Thursday, 27 February 2014

WISHLIST | Graduation Gifts

Vivienne Westwood purse, Bass Wayfarer loafers, Michael Kors watch; Lipstick Queen lipstick in Black Tie; Nike Blazers

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it enough yet, but I'm graduating this summer. It's terrifying. To alleviate some of the fear, and to procrastinate in between meltdowns about my future, I've been looking at really expensive gifts I would hypothetically buy for myself (if I had all the money in the world) for my graduation. Because buying expensive gifts for yourself mends all ills.

The Nike Blazers are something I've been thinking about buying myself for a while anyway. I love my low-top pair but, after seeing friends with the leather high-top version, have been lusting after a plain black pair. Same for the Vivienne Westwood purse. I've wanted one, as my 'ideal purse', for ages. Recently my years-old purse bit the dust and I can't stop thinking about finally taking the plunge and replacing it with a classic Viv number. To go with the classic Bass Wayfarer loafers I would also own in the fantasy world where I'm rich enough to afford any/all of these things, of course.

On the less classic, more cliché side of things, is of course the Michael Kors watch. I love a good watch and yes, everyone and their gran has a Michael Kors. I still want the tortoise shell one though, regardless. You can't stop me. The Lipstick Queen lipstick in Black Tie is a new, but nonetheless powerful, want. I saw someone speak about it in a YouTube video the other day and it shot to the top of my lipstick wishlist. Now, if someone would just give me a high-paying graduate job so I can lavish myself with gifts such as these, that would be fab.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

OUTFIT | #199

top, jumper, skirt, boots, necklace Topshop

I feel I should apologise for how Topshop heavy this outfit is. I don't know what it is, and I've definitely said this before, but Topshop is my kryptonite lately. They just get it right. I can walk in and out of H&M or Zara with no issue, sometimes without spotting a single thing I like. Whereas Topshop is a whole other matter. Hopefully now that summer clothes are emerging, I can reel my shopping habit back in. I never find I like much in the shops once all the bright colours and floral prints re-emerge. Can it be winter all year round so I can wear layers and knitwear constantly please?

To add a bit more colour, without going too wild, to this outfit I decided to match my skirt to my lipstick. I'm wearing the Revlon Matte Balm I mentioned a few posts back. I've been such a fan of the purple/mauve shades this winter. They're often a less bold alternative to a straight-up vampy lip. One of these days I need to get around to making updated posts about my collections of reds, purples, and vampy lipsticks. Given the amount I own, I don't write about lipstick nearly enough. 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

OUTFIT | #198

top, cardigan: H&M; skirt, boots: Topshop

I almost never wear white. For many reasons, including the fact that it just doesn't suit me that well most of the time. Also I have a tendency to spill things on myself or smear lipstick everywhere and wearing white is just asking for trouble. Apparently I was feeling brave because I wore not only white but red lipstick too on this day. I picked up a bunch of new long-sleeve tops to fend off the winter cold the other day and was pleasantly surprised when this white striped number didn't look atrocious on me. By now you should know my penchant for stripes so it was a done deal.

My hair is in serious need of a trim already. One hazard of having shorter hair is the need for haircuts every 6 weeks, I suppose. My hair grows at a ridiculous rate too, which doesn't help matters. I'm holding out as long as possible but I think I may have to cave and get it cut soon before it starts looking less 'long bob' and more 'shapeless blob'.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

RECENT PURCHASES | February 2014

I got my tax rebate last week so, naturally, I did a spot of shopping. Most of it went towards my travel pot, but I did buy a few things I was running out of. Plus a few lipsticks. Of course. Would you expect any less of me, really? 

I popped into Boots, in need of a new shampoo and conditioner as mine is running low. Since having my hair chopped off, I've also been experimenting more with new hair products. I used to stick religiously to the same Tresemmé products for years but I decided to see what else was out there. There was a 3 for 2 offer on John Frieda so I thought I would give their Dream Curls line a shot. I've used their Frizz Ease serum and Moisture Barrier hairspray (which I picked up in mini size for handbag use) for years and swear by it. Unfortunately they've completely changed the packaging recently and it looks super '90s and a bit dodgy. Not a fan, John Frieda. Soz. 

I also picked up my favourite body scrub as I'd completely run out. I love Soap & Glory's The Breakfast Scrub. It smells incredible and is a fantastic exfoliator, without being overly abrasive. I have very dry, sensitive skin but this never leaves me feeling irritated, and it lasts for ages. 

Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick in #107

Revlon Matte Balm in Shameless

It wouldn't be a shopping trip if I didn't come back with a new lipstick or two. First up, I really wanted to try out the new Revlon Matte Balm range. I was never interested in the sheer versions they brought out previously. I do bold or I don't bother. I'd read good things about the Matte version on my friend Kathryn's blog so I opted for the super out-there purple colour. They last forever. I applied it at 7pm the other night and finished work at 3am (I'm a bartender, hence the bizarre hours) and it was still intact. Top stuff.

Another highly recommended lipstick was from the Rimmel Kate Moss range. So many of my friends rave about the shade #107 so I finally caved and bought it. It's a lovely, slightly purplish, dark red. It's not fully matte either, like a lot of my reds, which is a plus.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

OUTFIT | #197

jumper: H&M; scarf: River Island' skort: Zara; bag: Forever 21; boots: Topshop

I went to see Taylor Swift at the O2 earlier this week. It was a pretty great night, although I didn't get home until 3am and had to be up at 7 the next day. The sacrifices I make for you, Taylor. I didn't make quite as much effort dressing up as some people: there were several girls in prom dresses or decked out in fairy lights. Top effort, ladies. I did wear my skort though. I'd kind of forgotten I owned it, which makes me feel like a wardrobe clear-out is probably in order. No one should have so many clothes they forget about some of them.

This jumper is new, however. I bought it as a 'you don't need this, but you deserve it' gift to myself after last week was pretty much a week from hell. I have worn it every single day since I bought it, and even slept in it a few times. Is that gross? (Do I care?) It's ridiculously comfortable and, being black and grey, goes perfectly with all my other clothes. At only £15 in H&M, I would highly recommend it to fellow knitwear lovers.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

OUTFIT | #196

jumper, jeans: Topshop; blouse: charity shop; shoes: Converse; watch: Swatch; necklace: Primark

Keeping up with the collegiate vibes I've been enjoying lately, I'm bringing back the blouse-hanging--out-my-jumper look today. Wearing a collared blouse under a jumper is such a simple way to make it look like I made so much more effort to get ready than I did. In reality, I woke up late, threw on something comfy, and headed to town to mooch about and run errands. Who'd have thought? The collared blouse and jumper combo is such a great way to deceive people on lazy days.

I'm still fully in love with my new hair cut but having shorter hair has made me realise how much more frequently I will need to get it cut. It already feels a bit too long. I want to go a bit shorter. Every time I see old pictures of my long hair I wonder why I didn't chop it all off earlier. I feel it will probably end up there as one of the best decisions I made in 2014. In the wise words of Angela Chase, of My So-Called Life: 'When Rayanne Graff said my hair was holding me back, I had to listen. Because she wasn't just talking about my hair. She was talking about my life.'

Sunday, 9 February 2014

WHAT'S IN MY BAG | Fjallraven Kanken

My Fjallraven Kanken backpack is one of the best purchases I made last year. I decided that in my final year of university it was time to get serious and ditch the silly, flimsy bags I'd used to carry my shit around for the past 2 years. I'm 21, damn it, and it was high time I got myself a big girl backpack. The Kanken is super sturdy and durable. I take this thing with me everywhere and throw all manner of stuff in it and it never gives me backache. If you're considering getting a Kanken, I couldn't recommend it anymore highly.

A day's typical contents in my Kanken:
-iPhone 4, complete with adorable Gemma Correll case
-ridiculous holographic River Island purse
-iPad mini
-pencil case
-Cath Kidston make-up bag
-Moleskine planner
-water bottle

I got this absurdly bright and holographic purse in River Island. Every time I pull it out someone compliments me on it. After years of plain black or brown purses, I decided to opt for a fun option. My new Gemma Correll cat-print phone case from Iconemesis is probably my favourite thing in my bag currently. How did I not own a phone case covered in cats before this? Plus Gemma Correll is a Norwich-based artist so I quite like carrying a little bit of local artwork around with me.

I don't carry tons around in my everyday make-up bag. Just the standard lipbalm, concealer for necessary touch-ups, and some emergency hand sanitiser. I'll usually throw whatever lipstick I'm wearing on a given day in there too but otherwise I keep it pretty minimal. 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

LIPSTICK | MAC Lipstick Collection

Lipstick is probably among my greatest 'passions', along with gin and John Hughes movies. It's become a staple part of my 'look' and it's a rare day I go without out. My motto with lipstick is, as I've said many times before, go bold or go home. I don't really do nudes or muted colours. One of my favourite lipstick brands is, of course, MAC. I bought my first MAC lipstick when I was 16 and my collection has steadily grown. This is by no means a completed collection though; there are a plethora of other shades I'm still coveting.

l-r: Craving, Rebel, Diva

CRAVING: I got Craving because Rachel Whitehurst, of YouTube fame, said it was one of her staples. It's about as close to an everyday neutral as I get. One I wear on more muted days.

REBEL: Rebel is possibly my favourite lipstick of all time, second only to the classic red. It's a beautiful reddish purple and looks different on everyone, which is part of its charm.

DIVA: The perfect dark vampy red. The Matte formula can be unforgiving if you suffer from dry lips but it's worth investing in some lip scrub so you can sport this shade.

l-r: Candy Yum-Yum, Impassioned, Up The Amp

CANDY YUM-YUM: The inimitable Candy Yum-Yum is stark neon matte pink and I love it. Pro tip: When hungover/feeling under the weather, I slap on some of this to make myself look more alive.

IMPASSIONED: Impassioned suits everyone. As with Rebel, it also tends to look a little bit different on everyone too. I love this one in the summer. A beautiful watermelon pink.

UP THE AMP: I wanted MAC Heroine, but it's limited edition, so this was as close as I could get. I love a purple lip; it's still bold but a nice change from a traditional red. 

l-r: Taupe, Costa Chic, Lollipop Loving

TAUPE: I was watching a lot of Twin Peaks when I bought this. I love that 90s pinky-brown lip, muted eye make-up look. Again, another tricky matte formula but more forgiving than Diva.

COSTA CHIC: This is another colour I love for summer but I have a love-hate relationship with the frost finish. On the one hand, it feels super 80s and a little tacky. On the other hand, is that actually a bad thing?

LOLLIPOP LOVING: The first MAC lipstick I ever bought. I almost never wear it. It was limited edition and has a bizarre green sheen to it. Far too nude for my tastes now, but I bring it out occasionally.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

OUTFIT | #195

jumper, skirt, boots: Topshop; blouse (underneath): H&M

The old button-down shirt and jumper combo is one I used to heavily favour, but had overlooked of late. Recently I've found myself returning to it. As the end of my third (possibly final?) year of university draws nearer, I'm finding myself clinging to a more academic look. I'm definitely not ready to accept it's all coming to a close yet so I'll make the most of the super studious preppy look while I can. (Oh god, just typing that was painful. Don't make me leave.)

On a lighter, less nostalgic note, I was a massive fan of my make up on this particular day. In hindsight, a Face of the Day picture would have been helpful, as you can't tell much here. The lipstick in particular was new and seriously impressed me. Look out for a future post on that. I'm always on the look-out for long-wearing lipstick that can last through lunch, long days, or just drunken make outs (whatever floats your boat) and this product definitely rose to the occasion. Watch this space.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

OUTFIT | #194

top, boots: Topshop; skirt: H&M; watch: Casio; necklace: IDK

After a week or so of slubbing around, feeling a bit generally ill, and favouring comfortable clothes, I decided this week would be power-dressing week to kickstart things. I had a lot of shit to get done this week and I always feel more inclined to work hard if I'm dressed for the occasion. Yes, I am that person who get dressed up to go to the library. Whatever works. Something about an all-black turtleneck combo makes Derrida seem a bit less daunting. 

Speaking of turtlenecks, after being a slow convert I think I've finally fully warmed to them. Which means I want to buy more, duh. The weather only seems to be getting colder so now seems like a good time to stock up. Any recommendations of good places to scope out more for my budding collection would be gratefully accepted. This one was from the Topshop sale, reduced to £18 from a ridiculous £32.