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19 Jul 2013

The Faux Leather Wedge

I call it the Kim Sears effect.

Ever since I spotted her Aldo Lappas wedges during Wimbledon, I have been looking for that same kind of versatile style. (PS. Her hair would be nice too)

 So I started to look for the right wedge for me.

The thing is I am a bit funny about wedges. The Lappas looked great on her but I know I would feel like an inelegant clump if I wore the same. I want height but I want comfort. I want a wedge but it can't be too wedge-y.  And they need to come in a neutral colour so I can wear them with everything.

I did a bit of searching, flirted with the idea of a Stuart Weitzman purchase but ultimately found the perfect pair in Forever 21. There I was in the Dubai Mall branch one night this week, flicking through dresses that looked like tops and skirts that looked like belts and I just stumbled across them.

They are the perfect neutral shade and have a style that feels quite Alexander Wang-y. I didn't have that much faith that they would fit but they did. And they look great. The nude is more in the beige family and I think would work on any skin tone as a result.

Faux leather probably doesn't lend itself to making your feet smell great but I can walk in them without staggering. They are pretty comfortable. I read reviews on the Forever 21 site from others that also love them. Apparently they also come in black... :)

I wore them yesterday with a denim shirt and my ASOS shorts. These shorts have been my companion this week. I seriously love them. I wouldn't wear them to a mall (especially considering the fact that it's Ramadan) but they are great for casual mooching and would be okay in a beach area.

Wedges: Forever 21 - Link! (could only find these on the US site)
Sunglasses: ASOS
Shorts: ASOS - Link!
Denim shirt: American Eagle
Bag: Givenchy Antigona (small)

Roger got some good news the other day - he had an X-ray and his paw is looking really good. He still has to take it easy but the vets are happy. I can't recommend Al Safa vets highly enough. They are not the cheapest option but they saved his little leg. Thank you for all your kind messages about him :) 
16 Jul 2013

Dior Addict Eau Delice!

I have mentioned before how I love the diffusion scents that perfume houses bring out this time of year. The spin-offs from the flagship fragrances are always lighter, younger, fresher and prettier. Dior Addict Eau Delice is the latest one that I have tried and it fits that description quite accurately both in terms of look and actual scent dry down.

Picture below: Dior Addict Eau Delice and a collection of lip products that gave me heart palpitations.

Now lets get this out of the way first. I don't love the original. It's nice, it's okay but if you asked me to describe what it's like I couldn't tell you. It's just not that special or interesting on me.

So I really wasn't sure I would like this. The rose-ombre bottle is stunning but what about the stuff in it?

I have spent the last 2 weeks wearing it and this is what I have learned:

1) The initial spray on the skin reveals something completely unremarkable. It doesn't smell unique or interesting but instead smells quite generic - musk, jasmine and fruits. It's not horrid but it's certainly not "wow" either.

But...then the dry down happens.

2) The dry down transforms this. In perfume lover terms it becomes something "gourmand". I sat at my desk many a times last week and detected something really, really nice. It's sort of creamy and smooth - red berries mixed with light yasmine and ylang ylang, (the latter of which I never know how to pronounce.)

I think the fruit factor is crucial because that note combination could easily be too musky/Grandma but sweet notes keep it fresh.

3) Longevity is average. It's not a determined lingerer but a spray every 6 hours or so keeps it topped up nicely. And I really don't mind doing that.

This is exactly the kind of product they market to you in duty free when you are killing time before your holiday flight. And for good reason. It's evocative of balmy nights/warm skin and all other vacation cliches. I eat that stuff up so for that reason I would definitely recommend it! :)

Have you tried this?

PS. I don't want to offend anyone with my comments on Dior Addict (original). As you know, it's all about how your body chemistry reacts to the notes etc.!

Yellow pants!

I am very open to the use of yellow. I like it in accessories, home interiors and when used on clothes. It doesn't always go my way though.

Last year I bought a pair of jeans from Topshop and I was so very excited to wear them. I quickly realised though that they were that kind of denim that reveals your cellulite to the world...thin material/grossly unflattering.

I never give up though and when I saw these chinos in GAP it was a "bingo" moment. GAP being GAP I knew the fit would be generous and slouchy - even if they define the fit as skinny. They are also that perfect in-the-middle shade - bright but not so much that you couldn't wear these to work.

I paired them with the standard uniform. I call this "digital agency casual" because it's exactly what I would wear to work :) ....H&M white vest/old Zara blazer with shoulder pads/big back-aching bag and heels that look nice but are damn uncomfortable!

Chinos: GAP - Link!
Top: H&M
Blazer: Zara
Bag: Philip Lim Pashli
Shoes: Christian Louboutin


I may do another post today so if yellow pants are not your thing, stay tuned :) 
14 Jul 2013

More issues than Vogue

I got this More issues than Vogue tee from eBay. Of course it's a copy of something that has been floating around for a few years but it was £8.99 and I am perfectly okay with paying that amount for it. :)

I wore it today, paired with a whole lot of other stuff from ASOS, some old, some new.

* The shorts - simple black tailored shorts that are a perfect length: short but not cheek-skimming. There is nothing worse that seeing a hint of cheek-meets-thigh. At least at my age.

* A white blazer - this comes complete with PU lapels and has a reassuringly long-line.  I like the quality of this - it's a good staple, especially if balanced with skimpy or tight bottoms because of it's oversized nature.

* Sunglasses - now these I really, really LOVE. I primarily got these because I loved the solid black colour and the fact that there are almost certainly a copy of a Thierry Lasry style that I covet...but you know, for £10 rather than £300. I am going to seriously love wearing these.

I stupidly failed to take a picture of them on their own so instead you get a triple whammy featuring aforementioned sunglasses, my new monogrammed phone case (thank you Etsy!) and my favourite gloss of the moment - Dior Dormeuse :)

Shorts: ASOS - Link!
Blazer: ASOS - Link!
Tee: eBay - Link!
Sunglasses: ASOS - Link!
Bag: Alexander Wang

You can't really tell in the photo above but my hair is pretty darn big at the moment. I had a moment of weakness in the hair tools section of Waitrose the other day and paid over the odd for the Babyliss spinny brush thing. I am pretty sure I got the same thing as the "Big Hair" but the European version which they market as Beliss?

I have only used it once and although it wasn't exactly a cinch to use I did love the end result. Big hair with a hint of salon blow dry. I need to get practicing/researching precisely how I use this though. I can already tell it has potential :)

See you tomorrow!
13 Jul 2013

3 gold rings

I do love iddy biddy jewels and my favourite category for that would be rings.

About a month ago I was cruising Catbird NYC - a site that has made delicate rings it's USP and whilst I really, really wanted to go mad and order in bulk I headed over to Etsy instead. Etsy seldom lets me down.

A search or two later and I found a set of 3 gold rings. They are teeny, tiny, coated in gold, and have a feature ring which houses a little piece of red enamel. 

It's just the sort of thing I eat up.

*Add to basket*

I think this did ship really quickly but I had it sent to my UK address. My parents arrived today and with them came love and online orders :) 

The rings cost about £20 and I got them from this store - Link!

PS. On my nails is a combination of Essie Waltz and Marshmallow. In real life it's a super pretty soft white. A new favourite - especially on my toes!

I have next week off work - bar a presentation I have to do on Monday - and I cannot wait for my staycation. 

It is Ramadan at the moment so life is quite different in Dubai - no chewing/eating/drinking/playing loud music etc in public between sunrise/sunset - but it's also a time for reflection and family so the fact that my parents are here is pretty perfect :) 
8 Jul 2013

Venturing into GAP

I remember when I used to venture into the King's Road GAP on a regular basis. A few years ago they had great little cropped blazers, pretty tops and the odd shirtdress that I loved so much I bought on sight.

I still like the simple separates - and the jeans are great - but I just haven't visited with the same regularity. I am not sure why.

Emirates Woman invited me to come back into the store and pick up some items from GAP's Spring/Summer collection as part of a global styld.by campaign. GAP realise that people don't wear their brand head to toe so want to see how items are incorporated into an existing wardrobe. I quite like that concept - it's realistic.

Of course, me being me, I gravitated towards safe and simple neutrals. And I found some really nice pieces.

The first outfit is pictured below....this was taken VERY early on a hot Sunday so I couldn't quite manage a smile. Clearly.

Can you spot my REISS shirt and Topshop blazer? :) The skirt and bag are of course from GAP. The skirt is very neutral in colour - a beige/gold mix - and very easy to mix with lots of different things. I have since worn it with a white tee and sparkly sandals for a very paired down look.

Skirt: GAP - can't find this exact copy online but the neon versions are up if you are a bit more adventurous :) Link!
Shirt: Reiss - Link! in the sale
Blazer: Topshop - Link! sold out online but in stores (probably) :)
Bag: GAP - Link!
Belt: old Hollister or GAP...not sure.
Shoes: not pictured but old Sam Edelman's
Mardy face: Model's own

See more looks of the day on the GAP OOTD site - http://www.styld-by.com/

I will post a couple of other outfits in the next couple of weeks but out of everything I saw in store my absolute favourite was a good ole stripey knit.

Not sure what's going on with my hands...

It's instantly wearable, comfortable and I think it looks pretty nice too :)

The knit has a nice chunky finish and I like the collegiate style. It's exactly the kind of thing that personifies the brand - great quality, affordable and very easy to incorporate into your lifestyle.

Sweater: GAP - Link!
Shorts: ASOS - Link!
Sunglasses: matte grey Ray Ban Wayfarers stolen from other half! - Link!

What are your experiences of GAP?

PS. We have all moved in.

It was slightly traumatic but the process of trying to unpack is nearly complete. I absolutely love our new place though - mainly because of the fact that it has a garden and outdoor space is such a luxury.

Needless to say, Roger is very happy :)

See you soon...probably with a perfume review!

4 Jul 2013

Pick Me Up

I am wrecked. It's been one of those weeks at work that seems to consist of never-ending project deadlines, proposal submissions and emails. Think stints at the office that last until 9pm (if you're lucky). That bright, shiny disposition I sported on Sunday has rapidly disappeared and I am a tired, personality-free zone. The cherry on top is the fact that I am moving tomorrow so have the joy of packing to contend with as well.

I know, I know. Moaning about having a job and being made to work hard is bloody dull. It's therefore time for a change of mood and a pick me up.

I have a couple of guaranteed rituals that I follow for this. A large glass of McGuigan's Black Label Merlot and a 10 hour kip go a long way but on an even more superficial level getting smooth skin and a faux glow going also works wonders.

I have done this for years, whipping it out as a solution to any occasion where I feel a bit low/tired/depressed/stressed. For whatever reason it always makes me feel better and there are two products that are PERFECT for this.

The Faux Glow

Meet bottle number 10 of Soltan's self tanner.

I have mentioned this before but attention in that case was on the spray version.

Forget it. It's all about the mousse. And the Medium/Dark version of it at that. You get this in Boots for about £4 and you will end up with a subtle hint of colour on the skin that fades nicely and looks natural.

I did have a flirtation with Rodial's fake tan recently and whilst I do rate that, the Soltan products wins overall for me. It's accessible, super easy to apply (dries in 60 seconds) and colour wise, presents something believable for someone like me who only has an office tan.

If you are used to the intensity of Xen-Tan then this will most likely disappoint because it's more natural (read:light) but for gradual tanning junkies or those who want a product that takes the edge off a pale palour, then give it a go.

NB: I wore this in my D&G lipstick post...a few of you were asking what tan I was wearing! :) 

The Scrub

When I smell Elemis Frangipani Monoi Salt Glow, I smell "holiday". It's a mixture of coconut and sweet frangipani flowers and absolutely incredible. I think part of me enjoys smelling this more than the actual scrub part. I am 100% going to buy the body oil version of this scent for that reason.

This is "a lovely scrub". It refines the skin and then leaves that light film of oil that makes everything feel soft, nourished and well cared for. When you add in the amazing scent into the mix then it really is the perfect pick me up.

In terms of effect it's probably no different from The Sanctuary salt scrub - a product I absolutely love - but as I said before, it's all about the fragrance. Price wise it's a lot more to pay of course but I am justifying it by the fact that this year's holiday consists of a "staycation". If I can't go to a tropical island then it can damn well come to me :)

You can buy Elemis at www.elemis.ae (across the Middle East/free delivery in the UAE), Bloomingdale's, Dubai Mall and Debenhams Mirdif City Centre. In Kuwait you can get this in Harvey Nichols - The Avenues Mall.

I would love to know what your beauty pick me ups are when you are feeling wrecked from work/school/life so if you have any tips or tricks let me know.

Now I am off to pack up my shoes and clothes...wish me luck! :)