Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

How to revolutionise the way you shop

Shopping is a skill. It takes practice to become a pro. Here’s how to take your shopping to the next level to help you save time, money and stress.

Take a break

Shopping can be tiring, so keep your energy up with regular snack breaks. Plan your route so that it ends in something you can look forward to, like a meal at Frankie and Benny’s or a coffee and a cake at Barista.

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Click and collect

If you’ve already got your heart set on something, order it online and collect it from the store. That way, you don’t have to search desperately around the shop and you cut out the risk of it selling out. This is a free service offered by many retailers including, Topshop, River Island, Dorothy Perkins, Debenhams and Next.

Change is good thing

Always have loose change on you for things like the parking machine or the bus home.

Need versus want

Make a shopping list, categorising it into things you really need and things you want. That way you can prioritise your purchases and don’t forget something crucial like your Dad’s birthday present.

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Take an honest friend

Take THAT friend, who will always tell you the truth, even if it’s hard to hear. Because sometimes we need to know when we’ve already got 22 bags or when that style isn’t flattering our shape.


Follow your favourite shops (and The Rock) on Twitter and have a scroll through their feeds when you’re shopping. That means you’ll be the first on the scene for the latest deals.

Earlier the better

The mornings are always quieter at The Rock, and at shopping centres generally. So beat the crowds, queues and the competition and get in there earlier. We’re not talking 8am, let’s be realistic and call it 10.

Treat the kids on a budget

Reward the kids for good behaviour with a meal out, bowling or the cinema. With Mini Mornings at Vue Cinema tickets start from just £1.99 and at AMF Bowling kids can eat, drink and bowl for £6.59. Check out our other offers here.

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The Valentine’s Day Gift Guide


It doesn’t matter what your partner says, how much they claim to not care, Valentine’s Day matters. So we’ve picked out our favourite gifts from The Rock to help you to discover the perfect match this Valentine’s Day.


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1. Set of 2 Yours and Mine Mugs Next £7

2. Heart Beat charm Pandora £35.00

3. Openwork Linked Love ring Pandora £30.00

4. Paco Rabanne 1 Million The Perfume Shop £36.99 ( get 20% off your second purchase at The Perfume Shop)

5. Jimmy Choo Blossom The Perfume Shop £39.99

6. Lots of Love bubbles set Lush £27.99

7. Personalised Giant Cookie Millie’s Cookie £14.99 or 16.99 in a heart shaped box (if pre-ordered by the 11th or £2 extra after that date)

8. Be Mine Rose Gift Bag  Marks and Spencers  £25.00



The fashion trends you need in your life right now

Taking you seamlessly and stylishly from winter through to spring.

Hippie Chic

The 70s trend is here to stay. Think suede, bold prints, chunky layers, and flared pants to create modern 70s-inspired ensembles. We’re just thankful that double denim is no longer a style sin.

Kiss The Sky Talitha Cold Shoulder Dress £32.00 Ark (left)

The slip on

This may take until the weather warms to really hit the high streets, but the slip on is back and it’s sexier than ever. Underwear, outerwear, same thing. The key to this trend is layering, over fine knits and lace.


Red asymmetric slip dress £36.00 River Island


Moody floral

Bringing the soft florals of summer into winter, with moody, mellow, darker vibes. Look out for florals mixed with lace and team with even darker colours.


Shirt dress £14.99 H&M

Bold stripes

Whether they’re big and bold, delicate and detailed, or even combining them both together, for 2016, the stripe is oh so right. Instant style, without too much effort.


Wrap around long line blouse £35.00 Simply Be

The 90s

We know, we never thought we’d see the day either. But unlike Justin and Britney, 90s fashion is back. Dungarees, chokers, crop tops, matching sets, high waisted jeans and shirts tied casually around your waist, it’s the naughty 90s gone good.

Get ready to throw it back


MOTO Short denim dungaree £39.00 Topshop






10 reasons why we love Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. From festive feasts to Christmas crackers, family fun to finding the perfect gift, here are 10 reasons why we love Christmas at The Rock….


1 – Advent calendars

25 days of chocolate in the morning. Can it get any better? Well, we tried, bringing you a giant advent calendar at The Rock with a new exclusive offer EVERY day. We announce them every morning on our Facebook page.


2 – Christmas singles

‘It’s Christmas!’ as Slade remind us every year, but the songs never get old. Whether you’re into Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You, Wham!’s Last Christmas or The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York, the list goes on.

3 – Festive films

As Christmas day edges closer, festive pickings on TV arrive by the sleigh load, full of classics that you’ve watched hundreds of times, but can’t get enough of.  Curl up on the sofa, surround yourself by chocolate and watch Buddy the Elf try to take on New York.


4 – Dressing up

Whether it’s Santa outfits, festive jumpers or a new party dress for your Christmas do, ‘tis the season to look jolly good.  River Island are all about bold coloured dresses with faux fur, for a hint of glint head to Next or for the perfect combo of rich tartans and pretty velvet head to Ark.

5 – Secret Santa

You just don’t know what you’re going to get. It fills you with excitement and fear in equal measure… but it just wouldn’t be Christmas without Secret Santa. Struggling for ideas? There’s games, jigsaws and stocking fillers at The Entertainer.

It’s not so secret, but you can visit Santa’s Grotto at The Rock throughout December, for free!

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6 – Topping the tree

Wrestling with the tree to get it down from the loft, tangling the dog up in tinsel as he bites baubles from the tree, and the yearly quest to find the one light that’s not working, all part of the fun and games of Christmas.   But we all know that whoever gets to top the tree with the star is the real winner.

7 – Turkey dinner with all the trimmings

Turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes and veg, Christmas food is totally worth the extra pounds you’re probably going to put on. We’ve created a Festive Food Market full of our favourites including the  German sausage swing grill, The Little Chocolatier, Donut and Creperie Cottage and Christmas roasts stall, running until 3rd January.


8 – Festive cheers

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a glass of bubbly in the morning and a sherry to wash down your roast dinner. Take the party home with you with a selection of festive fizz from M&S.

9 – TV specials

Your favourite TV shows are all scrambling for a slice of your attention like a new puppy on Christmas day. If you’re not the Queen’s speech sort-of family, there’s your classic Doctor Who, and recently turned festive favourite, Mrs Brown’s Boys.

10- And all the presents!

How could we forget? Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, there’s lots to choose from here at The Rock. Build your own bear at Build-a-bear Workshop, pick up the latest video games from GAME or choose a new fragrance from The Perfume Shop.


How to achieve the smoky eye look

With the arrival of Urban Decay in Debenhams, they recently held a make-up masterclass to show how to achieve a smoky eye using their new Naked Smoky palette and we went along to see how it’s done.

Prime your lids – To help keep eyeshadow in place, use a primer on your lids for a smoother application, more vibrant colour and to prevent creasing. Urban Decay’s Eye Shadow Primer Potions (£16) come in three shades and also in a travel size (£8), you only need a small amount so this product really will last you a long time.

Build your eye-shadow – When creating a smoky look it is important to slowly build naked.smoky_.palette-600x600the colour to achieve the shade you want, smoky eyes isn’t just about using shades of black. Using the Urban Decay Naked Smoky palette (£38), apply the shade Dagger on to middle section of your eyelid across to the outer edge with a flat eyeshadow brush, patting the shadow on to build the colour to a shade you are happy with. With a clean eyeshadow brush apply the shade Armor to the inner corner of your eye up to the middle of the eyelid. Build on top of the middle section where you put Dagger with the shade Smolder, and also take this colour underneath the eye along the lower lash line using the smoky smudger side of the double-ended brush included with the palette.

It’s all about blending – Using the tapered crease end of the applicator brush blend the colours together using small circular movements, this will create the smoky look you are aiming for. With an angled brush take the shade Black Market and create a V shape on the outer edge / crease of your eyelid, you can keep building this if you want to make it darker. Again use the tapered crease brush  and buff this colour into your crease using small circular motions to blend it all together.

Define your eyes – To create definition and for the ultimate smoky look, eye liner is a must. Use the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eye-Pencil (£15.50) in the shade Black Velvet along the waterline (just above the lower lash line) from one corner of the eye to the other. urban-decay-ink-for-eyes-waterproof-precision-eye-pen-summer-20141 Use Ink for Eyes precision eye pen (£15.50) and draw a smooth line along the top lash line from the inner corner to the outer edge of your eye, add a wing or flick using the precision pen applicator.


Mascara is a must – To finish off the smoky look and create dramatic dark lashes first use the Subversion Lash Primer (£15.50), it conditions and primes lashes helping them appear thicker and fuller, don’t be put off by its white appearance as your mascara will mask this when applied after. Follow with the best selling Perversion mascara (£17.50) which is thUrban-Decay-Perversion-Masce blackest of blacks, apply one coat to one eye and then move on to the next eye before going back to other to build up the mascara, apply on top and bottom lashes. Use Naked Concealer (£17.50) to tidy up any fall out from the eye shadow or to neaten up edges, and your look is complete!

How to achieve the smoky eye look the Urban Decay way

To get your hands on the new Naked Smoky palette or to book in for a smoky eye make-over of your own (cost of make-over redeemable on purchases on the day), visit the Urban Decay counter at Debenhams, The Rock.

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Father’s Day gift guide

With Father’s Day on Sunday 21st June it’s time to start thinking about what to get Dad, so we’ve taken the hassle out of searching for the perfect gift with our top picks from stores at The Rock.

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Looking for the perfect Father’s Day fragrance? The Perfume Shop have some fantastic offers so you can treat Dad for less. Boss Bottled Night is a classic masculine fragrance full of elegance and depth, now only £42.99 for a whopping 200ml bottle (saving £33). Versace Eros has notes of mint leaves, lemon zest and green apple coupled with cedarwood, making it an intense and powerful scent. You will receive a free Versace men’s military weekend bag when you purchase a 50ml fragrance (£38.99) or larger. Diesel’s Only The Brave has a woody oriental scent, you can get a 200ml bottle for just £53.99 (saving £12.51) which also comes with a free weekend bag.


Want to treat Dad to something special? Clinique in Debenhams have a free bonus time gift including travel size face scrub, face wash, cream shave, post-shave soother, moisturising lotion, anti –ageing eye gel and eye cream, all in a stylish travel bag. Simply buy two or more Clinique for Men products to claim your free gift until Saturday 20th June at Debenhams.

Fathers Day Photo

In store at Lush check out their ‘Say No to Socks’ collection of alternative Father’s Day gifts. The Happy Hippy shower gel has an uplifting fragrance with pink grapefruit and bergamot oil (£3.75 for 100g). While the Kalamazoo beard and facial wash contains fresh pineapple juice to cleanse the skin and zap away dirt, whilst almond and  jojoba oil will leave his beard super soft (from £6.50 for 100g).


Marks and Spencer have a buy one get one half price offers on men’s underwear and socks from Sunday 14th to Sunday 21st June. Their Days of the Week socks set is just £12 and include seven different pairs labelled for each day of the week.

Foodbreakfast in bed

Spoil Dad with the M&S Breakfast in Bed set which includes a cafitiere, two mini jams, classic ground coffee and a wooden breakfast tray (£20).

Or has he got a sweet tooth? Millie’s Cookies can personalise a double cookie for just £19.99. Choose from a milk chocolate, double chocolate or white chocolate cookie base and then have your own personalised message iced on top.

Meal Out

If you’re looking to treat your Dad to a meal out then Frankie & Benny’s are offering ‘Dad’s eat for free’ on Sunday 20th June which includes 2 courses from their specials menu.

Or if it’s Pizza Express you’d prefer then the whole family can enjoy a starter and a main for just £11.95 each, including the likes of dough balls or garlic bread followed by a pizza, pasta or salad.

Must have festival essentials

With festival season upon us here’s our guide to the hottest festival essentials you can find at The Rock right now.

Festival fashion

This year there’s a boho festival vibe sweeping across the high street, from 70’s inspired prints to fringed tops and platform shoes. If your not really into high fashion for festivals then you can’t go wrong with denim shorts or dungarees paired with a plain tee or crop top and some Converse.

(Left to right) Motel Kimmy Lotus Skirt (£22) and Crop Top (£24), Hearts and Bows Daisy Trim Tee (£17),  Juna Short Dungarees (£30), all available at ARK

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Accessories are everything

Any chic festival look wouldn’t be complete without a few accessories, our favourites this festival season include fringed bags, metallic temporary tattoos and headbands.

(Left to right)  Gold Coin Headband (£3) from Ark, Metallic Arrow Temporary Tattoos (£6.50) from Topshop, Fringed Shoulder Bag (£19.99) from H&M

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Be prepared

You need to prepare for all weathers, this is the UK after all. A pair of wellies could be a life saver if you don’t want to risk ruining your brand new white Converse, while a fold away  poncho will keep you dry in the event of a downpour. If it’s definitely set to rain and you don’t want to compromise your style get yourself a trendy printed mac.

(Left to right) Floral Mac (now £35 -was £50) from Topshop, Candis Womens Patterned Wellies (£17.49 – was £34.99) from Trespass, Lightweight Poncho (£1.99 – was £2.99) also from Trespass

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Handbag essentials

If it’s sunny you might want to consider wearing some sun protection, there’s nothing cool about a red nose! Powdered sun protection will help avoid the mess that lotions and creams can create. A miniature fragrance that fits in your handbag will keep you smelling sweet all day long while a money belt underneath your clothes will keep valuables safe.

(Left to right) Powdered Sunshine with SPF 15 (£6.95) from Lush, Karma 10ml fragrance (£12) from Lush, Money Belt (£5.99) from Trespass

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What to wear for wedding season

Wedding season has arrived and natural that means buying a new outfit (or three), from exotic beach ceremonies to countryside nuptials, here’s a guide of how to dress for every wedding occasion.

The city wedding

From cathedrals and town halls to art galleries and museums, many city centre landmarks offer wedding packages in a unique setting. Keep your look chic with more fitted styles, a statement bag and court shoes.City wedding

(Left) Plain Crepe Wrap Dress  (available in Pink and Orange – £55)  Cassie court shoes in Natural (£35) and Ruby Glitter Clutch (£25). All available at Oasis.

(Right) Little Mistress print prom dress (£60), Sole Diva cross strap pointy court shoe in black (£30) and lace evening bag (£17). All available at Simply Be.


The country wedding

Converted barns, marquees and even tee-pees are becoming more popular as wedding venues. Pretty floral prints and A-line dresses are perfect for countryside weddings, along with a statement fascinator and nude shoes, make sure you opt for a wedged or block heel as you don’t want your stilettos to sink into the grass.Country wedding

(Left) Kelly Brook  Printed Belt Dress (£60), Sole Diva platform sandals (£35) in nude pink, Pastel Envelope clutch bag in pink (£20) and Feather Bow fascinator (£20). All available at Simply Be.

(Right) The Ivory Prom Dress from Debut (£99), purple Jacques Vert two colour fascinator (£79) and The Collection cream patent high wedge court shoes (£32.50). All available at Debenhams.



The destination wedding

Many are opting for weddings in more exotic locations, from the Italian countryside to the beaches of Mexico. Light weight layers and loose fabrics will help keep you cool while sparkly sandals are perfect for beach weddings. A decorative hair clip or crystal headband are more practical than a hat.Destination wedding

(Left) Warehouse Spotlight Feather Print Maxi Dress (£85), Red Herring Grey Metallic Diamante sandals (£25) and Red Herring Twinkle Burst crystal hair comb (£10). All available at Debenhams.

(Right) Little Mistress Embellished Maxi Dress (£70), Sole Diva diamante flexi sole sandal (£25) and Mood diamante crystal patterned headband (£14). All available at Simply Be.

Spring clean your make-up bag

Spring is well and truly here and a new season sparks change, it’s time to spring clean your make-up bag and invest in some new products!

Follow these six tips to clean up your make-up bag and create a fresh new look this season.Make up bag

1) Make-up bag  a dirty cosmetics bag can be a breeding ground for bacteria so you should really change this every 12 months or so. If you don’t want to part with it then many make-up bags are machine washable, or if they have a waterproof lining you can clean with soap and water or antibacterial wipes.

We love the Victoria Green range of make-up bags at Debenhams, the Brighton Cosmetics Pouch (right) is our favourite (£8).

2) Brushes – these need cleaning regularly as they easily gather bacteria and dirty brushes can often be the causes of break outs, eye and skin infections.

Use the Bare Minerals ‘Brush Conditioning Shampoo’ (£10) to wash away traces of dirt, make-up, oil and debris, it also conditions the brush fibres for a soft finish.

3) Foundation – this will generally last for one to two years, if yours looked separated or has changedEstee Lauder BB colour it’s time to get rid! For spring / summer invest in a lighter or BB foundation  ideally with an SPF to protect from the sun, particularly if you are going on holiday.

Try Estee Lauder ‘Double Wear All Day Glow BB Moisture Make Up’ (£29). This lightweight oil-free make-up protects skin with SPF30 while brightening skin tone and creating a flawless, healthy glow. It comes in a range of shades to suit all skin tones and blends into the skin beautifully.

4) Bronzer  chuck any powders that are cracked or broken as they only create mess and put an uneven amount of product on your brushes. Use bronzer to create a buildable tan all year round, dust along the edge of your forehead and under cheekbones to create a natural sun-kissed glow.

‘Ready Bronzer’ (£24) from Bare Minerals is a compact all natural bronzer with rich golden tones. Available in 3 shades this product is ideal for adding a bronzed glow to dull skin.pop lip

5) Lipstick  lipstick has a live span of about two years, replace darker wintery shades of reds and browns with more subtle tones for spring such as pinks, peaches and nudes.

Clinique ‘Pop Lip’ lipstick has a weightless formula merging bold, saturated colour with a smoothing primer and keeps lips moisturised for 8 hours. Try ‘Melon Pop’ for a peachy-pink shade (£16).

6) Mascara mascara generally has a shelf life of 3 to 6 months, throw away anything dried out or clumpy. No make-up look is complete without mascara and it is probably THE most important item you can own, opening up your eyes to make them look bigger, bolder and more defined.

Benefit’s roller-lash-660x234 new ‘Roller Lash’ mascara (£19.50) creates a super girly look. The Hook n’ Roll brush separates, lifts and curls lashes creating a volumised curl which holds for 12 hours. 

So what are you waiting for? Get spring cleaning and shopping, our make-up picks are all available at Debenhams The Rock.