#ThrowbackThursday - Sweet Valley High

In the late '80s, my Saturdays looked something like this: get up, wander up to local shop for 10p mix-up, pop into library to pick up dog-eared copy of latest Sweet Valley High book, come home, curl up on cabin bed with said book and sweets for rest of day. Perfect!

Looking back at some of the covers. Errrrmmm...
Pretty much everyone I knew read the Sweet Valley High books. Bearing in mind that I went to a local junior school where the most exotic thing that ever happened was the French exchange programme, the lives of teenage Californian twins seemed impossibly glam. I can't recall much about what happened in the books, other than the usual teenage angst, where everything was all ok in the end, without a hair out of place. To refresh my memory, I had a little peek at the Sweet Valley high page on Wikepedia, and came across the following which made me smile:

'Criticisms include: The twins and a majority of their high school peers being unrealistically beautiful, and physically perfect, without suffering from greasy hair, body odor, weight issues, acne and other typical teenage problems. However, Robin Wilson was overweight, Peter De Haven was described as having acne, and Betsy Martin had greasy hair.'

So, just like all of us, then.

On my trip down memory lane, I noticed that there have been further books published in the last couple of years - Sweet Valley Confidential revisits the twins ten years later, and it seems things aren't so rosy any more. In fact, Jessica's run off with Elizabeth's fella, so it's all kicked off. I can't help but wonder if this particular plot is in response to the criticism mentioned on Wikepedia. Whatever, I'm totally calling to the Spar for a Curly Wurly then hitting the sofa with this bad boy on my kindle.
 
 
Did you ever read the Sweet Valley High books?

xx

All Things Bright & Beautiful - Kate Spade

The last few times I've visited the US I've made a beeline for the nearest Kate Spade store. Walking into KS is like stepping onto a brightly coloured cloud and floating through a whimsical handbag dream world. I blimmin' love it.


Kate Spade Las Vegas
Sorry for the crappy photo but how cute is this! Handbag Grabber at Kate Spade Las Vegas
Kate Spade Las Vegas
Gorgeous dresses in the window of the Las Vegas store
 I've visited a few Kate Spade stores as well as some of their outlets, which is where I've bagged my best bargains. Often, there will be additional discounts on top of the already reduced prices - on our recent trip to Texas we visited the Premium Outlets in Houston, and as I skipped through the door into Kate Spade the sales assistant handed me a coupon for an additional 40% off everything in store. I could have kissed her. I didn't, though. Instead, I carried out my own version of Supermarket Sweep, grabbing handbags, purses and scarves willy-nilly and piling them into the Husband's outstretched arms. I'm proud to say, I was actually quite restrained. I had my sensible head on (which I'm now kicking myself about), so decided to limit myself to one bag, one purse and a couple of accessories.

M'y final purchases were a purple New Bond Street Florence satchel, a cute 'Stepping Out For Lunch' pouch, a cream leather Wellesley purse and a black and white spade print scarf. And...*whispers* the whole lot came to less than $250. Yes, I am a total douche for not buying more.


Luckily my family are well aware of my KS love so I also got a couple of bits and pieces for Christmas - a silver bangle with 'Find the Silver Lining- engraved onto the disc and a mug with my initial on. I love the simplicity yet quirkiness of both.  
 
 
So this is one brand that I think is set to become more and more popular here in the UK - it's been loved in the US for a good few years now and literally every other girl in I saw in Houston was carrying a gorgeous Kate Spade handbag. How can you not love it? I mean, even the dustbags are cute:


Are you a Kate Spade fan? Do you have your eye on anything special from there this year?

xx


LFW '14 Looks - Phase Eight

We're coming up to London Fashion Week, where anyone who's anyone in the fashion world descends on our capital to see and be seen at some fabulously extravagant catwalk shows. Sadly, I'm not anyone - well, not one of the anyone-who's-anyone-anyones, anyway - so the closest I'll get to LFW is The Guardian's coverage.

I can, however, imagine what I might wear, if I did attend. Obviously, in this imaginary world, I'm way more stylish and confident than I am in reality. So, to start us off, I picked out this little ensemble from Phase Eight which I absolutely love - the dress is like a work of art, perfect for making an entrance. I'd dress it down with the hat and scarf, for daytime chic whilst keeping jewellery simple. Matching shoes and bag complete the look.

 


Noto Full Length Sequin Dress £350
Sarah Occasion Wrap £29
Lucia Weave Box Clutch Bag £49
Lucia Weave High Heel Shoes £99
Wilhelmina Trilby Hat £27.50
Isabelle Earrings £15

#PamperSunday - Yankee Love

Rewind to around 6 months ago, and a conversation with the girls at work that went something like this:

Them: We love Yankee Candles. We can't get enough. Let's buy more!
Me: But what's so good about them? They ARE only candles.

Oh, what a fool I was.

So I had avoided the whole Yankee Candle phenomenon for a good few years up until that point - I had far better things to spend £20 on, like nail polish and Percy Pigs. I'd heard people rave about them, of course, but just avoided any actual contact myself for fear of being taken in. Rather like a cult, really. Anyway, after the aforementioned convo, I decided to give in and order a couple of wax melts and a burner, just to see what all the fuss was about. The first one I tried was Soft Blanket, and it was something of a revelation to discover that I no longer had to suffer the horrific, lingering smell of the Husband's left over kebab on a Saturday night, and instead I could relax in the aroma of a clean, fresh living room. I was converted.


From then on finding the best bargains on Yankees became a daily task for me and the girls at work. Orders were placed on various sites as we came across increasingly good deals (best we found was approx. £8.50 for a large jar, during a glitch on www.yankee.co.uk.), breaks were spent sniffing new purchases, and the blokes who sit near us declared they never wanted to hear the words 'Yankee' and 'Candle' ever again.

I definitely think I prefer warm, sweet smells, like Strawberry Buttercream and Fireside Treats, or fresh, clean scents like Soft Blanket and Fluffy Towels. I can't believe I resisted Yankees for so long, and then got sucked in like a black hole. I still have a sneaking suspicion that the wax contains some sort of mind-altering drug, designed to get me hooked on the amazing smells. But whatever, I'll go with it.

 
Are you a Yankee Addict? What are your fave scents?
 
xx

Stylistpick £5 Flash Sale

This morning I woke up, thinking smugly, 'No spending today! Absolutely not!'. Then I opened my email and saw that Stylistpick are having a flash sale with items from only a fiver. Eeeep!

There are still quite a few sizes left in some items as I write this. Go, GO!!!

Abbie Coral Platform Sandal
Were £40, now £5
These are from the Louise Roe collection. A bit of a statement shoe, I think. Love the orange accents.

Barney Mid Heel Patent Courts
Were £32, now £5
Everyone needs a pair of neutral courts, and these have a heel low enough to make them comfortable for day wear. A classic style, too.

Charlotte Buckle Wedge Boot
Were £45, now £5.

Think these would look awesome with skinny jeans and an oversized sweater for daytime chic. The buckle detail makes them just a bit more special.

Trinity Patent Colour Block Satchel
Was £30, now £5

How cute is this little satchel? A punchy bright blue with contrasting pastel flap. Love it!

Did you pick up anything in the Stylistpick sale?

xx



Ice Cream Dreams

Woop! All of the high street stores are starting to get their new Spring/Summer Collections in now, which means we can cast off our faux fur winter coats and paint our toenails in preparation. One of my absolute favourite trends - which is still going strong from last year - is pastels. My inner 8 year old freakin' LOVES anything candy pink, baby blue or mint green. Sweet!



Kg Kurt Geiger Admire Pink Leather Heels £29 *  Oasis Pastel Pink Car Coat £110 * Topshop Knitted Chunky Bobble Jumper £36 * Warehouse Beanie Hat £3 * Dorothy Perkins Pink Waffle Dress £20 * M&S Ostrich Tote Bag £39.50 * Next Vintage Ankle Slim Jeans £26 * Bare Minerals Marvellous Moxie Lipgloss in Trailblazer £16 *  Ciate Nail Polish in Loop The Loop £9

What are your favourite SS14 trends?

xx

#ThrowbackThursday - Childhood Movie Faves

Were you an '80s kid? Can you remember Sunday afternoons, lying on the rug in front of the fire, propped up on your elbows with your feet crossed watching American movies on the 19 inch Grundig telly?

As an adult, my love of  '80s movies is still going strong - I find them comforting in an 'all is right with the world' kind of way. Especially when I'm feeling a bit under the weather. So, since I've been ill for the last few days I decided to curl up under the duvet and take full advantage of the fuzzy good naturedness of some of my childhood favourites.


Teen Wolf
As a kid, I absolutely loved the possibility of a teenage boy discovering that he is, in fact, a werewolf; a hereditary condition passed  down from his father.
Michael J Fox is one of my favourite actors of the '80s (starring in the greatest movie of all time, Back To the Future, which I've left out of this list due to it's completely obvious awesomeness, which everyone is totally aware of, so therefore no need to include).
Call me childish, but I also love that Scott's best friend Stiles wears a 'What Are You Looking At, Dicknose?' t shirt during the movie.
Best moment - Scott, having gone full wolf for the first time, opening the bathroom door and coming face to face with his dad, who's also transformed - but looks more squirrel than wolf.

Mannequin
*Sigh*...Andrew McCarthy. Was he the perfect '80s leading man? Apart from the errmmmm...having relations with a plastic mannequin, obvs. But no, wait! She's real! She came to life! And it's all so magical. I read the movie was filmed in Pennsylvania but watching it, I had visions of vast, glossy New York department stores filled with wonderful things I would be able to afford loads of when I was grown up (I've always had the shopping gene).
Best moment - when Jonathan and Emmy ride through the city on his motorbike, whilst Starship's 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now' plays. All right, all right, I'll stop.

Big
I defy you to find anyone who doesn't love this. If there was ever a warning to be careful what you wish for, this movie is it. The only disappointing thing about Big is that as you get older, you realise that a brilliantly paid job playing with new toys in your own luxury office does not feature AT ALL in your fifth form 'career guide' booklet.
Best moment - special mention, of course, goes to the bit where Josh plays Chopsticks with MacMillan on the giant floor piano in the toyshop. But for me, it's the moment where Susan drops Josh back off at his mom's house, as a grown man, then looks away for a second. When she looks back up, Josh is a 12 year old boy. Don't tell me you didn't shed a tear!

What are your favourite childhood 'comfort' movies?

xx

I bought it on *whispers*... Ebay! Yes, I really did.

 If you're an Ebay seller, especially of clothing, shoes and accessories, you've probably noticed that sales are absolutely dire right now. I've been selling on Ebay for ten years now and, while I'm certainly not an expert, I have noticed definite trends in the amount of sales I make - and how much I sell for -  at certain times of the year. There is a silver lining to this particular Ebay cloud though: for buyers it's absolutely AMAZING. Now is THE best time to pick up bargains.

So here I'm going to share some of my Ebay tips for bagging a bargain, as well as some of the great buys I've come across recently.

Timing. As I mentioned, the first couple of months after Christmas tend to be quite slow for sellers, so it's a good time to pick up a bargain for much less than the RRP. I was watching a Reiss dress which retailed at £179 and eventually sold for just £12 - sadly it was a size too big for me and, although I did consider bidding and then gorging on M&S white chocolate cookies so I'd fit into it, that pesky sensible bit in my brain stopped me.

The fateful Reiss dress *sob*

Another thing to consider is whether the time of year has any impact on the price of the item you're after - for example I'd been lusting after a particular Hobbs coat last winter, but at £199 I just couldn't justify it. Over the summer, when no one particular needs a winter coat, it came up on Ebay for under £60. As it was a classic style, I bought it and kept it in my wardrobe until I did need it.

 I've read lots of tips for sellers that tell you to time your auction to end on a Sunday night, when lots of people are browsing Ebay for a bargain. In terms of buying, I've found the best bargains to be had on auctions that end during the day on a weekday - for example I recently bagged a BNWT Joules body warmer (RRP £59) which ended at 2pm on a Thursday for £22.

Ebay Fashion Gallery. Lots of high street retailers have Ebay stores in which they sell excess stock - sometimes these are store returns. French Connection, Boden, Dune and Karen Millen are just a few of the names on there. They will often have sales with some amazing bargains - I nabbed some black patent peep toe heels from French Connection, RRP £79, for a tenner.


There are LOTS of business sellers that have great shops selling brand new high street brands too - I've previously used Celebrity Fashion Store and Pour Moi Clearance to name a couple.

Set up alerts for items you really want. Occasionally, I'll have a huge clearout and list items at low Buy It Now prices, just to get them sold. Other sellers seem to do the same, and these items sell quickly. If you have an alert running, Ebay will let you know as soon as that item listing goes live, so you can be the first to grab it.

So, I hope these tips have been useful, and that you've managed to bag a bargain! Do let me know if you have, and please share any of your own Ebaying tips with me - I'd love to hear them!

x

#Pamper Sunday - Joules Bath Set

I think I've already gone on enough about my love for Joules as a brand, haven't I? Well, if I haven't - I love everything about them: the styling of the clothes, the colours, the prints...and the quality is great too. They also do a small range of smellies which is available in Boots at Christmas time. I knew I wanted to grab a couple of bits in Boots' sale if I could, so when it started on Christmas eve I was chuffed to pick up this cute Joules Get Fresh Set for £10, along with these Joules Egg Bath Fizzers for £3.


So, Pamper Sunday has rolled around and, since I've been under the weather over the last few days, I literally can't be bothered to do anything except lie in a nice bubble bath and put on my new (Joules!) PJs, so I thought it would be a good time to try out my new Joules bath goodies too.

The set contains a body wash, bath soak, body lotion, body butter and scrub, plus a kitschy shower cap, which, embarrassingly, seems a bit tight for my head (it must be my hair. It must be!!). All of the products have a lovely clean, fresh, out-in-the-fields sort of scent which is totally Joules. I think for the price this set is excellent value (originally £20), and if you can find it anywhere now in Boots it'll be down to just £6 so an absolute steal if any are still lurking about.

The bath fizzers are a bit of a novelty really. They come in an egg box and are wrapped individually in cute printed tissue so look really quirky. They don't fizz much though, nor do they have much of a scent. A bit of a disappointment, but since they were only £3 I won't complain.

To top off pamper Sunday I painted my nails with Ciate Ferris Wheel which is the cutest pastel blue shade EVER. And matches my pyjamas (pictured). Also pictured is a cute Joules nail file kit I got with a handwash I bought recently.

How was your #PamperSunday?

xx

Space NK's Unmissable Sale Buys!

So I was just, er...browsing a couple of my fave beauty sites and had to share some of the fantabulous bargains Space NK have right now. Their sale stock has been further reduced and at these prices they will be gone VERY soon...*increasing shopping panic sets in*...


Rodial Glam Balm Lip
Was £14, now £7

Ok so technically this is a Christmas decoration, as the product comes in a lovely little box with a ribbon loop to hang it on the tree. But let's be honest, for this price it could be wrapped in old newspaper and it'd still be a bargain. Glam Balm is a cult product that I think will look super chic in my makeup bag.

Space NK Brush Set
Was £40, now £10

Now I am a Real Techniques brush lover through and through, I do find them incomparable to anything else in terms of quality and price. HOWEVER! You get five brushes in this set, including a large powder brush, making the cost of these brushes a measly £2 each. And that's without even counting the little brush roll they come in. So even though I have enough brushes to paint the Tyne bridge in lipgloss, I'll take a punt on these, thank you very much!

Rococo Peaches - Luxe Nail Polish
Was £12, now £4

I remember seeing this polish in a US department store a few months ago and thinking it looked so pretty. Peachy nudes are my absolute fave nail hue and this one is super glossy with a slight shimmer.

Drift Away Collection - Life NK
Was £20, now £10

In this set you get a body wash, bath soak, body lotion and candle, all containing a special blend of scents to relax and help you off on your way to the land of nod. I could really do with this as lately it seems to take me ages to switch off and fall asleep. Pity this doesn't contain anything to help block out a snoring Husband, but we can't have everything.

Lipstick Queen Dancing Queen Collection
Was £18, now £7

I've never tried Lipstick Queen, but for this price I will! I love that there are three quite different yet still neutral shades in here, so there has to be at least one that's destined to become a makeup bag staple. A great opportunity to try a new brand.

Have you snapped up anything in Space NK's sale?

xx

#ThrowbackThursday - The Baja Days

Now, if you're not from Newcastle, Gateshead or somewhere around here, you will probably have no idea what I'm talking about when I refer to Baja Beach Club. But no matter, as wherever you live, you will almost certainly have had a nightclub which was EXACTLY like this. Welcome to 1999.

- You have to queue for an hour in the freezing cold to get in, even though it's 7.30pm and there are only four people inside so far.
- You discuss what you might have to drink, knowing that you'll ultimately end up with six bottles of Hooch, the same as the last twenty five times you've been.
- You have a space of approximately 30cm x 30cm squared in which to dance. Accidentally moving outside your square may result in a drink spilt on you/being inappropriately touched/a fight breaking out.
-  From about 9pm to 12am you have absolutely zero chance of getting anywhere near the bar, unless you're either very short and can crawl through people's legs, or someone at the front takes pity on you. Elbows at the ready.
- Music played is on a strict schedule from which there is to be absolutely NO deviation whatsoever. You want a song request on? Tough. It's 9.08pm, which means it's Mambo Number 5. Suck it up.
- You spend at least fifty percent of your night queuing for the loos, even though girls are going into toilets in groups of three or four, as every time you reach the front, someone barges past into the only empty and clean(ish) cubicle, shouting "m'sgunnabesiiiiiiiiccccckkkk!"
- At 11pm everything stops for 'The Diet Coke Break'.This means some skinny local lad coming out onto a stage semi naked (looking NOTHING like the Diet Coke fella off the telly, I can tell you).
- You refuse to leave until the DJ has played 'Don't Call Me Baby' by Madison Avenue, because "That's our song maaaaaannn!!"
- If you think getting a taxi home will be a doddle, you can think again. Even though there are several hundred people spilling out of the club at closing time, there are precisely three taxis available. You'd better take off those (cheap) heels and get walking the mile - uphill - to the next taxi rank.
- You wake up the next morning with absolutely no recollection of the previous night, although your feet are bleeding and you have ten pounds more in your purse that you went out with. Camera phones are unheard of so that 'thing' you may or may not have 'done'? That stays with you, your mates and 300 strangers in a Northern nightclub.

Ah I miss those days!


Boots 70% Off Sale

Seasoned sale shoppers will know that today is the day (third Wednesday in January) when Boots traditionally start their further sale markdowns. Even though every year I say I won't buy anything during the 50% sale, which goes live online on Christmas eve and instore on 27th December, I usually do. It's that sense of panic at potentially missing out on a bargain that makes me do it. And when there are further reductions, it's even worse.

So usually Boots reduce to 75% at this point of their sale, but this year, it's only 70%. A small difference in some ways, but a huge difference to Boots' profits. Either way, 70% off is too good to miss, surely? (Even though all of the Christmas items were 3 for 2 prior to Christmas, so if I was being totally pedantic I'd say it's actually a 41% reduction since you were originally getting a third off anyway, potentially).

Anyway, I had a couple of spare hours this morning so thought I'd take a trundle to the Metrocentre to browse. And just, you know, see what was going on at the Boots sale. (It was slim pickings online earlier).

I arrived at 9am and WOW. For a moment I wondered if I'd got it wrong and Boots were actually giving stuff away.
 



There was still quite a lot left but as the shop was so busy it was hard to get down each aisle. I had blatantly ignored the first rule of 'sensible' sale shopping and not given any thought whatsoever to what I wanted to buy in advance. Somewhere in my brain a little voice whispered that I needed shampoo, so I managed to pick up a Toni and Guy set with shampoo, conditioner, hairspray and a comb in for £4.20 - much cheaper than the products would have been on their own. There were a few Joules bits and pieces which I love so I  chose a hand wash and lotion set which I think will look pretty in the bathroom, and I also spotted a really cute ceramic storage jar filled with sweets for my kitchen. I experienced a nano second of husband-guilt so grabbed him a Champney's shower gel set too.

I surprised even myself by then taking my modest amount of purchases downstairs to the quieter tills and paying before I could change my mind and charge back upstairs to buy more. Being honest, it wasn't so much the fact that I didn't need more stuff (because of course, I don't) but more that I'd have to carry everything back to the car, and I just didn't have the energy!

What's happened to me?! Have I become immune to the charms of a 70% off sign in a shop window?! Err...no, actually. Because as I type this I am considering popping out later to another Boots. Just to...err...look.


Did you visit the Boots sale? Did you manage to bag any bargains?

MyBeautyCompare Review

Like a few other bloggers, I was asked to post about my thoughts on a new site recently launched, www.MyBeautyCompare.com. Let me just say that this review is completely honest (as are all my reviews!) and I've not read any other beauty bloggers' reviews yet so my opinions are all completely my own. Right! Let's get started.

So, MyBeautyCompare says it personalises beauty recommendations to find the best products for your skin and hair type. The idea is that you then spend less time trying to find the right products for you, and don't waste money on products that are not suitable. Like most of us, I usually buy products based on either manufacturer's claims or other people's recommendations (which doesn't always work with beauty products, since no two peoples' skin/hair etc are exactly the same), so this is an interesting concept for me.

When you first join the site, you need to fill in a short questionnaire about your skin type and concerns, eye colour, hair etc. You then get an email confirmation which you need to click through to rejoin the site. I did all this, and arrived on this landing page:


So I immediately clicked on the pink 'Get Started' button, and a new window opened, with...err...exactly the same page on. Hmm.

I thought I'd try looking for a foundation, since I'm always on the hunt for that HG product and I'd find recommendations in this area really helpful. So I used the menu at the top of the page to navigate to makeup and then foundations, which led me here:


So at the top I can see some foundations recommended for my skin type. Since the site is still new there are no reviews for these particular foundations yet, so I can't see whether any of the products might meet my long list of foundation demands - good coverage, long lasting, radiant, non pore clogging etc etc. I did click on a couple of the products to get more info but all I got was this:
 

 

After clicking through a few more I found that some do have info behind, like this Clinique one:


So it tells me a bit about the product, the price and where I can buy it (with a link), as well as reviews from other users (although there are none for this particular product yet).

Thinking about how many beauty products are on the market it's not surprising that some parts of the site are still 'in progress', so to speak. There are categories for everything from bronzer to perfume to nail polish remover so plenty to look through. I tested out the search engine by inputting some lesser known brands that I'm keen to try this year, like Rouge Bunny Rouge and Dr Ceuticals, and was pleased to see a range of their products come up on the search.

I started browsing through the rest of the site and discovered some other really useful things like video tutorials (LOVE the leopard nails!) and a 'Meet the Experts' page introducing the seven faces involved in the site (all well known, highly respected beauty industy insiders).

I spent a good hour just browsing through the site and, although it's obviously in it's infancy at the moment, there is still a lot of good stuff on there. For me the most useful part of the site will be the recommendations and reviews, so once the site is being more widely used and more reviews are posted it will really start to take shape I think. There are a few little niggles, as I've mentioned above, but hopefully these will also be ironed out.

For me, the one big makeup review site I currently use is MakeupAlley, purely for it's vast network of users which means that pretty much every product, no matter how obscure, is on there. I do, however find it quite difficult to navigate if you're not searching for a specific product but just browsing for recommendations. So in that respect, I think MyBeautyCompare could, once it's a bit more 'used', be a real contender in this area.

Have you tried the site yet? What do you think?

x

Pamper Sunday - Nip+Fab Laser Fix in a Box - Plus Competition Winner Announced!

I was a little bit lazy with Pamper Sunday towards the end of last year, so this year I'm totally on it. The basic idea is that on Sunday evening you take an hour, or less - or more! - whatever you can get really, and spend that time completely on yourself - primping, preening, scrubbing and generally just relaxing with some lovely beauty products.
It could be something new you've bought this week and really want to try, or just an old favourite that you don't often get time to use - whatever you like! If you come across a product you think is uh-mayyyyzzzzing and want to recommend it to the rest of the blogging community, use the hashtag #PamperSunday on Twitter and let us all know. You might even want to link it to your blog. So, who's in? Good. Let's begin :)

Nip+Fab Laser Fix in a Box


Yes I know I keep harping on about N+F, and no I am definitely not on commission, sponsored or in any way endorsed by the company, I just love their products. I spotted this set on the Nip+Fab website a while ago and since it contains a few products I really wanted to try - the Glycolic Scrub being one of them - I made a mental note to keep an eye out for it in the sales. And....Happy days!! If you head on over here you can grab this beauty for half price. Woop!

OK, so the kit contains:

Glycolic Scrub Fix (30ml)
Glycolic Fix Cleanser (120ml)
 Instant Radiance Wrinkle Fix (30ml)
Overnight Wrinkle Fix (30ml)
And a snazzy toweling hairband.


I used the cleanser first which has a sort of gel consistency. After rinsing it made my skin feel really clean and fresh, and seemed to remove all of my makeup easily. As I have combination skin and an oily t-zone, I often find cleansers either leave my skin feeling tight and dry, or aren't up to the job of removing oil and makeup. This one just left it feeling, well, clean. Thumbs up!

As I said before, I was really looking forward to trying the Glycolic Scrub Fix. This baby has 3% glycolic acid and salicylic acids to get rid of all that yucky dead skin. The beads are small but not sharp, so I felt I could really get into the difficult areas - around the nose etc - without too much trouble. The scrub has a sort of cooling feel to it which I like, too. I did notice when I rinsed it off though, that my face was a tad pink - which I expected given the ingredients, but also I think I may have scrubbed a little too vigorously.

On with Instant Radiance Wrinkle Fix. Due to my combo skin, I luckily don't have many wrinkles (yet!) but I could always use a little radiance. Who couldn't?! The texture of this is much thicker than my usual moisturiser, and I'm not sure if that's the reason why it felt a little greasy on my skin initially. It did sink in quickly though. I didn't notice any instant brightening effects but when I went downstairs the husband commented that I looked really 'fresh', so that's gotta be good, right?

I've been keeping the Overnight Fix next to my bed and applying last thing at night, and I do think my skin feels softer in the mornings now.

The head band has come in handy too - I can use it to keep my hair off my face whilst applying makeup, until I decide what to do with this bloomin' fringe of mine.

This is a great kit for Pamper Sunday - I do actually feel as thought I've been pampered after I've used it. Perfect! It could only be better if it was half price. Oh, wait...

Nip+Fab Kit Half Price Here

:-)

What are your favourite pamper products? Any recommendations? #PamperSunday

PS - Today I drew the winner of my Nip+Fab Winter Cherry Kit Giveaway using a complicated system (entering everyone into Random Name Picker, and letting it select someone), and I can announce that the winner is....Duh duh Duhhhh!!!...Katy @breadandbeautyx . Well done Katy, your lovely prize will be on it's way to you soon!
Thanks to everyone who entered...there will be more giveaways coming up!

Stila.co.uk Sale Bargains!

I love Stila products and usually pick up bits and pieces from Sephora when I visit the States. I'm ashamed to say I didn't know about their UK site which I just stumbled upon last night, but I'm so glad I did because they have some totally bargainous products in their sale. Best part is, it's free shipping, so no excuse not to try something from this lovely brand!

Here are my top picks...be quick though!

All You Need is Love Pressed Powder Palette
Was £12, now £6

This blush compact has four beautiful pink shades and a shimmering gold 'love' logo. So, you have several blush options - use one shade alone, or swirl two or more shades together to custom blend your blusher. Use the gold as a highlighter or simply to add shimmer to your blush. I almost don't want to use this it's so pretty.


Perfect and Correct Foundation
Available in 8 shades
Was £28.50, now £7.12

I am always searching for new foundations to try on my quest for that HG product, so this price is the perfect opportunity to give Stila's a whirl. Such a great buy!

Snow Angel Colour Palette
Was £29.50, now £7.37

This is a limited edition Christmas palette, containing 18 eyeshadows and 12 cheek colours. I can see me getting so much use out of this all year round. And it works out at 24.5p for each product. What?! You couldn't even buy half a Toffee Crisp for that. Not that we would, since it's January, and we're being good and all. Ahem.

There are a few other fabulous bargains still to be had if you check out www.stila.co.uk but they are going FAST!

Let me know if you manage to grab any bargains! :) x





Best Of...Spring Makeup Bags (and Giveaway Reminder!)

 If, like me, you got loads of fabulous new makeup products over Christmas and in the sales, you might be looking for the perfect pouch to carry all of your lovely new shiny things in. And, ok, it's still Winter, it's cold, it's dull - but your cosmetic bag doesn't have to be! Cheer things up with these bright, Srping-like beauties....



1. Joules Floral Makeup Bag
£10, Van Mildert
2. Lulu Guinnes Doll Face Icon Makeup Bag
£38.49, Jules B
 3. Thursday Friday Red Diamonds Here Cosmetic Pochette
£11, ASOS
4. Harrods London Attractions Cosmetic Purse
£7.95, Harrods
5. Anya Hindmarch Leather Studded Makeup Case in Pink
£112, Stylebop
6. George Ticked Pink Makup Bag
£4, Asda
7. Longchamp Le Pliage Makeup Bag in Citron
£25, Selfridges
8. Ollie & Nic Blue Bird Print Cosmetic Bag
£15, House of Fraser

PS - Have you entered my Nip+Fab giveaway yet? Enter here!

Nip + Fab Winter Cherry Set Giveaway!


 
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

***Update!***
A few ladies have told me they are unable to comment from Ipads & Iphones, so until I can fix this (stoopid Google), please just EMAIL your comment to me at lisa@isitjustmeme.co.uk if you are unable to leave a comment here***


I have said so many times that I LOVE Nip+Fab products, especially the skincare - I think the brand is quirky yet delivers great results. A few days ago I reviewed this Winter Cherry Set and I would love to know what you think about it, so, to celebrate reaching 30 followers on Bloglovin' I am giving one away!

There are three things that you need to do to be eligible for this giveaway:
1) You must follow this blog via Bloglovin
2) You must follow me on Twitter: @isitjustmeme
3) You must leave a comment below confirming your Bloglovin name and Twitter account name, so I can check. If you are unable to leave a comment please email me at lisa@isitjustmeme.co.uk and I will confirm your entry.

I will draw the winner next Sunday and announce on Twitter.

Good Luck!!

*Unfortunately any entries that do not meet the three requirements above will not be entered into the draw*

THE DEETS

UK Only.
This contest will run from Sunday, 5th January 2014 to  8pm Saturday, 11th January 2014 UK time. Any entries after this time will not be counted.
Any entries that do not meet the three criteria set out above will not be counted.
Multiple entries will not be counted.
There will be one winner, and there is one prize of a Nip+Fab Winter Cherry Gift Set - This prize was bought and paid for by myself and is not a promotional item. This contest is not sponsored or endorsed by Nip+Fab.
The winner will be contacted by me via Twitter within 3 days of the contest ending. The winner must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen. The prize will be set out within 14 days.

ASOS Beauty Sale Bargains!



ASOS have a nice quirky selection of beauty products in their sale at the moment, and best of all delivery with ASOS is always FREE! That's a 4 quid-ish saving. Go buy yourself another lippie!

Pop Heart Girl Lip Balm
Was £4, now £2.50.

How cute is this! I am literally drowning in lipbalm - I find them in every pocket/drawer I look in yet I'm always on the look out for more. I love the kitsch packaging and it's heart shaped. Awww.

Barry M Textured Effect Nails in Atlantic Road
Was £3.99, now £2.50.

I'm curious about the 'textured' effect of this, and I love the colour - a pale, powder blue. For this price, even if you only use it once it's a steal.

Illamasqua Powder Eyeshadow in Imagine
Was £15.50, now £6

Illamasqua at this price is such a bargain. Sadly there's only this colour at £6, but I love blue shadows to create a glam smoky look for nights out, so am looking forward to trying this.

Paul & Joe Hair & Body Mist + Makeup Bag
Was £11.50 now £7

This product claims to enhance hair shine and hydrate skin. I've never come across a product for hair AND body like this, so it's got to be worth a try, right? Plus the whale print make up bag is too cute! And let's face it, we can never have too many makeup bags.

Bourjois Limited Edition Bronze Up Makeup Kit
Was £17.50 now £13

Bourjois Delice de Poudre bronzer was a staple in my makeup collection until a few years ago  - not because I'd gone off it, but because I moved onto other brands like MAC and Smashbox. But seeing this little kit has reminded me how much I loved the product, and since this comes with a blush, lipgloss AND a brush, I think it could be time to revisit it. Plus it smells DELISH!

Cowshed Mixed Cow Trio
Was £24 now £15.50

This set contains a bath & shower gel, body lotion and shower scrub in three different scents so a great way to try this brand if you haven't before. I love the product names, which are things like Grumpy Cow & Lazy Cow. I think the Husband would appreciate this.

Have you spotted any beauty bargains in the ASOS sale? Let me know about your finds! :)

xx



Hot Diamonds Emozioni Coin Keeper Pendant

A few weeks before Christmas I was browsing online for gifts and had a peek on Hot Diamonds site. I wasn't planning on looking for something for myself, absolutely not. I was Christmas shopping and would not be distracted.

Then I noticed these little beauties - Emozioni coin keeper pendants. I decided to have a little look at the different options available for the pendants - not to buy, obviously, as I certainly wasn't going to buy anything for myself - but just to, you know, look.

Anyway, these necklaces basically allow you to change the look of your jewellery by choosing different coins to wear in the keeper. There are also several different keepers to choose from, in two sizes, and various chain options. As I scrolled through the coins, I started adding things to my virtual basket. Not to purchase, of course. Just for information purposes. But look how purdy this one is! And this! And this too! Uh oh.

I don't want to bore you with all details, but in a nutshell the Husband came home that day to a nice home cooked (read:microwaved) tea and a casually mentioned suggestion of what he might like to buy me for Christmas. Throw in a 45% discount code I found online and et voila!

I think I squealed a little when I took my Emozioni out of it's packaging - it comes in a swish presentation box with room for several more coins if I ever decide to add to my collection. I chose this coin keeper and this chain and the beautifulturquoise coin that had caught my eye first of all. Afterwards I ordered another couple of coins so I can switch them round and get plenty of wear from my pendant. Love! I haven't actually worn it that much so far as I was saving it for special occasions, but as it's so versatile I think I'll start wearing it more during the day.



Hot Diamonds have an offer at the moment where if you buy a chain and keeper, you get the coin free. In addition, they give you loyalty points worth 10% of your order amount for every purchase which you can then use to buy more sparkly coins! (As I did).

Keepers range from £69.66 to £129.99, chains from £29.99 to £89.99 and coins from £19.95 to £59.95. Mine was a really good deal with a free coin AND the 45% off code which it seems has now ended, but Hot Diamonds often have discount codes so do keep an eye out!

What do you think of the Emozioni range?

Yves Saint Laurent Poudre Compacte Radiance

Behold, the beauty of this lovely gold shiny thing!  
 
I’ve needed a new powder compact for a while, and originally had my eye on this Tom Ford creation, until I saw the £55 price tag (gulp). So whilst in Edinburgh recently I decided to treat myself and had a peek around the beauty hall in Harvey Nicks to see which other powder compacts caught my eye. I will admit: when it comes to compacts, it’s pretty much all about how it looks. No minimalism here, thank you! (I was browsing the Armani counter first, but their compact powder just wasn’t bling enough for me). Oh, also, the powder needs to be translucent (so it sets make up, rather than giving colour), mattifying, super-fine and provide me with a healthy, radiant glow. Not asking much, am I?
 

Anyway, I do love YSL cosmetics – along with Chanel and Dior, it’s probably my favourite super-luxe beauty brand. I already use the Touch Eclat daily (make that hourly over the festive period – lots of food, drink and socialising equals huge under eye bags L) and the gold packaging just looks beautiful. Sold!
 
 
So, this compact comes boxed with a black velvet pouch to keep the compact in, along with a sponge. The compact is obviously gold, with a small red YSL logo on the top. The powder inside is so soft – it actually feels like velvet itself on the skin. The consultant told me the powder is translucent (tick), and when I tried it on my getting-a-bit-worn-looking makeup, it seemed to erase any shine (tick!) and even make my skin glow slightly – not in an oily way, but in a fresh, just-leaped-through-a-summer-meadow way (BIG tick!). Ok, I may be exaggerating slightly there, but it definitely gave a glow.
 
I’ve been using the product for about a week now and can honestly say it’s probably the best compact I’ve had for my combination skin. Although it mattifies it doesn’t cake, which I really like too.
 
So, any negatives? Well – just one actually! The compact, beautiful and gold and shiny as it is,  is a tinker for getting covered in fingerprints. I did kind of expect this though, so I won’t complain. I’ll just keep getting it out of my bag, to polish it. And look at it. J
 
What’ your favourite compact? Have you tried any YSL cosmetics?
 
L xx

Top TV of 2013. It's errmm...a few days late.

I started thinking about this post a few days ago, and was all ready to post it the day before NYE. Then I didn't, and just ate Icy Cups and watched The Office Christmas Special instead.
 
So! My tv tastes are varied - like my books, I love thrillers, good dramas and programmes where the women carry amazing handbags (I'm thinking Kerry Washington in Scandal). So, with that in mind, my top picks for last year (last year! It still feels odd saying it) were:
 
Breaking Bad
 
I joined this party late – like, this Summer. Breaking Bad has been going since 2008 but this year suddenly became huge; the subject of many a discussion at work and down the pub. I avoided it for a while, not sure why, then the husband and I decided to watch the first couple of episodes, ‘just to see’, and I was BLOWN. AWAY. Never has a television show kept me as enthralled as BB. Walter White starts out as a likeable (if a little pathetic) main character, then throughout the show we see him discover he has a terminal illness, and make decisions for the good of his family’s future that change everything. The acting in BB is truly immense; the standout for me is Aaron Paul as Jesse, the former student Walter approaches to help him in achieving his plan. Watching the story unfold over five series is absorbing and I watched from beginning to end with a feeling of dread, knowing that when it ended, it would only really go one way. The Husband and I watched every single episode of BB over a two week period, cancelling plans to go out (if that was you, I’m sorry, but you get it, right?!) so we could see it through to the end. It really is that good.
 

 

 SouthLAnd
 
I cannot say this enough – if you do not/have not watched Southland, go here and do so immediately! This show is everything I love and more – a superbly shot, gritty cop drama set in LA – and believe me, this is not an LA you’d want to visit in a hurry. This year saw the fifth and final season of SouthLAnd shown in the US (and the good people at Channel 4 tell me it will be shown here in early 2014) and to say I was disappointed when it was announced that US network TNT would not be making any more is a complete understatement.  
I’m not joking when I say that watching SouthLAnd, I sometimes forgot it was a dramatisation and became fully immensed in the story  - it's uncomfortable viewing in parts, but so gripping that you have to keep watching.
Possibly the most underrated cop show ever.
 
 
Nashville
 
All singin', all dancin', all American goodness is right here in Nashville. I bloomin' love it. Rayna James and Juliette Barnes are both successful country stars - Rayna has been at the top of her game for many years (think Shania Twain), whilst Juliette's star is still on the up (she's like a sort of evil Taylor Swift). The show follows their lives as they bitch-fight each other to the top of the country music game.
Nashville also features Charles Esten as Deacon (Google him! Google him!) and it's worth watching for him alone. His acting skills, obviously. And the accent he has on here. (Oh my!).
 

 
I realised my picks so far have all been American, so last but definitely not least:
 
Broadchurch
 
Olivia Coleman is AWESOME (I've thought so ever since I saw her cameo as a journalist interviewing David Brent in The Office) and she certainly doesn't disappoint in this three part ITV drama. When a young boy is found dead in a seaside town, the small community suddenly becomes embroiled in suspicion and accusations. As the police investigate, some disturbing information starts to come to light.
I've heard a second series is planned for later on this year - hooray!
 

 

What were your top tv picks of 2013?
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