Superdrug press day

Last week I embarked on the mighty trip from Rye to London in aid of Superdrug’s autumn/winter press day for bloggers. And I was not disappointed.

For a start, I got to sample Westfield Shopping Centre (finally – though walking in at the end where Loius Vuitton, Tiffany and Miu Miu were was a big mistake, let me tell you). After I’d recovered from that shock, I met the z-pr girls at Superdrug, where they gave me a tour of the store and generally made a very flustered and travel-worn me feel incredibly welcome.

After receiving my first ever virtual make over, the girls treated me to my first ever eyebrow threading session. I have to admit that pain is not really my thing, and I did wince slightly (ok, a lot) at first, but the results were definitely worth it.

And for those of you that are wondering what the hell a virtual make over is, the lovely Superdrug PR ladies have used my experience as an example on their Superdrug Loves blog (where you can see me showcasing said travel-worn look).

All that’s left to do now is plough through the gigantic goody bag I left with. Product review, anyone?!

Afternoon Delight

When there’s a sneaky little vintage fayre parading its wares on your doorstep it’d just be rude not to go and have an obligatory rummage, would it not?

Well that’s exactly what I did one afternoon a couple of weekends ago when I caught wind of one being held in a local village hall a stone’s throw away.

Despite being a small (and undeniably quaint) affair, the hall was literally bursting at the seams with all sorts of vintage treats, and I was overcome by that overwhelming feeling of not actually being able to decide where to feast my eyes first (not even an exaggeration, honestly).

Of course, seeing as a tight budget always dictates how extravagant my shopping sprees are these days (apparently food is a necessity) I couldn’t splash out on everything, but had I been in possession of a spare £95 then this antique bracelet and earring set would have found itself a new home in my jewellery box…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t an entirely fruitless mission, though. Just as I was about to leave I spotted these beauties glaring at me from one of the stalls:

Not only are they my size, but they’re in near-perfect condition as well as being bang on trend for this season. AND they were only a mere £10. With a percentage of each item sold being donated to charity, I obviously couldn’t resist.

Moral of the story? Never turn down a good opportunity to shop when it comes your way!

Trend Alert!

It’s not often I get to say this, but here’s a trend that might not actually cost you a penny.

Granny Chic is the word on the street this winter. If you are just as confused by seeing those two words together in the same sentence as I was then fear not – it doesn’t mean actually dressing like your gran, more like taking the best parts of your winter wardrobe and making it just a little bit more cosy.

Think glamorous granny meets charity shop chic – floral dresses with faux fur or chunky knits with dainty jewels, for example. The best part is, most of us already have the basics for this trend, but if you fancy hitting the high street for a fix then chunky knit knee-highs and pop socks are big news with this look and probably the cheapest (and most daring) way of channelling it.

For anyone on a budget, creating the look from your existing wardrobe is easy – the key is to keep it girly, layer up an outfit with contrasting fabrics and patterns and throw in some pearls or a pair of heels. Or simply raid your gran’s wardrobe if you think she might be hiding a few vintage gems.

Still confused? Here’s a quick guide to becoming a glamorous Granny Chic guru…

 

Mariah necklace, £22, Accessorize

 

 

 

Faux fur mittens, £4, Primark

 

 

Owls on branch brooch, £5, Matalan

 

 

Over-the-knee socks, £1.50, Primark

 

 

Just As Beautiful

When it comes to size, you have to be a pretty strong person not to feel some pressure to conform to “the norm” purveyed by certain corners of the media these days. It seems the quest for perfection is never-ending, and one stroll through the papers this week brought at least three anorexia stories to my attention – confirming that, for some, the pressure is indeed still very much on (although this is obviously a much wider and more controversial issue, which needs careful exploration).

However, one woman has recognised that for a cross-section of society, nothing out there currently exists which really seems to cater for the bigger woman’s lifestyle as a whole. Enter Just As Beautiful, a new bi-monthly magazine launching this month which is aimed specifically at women between a size 14 and 20. Offering tips on fashion, cooking and lifestyle, Just As Beautiful promises never to include diet plans, and crucially, it’ll also present models without the airbrushing we’re so readily subjected to elsewhere in the media.

Just As Beautiful is the brainchild of its editor, Sue Thompson, who is herself a proud size 18. Her mission statement is simply to “help end the current harsh visual obsession” of which she feels curvier women are the victims.

While some have argued it just serves to further exacerbate size issues and perpetuates the debate on perceptions of perfection, I genuinely hope Just As Beautiful is well-received by a readership that appreciates its ethos; beauty comes in all shapes and sizes after all, and it’s refreshing to see more realistic attitudes to this not only creeping into the mainstream now, but being openly acknowledged too.

But let it be said that by praising the attitudes expressed in Just As Beautiful am I in no way condemning existing fashion and lifestyle magazines which choose to use petite models, nor pointing the finger of blame for anorexia, eating disorders or size issues in anyone’s direction – in a market as diverse as todays, there’s room for everyone to express their views, and this magazine has simply found its own niche.

Generally, concerted efforts to change attitudes to size really are evolving across the board – but for too long many women have felt that ‘big’ was the unspoken taboo in beauty. Now let’s hope it’s finally the last.