Friday, 25 April 2008

Just for you

Don't you hate it when you just have nothing to wear, when everything you try on either doesn't fit, isn't right for the occasion or isn't 'you'- well now look no further! One of my best kept and favourite secrets is now yours.

Take a look at Style Shake

You design the dress, they make it and in 10 working days, a brand new dress designed exclusively by and for you arrives!

Theres a whole range of fabrics from wardrobe staples like cotton to linen (a summer essential) to silk and metallic silk in a range of colours from the ever classic black, forest green, electric blue, orchid and poppy red. Once you've chosen your fabric, next up is the fun part- designing the dress. You can chose the upper body (empire, yoke, hips, waist to name a few), neckline (the newly added off the shoulder and off the shoulder gathered is so now it hurts!), sleeves, waist, lower part of the dress, as well as add trimmings and detailing like pleats and embellishment.

My newest creation is this Bottega Veneta inspired dress with bandeau neckline with stone embellishment, a fitted box pleat detailed waist with a full flared knee length skirt, all in a very wearable, very understated black cotton- all for £99! What more could I want?

And to make it even better they even do tops!

Perfectly pale

For anyone with pale skin and freckles will know finding make up that works with your skin tone and doesn't make you look like a clown or dead is hard. Well no more as the long awaited Dainty Doll range by Nicola Roberts (of girls aloud fame) has been released. This make up range created in association with Jelly Pong Pong is made exclusively for pale skinned women. The range contains foundations, concealers, eyeshadows, blushes and lip glosses. (also the packaging is adorable and I'm in love with the 'nicola doll' on the packaging- just adorable! I'd love to see this printed onto cards or notepads- it reminds me of my much loved Topshop Christmas Card selection by Julie Verhoeven )

My personal favourites are the concealer (which covers imperfections and dark circles due to its thicker consistency), foundation (the silky mousse texture goes on like a dream and has a smooth matte finish) and the eyeshadow in Honey Bronze is perfect for an '08 summer smokey eye update and looks gorgeous against pale skin. The ultra fine eye shadows are long lasting with a smooth flake free finish and each comes with a gold suede textured base to prevent smudges.

The range is available from ASOS and you can read the press release for further details here:

SPF make up

Well after a few brief days of sun, its disappeared again but I'm assured summer is on its way and that means time to dig out or buy new sun protection. The hardest thing is how to protect yourself from the sun without compromising on style and your usual routine, so being the kind woman I am, I've found the top picks for sun protection to keep you looking your best this summer

No7 50+ Anti- Ageing Anti Dark Spot Facial Sun Protection- so I know I've posted about it before but this is my Holy Grail product (being very pale with freckles, high SPF is a must for me) and its important to wear a high SPF during summer, especially as no one wants to end up resembling a prune at 40 or worse, developing skin cancer. This cream is perfect to use on the face, neck decolletage and back of the hands and can be worn alone for dewy skin or topped with a powder for a matte make up base.

MAC Prep & Prime SPF 50 is a sun protecting primer which is a fast absorbing oil free lotion with specially formulated oil absorbing powder to help prevent oil breakthrough, helps create the perfect base for make up and is a great starting point for the rest of your face.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 is the liquid version of Macs all time classic studio fix foundation. This foundation is a medium buildable coverage product with a natural matte finish. Its also oil free and long wearing and comes in a whopping 27 shades so theres a shade for everyone!

MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 concealer is a lightweight, creamy, discreetly opaque concealer, which provides a smooth, long-wearing invisible coverage for all skin blemishes. It's water-resistant, fragrance-free and non-blemishgenic and can cover spots, blemishes, dark circles, moles, tattoos and birth marks. This is an amazing product and comes in a range of 15 shades- a must for anyone wanting sun protection and great make up.

For a more accessible and cheaper option, try Avon ANEW Beauty Age Transforming Concealer SPF 15- just because its summer, doesn't mean we wan to go completely bare faced and show the world our dark circles, so Avon have cleverly created this liquid concealer that not only disguises imperfections but helps reduce line and wrinkles and protects the skin from sun damage. It comes in a handy pen applicator although is only available in 2 shades- natural fair and natural medium- so any olive or dark skinned lovelies out there, sadly this product isn't for you!

Saying with Avon ANEW, their Beauty Age Transforming Foundation SPF 15, instantly helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles and helps protect the skin from sun exposure and further damage. Its available in 6 shades and as with all Avon products, if your not completely satisfied with your purchase, they'll exchange your item or refund the full price if you choose to return it within 90 days of delivery.

And for a powder, try Cliniques Almost Powder make up SPF 15, available in 10 shades.

For sun protection for your lips (hugely important given they don't produce oils and are vulnerable to the sun), try Carmex lip moisturiser with SPF 15. This cult lip balm now comes with added sun protection and has an immediate cooling effects on lips. If coloured lips are your thing, try Cliniques Moisture Sheer Lipstick SPF 15 or No7 Moisture Drench lipstick available in 24 shades and with SPF 15.

See now theres no excuse for not using sun protection and looking gorgeous!

Its that time of year

Its that time of year when perfect, gorgeous skin comes into focus and there aren't many woman who have perfect skin- most of us need to actively work at it (and can't rely on an army of experts and re-touchers to make us look gorgeous!)

So heres my ultimate guide to gorgeous, clear skin:

Step 1- Dermalogica Anti Bac Skin wash- this is an essential for anyone with oily, skin prone skin. It contains Triclosan to help inhibit bacteria on the skin's surface and Salicylic Acid dissolves dead skin debris to leave skin looking and feeling clear.

Step 2- Clearsil Deep Cleansing Toner- this toner helps clear and prevent breakouts, whilst tightening pores. It also works really well with the Dermalogica cleanser.

Step 3- Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Protective Recovery Complex Serum- applied morning and night on clean skin, this serum can help enhance the skins natural ability to repair UV and environmental damage. It also leaves the skin glowly and radiant!

Step 4- No7 protect and repair SPF 50+ anti ageing anti dark spot facial sun protection- this 5 star rated ultra sun protection has a patented complex to help skin prevent age spots, uneven pigmentation and ageing caused by sun exposure. The cream is moisturising, yet not greasy and the perfect base for make up. It also doesn't smell very much, nor goes streaky or chalky white on contact. Alternatively try Siana Anti Wrinkle Day Cream- this reknown day cream for £1.89 from Aldi has out performed well known creams such as cult classic Creme de la mer and Olay in product tests and Aldis sell a whopping 20,000 jars a week. This day cream contains bioflavone and co-enzyme Q10 as well as vitamin C and E and spf 4. Its light yet moisturising texture sinks into the skin and leaves skin dewy and glowy- a cult classic!

Step 5- Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Recovery Complex- this lightweight serum-gel not only helps repair past damage but also prevent further damage to the delicate eye area. The gel also helps banish puffiness, dark circles and lines and wrinkles. I use this morning and eye and swear by it- its by far the best eye cream I've tried (a close second is Caudalie eye and lip contour cream)

Step 6- For a night cream, you can't beat Siana's Skin Kind nightcream from Aldi- this sister product to the re known day cream, it just as good and contains all the skin loving ingredients of the day cream with added vitamins and retinol complex to help skin regenerate while you sleep. Plus at a bargain £1.89, it leaves you free to splurge on other things!

Extra- and for those days when spots just appear without warning, try Clearsils Rapid Action Treatment Cream- this cream not only fights spots but reduces redness and used twice a day can clear up spots in 2-3 days.

And just because you can't forget the rest of you, my ultimate body lotion is Vaseline Intensive Rescue Moisture Locking Body Lotion- this hypoallergenic, fragrance free lotion moisturises the driest of skins and leaves skin feel soft and moisturised for over 24 hours. I use it every morning and my skin is still soft and gorgeous the next morning- my definite holy grail body lotion!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Purses at the ready!

If you haven't been to your local Matalan store, then now is the time! The newly added Et Vous range has arrived and my oh my is it good! The prices are fantastic for clothing that wouldn't look out of place at designers stores (and are much cheaper than Topshop and you get far superior quality!). My favourites and the things I bought:

- the brown wide leg turn up sailor pants- these delicious chocolate brown wide leg pants have sailor style button pockets and fit like a dream- all for £18! I wore them the evening I bought them and got so many compliments- I plan to wear them this summer with an orange tank top, flat brown gladiator sandals and a smile!
- the black sateen pleat front trousers- these again fit really well, are very long (anyone who usually needs longer length will be able to fit in them- mine need to be altered they're that long!) and the pleat front detailing creates a gorgeous wide leg yet flattering style- £22 and is the classic wardrobe essential
- the taupe ruffle neck tank- this taupe sleeveless tank is fantastic and has origami style pleated neck with ruffles around the front and back of the top and buttons up with 3 button detailing at the back- it goes from an average top to a high end piece and is comfy and stylish
- midnight blue satin pleated top- this midnight blue satin top has an elasticated hem and pleated neckline to create a voluminous shape- the colour is divine and looks amazing with jeans and the fit is just spot on. Its also available in sunshine yellow which is the perfect summer top
- black v neck tank with pleated neckline- this throw on black tank is gorgeous, the V neck shows off a great cleavage and the pleated detailing adds interest- this one looks great dressed up and down but i'll be wearing mine with full skirts and flat sandals!

These are just a few of the fantastic buys I got (all for a measy £77) but other mentions go to the navy blue gold button shift dress (so on trend it hurts), fuchsia pink ruffle blouse and denim sailor pants- if you can get to a matalan near you, i urge you to go and see if the Et Vous range is there- you won't be disappointed!

Monday, 14 April 2008

Dress of the month

This has to be my dress of the month- this La Petite Salope jersey asymmetric bubble hem dress with corsage is divine and not only that but it has a built in corset to give you an incredible hourglass shape. It even comes in two colours- nude and black, so you'll have one to wear for every occasion!

Pretty- its the name of the game!

Pretty-is what I for one want to be, whether its wearing 'pretty' make up or a pretty dress- just soft feminine pretty dresses, the kind you waft into a room in on a cloud of chiffon, organza, tulle or cotton, leaving women in your wake glaring enviously and a rather unflattering shade of green.

Erin Fetherson is the go to lady for pretty clothing- the New York by way of Paris designer likes elegant whimisical dresses and likes to wear silk cotton dresses by day and night with the highest of platforms by Miu Miu (this girl has taste! look at her with her white blonde hair, milky skin and gorgeous figure- not only does her dress suit her to a T but check out those shoes!) and began by designing couture, after studying as Parsons School of Design in Paris, then honing her craft under MIL who worked in the ateliers of YSL and Lanvin and switched to ready to wear in 2005.

Her current spring/summer 08 collection is full of gorgeous dresses in neutral pastels, greys and light silvers, while her fall 08 collection is a gorgeous mix of black, velvets, florals and plums- what more could a girl want? (Selma Blair would look delicious in the grey grecian ruffle edged dress)