I'd liked to have titled this post 'Life Update: Paris', to create the facade that I am of the jet-setting, fashion-forward type, however I'm actually a big kid and, although I would have loved to visit Paris again, I went to Disneyland instead - the mini city of happiness and dreams.
I've heard that the next week or so is heading for a warm up weatherwise - we usually have a quick spell of summery weather in September, then it's downhill from there - but it's time to go coat shopping! Tartan appears to be the trend favoured by high street retailers this season. I'm not completely won over (I left my pink tartan mini skirt back in 2002), however this coat from Miss Selfridge brings the pattern into a more heritage region than the beige print on that infamous belt of a skirt worn by Christina Aguilera in her 'Dirrty' video (curse that double 'r'). I'm all for contrast, especially if that contrast involves monochrome. Half my wardrobe this Spring was a blur of black and white, so it's nice to see a trend continue into the Winter (allows me to put off a blog sale for another few months). This cream and black contrast coat from New Look is rather Zara-esque with a hint of Parisian chic. Definitely on my hit-list. Unfortunately, I feel the cold quite easily, but the only warm coat I have is a burgundy-coloured ski jacket - and I'm so self-conscious that I will not wear it, for fear that I will look like a giant plum. On the brighter side, Topshop has this gorgeous tomato coloured wool coat in a mannish style, which looks incredibly cozy as well as stylish. Similarly, Next stock this stunning biker-style jacket in a toned-down check print. Last year, I bought a simple, navy cape from Topshop, which I must have worn all through Winter. It was so easy to sling on over a thin knit, and looked sensational paired with bright, leather gloves. I definitely won't regret adding another to my wardrobe - especially this lovely, grey, hand-made wool cape from Zara. Also, I'm going crazy over this beautiful camel-coloured cape from Warehouse - so A/W chic, it's almost criminal. One of my close friends bought a gorgeous fur coat a while ago, which I absolutely adored on her, but I dared not to try on. Fur just doesn't cut it on my short frame, however this coat from Lipsy has just the right amount to stop me looking like an overweight cat. If you saw my last post, you might have noticed my recent purchase of a cobalt blue t-shirt from Dorothy Perkins. Cobalt is my new favourite shade, and this coat from Glamorous does it complete justice, accompanied by a biker-style zip and boucle material.
Have you already got your coats for this season? What're you loving/wearing?
In case you haven't been reading this blog, or if you're a new reader (hello, you!), you might not have been aware of my fleeting Summer romance with neon.
It was around four or five years ago that an obsession with the rather dirty side of the eighties errupted, and neon diffused into high street collections rather ungracefully, via Zumba outfits and Rihanna's nails.
Neon grew up this Summer, with designers, Thomas Tait, Louise Gray and Jasper Conran, among others, showing eye-opening brights against everything from graphic prints to soft neutrals. We learned that neon doesn't have to (read: must not) limit itself to leg warmers and Borat's mankini - it can, in fact, look fresh, classy and bring diversity to an outfit.
Today I've plucked out my neon yellow and white trainers to mix with my casual outfit of jeans and an embellished tee. Originally, I was going to pair this t-shirt with a houndstooth jacket, black trousers and heels, but I set myself a challenge to dress it down.
Every once in while I come across a product that I initially believe will be run of the mill and effective-but-not-extraordinary - then it turns out to be weirdly excellent. This is one of those products.
The idea of leg makeup is an odd one; my legs aren't the first place that I would think need coverage, but apparently they do.
Not to be confused with fake tan, leg makeup is a revolutionary product of the beauty industry, so much so that I'm really wondering how I ever lived without it. It covers up blemishes, bruises and veins in an instant, making your legs appear flawless and ever so slightly tanned.
As you can see from the photo above, my legs aren't perfect. A childhood spent crawling around in blanket tents means the skin over my knees is so much rougher and darker than the rest of my legs, plus endlessly playing with my relentless (and rather large) dog has resulted in several light bruises. In addition, my legs are the palest part of my body, and therefore imperfections are highlighted even further.
As per the instructions, I sprayed a light amount of the product in my hand and vigorously rubbed it into an area of my leg. It was so dark when it went on, but after rubbing, the tone became even and didn't make a stark contrast against the skin underneath. I covered the whole of my leg in around six sprays, and it produced an even layer, apart from around my ankles where it seemed to collect slightly.
No, it didn't stain my hand, as it's easy to wash off with soapy water. However this doesn't mean that the leg makeup will melt off at the sight of a swimming pool - the formula is apparently water-resistant.
It smelled strangely familiar, like face paints or Crayola crayons; not totally unpleasant, but it needed good ventilation for the smell to disappear.
All in all I'm delighted with the result. It even covered up my birthmark which, although tiny, is more of an annoying blemish than anything else. I'm happy with the fact that it didn't rub off onto my clothing, and that it doesn't feel sticky or heavy.
For an affordable, mid-range product (£9.99 from Boots), Sally Hansen's Airbrush Legs has tangible, satisfying results that I haven't seen from any other similar product so far.
Let me know what you think of this! Have you tried this product before?
Film photography isn't one of my fortés, considering I studied it for three years, albeit the class was taught by an intolerable, fractious, high-maintenance woman who, to this day, I still cannot stand the thought of (there's always one teacher who'll make you thankful you left school).
Anyway, with film photography, I'll usually end up scratching the film (see above), overexposing, underexposing, forgetting the camera doesn't automatically focus at the half-push of a button, etc. Yet, I continue to persevere with the medium - simply because, when a photo taken with an SLR turns out right, it looks nothing short of amazing. There's something about film that you just cannot recreate with a DSLR, no matter how much time you spend on Photoshop.
Above are a handful of photographs I took with my Ricoh on a trip to Thorpeness in Suffolk, a coastal town with a picturesque boating lake and a seven story 'house in the clouds' to its name.
My boyfriend and I took a trip around the lake on a rowing boat, ate ice creams and afternoon tea, and toured the little town on foot, before setting off home again. It was like something out of Bridget Jones's Diary, without one of us falling headfirst into the water.
Around three years ago, I bought a sheer white shirt from New Look, having just entered my 'collared shirt phase'. It was a size 18, but I liked to wear it baggy over jeans or leggings when I was having a fat day, and it was easy to tuck into a pair of tailored trousers for work - which is why I got a lot of wear out of it.
Recently I decided that, as much as I loved this shirt, it had developed holes in the sleeves and had become slightly discoloured from excessive runs through the washing machine, therefore it had to go.
However, after I was kindly given some DYLON fabric dyes to try out, I thought I'd start my own customisation project and recycle the shirt into something new and exciting; so this is part one of my five-part quest to restore my wardrobe!
I used DYLON's 'Ocean Blue' hand dye to create the lilac effect on this shirt. As you can see from the photograph above, I initially tried to tye-dye it, however the fabric didn't allow the tye-dyeing process to work as it's too thin. I've ended up with a light purple colour that I think looks so pretty, and much better than the previous off-white tone.
To rectify the holes in the sleeves, I simply cut them off and re-hemmed them to make a short-sleeve shirt. I think this looks so much neater and a little bit more 'this season'.
Stay tuned for my upcoming posts about the fabulous DYLON dyes and my DIY fun! Tell me what you thought of this one in the comments below! *This post contains PR samples
Not long ago, Barry M introduced a set of textured nail effects which, like most new products by the brand, I immediately snapped up. Unfortunately, I wasn't too impressed with the formula as it turned out to be too thin, and therefore the application of multiple layers meant it was slow to dry, and smudged easily. Fast forward a few months and I'm introduced to 'Invogue', a recently launched brand with products ranging from nail polishes to false eyelashes, all at a decent price. Their products are available to purchase from Oh Beauty, an affordable makeup stockist. Invogue have their own version of the aforementioned nail polish, called 'Matt Concrete Effect'. It has a significantly better formula which dries within one minute, and only needs two coats. I was really impressed with this, especially as it's from a new brand. As you can see in the photo above, I've created an unusual French manicure style nail art effect, using this polish with a Barry M nail art pen in white which I simply marked across the tip of the nail - it looks rather cohesive alongside my monochrome shirt! You can find Invogue's Matt Concrete Effect polish here (they also stock the same effect in bright orange!). Also, check out their suede effects - a great dupe for the OPI Suede Collection! *This post contains PR samples
I'm becoming quite an eyelash fiend at the moment, having bought at least twenty pairs in the last few months. It has occurred to me that my eyelashes really aren't very thick or long, and I can't flutter in a demure, Audrey Hepburn sort of way. In fact, they very much resemble the appearance of a hedgehog with a grade 2 trim.
Falsies seem to be the way forward, and this *pair, from Ardell at falseeyelashes.co.uk, are a little different from what I usually wear, however I'm drawn to the fact that I look a little like a certain childhood idol of mine - Lisa Simpson - in a really, really good way.
As it states 'natural' on the packaging, I was surprised by just how long the actual lashes were. While applying them, I had a dreadful feeling that they were more for a nighttime look rather than something I could possibly wear at work. However, after wearing them around the house for a while, I came to the conclusion that they weren't too 'obvious' and actually rather pretty for an everyday look. Plus, I can't help but adore the way they look when I look down.
You can find these lashes here, and whilst you're on the hunt for a pair or two, it's worth checking out the insane amount of different styles stocked by False Eyelashes (over 300, I believe) - plus free shipping!
N.B. I'm desperately trying to make time to draw more, but I'm entering into my second year of university now and things can get hectic - please let me know if you want to see more of these sketches, and I'll try my absolute best to draw them just for you.
It's nearing Christmas and the AW13 collections have firmly landed in stores; yes, I'm still hoping for that last bout of sunny, warm September weather, however as the nights draw in, it's becoming less and less promising.
However, let's not take this as a negative thing! Winter means lots of layering, glamorous sequined party outfits - AND - sparkly, festive nails! This is a short tutorial on how to create a cute snowflake design using white and iridescent base coats and a nail art pen.
Mixing a vintage piece with a modern outfit is one of the most timeless concepts of fashion, and what with hipster society becoming more prevalent, vintage is bigger than ever.
I photographed this shirt for an outfit in a previous post back in July this year, however I've dressed it up this time with several pieces collected from a handful of internet shopping rampages. The bright colours offset the plain white of the shirt, bringing some dimension to the outfit, or something in a similar realm to a Hendrix poster. And my favourite aspect about this look is the mini bowtie necklace with the blue and pink gems. Not only do the colour of the gems match my skirt, BUT IT'S A BOWTIE! Tiny obsession, nothing to worry about.
N.B. The 'oversized-shirt-tube-skirt' look isn't the greatest idea for a petite, pear-shaped, silhouette - but hey, do we really care about accentuating figures when boxy and beautiful designs by Monique Lhuillier, Tibi and Alexander Wang are sauntering down the runway this NYFW? I thought not.
It's officially September, and that means the end of Summer - however eye protection is still required even when temperatures start to hit freezing! These are a handful of sunglasses I've purchased recently, most of which can transition easily into an AW13 wardrobe. Let me know what you think!
Like many of you, haircare is a very important part of my beauty regime. I use several products when styling and another handful for my everyday routine, consequentially leaving me with a draw bursting full of various haircare brands. However, I'm not a hair snob - I don't snub brands because they're cheap, just like I don't avoid others if they're expensive. I use what works best for my hair, and I've narrowed down my favourites for you! Check out the video below to find out my six current haircare favourites.
Cara Delievingne is one of my favourite models at the moment (who doesn't love her?), and there is no doubt that she looks insanely stunning in this AW13 Fendi ad (shot by none other than Karl Lagerfeld) - despite the fact that she's dripping in head-to-toe fur under direct midday sunlight on a Roman rooftop.
AW13 collections proposed excessive use of fur, which is demonstrated largely in Fendi's gorgeous campaign. The beautiful textures and colours inspired me to create a nail art design in homage, the tutorial of which you can view below - enjoy!
I'm not one for complaining, nor am I, admittedly, one for having much to complain about. However, today's been a rough day - I've felt rather low and, though I don't like laying the blame on others, the people in my home haven't done much to help. On the other hand, delving through last month's Glossybox has cheered me up. I hadn't got stuck into the products yet, as life seems to have kept me busy this month, so after discovering Urbanveda's little pot of joy, a dark day became a little bit brighter. Urbanveda have an innovative concept of creating products designed specifically for the 21st century, urban woman. These products counteract the modern day environmental factors such as air con, pollution, stress etc., with natural ingredients such as aloe vera, myrrh and witch hazel. So I'm not entirely urban, but I do travel to the capital frequently and i often find that a day in the city really takes it out of my skin; it ends up dry and tired, and generally leaves it feeling dirty, especially after an eight hour day with a full face of makeup. With this in mind, I tried out a sample of their Purifying Day Cream. As it states in the description, it's really light, compared to so many other heavier day creams I've used. This is great for hot Summer days, worn under makeup. The thing I like most about this product is that it's mattifying. I've used day creams in the past that have layered my skin in an oily sheen, but as this is specifically designed for oil-prone skin, it works to reduce shine and maintain a matt look. Another great thing about Urbanveda is that they break down the ingredients on their website, so that you have more of an idea about what you're putting on your skin. If you clicked the link above, you'd have found that this day cream contains botanical extracts of witch hazel, neem, quassia, bearberry and black mulberry, as well as the bio oils: sweet almond, tea tree, orange, anise, spearmint, wild mint and eucalyptus. If you have a search around on their website, you can also find a 'dosha quiz' which tells you which products are best for you! If you don't like strong smelling products, this might not be for you, as the mixture of distinct ingredients form a fairly pungent aroma. On the other hand, the scent is only noticeable in the initial application, and soon disappears once the cream is rubbed in. At £14.99 for a 50ml sized tub, this is a mid-range product that really doesn't disappoint. Plus, Urbanveda promotes sustainable, recyclable packaging, is cruelty-free and does not contain parabens! Perfect if you're ever so slightly tree-huggery like me.