Just another Friday



just another friday post

There was nothing special about this Friday, no public holiday, no cause for celebration, but for many it was the biggest shopping day of the year.

It was expected that approximately ¾ of Black Friday spending in Europe would come from the UK, a shocking statistic considering the UK population is just 13% of that of Europe’s. Originally an American event taking place the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday has been a part of the UK Christmas Shopping  scene since 2013. Despite only being around for a short time, retailers have noticed a serious dip in sales in the run up to Black Friday, prompting many to extend their promotions into a Black Friday Week. Only in its third year, Black Friday is fast becoming a source of contention among retailers and shoppers alike. Whilst there are those that love to score a deal, needed or not, to the extent that fights broke out in the aisles of super markets last year, others are realising that serious price cuts do come with a cost.

Perhaps the most noticable turnaround on Black Friday this year comes from Asda. Despite being the ones to bring Black Friday to the UK, Asda has decided not to take part in this year’s event, deciding instead to invest in savings spread throughout the season rather than on one day of sales. A bold move for the supermarket, but not one that was taken alone. Many retailers turned their backs on Black Friday, some offering percentages of profits taken on the day to charity, others intentionally keep their products at full price.

With retail analysts predicting £1bn being spent on Black Friday, Traidcraft’s campaign ‘Just Friday’ promoted the notion that if just 1% of that total was spent on ethical and Fair Trade organisations, thousands of people’s lives could be improved. People Tree teamed up with Traidcraft and Divine Chocolate to turn Black Friday into ‘Just Friday’. Although they still discounted their collections, their message was one of thinking twice before purchasing, and, if shopping over the weekend, to shop ethically.

Fat Face was another retailer to take a slightly different approach to Black Friday, adopting a ‘Thanks for Giving’ campaign. Their shops and head office choose charities local to them and pledged to give up to £250,000 to their chosen charities.

Everlane, another company using the Black Friday weekend to make charitable donations, pledged to give 35% of each order to enrich the lives of their workers. Last year they donated their profits to their factory in China, this year they’re turning their attention a little closer to home and using the money to help those at their LA factory. They’ll be using their profits to create a wellness programme which will include free doctor visits, groceries and English lessons.

Jigsaw are taking a different stand against consumer led promotions and launched their Black Friday campaign by promoting their pricing policy. Adopting a punchy and powerful slogan, “reduced by nothing, standing for something”, they released a statement explain the reason behind the pricing of their collections. According to Jigsaw, their garments are designed with the product in mind, not the price. Fabrics, factories and workers are chosen for their quality, and it’s these factors that dictate the garment’s true price.  They have sales twice a year at the end of each season, ensuring their prices always ‘stand for something’.

Companies this year had predicted profit warnings ahead of Black Friday weekend events. Slashing prices  drives customers to stores and online, pushing retailers to staff up, increasing the wage bill and spreading any earnings over the weekend extremely thinly. To protect profit margins and keep prices low, products must be made as cheaply as possible by using poor supply chains and fabrics that have a detrimental effect on our environment­­.

So ahead of Cyber Monday tomorrow, stop and think before you shop. Ask yourself if you really need it, shop with a company with strong ethical values and don’t let it be another manic Monday.

Dream summer wardrobe moodboard

Dream Summer Wardrobe

Fashion, Uncategorized

“The sun has got his hat on, he’s coming out to play…”

I am loving this sunshine despite the fact it’s still actually quite chilly in the shade and I haven’t yet ventured out without my coat.  Even so this beautiful weather is making me crave hot summer days and long summer evenings on the beach.  As I’m not yet brave enough to get my legs out I have created a little moodboard of dream items to add to my summer wardrobe.

Ethical Summer Wardrobe

I am rather desperate for a pair of sandals and TOMS have got a really beautiful range of sandals this year.  As a company they have come a long way from their roots whilst still staying true to their ethos, for each pair of shoes bought they give a pair to child in need. I love this company for a million reasons and I cannot wait to get my hands feet on a pair of the sandals.

I can’t go wrong with a good skirt and People Tree have some really pretty patterns (they’ve teamed up with Orla Kiely, enough said!) and colours, I will definitely be getting some of these over the next few months!  I know I have mentioned Reformation in quite a few posts over the last few weeks, for which I am sorry (not sorry, I am borderline obsessed with the this company), but they really do have the best selection of dresses I have seen from an ethically minded company.  Although they are a little out of my price range I will continue to stare, and drool, over their delightful range of beautifulness (hey, it’s a “Dream Summer Wardrobe” right?)

I am a real sucker for a floral pattern and a kimono style top (I’m even wearing one now – seriously) they are just perfect for covering up a little when it’s hot without overheating. They also make a pair of skinnies look a little bit more interesting without having to try to too hard (something I live by!).  This Annie Greenabelle kimono is quite possibly one of the most perfect things I have ever clapped eyes on, and I have a feeling I will be wearing it before the month’s out.  The floral sleeveless shirt is by Komodo, an ethical brand I have just stumbled upon. I really love the colours and patterns in this shirt, if their future ranges continue in this theme they will have a very loyal customer in me!
Finally, the beautiful Breton striped top.  As you may know I get weak at the knees at the sight of a classic Breton, and this contrast yoke top from Seasalt sent me into 60s/French Riviera stupor. The ‘saffron’ coloured yolk screams summer, but with it being a cotton knit it’s perfect for Spring or a slightly cooler summer afternoon. I love this top more than words can say and I hope to find it folded neatly in my chest of drawers in the coming weeks!

After all that I am sufficiently summery and desperate to chase the ice cream man down the street.  How are your summer wardrobes shaping up?   What are your favourite  pieces for the season?

{This post was written whilst listening to Francoise Hardy and eating a very juicy mango}

The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick in Sweet Coral

Body Shop Binge

Beauty, Uncategorized

So last week I may have had a little splurge in The Body Shop. We all know how amazing their body butters are, but I have never bought any make up from them, so with my foundation running out, and my best mascara falling in the toilet (don’t ask – there was no alcohol involved AND the lid was down! Told you not to ask.) I decided now was as good a time as ever to see what The Body Shop has to offer.

Aside from being against animal testing, supporting community fair trade, defending human rights AND protecting the planet, The Body Shop have also teamed up with Teenage Cancer Trust’s Royal Albert Hall concert series for the second year running. Last year they help raise £500,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust, and they’re aiming to double that by the end of this year! There are certain products where £1 of each sale goes towards the charity, as well as being able to add an optional 10p to the total of your purchases to donate as well.

The Body Shop Essential Brush Collection

Essential Brush Collection | Photo: Laura Peta

The first thing on my list was a new set of brushes. It’s something I’ve been meaning to get for a while but I’ve never got around to buying any. As part of The Body Shop’s Teenage Cancer Trust partnership they have three different packages of brushes to buy, rather than buying them individually. I opted for ‘The Essential Brush Collection’ which includes a blusher brush, an eye shadow brush and a foundation brush. I bought the pack for £18 (individually these brushes would have come to £33) – some pounds saved and £1 donated to Teenage Cancer Trust, a perfect deal, no? I absolutely love using these brushes, they’re so soft, and the blusher brush is shaped making it ideal for contoring and highlighting.

I have to admit that I am quite new to the whole foundation brush thing, I tend to use my fingers. However, since using this foundation brush there’s no going back! It feels so soft against my skin and gives a really smooth coverage. It’s also tapered slightly making it easier to get a flawless coverage around the eyes and nose. I’m totally addicted to using brushes now and I actually look forward to using it in the morning!! I am Laura Peta and I am a foundation brush convert.

The Body Shop Super Volume Mascara

Super Volume Mascara | Photo: Laura Peta

The next item on my list was a new mascara, having dropped the previous one in the loo! I like a volumising mascara in attempt to make the most of my stumpy little lashes. I opted for the ‘Super Volume Mascara’ and I have to say I am impressed. Although it doesn’t give my lashes the extra volume some other brands do, it does give them some length and oomph without making them look too false; a thumbs up in my book. I haven’t found it to be too clumpy, and it lasts a while, certainly long enough for a day’s work with a little top up for an evening out, and it doesn’t flake as some do. The only thing I do find is that the wand isn’t very tapered and I tend to get black smudges around my eyes when I reach the little lashes in the corners. Aside from this, I love this mascara, it’s a great everyday product.

The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick in Sweet Coral

Colour Crush Lipstick in Sweet Coral | Photo: Laura Peta

I have become a complete lip stick addict over the last few years, and as I was looking through the make up counter I decided to give a lip stick a go – after all, a girl can never have too many lipsticks. I really want a coral colour for the summer but I’ve been having trouble finding one that I really like. ‘Sweet Coral’ is a little pinker than I would normally go for and although I was uncertain the first time I used it, after a couple of wears I absolutely love it. It’s beautifully soft, and glides on leaving a faint colour, a couple of coats leaves a much more pigmented colour. There is a hint of sparkle to it and a faint rose scent. I can’t wait to wear this lip stick on a hot summer day, it will look perfect with a tan, a pony tail and sun dress.

The Body Shop Lightening Touch

Lightening Touch | Photo: Laura Peta

I have always suffered with dark circles under my eyes and I just can’t get rid of them (any hints and tips would be gratefully received!) so I decided to give The Body Shop ‘Lightening Touch Universal Radiance’ highlighter a go. Although it doesn’t cover them completely (it is too sheer for a concealer) I do feel it lifts them a little. It has a pearly sheen to it and is a great little highlighter for brushing across cheek bones. I don’t wear this product daily but I did wear it when we took the chap’s parents out for dinner last night. We took a few pictures after and the dark circles looked reduced. I would still like to experiment with this a bit further but so far so good with this highlighter.

I apologise for the poor quality of this picture I wasn’t intending to use it for the blog but I thought I would show you the post meal make up!

A sneak peak at how The Body Shop Lightening Touch Universal Radiance looks after a meal out! | Photo: Laura Peta

A sneak peak at how The Body Shop Lightening Touch Universal Radiance looks after a meal out! | Photo: Laura Peta

The Body Shop Almond hand and nail cream

Almond Hand and Nail Cream | Photo: Laura Peta

My hands and nails have been getting really dry recently and I always find myself without a hand cream despite several floating around the apartment. So while I was in The Body Shop buying up everything that took my eye I thought I may as well treat myself to a hand cream. I opted for the Almond Hand and Nail Cream and IT’S AMAZING! I keep it in my bag and use it all the time. You only need the smallest amount otherwise it does leave your hands feeling a little greasy, but when used sparingly it leaves hands so soft and banishes the dry skin. The packaging reminds me of a tube of paint, which I kinda like. This hand cream comes in two sizes, 30ml for £5, or 100ml for £10. While I was there the larger tube was half price, and the lovely assistant switched my smaller tube for the larger one, and I’m glad she did as I use this product all the time!

And so concludes my Body Shop binge, all in all I’m really pleased with my beauty haul. It’s great to find make up with a wide variety of different colours, make up that is long lasting and from a company taking steps to save the world. Thank you Body Shop, you haven’t seen the last of me!

Have you sampled any Body Shop beauty products? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.