20 October 2014

BOOKS | Beauty books - which one to choose?

Beauty books

You already know that I'm slightly obsessed with books and literature. After all literature would have been the university course of my choice if only it had more lucrative forecast. That shall not stop me from reading books though, reading lots and lots of them. Now there are tons of beauty books out there, but do you know which ones is the one for you? The one you will enjoy reading the most?  

Jemma Kidd - Make-up Masterclass (£15.30, Amazon): Hands down my most favourite type of beauty book. I'm a sucker for beautiful large photographs and stunning make-up and if you're anything like me, you're gonna love this book. Apart from the eye-catching visuals, the Make-up Masterclass also offers a wide spectrum of information about different skin tones, colour matching, tips on application and even mentions evening make-up looks quite a bit.   
Bobbi Brown - Makeup Manual & Living Beauty (£17, Amazon£11.99, Amazon): Bobbi Brown is, well, Bobby Brown. Her books (or at least the two books I own), I feel, are for slightly more mature women who enjoy 'natural' make-up. Again, these books feature great visuals and I find Makeup Manual to offer a lot of information on make-up application, similar to Jemma Kidd's Make-up Masterclass. 
Liz Earle - Skin Secrets (£15.99, Liz Earle): Sometimes it's not just about slappin' on tons of make-up. Sometimes you want to understand how to feel (and look) pretty without make-up too. That's what this book's for - it explains what your skin is, what it needs and how to care for it. This books give you a great deal of information on not only skin as such but also on lifestyle, skin conditions, and even food. 
Sali Hughes - Pretty Honest (£22, Waterstones): One of the most recent releases in the beauty book world this book is packed with information. And by packed I mean overflowing with beauty intelligence. There's not much to look at in terms of pretty pictures, but man, the content makes up for it. I love the different take on beauty from chapters on perfumes to chapters on what men want, how to pay and receive compliments and beauty gifts. It almost borders on a style book with a good dash of beauty in it.   

Which one's your favourite beauty book?
Have you read any of the above?

19 October 2014

FASHION | Black duster coat

Black duster coat outfit
dress - Aliexpress (here) // duster coat - New Look (here) // fedora - H&M // boots - Aliexpress (here) // bag - Topshop // watch - E-bay (here)
So the duster coat trend. Yeah, that one. I bloody love it. My feelings towards duster coats are somewhere along the lines of 15 years old goth me, Matrix and bloggy-blog-trendy. Which sounds horrendous but makes someone like me feel well comfortable - even in a dress a touch too short and knee high suede boots a touch too slutty.  

In all honesty, I've been wearing this coat every other day lately. Believe it or not it's from New Look (I know, looks way fancier, right?) and what's absolutely lush about it is that it's made of this really stretchy material (plus I went 2 sizes up) so you can layer on two jumpers under it and it still looks pretty decent (not like you're a chubby bear)! Now New Look got new stock in which means more duster coats - I just can't decide whether to buy a burgundy or a khaki green one, what do you think? This gets even more complicated when I tell you that I can't decide whether to buy a burgundy or a khaki green blazer on the top of the duster coat dilemma, le sigh.

You can also notice how Aliexpress is taking over my wardrobe. Yeah, it's kinda bad. But the monochrome striped dress is super pretty (and was just 8 quid, YES) and the boots are so ridiculously comfortable (and get me compliments, which doesn't happen that often).  

Do you like the duster coat trend or is it just too 80's for you? 

Disclaimed: All photos taken by the super skilled photographer Terri Lowe. She's been blogging about food a lot lately. Nomz! 

Black duster coat outfit

Black duster coat outfit

Black duster coat outfit
The only picture in the whole universe of me laughing. Jeeesus.

18 October 2014

HOME | Making a house your home

The YOU home
So it's actually happening. Oh, you don't know what? Our landlord is a bit of a poon and therefore we decided not to waste any more of our nerves on this flat, pack our little (read frickin' massive) suitcases and move on. This saddens me because I sort of grew to love our flat (it's ridiculously small but we painted the walls, bought all the furniture, shed our blood while we replace the floor in the hallway) but it also gives me a major 'new home' kick.    

I love, love, love (just like every other girl) making a house our home. Although we haven't found the place yet, I've (logically) started shopping for a new place. I'm not a huge fan of mainstream interior design, which is sometimes hard to overcome if you're living in England. Majority of houses in our area have got every room painted in pissy magnolia colour, ideally in combination with pissy magnolia carpet, ridiculously large skirting, the narrowest life-threatening stairs and paper walls. Oh and those noodle-shaped gardens with zero flower beds. Because of all the above, it's sometimes stupidly hard to give your home a bit -of 'you' touch - trust me, you can only combine so many colours with pissy magnolia.   

Now, what is 'our' touch? In terms of interior design style terminology I reckon it is something along the lines of industrial, vintage, Scandinavian and African. You know - exposed light bulbs, old cat tea pots from car boot sales and Justin's lion and elephant decorations with a dash of fur here and there. It's nothing super original and creative but I feel like it's a good balance of Eastern European, South African and English, yaaarr.

The very first area of focus in our new home will be ART. I come from a very arty family so I've been finding it quite hard to live in a small flat with minimum wall space. In my dream house I want to have gallery walls everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Even in the bathroom. In our current flat I've managed to put together a little wall gallery of inspiration people (I've had these images since the dorm room years, oh yes) which I absolutely adore. Anne Frank, Woody Allen, Salvatore Dali, Charles Bukowski ya know - my favourite bunch of people. So far I've bought some prints from Etsy (the prints above are from this seller and they are beyond stunning, and such a good quality!), one of them featuring my favourite Bukowski quote. I've actually bought all three of the prints above, because - a cat in a space suit. Yup. I'm also terribly obsessed with carved cow skulls. Or any skulls really (in the most harmless way possible). I might just get one off Etsy, they've got the best selection of faux taxidermy! Aah, I can't wait to buy more home-y things!!

Also, listen to this song. You'll love it. 

What's your interior design style?
How do you add 'you' style to your home? 

14 October 2014

BEAUTY | On pretty beauty packaging & creativity

tarte cosmetics

These days it's become ridiculously hard to be a creative beauty brand. I mean - there are only so many creative ways how to spice up a lipstick bullet, an eye shadow palette or a blusher - especially when you want to keep some degree of usability of the product (remember those lip and eye shadow palettes in a shape of mobile phone? yuck!). Now some brands can comfortable ditch their creative team because their reputation and brand itself are enough of a pull factor - I'm talking Burberry, Nars, Chanel. These are brands that benefit from uniform designs more than they would benefit from quirkiness and novelty approach. But what about the drugstore land? Why ain't it more fun?!   

Now don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that everyone should follow Anna Sui and have their eye shadow palettes in a shape of a ribbon (Christ, no!). My point is that many (especially, but not exclusively) drugstore brands could take an example from their more creative competitors and come up with slight design tweaks so the customer can actually tell which chubby stick belongs to which brand (I have a bunch of chubby sticks from Revlon, Clinique, Bourjois... and they are look bloody same, how silly is that?!). 

My favourite illustration of creativity in the beauty world is tarte. Their products (and the packaging) are not out of this world innovative but they have the right touch of signature brand creativity (without having an adverse effect on use of the products). Just look at the selection of tarte products in the picture above - a touch of print here and there (not talking just the paper lipstick packaging but also the print on wood, so lovely!), contrasting materials (I'm in love with tarte's maracuja oil packaging - the wooden lid and bamboo box together with purple glass just looks absolutely stunning), slightly different shapes (the brushes look so original and luxurious, don't you think?). In my books tarte products are elegant and swanky, the packaging is not boring however it's not tacky or over the top! Just imagine how amazing would it be if all beauty companies put a tad more effort into their packaging, at least as much as tarte does!  

Do you sometimes buy pretty make-up just because it's, erm, PRETTY?
Which company has the most amazingly packaged products?  
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