; une tasse: a beauty and casual fashion blog: August 2009

Shoe lust

Oh Topshop. Why must you always have beautiful shoes that I cannot afford, yet lust after incessantly? I am coveting these lace front heels from their new collection.

I love the black version but I'm showing you the grey as you can't see the detailing well. They remind me of the Ann Demeulemeester lace-ups as sported by Sea of Shoes

Obviously they are a much tamer version and at £60, they're a fraction of the cost.

I also noticed their take on Lous Vuitton Spicy heels (as seen on Victoria Beckham and Alexa Chung)

And these babies are only £120 compared to £1600!

The one store I wish I could raid of shoes right now would be Zara. I want everything in there! Everything instore right now seems to be "inspired" by Balmain, and I really want their copies of these.

I couldn't find any photos on the Zara website but I know theirs are around £90?

Argh I need a job right now!

What I'm using now

Apologies for the lack of updates, it's because I've been busy looking after this little terror.
This is our new kitten Harry! He's only 10 weeks so he's tiny and constantly fidgets - hence the blurry photo. Our whole family is enamoured with him and my whole day revolves around feeding him and making sure our other cat doesn't beat him up!

I've just caught up on my Google reader and I've seen this tag going around so I thought I'd have a stab at it for lack of a better post! :)

Shampoo: Switching between Aussie Mega shampoo and Head and Shoulders damage rescue.

Conditioner: Aussie Mega conditioner and Tresemme deep conditioning treatment.

Shower gel: Radox Shower therapy - Relax (mmmmm lavender and waterlily)

Styling products: Alternate between a lot! Frizz ease hair serum, Tresemme curl hydration leave in cream, Schwarzkopf pro styling heat protection spray, Phil Smith xrated shine serum and Tigi bed head after party.

Body moisturiser: Soap and Glory righteous butter

Deodorant: Sure crystal clear pure (no white marks yay!) and Nivea energy fresh (don't like this one anymore)

Fake tan: None. I was born with one baby!

Skincare: Neutrogena visibly clear triple action lotion, Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2 in 1 wash/mask, Neutrogena pore refining mask, St Ives apricot invigorating apricot scrub.

Primer: None

Foundation: None

Concealer: Benefit Erase Paste under my eyes.

Powder: Max Factor creme puff in translucent sometimes.

Blusher: MAC creme blush in "Posey" and No7 natural blush in "Coral Flush"

Bronzer: Bronzing pearls by Gold? Cheapo superdrug one.

Highlighter: None but I'm looking to get some highlighting pearls.

Eyeshadow base: Need to get one!

Eyeshadows: Not wearing much but when I do - Elizabeth Arden in Deep Blue, and Collection 2000 dazzle me dust in Paradise.

Eyeliner: Sleek gel eyeliner in Dominatrix, UD 24/7 pencil in Lust, NYX white eye pencil, Stargazer liquid liner in turquoise and Rimmel Exaggerate eye definer in black.

Eyelash curler: H&M

Mascara: Lancome hypnose, Max factor false lash effect and Maybelline Lash stiletto (review coming soon)

Lipstick: Estee Lauder sumptuous lipstick in Delicate.

Lipgloss: NYX round gloss in Real nude and Avon twist and glide in Mauve.

Nail colour: Nails Inc in China town. Still loving this!

Trends 2009 iv. Knits


This season, knitwear is no longer a support act - It's the star turn. It looked best at Missioni, where knits were worn in multiple layers. The key piece is an over sized statement scarf. Knitted coats and shaggy jackets looked good with skinny leather trousers or boots - as seen at Rodarte.

  • Swathe yourself in a statement scarf - they come super long with lavish fringing. Try wearing two at once for extra impact.

  • Belt your knit to give it a more defined shape

  • Layer skinny, lightweight knits under an over sized cardigan


1 Lurex Kaftan, £510, by Missoni. 2 Cowl neck sweater, £35, Wallis. 3 Belted cardigan, £30, H&M

All above text and images: The Sunday Times Style magazine

Latest Haul and a competition win

Out of sheer boredom, I made a trip to my local high street just to get out the house. These trips aren't really recommended because you end up buying things on a whim rather than necessity.

I picked up this snazzy Cath Kidson-esque makeup bag from Primark for £1.50 and a few makeup items from Boots and Superdrug.

I got a gel eyeliner from Sleek in Dominatrix (that's black to you and I)and it's been really good so far. It has good consistency and is quite pigmented. It comes with this teeny brush which is absolutely useless as it's hard and gouges the product. It's waterproof which is an added bonus, and it fared well during my weepy viewing of The Time Traveller's Wife yesterday. Here's a little swatch.

See how dark it is? Great stuff! I only have one other Sleek product which is their liquid liner but I really love this brand. I can't wait to get my hands on one of their eyeshadow palettes!

This isn't a High street buy but it arrived in the post the other day. It's "Chinatown" by Nails Inc which is a hot pink with purple pearlised swish. I freaking love it! I'm used to one dimensional matte finishes but this is a whole new level of colour for me. Depending on the light, it changes from a hot pink to a shimmery pink/purple, and has a wonderful gloss finish.

I'm sorry for the photo but I struggled for 15mins with my SLR trying to take a close up (ignore my pinky finger, it's Barry M raspberry). The polish goes on well and even though I hastily applied it for this photo with no base or top coat, it's survived 2 days with no chips so far. This was a freebie from the News of the World offer and costs £10.50 originally, but I would definitely get this again.

This was on offer in Boots for £2.93 and I've been looking for a waterproof MU remover so decided to give this a go. It's oil based and needs to be shaken to mix up the oil and water. It works but it stings my eyes slightly, and it doesn't leave the skin around my eyes feeling soothed as it claims to? Oh well.

Been looking for this for ages! Exaggerate eye definer from Rimmel that has a built in sharpener and smudger. All for the lowly price of £3.91.

It does the job but I would advise against using the smudger. It's made from a rubbery plastic and drags the skin a little.

I had a £5 off voucher on Ruby & Millie and No7 so I bought this blusher from No7 in "Coral Flush".

It looks more like a dusky pink than coral, and although it has a faint golden shimmer to it, it doesn't really show up. The blusher itself is really chalky and there was a lot of fall out when I loaded up my brush. It didn't last long either :( Nevertheless it's a pretty colour and I only paid £3.74. I wouldn't buy this for the full price of £8.74, no way.

And lastly, I won these E45 goodies in a competition that was run by Now magazine. They are from their Endless Moisture range and I was sent one of each product from both their scent free AND lightly fragranced range. These will come in handy for the upcoming winter :)

Blistex MedPlus

My new saviour!

If you are easily grossed out by descriptions of cold sores then you might want to skip the two paragraphs.

I've suffered from cold sores since my early teens and they flare up when my immune system is low i.e poor diet, stress and lack of sleep. I've tried almost everything - carmex, blistex healing cream and those compeed patches, and whilst I know they will never completely disappear, I would like to find something that eases the symptoms and speeds up the healing time.

The first sign of a cold sore is a tingle, followed by a small bump which breaks out into a cluster of sores and depending on the placement can crack and bleed. The sores usually last anything from 4-10 days but the virus can last a bit longer. They look disgusting and there's nothing you can do to disguise them (those compeed patch adverts lie!).

I had a flare up the other day and swiped this from my sister thinking that it had the word "med" in it so it had to do some good. This product isn't marketed for use with coldsores and is aimed at soothing dry lips, but it worked wayyyyyyyy better than their healing cream.

Since my sister peeled off the ingredients, I've taken this description from their website.

"Menthol and camphor both have cooling properties, while carrot oil has an abundance of antioxidants, which protect human cells from harmful free-radical attack. Teamed with cocoa seed butter and lanolin to help restore the moisture balance this formula is first aid to ailing lips."

Sounds lovely doesn't it? And whilst I'm wary about the antioxidant claims, it really does have cooling properties. It has a nice menthol smell and once applied, it makes your lips tingle and glisten. It has really helped reduce the horrid symptons of my coldsore, as my lips haven't cracked, bled, nor do they feel painful. Infact, it has only lasted 3 days and was not that noticeable. I don't know why it works as great as it does, but it gets a big thumbs up from me!

Summer of love

I took advantage of the intermittent sunshine the other day to take some photos of what I've been rocking and loving this summer.

'Noodle' gladiators, £40, Topshop. Zip detail skinnies, £5, Topshop via ebay.

Heart quilted clutch, £8, Topshop via ebay. Liz Clairborn tortoiseshell style wayfarers, £12.99, TKmaxx. I bought these to replace my beloved Primark pair (RIP) and I heart them so much.

D&G canvas shopper £12, via ebay. I love the floral pattern on this, I only wish the logo wasn't so in your face.

I've nearly come to end of my product testing, then hopefully I can do some in depth reviews on here (as I'm not too sure if I'm allowed to?) but to update on my initial thoughts on Aussie Mega Shampoo - I freaking love it!

The next day I straightened my hair and you could still smell it, even though I had used a perfumed protection spray. I believe I was caught inadvertently sniffing my locks throughout the day. Plus it does what it claims to do - my hair felt noticeably cleaner and shinier. I would definitely recommend this shampoo. Priced at £3.37 for 300ml, it's great value for money and is currently buy one get one half price at Superdrug.

Trends 2009 iii. Velvet

"Velvet has thrown off its dowdy image for autum. Arch modernists Francisco Costa, at Calvin Klein, and Christopher Kane, in London, have revived the age-old dévoré treatment whereby acid is poured onto areas of cloth, creating a sheer, burnt out patten. Instead of traditional swirls, however, they have created strong stripes and graphics. Elsewhere, velvet showed up in cocktail dresses that are anything but frumpy."

  • The look works best for evening. If a full on velvet dress is too much, try a fitted velvet jacket, worn with a crisp blouse or bare flesh, as an alternative to a tuxedo.

  • Dévoré is lighter and easier to wear than the regular cloth.

  • Keep a lint roller to hand - velvet picks up fluff.


1 Jacquard envelope clutch, £195, by Luella. 2 Puff sleeved dress, £85, by Black Label:asos.com 3. Velvet blazer, £1,270, by Dolce & Gabbana.

All above text and images: The Sunday Times Style magazine.


1 Velvet Cocktail Short with Turn Up, £12, Boohoo 2 Velvet Collar Princess Coat, £145, T.B.A at Urban Outfitters. 3 Velvet Bodycon Dress, £35, Topshop.

I would personally find this trend difficult to wear as velvet can be hard to pull off, and depending on what you wear, can look dated at times.

I have a vintage velvet blazer from Harrods which I inherited from my Aunt, but I've only worn it on two occasions because I'm not too sure of it. However, my favourite velvet item is a chain strap bow bag from H&M from several years ago. It's gorgeous and remains one of my staples - I am never without it on a night out!

Once again I think accessories are the easiest option - a plain velvet bow hairband, or a clutch bag would be an instant update to your look.

Top 3 polishes

My entry into Hele and Holly's Nails Inc giveaway over at The Nail Buff

It was really hard to choose just three, but I managed to narrow it down to these.

-Barry M nail paint in Shocking Pink. I will never tire of bubblegum hot pink polishes and this is my favourite. I always wear it on my toes - looks great whilst wearing flip flops!

-Collection 2000 Hot Looks in Dynasty. Although I only got this the other week, it has graced my fingernails since. I usually stick to bright pinks and this is the first lilac toned colour I've come across that's suited me. Love it!

- Revlon nail enamel in Cherries in the Snow. I was looking for a darker pink that wasn't verging towards maroon, like a true raspberry colour and came across this. It's a more grown up and sophisticated pink and I like wearing it just on the tips sometimes.

Trends 2009 ii. Tough


"This look mixes the edgy and the femenine. The focus is on durable, hard-wearing, no nonsense materials such as leather and ripped or shredded denim. The details are borrowed from bondage - studs, zips, buckles, traps, heavy chains or feathers - but the overall look is more cool than kinky."

  • A pair of leather leggins instantly toughens up your look. Wear with a long tee and killer heels, as seen as Emilio Pucci, above.

  • Invest in a leather coat or biker jacket.

  • Evening wear gets a tough makeover with leather cocktail dresses and bustiers.

  • Accessories are an easy way into this look. Bold, oversized metal cuffs and heavy chain necklaces give any outfit a tough edge.


1 Studded cuff, £18, from H&M. 2 Zip corsage, £25 from Dorothy Perkins. 3 Leather pencil skity, £89, from Mango. 4 Zip-fronted ankle boots, £575, by Alexander McQueen. 5 Zip bustier, £25, from Dorothy Perkins.

All above images and text: The Sunday Times Style magazine


1 Tall Asymmetric Frill Zip Vest, £28, Topshop. 2 Studded Waist Detail Bandeau Dress, £32, Mango. 3 Knitted Stud Top, £35, Topshop. 4 Small stud cross body bag, £24, Urban Outfitters. 5 Multi Strap Platform Gladiator, £39, Nine West. 6 Grey stud bracelet, £5, Peacocks.

Sometimes catwalk trends are hard to emulate without looking outlandish or eccentric - not that this is a bad thing, but it simply isn't everyones cup of tea. This trend is very versatile and can be worn and adapted by anyone. You don't have to go all out to acheive it, nor do you need to spendspendspend. A few accessories are all you need to give your outfit a "tough edge".

The greatest thing about this look is that it is so easy to do it yourself. You could buy studs (ebay or here) and re-fashion your existing clothes (or bags, belts, shoes, hairbands...anything!), shred a pair of jeans or strategically sew some zips into a tee shirt.

Here are some great DIY Tutorials I found:

Images: Park and Cube

Alexander Wang style studded bag and shredded jeans at Park and Cube.

Images: Maison des Rêveries

Balmain style studded blazer at Maison des Rêveries

I'm going to try and stud an old leather bag I have but haven't gotten round to doing so yet. Hopefully will post my attempts in the upcoming weeks.
What do you do when you have nothing to do? Mess around with makeup! Using my Kryolan Aquacolour palette, I came up with this look which was inspired by Goldbeauty88. Check out her blog, she has what seems like all the eyeshadow colour combos in the world.

Now it's not perfect at all. I didn't use a base, didn't do my brows, the blending is questionable and it's not even. However, considering this is the first multicolour eyeshadow look I've ever done, I am pleased with how it turned out.

What I used:
  • Kryolan aquacolour purple on the outer lid and turquoise in the middle, then a mixture of both on lower lash line.

  • Collection 2000 dazzle me dust in Paradise on the inner corner (finally got a swatch!)

  • Some random Superdrug silver glitter eyeshadow all over the lid and brow bone.

  • Barry M kohl pencil on upper lash line and waterline.

  • Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Lust also on waterline.

  • Benefit Bad gal Lash mascara.

  • Benefit Erase Paste under eyes.

Obviously this isn't an everyday look but for special occasions!

I'm still in the midst of testing hair products. Yesterday I curled my hair, divided it into two, then sprayed each section with a different hairspray. I then had a mini rave in my room to simulate a night out and noted the results. Next up is heat protection spray, but I don't really know how to test this? They all seem the same to me...

Trends 2009 i. Shoulders

I wanted to post my scans from Style magazine but there are far too many images and I didn't want to scale them down into teeny tiny pictures so I'm going to split them up and post them over the upcoming week. I apologise in advance for the quality. Today we are starting with...


"The new focus on a well-defined shoulder represents the season's biggest shift in silhouette. Structured pieces, such as coats and jackets, come with sharp shoulder pads: exagerarated puffs and pagodas emphasise the looks on dresses and blouses"


  • Shoulder pads add width, so to avoid looking squat. The shorter you are, the smaller your shoulder pads should be. If you have a short neck, this look won't do you any favours.

  • Define your waist, otherwise you'll end up looking wide.

  • Boxy is not good. A jacket that has strong shoulders should also have a skinny arm - see Balmain above.


1 Tube dress, £16 from Dorothy Perkins. 2 Glitter tux jacket, £99, from Marks and Spencers. 3 Evening dress, £70 from Oasis. 4 Draped top, £125, from Whistles. 5 Shouldered top, £538, by Boudica, from Matches.

All above images and text taken from The Sunday Times Style magazine (02/082009)


1 Printed Zip Detail Puff Sleeve Dress, £55, Lipsy 2 Pinstripe fitted jacket, £49.99, River Island 3 Cosmic shoulder dress, £38, Topshop. 4 Pink bodycon dress, £40, Dorothy Perkins

I have always been a fan of puffed sleeves (they take attention away from my chubby arms!) so I am really loving this trend. I really want that gorgeous blue DP dress and for only £16? Bargain!