If the shoe fits...

Monday, 25 February 2013

All shoes can be found at Brantano or to find your nearest store go here
. I don't know about you but when I think shoes, I don't think Brantano. To me it was a name synonymous with school shoes and the word frumpy. I decided to check out the website the other day after hearing the name and becoming intrigued and I was extremely surprised. I'd buy a lot of the shoes they sell, wear them and, dare I say, love them. They're at reasonable prices, stock big names like Clarks to lesser known brands and seem like decent quality shoes so what's not to love?

I adore the bright yellow of the platforms, the almost Aztec design of the wedges, the adorable bow on the cross strap shoes and who doesn't need more black shoes in their lives? I urge you to check out places you once wrote off like Brantano or Clarks because it seems you may find some hidden gems you can add to your cart bookmark for another day.

Happy shopping!

What Laura Didn't Do

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Do you know what I didn't do? I didn't blog! I've been feeling a bit stressed out in my personal life, frustrated with many aspects of my life that don't seem to change for the better and I guess I just lost the blogging bug during that time. Alas, I am still very much present and I will be back to regular blogging as of this post if all goes to plan.

Some exciting things did happen during my time away though. I've been very lucky lately and I won not only a family ticket to see Madagascar Live (which is rather good fun, by the way) but also an iPad 4! This is my first post using the iPad so please excuse any teething issues that I have to figure out when I get back on the laptop but so far, so phenomenal. My best friend turned 27 so to celebrate we ate at an all you can eat restaurant where we found out we couldn't eat that much and got roaringly drunk and lairy. I'm still feeling the effects of that little adventure.

What have you all been up to?

I've Been Shopping...

Saturday, 9 February 2013

So I'm totally blaming Joanna for this because all of her shopping from a few days ago spurred me on. I got a bit carried away after a Starbucks with Christina and ended up buying a few bits and pieces.

I originally just wanted a few shades in the Apocalips range and a bowler hat. That didn't happen. I came away with a lot of MAC brushes which no doubt I will feature in more detail soon, a pair of suede like peachy nude Primark heels that were a bargainous £3 in the sale, a £2 trilby from New Look, MUA Undress Me Too which I reviewed yesterday, Apocalips in Apocaliptic and Big Bang which I also reviewed yesterday, a cross necklace from Primark and two Collection 2000 mascaras. The Dork t-shirt is from Primark for £4 and reminded me of the Topshop Geek version which I'm obviously too big to fit into. The fleece aztec print leggings which everyone seems to hate are from New Look in the sale for £5!

Basically, it's been a day of bargains and a lot of retail therapy but new things always make you happy, right?

An Eventful Evening

Thursday evening Georgina, Joanna and I headed to Cardiff to an event sponsored by Bafta Cymru at Cosy Club (the best d├ęcor going). Crabtree & Evelyn were on hand to demonstrate their amazing hand treatments and lotion (I completely recommend Citron - a lime scent with a kick of spice that lasts for hours) and tapas on the table to enjoy before a presentation from three of the industry heavy weights (producers, make up artists and costume designers) who spoke of their careers, their inspirations and their collaborations. It was amazing to hear anecdotes about the job straight from someone who has been there and are now reaping the rewards of hard work and determination. The project they all collaborated on and which the event focused around was Tati's Hotel, a children's drama on CITV in which there's a magic hotel full of kooky and wonderfully vibrant characters. Tati can use her magic key which is a running motif in the costume design to design a room especially for the recipient. Amazing! After hearing of it I immediately got my children to judge it and I'm pretty sure my four year old now wants to visit the hotel as much as I do. If you have children I recommend you give it a go because I'm thoroughly enchanted and after hearing of the passion and creativity of Jane Dauncey (producer), Lyndsay Bonaccorsi (costume designer) and Jo Evans (make up artist), inspired.

MUA Undress Me Too

Friday, 8 February 2013

Swatched L-R: Naked (you can barely see it), Devotion, Shy, Fiery, Lavish, Dreamy, Tranquil, Exposed, Reveal, Wink, Obsessed & Corrupt.

MUA Undress Me Too palette - £4 here

I'm so excited about this palette. As the follow up to MUA's Undressed palette, an almost perfect dupe of Urban Decay's Naked palette for £32 more, I expected big things. I've always advocated MUA's highly pigmented and easy to blend eyeshadows and their palettes are always exceptional for the tiny price tag. Undressed is one of my every day palettes and the one I reach for the most often. Undress Me Too is another almost identical palette full of the dupes from the Naked 2. How does it hold up? Really rather well.

Firstly, I love the fact that MUA are now giving their eyeshadows names. I know it sounds silly but it's so much more attractive to me when products have names rather than numbers. It's in a white and clear plastic case instead of the black and clear of previous palettes which does set it apart but I'm undecided on whether I'm a fan of it. The colours are as soft as ever, packed with pigment, a mix of shimmer and matte shades and they don't have too much fall out which is always a good sign.

I will be stocking up on this palette as I have with the Undressed. Perfect for day or more dramatic looks and all for £4. What's to argue about there? I'm sorry about the Apocalips stains behind some of the swatches! I took photos in bulk, completely forgot it was there and got a bit lazy!

Rimmel Apocalips in Apocaliptic & Big Bang

Rimmel Apocalips lip laquer in Apocaliptic and Big Bang - £5.99

Now I know every man and his dog has written about these high pigmented lip stick lip gloss hybrids but I had to get in on the action. After seeing them almost everywhere I was adamant I was picking these up on their release date but, as life goes, it came and went and my hands still weren't holding them. Today I picked up these Apocaliptic and Big Bang on a 3 for 2 offer in Boots and I'm glad I did. They really are very nice.

I didn't take a photo of the brush but it's a traditional sponge tip applicator with an almost concave centre which really packs the product in. It's high shine and very pigmented so I suggest either a lip liner to be worn or a very precise application (it's not one to slick on and go, that's for sure). The formula is lovely to wear and is decently long lasting. It made it through a large latte before the shine dulled off but the colour was still as bright as ever. I got six hours of wear out of the colour before I really needed to top up which I thought for £5.99 was pretty decent. The photos of the stain were taken literally a minute after swatching and wiping with a wet wipe so you can see they do stain. I'm not sure how much of a pain that will be to die down completely but so far, I'm impressed. I love the colour range, the fact it's glossy with all the pigmentation of a lipstick and while it does transfer I can't say it doesn't transfer more than your average drugstore lipstick.

I'll definitely be picking up a few more shades and as I said, Boots currently have a 3 for 2 offer on these so you can pick up three for just over a tenner. Bargain.