Thursday, 29 July 2010

I am a convert

Girls just know that MAC make-up is one of the best. You only have to walk past the MAC counter in the department store and look at the immaculate faced (albeit some bring shovelling it on to mind) make-up artists who are there to lure you in to know that for a flawless complexion, MAC is where it's at.

Usually I am a Maybelline or Benefit girl, Benefit has me every time with its cute packaging and Maybelline does the best mascara (Falsies and Great Lash being my faves), but my good friend has turned me away from my faithful CoverGirl pressed powder in favour of a more luxe brand. MAC Studio Fix pressed powder is the perfect base. For a quick application over your foundation for a matte finish or just on its own it has the same effect. Amazing, I know.

Studio Fix comes with its own mirror and applicator sponge, the final touches which confirm my new powder lust.

And for any festival goers fearing sweaty photo ops, this MAC product is a saviour. It was for my friends and I who were cramped into hot Benicassim crowds with newly-found beautiful sweat-free complexions which I am sure I would have been jealous of myself.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Make do and mend

Back in the times of World War Two, as well as enlisting onto the Home Front, women were encouraged to cut costs and by the same nature, cut their clothes (into new ones, not for sabotage).

As my very own cost cutting equation continues and I am still a T-total shopper, I have returned to a little hobby that I literally left at the back of my closet; my sewing kit.

If I can't buy new things, I can make them, or at least alter things that I don't really wear anymore to make them even more fabulous. My latest additions to my shopping sober sabotage have been a lace vest, which is now a lovely waistcoat, a dowdy black blazer which due to some new buttons has a new lease of life, a once-fancy-dress granny skirt that is now a bodycon mini patiently waiting for a trip out and a lonely breton striped top which, now a crop, will look great over a black body dress.

The haberdashery is a haven when venturing into the make shift wardrobe. Amongst other gems to be found in the stichers' emporium, buttons are a staple. Buttons can literally change a look. When I am feeling a little less adventurous, a swift button change always does the trick.

Also, I like to think outside the box. You can use broken jewellery, charms, ribbons, bows, etc etc to great effect. Why not lend a hand to revamping jewellery too? Swap charms and chains, you could be suprised how much effect a small change can have.

When in need of a fashion fix; make do and mend.

For more info visit or click here.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Around the world in ten photos (and a heavily dented student budget)

This time last year I was applying for a visa to enter the United States. This time this year I am suffering from post-holiday blues. I think I may have caught the travel bug on my, well, travels and it is one that is a bit more tricky to maintain than a shoe fetish.

So in true reminiscing spirit, I have rounded up my favourite photos from the past year and taken a little trip down memory lane, for now that will have to do. (Did I mention I only got back from Spain six days ago? Tragic, I know).

1. Visa granted, university place secured at Plattsburgh State University New York, USA, I single handedly took the 18 hour total journey to my new home for the next four months as a journalism student. I arrived in Plattsburgh, NY in August 2010.

[This photo was taken in Fall where the colours of the leaves were just beautiful. From the oranges and browns, to purples and reds. The best bit was definitely playing in them.]

2. Although enrolled as a student at SUNY Plattsburgh, between the classes and endless amount of assignments, the uni was for some of the time a mere base for my adventures. Just a short ferry trip from northern New York state brought me to Burlington, Vermont. As part of the New England region of the States, traditionally it had to rain. I felt right at home.

[This was taken not long after my arrival in the States and Vermont was the first trip taken just a couple of weeks into my stay]

3. I have heard the rumours about the Big Apple; once you take a bite, you're hooked. Well, true this may be. For my 20th birthday I stylishly took the Greyhound bus to New York City and spent three nights in a 5th Ave hotel, perfect. My friends and I saw all of the main sights, went to a show on Broadway (Chicago if you're interested) and shopped till we literally dropped - in Central Park. Soon after we took the trecherous seven hour Greyhound trip back to base. Totally worth it though, this was definitely a highlight.

[The Statue of Liberty. As for the pose, I dare you to not do it.]

4. A stamped passport and an even worse (the worst) Greyhound bus journey later, we landed in Toronto, Canada. The vast new-age city, home to the CN tower and various Baton Rouge joints. The best bit about Toronto was being able to legally consume alcohol and go clubbing.


5. Of course, there was another rather significant factor about this city, Niagara Falls is practically on its doorstep (if you're talking in Canadian geography terms, in British geography terms it is a good hour and a half away).

[The pic doesn't really do it justice, but Niagara Falls is nothing less of spectacular.]

6. The Canadian border got another visit for American Thanksgiving in November 2010 as I travelled to part of the Quebec province to Montreal. With its huge underground shopping centres, which span most of the underground city, and the unmistakable French culture, Montreal felt just like Europe. What's a couple thousand miles between continents anyway?

[Legally drinking in Montreal, Canada, it was a tough time.]

7. A swift move back to the UK via US airways and a jovial Christmas celebration later, next on the agenda was Edinburgh, Scotland for its famous New Year celebrations. A little closer to home and amongst my oldest friends, I brought in 2010 with a far from sober bang. I can't wait to go back for 2011.

[Wrapped up warm and partying on Prince's Street; the best way to bring in the New Year.]

8. Edinburgh for New Year, Paris for Easter. Tourism went cosmopolitan as I Easy-Jetted my way to gay Paris (said with fake French accent, obviously). My legs and camera got a work-out as I powered my way through the stunning attractions on offer, sampling some fine cuisine along the way (no snails for me though).

[This is one of many, many snaps of the infamous Eiffel tower. The symbol of France itself, I stumbled across it after clambering up from the Metro station. So worth the climb.]

9. Penultimately, my latest adventures have taken me to Spain, Barcelona to be exact. Another beautiful city complete with beautiful sights and beautiful beaches. At mid-30 degree temperatures, the sunshine provided the perfect backdrop to Gaudi's creations, the vast marina and the impressive man-made beaches. Air conditioning in the hotel would have been nice, though.

[My best friends and I above the city surrounded by Gaudi's great designs in Park Guell.]

10. Finally and not exactly the most elegant of ways to conclude a year of travels is the Benicassim music festival in Benicassim, Spain. Following on from our stay in Barcelona we swapped a non-airconditioned hotel for an even less air-conditioned tent. I loved every minute of it. Cue more post-holiday depression.

[Litres of beer, tents, communal cold showers, porta loos and sweaty crowds, I wouldn't have had it any other way.]

So a year later and thinking ahead to this time next year, I will be (hopefully) jetting off to the West coast of America for the ultimate two month long road trip. For now, I am going to live for the moment, starting with a camping trip this weekend and a weeny trip to Belgium at the end of August.

So long, farewell, adios and au revoir.

Nice on the eyes

Just what a girl needs on a slow sunday afternoon is something nice on the eyes. So imagine my delight when upon signing in online the era of the boyband awaited me.

Take a look at Msn's compilation of boybands, then and now, and reflect on the days when bopping around your room in peddle pushers, lycra crop tops and scrunchies were the done thing. You may have moved on to bopping around with a rose wine in hand, but just like a good wine, men get better with age.

Take a look for yourself here and enjoy responsibly.

Monday, 5 July 2010

The big red four letter word

Everywhere you turn there is a sale. Sale. Sale. Sale. Sale. I'm not talking DFS either, more like every single shop that I love (and that's a lot) is adorned with special offers, reductions and utterly tempting bargains.

Ok, I don't need anything, but just seeing that big red four letter word is enough to send any shopanista fleeing to the rails. However, my new mantra being "I don't need that (even if I really want it), there is nothing more to do than to walk away and breathe. Of course, I am allowed to have a quick peek to feed my temptation, but this kind of looking involves my eyes and not my debit card.

So in the spirit of sale, I have found some tips on how to effectively manouver around the sales, making sure you get things worth having and not last season's cast offs. However, if you are off on your hols, get your bikinis now - cheap as chips.

1. Stock up on basics; jerseys, vests, underwear, jeans.
2. Make a list of things you need (possibly one item of what you want) before you leave the house and make sure you stick to it.
3. Shop online to stop being caught up in the crazed sale shopping crowds.
4. Buy it because you love it not because of the price or label.
5. Buy things that actually fit. It may be the bargain of the century but if it looks like its about to rip at the seams, leave it.
6. Ask yourself, 'when will I wear it?' Something that will sit in your wardrobe for months because you haven't gone to that special event yet is a waste.
7. Finally, if you're really prepared and style-savvy, take a look at next season's trends and pick items that will reflect this. Super style on a shoe string budget, now that's a real bargain.

Summer feeling

I am loving Kelis' new dance hits. Once a star who sang about bringing boys to the yard has now found her forte. 4th of July, her new single is perfect for getting into that holiday mood.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

The Levi that nearly got away

The denim jacket will always be in fashion. Of course, there are seasons past and seasons to come where this staple won't be unearthed from the wardrobe, but safely waiting for its fashionable next appearance.

So to describe my relief (with some thanks to my dad) when I found my lovely Levi's denim jacket all ready for SS10. Just a few years ago, probably the last time I discovered that I owned the said jacket as a result of a clear-out, I placed it neatly onto the charity bag pile.

Thankfully my for once fashion forward father showed something a little less of disgrace at my fleeting moment of style insanity and told me to keep it. And thank the stars that he did. I am getting lots and lots of wear out of it these days, not bad for something I snapped up at TKMaxx for around 20 quid years ago.

The best bit

of latest comedy smash 'Get him to the Greek' from the makers of Knocked Up and Superbad starring Russel Brand has got to be Pharrell Williams' cameo appearance. What. A. Beaut.

As promised...

Here are some of the other photos from last weekend's Clothes Show London, enjoy.

A game of many rules

What is it with all of these power-playing games? When you have finally grasped the concept of self-empowering and seasoning the belief that men aren’t worth it, something comes up to literally shatter your progress and take you right back to the metaphorical square one.

The Dating Game has too many imaginary rules, to which new ones are added by various different females on a regular basis. You can’t call him until three days post-date (aka The Three Day Rule), you must stand your ground and not make yourself seem too available, you shouldn’t have to make the first move and you must painstakingly accept that when communication goes dead, so does the opportunity. The list can go on and even until there are no rules left to conjure up, I would bet that the last rule would be just as un-helpful as the first.

And when acceptance is in place and The Dating Game is non-exclusively reopened again giving the elusive power to you once again, vulnerability is just waiting to rear its eager little head. So what do we do? Live with it, often waiting for that call or text listening to deep and meaningful lyrics, or completely dismiss it, and said male along the way, making way for all the other currently unknowing opportunities out there.

The Game continues and as much as we hate to admit it, square one is more frequented than the fantasy finish line (what lies there I am completely unsure of) and the best we can do is to roll the dice and hope that our lucky number is up next, falsely promising ourselves that this time all the rules are out the window. Yeah right.