Monday, 2 March 2015

Spinning senseless through an endless black sky...

Hi dolls, and welcome to my February favourites post. If February is the month of love, I've certainly been loving a lot this month and I can't wait to share these items with you so let's get stuck in!

Lime Crime Velvetines in Cashmere
So, I'm blaming Harley for this one: I've finally tried the Lime Crime Velvetines and I cannot fault the formula. It smells like cookies, is long-lasting without feeling drying, with perfect colour payoff after just a single application. I want one in every colour and highly recommend these for those who are a fan of a bold, matte lip. *I'd written this post a little while before the awkward Lime Crime scandal unfolded. Years ago, I was a huge fan of Doe Deere's blog but over time witnessed some very dubious drama unfold. Seemingly history has repeated itself and I would highly recommend using a secure payment method such as Paypal if you plan to order from the Lime Crime website.

The Body Book by Cameron Diaz
To be quite honest, I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did - I feel completely enlightened by it. Separated into sections to do with nutrition, body and mind, I feel it has totally opened my eyes on the subject of health and fitness. Rather than suggesting a specific diet plan or exercise regime, this book goes into detail as to what our bodies need to truly flourish, and explaining how a modern-day lifestyle actually has it's downfalls regarding health and fitness which we can remedy by eating well and moving more. This book has encouraged me to pay more attention to what my body needs, and for the first time I understand just how much I will benefit from treating it well.

Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Cosmic
Filled with fine sparkle, this Moondust shadow is so, so beautiful. I opted for Cosmic which is the perfect highlight shade for a night out, giving lids a beautiful glimmer without straying into the realms of tacky, chunky glitter. I love this.

Sekonda Rose Gold Watch - via Topshop // Links of London Rose Gold Pendant*
Like just about everybody else, I'm loving the influx of rose gold everything at the moment - it warms up my usual silver choices without clashing, which makes a pleasant change - so I've been really pleased to add a couple of extra pieces to my collection lately. The Links of London pendant is beautifully reflective, whilst I love the pyramid stud strap of the Sekonda watch.

Bra and shorts - Ann Summers
Bra fitting has always been something I've painstakingly avoided but after my own measurements just weren't adding up I went into Ann Summers and asked to be fitted. The experience was so helpful, I learnt a lot about how to determine whether a bra is the correct size, and I learnt that it really isn't a case of one-size-fits-all - a DD in one style might be perfect whilst another comes up tiny. Personally, the plunge styles made at Ann Summers fit me perfectly, they feel both sexy and supportive, and having bought the classic black and white options a few months ago and still loving them I decided to treat myself to this red set. I'd wholly advise getting fitted in there as I feel like a weight has been lifted (very literally!)

The Glam Guide by Fleur De Force
Somehow I'd never heard of Fleur de Force either through blogging or YouTube. But being an illustration geek who's madly in love with Sally Faye's work I felt I needed this book as soon as I'd read that she'd illustrated it (and hey, any kind of advice on how to be effortlessly glamorous is always welcome.) In total honesty I don't really feel like the content of this book is goes into a lot of depth, maybe it's just not my cup of tea, but it's probably a really great option for beginners - teenagers or anyone not too sure about their personal style. For those already interested in fashion and beauty there probably isn't a lot you'll learn from this book, but with that said, it's a pleasant enough read and the illustrations are just lovely.

Have you tried any of these items? What were your February favourites, and will you be giving any of these a go?

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

With lips like morphine...

Hi dolls, I hope you're well! Today I'm posting a different kind of wishlist to usual: this time it's all about not clothes, but cosmetics. Despite being makeup mad, beauty can end up taking a real back seat here on my blog aside from in my monthly favourites posts, so today I wanted to share an insight into the beauty products I'm craving right now.

-Stroke of Midnight Eyeshadow Palette by MAC Cosmetics - I often find that MAC palettes from collaboration collections contain eyeshadows that are a bit out-there for my taste - I can't say I regularly stray away from neutral shades when it comes to eye makeup - but the colours in the upcoming MAC x Cinderella collection (available in stores March 13th!) are really very safe and therefore up my street. As the proud owner of two Naked palettes and their baby Basics palette I'm not sure I need this, but I certainly want it.
-Soar Lip Pencil by MAC Cosmetics - this is a result of the phenomenon known as The Kylie Jenner Effect - her full lined lips have set the beauty world on fire and suddenly Soar (her choice of lip pencil) has become coveted by everyone including me.
-Lancome La Base Pro Hydra Glow Primer - I've been trialling this from a sample tube for a week or so now and I love the hydration and luminescence it gives my skin. But for me personally, its really expensive for a primer - I just wish I could find something equally as good!
-Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin - Urban Decay's primer potions are all fantastic and I'd love them all, but I suspect Sin has the edge for me as it's gorgeous day or night.
-Duwop Lip Venom - This has mixed reviews - has anyone tried it? I'd love a really effective lip plumper and I love that crazy tingling sensation, but I'm curious if this would be any better than high street favourite Sexy Mother Pucker.
-Lime Crime Velvetines in Riot and Red Velvet - I recently acquired my first Velvetine, which smells like cookies and has a fantastic, long lasting effect and beautiful yet edgy colour. I need these next two shades in my life - Riot is an earthy brown-red, whilst Red Velvet is a true red. Swooning.
-Origins Make A Difference Plus Moisturiser - I've heard fantastic things about this moisturiser and it's time to see if it can make a difference on my dry skin.
-Nails Inc Polishes in Chelsea Square and Alexa Hearts - I recently had a glitter manicure painted using Chelsea Square, an amazing full coverage rose gold glitter, whilst Alexa Hearts is an adorable topcoat I've been lusting over for a while.
-TIGI Oatmeal and Honey Hair Mask - a friend uses the Oatmeal and Honey range from TIGI and rumour has it they smell incredible. As a TIGI fan and a sucker for any kind of hair mask, I'd love to try this.
-NARS Lip/Nail/Cheek Gift Set in Roman Holiday - I'm not the kind of girl that is obsessed with pink, but this Roman Holiday shade looks really interesting - slightly offset with a purple tone (at least to my eyes) it takes away some of that sickly sweet edge. I think this trio would make a real impact paired with a black or monochrome outfit.

And there you have it - these are some of my beauty lust-haves right now! Have you tried any of these products? Which would you recommend?

Saturday, 21 February 2015

To Sir, With Love...

Hi dolls, I hope you're well and had an amazing week! Sorry about the lack of posting this week - I had some frustrating technical issues when putting my Valentines post together but posting anything else before this seemed strange and lacking in continuity. So now, albeit being a week since Valentines, I can finally share my outfit. Hope it was worth the wait!

Necklace - Links of London*
Heels - New Look (old)

I certainly don't have enough date nights in my life so I probably got overexcited when dressing up for this one. But whether it's a first date, a blind date, or a date with someone you've been steady with for a few years, it's always fun to glam up for the evening. Personally, I love a failsafe little black dress (which, let's be fair, comprises the majority of my wardrobe contents) teamed with nice jewellery and killer heels. Whilst it's not the most imaginative combination in the world, it's simple and effective. Whilst this particular combination is slightly more refined and feminine than what I'd usually wear, it makes for a welcome change and my man was very complimentary.

My dress is a washed satin slip dress from Topshop Boutique, something I'd been eyeing for ages until it went into the sale. The slightly dropped waist and relaxed fit made it a flattering and comfortable choice for sitting down to dinner, and the slightly crumpled nature of the washed satin adds a welcome touch of grunge. I'd hoped to wear the dress alone but this February has been freezing so I dug out a sequinned shrug for extra coverage. I also went for a 'Bohemian updo' from my beloved New Braiding Handbook (you can read that as 'slightly dishevelled' if you like) I love a good messy updo.

As I've detailed in recent wishlist posts, I'm really loving rose gold at the moment and this necklace is gorgeous - it's a beautiful length and the disc detail reflects the light beautifully. The rose gold teamed with the black satin feels luxurious, but still teams well with my existing silver jewellery. Next on my wishlist is the Links of London rose gold skull necklace which I suspect would layer perfectly with this disc pendant (that's a hint to my man for next Valentines!) Find this outfit on Lookbook here...


And so there concludes my Valentines day post, apologies for the delay! What were your plans for the day, and what did you wear?

Friday, 13 February 2015

Maybe we found love right where we are.

Ah, a Valentines wishlist. Lingerie and roses... unicorn skulls and daggers. This is basically a regular wishlist post, basking in the glory of all things bright and beautiful, except I've taken full advantage of the excuse to feature more lingerie and jewellery than usual in the spirit of the occasion. Enjoy!

1. This Topshop dress dress is just divine, that print is so beautiful!
2. May I encourage anybody who hasn't stumbled across LAS Jewelry before to head over there now and start swooning. I love unicorns but you've got to admit a unicorn skull necklace is fifty shades of badass.
3. Since I bought my Braiding Handbook I think these Crown and Glory hair clips will make adorable additions to the styles I'm trying out.
4. This spring I'm not even bothered about pastels, but I'd like to incorporate more neutrals into my wardrobe alongside all the black! I adore this slouchy bag from Warehouse with it's metal hardware and tassel.
5. I cannot believe the Ace of Swords necklace by Bloody Mary Metal is in the sale for only £40! Hurry up payday!
6. I first caught sight of these boots in Schuh many months ago, now that they're reduced in the sale they're calling me even more. They're all rough edges, suede and hardware, and they're not even black. So I can justify owning them. Right?!
7. These I can't justify adding to my ridiculous collection of black boots. But they're so beautiful and reduced to just £14 at New Look... the temptation!
8. There's just something about this dress from Motel Rocks, with it's lurex pattern and bell sleeves. Amazing!

9. Isn't this set from Bluebella just perfect for Valentines day? No present no problem...
10. So, I already own the skinny black version of this Regal Rose choker but as everyone knows, you can never have too many chokers.
11. I blame being a big fan of Lamb's blog for this, as it was through her review that I learnt about designer Karolina Laskowska. Whilst this Lidia harness is amazing as lingerie in it's own right, this would also be incredible incorporated into an outfit, peeking through a sheer or cropped top.
12. I pretty much can't sleep without an eye mask, so this Wildfox Couture beauty definitely appeals to me (Valentines connotiation optional.)
13/14. I have a real weakness for rose, be that fragrance, colour, quartz or even rose gold. This bangle and ring are both by Thomas Sabo and are simply stunning, and still would be even mixed with my favourite silver jewellery.
15. This bra from Playful Promises is so ancient yet every year at Valentines I wish I'd snagged it when I had the chance. Sorry, I know it's teasing to post an item that's unavailable but hey, it's called a wishlist.
16. Another Karolina Laskowska creation, this is not the kind of item that typically springs to mind when I hear the word 'playsuit' but it has to be said that this designer is a master when it comes to structuring beautiful lingerie. This Serafina playsuit features demi-cup detailing and a pentagram shaped thong. Fantastic doesn't begin to cover it.
17. I've wanted a Creepyyeha garter since who-knows-when and this pink heart affair is perfect for the wishlist theme. It's remained firmly on my 'WANT' list for what feels like years now and I don't see it going anywhere anytime soon!
18. Let's just take a moment to stare at these beautiful heels. By River Island, found via ASOS, I can't seem to find them online anywhere right now which is a pity because they're adorable.
19/20/21. All the girls at work seem to wear Pandora rings, and whilst I'm more of a Bloody Mary Metal girl, I can't deny I love the stacking variations available. Super cute!

Aaand there concludes my V-day themed wishlist. Me and my boy aren't particularly bothered about the day itself (we'd rather be affectionate throughout the year than on a commercialised, designated day blah blah yawn - you know the drill) but we've made plans for dinner and drinks this year in what I believe will be my first ever actual 'date' on Valentines itself. So am I letting the anti-Valentines team down? Maybe - but mostly we needed a good excuse for a date night and Saturday night is the beginning of a week of holiday from work for me, always a good reason to celebrate! But please know that if you find yourself single on Valentines day it's really not the worst thing in the world - Netflix and wine will always be there for you as they have been for me. Also, check out my single girl's playlist from a couple of years ago which is pretty damned good if you ask me. Big love to you all this weekend!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Paint it black.

Hi dolls, I hope you're well and have all had a lovely weekend! These weeks are flying by and I'm still unsure how we're over a week into February. Despite having some beautiful sunshine yesterday the weather is still persistently freezing, but we didn't get any lasting snow last week - did you? We had a couple of false starts, waking up to a blanket of white that wasn't quite enough to do all that much with (i.e. make a proper Olaf) and had always disappeared by the time I ventured out of work on my lunch break. So I'm voting for at least one proper, full-on snow day before it starts to warm up for spring time... come on weather, pleeease? Anyway, today I've got an outfit post lined up: it's in fact my favourite kind of outfit post - that is to say, all black, simple and effective. Enjoy!

Choker - Regal Rose
Fluffy Jumper - Topshop (old)
Leather Skirt - Warehouse*
Boots - ASOS

I absolutely love a coloured lip with an all-black outfit. Here I'm wearing Up The Amp by MAC which is the most wearable shade of purple I've found, and provides an amazingly vampy alternative to my favourite red shades. I'm also wearing Rollerlash by Benefit which I am in l-o-v-e with - I've always curled my lashes prior to using mascara as it makes such a difference but here I genuinely haven't curled them at all and I think the lift is just incredible. It comes out at the end of February, and from the feedback and social media hype it's already received from people trying out the samples in ELLE magazine I predict there'll be a riot for it.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate my choker necklace? Regal Rose did good with their Valentines collection this year and I couldn't resist this beauty. Happy early V-day to me. I *love* how 90s it looks with the miniskirt and chunky boots. Truthfully since the start of this year exercise has been fairly low on my list of priorities, and I did worry that a leather skirt wouldn't be hugely forgiving on my gym-starved figure. However I was pleasantly surprised at the flattering fit of this skirt which looks sassy enough to feel good in myself until I get my Blogilates back on. In fact, I'm really loving all of Warehouse's latest offerings right now: everything looks effortlessly chic and perfect for tying into the 70s trend - my wishlist is as long as my arm. Find this outfit on Lookbook here...

What do you think of this outfit? Is the 90s trend over yet? I'm not sure it ever will be for me...

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Sunlight comes creeping in, illuminates our skin...

Hi dolls and welcome to my January favourites post! Today I'm writing about my January fashion and beauty favourites, of which there has been many - however over the past few months I've been particularly overhauling my makeup bag so please excuse the heavier focus on cosmetics this month! I've chosen six items this month as I just couldn't choose between them and I wanted to share all of these items with you, so please sit back, relax and enjoy!

Too Faced Primed & Poreless Powder - ASOS
In the past I've always thought a powder is a powder, something necessary to set my foundation but not something worth spending out on. However this winter my skin has been dry and I've been particularly conscious of my makeup caking, however changing to this powder has helped so much. It's incredibly finely milled, so much so that it almost looks liquid, and I need a really tiny amount to set my foundation for the day. It's translucent, so finding the right colour isn't an issue, and it gives a really beautiful airbrushing effect. I'm really pleased with this purchase and would absolutely recommend this product.

This month I've inadvertently ended up buying two books written by bloggers. I've wanted the Deliciously Ella cookbook ever since I heard the promise of it's existence, as Ella's recipes are so natural and healing yet creative and delicious-sounding. This cookbook has certainly opened my eyes to so many possibilities and I'm really excited to get cooking. As for The New Braiding Handbook - I'd never heard of it before, but after walking past it in Urban Outfitters I decided to pick it up on a whim - I just wanted to read it all then and there. As soon as I got home, I did just that. And I'm so pleased with my spontaneous purchase: the styles are all incredibly do-able, yet provide ideas and inspiration I'd never think of myself with simple step by step instructions. It's a perfect way to give my hair a bit of a break from heat without making a sacrifice to its appearance, and whilst I'd never heard of author Abby's blog Twist Me Pretty before, I'm hooked now!

Dandelion Blusher - Benefit Cosmetics
My first impression of Dandelion was that it was an average, harmless, sweet pink blush but upon trying it on I realised it is absolutely transforming: brightening, highlighting and generally making me look far more healthy and alive - something we all could do with a little extra help with during the winter! It's one of those deceptively magical shades that seems to work beautifully on everybody I've applied it on, and so I had to have this in my own makeup bag.

Necklace - Accessorize
As someone more notoriously obsessed with either chokers or long, dangly necklaces, I suppose there was always going to come a time where I settled somewhere between the two extreme lengths. Cue my fascination with statement necklaces: this one is comprised of two rows of differently textured coins: they catch the light beautifully and look wonderfully bohemian. Love love love.

TIGI Bed Head Resurrection Tween Duo - allbeauty.com
For 2015's bumper shampoo purchase (seemingly I buy in bulk, but these work out so much more cost effective for me considering I bought my last duo last April) I decided to try out the Resurrection duo from TIGI. Whilst I liked my Dumb Blonde duo, I wanted the maximum moisture boost for my very-dry hair which only gets a good condition twice a week. A girl at work uses this and her hair is beautiful, long and strong, which was all the testament to this product that I needed. So far it's made my hair feel incredibly soft and moisturised, and if the conditioner smells a bit funky the shampoo makes up for it with a weirdly delicious Calpol-esque fragrance.

Smashbox Limitless Liquid Liner Pen - Boots.com
So you guys have probably never noticed *ahem* but I quite like my liner. In fact you'd be hard pressed to find me without a feline flick. When my brother's girlfriend recommended (nay, raved about) this product to me I got quite excited as I'm always on the lookout for a decent liner that will make all my feline dreams come true (and stick around all day!) So far I'm really pleased with this: it's true black, with a perfectly precision felt tip and once it's on it stays on. I'm a bonafide liner snob so when I find one I like I have to share it here!

And so there you have it: the products I've been road testing for the past month. Apologies again that it's cosmetic heavy, but as a blog reader I love reading reviews of products that rock people's worlds and I genuinely feel that way about the things featured here today yet hadn't read much about any of them, so I really wanted to spread the word. Have you tried any of these items, or will you be trying any? What were your January favourites?