Thursday, 31 March 2011

Milan Stylewatch, A Purchase & Bathroom Accessories

As I've said before, I love getting fashion inspiration from different cultures and cities of the world.  This time, I'm just taking a quick look at the women captured on film during Milan Fashion Week.  I selected the pics based on accessories I liked or just their overall look and the way it was put together.  One thing though...I don't think I could EVER get away with wearing sunglasses in Aberdeen until at least June!

This look is so simplistic but then you get down to her feet and BAM! Killer shoes all up in your face! Love it.

Especially love the outfit on the left with the multi-coloured patterned skirt teamed with chunky shoes and black accesories.  A great way to wear a bold pattern without feeling conspicuous during the daytime.

I am in love with her studded skinny jeans, they are amazing!  Thinking about it...this would actually be relatively easy to do with a cheap pair.  All you would need is some studs from a habidashery store and some fabric glue.

I would never have teamed black tights with knee high grey socks but it actually works really well.

I love the summery pop of colour teamed with understated black.  I need that bag in my life!

So simple, so stylish, so it.

I really like the little serpent clutch bag!

These red accessory accents are gorgeous and look so ladylike!

I'm always checking the Rise Fashion website because they have a great Outlet section where stock is massively reduced.  On Monday, I spotted this Adriana skirt for just £7.50!!!

I just got it in the mail today and it's absolutely gorgeous! It feels heavy and alot more expensive than £7.50 or even the original price of £22.50.  It actually looks very Reiss-esque.  The size is also very true to what it should be.  I got a size 12 and it fits perfectly.  I think there is only size 16 left on the site now...but for that price, it may be worth buying and having altered at a tailor.  That would only cost about £7.00 so all in all, it would be worth it.

This skirt could be worn in the daytime with opaque black tights and shoe boots or at night with some nice platform shoes.  I can't wait to wear it now!

There were also three brochures that came with my Rise Fashion order showcasing their newest ranges.  One particular dress that caught my eye was in the E1 London Spring Collection which is inspired by the art deco movement.  It's called the 'Angelina' Dress and it's only £45.  It's not on the website yet but I assume it will be in the next couple of weeks.  I love the drapey feel to it and the belted waist...

I now have all the finishing touches for the new bathroom.  I got an artifical red orchid plant from Dunhelm Mill for just £20.00 and also a very deep purple vase for just £5.99.  The vase almost looks black so it blends in well.  The room needed a pop of colour and this shade of red was perfect.

I found some really cool, stylish accessories from a Danish Brand called Lene Bjerre.  It's really tough to find their products online but they do trade out of some small independent interiors stores.  They don't actually make this hammered silver range anymore so I was lucky to get hold of a couple of pieces.

I love the contemporary design of the soap dispenser and it fits in so well with the luxurious feel of the bathroom.

I couldn't get the tumbler in the silver but I think the black works just as well and stops everything from looking too matchy-matchy.  Sometimes it's best not to match everything or it begins to look a bit twee.

I also picked up these four metallic bowls on a wooden tray from a small interiors shop for just £25.00.  I have put candles the ones on each end and keep cotton pads and cue tips in the two in the middle.  I was going to buy some pebbles to scatter in the wooden tray but then I thought...there's a beach down the road...why don't I just collect some small ones from there??? I'm not sure you're supposed to collect stones from the beach (a bit like picking wild flowers) but hey ho.  What can I say...I'm a rebel!ha ha.

Ok, I promise that's an end to bathroom stuff now so you can breathe a sigh of relief.  I realise that it's not the most riveting topic in the world but since a few people had asked me to show what accessories I had bought, I just wanted to mention it in a post.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Illamasqua Toxic Nature & Small Reiss Haul

Just before I went to Berlin, I received a lovely gift from the team at Illamasqua because I wasn't able to make the Toxic Nature launch event in London.  I'm always gutted when I can't make these events but it's just so expensive for me to get down to London and get a hotel etc.  I'm hoping that more brands start having events in Edinburgh or Glasgow so at least I could go along to some.  I'm dying to meet up with some other beauty bloggers!

Illamasqua sent me the Cream Pigment in Emerge (matte pastel peach), Precision Ink in Glister (opalescent nude) and a Nail Varnish in Stagnate (grey mauve).  The product I was most excited about was definitely the Cream Pigment in Emerge because I think it will make the PERFECT base for Mac Pigment in Melon, which I bought recently.  I will have to try it out and show you guys in a FOTD!  I think I will try out the Precision Ink product on the inner corners of my eyes to open them up. 

The Cream Pigment is a gorgeous summery shade that could possibly be used very lightly as a blush as well...I will also try that out and let you guys know.  I'm interested to see whether it could work as a lip colour too with some clear gloss over the top.  It seems to be very much a multi-use product so I'm looking forward to having a play with it.  Whilst swatching it, it felt very smooth to apply to the skin and the pigmentation is VERY impressive, as with all Illamasqua products. 

I love the Precision Ink in Alchemy (the gold sparkly one) and I'm wearing it in the photo in my blog header.  So, I'm interested to see what I can do with this new shade!

I never used to like all the grey nail polish shades that flooded the market a while back but I have slowly warmed up to them.  Don't knock it until you have tried it because these neutral shades can look very chic and sophisticated.  I remember a time when I would only wear nudes or pinks on my fingernails, but over time, I've started experimenting with new hues and I have to say that I now revel in painting on something a bit different.  I am yet to try full on black nail polish though!

There's something about receiving a Reiss package that gets me all giddy and that's because everything is always packaged up so beautifully.  You know you are buying from a quality brand and it makes you feel like you are giving yourself a gift!

I can never resist the Reiss sale on their website because, quite frankly, there's ALWAYS a sale on there.  Quite alot of the items are half price so there's always an opportunity to pick up a bargain!  I love buying decorative belts because it's an easy way to update a plain dress and add a bit of interest, whilst nipping in your waist and making the most of your curves.

This 'Shelby' Grey Leather and Chain Belt with enamel inlay detail was down from £59.00 to just £17.00!!!  I know you can pick up belts in New Look or H&M for hardly anything but Reiss accessories are SO high quality and always look so stylish that it's totally worth investing that extra bit of cash for something that will really last.  They also do this belt in cream too.

I love the clasp at the front and all the little details around the back that really make this belt look expensive.  The great thing is that it's not too trend driven and has a classical feel so it will last for years if I take care of it.

I'm a sucker for glam stuff so when I saw this Dace Black Stretch Sequin Skirt down from £79.00 to £30.00, I just couldn't help myself.  It's from the 1971 Reiss range and will be perfect with a plain white slightly oversized vest top and long pendant.  I think when you wear a skirt as glitzy as this, you generally need to tone it down with something that looks more casual on the top half.  Otherwise, you run the risk of looking overdone.

I love how there's black panels on either side so the sequin strips down the front make it very slimming...something that can't often be said about bodycon sequin skirts!

I already have this next item in another colour (beige) but the colour drew me in straight away.  This Dana Crystal Embellished Tank  in Dark Fuschia was marked down from £49.00 to just £14.00 which is an amazing bargain because the quality of Reiss jersey tops is second to none.  They wash so incredibly well and they last for ages without losing their shape or fading.  So whenever I see tank tops I like on the site, I snap them up!  Love this colour...

And now for a couple of motown-inspired songs which have been on repeat on my iPod of late.  The first one is by the 15 year old god daughter of Amy Winehouse, Dionne Bromfield.  Let's hope she doesn't follow in her godmother's footsteps in regards to lifestyle choices!  I love soul and motown as a genre of music...Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding...the list goes on.  So anything that is inspired by that era of music will generally appeal to me.  I think the video for this song could have been's a bit bland.  I like to see a bit more creativity when it comes to music videos because overall, you want the video to echo what the song is trying to say, whether it be literally or metaphorically.  I just like the concept behind the song too.  You know in your gut when you are just being messed around by someone and you find yourself making all these excuses for them.  Eventually you have to accept that they're just not that into you.

I have posted vids from Plan B before and I really like most of the songs from his most recent album because they all have a soul/motown sound to them.  I just love the paradox between the way he looks and the way he sounds.  He often looks like he should be hanging around street corners in a hoody! Once again, it's not a happy ever after kind of story behind the song, but it speaks of that time in a relationship when you know that things are going to end soon.  I know that alot of people don't like listening to sad love songs or songs about people breaking up.  But I never understand why, because if it's a good piece of music then why does it matter if the sentiment is happy or sad? We are all human and we all go through a range of emotions so it's natural that some songs ain't gonna be all sunshine and rainbows!  I love that music is so emotive and makes you feel.  It's an art of expression afterall. 

Monday, 28 March 2011

Update with FOTD (Pic Heavy)

Right peeps, I'm back on the ball now! Sorry for the sporadic posting over the last couple of mad weeks...hopefully I can get back to some normality in terms of blogging more regularly.  As I had said in my last post, I was at my friend's wedding on Saturday where she married her lovely fiance, Graeme.  I thought you might like to see some picaroonies just to get a feel for what the day was like.  It was at the Glentanar Estate near Aboyne in Aberdeenshire.  It's a traditional Highland estate that was built in 1869 and has 25,000 acres of beautiful landscape surrounding it...we're talking rivers, pine forests and heather-clad moors....gorgeous!

So, first up, here's me and the hubby posing for a pic just before the ceremony.  Chris was so chuffed he got another chance to wear his kilt ensemble from our own wedding.  I personally think guys look so smart in kilts and to be honest, even though they're wearing a skirt, there really is nothing more masculine!  Guys love wearing them because it makes them feel like they're in Braveheart! ha ha.  I wore a dress I got from Monsoon a couple of years ago.

This is another one of my best friends, Pamela, posing with me in the Glentanar Ballroom where the ceremony was being held.  I never know how to stand in photographs so I generally end up looking a tad awkward! I know you are supposed to angle your body and put one foots out but I've never mastered it to be honest.  The chances of me mastering it ebbed away with each glass of champagne!

But I did try out a token 'hand on the hip' stance...nice try Laura but better luck next time.ha ha.

I loved the atmosphere of the ballroom, it was real old school scottish style with candle chandeliers, stag's heads on the wall, exposed wooden floors, massive fireplaces and heavily beamed ceilings.

All the stag's antlers mounted on the ceiling were shot on the estate, which specialises in rearing deer.  Now just for the record, I am not in favour of shooting animals for sport (actually I'm very much against it) but I know that these stags were also used for food which somehow makes it a little easier to fathom.  I just wanted to point this out because I know there are a lot of people who feel very strongly about this type of thing.  I'm not advocating it by posting these pics!

The whole wedding took place in the ballroom and the dining room attached to it so the whole day had a really lovely, intimate feel to it.  We were fed champagne and (I guzzled) delicious canapes all throughout the day and then had a wonderful meal later on.

Chris likes to pull this face randomly in photographs just to intentionally hack me off...I did threaten that if he kept doing it, I would pull his kilt up and thoroughly embarass him!ha ha.  Funnily enough, he didn't do it again all night!  I did point out that it looked like he was trying to channel Marlon Brando in The Godfather!

After the meal, cake cutting and speeches, there was some ceilidh dancing which I avoided like the plague because I had massive platform heels on and had witnessed a couple of casualties on the dancefloor already!  I didn't fancy ending up with my skirt around my neck in front of all those people!  5 inch heels + champagne + wooden floors + celidh dnacing = a trip to A & E.

I did get up later on to bust some moves with the bride and my pals and although I expected my feet to be in some serious pain and spurting blood at this point, they held up surprisingly well! That could have just been all the champagne numbing the pain though.  And why is it that when songs come on from the 60's or 70's, you find yourself doing old lady clicking your feet together, clapping your hands and generally looking like an extra out of Saturday Nigh Fever?

This is Chris being a good boy after my threats of exposing his 'lucky charms' to the world...

Pamela bravely joined in the ceilidh dancing and got vigourously thrown around the place.  I feared for her safety at various points of the dance but luckily she emerges unscathed!

The whole day was so much fun and it was both surreal and so lovely to see one of my best friend's begin her married life with her new husband.  She looked so radiant and beautiful and I definitely got very teary during the ceremony, especially when her little sister did a heart-felt reading.  It was such a happy day and I wish them every happiness for the future.

Congrats to Kat and Graeme! 

It brought back memories of my own wedding day and the night was perfectly rounded off by Chris asking me up for the last slow dance.  Now this doesn't sound like much, but Chris NEVER dances and he literally hates it.  So for him to ask me up there was a big deal for me.  He continuously surprises me!

Although I didn't have time to take close up pics of my hair and makeup, I think you get the jist from the pics I have posted.  If you are interested in what I used to create this FOTD, then read on...

I wanted my skin to look radiant so I mixed my usual day moisturiser (Dove Silk) with a pea sized amount of No.7 Skin Illuminator in Peach.  This just creates a luminescence that shows through your foundation and helps your complexion to look more even.  I then applied a VERY thin layer of Loreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer over the top to ensure my makeup would apply as smoothly as possible and last all day long.

I then applied my usual trusty foundation, Estee Lauder Double Wear, mixing Fresco with Shell Beige to match my skintone (I had applied Xen Tan Face Tanner Luxe and Xen Tan Deep Bronze on my body the night before).  This is the ONLY foundation I can rely on to last all day without fading whatsoever, it's a genuine Holy Grail product that I just don't deviate from.

I used the concealer from the new Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit (Beige with Pale Yellow powder) under my eyes in a very thin layer.  Then over the top of that, I used the brilliant Origins Quick, Hide! Concealer in Light/Medium to set the BB concealer and also further camouflage my dark circles.  I finished off by sweeping some of the powder from the BB compact over the top to set everything in place.  I used the, quite frankly incredible, Estee Lauder Maximum Cover Foundation in Medium to cover any redness around my nose and also to cover up any blemishes.  I don't know how I ever lived without that stuff!

I set my foundation with a wispy light layer of Benefit Hello Flawless powder in Honey.  This stuff adds a real airbrushed effect to the skin so it looks flawless for hours on end.  I then applied my all time favourite bronzer, Dior Matte Sunshine in Honey Matte, following with Sleek Face Contour Kit in Light to add definition to my cheekbones.  My Chantecaille blusher in Joy was the cheek product of choice for a really fresh, natural flush of colour. 

When I was deciding on what highlighter to use, there's only one in my collection that would be natural enough for the day time harsh light but also effective when the sun went down.  That highlighter was of course Dior Shimmer Powder in Amber Diamond.  It went perfectly with the peachy pink tone of the Chantecaille blush.

To give my eyes more dimension, I used the Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow in RSVP as a base.  I love this shade as a base for neutral eyes.

This Dior Eyeshadow Palette in no.609 (Earth Reflections) is the perfect compact for a really gorgeous neutral eye.  I used the ivory shade all over the lid and in the inner corners, then the mid and darker taupe shades to define the crease.  I used Mac Vanilla e/s on the browbone for a natural highlight that wasn't too reflective for the daytime.

These Ardell 109 false lashes are one of my very favourite from any brand (my other favourite is the Ardell 110 style).  I always apply them after I have put on the base and BEFORE I apply my eyeshadow.  I just find that it's easier to get them to adhere to the lashline when there's minimum product getting in the way.  I just trim about a centimetre off the inner corner of the false lash with some sharp nail scissors as this tends to be the bit that aggravates my eyes and makes them uncomfortable to wear.  Once I have done that, I always use Revlon's lash glue because it lasts the longest on my eyes.  I leave the lash for 30 seconds whilst the glue gets tacky, then I pick up the false lash with tweezers and apply it carefully to my lashline.  You can then just use the handle end of the tweezers to pat it down and make sure it has adhered properly.  Practice makes perfect when it comes to false lashes and I'm getting better with each application.  I can see now why people get so addicted to wearing them!  My own lashes look diappointing compared to when I wear these! The best thing about the Ardell 109 and 110 styles is that they look so natural.  No one even knows you're wearing false lashes unless they really study you close up.  I highly recommend these two Ardell lashes...believ me, if I can do it then anyone can!

I used Benefit High Brow to line my waterline giving a fresh, bright look to the eyes.  I then used Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Liquid Eyeliner in Black to create a subtle cat eye.  This is the ONLY liquid eyeliner I can rely on not to smudge, flake or budge when I'm out all day or night.  It's practically bulletproof!  It does dry glossy, but if you don't like that, you can always go over it with Mac Carbon e/s to give it even more lasting power and make it appear matte.

I use my Benefit Brows A Go-Go palette every day to shape and define my eyebrows.  I only ever use the blonde shade on the left though and the little angled brush is perfect for a precision application.  Estee Lauder Brow Gel was used to make sure my brows looked tidy and groomed.  Then a very light dusting of Benefit Powderflage was used under the eye to tidy up any eyeshadow fall out.

I have been using these two Jemma Kidd Makeup School Pro brushes for the past couple of weeks and I have to say that I absolutely adore them already.  The top one is the no.12 and I use that for face powder.  It's so soft, it picks up exactly the amount of product I need just by gently dabbing it on the pan and it hardly ever sheds any fibres.  The brush below that, the no.6 Pro Crease Brush, is actually what I use for concealer because it has the perfect firmness for blending the product into the skin and creating a flawless finish.  It's especially good for blending liquid concealers under the eye and I use it for the Origins Quick, Hide! Concealer.  They both feel really high quality and I love the black and hot pink handles! You can get these brushes from Feel Unique (no.12 is £27.50 and no.6 is £18.00 with free delivery).

I'm still loving this Daniel Sandler Micro Bubble lipstick in Flamingo (the shade I'm wearing in the header for my blog).  It can be difficult to find vivid shades to suit your complexion so I'm holding onto this baby and will repurchase it when I run out.  I lined and filled in my lips with Estee Lauder Double Wear lipliner in Pink beforehand, then applied the Daniel Sandler lippy with the lip brush on the other end of the liner, blotted it, then applied it again.  I was shocked when my lipstick lasted all the way from 11am, through sipping chamoagne and the three course meal, right through until 7pm when I quickly reapplied it lightly.  My lips were still stained with the colour so I only had to lightly pat the lipstick on the inner part of my lips.  The EL liner really does give this lipstick incredible staying power!

For my hair, I washed it with Kerastase Bain Mirroir Shampoo and then conditioned it with a light conditioner - Aussie Lusciously Light Mega Instant Conditioner.  I then towel dried my hair and applied Frederic Fekkai Full Volume Mousse to the roots and lengths.  This mousse is so light but so effective and it helped to give my hair wavy until 3am!  It's great if you have fine hair that really needs a boost.  I dried my hair with a round brush to make sure it was smooth and shiny.  I then used my Babylis Conical Wand to curl my hair, taking 1 inch sections and holding it for 10 seconds.  Once I had finished a section of hair, I sprayed it with Aussie Volume and Gloss Hairspray to make sure it stayed in place.  It took a good 30 mins to do my whole head so my arms were aching a bit afterwards.  I have fine hair but I also have quite alot of it!

Once I had finished curling my hair, I sectioned it off, backcombed the roots and then put two pre-curled Foxy Locks wefts (a 4 clip and a 3 clip on top of that) into the lower back sections of my hair.  I just wanted to gain a bit more volume at the back since I was planning on clips back the sides.  The Label M Metal End Tail Comb is perfect for sectioning off hair and also for backcombing at the roots.  It's only £6.00 from the Label M website and it always comes in really handy when I'm doing something a bit different to my hair.  I finished off my hair by clipping back the sides of my hair with a tiny clasp at the back, leaving some strnads free at the front to frame my face.  I then combed my curls through with my Macadamia Natural Oil Comb to blend my hair with the extensions and also to stop the curls from looking too structured.

And there we have it!  I hope you're all still awake after all that info!