Saturday, 30 November 2013

// Christmas Gift Guide: For the Homemaker

1.// stag head jewellery holder: £25 Urban Outfitters 2.// measuring cups: £32 Anthropologie 3.// 'Sup' doormat: £32.75 Nordstrom 4.// Decorating with Style : £16.99 Abigail Ahern - Anthropologie 5.//  Jo Malone Peony and Blush Candle:  £39 Selfridges 6.// love me love my dog cushion: Barbara Coupe - Selfridges 7.// cake stand: £6.99 H&M 8.// faux fur blanket: £49.99 H&M 9.// faux roses tray: £45 Next 10.// limited edition cups: £8 Anthropologie 11.// glass jewellery box: £15 Urban Outfitters

I've finally put my procrastination to good use and have created a series of gift guides for those of you struggling/hesitant to find the time to waste hours trudging around the shops during the year's busiest retail period.

Each guide covers purse friendly to purse stretching items and hopefully cater for a variety of tastes. I have to admit, that compiling these was definitely a struggle for my self-control. Pretty much everything I have included (bar a few of the 'For Him' gifts) I would quite happily receive myself. Always a key determinate for a good gift. 

This first compilation is my favourite. As previously mentioned in an earlier post, I have recently moved into my first home. So this is basically more of wish list for me. Any friends and family reading this...THIS IS A GIGANTIC HINT. Especially the limited edition alphabet cups. Oh and the faux fur throw, and the stag jewellery holder, and the hipster doormat..OK, just everything alright!

// Beauty Haul #1

There is nothing better than a lunch break drugstore haul. Yes, rush hour traffic is the bane of my life, but working in such close proximity to town also has its obvious upsides.

After perusing my weekly beauty blogs, I was inspired to give my old makeup routine a little shakeup. With Winter well and truly here (-1oc yesterday morning!), my wardrobe palette has quickly plummeted into it's standard seasonal three colours: black, dark grey and light grey. Cheerful, I know. So I decided that I'd try and inject some more colour through my makeup. Nothing bright (as my charming red complexion quickly puts me in drag queen makeup territory at the hint of any colour), just some nice autumnal tones to give a boost to my outfits.

My skin can become very dry and dull in the winter, so I thought I'd try out some new highlighting products to add a bit of glow to my face post moisturising. The beautifully packaged Bourjois Poudre de Riz was recommended to me by a dear friend (plus it's been circulating the blogosphere for the past few months). This little pot of shimmery goodness has been cleverly packaged with a twisty lid inside to prevent any catastrophic spillages upon opening. I have to say, however, for the product itself, I do hold some reservations.The only way I can describe the look of it is fairy dust. So we shall see when I give it a test run tomorrow.

The L'Oreal Lumi Magique is another highlighter, but in a liquid form. Whereas the Bourjois 'poudre' is more of a top coat finishing powder, the Lumi Magique is a base product to be applied under/instead of foundation. I'm not quite sure how you would see the effects under a foundation though (especially a heavy coverage one). Again, we shall see.

My other two purchases were again Bourjois. Woops. I went for the new Bourjois powder blusher in Rose Frisson and Bourjois Colour Edition 24hr cream eye shadow in Desir. Both have beautiful warm undertones to them. The cream eye shadow gets me most excited though. It has a pretty pink metallic sheen to it. Perfect for the Christmas party season.

I have absolutely nothing planned this weekend. The boyfriend is away on work so I'm staying chez parents with the pup. I'm looking forward to trialing my new makeup purchases, finishing off my living room curtains with the mothership and talking the doggies on some lovely winter walks. Have any of you got anything nice planned? Visiting any Christmas fairs on this weekend?

Helena x

Sunday, 24 November 2013

// Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink

This season is all about the pink. Don't worry, we aren't talking tacky Barbie pink. Think pink

Sweet and subtle hues of rose and blush. The perfect compliment to your winter rosy cheeks. 

Keep your outfits sweet and girly. Perhaps pair with a peter pan collar and some cute slipper shoes. 

When I think of this trend, I like to see myself channeling Audrey Hepburn in her pea coats and pointed flats. 

Finish off with a flick of liquid eyeliner and a hint of colour on the lips and you are good to go!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

// DIY Phone Case

Last Sunday was one of those delicious, rare weekend mornings where you have absolutely nothing planned. 

After managing to remain dreaming away for a good 10 hours, I awoke refreshed and ready to make the most of the crisp autumnal morning and take the pup on a long stroll. 

Nothing sparks your creativity like the beautiful English countryside. 

This little project has been one that I have been meaning to tackle for quite a while, but with the usual hum drum of everyday life taking up the majority of my spare time, it's one that quietly got forgotten.

The DIY was inspired by an Etsy post I saw a few months ago of a hand made phone case made out of hand dried flowers. 

Anyone that knows me too well will be able to tell you that there is no way I would ever bother with the faff of hand drying my own flowers. I'm more one of those kinds of DIY enthusiasts who only tackles projects that involve minimal effort and minimal materials

Hence the major adaption to the original project.

This is the perfect DIY to let your imagination run free. Go as crazy as you like. Paint on a snazzy geometric pattern, or heck, print out and transfer Ryan Goslings face to the inside (the thought did cross my mind). 

Materials list for my version of the DIY:
1. Clear phone case (you can find these anywhere on the web for less than £5 - I got mine from amazon)
2. Glitter nail varnish
3. Clear nail varnish
4. Paint brushes
5. Selection of acrylic paints

Step 1: Prepare your work surfaces and ensure plastic clear case is clean on the inside.

Step 2. Paint the inside of the case with your glittery nail varnish. The more sparkly you want it to be, the more coats you need to do. It's all about the layers baby.

Step 3: Allow to dry. (The time it took me to boil the kettle and brew a cup of tea was plenty of time.)

Step 4: Sorry, I lied. This isn't step 4. I just wanted to document and admire the fact that I managed to grow all my nails to this length without any of them breaking. A rare feat.

The 'real' step 4: Choose your colour and mix a good enough amount to cover the case.

Step 5: Apply a thick layer of paint to the inside of your case, ensuring to cover all surfaces equally.

Step 7: Allow paint to dry fully and then apply a layer or two of clear nail varnish to seal.

Make sure you let your case dry fully before using it on your phone. 

As promised, this DIY really is that easy. They could make the perfect presents for friends and families. You could even personalise them with their names using a gold Sharpie pen. The possibilities for variation are endless. 

I'm already planning my next Kate Spade inspired gold stripe case.

Helena x

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Autumn Accessories.

Anything involving black suede, leopard print or tartan is on my wishlist for AW13. They are the fail-safe staples that everyone returns to each winter. I'll be wrapping up and keeping myself nice and cosy in these luxury accessories this season.