; une tasse: a beauty and casual fashion blog: November 2010

Winter coat woes

(Best photo I could find. That's not my photo face, I was blinded by the flash)

My current coat is a fleece lined parka with a furry hood and it is SO warm. I feel like a bit of a chav in it sometimes but when it gets this cold I forget to care. However it has a few unexplainable rips in the back so I need to replace it.

Before the temperature plummeted to -1 degree celcius I had been eyeing up a cape that I had seen in the xmas Very.co.uk commercial. Sadly I couldn't find it on the website but I did spy these two potentials:

The parka looks so comfy and warm but I'm also drawn to the duffle coat. I don't know if they keep you warm enough though? Argh!

Do you have any winter coat suggestions?

P.s Posts may be sporadic over the next few weeks as my PC died on Friday. Will try my very best to update as often as I can xx

Emma Watson inspired look using the Urban Decay Naked palette

Image: Shareapic

I thought Emma Watson's cropped haircut was a downgrade but this photo from her shoot with Stylist magazine has swayed me. I LOVE her eye makeup and wanted to create something similar, which the Naked palette is perfect for.

- Naked to lightly fill in brows.
- Darkhorse all over the lid and under the eye with Creep in the crease.
- 24/7 eyeliner in Zero smudged on my upper and lower lashline.
Sidecar in the inner corner of my eyes and finished with Revlon Grow Luscious mascara. For all eyeshadow swatches, refer to my previous post.

Emma's look is much smokier and the gold  highlight is more obvious (the latter because the photo probably wasn't taken with a crap camera!). It's not perfect, a little messy but I'm still learning and I'm happy with this look :)

Beauty on a budget: The many uses of Almond oil

A few months ago I bought this bottle of sweet almond oil with the intention of creating my own makeup remover. Sadly this turned out to be a big fat fail as I couldn't get the correct quantities of water and oil. Instead of chucking it, I decided to use it as a hair conditioner.

It's much heavier than coconut oil so a little goes a long way. Mostly on my ends and a little massaged into my roots. I leave it in for at least an hour and wash out throroughly. It makes my hair look glossier than it's usual dull state.

There's many other uses but here are my preferred ways:

On my skin: Instead of using body lotion, I use almond oil after I shower. Almond oil is often one of the main ingredients in body butters because it's a rich source of Vitamin E and a good emollient. It's especially good on rough areas such as elbows, knees and feet. I don't slather myself in it, I rub a pea sized amount between my hands then apply - it isn't greasy at all. It doesn't have a strong scent and I can only smell it if I sniff from the bottle - a faint sweet nutty scent. Body oils are usually really expensive but this does the same job for a fraction of the price. My bottle was only £1.50 from Waitrose.

Conditioning my eyelashes: I wear waterproof mascara everyday which isn't too kind to my lashes. I rub almond oil into my lashes and along the lashline to condition them.

Conditioning my nails and cuticles: Similarly, constant nail polish wear makes my nails dry and brittle. I use almond oil to try and repair the damage. It's also great at softening up ragged cuticles.

All in all, a big thumbs up for almond oil. It's inexpensive, multifunctional and 100% natural.

NOTD: Barry M Vivid Purple + Instant Nail Effects

A trio of Barry M polishes, which were used to create my NOTD, inspired by Charlie's recent NOTD post. I couldn't find my metallic blue polish but ended up rediscovering Vivid Purple, which I haven't worn for yonks! A deep metallic purple, this colour is beautiful and looks even better with the added texture of the black crackle.

My nails are super short right now but I prefer it this way.

Daylight was fading fast whilst I was taking these photos so they're not the best in the world. The one without flash is a better representative of what it really looks like but with flash you can see the metallic shimmer better. I love how dark and vampy this is. A far cry from my usual pinks and lilacs.

Have you tried crackle nail polishes? What's your favourite colour combo?

Come & Play at Selfridges

Starting on the 25th November, Selfridges is hosting a 10 day celebration dedicated to beauty, packed with events, mini makeovers, demonstrations and giveaways in all store locations.

All the top beauty brands will be there (MAC, Dior, Nars, Estee Lauder etc) and there will be the chance to view new and exclusive products. Plus, there will be some public appearances from VIP beauty experts who will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate the latest beauty trends.

Some of my picks include:

25th November (All stores): The exclusive launch of Chanel Le Vernis Riva: the latest nail colour inspired by St Tropez.

25th – 27th November & 2nd – 4th December (All Stores): Get made over and become a star at Bobbi Brown. Make up artists will be in store creating new looks: Vintage, Vixen or Hollywood with a a photographer giving customers post make-over pictures to take home.

27th November (Birmingham),  28th November (Trafford), 4th December (London): Master classes from Illamasqua’s innovative and avant garde make-up artist, Alex Box. Alex will be take customers through the fine art of makeup in an exclusive and extraordinary master class.

2nd December (London only): From 6-8pm the Keihl’s Shop For a Cause event launches exclusively at Selfridges. GOSH celebrity ambassadors man the counter in the Selfridges beauty hall whilst American style canap├ęs and refreshments are served. All recruited and spending customers receive a goody bag worth £25.
These are just a few of the things happening, but for full details check Selfridge's Facebook page which will be updated regularly with the latest developments.

New winter boots from New Look

Five years ago I wouldn't be caught dead in boots like these but as fashion changes, so does personal taste (well mine anyway). My previous pair of winter boots were a much beloved calf length leather pair from Next, but after 2 years of constant wear they needed replacing. Each time it rained I silently prayed and hoped for the best but they finally gave way last month and I went home with wet socks/soggy feet.

I wanted a pair of workman/biker style boots but couldn't seem to find the right style until I met up with a friend and she was wearing these, which are from New Look. I hate being a copycat but I loved them so much and I had to have them. I only see her about twice a month anyway and I can wear other shoes! I deliberated over whether I should get the exact same black pair as she had, but decided to go with the brown version.

I have been wearing these everyday for the past month and they are yet to let rain in. They do, however, always end up getting small pebbles inside. How does this happen?! They can be worn with anything but I've been tucking my black skinny jeans into em - poor quality mismatched changing room pic here.

At £26.99, they're not real leather but you can't really tell and they're so sturdy that it makes up for it. However one of the (most stupid) reasons I love them, is because they make a satisfying "clomp" sound when I walk.

Mac Plumful lipstick

Hallelujah! An internet connection at last, so I can finally post about my first Mac lipstick.

It's also the very first lip colour I can wear without thinking, "Does this look okay? Can I pull it off?". As the name would suggest it's a plum but with pink tones so I find it more wearable.

The lustre finish means it goes on sheer, which I prefer as I can build up the colour. This also means it doesn't last very long but I don't mind this because I love reapplying due to it's yummy scent. It also makes me feel lady like (ha).

It's heavily swatched in my previous photo so you can get a better idea of the colour. However because my lips are very pigmented, it shows up darker on me. If I really wanted to, I could blank out my lips with concealer beforehand but it's too much effort!

I'm still new to the world of lipstick so don't think I will be buying another Mac one too soon. For now I'm going to stick with this but look forward to the day I feel confident enough to rock a deep red. I'm looking at you Russian Red.

I love my Aurifere brushes

I attended Britain's Next Top Model Live a few weeks ago after winning tickets from a giveaway on Natalie's blog. I wasn't impressed with the clothing they had on sale, nothing tempted me at all but there were many beauty buys. I picked up a few things from Blistex, Crown Brushes and some fabulous Eldora lashes (post coming soon) but my favourite buys were these two brushes from Aurifere.

I had actually never heard of this brand until I read about them on Lipglossiping a while ago. They had a small stall with an even smaller selection of brushes. I bought the 480 squirrel brush which is a fluffy blending brush that makes applying concealer an absolute breeze. As it's so soft, it blends effortlessly and leaves my concealer non cakey. I also bought the 790 thin eyeliner brush to use with my fluidline.

Brushes can be notoriously expensive, especially if they aren't synthetic but Aurifere brushes are very affordable. I paid £7.99 for the 480 and £3.50 for the 790 which is great value for high quality brushes (prices are different on their website though). Next on my wishlist is the 190 racoon powder brush.

If you'd like to look at their range of brushes, they are sold on http://paesecosmetics.com and UK shipping is free on orders over £10 :)

Lanvin for H&M

On sale from the 23 November 2010, this is another collaboration I will be avoiding (even though I think it's 100x better than the Jimmy Choo one). It's not that the collection is awful but not much stood out and items are highly priced. The least expensive item is a tee shirt at £24.99 whilst shoes are £69.99 and dresses from £99+. However I do love the men's collection which is more fairly priced. The shirts and blazers are really snazzy!

I love Alber Elbaz's dresses for Lanvin so it was natural that the only pieces in this H&M collection I was drawn to were these two dresses.

With the price tag of £99 each, they are out of my budget but if you're looking for a pretty party dress for the upcoming festive season, don't think you could go wrong with these.

I'm really intrigued about this lipstick though which I think is the same colour as the packaging. Might pick this up seeing as it's an affordable £7.99.

Do you think I can get away with asking for a bag for my teeny tiny lipstick purchase? I love them!

All images taken from the H&M website.

Urban Decay Naked Palette + Swatches

I was so excited when I first read about the neutral palette that Urban Decay was bringing out, that I rushed to buy it when it was released here in September. The eyeshadows are gorgeous and every colour is wearable, no matter what your skintone.

If you can't tell from my swatches, they're soft and very pigmented which I have found to be the usual case with UD shadows. However unlike my chunky Box of Shadows vol.II this palette is slim and easy to carry/store away.

I bought mine from House of Fraser for £27 which I think is well worth the price for 12 shadows, 2 mini eyeliners and a mini primer potion.

Debenhams have a 15% online discount code (enter PD9P at the checkout) until the 12 November but annoyingly this palette is out of stock. However they still seem to have the limited edition NYC Book of Shadows if you also fancy that.

Where do you buy yours?

I'm talking about bras here. I'm usually a M&S girl but I was wondering if anyone could highly reccommend anywhere else? Is La Senza any good? Debenhams? If I was rolling in it, it would be Stella McCartney all the way (honestly, just take a look at the pretty). Sadly my budget is more high street so any suggestions along those lines would be much appreciated. Not Primark though - worst underwear ever!