Warning: this post features kitten heels

I apologise in advance for this post. I know that kitten heels aren't for everyone.

I understand and sometimes I am not keen myself. It's strange really because there was a time (circa 1999) when I was all over LK Bennett and those little pointy-toed heels. They gave a little lift and a little smartness.

But then the platform and the skyscraper heel took over and kitten heels became a thing of the past.

Well it seems that I am officially bringing them back into my wardrobe. I spied these Louboutin rip-offs in Zara over the weekend and immediately thought "workwear".

It's a practical shoe - I am not denying that - but they are incredibly comfortable and do actually feel quite elegant. I think the key is all in the mini metal heel and pointed toe. 

I wore them today - first outing and no blisters to report - and dressed them down. Cue jeans and a blazer :)







Jeans: Cheap Monday
Top: Urban Outfitters tank
Blazer: H&M
Shoes: Zara - Link!
Bag: Miu Miu
Sunglasses: RayBan

The perfume that I wore today - and have been obsessed with ever since I got it in last week's GlamBox is Mon Parfum by M. Micallef.


In the words of Vince Vaughan in Swingers (one of my favourite films of all time!) this is "money".

It smells rich in a way that commercial fragrances seldom do. Another word could be gourmand. It's passionfruit, vanilla and caramel all mixed into a sweet musky concoction. It's like nothing else I have tried which is no doubt why I can't fully describe it - look to Luckyscent

Sadly this little sample is spent - thanks to a handbag spillage - and it's going to be a while before I feel prepared to spend $240 on a bottle of perfume :)

I hope you are all well! After my weekend in the UK I am back in Dubai and ready with lots of posts. Next up is some very pretty and very affordable dainty jewellery I have found on etsy and ebay :)

See you all very soon - i.e., tomorrow!

Pleather and jersey

It's still very windy in Dubai and I really couldn't submit myself to the trauma of a short skirt again so I went with a much more practical pair of leggings.

I bought these in H&M last summer because their panel pleather detail was a nod to the slick-look trend without being too overwhelming. It's been such a long time since I wore simple leggings that I forgot how comfortable they truly were.

I paired them with another H&M staple vest top and whilst I considered Tory Burch flats I thought of the video I posted yesterday and the fact that the he/she spitefully says: "she was wearing....Tory Burch flats" :p

So I wore my £15 New Look boots that have seriously become one of my favourite pairs of shoes. A little turn up on the leggings and they worked well.

I think I am ready to take the step and indulge in a pair of full on pleather bottoms...the key I think is a top that covers arse. If you wear something like that - a cosy knit is even better - then it works well.






Top: H&M
Leggings: H&M
Boots: New Look
Bag: Balenciaga

I need some guidance!

I am about to place a Selfridges order. The reason why it's Selfridges is because I like the fact I can order MAC and NARS and Tom Ford in one - there is no other website that offers that.

In my basket so far is:
  • Tom Ford Blush Nude lipstick (have sought this out in Dubai and they are PERMANENTLY out of stock...it has not become embarrassing to ask the SA in Harvey Nichols)
  • Tom Ford liquid foundation; and
  • NARS Douceur blush (heard it's quite like Tarte Exposed and it looks like that kind of smouldering and sculpting colour that I adore)
Now tell me, looking at the site, what else would you get?

Link!

I am thinking about that Suqqu brow pen but is there anything else that you would splurge on ?

Oh decisions....! :p

Forgive the cheese but...hair we go again!



Look past that achingly faux smile in the photo. I was not pleased with my hair today. You see, this morning I had a brain wave and decided to straighten it. I haven't done that for months and I wanted to see what it looked like/how long it was.

And the verdict once complete?

Ewwww.

When straightened it took on a totally different look and feel. In other words:

* The colour looked brassy
* The look was flat and lank

It's funny how different it made me feel. Whereas the wavy hair makes me feel confident and pretty, this made me feel depressed and drab.

I was "this" close to cutting bangs/fringe in an effort to make it feel more exciting when I thought of the video below...watch it all (as it is funny) but specifically focus on 1 min 41 - 1 min 48. That IS ME when it comes to fringes. I want it, I get it, I hate it :)


Despite that I am still thinking about cutting in some layers. To go professional or to DIY? :)

Onto some perfume

I wanted to give this a mention as I have been wearing it constantly since I got it.

This was a perfume exchange with one of my oldest friends in Dubai - old as in I have known him for a long time by the way (we worked together) and not in age.

We are both perfume nuts and agreed to exchange for Christmas. This I highly recommend you do with any similar minded friends. There is nothing more special than receiving a perfume from someone who picked it out because it reminded them of you.

He got Bulgari Black and I got...Ferre eau de parfum by Gianfranco Ferre.

This was released a while ago and reminds me of Calvin Klein Beauty in it's notes.

Think of soft, misty florals and fruits sitting atop a warm sensual base. It's unassuming and inoffensive. Iris lies at the heart of the notes and for that reason it has been compared favourably with F. Malle's Iris Poudre. If you like that, and you like these soft fragrances that have a hint of powder about them then you will adore this.  

And finally...

I got my first GlamBox today. Yes, the beauty box phenomenon has hit the UAE.

I will spare you the review right now - I know how exciting and original beauty box review posts are - but this had a couple of nice products in it, including an Arden lipstick I wore in the post above.

I still can't make up my mind about these programmes though. Part of my brain screams "scam" and the other coos at the thought of monthly parcels winging their way to me. I might do a thought piece on it soon so prepare yourselves :)

Hope the week started well for you!

The Crossover Back Dress

It probably wasn't the best day to wear this outdoors. A short hemline and windy weather go together like oil and water.

However, I scuttled indoors to the lunch venue as quickly as I could so these photos were taken in a rare moment of wind downtime.

This is a play on the famous Zara skater dress - the only difference being the crossover back which demands a strategic bra choice.

I love the colour - a soft, pale mint - and the overall shape is uber-feminine to the point where it makes me feel like a cutesy walking cupcake. In other words, a little bit gag worthy.

For that reason I had to add the chunky brown belt and a grown up structured bag. Without those two details it just looks a bit silly on me.

As with most dresses, it could be successfully paired with tights, New Look boots and a nice black/contrasting colour coat of the same length. I am obsessed with tights at the moment and absolutely gagging to wear them next weekend in the UK :)





Dress: Zara - Link! (I bought this months ago but it is apparently part of the new season collection, proving that Dubai's stock is a little different to the rest of the world's)
Shoes: Tory Burch - Link!
Bag: Celine
Sunglasses: Ray Ban

Onto reading material...

I don't think we have talked "books" for a while have we?

Well I have two important points to make:

1) I regret the day I downloaded Beautiful Disaster by James McGuire.

I will admit that I didn't have particularly high hopes - I wanted it for poolside reading - but there is nothing worse than enduring a book where you feel absolutely no compassion or understanding of the main characters. The story itself rambles through a destructive relationship but it feels completely devoid of structure or development. The experience is bloody weird!

In a twisted sense it is probably worth checking out for all of the reasons above and especially as it seems to attract completely polarised opinions. Some people adore it and others hate it.

Read the reviews on GoodReads.com to see for yourself! It's quite entertaining reading!

2) In total contrast I am absolutely LOVING my current book - Olives by Alexander McNabb. This may be because the previous book made me question my own sanity but I think its mainly because:

a) It's well written
b) There is an enticing storyline with characters that evolve at a steady pace; and
c) It touches on complex themes, with a landscape of Middle Eastern politics and romance underpinning the book.

I know, I know. The inclusion of those themes means that it sounds like it has potential to be frightfully dull BUT it isn't at all. There are lots of little twists and the ending is apparently an unpredictable surprise... I cannot wait to continue reading it and let me know if you decide to download it and join me :)

Hope you are all well...think the next post will be about a perfume I was given last week and LOVE!

x

Where do you stand on Wildfox?

So here's the thing.

I love the creative that the Wildfox brand produce. I think their advertising campaigns are inspirational and market leading.

I have an appreciation for their more expensive White Label and the mainstream couture collection.

I like some of the gimmicky tops and their "Fangs are Fantastic" jumper will always remain the one that got away.

Having said this though I have never bought anything from them. I refuse to pay $100 for cotton and I especially refuse to do so because if you walk into any Forever21 these days you can see Wildfox copies left, right and centre. The end result is that the original gets cheapened and tarnished by association.

And to be completely honest, a lot of their stuff I would probably never wear out of the house. It's fun and makes me smile but I wouldn't proudly strut through the streets with a big "I need coffee" emblazoned on my chest - however, true that might be!

But when I was checking out the Shopbop sale and saw a crosses tee, reduced from the near $100 mark to $30, I got it. I had spotted this before on another shopping site (ASOS) and quite liked it in both the cream and the black. It has a slightly distressed finished, oversized sleeves and the crosses run on both the front and bank.

Yesterday I wore it for the first time whilst working from home and a couple of things to note:


a) I would never wear this out with the grey jeans....to me this is crying out for leggings/black denim, black boots with a jacket/coat the same length as the tee.

b) The little design details can be seen throughout the garment - the aforementioned oversized sleeves swing and move nicely when you do.

c) It's quite nice to wear a baggy top sometimes.

d) It did cross my mind (gettit?) that wearing a top with crosses on it might not be ideal to wear in a Muslim country.

e) I think it's worth $30 and I am happy to own it. If I had paid full price I would have felt a little.....well, silly.

Overall then I am looking forward to giving this another whirl and styling it as laid out in (a).

I can now see why people love this brand and binge-haul the gimmicky tops. I am not sure I am going to be doing that but I will happily stalk the likes of shopbop.com for any reduced bargains :)

Oh and I may have bought an "inspired" heart jumper from Forever 21 for indoor weekend wear (*runs away looking sheepish*)
 So where do you stand on Wildfox? 

Casual collegiate?

I popped down the road yesterday to enjoy a drink (or two) at the Sofitel.

I am not sure where this outfit came from but all I knew was that I wanted to be comfy and casual. I like how it turned out. Perfect Saturday wear with a pseudo preppy feel. There's a lot of oversized goods going on - shirt, jumper and bag - and some metallic details in the knit and the shoes.

God bless the last minute wardrobe raid :) 




Shirt: H&M
Jumper: H&M
Jeans: Cheap Monday
Shoes: Chloe (old)
Bag: Celine
Sunglasses: Ray Ban
Watch: Rolex

In keeping with the outfit, I have been so lazy this weekend. It's just been a lot of sleeping, watching films and eating. I always go into a weekend with a list of productive "to do's" but seldom achieve any of them. Case in point all I have managed to do in the last 2 days is:

* Realise that I NEED/WANT to have the Celine Audrey XL sunglasses - do Google them...divine cat eye shape and understated branding.
* Start using Face Stockholm's bronzer in Capri again, eschewing blusher whilst aiming for "Prada ad face structure."We all need something to aim for, don't we? :)
* Buy about 6 shower gels in the Bath and Body Works sale....I don't know why I did this because honestly, when DOESN'T Bath and Body Works have a sale?
* Slap some Chanel Particuliere on my nails, fall in love with it all over again and then get utterly annoyed at the sight of the first chip.
* Finally finish The Killing (series 1) - no more "Yo Linden" for a while which feels a little disheartening.
* Get annoyed whilst browsing in Sephora - No, I don't need help and I don't need to be asked 5 times either! Snap!
* Rediscover my love of porridge for breakfast - but only with a chopped banana stirred into the mix.
* Watch The Devil's Double and realise that Dominic Cooper is an amazing actor - even if I had to turn away at various points during the film.
* Plan a forthcoming week of eating out. It's gonna' be good :)

What did you get up to? :) 

Hair: Products + Routine

I have had quite a few lovely comments and emails from readers - ie, you lot! - regarding my hair.

This is very nice.

You see, my hair typically looks crap so the fact that it has been acknowledged as looking less crap is quite odd!

As you would expect the routine itself is not that complicated - wash, condition, style and go...but there are a few products I absolutely swear by to attain the look that I am going for.

That look by the way is the "imperfect wave". I don't want neat little curls or waves. It's okay to look a bit messy.  I want it to look organic, like I have naturally full, wavy hair texture. I'm all about faking it.

The Products

L-R: Phyto Phytorhum shampoo, Phyto Phytobaume conditioner, Phyto 9 leave in conditioner and Beach Blow texturising mist.

PS. I am not sponsored by Phyto. I just really like their stuff.


L-R: Redken Real Control Thermal Resist, Black & White styling wax, Elnett hairspray, Batiste dry shampoo (used for day after - or even two days after - washing) and Babyliss Conical Wand.

The Routine

This is what it takes:

1) Wash hair - use Phyto shampoo and conditioner - and when hair is about 70% dry, put some Phyto 9 on the ends. We are talking about a 50p dollop size applied from mid lengths to ends. For now this replaces any oil and maybe I prefer this? It's lightweight and yet soothes the ends. I feel odd without it.

2) Prep hair with Beach Blow hair texturiser - i.e randomly spray in the roots. This is a sea salt spray I got last year in Newport Beach - so not exactly easy to find! It's a good product - much better than Bumble & Bumble's - and after heat adds some much needed volume, a "day old" feel and a soft matte finish to the hair.

3) Blast hair with a travel hair dryer (no T3's round this neck of the woods!) and then go to sleep. Yes, that's right. I always wash my hair at night and I let it "rest" before I start the curling ordeal. I do not sleep on wet or damp hair as I will guarantee to wake up with some weird peak at the crown that will require a hair wash to get rid of.

I then go to sleep and ponder on the ultimate hair question: will it be less frizzy by morning?

No.

4) By morning it is still frizzy - and quite big. I like the big part but I also like waves so say bye bye to this look.

5) Spray/drench hair in Redken's Real Control heat protectant. Then locate a hair band - which I continually buy in packs and yet continually lose - and get to work!

6) Heat up the Babyliss curling wand to "scorching" and forego gloves.

(NB. I do not recommend this. Wear the MJ gloves they give you when you buy the wand.)

Separate the hair into sections and start wherever you feel comfortable. For me this is always the bottom section at the front. As a general rule work away from your face. I do this all the way to the back sections - they get curled any way I can do them.

(NB. This whole "curling away from the face" malarkey has taken me years to work out.)

7) For each curl keep the conical wand in place for 5-10 seconds. Ensure the fattest part of the wand is the nearest to the root - the curl should really only appear a few inches away from the hairline. Then release. Ta da!

8) Complete head of hair and marvel at the curls.

9) The next part is the critical part...the brushing.

This softens the waves and makes them look a little more carefree.

For this I use my beloved Mason Pearson Junior brush. I have had this for 15+ years and there is not a day when I don't hold it in gratitude. Do you need to go out and spend $80+ on this brush? No. For reference the Tangle Teezer and the Aveda paddle brush works similarly.

Gently brush the curls.

10) At this point you could stop. However, I always do a couple of final things.

Blasting some Elnett hairspray around the crown is certainly one. But secondly, and the key step, is using a teeny bit of Black & White styling wax to "seal the wave".

This stuff is incredibly cheap and absolutely fantastic. It doesn't weigh down the hair but it will define it for you. If you have flyaways or frazzled ends its also a good quick fix to disguise them whilst still being easy to brush out if you need to. Beats anything I have tried from TiGI, Bumble and Bumble or Aveda. Buy it in Boots/Superdrug/anywhere for just a few pounds.




As the day goes on the hair drops and settles and inevitably looks a lot better than the above picture.

The day after this whole routine I just brush my hair in the morning with the brush (funny that!) and then apply a little more Phyto 9 and/or Black & White wax.

If I feel like it's all looking a bit sad and flat I dry shampoo the shizz out of it and rub manically to remove the "old lady" white residue.

Fin!

I feel like this might be disappointing to read because, as we already knew, I am no hair guru and I haven't revealed anything other than known and rather pedestrian tips and tricks. Still, this is what I currently use and these are the steps I go through.

Whilst I am sworn loyal to Phyto I am still interested in other styling and treatment products so if you have any recommendations please do share them below.

Thank you
x

More pan collars and Tom Ford inspiration

Yes I know. Another pan collar. This was a Christmas present from someone who clearly knows me far too well.

Pale pink, black pan collar and a little keyhole at the front, I have worn it with jeans and today I wore it with a pair of standard black trousers from H&M, Tory Burch black flats and my beloved Zara TRF blazer.

Seriously if you take anything away from this post know that this blazer is a true find. Yes, the button is a little bitch and will therefore mean that you never do it up but it smartens and works with almost anything.

Another blogger that loves this blazer (and all things Zara) is Mila. I saw her post today and agreed that she made a good outfit choice :) Link!

PS. In the photos below you will notice a few things:

1) My hair is quite frizzy.
2) There is a little sushi stain down the top. I wore it on Sunday, clearly dribbled as I ate and only noticed the stain after the photos were taken this afternoon. Honestly this happens quite a lot. I must be a big dribbler.
3) I am holding my bag awkwardly like a prop. I don't know why it worked itself into that position on my arm but it did. And it annoys me.

Oh well. Semi outfit of the day fail :)

Hair flip picture included for the LOLs.





Top: Zara (cannot find this on the website so my guess is that it is new season ?)
Blazer: TRF - Link!
Trousers: H&M (old!)
Sunglasses: Gucci
Bag: Celine 

Tom Ford idol worship

There is actually one other thing I want you to take away today and that is that Tom Ford is the most inspirational designer in the world.

I watched the video embedded below and came to the conclusion that everything about him is impeccable.

You see him as both the designer but as a philosophical and arrestingly perceptive man with a candid value system that reflects what is truly important in life - clue: it's not the crap that I post on here and I know we all recognise this.

Needless to say I found this documentary absolutely fascinating. Don't be put off by either length or the fear of pretentiousness. For reference, there is something of "The September Issue" about it and whilst it's 40 minutes long its well worth foregoing the latest installment of the Real Housewives for....you will come away full of admiration and inspiration.

Can I go on about my love for Tom Ford? Yes.

But I will let him do the talking for now....


VISIONARIES: Inside the creative mind TOM FORD from Cielo Magazine on Vimeo.

The Asymmetric Hem

I feel like such a cliche writing this but....the dress below is a "versatile piece".

It's one of those day-to-night items that can be dressed up or down. Wear with heels, flip flops or booties and accessorize accordingly.

I have worn if a few times and to very different places - some uber smart and some very casual and it just...works. The asymmetric hem makes it interesting and the little keyhole at the back (which I didn't get a photo of) adds a further bit of interest. Yes, it's a basic black dress but one that I have already - and will continue - to get good wear out of.

I also love the fabric composition - polyester and elastane - as it's completely crease resistant and hangs nicely no matter what. Of course, in the height of summer that polyester might not work so well....sweat patches anyone?  :)

I wore this in the latter half of the day - working from home, conference calls etc... - and I will wear it out tonight. I am a little frustrated by the shoe situation. I would LOVE to wear my open-toed Acne wedges with this dress - it's crying out for them - but I stupidly left them in the UK so I am making do with the selection that I have.






Dress: TRF (Zara) - Link! (Check out the model's stance...who art directed that?!)
Shoes: Kurt Geiger (old)
Belt: H&M (swiped from a pencil skirt - tried wearing this dress with a coloured belt and to my eye it didn't work. The fluid shape calls for either a black belt or no belt at all - anything else just breaks it up, makes it look like separates and detracts from the actual dress)
Sunglasses: Gucci

EDIT: Elle just wrote on my Facebook page that it is a "mullet" skirt - so true! Business at the front and party at the back :)

I know this post seems pretty irrelevent for those of you currently living in opaque tights but consider it a heads up for a really good dress that will be useful come March :)

Speaking of tights - I am excited to wear them at the end of this month: popping back to the UK for a few days! I cannot wait to visit the wine aisle in Waitrose (here there is no such thing as a wine aisle in the local supermarket - well there are secret doors to a small wine selection that you need a licence to purchase) and Superdrug where I plan on stocking up on Sleek and trying out the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation! If you have any other cheapy makeup recommendations let me know!

Hope your week is going well x

Big hair and geek glasses...

...seems like that was the motto of the day.

My Saturday was spent slobbing around my flat, catching up on Gossip Girl, tidying up and eating carrot cake. For that reason I decided not to waste the contact lenses I wear on a daily basis, but to don the glasses instead.

I got these last year. I am one of those awful optical consumers that is never happy with her specs. I take years to find some that don't leave me grimacing in the mirror and then when I do finally hit the jackpot by finding a palatable pair, begrudge their exorbitant cost.

They just can't win.

Having said that though, I actually love glasses. I love seeing people wear them. I love all the different styles and I love the transformative effect they can have on a face. If they didn't cost so damn much I might have more than one pair.



So these are my glasses that I picked up from the best opticians in the world - Auberbach & Steele - last year. That place, on the King's Road in London, is a haven. They stock interesting brands and will make sure you walk out with a style that looks good. They are also super nice and non-judgmental about your over-reliance/over-wear of contact lenses. (ie, no lectures - yes, I have had those before from other places!)

PS. My hair looks massive as I just brushed it with my hairbrush (Mason Pearson) - that baby is the key to big hair :) Seriously - that's one of the main things I am doing different with my hair - running a brush through it! Post coming soon :)

Glasses: Dita Courante's in Red Crystaline (I had never heard of Dita when I bought these...only later did I realise they were some big-super-duper brand...clueless!)   
Jumper: Vintage Zara (AKA about 2 years old ;)
Bracelet: Hermes

A pointless aside...

This is a pointless aside as you cannot actually really see/appreciate either product BUT...


On my face I am wearing my latest love affair...the Bioderma Tinted sunscreen.

I changed my tune with this one as I have owned it before and didn't love it at all. It reminded me of Benefit's You Rebel - ie, a colour that didn't quite work and a consistency that never seemed to set.

It might be the climate I am in right now, the fact my skin is not that oily these days or just that I applied it with a kabuki and let it set for 5 minutes but I am enjoying it. The coverage hints at the kind that you get from Chantecaille Just Skin and whilst it feels tacky initially it does set.

LOL at the kind of flash back that you would get from a 100SPF skin base though. 

La Roche Posay...

And an even more pointless mention goes out to the La Roche Posay (LRP) Redermic eye cream.

Two things come to mind when I think of LRP:

a) Their packaging is distinctive because of it's total blandness; and
b) Their products never let me down.

After running out of Avene Ystheal (not one I can pronounce out loud - eeesthe-al?) I thought I would try Redermic and like all creams, I hoped that it would be the one, that it would make a difference. And....well I think it's one of the better eye creams I have ever tried. How's that for a measured statement!?

It has almost completely changed the texture under my eyes. It's far smoother and whilst I still have fine lines I think the combination of vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and dimethicone, the latter of which is a known "soft focus" helper, have massively helped.

It's the kind of cream that I enjoy using because I genuinely think that when I wake up in the morning, my eye area looks rested and fresh - rather than sunken and dehydrated.

It's about £20 a tube from Boots and I think that's a good price.The majority of the reviews that I have seen are on the positive side. Some comments refer to a hunch that it might be drying - I haven't found that and I use it morning and night. Other comments state that you only see real results 2-3 months in. That's fine. I am happy to continue with this one and coupled with my reliance on Effaclar K, I am quickly turning into a LRP fangirl :)

...having said that, if you have any eye cream recommendations for the more active ingredient kind, let me know!

Thanks for reading. That was quite a ramble today...

The Zara coated trousers

These trousers - and many variations on them - have been floating around for some time.

Zara has them in leather, denim and now this coated cotton version.

Now I love the zip detail at the hip and at the trouser foot. I have been very tempted but always reticent to splurge. You see trousers from Zara never seem to fit "right". It's either too big at the waist, too small at the waist, too tight on the arse, too baggy on the arse....it's always something and I generally walk out of the changing room in a huff.

In the case of these trousers however, I am really pleased. They are a bit baggy in places (which I really don't mind as I have enough suck-it-up tight/skinny jeans) and as expected the Zara sizing is a bit strange but they feel comfortable and look a bit more interesting than a standard trouser.

The zipper detail makes them as far as I am concerned - but frustratingly it's all for show as there is no pocket beneath that zip....cue awkward placing of handswhen you intiutively feel for a pocket but come across nothing.

I wore them yesterday whilst popping out for lunch...note this does not mean some lovely outdoor brasserie type affair with waiter service. It meant supermarket.

So yes, nothing special in terms of either event or outfit but in trying to keep things real, this is what I wore! :)


Trousers: Zara - Link!
Vest top: H&M
Shoes: Tory Burch
Watch: Michael Kors
Bracelet: Disney Couture
Bag-that-doesn't-go-but-I-used-it-anyway-as-I-couldn't-be-bothered-to-use-anything-else: Celine

In other news

1) I ripped off my Gelish earlier this week. It wasn't intentional but one fingernail had some lifting, so I peeled...and then before I knew it I was therapeutically removing the rest. Feel very naughty.

2) I spent the last of my Christmas money on a pair of shoes from the Boutique 1 sale. They are of the totally impractical variety :)

3) Urban Decay's Naked Palette is getting daily usage again - Virgin, Naked and Buck....it's all you need for a soft, natural and sultry eye. Am contemplating Naked 2 but not experiencing any massive urges to buy it...not sure I would like it more than this?

4) Finished When God Was A Rabbit last week and loved it. It is written in quite a staccato fashion but the narration moves at a pace and although I didn't feel huge empathy with the characters there was a moment when I cried. And oddly I do associate this kind of emotion with a well-written book. Make me cry and I'm happy.

Currently moving through Ally Condie's Crossed, the second in her trilogy and it's a bit....slow? This is clearly the character development book and so not a lot of action is going on. I just can't give up on a book though - even if I hate it I will persevere. So here goes...

5) Bioderma Tinted Sun Cream is incredible. The coverage is comparable to Liz Earle's Skin Tint but as a product it's far better. No gross scent, 100SPF, a nice "light latte" tint and a cream consistency that sets. This is my weekend-wear product!

6) I have lost alot of my time this week to the Bejewled app. This is probably why posts have been scant. I would recommend it but if you are a fan of Connect 4/Tetris type games...prepare to dedicate/lose hours.

Have a great Friday all!

I smell of Diesel Loverdose

Another ode to perfume rests below...I know it's just smelly water but my God, I love it!
_______________________________________________________________________________
This is a true guilty pleasure perfume - one of those uber-commercial fragrances that you know you shouldn't really like, but you just do.

It's bottle, with more than a design nod to Vera Wang's Princess, shrieks "teen market". The marketing blurb - about how it possesses molecules that stimulate hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for attraction and lust - is stuff to make the eyes roll. And the fragrance itself initially opens just like another Angel-esque clone - sweet, spicy and warm.

But despite all of this, I enjoyed it from the first sniff back in August and put it on my Christmas wishlist. And there is a very specific reason why.

Liquorice. (UK spelling by the way although licorice is far easier to type :)

Yes the Bertie Bassett liquorice note that rests between the woody amber/vanilla base and the bright, sharp mandarin and star anise top notes makes it stand out from the rest of those generic sweet scents.

So here's the perfume journey...

When you first spray it, I will admit, it smells like a load of chemicals. Delightful.

But then within seconds the liquorice emerges. It's strong and almost bitter and when mixed with the vanilla creates a dense, creaminess that mitigates the overt sweetness of the star anise. It's hard to describe - I'm trying and failing here - but after an hour or two your skin smells like a warm and robust cocoa.  And after four hours it's pretty much gone.

Oddly it smells better on my neck that it does on my wrists...in fact right now I am trying to contort my head to smell it so that I can better describe it for you.

Now I don't think it's ground-breaking - and the use of liquorice isn't particularly new: comparisons online refer to Lolita Lempicka, Black XS and Escada Magnetism - but there is something quite interesting and most of all, fun about Loverdose.

Of course it's not going to win any awards for sophistication any time soon - the heart shaped pink glassed bottle saw to that - but it's the kind of perfume that will keep you warm and comforted on a winter's night.

Loverdose has also absolutely confirmed that I need to take the plunge and get Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille. This fragrance has haunted me for about 18 months and yet I still haven't bought it. Why is that? A vanilla scent with liquorice, sandalwood and coconut? I should be ashamed! :)

So, what are you smelling of today? Did you get any perfumes for Christmas?

The Topshop Metallic Animal Print Blazer

I have seen so many posts of what people wore on New Year's Eve - pretty dresses, heels, skirts/blouse combo's etc..

Me? I went with comfy basics and an animal print blazer. Well, you can't teach an old dog new tricks - or should I say a leopard can't change her spots? :)

This blazer was a real bargain! It's currently in the sale and reduced to a third of the price. I had seen it a month ago and whilst seriously tempted to snap it up the reviews generally gave a thumbs down on the quality. It was felt to be too light/cheap to justify a £65 price tag. Having got my hands on it, I sort of understand what they were saying - for a Winter collection piece it is oddly flimsy - but for me it's absolutely fine.

Come spring/summer in the UK (and anywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere) this will be PERFECT with black shorts and white sheer buttoned up shirt. For £20 in the sale I would say it's worth snapping up.

I paired it with some standard pieces and took some quick pictures on the roof of the Yas Viceroy hotel.

Looks busy doesn't it? :) 


Blazer: Topshop - Link!
Jeans: Cheap Monday
Top: TRF
Shoes: Ash
Bag: Celine (PS. This also worked as a weekender bag - crammed ALOT in here!)
Sunglasses: RayBan
Bracelets: Disney Couture and Hermes
Watch: Michael Kors 5055

The rest of the evening was spent at the Coldplay concert in Abu Dhabi - hence the need for comfort. This is my second time seeing them and I have never seen any other band sound like they do live - think like the album but better.

Favourite track? Politik.

This is my one token crap concert photo taken with my mobile phone :)



After that it was a two hour walk to find a taxi fuelled by an evening meal of gin and popcorn.
I hope you had a good New Year's Eve and that you are doing well with your resolutions. Mine are identical to last year's:

* Drink more water
* Read a book a week

Let's see how it goes :)
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