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£15 off at Luxemme - #Giveaway #Competition

If you've read my blog for a while [or followed my endless ramblings about life on Twitter] you'll know that I worked with Luxemme this year.


This year, over the festive season, Luxemme gave us a chance to head to their website, enter some details and receive £15 vouchers for free in return, which could be redeemed against the gorgeous clothing on their site or given away as Christmas gifts to friends and family.

They say:

'Last year we worked with various charities and sent them all free clothing to give to people who were homeless, orphaned or simply didn’t have any family over Christmas. This Christmas we want to spread a little festive joy and help hundreds of people to send extra Christmas gifts to their friends and family.

We know it can be tough to budget at Christmas time, particularly for parents, and it’s often impossible to buy presents for all the special people in your life. We’re here to help! [..]'

I thought that giving away these vouchers for free was a really lovely, considerate and generous offer - and obv, due to how much I love their stock, I headed straight over to the site to get my hands on some.

You can no longer get these vouchers on Luxemme's website - but fear not, I'm going to give mine away :} The voucher codes don't expire until the 29/02/15 - so if you want to make your Christmas money go that little bit further, order a dress to see in the New Year or even get yourself something a bit nice for Valentines Day [yep, i said it - we're going to have to acknowledge it's on its way at some point] you can.

If you fancy getting your mitts on one of these vouchers, you can do below using the Rafflecopter widget. I have five vouchers for you lucky lot - so good luck, thanks for supporting my blog and happy shopping :} x

T&Cs

The Competition will end on the 02/01/16 and all vouchers will be posted out on Monday the 4th January. I will provide you with the discount code straight away if you wish to use it straight away. This competition is open to all UK residents. To those under the age of 18 - please seek parental permission before entering. Duplicate, incomplete or spam entries will be removed. You can enter as many times as you want. The first two entries are mandatory; you can then enter as many times as you want to get more entries. The winners will be drawn at random using the Rafflecopter widget. I have five vouchers, therefore, five winners will be drawn and contacted as soon as the competition is over. Open to UK residents only

Stepping Out in Style, with Online Avenue*

A little while ago, I was lucky enough to be accepted onto an Online Avenue campaign. Granted, I wanted to have had this post written and published a little while ago too, but you know - life and that. *Shudders in memory of the past few weeks I've had* 

Anyway - who are Online Avenue, I hear you ask? I too asked this question at first, but was pleasantly surprised when checked out their website and saw the incredible amount of beautiful shoes they have on offer, just waiting to be made my own. FYI, here's a little more on them and what they're about, taken from the sample campaign itself: 

'Online Avenue is a fresh and vibrant online footwear store that aims to stay on top of the latest trends. The main aim for this business is customer satisfaction, which is what separates them from the rest of their competitors.

Online Avenue has fast established itself as a reputable and reliable company in the footwear industry, with a key objective to provide our customers with quality products at affordable prices. They believe fashion is a right not a luxury! 

Online Avenue pride themselves on delivering key catwalk looks and celebrity inspired women's fashion to their customers the second that trends hit.' 

Online Avenue sent me a beautiful pair of shoes [like legit beautiful] from their collection; their Amelia Platform Stiletto High Heels* in white, faux snakeskin. I take a size six in heels and the pair of size six stilettos I was sent fitted me like a glove - they are very true to size, which is great; there's nothing worse than ordering online and a brand's sizes being up the wall. Just look at these little beauties.

The 99p Dose of Indecent Exposure | Expectation vs Reality #10

Hiya - welcome to the latest post from my Expectation vs Reality series. I'm going to dive straight in and set the scene quickly for you guys here, as you might be a new reader and perhaps somewhat unaware of the rollercoaster of emotions I board regularly when it comes to bargains off eBay. Or you might be very much aware of my ongoing search [although the term 'search' might be better described as a 'losing battle'] for online bargains and just need a quick refresher, as my blogging game has been poor [at best] recently. Soz about that, like.


There's not that much to explain really. I'm well poor. I'm that girl - the one who lurks in the Smart Price aisle at Asda, the one who scavenges food off others like a massive tanned [when I can be arsed fake-tanning] seagull [not even messing, you should see my hands this week - I've cocked up my tanning game royally!!!!] and the kinda bird who picks coins up off the floor no matter what. The high risk of said coins being soaked in scally urine, surrounded by broken glass and ensuring a general loss of dignity are just a few of the hurdles I've come across in my life as a penny picker.


When you combine this with the fact I have an uncontrollable urge to buy things, an addiction to online shopping and that I am also a self confessed eBay junkie - and you have the basis to this series. Boom.


On the rare occasion I can afford to buy something - no matter how little I might have paid for it, I want to know what I'm getting will be sh*t hot, not just plain old sh*t. But sadly, more often than not, that amazing looking playsuit you got for a quid and that looked pure fit on the model turns out to be nothing more than a sick joke with lace on.

This, my friends, is what the cool kids call an 'Expectation vs Reality' moment. You know what I mean; you order an absolute bargain online that looks like it's going to be a pure fitty, but then when it arrives... you don't know whether to laugh or cry because of how terrible it is. And sometimes, you just give up and do both; simultaneously. THAT. 

This series tests out some of the cheapest bargains of the internets, to see if they meet the expectations that their stock imagery suggests. Kind of like a cool Watchdog; with much less Anne Robinson and much more swearing and inappropriate comparisons.

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Expectation vs Reality: Part #10 > The 99p Cut Out

Expectation > Grey cut out t-shirt / tank style mini dress, shipped from China. I ordered this in the biggest size they do - an XL, which is a UK size 10-12. In what universe is a size 10-12 even classed as large / extra large?! 


Anyway.


The 99p cut out mini dress - was it fit or sh*t? Did it live up to expectations or crap all over my dreams? With a little scroll to the images below, all will become very clear. Probably too clear. Prepare to meet my bra.





Reality > Now - from this photo alone, all appears well. You'd be forgiven for thinking that the item actually resembles the one in the stock imagery. 



I made this mistake too. I opened it up from its vacuum packed plastic, took a quick glance at it and didn't either a] chunder, violently or b] break out into uncontrollable laughter - which made me think that it might be alright for the money and that I might be able to do a positive post this week. It was only when I came to try it on, that I noticed one, minor problem with it. Let's see if you can spot what's wrong. 







Wow. I mean. Just wow. Instead of exposing my midriff and my (lack of) abs like the one in the listing, this little beaut decided to take the indecent exposure route and full on get my boobs out. I rofled for about an hour when I realised how much of a [literal] tit I looked wearing this. 


I can't even cope. Every time I look at the photos, it gets funnier. Who wants clothes that cover their modesty, anyway? I won't even start on how short the effing thing is; what with the convenient boob holes and the distinct lack of coverage on the arse, I had to reconsult eBay to check I'd bought something fit for general consumption and not from like, the fetish section. Though this is that sh*t, I can't imagine anyone getting turned on by someone wearing it. Talk about a mood killer... hahahaaaaa.


The icing on the cake for me with this dress / top / ambiguous item from hell, is that this is apparently a size XL as well. Maybe an extra large cat or 4 year old child would get on with this better than I did. LOLOLOLOL. 


Conclusion > I'd go off on some mad tangent like I normally do here about Asian clothing sizes and how they make me feel like an uncontrollable, whopping great man-beast - but I think the photos in this case speak for themselves. I have basically paid 99p for a slice of indecent exposure. And there is little more I can say to conclude this post, other than that. Brilliant.


And if, for all the lols [or if you're planning on treating your pet or newborn baby to a new outfit this Christmas] you fancy ordering yourself a piece of this indecent action, you can do on eBay. I wouldn't recommend it, like. Ever. Not even as a joke. Well, maybe a bit as a joke. It certainly made me laugh.


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What are your thoughts? Have you had any epic Expectation vs Reality moments with things you've bought online, or any amazing bargains off eBay?


*all photo credits [other than my own work] to the seller on eBay

The Christmas Tag

I can't lie - I am not a massively festive person. I'm like Scrooge / a miserable old hag 365 days of the year; Christmas Day being no exception. This is one of the main reasons I haven't got involved with Blogmas - that and the fact I can't even get my sh*t together to post once a week at the moment, let alone every frigging day. Fair play to every single one of you giving Blogmas / Vlogmas a good go; I've read some fab posts this week and I do intend to do a LOT more blog catching up over the weekend, so leave me your links below :}


Anyway, this being said - I'd like to change my old, miserable mindset this year and get into Christmas a bit more. That's why, when I spotted this tag on the gorgeous Aisling's Beauty Bytes blog, I thought I'd give it a go; so you can learn a little more about me and my Christmas Traditions [other than knowing that I'm excessively cynical and get most of my stuff from Poundland.]




What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?


Elf, Santa Clause the Movie, Love Actually, ANYTHING Disney, Christmas Carol or any of the films that are on TV around Christmas; normally stuff like my mate Harry Potter [I keep dreaming that I am Harry Potter. Bit of an odd one seeing as I am 100% muggle and also, a bird.]


Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?


Christmas morning, which proves difficult as I am not a morning person. Christmas or not, I prefer sleep. Occasionally, I'll open some small presents the night before [like, ones friends have given me in work etc] but I save most of them for the actual day. I'd say we normally open presents around 10:30am - starting with myself and my sister, then my Dad, then my Mum and then the cat opens hers. And Grandma comes round for lunch around 12pm.


Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?


I don't think I have one specific memory that stands out more than others. Maybe when I was about 6 and I got downstairs to find a dolls house wrapped up under the tree and it rocked my frilly little socks. The food always sticks in my mind. The crappy things you get in the crackers [not even messing, my Mum got something that looked like a cock ring in her cracker last year. Couldn't. Even] always stick in my mind. Funny things that my Grandma says. To be honest, bad health and anxiety have prevented me from enjoying Christmas that much for the past 3-4 years; but I'm hoping to have a better time this year. I love how much my Mum loves Christmas.


Favourite festive food?


ALL THE FOODS. OH MY LIFE. IT'S 11:45PM AND MY MOUTH IS SALIVATING AT THE THOUGHT OF ROAST PARSNIPS AND ROASTIES. I love Turkey, stuffing, roast parsnips and lovely, crunchy roast potatoes; coated with a dashing of gravy.


Favourite Christmas gift?


Although I always love my Christmas gifts, Christmas for me is never really about the gifts as much as it is about spending time with family. I've never been unhappy with the gifts I've received; but because I'm a fossil now, I pick the majority of my gifts myself / give very specific Christmas Lists; so the element of surprise I had as a kid has gone. I don't think I could pick a specific gift out as my all time fave. Other than like, toys I had when I was a young'un - but still, it's hard to pick.


Favourite Christmas scent?


Chloe probably reminds me of Christmas the most. I asked for a bottle of it a couple of years ago; it reminds me of Christmas shopping with my Mum and festive nights out.


Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?


We always have chocolate cake on Christmas Eve and watch something on TV together in the front room. As I live in a different city to my family, it's nice to all be together and cozy for one night; all sat around the tree with the lights flickering and the heating blasting.

What tops your tree?


A star.


As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?


For at least the past 10 years of my life, I have been asking my Mum [and anyone who'll listen] to buy me a pet rabbit. I'M 27 NOW, MUM. PLZZZZZZZZZ? Sorry guys, that's as 'crazy, wild and extravagent' as I can muster. Other than that, I'd always ask for the latest Nokia as a teen. Never got one; until Argos reduced the Nokia 3330 in the summer sales and I was in there like swimwear.


What's the best part about Christmas for you?


Aside from the food and the fact I get two weeks off work [hurrah!!!] it's lovely to spend time with family - and to see how happy everyone being together for a few days makes my Mum. I like the bustle of the shops, the generosity of people, the dark nights and the fact that Christmas precedes New Year; one of my very favouritest occasions. OH and Christmas songs; waking up to the The Pogues playing on the radio and getting chills down my spine when I've had about 3243 Jagerbombs and a Christmas song comes on when I'm out. How I wish I was 19, wearing my tinsel headband and not giving one solitary sh*t again!!

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So there we have it - the Christmas Tag. What did you think of my answers? Do you do anything similar / majorly different to me? Do you have any tips to make me feel more festive and less like a miserable old bag? Have you done this tag? Leave links, comments etc in the box below :}

Bargain Hunting, with Born Pretty*

'Iya bbz. First things first, I'm not dead - I've just had a pretty crappy couple of weeks, packed full of pain and anxiety; so I've spent my time eating bourbon biscuits and taking copious amounts of bubble baths, whilst not blogging or being remotely social. Soz about me. Normal service will resume soon - especially while I'm off work over Christmas; I'll have plenty of time on my hands to harass you all, retweet pug dogs on Twitter and stalk everyone's Blogmas efforts :}


Right, now that obligatory explanatory paragraph is out of the way, let's jump right in.

I was lucky enough to be contacted recently by Born Pretty; an online Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle store. Born Pretty is one of those sites where there's that much stuff and that many mad [yet insanely useful] little contraptions for so cheap, that before you know it, you've lost about 12 hours of your life browsing their stock. You can also add about 4,532 items to your basket and as Born Pretty charge such tiny prices [with FREE SHIPPING] in dollars, it still only comes to about a tenner [slight exaggeration, but you get my drift - if you're into bargains, this place is like a treasure trove.] They literally sell everything in the world ever. It's definitely worth a browse; they do such great deals that you could easily set up your own business buying and selling - like all the cool kids do on Depop [and something which I often discover during my Expectation vs Reality series!]



[l-r Curly crisscross false eyelashes | Natural look waterproof smudge proof eyebrow cream in '#2' | Fluorescent liquid moisturising lasting stick paint in '#4']

Anyway, the lovely people at Born Pretty let me choose some items from their Makeup Range online to try out. So before I start waffling on about something totes off topic, let's crack on so I can show you what I got in more detail!








From the moment I unwrapped this lipgloss, I immediately fell in love with the packaging. It smells lovely, looks an amazing, lilacy-pink shade and [fun fact for you] the head of the lipgloss applicator rolls as you apply the gloss, which was unexpected, but pretty cool in helping spread the product evenly on application. Colour wise, how did it look on the lips?



As you can see, it actually applies pretty much the colour it looks like in the tube. It's a little less bright / lilac looking on the lips than it is in it's packaging, but after a couple of applications, the colour definitely began to build up. It lasted for a while on the lips and it's not super mega sticky either; it's actually quite a nice feel on the lips.








I'm a bit obsessed with brow kits and getting my somewhat wispy brows to look more Delevingne, so I couldn't not pick one of Born Pretty's brow products to try. I'm notoriously bad at picking the correct coloured eyebrow products for my skin, I always go too dark. So after reading this review on a similar Born Pretty product from the amazing Jemma @ Dorkface Blog, I decided to play it safe and order shade 02, rather than going for the darker shade.



Before & After


Here's my before and after shots, please excuse my feeble excuse for eyebrows pre-product. This cream definitely plumps and instantly bushes up your eyebrows a la Delevingne, but I did find it a bit messy and not the easiest to apply; especially as I am used to using an eyebrow pencil, rather than a liquid product. It also seemed to like, clump up a bit in my eyebrow hair - but I think it's something I could definitely improve my skills with, with practice. Maybe I've just got a bit stuck in my ways - what do you guys think of the look?




Well... I ordered this set of eyelashes which [when you clink the link above] look a little different than the ones I was sent... but luckily, I like the ones I received just as much. They're quite lightweight and wispy, but I've been getting quite into lighter lashes atm; so these arrived at just the right time of my life.






Et voila! The lashes don't come with glue, but as an eyelash obsesso - I have about 232 tubes of the stuff in every bag I own, so that's not a problem for me. I found these lashes quite easy to apply and very natural looking; great for wear during the day. They're also quite long on the strip, ideal for you to trim down and customise to being the shape and length you want on your eyelid. They add a little extra flutter and length to your natural eyelashes - and I'd definitely be interested to try out more from Born Pretty's range.

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If you fancy a cheeky 10% off at the treasure trove of trinkets that is Born Pretty [there's so much to try]  enter my code AINH10 at the checkout ... making the incredibly cheap even cheaper :}


Have you ever tried anything from Born Pretty? Have you clocked anything on their site you'd like to try? I reckon my next two purchases will be this and this - potential game changers for me!! What do you think?


*this post contains items that Born Pretty sent me for review. In the interest of full disclosure, I wanted to make you guys aware of that. As ever, all opinions are my own - I wouldn't lie to you guys, as it's not big and it's not clever!