Friday, 31 July 2015

Instagram Roundup: July 2015

Sitting room // new camera // chazza find // fave shoes // beauty picks // London // more interiors // candle of choice // ankle bracelet

I thought that my July Instagram roundup would be filled with summer skies, sunglasses and lovely cold drinks but instead it's all about the cosy throws, scented candles and bedside table merchandising which is surely more suited to cooler months! I think July is a bit of a funny one; it's either roasting or freezing and there has been a couple of times that I've had to put warm socks and a jumper on in the evening, not really unheard of, I suppose, for the classic 'British Summertime'.

Weather aside, I have been enjoying more summer beauty bits, like these peachy pinky nude lippies, and the chance to wear sandals and ballet flats, leading to a newfound obsession with an ASOS ankle bracelet I forgot I had. I have also been snooping round the charity shops as per, and I found this lovely leather luggage tag which has been a useful replacement to one I lost in France (full story here!)

I went up to London this month also for a brand event with my work, and it was really nice to visit the city even if just for the day. I am always happy to come home afterwards, though, but the buzz of London is something you don't really find anywhere else. 

XO Amie

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Colour and print

Wearing: Marks & Spencer dress ASOS coat Vintage belt Whistles boots H&M bag

Ah, the chore of taking outfit post photos when it's windy and you have long hair; so many nice pictures that are ruined by hair all over my face or flying around everywhere! For a point of difference today I am wearing colour and also print, neither of which I am particularly known for but I do consider leopard print to be my favourite of all, and I can wear it as a neutral which means I own more of this print than any other kind. I consider it another colour more than a print, really, and it goes a long way to lifting my uniform colours of black, navy and cream!

I really love this dress from M&S which I bought maybe a year or so ago and only wore once, when Adrian and I went to the Proms. I haven't worn it since and thought I'd better since I am trying to edit my wardrobe down to things I actually wear, and get rid of those items I've not worn in six months or more. I'd forgotten how much I like this dress and with the ankle boots I think it looks quite edgy and not too colourful, even for me! 

I have tried to ground this look with black accessories which might have been a bit stark, but I did think that brown might have been too matchy so I reached for the patent instead. These Whistles boots are a favourite, they are super comfortable and definitely make dresses less feminine! They are also a real easy heel height and I can wear them all day. The bag is a H&M rucksack which I picked up in the sale a few weeks ago; it's a great size for a day bag and is also pretty cool with its faux-croc effect patina.

I do like wearing dresses, and I hardly ever do as I am just inherently a trouser gal, but now and again it's nice to try something different from the everyday style you can become accustomed to. I always like to wear dresses with ankle boots or ballet flats for a French vibe, I don't know why I think French women wear their dresses this way but I've read too many French style guides and seen too many photographs of Clemence Posey to think otherwise. My favourite way to dress, naturellement.

XO Amie

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Beauty Fab Four

Lush Karma // E45 hand cream // Soap & Glory The Fab Pore // Collection 2000 deluxe lipstick in Prohibition

The title of this post isn't just a riff on the name of one of the featured products, although that in itself is a riff on one of the biggest bands to come out of the UK, ever, but I actually wanted to post about some beauty treats that I'd picked up recently, and discuss my thoughts on them.

Starting off with a fragrance, this Karma perfume by Lush is one of my favourites. I never thought I'd go for a 'signature fragrance' but I think this has become it; a few people have commented when I've worn it that it reminds them of me and I like the way this scent has a longevity to it that no other premium, high street or celeb fragrance has been able to match. I bought the Karma shampoo bar from Lush years ago (and still do) and when my friend Steph started using a Lush fragrance and I realised there was a Karma variation, I was hooked. It used to come in a handy solid stick form although these have been phased out in favour of a lipbalm-style tin, which I'm not a huge fan of, so this time I've bought the spray. At £12 for 10ml it's not cheap, but it does last and a little goes a long way, as it is an oil based product.

Hand creams are something I am often reviewing as I get through them so quickly; a tendency for dry, chapped hands means I always have some form of lotion in my bag and I am currently loving this classic by E45. No frills, it is unscented and non greasy, perfect for using day to day and doesn't irritate my skin as some fragranced products can do.

A new product in my collection is the Soap & Glory 'The Fab Pore' moisturiser. In the market for a new day cream as I've almost finished up my Botanics one (empties post coming soon) I picked this up partially out of interest and partially as it was half price. It claims to shrink pores (its active ingredients are Detoxyboost, Superfruit Yuzu and Poreshrink-12H complexes which all sound made up) but I will definitely review this after I've given it a fair chance! I don't often try other day creams aside from my Botanics ones, but it is nice to change up your skin routine now and then, so I'll be interested to see how this fares.

Finally, a new lippy! Lipstick is such a treat to buy and despite my love for a red lip, at a recent event I attended there was a lot of love for a dark berry lip colour going on, which was slightly autumnal but also very now. This delicious redcurranty shade is by Collection, it cost all of £2.99 and lasted all day long. No need to spend a fortune on a Mac shade, this is one I'll use again and again, especially as I had a bit of a clearout of my makeup bag and turfed out a load of lippies that were past their best. I will wear this one all the way through until winter, I'm sure.

What's new in your beauty kit?

XO Amie

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Pre-fall investment pieces


Top here, skirt here, boots here all via Warehouse

If you're anything like me, the thought of the 'pre-fall' or even worse, the Autumn/Winter collections already making their way into stores will make you feel a little disillusioned. Barely in to the main months of the summer season, and already shops are asking us to prep our wardrobes for the season ahead. Fret not, though, as the beauty of pre-fall lies in its ability to be very 'buy now, wear now' in terms of product and also very key in terms of trend longevity.

I've picked a few pieces from one of my favourite high street shops, Warehouse, and I think the great thing about these pieces is that they will seamlessly slot into your wardrobe right now, whilst providing great building blocks for the season to come. I absolutely love this black suede skirt; a key fabric for AW15 and great now with bare legs and sandals or later with ankle boots, this is a real investment piece that will stand up to the 1970's resurgence for autumn but will also work well pared back with a slouchy tee and converse for low-key days.

Colour and print are always set to be integral to the season and again, nodding to the 70's with the pattern and colourway is this printed tee. A tee is a great piece to pick up to dabble in print with; they are relatively inexpensive meaning that you can trial the trend without too much initial outlay, and the great thing about a tee is the touch of casual it brings to a look. A smart/casual outfit is given just the right amount of slouch with a quality cotton tee and adding interest with a print is a great way to wear it.

My AW hit list wouldn't be complete without a pair of boots, and these beauties are ticking all the right boxes. Almond toed with a slightly stacked heel, these are the grown up way to do trend-led footwear, and they look super comfortable, too. Wear with skinny jeans or use to add edge to a dress, they will take you through into winter (just be sure to invest in the protector spray!)

 Have you started to think about your wish list for AW15 yet?

XO Amie

Monday, 27 July 2015

A useful find

Oliver Bonas luggage tag 99p from Oxfam

This was initially going to be a 'chazza find' post but I thought instead I would actually post about something I picked up in a charity shop that I actually needed. More often than not, my charity shop scores are things that are unessential; items that I see and pick up on the off chance (see: several hundred jumpers, more than a few shirts, copious vintage shoes, etc) and this is because I always find my best chazza finds when I'm not looking for anything specifically.

I think this is the crux of charity shopping; for me at least, if I go out with a specific item in mind I'm never ever going to find it, but if I just wander about with little or no focus on what I am looking for, I tend to find some great things. It happened that whilst I was mooching through my local Oxfam, I spotted this Oliver Bonas luggage tag, and snapped it up for the excellent price of 99p.

Now, I had a luggage tag which I used on my suitcase when I went to Primavera. Adrian and I took the train through France and Spain to get there, and unfortch our train home was delayed by a couple of hours in Spain, so we ended up missing the Eurostar train home from France. When we eventually arrived in France, we dashed to the other side of the city to try and get the next available train, and in the crush as we exited the carriage, my lovely Emma Bridgewater luggage tag either fell off or got caught and snapped off my bag. Gutted. 

I was hoping I might be able to find the same one elsewhere, but since I had no luck with that, I picked up this copper one from the chazza. I love the leather finish and the colour is really pretty, too. It retailed at £14.99 which I wouldn't have paid but at just under a quid I'll happily pick it up! I'm so pleased with it and it just goes to show that you can find items of use in the charity shops; they aren't limited to clothes. Sometimes the bric a brac sections might look a bit ropey but if you take the time to have good look through them, you're bound to find something worth buying!

XO Amie

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Vintage and modern

Wearing: Topshop jeans vintage blouse and bag Whistles shoes

I like to incorporate vintage elements into my everyday looks and I think the key to doing this (for me, anyway!) is to mix those older pieces with more contemporary styling so they don't look too costume-y. I've already posted about ways that I like to wear vintage here and here, and this is a move on from that, by combining the decades to make my look unique.

I'm not sure what decade this linen blouse dates from but judging by that neckline I'd say late 80's/early 90's. It's also got that godawful elbow length sleeve as well so I rolled them up a few times to make it more contemporary. Not a bad blouse, overall; it's 100% linen, washed up beautifully and cost me the princely sum of 99p. Worn with these ecru boyfriend jeans (that I've posted a review on here) it makes a modern and edgy look (in my opinion!) I wouldn't choose a top like this to wear with a midi skirt, for example, it might make it look a bit frumpy, but with a ripped up anti-fit jean, it lends a bit of femininity.

I feel a bit matchy with all-navy accessories, but I pulled together the navy shoes and bag to wear with a more intricate look earlier in the week which I felt needed grounding with base colour accessories. They do work with this look, in my opinion; the shoes add a bit of interest and the bag is so cute with the tassel and gold hardware details. Jewellery wise, I kept it simple with the pieces I always wear, and this simple triple band silver ring.

The best thing about vintage is that you can guarantee no one will turn up wearing the same look as you; and it's a really easy way to dress up something simple like a pair of ripped jeans. I think this blouse would also worn well dressed up smartly, for example with a pair of black trousers (I love black and navy as a colour combo!) and maybe a touch of leopard print.

XO Amie

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Charity shop find of the week #19

Zara polka dot shirt £6.99 Oxfam

This is my 19th charity shop find post since I started this series on the blog, and I have to confess that I haven't even posted all the chazza finds I've unearthed over that time, only my very favourite ones! This polka dotted Zara shirt is no exception; brand new with tags it was only £7 (which I still think is plenty for a chazza shirt, but I did love it!)

I spotted this (ha) on the rail of my local Oxfam, not my favourite chazza but if I'm walking past I'll always go in and have a look. I do find that Oxfam tends to be one of the more expensive charity shops, at least where I live, but now and again I can pick up a bargain or two from the rails. They often have special offers whereby all clothing, say, or all footwear, is half price, so I often go in on those days particularly.

I have quite a good selection of shirts now but they are always useful and I didn't have a polka dot one so I thought I'd add it to my collection. It has a really cute rounded collar, and I really like the slightly oversized look it has. I will wear this with skinny jeans and brogues or sandals for a really cute and slightly preppy feel.

Have you bought anything in the chazza recently?

XO Amie