You know that advert where there’s some kind of amazing festival with everyone throwing coloured dye on each other, and it’s supposed to make you want to buy a car or a camera or something, but actually it just makes you want to run outside in a spray of yellow, purple and red, dancing around like a toddler hopped up on too much Haribo? Of course you do – how could you forget? Well, if you’re anything like me, once you have a dream in mind, you set about to find a way to make it happen. And, funnily enough, where there’s a dream, there’s usually someone ready to make that dream come true if you give them some money. To cut a long story short, earlier this month I went on the Color Run in Wembley, London. That’s basically what I’m trying to tell you.
You may remember my Bag ‘n’ Shoes post from last week, where I revealed my much-lusted after Fendi B Bag, a style I’ve loved for years but never thought I’d have the opportunity to own – particularly as they don’t make them any more! As I mentioned, I nabbed mine second hand, and sometimes this can be a daunting prospect, as you’re not always sure whether you’re buying the real deal… This is where the fabulous Shian from Naughtipidgins’ Nest comes in! The site is a handbag lover’s dream, chock full of designer gear from labels like Chanel, Mulberry, Dior, Jimmy Choo and more – all of them authentic, second-hand, designer bags, in great quality condition, at reasonable prices.
I first stumbled upon the site after stalking Purseblog’s forums, particularly the Mulberry section. As you know, I’m a massive Mulberry fangirl so when I heard that there was a much-trusted, second hand seller of Mulberry, I was quick to check it out. I was desperately after the Mulberry Valentine’s clutch from this year (eventually bagged one on eBay), and Shian was so helpful that I check her site regularly ever since. (Seriously, she is lovely.)
As Naughtipidgins is nearing its 5000th sale (and planning to celebrate in fine style!) I thought it would be interesting to talk to Shian about the business for the blog. Because let’s face it, anyone with that many designer handbags in their vicinity is definitely worth talking to…!
What got you into the business (and how long have you been in business)?
“Downsizing my own collection when we moved from London to Lancashire in 2005. I started selling my own bags on eBay and both Buyers and Sellers seemed to like the way I took lots and lots of photos and described things very honestly. It wasn’t long before people were contacting me to ask if I could sell their bags for them and it really went from there. In May 2011 I decided eBay had served its time for the ‘Nest’ and set up my own website which has been incredible fun and I’m loving every minute of it.”
What’s your own collection like?
“Rather sadly depleted from its peak, but it is true… I really don’t need two different bags a day, every day of the week, each month of the year, any more! (At least that’s what I try to keep telling myself when my collection creeps up in size. An occupational hazard of the job, so I’m not too hard on myself). I now tend to keep a core of classics that I rarely stray from, and a varied collection of Mulberry (mainly older styles as it seems to take me a while to ‘warm up’ to newer ones). As long as they all still fit in my designated ‘personal-bag-space’ then I know I’m still in control, lol!”
Do you remember your first designer bag purchase?
“Absolutely. Though I dabbled with a few Bally’s in my late teens, my first ‘wow’ moment was the first time I walked into Chanel Rue Saint-Honoré. I left with my first Chanel 2.55 and the rest is history.” (SO JEALOUS)
What’s your favourite brand? Bag?
“That’s such a difficult question to answer and I don’t actually think I can choose just one brand. Different occasions call for different bags and there isn’t one single designer that can do it all. I’d still say the classic 2.55 Chanel 10″ is my favourite style though and have been known to sit and stroke a lambskin for hours, lol!”
What’s the most unusual bag you’ve sold?
“I’ve sold a few ‘famous’ peoples’ bags and some quite amazing exotic skins over the years, but only ever sell things that I actually like, so being a bit conservative, I don’t think there’s ever been anything too ‘out’ there in the grand scheme of things.”
How do you authenticate your bags?
“Authentication is a time-served skill and takes a lot of experience, observation and research. You have to have observed, handled and examined a lot of bags, both genuine and fake, over a long period of time, in order to be able to discern the authentic from the counterfeit. Yes, some fakes are really rubbish and anyone can ‘tell’ but many are incredibly ‘close’ to the real thing and those who haven’t the knowledge or skill to identify the indicators can be very easily taken in. It’s ALWAYS a complete waste of money to buy fake, whether knowingly or unwittingly, as they will never match up to the longeivity, quality and ultimately, beauty and craftmanship of a genuine item.”
Where did the name of your business come from?
“It was my eBay ID, and as word spread, it stayed with me. How it actually came about in the first instance is a bit of a mystery really… not the easiest business name to say or spell, so, had I known I’d eventually have a business, I’d of chosen something a bit more relevant!”
What makes an iconic design in your opinion?
“That’s a good question as a lot of those bags you’d call ‘icons’ don’t actually stand the test of time in terms of style. Some do, but I’d say a true icon is a bag that is completely timeless.”
What are some bags that really hold value?
“In terms of financial value the bags that depreciate the least, currently and very generically, are Chanel Flaps, Lady Diors and Mulberry Bayswaters. Maintained well, these styles will retain the greatest value and in some instances appreciate.”
What advice can you give people on how to store and care for their bags?
“It depends on the finish. You would treat a lambskin leather differently to an LV canvas, but generally the golden rules are:
- Ensure you know how to care for your finish
- Make sure you have the right products
- Remember to clean and care for them regularly (which again will depend upon finish and usage)
- Store with stuffing inside their dustbags to maintain their shape.”
If you had to create a capsule designer bag wardrobe of five items (with no budget!) what bags would you pick? (Colours too!)
“Created for my lifestyle now… (10 years ago this would have looked different!)
- Mulberry Bayswater in oak darwin with older style glossy postman’s lock plate – smart everyday bag perfect for work, play or anything life can throw at you.
- Lady Dior medium in black lambskin leather with gold tone hardware – classic, great for day with shoulder strap or evening without.
- Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM in damier ebene – shopping, gym, beach… you name it, its big and easy to use.
- Chanel 2.55 flap 10″ in black lambskin with silver hardware – no more need to be said…
- Hermes Birkin ostrich 32cm (preferably in chocolate) – just because I’ve never owned one!”
My thanks to Shian for so graciously answering my questions, and allowing me to use these images from her site. As of the time of writing, all of the bags with prices listed next to them were still available on the site, so get shopping… Plus, Naughtipidgin is soon set to celebrate the 5000th sale from the shop with a special gift certificate worth £100 at the Nest’s shop! All you have to do to be in with a chance is enter by making a purchase – and the winner will be announced in November.
Visit Naughtipidgins Nest at http://www.naughtipidginsnest.co.uk.
I was surprised again this month by how quickly I got my GlossyBox – I wasn’t expecting it until next week! This month’s theme is Valentine’s Day, and so the box was an explosion of pink and red.
Even the outside of the box had a special makeover for today!
An amazing range of products for me this month – and I couldn’t be happier with my selection. The full sizes were a lip balm, lipstick, body cream, and highlighter, and the only sample size was the eye shadow – which is still a fairly decent size.
First of all, the very important matter of the most exciting item in the box: the bonus lollipop!
I don’t very often purchase lollipops as part of my beauty routine, but this was packaged nicely with the GlossyBox logo on one side, and a handy clear window on the other side so you could see the item inside. The lollipop was shaped like a heart, which is a nice touch. Upon opening, it had a subtle scent of strawberries, which was very pleasant. I found this to be very tasty – sweet, crunchy, and mouth watering. After eating it, though, I couldn’t tell the immediate benefits to my complexion. I definitely think I’d need to try more of these in order to test them properly, but the only type I can purchase near me is Chupa Chups, which I don’t think will have the same effect.
Here are the details about the rest of the box:
Micabella Cosmetics: Mineral Eye Shadow in Deep Secrets. Full size is £14.95 for 2.5g. Included here is 1g.
A very pretty bronze colour – and I really like mineral powder. I can imagine this being hard to apply as the powder is very fine, but there’s a tip here to dampen your brush before applying so I’ll try that! You can see the other products in the range at http://www.micabella.co.uk.
Balance Me: Rose Otto Body Cream. Full size is £6 for 30ml, and £18 for 200ml. Included here is 30ml.
The rose scent is very strong and the cream feels pretty rich on application – it contains aloe vera, rosehip and camellia oils, along with the fragrance of rose otto oil. There’s not much you can really say about a skin cream, but this is actually really nice and feels very silky. Perfect for Valentine’s Day! You can find out more http://www.balanceme.co.uk.
Figs and Rouge: Rambling Rose Lip Balm. £3.49 for 8ml, which is included in the box.
I absolutely love the packaging of this product! It’s adorable! In fact, the whole range from Figs and Rouge is exquisitely designed, and I’ll definitely be purchasing more in the future. The lip balm itself is decent, although seems to sit on the surface of the skin for a while before absorbing properly. The rose scent is very strong on this too – you can almost taste it when you put it on! It’s not my favourite scent, but I will definitely pick up some others from this brand, if just for how gorgeous they look! Check them out at http://www.figsandrouge.com.
Miners Cosmetics: Lip Colour in Seduction. £3.99 for 4g, which is included in this box.
Seduction is a rich and bold colour with a smooth application – although I found that it fades to a strong pink colour, which means it needs to be topped up. Certainly not bad for £3.99! I love this dramatic, deep red – it’s very Valentine’s Day friendly! Visit the site at http://www.minerscosmetics.co.uk.
MEMEME Cosmetics: Beat the Blues in Oyster Gold. £5.50 for 12ml, which is included in this box.
As a fan of Benefit’s High Beam, I was interested to get this in my box, which looks a bit like a more shimmery version of their Sun Beam formula. Being very pale, I don’t usually go in for bronzers or gold-tinted highlighters, so I’ll be testing this out to see if I should be changing all that! It would have been ace to have had this for the Christmas season, as I love a bit of gold and sparkle during the winter months – but I guess it can just as easily translate into a sun-kissed summer look too! Find more at http://www.mememecosmetics.co.uk.
So, that’s the Valentine’s Day GlossyBox for me – I couldn’t have asked for more, really. Great range of products, all things that I use already but in either much loved shades or ones I’m interested to try out. And I guess you could even pull the three cosmetics items together to make a Valentine’s Day look if you wanted! I’m definitely pleased to have a more make up centric box this month.
Visit http://www.glossybox.co.uk to subscribe for your monthly beauty box!
Not surprisingly, the theme for this month is ‘Detox’, and my box contains some great products to help me do just that!
There are two face masks, a 3-in-1 cleanser which you can also use as an exfoliant and mask, a lip balm, face tonic, and a neat little eye mask too!
Click on the pic above to be taken to Flickr, where you can view this image in a larger size if you want to read the text!
So, here are the details about what was included:
Premae Skincare: Balance Rescue Face Tonique. Full size is 50ml (£27.50). The size included here was 30ml. This is for mattifying and rejuvenating congested skin, so a perfect match for me. The antiseptic lemongrass and sandalwood oil is supposed to close pores without leaching natural oils. www.premaeskincare.com
Monu: Renu Flash Relax Mask. 100ml (£32). The size here is 30ml. This is a ‘detox’ mask with Ginseng, magnesium, and vitamins C and B5, to reduce fine lines and promote natural radiance. It’s paraben free, too. www.monushop.co.uk.
Jason: Lips Bee Healthier. 4.6g is £1.99 – included in the pack. A therapeutic blend of beeswax, vitamin E, green tea extract, organic aloe vera gel, shea butter and almond oil to moisturise and condition lips in the harsh winter months. This is actually a lovely product that I’ve tested already – you can never have too many lip balms, in my opinion! www.jasonnaturalcare.co.uk.
Vichy: Normaderm 3in1 cleanser. 125ml is £11. The size here was 50ml. This multi-purpose product contains glycolic and salicylic acids and 25% clay in order to cleanse problem skin – another one that seems to be custom added for me! You can either use this as a cleanser like normal, or you can leave on your size for 5 minutes before washing off. www.boots.co.uk/vichy
Sanctuary Spa: Active Reverse Thermal Transformation Mask. Full size is £27.50 for 50ml of ‘step 1’ and 75ml of ‘step 2’. The product included here is a sample sachet size for one application. Firstly, you smooth the peptide transformation serum over your cleansed face and neck. Then, you add the thermal rose clay mask layer, allow to heat up, then leave to cool naturally for around 15 minutes before removing with warm water. I remember using heated clay masks before as a kid, so I wonder whether this will be any different! www.sanctuary.com.
Head on over to www.glossybox.co.uk to find out more about these products, and the monthly samples box scheme!
Inside was a great range of products, and the cosmetics were all in colours I definitely would have picked for myself.
For example, a full-sized bottle of Seche nail varnish in Portobello! I can’t wait to try this shade out (although, I’ll have to, because I’m still deep in my Ciate Mini Mani Month…). I knew Seche produced a renowned top coat that beauty bloggers love, but I didn’t know they didn’t have a colour range – until now. I expect big things, so stay posted for a review!
There was also a lovely red, full sized lippy from Sleek in Stiletto – very festive.
Matches my red reindeer jumper perfectly!
This pretty pink blusher was a ‘bonus’ item, produced for GlossyBox by Kryolan – a professional make-up company. The shade is called Glossy Rosewood – I’m a massive pink blusher addict, so I can’t wait to try this one out properly.
There was also a body cream from Rituals, a company I’ve not looked into much, but I know people rave about. Not tried this properly yet, but it smells amazing.
I also got a sample of Lemon by Mary Greenwell, which seems to have mixed reviews – some people reckon it smells like detergent, but I think it’ll come into its own in spring. It does smell very lemony, which isn’t a bad thing, but maybe it’s a bit too ‘fresh’ to be appreciated in winter…
Finally, some samples of the uber expensive face cream Argentum, which is so pricey I have no idea how I would even bring myself to purchase it, even if it did work miracles. Like the Wei Black Soy face mask from last month, I almost feel too scared to use it. I already lust after clothes I can’t afford, never mind skin care…
I’ve got to go to my husband’s work Christmas party on Friday, so maybe I’ll break it out then and see what it can do! Anyone else tried this yet?
Great news for Jillian fans here in the UK – the fitness guru has finally launched her amazing 90 programme here! You can purchase the entire thing here: http://www.hsm.tv/fitness/product/jillian-michaels-body-revolution for £99.99, which is a great price considering what’s included. You get (and I’m quoting from the site here) “15 all-new DVDs, Resistance Cable, Fitness Guide, customizable 90-day Fat-Burning Meal Plan complete with grocery lists, delicious recipes, and daily menus, 90-Day Journal. PLUS, a bonus 7 day Kick Start Your Metabolism diet plan to detox your body and help you curb your food addictions.”
As for me, I’m not able to purchase one of these programmes, but I’m currently working on a variety of Jillian DVDs and a calorie restriction of 1200 daily. I recently purchased Extreme Shed and Shred, so expect a review of that soon!
Anyone out there getting the Body Revolution? Let me know what you think! Or, if you’ve already got one, how did you get on?