Thursday, 27 March 2014


I have to be honest and say that Debenhams isn't ever my first port of call when the seasons change and I fancy a shop of the new high street collections. I'm sure I'm not alone in this among my peer group (mid twenties. OK, mid to late...), right?

I ADORE the Debenhams beauty hall in Argyle Street since they've done it all up, and I've seen me buy the odd bag or two from Betty Jackson, and a few pairs of shoes, or gifts for my Dad/Mum/Gran, but never do I really consider schlepping around floor upon floor of womenswear. I'm not sure why... Maybe memories of weekends spent trawling there with my Mum, or trying on a multitude of taffeta gowns in a hellish 27 Dresses style montage for 6th year prom has put me off. For whatever reason, it's just never been somewhere I shop.

Come to think of it, department store shopping in general is becoming less frequent or enjoyable for me. The perks of being sat at a computer all day means more and more of my clothes shopping is done online, and even my window shopping, so I can make up lists of items I want from particular stores and just head straight in on a mission. MINIMAL FANNYING ABOUT.

BUT, to continue this whole SAYING YES TO STUFF mantra I've been trying out lately (and loving bee tee dubz), when a wee invite popped into my inbox to a presentation of the new Debenhams SS14 collection launch, I decided to go along and have a swatch.

I was pleasantly surprised.

The expected trends were obviously on show, brights, pastels, florals, texture and embellishment, but cut on clean lines, sophisticated shapes and altogether stylish separates. Debenhams have also gone hard at the IT colour of the season, PINK, but in a refreshing fuschia shade, contrasting it with reds, which I'm enjoying. There's only so much Pepto-Bismol pastel pink one person can take.

These Red Herring scuba floral separates are amaze, and a contender for a slightly-edgier wedding outfit I'll be in needs of over the summer...

Another thing I was OBVIOUSLY totally smitten with was the skincare presentation. Despite saying I love the Debenhams beauty hall, I really mean the MAKEUP section of the beauty hall. I do the majority of my skincare shopping online now or in Whole Foods, and I was surprised and delighted to see that Debenhams actually stock the likes of Balance Me and Trilogy, both of which carry staple products for me(balancing moisturiser and rosehip oil respectively) and are quality brands well worth checking out.

I also got chatting to a lovely assistant, whose name now escapes me, who talked me through luxury tanning brand Vita Liberata, also stocked by Debenhams now. I kind of switched off during the fake tan talk, but then we got to discussing their Capture the Light collection of skin illuminators/primers and I was riveted.

A pearly, irridescent liquid with an SPF 25, that dries down to a demi matte finish, these can be used on legs, arms, decolletage and the face to give a beautiful glow, and come in a variety of finishes from opal to pink, to peach to bronzed. I absolutely fell in love with the Latte Light shade which gives a delicious, subtle tanned glow to the skin. A pump of this mixed with foundation would be absolutely PERF for summer, I imagine. Sign me right up!

Oh, and I also spotted another cult skincare brand OLE HENRIKSEN, previously only available on the likes of Feel Unique and Cult Beauty. How FAB! I'm super excited to try out products from the Danish, natural brand, but none moreso than their brightening, vitamin C packed Truth Serum, which I was lucky enough to receive in my goodybag. Rubbing my hands together with glee here, OBV.

All in all, a lovely night that I'm glad I didn't shy away from. I'm looking at Debenhams a little differently now, and I guess that's the point. Shopping, for me, has become altogether faster, more solitary and maybe a little joyless for it, so perhaps I need to set aside a couple of days and take a trip round the likes of Debs, Frasers, and John Lewis. We're spoiled here in Glasgow with several prestigious department stores on our doorstep, and it's time I reminded myself of what makes them so great.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014


Living within the confines of a constant budget is BLOODY HARD, especially when one of the biggest pleasures in my life is blowing cash on makeup and cosmetics. Which, when I read that back, makes me CRINGE inside. There's got to be more to life than moisturisers, serums and lotions at upwards of £50 a pop, right? RIGHT????!!! 

The past few months I've found a few actual GEMS in the likes of Boots and Superdrug - most for under a tenner...

Tresemme Split Mend Intense Recovery Masque 
Buy it here for £3 when you place a total order for £10, or usually £5.75 at Boots
Replaces: Joico K-Pak Revitaluxe Bio-Advance Restorative Treatment £26.95 at Feel Unique

Rarely have I been wowed by a hair mask or conditioning treatment. After going blonde, like BLEACH blonde at the end of last year, then dying it back to brown in February, my hair was pretty much ruined. Lots of it snapped and fell out (at the hairdressers. I ALMOST cried), and the hair left was weak, brittle and damaged beyond belief. THAT'LL TEACH ME
This is the first thing I've used that made a visible difference after just one use - and believe me, I tried just about EVERYTHING. Even the Philip Kingsley Elastacizer failed to impress, but this budget baby gave me noticeably smoother, softer, less unruly hair after the first go. It claims to actually FIX existing split ends and reduce new ones over time, and while I don't believe in hair WIZARDRY of this kind, I can vouch that it's doing SOMETHING for my poor, poor hair. 
One of the first ingredients is hydrolyzed Keratin, which, for a high street product under 6 quid, is pretty amaze.
Another happy side effect from regular use is that I've noticed my hair is starting to feel a little thicker and more lustrous. It's bouncy, shinier and altogether BETTER. It doesn't tout volume as a result, but it's another happy accident, as well as locks that smell delish. Try it out, I bet you love it.

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Agent Perfecting Creme
£5.59 from Boots (newly rebranded, but mine looks like this one above)
Replaces: Morrocanoil Hydrating Styling Cream £23.75 at Feel Unique

Sticking with hair, this has ALSO been a saviour of sorts. I actually think I've mentioned this on here before, and I know I've used it for years, but over the last 3 or 4 months I'm never without it in my bag.
After aforementioned hair disaster (you could definitely call it that) I've been left with lots of damaged hair, broken off at different lengths, and stupid flyaways that stick out all over the crown of my head, giving me an unattractive HAIR HALO should I be unfortunate enough to be lit from behind.
If you're not one for hair oils (I have oily skin, scalp and hair - slathering oil onto my hair is about the last thing I want to do), this is a great option for smoothing over a finished, dry style without weighing it down or greasing it up. Rub a decent squirt between hands, smooth through from top to bottom, and BOOM, flyaways be gone
I also find that throughout the day, my ends get drier and drier so that by the evening  it's absolutely desperate for a drink. Rubbing some of this through the ends refreshes it really nicely, again without overloading my hair with loads of product. 

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque
£3.25 from Amazon
Replaces: Origins Clear Improvement Mask £22 from Origins counters

I must have tried literally THOUSANDS of clay-based face masks, and this is ALWAYS the one I reach for first. A thick, gloopy, minty green mask that dries hard and does that weird cracking thing on your face if you try to move it, but honestly one of the best things ever at sooking out oil, dirt and grime from the skin. For this price, it's a STEAL, and it's super effective. It can dry out the skin a bit, so follow up with a good moisturiser, but if you've got oil issues, stubborn plooks and open pores you have GOT to give this a go.
I coaxed my bf into giving this a try last night and I THINK he gave it the thumbs up. I asked him if his skin felt any different and he said no, but when I inspected it at closer range there were definitely fewer open pores on show. SO WHAT DOES HE KNOW?!

La Roche Posay Effaclar K
£13.00 from Boots
Replaces: Paula's Choice RESIST Skin Transforming Multi-Correction Treatment £38.80

A little pricier now, but totally worth it. I, like everyone else, tried the LRP Effaclar Duo and liked it, but wasn't blown away. I found that, despite being targeted at sensitive, imperfection prone skin, sometimes it would sting, and now and again I'd get these weird dry, flaky patches where I'd used it. Plus, it didn't do what I really wanted - EXFOLIATION
This Effaclar K lotion from the same anti-blemish range contains AHAs and very little alcohol so it gets rid of dead skin cells daily, but isn't as drying or irritating as the Duo, and I prefer its slightly mattifying effect as a makeup base for daytimes.
Over the few months I've been using this I can say that I've noticed a reduction in new scarring, and the overall surface of my skin is smoother. I'm still cursed with the odd breakout, but I find this clears things up fairly quickly and smoothes over any raised areas a peach. It's moisturising enough during the day to be used alone, but at night I slap on a cream over the top, or alternate it with oils and serums. Nevertheless, a necessary step I wouldn't be without now.
It smells weird though. Like, be prepared. It's odd...

Korres Wild Rose Brightening and Line Smoothing Serum
£9 from TK Maxx (or £26 from Amazon, £30 from
Replaces: Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Complexion Correcting serum £42.75 from Feel Unique

So, this is a bit of a cheat. OK, a total cheat. RRP for this seems to be around the £30 mark online, which is why, when I spied it in TK Maxx for less than a tenner, I just HAD to get it! 
It's designed for older skins - hence the anti-wrinkle claims - but of course it was the word BRIGHTENING that attracted me. On a never-ending quest to brighten and perk up my sallow, sometimes dull skin, anything that claims to do this is OK by me. Happily, this serum is a nice, creamy consistency which takes around 5-10 mins to soak in fully, and adds a lovely extra layer of moisture. I do notice that it plumps up my skin nicely, and leaves it feeling really...juicy, without leaving a sticky film. It seems to appear more nourished, and any latent redness fades quickly after massaging this in. I'm really not a huge fan of the smell though, but as it doesn't contain any artificial fragrance (or prabens or mineral oil or any of those nasties) I can't complain really. 
TK Maxx often has the odd gem in their skincare section, mostly from brands like Lavera, Melvita and Korres. I've even seen a REN hand cream! Basically, you can often be lucky with a nice selection of natural/cruelty free brands usually only available online or in Whole Foods, at a FRACTION of the RRP. Definitely check one out if you can.

Avene Skin Recovery Cream
£9.37 on or £12.50 at Boots
Replaces: Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Cream £26.00 from Feel Unique

I KNOW I've mentioned this guy before, but he's still a total favourite I always repurchase. Now and again, despite having pretty hardy, oily skin, I'll develop the odd dry, flaky patch. LOVELY! Seems to spring up for no reason, often on my cheeks, or just under my eyes. I don't use an eye cream (though I know I should) and I just take my normal moisturiser under there and over my cheeks, and 9 times out of 10 this is sufficient, but for the days when patches of my skin is irritated, seemingly for no bloody reason at all, I ALWAYS come back to this and it sorts it right out. 
It's 67% spring water and the rest of the ingredients (only 13 in total) are designed to calm inflammation and intensely moisturise. It's weird, because the second ingredient down from water is mineral oil (Paraffinum Liquidum) which I've literally JUST told you is a NASTY ingredient, causing breakouts and offering no visible skin benefits, however I can categorically say that I've had ZERO negative side effects from using this on isolated areas on my face. Quite the opposite, actually. My sore, dry skin loves it.

Burts Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Treatment
£3.69 at Boots or £4.95 at Feel Unique
Replaces: By Terry Baume de Rose £38 at Space NK

 I am a die-hard 8 Hour Cream fan for a lip balm as I just don't think ANYTHING works as well as that (although I've yet to try Lanolips and I've got a good feeling about it!), however it's pricey, and this Burts Bees alternative is ALMOST as good, and certainly better than Vaseline, or even any of the other Burts Bees chapsticks in the range. 
The silver-lid variant is described as "ultra moisturising" and it definitely is. The other flavours (versions?) I've found to be too waxy to actually penetrate the skin, instead creating this thick, sticky barrier over the lips. Yes it prevents more moisture leaving, but it doesn't absorb well, or actually fix flaky lips at all. This version DOES all of that, thanks to its slippier, lighter texture which glides on much easier and really feels like it's doing something. A winner if you're strapped and can't justify the likes of the By Terry Baume de Rose or Dior Creme de Rose, or any of the rest. At the end of the day, this does the job and does it well.

PHEW. I mean, yeah, none of this stuff is MEGA cheap, but all do what they say WELL and are, for the most part, readily available. I don't know about you but there's some things I'm happy to go without when I'm skint, but skincare/makeup/cosmetics isn't really one of them. Substituting expensive products for these more affordable babies has been no detriment to my skin or hair, and a big advantage for my bank balance.  I know I am the saddest person alive, but I'd rather eat beans on toast a week out the month than give up slathering my hair/face/body in good things. Is there a support group I can go to?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


Guess who's back...back again?
Kirsty's back...tell yer pals!

I wonder just HOW MANY blogs I've started with a grovelling apology for yet another extended leave of absence? At least 4 in the last 6 months I'd reckon, and it has GOT TO STOP!

Like a long term relationship gone stale, I’m ashamed to admit I got bored and just stopped trying. I neglected FFS and found that the more I did, the guiltier I felt, and the harder it was to make the first move. Naturally I began to look for my kicks elsewhere and sought comfort in the shape of Netflix and, God forbid, real life people and experiences. I know, I feel dirty. Whenever I DID have the slightest inkling to blog, I did what every guilty person does and ignored it. It was just easier to stay away than try and fix things gone so wrong…

But, HEY, last week I had an epiphany and I realised I’m not ready to give up on my love for FFS (EVEN WITH its dodgy, dated layout), I’m ready to fight for it. So here I am, being the mature one, making the first move, and telling you guys, IT WASN’T OVER, IT’S STILL NOT OVER!!

What prompted this turnaround? Last week I received an email asking if I wanted to take part in a late-night styling challenge at Buchanan Galleries in celebration of Glasgow city centre shops staying open later now (till 7 instead of just 6…which is convenient). Initially my reaction was OW HELLLL NO. Styling a street-facing window of Buchanan Galleries for Spring/Summer, and AGAINST THE CLOCK no less? Pretty much as far out of my comfort zone as I could get at the moment.

You see, I’ve become somewhat of a fashion hermit, and I’m not sure what happened. I still scour loads of blogs obsessively, all my old faves, and read magazines, watch YouTube videos, all about fashion, style and trends. But when it comes to putting any of it into practice, I find myself in black leggings, long jersey tops and a parka most weekends, and skirts and shirts most weekdays. SIMPLY PUTL: THE DEFINITION OF A RUT.

Something needed to change, and maybe this could be it?! Time to start saying YES to things. Time to start running towards fun, challenging opportunities, instead of away from them. I’m tired of declining invitations and picking the easiest option. It’s just BORING. I replied that I would do it before I could change my mind…

And last night was the night. Armed with a few willing helpers (see bezzie and bf) I hopped to it, perspiring excessively with anxiety throughout. TMI, don’t act like y’all can’t handle it.

One hour to pick three looks for Spring/Summer 2014 and some background props, and one hour to style. I had no clue what I was doing, except from a few vague ideas like “pastels” and “girly” and “florals.” The reality turned out a little differently, but I’m still pretty pleased with it…



The finished window.

PHEW. Yes, it was stressful. But ultimately HUNNERS of fun, which was sort of the point.

I ended up grabbing loads of brightly coloured block pieces and bold florals, which wasn’t really what I had planned beforehand, but those were the things that jumped out at me most. And I figure eye-catching is key for window dressing, right? Although, who the hell knows – I’ve never done it before! I had notions of styling the whole thing around the Pantone colour of the year, Radiant Orchid, but I found it hard to find enough pieces in this very niche lilacy pink... Never mind!

I think my favourite elements are the chunky pink jumper draped over the slinky orange top, and the pink leopard-print fine-knit top tucked into the silky floral shorts. The mixture of those two elements really appeals to me, and I have GOT to start playing with contrasting patterns and textures in real life. I wanted it to look like a fun and maybe slightly heightened version of stuff I really would wear, or at least really WANT to wear, when the nights start getting longer and warmer.

I found myself stressing about the background more than anything else! The little step ladders and fake flowers looked good, but what I really wanted to do was hang bunches of flowers tied with ribbon down from the roof at odd angles and lengths, but frankly that was beyond my capabilities and impossible in an hour. But still, how COOL would that have been?!

Anyway, yes. That’s what I came up with in 2 hours. Not a long time, and those mannequins were a frickin NIGHTMARE, let me tell you. Major snaps to Visual Merchandisers everywhere.

A new blogger is taking on the challenge every night this week. Last night was the formidable Claire from Bee Waits and tonight is the turn of Ann from Frock Trade. Head down for moral support if you’re around, and if you take a SELFIE in front of the window, tweet it with the hashtag #latenightstyle @peoplemakeGLA for a chance to win £50 vouchers. Free monies innit. The winner of the challenge will be announced at the weekend, but to be honest I’m just proud I didn’t say no to this, like I was really tempted to do. That’s winning enough for me.

So. Safe to say THAT chucked me back in at the deep end, but I’m determined to keep FFS afloat, so thanks again for sticking with me. I’ll be posting way more regularly from now on, and it feels GOOD J


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