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30 Jun 2012

The Topshop Fluoro Piping Skater Dress

This is a great summer dress from Topshop.

I actually spied it on someone in Abu Dhabi about 6 weeks ago and fell in love with it for the following reasons:

a) Fabric: I love the fabric - a textured jacquard finish in a bright white
b) Neon piping - this just adds a unique edge. I refuse to utter the words "bang on trend" for fear of inducing a global cringe but you get the score.
c) Shape:  Very girly but nicely balanced by a quite hard, structural shape in the back.

It was a nice surprise to learn that it was from Topshop - that place has been so underwhelming this season.

I picked this up when I was back in the UK and have been waiting for the right opportunity to wear it. Yesterday's brunch seemed like a valid enough excuse :)

Excuse the freckles - I am a very freckly person.

Dress: Topshop - Link!  
Bag: Celine
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Sunglasses: Prada

I really enjoyed wearing this and would recommend picking it up - it's currently in the sale! - but a couple of things to note.

a) It is sized big - I got this in my standard dress size but it's definitely roomy. I could have probably gone for a size down.

b) That sizing issue is especially true because it's quite gappy in the bust area. This is probably more of a statement on my woeful lack of boobage than anything else but it's something to make you aware of anyway.

NB: Wearing a bra is also impossible so expect potentially awkwardness in air-conditioned environments. Are nipples "in"?

Hope you all had a good week :) I have some busy work weeks ahead but then it's time for my holiday and....VEGAS!!!! So excited and nearer the time I will be demanding recommendations of places to eat, drink and of course, shop! :)
25 Jun 2012

The Zara TRF Printed Bomber

A little birdie on my Instagram told me that the Zara sale is on - from Thursday of this week in the UK! Anyone excited? :)

It started at the weekend in Dubai and I committed retail hari-kari, braving the Mall of the Emirates on a Friday night to see what tempting goods were on offer.

There was one thing I did really want to get my hands on and in a way it's very "un-me". It's a print for starters - I rarely "do" prints. But seeing it on other bloggers and YouTubers left me with a serious lemming. When your wardrobe is largely neutral you need a piece like this to brighten it up.

Meet the Zara TRF printed bomber.

I would say this is a great piece - even at full price. It's so light - perfect for summer - and is a nice blend of feminine/cool. I got the Small and it's roomy enough to feel ever so slightly floaty.

Jacket: Zara - Link! 
Sunglasses: Tom Ford
Bag: Celine

...all accompanied with a healthy dose of just washed frizz hair! Woo!

I know I didn't go to town with the other shades of clothes/accessories in this outfit but this bomber was all the statement I needed to make on a lazy Saturday :) 

I'm off now to try (I really am trying!) to finish Shades of Grey numero 3.

I have already sneakily started something else but I am too committed to not finish this off. And just think, when it's all over I never have to deal with constant references to Audi's, cringe at the concept of "my sex", frown at inner Goddesses gone wild or roll eyes at faux-innocent lip-biting. Please tell me that loose cannon from book 2 puts them all out of their misery in a dramatic finish? I can hardly wait to find out.... ;)

See you all soon!

PS. Thank you for all your recent comments. I know I haven't been the best at responding - and I hate that I have slacked on that - so I am going to make it a mission to do some serious catching up this week! 
23 Jun 2012

MAC Full of Joy blush

You know me. I am eternally on the quest to look "lit from within". I am not going to achieve this by living an uber-healthy lifestyle however. No I would rather sin with my dietary intake, stay up late and slap on cosmetics to fake it.

Enter MAC Full of Joy blush.

I should be a little embarrassed posting this as I know it's been out for months. I don't even attempt to keep up with the collections these days so I am no doubt going to repeat what everyone else has said. Still, this lavendar toned blush with its cool shot of pink has me all excited and I am going to carry on regardless.

This came into my life at a good time. My beloved Sue Devitt Soloman Islands is on it's last legs and I was looking for a similar tone that wouldn't necessarily require an online order from the UK. A glance at the MAC counter and I knew that Full of Joy was everything I needed.

As you will tell from the pictures I am literally piling this stuff on - with no apology. It's frost finish adds a glow - without glitter. It might be a bit much but it actually looks pretty, in a Sci-Fi dolly kind of way.

Clearly something HI-larious going on at my feet in the picture below:

(PS. I do own a hairbrush - honest!)

I must also add that the Real Techniques Blush Brush is just as sensational as everyone promised it would be. If you don't have it, don't hesitate in buying it.

Now tell a fellow blush addict what your favourite cheek product of the moment is! :)
22 Jun 2012

Shorts and Sunglasses

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a lovely week!

Here was me today. The Current/Elliott shorts are one of my favourite purchases of late. I have shared these with you before and every weekend I give them an eye.

They are nicely baggy and distressed so I love pairing them with more tailored "done" pieces. I am not sure if it really goes but it feels very "me" :)

Shorts: Current/Elliott (Forever 21 has really good copies of these and the material is not a million miles away either!)
Shirt: Zara
Blazer: Topshop
Sunglasses: Prada Baroque
Shoes: Tory Burch
Bag: Celine

Now the sunglasses. Yes I was wearing them indoors for a small portion of time....and then I realised and blushed at the thought of how stupid I must have looked. Still, they are rather special.

These aren't new to the market. I remember The Blonde Salad featuring this Baroque style maybe 18 months ago and I found them interesting but also very, very weird. It definitely wasn't love at first sight.

Cut to about 4 months ago and I finally saw them in real life in Dubai and they looked pretty fabulous. Then lots of my favourite bloggers, including Tali, started featuring them. I got swept away and made a mental note to at least try them on.

Yes, there is something fantastical about them in a Willy Wonka kind of way but they are also sunglasses that seem to suit any face shape out there. They are big, round but also slightly angular, making the frame universally flattering and the curve detail on the arm is actually spectacular.

They come in a few shades now and I think mine is called tea. (The code, for anyone interested is SPR27N 55 22 KAL-1Z1 135 2N).

Now can someone please stop me going near any more sunglasses!

Many thanks

x :)
17 Jun 2012

The Forever 21 Shorts

Long time, no post. I need to either get into this scheduled post malarkey or stop working...

Moving on, this is what I wore to brunch on Friday. The highlight for me was the shorts. They are from Forever 21 and are seriously nice. That's the only way to put it. They are light, lined, come with a belt that is actually quite pretty and make the perfect tailored pair. I literally pounced on them in store because they personify that rare F21 item that costs pittance but looks like it could be worth a whole lot more.

I paired with flat shoes, a white shirt and a blazer. A few things to note:

a) I did try heels with shorts but to be honest I feel like a hoe so I opted for the safety of ballerina flats
b) I wore the blazer for these photos, experienced a hot flush and ripped it off me
c) I could lie about my hair and say it looks crap because of the humidity - which I am sure didn't help - but let's be honest, it looks crap because I left it just a day too long between washes. 

Shirt: Zara
Blazer: ASOS
Shorts: Forever 21 - I am thinking they are to be found here - Link!
Bag: Celine

I do need to have a word with you about the sunglasses but that's for another post :) 

I will confess at this point that I started reading 50 Shades of Grey again. Embarrassingly I can pin-point the moment I downloaded the second - it was when I heard it was going to be made into a film and that it may possibly feature Alexander Skarsgard as Grey.

*Hangs head in shame*

I am on book number 3. Book 2 was slightly less salacious and not bad (that doesn't mean it was good either btw) but I am struggling at the moment to turn the pages. Seriously how many times can they be overtaken by passion? Get on with the story!

Interestingly books 2 and 3 are banned in Dubai but book 1, the raunchiest of them all, is proudly sold in bookstores. Odd!

What do you think about it?

Speak soon!

10 Jun 2012

Underwear as outerwear and Insanity update

Here is what I wore yesterday for some sunset at the beach followed by happy hour action.

I say wore - I just slapped it on really, didn't I?

This Zara dress/top (depends on how you want to wear it) could easily qualify as pyjamas/slip attire but I prefer to think it's an ethereal day dress with a dipped hem.

Yeah, that's what I think :)

The pink Miu Miu also got taken for a spin. It's a bag that still makes me happy although I would say that Balenciaga wins out in the leather quality stakes, with Celine taking the ultimate Crown.

Dress: Zara (can't find a link sadly....but hey, shouldn't the sale start in the next week or so!? Yesssss)
Belt: American Apparel
Bag: Miu Miu
Sunglasses: Elizabeth and James
Perfume: Laura Mercier Fresh Fig

Aah Fresh Fig. I bought this in a little set with the shower gel and and moisturizer. They are now long gone but Fresh Fig perfume lives on and it's a blast of cool summer every time it's sprayed. I highly recommend for those who like their perfume sweet but balanced. 

...and yes I have a tan and am really very freckly but the camera filter gives the impression that I am uber brown. I am not  :)

Insanity chat...

These pictures were taken after completing the Insanity Fitness Test.

Edit: After I had recovered.

Bloody hell. That's all I can say.

Despite the muscle ache and slight resentment I now feel towards Shaun T (and especially that bloody Miss Perfect Tanya) I am really looking forward to it. I like programmes to be efficient and effective and I really think this will be. I have gotten into a little rut with my 5K runs a few times a week so it's good to spice things up!

I am not changing my diet - that's semi-okay as it is - but I do need to shift arse on a more regular basis and preferably within an air conditioned room. Today is Plyometric Cardio Circuit. It's hard work even saying it. Wish me luck! :)
5 Jun 2012

Get a load of me part 2 with Poca & Poca

I don't want to sound like a snob...but I know I am going to :)....

...but there aren't a lot of clothes designers, touted around Dubai, that actually churn out clothes I like. Sometimes they are too gaudy, sometimes they are just not me and sometimes they are just so poorly made it's laughable. I can count the locally promoted designers I have seen and liked on one hand. One of them is Poca & Poca. And to make matters more complicated they are actually Polish.

Now, I know what you are thinking: "you would say that". And yes I would - but not just because they did a little feature on me, but because I love the classic, retro aesthetic they channel in their designs. It's girly, tasteful and with just enough vibrancy to make it interesting.

Here's some pictures to explain what I mean - these are from their latest collection, Timelessness. This is a capsule range designed to be part sophistication and part girly grace. I am one of those people who aspire to have a "capsule wardrobe" (never going to happen, is it?) and anyway, who doesn't love the odd bow and knicker-bocker detail?

Seriously though, their clothes are lovely - check out their website and you will get a sense of what I mean. I was featured recently as "The Blogger". This means that I once again waffle on about fashion and clothes. Recognise the photo? :)

Finally, if you are in Dubai...

...there is a Poca & Poca event tomorrow. It does actually sounds amazing and I wish you could all come - they are screening Breakfast at Tiffany's and asking us to dress with a 60's theme.  I'm thinking mini dress and a Winehouse-load of eyeliner.

If you are based locally there is a chance to win two tickets - all you have to do is leave a comment to explain what "timeless" means to you. Simples and you have a pretty good chance of winning. If you do, please hang out with me :)

Here's the link - Link!

Here's their Facebook - Link!

I will upload pictures of the event - and my eyeliner - tomorrow or Thursday.

I am also going to the opening of a spa tomorrow night. To be exact it is a Hello Kitty themed spa.


Now I don't own any Hello Kitty memorabilia these days but it doesn't stop be gawking and smiling everytime I wander past the Sanrio store so expect lots of cheesy smiles in the next set of photos.

Makes a change from Smug Face eh :)

Happy Tuesday! x

4 Jun 2012

Guilty pleasures...

So technically this is an OOTD but...

...it does not feature any semblance of imagination or creativity. I worked from home and for a change of scene, the MAKE cafe in the afternoon. I styled myself lazy and went with jeans and a top. Still, there is something just nice about keeping things simple, wearing a favourite pair of jeans and a pretty, easy to wear top.

The top is the last Spring/Summer Zara item I will buy at full-price - I got it last week and loved the pastel lemon colour. It's a great shade and just like brighter neons seems to bring out a skintone glow. It's a viscose/polyester/cotton mix but even in the most humid of places didn't feel at all uncomfortable or heavy. A word of warning though - buy a size down: I wish I had as it does come up pretty big.

Now of course I wait for the Zara summer sale. I am considering becoming one of those nutters, lingering outside the store in the Mall and waiting for the doors to open in the morning so I can run in like a woman possessed picking up all the things I have ogled over the last couple of months. It's an idea...

Oh and the weather here has now reached "unbearable" (i.e., 40 degrees C) so yes, I am pretty covered but trust me I didn't actually walk anywhere for longer than 5 minutes. Tis the season of bad hair, walking from curb to cab only and praising the invention of air-conditioning. It's seriously unpleasant and I am not sure how I am going to cope!

Jeans: Hollister (very much a guilty pleasure...just like Forever21 I know I am too old for this brand but they give good bum and fit nicely...)
Top: Zara - Link!
Sunglasses: Tom Ford
Bag: Celine
Sandals: Nicoli

NB: The photos were taken at sunset and so I had to do a bit of jiggery pokery with the light so that you could see the clothes. I am however currently sporting a bit of a natural "tan" which you can kind of see in the first few pics.

I use inverted commas describe my colour because my tan consists of about 5 million freckles and a patchy golden shade. And you know when I got most of this? Last week in the UK! Ah those kind of sunny days? Good times :)

Will put up a new post tomorrow - trying to get in a bit of a regular pattern here!

Happy Monday!
3 Jun 2012

Rodial Dragon's Blood Hyaluronic Mask = happy skin

I like Rodial, I really do. Their products are generally good - although the hefty price tag doesn't always have me repurchasing - and they come across as quite innovative with their use of ingredients.

Having said that they are also a brand that labels their products in a gimmicky way and markets them hard. Each line has a more sensationalist name than the last. When I heard about the Dragon's Blood release then I quietly rolled my eyes and never gave it a look in. Until my Space NK makeover...

Air-conditioning, flying and probably not enough water = dehydrated skin and the Dragon's Blood Hyaluronic mask was recommended to me.

I bought it because:

a) Hyaluronic acid is supposed to be a super hydrator. I think it binds moisture particles together or something....can you tell science wasn't my best subject at school - I scraped that B in my GCSE!

b) Dragon's Blood sounds sensational but it's actually just the sap from the Sangre de Drago tree in the Amazon. (No, I didn't know that off the top of my head - Google is the answer) This supposedly reduces sagging and gives you a smoother skin texture.

c) It also smells very nice and fruity.

It's not the cheapest skin treatment around (£35) but you know what? It's really quite amazing.

You can slap it on in one of two ways:

1) Spread a thin amount over your face as a 10 minute treatment mask; or

2) Leave it on overnight for a deep injection of moisture.

I have done the latter and let me tell you that you will literally wake up with a different face. It is transformed - plumper, smoother, lusher. I love it so much that in the two weeks since I bought it I have used approximately half the tube.

Oops! Steady on there!

I don't look years younger - sadly - but the little bit of dryness of my forehead is gone, the texture is even and my skin feels...well happy!

I would hand-on-heart recommend this to anyone who feels currently "blah" when it comes to their skin. Sometimes you need a little boost and this is one product that will give it a helpful jolt.

You can buy Rodial here - Link!

PS. Purchased with own money etc etc etc...
1 Jun 2012

The American Apparel Chiffon Double-Layered Skirt

When I was in the UK I paid a long overdue visit to American Apparel. I tried on some Disco Pants.

Don't laugh.

Well, actually you can laugh - they looked hideous on me and like Jeffrey Campbell Lita's are a trend I am happy to leave to the cool kids. Specifically, the cool younger kids.

I instead opted for the granny length chiffon skirts. I have ogled these for about a year. I hate the price of some AA stuff but ultimately I couldn't find anything anywhere else that hit the mark as well as this style does - so I sucked it up and bought two.

The one below is in the shade Tan - a rich, beige nude. Now I will admit that although this is double layered and prevents most underpant reveal, you still need to sport nude knickers. Anything brighter/darker is going to show through. On the plus side, despite the fact that these are polyester they are very light, don't cling even in the most humid of weather and refuse to crease. I wore my navy version on the plane home and after 7 hours of plane sitting, it remained in perfect shape.

They are £52 each - ouch!!!! - but I am glad that I just handed over my debit card and went for it. They are going to be perfect in the coming (unbearably hot) months.

Skirt: American Apparel - Link!
Top: GAP (very very old)
Belt: ASOS - Link!
Sandals: Nicoli
Sunglasses: Tom Ford Leila's
Bag: Celine

Apologies for the smug grin. It's my natural OOTD facial stance and emerges whenever the camera is focused on me :)

...think it will be a beauty post tomorrow. I have a lot of products I need to report back on :)

Happy Friday!