13 April 2017

Style: 20 Topshop pieces that won't break the bank

I'm a Topshop girl through and though. I'm no stranger to stalking their 'new in' page on the daily whilst scoffing down my breakfast in the early morning rush.

However, out of nowhere - like a bat out of hell - their prices soared. Um what? No thank you. Unlike Zara where you can indulge in the season's newest trends without emptying your account, Topshop is a right bugger for overcharging for no reason. Their knitwear? Case in point.

I've come to notice them a few style snips sneaking on to the website. Ones that don't exactly break the bank, but are a nice treat come payday. And as sharing is indeed caring, here are my top 20 currently tickling my fancy / enabling me to break my spending ban...

Floral blouse - £36.00  Silver pointed flats - £22.00 ∙ Structured bardot top - £32.00

Denim shorts - £26.00  Bag - £32.00  Grey sandals - £26.00

Ballet flats - £16.00  Lilac bag - £29.00  Broderie sleeve t-shirt - £24.00 ∙ Point shoes - £29.00 

 Stripe shorts - £26.00  Stripe top - £22.00  Bardot dress - £29.00  Scoop neck t-shirt - £10.00

One shoulder dress - £29.00  Pink trainers - £24.00 ∙ Lipstick - £8.00

 Leopard print sandals - £26.00 ∙ Embroidered shirt - £29.00  Nail varnish - £6.00

How on point is Topshop's shoe game huh? Those sandals are a snip at £26! 


7 April 2017

5 Things Friday: Spring hotlist

It's official - I've ditched my heavy cream coat and I have whipped out my light weight grey suede biker jacket, spring has arrived. Whilst the spending ban is still in full force (7 days proud), I've made a spendy list of what's on my to-buy list for May, the month of a sunshine filled weekend getaway. In the mean time here are on my top 5 spring hotlist:

1. Delicate is the new statement. 

Minetta is a jewellery brand I want to shout about from the rooftops, whilst keeping their delicate and dainty collection all wrapped up to myself. From their initial stamped necklaces to their dainty gold plated bracelets, I've fallen head over heels for - well, everything. Whilst I've got my eye the majority of their collection, the curved bar bracelet has been adorning my wrist pretty much since it arrived in the post. Major heart eyed emoji. 

2. I've found the one to rule them all. 

Essie gel nail varnishes, where have you been all my life? The most long lasting polish I have ever used - for real, it's a dream. Check out the shade Spool Me Over. 

3. Finding my inner, inner core. 

Pilates is a fitness class I can't wrap my head around. Because I don't sweat like the beast I do in my cardio classes, is it really a work out? Sure I get to zone out for an entire blissful hour and appreciate my pedicure, will I see any benefit? At the moment I'm just crippled by the fear.  *TMI warning*
The fear of farting whilst your ass is sky high. 

4. Can we all please take a moment

...to appreciate how beautiful this Topshop lace top is?
Now let us all roll our eyes in unison at Topshop who insist on making everything cropped. Nah pal. 

5. A new discovery

If like me you wear glasses, you know what a ball ache the sunshine is. I take that back, you know I didn't mean it. But really, the constant squinting. The realisation that if you want to save your forehead lines, you accept that you must be prepared to go blind in a pair of stylish sunglasses. OR you can snap up a cheap as chips pair of prescription sunglasses from Toy Shades

After a work pal recommended the brand to me last year, I picked up a pair of rip off aviator sunnies for £40 with my prescription and they have been a staple since.


3 April 2017

The Lust List: 30 must-have accessories from H&M

So whilst I may be only day three into my spending ban, that does not prevent me from 1) enabling you 2) online 'window' shopping. 

Excuses over - let's talk my top 30 must-have accessories from the high-street hero that is H&M. A place I often overlook (mainly because cba with those racks), but online it's another story. Offering up quite the premium range with suede handbags, polarised sunnies and gold plated jewellery, their accessories game is majorly on point for spring. 

With the trend for luxury so hyped at the mo, it's pushing me to the reverse. Sussing out arm candy that won't break my house savings, the pink powdered suede bag with gold detailing is the perfect addition for the gazillion weddings I have this summer. Thank you please. 

Knot bangle - £5.99 ∙ Pink glittery heels - £24.99  Pink sunglasses - £6.99

Grey belt - £4.99 ∙ Suede pink bag - £39.99 ∙ Hoop earrings - £5.99

Cream suede bag - £24.99 ∙ Oval hair clip - £3.99 ∙ Belt - £12.99

Red heels - £17.99 ∙ Rose gold shopper - £17.99  Hair grips - £1.99

Suede navy bag - £24.99 ∙ Printed sunglasses - £6.99 ∙ Suede pink heels - £39.99

Powder pink shopper - £17.99  Silver belt - £4.99  Hoop earrings - £4.99  Ruffle flats - £17.99

Grey heels - £17.99 ∙ Leopard print bag - £8.99  Gold plated bracelet - £12.99 ∙ Necklaces duo - £5.99 

Coral suede bag - £24.99  Silver shopper - £17.99  Tortoise shell sunglasses - £34.99

Hair clips - £4.99  Gold plated necklace - £17.99  Pastel pink sunglasses - £34.99  Grey shoulder bag - £19.99


31 March 2017

5 Things Friday: The perfectly pink flats

Coat - Zara  Bag - Topshop ∙ Scarf - Warehouse  Breton - Boden ∙ Flats - Accessorize ∙ Jeans - Zara 

In a bid to share more 'me' on this little space of the internet, I'm bringing back 5 things Friday. Oh yass. Being immersed in the world of social media and influencer marketing career-wise, I somehow forget that I *actually* have a blog. And that's something that I wanna change, so here goes...

1. First and foremost, the pink pointed flats I shared over on my insta

Pastel pink perfection, of which pairs perfectly with my Zara rough hemmed jeans. Where from? You'll never guess. Accessorize. Uh huh right?! They have seriously upped their shoe game. A snip at £29, sure they'll murder your feet, but so worth it. 

2. This new-in Topshop dress is currently sitting in my wardrobe (see below).

It's navy (winner), it has a dinky star print (double win), but it's a midi dress length. Otherwise known as slicing me in half length. Should I whip off a chunk and make it into a mini?

3. Which leads me nicely into the fact that this month is going to be known as: MEGA SPENDING BAN ENFORCEMENT.

April is all about #adultingtheshitoutoflife and saving my bucks for the flippin' 6760786 weddings and hen do's that are lined up this year. Not even mentioning the never ending house savings. This year was honestly like a light switched - pow! - you are now officially grown up, now cough up.

4. Whilst I plan to fill you in good and proper with a health and well-being update (hold on to your seats kids).

I'm finally feeling back in the game and ready to hit the gym. Throwing myself in the deep-end with weeknight circuits - sweet mother of god preserve me - and pilates classes, I am determined to find my inner core, however deep down it might be hiding.

5. It's official, I suck at posing in outfit snaps.

You may have noticed. But you know who masters them every damn day and has shared her all top tips in a handy blog post? Deborah. Go read her post. I've been making notes and really trying to suss out how to change the depth of field on my camera - whatever that is. Next go follow her on insta, she's one of the best 'real' bloggers out there.


19 March 2017

Beauty Talk: My Charlotte Tilbury Collection

Remember way back when I was literally too excited to function (but managed to pen a blog post) when Charlotte Tilbury sent me her new collection? Yeah, I still can't believe that either. But I'm back with the next instalment on the other CT goodies in my stash. That fancy gold packaging has me hook, line and sinker - here's a round up what you need stat, and what you can kindly look over.

Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder

When I avidly read that Sam Chapman (Pixiwoo) was a dedicated fan of the flawless finish face powder, that's when I knew needed in.

It's light, it's breathable, slightly overpriced - but it simply does wonders to blur and mattify. In short, it's perfect for finishing off your morning routine.

Not quite handbag friendly, what grates on me is the super luxe packaging is never not marked with finger prints. It's like the never clean Nars packaging all over again. Meh.

Magic Foundation 

Normally flirting between a tinted moisturiser or something a little fancier like Armani luminous silk, the Magic foundation is heavier. It smacks you right in the face with full coverage, yes - it blurs and covers imperfections - but you look dull, flat and lifeless. Eurgh.

Not velvety soft matte, nope, nada - just dull. I'm currently mixing in my precious liquid Becca highlighter with every dollop.

Filmstar Bronze and Glow

Perhaps the most expensive item in my stash - the Tom Ford doesn't count as that was (duty) free - and the CT Filmstar compact was worth every buck. I honestly dread the day I hit pan. Dramatic, I know. A sleek compact that is home to a very cool toned bronzer (no glitter here people) to sculpt and slim, joined by a soft and buttery highlighter that offers that's that candle-lit glow in real life.

It's a subtle boost on a no-makeup makeup day, it's the added cheekbones and luminous glow for an occasion worth dressing up for. And what's more? It's idiot proof. I can take a large powder brush in the bronzer for a healthy complexion or embrace my inner super model cheekbones with an angled contour brush. If you haven't tried it, you need to.

Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk

The 'your lips but better shade' in lipliner form. The hype for this modern day liner has been so intriguing and I can thankfully report back that this lip cheat does certainly that. You can ever so slightly enhance the shape of your lip line to look fuller. In a way that Kardashian wouldn't know how.

Sexy Sienna Lipstick 

You know you have have the best bunch of friends when they surprise you with a CT lipstick in the post on your birthday. Sexy Sienna is one of the 16 celeb inspired shades in Charlotte's Hot Lips collection. Named after the beauty that is Sienna Millar, this golden coral shade is calling out for summer days and it can't come soon enough. Major props to the square tipped shape that makes application a dream.

Mini Lipstick Charms 

Every Christmas, Charlotte brings out a dinky little lipstick gift that features three of her most popular shades. Whether you're a lipstick newbie (this is a great way to suss out shades that suit you) or you are lipstick junkie, they are perfect for slipping into your handbag - and really, who could resist the temptation of miniature lipstick? Major swoon.

Eyelash Curler 

Ah, the famed golden eyelash curlers that were sold out long enough for me to obsess over them and decide that I most definitely needed them in my life. How do they fare? Couldn't tell you. I simply never remember to use them. They do look super pretty on my dresser however.

Tell me - what should I try next?


3 March 2017

Style: Feeling shirty

Shirt - Next  Jeans - Zara  Flats - J.Crew  Bag - Whistles 

There's a new trend on the block - and it's one I can totally get behind. Say hello to the blue ruffled shirt. Conquering that awkward transitional in-between season palaver. And making you look effortlessly sophisticated at the same time.


Really, this is me pretending to be trendy. Springing into next season a little early, when I stumbled across this frilly but flirty blue shirt months back I knew it would be just the pick me up my wardrobe needed.

It was a snip at £28 (impressive), super comfortable (standard), needs next to no ironing (dreamy) and it was from none other than from Next. Uhuh, you read correctly.

Paired with my trusty Zara skinnys (as per) and my painful but oh so pretty J Crew flats, a slick of Bobbi Brown lippie - it's fail safe. 


13 February 2017

The Lust List: Spring dreaming

Technically I promised my next post would be the second instalment of Charlotte Tilbury must-haves. And then - well truth be told - last week was pretty shitty. The weather is never ending god awful, I injured myself in the gym (clearly death is more on my agenda than being skinny) and then I spent the entire weekend eBaying my life away - this calls for retail therapy stat / slash adding items to my pretend online baskets.

Star & Moon bracelet - Estella Bartlett   Silk floral dress - Zara   Mini Lily - Mulberry  

Gingham top - New Look   Red mini bag - M&S   Bow pointed flats - Accessorize   Flounce jumper - Zara

Pink coat - Mango  ∙ Floral blouse - Zara   Lightening bolt t-shirt - Hush   Lilac bag - Topshop  Pink flared jumper - Zara  Flute sleeve jumper - Mango

Funnel jumper - Miss Selfridge   Star t-shirt - Hush  ∙ Jeans - Zara   Striped top - Warehouse   Coral bag - M&S  

Lace top - Miss Selfridge   Pink heels - Topshop  ∙ Pink blouse - Topshop   Skirt - River Island   Scarf - Zara

Coat - Zara ∙ Top - New Look ∙ Heels - Miss Selfridge 

Yadda yadda, I'm having a pity party right now - but seriously, I need to up my eBaying front to get that mini Mulberry in my wardrobe. 


29 January 2017

Beauty Talk: Charlotte Tilbury Collection Part 1

It goes a little like this: when a package of Charlotte Tilbury landed on my doorstep jam-packed with goodies from her new collection, I gasped, screamed in excitement and have pretty much been mouthing 'ME?' under my breath ever since. That and slapping it on my face of course.

After giving both the Instant Look in a Palette and the Quick 'n Easy Kit a full rundown over the last month, it was high time I shared the love...

Instant Look in a Palette - Seductive Beauty 

Next in the palette pipeline was a seductive, smokey version of the Instant Look in a Palette. Housed in a sleek burgundy compact, the perfect size for traveling or handbag stashing for desk to dinner plans, it contains 3 shadows, 2 blushes, a bronzer and a highlighter.

When it comes to all-in-one palettes, I've been left feeling pretty irked in the past. The quality is never up to par and there is always a dud shade that makes your eyes roll back so far into your head, you question yourself, your life and the brand.

On price alone, this palette is a savvy little way to get in on the Charlotte Tilbury action - and just look at the the bronzer, blushes and highlight - THIS is what hit the excitement levels for me.

Firstly the bronzer, what a dream. More pigmented than the likes of my Nars Laguna, it's a buttery soft matte powder that gives a good boost of tan, which looks natural and pretty effortless. No muddy streaks to report here thank you.

It's worth noting that surprisingly Tilbury doesn't have a run of the mill bronzer in her wider collection, but if she were to launch the palette bronzer in her collection, I would snap it up in an instant. That's a testament to how freaking impressed I was.

The highlighter I'm pleased to report is very similar to the iconic shade in her Filmstar Bronze & Glow kit, although this is slightly peachier in shade. The formula is so light without being stark (looking at you Becca), I take a large fluffy shadow brush and sweep it across the top of my cheekbones for a subtle day-time appropriate glow.

The blush shades pack a delightful punch, one to swish and one to add a pop. They both revived my lacklustre skin with an instant zing and refresh. Full marks from me.

Finally onto the shadows - again very buttery soft (similar to the likes of Urban Decay) and easy to blend. It is worth noting however that they are cool toned shades, which is great if thats your thing but as I prefer to warmer tones, I dotted the champagne shade in my inner corner for a poppin' glow.

Buy it: if you want a handy blush, bronzer and highlighter combo palette - perfect for everyday or travelling. This will be tucked away in my make-up bag on all my adventures this year. 

Quick 'n Easy kit - Red Carpet Party 

Before we dash onto how much this red lipstick is an absolute beauty - can we appreciate a) the hella savvy price point of the kits b) the snazzy little bag that answers all my travel dreams.

Tucked inside were all the essentials for a Red Carpet Party. And whilst I may not receive many er invites for parties of such nature, I pretty much swooned hard over the red lip duo. Having sussed out this handy tutorial on the Tilbury website, I had a good go at recreating the look.

Wonderglow highlighter, I'm on the fence here. Described as a highlighter to create that 'soft focus look' - I'mma fess up and say I found it to be glittery if worn under foundation. Preferring my pores not to sparkle, I choose to pat it on after my makeup application for a softer, more contained glow.

The Rock 'n Kohl liner in Barbarella Brown is everything a kohl pencil should be. A softer alternative to a black liner, this is super easy to apply (it glides like a gel), smudges if preferred or drawn neatly to create a flick. Nicely done CT.

A massive fan of the Tilbury Lip Cheat pencils already, this was no exception. Effortless to apply when wearing a bright lip, they are a godsend at keeping everything in place and um basically it's like colouring in the lines. Worn with or without the lipstick, this shade Kiss 'N Tell was soft enough to line the entire lip and lasted a good chunk of the day.

Paired with the Matte Revelation lippie in Red Carpet Red, I am smitten. You can see me rocking the shade here and loving life. It's the easiest shade of red I have in my collection, wearable without looking too try hard. Also, notice the shape of the lipstick? Makes application a dream if you are monstrously cack-handed like I am. WINNER!

Buy it: if you wanna give a range of Charlotte Tilbury items a whirl - especially if it's pay day and you fancy / deserve a treat.

Sorry not sorry if you're feeling enabled but I'm a fan girl through and though. Stay tuned this week as I will be sharing some of my other Charlotte Tilbury faves - turns out I actually have enough bits to be deemed a collection. 

Now excuse me, I'm off to campaign to get the bronzer made into a stand alone product - pretty please?


26 January 2017

Style: How to detox your wardrobe

Conflicted - those were my weekend long thoughts. The motivation for decluttering the shit out of my wardrobe wavered slightly between driven and wanting to take a nap (of which I did, in between piles of jeans, I have no shame). But I did it. I blitzed, de-fuzzed and got ruthless. And now I am truly prepped for new year. Ready to shake of the old, and fill my wardrobe up with the new (see what I did there?).

This is my fool-proof guide:

1. Sort, pile, action.

Be warned, this is where your motivation will peak. Remove everything out of your wardrobe, literally everything. Take this opportunity to hoover, dust and give your wardrobe a good old airing.

Next sort into piles of:

Keep: clothes that will carry you through to next season.
Ditch: bits that have gone past the charity shop stage - next destination? The bin.
Pack away: begone Christmas jumpers and snazzy partywear.
Defuzz & mend: the clothes you wish you could wear but they need repair.
Those that no longer spark joy: eBay 'em or take them to a charity shop.

2.  Out of sight, out of mind.

Whilst the very idea of not wearing a chunky knit may send literal shivers down your spine with this week's temperature, switching in your spring bits from last year and switching out your heaviest winter knits, faux furs and party wear, will breathe new life into your wardrobe. And will encourage you to feel almost, almost, spring like.

I store all my out of season bits and bobs in vacuumed packed bags, neatly stashed away in boxes under my bed. Trust me, once you vacuum pack - you never go back. Don't forget to pack away shoes either.

3. Give life to trusty faves.

Hands up if the thought paying out for the dry cleaners makes you roll your eyes into the back of your head? Yes, I thought as much. Considering that the price of a dry cleaners is roughly fashion maths to 'might as well buy something from H&M for the same price' - winter coats do not fall under this rule. I will save you from my long rant about how expensive coats are, but for the sake of £20 - your coat will feel so fresh come next winter and you'll thank yourself for it.

Give your trusty knits a good old revamp with a knitwear comb, or more specially a cashmere comb. Literally blitz away the bobbles in a gentle manner and have your trusty jumpers feeling as good as new.

And whilst you're on a roll, mend any buttons and give everything a good defluff.

4: Going, going, gone.

Last year I decided to only invest in clothes that spark joy - not meaning they were all expensive or were exceptional quality (although I did try) - but pieces that I knew would fit me well and that I wouldn't tire of. The year before that, I bought pieces that didn't fit me -  *looking at the 79878709 pairs of jeans right now*.

Adding these strictly to my eBay pile, there were also clothes I simply fell out of love with or deserved to be rehomed. In my diary I currently have a hot date with the eBay app, 35 mailing bags en route and a realisation that my next three weeks will be spent in a post office queue - but that extra spending money for new season goodies, I'm game.

5: Refresh.

Make a list of bits that you need. Has your breton died a death? Your white t-shirts looking not so fresh? Yeah sure we all want that M&S flared sleeve knit - but it will look shit with your more saggy than skinny jeans. Oh and stick new hangers on that list too - go on, life is to short to not treat yourself.

Now all that's left to do is nap, and online shop to refill your wardrobe. AKA the fun stuff.


22 January 2017

The Lust List: 20% off River Island

Whilst my chunky knits have been in strong rotation and my 100 deniers livin' it large, I'm ready to shake off the old and be in with the new. Well, within my very, very slim January budget that is. Having sneakily spotted a savvy 20% River Island discount in Grazia, I practically snapped up the star blouse in a heartbeat. And then of course whilst casually adding more pieces to my never cashing out basket, I stumbled across these... pretty impressive huh?

Trench (£75) ∙ Star blouse (£30) ∙ Oversized jumper (£40)  Navy stripe top (£22)  Pink coat (£75)  Cable knit jumper (£36) ∙ Midi skirt (£35) ∙ Star lace top (£38) ∙ Faux suede grey biker (£55) ∙ Trophy coat (£75)

20% off with the code: GRAZIAJAN17 - quick as it finishes Monday night!

In stark contrast to the likes of Topshop with this hideous monstrosity and this eyesore (open links at your own peril) - River Island seems to have stepped up a gear. I kind of want it all. Especially the knitwear. And the trench. And the lace star print blouse. 


23 December 2016

Style: How to nail the sale season

I like to think I have many talents. One could say these would range from (my secret) hip hop karaoke skills to whipping up an excellent get-out-of-gym excuse on the spot. Another however is my knack of sale shopping. Online that is. I have no time for spending Boxing Day in none other than my pjs and bashing open a chocolate orange.

Just call me mystic meg, but to the joy of my pals I can predict the start date of the Topshop sale (without any insider info) and I can expertly track down that last cashmere sweater for less than half price. Does this make me incredibly materialist? Perhaps. But at least I scored my next season pair of boots at a fraction of the cost. So I'll take the term savvy thank you.

Rule 1: Get real

First thing we need to nail here, a sale snip is only truly a bargain if you wanted it (and you were kinda tempted to buy it..) when it was full price. OR it is an offer simply too good to miss - in your head, not your heart. Otherwise come the first month or two of the new year you'll be broke as shit with only a spur of the moment designer fail purchase to show for it.

Rule 2: Suss it out

Be firm, be strong and be totally clued up on what you need, not just what you want now. Right now my wardrobe is lacking occasion dresses (I already have two weddings lined up for next year), a pastel coat that will carry me through to spring, flats (that aren't leopard print - oops) and my knitwear, bra and basic t-shirt collection could really do with an overhaul.

What I don't need is: handbags, beauty bits, jeans or boots. Will I be tempted? Of course I bloody will. But at a time in my life where I ironically I have never had such a corker of a bank balance, that is strictly reserved for overpriced bricks and mortar aka: my house deposit.

Rule 3: Make a list

With that in mind, here is what you should look out for:

Anything cashmere. Knitwear, socks, scarves, gloves - anything. And before you roll your eyes, it's a wise investment that you'll be thanking yourself for years to come.

Anything classic. Be that a winter coat, the perfect grey jumper, a pair of black chelsea boots or stripy breton top.

Something worth the splurge. Dresses (that aren't strictly for the festive period), knitwear (hello Hush), small leather goods (hello Mulberry) or pieces that you could never justify (my weakness is an Aspinal travel wallet).

The essentials: bras from M&S, gym gear, basic t-shirts from Gap and knickers - because you can never have enough knickers.

When it comes to beauty, snap up any skincare / haircare sets that include products from your daily routine. I almost always stock up on Origins and Bumble & Bumble sets. Stay clear of any Christmas beauty make-up sets, you'll only regret it, however tempting.

I actually picked up this Bumble & Bumble thickening set for £13.20 as it is reduced, free delivery and has a welcome 10% off - insane!

Rule 4: It's all in the prep

Make an action plan and get prepped.

Topshop have launched their shoe sale, next will be accessories and partywear (today) and quietly they will do a full hidden launch by Christmas eve at latest. I already have a list of saved items in my bag that I have added (wishfully) around the year that I have my eye on. That way I can log in, take a peak without being side tracked, bobs your uncle, ordered.

As well as saved shopping lists - ASOS saved items is also a massive winner - when I have a sneaky window browse in general I also pin bits and bobs that catch my eye to a secret Pinterest board, that also help me plan my blog wish-lists.

Places I will be stalking:

Whistles: for dresses (and accessories I don't need)
Topshop: for old times sake
Hush: for everything
Boden: for stripes
John Lewis: for beauty
M&S: for bras and cashmere

Worth a look:

Zara: even if they only knock a couple of quid off
Mulberry: so I can pretend
Oliver Bonas: so I can dither

What have you got your eye on for the sale season? If anything. Maybe I'll start the new year off in a new manner I'll wish to continue - not broke.

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