Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Rose gold nails : Essie and Maybelline

Essie A Cut Above 
Maybelline Color Sensation Rose Chic

Hi lovelies,

Something you won't see a lot of on this blog is nail varnish. Not because it isn't an integral part of my collection - I have enough to put a whole stand together - but because I am singularly incapable of applying it nicely. Blobs, scratches and uneven lines abound, and you can almost guarantee that a mere hour post-application, part of it will have disappeared.

This is where glitter comes in. For the less talented nail varnish appliers amongst us, glitter is a true lifesaver. Slap it on. Let it dry. Keep it on your nails until it begins to flake off (I am guilty of doing this, constantly). Eventually succumb and remove it all, only to reapply a few days later. And repeat. 
I have a whole host of glitter polishes but my current favourites all fall into a pleasing rose gold inspired shade that when layered, works surprisingly well! Essie's A Cut Above is a gorgeous metallic pink glitter with large chunks. I received this from my mum in my Christmas stocking and it hasn't left my nails since - such a beauty! I was inspired to pair it with Buy Me A Cameo (also Essie) after spotting this in my sister's collection and falling in love with it. It's a really lovely pale gold/taupe shade with a rose sheen, and looks stunning on its own or layered under others as I have done here.
Finally, I decided to really ramp up the glitter by using a coat of Maybelline Color Sensation in Rose Chic. I actually think this polish has more of a silver tone to it but it lasts really well for such a cheap product!

Now I'm not going to win any prizes for nicest nails or best application but I'm happy with it and enjoying experimenting with different glitters. I really want rose gold nails for my wedding day - are there any other shades out there I should be adding to my collection? I noticed a rose gold shade in the new Models Own release, I foresee a purchase being made in the near future...

Love Dani

Monday, 26 January 2015

What I Wore #117 - the Kua 'Aina edition

So it's been nearly two months since my last outfit post and I haven't progressed much beyond massive jumper and sensible boots... In fairness, I had the best of intentions with this outfit. The dress is a beautiful gold and black sequin number I spotted in H&M some months ago and obsessed over, as I am wont to do...then by a miraculous twist of serendipity found it on the sale rack for 15€ over Christmas - score! It's so comfy despite the shapeless shift style, but due to short sleeves it's just not quite suitable for these nigh-on Arctic temperatures we've been I found myself reaching for my trusty sequin jumper. Cosy times abound!
The boots are another sale purchase, snapped up on a whim from Dorothy Perkins. I had a hankering for some wedge heel ankle boots and these do the job perfectly - they're high enough that I can reach the overhead rail on the tube (tall people have NO idea what a challenge this is!) but comfortable enough that I can totter around all day without wanting to slice my feet off. Good stuff. They certainly served me well on Saturday for a stroll around Carnaby Street, with a delicious Hawaiian lunch at Kua 'Aina and my very first Back to MAC experience...

I had never heard of Kua 'Aina before but can hand on heart say I will definitely be visiting again! The Carnaby Street location is rather cosy but comfortable, with servers darting around in brightly coloured shirts (they are very appreciative if you turn up with a flower garland adorning your neck, as we did!) and the food is well worth a visit. They serve a variety of burgers and sandwiches, with plenty of mahi mahi and spicy chicken if that floats your boat! I opted for the seared ahi tuna salad with extra avocado and it was enormously tasty, with sesame and ginger dressing to give it an extra kick. Admittedly I couldn't stop myself pinching some sweet potato fries along the way, but I really struggled to clear my plate! It's in a fab location too, opposite Choccywoccydoodah and a stone's throw from Liberty if you fancied a wander afterwards (we did!).

As it was Jon's mum's birthday, I decided to go for quite a polished make up look, with defined eyes and my new favourite MAC lipstick (more on that later... I am planning a dedicated lipstick post because why not?). I am still absolutely loving Nars Sheer Glow - kicking myself for not purchasing it sooner, really - and I used a fab cheap-as-chips eyeshadow stick from Collection which surprisingly has not been reviewed yet, but rest assured it is fabulous. I have a fair few beauty posts in the pipeline, all half-finished, but raring to go - just waiting for my skin to clear up a little bit so I feel somewhat less self-conscious when posting close ups...

I hope you all had a super weekend too, I for one am struggling with the fact it's almost the end of January... where is this year going?

Much love,
Dani xoxo

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Pinterest roundup

1 - 2 - 3
4 - 5 - 6
7 - 8 - 9

 Hello my loves!

Right, I'm struggling a bit on the blog front these days. Not for lack of ideas, might I add - I have five posts written in full and lurking surreptitiously in my drafts folder - but for lack of photos. Oh yes. Such is the curse of winter to all bloggers. I took some snaps at the weekend but as they were done quickly in between chores, I've looked back at them and decided I despise them all and cannot bear to post them. Because you, my readers, deserve better than some product photos with clean washing drying in the background. Also, editing them makes me sad. On top of this we have had some dreadful weather down here, to the extent that wearing anything other than a massive jumper and boots is beyond my abilities. What was my last outfit post? Oh, a massive jumper and boots. Let's save the style posts until spring, hm?

Fortunately, Pinterest still beckons every spare moment, so I shall revert to doing what I do best, which is ramble nonsensically while gazing at lovely pictures. Enjoy...

1. This image just blew me away. How stunning is the rose gold foil against her skin? Jawdroppingly beautiful!

2. Still debating wedding hairstyles - I fear this will be an ongoing issue until the actual day... I like the idea of a plait though, this is really cute!

3. I pinned this from Carrie's blog as I found the composition really inspiring! I can't quite put my finger on why but I really enjoyed this image. It helps that the Zoeva brushes have recently joined my collection - they're so beautiful, I can't stop staring at impedes my make up routine somewhat.

4. I frequently use Pinterest to dream of the home I don't have, all light colours and airy spaces - I wonder if covering my flat in mirrors would achieve some of that?!

5. As I'm a magpie for anything rose gold, as soon as any rose gold jewellery crosses my vision I am on it. If I spot any amazing mixed metal stacking rings I think I will have to make them mine!

6. I'm not the kind of girl that generally appreciates flowers, as all things plant have a dramatic tendency to shrivel up and shuffle off their mortal coil upon entering my household. I really like the rose toned copper vase here though, so I have filed it for future inspiration!

7. This is a hotel in a ski resort I visited some time ago, Mégève in France. I've not actually been to the hotel itself but after a failed ski holiday with no snow, I am desperately craving the mountains again! Maybe one day...

8. Continuing with my current obsession with all things snowy, when you mix snow with an adorable animal I am almost certain to repin it. I just want to hug this pony, that's all.

9. Finally, this is a CAKE. I have given Jon the task of arranging the cake for our wedding as in all honesty he will probably eat it all - this amazing Harry Potter themed cake was my oh-so-helpful attempt at inspiring him.

Hope to be back soon with some reviews - just a warning, there is a lot of NARS...

Much love,

Dani xoxo

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Review: NARS Dolce Vita Blusher

So here's a tale only a beauty blogger could tell... Once upon a time, a make up aficionado went on holiday and remembered every single item in her beauty arsenal except for a blusher. After unsuccessfully attempting to use Chanel liquid lipstick as a replacement, she gave up and asked to borrow her sister's blusher. And fell in love...

Alas, the blusher in question, Fenberry by Sleek, revealed itself to be that nightmare for all beauty lovers - Limited Edition. But it was oh so perfect, providing the ideal winter flush for her cheeks... She could not fully enjoy all of life's delights without calling this blusher her own. So she began the valiant search for a dupe.
The stalwart of information that is Google swiftly informed her that Bobbi Brown Cranberry was a suitable dupe, then equally swiftly brought the tragic news that this too was discontinued. All eBay searches proved barren; all blog swatches were fruitless. Never one to shy away from a challenge, she organised a hasty trip to the nearest Sephora, Fenberry in hand, to compare it against all other blushers.
The search was not in vain. A replacement (albeit a rather expensive replacement) was found. And thus concludes the tale of how I purchased a 30€ dupe for a £5 blusher... Thank goodness for Christmas money, eh? I don't think I could have entertained the purchase otherwise!

In fairness, NARS Dolce Vita is beautiful. A rusty red that, when applied lightly, provides the ideal come-in-from-the-cold flush to cheeks. Funnily enough my other sister owns this blusher too - which proves that really I ought to have consulted her make up collection before prancing around Sephora like a ninny. But none of that matters now. 

Is it worth the cash? Well, in my opinion, yes. It lasts a good deal longer on the cheeks than the Sleek offering, although I must stress that you only need a very, very light hand. Pictured are my usual artless methods of swirling a brush in the pan and dumping it all over my cheeks. I blended it out properly post photography, I promise. The packaging is smart (although I've managed to blot mine already, sigh) and looks great on my dressing table. I also appreciate the inclusion of a mirror. Who even needs blushes without mirrors, I ask you?

I can't lie, a little part of me did weep when handing over the cash for this, but now that it's mine I am fully giving into the indulgence of owning such a little piece of luxury. My NARS love affair is now in full swing and I see it lasting well into 2015!

Are you a fan of NARS? Let me know!

Love Dani

NARS Dolce Vita Blush retails at £22.50/€30

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 Favourites

So we've made it to the end of another year, hurrah! Although I usually prefer to peruse other bloggers' favourite product roundups, this year I feel as though I've discovered so many excellent staples, I just have to collate them here for you. I've primarily focused on beauty with a slight diversion into clothing - enjoy!

Stand out product: Bobbi Brown Corrector for under eyes
I'd never really used Bobbi Brown products before this year, although it is definitely a brand I was interested in. One afternoon in Bluewater I found myself drawn to their counter and before long I was in the chair having this beauty applied to my eyebags. Needless to say, my credit card was out within seconds of seeing the effects. It's taken me more than 6 months to hit pan, with daily usage, and I cannot even contemplate not repurchasing. It doesn't obscure my dark circles completely due to my face structure, but it really helps brighten everything up and prolongs the wear of my concealer. Love love love! I can't believe I haven't done a full review for this yet - I intend to rectify this issue as soon as possible!

Budget buy: Rimmel Volume Flash x 10 mascara
This is the year I rediscovered my love for high street mascaras, in particular this excellent mascara by Rimmel. It's on a par with any luxury mascara I've used in the past, for under £6! I've waxed lyrical about this mascara on many occasions, so to cut this short, feel free to read my review here.

New in: Revlon Colorstay liquid liner
This was borne from a long running wish to rediscover a favourite from my school days. On a class trip to Madrid, I picked up a Bourjois liquid liner in brown and loved it so much more than the usual black! As is frequently the case when I discover a product I love (Rimmel Sexy Curves mascara, I'm looking at you...), Bourjois later discontinued the liner and I went back to using black. For years. Until my lovely friend Geo tracked this down for me and bought it for my Christmas present! I think I've used the black version of this eyeliner before, many moons ago, and still really enjoy it. It's long lasting and super simple to apply, plus the brown shade makes my daily cat eye look so much softer! Win!

Fragrance: Chloé Eau de Parfum
 I coveted this for months, to the point that I was garnering odd looks from sales assistants at every perfume store in East London, then finally made it mine on a brief trip through duty free. It's a beautifully elegant, floral scent that lasts really well on me! I described it to my sister as a bit of a cross between Chanel Coco Mademoiselle and Marc Jacobs Daisy and she is hooked now too. A late entry but definitely a favourite!

Clothing store: Primark
Okay, this is not something I thought I would ever say... but I've really been getting into Primark shopping this year, partly due to our wedding budgeting, but partly because I've managed to uncover some real gems. I only ever used to buy tights and the odd pair of slippers before, but this year I've bought bags that have lasted longer than pricier high street stores, snuggly bargain jumpers, comfy PJs, dainty brogue shoes and a whole host of tartan pieces. I appreciate being able to indulge in the trends without spending a fortune - what's not to love? Admittedly 80% of the shop consists of oddly-fitting cheap pieces... but if you have the time and patience to have a rummage you may come up trumps! Why has it taken me so long to work this out?!

Brand: NARS
2014 was the year I really discovered and fell in love with NARS. I began the year with a mere smattering of product and now end it with enough to wear a full face of make up. I blame my sister Minnie, whose NARS collection is truly a sight to behold. It's thanks to her that I developed a taste for the brand and have since dropped more money than I care to contemplate on adding Sheer Glow, Creamy Concealer and Dolce Vita blusher to my hoard. Sadly for my purse, I don't see this passion going away any time soon...

Website: Pinterest
I know, everyone and their mum is into Pinterest these days, but it's become such a staple in my daily online routine this year. A good deal of my enthusiasm stems from wedding planning, but I love perusing Pinterest for any and every inspiration required. Recipes, outfits, make up looks... it's all there! I love it so much it's now attained the high accolade of being on the first page of apps on my phone...oh yes. I really enjoy making my Pinterest round ups too, and I hope you all enjoy reading them!

Thus concludes my favourites summary for 2014... I hope you have enjoyed this and do let me know if you have any thoughts on my choices! I would also like to take the opportunity to thank YOU, yes you, for reading this blog - I love being able to share my thoughts with you and really appreciate every teeny pageview I get. Thanks for staying with me thus far and I look forward to a fabulous 2015 with you all!

Much love,
Dani xoxo

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Christmas roundup

Hello my lovelies, happy holidays!

I do apologise for the silence on the blog over the last 2 weeks, I have been sans laptop and have only just managed to commandeer my sister's machine while she is out of the house...

I hope you've all been enjoying some time away from daily life with family and loved ones. I myself am at home at the moment after a quick jaunt to the mountains, where we sadly received insufficient snow but had a lovely time holed up in a chalet all the same! We even managed a successful roast turkey despite not having an oven - turns out sauteed potatoes are a fine substitute for roast spuds (although in fairness we are having a second Christmas dinner on New Year's Eve, because Christmas).
One of the brighter points of not skiing over the holiday is that I had more than adequate opportunities to take my camera out, whereas had we received more snow I would most certainly not have taken it with me! Visions of it disappearing over a mountain precipice abound... We stayed in the small town of Les Gets in the area of the Alps known as les Portes du Soleil - it sits just under Mont Blanc and is normally absolutely brilliant for snowsports. Apart from the week we visited... we did have gorgeous sunshine though so it certainly lives up to its name. Check out that sunset too!

As always I have been a very lucky girl when it comes to gifts.I won't go into much detail here so as not to be boastful, but some of my presents were so pretty, I just had to share! So many gorgeous beauty goodies that I shall be blogging about very soon, as well as the fabulous Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes - I would recommend this to any beauty lover if you don't own it already. What a book! Throw in a thermos flask shaped like a camera lens (I found this hilarious, my mum knows me so well) and a stunning Thomas Sabo rose gold initial pendant and I am left feeling very spoilt indeed...

Much love to you all,

Monday, 15 December 2014

What I Wore #116

Jumper - Primark (similar here) / jeans - Dorothy Perkins / boots - H&M (similar here) / 
coat - Next (old, but similar here) / snood- H&M / headband - Accessorize

How exactly are we halfway through December already? I cannot quite grasp how quickly this year has rushed by - the new year is rapidly approaching and I'm just not ready! It's been a bit tricky getting myself in the Christmas mood this year, the festive season has crept up on me without adequate preparation. It doesn't help that we decided to forgo a tree this year, partly to save money and partly because we aren't going to be in the flat for Christmas so felt it wouldn't be appreciated. In order to combat the growing stress at work and to get myself feeling really festive, I felt a day out in London was in order!

I gathered up my companions and off we trundled to Covent Garden in search of bright lights and Christmas trees. Some gift shopping took place... And I may have treated myself to this adorably fluffy faux fur headband! I'm going skiing with my family over the festive period and thought this would keep my ears nice and toasty (when I'm not wearing my helmet of course - safety first, people!). Teamed with my red coat and over knee boots I did feel a bit like I was channelling Santa Claus style... But it only added to our general festive mood.

Covent Garden is one of my favourite places in London, but if you are irritable and of an impatient nature it's also one of the worst. I can usually manage around half an hour of browsing before I need to dash down a quiet side street and take a moment to breathe, away from the hordes of shoppers and tourists. What a perfect opportunity for blog photos, taken by my lovely cousin Naomi! We milled about by the river for some time, enjoying the sunshine, until we got too chilled (and hungry) and darted into a nearby Byron burger bar for some sustenance. Delish!

Only ten days to go now... what are you doing to feel festive? I'm planning an evening of wrapping presents and watching Michael Bublé's Christmas Special!

Love Dani