New buys

A Boots Haul



I've got a Boots haul to share which is rare for me because the term 'haul' implies gathering a large quantity of something or replenishing a load of things in bulk, and I'm not high maintenance enough to need that many backups! Usually I never buy things all at once. Almost all of my purchases are considered, meaningful or needed; a month is a long time and I'm always saving for X or forking out for Y, so I can't afford to be frivolous. I'll totally contradict this shortly as I've spent a bomb this month and splurged on lots of things I've had my eye on, but here are a few purchases I made recently.

It's shocking behavior for a savvy shopper like myself but I don't actually have a Boots points card because I never shop at Boots. Did you know that the discount shop Savers is owned by Superdrug? Well I get all of my toiletries and haircare from there for a fraction of the price of the same thing in Supers, and I'll price up Boots/Superdrug when I need to replenish any high street makeup. I find 99% of the time when I go into Boots, I will find five other items I will suddenly remember I 'need' and am tempted towards a 3-for-2 or discount promotion, and soon I'm £30 down when I went in for a shower gel. However my buddy Georgie was in town and I wanted to show her the rather large Boots in Birmingham city centre. I let loose and here's what I got!


I was a long time user of L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara since my Uni days I believe and it's the big hitter for long lashes like mine. I get a lot of lash compliments and for some reason my lashes are just long, though I am still partial to a false lash. In fact in Uni I used to wear Eylure Double Lashes - yes, that's two layers of lashes! However I recently tried the Maybelline Colossal Mascara and I found the teeny tiny brush grabbed every lash, and the curved wand pushed them up to stretch as far as they could. I got another one of these in a promotion deal in waterproof as I actually missed using it, and the waterproof choice was because I'm going on holiday in November... watch this space!!

I laughed at the ingredients of La Roche Posay Serozinc as it's just water with salt and zinc added, but there was a certain hype that I could not resist. Now that I've bowed to the alter of Caroline Hirons though (more on that in a coming post), I can see this is a nifty product to layer just before your serum or moisturiser, I have literally read Caroline's entire blog recently and was trying to reveal the skincare epiphany to my friends today via Whatsapp but I just cannot translate. Basically Caroline knows her stuff and there is a world of benefits to reap by reading her cheat sheets. Fun fact - a guy we met in New York at the Yankees game said "So you're going to message me on the WhatsUpapp?" LOLz.


I definitely sinned in the house of Hirons by buying this micellar water but as they go, I did enjoy swiping off my makeup with the Botanics All Bright Micellar Solution. Now I realise that was a lazy atrocity but I have a soft spot for Botanics and enjoyed using their balm cleanser a few years ago. I'll have to check out the ingredient list.

As part of a L'Oreal deal, I spied that the L'Oreal Color Riche Eyeshadow in Gold Mania was literally as intense as the name suggests, being the actual colour of gold rather than a mess of sparkles. Its buttery smooth and packs a punch when applied with a wet or Fix Plus-sprayed brush. A yellow gold makes blue eyes POP and nowadays I enhance my eyes with shadow rather than liner.


These Masque Bar Sheet Masks were an impulse as they were reduced to £6, and I find clay or dry face masks unbalance my skin and leave it flawless for a moment but have no long term benefits. I chose the anti wrinkle set as they boasted the most hydration and indeed they are pieces of very slimey material. I like how you can rub the serum left on your skin into your face for extended benefits. A good pampering alternative to a drying mask that's impossible to get off and a treat for a night out to add a fun extra to your routine. I love getting ready!

I've seriously revamped my hair care routine since I started having highlights and have been left with straw if I'm not careful, and so I invested in an old faithful, the Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Intense Rescue Melting Balm. It's a wax that you warm into an oil in your hands and smooth on as a hair mask before washing. The oils and butters definitely give a dose of hydration to your locks and I save it for weekends. 

So there you go - a few treats to refresh my beauty routine :)

Clarins Beauty Discovery Evening @ Selfridges Birmingham

I'm breaking up my New York posts to tell you about an evening I can only describe as fabulous! The Selfridges beauty personal shopper Rose is amazing at involving bloggers with the beauty hall, as there are always wonderful events, evenings and taster sessions to really keep up to date with all of the happenings across so many counters. 

I've had a few Clarins treatments before and would not spend my pennies anywhere else as it's truly a slice of heaven. It was a very welcome invitation to be offered to try out a relaxing after-work mini treatment at the Clarins Spa in Selfridges, followed by a makeover with the new makeup collection. It's so valuable to try makeup rather than buy off the cuff, and I am a firm believer in the counter makeovers you can have where the cost is redeemable. I'm always urging my friends to book one and discover a new way to do your makeup; it's at these makeovers that I've ever had any idea how to do my own!

It was a Thursday night and I ran a few errands around the shops before arriving to the little spa in a quiet corner of Selfridges. The rooms are tucked away so you don't feel in any way part of the busy beauty hall, and a glorious heated bed awaits, complete with a snuggly duvet. Experiencing a facial while tucked up in a soft, warm bed could not feel better. The lights are dimmed and your eyes are covered, while your head is soothed with relaxing sounds. It's not just your face that gets treats - in between cleansers, masks and oils, you receive neck, shoulder, foot and hand massages, giving the feeling of top-to-toe pamper. Just typing this gives me the dramatic urge to book in another treatment. Imagine having this monthly?! I might add it to my birthday wishlist for August. It is the most luxurious hour and a half of your life!

My facial was a mini taster and I was soon opening my eyes feeling like work was ten hours ago. It doesn't really matter that your face is now completely bare of makeup because your skin looks so good! Having someone else sculpt and massage your face achieves a result you simply cannot reach at home in the bathroom.

I was dreamily led to the Clarins counter and met the makeup artist Phoebe. Phoebe was an absolute ball and we gossiped the hour away. Makeovers are great when you can chat to the artist as the time flies and you don't even notice a whole face of makeup as been applied! I'm feeling really spendy this month as I'm teetering off the frugal wagon and just want a whole new wardrobe and beauty bag. I'm heavily eyeing up the Clarins Instant Light Base as my skin feels so dull and drab as the day goes on, and I had such a radiant complexion that evening. Plus I've started using SPF50 every day and it's making my foundation break up after a few hours.

The combination of glowing skin from the facial and a perfectly primed face made for a flawless finish of the Everlasting Foundation; possibly a contender for my MAC Pro Longwear. Phoebe also pulled out the new Limited Edition The Essentials palette and added a dramatic flick of deep bronze under my eyes which brought out the icy blue shades and framed my cheek bones. I've never done this before and tried it again that weekend for a night out! The palette is a true Naked contender and has a wider spectrum of shades.

I also loved the Instant Light Perfector, which the blogosphere has raved about since the beginning of time. The little tube of gloss adds a milky sheen that illuminates every curve of your pout without looking gloopy or sticky. It was so long since I've used a traditional gloss that I was quite amazed that I hadn't missed this step in my beauty routine! This was my only purchase and I've been using it during the day on its own and on top of all of my favourite nude lipsticks for an even more polished pout at night. Thank you to Rose and the Clarins team - I'll be stopping by once I've just up my Double Serum to try the Hydraquench range, and the Instant Light base is at the top of my shopping list. 

A '70s Spring

It's so exciting to share this post! In the history of my blog, which is eight years old now (woah), I don't think I've ever had any professional, high quality photos to share with you readers that keep me tapping away at my keyboard year after year. Back in the day, blogging was purely an unheard of peek into a stranger's wardrobe, whereas now it's an editorial feast of content and collaborations. I'm never going to be a camera whizz although I do take some photos for work, but I'm better at reviving a photo through heavy editing rather than capturing a desired shot. Not that that would matter as a blogger as it has to be other people behind the lens, and that's usually my mom during an odd weekend! Working full time means I know I wouldn't get the use out of a snazzy camera sadly so I potter on with what I have.

A few weeks ago local photographer Emma Christina got in touch to see if we could work together to shoot some looks for her portfolio and for my blog. Yes please! I was chuffed to have a chance to post some really fantastic shots where you can see my outfit properly and I can really get down to explaining why the devil I'm wearing what I am.

Emma was absolutely lovely and we had such a fun time chatting and then taking photos around Birmingham. I brought a bunch of outfits and tottered to different 'typical' blogger settings. We actually stumbled across the amazing car by chance and tentatively took some photos while looking out for any approaching owners! I didn't have any qualms even though a few passers-by were watching us - I just pretended in my mind that I was a model on  a real shoot! Emma was so slick and encouraging too and I felt really at ease, and these photos look more like Made in Chelsea than made in Birmingham! I'm so pleased, imagine if all my posts were like this! Maybe I need a photographer boyfriend ASAP.

Onto the outfit, and how could I not wear these new purchases as my favourite ever trend comes into play this season! This outfit is literally my soul breaking free from a life of office wear. If I could step aside from the daily grind and just live day-to-day wearing exactly what I could - and still hold down a job - it would be this! I watched the movie Dazed and Confused just about a million times when I was a teenager and bell bottoms are the most comfortable yet confident thing to wear. I bought this Missguided pair as soon as I saw the perfectly executed print and they are so high waisted that even the shorter crop top will suit. I found this cute crochet crop top in Primark of all places and I like how it steps away from the '90s crop trend.

Thank you again Emma, this is the best post ever! I'll be saving this outfit for a certain trip next month though - I'm going to New York!!! Good bye life savings, hello life long dream. I'll save that for another post though - watch this space.

IMG_1482 blog

Missguided Trousers, New Look kimono, Primark crochet crop top, New Look choker, River Island heels

The Camel Skirt of all Skirts

Oooh I have a very welcome addition to my wardrobe! I've been waiting for the shops to bring out a Kimmy K-esque maxi skirt for ages and even considered making my own, but trusty Missguided came to the rescue and brought this offering to the table. They have a few of these longline skirts that are just perfect with any crop top, draped blouse, bandeau bralet, ribbed polo neck; anything really! As it is so long and high-waisted, you can afford for it to be just so damn tight, and it's nothing a smoothing skirt can't help if you want an even sleeker silhouette. This stretch jersey is unforgiving! No matter how much I try, accessories just really annoy me and I don't wear print very often so I prefer to make a subtle statement with strong key pieces. This is quite different to a time when I only wore dresses because separates felt too casual. The effortless vibe soon becomes just that - effortless! Taking an hour to get ready is simple when you can throw on these fuss-free yet stand-out pieces and hit the town as soon as possible.

American Apparel Crop Top, Missguided Skirt, Next Heels

The Khaki Continues...

Happy Sunday! Let's celebrate with a weekend-worthy outfit I snapped when I was heading out from my mom’s. You might remember this from an earlier outfit as each item was £5 in the Missguided Black Friday sale! The set is still online though and also in black. It’s quite possibly clear that I order from them all the time; they just have such a constant stream of new things that there’s always five or more items I have my eye on constantly. You do have to pay to return things but often there’s a discount code around so you make your money back if you do have to send a few things back.

I noted in my last post that this skirt is a super-smoothing yet light material, and the slight shimmer makes for the most streamlined silhouette! The khaki obsessions continue and I would recommend following @khakistyles on Instagram if you are as into this colour as much as me! I think at this rate I’ll be sick of it by around April, just in time for summer. Since wearing midi skirts for a good year, I’ve totally shyed away from any mini lengths. The longer, the better! This skirt is just that bit longer so shows off the slimmest part of your legs. I’m on the hunt for a maxi skirt next, although with the news ‘70s trend hitting the highstreet, I feel like we will all be in draped paisley and denim bell bottoms soon!

THE RESULTS! What I actually bought in the January sales

So the jury is in, the results are in and we have our conclusions. Sadly I'm not talking about the Serial podcasts but about my buys in the January sales, which did add up to a lot but I knew half, if not most, would probably be returned.

I generally buy a fair few things online across the month and go high street shopping once or twice, but I return a heck of a lot of buys. If I tried to curb myself from spending, I would want to buy more and those items would seem even more attractive! So if I see anything I like and know I have potential to wear enough times, I order without a second thought and then make my decisions once parcels arrive. I have no qualms in returning anything and do impose the rule that if I have any hesitation with the fit, a button or how easily something creases, it goes straight back to the store. If an item takes a lot of effort to wear, such as ironing, dry cleaning, a certain bra, etc, then you will probably never wear it, and if you have a doubt on the colour, fit, or anything you see in the mirror, you will always choose to wear something else instead. Your mind and heart may be willing you to keep it but willpower means sometimes you must actually reject your instincts and know a week down the line, you won't have given that item a second thought. Or you can simply purchase it again!

So I set out to find some bargains in the sales that I could wear over and over for work or replace items that I currently love that are starting to look a little worn, which is often shoes. As I returned a few things, I spotted some more items too! We are at that 'final sale - 70% offer + a discount + free shipping' stage where every store wants to just clear that stock, so I have my eagle eyes peeled.

River Island - I collected my bag of items in store last night after work. I can't wait until the new Bullring store opens! The changing rooms are quite tatty but I had a good trying-on session before rejecting all of the items but one. I really like River Island's quality but the other items just didn't fit, though I kept the pair of giraffe print trousers and am wearing them right now as I type! They add a cool element to a monochrome look and are perfectly comfortable. £42 £15

Lavish Alice - The culottes haven't actually arrived yet but I have tweeted Lavish Alice to ask. Lavish Al' have reduced the culottes plus everything else in their sale to £10 today but a lot of things have sold out and I still hope these trousers fit! I may be able to find another size on ASOS instead. UPDATE: They never replied to my tweet but the parcel was here when I got home (I started this post on my lunch break!). The culottes fit which is awesome and they do need an iron but I don't think they would crease while wearing. They add a really cool dimension to the standard black trousers of the world and will feel really cool in a subtle way. £48 £23 (£1 discount used) - although now they are £38 off!

Kurt Geiger - The heels I bought are beautifully made and have the hint of gold at the toe, along with that lace up detail I just love. They are slightly more formal than edgy, but the sturdiness should mean they last well and will be a good investment. I am usually between shoe sizes and went with the size up, FYI. I do have my eyes on the snakeskin pair so may see if there are any in store if I pass by, but the want is not great enough to warrant another postal order. £85 £49

Topshop - The Topshop suit I ordered was an impulse and the size 8 just did not fit. The giraffe print trousers in River Island were an 8, but the Topshop pair wouldn't even go up past my thighs! The width of the trousers was minuscule but I do know Arcadia sizing in general is for a girl with slim hips, and my hips definitely don't lie. Returned!

Debenhams - I did keep the Rituals set in the end as it did only come to £7 with my voucher. I had a sniff when I got home and it really does smell like a sensual version of Vicks! This will make for the most heavenly shower and I might save it for my nights out. Just the motions of getting ready for a night out has so many rituals and scents attached to it, from your fake tan to favourite perfume to the whiff of that heavy duty foundation - I'm always in a great mood when a night is about to begin! £17 £7 (£10 Beauty Club Card points used)

Bonus round! I spotted a few more things last night I just had to check out further...

Missguided - I was only my way out for an aforementioned night out a few weeks ago and needed a jacket but didn't want to take one of my coats and risk loosing it. I scrambled around in my wardrobe looking for any jacket or cover-up but my search was fruitless and I resorted in asking my brother, who produced a navy, tartan-lined bomber jacket he was about to send to the charity shop. The large, oversized fit and puffy style actually looked really cool and androgynous over a pencil skirt, and I continued to wear it!

I did leave it at my friend's house on new year's eve but I wanted to scoop up one of my own to wear on nights where I wouldn't just be slinging it on a chair in a bar. I wanted one I could wear once the weather picks up or when I am out shopping or on dates (LOL those are certainly once in a blue moon!). I used Shop Style to have a browse of all of the stores online (I always use this when looking for something specific, this isn't sponsored or anything!) and saw Missguided had a few bombers (can we call them that?) in their sale. I picked up a standard one from their main collection in the end and also a Nicole x Missguided version in a textured mesh with a super cropped fit and puffy arms. I threw a £7 khaki pencil skirt into my basket too to perk up my wardrobe as I have worn everything over Christmas and don't really have any fresh options left at the moment. Here's hoping one of these jackets is a winner! I spotted this khaki version too but my size is sadly sold out. £TBC

Urban Outfitters - After receiving an email, I browsed the further reduced sale in my lunch break to see if any of the gifts were suitable for upcoming birthdays and had a look in store. I spotted a super thick, mosaic patterned scarf which unfortunately isn't online, but they had a bunch at 50% off so I would check out their stores if the temperatures are dropping where you are too! £32 £15

The Camel Coat

I thought a LOT about my winter coat this year, as I do have my super thick, furry, embellished River Island parka coat to keep me toasty, but not every day has an arctic chill! The months of September to December and March onwards need a decent cover-up that doesn't make you too hot under the collar, and as I do an hour's worth of watching and train hopping every day to work, I can't suffocate when the carriage is full or I'm power walking!

I ummed and ahhed over the Zara £139 draped wool coat that a succession of bloggers snapped up, but the price point for what really is a glorified cardigan did deter me. I browsed ASOS and Missguided for their camel boyfriend coats, but an oversized fit just doesn't suit my frame, and I've never been able to rock androgynous, casual wear. There are many different shades of camel too, and a golden haired pale gal like myself would be washed out by a dull cream.

And so came the Mango coat: the long-length, belted, sleek offering that when examined in person, is lined beautifully, hangs in a structured, slimline fit, and hints at dressing gown-chic while still looking super professional. I tried on a medium but the store adviser confirmed that this coat is all about a chic statement, rather than a casual fit.

I knew of this coat for around a month and stalked ASOS like a gawk for a good discount code. When they sent out a 20%, I snapped it up but sadly it arrived folded in a clear bag and had so many creases, it resembled an zig-zagged accordion! Luckily I had also signed up to the Mango newsletters and they sent me a 30% discount announcement, when I hot-footed it to the Bullring store (after calling and reserving my size!) and got the £140 coat for less than £97!

A coat purchase is so important to get right because it is something you wear every day, should transition every outfit, and hopefully will come out again next year. It's worn beautifully and has not lost any of it's structure, which really makes this coat so smart and statement. Mango are doing a 30% Black Friday discount across the weekend so it's time to invest...




I've started to realise that a Monday to Friday life means it's easiest to choose favourite staples and repeat those for five days, whether that's the same easy-to-prepare lunch, a go-to selection of outfits, or in this case, sets of underwear that suit every sheer shirt, peplum top and roll neck jumper, which is what my work wear wardrobe usually is. Nothing slows you down more in the morning than realising you have serious VPL in your black high waisted trousers, or can see your bright pink bra through your blouse! Without being too TMI, I know exactly which styles of underwear to buy that will suit all of my wardrobe, while still feeling fabulous to wear. This is a different story on the weekend, when I like to transform into someone unrecognisable (or I'd like to think so!) and spend ages getting ready, wearing my favourite things.

So while sitting at my desk for over eight hours, I want undies that give super comfort but are also super cute. Luckily for me, I don't need much support-wise or necessarily need hefty straps or a strong wire. I worked in a lingerie department once upon a time at Uni and know the ins and outs of the underwear world, but love the current trend for sweet triangle, cotton bras.

I found myself reblogging photos of Calvin Klein sets now that they are having a moment, and felt I needed one in my life as a rare treat. I've heard of people wearing sequined socks under their suits so they could keep their sense of style while obeying an office dress code; it's almost like knowing the very core of you is your true self, even if your exterior shows a standard shirt and trousers. I browsed all sorts of sites, discovering the current season set is the bralette top and classic shorts. Net-a-porter had the best deal and free gift wrapping, so I received my set beautifully boxed. The top looks like it comes up really small, but they totally elude that designer vibe, slightly minimising the high price. Imagine having a whole range of these and wearing them every day? I have a problem with saving my expensive makeup and accessories for special occasions that never happen, and don't let myself push the boat out on an average day. However, that's what shopping is all about: to make you feel fantastic constantly, merging new things with your daily style! These will begin as a special wear set, but the dream is that this is everyday wear.

Khaki Kid | New Look Khaki Shirt & Topshop Jamie Jean

Khakishirty3 Khakishirty3 Khakishirty3

Hi guys, little time no speak! I took these photos (well, my brother did) last week and I don't usually like racking up posts, but I am indeed still wearing this whole outfit whenever I am free. Come the weekend, I actually feel like a different person. It could be all psychological or due to office bathroom lighting, but I almost feel like I look totally different by Saturday morning. I don't splash out on the weekend, but I do feel like I look a million bucks better! Weekend millionaire indeed. Office wear is just never going to be my thing.

This outfit is my AW staple because of the two key elements:

1.  The khaki shirt - There's something about khaki green that fits so well with all of the camel colours this season but is still a little beat up and boyish. Teaming a military shirt with curve-hugging jeans, a pencil skirt or a slick bun creates a contrast that adds a sexy vibe to normcore; the whole subtle, classic, solid trend of the moment. This New Look shirt has just enough of a casual vibe due to the material but the slim fit and neat pockets can keep it sophisticated.

2.  The ripped skinnies - I've been eyeing my favourite high waisted jeans sitting in my wardrobe and contemplating the scissors. But once you chop, there is no going back and I just could not bring myself to! So I invested in the Topshop Jamie Jean as my winter weekend purchase, and I like the sturdiness of the pockets and studs as a change to my jegging-like Joni Jean or River Island Tube Pants. Ripped knees just add another sexy skin flash while being tough and effortless. I have actually turned a corner with my weekend nightlife too and now actually hit the town in jeans, half because you can dress up jeans in a chic way now, and half because some nights are not worth donning a bodycon mini skirt when you have gossiping with your friends to do! I feel just as happy in what I deem as 'casual' wear now as I did in my party dresses of my Motel days. One could argue my super-tight jeans are a version of bodycon, and I still add my tan, lashes, and killer heels, but I'm cool with that haha.

In that case... Emoji iPhone case

I have mentioned recently that gadgets are not a passion of mine and I begrudgingly have an extortionate iPhone 5 contract, even though the camera is pretty pants. I think a portion of my mega monthly payout is that I can upgrade whenever I want to, BUT I just got the sweetest new phone case and this baby is sticking around!

Things are getting slightly emoji crazy as I saw this 'print' on Tumblr and knew it would make for the case of dreams! I tweeted that I couldn't find a phone case I liked anywhere and Fay suggested making my own! What a genius idea - I am obsessed with Tumblr and reblog millions of pictures that I would happily paste onto my phone. I wanted something a little tongue-in-cheek though as not everything needs to be too chic and serious in life, right! I got mine from CaseApp as they have a seriously inspirational Instagram with blog-worthy set ups. I'm not one for arranging flowers and complimentary colours for my blog photos (when I get chance to take them!) but their Insta has some really clever ways of photographing the different cases.

So cute!! So sassy!! Heart eyes overload.