28 November 2014

Alternative and rockabilly Black Friday sales!

Black Friday is still relatively unknown in the UK, in fact last year was the first time I had ever heard of it.  It is now picking up momentum over here but, it does still mostly only exist online, and if like me you like your fashion a little less high street it can be an up hill battle (with shopping bags, in the rain!).  I have been taking note of all my favourite shops that are offering Black Friday deals and thought I'd share them with you and help spread some love!  

You might remember from my post about the bargains I picked up on Black Friday/ Cyber Monday last year that Cyberdog was one of the first places I headed to.  This year will be no exception, they are offering a wopping 25% off everything!  I already have some items in my basket waiting from the magic button to be pressed... 

You will know from my recent Collectif wish list that there is always something I want from this brand, and since that post they have added some incredible A/W stock.  They are not the cheapest brand but the quality is amazing so I would invest now!  They are offering 20% off everything online, including sale items.

Tiger Milly are offering 10% off everything online which if I'm totally honest, doesn't bowl me over.  However if, like me, you are into your rockabilly/ 50s style clothing they have a great range of brands so the extra discount is a bonus.  I have just bought a Hell Bunny coat from this site though so I kind of wish I'd have waited!

Dollskill are offering a range of discounts across there entire sight and if I'm totally honest I kind of regret looking at it because I now have a basket full of dresses I can't really afford!  The sale is great but I know I'll get stung with a customs charge when it hits this side of the pond, which recently happened to me with a Hot Topic order!  I'm sure I looked on here recently and they had a UK site, anyone else remember this or am I loosing my mind?  Anyway, they have INCREDIBLE clothes that you can't find anywhere else, and they even have make up brands like Lime Crime with some pretty decent discounts.  

Project Pinup are going to be adding 50% off their entire etsy store today!  They are a great independent accessories brand that gear towards alternative and geeky crowds, so be sure to go check them out and show them some support!  There's a couple of Star Wars bows I have my eye on....

This is another Black Friday sale I took full advantage of last year!  Once more they are taking off between 10%-50% off there entire stock, so you really can get a great deal!  I really like the way they label the sale by discount on their website.  They are a brand I love and their shadows last forever so you can't really go wrong, defiantly worth the money, and the pigment is out of this world!

Have you spotted any amazing Black Friday sales?  Comment and share the love!  Before my bank manager calls me up to cancel Christmas....


26 November 2014

Makeup Revolution's Lime Crime Dupes

For a while now Makeup Revolution's pocket friendly makeup has been taking the blogging world by storm, especially when recently a few people cottoned on to the fact that Makeup Revolution's not so subtly named Rebel Without a Cause is a great dupe for Mac's famous Rebel.  However Mac isn't the only company Makeup Revolution have been making dupes for, I've got a few from my collection that are great matches for the brand renowned for it's unusual, bright and quirky lip colours, Lime Crime!

First up, this bright blue Immoral is a pretty good match for Lime Crime's Oh No She Didn't.  When it comes to a colour this outrages I don't mind buying a cheaper brand, even if it's just to test, because £15 is a lot of money to throw on a colour that you might not wear more then once, and at only £1 you can't really go wrong.  The only downside to this particular colour is that the pay off isn't as rich as I would like, and it can end up a little patchy and opaque.  However for 15x less then the Lime Crime price, I am willing to keep applying!  I have worn this on a night with a lipstick sealant and it actually lasted pretty well, much better then I thought when first applied.

Oh Serpentina, loved by so many, yet barely worn out of the house!  Like many I'd lusted after this colour from afar for so long, but not yet dare take the plunge.  Again, £15 is a lot of money to spend on a colour where you have no prior basis to know whether or not it will suit you, ( how often do you try on a green lipstick?) and I have to say Serpent is an incredibly good colour match to the Lime Crime version, once more for just £1.  It's colour pay off is higher than that off Immoral, but it still needs a couple of coats.

The following 2 products are what Makeup Revolution calls 'Velvet Lip Lacquers' and if that isn't tipping it's hat to Lime Crime's famous Velvetine's then I don't know what is!  Starting with I Fell in Love, which is a pretty close match to Lime Crime's Pink Velvet.  I haven't owned a Velvetine so I don't know if this is the same but I find you have to be very careful of the application of this product.  I have really small lips and as you can see I didn't get them even with the application, and then it can sort of leave you with what looks like a bad lip liner application.  But that might just be my bad handy work.  

Lastly, and possibly be my favourite is Keep Trying For You, a dupe for Lime Crimes most popular product Red Velvet, at the much more budget friendly price of £3.  I think the colour match on this is very close!  It takes a little while to dry but once it's on, it won't budge.  Yet my lips don't feel dry when its on like it does with some of my Mac matte lipsticks.  Once again you have to be really careful with applying this product, if you get it in the wrong place and try and remove it, it is likely to smudge (if it's still wet) and then it will stain and you can not for the life of you get this off!  You might notice a little bleeding on the above picture?  That's from carefully removing the pink above, which is a much lighter colour.  Smudge this baby and your left looking like you tried to get some vampire action on your way out of the door, however treat it right, and it will be with you all night ( I sound like a YA writer.....a really YA writer).

Do you know of any Lime Crime dupes?


24 November 2014

Christmas giveaway! Over £100 worth of glamorous goodies including Lush, Benefit and loads more!

Christmas eve is exactly a month away today, can you believe it's come around so fast?  Have you got all your Christmas shopping done yet?  I know I haven't yet, and while we are thinking of all the ways to treat our loved ones this Christmas, we sometimes forget to treat ourselves! So I have put together a giveaway to help you do just that.  I wanted to say thank you to all me readers for sticking with me the last year and a half, so I have created a package of goodies that will hopefully put a smile on your face long after then New Years hang over as diminished.  So here is what I have included for you to win:

I do like my book giveaways and so of course, even though this is really a beauty giveaway, I couldn't help but throw a book in there!  This time it's House of Secrets, the first in a trilogy and hailed by her highness J K Rolling as "a breakneck, jam-packed, roller-coaster of an adventure".  Next up I have a pair of beautiful earrings from Ava Lynne, delicate gold coloured hoops with beautiful white flower detailed centres, stunning for a night out.  A Make a Wish bracelet from tinyWishes to bring you some good luck in the new year and some super cute popcorn earrings from Punky Pins ( that wouldn't have made it to the giveaway if I wasn't trying to stretch my own earlobes, I love them!).  Also there's some divine smelling Ted Baker Body Souffl√© to keep your skin silky soft throughout the winter months with a sent or rose, vanilla and sandalwood!

Now who decided that we have to be pale during the winter?  If you like a year round glow I've got you covered with this NKD self tan set, Rimmel Sun Shimmer instant tan BB and Maybelline Pure Sun Mineral Bronzer to really make you shine!

Next up we have one of Lush's newest products, Zest Hair Gelly, along with an old favourite, Rock Star soap, both of which smell incredible!  Something old, something new.... I've also included this Toni and Guy Volume Plump Whip to keep your hair looking fabulous this party season and this W7 cover stick with tea tree oil to banish those post party blemishes.

Lastly we are on to all the things that will make you look fantastic this winter, starting with these 3 beautiful nail polishes including The Body Shop in Frosting Fancy, Essie nail lacker in 74, and The Body Shop in Rosy Cheeks.  Add to the glamour with the famous They're Real mascara by Benefit and finish off with this beautiful Deborah Milano Euphoric 34 Ore Shine Lipgloss in 06 which is a beautiful pink with a subtle gold shimmer.

To enter this giveaway simply fill in the rafflecopter below, the giveaway will end on midnight on Christmas Eve.  There are only a few simple rules, it is open to UK residents only because I can't afford to post worldwide, sorry!  Also any accounts that are just set up for competition entry will be disqualified.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

21 November 2014

Vintage Inspired Underwear from House of Fraser

Good underwear is one of thing that can make a huge difference to any outfit, both in terms of how it looks outwardly, and your confidence inwardly, yet it is so easily neglected.  Your underwear can reflect your mood and your style, but it isn't the cheapest of investments, so you've go to ensure you get it right.  Personally I struggle, as a size 32dd my options are limited, and what I can get is often not the most attractive.  Team this with my love of all things 50s style and I end up in a real style struggle, especially if I don't want to take out a bank loan!

However after browsing the sale section at House of Fraser recently I was pleasantly surprised, and managed to picked up this beautiful Untold Passion set for less then £20!  It reminds me of a beautiful vintage inspired set I found in Ann Summers a couple of years ago but couldn't get in my size (and couldn't afford)!  This set feels really glamorous and is high quality, it has a silky smooth feel and is really supportive, with a thick back strap (always handy for us girls with boob issues) which also makes it really comfortable.  I wouldn't normally pick a thong brief but unfortunately the other options were sold out in my size, but that aside, I can't really fault this set, frankly I love it!

As much as underwear can form a great base structure, something we need a little extra for a confidence boost.  So with Christmas around the corner, I also picked up this Linea Cut and Sew firm control Bra slip reduced in the sale from £45 to just £13.50!  The 50's look often includes a nipped in waist with a flared skirt, or the famous Mad Men style wiggle dresses, but this can take some real confidence to pull off!  This is where control wear can become your best friend!  This dress is a French Connection number I picked up from a vintage shop without trying it on (will I never learn!).  So for it's been sat in my wardrobe unworn as it's not a very flattering fit, so I thought this would be a great item to try this out on.

I think you can see the difference it has made, it hasn't made me miraculously loose 2 dress sizes but it has helped smooth me out.  I am surprised at how comfortable it is, I thought I would feel squished and compacted but this was not the case.  It also has something at the bottom of the slip to sick to your legs and stop it from rising up ( I don't know what it is but it's the same material you get with hold ups) and it dips low at the front which makes you can wear your own bra, which is a major plus for me!

What is your secret to giving you confidence on a night out?

The value of this product was gifted to me for review, all products were chosen and reviewed by me 100% honestly.  All views are my own. 


19 November 2014

Books of 2014: Part 9

So it's November and here we are with books 40-45, not too bad even if I say so myself!  A small note to say that I have decided that I am going to carry on with this in the new year, however I am going to do it slightly differently.  Rather then waiting until I've read 5 books to do a round up I am going to do a monthly round up at the end of every month.  Now, on with the reads!

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart 
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg 
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle 
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

I started reading this at the end of September and it's a great read for the darker nights.  I really enjoyed this it, the characters are multi layered and there's twists throughout.  I like my literature dark and this did not disappoint.  A really fascinating read.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

At Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies, young Sara Crewe enjoys the friendship of her classmates and the staff--much to stern Miss Minchin's disdain. When Sara is unexpectedly impoverished, she is forced to become a servant under Miss Minchin's control. To escape her dreary life, Sara imagines herself a princess, and her experiences soon teach her that being a princess on the inside counts more than any outward expression of royalty.

This was one of my favourite films as a kid, and it seems as though this is one of those rare occasions that the film is better then the book.  The do follow similar story lines however I prefer the back story and setting of the film to the book, still a good read though and feels very magical.  

Weird Things Costumers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

A John Cleese Twitter question ['What is your pet peeve?'], first sparked the 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' blog, which grew over three years into one bookseller's collection of ridiculous conversations on the shop floor. 

From 'Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaurs?' to the hunt for a paperback which could forecast the next year's weather; and from 'I've forgotten my glasses, please read me the first chapter' to'Excuse me... is this book edible?'

I got this and the sequel below on offer and read them both in a day, they are both fun and funny and really quick easy reads!  

More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

Customer (holding up a book): What’s this? The Secret Garden? Well, it’s not so secret now, is it, since they bloody well wrote a book about it!

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops was a Sunday Times bestseller, and could be found displayed on bookshop counters up and down the country. The response to the book from booksellers all over the world has been one of heartfelt agreement: it would appear that customers are saying bizarre things all over the place - from asking for books with photographs of Jesus in them, to hunting for the best horse owner’s manual that has a detailed chapter on unicorns. 

Customer: I had such a crush on Captain Hook when I was younger. Do you think this means I have unresolved issues?

More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops has yet more tales from the antiquarian bookshop where Jen Campbell works, and includes a selection of ‘Weird Things...’ sent in from other booksellers across the world. The book is illustrated by the BAFTA winning Brothers McLeod.

There's not much I can say about this that I haven't said about the first, I imagine this is even better for people who work in retail!

The Kenneth Williams Letters by Kenneth Williams

Following the bestselling publication of THE KENNETH WILLIAMS DIARIES, the devastating self-portrait of one of our most loved and complex performers is completed with this marvellous selection of his letters.
This is a wonderful treasure trove of correspondence with all manner of people, including Alec Guinness, Maggie Smith, Joe Orton, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, and the Stokers’ Mess of HMS Leverton. Kenneth Williams took letters very seriously, and he was always disgusted by a morning that failed to provide him with some material to pore over.
Letters called forth the performer in Williams in a way that his diaries never did: many of them are virtual comic monologues, and in general they suggest more strongly than the diaries the likeable and constructive side of a man who remains, nevertheless, as outrageous and ‘difficult’ as ever

I was lent this by my sister and to be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to it too much.  I haven't seen much of the Carry On films and I know even less of Kenneth Williams himself.  However I actually found this really interesting, he has a great way of bringing out his personality within his letters it makes you feel like you know him, and he is rather blunt and upfront about his opinions and sharing his personal life!  Because of this I now really want to read his diaries which i have heard are even better!

What's the last book you read?


17 November 2014

#BGOmeetup Casino event

Last week I was kindly invited to White Cloth Gallery in Leeds to attend the #BGOmeetup.  BGO is an online casino website so rather fittingly, they set up a casino night for us!

The venue is beautiful and as soon as I arrived I was greeted by the guys at Joe Blogs with drinks tokens in the form of casino chips!  We had plenty of time to meet other bloggers and have a drink or two before we were ushered into the Casino space to get started.

Now, I have never done anything like this before, the highest I've ever ever bet is 50p on a slot machine, I've never even played the lottery!  Luckily however the guys from BGO were on hand to teach us everything we needed to know.  We had half an hour to get to know the games before the real fun started!  We were given the same amount of chips each to play through the night with, whoever had the most at the end got prizes!

After practicing at the roulette table I headed over to try my hand at blackjack, I was a little worried as I'd missed out on the lesson but luckily the guy working on the table was super charming and helped me out a lot.  It was a lot of fun and I picked it up really fast!  It was easy to spend hours on here without realising!  Time flies when your having fun right?  I then headed over to the roulette table which I really enjoyed but here was my downfall, I lost a lot of 'money' very fast!

Needless to say I didn't come away a winner, but I did have a lot of fun, even more then I thought I would, and I've learnt a lot.  Now, someone take me to Vegas so I can win for real!  Learn more about the evening on BGO's own blog post here.

Have you ever been to a casino? 


14 November 2014

Lime Crime Wish List

Oh Lime Crime, how beautiful art thou!  They've been on my radar since they were first released, mainly due to a friend who bought one of everything they had!  Back then there was lot of eye products, however now, although there are still some (a much smaller selection) available, there lip products are where they'v really earned there stripes!  Somehow I have not yet been able to call them mine, but here's what I wouldn't mind being under my tree this christmas!

Starting off with Unicorn lipsticks ($18) in the iconic super cute packaging.  Airborne Unicorn is such a beautiful purply pink colour.  An unusual shade and sugary sweet with some beautiful undertones.  Poisonberry is such a true deeper purple, with a highly pigmented rich colour, very glam!  Lastly in the lipstick category, we have the (in)famous Serpentina, a unique green shade that is totally stand out but is glamorous and still wearable too!

Next up we are on to the most famous Lime Crime products, their Velvetines ($20).  Wicked I love because it looks like a fantastic deep autumnal shade.  Of course there most famous product of all Red Velvet has to be in there.  A beautiful, bright and pigmented red that turns from liquid to perfect matte in seconds, I'd love this for a night out.  Lastly, and more of a summer colour, is this beautiful bright pink colour, Utopia.  So luminous and perfect if you want to stand out.

Lastly, and possibly my favourite, Hollygram carousel lipgloss ($17).  I am not normally a lip gloss kind of girl but this is stunning!  It's such a stand out green colour and bright, shiny, crazy pigmented and glittery.  Perfect colour for going clubbing this winter!  I want, I want, I want!

I love all these colours because they are so unique, it's hard to know what to pick!  What is your favourite shade?


12 November 2014

Exuviance Skincare Review

I am a 26 year old with teenage skin.  It's just not fair!  When the hormone fairy hits you at age 13, they fail to tell you that maybe, just maybe, those imperfections and annoying spots won't disappear at midnight the day you turn 20.  Nope, it is here to stay, and I have to admit, it's partially my own fault.  Before blogging my skincare was non existent, in fact the only skincare products I owned were make up wipes (shock, horror!) and some old moisturiser I never used.  Recently I've been trying out a few different things off and on, which doesn't really help.  You need to find a product and stick to it to really help your skin out.  So when Exuviance offered to give me some products designed for oily skin to try out, I couldn't really say no!  

The first product I received was the Clarifying Facial Cleaner.  I don't find the packaging particularly exciting but it does look rather scientific and high quality.  The product its self has no sent and is completely clear, it cleanses your skin without being too harsh.  It is not a miracle worker but it defiantly made a difference in clearing my skin.  It did leave my skin feeling a little dry but nothing a light moisturiser couldn't fix.

I have to admit, I was sceptical about this product.  I thought surly they hadn't made a highly moisturising gel for oily skin?  But that's exactly what this Night Renewal HydroGel is!  I didn't think it was even possible, but honestly, it is, and it's great!  It's a common misconception that oily skin doesn't need to be moisturised.  The less you moisturise, the more oil your skin producers.  To break this cycle, moisturiser is an important part of any routine, and this is more then just an every day moisturiser.  It has a thick gel consistency that feels very nourishing and lightweight, perfect for putting on before bed.  Despite my oily skin I still get dry patches, usually around my nose or between my eyebrows, this helped clear it up really quickly.

This is the product I was the least interested in and yet it is the one I now love the most!  It's called Matte Perfection and it has made applying my make up so much easier!  It is billed as being oil reducing, anti ageing and pore minimising, however what impressed me the most was none of these things.  As you may know I love my bright, crazy make up, (especially Sugar Pill shadows), however I have very oily hooded eyelids (sexy I know) so my eye make up always smudges and slides off.  However, just a little of this on my eyelids and my skin feels totally different, make up applies and blends much better and it stays!

Find out more about Exuviance on their website!  What's your favourite skincare item?

This products were sent to me for review, all opinions are honest and my own.


10 November 2014

The Parent Agency Book Giveaway

Barry said, a third time, “I wish I had better parents!” And then suddenly the entire room started to shake…
Barry Bennett hates being called Barry. In fact it’s number 2 on the list of things he blames his parents for, along with 1) ‘being boring’ and 3) ‘always being tired’.
But there is a world, not far from this one, where parents don’t have children. That’s far too random for something so big and important. In this world, children are allowed to choose their parents.
For Barry Bennett, this world seems like a dream come true. Only things turn out to be not quite that simple…
I do love a good book giveaway over here on my little blog!  This time it is The Parent Agency, the first book by famous comedian David Baddiel!  Please note the copy shown here is a proof and your copy will look slightly different (the illustrations are really lovely, you can see them on Amazon.  I'm afraid this is only available to UK residents (because postage is expensive!) and any mass competition enterers will be disqualified.  To win check out the rafflecopter bellow, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


7 November 2014

Disney Fashion Competition

When I saw on Bel's blog, Journeys are my Diary last week that she running a Disney Fashion Competition there was no way I could miss out!  If you don't know by now I am a HUGE Disney fan,  so this was right up my street!  I decided to try and pick a range of characters, so I went with a villain, a male character, a princess and two versions of my favourite Disney Character, Alice.  One for the night time, and one for the day!

I started off with Maleficent as my villain.  I love her famous colour combo of black, purple and green, and with a cloak like that she sure does show some attitude!  I chose this Vampiress black and green mini dress by Hell Bunny (£28.99) because it has a hint of total bad ass about it, with a pin up twist!  It took me ages to find the right cover up to add to this outfit and I finally settled on this purple rose shrug from Etsy (£12.50) which adds some glamour and makes it more dressy.  For shoes I went with Iron Fist's Zombie Stomper Platforms (£49.99) to really stand out.  Iron Fist shoes are always unique and these are no exception, it will leave no one wondering which side you are on!  Lastly, the famous horns.  I spent a long time trying to find something to symbolise this famous part of her character, with out looking too much like fancy dress.  Once more I ended up on Etsy looking at these amazing antler hair clips (£5.47), I think they are just on the right side of quirky.  They might not be to everyones taste but it you read my Animal Ear Accessories post you will know that they are just up my street, in fact I can't lie, I love this whole outfit!

Next up for my male character I chose the Mad Hatter from one of my favourite Disney Films, Alice in Wonderland.  I chose him because he has a varied colour pallet and I wanted to experiment with building a really stylish outfit that wasn't centred around a dress or skirt and was more casual.  I started out with these Forest Green skinny jeans from USC (£12), they are really on trend and a pretty close match to the Mad Hatter's own!  For the top half I went with this Green high bow sleeveless shirt (£14.99) teamed with this yellow blazer (£27.99) both from New Look.  The top is perfect for layering and the bow is a great nod towards the more formal bow tie, whilst the blazer nips in at the waist and adds a pop of colour to this green ensemble.  I wanted to go casual with the shoes so I chose these pumps from USC (£10).  Of course there had to be a hat so I went with this Feather and band Fedora (£13) which is very fashionable this autumn, and finished off the look with this cute Tea necklace (£7.99)

Co-ordinates are really in at the moment and Princess Jasmine has been rocking hers since the 90's.  This modern version from Missguided (£16.50 for full set) seems like the perfect match to me, although admittedly maybe not perfect for the current weather!  I've teamed it with these metallic gold jewelled sandals from New Look (£15.00) to really give this princess some class and this statement gold triple row chain necklace (£9.99) and gold gemstone scallop edge drop earrings (£4.99) both from New Look will defiantly leave you looking regal.  The Coral and mint green bracelet (£6.99) brings together the colours and adds to the relaxed boho style.  Finally, what do you do when you can't wear a crown?  You wear a gem head chain from Boohoo (£8.00) of course!  This is defiantly more of a summer look (unless you really want to brave the cold!) and is a great relaxed hippy style for a festival.

The first of my Alice inspired outfits is a night out/ formal affair.  With this version I tried to keep it simple and classic, and this blue bow front skater dress (£20.00) provides the perfect base, how perfect is that bow!  I combined them with these Alice Inspired heels (£22) (which I actually own) and Quilted rabbit ear bag (ASOS £14) (which I wish I owned!).  

For my more casual version I choose this blue swing dress from New Look (£13.50) complete with peter pan collar (because who doesn't love a peter pac collar!  Pinafores used to be resigned to school children however now they are back in fashion and this white one (£7.95) would go perfectly with the  blue dress!  Finished off with a classic t-bar pumps (£17.99) and of course, every Alice needs a white rabbit backpack! (£8.21).

So there you have it, I hope you liked these as I've never done anything like it before and I really enjoyed making them.  What's ones your favourite?

Kariss xx
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