Ooh yeah January is over for another year! SPRING IS SO CLOSE I CAN ALMOST SMELL IT!
Actually that's a total lie. There's still snow here in Germany and I can't remember what the warmth of the sun feels like. But hey, at least I've escaped the horrendous floods back home.
This morning, however, I had a bit of a treat on my "commute" (Seven-minute cycle). Just LOOK at this sunrise!
Obviously, despite the fear of being late for period 1 at school (7.45am KILL ME NOW), I had to stop and take a quick snap. To be honest it made a lovely change from cycling through the park in the dark every morning as I have done for the past few weeks.
Anyhoo. Remember this post full of pretty, cheery, sparkly, lovely things? Weeell I figured I'd do another similar one. Just because I like pretty, cheery, sparkly, lovely things. Don't you?
1. New boots!
I am extremely excited about my latest purchase. Lovely tan suede with a solid wedge heel, they're the sort of ankle boot that goes with everything. A staple, you might say, but would you believe I didn't own anything even remotely similar beforehand? Very remiss of me, I know.
The thing is, I never wear heels. Like, ever. Not on nights out, and most definitely not in the day. I'm a tall gal, and what can I say? Flats are comfy. However, as the super sophistiquée 21.42 year old that I am, I feel it's time for a change.
These little booties would look cute with any of my many different colour skinnies, but equally as good with tights and a skirt. As opaque woollies turn to sheer 30 deniers (if we're lucky!), I like to think these boots will bridge me through to spring nicely.
What's more, in a few weeks I'm going to be moving to Brussels to start an ACTUAL job in an ACTUAL office (as opposed to the swanning around Germany pretending to be a teacher I do at the moment), so I feel that definitely warrants a few new additions to the wardrobe, don't you agree?
My new lovelies are by Esprit, but I got them reduced at this ginormous, amazing, discount shoe shop called Schuh Mücke just on the edge of Kulmbach near Bayreuth. So random, but so great. They were 80€ full-price, but I snapped my pair up for a rather bargainous 35€. Deffos a win.
I'm not sure why I even bothered snapchatting all my girlfriends asking 'Should I buy these?' I knew they were all going to reply exactly as I was hoping. I tell you, my mum's the worst influence of them all! And yes, she is indeed on snapchat. #whatababe
2. Michael Kors bag
Just. So. Beautiful.
And so very me.
When Selfridges tweeted a picture of this beauty - the Michael Kors Selma large saffiano leather satchel in fuschia, should you be interested - I fell a little bit in love. Is this not one of the most beautiful bags you've every seen?
I love a good structured bag. They seem to make every outfit look that little bit chicer. And y'all know what a fan I am of bright colours, pink in particular. It's a great size, lovely shape and practical with its shoulder strap, handles and lots of pockets. I want to be the girl strolling round in big sunnies and this baby in the crook of her arm.
Alas, I don't think I can really justify splashing out £315 just for the sake of it, as tempted as I am. And I am reeeaaally tempted. Like, seriously. In fact, as I write, I'm kind of persuading myself. Oops. Why don't Selfridges offer a student discount? (What a problem of my life, eh?)
Alas, I may have to wait and pray and hope that it ends up in a sale...
3. Fushi ethical shampoo and conditioner
So when I was offered the chance to try some Fushi herbal shampoo and conditioner, I was really keen to do so as it was completely new to me. I'm usually a little wary of herby anything, but having had the occasional scalp problemo over the years, I was interested to see if these stimulating herbs would do as I'd been told: Fushi 'Stimulator Herbal Shampoo' and 'Stimulate & Balance Herbal Conditioner' are designed to boost circulation, nourish the scalp and promote healthy hair growth. Sounds good to me!
Both the shampoo and conditioner feel nice and luxurious – the conditioner smells quite lemony, which I'm not overly keen on (you are unlikely to ever find a lemon drizzle cake on Handbags and Cupcakes, sorry), so I preferred the smell of the shampoo, which also lathered up really well.
I usually only condition the ends of my hair but the bottle said to apply generously to scalp and ends, and I always do as I'm told. Ahem. To do so, I needed to use about twice as much conditioner as usual, but I then did as I always do: twisted my hair into a bun and popped a shower cap on top to let the conditioner work its magic and sink in while I finished scrubbing myself clean.
As I rinsed out the conditioner, my hair felt silky smooth, and after blow-drying, my hair was shiny, sleek, soft and smelling lovely and fresh. I could really see the difference actually.
On day two after washing, however, my hair looked greasier than usual! The next time I washed my hair I only conditioned the ends, and this definitely left my hair looking better two days later.
It's hard to say whether my hair growth has been promoted and my circulation has been boosted, but I certainly like my Fushi shampoo and conditioner regardless. Maybe herbs aren't as bad as I thought...
4. Clinique and Lulu Guinness Kiss It Better campaign
|Pic from Tatler|
I just think this is so lovely.
Ten years ago, the Kiss It Better campaign was launched to raise money for children with cancer at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. And this year, Clinique and Lulu Guinness have come together to support the cause.
Considering Lulu Guinness is known for her fun lip-shaped bags and clutches, it's an absolutely perfect fit. And Clinique Chubby Sticks are crucial for good kissing. When you were little, wasn't it amazing how your mum/dad/grandparent really could kiss your scrapes and scratches better?
It's such a worthwhile cause, and the whole Clinique x Lulu Guinness set is almost too adorable for words in my opinion.
At £550 for one of the ten limited edition sets (the pretty pink bag, hand-signed by Lulu Guinness, and all 16 Chubby Sticks), I'm unfortunately not going to be able to get one myself. However, House of Fraser arendonating £2 to the charity for every Clinique lipstick and lipgloss sold in February which is jolly nice and perhaps a bit more affordable for most of us. If you were considering treating yourself to a Chubby Stick, I'd say now's the time to do so!
5. Exuviance Essential Daily Defense Creme SPF 15
Any keen Twitter followers out there may have seen my tragic tweet about having to hand over my Clinique moisturiser in airport security before flying back to Germany a few weeks ago. It was very sad, so an email from The Cosmetic Practice asking if I'd like to review any of their products couldn't have come at a better time.
I emailed back along the lines of 'OMG YES PLEASE THIS IS PERF I REALLY NEED A NEW FACE MOISTURISER THANKS', and asked them what they recommended. Considering The Cosmetic Practice specialise in cosmecutical skincare brands and offer free phone consultations, I figured this would be a good way to see how well they knew their stuff. (Slash I had no idea which moisturiser to choose...)
Très professionally, I was then asked my age and whether I was looking for a day or night-time moisturiser. Good stuff eh? And a couple of days later the Exuviance Essential Daily Defense Creme popped through my letter-box. (Metaphorically. I don't actually have one. Awks.)
And let me tell you, I really like this face cream. It's the perfect consistency – not so light as to leave my skin flakey and dry shortly after, but not so thick that it wouldn’t sink in and my face is left sticky afterwards. It also smells divine, like apples and pears.
As one of those girls with really awkward skin - mostly dry yet also having had acne problems back in my youth - the oil-free, non-comedogenic nature of this soothing cream is perf. (No, I don't know what non-comedogenic means either, but teenage magazines always used to recommend it for spotty skin, and you never questioned the likes of Shout.)
It's also anti-aging (never too early to start, eh?) and contains SPF 15, which I think is always good. Aaand this cream is really easy to use thanks to the pump dispenser.
Unsurprisingly, I wouldn't normally spend £24 on a face cream, but I must say this one is really lovely.
So, ma dear friends, there's a few of the beauty and fashiony things I'm loving of late, but what about you? Let's not make this a one-way street or a one-sided relationship... Do let me know what you think!