Thursday, 29 January 2015

Winter Blues

Despite preparing for this my whole life I still have no idea how to dress for the Winter. I can count the amount of jumpers I own on one hand (excluding novelty festive ones and even then I don't scrape double digits) and you know what? Last season culottes seamed like a great investment. And they are. But maybe not the most practical for January, at least, not without a good 80dernier on your side.

Jumper - Topshop
T-shirt - Cheap Monday
Shorts - H&M
Tights - Wolford
Shoes - Debenhams

Dressing for the colder months aside, trying to get good outfit snaps has been treacherous. The idea of taking off my jacket? The worst. The fact it gets dark by around 3? Not too great either. I know, I know, it's not my first rodeo and I really should know better (I do) and I truly thought I'd come back January guns blazing (I did) but then came weather and work and the snow and other rubbish excuses the length of both my arms.  That said, I think I've finally got the hang of this whole frosty thing, and as I remind myself every year, it just involved layers and sensible shoes. So not that big a standard deviation from my usual look.

I'm hardly traffic friendly in my Winter "brights" (read: bruise inspired palette) but that's changing slowly but surely. I went to BLOW yesterday to begin what's going to be a lengthy but well worthwhile transformation. For now though I've got myself a cheeky bleach fade and mint locks. That'll just about do.

How are you handling your January blues?


Friday, 16 January 2015

So you're going to be a bride: Because skincare is important too

I've never been one for new years resolutions, now in the typical manner ever, but there was one biggie this year that's been looming over me that there is no escaping. I'm getting married.

At the end of the day the cake could go on fire, I could break my arm and there could be at least one severe family disruption but as long as I'm married to the bear by the end of it, I'm golden. That said there's things I can put in place to prevent disasters from happening, and sure the flaming cake and the broken bones may seem like extreme examples, but one biggie I'm worried about is my skin.

Being lax in my skincare routine is no longer an option. A face wipe and a quarterly (if that) face mask just won't cut it. And while I'm a big believer in beauty from the inside out (drink tons of water, eat your veg and wear a big ass smile) there's a few products to help you along the way.

So dear reader, today I share my "low maintenance" skincare guide to make sure I won't look like a lizard woman on the day. Trust me there isn't enough smoke, mirrors and fantastic lighting to fix my skin at it's worst.


Cleanser: Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pore and Shine Daily Wash
Controversial? Perhaps. This drug store number is my quick fix to clean skin. I know, I know, it's not for everyone. It's very soapy but it always get my make up  off in a jiffy and leaves my skin feeling really fresh. It's gentle enough for every day use (twice a day use) and won't break the bank.

Eye Cream:

Day Moisturiser: Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream
This is just one of my favourite products hands down. It's super light, lasts for ages and never fails to make my skin feel amazing. If we're talking desert island beauty products - this would be mine. I've yet to read a bad review about this wonder product which keeps your skin feeling fresh and hydrated for up to 24 hours. If I did have one critique (and this is me getting really nitty gritty)
 if that it doesn't have an SPF. I've used their Moisturiser with SPF 50 in the past and I felt an overwhelming sense of....meh. I do implore you to try this though.You won't regret it.

Night Serum: bareMinerals Active Cell Renewal Night Serum
Just listen to that name. It even sounds good for you. If I miss this little beauty at night my skin feels (and shows) it in the morning, especially in Winter. If you're looking for some kind of aromatherapy treatment, this ain't it. If you are looking for skin to feel plump and primed and not like it wants to peeled of in the morning, this is the one for you. Serums for the longest time were a tough sell for me, but this has found itself in my daily beauty routine. A wee pea sized amount patted in to your face every night will make all the difference.


Exfoliater: Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

Not the cheapest of products but this one goes a hell of a long way. If I want to feel like I'm taking a good layer of skin of  (the dry, dirty sadness of the day) this is my go to product. I wouldn't recommend using it more than once, maybe twice a week max (I know guys the feeling of freshly exfoliated skin is the titties) and this one gives your skin a truly great spring clean. I need the tiniest amount (I use maybe slightly smaller than a pea size) and scrub that goodness all over my face. It doesn't feel to ebrasive like other exfoliaters but it gets the job done and leaves your face feeling baby bottom soft and ready for a treatment.

Face Mask: Arran Aromatics: Feel Good Formulas Sea Mud Mask

When it comes to face masks I'm a bit of a hussy. I chop and change depending on my skin, the weather, to whatever looks good at the time. Arran Aromatics however  and their sea mud mask is the one I reach for after a good old exfoliation. It calms and smooths the skin out, smells utterly divine and makes me feel well and truly pampered. I've got a few others that I keep to hand if my skin is being particularly problematic, but they are more of an intensive operational exercise than a luxurious once a week skin treatment.

I've found the best way to keep my skincare routine up is by not looking it as a chore, but a dead lovely treat for myself. I want my skin to feel amazing, so I put the work in. My weekly treatments are always coupled with a book and an executive bath so while I'm obviously beginning to implement my some what militant beauty regime, I'm doing it surrounded by candles and fancy bath smellies.

I've got 10 months to completely revamp my skincare and truly there are worst habits I could take up than giving my skin a bit of attention. These are the guys that I've found work best for me, but I'm always willing to play around with others. Is there any biggies that you feel I'm missing out?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

I want to be a ballerina

I want to be a ballerina when I grow up. There I said it. Never mind that the aspiration has come some 20 years too late, I have neither the disipline or the grace and while I always try and cite my history of dance (bronze tap dancer over here folks) I'm painfully aware I have two left feet. Never the less, after seeing Scottish Ballet's The Nutcracker, I want to be a ballet dancer.

It's quite a fete to capture the excitement of Christmas early January. The decorations are down, sales are on and everyone is back at work, and the world just seems a little bit greyer. The Nutcracker however provided full blown fantastical escapisim. It's not just the iconic score or the gorgeous costumes, no no no, there is something about The Nutcracker that manages to capture this childish delight that seems long forgotten. Magic tricks, presents, candy canes and snowflakes - it's high fantasy as it's best.

The highlights for me had to be the pas de deux in the Act 2, which without fail brings me to the brink of tears every time. It's got this gorgeous tone of sadness about it and it's just truly and utterly captivating and the Waltz of the Snowflakes which was just utterly gorgeous.

The biggest surprise for me had to be how fantastic the children in the cast were. Of course our lead dancers are going to be amazing, but to have so many children on stage, performing a demanding ballet alongside seasoned professionals and managing to be charming, well, even the most hardened cynic would have a hard time finding the young Clara and her brother Fritz (a real stand out) anything other than delightful.

I run the risk of gushing but words like gorgeous, splendid, delightful don't really begin to quite describe the magic The Nutcracker, and indeed Scottish Ballet's Nutcracker distills in to a two hour performance. It's pure eye candy. From the set to the costumes to the dancers themselves, it really is something else.

It may seem counter-intuitive to see such a festive ballet in the new year, but I urge you to put your preconceptions aside, and revisit the magic with a truly spectacular show.

Aberdeen, Inverness, Newcastle - get booking.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Sassy those Locks: Glitter Fades and Hair for Days

There are some beauty looks so simple in their execution that even I can't fuck it up. I may not be able to re:create any of the new XXXpress Blow's from Blow but I can recreate a glitter fade at home. I'm a super low maintenance kind of gal, which doesn't really go hand and hand with coloured hair which leads to me sporting an oft unintentional "grunge" look.  However bed head waves and pot luck dye jobs can get a bit dreary, so what does the girl who doesn't "do" hair do?

 I love glittery roots which is super easy to recreate at home with a glitter pot, some gel and a chunky paint brush. I'd love to try it all over in a slightly more textured look, but this is a nice quick fix for a night out or just wanting to brighten up a dull day with something a bit more fun.  The XXXpress Blow's have been going down a storm, with their 20 minute blo looks for £20. Inspired by Finnieston and taking their names from drag vocab they are super fun, big quirky looks that you can customise with finishing touches like chains, stencils and glitter fades.
It's maybe not the easiest look to pull off  but it certainly makes an impact! Do you dare to Blow?

Photos c/o Christina Marie Riley

Monday, 5 January 2015

Cats and Pearls and Promises

It's that time of year where my feeds fill up with "New Year, New Me" resolutioners. Which would be totally fine if in approximately 43 days (call it a rough guestimate) it wouldn't be filled with "ditched the diet, LOL" or "massive shopping binge, sorry bank card."  It can be tricky trying to find out exactly how to make positive changes in your life, but I've found goal setting to work a treat. 

Top, Necklace and Shoes - Primark
Dress (which I'm not entirely sure ISN'T a nightgown) - Vintage
Tights - Bebaroque
Bag - New Look

In the past 2 years I ran a half marathon, set up a business with my BFF, got to travel some amazing places, went permanently blue and gave up smoking. They didn't all happen overnight but they were part of wider ambitions to take more risks (giving up my salaried position to go out in to the big bad world) or setting goals (signing up for races so I would force myself to be run ready.)

I try not to put anything too strict in to effect because I know I'll only beat myself up when I fall off the wagon. Give up fizzy juice? Not in this life time but I can drink more water and cut back. I'm also trying to be more social (me and my Netflix account got very well acquainted over the holidays. I logged 7 series of Gilmore Girls. Yeah) and say yes to more things. I've totally allowed myself to be a recluse and live inside my own head far too much this year, so surrounding myself with the beautiful, positive, talented and supportive mega babes in my life is only going to make things better. I'm wanting to read more (I've imposed a book-buying ban till I work through my reading list. I will finish Not That Kind of Girl even if it does make me cringe to the depths of my soul) and of course the bloggery one. No more long hiatuses, more goal setting and continuing to learn how to wear my wardrobe without the need to buy new things all the time. I had a massive clear our over the holidays where if I hadn't worn something in 6 months, it had to be worn within the next month to be kept. If not? It's off to my girls, Glad Rags or the sewing pile.

Do you have any goals for the new year?

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