Fashion: the Vintage Faux Fur & My Top Tips for Buying Vintage Clothes

Outfit - vintage faux fur coat and tips for buying vintage clothing
Outfit - vintage faux fur coat and tips for buying vintage clothing, Dior Sunglasses
Outfit - vintage faux fur coat and tips for buying vintage clothing
Outfit - vintage faux fur coat and tips for buying vintage clothing
Outfit - vintage faux fur coat and tips for buying vintage clothing
Outfit - vintage faux fur coat and tips for buying vintage clothing
As part of my ‘do more stuff’ resolution this year, one of the things I wanted to do was add a few more fashion posts into the blog. I am SO uncomfortable in front of a camera, which makes things a bit hard when you’re a blogger, so I’m determined to get over myself and my self-consciousness somehow.

A weekend meetup with two other lovely bloggers from Kent (say hi to Laura and Kirsty) seemed like the perfect excuse to practice my poses and I have to thank Kirsty for taking these amazing photos. And the lots of direction on how not to look like a total fashion blogger fail (so thank you Kirsty!).

Vintage clothes have been a big part of my life for years now. As well as being a huge 60s/70s music fan, I adore the clothes and even spent a couple of years selling them at vintage fairs across the south east.

My current new love is this vintage faux fur jacket, which I found in a seaside charity shop for the grand sum of £14. Not only is it in great condition for something that’s 40-odd years old, it’s also seriously cosy and perfect for the freezing weather winter seems to be bringing right now.

You might recognise the dress from an old outfit post. This Zara beauty gets a lot of use from me and to be honest, I’m kind of pleased to see it still fits after all the cheese I ate over Christmas!

My Furla bag and Dior sunglasses both come from different shopping trips to Bicester Village and the shiny boots are a Primark sale bargain. I am kicking myself right now for not buying a backup pair as they are ridiculously comfy and cost me £10. £10 for leather boots. What an idiot.

If you love the look of vintage clothes but aren’t sure where to start, I thought I’d give you a few of my top tips for a successful purchase.

Ignore the size: depending on the era, you’ll find most pieces are at least one size smaller than modern day clothes, so it’s worth checking out things that are a few sizes bigger than what you’d be normally, as well as around you usual size. Don’t be put off by needing an 18 when you’re usually a 14 – measurements have got a lot more generous since the 70s! If you’re buying anything online, get the measurements instead of the size – that way you can measure yourself and make sure it will fit.

Check the condition – there are things you can easily fix (or pay someone else to if sewing isn’t your thing), like missing buttons, linings that need a few stitches or a hem taking up. Things that have stains, especially around the armpit area, often don’t come out (sweaty pit stains will literally NEVER come out), so although the piece might be a bargain, unless you’re happy with them how they are, it’s usually best to leave it behind. Suede and faux fur coats can pick up a bit of a musty ‘old’ smell to them and are a nightmare to dry clean, so a gentle bit of febreeze inside the lining and a good few hours outside on a washing line will help to refresh and remove the worst of this.

Look at the labels – if you’re unsure of how old a piece is, do a bit of investigation on the labels. The majority of things listed as ‘Made in England’ are generally vintage, as are anything that says ‘Made in West/East Germany’. St Michael is an old name for M&S clothes, Horrockses made beautiful dresses all the way back to through the 50s and beyond and there are lots of old logos online for brands that have been going for years so you can roughly date the piece you’re looking at.

Wear what you love – the best bit about vintage clothes is that you’ll normally be the only one who has one! Check in charity shops, thrift stores and vintage specialist stores. eBay has a huge amount of vintage, but you’ll need to trawl to find the best stuff that’s not at a ridiculous price. Judy’s affordable vintage fairs are always good and have great sellers, so I’d highly recommend visiting one if they come to your city.

Are you a fan of vintage clothes? Let me know if you’d like to see more fashion posts on the blog!


Beauty Pie: Introducing the New Budget-Friendly Beauty Concept On the Block

Beauty Pie budget friendly makeup subscription review
Beauty Pie budget friendly makeup subscription review
Being totally up front: I am bit bored with subscription boxes. Although a treat through the post every months is lovely, I think the money would often be better spent on one thing you really want as there's often a lot of repetition in brands featured and products you might not use.

So when a box of Beauty Pie goodies arrived a few weeks ago, I was quick to write it off as a similar subscription-style service. Which was wrong of me. Bad Kat for being so quick to judge.

Beauty Pie is actually a totally different concept. Created by a team that have worked in the beauty industry for many years, they're giving you access to products at cost price. You have to pay a monthly subscription fee of £10 in order to be able to do this, but in return you’re able to order products at incredibly cheap prices compared to their 'non-member' price.

They say that they provide high end products at factory prices, removing the usual markup that you get once a product hits a typical brand counter.  With typical markups often being almost 12 times the actual cost price of a product, it’s easy to see why these kinds of savings might attract people to Beauty Pie, but I wanted to see if the concept really stands up when you take a closer look.

The products themselves do seem really good. I was sent a sample box to trial and was impressed with the quality of formulations – the One Powder Wonder in particular was a standout, as was the FutureLipstick (these come in satin and matte finishes). While the packaging is pretty basic, it’s functional and does the job, but won’t win any Instagram awards. Interestingly, it also feels very light as they’ve taken out any heavy glass tubes and added weights that sometimes crop up in packaging (all designed to give a luxury ‘feel’ or make up feel like you have lots more product!).

Price-wise, a Beauty Pie Smart Powder Blusher has a ‘Regular Price’ of £18, but a Factory Cost of £2.51. Likewise, a lipstick has a 'Regular Price' of £20, but members can purchase for £2.24. You’ll need the £10 per month membership in order to purchase at the lower prices and this doesn’t include shipping and handling costs, so the price can rack up if you’re not careful. You’re also tied into to a subscription for a minimum of three months, so you will need to order quite a few products to make it good value.

Depending on membership level, you are able to buy a certain value of products every month (upto £100 of ‘regular’ price products from the £10 a month membership) which works out to around 5 products a month. The selection at the moment is quite basic, although Beauty Pie are looking to expand this and also branch out to skincare and beauty tools as time goes on.

At the moment, I’m not sure how popular the service will be – there are so many great products on the high street from budget brands like MUA, Makeup Revolution and the like that I think it’s questionable whether or not paying a monthly subscription would be good value in the long run.

Although you do get some great formulas with Beauty Pie, and the ingredient lists are VERY similar to large named brands, I don’t think I will be giving up my high end hauling ways just yet. For me, the high price tag often justifies the luxe packaging and a emotional connection of buying into a luxury brand. As many of the cheaper brands are also owned by the parent companies of the luxury ones, there’s also something to be said for crossover in product technologies as it filters down to the high street.

I’m excited to see how Beauty Pie will be expanding shade ranges, product lines and most of all, the skincare. Decent quality, budget skincare is hard to find at the best of times, so if they can crack that, then I think they’ll be on to a real winner.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Beauty Pie concept – is it something you’d be interested in signing up to?

*contains PR samples


Food: Barbecoa St Paul's Review

Barbecoa St Pauls review pit beef
Barbecoa St Pauls review drinking champagne
Barbecoa St Pauls review menu
Barbecoa St Pauls review devil's cornbread
Barbecoa St Pauls review short rib croquettes
Barbecoa St Pauls review view
Barbecoa St Pauls review pork scratchings
Barbecoa St Pauls review cocktails
Barbecoa St Pauls review rump steak
January is typically the month of salads and self-restraint, so after a few weeks of trying to eat more veggies and less cheese, it was high time for a bit of a treat and some serious amounts of red meat. The team over at Barbecoa asked if I'd like to come down and give the restaurant a try, so I was more than happy to oblige.

Barbecoa is one of Jamie Oliver's creations. It's a meat eater's paradise with an in-house butchers and a great mix of steaks and slow-cooked meats. Everything is cooked in its own special way, using a whole host of different methods from bbq pit smokers, to Japanese Robata grills, right through to an Argentine grill.

We visited on a Saturday lunchtime when the restaurant was reasonably quiet. It's situated in the middle of the One New Change development next to St Paul's Cathedral, so tends to be much busier during mid-week when the area's full of city workers.

A lot of the tables have an amazing view of the Cathedral, which is a great backdrop for a lovely meal, although the glass facade can mean it gets a bit hot on sunny days!

After kicking things off with a glass of fizz, we ordered some nibbles while we waited for our mains. Crispy pork scratchings with a grownup ketchup dip, beef short rib croquettes and a portion of the Devil's cornbread.

The scratchings were lovely and crispy and not too greasy and the slow cooked beef inside the croquettes made me do Homer Simpson 'mmmmm' noises. The dip they came with was pretty spicy, something not mentioned on the menu, so if you don't like chilli, then maybe swap for something else. Devil's Cornbread is a very sexy mix of hot cornbread, jalopenos, westcombe cheddar and nduja sausage. It was absolutely to die for - hot, cheesy, salty and delicious. The only warning I'd give is that it is incredibly filling, so you might want to share between more than two people to make sure you have room for everything else!

When it came to mains, we decided to try both sides of the menu. I went for a rump steak, served with white beans and mushrooms and my lunch date had the pit beef with grits. We knew the pit beef would be slow-cooked, but seeing it come out on the bone was a lovely touch and it just melted in the mouth (that'll be down to the 16 hour cook time!).

My steak was lovely and lean, slightly under the medium rare that I asked for, but full of flavour and very tender. The white beans were a bit meh, so I left most of those, instead focusing on the sides we'd ordered as extras.

We got a bit over excited when it came to ordering sides and ended up with four. Oops. Go hard or go home, right? The broccoli with miso was the highlight for me, as was the truffled mac and cheese, which was one of the best I've had for a long time. The creamed greens with crispy shallots was also a tasty treat, if a little bit too rich for my liking. The fries were a bit of a let down - they were dry and lacking in flavour, so we left most of those and focused on the gooey, creamy mac n cheese instead!
Barbecoa St Pauls review
Barbecoa St Pauls Snickersphere dessert
Barbecoa St Pauls Snickersphere dessert
By this point, we were both feeling pretty full, so decided to share a dessert. Enter the Snickersphere. This bad boy has all you could ever want for a dessert - crunchy peanuts, salted caramel, chocolate...It was amazing. As it has a nice salty twang to it, it stopped it being too sweet and I would happily go back another time and order a whole one to myself.

We finished off with a Bourbon Peach Tea cocktail each - sweet, fruity but with a nice bourbon twang to it.

Overall the service was great - not too intrusive, but there when you need it and the waitress we had seemed very knowledgeable when we had questions about the menu.

For me, this is definitely a treat meal kind of place. You're looking at around £70 per person for 2 courses and a couple of drinks, but I'd happily go back again for a birthday dinner or special meal. The view really adds to the 'special' feeling of the place, so if you can get a window table, then make the most of it! There are very limited options for vegetarians (I think I saw one veggie main), so it's a spot for the carnivores among you.

Have you tried Barbecoa before?

*we were guests of Barbecoa, honest review as always


5 Current Winter-Proof Skincare Heroes

winter skincare saviours
My skin is really not loving winter. I mentioned earlier in the week (in this post) that it can’t decide whether to be oily, dry or both at the same time right now and don’t even get me started on the giant spot that has taken over my jaw line. Sexy. I think it’s that delightful combination of central heating/cold weather/a minor chocolate addiction post-Christmas that refuses to die all coming back to haunt me.

So I’m switching up my routine a little to help settle my skin down and get it back to normal. I’ve picked out a few of my current heroes for different concerns, so if you’re feeling like your skin could do with a bit of a boost, keep on reading…

After getting a *minor* bollocking from a lovely Elemis lady at a facial the other week about my lack of exfoliation, I’ve gone back to my trusty Pixi Glow Tonic to help get rid of those dead skin cells. I always feel like I need to exfoliate more in winter, but as much as a love me a good scrub, the Glow Tonic is so much more gentle and perfect for virtually every skin type. A quick sweep on a cotton pad once a day is all you need – use it in place of a regular toner and be prepared to be disgusted at how much it removes (note: a grey cotton pad = all those lovely dead skin cells. And possible mascara residue).

Even if you don’t normally like a balm cleanser, I swear to god, you will love Oskia’s Renaissance Cleansing Gel . It’s refreshing yet hydrating, thorough but not stripping and even gets off waterproof mascara. I tend to ration it to the mornings so my tube lasts a bit longer, but you could use this day and night and not need another cleanser at all. Massage in a couple of pumps to dry skin, emulsify with a little water (it’ll turn into a milk consistency) and the remove with a warm flannel. Lovely.

When it comes to moisturising in the day time, I try to avoid anything too heavy so my makeup doesn’t slip off two minutes later, but hydrating enough so the dry bits on my cheeks don’t end up feeling tight. Antipodes Manuka Honey Skin-Brightening Light Day Cream is my current love – the Manuka Honey is not only great for calming and soothing, but it also helps to add radiance and hydrate at the same time. There’s an eye cream in this range which is also amazeballs for day or night.

If you’re skin is feeling a bit stressed out with all the temperature changes or in need of some TLC, then you definitely need to try Skinceuticals Phyto Correcting Masque. It’s packed full of botanicals that help to calm and soothe the skin, reducing any redness or heat you might have. It can also be used post-procedure if you’ve had IPL, laser treatment or other clinical treatments, so is a great one to have on standby. I tend to use this one or two times a week when my skin is feeling particularly flushed or stressed out (it really helped reduce my snow/windburnt cheeks after walking home in last week’s blizzard) but it’s also great as a regular treatment for anyone with sensitive skin.

I don’t know how I made it to the age of 32 without trying Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate and I’m quite frankly kicking myself right now. Overly hyped products often tend to be a lot of hype and not much else, but this is sooooo good! Press a few drops into skin before bed and you’ll wake up with super soft, nice plump skin. I’ve also been putting a few drops on my horrible dried-out hands as an overnight moisture treatment and it really helps!

What are your current favourite skincare products? Have you tried any of these?

*contains PR samples


The Ultimate Winter Foundation Combo

the ultimate foundation combination
the ultimate foundation combination
Confession time- I was pretty much ready to write off Bare Minerals BarePro until I gave it a try in this combo. Powder foundations can be tricky at the best of times, so making it work for you is so important. 

If you have dry to combination skin, I think you'll love this little duo. My skin is having a weird time in winter and can't seem to decide whether it wants to be oily, dry or both at the same time (yay) so finding a decent base that doesn't go patchy AF in two hours is hard. 

Right now I'm loving layering these two bad boys together. I pop on a layer of my trusty Dermalogica Redness Relief Primer first and then a layer of Ganier BB cream in the extra light shade. I find it works best done with your fingers and then finished off with a buffing brush for a flawless finish. As it's a BB cream you won't get a full coverage but it gives a great even tone and can be built up in areas if you need it. 

Then the Bare Minerals BarePro comes in (I'm shade 01 Fair). A light layer of this applied with a small powder brush (I use Real Techniques Contour Brush) helps set the BB cream in place but also gives an extra touch of coverage where you need it. I like to leave a little glow left so don't go too heavy on the powder but you can customise by adding more or less depending on how glowy you like it. It lasts really well throughout the day, lasting around ten hours before I need a bit of a topup. 

I'm so pleased I tried this combination; I suspect the Bare Minerals would've ended up in the bin otherwise!  

What's your current favourite foundation? Have you tried either of these before? 

*contains PR samples


Chantecaille Spring 2017 Launches

Chantecaille spring 2017 new makeup launches review and swatches
Chantecaille spring 2017 new makeup launches review and swatches
Chantecaille spring 2017 new makeup launches review and swatches
Chantecaille spring 2017 new makeup launches review and swatches
I don’t often feature brands as expensive as Chantecaille on the blog as I’m always aware that they fall well into ‘treat’ category, but their spring collection is so lovely that I really wanted to show it to you.

The hero launch for me is the trio of Mermaid Matte Eye Colours. While this is an existing formula for Chantecaille, they’ve added three new shades in the perfect line up of neutrals. It’s also a special charity partnership for three different charities supporting Bees, Lions and Elephants (reflecting some of their charity partnerships from the past few years), so 5% of the sale price will be given to the Elephants and Bees Foundation, Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Lion Guardians.

Unlike a lot of other mattes, these manage not to be totally flat in colour, but still without a hint of shimmer. The cream texture is very soft and easy to blend and gives excellent pigmentation in just one swipe. Once they’ve dried on the lid, they don’t crease or fade for around 8-10 hours on me (without a primer).
All three shades are incredible wearable. Creamy Lion is perfect for all over the lids as a base, while soft brown Bee and grey-taupe Elephant add a touch of colour and warmth. Although I think their annual animal palettes are incredibly beautiful, these are so much more wearable day to day and I can easily see myself using them all up.

Cream eye shadows of this type do have a tendency to dry out in the pot, but I’ve not experienced this over the past few weeks, although I will report back in another month or two. At £80 for the trio, they’re far from cheap, but almost comparable to Dior/Chanel singles if you’re looking for a justification.

From the two new lip launches I have here, the Matte Chic are the ones I think you really need in your life (in the clear tube). There are so many matte liquid lipsticks around right now that it’s hard to think you could need another one, but I think I can make an exception for  Chantecaille! These are two new shades for spring (Marisa, pictured and Jerry, a warm peach) and offer up a pigmented swipe of long-wearing colour with one of the comfiest matte formulas I’ve found. £33 each.

The new collection launches in the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled in Fenwicks, Space NK and other Chantecaille stockists.

What do you think of the new collection from Chantecaille?

*contains PR samples


3 Things You Absolutely Need in Your Life This January (and 1 Thing You Probably Don't)

January favourites from My VIP Wardrobe, Deciem and Tom Ford
January favourites from My VIP Wardrobe, Deciem and Tom Ford
January favourites from My VIP Wardrobe, Deciem and Tom Ford
While I'm sad that Christmas is over and my cheese consumption has had to return to a more normal level, I am so excited to see what this year might bring. After a bit of a break from blogging I feel like I've had a the chance to recharge and I hope you'll enjoy all the content I've got planned for the next few months.

Today I wanted to show you a handful of things that I'm really loving this month and that I think you will too.

First up is this insanely cosy scarf from My VIP Wardrobe. Not only can you get it personalised with your initials (not just in pink, I might add), but the quality is absolutely fantastic. I went for the slightly more expensive cashmere/lambswool version as it's super super soft, but the regular 100% lambswool blend is also pretty dreamy. Although I went for a Castlebay monochrome pattern, there are loads to choose from, including a very Burberry inspired tartan. At between £35 to £50, not only are they affordable as far as wool scarves go, but you can make them unique by adding your initials for no extra cost. I'm already thinking about which one to order next!

I've not left the house without a tube of Hand Chemistry over the past few weeks - it's the only thing stopping my hands turning into some sort of very sexy lizard skin. Grim. I 've tried dozens of hand creams and this one is by far the best at this time of year as it sinks in quickly but hydrates like a dream.

Tom Ford's Flynn lipstick was my first foray into the brand and was a cheeky duty free purchase on my way to New York at the start of last year. For me, this is the ultimate pink-nude lipstick and one  I wear a LOT, so I was very happy to see it return as part of the collection towards the end of last year. Yes it's tiny, yes it's OMFG ARE YOU KIDDING at the price, but sometimes a girls just gotta do it. If you've not tried Flynn, you need it. Promise.

The one thing you probably don't need is a B. Eye Llash Curler. I'm a 'curl your lashes every day' kinda lady and I rely on a curler to keep them nice and lifted. When the rubbers on my Shu Uemera ones ran out, I thought I'd give the B. ones a try and unfortunately they're just not working for me. I normally love a B. product, but these are a nightmare to get to the base of my lashes and don't give a very good curl at all. The Shu ones are still the best I've used, so I'm going to buy another set and just grumble to myself about the lack of refills you can buy for them.

What are you loving this month? And is there anything you've found that's just not working for you?

*contains PR samples


Goals for 2017

Goals for 2017
I wrote this post on New Year's Day with a *minor* gin hangover from last night and a lot of trashy TV queued up ready to watch. I hadn't actually logged into Blogger for almost 2 weeks and it was a bit of a weird feeling to come back to it if I'm honest! I hope you all had a great Christmas and are enjoying the New Year so far?

Setting goals for the year ahead is a bit of a standard - something I do every year - but they don't always get followed through on. I could probably sum up mine pretty easily: travel more, get fit, stay happy. But I want to make these a bit more real, more actionable and something I can come back to next year and say YES. I did that. I achieved that. So here are a few goals I'm setting myself this year...

Feel more comfortable in your own skin. Stop worrying about your weight constantly and instead find some sort of exercise that you love and get fit. Fit and healthy, inside and out.

Say Yes, but learn when to say No. Say yes to all those things you really want to do - sing in public again, dance more, spend two weeks in New York. No more excuses, just go out and grab it. And say no to all the things that aren't important. Use your time wisely - you can't do everything and trying to do it has just left you tired, grumpy and not like yourself at all.

Worry less about your blog. Enjoy it more. It's your space, not a PR machine and you should fill it with ideas that make you happy and that your readers enjoy. Stressing about numbers and emails and samples gets you nothing except wrinkles.

Go visit your brother in Canada. Go visit your friend in New York. Spend less money on things and more on experiences. Another handbag is lovely, but a flight to somewhere might be better.

Be kind. Be curious. Take time to talk to people. ALL people. You never know what you might learn.

What are your goals for 2017? I'd love to hear them!
© Tales of a Pale Face | UK beauty blog | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig