Thursday, 30 August 2012

Pay Day Treat: Spot the difference

Tomorrow is pay day for me, best day of the month! So, naturally I have spent the evening online making baskets on all my fav websites ready for me to decide what to purchase tomorrow (don't pretend like you don't do this too!). My Topshop wishlist is huge and let's be realistic, I probably won't but half the stuff that's in there - buttt they are offering free standard delivery until tomorrow (Friday) evening which makes it even more tempting. 

I have also made baskets on River Island, Misguided and Feel Unique, so basically that's my whole wages gone, which would be fine if I didn't have rent to pay, ugh I hate being a grown up. 

Anyway, I just thought I would share this little gem with you all before bed. In my Topshop Basket I had this black knitted jumper with studded shoulders which I love as I'm not all that adventurous with colour and if you read my previous post, you will know I like studs, plus I think it's just a good winter staple - a sensible buy. It's £42, which is quite steep, but I don't mind paying as I know I will get my wear from it.

Topshop knitted stud shoulder jumper  - £42

Thennn, when I was creating my Misguided bag I found this in the knitwear section, for £17 less. Spot the difference? Nothing that I would pay the extra money for, so I think I know which one I will be purchasing tomorrow. Winner. Plus Fern's a fan, which you know must mean a fashion hit! 

Misguided Giorgina studded jumper - £24.99

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

DIY dip-dye

I have just read that next week L'Oreal Preference are launching a DIY ombre kit, yay! Last year I attempted an at home dip-dye with a bleach colouring, which as expected, gave me a very gingery tone and I gave up on the look pretty quickly. I didn't attempt it again and was reluctant to get it done professionally as I thought the dip-dye trend would pass fairly quickly. However, it looks as though ombre hair is set to stay with us throughout A/W 2012, so this at home kit couldn't have come at a better time. 

The wild ombre range will be available in three shades and come with an expert brush that will help you create the perfect dip-dye effect. It will be available from the beginning of September from all Boots stores, and at £6.99 is much cheaper than a trip to the salon. Time to get your Caroline Flack on.

L'Oreal Paris Preference wild ombres - £6.99

Monday, 27 August 2012

John Frieda Full Repair shampoo and conditioner: Review

John Frieda Full Repair shampoo and conditioner

I'm such a shampoo junkie. My mum is constantly whining at me for filling up the shower with bottles, and when I was moving out of my uni house, I had 8 bottles of different shampoos and conditioners to sort out, none of which were empty. Advertising absolutely works on me and if I think there’s a chance that the product will give me long shiny locks like the model they’ve used in the picture, I’m all over it.

The latest addition to my collection was the John Frieda Full Repair shampoo and conditioner. I used to be addicted to their Brilliant Brunette range and had heard some good things about this particular range so thought I would give it a go (plus it was 3 for £10 in Boots, or £7.99 each, winner!)

Okay, so this shampoo and conditioner combo claims to ‘repair the look and feel of overstyled hair as it weightlessly restores bounce for full, flowing styles. Detangles strands, reducing the risk of breaking and snagging when combing or brushing’.  

 I've been using this now for a couple of weeks and so far, so good. In terms of fulfilling its claims, I have seen a definite change in the amount of breakage when brushing; normally, when I brush my hair my lap gets covered in ends (I know I know, it needs a cut) but since using these products this has dramatically decreased, which both me and my carpet are pretty happy about.

I also think that using this has injected some much needed volume into my hair, it just sits nicely after drying and the product doesn't weigh it down too much, so you don’t get that ‘I hate my hair the day it’s washed’ kinda issue with this. Because of that though, I wouldn't say these are the hair products that have made my hair the shiniest it has ever been, so if you love your hair looking shiny and sleek, this maybe isn't the best choice. Also, it doesn't have the most amazing smell, which I know isn't really that important but I love It when my hair is freshly washed and smells amazing. It does still smell nice and fresh though. 

I think I will stick with this one for a while, as it does seem to be improving the condition of my hair, but eventually I know I will start to crave the shine. 

My blowdryed hair after washing with Full Repair range

Thursday, 23 August 2012

life through a lens #1

Pineapple upside down cake, me and my besties, the new addition to the family, my new watch, Harry Potter studio tours – cupboard under the stairs, weekend treat, feeling patriotic, HP - The Grand Hall, the nice thing about this weather. 

Stud me up

I’m absolutely loving studs at the moment and am having to refrain myself from sticking them all over everything I own. I decided against covering all my clothes with them and thought I would invest in a few studded accessories instead.

I had my eye on this Topshop clutch for a couple weeks and decided on a recent shopping trip that I would bite the bullet and make the purchase, although the £38 price tag had been previously holding me back, as I’m not keen on spending a fortune on disposable accessories. Anyway, a couple of days ago I was shopping on Oxford Street and decided to quickly pop into Primark as it wasn’t looking too busy (anyone who has been there on a busy day will know it’s pretty much unbearable). I skipped the clothes and went straight up to the accessories department as I think accessories are definitely what Primark do best.

On one of the walls they had set up a display of studded items and like the magpie I am, I was straight over there. I managed to pick up a replica clutch to the one I was after in Topshop – for just £6! I was chuffed, and was straight back to Topshop to return my original purchase. Ok, so there are some small differences; the Primark bag is a leathery material whereas the Topshop bag was suede, and the Topshop studs were silver and the Primark gold, but hey, for a saving of 32 quid, these details can definitely be overlooked!

Black studded clutch - Primark £6

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Lash Saviour

Me wearing the lashes on a recent night out

Eyelashes - Primark £1

As much as I wish I was blessed with long, thick lashes, I wasn’t. And so for me false lashes are the way forward, although I do try and avoid them in the day time. But for nights out or a special occasion I always wear lashes just so I feel a bit more dressed up. My usual go-to pair are Eyelure 101’s. I love the classic shape and style of these; they are just enough to make your eyes look bigger and more stand-out, but not enough to look overly fake and OTT, plus they are curved so super easy to apply.  

Recently, I was queuing up to by a few bits in Primark when I noticed a display of fake lashes near the counters. At first glance, admittedly, as you would expect they looked pretty hideous with gems and glitter galore, which I definitely wasn’t feeling. But then I spotted a pair which looked fairly natural, and at £1, I thought I may as well give them try so I chucked them in the basket not expecting much. I’m SO glad I did. I can honestly say I really love these lashes. Every time I wear them someone comments on them. They do look quite natural, so if you’re into a more obvious look with your lashes these may not be for you, but if you are like me and go for a more subtle look, these will save you an absolute fortune!

Admittedly, the glue is pretty dreadful, so it’s best to use an alternative brand (I use Eyelure), but the actual lashes are fine! They won't be replacing my beloved 101's just yet, but they are a brilliant (and cheap) back up. So next time you’re in Primark, remember to check them out – bargain of the century!

Thailand Tales

Maya Bay, Koh Phi-Phi 'The Beach'

So, I have just returned from an amazing 4 weeks in Thailand…where to begin? I am greatly struggling with the stark reality of being back in England and even worse, back at work, so I know that in writing this post, my depression about the situation will sink in either further.

We touched down in Bangkok with only the name of a hostel scribbled down on a scrap of paper and a general idea of the area we wanted to get to. Straight away the taxi driver looked baffled when we showed him the hostel address – not the best start. We had an evening flight and by the time we arrived at the Koh San Road, the night was in full swing. It felt as though we had accidently landed in Malia. Overwhelmed, overheated and frustrated at not being able to find where we were looking for, we headed to the closest hostel we could find; and the less said about that, the better.  

Everyone says that Bangkok is a place that you will either love or hate. I disagree. It is, in my opinion a place you grow tired of as the days progress. At first it’s all lights, excitement and action; you get caught up in it all, but the locals trying to sell you junk and the sound of “tuktuk?”, “ping-pong show?” grows old pretty fast. It’s definitely an experience, but a couple days there is more than enough.

A 14 hour train/boat journey later, we arrived in Koh Phangan, a few days early for the Full Moon Party. The 5 days spent on this island were a mixture of buckets full of vodka, sand (everywhere), sea, fire shows, glow paint, parties and embarrassment. It is a must visit for anyone travelling Thailand, although I’m sure you won’t need me to tell you that. But let me just say it lives up to its reputation.

The shoes were compulsory, and that is not a sweat band (keep reading)

I won’t run through everywhere we visited, as there was some rain and illness along the way which led to some very relaxed and unexciting days. Koh Phi-Phi though is absolutely worth the mention. Simply put, it’s amazing. Everywhere on the travelling route in Thailand is kinda commercial these days, and not that Koh Phi-Phi isn’t crammed full of tourists and fake Ray-Bans, but it still has great deal of untouched charm. The high cliffs that surround the island make it feel almost jurassic, and the devastation left by the Tsunami means it’s pretty underdeveloped, but beautiful. It offers the perfect balance of culture and tourism, and when you’re there you definitely feel a million miles away from home, in a good way.

50 something hours later we arrived on the Thailand/Laos border. Visiting Laos was never our intention as there was only really one reason we wanted to go there and we couldn’t justify spending that much time and money travelling to a whole other country just to do one thing. But somehow this is where we ended up next. We, of course, made the journey to go Tubing. For those of you who don’t know, tubing is basically like a giant bar crawl in the day – on a river, in giant rubber ring. Yes, it really is as fun as it sounds. You just float down the river waiting for a bar to chuck you a rope and hook you in while getting drunk with lots of other travellers. It’s pretty dangerous though, 27 people apparently died last year, and we didn’t manage to escape unscathed either. Although, sprained wrist and dislocated breast bone aside, it was definitely worth it!

There are so many more stories to tell, but I feel I would be here all day and no one wants that. Anyway, for anyone who is on the fence about visiting Thailand, GO. It’s not too much of a culture shock, but just enough to ease you in to travelling and open your eyes to the wide world that is out there. The only negative is the feeling of reality setting in once you arrive home.