This year I came across these fun accessories from a new arrival on the UK shores, Candy Store. They thrilled my little 80s heart, and I suspect they'll go down well with the daughters of the Pretty in Pink generation too.
What am I talking about? Well, the Candy Store does purses, cosmetic pouches, cosmetic mirrors, wallets and eyeglass cases in silicon, and in these bright, candy-style colours. I chose the peppermint blue, which is fabulous. But you can also get cheery, orange, lemon, apple, bubblegum, and liquorice. Now I have to point out here that the American influence plays a role in the colour names. What we'd call bubblegum here is the peppermint colour, and their bubblegum is a hot pink.
The silicon material used is something you may already be familiar with. It is a sort of satiny feeling rubber. I've had accessories before in neoprene, which is great for water resistance, but this feels so lovely I can't stop touching them.
I desperately needed a new makeup bag, and I was really attracted to the Candy Store cosmetic pouch (£20) on practical value alone. It claims that it is easy to clean off any random bits of makeup, eyeliner, mascara etc. I actually got to test this out the first time I put the pouch in my handbag - I had a ball point pen in there and the lid had come off. I got pen marks all over my brand new makeup bag. Feeling rather gutted, and sure it was ruinted, I ran over the bag with a dishcloth and some Fairy liquid, and voila! The ink just wiped right off. I was amazed.
I also got the coin purse (£9), as my old one is now so aged it keeps opening in my bag and emptying coins all over the place. However, my son took that over right away, loving the feel of the silicon and also I think attracted to the colour, which is what we'd normally call a bubblegum blue (and is also his favourite ice cream) here in the UK.
The purse mirror (£10) is a good size, and fits neatly inside the cosmetic pouch. There's room for a lipstick in the little compartment inside the mirror, at the bottom of the mirrors themselves. These are both ordinary mirrors - you don't get an enlarging mirror as you might with a cosmetic mirror. Again, my son stole this and spent most of the morning watching his favourite TV shows over his shoulder on the sofa. "Look mummy I can watch the telly from behind!".
All three are hand-molded in smooth Silicone, with stainless steel frames (and these really do add a bit of gleam to the purse) and oversized 'gumball' closures to make them so easy to use.
The marketing bumph says that surface dirt wipes away quickly, too, to keep them looking forever new. And as I mentioned, this turned out to be entirely accurate and then some.
Because I use only a few items of makeup, and my skin is easily irritated, I spend a lot of money on my cosmetics. They're very precious to me, and I am very fussy about what I keep them in. I don't mind spending a bit extra to keep them safe, so it says it all really that I'm willing to trust them to the Candy Store's bag when I'm out and about.