Resistance & Reliance: The Path of Prescription Painkillers

For the last few years I’ve been prescribed painkillers, as well as a long list of other medications, for chronic pain from my back problems.  When you have a constant level of discomfort then ‘needs must’ as they say.  I don’t want to be on these medications but if I don’t have them then I just cannot walk.  It feels like having a very long, sharp needle sticking in from my heels right up to into my shoulder blades, if I don’t take any painkillers my pain scale (0 being no pain at all – 10 being the worst pain imaginable) is a 9.  With my medications the pain averages about a 7-8, a few years ago the tablets would lower it down to about a 6 but gradually my body has adjusted and needs more and more to control the pain.  I have never experienced a level of pain lower than 6.

The dihydrocodeine I take, on a daily basis, to purely function is at its maximum dose.  I admit at times it goes above and beyond, when the pain doesn’t subside and there’s nothing else to turn to I feel it’s my only hope.  I take diazepam as well for muscle and nerve spasms, it really is a vile medication but one that I need in acute moments of pain and also before I try to get some sleep at night.  The feeling of wading through mud the next day with a diazepam ‘hangover’ is awful, the nausea and accompanying headache render me unable to move at times.  All these side effects just because I need to take the medications in order to be able to walk – and that’s walking on crutches too.

The morphine wrecks my body, after being in hospital last year, being fed it through my drip and the oral version left me with cracked and peeling skin all over my face, body and hands.  Yet still I need to take it when my pain escalates and it does that quite often.

Each day I have a battle to disguise the dark marks under my eyes, bought on from the amount of medications I take.  People have stopped saying how tired I look after I continually told them that that they were marks on my skin and not from lack of rest. 

My hair breaks off in places and falls quite badly, so I have a shelf full of products that claim to strengthen hair and stop the breakage.  But are they going to work on my medication riddled locks? I’m going to use them in the hope that my once thick, wavy hair has a second chance. 

The path of prescription painkillers has left me a shell of my former self, I worry what the medications are doing to my insides after seeing the state of the outside!  I am reliant on my medicines, without them I have no mobility due to the pain level – with them I’m in a constant  world of confusion, frustration and annoyance.  In the past, huge doses of combination meds saw me spend thousands of pounds in just a couple of months, it affected my ability to stop the ‘feel good factor’ of spending money, I’d forget that I had even ordered things and then a massive delivery of random items would arrive.  I’m in a better frame of mind nowadays but the damage there is already done financially! 

I’ve been taking Perfectil’s Skin-Hair-Nails multivitamins to try and reverse some of the side effects but that’s a long term process.  I have to take vitamin D as well due to being deficient, that’s another two tablets a day… some days I feel that all I have accomplished is taking doses of different drugs.

My handbag is constantly overflowing with concealers, powders and eye brighteners, as well as the other haul of beauty products on there (Tangle Teezer, perfume, hand-cream etc.)  There wedged in the corner is my medication pouch – always a few strips of dihydrocodeine, diazepam for acute pain spasms, paracetamol and anti-allergy tablets.  I’m never without my meds.  I’ve had to get my other half to drive all the way back one occasion on holiday when we went off on a day trip because I’d forgotten to pack my painkillers! 

One year, on a long Christmas break, I decided to come off the meds so I lowered the doses for a few days then eased them completely.  It was one of the worst experiences I’ve endured.  The GP’s always say to me that these are addictive drugs and to try and lessen the dose – what they fail to see is that my pain is sky-high and it’s impossible to do so unless I’m stationary at home then after about 3 weeks of fevers, shaking, vomiting and insomnia they are finally getting out of my poor, battered body and then …it’s time to go back to work and so the vicious circle begins again!  I started off taking a few painkillers but after a few weeks the pain was back up to the previous high level and I was back to being reliant on the medicines in order to have any mobility at all.

Lots of research has been done on chronic pain and the benefit of opioid treatment, I recently read the article ‘Opioid dependence and addiction during opioid treatment of chronic pain’ by Jane C. Ballantyne & Steven LaForge (Pain 129 (2007) 235–255) which explores the subject and looks at the power that this substance has over people, both prescribed and illicit usage and the knock-on effects:

‘Yet in pain patients, the clinical picture of progression from use to problematic use to addiction differs markedly from that in illicit users. Continued use in an illicit setting often progresses rapidly to addiction, to the extent that dependence and addiction are indistinguishable, and this rapid progression is likely accounted for by the circumstances and motivations associated with illicit use.

In pain patients, we see a different picture. If the progression from simple dependence through problematic use to addiction occurs, it is more subtle and insidious so that addiction emerges as a distinct and separate syndrome, but is less obvious and much more difficult to identify.’

 I’ve witnessed in myself and in others how the progression from addiction to opioid use for chronic pain escalates and that even though you are trying to hold on tight to some sense of control, when you have that power taken away from you due to having conditions that require the constant doses of strong medications, you can gradually lose your grip and it takes a huge amount of support and strength to regain control.

A life that revolves around doses of different drugs is not one that I would choose, given the opportunity.  I don’t think anyone wants to be in pain and I certainly don’t want to be taking a cocktail of meds just to function each day.  At the moment though, it’s the only course of action until I get to see my spinal consultant again. 

I live with the hope that one day I’ll be pain-free.  The nurses who I see and my lovely consultant (he really doesn’t know how much I appreciate his time, however limited!) keep me positive that there’s a solution out there, some-where, waiting for me.

The day I’m medication-free will be a day of celebration. 

I support my NHS and urge everyone to follow @butNHS on Twitter and also read their blog – http://butnhs.wordpress.com/ – there is so much negative press and comments in the media regarding our heathcare, so if you have positive stories and/or comments then let them be heard!  Let us come together and help ‘Big Up The NHS’  

I adore the people who look after me and can’t thank them enough …but I’m long overdue being ‘me’ again☺

 

NHS Kindness, Tea & Lots Of Beauty Products – My Stay In Hospital

My Emergency Hospital Stay – March 2013:  Made bearable thanks to the kindness of wonderful staff & student nurses (and my skincare essentials!)

On March 4th last year I was admitted, via A&E, into New Cross Hospital Wolverhampton.  I had woken up at 5am for work as usual but when I tried to get out of bed my left side was full of pins and needles and my foot had also started to go a little numb, we decided it was better to get it checked out at hospital because I already had spinal problems.  Even though I was in agony I still managed to quickly chuck hand-cream and some perfume into my handbag!

By the time we reached A&E I had lost all feeling in my left leg and had severe pains in my lower back.  I was on my own, scared and sobbing uncontrollably.  The lovely nurse who helped me undress in A&E commented that my black faux fur coat was nice, I was happy for a distraction from the situation I was in and through my tears managed a thank you and waffled on that it was from H&M in the sale and although a larger size it was good to wear bigger so you have room for a jumper underneath …I’m rather difficult to shut up, even in the case of a 10/10 pain scale! 

From arrival (literally dragging myself on two crutches into A&E) I was seen by a Doctor within 15 minutes, he had also already printed off and read through my consultant notes about my back problems.  I had a cannula put in and was examined, then given a lot of pain relief.  All the time the Dr was reassuring and looked after me as best he could.  I’m quite resistant to medication, I had two injections of morphine and then moved onto Fentanyl and eventually my pain started to fall to a 9/10.  Even after all this – the gown, the cannula, the drugs – it still didn’t dawn on my I was going to be admitted, I am a little hospital-phobic (or Nosocomephobic to be technical about it!) but every-one who was looking after me helped me stay relatively calm. 

I was in the Assessment Unit ward within an hour, the male staff nurse who held my hand as they had to maneuverer me onto the bed made me giggle through my tears when he said that I had made a 17 stone bloke yelp in pain from squeezing his hand so hard!  I stayed there for a few days, every-one was so kind and caring, even pushed to their limit, exhausted and busy, they still gave me the attention and care I needed.

I chatted to another nurse for a while about Bare Minerals make-up, showed her photos of myself on my mobile phone when I’d been out and about so she could see how Bare Minerals looked when applied, in fact, the phrase I used was ‘This is how I’m meant to look’ (by this point of having IV Morphine and Fentanyl as well as oral morphine and whatever else I was taking, my skin had cracked, swollen and was permanently red).  One day I managed to reach my handbag and look in my little mirror, I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty but I couldn’t stop myself from checking …the tears that fell made my face sting even more.

I found the hand-cream I’d thrown in, my favourite from the wonderful people at ‘Yes Nurse’, and put a big layer over my face as well as on my hands, which were now also starting to peel and crack.  I think I told every nurse who looked after me about this hand-cream!  After all it was formulated by a nurse who had problems with cracked skin from working in a hospital environment.  I also managed to text my husband and gave him a list of products to bring in with him for me! 

I lined all of the bottles up on my bedside table, they weren’t going to work miracles on my skin instantly but every little helps as they say.  The Mario Badescu facial spray with aloe, herbs, and rosewater helped stop the tight, dry feeling on my face, my Yes to Carrots face wash was gentle enough not to irritate my poor red sore face, Dermalogica Climate Control lip balm to ease my cracked lips and the Lacoste Touch Of Pink helped me smell a lot more pleasant!

One day the young girl in the next bed asked me if I had any body spray that she could have a spritz of as she felt yucky, she made me smile when she said ‘I thought I’d ask you first because you look like you look after yourself, and you have all those little bottles of things on your table’☺ I was sad to leave that ward and the people there behind but I was moved up to Orthopaedics and then into a side room.  It felt strange being on my own at first but I must admit it was nice when I could ask them to close the door at visiting time, if I had no-one visiting me, and just lie there in the dark, quiet with just the hypnotic noise of the booties I was wearing inflating and deflating.

All of the nurses on Orthopaedics were fabulous, again I couldn’t shut up talking – anyone who knows me can confirm this is normal behavior.  And again I whittered on about make-up and skincare, giving them all a try of my lotions and potions!  I was so looked after, I remember crying in the early hours and Katherine, a student nurse, made me cups of tea and sat with me a while till I calmed and drifted back to sleep.  I had some funny conversations with the nurses, some I blush at just thinking about!  Every-one made me feel happy even though I was in such a miserable situation.

There was the lovely Daniel, a student nurse who came with me on my last day to my appointment at the Urology Dept (to check out my plumbing☺).  The nurse there said I would probably prefer Dan to wait outside while I was in there as the appointment was a little on the ‘intrusive’ side – I had spent a week being prodded and poked (in areas I wouldn’t even prod/poke myself and had endured various tubes being inserted into numerous parts of my body!) so I told her that I didn’t mind at all and that if he wanted to stay and learn about what the female side of it entailed then I was okay with it.  Dan did stay while the nurse showed me various procedures I could do at home should I have any difficulties.  I’m glad he did stay, for my benefit as well.   I was so scared and felt calmer having a familiar face with me.

Afterwards Dan and I sat waiting for transport back to the ward, typically the weather had turned for the worse and it had begun to SNOW!  But still, I managed to waffle on in my drugged up state about my first consultant and how I wished that I could see him again and we also chatted in general, about his course etc. we giggled a lot!☺It was so nice and also a comforting end to a rather awful traumatic time.  I really hope all of the students who looked after me are still enjoying their course.

I bid Orthopaedics goodbye after the sensation had finally returned to my left side and I was able to walk again.  I was so glad to get home, into my snuggly pj’s and my own bed (also managing to stuff my face with a huge bag of chippy chips!)  I slept for 16 hours straight and spent the next two weeks off work. 

The after-effects of so much medication began to show more and more though.  The dark marks under my eyes were more prominent, my cracked, sore skin took so long to heal and my hair began to fall out again and break off in places.  By the power of products the problems have eased a little in time and now, although I still need a lot of lotions and maximum coverage make-up, I certainly look a lot better!

My stay at New Cross was made bearable thanks to the dedication, help and kindness of all the staff there who were involved in looking after me.  The fabulous student nurses, staff nurses, Radiology team and the amazing staff in A&E.  All of these people have devoted their time to care for others and I can’t thank them enough for being the very best at what they do. 

I really hope I wasn’t a nightmare patient for them!

Keep your lips calm with Decleor lip balm!

Decleor Aroma Solutions Nourishing Lip Balm

Decleor are one of my favourite brands, their products ooze fabulous natural ingredients and lashings of tender loving care.  The first item I ever tried was their lip balm, I treated myself after starting my current job back in 2004. The balm came in a little glass tub and as soon as I opened it the gorgeous smell wafted out and snuggled my senses ☺

After many years of being on my lip balm quest and trying out numerous brands, last month I put Decleor lip balm on my Christmas list.  When Christmas Day arrived I whooped with delight when un-wrapping a little box from my brother and spotting the familiar yellow colour packaging!

As soon as I applied it to my poor winter-weather blighted lips I could feel the nourishing properties from the pure essential oils restoring the delicate skin back to health.  It does, as their website says, melt into your lips and they do feel instantly softened and hydrated.  I know I can be out and about in this weather and my lips won’t chap or crack as they have a layer of protection on, like a ‘lip-mitten’ this balm feels cosy and helps you brave the elements, safe in the knowledge you have defended your lips in the best way possible.

After application you have a lovely shine from the balm, not a sticky or runny residue though, just a nice subtle shine which you can apply lip colour over the top of as well. 

The active Ingredients in the Aroma Solutions Nourishing Lip Balm are:

  • Shea Butter
  • Bamboo Sap
  • Rose Essential Oil
  • Angelica Essential Oil
  • Coconut Plant Oil
  • Hazelnut Plant Oil

When I apply this wonderful balm not only do my lips feel amazingly hydrated in an instant, I am also transported back, in memory, to 2004 – the year when I first tried this product.  They say smells evoke memories, the olfactory bulb which is part of the brain’s limbic system is an area very closely associated with memory, so smell can recall memories some-times instantaneously – and that is so true for me in this case.  Plus, it means I also feel younger each time I apply it as well!  I certainly haven’t received that effect from any other lip balm☺

I urge any-one with the same obsession and love for lip balm to try this fantastic product from Decleor, I wasn’t disappointed the first time I used it and 10 years later I’m still a massive fan of this balm, as well as the brand in general.

 

For lips that are boss – You need Moxie™ Lip-gloss!

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie™ Lip-gloss ‘Smooth Talker’

I received my third Moxie™ at Christmas, a gift from my best friend☺ This one doesn’t disappoint either, in a gorgeous colour called ‘Smooth Talker’ (…I do talk a lot) it’s a shimmery rose gold pink that glides on smoothly, plumping my lips and giving a lovely burst of colour.

Sheer application

Layered Application

It’s very reminiscent of theNymphette’ shade of Lipglass from one of my other favourite brands – MAC.  I adore the feel of the Moxie™ lip-glosses though as the Shea, Avocado and Murumuru butters are much needed for my constant dry lips, as well as the included vitamin A, C and E complex which aide antioxidant defence.  All massive tick boxes for me as my poor little pout can crack and the skin peel off in bad weather and/or health conditions.

The thing I love about these lip-glosses is that I can build the colour, just one slick can give a nice sheer shade but if I give a few more layers I have a more intense colour come through.  Again, the elongated doe-foot applicator is great for a more precise application to your lips and keeping within the lip-line.

I want them all!  And with 14 of shades Moxie™ gloss to choose from it’s hard not to keep treating yourself to ‘just one more’!

See their full range HERE

A Perfect 10 For Hair-Care!

Uniq One All In One Hair Treatment 150ml £10.95

After seeing the half-price offer (£5.45) on Beauty Bay’s Facebook page I just couldn’t resist ordering this product, even though I have a few pending bottles lined up already… It just lured me in and wham, bam, dropped in my porch a few days later!

The temptation to try out this hair treatment was the boast that it offers 10 benefits to your hair – 10 in one bottle, that’s some tag-line.  And so the day it arrived I needed to try it out.  After washing my hair I unknotted it with my Tangle Teezer and, going on the instructions for medium hair, sprayed about 8 pumps onto my hair about 20cm away and then used the Teezer again to distribute it evenly.  It does say you can use your usual products as well but I wanted to see what magic it could work just on its own.

 I rough blow-dried and then used my GHD’s to straighten.  My husband (on request) felt my hair and said “it feels like air”, after I had checked he hadn’t actually said Hair and that he was referring to my locks being incredibly soft and light-weight then I knew I was onto a winner – if he could notice the difference then it must be good! 

My hair felt like silk, even when I ran my fingertips over the very ends they felt nourished and soft.  Where my hair is usually very dry and sticks out at odd angles, it seemed to now blend in with the rest and have a much better texture.  It felt bouncier and the next day I just used one pump of it into my palms and ran it over my dry hair to give it some extra smoothness and shine, I went out happily frizz-free and my hair held the scent of the product too, so every now and again I got a little pleasant smelling waft.

 So let’s go through the 10 and I’ll tell you, so far, what I can –

 1 REPAIR FOR DRY & DAMAGED HAIR. – It definitely eased the dry feeling and helped my damaged areas

2 SHINE & FRIZZ CONTROL – Yep and Yep!

3 HEAT PROTECTION – Always good to know you have an extra barrier between your delicate hair and heat stylers

4 SILKINESS & SMOOTHNESS – Without a doubt this box was ticked!

5 HAIR COLOR PROTECTION / WITH UVA & UVB FILTERS – Time will tell on this one

6 EASIER BRUSHING & IRONING – Hard to tell as I use a Tangle Teezer

7 INCREDIBLE DETANGLING – Again, with the Teezer my hair is easier to detangle but I did feel it a little quicker than usual to get smoothed

8 LONG-LASTING HAIRSTYLE – I only went from Friday to Sunday but the day after use I didn’t need to GHD and it did feel more manageable

9 SPLIT ENDS PREVENTION – Again, time will tell on this one.

10 ADDS BODY – I did feel that I had more oomph to my hair after using it

So to sum up – it’s pretty fabulous! ☺ Dependent on how long the bottle lasts I may become a long-term user of Uniq One Hair Treatment and if you don’t believe me head over to Beauty Bay ☞ here  and read the many reviews about how amazing other people have also found this bottle of magic – that’s 10 times the magic too …oh and buy some while you’re there, you know it makes sense!

Slightly miffed with the Mythic

L’Oréal Professional Mythic Oil

 Maybe it’s just my hair, but I had higher hopes for L’Oréal’s Mythic Oil. 

As I’ve written in previous posts I do have ‘problem hair’, it is gradually getting better now but is still recovering from breakage after I was on and off morphine combined with other strong medication.  It’s always been on the dry side at the best of times, so maybe Mythic Oil couldn’t work as much magic on my hair as I anticipated because of these follicle issues!

I’m not totally disappointed with the product, it is a very nice and (within the realms of hair oil prices) at a very reasonable cost too.  The smell is lovely and it helps calm my frizz down.  The blurb on the L’Oréal website says that it nourishes even the finest of hair, my hair has got finer over the years and since all the medications so I knew that it wouldn’t be too heavy on my locks or leave them too greasy looking.  But compared to other oils it just didn’t leave it as nourished feeling as I hoped and I found that I was using about 5-6 pumps on my damp hair before I blow-dried. 

After I had finished styling it didn’t seem to have that shiny, bouncy look or feel to it, it did feel quite soft though and gave a decent finish but I felt that I’d used a lot of it to get that there!  I have continued using it and I manage to get more of a shine and supple feeling if I rub a little pump of it into my palms and over my dry hair in the mornings.  But this is as well as using the large amount the night before, after I’ve washed my hair.

I think for a first time user of oils this one would be a very good starter, it’s not too painful on the purse and it is a good all-rounder.  Some people I’ve spoken to adore it and say it works wonders.  Personally speaking, it’s not a product that I’ll be buying again unfortunately.  Even though it does have some noticeably good effects (after a rather large amount being used), it just doesn’t do enough for me or to a level that helps tame my unruly flyaways, frizz and dryness. 

I’m disappointed but it could be that, in this case, my own hair is to blame for how much impact Mythic Oil had on the styling and finishing results.  And that impact just didn’t hit the mark for me!

 

 

 

Putting A Price On My Face…

While I was sorting through my daily make-up bag at the weekend I was intrigued at how much my face actually costs – with the products on… I’m guessing possibly a small bag of pick ‘n’ mix without it.

So, as I was doing my usual wet-wiping down of all the little tubs, I laid them out and wrote down the contents so I could tot up the amount I carry around me with.

For a little make-up bag it seems to have a Tardis-effect and I found I have a lot more with me than I initially thought!

I wear make-up because I like it, I like the way it covers my blemishes and evens my skin-tone, giving a blank canvas (that wording has been used before of my expression!) to experiment with colours and glitter, you gotta have a bit of glitter in there!  I already know I spend a fair bit of cash on cosmetics, as I do skincare… and hair-care.  It’s a passion and maybe a little obsession too, but it’s one which I enjoy and has a whole community of people out there with the same love and affection for them as I do.

I’ve discovered so much in the short time that I’ve been reviewing bit and bobs on my blog and also since joining Twitter, seeing reviews, recommendations and the most important thing is that I have been able to find people who love the same things as I do, have the same goals, aspirations and who get giddy over glosses☺

I may not have met these people in ‘real-life’ but finding like-minded bloggers and also beauty companies like Decléor, who have given their time to have a chat and a giggle as well as share tips, has given me a sense of achievement in itself.  And chatting on Twitter to Theresa, from www.iamintothis.com, who suffers from spinal problems, as I do, has had such a positive impact on my whole outlook.  I don’t feel like I’m alone in this pain-sphere that some-times encases me and that, hopefully, I can get some-where, some day, in this beauty blogging world malarky☺

And so, back to the contents of my daily make-up bag, that’s squidged into my handbag each day! –

MAC Gold Glitter – £12.50

Bare Minerals Tapered Blush Brush – £13.50

Bare Minerals Warmth – £19.00

Bare Minerals Fairly Medium Foundation 8g – £25.00

Bare Minerals READY Touch-Up Veil – £22

DuWop Reverse Lip Liner – £13.50

Bare Minerals Bisque Concealer – £19.00

Bare Minerals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush – £14.00

MAC ‘Phloof!’ Eyeshadow – £12.50

HD Brow Palette ‘Foxy’ – £20.00

Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara – £22.00

Bare Minerals Heavenly Face Brush – £25.00

Bare Minerals Moxie lipgloss ‘Rule Breaker’ – £16.00

NARS lipgloss ‘Moonfleet’ – £17.50

Dermalogica Climate Control Lip Treatment – £7.90

Bare Minerals Stroke Of Light Eye Brightener – £22.00

Contents Total – £281.40

I know there’s only a percentage of that cost that goes onto my face each day but it still came as quite a shock that I am carrying around nearly 300 quid with me each day!  And I use them all too!

So, from writing this post I’ve confirmed what I already suspected – that I carry around a HUGE amount of products each day, even though it didn’t look like it!  And have spent an unhealthy (for my bank account) amount of money with Bare Minerals.

But you know what?  I love my little make-up bag, even with its shocking monetary value! ♡

I may well be a product-a-holic, but above all I’m a happy (and glittery) one and that’s the most important thing☺

Nails by Pretty Woman #3

More Morgan! – My Continued Love Affair With Nail Colour

I really love the latest colour I’ve had on my nails.  I wanted something neutral again but with a little bit of added oomph. 

I usually go for a full-on glittery statement nail, but with a pending MRI scan appointment at hospital I thought I should go a little more subdued (although glitter colour doesn’t have any adverse effects in the scanner, it’s metal which is the big no-no when you’re being zapped) I didn’t want any-thing to impede the MRI should it come through if I have lots of glitter on though.

I’m in love with Morgan Taylor brand nail colours and the salon I go to – ‘Pretty Woman’–  have quite a lot in their collection in now.  There is an obvious high quality to the polishes when they’re applied and the colours are absolutely gorgeous.

This time round I opted for a beautiful base colour called ‘Perfect Match’, it’s a fab dusky rose pink shade, on my ring finger Em used Morgan Taylor ‘Give Me Gold’ for a block-diagonal, the gold is bright, bold and shimmery and works beautifully with the base colour I’d chosen.  Em used one of the salon’s own nail-art glitters and applied a slightly darker gold, thin line to give a little more definition between the two shades.

As always, I love them!☺

Ems hard at work☺

I can’t wait for my next appointment to see more of the Morgan Taylor range, they are fast becoming one of my favourite brands and I recommend to all who have a soft-spot for painted talons.

 

No boo’s with this pretty piece!

Mia High Neck Long Sleeve Swing Dress from boohoo.com

I decided to treat myself to a few ‘non-beauty’ items last week (I managed to justify it seeing as the season has changed!) 

My first review from boohoo.com is the gorgeous dress I bought, which is where my other goodies came from too.  Click HERE for the item link!

I’ve bought a dress previously from them and was very impressed with the quality as well as the price, they are definitely worth visiting online to have a mooch through the pages of on-trend clothing, footwear and accessories at affordable prices.

I adore paisley print and when I saw this dress I fell in love with it (and the price with it being a very fabulous £18!)  As my shoulders are quite broad I chose the size 10 so it wasn’t too tight up top.  With a mix of 95% polyester and 5% elastane it gives me enough cling and swing, just where I want it ☺

The brown/orange colour option wasn’t in stock for the size I needed so I opted for the teal version.  The teal and white pattern is bright and looks lovely with the black base colour of the dress, it stands out but not in a too eye-popping way!

I teamed mine with a skinny black waist belt just to nip it in as although my shoulders and top half fit a 10, my waist is smaller so I didn’t want it too floaty and out of control in the windy weather!  It still has a lovely 60’s swing to it though and feels lovely on as well.  The high neck and long sleeves are perfect for these colder months.  I decided on wearing thick black tights and knee high boots with it and there’s also enough room for my vest top underneath so it’s keeping me very snug and warm as well as being very funky and fun to wear. 

For anyone after a dress that stands out without having a hefty price-tag, I recommend giving boohoo.com a visit and seeing what they have to tempt you!