Merry Kitsch-mass, flamingle bells…. I could go on!


I nearly squealed when I got a glimpse of this years Christmas collection at Paperchase and I just had to do a post on it. Now, I’m normally very traditional when it comes to seasonal decorations and can’t get enough of golds, greens and reds, however the tacky part of me just loves what they have done. So many flamingos because, WHY NOT have a flamingo in a Santa hat on your Christmas tree? I also love the affordability of it all. Their big packs of baubles are so cheap £10-£15 for 100+. I really do wish I had my own house/flat (and the funds) because Paperchase have really hit the nail on the head. Sorry for the rambly excited post but that’s what I get like when online shopping in the early hours! 



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Winter Shower Routine

Brrrrr! It’s certainly getting chilly out there – I think it’s safe to say we are officially in winter right? I’m feeling very seasonal and thought I’d change up my blog layout a bit – do you like the Christmassy theme? The wintery weather inspired me to do a little post about my winter shower routine! My hair and skin seem to change in this blustery weather so I have to start using different products to get the best out of them. 



1. BRUSH THAT BODY (BARE WITH ME)

A thing I like to do before I shower is use a body brush – this one is from the Body Shop however you can get them cheaper in places like Boots, Superdrug etc. It’s a great thing to include into your routine as it really helps your circulation which is especially vital during the colder months. Body brushing is so easy – you basically brush your skin towards your heart if that makes sense? It has so many benefits including meditation and reducing celulite!


2. WASH THAT MOP

First up I’m going to chat about hair. I don’t know about you but I feel like you can never win with hair – in the summer its frizzy and sweaty and in the winter it’s too windy to maintain a decent style! As my hair is quite thick I have to try my best to keep it falling flat – I’ve been using Andrew Barton’s Full On Volume Shampoo and Conditioner (which is on a ‘roll back’ at the moment so go grab it!) to give my hair an extra boost. I have to be honest I have used better volumising shampoos (I am a huge fan of the Aussie one) however the smell of these products is amazing and they get the job done which is all I really need from a shampoo!


3. REPLENISH

With all the elements battling against your hair, i.e. the wind, rain, cold and extreme central heating it’s easy for your ends to become dry – another product I have been using by Andrew Barton is their S.O.S. Hair Repair which I am a bigger fan of than the volumising hair care. It has a lovely smell that I can’t quite put my finger on (I’m such a helpful blogger!) and it leaves your hair feeling and looking healthy. In desperate times, such as after I dye my hair, I am loving the Lush ‘Damaged’ Hair oil – you actually use this before your shower (about 20 mins it recommends). 

4. SHAVE/WASH YA BITS.

Okay so whilst my shampoo is on I usually get my razor and shower gel and go to town – I’ve been slowly getting through this huge NSPA Fresh Clementine shower gel. The smell of this is insane (again I’m a sucker for lovely smelling shower stuff) and they do loads of other flavours including my two personal favourites coconut and lemon. At the moment ASDA have got these on offer 2 for £4 and I think this is amazing value for 500ml of product. 


5. SCRUB. 

Whilst my conditioner or hair mask is soaking in I usually get my favourite body scrub to combat any dry skin I have accumulated in the freezing weather! I can probably speak for many people when I say you can’t beat a Body Shop scrub! The one I’m using at the moment is the Moringa Cream Body Scrub which is an acquired smell but I’ve grown to love it. My faves have got to be Shea and Mango
It’s also important to keep your face exfoliated in the winter! I love Lush’s Dark Angels Cleanser which I often leave on like a facemask throughout my whole shower. It’s a bit weird to apply because it’s charcoal based and black but it leaves my skin feeling amazing – just make sure you give your bath/shower a good rinse afterwards!



Do you change up your routine in the winter? Are they’re any winter products that you love?
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Holiday Haul! Featuring #HBAlPorto goodies!

I received so many exciting products from the recent Hull Bloggers meet up (#HBAlPorto) but I wanted to start off my series of posts with some of the items I’ll be taking with me on my trip to Malta next week! Some of the products in this post were bought by me but those marked with an * I got in my goodie bag(s) from HBAlPorto (post about this amazing meet up to follow).


Here are some of the holiday items I’ll be taking with me and trying out whilst I’m soaking up the sights, sounds and smells of sunny Malta (not to gloat or anything of course…)!


Firstly it’s obviously extremely important to stay safe in the sun (even more so if you’re as pale as me)! I got some factor 30 but will also be using factor 50 for the first few days – I’m not that bothered about getting a tan anyway – I stuck with Nivea because it’s what I know! I also picked up some Malibu Aftersun in the hope it would smell like coconut but it doesn’t unfortunately, still useful to have though! 

I will also be trying out these UV Indicator Wristbands* which basically tell you when you need to apply sun cream (from what I can gather) – they also came with a really informative leaflet about sun damage. If I like these (and if I can get wifi) I’ll probably feature them in a short post! I’m really interested and excited to use these! 

The little white bag is from Nanshy* and originally had a little blending brush in it however I’m being resourceful and using the bag for my sunglasses! 

Immediately when I saw these wipes from Halo* in my HBAlPorto goodie bag I exclaimed “these are going to Malta”. They are perfect travel size and even come in their own cotton bag (which I’m storing medication and plasters in as well). Halo seem to have a wipe for every occasion (oh god I sound about 40 getting excited over wipes!) from makeup remover to deodorant!

I bought this powder foundation from bareMinerals after about a year of contemplation! The lady colour matched me and my skin (excuse the big headed-ness) looked flawless after she had finished with me! So much so that my boyfriend kept telling me how great my skin looked (not sure if flattered or worried that my skin looked terrible the past 2 years he’s been with me). I wanted a lightweight, powder foundation for the summer/my holiday and this certainly fits the bill – I’d definitely recommend! 

I’ll also be taking a couple of brushes away with me, mainly from LAB2 Beauty* – I use the The Triple Threat Multi-Purpose Brush with my new foundation and the On A Power Trip Brush to blend everything! 
Next up is skincare – I want my skin routine to be quick and easy whilst I’m away so im afraid it’s more wipes! These NSPA* Face Wipes smell like a tropical dream and are so hydrating! I’ll be using these Monu* Minis (ones a scrub and ones a moisturiser) and Lush’s Breath of Fresh Air which not only works as a toner but also a cooling spray! 

I discovered coconut oil this year like the rest of the white middle class population so was so pleased I got 2 mini pots of it from the meet – one from  and one from Viridian Nutrition – perfect for travel! 

What’s in my travel bag?

I have been travelling a lot recently so I thought I’d put together a “What’s in my travel bag” post. Can I just start with the fact that I am aware I overpack but I do like to be prepared for everything and also that this bag is not my abroad travel bag I have only been travelling around England.  

I picked up this floral, almost Cath Kidston inspired makeup bag from Primark for only £4 and it proved to be big enough for my makeup, shower stuff, a small mirror and my mini-straighteners (not featured in this post). I honestly love the print of this and I think it looks more expensive than £4 even though the diamond zip fell off after 5 minutes! 


This is everything laid out I have several smaller bags to keep everything clean and easy to access. My brushes I keep in a Eco Tools travel case which also has a zipped compartment that you could put smaller brushes in – however I use this compartment for my leaky eye-liner sharpener. I bought the clear plastic case from Wilkos for £1-2 and it came with 4 100ml bottles and 2 smaller pots – perfect for aeroplane journeys. I filled them with cleanser, moisturiser, shampoo and conditioner as their usual packaging was too bulky. I used another EcoTools travel case for my clips and bobbles because these go missing easily and it prevents hair getting all over my other stuff. As you can see I just pack the rest of my toiletries around the other 3 cases. I also bring my razor with me when I’m travelling which not a lot of people bother with but again always be prepared! 


I am a huge fan of lipstick and cannot really survive a whole week with just one so I always travel with at least 3. I really limited myself to 1 red (Lady Danger by MAC), 1 nude (MUA Shade 15) and 1 orange (Meltdown by MAC) that fitted in with all my outfits.


As I already mentioned I kept my makeup brushes in one of my EcoTools travel cases. Again only bringing the essentials like face, eyebrow and 1 double ended eye shadow brush. (Reminding you that I over pack, sorry if I seem high maintenance!)


This palette goes everywhere with me as it’s so versatile and I use it on a daily basis even if it is just to even out and matify my eyelids. You can create so many looks with the 6 neutral colours that can see you through from day to night. The Naked Basics palette in my opinion is THE Urban Decay palette to have whether you’re travelling or not.


Dry shampoo is a must for me anyway, having coloured hair I can’t wash my hair every day or even every other day as the colour would fade so quickly so I use dry shampoo all the time. However I think it is even more of a must if you’re travelling as you don’t always have the time to wash your hair – I was only at my boyfriends for one trip so I could have washed my hair but then I went to London and stayed in a hostel with 1 plug between 5 people so washing my hair was pretty impractical. Batiste come in all sizes now and this travel size one I got from Lincs Blog Meet is perfect for handbags and travel bags. I also brought a travel sized Paul Mitchel hairspray I got from Lincs Blog Meet and a small suncream as it was so hot! 

I stuck everything that would be going into the bathroom/shower with me in this bag to protect all my other stuff from getting wet – which was a good call when staying in a hostel with a wet room. I also stuck some last minute perfume samples in here – not a necessity but just a nice addition if you’re like me and prefer perfume over body spray. I did bring deodorant but for some reason I had not packed it when taking these photos – oops! 


As I mentioned earlier I packed all my hair stuff in one small case to avoid hair makeup brushes and also losing all my bobby pins – not really much else to talk about here except plenty of bobbles and clips for the days where you haven’t washed your hair.

Lastly these trusty makeup wipes! I love Simple and always try to buy them when they’re on offer but even baby wipes will suffice. They’re a great way of quickly removing makeup if you haven’t got room or time for cleansing and also a great way of freshening up in a rush or whilst you’re travelling. 

Hope you found this post useful when packing for your summer holidays – I know it’s not a How To but hopefully it inspires you somehow! I always think packing is quite fun but I’m a bit of a square in the fact I like to make lists and feel organised (it’s a Virgo trait).
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Change of URL | Introducing Retro and Thrift

As you may or may not have noticed I have changed up my blog a bit recently. I finally found a name that suited my blog well – Retro and Thrift and so I set to changing the URL from http://www.courtneyfarrow.com to www.retroandthrift.co.uk and changed up the layout a bit to mark this “new era”. Hope you all like it! It’s took me a few days but I feel it’s well worth it. The downside is, because I had recently allowed “Google + Comments” on my blog, the change of URL meant all your recent lovely comments have been deleted (boo hate you Google +). Please let me know what you think! 

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