Tuesday, 29 July 2008

TRENDS - Check it Out!

Check this out ladies. The latest print to be plastered all over our favourite celeb's clothing is checked. Lumberjack or tartan is up to you, I favour the lumberjack style a la Agyness Deyn, although Dolce & Gabbana have gone all out tartan for the autumn, just check any of their latest glossy adverts.

Here are some best buys...

Check Print Shirt - Primark - £10

Primark is a must for check print dresses and shirts right now. About £8 to £10 for a shirt and around £12 to £15 for a dress. Less than a round at the bar and that can't be bad!

Monday, 28 July 2008

MOST WANTED - Karen Millen Signature Chain Bracelet

Signature chain bracelet - Karen Millen at House of Fraser

Simple silver jewellery is a classic and timeless addition to a woman's wardrobe. I love chunky bracelets and necklaces and this particluar bracelet is gorgeous. It borrows from the iconic Tiffany styling in many ways, and is just as pretty on the eye. This large interlocking link bracelet has a logo carabiner clasp for fastening

Friday, 25 July 2008

PRODUCT OF THE WEEK - Evolving Body Balm

I had not really realised before testing this product, quite how big the Badger Balm range is. Let me tell you; it has something for everything and everyone.

The Evolving Body Balm is lighter bodied than many of the balms and is made up largely of organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, with a subtle scent of rose and honey. It is designed for wrinkles crinkles and shrinkles and is great for the under eye area and for preventing wrinkles and stretchmarks.

I applied the balm to the under eye area just before bed to allow it to really sink it. Skin feels really refreshed, but smoother and even toned by morning. Even my boyfriend has tried it and is impressed. His skincare regime would usually have consisted of a shower and shave but he has been asking for this product which really is a credit to its effects.

You can of course apply to the whole face, and to areas which are prone to stretchmarks. My only recommendation is to buy the big tub; you will be able to use it all over.

You can buy Badger Balms at Ecotopia.co.uk . This website is a must for all things natural, eco friendly and organic and they have recently re-vamped the website to provide an even bigger range and an even better shopping experience.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

HINTS, TIPS, TRICKS - Festival Survival

Photo Credit: ficknoster on flickr.com

  • Don't wear what Kate Moss wears. The celebs have luxuries that the mere mortal does not, so keep your outfit practical.
  • Have a meeting place. This is essential as you could walk round for 2 days before you find a friend.
  • Remember the suncream and reapply often. It is so easy to forget how long you have been in the sun. Or if possible opt for a hat that will shade your face.
  • Hand sanitiser is a must, along with toilet roll and wet wipes. I don't need to explain the reasons for taking these. Bottles of water for rinsing things off is also useful.
  • Leave the valuables at home. The less you have with you, the less there is to get lost or stolen.
  • Try clear wellies and wear some funky socks underneath, that way you can team with your outfit for a quirky edge.
Check out this video for tips on what to wear...

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

TRENDS - Sweet Sorbet Shades

Aqua, lemon, jade, lilac and pink. According to Vogue magazine, Galliano and Dior's frocks were full of the heavenly hues. Somewhere between pastels and brights is where you should be aiming. The colours take inspiration from the block colours that have been key to trends for the last few months, but these shades are toned down and sweeter.

Monday, 21 July 2008

MOST WANTED - Mischa Barton Tote Bag

Debenhams is stocking the new range of vintage inspired handbags by Mischa Barton. I love the detailing on this tote bag. And it is practical too. Dual handles help to spread the weight of its contents, and there are useful compartments for storing all the essentials. Plus Mischa is a bit of a style icon, so she is perfectly qualified to have a range of accessories.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

DESIGNER - Emma Gordon

Emma Gordon designs beautiful bags which are all handmade and sold from her fabulous website. The business was established in 2003 and Emma continues to make each piece herself from start to finish ensuring a great finish. You won't see her bags mass produced and on the arm of any old woman.

There are bags for everyday use or for special occasions, and the ranges take inspiration from all things ladylike. Perhaps you would even like to take advantage of the one-off made to order service. Vogue and Heat have already featured Emma Gordon bags so get in there quick and get yours.

Emma says; "My bags are quirky, girly and suitable for everyday use as well as special occasions. I team pretty fabrics with contrasting trims and add buttons, bows and frills to achieve that feminine style."

Get 20% off today. Enter 'summersale' at the checkout.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

TIPS - Dressing for the Unexpected

What to wear when it rains in July. This is the problem that most women in Britain are currently faced with.

The key is layers! The British summer is unpredictable to say the very least, which is why you always need to be prepared. A few days ago for example, it was pouring with rain which is not the weather we expect in July. I wore a light scarf to make a makeshift hood to protect me from looking like a drowned rat. Umbrellas are all well and good, but when the wind is strong they are plain useless!

So back to layers... belted cardigans over vests and shirts are great as they can be discarded when things hot up. I tend to wear a vest under a shirt as it means I can catch a few rays on my lunch break (when the sun appears). As for shoes, if like me you have plenty, then there is no harm keeping a pair in the office and wearing more comfortable ones to walk to and from. It is also an idea to keep some in the car if you drive, I also keep a hoodie in there in case the weather turns, and I am stuck outside, or even worse if I break down somewhere.

If you opt for a skirt and are not sure whether to wear the tights or not, I would say wear them. You can always take them off later. I would also recommend keeping a hairbrush or comb and hairbands in your handbag at all times. That way, if it rains you can make yourself look presentable. If you are caught in a downpour and end up with frizzy hair, hand cream can be used (sparingly) to smooth down fly aways in a sleek ponytail.

In some countries they really don’t have this problem, but in England we are not so lucky. Forget trying to predict the weather before you walk out the door and prepare for every eventuality.

Related Posts:
TIPS - Dressing for a Promotion
NO NO - Peep Toe Boots
HATS - Beret Nice Too

Sunday, 13 July 2008

VIDEO - Interview with Lulu Guinness

Legendary handbag designer Lulu Guinness talks about the history of her bags and current trends. Courtesy of Handbag.com

Friday, 11 July 2008


If you haven't heard about the FitFlop yet then you must have been living under a rock. The response to these shoes has been huge; some styles have a waiting list of thousands. Liv Tyler and Jennifer Garner are said to have them. So of course, I had to give them a try.

I bought the Walkstar which retail at around £36. More than I would usually pay for a flip flop admittedly, but these are not your average flip flop. The manufacturers claim that these shoes will increase muscle activity which will tone and trim the legs. Not only that, they suggest that they will improve circulation, balance, posture and burn extra calories. There are not many women who would turn an offer like that that down.These claims are built upon the multi-density midsole which stimulates muscles in the legs and bottom with every step.

When I first tried on my FitFlops, I was impressed by how incredibly comfortably they fit my foot. I have had physio on my feet and ankles in the past and these shoes supported my foot in all the right places. They don't look perfect, but they are a vast improvement on MBTs and any other walking sandals I have come across. So next was to take them on a proper road test over the course of 10 days.

Thursday - 4 hours walking around Howletts zoo
Usually after walking for this amount of time the balls of my feet would really ache. My heels would also be sore but in the FitFlops, I had no soreness at all.

Friday - 2 hours sightseeing and 2 hours shopping
Rather than give my feet a rest, the following day it was straight into the next test. Again my feet felt comfortable, even speeding round Lakeside. A slight blister on my toe was sorted out with a handy plaster.

Saturday - 2 hour walk
I left the car at home on Saturday and walked to and from town. Down hill on the way there which was a breeze. Walking home was a bit tougher though. The incline is where you feel the effects of the FitFlop. My muscles were quite sore after the uphill part of my walk, and I felt like I probably burnt more calories than if I had been wearing trainers.

Monday - All day at Chessington World of Adventures
Another day on my feet and still my feet feel great. I even managed to keep the FitFlops on while my feet dangled on one of the roller coasters. This was a really hot day and the shoes did not rub me at all which was a relief.

Tuesday - 1 hour brisk walk in the park
It is harder to walk very fast in these shoes than it is in trainers. My toes did feel a little sore after this walk because I was trying to go faster than you would normally walk in flip flops. My ankles and soles where fine though.

Saturday - 9 hours at the Mighty Boosh festival
I started the festival in my trainers, but once I discovered the ground was dry it was straight back to the car for my FitFlops. Most of the day was spent on my feet and waking up on Sunday the balls of my feet showed no sign at all of the strain from the day before. I was amazed!

I am convinced that these FitFlops are the most comfortable shoes on the planet. To what extent they can be credited for toning muscles is debatable. The one thing I would say is that comfortable footwear allows you to work out harder, and for longer, so in that respect they can only help burn calories. If you tend to walk a lot in the summer these are a must. Feet are cooler and can breathe while working out at the same time. I will be wearing mine to and from work for the foreseeable future.

See the full range here

Thursday, 10 July 2008

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK - Unique-Vintage.com

Unique-Vintage brings fashion forward from the past
Pulling off vintage-inspired clothes takes more than good ol’ fashion sense; It takes the help of an impeccably put-together collection of unique finds that are classic without being kitschy, easy on your wallet, and don’t smell like your grandma’s closet.

That is where Unique-Vintage.com comes in handy. For anyone with the slightest love of retro, mod and old Hollywood glamour, shopping at web-store owner Katie Echeverry’s vintage-inspired clothing Mecca is like being a kid in a candy store.

Unique-Vintage.com items include 1920's flapper style dresses, 1930's inspired bias-cut red carpet dresses, 1950's style swing dresses and pin up bathing suits as well as 1960's style mod dresses. For added bling, modern day and vintage accessories are also available. Yet despite the influence of these indelible eras, Echerverry’s items all have a hip and timeless flair that are perfect for the modern fashionista...and are not available at your local department store!

Whether you’re looking for a knock ‘em dead evening dress, a classic wedding gown or you simply desire to set yourself apart from the “off the rack” set, Unique-Vintage.com beats sifting through flea markets for that perfect piece. Log onto http://www.unique-vintage.com/ to view their entire collection.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

TRENDS - In the Nude

Photo Credit: Pablo Resoalbe_ Pvlx on flickr.com

In terms of cosmetics, the nude look is great for summer, and very 'this season'. This is a relief for anyone going on holiday to warm destinations, as it can take far less effort than full on slap.

Photo Credit: Simon Pais-Thomas on flickr.com

The base is the most important part here, concealer should be used, and a light foundation or tinted moisturiser to cover any flaws. A peachy blush is all that is needed for the cheeks. Choose a creamy eyeshadow, or one close to your natural skin tone, with a slight shimmer to brighten the eye area. Mascara should be kept to one coat, so that lashes are long, separated but subtle. You can even try lining inside the lower lid with a white eyeliner to make eyes appear more open. Lips can be left with just a slick of gloss, or lashings of lip balm. And all this should take less than 10 minutes to do; perfect for busy people like me.

Photo Credit: igorms on flickr.com

Team with natural hair, straightened but not overly sleek. I would suggest straightening and then lightly spraying with hair spray and ruffling with your fingers. This stops it from being too prim.

Monday, 7 July 2008

MOST WANTED - Wallet with Gift Bow

Maison Martin Margiela Wallet with Bow - Browns Fashion - £220

Imagine the delight of opening your bag to this gift bow wallet every day. I love the original detail and only wish I could afford it. I would have preferred a colour with a bit more excitement, but there is no denying this is a little treat. Of course, it is 100% leather, and I think that being well used would only add to its charm.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

VIDEO - Make up Tutorials by Lauren Luke

Lauren Luke has become a sensation on YouTube simply by uploading makeup tutorial videos. They are great for getting inspiration and Lauren loves to experiment with colour. If you fancy copying the latest celebrity look then these videos show you how. See the feature below that appeared on BBC's Inside Out below...

Check out the videos on YouTube.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

EVENT - Memory Lane Retro Fair

The whole world's going retro!

The demand for vintage fashion has been overwhelming for sometime but it seems that retro fashion is not enough. Not only is it trendy to be seen wearing a look from days gone by but nowadays nothing is more 'de rigeur' than to furnish one's home in a fashionably retro style and you know when a style is "in" when Ikea try to copy it! From shouting "chuck out your chintz!" Ikea have recently been seen to not only embrace chintz once more but also a myriad of other retro designs from "antique" monogrammed cushions to 60s-style moulded swivel armchairs.

But why buy modern Scandinavian copies when you can get the original items with all their attention to detail and design? There is no need to trek to a vast warehouse on the outskirts of town to pick up a cheap imitation when the real thing is available in the heart of Chelsea. Memory Lane retro fair will have fifty dealers selling everything from fifties furniture to fab lighting as well as more vintage fashion and accessories to compliment it all.

Memory Lane retro fair
Chelsea Town Hall, King's Road, Chelsea, London SW3 5EZ. Tel. 020 7254 4054
Nearest tube: Sloane Sq., South Kensington
Sunday 13th July
Open 11am - 5.30pm Admission £4 (students with valid ID £2) Accompanied under 16s free

Visit the website for more details

Friday, 4 July 2008

PRODUCT OF THE WEEK - Raw Chocolate Face Pack

There are not many people who dislike chocolate. So the appeal of this product from Raw Gaia, is destined to be universal. In addition it is organic, vegan, chemical free and completely natural. The manufacturers promise that it will gently cleanse and promote a smooth and glowing complexion. Yes please!

Ingredients include organic cold pressed cocoa powder, sun-dried red clay, organic turmeric powder and organic amla fruit powder. That makes for a whole lot of natural goodness. Raw Gaia have developed a low temperature process which means all of their products retain maximum levels of anti-oxidants and vitamins. So I had to try it out...

The powder needs to be mixed with water to make a thick paste. Then you cover your face in the delicious smelling mixture. I used the back of a teaspoon, which saved me from getting too messy. Once on, I left it for a good ten minutes. The worse part was having to smell the lovely chocolate aroma and not being able to eat it.

Once the face pack started to dry, I washed it off. The dryer bits exfoliated as I rubbed and rinsed my face. After use, my skin felt soft and smooth and remained so for a couple of days. My sister also tried the product, and her face was sun burnt at the time. Usually, applying products to sore skin would sting and irritate, but she found this face mask to be quite refreshing. The natural ingredients were incredibly gentle but still gave great results. Skin was left moisturised and nourished.

I would most definitely recommend the product for an indulgent treat. It is also a perfect gift for a chocoholic friend as it really does smell divine. The best part of all though, is that you get your chocolate fix without ever consuming a calorie!

Check out the full Raw Gaia range here...

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

TIPS - Happy Feet: How to Care for Them

happy feetPhoto Credit: akirsa on flickr.com

A summer of baring your feet can take its toll. They are often one of the most neglected areas of the body. Why not take notice, they do a lot of hard work. They have to take the weight of the body all the time, and then we punish them on a night out with stilettos.

  • Keep feet flexible, by circling and pointing each morning. Some stretches get your joints ready for the day.
  • Use a foot grater... Sounds unpleasant but is really good for the tough skin on the soles of the feet. Also invest in a good foot moisturiser and apply overnight whilst wearing cotton socks.
  • Keep your toenails trimmed. It is hygienic and avoids ingrown toe nails and other nasties. Painted toes always look nicer than natural too. My favourite shade at the moment is vibrant orange.Very summery.
  • A foot massage can be a really good way to relax. Rope in your other half, or get a pedicure and have a professional pamper your tootsies.
  • Alternate your heels and flats. Wearing one style all the time is bad for your feet and posture. Don't wear the same shoes all the time, and make sure you give your feet a break now and then.
  • If you think you are wearing bad shoes, try out some FitFlops. I have found them to be really comfortable, and extremely supportive for my feet and joints.I can walk further in them than I can in trainers.
  • Use Talcum powder between your toes after a bath or shower. It eliminates moisture which can help get rid of bacteria.

Related Posts:
TIPS - Run it Right Marathon Tricks
TIPS - Keep Your Cool
PRODUCT - FitFlops

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

TRENDS - Super Seventies

It is funny how certain trends evolve into something new. The nautical look that has been ever present on numerous shop floors, has lent itself to a seventies style too. Think - High waisted, wide leg denim... flouncy blouses... little waistcoats... bangles.

The other look that fits well within this scheme is the maxi dress. They were in abundance last summer, and you can get a few more uses out of your dress this season too. Make sure it has a great bold print; floral, bright or arty and team with some gladiator sandals or wedges. Throw on some long, layered necklaces and you are done! The perfect trend for summer festivals.

Check out some of my finds for this look...