Obsessed!

I spotted these on the H&M website:

Link!

...and immediately felt the urge to head to my nearest store and pick them up.

* Wide crepe? Check
* Pretty, delicate embroidery? Check
* Gorgeously flattering light colour? Check

And just £19.

So head out and buy them I did...

I paired them with my Whistles shirt (BORING but very very nice) and my new Guess wedges.

Photo does not include head as I have no idea what is going on with my hair....it's got that sea salt wild look about it which can sometimes look lovely and sometimes look hideous. Here? Abso-friggin-hideous.




I think these are a definite holiday purchase/wear type item. I cannot see myself navigating the tube in these. I think they work best with something fairly structured - like a shirt - as they are so whimsical and drapey: you need that juxtaposition.

BTW semi-detest what the stylists at H&M paired them with on the site. What do you think?

Flying back today - not in these of course - but not looking forward to rain and work. C'est la vie!

The Summer Staples

There are always a few items of clothing that define a look for a holiday. For me this is often borne out of pure laziness and comfort: what do I feel most comfortable in and shall therefore wear 99% of the time?

This weekend it has been shorts - and a blue light linen shirt from Whistles I got a month ago in Edinburgh.  I love both. A little bit casual, a little bit preppy and very very comfortable.

This is the rut I am currently stuck in and I am quite happy about it :)

So here are some lazy ensembles I put together:

For the mall




A quick trip to IBN Battuta mall for essential visits to Bath & Body Works and H&M. Outside the Blazer feels like craziness but inside an air-conditioned arctic zone it's a very good idea!

Shorts: J Crew (bought last year from Net-a-porter.com
Shirts: Whistles
Blazer: GAP
Bag: Balenciaga

PS. I find it difficult NOT to smile doing an OOTD photo.

For evening drinks...

Yep so lazy all I did was change my shorts.

These are new and I have searched H&M's in London and Dubai for these...from their Conscious Collection it is IMPOSSIBLE to get these in an 8 (US 4) so I plumped for a UK 10. Near enough and gives me room to accommodate a dinner baby :)



...and it looks like there is something for me in Forever 21 after all = a new bracelet :)




Shorts: H&M
Shirt: Whistles
Blazer: GAP
Bag: Chanel
Bracelet: Forever21
Shoes: Tory Burch

My next post is about a new pair of shorts I am OBSESSED with. 

Well, lets face it, I am just obsessed with shorts.

:)

Hello from Dubai!

So yes, this is where I have come for a few days. If you want guaranteed sunshine then this is one of the best destinations to hit.

So far it's gone something like this:

* Buying two pairs of shoes in Dune at the airport (I urge you to check out their summer collection...amazing...and I am delighted that I am becoming a heel convert: flats = feeling frumpy)

* Buying Chanel Chance Rouge Coco Shine. Makes Boy look dull and boring. Chance is the ultimate pretty pink...although I do agree with what a lot of people say with regards to the MAC lippies being better value and perhaps pigmentation. I need to look into those more :)

* Trying to avoid stuffing self with chicken quesadillas. Dubai is a land where even Starbucks will deliver so its very tempting to get carried away and indulge to the max. Lets see how I go :)

* Disappointment in Forever 21. I think I am officially too old for Forever 21. I did the classic: "Is this supposed to be a top?" in reference to one of their dresses....I am too old. It's okay though because H&M had a gorgeous Acne rip off drape dress in mint green that I picked up instead :)

* Getting new sunglasses. They are in the pics below - just black mild cat's eyes with a gold detail running across the breadth of the frames. I tried them on and fell in love. They reminded me of a pair by Dita - incredible sunglasses brand - but these are half the price of those so....score! They are by Gucci. Sunglasses are a definite weakness for me....

* Have noticed how many of my posts are falling into the Ramblings category...I hope this is okay with all of you. I just like to ramble I suppose :)

Some random pictures from yesterday...

The new sunnies and a wee bit of Chanel Chance on the lips!




My favourite shorts EVER. J Crew. Designer holes come as standard.



There is no reason not to be happy about being on a warm beach at sunset...


















































Hopefully lots of happy updates to come....well maybe just a couple before Tuesdays flight! Hope you have all had a fantastic weekend!

Impulsive travels and Sweet Valley!

Today I booked a flight to go somewhere very hot and sunny - and I leave tomorrow lunchtime. I absolutely love impulsive weekends away!

So here is what I am taking...keeping it minimal: it's only three days after all!


And no I don't have a packing technique other than "Throw it all in there. Zip. Lock. Go" I should probably meticulously roll everything shouldn't I?

With a plane ride to look forward to, I need to download some good books on my Kindle. The world of torrenting means that I will have almost certainly seen everything on the plane so reading will be essential...and sometimes there is nothing like the escapism of a book is there?

Do give me your recommendations on can't-put-down titles. I love everything from David Sedaris to Haruki Murakami to the bloody Pretty Little Liars books.

Talking of books....smart link there don't you think? :)....I just finished this:



Oh yes! I did see it in Waterstones but quite honestly I would have been mortified to read it so publicly - cover facing the audience on the Tube/Train. This is why Kindles are great...you can read total shit (no offence Francine Pascal) and nobody will ever know :)

SPOILER ALERT

I found this book vaguely comical. I felt like Francine was in a bad phase when she wrote it, resentful of The Twins and so concocting the most ridiculous storyline that would serve only to shatter the nostalgia we have towards wholesome Sweet Valley. Maybe she was lumbered with a big tax bill from the IRS and so hotfooted it to her publisher with this pitch? Or did she just want to cash in on the forthcoming movie?

Whatever her motivations, the output from this book is a load of inconsistencies and a complete destruction of the characters. She achieved the impossible. I now semi-hate Elizabeth and Jessica!

We all knew Jessica was 50% selfish bitch - but come on...really? Having an affair with Todd in college (so hot they couldn't keep their hands off each other apparently!) and then rekindling their passion under Elizabeth's nose so she flees?

And Elizabeth...just so wet...lolloping around New York with no friends, a mediocre job and although she does get it together (eventually) I spent half the book caring neither about her nor Jessica.

One of the things that made me laugh the most though was the frequent use of swear words. Sweet Valley moves with the times goddammit and so they do bloody well insert the odd f*** and sh*t whenever they bloody like it. I was almost shocked...those SoCal folk have definitely moved on :)

Let's play spot the f***!



Despite my criticisms, I don't regret the download. It was sort of fun.

On literary merit?



2 out of 5.

For the die-hard Sweet Valley fans that devoured these books in their early teens?

3.5 out of 5.

Have a great Friday all!

An ode to the one that got away!


Here's the problem with being deeply materialistic, you are always wanting and longing for "things". Most of the time I get over it, and move onto the next item - but there are exceptional occasions when I just can't seem to let it go.

The prime exception in recent times was a blouse. Just a friggin blouse! And yet I think about it alot...tragic, isn't it?

In my defence it wasn't just any blouse. It was by Acne. 

At the time I saw it I only vaguely knew who Acne were...I just knew that I loved the print and the design: a perfect blend of classic and urban. Exposed shoulders, drape-neck and long sleeves.

I first spotted it on Caroline and I loved the way she wore it, with denim cutoffs and a Balenciaga - such a perfect combination. 


Once I saw that image I was stalking said item on my-wardrobe.com and net-a-porter.com. The only reason I didn't buy it? A very practical reason of price - £260 left me gulping.

Now of course I wish I had just said "sod it" and clicked "Add to basket". 

I guess this will always be "the one that got away". And I don't think I am quite okay with that yet but as a wise woman once told me: "there will always be nice things" so I will repeat that mantra until I am.

Tell me I am not alone! Is there anything that you wish you had bought when you had the opportunity?

My Chanel Face..and ramble

I have been getting into Chanel makeup lately. This is odd as I have previously eschewed these types of "fashion" department store brands - YSL and their lipsticks excluded.

I just always thought it was expensive prices and average products and to some extent I still think that....but I am impressed by Chanel.

What changed everything was discovering Mat Lumiere. It completely surprised me - it's a soft-matte finish that looks relatively natural (I say relatively), is easy to blend and lasts all day. The latter is my top requirement for a work day foundation. Heck, I can cope with a fake face look if it means that my slap lasts the distance...Mat Lumiere thankfully just makes you look "finished" rather than fake.

So at 7am I decided to take my Face of the Day. It's a pretty typical look for me at the moment and features 4 Chanel products, 2 of which were purchased this weekend...





Soleil Tan de Chanel ( a glowy liquid bronzing highlighter) and Le Blanc de Chanel (apparently lots of things including a liquid highlighter and a primer).

It's too early to say if they are must haves.....actually I lie. Neither is a must have (the original bronze universal is however) but if you were going to splurge go for the Soleil Tan de Chanel.

I haven't quite worked out if Le Blanc de Chanel (wow, how many times do I have to type "de Chanel" in this post?) does anything at all.

So here it is!



Primer: Le Blanc DE CHANEL
Foundation: Mat Lumiere in 30 Cendre (probably THE best colour match ever. Another reason to love it)
Blush/bronzing product: Soleil Tan DE CHANEL Sheer Illuminating Fluid
Eyes: You can barely see but MAC Mythology shadow, Shu Uemura painting line in black and L'oreal Double Extension (great if you like clumpy lashes and buying a product that feels like it's drying out after 1 week)
Lips: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy with Tom Ford Vanilla Suede over the top (FINALLY I have found a use for my Tom Ford lipstick!)


I have to say I do like the way the Soleil Tan looks on the cheeks. It's obviously not unique - Becca Opal, Armani Fluid Sheer or even NARS Laguna liquid highlighter would all work extremely well.

We love glowy cheeks! :)


In other news...

A couple of other things to share. I went tweezer happy on Sunday night and over-plucked the brows. One moment I was removing strays and the next I am creating an anorexic eyebrow.  Clearly not intentional but it means I resorted to a novel way of covering the damage - I call it The Hair Curtain...:)



I quite like the extreme part. A bit of a hazard when trying to see what you are doing I will admit but I am liking the look all the same.

Other things I am liking...wheeling out my old Balenciaga handbag that is so worn and loved and wearing my Acne wedges. They are weird, they are comfortable and I am currently looking at another pair right this moment!



Wow what a ramble! Apologies for that...what started out as a quiet FOTD post has morphed into something quite different.

Happy Tuesday! :) 

Some summer cravings...



Lemmings 1

Seven For All Mankind low rise short
205 GBP - net-a-porter.com

Chloé tan shoes
435 GBP - matchesfashion.com

Balenciaga lambskin handbag
$1,445 - barneys.com

Sydney Evan yellow gold necklace
$750 - ylang23.com

Chloé plastic shade
$351 - farfetch.com

Kiehls Superbly Restorative Argan Dry Oil
38 GBP - houseoffraser.co.uk




There is absolutely no chance that I could ever get my hands on all these items - I think the Kiehl's is just about within reach :)

Aren't those Chloe shoes amazing? The perfect summer sandal for highly highly pedicured feet....

Ah, it's nice to fantasy shop isn't it? :)

What are you lemming?

So far this weekend...

...I have consumed:

Food




Clothes

I will run through what I got very soon....H&M always seem to deliver!





Make-up







































It's been good and made all the better by the arrival of my OPI polishes that I blogged about last Sunday.

Here is the little box of goodies...




























L-R: Mermaid's Tears, Planks a Lot, Skull & Crossbones, Steady as She Rose, Sparrow Me The Drama

From first impressions I have to say that Steady as She Rose is the winner...its a fascinating (yes it is fascinating okay!) mix of pale pink and grey.

I cannot wait to slap it on - although obviously the day I want to do this is the day I have no nail varnish remover in the house. But if that's the only downer on the weekend then I have to say...I have done alright :)

Hope you had a good one too :) 

It's good from up here

I do love heels. I just need to learn how to walk in them.

My strategy is to go for something that straps my foots in - a T-bar or a boot is my best friend. It will make me feel secure and maybe, just maybe, I will be able to walk normally.

So for the last two days I have been tottering around in some Zara boots I rescued from my "archive" - "archive" being my wardrobe.

I got these last August, wore them once, loved them but somehow forgot about them. They "spoke" to me in the shop due to the fact that the inner platform soften the blow of the 2-3 inch heel and they had some nice gold detailing on the heel.


I sort of love them and I definitely love feeling taller. I am about  5ft 7 inches tall so with these, I compete with the big boys :) 

The view from up here:




What I wore them with:



Jacket: 7 For All Mankind
Top: Cheap Monday
Jeans: Cheap Monday

What's your heel-wearing strategy? :)

PS. I know for some of you this boot doesn't even count as a heel, so used you are to wearing vertiginous spikes. So tell me, what is your secret? :) 

Just one look...

...was all it took.

Yes, so anyway I was commuting home, flicking through Glamour and stumbled across this ad:


It's for Maybelline's new Colorsensational The Shine lipsticks. Supposedly mirror-like and creamy, they come infused with honey nectar.

As soon I scanned the visuals I made a mental note to search for them this weekend. I love anything that promises a glossy finish.

I rocked up to Boots today and there they were - in the promo pride of place. However, the colour range - just like the pigmenation - is a little skimpy and there were really only a couple of shades that I would have gone for. I ended up with Beige Rose (602).



I have just tried it out - this post is literally hot off the presses (very exciting, I am sure ;) - and well....it does make the lips look nice, it smells pretty good (in a sort of uber-sugary fruity way) and it's definitely glossy.



I shouldn't really complain but I do feel a little let down by the lack of pigmentation. What looked quite beigey on the back of the hand just translates to a sheer/clear balm like effect on the lips.

Maybe that's the bloomin' point of them though?

I don't know. It's not bad but it's not brilliant. Put it this way: it's certainly no dupe for a Chanel Rouge Coco Shine.

Have you tried these?

Oily face

I love a slightly sweaty face - I really do. I even buy foundations marketed as "dewy" or "glow-giving" in order to get this look and slap on some creamy highlighters to get a reflection going.

I am all about the glow and conversely, not so much about the ropey, tired  face.

Surprising that, isn't it? ;)

Apart from using slap to create a fresh complexion I am also keen to buy any skincare product that promises to do the same. That is even better in my book - you can look fantastic without needing to resort to cosmetics....that my friends is the holy grail!

The closest thing that comes even a smidgen close to doing this on my skin is facial oil.

Facial oils are more nourishing and more intense than a moisturiser. Don't think you need super dehydrated skin to qualify either - they comes for all skin types and problems...

I have dabbled in these a little over the years - admiring the Decleor and Clarins versions when I was about 15, trying Bio-oil (and getting a delightful cystic acne breakout on my face) and then I tried Aromatherapy Associates Anti-Age Oil...



Divine. £41.50 for a little bottle that will last you a year. No joke.

And the difference to the skin? Just 2-3 drops equals even texture and a revived complexion. So it's serum first and then oil second...morning and night if you wish, although I do the double whammy only at night.

Also I wouldn't necessarily recommend this but if you have had one too many G&T's, an oil can do wonders on hungover skin. Slap on before you pass out and you will wake up looking far better than expected.

But...it's all gone.

Sad face.

And me being my fickle self, I feel the longing to try something else.

So for the last week I have been using The Sanctuary's version as recommended to me by my friend Sarah.






This cost me about £17 in Boots and is double the quantity of Aromatherapy Associates, at 30ml versus a puny 15ml.

But is it just as good? Time will tell but they smell suspiciously similar to each other and the blurb sounds promising...

A potent mixture of pure oils, sunflower, jojoba and wheatgerm oil, known to be rich in vitamin E, soak into skin to help hydrate and condition. Rosehip seed oil helps rebuild and strengthen while the balancing duo of precious rose and frankincense both soothe and calm, for skin which looks dewy-soft, radiant and noticeably younger.

Yummy.

I also love the dropper that dispenses the oil as well - it feels that with every application I am medicating my skin younger.

Let's see how it goes. Fingers crossed!

PS..

I did debut my bag today..and I have a photo. But it was shot in the toilets at work and no - this is not an acceptable location for any form of OOTD. I need to rope in unsuspecting friends and/or buy a decent tripod...clothes are a big part of my shopping habit as you will find out :)

For what it's worth...and it's not worth a lot:



Black jacket: Zara
Jeans: Hollister Oceanside Super Skinny
Flats: Topshop
Bag: Zara
An embarrassed expression: Model's own.

New OPI Collection: Pirates of the Carribbean

OPI love their collaborations don't they? We have had Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and now there is a collection, released to coincide with the new Pirates of the Carribbean film.

And I am thrilled.

This is the most beautiful collection I have seen for a long time. I LOVE these kind of pastel shades. They are all creamy finishes and are rumoured to look better on than in the bottle.

So today I hot-fingered(?) it (NOTE TO SELF: never use hot-fingered as an expression again - sounds very wrong) it over to my favourite ebay seller and ordered 5.

The only one I exercised restraint for was Stranger Tides. The swatches online just made it look skippable to me - a sort of pastel sprout and well, I don't like the idea of that.

Check out the colours below:



Image sourced from Google Images although amateur annotations are mine :)

If you are not in the USA/Canada and you want to get your hands on these polishes then go to the link below - I have used this seller for about 3 years with no problems...although be warned, the prices seem to be going up!

http://myworld.ebay.com/beautyzone2007

Perfume is a religion

Perfume is a religion. Have you ever stalked sites like basenotes and been in awe of the intelligence of the posters? They know EVERYTHING about composition and can methodically break down a scent by the notes with a fervour I can only envy.

Clearly I do not know everything.

But I do like buying perfume :)

Case in point...my current perfume collection.

 I have no shame. (Well maybe just a little bit)

I justify this by thinking that each and every fragrance has a purpose and represents a certain mood or moment in my life. So that's why I hoard so many and rotate them on a regular basis.

Today I went shopping and despite not getting what I wanted (a blazer from Topshop) I consoled self by buying Chloe Rose.



So many people have recommended the original Chloe to me but something about it just smelled wrong - on me. It smelled cloying and a little eau de old lady. 


This version came out in February of this year and is intended to be a little lighter than the original - a little fresher and therefore ideal for Spring and Summer.

I only got a little bottle but I can attest to the fact that my body chemistry likes this alot more.  There's rose at the heart of it, mixed with amber, cedar wood and floral notes like lily.

I feel like whilst the original was intended for a woman, this is for a girl. It's still a pretty grown up fragrance to me - but it is definitely more youthful - and for someone as immature as myself that appreciates Britney Spears Fantasy, this is important!

So for the next few weeks this will be the scent I will be spraying.

But like any perfume fanatic I am already thinking of the next purchase....Laura Mercier Pistachio perhaps? :)

What's the latest perfume you added to your collection!? 

I just can't say no.

Oh the lure of the magazine freebie....it gets me every time.

Oddly I am not a huge magazine consumer and I blame blogs. I think the latter is a much more current and innovative medium which makes conventional print media look a little bloated and dated by the time they hit the shelves.

However, there are some titles I will always thumb through and if a quality free item happens to come with it, then I am definitely buying it.

This month (June 2011) it's Instyle's turn and they are giving away one of three Nails Inc colours. I would never buy a Nails Inc polish full price (about £9 a pop in Boots) but I do think the quality is good and I have always loved the branding and ethos of the company...

Yeah yeah yeah any excuse to get another taupe nail polish.

So here is Fashion Fawn in all it's greige glory.

 And here it is on...



Next month it's apparently the annual Benefit giveaway in Glamour magazine...

Do I buy Glamour every month? No. Will I next month? Yes :) 

...and so it begins

Every new beginning heralds the purchase of a new bag. Or something.

I decided to start this blog by boasting posting about my gorgeous new Zara tote bag. 


I spied this about 3 weeks ago and it was one of those "absolutely must have" retail moments. I was thinking of it in terms of a stylish laptop bag that could also be an accommodating dumping ground for all the rubbish I seem to lug around with me every day. Most importantly though it met the happy medium for me between Valentino studding and Celine quality-structured leather - both bags I have been craving. The good news with this one is that it was less than a tenth of the price at £119.

Add to basket.

It arrived today - I won't go into the whole delivery debacle as I know we have all been there with couriers, but if you pay for Saturday delivery you expect it on that forthcoming Saturday don't you? Not 2 weeks later.

Anyway, "in with anger, out with love" and all that and so I am delighted to introduce this bag to you :) 

The leather is much thicker than I expected. It feels durable, extremely well made and the colour is a gorgeous dark butter/light tan. I sort of love the fact that there is no external branding as well. I don't generally like bags with big logos or obvious statements about where they came from. There is a subtle anonymity about this one - it's just a nice design and it's everything I wanted.

So here is the front...

 The inside...



This is going to hold ALOT.

And of course, some action shots courtesy of Photobooth












Pose, pose, pose...

(PS. Shirt worn from Whistles current season)

Cannot wait to debut this. Surely, I cannot be the only person out there that gets overexcited about handbags?

Anyway, you can get the bag here...


Have a great weekend all and thank you for reading this post! :)
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