‘Sunday best’ beauty

Louise Gray for Topshop lipstick | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

The intention of this post was originally to showcase a few beauty bargains I picked up in the sales. I’m not alone in loving this Hello Kitty/Liberty print wash bag, below, and I’ve mentioned before how much I love the smell of Sanctuary Spa products, but photographing everything got me thinking.

There is something about the ‘newness’ of purchases that I always have trouble parting with. When I was younger I used to keep that little plastic film that comes on the screens of box-fresh watches and moble phones until it was practically falling off, and when I buy a new notepad or sketchbook, I can’t ever bring myself to write on the first page.

Even vintage or second-hand clothes are often squirreled away for weeks before being worn, while I wait for the right ‘moment’ to wear them, despite them being far from brand new.

Helly Kitty Liberty print wash bag | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

It’s the same with beauty and skincare products, too. Photographing my new Louise Gray for Topshop lipstick and other sale finds made me realise how much I love the appearance of a new, untouched bullet of lipstick. Ditto to pristine eye shadow palettes or pressed powders.

I remember reading a Liberty London Girl post years ago about the notion of keeping possessions for ‘Sunday best’ – not wearing, using or enjoying them every day in a bid to keep them ‘special’ – and how silly that is. I can’t count the number of times I’ve felt like that though, buying something new only to hide it away in a cupboard or display it somewhere around the house without actually using it, deriving pleasure from looking at it rather than its intended use.

This ‘Sunday best’ attitude is one I’ve tried to fight in the last few years, though I still find it a curious struggle when it comes to disturbing the perfect neatness of a never-before-used piece of make-up. Reading blogs and seeing how bloggers style their clothes helps, though. For example, Roz is one of the only women I can think of who could look this incredible while marching through the wilderness in heels, and the way Marianne wears her collection of stunning vintage finds every day, regardless of the occasion.

Am I alone in feeling like this, or do you also have a tendency to ‘save for best’?

Louise Gray lipstick in Legend | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionHello Kitty Liberty print wash bag | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionSanctuary Spa goodies from Boots | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Louise Gray lipstick in ‘Legend’, Topshop, £10 £5 / Liberty Hello Kitty wash bag, Boots, £16 £8 / Sanctuary Spa goodies, Boots, £8 £4



  1. January 5, 2013 / 7:33 pm

    I was looking at the Louise Gray bits today, Bath topshop had them down to £2!

    • January 10, 2013 / 9:25 pm

      Damn, that’s even cheaper – might have to go back this weekend and see what else I can find :)

  2. January 6, 2013 / 2:20 pm

    I definitely used to feel this a lot, but I’ve trained myself ou of it, to the point where when I go to a ‘special’ occaision I feel very unspecial as I have nothing special to wear! Not that there are many of those though, so it’s probably the right way round!

    I tihnk if you display something in your house and get pleasure from looking at it, that’s as good as using it though – as long as it’s not locked in a cupboard you can still enjoy something without using it.

    • January 10, 2013 / 9:55 pm

      It’s funny to see how it can work the other way, but I’m glad you trained yourself out of it – it’s something that is a gradual change for me right now. Definitely not keeping anything in cupboards so that’s a start! x

  3. January 6, 2013 / 3:39 pm

    I definitely have this ‘Sunday Best’ attitude and I hardly ever wear new clothes for a few weeks just so that I can enjoy their newness! crazy really.

    • January 10, 2013 / 9:59 pm

      It is isn’t it!? When it comes to clothes sometimes I also feel like they’ll never be as pressed and well turned out as they are when I first buy them.

  4. January 6, 2013 / 4:43 pm

    I still sort of do this, I leave the tags on clothes until I have a chance to wear them, but then I do get around to wearing them. I still keep some things, like suede boots, that I’m nervous about ruining so I want to make sure that the conditions are right. On the whole though I’m not too fussed which is why I end up in the same position as Harriet – a special occasion but nothing feels special. Also a slight problem with buying second hand because I don’t buy it for special occasions, I buy it because I’ve found it.

    I’ve got a skirt I sometimes display because it’s beautiful but doesn’t quite fit me, so it seems a waste to keep it hidden away but I don’t want to part with it.

    • January 10, 2013 / 10:02 pm

      I leave the tags on too. I think it’s easier buying secondhand but even then I find myself waiting to wear something rather than enjoying it straight away.

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