moving fast and bright as a firefly

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

There was a time in my life, say between the ages of about 4 and 13 ahem 9, when cartoons were pretty much the only things that mattered to me. The Care Bears, My Little Pony, a lesser known cartoon called Maxi's World about a teenager with her own chat show, they were what I lived for. Saturday mornings were a time for scarily bright colours, ridiculous theme songs and fighting with my little sister over the remote control.

Bearing this in mind (pardon the pun), I couldn't help but get a bit excited when Bargainista Fashionista blogged about these Care Bear tees from Uniqlo;

I hardly ever wear t-shirts, but I can never resist a bit of 90s nostalgia and at just £7.99 each, these are too cute to miss out on. There's 10 designs in all and each one comes in two different colour options. The Tender Heart one at the top of this post is my favourite - I had a teddy of Tender Heart when I was little, he was wonderful.

Uniqlo is a brand I pretty much never bother with, but after investigating the Care Bears tees, I had a little browse around the rest of the site and I'm now really liking it. It's a shame there only seems to be stores in the London area; Uniqlo, listen up, THE PEOPLE OF LIVERPOOL WOULD LOVE YOU!

For some annoying reason, all of the Care Bears videos on Youtube have had embedding disabled - grrrr! However, if you click on the image above, it'll take you to a video of the theme song, which is brilliant and features the wonderfully optimistic lyric - "if you can dream, just send a wish out in the dark" - making it worth a listen, even if you're not familiar with the little balls of fluff.

Oh sweet baby Jesus...

Saturday, 23 April 2011

I have no need or occasion to ever wear this dress, nor do I have £165 with which to buy it, but by golly, it is a beauty so I just had to share it.

As I've already mentioned about seven million times, I'm a big fan of anything tutu/ballet/tulle related so this really is just perfection to me. I'M IN LOVE.

In other news, despite my promises to the contrary, I went a bit AWOL again for the past couple of weeks. This was mainly to do with a musical theatre cabaret I was rehearsing for, which took up a lot of my free time. We performed the show last week, so it's all over and done with now, (SOB!) but our director, has been uploading some footage onto Youtube so I thought I'd share one of the videos. I know I'm always going on about how I don't like to put too much of *me* on this blog, but I'll make an exception for this because musical theatre is good for the soul, plus it's always entertaining watching my attempts at even the most basic of dance routines... (just in case you're not sure, I'm the third person to sing at the beginning)

Also, I figured that this song was kind of appropriate to post on the blog, as it very loosely connects to the beauty genre by referring to washing your hair. Just keeping it on topic, guys!

Happy Easter for tomorrow - please try not to overdose on chocolate...

tutti frutti

Monday, 18 April 2011

As the weather has gotten to the stage of being pretty bloody gorgeous (dear Mr Sun, please don't leave us, ever. Please.) I've been trying to stick with my plan of embracing colour when it comes to putting an outfit together. However, as I've previously mentioned, my wardrobe is full of darker colours and as I've not had the chance to go on any crazy spending sprees lately, I'm currently having to make do with the very limited stuff I already own, plus a couple of new Primark bits and pieces, to get my fix of Summer colour. Fortunately though, due to the abundance of nail polishes I own (seriously guys, I have a problem), I can at least display my new-found colourful leanings on my talons;

Colours used - GOSH Special Edition Lavendar Love, Models Own Coral Reef, Collection 2000 Hot Looks in Spangles, 17 Fast Finish in Catwalk Couture and Pink Grapefruit

Not my most imaginative mani to date (or neatest - I smudged about four nails after applying my top coat - grrrr!) , but I'm obsessed with these vivid brights; every time I catch sight of them, I think of Summer fruits, ice lollys and tropical beaches... sigh...

Anyway, I've been really enjoying all these zingy, summery colours at the moment; I know 'colour blocking' and brights are big trend this season anyway, but I'm thinking specifically about 'fruity' colours if that makes sense? They're the sort of colours that make me crave fruit and I don't even particularly like fruit. I thought I'd put together a wish list of some of the brightest, zingiest stuff currently available on the High Street so that we could all feel fruity-licious...

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Ok, ok, I know there aren't actually any turquoise coloured fruits, but still, that really bright turquoise has somehow fallen into my category of fruity colours... so live with it. Also how beautiferous is that Coral Bow Dress from LOVE?! And how have I not realised how fabulous their stuff is?! Definitely going to have to do a wish list for LOVE at some point, because that website is just too good.

Are you embracing bright colours now that the weather's gotten all totally tropical? (mmm Lilt) Tell me things, go on! I love to hear from you!

I heart Sleek

Friday, 1 April 2011

One of my biggest pet peeves in life is bad customer service. I'm sure we've all experienced inattentive or rude sales assistants in store, but for me, the kind that is REALLY annoying is bad customer service online. I'm talking about when you send an email regarding an online order or even just a general question to one of those 'contact us' address but then wait days, sometimes even weeks for a response, which, when it does arrive, quite often turns out to be unhelpful or rude. I don't see the point in having one of those "got a question? email us!" addresses if the company doesn't actually respond to the emails! Grrrr! Quite often, bad experiences like that really make me not want to bother with shopping online as I just don't think it's worth the hassle. At least if you go into a store and have a problem, you can deal with actual people rather than just a faceless email sender!

Anyway, I think as Brits, we're always quick to moan and complain about things but not so quick to show gratitude or praise someone for doing a good job, which is why I felt I should write this post.

Back in November, Sleek Makeup held a 50% off everything sale, which ended up being a bit of a nightmare as the huge amount of traffic on their site caused problems and meant that some orders weren't processed properly, resulting in a lot of unhappy customers who were hoping to take advantage of the bargains actually ending up with nothing at all. Fortunately, (as I mentioned in my last post) Sleek promised to honour all those people who had attempted to make an order but were unsuccessful, by sending them (at some point in the future) a 50% off voucher code. Although it did take a few months, Sleek have kept their promise and over the past few weeks they've been emailing out voucher codes to everyone who attempted to make an order during the sale, myself included.

I received mine about a week ago but didn't get around to using it until this Tuesday. I selected the items I wanted, went to the checkout page, entered the voucher code, all was fine, clicked 'continue', but then, shock horror, something went wrong; my basket got emptied and I had to start all over again. Annoying, but ok, no harm done. Unfortunately, when I went back to the checkout and re-entered the voucher code, it came up as 'voucher expired' - I assume because each code could only be used once, and technically, my code had already been used when I attempted to make the order the first time. So I sent an email explaining what had happened to both the general Sleek help address and also to Alice, a member of the Sleek Web Team, who had sent me the code in the first place. Within about an hour, Alice responded, saying that she had reset my code so that it could be used again. I tried again, but there was still a problem so I emailed her once more, and this time, she responded within minutes saying that it was definitely working now. And lo and behold, it was! Hurrah!

Anyway, I figured that, since a lot of people had recieved voucher codes, Sleek would be swamped with orders and I didn't expect to receive mine until some point next week. So I was very pleasantly surprised when the postman brought me a lovely parcel earlier today, just two days after I put my order in! I'm honestly so pleased with this whole transaction; Alice's quick response and the fact that she sorted out my voucher code with no messing about, plus the super fast delivery time, have left me really impressed! Maybe I'm making a bigger deal of this than is necessary; I think my expectations have been lowered due to bad experiences with other online stores, but I just think it highlights how much of a difference it makes to the overall shopping experience when the customer service is good. Other online retailers, take note! Thank you Sleek, you rock!

I'm super excited about my purchases, and will probably do an in-depth review once I get a new video camera (I'm getting a replacement for my broken one, whoopa!), but I thought I'd include some photos of what I bought, because everything is so new and pretty!

Fixx London individual lashes (with adhesive AND remover - which I think is a very good idea!), ONE Finishing Powder and Pan Tao Blush (to go with my Paraguaya palette)

Eye Drama Mascara in Blackout Waterproof, Mini High Shine Lipgloss in Sweet Sixteen (which was a free gift) and the double ended Contouring Brush (complete with a little black pouch - useful!)

Marvellous. I can't wait to use everything! I'm off out to a gig tonight so will definitely be trying out the mascara and possibly the eyelashes too.

Have you had any good/bad customer service experiences lately? And what are your thoughts on Sleek? Let me know!

an April fool

So, in terms of blogging, I think we can safely say that March, for me, was a bit of a write-off. I just got into one of those slumps and I really didn't feel inspired at all. There was a couple of times when I sat down to write a blog post, but just wasn't really feeling it, so I knew that whatever I wrote would be a bit pointless and rubbish. I don't want to blog just for the sake of it so I didn't blog. Anyway, moan over, April is here so it's time for me to (in the words of Sister Mary Clarence, aka Deloris Van Cartier aka Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act 2) wake up and pay attention. I promise I'll be better this month, I've already got plans, big plans, the biggest bloody plans this side of Kentucky, oh yeah!
I thought I'd do a bit of a summary type thing today; quite a lot of other bloggers do them, and I always enjoy reading them, so hey, let's give it a go.

I'm currently loving;

Polka dot nails (as seen above) The genius that is Gem Fatale did a marvellous Tuesday Tips post all about how to create perfect polka dot nails. Following her advice, I used the end of a hair grip to create mine. Still not absolutely perfect, but they're getting there. Sometimes I find it hard to decide what colours I want to put together - I have a stupid number of nail polishes but obviously, can't use them all, so this was a good opportunity to get lots of my favourites involved in one design. I was also inspired by this image;

Sleek makeup. I managed to get my hands on the Avoir La Pêche palette and I'm loving it. I showed it to my sister, Izzi, and she wasn't a fan (pink eyeshadows can be a bit hit and miss) but I think it's beautiful and a lot of the colours can also be used as blushers, which is fine by me! Also, Sleek have gotten themselves into my good books this week, by FINALLY sending out the voucher codes they promised months ago after a lot of us had difficulties in the 50% off sale. I'll be treating myself to some super cheap goodies (as long as everything isn't sold out - eek!)

This video - I don't feel I need to really say anything about it, just watch. This guy is AMAZING.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I bought this book on a whim; it's really not the sort of genre I'd choose to read, but I'd heard a lot about the films and thought I'd give it a whirl. It's a bit of a slow-starter, but boy, once you get into it, it's hard to put down. I spent a good portion of yesterday afternoon reading it and have only got a couple more chapters to go until the end. I'd quite like to watch the film but am a bit worried about how violent/disturbing it is. We've already established that I'm a massive wimp and this book deals with some really dark and upsetting stuff, which I imagine would be pretty unpleasant to watch on screen. Even so, it's definitely worth a read if you haven't done so already.

Primark jewellery. I bought this ring a week or so ago and I absolutely love it! The majority of my rings are from Primark nowadays. At £2.50/£3.00 a pop, you can't really complain, especially when the equivalent in Topshop would be at least £8, probably more. Bloody love Primark.

I'm currently hating;

Paper cuts. Yes, this is pathetic, but the other day I reached into my bag for my house keys and caught my finger on an insanely sharp bit of paper. I couldn't believe how much it hurt and my initial (clearly quite illogical) reaction was "oh my god, there's a knife in my bag". I just wanted to include this story to emphasise firstly how ridiculous I am when it comes to even the smallest injury and secondly that my brain works in the strangest ways.

My spending habits. I've decided that I am very naughty when it comes to spending and therefore, for the next month, I'm not allowed to buy any makeup at all. (once I've bought my Sleek stuff, obviously...) I realised this when I went into Superdrug last week, saw that Collection 2000 was offering a free Hot Looks nail varnish if you purchased £4 worth of products and decided that I HAD to find something to buy because I NEEDED another nail polish. Now I know that £4 isn't a lot of money at all, but I do this sort of thing way too often. Not only that, but I definitely did not need another nail polish. I have about 40 already. It took me ages to decide what to buy (because I really didn't need anything) and in the end I went for two Lock and Hold lipglosses, which are lovely, but completely unnecessary. Bad Franki. No more spending for you.

When stuff breaks for no reason. You may have noticed that I didn't do a POTM video for February. This is because my Flip Mino video camera broke for seemingly no reason whatsoever. It just won't turn on. I'm not happy, it was a birthday gift, so it's not even a year old yet. I don't know if I can get it fixed, but I certainly can't afford a new one, so for now, my vlogging will have to be put on hold, which is a shame, because I really enjoy doing those videos. Gosh this has turned out to be a lot longer than planned!

I thought I'd end with some blogs that I'm really enjoying at the moment - I'll try and make this more of a regular thing because there's so many amazing bloggers out there and it's nice to share the love. So, without further ado, five to follow;


It's All Peachykeen


I Need More Clothes

Where Are My Knees?

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