Wednesday, 28 January 2015

My heart ticking like a bomb in a birdcage...

Hi dolls, I hope you're well! Isn't January already flying by? If you follow me on Instagram you'll have seen I'm in a haze of post-payday excitement (I give it a week until I've splurged the lot) but for today I'll just be sharing one of my January bargains with you, in the form of an outfit post. Enjoy!

Dress - Minkpink via Urban Outfitters
Boots - Topshop

Rings (from left) - Bloody Mary Metal/Vintage/Trollbeads
Necklace - Nicole Barr / Bracelet - Trollbeads

Sorry but I need to take a moment to emphasise JUST. HOW. EXCITED. I am about the 70s trend that is flooding the high street right now. Everything is romantic, bell sleeves and flares, both of which I love so much. This dress was (in my opinion) a ridiculous bargain find in Urban Outfitters' sale corner: reduced from £60 to £20, with a further 25% off on top of that, I didn't think twice. Whilst ordinarily I feel a little nervous that these kind of flowing styles look a little like maternity wear on me, something about the movement and shape of this made me feel comfortable wearing it without a belt. In fact, simple as it is, it pretty much speaks for itself which made styling easy: I just put on my favourite boots (which you're probably sick of but I so am not) and thick tights because it's been flipping freezing for the past week! Find this outfit on Lookbook here.


Is anyone else loving the 70s trend right now? What do you think of my sale bargain?

Monday, 26 January 2015

A saint is a sinner too...

Hi dolls, and happy Monday! Today's post is a 'currently testing' review, in which I'll be sharing my initial impressions of some makeup from NARS. As I work in cosmetics it is more vital than ever that my makeup looks as good at 6pm as it does at 9am - I know personally that I don't like to take cosmetics advice from an advisor whose makeup doesn't look good, so I want this to reflect in my own appearance. Getting the perfect base is crucial as no matter how good the rest of your makeup is, if your foundation isn't flawless then nothing else looks right. For the past few months I've been finding that my usual foundation was just not working for me, as Doublewear is quite drying and ended up looking really cakey by the end of the day on my already-dry skin. After trying different primers, exfoliators and moisturisers to no avail, I decided it was time to try out a new foundation.

Last summer I didn't tan at all, so by the time winter came around this year my skin has paled to its natural, VERY fair state. While browsing the concealers in MAC, the assistant (very sweetly and apologetically) advised me there wasn't a concealer that would be pale enough on my current skin tone. I tried a sample from Clarins recently, in the shade 'Porcelain', that turned my skin brick-orange. So embracing my skin's natural colouring certainly limits my options of finding the perfect foundation. I did a little bit of research and found out that Em from My Pale Skin uses NARS products which are pale enough for her to use, and her makeup always looks beautiful. Having already read a lot of fantastic reviews of the Sheer Glow foundation I decided to give it a try.

NARS Sheer Glow in Siberia
Sheer Glow from NARS is deceptive in its title - sheer certainly isn't an accurate description, although it feels beautifully lightweight I'd say this foundation provides a good medium coverage. However, it really does glow. My skin looks much more luminescent and flawless when I use this foundation compared to Doublewear. Probably much of it is to do with the dewy and hydrating finish of the Sheer Glow, but I do feel this foundation makes me look much more 'alive' than Doublewear. I have found it harder to work with though: as somebody used to transfer-resistant foundations, this comes away more easily, and it's harder to blend using just fingers. However, I've been applying this using a Beauty Blender which makes for a really beautiful finish. So far I'm really pleased with this foundation, and glad I took the plunge (because at around £30 it's not a cheap gamble!) I bought this from HQ Hair as they had a discount code which is really rare to find with NARS.

NARS Creamy Concealer in Chantilly
My concealers were running out so I thought I'd try a high end concealer, something I've not really bothered with before as foundation usually is effective enough at covering the majority of what I want to conceal. Chantilly is the perfect colour match for Siberia but it was hard to find as the shade is out of stock in most places - in the end I got it on ASOS. I'm pleased with it's performance - it lasts and layers better than my previous concealers, although it needs to be set with a little powder under the eye to prevent it from creasing. Even so, I'm pleased with this purchase as it works beautifully alongside the foundation for lasting complexion perfection. How long the tube lasts will determine whether I repurchase this, but I do think it's probably worth the money for a decent colour match and a concealer that works well as an all-rounder.

Since my skin has paled to it's natural colour, I've got pretty obsessed with blusher recently. It's pretty vital, in fact, and it's absence can often mean I cross the line from looking pale to looking sickly. As I was ordering NARS face products, I just had to try some of their blushes too as they have such a cult reputation.

NARS Blush in Orgasm
This is a difficult blush to photograph as it really reflects the light differently from every angle. On the cheeks I'd describe it as a sheer coral pink, packed with golden shimmer. It's beautiful, creating a gorgeous highlight. I love it now but I'm going to love it even more in the summer.

NARS Blush in Sin
Ooh, Sin... another deceptive blush, again very difficult to photograph. I'd never have considered this from the look of it in the compact (it looks almost red-brown), but when it's on it is a really beautiful berry tone. I was first recommended this on Twitter when looking for a nice wintery blush for pale skin, and whilst it's a little darker than I'd usually be brave enough to try, I'm glad I did because it's the perfect wintery flush.

Here are some swatches of the blushers for a better idea of their performance on skin. It is on application, not at first sight, where you see how different they really are.

Here's a sneak preview of my latest outfit post, in which I'm wearing the skincare products and Sin blusher. I love how the blusher looks with this outfit.

Have you tried any of these products before, or would you? Does anyone here have much experience in finding a good foundation for pale skin? It's so difficult to find the perfect match as everyone has different skin types and requirements, but let me know if you have any other recommendations!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Would you like to take a walk?

Hi dolls, I hope you're well! How is January treating you? I've been keeping busy working hard and focusing on illustration in my free time. I wish I could share what I'm working on with you, but as it's a personal commission I can't! However, I can share an outfit post with you: given the horrendous chilly weather this week I wanted to make a post on outerwear. To be honest it's one of the last things I consider when putting an outfit together yet it's the first (or sometimes only) aspect of an outfit that anybody sees this time of year so it's much more important than I give it credit for. So here's what I'm wearing this winter...

Coat - New Look
Fur Stole - Next
Bag - Clarks
Boots - Topshop
I guess one of the reasons I don't consider outerwear as prominently when outfit planning is because I get bored of it, so it felt like a bit of a gamble buying a patterned coat, surely the easiest style to get bored of. However, I find myself relying too often on battered leather jackets or oversized grungy parkas, and there are days where I want to make a better impression and feel more put-together so I was in need of something to fit that criteria. Since the blackwatch tartan is quite dark and subtle it's easy to pair it with different accessories to keep things fresh, and I love the oversized boyfriend fit. I got the faux fur stole for Christmas and the bag in the Christmas sales and really like how they look combined - what do you think? Find this outfit on Lookbook here...

Do you like my Elsa-inspired hair here, by the way? An Elsa plait is my favourite go-to hairstyle when my hair's unmanageable, so I wanted to try a bun inspired by hers in the film too (yup, I'm that cool.) Truth be told I'm pretty useless when it comes to hair styling but it's not a bad attempt for me! Anyway, how do coats factor into your outfit planning - priority or not such a big deal?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

We're just like magnets, baby, hypnotised...

Hi dolls, and welcome to my December favourites post! It's a little belated, I know, but I hope January is treating you well and you are all feeling fresh and positive. Inevitably, the hardest months to write these kind of posts are over Christmas and my birthday month, as being spoilt with lovely gifts makes it so difficult to choose what to feature here. So I've opted for a little bit of everything - a Christmas gift here, a sale bargain there, to reflect a true cross section of what I was loving last month (apart from the excess of cava and Christmas cheer which were naturally my number one favourite thing about December!) Enjoy...

Bag - Clarks
This bag was a truly impromptu sale purchase! I met my mum for a quick rendezvous around the shops on my break in town. When we popped in to the Clarks sale to look for a bag she'd been eyeing up, I hadn't expected to find anything there I'd fall in love with myself. But this is truly stunning: I've always wanted a bag with fringing, it's a good size that I can still fit everything inside it but it's a good size for a night out, and the gunmetal chain strap is just perfect. Reduced from £89.99 to £34.99, I'm so pleased with this beauty.

It's fair to say I've been obsessed with these Drusy rings ever since they dropped on the Bloody Mary Metal website, so I'm absolutely enamoured with my boy for buying me this for Christmas. Because Drusy is a natural stone the colour varies, mine is a rose/pinky hue which is something different for me but it really looks gorgeous with anything I wear it with.

Desire Perfume - Dolce & Gabbana
I've always been a fan of Dolce & Gabbana perfumes, but when my beloved 'Rose The One' perfume disappeared from the shops I was a bit lost on what I'd find that I loved just as much. Luckily, 'Desire' came into my radar at just the right time for me to ask for it for Christmas - it's a beautiful scent, but it's subtle, which is good for me as I sometimes layer fragrance too heavily which can be overpowering. I'm so pleased with this and I can't stop wearing it.

Velvet Lip Lacquer - MUA
For just £3 each, I was too tempted with these Velvet Lip Lacquers, said to be good dupes for the Lime Crime Velvetines. I'm holding off making a Lime Crime order until the Venus palette is back in stock, so I thought I'd give these a try for now. I opted for the shades Reckless, a true red, and Kooky, a bright-looking purple (which comes out a little darker than I had expected upon application.) Both are lovely, bright, and thoroughly pigmented - one coat provides opaque, saturated colour. I found them quite drying, and they didn't last well when eating, but I can't complain too much about that as I would generally expect to reapply a lip product after a meal anyway. Overall I'm really pleased with these and would certainly recommend them to anyone looking for a vibrant matte lip colour on a budget.

Fur Mittens - Topshop
There's not much I can say about these, other than that I'm really pleased they went into the Topshop sale. They're ridiculously warm, incredibly soft, and I like their slightly quirky silliness.

Jewellery- Body Jewellery Shop*
I've never really taken full advantage of my upper ear piercing, only ever wearing a simple barbell or ring in it, so this jewellery from the Body Jewellery Shop is such a welcome breath of fresh air. The rose gold cage with cut out hearts is adorable, such a simple but eye-catching piece, whilst the crystal butterfly is a lovely statement piece with my hair worn to the side. I'm so pleased with these as they provide an added, quirky little detail to any ensemble - I won't be neglecting my piercings again!

So there you have my December favourites. Have you tried any of these items? Which is your favourite?

Friday, 2 January 2015

2014.

Hi dolls, I hope you're well, happy new year to you all! Today's post will be a round up of what I wore in 2014. I know you'll probably all be sick of 2014 overviews as every personal style blogger and their cat have been publishing these over the last week or so, but I for one love reading these kind of posts, overviewing people's personal style and seeing how it changes over the course of the year. I adore remembering forgotten combinations, trying things again, and being inspired by others. In a similar post layout to last year's, this year I'm featuring my favourite outfits from each month, enjoy...

In January I became obsessed with maxi skirts in a big way, something I'd never considered wearing in winter before. I loved the challenge of styling them appropriately for the cold, and I wore my black pleated maxi skirt (on the right) to death over the course of the year. I also experimented with winter pastels, toughening them up with chokers and coated lace.

In February things got a little grungier with plaid and heavily buckled boots. I went out of my comfort zone with midi lengths and a new type of hat. I really like these outfit photos and must remind myself to wear hats more regularly - perhaps a style resolution to try and remember for 2015.

By March, I was illustrating Vintage Style Me's collection and this was absolutely my favourite dress (left) I purchased in the name of research! The styling is somewhat doll-like and I love the print. I also loved this dressed-down look (right) with clashing prints and high tops.

By April my university work was hitting a peak and I was under very high pressure, so I started favouring very low-maintenance looks. Chuck-it-on babydoll dresses, DMs, jeans and backpacks were my go-to student look, while little details like hair rings and long socks kept everything from getting too stale and boring.

In May, my final full month at university, things were still being kept very simple. I liked prints (still teamed with heaps of black, of course) as they provided detail and interest with little effort. The New Look dress, pictured left, was one of my favourite go-to items during this busy time, I remember wearing it constantly!

Suddenly June had arrived and I was faced with sunshine, summer and more free time than I could have possibly imagined! This summer I lived in maxi dresses - the French Connection dress pictured left made me feel somewhere between a princess and Jessica Rabbit, and probably was my favourite outfit to photograph this year. I also tried something new in the form of a co-ord (pictured right) which was a nice way to translate my love of checked patterns into a summery outfit.

This was my favourite outfit from July, mostly because it's completely different to a lot of the clothes I usually wear. I really enjoyed wearing mom jeans - they're so comfortable and I loved how the striped Bardot crop top looked paired with them. I wore a lot of crop tops with these for a tomboyish but not shapeless look.

In August my favourite outfit was definitely my birthday outfit. The stark white dress contrasted so well with my beloved chunky black boots, and the folky belt really made the outfit. I spent much of August in maxi skirts or sunbathing gear, but when I did opt to make a little more of an effort this belt and boots almost always made an appearance!

In September I'd discovered Depop and had bought a couple of items on there, including the dress pictured above. I definitely felt my style start to change after uni, lots of the items I wore before as a student didn't feel right somehow, so I started trying new shapes and colours including this lace and chiffon smock dress. Experimenting with softer looks was fun, even if they were very different to my usual taste.

In October I began to feel more comfortable in my personal style again. The shapes I favoured were slightly less structured, so I became a fan of using belts for definition, and as always I had fun playing with prints and layering textures. I love both of the outfits pictured above so much and felt very comfortable and like myself in them.

In November I had my biggest fashion dilemma - what the hell to wear to graduation?! In the end I went for an A-line lace dress that looked like a co-ord, paired with (what else?!) heeled black boots. On the big day I felt both comfortable and put-together, which were the all-important things. For the rest of November I was dabbling with winter pastels, balancing them with chokers and chain boots: a true throwback to January.

All of a sudden, it was hello December. I spent most of it in a work uniform, but out of work I've been in one of three uniforms: grungy plaid shirts, witchy black combinations, or cosy knitwear and velvet. My favourite acquisitions of this month (and probably this year!) have been my shearling DMs and spike brim hat, both of which I can't wait to wear again and again in 2015.

And there you have it: a year in outfits. It's crazy to think how quickly 2014 went. If you have your own post like this, please do share it as I'd love to see! Which was your favourite outfit of these, and what would you like to see more of next year?

Monday, 29 December 2014

Black Beauty.

Hi dolls, I hope you're well and are enjoying all of the post-Christmas activities including munching on leftovers and watching all the films you didn't get around to seeing! I've had a couple of days off after seemingly endless shifts at work, so I've been doing all of those fun festive things as well as seeing people I haven't yet had time to see over the holidays - all washed down with a glass or two of wine of course! However it also felt important to take some time to catch up with blogging and as such I have an outfit post to share, enjoy!

Spike Brim Hat - Beauty Bizarre
Dress - Topshop
Belt- Topshop
Boots- New Look

I can't express how much I love I have for this spike brim hat from Beauty Bizarre. I don't wear hats often enough but things will have to change now having acquired this beauty. The spikes give an edge to such a classic shape, and although I've always felt a little self-conscious about wearing bigger hats, in this case it's go big (and spiky) or go home. 

I bought this cheesecloth dress and folk belt in a Topshop sale prior to their Christmas sale, so they've been kicking around my wardrobe for a while now without being photographed, despite the fact that I've worn both quite a lot. I'm going to level with you - the dress is technically a nightdress - but I'll stop wearing Topshop's nightwear in the daytime when they stop making it so damn pretty. Some things are just too cute to be confined to the bedroom. Find this outfit on Lookbook here...


Anyway, I hope you're all enjoying the final days of 2014. Do let me know what you think of this outfit in the comments!