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30 Jul 2011

ASOS Button Back Dress

A nice lunch calls for a nice dress.

Today I wore my button back dress from ASOS. I like it. It's tailored, flattering and it feels like a good quality item.

If I am honest however the very reason I bought this - for the buttons running the length of the dress - has undoubtedly become the element I like the least.

Call me paranoid but I am always worried about an errant button popping open/falling off and therefore exposing an arse cheek or two. Needless to say I wear full-on boy shorts in this number.

Apart from that minor (potentially emotionally damaging) issue it's a thumbs up.

This is one of those smart-ish type affairs that you could "dress up or dress down" and there is a lot of usefulness attached to that cliche. I have worn it for business and now I have worn it for pleasure :)

May I also say that I LOVE my new Topshop necklace...three draped strands. Simple yet lovely - at least to me :)

Dress: ASOS
Shoes: Topshop (model Gamble)
Necklace: Topshop (current season)
Sunglasses: Rayban Wayfarers
Watch: Michael Kors (model number as I always get asked this question - even after about 5 years :)  - 5055!)

Dress can be seen here...

Hope it's sunny where you are!
27 Jul 2011

Bloggers don't lie

Do you ever read a blogpost about a product - more often than not sent by a PR - and think? Whatever Trevor! (The Trevor part is optional)

I often do. It's pretty mean really because the PR element often detracts from the fact that the product being featured is actually...quite good. It's a difficult balance and if you are a cynic like me, often weighs negatively.

Well months ago Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light was doing the rounds and it got a good reception. Some liked it, and some loved it - evangelising about how clean and fresh it made their hair feel. At the time - perhaps because this market is always so heavily saturated with new products - I digitally "walked on by"....I was semi-intrigued but not enough to buy it.

Cut to this month and blimey - sometimes you have to give bloggers a little more credit.

I bought this with my own cash and I can say that I love it. And here's why.

It's not because it's cheap. (Although I certainly appreciate that fact)

It's not because I love to use hair products jam-packed with chemicals. (This is probably the antithesis of organic....although the amount of silicones have been "evaluated" for this range) 

It's because this duo leaves my hair smooth and therefore capable of going without heat. That means it dries sans-frizz and at the very most I need a medium-low meeting with the curling iron/straighteners. For me this is all that matters. It cuts down time and cuts down heat exposure - the very thing that killed my hair before, forcing me to chop it all off.

I have used other products in the past that also create the same end result - but often for a greater cost, or from brands that are not as accessible. I like the price tag and I like that I can stroll into any Boots/Superdrug - heck, even Tesco/Sainsburys/Waitrose in the country and get my hands on it.

Now I am not saying I am going to make a Swisssh video - as per the Cat Deeley viral campaign - but I am definitely enjoying good, light, easy hair :)

What is your current favourite shampoo/conditioner duo?!
24 Jul 2011

MAC Smoked Ruby

I was told this was THE shadow to buy in the Semi-Precious collection.

So I went to a counter one day, had a look and a little swipe and walked away. It didn't seem that special and it didn't intrigue me.

But then I was near a MAC counter for the second time. Again, had a look and could see why people like it. A rustic red and black swirled together to make an intriguing combination. But I resisted.

Finally, upon my third visit, I just bloody well got it.

And I am SO glad I did. It's transformative.

When swatched dry it's "nice" but when used wet it's sensational. It becomes a completely different product - a deep, warm metallic that is unlike anything else I own.

I actually semi-hate it when bloggers swatch eye and lip products on hands (especially lip products - what's the ruddy point of that?!) but hey ho, I can't beat 'em so I join them :)

(Dry on the left, wet on the right :)

So far I have used it on it's own, with Urban Decay's Buck in the crease....and as an eyeliner which was recommended by @Tine_77. I would love to hear how you use it though :) 

Sunday's OOTD

I use this heading with jest as this would definitely count as an OOTD fail. 

For most of today I wore trackie bottoms and a loose top. Neither of which co-ordinate together but they are wickedly comfy and perfect for slobbing about in. 

Top: Weekday
Lurid tracksuit bottoms: Victoria Secret

Keepin' it real :)

Here's to a good week ahead of us all!
23 Jul 2011

Shiny and new

Made a few daring purchases recently:

1) Harem trousers - yes yes they have been around for a long time however I have seriously struggled to find a pair that look "right".  The folds in the fabric can be awkward - nobody wants to pay money for a serious case of Camel Toe - and they can be far from flattering around the hips.

Well thank goodness then for the Whistles sale. I nabbed a lovely pair in a light copper silk fabric. Originally £110 - not a chance in hell I would pay that - and now £30.

The silk works well. They drape - rather than hang - and feel expensive.

Blazer: You know the score - it's the River Island one :) 
Top: French Connection (old!)
Necklace: See below!
Trousers: Whistles

2) MAC Ruby Woo lipstick - This is what I have realised about red lipstick. For me, it has to be matte. Shiny red lips are a step too far - and actually very difficult for me to pull off. Matte red lips are however manageable.

Another thing I have realised is that people really don't wear a lot of colour on their lips - anywhere. Only when you are wearing a bright ass colour do you realise this. You are a bit self-conscious walking around town in yours and that's when you notice how much of a minority you are. It's sort of nice.

Now back to Ruby Woo. It has more of a berry tone than Russian Red - it's brighter, it's more lifting and very very long-lasting. Matte = drying and it's no different in this case but I think it's worth it :)

3) Laptop/tote bag - laptop bags are so boring. Well the Mulberry and Bill Amberg ones are nice I suppose but too expensive right now. I have therefore taken matters into my own hands and picked up a canvas bag from H&M for £15.99 and declared it my laptop bag. It's mixed metallics and actually really nice. I am wearing it today as a handy tote.

4) Chained necklace - I am not keen on all those heavy chains that seem to be in fashion. They look like they would leave my neck aching - and possibly green. But I do like the basis of the trend - the toughness and structure - I just needed to find my little niche in it. And I have!

This is a take on the trend - lots of smaller chains knotted together  and feminised with a brushed rose gold effect.

Thank you Accessorize!

Hope you are all having a good weekend! 
20 Jul 2011

A brave step...into loafers

First I saw them on Columbine's blog. Hers were from H&M and looked chic and interesting.

Then Fashion Toast nabbed some from Russell & Bromley and my interest developed.

I kept my eyes open for the right loafers - at the right price. And I found them today in the Cruise sale for £30 - reduced from £100! Yay!

Now I have to say I was a little hesitant about shiny black loafers and admired the concept from afar for quite a while. I didn't want to make the same mistake I made with brogues - diving head-first, nabbing up a pair in Zara and promptly getting them home only to think "You're no Alexa Chung luv".

This time however, it's a bit different. I tried them on, danced Michael Jackson style in front of the mirror (clearly did not do this but it would be possible in these shoes) and sort of loved them. Classic and preppy.

What I am wearing here is not necesarily what I would pair them with...I think they call for a flippy little black skirt or dress. Maybe even a little boobage beyond a tailored shirt and trousers/jeans. You definitely need to sex them up a little bit - preppy is fine, plebby is not.

Either way I am happy with my bargain. They feel comfy and oddly, they make me smile. Maybe they remind me of my childhood - after all my dad did wear something very similar in the 80's :)

Shoes: H by Hudson

Found them on sale in Office too - Link! - although more expensive
18 Jul 2011

The Grey Focco! FFS!

I feel a little bit ashamed about this post...

Yes I got the grey Focco bag as well and quite honestly I blame the likes of @Jen who told me in my White Focco post that THIS was the gorgeous one...

Well it is okay? As soon as I ripped it open I smiled and when my mum saw me on Saturday she demanded I get her one - so I did.

It's the same deal. Gold hardware etc....but this time the colour is nude/grey/lilac.

I think I should let the photos speak for themselves. I have nothing else to say. I am too embarrassed. I will however add that:

a) This may be my favourite one - even though the side zip has a wee hole in it - as the colour is perfect: softer than the white and tonally neutral enough to wear with anything;
b) It's typically sold out on the eBay seller site I recommended but I am sure others have the same one - I just did a quick search with "studded bottom bag grey" in eBay and loads of sellers in China appeared, all using the same image so no doubt, they all come from the same factory:
c) It looks nothing like the photos on eBay; and
c) THIS IS REALLY IT. I won't be buying more. All the colours I was curious about have been exhausted and I have got a grip.

I think my next post will be about my favourite eyeliner of the moment...La Ligne de Chanel, which Musing on Beauty correctly noted had been swatched on my hand in the photos takes the other day. If you want long-lasting beautiful liner....this is your man!

Okay, off to watch True Blood! 

Bye all and hope you had a good Monday!
17 Jul 2011

Things that were good about today...

1) I wore NARS Sheer Glow for the first time in quite a few weeks - if not months. It truly felt like being reunited with a stalwart friend. These days I wear Punjab. Expect this to be the flavour of this month.

2) I tried something different with my eyes. Don't get me wrong - I didn't venture into fluoro eyeshadows but I did try a new combination for the Urban Decay Naked Palette. This is almost too dull to blog really as both colours would be traditionally referred to as "best friend" colours - i.e, those reserved for transitions and blending - but I plonked them on my eyes without anything else and loved the result:

Forget Sidecar - I can't work with that glittery mess - it's all about Naked all over the lid and Buck blended along crease and lower lash-line.

Snoozeville right? But oh it's divine. I should accompany this statement with a good old eye pic but I forgot to take one of those...whoops....next time if you want to see!

However, to make it clear - this is the most natural, forgiving, soft but sexy smokey eye EVARRR! It's so unobtrusive - it won't look like you are wearing a sh*tload of eyeshadow but it will make your eyes defined and yes, it makes my eye colour "pop".

Dammit with that expression.

3) I wore a top that I have been meaning to wear for a while. Purchased in December - in J Crew - it has been languishing in my wardrobe. Today was the day it came out to play!

When I bought this it was massively reduced in their sale and obviously Sequin Magpie over here was all over it like a rash - or as Kelanjo19 would say, "like a tramp on chips".

It's a soft jersey material, cropped sleeves and embellished with lots and lots of pink sequins.

You could really dress this up but I think that would be wrong - I feel like this needs to be hidden within netural shades.

It's comfortable, it's stretchy and it makes me quite happy :)

Blazer: River Island
Jeans: Cheap Monday
Watch: Michael Kors (5055)
Bracelet: Tiffany & Co
Shoes: Converse (out of shot).

There was also one other thing I wore today that made me a very happy girl indeed - but that is going to be the next post. You will laugh at me when you see it - guaranteed :)
16 Jul 2011

OPI Skull & Glossbones

For the longest time I have thought this polish was called Skull & CROSSbones - rather than GLOSSbones.

It was only when someone corrected me yesterday on Twitter that I realised my mistake.

"Oh yeah - so it is" I thought when I looked at the bottom of the bottle.

What a divvy!

Anyway, name confusion aside, I declare this my new favourite polish.

(Excuse crappy nail job and the fact that the photo does not do this polish justice)

I hauled this a while ago from the same trusty eBay shop - Link! - I always use and it's taken me sometime to give it a go. Every time I looked at it I just didn't feel excitement and I was a bit worried that it was going to come out like Essie's Great Expectations - which is very similar and a bit of a miserable light grey shade on my skin.

I was very very wrong!

This is AMAZING! Yes - that's right I am going to over-exaggerate my love for this to the max so prepare yourself for lots and lots of adjectives.

It's a simple, creamy milky grey but it's just so......modern. That's the best way to describe it. I love light pinks on nails - but that's not original. I also like darker greys, but they can often be foreboding.

Skull & Glossbones is the more modern alternative - neutral enough to wear anywhere but interesting enough to catch someone's eye.

This shall be my friend for the next few weeks I think.

Whilst we are talking about polish...

This is a bit of tangent but I wondered if there was anyone else out there in the same boat....So I removed my toe nail polish yesterday and I suddenly realised that my poor toenails have probably been covered in polish - with no more than a week off - for.....well, to be honest, bloomin' years!

That realisation made me a little sick - and whilst natural toenails also cause me to produce a little vomit, I am going to let them breathe for a while. After all this time, they definitely deserve it!

God, even thinking about toenails is making me cringe...but anyone else out there treated them in the same way?

I am off to drink some Chilean red wine peeps - have a great Saturday!
15 Jul 2011

The White Focco!

We have the photographic evidence to prove that the black Focco - faux Alexander Wang Rocco bag - has been my close companion recently.

I love it. It's durable. It seems to accommodate everything I need and whilst I was hesitant about the shape of the bag (which is why I never laid down the cash for the original), I actually find it works with everything.

So I convinced myself that a white version would be a jolly good idea!

Off to the eBay shop I went - Link! - and here we are....

First impressions? 

I ripped open the packaging and didn't perhaps warm to it as quickly as I did with the black.

I just thought it's so.......so.......white? That brightness takes some getting used to.

I have never had a white bag...I was worried it might look a bit cheap - I mean it was cheap but you know what I mean - but on the plus side it looks so much better filled out with my stuff inside and the gold hardware? Love!

So today was the first outing.

I just popped out this morning for coffee and before I left snapped some photos...now keep in mind that it's sunny in England at the moment so the brightness is down to the light levels...

It will hit you like "woah"!

The first three pictures are a little deceiving for that reason...

I wore it with:

Jeans: Hollister
Tshirt: Cheap Monday
Shoes: Tory Burch (out of shot...)
Sunglasses: RayBan Wayfarers
Jacket/mac: Topshop (2 years old)

A little word about the mac. Cropped sleeves with a dipped back and a bow detail. I haven't worn this for a year but wanted to take it out today. 

The dipped back definitely makes it for me and was the reason I asked a random girl on a bus where she had got hers...and yes I feel like a big kid when I twirl :) 

PS. I have also cut my fringe/bangs. It was one of those things that felt like a good idea at the time...and then immediately caused a twinge of regret. So difficult to style around my face...I just washed and went: CBA!

So back to the bag...would I recommend?

I would say yes...it's a summery little number and I have got over my initial disappointment. 

However, having said all that, the black remains the King for me! It's just so nice to pay relatively little for a great bag. I feel like it's the smartest purchase I have ever made.

Let's agree that if we see each other on the high street, toting our Focco's, we shall give a little nod of acknowledgement and approval. It was a wise investment after all :) 
13 Jul 2011

River Island nude blazer

You know I love a jacket...

...and I love light coloured blazers even more.

This one is a nude/light stone shade and was acquired a few weeks ago at River Island. I have tried to source it on their site but it is nowhere to be found - I was either unlucky enough to pay full price for a sale item or it's set to hit the site later in the summer. We will see....in any case I highly recommend!

It is a gorgeous colour that co-ordinates with pretty much anything. White can sometimes be too stark. Pink can be too Barbie. Grey can be too draining. This is the blazer that acts as a hybrid of all tones, finding a happy medium between them all.

I approve :)

Shirt: Zara
Blazer: River Island
Shorts: J Crew (old)
Flats: Pour La Victoire
Bag: eBay (and yes....I still adore this bag. It seems to hold an endless amount of stuff)

These are the last car park pictures for a while....sad face....I get my flight tonight but I will be back in Dubai so the Ibn Battuta car park will soon return as a backdrop :)

In other news....

1) I sniffed Gold by Kim Khardashian the other day in Sephora and....ooh it was fruity and nice! I won't buy it - really I won't - and I can't say it was particularly unique (just like her first Michael Kors-copycat number) but it was really quite nice!

2) I haven't bought any make up recently but I am checking out Chanel collections from afar....the quads looks lovely but I have to say I have resented/hated every quad I have got from them...rubbish pigmentation for the price....so I may resist and get Peridot nail polish instead :)

3) I wore my shoes last night. I admired them - mainly from a seated position. Felt like a grown up with them on but you bet I enjoyed taking them off at the end of the evening!

I wore them with my beige BikBok dress. I am sad that the flash made it look horrid....it's a really lovely dress. Interesting billowing layers and a nice neckline. Nevermind :)

4) I have been sent quite a few emails and comments that ask similar types of questions: the most common being:
    a) How tall are you? Nearly 5ft 7 - nearly being about half a centimetre :) 
    b) What is the model name of the Cheap Monday grey/black jeans? I actually don't know....which is     annoying as I would buy more colours in that model. They are button fly, have a black Cheap Monday label at the back and are stretch fabric (not all Cheap Monday jeans are stretchy - I have a black pair that require the lie-down-and-suck-it-up method)
    c) Would you recommend the eBay bag? Absolutely yes - I am sure not all batches are fantastic quality but I have used mine every day since I got it and laden it down with the paraphernalia that I deem necessary for daily survival. 

See you in England! :)

10 Jul 2011

I can't resist a sequin...

...spoken like a true disciple of Rachel Zoe.

But it's true!

I love a sequin and when you are feeling lazy, dressed in denim shorts and a tee, all you have to do is add about of sartorial bling and you are sorted.

This was my dilemma this evening...casual drinks out in the local hotel bar but as much as I didn't want to change I didn't just want to schlepp there looking so understated. On came the sequins.

This jacket/wrap was from New Look in 2010 - so it's probably heading into "vintage" definition territory - but remains a fantastic buy.

I know lots of high streets shops bring this kind of item out every season and I urge you to buy one. They are so useful - add a bit of colour and interest - without making you feel like Shirley Bassey.

I thought I would add in a picture of my over-applied highlighter for a laugh....I have loved this every time I have used it - St Tropez Skin Illuminator - it glows a blue/white tone that is truly unique - however, the key is to blend!

...which was done after this photo was taken.

In training....

I got an amazing bargain (i.e, 70% off marked price!) in the Harvey Nichols sale yesterday...a pair of vertinigious heels by Manolo Blahnik.

They are a gorgeous bright colour that will mesh well with anything tan/cream and I love the graphic quality to the design. This is what initially attracted me - an almost comic book effect to the material that wraps round the feet...and they look amazing on.

The only barrier is walking. I am perfecting that as we speak and intend to wear them before I head home on Wednesday night.

Any tips for me?
9 Jul 2011

Yesterday's OOTD...

...not a very exciting outfit and one which I am ashamed to say is all H&M....

....this brand allegiance will change soon I promise - it just so happens that all my quick-retail-fix stuff for the summer seems to come from this store.

I love these denim shorts though...and I mean love. I don't feel like I have to wear an arse harness to wear them out and about...they are long enough to cover everything that you want to and are a little bit baggy and therefore super comfortable

I wore them to Dubai Mall which has beautiful butterflies that drape from the ceilings in the high end section of the mall (didn't buy anything round there sadly but did pop into Chanel and Hermes to fondle the goods)...

...and to an impromptu lunch at Rivington Grill in Souk al Bahar.

It might seem weird that one of my favourite restaurants in the city is one serving British grub but it's location is fantastic (opposite Burj Khalifa and with a great view of the fountain shows), staff friendly without being overly-instrusive and the food is always reliably hearty and good.

I had the haddock fishcakes, amazing chunky chips (I have simple tastes!) and a veritable cocktail of drinks!

There was also a sticky toffee pudding involved for desert. Yummy! :)