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27 Sep 2013

On my nails: Sally Hansen Berry Juicy

Has anyone actually ever seen Sally Hansen? I ask because I have forever pictured her as a warm, wise older lady and then I read Gemsmaquillage's blogpost about this very topic and = mind. blown.

Anyway, Sally Hansen Berry Juicy. I think you will agree that this is my kind of colour. :)

Of course, I didn't need it. It's the same family as Essie Fiji, China Glaze's Something Sweet or OPI's Mod About You. But I own up and embrace my baby pink polish obsession and when the quality is good, the price low then it makes perfect sense to add another one to the collection.

Seriously, the consistency and quality of this is fantastic. It lasts at least 4 days without significant chipping and for me that is excellent going.  It's an opaque creamy finish in 2 coats. Coat 1 is a streaky mess of course but coat 2 brings everything together.

This shade was part of the summer collection so I really hope it's still around for people to try. I got it a few weeks ago.

Like I said though there are many dupes - China Glaze's Something Sweet is the closest judging by swatches online. Berry Juicy is a little richer than Essie Fiji (and less of a difficult bitch to apply) and is more of a pure pink when compared to the lilac undertones that run through OPI Mod About You but they are all in the same family.

I mean, you can hardly tell the difference between one thumb and the other can you?

Have you tried this polish?

In other news, I am so excited for the weekend. I have a couple of days off work so hopefully it's going to be a nice, relaxing break with zero email checking. I am off to the beach tomorrow so expect many annoying pictures of gorgeous sunsets and artfully placed cocktails :) 
22 Sep 2013

The Reiss Didsbury Dress

This marks the first of many outings for this dress.

Out of all the things I saw at the REISS press day, this was the "one" that I had to have. It was special. I loved the weight and quality of the fabric, the shocking red shade, the cutwork detail at the base and the round neck/dipped back combo. It's bodycon-meets-a-line.

It's a practical choice...I would like to think.

I can wear this to work/in the evening if I wanted but I can equally wear it to brunch on a sweaty Friday. It goes best with heels (a metallic sandal would be a good choice) but I can get away with flats if I am feeling slightly more realistic.

FYI: This is one of those REISS items that borders on overpriced. I have a discount card which is why I bought it in the first place but a red dress is not a novel offering at this time of year: most of the high street stores are offering a variation on this - ASOS and Mango are just two more reasonably priced examples.

Dress: REISS - Link!
Bag: Celine
Sunglasses: Celine
Shoes: Christian Louboutin (PS. one of the spikes has fallen off. I do wear these alot but IMHO that's pretty crap quality..)

I had one of those "I hate my hair" moments last week and made a hair appointment in anger. I have been secretly toying with the idea of a radical chop and have been thinking along these lines...

My theory was: maintain the extensions so that I can achieve that blunt edge with the cut (I got them for thickness after all) but freshen things up, cut some length and perhaps spend the next 12 months writing blogposts that lament the loss of my long, dry and damaged hair.

That was the plan.

Typically in the days since I have had outstanding hair days where everything has fallen into place. Waves have dropped beautifully and the roots have had the right amount of volume. Why does this always happen?

I think this means my request to the hairdresser will be the removal of centimetres rather than inches. Maybe a more dramatic transformation next time? ... :)

16 Sep 2013

Addicted to shopping

A couple of work OOTD's for you...and both feature the same skirt, albeit in different colours.

This skirt was one of my REISS new season purchases. As soon as I left the preview event held a couple of weeks ago I mentally planned to get the gorgeous red dress (mission accomplished) and maybe some new work-friendly clothes. Nothing like new clothing to motivate a work day! That reads terribly but at the same time, oh so true.

I love this skirt style. The high waist, the concealed zip, the gentle flare and the addition of pockets. It's flattering, doesn't crease even after sitting for hours and works in both hot weather and cold (with opaque tights). I bought it in a neutral shade that will go with everything other than my pale skin and black.

Here it is in action. Apologies for the boring background for my OOTD's lately. I find the self-timer malarkey way less embarrassing than asking a friend/loved one! :)

Skirt: REISS - Link!
Belt: REISS - Link!
Shirt: Zara
Sunglasses: ASOS
Bag: Celine

Skirt: REISS - Link!
Shirt: REISS - Link!
Sunglasses: Celine
Bag: 3.1 Philip Lim
Lips: Jane Iredale lipstick in Margi

I will leave you with my latest ASOS purchase.

There were other items that came in the most recent delivery but most of them left me feeling duped by misleading photography and catwalk shows. This little coin purse from New Look however made me smile.

I love coin purses. Rebecca Minkoff's have always caught my eye because of the quirky messages. New Look have clearly ripped this off and the end result is a purse that feels more
-ette than leather but that's what you get when you spend less than £4. It's my new favourite thing :) Link!

See you soon...probably tomorrow with a little makeup post!

10 Sep 2013

Jane Iredale lipstick in Margi

It's not often that I wear a statement colour on my lips. Whilst I love the impact I still break out in a hive of self-consciousness on occasion. It has to be said that it's worth letting the lips take over sometimes. You just have to find the right tone or shade to reflect your mood.

Tom Ford Wild Ginger does it. MAC Impassioned does it. Sephora lip stains do it. And now Jane Iredale's PureMoist lipstick in Margi does it too!

All I know about Jane Iredale is via the received wisdom of LisaLisaD1 on YouTube. I know that the mineral makeup and the under-eye concealers are good but I haven't heard any chatter about any other product from the line. Ever.

I was sent this and was not convinced about it initially. This was pre-judgment of the colour in the tube - the shade is far deeper and berry-toned when seen in the bullet. The packaging also felt a little cheap....well we live in a world of uber-luxe design c/o Tom Ford and Dior don't we, and price wise this is in a similar arena.

(Incidentally I did notice that the UK market seems to have different packaging for this range...and it also does not have this colour/renamed it to something else. Anyway...)

It's worth getting over the snobbery though because the consistency is near perfect. It's richly pigmented, creamy (but not greasy) and has the added bonus of smelling delicious. Margi is from the PureMoist range and they seem to have created the right balance of matte versus glossy. It has decent staying power but won't withstand a hearty meal...Pizza Express Linguine alla Genovese con Pollo for example ;)

Colour wise this seems to be equal parts red, pink and berry toned. For those of us (ie, me!) who feel that a pure red is hard to carry off, this is the nearest I have probably ever got. It reminds me of MAC's Barcelona Red but obviously richer in colour.

I wore it today with Laura Mercier Silk Creme in Sand Beige (consistency of Chantecaille Just Skin but with mask like coverage), Guerlain bronzer, Bare Minerals blusher in The Secret's Out (NARS Sin's weaker sister), Chanel Les Beiges (30) on my eyes (AKA cannot be bothered with eyeshadow but need "something"), some sloppily applied kohl eyeliner and Benefit They're Real mascara!

So there you have it. My favourite statement lip product of the moment. What's yours?

Jane Iredale can be purchased online - Link! - or if you're in Dubai and want a closer look you can see it in Tips n Toes, The Cure in DMC, Al Shunnar Clinic in Jumeirah, Fairmont on the Palm or Elite Medical Centre. 
8 Sep 2013


I detest the consistency of silicone primers. There is just something about their smoothness that sets me on edge and they become the tactile equivalent of nails down a blackboard.

It's all a bit of a double standard though because FACE Atelier foundation and Giorgio Armani Luminous silk are perfect fine. They may be infused with silicones but somehow I accept and deal without complaint. Give me the likes of Smashbox Photofinish primer however and it's a difference story - the consistently literally make me shiver in discomfort.

It's very strange then to admit that I like Benefit's The Pore Professional. The consistency is all silicones and once spread on the face gives it that un-nerving uber-smooth and even finish, filling in fine lines and pores.

I got this a couple of days after I wrote the glowing review of Chanel's primer. Yes, the little moan I had about the packaging and the fact that I couldn't tell how much was remaining within the bottle came true the day after I posted - it was in fact all gone.

I went from a luxurious smelling cream to a non-smelling tinted paste type consistency. This was partly due to so many of your recommendations and I have to say you were right - it works really well.

I use this in one of two ways:

1) Applying it on my T-zone in the morning as the base before makeup. This seems to help control my mega-nose pores from emerging prematurely. Longevity wise we are talking 5-6 hours.

2) Applying it on the same area in the afternoon. This is actually my favourite way of using it. I apply a little amount on my T-zone at that 5pm mark when makeup seems to have faded from view. I do this instead of slapping on more base. It gives a soft matte smooth finish and to the eye, makes it look like you have makeup on your skin. .

I have read that my positive reaction to this product is not the norm - some of you hate it because it causes break outs and effectively blocks pores. I have my fingers firmly crossed that it won't do the same to me...I really hope these are not famous last words but... I am loving it so far.  All I need to do is get over my #siliconeshivers and then maybe it would be a great-slash-perfect product :)

Have you tried this? Am I the only weirdo out there with a dislike of that consistency?

4 Sep 2013

The 2in1 Dress

I have posted about Dorothy Perkins dresses before. I love the way they fit, the fact that they wash and dry easily and that they are relatively affordable. So when I was asked to choose an item from the new collection, "dresses" was the first section I scanned on the site.

The 2in1 dress you see below forms part of their "Style Essentials".

The whole premise of which is that all we need are 10 pieces to form the basis of Autumn/Winter 2013.

These are 10 items that can be paired easily with existing clothes in your wardrobe and the starting price is £14, which makes it an affordable approach to a new season style update.

For some reason I get a bit excited when people talk about capsule wardrobes. I think it's because it's a concept I have aspired to for years but in equal measures, have also failed miserably at.

I am too greedy and attracted by newness to ever make it happen and so any attempts at simplifying my wardrobe are ruined when I bring home bags upon bags of goodies. But...as an idea I am all over it. Maybe this season I will make it happen? ;)

Onto the dress...

The dress itself is a gorgeous blend of black and blush. It has an embellished neckline (very pretty/very hair tangle-prone), a built in blush "bodice" or vest to stop it becoming totally see through and a fitted style. I think it's very flattering and it feels good to wear. It's a great evening work-do kind of dress.

My one criticism, and one that I saw someone on the site give in their review, is that it could do with an extra inch or two of fabric. I love pencil skirts/dresses when they come just over the knee. Whilst more fabric does not naturally equate to "more sexy" I think that's when this style looks it's very best.

Dress: Dorothy Perkins - Link!
Shoes: Christian Louboutin "Simple" pump...years after purchase they are starting to get comfortable!
Sunglasses: Celine

PS. Dorothy Perkins are hosting a competition for UK based readers where one of you can win £500 worth of winter wardrobe goodness. Follow the link - Link! - to be in with a chance and if you win do let me know!  :)

Now is it Dorothy Perkins or Dotty P's for you? :)
1 Sep 2013

Mini beauty haul!

I have so many beauty posts to do right now. I thought I would kick things off with a little haul/review.

I made a couple of orders recently - one from Space NK and one directly from Lime Crime cosmetics. In both cases the orders were modest and restrained - just two items. I say this to you as if I deserve a round of applause.

I have had them for a week or so now and have formed some opinions. Here we go...

Oribe Dry Texturising Spray

First of all, this is bloody expensive. I added this to the basket on the Space NK site and balked at the price. £38 for the larger tube! I did commit to purchase because it is so hyped up that I thought it must surely be worth it. Right?

Well I don't know. There is no denying that this gives hair "oomph". It's classic dry shampoo territory - without the horrid white residue. It lifts the hair, adds thickness and volume that lasts until the next hair wash. I like the packaging and I like the speed at which the product dispenses itself from the canister. If you have ever tried Batiste XXL you will know what this means.

Now it all sounds so positive and yes, its a good product. However, I really expected something unique. And it isn't really. I find this incredibly similar/if not the same to Sacha Juan's Volumising Powder and Davines Hair Refresher. Both of those work just as well and I think, ml for ml work out cheaper.

It's fairly early days so I will keep using it but if I had to record my first impressions that would be it.

Lipstick Queen - Hang Ten

Along with the Sacha Juan came Lipstick Queen's Hang Ten.

Now I love the consistency of Poppy King's lip products. They are incredibly smooth and moisturising. Hang Ten is an easy, breezy nude that was actually part of the Spring/Summer collection. I did ooh and aah over it for a couple of months and just thought "sod it" when it finally came to buying it. In truth I could totally live without this.

It does feel lovely when applied - that light, glazed finish that makes lips look shiny and plump - but the colour is unremarkable. On me it's a light, nude wash of colour - an effect that is barely there and I should have therefore barely bothered with!

Lime Crime lipsticks in Coquette (L) and Babette (R)

Whatever the scoop is on Lime Crime - and there is quite a negative one - you have to admit that the packaging is amazing! I don't mean in a "chic-Tom-Ford" kind of way but in a "I'm in my 30s and coo over holographic unicorns kind of way".

I saw a link on Twitter about their latest release - Babette - and loved the look of it. It's a pastel coral, bright but wearable. I ordered that and then, for the hell of it, also added Coquette. Coquette is described as more of a pale, peachy-nude.

In person they look quite similar, although once applied there is just enough of a difference. My favourite has to be Babette. It's exactly what I thought it would be - a pretty shade, bright enough to add colour but light enough to be an easy everyday. It's totally different to all the light coloured lipsticks I own.

(FYI: Daylight dilutes the colour slightly)

The same cannot be said of Coquette. It's nice - just as pigmented and rich on first application - but it's a shade that reminds me of 101 other shades. Look at the picture below: I am sure you can also say the same!

The Lime Crime lipsticks are easy to wear - not too dry but still opaque and a light matte finish.

There is something about the consistency that I don't love though - it's almost as if there is a slight greasiness to them...they glide on nicely but that slick doesn't help them hang around for long. This may be a climate issue but they in no way beat the likes of MAC's Amplified in terms of finish.

I do think the strength of the brand lies in the crazy colours that you can get but it's nice to see some more wearable offerings coming from them lately.

And that concludes my first impressions of my recent beauty haul.

It reads quite negatively when I read it back but I think that honesty is always the best policy :)

Have you tried any of these products?

PS. Judging from those fresh indents I really abuse my lipsticks a lot!