Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Autumn red in American Apparel

Top - All Saints, Bag - Russell and Bromley (Ebay), Necklace - charity shop.
I'd picked up this bright red pleated skirt on two separate occasions in American apparel before finally giving in and deciding to try it on. I don't usually suit pleated skirts but the moment I tried it on, I fell in love. I couldn't fault anything about it. The shortness of it really flattered my petite frame and the high waist stayed high and true to size, unlike some skirts which fall down below the waist on me. I had to give American apparel 10/10 for getting the fit right. 

What attracts me most to American Apparel is their great quality, 'made in America' products, but for an ethical, non student friendly price tag of £46, the next 20 minutes consisted of me sitting on a bench mentally writing a pro's and con's list in my head. You know that feeling when you just have to have something and technically you can afford it but you know deep down you really shouldn't because of other food, rent a.k.a. important things in life. 

 Finally and thankfully after realizing the above, I decided against it! Instead a week later I found solace in Ebay. The exact same red American Apparel skirt in a brand new condition was up for auction on Ebay UK, I nabbed it for no more than £19 including postage saving me more than 50%. It is always worth checking Ebay before committing to buy. A lot of people get put off by the idea it was someone's before or feel like it's too much hassle, but although there are risks Ebay guarantee's your money back if an item is not as described.

Surprisingly we've been having warmish weather up North these past few weeks so this was the outfit (with a thick cardigan on top) I wore for going into town. I think it screams Cher from Clueless or maybe Blair Waldorf from gossip girl, but I like a good throwback fashion icon. 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Laura Mercier eye palette review

I never thought I could get bored with Naked palettes but I guess the saying goes 'too much of a good thing'...

Anyway as much as I still love my trusty Naked palettes I wanted to add something a little different and a bit more daring to the mix. Enter, Laura Mercier Artist palette! The 12 eye shadows are encased in a plush crocodile effect case with  large compact mirror. This palette has been out a few months and was initially a Spring palette but I personally think these colours are perfect for all seasons, especially Autumn. The palette also comes with 1 mini eye caviar stick in the shade Cocoa, and a mini Laura Mercier black mascara, great for a travelling small makeup bag like mine.

Of course Laura Mercier isn't the cheapest of makeup brands and at the time I was lucky enough to take advantage of a hefty discount. Originally this makeup palette would cost £60, which is pretty steep, but if you're passionate about eye shadows and palettes then it's definitely worth it. When it comes to buying makeup I try to wait until the big department stores do price matches. For instance if you're a student in the UK, House of Fraser give a 10% student discount online, which is okay but if you wait until the 20% discount price matches come on (quite often) then you can combine discounts and get 30% off.

The shades in the palette are a varied mix of dark blue's, warm browns and frosty purples and pinks. I've been using it for the past few weeks as my 'go to' palette whilst commuting between the north and south, taking me from daytime casual to smoky nights. I particularly like the combination of the top right 4 matte shades. I don't often wear colour on my lids but this palette makes experimenting with smoky blues and purples very easy, I've mastered the perfect soft and smoky purple eye now!

All 12 shades are very pigmented and feel smooth on the skin making them very easy to blend with no fallout or chalkiness, even the shimmery ones. 'Buttercream' is the shade I mostly highlight with on the brow bone because it's a very light matte colour that sharpens up any day eye look.

 For the perfect 'daytime nude' transition shade I use ginger as its just a tad darker than my skin tone and compliments 'Cafe Au Lait' and 'Buttercream' very well.  

Daimond Pink is very similar to naked 3's 'Dust' shade, I use this on the inner corners of my eye to brighten things up a bit. Sable is a sheeny grey colour and I use this mostly as a transition shade to blend out the purple's and blue's to soften a smoky eye. 

When it comes to 'Deep Night' and 'Noir' I still can't decipher the difference, apart from 'Deep Night' is perhaps a slightly more vibrant blue?

 If I were to improve anything in this palette it would be taking 'Noir' out and replacing it with either a matte black or a shimmery black/blue. Apart from that I absolutely love it!


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

New Uni room, Tips and Tricks.

The summer holidays have officially ended for me and it's back to Manchester for my second year of Uni and to find a new job. After a few days of settling in, I thought I'd show you the progress of my room so far and give out my tips on how to make the most of your Uni room whether it be house or dorm room. 

This year I have a double bed which is amazing! I only remembered a few days before moving so I'm using an old duvet cover set my Mum gave me for the time being, although I actually quite like it. Fairy lights and photo collages are new to me but they make my bedroom feel cozy and add a boost of homeliness. My Mum bought these fairy lights from Cornwall as an early Birthday present, they come as standard fairy lights but then you can choose which coloured woven balls to add on, mine are a mix to play around with. Another new thing to me in this bedroom is my luxurious soft woolen throw. I fell in love with the colour so we bought it on my last week of owning my John Lewis discount. I'm making a conscious decision to take good care of it as it's great quality but easy to snag.

It's still not quite finished as I have quite a lot of stuff that needs to be stored away neatly in the wardrobe but it's getting there! 

Now for some bedroom tips....

1. Often enough your new Uni room may be smaller than what your currently used to at home. This room although lovely is quite small and don't even get me started on my dorm room last year although credit has to be given to Man Met uni for fitting the Cambridge Halls dorms with excellent storage space. The only thing you can do is make the most of the space you have. Buy some cheap Ikea fabric storage boxes to keep under wear and leggings in if there isn't draws available. 

2. A full length mirror is a must. Wardrobe and hair decisions are a whole lot easier when you know exactly what you look like head to toe. Pick up a cheap one from your local second hand shop or from trusty Wilko's. 

3. Just for me personally I like to have my jewellery on show because I always forget to wear it and am too lazy to go searching through little boxes to find things. Above on my desk is my earring holder from Urban Outfitters and in the second photo hanging on my mirror is another necklace holder, it just makes things more convenient to grab on the go. Also if you've been following me on Instagram you'll know draw separators have helped me out loads with organizing makeup.

4. The dilemma of where to hang your towel and dressing gown when your new room doesn't come with hooks? Adhesive hooks are now my best friend for rented houses. £1.99 for 5 from Wilkinsons, I've used them to hang my fairy lights and on my door and wall for my towel. The Landlord has said we can get them to put permanent hooks in at a later date so these will do for now just to make floor space and to make everything look a bit neater.

5. Own polish and be sure to hoover. Pests love dirt. 

6. Get something that smells nice in your room. Student accommodation can tend to have this lingering damp smell that just wont go away. I battle it with Yankee candles but if you're forbidden to light candles then opt for a scented diffuser. They sell those every where now, Asda do them for £3.

7. Completely dependable on your financial situation and room space but I find owning your own printer is a God send. The pay off compared to printing off your documents in the library is so much better, I feel like I saved a lot of money last year owning one. I picked up mine from Tesco for around £25 and I get cheaper Ink in Wilko's. Good old Wilko's. 

Good luck to those of you starting or going back to University this year wherever you may be and have fun! Let me know what you're Uni bedroom essentials and tips are below in the comments section! :) 


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Vintage leather and German market jewellery

The Autumn months are quickly coming upon us and after reading about all the fantastic new trends in fashion magazines it can sometimes leave us feeling very unfashionable at the prospect of not being able to buy all you desire. Welcome to the world of fast fashion. My best advice would be, before spending all that student overdraft or wages on a new wardrobe of outfits, take a look at what you already have? Dig through winter storage, find new ways of wearing things, polish and re-heel those old knee high boots, you might be surprised at what you find, I know I was...   

Whilst going through mine and my mum's shared vacuum packs of clothes I found this vintage leather jacket of hers. Bought as a gift for her 16th birthday, it reminds me of the jacket Michelle Pfeiffer's character wore in 'Dangerous minds' aka the woman in Coolio's 'Gangsters paradise' music video. Classic tune.

 In previous years when I've tried it on, it always seemed rather unflattering, but then, as a skinny teenager in the 00's anything masculine/baggy would look unflattering on me in my mind, especially when my main fashion concern during high school was to somehow magically create cleavage from virtually non existent boobs. Yeah, so glad those days are over.

Back to the present! Now that I embrace bigger fitting clothes I decided to try it on again, just to see if I'd finally grown into it's style. It was a Eureka moment. Although it's a very masculine style of jacket it works well over a mini shift dress. The only way I can describe it, is it sort of brings the 90's and 60's together in a Mod/grunge look. I think the key to pulling off a big leather jacket is to keep the rest of the outfit in a neutral palette which is why I paired it with this simple jumper dress from H&M.

I can tell this dress is going to be my favourite Autumn/winter piece, I've been wearing it everywhere! It also looks quite chic with simple jewellery. This matching set of leather and silver only cost me £15 in the Manchester German market last month. If you love jewellery and want something different from what the high street has to offer, I highly suggest going along city market stalls to find hand crafted stuff.


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Hungarian Haul: Kata's things

Following my Sziget post from last week, I've now finally got all my Hungarian accessories together in one place. Before these lovely finds, I had been searching for what seemed like forever trying to find really unique and interesting home made jewellery. 

The pink stoned earrings and the red and blue tribal earrings are from a native american stall that we found at the festival, I was coerced into buying them whilst quite drunk...actually I bought all of these in a not so sober state of mind. Take from that what you will. 

The other earrings and hair clips are all handmade by this lovely Hungarian woman named Kata, she uses resin and enamel to create these beautiful earrings. The crescent chandelier earrings below are perhaps my favourite, they remind me of one of my 60's style icons Edie Sedgwick. The burnt orange colour catches the light perfectly.  

I don't often wear decorative hair clips anymore, but I do wear curby grips. Seeing these cute hair clips were a sort of renaissance for me, so I ended up buying 6 pairs of clips (one for my mum). I'd temporarily lost one of the pale blue clips but it has been found now. 

I was such a good customer to Kata she gave me some heavy discounts. I've learned that if you want to buy a few things at a festival wait until the last night because it will all either be on sale or the'll give you discounts if you buy so much just to get rid of it all. 

Kata's normal online retail price for her earrings are around 7 - 10 euros each, of course with the discounts and Hungarian Forint exchange rate I paid a little less.

If you would like to check out Kata's stuff then you can find her at