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28 Sep 2012


Wrapping up in scarves and layers during September feels cosy and right. Being photographed against rain-drenched cobbled streets also feels appropriate for this time of year.  Dubai, as lovely as it is, lacks the atmosphere that some ancient buildings and murky weather can lend. So thank you Edinburgh!

I have been here for a few days and retail-wise, haven’t even stepped into Zara, Topshop and the like. No, the focus has been 100% Primarni – that’ll be Primark to you and me.

I have spent less than £85 and yet walked out with about 30 items. This denim jacket was one of my most exciting purchases. The bright burst of blue is everything I look for and this one came with gold tips and shoulder studding.  Whilst I think studding can be overdone (Zara Autumn/Winter collection for example….) I found myself gazing at this and so felt that the signs were there to snap it up. It was about £16 and I really love it. No regrets!

Thanks to Susan for the photos and the heavy night out that followed taking them J

Jacket: Primark
Shirtdress: Cheap Monday – old
Leggings: American Apparel
Boots: Isabel Marant
Bag: Alexander Wang
Scarf: Accessorize – old
Bracelet: Hermes

I made another cheeky trip last night and hoarded basic ballerinas (I LOVE THESE - £4 a pair) and some nice accessories.  

I normally get stressed even thinking about Primark but if you are in Edinburgh then you are in luck because you are served with a well merchandised and pretty calm shopping experience. I will miss it when I am back in the sandpit J

Hope you have all had a great week! 
22 Sep 2012

Dressed up boyfriend jeans

In my experience men don't "get" boyfriend jeans. They like and understand skinny jeans but the baggy crotch/flat bum look will receive a quizzical glance. Bless them, it's a lot to take in.

And okay, I have to agree that boyfriend jeans don't flatter every curve but then I think that clothes are there to do more than just emphasise arses and assets.

Having said all that, I do think boyfriend jeans look best when they are feminized up a bit. A flat shoe works but they, like most things, look best with a heel. So I guess the comfort gained in wearing the jeans is sacrificed for the pain incurred when wearing the shoes.

Below is what I wore on Thursday this week. Thankfully the Dubai weather is starting to get nice again. It's still nearly 40 degrees but humidity is reducing, my hair is de-frizzing and my camera lens de-steaming :)

Jeans: Current/Elliott (ASOS do a similar pair - Link!)
Top: Zara (old)
Jacket: Topshop blazer - Link!
Bag: Alexander Wang - Link!
Shoes: Christian Louboutin Pigalle 100
Necklace: H&M
Sunglasses: Prada
On the lips: Chanel lipgloss in Troublant

Some notes...

A note on the blazer - this is the best blazer purchase made for some time....and you know how much I love a blazer! It's Topshop Petite which means the arms and length is slightly cropped on me. That is exactly what I like though and it works fantastically with jeans but also with smarter dresses. It's my current go-to and the quality is great.

A note on the shoes - these looks painful and I am sure if I kicked someone they would attest to that fact but to wear? Not bad at all.

I can comfortably wear these for a couple of hours - walking included within that time - before the throbbing begins and that surprised me. I thought that these, with the pointed toe, would be a challenge but compared to the Simple style they are far easier to wear. A chunky investment that's for sure but a pair of shoes that I am in love with. And it is of course very possible to love shoes!

By the way, I am off to the UK for a couple of days for work next week. This is bittersweet. I get to see my family and enjoy some cosy weather but I do not want to leave Roger and although he is going to be very looked after I tear up just thinking about it. Is it normal to be so emotional about a puppy?

PS. Thank you for all your comments on my last post - I am going to reply to them today as you all gave such fantastic advice.

17 Sep 2012

...introducing Roger

Meet Roger. He is a Yorkshire Terrier puppy. He likes napping, running around, licking feet,  sitting on laps, getting brushed, mealtimes and sniffing. He does not like following orders when it comes to toilet time or injections.

So yes, Roger is a new addition to my life and I absolutely love him. I have wanted a dog for years but never been in a position where it could practically work. My job has always involved long hours and as much as I wanted one I couldn't just leave it to its own devices during the day. It just wouldn't have worked for either of us and we would have both been miserable.

Happily, these days, with so much of my work do-able from home, I can keep a beady eye on an inquisitive puppy.

We picked him up on Thursday, took him straight to the vet and he has been settling in ever since. He is called Roger because I like human names for dogs and in my mind, the smaller the dog, the more traditional the name. I feel quite emotional about him to be honest - having a dog adds a lovely dimension to my life.

So here we are going for a little walk/run around. Dog walking round here typically involves those Topshop studded joggers (a purchase from heaven they were!) but today I donned this ASOS swing dress. Black, high neck, dipped hem, jersey material.....cheap and easy. It's a little sack-esque but honestly, I like that.

Dress: ASOS - Link!
Flats: Topshop - Link!

Now since getting Roger I have been reading forums and watching YouTube videos even more than usual to get some good tips. Searches have often been focussed on "house training" :) If you have a dog - especially a Yorkie - your advice  on do's and don'ts is very welcome :) 
13 Sep 2012

New stuff...

I enjoy the odd cheapo costume jewellery purchase and sometimes it's the quickest and fastest way to update the wardrobe.

I spotted this H&M necklace on countless blogs. I thought it was interesting because whilst it's just oversized glass and neon - and could therefore never pass for anything other than an inexpensive costume piece - it still looked tasteful(ish). To coin a cliche - cheap and chic! :)

Perhaps it's down to the fact that it's such a blatant ripoff of the lovely Dannijo designs or maybe it's the classic shape but it does really lift and transform whatever you are wearing. I have worn it with black shirts, tees and this ASOS swing dress. It works particularly well with white shirts, casually hiding underneath an open collar, but I don't have a picture of that so this is all you're going to get :)

So with a temporary hold put on my love for dainty accessories, I have now started looking at other shops to see what other necklaces are out there that are affordable but most definitely defined as "statement".

I am specifically looking for colour and sparkles and as usual ASOS delivers. I am thinking of this next - Link! - and maybe some lobe stretching earrings - Link!

I have to say though, as pretty as they are, the H&M one is still my favourite. As I said, this has been out for months and showcased on many blogs but you can probably still pick it up - I got mine this week.

Now because I don't want this post to JUST be about a necklace I also must mention the lip combo worn in the picture above.

This features two products - Dior Linen lipliner and MAC's Casual Colour Lip and Cheek cream in Have a Lovely Day!

Some things to note:

* Dior Linen is everything LisaLisaD1 on YouTube has ever promised it to be. Smooth, creamy consistency and a colour that works with so many lip tones/lip shades. One thing I will add is that whilst it looks scary brown in the container it translates as a super neutral tan colour that makes your lips look BIG. I like!

* Have a Lovely Day! is a bit of a let down as a product. The consistency is thin and greasy and on my cheeks the NARS Douceur like colour lasts all of 5 minutes.  Maybe that's why it's advertising campaign alludes to lazy days....that's a romantic way of referring to days when you don't give a toss about your makeup and can therefore afford to put up with poor performance.  It's only saving grace is it's charming name and the fact that it looks like a dupe of MAC's Calm Mode tinted lip moisturiser - my all time favourite lip product and therefore my sole motivation for buying it in the first place. I will use it up purely because of the shade. And when used in combination with Linen it makes for a good pouty lip - a perfect look to adopt when you are product-bitching, no? :)

Catch up soon!

8 Sep 2012

What have I been up to?

Apologies for the blog silence.

My excuse this time is that I have been moving flats in Dubai. This has become a bigger task than expected, especially as I have moved from a furnished to a non-furnished space and need to kit it out with all the basics. I am unashamedly turning the place into an IKEA showroom. When I eventually post some pictures you will see that I am not even joking. Bar the odd piece from Crate and Barrel and the like, it's almost completely IKEA. I get totally carried away in that place.

Anyway, one part of the new flat that I am excited about is the maid's room. And no I am not getting a maid. The majority of 2 bedroom + places in this part of the world have a maid's room and it's essentially a box with an ensuite that only the very cruel would consider as a legitimate place to make someone live. It does however, make the perfect makeup/wardrobe showcase/indulgent space and so I declared it mine and have started "girly-fying" the shizz out of it.

The first part of this is creating an Inspiration Rack and it's an idea 100% nicked from other blogs and several Tumblr pictures. The idea behind mine is to mix textures, colours and pieces that either:

a) Make me smile or
b) Need to be worn in the next couple of weeks.

It's just a nice way to merchandise "stuff" and it gives me a little bit of inspiration and happiness. So IKEA provided the rack and I provided the "stuff" :)

A couple of things to note here:

a) The 11' Cambridge Satchel in Lilac on the left (Link!) - I had a couple of questions on Instagram about this and I got it recently from Urban Outfitters. I absolutely love it - the colour and the quality are just gorgeous.

In my mind I compare it to the Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac - the sizes are fairly similar - and I 100% prefer the Cambridge Satchel. Both style bags are quite "done", and the more fiddly closure on the Cambridge can be annoying, but for whatever reason I just like it more.

b) The Office Nighthawk boots (Link!) - Any of you who follow my Facebook page know that I waited/stalked these boots on the Office website. They are a blatant ripoff of the original Chloe version and were sold a couple of years ago. I call them my Bros boots (showing my age there!)

Popular demand led to their return on the website and I pounced! It was seeing them on blogs like this - Link! - that inspired me. The boots are such a plain shape but the detail makes them totally unique - although 1000s of us have them and Topshop do a pretty lovely version too. Either way, winter and it's cooler weather can't come soon enough! :)

PS. If I was to have done an OOTD for the last few evening's it would have almost definitely featured these studded joggers from Topshop

Crotch shot!

These are the perfect "pop-to-the-shops-and-can't-be-bothered-to-get-properly-dressed" bottoms. They are also the type of thing that you could wear with heels and a leather jacket but I am not cool enough to do that so a black vest top and flip flops it has been :)

Okay, end of ramble post!

Speak soon! x
3 Sep 2012

Tom Ford Black Orchid lipstick

This was not a planned purchase. It was one of those lipstick indulgences that you make when shopping with a friend, and you do so because they are buying it and you are a sheep.

The friend in question was Alyson. I had never met Alyson before - only read her fabulous makeup/fashion blog (Link!) - but we had a planned meet up outside the Sephora in Downtown Seattle and that was that. As is so often the case when meeting up with blog friends, it all just falls into place. It's quite special if you think about it - you converse with someone, only digitally, and when you meet them face-to-face you firm up a friendship and chat non-stop for hours!

Here's Alyson1 :)

We made a whirlwind trip round Sephora (I looked for White Russian (fail!) and I bought Tarte Exposed which is nowhere near as wonderful as NARS Douceur - I can review separately if you like) and then before Gin O'Clock, ended up in Nordstrom. Here we stumbled upon the Tom Ford counter and the strongest, most scary lipstick that man sells - Black Orchid.

Yes, I know, it's a pretty rich black/berry colour, and absolutely not up my street. But I have to confess that I have always had a thing for this sort of shade. I can pinpoint a photo in Kevin Aucoin's first book that had me obsessed - clear, tanned, luminous skin, a light, gleaming eye and a black/berry lip. Gorgeous.

Here's the thing with this though. As much as I LOVE that look, and as much as I am more confident with colour on my lips, this feels like a step too far when it's applied full on. I feel like I should be working at End of Century (Gallery Girls reference to anyone appreciative of that series :). It's dark, rich, intense and draws attention in a way that no other lipstick does. Seriously, brick red is a piece of cake compared to this.

So here it is pretty full-on  - I will admit I sometimes sport this around the flat :)

So I don't have the guts to wear this out but don't worry,  it is not destined to sit in a drawer unloved.

That berry/purple tone is PERFECT dabbed onto the lips as a stain and that's exactly what I have been doing the majority of the time. I often pair it with an insipid pink lip product I am trying to use up - AKA Chanel Plaisir lipgloss. Dabbed on it creates the perfect balance of wearable-deep-mauve-lip and it's a look that lasts for hours. Another way of getting this look is to suck on a bottle of red wine.

Annoyingly I don't really have a proper picture of that - the lip strain that is. You can kind of see it in the picture of me below - here I had been wearing it for 3 hours as a stain and you can still make out a mauve tone. It seriously lasts that long...

I know that Chanel and MAC are released/have released colours very similar to this and it makes perfect sense as we welcome in the cooler months. This is the perfect colour to wear in Winter weather. It does look frightening in the tube but I have used it so much as a stain that the TF embossing that marks a fresh lipstick has completely faded away - and this is coming from me, Mrs Muted Mouth. So I would say buy one of these types of colours, experiment with the intensity for fun and wear it as a stain obsessively.

Oh and in terms of my Tom Ford lipstick cravings, it has to be Violet Fatale next. This Tom Ford lipstick thing is becoming a problem.... :)

And while we are at it....

I was going to review this separately. I knew that in a way it was pointless because it's not a new product but I wanted to let you know how much I loved it. It was so beautifully pigmented. It gave the ideal glow. The individual bars of colour actually imparted different tones that the likes of the far more expensive Bobbi Brown versions did not...

But I killed it...

Apparently there was an echo of "Nooooooooo" around the flat when Sleek's Glo in Bronze Baby met my hard tiled floor.

The good news is that it costs about £7 and is something I can pick up in the UK when I pop back at the end of September. The bad news is that I have live without it until then.

Well in any case, this is very good so if you have never tried it, I would whole-heartedly suggest you look into it! :)

And that's about all I have to say this evening! :) Chat soon!