Clarins Instant Concealer Review

I’ve been a bit disloyal to my beloved Nars Creamy concealer.  The new Clarins Instant Concealer has taken it’s place (for now).  Along with the Charlotte Tilbury retoucher but I’ll talk about that enough time as I’m aware I’m a bit heavy on the Charlotte Tilbury mentions (though I can’t help my obsession).

So back to the Clarins – what can I say?  It’s creamy, it doesn’t dry out, flake or highlight my fine lines.  It’s just easy.  I use it under the eye and on my reddish patches and it works.

My only gripe is the colour selection is a bit rubbish for my skintone.  The one I got is a little dark for me so I’m seriously tempted to get a lighter one to mix my own shade.  Then it will be perfection.

It seems to be, on average, £21 but I found it on escentual for £18.45 and before you groan at the price…you get a whopping 15ml which is very generous.  The Nars one is the same price (roughly) but only 6ml so really 3 times the price!.  It’s marked on escentual as a ‘special price’ and I have no idea how long they are keeping it for.  If it’s gone when you click on it sorry!  But I stil think it’s a great concealer at the normal price.

If you are near a Clarins counter I really urge you to try it to see if it works for you and get matched for the right colour.  Then order it from  Escentual at the discounted price.

When I’m testing a new foundation/concealer I do try to test it for a whole day before I purchase as something that looks amazing when first on really does change throughout the course of the day and can be awful by the evening and although the Clarins is great for me and my skin (40 plus and dehydrated) it may be different for you.

And if you do try it please come back and tell us what you think.  It’s great to hear in the comments what does and doesn’t work for different skin types.

Christmas Lists

It’s that time of year again so here’s a rather random list of treats for lucky friends or your own Christmas list.

Grown Ups
A new lippy is a lovely present! I’ve been won over by Mac this year and the retro matte Relentlessly Red has become my favourite shade.
I’ve recently bought Captive which is a delightful autumn shade with an unusual warmth behind it (I often find these darker shades draining)

This is for Londoners only. Perfect 10 are mobile beauty therapists who offer a range of treatments in your own home. I got bought a gift voucher when La Bambina was little and it was the perfect present. The biggest draw for me is that you don’t have to go anywhere. They turn up with everything they need and it makes everything from a facial to a pedicure that bit more relaxing.

The Willoughby Book Club.

There’s always a Boden voucher kicking about.
I really like this cuff and would be very pleased to open it myself. The Skye scarf would be a nice present too.

Cashmere socks are such a luxury – I don’t save mine for bed either.

I love this White Company Mini Home Scenting set.

If you are buying a gift for a coffee fan get this! One of my sisters got me one for my birthday and I’ve used it every day since. Easy to use and clean with great results every time.

These look so luxurious in real life and would make a great gift for a friend.

One of the men in my life has grown an incredible beard this autumn and this may be the perfect gift.

Posh Totty make some lovely gifts. We’ve had success with cuff links like these. These collar stiffeners were a great hit a few years ago. A tip with Not on the High Street – when you’ve found what you want to buy, Google it and see if you get a direct link to the seller. NOTHS obviously make a profit from sales via their site and I’ve found things much cheaper cutting out the middle man.

This Omorovicza body oil is the ultimate luxury gift (I should know as I was lucky enough to get some from my dad for my birthday)

Faux fur pom pom key ring from ASOS I have a Jigsaw one and noticed the other day that they’ve restocked and added some new colours too.

My sister is the best present maker ever! The most played with and enduring gifts in our house are ones she’s made for my girls. A restaurant, a travel agent, a hairdressers. Fantastic ideas! The travel agents is a work of art and must’ve took months to organise (we all have our own passports!) The hairdressers is four years old and still comes out once or twice a week and always when we have play dates. It’s essentially a box with hair things in – rollers, bobbles, hairnets, a spray and a pretend hairdryer which makes a noise – and a homemade magazine of hairstyles. Fantastic gift for the kid who has everything.

This sticker book (and the related animal one) has been a big hit here. It’s too big to post easily though.

I love this set and my biggest beloved might just be unwrapping it next month.

I’ve yet to see something from Djeco that I don’t love. These pens aren’t cheap but are beautiful. This is a beautiful art set, easy to use and creations you will want to display and this is similar just with dragons. A brilliant screenprinting set that we’ve bought for a few older kids with success. This looks good too.

If you have any fans of Frozen, H&M and Asda are worth a visit. H&M have hair clips for £1.50 and both stores have some revolting leggings with Elsa on one leg and Anna on the other. There’s a heart double necklace with the sisters in for a few quid which has been much admired in this house.

This book (and this related activity one) is a brilliant present.

The serious bit
My kids will be helping me make up a few boxes for our local food bank before Christmas. You can find your nearest one here.

If you’ve got any great present suggestions you’d like to share, please do! Us AWO mates love gift ideas.

Up West

I went up the West End shopping today. I was on a mission to buy two penguins and to help my dad choose something for one of my sisters.

Apart from John Lewis, I wanted to go in 3 shops – Cos, & Other Stories and H&M. Sods Law that the H&M empire was having card reader issues today and only taking cash. They must’ve lost a fortune!

I won’t share what we got for my sister because she reads our blog but a few things I tried.

I really like this blue Cos dress. I’ve been admiring it on line. I obviously still have my jeans on too. I’m classy like that. I didn’t get it. Yet. Maybe.

I was trying things on for my dad to buy me for Christmas.

He got me to try this shirt which I will be so happy to unwrap on Christmas Day and hope to love as much as the red Cos pixel dress he bought me last year. The photos don’t do it justice at all.
It’s 100% viscose but the leather collar is just divine. It feels a bit like an Alexander Wang bag, just a tad softer. The top is wrinkled in the photo but less sheer than I thought when I saw it on the hanger and is cut well on the bust. I have a 12 on and can do it up to the top. It does up with poppers. I’ll wear it with leather leggings or jeans when I go out under my All Saints blazer. Love.
I got this to go underneath it though it’s entirely wearable with just a bra. It’s £25 from Jigsaw and I’m sure I could’ve got cheaper from M&S but as soon as I tried it, I felt happy. The lace is beautiful and comes quite high up which is perfect for a bigger bust. The M fits on my tummy too so hopefully won’t ride up.
I tried lots of things in & Other Stories that did me no favours (lovely dress & socks combo!) This doesn’t suit me but it is a beautiful dress so I wanted to show it in case someone less thick around the belly wants to try it.

On to what I wore. You’ve seen it before but I am into all black at the moment.
Zara ripped jeans, Uniqlo merino roll neck, Topshop coat, Toga Pulla boots.

Remind me not to wear a roll neck (& heatech!) next time I go up town to a tube with no lift. Hot is not the word!

Hope you’ve all seen my-wardrobe has (yet another!) offer – 40% off all new season.

Back soon. Christmas lists soon.

Saturday Fun (!?)

Today was a bit manic. Bootcamp then lots of running around, post office with a mass of eBay parcels, toy shop for birthday gifts, then on to a kid’s party in a “House of Fun”. Mmmm, when things have the word “fun” in I tend to hate them but hey, it’s wasn’t for me, much fun was indeed had by the kids and I was sat next to someone lovely (and will consume wine soon)

My shearling lined Acne Pisols have come out again.
Such a good buy.

Here’s me in a car park with a moon face! In Zara ripped jeans, Uniqlo merino roll neck, old Oasis Limited Edition gilet, Accessorize necklace, Acne Pistols (with shearling lining), H&M bag.

Have a good Saturday evening. Back tomorrow.


You might remember the Pinterest image I posted a while back.
Unpacking my winter wardrobe I found a few forgotten gems and thought I’d try them together.
Zara trousers (old), Bauken roll neck (old), Zara pony skin skater boots.

I love this style of rollneck (though I’m not sure this colour does anything for me) This style from ASOS is similar though it only comes in mint and black. I always wear a Uniqlo rollneck heat tech underneath to stop it itching and occasionally layer a thin rollneck over that too so I can wear the chunkier one as an outer layer when it’s not raining.

Today I’m in very easy Hudson jeans and a Mango sweatshirt with trainers.
How could I resist!

Have a happy Friday.


I’m not a huge fan of Mango. I usually ignore their codes which incidentally seem to be coming thick and fast at the moment*. Indeed almost every time I have ordered from them, the things I’ve chosen have been too small or bad quality (I’ve never understood why people complain about Zara and not Mango) However when the last 30% off weekend came I set a timer on my phone and knew exactly what I was going to buy.

Mango wool culottes, J Crew Merino Tippi in black, Adidas Stan Smiths, Massimo Dutti wool jacket, H&M fringed bag.

I can’t tell you how comfortable these premium wool culottes are. They’ve sold out now but I’ve seen a few brand new pairs on eBay and these look to be a trouser version of my culottes.
I’m not entirely sure this outfit balances out properly. The coat may add bulk where I don’t need it. This is also a L in the J Crew merino Tippi; I usually wear a M but wanted a larger one for with tight jeans and this was the only clean one I could find clean today. While I’m lamenting, my Stan Smiths seem far dirtier than other bloggers’, don’t they.

My littlest love was enchanted by the Christmas window toy displays.
I hope none of it makes it on to her Christmas list. There is a definite ban on plastic tat this year. Mama Scrooge has had enough!

* With the code 6discount you get 30% off one purchase and 40% off two at Mango until 23rd November.

Chelsea boots and other things

Unbelievably – to me at least – I managed to identify a hole in my winter shoe wardrobe. I don’t know if you do this, but it happens to me every time. I really need something ‘just to make my wardrobe complete’ and I am totally convinced (i.e. deluded) that I won’t need anything else for the whole season, but as soon as I have bought it, as if my magic something else just pops into my consciousness that I ‘need’ equally as badly. So annoying!

So after spending two weeks trying on twenty bejillion pairs of jeans and vowing never to go shopping again, I woke up the next morning and I needed Chelsea boots – how could I have reached my age never having owned a pair? That is a severe dent to my fashion credentials which must be remedied immediately. I am fussy about boots, irritatingly so. I like a round toe and a straight heel, no angles. That’s why I’ve never had Pistols, too many angles – weird, I know.

After much goggling it became apparent that Churches Monmouth are the Holy Grail of Chelsea boots

503558928_product_2As usual the challenge was to find that look on a tighter budget

These Marks and Spencer Best of British look great quality, but the shape is not ‘me’HT_01_T02_0137_Y0_X_EC_0

I thought the Dune Paddy D looked promising, but in real life the sole was a smidgen too thick which made it look chunky rather than sleek. Dune have some others as well, but with pointy toes and brogue detailing which were not what I was after.



In the end I struck lucky at Office, this is the Cockney and even though I was heavily swayed by the fact that it comes in my beloved navy, it didn’t look right on me.



This is the One.. Bramble, it is exactly what I was after


Sorry for the lack of photos, the camera has gone on my iPhone – I fell like my right arm has been cut off, I use it so much. I am wearing the boots with turned up jeans like this and I love them. I bought them a size up and popped in an Ugg insole, I can’t tell you now cosy they are I predict they will become an early morning staple. I find the morning school run too fraught for heels, I reserve them for afternoons! (Yes, the photo is of Mrs Beckham but don’t tell anyone or I might be thrown off the blog)


The Ugg insole reminds me that I recently got a pair of these Ugg slippers which barely leave my feet when I’m at home. I found mine on US ebay, they are called Alloway – mine are navy studded suede. They look rather un-Ugg like which pleases me greatly, and they are toasty which pleases my feet. Hmm, I bet Mrs Beckham doesn’t wear slippers!


While I was on the Chelsea boot search I nabbed a pair of these navy skater’s from Next. I have great Gap pony skin versions that I’ve been wearing since last winter, but it’s rare to see navy shoes so I grab them when I can. What I particularly like about these is the flannel upper and the rubber sole is ivory rather than white which looks lovely. I have been wearing them with navy opaques, a short A line skirt and this navy Gap cashmere jumper. There is still 30% off at Gap, ends tonight I think (it’s 40% off in store, I have stocked up on the lovely stripes for my daughter). I am a cashmere fanatic and I really rate Gap’s cashmere, it is thick and fuzzy which is exactly what I want from my cashmere knits.



So, anyway I got the boots (and the skaters which I didn’t even know I needed, and the slippers, but they are a necessity of life), and sure enough the next morning I woke up thinking about these…



Navy blue suede 5050s, they are divine but so, so impractical – I live in Ireland and would have a heart attack every time it rained which is more or less every day. But I can’t stop thinking about them and it’s all Eve’s fault!

Simple Saturday, Simple Sunday

Long time followers of our blog will know that I am not a fan of winter for different reasons. I quite like winter clothes though. Being able to wear high necked knitwear lessens the blow of the cold and wet weather slightly; I do love a roll neck. I have a moment every year when I slide a roll neck on and think “how did I dress without you?”

Saturday we went out early for a day of random jobs then straight for dinner. I wore the black Uniqlo merino roll neck again (I have several of these all in XL), Zara jeans, Toga Pullas, Zara handbag, Jigsaw pompom, Next gilet. (Photo taken by my 2yo)
Here is the gilet close up. I actually tried to return it twice but couldn’t find the receipt and didn’t want anything else in store so I kept it. I’m pleased I did.

I am convinced roll necks don’t photograph well. I know conventional wisdom suggests someone with my proportions should steer well clear of them anyway but I’ve never subscribed to being told how to dress/what to wear or not. I think roll necks are very flattering – I like how they frame the face and I also enjoy the feeling of being all covered up. Indeed I own many roll necks and no v necks. But I do struggle not to look like I have many chins in photos of me in a roll neck when in reality I do not.

More jobs today then Sunday lunch out. I have been up since 6am and am feeling sad a lot at the moment. I decided to go simple but different and to wear my new pleather leggings from H&M to cheer myself up. I highly recommend them.
They’re a lot thicker than my Mint Velvet ones, more a trouser weight but with an elasticated waistband. Belinda tried them and didn’t get on with them but they fit my (apple?) shape well. They have a zip at the leg which helps with putting them on and makes them more versatile in terms of footwear.
I wore them with a navy blue Uniqlo cashmere roll neck (here but navy has sold out), Stan Smiths and H&M fringed bag. I have an XL in all my Uniqlo tops. Their cashmere range us definitely smaller fitting than their merino sweaters. To be honest, I wish I had just bought a merino navy roll neck for under half the price of their cashmere. Live and learn.

Here is the tag in case you like the H&M trousers as they have several different pairs. IMG_2303.JPG
(Essie Mind your Mittens nail polish – lovely but chips)

It still looks autumnal but has definitely started to feel colder. I decided while in the park that I’m definitely buying a pram-muff this year to keep my hands toasty.

My new Cos coat got the first outing too. I love this colour and the cut is brilliant for the price tag.

Til soon.

New Hair

I went to have my hair cut yesterday. I was considering a “lob” (a long bob). I was sat on the bus on the way to my appointment pinning away images when I saw this.
IMG_2294.JPG from Pinterest

It made me laugh because this is what I was wearing.
Zara black ripped jeans, Toga Pullas, Uniqlo merino roll neck, Topshop faux fur coat, Alexander Wang Diego, Jigsaw pompom.

My hairdresser convinced me to keep my hair long. She took about 3 inches off and it feels so much better. Maybe I’ll manage to do something other than a messy bun every day now.
Me, my new hair and a glass of wine. How civilised!

It started pouring down as soon as i left the hairdresser and I was umbrella-less. Bye bye lovely blow dry.

I’ve just done a boot camp and am planning on a very quiet weekend.

Have a good one.