shopping posts

Illamasqua Favourites

November 8, 2014

illamasqua-purchases-brow-cake-sculpting-brow-duo-angled-brush-gel-liner

It’s been precisely three months and twenty-six whole days since I wrote about my favourite topic: make-up. So, with the wonderful Reading rain preventing me from wandering out to the gym/shops/every takeaway in the land, I shall instead bestow upon you my recent obsessive purchases from cult brand Illamasqua.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the brand at present, Illamasqua’s ethos revolves around a complete freedom of expression, which culminates in its cult following from drag queens and make-up artists worldwide – oh, and their pigmentation is definitely something to call home about. Whilst I’m also a sucker for fancy packaging, this brand really takes the biscuit and offers a jaffa cake. Have a gander at my picks:

Read more ›

UPDATE: Life Overhaul

August 27, 2014

You may notice that I infamously promised that I’d be back on the blogging scene sometime last month, and mysteriously vanished shortly after making such a bold claim – I apologise, but I HAVE MUCHOS NEWS. After my fight (which sometimes felt disturbingly literal) to secure a graduate job without drowning to the bottom of too many merlot bottles first, I happened to get an interview for a very exciting position on the still rather new and incredibly dynamic Web Team for Primark.com – and guess who got the flipping position as Womens/Kidswear Content Assistant? That would be me! *Insert many streamer emoticons*

So, since the 3rd August, I’ve been trying to get my head around a completely different town in a completely different part of the country: I’m now a big ol’Southerner and I live in Reading. Bit of a wander from the likes of Lancaster and Manchester that I’m used to haunting, but I’m finally starting to get my bearings and have just put down the deposit for a gorgeous studio apartment that I snapped up this morning – so all systems are go – go – go with regards to new life planning! Since I got here (less than a month ago!), I’ve already experienced some amazing times: snagging a Saturday day ticket to Reading Festival and going with a complete stranger (who turned out to be fabulaaaarse and I can’t wait to hang out with her again), a whirlwind work trip to Dublin and far, far too many bottles of red wine (happy bottles though – makes all the damn difference!).

I just thought I’d drop in and remind you all that I still know how to type and (hopefully) construct reasonably interesting posts – and will be doing far more proactive things with my blog now that I’m officially part of the fashion industry and incidentally, have developed an absolute obsession with buying new (Primark) clothes. So if you want to know anything Primark-related from hereon in; I’m your girl. Once I get settled in my new apartment (which is totally OOTD-background friendly, woo), I’m going to be setting up my tripod (wheey) and posting more fashion-focused posts, rather than my verbose ramblings. You can thank me later.

 

 It’s good to be back. xo

Harvey Nichols Sale Preview #GetThereEarly

June 17, 2014

Hold on to your purses and avert your eyes, ladies and gents: Harvey Nichols has a stonker of a sale starting tomorrow, both instore and online. Personally, I’m going to be trying to behave myself around the handbags – at 21, I think it’s time I owned a Vivienne Westwood, surely? Hmm, perhaps not, but I’m pretty sure I need one regardless… Make sure you check it out and here are their favourite picks for the sale, grab them before they’re gone:

harvey-nichols-sale-manchester-arndale

Christopher Kane Flower Sweatshirt – WAS £330 – NOW £165; Etoile Isabel Marant Tweed Blazer
– WAS £295 – NOW £148; Kenzo No Fish No Nothing Sweat – WAS £220 – NOW £110; RED
Valentino Butterfly Print Cotton Dress – WAS £510 – NOW £255; Alice + Olivia Floral Stretch Crepe
Trousers – WAS £275 – NOW – £137.50; J Brand Aiden Destroyed Boyfriend Jean – WAS £255 –
NOW £153; Sophie Hulme Spear Tab Leather Shoulder Bag – WAS £460 – NOW £230; MMK Jet
Set Stripe Travel Bag – WAS £260 – NOW £130; MCM Start Stripe Backpack – WAS £600 – NOW
£300; Alexander McQueen Heroine Red Chain Satchel – WAS £1,195 – NOW £597.50; Givenchy
Pandora Rose Print shoulder bag – WAS £1,310 – NOW £524; Givenchy Floral Print Leather Sandals
– WAS £545 – NOW £327; Kenzo Printed Leather Trainers – WAS £200 – NOW £120; Saint Laurent
Bright Yellow Pointed Leather Pumps – WAS £360 – NOW £216.

What have you got your eye on? The Michael Kors bag is calling to me – naturally. Help!

Beauty Haul Review.

June 10, 2014

re

Greetings from unemployed beauty blogger bum land. Sounded slightly weirder than intended, but we’ll roll with it… I’m currently in the midst of emailing half of the entire Internet in the grand endeavour of a Fashion Copywriting job. I’ve been to two interviews; didn’t get the first as someone else had more ‘outdoor-wear experience’; the second I’m due to hear back about this week – and now I have another one coming up in the Big Smoke – MegaBus here I come. I’ve also been inhaling the latest series of Orange Is The New Black: if you haven’t seen it, you need to – and I’m not even a big TV fan. Anywaaaay, back to the point – today I’ve got a little review for you guys from that ridiculous £91 haul I did last month.

Bourjois Paris – ‘Happy Light’ Base Serum Matte – £7.99 (usually £10.99 at Boots)

My skin has a serious case of amnesia. One day it thinks it’s dry, the next it thinks it’s oily: it never really knows what’s going on. However, my eye bags are consistently, religiously and without fail, always a little on the shiny-shiny side irrespective of the amount of powder I drown them under, hence my purchase of this unique little primer. The product itself comes out as a peachy tone which blends into any skin without any visible pigmentation (trust me, I’m a ghost – I’d know) and offers a reasonably easy foundation application process – but the primer aspect itself isn’t really much to call home about. Whilst it does do a admirable job on the shiny bits, I’ve already found myself reaching back for my Benefit Porefessional. 7/10.

L’Oréal Paris – Super Liner Perfect Slim – £6.99

I’ve been sporting the cat eye look nearly everyday for the past 7 years, and I’ve yet to settle on an unbeatable liquid liner – but this one might just be close. After the absolute let down that was the Alexa Eyeko collection (how was that so crap – how?), and a brief affair with a Ted Baker liner from a Christmas set, I finally decided to go back to my high street roots and pick up a new product. Save your finicky gel liners, paintbrush styles and wacky colour pots – I wanted something thin, versatile and ultimately: blacker than black. L’Oréal delivered. The applicator is thin (0.4mm thin, to be precise) and sturdy, something that I’d long missed after the days of Rimmel’s weird little paintbrush applicator. Precision is practically signed, sealed, delivered to even the shakiest of hands (trust me – I have days where I question the possibility of an early Parkinson’s onset, it’s bad), and the colour is consistently dark after extensive usage. One bugbear I do have is that it’s a printer: you need to factor in some sexy daydreaming or a spot of meditation after applying this stuff, as it takes a good while to properly dry. 9/10.

Revlon – Colour Stay Foundation in 150 Buff – £9.49 (usually £12.49 at Boots)

I’m going to whinge a little at this one, but it’s through no fault of the product itself (particularly, anyway). After no less than THREE trips to Boots before purchasing, during which I sampled the product extensively on my hand, I decided to take the plunge and opt for this slightly olive-toned shade in a vain bid to cover up my pinkish/red tones which I thoroughly despise: thanks Irish/Scottish heritage, thanks. I took it home and applied it for an evening out and was wonderfully impressed with the coverage, especially after discovering my Illamasqua foundation can seemingly no longer keep up with my third-year degree skin. However, the next morning, in my mildly hungover haze, I made the horrendously predictable, but ever-saddening discovery that it was too dark for my ghost skin. So ever since, I’d been applying a mix of the Illamasqua and the Revlon, but now I’m out of Illamasqua and have about a third of the bottle’s price to my name. Here’s to being tangoed! 8.5/10.

PREVIEW: Primark SS14 Collection.

February 27, 2014

Okay, hear me out on this one – as you might currently be as confused as me. I posted about Primark’s SS14 preview drop a month or so ago, but they’ve hit back with a whole host of new pieces to add to the collection. Are they all going to be coming out at the same time, or will these be out in summer itself? The answers, I do not know – but I’ll do my best to find out and follow up on this.

After sitting in a glorious patch of sunshine this morning, eating my second or third bowl of Sugar Puffs in the kitchen, I fantasised heavily about the slow but eventual onset of summer. Is it just me, or has it been winter forever now? Do sandals even exist? What IS a crop top? Ice cream? What a sick joke. I hate the cold – being ghostly pale and blessed with pathetic circulation, I can’t wait for the days where I can ceremoniously burn my winter coats and dance upon their ashes. Or at the very least, gleefully stuff them under my bed. Perfect excuse to buy a pastel pink jacket then, right?

In the meantime, I hope you’ll join me in drooling over these upcoming beauties (slightly weird image when you think about it – maybe less of the communal dribbling, eh):

Prints

  • Printed Beach Fringe Kimono – £15

  • Grid and Floral Print Shirt – £12

Monochrome

  • Tailored Playsuit – £14

Pastel

  • Jade PU Fitted Skirt – £10

  • Lilac Almond Toe Court Shoe – £12

LUST: Accessorize Sterling Silver Ring Picks

February 1, 2014

accessorize-sterling-silver-ring-collection

This year, rings became my super-duper, #1 jewellery priority, after spending pretty much the entirety of 2013 lusting over perfectly decorated hands following the 90s goth trend. Now, I’ve already started my mission to collect a number of stackable and mix-‘n’-match-y rings – you can find that post here. However, after buying a moonstone sterling silver ring from last season’s collection, and watching as the other cheaper ones discolour around it, whilst it remains shiny and new – it’s got me hooked on buying more. I mean, if I’m going to be wearing them everyday: they should be of good quality, right? These are my favourite picks of the current season:

Sterling Silver 3x Bands Ring Set – £12 | Sterling Silver Sirocco Mop Ring £12

Sterling Silver Mandarin Turquoise Ring £12 | Sterling Silver x2 Ethnic Midi Rings £10

PREVIEW: Matalan SS14 Collection Picks

January 31, 2014

I’m going to start this post with: Matalan, please start stocking Size 6 (please point me in the right direction if I’m wrong, but I’ve never found any in my local stores)! Pastel is looking to be absolutely mega this season, with uber-girly malibu pinks being the apparent colour of choice. As a general fan of a currently quite ‘The Coven’-esque wardrobe, this might take some getting used to, but the promise of sun and cocktails is seeeeriously getting me hyped up. Fudge off January: nobody likes you. Here are my favourite picks for Matalan SS14:

matalan-ss14-collection-pastel

  • Cocoon Pink Dress – £16

Just give me a second to wipe the dribble off my lip… For £16, I will most definitely be snapping up this little beaut. The beading around the collar, at least from this picture, is delicate and tasteful, the coral colour will suit pale ladies like myself to the hills and back, and the geometric pattern is hitting the trend nail right on the head.

  • Gingham Full Skirt – £16

That panelling, guys. That panelling. Usually, if you threw the word gingham at me, it’d conjure bittersweet memories of school summer dresses – namely, playing ‘horses’ in them and managing to become the subject of most parents’ distaste as I always pulled the ties off my friends’ dresses – bit carried away. Aaaanyway, this dress knocks that literally oldskwl misconception out of the park: this skirt is sophisticated, fun and has already got me mentally running for lace white socks. I’d even consider layering this skirt over the cocoon dress – pretty sure that’d work.

  • Pink jacket – £40

Pink jackets are the shit right now, if you don’t own one: you shouldn’t even be here (I don’t have one yet either). Channel your inner Regina George, bring her into SS14 and embrace that colour palette: it’s only going to do wonders for your complexion, daaarling. There is an IT pink coat floating around right now, I was in a frenzied blogger discussion at a LUSH even about it last night – we’re thinking Coast or ZARA, but this is a bargain dupe.

  • Full Skirt – £16

It’s like the pink ladies have been teleported into the 21st Century. I’d team this with a lemon or mint green fluffy jumper and a visit to the new American diner that just opened in Lancaster: the new drink of choice is a strawberry milkshake this season, ladies.

 

matalan-ss14-collection-mono

  • Printed T-Shirt – £14

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have had several metaphoric knicker-changing sessions already this pre-season, wetting yourself over the incredible amount of actually wearable co-ord sets coming out to play. For those days where milkshakes and Lana Del Rey aren’t making your heart soar, this moodier hue will definitely keep you ticking on-trend boxes. And at £30 for the set? Oh boy.

  • Printed Skirt – £12

There are no words, apart from: I now need to buy a new leather jacket.

  • Graphic High Neck Blouse – £10

Graphic monochrome will just forever remind me of Gwen Stefani circa. The Sweet Escape, which is never a bad thing. Are chunky gold chain necklaces here to stay then, too? The question on everyone’s lips: will monochrome ever die?

  • Black Cocoon Dress – £16

The darker sister to our opening dress, I’ll be channelling my inner Edie Sedgwick and Twiggy in this 60’s inspired number. Styling tip: stick to full monochrome with cobalt blue nails to be painfully on-trend.

Which pieces have got you already reaching for your debit card?

Fan of American Apparel?

January 30, 2014

I’ve just spotted this amazing offer, thanks to @LilyKitten1 on Twitter. Basically, with the wonder that is GroupOn – if you spend £15, they give you a £30 voucher. 50% off at American Apparel? That is not something to be sniffed at: I’ve never seen anything better than a 30% off voucher for there before! Quick people: get on it before they all go. Click the above picture for the link! P.s. Make sure you select the ‘buy online’ option, unless you can get to the Birmingham store!

Drop me a comment with your purchases!

Accessorize 70%-Off Sale Haul.

January 30, 2014

cutmypic (1)

Somebody needs to extract me from my debit card before there’s real trouble. Yesterday, I popped into town for a well-deserved haircut after around 6 months of dealing with split-end central exploding from my scalp. Given I don’t get my hair cut particularly often, I don’t mind going to the expensive place in town as a treat – so that was already a decent amount of dollaaa spent by the time 1:30pm struck – but no, I was already bitten by the spending bug and believe me, I had it bad. I cavorted around the Body Shop sale, did the infamous beauty blogger Boots raid, even spent five pounds on the veg stall in the market: but then Accessorize happened.

I recently bought an Accessorize bag in the sale and was really disappointed to find that the buckle completely broke within a measly 6 days. Admittedly, despite getting an instore refund, I am still disappointed that I’ve yet to hear back from the online customer care team given I emailed a picture to them. Sort it out, guys. So, with my £17.50 refund card – and a smidge more from my own bank balance, I swiped up all these goodies:

cutmypic

Tights, tights, tights. At an average of £2.30 for a pack, instead of the usual £8, I was on a spree. Tights are my biggest love and my worst enemy. At present, there is a sprawling monster in my tights drawer, a good twenty pairs of fluff-infested, hole-ridden legs all bundled together – pretty much useless to anyone and so threadbare they’d show up an entire Prada separates suit. This renders my Accessorize tights purchases completely valid and sensible – except maybe the sparkly ones… If you noticed the little pork pie hat in the top picture – that was arguably the biggest steal of them all: got it for £6ish and it was originally £22! Wowza. It looks pretty boss with my new hairdo.

cutmypic (2)

Jewellery is annoying low on my list of fashionable priorities, and I intend to change that. Picking up these sliiiightly coordinating babies seemed a good place to start. With these alone, I saved an accumulative £15ish – absolute bargain. It only cost around a fiver for all three of them! It’s definitely worth popping in to your nearest store and having a good rummage: the sale’s been on for weeks now and there are still plenty of genuinely wearable pieces that you wouldn’t pass off to your nan or crazy aunt.

Have you picked anything up in the Accessorize sale?

Drop me your haul links in a comment.

PREVIEW: Primark SS14 Collection Picks.

January 30, 2014

primarktop

Primark is like that friend we sometimes have, who has a wardrobe of predominant crap, with some real gem pieces – and a lifesaver collection of spare tights. The bulk of their stuff, I just wouldn’t bother buying but, on occasion, I’ve been reeled in to a ‘ZOMG SO MUCH CHEAP’ splurge and walked out with bags laden with £3 ‘bargains’ that I never needed and will probably never wear. However, this all changes at the drop of a new season: Primark gets glam. When the SS14 collection finally drops in the Manchester store, you’ll see me fighting with fellow fashionistas for these pieces:

primark 1

Palm Tree Print Scuba Tee – £8

This has got me reaching for invisible cocktails – and I’m still in bed. For this shirt, I want to abandon my Snow White ‘do, go chocolate brown with beach waves, and channel the bejeezus out of Lana Del Rey. I still don’t think I’ll be getting a tan, though…

Palm Tree Scuba Skirt – £6

I was seriously hoping and praying that this was a co-ord set. A co-ord set for £14. Now I just need to pool the cash for a holiday, eh.

Mini Satchel – £6

Urr, are these coming out in various colours? Cause, at that price, I am so ready to start a collection. You cannot beat a good Cambridge Satchel Company dupe for SIX POUNDS. Sign me up, sign me up. Oh, and it’ll totally match that shirt. Win.

primark 2

Green Blouse – £10 

The prospect of shedding this horrible weather and my grumpy winter goth wardrobe, has me just dribbling at this shirt. I can see myself being as pastel-mad as my 14-year-old self’s Piczo site, this summer. And for this price, why the hell not?

Embellished Waist Lace Dress – £28 

If this looks as good in the flesh as it does here, I might have to rebel from my usual tendency to avoid white. That detailing is absolutely divine and the ethereal colour palette is so on trend.

Burnout Crop Blouse – £10 

This is another co-ord set that I’ll be snapping up. You’ve gotta love that floaty detailing – can it just be summer, already?

Have you caught the collection yet? What pieces are you looking forward to grabbing?

 


Ebony. 25. Manchester.
Marketing Manager who likes to mouth off on here about stuff she cares about. Expect mental health, Borderline Personality Disorder, and reviews - from restaurants, to books, to fashion. Talks to cats more than people, but seemingly has a lot to say.
ebonylaurenn@gmail.com