Saturday, 31 January 2015

Life: the Leeds vintage kilo sale

For the last couple of years now I've developed a love for vintage fairs. There's just something so satisfying when you find a piece of clothing which feels as though it's been saved for you from past time. Knowing you're going to get a lot of wear out of something which nobody else will be able to pick up in the high street shops is a discovery to treasure. It's the unique characteristics that you wouldn't find on your average day to day piece that I love about vintage clothes and how you can bring back the items from the teddy boy era and include them in the current trends. 

The Vintage Kilo Sale is an event I've heard about previously but one I've never had the chance to visit whilst it's being in its (and my) hometown of Leeds. To sum it up, a Vintage Kilo Sale is a widened opportunity for you to grab a bargain and experiment with trends you may not have otherwise considered. Tons of clothing, shoes and accessories ranging from the 60's-90's are displayed throughout in rails and tubs for you to pick and mix whatever takes your fancy. It works by grabbing a large bag upon entry, placing your rifled choices in there and then when you're done (or when whomever is accompanying orders you to stop and drags you away) you take it to the weight tills where you will be charged £15 per kilo. It's certainly an ingenious way of doing your shopping. If you think about it, a kilo could be added up with 4-5 lightweight items or a new coat (like I did, just call me Joseph) with space for another 1 or 2 items and that's your wardrobe stocked up in a measly fraction of what you'd usually pay.

When I received an email from the lovely Jenessa asking me if I'd like to come along and take part in a little blogger challenge, I accepted straight away. (To be fair, how could I have hesitated? Me? Shopping for more clothes? Never!). The fair took place in Riley Smith Hall inside the student union in Leeds Met University. As I wasn't familiar with this part of town I made sure I left myself plenty of time, which actually turned out to be a bad idea. The North unfortunately got hit by more snow on Thursday and typically, as soon as we (the we meaning my brother who I dragged along with me) walked out of the door, it started again. After a dreadful experience of getting caught in a bitterly cold snowstorm blizzard and losing track of where I was, I finally arrived an hour and a half later looking as though I'd just stepped out of a shower (makeup disaster and flat hair; not a good look, guys). After my brief greeting, I got started! 

As the kilo sale had been live for 2 days, there wasn't as much choice as there'd usually be. Don't get me wrong, the rails were organised, filled with variety, detailed designs and the atmosphere was fun, music playing and lots of young people searching for great bargains but obviously, I had less of a selection than I would have done if I attended first thing Wednesday morning. That's the only problem with vintage fairs, as exciting and unpredictable as they are; once something's gone, it's gone. Not that, that mattered though. 

After a good rummage through the presented rails I found this gorgeous creamy beige belted coat which was the perfect match to the desired spring jacket I had in mind. As well as that, I came across this basic but more upper class basic white/Ivory top with pretty buttons in a couple of sizes larger. Me and my oversized clothing go hand in hand so this will be the ideal comfortable shirt I can just throw on.

I can pleasantly say my first vintage kilo experience was a positive one. I'd highly recommend going to one because you'd be surprised at what you can uncover. As they travel city to city compromising their excellent value and quality, you can find out if or when they're in your area by following their Facebook page. Easy peasy. 

Have you been to one of these events before? What are your thoughts?

Bridie x

*this blog post was in exchange for a free kilo and free entry at the fair

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Beauty: Maybelline Lash Sensational Multiplying Mascara - my first thoughts

As I scrolled through my Instagram a week or so ago it seemed there was a recurrent theme running through it. A few of my favourite picture takers were all raving about the new Maybelline Lash Sensational Multiplying Mascara and by the looks of things, they were just as impressed as I currently am. Being a beauty blogger means I'm easily influenced to buy the next hyped product on everyone's love list but for me, changing my mascara was a pretty big deal. I've been using the same mascara (L'Oreal Telescopic) now for years and was hesitating whether or not to change my routine around (yes, I'm that fearful, clingy kind of person). The shimmering rose gold/pink packaging was enough to tempt me (as well as the £5.99 price - what a bargain!) but it turns out it was a fabulous decision all round. 

Thankfully, I am blessed with naturally long and curved lashes so for me, this mascara emphasises the simpleness of the application. Giving the honest truth, I didn't expect the mascara to be as nice as it is. I was pleasantly surprised upon the first test by how constructive the open fan brush worked. The side of the brush with the small bristles is perfect for those tiny lashes and the larger bristles add amazing volume and definition to the main lashes; both reaching the root of your lashes allowing them to lengthen by a great amount. I absolutely hate it when you buy a mascara and it feels as though it's been stored in your forgotten makeup drawer for two years with how clumpy it already looks before you even begin to use. This however, is the complete opposite! With how darkened the black is, upon first view it did appear thick and too wet but once I did apply, it spread out smoothly and most importantly didn't leave any heaps of unblended mascara stuck to my lashes. Each sweep of the formula equalised on every lash and it wasn't a struggle to even out until I was satisfied with the finished look. 

The 'sensational' in its name matches with the appearance. The boldness brings out your eyes and the gentleness of/alternate sides to the brush allows you to choose between how dramatic you'd like it. For the everyday look, it's the ideal in between. It enables you to achieve the layered lash look without having to cake it on and gives you the perfect framed out lashes and the fullness you desire without the panda appearance which is often found in similar advertised mascaras. When it comes to the removal, it's just as uncomplicated as my previous product. The mascara has no problem with staying put all day, it's sturdy and there's none of those pesky flakes under the eyes which means it takes a good few splashes of water and a rub of a potent water based eye makeup remover to get rid of the stubborn sections but it's nothing to label as a problem.

Now I've discovered this I don't think I'll go back to my old options. In fact, I do prefer this to the L'Oreal Telescopic. I've always stuck with the drugstore brands when considering mascaras as I think there's always a good (if not better) dupe out there to bear in mind before you go all out and splurge and this is one of them. As much as my makeup collection is gradually expanding to higher end items, I think I'll stay with the ever so trusty Maybelline for now because I've certainly found a gem. 

Have you tried the Maybelline Lash Sensational yet? What's your favourite mascara?

Bridie x

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

What I wore: navy jumper dress

*Navy Jumper Dress - c/o Blue Vanilla | Scarf - H&M | Hat - Primark | Boots - Forever 21

I don't know what it is about pieces of clothing with focal zip detail that I'm yearning over lately but it's safe to say, I was more than thrilled when the post lady knocked on the door with this Blue Vanilla jumper dress ready for me to try on and prance around in. Undoubtedly, the bitterly cold winds stopped me from taking advantage of the comfortable slouchy knit material and my coat-less body could only bear the winter for 5 minutes as I ventured into my ever so trusty back garden which meant I couldn't make the most of how lovely it is. Some quick snaps of the dress don't do it any justice but I know, with the versatility of the dress, I'll be able to carry it through to spring (which increases the dreaming of the cheery season even further). 

I Iove how simple but effective the dress is and how it hangs when it's on. The oversized vibe it has to it is one I'm currently (or should I say always) digging and the same goes for the colour. I seem to have this new found love for navy blue this winter, there's something about the dark but not fully dark shade that draws me in. Of course, it was only natural for me to pair with my favourite monochrome scarf and my black fedora but the simplicity of the dress leaves it open for you to style however you'd like which for me, is always a bonus!

Bridie x

Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Sunday Natter: knowing your worth as a blogger

If one thing's for certain, we now live in a world where blogging has changed the way the media reach out. What almost always starts off as a small hobby, a place to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences now has the possibility of transforming into a lifelong global influence. This ever growing industry crave new and upcoming blogs with individual and creative content bursting to be set free and placed upon your own personal space which is why no matter how big or small, whether you're a beginner or an expert, we're all just as important.

Whether we like it or not (I'm half and half about the technology taking over real life subject), we now live in an internet based society. In this day and age, blogs and YouTube channels are appearing faster than you can count which means it's easy to compare yourself (positively and negatively) to each and every profile you reach. It's extremely necessary to point out how your unique work, your motivation to keep going, every photo taken and word written is something you should be proud of. I suppose what I'm trying to say is, that today's Sunday natter is all about realising how your sideline made purely from effort, passion and love is relevant to everyone in the field of the community. 

On the outskirts of blogging are the people who tend to judge what you do. Don't ever let someone's (mostly wrong) impressions stop you from setting yourself a goal. Yes, there's the minority who start a blog for any old unrelated freebies and abuse the definition of blogging but for others, it's about wanting to build an audience, connecting with your readers, getting some bonus benefits out of what you enjoy and even providing some helpful information and awareness for others. Blogging is an amazing platform. PR's and brands are slowly but surely noticing how much of an authority it can have and are approaching bloggers frequently. Gone are the days we automatically turn to the magazines and papers for inspiration - hello to the relying on bloggers to provide trustworthy opinions and to influence the trade. To now potentially have the access to a successful career in the fashion, beauty, food, film, music (and so on) industry from a website you've gradually built up is insane. I don't think people realise just how much hard work and care it takes to provide quality. It's not just an 'attention seeking' selfie, a quick snap of a new makeup piece or a day spent trying on and switching up clothes. If someone has no experience in the business then I don't think it's their place to comment. I'm no way in a professional position but I do know it's okay to want your accomplishments to be noticed and recognised.

It's quite easy to get caught up in the competitive side of making a name for yourself too but I think as long as you stick to your niche and the topics you love to express, then you will stay firmly on the ground. Confidence shines through when a true piece of you is submitted. Whether that be a wishlist, a review, an incision into your own life, a newly displayed dress or a recipe. What you compose is making a difference. People are leaving the answer to their questions in your hands. Blogging is the social future. Carry on doing what you're doing because you're doing a great job!

Do you feel the same way? This series of posts was made for you lovely lot to give your opinions so I'd love to hear your side!

Bridie x

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Wishlist: dreaming of spring with Topshop


I'm back with another wish list and this time I'm dreaming of Spring. Yesterday, we had a huge downfall of snow and as pretty as it looks, it made me realise just how much I hate the cold weather and how much I'm done with it. As soon as Christmas is over with, I'm counting down the days till the lighter nights come in, the birds start tweeting and most of all, the Spring shopping begins.

When I bobbed into Topshop the other day, I could have easily picked up a dozen items and taken them to the till without second thought and with an outcome of empty pockets (as much as I love Topshop, it's hella expensive). I do this thing when I'm shopping where I make a mental note of all the picks I've spotted but can only lust over, browse online when I'm home, find said items and then create a wish list. Topshop are so on point with their new season stock. The range they deliver is always high quality with a choice of unique patterns, simple chic minimals and those pointed boots (oh, how I swoon). 

I tried to stay away from black this time but with that in mind, I don't think you can ever get fully rid as the months go on (and let's be honest, who wants to?!). Stripes have become a new favourite of mine, the versatility makes a good staple piece a worthy, must buy. Grey is also a shade that seems to strike me when there's that awkward transition between winter and spring but then I've still got an eye for injecting some colour back into my life with the warm toned rust and mustard colours. Last year saw a return of the pastel but this year I've gone right off the idea of being head to toe in pale pink, baby blue, mint green and lemon and am more for the fresh, sharp white cut (especially those dresses, I still can't resist a crochet sundress).

What will you be wearing this Spring? 

Bridie x

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

What I wore: burgundy and black

Collared Shirt - Zara | Jumper Dress - Primark | Blazer - Forever 21 | Hat - Missguided | Boots - Primark | Bag - Vintage

First of all, I want to apologise for how awful these photos are. I had a major dumb moment and was too caught up in the near minus temperatures to realise I never altered my high ISO from when I was shooting indoors the other day. Looking past the poor quality, I want to talk about how much I love this half leather/half plain jacket. It's thick enough to keep me warm but thin enough to just add a simple layer over my chosen outfit. This time, it was an all burgundy one; the oxblood shades are my favourite kind to wear in the winter. I think it's one of those tones I can easily pull off, it brings out my features and most importantly, pairs brilliantly with the ever so trustworthy black! As much as I enjoy trying to inject some colour (stylewise) into a daunting winter, I also can always rely on the dark choices the most.

Bridie x

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The Sunday Natter: 10 beauty mistakes we all made

Welcome to my first installation of my 'Sunday Natter' errrbody. You may have seen in my new year blog goals post that I fancied taking a step forward and creating a weekly post with the same, contributed theme. With great thought I've decided on a chatty type of post where I can give my opinion on daily thoughts, and it's open for everyone else to have their say too. As there's been so much bad news in the world lately I didn't want to start my series off with a long, ranting, negative post (which I could easily compose when I'm in the mood) so I agreed on a post you can still contribute to but which contains some lightweight comedy for you to remember and have a little giggle over.

We all have those terrible, cringeworthy imagined memories we shudder at from the mere flashback of them. As the years go by, trends change but you can't help but look back and think "what the hell was I doing" - especially in the hair and beauty department. If there was such thing as going back in time and giving yourself a reassuring heads up that you're doing it all wrong then life would be a breeze but unfortunately, that's not possible so you have to embrace the mistakes and learn not to follow your younger self's instruction guide ever again. For me, there's plenty of regrets and to narrow it down to just ten was difficult but I managed and I hope you can relate!

1) Damaging and experimenting badly with your hair.
To the extreme. From dying your already dead bleached yellow blonde hair to straightening (and even taking your straighteners to school, did anybody else do this?) your already poker straight hair to the point your frazzled ends are wincing for air. Oh, how pleased I am I saw sense; ditched the god awful front quiff, swept fringe and overly layered hair and recognised what actually did suit my face shape.

2) Over plucking eyebrows.
This was a firm horrific time in my life. It seems I didn't know when to stop and now I'm suffering big time (damn you eyebrows that never grow). Getting rid of near enough all hair and/or leaving a thin hook/line with a small arch across your brow bone which represents a tadpole (or that male reproductive cell) wasn't even pressed about as though it was the norm which to this day, still appalls me. Raise your hand if you're guilty as sin!

3) Neon shimmer eyeshadow and frightful eyeliner.
Why, oh why did we ever think this was a good idea? Bright blue, pink and silver eyeshadow was my favourite, with an added straight appliance of eyeliner parallel from the corner of my eye which looked as though it had been drawn on with a ruler (see monstrous evidence here). If that wasn't bad enough, this carried on for another few years and my eyelids continued to be drowned in creamy glitter.

4) Taking your Mizz magazine lipgloss with you wherever you went.
Please tell me I wasn't the only one who religiously bought the Mizz and Sugar magazine every week and was filled with delight when another tacky unbranded lipgloss was attached to the front? Note to teenage self: there's only so many times you can apply the clear gloss until you realise it does nothing to your lips, only magnetises your hair when it's windy (oh, the annoyance).

5) Glitter mascara. And hair mascara. Where on earth did that come from? It did not make you cool or sexy, it just made you look as though you'd been in a fight with a unicorn.

6) Over concealing. Unfortunately with teen years comes hormones and some pesky pre pubescent spots. All is well if you find the right shade and quality to cover up but loading a ton of cheap concealer over the same scabby spot did not look pretty in the slightest.

7) Making sure your makeup matches your outfit.
Obviously this is my way of sarcasm. Something tells me a vibrant hot pink lipstick does not pair well with your long red top, your circled belt tied round the bottom and your turn up jeans (I swear this is all I wore around 9 years ago!). Having a mismatch of makeup with your clothes can work but only when you know how to work it.

8) Buying any sort of foundation without swatching.
Walking into a drugstore was much easier back then. The decision was made by what foundation was A) the nearest to the entrance or B) on offer (usually it ended up being the ever so popular Dream Matte Mouse). That orange toned face was represented down to a tee, as was the miscoloured unblended curve along your jaw line. I even went all out and wore Rimmel Instant Tan Sun Shimmer on my complexion in my extremely younger days but once again, it was never pointed out. Please, future parents, if your daughter appears to be glowing with Wotsit coloured skin, tell them politely that they may want to consider another approach.

9) Makeup wipes and no skincare routine.
Okay, I admit this is the most recent mistake of mine but at least my knowledge has improved. 99p face wipes with no added benefits and applying makeup over an unmoisturised face which most likely still had yesterday's makeup smeared in is a real problem. Now I've become a bit of a bacteria freak, that makes me feel a tiny bit sick.

10) Deciding going cheap is the only option.
Me and my group of friends had a nickname when we were younger. I won't release the embarrassment but I will say it had the word 'market' in it. The reason for this is because it was guaranteed I would get near enough every piece of makeup from the £1 basket in my local market. Either that, or Bodycare (oh, those witchy square false nails were a dream back in the day). Looking back, I've come a long way. Who'd ever thought I'd only settle for expensive makeup when I used to go hunting the market makeup stalls. I wish I could have banged my head against a brick wall (not literally, obviously) and ordered my 13 year old self not to abuse your face and then maybe I wouldn't cover said (and more grown up) face in shame when the old photos are fished out.

Do you have any of your own cringeworthy mistakes to add to the list?

Bridie x

Friday, 16 January 2015

What I got for Christmas: the sale buys

I know, Christmas is well and truly over now and the January blues have ferociously kicked in but with January comes part 2, the follow up from Christmas and more importantly; the sales. The sales are my weakness; they're so carefully planned out so that any money you received as a gift is blown straight away. Surprisingly, I have managed to control myself this year (well, the more appropriate term is I've 'improved'). I'm quite naughty when it comes to those big deals. I'm one for buying something purely because it's reduced by around £40, not because I'd buy it normally or because I'll get plenty of use out of it, just because it's there staring at me, asking for my hand in purchase. I admittedly hold my hands up on being guilty bargain buying for the sake of it but this time, I can honestly say I'm not just going to shove these away for them to collect dust and never to be seen again (well, I'm not making a heart felt promise).

Boots's sales are one of my favourite kinds. I'm pretty gutted I missed the latest one (I really need to start taking note of the important dates) but I was lucky enough to pick up two of their reduced gift sets at the end of December. The first was Think Pamper by Soap & Glory and the No7 Protect & Perfect which was for my Mum's birthday (just to add, she's really enjoying using some skincare products and is impressed with the softening results so far). Soap & Glory never let me down, their bath and body products remain classic pampering beauties and I always leave a pleasant smell behind when I've indulged in some S&G me time. Included in the prettily packaged bag were Clean On Me shower gel, The Righteous Butter body cream, Glad Hair Day shampoo, Scrub Of Your Life body buffer and Heel Genius foot cream. It's becoming a recurring pattern collecting all these miniatures but I love to mix things up a bit and some of the items included I'm yet to try which makes the find of a great offer even better!

Before Look Fantastic sneakily changed their prices back to the originals, a few weeks back I managed to whip up a product I've been meaning to get my hands on for while; the Alpha H Liquid Gold. For £21.00 instead of £33.50, my hopes were already lifted but once I received my parcel I was even more delighted by how effective the simplistic clear lotion is. I'm glad I took the word of the reviews I read as ever since I've started using it, my face has transformed. It armours my massive breakouts, makes my skin appear glowing and complexion feel brighter and softer. It's certainly the definition of magic in a bottle. 

Four dresses and a playsuit, sounds like a trashy version of a newly made film but is in fact, the only clothes I purchased in the sales (can I get a hooray?!). I guess it's enough, considering the amount of garments in my wardrobe, I shouldn't be really thinking about obtaining more but if you know me, you know I have a legitimate addiction to shopping and there's no stopping me. I always consider the summer and holidays abroad when I browse through the sales (oh, how I'm dreaming), the stores seem to shove some previous summer supplies in with the offers and you can usually pick up some bargains like this Origami Print Dress and a River Island 60's floral print sleeveless playsuit (sold out now, sorrrry!). The rest of the pieces I picked up are very versatile; I love the camel coloured Funnel Neck Dress and the royal blue Urban Outfitters dress (which is also out of stock, booo!). I feel like they'll both be a key staple in my wardrobe for the rest of winter and into the upcoming seasons. The Blue Vanilla Burgundy Diamond Tile Dress has to be one of my best picks. I've really gone off abstract patterns but this one is an exception. It's so complimenting on me, making me look ten times skinnier than I am (which is always a bonus, obviously!) and it can be styled alone or with layers which makes it the perfect piece.

Now, with a fresh stock up of clothes follows a clear out of half my belongings so stay tuned for my very first blog sale which will be available on my blog as soon as I hoard through the piles of items that need to be photographed (I'll also be gradually posting things up on my Depop if you'd like to check it out).

Did you pick up any great buys in the January sales?

Bridie x

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Origins skincare, is it worth the hype?

Yes. A resounding yes is my answer to the title (although I'm definitely not ending the blog post with just a one word assumption). Up until recently, I'd only tried a couple of Origins goods and I'm yet to extend my range away from just skincare. However, as I've received (and bought) so many miniatures of the well known and most loved creations I thought it would make sense if I gave my opinion on the pocket sized products themselves.

Starting with the main miracle (and the exclusion of being teeny weeny) I finally ventured into the world of high end moisturisers and so far, I have no regrets. I'm sure you've all heard a billion and one reviews on the Origins GinZing Moisturiser but another one won't harm, right?! My skin has felt ever so hydrated since I've started using this. The winter bitterness can often leave my face feeling dry and unloved but this brings it back to life. The orangey, zingy scent is heavenly and it's so pampering on the skin. It allows my skin to breathe, absorbs efficiently, softens and smooths out my imperfections, gives me a healthy glow and with it being lightweight and oil free it does wonders on refreshing and revitalising without the added residue, so I can't complain at all. 

Next, are the packet samples I received with my recent Origins order. Obviously, since photographing these, they've been vigorously torn and trialed but even with just getting one or two uses out of them, I know I wouldn't hesitate on buying the full priced versions. The Checks And Balances Frothy Face Wash is a complete god send to me. Having oily skin, it's hard to find something that will help control that without drying out my natural moisture. This is the perfect find; it does just what it says, balances the two problems and leaves my face feeling freshened and the delicate peppermint scent even adds a dose of a calming and soothing feeling. The Mega Mushroom Skin Relief is another cleanser that feels nice and comfortable on the skin. It keeps my skin intact, keeps the unruly blemishes at bay and helps to retain the hydration and silkiness of the skin. 

Now moving on to the minuscule tubes. Beginning with my holy grail Super Spot Remover which has lasted me forever. You only need to place the tiniest bit on the troublesome area and voila, it gets to work straight away. You can feel the gel like consistency tingling and reducing the aggression of those angry, pesky spots (especially the under the skin ones) straight away, it's something I always come back to when my face decides it's going to break out. I feel like I've missed out big time by never trying the No Puffery eye roll on until now. As my sleeping pattern is terribly poor, I tend to be a sufferer of dark circles and heavy looking, puffy eyes (especially when I first wake up, it takes a good while for my eyes to return to normal). Applying this before I start my routine instantly revives my under eye area leaving my eyes feeling and looking brighter. It definitely helps, and the roller itself is lovely and refreshing, it goes on gently without a horrible, sticky feeling you sometimes get with eye products. The Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream is also a fabulous product for around the eye. Just with a couple of uses of this I notice a difference compared to when I give it a miss. The eye area can often be dull, dark and flat. This provides the vibrancy and radiance that you and I desire; my visible tiredness was certainly hidden, it smoothed out those awful bags that appear unwelcomingly and left my under eye feeling relieved and softened. I suppose if you wanted, you could even pair it with the roll on to double the sparkle!

I have only used the Make A Difference Night Cream once but it was enough to tell me that's another successful experiment ticked off the list. I'm not very familiar with night creams but when applied to the face before I went to bed, it felt as though I was treating myself to an indulgent moment. The cream was rich, wasn't heavy based and I did wake up with replenished skin and a healthy glow. Used regularly, as it states, I believe it would diminish the damage and create a protective barrier to maintain youthfulness in the skin. The Modern Friction Scrub was the only product I was umming and ahhing about. It is a fantastic exfoliator that really gets deep down in the skin, cleaning and polishing your skin thoroughly and removing signs of unevenness BUT the burning sensation it gave me was odd. It did wear off after a while but my whole face was weirdly tingling, even when washed off. I'm guessing this was a sign of how effective it is and it didn't leave any visible irritation, nor did it leave any sign of dryness but I think I'll need to work with this one. 

Lastly, we're on to the two face masks. I'll talk about them in order of favourite, the winner being the final topic. The Drink Up Intensive Mask is an ideal mask to pop on when your skin needs a lil' loving. What I enjoy the most about this is how lightweight it feels, it soaks up quickly, doesn't feel intolerable seen as you have to leave it on overnight and in the morning it feels like you've had professional facial therapy (seriously). My skin felt amazing, it felt like satin and had a noticeable healthy dewiness about it. All dehydration and the moisture my skin had been lacking was regenerated in a single use of this and I can't wait to make the most of this little gem.

Just by a small amount, the Clear Improvements Mask came first in terms of victory. It is a super effective charcoal mask, stiffening your face when it formulates. As soon as it's removed, I can see how blooming my face appears. It looks and feels refreshed, my pores are minimised, my skin is tighter, and it even seems to calm any spots or blemishes that I may have. The end result lasts for a few days afterwards, it does my oily face justice and carries through with the provided warm, glowing nourishment. It works brilliantly for me and I'd definitely consider purchasing in full size.

As far as my views go, from what I've tested so far, there's no highly negative faults in Origins. They do exactly as they say on the tin and are great for sensitive skin. They haven't caused me any issues and I've received nothing but beneficial feedback from the products. Do you feel the same way?

Bridie x

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Wishlist: H&M homeware


I was planning on posting this a couple of days back but the process of tweaking my brand, spanking new template took over my life (oops). As easy as it was to install (I couldn't recommend Pipdig enough) I'm such a perfectionist and have been debating with myself which features I want to display, which colours, which fonts etc, not to mention a freshly designed header by moi-meme. Now it's all done and I'm so happy with it and I hope my readers feel the same way. Do let me know your thoughts! 

H&M is the first place I look when I have a sudden craving for buying homeware. The majority of their stylish yet simple, chic and even quirky range have me hooked at first sight. It's guaranteed every time I visit the website and the new season stock has been updated, I'll find a bunch of items I could add to my basket without second thought. The thing I love the most is how versatile each item is; they can be displayed in most rooms and provide so much inspiration for how to work an interior idea. 

Currently I'm hoping to redecorate my bedroom (as soon as I save up that is). Just like my style, my eye for detail has changed to a more minimal concept. My love for floral and over patterned decor has gone out of the window (no pun intended) and fresh white, clear glass and silver with an added twist here and there is more my thing. The copper and silver metal theme that runs through H&M at the moment is seriously swoon worthy and I adore the marble look as shown on the photo frame and the candle. It's unusual in the sense it's different from the ordinary and it would be the perfect modern addition to a room. As you can probably see, cushions with quotes/words that look pretty but don't make no sense to me on are my favourite kind. Styled with a more plain printed cushion or a monochrome finish would set the clean, crisp vibe. Lastly, there's the fun and handy pieces, like the eyelash ceramic dish that would make an ideal place to put your teeny makeup bits and would even make a quirky background for a photo. The white ceramic box is the ultimate small storage space that not only looks the part but does the job too.

Do you have a favourite place to shop for homeware?

Bridie x

Thursday, 8 January 2015

What I wore: You Me Oui

T-Shirt - OASAP | Shorts - H&M | Jacket - Primark | Boots - Primark


First up, you may have noticed a slight name change on my blog. I finally stepped up my game and purchased my very own domain. Now I feel all professional and swanky and just need a new design to go with it (which I'm currently working towards and will let you all know when it's done). I feel as though the final goal for me is to stop taking the easy way out and only travel half a metre to the door to capture some outfit snaps. My back garden and its brick wall just don't do it for me but it's so difficult trying to change and add more variety to such a small area, sigh. Anyhow, on to the outfit itself. It was just a quick photographing session this time which explains the scraped back hair and unparalleled rolled up sleeves (gawd, little things like that really do pester me when I only realise AFTER I've uploaded them). I know I said I'm trying to stay away from heavily patterned items but a simple, monochrome piece can go a long way and I just adore how it adds so much eye for detail on top of a plain layer (and the fact it's from Primark, such a style steal!). I do love a good French quoted tee too but I don't think I quite make a Parisian, yet!

P.S. If this happens to pop up on your bloglovin feed do let me know. My blog has been changed to my domain but I'm not sure if my followers are still seeing my posts. All this technical stuff complicates my little brain way too much.

Bridie x

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

What I got for Christmas: the gifts

Better late than never, right? It was only when I began to find a place to store all my gifts (which is near enough impossible in my teeny bedroom) that I realised I'd not photographed them yet. It's almost tradition for me to gather all my presents together and admire them once Christmas is over with. Not to show off, but to remember everything I've been bought and express my gratitude and luckiness. My family is an average size and they never go overboard but it's so easy to get caught up in the excitement that I forget who and what each member has bought me. The gifts usually consist of vouchers, money, personalised bits and bobs, chocolates or something I've asked for which in this case I haven't photographed because a) I've already indulged in them or b) they don't fit in with what I talk about on this little blog of mine (because taking pictures of Ferrero Rocher's and underwear just doesn't have the same effect as displaying the latest beauty goodies). However, on top of all these amazing gifts and away from the chocolates and money, I also received a Boux Avenue heart hot water bottle and a beautiful personal typography in a big white frame from my cousin and his partner, AND a personalised 'Bridie's pretty things' drawstring bag filled with everything dainty from my Auntie and Uncle. It's so complimenting to think people actually think into depth about my certain loves and tastes when buying for me. It really is the finer things in life that are the most satisfying.

Usually the main presents come from my mum, with a generous extra from my Grandma. As I mentioned previously, all I'd asked for were skincare and beauty bits as well as the odd clothing item and accessory (the dress I wore for New Years Eve is also missing from the equation). First up, there's the things I'd get more practical use out of (but whoever said holy grail products that remove all makeup with a soft face to finish aren't practical, are lying). These amazing Zara slip ons were love at first sight and once again with my mum and I's tastes positively clashing she couldn't resist purchasing them to put away for the 25th. I adore the fresh, white colour and the patent texture. They're gonna be the sort of shoe I don't want to wear because they look so pretty but when I do wear, will wear a lot. The upcoming spring/summer months will see my feet in nothing but these. Next, there's this H&M monochrome striped scarf. I've been lusting over the small Primark version since it started appearing all over the blogosphere and the world of Instagram but I never managed to get hold of it, so this was the version my mum ended up getting me. It's bigger and fluffier which means I'm more bulked up with warmth so there's no doing wrong here. These twin pack of bracelets were just a small stocking filler from my mum, also. She knows how much I love my group of Primark bracelets and I can never have too many. It goes without saying that Christmas isn't complete without receiving a pyjama set. This lovely pink check/tartan pair were a gift from my other cousin and his partner and I can't wait to get my wear out of them. My house often goes overboard when the heating is on so the fleecy material may not be too pleasant but they will be nice and cosy for the moments my body refuses to warm up.

Now on to the cosmetics! It's safe to say my face currently smells and feels divine. There seemed to be a recurrent pattern with the array of products I did receive (i.e. there's a lot of cleansers in my new collection). Since Christmas ended, I've had the chance to and have enjoyed testing out the treats and am now well and truly pampered. You can really tell the difference in quality when you switch up your skincare routine to the more high end products. The Emma Hardie 4 Piece Starter Kit was the perfect gift for me. I've been dying to try out the Moringa Cleansing Balm and a 50ml version for me to trial as a beginner (as well as a couple of other goodies) couldn't have been more ideal. So far I haven't been let down, it not only does the job thoroughly, it refreshes my skin, leaves my face feeling freshly smooth and the scent is so uplifting. Next, there was the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish which was presented to me in the prettiest zip up bag and kept in the actual Liz Earle gift bag which increased my admiration further. This was another product I've had on my wish list since like forever now and I was so happy when I unwrapped it. I'm definitely impressed, it's all it lives up to be and more. It's so luxurious on my oily skin and I've noticed a difference already. Finally, for the skincare facials there was the cutest little Origins bauble waiting for me on Christmas morning. It contains five minis; the Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream, Make A Difference Overnight Repair cream, Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask (one of my faves), Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask and Modern Friction Gentle Dermabrasion. Once again, being presented with these gave me the opportunity to experiment before buying the full sized products. I won't go too much into what I think because I am planning on doing a separate Origins review sort of blog post but I will say, these tiny best sellers are up there with my most rated skin saviours. 

I've heard so much about The Body Shop's Instablur and was eager to find out if it is worth the hype. When I received this handy little set with both the face and the eye primer/tint I was delighted. The paste like consistency is odd but so softening when on the skin and I am in love with the scent. It definitely absorbs quickly onto the surface of my skin and smooths out my imperfections but I think I need to use it more than a couple of times to see the real benefits of both products. As another small stocking filler from my brother, I was also given The Body Shop hand cream and lip butter set with my ultimate favourite coconut fragrance (of course). They are such handy handbag essentials and I don't think you can ever fault The Body Shop for their body nourishment products. 

Now, I'm slowly but surely building up my gang of MAC lipsticks. I'll always stick to the belief that they are one of the best on the market. The variety of shades available is often quite overwhelming but if like me, you know what you're wanting then it makes the process of choosing much simpler. I had a few colours on my list but my mum went with Craving and I think it's love, guys. It's the kind of warm pink, plum colour that is suited for any season and is complimenting on my skin tone. Plus, the creme finishes are always highly pigmented and long lasting so it ticks all the boxes.

My Grandma already represents a superhero, there's no stopping her once she decides to treat me. Even though she already does too much for me, that gal takes no notice and does what she wants. Every year she gifts each grand child £100 but on top of that she always likes to buy us a present to go beside that. When she offered to buy me my most desired palette, the Stila In The Light I was over the moon. Christmas isn't the same once you get older and there's no surprises but knowing I had this to open hitched my adrenaline levels up a notch. The neutral shades are right up my street. I'm hesitant on using the eye shadows so frequently with how gorgeous the packaging is but even on my first use I fell for the superior minimal mattes and shimmers and I can see this being a firm favourite.

Lastly, there were the lovely, thoughtful gifts from my friends, Ross and Charlotte. Obviously they know me well enough (and are kind enough) to present me with some Lush pleasures (and a Topshop nail polish in a gorgeous grey shade). The Little Snow Fairy box filled with snow fairy shower gel and pink fun is just the cutest and I am yet to open it because I don't want to ruin the packaging (this seems to be a constant issue of mine) but I'm looking forward to adding these and the Phoenix Rising and Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment to my exotic collection. They're all Lush products I haven't tried before so I'm gonna be having a ball in the bath! 

Santa was very good to me in 2014 for sure (although it's the same every year). Did you receive your favourite goodies? Let me know if you've done a similar post as I love to have a nosy at what other people have got.

Bridie x

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Recap: what I wore in 2014






Gathering previous pictures of myself and comparing them to the latest ones is one of my most favourite things to do. I've never done it with an outfit based compilation before but I think looking back and reflecting on the changes in your style inspires you to keep going to find the definition of your individual fashion sense. 

My first thoughts when recollecting was "oh, what a difference a year makes" and quite truthfully, it's crazy to see the difference. Not only has my photography changed dramatically but my choice of clothing has slowly but surely been made into a more essential focused collection. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that this was the year I discovered hats. I now love wearing my fedoras and bowlers, I always get told they suit me and I think they can add so much character to an outfit (plus they're a great cover up for a bad hair day). 

I feel as though towards the end of this year, this was when my style was found. Unlike at the start of the year, it's easy to notice a pattern in what I'm wearing in the autumn/winter months (basic colours and cuts for example). Obviously in the summer it's natural to want to inject more colour into your wardrobe but I'm kind of over the heavily patterned pieces and am more into the neutral staple pieces that can be accessorised, plus stocking up on the black and garments gives you so much more variety and opens up the opportunities to get designing. As 2015 begins, I aim to keep my style minimal, sleek with added chic (I do love a good rhyme). I'm certainly much more comfortable and confident in how I dress now and feel myself reaching for the fashion forward garments rather than the stuff I'd get bored of and just shove in my wardrobe for it to collect dust once I'd worn it. Sticking to a certain theme may sound like it would turn out boring but actually, I think is what's best suited for me now.

Have you seen any progression in your style since last year?

Bridie x
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