Sunday, 30 December 2012

Clinique Chubby Stick in 07 Super Strawberry Review

The last time I was out shopping with my stepmom she was going on about Clinique chubby sticks. I'd never heard of them before, and when she gave me one in colour 07 super strawberry, I thought I'd share my thoughts. 

I have to admit I've not used Clinique cosmetics before. I am a big fan of their skincare range, however honestly, their makeup looked kinda dull and never attracted me. I guess I wouldn't have tried these chubby sticks either if my stepmom hadn't given me one.

I'm actually pretty impressed with this and pleasantly surprised. There is a fair amount of colour and my lips like the feel of it. Although for the price, I'm not sure I'd recommend it. In fact, I still prefer my Revlon Lip Butters, and actually Super Strawberry reminds me a bit of my Revlon Lip Butter in Pink Truffle, which is a much more purse-friendly option. I would even go so far as to say that I think the Clinique Chubby Sticks are meant to compete with the Revlon Lip Butters, although at twice the price I'm not really sure how. At least with brands like Chanel there's a bit a weight to the brand and clout associated with their cosmetic products, but I don't know anyone who would be ashamed to carry Revlon in their bag but be impressed by Clinique (i.e. I don't see Clinique as a prestige brand - what do you think?). The packaging also isn't very lush in my opinion. Yes, cute, but certainly not worth a higher price tag.

Having said all that, however I do really like my Chubby Stick. I just won't be purchasing any more.

Clinique chubby stick lip moisturizing lip colour balms are available for $16.00 US or £16.00 in up to 16 shades.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Herve Leger bodycon dress for pear shaped gals

I was window shopping in Neiman Marcus (yes, online... it still counts!) and found this gorgeous little dress from Herve Leger - Ombre Scalloped Strapless Bandage Dress

Such beautiful detailing, I couldn't resist sharing it with you.

I also wanted to share it because it's actually a bodycon dress that is just made for us pear shaped girls! Who better then Herve Leger, the virtual inventor of the bodycon dress in the 80s to bring us a modern and hip-friendly option. Tight and fitted with lots of detail at the chest and waist then opening up into a nice 'can you actually see how big my hips/bum are?' skirt! Lovely - a perfect blend of sexy and cute.

Downside? It's only $1,950 US.

Still, I would love to give this baby a home.

Update: I found a dupe. Well, not exactly, but this Love Note dress from Mod Cloth is pretty similar  don'tcha think? And it's only $69.99 US.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Gossip Girl Blair Waldorf Makeup Inspiration: Purple Eyeshadow

Gossip Girl is almost over. It's a sad day for all. Almost as sad as most of us feel while watching season 6. (Sorry, I love GG, but this season has just been pathetic!).

Shoddy writing and ridiculous plot aside, we can still count on Blair Waldorf to inspire us in all things beautiful. Today's focus - purple eyeshadow.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Purple eyeshadow sounds pretty 80's. Actually the 80's seem to be back in according to every high street clothing shop at the moment, and while I don't agree with that (sorry, I'm just not a fan of the 80's look!), Blair manages to pull off purple eyeshadow without any scrunchies, oversized sweats, or flourescent spandex.

Here she is in an episode from season 6 below. Go on, click on it, it's really big and you can see those beautiful purple eyes.

They really add a pop of colour to the rest of her fairly neutral and natural looking makeup. I think that's probably the key to wearing purple eyeshadow in the now and leaving the 80's look in... well, the 80's where it belongs.

I've picked out a selection of liliac lovelies for your eyes, should you feel inspired by Blair to paint your peepers purple too.

We'll start with a bargain at £6.99. You can't beat Bourjois Paris' Little Round Pot Intense Eye Shadow in no. 4 violet. Personally, I love the Bourjois baked shadows, so pigmenty and gorgeous.

Mac eyeshadows are a staple for most women, so I'm sure you won't be surprised that this is one of the shadows I've selected. You can get this look with the vibrant Creme de Violet, described as a pink-violet with gold pearl available for £12.00 or US $15.00.

If cream eyeshadows are more your thing, than you could try Shiseido's Shimmering Cream Eye Color in Purple Dawn, available for US $25.00

And last, but not least is actually my favourite, Purple Gradation from Lunasol's Layer Bloom Eyes range. Although it's a Japanese brand, thanks to shops like Ichibankao, you can still get your hands on this product without a trip to Japan. It is a bit expensive, but it's such a lovely palette. The bottom left shadow of course is a perfect lilac shade and it's what I would use to recreate this look.(Click here to see my review and some swatches of this product.)

Are you inspired to go purple, or will you tone it down or blend it out? 

Monday, 10 December 2012

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but this coat is so delightful!

Are you somewhere warm this winter? If so, I'm incredibly jealous! Feel free to ignore this post, as probably winter coats are the last thing on your mind. However, if you're like me and somewhere cold, you've probably either got a selection of winter coats or are on the lookout for one or some! After all, it's hard to stay beautiful if you're freezing!

It depends how cold your winters are as to how many coats you need, so obviously you may find you have less or more than I've covered, but hey, I'm only one person! I find that I need at least 4 types of coats each winter and here they are with some prime picks that are currently available for the lower budget and the splurger.


The transitional coat

The transitional coat, as the name implies, can be worn in the transition between the seasons. You can also wear it on chilly spring and autumn days. I'd almost say there needs to be another category to contain the trench coat but actually a nice trench can work really well as your transitional coat. Also, the trench is a classic for non-cold climates as well.

Bargain: £19.75 Forever 21

Big ticket: £995.00 Burberry

the waterproof coat

Aside from being waterproof, this coat should also be a wind breaker (or wind cheater) and keep the cold wind out as well as the wet rain, snow, and slush.

Bargain: £60.00 River Island

Big ticket: £229.95 Barbour

The wool coat / the dress coat

The wool coat (which I've also dubbed the 'dress' coat) is needed when it's cold, but you you still want to look stylish. A wool coat can look business professional, and looks great over dresses, both formal and casual, as well as jeans or trousers. If you only have one winter coat, I hope it's a wool one.
Bargain: £49.99 H&M

Big ticket: £545.00 MaxMara at House of Fraser

the holy-mother-of-all-creation it's cold out coat

I don't usually need one of these, but this year it's been pretty cold already, so I'm needing one of these. In fact, it was my search for one of these that lead me to write this post. You need this when it's so cold you don't even care what you look like as long as you don't freeze. You can look cute and adorable underneath the coat, but you need something that will keep mother nature from you!

Bargain: £149.00 Zara

Big ticket: £420.00 Jack Wolfskin

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Dear Santa, ... I've been awfully good this year. Love, Cinderella

Have you been slaving away in 2012 like poor Cinderella answering to her stepmother and stepsisters? Well, then you definitely should let Santa (or your credit card) treat you some of the Cinderella collection available exclusively at Sephora in the US.

Sadly, they don't take UK credit cards, which is a major blow for us UK shoppers. But but but, I have a US shipping address.... ah, it matters not. This is one of the many websites in the US that will not take my UK credit card online but has no trouble taking it when I walk into their shops. Descrimination. Yes... I'm gonna throw that out there. But that is a rant for another blog.

Also, I know I am late to mention this collection and now quite a lot of it has already sold out! I've been too busy with work and my life outside of this blog, it's been hard to keep up!

But I do bring some good news, Cinderella on DVD is still available, and if you're in the UK, you can get the Diamond Edition for only £9.99 at Amazon. Now that's some magic that all of us can have!

I hope you're all enjoying the holiday season and managing to fit all your festivities and shopping in! I know it's a struggle, sometimes.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Desperately Seeking Shampoo... and Conditioner... and Styling Products

Looking for the right shampoo and conditioner?

These websites offer interactive quizzes to help you determine the right product or products for you.

Also, they're kind of fun!

John Frieda:



Redken has 4 different experts you can have your hair profiled with!

Herbal Essences:

It's like a quiz for your hair :)

And if, after all that, you're still like me and can't find the right one, you're not alone!

On my last trip to the salon, I told the stylist how my hair kept feeling greasy and weighed down. I never used to have that problem, and I don't really use any product (I know I should use a heat protectant before blowdrying and/or straightening, but I often don't! Oh, I'm so guilty), so was really disappointed when lately my hair hasn't felt light and shiny as it used to. She told me that actually, a lot of the high street brands (or brands in drug stores and supermarkets) - i.e. not salon professional - have too many chemicals in them to try and make your hair look shiny. If you have really thin, fine hair, like I do, then you're much better off with a professional brand that doesn't add anything in.

So, at her recommendation, I have been using Matrix Biolage for colour treated hair and so far with really positive results. Although, it's still early days and it's hard paying twice the price for shampoo and conditioner, but my hair was really positively awful with my other shampoos :/

How about you? Have you found your hair's soulmate?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Samantha Thavasa handbags for the grown-up girly girl

Sorry, I've been a bit behind on blogging. I've had a busy last few weeks. First there was a tiring work trip that involved me standing for 3 days straight and giving up my weekend. Let me just applaud any of you who work in retail or are on your feet all day. It's so unbelievably tiring! Then straight back to work, and decided to take a day off to relax... and pow! Had some killer back pain, like you wouldn't believe! I've been through resting and now trying to build up my back muscles again, sigh. Hopefully in time to go on a *much* needed holiday in the Canaries next week.

Phew, that was a lot to get through! So I hope you will forgive me for being a bit quiet. I'm sure you understand, that just sometimes, life gets in the way. It's unavoidable.

Anyway, on to today's blog, I wanted to share another Japanese brand with you all: Samantha Thavasa.

Miranda Kerr for Samantha Thavasa

Samantha Thavasa is a Japanese handbag brand that capitalizes on its foreign sounding name, appealing to young working women, school girls, and maybe even hip housewives (if I may!). The handbag ranges are usually modeled by foreign celebrities such as Nikki and Paris Hilton, Miranda Kerr, Beyonce, and Victoria Beckham.

Beyonce for Samantha Thavasa

They are rather expensive, but I fell in love with some big boxy beauties last time I was in Japan (oh dear, that was 2008, I believe!). I still keep an eye on the range, and thought I'd share some with you today. I suspect, unless you've spent some time in Japan, you probably won't have heard of Samantha Thavasa before (altho, they apparently have an outlet in the US now! Anyone been?)

Jennifer Lopez for Samantha Thavasa

Here are some of Samantha Thavasa's current offerings. What do you think? (Hint: click on the prices to be taking the Samantha Thavasa website for more colours and sizes!)

24,150 Yen

29,400 Yen

24,900 Yen

27,300 Yen

31,500 Yen

27,300 Yen

17,325 Yen

Personally, I really love the little girly attention to detail such as the ribbions, the hearts, and sparkles that feature in the designs. It's something that's still considered acceptable in Japan for business women to still maintain those little elements of cute or kawaii while still being grown-up at the same time.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Superdry jackets just the ticket for fall

Superdry is a popular British clothing brand, that I noticed on my last trip to the US, doesn't seem to have 'broken' the US yet. So, I thought I might share it with some of my readers who haven't heard of it.

Superdry is a clothing chain that features some Japanese writing and I guess likes to kind of masquerade as a psuedo-Japanese brand. The most famous of their items, would be their jackets, which come in a variety of colours and thicknesses - from thin windcheaters (windbreakers) to 'artic polar' windcheaters which have a thick fleece lining.

I've been enjoying my technical windcheater in this chilly autumnal weather we've been having and when it gets colder, I have a polar one with fleece lining to switch to.

Here is just a small sample of some of the jackets you can order online. They start at £59.99 and offer free shipping to the UK, Europe (incl. Russia), the US, Mexico, and Canada. Blimey, that's impressive!

What do you think? Any catch your eye? I'm tempted to get the pink one..  something to brighten up the winter wardrobe, maybe? Hmm... We'll see!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Get the school girl look without the hassle

I am completely lusting after this adorable school girl look jumper (sweater). It's available in red and navy for only US $19.80 from Forever 21. (Even better, it's also available on the UK website for £16.75)

What do you think? Adorable or cheesy?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Christmas gifts out at Boots already!

Wow, it's not even Halloween yet, but Boots are getting ready for the Christmas gift giving season. You can see their selection of goodies here, but here are my top picks!

Okay, so I'm a bit selfish, I guess. I picked things I would love to receive... but then I think when it comes to beauty products, if you don't wanna receive it, why would anyone else? ... Yeah, erm, I know that's not always the case, but I think these gifts would probably be well received by any lucky lady!

No 7 Protect and Perfect Intense Experience, £35.00

First things first. Skincare is beyond important, and no matter your age, or the intended recipient's age (well,,, within reason), a lady cannot go without reliable skincare products. So my first pick is this No 7 Protect and Perfect Intense Experience. It may seem a bit steep at £35.00, but it has an awful lot of useful products included in the 'experience', such as:

  • No7 Soft and Soothed Toner (30ml)
  • No7 Soft and Soothed Cleaner (30ml)
  • No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Beauty Serum (30ml)
  • No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Day Cream (25ml)
  • No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Eye Cream (5ml)
  • No7 Protect and Perfect Intense night Cream (25ml)
  • No7 Beautiful Skin Radiance Exfoliator (15ml)
I know personally, I would love this set. Most of the products are smaller than the full size, so if you haven't used it before, it's not a massive commitment, but it's still a lot bigger and more substantial than a sample. Also, I have been dying for No7 to bring out travel sizes! Those big glass jars may look lovely on my dresser and in the bathroom, but when I'm on holiday it's the last thing I wanna carry around with me.

Dior Christmas Expert Eye Palette, £52.00

This Dior Christmas Expert Eye Palette contains everything you need to pull off a sexy smokey eye. But of course, as it's a shade of neutral browns, you don't have to go full on smokey sexiness, but can keep it casual for the office. This is an amazing palette, and no matter what any girl tells you, she can never have enough brown eyeshadows. They are so versatile and everyon can wear them. Dior eyeshadows are also a great gift for any lady who loves premium makeup.

This kit includes it all:

  • Serum primer
  • Mini-Eyeliner Pencil
  • Matte Serum enriched eyeshadow
  • Shiny Serum enriched eyeshadow
  • Glow
  • Brow liner
  • 2 double-ended applicators

Hello Kitty Liberty Lip Gloss Collection, £10.00

Last, but certainly not least, is a more purse-friendly option from Hello Kitty and Liberty Arts. Hello Kitty and Liberty Arts actually did a similiar collaboration last year, which included 4 shades of lip gloss in a collectable tin, which they have repeated this year. However, the colours are different: Golden Rose, Pink Shimmer, Pale Pink, and Natural Shimmer (8ml each). Notably, there is a bright pink replacing the darker lip shade, but on the whole the shades are all wearable and this is a must have for any girly girl or lover of Hello Kitty.

Have you already started your holiday shopping? Or are you too busy making your wishlist?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Jelly Beans Japanese Shoes for Autumn

Jelly Beans is one of my favourite Japanese shoe labels, and I'm currently lusting after these lovely pumps and boots.

JB Triple Ribbon Strap Pumps 6,195 Yen

JB Side Ribbon Bootie 8,295 Yen

Sadly, they aren't easy to get outside of Japan, but aren't they adorable styles? I'd love to get my hands on the pumps in pink or beige, and the booties in dark brown.

What do you think?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Adorable jewellery and accessories from Ginger Pickle

I recently ordered a couple of things from a neat little company, Ginger Pickle, that I read about on A Daisy Chain Dream's blog

Ginger Pickle is an 'online boutique selling handmade jewellery, accessories, homewares and stationary made by British designers.'

There is such an adorable selection of items. I really recommend a browse! I particularly am a fan of the little bottle necklaces - everything from containing fairy dust to jam tarts! (see below, I caved and bought one of the Poison Apple necklaces, which I think might be sold out now).

I also bought an 'I heart Ron' badge as a present for a friend (she loved it, btw). They also had an 'I heart Snape' one, which I've got my eye. There's also quite a few other Harry Potter items in the homewares section too. 

Such adorable offerings! And all reasonably priced. What a great find!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Going ape over animal inspired clothing

Today I've gone to the animals for some fashion inspiration.

The birds have inspired this lovely navy number, which I adore! The wing it on dress is available at ModCloth for US $69.99

This state your opinion leopard dress is one for your more out going days. Amazingly, I think you could pull off elegant by pairing with a black cardie or stole. Also available from ModCloth for US $84.99

This stunning Orla Kiely fox of life coat is too sweet to pass up. Okay, currently out of stock at ModCloth, but it was too gorgeous not to share. It comes with a pretty hefty price tag of US $484.99! O_O  Yeah, you read that right. But it is lovely! (I also managed to *not* make any horrible foxy puns!)

Last, but certainly not least, is this over-the-top adorable Sam's grin & bear it skirt. Sadly, this too comes with a hefty price tag of US $247.99. Unbelievably cute, however.

Are you a lover of 'animal' clothing? Any fav pieces?
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