Fashion: SS14 I Want Candy!

26 Mar

Easter-Bunny-Fashion

Spring – t’is the season to be jolly. You may think that absurd or damn right rude of me to say such a thing post December but hear me out. We’ve said a fine farewell to Santa and the Christmas stresses for another year, we’ve forgotten about our unobtainable New Year’s resolutions and we’ve managed to finally peel ourselves off the sofa after we super-glued ourselves there with a tub of ice-cream and a Bridget Jones DVD as we sobbed away through our lonely Valentine’s Day. The celebrations are over. Thank the Lord. Spring is the time when we can actually look ahead to the future without any stress endured. The flowers are beginning to blossom, the birds are singing again and we no longer have to choose substance over style in our fashion line-up. This season is all about new beginnings so spring clean your wardrobe with some fresh, crisp hues using a bright and varied colour palette.

pastels fashionThis season it’s all about the sweet scent of pastel fumes. Mint green, candy floss pink, lemon sherbet yellow, blueberry muffin; colours that look so good that they ooze the joy of sweet-shop-shopping.

Pastel colours are fun and feminine without being garish or loud. It softens your look and embodies the spirit of spring. Fresh, clean and energetic whilst being delicate and soothing; pastel colours are a must have for your s/s14 wardrobe. So, rid yourself of those bulky brown knits and black leather jackets and replace with cute pastel dresses ready for sun-drenched summer days spent in daisy fields.

pastels

From the catwalks to the high-street, pastel colours are hot this season. Calm blues, delicate violets and warm greys paired with pretty lace and sheer fabrics create that overall sense of ladylike chic. Burberry Prorsum’s entire s/s14 collection is candy coloured and embellished with layers upon layers of structured sheers, creating a dreamy display of a sweet wrapper encased model army. We can’t talk pastel shades without mentioning Christopher Kane. His gorgeous mix of parma violet hues, metallic shines and spring themed statement sweatshirts with the words ‘petal’ and ‘flower’, are pretty and seductive. Topshop have a great collection of pale tones that can be worn from day through to night. Their satin camis are the perfect match for delicate pastels; even their denim has had a candy makeover. Sweet-shop-chic doesn’t just stop at clothing this spring. Re-vamp your accessories with light, bright hues. The Cambridge Satchel Company have a gorgeous turquoise coloured Chelsea bag, aptly named ‘sweet pea’, while Nails Inc. have a limited edition Ice Cream and Sprinkles collection for a delicious way to finish off your dainty new look. Failing that, you can always pop down to your local sweet shop and grab yourself a candy necklace for a fashionable way to treat yourself this season.

Colourful, pastel sweet-shop shades are calming yet energising; the perfect way to begin your spring. Feel refreshed, look cute and leap into the season with a sprinkle of true festive joy for it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

1. Mini Satchel Bag – Asos
2. Tea Cup Necklace – Clothes Lounge
3. Pastel Nail Polishes – Nails Inc
4. Pink Watch – Asos
5. Broken Heart Charm Earrings – Asos
6. Floral Tea Dress – Marks and Spencer
7. Beige Fedora – River Island
8. Multi-Coloured Sandals – Faith
9. Blue Satchel – Cambridge Satchel Company

 ~x~

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Craft: DIY vintage teacup candles

6 Mar

teacup candles

Hello. My name’s Alice and I am a hoarder.
If I step into a charity shop I undoubtedly exit with some more trinkets I don’t actually need but have a wicked compulsion to collect (case in point my growing collection of miss matched teacups and saucers..)
I love vintage teacups, I tend to justify collecting them so I can throw afternoon teas parties but more often than not they sit neglected and dusty amongst my other bits and pieces.
So, to cheer up my old china I decided to give it a new life as teacup candles! It’s surprisingly easy and quick. You’ll just need the following:
– candle wax (500g was enough for 3 candles)
– pre dipped wicks (available here)
– a double boiler (two saucepans will do!)
– old teacups
Firstly, choose your teacups. I went for mismatched patterns as I wanted mine to be a little eclectic and extra vintage-like.
Now, take your candle wicks and attach them to the teacup base so they don’t wiggle around when your pour in the wax (I just used a dab of super glue).
Leave them on some newspaper ( psst..check out the hotties to the right!)  and start melting the wax. I used a double boiler method (quarter/half fill a saucepan with water and place a slightly smaller saucepan over the top, it’s the same method you’d use to melt chocolate) keep an eye on the hot wax as it melts, then, once it has turned to liquid,  you’re ready to rock!
Pour into the teacups and then just leave them to set. Easy-peasy!
You may find the wax dries with a slight well in the centre, if this happens prick holes a few centimetres deep into the wax around the wick and just pour over some more melted wax to level them off and leave to dry again.
Once fully dried you’re all done! It’s a really fun, easy and effective DIY project. You can be more creative with it by adding different colours and fragrances into the wax for a more personal touch. The teacups and saucers look so pretty against the white backdrop of my room and gives it a brand new lease of life. These are also ideal Mother’s Day gifts, wedding favours or stocking fillers and cost next to nothing to make! Hurrah!
~x~

Beauty Review: GHD eclipse

4 Mar

ironing hair

Before the tender age of 11 my life consisted of one big BHD. What sat on my head was essentially one very large ball of un-tame-able  fluff which nobody knew what to do with. My life abruptly and dramatically changed when my sister introduced to me to the magical world of straighteners.

Every morning I would wake up, fill my straightening pod with water, ready for the steam to let loose and my hair to transform. I started with a trusty set by Babyliss which featured removable plates leaving you with a whole-host of groovy options. You could start the week off by having sleek and straight hair*, Tuesday you could have a crimped mane and Wednesday you could go for the wavy option (unfortunately they only had three plates so Thurs-Sun was repeated along the exact same lines).

Throughout my 12 years I have acquired a strong line of various forms of straightening irons but often found even after an hour of strenuous ironing work, as soon as I made my entrance into school, my hard work failed me and the straightened concealer started to wear off, revealing my true in-between state of hideous hair.

This took an all-time low when my sister and I thought it a great idea to rid ourselves of them pesky straighteners and just go full-throttle and take a domestic iron to our heads. In all, not advisable, within this frenzy I managed to singe off a good chunk off my beloved sister’s locks, burn her neck to the point of 20 year scarring and irreversibly, completely ruin every single strand of our hair.

It was only at 15 when my mum bought us a set of GHDs that I started to be at one with my hair. GHDs are truly heaven-sent. I was mesmerized, hooked, and in total awe of this wonder product as soon as I glided it down the shaft of my sorry hair. Wow-oh-wow, I am IN. LOVE.

From then on in those GHDs have been my best friend. I’m now 23 and after 8 years of partnership I thought it was time to see what had happened to the straightening world. After nearly a decade I ventured back into the unknown. I wasn’t going to be so silly as to not get some form of GHDs, I was certainly not ready to part with the idea of trying out a new brand, oh dear God no. So I went for the new GHD eclipse…

ghd eclipse review

On first inspection these futuristic set look and feel a lot nicer than my previous pair. But it all comes down to performance ‘ey ladies? We used to think performance was all down to a high heat but the geniuses (genii?) at GHD headquarters made a ground-breaking discovery. The optimum heat to deliver the best and fastest results is a temperature of just 185°C. So all those apparatus that use 200°C+ are literally doing no good to your hair whatsoever. GHD scientists have therefore developed a tri-zone technology to take hair styling into a new era. They claim it can radically transform even the most challenging hair, quickly and easily without turning up the heat. The 185°C temperature is maintained from the minute the light says go until you turn it off. Simply plug it in, hold down the ‘GHD’ button until the little tune sings, wait for the inner light to stop flashing and you’re ready to rock. It takes seconds. Perfect for a quick and easy transformation on a hungover Monday morning.

ghd eclipse review

Due to my history of hair abuse, I certainly was in desperate need of a straightening tool that can’t damage my hair even further. With the GHD eclipse I get a sleek and shinier mane in a matter of minutes, with the confidence that my hair is becoming stronger with each stroke. The styling effects last longer than my previous set and the added bonus of the curved design means you can use these to create loose curls too!

They glide though my hair seamlessly and pain-free and give it that unbeatable finish like no other can. I am addicted all over again. 

I’ve managed to burn window sills, bed sheets, carpets, dressing tables, chairs and so on and so fourth, with my straighteners. Luckily then, these come equipped with a heat-resistant plate guard so they can cool down safely and efficiently.

The eclipse is the biggest thing to happen in the straightening world since the original GHD so I would thoroughly recommend the purchase. Bite the bullet and try something new. Your hair will thank you for it and it will certainly pay off.

Stylemaker, rulebreaker, gamechanger.

*kind of

~x~

Beauty: 5 Skincare Cult Classics

6 Feb

When it comes to skincare, there are a gargantuan amount of products out there. From anti-wrinkle busters to spot control creams, there seems to be a new must-have product that will solve all of your skin worries being introduced to us every day.

Whether it comes with flashy ads, Kate Moss as the ambassador or a quirky tag line – I’m only interested in products if they actually work. The best products out there are the ones that have stood the test of time.

Here are my top 5 skincare cult classics that do exactly what they say on the tin:

beauty skincarecult classics

1. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream – Developed in 1930, this moisturizer has a cult following all across the globe. The combination of petrolatum as a skin soothing beta-hydroxy and vitamin E possesses countless applications. It’s the all-in-one master product that soothes skinburn, hydrates chapped lips and restores skin to a healthy, soft and supple state. I normally apply this all over my face just before bed as I know it’ll get a chunky amount of time to soak into the skin and work its magic. FYI: The name is said to have come from a loyal client of Arden, who noticed the balm completely cleared up her child’s skinned knee in just eight hours.

2. Vaseline – Pure petroleum jelly.  A little pot of petroleum jelly will get you a long, long way. Vaseline acts as a protective barrier to keep dryness at bay to leave your skin supple all year round. This is a multi-purpose wonder too. You can add a little lip liner to make a nice lip gloss, you can run it through your hair to use as a gentle serum to tame stray-aways, you can use it as an eyebrow gel to keep your unruly brows in place and you can rub onto your eyelashes before bed to help promote growth in lash thickness and length. You can even mix it with your lipstick to create a cream blusher and it’s also said to maintain your perfume scent for longer when applied at perfume points pre-spritzing. A beauty essential.

beauty skincarecult classics

3. Sudocrem – Another tub of joy that needs no gimmicks or pretty colours to sell out worldwide. The product speaks for itself. Although sold in the baby section as a nappy rash cream it’s also one of the best healing creams for spots. Pop a smidgen of this onto your spot before bed and you’ll wake up spot-free. It helps to dry out the skin and draw moisture to the surface to help the skin with its natural healing process. It helps with soothing bites and burns and prevents infection too. If you’ve got an open wound – Sudocrem is always the answer.

4. Coco Butter – Body moisturisers come in all different forms – from lotions to creams to perfumed to tan-enhancing; there are a ridiculous amount of moisturisers out there. If you’re looking for a reputable moisturiser that can be used every day, all over your body, won’t break the bank and will simply leave your skin hydrated and moisturised, Palmer’s Cocoa butter is the only option. Enriched with vitamin E, the thick consistency smells divine and soaks into your skin almost instantly. Perfect for keeping your entire body nourished, feeling soft and looking great!

beauty skincarecult classics

5. Cetaphil – I have yet to find a dermatologist who doesn’t rave about Cetaphil’s soap-free, ultra-gentle cleanser and lightweight moisturising lotion that refuses to upset even the most sensitive of sensitive skins. Its ultra-mild, non-comedogenic formula is hydrating without pore-blocking. This acne specialist, medical-based moisturiser is non-greasy, non-irritating and long-lasting. Clinically proven to bind water to the skin to prevent moisture loss and help maintain skin’s natural protective barrier, this is perfect for dry, sensitive, acne-prone skin types. to use pre-make-up application.

What are your skincare must-have’s that you cannot live without?

~x~

Beauty Review: bareMinerals Prime Time

24 Jan

Primers are those secretive little creatures that many have heard of but few know their intentions. I’ve only recently been introduced to the primer world and my oh my what a wonderful world it is.

You may think it a gimmicky, nonsense tool conjured up by the beauty companies for you to part with yet more of your pennies pounds on purchasing yet more make-up products. I thought the same, until I tried it out.

I’ve tried some 2-in-1 type primers before; where you get a foundation or a serum which includes a primer base within it but it wasn’t until I went the whole hog that I realised the true benefit of these curious critters.

I heard some great reviews for bareMinerals Prime Time so popped it on my Christmas wish list. Luckily, Santa my sister listened and I received a whole host of make-up goodies on 25th December including the gorgeous little black box of magic.
bareMinerals Foundation Primer Review

I tried it out straight away on Christmas morning. After the daily routine of cleansing, applying eye cream and moisturising I then delved into the teeny package. I really like the pump bottle of this product. One full pump is all you need for a complete, even layer for your entire face and neck. So, you know you’re using the right amount each and every time. No wasters here!

The texture is silky smooth and ultra-lightweight. It’s a creamy, serumy consistency that isn’t sticky or greasy and soaks into your skin quickly.

Once applied, you won’t see a huge, if any, difference to your skin. It’s only when you then apply your foundation that the true magic of this beauty bottle appears like a genie from the lamp.

With Prime Time you need a lot less foundation than you used to. A little smidgen of foundation goes a long way thanks to the silky base. Your foundation appears a lot more smoother and diminishes dryness, fine lines, blemishes and excess oil.

The pink, almost glittery colour exemplifies the true meaning of the ‘light-reflecting particles’ phrase so many beauty companies try and fob you off with. It really shines through to create a bright, healthy-looking glow. It helps to create a more natural look whilst simultaneously helps to cover up blemishes and dark circles more easily.

As with all bareMinerals products, it’s a mineral based formula meaning it doesn’t sit heavily on your skin and lasts a heck of a lot longer than most other brands.

bareMinerals Foundation Primer Review

Although small, it’ll last a lifetime*. I’ve used this most days since Christmas and it still feels pretty full.

It really is foundation’s long-lost soulmate. I don’t know how I every coped without it before now. I will never use foundation without using primer first, and that is a vow. Think of them as Richard and Judy, Ant and Dec, Hayley and Roy, Leon and June (you know, off Gogglebox); one simply doesn’t exist without the other by its side.

* Ok, well not exactly a lifetime, but a really, really long time.

~x~

What I Wore: Casual Weekend Wear

17 Jan

Outfit

For casual weekend wear comfy jeans are a must. Topshop Leigh jeans are my all-time fave. They’re skinny, soft and fit perfectly. They also come in tons of shades and styles so I have an endless supply of options.

I teamed them with this gorgeous mint green top from The CityRack. I love the delicate colour and the chiffon like fabric feels amazing on my skin. I’m forever buying plain-Jane tops as they can be worn with anything to create different effects time and time again. But this one has added mesh stripes to give it that extra oomph of detail.

For me leather means black, from boots to biker jackets, black is the only way to go. However, when this cream alternative was posted through my door by the lovely people at TCR I was astounded. Never before had I thought leather could work so well with any other colour. I do feel like I’m betraying my trusty blacks but this is a welcome refreshment for the zesty spring days ahead.

I’m a sucker for a bargain. I didn’t need anything for Christmas, so I most definitely didn’t need anything after Christmas but ‘need’ and ‘want’ are two very, very different things. When I saw these gorgeous suede boots from H&M reduced to a mere £7 from £35 I just had to have them. Perfect for day or night, these are a great investment piece – black boots will never go out of fashion – well that’s what I told myself anyway. I also bought a heap load of other unnecessary but had-to-have stuff in the January sales – I’ll show you more of my buys soon :)

~x~

January Blues

13 Jan

The second Monday morning in January. Christmas is long-gone, there’s no excuse to eat chocolate at 10am or open the bottle of Baileys at 11am; the frosty cars, snowy rooftops and icy roads no longer have that festive feel without the reflection of the sparkling lights glistening from the decorative houses; and our bank balances are looking a little wounded and traumatised from the end of year attack. The optimistic resolutions made a mere 12 days ago have already been slaughtered and fully dismissed and we’ve succumbed to the reality of normality with very little to look forward to. It’s no wonder they call January the most depressing month of all, *sigh*.

Feeling the force of the January blues? Fear not – fashion can help you get through it all; fashion can help you get through anything.  A new year lends itself to a new wardrobe and this month it’s all about grabbing those January blues by the balls and working it. From interiors to the catwalks, this season it’s all about pastel shades. We’ve created a gallery of gorgeous blueberry hues that are anything but miserable and leave you feeling refreshed, looking great and totally ready for the year ahead.

See – January blues aren’t always a bad thing!:

 

Pastel Blue/Pale Blue/Light Blue

1. Alarm Clock – Laura Ashley

2. Earrings – Asos

3. Jug – The Oak Tree and Acorn Company 

4. Double breasted coat – Miss Selfridge 

5. Shirt – Topshop 

6. Bralet – Topshop

7. Knickers – Topshop 

8. Cushion cover – Cath Kidston 

9. Ankle socks – Topshop

10. Illamasqua nail varnish – Debenhams 

11. Satchel – The Cambridge Satchel Company

12. Watch – Asos

~x~