Sunday, 15 October 2017
You need to be able to charge it wherever you are, link up a keyboard to it – one that fits easily into your backpack – listen to music with it, and take pictures with it. Your mobile is no longer just your phone (repeated I know) – it’s so powerful it’s a mini computer as well, and most of use use ours pretty much all day, far too much some would say.
So it’s no surprise that there are new developments in phone tech and accessories appearing all of the time, many of which are particularly useful at this time of year because when you can’t think what to give someone, give them something to do with their phone – but not something silly and useless, something really quite clever and that they may not have thought of themselves. Seriously good mobile phone gifts always go down a treat.
I go on and on about mobile chargers, and on my Christmas list this year is definitely a wireless phone charger, instead of having to plug your phone in, you just lay it on top. Then there’s the portable folding Bluetooth keyboard and stand, I could go on.
This is just some of the new phone tech appearing now. You really need to keep up – last years model of anything phone related simply just won’t do……
Thursday, 12 October 2017
All of these combine an exfoliant and a mask so you only need one product. With a couple you’re done in just a minute or two – take one of my all time favourites – Clinique’s Turnaround Instant Facial, you apply it, let the mask do it’s work for just a moment then use it as a skin smoothing scrub. Also Pixi’s Glow 02 Oxygenating Mask, put it on, wait until it ‘bubbles’ and you feel your skin tighten and take it off again.
If you want something a little stronger try REN’s Radiance Renewal Mask which uses four Alpha Hydroxy Acids to renew, brighten and generally improve your skin tone.
The days of needing a separate scrub and mask are over. Of course you still can and there are plenty of wonderful products that do each, but if you’re time poor and want brighter, smoother skin you might want to try one of these.
Wednesday, 11 October 2017
Having collected too much ‘designer stuff’ over the years, and having unsuccessfully tried to get someone to sell it for me, I decided that I would take the plunge and sell it for myself on eBay.
Many people think that eBay is about selling ‘cheap’ stuff, but you’d be amazed at what’s on there, from expensive designer handbags and jewellery to serious tat to beauty products BNIB (brand new in box) that someone has been given and wants to sell at a discount.
So if you have that loved but no longer used Balenciaga handbag (preferably with the dust bag), pair of Jimmy Choo shoes or piece of designer jewellery you no longer wear, and you’d like to turn them into cash – to invest in yet another handbag, pair of shoes or earrings – then eBay can be a marvellous sales platform or a complete waste of time, depending on how you manage it.
Here are some simple guidelines to selling successfully on eBay.
1. Establish a history and rating. One of the most important things about eBay, if not the most important, is your reputation – how you are seen. Before you even think of selling lovely things you need to a) establish an eBay account b) establish a PayPal account if you don’t already have one and c) buy some things and leave feedback, beauty products, whatever, to get a rating going. No one is going to pay £300 for a handbag if you have no history.
2. Pick out some items you’d like to sell and take really good photographs, at least four, preferably more. If you look at similar items, you’ll find some where the photographs are really good, but most where they are dreadful and people haven’t bothered. They don’t deserve to get good prices, frankly. If you want to sell something well you need to show it well. Ask yourself ‘if I was looking for something would I buy this from this picture’? and snap away accordingly. Copies and fakes are strictly forbidden.
3. Take pictures also of any defects and details as well. EBay buyers don’t want nasty surprises so if what you’re selling is showing some wear and tear then show that too. It shows you’re honest about what you’re selling and it tells buyers exactly what to expect. In the same way if there’s a special detail, such as beading or embroidery, then show that too.
Don’t assume a potential buyer will buy something without knowing EVERYTHING about it, make sure there are no surprises possible. Take every measurement you can – for a jacket, for example – nape to hem, width across the back, underarm sleeve seam.
6. Before you list an item look for similar items on eBay and how much they are being offered for. Also check Sold listings to see how much a similar item actually went for. You’ll get a good idea of what is a reasonable price this way.
5. Fill in the listing as fully as you can with every detail including a well thought out, clear and well written title description – I know I keep banging on about this but you need to do this. Take photos however you want but if you take them on your mobile you can wirelessly upload them to your listing which saves a huge amount of time.
6. Accept PayPal as your payment method of choice unless you have good reason not to. It makes transactions extremely easy and safe.
7. I choose not to auction designer accessories, but to use Buy It Now and invite ‘nearest offer’. I always choose a price that I think the piece is worth and then I’m willing to haggle a little. When someone offers a ridiculous price I just decline the offer. If it’s getting near to my base price I will make a counter offer – and I always include a message thanking for their interest before telling them that I’m refusing their price.
8. Always be polite. Whoever they are and however much they offer it will benefit you to be polite on response. Remember, you’re looking for positive reviews all of the time, you don’t want anything negative. Even if you’re offered a ridiculous amount still stay charming.
9. If you get a decent offer check out the seller’s rating and reviews before accepting. Be careful about selling something to someone who has negative reviews. Also be careful about selling to anyone who criticises your item before you accept their offer, no matter how good the offer is. You want a pleasant, straightforward transaction at a price both parties are happy with with happy feedback.
10. If in doubt about anything call eBay – they are really good about responding and helping if you have a query.
11. Look out for fraud. If you get an enquiry ‘off eBay’ eg via your email, from someone who says they’re buying through eBay/PayPal and wants you to send to a strange destination either call eBay first or ignore it. I have had this and luckily I did call eBay first. You may be so happy at the offer you just go ahead. Don’t.
12. Once you’ve accepted a price it’s up to you to despatch your item. Wrap it as nicely as possible even if you’re using bubble wrap and brown paper. Stuff a handbag with bubble wrap or something else so that it looks good when it’s unpacked. Include a letter thanking the buyer for buying your item. Wrap and tape it up firmly. Use eBay’s link to Royal Mail if your item is quite small and not heavy. If it is consider using another carrier such as Hermes. Insure something if it’s worth quite a bit. Always send items Recorded Delivery. Then there will never be any argument about delivery.
Also read this article by eBay about selling on eBay. And be patient. You may well not get offers straight away, but you can see how many have looked at your item and how many are actively watching it. The busiest day for listings is Sunday, followed by Saturday and Monday.
Selling on eBay can take up quite a bit of your time and it can become addictive, but it’s such a good way of turning unwanted items into money it’s well worth taking the plunge.
Monday, 9 October 2017
Roll on Athleisure – the trend for wearing your workout type clothes to work or anywhere. A trend that has grown and grown into much more than a trend, more of a way of life. But should you really wear your workout clothes to work? Needless to say in some work places it’ll be fine to turn up in your yoga gear or track pants - however 'designer' and in others it won’t.
You may look at these pictures and think 'no definitely not for me' and for those who like to dress up all of the time to dress down like this would be anathema, but oh the comfort, and the knowledge that how you're dressed is considered fashion, and wearable in so many more places than it used to be.
There's a trick to doing this right, of course, you need not just the leggings/track pants and slouchy top, but also sneakers that look modern, a gorgeous bag (always helps) and a leather/denim/zip up jacket that brings the whole look together when you need to go up a level.
Because there are levels of athleisure even if they require changing just one piece, from the straight to the gym or yoga class version to the meeting friends for coffee version to the walking in the city version which definitely requires taking it all up a notch plus a large dollop of insouciance to what anyone else may be wearing.
Where footwear is concerned we’ve embraced the designer sneaker as being the major contributor to the athleisure trend. They’re comfortable, you can walk miles in them and best of all they almost encourage you to do just that. One of the huge upsides of athleisure is that you want to do more exercise by virtue of how easy it becomes.
For everyday life athleisure is brilliant, and even more so because now it's considered fashion – you can go slowly in that direction a piece at a time. Be warned – once you’ve embraced it it’s impossible to go back and be warmed by the fact that every mainstream and minor designer and brand is moving in that direction too. Athleisure is here to stay.
Two of the best places to find your athleisure fix:
Net-a-Porter for every designer and perfect separates to be as dressed up as you want.
Hush Homewear for their own brand and great styling to help you on your way.
Thursday, 5 October 2017
Today I wanted to wear footwear I wouldn’t have to change from walking the dogs round the garden to working inside to going to the shops. I bought my warm lined Puma Manilla nylon GTX sneakers a couple of years back and they have proved to be hard wearing, warm and immensely comfortable. They’re still available on Amazon in size 4 if you want a pair, at a ridiculous price. On my feet right now.
Today on the Puma website I discovered that their Black Basket GTX High Top Sneakers not only have the Gore-Tex membrane that makes them completely waterproof, but they’re also half price. Available in sizes 3.5 to 6.5.
These are the perfect Athleisure sneakers for walking in wet grass to walking to the shops. Ok so they don’t have glitter and stars all over them but frankly if you live in the country and frequently need to go fast from country to town this is absolutely the perfect pair.
If you want to go down the more decorative athleisure route then take a look at these. Having worn my metallic toe platform sneakers from last year walking for miles from cities such as LA to New York I can tell you just how comfortable they are. And they get attention. So for city walking put away your subtle sneakers – and your heels, who wants to walk distances in those anyway? – and slip into a pair of these.
What is ‘athleisure’ anyway? Coming up next……..
Wednesday, 4 October 2017
Serums have in the past few years become more and more important as the base for everything else you put on your face. There are superbrand serums designed to do just about everything – and those that just have one major purpose in mine.
Having become a total serum converter I concentrate on those that have specific benefits, such as brightening. So these serums are designed specifically with that in mind – dark spot and sun pigmentation correcting and overall brightening.