Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Shop11: Glamorgan University Fashion Promotion Popup Shop

This Thursday (1st December), Fashion Promotion students from Glamorgan University will be launching a pop-up shop called ‘Shop11’, in the St David’s Shopping Centre. The shop will be open until Sunday 4th December. The university's Fashion Deign students have worked together to create a new brand, ‘Stockhom-Lima'. The brand, whose slogan is: “How do you wear yours?”, will offer a range of limited edition (only 25 of each design!) t-shirts. The project is an opportunity for the University’s Fashion Promotion students to gain some valuable experience.

If you would like to find out more about the brand then check out its websites: http://www.stockholm-lima.co.uk/SL/Ethos.html and http://shop11cardiff.tumblr.com/

So if you would like to get your hands on designs from our future fashion talent, why don’t you head on down to St David’s 2 this weekend? I will see you there!

Monday, 28 November 2011

My Red Magazine Photo Shoot: The Clothes - Part II

So, as promised, here are the rest of the photos of the clothes that Sam from Bottega sent me to try for my Red magazine photo shoot. I was spoilt for choice for a top, as she sent me a range of tops which covered a lot of different looks. There was a really cute 'Maison Scotch' breton stripe top (with a twist); a super-soft 'Zoe Tees' red t-shirt; a glam 'American Retro' gold lurex batwing jumper; a lovely drapey 'Olivia Rubin' t-shirt, and a beautiful black silk star-print top by 'Des Petits Hauts'.

Sam also sent me a quirky Tatty Devine ''Aarrghhhhh' necklace and a Maison Scotch star-print boiled wool scarf to accessorise up my outfit of choice. I would love to know which are your favourite pieces. I know that I found it VERY difficult to choose!:

numph 'Aladdin' skinny jeans - zip detail on back pocket and ankle
'numph' grey skinny 'Lula' jeans - love the bow detail on  the back pocket
MiH New York bootcut jeans
Des Petits Hauts black silk top with white stars

Maison Scotch star-print scarf
Tatty Devine 'Aarrghhhhh' perspex necklace
American Retro Gold Lurex jumper

Olivia Rubin Brick print top

Zoe Tees Boyfriend T-Shirt

Maison Scotch Breton stripe top

Friday, 25 November 2011

My Red Magazine Photo Shoot: The Clothes - Part I

Last month I was part of a photo shoot for Red magazine. They had put a call out on Twitter for people to test detox diets. I tested the 4-day 'My Detox Diet' package which consisted of 4 days worth of specially balanced meals, which were designed to detox the body and help lose weight.

The magazine organised for a photographer to come down to Cardiff to take my photo for the magazine. If you know me at all, then you will know that I am not a big fan of having my photo taken and will generally try and hide at the back of any group photos that I am in. Therefore my friends thought that it was hilarious that I had volunteered myself to be part of a photo shoot.

I only had 6 days notice of the shoot, and was told that I'd have to style my self. This induced a bit of a "I've got nothing to wear" style crisis on my part and I sought advice from some of my favourite ladies on Twitter: Sam_Bottega, Donna Ida, and Penny. As three very stylish ladies who have been in a fair few photo shoots themselves, I knew that they would have plenty of sound advice. However, I was blown away, when Sam offered to lend me some pieces after we'd had a style consultation via a stream of Twitter DMs!

I was eagerly anticipating the delivery of the items to my office, but was ecstatic when the parcel arrived, and I discovered that not only had Sam sent me 4 jackets, 3 pairs of jeans, 4 tops, and a variety of accessories to style up the outfits, but she had also given me 2 sides of A4 of styling notes to help with outfit options. A fashion Fairy Godmother, if ever there was one!

Maison Scotch Tuxedo Jacket

Maison Scotch 'Chanel-style' Jacket

One Teaspoon Velvet Blazer

American Retro Corduroy Blazer
Sam sent me a great selection from a range of brands that she stocks in her boutique, Bottega, in Tarporley, Cheshire, which was recently selected as one of the Top 50 Boutiques outside London, by Stella magazine. I won't reveal which outfit I settled on for the shoot (to be blogged about in a future post), but I wanted to show the pieces that Sam sent me, as I loved them all, and it was great to discover some brands that were new to me. I didn't want this post to be too picture-heavy, so I am going to post the photos over two posts.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

All for Eve Nail Polish

I noticed that I haven't done a nail polish post in a while, so thought that it was about time for another one.

Today's Nail of the Day is the 'all for eve' nail polish in 'Eve', created to raise money for the 'Eve Appeal', which raises funds for research into gynaecological cancer . 'all for eve' was set up by George Hammer, the man who brought brands such as Aveda, Urban Retreat and Ruby & Millie to the fore of the beauty industry in the UK. This was in response to the death of his sister in law to ovarian cancer in 2008.

If you have read my blog before you might remember that the 'all for eve' lipstick by Daniel Sandler is one of my favourite reds. Therefore I was really keen to try this red polish, which was created by nail guru extraordinaire, Sophy Robson, who is the lady behind well-known and trendsetting nail looks like the Giles Deacon 'Eek' nails. I am a big fan of red nail polish, and can never resist adding another one to my collection.

As well as looking very stylish, I found that the unusual curved shape of the bottle, and the textured lid helped to hold it when applying the polish.

The shape of the brush meant that the polish applied really smoothly and evenly. I needed two coats for full coverage, but it gave a lovely glossy finish.

I love this classic vibrant red polish and will definitely be repurchasing it. What's not to love about a brilliant beauty product that also raises funds for a great cause?

If you would like to try this, you can order it from All For EveFeel Unique, Zuneta and Urban Retreat Beautique for £10.50.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Clarins Central Pharmacy - 25th Anniversary

Last week I was invited along to the 25th Anniversary celebrations of Central Pharmacy in Cardiff. The store, which is at the heart of one of Cardiff's most popular shopping areas, is a beauty blogger's paradise, stocking a wide range of brands, from Clarins to Daniel Sandler; Dior to Nuxe. In addition to all the beauty loveliness stocked instore, Central Pharmacy is also home to a Clarins salon, which is one of only 76 salons in the U.K to have been awarded Clarins Gold Salon Status, so you can be assured that you are receiving the highest standard of Clarins service.

At the event we were given the opportunity to be given makeovers, using the latest Clarins makeup collections and were also given a demonstration of the Clarins Professional TriActive Facial and Body Treatments, which have been developed over five years.

There are six different types of Tri-Active facial, which are designed to address specific skin concerns:

  • The Youth Activator
  • The Lifting Line Smoother
  • The Radiance Reviver
  • The Moisture Replenisher
  • The Skin Healer
  • The Detox and Shine Stopper

The treatments have had some great reviews, e.g. 'Elle' UK's Georgia Collins has described the treatment as "one hour and twenty minutes of utter bliss", so it was good to be able to see the results up close. The treatments looked very relaxing, and the ladies who were having the treatments looked great after they'd finished, and were really pleased with the results. After the demonstrations, a large number of ladies rushed to book themselves in for the treatments after being impressed with the results.

The beauty therapist was really helpful, and was more than happy to give guests advice on which products would work best for their skin concerns, and also the best way to apply the products in order to maximise their effectiveness.

At the event it was great to be able to meet my fellow beauty blogger, Ms Red, of Ms Red's Beauty Blog, who I'd previously only known from Twitter. I also got to meet the lovely Sam from Clarins HQ who was wearing some fabulous Alexander Wang-esque boots from TopShop, which I was disappointed to find out were from a previous season, so will never be mine!

Ms Red

Central Pharmacy is owned by the same family who run Escentual, and it was lovely to be able to chat to @EscentualRakesh about the store and its plans in the forthcoming months.

Just before I left, I took advantage of the 25% discount being offered for the Anniversary celebrations, and purchased Daniel Sandler's limited edition 'In Love' candle, which is burning as I type. That was my consolation for not being able to attend Daniel's instore appearance later that week.

I might not have won one of the prizes (£75, £100, and £150 Clarins prize hampers) in the fantastic raffle that everyone had been entered into, but I was more than happy with my goodie bag which contained a powder compact, a mini Beauty Flash Balm (one of my Holy Grail products), and a mini HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion for only £9 - 38% off the RRP

You might remember Buyapowa's recent run of Benefit beauty bargains, and they have come up trumps again, with another series of beauty steals. The website has set up a series of Urban Decay co-buys, the latest one of which is the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. The RRP is £14.50, but if enough people sign up to the co-buy, then the price could drop to £9. The beauty co-buys are always hotly anticipated, so if you are interested, I would get in there quick.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Versace for H & M : Launch Day

A few weeks ago I chose my favourite pieces from the Versace for H & M collaboration. Well, the wait is finally over, as the Versace collection hits Cardiff tomorrow (Thursday 17th November). This is a bit of a coup for the store in Cardiff's St. David's centre, as it is the only store in the Wales and South West region who will be stocking the collection.

What items from the collection will you have in your shopping bag?

If you have got your eyes on a few pieces from the collection, then here's what you'll need to know:

  • You should get to the store early if you want to get one of the coloured wristbands which gives you 10 minutes in the Versace zone. There are 14 ten-minute slots altogether.

  • The coloured wristbands will be issued to shoppers from 8am, although the store won't open until 9am.
  • Queuing will be on the Hayes entrance to the store.
  • Every shopper who purchases an item from the Versace collection will receive a 20% off voucher to use in the rest of the store.
So, will you be heading down to the store to buy something from the collection? What pieces have you got your eye on?

Monday, 14 November 2011

Escentual Festive Flash Event

Just a quick post to let you know about an online event that Escentual are running over the next five weeks. In the run up to Christmas (until the 18th December), they are running their 'Festive Flash Event'. Every day there will be a different one-day only special offer, competition or free gift available to customers. Here is what's on offer this week:

Monday 14th November - A free Hydra Day Water Based SPF 60ml when you spend over a £100 on 3Lab

Tuesday 15th November - A free Narciso Rodriguez 10ml miniature with any 'for her' fragrance

Wednesday 16th November - 20% off all Pupa skincare

Thursday 17th November - A free 'Boss Bottled' sports bag with the purchase of any male Hugo Boss fragrance

Friday 18th November - Win a designer fragrance selection worth over £250

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Etat Libre D'Orange : Putain des Palaces

"Sheer sensuous fantasy. The powdered top note evokes a woman who dresses for seduction - a soft trail of lipstick, the rustling of lace. The intimate ritual of a femme fatale who sees right through the fragile armour of men. Her sophistication is intriguing, as is the commerce she makes of her body. Under the bitter-sweet touch of almond, like a secret that unfolds, comes a hint of supple leather, fluid and flexible, that introduces what is to come: a boudoir, fingers that tighten on a leatherette sofa and the palpable presence of raw desire. Doesn't every woman have the fantasy of being a temptress in a hotel bar, of yielding to desire in the intimacy of a lift or of giving way to sensuality in silk sheet luxury?"

The above paragraph provoked much hilarity amongst my friends when I showed it to them after they had declared that this fragrance was "very you" when I asked them their opinion on it. Whilst I'm not about to reveal some Belle de Jour moments from my past, this scent is the type that I usually go for in the night, a heavier scent than the day, to provide a contrast.

I bought this fragrance a few months ago, but haven't got around to blogging about it. I'm not sure why, since I really like it. For years I tended to use the same fragrances, but when I saw this on Escentual I was intrigued, as I hadn't come across the brand before.

The brand was launched in 2006 by Etienne de Swardt. The brand drafted its own 'Declaration of Independence', which includes the following statements:

"Perfume is dead, long live perfume! We emotionally declare the birth of a newly liberated territory: the Free State of Orange. A land of olfactory liberality, free from every taboo, where insubordination and olfactory eroticism reign supreme!" So, from the outset the company has made it its business to be different from the rest of the brands on the perfume block.

Initially I wasn't quite sure which scent to go for, so I opted for the fantastic Etat Libre D'Orange Sample set from Escentual. For £24.95 you can purchase a Discovery set, which has 21 different samples from the range. You also get a voucher code for £24.95 which can be redeemed against the cost of a full size bottle of perfume. So essentialy, if you purchase the full size scent you get the sample set for free. I love this idea, which Escentual have extended to cover a range of other brands, including Cartier and Made in Italy.

After much deliberation I opted for this scent with its notes of rose absolute; violet; leather; lily of the valley; tangerine; ginger; rice powder; amber, and 'animal notes'.

If you are interested in trying this brand, you can get the Discovery Set from Escentual.

Monday, 7 November 2011

John Lewis Fashion Pavilion : Clements Ribeiro

On Friday morning I went to the launch of the John Lewis Fashion Pavilion in the Cardiff store. The installation, which has been designed by Grimshaw (the architects behind the Eden Project), had just come from the company's Oxford Street store, and will be touring some of its flagship stores over the coming months. The installation is designed to showcase the company's latest designer collaborations. It was a striking piece which made a real statement on the shop floor, and I found that my eye kept being drawn to different pieces every time I looked through.

First up is Clements Ribeiro, who have designed a collection of knitwear and coats. The range includes chunky hats and scarves; sweater dresses and cardigans in a palette of mink, charcoal, cobalt, black, magenta, stone and absinthe. My particular favourite was the angora/cashmere mix Chanel-style cardigan with 'trompe d'oeil' detailing, which comes in a stone/black colour way and a cobalt/black colourway. I also really like the sweater dress which comes in mink and charcoal, with button and grosgrain trim detail on the shoulders.

I think that the gloves; hats and scarves will make great gifts for Christmas and I'm sure that they will be flying off the shelves, with prices starting at £22.

I love a good high-street/designer collaboration, as it's a great way for people to buy a label that ordinarily might be out of their price range. This collection is a great way to get your hands on a piece of Clements Ribeiro's quirky knitwear, at a fraction of the price of their mainline collection.

The next designer who will be featured will be Tracey Boyd, and I'll post some photographs as soon as that is instore.

Friday, 4 November 2011

I'm dreaming of a John Lewis Christmas

A whole Winter wonderland wardrobe; tables festooned with Christmas decorations; apple crumble cocktails served in vintage-look jam jars, and lots of gorgeous beauty exclusives from Nars and Origins. What a lovely way to spend a Wednesday night.

On Wednesday I was invited to the John Lewis Cardiff Press Event which was held in 'Peppermint', just down the road from the store. The team from John Lewis had transformed the upstairs of the venue into my idea of a perfect Christmas: lots of stylish party looks; fabulous accessories; quirky Christmas decorations, and oodles of beauty loveliness. Oh, and not to mention the 'Pick and Mix your own Christmas' stand, where we were invited to choose whatever we wanted: a selection of Christmas decorations; chocolates; candy canes, and candles, to name just a few of the items.

The womenswear team had chosen a great selection of pieces from a range of the brands stocked instore, including Kurt Geiger; Warehouse; Bertie and REISS. I was particularly drawn to this gorgeous pair of shoes from Kurt Geiger, and these jumpers from Warehouse, which are perhaps a more stylish alternative to the usual 'Christmas Jumper' concept.

When it comes to Christmas decorations, John Lewis are offering three looks: 'Jazz' ("vibrant brights and lights"); 'Pearl White' ("winter white with sparkling frost"), and 'Established' ("a traditional Christmas"). My favourite was the 'Jazz' collection, which was really colourful and had a retro feel to it. Anyone for a cocktail?

On the beauty front, Jodie from Origins and Guy from Nars were there to show what their brands are offering this season. My particular favourites were the limited edition 'Famous Favourites' set from Origins; the Nars 'Arabian Nights' trio eye-shadow, and the Nars Votive Set.

My eye was also caught by a giant bottle of Guerlain's new release, Shalimar Parfum Initial. I have been wanting to try this ever since I watched BBC4's 'Perfume' documentary. Apparently I'm not the only person who is enthusiastic about this new release, as at the moment it's the store's sixth biggest selling fragrance. I'll write another post about it to let you know more of my thoughts about the fragrance.

I really enjoyed the event, and it has firmly put me in the Christmas (and wishlist-compiling!) frame of mind:

  • Origins 'Famous Favourites' Limited Edition set
  • Nars 'Arabian Nights' Limited Edition Trio Eyeshadow
  • Nars Votive Set
  • Warehouse 'Christmas Jumper'
  • Origins 'Incredible Spreadable' Ginger Body Smoother

......... and that's just for starters!


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