Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Dirty Works skincare - reviewing the 'miracle cream' and more

Dirty Works retro style skincare review

I don't do many skincare reviews because, well, frankly, this isn't a skincare blog! Most of you are here for the fashion and it's my first love too, so that's fine by me. But now and then, I do like to mix it up so I hope you'll indulge me this post about Dirty Works, a UK-based beauty brand.

I'm no different to the thousands of women who search for miracle products that can banish fine lines, brighten dark circles, prevent pimples and anything else that helps my temperamental skin to fall in line. But I don't buy a lot of them, to be honest, because I'd rather buy makeup that I know for sure will cover these issues up - whereas prevention doesn't seem so guaranteed. Still, when Dirty Works asked if I'd like to try some things from their range I was game - not least because the packaging is so darn adorable! There's a lot of similarities to Soap N Glory here, but hey, no bad thing.

So I'm going to run through the items I've tried and what I thought, but as it was near impossible to capture any differences in photographs I gave up that fool's errand - you'll have to take my word for it :) This range is available in Sainsbury's in the UK, and can be bought directly internationally too for a reasonable flat rate fee of £5.95 (excluding fragrances, which I'm not reviewing here). It's very reasonably priced so if you find something that works for you it's worth it!

Dirty Works Miracle Cream daily moisturiser review


This is probably best described as a day-time moisturiser, because that's how I found it worked best. When I wear a moisturiser (which isn't often, because a lot of products encourage my oily skin and it for sure needs no encouragement), I want it to sink in rapidly, smell nice, not make me even greasier than I already am, not break me out and for my make-up to apply nicely on top. This cream ticks all of those boxes probably the best of any I've tried! Particularly the sinking in and no-shine part - which are the ones I struggle most with usually. Miracle cream though? I didn't really notice many of the effects the box says above, but I also probably haven't been trying it consistently enough to make any kind of big change. I also fundamentally don't believe many products can do all of that, to be pretty frank. And hence why I'm not a skincare blogger...

Re-purchase? This is really quite a good moisturiser for me that didn't cause my oil production to go into over-drive or any spots! I've been using it as a sort of primer and it seems to work about as good as any of those do, so this might just be the first day moisturiser I ever re-purchase!


This was my first ever sheet mask! I wasn't sure what to expect from it therefore, so I asked my friend who micro-blogs about Asian skincare (@thewayofthesnail) how she'd review something like this? She said a good mask will have immediate effects when you remove it; they can reduce redness and plump up fine lines visibly. Wow, skincare with instant results; who knew?! I was excited! I had a giant spot on my chin that was cruisin' for a reducin'. This mask claims it hydrates and reduces lines and wrinkles, and while it doesn't say anything about redness, I was still hopeful. However, I really didn't like this product. It was incredibly messy and the fit of the mask was really bad on my face. I couldn't see or move my mouth because the holes were all in the wrong place and I couldn't get it to sit comfortably. I persevered and removed after the suggested time to find... no difference. My spot was still angry and my skin looked and felt precisely the same as it did before. Maybe me and sheet masks just aren't meant to be... I have no idea if they're all this messy!

Re-purchase? Nope, really didn't get on with this one. 


I might not buy a lot of skincare but I'm not a stranger to eye creams. The first sign of ageing on my face was dark circles and thinning skin that my veins now show through (lovely). I've got some fine lines now that particularly appear at the end of the day (which is weird, I never know where they are when I wake up). I've been using a Boots No7 cream that I really like for how it applies and does seem to brighten the area a little, but I wouldn't call it a wonder product. So how did this one compare? It was really similar, actually. In that it seemed to marginally brighten the area (perhaps not as much), sunk in nicely and didn't tamper with my concealer. More profound effects than that though? Maybe I just can't see them, but nothing noticeable here either. But as with the Miracle Cream, I haven't been testing this for weeks which I'd probably need to do to see a difference.

Re-purchase? I think I still prefer the brightening of the Boots cream, but I'm on the fence as this one's a lot cheaper and the differences are barely visible, so I may go this way next time...

Dirty Works Sheet Mask, Eye Cream, Face Scrub and Miracle Cream review


I looooove me a scrub. The one skincare product I can always get behind, because pretty much any scrub worth its gritty salt will instantly make skin feel softer. Particularly if you have problem skin like mine that is forever spotty. I've not allowed myself to buy any products with micro-beads because of how bad they are for the environment, so I've been on the look out for a good new facial scrub. Could this be the one? Well, it could be! I really like this; it was very gentle - so gentle I didn't know if it was doing anything scrub-like, but when it was washed off I could feel it definitely had exfoliated the skin (you know when you can just feel it's a new layer?). It was also very menthol-y which was really refreshing and as I use scrubs in the shower first thing, perfect for waking me up.

Re-purchase? Yes, did exactly as advertised and didn't irritate my skin whatsoever.

So that's all of the skincare products taken care of, but I also got sent a shower cap and a 'rough skin shaver' to tackle my feet (it looks hardcore so I'm quite excited about it). Gross, but necessary. I'm yet to try these but don't worry, I won't be back to talk about how many layers of skin I removed ;) 



Follow me at Bloglovin'  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Pinterest

Blogger Tricks

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Outfit: pina colada

The moment the wedding planning was over I became all about the honeymoon, which we decided to stagger so that we weren't trying to pay off everything in one whack, mostly (and also, no thank you school holiday prices!). For those of you that don't know, I'm off to Mauritius next month and I couldn't be more eager for my first truly tropical holiday! Sure, I've been to beaches in Europe before, but I've never been to a beach like the ones I'm promised in Mauritius...

Usually, when I plan my packing for a holiday it takes ages and I agonise over how to tie everything in together so that I don't over-pack on shoes and accessories. Because when you're me, this is actually a genuine problem in your life that consumes your thoughts for days and weeks. (Well, Instagram isn't going to update itself now, is it?!) Anyway, my packing list for this holiday - the longest I've taken in my adult life by a week - took about... half an hour. 

You see, if you're going to a tropical island, it figures you want tropical colours and prints, right? Turns out, that's apparently all I've been buying for myself in the last few years because my wardrobe is full of these pieces. Seriously, where do I think I live?? Clearly not in the UK. Hence it took me no time to realise I have a tonne of stuff to pack, some of which I'd never had the opportunity to wear before like this dress.

So, I thought I'd take the chance to show you a honeymoon outfit a little ahead of schedule. While I imagine I will be posting some looks from the honeymoon (I've certainly got plenty to choose from!), I don't want to go too overboard with it because I'll make myself sick, let alone anyone else. A cure for the level of holiday hangover I'm anticipating here certainly isn't going to be editing hundreds of pictures of myself frolicking in paradise (probably while wearing two jumpers with the heating on going on what the weather's like at the moment). 

As luck would have it, we found some fab tropical plants at nearby Oasis Nursery, who kindly let us snap some pictures for this post. Anyone in the UK will know these photos weren't taken within the last couple of weeks - oh, for the sun to smile on us again...

Collectif Renie pineapple print gypsy dress for tropical 50s outfit


Tropical pin-up look

Tropical pin-up look

Tropical pin-up outfit featuring Collectif Renie pineapple gypsy dress

Tropical pin-up outfit featuring Collectif Renie pineapple gypsy dress

Bow & Crossbones large bamboo hoop tiki earrings with orange hair flower

Tropical pin-up outfit featuring Collectif Renie pineapple gypsy dress

Tropical pin-up outfit featuring Collectif Renie pineapple gypsy dress

Tropical pin-up outfit featuring Collectif Renie pineapple gypsy dress

Erstwilder pina colada cocktail brooch

Tropical pin-up outfit featuring Collectif Renie pineapple gypsy dress
Hair flower: Sophisticated Ladies
Dress: Collectif (last year's)
Belt: Dorothy Perkins (old)
Bangles: vintage (gift)
Bag: vintage
Shoes: Leigh-Ann, Crocs (no, really!)


Do I need to expand on the fact I'm wearing Crocs here? I mean, these aren't going to win any beauty awards, but they're not you're typical rubber clog either. I've mentioned before that now and then they actually have some styles that aren't horrendously ugly and the best thing about them is that they're REALLY comfortable. I mean, that's the point of Crocs and I wouldn't be wearing them if that wasn't the case. So this pair are coming on honeymoon with me, as are my trusty cream Crocs flats - sightseeing around the island is going to be no problem for this girl!



Follow me at Bloglovin'  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Pinterest

Sunday, 6 August 2017

My vintage seaside wedding - the outfits part 2: the bridal party

Vintage seaside wedding bridal party outfits

Are you all ready for part 2?? Recap: part 1 covered my wedding dress and other bits and pieces of my bridal style, so do go catch up with that for some of the details I don't mention in this post.

Part 2 is going to talk about my bridesmaids and our matching accessories, the groom and groomsmen's outfits and a little bit about what our mum and dads wore, as they all scrubbed up pretty nicely and, more than that, matched the theme too ;)

As before, all photos © Summer Love Photography - and she did some fantastic work with the group shots in particular, that I'm pleased to be able to show you today!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Outfit: vintage beauty with Retruly

If you've been following this blog for any length of time you'll probably have noticed I don't wear a lot of true vintage. I've always preferred reproduction, largely for convenience and cost, and also a few other reasons I once cared to explain. My feelings a few years later on vintage remain largely the same, but I feel more open-minded about it now. If I ever saw a vintage piece in good condition, I might make the leap to invest in it (because it probably would be pricey), whereas before I likely would have moved on without a second thought.

What I find difficult about vintage shopping though is finding these wonderful pieces to fall in love with. I prefer to do my clothes shopping online so vintage/charity shops are out for me, but I'm not really a fan of Etsy - I mean, I love how much choice there is, but I find the search functionality a bit of a headache. Every time you run a search now you get plagued by adverts in your results, always pushing some over-priced item that may or may not be related to what you were looking for - but more times than not it's out of left field. And then you see those same ads on every single result page until you get so annoyed you give up. This is something that was probably on the minds of the people behind new website Retruly, who have taken great pains to set up their own online marketplace for vintage pieces, helping independent sellers to have another platform to display their wares so that people can actually find them!

It was so easy using the site to find the dress I'm wearing in this post because there's tonnes of ways to search for pieces. I tend to find that my waist measurement is the most crucial to whether or not something is going to fit, so I used the taxonomy to search for it specifically. I then narrowed it down even further by ticking boxes for the eras I was interested in. It was very straightforward and this dress presented itself to me in no time at all! I'm rather impressed by the range the site already has, despite not being on the scene for long. Lots of sellers seem to be signing up for it (one of which I recognised from having browsed their own site) - mostly in Europe from what I can gather, but you can tick a 'country' box if you want to see what's around closer to you, which is good to see.

Back to the dress I picked - how could I resist this beautiful print? I'm pretty sure this 50s dress was handmade and expertly done too. There's a seam down the middle of the skirt, and the maker had painstakingly matched up the print - the only way I think you'll see it is in the close up below. Really quite wonderful! I love a square neckline and thick straps and it's just my luck that the previous owner was probably petite themselves, as I didn't have to adjust them. The gorgeous colours of the pattern could only have been paired with my favourite strawberry bag!

I hope you'll all check Retruly out because I really want this site to succeed and keep on growing!

Red, white, green stripe true vintage 1950s sundress from Retruly

Red, white, green stripe true vintage 1950s sundress from Retruly

Red, white, green stripe true vintage 1950s sundress from Retruly

Red, white, green stripe true vintage 1950s sundress from Retruly

Sunhat from TU at Sainsbury's

Red, white, green stripe true vintage 1950s sundress from Retruly

Red, white, green stripe true vintage 1950s sundress from Retruly

Straw sunhat from TU at Sainsbury's

Red, white, green stripe true vintage 1950s sundress from Retruly

Red, white, green stripe true vintage 1950s sundress from Retruly
Hat: TU by Sainsbury's (check stores)
Dress: vintage c/o Retruly
Bag: Collectif (available here)
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens (no longer available)


Follow me at Bloglovin'  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Pinterest

Friday, 28 July 2017

My vintage seaside wedding - the outfits part 1: The Dress & bridal style

Vintage 50s seaside wedding - wedding dress and bride style

I have been looking forward to writing this post for so long, I can't even explain how happy I am the day has finally come! Most of wedding planning I found stressful and it didn't come naturally, but if there was one part I took to like a duck to water it was planning all of the outfits! For me, the bridal party's look would be one of co-ordination, practicality (we would be on the beach at some point - sand!!) and some vintage-inspired gorgeousness. Isn't it a surprise that someone who spends their free-time blogging vintage style outfits that match to the nth degree would have a ball with this? You're all gobsmacked, I'm sure.

As it happens, I've enjoyed writing this so much that halfway through I realised I'd need to break it up into two parts! So I'm going to tell you about my prep, hair, makeup, jewellery and, of course, the dress, in this part and then show you the rest of the bridal party's looks in part 2. Brace yourself for a LOT of images.

All photos in this post are © Summer Love Photography. If you don't know, Jo is the world's best wedding photographer and we had 1,100 amazing photos from the day that testify to this fact! Note I've cropped in some of these to show you specific details better, hence they're not all crystal clear. This is my fault and not Jo's!

And as a bonus, see if you can spot the surprise blogger guest below :D

Monday, 24 July 2017

Outfit: the prettiest print

You might remember I recently went to the Vintage Carnival and judged the outfit competition. And if you remember that you might think the dress in this post is a little familiar... Basically, I loved the outfit that the lady who came 3rd was wearing so much I shamelessly copied her! It's the sincerest form of flattery, not the lamest form of imagination... heh.

In my defense, this print is seriously pretty. I love the cheerful colour combination and this year is kind of The Year of the Baby Blue for me ever since it played such a big part in the wedding (see below for some news on that front by the way). I can't get enough of it. This is my very first Seamstress of Bloomsbury dress and I'll be completely honest - I thought it was going to size too long for my frame. How wrong I was! I really love this dress. I don't have many dresses I put on that fall into that 'makes me feel like a princess' bracket, but this one is one of them. It just hangs so beautifully - probably thanks to how much material is in the skirt! I couldn't resist fanning it out in basically every photo here and I have zero regrets about that. (Oh, apart from the regret about how incredibly difficult it was to find a pic where I could show you how it sits naturally - nice work, expert fashion blogger.) Even B was a fan - and he doesn't usually have a lot to say about the dresses I wear. Oh and the print comes in other styles too.

I always wonder about higher-priced repro clothes - the only way I really get my hands on them is in big sales or through reviewing them for this blog, which is something I'm endlessly grateful for. I haven't always thought the prices are justified (I used to love Tara Starlet but honestly the quality was not good enough for the money), but this isn't one of those times. The fabric is top notch cotton and clearly the cut and finish are excellent. Another way you know you're dealing with quality? When the matching fabric belt has a loop, tucks down neatly and the buckle is study enough that the belt doesn't immediately start coming undone. Sure, unless there's holes it's going to move about probably whatever happens, but oh my I have much, much worse.

Oh and the matching bolero? Super cute and I love the idea. The bolero has two hook and eyes as well as buttons, so you can wear it however you like, which is a nice touch and, again - quality.

The only thing I still feel a little puzzled about is the sizing. According to the size guide for this dress, I should be a near-perfect 10, which is what I chose. The bust, though, should have been a snug but good fit, but I think I had about 2 inches of room. The waist seemed closer to the guide (slightly bigger than I needed, but close enough), but again felt on the large side. Alas I can't tell for sure now because I actually had it taken in a little before I took these pictures. I do know that if the 8 was true to the size guide I wouldn't have gotten it done up! It does seem to vary per garment though, so I would contact Seamstress of Bloomsbury if you want to be sure on something. EDIT: Seamstress of Bloomsbury commented below that this year they had a change in sizing, which is why some of my readers have found this style came up on the small size before. My comments should reflect the sizing of the range as it is currently, rather than how it was.

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury Clara dress and bolero set in seaside print review

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury Clara dress and bolero set in seaside print review

Retro cat eye gold glitter sunglasses from Unique Vintage

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury Clara dress and bolero set in seaside print review

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury Clara dress and bolero set in seaside print review

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury Clara dress and bolero set in seaside print review

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury Clara dress and bolero set in seaside print review

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury Clara dress and bolero set in seaside print review

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury Clara dress and bolero set in seaside print review

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury Clara dress and bolero set in seaside print review

BAIT Footwear Jeanine wedge sandals in yellow

BAIT Footwear Jeanine wedge sandals in yellow

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury Clara dress and bolero set in seaside print review
Hair flowers: Sink or Swim Bowtique (old)
Sunglasses: Unique Vintage (similar)
Bag: Ollie & Nic (old)


I'm also wearing my new BAIT sandals and one of those pairs of glittery sunglasses I'm obsessed with now. The sandals are currently on Zulily so they were a bargain and they're so comfortable I'm basically wearing them non-stop now!

And if you've got this far, you might be interested to know that my next post is going to feature WEDDING PHOTOS!! Yes, we got them back (ahead of schedule!) and I've been beavering away writing posts. Yes, plural. The first one is going to get the all-important part out of the way first; The Dress and my general bridal style. I can't wait! I've been teasing the odd photo on my Instagram, but I'm looking forward to showing you the details.



Follow me at Bloglovin'  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Pinterest

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Shipping US to UK (and beyond) made easier - myMallbox review

Shipping US to UK - myMallBox review

I'm sure everyone who lives in the UK and loves vintage reproduction as much as I do has that same sinking feeling when you see something advertised by a US retailer you fall in love with... Even more so if it's e.g. Besame, who don't ship overseas (although I think they're about to change that), right?

Step up, myMallBox! I'd heard of these 'interim couriers' - for want of a better phrase - before, who allow you to ship items to their US address and then they'll arrange for delivery to you in the UK (and beyond), but from what I knew of them many charge for their part of the service. Once you start adding up that fee plus the shipping cost you'd still need to pay, they become a bit too expensive for the casual user like me. What's good about myMallBox is that you don't pay a fee like this, you just pay for your shipping. Oh and that they ship to any country in the world, not just the UK!

myMallBox gave me a credit to try their service out and it didn't take long for me to spot the first US item I wanted to buy; a pair of glittery sunglasses from Unique Vintage. Side note: I've got a weird new obsession with glittery cateye sunglasses. Since buying this first pair I've bought a second and my attitude is currently Pokemon levels of 'gotta catch 'em all' - whenever I see them, I buy them. Anyway, back to this purchasing experiment! I ordered following myMallBox's instructions (a little bit buried, but I found them in the end) and about a week later I got an email alert saying my item had arrived, which was in a day of my tracking with the retailer, Unique Vintage, telling me it had been delivered. 

I went to the myMallBox website and selected my item for shipping, followed the process, but for a reason I can't remember now navigated away from the page just before I hit the 'go' button and then had a nightmare finding it on the system again as it disappeared from my 'My Packages' view. Top tip - don't do that! Anyway, eventually I found it again, went through the process and selected a cheap shipping option (you'll get a few, some faster than others) and waited expectantly for my parcel to arrive. Which it did, within a couple of weeks. Success!

I'd deliberately picked a cheap option so that I'd get to have another go with a second purchase. Having spotted yet more things I wanted from Unique Vintage, this time swimwear for the minimoon and honeymoon, another order in and I waited for it to show in myMallBox. And waited. But unlike the first it didn't go into my account for a while. I checked my Unique Vintage tracking number and saw it was delivered. I gave it a few days, then I contacted myMallBox to find out what was going on. It wasn't easy to find this contact info, which I wasn't overjoyed about. Anyway, they got back very quickly and what do you know, my package appeared in my account. I picked a faster service this time because I was hoping my items would get there before my minimoon and hurrah, they did. 

Apart from that hiccup and I still don't know what the hold-up was really, I've found this service pretty handy. The shipping rates offer more flexibility than most retailers do and where it really comes into its own is the consolidation and re-packaging service they offer. If you have several orders you can have them boxed together to save money on shipping, which is pretty handy. I haven't used this but I know someone who has and it worked swimmingly.

Despite the issue above, I've used them again for a recent order and I think it's a really good idea - particularly for getting your hands on something that only ships to US addresses. You can sign-up for the service here.

Glittery 50s cat eye style sunglasses

Pros
  • You're not forced to stick to one expensive shipping option as per most retailers
  • You can order several different packages and myMallBox will consolidate and ship them together, or put them into a smaller parcel, to help keep costs down
  • Many companies that won't ship to the UK will happily ship to your myMallBox US address - particularly handy for cosmetics where this often applies
Cons
  • Regardless of the problem I mentioned, there seems to be a delay in terms of when the item arrives at your suite vs when it becomes available to ship. Once it's on its way it's all good, but otherwise it does add some extra time in. This isn't the option you'd pick for an express delivery or if you're impatient (which I admit to being!)
  • You'll still pay customs as per the value you declare via myMallBox, who will put it with the packing info. Of course, that's on you, but I'm not encouraging any law-breaking...
  • Not all US companies will allow you to ship to this kind of warehouse. I haven't run into one yet but I know they exist

What do you think; would you use a service like this?



Follow me at Bloglovin'  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Pinterest

Friday, 14 July 2017

Outfit: summer favourites

I really love trying out unusual colour combinations and then realising 'whoa, they really go!' - this outfit was one of those moments. In the summer, I love wearing red (well, that's an all year thing really) and mint green, so it was only natural to put them together at some point.

I'm just really pleased at how it worked out! I've said it before and I'll say it again, I can find so many ways to be creative with summer outfits - a skill and desire that doesn't seem to stick with me into winter. The other great thing about this outfit is this top, which isn't a top at all, it's a very old dress that is far too short for me to wear without being arrested for indecent exposure. Given that I'm 5'1", I'm baffled at who could wear this 'dress' as an actual dress. As a long top though, it's doing a pretty good job and I loved wearing it like this.

The skirt was from the days when Tara Starlet was still around and they had an outlet on eBay. My oh my, I picked up some total bargains from that outlet shop that I still regularly wear. This skirt was either £5 or £10, either way given I've worn it a million times since I bought it, it more than earned the investment. The only thing about it is boy the Tara Starlet sizing was SO out of whack. This skirt is a 10 and it's smaller than all of my size 8 skirts. I can just about wear it with my waist cinched, if I don't plan to eat a huge meal. If you ever see a Tara Starlet swing skirt in this belted design come up on re-sale, do yourself a big favour and ask the seller what the waist measurement is. I've got a second style like this and it has the exact same problem.

Anyway, we've had a pretty good summer so far, for the UK at least. I mean, we always have more cloud than anyone wants, but when you're a blogger you can make the most of even those days because hello, perfect photo lighting! Ah, summer, as per usual I'll be distraught when you go...

50s inspired summer outfit with red swing skirt and mint green accents

50s inspired summer outfit with red swing skirt and mint green accents

50s inspired summer outfit with red swing skirt and mint green accents

50s inspired summer outfit with red swing skirt and mint green accents

50s inspired summer outfit with red swing skirt and mint green accents

50s inspired summer outfit with red swing skirt and mint green accents

50s inspired summer outfit with red swing skirt and mint green accents

50s inspired summer outfit with red swing skirt and mint green accents

50s inspired summer outfit with red swing skirt and mint green accents

50s inspired summer outfit with red swing skirt and mint green accents

50s inspired summer outfit with red swing skirt and mint green accents
Headscarf: eBay
Sunglasses: New Look (similar)
Dress worn as top: Jane Norman (old)
Belt & Skirt: Tara Starlet (similar)
Shoes: BAIT via Zulily (I'm selling a size 3.5/4 UK pair on my Depop - search ciciandmarie!)
Bag: Abby by Jo Totes (a camera bag!)



Follow me at Bloglovin'  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Pinterest