Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Huge Thank you and a Happy New Year!

A huge part of blogging that I enjoy is interacting with women all over the world.  There is nothing like zoning out after a stressful day, and chit chatting about carefree topics like beauty products, fashion, dogs, or whatever.

Unfortunately, there is a flip side. I know I'm not alone in this department, and many have dealt with some petty drama along the way.  I guess sometimes we (as women) can be very harsh with each other.  I always say that I want to stay out of drama, but in this little small beauty/nail polish community/tpf/mua/blogging world of ours, sometimes drama just presents itself.  So in hopes to a healthy and drama free 2012, I just want to apologize to anyone who I may have offended along the way.  I'm not that naive to think that I'm perfect, nor that my "frenimes" don't check my blog often.  So this really is my attempt at squashing beef.  In return, I have also forgiven people for insulting or offending me as well.  Time to start fresh and move on.

Having said that, 2011 has been a monumental year for me.  I've quick my well paying job to venture into a new country with my husband and pup and have struggled to continue our business and even start my own small business.  It has been challenging, discouraging, and I think I moan more than I say thanks to those around me who have put up with my whining.

So......the whole point of this post is to THANK and genuinely THANK those who have ever lent me a listening ear (even if we are not friends now) so that I could vent, and for entertaining me by discussing things related to beauty, nails, fashion, what have you.  Your conversations have educated me enough to start this blog and to fill it up with content.  I'm thankful that because of our conversations, I have been able to (at one point or another) put my real life on hold and relax and have a mental break!  Also, wanted to thank those wonderful ladies who were generous to me with their RAOK packages this year. This blog would be an empty shell without the abundance of products that I have been given. 
You ladies know who you are, and I just really wanted to send a big THANK YOU!!!!

Also, I couldn't finish without saying thank you to all my old and new followers.  You guys are the reason that I blog despite having dealt with some nasty drama, so thank you for giving me motivation everyday to continue with this blog!

I'm off to take my luxurious bath, give myself a much needed facial, polish my nails and drink the night away with my guy.

See you guys next year! xoxo



25 Ways to Save Money in 2012 for Beauty Junkies

2012 is just around the corner, and with it comes Christmas debt, and new fashion and beauty collections that put us into a frenzy and equal amounts of anxiety on how the hell we are going to afford it. If you are anything like me, you know exactly how this cycle feels...obsession, the acquisition and ultimately the guilt.  So if you are having guilt for splurging way too much this past holiday season, I have put together some tips for the makeup junkie out there on how to save money and stretch your money further in 2012. 

Tokki & Oliver's 25 Ways To Save Money in 2012
(or make your money go further for you)

1. Sign up for e-newsletters and mailing lists - This is the best way to find out when your favourite shop is having sales.  My recommendation is to use a separate email address just for these types of emails.

2. Sign up for money back programs: Quidco, ebates, check your bank for their own money back programs (i.e. Bank of America has Add It Up Program), Boots treat street, etc. etc.  You mine as well get some money back if you're going to shop online.

3.  Clip coupons and vouchers:  Get rid of the notion or "shame" in coupon clipping, it saves you money so your money goes further.

4.  Sign up for reward programs from shops that you always go to: Boots, Superdrugs, Sainsbury, Tesco, Debenhams, CVS, etc... Sure they don't give you a lot of points per purchase, but if you go their often it will add up.

5.  Sell on Ebay, Etsy or Bonanza:  I have been selling online since 2001 and this additional income has helped me a lot!

6.  If you have boxes and boxes of unwanted beauty products, and you don't like the idea of selling them then try swapping.  There are websites like where you can swap your products and it's Free.

7.  Best time to shop is during Beauty events, Boxing Day, Black Friday and other big shopping holidays and shopping events.  Try holding out on that ultimate splurge until these events roll around.  You are bound to not only get your item, but you can also walk away with some awesome freebies too.

8.  Before buying a product, try an obtain a sample. By obtaining a sample, you can avoid spending money on a product you won't like.  Not every company has a generous return policy, so if you can obtain a sample, try before buying.

9.  MAC, Lush and Origins have excellent recycle programs.  If you return empty containers you can get samples or even a full size item.  This is responsible and beneficial if you shop at these shops.

10. If you have a ton of MAC pigments, try breaking them into smaller sample pots and you can sell them.  This works with any other product that you know you'll never use fully.

11.  Always check end cap of aisles for marked down products.  Sure some items come in damaged packaging, but if the product itself isn't damaged then you could save money money.

12.  Tk Maxx/TJ Maxx has a great beauty section, so make sure you check it out.  You should also ask them when they get new shipment, since that is when they mark down the items already there.  Also, if there is visible damage, TK Maxx is great about offering 10% off. All you have to do is just ask.

13.  Shop Ebay and Shop Victoriously. haha.  Isn't that their motto? But it's true.  You can get some really great bargains off of ebay.  Also, search for "job lots" as sometimes you can get a lot of products for a really cheap price if you get lucky.

14. A friend recently bought a Gosh nail polish at a charity shop for only 50p.  Although, I wouldn't buy lotions and skincare at charity shops since you don't know how long it's been there, but for products that have a longer shelf life, you could really get yourself a steal at charity shops.  Plus, it's for a good cause right?

15. If you aren't stuck on brand names, always look for dupes. This is the best way to stretch your money.  I have been very surprised by cheaper alternatives this year, and I'm slowly starting to see the validity in buying cheaper versions of popular products.

16. If you have a blog, have a blog sale.

17.  Have a swap with other bloggers, or with friends.  Your trash may be some one else's treasure.  You could also sell your items off of your facebook account (but be warned that this is not allowed on facebook; however, thousands upon thousands of people do this).

18.  This is old school, but it works.  Throw your change in a jar and leave it alone.  Do this for an entire year, and you'd be surprised how much change you managed to save.

19.  Before shopping online, google search for vouchers and free shipping codes.  Every little bit helps.

20.  If you have an iphone/smart phone, there are apps that can scan bar codes and search for competitor's prices.  This can help you make an informed decision on whether this purchase is the best purchase for you.

21.  If obtaining free samples and products is something that will help you curb your spending, there are many survey companies out there that offer product testing.  It's a great way to test new products out.  Just be willing to test products and give honest feedback.

22.  Every beauty junkie faces the issues of storage for their massive collection.  There are a million and one DIY storage ideas online, so get your glue guns and put your wallet away.

23.  Gumtree or Craigslist is a great place to find deals and swap with others online.  Just be careful however, as there are a lot of fakes and replicas being sold, but there are of course honest sellers on there too.

24.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to include this, because it really is a pain in the ass.  Yard Sale/Boot Sales are a great way to get extra money in, but it is hard work and you always get hagglers.  I had a weekly yard sale when I was selling off all my goods to move to England, and they were a nightmare! But I was able to raise money and people always showed up for a good bargain.

25. Last but not least, and yes this is the hardest part to do is to NOT impulse buy.  We have all been there, and you feel guilty as soon as you leave the shop.  Think it over for a day or two, if it's something you want and you can't find it cheaper anywhere else then you should return to the shop, but impulse shopping is our enemy :)

So those are my 25 tips on how I stretched my money and saved some money in 2011.
Please let me know what your tips are :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cult Beauty £10 off £50 or more & Strangebeautiful back in stock!

Calling all nail polish junkies!
Strangebeautiful is back in stock at Cult Beauty and now you can get £10 off your orders of £50 or more with the code BOX10. The promotion is valid until the 30th I believe, so act now.

As some of you know, my birthday is next week and having had 4 (yes I counted) breakdowns associated with turning 32, I had to pick myself up from my despair, put on my big girl panties and deal with my aging. HAHA, I'm laughing at how ridiculous I'm sounding now that I wrote it out, but yes I did have several "OMG" moment.

So I decided to treat myself to a night over at a spa hotel, get pampered and feel beautiful and also treated myself to......

Photos taken from Cult

I have heard so many people talking about this brand for the last few months, and a few people I know were actually given several volumes of this, so of course I had to see what the fuss was all about.
Yes there is fuss, and rightfully so.

What instantly drew me into this product was the packaging.  As I am a slave to minimalist packaging, this caught my eye instantly. The hard and heavy acrylic casing is so contemporary that it just exudes money. Then the name...Strangebeautiful - wow, that is the exact definition of the aesthetics that surrounds me.  I like to think I'm a "strangebeautiful" type of gal.  I'm not conventionally considered beautiful, but isn't their some beauty in even ugly things? I hope you follow me there.  I always say phrases like"it's so ugly it's beautiful".  So yes, the name and packaging instantly drew my interest.  However, it wasn't until I read the concept behind the brand that I knew this was a company that I had to follow.  The brand is so conscious about the importance of colour in everyday life, and art.  This is exactly the type of intellectual, artsy, "nerdy" backing of a beauty product that I have been waiting to see.  I love it!
So I took my hard earned pennies, and I purchased myself this volume.
I have a feeling that I am going to be a cult follower of Cult Beauty.  Luckily, Chanel's new polishes didn't interest me, so I can spend that money I usually allot to Chanel to Strangebeautiful.

For £49.99, click below to purchase these at Cult Beauty website

And if you take advantage of the offer,  you have to make it over £50 for the code to work, so I found this product to bring my total over £50.

For £1.95, the CND Kanga emery board is suppose to be the cat's meow, and I also think it's the cheapest item off of Cult beauty site that you can purchase, and it will take your order over £50 to qualify for the £10 off promotion.

Photo taken from

Did you take advantage of this offer?
What items did you get? Show n tell ladies :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Yardley London's Royal English Daisy Perfume Review

Well you learn something new everyday...I learned that Boxing day sales are pretty close to the insanity of Black Friday sales in America.  I ventured out to Boots, because I wanted to take a look at those awesome gift sets that I've been avoiding for the sake of my wallet.

I ended up picking up a Starbucks hamper, and this perfume. OK, they had this set in the "girl's" section. I felt a bit odd buying it, but I decided that it was too good of a deal to pass. haha.

For only £5, you can get a 50ml Eau de toilette and a 75ml body spray set.  Normally priced at £9.99 for the edt spray, this was obviously a no brainer purchase.  Also, this perfume was officially relaunched in 2011, so I wanted to give it a chance.  If you miss the Boots sale, then check out their website here or Boots online, you can still get the edt and body spray for £9.99 versus just buying the edt for £9.99.

Here is a description of the scent taken from their site:
"Yardley London's Royal English Daisy is an elegant dewy fresh, green floral fragrance, reminiscent of flower filled meadows in the spring sunshine. It opens with a burst of energetic top notes in the form of fresh green leaves and apple, combined with a heart of hyacinth and white rose, enhanced with warm base notes of sandalwood and musk."

I know a lot of people don't read perfumes notes, and go based on their nose, so I'll make this very easy.  If you like Marc Jacobs Daisy and Versace Yellow Diamond, then this is a cheaper alternative for you.  I really love this fresh sweet floral scent, despite it's ability to fade pretty fast.  I'm glad I purchased this, and I think I found my new perfume to take with me on my travels as I hate taking expensive perfume with me in fear that it might break.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS HAUL 2011: Chanel, Rimmel, Revlon, H&M, Armani and more

Before I start my haul post, I just want to wish everyone a memorable, safe, and happy holiday season and all the best for a successful, peaceful, and joyous 2012! 

Well only after 6 hours of sleep, I was awaken by the eagerness of everyone to open presents.  I'm feeling a bit under the weather. I thought I was going to be able to fight it off, but I can feel my immune system being attacked.  So loaded up with vitamin c and my daily morning coffee, I joined the party an opened pressies.  Of course, I am always nervous that someone won't like a present I bought them, but that's the risk everyone takes.  I said my obligatory "thank yous" and smiled.  This is after all my first Christmas here in England, and first Christmas with my husband's side of the family :)

So let me stop being a grouch, and show you all what I got this Christmas.
This is a combination of presents that Santa brought me this year (aka myself and my husband). 

This powder was a total impulse buy.  The nude/pink powder with gorgeous sporadic glitter sparkle won my festive heart.   I don't regret buying this at all, but the reason why it is an impulse is because I haven't even made a dent in the La Mer Powder that I purchased last year.  At least this powder is definitely different with it's festive sparkle.

Another total impulse buy as it was a ridiculous price off of ebay, otherwise I probably wouldn't have been able to afford this beauty this year.
Chanel blush in Tweed Pink

Just look at this beauty, what girl won't be won over by this?

Speaking of impulses, this is another impulse purchase for Christmas.
I guess that's a good enough excuse right?  I actually tried this on at Selfridges a few days ago, but the customer service was so poor that I refused to buy it.  I'm really glad that I did pass it up, because I found it on ebay for £6 cheaper and that's including postage too :)

Here is my season appropriate
Giorgio Armani lasting satin lip color in 400.
This is my new favourite red!

Packaging is superb and if you are a sucker for packaging like me, then this magnetic snap unconventionally shaped lipstick case will draw you in, that's of course if the gorgeous holiday red doesn't.

That's all for the high end products lol.
I wasn't kidding when I said that I have a budget :)
But the next items I got for Christmas were well worth every penny (all 100 of them!)
Welcome my latest Poundland haul
Rimmel blush in Summer Glow and
Revlon Colorstay Mineral lipglaze in Neverending Nude

I can't remember right now which blog I read that raved about this, but when I saw this at Poundland I had to snatch this up.  After I try this, if it's as good as bloggers say it is, I'm going back to stock up as gifts.  The packaging is really flimsy, but I'm going to try to ignore that and focus on the actual product.

Very eager to try my Poundland items just as much as my new Chanel and Armani goodies!
OK, so how is a girl suppose to resist all these sales?
I hopped into H&M just for shits and giggles, and really almost walked out with 20+ items, but I really remained true to my budget and purchased only 2 items.

Both black garments - BIG SHOCK!
Yes, I still haven't embraced the concept of colour into my wardrobe.
When will I ever learn?

So what did DH buy me? Well my birthday is 10 days to go, so I'm going on an overnight spa break with a friend! I really can't wait for this.  I'm going to enjoy my 32th birthday in the lap of luxury :p
But he still wanted me to have something to open up on Christmas morning with everyone else, so he got me a pair of MUJI slippers.  I didn't photograph them, because they looked a bit fugly but my striped grey slippers are super comfy and I love them!! Plus I really needed them too.

Then he bought me a Bodum french press.  I think he got tired of hearing me say how I was sick of the preferred choice of coffee here (instant coffee).  I don't mind instant coffee, but I prefer espresso based drinks, so now with my awesome french press and my milk frother (coming in the mail), I will be able to make my cappuccinos, lattes, and mocha. BIG CHEER!!!!

It's a nice french press, apparently Bodum is known for their french presses or at least that's what I've been told.   I love it none the less.

I also went to Boots and bought the Starbucks hamper for £15 (50% off) which included: 2 Starbucks mugs, Christmas blend grinded coffee, 2 gold chocolate coins (huge), and a big bottle of caramel syrup.  I am so ready to make my caramel lattes!

So that is my Christmas 2011 haul.  I've been super blessed considering the lack of work/income, but I'm just glad as always to be able to spend it the people that I love.  I think that's my #1 Christmas gift :)

I'd love to find out what you got this year! Leave me a comment, link, what have you...
show n tell time ladies, let me know what you got that you absolutely loved (or didn't love).

Well I'm off to watch silly movies, drink champagne, and stuff my face with so much Turkey that I won't want to eat Turkey for another year :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Favourite nail polishes of 2011

Merry Christmas Eve everyone :)  

Yes, I'm over here being a bit anti-social as the mood here is a bit awkward.  So I retreated into my bedroom and decided this is a perfect time for me to post up my favourite nail polishes of 2011.  I'll be doing a separate favourite beauty products of 2011, but this one is for the nail polish lovers out there.

The nail polish that are going to be featured will not surprise anyone, as I'm pretty sure these are favourites of many ladies out there, but I really do LOVE these.  
My favourite polishes are......

Sephora OPI 212, Dior Czarina Gold, Chanel Peridot, D&G Stromboli

Nubar 2010, Chanel Graphite, CG Sea Spray, Dior Gris Montaigne, Illamasqua Raindrops


I would love to know what your favourite polishes of 2011 are, even if it's one of 50, let me know by leaving a comment below.

Now off to be social.
Merry Christmas Eve everyone!!!!!

Harrods Beauty Sale - go treat yourself

There is only one sale, 

Unbelievable sale on beauty items, run fast before they are all gone!
I have my eye on the D&G L'imperatrice set, only £19! unreal.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Up to 70% off with Illamasqua Sale

Hurry ladies, you know things go super fast.

Here's a quick snapshot of what's available as of 9:30 tonight ;)

Loads of £5 and  £7.50 items still left.

Free Mini Facial With Origins

As you all know, I am a lover of brands that tr to use organic and natural ingredients.  Origins is one of those companies, and as part of their holiday offerings, you can get a mini facial with them.

I did the hard part for you guys, so here is my invite.  It's transferable obviously, and the instructions are all below.  Enjoy it as I don't have a counter near me sadly.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Week Before Christmas Rundown

Hello lovelies!
I'm sure everyone is running around getting ready for the holidays, but for those who don't celebrate Christmas, don't worry...Tokki & Oliver is not resting.

I am going to be online probably most of Christmas, so I can avoid the in-law side haha. I know that sounds mean, but it's true.  So I have a few posts for you all to look forward too.

Here's an update:

* If you are on twitter, please follow me @tokkiandoliver.  I am actually getting the hang of it now, and enjoy twittering more. Wow, I never thought I'd say that lol. Welcome to the new millennium Sue :p

* Also, I added some new items to my Blog Sale. The link can be found on the upper right hand side of the header, so go check it out.  All prices are negotiable too and free p&p within the UK :)

* I have a Christmas pressie reveal for you all too. I can't WAIT to show you guys what I got.

* I am working hard at organising some guest blog posts from several bloggers ranging from beauty to fashion related topics, so continue to check back

* I also have an interview with our very own Amanda from NerdLacquer coming up soon as well.  Super excited to find out about the woman behind this amazing new nail polish brand that has won many hearts already.

and last but not least....
I have a favourite products of 2011 post coming. I'm going to split it between beauty products and nail polishes, so stop on by to see what really WOW'ed me in 2011.

So make sure to stop on by, even just to take a peek this week and throughout this holiday season.  Hope you are all well, and Happy Holidays to you all and don't kill your family during this season either (oh wait, I think I need to take that advice too :p).

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Personalised Nail Package from Nails Inc

What could be better for the friend in your life that loves nail polish?
For only £20, you can give a gift made by you.


I took a step by step screenshot to show you how easy it is to do this.

Step 1: Select the Cap

Step 2: Select the Polish Colour

Step 3: Select your personalised Message

Step 4: Select the stickers that will appear on the box

That simple? And ultra cute right?

to order yours

Dolce & Gabbana Stromboli Revisited

I think I will be revisiting more nail polishes as I do like how my new camera allows me to capture details that my previous camera couldn't.  So first up is Dolce & Gabbana's Stromboli.

Stromboli is not a unique colour as in there were tons like this.  Dior's Czarina Gold, Butter London's Wallis, come to mind when I think of Stromboli.  But I love the slender tall bottle, the gold cap packaging, and there appears to be a lot more gold shimmer to the polish that creates this green hue that I am loving this winter.  Shades like this are slowly taking over my love for blue polishes.

I got mine during the last neiman marcus beauty event, because with any purchase D&G were giving away a free full size mascara  (which I absolutely love!) AND free shipping, so I thought it was an amazing deal and splurged on this.  Be ready to pay $20 for this beauty, is it worth it? Well do you feel any polish is worth $20? If so, then yes, you must have this in your collection, if not...then there are similar dupes out there for cheaper.

It's been a while since I looked at D&G's nail polishes, I'll have to take another peek next time I'm in London.

Do you have any D&G's favs? 

7 more days until Christmas YAY!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Alexander Wang Sale

I never thought that one designer could capture my style each and every season, but Alexander Wang does. This is just a few of the pieces from his current sale that I really love.

His minimal, modern and slightly edgy and androgynous yet sexy cuts are what keeps my heart thumping for each and every collection for the last 4 years.

This is where I shed a tear for not having the funds to revamp my wardrobe with several pieces.  Maybe in another lifetime for me.

Wrapping up gifts for under £1 & How to wrap a gift tutorial

This year I had to skimp pennies where I could.  I am a huge person for packaging, but I decided to save money on packaging, and focus more on the gift as my funds were a bit limited. 
I use to also have a pretty nice collection of wrapping paper, ribbons, and scrap booking embellishments to make pretty packaging, but of course had to unload all them before moving here.
So I do miss it, but I decided to share what I did this holiday season to wrap every one's gifts for literally under £1 (actually 64p to be exact)!

First let me show you how I wrapped up my own pressies. OK I know I'm a freaking nerd, but this helped me to not use my Christmas gifts before Christmas.

Will reveal contents on Christmas day

The materials I used:
Brown packaging paper that I had laying around
Holographic ribbon and mini bows 50p for a large set from the Card Factory

The silver wrapping paper was just an old birthday wrapping paper that I had just inside out :)

Now as far as wrapping other people's presents.  I will do a quick tutorial and overview on how I wrapped up my father in law's Christmas pressie for LESS than 14p!
(luckily he won't see my blog so he doesn't know what I'll be getting him haha)

This is actually going to be a step to step tutorial on how to wrap pressies.
A lot of people tell me that they are horrible wrappers, but maybe they just weren't shown.
Here is an easy step to step tutorial on wrapping gifts.

First, you need:
1. wrapping paper (obviously)
2. Scissors
3. Clear tape

Next, Place item on the wrapping paper and make sure that each end has about and inch to 2 inch left so you can fold the ends.

Oh and this gift wrap cost 14p at Asda :)

Now once you guessed about how much paper you need, cut around it.  
You don't need the whole strip, 

Now just take the long end and fold the paper over your gift and tape it down.

See don't worry about getting a perfect edge, just fold it to create a straight edge like this...

Then Tape it down to secure it

Now we have to fold the ends.
This is the part that a lot of people have trouble doing, but it's easy peasy.

Fold the paper down like this...

Then slightly tuck down one side

and fold the ends as such to create an even edge

Then basically secure down with tape

Do this to both sides and you are done!
Super easy right?

Now that was the simple part.
So next I wanted to embellish the gift up to make it more festive.

And this is my end result.

So I basically made a bow out of the same wrapping paper
(If you want a tutorial of that, please comment below)

I took an old Christmas card laying around and cut out the photo, and outlined the photo with the same ribbon that I used to wrap my Christmas gift with on the first photo.

Cost me less than 14p to wrap, because I have plenty of paper left. Now that's called saving money :)

So if you have any left over cards laying around, start being creative.
You don't have to go out and spend a lot of money on gift bags and tissue paper, you can save loads of money by DIY at home and getting creative.

Hope this helps with your upcoming Christmas wrapping :)

8 more days to Christmas! YAHOO!