Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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Best face forward at the National Blog Awards

Did you know it’s the National Blog Awards this week? Did you know that I’m a FINALIST?! Have I mentioned it before..? ;)

Going to an event of this magnitude – the ‘Oscars of the blogging world’ – has got me excited and worried in equal measure and now that my ticket has arrived I’ve started to agonise over every detail of what I will wear and how I will look. But with good reason, I think, because I know there will be cameras at this event and I know that a snap of me looking like a right gremlin will no doubt be immortalised forever on the internet, or at least that’s my fear. You may have noticed that I don’t often make a personal appearance on the blog, which makes it even more of a momentous occasion that I might been seen in public and photographed! So I’m trying to do everything I can to present a lovely version of me; with a nice dress, classy jacket, perfect hair and flawless face; whether it works or not is another matter ;) At least I’m try to make the most of what I’ve got and hopefully I won’t be too disappointed with the resulting photos!

national blog awards 2014 retail and fashion finalist cassiefairy blog

So I’ve turned my attention to hair and make up today and am having a practice run to make sure things turn out alright on the night. Brides have practice sessions for their wedding hair and make up, and this is my version of a wedding! So I’ve been to the hairdressers for a trim, had my fringe cut back to where it should be (seriously over-due, it wasn’t even getting in my eyes anymore; that’s how long it was) and the summer highlights have returned. I just need to decide whether to have curly or straight hair and I’m all set to go. The face, on the other hand, needs a lot more attention and my make-up bag needed an over-haul. You know it’s time to buy new products when the hinges of your eye-shadow have broken off, it takes a couple of swipes to get any mascara out and you need to shake your foundation before it will squeeze..!

yves saint laurent nars and shiseido make up for the national blog awards

So I’ve got some of my favourite ever products to make sure my face looks good for this big event; Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat – my absolute fail-safe for getting rid of dark circles around my eyes – and Shiseido Sheer & Perfect foundation. It’s the lightest foundation I’ve found (you can’t feel it on your skin at all) but it gives excellent coverage, even for my pale ivory skin tone, and has SPF 15 too. It’s usually quite a spendy product but the cheapest place I’ve found to buy it is online at Click Fragrance and at least I know my skin won’t let me down for the big event. In terms of eye make-up I’m using a felt-tip liner pen from George and my top mascara “They’re Real” by Benefit (I wish someone would ask me to review this mascara because I already love it!!). I don’t really bother with my lips in everyday life, other than a little lip balm, so I’ve gone for a new Nars lipstick in Beautiful Liar to finish off my Blog Awards look.

Now all that’s left to do is apply it perfectly and look classically serene all night long - wish me luck with that! I make sure that I get lots of photos of my finished make-up and hair at the blog awards and will share some snaps during my round-up post after the event. Eeek I’ve just realised that its tomorrow… gulp!

HOPE jewellery handmade in the uk to support charity


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Give a little HOPE with your next gift

Shopping for low-cost, hand-crafted, UK-made jewellery that helps charity projects - sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? But I’ve recently discovered an amazing online gift shop that does just that – HOPE Jewellery. As you probably know here at the Cassiefairy blog I love to support ethical companies, charities and socially responsible brands so I when I found out about this shop I simply couldn’t keep it to myself and wanted to share it with you all!

I got in touch with the shop and had the opportunity to interview two lovely volunteers, Natalia Molinero Mingorance and Lakshmi Sankaran about their involvement in Enacus (the student-led company that runs the ethical store) and all the voluntary work they do for the HOPE Project. I hope you’ll find the responses as interesting as I did and that you’ll be able to see why gift shopping with the HOPE store is a great idea.

HOPE jewellery handmade in the uk to support charity

Natalia, please tell us a little about Enactus and what it does?

Enactus Sheffield is a social enterprise company, based at the University of Sheffield. Through both social and commercial projects we aim to harness students’ entrepreneurial spirit, to make a difference in our local community and to communities abroad. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement community empowerment projects around the globe. The experience not only transforms lives, it helps students develop the kind of talent and perspective that are essential to leadership in an ever-more complicated and challenging world. Enactus operates in 1,600 Universities across 38 countries. Currently we have a total of 62,000 students who have put 7,300,00 hours into running their Enactus teams and developing their projects.

Lakshmi Sankaran, you’re the volunteer project leader of the HOPE Commercial Team - when did you first get involved in the project and why?

I joined the HOPE team in February 2013 and have been a part of Enactus for over a year now. During this time I have seen HOPE Commercial grow immensely. I joined it due to my passion for helping social causes. This project interested me since it empowers women, motivating me as a woman myself. There are millions of women all around the world who suffer from human trafficking and domestic abuse. As humanitarians we must take a stand to stop this and the HOPE project at Enactus Sheffield provides an elegant, sustainable solution through the use of enterprise. This year HOPE has expanded a lot. We are in two major shops in Sheffield; we have rebranded our website, merchandise and social media; we have also held sales events in large venues, for instance at the final Ice Hockey Varsity game at the Motorpoint Arena. With continued support and exposure we believe we can share our beautiful bracelets as well as our significant social cause with others who wish to change the world, just like us!

What does the HOPE Project aim to do?

HOPE Jewellery works with survivors of Human Trafficking, and victims of sexual and domestic abuse in South Yorkshire, with the aim of providing skills, knowledge, training, and confidence to be able to support themselves and their family financially in the future. This is partly achieved through the model of a jewellery business where the women hand-craft beautiful jewellery to sell. The women we work with are then empowered to use the skills and knowledge transferred to them independently in gaining employment or setting up their own micro-enterprises. This allows them to independently finance themselves and their family, enabling them to have a better and brighter future. All profits made from the jewellery sales are either directly fed back into the project, or kept aside as a micro-finance pot for the women to access when they need it.

HOPE jewellery new collection of bracelets made in the uk

How does the jewellery help the survivors of human trafficking?

We aim to empower vulnerable women to lead a better quality of life providing them with essential entrepreneurial skills. All the profits made by the commercial team, selling the bracelets, goes back to the women in their times of need. They can approach HOPE to provide them with financial support if they are interested in starting their own business. This project provides the women with many employability skills; communication, teamwork, planning, sales and motivation. This year the project was aimed to further develop the women’s entrepreneurial skills by locally sourcing all the materials for the bracelets as well as giving the different safe house teams the chance to design all the bracelets.

The women come to the craft fairs as well to see the commercial side of the project. The hope social teams run sessions to improve the women’s employability skills. For instance some of the women from the safe houses are involved in our sister company, HOPE Cosmetic’s placement scheme. This provides them with writing CVs, interview training and important workshops that build the ability of the women to go out into the world and be independent. We aim to provide continued support for women when they leave the safe houses with our community projects.

Please can you tell us about your sister site, HOPE Cosmetics?

By selling cosmetic products this team contributes so much to the ongoing success of the HOPE project. By bringing in new streams of revenue, the reps make sure we can keep offering our placements and empowering survivors of human trafficking and victims of domestic abuse. 

HOPE cosmetics natural scrub and body butter

So what do you think? Fancy buying the next birthday gift for your mother from HOPE? Or how about treating yourself to a natural, handmade HOPE cosmetics product such as a lip balm, scrub or body butter? All of my friends and family can certainly expect a to receive a little HOPE with their next gift and I’d love it if you would consider shopping and supporting this charitable project soon. Check out their Facebook page here – HOPE Sheffield.


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MUA’s new ranges – pastel nail polish & Power Pout

I took advantage of Superdrug’s 3-for-2 offer last week and snapped up a couple of MUA items that I’ve had my eye on – including a new pastel pink polish and a couple of MUA lipsticks. I hardly ever buy anything different for myself, and I really struggled to choose a make up treat this time (I spent an hour in the shop, seriously!), but when it’s MUA at least I don’t feel so guilty because it’s so cheap!

First of all I tried out the nail polish in shade “Natural Days” for only  £1, which is such a lovely colour in the bottle but unfortunately it took at least 4 coats to get the same strength of colour on my nails because the polish was so thin. The bottle looks a bit like the Essie nail polishes, so it looks swish and I thought it’d be good, but it’s just too much effort to paint 4 coats every time, so I’ll probably not wear it much in the future – only when I want to make a special effort!

cassiefairy beauty blog new MUA pink nail polish review

The two lipsticks that I bought were MUA  £1 standard lippy in shade 15 “Juicy” which is a cute peach colour. Again I liked the colour, but the application let it down – it went on kind of clumpy and chalky so it was kind of thick in some places and thin in others. I found that it looks best if I smudge a little on with my finger rather than apply straight from the stick. I’ve also tried it on my cheeks and that looked pretty, so even if I don’t wear it much, I’m happy with it for only a quid!

MUA lipstick and power pout tint balm in rendezvous

And finally is the best product I’ve used in a long time - the new MUA version of the chubby stick – it’s called Power Pout ‘colour intense tint and balm’. I chose shade “rendezvous”, which is a totally different colour on my lips than the packaging would suggest. It’s not at all nudey/brown, it’s more of a flattering peachy-rose and it’s really a creamy texture – it’s got beeswax in it, so it really does feel like a balm. But unlike a balm, the colour stays for ages and even though it’s east to apply, I don’t need to touch it up much when I’m wearing it. I loved this product - slightly more expensive at  £3 – and it’s been in my handbag ever since.

Related beauty articles


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Beauty // Looks for 2013

Much like fashion, beauty trends change from season to season. This spring, expect to see a variety of makeup options. At the Spring 2013 Fashion Week, makeup artists used bright hues in blues and greens while lip colours in tones of brilliant reds and crimson dominated the runways. Beauty experts also emphasized the “barely there” makeup look with neutral-coloured lips and glowing skin. Plus dramatic extreme lashes and heavy eyebrows coupled with softly smudged eyeliner were a major fixture on some catwalks.

Although there seems to be a clash between the bold trends in eye and lip wear (hint: don’t wear all the trends at once!), the combination of eye-catching colours and subtle, simple shades allow you to emphasize the features you want to draw attention to. By adding a bit of colour or sparkle while keeping the rest of your look basic, you’re sure to look both fresh and on-trend this spring and summer.

beauty fashion trend beyonce taylor swift red lips spring summer 2013

Seeing Red

Although pale or glossy lips are still everywhere, this season expect to see more girls in red. During the spring fashion week, models donned shades of scarlet, magenta, and maroon. Red lips look good on just about anyone, including Beyoncé and Taylor Swift above,  however, those with small, thin lips get a boost with brighter lip hues. You can even make your teeth look whiter, just by choosing the right shade of red lipstick for your skintone (hint: choose a blue-based red). Lips appear larger and fuller in brazen colours, and outlining the lips in red pencil accentuates the shape of the mouth and makes sure that your lippy stays put. The rouge lip colours of the season run from brighter pinks to powerful, deep reds and dark cherry. Proving that red rules this spring.

Focus on the Eyes

Since the cat-eye trend became a beauty hit, dark, smoldering eye makeup has been dominating the scene, as seen on Adele at the Oscars, with dark eyeliner being a fixture in most women’s makeup bags. Some of the trends include the retro flicked-up effect, a look called the modern rim that features a tight, outline with light smudging, and dark liner with a dash of platinum or pale gold across the lids, making it easy to transform a day look into a sexier look for the evening. Some girls prefer not to wear eyeliner because it often causes bits to clump up in the inner corners of their eyes, or, for those who wear contact lenses from Acuvue (like me!), it gets into their eyes and scratches or irritates their lenses. However, many makeup companies manufacture eyeliner and mascara that is waterproof and smudge resistant, so every eyeliner lover can get her fix without worrying about any eye makeup dilemmas. Its taken me ages to find the right waterproof mascara, but now that I have, there’s no stopping me! If you still aren’t a fan of eyeliner, thick prominent eyebrows are also making waves in the beauty world – just like model Cara Delevingne wears below - and beefing up your brows will draw attention to your eyes regardless of whether or not you’re wearing eye makeup.

beauty fashion trend adele cara delevingne dark eyes and brows spring summer 2013

Keep It Clean

There’s nothing more beautiful than a clear, clean face, and this spring and summer you’ll be seeing a lot of women sporting the barely-there look. Neutral colours and pale lips were oddly popular at fashion week earlier this year. Runways were full of models with plain faces and shining skin – if only my skin looked that good! Play up this minimalist look with a light brush of blush and intense, striking eyelashes. Finish it off with natural, neutral-coloured lips and you’re ready for the spring and summer. This is the look I’ll be following this year, and letting my paleness shine through!

Let me know what you think of these trends for Spring/Summer 2013 and tell me which you’ll be wearing or have you already been sporting these looks? Leave me a comment below and tweet me @cassiefairytutu :)

missguided lipsplash peach lip gloss beauty review blog cosmopolitan miss guided 2012 Nov


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Beauty Review – Missguided Lipsplash gloss (& get it free with Cosmo!)

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of this month’s Cosmopolitan – which has been tricky due to the amazing product giveaway with the magazine. November’s freebie is a full-size missguided lipsplash gloss and it is available in 3 gorgeous shades, so I think that the ladies have been grabbing multiple copies of the magazine in order to get one of each colour and making it a little more difficult than normal to find the magazine in stock!

And as I began using the product, I can see why this offer has been so popular. The lip gloss is incredibly high quality and delivers a really juicy splash of colour that lasts for a surprisingly long time. I managed to get the ‘Peace’ shade, which is a really cute peachy nude colour. I usually find that chosing a gloss in this shade either gives a too-sheer, almost invisible clear-gloss look OR a dense, chalky nude look – neither of which are any good for me with my super-pale skin. But this particular gloss actually looks pretty similar to the colour in the bottle when it’s on my lips – a very fresh pinky-peach with a little sparkle - and I think I would be equally satisfied with any colour in the range. I am delighted that I’ve had the chance to check out this product thanks to Cosmo’s giveaway and now that I know what fab quality it is, I would definitely buy it in other shades from Missguided.