Lifestyle . Fashion . Beauty . Culture

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

February Favourites 2013

February has been a cold, cold month enhanced slightly by the purely profit-enhancing day that belongs to St. Valentine; the fashion month runway and street style pictures; the revealing of the hotly anticipated Academy Awards winners; and the emergence of Spring clothing, in a high street shop near you now. As per usual I've been hitting the shops in search of great buys so, without further ado, here are the products I've coveted most this month.

Clinique Stay Matte Foundation in 'Albaster' and Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer in 'Ivory'
This foundation is a miracle. It's lightweight yet provides a lot of coverage but I would stay away if you have dry skin. When I first started using the foundation I had a few dry patches due to a spot treatment and the product enhanced the dry flakes. My skin is usually very oily though and the biggest issue I have with foundations is the length they stay put for and also how greasy they are. This is great in these regards.
This concealer really does what it says on the tube. I was a little disappointed with my old concealer and I saw Tanya Burr using this on a makeup tutorial so I decided to give it a go. It provides great coverage for blemishes and under the eyes without the dreaded panda effect.

Clinque Lipstick in Pink-a-boo
It's bonus time! This basically means that if you buy two Clinque products at Debanhams you get an amazing tin full of beauty treats. This luscious lipstick was one of them this time round. A perfectly pink, subtle shade with an added hint of glimmer makes for a great finish.

Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk
I shunned the typical Valentine's gifts of flowers (I don't have a vase in my uni room) and chocolates (I'm on a bit of a health kick at the minute) and asked my boyfriend to get me a few pamper bits instead. Luckily he has good taste and this was one of my presents. I've never tried a cleansing milk before but I will certainly be buying this again. It left skin feeling smooth and refreshed and the gorgeous smell is a huge bonus too.

Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
I was lucky enough to attend a guest lecture at uni from the author of this book. She was so inspirational and modest over her talents whilst giving some invaluable advice to an aspiring writer like me. The book tells a fictional tale behind the famous Vemeer portrait. I highly recommend you read this wonderful tale of forbidden love, deception and lust.

River Island Collar Pins
I've raved about my love of collar pins before and these are my favourites. Such a simple touch can have a big impact and I love the quirky idea as an alternative to a necklace. I usually team this classic style with a more casual shirt to create a contrast.

I hope you have had a wonderful, stylish month!

NG <3

Monday, 25 February 2013

Academy Awards 2013 Style

Time to put the razzle dazzle on. Last night, as I'm sure you do not need me to tell you, was the Academy Awards, or Oscars, if you prefer. Ah yes, the end of February sees the grand finale of the awards season, and what a season it's been. From rumoured dress malfunctions (yes, that Dior dress was meant to have a split effect), to well deserved wins (what a win for Christophe Waltz, if you haven't seen Django Unchained yet I urge you to!), the Academy Awards is the cherry on top of the cake. It's not just about what goes on in the theatre though, the world's attention is captivated by the fabulousness of the famous route in; the red carpet. Year after year everyone from emerging starlets to Hollywood heavyweights dresses to impress. This year? No different. Here are my top five 2013 Oscar looks.

 Jennifer Lawrence in Dior, Anne Hathaway in Prada, Olivia Munn in Marchesa, Amanda Seyfried in Alexander McQueen and Jessica Chastain in Armani Prive.

What was your favourite look of the night?

NG <3


Saturday, 23 February 2013

Spring Clean

In a week it will be March and, although the weather will undoubtedly not change, it's time to start thinking about your Spring Wardrobe. Florals and pastels come as standard but, as with every new season, there are fresh, exciting takes in stores as well as edgy separates to perk up your wardrobe.

(Top from left)

1. Boohoo Dress, £15.
A tropical floral print. An exotic turquoise colour; the blue of the Maldives' coast on a hot summer's day. An effortlessly cool off the shoulder cut. This is the perfect dress to take you through to spring and summer. Cold day? Just add tights, ankle boots and long, gold pendants.

2. New Look Bomber Jacket, £39.99
Forget a conventional leather jacket. This is the jacket shape of  spring. Use it to toughen up a pretty tea dress or go for full-on edge with grey skinnies and worn in boots. Motorcycle helmet optional.

3. Asos Wedges, £16
Aren't they pretty? Probably the most glamorous way to incorporate florals into your spring/summer wardrobe. I can just picture it now; these wedges+ a crisp, white blazer + some navy shorts = a St Tropez dream.

4. Boohoo Jeans, £25
In case you missed the memo; monochrome is huge this season. But it can get a little boring. The flashy, harlequin print of these Boohoo jeans is anything but. Leave the rest simple because these babies are just the right amount of bold.

(Bottom from left)

5. Topshop Shirt, £32
Simply beautiful. Or beautifully simple. A very pretty shirt with subtle detail perfect to counteract to bright colours this season.

6. Miu Miu Earrings, £230
As they say up my way 'a right bobby dazzler'. Basically an absolute stunner. And leave it to Miucca Prada to create these exquisite beauties. Quite literally drooling now.

7. Topshop Dress, £85
The little white dress is having a moment. The embellishment on this one adds ultimate glamour while the skater cut of the dress is super flattering. Just don't get too sloppy with that glass of rioja.

8. New Look Collar Pins, £4.99
Collar pins are big news. Attach to a simple shirt for a quirky, thoughtful touch. Repeat after me: it's all in the details.

9. Boohoo clutch, £18
Monochrome is at one end of the scale. Neon is at the other, so naturally neon is also a big hit this season. Add a flash of colour with this simple, yet bold clutch. Plus the bag's name is 'Tasha', which is my nickname, so it's bound to be a winner. In my books anyway.

So you've got the wardrobe, now it's time to add some sparkle to your beauty routine. For the lowdown on bright pigments, candy pastels and floral scents, read on.
 (Top from left)

1. Topshop Lip Crayon in 'Clueless', £7
I tried  this the other day and I loved it. The colour is extremely vivid, perfect for juxtaposing the monochrome trend. For a subtle look apply to the center of lips and then blend in to the sides. Two in one? Even more justification for your purse.

2. Biore Ice Fighting Cleanser, £4.99
It's Spring. It's time to wake up and revive your complexion with this cleanser. It's so refreshing-especially early morning-and leaves skin smooth and soft.

3. Maybelline Colour 24hr Tattoo Eyeshadow in 'Endless Purple', £5
Lilac eyes are pretty, but a little cliche for spring. This deep, lively purple is perfect for adding colour to smoky eyes.

4. Jessica Nail Colour 'Gelato Mio' Collection, £8.30 each
If you simply must have pastel shades in your beauty routine these are the colours the go for. A rich spectrum of shades to suit any Macaroon-infused moment.

(Bottom from left)

5. Aussie Colour Mate Conditioner, £5
Oh Aussie, you do it every time. This leaves hair shiny, smooth, restored and, for a bonus point, beautifully scented. This product is also ideal for summer too, treating coloured hair that needs extra care in the sun.

6. Benefit Fine One One, £23.50
Benefit's new product is a wonder one. An illuminating brightener combines with two luscious shades to blend into a dreamy, summer colour for lips and cheeks.

7. Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb Eau De Parfum 30ml, £49
Think a bouquet of fresh flowers in a bottle. Only it lasts much, much longer and you have a whimsical floral scent in your midst all day.

8. Dove Summer Glow Body Lotion, £5
It's almost summer so there's no reason to hide your legs away. This is by far the best gradual tan I have used, it adds a light touch of colour while the shimmer effect is so flattering. Just remember to exfoliate before use for a streak-free finish.

9. Accessorize Merged Eyeshadow in 'Molten Copper', £4
It may not be the warmest outside but you can still look hot with this shimmering, copper colour. The perfect finish to a sun kissed look.

NG <3

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

What's in my bag?

My original plan was to do an outfit or beauty post but unfortunately I'm not in any state to be photographed as I am couped up at home with a box of tissues and a very, very red nose. So I decided to do a generic 'what's in my bag?' post.

Boohoo Shopper.

Being ill, lemsip and lockets are my handbag essentials at the moment. I have the book Zofloya which I'm reading for my University course so it's quite handy to have it in my bag so when I get a spare moment I can read it. Other reading material? The latest Look magazine. You're probably wondering why I have a random DVD in my bag, but I've come home for the week so I grabbed one of my favourite films Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, because let's face it; daytime TV is pretty dire. Even when I'm ill I still have my beauty touch ups, though not as many as usual. 17 Blusher is a great, inexpensive way to add a quick flush of colour to the apples of my cheeks. I also carry strawberry lip balm and Bourjois 3D effect lip gloss, so I have a choice of lip finish. I also carry Aussie curl definition serum. Even though it's for curly hair I use it when my hair's straight too and it's great to keep in my bag to tame any fly-aways.

What are your day-to-day essentials?

NG <3

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The films that define us #1

You may have read my post about the incorporation of film and literature into NG this year and for my first 'The films that define us' post I'm delighted that the gorgeous Victoria of Walk in Your Own Shoes has shared some of her favourite films. You simply must visit her fabulous blog! I loved Victoria's selection and can't wait to watch some of the films recommended which I haven't yet seen.

What film inspires you the most?
"I can pretty much take inspiration from most Disney movies, but the one that stands out the most to me is 'Pollyanna(1)', starring Hayley Mills. The entire message of the film is 'be glad'. It's simple but powerful. It's so important to just live and be thankful for everything, especially in this current day where we forget that happiness is something we're all capable of achieving if we just try. 'Pollyanna' is such a feel-good movie and it would make me so glad if you would watch it, if you haven't already!"

In your opinion, what is the most stylish film?
"I don't think I could answer this question without naming an Audrey Hepburn film. I mean, really. In my mind I'm having an argument with myself over which film is more stylish; 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' or 'Funny Face'? Well, both. However, since they both are too common and I know you've already watched them, I'm going to go ahead and throw the unexpected at you: 'Two for the Road(2)' (starring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney) is super-duper, wow! Audrey encompasses 60's glamour in this film and it's just way too fabulous for me to even begin to describe. Definitely one of Audrey's most underrated films, but one of my faves".

What is your favourite animated film?
"My absolute favourite animated film (here we go again with my Disney obsession) is 'The Rescuers'. It has such a wonderful storyline and an even happier ending and the little mice are just too cute! This is one of the few animated films that still holds my attention to this day (in fact, last year I watched it a total of 3 times and so far, once this year). 'R-E-S-C-U-E, rescue aid society!'".

What is your favourite musical?
"Just like everyone and their sister's cousin's next door neighbour, my favourite musical is definitely 'The Sound of Music'. The music, the story, just everything about that film just takes me to a very happy place. Can you even imagine what life would be like without that musical? Every single time I see an open patch of grass on a hill, I feel inspired and imagine myself swirling around singing "The hills are aliiiive with the sound of music". This film is truly one of my favourite things!".

All quotes are by Victoria.

If, like Victoria, you would love to get involved and share your favourite films or book don't hesitate to email me at!

NG <3

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Top Gun

Good morning! It's only Tuesday but it's been such a hectic week this week in the world of fashion. We've already witnessed the BAFTAs, the Grammys, the Elle style awards and the ongoing New York fashion week. And my week so far? Well it has pretty much consisted of browsing online shopping websites, reading and watching Revenge in my onsie. How glamorous.

I'm wearing SoCal at Republic shirt, Dorothy Perkins jumper, New Look skirt, Boohoo flats and Primark scarf and tights.

When I am out of my onsie, it usually means lectures. This is one of my key, casual lecture outfits for a no-fuss approach early in the morning.

Hope you're having a fabulous week.

NG <3

Sunday, 10 February 2013

BAFTAs Style 2013

A crimson carpet, sunshine-yellow gowns, a large volume of umbrellas and Stephen Fry. It could only mean one thing; the annual British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards, or BAFTAs, if you prefer. I do love films and fashion so, being British, the BAFTAs are a real treat for me. I must admit though I wasn't overwhelmed this year with the red carpet fashion but here are my top, stylish, leading ladies.

Monochrome, a key Spring trend, was rife on the red carpet. I particularly loved Elizabeth Olsen's dress. The pattern, texture and cut add a fresh take to a trend that has been overdone time and time again. The simple, natural make-up and the loose side-swept curls are ideal for letting this fabulous dress take centre stage.

This is just the perfect hue for Jessica Chastain's fair complexion and auburn hair. The silky material of the dress compliments the luxurious sapphire tone. This is how you make an impact the understated way. The dress and accessories don't scream for attention but the elegant cut and simplicity of the dress attain all the attention Jessica deserves.

Va va voom! Andrea Riseborough makes a very playful colour sexy and classy at the same time. There's no missing her in vivid yellow but Andrea guarantees that all eyes will be on her with the curve-emphasising shape of this gown. The hair is perfect for the dramatic dress, up with loose sections for a laid-back edge to juxtapose the gown.

I won't tell a lie; I've seen a lot better from Jennifer Lawrence. There is no denying that she is a beauty though and this dress is stunning. The pale pink of the dress is so soft and the embellishment adds instant glamour and a fun edge to the dress. Just like Elizabeth, the accessories are genius as they allow full attention to be on the dress. It pains me to say this, but I do dislike the hair as it is very non-descript. In my opinion, a messy up do would have been perfect to contrast the femininity of the dress.

Oh, Marion Cottilard. Just like Andrea, Marion uses a striking colour to brighten up the gloomy, grey skies of London, that seem to be inevitable at the BAFTAs. Colour aside, the leading credential of this dress is the innovative shape and mesh slit (not seen in the picture). A fresh twist on a peplum, if you will. Truth be told Marion would look beautiful in anything and her amazing bone stricture is displayed by her chic up-do.

When Anne Hathaway first showcased her pixie crop I wasn't quite sure. She still looked stunning but, in my humble opinion, longer hair suited her better. And then the BAFTAs happened. Now she has grown into it I love it! The side swept fringe is perfect for Anne's features and the dress is simple and classic, whilst the top embellishment sparkles up the dress. On a beauty note I love how Anne has opted for a soft, berry shade of lipstick rather than red lipstick, which would be fairly stock for this outfit. Loving the book clutch too.

NG <3

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Make-up how to: The dewy, red lip

The classic red lip is timeless, elegant and bold. I can't deny that I  love an alluring red lip, especially when teamed with a slight swish of eyeliner and elongated lashes. Alexa Chung's publicist, Liz Matthews, wrote that Alexa taught her to-
"apply red lipstick if you're tired. The idea is people look at your lips and not your eyes".
Too many cosmos? A little too much pinot?  The dewy, red lip is your solution the next morning and the glossy finish tones down the colour for day. I use a subtle, yet rich colour, Maybelline colour sensational lipstick in 'Hollywood Red'. Why not be daring and wear a more vivid colour like Gwen Stefani's signature fire-engine red?

Here's how to achieve the look;

Step One- Line the edges of your lips with a lip liner matching the colour of the lipstick you intend to use. I'm using Maybelline colour sensational lip liner in 'Hollywood Red'. Pay particular attention to your cupid's bow, defining the dip in the upper lip.        

 Step Two- Apply a coat of lipstick within the lines of the lip liner.

 Step Three- Blot with a tissue. Fold the tissue in half and close your mouth around the tissue to get rid of excess lipstick. Then dab a light amount of transparent powder on the lips so the colour stays put for longer.

 Step Four- Apply another coat of lipstick. Then, for the dewy effect, apply lip balm in the centre of the lips. This makes lips appear more voluminous and the dewy finish isn't quite as severe as matte for adding red lipstick into your everyday makeup.

The finished effect:

Hope you have found this useful! Have a great weekend.

NG <3

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Owl and the Pussycat

I'll admit that I have a mild obsession at the moment; owls. Let's just clear one thing up though. By owls I mean the sort you find knitted on the front of a woollen jumper, not the actual bird, all of which terrify me actually. So I was delighted to find these gloves in the sale at Dorothy Perkins, which were made even more lust-worthy by an extra student night discount. The sales have been pretty terrible this year but thankfully hidden gems can still be found!

I'm wearing Boohoo jumper and faux fur gilet, New Look jeans, Barrats boots, Accessorize earrings and Dorothy Perkins gloves.

The Nottingham campus looks so beautiful in these shots, if a little windy. Since it's rather exposed the wind can get quite fierce so you'll have to excuse my windswept (and hopefully a little interesting) hair.

Hope you are all having a great week!!

NG <3
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