Friday, 31 January 2014

January Round Up


Buying: As previously mentioned I have been buying quite a few treats for myself in the January sales. This includes the skirt featured in my last post. It's one of my favourite sale buys, I love the length, the pattern and the price was pretty nifty at only £10.

Watching: I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower last weekend. I'm not the biggest Emma Watson fan but I enjoyed her performance and I'll admit I did shed a few tears towards the end.

Doing: After all the jolliness of Christmas and New Year, January has been a pretty quiet month. I did enjoy a Burns supper last weekend. We ate lots of tasty Scottish food, drank a lot of non Scottish wine and played Cards Against Humanity (i.e. my new favourite game).

Reading: I finished reading Perfect People by Peter James. This one took me quite a while to get through but I did find it enjoyable and filled with a number of interesting ideas. And while it wasn't the most gripping novel the ending was well worth the read.

Watching: I have been trying to limit my television viewing because my eyes are getting square and my brain is slowly dissolving. Of course I watched Sherlock, and I have also recorded Mr Selfridge for when I want a telly binge.

Buying: As I mentioned in my first sales post, I have shopped too much this month! In fact, look out for another sales post next week. I can never find my keys I treated myself to a really nice Bailey & Quinn red heart keyring that attaches (and matches) my new handbag and keeps me organised. I'm only a tiny bit miffed it's now so cheap in the sale!

Doing: I think 'mindfulness' is the buzzword for 2014 and it was at the top of my New Years Resolutions so I decided to join an Ashtanga yoga course at Summerhall. I've done yoga before (and spent time in an Indian Ashram) but that was quite a few years ago now! Clearly my body doesn't remember anything, so I've started as a beginner again. I'm three weeks in and already feeling the difference. I will be signing up for the next eight weeks too!

Reading: I finally got round to reading last year's big hit The Fault in our Stars, by John Green. I knew it was going to be a tear- jerker by its premise- the love life of a teenage cancer patient. If I'm honest, I couldn't be bothered with another My Sisters Keeper type novel, but I was pleasantly surprised by how sharp, witty and interesting the story was. And yes, I did cry. I bawled my eyes out because it was beautiful.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Styled by Helen: January Sales

Necklace | Twiggd
Cardigan | Primark
Vest Top | Primark
Skirt | Topshop
Shoes | Clarks

I managed to find myself rather a lot of bargains in the January Sales. Unfortunately none of them were from my sale wishlist! I think the problem is that most of my picks involved online ordering, which always gives me far too much time to debate and talk myself out of it. Many of my sale purchases were made while browsing the high street, killing time before my train home from work. It's just so tempting when it's right there in front of me and I've been able to try it on.

Anyway, the skirt and shoes in this outfit were both part of my sale haul. I've been on the look out for slightly longer skirts that hide my knobbly knees and this one is pretty much the perfect length. Plus I love the fun spot and stripe pattern. The boots were more of a considered and essential purchase since my last go-to pair started letting in water! I love the little zip detail and they keep my toes nice and dry.

What bargains have you found lately?

Monday, 27 January 2014

Styled by Kimberley: January Sales

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Dress | Warehouse Sale!
Tights | Primark
Shoes | Clarks Sale!
Necklace | New Look

This dress and the shoes were my January sale purchases and I think it's been a wise investment!
It's very rare I wear figure hugging outfit but I am obsessed with this dress. Love a shoulder pad! I got it for Helen's birthday night out next month but I'm sure it'll have plenty other outings.

The shoes were my other sale purchase, and featured in my Sales Picks. I can wear them to work or out, so it's kind of a double win.

I've been playing around with DIY pastel hair colour recently. This was Bleach London Bruised Violet. It is a lot darker than I expected but it works quite well with this vampy look. I am obsessed with milkmaid braids right now and it really shows off the accidental ombre effect of this colour.
The colour is loud and fun but I really hope it fades out like it's supposed to.
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Now I just need to find my Spanx and I'm ready to party!
HEEEYYYYY!!! (Yes, this is how I dance)
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Friday, 24 January 2014

Hair on Fire

Top | Zara
Necklace | Karen Mabon
Skirt | Charity Shop
Shoes | H&M
Hair | L'oreal Paris - Wild Ombre

While Kimberley was dying her hair pastel pink, I was coming up with ideas for my own mini hair make over. After a fresh cut and home colour before Christmas, I was feeling pretty happy with my do. Then the new year came along and, after that, Kim's hair transformation, all building my desire for change. I didn't want to do anything too drastic but definitely wanted something new. After some umming and ahhing I decided to go for a classic blogger look - the dip-dye.

I picked up an Extreme Ombre kit by Loreal and tentatively applied. Seems I did it too tentatively, as it didn't have much of an effect. Yes the ends were slightly lighter but it wasn't very noticeable. I put this down to me not taking enough time to shake the bottle, rather than the product itself.

Not to be put off, I rushed out to the supermarket and, as the Extreme option wasn't available, picked up a pack of Wild Ombre instead. This time I shook it up like a mad woman and the result was much more satisfactory. While still more yellow than I would like, I'm pretty pleased with my new do.  I'm looking forward to playing around with my lighter ends by adding some different temporary colours. Also I've just spotted this Flame Red Obmre kit, so I may have to give that a go too.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Nail Inspiration: Obscure Couture

You may remember my Rodnik inspired finger tips from last year. Well I've found some more designers that have sparked my nail art creativity. This time in the form of Scottish design duo, Obscure Couture. I have found myself lusting after a number of their unique designs lately (like this, and this, oh and this). After the decimation of my back account that was Christmas, it seems I'll be lusting for some time to come. So, until my funds are replenished, I thought some Obscure inspired nail art might help to tide me over.

As you can see, photographing black on black is not my strongest skill, but here's a little step by step guide if you want to give them a go.

A - Big and Dotty.
1) Start with a nice clear base coat.
2) Apply matt black polish.
3) With a nail art pen or brush apply some big ass dots in a glossy black polish. I built up the polish to give more of a 3D effect.

B - Go Faster.
1 & 2) As above.
3) Paint half the nail with gloss black polish.

C - Dots Within Dots Within Dots.
1) As above.
2) Firmly apply some circle stickers to your nails. You should be able to find various sizes of these in any good stationary shop.
3) Paint over in matt black polish.
4) Remove the stickers. I did this while the polish was still quite wet. This should leave you with some nice blank circular spaces.
5) I filled one of the spaces in with gloss black polish using a thin nail art brush. The other space I outlined with gloss black.
6) In the outlined space I used a black nail art pen to add some tiny little dots.


Monday, 20 January 2014

Pastel Hair

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Dress | Primark
Coat | H by Henry Holland
Tights | Pretty Polly
Shoes | Clarks
Bag | Bailey and Quinn
Hair Dye | Rose by Bleach London

I have wanted to dye my hair pastel for about a year now, but with my wedding back in September I didn't want to do anything drastic with my hair. Now that that's over with (sob), I can give it a go!

Helen prodded me along with this Bleach London temporary hair colour. I put it directly onto my highlighted hair as a tester and it worked out not too badly! It should be a light candy floss pink but because I have warm caramel lowlights in my hair it came out a deeper pink panther colour. It was slightly patchy the first time but this is probably partly because my hair is so many shades of blonde in the first place. It was easy to use and I only needed half the bottle. As my hair is quite porous, I left it on a little longer than suggested. It only really lasted one wash for me but I got another application out of the bottle. This attempt was much more even.
The only downside is that the dye has clung to my low lights so now it looks a bit red underneath.

I felt quite sassy with my new hair, so I'll definitely try out the other two Bleach London colours I have- Bruised Violet and Washed Up Mermaid- before I go to the hairdressers to be properly bleached out and pasteled up!

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Friday, 17 January 2014

Gatsby Nails

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One of my favourite parts of my New Year Party outfit was the nails. As I said before, I didn't get a decent photo of them so it was a nice excuse to try them again!

The look was rich colours- gold and teal- and geometric striping as in the Great Gatsby film logo.
I achieved this look with nail tape, which you can buy online quite cheaply. On Hogmanay I was in a rush, so i just used the tape directly onto my base colour for the effect. It was fun but it didn't last.

This time around I applied Barry M Instant Effects Foil Effects Gold as a base. I put the tapes in place before covering in H&M Moody Model. I got bored of waiting and used Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Top Coat before I removed the tape. This was a mistake! When I peeled off the tapes (super satisfying, by the way) it also peeled of a layer of polish. Oops! Lesson learned, guess I'll have to do them again to perfect them.

And if I need any more inspiration, there's plenty on my Pinterest board!
Here are two of my favourites:

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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

What Helen Wore: New Year's Eve

Dress  | River Island
Shoes | Topshop

So there wasn't really a whole lot to my New Year's Eve outfit. I had meant to go in for the whole Great Gatsby look but it some how didn't happen. With it's opulent sequins, the dress was my only step in that direction. I'd had my eye on another dress from River Island but when I went to purchase it I found they no longer had it in my size! I searched online and in other stores and still no luck. It was time to admit defeat and look for something else. Luckily the sparkles on this little number caught my eye. It was only when I was trying it on that I saw the sale tag. Reduced to £20 from £50, bargain!! I did have to do a few repairs where the sequins were concerned but that's kind of what you expect from a heavily embellished high street number.

I did make a bit more of an effort with my hair. Not in the styling stakes, as you can clearly see, but I did give it a fresh burst of colour. It always makes me feel tonnes better about my locks when they're looking vivid and bright. I also took a bit of time with my nails, painting some simple dots onto a clear base coat.

I had a lot of fun seeing in 2014 and my comfortable sparkly shoes from Topshop kept me dancing all night long. My one regret is not getting some better quality outfits shots! Damn you winter and your bad lighting.

Monday, 13 January 2014

What Kimberley Wore: New Year's Eve

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Dress | borrowed from Helen
Tights | Primark
Shoes | Clarks
Headband | New Look
Earrings | Accessorize

When I heard that Cargo Edinburgh was holding a Great Gatsby for New Year I was super excited to re-wear my flapper girl look from my Hen Party. I've been looking for an event to get out my beautiful beaded dress. Unfortunately, I had packed my dress in a "special place" in preparation and when the night came round I couldn't find it anywhere. (It's still missing by the way, if you see it please tell me I'm not mad and to come back home).


Thank goodness for Super Friend, Helen, who was on hand with a spare dress she'd worn for New Year's last year. Hooray! The dress was a black fringed shift with iridescent threading to add interest and a hint of sparkle. It was really comfortable and easy to wear, and worked perfectly with the rest of my look. Phew! It's quite funny that after saying I never borrow clothes from Helen I've borrowed two dresses in the last two posts!

I had a wee go at pin curls and tucked my hair under into a faux bob but I think I should have
used a setting lotion- there was a lot of frizz! I'll definitely have another shot at the hairstyle.
I'm annoyed that I didn't get a proper photo of my nails as I was really pleased with them. I used a teal base coat and gold tape and studs for individual Art Deco designs.
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The party was really fun- we had a great table booked and champagne on ice so that we could enjoy Hogmanay in style. I didn't visit the casino but we did a lot of dancing to the big band and drank some prohibition inspired cocktails. Most people had made a real effort to dress in Great Gatsby outfits and everyone looked fantastic.

Here's to another year!
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Friday, 10 January 2014

Styled by Kimberley: New Dress

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Dress | Dorothy Perkins, borrowed from Helen
Necklace | Dorothy Perkins
Coat | H! by Henry Holland

Technically, my Night Out dress was my new dress. However, I wasn't feeling very comfortable in it and I wanted to daaaaaance. I rarely borrow Helen's clothes any more, so I decided to commandeer this gorgeous textured white dress for the evening. I'm surprised she let me, knowing how clumsy I am. Rarely a night out passes without me spilling a drink or four.

Borrowing clothing from stylish friends is a very obvious way to expand your wardrobe. I was always lending items out when I was at Uni because why not? It doesn't make the item less valuable to me that someone else takes a turn in it. And it's really flattering when someone likes your clothes (and presumably the way you wear them). To borrow something also means it feels new to you and you can make it your own for the night with your own accessories.

My favourite things about these photos is that you can gauge the stage of the night by my hair (fell flat after two drinks, was pinned back after a dance and by the end of the night it was in a hasty pleat (braid for you non-Scots speakers?) There was a lot of fog going on during the 50's and 60's tunes of Electric Circus' Beep Beep Yeah! night. Probably for the best, really.

My favourite thing of this look was my fabulous Lulu Guinness inspired pink lip nail art.

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After all the twisting, jiving and banana milkshake- based cocktails, we got a night bus home. While we waited, a lovely lady offered me some left over birthday cake from her party. I gladly took some.

It's not only clothing that's nice to to receive from others!
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