Friday, 30 March 2012

Friday's Frock!

Happy Friday my lovelies! Here is to the weekend - which is being brought in by sunshine today (even if there are those malicious rumours that it may rain over the weekend...)! For me, its the start of the Easter holidays as well, so trying to make plans around my knee but still enjoy the time off - a Hunger Games second viewing as well as a sneaky Titanic 3D viewing, are definitely on the cards!! 

Anyway, I'm going to start a series of posts on my blog called 'Friday Frock' which is just a new fancy title for Friday's OOTD but it will always be a dress - what do you think? 

Here is today's frock:

 Leather Jacket: New Look; Dress: Dorothy Perkins; Belt: New Look; Sequin Flats: New Look.

It was my second day back at work today since my operation so had to go with a smart looking frock, but for the first time I actually went into work without black tights on! Look - those are my legs actually seeing the sunshine again! Plus this jacket was a steal at £15 from eBay and it is real leather - New Look certainly makes cosy, well-fitting leather jackets I have to say, perfect for a summer jacket now.

I'm loving longer length dresses at the moment, until I can get some of those lace legging/shorts things I feel more comfortable wearing these without thick black tights - and the style feels very classic! Definitely coming around to the midi dresses now... More shopping you say? Well, if you insisit! *jumps onto ASOS*

Anyway, this was my Friday Frock - a teal coloured jersey knee length dress from Dorothy Perkins that looks just as good as a spring dress as it does a winter one - fashion money-saver right there. Once again, DP comes to save the day of my wardrobe woes!

Did you have a Friday Frock day? Good plans for the weekend? Is anyone else going to the Aussie Fashion/Catwalk event?


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

With the Sun Shining, The Sunglasses are Calling!

Hello lovelies! 

So the sun is still continuing to shine - it wasn't just a fluke appearance! With the optimistic feeling that the sun is going to stay for a little longer, I have taken the plunge and broken out the trusty old sunglasses! 

These are my beloved Karen Millen sunglasses that I have now had for a good three or four years - a record for someone who is notoriously bad with sunglasses (losing a pair on each holiday, one being over a waterfall on a mountain and in a space centre...). 

I think the reason that I have basically treated these as if they are pure gold is because they are one of the few pairs of sunglasses that I feel actually suit my face shape and don't make my face look any rounder! Plus the colour works well with both my hair being blonde and brown - win, win, win! Apart from being beautiful, and Audrey Hepburn-ish, they are Karen Millen sunglasses. Karen Millen! Apart from getting a pair of red Ray Ban Wayfarers, I can't think of any other sunglasses (ok, maybe Chanel...) that I would want to replace these lovelies with. 

Here is a happy picture of us together:

However, even though I do love these sunglasses, and they haven't broken/scratched/fallen to pieces in all these years, I can't help adoring a pair of red Ray Bans... 

Do you have any sunglasses you just can't bear to part with?


Monday, 26 March 2012

Inside my Make-Up Bag #1: The Daily Essentials

Hello lovelies!

So, I have been blogging for a little while now and realised that I have never introduced you all to something that is pretty much essential to my blogging, and to my daily life - my make-up bag:

This beast is not all of my make-up, I still have quite a few eyeshadow palettes scattered over my wardrobe, but this is the majority that I use - not all at once though, that really would suggest I have no face at the beginning of the day! Anyway, in the picture it looks quite small compared to its actual size and weight of a tonne. It has products ranging from Rimmel to Dior, and countless amounts of eyeshadows & lipsticks - my two real beauty weaknesses. Today's post is just going to focus on the products I use daily for a daytime look:

Left to Right: Benefit's Thrrrob; No7 Stay Perfect Eye Base; YSL Forever Youth Liberator Serum; MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer; Rimmel Exaggerated Liquid Eyeliner; Rimmel Stay Matte Powder; Diorshow Iconic Mascara; Benefit's High Beam; Benefit Eyecon cream; Benefit's Dr Feelgood; Urban Decay's Naked2 Palette.

My morning goes: get up, shower, get dressed, tie hair up in towel turban, and then go through the 20-30 minutes routine of putting on my make-up - I'm essentially put on a mask - yes lovely readers, I am actually a troll before I put these magical products on my face. So this is my make-up routine:


Since getting the Harrods Glossybox, I have been using the YSL Forever Youth Liberator Serum as my primer because it gives a nice, glowy look and makes an even base for my make-up. It is a lovely silky mixture that dries instantly without making you feel like your face is cracking with some serums when they dry. I only use a little amount each time - the dropper definitely helps with this. 


Next, I am thinking 'hey troll-face, your skin is still a sandpaper-y, better sort that!' and that's where the fantabulous 'Dr Feelgood' comes in. I absolutely love this creamy balm, that you just need to apply a little onto the sponge and smooth it over the face to make your face feel so soft plus an excellent base for make-up. I highly recommend this product for a good primer to give you smooth, matte skin.


Onto the eyes! I carry sooo much baggage under my eyes I look like the luggage pick-up at Heathrow. Its a family trait to have dark circles under the eyes, and it is something that has always driven me insane. After much looking & testing, I finally found a concealer that worked perfectly to hide them - MAC Studio Scuplt in NC15. But it can show the creases after a while during the day, what stops this is mixing it with a moisturiser as a prime - thats where Benefit's Eyecon comes in that helps to lighten dark circles. Win win! 


Its even more powder and prime time! With a quick sweep of powder over the face to achieve the 1950s matte look I adore & an even look, I move onto the eyes! The final primer is used which is Boots No7 Stay Perfect Eye Base that works wonders for keeping an eyeshadow in perfect condition all day. I just use a little on my finger and I'm ready for the most time-consuming part of my morning routine - the eyes:


Starting with the eyeshadows from Naked2, generally I go for 'Half-Baked', 'Pistol' or 'Verve' as a day look, and sometimes blend them with 'Snakebite' if feeling particularly adventurous. Then its on with the liquid eyeliner - the concentration that comes with this takes at least ten minutes! I am incredibly fussy with my flicks, and try not to have it too thick over the eyelid for daytime, so if its too dramatic I have to then fight to wipe the excess off without messing up all the eyeshadow - fuss, fuss, fuss! I love the Rimmel Exaggerated eyeliner because the colour is jet black and the staying power is great, the only problem is it normally takes two coats to get it as dark as I like and then needs a few minutes to dry. 

Final stage - the mascara & highlight. I generally don't curl my eyelashes (huuuuge faux pas, I know) because it takes up that extra bit of time, so for me, its just a few lashings of Diorshow Iconic and sometimes Extase as well. Boom, longer & thicker eyelashes. Then its a little dab of Benefit's High Beam just over my eyelid to give my eyes an extra bit of brightness, and I'm done.


 And its the last bit - the cheeks! I'm always switching about my blushers because I love trying out the different pink shades - always going for quite bright, flushed pink colours. I fell in love with Benefit's blushers from a long, long time ago, and one of my all-time favourites has been 'Thrrrob' which has that deep pink shade you get when you blush. I put my focus on the apple of my cheeks, putting the most of the colour there and then brushing it out across my cheekbones. 

Aaaaand that's it, that's how I look human at the beginning of everyday. I bet you are all a little bit terrified at what I actually look like without make-up, but yeah, that's not ever going to be posted about - ever! 

Hope you have liked this little insight into my make-up bag! The next one I am thinking about all my different eyeshadow palettes, would you be interested in that?

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Feeling Floral - OOTD & FOTD

Hello my lovelies, hope you're all having a relaxing Sunday, and if not, at least a sunny one! It was sunny here again in Essex but not enough to go au naturale on the legs front, so the tights came back out to play, but not just any tights, oh noooo, baby blue & cream floral tights! I have been coveting after these babies for a good month or two now from M&S, but being £8 for one pair, I couldn't quite bring myself to buy them - but after spotting them in the sale, my need for them could no longer be surpressed! I have been trying to figure out what outfit works with them and not be too patterned that it hurts the eye, and I found the dress that worked perfectly with them:

 Yay for floral tights! 

 Dress: H&M; Tights: M&S; Shoes: H! by Henry Holland; Cardigan: H&M

Being one of my favourite dresses, I love how the plain cream colour works perfectly with the patterned tights and gets all linked in together with the navy cardigan and shoes - not too many patterns but definitely a few to liven it up! I just love these tights! Honestly, its that vintage blue flowery pattern that you can sometimes find on china or wallpaper, and I just loved that it came on tights! Plus being from M&S, they are incredibly comfortable and soft to wear.

For the FOTD, I have been showing some love back to the original Urban Decay Naked palette, that since Naked2, I'm afraid to say, has really only been used for its brush. I know, I know, talk about neglect! So today, I put away Naked2 and used 'Smog' & 'Toasted' from Naked to create this daytime, smokey eye look:

Concealer: MAC Studio Sculpt; Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte powder; Eyeliner: Rimmel Liquid Eyeliner; Eyeshadows: Urban Decay 'Naked' palette; Blush: Benefit's Hervana; Mascara: Diorshow Iconic

Another product that isn't one of my regulars was Benefit's Hervana blush that I stole from my mum's make up bag that I just thought was a nice change from 'Thrrrob' which is a darker pink created to give the flushed look, rather than the shimmery, more posy pink that Hervana creates. Eventually, when payday comes around, I will treat myself to this!

So this is my look for today - a spring dress with some spring tights to give warmth and a daytime smokey look! 

Have you guys been bad like me and neglected your 'Naked' palette? What do you think of patterned tights?


Friday, 23 March 2012

Summer OOTD - Hath my eyes deceived me? Is that sunshine... In England?! Quick - get the dresses out!

Hello lovelies, isn't it absolutely glorious outside today? Well, it is here in sunny Essex anyway! It's one of those really pleasant spring/summer days where even the breeze is warm and it's not unbearably hot, but just right. This meant one thing for fashion - no tights and summer dresses!  That's right, me who is obsessed with wearing absolutely everything with tights is giving it a miss and fully embracing spring with bare, pale legs!  I've found ASOS have so many beautiful summery dresses they have brought out recently, and couldn't resist not to buy one, so to bring in spring I wore my new ASOS midi dress:

Dress: ASOS; Belt: Boohoo; Cardigan: New Look; Shoes: New Look; Sunglasses: Karen Millen

Yes, I went a bit picture happy, I blame it on the love of this dress & the sunshine!
 I got it during one of ASOS's free next day delivery deals and just had to buy myself it because of this fact... Not because it was gorgeous or anything, no no no! The dress costs £28 and comes with a candy pink skinny belt which works brilliantly with it to add a bit of colour to it. I find the dress is very 'Audrey Hepburn' style, with the long striped skirt and sleeveless roundneck top - elegance with a smidgen of nautical theme - the ideal summer dress! This is actually only my second or third midi dress, as normally I stick with a 'just-above-the-knee' skirt length, and midi lengths made me worry I'd  look even shorter, but I'm definitely coming round to them now for summer. Plus I broke out the sunglasses, oh yeah, I'm saying its summer now by wearing those bad boys - you hear me Mother Nature!

I went with a 1950s style today with a wide waist belt, a cropped red cardigan, with red flats and a red hairband, just to brighten up the outfit and give my waist a bit more definition! I love this belt from because not only does it really cinch in the waist, but the cute Butterfly clip on the front gives that extra something - a bargain for £6 in clearance! 

To go with my summer 50s dress, I co-ordinated my make-up with light shimmery pink shades and a deep pink blush with catflicks, something nice and fresh:

Powder: Rimmel Matte Powder; Eyeshadows: Sephora Palette; Eyeliner: Rimmel Liquid Eyeliner; Mascara: Diorshow Iconic; Blush: Benefit's Thrrrob; Higlighter: Benefit's High Beam; Concealer: MAC Studio Sculpt; Lipgloss: Urban Decay

 I really, really love my Sephora eyeshadow palette - they seemed to have covered every colour and they are all pigmented deeply, so it only takes one or at most two applications to get the colour I want. If anyone gets the chance to go to a Sephora, I would highly recommend their eyeshadows from what I have been able to try out so far! 

I'm going to sign off now and enjoy the sun some more, hope you all get the chance to as well! 

Have you been spring shopping yet?


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Domestic Goddess Training #1 - Baking the Perfect Victoria Sponge.

Hello my lovelies! So since my knee op, I've been deciding to don an apron and let loose that domestic goddess hidden inside me - the 1950s wife just fighting to get back out again! So after pouring through several cookbooks, I found one Squirreled away in one of my bookcases that caught my eye. 

'The Great British Bake Off: How to Bake: The Perfect Victoria Sponge and Other Baking Secrets' recipe book by Linda Collister has taken all the best recipes from the show into a book, that to be honest, the pictures just make you want to rip them out of the book. Now, I don't know about you, but I loved watching the Great British Bake Off, not for the competition, but literally because I loved all the different types of things they baked and how creative they could be with ingriedients! So I got started, firstly with what the recipe claims to be 'the perfect victoria sponge' - and in all fairness, I can't argue, it is bloody fantastic! I have made quite a few victoria sponges over the years and this one has definitely been the most successful, and after posting a picture of the finished product on twitter I was asked by fellow bloggers to post about it. So if you fancy a bit of cake with a cuppa, but don't want to trek to the store these are the ingriedients you will need:

- 225g unsalted butter (soft)
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 0.5 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 225g self-raising flour (sifted)
- 1 tablespoon of milk 
- Strawberry Jam

For buttercream:
- Icing Sugar
- Unsalted Butter (soft)
- Vanilla Extract

I've found that the silicone cake tins work the best to cook in as the sponges just slip out so easily with little risk of breaking once it comes out the oven and gets moved onto the wire racks - these literally made all the difference to my most recent victoria sponge which slipped out of the tin perfectly:

Nom! You have no idea how excited I got when they turned out like this, last time the sponge stuck to the tin... Great for mid-baking snack, not so much for presentation though - Mary Berry would have not been pleased!

So once the sponge was done, I closed the recipe book and decided to wing the buttercream mix and what I wanted to put in a filling - tempted by nutella, I kept with the traditional strawberry filling but with a twist - fresh sliced strawberries! 

I sliced them quite thin so not to raise up the second sponge too much, but just thought it was a nice little variation on the class victoria sponge - plus it totally justified eating loads of cake because it did have fresh fruit in it - win! 

With the buttercream, I do it off of instinct really - a decent amount of butter but definitely outweighed with icing sugar. Just keep mixing the quantities until the mixture is almost white and fluffy in texture. I always add in vanilla esscence as well to add that extra bit of flavour! This is basically my favourite part of the victoria sponge - not gonna lie. 

My finished product:

Sadly, it didn't last like this for more than about five minutes. It was demolished by the family and the boy within a couple of hours, all with only good things to say about it... I, of course, did not have a cheeky two slices... Whoever said that is lying!

Here is the recipe on, just go to the contents page on 'lookinside' part and click on 'victoria sandwich'. Mary Berry even gives her own little tips! I would definitely recommend this recipe book to anyone, it has sooo many good recipes including macaroons that I have posted about earlier!

Are you fans of baking? Would you like more posts like this? Anyone else such a huge fan of The Great British Bake Off?


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

A Trip to the Hairdressers - Back to Blonde (Stage One)

So, after being brunette/redhead again for almost a year now, I am attempting blonde again! For the past two-three years I have just been going in circles from blonde to brunette to redhead, then back to blonde. It has definitely taken its toll on the purse, I have to say, which has led me to just want to go back to my natural blonde (maybe with a few highlights) and stay there! Almost a definitive move to put my university days behind me boohoohoo! 

With this decision in mind, off I trotted to the hairdressers to have my bank account drained and a heated debate on just how we were going to get my hair back to its natural colour - 
without shaving it all off or cleansing it. This resulted in having my ginger hair, dyed dark brown and blonde highlights put throughout - as the brown lightened the hair would look closer to blonde and then be more seceptiable to blonde dye. It took a few hours, and needed a toner after the first round (it was a Bride of Frankenstein moment at first) but it did get rid of the red and didn't require bleaching my hair and turning it into something the Scarecrow would want to stuff himself with. So now its just the long, long, long process of highlighting it back to the colour I want. Here's how it looks at the moment:

They also decided to cut loads of my beloved hair off, and give me really short layers - its quite nice and gives it great movement! I do love my hairdressers, they always get it right - what will happen when I have to move?!?!?! Dum dum daaaah! 

Here's a sneaky outfit post at the end too:

T-shirt: Hollister; Caridgan: Hollister; Skirt: ASOS; Tights: M&S

I do love me a polar bear t-shirt! This is one of my cosy but cool outfits - Like 'Yeeah I've made an effort but its still casual' sort of things.

Do you guys have a hair dying complex like me? Or do you stay natural?