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Saturday, 8 October 2016

Lace in Shades of Blue

Dress: here. Shoes: similar here. 
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I feel I should point out, I'm aware it's October. I know this look is quite seasonally confused, and when I first saw this dress I was overcome with autumnal denial. When it arrived, I just had to photograph it, so I threw my coat off and got some strategically placed but irrelevant flowers involved to really emphasise the 'I'M TOTALLY NOT EVEN COLD RIGHT NOW' vibe I was going for. To make matters even funnier, just as we arrived at this pre-selected Tiffany-blue door, the heavens opened. Such irony. If you go back and look at the photos again, you'll probably be able to see that the floor is soaking wet and I'm sitting on the clear plastic that the flowers were wrapped in and I still ended up with a wet bum. Desperate times

Back to the dress itself; it's truly beautiful. Two tones of blue combined in a vintage looking lace, a deep v-neck with trumpet sleeves and scalloped edges. Heaven. I also love the fact that the body is lined, but the sleeves are sheer, meaning the the lace creates even more of a contrast against the skin. Even though it's not entirely weather appropriate, I'm happy to add it to my collection for future wear.

Do you ever buy completely inappropriate clothes for the season? Please help me feel less ridiculous. 

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The Real Life Beauty & The Beast Castle

Top: here. Trousers: similar here. Long Pearls: vintage, similar here. Short Pearls: Chanel.
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Last week, my mother and I visited one of my favourite childhood haunts, Waddesdon Manor. I distinctly remember coming here as a child to go sledding, wrapped up in a big red coat. The house is breathtaking and to me, looks like a real life version of The Beauty & The Beast Castle, with an interior to match. (I actually filmed a tour of the inside, including all of the history, which you can watch here if you'd like!) I think it's evident that style is one of my main passions, but I also have a longstanding fascination with architecture and historical buildings. I really, really love these photos because I feel like they're combing my two loves!

As for the outfit, I'm sure you're rolling your eyes at my predictable taste. Ruffles? Frills? SOLD. I'm sorry - there's just a small part of me that wants to drape myself in pearls and ruffles like a fabulous old woman. This top is certainly eye-catching but it's versatile too, and now, one of my new favourites! I just adore the rich blue colour, pleats and layered details. 

Do you like visiting National Trust properties? Which ones would you recommend? Also - if you watch the my tour of the house, I'd love to know what you think!

Saturday, 24 September 2016

By Terry Rouge-Expert Click Stick - A Review

The Rouge-Expert Click Stick is a new launch from the luxury French beauty brand, By Terry. With 25 shades to choose from and retailing at £24.50, it promises a 3-in-1 performance with high pigmentation, a precise application and a velvety smooth, balm-like texture. 

By Terry is a brand that I'm already quite besotted with. I know I can expect the absolute highest performance and quality from their products. So, I was very, very excited to try out the Rouge-Expert Click Stick - more excited than I have been for a new launch in quite a while. It was the unique teardrop shape of the bullet that first caught my eye, and after trialling the colour 'My Red' (a classic, true red) I can truly say that it applies the colour to my lips in a way that I've never experienced before. I didn't trust the unusual shape at first, imagining it'd feel strange and unfamiliar. I applied it tentatively, without lipliner (something I never do with bright colours) and was shocked by the incredibly intense coverage and the way the teardrop shape just... works. It just works in a way that I can't quite explain. It reminded me of the first time I tried a liquid lipstick; just one sweep does the job in terms of shape and coverage, unlike a normal lipstick which can take a few coats to reach its full colour potential. I suppose it just demonstrates that there was clearly a lot of research and trialling that went into the teardrop shape. 
The 'click-stick' mechanism, that pushes up just the right amount of product also works well. It's not too over-zealous which means you won't end up smushing the lid onto unused product.

If you're a lipstick lover, I'd certainly recommend giving this product a try. I also think, considering the fact that most of By Terry products are quite pricey - this price of this product is surprising. I accept that £24.50 isn't cheap, but bearing in mind that lots of other brands that I wouldn't consider so luxurious also price their lipsticks in the same region, the Rouge-Expert Click Stick is unexpectedly reasonable. 

Monday, 19 September 2016

Penhaligons' Duchess Rose

I have never fallen in love with a fragrance so instantly. 

A week or so ago, I attended an event with the prestigious British perfumer, Penhaligons. Their brand is unique, clear and consistent, with a heritage that dates all the way back to the Victorian era. They say of themselves; 'we strive to create original scents for the discerning eccentrics of today' - how terribly British! 

Penhaligons have just launched 4 new fragrances as part of their 'Portraits' family. The idea being that each fragrance represents a member of a fictional family, with their animal counterparts represented through the perfume lid; Lord George; the distinguished gentleman represented by a proud stag, Lady Blanche; the sophisticated matriarch, quite reminiscent of a cunning but graceful leopard, Duchess Rose; the sweet, innocent-seeming daughter with hidden vixen-like qualities, and The Duke; the daughter's loyal and flamboyant husband, much like an English Hound. The idea of a well-to-do but drama-filled family is such a British image, but relating the idea to fragrance is genius. 

I was immediately drawn to Duchess Rose both in scent and the personality description! It's a beautiful, deep rose scent - the head note is mandarin, the heart note is rose and the base note is musky wood. I absolutely adore the fragrance and so, have worn this every single day since acquiring it. It's incredibly pungent and long lasting, but not in an overbearing way. A few days ago my mother told me that she knew I'd been in the kitchen before her that morning because she could smell the perfume! Despite it being primarily rose, which seems quite traditional and to some, a tiresome scent - I must disagree, this fragrance is full of life and every day I catch myself with my wrist to my nose, breathing it in with appreciation!

It's full name; The Coveted Duchess Rose Eau de Parfum retails at £178.
Her fragrance: 'A sparkling and ostensibly innocnt scent for the youthful daughter. A translucent floral fragrance, an English rose with hidden sensuality and thorns. Sweet and effervescent at first, a delicate and fruity mandarin creates a bright exuberance. A pastel pink rose sits squarely at the heart, luminous and romantic. The woody, sensual character of ambrox adds modernity and disrupts the innocent air of the rose. Graceful and carnal.'

The way this foursome of products has been marketed is incredible. The 'Portraits' family is so unique and terribly smart, not only does it create a character for almost everyone to relate to, it also leaves the door open to add more characters and scents in the future. Not only that, but I can't remember the last time I bothered reading a branded magazine or newspaper as I tend to find them uninspiring, but upon devouring the beautiful imagery and clever, creative descriptions of The Penhaligons Times I remembered why I chose Publishing as my degree. It's so wonderfully creative. I took some photographs of the newspaper's contents as I truly think you have to see if for yourself to appreciate it!

You can admire or buy Duchess Rose for yourself, here. I believe you can also order free samples online!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

16 going on 17; a summer garden party

Dress: here. Hat: alternative here

Earlier this week we celebrated a family birthday with a garden party at Charlcote Park, a beautiful 16th century stately home set within its own deer park. The stunning Elizabethan style building which is still home to the Lucy family, once played host to Queen Elizabeth and Shakespeare himself is said to have frequently visited to hunt within the grounds.

My extended family rented the right wing of the top floor of the house for the week in celebration of my Auntie Gill's birthday, which meant that when all the visitors left at 5pm we were left alone in the grounds. The family who still live in the house were away for the summer, so it was incredible to be able to wander the grounds alone (many 'welcome to my humble abode' jokes were made...)

It was a scorching hot day, and during the party, my mum and I couldn't resist excusing ourselves to explore the grounds. As we were admiring some towering cedar trees, we realised it would be a beautiful and unique location for an improptu photo shoot. I'd already commented on how this pale pink dress makes me feel like Liesl Von Trapp when she sings 16 Going on 17 (then I had an internal weep over the fact that I am now 24 going on 25 and that doesn't have quite the same ring to it...) so, when we spotted a pair of stone benches, we saw visions of Liesl leaping around the garden room and decided to have a little fun with it. 

The dress, which I paired with a vintage straw hat in an attempt to make it a little more casual, has fast become one of my favourites. It's delicate layers of fabric flow beautifully and the perfectly ruffled bardot neckline and hem are lined with wire to preserve and hold the incredible ruffled effect. Don't tell anyone, but I ADORED this dress so much, I also bought it in a mint green...