Sunday, 19 October 2014

A Berry Autumn Make Up Look

It's always the days when I have nowhere to go that I tend to make the most effort with my make up. Isn't that the way? When I'm in a rush to get out somewhere and meet people I always fling on whatever products are closest to me and hope for the best. When I have hours to kill and no one to see, I spend a good forty minutes blending and buffing and testing out new things... only to wash it all off a couple of hours later when I decide the only course of action is to change into pyjamas and watch countless episodes of Teen Wolf.
The reason I am rambling is because this is exactly what happened on Saturday. After a lazy morning watching Youtube videos and contemplating the sheer amount of washing that needed to be done, I put together this quick look, loosely inspired by Lily Pebbles's recent berry tutorial. I even popped on a berry-coloured lace top to match, oh my.

Can I take a moment to praise this Rimmel lipstick? After spotting it on my friend Geo last week I subsequently visited three different Boots branches to track it down, such was my need to possess it. In real life it is darker than these photos would suggest, perfect for swiping on and providing instant autumn moodiness. Yes. I haven't edited any of these photos but I can assure you it is a beautiful dark berry red in real life!
Alongside the lipstick I also had a mini splurge at the Seventeen stand in Boots after work on Friday. I needed a new primer so selected their Stay Time offering and the Miracle Matte primer, which I'm wearing in the photos. It seems to mattify really nicely, I'll report back on the longevity though. I also bought the Instant Glow shimmer brick as I've been after a decent powder highlighter. Although the light in the photos isn't quite enough to pick it up, it adds a lovely shimmer to the skin - I dusted it along the tops of my cheeks and under my brows.
I also decided to forgo my usual cat eye in favour of a softer shadow look. I'm useless at applying eyeshadow without getting it halfway down my face, so just used a gentle combination of Burnout and Nooner from my Naked 3 palette and finished it off with heaps of mascara (still my beloved Rimmel, I'm on my second tube!)

And after applying all this? I had an extremely productive day of washing up, reapplying nail varnish and listening to Spotify...

Products used:
Seventeen Miracle Matte Primer
Bobbi Brown Long Wear Even Finish foundation in Cool Beige
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Extra Light Bisque
Clarins Instant Concealer in 01
Beauty UK Baked Blush in Rose Rouge
Seventeen Shimmer Brick Instant Glow in Pink Bronze
Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Permanent Taupe 
Urban Decay Naked 3 palette
Rimmel Volume FlashX10 Waterproof mascara
Rimmel Kate Moss Matte lipstick in 107

Love Dani

Friday, 17 October 2014

Wedding - the countdown begins!

images from my Instagram
Hello loves,

As I've mentioned a few times recently our wedding planning has finally kicked off in a big way. I am so relieved and excited although it is quite nerve-wracking as our date is only 10 months away! It's taken us a fairly long time to get our plans off the ground but it all seems to be going really quickly now and I'm certain the next few months will fly by.

There are so many reasons why it has taken so long - readers from the very, very early days may recall when Jon proposed to me while on holiday on the Cote d'Azur back in 2010, just before the final year of my degree. I also posted about my fabulous diamond cluster ring (with a very dodgy photo here, and a much better photo here!) but other than that, things have been rather silent on the wedding front. Almost straight after leaving university we bought a flat so there just hasn't been the budget to put into a wedding, although we started looking at venues a couple of years ago just to gather ideas. After hours of countless Google searches, frustrated phone calls, wedding fair after wedding fair, tears, strops, arguments... we have finally set the date, finalised the registrars and most importantly of all, agreed on a venue.

It feels as though it has been a long hard slog to get to where we are now - our initial visions of fairytale castle grandeur (Jon) and French chateau elegance (me) have slowly been whittled down to a relaxed, family-style garden party with a restored barn, rolling lawns and the sweetest Monet-inspired bridge. It's not what either of us imagined at all, but the moment we visited our venue we just knew it was the perfect place to say our vows.

 I keep flicking through my pile of wedding magazines (the A4 size ones are all stored in a fancy magazine rack I picked up at Sainsbury's) and nervously poring through the checklists, but it honestly feels like the big things are all sorted now. We have a date, a time, a ceremony and reception venue, even a photographer... and my dress! I have individual posts planned for these topics and will keep you updated on our progress as I'm bound to become more and more consumed by wedding planning. We are forgoing a lot of the expected traditions - I'm not a fan of being told what to do! - but the basics will likely be the same as weddings across the board so hopefully my experiences will be helpful to someone.

I will leave links to some of my wedding Pinterest boards below if anyone is interested:

My next post will be all about my dress hunt - it's a bit of an essay so be warned!

Love Dani

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

2014: personal goals

I do like a good list.

I make them quite frequently, sometimes just for the satisfaction of ticking things off, but also to help keep focus. Although I'm not a New Year's resolution person I do set myself small goals each year because I'm a big believer in self-motivation. I (with the help of others admittedly!) have managed to reach a couple of targets already this year and as 2014 starts to wind down I thought I'd make a little list to keep me going!

Before I begin a new list, I always like to boost my confidence by going through things I've done - it gets me all fired up and ready to tackle something new! So, this year I have achieved the following:

book the wedding
This was a big big one that has been in the making for about two years. After many tears, tantrums and moments of despair Jon and I have not only set a date but also found a venue that will provide the perfect backdrop for our wedding. Ten months from now I will be Mrs Dunne and am very excited! I'm plotting a series of posts about our planning as I love reading them on other blogs, so keep an eye out if that's something that interests you!

work full-time in London
This June I finally fulfilled a career goal by moving into a completely new department and fab office full of lovely ladies in Hatton Garden. I'm finally back to working in my favourite city in the world and genuinely enjoy going to work every day. It's surprising how much such a small adjustment affects your mood but we do spend most of our lives at work so it's only natural that if you're unhappy there it will spread out to the rest of your life, and I'm definitely feeling more settled and comfortable these days. It helps having Leather Lane market just outside our doors as well!

clean out the make up collection
It's very cathartic going through a big clear-out and this summer I threw away several carrier bags of old make up. I'm still whittling it down but all the old Barry M lipsticks have gone, as have several foundations I just couldn't get to work on me! I'm now restraining myself from buying any more until next year and trying to maintain the practice of only purchasing something new when something old runs out. Any tips for shopping the stash, anyone?

Before we bid farewell to 2014, I want to have achieved the following:

finish my reading list 
I have a pile of books next to my bed and on our coffee table waiting to be read. I'm going to devote a few Sunday afternoons to curling up with a tea and clear the pile! First up is The Bone Season by David Mitchell, a favourite author of mine and a tome I've been coveting since its' release. Jon bought it for me as a little surprise last week when he went away to Belgium! I'm also experiencing my yearly yearning to re-read the Harry Potter series...

visit my sister in York
Slightly hampered by my inability to drive, but my sister has just begun university and I am intent on visiting her before the year is out. I've never ventured further north than Birmingham, to my shame. Apparently parts of Harry Potter were filmed there (The Shambles were used for Diagon Alley) so it's high time for a visit!

beauty resolutions
I have heaps but the major ones are: grow out my eyebrows, maintain my pared-back skin care routine, drink more water (always an issue when it gets colder!) and shift a few more pounds! I'm not doing a full on wedding diet as my current figure really suits my dress, but I would like to tone my arms and stomach before the big day. I'm making a conscious effort to eat healthily during the week and strip back the treats at weekends, although I can't quite give up my weekly Starbucks just yet. Oh and I also really, really need to get over my fear of hairdressers as my locks are crying out for a chop!

With two and a half months left of the year I think I should be able to complete these - here's hoping!

Are you a list-maker? How do you keep focus when it comes to personal goals?

Love Dani

Sunday, 12 October 2014

What I Wore #113

 cape - H&M / dress - Dorothy Perkins (similar here)
jumper - eBay (similar here)
bag - Accessorize (similar here)/ shoes - New Look (similar here)

 Hi loves,

So it's been a while since I last posted an outfit because in all honesty, I've just been picking comfy options recently and not really putting a lot of effort into combining pieces. I've also been holding back from buying new pieces due to the Great Wedding Fund but I made the fatal error of clicking on to this post on Scarphelia the other day and as soon as I spotted the cape, I was lost.

Here's the thing. I have always wanted a cape. All throughout my uni years I debated and weighed up the big cape decision, but chances were missed, stock sold out, my tiny budget could not stretch to it... so I let the dream slide. Uber-sophisticated Pinterest images tried to sway me but I remained resolute. It wasn't practical. I'm a homeowner and a grown-up now, I need to put aside all swishy thoughts of striding around like an extra in Harry Potter and turn to useful options like duffle coats and hoods and pockets. Really I should start doing tax returns and visiting garden centres for fun.
The truth is, I'm 26 years old and I still like to walk around in a swishy cape and pretend I'm stalking the halls of Hogwarts. I can't lie. Practical it is not but boy is it enjoyable!
I teamed my beloved acquisition with a host of old autumn favourites - a cream lace dress, a sparkly jumper off eBay, battered old brogues (as in they are literally 4 years old and on their last legs) and a bag I picked up in the Accessorize sale in the days when I thought £10 was too much to spend on a handbag (it was £9, if I remember rightly).

So in a way I feel like this outfit is the culmination of my 22-year-old self's style aspirations, pairing my old university staples with the cape of dreams. I felt wonderfully autumnal as we pranced along the streets of Bloomsbury and visited the British Museum for their Witches & Wicked Bodies exhibition, which again evoked countless memories of my studies as a lot of the prints feature characters from Faust and Macbeth. I so wished we were there researching an essay or gathering ideas for a dissertation as the whole portrayal of magic and gender through the years is really fascinating, in my opinion. We left the museum heavy with nostalgia and ended up walking it off with a pumpkin spice latte and a golden sunlight stroll. Many props to Geo for taking these photos, I am so thrilled with them!

Is there an item you've coveted for years and finally got your hands on? Please tell me I'm not alone in this!

Love Dani

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Pinterest roundup

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

So I'm back with another installment of my favourite pins in the last week (or thereabouts!). This is what has been inspiring me recently...

1. I have long been a fan of glittery Converse - I lived in Converse during my teens and they're still my go-to shoe option for comfy days. I am going to attempt this DIY with pink or gold glitter for my wedding shoes as I'm not a big heel-wearer -  comfort is key and why deviate from the habit of a lifetime?

2. Recently I've started pinning a number of wedding photos I love, to create a bit of a moodboard for our photographer - I adore this twist on the usual confetti shot.

3. A/W hair always suggests some form of braid to me, to combat any frizz or unexpected wave disasters. I really want to try this on my hair, if only I wasn't so useless at styling it.

4. I love the colours in this outfit, what's better than a selection of autumn pastels? Also I like to think the Starbucks cup contains the ubiquitous Pumpkin Spice latte...

5. Halloween is practically just around the corner and I am determined to pay homage to my literary hero with this fab Harry Potter pumpkin! I actually would like a full-on Harry Potter Halloween this space.

6. How amazing is this eyeliner? Maybe not for everyday use but I definitely want to give it a try.

7. Crushing on the colours and chevron pattern on this watch!

8. More wedding inspo... I envision masses of glitter and pinks and greens on our day, so if it ends up a little like this then I will be ecstatic! Loving the tablecloth and the way they have threaded the pink cloth through the chair. I'm not a fan of chair covers so this is a fab alternative.

9. A nail combo I am desperate to try out, just need to find the perfect pink! I've found my ideal glitter in this GOSH offering, it's matte but practically opaque in one coat.

Not a pin as such but while I'm here, I thought I would share this amazing instrumental version of "Let It Go" from Frozen, by the Piano Guys - they've mixed it with extracts of Vivaldi's Winter from the Four Seasons and it is utterly delightful!

Hope you've enjoyed this post - remember to leave me your Pinterest links if you have one and I'll go check out your page!

Love Dani

Friday, 3 October 2014

Sharing the Blog Love

image source

Hi my lovelies, sorry for the silence this week! I've reverted to being a reader rather than a writer as I've been fairly busy with wedding tasks - I will sit down and write about this when I find a spare moment, I promise. I have a fair amount to say on the subject!

Back when I started blogging I used to run a regular feature for my favourite blog of the week - I was just getting into the blogging network and really enjoyed recommending new reads as often as I could. As the world of blogging has become so gargantuan in the four years since I began, my list of favourites has overwhelmed me a little and I practically have too many to count!
According to my Bloglovin' stats, I follow around 375 blogs - if I miss a couple of days' reading, it takes me about a week to catch up again! Although I genuinely enjoy every blog I follow, there are a few I have really been loving recently so I want to share them with you here:

A Little Opulent
Blue October
The Bardette
Love My Dress
Rock My Wedding
Love Audrey
Cider with Rosie
Lily Lipstick
Zoe London
Bonjour Luce
A Beauty Junkie in London
Hello October

Some long-term favourites...
Rachel Phipps - for recipes and fab restaurant reviews!
Frills'n'Spills - for wearable outfits with a twist! I adore Maria's sophisticated style.
The Londoner - for dreamy travel and food posts - I basically want Rosie's life. And her hair.
Pearls and Poodles - for beauty reviews, I also adored her recent wedding posts!
Essbeevee - for beautiful dresses and yummy recipes - the butternut squash lasagne is a MUST by the way.
Lipglossiping - one of my very first beauty blog discoveries! Excellent swatches and reviews!

I feel I need to point out again that this is by no means a comprehensive list;  it grows on a daily basis, but we all need to start somewhere!

Now it's over to you - what are your favourite blogs of the moment? Have I missed off any must-reads? Have you stumbled across anyone new recently that you're loving? Let me know!

Love Dani

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Autumn Lips - 2014

As is tradition on this little blog, with autumn officially beginning this week I felt it was high time to trundle out all my favourite seasonally appropriate lip colours for 2014!
It's true, I've written a variety of posts on the topic every year since starting the blog - take a look back through previous A/W lip posts for 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 - but the darker, slightly more purple lip shades all seem to suit my skintone and I've been wearing a berry lip since I started wearing lipstick really. This year I'm switching things up a bit with some brighter shades, but the penchant for stains has remained.
So without further ado...

My old favourite:
I reviewed this last year and still stand by my previous adoration, it's so easy to slick on a bit of colour on the go as it feels like a massive lipbalm! The lasting power is fair but mostly I throw this in my bag when I know I'll need something easy to put on my lips when rushing around. The colour is perfect too. Autumn in a tube!
Bourjois Colourboost in Plum Russian £7.99 

My newest find:
Let's face it, Revlon's new Moisture Stains were always going to catch my eye. At just £7.99 it's hard to resist and the promise of soft yet bright lips is one I fall for, every time. Thankfully these deliver delicous pigment in the form of a moisturising liquid lipstick with a glossy finish - this deep berry/maroon shade has quickly found itself a home in my handbag.
Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Parisian Passion £7.99
My brighter lip choice:
This was a complete impulse purchase when Debenhams were doing £5 off lipsticks - I initially wanted Girl About Town but it was out of stock so I chose Lickable. It's a slightly pearlescent deep pink with cool undertones, not my favourite finish but it just seems to work perfectly as an everyday bright lip. I felt like the finish wasn't quite suitable during the summer but now with the light changing and the temperatures dropping I find myself reaching for it over and over!
MAC Cremesheen lipstick in Lickable £15.50

My perfect red:
I've been looking for the perfect red lipstick ever since I did a vintage photoshoot back in my uni days. I've trialled offerings by Maybelline, Bourjois et al but nothing beats the MAC classic Ruby Woo! It's a tad drying so maybe not the perfect formula for colder months but the colour is instant glamour; I envision myself wearing this while wrapped up in (faux) furs and sequinned scarves.
MAC Retro Matte lipstick in Ruby Woo £15.50

What are your lipstick choices this autumn? Let me know, I'm always looking for new shades to add to my wishlist!

Love Dani