Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Weekly Style Inspiration 41.

Shorts £38, Aztec Print Sweater £26, Shoes £60, Pyjama Trousers £18 : Topshop
Dinosaur Earrings £11.95 : OliveandFrank.co.uk
Bobble Jumper £14 : Select
Nirvana Tee £35 : Urban Outfitters
Bag £92 : Kate Sheridan via Farfetch.com
Polar Bear Jumper £38 : Topman
Mascara & Eyeliner Duo in 002 Shape Up Little Suzie £17.35 : Dainty Doll

A very cosy looking selection this week, Winter is obviously here! I'm not a big Christmas fan but trying to get into the spirit I think the dinosaur earrings and the super-soft looking pyjama trousers would make lovely Christmas gifts.

I really want to try something from the Dainty Doll range and the Money Talks blush has been top of my list since I first saw the products online. It is however closely followed by this clever mascara and eyeliner duo. Unfortunately I don't live that close to any stockists but maybe next time I'm in London I'll take a peek and finally pick up something from Dainty Doll.
The Nirvana tee is something I would definitely be likely to buy if it were cheaper, I think £35 is a bit much for a t-shirt. UO always have a great selection of printed tees but when I've bought them in the past I've found that they don't wash and wear particularly well, especially for the price.
I posted about the purse (available at UO) which matches the printed bag in a previous Weekly Style post back in October and the bag is just as beautiful, unfortunately it's also even more expensive.

I've finally been able to re-stock the Large Potions Necklaces in the shop (Felix Felicis style only). There are a very limited number available and it's unlikely I will be making any more. The large size bottles are now difficult to get hold of as my supplier is no longer selling them. 
I apologise to everybody who was waiting for them to appear back in the shop and I'm really grateful for all of the interest. If you do miss out on them the second time around and were really hoping to get one then feel free to drop me and email and I'll see what I can do. 
Please note: Those that contacted me via email to be put on the waiting list have been sent their necklaces.

Don't forget the Mini Potions Necklaces are still available along with the new Vampires Diaries Vervain ones!
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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Sawyer Snapshots #3





He's awesome.
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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Silversmith Course: DIY Rings





Yesterday I went to a local 'Make a Ring in a Day' silversmith course and snapped a few photos to show you what I made. As I've said before I have ridiculously thin fingers so finding rings that fit can be difficult. It was great to have the opportunity to design and make myself a few which I'll actaully be able to wear. The course had been postponed twice already so there ended up only being five people instead of about twelve which was really lucky as it meant we got to make two or three things each and could be more adventurous with the designs.
I got a little ambitious with my first design and asked if it would be possible to make a double finger ring. One of my favourite rings is my double finger leaf one from Urban Outfitters which is unfortunately turning green inside from so much wear. I decided to base my design on that and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Obviously cutting the leaf shape would have been a bit too difficult for a first project so I stamped on a leaf-inspired pattern instead. I thought stamping the design on to it would be a lot of work but I actually really enjoyed it, it was much more fun the all the filing and sawing, and the best part is now I can wear this and not have green fingers afterwards!
The wraparound ring was just a last minute make with the leftover piece of silver but I think I'll probably wear it a lot too. I didn't have much time to file the ends much to make them more rounded but it doesn't look too bad.
My favourite ring I made is the one in the last picture with the cute leaf stamped design. For years I've worn the thin silver band on my little finger and now I have another one to go with it!

Have you ever made any silver jewellery?
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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Comparing Cream Eyeshadows

L-R: Benefit Creaseless Cream in Birthday Suit, Bobbi Brown Longwear Cream Shadow in Ash & 17 Wild Metallics Eyes in Wild Nude

I find that powder eyeshadows often irritate my eyes and make them feel puffy particularly the glittery shades, so before I found cream eyeshadows I didn't really wear any eye makeup other than mascara and hadn't for years. I had always assumed that there would be a range available somewhere that wouldn't irritate my eyes but didn't fancy wasting a lot of money trying out different brands. 
I've owned Benefit's Birthday Suit for about three years now along with the shades Skinny JeansRSVP and Flatter Me. I was surprised when I first discovered them, I'd finally found a suitable product which was not irritating to my sensitive eyes. I fell in love with the Creaseless Creams but there isn't a huge range of colours to choose from and they are mostly shimmery finishes. Although I don't dislike the shimmer I am more of a fan of matte finishes so next I set out to find out what matte cream eyeshadows were available.
About a year later this led me to the Bobbi Brown counter where to my excitement I found a huge range of cream eyeshadows with both matte and shimmery shades on offer. I picked up the shade Ash to use as an eyeliner as it was the darkest matte brown. They do also have a range of Long-Wear eyeliners but I thought the eyeshadow would be more versatile. Most of the time I use Ash as my eyeliner then go over the top of it with a dark brown powder shadow (Revlon Matte 009 Sable).
More recently when I heard about the 17 Wild Metallics range, and read lots of blog posts on them, I decided I had to try them out too! Since I found the Benefit shadows I've been hoping to see a cheaper alternative appear on the high street. I almost opted for the shade Bronze from the 17 range but decided I'd go back for that one later if I liked the nude shade as they would look lovely together.



Packaging: The Bobbi Brown and Benefit shadows are packaged similarly with glass pots presented in small cardboard boxes where as the 17 shadow comes in a plastic pot. There is a slight difference in the amount of product, the Benefit shadow is 4.5g and the Bobbi Brown a little less at 3.5g. However the 17 shadow doesn't seem to state the amount of product anywhere on the packaging.


Product Appearance: The colours of the 17 and Benefit shades are quite similar as both are nude/neutral shades although the Benefit one is lighter and more gold toned. Obviously the Bobbi Brown eyeshadow differs in that it is a matte finish and a darker shade.
The scent of the 17 eyeshadow is quite synthetic which I really don't like but it's not particularly important with an eye product. The Benefit eyeshadows have a lovely scent but it has definitely faded over time. On the other hand the Bobbi Brown shadow doesn't have a particularly strong scent and just smells similar to a cream eyeliner.

Application & Wear : The 17 eyeshadow has a much thinner, more mousse-like consistency and is therefore easier to blend but slower to dry. I definitely wouldn't rely on it for everyday wear because I found it transferred really easily. The Benefit and Bobbi Brown eyeshadows are thicker and have better staying power and will last all day without creasing. I've also used the Benefit eyeshadow as a primer or base before which I'm not sure would be possible with the 17 eyeshadow as it could get a bit messy. I'd love to add a lighter, neutral shade from Bobbi Brown to my collection as a matte base or subtle everyday colour.

Price: There is obviously a huge difference in the prices so it's really great to see brands like 17 and ELF introducing more affordable versions into their collections. The Benefit Creaseless Creams currently retail at £14, the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadows £17 and the 17 Wild Metallics at only £3.99. Boots frequently run 3 for 2 deals on their make up ranges too which would be the perfect time to try out the new cream eyeshadows!

Personally I think if you are looking for something to wear everyday then the staying power of the Benefit & Bobbi Brown eyeshadows justifies the price tag but if you are new to cream eyeshadows then for the price the 17 one is definitely worth a try. I've only ever really used my Bobbi Brown shadow as a liner so I can't really comment on how it works as an all over colour. As a liner it works perfectly on it's own or as a base for a powder shadow and it stays put for most of the day.
More shades of the Bobbi Brown shadows are definitely on my wish list, I've got my eye on Sand Dollar, Brown MetalBone, Shore & Slate in particular. I'd also really like to try the Mac Paint Pots (£13.50), the more affordable version from ELF (£3.50) and of course Illusoire from the Chanel Illusion D'Ombre range (£22.50).

What are your favourite cream eyeshadows?
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Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Character Style Inspiration: Zoe Hart Part 2

It's no secret I've fallen in love with Hart of Dixie and after the great response to my previous Zoe Hart style post I decided it was about time to make another one. I hope you enjoy the second instalment and expect to see a third one sometime soon!



Look One
This first Zoe look is by far my favourite this time round although I could never pull off such a brightly coloured shirt! I'm pretty sure it's the exact one Rachel is wearing in the show as the striped blouse she wore in a previous episode is also by Equipment. It proved extremely difficult to find a pair of shorts for this outfit, most of them were lace all over which personally I don't think would work with the striped shirt. In the end I opted for a sequin detail pair from New Look, replicating the shape and fit of Rachel's. After a little searching I decided it was near impossible to find a similar bag and chose a two-tone shopper style one instead. I love that there are minimal accessories and how the shirt is the focus of the outfit.



Look Two
Look two is the one I'd be most likely to wear myself. I love how the accessories really transform it from casual to chic. A white t-shirt and jeans are staples in most wardrobes so this look would also be quite easy to replicate. I chose a stylish but practical satchel to compliment the casual feel of the outfit. The addition of a gold bag brings colour and interest to the outfit. I'm always rolling up the bottom of my jeans so I love how this looks with the lace up heels and the sleek ponytail completes the outfit perfectly!



Look Three
I can't believe how similar the red Topshop blouse is to the one Rachel is wearing and at £28 it's quite reasonably priced. Again, I had some trouble finding a suitable pair of shorts but decided this pair from Topshop had an appropriate workwear vibe to them whilst still being stylish. One item I didn't have trouble sourcing was the bag. 'Doctor' style bags seem to be popping up quite a lot at the moment and this one from ASOS caught my eye. I love the texture of it and how the shape has been adapted so it's much more practical than a traditional doctor bag. The belt also has a textured print to it and I like the idea of a faint clash between the texture of the main accessories. This look is completed with a simple black blazer but could be worn with a leather jacket or chunky knit for a more laid-back feel.

Images of Rachel Bilson as Zoe Hart taken from the CW offical Hart of Dixie website
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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Weekly Style Inspiration 40.


Blazer £40, Nails 'Without a Clue' £5, Bag £38, Shorts £30 : Topshop
Color Bug £12.95 : Kevin Murphy
Cutout Dress £55 : Urban Outfitters
Shoes £16.75 : Forever 21
Printed Dress £39 : Miss Selfridge

I find it strange that I actually quite like the combination of the shorts and nail colour yet somehow it works. I love the colour of the shorts, green is my favourite, and Topshop are also selling jeans in the same shade. The simple design of the bag and the neutral colours means it would be really versatile. Similarly I think the simple print of the Miss Selfridge dress is very versatile and for this chilly time of year could be paired with a chunky cardigan, tights and boots. On the other hand the shoes and UO dress are definitely not Winter-friendly but I thought they were cute anyway.

I've had my eye on the purple Color Bug for the last few weeks after seeing the video of how they work. If you haven't heard about them before you can check out the video on Youtube. I just love the idea of them, I can't be sure whether they actually work well and probably won't find out anytime soon since I don't have £12.95 to splash out on one, but I'd like to try the purple out just on the ends of my hair.

I've been looking for the perfect blazer for a couple of years now and I have to say this Topshop one is one of the nicest I've seen so far. I actually saw someone wearing a similar one recently but with brown elbow patches which was pretty much perfect. Aside from that Zara always have nice ones but they're a little too pricey as I'm not sure how often I'd really choose to wear one after being so used to other jackets.

I'm planning another Zoe Hart inspired post for next week's Weekly Style!
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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

W7 Nail Polishes


Metallic Mars: In the bottle this shade looks quite dark with a lot of red/orange and gold but as you can see from the photographs in certain light it shows very purple on the nails. Because of the multi-tonal effect, depending on the lighting conditions the polish can look either a bright purple, a rusty shade or a goldy-green. Looking at the photographs side by side it's hard to believe it's the same polish! I absolutely love how it looks in the image on the left but unfortunately most of the time the polish seemed to show up purple like the image on the right. I'm really not a fan of bright, shimmery purple shades and I wish it was a little darker. It took four coats to get the polish to look like it does in the photos and this meant that it chipped and started to peel away quite quickly. 


Metallic Saturn: This shade is very different to 'Mars' as it's not multi-tonal. This colour also shows a lot brighter on the nail than in the bottle but this time I only needed to apply two coats. Again, I'm not a huge fan of the bright lime green sheen as it doesn't really suit my skintone, I'd much prefer a khaki green like my beloved Topshop Grunge polish! I don't think this one will be getting much wear.


Metallic Mercury: This one is probably my favourite of the three. I actually first tried this shade over the top of a dark red polish and the micro glitter gave a lovely sparkle to it so I think I will probably be using this one quite often as a topcoat. The photo on the right shows what one coat of this polish looks like and how the consistency is suitable for use as a topcoat. With just two coats it's opaque enough to wear alone and I actually really like it. It contains similar colours to 'Mars' but the purple is darker and much more wearable for me. Plus, I can't resist the micro glitter!

At a first glance these polishes look like possible dupes for the new Models Own 'Beetlejuice' collection but I don't think the quality is comparable to MO. The W7 shades are a great alternative if you are just looking to try out the trend and don't want to spend a lot of money. If you really like the look and plan on wearing it often I would probably opt for one of the Models Own shades as from my experience their polishes are much better quality. These are the first W7 polishes I've tried and so far I'm not particularly impressed with the quality although the price was very reasonable especially for 15ml bottles. It chipped pretty easily but maybe a good quality topcoat would be enough to fix that issue. I placed an order for Seche Vite recently so I'm hoping when that arrives it might help with the chipping issue. As I mentioned with 'Mercury' these have the potential to be beautiful topcoats due to the thinner consistency and shimmery finish. I can also see them being used for a statement nail or incorporated into some nail art which would make the brighter colours more wearable for me.

Have you tried any W7 products? 

I purchased the 3-pack of W7 polishes for £4.99 at TK Maxx
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Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Weekly Style Inspiration 39.

Bag £19.99 : H&M
Ring £110 : House of Harlow @ Urban Outfitters
Bottle Green Jumper £130 (approx) : La Garconne
Vaudeville & Burlesque Dress £85, Aztec Print Crop £28 : Urban Outfitters
Cutout Dress £48 : Miss Selfridge
Leggings £15 (approx) : Monki
Military Shirt £38 : Topshop
Grey Jumper £39.90 : Mango
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Thursday, 3 November 2011

I Am Handmade.





Yesterday I received some rather exciting post, my order from I Am Handmade!
 I spent a while deciding on which design to order (they're all so cute!) but finally settled on some Hogwarts house pride. I was sorted into Hufflepuff on Pottermore, alongside Skye the lovely owner of this shop, so I thought it was time to add a little Hufflepuff pride to my room.   
My order arrived perfectly packaged, tied up with a pretty ribbon, badge and gorgeous typewritten notes.  As for the crest itself, it has been beautifully stitched and there is a plain fabric on the reverse side as well which is just great attention to detail. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Skye's creations appear in her shop, I mean how adorable is this eye mask she made!?
These would make such lovely Christmas presents so if you haven't already had a sneaky look at the shop pop on over there now!
Thanks again Skye!
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Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Weekly Style Inspiration 38.

Tea Dress £40, Coat £85 and Floral Shirt £38 : Topshop
Makeup Bag £10 : Urban Outfitters
Clutch Bag £30 : ASOS
LOST Numbers Bangle £10 (approx) : Foxwise Etsy Store
L'Absolu Nu Lipstick £19.50 : Lancome

I'm going to start this week by talking about that bangle. I've had a screenshot of it sitting on my desktop for months now and my inner LOST geek really wants to own it. At around £12 including shipping from the USA it's extremely reasonably priced and I'm sure if I can find a little spare money at some point I'll be ordering one! For those of you who aren't LOST fans, the Etsy store also has a lot of other lovely items inspired by the likes of Harry Potter and Doctor Who as well as the option for custom products.

It looks like I haven't made much of an effort with the clothing items this week as they're all from Topshop! I honestly didn't see much else that I liked anywhere else though and since not working in town I don't browse the actual shops as often. Even though it's getting colder I still have the urge to buy more sheer shirts, I just can't give them up! I really love the colouring and floral print of this Topshop one and I just think it would go with so many things. What do you think, are you still wanting to wear sheer shirts with everything or is it just me?
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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Pokeball Nails Tutorial


A few of you commented on yesterday's post and said you'd like to see a tutorial for these so here it is! It's a really simple design and doesn't take too long to do, plus you only need three colours.

- I started by painting my nails with a base coat and a coat of white polish. I used Barbara Daly's Goodbye Yellow and Natural Collection's Nail Tip Whitener.

- Next I painted the top half of the nail red. I used quite a dark red as apparently I don't have a bright red in my collection! You could use tape to mask off a halfway line so it's straight but I just painted them freehand as in the next step the join line will be covered. The red I used is Rapid Ruby by Rimmel.

- I took my black nail art pen and using the brush painted a line across the middle of the nail where the two colours joined. If you don't have a nail art pen you could also do this with any black polish. I used the Andrea Fulerton nail art pen.

- Using a bobby pin I added the black dots onto the middle of the lines, and once they were dry I added a white dot on top of that. If you have any proper dotter tools you can use a larger one for the black dot and a smaller one for the white which will give a neater finish. Obviously you could use a white nail art pen for the dot but since I was already using a white polish I thought it was easier to just use that.

- As always I sealed the design with a clear topcoat. I use the Sally Hansen Hard as Nails topcoat.

I hope you like the tutorial and that's it's nice and easy to follow. As always let me know if you try this out, I'd love to see!
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