Saturday, January 30, 2010

Vintage Leather Handbag and How To Clean Leather Gloves

I never realised how great op shopping is in London until now. This week I found two amazing finds when I least expected it.

The black lambskin gloves were £3. I love the perforated design (OK, not warm but atleast breathable) and the gold clasps at the cuffs. When I asked the shop assistant how they should be cleaned, she suggested saddle soap. Sounded like too much trouble for cheap gloves but I bought them since they fit perfectly and I'll never find another pair like them again.

Now before everyone reels back in horror at the thought of wearing used gloves, I thoroughly washed them first. This was my no frills method:

1) Fill sink with warm water and add anti-bacterial hand wash to make it sudsy.
2) Immerse the gloves and repeatedly squeeze them to get the water to flush through. Don't scrub. Turn them inside out and do the same. Turn them back the right way out.
3) Rinse under cold water and squeeze out the excess water.
4) Dry by laying flat over a heater. Lay them on a towel if your heater is really hot. It should take an hour or two to dry, depending on the thickness of the leather.
5) When fully dry, moisturise with leather conditioner. I did'nt have any so I wore the gloves and massaged in sorbelene cream (non-perfumed basic moisturiser). A few coats will soften the leather and make it supple.

I don't recommend this technique with all leather gloves (especially if they are expensive, lined or not black) but since these were cheap, there no harm in doing it this way.

The gloves are now perfect and so unbelievably soft. I hope they last forever!

The second thing I purchased was this vintage leather handbag. The bow is cute and the detachable long narrow strap can be worn over the body.

The colour is truly eye-catching. I don't see it produced anywhere nowadays. It's difficult to capture it on camera because sometimes it looks antique fuschia and other times red violet. The best way I can describe it is that it's the colour of blueberry juice.

Oddily under halogen lights, the handbag looks deep magenta.

The bag was in new condition and a steal for £3! I love it so much, I carry it everywhere. The bag will become slouchier over time too. It's like a welcome gift from London. Heh heh!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

MAC Blacktrack Fluidline Gel Liner & Woodwinked Eyeshadow

I love the look of liquid eyeliner but it takes forever to put on. And I still can't draw a thin seamless line! The brush gets in the way and my lashes clump together so they look like spider legs.

It's common for European girls to wear heavy black eyeliner as it makes their eyes pop. I want to try a more natural look so it's not OTT.

Read rave reviews for MAC Blacktrack Fluidline. While there are a number of gel liners in the market, this is the original and best. Application is easy because it's super pigmented and creamy. I can take however long I want to put it on and not worry about it drying out on my brush.

The product is packaged in a glass jar and doesn't come with a brush. Watch out for fakes on Ebay. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've read that "Fluidlines" packaged with a brush are fakes.

MAC is cheap in the UK. It gave me an excuse to buy something from my favorite department store Selfridges. Fluidline is only £12.50, compared to $32 AUD in Australia.

While I was waiting for the tills to open, I asked the makeup artist if I could try the eyeshadow in Woodwinked. This is a popular colour for blue eyes. (I have blue contact lenses.) Woodwinked is a warm antique gold. It's shimmery and pearlescent so light reflects along the contours of your lids. It looks really pretty in real life!

I think it's too warm for me so I'll stick to using NYX Pearl Mania in Walnut.

As for the MAC Fluidline, Blacktrack is a deep black. It's blackest liner I've seen. I used MAC brush 266SE (small angle brush pictured above) to apply and it was super easy!

The liner lasts all day and hardly smudged at all. Removing it was tricky because it's a longwearing formula. I hate scrubbing away at my eyes. Just make sure you use a good eye makeup remover!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Primark Long Smock Shirt

I returned to two of my favorite places in London on Bond Street-Primark and Selfridges.

In Primark, you feel like a millionaire because the clothes are fashionable and cheap.

In Selfridges, you simply WISH that you're a millionaire.

Late Sunday mornings are the best times to go shopping, but you gotta be out of Bond Street by 2pm otherwise it gets super crowded. There's a Sunday six hour trading rule in the UK for large department stores so the streets are relatively quiet before midday.

First stop was Selfridges. They open at 11.30am for browsing but their registers open at midday. I wondered around the designer handbags, weaved through the beauty counters and gawked at the display of very expensive refinery.

I allowed myself one purchase at the MAC cosmetics counter. After all, MAC is cheap in UK compared to Australian prices.

Then it was off to Primark. The store was already packed with shoppers.

Primark is so cheap. People would drag their mesh baskets along the floor while they shopped, filled to the brim with clothes. I saw genuine leather gloves for £3, winter coats from £8, and sequin boleros for £3!

I bought this white cotton shirt for £8. It looks good for summer and winter because the sleeves can be rolled up or down. Was tempted to buy a furry gilet to wear over on top but there's no way I'd survive out in the cold to show it off!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vaseline Lip Therapy - Rose and Almond Oil Rosy Lips

Since I arrived in London, I felt extremely homesick. I missed my family, my room, the sunshine and the warmth of home.

Now the skies are grey, the ground is soggy and it's so cold my cheeks go numb when I'm outdoors!

On the plus side of London, most things are cheaper than in Australia. I got a nice haircut for £9 and just about anything you buy from the Boots or Superdrug here is cheap.

Yesterday I discovered a discount pharmacy called Savers. I bought Tresemme Heat Defence Spray for $£3.69. While I don't normally use a hairdryer, I have to now because everything takes longer to dry in UK. Wet hair is not pleasant when you're freezing! I'll do a review on this product soon.

Saw this cute pink tin of Vaseline at Boots for £2 and I had to get it. It smells like candied rose petals and imparts a faint tint on your lips. Very moisturising although I find the scent a bit sickly if I use it all the time. It contains rose and almond oil so it does'nt have the same lasting power as plain Vaseline. I keep this tin handy in the house. It's so cute!

On the way back home, I walked over the Camden bridge and a smile spread across my face. It's so pretty surrounded by the glow of fairy lights.

That's when my homesickness went away.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Where Is Missy Em?

Just quick post here, just to let you know that I'm back in London.

Still feels like I'm in a dream and I'll wake up in Sydney anytime. It's freezing, wet and grey. Right now, I'm sitting next to the radiator dreading the moment when I have to step outside.

If it's going to be this cold, it should snow!

On Sunday I went window shopping in Westfield in Shepards Bush. I was particularly enthralled when I was in the giant Boots store. It almost looks like the Sephora in Paris!

Can't wait to start trialling some UK products like Barry M nail polishes. There are heaps of specials on at Boots (and Superdrug) but I'll try to resist until I find a job.

Anyone want to employ me???


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