Sunday, 30 December 2012

New Year? Let's do this thang.

Well this has been a pretty big year, so thought I'd do a brief round up before hitting you all with my resolutions. I mean 2012 has been a real mixed bag. A load of big big things and a few little ones to round it off. I'd like to tend to focus on the positive rather than throw a little pity party for myself, and looking back 2012 hasn't been half bad. JUST SAYING. In fact at times it's been pretty much hilarious. I'm still shocked that I've not been banned from public transport is all I'm saying.

-First things first - I graduated with a 2.1. Can I get a woop woop? Managed not to totally plank it as I walked across the stage.

-Went some gorgeous places with the boyface - London,Dunbar,Buckie.

-Gave my best girl a Bruce Springsteen hen party before heading to Southsea to be her bridesmaid and watch her marry her OTL (one true love, natch.)

-I became a runner to the point I ran a 10k for Rape Crisis Scotland.

-Did my second film festival this year (while writing my dissertation.) Completely manic. Completely worth it.

-Danced/ate/cried as some more of my lovely lovely pals got married.

-Saw Wicked! (finally) and Phantom of The Opera which is still the best musical ever. I also got to go to the ballet a shit ton this year which is always a treat. Nutcracker your set was UHMAZING. The only way I can think of it being improved is by more dry ice.

-I learned how to change a needle on a record player thus proving I am not completely technologically inept

-I remained a non-smoker (high fives all round please.)

-Saw some great movies, read some wonderful books, made some fantastic new pals.

-Gussied up my blog, found some fantastic new designers and finally started doing outfit posts because of course.

-After years of having issues with my body/weight/whatever - it has become less of an issue. It's not perfect, I'm still not quite there yet and I still have little moments where it's not so great but for the first time in a long time I don't hate how I look in all the things and some of the guilt I've associated with food isn't there any more (at least isn't dominating.) Getting my fitness in check and generally being in a more stable happy place has helped a lot.

So 2013? I don't really think that a new year really makes that much of a difference, I think if you really want to make changes that you should start putting them in to effect as soon as, so I guess this guy is more of a things I'd like to achieve by this time next year. Let's see if we can manage it eh?

-Make the fashion strand of Glasgow Film Festival super amazing (which it will be.) I've been programming the strand for the past few months which really just means sitting in by bed and watching movies on my laptop and sending countless emails. I'm actually really excited about the strand this year and think you should see ALL the films.

-Get a job. This is pretty high. One in events, marketing, pr. Something that I can generally be an utter bad ass at. Not too much to ask right?

-I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to try a half-marathon, so maybe tackling this in September. Till then would love to do another 10k. Trying to convince the sister to do this guy with me.

-On that note - join a running group. Why you so scary Glasgow?

-Continue reading all the books. Halfway through Faulkner which I suppose is some what of a gateway drug to Joyce. Loads more Valenti. Read the books that are in my book case but have been neglected.

-Only buy things that I love love love and will wear forever.

-Remember to take my make-up off every night. Skin care is my friend. Also find a moisturiser that my skin is all up in.

-Visit somewhere new. Make an effort to visit old places to see the best faces.

-Make an attempt at learning to drive. Even though everyone will be better off if you don't.

-Get my house the way I'd like it. Got some lovely prints for my Christmas. It's time to make my house a home yo!

There's loads I'm looking forward to in 2013 - P moving in, the promise of a wee kitten to our brood (I'm thinking Liz Lemon or Pancakes, P is thinking Anya or Ripper), our friends getting married, movie nights with some of the best people, a trip to Southsea, a trip to London, P's first time on a plane and just a whole mess of unknown goodness. I don't know about you but I'm pretty excited! I'm attempting to cook for the 1000 (okay 16) for New Year's day so will be absent from the internet while I immerse myself in an insane ammount of prep work but have a good one when it comes to you. Will see you on the other side!
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Saturday, 29 December 2012

A Pale Girl's Misadventures in Foundation

Every beauty junkie has their vices. Mine is foundation. I am all about the base (base base the buttery biscuit base) and have yet to find my ONE TRUE FOUNDATION (otf.) There have been some close contenders. When I was young I pretty much lived and breathed for MAC NC15 while a couple of years ago I was near ready to run off and marry Estee Lauder Double Wear in Shell. Both were great foundations - but not flawless (making me look jaundiced and stripping my skin) and I realised I've tried a shit ton of foundation over the year's so thought it may be worth sharing them with you.

I am first of all a pale girl. Like - a stone's throw away from chalk white. I'm still on the search for a foundation pale enough for me that doesn't cost ALL the money and has a formula and finish I like. My skin is pale pale (I suppose let's go with very fair) and I'm a bit of a combo girl. My forehead likes a wee bit of shine and my cheeks like a bit more nourishment as they can feel tight. When I do break out it is nearly always round about my chin and if I don't wear some colour people tend to just assume I'm ill. Foundation wise my experiences with finding a shade right for me has been...trying. Either I'm offered foundations that aren't even close to the right colour for me (counter girl that is making me two shades darker, no) or jaundiced - as in, you would be pretty convinced my liver is ready to pack up in leave. So for you dear reader - an (abridged) history of my foundation.

Maybelline: Dream Matte Mousse in Porcelain Ivory

This guy was my first true love foundation. I discovered it quite my accident but it very quickly became the standard for me and my friends. We were a bunch of 16 year olds who wore way too much eyeliner and with looking back - skin that wasn't actually that terrible. However this guy had a gorgeous light-weight formula and pretty much blanked out all our features earning it the nickname "Sex on the face" (we were 16.....and it was the very early noughties, I get a free pass right?)  Good matte finish and full coverage. Maybe too full (I sound like a blasphemer but yeah.) I didn't find it lasted super long and would often have to reapply, which to be fair was super easy.
I did revisit it later and found that it dried out quite quickly and I found it a little bit cakey. Colour wise it wasn't terrible but as a foundation it's shade collection is still fairly limited.  A fairly limited run of colours and in retrospect still not a great colour match for me - however as high street foundations go it's not bad.

MAC Studio Fix NC15

Bring me someone who enjoys a matte finish and hasn't used studio fix and I will show you a straight up liar. This was my first "real" foundation that wasn't from the high street and oh how I loved it. Mac was my everythang gurl. I was blinded by brand loyalty for a very long time and bought all the things and it was all down to this guy. However after a time I began to realise this guy made me a little bit - yellow. Definitely yellow. The thing is the formula is pretty good, the finish is good but the colour - not so much. 

Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid

Is it possible just to feel mild indifference to a foundation? I've never really felt passionately either way about this guy. It offers a medium to full coverage and the finish is perhaps a bit too satiny for me. The formula isn't terrible and neither is the packaging (it's pretty standard to be honest.) I guess the worst I can say about this foundation is that I found it unremarkable - distinctly average. Also 8 shades? Seriously - how you meant to get a colour match for anyone with that?

Stila Illuminating Powder in 10 Watts

This guy had me nearly converting to powder. I discovered this guy in Watt Bros for something ridic like £2 and it came in the perfect pale pale shade imaginable. My skin was having a brief romance period with me so I didn't need anything too heavy This guy provided a light to medium coverage, felt great on the skin and lasted forever. I bought pretty much all of what the store had going, and the rest. Now Stila is back in operation fo realsies now I'm yet to dip my toe back in to the Stila pressed powder pool (at £18 it's going to be pretty deep) but if the formula and finish is anything like my bargain basement foundation of dreams I may have to revisit. It kept my big shiny forehead at bay and was an excellent colour match. Still - I was not ready to go powder. I suspect if my skin becomes any less temperamental this could be a shout.

Calvin Klein Long Wear Pressed Powder in 106 Light

Another Watt Brothers number setting be back what, a whole £2? Good cover, good finish but could definitely feel it on my skin. It wasn't quite the magic powder of dreams that I experienced with Stila, but I was shocked by how much coverage I got from this (medium) and the good colour match I managed to find. With Calvin Klein back making make-up I'd be interested in trying some of their other foundations as this was a pretty solid shout, if a bit cakey at times, but that may have been down more to my heavy hand than anything else. Also did I mention it was £2?

Make up Academy Pressed Powder in 1

Perhaps the single worst foundation I have ever used. The coverage is pretty decent but it felt heavy on my skin and oh the break outs, the horrible horrible break outs. This guy pretty much killed my brief love affair with powder foundation. Only £1 but still just a WORLD OF NO.

Estee Lauder Maximum Cover in Light

I remember it clear as day. I walked up to the Estee Lauder counter and asked for the fullest coverage they had. I pretty much wanted to look like I had no face. The lady on counter looked at me reluctantly but my skin had been having a shit time of it as of late and my rational response was to make it disappear completely. And they she showed me maximum cover. "Used mostly for people recovering from surgery" she told me as she demonstrated it on my tattoo. Boom. Gone. RING ME UP GURL. And for so long I used this as the way to give me no face. I came in like 3 shades and even Light was a touch (just) too dark for me, but the real problem with this is the formula. This guy suffocates the skin. It is like wearing a mask. And oh how it dried. Don't get me wrong, this guy is great to have in your make-up bag for bad days and works a treat as a good concealer. They offer a few more shades now (6) which is I suppose, baby steps so may be able to get a closer match. Every day foundation though, give that a miss.

Estee Lauder Double Wear in Shell

Was there anyone who did not use double wear? I swear there was a moment in the blogosphere where this was the go to product. We all fell for it and with good reason. Great colour, great coverage - if a little heavy. This was great for a very full coverage but without the mask unnatural effect of max cover. That said, this hardly gave you a natural finish either. For a long time I found it hard to fault this guy other than it was a bit heavy and soon came to realise how drying it was. In winter my skin becomes near reptilian and feels it is about to fall off at any given moment. If I was still rocking double wear I would have a certain - scalish quality. I still think this is one of the stronger foundations I've used for cover and colour but the actual formula just is a bit too drying for my skin for day wear. Perhaps a good one for a night out. 

Laura Mercier Silk Creme in Soft Ivory

THIS GUY. This guy right here is right up there as my current foundation of all time and it truly is a wonder why I ever use anything else. I sliced open the tube of this guy to get to more of it's creamy deliciousness. The colour is perhaps my favourite and closest to my own skin tone and the actual formula is lovely and moisturising. Lasts for ages, applies easily and very creamy. It's one of the foundations that gives me a great coverage (medium to full) and while keeping a very fresh and natural look. I remember being a bit unsure about this at first because before I was def part of the camp of MATTE TILL I DIE. The colour selection for this foundation is pretty limited (10 shades, what the what) but I've found soft ivory is a very very close match to my own skin. I'm coming back for you soon Laura Mercier, I promise I'll never stray again. Comes in a nice wee tube which packaging wise is pretty unremarkable but perfect for shoving in to the bottom of your bag. The closest I've ever come to my OTF.

Shu Uemura Face Architect in 284

Moving away from solely matte finishes, this guy offers a gorgeous natural looking satin finish. The colour for this guy is great and I LOVE the formula -  but this foundation is best if your skin is for the most part - pretty decent. I like that I could build up the coverage with this guy and it never felt too cakey, however if broke out wasn't the best guy for hiding it. It has a lovely radiant finish and worth checking out if looking for something lighter with a more natural finish. I did have to crack out the powder to set this one though and avoid my dreaded shiny forehead. Nice clean minimal packaging, but nothing too exciting.

YSL Touch Eclat in B10

Furthering my exploration in to more satin finishes. I've def moved away from wanting a straight up matte coverage to something that looks a bit more natural and healthy. This guy offers a medium coverage and is very rich and moisturising - and of all my foundations is the one that made me look the most glowy. In the bottle it looks a lot darker but on the skin swatches a beautiful creamy ivory. It feels quite lightweight on the skin, covering most of my skins big bads (not all of them though) without feeling like I'm wearing a mask. It comes in 22 shades so should cover a broad selection of bases. It's a great winter foundation but maybe a little bit too satin in it's finish for me. I'm yearning to go back to something a little bit more matte - but for what this is it's a great foundation. Packaging is nice and sleek although perhaps a little bulky.

Illamasqua Cream Foundation in 115

Perhaps the greatest selection of shades across the board from the brands I've tried. When they say their foundations are pale they mean PALE. I didn't even go for the lightest shade (which is just straight up white) instead opting 115 which describes itself as "for the very fair with neutral undertones." If you have a near porcelain skin tone 115 is pretty much made for your skin. This one applies almost a little too cool for me but with a bit of wear settles down in to a more natural look. The formula is nice and creamy though will stick to your dry bits (boo.) I found application with my brush a pain and it went on a bit streaky but blended well with my fingers. Offers a nice medium coverage but not fabulous for build up. It is a gorgeous foundation and the packaging is to die for and HOLLA £10 in the sale, so I kind of had to try it. For the price I paid it's a nice wee foundation for the bag but sweet jesus, what the feck am I meant to do with that tiny sponge? Bit redundant no? Great shade selection and worth checking out although you don't get a lot in the pan.

So yeah - I've pretty much got around with my foundations and Laura Mercier Silk Creme is still my favourite. I'm dying to try Bobbi Brown and I'm curious (although very sceptical) about Dainty Doll. GOSH apparently have a good selection of pale pale shades for a cruelty free high street alternative so I am sure my search for the perfect foundation is far from over. Do you have any faves?
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Sunday, 23 December 2012

OOTD: Live from my sick bed

 Dress - River Island (4 years ago?) Belt - Topshop - Oldy, Tights - River Island - £3, Bracelet - H&M - £7.99, Scarf - Vaslav and Lily - £85*, Boots - New Look, Sick Face - standard

The past week has since be tucked up in my sick bed, drinking lucozade like my life depended on it (awaiting the inevitable tooth crumbling by the way) and watching a LOT of 30 Rock. Thing is yesterday was my Christmas lunch with my mumshape and sisterling. Not one to turn down an excuse to dress up I cracked out something fancy for the occasion. I got my scarf from Vaslav and Lily from the charity raffle that morning and I was DYING to wear it, so went for some kimono wrap effect tucked in to belt naturally) - treating it as some sort of weird pashmina. I am in love with it. Silk chiffon, art deco gothy deliciousness which as we all know fits right in to my world view.

I don't tend to crack out this dress again because it is in fact the shortest thing I own but it's been a main stay in my wardrobe for years (I accosted it from my sister) and thought it would be nice to give it an airing. Pre-sale season I am all about rediscovering pieces in my wardrobe and wearing them. I always forget how much stuf I actually own (and how fantastic it is.)

There was no real hiding how ill I was yesterday (I took tea with my meal - mum obvo disappointed as she was all ready for a Cheryl and Claire winefest, which to be fair I was totally looking forward to) and having to get a good deal of my meal away in tupperware boxes (waste not want not and all that.) However the cracked jokes weren't terrible and I did get an excuse to wear a daft hat. Always a plus. We opened some parcels (excuse: not seeing any of them over the festive period) and generally has a wee riot (before me curling in to a ball of snifling self pity.)

Thankfully the worse appears to be over. I can now actually breathe and my nose no longer needs to fall off (protip - eight hour cream has been a near constant companion the past few days.) I'm looking forward to playing dress up and eating all the things!

So for your festive season - are you the sort the likes to gussy themselves up all fancy, or are you team onsie?

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Friday, 21 December 2012

Designer Spotlight: Red Brick

 I first came across Karen Mabon's brand Red Brick a couple of months ago creeping on the Godiva website. I am a complete and utter creep for a good scarf and am heavy in to some good illustration - so her collection of quirky and colourful silk scarves seemed like they were made for me. Like I am convinced that Mabon sat down and was like "There is going to be this girl called Claire out there who is going to find these scarves and she is going to LOVE THEM."  Red Brick features her bold illustrations on necklaces (cats, swimmers and acrobats) and scarves (penny sweets, scientists and bettles) and I am pretty much ready to have every single one of her pieces on my wall. In a frame. But mostly round my neck. Naturally I needed to know ALL the things.

Where did you get the name "Red Brick" from:
I'm from Scotland, but lived in London for a while. In 2011, I moved to the North of England again to set up my own label. I saw red bricks everywhere from the moment I drew back my curtains in the morning. I thought they represented the kind of honesty and quality I wanted to capture in my own label. After I thought of it, I drew the little factory logo and then there was no turning back.

How do you come up with ideas for your designs:
I never really switch off, so I'm always half thinking about new design ideas. They always come from really unexpected places, like flicking through a copy of National Geographic in a dentist's waiting room, or listening to someone else's conversation on a bus. 

Who/what are your main influences:
I'm quite influenced by British 'kitchen sink' novels like the 'Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner' and 'Saturday Night Sunday Morning' - I like the romance of the everyday. In terms of fashion, Kate Spade is a big inspiration. When you step inside any one of her boutiques you really feel like you lose yourself in her wonderful, colourful world and forget everything else. 

Any artists/illustrators that inspire your work:
So many! I'm quite an obsessive person, so I tend to go through periods of looking intensely at one or two people, then move on and become obsessed with someone else. Although some artists manage to rise above this strange cycle I've developed and provide consistent inspiration - the Swedish textile designer Josef Frank, David Hockney, Eduardo Paolozzi, Ben Shahn, pretty much any children's book illustrator from the 1960s, Eric Ravilious, John Byrne..

Could you talk me through the design process:

Yes! It's a bit shambolic though. I've trained myself to be a bit more patient with things - when I think of something new, I just want to start drawing it up immediately, but in the past that's been a disaster because I've realised half way through that it's actually a terrible idea. (Abandoned designs include a man having an affair- who wants a scarf of that?) Now I sleep on ideas and if they're still good in the morning, they get the go-ahead. I'd like to say that I plan the design on a small scale but this isn't true, I literally just get a massive piece of paper and start drawing from one corner to another, working things out as I go. If the design is about something I don't know much detail about - the laboratory, for example - I might go to the library and take out a stack of books to leaf through so I can see what colour and shape things actually are.

Favourite thing to draw:
I love drawing insects and people because you can give them a bit of personality! I also like to draw fruit and furniture, and multiples of things. My least favourite things to draw (you didn't ask this but I'll answer it anyway) are bikes and water.

Do you have any favourite pieces (jewellery or scarf) in the collection and if so why:
I like the 'Robbery in a Sweet Shop' scarf because the colours are really vivid and no matter what colour I wear it with it seems to work. Also, whenever somebody says "ooh what a lovely scarf!" I really enjoy opening it out and watching their expression change to bemusement or confusion. My favourite jewellery piece is the Swimmer necklace - I love jewellery, but I actually don't wear it very often because I find it gets in the way of me living my life. I hate anything too fussy, and my worst nightmare is jewellery which catches on other people's clothing when you go to hug them. Argh! I love the swimmer because it's neat and streamline and I forget I've even got it on - bliss.

Must have accessory:
Obviously I love scarves for their multi-functional, austerity-friendly properties. But right now there are a few accessories I REALLY want by other designers - The Charlotte Olympia Christmas Pudding pouch, any of the beautiful embossed Comme Des Garcons wallet, the Solange Azagury-Partridge enamel Hotlips Ring, and the Kate Spade 'All The Trimmings' enamel bangle. (Enamel is great)

Favourite penny sweets:
Anything that is a miniature version of a real thing - ie, foam bananas, shrimps, fried eggs. Although I don't like that chewing gum that's meant to look like gunpowder or anything 'aniseed'.

Where can 
Bee Waits readers purchase some lovely Red Brick?
You can purchase directly from my online shop, available to access through my website, www.redbricknorth.co.uk. Alternatively, there is a full list of stockists on my website, so you can track down your nearest one!

Well - I pretty much want to buy all of these guys. How about you guys? Is it love or what?

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Thursday, 20 December 2012

Jenivieve Berlin launches RTW Millinery

 It's been a busy year for Jenivieve Berlin. Creating bespoke drug inspired millinery for Obscure Couture's Lithium Party, scoring herself a nomination for Accessory Designer of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards as well as scooting down to London to work with Phillip Treacy. JUST TOTALLY CASUAL LIKE. Amongst all this madness - Berlin has some how managed to create her new ready to wear collection - ready to rock.

Naturally it hits all of Berlin's trademarks with its use of swarovski crystal detailing and veiling but creates a more wearable and restrained collection. In the place of giant hearts and syringes - her ready to wear collection draws inspiration from prohibition glamour with lace, vintage feathers, patterned silks and veiling. The new collection is playful with a mix of over-sized bows and floral crowns (which are predictability my favourite.) Berlin has a great eye for colour and her new collection evokes a dark by-gone glamour mixing both sex and frivolity.

The collection will be available from her new boutique via her site before the week is out - with designs on ASOS Marketplace in January. With pieces starting at £28 going up to £310 I can't see why a spot of Berlin wouldn't go down an utter treat for New Year's parties. Just throwing that out there.

Also - I am pure in utter love with this make-up. All down to the amazerous hands of Kaeleigh Wallace with Levi MacDonald snapping away. DREAM.
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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Bee Waits Loves Christmas


During the festive season - when George Square gets all gussied up - I tend to look at boy face imploringly, nodding towards the ice rink, pouty lipped and puppy dog eyes. Okay maybe not that. More like "Mon P, it'll be funny." And every year I'm met with the same response. "No Claire, you will fall over and die. You'll get your fingers sliced off or something equally as horrible." He does have a point. I am many things dear readers - but graceful is not one of them. Ice skating is something I've always fantasised about. You know those Christmas cards where you see the Victorian ladies on the ice in all their finery and how they glide. I wanted to do that. I wanted to be pirouetting all up in this jam.

Given the chance to go for free by the good folk at Glasgow Loves Christmas, well it pretty much seemed like a win/win situation. I was pretty hyped but as I strapped up my boots my excitement gave away to nerves. I am not good with anything that my body doesn't control. I was okay at snowboarding and that was because the guy was strapped to my feet and snow is relatively soft when you fall. Ice however. Falling on ice was not something I wanted. I had some how convinced my dear friend Amanda to come along (for moral support and promise of hilarity) and she remained totally calm. We were booked in at 1 - which also seemed to be the time slot of choice for some very young school children (guestimating aged 13-14.) This looked like it was going to be a baptism by fire.

On the ice I was exactly as terrible as I expected. Amanda was all up in it. Gliding in the middle like a boss. I walked. For the first 3 times round the rink I clutched to the barrier for dear life. I was terrified by the fact I was surrounded by super confident skaters (HOW ARE THEY GOING BACKWARDS) and a few that seemed worse off that me (kicking up ice and generally falling over the shop.) I was convinced that the second I stood away from the wall someone was going to fall on me and create some horrendous pile up. And we basically has big ass blades on our feet - so my fear was completely warranted. Amanda was wonderfully patient and managed to get me away from the barrier (though I continued to walk round the rink opposed to gliding) and it was fun.  I'm glad I did it - but perhaps not for me. I fear my nerves utterly got the better of me.

Next stop was Fifi and Ally for some cake and festive hot chocolate (Cinnamon or ginger.) I skipped on the festive flavourings (a first) and instead packed my guy up with cream and marshmallows. Princes Square is perfect for chilling out after and matched my vibe a bit more. Hunners of decorations and the children's choir singing carols was all sorts of adorable. This was quickly followed by a saunt down the market at St Enoch Square which is pretty much the perfect place for gifts for your fave gourmand and I'll def be heading back down there for some kangaroo burger. Can we all agree upon how frigging cute the Hello Kitty Russian Dolls are? Also tiny little reindeer. I don't have a garden but boy if I did it would be littered with these guys!

I love George Square at Christmas and will have to be creeping down there before it packs up post holidays. They have loads of free activities on including swing music, live comedy and film screenings (still gutted I missed Nightmare Before Christmas, just saying.)  They are screening It's a Wonderful Life on Sunday and Miracle on 34th Street on Christmas Eve. EASILY two of my favourite festive films ever. And free - so def worth checking out!

You going skating this year?
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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

OOTD: Back to basics

 Shirt - £12 - Tatty Bon,  Jumper - Topshop (old as time) - £40, Skirt - River Island - £8, Bracelet - Cellina (prize from raffles bizarre) , Tights - £10 - Bebaroque Sample Sale, Shoes - New Look - £22,  Bag - Primark - £3, Jacket - Chairty Shop - £8

Leopord print, black and neon. Can we all agree that they are pretty much neutrals in my wardrobe and quite frankly I can't get enough of them. I rediscovered this chunky knit jumper (with bell sleeves, swoooooooon) in the back of my airing closet and it's been experiencing a wee come back as of late. Wearing it with all the things. It also serves as something to retreat in to as I recover from my death cold.

I wore this for my first venture out from my fortress of solitude (read: blanket fort and 30 Rock marathon) since turning in to a weird squawking, coughing creature and my first return to the ice in - 12 years. Which went as well as you would expect. Fun, but ended up ultimately paying for it with a return of the night time fever that can only be soothed by a steady supply of hot orange and all the anadin extra.

I can't be the only one who finds old favourites in the oddest of places right?

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Some sweet prizes I scored



I've pretty much fallen off the face of the earth for a few days. I did the festive lunch thing with the grandparents (the first of many...I pretty much ate like a QUEEN) before getting a death cold. This has led to me watching 12 hour marathons of 30 Rock (Liz Lemon is my spirit animal, convinced) and eating Quality Street all the while wishing I could just hook a lucozade drip up to me so I didn't have to open and close the bottle. It has been quite the glamorous undertaking to say the least.
Now while I enjoyed my pity party (because see above: what is not to love) it starts to get easy to get sucked in to the pit of sickness. Boyface has had to deal with my croaking down the phone and stressing about shit that does not matter in the slightest - at least not righ now. Mid fever I called Paul to see if stuffing was vegan (pretty sure I asked like 12 people on facebook the same thing.) It was a pretty slippery slope. Nothing brings me out a sick pit than PRESENTS.
First if all I pretty much never win anything. A gambling woman I ain't. However on aa whim entered a wee Christmas giveaway at one of my fave reads - Raffles Bizarre to win £20 to spend at Celliana jewellery and hot damn I won. I think my completely sane reaction went along the lines of "SHUT THE FRONT DOOR." Anyway I picked these two bracelets because their ain't no party like an arm party (because an arm party is mandatory....I'm sorry....I'm sorry.) Standard black and gold as expected. My wish list was as long as my arm but ended up going for pieces that I know I will wear time and time again. There was this bodacious collar piece that I wanted but just knew it would sit on my dressing table looking up at me with it's sad necklace face.

So yeah - a big thank you to Jess - because prizes are awesome and also the whole team at Celliana because um prizes are awesome.

I'm off ice skating today (pre-booked, let's hope I don't cough up a lung.) Expect hilarious consequences. I will try my best not to slice my fingers off or break my leg.

Time to get back to our Christmas playlist right?
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Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Hungover Girl's Guide to Surviving the Party Season: The Morning After

It's December so as a standard we can pretty much expect to be invited to all the parties. This means vino on the table, festive cocktails, mulled wine, mulled cider and Bailey's in all the things. It happens and we're pretty much left feeling like death the next day. Long gone are the days when I could be all up in aldi cider and a dance at the Arches before heading to a lecture at 9 the next day. So how's a girl to cope in the party season? How do you go to work/face humanity the next day after a heavy night on the town?

This night has been awesome, I am awesome, kebab and bed please

First things first - let's do some damage control. I get in - I get my face OFF. I usually hate hate hate face wipes (wipes are for tables, not our faces) but really if it's been a party night and you truly have lost the will to wash your face please do yourself a favour. It will save you from panda eyes in the morning and feeling extra groggy. We want to minimise that. Make sure you get as much off as possible. Stick on all the moisturiser you can. All of it goes on your face. You're also going to want to make nice with a pint of water. Trust me - you'll thank me later.

Everything is terrible, I am terrible - please let me stay in bed forever


When you do wake up you're probably going to feel...crusty for lack of a better word. My body pretty much feels like I've had the ultimate body work out. Muscles I did not know existed are screaming. Yes I want to lie in bed for another hour (only ten more minutes...I promise) but if I'm going to face the day it's time for a wee shower. I turn it up nice and hot to the point I feel like it's taking a layer of skin (and perhaps rinse off some of that shame with it) and get the freshest things I can. Lots of minty or citrusy scents. I'll use an Origins checks and balances for my face and any shower gel to hand as long as it's got the morning thing going for it.

I'll maybe have a wee cry/try not to vomit - but secretly I'm also congratulating myself for managing to make it to the bathroom in one piece. I wash my hair because inevitability it's become a giant clump of death. It can be tempting to be like "but I can dry shampoo." No. Just no. I am a shell of a human being at this point and no amount of primping and restyling is going to make me look any less lack luster. This is my punishment. At this point I may cry some more. There may be some actual vomit (sorry.)

I'll tend to wrap myself up and do the teeth thing. You want to burn your mouth out with Listerine (oops I smoked and now my mouth tastes like an ash tray) and only a once over with all the dental products you own will do. Stick em all in there. You're working over time to make sure you are not giving off some serious vodka fumes today. This will also help slightly with the feeling that something has crawled in to your mouth and died. Slightly. About now I'm usually thinking "Why do I drink - never playing this game again." I always believe it. Every god damn time.

At this point I look like a sad drowned rat. My face will be all sorts of blotchy but at this point I'm going to put ALL the moisturiser on it. Literally all of it. If it's been a big night I'm going for the most intense moisturising oil I can. I'll blow dry my hair and then put on a lighter moisturiser. After a night on the town I resemble some kind of snake woman so this is all needed. I tend to use Kiehl's Midnight Recovery followed by Garnier's rose daily cream for dry skin. My eyes are still slightly puffy but my skin feels less like it is about to fall off. ACHIEVEMENT.

FACE FACE FACE. 

I put on a radiating cream - Shu Uemura Instant Glow for me. It helps me look slightly less corpse like and is all about giving you one of those "dewy" complexions the mags always go on about. I know I know...I like a matte too but we need to look nice and rejuvenated and right now I need all the glow I can get. And then I tackle all the blotches - oh the blotches.Soap and Glory concealer is literally by best friend and tackles under my eyes and any night time spots that have decided to holla at a sister. If anything is looking particularly tragic I'll use Estee Lauder Maximum Cover on some of the darker/red blotches. Not as a foundation mind because that shit will dry you the fuck out. We're going for "fresh." Foundation wise I love my YSL Touche Eclat Foundation. Good even coverage with a nice glow to it and feels very nourishing. The last thing you want just now is your skin feeling all tight. If use a more matte foundation mix with a touch of moisturiser. I add a bit of Benefit High Beam just below my brows and along my cheekbones. I say a bit. I go buck wild with this. My forehead is given a light dusting of Shu Uemura's matte powder as I'm prone to shiney forehead pretty much all the time. I got for a hint of blusher (MAC Desert Rose - a reddish burgundy, nothing too pink) to make myself look like I haven't died. For my brows I use Urban Decay twiced baked eyeshadow. Mascara a lick of Dior Blackout. I keep my eyes otherwise clean. No eyeshadow, no eyeliner. Lip wise I like to load up on Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. I always always wear lipstick so I go for something like MAC lady danger. By this point I should look like my old self. Just a little dead around the eyes.

Some last minute tips

Bag Essentials: Anadin, fat cola, a bottle of water and menthol gum.

I am mostly feeling terrible at this point but will address this by throwing on a house coat over my clothes and shivering with a mug of tea till I have to make tracks. Time to process all the terrible things and all the best things and maybe look at the texts. Facebook can wait for later. I'm usually too damaged to deal with random friend requests (denied) and trawling through tagged photos of me singing karaoke/throwing some shapes. I'll deal with this later. For now - all the liquid getting in my body is the priority. Also trying not to vomit whenever I think about food and why there is a half eaten pack of Mcoys next to my bed.

I always make sure I eat (even if it's dry toast) and will drink as much water as I can. If you can manage get some oj down you. I wish I could say I stick with this guy but if I'm feeling that utterly ravaged I reach for some full fat coke. The second anyone sees a red can in my vicinity you know shit has gone down.  Hair wise I like to keep it simple - usually a pleat or a high bun.

Obvs a lot of this is common sense and it's just the basics I use to get through the day but thought I would share my routine to help you get through the party season! This is works for me and taken a while to tailor it to my horrible hungover skin needs. Find a routine that works for you and embrace the shit out of it.

Now for your consideration a more chilled out Christmas song:
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Friday, 14 December 2012

Mulberry Edinburgh Store Launch

Who doesn't love Mulberry right? It's only just over 40 years old and yet it ranks up there with tea, roast dinners, Liz II and the BBC as things that are quintessentially British. Focusing on it's luxury handcrafted goods made in their factory in Somerset and embracing British eccentricity - Mulberry continue to showcase themselves as on of the most refreshing luxury brands out there. Their "Where the Wild Things Are" is one of my favourite editorial campaigns EVER and their Paper Doll campaign made for one of my favourite window designs ever.  I can't even fully contain my excitement for their S/S frosted pastel collection that has an English garden fairytale vibe going for it (due in no small part to THOSE gnomes) and the release of the Willow bag. Did someone say detachable clutch? My god.

The point I'm getting at is Mulberry does it right - and the new store (still on Multree Walk) hits all the marks. A total different look - the two stories floor is far brighter and has a very light and relaxed feel. I mean when you come in you are in no doubt you are in a luxury store but from the dove grey bags to the gold lampshades you can bet I am all up in everything. Not going to lie - was also stoked to have a proper look at the RTW (black sequins, orange lace, gold gold gold - it is like someone has been creeping in my brain.)



They had a craftsmen from the factory talking us through how he marks and cuts the leather (talking about the tanning and pressing process in Italy) as well as showing how he plaits the leather by hand for the bags (a standard of 11 plaits don't you know.) I have enough trouble pleating my hair, can't imagine what it is like to do this with leather every day. It was great to have a chance to see the leather up close and get a real feel for it as well as having an insight in to the manufacturing process. Each Mulberry takes about a day to make so to see a small part of the craftsmanship that goes in to those guys was one of the cooler things I've seen all year.

Obviously everyone is all up in the Mulberry bags (and yes the metallic snake print del Ray is going to haunt my dreams for pretty much forever) but I got a proper look at the jewellery and I am ready for ALL of it. I loved the little padlock necklace (£175) and think it would make a really cute stoking filler. I came away from the press day with a really cute (and heavy) edition of the Mulberry Anniversary book. It's filled with loads of gorgeous glossy images from parties, from previous collections and fashion shows and totally appeals to my love of a good coffee table book.

The new Mulberry store is on 26 Multrees Walk (across from the side entrance of Harvey Nichols and just next to the bus station.) The store is really gorgeous and totally worth a visit next time you're in Edinburgh.

Also - I think I promised you guys some Beyonce

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Thursday, 13 December 2012

OOTD: List Hot 100 Party - Pink leather, faux fur and studs

Top - New Look £22, Faux fur Collar - River Island (last years sale £8), Tights - Bebaroque (sample sale) - £10, Skirt - Obscure Couture, Muff/Handbag - Obscure Couture, Coat - Obscure Couture (borrowed), Shoes - Primark - £6

Tuesday was the List Hot 100 Party at the Arches - so pretty much a night of drinking Ginger Grouse, good tunes and excellent company. Although totally knacked from the Blogger Christmas Party the night before I managed to get myself out of bed and freshen myself up. Although I felt dead on my feet thought the best way to tackle this was to get as fancy as possible. So pretty much wear ALL the faux fur I can.

I love this skirt from the girls at Obscure Couture (on me it's the shortest thing in the world, pretty sure it covered my modesty and not a whole lot else) and it has heavy deep pockets. I was keeping everything in them - camera, lipstick, bank card. I frequently found myself using the muff as a make-shift handbag though it did keep me toasty on the walk home along with the mega fur (which naturally draws all the comparisons to Sulley from Monsters Inc. which guys - I TOTALLY see it too.)

It's been a big week - and it's not over yet. I'm looking forward to visiting the family this weekend (and getting utterly spoiled by the Grandmum.) Till then am going to to continue making the #bestchristmasplaylistever. Catwalk for today. Beyonce for tomorrow. PROMISE.

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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Blogger Christmas Party: A Thank You

Well ladies - that's it. This year's Blogger Christmas Party has been and gone. Think the night went not too bad (in no small part down to Gillian and Roisin - how we managed to get the raffle prizes and goody bags in to the back of that car I will never know.)

For me this is generally just a big thank you post. Yup. A big soppy thank you post to thank you all for coming and helping us raise £190 for Glasgow Women's Aid with our Charity Raffle (not too shabby for 29 tipsy bloggers on a Monday night. JUST SAYING.)

I'd like to thank the Monkey Bar for the 6 bottles of sparkly they donated to us as well as making the biggest cocktails I've ever seen (I never did find out what that raspberry mammoth was but it looked DELICIOUS) and providing ample Christmas tunes. More Mariah please.

If you would allow me I'd like to take a couple of moments to thank everyone who donated to the raffle and supported the evening.

Sarah from La La Land who donated Colour Me Ryan Gosling and How to Make a Rouched Dress
Samantha from Isolated Heroes for her beautiful sequined top
Claire from Benefit for the gorgeous lip glosses and perfume set
Catherine Aitken for the beautiful clutch bag
Jocelyn from Curioscope for the hat and t-shirt
Mhairi from Bonnie Bling for the massive blether necklace
Georgia from Georgia Wiseman for the gorgeous earings
Tammy from DIY Nails
Gillian, Katherine and Katrina from Gillian Kyle for the Tunnocks Print
The boys over at Good Spirits Company
Lynne from Tatty Bon for her wee jewellery gift set
Lynds and Jenn from Obscure Couture for their gorge t-shirt
Fleur and the gals over at Godiva for the swallow print scarf
Lesley from Vaslav and Lily
Jen from the Scottish Fine Soaps company for all their goodies
Shona from Eileen Shona Arts for her gorgeous little gift set
Kieron over at Barrats for the gift voucher
Kirsty Fraser for her nifty wee piece of jewellery
Rach from Glasgow Piercing Studio for piercing vouchers
A beautiful necklace from Cara Louise

I'd also like to thank Toni and the ladies from Rox who donated goody bags for all the girls as well as Next for the crackers and Yelp! for some sweet bags, lip balms and providing a prize for the best photo competition.

I really hope you all had a lovely night and I can't wait to read all your posts about it!

Thanks again ladies and it truly was a pleasure to meet you all.
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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

OOTD: Blogger Christmas Party

 Dress - Tatty Bon - £15, Necklace - £9.99 - H&M, Tights - Marks and Spencer (from the grandmother), Shoes - Primark - £6, Festive Hat - cracker c/o Next

So last night was the Blogger Christmas Party (and trust me a much longer big thank you post with added drunk faces will be coming shortly) and safe to say it was a pretty good night. Gillian and Roisin were amazing (how we managed to get all the goodies and raffle prizes in to the car is beyond me) and Monkey Bar were more than lovely with loads of sparkly and hunners of Christmas tunes.

I defaulted to a wee vintage party dress that I tend to pull out for all the fancy occasions in a stresser paired with these deceptively comfortable heels (thanks to a nifty hidden platform.) Alas I was sans Christmas jumper (I know I'm letting the team down) but at least we kept it kind of festive amirite?

This won't be the first time I say this but a big thank you to everyone who came last night. It was super wonderful to meet you all - to catch up with some old babestations and meet a fair few more. 

Today I'll be dropping off the money we raised from the raffle to Women's Aid, catching up on some well deserved sleep before getting myself all gussied up for the List Hot 100 Party. Hard knock life eh?

Today's Christmas song pour vous:

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Monday, 10 December 2012

Designer Spotlight: Saunt and Sinner


I first met Emma Noble and Toni Roddie at the launch of their new label Saunt and Sinner. Taking over the apartment at 29, the girls transformed the venue in to an instillation piece and allowing for a more personal experience. Porcelain dolls were placed in a row on the wall while a pale girl draped in Victoriana finery sat beneath a lone bulb. Everything about how they chose to premier their collection was utterly refreshing. Don't get me wrong, I love a good fashion show but to actually be able to wonder around the show pieces and look at the scarves up close was great and you got to have a really genuine feel for the collection. I loved the jam jars hanging from the ceiling with scarves pouring out of them. The whole evening had more of than just a touch of the fantastical to it and I was pretty much crazy to know more. What's with the creepy dolls? How the hell do you work with a partner without driving each other crazy and Saunt and Sinner? What the what is that all about?

First of all - tell be a bit about your backgrounds: We both Graduated form Grays School of art in Aberdeen in July and knew we always wanted to work on a label together. We have previous business experience through the successful S.T.A.G Studio and fawnd of, a small independent Scottish design label at high street level. S.T.A.G Studio was a faculty prize-winner at RGU and made the final 18 in the national S.I.E new ideas competition.fawnd of sold globally on the online clothing platform ASOS Marketplace. Toni interned for Christopher Kane and Georgia Hardinge and I interned with Doll - London Creative events agency. Gaining experience in both studio practice and production was completely invaluable to us and made the choice of having our own label a lot easier. 

Could you tell me a bit more about the collection:  This collection is entitled "The Broken Doll" which is heavily inspired by Glasgow born painted Heather Nevay and her paintings. We were amazed by the haunting beauty of her paintings and were totally captured by them. There is so much to work with in every painting we knew we had to use it to inspire a collection. Luxurious textiles such a printed silk chiffon and Scottish wool will be our main fabrics but that's all we can reveal just now.

How did you come up with the name Saunt and Sinner: We took ages to come up with a name. We wanted something that was close to our Scottish roots but also something that is not too obvious. The name Saunt (Old Scots term for saint) and Sinner comes from the Robert Burns poem, "To a Louse". As soon as we discovered it, we knew it was perfect for us and the brand. 

Could you talk through the design process (from actual product design to producing it): We always work together on the whole process from design to sampling and manufacturing. We come up with concepts together and then research by drawing, reading and collage in sketchbooks. Sometime we come up with completely different elements that we then can choose from to create a stronger collection. The studio is always covered in images or fabrics that we love and are inspired by. We repeat this process until we are completely happy with a design, however sometimes we are changing it up to the very last minute until we are completely happy wit it!

What's it like designing as part of a duo: IT'S FANTASTIC (we have to say that!) it can make the whole process harder sometimes as we have different styles and visions for each garment however having each other can challenge your way of hinting and therefore see elements in a garment that you may not have noticed before. Its always good to have each other for those 3am phone calls about an idea you have just thought of mid sleep!

What/who are your main influences and why:  The foundations for Saunt & Sinner collections are beautiful textures and expressive pattern cutting, we are trying to stay clear of traditional Scottish heritage and create a new wave of Scottish design.  We are very aware of our surroundings and environment. Art, music and culture all play a big part in our influences. We also like to take and focus on particularly unpleasant unappreciated objects or things that may go unnoticed in every day life and turn it into something beautiful and creative. It is about finding that unique characteristic in amongst the chaos.


Favourite designers:  We admire designers such as Christopher Kane for his attention to detail and creative concepts for his collections. We are also intrigued by the simplistic and elegant style of Celine.

Why do you think it is important to produce within Scotland: There is so much quality resources here in Scotland that you forget what you have on your own doorstep. Where possible we will try to use Scottish resources and fabrics if not as many resources from the UK as possible. All our designing is done in our Glasgow based studio!

Would you be able to let me know a bit more about Fashion Foundry and how that has helped: Fashion Foundry, is an inspiring new business incubator and talent hub for fashion and textile designers in Scotland. Focusing on the luxury market, Fashion Foundry offers 18 months business incubator support which will accelerate ten of the country’s most promising designers, giving them the confidence and skills to maximise their creative and business potential. We were really lucky to be selected to be apart of the foundry and its always interesting to work alongside like minded people. 


Any plan's to expand ladies: Our scarves are a taste of things to come. We are launching our luxury womenswear line in March 2013 with our AW2013 Collection entitled "The Broken Doll". The print featured in our scarves will be the key print for the collection. We want to use the basis of the showpieces that we exhibited at the launch night to create a beautiful and wearable collection.


Where can a sister hook themselves up with one of your scarves:  Our scarves are on sale from our website www.sauntandsinner.co.uk but be quick they are limited edition of 250!

I've already got mine - and am running a wee competition with the ladies giving Bee Waits readers the chance to score one of them which you can enter here.
All photos c/o Niall Webster

Until then - here's today's Christmas song for your consideration
  
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Saturday, 8 December 2012

OOTD: On restyling old pieces


 Dress - Topshop, Jumper - New Look - £20, Shoes - TK Maxx - £15, Bag - Topshop - £25, Glasses - Glasses Direct - 2 for £60

I don't know about you but I frequently have romances with certain pieces (wanky way of saying clothes, sorry guys) in my wardrobe. This american flag jumper from the teen section in New Look was/is one of them. When I first bought it a couple of months ago I wore it literally all the time. I love a big chunky knit and I loved that the red was more of a burgundy.

I've recently had this whole "hate everything I own but no money to buy anything new" phase (I say recently, it's been going for a while) so I've been trying to revitalise bits in my wardrobe. I've literally purged the fuck out my wardrobe recently (giving some bits and bobs to the sisterling, selling some at fairs) leaving me with some basics and only things that I love/need to wear to justify keeping. The dress I bought earlier in the Summer and haven't worn it that much but it's actually quite sweet and a nice thing to pull on for a wee effortless doss about town. Coupled with my flatforms (my alt to living in a chelsea boot) it's comfortable and cosy and means I actually wear the clothes I own.
That said - it's probarly about time I invest in some new tights. Do I actually own a pair that doesn't have some sort of rip in them?

Just so you know, I'll be selling hunners of my clothes tomorrow at Granny Would Be Proud 12-5 at Hillhead Bookclub. Loads of dresses and the like HUNNERS £5 and under, so if you're looking for something a wee bit fancy and want to support me in my new tights fund (or just pop down for a chat and some hot cider) would be great to see you.

I'm thinking Dolly for today's Christmas song? Yes?

Have you entered my giveaway to win a Saunt and Sinner scarf worth £180?
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