Tag Archives: shopping

RECENT PURCHASES: JANUARY SALES

I did eventually manage to hit the January sales– better late than never, I say, and definitely also better when not grossly overcrowded and crazy. Here’s what I picked up:

17polish

These gorgeous nail polishes are from Boots’ Seventeen range. They’re just €3, which I think is astonishing for such gorgeous colours. I’ve got #49 Blue Glitter and #57 Green Gold Shimmer here, which I’m looking forward to trying out– even if I suspect I am going to need bucketloads of nail polish remover for taking them off since they’re pretty intensely glittery. (Whoever can invent something which takes off glitter polish without an hour’s worth of scrubbing is going to be one rich person, let me tell you.)

 

bushes

I’ve been wanting to add some new eye shadow brushes to my collection for a while now, and unfortunately the only website on which I could find Sigma brushes had none in stock. Consequently, I gave up on web shopping and hied myself to the Mac counter in BT2– I was hoping to save myself a few quid by not buying the MAC ones, but in the end, I decided to just save myself the headache.

It’s not really so terrible; online shopping is a pain in my backside, if I’m honest. I always prefer a bricks-and-mortar retailer wherever possible, since that way I get to bring the goodies home in my hot little hands and not spend a week obsessively tracking my package to try to determine what day it might arrive. Even if you can figure out what day it might come, that means a whole day spent shivering with the living room door open so you’re sure to hear the doorbell, watching your hideously expensive heating flowing into the hall while you rock back and forth from a combination of chill and the inability to take a bathroom break in case the doorbell rings while you’re in there and you can’t scramble out in time to catch the postman before he leaves. (I really don’t handle waiting for deliveries well, okay?)

Since this was a regular retailer, I got to bring home my goodies from the MAC counter as well as two others I picked up in in M&S in their sale for €4 (from their own Autograph range) and €8 (from Pur Brushes). The MAC ones were not on sale, and were about €20 each (ouch). I picked up #217 (I didn’t have one, if you can believe that) and #224. I’ll be excited to compare them to the Real Techniques ones I use daily and the M&S ones you can see here.

 

BT2

While picking up my brushes, I also quite naughtily found my way into the downstairs of BT2. Oops? That said, I got two great bargains– this lovely little Whistles parka was 50% off at €100. It’s insanely warm, and fills the White-Coat-shaped gap in my wardrobe quite nicely. The shoes were something of a random buy– like my red runners, they’re actually for a costume event I’m going to later in the year (I’ll be doing, among other things, a casual version of Princess Anna from Frozen), but I’m actually rather taken with them. They were €60, down from €95, and the embroidery is gorgeous. I bought them in a size up in the hopes of being able to wear them with a heel insert to protect my irritatingly vulnerable Achilles tendon, so we shall see how that goes. (And if it doesn’t work, I’ll just have to… Let it go?)

 

MandS1

Lastly, I stopped by M&S to see what was available in their sale. In addition to the two brushes I already mentioned, I picked up two body scrubs– they were only €4 each, and they were also on a “Buy One Get One Half Price” offer, which means I got the two of them for the princely sum of €6! I’m a big fan of body scrubs, so hopefully these will work out for me. Neither Lemon nor Cocoa Butter is really my favourite scent, but they’re nice enough and at that price you really can’t argue.

I also picked up a lighted mirror on half price in Boots… And something else which I suspect deserves its own post which I’ll be talking about soon. My sale shopping was quite restrained this year, but considering the bumper Christmas and Birthday I had, I can hardly complain! I’m not exactly hurting for clothes or makeup, and I’m hoping to spend less and shop my closet more in 2015. I have so much lovely stuff that hasn’t been worn nearly enough, after all.

Did you get anything nice in the sales? Are you holding out for prices to drop even further? Or are you on a shop-your-closet-in-2015 kick, too? Drop me a line and let me know!

-A-

CHRISTMAS PRESENTS

Mummy, look away now. I’m warning you!

Everyone else can see what I’m getting people under the cut:

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THE PAIN OF BIRTHDAYS

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m a December Baby, so I’ve got a birthday coming up soon… And the suspense is killing me. I already know what I’m getting, but there’s a difference between knowing and having! (Although I have admittedly gotten my grubby little hands on one or two of my pressies already, like the computer I’m writing this on right now… Oops.)

So, until the rest of my beauties show up, let’s talk wishlists. I might be the only one with an impending birthday– but Christmas is, as we all know, right around the corner, so I think wishlists are on the minds and in the hearts of every boy and girl at this time of year. Here’s what I wouldn’t say no to if it showed up wrapped on my doorstep:

#1 A Navy Birkin

eva-birkin Modelled here by the impeccably stylish Eva Longoria, a navy Birkin is the one thing I wanted this year which never materliaised. To be fair, the lovely Hermes in town did get in a Birkin for me, and in the size I wanted, but the colour was wrong– it was way too much of a green-blue rather than a true navy. Apparently, getting a navy Birkin (especially in the smaller sizes) out of the workshop in Paris is harder than getting blood out of a stone.

Hermes, for me, has to be perfect to be worth it, so I passed on the lovely blue-green bag because it quite simply wouldn’t have gone with anything in my wardrobe. I would have been buying it just because it was a Birkin; it would have clashed horribly with everything I own and not looked right at all. So, I let it go on to some other Hermes hopeful, and I’m still waiting for my navy ship to come in. Not before this birthday, I suspect, but I live in hope that some day it will arrive…!

#2 These Charlotte Tilbury “Face(s) in a Box”

charlotteI’m so impressed by the face in a box concept that it makes me lose the ability to can. Yes, the prices are terrifying, but it’s high-end makeup, and you can also use the individual items for different looks in addition to the one perscribed by the designer, obviously. My three picks are the those above. Some of the others are gorgeous, but they all seem to require application of copious quantities of bronzer, and that doesn’t fly with me. I don’t look like myself when I use it, but worse: when I use it, all my scarves and tops don’t look clean. I’m happy to stick with the pale-and-interesting faces, thanks. I need these in my life; why haven’t I got them yet?!

#3 A Diamond Cartier LOVE Bracelet

love

If you’ve got the $50k, I’ve got the wrist! What– a girl can dream, can’t she?! Actually, being honest: while I love the concept of the LOVE collection (it’s so romantic and cute), the practicality of it is a little different. What if you’re mugged? What if you have to go through a metal detector? What if it just keeps banging off your bloody laptop while you’re trying to type something? There is a cuff version which is considerably more affordable and practical, so maybe I can get my hands (or wrist) on one of those some day for real. I still think the piece above is the prettiest in the collection, though, and if you can afford $50k for a bracelet, you can probably afford a 24/7 butler to accompany you with the screwdriver to remove it as necessary…!

 

#4 These Plum Coloured UGG Boots

ugg

They don’t sell this colour in Ireland, which makes me very sad. Perhaps I shall order them from the US though Nordstrom after Christmas. There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell would I try to order something from the US at this time of year– the last time I did that, a couple of years ago, my parcel showed up in March. March. It had been to several destinations within both Europe and Ireland itself, and looked as though somebody had been using it for a football. Fortunately it wasn’t anything fragile, but the experience left a bad taste in my mouth, and now I just don’t order anything from outside the country between mid-November and mid-January. It’s just safer that way.

 

#5 Blue Skies & Sandy Beaches

beach

Okay, while it might be difficult to wrap this up, you could always print out hotel and flight reservations and put them in an envelope made of wrapping paper, right? The miserable Irish winter weather (boo, hiss) is depressing as all hell, and I would love an excuse to go somewhere warm and sunny and ditch the winter woolies for a couple of weeks. Or months. Or until all this “winter” nonsense blows over, basically. I am a tiny bit concerned with travelling due to the ongoing Ebola problem, but if presented with a trip like this, I might be willing to change my mind…

What things are on your birthday or Christmas wish lists? Are you aching for winter to end? Do you have any fun purchases or trips coming up? Drop me a line and let me know!

-A-

NEZZY DOES DUNDRUM

I have successfully completed all my Christmas shopping! Forget everything I said before about Christmas being a pain in the backside (at least until I have to go back to Dundrum in the last week or so before Christmas). Today, I am awash with the holiday spirit and full of Christmas cheer!

I’ll be doing a write up of my gifts another day, but today I’m doing to talk about the little treats I bought for myself. I got:

haul1

Carmex Lip Balm
Essie polishes in #293 Peak of Chic, and #88 Licorice
A Tangle Teezer
Eyelure Brow Palette in Blonde
Tweezerman Slant Tweezers

The Carmex is an old staple for me, but the other products are new buys.

Since the price of GOSH polishes have gone up to €8.50 (eight fifty!), I thought it was worth kicking in the extra €2 to upgrade to Essie– it’s one of my favourite ranges, but which I mostly avoid due to its price. (The fact that the Essence counter was out of black might also have had something to do with it.) I am excited to try out this glitter topcoat: it has a lovely holographic sheen, and the glitter pieces themselves are quite small, so it should give a nice effect. Look out for it in a NOTD post coming soon!

I couldn’t quite believe I managed to get the Eylure palette– I’m always looking for ways to improve my brows, and I’ve read good things about these palettes. I also tried to buy the Brow Ink, but there was some kind of snafu at the till and I ended up not purchasing it. Fortunately, I was able to call the shop (McCabes) after I got home and noticed it missing, and the lady put it aside for me! Very happy about that. A word of warning about these products, though: the actual item itself does not seem to bear any information about the shade you’ve chosen, so make sure you make a note of what’s on the box for future purchases before you recycle it!

Speaking of brows, I recently, um, “damaged” my old reliable tweezers while trying to glue some things together. I’m actually quite cut up about this, because I’ve had them for about fifteen years and they were bloody brilliant. RIP, old tweezers. 😦 I’m hoping their replacements will be as good and last as long, but only time will tell. I have heard good things about these, though, so I’ll let you know.

I’ve also heard great things about the Tangle Teezer, and I’m definitely looking forward to giving that a go.

We took a break from working out the credit cards to stop for lunch at the amazing Siam Thai, our favourite place to eat in Dundrum. I recommend the Garlic and Pepper chicken… Or duck, or beef, or pretty much any variety. It’s delicious!

dinner

They have a great lunch menu of two courses for €15, and since we weren’t that hungry, we grabbed the main and dessert instead of starter and main. Although the dessert menu was delightfully fancy, what I personally fancied was ice cream. It’s not on the menu, but they do have it, and it’s very nice! Make sure to ask if you want some.

Back home now, and I’m looking forward to writing up and wrapping up my pressies. Can’t put the Christmas tree up until after my birthday, though; Mummy won’t allow it!

Have you got your Christmas shopping done? Have you been eaten anywhere tasty lately? What products have you recently purchased that you’re excited to try out? Drop me a line and let me know!

-A-

PRODUCT EXPERIENCE: LIDL FRUIT & VEG

Well, it’s finally happened: the needle has swung, and I find I’m now doing more of my shopping in Lidl than Tesco. Since my diet has shifted, I haven’t found myself as tied to Tesco since I’m buying fewer processed products (bread, coleslaw, etc.) and more whole products like spinach, apples, etc. I started shopping there because it was cheaper, to be honest– who doesn’t like to come home with a little more in their wallet?

The funny thing is, although I came for the prices, I stayed for the quality.

Both my aunt and my mother have long proselytised on the virtues of Lidl’s fresh produce, but to tell the truth, I hadn’t really noticed a difference until I was stuck in the house for two weeks in a row without being able to go shopping. The first week, I had Tesco fruit and veg; the second week I had Lidl. It wasn’t intended to be a comparison test, but it kind of worked out that way, and the result were a little staggering: only the Lidl fruit and veg remained fresh all week in the fridge. This included the bag of spinach (which was also in far better condition at purchase than the comparison)– and if you buy spinach regularly, you’ll know that’s nothing short of a miracle. The carrots stood up really well, too, as did the apples, the tomatoes, and the spring onions.

I can’t cut out my Tesco shop completely; there are some food products Lidl doesn’t stock (the marinated salmon fillets I like, individually wrapped chicken breasts, pine nuts of any kind, and my favourite yoghurts, to name a few). Along with some household staples (like heavy-duty kitchen roll, freezer bags, washing-up liquid) where I’m particular about certain brands, I’ll need to continue to head back to Tesco in Dundrum occasionally. That said, I’m pretty sure I can switch my Tesco shops to once-a-fortnight, or even once a month– and cut my costs, too. This will also serve the fabulous purpose of keeping me out of dangerous places like Boots and House of Fraser With the release of that gorgeous Charlotte Tilsbury range looming large, I’m trying to save all I can…

Where do you do your shopping? Have you made any changes to your grocery habits lately? Are you saving up for anything special? Drop me a line and let me know!
-A-

SCARF LOVE

I have a confession to make: I’m a scarf addict. You might notice that a lot of my OOTDs include a scarf, especially the non-summer ones. I started buying scarves in 2008, and now I feel I’m never properly dressed up without one! When I began buying them, I couldn’t imagine how I would possibly integrate them into my wardrobe, and was really only buying them because of the patterns, but I’ve become increasingly comfortable with wearing them and they’re a big part of my personal style.

Much as I adore the summer, it sadly means my scarves tend to get set aside for duration: sticky summer heat doesn’t do much for slinky silks, in my opinion. The larger, heavier 90cm by 90cm scarves make up the bulk of my collection, and for me those are just too much material for adding to an outfit on a hot day. However, the good people at Hermes (bless their clever French souls) have come up with a solution to my problem: the new mini or “bandana” scarves, 55cm square. Smaller than the 70cm scarves (which are still a bit much on hotter days) and bigger than the teeny-tiny pochettes, these are just the perfect in-between scarves to add a little pop to a summer outfit:

ootd06

Furthermore, they’ve been released in some pretty desirable patterns (if you’re a scarfie); I’ve been itching to get my hands on this one for ages.  This is the scarf folded in half with the tails tied at the nape of my neck– I thought it would be too small, but as soon as I tried it on, I realised it was just the perfect size for me. I’ll definitely be adding more of these to my collection in the future!

Have you tried Hermes bandanas? Are you a scarf addict? What clever wardrobe workarounds have you discovered for the summer? Drop me a line and let me know!
-A-

OUTFIT OF THE DAY

Another visit to Dundrum today to pick up some bits and pieces for a friend’s impending visit! Had to get some things to make sure her bedroom is cosy enough– I haven’t had anyone to stay with me in ages.

ootd-03 Sweater: Mulberry
Jeans: Tommy Hilfiger
T-Shirt: Dunnes
Scarf: Hermes
Boots: Ugg

This is the sweater that I picked up in Kildare Outlets a while ago, and the first time I’ve worn it. I absolutely love how it looks, but my god, I ought to have washed the damn thing before wearing it over a black t-shirt. There are little bits of grey fluff EVERYWHERE. A few minutes with the lint roller sorted out my problem and restored my t-shirt to (reasonable) good health, but there’s nothing that irks me more than clothes that put fluffies on other clothes…! It’s probably my own fault, since I’m prone to wearing warm, grey things –the guiltiest of culprits in this crime– but it’s still a right pain in the backside. I shall have to wash it alone and flush the washing machine afterwards to prevent it from happening again!

Are you plagued by fluff? Do you have any fluff-prevention techniques you’d like to share? Do you just not buy things that shed, or do you just not notice? Drop me a line and let me know!
-A-

-A-

SUNGLASSES FOR THE SHORT-SIGHTED

Is there anything that puts the fear of god into the short-sighted population more than the onset of summer– aka sunglasses season? I want you to know, all of you blessed, lucky people who have not had the misfortune of being a carrying around a face-full of glass for the past twenty-odd years, that I don’t actually wish you any harm. Really, I don’t. I’m just a teensy bit jealous. Because while you’re all excitedly trying on glasses in Brown Thomas and flinging different €3 styles into your basket at Penneys so as to cover every available outfit or trend, I’m wearing the same pair of prescription shades for five or six years, trying to decrease the cost-per-wear so I don’t feel so heinously terrible about the price of them.

shades

My prescription shades were bought in 2008 or 2009, and I love them dearly. I’m actually very fortunate, because neither my style nor my prescription changes that often, so I ended up getting a pair of giant Prada bug-eye ones (I don’t care if big glasses go out of fashion; I will wear my giant shades until the sun sets on me for good). I love them dearly, but they’re extremely heavy, and sometimes it would be nice to try something else for a change without having to wear contacts for the duration.

I’ve never been fond of contacts. I do dutifully carry a packet of them around with me when I go on holidays or when going to see a 3D movie, but I’ve never found them comfortable, and usually end up disappearing to the bathroom to pull them out and return to the land of glazing before the day or evening ends.

I’m dreading the day I have to change these babies. Not only is the cost stratospheric, but the selection is very limited– most of the frame shapes I prefer require so much curvature of the lenses that you can’t put prescription lenses into them.

If I had better eyesight, though, or were prepared to put up with regular eye poking/scraping, these are what I’d be buying this year:

Armani Cat Eye, €228 @ Brown Thomas

Prada Absolute Round Sunglasses €490 @ Brown Thomas

River Island Cleo €21 @ ASOS

ASOS Preppy Wayfarer in Green €17 @ ASOS

At least I can dream!

Do you have a favourite pair of shades to share? Do you wrestle with contacts, or have you braved LASIK? Do you feel my pain, with short-sightedness sorrows cramping your shades style? Drop me a line and let me know!
-A-

PRODUCT EXPERIENCE: REAL TECHNIQUES BRUSHES

Today we’re going to talk about brushes. I admit, I already have quite a lot of brushes (you can see my collection previous to this purchase here), but these have been acquired pretty much willy-nilly over the last decade or so with very little thought to what I did or didn’t have previously. I wasn’t building a collection so much as I was buying whatever I thought looked good or good value at any given time.

That’s changed, recently, largely since I began this blog; I’m far more aware now of the different choices and options for makeup application, and I’ve been looking to expand my tools accordingly. Here’s the most recent addition to my collection:

real-techniques Continue reading

DUNDRUM HAUL #3

Yet another recent visit to Dundrum has seen me burdened down with yet more sale items. M&S are swiftly becoming one of my favourite retailers this year; their sales have been early and excellent, and their range has been pretty damn good, too. I usually wait for the end-of-summer sales to pick up summery bits and pieces for holidays/next year, but M&S have actually been discounting their summer stock from mid-April this year! Here’s what I picked up last time:

mermaid-leggings

Mermaid style leggings, €17

 grey-jumper

Grey Jumper €34

white-jumper

White jumper €34

white-t-shirt

White T-shirt €17

Images from M&S.com, because I quite stupidly deleted the photos off my phone right after I took them! That’ll teach me not to check whether or not I need things before trying to free up space, but my phone is old and cluttered with crap, so I started with the most recent things instead of older ones thinking I’d know if I needed the recent ones…!

I’m very fond of all of these buys for summer. I’ve been waiting some light-coloured, light-weight sweaters for a while now, and I think these two are just the ticket for throwing on in cool summer evenings. The T-shirt is very similar to a black one I got here a while ago; although a little bit large, it hangs really well and gives a really cute look. I’m especially happy with the leggings– I’d seen some similar ones on Black Milk before, but they were a) out of stock, and b) very expensive. These are a little more toned-down and thus more wearble for me, too, so I was delighted to get them, and I expect these will get a lot of wear over the coming months!

Do you have a new preferred retailer creeping up the ranks of your affections? Have you bought any of these items? Are you waiting for the end-of-summer-sales to stock up for next year? Drop me a line and let me know!
-A-