Sunday, 30 March 2014

March Lust List


It might be a little late in the month to do a wishlist posting, but people seemed to like my last one (it's the most viewed post of that month on here) and I certainly always carry one around with me in my head, so I thought I'd share it!

I'm going to have to be a bit careful with the old pennies this month. As well as still saving up to cover moving costs (which feels doubly painful when there's no dream house to go to as yet!), I've splashed out this month on a new iPhone. I decided a while ago to take a smaller monthly payment rather than an upgrade on my phone contract, so I've been saving the pennies so that I can get a new handset. I know it will be a good decision in the long run and leave me free to swap when I want but it's been an expensive month buying it!

So, here is my March wishlist:


Nip + Fab Viper Venom Eye Fix

£14.95,nipandfab.com/shop/ 

Viper Venom Eye Fix

You'll probably know by now that I'm really into Nip + Fab products. I just think they're really effective, and there are a couple of items from the range that are firm favourites of mine already. So I don't know why I've never tried any of their eye products, considering I struggle with puffiness, fine lines and dark circles (all at once!) and my under-eyes are one of the worst things!

Viper Venom Eye Fix came in one of the beauty boxes this month (sadly, not one I subscribe to!) and I was really sad -  I would so much rather have had this than what came in my rather lame Birchbox this month (see what that was), so it brought it front and centre to me.

This beauty is packed with great actives. It has wrinkle-minimising Liftonin and Syn-Ake, which is a neuropeptide chemical compound that mimics snake venom - this communicates with your nervous system to encourage muscle relaxation. And then there's Red Algae to reduce the appearance of your dark circles -  so it's a triple whammy.

It comes with a cooling roller-ball applicator, and with so much tightening, line-minimising and dark circle busting stuff packed into it, it sounds ideal for me. Plus I trust Nip + Fab to deliver a quality product at reasonable prices.

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Lip Crayons

£4.99, barrym.com

Gelly Hi Shine Lips - Capella

I've seen a few bloggers that were lucky enough to get samples get sent some of these to try (how I wish I was on that list). You know I feel strongly about things in a crayon form, and these look amazing.

There are five shades to choose from - all brights - and they look juicy and fabulous. They're moisturising and highly pigmented, and at that price I'd be keen to try out a few! My picks would be 'Capella', a cool-toned pink (pictured) and 'Alpha', which is red. These look like a total bargain and I will be making a beeline to pick some up soon!

Millie Mackintosh for Nouveau Lash

£8.99, shop.nouveaubeautygroup.com

Millie Mackintosh Lash Box

Hands up, I'm a false flutter junkie. But time and age have made me pickier about which lashes I favour, and despite my drawer heaving with different types of lashes, I found that I'm always drawn back to the same ones. I love my lashes to look thick and full, but I don't want them to look impossible, or obviously fake. These lashes have caught my eye because they look great quality and perfect for a natural but enhanced look.

I'm a massive fan of Miss Mack's personal style and her make-up always looks radiant and never overdone, so I have faith that these lashes would mirror that -  I know she wears them a lot, and I think she always looks the right side of enhanced (as she would say 'More Chelsea than Essex') and I respect that. There are 8 different styles in the range, all named after London locations of course. They're made of natural hair to give a more realistic look. I fancy trying the style 'Soho' which is a wispy but full style.

Eyesilix

£24.99, boots.com

www.makeartnotwar.me

Another eye product! Sorry, I'm a tad obsessed. I'm debating whether to pick up the Nip + Fab stuff, or this one, which is a fairly recent launch from Indeed Labs, who brought us the much-imitated Nanoblur, which is still the original and best of the optical blurring primers in my opinion.

This claims to be a wonder cream that instantly lifts, contours, brightens, eliminates dark circles and reduces fine lines and wrinkles (it actually ‘freezes’ the eye area muscles!). Again, more big claims but I have heard really good reviews about this, and I know I like Indeed Labs stuff. So I suppose the decider might be what is on offer when I venture to Boots!

Bumble & Bumble Dryspun Thickening Spray 

£21.50, bumbleandbumble.co.uk

Dryspun Finish 

I recently tried Bumble and Bumble's Thickening Hairspray in a travel size and was really impressed, so this new spin on it has got me intrigued. They call it a 'Translucent dry spray that creates instant fullness and texture to spin hair into an airy silhouette', and it sounds like just the lift my hair needs to get volume and that messy, undone look to it.

No7 Instant Radiance Foundation

£12.50, boots.com


I've picked up a couple of products from No7 recently, and its come back onto my radar a lot. Suddenly, I'm discovering lots of appealing stuff at their counter, and their blush sticks have become a big favourite of mine since purchasing. While I was browsing at the counter, this foundation caught my eye and its one of the picks I want for spring. The packaging seems to have had a bit of a sleekover recently, so it's all looking much less mumsy, and this appealed to me. It's a light, sheer formulation that I've read is a great dupe for Chanel Vitalumiere.

Its packed with light-reflecting particles, SPF 15 and vitamins A and E and it won't block your pores -  of course, No7 is famed for it's skincare, so I suspect this formula will be kind to tired out skin. Seems like a great way to get radiant, rested looking skin after the long winter.

Bare Minerals Prime Time BB

£21.00, bareminerals.co.uk 

 pinterest.com



Bare Minerals is my HG foundation and I will never not have it in my kit as long as they make it! I do wear a BB cream plus a primer underneath, so this clever little product sounds like a win -  its a BB and primer in one.

It claims to battle flakiness, oily patches, uneven skintone to provide the perfect canvas for your foundation. There's an SPF 30 in there too, which is really good.It seems like this would be a way to replace a few different products in my routine! I also want to start using their daily moisturiser when my current one runs out, and their new Lash Domination mascara also looks great sooo...I guess I'm a fan!

GlamGlow MudMask

£49.99, glamglowmud.co.uk


This one has been on the list for a while if I'm honest! But it is on the pricier side and it always seems to be something I can do without, so I've never purchased, but I keep eyeing it up. It's become a cult item and I've heard so many amazing things about it. It comes in a few variants now, but I want the original 'Youthmud' version. It claims to deliver both instant and cumulative results and just look at this whopping list of benefits:
  • Skin Collagen Synthesis for a noticeable 3 day glow.
  • Brighter, radiant skin in minutes.
  • Leaves skin noticeably soft and smooth.
  • Multi-level resurfacing exfoliation.
  • Penetrates into the deepest layers of the skin to soften fine lines and wrinkles. 
  • Tightens, tones and lifts the skin. 
  • Relieves dark circles and minimises pores. 
  • Absorbs impurities without removing natural oils.
  • Helps protect against everyday environmental aggressors. 
Need I say more? I'm really wanting to try this and see if it lives up the hype. People tell me it does, but the high price has always put me off -  maybe I can get a sample size and see if it works for me? Could it even replace my beloved collagen paper daiso masks?

So that's my March wishlist - what's on yours?



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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Break The Rules Beauty: Bold Eyes, Bright Lips

Can you rock a bright lip WITH a bright eye? I've always gone by the rule of 'eyes or lips' - just the same as the 'legs or cleavage' rule when you go out -  one but never both.

But sometimes, it can be fun to break the rules! So I tried out this bold black and bronze eye with coral red lips to prove that sometimes, sensible goes out the window.

Here's how I broke the rules and what I used:

Base

First up, the base. A heavy, powdery finish would look too much with the other elements, so I chose to go fresh and dewy with the skin.

I used Chanel Lift Lumiere foundation -  this is so lovely, light and hydrating. It's also packed with anti-aging ingredients, which is a total bonus. It offers a slightly higher coverage than their Vitalumiere formulation, so its perfect for night-time or problem skin days. It gives a candlelit glow that's really flattering.


To take down the shine down a bit and set my make-up, a very light dusting of No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder. It's a light-diffusing formula, so you don't get a heavy, caked-on finish. It also contains hyaluronic acid, attracting moisture to the skin -  so you can have a dewy, plumped-up finish without too much shine!

Cheeks


Again, any heavy contouring would tip this look over into 'too much territory', but with my lack of cheekbones, I need something! So to provide a little light definition, I added some MeMeMe Goddess Rocks bronzing powder.


These are gorgeous, pearlescent chunky nuggets of metallic pink, bronze and gold. You can use them separately or swirl a brush over the whole for a bit of a glow - and they're not like bronzing pearls, which get stuck in the brush, drop onto the carpet and cause such a mess. I used a fan brush to make sure that the colour was extra light touch.

To give my skin a fresh finish, I added some of my new favourite No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter. This is a chunky crayon with a lovely creamy finish, and its a soft pinkish-white colour when applied, which is so fresh for spring. Just a gentle swipe will do, and then use your fingertips to blend out any harsh edges.

Eyes


For the bold eye look, I wanted some black for definition but also to introduce some bronze tones to lighten the look up for summer!

I used two shades from the Maybelline MyShadow range - a gorgeous, coppery bronze that I washed over the lid and took along the bottom lash line with a detailing brush, and a charcoal black with a little bit of shimmer.

I used the chocolate brown shade from the Mac Royal Assets palette in 'Warm' over the crease, and pushed it into the corners with a fluffy brush to act as a bridging shade between the black and the bronze.

Going for a slightly winged shape to lift the eyes, the next step was to add the black Maybelline MyShadow over the outer crease and close to the lashline.

After that I used a black cream liner - Urban Decay Ink for Eyes in Zero - on a slanted brush to create a winged liner effect. Went for quite a thick black line to give my eyes the boldness for this look. You can get the same shape by tracing a narrow line close to the lash line, and then a line upwards diagonally from the outer corner, at an angle to meet the tail of your brow.

Then, draw a third connecting line from the outward diagonal back to the lash line - you should end up with a triangle shape that you can then fill in with liner - and you get a perfect wing!

Brows and Lashes


Bright lips need balancing with a strong brow, otherwise your face can look a bit strange. I went for a power-brow look, using the Seventeen Brow's That kit to get a strong shape, and slightly darker arches. The kit contains a tinted wax, a powder, mini brushes, and a pale pink highlighting shade that I dotted along the brow bone using a finger tip.


To get my flutter on, I used ModelCo LashXtend Extreme Black Lenghthening Mascara, which is packed with little fibres to boost the density of your lashes.


And for that extra bit of flutter, I applied some of my boldest falsies - these are an Eyelure set, cut down to cover the outer corners only, which really helps to give a cat eye effect. I've used them a few times before which is why they aren't too pristine!


Lips


A dramatic, dark red might have been too much with those eyes, so keep it fresh, I went for more of a bright, coral based red.

When using a bright lipstick, it can be really useful to use a lipliner as well, because getting a precise shape is so much more important - every shake and mistake is amplified. I started with Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in shade 024 'Red Diva'. Using the liner to fill in your lips first also helps to keep the colour on for longer.

I then filled in using Bourjois Rouge Edition in 'Fraise Remix' -  this is a gorgeous hot coral red, with a velvet finish.

The Finished Look


Bold black and bronze eyes, winged liner, a power brow and a hot coral lip - this is breaking all the rules for spring and loving it. What beauty rules have you broken recently?
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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Oooh, Spring Shoes!

SHOES! Have I got your attention? Good, we can proceed.

I know shoes are supposed to be some sort of lady-catnip and send us all into the throes of ecstasy as soon as we get a glimpse of a demi-wedge or a mule on the horizon. But as I’ve said before, generally I’m not much of a one for shoes.

Two reasons - my feet are weird. They’re a half size, which means I either have to get a 5 and suffer too-tight straps or get a 6 and get blisters when they rub because they’re a bit too big. They’re also wide, meaning anything pointy or narrow hurts. I really did not win the genetic lottery when it comes to feet!

I like my feet to be comfortable. If they aren’t, I get very miserable and grumpy and I don’t understand how other girls ignore foot pain! I’m also quite tall, so I often write off shoes with too big a heel because I have no desire to be 6ft on a night out. The high street’s infatuation with comedy stilt shoes over the past few seasons has left me cold.

Consequently, I’m not as into shoe shopping as you might expect. There are shoes I fall in love with and never wear, usually because they are too high or otherwise uncomfortable. If I find a pair that are comfortable and also cute, I wear them until they literally fall apart!


So, it’s a bit of a surprise to find myself wanting to drastically expand my shoe wardrobe this spring! There are a few styles that have really caught my eye to make it onto my spring footwear wishlist:

 

Flat strappy gladiators, £25.90, Kalzado

This style has been floating around for a while now, ever since Chanel brought out long, caged gladiator sandals on its catwalks.

But I’m drawn to them now in particular, because they work so well with the whole sports-luxe vibe at the moment. Because they’re such a trophy piece, the rest of the outfit needs to be very simple in order to let them shine, and as a fan of pared-back minimalist style in general, that appeals to me. I also like the way they straddle that territory between edgy and raunchy- but they are completely flat (my arches are rejoicing just looking at them!).

These sandals do have the potential to look awful if they aren’t treated in the right way. Hemlines need to be short in order to maximise the silhouette visually – so be prepared to don a mini or short shorts for these to work. It also helps to have lean, model like pins -  which I won’t lay claim to, but I am tall and my legs are long(ish), so I think these could work for me if treated right! I just love the impact of them.

 

Smudge print slingback flat, £20.00, Office


How cute are these? Fans of flatties like myself, will often look at their daytime shoes and wish that there could be a dressier version for night time. I think these could be the ideal day-to-night offering to bridge that gap. The non-heel says daytime, but the satin fabric, slingback strap and almond toe shape say night-time. I love the patterned finish and beautiful teal colour of these. They seem like such a versatile shoe – cute, office-appropriate, but still dressy enough to go out in. They’d be perfect with a pencil skirt, a full skirt, halter-neck sundress or tailored cigarette pants for a nod to 50s style. I sense I would get a lot of wear out of these!




Neon cut out ballerina flats, £30.00, Next


Who says ballerina pumps have to be boring? This little pair are anything but. The eye-catching patent neon finish makes sure they’re the star of the show. The cut out details that mimic lacework elevate them further, and the finishing touch is the chrome on the edging of the low heel – details like that make them look far more designer than the high street provenance and price tag! These shoes would work so well with a simple little black dress, or a bandage skirt with a loose-fit t-shirt or shirt tucked in.






Metal Clasp Sandals, £50.00, River Island




This looks like a heel I could handle! I adore the simple style of these and the metal clasps are beautiful. The ankle strap means they might even have a chance of being comfortable. The mix of nude and black leather feels fresh. These have a premium feel way above their price tag. They seem versatile enough to work with black opaques or bare legs and throughout all the seasons. I think they'd go with a variety of outfits as well, from little dresses to shorts and a tshirt.


Coral high-tops, £55.00, Ralph Lauren


Following seeing the light about wedge trainers, I’ve been a bit of a convert to sneaker style. Until recently, I only wore trainers for running or going to the gym – they simply weren’t part of my usual style vocabulary. And yet lately, colourful sport shoes have infiltrated the editorial spreads and the FROWs -  when Karl paired trainers with little tweed suits on the S/S 14 catwalk, their style status was officially anointed. I’m so glad, just because of the practicality factor, and they also appeal to the part of me that doesn’t want to look like I’m trying too hard. Bright, beautiful kicks can add a pop of colour to a pared back outfit and give a very easy-breezy effect. These hot coral baseball boots are just the ticket- and I am a fan of the polo man so to have that iconic logo on the side feels very 90s and very right for now. These will be my top pic to wear to festivals this summer – made for dancing all night in.

Leopard print skate shoes, £32.00, Vans


Skate shoes are having a micro-trend all of their very own at the moment, and of course Vans is the classic brand. The pared back, plimsoll style of these makes me feel so carefree, because it reminds me so well of my mis-spent youth, which I lived out in Vans and in Dunlop Green Flash! They’ve been updated with this muted, leopard print finish which is so right for now. Leopard print can act as a neutral if you treat it right, so there’s almost nothing these babies wouldn’t go with!

What are your spring footwear picks?
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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Review: Sleek Eyebrow Stylist & Matte Me Lip

Hands up who loves great arches? Well, I’m definitely an eyebrow addict, so when I saw the new launch from Sleek, it’s Brow Stylist, I had to get in on the action.

Sleek is a brand I have a lot of love for. I think the eyeshadow palettes are genuinely as good quality as Mac or Illamasqua, and the Face Form kit is something I use everyday. So I rushed off down to Superdrug as soon as I heard about Brow Stylist. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, so I can give an informed verdict!

Normally, I use a powder shadow and a slanted brush to fill in my brows. I feel that powder gives a softer finish and the angled brush allows you to be more precise. I used Benefit BrowZing for years, but then I realised that I didn’t like the wax very much. Since then, I’ve just used Mac powder shadow and a bit of the Maybelline Brow Drama mascara. I’ve never really gotten on with a brow pencil before, usually finding them too stiff and hard to apply with no great results.

I trusted Sleek to shake this opinion up a bit…

The Brow Stylist is a black plastic cylinder – one end is a brow brush, and the other is an angled, twist-up pencil. It comes in three shades – Light, Medium and Dark. I went for the Medium, which is probably a half a shade too light, but its better to go lighter than darker with brows in general or you can end up looking a bit gothic! The shade suits fine when blended in.



On first application, I didn’t like this product very much, but its grown on me a lot. The consistency of the pencil is like a cream, and I found this a bit greasy and weird after using powder only for so long. The nib is a little triangle, so it can be used at the finest point to make neat, precise lines, and turned around to make fatter strokes.



However, as it’s a twist up one that you don’t sharpen, this quickly goes blunt (although it evens out again in the end), and so you only really get a precise line on one brow, its too blunt by the second one. I found the lack of preciseness very hard to get used to, but actually it does make a more natural finish -  sometimes my brows can look too ‘drawn on’ because I do them so exactly, so this is almost better for daytime and other occasions where you don’t want to look too try hard.

Sleek Brow Stylist - on left hand side, bare brows on the right!

 Sometimes if your brows look really precise, the rest of your face can look quite under-done and washed out unless you have a full lot of make-up on all the other features. I really don’t like not filling in my brows because they’re quite sparse, so this is the perfect solution for those more low-key days when a power brow is too much!



The brush is a handy addition for combing through afterwards, which softens the finish and makes it look nice and natural. I still found myself going over the bottom of my arch with my usual powder shadow afterwards, but overall I was happy with the result, especially for £5.99. This will quite possibly be a repurchase of mine, and will also be super-handy for on the go brow touch-ups as well.

Because I can never just buy one item, of course I picked something else up as well!

 The Matte Me liquid lipstick caught my eye and ended up sneaking into my basket (how did that happen?!), it’s a really bright, ultra-pigmented formula. You only need one coat and boy does it last. I literally struggled to get this off at the end of the day!

It feels nice and velvety on, not dry and tight like some matte formulas. This shade is called ‘Party Pink’ although I would call it more of a coral/red tone -  exactly the kind of bright shade I love. I’m really impressed with the matte finish and how long this stays on, so it would now be my go-to choice if I wanted a nice electro lip look. As usual with Sleek products, this is such high quality for the price, its amazing. The doe-foot applicator also makes it easier to apply and get a nice tight line, versus a conventional lipstick bullet, and that’s so important with a statement shade, where every mistake really shows up. Even if this was an accidental discovery, I’m really pleased with it.

 The verdict? Although the Brow Stylist took a little getting used to for me, these are both great products, fantastic quality for a low price, and in the usual amazing range of shades that Sleek are so good at - what more could you want?









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Sunday, 23 March 2014

A Week In The Life #3



Hello my lovelies!

Hope that all your weeks have been going well. Its been quite a quiet one for me, in fact I did wonder whether I should be doing this post, because there isn't all that much to share!

Work has been uncharactertistically quieter this week (it's normally manic), so I've really been enjoying finishing the day with a fully crossed-off to do list and actually leaving on time.

We're still house hunting, and we saw a place we liked enough to put an offer on this week, but it ended badly as we lost out. And it was only by a couple of thousand pounds, which is really frustrating. The place badly needed updating and the decor was all orange pine and brown carpets, but we could have made it nice.

We knew the bidding was going to go high, but we stopped a couple of thousand below our maximum offer, just so that we could afford to replace the ancient boiler the place had, but alas, it wasn't to be.

I'm getting really frustrated with house hunting at the moment, nothing seems to be going our way and it feels like we'll never be able to move. I never suspected it would be this hard when we first put our place up for sale!

But on to brighter things...

Salad Days



Following one of my New Year's Goals, I've been doing a lot more exercise this year, and I'm so pleased with myself that I've kept it up. I've been hitting the gym and have started running home from work. Enjoying the benefits of having more energy and just generally feeling better in myself, I was astonished to find I'd actually put on weight.

I'm not sure really if its muscle gain, or just as result of me not watching what I'm eating because I feel like I'm doing a lot, but either way I'm not happy! So I've resolved to have a three week push on healthy eating and see if it does make a difference of not.

Generally, I eat fairly healthily at home, plenty of vegetables and we make everything from scratch, but at work my weakness is always running to the shop at lunch and making bad choices or giving to all the cake and biscuits that seem to be in constant circulation around my office!

So this week was the week of the salad! I made a chicken, avocado and chickpea salad for lunch which was very tasty and really did keep me full. I even made my own dressing using red wine vinegar, olive oil, half a tablespoon of honey and one of mustard. Now the sun's out a bit more its nice to have something green and fresh anyway.

Bare Faced Cheek


My sister in law tagged me on Facebook to do the 'no make-up selfie' for Cancer Research. Now I know there's been quite a lot of debate on the internet about people who don't think this is right for whatever reason, but its hard to disagree with something that's raised over £2 million for such a good cause. Ultimately, whatever you really think of it, that money will go towards finding a cure for a disease that blights the lives of so many people.

When Ella first tagged me, I must admit that I panicked a bit! It's one thing sharing 'before' shots on a make-up blog, but it feels like another to put them out on personal social networks. I did feel a bit insecure, because I think I'm one of those people who looks quite different without make-up and it makes me feel vulnerable. It's weird, because I don't mind going to the gym without make-up but somehow, drawing people's attention to my bare face felt daunting.

But its a fantastic cause and I was really glad to help in a small way.

My Sweet Valetin (o)


Image from Wendy's Look Book
The fantasy wish list of luxury items that I carry around with me in my head at all times, just got larger. Check this beauty of a bag out. It's from Valentino and its my dream bag. I love the clear plastic, I love the gold chain strap, I love the taupe leather edging, I love the minimalist lock, and I love, love, love the chunky pyramid studs.

I feel like I must own this, but my bank account strongly disagrees. What I need is for Toppers to do a rip-off version. If anyone sees anything similar on the high street, please let me know! This picture is from Wendy's Look Book, which is one my favourites of the 'big-time' bloggers that I follow. I'm such a Wendy stan, I literally heart everything she wears, and I've never seen her put a foot wrong.

This bag is sheer perfection. I didn't know where else to put it, so I've added it on to this post, but I might do a post recently on all the style inspiration I'm loving right now.

Make Up Mafia Catch Up


This weekend, I met up with two lovely ladies - Amanda from Amanda in a Teacup and Sally from Rainy Day Faces, who I met at the Midlands Blogger Meet, and we had coffee and a good catch up. It was great to see them both and have a good natter.

We started off at Divine, which is (usually) a nice, really chilled cafe in the Galleries of Justice. These are Nottingham's former law courts, but they're now a museum with actors strolling around in period costume. Divine does a mean chai latte and its usually quite quiet. But this time, two mice scampered out while we were mid-catch up! I don't really mind mice per se, but the thought of one scampering up my trouser leg wasn't very appealing, and it's not great in a cafe!

So we moved on to Wired, which is another great independent cafe-bar in the Creative Quater. When they brought Amanda's tea out, there was a little egg timer gadget to help you brew the perfect cup, which was so sweet. I had their white hot chocolate, which I'd been told was legendary and didn't disappoint, although being a chocoholic I would have added a few white chocolate buttons to it!

It's been so nice to make some new blogging friends, especially since most of friends live in other cities, so sometimes I don't get to see them as often as I'd like. Funnily enough, we found we're connected in some weird ways  - Amanda went to primary school with my husband and remembers his family, while Sally knew his cousins. Very small world. I had a lovely afternoon hanging out with the girls and talking about starting up the 'make-up mafia' in Nottingham -  so if you know any local bbloggers, get them to follow us!

Baby Face


On Saturday night, Seb and I were out for a meal with his family to celebrate his nana's birthday. I'm close to his lot and really enjoying spending time with them, so it was nice to all meet up. He has two sisters fairly close in age and their partners, so we used to all go out a fair bit, but since his older sister had our gorgeous niece and nephew, that's obviously been a bit rarer.

We had to choose somewhere child friendly, so we ended up at a place called The Goose. It had a soft play facility, so I was in there bouncing up and down with Annabel, my little niece. She's at such a lovely age now where you can start having conversations with her. After the ball bit, she wanted to sit on my lap while she ate her cake, which was so sweet. I also enjoyed having a good cuddle with my baby nephew, Jude. He was fascinated with my phone so I was showing him what we looked like on screen and snapped a selfie for him - doesn't he look surprised?

As an only child myself, its nice to have that sense of being in a family group that my in-laws provide me with. I'll always remember on his sister's hen weekend telling one of the girls that I was an only child, only for her to pipe up 'No you're not, you're a middle child now!'.

Minty Fresh

I'm not really much of a one for pastel anything. It's just not really my personality to go for things that are sweet -  I much prefer stuff with a bit of bite. But I was in Primark on my way to meet Sally and Amanda on Saturday (bad habit, 'popping in' to places on the way and getting swamped by massive queues), and coming down the escalator this dress was calling my name!

I think this mint green can be such a nice colour, and I liked the geometric embossing in the fabric.It's panelled so it looks as if the fit will be nice as well (haven't actually tried it on yet...) and it was only £13, even though I think it looks a lot more expensive due to the textured fabric.

My first thought was 'this is the perfect dress for being a wedding guest' even though none of my friends are even close to tying the knot! Typical justification! Hopefully I'll get some wear of it for work and things, or out for dinner. If I feel it's getting too girly, hopefully a leather jacket will toughen it up a bit.

Neutral Lines

I've been hunting for a while for a perfect nude shade for my lips, which can be so hard to find. After coffee, Sally and I popped into Space NK (it's very dangerous knowing other beauty bloggers!), and I headed to the Nars stand.

I've actually never bought anything from Nars before, which seems like a shocking oversight! I tried a couple of their nude shades, but the one that seemed a perfect fit was this shade, 'Biscayne Park'. It's one of their Satin Lip Pencils, which is a chunky crayon. I've said before I love anything in a stick format, because its so convenient. Also with lip products it means you can get a nice outline easily.

This is a warm, light medium colour, with pinkish beige tones. I preferred it to the more yellow nudes as it seemed more natural and flattering on my skintone. It's got a great opaque coverage that lasts well, and feels creamy and comfortable on the lips. I thought it would be a great match for more dramatic or bright and colourful eye looks. This was £18.00, but it seems like it will be fairly long lasting, and for the right neutral tone, its worth it!


I spotted a few shades I really liked, so I think I'll be back to the Nars counter at some point.

So, that was my quiet week! What have you been up to?

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Friday, 21 March 2014

OOTN: Indiana Live at the Bodega

Hi Dolls!

An outfit of the night post which is actually a month or so old (sorry!). I meant to post about this sooner, but I hadn't got any decent pics of the outfit on the night, so I've had to recreate it in better lighting to show you.


I went to see Indiana play live at The Bodega, a little indie venue in town. She isn't a big artist yet, but she'd just been named Track of the Week on Radio One, so I'm pretty sure she's going to blow up soon. A friend had told me about her music when he was considering going to the gig months ago, I had a listen and fell in love instantly! If you like artists like Delilah and Jessie Ware, then you'll probably appreciate her stylings - haunting, beautiful vocals on top of dirty dubstep beats. My idea of heaven!

Indiana is actually a local Nottingham girl as well, and I think its great that my home city is producing such amazing musical talent at the moment - Jake Bugg, London Grammar. It's going off here at the moment! Indiana will definitely be the next big thing. The Guardian and Radio One are picking up on her. Check out her single 'Smoking Gun'.

Black and white stripe long sleeve t-shirt - Dorothy Perkins
Black leather bustier dress - H&M
Snake chain necklace with spikes and gems - Primark
Grey suede cut-out ankle boots with patent heel - Marks and Spencer


I'm in love with this dress from H&M. I've had it for a while but only started wearing it recently and now I can't stop! It's very versatile. It's quite an edge piece on its own, but because its strapless, it can be styled in so many different ways.

Here, I dressed it down with a casual stripy t-shirt from Dotty P's. I live in layers of these long sleeved shirts over the winter. I actually wore black opaque tights on the night as well, which toned it down a notch.

My ankle boots came from Marks and Spencers, of all places! It's not somewhere I shop a lot (although the quality of design there goes seem to be on the up - or perhaps I'm just getting old?!) but I do love their shoes. They're one of the few places that sell half-sizes, which means I can get a 5.5 instead of a six and not get blisters from loose shoes rubbing. They also sell a wide fit range that's actually cute (yes, I have odd feet that are half-sized and wide -  I think its why I don't love shoe shopping as much as you'd expect).

My necklace was a total Primark bargain. It's a heavy silver snake chain with a row of princess-cut clear gems and little metal spikes underneath -  a really neat combination of sweet and subversive that I adore.

Make-up wise, of course the black shadow had to come out to play, and I kept the face neutral with just a sweep of bronzer and some lip balm.

The gig was amazing. It was a school night (I don't normally go anywhere apart from the gym, I lead a very boring weekly existance!), so it was nice to do something different. My friend and I met up with his wife and Seb, who didn't know much about Indiana but was a newly converted fan after the gig. We went to a bar for some pizzas and beers before the show.

Indiana hasn't done many gigs before and she was clearly nervous, but when she started singing, she was incredible. She's so talented and gorgeous, and her songs are beautiful. If you haven't heard her, get YouTubing now!



The gig ended at half past ten. I can tell I'm getting old because I was just so happy I could get to bed at a decent time (sad I know). I had a wonderful evening. I was planning to go and see her in April when she plays the Rescue Rooms, but I have other plans on the same night. But if you live near Nottingham I would highly recommend making the trip to see her, because next time she will probably be in an arena! Tickets are only £10 as well which is a bargain for the quality of performance.
Indiana against the Nottingham skyline - the next big thing from the city that bred Jake Bugg and London Grammar?
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