Archive | October, 2013

Beauty Review: Embellish 3D Manicure

22 Oct

I’m still a fairly new recruit to the long-nail clan. I spent years chewing on my nails and have only recently decided to stop snacking on my fingers and start decorating them for fashion, hygiene and procrastination reasons.
I had to learn what most girls half my age already know and adjust to life with my fingers no longer feeling sore after a nail binge.

I take great pride in my new claws (so much so that when I got them cut down for my brother’s wedding I genuinely cried). However, I’m not very adventurous when it comes to nail art. I enjoy pampering my paws on a regular basis; I’ve got a good collection of nail paints and sometimes even put two on at once!! – how crazy of me. But that’s where my creativity ends.

So, when I was diddle-daddling around Primark and noticed this 3D manicure set for only £2.50 I thought I’d give it a go.

They do loads of different colours but the nude collection tickled my fancy – I need to ease into this business slowly.

Primark Embellish 3D Manicure Review

Primark Embellish 3D Manicure Review
I first applied two coats of nail polish onto each nail. The polish itself is silky and smooth, goes on easily and dries applaudingly fast. It gives a nice sheen and I’d quite happily wear it on its own.

I then applied a further coat and, whilst still wet, I sprinkled the pearl beads over the nail. Make sure you use the handy plastic tray to catch all the fallen beads so they don’t go all over your bed! They also give you a handy little funnel to easily pour the remaining beads back into the bottle.

Press down on the beads to secure in place, and that’s it, you’re done!

This was really, really easy to do and it looks quite professional and unique; it’s like jewellery for your nails – what girl wouldn’t like that? I’m not a huge fan of crazy 3D gel nails and such like but this is quite subtle and pretty.

Primark Embellish 3D Manicure Review

To give you more of an idea of what the finished product looked like in real life I took some shots in natural light and using the flash on my camera.

Primark Embellish 3D Manicure Review

Overall the product is effective, especially considering it costs under £3  for the entire set. The whole process took around only 15 mins and that’s with 3 coats and the beading. I used much less beads than I thought and I still have a pretty-full bottle left. The beads feel secure and stay in place, it also smells quite nice too!

In future, I may only do the beading on one feature finger on each hand so it doesn’t look too over-bearing and I may try different colours on the base layer for different effects.

I’d definitely recommend buying this set for yourself or as a stocking filler. Primark’s beauty range is inexpensive but works just as well as the major brand names.

For more about nails click here.



What I Wore: Sunday Best

18 Oct

What I wore: Sunday Best

Weekend shopping with my boyfriend in Primark. He spots this blouse: “Christ! My Nan would wear something like that.” Me: “Ooo I quite like it actually.” Here’s where our fashion differences begin. More often than not if he goes out of his way to say how utterly disgusting a garment is, I will indefinitely purchase said garment. Not to be ‘different’ or to ‘prove or point’ but he genuinely picks out nice clothes – that he doesn’t think are nice. Nonetheless, he does buy me great Christmas and Birthday presents with little help.  Okay, a lot of help.

I’m so glad the ladylike preppy/ posh/ prim and proper look is back. The vintage, retro, church-goer style is my all-time fave. Elegant, sophisticated and stylish without being too flamboyant, slutty, OTT or just plain weird.

I decided to layer this gorgeous flower printed chiffon blouse over a plain white vest and tuck into this navy pleated skirt. I’ve always wanted a skirt like this; simple, pretty, can be dressed-up or dressed-down and it’s so darn swishy (yep definitely a word).

Casio watch silver and purpleAll about the accessories.

I have fallen in love with my new hat. I seem to always buy hats and then they end up at the back of my wardrobe gathering dust, but this one is staying firmly on my head for the foreseeable. For some reason black bowler hats make me look a bit too Pete Doherty-esque so I really like the deep navy colour of this one and, paired with this navy bag, you can’t ever say my outfit doesn’t co-ordinate.

What I really like about this bag is that it you can wear it over your shoulder with the long strap or clip it off and use the black woven handles and pop it on your arm like a right old granny/Victoria Beckham.  I also like that they’ve put black and navy together. Where’s the rule book that says black and navy can’t be seen together? I’m wearing black shoes and black tights with a navy skirt here and I think it works. What a rebel.

To finish off the look I’m wearing my favourite Casio watch. Casio watches are all the rage again but this silver one with a purple/burgundy face is just a little different from the rest. The best thing about this watch is not only does it show the date, have a stopwatch, have an alarm and tell the time but it only costs £13.75 (RRP £27.50) from The Watch Hut! However, it’s the wrist strap that won it for me. Ah the wrist strap. I have peculiarly small wrists so finding a watch that fits and is not a ‘My Little Pony’ version is some-what tricky. If I find a watch I like, I can guarantee it will not fit so I then have to have links taken out or punch another hole in it so it doesn’t fall off and smack me in the chops as I’m waving goodbye to my Mum. With this watch simply pop the clip open, slide down to the desired position and clip into place. Perfect no matter what your wrist stature. I also like that it’s a ‘mini’ version meaning the watch face is slightly smaller so it doesn’t eclipse my entire arm.  This watch will go with all my outfits and, as you can see, I’m wearing this SILVER watch with a shirt, bag and shoes that all have GOLD detailing. I repeat: What. A. Rebel.

Alice Bryan Fashion Beauty and Style Blog

Blouse and Skirt – Primark
Shoes – Dorothy Perkins
Bag – The CityRack
Hat – H&M
Watch – The Watch Hut


Fashion: What’s age got to do with it?

1 Oct

Why Age Doesn’t Matter to Fashion.


CarmenDellOrefice_Rouge_ 2

Carmen Dell’Orefice, 82, World’s Oldest Working Model.

Art is about what is perceived, not the age of the perceiver and this is no different in the world of fashion. With the scurry of the major fashion houses showcasing their new stock all across the world for various fashion weeks, we are all reminded that you can take what is displayed on the catwalks one of two ways; literally and inspirationally. The older we get, the more our taste in fashion changes. From our teenage rebellious years, through to our working lives; there are many changes to be made.

But is there? Who says just because we are 70 means we now have to like knitted jumpers, pleated dresses and permed hair? This whole age appropriate thing is a strange one. Yes, if I saw my Granny in a leather mini skirt and a lace bralet twerking to a Miley Cyrus track I would be concerned. But why? I should only be concerned because my Granny doesn’t like Miley Cyrus not because she is 76. Just because we get older doesn’t mean our personality changes so why should we be conformed to staying within the confines of age appropriate dressing? If fashion is all about expressing yourself why does that suddenly stop come 60? People state there’s no age limit to fashion yet there’s thousands of advice columns in the fashion magazines stating what to wear ‘for 20s’, ‘for 30s’, for 40s’ etc. So, we are bound by fashion to our age – so there is an age limit?


When you think of  a ‘granny’. This is most likely the sort of image that you will think of. My granny looks similar, as does my boyfriend’s granny, my best friend’s granny. In fact, most grannies I know look like this. So is this art imitating life or life imitating art? Do grannies look like this because they feel they have to?

pink coats

I understand that what a 3-year-old can wear is different to a 13-year-old which is different to a 23, 33, 43 and 53, and so on but we can all wear the same trends in various ways. For instance, the pink coat. A 3-year-old can wear a Peppa Pig one, 13-year-old can go with a bomber, 23 go for the pink leather, 33 the oversized blazer, etc. It’s the same trend just worn differently. But here, yet again, we are faced with confinements. Oh sh*t I’m 32 can I get away with the leather pink or do I have to go for the oversized blazer? Wear what you want! I’m 23 but I would prefer to wear the oversized blazer so that’s what I will wear. If you’re 73 and want a Peppa Pig one – why bloomin’ not? (Although you would probably have to have it custom-made.)

The media are constantly picking on older celebrities for either looking old (highlighting wrinkles on Kate Moss’ face) or for wearing inappropriate clothing and not dressing their age (Madonna and her leotards). So what are we to do? Embrace our age and be scrutinised for looking old or discourage the aging process and try to look younger but then be scrutinised for not looking our age?

old v young

Fashion. It’s all about looking good. I’ve said it time and time again; we can go on about statement-making clothes but really, we just want to look nice. So that’s the bottom line. If you put on a mini skirt and you look good – f*cking wear it. If you don’t – don’t. And it’s not even about looking good. It’s about feeling good. People will bitch about you, the media will enforce restraints and there will always be this social ideology of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ but that will always be the case, no matter what. So wear what you feel confident in. There aren’t shouldn’t be any rules in fashion.

helen mirren

Helen Mirren. Now that’s my girl. She’s 68. She’s not aiming to look 28 nor is she surrendered to conforming to traditional 68 year-old ways. She has pink hair, has a tattoo, appeared nude in films, wears stripper heels and looks amazing. She’s not even trying to make a statement, she does what she wants and it pays off.

If you’ve always been drab in fashion, stay drab, that’s you, if you’ve always been vibrant, stay vibrant. Age shouldn’t change the person you are. The line shouldn’t be between young and old. “if you’re young you can wear vibrant and if you’re old you should wear dull”. – complete nonsense. Old age makes no difference to your personality or choice of outfit – once a bore, always a bore, once a sparkler, always a sparkler.

Although the Channel 4 documentary ‘Fabulous Fashionistas’ attempted to show that older people can, do, and should, still have an interest in fashion. It highlighted the fact that this is still out of the ordinary and therefore should be documented. The six women featured have always had the same personality; they thrive on life, enjoy fashion and are a bit quirky, but it’s only now that it’s deemed ‘odd’ just because they are ‘old’. They are inspirational not because they wear ‘outrageous’ clothes but because they’ve stayed the person that they have always been and that is a lot trickier the older we get.  Their zest for life and their determination to stay true to themselves is an inspiration to any generation.

So, 900 words later. What have we learnt? To be yourself, to do what you want and not be confined or defined by your age.

Art is not about what is perceived. Who cares about the perceiver? Art is about creation regardless of the age of the creator.