Monday, 20 October 2014

Instagram Week #42

Elle // Autumn Essentials // Evening sky // New jumper // Duo Boots // Brogues // Loafers // New lipstick // New dress

I've been so busy this week with various things that I don't feel I've taken any pictures worth sharing really but I did have enough to put an Instagram post together so here they are. I went over to Bath on Thursday for an event at the Duo shoe store which I have blogged about; whilst there I had a look around the shops and picked up a few bits in Urban Outfitters as well as a pair of loafers in Topshop.  I also got my hands on an amazing Dune pair too which I am so excited to wear; needless to say my flat shoe game is strong at the moment!

I am putting together a post on Autumn Essentials and of course had to include a brolly (!) but also my charity-shop found Tod's loafers and leather backpack. That will be coming soon, as well as a couple of makeup based posts, I am loving red lipstick at the moment and my most recent buy is from Natural Collection and is a slightly darker red than my usual bright one, and such a bargain!

XO Amie

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Seventeen Base Product Review

Seventeen Stay Time foundation and powder, Phwoarr paint concealer

Seventeen is a brand that holds nostalgia for me because I think like most girls, forays into makeup begin with a high street brand such as this. I definitely remember coveting a 17 (it wasn't Seventeen until later) lilac lipstick which came out of its casing to look like a gun! Very un-PC (and I think it was probably meant to look more like a space gun; this was when 'Spaceman' topped the charts and white mascara was in. White mascara! ha!

Anyway, I never did get that lipstick, but I never really stopped looking at the Seventeen range either. I am probably way out of the target demographic for the range now, however, I appreciate the value and technology behind the brand which allows it to be afforded to so many but actually still do a pretty good job. I have definitely used foundations from this brand in the past, so when my Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation ran out, I thought I'd try something different (plus they were on 3 for 2 at Boots!)

The first problem I encountered with the foundation is that it comes in limited shades. I chose Soft Ivory which is the second lightest shade in the range, because I am quite pale skinned and I would rather be a bit paler than look orange which is what always seems to happen if your foundation is slightly off. I buy shade Vanilla in Bourjois which I think is either the lightest or second lightest shade and this is a perfect match for my skin. I would say that the Soft Ivory shade is probably a touch lighter than that and possibly a little too pale for me at the moment; but I can work with it. I tried the next shade on the chart, Natural, out of interest and it was miles too dark, so  I'm just going to have to do my best with what I have!

The consistency of this is very thick, it's a full coverage and I used maybe a pea sized amount and worked it in with a buffing brush. It did feel a bit masky; I don't know if this is because I have been wearing a very light foundation so it feels strange wearing a full coverage one. I don't know if I checked to see the coverage before I bought it because I'm not sure if I would have, being as it is such full coverage and after a summer of BB creams and light to mid coverage foundations this feels too heavy. It did last all day though, which is it's claim-this didn't require any touch ups through the day, which is unusual for me as I normally always have to refresh my base makeup after lunchtime and mid afternoon.

I don't know whether it was the foundation that provided the longevity or the pressed powder, which I bought in Fair. This powder is amazing, it comes in only a couple of shades but isn't too pigmented so it doesn't really add any colour to your face. I applied it with a kubuki brush and it went on very easily, blended to a velvet finish and really did last all day; no need to reapply; no shine, the perfect soft focus, smooth looking skin all day. I used this powder over the Bourjois foundation and it worked just as well over that as the Seventeen one, so I would really recommend this for everyday wear.

The final purchase I made from Seventeen was the 'Phwoarr Paint' heavy duty undereye concealer in Fair. Novelty name aside, this is another product that I feel does what it says; I found the colour to be a good match and the coverage is indeed very full so it helps to conceal dark circles. The texture is slightly waxy so I didn't find this the easiest to blend, I also found if too much was used it would tend to collect in natural creases in the skin which is not a good look. This aside, it was long lasting and definitely justified its claims.

Overall, I am pleased with these purchases from Seventeen and for the price I think you can get some great makeup bag staples. Foundation and base products can be expensive and I've used items from both ends of the spectrum; it's about finding what works for you and whether that is high end or high street, if you love it, that's all that matters.

XO Amie

Friday, 17 October 2014

What's your #BootTribe?

Yesterday I visited the beautiful city of Bath for an event with shoe brand Duo. I had to walk right up to the top of Milsom Street to find the store; tucked just slightly out of the main shopping hub of the central zone but situated almost opposite the gorgeous Jollys department store, Duo Bath is a beautiful store crammed with shoes, boots and everything in between!

Walking through the grand entranceway, a framed sign enticed me into the store to view the fall collection, past sumptuous sofas and gilded mirrors. The feel of the store is very boutique, very luxury, with decadent furnishings and elegant footwear displayed for all to see.

Duo is a British brand with its heritage in the early 1970's; the Bath store was its first retail location and it has since branched out to stores in Edinburgh and London. Selling beautifully crafted footwear, what sets this brand apart from its competitors is the attention to detail within its offering; not only do Duo provide three width fittings across their range, their boot collection encompasses an incredible 21 calf sizes; making a 'knee muffin top' or the dreaded 'welly boot effect' a thing of the past.

I was greeted on arrival at the event with a glass of bubbly and some delicious nibbles, and after all of the bloggers had arrived we were given a little history on the brand. The event had its own hashtag, #BootTribe, and there were lots of tags with our blog names on. Once we'd selected a style of boot that we liked, we had to peg our tag to it, and then we could try it on! I was all about the ankle boots, and this ended up being the winning 'tribe' with 60% choosing an ankle style. However, knee and over the knee boots weren't neglected, and with the ladies with the pins for them, they looked amazing! There was simply so much choice; the difficulty was narrowing it down!

I was after a pair of ankle boots and settled for the 'Mandel' style in black suede, a classic, simple low cut boot which I feel will be the mainstay of my shoe-drobe over the coming season. Duo is keen to market its stores as 'fitting rooms' rather than shoe shops, and, naturally, you are kitted out in your boots by expert fitters who know what to suggest and how to measure your legs correctly to ensure the perfect fit. I am a 36.5 usually which means it is difficult for me to find shoes that fit properly, so my fitter, Anna, made sure the sizes 36 and 37 were available for me to try so I could work out what the best fit was. I found the 36 to be pretty perfect and as the shoes I chose were made of suede, this will naturally loosen a little over time. After I was happy with the size, Anna gave me some advice on how to care for the boots in order to get the best wear out of them.

I had a wonderful evening at Duo and I thoroughly recommend you check out one of their stores, if you don't live nearby then you can also shop their extensive range online; and don't worry, there are simple video guides you can follow to ensure you measure your feet correctly to make sure you get the perfect fit!

XO Amie

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Vashi Zodiac Collection

Vashi Zodiac rings, from the top: Aquarius, Aries, Cancer, Capricorn, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Pisces, Scorpio, Taurus, Sagittarius, Virgo

With one of my blogging friends (Tara) recently getting engaged and another (Steph) having just got married, when I was contacted by Vashi Diamonds to talk about their collection of Zodiac rings, I thought it might be nice to share them. I am interested in Zodiac signs and how traits and temperament are influenced by them; I am a Virgo and I definitely feel that I match the traits to that sign quite well; I am a perfectionist and I am organised, I also tend to gravitate towards the colours that suit that sign such as neutrals and earth tones, and I prefer the classic style of dressing to anything too 'on trend' as befits a person of this Zodiac sign.

I was interested to see how Vashi would take these individual traits and use them to create a range of engagement rings. Personal style is very important to a lot of people and you would have to like a ring such as this an awful lot to consider it as an engagement ring, a piece of jewellery that you will wear for the rest of your life! 

When I saw the lookbook, I of course skipped straight to the 'Virgo' ring and I have to say, it is probably the most 'me' of all of the rings featured. I love the simple cut, and the way the diamond is on it's own with no other stones around it. I think it looks very elegant and very beautiful. If I was being picky I would have made the band a bit finer, I don't like thick rings so much and this is pretty close to perfect other than that. I would also probably have a yellow gold band as I wear more of that colour than white gold, but in terms of the styling of the ring I think it's just lovely.

I'll be interested to hear whether you like the ring that pertains to your own sign, or whether you prefer another? It's an interesting idea and I wonder whether someone of a particular sign would be innately drawn to the ring that was crafted with them in mind.

See more from Vashi jewellery here.

XO Amie

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Charity Shopping

Wearing: Whistles jacket Zara tee Topshop jeans Vintage backpack Chanel shoes

One of my favourite pastimes is charity shopping. I will often not find very much, or even anything at all, but having a good old dig through all the wares is something I do consider enjoyable. I know this is divisive; some people prefer to shop beautifully merchandised layouts with the minimum of fuss (by rights I also enjoy sale shopping, it's not so different) but I love the idea of finding some real gems which you know that no one else will have. I am currently compiling a post of my top 5 chazza finds EVER, and it's really not that easy; I've got some amazing things ranging from designer labels to random things that I just love the fit and style of.

I like to dress down when I'm off round the chazzas. If you can totter about from shop to shop in your heels then more power to you, but I'm happiest in a pair of flats so I can spend a length of time looking and rummaging, without the annoying ache of sore feet. Also I walk quite a distance on my charity shop trips so flats are always better. I really ought to replace these Chanel ones which I have practically worn out; they are the best fitting ballet flats I own and I love everything about them, so I will probably get them re-soled and heeled and wear them just a little more.

This top is from Zara and is a really oversized tee, I like to tuck it into skinny jeans and leave the back out for that probably-not-trendy-anymore dipped hem. I am currently really liking an oversized tee, skinnies and my Wojas biker boots from last year; it's my go-to day look and so easy to wear, but chic all the same. This jacket is actually the liner from a parka, I actually only bought the coat to get this liner out of it to wear as a puffa. Cool, no?

Finally, classic necessity for chazza shopping: a backpack. Gotta keep the hands free for digging, of course!

XO Amie

Monday, 13 October 2014

Instagram Week #41

Fashion Bloodhound // Bird // Outfit // Autumn edit // Elle // Bristol // Grey manicure // Photoshoot // Charity shop find

Another week goes by, and with it Autumn has decidedly made itself felt! I had thought the lovely long summer had to come to an end soon, and sure enough, it has. It was raining solidly all day today and over the last few days I've been really cold; today I have even considered putting the heating on which I suppose is about right for this time of year.

In this mindset I've been organising the second clothing rail I bought from Ikea; initially this was to keep my work uniform on so I have a really clear idea of what I have and it is easier to outfit this way. Gradually, however, other pieces have crept on to it but I do still have a decent wintery edit going on. Well, it's more autumnal at present with blazers and jackets rather than thick coats but I'm sure I'll need those soon too!

Prior to summer ending so abruptly there were a few beautiful days; one of which I spent in Weston and scored some bits from the chazza, another of which I spent in Topsham on a photoshoot. It definitely feels more wintery now, though, and I've updated my beauty regime accordingly, light nail colours are out and instead I am reaching for burgundy, grey, and rich jewel tones. I wear so little colour that I do need to include it somewhere!

XO Amie

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Archive #3

Pictures from August 2011

I'm really enjoying these archive posts that I've been doing; this was probably one of the first proper 'location' blog posts I ever did. Adrian and I went home for a week and it must have been glorious weather because I am wearing shorts and that's a rarity! I remember it was a really lovely relaxing week off, spent at both our parents houses and catching up with friends. I also noted I did some charity shopping (standard) in the Devon chazzers!

Adrian took these pictures with the DSLR, I'm not sure how I edited them but I'm loving the film grain effect to the shots. The colours look really muted and this seems to work well with the backgrounds; it was the end of August and even though it was hot there was a definite sense of the end of summer, the swallows gathered on the telephone lines and the bleached fields lending a more autumnal feel. It can't have been that warm either because I'm wearing a jacket! I still have this denim jacket and it still feels current, I wear it from time to time.

My mum and dad don't live in this area any longer and it's nice to have these pictures to remind me of the best parts of it; the beauty and the peace of the countryside.

XO Amie