Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Primark perfume review: Can £6 Flora Exotica compete with designer brands?

Flora Exotica eau de toilette, £6, Primark
Judging by the monsoon-like downpours I drove home through last night, I think it's safe to say summer has come to an end - no matter how hard we try to deny it.

All the shops seem to be full of chunky knits and autumn colours but that doesn't mean we have to give up on sunny days entirely though, right?

When it comes to the beauty section at Primark, I can't say I've ventured further than make up sponges (so cheap, so good!) and nail polish before but something about this perfume caught my eye. I was running low on my Marc Jacobs anyway so figured I'd give it a sniff.

Both Next and M&S do amazing scents for half the price of designer brands so I'm no stranger to High Street perfumes - but with a £6 price tag could Primark really compete?

Well, the short answer is yes - with a catch. I smelt about three or four in the shop and Flora Exotica was the only one that didn't just ring of cheap body spray to my delicate nostrils. That being said, this tropical treat is superb.

The best way I can describe it without you actually smelling it is this: you know the smell of Hollister? That overpowering whiff you totally hate but kind of love all at once? Well it's like that, except with a grown up undertone to it. Below all that tropical freshness is this lovely deep sandalwood scent that reminds me of bonfires on the beach and walks around bustling foreign marketplaces on baking hot days.

Sure this may be a summer scent but for these last days before autumn properly hits us, it is absolutely perfect to keep that heat sizzling. It's quite strong and lasts all day (or night!) and hasn't disagreed with my sensitive skin once.

Overall I would highly recommend this tropical delight to perk up your September days.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

A little taste of high price designer

Diet Coke bottles and tote bag designed by JW Anderson c/o Diet Coke
I do love a high street designer collaboration. As someone who could never dare splash £1,000 on a single item of clothing (I'm turning into a blue-faced emoji just thinking about it!) collabs are a really nice way to get a little splash of high price prints on a low cost budget.

The latest has come my way courtesy of the lovely gals at Diet Coke. DC have teamed up with J.W. Anderson this season to launch a new bottle design, with tees, a tote and a notebook on the side too.

According to the man himself, he was inspired to take his own knitwear print of Italy's Mount Vesuvio and use it to bring the bottle to life - so you get a tasty drink, designer style and holiday inspo all in one!

You can buy pieces from the collection in-store at Harvey Nichols and online too. Bottles cost £1.95.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

20% ASOS discount code and free Tresemme sample with Elle magazine

Who fancies a cheeky 20% off at ASOS?
It's been a while since I posted a bargain of the week post but this one is more than worth making an exception for.

The September edition of Elle UK has two fantastic freebies this month - a sample of Tresemme's perfectly undone wave foam and 20% off at ASOS!

The ASOS code can be used on any full price items as long as you register it at elleuk.com/asos before 3 September, and use the code by 10 September.

You'll also get a sneak peak at 48 of Elle's 60s-inspired wardrobe pics for the new season - which include some right gems, well worth the 20% off!

From top row left to right: ASOS tee with stripe in knit, £25; ASOS coat in cocoon fit, £85; ASOS Romance Me 60s ankle boots, £38; ASOS skater dress in jacquard leaf print with trim detail, £48; ASOS strap back keyhole maxi dress in orange floral, £65.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Mascara hunting: Rimmel, Bourjois and Maybelline reviewed

Mascara is the staple of my make up bag. I can go without everything else but it's not very often I'll leave the house without a quick flick of mascara on my lashes.

Thing is, finding the perfect mascara for a decent price which works for sensitive eyes is hard. For the last few months I have been using Eyeko's black magic which is totally amazing, but costs £18 for 8ml - not good for a thrifty girl like me.

So I took to the Boots make up stands in search of a replacement - and was not disappointed. I usually just have one staple mascara that I use day and night, but a 3 for 2 offer meant that I went home with a handful of choices from high street make up faves Rimmel, Maybelline and Bourjois.

Bourjois liner effect mascara, £9.99

The bottle (tube...? whatever it's called) says that this mascara, enriched with kohl, "emphasies lashes at their base for a perfect doe-eyed look". I never really believe what beauty products say on the bottle but it really does give you a bright, doe-eyed look. It lengthened and separated my lashes without making them too long and spindly i.e. a perfect doe-eyed look. My lashes flick out slightly at the corners and the way this mascara coated them gave me a bit of a cat eye look without the liner.

Verdict: 8/10. Love it, would probably buy again, but it's not really the versatile all day/everyday product I want as a staple.

Rimmel London Wonder'full mascara with argan oil, £7.99

This was my second tube of Wonder'full but this time around it just wasn't the same. Maybe it was the sample I bought or maybe it's not as good as I thought it was before using Eyeko, but it was kind of clumpy and just didn't really offer anything extra to my lashes. Sure, it gave them a bit of colour but otherwise I just found it to be little bit meh. 

I'd still recommend giving it a go though, even if you do just use it for everyday wear. When I first tried Wonder'full last year I really saw the difference the argan oil was making - my eyelashes were naturally fuller and I really did notice they were in better condition.

Verdict: 6/10. Not as great on my second go but it might just be a dodgy tube.

Maybelline lash sensational lash multiplying mascara, usually £7.99, on offer for £5.99

This mascara has had a lot of hype recently and to be quiet honest with you, it really deserves it. I used to use Maybelline's great lash back in the days when Lauren from Laguna Beach was wearing it too and I absolutely loved it...as did all the other teenage girls. I've always held Maybelline to quite high standards and lash sensational completely lived up to them.

This mascara made my lashes fuller, gave them more definition, and it doesn't flake, clump or irritate. The brush is a fantastic shape with defined bristles that reach every last lash and seems to fit around every contour without smudging on my face.

Verdict: 10/10. Until I can afford Eyeko, this is my new staple!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

This Primark star table lamp is a perfect Made.com dupe - but for just £10

Finding a good dupe while out shopping basically makes my world.

I've been fancying the Broadway-style star lamps on Made.com since I bought my lovely little tubby chair from the site in the Christmas sale. But unwilling (and unable) to pay the £99 price tag for the table lamp star, I added it to my bookmarks folder marked 'When I win the lottery'.

Star-shaped Broadway table light, £10, Primark
So imagine my surprise when I saw this lovely little lookalike at Primark last week. Standing at just under 30cms tall, it is a little smaller than the Made version (which is 45cm high) and its bulbs are a little softer - but with an £89 saving you can hardly complain!

The homeware bargains haven't stopped there either.

Every time I pop into Homesense or TK Maxx I am instantly drawn to those amazing Moroccan style trinket boxes, which usually hit about £12+ - not a massive expense but still, for some reason I just haven't wanted to spend that much on yet another storage box.

Tribal trinket box, £5, Wilko
These boxes, however, are from Wilko, knocked down to just £5 in the sale from £15. They don't look that big in this picture but actually they're a really good size, about 13x20 cm and 7.5cm deep. At the moment they're acting as beauty storage for me, mostly holding my ever expanding collection of lipsticks and sachet samples but to be quite honest they're perfect for storing jewellery, accessories...whatever you need them for!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

iPhone custom case giveaway and 20% CaseApp discount code

Matte bubble print iPhone case c/o CaseApp
Well hello there, how have you been? 

Me, I'm fine - and finally getting back into this blogging malarkey after two months of being messed around by various internet providers.

Fun, right?

So to celebrate my return to the internets, I have not one but two treats for you! The lovely guys at CaseApp got in touch a short while ago to see if I would like to sample a cute custom iPhone case - and of course I couldn't say no.

But it doesn't stop there, the team are offering one of you lucky lot the opportunity to win a super stylish case of your own too AND I have a lovely little discount code for everyone else!

I am really into everything beach and seaside related at the moment (it comes with living so close to the sea in the summertime) so I went for the bubble water print in matte, but there are tons of other patterns and prints to choose from on the website, caseapp.co.uk.

To win a new case for your phone, simply enter the giveaway below or if you just can't wait that long, you can order a stylish little something using this 20% code at the checkout: CHEERFULCASE2015. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The 20% discount code CHEERFULCASE2015 is valid for use on caseapp.co.uk until 14 July 2015.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

15 pouches you probably don't need (but definitely will want!) in your handbag

With very limited storage space in my little house, I have to keep things pretty concise in my wardrobe - but there's three things I have managed to accumulate tens of. Nail varnish, lippies and zip top pouches apparently are my shopping kryptonite. 

Nevermind the fact that I usually carry a big slouchy bag around with all the contents rolling around inside, I've managed to accumulate a neat little pile of pouches and zip top clutch bags, sitting on one of the shelves in my wardrobe.

Thing is, pouches and clutches are just so versatile for summer. Use them as bags, storage, whatever, they are worth their weight in gold (although admittedly that's not much!!!)

Pouches from L-R:

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