Monday, 25 July 2011

New York v London Fashion Face Off

A good friend of mine suggested I talk about the difference between New York and London fashion for this blog and I have to say I loved the idea. Her inspiration came from a recent quote by Emma Watson where she said she felt that New York fashion was edgier than the classic style of London. Hence her 'classic' look at the London premiere of Harry Potter and her 'edgier' look at the New York premiere. You can't deny her London look was much more classic but does that rule apply across the board?

I have yet to visit New York so I think the best way of judging this is on the style stars of New York and London, past and present, real and fictional.

When I think of New York and fashion there are two women I think of: Carrie Bradshaw and Audrey Hepburn. Carrie Bradshaw is what a lot of women look up to as a typical New Yorker, a very kooky sense of style and fiercly independent streak which means she does whatever she wants. This is definitely edgy, her looks are now pretty standard but when she was first stomping down the street in them they were completely different. Audrey Hepburn on the other hand although not a New Yorker set the tone for New York fashion in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's, standing outside the famous store in the, now infamous, black cocktail dress is the epitome of class and elegance, no edginess needed just straight up classic style. These two women are worlds apart yet I think they tell you what New York is: diverse. 

When I think of London and fashion I immediately think of punk. The Sex Pistols and The Clash with safety pins, tartan, leather and ripped denim. I think if there was a defining moment in London fashion, punk was it. This brings me onto Vivienne Westwood and Zandra Rhodes, if these two women aren't edgy then I don't know what it is. However, you cannot neglect the Royal family and their influence on fashion. You just have to look at our modern day princess Catherine Middleton and the coverage over classic style. Catherine is never seen with a hair out of place or a less than perfect smile and 20 years ago she would have been the Queen of the twin set I'm sure, quintessentially British by anyone's standards I'm sure. Then we move onto to Topshop, a high street brand which manages to do what most others fail at - create the sense of brand loyalty of a designer. Women queue for hours for their special collections, they save up for the must have pieces and they buy anything that Topshop says is in fashion. I think the typical Topshop girl is very modern British: layering, pastels, matching while maintaining a slight edge through accessories; ankle socks and sandals, oversized hairbands, sky high heels, very short shorts. I think London fashion is summed up in the mix, classic but with an edge. Boundary pushing but conforming enough to be relatable. 

Friday, 22 July 2011

Best Dressed of the Week

This week was pretty unspectacular, well it was until I saw Hailee Steinfeld yesterday at Miu Miu presents Lucrecia Martel's "Muta". The current face of Miu Miu had to look amazing for the night and she most definitely did.


Miu Miu has never particularly been on my radar, I don't usually find their pieces very interesting but this has definitely won me over. This look is beautiful, simple and stunning. I love the jewelled Peter Pan collar and matchy-but-not-too-matchy Prada clutch and Miu Miu peep-toes. I love that she still looks like a 14 year old, granted a very well dressed one but it doesn't scream "I'm trying to be a grown up!", the minimal make up and simple hair help with this. I think it also helps that I have a lot of love for Hailee, she's adorable and she charmed with her Oscar's frock

Well done again, Hailee. By the time she's my age she'll be a seasoned pro on the red carpet and I'm sure she'll never get it wrong.



Thursday, 21 July 2011

How To: Nailease

Yep, I'm afraid it's another nail post. I do love updating my nails and I've been meaning to do this post for ages so here it finally is.

First up, check out these nails... how awesome are they??

Well this is another one of my little tricks, no need to be a nail artist, you just need a cheat and this one is Nailease

These are super quick and easy, the step by step really is as easy as it says on the website:


  1. Select the size that fits your nail and pull away gently from the full strip
  2. Gently remove clear film from top of nail sticker then gently remove clear from bottom of nail sticker holding the silver strip
  3. Hold nail sticker by the silver strip and place the rounded side at nail base sticky side down.Note: you can gently pull off and reposition without damaging the strip
  4. Firmly smooth the nail surface until wrinkle free. Note: you can gently stretch vertically and horizontally for a wrinkle free surface
  5. Fold the excess of the nail strip under the nail. Then gently file off the excess in a downward motion.

That really is it, in fact it is even easier that it seems. I love these and I will be stocking up as soon as their new collection is out I will be taking advantage of the free delivery when you buy 3 pack.


Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Newspaper nails

How cool are these nails??


Not the golf information that is plastered across them but the newspaper print. I'll let you in on a little secret...they are REALLY easy to do. It only took about 10 minutes to do and although they are a little hit and miss, I still think they look awesome and a tiny bit of practice and they will be perfect. Here's the step-by-step.

First paint your nails, choose a light colour. You could of course use white or neutral but I love colours so I used this lovely light green Spring Mews from Nails Inc.


Next up, dip your nail in some surgical spirits.


Then lay some newspaper over your nail and press down to transfer the print.


Paint over a layer of clear nail varnish to seal, et voila. I told you it was easy!



You can do this with pretty much any prints so I'm excited to get going with that but for now I'll stick with these for a few days. For a lover of expeimenting with nails this is a perfect quick way to add a bit of fun!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Barry M Touch of Magic Lip Paint

Would anyone use a green lipstick? Of course not. Well look at but the amazing Barry M Touch of Magic Lip Paint.


Green, very green. Scarily green. But check out what it looks like when you put it on.


Pink, lovely pink. This thing is brilliant, everybody has a different colour as it reacts differently to your lips. Not only that, it last AGES! At the point of this picture I had been drinking lots of lovely Prosecco and eating a mountain of food (lots of lick lipping) and it was still very much on. A good wash gets it off but not much else, and smudging is pretty non-existent. Not only that but it feels like Vaseline, so soft on your lips, it doesn't dry them out.

If that all doesn't persuade you maybe the nifty price tag of only £4.49 will!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Being beautiful

When I was a teenager there were always conversations about body image and being skinny and having a certain body type and I always thought that the times would change and people wouldn't be as obsessed about it when I grew up. You know how they say the media perception of the perfect body shape changes? Well I kind of assumed that a healthier body shape would be normal now, instead we still have the size 0 debate and I struggle with it more and more every day.

I love fashion and I feel I have kind of become desensitised to images of models looking gaunt and ill and being able to see their bones jutting out. My dad will often sit down with me to watch fashion programs or the latest sitcom I love and his comment about how skinny the girls are brings me back to reality, especially when I realise most of these girls are big compared to the accepted size 0 of today. It seems no matter how many people talk about how disgraceful this, or how many models die through eating disorders, or many little girls develop body issues from thinking they are 'fat', we are still being told that super skinny = beautiful.

As much as the size 0 and skinny debate riles me. What riles me more is watching a show by the beautiful Katie Piper, this girl is brave, courageous and amazing and she deserves so much praise. But why can people not see her as a normal human being as well? Why are the Beautiful Friends she introduced us to in her TV show seen as being less than any of 'us' because they have a disfigurement? Why can we not look at them and accept them as human beings who have the same feelings and emotions as us. I feel that it shocked some people to see these people and discover they were not stupid, or self loathing or vengeful but in fact just trying to deal with something handed to them that made them stronger and more amazing than most of us 'normal' could be.

The older I get, the more I struggle with this idea of beauty. I still find it shocking that a black girl isn't as likely to be on a runway in Paris fashion week as a white girl. Or that a redhead has to accept being called 'Ginge' in a derogatory term because people consider it 'ugly'. Or that someone who has one arm causes such a stir when they start presenting children's TV. It sickens me that there is a set look that you can have to be considered beautiful and if someone from outside of those rules miraculously breaks through, they are considered shocking and different. There is no two ways about it, it is a pretty disgusting message to be sending young people.

We are told from a young age that our differences are what make us unique yet somehow we are losing this as we grow up... I have no problem with someone wanting to be healthy, in fact I think it is great, but I really do not think that most of the size 0 women are healthy. I do believe that some people are naturally skinny and that is fine, but it's clear the trend is not for skinny healthy models but for extra skinny models who survive on very little. I especially do not think that women who are desperate to lose baby weight, or drop lots of weight for a certain event are very healthy. Do something you can maintain, Kelly Osbourne has lost a lot of weight and good on her she looks awesome but she's not shrinking to the point where I see all her bones stick out or she looks gaunt, she looks slim and healthy. And to be honest, did she really look awful when she was bigger? She, and everyone, should do what makes them happy and healthy and I truly believe it would be better to be 5 pounds overweight than 5 pounds underweight.

I worry that my nieces and nephews are going to grow up in tougher times where having the beautiful crazy curls of my 4 year old niece will cause her to feel ugly, or my 3 year old nephews gorgeous strawberry blonde locks will get him bullied, or my 2 year old nephews permanently spiky hair will make him insecure, or my 6 year old nieces enthusiasm for all things in life will get her called 'weird' and stifle her creativity.

Life is not about conforming, it is about finding out what makes you unique from everyone else and showing it off to it's fullest. I never wear matching colours or conventional clothing but why should I? I don't dress provocatively or outlandishly, I just dress colourfully and it makes my world a little bit brighter. I have strawberry blonde hair and recently dyed it bright ginger as I wish that was my natural colour, is it offensive or upsetting to anyone? No, so why do people still think I'm mad to dye my hair that colour, it is beautiful and frankly so am I with it. My nearest and dearest are all so different and that's why I love them.

My boyfriend loves electronic music, rock climbing, sailing, Hunter S Thompson, wearing combats, hoodies and boots everywhere and they are some of the reasons I love him. I also love his non-perfect look, his constant update in his style and the fact he doesn't do anything for anyone else. Why would having completely ripped muscles, perfectly coiffed hair, fake tan and a love of football make him more acceptable? Everyone is who they are and they should be appreciated for it.

Why do people want to look like David Beckham or Angelina Jolie? These two are both beautiful and amazing because they are UNIQUE and do what they want to do, not because they follow a norm that everyone should follow. It's not about being deliberately different, it's about embracing you at your best. At the risk of sounding like a Lady Gaga song, if you are happy within yourself then who cares what other people say you should be, love your life and love yourself because it's who you are.

Matisse the Genius

After watching the BBC documentry about Henri Matisse last year I have become a little bit obsessed by the man and his work. I have always been a fan but now I am a devout fan. My Twitter background is even dedicated to him.

This is the man who used colour like no-one before him, by today's standards his work could just been seen as a multi-coloured mess but at the time no-one was using colour like him. Matisse was daring, different, bright and impressively simple. Think of anything that has such bright colour and it wouldn't be here today without the help of Matisse, he created this love of colour that many people have. Yes, today you can't escape colour and artists use images like this all the time, but at the time it was revolutionary. 

As many of you know I am a big lover of colour and this is why I love Matisse, colour shows emotion better than anything else and colour can impact on everything in the world. Matisse's influence can be seen everywhere. Look around the room you're in, see any bright colours near each other? Matisse made that possible. I'm not saying Matisse is the only reason these things are here, but he was definitely the biggest influence in starting the trend.

Yes, Matisse is an artist and as one his work is not to everyone's taste, but you have to admit that modern interpretations are pleasing to the eye...



Friday, 15 July 2011

Tie-dye hair

I have become a little bit obsessed with Lauren Conrad's beauty blog The Beauty Compartment, it is downright brilliant, so many tips and ideas - I love it. One thing she recently did was experiment with tie-dye hair and how amazing does it look?


I have decided I am going to get this look as soon as possible, my lovely sister is training to become a hairdresser and she has kindly volunteered to try it out on me when she's free and I seriously cannot wait. I think it looks awesome and with colours that bright it'll wash out pretty quickly anyway so won't have to worry about it if I don't like it. roots!! A big bonus in any hair dying adventure.

What do you think? Would you be brave enough to rock this look?

Thursday, 14 July 2011

New skin please!

I'm not one for blogging about random personal rubbish but I've been having a particularly bad batch of psoriasis recently (most likely brought on by my recent strep throat tonsillitis) and I wanted to offer any tips I had and ask for any from you.

This particular batch is covering my arms, face, legs, upper back and scalp at the moment and is the worst I've ever had it, I wake up with more and more everyday. I try to not let it affect me, I don't wear make up unless going out for an occasion, I try not to cover up unnecessarily and I try not to care about the itching. But I have to say it gets to me sometimes and below are a few of the things that help me cope.

I've always been blessed with my pale skin and lovely freckles, very few spots or general difficulties. However, a few months ago I started getting random red blotches on my face so I bought my first ever foundation - a daunting prospect for a 23 year old. I'm pleased I did this as I currently have lovely red itchy dots all over my lovely face and although my freckles can cover most of the damage, foundation really is a little necessary when I am wanting to make an effort. Luckily my friend helped me get over my foundation fear and recommended The Body Shop's moisture foundation. A great foundation, the pale is pale enough even for me and not only does it not irritate the dry patches, it also doesn't dry my skin out, it is definitely moisturising.


My must have since I first got psoriasis a few years ago is Aqueous cream. The stuff feels horrible but I'm telling you it is definitely worth it, I find it makes me a lot less itchy most of the time, plus it's usually less than £2 for a massive tub which lasts ages! A definite winner!

I'm currently trying out a couple of products as although my skins been bad, I'm really not coping this time round so want to try some new stuff. Tonight I am going to use Oilatum for the first time, to be honest I am not particularly excited as it is supposed to make for a very greasy and oily bath, but if it calms my skin I'm game for a few oily baths a week. I'm also trying some of those Simple products which so far are feeling pretty good. I think I struggle most with how quickly I need to reaplly products to feel good, a lot of them wear off after a few hours.



I personally find the itching the worst thing about psoriasis but I think a lot of people struggle with how it looks and try to cover themselves up. There is no need to flash your skin when you don't want to but also don't cover yourself head to toe in boiling temperatures just because of a bit of red skin. I cannot tell you to not feel uncomfortable for showing your skin but if you do, I can only reassure you that it doesn't look as bad as you think, people will not think you're a monster for having it. Most likely people will feel sorry for you, if so go with it and demand ice cream! Embrace the bad skin and let it go, stress is a big trigger for psoriasis and there is nothing more stressful than worrying what other people think of you. 

I'm Back... and with a Best Dressed of the Week

Yes, yes I've been awfully neglectful of blogging recently but I'm back with a vengence, instead of exaggerating talking about how busy I've been I'm getting into a new feature, drum roll please:

Best Dressed of the Week

Exciting eh? Ok it's not very original I know but I want to share with you all my opinion on who should be crowned best dressed every week.

This week was a great one for fashion and there were lots of lovely dresses out and about. My favourite was the beautiful Zooey Deschanel in Oscar de la Renta at the BAFTA Brits to Watch Gala. She looked GORGEOUS!


I have such a girl crush on Zooey anyway but I really do love how she looks here. This girl is truly stunning and I love how she always looks so effortless and comfortable in what she wears, you can put a gorgeous girl in a gorgeous dress but if she doesn't feel shows! This Oscar de la Renta beauty really is stunning, it is so simple yet still has such an impact. I think Oscar de la Renta are the designer to use for simple but stunning, if I had the money I'd wear these dresses to do the washing up in. I'm really pleased Zooey didn't over-accessorise (a crime I am very guilty of) as she just looked flawless, anyway that smile is the only accessory this girl needs.

Definitely my winner this week, well done Zooey.

Want! Want! Want!

OK, my big sister is a bit of a legend. For many reasons obviously but in particular to introducing me to the amazing Vivien of Holloway. I am very much late to the game with this awesome shop but I shall certainly be staying in the game...yeh that didn't really work but we'll move on.

There are a couple of things that make me absolutely love this shop:

  1. The clothes...duh. Well more specifically the 50s dresses, I love everything else too but I have such a love for this style that I am very pleased someone has dedicated so much to it. Last year I had my University Summer Ball and I was desperate to wear a dress like this, I couldn't find anything in the shops so me and my mum made one. Now I love what I made and I am so proud of it but not being a professional dressmaker means it's pretty tough to do yourself, even finding the right fabric was difficult. I think you'll agree well made dresses like this in such a variey of fabrics is a big win. 
  2. The idea. I think you'll agree that reading about the shop is pretty great, there is real comfort in buying something that is made and sold by people who love the clothes and love what they are doing. It's special, it's unique and it's nice to support someone with passion and talent.

I'm saving my pennies to have a big blow out in their shop hopefully next month. The only problem is I can't decide between the polkadot, print or plain for my first dress, let alone the colour! Then there's petticoat's, bolero's, belts...

Any suggestions?