Monday, 15 December 2014

The Last Minute Gifts You Should Be Buying Now

We're in the last week on the run up to Christmas (only 9 chocolates left in the advent calender guys) so if you haven't finished your Christmas shopping (for shame) then now is the time to pick up those last minute purchases for stockings, under the tree and everything else you can think of. Other than one special sparkly beauty everything is under £20 so you're going to end up with some mega babely treats that aren't going to leave you totally destitute over the festive season.

Best Buds Party Pack - So I'm a little bit obsessed with Sara.M.Lyons (you'll know her for her Whatever Forever mugs and High School Hierarchy prints) but this Best Buds party pack has got to my favourite.  Decals, stickers and a cute wee print to match. Perfect for your partner in crime.
30 Rock Pencils - Has there been a gift guide La La Land's pencils haven't made it on this season? I don't think so. The 30 Rock ones are the best because Tina Fey/Liz Lemon(it's hard for me to separate the two) is my life icon. I want to go to there indeed.
Crown and Glory Starlight Crown - A perfect secret santa gift or stocking filler, this little cutie is the perfect alternative to your paper crown on Christmas day. Best thing about the festive season? Glitter. GLITTER EVERYWHERE.
Speaking of glitter...... Luna on The Moon's limited edition Christmas bags are amazing, especially this red and white peppermint swirl which has some serious circus/twin peaks vibes. I still love her classics - splattered eggs, pigeons and big old blinking eyes. Perfect.

Even better? All these beauties are shit hot independent designers so not only are you supporting small companies and buying directly from designers but I can guarantee any of these beauties will beat a Boots 3 for 2. Hands down.
Time to get wrapping!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Christmas Gifts for your Best Bitches

If you're anything like me your Christmas shopping will be well on it's way to done and wrapped, however if you're on the saner side of the shopping spectrum, you're probably looking for something to get your best girl. Sisters, girlfriends and BFF's, it is for me the most fun to shop for, but also the most tricky. While the safe bets are her amazon wishlist and an executive food hamper, I love nothing more than a wee suprise under the tree, and our super spectacular Scottish designers have some of the best goodies going, now and forever.

This one is technically cheating as I know I have this for Christmas (thanks Paul!) This little number has been on my wishlist for longer than I care to remember and even before it hit the Black Friday sale, had me making quivering lips and puppy eyes at the boy. At £85 it's still a bit of a steal and crazy gorgeous. Merry Christmas to me indeed.

I'm going to be honest, it was between this and the Magic Roundabout scarf but the name got to me damnit. It's a blue haired beauty with a bee in her bonnet, it's practically made for me. At £35 it can add to my already expanding scarf collection.

La La Land's jewellery is the titty kakas and everyone has a best girl they want to treat. The Best Bitches is gorgeous and exactly the thing I'd love to give (or receive) from either of my home girls. At £20 a pop it's a treat for you and your bestie.  I do like you can customise these cuties, but really why mess with a classic?

Part of the Vanilla Ink allum, Pretty Vexed makes the kind of jewellery that I frequently dream about. That's right,  mamas got a brand new harness on her Christmas wishlist. I had a tough time deciding which of her inaugural collection would make the cut but it just (just) had to be Bree. I don't know anyone who wouldn't want to wear this all the time. 
Rhodesian of Edinburgh are one of those brands that totally blindside you. After first coming across 
them at the launch of S:RD's Limited Edition pop up in Ocean Terminal and I've been obsessing ever 
since. The Luca is my personal favourite because it's just so fat and chunky, and perfectfor lugging your
camera about. Seriously I can't think of anyone who wouldn't love this.

Too far? Not far enough. Perfect for the expat families across the water or other cow aficionados. It's so
bloody cute and unlike her slang - which is amazing - won't get lost in translation.

I already have this and my darling sisterling has already been dropping some serious hints about this
for her impending birthday (sorry sissy, your xmas is well and truly wrapped already.) At £85 it's that
wee bit of indie loving your wardrobe has been crying out for. I'm not usually a big print girl but I've 
been wearing the shit out of this guy since I got it. The fit's unbelievable and it's crazy comfortable.

While I am more than aware this pretty much reads as a personal Christmas wishlist *guilty face* I know
that my nearest and dearest lady pals would be all about these super cute goodies, and they'd be all the
more delighted by a local designers treat. Any niche numbers you have your eyes on?

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Stocking Fillers They'll Actually Want

I've never made much of a secret about it, but Christmas truly is my favourite time of the year.  It's not even December and I've got festive tunes on in the office and have all but finished my Christmas shopping. It's taking some titan like restraint not to put the tree up and wrap my presents.

I'm also a firm believer that Christmas doesn't have to be expensive, and sometimes the cute weirdo gifts that remind you of someone are the best. It's the ones not on your list, that you wouldn't buy for yourself that illicit the most delight on Christmas are the fun, the quirky and downright bizarre.

I've picked some of my favourite stocking fillers from Flamingo Gifts that will pretty much suit everyone this season and all under £20.

Siamese Salt and Pepper Shakers - Under £10 and for the gourmand come cat lover in your life. Just look at their wee playful faces. 

Marble Skull Candle - Maybe a little bit big for in the stocking but perfect for Secret Santa or under the tree. Everyone loves an executive candle and this life size skull is something pretty much any of my ladies would give their right arm for. 

Inflatable Unicorn Horn -  Why would you not want this? Also available is a matching one for your furry wee cat pal. BE MORE UNICORN. 

Lip Shit - Winter is going to do a number on your lips and this all natural goodness will sort you out a treat.  The balckberry and honey is my favourite but the other flavours each come with their own cute illustrations. If anyone wants to slip the Raspberry Lemongrass red riding hood number in my stocking this year there will be no complaints from me.

Folklore Coffee Pot - One for those night owls, I love anything that you can serve hot beverages from. While it may traditionally be more for coffee I imagine pouring some mulled wine or hot chocolate from this beauty would go down a festive treat.  The foxes though, there tiny wee faces and bushy wee tales is what got me. 

I'm not sure about you but any of these beauties are great if looking for something cheap and cheerful this festive season.  

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Santa Baby Slip some Karen Mabon Under The Tree For Me

Santa baby, slip some Karen Mabon under the tree for me. I've been a very good girl Santa baby, and her seasonal treats are just a delight.  They've made the very top of my wishlist (and a fair few of my friends) as does anything with the old KM stamp on it. We're a little bit fanatic when it comes to her silk scarves and jewellery and between myself, Betty and Pops, we more than likely have at the very least, one of everything.

Which is probably in no small way while I'm practically foaming at the mouth for her limited edition seasonal goods. A new drop from Karen is always a delight, but just in time for Christmas, she's only went and released 2 new scarves and a necklace. The jammy sod.

Her limited edition 100% silk scarves clock in at £35 a pop (I know guys, I KNOW) with a pink marionette clown scarf in a bubblegum pink box and a penguin parade (Monty who?) in a snow white matte box. There's a super limited run of these and they are both super gorgeous and versatile and without completely breaking the bank either. The Dalmatian necklace is limited to 50 (count them, 50) at £28 a pop so don't expect these guys to last long.  At these prices if you're buying for anyone particularly special (eckHEM) then you can suprise them with the full collection.  I can't think of anyone who wouldn't be delighted to receive one of these on Christmas morning.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Shameless Style Stealing

Be honest with me now, how many plastic bag do you have under the sink? I'm too embarrassed to count, but truth is, it's way too many. I'm not sure if my Gran owns a shopping trolley but my great gran certainly did. My fellow Scots will be aware of the new 5p charge on all carriers (which goes to charity y'all) but even with that in mind, it's about time we cut down on the waste.

There is no escaping it. I have more clothes than anyone I know and yet still, more often than naught I find myself pinching bit from my families wardrobes. From my sister it's usually tight (sorry Loz) and the boy constantly finds himself short on both shirts and jumpers (sorry Paul) but I never quite expected to turn to my great gran for style inspo

Jacket - Debenhams
Jumper - Old Tophop
Shirt -Boyfriends
Jeans and fishnet - Primark
Shoes - Quiz
Bag - yer Granny's closet

In 2003 Denmark started a tax on plastic carriers to encourage use of reusable bags. They now go through 4 plastic bags per person. Per year. Think about for that for a second. I could manage that in a relatively small grocery shop and frankly there is no need for it. A trolley for me is a bit of a god send because I have a tendency to purchase things that aren't exactly, well, light. It's ideal if you lug around a lot of books (I'm looking at you well meaning students) or just need some extra room without going full on camping backpack on us.
And for those who aren't quite ready to embrace their inner Grandmaw there is the lovable tote bag. I've got more than these than I care to imagine and I'm finally putting them to good use. With pretty much endless possibilities,their is absolutely no reason you should be buying plastic bags at the counter. Totes Amazed, Lazy Oaf and La La Land are all great places to start if looking for something a bit unusual. And if all else fails you can always try a bit of DIY at home.

To trolley or not? What's your vote?

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Bells and Whistles

Sorry to break it to you guys but it is officially only 34 days till Christmas. I say I'm sorry, but I've been in full blown Christmas for the last month. Festive drinks? I've had them all. Destiny's Child Christmas album? Already playing it. So when it comes to Christmas jumpers it should come as no surprise to pretty much anyone that I'm all about the bells and whistles.

Jacket - Obscure Couture
Jumper - Beyond Retro
Trousers - Zara
Shoes - Schuh
Bag - Todd Lynn for Debenhams 

Those totally amazing mega babes over at Beyond Retro are getting in to the spirit in a big way. Yeah sure, they have the best selection of Christmas jumpers on the market (fo'realsies) but they've also pledged to donate £1 of every Christmas jumper sold in store and online to Save The Children. It can be really easy to get caught up in all the glitter and tinsel of the season, but there is also no better time than now to make sure you're donating some cash money to your favourite charities.

Christmas Jumper Day is pegged in the calender's for the 12th of December, and Beyond Retro have everything you could possibly want. From Nordic Prints to The Worst Noel (so ugly they're great) to flashing bells and whistles, there is really a jumper for everyone. If that wasn't enough to get you picking up your Christmas Jumper of Dreams, they're also setting a #xmasjumperstylechallenge where you can win a £250 shopping spree at Beyond Retro. All you need to do is share you're Beyond Retro Christmas jumper look styled up, post it to instagram with #xmasjumperstylechallenge. Y'all got till December 14th  guys so choose your xmas jumper, style it up and save some lives! T'is the season after all.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Dare to Bare

I can't help being suspicious of something that gets unanimous rave reviews. Surely something's got to be wrong right? And with that attitude I signed myself up for a Make Under with BareMinerals.

Bare Minerals is one of those brands that is hailed as the second coming for those with sensitive skin. Of course I am a little cynical. There is nary a mainstream beauty brand out there I haven't tried, and quite frankly I wasn't really expecting much.

More fool me.

I've tried Bare Minerals foundation before, and look, power just was not for me, so I was more than a little bit intrigued about their new bareskin liquid foundation. Not only is liquid foundation my jam, but I was all about finding something that gave a more natural finish than my go to base.  Putting it on though did take me in to brand new territory. With bareskin you have to give the bottle a good shake (like a Polaroid picture) then let out drop in to your Perfecting Face Brush. Usually I would go full on eye roll with any product that NEEDS a special brush to work (Dior and your £22 egg I'm looking at you) but seriously, this brush is pretty amazing. The little scooped out pool knocked me for one at first but I've used this with both the bareskin and other foundations and the results are gorgeous. It's super thick and leaves no streaks, which, if you're in the market for new kit do keep this guy in mind. The foundation itself is great, coming in a wide range of colours and proving that a little goes a long way. I found building up coverage super easy and it let my skin looking fresher without looking cakey. What more could a girl want?

 The pressed powder is a bit hit or miss for me however. The finish - gorgeous, and it's great for touch ups but there is just one little niggling problem. The smell is, shall we say, distracting. I've been reassured by a good few friends that this is typical of mineral based products, and I suspect this is my unfamiliarity with product more than anything else having me picking away. It's a a nifty wee handbag number and would be a near perfect product if I can get used to the smell, which I've not noticed in any of their powders (the blush is lovely.)  Well worth a swatch are their range of lipsticks. I'm usually a matte girl through and through but these leave a lovely pigmented glossy finish without being sticky.

Other than the foundation the real stand outs have been the skincare. The cleanser is super light and leaves my skin feeling so fresh and so clean, and like the foundation, a little really goes a long way. For me an SPF is essential in beauty products so the fact the foundation  AND the moisturiser both tick this box is a straight up delight. The day foundation is light and fruity, and while may not be quite as heavy as I like in the Winter, still a lovely product. The Active Cell Renewal Night Serum however?  I can see this replacing my Midnight Recovery which has been part of my night routine for at least 3 years. It's a totally gorgeous wee product and makes my skin feel, well, renewed..

So am I convert? In some ways. I love the softer finish, even if the shake and blend method is a little bit fiddly, and it makes for a great everyday foundation. I may not be entirely sold on a few of the other products including the pressed powder and blush, they are nice, but didn't blow me away. The Perfecting Face Brush and Active Cell Renewal Night Serum's however are must haves and completely worth the investment.  If you are looking for a lighter finish do give bareskin foundation a try - and don't forget to buy you brush!