Butler and Wilson

Wednesday, 29 September 2010
I don't know about you, but I am completely obsessed with bright, sparkly, flamboyant accessories and pieces of jewellery. I would say my taste in jewellery could be seen as a little eccentric; I adore anything involving animals and insects, the majority of my jewellery collection consists of 'statement pieces' and therefore I am not one to shy away when it comes to jewellery.

I have always been drawn to Butler and Wilson. Everything about their jewellery brand is to my taste; bright, bold colours, dazzling Swaroski crystals, eccentric and beautiful designs. I discovered them a year or so ago and have since been dying to get my mitts on some of their creations. So, when in London last weekend, I ventured into the stunning Butler and Wilson store and purchased my first ever Butler and Wilson piece.

Why has it taken me so long to buy something from Butler and Wilson? Not because of their prices; I actually think Butler and Wilson have reasonable prices considering how gorgeous their jewellery is. No, because there is simply so much choice. I am the type of person who will spend hours debating and debating and debating over which bag to get, which colour coat is best, and so when I'm hit with such an immense amount of amazing jewellery designs, I have simply no idea where to start. I spent about an hour in the Butler and Wilson shop umming and ahhing over what piece of jewellery I should get, when I decided on this little baby...

How cute!?

The Butler and Wilson store was beautiful - its displays were a feast of sparkle and glitz for the eyes, and I literally wanted everything I saw. Once home, with my gorgeous little ducky necklace safely in its box, I popped onto the Zentosa website to have another look at the Butler and Wilson goodies (I was craving another purchase, I have a problem, I know). I was looking in particular for a pair of cute little gingerbread man earrings I had seen a while ago on the site but which had unfortunately been out of stock (they were also out of stock in the London store, much to my disappointment), in the hope that they had got some more in. Hooray - they had - and I bought them then and there.

The cute little Butler and Wilson store in London - a treasure trove of stunning creations

That was Sunday night and I was ecstatic to find them arrive on my doorstep on Tuesday - big thumbs up for quick Zentosa delivery (and it's free!). Here they are...

I think I am in love with these earrings

These earrings are absolutely adorable - I can't wait to wear them! I know I will definitely be purchasing a lot more Butler and Wilson goodies in the future, as they are right up my street when it comes to jewellery... I'm already compiling a Christmas list full of them!

I will leave you with a picture of my two new loves together...

Are there any more Butler and Wilson fans out there? What do you think to my purchases?

London Fashion Weekend!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010
First of all I have to say a HUGE thank you to all my followers - I reached 200 today and I really can't believe it. It's so nice to know that people enjoy reading my blog and I think getting to 200 is a huge achievement so I can't thank you all enough!! I also must apologise for the distinct lack of posts over the past week - I've been very busy due to starting back at uni, work experiencing at my local paper and attending London Fashion Weekend!

London Fashion Week....end!

Fashion Weekend is one of the things I wanted to blog about. I had been looking forward to the weekend for ages and so on Sunday, me and my sister Lucy hotfooted it down to London to attend the event.

Me and Lucy excitedly waiting for the show to start!

My main highlight was definitely the catwalk show. Although the models were, as I had expected, shockingly thin (and also walking very strangely - no idea why) the clothes were a-maz-ing. Here are a few of my faves from the show :

(Sorry the pics aren't that great - you can tell we weren't front row!)

There were some amazing pieces, in particular the perspex purple number and the glittery purple tweed outfit. Both were designed by Ashley Isham - I fell in love with this designer when seeing so many fantastic pieces. Lady Gaga is a fan of him and you can totally see why; his designs are so unique and creative, like works of art in their own right. The atmosphere in the catwalk area was electric and I have to say I loved it. I've been to the Clothes Show Live catwalk before but this had a completely different vibe, and seemed a lot more intimate.

After attending the show me and my sister scooted off to have a look at all the designer goodies on sale, as well as having a look around the Elizabeth Arden area. The accessories on sale were beautiful, and there were literally hundreds of designer labels there it was ridiculous! Somerset House was immense; a maze of different rooms full to the brim of beautiful clothes. We received goodie bags full of treats and also got a bottle of cider on the way out - random but good!

Overall we had a great day at the event but in all honesty I have to say the clothes on sale weren't really my thing, and aside from the catwalk show pieces nothing really stood out to me. It made me realise that I am very much a high street girl at heart; the designer lounge (full of D&G, Galliano and other big-name designers) just didn't interest me - it actually made me really crave a trip to Topshop, River Island and H & M (which I did shortly afterwards!).

I have to say if you're a fan of designers then you will absolutely love going to London Fashion Weekend next year, as it really is a feast of fantastic labels. If you're like me, however, and are more of a high street fan, I'm not sure the Fashion Weekend will be your thing. It was definitely a great experience, and I loved the catwalk and looking at all the beautiful accessories, so I would recommend going for that reason, but don't expect to buy a lot if you have a budget - this is a designer shopping event after all!

Did anyone else attend London Fashion Weekend? What did you think to it?

Love for Urban Decay

Friday, 17 September 2010

I recently purchased these two beautiful Urban Decay palettes, and as I've never had anything from the brand before, I thought I would do a little review :)

Naked Palette

I think anyone in the beauty blogging world will know that there has been a colossal amount of hype surrounding Urban Decay's latest 'Naked' Palette. Now, I've never purchased anything from Urban Decay before. I know, shocking isn't it? I don't know why, but for some reason I always felt their products looked a little overpriced, and although I fell in love with the Alice Book of Shadows, by the time I'd made my mind up about buying it, it had sold out.

Recently however, I've been more and more drawn to the brand as a whole. The fact that they do not test on animals (and even have their own vegan eye shadow palette!) along with their fairytale-inspired packaging and branding, swayed me into trying out the brand. Then the 'Naked' palette arrives, and I have to give in. I love neutrals. I absolutely cannot get enough of them - they suit my eye colour perfectly and are so versatile you can glam up or down any make up look using them. As my birthday was coming up, I put the Naked palette on the top of my list.

I wasn't disappointed. This palette is absolutely beautiful - I'm sure you've all seen the swatches and heard the great reviews to know that! But the thing I like best about this palette is the sheer amount of different looks you can create using it, and that all the shades are extremely wearable. I won't go into much detail about each shade - as there are simply hundreds of reviews out there for you to look at - but there are a few shades in particular which I think are worth a mention.

L-R - Dark Horse, Half-Baked, Smog, Sidecar

These four shades are my most-used and are absolutely beautiful. I love Half-Baked all over the lid with Smog in the crease, or Smog all over with Dark Horse in the crease. Sidecar looks beautiful with all of the darker shades, and is such an unusual and pretty colour. I am in love with this palette!

Book of Shadows Vol. III
Now, about a week after my birthday, and after my receiving my beloved Naked palette, I popped on the Debenhams website on a whim to find that the Urban Decay latest Book of Shadows had magically appeared. Now, although I didn't find it as exciting to look at as the Alice in Wonderland BoS (which I missed out on, sniff), after looking at the shades, reading the description and learning that IT LIGHTS UP I had to get it, as I just knew if I didn't it would sell out and I'd regret it. I am so glad I did get it!

The palette itself is based around New York, and the pop-up in it is seriously stunning. I love the artwork and the fact that IT LIGHTS UP (did I mention that?). It also being based around the fabulous city that is New York makes it all the more fantastic. But onto the eye shadows. I would say that this palette definitely isn't for the faint-hearted. It is full to the brim with shocking fuschias and electric blues, but also hidden amongst these shades are some beautiful neutrals (namely golds - my favourites). The colour's Urban Decay have chosen are definitely fitting for the colourful city that is New York, and I must say I love this palette too. As I love experimenting with different make up looks, and more importantly different colours, I think that this palette is perfect for me, and would be perfect for anyone who is a little more daring with their make up application. Although there are some lovely neutrals in there too, I wouldn't buy this palette if you only stick strictly to neutrals, as there are far more brights in there. I myself love both neutrals and brights, and so love this palette.

L-R - Radium, Psychedelic Sister, Snatch, Kush

I would say if you're choosing between the two palettes, think about which you will wear more of - I would say the Naked Palette is quite obviously more wearable overall, but if you already have a lot of neutrals and want to try something different (and aren't afraid to use some in-your-face colours) then the BoS is for you.

Overall I would say I'm very impressed with both palettes. Having never approached the brand before I have nothing but good things to say about it, and the quality of the eye shadows and selection of colours in both palettes are brilliant. Comparing them to the quality of a brand like MAC, I would say they are perhaps not as easy to work with (in my opinion) but give an equally good finish and for the prices of these palettes and the amount of shadows you get they are fantastic value (the Naked palette contains 12 shadows, a double-ended eye pencil and a mini primer potion for £27 & the BoS contains 16 shadows, a mini primer potion and two individual eye pencils for £30).

What do you think to Urban Decay's latest palettes? Have you purchased either of them???

Outfit of the Day & H&M Online

Thursday, 16 September 2010
Hey girlies - I'm on a roll with the blog posts this week! Thought I'd do a little outfit of the day post today as I haven't done one in ages - I can never seem to get the pictures right - think I definitely need to invest in a tripod to save me a lot of hassle! Anyway, on with the post.

Today sees the launch of H & M's online shop. I've been seriously excited about this for weeks, as the nearest H & M to me is about an hour and a half away, and so having the shop online makes it so much easier for me to shop! I don't know what it is about H & M, but something about the shop just makes me take the prices as irrelevant and buy anything I like - I really don't know why. Anyway, last week I ordered a few bits (the online shop opened last week to those who subscribed to the newsletter!) but to be honest, I wasn't that impressed. I just expected more clothes; I thought it was going to be like Topshop/River Island online where pretty much everything you see in the shop you can buy on the internet. This doesn't seem to be the case here, and therefore I found it a little disappointing.

The other thing that riled me a bit about the online shop was that items will appear 'in stock' but once you go through to the checkout, it tells you that you won't receive them until 'the end of September' or 'early October'. I mean, it's a bit vague to me, and if I'm honest I'm not sure if I'd prefer them to not display items on the website unless they are actually available for delivery then and there (one item I popped in my basket wouldn't be available until mid-December - I mean, come on!)

Having said that, I gave in and added a fair few things to my basket, the majority of which arrived today (a week after ordering them - I'm not going to complain) So I thought I'd pop a few of them on and do a little outfit post for you....

Top: H & M - £3.99 (in the sale)
Cardigan - Primark - £11
Jeggings - Tesco
Necklace - H & M - £2.99
Ring - Topshop
Earrings - Topshop
Brogues - Tesco - £10

What does everyone else think to the new H & M online store? Have you/will you be purchasing anything from it?

Winter Woolies Lust List (Picture Heavy!)

Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Oh my gosh... HOW cold is it today?! I think we can definitely wave goodbye to the not-so-impressive summer and say hello to lots of lovely winter woolies!

My favourite thing about winter is the clothes. I know some people love the summer's fashions (pretty dresses, sunglasses, gladiator sandals etc.) but I'm all for a nice big oversized woolly jumper, knitted scarves and bobble hats. There is something so comforting about these clothes for me; I'm one of those people who is always cold, no matter what the weather is like, and so when the weather does inevitably turn even more chilly than usual, I'm always the first to embrace wrapping up warm.

Image taken from Accessorize Lookbook

This season is all about donning the chunky knits and fairisle prints, which I am seriously lusting over. I thought I would put together a selection of some of my favourite picks on the high street, of some of the items I am seriously lusting after....

Zara - £59.99

River Island - £14.99

Accessorize - £14

Topshop - £12

River Island - £9.99

H & M - £34.99

Accessorize - £22

New Look - £5.99

Accessorize - £18

New Look - £34.99

River Island - £34.99

H & M - £24.99

What do you think? Are there any wintry items you're lusting after this season?

Favourite Skincare Products

Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Okay, so recently my skin has been a nightmare. My skin is never very happy at the best of times; I have oily skin and have always suffered with just a little bit (and some times a lot) of acne, but recently (perhaps due to stress/hormones/whatever other excuses there are out there) it has decided to flare up somewhat dramatically. Luckily, I have my trusty holy grail foundation Estee Lauder Double Wear at close hand and so can leave the house without feeling as though I may scare small children (okay maybe slightly dramatic, but you see my point).

Anyway, this recent 'flare-up' has caused me to re-think my skin care routine, and also has made me think about the products I love when it comes to looking after my skin. Therefore, here's a little post of all my favourite skincare products, with a not-so-favourite thrown in.

I thought I would start with my absolute all time favourite skin care product. I started using Sudocrem years ago, when my Dad was throwing out his usual weird and wonderful methods (such as putting toothpaste on my spots - didn't work). He then suggested Sudocrem, and although I was a little reluctant to try it, it worked. Ever since Sudocrem has been my go-to product for getting rid of nasty blemishes. You literally apply it to any areas with spots, rub in a LITTLE (I find it works better if you don't rub it in too much) and voila, in the morning your spots should look significantly reduced, and in some cases almost completely gone. It does not dry out your skin at all (I have tried countless medicated spot creams, which do work, but not without leaving your skin dry and peeling - eugh!) I cannot get enough of this product, and always recommend it to anyone who suffers with even the slight now-and-again blemish. It. Is. Amazing.

Boots Tea Tree and Witch-Hazel Peel-Off Face Mask
This face mask is a bit of a hidden gem. It's a Boots own branded product, and so I had my doubts about it being that great (yes, I'm a bit of a brand snob). For £2.99 (and quite often on the 2 for £5 offer) you get a 50ml tube, or for around 69p you can get a little sachet of the stuff. I've used so-called peel-off masks before, but they never really succeeded in peeling off very well, and did little or nothing to my skin. This is an exception. It claims to help unclog pores and remove blackheads, and I really think it does the job. My pores look SO much better after using it, and my skin feels beautifully soft. I also love the fun of peeling the mask off, as sad as that sounds! Definite thumbs up for this product, and for the price, I can't really say anything bad about it.

Biore Shine Control Moisturiser
Anyone who suffers with it will know that shine comes part of the package if you have oily skin. There is nothing I hate more than looking at my face mid-afternoon and seeing my T-zone covered with shine. Luckily, that doesn't happen anymore since using this moisturiser. I have tried countless 'Shine Reducing' moisturisers, but this is by FAR the best one. It costs £4.99 (although I have found it cheaper in shops such as Bodycare etc.) and I think is definitely worth the price. It's a great base for my make up and I really notice the difference when using it; my face rarely looks shiny now. Another favourite of mine!

Origins Spot Remover

This is another spot-on (pardon the pun) spot-removing product that ticks all the boxes for me. Although it stings when you put it on (I actually find this is usually a good sign for spot-killing products) it doesn't leave your skin too dry and it works wonders for your spots. It literally does remove them head on, and I have woken up many a time to find the spot that was taking over my face the night before is completely gone the next day. The only problem I have with this product is the price (it's £10 for literally the TINIEST bottle you have ever seen) but if you've got the cash I'd say it's worth investing in.

Garnier Fresh Cleanser, Toner & Eye Make-up Remover

When looking for a cleanser I usually go for something with blemish-fighting ingredients, that helps unclog my pores and reduces shine. However, I have tried countless cleansers fitting this description and find that they never really do what I want them to. I find those sorts of products usually dry my skin out far too much and in many cases make my skin a lot worse. So, a few months ago I searched for a gentler option. Enter Garnier's Fresh collection. It was on offer in Boots (I'm a sucker for a good offer) and so I thought I'd give it a go. I have to say its cleanser is the best I've used to date. It doesn't dry my skin out, and leaves my skin feeling clean without making it tight and uncomfortable. It also does reduce my spots and leave my skin in a much better condition. I use this combined with the toner and the eye make up remover (also the best one I've ever used) and I am a happy chappy. I'm not saying it's a miracle worker if you have bad skin - but it is certainly the gentlest cleanser I've used that also helps reduce my blemishes (even if that's only slightly).

And a product I'm not so fond of...

Clean & Clear

I used this product years ago as it seemed the go-to product for teenage skin. I actually used it for about a year before realising it was doing absolutely nothing to help my skin. Then recently my skin got really bad and so I decided to go back to this 'go-to' product in the hope it would sort my skin out. Bad idea - I now remember why I stopped using it. It is such a harsh product on the skin; my skin literally burns/stings like mad after using it, and feels really tight and uncomfortable. I also think it's making my blemishes worse - going directly against what it's meant to be doing. Therefore I stopped using it once again and have gone back to the only reliable cleanser I've ever used (Garnier Fresh Cleanser).

What are your favourite skin-care products? Anything you recommend?
- brand3 - brand5