Thursday, 26 September 2013

Autumn Ready with Dorothy Perkins - Waxed Check Hood Jacket

Autumn is approaching and that means not only a change in the weather but our clothes too! I knew Dorothy Perkin's AW 2013 range wouldn't disappoint, so I've chosen a few key pieces from their new campaign to highlight the new seasons; first being the 'Waxed Check Hood Jacket'. Click Here to check out Dorothy Perkin's new season collections!

Waxed Check Hood Jacket (CLICK HERE)
Front: Waxed Check Hood Jacket - Dorothy Perkins - Navy - Size 8 - £59.00

The Waxed Check Hood Jacket is available online and in stores and comes in two colours - navy and olive. I was instantly drawn to this jacket because of the many key features, attention to detail and versatility of the jacket for the current season.
The exterior of the jacket is the Waxed look. It's very on trend this season and is quite hard wearing and suitable for the changing weather conditions. Some jackets that have a certain finish can often smell unpleasant, although this waxed jacket doesn't.
The jacket is fully lined/padded and is a combination of cotton and polyester (exterior and lining). This makes the jacket machine washable at 40 degrees (although I personally like to wash items at the lowest temperature possible) but it isn't advised to tumble dry. Being able to wash the jacket myself is a major plus point. I hate buying coats and jackets and being told that I can only dry clean them, as it can be quite expensive so big thumbs up there!

Even though I am a size 6, I like to take a size 8 coat as I love wearing thick jumpers in the colder months. I would advise that if you do want to wear this jacket with a thicker jumper that you opt for the next size up to cater for the needed room. In the photos I am wearing a thick jumper and the jacket fits comfortably.
Blue and red check detail in the hood

Inside lining and detail

Metal zip and popper detail
Larger pockets
Starting from top to bottom, the blue and red check detail in the hood and inside back of the neck is keeping in with the Autumn/Winter 2013 season trends - making the jacket a key piece to make a statement this Autumn. The hood is detachable and can be easily and securely reattached with the 5 metal poppers, giving the wearer the option of wearing the jacket with the hood or not! The collar is lined with a fabric that resembles corduroy which is soft to touch and keeps your neck warm.
The jacket is fastened with a metal zip and metal poppers - easy to use and secure. After using the jacket everyday for a week, pulling and unzipping, the jacket is still in excellent condition and the poppers are all still very secure. The popper detail is used all over the jacket - front to fasten, hood,  pockets and cuffs.

The jacket has 4 pockets, 2 large pockets which can be seen at the bottom of the jacket and 2 smaller ones nearer to the top. The 2 larger pockets are huge! They're deep enough to fit my car keys, phone and a few other bits and bobs in without looking fat and over filled. The poppers ensure the pockets are secure and I'm not worrying all day about things falling out! The 2 smaller pockets are also secured with poppers although you can't fit nearly as much in compared to the bigger ones, however I wouldn't want to use these pockets as I feel they add more to the aesthetics of the jacket.
Panel quilting detail
Pocket and cuff detail
Inside drawstring
Panels on the front and sleeves of the jacket are decorated with cross-stitching/quilting detail. I like this as it adds to the aesthetics making it a little more eye catching than plain panels. The sleeves are also decorated with tabbed cuffs which are each attached by a metal popper. It looks like the cuffs are detachable but they aren't - it adds to the look! I personally wouldn't like them if they were detachable as even though the metal popper fastening are secure, I'd be worried they would come off and I'd lose one :(

Looking at the inside of the jacket a key feature that really excited me was the inside drawstring! I was intrigued to find it inside as you usually see these on the outside of the jacket. It's a great way to pull the jacket in a tad if you're a bit more slight, like me! I also use the drawstring as a fastening if I do not wish to zip or use the metal poppers, however the drawstring isn't very long and it's a bit fiddly!

A few other retailers have similar waxed jackets priced roughly the same, although on inspection you tell the difference in construction and attention to detail. Whilst wearing the jacket out and about in the mist, fog and colder mornings, it is snug and comfortable whilst modern and fashionable. Bang on Trend.
Price: 5 STARS Priced at £59.00, the Waxed Check Hood Jacket is within the same price range as other jackets on the high street. However, I personally think the Dorothy Perkins jacket is better than the rest; the construction, finishing, key feature and whole look - bang on trend.

Fit & Wear: 5 STARS I am a size 6 but I like to wear a size 8 in jackets and coats as I usually wear thick jumpers. This jacket fitted lovely and kept me snug and warm. It was easy to move about in and wasn't too heavy.

Anything to Add?: Inside Pocket(s) I would like to have seen an inside pocket(s) as they're easily concealed and would have been an exciting feature with the inside drawstring. It's not a major need as the 2 front larger pockets are more than enough space.

Would I Recommend to a Friend?: YES Dorothy Perkins have some lovely pieces that are great for the Autumn/Winter 2013 season, including the Waxed Check Hood Jacket. It's snug, constructed really well with great features to make you stand out from the crowd.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Nip+Fab 365 Body Glow Fix

I've blogged and reviewed a couple of other self-tan products all with different properties and promises, so when my boyfriend bought me a magazine with this little sample in, I couldn't say no to giving it a try!

Nip+Fab 365 Body Glow Fix
"Fast drying self tanning gel ... streak-free natural golden finish within 4 hours ... easy to apply,providing even coverage"

"White Tea - brightens + refreshes skin"
"Vitamin E - moisturises + protects skin"
NIP+FAB 365 Body Glow Fix - 100ml - £9.95
The packaging is unusual for a self tan moisturiser/gel as similar products are usually packaged in yellow/orange bottles/tubes. The white tube stands out on the shelves, although I wasn't keen on the green colour of the text as it doesn't seem to 'fit' with the product. To me, it would have been better if it was an orange to convey what the product is used for.
Nip+Fab is a twist top tube which can sometimes be fiddly when in a rush or fastening the tube after use compared with a cap or pump. However, as the top faces down, the gel collects together so you're not shaking it vigorously to get the last little bits out every time you use it.
NIP+FAB 365 Body Glow Fix - Back of Product

Swatch sample
The gel is slightly orange in colour and doesn't smell unlike other self tan moisturisers, however the smell isn't great either. I can only describe the smell as very cosmetic and sweet, a bit like liquorice - I don't like liquorice. The gel rubs in very well and leaves the skin feeling moisturised although if it's quite humid outside, it can leave the skin feeling sticky and uncomfortable.

Nip+Fab advise that the gel is applied to "clean + exfoliated skin, taking care around eyebrows + hairline." So this is what I did! Unfortunately after the advertised 4 hours, my skin was left with orange patches and unflattering miss-match of tones. I was very disappointed, as other products have never turned out like this, especially as Nip+Fab is a more high end product compared to my regular products and I expected a more high-end finish. However, even though the results weren't what I was expecting, results were visible after the advertised 4 hours, quickest I've used.
Before and After results, 4 hours after application
Price; 1 STAR This product was a freebie from a magazine, however I wouldn't pay £9.95 for 100ml for it on the high street. Other products are cheaper and you get more for your money.

Promises; 3 STARS Even though I wasn't impressed with the results, they were visible after the advertised 4 hours which was surprising. I wasn't impressed with the streaks, patches and uneven tone left on my arms and face.

Ease of Application; 4 STARS The gel did rub and absorb well into my skin although like with most self tan moisturisers/gels, if it's sticky and humid outside - it leaves your skin feeling sticky and heavy.

Would I Recommend to a Friend?; NO This products is good for a quick fix quick tan, although it leaves you with patchy orange skin and uneven tone. There are a lot of other products on the market that are cheaper and I've found they give better results.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

LIFESTYLE; London Trip

I don't live too far from London which means I can travel quite easily by train or by car. I haven't been for a good look round London for a few years and the recent Summery weather really spurred me on to organise a trip!
Thursday 5th Spetember 2013
Bedford train station is a short drive from my house and is also the starting station to London which makes it very easy to grab a seat! There were 5 of us tagging along and somehow buying tickets together worked out quite cheap - £78 together - £15.60 each. This ticket allowed us travel off-peak from Bedford train station at 9:10am, amongst zones 1-6 in London and then travel home, off-peak. It took approximately an hour to arrive at King's Cross St. Pancras and here we changed onto the Piccadilly line onward to Hyde Park corner.
Buckingham Palace
We walked from Hyde Park corner down Birdcage Walk and we came to Buckingham Palace which looked so pretty and regal in the sunshine. It was perfect timing as we arrived just in time for the changing of the guard! Even though we weren't right at the front, we still caught a glimpse and heard the band playing. It was packed and to be honest it made me feel very proud to be British.
Big Ben

Iconic Red Telephone Box

We made our way past St. James' Park towards Westminster where Big Ben towered above the skyline. We took a few photographs of one of London's main iconic images - a Red London Telephone Box and this image is a symbol of a great British day out :) 
London Eye
The Top of the London Eye
The one thing I really wanted to do was go on the London Eye. I expected massive queues and a long wait, but after buying tickets we literally got on straight away! The London Eye moves very slowly and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete a full turn. It's quite relaxing and whilst looking out to London, it's a good chance to have a nibble to eat! The capsules were fully air conditioned (a great relief as it was soo hot mid day) and as it was such a beautiful sunny day you could see all of London's great skyline. This included the whole of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul's Cathedral, Battersea Power Station, The Shard, The Gherkin and Wembley Stadium and the BT Tower in the distance. 
Another great way to experience London's attractions and landmarks is by River Cruise on the Thames. We decided to purchase 'One Way' tickets to Tower Bridge which cost £6.35 each as we have Travel Cards which saved a bit of money! We boarded near Westminster and travelled down the Thames passing St. Paul's Cathedral, The Shard, The Tate Modern Gallery, Shakespeare's Globe, The 'Walkie Talkie', Under Waterloo Bridge, The Tower of London and under London Tower Bridge. The cruise took approximately 20-30 minutes and it was nice to sit down with a light breeze in your hair and knowing it's great value for money!

Tower Bridge

We got off next to Tower Bridge and had a little mooch around. It would have been nice to have gone into The Tower of London, but unfortunately it was a bit expensive for us BUT we're definitely considering it for the next trip! The Tower of London is a great historical landmark - the cobbled streets, brickwork and Beef eaters really draw you into its history.

Walking back toward Blackfriars tube, we stopped at St. Paul's Cathedral. It's huge. The pictures and television coverage really doesn't do it justice in my opinion. You can also get some great pictures of it when walking along the Millennium Bridge - the bridge that is destroyed in the last Harry Potter films, yes that one. We had a quick stop off at Shakespeare's Globe, although we were too late to go in :(

Oxford Circus

Lastly, we caught the tube to Oxford Circus and here we were amongst the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street and the mass of high street and high end stores. I wasn't too keen on shopping in London as I can't stand the busyness of it all and plus the heat and humidity didn't help. One store I really wanted to visit was the beautiful Selfridges & Co. mainly due to the mass of various brands which includes my latest love, Tiffany & Co. Unfortunately the customer service we received in there was disappointing, which was a contributing factor of why I didn't buy my latest 'want and need' - a Tiffany & Co. necklace. We had a McDonalds at Marble Arch which I am sure we walked off anyway! From here we made our way back to King's Cross St. Pancras and made our journey home at 7:15pm.

Overall, London was a great day out. There is so much to do that I am sure you cannot do it all in one day which is why I hope to go back and do a few more things that we missed out on. The weather was really kind to us and the sun shone all day! If you love London, regal landmarks and the hustle and bustle of City life then I would definitely recommend a day out or weekend stay. Whatever season you visit the City will look glamorous whatever the weather; sunshine or snow.

Friday, 6 September 2013

1D Kiss You Lipstick; Moments

One Direction recently launched a makeup range with MUA exclusively in Superdrug stores. I'm not a huge fan, but I thought it was worth a try regardless of whom they were as I liked a few colours and concepts of the range.

One Direction Kiss You Lipstick - Moments
One Direction's Kiss You Lipstick's are priced at £3 which is a reasonable price for the teen target market which they are aimed at. I purchased the lipstick purely for the colour as I'm not a huge die-hard One Direction fan, although there are a few catchy songs! There are 5 different colours available; 'I Want' ( a red shade), 'Be Mine' (another red shade), 'Moments' (a pink shade), 'I Wish' (a bubblegum pink shade) and 'Rock Me' (a purple/pink shade).
One Direction Kiss You Lipstick - Moments - 3.8g - £3
Kiss You - Moments
The aesthetics of each lipstick are the same, regardless of the shade; red and black and decorated with with the 'KISS YOU' logo. The lipsticks are the shape of a bullet which is quite quirky as they stand out amongst other cylinder shaped lipsticks in my makeup bag and on the shelves. Similar to MUA lipsticks, a sample of the colour is at the end of each lipstick to make it easier to identify each shade.
Niall Horan Signature
Each shade is identified/by one band member and depending on their shade, their printed signature can be found on the inside of the lipstick on the silver twist mechanism.'Moments' is Niall's shade, hence his signature shown in the picture. This gives the lipsticks a personal touch from the band and gives the impression that they are really involved in their products. It also makes them more appealing to the hard-core 1D fans too!
Moments - '1D' and 'XOXO' raised prints
I love the cute and quirky additions to these lipsticks, especially the raised prints on the tip and stem of the lipsticks. The tip of the lipstick is decorated with a raised '1D' print which unfortunately disappears after the first couple of uses, although looks great when you first open it. The stem of the lipstick is decorated with raised X O prints which adds another girly touch and gives the impression of a more expensive lippy.

Moments Swatch
Once opened, the colour looks quite pigmented and when swatched, as you can see, comes out quite dark but obviously the colour will depend on your own lip and skin colour. The lipstick glides on quite well although after a while my lips became a little dry and the colour started to bleed. The lipstick is tinted with a slight shimmer which I didn't like too much as I prefer a plain colour lippy and I found this made the colour a bit too 'in your face' for me when on my lips.

Price; 4 STARS £3 is quite reasonable. It's more expensive than MUA's original lipstick range, although for those teenagers starting to experiment with makeup it's quite good, especially when they star 1D.

Promises; 3 STARS The colours are really pigmented and the range of colours available are good to match with any mood and outfit. However they did leave my lips dry and they did start to bleed after a short time.

Ease of Application; 4 STARS The lipsticks glided on very well and the shape of the lipstick made it easy to apply too.

Would I Recommend to a Friend?; MAYBE I would recommend the 1D Kiss You lipsticks to die hard 1D fans and teens experimenting with vibrant colours. They're a great addition to 1D products that targets 1D fans.

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