Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My Handbag Collection Louis Vuitton Eclipse

Apologies in advance for what will appear to be my jumping on the current trend for bloggers sharing their designer handbag collections and unboxing of new purchases but I've had in mind to share my collection for some time and there are some long term readers who have been requesting this for some time. Yes Candypop I'm looking at you!

It seems the done thing is to offer disclaimers and various justification for such expensive purchases but I hope you don't mind I'm not going to do that and instead assume you all know me well enough by now to know this isn't designed to show off. I also hope the stories behind how they came to be in my collection will be somewhat interesting for you as I'm afraid rarely much thought is given to their purchase other than for aesthetic reasons!

Moving on. The first bag that came into my collection is the now discontinued Louis Vuitton Eclipse but before I discuss the bag itself I must take you back to explain why a Louis Vuitton bag was so coveted. As a child I had a friend whose mum owned a shop in our local high street. This was not just any shop, it was of course the 80s, Dynasty era and the shop she owned was a treasure trove of costume jewelry that sparkled. Who remembers those diamante spider brooches? Yes these were stocked in abundance.

For a young impressionable girl this mum was rather unique in both having her own business and also a rather special handbag I admired. It was a Dior print such as this and somewhere I'd aligned it with Louis Vuitton and so that became the brand I lusted for. The bag I wanted was the Alma which is rather a mature bag for a young girl to desire and I can even remember receiving a plain black version from Marks and Spencer for my birthday as it was the closest I could get to owning such a thing. I remember very clearly walking along holding the M&S 'dupe' as we could call it now and pretending it was the Louis Vuitton Alma. It was almost like I was practicing for the day it would be mine.

Fast forward a few more years and my love for Louis Vuitton had not changed but things were rather different then in that designer handbags, certainly not in the circles I mixed in, were not things girls in their early twenties were using or justified buying, so it seemed. Of course you'd spot older girls in clubs and bars using Louis Vuitton make up bags as clutches that were obviously all they could afford or had been pinched from their mums but it wasn't like today when I sit on a train and see all manner of designer labels of varying price ranges, adorning women of all ages.

One night my friends and I were in our local nightspot and discussing our love of Louis Vuitton I said I would marry any man that brought me a handbag from there. A gentleman in our group brazenly responded he would buy one. And many months later he did. Did I marry him? Sadly not although we were engaged for a brief time but the romance with my Louis Vuitton bag lasted longer so don't feel sorry for me.

I'm unsure why I picked the Louis Vuitton Eclipse over the once favoured Alma but I would suspect it was that it was similar in style, even today I usual lean towards top handled bags, but with a difference. And boy did I love that bag although I haven't used it for years. The photos for today's post were taken when visiting my brother and his family and my mum, who now has 'custody' of the bag, was accompanied by it.

The biggest downside for this bag is it's so structured and round that it doesn't allow for filling with all the daily essentials, particularly those of us that like to carry a book or similar size/shaped items which is why I have others in my collection which take preference. As a regular user of London Underground I tend to like a bag that I can zip for safety reasons. The other issue I often contend with, and why I like Louis Vuitton for it's repeated pattern is that I'm left handed meaning that to have the zip 'my side' often the design of the bag would be hidden or I'm exposing the zip to wandering hands I can't see behind me.

At the time this bag was about £300, oh to be able to find Louis Vuitton for that price now and it has since been discontinued which does make me enjoy it a little more. Perhaps it's time to remove it from my mum's clutches and give it another whirl.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Review The Selection by Keira Cass

After reading The Kind Worth Killing it would've been easy to select a similar book but rather than risk picking something I didn't enjoy as much I changed theme and went for The Selection by Keira Cass.

Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals...

It's the chance of a lifetime and 17 year old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon's love.

Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamourous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.

Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don't know is that America has a secret - one which could throw the whole competition... and change her life forever.

The Selection is the first in a series of five young adult books, the latter due for release next month, set in a dystopian world. Following a number of World Wars, everyone is identified by numbers, the higher the number the poorer you are. Prince Maxon is looking for a wife he reaches out to the lower classes to audition for the role. Typically America, our protagonist is disinterested in performing in such a contest but pressured by her families limitations she auditions.

This book has been compared to The Hunger Games but I'm at a loss why other than the dystopian nature and the competition element but it's somewhat less lethal than what Katniss experiences. Having just read Only Ever Yours which was somewhat lackluster this covers a similar 'mean girls' element much better. There's also a positive message in that by 'being herself' America catches the attentions of those around her.

Yes it's somewhat adolescent and obvious how the story will go (especially if you investigate the further titles in the series), although it didn't end exactly as I thought and I have questions which I'm keen to explore in the next book. It was a slow burner but I often find that with any book after reading something I've especially enjoyed. Nonetheless it ended up being the perfect read so much so that I finished off very quickly and even spent an evening on the sofa finishing it rather than watching tv - if I read the book outside of my commute it's always a good sign.

It's not the most the most highbrow of books but if you're a fan of The Bachelor and other such reality shows I'm sure you would enjoy The Selection.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

New Skincare Discoveries

My friend Rose recently filled one of the boxes we pass back and forth with some beauty products for me to try, some familiar and some less so and all of adequate sizing that I could form some opinions to share with you.

Kiehls Midnight Recover range is well know and I own the Midnight Recovery Concentrate but not had an opportunity to try the Midnight Recovery Eye Cream until now. With such a positive experience of the concentrate I of course was expecting big things from the eye cream, especially as I've successfully used other creams from Kiehls. I was not let down. Diminishing the appearance of fine lines, reducing puffiness and reducing dark circles it ticks every box. As it's name suggest I use at night and often eye creams of its type can feel quite heavy but not in this case.

I have tried MonuSpa's body products so the MonuSpa Renu Nourishing Treatment Oil was a great opportunity to test their skincare products. All natural ingredients such as Rosehip and Blackcurrant Oils to soothe the skin and help maintain suppleness and elasticity a well as amazing scent this is a luxury thick oil which will enhance any evening skincare routine. I find that whilst it's nice to sandwich on top a night cream it isn't entirely necessarily as my skin doesn't 'need it'.

Sanitas Lemon Scream Scrub is your typical 'old school' exfoliator, a product in the skincare line up I'm no longer a fan of. I prefer to use exfoliating toners and acids rather than what can often be harsh scrub. Whilst this scrub smells amazing and the grains are not harsh like similar products I still found that it left my skin gritty rather than 'smooth.

I was excited to see Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Face Gels in the box, a product and range I've seen other bloggers share. I've never used this product waiting for a 'big night' out to see how much the claims to fill in the forehead furrows and smile lines for up to 24 hours will do. I'll keep you posted along with this and the Patchology Exfoliate FlashMasque.

And finally I've thrown into the mix Glo & Ray Facial Cleansing Gel* which allows me to try out my first cleansing gel. This smaller travel size bottle is a little bit of a faff as you have to shake the product out and as it's somewhat thick I'm concerned at how I'll manage when I near the end of the bottle, but aside from that it's a great product. It removes my make up and doesn't leave my skin dry which is all I ask for. It's perhaps not the most exciting or powerful of cleansers, hence I use it as a first stage of cleansing to remove the make up and then go in with something that has a little more bite but otherwise it's a handy one to have and would certainly be ideal for travelling when you want to keep things streamlined and simple.

What skincare products have you discovered recently?

*this post contains press samples

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Friday, April 22, 2016

More from Glo & Ray

I was first introduced to Glo & Ray last year and am still a big fan of the eyeshadow palette and lipstick from their range so the chance to try some more products was great news. In addition to the make up items I did receive the Facial Cleansing Gel* which I'm still in the process of testing so keep an eye out for that still to come.

Starting with Glo & Ray Colour Correction Luminous Base Foundation* in the shade 30 which regrettably was not a product I enjoyed using. A luminous base to provide a velvet finish containing micro-shine particles to disguise pores and naturally brighten skin tone.

Now that all sounds rather wonderful and I can't deny my problems start more with it's application. Glo & Ray advise they have an innovative 'water in smoothie gel emulsion system' which means you only need the smallest amount and I fell fowl of this the fist couple of times finding just the right amount to apply. I also found the shade off for me but that can also apply to my application technique.

I had a hunt round the internet for additional reviews and it seems others were all favourable and I can't deny that once I'd worked with application it did certainly cover imperfections and leave skin looking radiant but after a short while and when I looked a little closer it would settle in my smile lines, I found it difficult to blend, especially around eyebrows and I imagine it would be a disaster if you had dryer skin.

Interestingly it reminds me of the Bourjois City Radiance Foundation I tried recently and have not found working for it so if you're a fan of that you may very well find the Glo & Ray Foundation a keeper.

Moving on to the more positive review I already knew that Glo & Ray Sky Breaker Eyeliners were good and so it was nice to have Forest Green* arrive to try. As the Summer arrives I like to be a little more brave with my eye make up and loving using blues and greens to play with this and Forest Green is a nice dark shade which works well with my eye colouring. Unluckily for me my mum spotted it on my dressing table and has subsequently pinched it but she's enjoying it so I don't mind too much!

Finally is Glo & Ray Wonderland Lip Gloss* in Crystal Lava. I usually say that I don't like to wear lipgloss but that's not the case of late but still I can't bear sticky glosses, which this is not. Whilst it's not uncomfortable it's dry in application. In the tube it looks like there's some sparkle which doesn't translate on the lights other than to catch the light with its glossy finish. Likewise it's not as pigmented as it appears in the tube although it gives a nice pink tint to the lips. As with most glosses in my collection it works well either alone or over lipsticks.

*this post contains press samples

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