Monday, 14 October 2013

Glossybox #2: June 2013

So I realise it is no longer June, and I am seriously behind on my reviews but I've been graduating after a 3 year undergrad course, moving house, enrolling at a new university and applying for jobs, so please forgive me!

My second Glossybox that I received gleefully in the post was in June. After my joy at what I got in the first one I couldn't wait to see what was waiting in that pretty pink box.

So, here's what I found:

1. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse
This was described as 'Summer in a bottle' and it certainly smelt like it. It's a dry oil with a super sweet smell to it, and can be used on hair and skin. It's supposed to strengthen and hydrate your hair. Although this is aimed at summer time, I'm looking forward to see if it still has the same effects in the winter, as my hair really gets battered from the winter wind and rain. I would definitely recommend this for hair. I'm yet to try it on my skin.
100ml for £34. The size I received was a 10ml bottle.

2. Figs & Rose Lip Balm
There were two options which you could receive: Cherry Blossom, or Coco Rose.
I got Coco Rose. It smells divine! It's 100% natural ingredients, and is in a tube very similar to that of the L'Occitane hand cream(!) What I love most about this lip balm is that its tinted, but to a point where you can actually see some colour. I find myself putting lip balm on and then lip gloss or lipstick over the top when it's dried a bit, but this way I have everything in one.
This also has a bit of sparkle in it which brightens everyone's day.
12.5ml for £5.00. I received a full sized product.

3. Helen E Cosmetics
Shimmer Eye Powder- shade 5.
Now, I am already biased with this product because I love mineral eye shadows. I find them much easier to work with and blend. This one was in a pinky purple colour, but not so pink that it made me look ill, as I have very pale skin.
I would recommend this product for sure, but I can't see any particular difference between this eyeshadow and any other mineral make up brand just through the use of this product.
Eye Shimmer: 1.5g for £5. I received a full size product.

4. Me Me Me Cosmetics
Long Lasting Nail Gloss
The colour I received was a neutral base colour. Although application instructions state applying over a base coat, I personally would use this varnish as a base coat. The colour is a standard base skin pink colour, and the brush was brilliant- very big and easy to paint your nail. I would consider buying this but at the moment my No. 7 Boots Base coat varnish is still No. 1.
Full size £5. This is what I received.

5. Monu
Professional Skincare- First Defence Hydrating Moisturiser SPF 15.
I haven't tried this yet, but I'm definitely excited to! This moisturiser claims to protect against UVA and UVB rays and includes vitamin E.
Watch this space guys!
50ml for £29.95. I received 30ml.

The total value of my box came to approx. £36, and I received 3 full size products.

Overall, I wasn't as happy with this box as I was with my last box, but I still loved all the stuff.

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know! X

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

GlossyBox #1: May 2013

It's been a while since I posted due to university final exams which unfortunately took up the last 2 months of my time! During this, what seemed like forever, 2 months I ordered a GlossyBox.
What is this box of gloss I hear you say? Well, one of my most lovely friends showed me these boxes a couple of months ago. We were both very excited at the prospect of receiving new beauty products every month, and I was the first to give it ago.


You have to sign up to GlossyBox: 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or 1 year. You pay for them upfront and they wing their way to your door every month. Each box is £10 +pp, but you will always get way more value in the box than £10.

Pretty Products!
My first box arrived last month (May), which was a great pick-me-up during the exam drag.
The whole thing was an experience. Opening the box, everything was exciting! The products are wrapped in tissue paper, of which this month was special because it was GlossyBox's second birthday.
The 5 products in my box this month were:
1. Caudalie Divine Oil
2. L'Occitane Angelica Hydration Cream
3. Beautiful Movements Cosmetics Prime & Create Mixing Medium
4. Jelly Pong Pong Fairy Lashes Mascara
5. Headline Colors Poolside Party Nail Polish

I also got an extra little gift of mini nail files because it was birthday month!

I haven't used them all yet but here's my opinion so far:

The Caudalie oil is for everywhere, apparently, however so far I have only used it on my nails and hands. It has made my nails so much better- they are more hydrated and less brittle. I want to use it on my hair next- hopefully it will sort my split ends out!

Beautiful Movements Prime mixing medium has been great as a primer to put on before make-up. The sample however, was a bit small for me to get a good idea as to how it suits my skin etc. So I can't really come to a conclusion on that one!

Headline Colors Nail Polish- I got a brilliant electric blue colour which I was really excited to use. The colour, it seems, is all that turned out to be good though. Applying it to my nails was not fun- it's a very thin consistency, which translates in to me getting it all over my fingers. As with most nail varnish, you need two coats, which made the colour more vibrant. However, it chipped off quite easily. I was a bit disappointed with this one. The colour was fabulous but that was about it!

I still need to use the mascara and cream, so this is something to look forward to!

This box came to the value of £44.50, and you always get at least 1 full sized product. I got 2 in this box.

My next GlossyBox is on its way so I can't wait to open it and see what treats I have for this month!

This has been the best thing I have bought (invested!) in in ages! It gives me the opportunity to find new products without spending a fortune then finding they might be wrong for me. I've already got some new favourites too!

Have you tried GlossyBox? What are your thoughts? If you haven't tried it, would you sign up?

Monday, 15 April 2013

Westwood Ho! Stockport Vintage Village Fair

Eros Handbag with
Linda Farrow Sunglasses
Yesterday I made a return to the Vintage Village in Stockport. I always love a visit to VV- be it just to browse or to sell. I haven't been there since November so I was excited to see the old market hall again. I was even more excited because the theme of this month's fair was dedicated to British designer Vivienne Westwood.

Customers and stallholders alike were dressed in tartan, and punk inspired pieces, and there were many lovely ladies showing off their Vivienne Westwood + Melissa Shoes (including me!).
I was attending this fair as a stallholder, with my vintage clothes and
accessories 'business', 'Eclectique Chic'. I'd decided to have a mid-season sale to move some stock on in order to make room for new beauties. This proved a successful tactic- who doesn't love a sale!?

I had loads on offer, Valentino, Escada, Balenciaga, Celine, Dior as well as Westwood, and some great unnamed vintage pieces as well as vintage high street names and boutique brands- fashion to suit everyone.

Vivienne Westwood Tie
My first sale of the day was a Vivienne Westwood red tie which my dad had given me to sell from his ever-growing tie collection. The man I sold it too was looking super trendy, wearing a black shirt with leopard print collar (of which he informed me was from Topman!). I was very pleased to have kicked off the day with a sale of a Westwood design!
A highlight of my day was selling a Dior beauty brooch- it was super cute with a bow and said 'Christian Dior'. A very nice guy bought it as a treat for his girlfriend- I hope she loves it.
The market also had a visit from a Steampunk group (I had to google that when I got home...) but they looked great. The image is Victoriana/ futuristic inventions. I got chatting with a very nice couple (who were dressed more towards the Victorian half of the definition) of which the lady had a full-on bustle part of her dress, and the gentleman had a spectacular embroidered coat.
Of course, I could not finish my day without a purchase! On top of my normal haul from Stuart Thornley Cake Design (best cakes ever!), I'd had my eye on these fringed boots from Mint Vintage all day and after some hints to my very kind boyfriend, they were coming home with me!
Leather Fringe Boots from Mint Vintage

Thanks to the organisers of Vintage Village for making each fair so different and enjoyable!

Vintage Village is on every second Sunday of the month in Stockport:
Mint Vintage on Facebook:

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Peridot London

It's that time of year again where I have to start getting my head down and learning a years worth of work in 2 months. So naturally, instead of revising for exams, I had a day out with a good friend.
I got a message the other day from my friend, Jade, about the Peridot London S/S preview customer event, so she emailed and we got put on the list to attend.
We first saw Peridot at Vodafone London Fashion Weekend (February 2013), and have loved their designs ever since.
I didn't really know what to expect, so was going with an open mind.
We met at Baker Street station and headed towards the location. Once we got there, we buzzed up, and were greeted inside by two lovely girls. We took off our coats, had drinks and began to browse.
There were some fantastic colours, bright oranges and greens, as well as deep navy.
There were some great staple pieces- white shirts with a twist like a layered bottom or textured panel. I was loving the "Neville" shirt dress- navy with green detail pockets (S/S13 collection), but the length was just a bit too long for me (basically, I am too short).
Jade was taken by an amazing orange blazer. It was a longer line blazer, with super soft lining. A piece that really makes an outfit go 'pop'. (from the S/S13 collection)
There were also a few pieces left from the A/W12 collection, and these stole my heart (and money!). I saw the "Isaac" jacket and had to have it. It was so timeless but stylish. Short length, baggy arms, and a fur collar. 100% wool, with silk lining. What more could you ask for? Oh and of course in black.

My second piece was this "Salsa" silk shirt. It's just what I have been looking for. Straight cut, which usually doesn't fit me but this was great. It hangs really nicely and looks fab with a statement necklace. The sleeves are bracelet length so there is a real opportunity to wear with statement jewels.

Jade bought some fabulous "Lady" cat eye sunglasses. They had a vintage edge to them but are super on trend and will stay stylish for years.

Overall, our experience at Peridot today was lovely. The girls who helped and looked after us were so nice, and couldn't do enough to help. They offered really great advice with the clothes too.
This is a brand that really knows their image and is comfortable with its culture. Peridot has its collection available to buy online and at Dover Street and Notting Hill (for UK buyers), but I really hope they get their own store soon as I'm sure it would be wonderful.

'Like' Peridot London on Facebook:

View their collection:

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Chorlton Pub- Open for Vintage!

Last week I visited home. Although it was even colder than London, it was nice to be back in the North and to see my parents.
We visited Chorlton, just near Manchester, to go to the Beech Road Vintage fair. It's a pretty small affair to be honest, but something different.
The stalls are inside, and outside The Beech Inn which is great because once you've had a look round, you can relax with an afternoon drink.

What I liked about this was the fact that it was in a traditional pub. With the way things are with British pubs at the moment, it is great to see a different approach on getting people in!
So although there were only a small amount of stalls, it was a great arrangement of stock.
I came across a new trader which I could have bought a fair few items from if they had fitted! (See: to snap up some of their quirky indie style items.)
I ended up buying a couple of pieces from a trader I regularly buy from. One of a Kind vintage clothing always end up tempting me whichever fair I come across them at!
My first buy was an amazing vintage Swedish shirt. It's 100% wool and is approx. 1970s. The pattern is very Escher like. (I'll get a photo when there's some good light!).
My second buy from One of a Kind was an LK Bennett patent leather pouch. Although it's not vintage, I had to have it. I love these little pouches- I use them for everything, Ipod, make-up, hair clips etc. And I was very happy to bag that for £5!
So that's that! Although it seems a humble offering, sometimes the smallest purchases are the most useful.
I'll also definitely be going back next time I'm home, as I also picked up some local produce from the farmer's market that was on the same day- ever tried champagne mustard? Neither had I until then!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Vintage Fashion Fair London

So I finally decided to make a trip to Primrose Hill to visit the Vintage Fashion Fair.
I've only been once before and it was over a year ago. My memories were of a relatively small set up, but with exceptional quality vintage clothes, jewellery and accessories.
I'd been meaning to go for months but it always seemed to fall on a Sunday where I was busy.
Anyway, this month was my month to go!
It was a pretty grim day weather wise, but once I arrived, my mood was brightened.
I should mention that I had a free ticket for entry- a great incentive for a trip out. If you sign up to the mailing list, you could get a ticket for free entry to the fair in your inbox each month (although these are limited!).
The first stall I looked at was full of exquisite pieces from Celine, Fendi, Charles Jourdan and Dior. There was a stunning Dior off the shoulder dress in grey which was just the element of perfection for practical, yet on trend and timeless fashion. At £200 it was certainly an investment, but alas one I could not enter in to this month.
Anne Thomas Ceramic Pendant from Vintage Fashion Fair
I spoke to some lovely stallholders, who were enthusiastic and interested in what they sold. Sometimes you come across those who don't seem to have an interest in what they are selling, or seem to care, they just want money. I personally feel this is a mistake, especially with vintage fashion. Each piece has a story or detail behind it that needs to be passed on to it's new owner.
The fair didn't disappoint with regards to choice of high quality pieces and is certainly one of the best places to get something in excellent condition that stands out in terms of design.
Although I could have bought many things, the blurred line between 'willing' and 'able' (economics speak, yes?) became perfectly clear to me with rising bills this month, so I had a humble yet delightful buy from this fair.
Although not a vintage piece, it was certainly a new and unusual find for me. This necklace has a ribbon and metal chain, with the pendent of a fashionista being made out of ceramic. The stamp on the back says 'Anne Thomas, France' and with further research, I found this designer to have a great back-catalogue. The earliest this piece can be is 2005.
I snapped this little lovely up for the tiny sum of £6. Bargain if I ever saw one.
So if I were to give you any advice, it would be to definitely make a visit to Vintage Fashion Fair London, and to also keep your eyes open to things you haven't seen before. Visiting vintage fairs is one of my favourite things to do, mostly because I always find something different and unique. They say you learn something new everyday, and I am finding more and more that this is true.

Vintage Fashion Fair London dates can be found on their website:

Profile of Designer Anne Thomas:

Monday, 25 February 2013

Trend: London Fashion Weekend

Yesterday I visited the Vodafone London Fashion Weekend with a friend. After having an epic journey back to London, with delayed trains and a mish-mash of tube lines, I finally made it. It was definitely worth the effort.
We had booked to 2:30pm catwalk show that showed an arrangement of trends curated by Hilary Alexander including designers such as Issa London, Jasper Conran, Hermione de Paula and Meadham Kirchhoff. Many of the looks included headbands from Her Curious Nature, of which I wanted to purchase everything from!
The show had 4 sets: Graphic Art, Urban Lifestyle, Eastern Promise and Dolls House. As there were 12 looks for each set, I'm just going to speak about my favourites.
Graphic Art:
2 great dresses from David Koma. The electric blue was the perfect balance of in-your-face and subtle. You knew it was there, but it wasn't too shocking. The folded layered skirts were cute but serious and the mesh detail on the second dress added a bit of a grunge feeling to the look.
David Koma Blue and White Dresses
Urban Lifestyle:
The first two outfits for this set were from a student at Bath Spa University (Stephanie Kitchen). They were both listed as 'Hi-Tech cycling outfit'. I favoured the first one, maybe because the model had a Barclays Hire Bike accompanying her down the catwalk but who knows. If I cycled, I would definitely do it in this outfit. It was kind of like a Parka coat, with reflective strips on without looking geeky! Who knows, in a few years time these may be everywhere!
Stephanie Kitchen Design
Jasper Conran Double Denim and
Hermione de Paula Ladybird set
Next, there was a fantastic ensemble from Jasper Conran, reminiscent of my childhood in the 90s. Double denim? Yes please. Matching mini skirt and jacket, this was my guilty pleasure of the show. The white applique detail gave it a western feel. Although I would probably never wear this out, it is probably something I would want anyway.
Green Levi's and Blue Trench
Possibly my favourite look of the day was the blue trench coat and green Levi's jeans with purple hat and black bow tie. I have a thing for hats and bow ties and this was just a dream come true, as it was different but classic.

Eastern Promise: The opening look to this set was insanely beautiful. If I had anywhere to wear this, I would have made sure to acquire it! A stunning Issa London gown and head-dress by Her Curious Nature. Both were detailed to the max, be it in print or in headwear content! The head-dress was full on flowers and gems, just exquisite.

Issa dress, Her Curious Nature Head-dress
My next favourite look of this set, my picture didn't turn out for, but I have to talk about it anyway. This was a matching top and trouser set from Hermione de Paula. The print was Ladybirds, but the colours were not what you expected. There were flashes of green, but mostly metallic beiges and dim golds. This is what stood out to me. (For a little look, the outfit is in the same picture as the Jasper Conran double denim above.)
Dolls House:
We all know pastel and ice cream shades are a staple for spring/summer arrangements, but this set included a few Mad Men inspired looks as well as modern twists.
A lovely pink rose strapless dress from Topshop was teamed with a shocking pink rose headband from Victoria Grant and some fuschia shoes from Irregular Choice. I just loved this look for it's great use of different shades of bright pinks whilst not being too 'out there'.
Pink Arrangement for Dolls House
The closing look consisted of a dress, blouse and knee-boots all from Meadham Kirchhoff. It was crazy but so cool. The shape of the dress reminded me of Mad Men- how you ask? The shape is clearly padded/structured in some way, and in the 50s, dresses were made with padding to give women an hourglass figure. Okay so this is over exaggerated but I'm still loving it.
Meadham Kirchhoff
Also, Vodafone customers got a free limited edition Nails Inc. nail polish in 'Vodafone Red.' This excited me greatly.

 So that's that! There were so many amazing and wearable looks but I'd be here all night if I went through each one. I hope you enjoy them, Sorry for the poor pictures- that's what I get for using my iPhone!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Valentino: Master of Couture

So we all know this exhibition has been around for a couple of months now, gracing Somerset House with it's high fashion, but I only got the chance to visit it last week.
Accompanied by my mum, I booked tickets to the Valentino exhibition.
I won't lie, I wasn't too bothered about going. Anyone who knows me knows my obsession with fashion, especially with designer and high end couture, but Valentino has never been a favourite designer of mine so I wasn't too fussed.
Anyway, after a lovely lunch at Strada next to Covent Garden, my mum and I wandered down to Somerset House. After winding our way through the LFW crowds, we found our way to the exhibition entrance.
I picked up a little guide, which was classically set out, and we went in. The first bit is of the correspondence between Valentino and various other fashion big names and members of celebrity society, including royalty. I particularly loved the Christmas card from Prince Charles, with a very over-posed photograph of him with Wills and Harry.
Reading the map of Valentino's life showed his dedication to fashion. I had no idea of the places he had worked and designed for.
One of the highlights of this exhibition for me was the various fashion illustrations that were on display- I found this particularly thrilling as I am currently teaching myself fashion illustration. The drawings from the late 60s and early 70s were my favourites.
The next part of the exhibition was the cleverly designed catwalk of which viewers walked down to see some of the iconic dresses and outfits of Valentino's designs throughout the years.
They were all insane- in every sense of the word! Some were insanely amazing and truly beautiful, whilst a small handful were insanely scary- really not to my taste!
A particular envy arose in me whilst looking at Jackie O's wedding dress.
Another interesting aspect was the display of some pieces that had been designed in the 50s and 60s, but not actually materialised until the 90s and 2000s. This made me question- how many more unknown fabulous designs are hidden away, maybe never to be seen? Of course not every idea and ensemble is a good one, but there will always be some amazing ideas which the world will never see.
Going back to wedding dresses, there was the display of the dress of Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece. What a stunning piece. Pearl and ivory lace, with the work of 25 hand seamstresses over 4 months. A truly exquisite dress that is well worth viewing.
The final part of the exhibition was a small display of some of the infamous Valentino detailing to garments- the tulle rose for example. Each item had it's own video of someone making it- My mum liked this part in particular, as she is a keen sewer and knitter, although I think this level of expertise was a bit beyond her.
Of course, upon exit we had to go through the gift shop. I was very excited to see the tote bags on sale with some lovely prints- the big cat one being my favourite, but alas, I could not purchase said tote with the £350 price tag.
Overall, I was very impressed with the exhibition. It really opened my eyes to Valentino, and I appreciate him and his designs so much more now. My mum also thoroughly enjoyed it, and she is someone who isn't bothered about designers.
I would certainly visit it again before it goes, and if you are thinking of going, I would recommend you get to it!