Monday, 31 January 2011

L'Heure du Cocktail

Last week I attended a cocktail party in Paris. As much as I would have loved to be swanning around the streets dreaming of fashion week, after a 4am wake up call and back to back meetings I was feeling far from glamorous, so getting ready was a rather rushed affair.
 Dress: Hobbs (limited edition). Suede Shoes with pink detailing: Manolo Blanhik.                  Pashmina/ Wrap: H&M

 Cream belted wrap coat: Oasis.

Sorry for the rubbish iPhone photos, but even when running out the door this dress had to be documented. I just adore the corset style, fold over detailing at the waist, which creates a lovely shape and balances the full skirt. The only downside is since the stiff tulle sown into the skirt is very stiff and weighs a tonne. Not quite 'Gypsie Weddings' dress, but as full as I would ever dare to go ;).

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Aveda Smooth Infusion - The Results

Some of you may have already read my earlier post (find it here)- introducing the Aveda Smooth Infusion Challenge.
Throughout this month I have been putting the Aveda's Smooth Infusion range to the test, seeing if it can really deliver on its promises - protect my hair from heat styling damage, keep my hair free from frizz for 12 hours and defend against humidity. Rain, tube, dance class, clubbing - you name it, I have done it in the name of good hair ;).
 
Shall we take a look at the results? First up, a walk in the wind and rain, followed by a tube ride. Aaah my favourite!
Since my hair was blow dried with some volume and movement at the ends you can definitely see it has dropped and lost some of its curl. However, it has remained smooth and frizz free.No flyaways here!

A few days later I straightened my hair and set out for another long day at work. Although my hair is  wavy and textured it is pretty quick to straighten and smooth, however the curls usually start to make themselves known in the evening, especially if there is moisture in the air.
 After a hot, packed tube ride and a walk in the drizzle by lunchtime my hair was still looking sleek.
 In the evening I set out for another walk in the rain and tube ride (anyone sensing a pattern here?), followed by dinner and a few cocktails. Please excuse my pyjama and glasses clad snaps ;).
As you can see over 12 hours later my hair is still straight, however a few flyaways are starting to emerge. Since my hair is layered quite often the shorter pieces tend to frizz, especially around the front and at the crown. The next morning my hair was still straight, and all it needed was a little serum to smooth the ends and a few of the flyaways. 

Let me know what you think of the results and do keep an eye out for my last post in this series, where I will be reviewing the Smooth Infusion range in more detail!


*This post was sponsored by Aveda as part of a month long challenge to see how the products perform*

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Leopard (Take 2)

I must be in a very leopardy (yes that's a word!) mood lately! Last weekend as I was heading out for drinks I went for a statement animal print dress, paired with simple black patent tights.
Dress: ASOS. Black tights: M&S. Shearling boots a la Burberry: New Look.

You can just see the leopard boots peeping out in the corner lol. Is anyone else on a leopard kick at the moment? What are your favourite pieces? xxx

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Work It Out: Instalment Vingt-Sept

Sometimes it's better to keep it simple. When wearing monochrome it's always fun to spice it up with a pattern or a modern twist on an old classic.
Blouse: French Connection. Skirt and patent belt: M&S
How do you wear monochrome? xxx

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Naked Gold Leaf

I have wanted to make a tutorial using the new Sleek Molten Metal eyeshadow duo for quite a while. The colours are beautiful and perfectly lend themselves to an effortless smokey eye!


Products used:
NARS Sheer Glow foundation
Bobbi Brown corrector
MAC MSF natural
Chanel Bronzer Universal
NARS Sin blush


UDPP
Urban Decay Naked Palette - naked, buck, smog
*Sleek Molten Metal metallic cream eyeshadow - Gold Leaf

MAC vanilla eyeshadow
Urban Decay 24/7 liner in bourbon
L'ancome Hypnose Mascara
YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick in No. 1

Products marked with * were sent to me for review purposes.
 Have you tried the new Sleek metallic eyeshadow duo? Let me know what you think! xxx

£15 OFF at New Look + Free Delivery

With the New Year sales finally over and VAT increases pushing prices up it's good to see that there is still a range of promotions out there! Currently New Look are offering £15 OFF when you spend £60 with the code: STQUE15. As you get free delivery with purchases over £45, using this offer you will also qualify for Free Delivery!! Double bonus!

I have already been lusting after a few of their beautiful blouses (from £7.99) both for work and play.




Let me know if you find something exciting! ;) xxx

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Heya!

It's Wednesday and I'm already tired and yearning for sleep... I guess I'm not the only one ;).

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Aveda Smooth Infusion - Let the challenge begin!

Last week I was kindly invited to the Aveda Institute to learn all about their new Smooth Infusion range and try the products for myself. 'Luckily' London provided the perfect level of precipitation for testing out a product that promises to control frizz and protect against humidity for 12 hours.

Since it had been drizzling all day my hair looked more than a little frazzled and in desperate need of taming on my arrival. I'm going to be brave and show you the 'before' photo. Big breath...
So as you can see the Smooth Infusion range has taken up a real challenge in battling with my hair!

After a luxurious head massage using a rose based oil my hair was washed, conditioned and blow dried by one of Aveda's lovely stylists. She really did a fantastic job, and my hair was left feeling smooth, yet weightless and bouncy!

The real test will now come when I use the products for myself, away from the expert blow drying hands. I am very much excited to see how they fare with my frizz prone hair!

Have you tried Aveda's Smooth Infusion range or any other Aveda products? xxx

*This post was sponsored by Aveda as part of a month long challenge to see how the products perform*

Golden Globes - My Choices

As much as I enjoy movies I don't really pay much attention to awards and acollades, though I do follow the fashion. Blame my inner Disney Princess if you will, but full on red carpet glamour is my choice of style. The hair, the makeup and the dresses... if it was socially acceptable I would wear a ball gown everyday ;).
This dress is so beautiful, I fear if I stare at it too long I may become starry eyed and move to Hollywood in search of fame and fortune. Olivia's soft cat eye and relaxed hair make it look fresh, which is an almighty feat when wearing multiple kilograms of tulle! I wonder if Marchesa makes this in white... ;p

My mother once spotted CZJ in our local department store browsing through racks of (I am told) discounted white undies. Hard to imagine when you see her here, the epitome of sophisticated beauty. The dress, hair, and her signature dark eyes and defined lip combo is perfection.

 I'm just going to put this out there - I don't like Scarlett. I would even go as far as saying I find her extremely irritating. Yet, where credit is due I hope we can put aside our personal differences. This dress is stunning. I especially like the way she has gone for something a little different (no push up bra in sight) and created a flattering and modern silhouette. Not a huge fan of the hair and makeup (just had to slip it in there didn't I?), but the dress is on point.
Although the website (sorry Telegraph) I am borrowing these photos from labeled this a miss I have to disagree. We all know J-Lo loves to be a show stopper, but I think this dress goes about it in the right way for once. She is no longer bearing her entire derriere or her decolletage down to her belly button, yet she is still showing off her gorgeous shape. I even like the sparkly 'overthrow' as it draws the eyes up from her larger assets and balances her silhouette. Without it the spaghetti straps would be too thin, so I think it works perfectly for her.
Perfect as always, though I would have loved to see something a little more exciting from her - especially as she can pull anything off.
Gorgeous, the colour is stunning on her and the laser cut detailing adds a very on trend and modern twist to such a flattering, classic shape.

What were your favourites my lovelies? xxx

Monday, 17 January 2011

Leopard

Love it or hate it, leopard print is everywhere. As tack-tastic as it can be, done tastefully I think it looks (dare I say it) sophisticated, you just have to pick your pieces carefully.

A few of you have already shared my excitement on twitter over the leopard print boots I purchased a few weeks ago. My inspiration came from the stunning Ashley - Ring my Bell, the actress who played Bambi in Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and my current girl/ style/ blog crush. Somehow she manages to pull off leopard and make it a perfect accompaniment to a range of outfits.. love!
Dani Bodycon Dress: French Connection (On Sale here), Leopard print booties: River Island.


Though these boots have divided families and friends alike, I absolutely adore them! What is your take on leopard and animal prints in general? xxx

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Flawless in 5 minutes

Perhaps one of my most requested makeup looks - flawless makeup in 5 minutes. This little routine is perfect for me when I am rushing out of the house in the morning! It really helps you look naturally and effortlessly glowing and fresh, even when you are feeling far from it ;).




Products used:
Nars Sheer Glow foundation
Bobbi Brown corrector
MAC mineralize skin finish natural

NARS Laguna bronzer
E.L.F. Pink mineral blush
E.L.F. All Over Colour Stick in Persimmon
NARS Madrague eyeshadow duo as brow powder
MAC Painterly paint pot
L'ancome Hypnose mascara
Beaute Weightless Lip Creme in Trace

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Work It Out: Instalment Vingt-Six

It has been far too long since I did a 'Work it Out' post. Having spent a little too much in the sales I think it is time to start tailoring a few more work outfits, and hitting the snooze button a little less!
Dress: Karen Millen. Watch: Dior.

I have had my eye on this dress for quite some time, but couldn't bear to pay the full price tag. Having scoured three separate stores I finally found one in my size! I adore Karen Millen dresses for their well tailored, form fitting styles, and this one is no exception. The giraffe-esque print adds some interest to a classic shape, while the pleating at the neckline keeps it modern.
For makeup I decided to do a slight twist on my usual look. I used Benefit's creaseless cream shadow in Birthday Suit all over the lid and under the lash line with Urban Decay's 24/7 liner in stash (a dark, moss green with gold undertones) smoked out with a little black shadow. 

I hope you enjoyed the resurrection of the work it out posts? Hopefully there will be plenty more to come in the future! Did you pick up any exciting pieces in the sales that you had been chasing for a while? xxx

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Hold Me

I think you will agree with me when I say the worst part of any trip is the packing, and makeup is no exception. So when I was given the chance to review a new makeup bag that promises to make the whole process a little easier I was very happy to try it out!
The design of the Hold Me case is fantastic as it incorporates features of a toiletries organiser, makeup bag and brush roll all in one. The exterior of the bag is made of a tough, black, suede-like fabric, which looks stylish and classic against the white stitching. I also like the fact that there are no tricky clasps, velcro or flimsy magnetic closures, but a simple self-tie, which means the bag can expand to fit more, or be tied tighter to take up minimal luggage space.

This is the Miss Suki bag, which features a fun, colourful cartoon design. The fabric is easy to clean as it is over-laid with plastic, so high altitude explosions of foundation can be quickly wiped away without fear of damaging the bag ;). I used this bag on my recent ski trip, and it worked perfectly as everything was in one place, on display and easily accessible. It also saves time unpacking once you have reached your destination and doesn't take up counter space. For once the bf had no right to complain about me monopolising the bathroom with all my little 'potions' ;).

So what did I bring with me? Below is my fail safe travel kit:
  • NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
  •  Bobbi Brown Corrector 
  • NARS Laguna Bronzer
  • ELF Pink Mineral Blush
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural
  • NARS Madrague Eyeshadow Duo (for brows)
  • L'Oreal Carbon Gloss liner
  • ELF All Over Colour Stick in Persimmon
  • L'ancome Hypnose Mascara
  • Clear Mascara 
  • MAC Dazzleglass
  • YSL Tuxedo Lipstick
  • MAC Smokey Eyes palette
  • ELF Quad - MAC e/s vapour, wedge, scene and knight devine
  • Made from Earth Vanilla Lipbalm
  • MAC Cremecup lipstick
Do you have a favourite makeup organiser? What are your essential products and travel tips? xxx

Monday, 10 January 2011

OOTD - Red Velvet

It feels like I haven't made an OOTD post in a while, so here is a fun one from this weekend. Although I found the sales quite disappointing this year, with stock that had been in the shops 4 seasons ago suddenly popping up on the rails, there are always items that tempt me. When you are feeling a little sensitive about a few rounder edges that have developed over the festive season (I know I am!), but need a couple of new outfit injections, there are still shoes! There will always be shoes!
Shirt dress - courtesy of Love (find it here), camisole (just seen) - M&S, stirrup leggings - ASOS, shoe boots - Office.

With my toes tactically on display in this weather a warm jacket was a must!
 Tailored leather jacket - Reiss.
Completely impractical, but I adore them! Surprisingly they are the most comfortable heels/ wedges I own as they are extremely light. The moment I put them on my feet immediately felt at home. I know these shoes will not be to everyone's taste, so feel free to let me have your opinions ;). xxx

Friday, 7 January 2011

Fringe Benefits

These days we have so much choice when it comes to hair (and other things) that it's often very difficult to commit to one style. I will confess that I have always been quite conservative with both my cut and my colour, apart from a brief summer stint as a blonde ;). However, I have flirted with a fringe more times than I can recall. It seems that half my life has been spent awkwardly sweeping annoying strands from my forehead as I try to grow one out, and then finally getting bored and going for the chop once again. Wouldn't it be nice to have the option to radically change your style without expensive trips to the hairdressers and anguish over whether or not it will suit you? Well, now you can, with a clip-in fringe!
As you can see my hair is long and layered, with the front sections just below the cheek bone. To attach the fringe I took hair from the centre of my crown to my temples in a triangle shape, then twisted and secured it to the side using a bobby pin. I then clipped in the fringe and blended the sides with a comb.
 
This American Dream Vanessa fringe was sent to me for review in the colour - 33 rich copper. On the website it is described as a full, thick fringe with longer sides. At first I tried to create a more natural side fringe by clipping the it a little lower, closer to my hairline. I then secured it nearer to the crown to create a longer length, classic choppy fringe.
I was surprised by how good the colour match was, as I always find it difficult to chose the right shade on a website. The longer pieces on the side create instant layers that frame your face, help to blend the fringe in and look more natural. The Vanessa fringe is made of human hair, however I would say it doesn't blend in perfectly due to the hair being very smooth and shiny against my natural hair, which is more textured and a little thicker. This was particularly noticeable in bright light as the fringe looked much more glossy than the rest of my hair. However, this could easily be fixed by straightening the hair to make it look smoother and more shiny, or adding a little serum.
For more information you can visit the American Dream Extensions website here. Prices range from £7.26 to £20.37 for 100% human hair fringes in six styles.

Have you ever tried a clip-in fringe? Let me know what you think!