Saturday, January 29, 2011

The best weekend to go shopping!


The January sales end this weekend, so take advantage of the final reductions and grab yourself some bargains. There are lots of amazing discounts to be had – both in-store and online.

My top pick is this silk shirt by tba at Urban Outfitters. Was £148. Now just £20! It's perfect for stepping into the new season with as you'll be seeing more blouses in floaty, parachute silks and lots of white. Plus, tuck this shirt into some cropped trousers, add some brogues and you've got spring/summer's preppy look sorted.

To make the most of the end of the sales, here's my shopping tactics:

1. Shop with the new season in mind. Research the spring/summer trends and pick sale items that will carry you through. As a quick heads up, here are some of the key trends: bold colour, white, florals, romance, the 1970s.

2. Don't just shop by the size label. If you can't find your size in the sale rails, try the next one up. It could look just as good. The silk shirt is a case in point – baggier looks better.

3. Think how you could alter a sale buy. For example, a maxi dress could be chopped and turned into this season's long skirt.

The places not to miss are French Connection and Urban Outfitters, where sale prices have been slashed by 70% or more. And check out the department stores, too. They sell numerous brands and will be discounting heavily during these last few days of the sales. Let me know what bargains you get.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bisous bisous


Being a bargainista, I love the January sales. And, big spender that I am, I've blown a whole £1.98 here. Yep, these Gap socks were £4 a pair, down to a mere 99p.

Now, I'm not a fan of novelty socks, but cute socks are a different matter. And, while these don't win any awards for sartorial elegance, their contrasting toe and heel and letters of love are sweet and endearing – and easily concealed in a winter boot. My feet will be charmed.

Thrifty tip: a cheap and cheerful way to dip your toe into this season's colour trend is with bold socks. Last season's camel shoes will look spring-fresh with primary colours or neon brights. Try orange or fluoro pink.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nivea's new Pure & Natural range


In this age of austerity and the recent VAT increase, I'm cutting back and making economies so that I can still afford a fashion fix (or two!). First to go are my more expensive lotions and potions. After all, the price tag doesn't necessarily equal effectiveness.

My thrifty skincare tip is Nivea's new Pure & Natural range. Put together natural ingredients and Nivea's expertise and the result is affordable face and body care products that are free from parabens, silicones, colourants and mineral oils – with a whopping 95% of ingredients from natural origins.

My new skincare regime comprises Nivea's Pure & Natural Anti-Wrinkle Day and Night Creams (below, £8.49 each). They help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. What's more, they've been proven to outperform the world's best-selling anti-wrinkle cream. Not bad for under a tenner each, eh?

Nivea's Pure & Natural Body Lotion (below, £3.57) and Hand Cream (above, £3.05) are equally purse-friendly. Both contain argan oil, a natural source of vitamin E, which softens and smoothes my skin brilliantly. The body lotion is especially good right now for tackling dryness, while the hand cream gives intense moisturisation.

Last but not least is my favourite product: Nivea's Pure & Natural Milk & Honey Lip Balm (above, £1.99). With milk and honey extract, organic shea butter and natural jojoba oil, it's super-hydrating – a miracle stick for my winter-chapped lips. Plus, it tastes yummy, too.

The Nivea Pure & Natural range also includes a Facial Moisturising Day Cream (£5.10), Facial Cleaner and Toner (£3.36 each) and Body Moisturiser (£3.57). It's available from 20th February at www.nivea.co.uk and selected stockists, with the anti-wrinkle creams available exclusively at Boots and boots.com. Superb skincare on a shoestring? You'd better believe it.


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Friday, January 14, 2011

Hello 2011!


Happy New Year dearest bargainistas!

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about you – sadly, I haven't been blogging lately because my mum is very ill. But thank you so much for popping back regularly to see if I've updated my blog. And please do keep returning – your support is what keeps this blog going and I promise normal service will be resumed soon, especially as I've got lots of thrifty fashion ideas to see you through this cash-strapped, post-Christmas month of January.

In the meantime, let me introduce you to one of my favourite creators of stationery: Hello!Lucky. The Sock Monkey card (above) is one of its many cute card designs. This San Francisco-based company brings quirky creations to life through the traditional art of the letterpress. I love the nostalgic, retro feel of its cards, but most of all I love the beauty of something so simple yet pleasing.

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