The Vintage Emporium Bloggers Evening

If you love vintage half as much as I do, you'll understand my excitement at being asked to attend The Vintage Emporium’s blogger event to celebrate their one year anniversary this month - along with some of the lovely Bournemouth Bloggers who I met for the first time on the evening. 

Their lovely marketing executive Liz Deans started the evening by giving a brief presentation about the venue - located in Southborne, Dorset - and owner Graham’s vision for creating a sophisticated space where vintage enthusiasts alike could browse to their hearts content. 

The adjoining cafe, adorned with hanging baroque lampshades and velveteen sofas, is the perfect pitstop for tea and nibbles - with a full food menu to be added within the upcoming next few weeks. This - in addition to a proposed 1940s inspired function room for small parties and business meetings - really makes The Vintage Emporium an immersive retro experience not to be missed.

We were then given the chance to explore the emporium, which was fit to bust with amazing individual spaces and corners, all decorated in accordance to each stall owner’s personal style.

I fell in love with so many amazing pieces - especially this beautiful cuff bracelet and pair of earrings that would be perfect for this seasons bohemian trend.

As I ventured on (with my free glass of Prosecco in hand!) I came across some amazing home pieces that made me wish I had my own place. I suppose it’s a good thing really, otherwise I’d end up with no space whatsoever - I loved it all!

I refrained from buying too much at the end of the evening, knowing that my bank account would scream at me if I even dared purchase half of the things I had my eye on - but I did treat myself to a Marilyn Monroe book (my holiday reading is sorted!) and a lovely mini compartmented hanging shelf that I’m looking forward to finding a home for in my bedroom!

So, if you’re a vintage lover or just after some unique pieces to add to your own home or wardrobe (or appreciate the finer things in life, like tea served in dainty mismatched china - so cute!) I’d highly recommend having a browse here first. Where else can you buy traffic lights or original cinema seats? 



Why The Only Bikini Body I'll Be Aiming For This Summer Is My Own

A rare occasion of sun in Bournemouth. As you can tell, my hair and the wind were getting along just great.

This morning, I had an epiphany. Of sorts.
I decided that I wasn’t going to hate my body anymore.
I realised I was tired (and not just from lack of sleep, might I add). I was tired of feeling like I wasn’t good enough. Not good enough for choosing not to wear makeup on a day that consisted of nothing more than a trip to the local shop. Tired of feeling inadequate for not fitting into a size 8 pair of jeans. Tired of feeling like my worth as a person was merited by my ability to conform to today’s multitude of restricting beauty standards - that all seem to change in the space of five minutes.
Be thin as a rake? Super tall? Curvaceous? Petite? You name it, we’ve had it. We only need to look back over the past hundred or so years to see that women have been - and remain - subject to the pressure from those around them to adhere to these somewhat unobtainable ideals.
I’ve been told on numerous occasions that feeling this way is a “normal” thing that all women - and men - go through. Well, I’d never go as far to categorise myself as normal anyway (thank god), but if that means hating my thighs or wishing I was just a few inches taller, then no thanks, normal is not something I want to feel on a daily basis.
I digress. 
Today I decided to thank my body. 
Not outright. Because I’m pretty sure sitting in my local Starbucks declaring my unparalleled love for myself over my cup of tea wouldn't go down well with my fellow early risers trying to get shit done.
But I realised that, well, my body? It’s pretty damn great. 
It’s the vehicle that’s got me from A to B and has been strong enough to carry me for the last twenty two years. That, in itself, is pretty damn amazing.
My body doesn’t need to get any smaller for anyone else who can’t see that, and if it did then hey, that’s nothing of significance. If it got any bigger, then does that suddenly mean a few pounds makes me any less of a human being? (The answer to that being no).
These are questions we need to ask ourselves, rather than “Oh crap, do my legs really look that big?” or “Maybe if I drop a dress size in time for summer, I’d look more attractive in my holiday photos?” Because you’ve got all you need right now. 
Don’t lose yourself in a bid to become someone else and appreciate your own worth. 
Make that the new normal.


The H&M Cosmetics Review

In a bid to continue my search for cosmetics that are not tested on animals, yet don’t break the bank, I started to look into high street brands and their own makeup lines. Knowing that H&M take matters like sustainability and environment issues seriously, I wondered what their views on animal testing would be. On their website, I found this:

  • H&M does not accept animal testing on any cosmetic products, either during production or on finished products.
  • We do not allow the use of cosmetic ingredients which have been tested on animals after 11 March 2009 relating to cosmetic ingredient development or cosmetic ingredient safety assessment.


So, with that in mind, I picked up a fairly considerable stash from their Portsmouth store last week. I thought I’d conduct a pretty varied test on a few different pieces, making sure I covered all bases.

I was drawn first and foremost to their Smokey Eyes palette, containing five shades ranging from a light base shadow to darker hues that can be used alone or blended to achieve that sultry smoked eye effect - one I myself tend to use on a daily basis. This palette wasn’t expensive, so for £3.99 I have to admit my expectations weren’t high. That meant I wasn’t overly disappointed that the pigment isn’t all that strong. Sure, it’s noticeable (and I may be biased towards my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette!) but it didn’t give quite the effect I was after. I used the lightest shade, combined with the light and dark brown. That’s not to say it isn’t good - I just think this will be one to take with me on my travels for touch ups instead, as the size is ideal in comparison to my larger palettes. 


Well, where to start? Admittedly, I didn’t do myself any favours by selecting a nude pink shade (which I don't wear at all) but this one is a definite no-no. Again, the price wasn’t that painful (£2.99) but what I wasn’t expecting was flaking lips and a shade reminiscent of THAT awful primary school trend of coating your lips with concealer (which is only remotely acceptable if you’re hitting a 60s themed party). By all means, the red shade on offer might be better, but avoid the matte version which seems to dry out your lips straight away.


Now, choosing a bronzer was a bit of a strange experience for me. I’m deathly pale, so using anything tan on my face is a bit daunting. To ease myself in, I chose the lighter “Gorgeous Tan” shade with the hope of achieving a subtle shimmer. I wore this over the top of my NARS Tinted Moisturiser, which worked beautifully. Like I hoped, it wasn’t overbearing and looked - dare I say it? - nice. I can actually see this becoming a daily staple in my summer makeup routine to complete my base, or for a quick sweep over a bare face to give myself a natural looking glow. For £3.99, this is an absolute steal and I would highly recommend it for anyone seeking a bronzer for the first time, or for my fellow pale faced sceptics! 


This is another product by H&M that I instantly fell in love with upon use. It just gives me a slight shimmer that I blended along my cheekbones with the bronzer, giving me a more natural finish. The shade itself is one that would suit a diverse range of skin tones, whether you’re pale or darker skinned. Again, its such a good price for £2.99 and will be finding a new home in my makeup bag!


For blusher, I decided to go for H&M’s “Dazzling Peach,” as peach shades tend to suit my skin tone well. What I liked about this is that the pigment isn’t too strong, one trait I actually like in a blush. If my application is too heavy, I end up looking like a porcelain doll which - believe it or not - isn’t the look I go for! I’ve taken to applying a small amount of the apples of my cheeks to compliment the bronzer and highlighter, rather than apply it directly the cheekbones like I would do normally. The blush itself is quite long lasting and I’ve yet to encounter any need for top ups during the day. For £3.99 I can’t really complain!


In my ever hopeful state that summer will make an appearance this year, I chose this bright orange shade to give my nails a bit more colour. Usually, I tend to opt for staple colours like red or a nude pink, but I thought this would compliment some of the brighter pieces of clothing I’m planning to take on our trip to Malta at the end of the month (exciting!) There are quite a few colour choices too, so choosing one to suit your style shouldn't be too difficult. Application is straight forward with a reasonably sized brush that was shaped to accommodate my entire nail in one coat. The consistency is quite thin, so two coats is necessary here, but the colour was bold and just as vibrant as I was hoping. Even though its a little on the small side, for £1.99 you really can’t go wrong and they’re a perfect size to take away on my travels!

So, overall what did I think? Well, whilst there are definitely some items I’ll be giving a miss in the future, I’m glad to find there are some really great products on offer at such a reasonable price without the need of unnecessary animal testing. 

I’ll be stocking up a few more nail varnishes for sure, and the bronzer and highlighter are going to be must haves for me over the summer months!