Vintage Accessories

So I’ve made a previous post about my passion for “upcycling” and vintage pieces,  I’ve also made a post about myself in which I talk about being a vegetarian,  so this particular  entry may seem a little odd.

I’m extremely drawn to leather,  particularly old worn out leather.  I’m obsessed with the smell and feel of it,  to me it screams luxury and quality.  This is quite wrong considering how strict I am with my vegetarian diet,  but I made myself a rule.  Vintage leather only.  This means I’m not contributing further to the leather industry,  and can feel a little less guilty in my day-to-day life.  So now I’ve cleared that up I thought I’d share my latest and in my opinion greatest purchases.

Doctor’s Bag

When I bought this bag it was covered in a thick coating of dust and was cracking and splitting at the corners,  but after removing the dust with a soft cloth and buffing in saddle soap for three days the leather darkened nicely and became incredibly supple.

Ankle Boots

I bought these at the weekend from a man who works in the salvage industry,  he told me that they were from a country house stable that he recently cleared out and had been made in London around about 1900,  but I’m skeptical about his story as he is a salesman and obviously was on the hunt for a sale.  I had to clean the grime and dust of these with a toothbrush,  which took me hours,  and then slather then in a tonne of saddle soap,  but now they’re so supple and look stunning.  I love these boots and I’m dying to try them out this weekend!

This is an inexpensive way of getting quirky and unique items,  and all you really need is some saddle soap for treating the leather,  and some rags or a toothbrush for getting rid of the dust and dirt.  I hope you liked my pictures and that this has inspired you to have a go at upcycling.

Natural Collection Lash Length Mascara

Okay I put this mascara on my wish-list about 2 weeks ago and actually bought it 2 days after that but I’ve been pretty useless and failed to upload my review since then… or you could flip it and could say I’ve been trying it out for the past couple of weeks and been a good reviewer?  Either way I’m writing the review now.

I was and remain completely penniless so this really only appealed to me because it costs £1.99 and seemed worth a shot.  But when I delved further into the Boots website I realised this might actually be a good product,  there were a number of really positive reviews out there.  So I picked my tube up,  having a look at what the collection had to offer in general,  I wasn’t blown away by variety but I guess it is the Natural Collection so I’m not surprised at their choice of shades and there does seem to be some more promising products.

So my first impression of the mascara was that there seemed to be a fair bit of excess,  but that’s nothing a square of tissue can’t fix and for £1.99 I’m not going to complain about waste.  The excess seemed to be concentrated at the base of the brush and the tip,  and I liked to dab and roll it off onto the paper.

These are my bare lashes,  quite short and straight,  nothing to write home about.

This is the 1st coat, and I’ve not brushed out any clumps just to show you how it really applies,  and to be honest I don’t think the clumping is too bad. 

This is the 2nd coat and I’ve still not brushed out the clumps so you can see the it does start to clog up my lashes. 

After brushing out clumps I think the lengthening is great!  I love how long and dark my lashes look,  and the clumps are practically all gone because they brush out so easily,  if I had found my tweezerman lash comb all signs of spider lashes would have been eradicated.

Natural Collection’s Lash Length Mascara applies fairly easily and quickly,  the wand isn’t too big or too small and the only difficulty you may meet will be if you’re as neurotic as me and have to wipe down your mascara wand.  It does have a bit of a synthetic smell,  not too strong or nasty but it’s definitely noticeable when you open the tube.  The mascara lasts all day on me without smudging or flaking,  and I received a few compliments from my friends about how nice my eyelashes looked.  This mascara didn’t give lots of volume but it certainly lengthened my lashes and I liked the formula,  not too thick or too runny,  and it didn’t completely dry so when I pulled at my lashes they didn’t come out.  The price for this is fantastic and is perfect for teens,  for people on lower budgets,  and for people who just don’t want to spend excessive amounts on a mascara.
All this means that I’m adding Natural Collection’s Lash Length Mascara to my permanent mascara stash and awarding it 8/10,  it would’ve scored higher if it hadn’t clumped after the 2 coats or had the strange smell.

Low Calorie and Low Fat Chilli

Those who have read my “A bit about me” post will know I’m a dedicated vegetarian but what they won’t know is that I’m also a healthy eating fanatic.  Remember,  beauty starts on the inside so looking after your body will always pay off.  But like everyone I have my little treats (I’m thinking Blueberry muffins) so when I’ve overindulged a few too many times throughout the day I like to have a healthy and low-fat dinner,  so I sat myself down and chose some of my favourite meals I could make a healthy spin on.  I thought I’d share my favourite recipe with everyone,  a low-fat no fry vegetarian chilli.


Half a red sweet pointed pepper
One small onion
Five large chestnut mushrooms
400g tin of chopped tomatoes (preferably with added chilli)
400g tin of ratatouille
Small tin of red kidney beans
100g Quorn mince
A level teaspoon of cayenne pepper
A level teaspoon of cumin
A level teaspoon of paprika
150ml boiling water


preparation time: 10-15 minutes (dependant on how fast you can chop)
Cooking time:  25 minutes
Serving suggestion: 2 very generous servings

1) Peel your onion and slice it in half  then chop into thin slices,  slice your red pepper in half and de-seed it then slice it thinly,  and then wash your mushrooms and slice them into eighths.

2) Put aside your prepared vegetables,  add your ratatouille,  chopped tomatoes,  kidney beans,  and spices into a large sautee pan then bring to the boil.  This base sauce will take about 5 minutes to boil and heat up sufficiently.

3)  After bringing base sauce to the boil add all your vegetables and mix thoroughly.  The vegetables should cook in the liquid of the sauce,  this means no frying so much less fat!
4)  The vegetables should be cooked nicely after 15 minutes,  but your chilli may catch after losing some of the moisture,  so I strongly recommend adding 150ml of boiling water to prevent burning.

5)  Wait for the water to fully combine with the chilli then add in your Quorn mince.  You may be surprised that the mince doesn’t need frying either and will cook surprisingly quickly in the sauce.
6)  Serve up quickly,  either by itself or with tortillas and a bit of cheese. Yummy.

Nutrional Comparisons

M’kay this is a nutritional breakdown of my recipe and a comparison with other popular recipes I’ve found.

Half of this vegetarian chilli has 285 kcals,  6g of fat,  and 2.25g of salt.
A serving of GoodFood’s famous chilli con carne has 387 kcals,  17g of fat,  and 2.37g of salt.
A serving of Gordon Ramsay’s chilli con carne (on GoodFood)  has 474kcals,  27.6g of fat,  and 1.15g of salt.  In the picture on the website there’s rice but I don’t know if that’s included in their nutritional informtion.

Ready meal wise I picked two popular products.

A Weight Watcher’s chilli beef with potato crush has 386kcals,  11.2g of fat,  and1.2g of salt.
An Innocent Sweet potato chilli (no mince vegetarian or not) has 324 kcals,  7.4g of fat,  and I couldn’t find the salt content but it had 0.66g of Sodium.
Some of these had rice and other things added to them as side dishes,  but as you see my recipe can be easily built on with for example rice,  sweet potato,  and tortillas to turn it into an echillada.  To lower the fat content even more I’d suggest removing the ratatouile,  doubling the chopped tomatoes, and adding your own courgettes.

I hope this inspires you to avoid frying all the time and to try out Quorn mince,  it’s not even a subsitute,  in my opinion it’s an improvement:  no grizzle and less fat.  Even my staunch carnivorous Dad and Grandfather love the Quorn range,  and these are my strapping Scottish men who like their Aberdeen Angus steaks,  Stornoway black pudding,  and the infamous pig’s trotters (eugh).

Burberry Eyeshadow in Rosewood

The Burberry Beauty brand is so cleverly marketed,  it preys on every girl’s desire to be naturally beautiful and manages to make that illusion appear oh so effortless.  So of course I was tempted when I saw the ad campaign,  I’m only a teenage girl.

But like most people I’m on a budget and could only afford one piece, so I decided to shop around and looked on all the top beauty blogs and had a look at their swatches and reviews,  the product that jumped out at me the most was the Rosewood eyeshadow.  It just seemed to be a classic and neutral shade,  in the daytime I want to look natural and polished and I thought that Rosewood seemed perfect for just a quick wash of colour to accentuate my hazel eyes.

Since I’m a wee Scottish girl and the only Burberry counter in the whole of the UK is in London,  my only option was to purchase online.  I chose to order through the Burberry website itself rather than Harrods because not only was I paying a pound less I also got free delivery.  I paid £22 and it arrived beautifully packaged within 2 days,  so I was very impressed.

The eyeshadow compact itself is made of a lovely gun-metal with the iconic check embossed on it, it has a satisfying weight,  and a magnetised closing.  The eyeshadow is also stamped with the check and the formulation is silicone based so has a buttery smooth texture,  it provides a sheer pigmentation that lasts around 12 hours on me with no fading.  The shade is a mauve-taupe colour with a lovely metallic sheen and frosty pink undertones.

The compact


Full eyelid

Open eye

To sum up,  I have to admit that it is an expensive product and there are probably cheaper alternatives but this eyeshadow fulfills every hope I had of it.  The gorgeous colour,  the staying power of it,  and the lovely texture,  make it in my opinion the perfect eyeshadow.  So taking everything into consideration I think 9/10 is a fair rating.  I’ll definitely be looking into buying more from the Burberry Beauty range,  I’m already eyeing up their stunning fall collection!

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine and Chanel Rouge Coco lipsticks

When I was sitting my exams a few months ago I was basically spending all day trapped inside studying,  so to prevent myself from going insane I would go uptown and buy a little treat.  So weeks of study leave resulted in three Chanel lipsticks and oodles of baked goodies.  After hours of browsing online looking at swatches I chose two Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks in Fetiche and Bel-Ami,  and a Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick in Rivoli,  and just for reference both these lipsticks are currently £23.

Scottish sunlight at its best has given my pictures a lovely blue tinge and seems to have washed out the colour slightly.

Bare lips



Fetiche is a pinky shade with mauve undertones,  it has the signature glossy sheen and ever so slight shimmer to it that made my lips look fuller.  The Coco Shine formula is emollient based so glides on easily,  but unfortunately wears off within 2 hours usually and will also be used up faster than a traditional lipstick.  This shade is perfect for a daytime pick me up and is really quite a delicate colour so gets 7/10.


Bel-Ami was a brown based berry shade with the same sheen and shimmer.  With the emollient base it also only lasted 2 hours,  but it was a slightly deeper colour so left me with a staining that I quite liked so I didn’t have to be contantly applying it.  This lipstick get 7/10 again and I would probably purchase it again.


This was my favourite shade,  it’s a cool burgundy brown colour that had a slight sheen to it and no shimmer.  It’s a little sheer because of its moisturising formula but it still had great colour payoff with no tugging.  I found it lasted about 4 hours on me and even when it did wear off it wore off evenly so looked a bit like a lipstain.  This is only really appropriate for wearing at night but I feel it’s “my shade”  so for that I’m giving it 8/10 .


From left to right is Fetiche,  Bel-Ami,  Rivoli.  Sorry about the poor lighting but anyone who lives in or has visited Scotland will understand,  I’ll see if I can get better pictures because I’m quite disappointed in these photos.