Wednesday, 27 January 2016

FLORAL EMBROIDERED JEANS


In my last outfit post, I showed you guys my Public Desire perspex heel patent boots (aka the greatest boots ever). As promised, I styled them with a more casual outfit so you can see how well they work with a different look.

As far as I’m concerned, these floral embroidered jeans are basically THE jeans of the new season. It seems that others agree too because unfortunately they keep selling out instantly. They’re from Glamorous and the ones I’m wearing are Tall, but they come in various options. Topshop have done some similar, equally amazing floral embroidered jeans but they’re currently sold out online, although I believe some stores have still got them in. I’m 5 ft 8, so I can usually get away with either regular or tall jeans, and at the time I bought these there was only the tall version available. They’re actually a lot longer than I had thought. I’d already planned on wearing them with the hem rolled up as I think they look better that way, but I had to roll them up more than I’d anticipated. They’re a girlfriend style with a high waist and the embroidered pattern on them is just gorgeous.

Full disclosure, I only wore these jeans to take some outfit photos. I’m actually devastated as I think I might have to return them. I think they’re absolutely incredible, but they just don’t fit me right at all. Jeans never do. It drives me mad. So if you ever wonder why I don’t wear jeans, that’s why. But I do love their easiness so if I can’t keep these I will be continuing my hunt for a well-fitting pair. I know full well though that they’re not going to be anywhere near as good as these, so I don’t know what to do yet.

To complement the grey boots, I’m wearing an oversized grey tweed effect jumper. It’s so chunky and cosy, and keeps the outfit from looking too done. Knitwear, especially of the oversized variety, has that ability. Even with jeans and boots as special as these, a big jumper makes the look laidback. Worn with a simple black cross body bag and this casual outfit is ready to go.

Katie xx

Floral Embroidered Jeans £39 Glamorous (Tall here, Petite here, Curve currently unavailable) (similar from Topshop)
Oversize Roll Neck Jumper £42 Topshop
Patent Boots with Perspex Heel £39.99 Public Desire
Cross Body Bag £28 Topshop

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Thursday, 21 January 2016

MY FIRST KIKO MAKE UP REVIEW

Kiko Eyeshadow 118 and Smart Lip Pencil 712

Kiko Make Up

In the run up to Christmas, I went to do some shopping for presents at the Trafford Centre and noticed a new store: Kiko Milano. I’ve seen this Italian beauty brand talked about online but I’d never looked into it as none of the products really caught my attention. Their new store at the Trafford Centre, the first here in the North West, was packed with people and I decided to go in and have a nosey. I didn’t have a clue about any of the products or the price point of the brand, and was surprised to see just how affordable their vast range of cosmetics is. Now, I’m someone who likes to do my research before buying a new beauty product; whether it be make up, skin care, hair products or what have you, I like to search for photos and read reviews before spending my money. So, going in to look at make up blindly with no prior knowledge or expectations was something I haven’t done in many years. I had an open mind, left my boyfriend with the bags, and headed in.

I wanted my first experience with Kiko to be a small taster, so I left the store with just 2 new products to try. I got a powder eyeshadow and one of their smart lip pencils. I spent quite a while looking and swatching a lot of the make up. My overall feeling was that whilst there seems to be a great range of different products in various colours, finishes and formulas, it definitely seemed like it was hit and miss. Some things swatched really well and there was an amazing range of colour choices, but there were also some duds that swatched poorly and seemed like they’d be a nightmare to work with.

Outside Swatches

Inside Swatches

Kiko Eyeshadow Shade 118, £2.90

The eyeshadow I bought is shade 118 which retails at £2.90. As I’ve said before, I typically wear neutral eyeshadows, so I figured trying a neutral shade from Kiko was a good starting point. This particular one swatched the best and seemed like the right choice for me. The colour is described as pearly beige silk which seems like an apt description. It’s quite a golden beige shade with a frost finish and a good amount of pigmentation and opacity. It applied nicely and blended really well, although I had to pack a decent amount of shadow on to get the effect I was personally after. I have to say I was extremely impressed by the wear time. It lasted all day with very minimal creasing or fading. It still looked great by the time I took my make up off at the end of the day. An absolute bargain at just £2.90.

Kiko Eyeshadow 118

Kiko Smart Lip Pencil Shade 712, £2.40

The smart lip pencil I got is shade 712 which retails at just £2.40. This product is also described appropriately as being rose mauve. It’s a pretty rose shade with just the right amount of mauve in it to keep it looking natural. I like wearing just a lip liner for a quick and easy lip colour, and they’re great to add more definition and fullness to my pout. I was again attracted not just to the colour of this but also the formula, it gave such a nice, opaque swatch. When using it for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality. It glided on well and had good pigmentation. The wear time was reasonable, not as impressive as the eyeshadow, but lip liners never last that long on me anyway.

Kiko Smart Lip Pencil 712

In addition to swatches, I’ve included a face photo so you can get a better idea of how the colours look. On the lips I’m wearing the lip pencil on its own. Some liners don’t give a strong and even enough colour or finish to be wearable alone, but you can see how good this Kiko one looks. That being said, it’s also going to work perfectly well under lipsticks too, and I can’t wait to have a play around with it. On my eyes I’ve done a simple look wearing the Kiko eyeshadow all over the lid, and I’ve used Anaheim from the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani eyeshadow palette in the crease and outer V. For reference I wear Mac Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NC15 as I lean more warm toned.

Wearing Kiko Eyeshadow and Lip Pencil

I’m really happy with both products that I chose, and hadn’t expected them to be such good quality given how little they cost. It’s definitely going to be a brand I look further into and try more from them, so if you have any recommendations please let me know.

Katie xx

You can buy Kiko cosmetics online here
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Friday, 15 January 2016

PERSPEX HEEL PATENT BOOTS








Ever since the Dior AW15 ready to wear show, I have been obsessed with Perspex heeled patent boots. Strutting down the runway in a chic rainbow of different colour combinations of lucite heels and vinyl leather was too much for this girl to handle. I wanted them all; both the ankle length and the thigh high styles. As I’m sure many others do, I like to fantasize about what I would buy if money was no object. After much deliberation, I narrowed it down to the utterly beautiful grey patent ankle boots with the pinky coloured heel, total dream boots. Every time I saw them on a celebrity, a fashion blogger, or in a magazine, I would imagine owning a pair of my own. Then, of course, the high street caught on.

The lovely people at Public Desire came along and answered our Dior clad dreams with these strikingly similar boots for only £39.99, a mere fraction of the cost of Dior’s. I couldn’t believe it when I first saw them online. As with Dior, they‘re available in a selection of different colours, and if patent isn’t your thing there are also a couple of suede options too with the same incredible heel. I want them all, but as I’d already established this colour combo as being my favourite at Dior, I had to get these ones. I pre-ordered them as soon as they became available and they finally came just in time for Christmas. I seriously have still not gotten over them. I mean, look at them! When they arrived I just stared at them in awe. I shared a photo on Instagram and it went crazy, it is by far my most liked picture I’ve ever posted. They’re the best Dior dupes I have seen and I honestly couldn’t be happier with them, definitely helping me get over the January Blues so many of us suffer from. I love a statement boot, and these are the sexiest I have ever owned, but completely modern. Patent boots were a trend all AW, but the contrasting Perspex heel on these makes them fresh for the new season. With their transparent pretty pink heel, they almost feel like stylish Barbie shoes, very plastic fantastic in the best possible way. I get asked a lot how the sizing is and whether or not they’re comfortable. Firstly, they run on the small side and are quite a snug fit, but they are certainly comfortable.

One thing that has been made clear to me is that these boots work with any style. I can’t imagine anything I wouldn’t wear them with or a wrong way to wear them. I hadn’t foreseen their versatility. I’ve seen this same style, whether it be the actual Dior beauties or one of the high street’s versions, styled in so many different and interesting ways, and all of them have looked good. There simply isn’t a right way to wear them; it’s all down to personal choice. I’m much further towards the maximalist rather than minimalist end of the style spectrum. The dress I’m wearing here is from the latest Asos WHITE collection and encompasses another trend for Spring Summer 16: stripes. They were everywhere in the ready to wear collections, and it’s a trend that the high street always likes to adopt and usually does very well. Stripes this season are bold and graphic, and my personal favourites were the colourful ones at Prada and Jonathon Saunders. The bold stripe print on this dress was very reminiscent of the latter. I really like the stand out colour blocked pattern and colour palette used. It’s fully lined making it quite a thick material, and with the funnel neck it helps keep me warm while it’s absolutely freezing outside.

I will be sure to feature these boots again with a more casual outfit so you can see how well they work with pretty much everything and anything. Whatever your personal style may be, there’s a way to wear these boots. All that’s left is to choose which colour to get and enjoy!

Katie xx

Patent Boots with Perspex Heel £39.99 Public Desire 
Mini Dress in Block Stripe £75 Asos WHITE
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Saturday, 9 January 2016

SNAKEY BOOTS AND MARABOU FEATHER BAG


This black dress, feather bag and these snakey boots have fast become favourites for me. I’m in love with them all and think they work really well styled together. I feel like it’s a super sixties looking outfit which just makes me love it even more. I had bought this mini dress from Zara before Christmas so I had a new dress to wear. As soon as I saw it hanging so beautifully right at the entrance of the store I knew it would be the dress I’d end up leaving with. I actually wore it both on Christmas Eve and again on New Year’s Eve as it’s become my new favourite dress. It’s exactly my kind of silhouette with its mini length, long sleeves and a high ruffled neckline. Its high waist makes it a flattering fit, and because it’s black I know it’s going to be a classic in my wardrobe that I can style with anything. In addition to the ruffled neckline it also has pretty ruffles down the front bib of the dress which help keep it from being too basic or plain. I tried desperately to capture the ruffles with my camera, but I was using a tripod and no matter what I did and I just couldn’t get them to photograph well enough. Typically, it went on sale a week after I bought it. It was totally worth the full price of £39.99 though, and I know it’s going to get a lot of wear in 2016.

Wearing a simple little black dress means I can go bold with my accessories. These insanely amazing boots are my new babies. I love a good snakeskin style boot and there have been lots around recently that I’ve wanted. These snazzy ones are from Asos and are also in the sale at just £42. They’re so perfect I can’t even handle it. As soon as they were delivered I immediately put them on, fell in love, and refused to take them off for the rest of the day, even though most of that time was spent in bed because I wasn’t well. I was quite disheartened to realise I’m currently missing a pair of knee high boots in my collection, so it was all the more reason to get these and rectify the situation. They do all the talking for any outfit and the contrasting dark wooden heel only adds to their appeal. I have to admit they’re not as comfortable as most of the other boots I’ve had from Asos, but they are just too damn gorgeous for me to care.

This soft pink marabou feather shoulder bag is literally the bag of my dreams. Topshop had it in 3 colours: black, deep red and this mauvey pink one. I have a real love for marabou, and have been after a marabou feathered bag for a while now. I wanted all 3 colours in Topshop and had a hard time deciding. I was stood in the store like a muppet for ages trying to choose one. I normally opt for black seen as though it goes with anything, but pink is my favourite colour and this beauty was just calling out to me. It’s perfect. What’s more, pink is one of the key colours for Spring Summer 16 which I couldn’t be happier about. Accessories are a great way to start incorporating the new season’s trends into your wardrobe whilst it’s still too cold for spring clothing. With this bag, I think I’m off to a good start.

Katie xx

Black Mini Dress £25.99 Zara 
Snake Knee High Boots £42 Asos 
Marabou Feather Bag £25 Topshop (sold out online, similar here)
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Wednesday, 6 January 2016

URBAN DECAY GWEN STEFANI EYESHADOW PALETTE


Happy New Year! This is the first post of the year and it comes with a brand new blog name and domain. I have several New Year’s resolutions this year, and improving and growing my blog is very high up on the list so I felt it was time to start fresh with a new name.

This beautiful eyeshadow palette is the limited edition Urban Decay Gwen Stefani palette. I had wanted this as soon as the promo images were released and was lucky enough to get it for Christmas. My very kind and very sweet boyfriend got it for me, and I was good enough to resist the temptation to open it up and have a peak despite knowing exactly where it was in the cupboard for a whole month. Yay me! I have long been a big fan of Urban Decay eyeshadows and have owned many palettes from them over the years. I’ve never been disappointed in their palettes and I doubt I ever will be. When you throw Gwen Stefani into the mix, one of the coolest people ever and whose make up is always flawlessly on point; I knew it was going to be a winner. What especially appealed to me is the large number of neutrals which is what I typically use for my everyday make up. There are a few colours too which are always nice to have in a palette. And there’s a great mix of different formulas; shimmers and frosts which I usually use on the lid, and some neutral matte shades that are perfect for in the crease. Plus I have to say the packaging is gorgeous, it’s a stylish gold, white and black case. I’ve used most of the shadows already and created some super pretty looks with them. There are a couple of shades that aren’t as great as the others, but overall I’m in love with this palette.
 
There are 15 shades in total, 12 of which are brand new and the other 3 are repromotes –

• Blonde- pale beige with pink iridescent shift and a frosted finish. It’s a nice ivory colour which I personally find very versatile and has an amazing formula.
• Bathwater- pale beige with gold pearl and a frosted finish. I’d describe it as being more of a warm toned pale golden beige with a soft and smooth consistency and excellent pigmentation.
• Skimp- pale nude satin. This is probably my favourite shadow in the palette as it has a slight pink tone to it which is the kind of nude I prefer. It’s also very high quality and has a nice texture. I find it great to work with although it does have some sheerness to it but is buildable.
• Steady- medium rose with metallic gold shift. I love this colour, it’s such a gorgeous shade of rosy copper and the gold shift is subtle but gives a nice metallic finish. It has a very smooth and dense texture so applies like a dream.
• Punk- reddish brown matte. I’d say this is actually more of a dark, warm toned plum shade. I love the colour but it’s a poorer quality than the other shadows in the palette. It was powdery and took a lot of work to blend well.
• Baby- cool metallic rose. Another favourite for me, a beautiful soft metallic rose shade. Its formula isn’t as smooth or blendable as Steady as it has more sparkle, but it’s still nice and easy to use and work with.
• Anaheim- light taupe brown matte. This is my favourite matte in the palette as a crease colour; it provides a really nice contour without being too over powering. It has an excellent formula with plenty of pigmentation and blends perfectly.
• Stark- nude pink matte. A lovely subtle matte nude shade which works great all over the lid or as a soft crease or transition colour.
• Zone- medium brown matte. Another great matte shade for the crease. It’s a very versatile medium shade of brown, lovely pigmentation and blends really well.
• Serious- smoky grey with iridescent floating pearl. Quite a taupe grey with good colour pay off and a soft texture.
• Pop- pale coral with iridescent sparkle. This was the only real disappointment for me. There just was hardly any colour pay off, it was just sparkle and had a lot of fall out.
• Harajuku- metallic blue-pink with iridescent micro-shimmer. The prettiest shade of pink with beautiful gold iridescence and a frosted sheen. The pigmentation is only semi-opaque so it requires me to use a denser brush and to pack it on to the lid more. But it’s totally worth the extra effort.
• Danger- deep metallic royal blue with blue micro-sparkle. A classic medium-dark navy blue with rich colour and a really nice sheen. It has a brilliant texture, soft and buttery with amazing colour payoff.
• 1987-bright metallic yellow-gold. A true gold, warm toned with a frosted sheen. This is a great gold eyeshadow with excellent pay off and another fantastic formula. I actually didn’t think I was going to be that keen on this shade but I actually love it. It did me well over Christmas.
• Blackout- blackest black matte. You always get a black in palettes like this, but this seems like a good one, although it isn’t a shadow I’ll get much use out of. I tend to stay away from blacks and very dark colours as they tend to wash me out too much because I’m so pale. I haven’t used it on the eye, but from swatching it seemed reasonably blendable, especially for a black matte, and it had strong pigmentation. It definitely has lasting power too as I struggled to remove the swatch.

All the shadows I’ve used have lasted very well. I use Nars Smudge Proof eyeshadow primer under my eye make up, so I’ve only used them on top of that, but all have lasted until I’ve removed my eye make up at night. It seems like quite a well thought out palette and is definitely true to Gwen’s make up style. For those that don’t love nudes and neutrals, this palette is probably not for you, although the few colours included are all amazing. I also love the little added detail of the quote ‘Magic’s in the Makeup’ written on the mirror in the bottom corner; a fitting reference to the No Doubt song.

I’m so grateful for this palette and have used it almost every day since I got it. I absolutely love it and definitely recommend it if you like the look of the colours. It is limited edition and costs £40. It’s out of stock on Urban Decay’s site, but you can still buy it on Debenhams, Feel Unique, Selfridges, and any other stockists of Urban Decay.

Katie xx
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