Sunday, 29 November 2015

Online Avenue

I've just recently discovered Online Avenue, a site selling footwear that refers to themselves as 'one of the web's best kept fashion secrets'. What's rare to find is somewhere that offers women's, men's, and kid's shoes all under one roof.  A wise woman once told me that if you buy a man shoes, he'll walk away from you. However, if you're not worried about old wives' tales, Online Avenue have footwear for everyone at affordable prices.

Online Avenue recently gifted me a pair of their Zelda Boots in grey. The suedette ankle boots have a 3.5" heel - perfect for teaming with jeans for drinks on a Friday night. If you're feeling risky then they're perfect for everyday wear too, but just a little too high for me - I can just about drive in them! Fringing was a big trend this A/W for clothing, so it's no surprise to see tassels on footwear everywhere. These Zelda boots are available in 3 other shades - black, tan, and taupe, at a bargain price of £22.99. They have an inner zip fastening and a thick and sturdy block heel. Although I'm a fan of suede, it's always going to be difficult to keep clean - I'd recommend buying a suede protector spray.

Another pair I have my eye on, with only a 3" heel (more everyday and work friendly), are the Tessa boots in black for only £23.99. They're faux leather with a buckle fastening, and a comfortable block heel. Snap up both pairs now and receive free delivery! Online Avenue are offering free delivery when you spend over £40, and free delivery worldwide for orders over £99. Selected women's shoes are currently on sale and up to 60% off, plus receive 20% off full price products with code 'Launch20'. Hurry, the code expires 4th December, happy shopping!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Contour Kit

Clockwise from top left: Vanilla, Banana, Sand, Havana, Fawn, Java

For those of you that have read my review of the Anastasia Beverley Hills Cream Contour Kit, I had mentioned how I wished that I had bought the powder kit instead - and that's exactly what I did. However, after experimenting with the cream kit, it has become part of my daily routine. I'd decided to ditch the foundation and found that the creams works great on their own, giving great coverage and easy to work into the skin with a beauty blender. Both kits retail at the same price, £39, and again I bought from the trustworthy UK website Cult Beauty.

Available in shades 'Light to Medium', 'Medium to Dark', and 'Dark to Very Dark'
Being quite pale I opted for Light to Medium, and like the cream kit, it comes with 6 different shades - 3 highlighting powders and 3 for contouring. Unlike the cream shades, I was able to find magnetic refills on Cult Beauty costing £14 each, and taking all palettes into account, there are 28 shades to choose from. I've seen many makeup artists combining shades from different sets into empty palettes - useful if you're working with lots of different skin tones.

As I normally contour with powder, I found this palette easier to work with than the cream. Powder is more forgiving - the product is buildable and easy to blend and control. As I mentioned in my previous post, I found the cream shades to be warm and a little on the orange side, even for the light palette. These powder shades seem cooler and appear more natural, suitable for part of your everyday makeup routine. I'm currently using both palettes daily - I've dyed my hair darker and the cream is especially useful for when I'm looking for a little more colour and wearing fake tan. I'll use the lighter shades to highlight the centre of my face, and gradually get darker the closer I get to the hairline (full diagram here). If you're on the super pale side, since buying this palette, Anastasia have brought out a new 'Fair' shade with lighter creams.

One problem that I have with this palette, is that the lighter shades don't show well enough on my skin for a dramatic highlight. I'll normally use banana as it's more yellow based, and I find it compliments my skin tone, but it's hard to achieve a very highlighted look with this kit. A palette that I did find worked well for this is the Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette. I had the opportunity to try it recently and found the lighter shades to be super pigmented and great for cleaning up contour lines. Unfortunately, also being an American product, I can't find it at any UK stores, and although many are showing up on eBay I'd be wary of fakes. If anyone knows of any reputable websites selling the palette, please share.


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Do You Measure Up?

I've recently been trained to perform bra fittings in work, and it's been such an eye opening experience. Many women I've fitted (including myself) had been wearing the wrong size bra, many being painstakingly obvious. Different shops have different ways of measuring, and I've been taught to measure the back (just below the bust), and then use your eye for the cup. As no 2 bras are usually the same size for each brand, this allows you to get a better idea of what fits. I can't stress enough how important it is to get fitted - many places offer a free fitting service and the experience doesn't have to be embarrassing or uncomfortable for anyone.

What a lot of women aren't aware of, is that cup sizes change when back sizes do. When moving up a back size, you'll have to move down a cup. For example, if you find that a 34C is too big on the back, you're best to try a 32D, and vice versa. To ensure the bra fits you properly, I recommend leaning forward to make sure that you're completely in the cups, and always adjust the shoulder straps to ensure better support and lift. Always fit the bra in the loosest fastening - this way if the bra stretches with wear and washing, it can be tightened to give the same fit.

When looking to see if a bra fits correctly, I'll make sure that the breast isn't spilling over or leaving a gap, and that no puckering occurs on the cup. I'll also check that nothing is spilling over the sides near the underarms, and that the bra doesn't ride up at the front or back. I'll check that the customer feels supported, and that I can comfortably insert 2 fingers under the fastening at the back without too much pull. 

After being fitted correctly, I'd treated myself to this racy Freya set, and it's currently on sale via Figleaves. It's also available in a chemise, short, and separately made bra for GG+. Freya is especially suitable for busty ladies as they fit up to a K cup, but also cater for those with smaller busts, starting at a B - check out some of their cute new collections.

Also being October, it's no secret that it's breast cancer awareness month. Although this set isn't exactly pink, it's always important to get the message across. I've come across a great website that encourages people to find the signs of cancer early and therefore have a better chance at beating it. is an insight into how breast cancer looks, feels, and is found.

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