Friday, February 29, 2008

Clinique Superbalanced Compact Makeup

Last week I was forced to change my foundation. Well, I say forced, I had already decided to change to one with an SPF in it but when I went shopping I discovered that Max Factor have discontinued the 3-in-1 Complete Makeup that I had been using up until that point so I did in fact have no choice but to switch. I decided to stick with a compact foundation as I like the way it is easy to apply and everything is kept tidily within the compact so that it is easy to transport. I did some research on the internet and the options I came up with were a Body Shop one, a MAC one and the Clinique Superbalanced Compact. I went along to the shopping centre to try out some samples and decide which one was best. I knew there was a Body Shop so I headed there first and a very helpful lady tested a few shades on my cheek and recommended the palest one they make. I didn’t buy there and then, there was just something about the way if felt on that made me think I should try the other options before deciding. So I went to Debenhams and Boots. I couldn’t find a MAC counter at either store so that was out, but Debenhams has a Clinique counter so an equally helpful lady tested some shades of foundation on me there and again, I needed the paler shade. I decided I liked the feel of this one better so I decided to splash out and buy it. It’s not cheap, £21.50 for the initial purchase but refills are available at £17.50 I think. And although the Boots in the shopping centre doesn’t have a Clinique counter, my local Boots is a bigger store and does have one. So when I go back for the refill I will be able to collect the points on my Advantage card. (Did I tell you about the time someone at Boots put 8000 points on my card rather than 8? Hello £80 to spend in Boots!) They say you get what you pay for and in many cases that is true. And I would say so in this case. The coverage is definitely better than the Max Factor one and although I try not to be seduced by packaging, then shiny silver case is very classy. I am keeping it in its box at present to prevent it getting scratched. It also contains SPF 20 and although I‘m not sure how effective this can be in a foundation, it’s got to help a bit, right? It is unlikely I will be switching any more of my cosmetics to a premium brand but I will definitely be sticking with this foundation for the foreseeable future. Until they discontinue it of course.

Sally Hanson Mega Shine Nail Polish

I don’t think I’ve really posted a beauty review on here before but I think I’m going to start so I can introduce a new dimension to the blog. So to kick things off, I bought some Sally Hanson Mega Shine nail polish. If there’s one thing I hate about paining my nails, it’s the sitting around waiting for it to dry properly. It’s so annoying when you’ve got them looking good and think they’re dry, only to catch a nail on something and smudge it because it’s not quite dry. The answer to this then is quick drying top coat. And it really does set fast. Perhaps not quite in 60 seconds as promised on the bottle, but certainly it doesn’t take any where near as long as most conventional polishes. It is also a hard wearing top coat, preventing chipping for longer than if you were wearing the colour alone. This is good for cheaper brands that are prone to chipping faster than more expensive ones. Sally Hanson Mega Shine nail polish is available for £5.99 from Boots.

Eyebrow Waxing

I had my eyebrows waxed last night. I’d never had anything waxed before (yes, at 28 I was a wax virgin!) and so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But it was all very simple and only took around 10 minutes. I’m not going to pretend it was pain free, it wasn’t, but it doesn’t really hurt that much. It’s a sharp, quick pain and goes off fairly quickly. I would say it’s comparable to how much it hurts having your ears pierced. Once the waxing is done the beautician then tidies up your brows with tweezers. This isn’t painful, just a bit uncomfortable. And for £5 in my village salon it was totally worth it. My eyebrows have never looked so good. My aim is to keep them tidy now by plucking them myself but I know that I am lazy so will probably end up going back for another wax at some point.

Outfit: Blue & Black (Again!)

This is possibly my favourite colour combination, along with black (or grey), white & red, brown & teal, black & teal… oh who am I kidding? I have many favourite colour combinations. I think I end up in black and blue fairly frequently because many of my favourite garments are in those colours. I am a sucker for anything in bright blue (you’ve probably noticed) and so I find I own most styles of garment in that colour or incorporating that colour (sweaters, camis, dresses, shoes, scarves). And can I just say, buying this blue scarf was one of the best £2.50s I’ve ever spent.

Black sweater – Long Tall Sally
Dark skinny jeans – Topshop
Blue silk scarf – Florence + Fred at Tesco
Blue patent shoes – New Look
Blue & silver bangles – Oxfam

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Clothing Sale!

No, not me, but the lovely Fabulously Broke in the City is having a cleanout sale. You can find her wares at her new Massive Closet Cleanout Blog (she doesn’t believe in ebay). There are not many items up there yet but keep checking back because I’m sure she will have some fantastic things for sale.

Outfit: Green Accessories

Blue jeans – Next (charity shop)
Green boots – River Island
Black polo sweater – Long Tall Sally
Green ribbon – Duttons For Buttons Haberdashery
Green pendant necklace – Primark

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Outfit: Blue & Black

Bored of your boots but it’s still too chilly out to bear your legs? Try some knee high socks, either over tights or without tights depending how brave you’re feeling. It’s very Carrie in the SATC movie.

On an unrelated note, I seem to wear this colour combination a lot.

Black cardi – Long Tall Sally
Dark denim skirt – Topshop (refashioned from jeans by me)
Blue rib top – Topshop
Black tights – Silkies
Blue & black stripe socks – can’t remember but I think they were from a market stall
Black patent shoes – Matalan
Black patent belt – Dorothy Perkins

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Outfit: Red & Black Layers

A summer dress (it’s cotton and has short sleeves, despite it being black) made winter (early spring?) appropriate by adding tights, boots, a cardi and layering a long sleeve t underneath it.

Black dress – George at ASDA
Black cardi – Long Tall Sally
Red long sleeve t – Primark
Red belt – Market stall
Red tights – Primark
Black boots – Tall Girls

Monday, February 25, 2008

This Week I Will Be Mostly…

…wearing dresses
…reading Eco Chic, lent to me by the lovely Bec
…watching nothing much on TV if the past week is anything to go by
…listening to Bucks Fizz again
…eating risotto
…shopping for a Mother’s Day present – it’s this coming Sunday in the UK

Outfit: A Bluer Shade of Teal

I think that something teal coloured can be on the green side of teal or on the blue side of teal. The latter is kind of a dark turquoise colour and is the colour I am accessorising with today.

Brown knit dress – Long Tall Sally
Teal belt – Primark
Teal flower (on wrist) – Primark
Teal tights – Primark
Brown shoes – Roberto Vianni (Debenhams)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Outfit: Bargain Blue Shoes!

I got these shoes last Friday at Ethel Austin. They were in the sale and there was 20% off everything in the store on top of that. So from the original price of £14, I got these shoes for £4. They are leather too so I thought that was a pretty good bargain really. The blue top is the same one as Wednesday – I told you I wear it a lot!

Blue top – Dorothy Perkins
White rib cami – Topshop
Dark skinny jeans – Gap
Blue ballet flats – Ethel Austin
Blue silk scarf – Florence + Fred at Tesco

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Outfit: Green Boots

I hadn’t tried my favourite green boots with these paler jeans until today but I think the combination works perfectly.

Brown cardi – Luxuriously Tall
Blue jeans – Next (charity shop)
White long sleeve t – Long Tall Sally
Brown pendant – Scope
Green zig zag scarf (in hair) – Per Una at Marks & Spencer
Green suede boots – River Island
(If I can I will get a better picture later on!)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Outfit: Blue Tunic

Last summer I bought a top from Primark, similar to this one but sleeveless and made from cotton. I wore it to death and will probably do the same again when the weather warms up again. So when I saw this top in Dorothy Perkins back in September, I knew it would get plenty of wear as a substitute for the Primark one in the colder weather.

Blue top – Dorothy Perkins
Black polo neck – Long Tall Sally
Blue jeans – Next (charity shop)
Black boots – Tall Girls

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Outfit: Tempting Fate

This is the outfit I was wearing last year when I had a wardrobe malfunction. And this time I have no scarf to bail me out! Fingers crossed that history doesn’t repeat itself!

Black cord trousers – Topshop
Grey wool rib polo neck sweater – chainstore seconds
Red long sleeve t – Primark
Red shoes – Next

Monday, February 18, 2008

Size 14

Evans have started stocking a size 14. I’m not sure whether this is a good thing or not. On the one hand, I wear a size 14 in some trousers and jeans and so this increases my range of shops on the high street (or it would, if the Tall range came in a 14). From what I can see on the website, it is only selected items that come in a 14: a search for ‘size 14’ produces 257 results but a search for ‘size 14 tall’ produces 0 results.
On the flipside, Evans has traditionally been a ‘plus size’ retailer. So what message does them stocking a size 14 broadcast to the woman on the street? Is size 14 now a ‘plus size’? No, it most certainly is not. The average UK woman is a size 16 and so surely ‘plus sizing’ should not start until at least a size 18 or 20. And yet a 14, one size BELOW the national average, is now being touted as a ‘plus size’. Surely, in an age where eating disorders are rife – particularly amongst young girls, this is just plain irresponsible. To be told that size 14 is so big it needs a specialist store to stock it is just nonsense. And the same could be said for Miss Selfridge. 10 years ago they stocked a size 16. Then one day the size 16s were withdrawn and replaced with a size 6 (though the size 16 has since been reinstated). Yet the national average size over that 10 years has got larger, not smaller. Interestingly, both these stores are owned by the Arcadia group. It is time that the fashion industry in general realised that it is perfectly acceptable to be larger than a size 10 (so long as you are a healthy weight for your height of course) and started catering to the masses, the majority of whom are a larger size.

20% Off Knitwear at Long Tall Sally

Fancy a top to go with your discounted jeans? Long Tall Sally have 20% off all their knitwear until 2nd March.

30% Off Jeans at Tall Girls

Use the code PJNSPS and order before 29th February to get 30% of the wide range of jeans at Tall Girls.

This Week I Will Be Mostly…

…wearing my black cord trousers – they are so comfy!
…reading Peter Kay’s autobiography
…watching Ashes to Ashes
…listening to Radio 2
…eating chocolate Rice Krispie cakes
…shopping for a new foundation

Outfit: Channelling Tall Girls

I think I have mentioned before that I keep a Lookbook of magazine cuttings featuring outfits I like and I often take inspiration from these when planning an outfit – either by copying the look directly or by incorporating some aspect of it into my own style. Today’s inspiration is this look from the Tall Girls catalogue and for once, I’m not wearing a single item of Tall Girls clothing.

And here’s my take on it.

Black sweater/dress – New Look (charity shop)
Black cords – Topshop
White t – Dorothy Perkins
Black shoeboots – Next
Silver belt – local boutique

Friday, February 15, 2008

Longing For Spring

This happens to me at the end of every season. I suddenly get bored of the current fashions and long to wear my next season clothes. Unfortunately the weather usually doesn’t allow me to. I think it was the unseasonably warm weather last weekend, combined with all the new spring items appearing in the shops and online, because I am longing to wear cropped jeans and peep toe shoes. Yet I know if I do I will be freezing! Nonetheless, I shall paint my toenails this weekend so that I am ready for those shoes should the warmer weather return.

M&Co Discontinue Tall Range

They shall be struck off my links list immediately for such a crime! There’s not enough Tall apparel in this country as it is, without those retailers that carry a tall line discontinuing it. I noticed the other day that the Tall section had disappeared from the M&Co website so I emailed the customer services team to ask where it was. This is the reply I received this morning:
Hello, Thank you for your email. After careful consideration the business have made a decision todiscontinue the tall range. I apologise for the inconvenience caused. I will pass on your comments to the relevant department. Kind Regards Stephen

Shame on you M&Co!

Outfit: Casual Friday

Well it’s Friday and I’m cold! After an amazing hair-day on Wednesday, I decided to go with an up do again. This works well for two reasons – first I didn’t wash my hair last night and when my hair is into its second day between washes it needs to be put up; and second, my hair stays up better when it’s second day. It was second day on Wednesday too and I almost didn’t want to take it down to wash it. I think fresh washed hair is too slippery to stay up or something, isn’t that what they say? Anyway, I am still loving my silver hairclip as it is that accessory that keeps my hair up and looking fab all day long.

Teal dress – Primark (charity shop)
Cream sweater – Oasis
Blue jeans – Next (charity shop)
Brown boots – Faith

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Outfit: No Batteries!

No picture just yet as my camera phone was out of batteries this morning. I’ll update the post later with a picture but for now, use your imagination!
EDIT: Picture added now. I don't know why the light is so strange. And my feet are cut off because by the time I had remembered to take the picture I had already taken off my boots and I'm sure you didn't want to see my jeans stuffed unattractively into my socks (keeps them straighter inside the boots and makes it easier to put the boots on over the jeans you see).

Black long length V neck sweater – New Look (charity shop)
Blue rib cami – Topshop
Blue jeans – Next (charity shop)
Black flat boots – Tall Girls
Blue glitter belt – H&M
Blue heart pendant – Scope
Blue & silver bangles – Oxfam

Magazine Addict

Hi, my name is Shoegal and I am addicted to magazines. In a typical month I would usually buy:
Cosmo (UK)
Look (weekly)
Elle (UK)
Glamour (UK)
Glamour (US)

I think it’s time to cut back. As I’ve stated before, I prefer the US magazines to the British ones so Look, Elle UK and Glamour UK are all out of here. Company I have on subscription paid for by my mum, and Cosmo I subscribe to for half price so it makes sense to keep those two. I may buy a UK publication on the odd occasion I have nothing to read at lunchtime at work, but I am not going to buy them regularly any more. Instead I will look for fashion books and style guides in charity shops. A magazine costs around £3 and gets receycled at the end of the month. A book in a charity shop is about £1.99 (sometimes less) and will last forever. I already have 3 of the Trinny and Susannah ‘What Not To Wear’ books secondhand (one of them is signed) and it’s only a matter of time before the ‘Body Shape Bible’ and the many other similar books make it into the secondhand market. For along with the plethora of New Look shoes, there is usually a Trinny & Susannah book to be found in most charity shops.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Outfit: All Black

I have a meeting today so had to look smart and as I’m in the main office it means no jeans allowed either. But switching my days around this week gives me Friday in the second office so I’ll be home in good time as it’s not so far to travel. However, back to today. It’s cold & frosty out again but I think it will warm up this afternoon like it did yesterday.

Black cord trousers – Topshop
Black polo neck sweater – Long Tall Sally
Blue patent shoes – New Look

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Outfit: Frosty Tuesday

This is my take on an outfit I saw in the Next Directory (Autumn/Winter 2007). And it’s also another combination of grey and brown. Many people are finding my blog through Googling that colour combination so may as well give them something new to look at! The original outfit had flesh colour tights (or perhaps none at all) but after yesterday’s fiasco – I got a huge ladder in the front of one leg by about 10am – I decided to go with thick grey rib tights. Besides, as the post title implies, it was just too cold to wear thin tights today.

Red cotton polo neck sweater – Luxuriously Tall
Grey wool skirt – Gap
Grey rib tights – Next
Brown boots – Nine West (Debenhams)

Monday, February 11, 2008

I Got A Mention!

I got a mention on Shoewawa’s Pick of the Shoe Blogs on Friday! I’m so happy and excited – this has never happened to me before! Thanks Amber.

This Week I Will Be Mostly…

…wearing my tan boots
…reading Peter Kay’s autobiography
…watching Neighbours for the first time in ages! Now it’s moved to Five I can catch the re-run at 7pm or the omnibus on the weekend
…listening to Adrian Snell’s ‘The Passion’
…eating flapjack
…shopping for nothing

Outfit: Inspired By Allie

This outfit was inspired by the fabulous Allie of My Wardrobe Today. She has a fantastic pair of tan boots that go great with everything, especially a dark red knit dress. I don’t have a dark red dress but I do have tan boots and a bright red dress so I thought I’d combine the two. I also left on my silk scarf/pashmina, Allie style, for warmth until the sun comes out (it’s very foggy at the moment).

Red dress – Luxuriously Tall
Tan boots – Faith
Brown silk scarf – M&Co

Friday, February 08, 2008

Outfit: Casual Friday

Black sweater – Long Tall Sally
Dark Long and Lean jeans – Gap
Red shoes – Next
Red scarf – made to match my bridesmaid dress for my sister’s wedding

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Outfit: Shades of Brown

I realised I’ve not worn these boots many times this winter. There’s only so long into spring you can wear furry boots so I thought I’d give them another outing today.
Brown cardi – Luxuriously Tall
Brown t – Tall Girls
Blue jeans – Next (charity shop)
Brown suede boots with faux fur trim – Roberto Vianni (Debenhams)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Outfit: Grey and Blue

I love how my new jeans work with these boots. The trouble with my darker skinnies was that they tended to blend into the black of the boots.

Grey sweater dress – Oasis
White t – Dorothy Perkins
Blue jeans – Next (charity shop)
Black boots – Tall Girls
Blue silk scarf – F+F at Tesco

Charity Shop Challenge: Mission Accomplished!

Well I found some jeans in my lunch time yesterday. The St Gemma’s Hospice shop near my office came good with a pair of Next straight leg jeans. I didn’t bother to try them on, I just decided a size 14 from Next would fit OK and as they were only £2.99, bought them anyway. And now I have them on, I love them. The length is only regular so they are not much good without boots at the moment, but come the summer I can turn up the bottoms and they will work as cropped jeans. The waistband sits on my hips perfectly and the belt loops are wide so will accommodate practically any belt I own. The pockets are low on the back too so they are pretty flattering. As I don’t usually buy jeans from Next I had no idea they could have such a design triumph.

This Week I Will Be Mostly…

…wearing boots
…reading Jason Donovan’s autobiography
…watching a local theatre production of Yeoman of the Guard
…listening to Radio 2
…eating pancakes
…shopping in the charity shops for jeans to tuck into my boots

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Outfit: Black, White & Green

It’s Shrove Tuesday or Super Tuesday today, depending which side of the Atlantic you are on. My sister and brother in law are coming over for pancakes this evening so I shall change into something more practical for cooking later on.
Black knit dress – Long Tall Sally
White shirt – Long Tall Sally
Black tights – ASDA
Green suede boots – River Island
Green scarf – M&S

Monday, February 04, 2008

Charity Shop Challenge: Update

I set out on Friday afternoon looking for jeans in a paler colour than the skinny ones I have, with a leg slim enough to tuck into boots. And so far, I have failed. My theory let me down. Although, I’m not sure it was exactly a fair trial of it since 2 of the shops had decided to close up early. One of which was St Gemma’s where everything is 99p. All is not lost though, I shall try town number 2 on Wednesday or Thursday this week, and I might pop out at lunch time to try the 3 or 4 shops local to my office. I had a dream on Friday night that I found the perfect pair in an Oxfam shop so I know they’re out there somewhere!

Outfit: Blue & Black

This is similar to the outfit I wore on 2nd January with the shoes substituted for my flat boots.

Blue & black dress – Dorothy Perkins
Black polo neck sweater – Long Tall Sally
Blue tights – Jonathan Aston (MyTights)
Black boots – Tall Girls

Friday, February 01, 2008

Outfit: Chilly Friday

It’s cold out and snow is forecast for this afternoon, though I’m not convinced we will get any here since it’s sunny at the moment. Also we are usually the only place in the country that the snow misses. Many a time I have been driving to work in the rain listening to reports of roads closed due to snow in every part of the country but here. It’s just not fair.

Red cable knit sweater – Luxuriously Tall
Dark Long and Lean jeans – Gap
Red boots – Nine West (Century 21)

Charity Shopping Challenge

I like to set myself little challenges now and again to try to find something specific in a charity shop. There are so many charity shops in the town where my parents live that I have this theory that whatever item you are looking for, you will find it. And my theory has only let me down once.
The list currently stands at:
Help the Aged
British Heart Foundation
Cancer Research
St Gemma’s Hospice
St Michael’s Hospice
We used to have a Sue Ryder and a second branch of Oxfam but those are long since gone. Even so, the total stands at 10 which is the most of any place I know. My local town has 7 or 8.

Today I am after some skinny jeans in a paler blue than the ones I have. They don’t have to be true skinny jeans, just ones slim fitting enough to tuck inside boots. And I don’t know how easy a feat it will be because many of the jeans in charity shops these days are boot cut and flared. I’ll let you know how on Monday how I got on.