Wednesday, 30 November 2011

UNIQLO Cashmere blend Jumpers: Shopping at London Westfield Part 2

One of my favourite shops to visit when in London is UNIQLO. UNIQLO is a Japanese brand that carries basics in a variety of colours, as well as some trendy items. They have some pretty innovative stuff, such as super warm but super light weight jackets, shirts with UV protection, windproof jeans, and heattech under garments.

On my most recent trip, I picked up two jumpers from the women's cashmere blended cable U neck (long sleeve) sweaters in pink and dark green for £29.90 each. I love these jumpers. They are just simple, not super sweaters (as far as I can tell they aren't windproof or made of light weight steel, resistant to kryptonite etc) but I like them all the same. I have to admit that I bought a couple of these last year in blue and dark grey, which I still have and wear.

My purchase also came with some promotional information about UNIQLO, in particular a flyer about their clothing recycling program (they collect gently used UNIQLO items in store and send out to needy people) and a booklet with lots of information about the company.

UNIQLO is available world-wide with shops in China, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK, and the USA.

Want to read Part 1 of my London Westfield shopping at Gilly Hicks

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Gilly Hicks Down Undies & Clothes: Shopping at London Westfield Part 1

Last Thursday while most of my American friends were tucking into their turkey for Thanksgiving and my office mates sat through another fortnightly departmental meeting, I was shopping my heart out at London's Westfield Shopping Centre with my mummy dearest.

It was a successful day, as both my pins and the chip and pin in my card got a workout!

I already tweeted that I got some goodies, but today I want to share some of my stash, in particular my spoils from a visit to Gilly Hicks. I have to admit I have probably have more Abercrombie & Fitch clothing in my closet than a preppy teenager, so I'd been admiring Gilly Hicks on the A&F website for awhile. Gilly Hicks has 'partnered' themselves with Abercrombie & Fitch and even shouted about it in shop with signs: 'Gilly Hicks, Abercrombie & Fitch's Cheeky Cousin'. As part of their partnership, A&F started having a Gilly Hicks page or cross promotion, in particular for their under garments range (I love that they call their underpants, 'down undies'!). So when I saw someone with a Gilly Hicks shopping bag in Westfield, I knew I needed to visit!

I wasn't disappointed. The Gilly Hicks shop had the same atmosphere as A&F with the loud music and the dark lighting, but sadly lacking the smell of Fierce (that's A&F's cologne that you can usually smell about 3 blocks away permeating from the store). Ah, it felt like shopping home! I was surprised to see that GH actually had a lot of clothing items. Although I wasn't as interested in these, I still managed to pick up a cute blue camisole (Callala Beach in Navy), which was a bit pricey at £18, but had such lovely velvet detailing I just couldn't say 'no'.

 I also picked up a bunch of down undies as I've been wanting to check these out! I haven't washed and worn yet, but they feel amazing and I don't think I'll be disappointed. Well, they weren't cheap, so I best not be disappointed (3 pairs for £15, okay I guess that's not too pricey, but if you order off the website and live in the UK you have to pay £20 S&H OUCH!).

Now that I know there's a Gilly Hicks in London, I'm hoping to add this to my list of favourites. Good undies are hard to find!

Have you checked out Gilly Hicks? Any fav undergarment shops?

Continue reading: UNIQLO Cashmere blend jumpers: Shopping at London Westfield Part 2

Monday, 28 November 2011

Burberry Small Smoked Check Bowling Bag & Bicester Village escapades

So the mother is back on her way home, but I took the day off and had a bit of me-time. I decided to head over to Bicester Village outlet shopping centre and managed to do some damage to my credit card! 

I hit up Calvin Klein underwear and got some deals on bras (only £10 each on my favs!). Although they're pretty pricey usually, I really lucked out today. I probably looked a bit weird as I bought about 6! Seriously, they are so wonderful. I find them both adorable to look at (or look in!) and comfortable to wear all day long! That's hard to achieve! 

In Burberry, I couldn't resist picking this beauty up: 

This little bag is so cute and I managed to nab it for 35% off. I am actually going to start using it tomorrow! Honest. 

I was surprised how busy Bicester Village was today. I mean, it's a Monday, don't you people have jobs? Well, apparently I'm one of the few! (I had a well earned day off ^.^) Actually, there were a lot of tourists. I mean, seriously, the car park was so full I had to do a full circle and stalk people back to their cars to park. That's bad! I guess people are also starting on their Christmas & holiday shopping! 

I was also excited to check out the Cosmetics Company Store which carries MAC products as well as other beauty brands. You can read a great post by Karen on the Makeup and Beauty Blog about this 'mysterious' company! It also looks like the one Karen visited in Napa was way better stocked than the one I visited at Bicester Village. They had some MAC stuff, but not much, just a few eye shadows, blushes, and nail varnishes. I didn't see any lipsticks, or glosses. Most of what they did have looked like they came from limited edition ranges like Surf Baby or Disney Villains. I wasn't too impressed. Also, the discount wasn't that great (eye shadows marked down from £11.50 to £8.50). Shame. 

Now I'm just sitting back and enjoying catching up on my latest Japanese drama Watashi ga ren'ai dekinai riyuu (私が恋愛できない理由). It's about these ladies looking for love... ha ha, aren't they all? Seriously it's soo good! 

Are you watching any dramas? For my US readers, did you venture out for Black Friday?

Sunday, 27 November 2011

J. Crew catalogue lust-afters

So my moms is in town visiting from the US, so I've had a few days holiday. I don't know if it's the time of year or what, but I just couldn't get it together to book anything, so we just hung out around the homestead. She brought over a J. Crew catalogue for me to browse. When I lived in the US, it was one of my favourite brands, so I love looking at their stuff. Here are a few items I saw in the catalogue that I am loving! 

I love deep dark and bright green, and this toggle coat in cashmere-wool is simply gorgeous if you ask me! I totally love it. I so want it. >_< At $325 US though, I'm probably not going to get it. However if I happen to see it in the Xmas sales, well... then this baby is all mine!  

My next choice would be these gold Biella penny loafers. Again, not for the fainthearted at $248 USD, but they sure would look lux on! 

My last choice would leave Dorothy jealous! These red Mona glitter pumps are unreal! Sadly since I started writing this blog, they've also disappeared from the website! I guess everyone snapped them up! I imagine there's no place like home when you're rocking these pumps with a black dress! 

The mother is very thoughtful indeed. Although sadly she didn't have the foresight to buy me any of the above mentioned items, she did bring some awesomeness my way in the form of a bumper supply of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate, which is the bestest hot chocolate ever! She also brought me a haul of nail polishes that I'd ordered (including the much awaited Chanel Peridot!). I order them in the US because it's soooo much cheaper than in the UK! Reviews and swatches to come! 

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Lancôme Color Focus Palette 311 Parure d'Etoiles Review and Swatch

I've had this Lancôme eyeshadow palette in my collection for awhile now and felt like digging it out for a review. It's one that I thought I'd like when I bought it but haven't quite managed to find its place in my life. Do you have any products like that? I know I do. Clothes as well! Ep >_< 

I've read some reviews by other bloggers online and people seem to be impressed with this quad. I have to say, I'm not that impressed. I hate to be negative, because it's not a horrible palette, in fact it's all right, but that's the problem for me. It's kinda of meh. I don't find the shadow as smooth or sparkly as I might like, so maybe it's personal. I am also disappointed by the dark blue which comes out black on my eyes.

I also found the colours not be as flattering as I'd hoped they would on my eyes. I might just not have the right skin tone or something. I do however really like the two lighter blue shades, they are really lovely. I just haven't managed to find the right look with them. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Satin Lip Colour 197 Enivrée Lipstick Review

Here is my latest purchase from the Chanel Holidays 2011 collection, the Rouge Allure Luminous Lip Colour in 197 Enivrée. I already mentioned it in a previous post, but now I'm going to review it. 

This comes in the same type of case that the matte Rouge Allure Velvets were recently released in. It's the only lipstick I've ever bought that comes with instructions on how to open it! It's not that complicated, but I think the first time I worried that I'd ruined it! Thankfully, I didn't. Whew! 

Enivrée is a sheer bright pink with lots of pink shimmer. The shimmer is very fine as well, so it doesn't feel gritty at all. When I first saw it in person I felt I had to have it. My lips are fairly pink already, so the colour really isn't too noticeable on me. You can still see the shimmer though. 

I'm also undecided on the formula. The first time I tried it on my lips, they dried out really quickly, but the second time, I didn't have that same problem. Third time's a charm, so I'll have to see what happens! 

I am happy with this purchase as it's certainly an everyday colour that I can wear all the time. It is a limited edition however, so if you're lusting after it, you should act fast before it's gone! 

Monday, 21 November 2011

YSL Ombres 5 Colour Harmony for Eyes Black Tuxedo LOOK NOEL 2011

After I saw the limited edition YSL Ombres 5 Colour Harmony for Eyes in Black Tuxedo for the LOOK NOEL 2011 release on the YSL website, I began to feel I must have it. 

I finally had a swatch in person, and I wasn't as impressed. I'm sorry I don't have any pictures to share, but I will share my thoughts. The colours just weren't unique or vibrant enough for me. It really was a collection of blacks. I really thought the shades on the left would have had more blue in them, but they just swatched kinda pale and dull to me. Not worthy of its £39 price tag. What a disappointment. At least I managed to save some cash!

Although it's been a mild autumn here in the UK, it is feeling a bit more wintery today. To help get me in the mood I karaoke'd out a classic by Glay 'Winter Again'. I love that you can get karaoke on youtube now! I thought I'd share this if you're a fan, if not, it's probably quite dull as there's no singing! I totally love karaoke though. It's so much fun!

Any songs that get you in the mood for winter?

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Din Sko, Your Shoe, My Shoe, Amazing Leather Shoes and Boots

While on holiday in Sweden recently, I had the opportunity to discover the amazingness that is Din Sko (that's Swedish for 'Your Shoe').

I'm a massive fan of leather shoes. In fact, if you're going to pay decent money for shoes, they have to be leather, right? XIT is Din Sko's leather line, and it's amazing. Although I didn't *need* anymore shoes, I fell in love with a pair of leather pumps and suede boots.

I love it when I discover a new brand that I love. The sad news that you pretty much have to go to Sweden to shop at Din Sko ... for now at least. 

Are there any difficult to get a hold of brands you covet? 

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Non-permanent Hair Dyes - Clairol Nice'n Easy and L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss

On my way home from work last night I decided I'd stop into Boots and pick up a few things. I was actually lusting after a red lip gloss in the Chanel 2011 Holiday collection: Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Triomphal. (Reviews here at Temptalia and at Cafe Makeup) Sadly, it was *already* sold out! I was gutted.

But before I realised it was sold out, I was browsing away and fell in love with another in the collection, the lipstick Rouge Allure Luminous Satin Lip Colour 197 Enivree, a sparkly pink. Then I needed to spend more money (there was a special offer on yesterday at Boots - spend £50 get £10 in points) so I ended up buying a few more things than I strictly needed. I also picked up the Chanel eyeshadow quad 33 Prelude which I've been eyeing for awhile now. I'll blog about these beauties soon, but I also picked up some non-permanent hair dyes.

I haven't home dyed my hair since I was in school. Yes, it's really been that long! I always opt for the salon and letting a professional working her mojo. I also stopped dying my hair for a few years and really enjoyed my natural colour. Although, like most women, I then got bored and wanted a change. So I've gone from natural dark blonde to super light blonde and back. Actually, my hair is still blonde now, a bit lighter than natural, but because I had my hair bleached so light, ever time I dye it, the dye sorta washes out and I'm back to blonde eventually.

That's a story for another day.... the point is, now that my semi-perm professional colour has washed out and money is a bit tighter, I thought I'd look at the non-permanent hair dyes available for DIY. I picked up 3:

  • L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss 810 Pearl Blonde
  • Clairol Nice'n Easy 93 Light Golden Red
  • Clairol Nice'n Easy 96 Lightest Golden Brown

I'm curious to see what happens, but also still worried about damaging my hair. They don't have ammonia so that's good, but they do have some peroxide so I'm not sure. I will definitely strand test. I've read some mixed reviews that the colours on the box don't always reflect the result, so I'm feeling pretty hesitant. 

Have you used any home dye hair products? Any recommendations? 

Friday, 18 November 2011

Jill Stuart Illuminance Eyes 02 Fantastic Light Review and Swatch

I thought I'd go through my collection and swatch. I didn't have time to actually apply to the eye, but as you can see from the image below, I've already used my Jill Stuart Illuminance Eyes in 02 Fantastic Light quite a few times.

Like all Jill Stuart eye shadow palettes, the packaging is a beautiful silver case with the standard sponge applicator. The shadows are super glittery and fairly moist. They go on easily. They also have that delicate floral scent that all Jill Stuart beauty products have.

To be honest, this isn't one of my favourite palettes. I really love the quality of the shadow, it's just the colours that I don't totally love. Having said that, they are still really wearable colours. Sadly I think the peach is just not strong enough on my eyelid, and the pink is beautiful, but if you own any other JS palettes you have plenty of sparkly pinks.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Cambridge Satchel

It’s the old school leather bag that has ‘taken the fashionworld by storm’. I’ve seen it all over, and no matter what size, what colour, I’ve lusted over it. 

I first saw these bags in person in the Oxford Street Urban Outfitters over the summer. They had a selection of the fluorescent series . These are so lux. I was incredibly in love with the fluorescent pink, but just couldn’t justify the spend. 

Now I've seen them in a few more blogs and websites, and I think I actually must have one of the classic colours. I'm leaning towards navy, because I love navy and it goes with most of my clothes... but also crave a bright red or green for something funky.

You can still get the bags direct from the Cambridge Satchel Company, but you can also buy them at Asos, Urban Outfitters, and even Paperchase!

Which colour is your fav? Are you tempted?

Update: I finally bought myself a Cambridge Satchel! Check it out here!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Bourjois Intense Eye Shadow Extrait de Fard Review and Swatch: 01 Beige D'or and 03 Sable Rose

I saw these in Boots and thought I'd give them a try. I have to say I'm a bit of snob when it comes to make-up, or at least if you look through my stash it looks like I am - most of my stuff is high end and brand name. Honestly though, if something is cheap and it delivers, then I'll happily stick with a drugstore or knock-off brand. My wallet and bank account definitely would prefer it if I stuck to the cheaper items!

Having said that, I had high hopes for these Bourjois eyeshadows. On a recent holiday in Paris, I'd heard rumour that Bourjois is made in the same factory as Chanel. In fact, they are sister companies, or something like that. These shadows are also baked, just like Chanel's non-US eyeshadows, so when these sparkles caught my eye, I couldn't pass up the chance to try them out at only £6.99 each.

I decided on trying 01 Beige D'or, a sparkly sheer gold and 03 Rose Sable, a sparkly bubblegum pink.

One of the selling points of this product is that it can last up to 16 hours' wear, however I found these did not last 16 hours on my lids, even when I used a primer (Urban Decay Primer Potion). The sparkles fell out throughout the day, so I had a bit of glitter on my cheeks, and after 7 hours at work I had visible creasing. Totally not cool. I was not impressed and kind of let down by these. Perhaps my standards were too high?

Sadly these aren't as amazing as Chanel's baked shadows. They also were nothing like any Japanese brands I've tried. It's hard not to compare them as they are so sparkly and sheer. I've read other reviews however where they've found it worked a treat and lasted 16 hours, so who knows? They might be worth a shot if you want to give them a chance. They won't break your budget and they are available at chemists and drug stores in the UK and US where you can swatch-before-you-buy. I think these are a good addition to my collection as I wear shades like these on a daily basis, so I'm bound to use them. Although if the creasing keeps happening, I may chuck 'em.

What do you think? Do you have any drug store favourites?

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Biteki, the Beauty Magazine from Japan

Biteki is one of my favourite Japanese magazines. The name Biteki 美的 literally means 'aesthetic'. As the name suggests Biteki focuses on the aesthetic and covers make-up, skincare, health, and anything beauty related. 

What I love most about Biteki is the way make-up is covered. Instead of just telling us what the latest trend is, with some glamourous model, they also show you step-by-step how to recreate that look. Okay, I have mentioned in a previous post that I'm a fan of US beauty magazine Allure, which also does this, but to a much smaller extent. Biteki is just full of pages and pages of reviews and looks, with tonnes of close ups so you can recreate the look yourself.

Plus, unlike some other fashion magazines, the looks to recreate are all very wearable. Nothing too high fashion, if you know what I mean.

I love the close-ups of all the new releases from all the major brands. Obviously it's best to see everything in person, but if like me, you can't always go to the make-up counter, having a good browse beforehand is essential.

There are also articles on healthy eating and exercise as well as general make-up related reviews and looks.

They also give a variety of looks that can appeal to as many women as possible. For example, the one above shows two different eye make-up looks for ladies in their 20s. The next 4 pages of this feature include 2 looks each for ladies in their 30s, and 40s. I really love that they cater to all ages.

Have you ever read Biteki? Any make-up magazine you adore?

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Beauty and Fashion Mags in UK and US

Okay, I love beauty and fashion mags. I actually like to look at the pictures more than the words, which I don't think is a bad thing. I thought I'd share some of my favourite print magazines as well as links to their websites or blogs.

First, Glamour. Everyone knows Glamour. Whether you read Glamour UK or Glamour US, I think you know what it's about. And actually, I do read the articles here. I buy this pretty much every month. I really should get a subscription, but still even at full price (£2 here in the UK) it's worth it. I read that baby cover to cover!

Next, I recently have fallen in love with US magazine Allure as they are the only beauty-related magazine published widely in English. I do have a subscription to this as it's the cheapest way I can get it in the UK. If there was a UK beauty magazine, I might consider switching, but for now, I'll stick with Allure.

 Another favourite of mine is actually a few! Namely the plethora of hair style magazines available in the UK such as Your Hair, HairIdeas, and Hairstyles Only to name a few. There's always one going, and they are great to flip through to get ideas for hair styles and colours. I must not be into hair enough, because I own 4 of these and that's been enough for me. Ha ha, that's not true. Every 6 months or so I might buy a new one, but I still find that photos repeat between editions and even in the other magazines. However, at £2 a pop for most of these, I don't mind having a browse.

What are some of your favourite mags?

Friday, 11 November 2011

Jill Stuart Jelly Lip Gloss Review and Swatch: 04 Baby Petal and 05 Frosted Cherry

For those not in the know, Jill Stuart has an amazing cosmetic line that started in Japan and is now released in some other Asian countries as well. I also remember reading that it may be coming to the US (Neiman Marcus in NY?) but afraid I can't confirm that. In any case, Jill Stuart Beauty products are the ultimate princess makeup. All the colours are pink and girly, with lots of sparkle and all the packaging looks like a pink princess designed them herself. 

Today I want to review a couple of glosses from the Jelly Lip Gloss collection: 04 baby petal and 05 frosted cherry. 

The JS Jelly Lip Glosses retail in Japan for ¥2,200 (¥2,310 w/tax), so they’re around a similar price point to Dior or Chanel lip glosses.

The Jelly Lip Glosses come in a tube similar to Lancome's Juicy Tubes, but with silver and sparkles as well as pink gemstone on the cap. 05 Frosted cherry is pictured below, with 04 baby petal below.

Princess-y is the only word to describe it. Although I wouldn’t say I’m a super girly girl, I actually really love this packaging. Although I have to admit the compacts and eye shadow palettes really show how gorgeous the designs are for this brand. Unfortunately, the lip gloss can get a bit gunky, like any other lip gloss tube, but I don't think this harms it!

Of course, part of what I love about the packaging is that it’s quality and the product inside is quality as well. That’s a win-win combo in my book. 

Swatches above of 05 frosted cherry on the left and 04 baby petal on the right. Baby petal really has a beautiful colour, but as you can see when I apply it to the lips, it sorta disappears and gives a very natural look. Frost cherry on the other hand looks quite bright, but also blends in really well.

The glosses are relatively sticky, but that gives them an amazing shine. I also find that they last 2-3 hours for me, but I do like to reapply especially after eating and drinking. I've yet to find a gloss that can survive that!

They also have that signature Jill Stuart flowery scent, but don’t have any flavour. 

Here they are on the lips! 

For some reason 05 frosted cherry came out more noticeably more sparkly, but I'm not sure this is really the case. Baby petal definitely gives a natural look and is one of my everyday-wear glosses. Frosted cherry isn't that dark, but does add a bit of colour. 

What your favourite lip gloss?  
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