June Haul: Zara, Benefit, French Connection, Topshop

Saturday 12 June 2010

I’ve never done a haul post before but when reading other people’s blogs; they’re always what I like the most. I guess I’m just really nosy, because I’m also addicted to all those ‘What’s In My Bag?’ videos on YouTube. Yep, I’m plainly just a voyeur.

But to me, seeing what an average girl on a similar budget to mine buys, and how she wears it, is perhaps the most inspirational thing of all. Sure, I’m ravenous for glossy magazines full of desirable pictures from the catwalks, and they are hugely inspiring too. But all that stuff is almost like fine art to me – and although it gives me something to aspire to, which is no bad thing, the levels of expertise and perfection are more than I could reasonably hope to re-create myself. But with ‘real girl’ stuff, the inspiration is accessible and immediate. It’s an instant hit of ideas that it’s easy for me to try if I like something.
And so, much as I love catwalk coverage, I do a little cheer when my favourite bloggers reveal all about what they’ve bought. Here is my first go at joining in with them:


Grey chiffon puffball skirt – Zara
I wanted a new skirt I could wear for work or for play, and I thought this number ticked both boxes. I wear too much grey, I know, but I just love how it doesn’t look out of place in winter or summer (I want my clothes to work hard!). I thought this skirt would work both with black tights or bare legs. It can be difficult to wear more directional, extreme shapes if you have hips at all, but I always think Zara are very good at translating high fashion looks into wearable, elegant shapes. The thick black waist band helps balance the wider cut of the skirt. I love the chiffon fabric and how it looks like a little storm cloud! I think this was about £15.00.

Navy and beige A-line skirt – Primark

I just thought this was so cute, spring like and quite ‘Blair Waldorf’, who has become a style heroine of mine (or at least the wardrobe team from Gossip Girl have). An A-line shape is a new one for me, I haven’t worn that style of skirt since school! All the magazines are full of it this season though, and I think it can work okay as long as you keep your top half quite fitted around the wais
t. It’s quite a heavy fabric, and this, combined with the colour palette of powder blue, navy and beige makes the skirt look a lot more sophisticated and expensive than it was, I thought. I’m planning to wear it with semi-opaque grey tights until the sun comes out a bit more! For the bargain rpice of £9.00, you can’t go far wrong.

Black dress – French Connection

Okay, so I know this dress isn’t exactly summery! But I do work in an environment where I need to dress a certain way, and I think this dress is one of those classic pieces that will be part of my work wardrobe for quite a while. It’s a very nice fit, with a lovely cross-over fabric panel detail at the bust and I think it would look killer worn with black patent courts and a large colourful necklace. I feel really strong and powerful in it. Can’t go wrong with French Connection for office wear with a bit of an edge – there’s nothing that will date too much on this dress either, so I’m hoping it’ll serve me well for a few years!

Black polo neck t-shirt – Zara
I know, I know, another boring black item. I bought this mainly to go with my grey puffball skirt, or a couple of other lighter toned skirts I have. It has a neat little elasticated patterned bit around the waist which pulls it all in and together. I think I would dress this with black beads for some texture.

Sparkly halterneck top baby pink and grey – Topshop

So this is a bit of colour. I thought it was a casual top that would go well with skinny jeans or some grey shorts I have. I liked the clean, graphic design with the neck band and the looser fit. A bit of sparkle for summer appealed to me – why should it all be saved for the winter party season?. The very pale pink is a new colour for me.


Sustainable Shadow Palette – Urban Decay

I really wanted to buy Book of Shadows 2 after seeing a number of genius looks people had created with it. But I hadn’t countered for the fact it’s sold out everywhere, apart from some sets with massively inflated price tags on eBay. So I plumped for the Sustainable Shadow Box instead. I mainly bo
ught it because I wanted some brighter, more out there shades to help me create an OTT, 80-‘s style colourful eye look for my birthday party next month. But I thought there were also a couple of more neutral tones I could wear anyway. Their high-pigment, glowing colours are great for a night out too. This set also contains a small size of the Primer Potion, Its is not a product I’ve felt a need for before, but I can see how it makes sense if you’re going for an extreme look on the eyes, and I’m excited to try it out and see if I’m a primer convert afterwards.

Ink for Eyes in ‘Zero’ – Urban Decay

I wanted to give this a go back when it first came out, but somehow kept putting it off, because I was happy with my Bourjois felt-tip eyeliner if I wanted winged eyes. I also didn’t know what this would apply like, and I never imagined it being as good as it is. The brush it comes with is phenomenal – there’s a smudger at one end, and a stiff angled brush at the other which is just magic – giving a really smooth defined line that its easy to shape with. The colour is nice and dark and it wears fairly well – not exactly all day wear (although perhaps if I used their primer, it might be) but decent enough. It glides on really creamy and creating angles and shapes, thicker or thinner lines, is a dream. Really good for a 60’s style cat flick or for smoky eyes as there’s so much control in the application. The packaging is also super-cute - a long slim compact with a peacock on the front – gorgeous! It feels like a real premium product to use, and I would now like to try some other colours as well as the black

Sexy Motherpucker lipgloss – Soap and Glory

I’ve wanted to try this gloss ever since one of my favourite guru’s revealed it was a must-have for her. It’s a nice, thick consistency, and it tingles so much as it goes on, you think it must be working. It goes on practically clear though, which is a shame because the colour in the tube is so pretty, a medium peach-pink, I don’t think it made my lips look noticeably bigger though. It was worth a try but I’m not sure I’d repurchase- perhaps I’ll change my opinion over time though.

Benefit Brush Set and ‘Get Bent’ mascara

I’ve been wanting a proper set of make-up brushes for a really long time. I currently have a rather rag-tag collection of different brushes from different sets, and there are some gaps in what I have too. I would love a full set of Mac brushes, but I can’t afford that at the moment, so I went for these Benefit brushes instead. The main thing that attracted me was that you got their famous bent eyeliner brush in the set (an unusual inclusion!). You also got a foundation brush (which I don’t have), an angled powder brush –perfect for contouring-, a concealer brush, a wide eyeshadow brush and an short angled brush. The set have shorter handles, which I like for greater control and they’re a pretty pearl colour. I bought these from a seller on eBay I know and trust (never buy cosmetics on eBay if you aren’t sure they’re genuine). My brushes were late arriving, and by way of apology, she very kindly sent me a full size of the Get Bent mascara. Bonus! I’ve never tried this one before, so I’m excited to see what its like.

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