Thursday, 27 June 2013

Meet Darius

My favourite accessory this summer is this tan leather bag. It was a present from Little Legs, and she named the big cat "Darius". Darius and I have been seen stepping out together so often this summer, we're becoming quite the item. I'm a sucker for anything that's fashioned from tan leather - the ultimate "go with anything" colour and texture.

{leopard safari crossbody bag, £35 Topshop}

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Foundation station

I've been finding the recent craze for BB and CC creams annoying. Mainly because they are just buzz-words designed to confuse people into thinking these are new inventions, whereas, when you get down to it, they are just new formulations of tinted moisturisers, or light foundations, but with some skincare benefits mixed in. Which is the way foundations have been going for the last couple of years anyway.

But, I was after a tinted moisturiser, one with a high SPF and a very light texture, and had read good things about Clinique's Moisture Surge CC Cream.  I bought it and have loved it ever since. It's great that it takes care of my SPF for the day, but even better is the texture, which is very light and non-greasy. A very little bit goes a long way too, so even though it's quite expensive, I think it will last a respectable amount of time.

I have a normal to oily skin, and find it works well for me. And then the other day I met up with Bob, and I noticed her skin looked great, and wasn't she just wearing it too! And she has a very dry skin. And loves it. Everybody loves it. Try it, you might like it.

{Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream, £28 & Even Better Compact, £27.50, Boots}

Oh, and when comparing notes, Bob and I can confirm that our respective Clinique consultants told us that it was really a primer and not a tinted moisturiser, but we can also confirm that we both totally ignored this and use it exactly as a tinted moisturiser and we like it like this.

And then because I'm on the go a lot at the moment, I wanted a compact which I could use to top up my CC Cream, especially if I was going out in the evening. So I got the Even Better Compact Makeup (catchy name!) which I can apply over the top and give me a more matt finish, without looking heavy, powdery or cakey. It gives good coverage without feeling heavy. And you're much better off applying this with a foundation brush, or even your fingers - you get a better finish, and you'll lose half the foundation in the sponge. My only complaint is the large compact, which also feels quite plasticky - feels a bit cheap really. They need to take a cue from the fabulous Guerlain when it comes to their packaging.

{Touche Veloutee, £35 SpaceNK}

And a warm welcome back to my Touche Veloutee by By Terry - I'd been without it for a few weeks, which was a trial, because there is literally NOTHING BETTER THAN THIS for an under-eye concealer.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Follow that star

I can't remember when my obsession with folding rulers began, but it was some time ago. I bought one from the Baltic Mill in Gateshead a couple of years ago, and was since struck with the idea to use it as a decoration, by fashioning it into a star shape. But I've been searching high and low and can't remember where I've put the thing. Good job I haven't had any long items needing to be urgently measured. And so I'd been looking for a replacement, but there were all very overpriced, until this one below caught my eye in John Lewis, for a mere £3.99.

{folding ruler, £3.99 John Lewis}

It's going to take pride of place on my study noticeboard.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Recent purchases: start of the sales

I went shopping at the weekend with some vouchers to spend and hadn't even realised that some of the summer sales had started. I spent most of my time in John Lewis, which is where my vouchers were for, and let me tell you, it really excelled itself. The choice was surprisingly brilliant and the reductions were good.

I came home with this Whistles shirt, which I'd been admiring full price and had 50% off making it £55. I've already worn it with my grey skinny jeans and red leopard print Zara heels which have now gone in the sale because THE ZARA SALE STARTED TODAY! Log on!

{silk shirt, £55 by Whistles from John Lewis}

{latest wardrobe addition}

And then my next purchase wasn't in the sale, but I fell for its structural look, with excellent details, like the padded shoulder which make the armholes stand proud, the front pleats and the back vent. I'm probably not selling it much to you right now because it's sporting the "I've been screwed up in a plastic bag" look, but let me tell you, it's a classic.

{padded shoulder top, £26 Warehouse}

{yikes, a few creases!}

{pleat detail}

{back vent}

Perfect with skinny jeans, or slimline trousers, with a pair of heels and the right jewellery, I think it's a strong, clean look.

And finally, in a fickle fashion u-turn, I've finally caved in and bought a pair of Wayfarers. I've gone from "ugh, those new Ray-Bans are a horrific 80's throwback item" to "those sunnies are the coolest ever, I've got to have them". Only took me about three years. Love them. If only the sun would stay out long enough for me to wear them.

{Ray-Ban Wayfarers, £120 ASOS}

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Get lippy

I'm still in a lipstick phase, but I've been weaning myself off my trusty reds and my beloved Schiap, and going for a more pinky red of late.

I've been looking for ages for a colour which resembles the lipstick Vanessa Paradis is wearing in the picture below. Chanel tells me that she's wearing Mademoiselle, which in real life looks nothing like the ad. And after making a nuisance of myself at beauty counter after beauty counter, testing lipstick after lipstick all over my hand, up my arm to my elbow, I stumbled across the perfect lippy in Topshop, called Ditsy. A good daytime lipstick, it's the right mix of pink and red, with amazing staying power, almost like a lip stain, with a lovely matt finish (but not drying) for just £8. And it seems to make my teeth look whiter too, as it's nowhere near as orange as it looks on the website.

{Vanessa Paradis looking lovely in her lipstick}

And whilst I was on my search, I found another lipstick from Chanel which has become a favourite, which is from the Rouge Coco range, and is Orchidee (no. 17). It's pretty much my evening version of Ditsy, slightly deeper in colour, and much more creamy in formulation. It's long wearing and I think is one of those colours which would suit any colouring.

{the new kids on the block}

So that's my summer lipstick line-up - a change is a good as a rest.

Monday, 17 June 2013

The weekend

The weekend was long awaited, with a huge to-do list to power through but a few treats in between too. It started with lunch at a new local cafe we hadn't yet tried, where the food was great - so good that I demolished most of it before I remembered to take a picture, so you've just got a picture of a half-eaten sandwich - soz.

{lunch at Watkins & Faux}

 And then we headed to IKEA which for me is always a pleasure and never a chore. It was a surprisingly quiet and successful trip, with my now 2 year rug search, which had taken me me to previously unexplored websites and price brackets, ending in huge triumph. More on that another time.

But I also got these blue boxes, £1.25 for a pack of two in the sale. They were easy to put together and the timing serendipitously fitted in with the epic and brutal shoe cull which I'd been planning. All shoes are now boxed, stacked and labelled and I'm feeling pretty zen.

{new shoe storage solution - a flat pack joy}

{IKEA stripes}
I also bought a couple of striped items (can't resist a stripe) and Popeye went to town in the Swedish Food Market. 

I popped into H&M on Sunday with my 25% off voucher from Grazia magazine - it ends today if you're interested so be quick. My local H&M is always disappointing but I managed to get some very excellent jewellery. Think there's a touch of YSL about the ring? Hoping so.

{H&M jewellery}

And then the weather miraculously improved and we popped down to the beach with some challenging reading material and my most favourite but most elusive chocolate bar of all time: the Drifter. And a cup of tea. What a treat.

{Sunday afternoon - beach weather}

{if you see a Drifter, buy it - it may be a long time before you find another}

Friday, 14 June 2013

Last weekend

Sorry for my absence. I had a few days away in Marrakech visiting Liverpool Lou, and work had got the better of me for a little while. But now I'm back and will hopefully have some more regular updates for you over the coming weeks.

I got back into the swing of things on Sunday, with a trip to London to catch up with some friends. The original purpose of the visit was to see Caitlin Moran at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival but I managed to squeeze an awful lot round it.

{I am excellent at staring out of windows on train journeys}

{breakfast at Shoreditch House}

{stumbled across the shop Nook in Stoke Newington - new favourite place}

{Little Legs bought these excellent glasses, which I'd featured here}

{pleasantly weighty brass pencil sharpener, £6 Nook}

{tea & cake at The Parlour, Stoke Newington - also has a lovely garden}

{the cheese plate at The Rose & Crown}

{Brights Power nail polish by OPI, my favourite orange}