As much as I love American Apparel, it often seems pretty overpriced. I've bought 2 Flex Fleece hoodies, only for them to become bobbly within 4 or so washes - not impressed AA! Especially when forking out £40 for each (ouch!). Shops like Topshop and Ark have hopped on the band-waggon, selling almost identical hoodies for half the price. Ark, in particular, sell very good coloured hoodies. I own 2 myself and I genuinely think they are 10x longer lasting than AA! Fair enough, they don't sell all the colour variations that AA boast, but their range is still very impressive (for both men and women). Plus, they offer free standard delivery, which is always handy!! The prices for women's hoodies vary from £19.99 - £26.99.

   Having never owned a pair of the AA Disco Pants I can't make any comment on the quality, but I would expect them to be pretty good for £70. Anyway, I have wanted a pair for about half a year now as they're so versatile, flattering and on trend! I also find jeans really constricting and try to avoid them most of the time. £70 is a lot of money to spend on one pair of trousers for me, so instead of saving up for them I was determined to look for a similar alternative! After a long hunt (took me about a week! Seriously! The keywords people put on things on eBay are pathetic!) I finally found something looking along the lines of them on eBay!

   At first sight I was so happy to have found Disco Pant dupes!!! Then, on closer inspection, I was a little uncertain about the quality of the trousers... the looked a bit baggy.. the button looked a bit cheap... they weren't very high waisted... but for £14.99... wow!!! I had to get them - and I did! I ordered small to medium, as I'm about a UK 8-10 in jeans / trousers.

   They came really quickly (delivery £1.99 - recorded, from what I remember) within about 2 days of ordering. They deliver worldwide too, which is handy. I opened the packet and they looked way better than I had expected! They're made by a brand called Flirt. I was really impressed by the fit when I tried them on, they really do fit perfectly! Here is how I styled them today.
Cardigan - Factory Shop £14    Top - New Look £4.99 (I think!)   Bag - Matthew Williamson Butterfly from eBay £20   Trousers - as previously stated   Wedge shoes - New Look £20

Ring - Primark about £2

   They are quite thin, but I'm not sure how thick / thin the AA ones are! They're probably the same thickness of the average pair of leggings. Again, they're not quite as high waisted as the AA ones but I think the way the pockets are sized and shaped on the bum is really flattering! Not as 70s/ 80s style as the AA pants, but flattering, nevertheless. the button is a little off-putting as it is just a cheap plastic one, but this could easily be replaced. or you could wear a belt over it (as shown in the photos below).They're not amazing quality, but they're definitely still a bargain for £14.99! (Apologies for the shoes not being shown... my room is small and crammed so hard to get them in the photo, when I did take a photo of them I realised the camera shows I have marks from alcohol all over them... ooops!)

   If you can't splash your cash readily / be bothered to save, like me, I think these are a great alternative. So surprised to see that I'm still the only person to have purchased these on eBay! - but as I said, they haven't made finding them easy! Pretty smug I've got my hands on these - has anyone else found anything similar to AA Disco Pants?
   Thought I would make a post about my skin, as, hopefully, sharing my experience with certain cleansing products  might be interesting / useful to others with similar skin to mine! Obviously I realise cleanser isn't the only important aspect of a skin-care routine, but I just wanted to share the major step I have just experienced in the improvement of my skin in terms of my cleansing!!

      I have pretty sensitive skin, which is extremely dry in places (most of my body, but also on the sides of my nose and sometimes my forehead), but it is also pretty oily in others (down the centre of my nose, sometimes my forehead and around my chin). To put it in better words, I have combination skin!

   Basically, for years my skin has been annoyingly 'blemish' prone. I am not claiming to have suffered from acne,  but I seem to constantly have blackheads and spots (ergh.. but I guess most of us get them from time to time!). I'm almost 20 now and although it's common for people to still suffer from hormone-induced bad skin at this age I had had enough of it.

   I have used loads of cleansers: anti-bacterial, tea-tree based, 'for sensitive skin' .. the list goes on - the last one I used before deciding I had had enough of my skin was the T-Zone cleanser, not a ridiculously cheap cleanser, but one that supposedly helps out spot-prone skin. I can tell you now, it really aggravated my skin. I only used this cleanser for about 3 months, I gave it the benefit of the doubt for about 2 and a half months (pretty ridiculous, I know, but I don't like to strongly put down a product unless it repeatedly fails to impress / wishful thinking that it wasn't the cleanser which gradually added to my blemish issues!). In Boots one day I ended up in the premium brands area somehow...! I came across Vichy Laboratories Norma-Derm Cleanser, which looks like this.

   It cost me about £10.50 (200ml), which at the time I winced at slightly! I'm always tentative when buying a product which looks all 'scientific' - Vichy has certainly been branded to appeal in that way!! 'Norma-Derm' is Vichy's range for acne-prone skin. I took time to read the ingredients - to me this was really important, as I didn't want any harsh chemicals in the formula that would cause my skin to react, so reading that it was paraben, alcohol, colourant, fragrance and soap free made me feel much more inclined to buy it! It is also hypoallergenic, which is a must for anyone with sensitive skin (as I have learnt over the years!). It is a one step cleanser, which only needs applying with a cotton pad and does not need rinsing off, which is an added bonus as when I remove my make-up I want it to be a quick and simple as possible!

   Unlike other cleansers I have used, I don't get that horrid tight, dried out face feeling after using the product. My skin still feels really refreshed from cleansing. The product definitely seems to reduce the frequency / severity (ha!) of blemishes. I use it twice a day and after 1-2 months of use I have only used about a quarter of the bottle, which isn't bad!

   I looked up the brand on the internet (out of curiosity) and discovered it also makes Dermablend, it also seems to be owned by L'Oreal. I can't lie.. I was a little disappointed to find this out. The marketing ploy - if I'm right! -  had worked somewhat! I'm probably being a bit harsh here, L'Oreal DO make good products, but I have probably been living under a rock not to realise Vichy before... Despite all this you can't put down a good product with proven results.

   There are other similarly branded / priced / formulated products out there, but because of the results I have had so far I strongly recommend that those of you with sensitive combination skin should give this a go!!  I'm definitely tempted to pick up some of the Vichy Norma-Derm Moisturiser in the coming weeks! Has anyone else been impressed by Vichy products?
   Everyone has their favourite products, I certainly have mine! These products are ones I use on a daily basis:

MAC - Studio Fix Fluid in NC15
Natural Collection - Loose Powder in Cool Translucent
Natural Collection - Blushed Cheeks in Pink Cloud
MUA - Bronzer in Shade 3
Collection 2000 - Lasting Concealer in Fair (1)
Sleek - Brow Kit in Light
17 - Lash and Brow Mascara
Rimmel - Liquid Eyeliner in Black Glamour
W7 - Massive Lashes Mascara in Black
Collection 2000 - Super Size Fat Lash Mascara in Brown / Black
Vaseline (old trusty lipbalm!)

Note: I don't tend to wear blusher and bronzer at the same time - just because unless I have fake tanned, I am extremely pale so I find this is a bit OTT for my complexion!

   I first used MAC Studio Fix Fluid about a year ago and have never turned back since. Foundation, to me, is one of those products that you shouldn't skimp on. Having realised how sensitive my skin is the past couple of years, Studio Fix Fluid seems pretty skin-friendly to me (being oil free obviously helps)! The coverage is just right and provides a relatively matte finish. It stays in place for a good 5 hours or so on my skin, it needs powdering throughout the day, but this is probably just due to my combination skin (I'll explain my skin situation in more detail in a later post!). 

   Despite my loyalty to this product I am tempted to try NARS Sheer Matte Foundation - it has had brilliant reviews and has the benefit of being dermatologically tested and non-comedogenic (easily swayed..). The only thing preventing me from purchasing is the price, it's £10 more than MAC SFF, but I guess the price may be warranted!

   I purchased Collection 2000 Lasting Concealer as it is constantly raved about by UK beauty bloggers. This concealer is the best I have ever used! It blends in so well with a small brush and is better for my skin than a lot of creamier formulas. AND it is only about £4!

   Clearly I have a soft spot for cheap products!! But they still have to be products that perform.  Natural Collection Blusher in Pink Cloud is exemplifies this perfectly. It retails at around £2 (from what I can remember) in Boots stores - but it is highly pigmented and really blendable. I've also come across reviews comparing it to a MAC blush (although I can't remember which one, it seems comparable to Well Dressed) which is definitely a plus, as MAC blush retails at £17.50. The Natural Collection powder is really nothing to shout about, but again, I have had issues with powders being overly drying or not absorbent enough, but this seems to be a relatively good balance between the two. Anyone have any suggestions of really good powders for sensitive skin?

   MUA have come out with some outstanding products in their line. Most products retail at £1 - or only slightly more (I think they have bumped some of the prices up slightly from what I can remember?). Shade 3 Bronzer looks brilliant on when I have tanned, when I haven't I find it can be a little muddy looking on my skin (believe it or not in these photos I tanned 2 days ago...). Despite this, it is pretty decent for the price and has no shimmer - one thing that I cannot stand in blushers / bronzers for some reason, although most budget brands in the UK seems to add some glitter in to EVERY product somehow!

   As for my eye make-up routine, I have stuck to the same look now for about 4 years or more! I rarely go out of the house without winged liner - to me it is way less hassle than eyeshadow, but it looks like you've made more of an effort compared to just a sweep of mascara! I have always used the same liquid eyeliner from Rimmel - whenever I have tried anything different (usually when I have had liquid liner as a gift) it just crumbles after a couple of hours, looks weirdly shiny or the applicator is really difficult  / scratchy. This is quick and simple to apply and lasts all day. The product lasts for ages too - I probably only have to replace it twice a year and I use it every day!

   Mascara is one thing I never settle on, I can never find anything that blows me away. I have bought so many mascaras before, only to be hugely disappointed by the results. For now I use W7 and Collection 2000 (first I apply W7 as it's a very light formula, then followed by Collection 2000, which covers the lashes well, then follow with a final coat to even out my lashes with W7 again - don't ask.. it just works well for me!). I  have long lashes but not a lot of them! Anyone recommend any particular mascaras?

   I love my Sleek brow kit! It's such a handy size and I love the box it comes in! Although I do find that the colour is perhaps a little dark / slightly too warm for my complexion and hair colour. I wish Sleek made a more ashy toned / lighter one - but for now (until I can get my hands on e.l.f's lightest eyebrow kit, which I'm dying to try!) I'll be sticking to this one.

   Finally, Vaseline. In winter it is inevitable that your lips are going to get dry and possibly crack! And lipbalms / glosses / sticks just worsen that situation -they sit in the dry parts and avoid the normal parts, (what's with that?!?)! Vaseline helps my lips out so much in winter! This is a staple product, I know, but couldn't miss it out! I never leave the house without it!

I'm Robyn, I'm 19 and I'm a student. I don't study fashion or any other kind of artistic degree, so this blog will become my outlet for my beauty / fashion related interests!
I may have directed you here from my tumblr. Tumblr has only really allowed me to appreciate good photography and present my own sense of style in the form of images (so if you're interested in that - please follow me!) .
I'm hoping to be more creative in my blogging here, instead of just clicking 'reblog' every other minute.



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