28 May 2009

What I Wore Yesterday [& Mini Shopping Haul]

Yesterday I went round good old Brizzle in search of amazing and wonderful things to buy. And yes, I did manage to squeeze in 2 hours of revision while I was there!

What I wore:

Before my hair went puffy and generally awful due to the rain.
POF: shoppin'!
Jacket: Kate Moss @ Topshop
Scarf: Camden (I wear it too much...I need new ones!)
Tee: Heartcore @ Hot Topic
Necklace: Miss Selfridge
Belt: Lowlife
Jeans: Topshop
Boots: [not pictured] Purple Doc Martens

My mini haul:

1. NO7 Makeup Base
I went to MAC at Debenhams to try out some of their foundations, since mine's been acting up, going a very odd texture on my slightly dry skin. The extremely lovely sales assistant told me to get a good makeup base, which I did! MAC's was a bit more than I was hoping to spend, so the Boots pick worked out much better.

2. Famous Tee
I seem to wear my Famous tees more than any others, so it made sense to buy another in Blue Banana's sale. Instead of £25 they were reduced to a much more sensible £10.

3. All Saints Cardigan
It looks great just hanging in my room.
I spent hours in the All Saints dressing room trying on various wraps, cardigans and shrugs in a variety of shades - this was the style which I fell in love with. How beautiful is the cut? The store where I tried so many on only had a size 6(!) so I had to cross to the other side of the city to discover a delightfully fitting size 12. All Saints stuff is slightly more expensive than it deserves to be, but some of their items are so damn beautiful that you can't say no to them.

All I need now is these two beauties to go with it:

All Saints 7 Sins t-shirt, £60

Urban Outfitters Wings Necklace, £24

Well it is my birthday in four days...but I've asked for this instead!

Love at first sight. ♥

25 May 2009

Second Hand: Pre-Loved or Pre-Used?

Traditionally, charity shops and thrift stores are known as the bane of the high street: full of the town's latest cast-offs, reeking of mothballs and filled to the brim with dry novels, polyester grandma blouses and last year's 'must have' toys. Due to their bad rep, it's no wonder many people would rather pick up the latest fashion pieces in a high-end store with tantalizing displays, glossy carrier bags and hand-wrapped goodies - who wants to spend their lunch break sifting through rack after rack of stained, outdated relics from the 1990s?

However due to the present 'credit crunch chic', many citizens are discarding their former fashion snobbery for fear of severely suffering at the hands of the latest economic crises. The rest of the world is beginning to take notice of this newfound approach to consumerism, leading to a completely different conception of fashion choices. Gok Wan is telling us to "Buy less, wear more" whilst stores such as Primark and H&M gain favour amongst even the most brand-conscious of the public. These stores are reporting record sales, loyal customers of stores such as Abercrombie and Jack Wills shunning the high-end labels in favour of more wallet-friendly goods. This newfound approach to shopping is promoting buyer creativity and 'smart' purchases, making bargain hunters realise the potential of what gems these second-hand stores can be.

I know that many people who read this blog already realise the fabulous treasure troves that charity shops, Ebay and vintage stores can be! They serve us well, providing us with unusual, exciting apparel options for halloween costumes, DIY projects and other people's weddings, to name a few, all whilst saving us literally hundreds in the long run.

The Second Hand Mini-Survey - anyone can fill this in! Leave a comment, post on your own blog, etc.

1. What kind of clothing would you consider buying/would never buy second hand?

I'm not terribly picky about quality, as you probably know! If I see an item I truly love, I don't mind whether it's been worn before, though I draw the line at anything that's heavily used, damaged or stained. Second hand stores are also great for buying anything that costs lots of money but that you know you'll hardly ever wear. I'm not going to my school's prom (sadface! it's ridiculously overpriced for some reason =[) but if I was, I'd probably buy a pretty prom dress second hand if I could. Much better value!

I'd feel strange about buying used underwear such as camis, tights and bras, though many people do.

2. Favourite/least favourite aspect of buying pre-used?

The best aspects in my opinion are the cut prices, the variety and the element of surprise - you never know what you're going to find in there.

Least favourites are the occasionally nasty smells as well as the surprise holes/stains you don't notice until after you've already bought it. This is especially bad when buying used clothing online.

3. Best finds from the charity shop / vintage store / Ebay?

My mum used to live in London and found some truly great items in charity shops, including a real Gucci scarf for £3 and some work jackets costing £6-8 each.

As for vintage, stores only seem to be prevalent in larger cities around here - such a shame! Buying vintage online is also irritating, as while there are some amazing wardrobe assets out there, the prices are often jacked up to extremes. Camden's Saturday Electric Ballroom market is always a joy to look around whenever I'm there - I managed to get a real leather trenchcoat in amazing condition for £30, complete with authentic goth/stoner smells.

Ebay can be a real mixed bag & it's always important to know exactly what you're buying - sounds obvious, but I can't tell you the number of situations where I've opened the packet and thought "oh, I didn't know it was like that!". I've found a couple of cute used Delias thermals from US sellers, as well as my brown/gold H&M plaid shirt and Topshop gold heart necklace that have become almost trademark items for me, both pre-owned.

4. Do you ever give to charity shops? Would you ever donate anything valuable to them?

I'm totally for giving to charity shops! Although I sell a lot of clothing, anything I don't manage to sell first time that's in good, wearable condition is bagged up (clean of course!) and dropped off at either the Cancer Care or Barnados charity shops. Those are my two favourite charities and it's great knowing that they'll be able to make money for their cause.

I have donated some fairly valuable items in the past, but currently I sell most of it to get money to put into my savings. I've heard of certain people who skip the whole selling process and simply give away all their designer cast-offs to their local charities. So generous!

5. Uses for clothes from the thrift stores & charity shops?

I admire some of the amazing works on Etsy that some people manage to conjure up from old, oversized t-shirts they picked up at a thrift store. Sometimes I see certain patterns or fabrics in the charity shops and think, "I wish I could cut that up and make it pretty!" Someday, when I learn to sew.

If I saw a really great item in a charity shop I wouldn't hesitate to wear it as it is (though that hasn't happened yet!).

24 May 2009

Survey! What I'm Using Right Now.

Hurray for the unofficial 'end of school'! Study leave is happenin' for the next few weeks, so I should have more time to update from now on.

The 'What I'm Using' Survey [from the divine Cupcakes and Cherries.]


Shampoo - TIGI Catwalk Fashionista shampoo. It's supposed to be better for my coloured hair than my previous L'Oreal offering & I love the smell. Shame it dries out my scalp so much! I'm finishing off this bottle & then looking into other brands.

Conditioner - TIGI Catwalk Oatmeal & Honey Conditioner. I've used this for years and adore the smell, & it seems to condition hair well without making it too greasy.

Hair Mask - ION Protein Repair stuff from Sally's. It does make my hair quite soft, especially the ends, but VO5's Hot Oil treatment is my favourite as it makes my hair super-shiny.

Styling Products - Where do I begin?! I have so many it can't be doing me any good. The main ones I use are:
- Bed Head Hard Head hairspray
- VO5 Miracle Mist Heat Protect
- Bead Head 'Cocky' Thickening Paste
- American Crew hair wax


Body Wash - Switching between Lush's 'The Olive Branch' and the delectable 'Snow Fairy'.

Body Moisturizer - I've been using crazy amounts of E45 cream lately due to sunburn and other products messing up my sensitive skin. This stuff is SUCH a lifesaver! Body butters by 'The Body Shop' smell divine and are my immediate second choice.

Deodorant - Mitchum, baby. Doesn't mess up my skin and works fine. Shame about the packaging, I think they should make it look prettier as I feel weird about having it on my dressing table.

Fake Tan - Pale's where it's at.


Makeup Remover - Simple face wipes for the end of every day and Bobbi Brown's Eye Makeup Remover for eyeliner mistakes.

Cleanser - Boots Expert Sensitive Skin Foaming Face Wash.

Exfoliator - St Ives Apricot Scrub. I have the 'sensitive' formula as it's much more creamy & gentle than the regular kind.

Mask - Lush's 'A Crash Course In Skincare' - smells SO good, lasts ages & performs true miracles. All their masks are amazing! 'Cupcake' is my second favourite, though I'm not fond of the dubious brown marks it leaves all over the bathroom.


Primer - ...I should probably use one, shouldn't I?!

Foundation - Bobbi Brown Oil-Free Compact Foundation [Ivory]. However recently my skin's dried out and this shows up every dry imperfection on my face and then becomes very greasy despite being oil-free. Could anyone recommend me some others to try?

Concealer - Bobbi Brown Concealer Stick [Porcelain]

Powder - Good ol' Bobbi Brown again, as well as Physician's Formula for redness.

Blush - Bobbi Brown's Rose Shimmer Block. What can I say? I love her stuff.

Bronzer - I don't use bronzer.

Highlighter - Nope.

Eyebase - I think I may need some.

Eyeshadow - Switching back and forth between MAC and Ulta products. I don't mind a bit of Urban Decay either.

Eyeliner - MAC Fluidline [Blacktrack]. I have major love for this stuff.

Curler - Some cheap kind from Ebay - they seem to work!

Mascara - Maybelline Full & Soft. It gives gorgeous volume & never clumps. Possibly the world's most perfect mascara?

Lipstick - Nope.

Gloss - I was thinking about using some, but lipgloss drives me crazy! It's sticky and downright irritating. I can't seem to find any that doesn't make my lips feel like they have sticky toddler syndrome all over.

Nail Varnish - MAC and GOSH, though I haven't worn any lately. Both brands have beautiful shades that last ages.

19 May 2009

Double update!

The last few days have been intense! Saturday I shopped and met up with family, Sunday I sat in a gorgeous vintage-style car (the Figaro) and yesterday I went to see The Blackout, Silverstein & Hollywood Undead! Fun was indeed had by all.

The fruits of my mini Saturday shopping spree:

Miss Selfridge scarf ♥ I love this! Purple, shimmery and ruffled - what more would anyone want? I wore it yesterday & it's super-stretchy, as well as looking wonderfully glamourous on. My new favourite thing.

My dead hair needs love. I tried this last week and it made my hair amazingly soft, as it's dry and brittle from excessive straightening. I had to have more of it. :D

Today's outfit:
POF: Turning up to school 3 hours late & still on an adrenaline high from last night.
Jacket: Urban Outfitters
T-shirt: From Silverstein's merch table last night (bought for boyfriend, but I'm sure he won't mind)
Bag: From The Blackout's merch table the aforementioned night
Necklace: Miss Selfridge
Jeans: H&M
Belt: Lowlife
Boots: Purple Docs [not pictured]

Excuse the lack of updates over the next few weeks - exams are relentlessly wearing me down. I haven't disappeared, promise! ♥

13 May 2009

New skirt! Oh Joys. ♥

Oh the joys of late-night online shopping...

I recently found this gorgeous skirt on the Dorothy Perkins website a couple days ago and clearly I had to have it! The style is very similar to that of the All Saints hitched hem skirts, which I adore but can't afford, and turns out about £40-60 cheaper. Normally Dorothy Perkins clothes are dull and/or hideous, but I was pleasantly surprised by some of the gorgeous pieces they have on their website. Birthday list, anyone?

I'm super-happy with it! Only £25 + P&P. Quite expensive for me, but I think it's worth it, as it's a versatile piece. The material is quite light & it's shorter than expected which worries me on windy days like today; however it's gorgeous & I think the style more than makes up for that! I bought a size 12 and was debating whether I should have bought a size 10 instead as it's slightly loose, though I thought it's better to be safe - I'm not a fan of muffin tops.

Oh, and a girl kindly informed me across the 'playground' (why does a secondary school have a playground again?!) that I should "wear some fucking trousers". Err, what?! I'm not sure why. I know I don't have the most amazing, supermodel-esque legs (hello chunky calves from walking everywhere!) but I love skirts and don't think anyone should be discouraged from wearing them, as long as they're not ridiculously obscene of course.

++ Thanks to the magically addictive Polyvore, I came up with a wishlist 10 of my favourite 'if-I-was-rich' skirts. They make me happy just looking at them & imagining I own them.

All Saints Hitch Mini Skirt [£60]

All Saints Hitch Skirt [£75]

Collette.fr Skirt [~£900]

Dorothy Perkins Pink Full Lace Skirt [£40]

Eruca.jp Grey Jersey High-Waisted Skirt [price unknown] - how cute are some of the things on this site?! Some of their items are amazing.

FanPlusFriend Classical Gothic Lolita Bustle Tiered Cotton Skirt [~£40]

Kelly Ewing Short Hitched Burgundy & Black Skirt [£75]

Sterlingandpearls.com Pink & Black Puffy Skirt [~£40]

Topshop USA skirt [~£30]

Wet Seal Buffalo Plaid Swing Skirt [~£8] - just to satisfy my plaid fetish.

What's on your wishlist?

10 May 2009

What I Wore Today: 09/05/09

Technically it would be 'what I wore yesterday', but yesterday was pure madness!

POF: Super-casual & chilled for a long, fun day
Jacket: Urban Outfitters (I still love the cut & feel of it. So worth the high price!)
T-shirt: GIAN '08 (my beloved Chiodos shirt! ♥)
Scarf: Camden
Belt: Some goth shop
Jeans: H&M

Visited my nan, went to town, said hi to some friends, bought a major haul at Boots, saw some of my family I rarely see & had some amazing authentic Italian food! Had a lush weekend, I'm very happy.

I bought:
- Got2B Freeze Spray - I've never seen this sold in stores before! The spiking glue is amazing, I have to try this too.
- VO5 Hot Oil treatments for hair, my hair is fried by Beyond The Zone's rubbish heat protection spray & needs some loving to restore its bouncy lusciousness.
- Boots Creme Bath
- New deoderant
- VO5 Miracle Mist, should've stuck to this all along!
- Mega 100-pack of Centrum multivitamins
- Chocolate buttons :D

All from Boots! They must love me by now, the amount of hair products & scented stuff I buy there.

On a slighty different subject, I'm on the hunt for gorgeous skirts! Though I have such a particular taste it's hard to find exactly the style I like. I adore casual lolita style skirts and aristocratic gothic ones, but without being too tacky, as well as skirts with lots of voluminous layers and interesting hemlines. They're such hard items to find!

4 May 2009

"I'm Going To This Gig...What Do I Wear?!"

[picture taken by me! 4th Aug 2007, Collision Course Festival @ Yeovil Ski Lodge]

Why I'm writing this article:
Let's face it - gigs are some of the toughest events you'll have to dress for. There are so many different factors you have to consider before choosing your dream outfit: the weather, size of the venue, how you're getting there, whether you're seated or standing, the kind of bands you're seeing, whether the guy/girl you like will be there...just how is one meant to know what to wear?! Despite everything that must be considered, I feel I've got the art of dressing for gigs and festivals down to a fine art, due to simultaneously attending loads of the things and making foolish mistakes, such as wearing too many layers or brand new shoes on the day (ouch!). It's crucial to expect the unexpected and therefore dress appropriately!

RULE 1: Be comfortable!
'Comfortable' in this sense does NOT mean your old tracksuit bottoms or your holiest t-shirt, so don't even go there! Comfort in this sense means being both physically and mentally comfortable with your look. If you did go wearing the aforementioned garments, how embarrasing would it be to wear them around your friends, or upon meeting your most beloved musician?! Of course you'd feel rubbish, and that would show in your body language and the way you act. It's much better to keep your outfit simple, casual and layered (depending on the weather/venue) and completely YOU, for example your favourite fitted t-shirt with jeans, plus a light jacket or shirt if necessary. People are going to be more interested in watching the bands than watching you, so don't feel you have to wear your most outrageously coloured tulle skirt, or your sexiest & tightest corset.

Something I feel must have its own paragraph in this section are your SHOES. I can't stress enough how important your choice of footwear is! If you know you're going to be walking, standing around, dancing or moshing, your best option would be the most comfortable trainers or boots you own. I promise people won't be looking at your feet! If you choose to wear flats or wedges, it's likely that someone will step on them in their big metalhead boots (ouch!) or they'll be carried away with the crowd, never to be seen again. Prioritise comfort slightly over style and focus on having fun, not on the blisters on your feet!

RULE 2: Be practical!
Adjusting your everyday look to a slightly more practical one for the night will pay off. Comfortable footwear, as mentioned above, is a must, as well as something to carry your belongings in. Be creative with this! Only take essentials: I always carry my phone, tickets, money, tissues and sweets (food is expensive!) in a zip-up shoulder bag that goes across the body. This way, I know my bag can't be grabbed or fall off when I'm in a crowd. When I was younger & went to gigs on my own, I used to keep my money in my shoe so it wouldn't be stolen. This isn't always advisable, but hey! I never lost my cash.

Adding to this, it's likely that your clothing is going to get dirty, sweaty or covered in who-knows-what. Ensure your clothing is washable and that your shoes can be easily cleaned of mud and sticky stuff (what is that sticky stuff on the floor anyway?!). It won't be such a tragedy if some fool spills beer on your old jeans than it would be on your favourite dress.

Layered clothing is another must - we've all been there, shivering outside a club or venue in the cold November rain, wearing nothing but a t-shirt and skinny jeans. Most larger venues will have a cloakroom service you can take advantage of, so always phone ahead to make sure - this way, you can bring a jacket, scarf and compact umbrella without having to carry it around. Don't lose the ticket stub they give you! If you're going to a sweaty club venue where there isn't somewhere to stash your bulky clothing and you KNOW there'll be a downpour, a long-sleeve tee and light jacket should suffice, as well as a compact umbrella in your bag. Arriving late or taking shelter in the nearest pub can also be decent options in bad weather, as a sniffly nose and sore throat are not the ideal concert souveniers.

RULE 3: Don't wear or carry anything valuable!

Probably the worst mistake to make! Avoid wearing expensive accessories or anything with sentimental value, as you're likely to regret it. There are two reasons for this: you could lose it, or more seriously, it could increase your chances of being mugged or assaulted. Many city venues are in high crime areas, so use common sense - take the bare minimum.

Examine all valuables on your person before heading off and ask yourself: "Do I really need this? How serious would it be if I lost it/had it stolen?" Of course, items like phones are important in case you're separated from your friends, or need to request the parental taxi ride home early. Would it be better to trade your new iPhone for a parents' old mobile, just for the night? Phone thieves are common at concerts and mobiles easily fall out of pockets: just look at the floor of the venue once everyone's left. Wear the minimum amount of jewellery, especially if it's valuable to you or could come off/get caught on something easily. This makes things like necklaces and expensive bracelets a definite no-no!

RULE 4: Be safe!

Adding to the aforementioned necessities such as leaving your favourite jewellery at home, it's essential to keep your belongings, and most importantly yourself, safe. I know this doesn't particularly relate to clothing, but it's crucially important! Watch your bag, take advantage of safe storage areas for your bits and pieces (lockers, cloakrooms, etc) and always be alert. Plan your journey - write down train & bus times if using public transport to avoid hanging around by yourself at the station. It's always a good idea to take a group of friends or a particularly large male acquaintance if you're worried about your safety. Walking around places such as Brixton or Portsmouth at night is always unnerving, so do everything to keep yourself feeling safe.

RULE 5: Go nuts with your favourite hair and makeup!
After probably sounding like your mother for the last four points, the hair and makeup department is where you can literally do whatever you want! Your face is probably all that will be visible to most people, so don't hesitate to wear your most outrageous glittery eyeshadow and hairspray your 'style into oblivion. Gigs are all about fun, so make sure you have fun constructing your look, and that you'll rock it with pride. Some groups of people even use themes (neon face paint, anyone?!), do their makeup like the lead singer or even have a makeup-savvy friend construct their look for them. Bear in mind this is all optional, so think outside the box and don't be afraid to let your creative side show.

Product Tips:
- Hairspray: If you're going for an elaborate 'do, use a hairspray so strong it'll survive a nuclear explosion - the most rock-solid stuff you can find! I use Bed Head Hard Head, but I've heard nothing but good things about Got2Be Glued Hairspray.
- Spikes & 'Hawks: Want to get the maximum outrageous factor out of your short hair? Got2Be Glued is another product from the Got2Be range which will give you rock solid hold that'll endure anything (I kid you not!)
- Tough Makeup: It's unlikely your makeup will stay pristinely perfect all night, but using a good waterproof mascara and heavy-holding eyeliner such as MAC's Fluidline Liner will minimise the risk of accidental smudging.
- Outrageous Makeup: For the brightest, sexiest colours around, check out Lime Crime Makeup, Lush's sister store B and makeup artists' fixation MAC.

Some ideal gig outfits I constructed on Polyvore for your viewing pleasure - which are you?

Outfit #1:
This girl yearns to be a music photographer when she's older, but right now she settles with taking pictures of her favourite bands from the floor every week. She never leaves the house without her Nikon D80 and posts her work online as soon as she gets home. Her style is a little indie and a little emo - even though she loves gigs, she's a little shy & hides from the rest of the world under her purple wooly hat.

Outfit #2:
Favouring the mosh pit over the dancefloor, this girl is an unashamed concert lover, obsessed with metal, addicted to the adrenaline rush from repeatedly seeing her favourite bands & following them around the country on tour. Her parents can't understand this behaviour, & wonder why she returns home every weekend covered in other peoples' sweat.

Outfit #3:
Throwing practicality out of the window, this girl's favourite hobbies include dancing, browsing the counter at MAC and spending more in a week on hairspray than she does on food. She's developed rock-hard calluses on her feet from wearing high heels each day, as she refuses to be seen dead in a scruffy pair of Chucks.

Outfit #4:
Gigs are a guilty pleasure for this girl. Instead of staying in to help her mother with the baking or conduct lengthy telephone calls to her friends, she sneaks out of the house to see her favourite bands live. She stays well away from the mosh pits in fear of messing up her hair & giving away her dirty secret, but she loves to dance and flirt shamelessly with the boys she meets.

Thanks for reading - hope this helps!

3 May 2009

New Layout! ♥

I've been inspired by the wonderful Kim and the delightful new page header she has kindly made for me! Isn't it so much more suiting than the old one? I'm ecstatic with it. Thank you so much! ♥

I've altered the layout to suit the new header, & will be tweaking the HTML codes to beautify the page during the next few weeks. I apologise if I screw up the coding, as I'm not too skilled with this HTML matter. I'm trying my hardest to get rid of various aspects of the default layout I'm not happy with (random barbie pink lines, for example..how odd!), so you'll know why if the page suddenly looks alien & unfamiliar to you!

In addition, I've had some wonderful mini-article ideas recently, which I can't wait to share with you. Life has been terribly busy lately (exams, studying, friends..exams!), so it's often difficult to find time to plan & write them! I should be able to start some serious brainstorming soon, so I'm super-excited & hope you enjoy them.

2 May 2009

Love & Sequins from Gala Darling

'Puddle Of Sequins' by Soda-Dreamer @ DeviantArt.com

Avid readers of the fabulous & candy-tressed Gala Darling's blog will know about her latest concoction, the wonderful Love & Sequins: Making Magic Happen.

For anyone who hasn't heard, Gala will be releasing frequent installments of podcasts on the subject of just about everything relevant to our lives - love, style, music, sex, dreams, fashion, travelling..anything! What makes her latest creation so unique is that Gala writes each 'cast herself, tells it in her own(awesomely accented) voice and draws on her own experience..wonderful stuff!

After listening to installment number one a couple of days ago, I can truly attest that the excitement is completely valid; these podcasts will brighten up your day, educate you and inspire you. Load one onto your MP3 player or laptop, and listen to it on the train, in your favourite chair or whilst drifting off to sleep. Plus you can gift them to friends as a thoughtful 'just because' virtual present. I admit I have not yet listened to the episode all the way through due to lack of quiet time (#1 has a duration of a whopping 51 minutes 13 seconds!) but I can't wait to - it's wonderful stuff.

I hope readers of my blog will check it out, as Gala speaks on topics we can all relate to & so it should be relevant to you too! She has put a ton of effort into this project, and it definitely shows. If you get to listen to it yourself, I truly hope you enjoy it.
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