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31 Jul 2012

The Forever21 Fit & Flare Dress

I like the whole skater dress trend but the problem I find is that they are often too short/too arse skimming to feel comfortable for everyday. This realisation hit me last week when I tried on a version in Topshop. I really wanted to get it because it was black and I thought it would come in handy for my holiday. But it just wasn't right - and the price was far too high for basic cotton that I know will bobble after a couple of months.

Cut to this week and an innocent stroll into Forever 21 led me to the version pictured below. This cost $12.80 and I am super happy with it. It fits nicely, has a boat neck and scoop back and is just the right length for (nearly) 5ft 7inches me.

I read that some reviewers loved the length of this - and felt that it was appopriate enough for a professional environment - and some hated it and felt plebby wearing it. I think it just depends on your height and what you are going for.

Me? I love it and wore it sightseeing round Seattle today. This included long walks, another trip into Barney's to fondle the Celine handbags, a leisurely lunch which coincided with happy hour and of course, the Duck tour :) It's been a good day!

Dress: Forever 21 - Link! 
Boots: Isabel Marant
Bag: Celine
Sunglasses: Prada
Lip stain: a combination of my new Tom Ford lipstick and sangria :) 

Thank you for all your recommendations for Sephora purchases. I did buy Tarte Exposed and it's everything I wanted it to be - and more. There were of course a few other purchases made - a fellow blogger Alyson encouraged me on that front when we shopped in store together yesterday - and I will definitely share them with you soon :)

Have a great Tuesday/Wednesday!
30 Jul 2012

The Feather Printed Joggers from Topshop

I walked into Topshop last Friday, saw these hanging on the rail, thought that the print looked interesting and dared myself to try them on.

I was fully expecting to hate them. I thought that the print would make me look huge and that the crotch would hang unflatteringly low a'la Harem pants. It was a genuine shock to see that they fitted really well and gave good bum.

They felt as comfy as pyjamas but looked much more chic than that. The print is striking but it's also presented in neutral tones - which makes it easy to pair other items with. And they have pockets! I am a big fan of pockets!

So I bought them and thought they might be a good idea for my 15 hour flight to Seattle. As it happens I think they were because for whatever reason I got upgraded to First Class at the gate. On Emirates that means, Dom Perignon, a private cabin with doors, a seat that turns into a bed - complete with mattress - mini bar, Bulgari toiletries and pyjamas to sleep in. I am sure I owe all this to these feather print pants :)

Prepare for an unimaginative use of Topshop...

Trousers: Topshop - Link!
Vest top: Topshop
Blazer: Topshop Petite - Link!
Sandals: from a shop in Dubai - helpful information for you right there! ;P (These trousers would look so much better with closed toe black heels...another time!)
Bag: Celine
Sunglasses: Prada

These photos were taken in Seattle - and the sun is hitting me on my left which is why my hair looks 5 shades lighter/like it's on fire.

I am here for a couple of days - because the other half had a work conference - and then fly out to Vegas for the main part of my holiday.

So far Seattle is lovely. It's so strange (and nice) being able to walk on actual streets - Dubai does not have streets.

One small purchase has been made - will share with you tomorrow - and today is the day I hit Sephora. If you have any recommendations for Lorac, Tarte and Hourglass I would love to know because they are the brands I have my beady eye on  :)
27 Jul 2012

Tom Ford Wild Ginger lipstick #totesamaze

Now I love Tom Ford very much but my experience with his makeup line hasn't been a particularly happy one. Vanilla Suede lipstick was a cheap, scratchy mess masquerading in beautiful packaging and Blush Nude, a creamy, neutral pink was nothing to write home about - or to warrant the price tag. But the slagging off can stop here because this week I bought Wild Ginger and I want to dedicate a whole post to raving about it.

I bought this because in my teeny brain new hair warrants a new lipstick purchase. I had my heart set on something with an orange tone, thinking that this would flatter a lighter hair colour. I approached the Tom Ford counter in Harvey Nichols and was drawn to Wild Ginger.

It's a different tone for me - if I go bright I tend to go raspberry (Revlon Cherries in the Snow) or purple (MAC's Show Orchid/Impassioned) toned - but I thought it would work. I didn't, as the Tom Ford sales assistant suggested, slap it on from the lipstick tester (yuck....), but took a gamble and applied in full when I got home.

And when I did it clicked - ah, this is why they are so expensive!

MAC's Amplified formula comes close but I don't think I have tried something so richly pigmented or long-lasting. That sounds good right but it's going to sound even better because despite the natural dryness of my lips this formula feels weightless and moisturising.

Apparently this is due to the soja seed extract, Brazilian murumuru butter and chamomile flower oil included in the lipstick blend - and yes I copy and pasted that from the website :)

Back to the colour. 

This is a bit of a strange one. In the tube it looks more orange toned but when applied, the red tone comes into play. The end results is a hot, warm red and I can't actually believe that I like this so much. I mean I have even worn it out for goodness sake - out of the house! In public and everything!

Playsuit: Topshop (can't wait to do a holiday OOTD with this in VEGAS! :) - Link!
Lipstick: Tom Ford - Link!

There is a hint of MAC Lady Danger or Revlon Coral in the colour so I am not sure if I would say that Wild Ginger is totally unique but I do think the formula and the whole experience of wearing it is. 

It's the definition of luxe and if you are up for a bit of that then it's an indulgent purchase worth making. I don't regret the splurge for one minute :)

What's your favourite statement lipstick?

24 Jul 2012

Lipstick Legs

This is such a non-post as I had my hair done yesterday and you totally cannot tell in these photos. Blame the dim light of sunset.

FYI - I decide to just go the whole hog and see what I would look like with a dark blonde all over. So out came the lifting cream, a toner, 100 foils and a prayer that I don't end up like Tulisa.

I actually love the result. Some of the ends are still lighter and peak through to add dimension but the ombre has been toned down. It looks a little more subtle.

Of course, if I miss the ombre or get sick of this then I will just deposit a darker colour at the roots at my next appointment. Ah the beauty of ombre! Hopefully I will be able to get some better photos of said barnet over the next few days. 

Here are some pointless photos of me and my hair - and my very pink jeans.

If you remember I have worn these before  - they are from Zara TRF and I got them last summer - and my love for them does not diminish over time. They are made of such an amazingly comfortable and flattering material and whilst they are a denim, they feel so light and perfect for this weather.

Jeans: Zara TRF
Top: Zara 
Sunglasses: Prada

PS. The wearing of these jeans marks the start of a trend in colour appreciation. I have made two purchases recently that are most unlike me, mainly because they don't belong in Family Griege. 

Hold on to your seats! :)
22 Jul 2012

Welcome to my face Dior!

So here's what I have realised about bronzer.

I have demonstrated a tendency to go for colours too dark/orange in the past, in the hope that a heavy dusting would turn me into some kind of suntanned goddess.

No luv.

In most cases it was just a little too strong to look natural.


This dawned on my when I worked my way through YSL's Terre Saharienne in number 3. It's a fine texture and adds "just enough" colour when you apply with a big sweeping brush. I have diligently used it up over the last few weeks and slowly come to the bloody obvious conclusion that this was what bronzer was supposed to be like all along.

Now I should have just repurchased that - I definitely recommend it - but instead I wanted to see if Dior's grass was greener. Welcome to my face Diorskin Nude Tan in Honey.

Yes, this is the lightest one that they offer but there is a concrete reason behind this - essentially, just like YSL, it's impossible to over-apply and I tend to use a lot to effectively set my make up. Slap on as much as you like with no fear of looking over done. All it will do is cast a light bronzed veil over your skin that mattifies your features and seems to last a decent amount of time in hot, sweat-inducing weather.
Other things I like? 

  • The packaging - a not-too-shabby silver compact with a magnetic closure. 
  • The formula - like I said, this is largely matte. FYI there are teeny particles of shimmer suspended in the formula but honestly I only noticed this in the packaging under artificial lights and for what it's worth these didn't appear on my face despite a very close mirror inspection. 
  • The colour - I used this in my most recent Outfit of the Day and you can see that it basically blends into my natural skin but adds the tiniest complexion lift. Perfect. I could definitely afford to go darker in shade perhaps but for now this does the job very nicely.

Bronzers, just like foundation and light pink lipsticks, get me quite excited for some reason. I have tried so many over the years and I think that despite my thumbs up for this one, I will forever be on the look out.

So tell me, do you have a holy grail that you depend on and why? (And thank you to those who recommended the Dior in the first place on my Facebook page :) 

PS. No trip to Sephora is complete without a lipstick purchase of some kind....Chanel Candeur is back in the house (I never want to be without this) and it came with a new friend called Plaisir. 

Nice formula but shame about the weak, pathetic colour. You looked so nice on the back of my hand Plaisir but you were a big fat waste of cash

Now can Chanel please get it sorted and bring back Bikini Peach - that would make my year :) 
20 Jul 2012

The Topshop Racer Back Chiffon Shirt

I know I have already mentioned to you how Topshop just hasn't been my retailer of choice in recent months. A whole lots of misses and very few hits.

Well this week I had a bit of a successful trip to the branch in Mercato mall. A casual "browse" ended up with purchase of two tops and an amazing pair of lemon coloured jeans (post to come when I figure out how to wear them :)

This was one of the tops and yes, it's a bit of a weird one. It's a high-lo shirt with an exposed racer back panel. The silhouette is extreme but that's what I liked most about it.

It is a sheer and light material that feels very ethereal. However, the lightness also means total exposure. If you want everyone to see your nips and curves then go for it. I tried it on with a white bikini top and I just didn't feel comfortable. On the beach, fine. Out to dinner? A bit hoe.

I should also say that it's from the Tall range - which probably accounts for the extreme hi-lo. As I said that's the bit I loved the most about it so even though I am of pretty average height at 5ft 7 inches (secretly I am about a centimetre less than this but I round up!) I went for it.

Oh and as ever with me, I also really love the back...a bit of back action never fails to impress :)

Top: Topshop - Link!
Jeans: Current/Elliott - Link!
Body: American Apparel
Shoes: Christian Louboutin (Viola)
Bag: Celine

PS. These shoes
 were purchased post-brunch a few weeks ago and are a prime of example of shopping under the influence. So okay, it worked out because I love the classic deep orange/tan shade and the exposed stitching - and they were a sale bargain - but don't shop after one too many Merlot's people! :) 

PPS. I finally got round to buying a new bronzer....and some useless pink lipstick action - will share tomorrow :) 
13 Jul 2012

The Vanessa Bruno Athe Skirt

I have to be honest, I am struggling in this weather. The humidity is up to about 70% and so everything gets sweaty and ruined if you spend any time outside. I might be looking fresh in the photos below but I was most definitely "perspiring". 

This was what I wore this to happy hour drinks this week. It would seem that full, flirty skirts and cotton shirts are my attempt to look fresh.

I got this skirt in the Boutique 1 sale and it's from Vanessa Bruno's diffusion line. Just like the Tibi skirt I posted about the other day, as much as I might admire it, I would never have paid full price. Items like this - with the embroidery detail and full shape - are easily duped and can be picked up at Forever 21 and ASOS.

Thankfully it was heavily reduced to a reasonable high street price and I really enjoy wearing it. Add a shirt and a belt and it's happy days!

Skirt: Vanessa Bruno Athe - as mentioned ASOS do something similar - Link!
Shirt: Zara
Belt: GAP (old)
Bag: Celine
Shoes: out of shot but sparkly flat sandals!

A few other things on my mind lately: 

1) If you like pale pink nails and have a propensity to gravitate towards the likes of Essie Fiji etc...then you need to try Gelish's You’re So Sweet You’re Giving Me A Toothache. It's a colour that they released at the beginning of this year and my nail place just got it in.

I can't tell you how lovely it is. It's a white/pale peach/pale pink hybrid and looks very pretty - even on my mini stumpy nails.

2) I recently mentioned how I was using concealer on my skin - and no foundation - as I was finding colour matching tricky.

Well scrap that! It's a new week and all that!

I found an opened bottle of Chanel Mat Lumiere whilst having a clean-out, gave it a try, and I love everything about it. This is a great foundation for normal skins trying to cope in sweaty, hot weather. In the UK this would sometimes make my face look too flat, but here it works perfectly. Consider me obsessed.

I think I might make a video and upload it on here about my latest routine as I am in a new rut and fairly content with it :)

3) My current TV obsession is Twenty Twelve. Please someone out there tell me that they love this as much as I do. I came across it only recently but eagerly devoured every episode. If you have ever worked in a mis-management public sector culture then this is a dry comedy for you. I swear that the script is based on people I encountered in my first post-uni job.

My favourite character has to be Siobhan from Perfect Curve and I am so happy to find out that she has her own Twitter account #holyshet.

Happy Friday!
9 Jul 2012

The Tibi Mini Skirt

I know it's nothing special but for some reason I really love this outfit.

White skirt, black vest, chambray shirt and heels. That's about it but still, it's a nice mix of expensive/cheap and girly/tomboy.

I think there are two things that I would pinpoint specifically:

a) The textured Tibi mini skirt - it's a cute voluminous bubble shape with elasticated waist. Perfect for those big lunches/dinners. And it was massively reduced in the net-a-porter sale - can you believe this was originally priced in the £200 range.....erm, WHY? It's nice but...no, just no.

b) The shoes - FINALLY these have been made comfortable months after purchase. I love the way these Sam Edelman's look but comfortable they are not. Something about the metallic leather that just wouldn't soften until wear 20 but here they are and I am friends with them again. The chunky block heel, the metallic detail....they are perfect summer shoes. I quite like them in the bronze/darker leather...mmm :)

The shirt perhaps ruins the shape of the skirt slightly but it's my dress down comfort blanket and I couldn't give it up :)

Skirt: Tibi - Link! (very similar ASOS one here - Link!)
Shirt: American Eagle
Vest: BikBok
Lace bandeau: American Apparel (if you can make it out!)
Shoes: Sam Edelman - Link!
Bag: Celine
Sunglasses: Elizabeth and James

On another note, a perfume one...(ha de ha)...L'eau de Chloe was my perfume of choice today. This was a gift and it's as pretty as the bottle makes it appear to be. It's apparently made with 22% rose water. The remainder of the notes include grapefruit, violet, cedarwood and good old patchouli. It's light, non-offensive and perfect when you are feeling clammy and sweaty.

...and the nail polish? Well this is the best Gelish colour I have ever tried.

Cue lots of exclamation marks...


Next post tomorrow with the big reveal about the generic pale pink colour :)

Hope you had a good start to the week!
7 Jul 2012

The Topshop Panel Peplum Top

It dawned on me today that I have not dedicated a blogpost to this top. And this is a crime!

Without sounding too dramatic I would have to say that this is one of the best tops I have bought this year. I love the shape and quality of the fabric so much that I bought it in white. In fact I would consider buying it in the other colours they have as well.

Wear it with tight pencil skirts, high waisted trousers or just a pair of jeans, like I often do. It's a polyester and elastane mix so you get the best of both worlds - it feels light but holds it shape well, hugging where it needs to and flaring out in the way that a peplum can.

£24. From Topshop. You cannot go wrong.

I also like the way the arms are cut. That's an odd detail to focus on but it's cut deep and I think really flattering.

The only downer - and this is of course subjective - is that the zip is exposed at the back. I wish it had been concealed because then I think it would have really come off as a much more expensive piece. Exposed zips are sort of "overdone".

Anyway, there you go... :)

Top: Topshop UK - Link!  or Topshop US - Link!

Have to say I love the fun silhouette this gives. When you pair it with smarter gear it almost feels like a Super Woman costume :) 

Hope you are all having an amazing Saturday!

PS. My smug face above - and no OOTD is complete without it! - may be partly down to my current phase of ruling out foundation and only using concealer.

My skin tone is in an in-between tone and nothing feels like it matches properly. Concealer is what I am left with and I have to say there is something so simple and fresh about just using concealer though...well there might be if you didn't use Make Up Forever Full Cover like I am but hey, got to start the move to a fresh face somewhere ;) 
5 Jul 2012

Colour therapy

Last night I wore some serious colour. And not just on my body but also on my lips.

I know - hold the front page!

First - the dress. This is one of my Zara sale bargains. Reduced from something like £60 to £16 (equivalent) and for that I was quite happy! It's that shot of bright coral that makes every skin tone look good - even the ones with mere office tans! :) 

It's a little big in size but nothing a belt won't fix so out comes my always faithful American Apparel grey number. 

Now the lips. Yes, it's all a bit matchy-matchy but I couldn't help myself. This By Terry product - I got in my Space NK makeover a few weeks ago - would achieve "rave" status for a few reasons:

a) It's a lip tint that won't dry out your lips - it basically feels like you have applied water.
c) It lasts a good amount of time.
b) It's a beautiful bright fluoro coral/pink that looks great on it's own or as a base for layering. Try it with Hue lipstick by MAC and you have a gorgeous and unique bright pink/nude lip - if such a thing is possible!
c) It's called Dancefloor Flirt :) 

The colour and the lips made me feel just a teeny bit retro so out came my sunglasses by Elizabeth and James. I really do love these. The angle of the lens and the metal arm is just perfect. I think of them as part Wayfarer/part cat eye and for that reason I think they are pretty flattering. Highly recommend - says the sunglasses addict :) 

Dress: Zara (I would link but I can't find it on the site so it might be in stores on the sale racks)
Belt: American Apparel
Bag: Celine
Lips: By Terry Aqualip jelly tint in Dancefloor Flirt
Sunglasses: Elizabeth and James - Link!
Hair: some sort of haphazard tie-back do because it was far too frizzy and hideous to wear down.

Hope you are all having a lovely Thursday! End of the week for me - not to rub it in or anything - and this weekend I am going to avoid having to do any work. Hallelujah! :) 

Speak soon!
3 Jul 2012

The Current/Elliott Skinny Jeans

First things first.

I was lamenting my lipstick collection yesterday and then came across an unopened L'oreal Caresse. Popped it open and I absolutely love the shade.

It's a slight departure from my usual pinky/nudey/beigey unadventurous shades as it has a purple undertone to it but it makes lips look lush and gently tinted. Enter Tempting Lilac. I am wearing it now and probably will continue to do so until I am distracted. Which is easily done.

Now moving on to the OOTD.


Admittedly a slight mistake wearing stuff like this outdoors (surviving the summer in Dubai is all about what happens in air-conditioning) but I wanted to because these are my most successful denim purchase to date. And they were half price in the Shopbop sale.

They are by Current/Elliott - my (now) favourite brand for this sort of thing. Why? When you put on any of their jeans they immediately feel soft and forgiving, as if you have owned them before.

In the case of this pair you get:

* A soft waistband - excellent for mitigating the muffin top reveal
* Inky blue colour
* Absolutely no branding or detail on the pockets - this is important. My beloved Hollisters - as much as I love them - have something akin to a rainbow on the arse and it makes me cringe everytime I look at it.

I am not sure why they were on sale - they don't exactly scream summer or seasonal - but who cares...I normally balk at the price tag associated with premium jean labels so it's nice to snap up a (sort of) bargain.

PS. In case you see these online, a word of warning - Current/Elliott vanity size. Get a size smaller than you think you need - especially with these as there will inevitably be some baggy bum action after a couple of wears. Speaking from experience here! :)

Jeans: Current/Elliott - Link! 
Blouse: Zara (old)
Body: American Apparel
Bag: Celine
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Sunglasses: Prada
Lipstick: L'oreal Caresse in Tempting Lilac

So I guess Current/Elliott, Sass & Bide, Hollister, Cheap Monday (sometimes) and Acne (on a thin day) with the odd GAP pair would make up my top recommendations for jeans brands...what would be yours?