Friday, 31 December 2010

So Far, So Chic: Products of the Year


Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation
Flawless coverage, dewy finish, fruity smell, doesn't clog pores, not drying, reasonably priced – what's not to like?!

Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara (not pictured)
Love the shape of the brush on this mascara and the smooth application. Not convinced it makes my eyelashes grow longer but it's certainly not hurting them. Doesn't cost a fortune either. Review here.

Avon Luxe Lace SuperShock Gel Eyeliner Pencil
I've been using this constantly the last few weeks. The black pencil is blackest black, an ingenious gel/kohl hybrid and doesn't smudge.

Daniel Sandler Watercolour
My mum wanted a flattering cream blusher so I bought her this in 'flush' – a beautiful raspberry pink. A cult product that deserves its reputation – super wearable, blendable and long lasting. The residue left on the nozzle is enough to colour both cheeks.

Cutler Fly-Away Stick
I was given this at a Zuneta event in the summer and I use it almost every day to tame and smooth the frizzy hairs that spring up on my hairline. Available at

Scruples Renewal Colour Retention Shampoo and Conditioner
Plain and simple products that leave hair shiny and conditioned without being coated or weighed down. Light smell reminds me of Timotei. Cruelty free. Available at

Sigma Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush (F80)
Took about four weeks to arrive from the US but was worth the wait! The densely bristled brush feels beautifully soft and buffs foundation to a perfect finish with zero streaks.

Shu Uemura Cover Crayon
I use the pale end to line my lower waterline. Makes me look wide awake without the artificial doll-like effect of a bright white liner. Any skin-coloured pencil would work as well but this is the one that I have.

Prestige Brow Perfection
Bought in Duane Reade in New York, this brow pencil allows me to give some colour and definition to my eyebrows in a matter of seconds. The ashy colour is unusual for a cheap pencil and doesn't leave brows looking ginger! Available in the UK from spring 2011.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Travel Size
One of my all-time favourite products is now available in a teeny weeny little travel size! Look how cute it is! Could not love this more.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Four Fab Presents and One Sale Bargain

Accessorize bootie slippers and M&S long woollen socks.
Clarins Hydraquench gift set with moisturiser, serum and mask.
H&M leopard print scarf and Mango bag (that I bought in the sale!).

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Christmas Eve Makeup

I went out on Christmas Eve for what turned out to be a very tame evening. For my makeup I did a silvery, sparkly eye, which as usual doesn't convey in the pictures. I also look like a serial killer. Believe it or not this was the best photo. If you're wondering why I plucked an East 17 style stripe in my eyebrow, I didn't. It's a scar from one of my numerous childhood head injuries. Maybe from the time I was jumping on the sofa and landed on the glass coffee table... aah japes.

For my eyes I used Avon Glimmerstick Diamonds Eyeliner in smokey diamond, Luxe Lace SuperShock Gel Eyeliner Pencil in silver, Luxe Lace SuperShock Mascara and a sparkly liquid liner from an old Lancome collection. I talked about the Glimmersticks here. The gel eyeliners are AWESOME! I use the black one to create a really easy liquid liner effect. You can draw it on and use a brush to smudge it into the base of your lashes and create a flick. It sets in a few seconds and doesn't smudge all day. This silver one is very intense and metallic. It's an impressive colour but not one I think I'll be able to use often.

The mascara applies smoothly and creates great volume but for me the tube and the brush are too fat. My ideal wand is the Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara, which tapers at both ends. Fat brushes make it difficult to reach small lashes, however this does apply evenly and lasts brilliantly with no flaking. I wish you could see how sparkly this makeup was! Did you do any special festive makeup this Christmas?

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Review: Jennifer Aniston Perfume

I'm not one for celebrity fragrances, I promise you. I can't think of much worse than smelling like Katie Price... Despite my anti-celeb perfume snobbery, Jennifer Aniston's first fragrance release still managed to intrigue me. Probably because I've always considered Jen to be an elegant, classy lady with good taste (hello Brad, hello Vince) and one who'd no doubt smell rather lovely!

Everyone I spoke to prior to getting hold of this perfume assumed it would be 'beachy'. Even the print ad had Aniston sat tousled and gorgeous on a windblown coastal rock. I was expecting sea, salt, sand, seaweed... a relaxed, hippy sort of smell. None of which was right.

What you get instead is a very grown up perfume with a sophisticated floral finish, clean and soapy. The strongest notes are jasmine and violet, neither of which I'm usually keen on. However, the Eau de Parfum dries down to a lovely, subtle yet lingering scent; highly wearable and I've grown to like it.

The heart notes are blooming jasmine, wild violets and amazon lily. Top notes include citrus grove accord and rose water, while the base notes are sensual musk, golden amber and sandalwood.

Jennifer Aniston is available from The Perfume Shop.

My bottle's a sample and is missing its lid. 

Monday, 20 December 2010

Beehive My Baby Tonight

Despite having a crappy cold on Friday I had to go out in the evening as I'd promised my old workmates. In order to detract from my burgeoning 'cold face' and glowing red nose I decided to attempt this beehive hairstyle I'd seen in Style magazine earlier in the year.

Here's my version of the mag's step-by-step guide:

1) Split hair into two sections from ear to ear. Take the top section and starting at the front of your head backcomb in three-inch wide sections. You will look like a demented Edward Scissorhands. This is correct.

2) Clip the top backcombed section out of the way and roughly tease the bottom section of hair to create texture.  This is to help the kirby grips stay in place rather than for volume.

3) Pull all hair back from your face and use a bristle brush to gently smooth down the top layer of hair without losing the 'nestiness'.

4) Draw all hair down towards your neck as if making a ponytail and pull to the right. Place a vertical line of kirby grips from the middle of the back of your head at the nape of the neck upwards until the structure of your hair feels stable.

5) Your hair should still be loose to the right of the kirby grips so gather this hair and twist it back on itself to form a roll. If your hair is long, tuck the ends under near the top of your head. Push the hair into the beehive shape and secure with more grips.

6) Tease out loose tendrils using a tail comb and spray with a matte-finish hairspray that provides medium hold. I used Umberto Giannini Hold Me Curl Hairspray, which I was really impressed with; very fine, smooth mist; smells good and kept my hair in place all night.

Sounds like a lot of work but it's really all in the backcombing. The bigger the better. This hairstyle is not a friend of your hair – hello split ends! – but I love an occasional retro look for a night out. What do you think? Fancy trying out a beehive 'do this Christmas?

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The M&S Loafer Saga

I am in a deep yet fraught relationship with these Marks & Spencer loafers. I saw them in Grazia ages ago and have hunted for them in four branches of M&S and found a grand total of ONE pair in NAVY BLUE and a size THREE! Oh piss off. So I ordered a six and a half online and had them delivered to the Cheltenham branch hoping that they might fit. They're too small. The sevens are sold out. To summarise: life is cruel. Shoes are nice (and yet also deeply cruel). PS Terribly sorry about the wrinkly tights – you'd think John Lewis woollens would be good...

Quick Gift Idea: Umberto Giannini

All but the most organised (and smug) among us are probably still looking for a few Christmas gifts for friends and family and this Beauty Secrets Perfect Beauty set from Umberto Giannini could be just the ticket. I've always thought the print on their packaging was rather pretty and the same image is used on the large toiletries bag that houses this set. It's made of 'pleather' and niftily lined in waterproof rose-print material. Inside you get a full size Instant Beauty Makeover Spray to revitalise second-day hair, as well as travel size Pure Beauty Shampoo, Intense Beauty Conditioner and Perfect Beauty Finishing Cream. That's a lot of beauty in one bag! It costs £16 and is available from Boots.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Quick Word in Your Shell, Like

If you're looking lustily at my turquoise necklace in the Avon post and thinking 'What a divine vintage piece!' you will be pleased to know it cost £3 from Primarni and I got it t'other day so you can get one too!

Saturday Night Sparkles with Avon

So far, so chic

This weekend I decided to recreate Jackie Tyson's christmas party makeup look using the products Avon sent me. I followed this simple tutorial to the letter and was really pleased with the resulting look.

The Glimmerstick Diamonds Eye Liners are a real joy – soft and blendable to apply but once on they stay put all night. When I washed off these swatches on my arm the shadow and lipstick came straight off but the Glimmersticks didn't smudge even under soap and water! For me they provide the perfect amount of shimmer  subtle and chic but with a flattering twinkle when the light hits.

My fave part of this look was the Ultra Colour Rich Mega Impact Lipstick in 'pink pop' – pink with gold shimmer. These lipsticks have beveled edges like polished jewels and this shade in particular is beautifully wearable. The formulation is sheer, it smells gorgeous and the gold shimmer makes lips look plumped and pretty. I reapplied a gratuitous amount of times throughout the night for the pure pleasure of it! 

The Luxe Lace True Colour Eyeshadow Quad in 'lace hues' offers fashionable, wearable colours that can be worn sheer or built up for added impact. The petrol blue shade used in the video provides a nice alternative to grey or black and worked well with the eye liners. I applied my shadow exactly as Jackie does in the video using the applicator provided and keeping the dark colour confined to the lid. It was super quick and easy to do. 

I've been impressed with every Avon product I've tried so far, especially considering that the most expensive product used here is an £8 lipstick.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Kimberley Walsh is British and Fashionable

How gorgeous did Kimberley Walsh look at the British Fashion Awards this week! She picked the perfect outfit for her figure and colouring – I love everything about it including the red lippy/olive skirt colour clash. Oh to be able to wear a bustier top without looking like an 18th Century bar wench...

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

A Very Wicked Girl with Very Wicked Nails

Avon sent me some gorgeous treats yesterday, one of which was this dark and sultry nail polish. It begged for immediate application.

The shade is called 'wicked' and it's tricky to photograph in a way that does it justice (and my toes certainly don't  sorry about that). In the bottle the polish looks like shimmery black-red but once applied it's more like dark chocolate brown with a hint of burgundy/red. Often these types of colours look dark in the bottle but light and wishy-washy on the nail. Well, my friends, this is the opposite – you get perfect coverage in just one coat. I love it. It's really unusual and the warm tone is more flattering on pale skin than black.

Having had a look at the Avon website I see that Nailwear Pro polishes are on offer for £3! That's a ruddy bargain! I haven't had chance to see how it wears but I'll update this post and let you know in a few days. It certainly gets my vote in terms of colour, coverage and application.

And on the Seventh Day...

... Timberland created Earthkeepers.

My new boots have been a godsend in this weather as they're super comfy with deep tread on the soles, perfect for slippy conditions. I've been wearing them with skirts, jeans and leggings and have found them very adaptable. They also have good, strong zips that stretch the whole depth of the boot so they're easy to get on and off.

I love the burgundy colour: rich jewel tones look good in autumn and winter and liven up a plain outfit. My Bethel Buckle Tall Zip-Up Boots also come in light brown, dark brown (even though this colour is missing from the website) and black. The dark brown ones are lovely.

As I said in my previous post, my calves are smallish so I have the fastener on the tightest notch. This makes for a snug fit with no bunching of the leather. There are three different notches, which I think would fit most average-sized calves. Made from a mixture of leather and soft nubuck, they mould quickly to the shape of your feet. The insole is bouncy and supportive. I did find them quite narrow and had to size up from my normal 7 to a 7.5 but they fit perfectly.

My mum and I have been cracking up at Charlie the dog creeping stealthily into all the photos. The fact is, he's always by my side! He likes my Earthkeepers too because they're perfect for walkies!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Hot Nightwear for Cold Nights

As promised, for all the lucky ladies with enough heat (nudge nudge) in the bedroom to allow for sexy smalls, here's my selection of the prettiest nightwear around at the moment...

Clockwise from top right:
Sorrel Parma Violet Babydoll, Myla, £149 (just the top!)
Cara Camisole, Agent Provocateur, £95 (also just the top!)
Butterfly Blue Enchanted Silky Teddy, Figleaves, £25 (20% off)
Boudoir Drop Waist Teddy, ASOS, £26
Elle Macpherson Intimates Spree Chemise, Figleaves, £60 (20% off)
Nightslip, H&M, £12
Juliette Silk Cowl Neck Chemise, La Senza, £55

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Pyjama Confessions

Confession time: my pyjama selection is shocking. I cannot bear traditional pyjama tops – they're too wide, too short and the buttons are uncomfy when you lie on your belly. Instead I wear a bohemian selection of t-shirts and vests; none of which are winter suitable.

I buy pyjama bottoms whenever I see a good pair: the ones I like are cotton, long and loose, in pretty fabric with a ribbon or tie waistband. Without fail these end up flapping about my ankles, shrunken and embarrassing. I think it's obvious that I need some new pyjamas.

Me being me, I know exactly the type I want and they belong to Kim Kardashian! She wears her stripy Victoria's Secret jammies in the 'Kardashian Family Vacation' episode of KUWTK. If you live in the US or have access to the new Bond Street London store, their Fireside Long Jane Pajama (winter season) is the closest thing on offer at present. I also love the Afterhours Satin Pajama which I've seen Kourtney wear in other episodes. 

The cupcake pyjamas took a while to find. I won't tell you how long (it's disgusting) but I will say that Heat Magazine need to give me a job working on their 'What are they wearing?' celeb pages. These pjs are by a company called 'Scanty' but their Yummy Cupcake Thermals are no longer available.

So, what now? Well the UK shops have presented me with some fairly sparse offerings. This Butterfly Blue Merry-go-round Long John Set fits most of my criteria (cuffed sleeves and ankles, matching top and bottom, bright, 100% cotton) but the colour's a bit pukey and it costs £50! The Carnival Long John Pj Set is cuter and cheaper but lacks sleeves. These La Senza Stripe Long John Set and H&M Pyjamas are both quite nice but I really do want matching top and bottoms.

If money was no object I'd order these Hanna Andersson pjs from the US and scamp about the house like a happy little Christmas elf. They're the best thing EVER! Masochistic types can dress their husband and children in matching pairs and wait for social services to call.

For those who actually have a man to share their bed and may not desire to dress like an overgrown toddler in kiddie pjs, I might do a post on nightwear of the sexier variety...

In the mean time, share your pyjama shame: what do you wear to bed? Do you favour proper pjs or a menagerie of offcasts? I know there are some faded and frayed pyjama skeletons scrunched up under your pillows! Confess here. I bet you need new jammies too!

Edited March 2013.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Accessorize Your Christmas

I don't know what's happened to me this winter: I'm like a fat kid on a smartie for all things woollen and retro. Accessorize do the best slipper booties and I've included my favourite pairs here. I'd love to receive the blue and white fairisle boots on Christmas morning...

Clockwise from top left:

I'm also taken with a few of the Accessorize bags this season. I'll probably hold off asking for one for Christmas and see if I can snag a bag in the January sales instead. Their sales always include a good selection of clutch bags at the very least. 

Clockwise from top left:

I don't have any affiliation with Accessorize – I just like this stuff! 

Monday, 29 November 2010

Tights Please? No Thanks

This winter I thought I'd be all organised and buy my tights online. Instead of heading to M&S I ventured onto and ordered four pairs of Charnos: two 100 denier (£6.99) and two 60 denier (£4.99). I chose two black pairs and two 'steel' – a dark grey colour. There was free postage and the tights arrived a few days later.

Everything looked fine apart from the 100 denier tights in 'steel' were in fact 'light grey' and a totally different colour to what was promised. I'm not Gwen Stefani and was never going to wear unflattering light grey tights so I sent them back for an exchange (£1.75 postage).

I was contacted via email to say that my return had been accepted and another pair of 100 denier black tights would be sent to me. But I wanted grey. At this point I barely cared. This was 22 October.

On 12 November I emailed to enquire about my missing tights and to complain about the service I had received. Someone emailed me back the same day saying, 'Thank you for your email. The tights you have requested to be sent are black however they are on back order and are not currently in stock. I can change this order for you if you wish?' Well, for one I never requested black and two, where's my apology? I've been waiting three weeks for these tights and the ones on 'back order' aren't even the right colour!

I emailed back saying (in a less angry fashion than this) I ordered dark grey, I wanted dark grey, could I please have dark grey? I don't care what brand, I just want an equivalent pair of tights in DARK GREY. I've still received no replacement tights and no return email.

As if this wasn't bad enough, the 100 denier Charnos tights fall down. They have no actual waistband, just the same material as the leg all the way up. When I wore them out I had to buy some £3.99 H&M tights to change into mid-shop. Do I really have to wear a massive pair of granny pants over my £6.99 tights just to keep them up?!

Edit: have been in touch. They have apologised for the confusion regarding my order. I'm being sent a refund for the missing tights and another pair of the Charnos 60 deniers as a good will gesture. Thank you to Anna at Tights Please for her help. 

Friday, 26 November 2010

The Chavolution of Cheryl Cole

Little Cheryl Tweedy: original Geordie lass. More than a touch chavvy.
The gorgeous phase: with love trauma came fashion & beauty success.
Cute short hair but the style's slipping. Then the extensions came back.
What went wrong? Stringy red hair & tacky outfits. Cheryl's devolved.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Review: RoC Hydra+ Anti-Fatigue Moisturiser

Every girl knows that lack of sleep and stress are both enemies of good skin. We're all just sliced apples, gradually browning from the inside out due to oxidation. What a charming thought.

Antioxidants help to disable the chain reaction that allows free radicals to cause oxidative stress by damaging important cells such as DNA. The body produces its own antioxidants for this purpose but eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables has been shown to provide additional protection against ageing. Skincare brands are also wising up to the benefits of antioxidant-rich moisturisers and serums.

I was sent two RoC Hydra+ Anti-Fatigue moisturisers to test on my dry, fussy skin – one 'rich' and one 'light'. I've been using both products for nearly two months and (amazingly) my skin hasn't crisped up like it normally does when the temperature drops. I've also had very few blocked pores or spots.

The blurb says these moisturisers contain 'a patented cocktail of antioxidants ginkgo biloba and glucan to help protect skin cells from the damaging effects of stress and also reduce common signs of fatigue such as tightness, dullness and uneven skin tone'. As you'd expect, the 'rich' cream is a bit thicker (it contains shea butter) and takes a second longer to sink in. Now that it's chilly outside I've switched to mainly using this. Both creams feel really soothing.

The only downside I've found to both products is their tendency to 'pill'. If I apply a bit too much or try to put makeup on straight away they sometimes roll off my skin in little shreds. It's not a big deal and it only happens sporadically but it's mildly annoying. There's no SPF in either product though, meaning you could happily use them at night when this wouldn't be a problem.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Love her Look: Elin Kling

Occasionally when abroad I get mistaken for a Swede – probably due to the blonde hair (and eyebrows). I take this as a huge complement! Swedish fashion blogger Elin Kling also happens to be my new style crush. She's perfected her own brand of effortless chic, with skinny trousers, classic bags, killer shoes and bright splashes of colour. Her model looks and figure to match mean she looks good in anything.

If you can read Swedish (or just like looking at stylish pictures of pretty blondes) she blogs at Style By Kling.

Edit: Her skinny jeans are always Cheap Monday; those divine red trousers are by Cos.

Favourite Winter Cleansers: Luxe and Budget

I first tried Cetaphil in 2008 when I picked some up in Tobago. It's one of those rare 'cult' products that actually deserves its reputation. There's nothing fancy about it; it's very plain, there's no smell, it hardly lathers. It simply cleans skin without stripping it (and therefore causing it to produce more oil). My skin's dry anyway but I'm still very prone to spots for some doggone reason.

Being a fickle little beauty blogger I must have forsaken my beloved Cetaphil at some point – probably because I have to order it online in the UK. Towards the end of my New York trip in September a little pack of hormone-affecting drugs caused a major, major outbreak, to the point where I was on the plane home wondering if everyone thought I had Chicken Pox.

Having bought a gigantic bottle of Cetaphil in NY I started using it immediately upon my return and my skin has now been clear (barring the occasional spot) ever since. This time I am sticking with it. You can buy Cetaphil at Victoria Health for £7.95 with free postage. The name is slightly different to mine – 'Gentle Skin Cleanser' – but it's pretty much the same product.

Another cleanser I've been using since summer is Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm. This product does an ace job of removing heavy makeup. You take a dab and emulsify it with water in your palm. You then massage it onto your face and remove with a special double-sided cloth (or any muslin/flannel). The texture makes it ideal for those wanting to perk up their complexions with a little facial massage: it comes with instructions on technique.

I was originally sent the Amazing Face Natural Lift and Sculpt Anti Ageing Facial Starter Kit, as well as full-size cleanser. The kit's perfect for those wanting to try Emma Hardie as it contains cleanser, cloth, Rosehip Exfoliating Seeds and Natural Lift and Sculpt Moisturiser.

I finished the moisturiser ages ago (loved it), kept the mini cleanser for traveling and have been using the exfoliating seeds ever since. They last forever. You shake a few of the seeds onto your palm and mix with the cleanser before massaging onto your face. I thought I'd barely be able to detect them as they're tiny, but the seeds create a really satisfying scrub, without being harsh. You can also vary the 'strength' of the scrub by adding more or less seeds.

I like to use the Emma Hardie cleansing balm as a supplement to my standard Cetaphil routine – adding it in as and when my skin needs it. This cleanser feels wonderfully indulgent on dry winter skin but when I used only this in the summer I found it a bit too rich. Mind you, my skin is spectacularly unpredictable. If you like the Eve Lom (mineral oil alert!) or Liz Earle (heaven!) cleansers you will very likely enjoy this.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Eyelashes and Moustaches for 99p

My lovely friend Nikki is going traveling for six months as of next week so we had a big send-off for her at the weekend.

I picked up some 99p false lashes from Savers and did this winged out liner with a shimmery bronze lid. The only difficulty I've had with cheap falsies is that the base strip is thick and difficult to disguise.

I brought along a few key pieces for the occasion and within minutes of arriving at the pub had gone from lovely lashes to manky moustache... I even used my handy Duo lash glue to stick the thing to my face! Good times. Nikki don't go!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Perfume Collection: Past and Present

For her birthday last December I gave my friend Sophie 'Perfumes: The A-Z Guide'. Thankfully she agreed with me that it made for absorbing reading. I loved looking up my favourite scents before discovering which others I might also appreciate.

I've been lucky enough to receive several gorgeous perfumes lately, so in order to give you an idea of whether we might share similar tastes, I'm opening up my current collection for your perusal. I don't know much about top notes and dry-down and all that jazz. These are my emotional reactions to these scents, why I like them and what they mean to me.

My ex and I were shopping in Cheltenham one year when he nipped off on his own and came back with this  boxed and gift wrapped. I felt like I was in Paris with a romantic Frenchman! I look back and realise how lucky I was, although at the time I didn't know any better. I find this scent mature and elegant. It's a lot stronger than my usual perfumes, with incredible staying power. I once smelled it on a woman in the audience at the theatre and wondered if it was too old for me. I'm starting to grow into it now.

Eau Ressourçante by Clarins
My second bottle of this and I also have a spare waiting in the wings. Another Christmas present originally but one that mum picked out for me. After initial reservations it became a firm favourite for a couple of years (subsequently superseded). It's described as 'rebalancing' and that's absolutely spot-on. Refreshing without being sharp. You just have to smell it. Buy it in January when the gift set of perfume, body lotion and body wash goes in the sale – all three products are to die for. 

Aqua Allegoria in Mentafollia by Guerlain
I squirrelled away a sample of this and strung it out for a long time before finally tracking down a bottle to receive as a Christmas present. It's an unusual scent  quite minty and aftershavey but feminine not masculine. I still like it but don't often wear it. The bottle's terribly pretty but the metal flakes off beneath the stopper.

Truth by Calvin Klein
Another present from the ex and one that I asked for based on those little fold-over perfume tabs you get in magazines (there seem to be less and less of them these days – gutted – I love them!). This is so old it's changed colour. It still smells fine and I don't care if it has gone off, I'll never throw it away. Another fairly strong scent but infinitely more interesting than the other CK offerings in my opinion. Very much an 'evening' scent. I never wear it as it transports me back in time about 10 years, which is far too disconcerting.

Ralph by Ralph Lauren
Another signature scent from years gone by, this smells very young and fruity without being cloying or sickly. I think we discovered this at the same time but my best friend Casey has been wearing it ever since and at this point I'd say it's very much 'her' perfume.

Kelly Calèche by Hermès (Eau de Toilette)
I love this so much that I almost don't want to tell you about it, lest you all go out and procure a bottle. It's not like it's my secret, but I don't know anyone else who wears Kelly Calèche (and I don't wish to!). The scent, oh the scent! It does things to me. I seem to remember it described as floral with a hint of leather. It's heaven. If I designed a fragrance for myself, picked the bottle, chose the box, picked the brand... this would be it. This is my second bottle and it's almost finished. I need more. I MUST HAVE MORE! 

Deep in the midst of my obsession with the Eau de Toilette version I started thinking 'Eau De Parfum? Stronger? MORE?' and thus found myself on eBay buying the biggest bottle of Kelly Calèche I could get my greedy hands on without ever having smelt it. Turns out it's not simply a stronger version of the Eau de Toilette – it's different. Still good, but not as good as the original. The base is the same but there's a little something extra in there too. More of a berry element. Anyway, I sometimes wear this alone or combined with the Eau de Toilette for additional depth and staying power.

It's amazing the affect a perfume can have on you. In smelling and describing the meaning of these scents I feel as though I've just shown you a piece of my soul. It smells like Kelly Calèche. Don't leave me out here on my own: tell me what you think. What are your favourite scents? Which perfumes take you back in time to another version of yourself? I'd really love to know.

Monday, 15 November 2010

We're in the Navy... in a Playsuit

Another Saturday night out, another makeup look. This weekend I went for a heavy navy eye, similar to the Kate Moss look I did for

I used the same Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in 'prism' to create the smokey eye. Lancome Le Crayon Khol on the waterline. The palest colour in the Sleek Storm palette on the middle of my lids to make the lid look shiny. A bit of an old silver shadow blended in around the socket line/brow bone. False lashes would have been great but I didn't have any so I just used Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara (which, by the way, I don't think has made one bit of difference to my lashes, but I still really like as a mascara).

For base I used my new duo-fibre brush to apply Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation before layering on some Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser for added 'glow'. I'm really impressed with this brush - it  gives great coverage without heaviness. I used a No7 Concealer Brush from Boots to apply my fave Prescriptives concealer. I'm absolutely crazy about this brush and will have to do a separate post on it. It only cost about £7 and it's perfect for using to cover larger areas of redness, rather than for precision as with a tiny concealer brush.

I wore my new £19.99 H&M playsuit, which I thought went splendidly with my eye makeup as it's a kind of petrol blue/turquoise colour. 

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Shoreditch Pink Lips

A slick of Eyeko's London Lips gloss in 'Shoreditch' has been my recent go-to for perking up my pasty winter complexion. I like its pretty rosy colour and non-sticky feel. It smells yummy too. These limited edition glosses cost £6.50 each or £13.00 for a set of three different colours.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Duo-Fibre Brush Bargain

I'd been after a duo-fibre brush for a while when Beauty and the Blog recommended this one for £6.99 from Superdrug. The brand is 'QVS'. The packaging states that 'the unique combination of natural and synthetic fibres allows you to use it with loose powders, creamy blushers and concealers, as well as liquid foundations'.

Having never used this type of brush before it felt quite strange initially. The white bristles extending beyond the black creates a thin, tickly layer. However, the effect it creates is well worth suppressing a giggle for. My skin looked buffed and 'airbrushed' within record time. I was also happy to wave bu-bye to the annoying brush marks that I have to smooth away when I use my Bobbi Brown foundation brush.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Cheap Coat for a Little Lady

I bought this coat in Primark last weekend for £27. I wanted a 'lady' coat to wear with dresses for a Jackie Kennedy-esque look. I spotted a lot of grans trying it on as well so I guess it's an 'old lady' coat!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Revive Your Fashion Flare

Their Jumbo Classic Flap bags aren't the only thing Lauren Conrad and Kourtney Kardashian have in common – the sight of their flared jeans is making me want to rummage into the depths of my 'jeans pile'.

It's been a while since flared jeans looked right to my fashion eye but it might be time for a renaissance. I've never lost my affection for the leg-lengthening properties of a good pair of flares. Tight through bottom and knee before kicking out to mirror the width of the thigh. Ah the glorious retro goodness!

Kourtney's jeans are Dojo with Clean Pocket in Daring Cleo from 7 For All Mankind. I don't know who makes Lauren's perfect indigo pair (yet!) but Topshop's Indigo Skinny Flare Jeans are a fine dupe.

A brief word of warning: flared jeans should not be confused with their more moderate cousin – the bootcut. Those haven't looked right since 1995 unless you're Trudi from Mistresses (who the BBC wardrobe department clearly hate). In a capsule collection of dowdy sludge coloured outfits complete with matching stringy scarves, bootcut jeans are her constant. No wonder Richard fancied Katie.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Prettifying a New Home

My friend Julia is about to move into a new house with her boyfriend so for her birthday I wanted to get her pieces to prettify the new pad.

I had seen some gorgeous towels a while ago on the H&M website in the 'home' section. I decided to buy a selection of different sized and patterned towels as well as this cute 'We're open 24 hours' bathmat (also a great gift idea for Rebecca at Le Salon de Beaute).

Julia and I both absolutely adore floral print materials, and I especially loved these shower towels. As I knew the landlord would be repainting the whole house white, I went wild for bright patterns. The prices were fabulous too, meaning I could bundle up a nice big pile; wrapping it in a pretty length of ribbon I bought at the local haberdashery.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Cheryl Cole's Malaria Vogue

I remember when Cheryl Cole collapsed this summer following a photoshoot but I hadn't realised the shoot was for British Vogue (October). In her recent Piers Morgan interview Cheryl said her lips were blue when she woke up that morning and Cheryl's manager recalled that her face had looked a little puffed up when she arrived for the shoot. Considering this is mere hours prior to collapsing with life-threatening Malaria she looks pretty good to me!