Archive | September, 2013

Fashion: Autumn/Winter 2013 Guide

25 Sep

Eats, Shoots and Leaves.

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As we say farewell to the summer sun and welcome back the colder nights and darker mornings, it’s time to re-jig our wardrobes with next season’s trends so we stay looking hot no matter what the weather.

I actually don’t mind the winter, purely in terms of fashion. Yes I hate the cold and feel a little depressed that the skies will remain grey for quite some time, but dressing for winter is easier and far more fun. For starters, you don’t have to worry about doing ab workouts just to wear them friggin crop tops, nor do you have to worry about tanning your legs before sitting out in the sun or shaving your toes so your boyfriend’s not totally grossed out.* In summer, you’re pretty limited to what you can wear but with winter, the options are endless, plus you can layer up and actually wear more clothes; so, if you love clothes you should love winter. I also think the A/W ranges are more sophisticated and less tacky; darker hues and more elegant, refined looks. Winter is just a bit more me**. I also prefer night to day – weird? I don’t know.  Also, it’s Christmas so you can wear the most outrageously sparkly dress that appears to look like you’ve stolen it from a 7-year-old girl’s glitter themed birthday party and still get away with it.

So, 2013’s winter – what you got for us?

The 90s grunge scene is seeing an even bigger revival this season. Summer was all about flatforms, snapbacks, high-waisted shorts and croptops. This season it’s still very much 90s but adapting it to the Great British Winter.  Embrace the hoodlum spirit with key pieces such as biker boots, leather, studs, tartan and an all-round This Is England look. It’s all about being pretty in punk.

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We can’t talk winter without mentioning coats. This year it’s all about them being big, long, masculine, and way over-sized.

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You can never go wrong with a classic trench coat though! Perfect with every outfit; a trench coat is timeless, elegant and versatile – a true investment.

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The biggest colours this season are pastel shades (especially dusky pink!) and deep vibrant hues such as cobolt blue. Winter no longer equals black so get your wardrobe looking fresh in some bold colourful pieces. If in doubt – think pink – It’s THE colour of the season. Pink really is the new black. Hurrah!

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From ankle boots to over-the-knees, your winter look isn’t complete without a sexy bootie. It’s time to hibernate your feet and give them a rest again. Keep them snug during the day with some chunky socks and comfy boots then vamp them up for the night-time in some high-heeled versions. Boots look good with trousers and jeans along with skirts and dresses so pick a few good ones to see you through.

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Monochrome is in this season along with big, bold, flamboyant prints. Keep everything else simple if you’re going for a strong design.

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The old school ladylike prim and proper look is back. Think preppy chic and old-fashioned vintage/heritage type styles. If you think your Granny would wear it – buy it. It’s all about preppy pinafores, sharp shirts, pleated skirts and school girl satchels (The Cambridge Satchel Company offer the original and the best ones). This is an elegant look and one of my faves. You’ll look cute and sophisticated whilst still looking edgy and on-trend.

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Don’t forget about your accessories! Keep warm in a woolly, rock the 90s trend with a beanie or create your own look with a bowler or a fedora (I love these!). Add some leather gloves or some knitted mittens, a printed scarf or a faux fur collar and a gorgeous doctor bag or a pouch bag.

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Make-up – This year it’s about keeping it dark. Wine hued lips, big eyebrows, thick eyeliner, deep dark nails, shimmering metallic eye shadow, smokey eyes and glitter – anywhere. Think toned down 1990s neo-gothic style makeup. Remember though, if you’re going heavy on the eyes, keep the lips neutral, or go full on with feature lips and just have a slick of eyeliner for your eyes. If the wine colour makes you look more scary then sexy, red is still in so go for a deep red on your lips as well as your nails for a timeless winter style.

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Mix and match these trends to create your own individual style. Or if you’d rather wear what you already have, do. Nobody should ‘tell’ you what to wear! And I am certainly not doing that. Wear what you want and enjoy it. This is what will be ‘in’ next season but it’s better to wear what you like and look yourself than wear items just because they are ‘in’ and end up looking like an awkward catalogue advert. Whatever your style, own it and work it and you’ll always look spectacular!

*I hope that’s not just me.

** I’ve come to the conclusion that the sun hates me. I get heat rash, burnt, freckles, bites and stubbly toes.

~x~

Beauty Review: Aldi and Lidl

19 Sep

Bargain Beauty Buys

Feature Lidl und Aldi

I’ve already spoken about Tesco offering a fantastic fashion range proving that supermarkets are right up there with the fashion big dogs. But, it’s now time to talk beauty.

Aldi and Lidl are often dismissed as downmarket stores with poor quality produce. Wrong. I’ve recently been converted to the Aldi way. It’s all the same stuff you get from Sainsbury’s but for a third of the price. Why spend £6 on a punnet of cherries when you can get some for £2? Yes, I was a food-snob pre-Aldi-visit but the quality of the food is very good. Seriously, just try it out.

The very first trip to Aldi on my own felt like a Primark spree for the over 50s. In Primark I see something, I like it, I see the price, I like it even more, I slam it in the basket, no questions asked. After about half an hour, there’s a lot of things I like, a lot of prices I like and a lot of ‘stuff’ in my basket. Oops. I never thought I would have the Primark experience anywhere else. But I have. You walk around Aldi, you see a version of Alpen, normally £5.99, look at the price, £0.59* and you just go f*cking mental. In this frenzy of excitement, bewilderment and discovery, I make my way down the beauty aisle and basically shoved it all in my trolley.

lacuraFrom vitamins to travel wipes, I’ve got it all. I won’t go into detail about the cotton buds or the family soap, but I will talk about their creams. Ah the creams. The Multi-Intensive Serum is amazing. It feels silky-smooth, smells fresh and clean, and soaks into the skin quickly without any residue; instantly making you feel and look that little more awake. I’ve tried other creams that cost around £30+ (Clinique, Lancome, No7..)  and I can honestly say that this Aldi number is one of the best at only £3.49. Now you understand my frenzy. 

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I’m a bit obsessed when it comes to eye creams. Weird obsession I know; don’t judge me. Anyway, the Caffeine Eye Roll-On is just as good, if not better, than the other ones I’ve tried, including Garnier. As soon as you apply it, your eyes feel refreshed and it doesn’t just sit on your bags like a Gatwick arrival waiting for a lift.

LacuraBeautyConcealerPen1It doesn’t stop there. There’s make-up too. The powder, I’m just gonna go ahead and say it, the powder is better than Cliniques. There I said it. It’s true, I’m sorry. I know as a beauty blogger I should love Clinique – and I do – but why pay more when you can get something better at a tenth of the price? The eyeliner, mascara, lipsticks – all good. But the concealer is amazing. I was a member of the YSL TE gang for years (I still am), there really is nothing better. Now I’m not going to go that far and say it’s better than TE, I just can’t do that, but it comes in pretty high. It conceals spots whilst highlighting the under-eye area subtlety. If you can’t afford TE at £22, go for Aldi’s for just £3.49**.

image009If you’ve read my post about hair then you’ll know I (like the rest of the world) am a huge fan of Moroccan oil as a conditioning, styling and finishing tool. It makes your hair feel super smooth, really shiny and protects it against heat damage. As you read my posts you’ll notice that I buy things that I already have I.e. I have a red nail varnish, I’ll buy a new one just to see what it’s like (my boyfriend cannot comprehend such thing). Anyway, I bought some Miracle Oil from Aldi even though I had 2 bottles of the stuff at home, (I told him it was for research purposes – I am committed to my blog and want to give my readers only the very best reviews). So, the review: It’s really good. Exactly like the £30 bottle, the £3.99 version does the exact same job. Both contain the essential intensive moisturising agent – Argan oil – and both make my hair feel and look sleek and feel smooth.

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Now, it’s not just Aldi I’ve fallen for, but I’ve dibble-dabbled in his younger brother too. Lidl has been expanding its cosmetics selection ever since the success of the Suddenly Madame Glamour perfume which launched in June 2011. In independent blind tests, the £3.99 bottle beat leading designer brands in research carried out by the Perfumer’s Guild. It’s Cien make-up range has proved to be a big hit too. The BB cream costs just £1.99. I’ve tried an array of BB and CC creams in my quest to find the one that transforms me to an instant ‘The Saturdays’ member. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that this will never happen. The BB cream, though, is very good, it has all those multi-tasking, all-in-one benefits that BB creams have but actually makes a difference and is the least expensive one I’ve ever tried. Lidl’s body lotion with avocado oil, £1.39 is also very good. It smells nice, soaks into the skin and leaves it feeling soft and nourished.

So, in summary, don’t buy the really expensive stuff when the cheaper stuff is just as good. Aldi and/or Lidl certainly don’t have everything for your beauty regimen but what they do have, it’s pretty good, and for the price, you may as well give it a try just for the craic. You never know you might just be swayed to the Aldi way..

*Not actual prices

** Or even if you can afford it, maybe go for Aldi’s anyway, and spend the rest of the money on some Krispy Kremes. YUM!

~x~

Fashion: London Fashion Week

18 Sep

LFW Summary

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As London Fashion Week draws to a close, I’ve took it upon myself to pick out the highlights; the decent stuff; the things we wouldn’t actually mind being seen in. Thousands among thousands of skinny-ass, Crouchy-tall, annoyingly-beautiful human beings walked down catwalks whilst the likes of Anna Wintour, Philip Green, Kate Moss, Caroline Sieber, and..er.. Harry Styles gossiped away about what’s going to be big in the style stakes come S/S 2014.

I didn’t get invited to the front row. Absurd to think Nick fecking Grimshaw* did and I didn’t but hey, I’m cool with that, just don’t get me started on Kelly Osbourne. However, every day I watched the videos, gawked at the pics, read the articles and analysed the circles growing darker under the eyes of dear old Cara Delevingne. Poor thing.

For me, fashion is exclusively about looking good. I get that it’s also partly to do with being creative and having fun, making a statement and all that sh*t but ultimately, when it comes down to it, it’s still just about; looking good. LFW is the time when designers forget that little snippet of fact and try to come up with elaborate ways to get noticed, and in their attempt to do so, they create some absolutely horrific monstrosities of clothing that cannot, just CAN – NOT be called fashion:

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Utterly. Bonkers.

These people do not look good. Fact.

And before you complain that I am being ignorant about fashion, that these outfits and looks are incredible works of art, cutting edge statements etc etc – let me just say this in my defence: you’re absolutely right. Nobody would wear these clothes on a first date, at a job interview or to the first day of uni. Why? Because not only will they not give the best first impression and ultimately scare the absolute sh*t out of the perceiver, but they’re impractical, ridiculous and a waste of time and money. Oh and did I mention they’re ugly as f*ck!? Fashion for me is about looking good. These do not look good. This is not fashion. So, now you know where I stand, you will understand why my ‘best bits’ aren’t going to be anything that’s in anyway Lady Gaga-esque; the best bits are the things that are brilliantly designed, expertly executed and nicely presented.

Best Bits:

Temperley London           //               Sister by Sibling

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Christopher Kane           //               Preen

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Ralph Lauren               //                    J Mendel

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Michael Kors               //                    David Koma

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Sass & Bide                //                    Topshop Unique

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My third favourite S/S14 collection: Victoria Beckham – ok this was showcased at NYFW but she’s from London so it still counts ;-)

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Second favourite: Osman

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Actual favourite: Burberry Prorsum

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P.S. Worst collection has to go to Nasir Mazhar. This is wrong on so many levels, no need for this mate, there’s just no need! *vom*

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* I don’t mind Grimmy’s Radio 1 breakfast show that much, but still.

Go to the LFW website to read about all the designers and see their collections.

~x~