Wednesday, 25 February 2015

New Look SS15 Collection

I confess - the bus stop I wait at every morning is stationed right outside a massive New Look store, and their changing window displays have been my main morning entertainment for the last few weeks. Today I thought I would share with you my picks of the new arrivals, and talk a little about the trends I have my own eye on this Spring. 


Whatever you want to call them, tunics, smocks, pinafores, these loose fitting minidresses are everywhere at the moment and New Look has an especially nice collection. These are so easy to throw on with a jacket, tights and ankle boots, and I always feel very 60's in them, especially paired with flicky eyeliner and fluffy hair. 

Monochrome Silhouettes 

Question - if a blazer has no collar or sleeves, is it still a blazer? Apparently so, and it's not even the most unique silhouette I saw in the new collection. Lots of cut out shapes and unexpectedly high necklines paired with slashed skirts, asymetric hems and geometric shapes, it's all quite edgy and 'fashiony' and I kind of love it to be honest. 

Unexpected Tailoring

 Now I say unexpected because blazers, skirts, pants, you expected those things to have neat and clean lines and lovely pressed seams. T-shirts and jeans and loose cotton dresses though, tend to be a bit rougher around the edges and rightly so, but more and more this season i'm seeing t-shirts finished off with gorgeously clean bias binding, neat half-sleeves and smooth cap sleeves and it's just so satisfying and tidy. 

Blocky Platforms

Hell. Yes. The 'flatform' may be often berated as an ugly shoe, but as an unusually small person with bad legs, they are my favourite type of shoe to wear when I need to pretend to be taller, and wedge heels platforms are equally amazing in my book. How good would those pink nude ones look with some white shorts and a sleeveless top? God, warm weather needs to hurry itself up and arrive already. 

Hope you enjoyed this and I'll see you all again soon! 

- Natalie XOX

Sunday, 22 February 2015

February Favourites

With the days slowly but surely getting longer, the snow easing off and the post-Christmas malaise finally easing up, i'm definitely starting to feel the end of winter approaching. It's almost the end of February now but I am loving a lot of things this month and I just had to share some with you lovely lot. Without further ado, here are some of things I am enjoying currently!

Rimmel London Lasting Finish Kate Moss 01

Y'know some days, you really just need a good strong red lipstick to pick you up and shove you through the rest of the day. I've really been into this one lately, It's quite a deep, true red with a glossy finish. Lasting Finish is always pretty high quality but I'm really impressed with this limited edition classic. Pretty good staying power, although not the best I've ever seen. Also this might sound weird, but it smells really nice! I appreciate the little touches like that. 

Soap and Glory Whipped Clean Shower Butter

I feel like I never stop extolling the virtues of Soap and Glory on here but there's a good reason for that! This shower butter is really weird to use in all honesty, it sort of feels like you're trying to use moisturiser in the shower for a few moments before it lathers properly. That probably has something to do with the fact it's over 25% oils and butters, which leaves skin super soft and smelling amazing, quite a lot like vanilla and macadamia. YUM. 

The Word of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and The Game of Thrones

I am so excited for Game of Thrones returning next month! I've read all of the books and love the show a lot - it feels like it's been ages waiting for it to come back on now. To calm my cravings until then, I treated myself to this companion book that goes super in depth about the history of the world behind it and I am enjoying it so much. It's massively detailed and the illustrations in it are gorgeous.

I do not exaggerate when I say that I live 1 minutes walk from an Asian cash and carry foodstore. It is a DANGEROUS THING to be so close to so many tasty snacks. My favourites at the moment are these strawberry pocky which taste just like strawberry milkshake and are very moreish, and Unif chilled green tea. I'm still on a low-caffeine diet for the foreseeable future, so it's great to have a nice alternative that I can just pick up and go, and that is really refreshing as well. 

Hope you're all having a great week - I've got a long weekend off work  and i'm making the most of it burying myself in Netflix, blankets and tea, so may you all have equally great chill-out time when you need it most. 

- Natalie XOX

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

What I Wore: Nightmare in Pink

I got home from work tonight in a bit of a flurry. My bus was stuck in traffic because of an accident, I forgot my phone at home all day and my umbrella broke. However tired I was though, I was entirely digging my outfit today, so the long and short of it was me bursting into the kitchen and yelling 'JOHN PLEASE COME AND TAKE PHOTOS OF ME PLEEEEEASE.' He was just slightly confused, but very obliging, and so very kindly took these pictures whilst simultaneously playing with the cat, cooking dinner and filling the dishwasher. He is a wonder man.

Dress - Boohoo, Jumper - Primark, Tights - Primark, Boots - Primark

 I like this dress a lot and I love wearing it to work, because it's both smart and comfy which is all I really want in life to be honest. Being so pale, I've never really been much for pink things as I tend to think they either wash me out or bring out the pinky red undertones in my skin, but I've been branching out lately. Plus the collar is just great - who doesn't love a good collar? Also, according to BooHoo, this colour is apparently 'nude' - I do not agree, but hey ho. This jumper was £3 in Primark and if you can't see, it's sparkly! It washes really nicely and is soft, so I think it's kind of awesome really.

Eyeliner - Rimmel, Lips - Rimmel & Soap and Glory, Blush - Avon
Makeup wise, I had to go pink, obviously. Two types of pink lipstick, in fact! Underneath, Rimmel Moisture Renew 130 Oxford St, Fuchsia, and on top Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Lacquer in Charm Offensive. I really enjoy the colour and high gloss of the lip lacquer but I find it wears off pretty quickly, especially when eating and drinking, so having a longer-lasting lipstick underneath allows me to keep some colour between applications. 

Have some outtakes, while you're at it. Arya can't help but be involved when there's a camera around. She's 100% a poser. 

Hope you're all having a wonderful day whatever you're doing! 

- Natalie XOX

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Always The Bridesmaid: Eva Franco for

I have to admit - I may only be 21, but I'm beginning to feel so old lately. Already in 2015 three people I know have gotten engaged or married, and with valentines fast approaching there's bound to be some more cropping up! Last week one of my oldest friends got engaged to her long-term boyfriend, and we got to talking about wedding fashions and in particular, the difficulties of satisfying everybody whilst sticking to your own preferences and likes as well. I have been to several weddings, both traditional and less so, and between colour schemes, weather, differently aged bridesmaids, and a million other factors, I don't know how anybody manages to do it without their heads exploding every which way. So when I was contacted last week to help with the launch of a new line of bridesmaid dresses, it seemed perfect timing to talk about a subject that was already on my mind. 

The summery light colours and the frankly GORGEOUS textures this collection has going on make it perfect for a summery wedding or special event, with a particularly refreshing use of crochet patterns and heavy embroidery and lace, which I think gives it a really vintage and classic feel. I especially liked the Jax and Paloma dress, above left, which is just so modern and different with the white colour and separates. It's everything a traditional bridesmaid dress isn't, and I love it.  

The thing I loved most about this collection upon seeing it though, was the attention to detail. Not only in the beautiful patterns and embroidery, but in the thoughtfulness of designing multiple dresses in the same patterns and colours with different styles and cuts. If I were to get married tomorrow, the girls I would pick to be in my wedding party all have wildly different preferences on how they like to dress - one prefers to have sleeves, one lives in jeans and hasn't worn a skirt in many years, one hates high necklines with a passion, another likes structured fabrics and short hemlines - you see the problem really. Trying to force four or five of your best friends into completely identical dresses is probably always going to end in tears for somebody really, so the option to have variants that still match beautifully is just perfect. Because yes, it's your day and all, but I can't imagine being happy and having a good day knowing that someone close to be is uncomfortable or unhappy with what I've asked them to wear. 

I also love the fact that modern bridesmaid dresses are so re-wearable. It's a lot more palatable I think, in a day and age where many bridesmaids are being asked to contribute to buying their own dresses, when the garment in question is stylish and pretty enough to be worn again and again for other special occasions. I would be 100% happy to wear any of the dresses in this collection for a summer party, graduation, day at the races, or a whole host of other events, and if I were lucky enough to be a bridesmaid for someone again I would be overjoyed to be wearing something as beautiful as the Eva collection. 

I am really excited to see my friends planning their upcoming weddings. If/when I get married, I'm hoping for a fairly low-key affair with supernaturally perfect weather, a gorgeous location, a dress I can walk in, an awful lot of wine and cake, and hopefully, enough matching outfits and pretty colour scheme that my grandparents won't just tut the entire time. Stylish and modern collections like the Eva Franco collection for certainly make that a little bit easier. 

- Natalie XOX

(I was asked to write this post as part of a new fashion launch but did not receive any compensation for it, financial or otherwise. As always, all opinions expressed are my own)

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

What I Wore: Winter Woods Style

Duffle Coat - New Look, Circle Scarf - Primark, Gloves - White Stuff
I am not a massive fan of winter. It's cold, it's icy, and it snows a lot, which as we all surely know about me by now, is my least favourite thing ever. What I do love though, is winter fashion. Cosy layers, scarfs, cute gloves, wool and faux fur everywhere - as much as it's annoying to have to remove 1 billion layers every time I go indoors, you have to admit, it's a cute time for layering. So when my good friend Leigh-Anne of Leigh-Anne Peach Photography (flickr - twitter - facebook) asked me to trek up to the local woods and help her out with some photography practice, I jumped at the idea. I'm still very much a beginner at the whole photography thing, so when I have somebody as awesome as her willing to help me out with some outfit photos, I can't really say no. Yay for artistic friends!

Skinny Jeans - Forever 21, Ankle Boots - Primark, Tweed Blazer - Next

 We took a nice long walk through a local park that borders onto some woods, and went on a little adventure. It was really cold, like really cold, and I very much enjoyed snuggling into my scarf. I love these jeans, they're just the right amount of worn in and they fit really nicely. The sparkly tweed blazer is originally from Next, but was actually found in a charity shop for £2, and these darling little ankle boots were a gift from my grandparents and are from Primark, I wear them a lot, as they are both waterproof, and cute, and that's all I really need from my day-to-day shoes in life to be honest. They were probably not the best idea for trying to balance walk on this random little wall though, in hindsight. Getting over that little stream in the background though to reach an interesting looking tree - A+. As you can probably tell by my crazy hair here, it got a little windy!

Makeup - Avon / Rimmel / Soap & Glory / E.L.F / Sleek

I figured a Sunday afternoon stroll in the park called for fairly neutral makeup, so I kept things simple with just a touch of eyeliner and neutral colours. This is actually the Avon Glimmersticks Eyeliner that I last spoke about in this post, and honestly, my opinion remains more or less the same. It's gorgeously dark and creamy, but just a little too soft and difficult to apply. Maybe there's a knack to it that I just don't have, but I'm not convinced. 

For my lips I decided on Soap and Glory's Sexy Mother Pucker XL Extreme-Plump, in the colour Pink Out Loud. It tingles and plumps and is a really good neutral colour, and it's great to just throw on in a hurry. 

'Hey go stand by that Birch and act like you just saw a cool looking cat across the stream'
'...What's a birch again?'

I'm not really one for nature in general (total city girl, through and through I'm afraid!) but it was a really gorgeous day and I'm really happy with how these outfit photos turned out. I only hope that Leigh-Anne managed to get some decent shots without me being dumb in... 

The rare photographer is captured in their natural habitat

I hope you enjoyed this post - I'm really going to put more effort into my blog photography this year, so I would love some feedback on this post if you fancied leaving me some below. Do you typically like to see OOTD photos/posts? Hope you're having a wonderful day whatever you're doing!

- Natalie XOX

Monday, 2 February 2015

February Goals

Another month, another goals post! January has really flown by, with a rush of getting back to normal. It's gotten really cold lately, with a few instances of snow and ice throwing the British transport system into utter havoc. I've had a decent month - I had a few nice days off work, and my mam visited for a few days. With regards to my last month's goals, I don't think I did too badly. I didn't go out dancing because my friend isn't visiting now until next month, but I did stick to some things. I've been a month now with hardly any caffeine! I only drink one caffeinated drink max per day now. It was hard, but worth it. I reorganised the guest bedroom entirely and put up the new bed (with the help of my lovely boyfriend!) and experimented a bit more with my day to day fashion at work (which I blogged about HERE if you missed it!). February may be a short month, but there's plenty I want to do...

  • BLOG - Yep, you heard it here first. This month I am aiming to really focus on my blog a lot, which means more frequent posts, more varied blog post ideas and an increase in fashion-focused photography and topics. I've actually got a pretty special post lined up for later this week, so you can look forward to that!
  • NURTURE - It may be frosty and still threatening to snow again outside (Seriously, why does it keep snowing? I hate it so much), but I have some little seed herbs that are due for indoor planting, and several ways in which I want to make the house cosier! This also applies to myself, and is a bit of a continuation of last month's HEALTH goal. Because if I'm not going to look after myself, who will?
  • CONFIDENCE - I'm generally a fairly confident person typically I think, but there's some things that still throw me off. I can make phone calls to strangers and approach people in shops no problem, but I get nervous speaking up in meetings at work, and I'm dying to ask for a solo at choir but I haven't quite psyched myself up for it yet. I'm going to try my best to do it this month.
Hope everyone is enjoying the start of February and that the weather isn't being too harsh to you yet. Just think, it's only a little while before Spring, so really it's very justified now to start eyeing up and buying up the gorgeous Spring collections that are popping up everywhere! Especially New Look's, because seriously, how gorgeous. There's a post coming on that soon as well. I'm just teasing you all too much now aren't I! 

Stay beautiful lovelies, and let me know how you're doing below if you like - I'd love to hear it. 

- Natalie XOX