Friday, 26 May 2017

The best true red matte liquid lipsticks: a ten lipstick comparison

The best true red matte liquid lipsticks - a 10 lipstick comparison

Ever since it finally dawned on me that my best chance of a red lipstick that was as transfer-proof as possible was a liquid lipstick, I've been on the hunt for my best option for my wedding day. I feel like I've tried nearly all of them by this point - if I'm honest it became a bit of an addiction to keep trying more, mooooore! I did have to draw the line - not before I'd done nearly the lot though. The only most glaring omissions in this post are probably Anastasia Beverly Hills and Jeffree Star (and any 2017 launches I've missed - I started writing this post in 2016!!) - but as they're super expensive to get hold of over here I hope you'll give me that.

Otherwise, you're going to see opinions on Nyx, Maybelline, Sephora, Kat Von D, Stila, Smashbox - with photos (all in the above picture), and further comments (because the colours I had weren't quite in the true red category) on Limecrime, Colourpop, TheBalm and Bourjois. Spoiler alert - some of these are really brilliant and one of these is brilliant enough that it's going to be my wedding day lipstick. The criteria was simple: a true, bright red that was as neutral as possible, matte or mostly matte and, vitally, kiss-proof and long-wearing, allowing easy touch-ups. Well, it sounds simple but actually it's quite a big ask!

Below I'm going to give you opinions rating the lipsticks out of 5 in various categories. There is one category that anyone who's worn a liquid matte might be looking for - I haven't rated any of these on how moisturising they are. That's because, largely speaking... they're not. The one thing I've learned from trying all of these is that you need to expect a certain out of drying from this kind of product. Some are worse than others, but pretty much all of these made my lips flake to some extent by the end of the day. I feel like how drying a formula is is deeply personal - some people will be worse with this than others, so I think if you like the look of one of these you'll just need to see if it works for you. But otherwise, hopefully the categories are fairly relatable for everyone.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Outfit: how to heart the rain

As we enter what is probably our first week of summer weather in the UK, I'm posting about the rain. Typical. I'm sure we'll be back to normal by next week though and when that day comes I've discovered the easy way to learn to love the rain - buy cute rain gear! Ok, maybe I still don't love the rain, but it's a lot of fun dressing for it when you've got a cute new mac and a heart-shaped umbrella!

Whenever I inject some 60s style into my look, I tend to get a few comments saying it suits me. I often think to myself that apart from the eye make-up (I've got a deep belief that everyone looks good in 60s eye makeup) it's because I'm quite deliberately not picking the shapes that might be less flattering. I really don't think I'm going to look good in a tent dress, for example - I don't have the height to pull it off and my bust is going to be a hindrance rather than a help. Shift styles, I find, can be hit or miss. They really have to be a good shape for my figure to not make me look bigger than I am and when you're a little curvy that can be a challenge. 

But when I find something that works, oh it's wonderful! This mac, I think, falls into the 'it works!' category and I just love that it comes in white. I found myself trying to pick a more 'sensible' colour, but actually concluded that white kind of is sensible. Firstly, this is a very light (un-lined) coat and its main purpose is to be waterproof, so it's definitely a good one for spring and white therefore feels quite appropriate. Secondly, white goes with everything in the same way black does, so it's actually a lot more practical than the red one I was considering. And for a bonus third point, it feels quite authentically mod, which makes it fun to style! Atom Retro tell me it's based on Mary Quant's original PVC rainsmock, featuring the same 'Christopher Robins collar', block colours and contrast buttons. So there you go, authentic.

And fun it was because I had just the accessory in mind. Is there a person on this planet that doesn't agree this umbrella is awesome? What I like about it is it's actually kind of subtle - when you're holding it normally you probably wouldn't particularly notice it's a heart shape, but pop it over one shoulder and it's a whole different story. If you follow me on Instagram you'll have seen that this umbrella came courtesy of my wedding props box. It's a prop I'm really hoping I don't have to use, but if I do, it's so cute I might just get over the whole rain-on-my-wedding-day thing... Maybe. Unfortunately I don't think the mac is going to work with my dress ;)

Jackie PVC white 60s rain mac by Madcap England, Atom Retro

Jackie PVC white 60s rain mac by Madcap England, Atom Retro

Jackie PVC white 60s rain mac by Madcap England, Atom Retro

Jackie PVC white 60s rain mac by Madcap England, Atom Retro

Jackie PVC white 60s rain mac by Madcap England, Atom Retro

Jackie PVC white 60s rain mac by Madcap England, Atom Retro

Jackie PVC white 60s rain mac by Madcap England, Atom Retro

Jackie PVC white 60s rain mac by Madcap England, Atom Retro

Jackie PVC white 60s rain mac by Madcap England, Atom Retro
Beret: Joy (old)
Earrings: vintage (gift)
Top: New Look (old)
Cigarette pants: Lindy Bop (old)
Shoes: Office (old)
Umbrella: eBay


In case anyone wonders, I'm wearing the size Small here and if you're an 8-10 like me that's going to be the one for you. I have rolled the sleeves up by about an inch for these photos, but I can get away with them down.


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Monday, 15 May 2017

Outfit: baby blue

One of the reasons I don't wear dresses, as I've mentioned before, is it's so hard to get the fit right when you're petite and your torso, legs and shoulders are smaller than average. I've never owned a swing style from Collectif because the skirts are far too long on me and the bust line usually hits me in wrong place... until now! The Jade dress is a gamechanger.

First up, adjustable straps. Hallelujah, there's been so many dresses with adjustable straps this year and may it long continue! So, that's the top half sorted. What about the skirt? Oh hello, you look familiar... It's based on the Jasmine style - and the Jasmine style is a winner because it's a much more wearable length for the short (I'm also wearing it here and here). Add these two things together and we have a swing dress I can wear without a trip to the tailor. It's also in this gorgeous shade of baby blue, which just happens to be one of my favourite colours. You're going to be seeing a lot more of this colour in my wedding photos!

The only thing that makes me sad about this dress is that I felt amazing in it, but I don't think it translated completely into the photos. Some clothes are just like that - you look in the mirror and think 'hell yes!' and then you look at 200+ blog photos and think 'er...hang on...' And I really can't work out what it is that's off. I mean, it doesn't look bad, don't get me wrong, I just saw it differently in the mirror. Oh well, it's not always about being picture perfect because every other time I wear this dress I'm not going to be taking 200 photos of it! So, if it makes me feel great that's good enough for me.

Collectif Jade dress in baby blue review

Collectif Jade dress in baby blue review

Collectif Jade dress in baby blue review

Erstwilder Rockabilly Queen brooch

Collectif Jade dress in baby blue review

Collectif Jade dress in baby blue review

Collectif blue hair flower

Collectif Jade dress in baby blue review

Collectif Jade dress in baby blue review
Hair flower: Collectif
Bag: Collectif
Shoes: B.A.I.T. Footwear (old)


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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The Cromer 60s festival (or the day I became a celebrity)

So, by now, you all know that I'm about to get married at the seaside in a town on the Norfolk coast. We've spent a lot of time in Cromer of late, going back and forth to sort various bits and pieces out for the wedding. How people plan weddings abroad I have absolutely no idea, by the way. How can you just turn up on the day and know everything's going to work out?! Shudder. Anyway, I digress. On our last trip there, the pier manager told us how they plan to make more of their lovely pier and one of the first things they were doing is hosting a 60s festival. Unsurprisingly, I got a bit overexcited because we all know the 60s has the best music and so the weekend rolled around and we decided to give the planning a rest and go enjoy ourselves.

So, here I am, enjoying myself. Or rather, here I am pretending to enjoy myself while every single person who passes by takes a photo of me - you can't see the 2 or 3 people next to B who are papping me at this point. Basically, I couldn't walk 10 steps without someone either shoving a camera/phone in my face. I realise there's a sort of unwritten rule that if you dress up at an event like this you're fair game, but I was still pretty annoyed by everyone who took my picture without at least telling me they were doing it. It was something else to turn my head while getting stuck into an ice cream and find another giant telephoto lens in my face... I'm not cut out for fame.

Cromer 60s festival outfit on the pier
Hat: eBay
Sunglasses: eBay
Coat: New Look (old)
Top: Doll Me Up (out of stock)
Belt: free with Collectif dress
Skirt: one of the oldest items in my wardrobe
Tights: ballet store
Boots: borrowed!
Bag: Ollie & Nic (old)

Ok, yeah, yeah. Brought it on myself. The thing is, I dressed up because there was a costume competition... that I completely failed to find. I probably only saw 6 other people dressed up so I think I would have been in with a shot! C'est la vie... It's funny what goes through your head when you're planning to enter a costume competition at something like this though... This is an outfit I was ok with wearing all day that looked enough like the widely accepted idea of a 60s outfit... So not my best vintage fashion blogger work ;)

Anyway, there were also a lot of very cool scooters. Seriously, so many scooters...

Cromer 60s festival - scooters near the pier

Cromer 60s festival - vintage scooters

I toyed with jumping on this one because... well because it matched my outfit the best. I'm sure I didn't even need to tell you that. But then I realised I was in the world's shortest skirt and decided that would not be a good thing considering another 6 people were taking my picture at this moment. 

When a vintage scooter matches your 60s outfit

Back to the outfit, so I didn't allow myself to buy anything new for the occasion because money's tight an' all, which meant I had to spend about an hour pulling everything out of my wardrobe, primarily because I was trying to work out what I owned that matched this coat. This coat is not the easiest of coats to match things to and the one thing that a good 60s look pulls off is colour co-ordination, so it was my #1 priority. Being the only coat I have that is even remotely 60s in style, it was the only option and I love it so it was a good excuse to wear it again. My second problem was that I own precisely two miniskirts. You're looking at the one that isn't the denim skirt. Both items were acquired at approximately age 16 and it's a good thing people wore stuff low on the hip in the noughties because it meant I could wear this one a bit higher up than the old days and actually do it up. The rest of the outfit consists of nearly all of my salmon/light pink items of clothing and thus an appropriate outfit was born. The hat and sunglasses I borrowed from my wedding supplies, so you may even see them and their true purpose soon.

Cromer 60s festival outfit on the pier

One of my favourite things about the 60s is the excessive eye makeup so I went to town on that. 

60s hair and makeup

And here's B's outfit...

Vintage cyberman

I kid! Although he would definitely dress like this if he had the suit. Have I ever mentioned he is a massive Dr Who nut? Probably not, as it's the kind of thing one doesn't go shouting about... What did he say when he saw this vintage cyberman suit? 'This suit isn't from the 60s, I know what an 80s cyberman looks like.' Like I said...

VW retro camper at Cromer 60s festival

VW retro camper at Cromer 60s festival

VW retro camper at Cromer 60s festival

I can never resist a cute campervan - particularly not when it matches my coat. Actually, funnily enough, this camper matches something else - my wedding! Light blue, red and white is something you're going to be seeing a lot of around here post June.

And speaking of the wedding...

Cromer pier 2017

CiCi Marie in front of wedding venue

... Here's the two venues! I will be married in the window of precisely where my hand is pointing... and if you gaze through said window you're looking straight at the sea, with the pier in easy view to the left. I wonder if anyone can guess what I'm walking down the aisle to...?

So that's it for now, Cromer - and the next time we see you will be very special indeed.


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Friday, 5 May 2017

Outfit: daisy dream

Today is my birthday and the day I think I have to officially start saying I'm in my 30s rather than that I've just entered them. I'm quite ok with that though - so far my 30s have been one heck of an improvement on my 20s and I'm looking forward to seeing what else this decade brings! And hey, I'm still early 30s for a while longer yet ;) What makes me laugh whenever I refer to my age on this blog is that inevitably someone always expresses absolute astonishment that I'm as old as that. All I can say is, this youthful face is going to do me well in my later years. Anyway, you're not here for my rambling birthday talk, you're here for my outfit! Which features a playsuit - so you should be thankful I didn't call this post 'Birthday Suit' cos I was gonna just to see if anyone panicked... 

I wanted to share this outfit today, on my birthday (ok, that's the last time I mention it) because it's one of my all-time favourites and this set of photos came out exactly as I pictured them (despite the wind - CiCi: 1, Wind: 267). It's not often a collection comes along and I want most of it, but Voodoo Vixen's spring/summer range definitely ticked all the right boxes for me. I've already shown you my favourite dress, but something else they've aced this season is the cutest one-pieces. I was yet to own a playsuit, actually - and for someone who has been blogging vintage inspired clothes for 5+ years, that's a bit of a travesty and one I've now rectified in the best way possible...

Because this isn't just any old playsuit, I actually believe it might be The Best Playsuit There Ever Was. It is so beautiful and so very flattering and I wish that the weather was good enough here to wear it all the time because I absolutely would. Voodoo Vixen have aced it with this piece - I love the colour, the fabric, the cute daisy trim, the belt detail, the flattering shorts and above all, the ADJUSTABLE STRAPS! Without those, the awesome fit of this playsuit wouldn't have been possible - with them, it looks like it was made for me. I actually kind of think it was, because I'm not sure any other item of clothing I own is as universally flattering as this one is?

And yeah, maybe playsuits aren't practical for bathroom trips, but actually, in all other respects I'd happily run about all day in this one because it's a lot comfier than most of my skirts and dresses and I'm quite happy not wearing my waist cincher with it (I don't have it on here, but in most other photos you see on this blog I do). If you are thinking of getting one, the size guide on Voodoo Vixen's website is pretty accurate - I took my usual small.

Voodoo Vixen Jayne playsuit review

Shazam daisy hair flower clip

Voodoo Vixen Jayne playsuit review

Voodoo Vixen Jayne playsuit review

Voodoo Vixen Jayne playsuit review

Voodoo Vixen Jayne playsuit review

Voodoo Vixen Jayne playsuit review

Voodoo Vixen Jayne playsuit review

Voodoo Vixen Jayne playsuit review

Voodoo Vixen Jayne playsuit review

Voodoo Vixen Jayne playsuit review
Hair flowers: Shazam
Bag: Collectif
Sandals: Fredrica by Swedish Hasbeens (available colours)


And just in case anyone fears I'm writing this on my birthday, don't fear I have a weekend full of activities and NO wedding or blog work whatsoever. After four solid months of all weekends featuring one, the other, or both (usually), it's bliss indeed...


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Monday, 1 May 2017

Four favourite novelty & kitsch finds

There's a lot of things I acquire that don't end up on this blog, but now and then they're too awesome not to share. I wouldn't want you all to miss out!

First up, these two awesome homeware purchases from Asda, of all places. I'm very sorry people outside the UK, I don't think George Home items are available for international delivery. I don't know why supermarkets here refuse to post more widely... Anyway, for those of you who aren't about to get annoyed at me, please have a look at my awesome new lamp and vase. One is shaped like a pineapple, one like a dog. Pretty much covering all the best novelty bases right here right now.

True story, I've been looking for a dog-shaped vase for about two years and though I've found them, they've usually been pugs. I mean, I don't have anything against pugs, it's just that they're not my favourites - golden retrievers are. And so when I saw this vase, and that it was £15, I couldn't checkout fast enough. Seriously, I was so panicked it would suddenly go out of stock in the minute it took me to put the order through my heart was pounding. That's how much I love it.

The pineapple was only £20 and it doesn't give off a lot of light but the light it does throw out is in such a pretty pattern through the little holes you can see that I forgive it. I mostly wanted it to be decorative anyway, so, tick!

George @ Asda dog shaped vase and pineapple lamp

Apologies in advance for this one as it's just sold out online since it was put in the sale for £6 - £6! But if you have a local store it's worth checking if you like it as this only just happened. This is the awesome 'botanic leaves pendant' from The Range. It's just a simple lampshade you hook over a bulb and it looks a LOT more expensive than it was. It also goes fabulously well with my new pineapple, dontcha think? I try really hard not to be a total cliche with my homeware, but when I saw this one popping up in the retro community I couldn't resist. We'd been looking for a cute new ligthshade for the living room to replace an overly large glass dome that B continuously catches his hair do on (I was going to just say 'head' but 'hair do' is more accurate and more hilarious).

The Range botanic leaves gold light shade

Ok this is slightly cheeky, as I didn't buy this bag - it was a wedding gift from the kind folks at Vendula London. For my mum, I should add. Long story. She's lucky I'm not keeping it, because it's really awesome. I love the tassels acting as bunting - see how they join up with the bunting on the bag?! It's this level of attention to detail that makes me love Vendula so much. Also, that door of the caravan totally opens. I mean, it's not useful or anything but it IS awesome.

Vendula London caravan box bag

What? I had to test it to make sure it was ok before I give it to mum.

Vendula London caravan box bag

Hope you enjoy my finds as much as I do!


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