I recently visited the lovely city of Chester for the first time and was bowled over by the beautiful buildings and spectacular cathedral. With Spring hopefully around the corner it was also a last chance to wear one of my favourite winter coats and my sale bargain from Asos – this gorgeous black and white faux fur collar. It looks like a scarf from the front but actually extends down the back for maximum impact. Monochrome seems to be one of those trends that never goes out of fashion so even when the weather warms up I'll be getting plenty more wear out of this, although hopefully I won't be needing the gloves for too much longer!
Collar: Asos, coat: Jasper Conran for debenhams, hat: Marks and Spencer, gloves: John Lewis, bag: Ri2K.
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Just before Christmas I picked up a few bargains in the Body Shop sale. I was eager to try the lip liners as in my teens and early twenties the Body Shop's lip pencil in Beech was one of my makeup essentials. While beauty editors were raving about Mac's Spice lip liner being the perfect nude shade I was looking for something a little more affordable. Considering the Body Shop pencils are currently £8 full price - only £4 less than Mac's it doesn't seem like much of a saving now! As I bought these in the sale I wasn't too bothered if they turned out to be a disappointment. I really like the colours, Beech is darker than I remember but it's a great everyday shade, as is Pink Brown. Both shades are very natural and I would say flattering to all skin tones. The texture is a little on the hard side which does mean lipstick bleed is greatly reduced but they don't have the staying power of some of the other budget brands I've tried. All in all I probably would repurchase but only in the sale.
The Shea Butter Body Whip was a whim purchase and a gets a big thumbs up from me. Having never tried it before I had no expectations and only reviews on the Body Shop's site to go by. I really can't fault it – the texture is lovely and makes my skin feel so smooth and soft. The smell is divine, a sweet and nutty fragrance which may not be to everyone's taste but I love it. The scent is faintly reminiscent of suntan lotions and holidays. I'd definitely buy this again.
Included in the order was a free Vitamin E Moisture Cream, another first for me. It's a light texture, not really rich enough for my skin during the colder months but I do like to use it on my neck and decolletage. It's one of the Body Shop's best sellers and according to customers reviews on the site it's a great moisturiser for those with sensitive and/or combination skin. Vitamin E Moisture Cream is £10 for 50ml so very reasonably priced. The Body Shop has a discount code on offer at the moment, with £5 off a £15 spend, £10 off £25 and a £25 saving on a £50 order. Mmmm…very tempting!
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Finding a fragrance that you really love and never tire of is almost as tricky as finding the perfect pair of jeans. When I'm on the hunt for a new perfume I usually try lots of testers until I narrow it down to a few and then go back and keep trying them to make sure I find one that I really love, even if that means waiting for weeks before actually buying it. I've got several expensive bottles of perfume on my bedside table that I was obsessed with when I bought them only to become bored with them or find them too overpowering/sickly a couple of months down the line. I became hooked on YSL's Manifesto just over a year ago and it's still my absolute favourite. Having almost finished the bottle I was very excited to discover the new, more intense version of Manifesto on a shopping trip to Selfridges just before Christmas. It's described as "deeper and more mysterious" than the original. Falling within the floriental/woody fragrance family, it has top notes of bergamot and mandarin with Arabian Sambac jasmine, heliotrope and tuberose absolute at it's heart. Vanilla bean, cashmere and ambergris make up the base notes. It's sweeter and more long-lasting than the original which I have to reapply throughout the day. No need for this with L'Elixir as it easily lasts the day and less is needed - unless you want people to smell you before they see you! I can't really decide if I prefer this or the original Manifesto. I like the staying power of L'Elixir but the original fragrance was the blend that hooked me, so for now I'll be sitting on the fence and using both – the original for day and L'Elixir for evening. Manifesto L'Elixir eau de parfum intense is £52 for 30ml, £72 for 50ml.
The original Manifesto on the left, L'Elixir on the right.
Do you have a signature scent or do you use different fragrances for different occasions?
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