Saturday, 26 April 2014

Outfit: dog-walking in the Spring wind

One of the best things about being with B (sorry, B) is that his parents have dogs - and as my readers will have become alarmingly aware from trips to Crufts and dog-patterned skirts, I'm a bit of a fan. Unfortunately, having my own isn't an option, which is a shame, as apart from the companionship and cuddles (and having already planned the names of the first four dogs I'll own), I really like walking dogs. It gives you an excuse to get out and about and, if you're lucky, explore some more scenic parts of where you live.

Here are the furry characters, both absolutely refusing to pose for a photo.

It's quite hard to be both practical and stylish when you're roaming around muddy fields in the open air (which basically means in a wind tunnel). But actually, a lot of the time at the weekends I'm not prancing around in heels and skirts, but more likely to be found in high-waisted jeans and flats. With the right styling though, you don't have to look bland when you're casual/practical.

A leopard print ribbon round a ponytail and red lips will always add a nice touch.

It's Spring in the UK and I was in a field, so it's unsurprising it was very, very windy - here you see me trying to get about 234 pieces of hair out of my eyes/mouth, while not letting go of Meg the dog. Which doubles as a nice shot of my nails which were red with white half moons, which exactly matched my Converse (planned? You betcha)...

Denim jacket: New Look (old)
White top: Collectif (more to come on this another day!)
Black high-waisted jeans: ASOS (petite / regular)

Because we're in Cambridge, there's lots of rowing and sailing type things going on all the time, hence we were walking the dogs in front of an audience of sailors who were no doubt laughing at me trying to take photos while all of my hair was in my face.

Very pretty. As is this lady...

Shame Teddy wasn't willing to show me his best side.

A typical scene from any walk: the lead de-tangle...

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Friday, 18 April 2014

Outfit: pink and strawberry

I love coming across clothes from the depths of my wardrobe and letting them live another day. In this case, a cute little 50s-shaped jumper with a kitsch strawberry print. Who doesn't want a jumper with strawberries on it? It's a great piece for Spring, but I find it impossible to wear with anything but jeans because it's so bright and patterned.

As much as I actually do wear high-waisted jeans and trousers quite a lot at the weekends, it always feels less exciting than pretty skirts and dresses. Luckily, I had just the pair of pastel heels to make things more fun...

1950s casual look

50s sweater look
Jumper: New Look (old)
Jeans: Miss Selfridge (old)
Shoes: Clarks ('Chorus Voice')

Particularly nice touch to this jumper is just the one sequinned strawberry...


And although this top isn't available anymore as it's about 7 years old (!), there's a lot of pretty pastel jumpers with the 50s-esque crew-neck and half-sleeves about at the moment. I particularly like these ones with hearts, bows and polka dots from Peacocks, which are an absolute bargain.

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Saturday, 12 April 2014

Make-up: Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Striking

As close as I think I've come to it, my quest for the perfect daytime red lipstick I can wear to work if I want to still hasn't ended. While I am still happy with the colour of the last candidate - Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Red Laquer - it's just too darn glossy for me. As much as I don't like the look of shiny lipsticks, I also really don't like the way they feel on my lips sometimes, like they've coated me in something a bit slimy and/or sticky. Red Laquer is by no means the worst of the worst for this, but I still felt like there could be something better and more matte out there.

But Revlon, it's ok, I'm willing to give you another try! Especially if you release a range of new matte lip pencils which includes a red...

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this, but Revlon are my favourite choice for affordable lipsticks. On this blog, I've reviewed countless tubes - probably more than any other brand. Mac make imaginative colours, but they're a bit pricey, usually drying and only available from a handful of stores. Nars make excellent products but each lipstick is ridiculously expensive and again you can't find it anywhere. Revlon launch endless new ranges of lipsticks I can actually afford and I love trying them all in store.

So, I was very excited to try their new range, which they touted as a matte 'balm' but I actually think is a lip pencil because the pigment is so strong and, well... it's pencil-shaped, Revlon. I've never worn such bold balms as these. They're also not uber moisturising, which is why you wear a balm, so again, that's a balmy fail, Revlon.

But it's fine, because I really like this range and especially the red, Striking. I read a review and the girl said she found this colour the most boring because it was the least unique. I disagree, if you buy as many red lipsticks as I do you can spot one that's a bit different. This is a red with a hint of pink that goes on matte and is obviously red but not overly strong - so I think it could be my new daytime favourite. I don't really understand how something as bright as that in the tube is kind of muted on, but it is.

Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm Striking review

  • Some might dislike the packaging, but I like it! And the best thing is the lid doesn't pop off too easily, which I find happens with my Nars pencils (first world problems)
  • I like the slightly minty flavour - which I guess is Revlon trying to be 'balmy' again
  • It really does go on matte, hooray
  • The pencil twists up from the bottom so you'll never need a sharpener
  • It's a good price (£8) and Boots like to run 3 for 2 offers on this brand
  • Because you don't use a sharpener, I can already tell the pointy tip will wear down, so precision is going to get tricky
  • I'm not sure on what planet this is a balm - it isn't as drying as my Mac lipsticks but it still over the course of day will cause the dreaded lip flakes
  • There's a chance this just doesn't have enough of a bright red kick to me, with its muted and pink tones, to become my all-time daytime favourite
I think the search continues, but good try, Revlon!

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Saturday, 5 April 2014

Vintage style: capsule wardrobe - the trench coat

It's that time of year again - the time when the beige army is back on the streets of the UK. And if you haven't guessed what I mean by that from the title of this post alone, I'm of course referring to the fact that most British women seem to have a trench coat (or mac) in their wardrobes, just waiting for the temperature to hit the double figures again.

I'm a big fan of the fact this style staple is still a favourite - and that they've really not changed that much since the World Wars. It's, however, difficult to find the really classic ones to fit me, as I always need petite sizing for coats.

F&F Limited Edition Full Skirted Mac

Imagine my delight when I found a simple, full-skirted trench at supermarket fashion favourite, Tesco! For £40, I bought the petite version of this mac - I love the single-breast, defined lapels and, of course, the big skirt. Simple, elegant and just a little bit retro. You can also get this in a standard size in a pale blue version which I love - and right now on Tesco's site both the petite and standard versions are knocked down to a truly bargainous £28.

As the above picture doesn't really do this lovely coat much justice, here are the obligatory snaps...

Trench coat: F&F, Tesco
Dress: 'Super Spy Dress', Heartbreaker
Shoes: 'Ali Katelina', Clarks

Unlike most trench coats on the cheaper end of the scale, this one is fully lined with a cute floral pattern. It also is a true mac, as the outer material has that slightly plastic-y texture which means it's water-repellent.

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