I can blame poor planning, indecision and hastiness (who knew they came together?), a peculiar life view on 'what's right for me' and a lack of technical savvy, but all bring us to the same point: I have been without the internet for three weeks, and look set to extend this for numerous weeks to come.
So, I must embrace the Blogger app. On the train.
*fear of effort spent and wasted following potential failure of app, the possibility of which seems likely given the proliferation of average Blogger app reviews noise* (whatever that sounds like)
Anyway. I need to post and it needs to be now, so it's falls to writing about what's on me that I love.
1. Maxfactor Lipfinity lip tint in 01
This is the exact shade my lips should be and gets around the fact that all I've ever sought in life (lip-wise, at least) is a natural looking lip that's just a bloody great colour. Great for pale girls and anyone seeking a rosy pink pout. Will repurchase!
2. Nars American Dream eye shadow palette
L.O.V.E. This was a gift and I would *never* have picked a palette with a bluey-grey, brown, gold and pink yet I can't get enough of it. Maria V knows me better than I know myself! Get it!
3. Maybelline Colossal Cat Eyes mascara
If it's mascara and it's not Maybelline, I'm sceptical. For me, nobody does it better, and each new release is better than the last. Happy to admit I'll be selling out to the next brush/formulation but there's no maybe about it: it'll definitely be Maybelline!
4. Molton Brown Cheek Bloom in Peach
Another Maria V gift and love the natural glow. I don't even know if they still make this, but as I'm running out, it may be a good time to check!
And I called the 'The Beauty Lite'? *aching typing thumb noise*
So, for your viewing pleasure, here are my birthday makeup treats. I've never had this many boxes all at once, and looking at it all lined up makes me feel very lucky indeed!
The beauty haul (see what I did there?) in all it's resplendent glory.
The compacts. Nars American Dream eyeshadow palette and Chanel bronzing power in Desert Coral
From left to right: Nars American Dream, Chanel Safari and Ivory
How beautiful are these colours? I can't wait to do a smokey eye with these shades. This is also my first Nars compact and I can't stop touching it: the rubberized packaging is divine.
Next, the Chanel monos. I was stunned at how beautiful the two looked together. The artist washed Ivory all over the lid and put Safari along the lashline from about half way across my eye and up through the crease about the same distance, then blended out. It's such a stunning day look, and one I'll be testing in the office tomorrow.
Now for the essence of luxe packaging. Hannah rightly noted that this bad boy is exactly what you want to pull out for touch-ups on the go!
This is perhaps the stand out product of the lot for me: the Chanel bronzing powder in Desert Coral. I asked the artist to concentrate on contouring if possible, as being very pale, I can never find a powder light enough to look natural. This is absolutely *perfect*, and has single-handedly revived my passion for Chanel makeup. Love the beautiful sand-scape on the powder, too.
A change from my usual black eyeliner: Chanel's Berry Precision Eye Definer.
There's a tiny bit of shimmer to really enhance the rich plum shade.
Moving on to nails with Nars' Storm Bird nail varnish. I adore the colour (it looks much more shiny on) but am sadly struggling with the texture. Three coats before it's opaque and it feels a little chalky. I'll persevere as it's too beautiful not to!
The final product has slipped very easily into daily use already: Nars' Velvet Gloss lip pencil in New Lover. This is a perfect natural, everyday pink and lasts really well, with all the shine of a gloss and none of the goop. I was stunned that this kind of texture could come from a pencil, and it's so handy to toss into your handbag. I anticipate many more purchases in various shades!
There are a few more skin products but these are the prettiest to behold. Thank you, girls, for making this a very beautiful birthday!
So, what have I been buying? It's fair to say I've been on a serious purchasing sabbatical of late, and I can't quite pinpoint the reasons why. I've been trying to be less frivolous with money, and combined with what's seemed like a total lack of time, getting back into the shopping groove has proved challenging. All this changed when Mum took me shopping this weekend and insisted on helping me rediscover my mojo. Here are a few of my favourite new things:
I'm obsessed with skulls, and after I featured these Zara pumps in my 'Must Haves', well, I had to have them!
My birthday is fast approaching, and this gorgeous grey pearl ring from Links of London will mark the occasion. Hurry up, 17 August, and then I can wear it!
The reason for trying it now is that I'm on a bit of Mavala bender at the moment. I've fallen hook, line and sinker for the cuticle remover, and now I'm trialling the hardner in the hope of combating my slightly flaking tips (damn you, Seche Vite!)
The Elle Orange was created alongside the Elle Grey and Red to celebrate the magazine's birthday last year. I remember hoping for the grey, but as a subscriber, the choice was out of my hands. Maybe bitterness and resentment were factors in not trying it!
Absolutely love this!
Unfortunately, as Elle Orange was a limited edition, it's no longer available. That said, it looks like their Nice polish would be a good substitute.
I'm so excited to try more of Mavala's shades. What are you favourites?
(That's what I like to say when I'm pleasantly surprised by something)
Why the surprise? I've spent half an hour scanning websites to decide which brand I should feature for this week's TFE. I went to Topshop, Miss Selfridge and River Island, and found myself completely uninspired by clothes photographed against a white background and not on a model. Asos and net-a-porter.com have set the bar so high (I know they're only online so they need to make the most of the platform, but it works so well), that I have to question why other brands don't at least get a model to actually wear what they're trying to flog. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling like this.
Anyway, that's not the point of this post. I ended up on the Warehouse site, and the frenzied click, click, save of so many images is what led me to the bottom-buttered biscuit situation (rest assured, the butter remains in the fridge: it's just an expression). I have not been into Warehouse in forever, and yet in my absence, it seems they've designed everything I've ever wanted. For example, I love leather. Hardly anyone on the high street has a decent selection of leather, yet Warehouse have some of the most beautifully stylish leather pieces I've seen since the world went cow-crazy a couple of seasons back and I spent months looking like something from an 80s tribute band.
So, this is something of a bloated edit. I'm telling myself that because Warehouse don't do shoes, you need to see double the amount of clothes. The rules have been broken, and I don't care. Warehouse: I'm in love.
|Belted shirt dress, £65|
|Cross back leather top, £75|
|Floral shorts, £25 reduced from £45|
|Fringe panel leather skirt, £90|
|Leather full skirt, £80|
|Long biker coat, £95|
|Micro pleat shirt, £48|
|Pleat panel leather dress, £140|
|Silk Ikat print jacket, £45|
|Simple clean shopper, £50|
|Stud front t-shirt, £40|
|Tejal scarf print skirt, £45|
|Zip back dress, £48|
|Zip back dress, £48|
|Zip pocket t-shirt, £18|
|From left to right: Volumising No Oil Oil, Bodifying Cream, Volumising Mousse, Texturising Spray, Dry Shampoo, Finishing Polish|
Cute marketing ploys aside, how do the products perform? The Volumising No Oil Oil is by far my favourite product in the range. It says it's for fine hair, but it copes pretty well with my thick locks, boosting volume and leaving my hair lovely and glossy. I use this with a ball of the mousse and there is no stickiness at all: just great height.
I love this photo - the packaging really is just beautiful.
What I've loved about these products is that they're so easy to use, and so portable. I've had the Finishing Polish in my bag since day one and whip it out whenever touch-ups are required. The dry shampoo has been used in the same way, but it isn't a challenger for Batiste's crown. The main selling point for me is that this kit is the perfect introduction to salon-performance products, that you may not use on an everyday basis, and all for £20 (see note above: not everything photographed here is in the asos kit). It's perfect for holidays, and perfect for when you just fancy a bit of a change.
Percy & Reed have also produced some brilliant demo videos to help you along in creating your new 'do. Here's the perfect blow dry made easy:
The kit is available here for £20 and you can view the rest of the videos here.
All images courtesy of style.com