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28 Aug 2011

Presence Through Absence

You what?

Yeah, I am not exactly sure what this means either. Well, actually I could surmise, go all deep and reference lots of articles/videos but that would be:

a) Boring and
b) Unnecessary.

You see the reasons for getting this tee in the first place are as follows...

* It was £10 in the Urban Outfitters sale
* It hits the hips at exactly the right spot
* It is made of the softest fabric imaginable
* I liked the typeface and it reminded me of an old Sass & Bide tee I used to have which said something similiarly illogical about "a sense of melancholy..."; and
* It's by Cheap Monday

So that's that.


Jeans: Earnest Sewn
Top: Cheap Monday (the clearly visible bra is by La Mystere who make the best bras in the world...)
Bag: Miu Miu
Jacket: Topshop

PS. On my feet I wore my trust Converse All Stars. I had a question about these from Kelly Louise and I have to say Kelly, BEST INVESTMENT YOU WILL EVER MAKE. I have had some Converse for about 10 years and they truly get better with age.

I have included a picture of said converse - partly for illustrative purposes and partly because the angle of my foot is quite extraordinary :)

I have white, cream, black, pink, purple - and think I also need the Charcoal and Lemonade versions :)

Here's a link to the model I am wearing and it's the best £40 you will spend:


PPS. A few things of note:

a) I am still reading The Help. I haven't stuck to my "one book a week" mantra recently so this is still in progress. I am, according to the Kindle, about 70% of the way through. It's a fantastic book but I find myself getting increasingly upset the more I read it. I didn't think it would be a fairytale - it's about racial segregation - but as the book goes on you get more and more involved with the characters, and increasingly despise others - i.e, Hilly! This is probably a clear sign of a good book.
b) I wore NARS Sheer Glow today and buffed that stuff in like crazy with a kabuki. I loved the results. Maybe this is the key to all skin/base products....blend blend and blend some more - NOT the Laura preferred "slap that shizz on" method.
c)  I am still loving my brows and honestly feel - in my humble opinion - that I did a good job of styling them today. I think this is the same feeling I get when I have a haircut - it never quite feels like your own until you get your own hands on it - or in this case, them.

Hope you all had a good (and safe) weekend! 
27 Aug 2011

HD Brows!

Today I bought me some eyebrows. Oh yes I did. And this wasn't a treat - it was a necessity.

This was long overdue. I have left mine for months, fearing and detesting the thought of splaying out in the middle of Debenhams/House of Fraser/Superdrug again and having someone make me cry with threading. So I put it off....and off....this weekend I needed an intervention.

So I went for the creme de la creme of brow treatments - the HD Brow.

Now I admit the name of this treatment borders on ridiculous and it cost about £40 - but my initial impressions are that it was totally worth it. It's the most intensive eyebrow regime I have ever had and leaves you with a sharp and defined look.

I think I actually gasped when I looked in the mirror at the end - it's one of those fun transformations that sort of shocks you. I love that.

It took my rounded, overgrown, colour-patchy and messy brows and made them angular, thick and consistent in colour - ultimately a more groomed look.

The Before and the After :) -

NOTE: These photos are a bit washed out as they were taken in Photobooth....but you get the idea!

I have embedded the video below which shows you how the treatment works...it's 7 steps of removal and styling. Think tinting, waxing, threading, plucking, trimming and pencilling in. 

I have to say that I am not sure if this is for everyone. The style of the HD Brow seems to quite bold. I personally love strong brows - probably because I could never seem to grow my own - because to me they look rich and well groomed. My brow icon would be Camilla Belle for this reason. If you don't like that look - or if you have it naturally - then don't waste your money.

I had my treatment at Zen Lifestyle in Edinburgh. And I would HIGHLY recommend. I got happy vibes as soon as I walked in the door to make the appointment yesterday - always a good sign. FYI: I didn't get this treatment for free...just so you know :) 

Do let me know if you have ever had this done though - what did you think? Who is your eyebrow heroine? :)

More about HD Brows here - Link!
Where I got them done - Link!
26 Aug 2011

The Custom Purchase

I am rather fond of the custom purchase - or CP, if you will.

Give someone else some cash-ola and a list of demands - and they do the shopping for you. It all sounds like an exceptional deal :) 

This time I asked for one specific thing - more of that in a bit - and perhaps  "a Sephora OPI polish...anyone will do, I just like them". That's about as specific as I got. So I was well and truly shocked then when I received 5 of the things!

The pretties!!!

From L-R:

* Opening Night - a potent dark blue. This is unlike anything else I have
* Caffeine Fix - the darkest dark brown I have ever seen, richer than Essie's Little Brown Dress, and it has to be said, with a much better name.
* Studs & Stilettos - wearing this now and this is Particuliere's darker toned cousin: stunning!
* Eve-y on the Eyes - another rich tone, this time an opaque darkened violet.
* Screen Test - a pinker and brighter version of OPI's I'm Not Really a Waitress.

I have to admit - and this is a bit sad - that I just like looking at them all lined up :)

PS. Someone messaged me to ask what I do with my nails - maintenance wise. Well um....I cut them very short and use a Natural Collection 4-way buffer. Occasionally I apply cuticle oil  - but only if I am feeling very organised and beauty-dedicated. Otherwise? Pretty much naff all :)

The Specific Thing

So the reason for the CP was to bravely get hold of a perfume. I use the word bravely as I have never tried this perfume before.

Yep, it's that Boyfriend perfume - produced by actress Kate Walsh (Confession: Had to Google her...what can I say? I haven't devoted enough time to Grey's Anatomy.)

The promotional copy talks of the "sexual scent of a man" - oo-err - and accords of vanilla, amber and fresh woods. I was utterly convinced I would love it.

So here it is....


It's absolutely nothing special. It's not unpleasant but it's not AT ALL original. I say this because it is almost a dead ringer - in my mind - for Santa Maria Novella's Vanilla Cologne: an arrid vanilla that is not overly feminine but dripping with notes of cloves and amber.

It's therefore neither too sweet nor too woody. It doesn't smell too old nor too young. The balance is all there and on paper it fits, but for me, the fact that it reminds me so much of another scent - and one I tried 10 years ago - leaves me a little disappointed. Couple this with the fact that the longevity is non-existent on my skin and it's a thumbs down.

Yes, the advertising campaign is fun and the concept behind it is very interesting but you want my two cents?

If you really want the sexual scent of a man go straight out and buy Terre d'Hermes. Now that is what you want your boyfriend - and you - to smell like :)

Happy Friday all!

24 Aug 2011

"J'taime" Stockholm

I feel like the title of this post - with the mixing of pseudo/incorrect French and a Swedish city is very Only Fools and Horses/Delboy (don't worry if you don't know who that is...) I shall however continue and...

Hej Hej....(this is about all the Swedish I know - although I do know how to ask where I can buy nougat in Sardinia...taught to me by a Swede called Lukas during a crazy Italian language school trip...I digress!)

I didn't buy a lot in Stockholm (READ: other than wine and food - Sweden is expensive: shocker!) but one of my favourite purchases was my J'taime tee from BikBok...such a nice soft jersey material and sometimes...well sometimes it's just good to slap on a tank top :)

You cannot see the "J'" due to it's position on far right boob...but rest assured - it's there :)

On the balcony at my hotel - the Berns!

Please note

My suitcase - for a four day mini-break - weighed 17kg. 17kg!!!!  I was prepared for all weathers. Rain, sunshine and everything in-between. I had it covered. I had options goddammit! 

Why then did I lazily rest inside my white blazer (H&M), jeans (Earnest Sewn and Hollister), converse and tank top for 2 out of the 4 days?

What this means is that literally every holiday daytime snap sees me in more or less the same ensemble. It certainly makes for boring blog fodder!

I think this happened because...

a) The blazer is thick enough to provide some warmth but the colour is bright enough to look summery - a good £29.99 spent at H&M;
b) The converse are good for walking - and more specifically walking on cobbles....cobbles and heels are mutually exclusive... 
c) It mixes smart and casual - especially with the right accessories and you therefore avoid looking like a typical tourist - although to be fair the camera and map of Stockholm in hand guaranteed delivery of that message in any event. 

For further emphasis here's another example of where The Outfit crept it's way into the holiday photos...

This is the tip of the iceberg....that white blazer, that bag and those jeans....EVERYWHERE :) 

Well cheers to that I guess! :p

Needless to say, a blazer that white? Dry cleaning scheduled for tomorrow...

Before I go, have to say that I LOVED Stockholm. It's my second time in the city this year and I guarantee it won't be my last...it is one of those places with real character. Some areas are gentile and monied, others more urban and real...but everywhere is infused with history and great architecture. Yes, it's very expensive and no, the service is not good at all (compared to Asia/Middle East/USA..heck even the cashiers at M&S) but it's a fantastic place that I cannot wait to go to again.

Plus people-watching is fantastic - especially in Ostermalm with the uber-preppy, and I have to say, uber-hot locals. There, I said it. :P

Perhaps a proper summer break complete with summerhouse rental next year? Mmmm....a lovely idea :) 

23 Aug 2011

ASOS T-shirt dress

If ASOS released this dress out in different colours I would most definitely buy....well ALOT of them. I want white, black, navy and Tiffany blue please.

The reason I say this is because it's the easiest thing to wear, to pack and to layer.

Wear with flats, wear with heels - it suits both. It has an interesting curved hem to create some detail and the fabric feels light and cool - an inviting viscose :P

The only downsides I can think of?

a) It creases like a mo-fo - e.g, sit down for a 2 hour lunch and you arise with creases all over; and
b) It can look like an androgynous sack if you are not careful - now I quite like that look but the other day I have to admit that I was compelled to wear a belt. It just felt better.

I also wore it with my Tippex bright H&M blazer and sandals. The brightness of the colour clash between white and green made me feel like I was on holiday :) Perfect!

Blazer: H&M
Dress: ASOS - Link!
Belt: American Apparel
Bag: Miu Miu - I am starting to think that buying this bag in pink is a very good idea?
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

I included the last picture because I like my hair colour...the green brings out the red tones. HOWEVER, I am experiencing major hair envy in Sweden. People - both women and men - have phenomenal hair. Yes of course I have appreciated the history, the buildings, the meatballs....but the consistently good hair? Now that is seriously impressive :) 
18 Aug 2011

Asphalt - doesn't that sound exciting!?

Yeah, it's just a tee. And yes it's a somewhat dull colour - I call it asphalt.

But...here's my justification...

It's so soft. And it has the most flattering neckline. End of.

Scoop neck with a low back? You cannot ask for more. So simple but yet I was over it like a rash when I spotted this in Urban Outfitters.

It's by Cheap Monday. They always have to add something different - that's just their style as a brand - and here you find a double pocket detail at the front. Of course this is something you will never use ...it's like those tops with little pockets on the boob area....I have some of those and every time I think: "why are you there exactly?"

Anyhow, there is no doubt in my mind that I will be picking up a white version. All you need is a low rise bra and an exfoliated back :)

It felt good to wear this today....I coupled it with jeans, boots and a black casual cloak type affair from Staple (an Aussie brand I also love and more things came from them today via the good ole' ASOS sale :) .

Clearly been playing around with the photo editing software....oh I do love a good vignette :p

Before I nip off to enjoy the rest of my evening - i.e, vacuum and clean...fun - I have to let you know that the Lancome Doll Eyes is NOT doing it for me. Don't get me wrong I can tell this is a good mascara but I keep naughtily reaching for my Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion. Whilst the Doll Eyes definitely lengthens, Max Factor lengthens, thickens, separates and prettifies in a way that no other tube of mascara can. It's love I tell you! As is my new passion for Sleek's Bare Minimum Pout Polish....

And I am very proud of the dip I have managed to create in less than 2 days. I shall now proceed to pat myself on the back :)

Have a good night!


FYI: The tee can be seen here!

16 Aug 2011

The Maxi Skirt

At first I was dismissive, not keen on the trend at all. Then I warmed to it, became interested and appreciative the way they could be styled coupled with the obvious comfort factor. 

However, when it finally came round to buying one, they were nowhere to be found.

I ordered from Topshop - but it never arrived. 

I then went to American Apparel and the double layered versions are as transparent as they are nice. I know this because I have the shorter version and they are only to be worn with 100 denier tights in order to prevent the sharing of my gusset! Bare legs under the longer number and well, it all becomes a bit "Diana when she announced her engagement to Charles"....i.e, the sun illuminating through my skirt. No thanks. 

Thank goodness then for River Island. That place is practically littered with long maxi skirts....in lots of prints and colours and amongst the selection was The Chosen One.

It's black. It's double layered. It has an opaque first layer and a pleated outer. It's not transparent. It makes me feel like a gothic princess.

It was hard to get a full length shot so go to this link on the website to see what it looks like...you're not missing much really though: just black fabric - whoop dee doo!

On the site they show a light brown/beige version but it will give you an idea.

I tried it on as soon as I got home - i.e, haven't worn this out yet but whacked it on in excitement to see how it looked and felt.

I think I will probably style it as I have done in the photos - plain separates and some leather for texture. I am (deeply of course) contemplating swapping the white tee for a black one....not committed to that decision yet - I am a bit funny when I notice different shades of black in one outfit. It makes me strangely uncomfortable :) 

The plan is to definitely wear it on holiday so I will share some "real life" images then :) 

What do you think of the maxi skirt?

Do you wear them or would you rather eat your own hair? ;)
15 Aug 2011

What I wore to work

I wasn't going to post this outfit today. It's dull, dull, dull....but I was a little bit inspired by a tweet I saw earlier today promoting this site:


It's basically a collation of outfit posts from inside the offices of Ogilvy. If you don't know who Ogilvy is well...it's pretty much one of the biggest international advertising, marketing and public relations agencies...ever.

You will see the office wear is quite casual and having worked on a few projects for Ogilvy I can attest that this is how it is "in real life" :)

I have to say I love my industry for this very fact - there is no need to have two separate styles - one for work and one for play - as is often the case if you work in a more traditional environment. In digital and advertising you just wear what represents you. I think that's very nice. And I think you will have to agree, this is pretty me :)

Yes, I felt like a tit moving into this position....

Blazer: River Island
White tee: Splendid
Jeans: Cheap Monday
Bag: Miu Miu
Shoes: Pour La Victoire

Other stuff

Here comes the random ramble...

* I finished Matched by Allie Condie at the weekend. It's a young adult book, set in a Utopian/Dystopian world. If you liked the concept of the Truman Show or The Island - of a controlled society where everything is strictly orchestrated - then this sort of plays on that theme with a young girl as the main character. I think it will make a good film/mini series as there are going to be three parts to it. Now I am reading The Help and LOVING it.
* Lancome Doll Eyes? No mascara blows me away on first application so it is too early to tell. I love the brush though - tapered and separates nicely....we'll see.
* MAC Coppering - LOVE this although I do think it's one of those colours that if I am tired will look absolutely awful on. I noticed it doesn't flatter under the eyes - maybe I was tired this morning? Wore it with Constructivist paintpot as a base and Urban Decay's Buck in the crease.
* I bought a maxi skirt today and must tell you about it tomorrow....I am very fond already :)

Okay, it's True Blood time...but before I go...

What do you wear to work? 
14 Aug 2011

The excuse is: "it's Sunday"

A very laid back/dragged out the wardrobe/no thought required ensemble today. It's a shirt and jeans. Very "out there" ;)

This is my cupcake recovery outfit. My birthday was yesterday (yay me!) and I had 5 cupcakes and a bottle of champagne....amongst other things. Today was all about comfort :)

Top: GAP (over a year old but I think of this quite fondly...I like the colour scheme)
Jeans: Hollister Oceanside Super Skinny (this is the model I always wear and as you can see, this is a slightly different wash. I love these jeans but I am ready to look for something new...specifically a brand that has no external signage or gubbins on the pockets...I want plain and I don't care whether it's H&M or J Brand.)


Necklace: Tiffany & Co - you know me and dainty, tiny charms/stones....this is very simple and looks incredible with a strapless top.


A beauty update:

I acquired some new goodies this weekend - and started using an old favourite.

Liz Earle Skin Tint - there was hyperventilating when I opened the package for this. This is Liz's tinted moisturiser product which I think is out in September? I cannot wait to see how this compares to the Chantecaille Just Skin.
Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes mascara - I don't think I have ever tried any of the Hypnose family but with a name like that I knew I wouldn't be able to resist buying for long. Looking forward to trying it tomorrow - especially as I HATE the mascara I have on today: Isadora's Super Heavy lashes. What a crappy brush and formulation. I thought the marketing campaign was fun when I saw it in April - so I bought it....bloody bloody awful! Applied 6 hours ago and I think my lashes are still sticky. Plus I have a smudge halo on my brow bone. Cheers Isadora!
MAC Coppering - I think I have owned this before but some recent promotion on YouTube has seen me crave it. I love Mythology and I love super warm colours on my eyes...surely I will love this too? What shall I blend it with tomorrow?
OPI Lincoln Park After Dark - I am one of those weirdos that likes to wear black in the summer - and that goes for nail polish too. Wearing on fingers and toes and it was a joy to apply. So opaque and rich with a hint of deep purple/aubergine (or eggplant if that's how you say it where you are :)

So that was me....can't wait till next weekend: mini-breaking in Stockholm again which will definitely mean trips to Weekday, Monki and Whyred. I am OBSESSED (yes, it needs caps) by Swedish designers and I love the way they integrate great fabrics and interesting shapes.

So this time next week we should have some more interesting outfit background shots...although I can't promise any more interesting outfits :)

Good weekend? 
11 Aug 2011

Keeping it safe and cosy

It's been a bit bizarre over here for the last few days. The whole riots business has left me - and probably everyone else - extremely unsettled. Terrible things happen all over the world, every day, but when this started to unfold close to home it was....well, really unnerving. A selfish, yet true, perspective.

I don't truly understand where it came from - I think a lot of it was blatant opportunism and stupidity - but I do think it is symptomatic of a much bigger issue, which will probably be swept under the carpet by feckless politicians....

Anyhow...I am not sure how I am going to link from that topic to lipgloss and jackets....but here I go.

Sleek stuff

I popped into Superdrug the other night after hearing about the Sleek Pout Paint's. I have always been interested in the OCC Lip Tars but never enough to order sight unseen. Sleek have filled the market with obtainable and fabulous products.

I also seemed to miraculously add another item to basket - the Pout Polish in Peach Perfection.

First things first, I wasn't impressed by the Lanolips. It might be thick - and it might work for some - but it didn't work for me. It coats your lips but I almost felt like it didn't penetrate or absorb...it just sort of hangs around as a residue. As a result my lips were still a bit dry. Thankfully a bit of Pout Polish and they are sorted. Seriously, this is amazing and the colour? LOVE! Just such a pretty pale balm that I will no doubt  use up in no time. 

Moving on to the Pout Paint. I got Minx. It looked a bit brown in the tube but it is incredible when applied. Light enough to make the pink nude brigade happy and comfortable but with a bit of a punch - there is enough colour to brighten your complexion and avoid the corpse look finish.

It doesn't last hours...but it does last a while and leaves a delicate stain on the lips. I would like to try the other colours but honestly, this is the one for me.

H&M stuff

It's been raining for two days straight - yes, I am still in bonnie Scotland.

The only way to get through this is to make myself feel cosy - and so I have donned this oversized blazer/coat from H&M.

I love this. It's like something you would find in your Grandad's wardrobe. Of course Grandad's actual version might not come with pink lining....but you get the idea.

This was £24.99 and is one of those hybrid season items - not heavy enough to be a bona fide winter coat, but yet has enough weight to make it unsuitable for blazing summer days.

For those interested, there are two versions of this in H&M...which I found really confusing. One is £19.99 and is a little shorter, more tailored and of a lighter fabric. But they are very very similar.

Jacket/blazer: H&M
Shirt: J Crew
Jeans: Hollister (NB. I have 4 pairs of the same jeans. :)
Lips: Sleek Minx!

A word on blue shirts: Magazines etc...always vouch for the need to have a white shirt in your wardrobe. Yes, it might be a staple. And I have a few. But I am flying the flag for the baby blue shirt. It's much more flattering....try it and I promise you will love it! :) 

As you will see in the photos I am having short hair thoughts. This started about a month ago. I shall cast aside these thoughts again. I love long hair...but I also think short hair brings a bit of modernity and freshness. There are ways to get the best of both worlds I suppose...bring me the bobby pins and lets create a faux bob! :)

Have a safe Thursday/Friday all!
7 Aug 2011

New in: skincare stuffies

NB. I actually despise the word "stuffies" so I just threw that in to annoy myself :p

This is a round up of some new and new-ish skincare items that I have accrued. More in-depth reviews to come...

From left to right...

* The Sanctuary Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser - the only reason I am using this is because my Liz Earle ran out and I needed something right that moment.

On a sidenote, this is what I hate about Liz Earle - a limited retail distribution. We don't all have access to a John Lewis etc...and we don't all order in advance online ( I am lucky if I even remember to order my contact lenses online - let alone a cleanser!). It makes you realise the power that a store like Boots has - if she can get in there then I would never deviate.

Back to The Sanctuary product...its smells herbally (like a sack of hay), the cloth it comes with is rubbish and I do think it leaves a slight film on my skin. However, it hasn't caused any spots (yet!) and it does cleanse quite well. I will use it up.

* La Roche Posay Effaclar K - Second tube and I actually love to use this as a face primer. I don't have massively oily skin but in summer time it definitely takes on a slightly higher shine factor, making this product an important staple. It helps texture and I find it refines the skin, making spot scars fade. There is some kind of retinol derivative contained within the ingredient list so it could be quite drying - and you need a good sunscreen when using this - but I remain loyal.

* Lancome Visionnaire - I was sent this by Lancome and it claims to have a beauty molecule which tightens skin. I love the sound of that obviously but I need to start being religious with my application. So far I have only had it a week but I can say that its FAR better than Kiehl's Acai serum. Wow was there ever a product that I regretted buying.....total waste of money that did NOTHING at all. (I am clearly still angry about how rubbish this is.)

* Avene Ystheal+ - an eye cream which I have no idea how to pronounce. Even now I am trying to work out how a French person would say this and well....is it eees-the-al? I am a linguistic dunce. However, this was recommended to me by a friend. I am over using an eye cream just for moisture (Kiehl's Avocado does a very nice job) - I want more than just that. I want results! Like the La Roche Posey, there is a little bit of retinol action going on here...it's been a day of usage so I can't make any conclusions but I am excited to see if there is any difference at all.

* Lanolips - I have super dry lips at the moment and needed some quick fix moisture so picked this up in Boots. I remember it receiving lots of glowing reviews on blogs and I can see why. It's super thick and the residue hangs around a long time. It sort of reminds me "Dr Lipp's Nipple Balm for lips" that they used to (may still do) sell in Space NK....same premise really. It's doing the job.

I have to say it sort of annoys me to have all these different products...and this isn't even everything that I have/use on my face! It's semi-ridiculous.

I wish I could just be a cleanser and go kind of girl/woman...maybe there is still hope but then again, perhaps I should take this as a sign of age: the older you get the more sh*t you need to hold it all together.


Any skincare recommendations for me to add to the collection? :) 
6 Aug 2011

August in Scotland

In Scotland, summer is a sporadic thing. It may be August but that doesn't mean that the sun always shines - as I am learning.

I am here for a few weeks and getting quite distraught by the amount of rain that seems to fall. Of course, the plus point of this is that I get to wear a lot of black and some of my favourite jackets. Every cloud really does have a silver lining.

Today I wore Cheap Monday top and bottom - with a little Topshop leather thrown in. These are some of my favourite things. The top is like a long transparent sheath (although the photos don't reveal it to be so see-through - a good thing we can all agree). It's a great staple and quite forgiving - especially after a big lunch.

Jacket: Topshop (old but one of my favourite purchases of all time!)
Top: Cheap Monday (last season)
Jeans: Cheap Monday (bought in April)
Shoes: out of shot but Acne wedges.
Bag: Grey Focco from good ole ebay
Jewels: Sideways cross necklace and Tiffany & Co black onyx bracelet

So yes, very dull. Yes somehow very comforting and cosy.

To liven things up I am going to paint my nails....grey. :) !

To be specific, it is Elle Grey which comes free this month. Smelly (AKA Kelanjo19) texted me to say I would probably love it - and she was right because I do.

I am also secretly partial to a bit of Kirsten Dunst - this month's cover star. She's not my favourite actress of all time but I liked her a whole lot more after seeing Crazy/Beautiful. It was released years ago but still a film I think of occasionally.

Let's leave each other on a high! 

You just cannot hate on a cupcake.

 I got these yesterday and can report that the pink one - Pimms and Champagne flavour - was delicious :) 

Happy Saturday all :) 

PS. Thank you for all the book recommendations on my last post. I have downloaded The Help after so many of you suggested - can't wait to read it!
3 Aug 2011

New jacket + ramble? Standard.

I am a broken record but is it me or is Topshop getting more expensive?

I still love it of course and it can be the cause of many exciting retail moments, but the prices?? They are definitely on the rise.

A recent-ish purchase from there is a wee cropped collarless tuxedo jacket with three quarter length sleeves and silky lapels....oooh.

It was £58 and I think it's probably £10 more than it needs to be. Having said that it's one of those MUST HAVE pieces for anyone who works in a smart-casual office environment. 

Those words often leave people confused but I think smart casual simply translates to: "make some semblance of an effort". This does the trick. I think the key is the mini padding at the shoulders. It's not Dallas-esque - it's just enough to create an elegant line.

Jacket: Topshop (Link!)
Top: H&M (love the little sparkles - this was about £7.99: that's more like it pricewise :))
Belt: American Apparel
Skirt: sort of out of shot but sheer cream/pink long skirt from H&M

Other stuff I like at the moment

I took this photo this other day and it represents all my little recommendations of the day/week/moment 9 excluding the makeup ones of course:

* Sparkling water with cucumber - sadly not as refreshing as Hendricks gin and tonic (DIVINE people DIVINE) but it helps make drinking water just that little more interesting. Plus you also get to effectively eat a salad. Win-win.

* Ray-ban Aviators - for years I though I wouldn't suit aviators and then last year the assistant in Sunglasses Hut at Heathrow encouraged me to try these. Changed for life! Gold frame, pinky lenses...if I could read mini-teeny-tiny writing I would give you the code. These are lovely....I do love Ray-bans: they are an affordable superbrand: classless and timeless.

* One Day by David Nicholls - Warning: Tangent: I love reading and I normally read on my Kindle. But I was at the airport and realised I forgot it on Saturday...so I had to actually buy a physical book! Retro! It made me realise that although the Kindle is a fantastic invention, and reading on it is wonderful, the process of shopping for a book is just not the same. I miss that buying experience because I enjoy provisionally flipping through a title, checking out the artwork, reading the description - it's a comforting act that's just not the same when you have a downloadable device. Back on track: This book is one of those ones you see in the bookshop for months, ignore, then when you do buy it devour in 2 days. I recommend this to women and men alike. Read it before the film comes out if you haven't already (I know alot of people have).

* Stella McCartney perfume in the Fashion Edition range - I was sent this - I think because of my Stella Sheer review. I also think the Sheer has adjusted my palette in favour of a stronger rose (well that and my beloved Jo Malone) because now I like the original version. There are two strong notes - rose and amber. It's simple and summery. I wore it all weekend.

However, the reason why I wanted to include it here is for one reason and one reason only: the packaging!

It almost feels antique to me - yes I am nodding to myself as I write this. It looks like a special treasure from a different era.

These are little 30ml bottles - there are three to collect - and they come in the most beautiful prints. This by the way is look 3.

What are some of your favourite things of the moment? :)

Any book recommendations very much welcome!