Suede

I have been away all week with work and as nice as it can be to get a mini break -with all the luxuries you would expect on an all expenses paid trip, it’s still tiring and leaves you a little homesick.

Packing for these kind of trips is always a puzzle and even though I have been in England and dress pretty much as normal- the weather is temperamental and being away from home makes it difficult to change at the drop of a hat.

It was supposed to be a hot and sunny day this particular day…let’s just say that “hot” didn’t get the memo!

Suede has been such a big trend lately and I thought I would go the whole hog with this outfit.  Double suede, denim and leopard print? Sheer perfection.

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Jacket: Mango | Shirt: Zara | Culottes: H&M | Shoes: Matalan | Bag: Just Fab

Beauty Review: Insta Natural

I recently wrote a review for Insta Natural, a great US based brand, whose products are just fantastic.  I was lucky enough to bag a few more items and thought they were so good- I’d share them here with you!

The Vitamin C Moisturiser is a fantastic day cream, slightly gel like in texture and quite simply, a beautiful product.  I love how it soaks into the skin so quickly and leaves your skin feeling hydrated.  One fantastic point about all of the Insta Natural products is that a little goes a loooong way!  One tiny pump (as per the picture below) can d your entire face and the product is a pretty healthy size.  The only negative point I have is that the packaging is quite bulky.

The second product I am reviewing is the Rose Water Toner.  This is a fabulous multi-tasker of a product.  Not only is it a facial toner, but it can also be used in a bath to give a lovely rose scent and finally, it can be used to as a hair treatment.  Why can one product do so much?  This can be used on a cotton pad and just wiped all over the skin once cleansed.  The result is tightened and firmed skin, with a really clean feel.

The final product in this review is the Night Cream.  This is one of the most hydrating products I have ever used.  I did mix up the tubes one morning in a hurry and ended using this as a day cream- now, normally, night creams are quite heavy as they work over night to hydrate the skin; this product still sat beautifully under make up.  There was no peeling or flaking and when it cam time to remove my make up, my skin was still very hydrated.  I find that this cream is the kind of consistency you would expect for a cream without the weight.  I would say if you are in your mid to late 20’s this is definitely the time to start using anti ageing products.  This night cream is definitely a great place to start.  I have seen my skin become so much brighter over the past few weeks after using these products.

You can get your Ins Natural products here

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Summer in Spring

Happy Monday Everyone! I hope everybody had a great weekend, albeit a short one, roll on the next Bank Holiday! I told you all of the mini Heatwave we had here in the UK last week.  Temperatures soared to 25°C in London and for one day it felt like summer was here.  Legs out and floaty dresses all around…fast forward 5 days I’m back in a jacket and a light scarf. The weather was definitely toying with my emotions last week. Knowing the heat would only last a day I decided to take full advantage of it and went as summery as I could.  I saw this dress in H&M a few days before and knew I had to have it.  Considering it comes in at under £10 I would have been mad not to!  I feel so much better knowing that at least if we only got one decent day for the next few months, I got to wear this dress. image image image image image Dress: H&M | Jacket: Primark | Heels and Bag: H&M

Heatwave

I was really stuck when coming up with a name for this post.  I thought of things including masculine tailoring, spring, colour blocking to name a few but if I’m honest the only thing I want to talk about is the mini heatwave we are having in the UK!

22°C yesterday and today is set to be hotter…why oh why am I stuck in an office when there is so little time to enjoy the sun!?  There are pub gardens waiting for me and my legs are begging to see the sun :)

I love some masculine tailoring and these slacks are definitely a summer staple in my wardrobe.  Oversized trenches are everywhere at the moment, but I love this variation, in the form of a waterfall waistcoat.  Being a smaller girl, a trench can drown my tiny frame, so this waistcoat still has the same look with half the fabric.  After all,  with the heat wave, who wants to be bogged down with loads of clothes?!

Have a great week everyone!

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Waistcoat: Topshop | Top: Primark | Slacks: Miss Selfridge | Shoes: Matalan | Bag: Vintage

Something Dark

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Jacket: Mango | T-Shirt: New Look | Skirt and Bag: ASOS | Heels: Primark

First of all…Apologies for taking last week off! I have been super busy with work and unfortunately that meant that my blog had to suffer a little neglect.

The sun has been put recently and although it hasn’t been baking hot, you can tell summer is just around the corner!  I love to get feminine pieces with some edge.  Normally I would pick out the lighter tones in a skirt with this many colours but this time I thought go dark! The darker tones twist these florals into something more edgy.  Don’t you love a trend that can multitask!

Have a great week everyone x

Vintage

I have never been one to go out and buy vintage pieces, they just always seem to find me.  One of the joys of having a woman on your life who has preserved some of her most amazing fashion pieces and decides to give them to you (winning!)

This full length tweed skirt is not only vintage but it is a one of a kind, making it even more special.  This look reminds me of those old English country hunting styles.  Tweed just screams old Britain! All I need is a lovely country estate and the rolling fields in front of me.

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Hat and Shirt: H&M | Skirt and Bag: Vintage | Shoes: Bank

My London: Bad Jews Theatre Review

I recently went to see Bad Jews at the Arts Theatre in London.  It is the story of a 4 20-somethings staying the night in an apartment in Manhattan after the death of their beloved grandfather, a Holocaust survivor.  For me the story is so much more than a matter of faith or culture, it highlights issues of grief and family divides.???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

The set is beautifully intricate and simple at the same time.  The décor is that of an upmarket New York studio apartment with all the chaos you would expect for college aged adults being forced to stay together in what is  essentially one room.  No detail is forgotten- dirty plates under the bed, a blow up bed, an empty tube of Pringles on the floor, it is the perfect setting.  The play opens with Daphna and Jonah in a room after the funeral of their grandfather; Jonah on the bed playing on a games console and Daphna, appearing from the bathroom, busying herself by tidying.  It is obvious from their dynamic that she is the older of the two.  She is so very dominant and forthright which is great to see in a female protagonist.  Jonah, is a little quiet and shy.  They are awaiting the arrival of Liam, Jonah’s older brother from a ski trip in Aspen.  Daphna is upset as she states that the funeral has already happened and is upset that Liam could not be bothered to bring himself back from his trip in time.  She has the type of personality that many would find uncomfortable in a woman- overly combative and almost neurotic.  Joshua Harmon, the playwright can be quoted as saying that “If Daphna were a man, no one would have a problem with her”, which is definitely something I can agree with.  For me, she is a breath of fresh air.

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The theme of Judaism is continuous throughout the play however I personally wouldn’t say that it is the key theme.  I like that there is a cultural struggle between Daphna, from a middle class family, who after a summer in Israel has decided to take her religion more seriously; and Liam and Jonah, whose parents are wealthy and are more liberal in their beliefs.

We see Liam arrive in the middle of the night, accompanied by Melody, his non-Jewish girlfriend, who is the epitome of a All American Girl. She is sweet and softly spoken and merely wants to support her boyfriend through this family tragedy.  The contrast between her character and Daphna is really interesting to watch as Daphna, with her sharp wit and quick tongue quickly sets her sights on the more gentle and mildly mannered Melody.  The one liners in the play are phenomenal and without giving away any of the jokes let’s just say that even in times of sorrow, great humour can be found.

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There is obvious contempt between Liam and Daphna and they both use Jonah in a way that leaves him pretty lost between these 2 larger than life personalities.  The arguments, emotions and power struggles between the characters are only emphasised by the fact that the majority of the play happens inside the 4 walls of the apartment.  There are moments of hysterical laughter intertwined with dark moments of silence and sadness, making for an emotional rollercoaster.

I really enjoyed the play and the fact that there is no intermission adds to the pace.  I feel that some of the depth and flow of the storyline would be lost if there were a break.  The overall experience is fantastic from the quirky café front of house, to the intimacy of the theatre size.  Everything just works so well.  This is a great comedy and the fact that the storyline brings up some rather controversial topics and manages to deal with them in a tasteful way is a true credit to the writer and director.

Make sure to book your tickets at: http://www.lovetheatre.com/tickets/4198/Bad-Jews-Arts-Theatre where the play will be running until May 30th.

Photo Credits: Robert Workman

Mac Pro Conceal and Correct Palette Review

I am not a huge fan of overly done makeup.  In my early 20’s I would go bold with bronzer and big fake eyelashes but I have learned over time that less is more.

However, more recently, I have noticed that my love affair with make up has been rekindled.  My day to day routine is pretty much the same but for an evening out I have started going back to the more “made up” looks of years past.  I wouldn’t say I have bad skin as such, but every time I change products I have a mini break out; add to that the hormonal break outs and the bad habit of not leaving spots alone, which as a result  leaves my bare skin is covered in scars.
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Make up has become so much about prepping and adding definition in recent years and about having one product that can do it all for you!  I like that if I am going to have a long day- example: full day at work followed by dinner and drinks, to not have to carry round an entire make up kit.  The most I like to do it touch up my foundation where necessary and add a bit of lipstick.

I decided to invest in the Mac Pro Conceal and Correct Palette but was too afraid to use it for a few weeks.  There were so many colours and I had no idea what to do, but THANK GOD for Youtube and Vloggers.  A few video tutorials later I decided to take the plunge.  There are 6 colours in the palette, the 2 bottom are for colour correction, the 2 middle are foundation colours and the top 2 are for brightening.
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Identify the areas that need attention on your skin, paying attention to under eye circles and blemishes.  Mix the bottom left hand colour with a middle tone and start to apply to the face.  I used the bottom right colour with the top right one under my eyes to achieve a lighter and brighter look around the eyes.  As I like a bit of contouring on my face, I used the slightly darker tone on its own under my cheek bones. This product is easy to use once you give it some practice and do what works with your skin tone.  Make sure to blend in the colours a little, then apply your foundation on top.  I could really see the difference between just applying foundation and using this concealer kit first.  My skin looked flawless and almost airbrushed.  Personally, I prefer using a blender sponge like the Dior Backstage Blender, but I know a lot of people use a small brush to apply their concealer.  I use a brush only to apply on top of the foundation if any blemishes are peaking through and then blend in using the side of the sponge.
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The cream texture of these concealers makes them applied so easily and contrary to what I have experienced in using Mac concealers before, these do not leave your skin feeling cakey- or show lines once you smile! I would say to go quite light with the product as with it being cream based it can look quite thick.  This really does last all day/night and I feel that it actually kept my foundation in place the whole day also (the last photo was taken at 9pm on a train after applying my makeup at 11am). The only negative about the product that I can honestly say is that my make up routine now takes a fair bit longer!
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Steal Her Style: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I wouldn’t say Chimamanda is known for her Fashion sense, or maybe if she is known at all en mass.  If I said she wrote “Half of a Yellow Sun” or “Purple Hibiscus“, would you know who she is?  Maybe if I mentioned her in reference to Beyonce and her acclaimed track FLAWLESS, where one of Adichie’s lectures is featured in the song:

“We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls,
“You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man.”
Because I am female
I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that
Marriage is the most important
Now marriage can be a source of
Joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
And we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to see each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings
In the way that boys are
Feminist: the person who believes in the social
Political, and economic equality of the sexes”

As much as she is literary icon, for me she is a fashion icon in the making, mixing traditional ethnic cloth with designer wear.  Her style is absolutely fantastic, whether she is on the red carpet or speaking at a conference, this lady is a power house in every sense of the word.

Photo credits; Vogue and Pinterest

Timeless Truth Review

I was recently sent a sample face mask by Beauty Masks Limited.  The product they wanted reviewing was their Timeless Truth- Facial Sheet Mask from their Fusion range and in particular, the Multipeptide Calming Revitalising Mask.  I have seen their products once before at a blogging event and instantly fell in love.  Now, being only 27 years old I didn’t think I would need to start using masks, but believe me, I WAS WRONG!

I decided to have a pamper night last Friday evening, so I popped on my PJ’s and vegged out in front of the TV whilst beautifying myself,  now that’s some good multitasking!  As much as this mask is pretty easy to use, it can get a bit messy so I suggest using it in the bathroom, as there is a heck of a lot of excess serum in the pack.  Peel back the mask off the sheet and apply the darker side to your skin, folding up the creases around the chin area to make sure that it fits your face perfectly.  The Pink design isn’t just for aesthetics, the powder in the mask contains negative ions which help to relax facial tension by increasing circulation.  As a result it actually reduces fine lines and wrinkles.  Funny that it should do that as  less than a week ago that I noticed some tiny lines around my eyes.  After using the mask twice (yes there is enough serum to use it twice if you store it properly!), the lines around my eyes have definitely decreased.   This came at a particularly good time for me as my skin was tired and bumpy, this mask has rejuvenated and revived my skin, I found it especially noticeable when putting on my make up the next day.  This finish was dewy and I found that my make up lasted the whole day.
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As far as face masks go, this one is definitely impressive!