Saturday, 3 December 2016

7 of the best: festive red lips

Lipstick in 'Hazard': £8, Topshop. Coat: £69, Marks & Spencer. Shirt: £80, Gant. Glasses: Bailey Nelson. Photograph: Christopher O'Donnell
I never used to wear much red lipstick in my 20s, I always found it a bit OTT. But as I get older, I understand it's appeal to feel 'done', I remember a friend saying she loved it because if she wasn't wearing any makeup, the pop of red made her feel a 'little' glamorous and I tend to agree. 

On holiday especially, when I like to let my skin breathe, I often go out without make-up but a bright lip and it's the obvious choice now Christmas is on its way. I asked Facebook a little while back on everyone's favourites, and there was a great discussion on it, so thought I'd share the ones I love...God knows why I have so many red lipsticks, maybe that's why I am struggling to afford a new kitchen! But I am also highlighting their differences by doing this post so...they're all justified.

1. Bobbi Brown 'Bright Poppy'

This colour is super matte, and almost a vibrant orange. In my head, it's very Jenny Lyons, which is why I chose to wear this shade for my J Crew event. As I often have a (bit of a) tan, I like to opt for a red with a hint of orange as find it a bit more flattering (some reds make my skin look quite yellow).

Clothes: Next (old)

This lipstick, to me, is the perfect red - it feels so grown-up, like the kind of lipstick my mum always carried in her purse when I was younger (when she wore YSL 'Poison' perfume). It glides on super smoothly and when I wore it for a hen weekend, all my friends asked about it as it stayed put the entire day.

Jumper: £19.99, H&M. Jeans: £34.99, Gap. Boots: Tabitha Simmons (old)

This lipstick came as part of a lip duo (named after the ever gorgeous Vivien Leigh), and I must confess to not trying the accompanying lip gloss - sticky red lips makes me tense, especially with light hair. This is almost a dark pinky red, again, very matte - and works so well with light colours.

Trench: J Crew(old). Top: $59, Storets. Jeans: £54.95, Gap. Shoes: £49.99, Zara.

I had no opinions on Smashbox until a few friends raved about their primers (which also, I never knew anything about until last year). Now I'm hooked on the primer, the hydrating foundation and basically everything about the brand. it just works, and this red is the perfect classic red - it looks darker than it comes out and I believe it's set to be iconic.

Shirt: £59, Hush. Glasses: Bailey Nelson

Possibly the darkest of my reds (but looks even darker on the site), this is a great cheap fix. Easy to wear, a matte finish and perfect for everyday use. I really rate Topshop beauty,  I also love their lip bullet pencils and they do the best red nail polish in 'Pillarbox' for £5.

Coat: £69, Marks & Spencer. Shirt: £80, Gant. Glasses: Bailey Nelson. 

So I also found out that these were none of your choices for red lippy! What can I say, I like to be different. So I've included a few below (along with some great buys this month, if you're not spending all your money on Christmas!):

1. Earrings: £6.99, H&M

2. Blouse: £19.99, H&M

3. Matte lipstick in 'Red Carpet Red': £23, Charlotte Tilbury

4. Heels: reduced to £28, Wallis

5. Frayed hem jeans: £46, Topshop

6. Chambray jumpsuit: £80, Hush

7. Wool coat: £139.99, Mango

8. Leather bag: reduced to £97.30, Radley

9. Leather trainers: £49.99, Vans at Zalando

10. Matte lipstick in 'Ruby Woo': £15.50, MAC

Thursday, 1 December 2016

What I really, really want... a bottle of gin and some cashmere jogging bottoms. 

Family and friends always say how hard I am to buy for...but I'm actually quite a simple person.  A candle, handwash or a dressing gown: my dream presents to unwrap. So when M&S asked me to do a little Christmas gift guide, it wasn't really a stretch. All I have to do now is make sure my family don't see this list! 

Here's what I picked out:

1. FOR THE CUTE NEPHEW: dressing gown, £10, I love the star print and it's the softest fabric - I can't wait to see him in it. 

2. FOR THE 'OTHER HALF': grapefruit gin, £14 a bottle, not only does my husband always appreciate a decent bottle of gin, but this would also make a great gift for hosts. 

3. FOR THE CHIC SISTER: nightdress, £22.40, we're a family of pyjama lovers and this would never go unappreciated.

4. FOR PARENTS: handwash set, £25, my parents are those 'have everything' people, so I always buy them useful presents like food, cashmere or bathroom products (that will always get used).

5. FOR ME (FROM ME): earrings, £9.50, these moon and star earrings remind me of Valentino, and the perfect festive addition to my outfit.

6. FOR ME (again): cashmere joggers, £99, nothing pleases me more than a comfy pair of trousers. And in cashmere? Just dreamy.

7. FOR WRAPPING: spruce paper, £3.50, did I mention I love wrapping? It's possibly my favourite bit about Christmas! 

8. FOR A FRIEND: hand towel, £10, I love taking useful home items to friends who host us for dinner, I think it makes a nice change to alcohol.

9. FOR WORK COLLEAGUES: 'Noel' candle set, £12, easy to wrap, they smell amazing and look great as a token gift, especially for someone you don't know too well.

10. FOR THE FASHION FRIEND: velvet heels, £29.50, too good not to pick up for myself whilst there, no?

11. FOR THE CHRISTMAS DAY HOST: set of mini glitter crowns (picked up instore), I love these as a cute alternative to cracker crowns.

12. FOR THE PARTY HOST: polar bear bauble, £5, I love to take Christmas decorations as gifts for hosts, something a little bit different.

13. FOR ANYONE: Cava, £11 a bottle, always the perfect back-up gift - friends, extended family, hosts and colleagues. 

Candle set: £12, Marks & Spencer. Glitter mini crowns: instore at Marks & Spencer. Tree decoration: £5, Marks & Spencer

Wrapping paper: £3.50, Marks & Spencer. Labels: Kikki K
Cashmere tracksuit bottoms: £99, Marks & Spencer. Tree decoration: £5, Marks & Spencer. Grapefruit gin: £14 a bottle, Marks & Spencer
Velvet heels: £29.50, Marks & Spencer. Earrings: £9.50, Marks & Spencer

This is the first of my Christmas gift guides - this one in collaboration with Marks & Spencer - there will be more Christmas gift guide ideas to come!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Great lengths

Coat: £95, Topshop. Jumper: £42, Topshop. Trousers: Cos (old).  Trainers: £42.99, New Balance. Suede chain strap bag: £99, Marks & Spencer. Photographs: Christopher O'Donnell
There's something about this weather that makes me want to live in my dressing gown. So maybe that's what drew me to this coat. Maxi length, super soft and fully equipped with that 'throw-over' capacity, this coat has the winter factor. 

It is also a great coat for travelling as it folds down relatively easily, so the ideal capsule mini-break piece to take on my recent trip to Amsterdam. 

A camel coat is a bit of a must for me, it screams chic and elevates a somewhat uninteresting outfit of trousers, polo neck and trainers. And let's talk about the trainers - bought back in the summer on a bit of a whim, I've only worn them a few times but have reinstated them as my top pair. I love that they can help make an outfit, and without realising it, I picked a pair in pretty much the colour of the season.

One of the reasons I haven't worn them lately have been the fact they are a bit big...but I had the brainwave of stuffing them with Ugg sheepskin liners (I initially used them on my Converse but it made them a bit tight!) and now they're the pair I reach for at every opportunity. 

Coat: £95, Topshop. Jumper: £42, Topshop. Trousers: Cos (old).  Trainers: £42.99, New Balance. Suede chain strap bag: £99, Marks & Spencer.

I've not worn a polo neck for a long time, I find skinny roll necks too tight and a bit claustrophobic. So that's why I'm welcoming the recent trend of the oversized knit. This jumper has a wide, funnel neck which is much easier to wear and doesn't look so 'Riders' under a coat. 

Coat: £95, Topshop. Jumper: £42, Topshop. Trousers: Cos (old).  Trainers: £42.99, New Balance. Suede chain strap bag: £99, Marks & Spencer.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

White shirts in Shoreditch

Coat: £295, Gant.  Shirt: £80, Gant. Beanie hat: £35, Gant. Photographs: Christopher O'Donnell
I've never underestimated the power of a white shirt: its ability to bring a smart outfit together, look effortless with jeans or even dress down an evening look (I'm thinking about bringing out the tulle maxi skirt again with this shirt for the festive season).

And with Gant's new Regent Street store opening, I thought I'd take their iconic Diamond G shirt out for a spin amongst one of London's most iconic backdrops: Shoreditch. Luckily, the typical rainy London weather held off just long enough for us to get our shots!

I've teamed the shirt and classic pea coat with the skirt of the season: pleats, adding a fashiony edge to a classic look, but this shirt and coat would work just as well with jeans and trainers on the weekend: the perfect on/off duty pieces. I'm a big believer in owning a classic coat - camel or grey will serve you well for the years to come.


Coat: £295, Gant.  Shirt: £80, Gant. Skirt: £45, NextBoots: £82, Topshop. 

Coat: £295, Gant.  Shirt: £80, Gant. 

And I'm finally starting to wear boots again, after a long hiatus. I guess, to me, it's fully accepting that it's winter. But still no tights. Yet.

This post was in collaboration with Gant, whose new store has opened on Regent Street. All styling, Art Direction and wording my own.

Friday, 25 November 2016

6 affordable bridal brands you need to know about...

With the rise of cool, hip brides who don't feel the need to spend thousands on a dress these days, there's also a real flow of great, affordable bridal and bridesmaid brands answering their prayers. There are even a few High Street giants who have got in on the act. Here's the low down:

1. Whistles Bridal

Yes, the store that doesn't seem to set a foot wrong in the style stakes has moved into Bridal. Expect attention to detail ruffles, bows and modern shapes. Prices start at £499 and the range launches in February.


When two friends Fran and Katie found themselves frustrated by the current Bridesmaid dress offering out there, they decided to make their own. Their customer self described as 'Damn Cool Bridesmaids', these are dresses for those girls who don't follow the norm - the type of girl who'd wear Reformation to a wedding (and they've already been picked up by bloggers such as Anneli Bush). And I for one love what they're doing:

The 'Tokyo' dress in chianti: £140, Rewritten
'Havana' top: £65, Rewritten. Long skirt: £95, Rewritten 


Kate Halfpenny is a stylist who had gone onto design her own super successful Bridal range, who makes and designs her range in London. Not totally frugal, pieces start at £695 but her dresses (and skirts and separates) are to die for and as I am such a fan of what she does, I couldn't not include! 


Yes, I know I've already talked about their range before, but look how pretty and affordable it is! Plus Asos bridesmaid dresses that won't break the bank? Gutted this wasn't around when I was looking!

Ruched maxi dress: £150, Asos
Ruffle column maxi dress: £65, Asos
Maxi dress: £150, Asos


Not only would you be the coolest bride on the block: you'd also be investing in a sustainable fashion brand. Yes, Reformation have officially made ECO cool (and their recent collection with Net A Porter was a storming success - I'm hoping we can expect a London store soon!).

Dress: $388, Reformaton

Dress: $428, Reformation

Another of the High Street stores killing it with its Bridal selection. It's also a bit of a one-stop shop for Flower Girls, Bridesmaids and page boys, too. They're even doing the on trend two piece, which is a really modern way to approach Wedding dressing:

'Dominika' lace top: £129, Monsoon. Lace skirt: £199, Monsoon

1. No smudge mascara: £21, Bobbi Brown

2. Lipstick in 'Naturist': £8, Topshop

3. Diamonte earrings: £9.50, Marks & Spencer

4. Sandals: £150, Loeffler Randall at The Outnet

5. Nail polish in 'Sparkling': £6.49, Revlon

6. Leather pouch: £117, Anya Hindmarch at The Outnet

7. 101 ointment: £11, Lano at Net A Porter

8. Cream highlighter: £10, Topshop

9. Velvet sandals: £165, Whistles

10. Biography bracelet: £40, Astley Clarke
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