Wednesday, 27 July 2011

OUTFIT | #23

As the title suggests, the weather has been pretty pants lately. I, however, don't mind so much. Partly because I am a freak of nature who is always cold and sleeps under two duvets whether it's 30 degrees or snowing outside. But also because I have new jeans and I want to wear them, damn it.

These jeans have somewhat of a story behind them. I always think to myself 'I should buy some black jeans' but never do, being drawn, magpie style, to less practical items. The last pair I owned were well loved and worn to death by the time I parted ways with them, having formed an integral part of 14 year old me's emo/scene uniform.

Then a few weeks ago I was having a truly horrible day. Job interviews gone awry, left my umbrella on the bus, forgotten my house keys: that kind of day. I walked into the Topshop sale and committed myself to buying something, anything, to make myself feel better.  I just wanted some retail therapy. Which was when I spotted these jeans. A slightly faded wash, high waisted and so far removed from the grungy, low riding pair I'd sported in the past; I snapped them up.

cardigan, blouse, jeans: Topshop, shoes: George @ ASDA

In other news, I'm giving contact lenses a try. I'm still not 100% convinced about them. Wearing glasses every day since I was 5 years old has made my specs rather a part of my personality. Being without them is very odd and results in a lot of moments where I catch myself in mirrors and don't recognise the face looking back. We'll see how I get on with them. I still need to find time for an appointment about my trial with them. Between my new job, holidays and generally catching up with friends, I've had to cancel twice already, which I'm sure does not put me in Specsavers good books!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

TRAVELS | Cote D'Azur Pt. 2

After weeks of never seeming to have enough time to sit down and get it done, I finally looked through the pictures from my trip to the south of France and edited them. I literally started a new job just days after coming home so everything's been a little haphazard lately. It's all just starting to settle down and become routine again now and I felt so relieved once I got this mammoth task out of the way

I'm actually travelling a fair bit this summer, as I'm off to Cornwall on Friday with my family and then the United States at the end of August too. I'll be able to take my SLR camera on those trips though, which is one thing I really regret about my France trip. A point and shoot just isn't the same and the pictures need a lot more Photoshopping to look anywhere near as good as those taken with my hefty Canon.

I don't think I ever mentioned in much detail where I went and what I did when I was in France. My friends and I stayed in Nice for a week, but we also went to Cannes and Monte Carlo while there. We spent a lot of time at the beach, of course, but we also saw some lovely museums and did a lot of walking up massive hills in search of panoramic views. It was a really fantastic trip and I was rather sad to leave Nice; despite only being there a week I'd become rather attached. I miss it, particularly my daily dose of gelato from Fenocchio's in Old Nice - food of the gods!

Musee du Palais Lascaris, Old Nice

Place Rossetti, Old Nice

Castle Hill/Colline du Chateau, Nice


Russian Orthodox Cathedral/Cathédrale Orthodoxe Russe Saint-Nicholas de Nice, Nice

Monte Carlo, Monaco

View from the Jardin Exotique de Monaco, Monaco

Promenade des Anglais, Nice

Musée Massena, Nice

French Vogue and trashy magazines in the airport, of course

Monday, 11 July 2011

TRAVEL | Cote D'Azur Pt. 1

Now that I'm back from the south of France, I've been looking through the various photographs and videos I took while over there. I'm still not finished editing the nearly 600 shots I took on my point and shoot camera and there are still the disposable cameras I took to develop yet. The video footage was less daunting so I managed to tackle that and put it into a small montage of clips that show you a little of what I got up to on my holiday.

From sunning myself on the beach, gelato in Old Nice, staring in awe at million pound yachts and watching convoys of blacked out cars go by for the Royal Wedding in Monaco, it's all in there. The colouring might be a little off though, as my camera adds a rather hipster blue tint to everything when you shoot in HD. I suppose it's the thought that counts though.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

WHAT'S IN MY BAG | Travel Make Up 2011

I admit that I am probably one of the nosiest people ever and therefore love all of those Youtube videos and blog posts about what people keep in their bags. I am that person who will rifle through your cupboards and stare into houses' windows from the upper deck of the bus.  It's in my nature to be inquisitive. So while I was packing my make up bag to go away to the south of France for a week, I decided to join in and share what I wittled it down to in the end.

I do pride myself on being a bit of a packing mastermind, it has to be said so I figured I would share some tips as well as mentioning just how useful everything I brought turned out to be in the end.

First, I took into account the criteria for the make up I needed to bring. The south of France is hot, nearing 40 degrees Celsius on some days while I was there, meaning it couldn't be anything that would melt off. Also, I was sharing a single suitcase with two friends to save costs (since we're all poor students now) and couldn't take up too much room. No overpacking was to be allowed. It all had to fit in a modest sized make up bag without being so full I could no longer zip it closed.

All this considered, I turned to my make up collection and after a good amount of sorting things out and making 'necessary' and 'unnecessary' piles, I was packed. 

Face Products:

-Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer: I have a few concealers on the go at the moment but this one is pretty heavy duty. While the claims of '16 hour wear' might be slightly hyperbolic, it does the trick.
-GOSH Touch Up Concealer in '#2': This concealer is less for actual concealing than it is for colour correction. I use this solely for my under eyes as the salmon colour hides the dark bags I cannot seem to get rid of, even with 8 hours sleep a night.
-Natural Collection Tinted Moisturiser: I have fairly good skin and don't wear foundation. However this product is more moisturiser than anything else; I can barely see any colour when it's applied. I just brought this to keep my incredibly dry skin hydrated without worrying about losing more expensive moisturisers.
-No7 Perfect Light Pressed Powder in 'Translucent': Hot weather means melting make up and shininess, neither of which I am particularly fond of. A bit of powder to stop my carefully applied face sliding off halfway through the day is a must.

Cheek Products:

-Natural Collection Blush in 'Pink Cloud': I always like to have a little colour in my cheeks but I worry my blushes will break in transit. Natural Collection have some of the cheapest stuff going but their blushes really deliver so I always take one or two of these with me when I go away.
-Maybelline Mousse Blush in 'Peach Satin': This ended up not coming with me. Cream products and hot weather, I realised, do not mix. Plus, while it is one of my favourites for a nice healthy 'glow', when in sweltering heat this would have simply left me looking unattractive and sweaty.
-No7 Blush Brush: I tried to take as few brushes as possible as they take up so much room and I'd hate to lose them. This one was unavoidable though; applying blush with my fingers wasn't about to happen, so I bit the bullet and took it along anyway.

Eye Products:

-L'Oréal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara: One of my biggest tips for packing your travel make up bag is to throw in those items you don't often reach for. Both of these mascaras tend to fall to the wayside next to my other preferred kinds so I took them along to use them up, plus if I lost them along the way I wasn't going to be upset.
-Rimmel Max Volume Flash Mascara: Also, if you're going to be swimming, as I was, I'd suggest a waterproof mascara. Sadly, I had none so ended up having to take my make up off every time I wanted to swim which was time consuming and I wouldn't recommend it.
-Lancome Eyeshadow Compact: I'll admit I could have done without this in the end. I don't think I ever reached for it as it would have creased and smudged in the heat.

Lip Products:

-17 Mirror Shine Lipstick in 'Peace': This was my daytime shade to add a touch of gloss and colour while still looking fairly natural.
-Natural Collection Lip Gloss in 'Fondant': A basic nude for going out or to tone down a lipstick.
-MAC Lipstick in 'Costa Chic': Being one of my favourite summer lipsticks, I had to bring this along. It really is the perfect shade for this time of year.
-Neutrogena MirrorShine Gloss in '#110 Fruity Pink': I just love this lipgloss. I wear it all the time and I am never without it so, naturally, I couldn't leave it behind.

Along with an SPF 15 chapstick and some perfume (YSL 'Elle' on this occasion, which is a new love of mine), I had all my bases covered and used pretty much everything I brought except the eyeshadow, which I will forgo another time. 

For a week long trip where I would change two or three times a day, depending on whether we were going to museums, at the beach or getting dinner, this was the perfect amount of make up for me and I managed not to take up too much room in the, already very cramped, suitcase.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

DAYS OUT | Lunch By The Boat Club

One day last week we went out for lunch with some old family friends to catch up and meet their new puppy. It really was the most gorgeous day for it; clear blue skies all around and just warm enough to leave a cardigan at home for a change. The food was fantastic and we sat on benches under umbrellas, watching boats along the river. This is what I always envisage the best days of summer to be like. Good food, good company with plenty of sunshine and beautiful views.

The puppy was adorable too. I wish I could have a pet of my own at home but we just don't have the time so, as a total animal lover, I promptly fell in love with her. Although I did have to shoo her off my lap when it came to dessert; I don't share my chocolate fudge cake with anybody, no matter how adorable.

And the best way to wind down on a gorgeous summer afternoon? A leisurely walk along the river front, past the boat club and the most bizarre array of beach huts I ever saw. Plus it's the perfect excuse to walk off a delicious, but enormous, lunch so you don't run the risk of the top button of your shorts busting off, as I felt I might.

Of course, as soon as we were home I was back to worrying about currency, trial packing and re-packing my suitcase and frantically scanning checklists like the control freak I am in preparation for my holiday. But sometimes, particularly as a person who lives and breathes organisation, it's nice to have a day where everything is relaxed and there are no deadlines to meet or passports to double check you've packed in your hand luggage. Even if it's just for one day.

blouse: Urban Outfitters, shorts, shoes: Topshop, bag: Zara, sunglasses: River Island