topshop and Kate Moss/Rimmel ones) is really hydrating and glossy. This is the only lipstick I have that I have to wear a lip liner with as if not, it bleeds and I end up with it all over my lips and around my mouth. However, a little bit of lip liner fixes this and otherwise, I have no complaints. I do struggle with the shade because, like i've said, it's brown based which isn't very flattering and can make my teeth and skin tone look duller but the shade is really nice on, very different to my usual bright pink, so I cope with the duller skin tone. 

All in all, I really love this lipstick. It's so glossy and as these lipsticks are currently half price on the Benefit website, i'll definitely consider buying a few more... although of course, i'll have to buy a matching lip-liner! I actually prefer this Benefit lipstick to my MAC one and although they're normally the same price, Benefit's are now half price (£7) so they're even more appealing! £14 (or £7!) for such a long lasting, hydrating lipstick is good enough for me. Benefit, you've succeeded again!
Have you got any Benefit lipsticks? Do you love them as much as me? 

G xxx

Sundown Adventure Park- Not Just For Kids!

A couple of weekends ago, my mummy and I took my niece, Libby, to 'Sundown Adventure Land' which advertises itself as 'The theme park exclusively designed for the under 10's'. The weather was absolutely beautiful but we didn't fancy queuing in endless traffic to get the seaside so we packed up a picnic and went on an adventure!

Sundown is just outside of Sheffield and if you're in your late teens like me, you might remember it from when you were little. I was shocked to see rides I had been on when I was little were still there, although of course, updated. There was even still a 'wild west' section that I remember loving when I was small. Libby was a big fan of the fairy-tale land (which admittedly so were me and my mummy!) which has little houses set in the scenes of famous fairy-tales and even a little yellow brick road with the Wizard of OZ characters dotted around. It's honestly such a wonderful place: full of play areas and pirate ships and castles so it really lets children's imaginations run riot. We had a glorious day in the sun but, as there seems to be an extensive Christmas 'land', I can imagine its just as entertaining in the winter! 

Libby-Rose and I in front of a giant story book in (where else) fairy-tale land!


Mummy and I squniting in the sun. As you can tell from our smiles, we love Sundown too!

Fairy-tale land.

Libby entering the gingerbread house!

I seem to have only pictures in fairytale land but we also enjoyed the sweet kingdom and the water ride had Libby in hysterics laughing at me trying to protect my eyebrows from being squirted by pirates. On a fashion note, my playsuit is from George @ ASDA, my mums aztec midi dress is from Dorothy Perkins and Libby the mini fashionista is rocking a floral Next outfit, complete with the cutest matching sun hat. 
We had a fab day in the sun and although this post is a bit different from my usual reviews and hauls, it's good to shake it up!
Have you ever been to Sundown? 

G xxx

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Matalan Haul

Yipee, i'm back to doing what I love the most- a haul post!
I've recently tried to cut down on the amount of hauls I post because I feel they can slightly repetive and it's good to branch out but a couple of months ago I treated myself to some goodies from Matalan and wanted to share them with you all! 

The first thing I picked up were these camisoles. I'd seen the Topshop ones which I think are ridiculously over priced at £18, especially if you're like me and want a few different colours, so when I spotted these swing style cami's for £8 I snapped up two! One in the basic black (which i've since worn constantly!) and the other in a more adventurous peach/coral colour. These top's are so lovely and light and ideal to throw on with any outfit for any occasion. You can find the black one online here and they're also available in the pink, cream and navy.

Next, I picked up a really cute green, floral playsuit from the kids section. I've talked about shopping in the kids section before on my blog and as i've also previously mentioned, Matalan and H&M are the best places for on trend, inexpensive kids clothes that are perfect for petite adults! I bought this playsuit for my holiday and wore it all the time through the day to just throw over my bikini when we were heading for lunch. Although i'm normally a massive colour-phobe, I really love the pastel green colour and Hawaiian floral print! I paid £12 for this playsuit which, compared to the £25+ playsuits i've seen else where, I think is a bargain. I bought age 12-13 which was the perfect fit, much to my surprise. 

Finally, I picked up some gorgeous, gold/stone rings. I'd been hunting everywhere for a blue stoned gold ring so to get this pack for £6 was a total win for me. I've also worn the cream stone ring a lot and although the red stone one wasn't had any wear yet, i'm sure it will with the perfect outfit. I'll also let you into a little secret: Matalan, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins are all supplied by the same jewelry stockists so if you see the perfect piece in Topshop, have a search through the other two to see if they have it at a cheaper price- I actually nearly paid £12 for this exact set in Topshop but managed to get it half price in Matalan! The other way round is also possible: i've seen jewelry full price in Matalan to then see it cheaper in Topshop's huge sales. The rings are a lovely fit and although they do turn my fingers green (costume jewelry problems) it's not too extreme. 

What do you think of my buys? Have you picked up any bargains recently? Any buys from kids sections?

G xxx

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Topshop 'Charmed' Lipstick ~ Review

It's terrible I know, but this is a review of my first ever Topshop lipstick... what took me so long?! I have no idea why i've previously never bought Topshop's lipsticks, i've browsed through them both online and in store plenty of times but never got round to buying one until a couple of weeks ago when Charmed stole my heart.

Charmed when swatched, and on the colour bit on the bottom of the tube (is there a technical name for this? There should be), looks like a fairly simple light pink/coral colour. As in, you can tell it's coral inspired but it isn't dramatic. Very girly, very bright and fairly warm toned. However, once on it transforms into the most beautiful coral shade possible. I've been hunting down the perfect coral lipstick for ages but couldn't find any that weren't orange based so imagine my delight when Charmed turned out to be the most perfect pink based coral! The colour is bright and ideal for summer. It goes with my usual neutral eye makeup and goes with most outfits due to the pinky-coral hues it has. I'm currently wearing a blue dress and Charmed so it's very versatile. My mum also says it brings out the blue of my eyes but i'll let you be the judge of that because I think that's just a 'mum' thing to say.

 My only criticism of the lipstick is the texture; it's very similar to my favourite Kate Moss/Rimmell lipstick (review here) in that its quite matte and clings to the lips. Not ideal if you suffer dry lips but it does mean the colour really packs a punch. I also don't think Topshop's lipsticks on match the colour on the bottom of the tube amazingly well which is a bit deceiving  but it isn't dramatic and obviously different lip/skin tones are mostly responsible for this colour difference.

All in all, i'm seriously impressed with Charmed and can't wait to purchase another (probably pink) Topshop lipstick! What do you reckon? Are Topshop lipsticks any good?

G xxx

Thursday, 18 July 2013

They're Real! Benefit Mascara Review

Hi again everyone! After my slight variation to the norm in my last post (you can find it here) i'm back to my usual posts.

I bought Benefit's 'They're Real!' Mascara before my holiday in duty free. I paid £16 for it (you can find it here for £19.50) so I didn't exactly get the bargain of the century but it was good enough for me. I bought the mascara because as a Benefit fan, i've been dying to try it since it came out but couldn't justify the price. However, I realized in the airport i'd forgotten to bring my favourite mascara (Benefit's 'Bad Gal'), which had almost ran out anyway, so purchased this as a replacement.

I was so eager to love this mascara, I really was, but, as is the case when a product has a crazy hype, I really didn't. It has rave reviews and it's from my favourite brand but for me, it just doesn't work. The brush is average and seems to clump quite quickly at the top. The actual mascara on makes my eyelashes stick together and feel really brittle. It's not waterproof but an absolute pain to get off, which in my opinion is the worst combination. It does gives all the lashes a good coverage, it seems to make them clump together and doesn't make them look as thick as they could be. I'm naturally blessed with long, thick lashes and I bought 'They're Real!' because I thought it would enhance what i've got, however with it making my lashes stick together (I have a serious problem with this, as you can probably tell!) and making the rest of them look really spidery, it feels like my lashes go from thick to sparse which isn't ideal. 

Bare lashes

With 'They're Real!'

Left eye: They're Real
Right eye: Au Natural

As you can see from the pictures, They're Real! does work as a fairly decent mascara but unfortunately for me, not as well as expected and at the cost of my nice feeling, full set of eyelashes. I think i'll be sticking to Bad Gal to keep my lashes feeling natural and healthy and maybe keep They're Real for special occasions. 

What do you think? Have you bought, and loved They're Real! or am I not alone in being disappointed  I'd love to hear from you, as always!

G xxx

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Dyscalculia and me.

Another slightly different post from me, this time about numbers.

Most people know about dyslexia- Wikipedia's description is 'Dyslexia is characterized by difficulty in learning to read fluently and with accurate comprehension despite normal intelligence' which I like, I think it's apt. Suffers are completely normal, they just struggle with words. I don't have dyslexia though, if anything I have a slightly bizarre infinity with words and have been known to finish 300 page novels in a couple of hours.

Anyway, I digress.
We all know about dyslexia but not many people know about dyscalculia. Probably about 70% of you are now thinking 'what?' and that's the reaction I get every time I tell people i'm a sufferer. Dyscalculia is (according to another Wikipedia description): 'Dyscalculia is difficulty in learning or comprehending arithmetic, such as difficulty in understanding numbers, learning how to manipulate numbers, and learning math facts'  

 I struggle to add up correctly, I can't count properly, tell time, understand directions and to expect me to do things like divide and multiply is basically impossible. On some occasions in maths lessons at school I would be reduced to tears because I just didn't get it. It's difficult to explain but to me, numbers don't make sense. I can't immediately identify a '3' by it's shape and when I see it written down as 'three' I can't link it to a '3'. (you have no idea how long it took me to understand that to write it down)

 However, contary to dyslexics, I wasn't given more time in maths exams, I wasn't even given any help because my teachers all thought I was just one of those people that couldn't do maths. It's not uncommon to be slightly bad at maths but it is uncommon to be unable to tell the time at 19 years old, like me. So why isn't there more recognition?

 I work in a retail environment and when it comes to working out change, discounts and even inputting addresses I find it difficult. I think there should be more awareness because I can't even remember how many times, when I have pulled out a calculator to work out how much 10% off something is going to be, customers and other staff memebers alike have looked at me as though i'm stupid, joked about it and I even had one customer ask me if I was 'stupid' which is beyond horrible. When I replied 'no i'm not, i'm actually dyscalculatic' he looked at me as though I'd just made it up. 

Why is this ok? Why isn't more being done so that people like me, who aren't 'stupid' or 'just bad at maths' are recognized as having a problem and helped? I don't want a song and dance and a badge telling everyone i've got a problem, I just want more awareness so that people get it more- like they get dyslexia. I don't think it would be acceptable if the man that called me stupid had done the same to a dyslexic and I think there should be more equality.

 However, don't get me wrong. Dyscalculia isn't just 'not getting maths'. It's not getting the most basic elements of maths. I can count to 10 confidently but once I get past 10 I get confused, I can't understand the concept of 'to' in time (for example, when someone says it's 'twenty to ten' I don't know what that means) and this little test with the little squares (above) left me tearful because I don't get it. Much like dyslexics, including someone i'm close to but who I won't name, I can't stand people that are just a bit rusty on their maths, are a bit slow, calling them selves dyscalculiatic like how all slow readers aren't dyslexic.

 My dyslexic companion and I were discussing our respective disorders the other day and , like a lot of people, at first he didn't think it was real. I told him, in response 'I feel about numbers how you feel about words. When I look at numbers I feel panicky, I feel upset and I don't get them. They might as well be hieroglyphics running around the page and when people try to explain them to me, they might as well be speaking a different language. My brain just doesn't get numbers and it's as simple as that' and then he got it.

If you know anyone that might be suffering from dyscalculia, or if you do, just try and be supportive. Encourage them to get digital clocks to improve their understanding of number shapes and just be understanding when it takes us a while to count out money or tell you the time. Above all, if you are a sufferer, remember you're not alone.

G xxx

Thursday, 4 July 2013

June Haul- With A Vintage Twist!

A while ago I wrote a post entitled 'Reinvention' and in it I mentioned clothes swapping with your mum and hunting for old vintage gems. I spent a Saturday night the other weekend sorting out our attic with my mummy and was rewarded with exactly the vintage goodies I was talking about!

- Vintage Baroque Champagne coloured dress':
I'm head over heels for this dress: I love the colour, the pattern and the slightly risque thigh split. The material's really thick and feels a good quality. The dress fits like a glove and it's maddening to think something almost 20 years old is still so on trend! 

-Vintage Topshop Black Skater Skirt Collared Dress-
Vintage Topshop. Enough said for me, personally! I'm eternally grateful that my mummy was my age in the nineties so all the clothes she wore then are on trend for me now! This dress is unbelievably tight and tiny, I can't believe anyone could ever be this skinny! It's a lycra material and apparently a size 8 (I think it's more like a 4!) and it hangs in my wardrobe as a motivation to be a skinny minny!

-Vintage Black Maxi Dress-
Probably my favourite thing I found, this maxi dress is skin tight, one shouldered and has another risque thigh split! Can you see a theme?! This dress reminds me of the Rihanna for River Island clothing, although luckily for me, this was completely free! I wore this dress for my birthday, a shopping trip and also wore it to the airport for a chilled out, comfy but stylish look! It's a strange knitted material but so comfy and flattering! It recieves compliments whenever I wear it and happily it's the only maxi dress that doesn't drown me!

-The thigh spilt!-
Probably not for the faint hearted but for me, it just breaks up the flow of heavy material. 

Of course there were some less desirable 90's clothes... including a sequinned crop top and flared trouser suit which induced tears of laughter when I tried it on and another fetching crop top/ trouser suit in lime green (!) but digging around was definitely worth it for these one off, beautiful pieces! 
What are your favourite vintage pieces? Have you inherited any from your mum that you love?

G xx

Summer Bags: My Pick

In my family i'm known as 'The bag lady'.
It's harsh but true: I live and dream bags. Handbags, clutch bags, holdalls, satchels even purses... the list goes on. Every season is defined by bags- beach bags for the summer and leather satchels for autumn (school memories!). Every time I visit Selfridges in Birmingham I drag my long suffering boyfriend around the huge bag section going 'I like that one, I like that one... ooo I love that one!' and prancing around the Mulberry section wishing I had the money to buy them all (one day!).

Anyway, I digress.
These are a pick of my favourite summer bags that i'll be using hopefully all summer long!

The 'day bag':
Black Fringed Bag- H&M:
At first I thought this bag would be too formal to use constantly but the simple colour means it goes with everything and the simple gold chain strap adds another dimension to any outfit. The chain can also be tucked into the bag to make a gorgeous, unique clutch. It's the perfect 'daytime' summer bag- just enough room for all the essentials and the perfect accessory for any outfit!

The 'purse-clutch':
Mock Snakeskin Purse- Internationale:
I bought this purse to replace my worn out blue River Island purse. I don't like the recent craze of having an extra clip fastened section at the back of the purse (like this one) so when I saw this simple, expensive looking purse for a bargain £4.99, I knew it was time to upgrade. The purse is neutral so goes with everything and could be used as a clutch on my upcoming holiday when I only need to carry the essentials (euros and some I.D!) around on a night!

The 'hand luggage':
The world's biggest handbag- River Island:
This bag was one of those 'it's so impractical but i'm so in love with it' sporadic purchases. It's absolutely huge! It's at least double the size of a normal handbag but for me it'll be a weekend/ hand luggage bag for all my summer trips and possibly my beach bag too as I hate material/straw bags! I have considered using it as a handbag as I love it so much but it might swamp me a little bit too much!

So there's my pick of my favourite handbags for the upcoming summer season. I love them all for varying reasons and can't wait to incorporate them into my every day wardrobe. Have you got any summer favourite bags? Any styles I should check out?

G xx

**disclaimer: I own all of these bags and this is not a sponsored post. I just wanted to do something different with my increasing bag collection and get excited about summer!**