Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Bargain Booties...

So, I wasn't going to write this post, I thought it was slightly irrelevant as its not like I got this thrift from a store, however, I guess it was a case of ‘in the right place at the right time’ which in fairness is what thrifting is all about.

As many people who work in fashion will know, one of the best parts of the job is a good sample sale. Unlike any other, a sample sale is the Rolls Royce of sales and blows the typical price tags out the window and replaces them with some amazing bargains that can even catch the eye of those who are impartial to a thrift! Typically the items in a sample sale can come from a range of designers and additional brands which is great as there is always a mixture of styles and therefore something for everyone! Having never previously been to a sample sale I wasn't sure what I’d find as by the sounds of it, it was going to be a fashion brawl that would end in tears. In contrast to that, it was mind blowing and with the most expensive choice being a £15 dress (which was snapped up very quickly), I was clearly in my element! Unfortunately I wasn't having a lot of luck after turning up late and despite there still being a vast amount available nothing was catching my eye! Just before I gave up to bury my head in sand at the embarrassment of getting myself so psyched up and finding nothing, I decided to look at the shoes. Thankfully I’m generally quite lucky when it comes to shoes as having small feet usually means my size is available, which in this case was correct. There was a variety of choice including some amazing platform heels which despite attracting me immediately I resisted due to my overwhelming collection at home. Instead I looked through the boots and found these gems for £5 from Crafted, a brand by Republic. I absolutely love the stud detailing on these boots and the unusual zip gives them a really unique look. I also love their ability to spice up a casual day outfit and transform it into a chic evening look. Since buying these boots, I haven't worn them half as much as I should have but whenever I do I'm always guaranteed a compliment or question about their history which I'm always happy to publicise- "£5 in a sample sale" with a grin from ear to ear! 

Thursday, 23 May 2013

New Look Love...

While putting together this week’s Style Steal I came across a khaki green army jacket from New Look which had me obsessed as not only was the jacket amazing but the price tag was £48.99 reduced to £11.00. I absolutely love this style of jacket and have had a similar one for years. Unfortunately, last summer it became slightly worse for wear after going to a party which involved paint, so it is now half pink and although for most people in Leeds this may add to its vintage appearance, I think I look like a hobo. 

Anyway, having seen this jacket on the New Look website I decided to go and see if they had any left which I didn’t think they would due to it being sold out online. Thankfully there it was bundled in with a variety of similar jackets up for grabs! Surprisingly I wasn’t sold on it completely at first as I debated whether I’d wear it enough but my reluctancy to put it down clearly proved I wasn’t going to leave without it. I was so happy once I’d bought it, not only due to bagging myself another bargain but it’s so versatile as you can dress it up or keep it casual. The quality of the jacket is also really good and made with a thick cotton material. Having worn it all week I have had a ton of compliments from people asking me where it's from which is always nice when you’ve only spent a thrifty £11.00. But, whats even better than the bargain is the fact that because so many people are reluctant to skim through the sale racks, I’m hopefully not going to bump into my twin anytime soon. 

Monday, 20 May 2013

A bargain to better skin...

Ok so despite the fact that I have now been on O2 for about 5 years I would be lying if I said that I was a regular user of their Priority Moments. I have the app on my phone but I have yet to use it which, when I think about it, is ridiculous as they have some amazing deals! 

Anyway, while sat on a lunch break last week I received a lovely text message from O2 telling me that WHSmiths had a bag of chocolates for me as a thank you for being a customer and although I wasn’t remotely interested, it did coax me on to the app. Surprisingly, I came across some great deals that I would be interested in, one of which was a £10 discount when you spend £20 or more at The Body Shop. Now, although I love The Body Shop and its ability to lure me in with its smell of cocoa butter, it is one of those shops that I rarely look in unless its Christmas. The deal, however, was ending this weekend so I decided to go and see what was on offer. Having gone to my nearest store I was sure that once I’d chosen my products I’d be greeted with the typical response, “sorry madam, this product isn’t in the promotion” but thankfully this was not the case as the only items excluded in the offer were gift cards. After walking around the shop several times and beginning to look odd due to continuously changing my mind, I finally decided on 4 products. 

I really wanted a variety of products for skincare so tried to get an assortment of items. The first product I found was a Tea Tree skin cleanser. This caught my eye immediately as I love Tea Tree and having used it before I knew this worked really well for me. The cleanser itself is a form so its really soft and refreshing for your skin and amazing to use in the morning! Along with that I also chose a vitamin E cleansing bar as like most woman, I can occasionally dismiss my beauty regime and disregard taking care of my skin. Luckily,  this is a great way to give your skin a new lease of life and like most soaps it doesn’t leave your skin feeling dry and instead, leaves a soft and clean finish. As most people will know The Body Shop is particularly well know for their cocoa butter moisturisers and scrubs so it would have been rude not to buy one. I bought the Cocoa Butter Cream Body Scrub which was £5 for a small pot which surprisingly goes a very long way as you only need a small amount each time. I love this product; it exfoliates your skin leaving it really soft and more importantly it smells amazing! Finally I bought the Moringa Eau De Toilette which I really wasn’t planning on, but after spraying it on a sample card I became obsessed as I couldn’t stop smelling it! It has a really fresh smell with a hint of flowers and as it’s small, it’s ideal to keep in your handbag. 

I was so happy with all my purchases and even happier having given my O2 code to the assistant bringing the total sale to £11.00 instead of £21.00, which is amazing! This is definitely something I would recommend to anyone on O2. The app is really easy to use and can offer a great range of deals. I can also say that I am now a massive fan of The Body Shop and will most definitely be going there a whole lot more! 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Show me the Midi...

Since first coming into fashion last summer, the midi dress has been seen on almost every A-lister going and having been in the limelight for a number of seasons, there has been several adaptations of the garment.  From pastels to graphic prints, midi dresses can now be found in a variety of different styles for any given occasion. 

Having been a jeans girl for most of my life, the thought of getting my legs out for any event fills me with dread as I convince myself that jeans and a nice top would be more fitting. In spite of this, I have found I am a big fan of the midi dress as although there is a need to bare some leg, it’s ability to be bought on a budget makes it ever more attractive.
Recently I have been tempted into River Island due to my intrigue with the launch of Rihanna’s new clothing line and although I would never wear any of the line myself, as a result of its overwhelming, less than subtle appearance, the graphic style print I have become a fan of. While trawling through the collection I found a great graphic midi dress, however, with its less than inviting price tag it was definitely a ‘look but don't touch’ scenario! Having fallen in love with the design and fit of the dress I started to search online for one similar and more within my price range. As I wasn’t too sure where to begin my search, I typically started with ASOS for its ability to sell a wide range of products from both high street and designer labels. Despite seeing several similar versions ranging between £30-£40, I knew I could get something cheaper. Having scoured the ASOS sale, I stumbled upon a graphic midi dress that not only had an amazing open back, it was in my price range. yet again, however, my brain kicked in and slammed the reduced £20 price tag with the question ‘where would I wear it?’. Now I know this question should never have been asked when being greeted by a bargain, but this girl has to eat! Although my initial reaction was that of a woman possessed, I knew the bargain would not be justified if I had nowhere to wear it.

I left it a couple of weeks and typically being sat on eBay I decided to search for the dress. Unsurprisingly I didn't find it, yet as one link led to another, by some miracle I stumbled across exactly the same dress! I bid my highest offer at £10 as I vowed not to go crazy but I didn't hold much hope as most of the time I'm out bid at the finish line. Incredibly, I won the bid and purchased the dress that was originally reduced from £45 to £20 for £10.50 including postage and packaging! When it arrived it was a great fit and remarkably, I didn't feel the need to hide my legs, (at least not immediately!) I was so happy to have secured such a bargain and although I have nowhere to wear it, it can sit in my wardrobe until I do! 

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Hard as Nails

Since having Shellac for the first time at a local salon last month I have had a ton of compliments on the 'cake pop' colour I chose. Over the last two weeks I have become a huge fan of the shade as I find myself waking up each morning praying my Shellac has survived the night! And, with my clear nail varnish taking a hit in an effort to prolong the life of my beautiful Shellac nail, I decided to go on a hunt!

I had never seen this colour before; even by brands such as Essie who tend to set the bar quite high when it comes to the number of nail polishes companies can produce so I wasn’t too sure where to start. Obviously I was determined to grab a bargain so I stayed away from the obvious retailers charging a small fortune for something they believe is a life investment. Instead I was intent to spend no more than £3 as like most women I could open a small nail boutique with the amount of varnishes clanging around in my cupboard! With this in mind naturally I headed to Barry M in the hope they would have their own cake pop colour amongst their hundreds of shades! Unfortunately, it was not that easy. Although I was greeting with many colours (some of which should never be worn, at least not seriously) none were the same... too pink... too light... too shimmery! Having dragged myself into Super Drug looking for a bargain I decided to take a look at some other brands who are able to offer affordable prices with a variety of choice, it was then I stumbled across a brand I hadn't heard of...MUA (Make Up Academy). They sold a wide range of cosmetics from powder to primer and more importantly nail varnish and although they didn't have a wide variety, sitting on the top shelf was the perfect pink! Along with that they also had a range of pastel colours that are perfect for summer! But, better than all the colours put together was the price as I was able to buy three different colours with my £3 limit as each cost only £1! Surprisingly the quality of the varnish is amazing and dries really quickly which is great if you doing your nails before running out the door! Its also a great excuse to go bold and try out some colours you would usually stay away from in the knowledge that at least you can say I tried it! One of the colours I chose was a mint green which is very unlike me as I usually stay away from colours that clash with freckles! Having said that, I absolutely love the colour and its great for spring!

I’m hopeful that despite adding yet another three more little pots of joy to my boutique these pastel colours will definitely brighten me up in what has now turned out to be a very wet day in Leeds!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Bank Holiday Haul...

Ok. So I had a very chilled bank holiday weekend planned as I decided to save money for a while and perhaps have a late spring clean. However, with the sun finally shining in Leeds I decided to walk into town to get some fresh air and perhaps buy some flash wipes in my pursuit to clean the house. Instead, I decided to have a brief look in Primark which, unsurprisingly, ended in a haul. 

Normally this isn’t something I would do as despite being a thrifter over the years I’ve developed a mass of Primark clothing that I have not worn enough to justify the purchase in the first place. I have also noticed that over the years the famous low price tags of Primark are now not so low. In defence of this I have found that the quality of the material has improved dramatically which has insured that your clothes no longer disintegrate on a wash higher than 30 degrees. In spite of many people throwing the Primark name under the nearest bus I am a fan of the shop and, although they may sometimes convince themselves that they have the ability to sell an item for £25+, you can still find some gems! 

Having seen a really nice pair of aztec jeans in Topshop last week and almost throwing up at the price tag, I was so happy to see that Primark had a very similar pair of jeans that were dramatically cheaper and made with a softer denim. Unfortunately due to Primark primarily relying on their customers to maintain the cleanliness of their store I was unable to try the jeans on before buying them due to the assault course of hangers and shoes that presented itself between me and the changing rooms. But, thankfully, having got them home and tried them on in the safety of my flat they were perfect and at £12 you can’t really argue! 

My second purchase was a cream loose fitted shirt and, although I have one quite similar from H&M, the material is a lot smoother as its more of a silk and a lot cheaper at £9. This looks so nice with a pair of jeans and boots for a smart causal look or alternatively you can dress it up with a skirt and heels for a night out. 

Finally I found a gem that I think everyone needs to know about... camisoles!

I’m a huge fan of camisoles as they are so versatile and easy to wear for most occasions. Recently Topshop have bought out a camisole that is available in several colours however costs £18. Although the material is nice and the colours are great I cannot warrant spending that amount of money on a strappy top. Fortunately Primark are now doing camisoles that are practically the same material at only £5! Again, I was unable to try this on before taking it home and I wasn’t holding out much hope as Primark is the king of making most clothes look nicer on hangers rather than people, but I love it! The fit is fantastic and the loose material makes it really flattering. I am so pleased with my weekend purchases and despite not having saved money I have gained three great pieces for my summer wardrobe. 

Fingers crossed next weekend I will have more self control!