Sunday, 30 June 2013

Outfit: 'summer' BBQ

It's summer, but not as most European countries know it... But still, a bit of sunshine, a lot of cloud and a BBQ is all part of a quintessentially English summer, so here I am dressing for it.

A simple white square neck vest tied up, my beloved high-waisted capris with their quirky 50s hibiscus-type print, favourite Swedish Hasbeens and coral lips (to match my trousers, naturally).

The very observant of you will even notice I'm not as ghostly pale as the last time I wore these.

(And also, note to self, very tight very high-waisted trousers is the most stupid idea for a BBQ anyone has ever had.)


Vest top: Monsoon
Capris: Motel
Clogs: Swedish Hasbeens Braided Sky High
Bag: eBay
Lipstick: Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede in Designer

For once, it didn't rain!


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Thursday, 27 June 2013

Make-up: Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Red Laquer



This is an update on my continued quest to find lipsticks I can wear for work that aren't so bright and pigmented everyone can tell when I've had my lunch and forgotten to reapply because suddenly I'm wearing 90s lipliner (as in, all of the middle has worn off leaving an ugly, thick lip border!). Not even I'm thinking about what my face looks like all the time (no, really), cos, you know, emails happen.

But finding more subtle shades of red and pink that aren't glosses or balms and stay on longer than five minutes seems to be much harder than it should. I reviewed a red Revlon Lip Butter a while ago that I like, but has two big flaws - 1) it's so damn shiny and I'm a matte girl and 2) the colour isn't quite right on me and it's not red enough.

Back to the drawing board... and also back to Revlon where I was seeking their new ColorStay Ultimate Suede range, and although I did pick up a little number from there I'll review on here soon, I also got suckered by Boots (every time) and their buy 1, get 1 half price deal.

I'm pretty sure Revlon's Super Lustrous range has been around for years but somehow I've never tried it before. The only reason I did this time is after some serious swatching I couldn't resist the shade of this lipstick. Pure red - and... sheer!

Don't be fooled by the shine in these photos - I was standing in the bright light from a window, it's not actually this glossy (or I wouldn't like it!)...




Pros
  • Great shade of classic red
  • Sheer - you almost get a stain effect without any blotting
  • Great texture - moisturising but not sticky, hardly notice you're wearing it
  • Great packaging (see below) - it's simple but I LOVE that you can see the bullet through the lid (are you listening, Mac?!)
  • No nasty taste or smell
  • Cheaper than Mac!
Cons
  • Ok, so the staying power isn't immaculate - it does go patchy after eating but as the colour is sheer I feel like it's a bit more bearable than usual
  • It won't ever look crisply defined - in fact I can't always tell exactly where I've put it until I've gone over my lipline and then it looks weird because it's semi-transparent


But generally, unexpectedly impressed with this lipstick and thinking I might try some others in the range now. Whether this becomes a favourite depends on how much I continue to like the shade. I always love them when they're new and then go off them... but for now, I like!


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Sunday, 23 June 2013

Outfit: stripes and sandals for summer

The first of two outfit posts from Rome - where it was actually warm enough to go outside without a jacket at 8pm in the evening, which is when these photos were taken. Bliss. Note these were taken on the first evening, pre-tan... eh-hem.

One of my favourite summer dresses on a big ol' stone statue. (And of course, my favourite summer sandals.) If anyone's curious, it was last summer's Motel.


And now a better view of one of my favourite places in Rome where said big ol' statue resides, Giardino del Quirinale.





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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Photo diary: Avventure a Roma!

This time yesterday I was wondering around in 33-degree Rome... the last week was a paradise of sunshine, sights and seriously good food and wine. Back to the grey UK, but at least I have a fair few tasty treats lugged back gallantly by the boy - not a gelato's chance in hell they'd fit in my own suitcases!

I also have a heap of photos to treasure. If other people's holiday photos make you want to stick pins in your eyes look away now. Promise there are no sickening couple shots whatsoever but have to apologise for the over-enthusiastic use of Instagram (the boy and I are as bad as each other on this one).

There'll also be a few more for somewhat more-exotic-than-usual summer outfit posts on their way in the future...

Sights

Obligatory shots of the Trevi Fountain



And of the Pantheon


Inside the Colosseum


Piazza Navona


Via Sistina


In the Vatican


My favourite sight in Vatican City


Everywhere around Rome there are drinking fountains - apparently there are 2,500 of them! We saved a fortune on water because of these so here's an honourable mention.

This one was in possibly our favourite place in Rome - Giardino del Quirinale - a picturesque park about a five minute walk from our hotel where lots of locals walked their dogs, including a naughty labrador puppy called Bibo.


Sea (and other water)

We took a little day-trip to Santa Marinella on the coast, where we enjoyed 31 degree sunshine and an idyllic mediterranean beach. This was one of my favourite days - it was a slice of paradise.




On another day, we explored the Villa Borghese gardens which had a charming little boating lake. Boy took to the oars as we rowed alongside a few unexpected friends...








Seriously good food

Best gelato in Vatican City (and possibly the only one where you won't be ripped off)


Picnic at Villa Borghese gardens


Mmm anchovies! A wafer thin pizza at Panattoni, La Travastere



Cin cin!


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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Ciao... for now!

I'll be taking a break over the next week to head to Rome. I've selected this destination almost entirely on the basis of excellent pizza, ice cream and wine. The weather (I wore a scarf today - a scarf!) and the culture of course helps.

Hopefully I'll return with some photos to share - that's if I can ever figure out how to use my new camera properly!

Me and my backpack (and, well, two other rather larger suitcases) are outta here...


CiCi x

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Vintage style: capsule summer wardrobe - 50s denim shorts

Ah, the short... So easy to get so very wrong. But we shouldn't live in fear of shorts - a good pair can still form part of your summer wardrobe. The key, as I said last year in my first post about shorts, is to find a length that flatters you - and usually that excludes hotpants. It also helps to choose a dark and firm denim that will make you look smaller and also suck you in a tiny bit. And of course, a high waist is always always always going to be more flattering than low-rise.

There's a few good pairs on the high street this summer, so here's my top 3 dark denim high-waisted shorts and if you stay tuned to the end you'll see which pair I invested in!

Cute turn-ups
Dorothy Perkins - rinse wash high waist short, £23
Shorter length
Moto Indigo High Waisted Shorts, £32
Classic navy

Oasis 50s pin-up short, £35

And the winner is... well, how could I resist turn-ups!


Side view to demonstrate that they're managing to flatten down even my tummy, which is many things but flat is not one of them!


CiCi x



Monday, 3 June 2013

Make-up: No7 Stay Perfect lipstick in 15 Gay Geranium

While admiring the lipstick of someone on TV recently and wondering where I could get something similar, it suddenly occurred to me I already had an identical one - you can blame the weather for why I forgot all about this summery colour...

This is a bright, coral-orange shade that I've never seen a likeness for in another range. 



It's designed to be worn at full in-your-face strength, but I also find applying over a slick of lip balm tones it down and comes out a calmer colour I prefer and can wear during the day.

Full natural light...

No7 Stay Perfect lipstick Gay Geranium

Indirect natural light...

No7 Stay Perfect lipstick Gay Geranium

Pros
  • Great colour - best thing about this lipstick is its unique shade; flattering on my pale skin but would also look great with more of a tan
  • Matte - which I always prefer!
  • Colour is buildable - can be light over balm or bright straight from the tube
  • Good value at £9.50
Cons
  • Much more drying than other lipsticks in this range for some reason
  • As such, I find it causes my lips to flake and the colour to wear patchily
  • You need a flawless base to get even colour
  • That familiar Stay Perfect blunt-ended bullet can make application tricky

However, I'm aware that my tube of this lipstick is a couple of years old and some of the criticisms about the formula have potentially been improved by now - it certainly was a different consistency to Classic Rose. I'll certainly repurchase when I've run out to find out - the great colour is enough to make me work round the imperfections.

CiCi x