Cheeky Primark buy: Ssh, I’m not supposed to be spending anything!

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It’s that slightly terrifying after-Christmas period where, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have much cash to flash. It should be the time that I put my debit cards in a safe and throw away the key, but instead, I found myself wandering towards Tottenham Court Road on my Thursday lunch break, in the dangerous direction of Primark.

I say dangerous, because any normal person would pick up an item, think ‘Oh, what a bargain!’ and spend a tenner, but I see TWENTY items, think ‘Oh, what a bargain!’ and end up spending £200. To be fair to myself though, I did only pick up two things this time, and they are absolutely fabulous. Plus I still have some beer money left, win.

The first thing I bought was an enormous grey poncho, similar to a few that I’ve been lusting after for ages now. It’s got a loose roll-neck and is made from a lovely thick wool which is really warm. It’s perfect for putting on in the office, (does anyone else find air conditioning absolutely bone-chilling?) and curling up with on the sofa. I intend to wear it instead of a coat sometimes too, for a bit of a change, and it’ll be nice for spring too. I think it also came in beige but I personally thought I’d be able to co-ordinate the grey version with more things.

After that, I headed upstairs to the jeans section with the aim of hunting down a pair of ‘mom’ jeans. I really love the style but I’ve only admired from a distance so far because I was convinced they would look terrible on me. Being only 4ft 11in means that most trousers and skirts swamp me, so unless they offer petite, I tend to get mine from the kids section. However, once I spotted Primark’s offerings I tried them on and was pleasantly surprised. The great thing about these jeans is that you can roll them up a couple of times at the bottom, so they’re ideal for shorter people. They were an absolute bargain at just £13, and you can see them in the picture above!

Frankie x

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Five favourite budget make-up buys

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b28/80330716/files/2015/01/img_5208.jpgI am a self-confessed make-up hoarder and I have drawers bulging with eyeliners, lipsticks and powders. I love bargain hunting, and over the years I have discovered a handful of cheap products that I keep going back to. These five items below cost a grand total of just £18.94, so when the inevitable happens and all of my everyday make-up runs out at once, it doesn’t cost a fortune to replace!/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b28/80330716/files/2015/01/img_5214.jpg/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b28/80330716/files/2015/01/img_5216.jpg/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b28/80330716/files/2015/01/img_5215.jpgCollection Work The Colour Eyebrow Kit – £3.99

I have very dark eyebrows which have become quite patchy in certain areas so I’ve been filling them in with make-up for the past five or so years. I’ve used affordable products such as the Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil, £2.99, all the way to the more expensive Benefit Brow Zings, £24.50. I liked both of these but I wanted something that didn’t need regular sharpening like pencils and that was a little bit lighter on my purse. I came across the Collection Eyebrow Kit in Boots and snapped it up immediately because it was so cheap and it came with three different shades, a mirror, eyebrow mascara and a mini brush. The middle shade works best for me and is easy to apply with the angled end of the brush and the clear mascara seals everything in place. The best part is, the product lasts me the whole day without needing to be topped up!/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b28/80330716/files/2015/01/img_5218.jpg/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b28/80330716/files/2015/01/img_5219.jpgEssence Blush Up! in 10 heat wave – £3.50

I usually use Rimmel Lasting Finish, £3.99, which is an absolute bargain in itself, however I stumbled upon this Essence blush a few weeks ago and snapped it up because I thought it would be a good ‘back up’ blush for when my usual one ran out. When I started using it I was really surprised at how pigmented it is and pleased that I didn’t need to put on a lot to get a good effect. In fact, with this product a little really does go a long way! It also looks really pretty in my make-up bag because of the bright, ombré colours./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b28/80330716/files/2015/01/img_5209.jpg/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b28/80330716/files/2015/01/img_5210.jpg/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b28/80330716/files/2015/01/img_5211.jpgCollection Fast Stroke Eyeliner in Black 1 – £2.50

If you only buy one product from this list – make it this one! This is my ultimate make-up item and my absolute favourite liquid eyeliner. I’ve been using it for years and always have a couple floating around my dressing table. I’m also a fan of Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner, £5.29, but Collection wins for me hands down because it lasts longer and is half the price. This particular product is raved about in the beauty world and rightly so; it’s easy to apply, isn’t at all watery, is virtually smudge-proof, and has a brush suitable for creating fine lines or thick flicks. My favourite thing about this eyeliner is that it doesn’t need to be topped up very often, I can go to work at 9am and come home at 7pm without it budging at all.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b28/80330716/files/2015/01/img_5217.jpgMiss Sporty Studio Colour Quattro Eye Shadow in 403 Smoky Brown Eyes – £1.99

This is a relatively new addition to my make-up collection but is becoming one of my favourite items. The eyeshadow palette has four shades, shimmery gold, bronze, light brown and dark brown. I like to wear the gold as part of my everyday basic look because it is quite understated, and when I’m going out for the evening I normally top it up with the darker tones to create more of a dramatic, smokey look. Each shade has great pigmentation which is brilliant for such a cheap item and is small enough to be kept in your handbag in case you want to top-up throughout the day. The brush is a standard mini eyeshadow applicator which is good for on-the-go, however I prefer to use one of my other brushes when I’m doing my make-up in the morning and I can take more time./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b28/80330716/files/2015/01/img_5221.jpg/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b28/80330716/files/2015/01/img_5220.jpgCollection Lengthening Mascara in Ultra Black 17 – £3.99

I’m a big fan of this mascara because I just need to swipe it a few times over my lashes for it to completely cover them. It creates a really full effect quickly and I never need to top-up during the day. The wand is made up of plastic bristles which stop clumping, but if I put on coat after coat it will inevitably start becoming heavy and clog up my eyelashes, so I try not to use too much of this at once. It’s perfect for finishing off my eye make-up and for such a cheap price, it’s a staple basic I always make sure I have to hand.

Frankie x

GHDs: Bird of Paradise

I was a very spoilt girl this Christmas and had a gorgeous gift given to me by my mum; a brand new pair of GHDs! When I unwrapped them I realised she hadn’t just bought me a standard pair, which would have been brilliant, but had instead splashed out on some from the limited edition Bird of Paradise range.

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The straighteners come in two variations, purple fading into pink, called ‘Sunset’, and a gorgeous blue fading into green, which are known as ‘Lagoon’. My mum knows me so well and bought me the latter, which I’m so pleased with. They came with a matching heat-proof mat which is also just as pretty.

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The straighteners themselves have this brilliant automatic turn-off function which activates if they’ve not been used for about 30 minutes, which is perfect for me because I am always worrying that I haven’t switched my straighteners off, and that I’ll return home to find the whole place has burnt down. I’m never that careless, but my mind does like to convince me that I am!

Like all GHDs, they heat up really fast, but I was surprised at how quickly they cool down, too. This might be a feature on all GHD straighteners that everyone already knows about, but I haven’t owned a new pair in years, so I was excited about this.

My favourite thing about them is how slim and round the actual body of the straighteners are, it makes styling really easy and perfect for creating waves and curls, as well as a sleek look. I’ve struggled using straighteners to curl my hair in the past as I have short layers mixed in with long ones, which don’t seem to work with the thicker straighteners.

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I’m very lucky that my mum works for this cosmetics company so I was also treated to some fantastic Elemis skin care products, which I will blog about at a later date, once I’ve tested them out properly and can write a decent review!

Frankie x

Charity shop treasures

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b28/80330716/files/2014/12/img_4763.jpgI love clothes shopping, but I feel so guilty when I spend a lot (which in my mind, is about £20 per item) on things that I’ll probably hate within six months. Most of my wardrobe is made up of Primark, H&M and charity shops for this reason, but it is quite difficult walking down Oxford Street on my way to work and seeing all the amazing clothes. I just want to buy them all. I wondered if it was possible to find any bargains in an area like this, and so I did a bit of googling and discovered that there was actually a Salvation Army (a charity shop) just off Regent Street. How exciting! I hoped this would mean I’d find lots of really nice bits and pieces, considering nearby there’s designer stores like Michael Kors, Armani, and Lacoste nearby. I don’t really care about designer labels myself, but I figured the area would dictate the kind of quality of the clothes inside.

I thought about spending yesterday’s lunch break watching The Apprentice and feeling sorry for myself (I have a cold) with a cup of tea, but I braved the outside world in the hope that I could find a lovely coat. I read up on a few blogs which said that the shop is a bit of a treasure trove, so I figured it was worth it, and as I walked in I wasn’t disappointed at all./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b28/80330716/files/2014/12/img_4760-0.jpgThere were brand new clothes with the tags still on being sold for half the price. I spotted faux fur gilets, leather jackets, designer shoes, a few cocktail dresses, hundreds of jeans and jumpers, books, all sorts. It was quite a small sized shop but they really did cram it all in. And best of all – I was one of just four shoppers. I love the hustle and bustle of London but shopping can be a nightmare when there are hundreds of people browsing at the same time. This was like a little slice of peace. Perfect!

I had a look at a few coats and was disappointed to see that most of them were around £30 to £40. They were in perfect condition so the prices were definitely justified, but I was hoping to find something cheaper. After bit of a browse I stumbled upon this gorgeous, camel coloured coat from Mango, which was priced at something like £17.50. Bargain! I snapped it up and was pleased (and horrified, as this means I’ll probably end up spending tons in there) that they take card payments, as most charity shops don’t. When I got back to the office I looked it up and found it had been discontinued from Mango, but that it once cost 99 euros on one website, which is about £78!/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b28/80330716/files/2014/12/img_4768.jpg

Overall I’m really pleased with this and I’ll be going back there after Christmas to see if anyone has donated any unwanted gifts for me to buy for just a fraction of the cost. Yes please! If you’re interested in having a look yourselves, the shop is located on Princes Street, near the FCUK shop on Regent Street.

I also snapped up four jumpers and a scarf from some charity shops near our flat the other day too, (scarf is pictured, cost me just £2) for the grand total of £19, but it’s rare to find anything really amazing around that neck of the woods. I’m going to be hunting down a few more in more posh areas of London to try and get some more bargains.

Frankie x