Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Why I've Decided To Change My Shopping Habits (#lovetorewear)

Hey guys,

You would not believe how many times I have written the introduction to this post! My current situation is this: there are so many things going around in my head at the moment and I have no idea where or how to start sorting them out into some sort of organised list.  So, let's just start writing and see where it takes me! 

It's been a while since I last posted (nothing new there as I've always been a bit sporadic in posting) but this time one of the reasons behind me not posting has been that I have just lost my blogging mojo.  Well, maybe not my blogging mojo, but my mojo for the things I blog about.  

I started this blog because I loved shopping and buying clothes and make up.  The one thing I didn't realise when I started this blog was that I actually don't buy that much stuff compared to the world of Instagram.  I soon found myself trying to play catch up and thinking that I needed to be posting about new things on my Insta-feed every day.  As you can imagine, that's just not possible as a) I'm a busy mum with a part-time job and b) I don't have an endless supply of money! The end result was a bad case of fomo (fear of missing out) and an overdrawn bank account. 

For some people though, shopping is an easy thing not to do.  I love talking to people to find out their reasons for not liking it.  Quite a lot of the time it's because they don't have the time, or lately because there is just too much choice.  I love a wander around a high street or an online browse when the kids have gone to bed, and that is my downfall.  When I start looking, I start finding all sorts of things I didn't realise I needed or wanted but clearly, if I didn't get them, my life wouldn't be complete.  It's this reason that I decided I needed to take some sort of control over this.  Having started smoking in my early teens, I know that feeling of an addiction and that is exactly what my shopping has become... an addiction.  Having that feeling of unhappiness when I can't get to the shops for whatever reason, or something isn't in stock in my size and instead of just getting on with it and dealing with it, I become consumed by it, making me unhappy, snappy and irritable.  That's not a feeling I like at all.  Just like when I stopped smoking 22 years ago, I woke up one morning and decided I needed to do this.  No weaning myself off, or cutting back.... just straight up doing it - stopping shopping as of now. 

To help me I bought the book "The Magic Art of Tidying" by Marie Kondo and also started the "30 Days to Simplify Your Life" Challenge.  I love making lists and I felt by making lists of how I would cope with this, would make it easier to achieve.  

I loved the book.  Like most things, it's been impossible to implement every change and follow word-for-word but I've been able to take the things that I think are the most important to me and work on them.  One of those things has been the de-cluttering of my wardrobe.  With clutter comes anxiety and I, as a fairly organised person, can't cope well with mess or untidiness (it's a running joke between me and my husband how many times I plump the settee cushions a day)! My wardrobe wasn't too untidy but it was full to bursting point and I also had two full vacuum bags in the loft of seasonal clothes and an entire wardrobe in the spare room full of shoes.  The book advises you the best way of de-cluttering (touch every item you own to see if it sparks joy) and then also how to fold items.  I am now a total convert to the vertically folded method and have even folded all my sons clothing and my husbands.  By the end of the de-clutter I had about eight bags of clothes and one bag of shoes I no longer needed.  I gave away quite a lot to friends and family, donated what I could to charity and anything that was unwearable (I had a couple of jumpers with holes in it) I put in a clothing recycling bin.  Absolutely nothing went to landfill (more on that later).  My wardrobe is now a very different place and I finally have lots of room and most importantly, every item of clothing is in that one space (apart from my coats which we keep in a separate cupboard).  All of my summer and winter clothes are in there as are my shoes which is a first for me as they have always been in different places in the house. 

I love how easy it is to see everything and I can just grab what I want to wear without rifling through and not being able to see things. 

The next thing I did was to look at my relationship with "The 'Gram".  When I decided to start writing my blog, I also decided to start social media pages to coincide with it.  It was to be a way of linking and sharing posts and also a way to share snippets of my life that I didn't always have time to blog about.  Instagram has been the one social media tool that I have loved and loathed in equal measures and the one I firmly believe has given me that serious case of fomo.  Pretty much every time I popped over there I came away feeling a little more deflated and a little more like everyone's life was so much better than mine.  But then I learned something that literally blew my mind.... the discovery of the process of buying clothes, photographing yourself in the clothes and then returning them totally left me reeling with shock and disbelief and this really is a genuine thing on Instagram.  Really, people REALLY do that???! I feel so cheated by this! I want my Instagram to be as real life as it can be (obviously you don't need to see me yelling at my kids) but I have no desire to post photos of me in clothes that I don't even own.  

The last thing that has hammered home any doubts I have been having about the 'Gram and my shopping habits was watching the Stacey Dooley documentary "Fashions Dirty Secrets" (if you haven't seen it yet, it's available on BBC iPlayer).  Nothing prepared me for how shocking and brutal the message is... fast fashion is destroying our planet and one day, this planet won't exist any more.  This quest for fast-fashion (the likes of which is posted millions of times a day on Instagram) is literally destroying the world we live in and I watched, totally ashamed, that I have contributed to this.  Rushing down to the shops to buy things I don't need, posting haul videos on YouTube, all helping the industry to carry on mass-producing clothing we just don't need.  It has made me totally re-evaluate everything and I am so grateful for that because if I was lacking in any sort of will-power before, I'm definitely not now.  

True fact: I didn't post to Instagram on certain days if an item of clothing I was wearing had been featured on my squares before!! Yep that was me!! Why would I even question that? Why could I not repost a previous #outfitoftheday? Is it really that bad to post clothing we love over and over? So I've taken that idea and created the hashtag #lovetorewear.  I don't want to hide the clothes I love, I want to share them and share how many times they have been worn, rather than endless squares of different clothes that then get chucked to the back of the wardrobe never to be seen again.  

So if you're ever over on Instagram, feel free to look me up and tag me in any outfit shots that you post and don't forget to use the #lovetorewear hashtag.  I'd love to see more of my feed filled with people re-wearing their clothes instead of constantly buying new. 

I hope you enjoyed this very rambling post and congratulations if you actually made it this far! That is some accomplishment.  Please let me know what you think about the subjects I have touched on - Do you find Instagram has become vain and shallow? Does it give a negative image on life? Were you aware of the damage that fashion does to our environment? Have you decided to change your shopping habits?

Love Katherine xxx 

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Wednesday, 8 August 2018

My New Holiday Travel Bag - (not beautiful but super practical)

For as long as I can remember I have always loved bags...handbags, purses, toiletry bags, make up bags... I even had an obsession with pencil cases too!!! I used to LOVE going “into town” with my nana and perusing the luggage shop just for fun!! You could guarantee I would come out with some little purse or handbag!  There is something about an object with so many different pockets and compartments. 

For the last few years my wash (or toiletry) bag has been a very lovely canvas bag with my initial on that I got from Not On The High Street a few years ago.  As much as I adore this bag, I have noticed over the last few trips away (albeit camping) that it’s not very practical.  Looks have always taken over practicality but there’s only so many times you can drop your nice cream canvas bag on a camping shower floor and not start to get a bit testy about it (trust me, if you’ve ever seen a camping shower floor you’ll know what I mean)!

After our last camping trip I decided to order a more practical bag from Amazon, so let me introduce the Lavievert Toiletry Bag (priced at £9.99 this is compartment/pocket heaven).
It has two zipped compartments on either side of the main middle compartment and these all contain separate pockets, pouches and those elastic holders (I have no idea what they’re called).

It also has a hook to hang it up by (bonus feature for the camping showers) and that also has a clear compartment too.

When it comes to filling my wash bag I follow the same process every time and write a list, head to toe, of what I need to pack.  Personally, I love nothing more than ticking of the boxes one by one and it's even more satisfying when everything has its own home!! 

So that’s my new (practical) addition to my wash bag family.  What do you look for when you’re buying a wash bag.... looks or practicality and is it possible to have both? 

Love Katherine xxx

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*All pictures and opinions are entirely my own.  All products featured on my blog have been purchased by myself unless otherwise stated*

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

My Charlotte Tilbury Collection

Somewhere between December 2017 and now I have managed to develop a fairly out-of-control addiction to Charlotte Tilbury!

Up until the end of last year I didn’t own any Charlotte Tilbury products at all, but spent many an hour scrolling through her website looking at all the beautiful things and spent far too much time watching her You Tube videos.  It was actually Kerry Life and Loves who made my ears prick up when she blogged about her Beauty Glow Palette (you can see that post here).  I popped that straight onto my Christmas list but Santa must have misplaced that as it wasn’t under my tree (boo....maybe this year)! 

I did however receive the iconic “Pillow Talk” Matte Revolution lipstick from my best friend and that was it....hooked, right there and then! 

The excitement of opening up a Charlotte Tilbury item for me is a bit like Charlie in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory when he opens up his bar of chocolate to see if there’s a golden ticket inside.  It’s something that has to be done really slowly, in peace and quiet and is, quite frankly, a moment to be savoured!! 

This post is just a little (it’s actually quite long) homage to my ever-growing collection of Charlotte Tilbury products...


Matte Revolution - "Pillow Talk"
Any fan of Charlotte Tilbury will know this lipstick very, very well! It’s the one that I think is most talked about, most mentioned and totally iconic.  Starting off life as a shade in her range of lip pencils, Charlotte bought out the lipstick version as a limited edition.  Thankfully though, it seems it’s here to stay.
Matte Revolution - shade "Pillow Talk"
Pillow Talk is a very wearable nude with just a hint of pink and matches my lip tone perfectly.  The formula is beautiful and even though it’s matte, I don’t even know I’m wearing it.  It never dries my lips out and wears incredibly well.

Matte Revolution - “Very Victoria”
I’m not going to lie, I got this solely because I read it was the Duchess of Sussex’s favourite lipstick and I was instantly sold on that one! I think she is amazing and stunning and effortlessly beautiful so if I can have the same lippie as her, that can make up for not marrying Prince Harry myself!! 
Matte Revolution - shade "Very Victoria"
Almost identical to Pillow Talk, Very Victoria is also very different.  They look almost identical in the bullet but on my lips there’s a noticeable difference and Very Victoria, for me, is a lot more pinkier in tone whereas Pillow Talk has a slightly more brown tone. 

I have worn this pretty much every day and it’s such an easy, flattering shade, I can see why Meghan likes it so much.

Matte Revolution – “The Queen”
The Queen is a very bright pink and I have to say, I’m quite scared of wearing pink, but I really love this one and think it suits my warm toned skin really well.  For me, it’s not an everyday shade I wear a lot but I think I will definitely wear this loads on holiday.
Matte Revolution - shade "The Queen"
K.I.S.S.I.N.G Hot Lips – “Hot Emily” 
Carrying on the holiday theme I bought this gorgeous coral-coloured lipstick for my holiday.  As with every other CT lip product, wearability is amazing.  I love the creamy texture this has and considering it’s so bright, it’s incredibly easy to wear.  It doesn’t settle in any lines around my lips and stays on for ages.
K.I.S.S.I.N.G Hot Lips - shade "Hot Emily"

K.I.S.S.I.N.G Hot Lips – “Tell Laura” 
I probably didn’t need another coral lipstick but you can never have too many...right?
K.I.S.S.I.N.G Hot Lips - shade "Tell Laura"
This is definitely brighter than “Hot Emily” and the perfect summer shade.  I can’t wait to try this one out and can imagine myself sipping a mojito with a huge straw hat, shades on and this on my lips (ok, maybe not the straw hat but you get what I mean)! 

Luxury Eye Palette- Golden Goddess
This is such a gorgeous addition to my collection.  Bought for me by my mum and dad for my birthday, this palette is simply stunning.

Featuring four complimenting eyeshadow colours – this can be used day or evening and you can control what look you want to go for.  Perfect to create a natural day look but you can also add more of the darker shades and create an amazing smoky eye.

Formulation is always important to me and this didn’t disappoint.  They apply effortlessly and have a very buttery feeling and the pigmentation is what you would expect it to be.  I do get a little fall out with these but I just remember to really tap my brush off before I apply it. 
Hollywood Flawless Filter – shade “Light/Medium (3)”
I blame the eyeshadow palette for this as it came with 3 luxury samples and the Flawless Filter was one of them (Wonder Glow and Magic Cream Moisturiser being the other two). 

I can only describe this as a bottle of pure gold and I instantly fell in love with it.  Described as “a customisable complexion booster with the versatility of a primer, the mega-watt glow of a highlighter and the perfecting properties of your favourite digital filter” clearly this has multi-uses (I like that in a more expensive product as I feel I’m getting my money’s worth).  I use it before my foundation all over my face as a brightener, and after as a highlighter on my cheeks and nose.  I have also recently mixed it with my foundation and I love the look that gave too so all-in-all, this is a winner in my eyes.
This was out of stock online and in every store for a while and I had to wait (I know... I HATE waiting for things) but it eventually came back in stock so I snapped one up (I think it’s back out of stock again now...sad face).

The packaging is luxe and is a gorgeous glass bottle with a ridged effect down the side and it features a doe-foot style applicator.  I thought it may be difficult to apply but actually gives just the right amount of product so you can control it much more effectively. 
Lip Lustre Lipgloss – shade “Ibiza Nights”
Another product that was out of stock everywhere in Bluewater but luckily for me, in stock online, I ordered this along with the Flawless Filter (handy tip – I definitely recommend buying online as the samples you can choose are great and I find much better than in store).
I was after this for holiday as it has a lovely bronze shimmer to it.  Worn on its own it’s very pretty, but worn on top of either Pillow Talk or Very Victoria, it’s stunning.  I was so surprised by this as I didn’t expect it to blow my mind, but I love it and wear it nearly every single day.  

Lip Lustre - shade "Ibiza Nights" (it is very subtle and you can just see a shimmer 
on my wrist)
I also think this could be the first lipgloss I finish.......ever! 

Beach Sticks – shades “Ibiza” & “Las Salinas”
I’m a sucker for cream products in the summer and was after a cream bronzer for using every day.  I saw these on the website and had a little swatch of them in store.  Honestly, my first impression of the bronzer (Ibiza) was that it was a bit too glittery (I’m talking noticeable chunks of glitter on the back of my hand) but me being me, bought it anyway!!! I also bought Las Salinas which is a bright pink colour and I thought they would go well together as a bronzer/blush combination. 
How right I was!! I think maybe the tester for Ibiza was a bit old as I don’t pick up any trace of glitter at all on my face so I’m super happy I did buy it.  For a simple 5-minute face I swipe this over my temples, cheeks, nose and chin and blend, blend, blend.  Pop a dab of Las Salinas on my cheeks and I’m good to go!! 
Left to right: Las Salinas and Ibiza
I think these will be the only two things I need in my holiday make up bag (along with lippies of course) and as I’ve said for pretty much everything...... I use these every, single day!!

So that is my ever-expanding Charlotte Tilbury collection.  My mum thinks I have way too many lipsticks but I just think you can never have too many (and let’s face it...I wouldn’t be a shopaholic if I thought I had enough).  I also think if you find a brand of lipstick or makeup that you can love everything about (formulation, colour pay-off, wearibility) then why not stick to it?  Having said that, I do think I should step away from Charlotte Tilbury counter for now....but I have just heard there’s a new online exclusive lipstick available...…

Love Katherine xxx 

Previous blog post: L'Oreal Summer Haul
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*All pictures and opinions are entirely my own.  All products featured on my blog have been purchased by myself unless otherwise stated*