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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Dupe Duel; Dior Vs. Sleek

  Diorskin Rosy Glow in '001 Petal': c/o Debenhams & Sleek Blush in '936 Pixie Pink'.

The images above are in order, so the image of me wearing the blush is below the image of the blush itself. 

Hello all!

A beauty post has emerged.. well well well, and about time too!

As a very fair skinned person who naturally looks quite deathly, blush is one of the most important steps in my make-uped face creating routine. I just invented a word; make-uped. So much so, that I have to apply blush when leaving the gym after a ferocious work-out, and many a time I'd be walking around the grounds at school and a teacher would place a caring hand on my shoulder and say 'Arabella, are you ok? You look like you're about to faint!' - I was never about to faint, that's just my face. I suspect (hope) I may just be a vampire and don't have any blood.

Because blush is so imperative to me, I decided a while ago that I wanted to do a post on one of my favourite blushes. However, I fully appreciate that the blush I'm talking about, DiorSkin Rosy Glow at £30.50, is generally not something to pick up on a whim - so, I sought out what I've learned is referred to as a 'dupe'. I found that dupe at a Sleek counter, a drugstore brand I'd never tried before. As this is my first real beauty post, I should give you a bit of a background on my make up history. I'll be honest with you, I don't frequent the drugstore makeup stands all too often, and I'm not saying that in a la-dee-dah 'I only like the best' kind of way. Ever since I started experimenting with makeup around the age of 13 and arrived home from school with a face full of my friend's 5-shades-too-dark Maybelline Matte Mousse, it became clear the next morning when my face morphed into a surface drier than the desert, that I have very sensitive skin. Ever since, my mother has encouraged me to invest in high end products - and so, I've always owned a comparatively small collection of high end products, rather than drawers full of drugstore products that wouldn't do my skin any favours. 

DiorSkin Rosy Glow: At £30.50, it's touted as a blush that 'reacts with the moisture in each skin type, developing into a tailor made rosy blush to suit each individual complexion' I expected a lot. I'll be honest with you, I'm not sure if I believe that. It's a beautiful blush but I can't say I've noticed it 'reacting' or 'adapting'.  To begin, I have to mention the beautiful packaging which is typical of Dior. It's minimalistic, sophisticated and practical with it's large compact mirror and mini brush. The colour, I admit, does look a bit frightening at first glance. However, on the (or should I say my) skin it's actually a really wearable 'pretty pink' - which are always my favourite colours to wear. In terms of lasting power, whenever I wear it it's always in place at the end of the day - which is a big plus. (You can purchase the Dior blush here!)

Sleek Blush: I can't fault the colour, but I would say I found the Dior blush easier to blend. But, when the blush is on, it's almost identical to the DiorSkin Rosy Glow. Its lasting power isn't incredible despite being referred to on the Sleek website as 'long lasting' but at £4.49 I didn't expect incredible results. Saying that, I was surprised and impressed by the pigmentation, and it still looks great on! A downside is that in my opinion, the packaging isn't dressing-table worthy, but it still has it's own compact mirror for on the go touch ups. (You can buy the Sleek blush here!)

Conclusion: So, as I mentioned, with the Dior blush you get the benefit of impressive lasting power and of course the beautiful packaging, which when buying a 'luxury' product, is partly what you're paying for. However, if lasting power isn't particularly important to you and you're happy to have to occasionally reapply the product - honestly, I'd go for the Sleek option. It's almost the exact same colour as the Dior product and quite literally, a fraction of the price. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

Sunset in Paris - Magenta Dress and Dinner by The Seine

Belt & Dress; ASOS (the dress was purchased ages ago I'm afraid!) Earrings: J. Crew at Net-a-porter  c/o ASAP. Shoes: Zara (really old again, sorry!)

Hello all!

This post is one that I've been really looking forward to sharing. These photos were taken as we strolled along the Seine at sunset, on our way to have dinner near Notre Dame. Whenever I go to Paris, I seem to always end up eating burgers - not the most sophisticated (or French?) image, I realise. There's just something inexplicably good about burgers in Paris, in my humble, burger-loving opinion. 

Anyway, it also happened to be Bastille Day, so after enjoying the parade (and a little shopping) during the day, we decided upon a late dinner, then a stroll to a nearby bridge to watch the Eiffel Tower fireworks at 11pm. We wondered around enjoying the warm weather, beautiful surroundings and generally glorious atmosphere, until I eventually chose my perfect burger-touting venue (photo included, obviously.) My evening restaurant criteria isn't too unreasonable - it must have cocktails, outside seating & preferably burgers, when I'm in a burger type mood. Essentially that evening I was burger in one hand and a cocktail in the other. Classy gal. 

On to the outfit - I'm afraid I've done that really irritating thing where I parade something in front of you that you (most likely) can't have. I hope if nothing else, it provides some inspiration or even just serves as something nice to look at. I bought this dress from ASOS many, many months ago and decided to save it for a special occasion because it was so elegantly pretty. It's now out of stock, so I've linked the navy version below, which is now in the sale!

You may laugh, but I had to actually psyche myself up to wear this dress due to it's (in my opinion) rather plunging neckline. Call me old fashioned, but when in public I prefer a more demure look. If I'm going to get attention, I'd rather receive it for my outfit, face or personality, not my... assets (not that there's anything wrong with that, if you want to get your assets out, you go for it!) - so for me, this dress is like... flashing the flesh. You know when you're not used to wearing something and so feel self-concious wearing it, like every single person you pass is staring at that area of you? I felt like that. That said - I wanted to push myself to wear it and I'm glad I did. I felt nicely turned out everywhere but that deep V neck. I admit, I'm ridiculous. 

Do you ever feel the same about a piece of clothing? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear your thoughts!
and here's what I'm wearing (in this case, the same style of dress is in the sale, in stock, in navy - so I've tried to co-ordinate the accessories with that!)

Monday, 28 July 2014

An Afternoon at Upton House / Lavish Alice Oxblood Co-ord

All Items Linked Below - Top: c/o Lavish Alice. Skirt: c/o Lavish Alice. Sunglasses: Prada. Shoes: Kurt Geiger.

Hello All!

How are we today? Well I hope!

So, the other day I paid a visit to the the home of Lord and Lady Bearsted, otherwise known as Stately Home, Upton House. It's no longer their home, clearly... if it was, they probably wouldn't have let me in. Luckily for the public, the marvellous sandstone creation was eventually handed on to The National Trust for the likes of us to enjoy, and I'm very glad they did. How else am I going to pretend I'm in Downton Abbey?

I spent the afternoon wondering around the 1930s-style house, roaming the gardens whilst admiring the impressive cedar trees, and pretending not to be out of breath after walking up and down the terrace a few times (there are a lot of steps..ok?) We also ate a considerable amount of cake, which is in my opinion a necessity when visiting a National Trust Property. I think it might even be the law. The garden is incredible when in bloom, but the house itself is a treasure trove of art, vintage furniture, silverware and porcelain, carpets and a multitude of interesting objects  it's like stepping back in time!

Regarding my outfit for the occasion, I saw the visit as a perfectly timed chance to wear and photograph this charming co-ord from Lavish Alice. I'm very impressed with it - it's well cut and fits flatteringly, which is exceedingly important when one plans to, what's a nice way to phrase this... scoff lots of cake. Not only does the skirt move beautifully, but the co-ord kept me perfectly cool all day and in my humble opinion, looking rather stylish too (I try!). In fact, one of the curators of the house even told me I was 'looking elegant', fancy being told that in the house of an actual lord and lady. I'll take that. I could be a happy lady, I'm sure. Lady Arabella. Seems legit...

(Oh, and I'll admit - despite being an avid heel wearer, I admit I changed into flat shoes after the photographs. Thin, pointy heels and lawn do not mix...)

And here's what I'm wearing!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Popping to Paris - Duck Egg Midi Skirt by The Eiffel Tower

Click to item; Skirt: c/o Coast. Top: Topshop. Shoes: Kurt Geiger. Bag: Zara. Sunglasses: c/o Sunglasses Shop. Earrings: Chanel.

Hello all!

Quite the change of scenery - no classic London street or back garden for me this evening. 
Last week I hopped on the Eurostar and headed off to Paris for a few days of devouring lots (and lots) of pastries, crepes & carbs, making the stereotypical visit to Laduree and a bit a lot of prancing about, speaking french badly. 

Before I left for Paris, the ever-lovely ladies at Coast had this skirt sped over to me by special delivery in time for my trip (thank you again, Chloe!) and honestly, what can I say? What do I need to say? Just look at it. Gaze upon it. Just, BEHOLD. You'll be able to see that this was a very wet day - the photos were a struggle but I couldn't not take the opportunity!

You may already be aware of the attachment I have to Coast's 'Rita' skirts, after I wore the black and gold version to the last London Fashion Week (click here to see that post if you'd like) - they've released it in a few different colours and I'll tell you now with a slight tinge of shame, that I now own them all. YES. Shun me. Sometimes I wonder if I own too many midi skirts, but then I laugh and realise that's impossible. I think of them as my version of jeans, in the sense that I wear them frequently and they just go with everything. (Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against jeans, they just look horrendous on me.)

Back to the skirt - I appreciate that this is an undeniably more 'formal' piece, but if you're like me and simply don't care about the odd look (how does that man staring quizzically know I'm not going to a ball.. hmmm?) I'd be totally happy, and quite honestly feel like a princess wearing this in the daytime. Life is short, so wear whatever makes you happy (or what the young ragamuffins these days say, 'YOLO'). Although that said, I've already planned how I'm going to style this for the evening; with a little ruffled black bralet to make it a little bit more.. flesh exposing? There's probably a nicer way to say that. Sexy? Evening-appropriate? You get my drift.
& here's what I'm wearing! (or similar...)

Friday, 18 July 2014

Peplum Jacket with Lace Detail / Prada Baroque Sunglasses / High Waisted Skort

 Click through to item; Jacket c/o Darccy. Top c/o Missguided. Skort; Miss Selfridge. Sunglasses: Prada. Shoes: Nine West.

Hello all! 

The wanderer returns. If you didn't know, I've been in Paris since Sunday and returned a couple of days ago - so, just a flying visit! 

Let us first address the most obvious thing, for all you UK dwellers at least - THIS WEATHER. What is happening?! Last night the UK was entertained by the most spectacular electrical storm and today appears to be the hottest day of the year so far! This is why you might be surprised to see that I'm wearing a jacket. Truly, I boiled. However, I really wanted to share this piece with you in 'live' time if you will - not just hang it up in my wardrobe and retrieve it when the cooler months return, by which time it may no longer be available if any of you are tempted to get your mitts on it. What sense would that make?

Honestly, this jacket is truly beautiful! When Darccy asked me if I'd like to choose a few pieces and do a post for them, I didn't hesitate. I feel like this jacket fits with the aesthetic of my style perfectly! The design is SO intricate, which is why I've included so many detail shots, which I'll let you judge for yourself. When I styled this outfit, I wanted to demonstrate how versatile I think this piece is. I mean, I appreciate I may be considered a bit more 'brave' in my clothing choices than the average, but personally I'd feel completely comfortable wearing this entire outfit to work, during the day and even at night - without changing a thing! (Apart from obviously I'd take the sunglasses off at night. I'm not P. Diddy & if anyone can pull off sunglasses at night it's not me.)

So, do you have any plans for the summer? Are you making the most of this heat? Please, let me know!

& here's what I'm wearing, or similar!

*This is a sponsored post. If you're interested in knowing more about what a sponsored post is, take a look at my About Me page!