Wednesday, 17 September 2014

What I Wore #112

 what I wore:
River Island shift dress (ASOS, no longer available)// Fiorelli necklace (here)//
River Island padlock bag (ASOS, here) //Mac lipstick in "Lickable" (here)
Do other bloggers have those days where they get dressed up and pack the camera with the intention of taking umpteen outfit photos, then get so distracted by whatever they're doing that they forget entirely or end up snapping a few in a distinctly unsavoury location? As you can probably tell by now this is precisely what happened to me on Sunday afternoon (and, if I'm being honest, on Saturday afternoon as well).
The frustrating part is that we spent the afternoon at a delightfully pretty hotel named Howfield Manor, followed by coffee in Canterbury (my favourite city, as I've mentioned around a thousand times already), so we were certainly not short of beautiful locations. Quite why I then decided the station carpark was the best location for an impromptu shoot I don't know, but that is what we got so that is what I will work with here!
I've quite literally spent the last couple of weeks trawling the ASOS sale every lunchbreak and found a couple of gems I'll share over the next few weeks - I'm wearing two of them here! River Island isn't my first stop when shopping on the high street but I'm falling more and more in love with their stock every week.
This dress is such a cheerful bright colour - when I tried it on Jon said it was very "me" so naturally I had to keep it! It's a lovely soft heavy fabric and sits quite nicely, although I feel like it's a tad more flattering in real life than in these photographs. As it was such a gloomy morning when we set out for Kent, I decided to keep things bright with my trusty flower necklace teamed with pink cheeks and lips. I'll concede it's a lot of pink but sometimes I just need to drape myself in my favourite colour to help cheer things up! I've recently dyed my hair darker again and I feel like it contrasts quite nicely against bright colours.
The bag is also a River Island purchase, I really like the little padlock as it reminds me of my Chloe Paddington, and despite being a rather modest size it holds a remarkable number of items - I can fit my camera in quite easily, alongside an umbrella (a necessity) and all my usual make-up paraphernalia, what more can a girl want?
Speaking of make-up, since colouring my hair I've really been leaning more towards colourful cheeks and lips to try and render my face a little less ghostly. I've been reaching for Lickable by MAC on an almost daily basis as it's the perfect pink - I'm plotting a bit of a MAC collection post in the near future so I'll save proper swatches for then!

Wishing you all a fab Wednesday,
Love Dani

Sunday, 14 September 2014

London Fashion Week: Ong-Oaj Pairam S/S15

London Fashion Week has always seemed distant to me - I observe the media coverage quietly and sometimes venture down to Somerset House for the odd glimpse into a world I don't feel I belong to, full of stunning, stylish beautiful people with amazing hair and coveted possessions.
 So you can imagine my surprise when a most unexpected email popped into my inbox containing an invitation to the upcoming spring/summer show for Ong-Oaj Pairam, an extremely talented British/Thai designer with a penchant for vivid colour and dreamy prints.
My first reaction was disbelief. I spent a few minutes quelling the instant urge to email the PR and double check they had meant to send the invite to me. Nervously I tapped out a resounding acceptance and hoped they wouldn't reject me due to my eagerness. They didn't, although I was truly expecting to be turned away at the door upon arrival, but by some miraculous twist of fate I found myself sitting second row (as if I would ever be frow!) at the catwalk show on Friday night, staged in the imposing Freemasons Hall in Covent Garden. I had adorned myself in a variety of new A/W Fiorelli jewels from work but still felt a bit like the frumpy fish out of water! I teamed the jewellery with a grey bow shift dress - you can see a snippet of the outfit above but I wasn't quite up to being street styled, I don't think!
Regardless of my insecurity I absolutely adored the whole show from start to finish - a plethora of stunning models (both male and female - I particularly loved the short co-ords for the men!) stalked their way down the catwalk in an array of gorgeous multi-coloured pieces, accompanied by a stomping soundtrack. I think I gaped in wonder for a minute before remembering to take photos, so overwhelmed was I by the swirly skirts, the highly detailed painted boots and belts, and sharply styled slicked-back ponytails.

I loved the colour combinations prevalent throughout the collection of pastel pinks and vivid greens - incidentally my favourite colours especially when side by side! I felt quite on trend with my pastel pink bag, I definitely think this will be a colour combination I'll put together for my own spring outfits. That was one thing that stuck out to me throughout the show - each design seemed perfectly wearable and I felt even I, with my distinctly unfashionable shape, could work with the silhouettes displayed on the catwalk. The beauty blogger in me was suitably impressed by the graphic bright blue eyeliner sported by the models, although I'm not sure it's a trend I'll be attempting this side of Christmas! It looked amazing against their flawless skin and really provided an extra pop of colour to contrast with the pastels.

My personal favourites? The delightfully swishy printed skirts, in fact the skirts in general, just look at how beautifully they fall! I also loved the pale pink tailored shirt dress and especially the breathtakingly lovely rainbow layered gowns - how fun would they be for a wedding dress?!

I am so grateful to Ong-Oaj Pairam and the team at Katch for inviting me and giving me an experience I won't forget! I know I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for the A/W15 collection now!

Love Dani

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Pinned this week...

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

Hi my loves,

Like many others I am quite literally obsessed with Pinterest and spend my life scrolling through umpteen gorgeous images and wondering why my life doesn't look like that (because I don't put in the effort, duh). I pin a bit of everything but in particular I've been pinning a whole load of wedding ideas because we are finally trying to get this thing organised (touch wood) and there is SO. MUCH. STUFF.

I've been thinking about imparting some of the prettiness to the blog and making it into a bit of a feature of my favourite images of the week - plus it gives me more excuses to spend time on Pinterest so it's a bit of a win-win situation in my mind! I also get to have a ramble on why I like these images so do indulge me a bit if you will...
I am all about arrows at the moment - we have a similar gold arrow necklace at work that I'm trying to talk myself into purchasing as I adore it! Having a bit of a love affair with gold these days and I'm dreaming of a wedding theme of rose gold, blush pink, white and to convince the groom to go with it! I may have just purchased a new pair of boots but I'm a total sucker for a nice boot and if I had endless space I would likely have endless pairs of boots at home too.

This is one of my all-time fave magazine editorials by Tim Walker featuring Lily Cole from back when I was in school - I actually own this copy of Vogue somewhere if I remember rightly. I have a whole heap of old Vogues at home I need to collect some day! Flowers aren't really a big love of mine - oh, blogger fail - but I'm thinking for the wedding we will just have very simple flowers in jars and it will suffice. I like the mismatched ones as I think it gives it a very relaxed feel! Lauren Conrad posted this wedding dress a while back and I am in love with the back of the dress, how elegant is that shape?! Finally, some pretty bokeh lights on a branch, because why not.

I hope you enjoyed this post - you can find my Pinterest here if you like, and please post yours in the comments as I'm always on the lookout for more people to follow!

Love Dani

Sunday, 7 September 2014

What I Wore #111

I couldn't resist adding this ridiculous outtake to counteract all the moodiness in this post!

what I wore:
H&M leather jacket (similar here) // Therapy dress c/o House of Fraser* //
 Dorothy Perkins ankle boots // Fiorelli necklace (similar here)

I say this every year but I really, really like autumn dressing. Yes, summer is amazing with all its sunshine, outdoor activities, no real need for a coat (unless you're planning a picnic in June in the UK) but if you're the type of person that overheats easily (me), has inhibitions about their body (again, me) and gets so sweaty that make-up literally slides down your nose (yes that's me) then it's not the most comfortable of seasons in terms of style.
Autumn however, autumn has scope for layering! And hiding bingo wings! And London Fashion Week! Okay, so it's a bit chilly and the fact I have to turn all the lights on in my flat already because it's so grey outside is a bit of a downer, but I always view September as the start of something new - I guess I still subscribe to the back-to-school mindset. Autumn is when I consciously try to inject something new into my wardrobe, it's a time for experimentation, layers and boots - I love boots. I'm wearing new ones in these photos actually, after my last pair of Chelsea boots died a sorry sole-destroyed death back in April.

I'm forever pinning images of model-esque girls in pretty dresses and stompy boots but it's not really something I've ever tried myself before (and if you have been blinded by the whiteness of my legs in contrast to all the black in the photos then you'll understand why!) But when House of Fraser offered to send me this Therapy dress it was quite literally the first image that popped into my mind - this dress, styled with a (p)leather jacket and some fab boots for a bit of an edgy yet pretty look. I couldn't get it out of my head once it was there, so as soon as I got my mitts on the dress I dragged Jon to the bottom of our garden for a little photo session.

I couldn't help but look a little moody and tortured in some of these; I blame the fact that although I thought I had picked a secluded spot it soon transpired that it is exactly where other flat-dwellers come for a smoke. Turns out that posing while trying to ignore people gawping at you as you prance around in front of trees is a bit offputting... I put on my best blogger face yet still ended up staring at my shoes for most of the pictures! Jon really got into it though and had me using a random tree as a prop as he felt that some greenery would fit with the rose print on the dress. So proud of him, he's really getting into the whole blog thing these days!

I definitely felt like this outfit was a step outside my comfort zone as I wouldn't normally get my legs out in a dress this short, but it was surprisingly liberating and I'm already planning a restyle of this outfit for future events! The dress has such a pretty print and I love the mesh sleeves and neckline as it shows a bit of skin without being too out there. Being me I still opted for a flattering skater cut - I'm not quite confident enough for bodycon just yet but maybe this is the first step towards a whole new style - what do you think?

What are your thoughts on this outfit? Do you like to change things up a bit with the new season?
Love Dani xoxo

*dress sent for consideration, all opinions are my own!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Daily make up and routine!

Hello loves, I'm trying something new today so bear with me...please do not be alarmed with the multiple images of my face!

It's been such a long time since I posted a daily make-up routine. I love reading these on other blogs but find my daily products normally chop and change so much that by the time I've done a post, I've moved on to something new! I'm really enjoying this little routine at the moment though - I'm favouring a bright, radiant complexion with defined eyes and the occasional bright lip - and the best part is, the whole thing takes me around 5-10 minutes to complete! I decided to photograph each step of the routine to display how I use each item - in theory I meant for it to be helpful but in hindsight it's just treating you to a number of my awkward grimaces... enjoy!

My first step is always primer - my combination skin simply cannot be without primer, and this Bourjois offering is perfectly matte and nearly always on special offer.
While I'm waiting for the primer to sink in, I curl my lashes until they're sufficiently massive and spiky, then I apply a couple of blobs of YSL Fusion Ink foundation as it's my current fave! I have a couple of stubborn spots on my cheeks at the moment so once I've blended my base I go back in with a bit of concealer - this varies but at the moment I've gone back to a familiar blogger favourite by Collection. After I've concealed I usually tackle my brows with a couple of swipes of brow pencil, then I use a brow brush to blend any harsh lines and sort out the general shape.

The next step isn't something I'll do when in a rush but some days I just feel like my eyes need a little something! Mostly it will just be a sweep of eyeshadow but if I have a couple of spare minutes I will do a very light smoky eye (I love using either of my Naked palettes for this!) and if I'm feeling super fancy I'll do winged liner! For this my go-to is L'Oreal's Super Liner in Black Vinyl as it just lasts all day and stays really black. I'm still no expert at getting the flicks perfectly even but even just a teeny bit of liner helps to look a bit more dressed up.

Next I start my mascara application - I am such a lash junkie so this is the step that takes the longest as I like to do a couple of coats to ensure each lash is evenly covered. I usually wipe the mascara brush on a bit of kitchen towel so I don't get unsightly black splodges everywhere, but with my clumsiness this is normally inevitable, hence why I save under-eye concealing until last...

This consists of attacking my dark circles with a bit of the Bobbi Brown corrector, followed by a sweep of Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer for added luminosity. Sometimes I'll add a bit of the No7 highlighter stick to the tops of my cheekbones, especially on days when I'm looking a bit run-down and sleepy, but the YSL base is quite nice and velvety so doesn't really need extra highlighting.

The penultimate step is blusher - the product varies with my mood but I really like this baked blusher by Beauty UK, it's nicely pigmented and wakes my complexion up nicely.

Finally I apply a bit of lipstick as I never feel like my make-up is complete without it - I wasn't sure about MAC Lickable when I first purchased but it's growing on me and I think it's a nice autumn bright pink. It also perfectly matches a cardigan I own, thus pleasing my slight OCD tendencies...

Products used:

Brushes - Real Techniques/ Ecotools
Bourjois Happy Light Matte primer
Models Own lash curlers  
YSL Fusion Ink foundation in BD40
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Cool Medium
L'Oreal Brow Artiste pencil in Brunette
Urban Decay Naked 3 palette
L'Oreal Super Liner in Black Vinyl
Rimmel Volume FlashX10 waterproof mascara
Bobbi Brown eye corrector in Extra Light Bisque
Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit in Sand
Beauty UK baked blush in Rose Rouge
Mac lipstick in Lickable

What's your make-up routine at the moment? Any hero products I need to know about? Please let me know!

Love Dani

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Review: YSL Fusion Ink Foundation

Yes, I have a foundation problem. We know this. Let's move on so I can show you the latest addition to my collection...

This is the year I developed a bit of a thing for YSL foundations. It began with Touche Éclat back in January, then a sneaky purchase of Youth Liberator soon followed. So when I read about the new release, heard about its longevity and then just so happened to be wandering through duty free before it was even released in stores in the UK, well... I feel like a purchase was merely a natural development in my YSL love affair. I know - why can't I be having a Rimmel or Collection love affair?! My bank balance would surely thank me for it...

In fairness though the Fusion Ink foundation really is a lovely product. I asked the MUA to test out my Touche Éclat shade, BD40, and as with the Touche Éclat it just blends perfectly into my skin. Right there is my first reason to love it as I have never found a brand that matches my skintone as well as YSL. I usually end up mixing foundations for my perfect shade, but BD40 is invisible when applied.
The bottle is a beautifully elegant black and gold rectangular affair and looks rather nice displayed alongside all my other products - I now have a bit of a YSL corner going on... One thing that did throw me was the lack of pump here but do not fret: it has a spatula attached to the lid to ensure no wastage of product. I tend to use one swipe of product on the back of my hand, apply with my fingers and then blend with a buffing brush. For heavier coverage I apply with the brush too. Once blended I can hardly tell I have foundation on but all my imperfections are covered - this is pretty much all I want from a foundation! 

The finish on my combination skin is quite velvety, not quite matte but not as glowy as Touche Éclat. I quite like this as it looks natural yet perfected. I find powder tends to weigh it down a little on me so if I feel I need it I simply swipe on a little Bourjois Java Rice Powder to finish. I've found on very stubborn blemishes I do need to go back in with concealer but on the whole the coverage is good, I would say medium but with the possibility to build it to fit your requirements.

How well does it last? Well, this was my selling point when weighing up the purchase. My skin does drink up most foundations so by 3pm they mostly disappear. This foundation stays pretty much as applied all day, even to the point where I take my make-up off before bed. It does wear a little around my nose but this is a general problem area specific to me so I don't think it would be an issue to anyone else, I've had this as long as I can remember! I am just happy it lasts through a full working day without needing touch ups as this is so rare for me; the only other product that matches it is Estée Lauder Double Wear but that can look so heavy on me and I really prefer the YSL natural finish.

As you can see I've taken photos during application, after blending with no other make up, and finally a fully made-up face.

Would I recommend it? In a nutshell, yes! It is an expensive investment (retailing for £30.50) so definitely try and get a sample if you're unsure - although I bought mine straight away as it was in the airport, my usual MO is to try and test products before doing any purse damage. However having used it daily for over two weeks now I really am enjoying it and think, just maybe, it might be the one... 

On that note I am making a resolution now to stop buying foundations until I've cleared more space in my storage. That's four I've purchased this year alone which is excessive and ridiculous, even for me, so I'm going to steer clear of face bases until the end of the year. This might not sound like much but for a beauty addict like me, it's going to be a tough ask...

Have you tried Fusion Ink? Did you like it? Let me know!

Love Dani

Sunday, 31 August 2014

What I Wore #110

Allow me to begin with a note on this dress - I fell in love with it on Twitter.
I fall in love a lot. A pretty lipstick here, a colourful pair of shoes there, a sleek bag, a rosy blush, an adorable puppy... But nothing grabs my attention like a patterned, full skirted dress. I feel like Dorothy Perkins know this and that by posting this dress on Twitter in July they were reaching out to me and imploring me to make it mine.

Unfortunately it was just a tad too long after payday so I resigned myself to bookmarking the dress and sighing wistfully when passing it in store windows. Eventually my lovely mum took pity on me and out of the goodness of her heart (or to stop me sighing) purchased the dress for me. I didn't wear it straight away though - a dress like this needs a special occasion, like a summer picnic, garden wedding, or... a friend's engagement party! My lovely friend Stephie got engaged a couple of weeks ago so naturally we all had to get together and celebrate. I teamed the dress with a cardigan from New Look, a few dainty necklaces and flats in anticipation of a possible walk - as it turned out this was a very good move!

After stuffing ourselves at Cote in Covent Garden (a French brasserie-inspired chain of restaurants that do a rather brilliant 3 course lunch offer) we decided to go for a wander to ease our bellies after indulging ourselves! I've been wanting to visit the poppy installation at the Tower of London for some time now and I'm so glad we did - it's awe-inspiring and a rather beautiful way of remembering those who died for our peace. We then meandered along the river and over the Millennium Bridge solely so we could pretend we were in the sixth Harry Potter film...we might all be growing up and moving to the next stages of adult life, but some things will never change. Thanks to my friend Geo for taking the photos for me, thus relieving Jon of his normal duties! I'm happy my friends are so accepting of my weird bloggy ways and don't judge me when I photograph my food and constantly inquire what lipstick they're wearing.

Looking back at these photos I can hardly believe they are from a week ago, it really feels like summer has left us and I'm now looking at knits and boots again as autumn draws in. So sad!
I hope you're all having a lovely Sunday and have a great week ahead - I've got lots of things planned but will try and update soon - I'm plotting a new foundation review as we speak...

Love Dani

N.B. I just looked the dress up to link it for you and it's in the sale! Not many sizes left online but at £22 it would be a steal if you spot it in store!