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March 2014
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May 2014

Love & Desire

I have been after a certain dress for a while, and when I really want something, I wilfind it! After shopping online since the year dot of the internet (aka 2004 on AOL), finding things I want, with great discount codes to boot is what gives me ultimate satisfaction. There are a few items I always search for and never leave my wishlist, and this dress worn by Nicole Scherzinger was one of them. It sold out, I lurked eBay, bought other things, gave into winter, and then it came back onto my radar on Desire Clothing. Believe it or not, this was my dressed down attire for the bank holiday as my friends and I hadn't quite decided where to go. My motto is that it's better to be overdressed than underdressed! 

Desire Dress, Miss Selfridge Fluffy Bag, River Island Heels

The best thing would be that the dress is just £15 (hell yeah!) but actually it's that it is rather decent quality. I'm very picky when shopping for black dresses as shiny synthetic fabrics are not my bag, but this is light yet opaque, with just enough stretch to be form fitting, yet stretch to any curve. I wore a stick on bra and usually I feel like they are really unflattering, but the high neck means your bust is just not a focus. Works for me!

Sunday Style

You know I'm partial to a good high waisted jean. Well RIP to my Topshop Jonis as the fabric literally laddered and they are sadly no more. I considered getting another pair as I love the warm blue colour, but my hips don't lie and they were telling me that like other Topshop trousers, I just don't seem to fit them. The Joni jeans aren't quite denim either and so I have returned to my old faithful River Island Tube Pants that I picked up last year. They have lasted, they have kept their shape, they are just amazing. Very, very light denim rather than a stretchy denim-coated fabric. They also have smooth seams, as some jeans I find are too structured in different places so automatically don't fit certain shapes.

ASOS crop top, River Island Tube Pant, ASOS clutch bag, River Island heels

I was all set to slash the knees of these jeans now that I've had them for a while. I'm looking to get another pair in a different wash or try out the American Apparel Easy Jean. However my nan stopped me with the scissors, deeming ripped jeans as not 'smart', and it made me hesistate! Do I want to take scissors to the most decent fitting jeans out there? I've seen a few tutorials and like the fact that if you DIY a pair then you can place the slashes exactly where you want. It makes sense to do this on an old pair, so I'll hunt for my next high waist favourites before picking up the grater again.

Tumblr inspiration

Bullring Spring Fashion Fix #BullringSFF

Last week I had a life-changing experience. Seriously! It just so happened to be at my favourite setting of Bullring for their Spring Fashion Fix; a blast of fresh spring colour to blow away any winter cobwebs. I bundled along after work, feeling ragged and worn, and emerged full of spring cheer and inspiration.

I wasn't so sure what to expect as I made my way through the mall and found the vibrant setting in the middle of the shops, with a central catwalk and various pods dotting along the edge. I caught up with the lovely Emma of Bullring, who filled me in on the happenings and guided me to my Colour Consultation. I'm definitely a yes person and hadn't really thought about what a consultation on colour would be, but oh my, it has transformed my future wardrobe forever!

I met style guru Emily Jayne who guided me through a masterclass on the colours that suit me and the shades I should avoid. When I had ginger hair, I was dubious of the whole 'green really suits you!' and 'avoid red with red hair!' comments as I know from having makeovers that random colours can actually suit, e.g. hot pink eyeshadow. Emily Jayne's master class began with her sussing that because I have changed my hair colour, I'm between two colour pallets - warm for my natural colouring and clear for my now dark hair VS light eyes. She selected two piles of fabric sheets and plucked a few colours from the warm and clear selections, holding them against me in the mirror. It's like magic! Aqua, dandelion yellow and apricot somehow made my eyes more blue, my hair look like it had just been washed and my complexion even and bright. When faced with the grey or pastel fabric in the wrong pallets, my skin looked sallow and my hair just all wrong. I thought I knew which colours generally suited me but now I have a selection that I know will work, and that's especially important for wearing colour at work, because I want to look streamlined and not zany. When a colour suits you, it's suddenly not so scary.

I urge you to scope out Emily Jayne's Pinterest boards and posts to see which pallets you suit! Before I scampered round the shops armed with a sheet of paper with my new favourite colours on, I sat down for the next Style Fix Workshop. I'd much rather this constructive, close-up catwalk show than a big production as presenter Laura talked through key trends and models built the look themselves, before strutting down the runway in their high-street looks. The colour was definitely unleashed!

Before being spoiled with a goody bag of Kiehls, Hotel Chocolat and Urban Decay, I paid the UD pod a visit and experienced the Naked Palette for the first time. I wasn't previously too fussed by the selection of shadows too similar to those I already own, but the MUA gave me a soft yet smokey eye, perfect for an office-to-drinks look I could attempt on a Friday. There is a new Urban Decay concession launching in Selfridges soon in the new Beauty Hall so look out!

I am so ready to sort through my wardrobe, pack away muted winter tones and create an eBay pile this weekend. Thank you to all for a fantastic evening! I even volunteered for a live colour demonstration blasted out to the whole shopping centre and found a message from a friend on my phone later saying 'I can hear you in the Bullring?!' Haha!

A Week With The Nokia Lumia 1020

I said a few posts back that I was thinking about getting a decent camera. By decent I mean one that shows I'm wearing colour, have makeup on, and my hair isn't brown! Your standard digital camera isn't too effective for these which is fine, but when I have some precious time to invest in my lovely blog, I want it to be the best it can be. The problem is I don't quite have the time to work out how to use a DSLR and my family usually take my outfit photos anyway.

Camilla at Nokia saw my post and tweeted me to kindly offer a trial of the Nokia Lumia 1020 for a couple of weeks. Why the devil not I thought, and soon I received a parcel and tipped out a banana yellow phone. This thing means business, with a slab of a screen so bright and clear, the days of squinting south to your lap are over. After a few days I wondered why all phones weren't this smart and clutter free, rather than bouncing with fiddly apps. Windows 8 aside, I would definitely go for the white or black colour as the yellow felt like a beacon in my hand, but I do like large phones and this chunky model felt like a real product rather than something as-thin-as-can- be.

The screen is huge and it's almost like looking at a small TV screen because it's just so clear;  a stonking 41 megapixels to be exact. Just look at the iPhone 5 photo above and the Lumia photos below. You can tinker with techy things like the shutter speed and ISO, which my novice curiosity had a dabble in below at my mom's house. The photos are fantastic from the first click, and there are no fuzzy frames as the clip on case turns a standard phone into an easy-grip camera with a shutter button; even my nan could use this! My recent outfit posts have been taken using it and I barely needed any different shots to choose a top few. I really asked myself why I would pay more each month for a sleek iPhone when I could get a phone and awesome camera in one, and not have to lug around two devices. 

I'm interested if you have took the plunge and invested in a snazzy camera. Was it worth it?

Bralet Starlet

I've always said that in the spring, I only seem to wear jeans or trousers. It's not quite warm enough for bare legs and the air can be prone to a gust of wind, so black tights and skirts are not something I gravitate towards. In fact I haven't worn tights in around a year! I've veered towards midi dresses, maxi skirts, or high waist trousers for day and night, and I just got this ASOS Luxe pair. On the site they are more of a cool pink but in real life they are a blush colour with a slight metallic print. The chunky waist band makes for a more statement, definite high waisted fit but take note: they are rather prone to creasing! I've worn them to work with a blouse and pointy flats but can throw them on at night with a baby bralet. I've tried a few of these and I'm not really lucky enough to fill this one sans bra, but I think they're a new favourite for itty bitty gals like myself. I got this Topshop navy version as the material and cut is much more structured so when you cover your midriff, it's not quite like wearing just a bra. It's also only £22 which I thought was pretty decent for Topshop standards!

While writing this I almost forgot about these shoes! For months I was looking for an upgrade of the classic ankle strap heels, and these are the full throttle version from River Island, with a platform and chunky velcro strap. They sold out right away but there are similar styles here, and after a season of dainty heels, I'm back in platforms!

A Few Welcome Beauty Refreshers

MAC Harmony Blush, MAC Pro Longwear Concealer NW15

Earlier in the year, my sister and I decided we would neutralise our wardrobes and just have fabulous hair and makeup all of the time. As we live together, most evenings consist of her raiding my wardrobe and us coming up with ambitious plans to be better at everything. The whole makeup/hair thinking hasn't quite come into play yet as I'm evolving my makeup routine slightly and my hair is just not contemplating recently! That's another story, but makeup wise I've spent a while homing in on my absolute favourites and not venturing away from those. If I impulse in Superdrug, guaranteed whichever rose lip tint or pearly highlighter I find will end up being a disappointing mistake, left in a sorry state on the 'I must use that some time' pile. If I'm not using it every day or on a night out, it's never getting used.

I can't make any sort of statement with my makeup at work so I have been focusing on a flawless base to take me from 9 'til 5. I try to give a little warmth and life to my face while hiding any sleep circles or blemishes. I had a MAC makeover recently as I had my eye on a few things and hadn't had one in a while. Nowadays I do things just to treat myself as I'm working my toosh off! While saving, paying bills, addressing that student loan, etc. The usual! I've spoke about this before but a MAC makeover is the only way to try out products you never usually would that are 100% suited to you.

The things I came away with are Harmony blush, the legendary contouring shade. I remember Tanya Burr using this back in the day, but back in the day I also had the perfect 17 contour colour that was less than £2 and became discontinued, sob! Harmony is an impactful shade without being offensive, and can be a buildable base to accompany a popping blush at night. I also got the Pro Longwear Concealer as I've never had anything totally targeted for under the eyes. I've gone through too many tubes of Lasting Perfection to count, in various shades to cover circles and brighten the under-eye triangle, but this NW15 shade adds a warm tone with a lightening lift, as it's a shade darker than my foundation. A fresh, bright eye area means wearing just mascara alone is much less scary, and I look like I may have had that extra hour of sleep. It's definitely nice to use a few brand new things every day.

The Oasis Draped Coat

Oasis Coat, Topshop Jumper, River Island Jeans, New Look heels via ASOS

This is what I wore to my mom's ouse for Mother's Day and I really wanted to share my new Oasis coat as I've had it for a month but the magic hasn't worn off! I invested in a River Island embellished parka with a fur lining for winter as I have a good walk from the train station to my office. As soon as it hits around February though, winter coats feel extra dark and heavy and I had a more glamorous coat in my mind. I toyed with a pink coat for a long time and held out for maybe a lilac one, but nowhere really offered the tones I was after, so I started hunting for a camel coat. There's something luxe about nudes and the oversized, belted coats on the catwalk gave me dreams of Celine.

Fast forward a few weeks where I started buying a few new bits for my work wardrobe, and I wandered into Oasis to take a peek. Their lilac coat is a beautiful colour but it was the shapes of their camel coats that saw me grabbing five different tones and lengths. You know when you can't decide between a few similar things and you end up trying each over and over? Well I couldn't pick between this light colour and a true camel colour, but the lovely sales assistant suggested this colour was more suited for spring. I was talked into signing up for an Oasis card (which I proptly cancelled) so I saved 15%, so it wasn't too harsh on the bank balance and I'm sure I can wear it into the autumn too!

I got this coat in a size Large and have rolled up the sleeves, as you really can wrap it round so it has an oversized, cocoon fit. Sort of like a fancy dressing gown! Wearing it open means it falls beautifully but I'm not much of a fan of hanging clothes - hence why I don't wear necklaces or bracelets either! I have an all nude outfit in my mind for evenings but have yet to find the right items, but for now this coat makes me feel that little bit smarter with little effort. I took the photos below after work when I had a half day and headed to London fo a TGT concert - soon! These pink trousers are my new work favourites as they have a blushed, lilac tint and the fabric is a little embellished. I'm definitely after the matching jacket but I'm hoping it will go into a sale!

Nike Roshe Run White Black Palm Print Love!

Nike Roshe Runs via Office 

Happy April all! I was at work super early for our April Fools day stunt but this really isn't an trick - it is an outfit post! I feel like it's going to be one of those transition months as I don't have many major plans, so I'm going to work on a few background projects, career-wise I think! There are lots of things I want to do for this blog too as Flying Saucer is coming up to eight years now. Hello to a reader I met in London who made me think of my golden blogging days - hi Heather!

So in the spirit of blogging, I have been looking for a better camera as mine was inherited a while ago. Nokia saw my post and tweeted to see if I would like to try their Lumia phone for a few weeks and oh wow, these photos are crystal clear! I've stocked up on lots of photos so expect many posts this week!

And onto these new kicks, the most satisfying shoes ever! I think that's the perfect word as I saw a snap of these last month and thought 'yes, these shall be mine'. I started wearing trainers with my Liberty print Air Max and I have them on constantly! I even walk to work in them and change into flats in the office. You either keep trainers totally bright, bouncy and pristine or you wear them in a little and generally they should stay good quality. I don't wear mine for trekking in the rain exactly, but they've worn well. I don't believe in keeping things hidden away but I am concerned for these Nike Roshe Runs as the palm printed canvas is so thin and bright white! The cushioned soles are so bouncy, it's like you've strapped sponges to your feet; they are light as air. I do want to keep these clean and I have loads of products to aid this, but in a way they are better when worn with mixed prints so they're not too in-your-face. I hoped they were limited edition but they are now in Office and got delivered free within just two days.

Topshop Cut Out Bralet, Topshop Joni JeanNike Roshe Runs via Office 

As I mentioned, I was in London on Thursday for a gig with a best gal friend and I spent half an hour in Oxford Street Topshop. Heaven! I used to go to London a lot when I worked at Motel but I haven't been in so long. I'm not often a  Topshop shopper but all the cropped bralets and co-ord sets around at the moment are really the best in good old Toppers. Nasty Gal have had wrap bralets like this for a while so I was very happy to find this ivory cut out version on the high street. I squeezed into an 8 but took a 10 in the end so size up for this one! For nights out I'll pair it with a high waist split skirt and mega heels but in the day I'd add a printed skort or standard high waist jeans. These Joni jeans now have some sort of ladder in them which I know is fairly common, but this bright 'Pansy' blue is my favourite colour wash! Would you try some trainers?