Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Battle of the Belts: Burberry vs Boys' Brigade

I've been in love with this Burberry Prorsum Icon Military belt from the moment I saw it in a fashion mag eons ago. I didn't even bother finding out the price. (A £20 Topshop belt is a rare treat these days.)

Walking past 'Venus Vintage Boutique' in my home town last week I did a comedy walk-past-walk-backwards move as I saw the 'Boys' Brigade' belt (above, right) in the window. Très similaires, non?

After having a little chat with the shop owner (and discussing how Savannah Miller  Sienna's sister  pops in regularly. She lives around here. Gutted I've never seen Sienna or Jude Law!) we discovered that the belt's stitching had disintegrated while in the sun of the window. The owner agreed to sell it to me for a reduced price of £25, instead of £45 (that was never going to happen), as I'd have to get it repaired myself.

It had to be a ruddy antique! I just wanted a belt like the Burberry one! I still haven't decided whether to buy it. I don't particularly enjoy taking on leatherwork projects. Decisions decisions. One thing's for sure – nothing* will be purchased, antique or Primark, until I'm paid.

*Excluding the two items procured in New Look today.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Make Mine a Mango

If the Mango 'Working Girl' lookbook is anything to go by, the store's Autumn/Winter collection will be well worth a browse.

Mango often have a few gems amongst a lot of rather questionable 'European' stretchy jersey items. I bought a fabulous winter coat from there last year, and although I did have to sew on all the buttons after they popped off, I do still love it. Are you a Mango fan?

Monday, 23 August 2010

Love her Look: Kelis

I'm well aware that this is a controversial choice. Kelis wears a lot of heinous outfits, it's true, but at least she's never dull.

Recently she's been wearing a range of African-inspired dresses, skirts and jewellery, such as this green number by Nigerian designer Lisa Folawiyo. Kelis is a big fan of the designer's Jewel By Lisa range, which uses traditional Ankara fabric in modern shapes.

Aside from the bull ring, I like her bold taste in jewellery. She rocks this Noir 'Sobat' necklace (above) with ease. I never like giant hoop earrings though. Sidebar: my gran once paid me £5 to take my 'fandanglers' (hoop earrings) out, calling me a 'gypsy'.

I also happen to think she's stunning, with gorgeous natural hair, perfect skin and an enviable body. And I love her track 'Home' for working out (walking the dog). Wow, apparently I will soon begin stalking this poor woman!

New York, New York

I'm going to New York in September. Very exciting! I've already started making a mental (soon to be actual) list of things to see, do and buy.

I've been to NY once before, aged 16 on a school art trip. We attended a lot of galleries, went to the top of the Empire State Building, visited the Statue of Liberty (but couldn't be bothered to walk to the top) and stood on the viewing platform of the World Trade Center. I accidentally dropped my watch off the side and a security guard had to get it for me. He was not impressed when he saw it was a Flik Flak.

A lot has changed since then but I'm looking forward to going back. Strangely enough I'm flying in on September 11. Bad vibes. I'll be staying with a couple of native New Yorkers and am hoping to see a different side of the city. It will also be very pleasant to indulge in the odd cocktail!

Please share your suggestions for places for me to go and items I absolutely must buy! I cannot wait to have a rummage in drug stores for US-only products! Definitely getting some Cetaphil cleanser. I'm in two minds about Cover Girl, now that I know they test on animals. I can't condone that.

I will definitely be purchasing some Victoria's Secret joggers – mine are pretty much the most-worn item in my wardrobe (embarrassingly enough). I don't leave the house wearing them though (well, only on really bad hangovers). Can't wait to hear your insider tips!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Undo Your Up-do

I'm liking the wispy up-dos worn by Scarlett Johansson and Lo Bosworth (Lauren Conrad's listless sidekick) recently. Highlights help to give extra texture but I must admit I'm not sure how to get that 'almost falling down' look without your hair actually falling down.

Friday, 13 August 2010

For the Love of a Good List

I'm a stationery kinda girl. Always have been. I used to watch Going Live and dream of winning the Pilot Pen Set. If I had the opportunity to select and purchase a number of different coloured pieces of card in a stationery shop I was a very happy girl. Every school trip meant a new rubber from the gift shop.

On my last birthday, my mother bought me a 'Filofax Mini' in a pink leather case with matching pink pen. A Filofax. I scoffed quietly at the 80's appeal of it and the fact that in my mother's mind, if I was to be a journalist, a career woman no less, I would be needing a Filofax. I also couldn't believe the price (she'd not removed the sticker).

I like lists but don't often need to make them because unless I'm utterly swamped, I can remember everything I need to do without writing it down. I recall this puzzling one of my colleagues at my old publishers. Basically, if I'm writing lists, I'm overwhelmed.

Recently, however, my head has been spinning as I lie in bed at night and I've found that writing a list of stuff to do the next day (in the back of my Filofax – of course) helps me to stop worrying and go to sleep. Before I go to bed I cross off the tasks I've completed and add some new ones for the next day. Very organised, very satisfying.

Aside from the blank 'notes' section (which is nowhere near big enough) my handy Filofax is also a diary and an address book. What methods do you use to keep organised? I never put anything on my Blackberry – does anyone else? Let's talk stationery!

I don't really write 'proofreading' in my diary every day, or 'proofreading sucks' (although it does). The reminder to blog about my Filofax was also a little joke... honest! 

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Pump it Up

I never could resist a semi-pointy pump and having recently returned two pairs of shoes, these babies didn't stand a chance. At only £8 from Primark, I won't mind when they inevitably scuff. Pointy flats are also more versatile than their round-toed sisters as they look equally good with skirts and trousers. I think that the pale mushroom shade satisfactorily disguises their humble beginnings.

These shoes are part of Primark's 'wide-fitting' selection. To me they look like regular width, but perhaps they might be unsuitable for those who are particularly skinny of sole. 

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Edward Bess Factor

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting makeup maestro Mr Edward Bess at the Zuneta-organised UK launch of his makeup range. And oh what a pleasure it was! (Sometimes late at night I still think about his swishy, shiny mane of hair, fluttering gently in the breeze of the nearby air con machine...)

We were presented with gorgeous, wearable products designed by a man who truly cares about making women look and feel their best. Edward was an absolute joy, even telling Grace London and I that we (meaning bloggers in general, not us two personally) 'rule everything' in the beauty industry. I'll take that.

I wouldn't allow myself to buy anything due to monetary limitations but I'd have happily picked up one of the perfectly-textured and toned Ultra Luminous Bronzers, the soft and smudgeable Ultra Luminous Eyeshadows (I liked Dusk) or the dinky little Compact Rouges.

We lucky ladies were gifted an Ultra Slick Lipstick in Secret Desire  a pretty rose pink. Despite loving its moisturising, fig-scented properties and wanting to show you how it wears, I'm looking like something that got dragged out of a drain as I've a pile of proofreading the size of the Yellow Pages to get through and will seldom be leaving the house this week. However, the always perfectly primped Make-Up by Katy has blogged pics of herself wearing the lippy here, while London Makeup Girl has blogged about the bronzer and eyeshadows here.

Apologies for my startled expression and seemingly extra-large head taking away from Edward's Twilight-esque good looks. 

Monday, 9 August 2010

No Bikini? No Diet

Recently I cannot seem to find the motivation to diet. It's not that I'm eating loads or even unhealthily, but just that if I fancy two Twixs, I'm going to have them. I also do that thing where I try to go for the low-fat healthy option, say, a banana, but then eat the chocolate that I actually wanted in the first place afterwards as well. That's just extra banana calories I could have avoided.

My weight may only fluctuate by around five pounds, but those five pounds make the difference between my feeling slinky and having a paunch! It's also an issue of bloating. When I was eating no grains my stomach was so much flatter, even though my weight didn't decrease dramatically. I definitely recommend cutting out grains for a few weeks if you're heading off on holiday and want to look slim in your bikini. Me? I don't think I'll have the opportunity to grace any beaches with my pale bikinied self this year. My friends all have other plans and my bank balance isn't really up for it either. So depressing. Hand me another Twix already. (I don't even like them much!)

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Guesting on Socialite Dreams

My glamorous friend Vonnie asked me to complete a questionnaire on my fashion and beauty loves and loathes over on her fantastic blog, Socialite Dreams. Please check it out here if you'd like to learn a bit more about moi.

PS When you click and see a dodgy woman with fake tan and blue eyelids, that ain't me! She is illustrating a point...

Love her Look: Eva Mendes

I've got a girl crush on Eva Mendes. She rarely puts a (blush pink Brian Atwood-covered) foot wrong when it comes to fashion, working body-hugging dresses like her life depended on it.

There's an Old Hollywood feel to Eva's perfectly polished outfits. She's never knowingly underdressed, or photographed with her knickers showing (unless it's for Calvin Klein). Best of all, she always looks gorgeously healthy. I envy her toned body, honeyed limbs, and, most of all, her closet.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Neon Nails

After reading the lovely Fleur De Force's top ten nail products on cosmopolitan.co.uk I was intrigued by Stargazer's 'flattering fluorescent pink',  no 104. Next thing I know, I'm standing at the Stargazer counter in New Look. These things do tend to happen!

I'd never bought anything from this cheap and cheerful range before but I'm impressed with the quality, colour and coverage. I also grabbed a bottle of no 169 – a glittery coral pink. In real life 104 is a true neon pink – not peachy as per the pics. Bright tootsies for £2.50 a pop.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Close But No Cigar

Flashback: Tinkerbell Makeup

Twice in the past few days I've found myself thinking about Tinkerbell makeup. This range of children's beauty products was a key part of my childhood. Every powder puff and lip balm was scented with the same distinctive Tinkerbell perfume. The peel-off nail varnish was my favourite product.

Sadly, following a legal dispute with Disney in the 90's, the range no longer exists. I'll always have very fond memories. Do you remember Tinkerbell products?

Monday, 2 August 2010

Celebs Dip-Dyeing for Ombre Colour

No time to get your roots done? No problem. The women of celebville have declared ombre hair to be not only acceptable, but desirable.

While us mere mortals can aim to achieve the look by cancelling a few trips to the hair salon, the A-listers get their grown-out ends painted on via balayage. These hand-painted highlights are applied without foils. Instead, colour is swept onto individual sections of hairs, lighter at the roots, and more densely on the ends, for a natural sun-kissed effect.

Of course it takes a lot of effort to look this low maintenance!