Girl Power!

I love a good slogan t-shirt so when Teespring got in touch to introduce themselves and offered me the chance to pick out one of the many t-shirts they have for sale to feature on the blog I wasted no time in taking a look.

Tee c/o Teespring (get it here) | Trousers: Monki (get them here) | Shoes: Zara (sale find)

This outfit is an usual one for me- firstly I don’t think I’ve ever owned a bright yellow item of clothing before but I was really taken with this “Girl Power” design. It costs £22.00 which is reasonable for a high quality tee (prices vary, some tees are just £15 & there are also sweatshirt and hoodie options) with the added bonus that when you purchase this particular design 25% of every sale will be donated to International Woman’s Day charity partners Catalyst and WAGGGS (more info). It happens to be International Woman’s Day today, 8th March and it’s a cause we should all be paying attention to- aiming to achieve a more gender equal world and workplace.

The second reason this outfit is unusual for me is because, well, trousers! I don’t often do trousers although I seem to have spent half my life looking for the perfect pair that suit both smart and casual occasions. I spied these in Monki when shopping with a friend and although I wasn’t intending on making a purchase at the time, once on I knew I had to. These are exactly what I want from my trousers- half elasticated waist included and at £25 they were a steal. They also come in black which I’ll be picking up at some point, perfect for my hopefully imminent return to work or for dressing down with slogan t-shirts and converse/flats.

What do you think of this outfit? Let me know if you decide to design something on Teespring- you never know, it might be your design I wear next!

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The Prettiest Pastels from Coast*

The days are slowly but surely getting longer which means Spring is on it’s way. It also means that impatience to be back in short sleeves and sandals is peaking and my obsession with pastels is ramping up a notch.

Today I’m fuelling that obsession by bringing you a wish list of the prettiest pastel items from Coast whose website is home to some of the most gorgeous dresses and skirts that I have seen in a long while. Never mind the fact that I have no need for occasion pieces any time soon- now I’ve seen them I can’t help but want them, even if the closest I’m likely to get to a wedding this year is walking past the Bristol Register Office.

Fancy florals, cloud-like chiffon and the swishiest skirts I could find make up this wish list and should you have a wedding to attend, a prom to dance at or a super swanky garden party invite on your hands then Coast should definitely be one of the shops you head to on your mission for the perfect outfit. Alas for me these pieces shall firmly remain in my dreams, I don’t even think turning 30 in a couple of months gives me reason to splurge on any of these- not to mention the fact that my budget probably just about covers a packet of pastel mini eggs right now. Ah well, if I can’t wear the colours I’m craving at least I can snack on them…
Have any of these pieces captured your imagination? What’s on your wish list for Spring?

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New Additions to my Essence Collection

I wasn’t expecting anything to drop through my door this Valentines Day so when a red shiny package turned up I was a little bit excited. Excited with good reason as the envelope was home to some new goodies from Essence- and we all know by now just how much love I have for the bargain beauty brand.
A couple of the products were brand new to me so I thought I’d pop up some mini reviews of them. Whilst you’ll find Essence products everywhere in countries such as Spain and Holland they are much harder to come across in the UK but you’ll find them stocked in your local Wilko store or on the Wilko website so if you haven’t already then I strongly suggest you get acquainted with the brand.
I’ve tried many of Essence’s range of mascaras now and they have never failed to impress me. The Forbidden Volume mascara* is no exception- it promises dramatic volume with no clumping and it certainly delivers. One coat of this is enough for a wide eyed day-time look, a second coat is perfect for a more glammed up vibe without a clump in sight. All for £3- I don’t know how Essence do it but if you’re looking for a budget mascara to try then I strongly recommend their range.
Lip products are another area in which I think Essence excel and I really rate their long lasting lipsticks*. You really do get a good few hours wear out of these, far more than you’d expect from a lipstick costing £2.30. This time I tried shade 21 (très chic) which is a beautiful berry red.
Wearing one coat of forbidden volume mascara and long lasting lipstick in shade 21.
I love the Essence gel nail polish range- at just £1.60 per product they are the most purse friendly way to keep your nails on trend. This one is shade 14 “do you speak love?”* and is a berry toned red which I found really flattering against my ghostly pale hands (and yet forgot to photograph before I chipped my nails a few days later).
The 2in1 eyeliner pen* (£2.50) is a great idea. One end has a super fine tip and the other has one designed for a much more dramatic look. I was slightly disappointed by this as after the first couple of uses the fine liner end lost it’s colour intensity and came out more grey than black. The thick end is still going strong though and you really can’t complain at what you’re getting for the price- and actually I’m quite liking the less intense colour for more subtle day time approach when I want to wear liner but not necessarily something bold and in your face.
Have you tried any of these products or found any new favourites from the Essence brand? They have new products coming out on a regular basis and on the strength of these and the ones I have previously featured I am excited to see what’s next.

(Oh, and my unicorn tea light holder was a recent Primark find incase anyone was wondering!)

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Re-discovering Debenhams*

During a shopping trip in to Broadmead with my mum recently we were musing over how before Cabot Circus was opened nine years ago the highlight of any retail therapy spree was undoubtedly Debenhams. Back then it was this huge, glamorous department store that we could spend hours in. We often did actually, starting with the beauty counters at the bottom and working our way up to the children’s department at the top, along with a pit stop in the restaurant. These days we often neglect to pay it a visit, tending to stick to the Cabot Circus end of the shopping area but every now and again we venture in- lured by a window display or special offer and wonder why we don’t make our visits more regular.

Not only does Debenhams stock it’s own in house brands (Red Herring was a frequent label seen in my adolescent wardrobe) there are also concessions galore- the likes of Oasis, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins. Add in to this the many designer collaborations such as H! by Henry Holland and the well stocked beauty hall with all of our favourite brands under one roof as well as the extensive range of homewares (again in-house brands, designers and well known brands alike) and you realise you really do have it all in one place.

Of course then there are the promotions, regular discount events in store and online (and often discount codes on top of that such as those found at https://www.discountpromocodes.co.uk/debenhams). I really do need to stop neglecting the shop so much and make a conscious effort to give it more custom. It’s one of the longer surviving shops on the Great British High Street, so with it fresh in my mind I’ve popped together a wish list or two to remind myself- and my readers what there is on offer.

Beauty wise I could have gone on forever as there are so many amazing looking products out there at the moment. The Urban Decay Moondust palette is a long standing fixture on my wish list, joined now by these two sets from the KVD x Toofaced sets that I’ve seen popping up on beauty blogs lately and am totally smitten with. It’s been a while since I fancied a new perfume and whilst I have no idea what it smells like (a reason to visit Debenhams next time I’m passing) I love the bottle for Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Kiss- he always produces the most beautiful packaging.
Fashion wise I am diggin’ the embroidery trend right now so this dress by Red Herring and the trainers from the Nine by Savannah Miller collection were both immediate additions to my wish list. I’m also having a backpack revival right now and this H! By Henry Holland metallic number caught my eye instantly. Lastly I’ve already made mention of my desire for a leather jacket and whilst my budget definitely doesn’t stretch to the real deal this Miss Selfridge biker style jacket is currently 30% off and a steal at just £34.30.
Whilst I was browsing I couldn’t resist putting together a little homewares wish list too (I’m seeing it as a mood board of sorts for when I move out again). It’s unashamedly girly and had to feature my dream kitchen gadget on there even if I might not get to own one for a good few years- or decades yet.
I’m feeling some serious love and a sense of nostalgia for Debenhams right now, do any shops provoke that kind of reaction for you?

Dear Debenhams, humble department store and icon of my youth, I do promise to stop neglecting you from here on out…am I forgiven?

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Valentines Looks with Ego Shoes

Honestly, up until a few years ago I didn’t get Valentines at all. It was just a reminder that I was single and alone and I was generally a bit bitter about it all. Then I fell in love and started to see the appeal- things come full circle though and now I am firmly out of love and flying solo again and to be honest I thought I’d find Valentines day a bit depressing this year.

What’s actually happened is I’ve gone to the other extreme and have several days worth of girl dates booked in with my nearest and dearest- not Valentines as such I suppose, but any excuse for a get together and some gossip therapy right?

Ego Shoes recently sent me a couple of pairs of their shoes to style up with some Valentines outfits so with my plans in mind I’ve popped together a day time and evening look that would work perfectly for both my girly social time OR for a daytime/evening date if that was where I was at.

Jumpsuit and Top both from New Look | Esmme Heeled Mules c/o Ego

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get on the mules bandwagon as these are so comfortable and easy to wear – so much so that shortly after they arrived mum hopped on to the Ego website and ordered herself the hot pink colour way. This is exactly the kind of outfit I wear when I go shopping or out for coffee (with my friends or potentially on a date) and I realise now that I kind of failed at getting decent photos. In my defense, it was freezing cold outside and by the time I realised didn’t have many pictures it was a) raining and b) I had run out of time. Blogger fail!

Dress: New Look (this one) | Elise Velvet Floral Heels c/o Ego

For this outfit I had dinner/drinks in mind. I would say dancing too but given the dizzying height of the heels on these and my clumsy nature I don’t think it would be advisable. I couldn’t resist them though- velvet, embroidered and oh so pretty these are the shoes my dreams are made of and I am determined to get some practice in so I can actually wear them without fearing breaking my ankle.

I love how the embroidery detail just so happened to go perfectly with this dress from New Look, a cheeky purchase with the last of my Christmas money and a 25% off voucher. I’m all about the midi lengths at the moment and this little number could happily go from desk to date with a simple change of shoes.

Just a little note on sizing- I’d say with Ego shoes if you’re between sizes then go for the larger rather than the smaller one as they do come up perhaps a little small. I’m usually a 7 or 7.5 but went for the 8 and they are perfect.

How would you have styled these shoes? Do you have plans for Valentines or do you just ignore the day entirely as I used to do?

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