Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Beauty Wednesday: Burt's Bees £20 grab bag

I've been meaning to try Burt's Bees products for absolutely ages now so when I spotted this deal via someone on Twitter...well let's just say my credit card was in my hand before I knew what was happening.

Burt's Bees £20 grab bag
The Burt's Bees limited edition grab bag contains 12 (although it's actually 14 if you count each lip colour) products including four full size bottles of scrumptious smelling Bees stuff. It's full of a good range of samples from across the Burt's Bees range and the best bit is, while it's all worth £55, you only have to pay £20! Bargain!

What you'll find inside:
  1. 235ml Naturally nourishing milk & honey body lotion
  2. 235ml Thoroughly theraputic honey & orange body lotion
  3. 29.5ml Naturally nourishing milk & honey body lotion
  4. 29.5ml Outdoor all in one wash
  5. 88.7ml Radiance exfoliating body wash with royal jelly and jojoba beads
  6. 29.5ml Super shiny grapefruit & sugar beet shampoo
  7. 29.5ml Super shiny grapefruit & sugar beet conditioner
  8. 15g peach and willowbark deep pore scrub
  9. 7g Radiance night cream with royal jelly
  10. 22.7g rosemary mint shampoo bar
  11. 2.6g cocoa lip shimmer
  12. 2.6g rhubarb lip shimmer
  13. 2.6g watermelon lip shimmer
  14. A flat black wallet with mirror
Update (September 2012): Burt's have stopped selling the grab bag for the moment but have a scrum-diddly-umptious range of other gifts and kits to try out.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Bargain of the Week: £23.99 Charlotte Olympia cat pumps at Missguided

Kitty flats, Charlotte Olympia, £485
Micil velveteen cat face pumps, £23.99, Missguided
Don't these purrfect pumps remind you of Charlotte Olympia's kitty flats? Unlike their designer inspiration, however, these kitt-sch flats won't set you back £485 - they're only £23.99!

Puns aside, the Missguided versions were available a while back but quickly sold out (to say I've been eagerly awaiting their return would be an understatement). As of this weekend they're back on the site but be quick, I don't think they'll stick around for long.

If you fancy some more feline fashion inspiration, check out this post from a few weeks ago!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

10 golden rules of pre-owned designer shopping

Ah, vintage. Easy to find these days but not always easy to get right. For every time I've found a pre-owned bargain on eBay, I've also been seriously swindled with absolute junk. 

So when the lovely Emma from stylesequel.com offered to share her top ten tips on finding pre-owned designer, I jumped at the chance! Let me know what you think of Emma's expert advice - and if you have any thrifty shopping suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
Versace A/W01 gown, current bid: £1,499.99; John Galliano draped grecian dress, current bid: £99.99; Marc by Marc Jacobs fancy animal shopper, current bid: £349.99; Chloe riding boots, current bid: £249.99; Pierre Hardy precious cage cuff, current bid: £349.99

I am not sure when pre-owned fashion shopping became such a way of life for me but I do know that I do find it almost impossible to buy brand new now. And my obsession is not driven solely by thriftiness (although of course we all love to save a few pounds!) but more by the fact that I have a genuine fascination for ‘out of season’ shopping. I have been searching out (and selling) past season fashion for years and I wanted to share some of secrets on how you can get the most out of second-hand fashion shopping.

1. Make a list of things you’d love to own as and when you spot them. My brain is like a Rolodex with catwalk pieces I love neatly stored for future reference. If you don’t have a weird filing system in your head then make notes, tear out pages from magazines, tattoo yourself – whatever it takes to keep yourself focused and on track.

2. Make your search area as broad as possible. Check eBay, dedicated re-selling sites such as ours and high street second-hand designer stores as often as you can.

3. Be pro-active. Contact people who may be able to help (like the sellers mentioned above) and ask them to keep an eye out for you. They may even be able to source directly for you from their own network. 

4. Sign up for style alerts and newsletters, otherwise you could miss out on the pieces your heart most desires.

5. Have an idea of what you are prepared to pay and be realistic. Yes second-hand is cheaper, but do remember that many top end labels sell for a premium even when they're pre-owned. 

6. Know you limits. If you don’t have a couple of grand then you won’t get a Tom Ford for Gucci cut-out dress but you may get a pair of heels from the same collection for much less.

7. Make sure you really take notice of condition. Minor issues such as pilling or a loose seam below the zip are very common and can be fixed easily. More substantial repairs can be done by an expert but do watch out as they can be expensive, especially on fabrics such as leather and fur.

8. If buying online, check measurements and sizing. Fashion labels can have widely different sizings, even within their own label. Balenciaga, Louboutin and Roland Mouret are renowned for their small fits whereas Marni, Yohji Yamamoto and Marc Jacobs tend to be more generous.

9. Take your time. You may not find what you want straight away but if you keep searching you almost certainly will. Good things do indeed come to those who wait.

10. Enjoy the chase. Once you do snag your first piece you’ll be hooked.

Emma Allen is the founder of stylesequel.com, the place to buy and sell beautiful, authentic pre-owned designer fashion.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Bargain of the week: DKNY smell-a-like perfume from M&S

I've been searching for a new scent for absolutely ages. Perfume's quite a difficult thing to get right, don't you think? I'm very much a light, non-floral kinda girl but finding something new seemed like such an impossible task (and if I'm being completely honest, my very short attention span didn't help at all). I'd all but given up when I stumbled upon the perfume display at M&S.
Butterfly Eau de Toilette (25ml), £6, Marks and Spencer
Although I thought a lot of the Marks and Sparks perfumes smelled like either a night club or my nan's house (true for quite a lot of scents out there actually), I did find this Butterfly eau de toilette to be very pleasing to my olfactory senses. You really need to smell it to believe me but I swear it's like a less apple-y version of DKNY's Be Delicious. It's fresh, fruity and perfect for adding a girly touch to your spring style.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Aurevoir (for a little while!)

Image (c) http://karkovski.typepad.com
Hello lovely readers,

Huge huge huge apologies for being a bit slow on the blogging lately, I've been a bit swamped with actual work and working on a top secret new project I'm hoping to launch by the end of the month (exciting, oui?)

Anyway, I'm sorry to say there's going to be another gap in posts because I'm off to the city of lights soon! If you have any favourite places I shouldn't miss in Paris please let me know, I'd love to see what inspires you in the beautiful French capital.

So, for now, it's aurevoir blog - see you soon! x
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