Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sunday bargains!

So I just had to share with you my bargain of the week, year so far!

I brought this little Miss Harvey number in Beales, a local department store for just five pounds reduced from twenty (oh yes!) and I think, I'm going to get more then my money's worth.

As simple as this number appears, there are a number of things that have caught my eye and most are positive.

I love . . .

* . . . that this number is asymmetrical. This somewhat 'lopsided' look has always appealed to me. The flash of shoulder can be quite alluring yet as the other shoulder is clothed (and in this case, with a full sleeve), the number could never be dismissed as too tarty.

* . . . the fact that the one sleeve is sheer. This is both "on trend" and again, a little teasing.

* . . . that indeed, it is designed as a dress but looks very cute over a pair of dark blue jeans. Yep, I'm more likely to wear this one in the more casual manner. I'm thinking of chucking in the Primark nude heels (that I'm currently obsessed with. I featured them in the last post here and will probably continue to mention them in every post until they are scuffed and I start to sulk!) and Viva Glam Cyndi as I've been looking for an excuse to crack the ole red lipstick out again and this dress/top could just be it. I think, the white will work well with strong, defined colours.

*. . . the simple, stark white that this number is, a colour that I lack in my wardrobe. Yes, I like neutrals but those that I do have, of the lighter hue, tend not to be white-white but instead to be slightly off, heading in the cream and ivory direction. Aside from Tee-shirts, actual plain white garments are quite a rarity on the high street but with spring coming, I'm keen to introduce this colour in to my wardrobe. There is something fresh and new about daisy white garments plus it makes me look quite innocent which more often then not, is no bad thing! ; )

So far, only good, good points and to be honest, my only worry with this number is that it is indeed, white and I am me, a sum that doesn't really add up. I'm so clumsy that yes, indeed this dress/top is not likely to last more then an outing before a very messy encounter with red wine or spaghetti (if you squint, you may spot some make up marks already!) and then of course, thinking about it some more, there is that delicate sleeve and my habit to fall off my heels (especially when they are as high as the Primark nudes!) but you know at £5, I still maintain that this little number is an absolute bargain and I can't wait to wear it!

And to Bargain No. 2 . . !

That's right, there was not just one bargain today but two. I popped in to Boots to repurchase my staple foundation, the Revlon Colorstay in Ivory for Dry/Normal skin.

Tangent time: Colorstay was one of the first foundations I tried when I began blogging a couple of years ago and initially, I was very disappointed (and was quite harsh in reviews) but four or five colorstay bottles later and I'm honestly not tempted by anything else. The only foundation that impresses me anywhere near as much (and still, not as much) is L'oreal True Match. I find that the Colorstay blends seamlessly if you get the right colour, lasts most of the day, gives fantastic coverage while allowing the skin to still look like human skin plus the bottle seems to last two to three months with daily use. 

Anyway back to the bargain which was a free Revlon Lip product of choice when buying the Colorstay.

After a good ten minutes of swatching and changing my mind between this gloss and that lippie, I opted for the Revlon Colorburst Gloss in Crystal Lilac (002) worth £7.99. I only have three or four glosses and gloss is a certainly a make up product that has grown on me over recent months. It's unusual for me to leave the house now without a little Underage slicked over that day's lippie. Yep, today that was Creme Cup. Still, my lippie of the moment!

Crystal Lilac looks to me quite a dusty pink colour with some shimmer. I will let you know how we get on. Online reviews seem promising!

Now, I was going to ramble on about books here but this post is just getting a little too long (again!) so I think, I will cut out and save the book ramble for maybe, a quick post tomorrow.

Have you picked up any bargains recently? What is your go to foundation? Any Revlon Lip product recommendations?

Anyways, I hope you had a fabulous weekend. Don't forget my MAC giveaway closes soon! Read this post if you haven't entered yet. I hope anybody in the UK (or anywhere else) who does get snow (if it comes) doesn't get stuck. Take care!


Thursday, 26 January 2012

The blue cutout dress!

You may recognise this little number. It is the Topshop dress that I was all excited about buying a few posts ago. As soon as I slipped it on, I knew it was a purchase that had to be blogged. (FYI: Not everything of mine gets here. I have made many a mistake and the allure of many pieces even I struggle to identify, let alone share.)

Yet, I still hesitated and the reason for that (aside from the Great Bloat) is because this dress really does look a lot better in reality. Trust me, this one is stunning but everything about it, the vibrant colour, its substance, all just seems a little too muted on camera.

Obviously the first thing you notice is the colour. To say, that it is bright is an understatement. However, even as a recovering black-aholic, this bright, bright blue is a colour I feel at ease wearing. Maybe because the shape of the dress is quite conventional. It has a high neck, it covers the arms (woo!) and though short, the length remains decent (bear in mind, I'm short, not quite 5ft 2).

All these classic features add up and means that one more design twist (literally) in addition to the colour can be thrown in conspicuously and still, without the dress becoming too much. The cut outs seem to fall in a very flattering position on the side, giving the impression that the rest of the body is as toned as the little cut outs suggest. Got to love the power of design details!

Such features also mean that I do not need to think too much about accessorising with this one. I have tried necklaces but they look a little too much with the high neck and the centre twist. So the other night, I settled with a handful of gold bangles from Accessorise and some nude heels from Primark.

This dress was a pleasure to wear and indeed, some online reviews suggest that it could be slimming. However, I do think that I was lucky as the dress I picked up seemed almost a perfect fit (which doesn't happen very often) and I feel, that if it had being instead a little baggy or a little too tight then all the design details would have been pulled out of sync and the final look ruined. So while I do recommend this dress (fantastic price!), please try this one on before taking it home. There is no reason why this number will not flatter any size but I do think, it is one where you need to get the right fit!

If you do try it, then let me know what you think. I'm really curious as to whether the burgundy version works as well as the blue seems to.

And er, it has always got to come back to hair!

Image from Google Image Search here!

In other news, I love, love, love Victoria Beckham's new haircut! I'm not sure I could live with it as I always seem to struggle with layers and tousling to just the right degree but I think, this style is adorable and looks so, soo good on her and that fringe just tones down the beachiness enough to maintain that Beckham polish.

Image from here!

Hmmm, I wonder how much an appointment with her hairdresser is?! More then I can afford! You think!! For now, I guess, I'm just going to have settle with my Moroccan Oil which is every bit as amazing as I remember. Nothing wows me like it! Have a look under the Hair post header at the top of the screen for my earlier reviews.

What do you think of the Topshop dress? Do you dig Victoria's latest look? What do you think of Moroccan Oil? Have you entered my MAC giveaway yet? See the details here in the last post, don't forget the giveaway closes on Wednesday!


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Giveaway and some more MAC!

I know, it looks delicious.

Indeed, it was (!) but this cheeky little cheesecake has scuppered my blog plans a little.

I was planning to do an outfit post today, I have a couple of little dresses to show you but after a long weekend of overindulgence, I really don't feel like fluttering around in front of the camera. In fact, to be honest, I can hardly move. Yes, I really did eat that much!

So while we are waiting for the great bloat to pass, I thought I would share with you the rest of my MAC haul.

You already know about All That Glitters but I also picked up some other eye shadows specifically, Retrospeck; Bronze and Mystery.

Mystery has been on my wish list for a while now. Tanya Burr has done a couple of tutorials with it and created some gorgeous, smoky eyes. I would love to be able to create eye make up similar to this.

I guess, I'm hoping that merely including Mystery in my own collection will bring me one step closer to Tanya's amazing make up looks and talent. Hmmm, yeah, if only it was that easy!

Still, I don't think I'm going to regret purchasing Mystery. It is such a nice cool toned matt brown which seems a better brown for me. Some of the reddier browns such as Sable can make my eyes look tired and irritated. Mattes also seem to offer a more definite contour.

Bronze was a little bit more of a random purchase. It looked great in the pan and swatched well. When you pair these little points with the fact that gold/peachy shadows seem to bring out the little hazel specks in my green pupils -and oh yes, makes my eyes "pop"!- then really, Bronze was destined to come home with me.

Retrospeck, too, was a random purchase. It looks pretty and swatches well but in reality, online reviews seem a bit blah. Some suggest that the shadow is not particularly pigmented and I do worry that maybe, it will look a bit ashy on me. I guess, time will tell but I think, Retrospeck is most likely to become my new inner eye highlight if I reach for it at all!

I also brought three lipsticks, Angel (a current fave); Hug Me (a newbie for me. I asked for Hue and I guess, the assistant grabbed the wrong one out of the draw. Still, I'm gonna give Hug Me a shot as I haven't really got any wearable browns in my collection) and the one I'm a bit dreamy about at the moment, Creme Cup.

I've heard so much about Creme Cup but still, I can't remember ever trying it. I guess, Creme Cup falls in to that Hue, Patesserie, Angel, 'pink nude' type class and since I kind of lost my heart to Hue, the day I first walked in to MAC, it has took me too long to give the others any attention but yes, indeed, you were all right! Creme Cup is amazing and like Angel, comes in to its own when you give it a chance. I can tell you now, this cremesheen isn't going be far from my lips this week!

Well, I think, that is about all I got from MAC this week. However, I will be returning again soon (I need Hue!) which brings me to my giveaway.


The 50 Follower Giveaway!!!!

Yay, that's right, I am giving you a chance to win either a MAC lipstick or a MAC eye shadow of your choice.

I know, its hardly original but who doesn't want need another piece of MAC?!

So here are the rules!

- This giveaway is open internationally.

- You must be a Google Connect Follower of Mission Me.

-A For one entry: You must leave a comment on this post naming the lipstick or eye shadow you would like, if you win. Please also leave me a contact e-mail or blog address so I can contact you if you win.

-B You will receive two additional entries, if you also tweet about the giveaway. Please remember to mention me @xessjay23x so I can see your tweet. You also need to link back to this post and mention your tweet (and your name on twitter) in your comment here.

-C/D You will receive three additional entries, if you mention the giveaway in your blog post or/and sidebar. You must link to this post. You must also link me to your post/sidebar in the comment below so I can see it. If you mention the giveaway in a post and in the sidebar, you will receive six additional entries.

-Each person can only enter once in A, B, C, D. Basically, nobody is entitled to more then 9 entries.

-This giveaway will end on 0001am, UK time on Wednesday, 1st of February 2012.

- There will be one winner. That winner will be chosen randomly. They will receive a lipstick or eye shadow of their choice from the MAC permanent line as long as I can get hold of it.

- This is my giveaway so my discretion is final!

*Just in case, I've confused you all. Here is a comment similar to one you might leave, if you decide to enter

'Enter me! I follow your blog with GFC. I would like to win ...........! My google name is .................. and my e-mail address is ..........@...........! I have also tweeted about your giveaway. My twitter name is ............! I've also posted about your giveaway here http://.............. and in the sidebar of my blog here http://..........'

I hope this is clearer then mud for you, lovelies! Good luck!! Can't wait to see which lippies and shadows you're yearning for!

EDIT: This giveaway is now closed. Details of the winning entry (and a peek at some lovely MAC lippies) can be found here, link.


Sunday, 22 January 2012

All That Glitters!

Before the shadow talk commences, I just wanted to thank you all as I reached 50(!) GFC followers yesterday. It may not seem much to some but it made my weekend. Thank you x x x
As promised, there will be a giveaway which I will try to get up this week. Thanks again. Also loving all the comments, keep it up ;)))


Let's talk about eyeshadow, in particular, All That Glitters. This was one of my early MAC purchases. It was hardly an original choice but near enough inevitable. All That Glitters has such a cult following online and must have been suggested as a MAC starter must-have, a hundred times over.

However, I did not fall in love with it straight away. The shimmer scared me and in the pan, All That Glitters looked a bit too shimmery and cheap compared to the warmth of the matte Modellette. Apart from the shimmer, there seemed to be nothing else about it.

However, once on the lid, All That Glitters is so pretty and enhances the eye, I think, I've said before All That Glitters is one of those shadows that gleans compliments for your pretty eyes rather then your pretty eye make up. People do not always ask me what shadow I'm wearing when I have All That Glitters on but they do comment on how well and bright eyed I'm looking.

All That Glitters is technically a champagne pink but in reality, it is livelier! Pretty peachy and pale gold tones reflect back from my mirror. I like this as some shadows may be equally pretty in theory but on the lid, they appear more smudgy and can make me look a little tired and sluggish. Yes indeed, I'm looking at you Mythology!

Over the last eighteen months, I have grown to love All That Glitters and it has become my go to shadow. It is so easy to use. A sweep or two and a slick of mascara and that's eye done, Angel on and out the door! Simple and easy, my kind of make up. Occasionally when I'm feeling daring, I'll pair All That Glitters up with other shadows. Sable, Embark and Buck have all been worked in this way and to be honest, I have yet to find a shadow that does not work with All That Glitters. It seems to work with everything (including skin tone, I wear this pale and tanned)!

Yes, the name rings true. All That Glitters does glitter but not as much as the pan suggests and always without the fallout associated with cads like Sidecar and Gleam.

I hit pan a couple of months ago and the repurchase has been a long time coming. I put it off, thinking I could find something else in my collection just as simple and versatile. Fail(!), as much as I love Naked and Modellette, there is nothing quite like All That Glitters and it goes without saying, I highly recommend checking it out if you haven't already.

I picked up a few other items in MAC yesterday which I'll tell you a bit more about soon. In the meantime, what MAC shadows do you recommend? I've decided, there has got to be at least one MAC 15 palette a lifetime and I'm looking for suggestions to fill it. Woodwinked and Honesty caught my eye in store yesterday, any thoughts?

Also making me smile at the moment is . . .
* My upcoming birthday!
* Annual leave
* Bath, love that city.
* The smell of Elnett hairspray
* MAC Angel lipstick
* Soap and Glory Scrub em and leave em
* Soap and Glory Hand Food (ahmazing!)
* Before I Go To Sleep, S J Watson
* Chocolate Brek (surely, I should have grown out of this by now?!)
* White feathers
* This one (still!)

* And then 'cos versastility is my middle name, this one

What are you loving at the moment? What is your favourite MAC eyeshadow? Do you have All That Glitters? Happy Sunday!


Sunday, 15 January 2012

My first VIP scent and a dress!

Finally, I have purchased a bottle of 212 VIP, Do You Know What Private Means?!, NYC.

A Carolina Herrera perfume that, in theory, shouldn't be for me. You see, that is what this 212 VIP, is all about, the 'me' as in the one that wears the gorgeous scent, the VIP. It is almost like if worn then this scent puts a spotlight on you and makes you shine. Basically, wear this and you'll be the centre of attention with everybody pandering to your every whim!

'She has it.

She is on every guest list.

You know her you saw her.

She is the one who walked past you.

In the line upand straight in the door.

She is the one on the arm of that guy you wanted.

She stole your seat at the bar.

She stole your attention on the dancefloor.'
Some of the spiel from the official website here.

Now, some may find the idea of such excess intoxicating but though, I appreciate the sophisticated gold capped bottle (even if it took me a while to figure out which bit opened) and the entertaining film ad, this branding is more of a novelty then a draw to the perfume.

However, I owe my love for this perfume to its one redeeming factor, that is the scent itself (Note: Some reviews draw a bit of a parallel with Calvin Klein, Euphoria and allude to a younger Flowerbomb) which encompasses a mix of sweet; vanilla; rum;woody and tropical notes to beautiful effect. It is classed as an Oriental Vanilla. Surprisingly, despite the branding, there is little more to say about this scent other then, it is very pretty. Contrary to the branding, there is nothing too much about this perfume. The pretty scent though definite (and yes, pretty) is actually quite mute and smells neither too sweet or too musky but it does make me feel that little more feminine and chic.

Now I've only had the scent a couple of days but classy and clean are the two adjectives that come to mine. It reminds me a little of Gucci, Flora in that this is a perfume, I would wear to shop or to dinner. It is a perfume that would let me fall in to place anywhere and could also, be worn all year round. This perfume lets you walk in to the room on its arm rather then strutting and wafting on in front, announcing your arrival before you've even reached the door. It is appropriate, confident and self-assured rather then chaotic, brash and attention seeking.  I think, this modern scent is more representative of its inspiration, New York City, a city full of aspiration and diversity that never sleeps, then it is of its branding which seems a bit more ruthless and Hollywood to me.

It is a bit early to make statements about the lasting power of this pretty scent but I do hope that it is longer then some reviews suggest. After all, there seems little point in adorning a pretty perfume if nobody can smell it. If that was the case then maybe there really would be better things then perfume to splash the cash on!

I hope, you have all had a very good weekend. I did! I fell in love with this, my new body con cut out dress from Topshop.

I'm really loving the cobalt factor and seem to be developing a bit of a thing for these bold, happy colours!

Have you tried any of the VIP scents? What scents are you liking at the moment?


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

So tempted . . .

Er oh, there could be some trouble brewing as I am (very) tempted to go blond!

Yes, it would be a bit foolish and quite likely, stupid; bad; ridiculous and dangerous also but suddenly, I feel compelled to be blond. Actually, to be honest, it was only as sudden as Milly's new look, I love her new blonder locks!

Yes, I know, I have gone on and on about wanting longer and longer hair. However, I have recently come to the sad conclusion that my natural hair will never be more then longish. It seems, I was never destined for Rapunzel-like locks, no matter how many beans I eat or how much I splurge on the latest hair miracle. Sob!

Therefore, why shouldn't I throw caution to the wind (me bitter?! pah!) and go to the lighter side?

I've briefly crossed this border before and the result is one, I try to block out. Straw comes to mind. This horrible hue, I rarely allow my mind to recall, was created entirely by highlights and I think, that was my mistake. I was thinking about the health of my hair too much and consequently followed the salon's advice, to avoid the bleach. However, I spent that much time and heat trying to style a look that carried the patchy, brash colour better, that, even without bleach, my hair was well and truly fried within weeks and um, I was still not happy with my hair!

So I've learnt my lesson and honestly, can't see how throwing bleach in to the process could cause any more disappointment then what I felt last time I crossed to the lighter side. If I do take the plunge again then this time, it will be with a plan:
1) Pre-lighten hair at home with bleach
2) Tint at home
3) Then get highlights at the hairdressers.
I have watched a few You Tube videos and these steps seem to have achieved a reasonable success rate for darker brunettes like myself. I know this is not the proper way to go blond. If any of my friends or indeed any of you asked me about going blonde, I would advise the salon but what is it, that they say?! Do as I say, not as I do (or contemplate!).

My personal plan seems economical and means I'm more likely to get a colour that I want rather then the standard sensible compromise that is normally nervously swished by those leaving the salons. Still, it is a big decision (in the barnet context)  and I will not make my choice lightly. I am going to take some time and see if this crazy yearning passes.

In the mean time, I am going to use one of my favourite intensive conditioners, the Lee Stafford Treatment for Hair That Never Grows Past A Certain Length to pack lots of goodness in my hair just in case . . !

FYI: This is my ideal blonde look. Fingers crossed, I might be able to achieve something similar if I keep my love for hair extensions alive.

Found in Hairideas magazine, page 91, February 2012. They have credited the MAURICE MEADE ARTISTIC TEAM, AUSTRALIA

Are you blonde? Is it natural? If not, how do you do it? Brunettes and Redheads, have you ever been tempted to cross the divide?


Friday, 6 January 2012

Another shoutout for New Look!

Yet again, I want to mention New Look. This is for one reason, this Penzima Print Bodycon dress!

There seems to be an abundance of Aztec and tribal related items in New Look at the moment and until now, such collections would have being of little interest to me. You see such designs seem to involve print and/or colour, two design features rarely invited in to my wardrobe. However, there are a number of reasons why this little number is an exception and has, now found a home in my wardrobe.

1/ The Princess!

Picture from Google Image Search
OK, there is no point trying to deny it. This piece initially caught my eye because at a distance, it reminded me of a garment that was splashed all over the papers about a month ago, the black and white Zara  Tulip dress adorned by Kate Middleton (or should that be, Windsor?!). Sidenote: This dress sold out very quickly but here is a link to the Zara Tulip skirt though, which is still available online!

Kate Middleton's groomed and polished style has really grown on me over the last six months or so and this dress seems quite Kate (high street style) to me. Although not lace and with a different neckline, the New Look offering is of a similar pattern and length. You could certainly create a similar vibe wearing the New Look number!

2/ The design and its versatility!

The shape of the New Look dress is very flattering. It is short with a low cut rounded neckline (on both the front and the back) but the long sleeves balances the flesh out and keeps the final look quite decent. It is an easy number to wear alone, throw it on and you are done. On the other hand if you want to cover up a little more, there are plenty of styling options available. Just add in some thick tights/leggings or a jacket, Kate style. On the other hand with a couple of long necklaces and some knee high boots, this dress could easily be 'funked' up.

3/ The hat!
I'm even thinking this could be the dress that gives me an excuse to buy a floppy wide brimmed hat, an accessory on my wishlist for no other reason then I want it even if it is only to prance around in front of the mirror in. As this dress is quite low cut on the front and the back, a bit of accessorising and a new hat could be justified. I quite like this ASOS one!

3/ The print!
I haven't got much print in my wardrobe (just the New Look beautiful sparkling, sequin kimono that I posted here) and certainly, none of this Aztec nature. Surely that in itself, justifies the purchase. One of the things that scares me about print, is that often the garment will appear busy. With this dress, I don't feel as overwhelmed. The monochrome (black and cream) colour scheme makes it a little easier on the eye and of course, a print consisting of two such neutral colours, is for me, that bit more wearable.

4/ The price!
My little find is just £16.99! I wish, I could link you to it but I can't find it online :( However, it might be worth trying to seek it out in store and trying it on.

What do you think? Do you like this dress? Do you like Kate's style? Do you have day dresses or do you save dresses for special occasions?


Monday, 2 January 2012

The Top Shop Scalloped vests!

I have a problem, in that, I can not resist a pretty top. Last year was the year when I discovered the Top Shop polyester vests.

These vests are beautiful, very wearable and always come with a little extra design detail. I'm the biggest fan of the chunky zip ones (see this post and this one).

Well, now it seems, there is a new style of polyester vest hanging on the Top Shop rails and yes, they live up to the promise of the past.

Let me introduce you to the Scallop Vest.

At the moment, I only have the one in a bright purple. As a reforming 'blackaholic', I've never really equated bright colours with class and sophistication but somehow this purple seems to pull both punches and makes me feel more sassy then I actually am. FYI: I have already decided to add a chunky silver, maybe slighty metallic, belt to my wish list to wear with this little number, to exploit it's pizazz to the max.

*Hands up* Yes indeed, I am very tempted to also try some of the other colour ways to see if they live up to this beauty. The fit is very flattering to the female figure, it is quite tight and low around the bust but then flares out very loosely just above the hips meaning, yes, in this top, you can pretty much eat as much as you want. Woo!

The stores are too often full of flimsy garments and stringy straps but there is nothing fickle about this top. In addition to the gorgeous colour of this number and its beautiful silhouette, I really like the thickness of the arm straps and the wide scalloping detail.

I think, a scalloped vest, such as this one, could be used as a starting point to style a range of outfits with. I wore my purple one in the day on New Years Eve with some jeans (yes, jeans again!) and my black fluffy jacket. I'm not sure if it was the colour or the vest but the look though not too overdone just suggested there could be something a little more special about the day (New Years Eve!!!!!!) and made me feel that little bit more as I rushed around doing all those chores (boring!) that precede the New Year festivities (excitttinggg).

I could just as easily swap up the fluffy jacket for my Top Shop cropped one or a cardi or a full on business suit. The jeans could be replaced with a maxi skirt, a mini skirt or leggings. The possibilities are numerous which in my humble opinion, at £15, makes this top quite good value for money and a lot cheaper then most Top Shop items, I brought last year!

I hope you had a fab New Years Eve and all the best for 2012. Have you spotted any styles that may be debuting in your 2012 wardrobe yet?



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