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I've teamed up with the wonderful Beth of Eclectic Eel to make a little giveaway for you guys! I'm giving away an adorable key necklace and a brilliantly quirky 'thundershock' tote bag. This giveaway is going to be running from today for one whole week meaning it will end around 7pm GMT on Sunday the 7th of October. The winner will be picked at random on that date, and this giveaway is open internationally. So here's the conditions for entry;
My own version of 'instagram' maybe? I love my phone but the photos are really not the best despite the face everything else being really good. So here's my week in photos;
first day back at uni with bright sunshine and pretty, freshly planted flowers!
second day back at uni requiring waterproof boots and coat
breakfast in starbucks whilst leeching the wifi for my disseration research
minecraft wolf (or arnold) taking pride of place with the ATATs
hen party dinner for my boyfriend's sister after a fun day of activities
An oldie but a goodie today; polka dots! This pattern rarely left my nails this time last year when I discovered the 'nail art pen' craze and it's nice to go back to it every now and again. I'm immensely jealous of those people who have the patience to do equally spaced, uniform dots but I'm not one of them. I even sort-of tidied my nails up for you this week before taking the photos; picking the excess of in the shower counts, right?
Since I'm (hopefully) still going to be a student and the boyfriend is going to need an office when we move out, I'm getting super excited for lots of little bits and pieces to fill one with. As it would be where I would blog from too, I imagine my little corner would be quite 'inspirational' (read: full of cutesy crap I don't need!);
Skruvsta Swivel Chair from IKEA - too cute! I imagine most of our desk-type furniture will be fairly regulation as it's much cheaper but this chair would really brighten up a room. Not sure how comfy it is (I'll have to give it a spin next time I go to the shop) but if it is as comfy as it looks then I'm sold. Get it here.
Mono Bookends from Matalan - I spied some very similar versions of these on other sites, but with a far greater price tag. I love the simplicity of these, they would work really well for colourful books or notebooks without drawing too much attention to themselves, as well as being fairly space-saving. Get it here.
Lab-solutely Organised Desk Supply Set from Modcloth - trust Modcloth to have something completely unique! These are great and could be brightened up with the use of bright or floral desk supplies in them. As an added bonus, the boyfriend would like them too. Get it here.
Miffy Medium Room Lamp from Artbox - ok, this one is unnecessarily expensive but so, so cute. It is fairly large in size and casts the right kind of light that isn't too harsh on the eyes for a long session at the computer; my IKEA lamp at the moment is like an interrogation light! Get it here.
Can you believe the Christmas 'season' is upon us already? The shops are already stocked up with little gift sets and presents, not to mention advent calenders and chocolates - I don't want to know what's in them if they can last the next 3 months plus a bit longer, ugh. In my work there's been loads of people buying up items to squirrel away for gift-giving as well, and it's got me thinking that perhaps I should look into it before everything gets too expensive.
One item I know always goes down well with the more girly on my list (especially as I know a few who are moving around early winter) is candles. I find buying them from the high street a bit too impersonal so when I stumbled upon Best Kept Secrets I was happy; they remind me of the Lush version of candles and I bet they smell just a good, too! Here's some I particularly liked the look of, packaged in one lovely box;
candles from http://www.bestkeptsecrets.co.uk/
The name of this product is actually the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Spot Stress Control 3-in-1 Daily Cleansing Lotion, but that was far too much text to fit onto a one-line title so I dumbed it down a little bit. I got this recently in Boots for the grand price of something like 30p as all Neutrogena products were two for £5 and my moisturiser costs £4.70, so not a bad deal at all considering it will last me an age.
The lotion itself is a pale green colour and doesn't feel at all harsh on the skin even though mine is very sensitive. The packaging states that it contains green tea and cucumber (hence the colour, I suppose?) to sooth skin and though I wouldn't say it feels particularly soothing I tend to get less red patches all together, and combined with my moisturiser my skin texture is nice and matte. Overall I would probably recommend this product, it's not a huge winner but works ok.
This week's sale scope is taking a look at Topshop; despite the fact their clothing tends to be the most expensive end of high street, their sales are so much better than the usual shops with much bigger discounts. Here's my pick;
Now our autumn/winter weather is really setting in, I'm looking towards more muted palettes. Don't get me wrong, I still love an abundance of pattern and colours but jewel tones and richer shades seem somhow more appropriate. It's still great to incorporate some florals in there too, if ones that are a little less brash and bright;
The lovely Bethany sent me some brilliant items from her shop, the Eclectic Eel, and I received them in the post yesterday! It's so exciting getting post, especially one from other countries! And I genuinely can recommend this little company to anyone, everything I received was perfectly packaged and a really nice surprise on a wet wednesday. I tore the parcel open as soon as I could get my hands on it and this is what was inside;
Minecraft Dog! Too cute, right? I can't believe the likeness to the actual blocky canine in the game. This guy is going on my shelf pride of place with the ATATs. And how sweet are these little pins and clips?! I'm particularly partial to the little pokeballs, they make me feel like a pokemaster in training.
If you've read your blog for a while you will know of Cedric. Also known as a Canon 1100D, he's my trusty 'blog camera' sidekick and has been responsible for any of my (non-phone) photos for the past few months. I'm not ready to upgrade personally (through money more than anything else, anyone want to gift me a couple thousand maybe?), but I've been lusting over these DSLR's on Jessops a little bit. It's not cheating, I promise! Just taking a look at the competition...
-All cameras from Jessops-
With skinny jeans and sometimes bootcuts if I'm not feeling my flats, Converse are some of my favourite shoes to wear. I have a couple colours already; turquoise and yellow as well as a khaki and white pair and I would really love to expand my collection further to a whole rainbow of colourful sneakers.
However, as far as standard British weather goes, converse don't hold up too well. Though the soles are pretty watertight, the actual canvas part of the shoe is soaked through in seconds if you have to go out in the rain/paddle in floodwaters/step in a puddle by accident. So, these leather high tops seem like a great idea! All the style with a bit of extra waterproofing thrown in.
Not to mention, the metallic theme of these shoes adds a little bit more to them; they would be great to brighten up an all-dark ensemble and would look brilliant in sunny weather; think of how much they would shine! But thankfully the finish is dull enough that they fall on the right side of tacky. The khaki-browny coloured badge and sole add that little extra unique touch, too.
I wouldn't really call this 'nail art' as all I did was layer one polish over another, but I really like this combination. This is the only Essie polish I know and though the application is smooth and the colour is beautiful I find it chips really badly. Maybe not with the special brand top-coat, but £10 is a little too much for me on top of an £8 nail varnish. So at the first signs of wear-and-tear (within just a few hours!) I stuck some crackle stuff over the top and voila! Joker nails.
nail polishes: essie mojito madness and 17 nail xtras purple crackle
Just a quick human-interest type post (I don't do many of these, don't worry) but check out the result of the rain today outside my window, I live in Somerset so I'm used to being near floods but not a mini one the other side of my garden wall! You see that massive river on the other side of the road? That's normally a path, not a wading pond. Fingers crossed it gets better tomorrow, which is my first day of Uni.
So, can anyone take a guess on how hard it is to find a non-neoprene netbook case? No? Well, it's damn near impossible. For those of you who don't know, I have an allergy to neoprene that makes it difficult for me to handle. After a lot of searching I happened upon this sleeve on Paperchase, which was the best I would get to perfect despite being a teensy bit big, and decided while I was at it I should just grab a few other bits and pieces to make up the free postage. So, here's what I nabbed for myself (minus one folder I forgot to photograph);
GB Trippers Snack Boxes £5.60
.. that isn't really the question, but it sounded good as a title, doesn't it? As long-term followers will know (and short term too, now!) I have never had long hair, not since I was quite young. It doesn't suit me, it's uncomfortable and not as easy to dye so unless I'm in dire need of a cut my hair never tends to be any longer than my ears. Following on from my wigs post I took a look at buyhair.co.uk, a site that specialises in hair! Particularly hair extensions, that glue in or clip in.
Though it would be difficult to get hair to match my exact hair shade (it would take a lot of trial and error and a fair amount of pink dye) park of me thinks it would be worth it just to see what I look like with longer hair, and in particular a ponytail! I would look so odd. Here's a selection of styles they have on the site, short and long;
Onto the bathroom bits this week! To be honest I'm not very fond of baths (it's the height thing; only half of me tends to fit in the average sized one!) and tend to have far more showers. It doesn't stop me wanting the bath-based accessories though! Here's a couple bits I'd love assuming I ever have a bathroom that's big enough for things like 'towel cupboards' and fancy walk in showers...
Sing and Spout Bathmat from Modcloth - too cute! What's not to love about a little Whale greeting you everytime you hop in the shower/bath? Ducks are way last season, it's all about the larger aquatic life. Though I've got to say, I'd love one with a kawaii axolotl even more! they are my favourite.
Cath Kidston Bon Bon Stripe Towels from John Lewis - even though these are CK they aren't overly girly so the boyfriend couldn't complain! Not a flower or fluffy animal in sight, just cute retro colours. These would look great on display over a bath or rail.
Metal Floor Caddy from Next - this would be amazing either in a shower for all the lotions and potions that you need or by the side for anything you don't really have a place for; girly stuff and all that, if you get what I mean. The design is pretty too and reminds me of all the birdcage bits and pieces that were so popular a year ago.
Ridged Glass Pot from Matalan - I have no idea what I'd put in here but it would look really good! Maybe odd bits of makeup or creams, or even just sugar/coffee in a room outside of the bathroom. It would look great anywhere, the style is pretty and classic with a hint of modern in the colours.
Wait, I thought sale time was over? It looks like it's rolled around again already, and I spotted so many cute things on the New Look website I wanted to share with you my favourite bits. I genuinely cannot resist a bargain, particularly when it's something you've been wanting for a while but shied away from at full price. Getting that item for half price? Best. Feeling. Ever. Well, not quite but it does feel pretty awesome.
paprika photographic print bodycon dress was £26.99 now £16
A simple nail-art look that I thought was pretty cute! The yellow/silver combination are pretty unconventional but that's how I like my nails. The silver is one of the 17 'nail art' kit in the summer collection and the brushes are especially thin just for the purpose of doing precise, thin strokes. I've only really gotten around to using them now but I think I will be using them a lot more in the future, so watch this space.
polishes used: barry m lemon ice cream & 17 silva (sold in multipack)
I've always been one for technology. As bad as it is to admit (especially with those at-one-with-nature bloggers out there) I'm a huge fan of gadgets and I love having electronic stuff. On realising it may not be the absolute best idea to lug my giant laptop miles each day to University and back, I decided to invest in a little netbook to work on when I'm on-campus. And much to my surprise, it arrived the very next day!
I purchased a Packard Bell Dot-S Netbook is Purple/White from Very. I didn't in any way get sponsored to buy this or given it, I simply decided it was the best price. Of course, ten minutes after buying the thing I couldn't resist scouring the net for reviews on the Very service and found a huge amount more bad than good! I read all kinds of horror stories about items not turning up, nightmare couriers and unhelpful customer service and got myself in a bit of a worry imagining what could have happened to the £200 I'd sent off into the ether of the internet.
My experience, in the end, was so much better than anything I'd read; I got text updates each step of the way and in the total from purchase to my netbook booting up in my hands the process took a mere 26 hours, which is pretty good timing if you ask me. I would recommend the netbook to anyone too, it's a nippy little thing for just surfing and using skydrive I can easily sync between big laptop and mini.
I've never owned anything designer. In my mind 'designer' always has an automatic link with 'incredibly expensive'. However, upon browsing the sale at Cruise Fashion I found prices more akin to Topshop than maxing-out-a-credit-card. It never really occurred to me that even though items start out expensive, the price has a tendency to drop far more than high-street items. So here are my favourite bits, all of them under £100 (well I said TOPSHOP prices, not New Look ones!); the bag I particularly like - Marc Jacobs for only £68, practically the price of a Paul's Boutique bag!
((All items are from Cruise))
I think I shall call this week's wishlist 'winter warmers'. It might be a little ways off but I wandered into Matalan yesterday and was confronted by a (jewel-tone) rainbow of warm knits and cosy winter pieces. Maybe it's time to start stocking up on winter knitwear?
So, what, it's been like a month since I featured Irregular Choice? Pretty good going for me I think! I consider IC as almost a work of art; they are a little bit narrow and the size 7's which most shops stock are too small for me but it doesn't stop me wanting to own them. Maybe I could frame them or something? I don't know. Either way, this pair from the new season collection are too adorable to not lust after;
I love the iconic heel combined with the new-season sole and that fuzzy little knitted bow. With the muted colours these shoes could almost be everyday appropriate, just to add that little bit of sparkle to an office outfit or more serious occassion. The Rococo-modern style is something I love too; the 'tongue' on these is to die for and I can imagine would also prevent your feet falling out the front which I find can happen with a couple of the Irregular Choice styles.
These heels could look amazing with a whole combination of different outfits. Their neutral pallet means they are almost endlessly versatile and would go great with any colour of tights or with the tongue untucked with some cute skinny jeans. The style also lends itself to fancier outfits (particularly with full or longer skirts, proper french-aristocracy style) and the height is low enough in these that too much discomfort shouldn't be apparent from a couple hours' walking.
A couple of days ago I noticed the 'colour matcher' sign outside my local Boots, and decided to investigate. It's a concept in foundation that's been floating around the higher-end, very expensive brands for a while but is now moving down to the slightly cheaper ones, and also my sister stole my last foundation so even though I don't wear it every day I needed a new one. The actual colour-matching process isn't all that interesting; a camera-like machine is held against each side of your face and then it matches you up with the closest approximation in the No7 line. As per usual, I just about fit into the catgory of the palest colour available, called Calico.
As the No7 colours are universal to all their foundations (which I really like! Much easier to chop and change as you like) I decided to go for the Protect & Perfect range. This was a little more expensive at £16.50 but also has an SPF in there. I'm not really bothered about the 'anti age' properties, though, so I could have done without that and knocked a couple quid off. The coverage on the box is described as 'Light/Medium' which is about right I think as I rarely wear makeup at all so full coverage would have been a bit much. The actual packaging and bottle is very sleek too, with the pump-style dispenser making it easy to use, and allowing better control.
These are a couple swatches I took of the foundation on my hand, both rubbed in and just placed directly from the dispenser. As you can see, the dispenser releases a good amount and the consistency isn't too thick meaning a little goes a long way for very light coverage which is what I was after. I would describe the actual foundation shade as a very pale beige which is pretty neutral, it's not too pink or too yellow either way. I would still say it's a teensy bit too dark for my face but it looks perfectly fine when blended in and feels moisturising too as well as nice and light. Below is an example of my face before/after the foundation (apologies in advance for the extreme close-up!);
I really like the coverage I get from this foundation. There's a few noticeable differences, but it's not so extreme you would know I was wearing makeup. I feel like any small blemishes I had are a lot less red, the same with my cheeks, and the winning element for me is that it covers up all the blackheads and imperfections on my nose/cheeks really well, which is one of the things I hate the most about my skin. There isn't too much difference in the skintone either and whilst my skin looks a little 'glowy' it isnt 'dewy' which is a look I really don't like in foundation. What do you think of this foundation? Have you used it before? I would love your opinions!