Friday, 25 October 2013

Make up for the organised

My make up bag is chaotic. It's about 50% staples, 20% special occasion make up (i.e. things that are *way* too expensive for me to wear every day) and 30% random bits and pieces bought on a whim or for fancy dress parties (sparkly red lip crayon being the prime example there). I swear it grows new eyeliners all by itself.

Lili Radu make up wallet, £297 with make up; £212 without
This amazing make up clutch from Lili Radu, in partnership with FACE Stockholm cosmetics, landed in my inbox a few weeks back and, as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it. Everything has its place in this cute wallet - no more mystery eye shadows or weird smudges on the lining; no more rummaging around for a lip balm.

Sure it's a little pricey but for €349 (about £297), you not only get the case but a full beauty overhaul too - each wallet contains a FACE Stockholm mascara, kajal eyeliner, lipliner, concealer, powder, blusher, lipstick, eyeshadow and a brush.

This is definitely one to add to the Christmas list!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Midweek treat: ROADS Classics designer books

There's nothing like a good book. Except when that book comes in an exquisite package of course.

They say you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but these classic tales are already big hitters in the literary world. And now ROADS, a new publishing house based in Dublin, has released these ten titles wrapped in new, beautiful simplistic designs, by Irish design studio Conor & David.

According to Conor & David, each cover captures the essence of the book, rather than reproducing specific scenes or dramatic moments: "As classics, the books and associated imagery already exist in the public consciousness. It was important to step beyond this and to reflect a deeper understanding - one that is as connected to the contemporary era as it is to the author’s. Rather than acting solely as windows onto the authors’ world, these books (and their covers) should be mirrors of our own."

Each book is under £10, available on Amazon and in selected bookshops. Titles available include: Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby, Frankenstein and The Scarlet Letter.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Chunky knits, chunky necklaces

It's that time of year again: the leaves are falling from the trees, the wind is howling through twilit streets, Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte is back on the menu - and I am bloomin' freezing. I mean seriously, my fingers are turning blue. Well...not right now but it's imminent I tell you!

Drama queen moment over, my go to garment of the moment is this lush fisherman knit jumper from Matalan. At only £12, I couldn't leave the oatmeal version there...or it's burgundy sister for that matter. And, at the risk of looking like a cartoon character, I'm pretty much living in these jumpers at the moment. 

1. Jewel collar, £16.50. Miss Selfridge; 2. Geo triangle necklace, £12, Accessorize
3. Corine stone necklace, £15, Aftershock; 4. Fisherman rib jumper, £12, Matalan

The only thing with jumpers like this is that they can leave you feeling a little flat. Where's the pizzazz, the sparkle, the style? Well, my dear friends, that's where your summer stock of statement necklaces comes in. Dig out the chains, collars and chunky pendants and make a stand in your new sweater.

1. Mai Tai wooden necklace, £12, Oliver Bonas; 2. Pendant necklace, £8, Accessorize
3. Bronze stone necklace, £5, Dorothy Perkins; 4. Fisherman rib jumper, £12, Matalan

Monday, 21 October 2013

Bargain of the week: Kenzo eye sweater at ASOS - 90% less!

Cropped sweatshirt with embroidered eye, £28, ASOS
Kenzo lotus eye embroidered sweatshirt, £268, Matches
I've had my eye on this sweater all week. 

Err, terrible sense of humour aside, this ASOS jersey is a dead ringer for Kenzo's iconic eye jumper isn't it? Although I must say the one on the right looks a little more inviting - or maybe that's just the fraction of the designer version's price I'll be putting on the old credit card this evening!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Interview: Madeleine Thompson, knitwear designer

Madeleine Thompson is the designer behind the beautiful and luxurious range of timeless cashmere styles that launched on ASOS in August. Madeleine uses only high-quality, grade A 'white for white' cashmere, from China, Mongolia, Afghanistan and Iran. Drawing inspiration from her childhood in London and Hong Kong, Madeleine is redefining knitwear as we know it.

Here Madeleine talks icons, staples and humble beanies.

Hi Madeleine, it's great to meet you! So, first of all, could you please describe your style?

I love vintage inspired pieces and hate looking like everyone else. It's how I design my clothes too - they should be your friends and bring out the best in you.

Who are your style icons?

Kate Moss, Talitha Getty, Ali MacGraw, Sienna Miller and Nicole Richie - to name a few!

What is your autumn style staple?  

I am about to have a baby so I'm living in my MT maxi dresses which you can wear with boots (my fave are the Chloe Susannah Boot) and look great with Converse too.

What made you want to go in to fashion? 

It was just the natural step for me as I was obsessed with clothes and was in a position in Hong Kong to learn the business from the best.

You say your label started with a humble beanie - how did it go from there? What was the next thing you designed?
I made a dress and a wrap - Charlotte Pilcher from Vogue, who has always been so supportive, suggested I send whatever I had to Tamara Mellon who bought the lot - I was so lucky!

Who is the Madeline Thompson girl? 

She's a girl who loves to be comfortable and knows her own style and doesn't just follow trends. My pieces can be dressed up and down so easily. I am a real believer in off-duty elegance and simplicity.

And finally, what can we look forward to next season? 

There is something for everyone, from fine knit t-shirts and cable knit jumpers, to maxi and mini dresses. Highlights include the Margot Jumper in a thick knit and the athletic chic two-toned Summerbridge, sweatshirts available in an array of colours. 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

5 ankle boots under £50

In the past few weeks I've managed to destroy two pairs of ankle boots. I had a lovely slouchy flat brown suede pair and a kind of green-ish pair with a low heel. Now I'm just left with a pair of sexy black shoe-boots. First world problems or what?

Before we start over analysing that little drama, let's get on with the post. I've been on the hunt for a casual pair of ankle boots for the past few weeks and it hasn't been easy. I don't want all the bells or whistles, frills or buckles, patterns or cut-outs- all I want is a nice, functional pair of boots that I can team with a nice, functional pair of jeans or a grungy dress. Hopefully one of these five choices will do the job!

1. Ankle boot, £24.99, Deichmann
2. Barrats suede pull on boots, £38.25, Debenhams
3. Orinoco Club boots, £49.99, Clarks
4. Mantaray leather and suede boots, £48.75, Debenhams
5. Light brown woven chain ankle boots, £19.99, New Look

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

When in Rome, dress like the Romans do

A few weeks back I went on a late break to the beautiful city of Rome. While my wardrobe consisted of mostly comfy boyfriend tees, shorts and Converse, the ladies of the Italian capital were working a much more stylish look.

For Roman girls, it's always been about the accessories - everything's bling, patterned or stand out in some way. But staples right now are pretty toned down: fashion uniform in the capital was tank tops and skinny jeans, teamed with bright tennis shoes, medium totes and layered friendship bracelets.

1. Braccialetti, €10 each, Cruciani; 2. Sydney shopper, £119, Fossil
3. Coloured leather shopper, £89.99, Zara
4. French Connection shopper, £125, John Lewis
5. Dahlia tennis shoes, £12, Superga; 6. Dark Bordeaux, £12, Superga

Monday, 14 October 2013

Bargain of the week: Dries Van Noten skirt at Zara

Embroidered skirt, £39.99, Zara; Dries Van Noten jumper, £745, Browns
If Autumn were a skirt, it would this one from Zara (bear with me, this is going somewhere). That raspberry/burgundy colour is a lovely pick me up shade and the sparkly embellishments are just the best. But what really makes this skirt a must-have is the fact that it pays tribute to this season's Dries Van Noten ready to wear collection.

Y'know, all that and it is just perfect for Christmas parties - too soon? Nah, I didn't think so either.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Party like it's 1994

Elgin grey acid wash jeans, £9, ASOS
Vintage style rotating sun moon watch, £25, ASOS
Daisy jumper, £12, c/o OMG Fashion
Cherry red Dr Martens, £84.99, c/o Cloggs
I swore I'd never work the '90s look. With the exception of the '80s (shoulder pads *shudders*), the '90s are my most detested decade of style. The whole dirty grunge look just reminds me of smelly teenage boys and girls who don't wash their hair properly.

In hindsight, I was probably being a little bit too picky. The '90s revival happening this winter is huge and, as it turns out, is actually kind of perfecting for blocking out the chill 
 (note: contrary to how this post might make me seem, I am not an old woman, just a cold one).

This outfit is one of those effortlessly stylish, slubby, do anything ensembles. I've been on the lookout for some comfy boots for ages and never considered a pair of Doc Martens but these are awesome - and the perfect colour for this season!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Bargain of the week: Lulu Guinness lips at H&M

Lips clutches, from £245, Lulu Guinness; Lips iPhone 4/4S case, £7.99, H&M
Is there any bag more iconic than a Lulu Guinness lips clutch? Seen in the hands of everyone from Kate Moss to my favourite fashion blogger Olivia, the clutch has been the bag of the moment for, like, ever.

But as with every bargain of the week post *sigh*, there is a downside. Starting at £245, these are bags to invest in - and not exactly an easy purchase for most us! But the perky iPhone case in the centre above is the best way for us High Street ladies to pay homage to Lulu's style. For just £7.99, you can rock red lips too!
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