Thursday, 27 June 2013

Fashion Dupedom

   This is my latest article for national student magazine, Verge - find the original post here.

   A good dupe turns heads. Get it right and you’ll fool people into thinking that the off-white two-strap heels you are rocking must be straight from a ready-to-wear collection, or at least off, when, in fact, they cost less than two adult cinema tickets.
   eBay holds the cards on the dupe front, with blogger favourites such as a painterly Céline logo on a white tee, or versions of the Catherine Malandrino ‘kitty flats’ for no more than ten pounds. Yes, internet shopping has made dupedom a much more accessible (and legal) concept than flying to Shanghai to buy the latest Louis Vuitton fake. However, what about the high street? In recent years we have witnessed some killer dupes from our favourite retail giants – remember River Island’s £28 version of Victoria Beckham’s scalloped crepe dress? Buying from the high street means, for the most part, better quality clothing, plus we are encouraging the reconstruction of our dwindling town centres.
   So what makes duping so desirable? Celebrity culture? Social networking? How about both. With model and underground-label style icon, Cara Delevingne, continuously updating her Twitter and Instagram with shots of not only those endearing face-pulls and recent tats, but also new shoes, accessories and clothes that she has either modelled at a show, bagged from PR companies or purchased herself, it is only logical that her followers will develop a lust for those things. However, these model goodies do not come cheap. One of her more reasonably priced acquisitions was a pair of leopard print flats from Ugg (1), currently priced at £95. Though I am a sucker for designer, my student loan will not stretch to budget in shoes at nearly £100 a pop, so I turn to cheaper high street labels (New Look has an excellent dupe for almost a quarter of the price (2)).
   A few of my student-friendly favourites include Topshop’s tiger print jumper (3) in place of Kenzo’s similar animal-motif knit (4), Nastygal sunnies (5) over the Karen Walker Number One glasses (6) and Forever 21’s buckled ankle boots (7) instead of Chloe’s Susanna booties (8). These are only a handful of the amazing steals that internet-based and high streets shops have to offer. Finding dupes like these only requires a keen eye for style and some basic fashion hunting skills.
   For students, dupedom is the key to looking not only expensive, but also current, while on a shoe-string budget. Sure, you want to avoid looking like a clone, which is why you customise that 3.1 Phillip Lim Paschli satchel look-a-like with a geometric print scarf and a few vintage brooches because, hey, it was only £20.
Fashion Dupedom Image


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

OOTD - Elisha

011 021 008

Blazer - Scarlett London
Tee - H&M
Shorts - ASOS
Bag - Venetian
Shoes - Boohoo

Monday, 24 June 2013

Top Bun Tutorial For Long Hair

   My friends usually use doughnuts to create this look, but I have trouble grasping this technique. Instead, I just use my own hair to create the bun, pulling my hair into a ponytail on top of my head and wrapping my hair around the base.

   It may take a few attempts to get right, but once you're used to the method, it's such an easy look to throw together.

   Hope you enjoy the video!


Sunday, 23 June 2013

Sunday In Photographs

Sunday In Photographs

1. Handbag Exchange - I swapped my cobalt blue and cream faux LV slouchy tote for my mum's more sophisticated, structured, red shoulder bag. I love the slight trapeze shape, and the colour is so juicy.

2. The Weather - Always a topical way to begin conversation, the weather this weekend has thundered its way into my bad books. My hair and makeup were not impressed.

3. Next Mirrored Chest - I've been borrowing some interior design inspiration from a few rather stylish blogs, and I've decided that I'm in love with mirrored furniture. It's so chic and light-reflecting - plus, what beauty blogger doesn't want a few more mirrors in the house? Find my drawers on the Next website here.

4. Hero's New Collar - My parents have a knack for buying collars that make my boxer look rather 'blingy'. The last one was bedazzled with gold pyramid studs, not to my liking. This one from Next was just right for the little sweetie. Find this collar here.

5. Lili's Operation - My little one's recuperating from her op, but she gets extra hugs today for tolerating the dreaded cone.

6. Afternoon Tea - Made some delectable (if I do say so myself) scones for a homemade afternoon tea with the fresh eggs I bought yesterday. A lovely end to the day, relaxing with a cup of Earl Grey, a scone and July's Vogue.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Smoothie #4

Smoothie 4

   Wow this tasted amazing.

   I've learnt to pour in more juice when creating these smoothies, as I've found that my mixer copes with the load a bit better, plus the consistency is vastly improved.

   In this refreshing drink I mixed together blueberries, raspberries and honeydew melon, creating a zingy yet mellow smoothie.

   As mentioned in my previous smoothie post, raspberries contain vitamin C, vitamin B-6 and magnesium which help protect cells and allow you to store energy.

   Blueberries, hailed as a super food, accomplish a number of tasks within the body, such as anti-ageing, protecting against cancer and boosting brainpower.

   Melons contain vitamins C and B-6, and also calcium, magnesium and iron. A mighty fruit for a tasty smoothie!

   I used a handful each of raspberry and blueberry, and chopped up about a fifth of a melon to make this shake. This produced two servings.    

Thursday, 20 June 2013

OOTD - Skylar

Skylar 3 Skylar 2 Skylar 1

Earrings - Forever 21
Top - New Look
Skirt - Boohoo
Ring - New Look
Shoes - Miss KG @ Debenhams

Beauty Things That I Suck At TAG

   This is a tag that I first saw on thelovecatsinc. In the video below I describe a few things that I'm still learning about or haven't quite grasped yet.

   I think it's important to know your own flaws so you can improve them, so I'd really love to know if you've got any beauty things that you suck at - let me know in the comments box, or create your own video!


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Recent Illustrations

Eudon Choi LFW '13 Taylor Swift Wonderland Mag

Smoothie #3

   The smoothie quest has taken off rather well! The other day, my parents noticed my interest in smoothie making and, very nicely, bought me a whole host of colourful, ripe, nutritious fruits!

   I've been experimenting more and more, seeing which flavours mix well together and which fruits can be combined to produce the  correct consistency for a deliciously smooth thirst-quencher.

   Today I discovered that black grapes, raspberries, apricots and cherries not only create a smoothie which looks gorgeous, but also tastes ludicrously good.

   Here's the lowdown on the nutritional values of these summery fruits:

   - Black grapes contain vitamin A, which strengthens your immune system and improves eyesight. It also works as an anti-ageing tool as it works to keep skin healthy.

   - Raspberries contain vitamin C, a vital component in protecting the cells in your body. They are also a good source of vitamin B-6 and magnesium, both of which allow your body to use and store energy.

   - Apricots are a great all rounder, containing vitamins A, C and B-6 and also magnesium. Iron is also found in these fruits, preventing against anaemia.

   - Cherries also contain all of the above, plus calcium, which gives you healthy nails and teeth!

Smoothie 3 3 Smoothie 3 2Smoothie 3 1

   If you're worried about what portion sizes you need, a good indicator is to grab a handful of the fruit you want to include in the smoothie. A handful sized portion will provide enough nutrition to give you one of your five-a-day.

Monday, 17 June 2013

OOTD - Celia

Celia 2 Celia 1 Celia 3 Celia 4
Sunglasses - ASOS
Chain - Dorothy Perkins
Tee - River Island
Rings - New Look
Short - eBay
Shoes - Jessica Simpson @ Debenhams

How to Create a Classic Bun & Quiff

   This is a hairstyle I often wear casually, however, when worn with a smokey eye and a spritz of shine spray, this look can be transformed from casual to evening in minutes.

   I recommend playing around with the height of the quiff - more volume can add a vintage appearance. Try back combing, or pushing the base of your quiff closer to your hairline and pinning in place.

Bun & Quiff


Thursday, 13 June 2013

Product Review: Illamasqua Blusher Brush 1

   This is a belated review, as I bought this brush over a month ago and have been rigorously testing it in different ways in order to provide you with an accurate review.

   I was slightly conscious of reviewing it straight away, as I also purchased another Illamasqua product that I was particularly unhappy with and so, as I said, I wanted to test this brush as much as possible to give a detailed and honest review.

Illamasqua blusher brush

   First of all, I don't like the packaging. It comes in a translucent packet which is its only form of protection while not in use (it doesn't come with a separate protector). This is a problem for me as I like to stand my brushes tip down inside their protectors to dry after cleaning, and the envelope-like packet makes it really hard for the brush to dry.

   The bristles aren't as soft as I'd like them to be. They've got a plastic-y sort of texture. However, this doesn't impair blending ability. The brush blends my current powder and cream blushers really well. The outcome is a smooth, even layer of colour which, in comparison to my previous generic blusher brush, is a great result.

   It also doubles up as a contouring brush, as the bristles, collectively, create a brush tip with a fairly small circumference. This makes it easier to contour with highlighters and bronzers.

   I like the sleek, black handle - it's not too thick or thin and it has two grooves which make it practical to handle, but I wish it could be slightly shorter in length, as I keep on knocking things over when using it. Maybe that's just me.

   In terms of pricing, it could be considered a mid-range brush. Its RRP is £29.50; In comparison, Bobbi Brown's Blush Brush retails at £35.00, MAC's 129 Powder/Blush Brush at £26.00 and NARS' Blush Brush at £38.50.

   Overall, a great blending and contouring tool, however, it needs a separate protector if you dry your brushes like I do.

Scent - N/A
Texture - 3/5
Efficiency - 5/5
Price - 4/5

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

   Recently, I got invited to interview for an internship-type job in my local area. I thought the interview went so well; I was enthusiastic, I remembered all my positive points and the interview ended on a great note.

   After feeling really good about the interview, I was gutted when, a few days later, I received a rejection email.

   Yes, disappointment flooded over me. 

   The employer stated in the email that the company was looking for a candidate with more experience. Flicking through my portfolio, I agreed with the fact that I was not up to scratch on the experience front - a few photos of exhibitions here, a photoshoot there... not quite enough to make an impact.

   So, instead of feeling upset about the rejection, picking holes in the email and disagreeing with the company's decision, I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and decided to amp up my portfolio.

   A few weeks later and I am more motivated than ever before. My portfolio is rapidly expanding and I'm working with friends and business owners to build my CV - I can definitely say that this is the most productive I have ever been.

   The key to this miraculous exploit? InspirationI owe my success to the people who inspire me. I truly believe that inspiration is the first step to success.

   Please don't quote me as saying "you need to be someone else to be successful" - inspiration is hugely different to plagiarism. Look through magazines, read blogs, watch lifestyle programs on TV - find someone who you believe is successful and loves what they do.

   The next step is to think of that person when you're feeling low, rejected or disappointed. Think about how it would feel to be as happy and successful as they are, and consider what your next step is. Dust yourself off and pick yourself up, exactly like I did. Be positive about your setbacks, learn from them. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

   The two people below are my inspiration. Every time I need a pick me up, I refer myself to their websites, and my mood is significantly improved. Hopefully, if you haven't already, you will find your own inspiring icons, until then, feel free to share mine:

Kelly Smith

   Kelly is an amazing fashion illustrator based in Australia. I came across her work when I was studying Art at A Level and loved every illustration. Her technique, her subjects and her mediums are the epitome of classic, feminine fashion illustration and you can probably see her influence in my own pieces.

   If ever I produce a piece of work that I'm unhappy with, I refer to Kelly's work and think about how I could make my own piece better.

Annie Jaffrey

   Annie is a beauty and health & fitness blogger and vlogger who creates inspiring and motivating Youtube videos. I've been following her for quite some time now, and I get so excited when she releases a new video. She's so positive about life, that it just makes you want to be positive yourself - plus she's incredibly gorgeous!

   When I'm creating my own vlogs, I look to her for inspiration on how to be positive in front of the camera.


   I really hope you enjoyed reading this post - let me know about your inspirations! 

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

10 Beauty Products I Keep in my Handbag

I've seen a lot of bloggers taking part in the 'What's in my handbag' competition lately, so I wanted to do a vlog with a little bit of a difference.

This video is about the ten beauty-related products that I like to keep with me to use throughout the day.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Recent Illustrations

Clara Campelo
Fashion East
Cara Delevingne

Saturday, 8 June 2013

OOTD - Kaitlin

Kaitlin 1 Kaitlin 2 Kaitlin 3 Kaitlin 4

White Collared Sleeveless Shirt - New Look
Blue Jumper - New Look
Heart Shaped Clock Necklace - Limit
Disco Pants - Boohoo
Oversized White Clutch - eBay
White Ankle Strap Pointed Toe Heels - Boohoo

Friday, 7 June 2013

Smoothie #2

   Second smoothie of the ongoing smoothie challenge; this vitamin C packed energiser comprises of strawberries, tomatoes and satsumas.

   Let's break down these nutritional values:

* Strawberries contain a high amount of vitamin C which helps protect cells and aids in healing wounds.

* Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C too, however they also have a reasonable percentage of vitamin B6, which helps carry oxygen around the body.

* Satsumas, again, are packed with vitamin C. But they also include calcium which, as we all know, helps bones grow.

   Okay, this tasted rather strong - a little bit sour, if I'm honest - but, I usually receive little or none vitamin C when eating breakfast, so this is a great way to kickstart my morning!

Smoothie2 2 Smoothie2 1

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

8 Useful Beauty Tips

Beauty Tips 1

1. Pat moisturiser onto the face instead of rub.
Especially around the eye area! This helps prevent wrinkles, as you're not pulling or stretching the skin.

2. Store makeup brushes facing downwards with brush protectors.
After cleaning makeup brushes, place a brush protector over the bristles and store the brush facing downwards in a cup. This will stop the moisture from seeping into the part of the brush that holds the bristles together, preventing moulting.

3. Makeup has a use-by date! 
Yes, this is a well-known fact, but if you didn't know, look on the back of any foundation/nail polish/moisturiser etc. and you'll find an image of a little pot with a number in it. If the number is '36M', the product will last for 36 months ('M' meaning 'months').

4. Don't pump your mascara.
If, before applying mascara, you pump the wand in and out of the tube - stop! I used to do this as I thought I would get more product onto the wand, however this action actually pumps air into the mascara, drying it out and creating clumps. Just swirl the wand around the insides of the tube instead to get a little more product.

5. If your mascara is clumpy(perhaps because of over-pumping!) add a drop of hair conditioner. 
It loosens up the product and makes it a bit easier to work with, and, like with your hair, the conditioner will moisturise your eyelashes. I don't recommend using too much, though, as it will eventually dilute your mascara and it won't apply properly. 

6. Use a soft-bristled blusher or buffer brush for cakey foundations. 
If you bought a foundation that is particularly cakey (i.e. Illamasqua Rich Liquid) but don't know what to do, use a big, round brush to buff the foundation into the skin over a primer. Using a flat foundation brush will only make the product cake onto your skin - it needs buffing to produce a softer effect. 

7. Use lemon peel to get rid of nail polish stains.
If you've used a dark nail polish, rubbing a slice of lemon over the nail, or soaking your fingertips in lemon juice, will reduce the stain and make your nails whiter.

8. Keep your makeup in the fridge.
Leaving products like nail polish and lipstick in a cool environment will make them last longer. If you're really intent on lengthening the life of your makeup, a mini fridge is a great little device.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

OOTD - Daniella

Daniella 1 Daniella 2 Daniella 3

Orange Vest - H&M
Scallop Hem Shorts - ASOS
Neon Perspex Heels - Boohoo

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Product Review: Vichy Idéalia BB Cream *

Vichy 1

   I have tried several BB creams in the past - some samples, some that I bought. However, I have never come across any that have lived up to the BB cream 'hype', apart from Vichy's Idéalia BB Cream. This BB cream is available through Escentual.

   There are several reasons why I love this product. 

   The first is that the company use thermal spa water from the town of Vichy, France, as an ingredient in their products - which I thought was such a unique concept. I'm all about natural ingredients, but this is particularly exciting!

   Secondly, the product itself is so slick and easily blended. It doesn't streak or cake, it just melts into the skin. Not to mention, it blends so well with my skin tone (a yellow/olive tone) despite its initial pinkish colour.

   Thirdly, it does exactly what it says on the packaging. It illuminates by giving my skin a brighter sheen, it hydrates (probably where the thermal spa water comes in), it smooths wrinkles and refines skin texture, it reduces dark spots by evening out the skin tone AND it has an SPF of 25 - perfect for this time of year.

   In terms of coverage, BB creams are well known for their fresh-faced, no makeup concepts. Vichy's BB cream, when applied in a fairly generous amount, provides better coverage than other BB creams I've tried, yet it still gives a gorgeous 'no makeup' look.

Vichy 2

   I absolutely recommend this if you're on the search for the perfect BB cream!

   Escentual are hosting a sale of 1/3 off French pharmacy beauty brands - including Vichy! You can get to the sale by clicking here.

£21.00 for 40ml

For application tips and more information, watch the video below.

* All products marked with an asterisk have been sent to me.
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