Archive | May, 2011

E.L.F. Haul!

26 May

This week it’s about my E.L.F. haul!!! And a haul it truly is:

I was SO excited when the parcel arrived and I just couldn’t believe the price I’d got all these goodies for: just £33.81!!!!

To break it down I got:

Concealer Warm Concealer (for medium skin and neutral undertones)
Studio Pigment Eyeshadow NEW – Magical Maroon
Cream Eyeliner Black – Brush Included
Blush Rose
Studio Makeup Mist & Set Studio Makeup Mist & Set
Foundation x 2 Warm Foundation (for medium skin and neutral undertones)
High Definition Powder HD Powder
All Over Color Stick Pink Lemonade
Mineral Booster Large-Sheer (Weight: 17.8g)
Complete Coverage Concealer Medium
False Lashes x 3 Dramatic Lash Kit

Unbelievable eh? I discovered the brand (it stands for Eyes Lips Face) via Twitter and someone (unfortunately I can’t remember who and Twitter won’t find the tweet!) gave me an amazing  25% discount. It’s incredibly cheap anywhoo with products starting at just £1.50. I just thought this was WAY too good to be true and HAD to try it out.

My favourite foundation which I’ve used for about two years now is Bare Minerals, but at £23 per 8g pot, it’s a bit of a splurge. But E.L.F. do their mineral make up for only £3.50 for just under 3g, so it just made sense to get some!

I went all out and bought the foundation, concealer, blusher and booster, which came to a bargainous £11.64.

Having tested them all out for over a week or so now, I honestly can’t tell the difference. I was impressed with the simple but effective packaging and couldn’t believe the amount of booster (18g) you get for just £5 (at Bare Minerals it’s £20 for 9g!).

They also have a ‘studio’ range for professional products which are a little bit more expensive with products starting at £3.50 (still unbelievably cheap in my eyes!).

My favourite product has to be the Cream Eyeliner (£3.50). I’m generally quite awful at applying liquid liner, but this creamy liner went on beautifully with the brush they provided. I got so many compliments from people asking me what I’d done differently.

I also loved the Pigment Eyeshadow (£3.50) which also comes with a really good brush. It can be a bit messy applying it as it’s a loose shadow, but it goes on very nicely and you can intensify the colour by adding several layers of pigment. I bought it in Magical Maroon but would’ve gone for the Naughty Noir, if I didn’t already have about ten metallic grey/black eyeshadows!


The Mist and Set Spray (£3.50) is really refreshing and has a lovely soft scent to it. It also felt much better on my skin than hairspray, which is what I usually use!!! My make up felt like it was sealed and lasted much longer (though I haven’t tested it on a full on night out yet). As I’ve been mainly using the Mineral Booster, I haven’t had a chance to test the High Definition Powder (£6) yet, I probably shouldn’t have bought two finishing powders at once!
Yet another favourite (am I allowed another one?!) is the Complete Coverage Concealer (£3.50):

As I tan quite easily I find it really difficult to keep track of the right bits of make up for my varying shades. This concealer has four shades in it which can be mixed/applied as necessary. And to think I was considering buying Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage Concealer at £26!!!

I also went a bit loopy buying 3 pairs of Eyelashes (£1.50 each) as I always lose them after one wear. Much cheaper than the £6-7 you usually spend on a pair of lashes these days! They’re quite natural looking which I prefer to the obvious falsh-lash look.

All in all it was complete success 🙂 and I will be recommending E.L.F. to everyone! Have you tried any E.L.F. products? What would you recommend?

I’m off for a night out this weekend so will put the Set and Mist Spray and HD Powder through rigorous testing and report back 😉 xxx

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Nailed It

19 May

So I thought being the product junkie that I am, it’s only right to share my favourite products with you and rant about the ones that I don’t like (and save you from spending money on them)! For this reason I’m making Thursday my product review day. I really do have a bit of a product addiction, which means my family bathroom is sprawling with my ‘stuff’ (as it is described by Dad and brother.)

Anyway down to business! This week I’m blogging about my favourite nail varnish IN THE WORLD: Rimmel’s Lasting Nail Finish Pro Enamel. They’ve revamped the packaging and name (it used to be Rimmel Lycra Pro) and it now looks like this:

To be honest, I think I preferred the round bottles they had before (see below) which made them easy to hold whilst applying but oh well!

Reasons why I love it:

1. The easy application ‘maxi’ brush.

The wide flat brush makes applying this a dream. No messiness and the coats (I put on two) are ever so even.

2. It doesn’t break the bank

Depending on where you go and what deals are on prices vary from about £3.50 to £5 per bottle. Rimmel often run 3 for 2’s where I buy about 6 bottles!!! I’ve tried Nails Inc. and O.P.I. varnishes which are more expensive and not half as good (might rant about these at a later date!).

My ever-growing collection of Rimmel Lycra Pro's!

3. It ACTUALLY lasts for 10 days (or more!)

It does what it says, here’s a photo of my nails on day 11 wearing Hot Gossip:

Obviously they don’t look freshly painted anymore, but the nails tips are almost perfect even though I have a job which involves A LOT of typing. It’s grown out at the nail base but that’s pretty much it!

Here are a couple of shots of my favourite colours at the moment. I did my fingernails in Coral Romance:

And my toenails in the ever so cute Peppermint:

I’ve actually been meaning to blog about this for ages (iPhoto tells me I took this photo on April 20), and my toenails are still in pristine condition (due to their slower growth rate). That’s an entire month, chip-free! Amazing or what?!

I bought their Matte Finish Top Coat which I can’t wait to try out with some sunshine yellow polish and short rounded nails (I’m thinking Glasto might be the occasion for this)! Will def. blog about that when I find the perfect yellow shade.

Definitely give them a go if you’re going away on holiday and want your varnish to last without having to fork out for a manicure.

Motel Rocks My World!

17 May

So, you’ve got a massive night out planned…. to celebrate the end of exams / your best friend’s birthday / a hen do. But alas, amongst all your clothes, you have NOTHING to wear. The right dress makes you feel a certain way… gives you confidence, makes you stand out, but doesn’t wear you. After four years at university (that’s a minimum of 3 nights out a week), and now a regular London clubber, I decided to share my secret…. Motel! My go-to brand for finding the perfect going out dress.

They made an impact with their stripey (with a hint of floral) bodycon numbers (trust me, you know the one I’m talking about), and have since created a variety of prints which are unique yet wearable.  The dresses fit in all the right places, reveal just enough flesh and are TOTALLY AFFORDABLE! Too good to be true?! Indeed… I don’t know how they do it!

A couple of my favourite Motel dresses at the moment are:

           

The Katy in Tropical Hawaii (£32) which is very feminine and would stand out in a bar whether it’s in London…. or Ibiza! And as I like their bolder prints, I couldn’t resist the ‘out there’ Cosmic print shown here on the Blake dress (also £32). The sheer excitement of wearing the universe is slightly overwhelming!

If you’re not a fan of the Bodycon dress, then fear not, Motel have a huuuge range of playsuits, fit and flare dresses, as well as trousers, tops and knits. My favourite playsuit is the Grace in Wallflower (£48) which could be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. I also LOVE the fabulous Jordan Jean in Black and White Stripe (£52), perfect for my inner rock chick…*sigh*.

   

If you’re eyeing up these lush lovelies and thinking ‘I want a piece of that!’. Well… the lovely people at Motel are running a competition, along with the amazingly talented Wah Nails, to win an item of clothing of YOUR choice!

Here’s how to win:

So, for example going clockwise from the beginning, the first three are: Triangle, Tropical Hawaii and Wallflower, you could also mention the designs which feature the prints e.g the Jordan Jean and Gypsy Playsuit in Pretty Rose. To enter click on the image above and post the names of the designs on their wall.

You can also enter to win £200 on their website, and 10 runners up will receive Models Own Goody Bags!

Good Luck!

Trendwatch: The Crop Top

10 May

Anyone who remembers the ’90s hears the word crop top and thinks of the following girl bands….

Yes it seemed cool at the time (along with those buffalo/adidas trainers…) but looking back on it… not so much!

However, this time around… the crop is less girl band and more fashionista. As waistlines have moved up, I’ve found myself wondering how exactly to tuck in my long length tops into my skinny high waisted jeans without creating a paunch… and how to give my ladylike Whistles Carrie skirt that modern edge. I soon came to realise that the answer to several of my S/S ’11 issues is… the crop top!!!

We’ve seen several celebs working the look since it was seen on the S/S ’11 catwalks and if anything it’s only convinced me that the crop is a secret staple item.

Image courtesy of Chictopia.com

So I’ve put together some of my favourite crop tops on the high street. First up is the ‘bralet’, ever so lady-like and often worn with high-waisted denim shorts and oversize vintage cardigan. It also looks great with a volumous skirt or paperbag trousers/shorts.

ASOS Wide Strap Bralette (£30), Topshop Denim Longline Bralet (£22), Funky Divaa Floral Bralet (£14.99) and ASOS Gingham Cropped Corset (£25)

For a more casual look there’s the cropped tee and I’ve cut some of last seasons longer length tees into crops and teamed with my Topshop Kristen Jeans. I think the following tees would contrast fabulously with a high waisted skirt such as this ASOS chiffon maxi skirt. After all fashion’s about mixing it up and having a bit of fun!

ASOS Contrast Binding Crop Top (£15), The Orphan’s Arms ‘Morris & Co’ Crop T-Shirt (£30), and the not so High Street, but ever so cute and reasonably affordable, House of Holland Cropped T-Shirt with Leaf Print (£55)

Lastly… there’s the bandeau. It takes a bit more confidence to pull off this crop.. but it’s still do-able. I’d wear one with an open sheer blouse, perhaps knotted with a pair of jeans. They are fab for festival season and would be equally good for a night out on the town.

From Republic: Soul Cal Deluxe Stars & Stripes Bandeau Top, Miso Hook and Eye BandeauSoul Cal Deluxe Bird Bandeau Top (all £7.99). ASOS has this retro Rust and Nude Striped Bandeau and Topshop has an array including the Coral Stripe Bandeau (£10), Pink Tie Dye Bandeau (£12) and  Cream Floral Lace Bandeau (£16).

What are your thoughts on the return of the crop top? How will you be wearing yours? I’ll try to post some crop top related outfit posts later in the week.

Freebie Friday – Chelsea Girl

5 May

How awesome was April? Fab weather, bank holidays and the Royal Wedding! Being the first Friday of May (how did that happen?!), it’s FREEBIE Friday!

And this month it’s all about River Island‘s Retro Chelsea Girl label.

I first spotted the label at Westfield’s Big Fashion Wardrobe and since then I stumbled upon their pop-up shop at Selfridges.

   

             

Chelsea Girl was the first fashion boutique chain (established on Kings Road in 1965), which eventually became River Island in the 80s. It’s popularity peaked in the 70s and the collection really fits in with this season’s return to Seventies style. The collection is being trialled this Summer, but if sales are good Chelsea Girl may well be here to stay… so get shopping fellow-lovers-of-previous-era’s!

I love the entire collection and think it definitely deserves a look, if not about twenty purchases!! My current favourites include:

Ever so retro Brown Print Dress (£25), Cream Print Skinny Jeans (£35), Patchwork Skirt (£65) and Beige Crop Chelsea Girl T-shirt (£15). And HOW CUTE is the Mini Rucksack (£30)?!

This month the lovely people at River Island have given me a Grey Chelsea Girl T-shirt (it’s a size 12, but would look fab a little oversized on a 6/8/10 too!) and a Chelsea Girl cloth bag to giveaway.

I think I’d customise it, probably turn it into a cropped tee and wear it with my beige high-waisted suede shorts and red platform heels!

There are several ways to enter: comment on this post telling me how you would style the t-shirt if you won it, follow me and retweet my Freebie Friday tweet on Twitter and/or subscribe to my blog! Each one counts as a separate entry 🙂

Good luck, the winner will be announced next Friday!

Have a lovely weekend and do let me know if you make a visit to the shops!

LDNShopaholic xxx



The Best and Worst of the Met Gala 2011

4 May

So earlier this week was The Met Gala… which celebrated the opening of this year’s fashion exhibit ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’ (which I’ll be visiting on my upcoming trip to New York!). It’s regarded as the social event of the year in New York City, and celebrities are used as models to showcase designer pieces. With an array of dresses to choose from, here are the standout dresses of the night:

The Good

Nude dresses were certainly working on the red carpet at the Met Gala. Ashley Greene was quite easily the best dressed of the evening in this classic beaded gown custom made by Donna Karen. Diane Kruger came a close second in this unusal Jason Wu dress and Sarah Jessica Parker looked fab in an embellished McQueen dress from the Autumn collection.

The Bad

The bad was oh so bad! Naomi Campbell wore a very weird McQueen dress… whilst Iman went for an all over gold look (hair, skin, outfit!) in a metallic Stella McCartney jumpsuit. Mary-Kate Olsen wore a Red Givenchy maxi which was terribly unflattering, and even the gorgeous green jewels couldn’t save it!!

And the Bridal

With the Royal Wedding just a few days before, it would appear that there were a few celebs who wanted to get on the bridal bandwagon. Miranda Kerr and Fergie both wore Marchesa whilst Serena Williams wore Oscar De La Renta. Ladies… the only time you can get away with ivory/white along with tulle/lace/feathers is at your wedding… so please don’t wear it on the red carpet!

A Very Royal Garden Party

3 May

So the Royal Wedding has been and gone! *Sad face*. I do apologise for the lack of posts over the last couple of weeks as I’ve been gallavanting all around the country (posts to follow!).

I had a Garden Party to celebrate and was up late the night before making themed fairy cakes!


We settled down to watch the big event and were not disappointed! I nearly cried when Kate stepped out of her car looking absolutely stunning in THAT Alexander McQueen dress… ahhh!

Whilst I watched the wedding teary eyed, the scones baking in the oven (what a domestic goddess!) and ironically I used Nigella’s recipes out of ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’. Sandwiches were made (salmon and cream cheese, cheese and cucumber and tuna and sweetcorn). The most exciting part was to be the Gin and Tonic Jelly (to be served with raspberries) which I’d put in the fridge to set over night!

The table was laid, union jack napkins, fairy cake cases, cocktail stick mini flags, tablecloths, as well as the bunting which I’d been to six shops to buy!

Unfortunately this is the time at which my camera chose to die even thought I’d charged it all night in preparation! So I’ve had to sketch my British Pride Themed outfit:

I wore the Religion Union Jack Body featured in last week’s Trendwatch Tuesday post, with H+M Denim High Waisted Skirt (circa 2007 I think). I dressed it up with pearls but down with black and white Dune ballet pumps (I was hostess after all!).

My first ever batch of Scones were a hit, but they jelly didn’t set due to my Mum turning the fridge down as she was worried our cucumber would freeze!! Sob sob, it was still tasty though!

We engaged in civilised conversation, drank Pimms and had a splendid time! What did you get upto?

I really enjoyed watching Channel 4’s ‘The Unofficial Royal Wedding’ which showcased the ways various Brits from ethnic minorities and homeless people to graffiti artists and anarchists embraced Kate and Will’s big day.

Rich Simmons' Graffiti Art Tribute