Monday, 18 May 2015

.. from her to eternity.

Ah guys, today's outfit post is such a throwback to when I started this blog way back in 2012. Back then I was all about my white DMs and overknee socks, and here they are back together again. This is nothing fancy, just a low maintenance chucked-it-together combination I wore yesterday for a quick pub lunch in this strange and changeable weather. Enjoy!

Feather Dress - H&M
Kimono Cardigan - H&M
DMs - Cloggs (way back when)

I'd kind of sworn off H&M's cheap sundresses after I bought a few of them at uni and they all shrunk horribly. But when I saw this I couldn't help buying it as I loved the pattern and it was longer than their usual offerings so I figured any shrinking wouldn't matter so much - plus it was only £7.99. Well, this is it washed once, and whilst it's certainly shorter its not yet indecent (besides, shame on me for being fooled twice.) It's still the easiest thing in the world to chuck on, lately I'm loving a long cardigan and boots with it. The overknee socks are a great way to keep warm whilst healing my thigh tattoo so fabrics aren't rubbing against it too much (it's still in cling film but still) I actually wore this to the studio when I got it done as it was the most practical option I could think of on a horrendously rainy day.

It's worth mentioning some makeup items here too, as I'm wearing a couple of favourites. Balance Me Lip Salve in sheer red is my favourite low maintenance lip product right now, it gives a touch of colour and shine without being too full-on, and it tastes deliciously minty. I'm also currently loving Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation (I wear shade 0.5) as you can barely feel it on the skin but it gives a nice light coverage and evens out the skin tone, yet it lasts surprisingly well.

Of course, it wouldn't be a summer outfit post without my girl Tilly getting in the pictures with me! Find this outfit on Lookbook here...

Ah, and about that thigh tattoo I mentioned then! This beauty was created by Tori Treasure, and I hope she doesn't mind me reposting her photo of my tattoo as it's great quality and the only time it's been photographed uncovered. This is six hours of work, we just have a couple of flowers around the top to finish off. Her style is unbelievable and makes me really miss drawing; in fact tattooing is an industry I'd love to get into myself but that's a whole different blog post! This was taken almost immediately after we finished for the day, but I'll photograph it again when it's all healed.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

April favourites.

Hi dolls, I hope you're well and having a great weekend! Today I am writing about my April favourites. Still, better late than never, eh? This month has thrown up a lot of firsts for me, so here's an overview of the items I've been loving...

I'm lucky to have a pretty awesome boyfriend who recently bought this beauty for me. You'll recognise it from a few wishlist posts of mine, it's just gorgeous and I wear it on my thumb. The only issue with it as I've discovered is that it catches on absolutely everything, but I wear it constantly nonetheless, tights be damned. It's gorgeous.

I'm naughty and I've never committed myself to using eye cream, but this is a silly and arrogant thing to do as eyes are the first place to show any signs of stress or age. I've even had a reaction to one eye cream I've tried which made me reluctant to put myself through that again, but I decided to try these samples from Clarins instead to dip my toe in the water without the commitment as they're £30 each. The balm feels moisturising and is meant to help combat fine lines, whilst the gel is really cooling and is supposed to help with puffiness and dark circles. I've been using the gel in the morning and the balm at night, and whilst I'm not particularly concerned about fine lines or puffiness prevention is key and the skin around my eye area certainly feels much more nourished since I've been using these.

The adverts for this product really sold it to me as when I saw the description of "dull, tired and grumpy skin" I felt that it was a very accurate description for my skin at the moment. My skin type is very dry, and currently a bit irritated from me messing it around by trying loads of new things on it. Still, on the whole products from The Body Shop tend to work well for me and I've never had an adverse reaction to any of them so I had a bit more faith trying something new from their range. I usually keep my skin hydrated using their Vitamin E range but the idea of a little bit of a boost really appealed to me in the everlasting quest for that perfect, glowing, healthy skin. This has an amazing fresh, citrus scent when you open it up, and a little goes a long way. My skin does feel really boosted after using this and whilst it isn't quite hydrating enough for my skin long term, I've been alternating it with a more intensive moisturiser and the two together seem to be working a treat.

I know Velvet Teddy is one MAC colour that's really hyped at the moment, however you have to be careful with these coveted shades - just because it's the in thing doesn't mean it will suit everyone, and shades can photograph so differently to how they appear in real life. When I was in MAC I had a look at their lipsticks and this perfect brown-pink-nude really stood out to me, and lo and behold when I looked to see the name of the shade it turned out to be the cult Velvet Teddy. I'm really loving a more brown-toned lip at the moment, it's very 90s but suits pretty much any outfit, plus I think it really suits my pale skin. As for the blush, this is called Blushbaby and it suits Velvet Teddy perfectly. My friend owned it first and when I tried it on I fell in love - it's really subtle, sheer with no shimmer, and very neutral which is just what I needed for wearing with more dramatic eyeshadow looks such as those created with my Venus palette.

Cleated boots - River Island (sold out)
You could very well judge me for buying another black pair of chunky heeled black boots, or you could accept that it's an inevitable addiction of mine. These shoes have seen me through mud, rain and a few nights out already, so I apologise for their less than pristine state, but I didn't have the foresight to photograph them when they were fresh and new and sexy. Even so, personally I think all shoes are better when they're a little bit loved. These are so comfortable too!

Have you ever bought an item you've absolutely adored, but later wished you'd bought it in a different size or colour because you don't wear it as much as you'd like to? I was given this fairy necklace for my 18th birthday and I adore her, but at the time I chose a much shorter chain than is to my taste nowadays. Given the nature of Trollbeads, which are designed so you can hang some beads onto the chain to customise the necklace, I chose a length that meant it was near impossible to slip over my head when I put beads onto the chain (as it doesn't have a clasp) Recently I was chatting to my local jeweller who offered to extend the chain for me so I could wear the necklace more and I am so happy with it now - it hangs at the perfect length! My jewellery is such a sentimental thing for me, particularly when it has memories attached to it, so to be able to wear this necklace more has made me ridiculously happy.

Nick Cave Live at the Royal Albert Hall
Seeing Nick Cave was something to cross off my bucket list, I absolutely adore the man and his music. But something I never expected was to be able to own a full and unedited recording of this fantastic show at the Royal Albert Hall, so that I can relive the memory and transport back there at any time I choose. The sound quality is incredible, it gives me shivers. How lucky is that, not only to have a recording of any gig that you've attended, but one that was so incredibly special? It may have been my first Nick Cave show but it certainly won't be my last.

And there concludes my April favourites. So many amazing things I love this month! What do you think of these items?

Thursday, 7 May 2015

It's a nice day to start again.

I can't believe it's Thursday already, I'm still getting over what must have been the best weekend of 2015 so far. For once I wasn't working on a Saturday so I could take full advantage of a 3-day bank holiday which I was so grateful for. And I had such a busy three days, first attending a wedding of an amazing and very loved-up couple which was a beautiful day. On Sunday a group of us ventured to London to watch Nick Cave in London's Royal Albert Hall which was an unbelievable experience - I still can't believe I got to be there, it was the best Christmas present ever. On the Monday we wandered around London, shopping, eating and drinking and generally enjoying ourselves. Honestly, I couldn't have asked for a more enjoyable few days. Today I wanted to share an outfit post from what I wore to the wedding as I finally decided on an outfit! I hope you like it.

Dress - Zara
Belt - Topshop (old)

Longline Cardigan - ASOS 

Find this outfit on Lookbook here...

Sorry for the quick, rushed pictures, but I hope you get the idea! I really love this dress and it was so comfortable to wear even if it did get accidentally a few pints spilt over it on the dance floor by the end of the night... hey, you gotta have fun! How was your bank holiday weekend?

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Currently testing: Instanatural Moroccan Rose Water

Hi dolls, hope you're well and having a great week! Sorry for the lack of mixed posts recently, I'm longing for the chance to post some more outfits as I have loads of new stuff to share but I've had no time to take any pictures! I think it's going to be an outfit-post heavy May haha. This week I've been feeling loads more positive, I've got lots to look forward to including a wedding and a Nick Cave gig at the weekend (I cannot contain my excitement!!) But today I'm sticking to another beauty review - as part of my 'currently testing' series I wanted to post my thoughts on this rosewater toner.

This toner was sent to me to review, and I was excited to try rosewater, a natural product which I've heard holds lots of beauty benefits. Lately my skin has been really sensitive and reacted really badly to a supposedly natural and organic face wash (my skin was red, itchy, parched and almost blistered-looking) so I've been really dubious about trying anything new on my skin. In fact, I wish I'd had this toner when my skin had its reaction because it is so soothing - after using this my skin feels soft, calmed and slightly moisturised. This is refreshing as many toners can be so drying. I'll definitely be keeping some of this on standby should I accidentally catch the sun this summer as it is supposed to be great for sunburn. I've noticed a reduction of redness in my skin generally when I use this product, it seems to make my skin appear clear and more even in toned. This product can also be used on the hair and in the bath - I've tried the latter as the scent is really subtle and gorgeous (I'm a sucker for anything remotely rose fragranced) I like that the scent is all-natural. Generally I am reluctant to use this for hair or body purposes however as I am enjoying having it as a part of my skincare regime - of all the toners on my dressing table it's the one I'm consistently reaching for in the morning.

Have you tried rose water before? Do you prefer complex or natural products?

Monday, 27 April 2015

Currently testing: Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster

My 'currently testing' posts have taken a backseat for a while now, but I'm in the process of upping my skincare game and I wanted to dedicate some time to reviewing products that have caught my attention. Today I am reviewing Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster which, outside of buildable tinted body moisturisers, marks my first ever proper (if very tentative) step into self-tanning. Enjoy!

Something that has really surprised me since working in cosmetics is the amount of people that compliment me on my complexion and the amount of people that really love the look of, or even envy, a porcelain skin. To put my skin tone into context, of all the cosmetics houses, I have found two foundations* in store in total that are 'almost' pale enough for me (i.e. don't leave a noticable line of colour around my jaw) whilst my truest match comes from NARS, a brand that is incredibly difficult to find in most parts of the UK. It is very hard to find colour matches in general if you are on the very light (or very dark) end of the colour spectrum. Self-tanner is a conundrum for me as I do like my pale skin, but I also love being out in the sun and my arms and shoulders catch the sun more easily than my face, resulting in an uneven look. My face doesn't really tan but my skin becomes more even, more healthy and glowy looking, when I've had a bit of that Vitamin D. This gradual and subtle tanner seemed like a perfect way to warm up my skin without fully changing colour. So yes, it would be a bonus if I could try different foundations and be able to blend them seamlessly. But if this could just warm up my complexion slightly to give me a slightly healthier glow and make me look less ghostly, that would be perfect...

*For those who are pale themselves, my two favourite 'almost' matches are Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation in 0.5, and varieties of Estee Lauder Doublewear in Shell. My favourite match is NARS Sheer Glow in Siberia, full review here.

The way the Golden Glow Booster works is that you mix it with your moisturiser. You can use up to three drops per application, hence its 'made to measure' tag. For me this was its biggest selling point as the prospect of fake tan is incredibly scary for someone like me, on whom a single shade too dark would look both noticeable and ridiculous. To begin with I used two drops with a lot of moisturiser, and when I didn't notice any difference at all, I began using three drops with a little less moisturiser, which is when I began to see a (mercifully subtle) difference. I looked somehow healthier, my skin tone looked more even, but I was not noticeably 'tanned.' This is the look I was hoping to achieve, but for those looking for a more visible difference I would recommend simply using three drops with a smaller amount of moisturiser and your colour will build up far more quickly.

When using this product I mix it well on my hand and blend it over my face and down my neck to my décolletage, so as to avoid any streaks, smears, or tidelines. It is worth remembering to wash your hands after application: one night I used the product and I was tired so I crawled into bed without washing it off. I must not have mixed it well either, because pictured above you can see how it had stained my hand overnight! If I'd had any doubts about the potency of the product, they'd certainly gone away and I learned to be a lot more careful with it as that's not a stain I want on my face!

Overall I'm really pleased with this product. It's not irritated or broken out my face in any way as you may expect from a self tanner: in fact it contains beneficial ingredients such as aloe vera to moisturise the face, and no tell-tale self-tanner smell. Most of all, any colour I've gained from the product looks subtle and natural and, thank God, I've not turned orange. What do you think of this product - is it something you'd try? Do you tan naturally or do you need a little extra help?

Quick question - personally when it comes to beauty reviews I tend to enjoy reading posts which feature several items at the same time, such as 'current skincare' posts, but I know standalone reviews are popular too that's what I'm trying this week. Which do you prefer?

Monday, 20 April 2015

Let the bells ring...

Hi dolls, I hope you're well. Apologies for the lack of outfit posts recently, I just haven't been feeling it to be honest. I have been sale shopping my little heart out though so at some point I'm probably going to catch up on a HUGE backlog of outfit pictures to show off my new feel-better treats, but until then here's yet more wares I've been eyeing up recently.

I've been invited to two weddings this summer and whilst I love attending them I kind of hate dressing for them, primarily because every dress I like is, of course, black. I've attended at least two weddings wearing black before, I know the taboo is hardly what it used to be, but even so this summer I am determined to be a bit less lazy and actually find an outfit that isn't black. I've been window shopping for these for ever now and I cannot believe just how difficult it is to find something wedding-appropriate that I like. Here are the items I've found that I like most...

1 - These Resort Metallic heels are surely the epitome of shoe porn - yet they're a FAR cry from my usual choice of chunky black platform heels laden with hardware. I couldn't walk in these, my feet aren't attractive in sandals, they're gold (even though slightly rose gold to my eye which is far more acceptable to me for some reason) but wow, somehow I love these.
2 - This copper bangle from Trollbeads is yet to be released but I'm certain I'll need it in my life when it is released. I currently love combining warmer rose gold hues with my usual silver choices and the copper tones of these are just as gorgeous to me.
3 - This Grecian maxi is the dress I have finally purchased - Zara won me over with their affordable pricing, good quality, not to mention that this pale blue colour combined with metal detailing makes me feel either like Daenerys Targaryen or Elsa from Frozen depending on the day. Both are, of course, amazing style icons. I'll certainly photograph this on the day.
4 - This is the dress I would have gone for had I been able to afford it - it's from Free People, photos from the ASOS website. Isn't it just absolutely perfect?
5 - As usual, Accessorize are slaying it with their affordable range of sterling silver jewellery. I have quite the collection from there now, and perhaps these teardrop earrings will be the next addition.

6 - A huge issue with occasionwear is that it's hard to find something nice to cover up with if the weather becomes cool. I'm not really a huge blazer fan, cardigans and shrugs can look frumpy... it's a nightmare. I think this time my solution is going to be trying a boho vibe by layering my dress with a longline crochet cardigan (this Topshop one is beautiful!)
7 - Zara have smashed it again with this paisley halter mini dress: this may even be what I'd gone for had I not purchased the maxi. I think I want it anyway - I just love the 70s vibes in this simple yet gorgeous dress.
8 - I'm eyeing up rings again because a boho vibe means an excuse to layer all the jewellery. This Pandora wreath ring is gorgeous, I want it as a thumb ring.
9 -  To be honest, when I took a good look at these Trixy unicorn heels from Irregular Choice I wanted to return my whole outfit and go for something black and gold purely so I had a good excuse to own UNICORN SHOES.
10 - This Religion lace maxi dress was a frontrunner for a long time in my outfit hunt as for me it is the perfect cross between boho vibes and corpse bride dishevelled delicacy (sorry, what a horrible style inspiration for a wedding, but it does have an Emily vibe somehow does it not?! She's another unlikely style icon of mine...) But I just couldn't imagine this looking half as amazing with anything layered over the top, and as the evenings are still pretty freezing I knew I'd probably regret the decision to wear it alone.
11 - This magical necklace is from Trollbeads' ready-to-wear collection. I just adore it...
12 - Just one more wildly inappropriate footwear option, then I'm done... these feather sandals from Topshop. Come on. They're amazing.

Ah guys, it's all coming together... which of these items do you like best? Any styling tips for these kind of occasions?