Rockingly good lipstick

This isn't going to turn into a make up review blog, I'm happy to leave that to the experts (I'm also not very good at pulling serious/pouty faces so you will have to cope with my usual cheesy grins) however a good red lipstick isn't easy to find despite the hundreds out there on the shelves, but I think I've found a good one, so I thought I would share it with you.

Now I'm not really what I would consider a ''high maintenance'' kind of girl. I'm not one of these women that likes/wants to check their refection in the mirror every 30 minutes (If this is you then fine, maybe I'm just too lazy to be high maintenance...) but often when I wear red lipstick this is *exactly* what I find myself doing, I will check myself out in anything that has a reflective surface, a mirror, shop window, calculators and even my reflection in peoples spectacles!......... I just want something to look nice and with make up this means that I want it to have some staying power.

Red lipstick can be a high maintenance colour indeed and I'm sure most of us lipstick wearers have had that 'omg' moment when you have been happily chatting to someone only to then look in the mirror afterwards and see that your lips are no longer luscious red but patchy or worse just an outline! Vexing! Now I know there maybe more pressing matters going on in the universe, but getting the little things right, like a good lippie, can at least have an impact on how you feel about facing this big bad world.

Let's face it, buying new make-up is.....well it's nice isn't it? I love trying new products. Having seen some good reviews about a a range of lipsticks by Rockalily.com I was tempted to try one myself. Now buying a new lipstick online can be a bit of a step into the unknown, but the website details each colour, and at the moment the range consists of just four colours, so you're not left feeling overwhelmed by choice. Over on the Rockalily facebook page  you can also see a gallery of lovely ladies wearing their lipsticks with pride. Who better to model the colours, than the people who bought it?

 I chose the shade Rockette Red, the lipsticks cost £14 + £2.50 p&p, delivery was super fast. I had this through the letter box within 2 days. This is the most I've spent on a lipstick, but so far it's been worth every penny. I still believe you don't need to spend lot's of money on expensive brands, but to get a lipstick that lasts and you can wear with confidence? This lipstick is proof that it's worth paying a bit extra if you can.

It's a lovely bright shade of show stopping red and goes on really smoothly. I had no bleeding the first few times I used it, but I have to say there have been a few occasions recently when I've noticed it has bled a wee bit, BUT these were on warm days so that could have been me melting it a little! It wasn't really noticeable to anyone but me and with a quick touch up was well.

I personally prefer to wear lip liner when I wear lipstick as I like to have a clean outline, this will help any lipstick bleed. It lasted really very well indeed. Several hours and several cups of tea and it was still going strong. When it did start to wear off, it did so very evenly and I was left with a pale red pout, not a horrid patchy one. I also liked the simple packaging and the lid doesn't just slide on, it twists and locks which gives peace of mind to someone like me like me who has a very disorganised handbag! I know I can throw it in without fear that the lid will come off and the nightmare scenario of fluffy or broken lipstick is a concern of the past.

I'm loving this shade of red, it's one that I'm happy to wear in the daytime through to the evening. Would you also like to know something else that's really nice about this brand? There's a real person behind it, not some anonymous big brand with a board of suits, but a woman (ReeRee Rockett) who writes a very very readable blog not just about lipstick but about style and life too and you can read about ReeRee Rockett's world by clicking here
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The Vintage Fair

 I was quite excited about attending this fair having never been to it before. It was held in St. Andrews Hall which is an impressive venue even without a hall full of vintage loveliness. Admission was £2 and as soon as I walked in I was greeted with a selection stalls offering not just clothes (although there were rails and rails and rails) but also jewellery, teacups with candles, picnic sets, luggage etc.

There was music playing, classics like 'Rain drops keep falling on my head' , highly appropriate for the weather today, thank goodness for my brolly, it's one of those clear plastic dome ones, I can't recommend this style enough, not only do they save your hair, they save your eyeliner! Another song that stood out was 'The candy man can' not sure if that's what it's called but it was in the Gene Wilder version of Charlie and the chocolate factory which is one of my fave films *ever*. Anyway I digress (as usual)....................

There was a good range of era's, mainly from 50's through to 80's. Prices were better than I was expecting to be honest, I saw dresses from £7 and upwards with the average dress price being between £15 -25. There were more expensive dresses but for a 50's original you'd expect to pay that bit more. So I think it's fair to say there was something for all budgets.

There was also a very good selection of  menswear too which was good as you boys can often get neglected. When it comes to vintage , it's often a woman's world. Despite there being lots on offer, not much was really catching my heart but I did get this 1950's cruet set (I'm guessing as they are plastic they would have come from a picnic set) and a jade green dress really caught my eye - but sadly it had been reworked and rather than the hemline skimming the middle of my calf (tea dress style) it was above my knee - and I'm short so on average height girl this would be bum skimming!

Each to their own but if you make that kind of dress so short you make it look more indie than vintage (although in hindsight with tights on, it might have been just about okay in the winter with boots) The whole of this rail had been reworked which is a lot of dress chopping. I was a bit vexed at the sight of it if I'm honest and actually texted fellow Norwich blogger Retro Chick just to have a rant! I was also dissapointed to see what looked like an old battered vintage evening bag was actually from Boot's No.7 range, not sure that belongs nestled amongst a basket of vintage bags... but maybe I'm being picky.  Fortunately Biddy's tea room were in attendance to supply me with a nice pot of tea and a scone. (Hurrah!) Which was every bit as gorgeous as it looks and I would say a total bargain at £3.95.

This dress needs to be pictured properly and added to Project 365, it's a lovely 70's does 50's number

I decided to have one last circuit around the stalls,and as it was getting close to closing time, a seller had very kindly reduced a rail of clothes to a fiver a piece...excellent news. So I grabbed two 1970's dresses, one a sage green day dress and one a lovely deep blue evening dress, I haven't had a chance to get a picture with them on yet, so these aren't the best pictures to show them off, but the blue one will be lovely for going out to dinner. Fab for £5.

Excuse the terrible for sale on Ebay style pictures!

Would I go again? Yes I would, even if you don't find anything you fancy buying, it's a lovely venue to go and treat yourself to afternoon tea. So when the next one hits town I will be adding it to my diary.
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Tea, cake and charity

If you are truly most peculiar and need an excuse to drink tea and eat cake then good news, I do indeed have the perfect excuse for you. If like me you need absolutely no excuse to indulge in a cuppa then I have good news for you too....isn't this sounding like a win win situation?..............

Marie Curie Cancer Care is inviting us to put the kettle on, dust off our teapots, dig out the china tea cups (if you need quantity over style it's okay to use a mug!) and hold a Blooming Great Tea Party. The 'official' tea party season is between June 12th and July 12th (June 1st to 30th for Northern Ireland readers) However that rule book can get dusty on the shelf as far as I'm concerned, so I'm announcing it's tea party season......... when ever we like! I'm in London next week, I'll have a word with the queen, it's fine, she will understand - the worst that can happen to me for taking such an anarchist approach to breaking the tea party rules is a spell in the tower, which let's face it will save me the entrance fee and get me into the non touristy bits ...(*every cloud/silver lining*)

Marie Curie Cancer Care was established in 1948 (this is the same year as our national health service, we might knock the NHS but seriously, can you imagine life without it?) The charity provides free nursing to cancer patients and their carers. A very sobering fact on the Marie Curie website is a reference to  research that shows  65% of people with terminal cancer would actually choose to have their final days at home, in reality only 25% are able to fulfill this wish. I'm not sure if I know of anyone hasn't been effected by cancer in one way or another, everyone seems to know someone who's had the 'big C'. Such a sad fact.

So whilst drinking tea and eating finger sandwiches won't cure it over night, do know what? it just might help, as the charity funds scientists so they can carry on the research. So what better reason to get together with friends and family? Get in the kitchen and do some baking, get the bambino's involved. If baking isn't your thing or you just don't have time? CHEAT! I'm sure even Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith have been a mistress of Mr.Kipling at some point! Of course I'm not condoning fibs....... but organising your recycling is important........... so you could very swiftly pop the box in the bin?.........or if you are a terrible fibber like me then I find a wink and a grin will get you out of most situations...........

The charity's team have pretty much though of everything you might need, click here and you will be able to download things like bunting, posters and even a tea party quiz. If you don't think you can manage a tea party, then take your cakes and flask for a picnic in the park, have a cake/tea trolley at work, or you could pop onto the website and make a donation? If you are inspired to volunteer or try a different challenge to raise money and awareness then you will find lots of information to help you on the website. I know this has been a link heavy post, but it's a good cause and I would like to round up with a link that will take you over to the people who help deliver the care to the patients and families and two more that will help you keep up to date with Marie Curie events and news. So if you would like to meet the nurses who make a difference please click here.

The wonders of social media means that you can also follow the charity on Facebook and if you are a little tweeter you can follow on twitter too. Just click on the coloured links and you will be transported to those sites. The wonders of technology! It's like magic! But then I am the girl who stands at the fax machine at work exclaiming ''wow it's all so clever!' every time I use it. Yes a fax machine, people still use those! So click away and I hope you feel inspired to know more about the charity, the people who help and the people it benefits.

(*special thanks to Laura at Marie Curie Cancer Care who's emails inspired this post*)
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Buy buy baby.......

My recent treasure hunts for ''stuff'' have been pretty good lately. I've managed to bag some super little buys, the outings are always fun and feel like an adventure. Trips to the local charity shops, boot fairs and flea markets is always a step into the unknown. You never leave the house knowing what you will come home with, and you often will find something you never really knew you needed......

Like this 1950's hand mirror. It's absolutely adorable and the back is embroided lace. Now I had no idea I *needed* one of these. It was only £3 and I bought it because I thought it would look pretty on my much loved dressing table that I told you about in my previous post called 'jaw dropping drawers'. It's turned out to be something I use almost every single day to put my make up on in the mornings. Which is lovely because you can see from the handle being slightly worn that it's probably been a practical accessory all it's life.

Another super £5 buy is my late 50's early 60's  side/coffee table. *Wolf whistle* at those atomic legs. I love this so much and it's used every single day. If I ever see another one of these I will snap it up. The living room is naturally falling into a 50's theme, which is fab, I'm hoping to find a drop leaf 50's formica table, that's well and truly on the wish list. I've ordered the wallpaper today which was very exciting. Not for the faint hearted........

Just on one wall, a whole room may be too much?!

 At a carboot sale I was given  (yes given!) this gorgeous 60's lamp, complete with original salmon pink lampshade! I was a really warm but quite windy Sunday and I picked up the lamp to look closer at it's atomic style base, the lady said to me that they were fed up of it blowing over and that she had just told her friend the next person who seems to like it could have it for nothing! How fabulous for me?! She'd had this lamp it's whole life and it still has the original wiring - which I need to check out but I like it whether it works or not, I'm thrilled with it.

 I bought these rather fab framed cigarette cards. Very glam I think. I haven't quite worked out where to hang them yet so they are propped next to the lamp until I decide. I've also managed to scoop some lovely vintage suitcases which make excellent storage on top of wardrobes and under beds. More pictures to follow but for now here's my lovely sky blue antler over night /vanity case.

It's currently storing my rollers but will make an excellent over night bag, its quite roomy. I got a really really good buy with this as this was £4.99! I've got a few days in London coming up, I wonder just how much I can pack in it?! Enough for a few nights I wonder?................
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What makes a cocktail party a marvelous one?

When it's one that transports you to another era. Last week I attended an event organised by fellow Norwich blogger Retro chick and Blue Skies Vintage Events.  The build up to the evening was mainly spent having the usual panic about what to wear and how to do my hair. Thanks to social media I knew I wasn't the only one, as Twitter was a frenzy of comments about hair being in rollers etc , which all added the build up.

After a quick dash to a few of the vintage/charity shops in Norwich that morning, I found THE most amazing green 60/70's does 30's floor length frock. Being a little on the short side, I was over joyed to be able to buy a long dress that wouldn't need a foot of material chopped off it! I was a little fearful about it being flammable so I did check with Retro Chick if there would be candles. Trust me, once you have set your dress on fire once you are always ready for the next time!

So dress sorted it was time to think of the hair at last! When I set my hair I always do it the night before but as I knew there may be a last minute dash to the shop I hadn't done so, as quite frankly I'm not brave enough to go to the shops in rollers, even with a scarf! So I was a bit panicky about doing a wet set on the day, but I got the rollers in, and as I had the day off I could sit under a little dryer hood with a pot of tea and watch Diagnosis Murder (which I adore, yes you may scoff!) So there I am with Dick Van Dyke, tea in hand, rollers in hair - sadly I have no picture of this snapshot of glamourdom. Shame I know.......(I will do a post about setting hair though so brace yourselves for some roller shots)

As it was a 30's inspired event (not compulsory but I think you will see from the pictures that everyone made a fantastic effort on the glamour front) I decided to grip my hair up into a faux bob. Which I really liked and has made me think that I now won't get my hair chopped as I had been pondering, because if i fancy a shorter look, I can just grab the rollers and grips....

Quite a loose 's' wave through the fringe/bangs - LOTS of hairspray!
Of course it rained, so out came my beloved umbrella with the blue sausage dogs on it. I don't live far from the event venue so I walked. A gauntlet of 'awight daaarlin' from white van man, 'Nice dress!' from man walking past me and 'You look luuurverly tonight, verrryy niiiice' from a taxi man eating a burger (yes eating whilst shouting across the street. Messy)

So I was ready to hit the cocktails when I arrived, and my goodness they did not disappoint! I opted for a long cocktail first, a mac daddy then I was ready for a manhattan which almost blew my head off! Then I was onto the vodka martinis. It was an impressive authentic list of 1930's cocktails and the girls behind the bar worked constantly, shaking, stirring and mixing. The bar was never empty. I wonder if their poor arms ached the next day?

It was a really nice atmosphere, everyone looked fantastically glam, I got so many fabulous pictures that I've made an album on my facebook page, so do pop over and have a look as there's too many to add to this post!

The entertainment was excellent we were very very lucky to have some fabulous swing dancers in the room! I was utterly mesmerised. I tempted to give it a go as it looks such fun.

It was lovely to meet some fellow bloggers too. On the left in the green is Retro Chick, next is Penny Dreadful Vintage, then Lady Cherry Loves and as always I'm the short one on the end! We may look composed and glam, but let me tell you, getting this shot was like herding cats, it as about midnight, several cocktails had been consumed and we were all a bit giggly. Thank you to the chaps who used our cameras to get these pics for us. It was a bit like getting papped! I expect we may have been hard models to work with and one of the last shots is one of my faves!

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Goking heck!

Gok Wan. Makeover queen, designer and possibly one of the most personable presenters to ever grace our screens? Well I think so, but then I'm out and proud as a self confessed Gok hag. For anyone not familiar, may I suggest you start by watching a few of the ''How to look good naked'' shows - but be prepared to go on an emotional rollercoaster with the participants of the programme.

You're taken on a journey, (I know some people hate that word but I 'm one of those people that uses it quite a lot....sorry!) a journey (there it is again.....) of confidence building. You watch these lovely ladies learn to feel better about who they are and how they look and really, there's only one thing I ever really wanted to change........the underwear.

Yes it was practical, yes it nipped in , smoothed them out and put curves in all the right places. It gave them confidence which IS sexy BUT once the clothes were off and they were standing in their undies, did they feel it looked sexy? Don't most of us like pretty underwear? It's pretty hard for black undies not to look gorgeous unless it seems, they come in the form of what look like cycling shorts. It really need to be sexed up in my opinion. We know it's out there, my previous post suspender arrest  gave a peep at retro vintage styles that would boost any woman's vava voom whilst avoiding the dreading VPL.

Well gorgeous Gok continues to completely pull it out of the bag (or should that be knicker drawer) with his range for Simply Yours , it just keeps getting better and better. It's a bottom spanking collection of retro style undies with colours including classic black, soft pink and hot cerise.

Gok Wan's curve controller (currently there's a sale on and it's reduced to £27.50 - that's a saving of £28.68!!!)

Seriously, how cute is this model? This is the same as above but it looks very Marilyn Monroe is white I think? Again this is reduced to £27.50

Gok's Divine outline. Oooo la la indeed. Currently reduced to £22.50
Gok's sassy slip. Currently reduced to £27.50 (cowboy hat not included...shame)
Gok's sleek shaper. I think this is so pretty and puurrrs 'vintage starlet' £50
Move over flesh coloured boulder holders and hello to a bit Gok in your drawers! ( *fights the urge to let out a Babs Windsor style Carry on snigger*)
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