Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Snow in Spring?!

Weather reports are saying that snow is on it's way. This is not  news I want to hear in March. The weather should be bright, with breezes, warm showers and the smell of Spring; everything coming back to life. One thing's for sure; I'm having a lot of trouble deciding what the hell to wear - a sunny start to the day gets me excited, and I decide to ditch the chunky cardigan i've been living in over winter and go for a jacket, but almost every outing involves an oufit re-adjustment before leaving the premises.

I have a mental list of things I want/need for the Summer (if it ever arrives...)

1. Military Chinos, £20 @ New Look
I'm currently eyeing up this pair from New Look but I'm not going in for the purchase until the 20% offer comes in (April 9th)

2. Black Strappy Wedges, £30 @ New Look
Oh my! I have wanted some wedges like this for a while now. Orginally I was contemplating a splurge on a £65 Topshop pair but before my irrational spending could get the better of me, they sold out. These are just as good and at £30 I'm not going to argue!

3. Strappy bodycon Skirt, £15 @ Boohoo.com
I'm pretty boring when it comes to skirts. I'm not very adventurous with them. Mostly, I wear bodycon skirts and use them for layering under a long top. This is a little different with the strap-stich detail, it also has versatility -which is great if you're anything liek me and can;t stand buying things that you'll probably only wind up wearing once!

4. Cropped Top, £15 @ Topshop
I have nothing in my wardrobe this colour. That's a justifiable excuse in itself. I think it would also contrast nicely against the khaki chionos.

It may not be a large list but the season is still young. I once again have a working sewing machine! I have many ideas of what I will attempt to make (I have no idea what I'm doing) and I have already made a pair £3 primark jogging bottoms skinny and taken in a hand-me-down black velvet skirt (I like the Hocus Pocus look.

So, this summers going to be about DIY fashion! See how to make Alexander Wang Sock braces here!
Let's hope we get some sun !

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

a bit of DIY

On Sunday morning I woke feeling surprisingly spritely after a late night spent catching up on desperate housewives. After a trip to a Dunelm Mill with a friend I had remembered to buy some hemming web and elastic for a little DIY idea I had seen here. It was the customising of knee-high socks to make them look like those featured in Alexander Wang's Spring/Summer 2010 collection.  I came across this girl (after getting lost on a 'blog wander' ) who had created this awesome idea. I thought I'd give it ago (you see i'm a bit creative like that -granted, not everything I make is wearable).

Photo credit: JazziMcG

For anyone who doesn;t know what hemming web is its a bit like ribbon that you cut to whatever length you need, you place it on the inside of the hem and fold the excess material over the web and iron. It's just a quicker and easier way to adjust the length of things like trousers. I love the stuff I have made a garish gothic skirt that I have a strange love for, constructed using just hemming web and elastic, (it hasn't fallen apart yet - though that would be embarassing).

So anyway all you need to make yourself of sock braces as they have been dubbed, is elastic the same colour as the sock about an inch wide, hemming web, needle and thread, scissors and white chalk or eyeliner.

I'm not gonna tell you how to do it becasue I think It's only fair you visit her blog and find out, but I will tell you what I thought.

First off, drawing and oval on the back of the sock whilst wearing it is hard. My attempt looking like a child's drawing, so after squiggling some kind of outline, I took of the sock and tidied it up a bit. After cutting out the ovals and sewing on the elastic (seems more sturdy) I checked the even-ness of the holes in the mirror and with no surprise one was twice the size of the other. I carefully cut to match the largest hole whilst wearing the sock (not something health and safety would approve of but that goes out of the window in my room!). Unfortuneately I only had over the knee socks but it still works okay you just have to trim and iron the hem under. I did this after sewing on the elastic as you may have to stretch the sock a certain way to stop it from gaping at the sides.

Hear is the result! The shorts I'm wearing are DIY cut-off tracksuit bottoms (£3 from primark) hemmed up using...HEMMING WEB!  It's a sporty look i'll be championing when the sun comes out for more than half an hour.

Shoddy photo's by me

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Angry, Impulsive Shopping

I received my phone bill today and I was not impressed. I recently haggled my way up the mobile phone tree and upgraded to an awesome htc hero but only under the under the conditions that I would be given unlimited internet usage for free. Well, I should have know it sounded too good to be true because my phone bill told me that I had been charged for internet usage by the megabyte! Luckily, I do not have direct debit and I shall be having some serious words with them on Monday.

This news made me a bit cross so; on a slow Saturday with nothing else better to do I decided to look for weird stuff on eBay. My hours wasted browsing resulted in a purchase of a Red Indian feather fancy dress head band for £1.95 free p&p, and a hard rock cafe T-shirt for £2.99 inc postage. Don’t ask me why I spend to make myself feel better, but I do need T-shirts and I have been to Barcelona Hard Rock Cafe so it's kind of a souvenir and well... who doesn’t need an Red Indian headband!!?
(Barcelona Hard Rock Cafe pictured above [flikr])

New Shoes!

Lace-up boots have been HUGE this autumn/winter. The military lace-up has replaced the popular, classic ballet pump, and I was quick to put a pair on my ‘want list’. The thing is, I have decided this year that I must wear my heels more, and so I had to find an ‘in between’. Oxford style lace-up boots with chunky heels were one option, but I wanted something with more 'edge'. I remembered seeing this gorgeous pair of lace-ups from Topshop a few months ago, but by this point had sold out, so I went to my favourite shop, eBay. Here, I saw them being sold with an asking price of £110! I have no idea what the RRP was at Topshop, but I imagine they would be a bit out of my price range anyway!

(photo credit: obsessee.typepad.com/obsessee)

After scrolling through hundreds of boots under the search 'lace-up boots size 5' I discovered these little beauties. With a 'Buy It Now' price of £26.00 they were sold. I couldn't believe such a good replica would be so cheap. I wear them all the time with my knee-highs (if any of you have read my previous post you will see they are my new love). They are comfortable yet versatile. Definitely my best-buy of 2010 so far!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Best Designer-Inspired Boots Under £50

1. The designer; Balmain

The tribute, available at Schuh

2. The designer, Miu Miu 

 Price, £380

The tribute, available at Myfirstwish.co.uk

Price, £29.99

3. The designer, Hunter

Price, £60

The Tribute available at Matalan

 Price, £10 

4. The designer, Chloe

 Price, £1,245

The tribute, available at Aldo

Price, £39.98 sale

5. The designer, Ann Demeulemeester

Price, £675

The tribute available at Asos

Price, £40

Monday, 15 March 2010

High on the Knee-Highs!

I never thought I would say this but I have fallen for the knee-high sock. I am currently sat wearing a pair of 20 denier knee-highs right now, and I don’t feel like an OAP or a hooker.

I saw the potential of a knee-high sock when I looked at Rag & Bone's A/W 2010 collection. The woollen, knee-high and over-the-knee socks were incorporated into almost every look. Sometimes two pairs were layered over each other, and this collection was all about layering. Jumpers were worn around waists over trousers tucked into socks; blazers were worn over plaid shirts with woolly cropped jumpers over the top; arm warmers and coats over cardigans over jumpers over shirts over skirts over dresses. The collection was fit for arctic explorers.

Straightaway I emptied my wardrobe to find how many layers I could throw on together that would look stylish i.e. wouldn’t make me look like I had got lost in a pie shop.

Because the weather appears to be barely showing any signs of spring, reworking an autumn/winter wardrobe at technically the beginning of spring, didn’t seem so ridiculous. My plans of wearing floral dresses with ankle socks and sandals are to stay plans for some time yet. Instead I have bought a variety of pairs of trusty over the knee and knee-high socks...warm times.

(Photo credits: Elle UK)

Rag & Bone’s use of the knee-high was cool for day-to-day but Alexander Wang's A/W 2010 collection showed how over-the knee styles could be dressed-up. He somehow merged the over-the-knee sock, the leg warmer and boot-leg trouser into one. In black, these exaggerated thigh-high leg warmers clung to the models legs and draped over their heeled shoes, creating an unusual yet flattering effect. Amazingly the collection looked classy and sexy with that Wang edginess he’s oh so renowned for.

 (Photo credits: Elle UK)

 Now to explain myself; knee high socks seem to me, exude promiscuousness, you wear them for fancy dress, because that’s always an excuse to look a little well, slutty. I always thought it could be pulled off, (because after all, you wouldn’t have to go into a lingerie shop to buy them) but only by models, or celebrities (sometimes), people who were brave enough and school kids.  But I have to say that after seeing a paparazzi picture of Gossip Girl’s Taylor Momsen wearing a white shirt with suspenders  (to say it upset me is an understatement), the knee high sock looked as innocent and practical as a pop-sock. Before this, I feared that if I were to wear knee-high socks, I would look tramp-ish and people would think I was a 'lady of the night'.  After seeing that monstrosity of an outfit praised for its 'individuality', I became less fearless about what my neighbours might think about my outfit, and if worn sensibly, I wouldn't get arrested.

So if you don’t want to look like a hooker, keep the suspenders out of public view and don the knee-high socks instead, but for goodness sake wear them with clothes that cover your bottom.

Petroleum Jelly - Friend or Foe?

Many of us carry a tin around with us, and if we have forgotten it, there’s usually a friend who will have one handy. It’s all about that occasional dab at the jelly, smothering our lips in the 'gooey'-wax texture that leaves are lips looking greasy, just the way we like them. It is this obscure obsession that seems to provide some sort of satisfaction, but it seems us users, don’t really know what or why?

We seem to have it drilled into our heads that petroleum jelly is a moisturiser, why else would we be happy to smother it on our delicate lips. Petroleum jelly does has its uses in other areas, for example it acts as a barrier for your skin in freezing temperatures and well,  it can be used in a multitude of situations where one may need lubricant, but as a whole it does not aid skins rejuvenation.

When I was young I used to think that ‘Vaseline’ and Petroleum jelly were different things. I once heard someone say that Vaseline was made of whale fat and it made me cringe and wipe my coated lips with my sleeve in disgust. But after realising that my tin of ‘Vaseline’ was actually the same stuff in a tub in the bathroom cabinet, I immediately layered a fresh coat to my lips in relief. This caused further confusion. Given that ‘petrol’ was in the name I thought that I must therefore be smothering petrol all over my mouth, and I should be a little more cautious around naked flames. Still, I wasn’t going to throw that tin away just yet. You see, it becomes a sort of addiction. When you see someone open that awkward tin and rub their finger tip in that circular motion that just seems to come natural, you check the status of your own lips, and if they could stand to be a little more slippery, you immediately began foraging through your far-too-big handbag to find it. Basically, seeing someone apply petroleum jelly to their lips is like watching someone yawn – you have to emulate it. 

As much as we enjoy the application of this goo, we never question why our lips remain dry after that thick coat of jelly has worn off, or has more likely been ingested. Surely with the amount of (what I have dubbed) ‘face-lube’ we apply to our lips a day, they should be so soft that applying lipstick is near on impossible, gliding off-course across our cheek. Further reasons for ditching the tin are seen in studies that suggest that petrolatum (an ingredient in petroleum jelly) is related to breast cancer. Now, I know these days, everything seems to give you cancer, but when you hear ‘petrol’ used to sell a beauty product, it certainly puts you off.

So here it is. We need to throw away that tin, or give it to a friend who has an alternative use for it, and replace that petroleum jelly with a moisturiser with vitamins A and E in it. Or in the short-term, slap some E45 on your lips before bed, and I guarantee your lips will actually feel soft without looking like you’ve just had a fry-up and forgotten to wipe your mouth.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Chanel Style Watch

Oh how I wish I could afford the finer things in life, but alas, I cannot. When I own my own piece of chanel will be a day when I buy my coffee with a ten pound note and say ''keep the change''.  However, I'm here to prove that you don't need to spend your savings on style.
Here is a watch that is one of the best chanel inspired watches I have ever seen. And I do own this little beauty.

Available at Argos it comes in a range of colours (white, black, purple, yellow, blue and green).The funky bright colours will be great for the summer (if we have one) and are sure to brighten up any outfit. Now for the best bit, the price! Click it!

Here's the real Chanel;

and will set you back around £1,500 at least.

Enough of real Chanel, back to the bargain! It also comes in another smaller style;

This one's just £7.99!

So there you go. A Chanel inspired must have! Insurance is like £1.95 - which is great value! Plus, it's a chance to change colours for free!

Go take a look!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Alexander McQueen A/W 2009/2010 Tribute Bootie

Those of us who have the slightest interest in fashion will understand what a remarkable and inspirational designer Alexander McQueen was. His death on February 12th this year was a shock, and spurred hundred of obit's to be written and re-written and published my anyone, and I think it is time to let him rest. 
Last November I discovered an amazing copy of Alexander Mcqueens Autumn/Winter 2009/2010 ankle boots. I haven't purchased a pair myself, but seeing them again is playing havoc with my conscience!


Alexander McQueen A/W 2009/2010 Ready to Wear

Price £550-£650


The Tribute:

Price: £24.99

Yes you'd better belive it. These shoes are also available in black suedette, and black patent.
Available online at Garage Shoes

So now you can own a pair of truely Alexander Mcqueen inspired shoes without having to sell one of your kidneys. 

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Foundation Primers

These days you can find a primer for just about any part of your face. I'm unsure about this idea at the moment and pessimistically see it as excuse for cosmetic companies to make more money. However, I do believe using primer makes a difference to the longevity and quality of the overall look of your make-up.

The idea of a primer is to prepare the skin for make-up and is sometimes referred to as a 'base'. It aims to the complexion of the skin enabling make-up blend and hold better. It's not just good for foundations it’s also great for eye make-up and the even your lips.

So, I've found a few reasonably priced face primers.
P.S if you're looking for a primer a face serum will work just the same - so long as it is a sort of gel-like consistency and turns super soft when you apply to the skin.

1. Body Shop Antioxidant Vit. C Serum (The Body Shop Online)

Price: £12
(No ingredients derived or tested on animals)

This product does exactly what it says on the bottle. The key vitamin used in this is vitamin C which is a vitamin that your body has very little left of after a night out. This also smells really refreshing so it’s great for 'waking your skin up' the morning after. I have tried it myself and it really does make your complexion look brighter. This is great for those of us who like to enjoy a drink once in awhile but detest facing the mirror the next day.

2. Mineral Face Primer (Eyeslipsface.co.uk)

Price: £6

I lovelovelove this primer, I've praised it in a previous post before. Maybe it's because of the price, but after using it I have to say that I can’t find a fault with it. This is a great primer if you are looking to create the 'dewy skin' look because it leaves the skin looking moisturised but not greasy. This will suit dry/normal skin types. I'd recommend anyone interested in this product that does have quite oily skin to try dusting a light loose powder over the oiliest parts of the face.

3. GOSH Velvet Touch Foundation Primer (Superdrug)

Price: £13

I like this brand, well it's the type of brand that when you’re in a shop you think ''that's cool''. I have to say that I think Gosh kohl pencil eye liner is the best I have ever used in terms of how long it lasts without smudging and gathering around the eyes. But anyway the primer!...I have not tried this product but it is probably more likely to be something you'd buy when you are doing a spot of general shopping. It's also the cheapest primer available at Superdrug.

4. Ageless Illuminating Primer

Price: Was £12 NOW £10.80

50ml I primer is great value and it's the largest amount. What makes this product different is the 'radiance' factor. I'd probably invest in this for the summer and where it alone. I imagine the product may be a light moisturiser with small shimmer pigments like you get in some make-up powders. I also think this may be a cream form, which is good if you have dry skin.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

I love elf!

I bring great news to those who are looking for make-up that is not derived from animals that extremely reasonably priced. Yes, it is possible to buy cruelty-free make-up without having to decide whether to pay for this month's phone bill or new mascara. I am talking about Eyes Lips Face.

This company satisfies every make-up must you will ever need from therapeutic conditioning lip balm to mineral lip gloss. Seriously, when you see this website you will want to throw your old make-up out of the window in disgust.

I discovered the store about a week ago when I was looking for vegan make-up alternatives and after browsing through dozens of sites that were priced above my price range I was sure that only wealthy vegans could look good, and I was not going to be one of them.
(I have been vegan for 2 weeks; a decision originally made for research for an article, but now quite enjoy) After filling up several metaphorical trolleys on the website as I awaited new stock to come in, I placed an order yesterday for; Face Primer, Therapeutic Conditioning Lip Balm, Eye liner, Foundation, Eye shadow set and Moisturising Lip Colour.
As you can see you will probably agree that these products look good. The special studio range is particularly impressive and the wide range of mineral make-up is above and beyond the typical high street products.

Eyes Lips Face is definitely my new best friend and my no.1 source for make-up.

I will be testing and reviewing the items I have ordered, with Body Shop's make-up selection (a range I gained when I used to be a Body Shop party host).