Friday, 29 August 2014

New In: Nike Air Force 1


    Nike's Air Force 1 trainers: the newest edition to my shoe cupboard.

    I must admit, I'm not a huge sneakerhead. In my heel:flat shoe proportion, the former hugely outweighs the latter. But I do appreciate a good trainer every once in a while. The first pair I ever bought were all black bar a white sole etched with an image of a geisha - definitely not for wearing while pounding the pavements on a Sunday jog.

   For me, trainers are not for the gym. The idea of wearing these whilst exercising seems preposterous to me - even the thought of marking the beautiful white exterior makes me cringe.

   So, no doubt, these will stay in my shoe cupboard until such time as I am confident to release them into the big wide world. Wish me luck.

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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Tea Talk: Staying Home vs Moving Away for Uni


Photo via Tumblr

   If you're applying for uni and thinking about whether to live at home, or move away, I've put together some tips from experience that may help you make the decision.

   There is no shame in living at home for uni - don't think you're missing out on anything, because you should always be able to make what's best out of the life you lead - just as you shouldn't have fear in leaving home for uni, as many students will be in the same situation.

   Weigh up the factors, and think about what is best for you, your goals and your mindset.


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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

5 Things to do on a Rainy Day


   Since the weather's decided to take a turn for the worse, I thought I'd compose a (hopefully) helpful list of things to when going outside just isn't an option. 

   I've seen thousands of lists like these on the internet, but most are dedicated to families with children - so if you're mostly by yourself (like me!) then here are a few productive things to do to keep occupied!

1. Feng shui

   I find that this ancient art is one of the most satisfying activities for a rainy day! There are certain rules in 'proper' feng shui, but I just tend to move things around and re-organise until I feel that the room looks good.

   Start by clearing out everything that you haven't used in the last six months (I use the three box system: one box for things to throw away, one to give to charity, and one to sell). Then, start shifting the large objects around, i.e. beds, wardrobes, tables. Think about how you use a room and move around it - it must flow well - and consider how you're going to get the best lighting, as I find that this completely changes the look of a room.

   'I Heart Organising' has some great ideas for home organisation!

2. Baking

   To say that I'm not great at baking would be an understatement - I'm terrible. It's the one thing I don't have patience for, but maybe making fresh cookies/cakes/puddings appeals to you.

   Have a good flick through internet recipes (I find that Pinterest provides the best inspiration - though most of the recipes seem to be American, so be careful with measurements). Clear a workspace in your kitchen, and bake your heart out! And if you really want to be savvy, buy some pretty packaging and deliver your fresh-baked goodies to your friends and family!

3. Order your winter wardrobe

   Right now I'm thinking long and hard about cosy boyfriend coats, leather trousers, black boots and blanket scarves, all of which are only a click away.

   Most retailers are uploading their AW14 collections; my favourites so far have been H&M, Zara and Acne. I'm a sucker for Scandi tailoring.

4. Small-scale DIY (and starting your own internet shop)

  I'm talking practical-but-chic make-up storage, adorable tablet cases and beautiful hand-made photo albums.

   My favourite DIY bloggers are Ann Le at 'Anne or Shine', and Elsie and Emma at 'A Beautiful Mess'. Why not get inspired by their ideas and create your own DIYs? If they go well, you could start your own DIY blog, or even create an internet shop and sell your homemade products on Etsy.

5. Work out

   This may seem like the last thing you want to when the weather is dragging your mood down, but a little yoga, circuit training or even an exercise DVD can boost your endorphin count and make you thankful that you went through with it. For me, exercising is a chore; but I only need to remember how I felt after my last work out, and I'm ready to go.

   If you're by yourself, make a workout playlist and turn it up while you're getting sweaty - or maybe reward yourself at the end of your routine with a little bit of retail therapy, á la point number 3.
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Friday, 22 August 2014

Must Have Bohemian Fragrances

   For some reason, I've become a closet perfume obssessive; not even a year ago, I could walk past a perfume stand and not be drawn in by the various scents wafting at me - now, I sample a fragrance I adore and I inevitably become attached to it like the family dog.

   An exemplary occasion happened earlier this week, when I stumbled upon Miller & Harris in Covent Garden. Of course, I've walked into this shop many a time when visiting the district with family, but I was never mature enough to appreciate the craftsmanship of their fragrances. 

   The sales assistant asked me a few questions about the scents I was attracted to, then talked me through a few fragrances that she recommended, one of which really stood out for me - it was the 'Le Jasmine' eau de parfum: a cocktail of beautiful citruses, florals and woody notes. After a sample spray, I was hooked. But then she told me that it was £155, and my heart plunged into my stomach.
  
   Being a student on a rather tight budget, I had to embarrassingly make an excuse and leave, but I couldn't stop smelling that little patch of aroma on my wrist for the entire day. I was actually so caught up in a moment of sensory stimulation, that I had half a mind to blow my entire day's shopping budget on one perfume.

   My boyfriend couldn't understand my manic fixation when, in his words, "perfumes all smell the same, so why buy more than one?". But, to me, this fragrance was the holy grail. I'm hoping that someone will be extra nice to me during my upcoming birthday and reunite me with this more than wonderful scent, but, in the mean time, here's a list of all the rather bohemian fragrances that I'm lusting after right now.

top row

'GYPSY WATER' EAU DE PARFUM BY BYREDO - FROM £88
TOP: BERGAMOT, LEMON, PEPPER, JUNIPER BERRIES
HEART: INCENSE, PINE NEEDLES, ORRIS
BASE: AMBER, VANILLA, SANDALWOOD

'le jasmin' eau de parfum by miller & Harris - £155
TOP: LEMON, BERGAMOT, ROSEMARY, LAVENDAR
HEART: JASMIN, ORANGE FLOWER, YLANG YLANG
BASE: CEDAR, OAK MOSS, MUSK

'oyedo' eau de toilette by diptyque - from £55

'Salina' eau de parfum by Laboratorio olfattivo - £90
top: lemon, pine needles, sea salt
heart: sand myrtle, sea notes, lavender
base: vanilla, tonka bean, cedar, white musk

bottom row

'Isis' by agonist parfums - £125
top: cistus, green tangerine, ylang ylang, black pepper, ginger
heart: anise peach, caramel, heliotrope, Nutmeg
base: amber, musk, benzoin, vanilla absolute, labdanum, lorenox

'Blenheim bouquet' eau de toilette by penhaglion's - from £65
top: lemon, lime, lavender
heart: none
base: pine, musk, black pepper

'Bergamote 22' eau de parfum by le labo - £105

'nashi blossom & pink grapefruit' eau de toilette by kiehl's - from £24.50
top: nashi blossom, pink grapefruit
heart: none
Base: ginger, soy milk, white musk

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Thursday, 21 August 2014

But For You I'd Leave It All


SUNGLASSES - DOROTHY PERKINS / EARRINGS - VINTAGE / CHECK SHIRT DRESS (WORN AS JACKET) - RIVER ISLAND / VEST TOP - TOPSHOP / TROUSERS - DOROTHY PERKINS / SHOES - RIVER ISLAND

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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Tuesday Sketches



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Sunday, 17 August 2014

London Shopping Haul 2014


   I think I've refined my style so much that it's actually having a negative impact on my shopping ability. Surprisingly, I only bought seven items at Westfield Stratford this weekend, and only three of which were clothing items (if you count socks as clothing).

   Don't get me wrong, I went in, guns blazing, with a list of items that I wanted to purchase - but nothing caught my eye! It was like fashion had given up on me.

   So here is my haul of seven items - I hope you enjoy!




PRODUCTS MENTIONED

Remington Hairbrush

Sally Hansen Nail Polish

Topshop Choker

Topshop Velvet Lips

H&M Socks

Pull & Bear Jeans - Not available online

River Island Shirt - Not available online

 Y O U T U B E / T W I T T E R / I N S T A G R A M

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Friday, 15 August 2014

Ben de Lisi X Ryvita - Plus Delicious Recipes!


   I'm excited to reveal that one of my favourite healthy snack brands, Ryvita, is undergoing a fantastic relaunch. As part of this process, they've teamed up with internationally acclaimed designer, Ben de Lisi (whom you may know from his ongoing collab with Debenhams), to create a stunning, limited edition revamp of their good old Ryvita tin* which will be available to purchase from September 1st, 2014!

   The design of the new container reminds me of early 90s urban art and, in my opinion, more reflects the slightly extroverted style of Ben de Lisi's homeware collection, rather than the muted palettes and simple shapes of his clothing lines. 

   He "wanted to create a striking and bold look that would stand out and look great on people's worktops" - a great idea, as our nation's kitchens seem to be getting plainer and plainer as we convert into a more space age, minimalist aesthetic.

   
   Along with this delightfully fun tin, I was sent some delicious flavours of Ryvita in order to create some exciting recipes for you to try out! Below are my ideas for creating the perfect snack to combat those mid-afternoon hunger pangs; I recommend that these are eaten fresh to get the right texture and taste from your Ryvita!


LITTLE ITALIAN BITES


   For these little bites of Italia, I used the Ryvita Thins Multi-Seed Flatbreads (which are actually scrumptious by themselves!). I spooned a reasonable layer of hummus on each flatbread (above), to create a sticky base for my prosciutto butterflies (below).


   I then placed an olive or two on each flatbread, and hey presto! You've created a quick and easy, delicious snack. I served these to my family and they went down an absolute treat!


STRAWBERRY FOOL


   I may have pinched this idea from the Ryvita website, but I've just simplified it a bit so that it's easier for when you're on the go!

   All you need is a handful of chopped strawberries, some strawberry yoghurt, some honey (optional) and a pack of Ryvita Fruit Crunch Crispbread.


   First, spooned a small amount of the yoghurt into the bottom of a glass, then mashed up the Ryvita Crispbread and spooned it in on top. I then drizzled a thin layer of honey over the Crispbread, then layered some more yoghurt on top, followed by the strawberries.


   This is SUCH a simple recipe for a summery snack that tastes like a light and sweet granola!


   Let me know what you thought of these recipes, or if you're going to try them out! Also, leave a comment below letting me know what you think of Ben de Lisi's design on the classic Ryvita tin!

* Items were gifted for review purposes



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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Bang Bang There Goes Your Heart


SUNGLASSES - ZEROUV* / TOP - TOPSHOP / SKIRT - DOROTHY PERKINS / SHOES - RIVER ISLAND

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Monday, 11 August 2014

What Makes A Personal Style Blog?


   The word 'oversaturated' is thrown around a lot in the context of blogging. 

   Unfortunately, some believe that blogging has 'had it's day' because it's become 'mainstream' and large numbers of people now have blogs of their own; but if this is so, why are we still doing it? It's simply because it brings us enjoyment, entertainment and happiness. Blogging is a hobby that is enjoyed by many - so why decry it? I, personally, read blogs everyday, and I'm constantly subscribing to new blogs, commenting and sharing.

   I can totally understand that it can be hard to find your feet starting a new blog, especially when you see others with hundreds or thousands of followers - but I can't stress this enough: DO NOT let this put you off. There are always ways to learn, improve, be inspired and enjoy working your way up.

   If you're reading this, and you're starting (or thinking about starting) a personal style blog, here are a few tips that could help you understand the basics:


1. PERSONALITY

   Personality is key, hence the title: 'PERSONAL style blog'. Your readers want to relate to a human being, not a computer, so make them feel like you're talking to them face-to-face, rather than through a screen. If you want to reflect a fun, down-to-earth make your readers laugh with a witty pun or a bit of sarcasm. If you're aiming towards the professional tone of a high-fashion publication, keep your text clear and concise.

   Talk about subjects that YOU really want to talk about. Don't write about things just because everyone else is. If you're not interested in a post, your readers will sense it. This is where research comes in: read magazines, newspapers, other blogs and scour social media for up to date topics that interest you.


2. YOUR OWN STYLE

   If your main priority is OOTD (outfit of the day) posts, mirror your personality in your style. 

   Wear clothes that you'd wear in real life, not just for the sake of a post. I used to dress myself up, take photos of the outfit for a post, then change back into jeans and an oversized t-shirt - after a while, I could see that I was trying to portray a person other than who I really was. I would look through posts and think, "this isn't me".

   Now, I've refined my style, and I'm happy with each OOTD that I publish.


3. THEME

   For me, it's important to see a theme running through a blog. A theme creates cohesiveness, but it's also another way to allow your personality to become visual.

   Your theme is mainly communicated through your blog design and your photographs. So invest in good quality graphic design software such as Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, or buy a blog template or theme from a designer such as Pipdig

   In terms of photography, most phone cameras have great pixel counts, for example the Sony Xperia Z1 has a 20.7 megapixel camera - perfect for taking snaps on the go. Or if you're really looking to invest in high quality photographs, a DSLR is the answer. I currently use a Canon 450d for all my OOTD posts, but I will be upgrading to a semi-professional DSLR, such as the Canon 70d, in the near future.



   Obviously, there are many elements involved in starting and maintaining a blog, but the fundamental component is to be happy with the content that you produce and the image that you convey!


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Sunday, 10 August 2014

Sunday Sketches



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Thursday, 7 August 2014

Hairspiration



   I have a pretty big birthday coming up this year, and for that birthday I'd like to do something which I've never done before; a kind of bucket list type thing, I guess.

   I'd like to drastically change my hair colour, which may seem super normal to some people - but I've never really played around with my hair that much. I had an ombré put in last year which I was in love with, but, at the end of the day, my hair was just brown with touches of blonde. This year I'm talking 'major overhaul'.

   So I haven't yet decided which direction I'm going to go in, but above are a few of my inspirations. Maybe you could help me out by picking your favourite?


1. MaryCake is one of my Instagram favourites. She has an ombré from dark brown to blonde, and sometimes dyes the blonde to grey - I'm IN LOVE with the brown/grey ombré, but I have no idea if it'd suit me.

2. I'm such a fan girl for Amy Valentine's hair! It would be a seriously drastic change to dye my hair completely pink and, yes, the upkeep would be insane - but sometimes you just have to go for it...

3. Claire Marshall (AKA Hey Claire) is one of those vloggers that I'm constantly tuning in to. Her hair is a stunning coppery-brunette that goes so well with her skin tone. It wouldn't be a huge change on me, but I think people would still notice a difference.

4. Jennifer Grace from The Native Fox is such a style icon. Her dirty blonde hair goes so well with her style, and it looks so natural!

5. Who doesn't love Kylie Jenner? Her black to blue ombré was one of my favourite hairstyles of the year, but I think her short bob suits the bold colouring - maybe not so much on my long hair?

6. Lia from Curiouser and Curiouser has gorgeous blonde hair with natural-looking rootage. I'd love going all blonde; sure, I'd obsess over picking the right shade, but I'm pretty certain I'd be happy with the end result.


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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

New In This Week: Beauty

1. Tangle Teezer in Sweet Peppermint - £10.20
2. Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray - £20
3. Eyeko Making Eyes Automatic Gel Eyeliner - £15
4. By Terry Terrybly Rose de Rose - £72
5. Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer - £38
6. Essie Vices Versa - £11
7. Stila Convertible Colour Lip & Cheek Stain - £16
8. Nails Inc Alexa Lace in Red - £15


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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Alexander McQueen AW14 Embellished Leather Boots


   Earlier this week, I had a mini breakdown; this was partly due to the fact that I hadn't drawn anything noteworthy this entire Summer, and partly due to other, more significant things.

   However, when I was flicking through Elle Magazine's guide to AW14 accessories, I stumbled upon a page consisting of strategically placed handbags and shoes in a modernist, geometric layout, and a gorgeous, glinting object positioned in the bottom-right-hand of the page immediately caught my eye.

   It was none other than Alexander McQueen's absolutely stunning embellished leather boot that you will have no doubt seen me gabbing about on Twitter. It's punky and avant-garde and that little soft cuff at the top makes it just that extra bit new-romantic - basically, I'm in love. God, I was so obsessed with this shoe that I had to draw it right there and then. Shame it's over five thousand pounds.

   Anyway, I couldn't find a photograph of the shoe anywhere on the internet, so I'm afraid my little sketch will have to do for now. If you happen to find a photo, please link it below!


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Sunday, 3 August 2014

Cross My Heart


SUNGLASSES - ZEROUV* / NECKLACE - DOROTHY PERKINS / DENIM SHIRT - BURTON / DRESS - MISS SELFRIDGE / RING - NOWSEEN / SHOES - BOOHOO

* Items were gifted for review purposes


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