Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Weekend Face

Make-up wise, weekends are a time for me to either try out something different (working in an office doesn't give any opportunities for make-up experimentation during the week) or keep things simple and fresh-looking. Most of the time I stick to the latter. My current easy weekend face looks like this:

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Base: I start off by evening out my t-zone with Benefit's The Porefessional. I have normal/combination skin which gets shiny quite quickly so this product is perfect for me. I use YSL's Touche Eclat to hide the dreaded undereye circles which don't budge no matter how much sleep I get or how much water I drink. I've been using Touche Eclat on and off for the past 6 years but I don't repurchase it that often - there are comparable products out there for a quarter of the price (but with less nice packaging). I don't use foundation, I hate the feel of it on my skin and am terrified that it will break me out but I always use 17 Pressed Powder on my t-zone followed by Witch concealer on any blemishes. Shade 1 is perfect for my pale skin and it doesn't get cake-y throughout the day.

Cheeks: I start by applying Topshop's Cream Blush in High Five with Ecotools foundation brush. This really brightens my face and makes me look healthy even if I don't particularly feel it! I layer L'Oreal Glam Bronze in Blondes on top. I don't bother with contouring or highlighers. Life's too short for all that faff.

Eyes: I always start with Mac's Rubenesque Paintpot, even if I'm not using any other shadows. I go through phases with eyeshadow and at the moment all of mine are feeling rather unloved. I use Benefit's Eyebright in the inner and outer corners of my eyes and then line my upper lashline with L'Oreal Superliner in Carbon Gloss. I don't feel like I'm wearing make-up without my liner. I use one of my many mascaras - at the moment its Soap & Glory's Thick and Fast (review coming soon) and then fill in any gaps in my brows with Rimmel's Hazel brow pencil.

Lips: I've just started using Lush's lip scrub in Mint Julips to exfoliate my lips. I'm limiting myself to using it once a day as it tastes so good! I then apply Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream as a lipbalm and then Model's Own Diet Coke lipgloss in Lacquer Red.

A few of the products I've mentioned are pictured here.

The basics of my make-up routine haven't really changed much since I started this blog. I mix around my lip products and blushers a lot but some of the products I use I've repurchases loads of times and they'll probably be the ones that I use forever!

What are you everyday essentials?
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Sunday, 26 February 2012

Mellow Yellow

Spring finally feels like it is in the air. I am definitely, definitely a summer person. As much as I try to appreciate all the seasons...well, summer is just better. Seeing the first rays of sun over the past couple of days has put me in a really good mood and has made me want to ditch all the black and grey and reach for some bright colours:

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Dress: Limited Collection @ M&S

This colour is a bit of a bold choice for me. I've never worn yellow before as I've always felt like I'm not tanned enough to pull it off. I usually stick to red when I want something bright. To make wearing a new colour a little less scary:

- Stick to a style you already know and love. I still cannot get enough of skater dresses.

- Keep the rest of the outfit simple. Minimal accessories keep the focus on the colour of the dress.

- Pair with black or neutrals. I wore this with black opaques and black patent heels (which live under my desk at work and so never make an appearance in photos).

What colours are you scared to wear?

PS. I've started a WIWT account which I sporadically update. http://wiwt.com/user/LilyL/
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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

A Fashionable Blur: Math Collective LFW A/W 2012

London Fashion Week has slightly majorly passed me by this year. Turns out that working 12+ hour days and fashion don't really go together too well. I'm glad that I didn't make any plans as it would have been heartbreaking to have to cancel them but I was super envious of everyone's Tweets and pictures.

I finally got round to going to my first (and only) show tonight and it didn't disappoint. The Freemasons hall was a great venue - I've walked past the building countless times as it's around the corner from where I went to university but never really had a clue what it was! I quickly checked out the exhibition before joining the queue for the show. I felt like a bit of a geek for being first in the queue, so much for being fashionably late!

The show I saw was by Math Collective. Sadly I didn't get into the show first but was rather pleased where I ended up sitting - right in the middle of the third row! Anna Wintour, watch your back.

The collection was really beautiful, and surprisingly wearable. Unlike shows I've seen in the past I could actually imagine real people wearing these clothes and not getting any odd glances - just looking beautifully stylish. The combination of silk and tweed was really beautiful, I loved the oversized tweed bags and the colour scheme of red, navy and grey with a flash of orange.

My pictures are pretty terrible but I was more concerned with looking at the clothes and soaking up the atmosphere of the show rather than viewing it through my shaky iPhone screen but here you go:

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Ok, so its really hard to see what the clothes were actually like from these photos. I'll try to find some better ones taken by someone else.

Did you go to any LFW shows? Which were your favourites?
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Monday, 13 February 2012

Refresh: Working Wardrobe

While I still like dressing up for work every day, having to stick to wearing less than 50% of my wardrobe for more than 50% of my week does get a bit dull. There's only so much accessorizing I can do to work outfits. Sometimes a girl just needs to shop:

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Dress: Dorothy Perkins

This was a sneaky sale purchase in order to get free delivery from Dorothy P. I love how this dress is super soft and comfortable for long days in the office but still smart enough for work.

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Dress: Next

I usually avoid Next for work wear as I think it's a bit too "office" but I couldn't resist picking up this dress in the sale for only £14. I love the pinafore-style pockets and its one of my few work dresses with sleeves (the perils of buying most of your workwear in August is that you will freeze in the office in February!).

How do you beat workwear boredom?
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Friday, 10 February 2012

Be My Valentine. Or At Least Buy Me Some New Clothes.

Whether you're single or coupled up, you really cannot escape the joys of Valentine's day. I am not a huge fan of the day, possibly due to a early-teen memory of my mother sending me a text from a "mystery admirer" and how I refused to give up speculating as to who it was for weeks until my poor mother had to admit that, actually, she had sent the text.

So, instead of waiting for my secret admirer to turn up, this year I will be showing my wardrobe some love instead with Motel's 20% off:

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Here's what my wardrobe (and me) would love. And, if you're reading this, secret admirer, feel free to buy me all of them!



Amanda Playsuit - I'm dreaming of wearing this when it stops snowing!



Crissy Dress - I don't wear many midi lengths but love the contrast of the denim bodice and bright orange skirt of this dress.



Heidi Dress - I love the cut of this dress, it's so flattering and perfect for day to night dressing. The print is Valentine's-appropriate but still wearable for a Valentine's cynic like me!

What would you treat yourself to?
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Thursday, 9 February 2012

Travel Journal: Florence

I've recently returned from a mini-break to Florence. January may be a bit of a strange time to take a holiday but it was actually really nice to have something to look forward to once all the Christmas decorations were packed away and going off-season meant that there were no queues and crowds of tourists everywhere. Flights and hotels are also a lot cheaper - I ended up paying around £140 for flights (EasyJet) and four nights in a 3* hotel which is half of what I've paid for European mini-breaks in the summer.

It was quite cold but now way near as bad as London is right now! I never, ever wear trousers so while I might have been a little cold in my shorts and skirts I was very good and stuck to sensible flat shoes which was definitely a good decision as I walked absolutely everywhere! I love walking around a new city, it's the best way to soak up the atmosphere and means that I can try a few of the local treat foods as I know I've already burnt them off with all the walking!

Here are my highlights:

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The view from the top of the bell tower. If you do visit the Duomo - go up the bell tower rather than the dome, it's much cheaper and practically the same view!

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The Ponte Vecchio. Such a pretty bridge packed with tiny jewelry shops.

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Pisa is one hour by train from Florence. Worth it for a chance to take the standard tourist picture.

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Outside Puccini's house in Lucca.

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Warming up with real Italian hot chocolate (I had to eat it with the spoon as it was too thick to drink!) after a day's sightseeing.

Have you been to Florence? What's your favourite mini-break destination?
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Monday, 6 February 2012

Be My Valentine: GlossyBox

After 4 hours of buses, planes and trains to get back from a quite cold Florence to a omg-its-totally-freezing-cold London, I was greeting with a rather nice home-coming treat: February's GlossyBox.

I use the empty boxes to store some of my make-up collection so I love how this one is a lovely shade of hot pink. As soon as I opened the box (carefully keeping the heart sticker intact) I straightaway preferred this box to the last one I received (November's) as its much more make-up based. I've never paid for a GlossyBox with my own money so I find it a little odd how bloggers complain about freebies but there did seem to be some quite harsh reviews of November's. Personally I prefer the contents of this one but its inherent in the whole concept of these boxes that some are going to be "better" than others as you're not choosing the products or the shades yourself (the RayBox might be a better option if you want complete control over the products you receive).

My box:

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1. Eyeko Skinny Eyeliner - I received this in Emerald Green which is a very wearable change from my usual black liner. The design of the pencil looks really sleek but I'm not sure what the purpose of the thin metal tip is - at first I thought if was to smudge the product with but I don't think that that would even work! Oh well, it's a nice eyeliner anyway.

2. Orly Nail Lacquer - I received this in Ruby which is a deep, blood red. I like the minature-sized bottle as I never manage to use up a whole bottle of nail polish before it goes all weird and gloopy. I like how I can wear this shade to work unlike the lime green polish that appeared in one of the earlier boxes and I'm excited to try a new brand.

3. Weleda One Step Cleaner and Toner - I've never used Weleda before but the packaging and product look expensive and have quite a "medical" look. The product has a strong, herbal scent which I wasn't expecting at all but as it contains natural ingredients I'm not worried about it making my skin freak out. I'll probably save this for a weekend away as all my other cleaners breach the 100ml allowance for flights.

4. Fab Gentle Body Wash - I always browse this brand in Boots, the packing and idea behind it is really different, so I was really happy to receive this in the box. I love trying out different shower products and this sounds like it will be really gentle on my dry winter skin. It doesn't have much of a fragrance so probably isn't one for you if you like heavily scented shower products.

5. Murad Skin Perfecting Primer - Murad is a brand that I don't know much about but as I'm currently obsessed with my Benefit primer I was really looking forward to trying this one. It promises a dewy finish which is something new for me although with the weather we've been having lately my usually shiny skin is really dry so probably could do with a dewy finish to perk it up a bit. I tried a bit of this on my hand and was disappointed to see that it comes out super-dark...I've read that it doesn't show once its applied and rubbed in though. Hopefully this is the case or it might be one that gets passed on to my mum!

What did you think of the February box? And do you prefer more make-up based or skincare-based boxes?
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Friday, 3 February 2012

Out Of Office Autoreply

It's a weekday morning and rater than sitting in my office, I'm still in my PJs watching This Morning - bliss! I had some holiday that needed using up so have ended up having a week and a half off work. I went to Florence for 5 days which was lovely and had a few days just chilling and doing my own thing. I've felt like a student again, only without endless essays and case lists to read. Despite the freezing weather and it being a bit of an odd time of year to have time off, I've really enjoyed having a bit of me-time.

Here's what I've been up to:

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1 - 2: Afternoon tea at Drink, Shop & Do. DSD is one of my favourite London chill out spots. The staff are super friendly and don't rush you out, the range of teas are amazing (I had a pot of Bakewell tea - yummy!) and there are retro board games to play. I went for a friend's birthday where we had a selection of cakes and lots of chit-chat.

3: I've joined a book club at work and these are our first two books. I've never read Virginia Woolf before and have to say that I'm struggling to get into "To The Lighthouse" but it's nice to read something different.

4: A belated Christmas gift from Aussie. My unobservant self didn't even realise that it had my name on the bottle until I saw other Angels mention it! Duh.

5: Experimenting with a new hairstyle as part of my Aussie challenge. I can't go too crazy with my hair at work but this alice band is super quick and perfectly office-suitable.

6: Hair bands, spin pins and socks from a little Primark spree. I can only face Primark on weekdays so needed to stock up!

7 - 9: I'm obsessed with noodles at the moment. Wagamama mint chicken soba, Tossed chili prawn noodles and BananaTree chicken noodles.

What do you get up to on days off? And does anyone have any recommendations for my next noodle fix?
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