Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Karl Largerfeld K Klassic Shoulder Bag Review

Karl Lagerfeld K Klassic Shoulder Bag
Handbags are my 'thing'. I love them and every year I treat myself to a new one for my collection. I have been promising Candypop a peek at my handbag collection for some time so maybe you can call this the start of these posts as this is my most recent purchase. Well unless you count a Kate Spade clutch I brought in Dubai but I'll show you that another time. 

The biggest problem I had when deciding what bag to purchase for 2015 was that there wasn't really anything on my lust list, or what was there was beyond my budget or the very least one I could justify spending on a handbag. I was slightly tempted with a 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli but something about it wasn't just right. Now I appreciate this is totally #firstworldproblems but please bear with me. The 'problem' I had was that last year I brought a bag, a Prada bag no less, on complete impulse and have been in love with it ever since. I own a Chanel bag but still it is the Prada Bucket Bag which holds my heart and actually makes me feel like my handbag collection is complete.

I decided that nothing was going to compare to the love the Prada bag and I had but there must be something I could add to my collection. Then I came across Karl Lagerfeld. Now we all know Karl is the man behind Chanel these days so surely his bags would be a thing of beauty?

I had a look online and unfortunately the Karl Lagerfeld site isn't great so I headed to Very Exclusive and had a look there and it was the Nude K Klassic that caught my eye. Could this be Karl's homage to that classic Chanel bag? There are most certainly some similarities I'll come to shortly. 

The best thing about the bags from Karl Lagerfeld, much like Michael Kors is that the range is in the 'affordable' designer bracket. I appreciate everyones budgets and tastes are different but do remember I'm a hard working, single 36 year old woman and I speak as relevant to me. 

Before hitting the order button I took myself to Karl's shop on Regent which is fantastic and had a look around. They had the K Klassik bag in stock but only in black which was handy as I only wanted to be cheeky and feel it for myself before ordering from Very Exclusive and taking advantage of the interest free payment options. 

I pranced around the shop with the bag and I was definitely happy with this to be the next purchase and promptly when home and ordered online. I don't enjoy beauty shopping online, but clothes, bags and the like I love. I have to give hats off to Very Exclusive as part of the enjoyment, for me at least when buying a designer bag is the shopping experience and to receive a huge box with my initials, sorry Very Exclusives initials definitely ensured I received that same feeling. The box was opened to reveal masses of tissue paper and a Very Exclusive bag which inside contained my new handbag. Clearly no corners had been cut here. 

So onto the bag itself. I chose the K Klassic Shoulder bag in Nude. Most of my bags are what I would call the 'classic' designs and if possible in a bright colour such as my red Prada Saffiano tote. I didn't own anything in such a muted colour which I thought would compliment the large proportion of black clothing I wear and work well for all seasons and the style would easily transfer from day to night.

Some of my bags are not ideal for my boozy nights as they can be heavy (I actually got what I named Prada shoulder from carrying my tote when I first purchased it) and/or left on a side. A decent shoulder bag was lacking in my collection that was big enough to house some make up items, phone and such whilst being small enough to sit on the shoulder comfortable.

The black strap is long enough to wear cross body but I find the stiff structured nature of the bag makes this a little bulky and uncomfortable. Likewise the structured layout of the bag, which is reminiscent to me of the Chanel bags, can make packing it like a game of Tetris and requires some careful editing. 

To really make this the perfect day to night bag you can even remove the black strap and use the rose gold chain handle (hello again Chanel homage) and use as a more delicate evening clutch. 




The question remains, do I enjoy using this bag and what are my findings now it is in my possession? Well unfortunately it's a little bit disappointing. I certainly like the bag and do use it but I find it a little bit too fiddly compared to my other bags.

I love saffiano leather and as mentioned I have a Prada tote so am familiar with it but the K Klassic bag is very sturdy. Great on one hand as it's shape remains but very difficult to manaouvere. Want to talk on the phone whilst pulling out your Oyster card to get through barriers at the station, not the easiest of tasks. Carrying a drink to your seat whilst trying to return your purse inside in the bag, not so easy. I do blame this in part to my Prada bucket bag which is the right combination of throw it all in and/or rummage around without being too big to lose whats in there and as mentioned I reserve this for days when I know I'm heading from the office to the bar.

It's also not forgiving in size. There is no manipulating the shape of this bag to get my Canon EOS M and it's hefty lense inside and if a book is on the thicker side that's not getting anywhere near it. And make up bags, forget about it. Make up is thrown strategically by size and shape to fit alongside phones and keys.

I've also had some problems with the strap unclipping. Again I noticed this at first and may have been my heavy handedness and I also find the button clasp requires diligent attention to close securely.

All this said I'm probably expecting too much from the K Klassic as I'm trying to make it work outside of it's intention. This is a structured handbag which on a weekend or for days when I know I'm heading out after work it's ideal and ultimately looks great. And you can happily ignore everything I've said and take my mum's word on it as she loves it, so much so she went out and purchased one for herself in powder blue.

Prior to this purchase I was thinking idealistically of having one in all the range of colours. I'm less inclined to do this now but I am happy to have a Karl Lagerfeld bag sitting in my collection.

Are you a designer handbag lover like me and have you ever been tempted by Karl Lagerfeld?


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Friday, July 24, 2015

Ham Holy Burger | London

Ham Holy Burger
Whilst shopping for some last minute bits for Ibiza I found myself in John Lewis. Despite the heat of Oxford Street and a desire for a nice salad I was confronted by some delicious looking images of burgers. Willpower at zero and frustration at being unable to find what I wanted (a laptop bag, honestly why are they so expensive and targeted for men?) I decided to try out Holy Ham Burger.




With only a few tables occupied it was easy to get a seat and peruse the menu. It was great to see a menu with different and imaginative burger offerings beyond cheese and bacon. That said I went for the simple signature Holyburger and a side of fries.





Now I must tell you I love burgers. And I don't just mean 'gourmet burgers', I even love those dirty ones you get from vans at local fairs and there's nothing that makes me happier on my way home from a night out than a bacon double cheeseburger from Burger King. When my my burger arrived from Ham Holy Burger for the first time ever I was disappointed with the arrival of a burger. What was put before me was a sad and grey looking burger, served in the overdone wooden boards. I love my burgers cooked medium but this just felt undercooked. Literally like it had been thrown in a fry pan for a few minutes. There was no browning of the meat, nor smokey grill taste. It was all in all pretty tasteless and felt like eating raw meat. The bun whilst not stale felt like it was moments away from being so and the fries were nothing special and overly salted. Please let us salt our own fries to personal taste.

Holy Ham Burgers has many similar reviews to my own on Tripadvisor and the like and its a shame as I think this is a great concept for John Lewis. Who doesn't like a burger yet I've made better burgers with produce from Waitrose at home. The restaurant itself had such a nicely designed industrial loft style space and a mixture of booths and tables to sit at but the food just fell flat.

The cost of my burger, fries and sparkling water was £16 so this wasn't a cheap meal by any means for a shopping pit stop. I'd rather walk five minutes down the road to Patty & Bun and recommend you do the same.


Have you had any disappointing dining experiences recently?


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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Products I used up in Ibiza


When I travel that means you get a bonus empties post of all the things I managed to use whilst on holiday. Here's what found it's way into the bins of Ibiza 

Liz Earle Orange Flower Botanical Body Wash
I'm a little annoyed as I have a full size of this body wash and intended to return home with this mini size empty and ready to refill for future trips but unfortunately in my haste of packing it was thrown into the bin. Moving past my frustrations this is a delicious body wash to use and kind to all due to the naturally active ingredients - its even suitable for your babies. Definitely one to try if you have skin that is a little sensitive as it doesn't contain any 'nasties'.

Gillette Venus & Olay Razor
My favourite razors are the Gilette Venus & Olay type which are perfect for leg shaving, especially when doing it almost daily like I have to whilst on holiday. I could probably get a little more than a week out of one head but for ease and packing purposes it worked out for me to take one of the individually packaged heads for the week. You can read my full Gillette Venue & Olay review here.

ESPA Optimal Skin ProCleanser
I received this mini cleanser with my Tatler subscription and thought it perfect to take along as my morning cleanse whilst on holiday. I enjoyed using this although it does contain microbeads which I know can be a bone of contention for some. It lasted almost to the full 7 days I was away.

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub and Body Buttercream
Body Scrub's and Body Buttercreams from Soap and Glory are favourites of mine and these picks were from the Sugar Crush Gift Set I'd received for Christmas and saved for this trip. The zesty scent was perfect for my beachy conditions and I enjoy using a body scrub on holiday to help keep the tan in tip top condition. The body butter creams are perfect to double up as foot creams too.

Riemann P20 Once a Day SPF30*
Ben & I actually purchased P20 at the airport before heading to Dubai and it worked well against their heat. Unfortunately we couldn't get the spray option and relied on the cream so I was pleased when I was sent the spray option. I travelled to Ibiza alone and the only thing I had any concerns with were how I would get sun protection on my back. This P20 spray was perfect as I was able to angle and spray and know that I was protected without having to approach a stranger and ask 'could you rub this in'. I used this particularly on the days I was going to visit my parents on another part of the island and knew we would be walking around the resort  rather than sitting round the pool all day when reapplication was possible.

The Wet Brush, Classic
I am not onto my third Wet Brush, this one being my second. After trips to Dubai and Ibiza as well as some random overnight stays it's safe to say it doesn't travel well. I love this brush but unfortunately when shoved into bags the bristles are not sturdy enough to stand up to conditions and I did notice that it wasn't performing as well towards the end of my trip so it was time to say goodbye.

And of course a trusty Toothbrush found it's way into the bin with a new one waiting at home for my return.



The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
My reading habits have remained slack of late and I'm sure reading isn't the top of everyones Ibiza packing list but for me, travelling alone I wanted to ensure I had something to get my teeth into, especially as I had a two hour train journey before I even got to board a plane. I had read about Girl on the Train being the new Gone Girl (although I haven't read that either) so I thought I'd give it a try. Usually I wouldn't dream of taking a hardback on holiday with me but because I was so intrigued to read the story I purchased a copy. I enjoyed reading this and found it perfect for holidaying because of the way it was designed with easy breaks so you could pick up and put down as necessary. I'm not sure I think it's deserved the amazing reviews as it's not amazing, just good. It felt almost simplistic and I pretty much guessed who the 'guilty one' was early on. Is it worth a read, yes but is it as 'thrilling' as reviews make it? Not in my opinion.

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash
I was able to get about four washes out of this body wash and like the other Sugar Crush products enjoyed doing so. More of a cream than a gel it made for quite a luxurious experience. I'd definitely purchase this in full size.

Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Mask*
Hydraluron sheek masks are my travel must have. I also use one after a flight, even if Ibiza's was a mere two hours. In this instance I used in the middle of my trip after daily exposure to the sun, the air-conditioning of my room and dehydration from heat and one or two drinks. I've said before I'm not a big fan of the serum but these masks work far better for a heavy duty hit when needed.

Tweezerman Pointed Tweezers
I much prefer using pointed tweezers than slanted, I find they are easier to use and more effective. Unfortunately these had suffered some damage so were not meeting at the ends any more. I had since replaced and threw these into my travel bags to use as necessary whilst away.

Diptyque Eau Moheli EDT
As you will see in the photo I had an accident and smashed the bottle of Diptyque's Eau Moheli somewhere in the middle of my trip. Yes there was almost tears. I have had this scent for almost two years, only bringing it out in the Summer and I really enjoy using it. For a floral scent it's surprising as usually I'm not a fan but ylang ylang and spices make for something more pleasing. I'm definitely keen to repurchase this fragrance, and in full size as I do miss it.

OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Conditioner
Purchased for Dubai and still lasting for Ibiza I was able to use up the remaining bottle of the OGX Coconut Milk Conditioner. I've mentioned OGX quite a few times now since my introduction and will definitely buy full size and try other types from the range.

What products do you find you use up on holiday?

*PR Sample

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Essence Haul

essence make up
Playa den Bossa in Ibiza is not known as a shopping destination but I managed to track down an Essence concession in the local pharmacy on the strip. Whilst we can get Essence in the UK I've yet to visit a Wilko store and have a hands on look at the range. This was the perfect opportunity to treat myself to one or two items to try and so far I haven't been disappointed.

After tweeting for some advice the overwhelming response was their mascaras so I picked up two to try. The first i love extreme crazy volume mascara is amazing. The first day I tried it I couldn't believe how long and thick it made my lashes. I have never seen anything like it. I feel like I'm wearing false eyelashes and I'm in danger of them hitting my eyebrows as I flutter!

To give a well rounded opinion as mentioned this is a thick formula and as such it's better served when you wipe off any excess onto a tissue as things can get messy but otherwise this mascara after only a few uses is well on it's way to becoming a favourite.

With so many mascaras on offer from Essence I couldn't resist picking up a second, get BIG! lashes triple black mascara. I'd call this the younger sister of the previously mention 'i love extreme' as whilst it gives long lashes once again it's more of a softer look. This is a great day mascara for those that want to have length to their lashes but aren't interested in anything too heavy. That said I do prefer the other out of the two.

I'd had my eye on the blush up! powder blush in Heatwave for some time if only for aesthetic reasons as I just loved the colour. With one solitary compact sitting on the shelf it was meant to be. Aside from my having some difficult with opening the palette which has resulted in my nail scratching across the surface and ruining it's pristine condition this is a fantastic blush which is comparable to Tarte. Heavily pigmented this gives a a perfect flush of colour to cheeks. Matte it may be but I find it doesn't appear flat and more importantly it stays in place all day. I adopt the approach of swirling my brush amongst the palette to get the desired effect that works for me but if you're more attentive than I you might want to target the specific colours on each side. I'm definitely keen to try more blushes from Essence. 

My final pick was i love stage - eyeshadow base. Usually I use Mac's Painterly Paint Pot as a base or if I'm looking for real longevity Urban Decay's Primer Potion so I was keen to see how a cheaper product would fair. The eyeshadow base from Essence is extremely creamy and feels like concealer compared to my other options, especially as Painterly is now at the dryer end of it's life. It can feel a little greasy on the eyes but for someone with oily eyelids and at this time of year it's working well to keep eyeshadow in place. It's definitely not going to replace my other options but it's a good option to choose when looking to save a few pennies.

Having tried these four products with success I'll definitely be making sure I seek out a Wilko store to see what else is on offer. Have you tried Essence before?

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