Selling on Ebay - Is It Even Worth It Anymore?

A few weeks ago I posted about some of the amazing bargains I've managed to pick up recently on Ebay. I mentioned that for buyers, Ebay is great right now. This week, for example, I've seen two Reiss winter coats (brand new with tags) go for less that 30 quid each. (Not my size unfortunately). I also mentioned that for sellers - private sellers, anyway - things really aren't so good anymore. In fact, I've gotten to the point where I'm wondering if selling on Ebay is worth the effort at all.

I've been buying and selling the odd thing on Ebay since 2002 and have over 1k feedback. I'm a private seller so everything I sell is basically stuff I've tired of or never worn. Selling on Ebay has become a habit for me. If I buy an item of clothing, and I'm not sure about it, I always think to myself, 'well, if I decide I don't want it, I'll Ebay it'. And a lot of the time, I do. I'll even use Ebay to negotiate with myself over whether I should buy something - if I see a pair of shoes I love for £50, I'll make a deal with myself to list items on Ebay that could potentially make me the £50 back. So, the shoes are technically free! (I won't mention that a lot of the time, I just buy the shoes, then completely forget to list any of the other stuff on Ebay).

Recently though, being a private seller on Ebay has become more and more of a pain.

Image from Google
Postage costs have risen so much that sometimes, it actually costs more to post something than Ebay will allow you to charge. And even then, Ebay take a 10% cut of your postage costs in fees, so you're out of pocket straight away.

Then, some buyers seem to make it their mission to get whatever they can from you, and it doesn't seem like Ebay do anything to stop them. I recently sold a brand new with tags dress. The buyer received it and messaged me to say it didn't fit. I politely explained that I am private seller and my listings state no refunds (not to mention the fact that all measurements were listed) however I would refund the cost of the dress (but not postage) if the buyer returned the dress to me, also at her own cost, to which the buyer raised an Ebay claim stating the item was 'significantly not as described' as it had been worn, which was totally untrue. Who do you think Ebay sided with? Suffice to say I was left out of pocket for postage costs. I've had this happen a few times now.

So I'm starting to feel a little cynical about Ebay nowadays. The rising fees and lack of seller protection mean that sometimes, it's not even worth listing stuff (I don't bother trying to sell anything that I think is worth less than a tenner).

On the other hand, the market reach of Ebay is unrivalled. Where else can you effectively promote your items to millions of people? And I can't deny that the sales I've made on Ebay over the
years have kept me in shoes and handbags without getting into too much trouble from the Husband.

Do you sell on Ebay? What do you think about it?

xx


If you only buy one...Spring Clutches

There aren't many things I love more than a clutch bag. You can make a statement with your outfit just by holding one. There are some absolute beauties around in the shops right now, getting me in the mood for spring nights out.....


*IF YOU ONLY BUY ONE - MAKE IT THIS!*
Marseilles Heavy Gem Zip Top Clutch Accessorize £32
Now this is what I call a statement clutch. I freakin' LOVE this. The embellishment is bang on trend and the stripes add a bit of interest. This is totally on my Spring wishlist!

Lime Colourblock Clutch Warehouse £22
This has a nice pop of colour and lime is IT for Spring/Summer. So this one's a bit of a no brainer, really.

Pale Blue Leather Envelope Clutch Gap £24.95
This is quite a simple design yet looks really pretty in pale blue and cream. Real leather too, so a great price.

Floral printed Clutch Oasis £30
The perfect wedding clutch. There are matching shoes, too. So pretty!

Emily Ostrich Clutch Boohoo £10
Love the pale pink shade, and the ostrich effect adds a bit of interest. And really, a tenner? Totally bargainous.
 
 
 

Newcastle Quayside Market

I haven't visited the quayside market in years, mainly because I spend most of my Sunday mornings in bed/eating scrambled eggs/watching Nashville, however a couple of weeks ago during #NorthEastHour on Twitter, I won some sausages courtesy of the Geordie Banger Company, who have a stall on quayside market, so the Husband and I decided to venture along last Sunday.


The sun was shining and it would have been a lovely day had it not been for the ridiculous winds which not only COMPLETELY RUINED my hair but were also blowing the stalls all over the shop. I heard one stallholder complaining that his stock was now floating down the Tyne, and I'm not entirely sure he was joking.

Anyway, first things first, we went to collect my sausages. I'm not sure why I'm saying 'my' sausages, as I turned away for literally a second and the Husband had taken it upon himself to choose Broon Ale ones...I'm not keen on Brown Ale since it basically ruined me in one night in my teens, however I did try a Broon Ale banger later on (along with some bacon which I also bought from the Geordie Banger Co) and both were delicious. I'd like to try some of the other flavours next time.


There are loads of stalls selling cakes, brownies and various other treats, but I was drawn in particular to the Northumbrian Fudge Parlour's stall. This is because I simply cannot resist fudge, particularly when it's freshly made (the lady on the stall told us she makes all of her fudge by hand) and comes in amazing flavours like cookie dough and peanut butter. We bought three bars and they were gone within twenty minutes once we got home. I seriously think fudge may be the end of me. But it was delicious.


I'd heard lots about David Nash's leather goods stall, so was glad to find him along near the Millenium Bridge. All of David's products are made by hand and his stall is worth a visit just to have a read of the signs he has describing each product. I (since I'm totally having a yellow moment right now) bought a lovely ochre bag which the label told me was actually an ipad case, as David makes cases for devices he can't even use (the sign's words, not mine). I don't have an ipad anyway, so I'm going to be a rebel and use it as a clutch. When I mentioned my blog, David told me he also writes a blog, which I looked up - it's here and I actually spat my tea out laughing whilst reading it. If you haven't seen it, I would strongly recommend you check it out.



We then had a wander over the Millenium Bridge which was swinging quite precariously in the wind and making me feel a bit sick. I still love it, though.


I'd forgotten how nice it is at Quayside market, especially when the sun is shining, so I'll definitely be back sometime in the next few weeks. Hopefully when it's less windy. Either way, if you're in Newcastle on a Sunday morning, the market is definitely worth a visit.

If you only buy one....Midi Skirts

One of my favourite emerging Spring/Summer trends is the midi skirt. Super-feminine and great for those of us who no longer have the knees of a nineteen year old, midi skirts are the perfect way to Springify (I made that up. Like it?) your wardrobe in a totally girly way.



*IF YOU ONLY BUY ONE, MAKE IT THIS ONE!*
Matalan Organza Insert Midi Skirt
Is it Fendi? House of Holland? No, this little beauty is from Matalan. It's a total statement piece in pink and white. It makes me want to eat a bag of marshmallows whilst strolling through the park in kitten heels. It is BEAUTIFUL. Oh, and it's 18 quid. For real.

Topshop textured Gathered Knee Midi Skirt
Powder blue! Ahhh. The only thing I'm not so keen on is the 'gathered' element of this. I think it's be fine if you're not too curvy, but could risk being a bit unflattering if you are. And I am. Sob.

H&M Crinkled Skirt
This has pockets. I don't know why, but I adore pockets, especially on skirts. I love just putting my hands in and swishing about. the nude-pink shade of this means it'll go with loads, too.

ASOS Fill Midi Skirt
I'll admit I was totally sucked in by the colour of this. It's the most beautiful buttercup yellow and I don't think a skirt could be anymore summery.

 What do you think of the midi skirt trend? Will you be buying?

xx

#ThrowbackThursday - the 90s Teen Break Up

You can't decide what's worse - the fact that he broke up with you or the fact that he sent his friend (who'd never previously had any sort of interaction with you) over to tell you in the school yard, in front of your entire class.

Your dad dares to utter those immortal words 'There's plenty more fish in the sea!' to which you run out of the room, crying hysterically.

That Forever Friends bear he gave you (and which you suspected he'd been given by a girl in year 11) somehow ends up in the bushes directly underneath your bedroom window.
You friends come over to your house after school with a 1kg bar of Dairy Milk, of which you (as the heartbroken one) are allowed to eat as much as you can without throwing up.

You can't stop listening to Roxette's 'It Must Have Been Love'. Even when you're nowhere near a radio, the song is playing on an endless loop in your head.
 

This still makes me teary.
The sight of the 'memory box' you've compiled, containing a Valentine's card and one of his cigarette stubs, causes you to dissolve into a weeping mess.

Your friends console you with the news that he never looked anything like Dieter Brummer, despite you claiming he did.

Aaah Dieter. Where are you now?

You feel physically sick at the thought of him taking that year 11 girl to see Titanic at the cinema. That was meant to be YOUR film!

So what if the relationship was 'technically' only three weeks long? You'd already picked out the perfect engagement ring in Argos.

You feel a small sense of relief that you didn't go through with the matching 'leaping dolphin' tattoos you both had planned.

You realise that actually, you only went out with him 'cause he had a car. Even if it was a snot-green Fiat Cinquecento.



Any of this sounds familiar?!!

xx

Boys Do Make Passes....Total Specs Appeal

I can still remember the day I was told I'd have to wear glasses. I was seven, and I thought my life was literally over. Wearing glasses, I thought back then, was the worst thing in the world (I was wrong, as I discovered a few days later: wearing an eye patch at school to try to correct a lazy eye was actually the worst thing in the world. Fact).

Anyway, since then I've had a *few* years to get used to the idea, although I still hated wearing glasses right up to my late teens. It's only over the last few years, when glasses have become a lot more trendy, that I've started to actually quite like wearing them. Annoying as it was, ten years ago or so when you'd see people in bars wearing thick black frames with no lenses in them, I was secretly pleased that specs were finally 'in'. I was ahead of the fashion pack, for once!!!

Google
 I haven't bought glasses on the high street for years - although I still get my eyes tested regularly, and I often browse shops for styles that catch my eye - I always buy my specs online. They are much cheaper in general, and often there are additional offers, too.

Of course, the cons are that you can't just try on loads of pairs to find your favourite before buying(some websites do allow you to send off for frames to try, then send back, but obviously this takes a few days) and you also have to input all of your prescription info into your order yourself - any mistakes and your specs will be unsuitable.

I still prefer to buy mine online though, the (much) cheaper prices swing it for me (more to spend on shoes, lipsticks, cupcakes etc) plus some brands and styles I've seen online aren't available in shops. Here are some of my current picks:

673 by Michael Kors at Glasses Direct - £125 including lenses


These are such a classic style. I always go for brown or tortoiseshell as opposed to black frames as I think it's more soft and flattering, especially on paler skin. And, these are Kors, so are automatically super-stylish. I've used Glasses Direct before and they were fab.

Kate Spade Liesel in Horn Yellow from Lensway £99.99 including lenses


I have professed my love for all things Kate Spade previously and that goes for her specs too. I love the classic-with-a-quirky-twist style of these which is KSNY all over. And citron is such a hot colour for Spring/Summer. Perfect! I have some Kate Spade glasses I got from Lensway and I absolutely love them. Lensway often have offers on too.

London Retro Circle in Purple/Pink at Glasses Direct £95 including lenses


How cute are these! My seven year old self might have felt a bit better about wearing specs if they looked like this. Love that they are London inspired, too.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Beige Havana at Lensway £79 including lenses


These beauties are my absolute favourite. They have lips on! LIPS! I cannot describe how much I love these. I am so tempted to order a pair, but I really shouldn't be spending. Or should I? After all, glasses are hardly a luxury, even if they are the most gorgeous MJ frames I ever did see....

Do you wear glasses, and if so, where do you buy them? What do you think of these styles?

xx

#PamperSunday - Candy Nails


So today I was just *looking* at the Nails Inc Spring Summer Collection in Fenwicks Beauty Hall, thinking how amazing the sugary colours all looked together. I was a second away from buying the kit when that pesky sensible voice (AKA, The Husband) annoyingly pointed out that I already had, if not those exact shades, some very similar ones already. I hate it when he's right.

L-R

Sinful Colours Professional Polish in Savage £1.99
Nails Inc Polish in Porchester Square £11
Sinful Colours Professional Polish in Island Coral £1.99
Barry M Nail Polish in NP295 Turquoise £2.99
Nails Inc Marylebone High Street Polish (doesn't seem to be available anymore, but this is similar.

What do you think of the pastel nails trend? xx


Sephora Beauty Favourites

Last week we had the amazing news that Sephora now ship to the UK *happy dance*. It's my absolute favourite place to shop whilst in the US (along with Ulta) and I always come out laden with red tissue wrapped treats every time I go. Here are a few of my favourite Sephora beauty buys:

 

Make Up Forever HD Microfinish Powder

This superfine white powder looks a little scary in the tub - I'm pale enough already without making myself look even more ghostly - but actually, when it's on it's completely invisible. I use my Real Techniques Powder Brush to sweep it all over my face and it mattifies, brightens and blurs all at once. I think what I love most about this is that it's never cakey (although I only use a tiny amount) but still keeps me shine free. The only thing I don't like about this powder is that I can't wear it on nights out - not where I'll be having my photo taken, anyway. The flashback on it is terrible, and then I really do look like a ghost. Otherwise it's an amazing product.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Rose

I first got this as a sample in a Sephora Beauty Insiders birthday gift and loved it immediately. I've tried and failed at red lips so many times - I'm not sure what it is, but every time I try to wear red lippie I end up looking like a hooker. This  - while not strictly red - is a warm, rosy (hence the name) balm that glides on perfectly giving a sheer reddish tint to my lips which, actually, doesn't make me look hookerish. Hooray! It's perfect for during the day as it keeps lips moisturised and can be patted on for a really subtle look. I've got this same product in a few other colours but I keep coming back to the Rose as it's such a pretty shade.

Sephora Collection Primal Instincts Eyeshadow Palette

This particular palette is no longer available at Sephora, but they do have several similar ones. I blogged about this previously here and I still love it. There are so many nude palettes around with very similar colours included but what I love about this one is that you can create so many different looks with it - a pale, tawny eye, a plummy, dramatic eye, a grey, smokey eye...you get the idea. The powders blend beautifully too, and have just the right amount of shimmer - there are also a couple of darker matte shades for liner and definition. Every time I visit Sephora I buy one of their eye palettes and I've never been disappointed yet. For the quality and amount of shades, they are a real bargain (palettes range from around $20-$35).

Buxom Full on Lip Cream in White Russian

I got this in a Sephora Favourites lip set before Christmas. In general, I'm not a huge fan of lip gloss - I don't like the sticky feeling some give and I always, ALWAYS end up with my hair stuck in it. This is, as the name suggests, more of a cream than a gloss. It's not sticky, there's no shimmer to it so great for day or night, and the colour is pretty much the perfect nude shade for me. I think the frosted packaging is cute. There is literally nothing not to love about this.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Blissful

The colour of this is described as 'warm peach' and I'd say that's pretty spot on. Before I tried Tarte blushes I had no idea what all the hype was about. Now I get it. If, like me, you find your blusher has completely disappeared by lunchtime, this is the product for you. You only need to apply a small amount, but it does last amazingly well, compared to other blushes I've tried. the colour of this blush is great for paler skins, it gives a nice fresh looking glow. I know Tarte are now stocked in the UK via QVC and I'm really excited to try some of their other products.


So now that Sephora are shipping to the UK, I have a list as long of my arm of other products I need to buy, like, now. If you need me for the next 12 hours, I'll be browsing Sephora online.

Which Sephora products have you tried?

It's A Hair Thing! Essence Ultime Omega Repair Range

A few months ago, I found my HG shampoo and conditioner. They were argan oil products by US hairdresser Orlando Pita, and could only be found in Costco. They were literally the best shampoo and conditioner I had ever used - my hair was strong, shiny and I had none of the usual flyaway frizziness. I literally looked salon-fresh when I was using this.

Notice that entire paragraph is written in past tense. This is because, when I ran out and went to repurchase, there was no Orlando Pita shampoo and conditioner to be found in my local Costco, AT ALL. Determined not to panic, I set about trying to locate it elsewhere. No go. It can be found on Ebay and the like for hugely inflated prices, but the bargainista in me just will not pay over the odds, even if it is - was - the best hair stuff I ever did use.

Anyhoo, after a period of intense grieving, I set about finding replacement products that would give me the same smooth, swishy freshness. I tried loads, and I mean LOADS of different brands in my quest, but nothing was as good as the Orlando Pita. Then I found Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Omega Repair shampoo and conditioner. Now, I've been drawn to anything with 'oil' on the label, as I assumed that was what made my locks so darn glossicious (new word, just invented), so when I saw this a couple of weeks ago, I thought it was worth a try.


Essence Ultime is a new range by Schwarzkopf, produced in collaboration with Claudia Schiffer (and yes, I would like her hair, please) and contains pearl essence, which sounds pretty luxurious, doesn't it? I've already blogged about the Diamond Colour Shine Boost Spray from the range which I actually LOVE, and now I've now been using this shampoo and conditioner for the best part of two weeks, I can report that it is blimmin' marvellous.

My hair is coloured, totally over-heat-styled and quite fine, so I need a shampoo and conditioner that smooths and tames hair without dragging it down. This does that. My hair just feels more healthy, too, I guess this is down to the omega oil (described as 'lavishly rich', and I'd agree).

So for me, this range is perfect and I'm over the moon I've found a shampoo and conditioner I love that I can buy easily when I run out! I'm keen to try the Omega Repair Beauty Balm and intensive Masque from the same range.

Have you tried the Essence range yet? What are your HG hair products?

xx

Girls' Night Oot! - Ladies Night at The Lancastrian Suite, Gateshead

Last week we had International Women's Day, celebrating the success, achievements and all-round awesomeness of women everywhere. I love this idea, as I think we'd all agree that getting all the girls together for a celebration of any kind is bound to be fun. 

In anticipation of International Women's Day, and to keep up the long tradition of 'No Better Night Out Than A Girls' Night Out', I recently attended a Ladies Night at The Lancastrian Suite in Gateshead. The Lancastrian hold various themed party nights on regular dates throughout the year, and Ladies Night is always particularly popular. This might be something to do with the butlers in the buff that serve drinks throughout the night, or it could just be that getting several hundred alcohol-fuelled women in a room together can be particularly entertaining (or terrifying, if you're one of the handful of blokes there).
The butlers were thrilled to be there
On this particular occasion I was part of a hen night for one of the girls from work, so our table was awash with pink balloons, confetti and plastic willies. Our Hen was forced to participate in games on the dancefloor which resulted in her having to perform a sort of very quick almost-lap-dance in front of everyone, which of course we all found hilarious.

Our entertainment for the night was Joe Whelan who was a contestant on X Factor last year (and on a previous year, too, as I remember). He actually does have a great, rocky voice, he played guitar and his band were good too (well, what we could hear of them, over the chanting of 'Top off! Top off!' that started as soon as he came onstage). When he obliged and whipped off his t-shirt, the chants changed to 'Pants off! Pants off!'. It may or may not have been us who started this chant, and at one point pretty much everyone in the venue had joined in, which we actually felt a bit proud about. Despite this, he didn't take his pants off, so we went back to sipping Muscato and trying to establish what was under the butlers' aprons.


After Joe had finished, we downed our wine and hit the dancefloor to compare our own versions of dancing like the girls in the Blurred Lines video. After a while, my feet started to feel like someone'd been at them with a hammer and I knew I'd have to sit down before I keeled over.

Soon it was time for our carriage (well, taxi) to whisk us off home and reluctantly we had to leave. I'd had a really great night, though, with all the girls together, and we were already planning the next one. I think the only thing that could've made it better would have been cake (you know how much I love my cake). Stories from the night are still entertaining us at work, but I have to say: What Happens on Ladies Night, Stays On Ladies Night, so they'll remain firmly under my (pink fluffy cowboy) hat. For now, at least.

See The Lancastrian Suite for details of future events, including Ladies Night.

Stlia Lip Glazes - Perfect Spring Neutrals

I've always been a fan of a neutral lip - when I was younger, my go-to makeup look was smokey grey eyes and nude lipstick. As I've grown older, I've started experimenting with bright lips more, but I'm still always drawn to pretty natural shades. They are so easy to wear, you don't need to worry about them clashing with your outfit, and if they bleed or rub off a bit, it's no biggie.

I'm a bit so-so with lipgloss, though. I hate the sticky feeling some glosses give, and as I have quite full lips I'm always wary of looking like a blow up doll. So, I avoid glosses that are overly gittery and shiny (which sounds odd, as it's pretty obvious a lip gloss is going to be shiny), but you know what I mean, right?

Anyway, Stila's Lip Glazes fit the bill perfectly for me. I got a set for Christmas with three shades in and they are so wearable that I've had all three in my handbag ever since.


 
Kaleidoscope is a pale shimmery almost-peach shade that put me in mind of holidays. It's really subtle on it's own but I've also tried layering it over a couple of my favourite lippies and it's given them a lovely sheen (without being too shiny, IYSWIM).

Amaretto is the very definition of a nude lipgloss, with just the right amount of pigment to give a warm glow to lips. I love the staying power of these - I wore this one for work and didn't need to touch up until I ate.

Passion fruit is the perfect natural pink which gives a really pretty, flushed look. I think this in my favourite of the three, as I'm having a bit of a pink moment, and this is subtle enough to wear during the day.


L-R: Passion fruit, Amaretto, Kaleidoscope

The glazes come in masses of colours at £15 each and there are also several trio sets available at around £12, which for three glosses is a  brilliant price, I think.

Have you tried Stila Lip Glaze?

Girl v. Cake... Part One


Bad day at work? Argument with a stranger over a parking space that you TOTALLY saw first? Scraped the leather off the back of the heels of your brand new Kurt Geigers on a wonky paving stone??!

Wait!

Don't get mad! Eat cake!

Cake makes everything better. Cake - especially when enjoyed with a steaming hot cuppa - is the answer to everything.

Over the last week or so, I've been on something of a cakeathon. I've been searching far and wide (well - as far as I could get on my little Fiat 500's last bar of petrol) for the finest cakes known to man girl. A journey, you could say; an emotional one (well, I was quite emotional when I finished the last bite of Millionaire's Cheesecake).

Here's a selection of the delights I've scoffed recently...all in the name of research, obvs.


White Chocolate Blondie at Sweet Sensations , Metrocentre, Gateshead.

After chatting to New Girl In Toon, Chloe, during one of the gazillion Twitter blogger chats and discovering our mutual love for baked goods, we arranged to meet at the Metrocentre for a Cake Date. Since the Metrocentre is so local to me, I'm usually in and out without ever stopping for food, so I'm ashamed to say I haven't really explored Metrocentre's cake options. Sweet Sensations is in The Antiques Village (not sure if they still actually call it that, but as most of you know, I'm old school) and has a huge glass cabinet at the door filled with cakey goodness. I went for the White Chocolate Blondie, which was gooey and delicious...although if I'd thought it through I'd probably have chosen something that photographs a little better, as I'm aware it looks kind of like a pile of doughy mush covered in sprinkles on this pic.


Cranberry Cheesecake at Brockbushes , Corbridge, Northumberland.

Is it bad that whenever I go the Brockbushes (a pick-your-own-fruit farm a few miles from Newcastle, with a cute local produce shop and tea room) I look for the BIGGEST piece of cake they have? I mean, if you're going to do it, you might as well do it, right? Anyway, on this particular visit I spied the frankly ginormous Cranberry Cheesecake and to be honest with you it had my name all over it. Super-creamy with a tangy topping, this cake was truly delish. And yes, I finished it. The whole super-sized slice. Although I did need to lie down for a while afterwards.


Chocolate Layer Cake and Millionaire's Cheesecake at Sweethart Café , Blackhill, Consett.

I'd wanted to try this place for a while, ever since the owner featured on ITV's 'Best Bakeries' earlier on in the year. Unfortunately when I visited, I forgot the first rule of cake-eating: don't fill up on 'savouries'; go straight for the cake. It was lunchtime so the Husband and I ordered sandwiches, thinking we'd easily be able to manage those AND cake. Our sandwiches, though, (hot beef for me, club for him) were scrummy and very filling, so we decided to get our cakes to take out instead. I couldn't decide between the Chocolate Layer cake (which the waitress told us was best served warm with cream - SOLD!) or the Millionaire's Cheesecake, which sounded like the best dessert ever invented. So I got both. They were both amazing but I definitely preferred the cheesecake, which was so creamy and rich, and was topped of with a little bit of edible gold leaf. I'd never eaten gold before, not that I know of, so that was nice. The cake selection at Sweethart's changes regularly so I think I'll be popping back in the very near future to see what other cakey wonders they offer.

Birthday cake at Dil & The Bear , Tynemouth

This cute little café is exactly the sort of place I'd spend entire days writing and drinking coffee if I could. The décor is shabby-chic homely, with hearts everywhere - oh, and they sell blimmin' lovely cakes. When we visited here we'd walked from the ferry terminal at North Shields (about a mile and a half), so I thought I'd reward myself with a slice of the quirky looking cake in the window, labeled Birthday Cake. It was a kind of layered vanilla sponge with buttercream and jam, covered in icing and topped with all manner of colourful sweets. It was delicious and I suspect I should have been walking a lot more than a mile and a half afterwards to work it off (I didn't of course - I went home and lay down again).

So that's the extent of my cake adventures - for now. I was actually starting to worry that the amount of sugar I'd consumed was making me hallucinate, and not in a good way. I'll be back on the cake-wagon very soon though, scouring the North East for beautiful bakes to report back on.

What's your favourite cake-place?

#PamperSunday - Best in Beauty Under a Fiver

I'm a total sucker for high end beauty products. I'll often take out my YSL powder compact just to polish it and, y'know, just kinda marvel in it. But if the price is high, the goods better be goooooood - and my YSL beauty certainly is. But I'll bet we can all think of a brand new wonder-product we've forked out on, only to realise it's actually no better than the much cheaper alternative we've been using for years. So here I'm giving a rundown of my favourite beauty products under a fiver - some I've been using for ages, others I've recently fallen in love with....


Essence Ultime Diamond Colour Shine Boost Spray

Would anyone like hair like Claudia Schiffer? Errr...yes, me please. This is one of the products from her collaborative range with Schwartzkopf. I've been using it for a few days now and I think I'm a bit in love with it. It's lighter than the oil I was previously using on my dry hair to leave it shiny, and it smells nice too. I've heard good things about the rest of the range so I'll be filling my boots with them as soon as I get a chance. Now this is slightly over the fiver mark at £5.49, but is currently on offer at Superdrug for £3.49.


Dove Summer Glow Lotion

This falls into the 'been using for years' camp. I like to fake tan for special occasions, but, since I'm lazy and I hate doing it, I avoid it wherever possible. Instead, I use this most days to build up a nice, gradual glow. The new formulation includes 'DeepCare' complex, which is meant to nourish skin deep down. Well it does feel nice and soft, and the colour it gives is natural and rarely streaky, unless I've got a bit overboard. I don't think I've ever paid the RRP of £4.99 for this - it's currently on offer at £2.48 at Superdrug.


B. Pure Micellar Water

I've already raved about this on a previous post here , so I won't go on too much. There are loads of Micellar Water cleansers on the market now which is great as previously options were limited to a few quite pricey products. I love the feel of this one and I think the packaging gives the appearance of something much more expensive. This is also currently on offer at Superdrug, RRP £4.99 but right now it's £2.47.

 
Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Shine Control Moisturiser

Another product I've been using for yonks. I've tried loads of moisturisers over the years, and have found a couple of others that's I've really liked, but for the price of this one, if you've got annoying combo skin like me,  I think you can't go wrong. It's light and mattifying and I find that if I apply it just before primer my makeup goes on so much more smoothly. £3.99 at Superdrug. 

Maybelline Baby Lips in Peach Kiss

I feel like a bit of a teenager using this as the packaging is very young looking, but I do love the sheer peachy finish it gives and it's super soft so perfect for day wear. Also, it smells divine. Since I manage to lose lip balms all over the place, this is great as it doesn't cost too much when I inevitably need to replace it (and then find the original at the bottom of a discarded handbag. Tut.) £2.99 at Boots.

 
MUA Luxe Power Brow

Over the last few months I've become brow obsessed, trying everything in my quest for the perfect arch. This product has become a firm favourite since I've been using it. The pen side is great for quickly filling in brows and the highlighter side is the perfect size for accenting under the arch. I've never tried MAC's brow pen but I've heard that this product is just as good - if not better. £3 at Superdrug.


What are your fave sub-fiver beauty buys?

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