Friday, August 29, 2014

The Demise of the Car Boot Sale

For those that have followed my blog since it's humble beginnings over at Vintage Tea will know it's roots lay less in beauty hauls but car boot sale hauls. My first ever blog post was actually a car boot sale haul (read it here) and I spent many weekends whilst living at my parents scouring boot sales and charity shops for vintage treasures I would pack away for when I eventually moved home.

Since I moved into my flat the boot sales have been abandoned until recently when a friend requested my assistance as she prepared to declutter in advance of moving home. Taking advantage I started gathering up bits and pieces that I could take along to earn a few pennies for my trip to Las Vegas next month.

As it happened I ended up going to the boot sale without my friend when I heard she was getting up at 530am and instead went along to another which started at the more appropriate for me time of 1030am. It was quite fun as mum and I loaded up my dads 4x4 and I felt like long distance clara (showing my age with the Pigeon Street reference!) and I was looking forward to returning to the big open fields and a browse at fellow stalls for some trinkets to go in my bedroom which I'm once again decorating in a more vintage style.

Sadly I couldn't believe how much the boot sales has changed since my absence. Admittedly it was rather a grim weekend, very windy and some rain and mum and I made our excuses and left after two hours although happy we had made enough to pay for our parking at Gatwick next month getting rid of a few items we would have usually passed on to friends.

As you can see from my photo above there was nothing particularly fancy or vintage from my own wares so I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised that the majority of the stalls on offer - and despite the weather there were many stalls and customers - were either new items or people having clear outs themselves.

If you are lucky enough to join me for dinner it will be served on vintage china and over the years I've collected full dinner services and/or odd plates or cups and sauces from boot sales. My bathroom has a Lloyd Loom laundry basket I picked up for a few pounds at a boot sale and there are pictures which will appear in my bedroom collected over the years. On my walk round the boot sale on this occasion I couldn't see one thing I wanted to treat myself to, not one solitary floral plate of even an Enid Blyton book to add to my collection. In fact there were not many books around at all obviously due to the increase of Kindles.

Quite frankly the majority of the stalls seem to have nothing but junk on display. Of course one mans junk is another mans treasure and over the years my parents have rolled their eyes at some of the things I've brought home but it was quite a shame to walk around and see nothing but Primark clothes or old children's toys and no hidden treasures.

And the customers, what a challenge they were. I wasn't asking a lot for my wares, happy with just a pound here and there, as I said my main goal was to ease the Vegas spending and get what I could for unwanted items and yes I undercharged a couple of young girls who wanted some of the make up I was selling but when a woman wanted a Clinque eyeliner for £1 rather than the £1.50 I was asking I remained firm - and she eventually paid what I asked. I like to haggle as much as the next person but everyone seemed to want something for nothing.

I would argue I'd return to the charity shop rummage I also used to enjoy but they too have changed over the years as people become more savvy about an items worth or in some case ask more than is required. We've all seem clothes in charity shops that seem to be charging more than they would have originally sold for brand new.

It's a shame a past time I once enjoyed so much has changed but on the bright side I will now have a perpetual box to fill with junk that I'll store up for the next boot sale I undertake and instead of hunting out vintage treasures in boot sales I'll go along to the local antique stores and appreciate that paying £5 for a floral tea plate is the going rate rather than the boot sale bargain of £1.

This post was something of ramble and away from my usual beauty talk but I know there are some fellow readers who may have something to say about their local boot sales or vintage treasure hunts. So join in, are you a boot sale fan?

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Soap & Glory Peaches & Clean Cleanser Review

Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean
Having used the last drop of my favoured morning cleanser from Liz Earle it was time to hunt out a replacement. My morning cleanse is one of my favourites so it was important to find something I would enjoy using and during a exploratory mission in Boots one afternoon I came across Peaches and Clean from Soap & Glory.

My use of Soap & Glory products is rather limited compared to many other bloggers and generally in the body scrubs and lotions camp but when I smelt this cleanser I was instantly drawn to the peaches scent and thought it would be perfect for a morning wake up call.

Whilst this is a wash off cleanser I find it really creamy and if I'm completely honest with you it really does feel like spreading peach yoghurt across your face - without any of the stickiness I might add. This isn't a problem for me and rather amuses me and puts a smile on my face first thing in the morning. It's certainly not unpleasant.

It's a pleasant product to use and refreshes my face of a morning and has gone some way to remove remnants of make up if I've been naughty the night before about make up removal (it happens!). That said I wouldn't necessarily suggest this is the best evening cleanser on it's own as it doesn't feel like it gets really 'skin deep' which whilst isn't an issue for my morning cleanse I want something that packs more of a punch in the evening.

Soap & Glory products always seem to have some offer or another and I think I paid around £6 versus it's full price of £8 but on linking it for this post I see Boots are currently offering buy one get one half price if you fancy trying this cleanser, which I'd recommend you do for a lightweight morning offering.

Have you tried this cleanser before or have any recommendations for me?

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The British Tag

Midwinter Domino Teacup
Like many I have seen The British Tag doing the rounds on YouTube and when Carissa popped up on her blog I thought I would follow suit. I believe the done thing is to make a cup of tea before reading so pop the kettle on.

1. How many cups of tea do you have a day and how many sugars?
The amount of tea I drink varies day to day but I would say at least 5 a day - I love my tea. I miss living at home with my parents especially because of an evening my mum would always bring me a cup of tea up in bed. Most nostalgic tea memories are from staying with my nan and in the morning she would make us both a cuppa and we'd sit in bed drinking it and reading books. And no sugar for me just sweetener, and only one.

2. What is your favourite part of a roast?
Living alone I don't tend to go through the bother of cooking a full roast very often but when I do it's all about the roast potatoes and veggies. That said all the sides are amazing whether it's veggies, stuffing or yorkshire puddings.

3. What is your favourite dunking biscuit?
I'm not really a 'drunker' as I can't bear the biscuit remnants floating in the top of a cup but I am partial to a chocolate chip cookie now and again. That said I am partial to a packet of crisps with a cuppa - I'm all about the savoury.

4. What is your favourite quintessentially British pass time?Leaving in close proximity to Epping Forest I should say something like going for a ramble in the woods but the reality is I'm more likely to be found in the local pub with my parents, particularly on a Friday evening or Sunday lunchtime.

5. What is your favourite word?
I tend to say 'awesome' a lot but I wouldn't call that a British word? My mum still says 'courting' which amuses me no end.

6. Cockney rhyming slang?
With a family who all hail from the East End I'm not unfamiliar with cockney rhyming slang although it's not something used frequently… as I type this I'm trying to think of phrases that are used in a more everyday way but nothing springs to mind.

7. What is your favourite sweet?
I love Wine Gums, Moams, Fruitella's and especially those jelly strawberries you find in pick and mix

8. What would your pub be called?
The Queen Vic of course!

9. Who is your No. 1 British person?
Queen Elizabeth I - she started girl power well before he Spice Girls came on the scene.

10. What is your favourite shop and restaurant?
Fortnum and Mason without a doubt. My mum and I have a Christmas tradition of going up there for a visit the Saturday before Christmas as well as the odd visit throughout the year. Whether it's the relaxed parlour for panini's and ice cream or The Fountain Restaurant for a slap up English breakfast or just simply a browse of the food hall. You can read about my previous trips here and here.

11. What British song pops into your head?
The 90's British take over from the likes of Blur, Oasis and the Spice Girls all come to mind when asked this question although 'Three Lions' is one of those songs that has it's British roots.

12. Marmite?
Love it! 
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Repurchased | August

There's nothing like making a few repurchases of much loved items to justify a bit of beauty spending. This is the smaller of two recent hauls I made over the past month to stock up on items that I need to have in my life.

VO5 Amplifying Blow Dry Lotion link 
VO5 Weightless Mousse link
I've spoke about both of this products on many occasions. My everyday hair routine consists of both these items. I tried using other products to see if I and more importantly my hair missed them. They did and they were repurchased swiftly. I'm trying to be more sparing with the mousse as I've found with the recent heat (not that will be a problem for much longer) I didn't want to add too much additional weight to my hair but there is certainly more bounce when I do use it.

Erborian BB Creme Au Ginseng link 
My holy grail base product is of course my much loved Erborian BB Cream. I love the lightweight base that can easily be applied on the train with fingers on the way to work. It has been perfect for the warmer months and is still the base I rely most on and the appearance I feel most happiest with. I prefer to buy the smaller tube which at £15 is pricey compared to a lot of foundations but rather that than waste money on others. You can find a full review here.

Vivienne Westwood Boudoir link
This is a slightly cheat addition as I didn't purchase the new bottle myself but rather shopped my stash and opened a bottle I had received for a recent birthday or Christmas gift. That said it would no doubt have been picked up soon enough as it's my go to night out fragrance and whilst trying to finish off my last bottle I'd braved wearing it in the day time. I think it's time to purchase a Travelo as I would love to have this on me when I visit Las Vegas next month but taking the larger bottle isn't travel friendly.

So that is the first of four products I stocked up on the past month, what about you?

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect

Two things I'm not adept at are applying false eyelashes or the unicorn of make up, perfect winged eyeliner. To be honest neither has caused me many a sleepless night but in part due to beauty blogging they are both things I want to master.

When applying make up for the day ahead, typically on the train for me this is not the time to perfect either of these skills which is why when I come home of an evening before I remove my make up, I add more.

First I start with the Paul & Joe Liquid Eyeliner which I was obsessed with when it first landed in my lap. Admittedly I was only doing a very basic and simple line but it applied with such ease that it gave me the confidence to trying to wing things out. The tip is thin, firm and flexible which is perfect for what I need and where others have failed. I have slightly hooded eyes so I also have to master not only the flick but positioning it so that it works with my hooded lid than against it. A friend popped round after work recently and commented on my eyeliner, not realising this was a practice attempt which saw a slight swell in pride. I may be just about mastering a decent flick, but matching ones, well that's a long way off yet.

If I'm feeling extra experimental I'll also throw on some lashes too, particularly as I find them fairly safe to just pull off if things don't go as planned. You maybe remember I've been known to use the Bourjois applicator which I posted about here but at the moment I'm varying between diving in and using that tool. The lashes I'm currently having fun with are from KISS* six different types with names such as Shy or Pretty to the Vamp or Sultry which are available to buy in Superdrug stores. There's really something for everyone from the brave false eyelash wearers to the timid. I was able to have some applied by the professionals at a recent event and went for Iconic which I loved for whilst they were evident it was naturally so. The professional did cut the lashes down to size for me which was useful to have done as I was then able to use that pair as something of a guide for others when applying at home and I definitely think the cutting to size is where I was going wrong before.

It may seem a little wasteful to practice these skills for a night in front of Big Brother but I've too often found myself struggling with liners or lashes before nights out and getting myself in a right mess and usually throwing a complete strop. This way I'll be prepared for that next party.

Have you mastered either of these skills? I'd love to hear your tips.

*PR Sample

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Monday, August 11, 2014

July Empties | Part 3

If you're not a fan of my empties posts you'll be pleased to know we've reached the final part for July. And if you are a fan and missed parts one and two you can find them here and here.

Palmers Natural Bronze Body Lotion* link
I reviewed this gradual tanner prior to my holiday in this post when I was trying to amp up my skins colouring before I had to be bikini ready and was pleased with the results. As I said in my review this does have some strong colouring so some caution should be taken with applying but I have enjoyed using it. I'm still not the best at applying body lotions or tans in general and as you will have seen in this months favourites posts I've been reaching for the instant tanning lotions when I've needed it recently.

Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Hand Cream link
A favourite from June which had it's last squeeze with almost tears from me at it's end. I loved this hand cream which whilst expensive worked like a dream. Will I repurchase most definitely I'm just determined to use up a few that are nearing the ends of their life before I can settle on a fresh new tube of this beloved product.

Palmers Night Renewal Cream* link
On nights when I wasn't feeling the oils I would slather Palmers Night Renewal Cream on and was happy enough with it's results. Sometimes if I was in need of extra moisture then I'd put it on top of the Palmers Skin Therapy Face Oil which I talked about in this post. The thing I really didn't like about this product was it's scent which was very old lady and artificial. At night I like to have scents that soothe and relax me whereas this was so evident and not one I enjoyed that it would almost wake me up.

Vivienne Westwood Boudoir Perfume link
This scent reminds me of my younger days when I would be out till all hours. Mum picked this up for me from Harrods when it was only available for sale there and it was a real gem. The scent is strong and heavy so doesn't suit everyone but I was lucky enough to get away with it and receive many compliments whilst wearing. I have already repurchased.

I hope you made it to the end of three empties post, who knows how many parts August will have.

*PR Sample
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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Moosehead and Milk

MOOSEHEAD* available from Amazon link
MILK* available from Waitrose link
I'm winding down this week's post with some male orientated hair and skincare products that my brother has currently been testing for me. He's become quite the guinea pig for me of late and getting quite into products only telling me at the weekend about some great things he has picked up from The Body Shop and Lush recently. Today we're talking about two brands that are new to me and maybe the men in your life.

First up is Moosehead* and their Shaping Dough. My brother tells me that this product has great hold and that even if he is at work and has to go out on a call wearing his helmet (he's a fireman) when he removes it a quick brush through with his hand and his 'helmet hair' disappears and it's back into its 'styled' state. He warns that a little goes a way and a small amount is all you need and your hair won't be left greasy.

Milk Shaving Gel* is 'brilliant' and smells 'awesome' I'm told due to the coconut scent - perfect for this time of year too. Shaving rash is something my brother can struggle with unless he uses the right products and he hasn't had one since using Milk and thinks that is due to this product and in conjunction with the moisturiser. He's a big fan of Aloe Vera at the moment.

Only a few short words from my brother on these products but as far as he is concerned the facts are simple and unlike myself who can be swayed by packaging and so forth for him if they smell good and prevent additional hassle he's quite happy.

Do you have a man in your life that enjoys skincare?

*PR Sample

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

imPRess Nails | I'm converted

imPRESS Nails* link
You may remember that I've not had the best experiences with imPRESS nails in the past. The two previous times I have worn them I've lost nails before the evenings out but having recently attended a blogger event with impress I was now armed with a sizeable supply that meant further testing could be had. 
As I mentioned early mornings aren't my thing and whilst I had enough time to remove the lingering polish from my nails applying the falsies was not going to happen before I left the house. Instead I decided to put them under the rigorous testing conditions of applying them on the train! As you can imagine it received some strange and flabbergasted looks from fellow commuters but needs must people.

One thing I could never argue with is how easy 
imPRESS nails are to apply. You simple use the prep wipe over your nails, peel off the backing of your chosen nail and stick.
As I didn't have room on my lap nor stable conditions with a chugging train to contend with I had to literally match a nail and apply. This actually didn't work out two badly and I had a system of popping any unsuitable nails into the empty box as I went and it didn’t take long at all and was fairly fuss free.
With hindsight it would've made more sense to leave my thumb nails to last as I was concerned about popping them off as I peeled away the backing of other nails bit they didn't actually cause me any trouble.

I wore the nails for three days and was impressed (no pun intended) that they have lasted the distance. If were to be critical the length I was so used to with acrylic nails now feels a little long and talon like but if I were feeling ambitious I could have always filled them down and I liked the extra challenge to my Candy Crush game mastering the longer nails. The only major downside I don’t enjoy with these nails is running my fingers through my hair and hair getting caught in them so much on occasion I’ve ripped far more out than I would like and am then sitting there pulling out stray hairs from the nails. 

I decided to remove them the evening of the third day due to going out the next and didn't want to end up losing a red nail and being left looking unkempt although when I was armed with an orange stick whilst it was simple to remove them it did take some effort so I think I could've gone for day four. 

I'm lucky enough to have a few packs of impress nails and having been convinced I will definitely reach for these when I have another lazy day.

Have you had any luck with imPRESS nails?

*PR Sample

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Kiehls Ultra Facial Cleanser

As I mentioned in last weeks Empties post I've been having another declutter through my make up stash which means there is another handful of products that haven't made the cut, here's why.

CODE Beautiful VLM Mascara* link
Mascara's are most women's number one beauty product and for years I didn't even bother with them. Now I have a jar filled with them and I've really found those I love and those I hate. Ok I don't hate the Code Beautiful offering but it's just not for me. Yes it does lengthen my lashes but I found it very clumpy with a lot of fall out throughout the day. It's just all round to messy for me to bother with.

Charles Worthington Texturising Spray link
I'm lucky that I've managed to bypass the Oribe hype and settled with the middle of the road Bumble & Bumble Dryspun Finish and when that bit the bucket I decided to try this drugstore alternative which is receiving a lot of dupe claims. Sadly for me I fall into the camp who do not like this product. No matter how little I would spray in my hair it would become sticky and heavy and giving quite the opposite of it's volume and bounce claims. I tried to find a way to work with it but it wasn't to be.

Kiehls Ultra Facial Cleanser link
There's nothing really wrong with this cleanser from Kiehls it's just not one that I would ever choose over my other offerings sitting on the bathroom shelf. This sat in the morning routine pile but it felt more like the old school and traditional facial washes than something to brighten up my morning. I could persevere with it but life is too short and I have a rather fabulous new cleanser to tell you about very soon.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation link
Rimmel's Wake Me Up Concealer yes, the foundation sadly it's a no from me. I found this foundation to oxidise terribly on me and over the course of the day it would look horrific and cakey. I've spoke before that I'm not too much of a fan of foundations so if I do wear one it has to be really good and for me this isn't.

Milani Brow & Eye Highlighter link
I can't even remember what drew me to this Brow & Eye Highlighter from Milani when I was in the US but draw me in it did. Unfortunately this was a product that really did not work for me. I found the pencil to be too chubby and too creamy. As an eyebrow pencil and with my dark brows it just made me reasonable someone really scary and the highlight was just too yellow in tone and again so thick and creamy that it distorted any of the brow shade I'd applied. Definitely too difficult for my amateur hands to deal with.

What do you think of these products that didn't work for me, any in this list that you love or have you had similar experiences?

*PR Sample
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Monday, August 4, 2014

July Empties | Part 2

July Beauty Empties
July Beauty Empties
We know the drill so let's dive straight in.

Mitchum Deodorant link
This is not strictly an empty more of a product that didn't work for me as I didn't even get to the bottom of this tube before repurchasing my favoured Sure Maximum Protection. This just didn't do anything for me and in this heat I need something that stands the test of time and this really wasn't it.

Molecule 01 link
You can read my review of Molecule 01 here and as that states I can't make my mind up about this scent. On a personal level there was nothing impressive about wearing Molecule 01, there were not hoards of men chasing after me, I couldn't really smell anything but whenever I'd just about given up I'd put it on in an effort to use up the bottle and someone would always comment on my smelling nice. For this reason I can't decide whether I would repurchase or not.

Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser link
This was a gift from my friend Rose as being a bit too harsh for her sensitive skin. I'm not too into manual exfoliating these days but every so often my skin can feel a little rough if I'm been lax on the usual regimes, or I have a random spot of milia pop up that needs some attention. As one would expect from it's orange extract this smells amazing and is lovely to use in the mornings. It's very gel like in texture with the added grit which as I often find with these things seem to stick around despite thinking I've removed every last trace. It wouldn't be the first thing I rush to repurchase but if I were looking for an exfoliating cleanser this is where I would head.

Barry M Lash Vegas Mascara* link
This was probably one of the first drugstore mascara's I had tried in a long time and it had the thumbs up from me. You can see it in action in this post. This is one of those reliable mascara's that lengthens lashes, isn't too wet (my bugbear with mascaras), there's no waiting for it to dry out it's a good all rounder that I would definitely repurchase if it wasn't for the fact I seem to currently have an abundance of mascaras in my stash.

Wilkinson Sword Quattro Razors
Its not surprise that with tights banished to the back of drawers whilst the sun is shining and bare legs on show razor's are making an appearance in this month's empties. You can read my review of the Wilkinson Sword Quattro Razor here and needless to say I'm a fan having repurchased razors to use on multiple occasions. Even if I'm being lazy and doing a quick shave with purely the wipe over of a baby wipe and some moisturiser these razors do the job.

Some hits and missed in this post, anything you have an opinion on? Don't forget to check out Part 1 here.

*PR Sample
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Friday, August 1, 2014

Biosculpture Nails Manicure

Biosculpture Manicure*
Find your nearest salon here
I am ridiculously late to the Biosculpture party despite my best friend having manicures with them for years. When I first had my acrylic nails removed I was confident that I would give myself weekly manicures, apply nail polish religiously and use all manner of strengthening products and my nails would in return become perfect talons that ignoring my old beauty school teachers words that 'nails are not tools' would be strong enough to climb walls.

Sadly whilst I had good intentions I have found it's more likely I'll apply a rush job of colour to my nails which will slowly chip away, exposing my nails to breaking. Yes I do use strengtheners and the like and my nails have become stronger and I've even approved at painting my own nails and have almost got myself into a routine of Sunday evening manicures I still can't bear the waiting for nails to dry and some weeks I miss the window of repainting and the broken nails start to occur.

My friend recently started her own business applying Gelish gel nails so in support I thought this was a worth place to start with my gel manicures. Unfortunately Gelish doesn't work for me and they lift very quickly so whilst it's a handy solid paint job I start peeling them away myself damaging the nail further.

My aforementioned friend insisted I should try Biosculptures for about the thousandth time so I booked in before my holiday back in April. Most gel manicures follow the same process merely varying in the products they apply pre-gel, for Biosculpture it's their Vitamin E Dose so I was happy with their appearance. One of the reasons I'd avoided gel nails prior was I'd expected my shorter nails to not benefit from the appearance - I was wrong. 

The Biosculpture manicure lasted comfortably through nearly three weeks of flights, beaches and activities. Ok there was minimal washing up or typing on a keyboard but there was not so much as a chip. On my return I booked in to have them removed and reapplied but jet lag meant I missed not one but two appointments. Naughtily I picked away at the gel at home.

A few months or so later I was contacted by Biosculpture to see their new Carnival Collection and was lucky enough to have another manicure with them and I'm pleased to report my first experience wasn't a fluke. Once again I was left with a coat of colour that last 3 weeks with no chipping. 

I was also given the tools required to remove the nails myself at home which I will post about separately and one of the other great things from Biosculpture is that they have a range of nail polishes that match the biosculpture gel colours so you can cover up any chips between manicures or do the matchy matchy thing with your toes. I'll be posting about them shortly too.

I'm currently in-between gel manicures whilst I test out a few strengthening and manicure products but Biosculpture is definitely the brand for me. When I was in the salon having my first experience with them it was interesting to hear that the salons clients tastes can vary so if you have had a bad experience with another brand do give Biosculpture a try.

Some people are worried that gel manicures are damaging to the nails but Biosculpture use treatments infused with vitamins and essential oils which keep nails well conditioned and prevent dehydration and if it wasn't for my having breaks in-between the manicures I'm sure my nails would be in far better condition than when I'm neglecting them.

Biosculpture Gel Hand Cream* link
So share your gel manicure stories, are you a fan of Biosculptures?

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