Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Outfit: vintage diva

Everyone needs some classic dresses in their wardrobe that can be dressed up or down and matched with several things, right? Bonus points if that dress is comfortable and a viable option for going out to dinner in (priorities). So, I'm pretty pleased to have got my hands on this fabulous wiggle from Vintage Diva, who are Top Vintage's new house brand. I've loved Top Vintage as a third party shop for a long time - their range is incredible - so I'm quite excited to see them expand.

Wearing this pencil dress (the Jazmin) is a bit of a return to my original vintage roots. When I first started this blog I was more often than not always in a wiggle shape if I was dressing up a bit. It took me quite a while to own a circle skirt and get the bug for the iconic full-skirted 50s shape, and then my collection rapidly expanded and I now wear them a lot more of the time. I still love a wiggle dress though and this dress reminds me why...

It's just so darn classy! Put a pencil skirt with a bardot top and you have automatic chic. I just love off-the-shoulder looks - but I especially love them if they actually stay off the shoulder. How do I know this dress is quality? It's the first folded bardot top I've owned where everything stays in place. I've got my arms up in some of the pictures below and unlike other tops I own like this, I didn't have to get B to immediately adjust everything the moment I put them down. Indeed, the material is thick while still being stretchy - it feels like a good quality jersey and I do find clothes in this kind of material my favourite to wear. Oh and also, I wasn't expecting the free belt to be any good. I saw it had no holes and that it was a shiny type and I was sure it wasn't going to stay in place. But it did! And it has a loop, so no awkward flapping.

One of my favourite things about Top Vintage is that their size guide advice is impeccable. They measure every garment and they often give tips about when to size up or down depending on which of your measurements isn't aligning with the clothes'. So far, I've found their advice to be absolutely on the money - as it is for this dress. So I'm not going to tell you what sizing is like cos they've done it for me better than I ever could.

I realised when I'd styled this that I was basically dressing as my own nterpretation of a Vintage Diva, don'tcha think? It's the hat...

Vintage Diva Jazmin Pencil Dress review

Vintage Diva Jazmin Pencil Dress review

Vintage Diva Jazmin Pencil Dress review

Vintage Diva Jazmin Pencil Dress review

Vintage Diva Jazmin Pencil Dress review

Vintage Diva Jazmin Pencil Dress review

Vintage Diva Jazmin Pencil Dress review

Vintage Diva Jazmin Pencil Dress review

Vintage Diva Jazmin Pencil Dress review
Hat: old
Belt: came with the dress!
Bag: Vendula London (similar 'shop front' styles)
Shoes: Melissa x Vivienne Westwood (old style)


*Please note that I have had this dress professionally shortened by c. 3 inches. If you're taller than my 5''1" I expect you won't need to do this and it is meant to be worn long.


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Thursday, 20 April 2017

Outfit: sunshine stripes

There are so many pretty dresses on offer this season it's hard to know what to save your pennies for, but I'm going to fight the corner for this particular beauty from Voodoo Vixen! Voodoo Vixen don't currently have it in stock, but you can get it from my friends at Blue Banana who kindly sent this one to me.

I loved this dress the moment I clapped eyes on it and I'll tell you why in four words: neckline, pom poms, colours and stripes. I've never seen another repro dress quite like this one; all of these things together make it really quite special. One of the things I love about it is how the many colours could lend themselves to the dress being worn so many different ways. I'm having a bit of a love affair with bright yellow recently so I based my look around the vibrant lemon stripes and found a matching field. Cos, you know. 

I just think this is such a fun dress and I can't wait to wear it more in the summer. It was also a surprisingly good match for my cowboy boot brooch from Erstwilder - so much so it's almost camouflaged here! I've mentioned before I have a bit of a thing for cowboy boots, so I was delighted to add this brooch to my collection - especially as it features gold glitter. I'm also pretty pleased with these hair flowers too - another beautiful offering from Alternate Normality. Seriously my go-to for hair flowers in recent days.

Can we all pretend we don't notice I'm bizarrely standing on a tiny rock in this first photo? Thanks. I assure you it was accidental, not a failed attempt to gain a meagre bit of height on my part... 

Adelyn dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Adelyn dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Adelyn dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Adelyn dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Adelyn dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Alternate Normality yellow  hair flower duo

Adelyn dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Adelyn dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Adelyn dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Boot Scootin' brooch by Erstwilder

Adelyn dress by Voodoo Vixen review
Hair flowers: Alternate Normality
Earrings: Bow & Crossbones
Bag: vintage



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Sunday, 16 April 2017

How to grow longer eyelashes - LiLash serum review

LiLash growth serum review - get longer eyelashes naturally

So, my natural lashes... as lashes go, they could be a lot worse. With mascara, they're alright really - I've had the odd compliment in the past. No one's ever mistaken them for falsies though - so don't get me wrong, they're not that amazing. Being a falsie convert, I know I am going to be wearing them for the big day but what about all the not-so-big days and the days I don't wear lashes at all (i.e. most of them)? Could they be naturally longer and fuller than they are? Can you grow better lashes?

The short answer to this question is: yes - get the right serum and you can improve your natural lashes. I'm going to tell you about the one I've been trying, which is the LiLash growth serum. LiLash claim that you will see growth in three months - I was a really good blogger and took photos of my lashes before I began and then exactly three months later.

You apply the serum daily and it goes onto clean skin just like liquid eyeliner (but transparent) and on the top lash line only. That's really all there is to it - I didn't miss a day although on a couple of occasions I did forget and have to do it the next morning. The pictures I've got for you here are showing you three things: 1) my natural lashes before the treatment 2) my natural lashes three months after the treatment and 3) my lashes three months after the treatment with mascara so that you can actually see them!!

So, here I am looking straight at you with my make-up less eyes. They're not that big without liner, huh? I can't say I'm thrilled to be sharing my dopey eyelids (one is definitely thicker, go figure) on the internet, but in the name of beauty and helping you lovely people...

LiLash serum review - before and after pictures

So now you can see why I had to add the mascara, right? My lashes are dark at the base but a good third or more at the end is blonde. I don't know why, but it means they basically disappear in photos. You can sort of see in the second picture that there's a bit more going on as my lash-line definitely looks a little thicker and you can actually see a couple of lashes (promise I didn't have bald lids in the first photo), but the mascara shows what's really going on here. My lashes at three months almost touch my eyebrows! In fact, when I look up, they do touch my eyebrows. It's the main way I know there's a difference, in fact, when I compared to a photo where I was looking up at Christmas and they were nowhere near them. The other way I know there's a difference is that some of my lashes are longer than some of my false lashes!!

The difference is a little easier to see on my natural lashes when I'm looking down... 

LiLash serum review - before and after pictures

Well, I did say a little easier... I think the main way you can tell is that in the second picture there's more of a curve going on to my lashes. And again, with mascara, the difference is a bit more obvious although wouldn't it have been helpful if I'd taken pictures with mascara before too? Yeah. Sorry about that. Not so good blogger.

Let's look at them from the side...

LiLash serum review - before and after pictures

Ok, I don't think I'm imagining that picture 2 vs picture 1 there is more lash going on. They look thicker here and the lash line darker as a result. You can sort of see it best if you concentrate on my right eye between the two pictures. Picture three, you can really see they look twice as long here - which isn't true as in the first picture the ends are blonde, but there's still a notable difference.

So, how much longer are my lashes now? I would estimate they're an extra third-half longer. They haven't doubled in size or anything extreme like that, but there is definitely a noticeable difference in length and I think thickness too, from these pictures. I hadn't noticed the latter as much in real life but it is showing up in photos.

You'll know I love pros and cons lists if you've read my reviews before, so here's another one for you to summarise all of my other thoughts about the product I haven't mentioned yet.


Pros
  • It. Does. Work. How often do these beauty products do what they say they will?
  • It's totally painless and easy to work into your routine - I've not experienced any of the side effects they mention may happen either (like dark circles under the eyes - I already had those!)
  • I'd been going through a patch of my lashes falling out and I feel like far fewer fall out now, so my lashes are fuller as a result
  • The obvious one, but these are your lashes - the effects will last until the lashes naturally fall out
  • I can't prove this yet, but I have read a lot that says that they continue improving after 3 months, so I'm crossing my fingers for that!
Cons
  • Expensive - a 3 month treatment is about £65 (with daily use it will start to run out just before this point). You also have to keep the treatment up or your lashes will go back to what they were before
  • If you have fair lashes you'll still need mascara to see them, as I'm clearly demonstrating above
  • I wouldn't say I have more lashes than I started out with, just that I've retained them better and they may be slightly thicker now
  • Weirdly, they're definitely longer on one side. Turns out the same thing had happened to my mum too - we think it might be to do with applying at night and the side you sleep on...

So what do you think, at c.£20 per month would you give this a go?


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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Outfit: strawberry mojito

Continuing on with the drink theme, as we've just had pink lemonade, this outfit with its mint and red tones together could only be a strawberry mojito! It feels quite appropriate to have a cocktail themed outfit straight after my hen weekend - which was amazing! I'm not particularly planning to share photos from the weekend because to be frank we were too busy having fun to take tonnes of them, but my Instagram has some peeps at my Moulin Rouge costume I mentioned last post.

Anyway, back to the outfit, I was really excited about the idea of Collectif's mix and match sets when I first saw them at London Edge - I love separates, this could only be up my street! But oh wait, what's this? Cut out sides? That will take more getting used to... Now, don't get me wrong, I am quite aware I'm slim by most people's standards at a size 8-10, but let me be very clear about one thing - toned I am not. Size 8-10 people have squishy bits if they don't firm them up (and remember, I'm short, size 8-10 looks different on me than on taller people!)! And I definitely have them on my sides, as I think most people probably do. But, you don't know what something will be like until you try sometimes!

I haven't air-brushed these photos so yeah, you can see where I have a little bit of squidge it sometimes makes itself known. But you know, I can live with it - and actually I think it's partly being caused by this particular bra cutting in too tightly and too low so I can always experiment with foundations! Even though sometimes a bit of skin goes awol, this set is still somehow really flattering. It's probably got something to do with the gloriously full skirt. This skirt is based on the Jasmine style, which as I've mentioned before is my favourite swing skirt. I will 100% wear it with other tops too. The Talis sets come in this mint green and navy, with the options of shorts or a pencil skirt too. I'm really hoping to see the shorts in the green colourway for that honeymoon wardrobe!

And yep, it's that time of year the strawberry bag comes back out! Hurrah! (It's not in stock now but I believe it's coming back this summer). I also make no apologies for the fact I'm wearing these hair flowers for the second outfit in the row - I think they might be attached to my head permanently now because I love them so much. Holly's range is really expanding this year and I love her flower duo clips too - I've just picked myself up some yellow ones that I wore to afternoon tea for my hen weekend :)

Collectif Talis green swing skirt and top set review

Alternate Normality Scarlet flower hair comb

Collectif Talis green swing skirt and top set review

Collectif Talis green swing skirt and top set review

Collectif Talis green swing skirt and top set review

Collectif Talis green swing skirt and top set review

Collectif strawberry bamboo bag

Collectif Talis green swing skirt and top set review

Collectif Talis green swing skirt and top set review

Collectif Talis green swing skirt and top set review
Top & skirt: Talis c/o Collectif (all in the range)
Bag: Collectif
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens (similar)



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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Outfit: the bachelorette (+ Voodoo Vixen discount code)

It's very strange to think of myself as someone who is about to get married. Even though planning and prep has taken over my life for nearly the past year and I bring it up every 5 seconds here, it hasn't really dawned on me that at the end of it I'm going to be going through my own wedding day. That might sound nuts, but honestly it all feels pretty surreal still. My now married bridesmaid said that same feeling never really left her even on the day, so at least I'm not alone! But it is happening, we're just over two months away now and this weekend is my hen do! We don't really call these 'bachelorettes' in the UK, but equally we don't have an equivalent word to 'bachelorette' to identify the bride of the group, so it's good for a blog post!

This outfit is one that would look oh-so-appropriate at a bachelorette party and that's originally how I saw this dress, as the colours lend themselves so well to evening wear. The beautiful embroidery and the shape and neckline of this dress were something I couldn't pass up. I also really like that it can be worn as a sun dress (it's a light fabric) too. Anyway, the fit of this dress is a dream and my hat is off to Voodoo Vixen because this is down to two features: 1) elasticated shirring in the back and 2) adjustable straps. Hallelujah! Adjustable straps, the gift from the clothing gods I will always be overjoyed to see! Seriously, repro designers, more of these. It's so great for helping those of us who aren't average sized wear niche fashions without expensive tailor trips. Oh and stay tuned as I have a discount code for those awesome adjustable Voodoo Vixen dresses!

So yes, I'm quite a fan of this dress. Will I get to wear it for my hen celebrations though? Well, as it turns out, not for our big night out as I will instead be dressing like a middle-classed Edwardian. Which isn't because I'm trying to go out of my way to subvert the more traditional hen apparel (even though that does sound like something I'd do for the lols), but because we are going to Secret Cinema as bohemians for their Moulin Rouge themed event! I can't wait!! My costume is definitely a lot more Mary Poppins than can-can dancer, but hey, I'm totally ok with that. Strange fact about me: as a teen I was obsessed with this film to the extent I watched it virtually daily for a considerable period of time. This is stranger once you know I'm really not that into films and I'm not one for love stories usually. There was something about that world and the use of music that really spoke to me, clearly - and I absolutely can't wait to be in it! And if there's a time for love stories in your life it has to be as you're getting married, right?!

Scarlett dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Voodoo Vixen Scarlett dress

Scarlett dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Scarlett dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Scarlett dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Scarlett dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Scarlett dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Scarlett dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Scarlett dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Scarlett dress by Voodoo Vixen review

Scarlett dress by Voodoo Vixen review
Hair flower: Alternate Normality (out of stock but may come back in!)
Earrings: old
Shrug: Monsoon (old)
Clutch: Chi Chi London (no longer available)
Shoes: ASOS (old)


So, that discount code! Use CICI20 before the end of April to get 20% off your orders on voodoovixen.co.uk :) I know they're expecting some more stock of the new summer range to come in over the month, so keep that code to hand...


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