Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Phone Case

How cute is that?!

After sitting in my "Watch" basket on eBay for the past 2 months I finally decided to part ways with yet another £10 that I don't have. 
But this babe of a phone case was so so worth it. It's received a mixed response from my friends but anybody who knows me and my love for all things glittery will understand that this is pretty much my perfect case!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

American Apparel Obsession on a Budget

I've been in love with American Apparel for longer than I can remember.

Don't get me wrong - I hate their never changing line of stock, their numerous outdated items, the shabby quality and the staggering price tag. But when American Apparel get it right, they get it so so right.

As the proud owner of too many pairs of AA trousers, I think it is this area in which they excel. Basic tops can be found anywhere, but their disco pants and riding pants are totally unique, and their high waisted jeans are the most form flattering I've ever found.

But now the end of uni is edging closer and closer, and my bank balance is running dry. But it seems as though the shopping Gods have been watching over me, as today, on my usual eBay procrastination trawl, I stumbled upon these:

They don't look it, but these leggings have the stretch to become high waisted very easily and with the snap of  a belt the ugly waistline is hidden and voila! For just £6.50 I've recreated the style that has previously cost me up to £70.

As far as black disco pants go, I've worn them constantly for the past 6 months and don't intend to give them up any time soon, but for the jazzier colours which I will wear as more of a novelty, these are absolutely perfect.

And that's why I love eBay!


Recently all of my inspiration is coming from people that I know and an incessant pang of homesickness that won't leave the back of my mind.

At least it's getting me somewhere productive.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Skin Products: Silica Complex & Garnier Soft Essentials

I bought Silica Complex in Holland & Barratt's penny sale about 6 weeks ago. The instructions say to take on a day with a meal (and I've learned the lesson from ignoring that - Hello day-long nausea) and most articles I'd read mentioned a 90 day course although the bottle contains 20 capsules.

It's not particularly cheap at £12, but when you get another bottle for a penny I guess it doesn't seem so bad!

This year I suffered badly from winter skin and changed my products to Garnier's Soft Essentials Rose Water range to reduce blotching and dry patches. Whilst this helped, I thought, why not take Silica Complex as well? It's designed to improve and maintain strong and healthy hair, skin and nails, and God knows I need help with all of those things!

So I expected not to see much of a result until 90 days had passes, which is a long time to wait, but I guess that's how supplements worked. But for the past week or two I've been pretty lax with my dosage and wow! What a difference it has made.

I've never had much of an issue with my skin, but since taking around 2 pills a week rather than 2 a day all my old patchiness has come back, and after one night of forgetting to remove my foundation I woke up with a monster of a spot on my cheek.

I can only put this down to my relaxing on the Silica front as nothing else has changed. It's the first time I've ever really bothered with supplements and I'm realising how effective they really are!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

I'm No Poet.

Poetry is something which seems so beautiful to me. The imagery and the emotion and the language is so beautiful when fashioned by the right poet. Sadly that poet just is not me!

Not and then a thought will cross my mind, and I'll write it down. When I look back it's the kind of thing which would fit perfectly into a poem, but I'm just totally incapable of writing them well.

However this term I had a module clash, meaning I had to switch Contemporary British Fiction to 20th Century Poetry (no way was I swapping Arts & Entertainment Journalism for sport, politics or business) and it's fair to say I've been thrown in at the deep end.

Terrified to tell my lecturer my situation at the risk of offending him, I am battling onwards and this week my assignment is to write a poem inspired by a piece of art.

I've chosen this photograph, which isn't famous, or even credited, but inspired so much in me - more so than any generic painting or sculpture. The mood, history, memories and hues of the photo reflect that of the whole room, despite only showing a tiny section of it. I'm not sure what angle I'm going to take yet, but perhaps I'll post it up here when I'm done!

(This is more like a diary entry than an interesting blog post but I'm bored and stressing about this piece, sorry!)

Sunday, 19 February 2012

The Kooples.

It's been about 6 months since my local Kooples store opened and I've still not managed to save up enough to buy anything! That's mainly down to my inability to stop spending rather than their extortionate price tags, but still. If I had a spare £90, I probably wouldn't spend it on a t shirt.

Every week I wander around, under the beady watch of the sales assistant, contemptuous of yet another window shopper. I feel the silks between my fingers, lust after felt fedoras, suede boots, leather coats. Too much of my time is spent daydreaming that my boyfriend and I should be picked as a couple fit to be their models - not likely I know, but we can dream! >

But despite my budget there is so much that I love about The Kooples. I love the black and white facade; I love the perfect cut of their suits; I love the endless debates over the legitimacy of the beautiful "Kooples Couples; and now, with the launch of their Spring-Summer 2012 collection, there is even more to love.

Now, on top of it all, I love the pastel shades; I love attempting to learn French by reading their catalogue as I do every season; I love the peaches and the pastels; but most of all, I love love love Pete Doherty.

Despite the controversy, I have forever been in love with Pete. The Libertines were my favourite band for years and years and for a while I was pretty convince that the pair of us shared some unspoken connection, he just didn't know it yet - yeah, I know... I was 14!

Anyway the point is I love him and as soon as I picked ip Issue No8 of The Kooples magazine to discover that he'd created a brand new capsule range, my feelings came flooding back!

With hats born from a collaboration with Locke & Co and t shirts emblazoned with Doherty's own art work, this collection might just persuade me to save some pennies and make my debut Kooples purchase!

But until then I will have to remain satisfied with swooning over Pete, wishing my boyfriend and I were a Kooples Couple, between dreams of hazy days roaming Paris looking like this.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Acne Atacoma

As shallow and superficial as it sounds, I genuinely believe my life would be better/happier if these were in it.

This is probably because it's a Saturday night and I'm at home watching QIXL reruns and stressing about how busy my life is about to become.
Retail therapy in the form of Acne Atacomas would have a healing affect, if I was in the possession of £400.
The only kind of acne I'd pay for.


As I've mentioned many a time, I've been writing freelance for BBM Live Magazine since completing a two week internship with them in December last year.

Well this week, after working super hard to complete a few difference pieces for them, including a review of a techno/house album - literally the opposite of what I am into/knowledgable about - I have been offered the position of News Editor for their site.

I feel super lucky to have this kind of a title before I've even graduated and, despite being in university 5 days a week, working on a bar three nights a week and having been landed with the role of Entertainments Editor of the University newspaper meaning that there aren't even enough hours in the day for me to have a second to myself, I am so excited to get involved in editing work for BBM!

Please take a minute to check out the site on the link above, and follow us on Twitter HERE <3.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Late Night Boredom Purchase

Crazy poor but so bored that this beaut is now on its way to me. Yum.
Because I don't own enough chiffon shirts as it is, obviously.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

What I'm Reading: Edgar Allan Poe

This arrived for me recently and I've not put it down. As a fan of gothic literature, Edgar Allan Poe is obviously a bit of a hero to me. I wasn't expecting the book to be so huge but oh my gosh! The illustrations are incredible.

Tales of Mystery & Imagination was the first ever published collection of Poe's works. Harry Clarke was the original illustrator from the 1908 edition and I'm so glad they've carried on his art to this edition from 2008.

No artist I can think of could possibly have captured Poe's stories so perfectly in illustration. As a stained glass artist, Clarke's work is beautifully eerie to match the gothic feel of the book.

My favourite piece is right at the front, and is captioned "He shrieked once - once only," a line from Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart. In the book the drawing is shown in black and white which adds more to it's gothic feel.

And this, for no reason more than my unexplained life long love for skulls and bones!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Good Morning!

Yesterday I enjoyed a lovely Valentine's Day with my boy and, despite a lot of red wine, I've still managed to have a productive Wednesday!

Jeans: Baxter at Topshop, Top: Zara

Having dragged myself out of bed I then attended all my lectures, completed my first ever set of hand washing (despite having lived alone for 3 years - disgraceful, I know!) and applied to a few post-grad jobs.

Probably doesn't sound that productive but it feels it! I've been worrying for ages about what I'm going to do when I graduate, and now even applying for 3 jobs feels good.

I've also been doing a lot of work for BBM Live this week. Check out my piece on Heidi Mottram's eco-leather bags HERE <3.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Introducing: More Nails! Primark's Leopard Print False Nails.

So my beautician friend has recently started doing Shellac nails. After doing my research and watching multiple videos I decided that it probably is the right thing for me - the manicures last 14 days, my home-done ones last 2!

But first... My real nails need to sort themselves out! Shellac is a gel nail varnish which, when put under UV light, hardens and makes your nails look beautiful. However they do not extend the length of your natural nail.

So, whilst I wait for my naturals to grow, I've decided to hide them under these beauties.

They look like foils, but no! They're false stick-on nails... And not just any stick-ons at that... They're £1 stick-ons from Primark! After months of investing in £8 fakes from Boots every week I eventually decided to try out Primark's bargain set, and honestly - they're just as good, if not better!

These feel like they are stuck so securely to my nail and, to be honest, for £1, I don't care if they fall off after one day! Broadway nails have similar pairs for around £10 which in my experience only tended to last about 2-3 days, so if these last the same, I've got a bargain for 10% of the price!

Another thing I love about Primark stick-on false nails is that not only do they come with glue included (which can not be said for many of the premium brands) but, since they're so cheap, I feel happy to file off the French top and paint them for a more natural look.

So be sure to pop down and get some of these gorgeous leopard print numbers! I stocked up on 5 packs to prepare myself against the hoards of girls soon to catch on to this beauty bargain.
Primark's Ooh La La nails are also available in red, gold, silver or French tip.

Also be sure to check out @HollyAbeauty for amazing beauty treatments around Surrey and London.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Creme of Nature Argan/Moroccan Oil Range Review

Today I decided to invest in a whole new range of hair products. For years I've been using the same shampoos, conditioners, products... And having woken up super early just to attend a lecture I didn't need to be in, I felt the need to give today some purpose.

To start of with, how cute is my new hairbrush?! Having become quite attached to my old paddle brush (despite it being almost bare), it was hard to say goodbye. So to make it that little bit easier, it needed to be replaced with the cutest brush I could find, and this ladybird print brush by Head Jog (102) is just perfect!
A local shop sells a lot of black hair products and is always a great place to find new things to make my hair look pretty! The other day I spied some new argan oil treatments and, since I don't quite buy into the branded Moroccan Oil products being any better than other brands I've used - let's face it, argan oil is argan oil, whether it cost £4 or £25 - I decided to do some research.

I'd never heard of Creme of Nature before but upon Googling it, I found it to be quite a known brand, especially in the States. So I rushed back and bought the shampoo, conditioner and oil, all for only £12!
Click HERE for more info on Creme of Nature.

I started off with the shampoo, mixing in a small amount of moisturising oil and leaving for a minute before rinsing out. I then applied a mask of conditioner and left it for 10 minutes. When I rinsed out the conditioner my hair felt like silk. Any knots had gone and it felt so soft and sleek that I thought I might not have washed it out properly!

I towel dried my hair then applied more of the moisturising oil before blow drying. I didn't need to use my usual leave-in conditioner as a detangler as my hair was so silky from the conditioning mask.

So far, I was so impressed by Creme of Nature that, as I blow dried my hair, I was considering going straight back to the shop to stock up!

But it seemed it was too good to be true. I had read reviews which said Creme of Nature had left hair feeling dry, but since it was mainly used on black hair I thought I might not have these issues. Unfortunately, I did. Despite looking sleek and shiny, my hair felt hard and stiff. A bonus for me was that it made it quite easy to style and did give it volume, which in my world is somewhat of a miracle!

However I found that adding more moisturising oil to dried hair helped soften it slightly and, whilst I was not quite as pleased with the products as I had first expected to be, I would probably still recommend them as a good hair treatment every now and then.

Overall I'd give it 6/10. I will probably use Creme of Nature's argan oil range every other time I wash my hair, as I found the shampoo and oil effective, but the conditioner was what caused the dryness.

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