Friday, 6 March 2015

*New Website Alert* The Lifestyle Edit

Photograph by Dvora for The Lifestyle Edit

I was recently asked by friend Naomi Mdudu to be featured on her website: The Lifestyle Edit, I was expecting something good but it really wowed me. 

Firstly, what a lovely, complimentary piece - thanks Naomi! And secondly, the website is a one-stop internet stop for all things fashion, careers, food and lifestyle. If you haven't already clicked, add it to your bookmarks now. And while you're there, read this piece about how I started blogging (there are also fab features on deliciously Ella and Wardrobe Icons, too).

Wearing Parka: Gap (buy similar here). Scarf: Gestuz. Cashmere jumper: Gap (buy similar here). Jeans: Paige Denim. Bag: Lulu Guinness. Boots: Russell & Bromley

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Shoe Vs Wardrobe...

Sophia Webster pop-up fruit and flower stall in Harrods

On Monday, I took a tour of Harrods' Shoe Heaven, it has been around a little while now but I hadn't really had a decent look. For a shoe-lover, it really IS heaven. 

Sophia Webster - Harrods are now the largest stockist
THE Manolos...the ultimate wedding shoe (and there's something quite special about the fact you can't buy them online)

A rainbow of Rockstud Valentinos...
I've always been more a shoe person than a bag lady, and whilst walking around (and from Instagram comments), it made me realise that however many of us are on a budget, we would definitely bite the bullet if the right pair of shoes came along (for the right price, of course).

The Disney 'Cinderella' collection: Nicholas Kirkwood and Jimmy Choo
Here I've rounded up a few key buys that I would love to spend my hard-earned wages on...and how I'd make them work into my frugal wardrobe.

The stand-out Dolce shoe

1. Sweater, £24.95, Gap

2. Pave bracelet, £19, Z for Accessorize

3. Skinny liquid eyeliner, £12, Eyeko

4. Wool skirt, £135, Iris & Ink

5. Leather mini duffle bag, £42, Next

6. Brocade sandals, £525, Dolce & Gabbana

The everyday Chloe espadrille

1. Denim jacket, £39.99, H&M

2. Sunglasses, £13, River Island

3. Straw bag, £59.50, J Crew

4. Dress, £49.99, Mango

5. Anklets, £6, Accessorize

6. 'Alita' suede espadrilles, £340, Chloe at Harrods

The Valentino super flat

1. Jumper, £95, Whistles

2. 9ct gold-plated sleeper earrings, £21.99, H Samuel

3. Leather clutch, £65, LK Bennett

4. 'Hayden' jeans, £42, Topshop

5. Lipstick in 'Mango', £21, Laura Mercier at Selfridges

6. 'Rockstud' flats, £580, Valentino at Harrods

And at this point, I feel it is also my duty to bring to your attention the entire S/S collection from Dune. Expensive looking espadrilles for a fraction of the price - this is where I'll be heading come Spring...

'Lizzy' mock-croc espadrilles, £110, Dune London
And they do have a frugal version of the Manolo pumps for £89 (whilst we're saving up for the originals)...

'Breanna' shoe, £89, Dune

Monday, 2 March 2015

Outfit Post: A Winter Wedding

Coat: H+M (buy similar from Asos here). Dress: Mango (buy similar here and here). Bag: Zara. Shoes: Next
What a mammoth weekend! A close friend got married this weekend and it was so lovely to attend a true winter wedding. My best friend flew over from San Diego with her baby boy and it was wonderful to be reunited.

Carnival letters: £58 each, The Little House Shop

In true Frugality style, I wore head to toe High Street to the wedding - and felt just as fabulous as usual. I bought this Mango dress in the January sales for £30 thinking it would be ideal for the wedding with its long sleeves, but also great for my Spanish holiday in May (when it's still sometimes chilly in the evenings).

It was also the first outing for my Next shoes! I wore them all day and danced in them all night - and not a blister/scratch or any shoe-related injury to be reported (told you they were amazing).

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Best breakfast and brunch spots in London

Image Map I often take my job for granted, I am lucky enough to spend a lot of my work meetings and catch ups in great cafes and restaurants. 

So I thought I'd dedicate this post to my favourite places to enjoy the most important meal of the day! Some of them you'll know but some you may not have tried - none of them break the bank and I really believe a day of sightseeing in our capital is best started with a good breakfast (and sometimes it's the best bit!).

1. The Ivy Market Grill, Covent Garden. The Ivy of old is closed for refurbishment, but you can enjoy this in the meantime - total tile porn, central location in the heart of Covent Garden (which, by the way, is fast becoming THE coolest shopping destination), and a younger, more relaxed vibe. Brunch is served on the weekends 8am-4pm and the Eggs Benedict (£8.50) hits the spot.

Dean Street Townhouse
2. Dean Street Townhouse, Soho. Whilst working at Red, this was my go-to meeting place. Not only because of its central location but the great service, homely feel (I love all the modern Art and comfy chairs) and the fact that they serve wheat-free toast! Avocados on toast with poached egg (£7) is my order du jour, but on a hangover the ham hock hash (£8.50) will cure anything. Celeb sighting: Natalia Vodianova enjoying a coffee on the suntrap outside terrace.

3. The Modern Pantry, Clerkenwell. I love the laid-back, modern decor of this place - lots of grey and hanging lamps (the dream). Great coffee and set apart from the hustle and bustle of the city, it has huge windows which, on a sunny day, make you feel like you're brunching in Sydney rather than the UK. Lots of Gluten-free dishes - go healthy with the Bircher muesli (£5.80). Last celeb sighting: Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher.

Granger & Co (photo credits: Mikkel Vang)

4. Granger & Co, Notting Hill. Here, you will always find a great, buzzy atmosphere. In Notting Hill, you have to have a 'Bill's Greens' juice (£4.80) but then restore the balance with a fried egg and bacon brioche roll (£8). A new Granger & Co has recently opened in Clerkenwell, too, but the Notting Hill branch wins for me because I saw David Beckham there last time.

5. Duck & Waffle, Liverpool Street. What better way to start the day than overlooking the city on the 40th floor? It helps that the food is pretty good, too. To order - well, it has to be the 'Duck and Waffle' speciality (£17), doesn't it? Pricey, but it won't happen everyday...

Duck & Waffle
6. Bills, Soho. We all know and love it - and I like to keep it in here as it's kid friendly, still great food and so affordable - plus, not just in London! My favourite is the buttermilk pancakes (£5.95).

7. Berners Tavern, Noho. Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton's menu at Berner's Tavern may be superb and mouth-watering, but it's the splendid floor to ceiling picture display in this restaurant that gets me every time. The curly kale, apple, cucumber and lime juice (£5.50) is not to be missed and the poached eggs on toast go down well with a side of mushrooms.

8. Riding House Cafe, W1. I have to be honest here, it's not the best service in London. BUT I still love it, the smoothies are delicious and the chorizo hash brown (£9.50) is worth being late for - just don't expect the bill to come quickly.

9. Hubbard & Bell, Holborn. This restaurant is inside my new favourite recently opened hotel: The Hoxton Hotel. I haven't actually tried the food yet, but have been told on good authority by Anna at South Molton Style (and serial bruncher) that it is the bee's knees. And walking through the hotel lobby recently on the way to the Boticca press day, the atmosphere (and food) looked great. Also, I'm a sucker for typography and this place does it seriously well.

And to try? Bad Egg, Moorgate - its tagline is 'Burgers, Eggs, Ribs and Tacos' - my kind of place.

I have heard rumours of bottomless Bloody Marys with your brunch for £30 but at the time of writing can neither confirm nor this space!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

London Fashion Week {Day 5}

Hat: Topshop. Jacket: H&M (buy similar here). Jumper: Gant Rugger. Shirt: Eileen Fisher (buy similar here). Jeans: Paige Denim (buy similar from Topshop here). Boots: Office

Denim is huge for Spring (as if you didn't know), and an oversized denim jacket is the easy way in.

The last day of London Fashion Week is always a struggle to get out there and push on through...and I must admit, I struggled. Simply ducking in for a few presentations, I chose to spend the afternoon with some lovely friends, Anneli and Monica, instead. And I made the right choice.

We started out at Duck & Dry blow-dry bar in Chelsea (who kindly offered us to try the service). We loved the chic, relaxed vibe (and the decor is just perfect), with a cafe inside - pop in for a no-fuss blow-dry for an event (I'm thinking pre weddings).

Tile porn...
Us girls post blow-dry 
Then Anneli, who is set to launch a clean-living site later this week (exciting!) introduced me to one of the best raw food restaurants I've been to in ages - I could eat everything on the menu, for once! If you're ever in Chelsea, then Tanya's Cafe is a MUST. Affordable, tasty and great vibe (weekdays are better as it's b.u.s.y on a weekend).

Well, I'd say that was much more enjoyable than rushing around Fashion Shows. Apologies for being a fashion traitor. 

That's London Fashion Week done and dusted for another season. Conclusions? Patchwork, texture and nudes all seem to big on my hitlist. And if anyone has tickets for London Fashion Weekend, I'm going to be talking about 'How To Become A Fashion Stylist' on Sunday. Come and say hi!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

London Fashion Week {Day 4}

Coat: Boden. Sunglasses: Boden. Cashmere jumper: Boden. Jeans: MiH Jeans (buy the new wash here). Heels: Dune. Clutch: St Leonard's
Day 4 of London Fashion Week and I have been working with Boden on a trend report and Instagram Takeover (read all about it on their blog here) so had to keep going despite my poor feet just wanting to rest! 

Photos by Ella Sadika
I picked my favourite pieces from Boden's S/S collection to wear to the shows  - and it even included colour! I have never worn a red coat before but actually loved the way it transformed my outfit.

Wearing the 'Sophie' coat with my favourite Boden cashmere crew-neck (I have it in a few colours)

Image for Boden's Instagram feed on Monday, featuring the 'Bella' slingback. Nails: Chanel 'Fire'

FYI: These Dune 'Christina' heels are surprisingly easy to walk in, and might just be one of my new favourite LFW finds...

Suede heels, £79, Dune

Monday, 23 February 2015

The Oscars with Suki Waterhouse, Burberry and Mary Wiles

Photo credit: Burberry
Now this is something a little different for The-Frugality, but an opportunity that couldn't be missed...

Last night, my friend and fabulous make-up artist Mary Wiles (see her Frugal Beauty picks here) worked her make-up magic on the beautiful Suki Waterhouse at The Oscars, and has kindly offered to tell The-Frugality readers how she achieved the look!

Mary's kit
Suki famously missed the red carpet but her deep v red dress and make-up still wowed crowds during the ceremony and at the Vanity Fair after-party.

"I wanted to create a look that was graphic, modern and effortlessly elegant to complement the simple lines of her Burberry dress" says Mary. Here are the products she used:

Fresh glow foundation in Porcelain No 11 - "creating a base which would last all night". This oil-free base is really long-wearing but still delivers a glow to the skin.

Sheer concealer in Soft Beige No 2 - dotted under the eyes and patted in to melt into the skin.

Nude radiance Fresh Glow 01 - added to highlight temples and cheekbones.

Peony Blush 04 - used on the apple of the cheeks and blended upwards and out.


Rosewood 202 - nudey pink silk eyeshadow blended outwards as a base.

Effortless Liquid Liner in Jet Black 01 - used through the top lashes and extended up and outwards to enhance the cat eye.

Effortless kohl liner in Pale grape - blended with the liquid liner at the outer corners to create a soft look liner.

Eye colour in Dusty Mauve 203 - blended into the outer socket.

Bold Lash mascara in Ebony 01 - two coats applied onto curled lashes top and bottom.

Photo from Burberry's Twitter Feed

Efortless eyebrow definer in Sepia 02 - brows were filled in with short brush strokes to define shape and fill in gaps.

Burberry Kisses Tulip Pink No 9 (available from March). "Suki adored the's the same tone as her natural lip colour, so just adds a little more definition. It's one of my 'go to' natural pinks".

Lip definer Rosewood 07 - filled in the outer corners to add a little more definition where the lips can fade.

What did you think of Suki's look? I for one am definitely going to buy the lipstick when it launches....

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