Sunday, 19 January 2014

Dress to Impress: How to Beat the 'Blue Monday' Blues

Blue Monday is fast approaching and at the beginning of the week we'll all be (supposedly) waking up to the most depressing day of the year. Mental Health Research UK is urging people to dress bright and colourful on Monday to highlight the plight of those who suffer from depression and seasonal affective disorder as part of their 'Blooming Monday' event. I instantly fell in love with this idea and so collected together my Blooming Monday outfit.

I paired a white shirt with a hot pink jumper to celebrate Blooming Monday. The jumper is from River Island for £20. 

Starting with B. Prepared Makeup Primer, dab a pea-sized amount onto your finger and massage evenly over your whole face, not forgetting the eyelids. 

If, like me, you're prone to breakouts on your skin, lipstick concealer should be next. I don't use any fancy or expensive lipstick concealer, as after trying a few, I believe they all have similar coverage of my breakouts. I use 2True Cover n Conceal as it won't break the bank and lasts a while before running out. 

Next up is Bobbi Brown's Creamy Concealer Kit. I absolutely love this concealer and think it's well worth the money I've spent on it as the coverage you get with this concealer kit is just unbelievable. I have very dark circles under my eyes and the difference Bobbi Brown's concealer makes with this problem is incredible. Not only does it balance out the darkness under my eyes but it also brightens the area. It also somehow makes the skin seem tighter and more energised as well. As this is a concealer kit, the product also comes with a powder that matches your skin colour that will set the concealer so it won't move all day and you look like you have naturally bright and revived skin.

 Next up is B. 16hr Foundation. Recently, I love the B. range as it doesn't feel heavy on my skin but yet gives a full coverage and makes me feel confident in my skin. I use a foundation brush to apply the foundation as it gives a more even coverage. If I need to, I will then go in with my fingertips to blend out any bits the brush can't reach. 

For my last and final concealer, I will use MUA Cover and Conceal Wand. I use this more of a highlighter as I will dab a bit over my under eyes, top of my nose and high points of my cheek bones.

I will then use Collection's Pressed Powder to set the foundation. I like to pat the powder from the brush onto my face. This patting motion means that you won't move any of the foundation you just applied so it is all set in the right place. 

Next I will use bronzer to bring out my cheekbones. I also like to run a tiny bit of bronzer down each side of my nose. This make your nose look slimmer and more of a cute button nose shape. After the bronzer, I will take a natural pink blush colour and brush it lightly over the apple of my cheeks to get subtle rosy cheeks.

I use Lancome's eyeliner to create a winged effect as it will elongate you eyes and make them look bigger. 

As a big fan of Lancome, I also use their Hypnose mascara as it extends the length of my eyelashes in just a few strokes and also makes them thicker and darker. The mascara truely makes a sexy but elegant eyelashes look.

Last but not least, to finish off this Blooming Monday's look I will be using Revlon Colour Stay 005 Muse. This hot pink colour will match perfectly with the jumper I will wear whilst also making a statement. I love this lipstick as it's bright pigment really stands out and does exactly what it says on the tin - the colour actually stays! This of course means you have to be a little careful while applying the lipstick as if you slip, the colour will stay where you made the mistake but once the lipstick is on, the colour is beautiful and means you don't have to worry about re-applying every half hour!

Here is the finished look. Gorgeous, bright, fashionable and perfect for beating the Blue Monday blues!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Five Beautiful Backs to Wedding Dresses

My recent obsession has been unique styles in lace and gorgeous backs to dresses. These two usually collide with wedding dresses - can I admit yet that because of this, I've been searching through pages of beautiful wedding dresses with no sign of an engagement in sight?! Here are my favourite five lace backs to a dress:

5. Tadashi Shaji

This beautiful back by Tadashi Shaji looks like icy leaves have fallen onto the woman to form this unique dress. Perfect for a winter wedding, this icy attire is impossible to ignore! 

4. Veluz Reyes

Elegant, enticing and equisite are just a few words to describe this unique Veluz Reyes dress. Veluz Reyes, a Phillipino designer, owns a collection of the most unique, stunning and elegant dresses for brides all around the world. 

3. Claire Pettibone

This gorgeous Claire Pettibone dress adds a touch of colour to the traditionally white wedding dress. The soft green of the bow and rose pink of the flowers add an unique touch to the bride's dress, while also keeping her feeling beautiful on her wedding day.

2.  Veluz Reyes

Another Veluz Reyes dress! I wasn't kidding about her elegantly unique designs. Here is another example of her perfect princess dresses.

1. Juliet Poyser

My number one is 'Coffee Lace' by Juliet Poyser. This full lace, fitted gown is equally dazzling as it is classy. I can only hope that one day it will be my turn to wear this dress while walking down the isle. 

Thursday, 8 August 2013

1950's vs 2010's women

Today's images of the 1950's are booming with American jukeboxes, 'Grease'-like slicked back hair and Hepburn inspired swing dresses. The 50's dresses have a tight upper bodice and a flared, under-netted skirt, worn with a tight belt to emphasise or create an hourglass figure on the woman wearing the dress. 

These dresses give a woman a beautiful hourglass figure, which was the desired shape of the time. I believe this is a much more healthy and womanly look to aspire to, instead of the rectangle, boyish and stick thin look girls have to look up to in the world of 21st century fashion. 

In my opinion, I think the dresses promoted a womanly, healthy shape in the 1950's and the huge female celebrities of the time such as Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn were role models for the women of that day and therefore most normal everyday women didn't starve themselves to fit into a size 0 dress like so many do today.  

As this picture shows, most British women are now the boyish, rectangle shape whereas only 9% are the 1950's fashionable hourglass figure in today's society. I believe this is due to the female role models of today such as the stick thin Victoria Beckham, Keira Knightley and Kate Moss that girls and women all over Britain aspire to be like. 

If you put a picture of Elizabeth Taylor by Kate Moss, the vast deterioration of health, beauty and respect for one's own body is blindingly clear. I believe women are trying to copy celebrity figures and apply this body shape in their own lives to achieve the same admiration and compliments celebrities receive, whereas in reality the compliments are false and made only from media platforms for transparent reasons such as networking and creating friendly connections with celebrities to make professional progress in their career. Celebrities are used and bought with compliments from the media but this false or exaggerated admiration is understandably misinterpreted by modern day women (as celebrities gain admiration and fame due to their 'beauty') and this is how the unhealthy obsession for being stick thin is formed. 

Elizabeth Taylor and Kate Moss - 1950's and 2010's body figures. 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Summer Favourites

Summer has finally arrived in London! Well it had arrived, but it seems to have been washed away in the last few days of stormy rain clouds - along with every Londoner's pitiful hope of a sunny summer. However, in true British style, we're all sticking it out, sucking it up and acting like it's still 30 degrees! So without further ado, here are a few of my 2013 summer favourites:

5. Sleek Eye-shadow Palette 

I bought this eye-shadow palette from Superdrug in June for my school's prom. I used a combination of the first and fourth eye-shadows on the top line of the palette for sweeping over my eye-lids and the first colour on the second line down of the palette for just the outer thirds of my eye-lids and also for brushing along the crease of the eyelid. 

I loved how this turned out because the lighter shades gave my eyes a shimmering and elegant look while the darker bronze colour gave my eyes depth and a sexy smokey eye that is perfect for an occasion like prom! 

4. Lancome Hypnose Mascara 

I was bought this mascara for my 18th birthday in March and I think it's amazing! In just a few strokes of this mascara, length is added to my eyelashes which I've never managed to achieve with any other mascara! Hypnose gives you the effect of naturally long eyelashes - I would say they give similar lengths as false eyelashes but without the obvious 'fake-ness'. A perfect addition to your summer make-up to keep you look fresh-faced and naturally beautiful!

3. MUA 'Kiss-proof' Pink Lipstain

It was initially difficult for me to stray away from my beloved rep lipsticks but I needed a lighter and more summery colour this year to compliment my shimmering gold eye-shadow. This MUA lipstain was only £3 from Superdrug and it really does stay in tact for hours! Throughout a full day of wearing this lipstain, I only re-applied once - and that was me just being a little bit picky with my makeup having to be perfect! The bright pink colour gives a bold addition to a plain outfit and compliments my green eyes nicely! 

2. New Look White Lace Shoes

I got these shoes in the New Look sale with an extra 10% off because they already had some dirt on the toes when I brought them to the till - bargain! For only £7, these shoes have done me well as I have hardly taken them off since I bought them! As they are white, they'll go with nearly everything I wear and the lace sides add an extra feminine touch to the shoes as well as a pretty, summer look to my outfit.

1. New Look Yellow Floral Dress

My number 1 summer favourite is also from New Look. This pretty summer dress is perfect for walks in the park, barbecues with friends or shopping days up London in the sun! 

The stunning contrast of the soft purple flowers against the diluted yellow background make the dress seem understated yet still very girly and pretty. The gorgeous white crochet around the centre of the dress adds to that summer feel while also ending the annoying need for a tight belt, which can sometimes feel a bit too uncomfortable while out in the sweltering summer sun. 

Paired with some beautiful rose bobby pins (the rose is dyed cardboard, about an inch in height and width and attached to the end of each pin) completes this fresh, natural and summer look for me with the final outfit feeling comfortable and pretty!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Guest Blogger Competition Entry for Free People!


London is a vast, dazzling and unique city full of unexpected beauty filling every nook and cranny of its area. Personally, I feel I may be a little bias in thinking London is the most enchanting city in Britain as it is my hometown. However, as it is also one of the largest tourist cities in the world, I believe many other people may also agree with me. 

It is undeniable that the bright lights of this bewitching city is equally as enchanting as it is striking. Here are just a few of my favourite places from inside London and Greater London:

3. Westminster

To start off the countdown of my top three favourite places in London is the very popular tourist (and local as well, I suppose!) attraction, Westminster. Westminster lies on the north bank of the River Thames, making the Palace of Westminster (left hand image) extremely beautiful at night when the Palace and bridge is lit up with hundreds of soft yellow lamps, creating a warm and comforting vibe to Westminster. 

Westminster is also home to the world famous landmark Big Ben. The tower is now officially called the 'Elizabeth Tower' after 2012's Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. As Big Ben dominates over the rest of the structures in its proximity, Big Ben embodies the aura of authority which is also supported by the clock tower's world famous reputation of being one of the most recognisable landmarks in London.

Due to it's soft lighting and historic structure, I believe Westminster perfectly embodies London's subtle pride in its classical architecture and embellished history and therefore deserves a place in my top three favourite places in London.

2. Primrose Hill

I included Primrose Hill in my earlier post 'Top 5 Most Beautiful Places in London' and rated it as the number one most beautiful place in London. As a result of this I couldn't resist also including Primrose Hill in this post - anything to be able to talk about the views again!  

Every time I have sat at the top of Primrose Hill, I have always felt the same senses of peace, content and being unified with all things around me - whether it be friends, nature or even just random strangers also enjoying the view. Sitting on the top of the hill and watching the lamps switch on, twinkling and glowing like earth-bound stars creates an intense sense of optimism and well-being within me which is hard to find anywhere else. 

The sky scrapers of London stretching up and reaching into the nights soft indigo sky reminds me that even a busy, modern and digital city such as London can even possess beauty and enchantments which is unequaled in many other 'unspoiled' landscapes. 

1. Eastcote

As I become even more bias now, I have chosen my hometown Eastcote as my number 1 favourite town in Britain. I took both the pictures above myself as they are my favourite places to be in the world out of all the places I have ever visited. 

The first (left) picture is taken in what I have nicknamed the entry to the 'secret garden' in Eastcote House Gardens. The wooden arch leading up to the huge and twisting tree reminds me of a setting of a fantasy book where fairies, elves and goblins could be discovered. In the summer, this arch is especially beautiful as flowers of many colours grow in the grass on either side of the arch and vines and more flowers grow and twist around the wooden beams in such vast numbers it feels as if you are walking through a tunnel of flowers. 

The second (right) picture is taken from the memorial garden in St. Lawrence Church, Eastcote - the church I grew up in and was a member of until the age of fourteen. The collection of flowers and psalm crosses left for the ashes buried in the garden creates the almost tangible sense of sad beauty but equally happy memories. 

The garden has a special and personal sentiment for me as a loved one is buried there and so I enjoy sitting in the garden on a sunny day and letting the sun shine down and warm my face and back as the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. As I sit, I feel a sense of unity with and understanding for the people's memories and love for the one's who have passed on and because of this reason, the memorial garden is a very significant, very graceful and very radiant place in my eyes. 

A few more pictures of Eastcote House Gardens and St. Lawerence Church:

Eastcote House Gardens

Eastcote House Gardens

Eastcote House Gardens
St. Lawrence Church
May Fair at St. Lawrence Church

 All rights of the pictures go to the owners.

10 Facts About London Underground

10. The tube travels about 43 million miles every year - that's nearly half way to the sun! 

9. During World War 2, people were discouraged from sleeping on the tube, but later 22,000 bunks were supplied, as well as toilets and food. 

8. On average, 50 people a year commit suicide on the Underground. The peak hour for suicides is 11am.

7. In the movie 'Skyfall' the Underground scenes were filmed only at night in Charing Cross Station over several months. 

6. Bats, newts, mice, rats, snakes, mosquitoes and even deer have all been spotted somewhere in the Underground networks.

5. During Christmas 1940, Underground workers handed out thousands of toys to children sheltering in the train stations.

4. Also during World War 2, the British Muesum stored its treasures in a branch of the Picadilly line - including the Elgin Marbles. 

3. The Victoria line commissioned artists to produce original tile motifs for each station, including the seven trees which give Seven Sisters its name.

2. The Metropolitan line has the fastest train speeds, sometimes reaching over 60mph.

1. Three babies have been born in the London Underground. The most recent was a boy, born in December 2008.


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Submarine Review

Although this movie isn't technically to do with London, I did watch it in London and I want to write about one of my favourite films! 


Written and directed by Richard Ayoade and based on the novel by Joe Dunthorne, Submarine is a coming of age story about the protagonist Oliver Tate's teenage worries, problems and relationships. 

Tate's 'Adrian Mole-like' character gives a potentially sad story many chances for the audience to laugh out loud while simultaneously not taking away the weight and seriousness of issues explored in Submarine. 

The sudden close up and swooping camera shots give the film an perfectly broken and rugged feel which mirrors the movie's theme of awkward teenage discovery and finding oneself.

Alex Turner

I found Ayoade's idea of exclusively using Alex Turner's solo music in 'Submarine' extremely well thought out and researched as Turner's songs embody abstracts such as mystery, eeriness and with Turner's voice echoing on every note, similarly it echos through the grey and empty space of the deserted Swansea beach in what Submarine is sub-mainly set. 

When with his band, Arctic Monkeys, Turner writes and plays upbeat, alternative songs but on his own, Turner's songs seem to unwind as he writes about the small happiness's in life such as watching a girl turn down the lights or going to a fun-fair. This simplistic view featured in Turner's songs fit perfectly to the vibe of 'Submarine' as a main theme of the film is the simple desire of searching for happiness or even just the feeling of content in Tate's life. 

Final Thoughts

'Submarine' is filled with beautifully sad moments and equally enchanting, uplifting and memorable scenes of family, friends and finding oneself. Submarine is nearly 100 minutes of pure entertainment which leaves the audience with a feeling of happiness and a renewed sense of being grateful for their life.