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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Gift Idea no. 1; Yves Saint Laurent - Black Opium

YSL Black Opium (30ml) £40.05 - c/o YSLavailable here. | YSL Black Opium 30ml Gift Set £45.69 - available here.
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In the past week I seem to be punctuating every sentence with differently phrased, totally uninteresting observations about the cold. Eg; Brrr it's cold. Cold today, isn't it? Can we turn on the heating yet? Can't I just work from bed, it's so cold? etc. However, despite the cold sometimes being worthy of complaint, it always comes hand in hand with one thing - CHRISTMAS. 

As much as I enjoy Christmas, there's always one part that I and many others struggle with; what to buy for presents. Now, I was initially just going to do a short review of YSL's Black Opium (which was kindly gifted to me) but I thought hey, why not start getting into the christmas theme and do a little summary in the form of a 'gift idea' type thing - in case you read this and think it sounds like the kind that might suit someone you love. Also, the good thing about fragrances is that they come in varying sizes, depending on your budget - as well as being available in actual gift sets, so there are so many different options in terms of price/products - I've linked a few below. 

So, Black Opium, described by YSL as a 'glam rock' fragrance, is a mixture of white floral, coffee and vanilla, also featuring hits of jasmine and patchouli. Despite being a rather musky scent, it's still relatively sweet, making it perfect for evening wear. It's also described as 'sensual' but I can't honestly say I've ever smelt anything and thought 'mmm so sensual', although I can totally appreciate what they mean. It's glamorous and mature, and in my opinion definitely a night-time fragrance. As most of my perfumes are quite light and spring like, this was a welcome change. This is the Eau de Toilette version which comes in a glossy bottle covered in shimmering pink sparkles - so it's dressed perfectly for the festive season! 

Do you like the sound of Black Opium? Also, do you like these little beauty posts? They're relatively quick for me to do photography wise in comparison to outfit photos, so I do like popping them up every now and again!

(I also went and picked photogenic leaves off a wet floor for this, because what's a beauty blog post without some strategically placed, irrelevant objects/flowers/shrubbery?)

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Flute Sleeve Dress with Embroidered Collar - Why Clothing Size Doesn't Matter

Dress: here. (Alternative here) | Earrings: Dior (alternative here) Lip Colour: here.

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I'm fairly certain I owned an almost identical dress aged 4. In fact, I regularly see little people clothes and wish they came in my size (or seriously wondered if I could squeeze myself into 'age 11-12' - answer: lol no.) So when I saw this insanely adorable little piece I ordered it in a frantic, mad excitement. It makes me feel like a 4 year old milkmaid and that is absolutely fine with me. Every detail is exquisite; from the intricately embroidered cut-out collar and bib to the flute sleeves, complete with little bows. 

A little heads up; this comes up rather small. I find that the fit of Dahlia's clothes to lean more towards teeny-tiny bird-like creatures, which I am not. (I once ordered a pinafore dress from them which literally did not even cover my entire bum..) Their clothes come in sizes Small, Medium and Large -  I'm 5'9 and generally a size 10 in dresses, and I'm wearing a Large. I hate to admit that initially, a small part of me didn't like the fact that I was wearing a size Large, but then the more prominent, more reasonable side of my brain took over and I reiterated to myself what I've often told other people; the label in an item of clothing literally does not matter. I cannot stress it enough. I know people use the word literally so often these days that it's almost lost all meaning, but it literally doesn't matter. The cut/measurements of clothing varies hugely from store to store. As long as it fits and it looks good, no one knows what size you're wearing and more importantly, no one actually cares. (And of course, it goes without saying but I'll say it anyway - a larger size does not necessarily equate to 'less attractive'.)

What do you think? Do you care what the labels in your clothes say?

Monday, 9 November 2015

Pink Roses and Lillies - A Surprise For Granny

Now, not being one to turn down anything involving a bouquet of fresh flowers and not being one to turn down an opportunity to make my Granny happy, I recently accepted an invitation from Debenhams Flowers to receive a beautiful bouquet of my own choosing in honour of Grandparents Day. I'd never heard of this celebration before, and although some may scoff and think 'phh, it's just another way to make money' - I don't agree. Of course,  the vast majority of things that are 'commercial'/for sale, have been created to make money. That's life. But I don't think that should mean that we can't also appreciate the positive aspects - I think having a day dedicated to grandparents is a very sweet idea. It's funny, because although I was never aware of Grandparents Day, I inadvertantly invented my own version of it many years ago. My Granny has lived with me since I was 7 years old - quite literally as long as I can remember (she's now 88 years old - 89 next month!) So, because of that, when Mother's Day would come around I remember becoming aware that Granny didn't have a day of her own, so the day after Mother's Day I would always, and still do, give Granny a 'Happy Granny Day!' card. So this invitation from Debenhams seemed incredibly fitting for me!

I chose the Pink Rose and Lily bouquet for Granny, which was delivered in a very secure cardboard box, with the flowers inside wrapped in pretty purple cellophane paper, complete with a personalised note and box of chocolates. Granny was totally thrilled with them, and in fact she said they were absolutely too beautiful to have them in her room all to herself, and insisted we place them in the ground floor hall so that everyone could enjoy them. 

I say with complete honesty that it was probably one of the loveliest bouquets I've ever seen in person. The colours of the flowers were beautiful, and each one perfectly formed. I have never seen such perfect roses and the lilies all opened within a couple of days of each other. The entire bouquet lasted for almost two weeks until it started looking quite sad - we were all amazed by their longevity!

Debenhams have also kindly given me a 25% off discount code to share with anyone who'd like to use it - 'DFBLOG25' - so if someone special to you has a birthday coming up or maybe you'd just like to buy yourself some (and why the bloody hell not?) then knock yourself out with a Flower Delivery. There is also a next day flower service if you're in a rush. (Please note; I don't receive any commission if you choose to use the code, it's literally just for your benefit should you choose to use it!)

Would you ever order flowers online?

Monday, 2 November 2015

Bobbi Brown - My Everyday Eyeshadow Duo

Bobbi Brown Matte Eyeshadow in Ivory: here. | Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow in Champagne: here.

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I'm by no means an expert when it comes to all things (or any things..) 'beauty' related. I can do one look; the one on my face. So, when I find something new to add to my very standard makeup repertoire, I feel compelled to share it with you. So, whilst wasting some time in Selfridges recently, I wondered into the Bobbi Brown section. I always find make up counter ladies, as friendly as they usually are, slightly intimidating. 

'Their makeup is flawless..' I think. 
'I haven't had my eyebrows done in 3 months and my contour game isn't even anywhere close to being on fleek. THEY WILL JUDGE ME' I tell myself.

However, I'd been having an internal conversation with myself about how I don't really make enough effort with my makeup. Yes, I wear lashes daily because I find them so easy to apply, but I don't wear any form of eyeshadow. Almost ever. These seemed like an unbalanced set of priorities. So I decided to talk myself into appealing for their help. I basically approached a lady and asked 'pls can u help me with the eyeshadowz?' I was promptly perched onto one of those stools that are ever so slightly too high so your legs dangle awkwardly in the air like a toddler about to have their first haircut. I wanted something that was subtle - something that you couldn't necessarily notice until you get close up.  I won't bore you with the details, but the extremely helpful assistant and I settled on this 'everyday appropriate' colour combination. A shimmery champagne to wash over the lids and an ivory matte colour to highlight the brow bone and add dimension. Even though it isn't hugely noticeable - which is exactly what I wanted, it's the perfect amount of product and colour to just add a little something extra. Basically when I wear eyeshadow I feel like my life is super fab and I am so in control. I havent become one of those people who wears flawless eyeshadow everyday, but I'm working on it.

How about you? Do you wear eyeshadow everyday? What are your favourite everyday colours?

Friday, 30 October 2015

Red Suede and Victoriana Blouse - Two Trends in One

Coat: Vintage - alternative here. | Skirt: Zara - sold out - alternative here.  | Pearl Ring: c/o Gemporia. | Blouse - here. | Earrings: | Dior - alternative here.

In this outfit, I'm attempting to check off two of the season's biggest trends in one single item, in the form of this suede, button down skirt. The first, suede. Obviously, suede has been pretty huge this A/W; suede jackets, suede skirts, suede boots - all suede everything/everythang (definitely not cool enough to get away with saying everythang). The second, the button down skirt - with poppers specifically, not actual buttons as the name would suggest. Suddenly tearing off your own skirt has never been more easy or hilariously dramatic. Both of these items have infiltrated the high street in huge numbers, which means two things - sure, a lot of people are also wearing them, but more positively - the fact that so many stores are creating their own versions means it's even more likely you'll find a version that you like/suits you. 

Below I've put together a little collection of my favourite button-down skirts.

You can probably also tell from the photos that I'm overwhelmed with happiness - this is because black tights weather is finally upon us. I do love summer, but I yearn for the days when I can wear a mini-skirt without feeling almost entirely inappropriately dressed. There's just something about black tights that makes everything look and feel more safe and snug. No accidental flashing here. 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Candy Floss Coat and a Very Special Umbrella

Coat: here. | Blouse: here. | Skirt: here. | Shoes: here. Umbrella: c/o Laurence Groux.

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Recently, feeling trapped in a seemingly never-ending monochrome spiral, I was torn between how much I objectively loved the colour of this coat, and whether I'd actually wear it in reality. So many persisting questions: How much does pink actually go with? How practical is it? Would I look like Elle from Legally Blonde? (Although don't get me wrong - she is undeniably fab.)

 Evidently, I decided to stop hovering over the 'confirm purchase' button and go for it, and all because of this beautiful Laurence Groux umbrella. The minute I unboxed it, I knew that this coat would perfectly pick out the flashes of pink, purple and gold in the pattern of the umbrella. Mine is the Audrey Umbrella, with a glossy, sculpted maple wood handle which I chose myself.

I recently posted a photo of it on Instagram, and although it received a whole lotta love, it also received a slightly pointed but perfectly fair question; '$359 for an umbrella?' So, I wanted to address that in this post. Of course, I fully appreciate that $359 is a lot of money to a lot of people (myself included) but I cannot stress enough that these umbrellas are true works of art in themselves. They are incredible pieces of handmade, traditional craftsmanship, and to me - this isn't something you'd buy on a whim (unless you're in a financial position to of course!) it's a special occasion gift and a once in a lifetime purchase. 

I know it sounds like I'm being rather dramatic about an umbrella, but there's definitely something particularly special in actually seeing and feeling the quality of one of these pieces in real life, so I've tried my best to capture this for you. The pattern that spans the umbrella is detailed and intricate, and the handles (which you can choose and customise yourself) are hand sculpted, Italian wood. I think an umbrella like this is really something to last a lifetime. When they arrived (This is 1/2 - I have one more pattern to show you!) myself, my mother and my grandmother were all in awe - I think that's a rare achievement; to create something that appeals to 3 generations. 

Basically, Mary Poppins would've legit had one of these. 

So I'd love to know, what do you think of them? Would you love to receive something like this as a gift? 

I'd also like to express that Laurence Groux are not paying me for this review. Laurence generously offered to send me two umbrellas with a view to featuring them in an outfit post if I liked them. I have chosen to feature the umbrella of entirely my own accord, because I am so so impressed with them.