Monday, 27 April 2015

Summer in the City: SPARBQ Brings the Local Into the City

The SparBQ is fast becoming one of the main events of the season, with Spar getting more and more involved with providing local quality produce it now has become quite a gourmet affair. 

This was my first ever SparBQ, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect but I needn't have worried it more than lived up to my expectations. With the mouthwatering smells emanating from the barbecue, which was in very capable hands, the lovely wine, everyone was talkative and enjoying the open roof of AM:PM's tree house. 

The spread was absolutely enormous, and the array of choice was huge, it was really difficult not to just eat everything, but I restrained myself with a hot dog, and the wide variety of salads on offer along with a mellow, plummy glass of red wine.

Everyone was chatting and enjoying the local produce which was all available at Spar from local farmers and providers. The local agri-food sector is massively supported by the new Spar range, creating a win-win for both farmers and shoppers alike, we get lovely local produce and local agriculture gets a boost. Wonderful. 

If you're in Spar check out their range of local produce, it's lovely to know exactly where your food is coming from. I highly recommend the burgers and sausages for all of your summer barbecues. 

Much Love

Monday, 20 April 2015

Inanity's Best Boxes: Taste Cocktails, Mad Men Through Your Letterbox

Subscription boxes are a tricky thing, there are just so many out there now that it feels like we may be missing out on something special just from the sheer volume. So over here at Inanity and the Girl we decided to showcase some of the fun and fabulous boxes you may have missed, asking the important questions but also showcasing exactly what you get.

First up is the fabulous Taste Cocktails box, it's Mad Men through your door.

What is it?

The Taste Cocktail box is a monthly subscription box, every month a new batch of beautifully packaged sample size ingredients arrive through your door. The neat freak in you will appreciate the labels and crispness. Each month is centred around an alcohol or premium brand, the month I tried out was Mozart Gourmet Chocolate liqueur cocktails. So you may get ingredients for gin cocktails, or daiquiris, old fashioned ingredients or with limes or snacks added in. 

When I got mine, it is very beautifully put together with a lovely cocktail menu and recipes, none of which I'd ever tried before. It is kind of like being in Mad Men, trying out cocktails with drinks you've never heard of, I felt a whole lot like Joan mixing them up. You will get enough to try all the recipes, so you can taste them all and find out if you have a new favourite amongst them. 

Subscription Details
Subscriptions for Taste work at 3 months, 6 months and 12 months like most, with the 3 month boxes working out at £24.00 each. You can add an equipment box where you'll get all you need to make your cocktails for an additional £27.00.

It is quite pricey in the world of subscription boxes where many are £15, but one of the handy things about Taste is that you can buy individual boxes if you wish to try them out. Also you're getting premium alcohol many of which are around 60ml so larger than typical miniature, and the shipping is free.

Will it fit through my letterbox?
An important question, and yes it will, though I believe they are signed for, I had to pick mine up as I wasn't in. 

Who will love it?
I think quite a few people are going to like this, you could buy them as a gift for almost anyone, but personally I think it's quite exciting to not know which recipes are going to arrive. To start your night out by making cocktails, or to get a tasting session together with new recipes you've not heard of. I see it as a really lovely little experience based treat, something to look forward to at the end of the month, but also getting to try new drinks and liqueurs from all over the world. 

Appearance - 4/5
Value for Money-4/5
Convenience- 5/5

So there we are a really strong start for the Best Box feature, are there any boxes you'd like me to review, let me know and I'll see what I can do!

Much Love 

Monday, 6 April 2015

Perfection Instantly: REN Instant Beauty Booster And Giveaway

You guys are totally getting spoiled, because I have another, YUP ANOTHER, fabulous giveaway for one of my readers. 
I love REN, you're all going to be like, ' is there anything you don't like Dawn?' Oh my goodness loads actually! I just don't feature those things, because after all who wants to read me being mean? REN though, I know a lot of you love them, and I am indeed one of those people, it's good solid skincare, no mineral oils, no parabens, no nastiness. Really good products that do exactly what they say they will.

 This is the brand new kit out from REN and it is an absolute BELTER. We all know that you use your moisturisers like good girls, and you hope you stave off the lines. Maybe it takes six weeks for a gradual change. Well SNORE! This is INSTANT SKINCARE!


The kit comes with three pieces and you can use them together or separately. It retails for £32, but is worth £53, yay bargains!

Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask
 Yes! I adore this, you whack it on your bare face and leave it for ten minutes and it deep cleanses, it reduces fine lines, it helps with congestion and boosts radiance. What I found was that it smells really citrusy and lovely, you get a little tingle when it's on your skin. 

My skin was super soft, it was very radiant and seemed to be glowy, it looked clearer and just seemed to be in better condition. I really noticed the difference when I used it on Himself, he has seborrhoeic dermatitis which causes an overproduction of skin in the t-zone, I've used various different things on him, but I wanted to try this as the sluicing effect from the glycolactic may have an effect. I left it on his skin for about 20 minutes and the softness afterwards was just fabulous. His skin looked much softer and less dry. 

Good For...
A weekly skin treat, absolutely perfect for when you're getting ready for a night out and you want your skin to look its best.

Flash Rinse One Minute Facial
It does exactly what it says, it's a mini facial in one minute. Packed with vitamin C it boosts and rejuvenates the skin. It is designed to make the skin look brighter and tighter, minimise any fine lines.

I've used this twice now, every 3 days and it brightens and boosts. I do it in the morning whilst I clean my teeth, whack it on, clean teeth and wash it off. The result is really boosted skin, you're putting your make up on replumped and rejuvenated skin, the texture of my skin was really nice but it also seemed to smooth out out the lines from sleeping a little. 

Good For...
First thing in the morning getting your skin looking great, Monday morning boost, that's what I have used it for.

 Instant Beauty Firming Shot
Smashing little product, lifts, plumps, hydrates, tightens and packs a lot into a small space. A gel texture so a little bit goes a long way, you only need three drops. 

It's packed with Hyaluronan so it will hydrate the skin and plump it, I noticed how much tighter and brighter my skin looked, I also became aware how much more taut my skin felt. it made me feel and look much more awake!

Good For...
You can use this throughout the day, it reminded me of Hydraluron by Indeed Labs but this also tightens and makes the skin feel taut. Keep it in your bag, you can pop it over make up!

The kit is great because the smaller size makes sure that you can try things out but also gives you really nice value for money. I mainly love it because it has lots of instant fixes it's the perfect little kit for giving your skin a pep up.

Highly recommended by me, and so much so that I have another fantastic REN product to give away! I know, you lucky ducks! I'm going to be giving away the gorgeous REN Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil. Those of you unfamiliar with it, this oil replumps, puts moisture and vitality back in the skin, making your skin look fuller, more healthy, helping your products to work better. A gorgeous rich oil and it's up for grabs for my readers.

The giveaway is open only to the UK. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 3 April 2015

Aquatic Treasures: Sneak Peak of Clarins Summer Line And Giveaway

Today on the blog we are talking Clarins, I love Clarins, utterly, completely and unashamedly. As a teenager my first real job was as a counter girl for Clarins and it launched my love for the brand. For me when my girlfriends get engaged I buy them Clarins Hand and Nail Cream, super luxurious and beautiful, just what you need for showing off that new sparkler. My mum gets her Beauty Flash Balm religiously for every birthday and Christmas, my mother-in-law has started in her Clarins voyage by having me as a daughter, she's very keen on the Eau Dynamistante range, I tend to buy her loads of the gorgeous shower and body lotions. My I had one I'm sure, is that Clarins is a mainstay in the bathrooms of all of my family. I just think the brand are rather fabulous.

So when I got an email asking if I would like to have a look at the new summer line Aquatic Treasures, I had to say yes, so here's what is going to be hitting the counters in May and one reader can win a rather fabulous piece from it.

Summer Bronzing Compact £30

I LOVE this! Every year Clarins bring out a new bronzing compact and this one is the newest. It is pearlised which seems to be the aquatic theme of the collection. The compact is beautiful, and seems to be lit from within with golds like a precious shell or an oyster. The shades inside are able to be built up but there are three distinct shades, from light bronze to a much darker tone for those cheekbones. It's beautiful swirled together and I tend to wear the top lighter shades on a day to day. 
Check this one out on the counters in May!

Ombre Iridescente Eyeshadows £19

The eyeshadows are pearled and shimmery, they also pack a real punch with their pigmentation. When I have worn them, I've taken the light shimmer on my inner corner and then smoke out my lids with the darker. It works really well and you get a really fabulous industrial grey smoked lid. I was actually quite surprised with the staying power, they don't budge and I hadn't worn them with a primer so that was a lovely surprise at the end of the day.

Truly Waterproof Mascara £21

There's no messing around with this mascara, it's waterproof and it is determined not to budge. It also happens to volumise your lashes and your lashes look exceptionally black. I didn't realise that my mascara wasn't as dark until I tried this. Very dark, creamy and non budging on me! Hurrah!

Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base £26

The Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base, packs a lot into one product. It has Clarins anti-pollution base which is going to protect your skin, it also brightens and illuminates, you can either use this as a primer underneath your usual make up or you can use it by itself. It evens everything out, boosts your tone, and makes you look very rested. Clarins have extended the range now to include 04 Apricot and 05 Golden Bronze.

And, not only all of this but I have one to give away ! So you can get your beauty loving paws on it early! Just fill in the Rafflecopter below!

                                                      Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil £17

I have a love/hate relationship with liner pencils, especially ones which you can smudge, they usually end up all over my face, or they take half my eyelid off. This though, praise the beauty gods, it's soft but it's waterproof and it gives you enough time to smudge it out but then it does not move. I actually had a lot of trouble taking it off, but I'm assured by the girls from Clarins that their eye make up remover will have it off in a flash! Yes it stays put and you can get a big ole smoke on with it!


Good Luck To You All!

Much Love

Monday, 16 March 2015

What Your Everyday Make Up Says About You

Ever wondered what your everyday make up says about you? Whether you're elaborate or a barely there kind of girl which one are you?

1. The lipstick only lover

You're fresh and bold. You don't worry about conventions, in fact you willingly fly in the face of them. You want to be considered low key but also retain that little bit of glamour, we're willing to bet that pout is pretty fantastic too. Lipstick always seems to pull and coif a look into existence.  Our lipstick only girl is a head on sort, she's saying 'look how flipping fabulous I am, but look how little effort I've made because I don't care what you think' we love her.

2. Mascara and only mascara

The high school special! This look is beloved not only by school girls because of its natural look but also women who want to keep their make up low key but retain a little bit of flutter. The lashes are a really feminine aspect of  the face, accentuating them with a bare face is the modern equivalent of a flash of ankle. The girl who just wears mascara is confident, she's understated but knows her best features. This girl wants the freedom of a bare face but the little bit of definition her mascara gives her, flirty and forthright. 

3. Nudes, Nudes, Nudes

Nudes, beautiful and light. The nude wearer is a chameleon, toning down and muting the full force of their image. Wearing nudes well requires skill and an ability to blend flawlessly.  The nudes wearer is someone who wants to appear both well groomed but not obviously so, classic, soft, professional, and flawlessly effortless.

4. Underline It

The girl who wears an upper and lower kohl line is making her point. A heavy kohled eye is all about the mystique and the rock vibe. During the day the girl who wears lashings of kohl loves her rebellious streak and probably has some rock vibes that she wants to display even during the day. The kohled eye is a standout piece of make up, focusing and bringing the eye into the picture. The girl who loves her kohl is our inner rebel at heart.

5. The Cat-eye

Our cat eye girls mean business. It can be quite an undertaking to get those perfect cat eye lines every morning, so these girls are tenacious. I've always said don't mess with a woman who has a perfect cat eye eyeliner every day, because they are persistent and overt. The cat eye is a lot vintage with a foot in rock and roll, this girl loves her style and is happy to be bold.

6. Falsie Flutter

The girl who loves her daily falsies is a glamour puss. This girl won't be beaten on style and preening. You are high maintenance and you are proud of it, and so you should be, if you're applying lashes every morning, you should get a medal for your serious skills. This girl is a fan of looking her best at all times and every street is her runway, dress down Friday? Don't make me laugh!

7. Nothing at all

The nothing at all girl is a free spirit, she's confident and doesn't care who knows it. She loves her natural look, and those around her love it too, we're betting some even envy it. This girl doesn't need to worry about whether her eyeliner has smudged and it leaves her with more time to get things done. Beauty isn't just skin deep, she embraces how beautiful she already is.

We're just having a little fun with this one today, of course at Inanity and the Girl we believe all women are stunning exactly how they are and how they want to be make up or no. Our issue was trying to pick which one we were most of the time! We hope you have fun trying to work it out too!

Which one do you think you are? Or are you a whole other look?

Much Love

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Inanity's Spring Skincare Saviours : The Good and The Pretty

With the oncoming spring guess what girls, it's time to shake up our skincare for the less cold days, the ongoing rain but the slight chance of sunshine. I wanted to put together a little post of what I'm using at the minute and give you guys a little glimpse into what I'm loving.

 1. Sunday Riley Juno Face Oil

When I went to the Space NK Sunday Riley launch, I not only got to meet Caroline Hirons but I also won this absolute little beauty. For those of you who are like 'Sunday Who?' I feel you, I wasn't really aware of her so I decided to just try the product and let it speak for itself, if it was going to.  This is a really potent face oil, filled with antioxidants, superfood oils, it's designed to protect, illuminate, hydrate and feed the skin. I use it when my skin is looking particularly lacklustre, I don't always use it every night but you only use 3/4 drops and it layers beautifully with other products. You can massage it into the skin and it disappears and softens.

It is an expensive purchase though, at around £98, if you're looking for a heavy duty feeding oil for your skin, this is a great one. I don't know if I hadn't won if I would have forked out for it, I do definitely think it's a great product though, it just seems to be so rich in all these skin goodies and your skin looks great when you use it, especially those of us like me with dry skin.

I love it, but it's pricey. If you get a chance call into Space NK and feel it!

2. Pixi Glow Tonic

I picked this up when I was in London, it's a cult product for a reason. When I went to their boutique in Soho the tiny white shop was pretty much all orange just from the amount of Pixi Glow they stock to make all of us skincare lunatics happy.
For those who don't know, Pixi Glow is an exfoliating toner, this will again illuminate, strip away those old skin cells and give you a whole new face. I know what you're thinking, 'Dawn is everything you use illuminating?' Um yes, you can put the word, glow, dewy, brightening, or illuminating in front of anything and I will buy it.
This is cult for good reason though, it will make your skin look great, use it after cleansing to provide lots of lovely new skin cells for your serums and moisturisers to get to work on.

 3. Ole Henriksen- Truth Serum Collagen Booster

A light serum, bursting with citrus, this one is yum. I layer this one with another serum and an oil. It's a lovely boosting serum, full of vitamin C, grapefruit, for antioxidents and illuminating. This little potion will help your skin cell turnover, it'll brighten and soothe inflammation and boost collagen.  It's really light, you can wear this day and night, layer or leave under make up.

 This is a really versatile little power product.

4. Yves Rocher- Serum Vegetal

This one was a surprise to me, new from the world of Yves Rocher the French skincare giants. They've just released serum Vegetal and it comes in night and day creams. Best thing for me about the products, no mineral oil, no parabens and no silicon. Another lovely light cream, I do like a light cream, anything heavy and claggy gives me spots (not hot). Packed with plant power, it's an all over moisturiser for everyone, it's not full of nasties. This is your all round happy time moisturiser, and it's a total bargain coming in around £10.

 5. Sunday Riley- Start Over, Active Eye Cream

This was recommended for me by Caroline Hirons at the Sunday Riley launch, I've been looking for a good eye cream that was going to protect and prevent rather than fix.
This one is designed to brighten, cool and lift. This is the cream that you whack on after a hard night, and expect it to do miracles. Although I'm not worried at the moment about bags, I do worry about texture, and this cream is designed to target crows feet and the dreaded crepeyness. More vitamin C, more liquorice, I'm finding this a real theme in the products I'm loving at the moment, vit C for brightness and nourishment and liquorice to brighten again.

I did wince a little when I paid for this at £65 it isn't cheap, but lets get real for a minute, it's 30ml and much bigger than most eye creams which come in those tiny little tubes, this is a good solid glass bottle with a proper dispenser. You normally get around 15ml from most eye creams and that's about £20/30 so size wise it isn't that bad.

It's light, easy to wear, and sinks nicely into the skin. Definitely one to check out.

6. Iluma by Image Skincare-Intensive Lightening Serum

I've been using this for ages and I love it. It is great for skin blotches, scars, horrible red marks from spots, general discolouration (salutes). Essentially this fabulous little dropper, three to four drops and your skin is bright, and clear. I adore it, it's a rebuy for me...I know I know another brightener, evens out the skin tone makes you look stunning.

7. Yes To Tomatoes- Daily Balancing Moisturiser

This one is for combination skin but it is a fabulous little moisturiser, loads of natural ingredients, hydrating, great natural boosters. You can just throw this on and go. I'm a fan.

So that's what I'm using at the minute. Tell me what your favourite products are at the odd skincare time of year.

Much Love

Friday, 6 February 2015

Making Space: Shop My Vintage Closet

So my lovelies, the time has finally come for me to make a little bit of room in my vintage wardrobe. You guys all know I love my vintage finds and I tend to search high and low for them. Today I got the time to actually do something to make a space in my collection. So I'd like to introduce you all to my little 'Shop My Vintage Closet' page.

This is the space which will host the dresses I'm selling to make way for other dresses. Whether it is because I'm not wearing them as much or my rear doesn't fit any more well this is where they'll be.
I have quite a few from a variety of decades which will be listed shortly. At the moment, nip on over as I have a 1960s and 1970s piece both with incredible pattern.

As per usual folks anything you see and like you can email me by pressing the envelope button in the sidebar.

Hope you guys like some of my finds.
Much Love and dresses

Monday, 2 February 2015

Buying Vintage: Everything You Need To Know

Those of you who are vintage virgins, sit yourself down with a cup of tea as I have some wisdom to impart, even if you aren't it's always good to get some ideas from elsewhere. You guys know I love vintage but it can be a little bit of a love/hate thing from time to time. I wanted to pop up some pictures of my recent vintage buys along with a few tips that might help you in your own vintage shopping. 

How To Buy Vintage

1. Do not be scared of styles from different eras

I've always been a resolutely 1950's girl, nipped in waists and flared skirts, then I discovered the joy of a 1940's land girl style tea dress and now I love those too. I've even opened up to shift dresses which I haven't necessarily been sold on just yet but I've tried and liked a few. The point being, styles will surprise you, don't limit yourself.

2. Ignore sizes for the most part

I know how tough that can be, but rather if you can use the sizes on the labels as a guide you can get a better fit. We're all much bigger since the 1920's even the 1950's, not only in width but height, add to that the issues around modern day vanity sizing and you'll see that the size that is on the back of our dresses from Oasis may be a different size than what our ideal vintage size is. For example, I'm both tall and bestowed with 'a gracious plenty' in front and back, so as such dresses that weren't designed for my shape aren't going to fit me well. I tend to go up a size or two and belt if I need it. Don't worry about the sizing. 

3. You have to try it on

The vintage rule that should be emblazoned on every changing room and shop everywhere.Try it on. The fact of the matter is that unlike contemporary fashion, you probably won't see the item in your hand on 3/4 models in magazines. So apart from what you see on the hanger, you won't have a clue how it will actually fit. That's why you must try it on, busty girls, tall girls, petite girls, curvy girls, sometimes vintage dresses adhere to a more rigid pattern so try it on, you may get a lovely surprise.

4. Enjoy the revivals

Throughout fashion history styles have repeatedly been revived, from Grecian design right through to the 1950's echo in the 1970's, the 1920's androgyny in the 1980's, even the 1990's revival now. You may be thinking, so what ? I'll tell you what, revival pieces are great because more modern pieces are increasingly mass produced, have a little more forgiveness in the fabric and can be bought for a fraction of the inspired piece's tag. I have quite a few 1970's 50's revival pieces I picked them up for a steal and they all have some lovely stretch. Keep your eyes open!

5. Don't be scared to rummage

Unlike our High Street stores vintage stores don't have each item in multiple sizes arranged just so, you need to get in there and get your rummage on. Sometimes it can feel more than a little overwhelming when you are confronted with rails and rails of seemingly unending mixed up clothes. I would say give yourself time, don't try and do a big vintage haul in a half hour, you need to locate and try on so give yourself a little longer. That is how you turn up the real gems.

6. Enlist help

This follows on from my last point. Enlist help in looking for pieces, grab your friends, have a conversation about what you're looking for, the rough size, the style so that you have a few more eyes all looking. If you're on your own, go and talk to the shop assistants, give them an idea of what you're looking for, it's ok if you say that you really don't know, but they'll have great suggestions and an inside knowledge of what is in the store. Shopping vintage can be like normal shopping but the best vintage emporiums will be rather more chaotic so make it a bit easier on yourself.

7. Befriend a dressmaker

It isn't as popular nowadays to have clothes altered, we have a plethora of size options, so really dressmakers are more used to formal wear adjustments. Here's the thing though, if there's a piece you love which isn't fitting you well then getting it altered is an easy way to make it work. For example, the dress below this picture, I love it, but it's a maxi and I am a bit too tall for the maxi so it's more of a long midi on me. I'm considering taking it up a little or leaving it. But, what I will be doing is getting the zip replaced. The zip is original and it doesn't lock, so as my bust pressures it it goes flying downward to my bellybutton leaving me red faced and not happy. I've also replaced my favourite Hellbunny dress with the only one I could find anywhere which is two sizes too big. I'll be bringing my original to the dress maker along with the new for alteration. Dressmakers are wonderful, I wish I had the sewing skills and I'd make all my own clothes but until then I'll be supporting my local dressmaker to get a great fit.

8. Online vintage shopping

My favourite way of shopping vintage these days is online. I have my favourite vintage sellers saved on eBay so I always check on their new stock. You won't find out what it looks like on you before you buy it, so I tend to go up a size, but it is very easy to shop. You don't have to rummage around, you'll see things on a mannequin and you'll usually get an idea of the material from the seller. Nowadays it's where I do most of my vintage buying, you also get some of the best bargains!

So that's my take on what you need to know to shop vintage. Have you got any more tips for me?

Much Love


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