; une tasse: a beauty and casual fashion blog: 2011

Bloggers Christmas Cocktail Party

I'm proud to be part of the first ever Christmas Cocktail Party as organised by Sarah from City Girls Fashion Box. We were asked to create two outfits, one designer and one high street, fit for a cocktail party.

I am one of three at my workplace so we don't have a Christmas party and I'm so jealous of all of you who get to doll up every year and party all night. This is therefore my only chance to plan Christmas outfits.


Anya Hindmarch Valorie evening clutch £350 | Charlotte Olympia Dolly heels £625 | Dolce & Gabbana lace and silk dress £1170 | Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick in Famous.

Even though we could let our imaginations run wild (and budgets since they are imaginary outfits), I found it difficult to stray from a little black dress but this Dolce & Gabbana isn't "strictly" black with the gorgeous lace and silk detailing. These Charlotte Olympia heels are ludicrously high but the gold accent goes well with my clutch and being a beauty blogger, I had to include a swanky Chanel lippie! I think the only party I could rock up to in this ensemble would be on the arm of a footballer but hopefully this isn't too WAGtastic?

High Street

Oasis Lexi metallic dress £70 | Zara ankle boot with zip £59.99 | Topshop fluffy leather cape £55 | Mango stud leather gloves £29.90 | MAC lipstick in Impassioned

Once again I haven't strayed too far from black and gold but I looooove this Oasis dress, it looks even better on the model. With a feather fluffy cape, ankle boots and studded gloves to complement, I know it's more rock chick than cocktail but I think it would look great! Lastly a swipe of my favourite pink lippie for an injection of much needed colour.

Make sure you check out the other outfits from my fellow bloggers :)

Sarah F

(CLOSED) Giveaway: Win a Barefoot skincare set

The Barefoot SOS range is perfect for winter, especially for those with dry, sensitive and irritable skin. This range is also free from petrochemicals including paraffin, parabens & SLS, artificial colours and fragrances, and animal ingredients.

I've got one skincare set to give away to a lucky reader :)

Daily Rich Body Lotion - 200ml £22

A silky smooth lotion containing Chickweed and Mallow extracts to cool and soothe, Shea Butter for protection against the elements, Argan and Macadamia oils to nourish and Orange Blossom and Lavender essential oils for a calming aroma

Soothing Face and Body Wash – 200ml £16

A gentle non-drying wash with Panthenol (Vitamin B5) and Allantoin to maintain skins moisture level, Evening Primrose and Jojoba oil to condition, Chickweed and Burdock extracts to cool and soothe and Geranium and Lemon Tea Tree essential oils to create an enlivening aroma.

To enter, please leave a comment below and don't forget to leave me your email address if you haven't got one on your profile. Closing date is the 29 December at 23.59 when I'll pick someone at random (UK only, sorry guys). Good luck xx

Winter warmers

I swear I buy a new hat and gloves every winter but whenever the next year comes around they're nowhere to be seen. My massive bobble hat is last season Topshop via eBay and I paid £10 instead of the RRP of £16 but even that is a rip off. It keeps my head and ears warm but the quality is similar to Primark which I wouldn't mind if it wasn't 4x the price. Not cool Topshop, sort it out.

Primark have some great winter things at the moment. These fleece lined mittens were £4 and are soooo soft and warm I never want to take them off. They render your hands completely useless because you can't do anything with them on but they're worth it. Also bought this furry water bottle for a fiver to warm up my bed. My flat is so cold that my nose runs if I don't put the heating on, especially in the ice box bedroom :(:( I've been googling heat saving tips and am really tempted to get window quilts and bubble wrap my windows, sounds crazy but I'm fed up of being cold and miserable.

ugh, only 5 months until Summer!!

Give as you Live

Just a little post for those of you who haven't yet finished your Christmas shopping.

I recently attended an event about Give as you Live, whereby shopping online through the website via click through links, a percentage of what you buy is donated to a charity of your choosing and at no extra cost to you. Connected to all 220,000 UK charities, Give as you Live can be used with over 1,3000 retailers including the big ones like Amazon, Topshop, John Lewis, Boots, Debenhams, iTunes, House of Fraser and so on.

I now do the majority of my shopping online and I tend to buy almost everything from Amazon because they really do sell EVERYTHING! My chosen charity is PDSA and I've downloaded the app for my browser so I won't forget. I've raised about 30p from buying some kitchen items so far :)

Westfield buys

Easing myself back into regular blogging and showing what I bought today during my after work trip to Westfield Stratford. I love that it's only 10 minutes away from me but equally loathe the way it's always rammed. Why are the walkways so narrow? Shepherd's Bush is so much better!

Anyway I digress, here are my buys:

Lush Snow Fairy: I always read on other blogs about how great this shower gel is and I couldn't fathom why something so lurid pink had everyones attention every Christmas, especially since whenever I sniffed the bottle it didn't seem anything special. I decided to buy a small bottle and try it out for myself and wow I'm converted!! It smells deliciously sweet, kind of like those raspberry panda pop drinks but even better the scent stays on your skin after you've showered. I really like it but not sure if I would buy another bottle seeing as it's £5.95 for 250ml. Expensive for someone who usually buys their shower gels for a quid!

Topshop Nail Art Pen: I saw these online the other day when Topshop were doing free delivery but I disregarded them as I thought they would be crap. I wasn't impressed by the WAH nails/Models Own one and assumed this would be along the same lines. Then I saw this post by Gem Fatale and decided that I had to have them. I went in wanting pink but walked out with "Nightrider" black which I'm sort of regretting now. Haven't used it yet as I haven't had time to paint my nails today but I have high hopes for this.

Kiko Creamy Lipstick: Never heard of this brand until recently but I went in to have a nosey and really liked the look of their lippies. I bought #399 which is a sort of rose petal pink? It swatched beautifully in store but after trying it on my lips at home I'm uncertain. I like the matte rubber case which makes it looks more expensive than £5.90 but the actual lipstick is a bit of a let down. It's thin and very "slippy", like cheapo lipsticks and I just feel a bit short changed. I certainly won't be buying any again but their eyeshadows looked really good, there were loads of metallic glittery which ones caught my eye.

Have you tried any of these? Let me know if you're a Snow Fairy fan!

I love my...

Converses oh yes I do! No matter how many pairs of heels I lust over I always return to my faithful Chucks (my second favourite is the Bass kind *swoon*). I wear these almost everyday and in every season. They're so versatile and go with everything. I love wearing them with black tights and dresses so I don't feel so dolled up. But my favourite way to wear them is with a pair of skinnies. Simple!

I have about three pairs, these green hi tops, a pair of white low ones and a navy/white low pair but next on my wish list are some grey ones. How many pairs do you have and what colours?

Eid shopping

Eid Mubarak to those who were celebrating yesterday. It was my first Eid with my husband, away from my family and it felt really strange. However I met up with my sister yesterday afternoon for a wee shopping trip in Westfield. It was rammed as always so we only hit H&M, Boots & MAC.

Primark PJ's FTW!

I was spurred on by Laiqah's post and finally bought Impassioned. It's very bright so think I'll only whip this out on special occasions for now, but hopefully will get lots of wear during summer. As you can tell I also treated myself to a long awaited haircut. No longer do I feel bedraggled and boring, but light headed and like my hair is healthy again :)

As usual I loved nearly everything in H&M but I only walked away with these really comfy winter boots. They're not real leather but they're very sturdy and the insoles are sooooo soft. Can't see them online but they're £29.99. I only bought a pair of boots two months ago but I managed to ruin them. I got caught in the biggest rainstorm ever where the streets/pavement flooded and I unavoidably stepped in a puddle that reached mid shin. The boots took 4 days to fully dry out but they now stink to high heaven of dirty rain/drain water. I only managed to wear them twice, gutted!! Fingers crossed this pair lasts.

Anyhoo I'm now on my way back to my cold and internet-less flat (damn you Sky and your long activation date). Catch you soon! xx

Russian Red

I'm at my parent's house right now and hallelujah internet connection. I've missed blogging so much but the engineer is coming this Friday to set my broadband up and I hope to be back ASAP. I've bought so many new makeup bits the past few months but my most favourite item is MAC's Russian Red lipstick.

Excuse my sullen face but I am so TIRED and boy does it show. It's just the most perfect vivid red lipstick and it makes me feel quite grown up. I don't really like matte formulations but this lipstick is creamy and it stays for ageeeeeeeees. I've been wearing it as much as possible, even incorporating it into my Halloween outfit! Any other gorgeous red lipsticks out there that you can reccommend?


Fatty in Fatih

I'm back baby!! Landed last night after spending the last 5 days in Istanbul. Had a brilliant time but despite the cold weather it's so good to be home. It's been exactly a week since I became a Mrs and the whole experience was so freaking tiring. I won't have any photos for a few weeks but here are some (ok a lot of) photos I took on my trip.

Istanbul is a beautiful city and all the architecture and history took my breath away. I also looooooooved all the cats (if you couldn't already tell from the pics). I took more photos of cats than I did of myself! I got in trouble with Sid though, he's really allergic and told me not to touch them but I couldn't help myself and he ended up wheezing for the rest of the night...oopsy. I didn't really buy anything for myself so nothing to show but we spent most of our money on foooooood. Everything was yummy and I ate so much I think I'm going to have to live on soup for the rest of the week to give my digestive system a break. Plus my belly is sticking out more than usual :P

Back to work on Tuesday but I still have to sort out the flat. Got LOADS to do but my priority is setting up an internet connection, can't function without it!

We found love in a hopeless place

Just wanted to share with you a few photos from our pre wedding shoot on Saturday which was part of our wedding photography package. I had the most horrible chest infection (still do) and couldn't breathe very well but with our amazing photographers (Pen and Cam) you can't tell at all. I don't really like getting my photo taken but they made us feel so comfortable and it wasn't a forced "look into each others eyes and stay like that for 1min". It was natural and I didn't feel self concious at all. Seriously they were amazing!

Hope you're all well and hopefully I'll be back to blogging soon after all this wedding malarky is over xxx

p.s. I just turned 26 half an hour ago. Feel so old!


Just a little update to say that I haven't gone AWOL, I've just got so much to do in so little time and I haven't had a chance to blog properly. I'll be on twitter if you want to hear me moan about how much I have to do. Still haven't got a bouquet, veil, jewellery, makeup or decided on my hair..... Only 2 and a half weeks left!

Models Own Leopard Print NOTD

I missed out on the last 50% off Models Own promotion but I was on the ball this time round. I bought Utopia, Pink Fizz & Peach Puff and used all three for some leopard printed nails. The glitter doesn't show well here but it sparkles like a beauty when it catches the light.

BTW I don't bother with the liquid eyeliner method, I use a Sharpie and it's so much better. Just wait for it to dry properly before the top coat otherwise it'll smudge like mine....Still a novice!

Boot(ylicious) @ Forever 21

Behold my new boots that arrived in the post today! Saw these after paying the Forever 21 store a very brief visit last week and they didn't have any in my size so I had ordered them online. Delivery was frustratingly slow as it took a whole week and that was the standard option at £3.95. My super saver free delivery parcels from ASOS and Amazon never take more than 3 days! However I've been looking all over for some affordable brogue-boots and I paid £24.75 so I'm really pleased. I like the distressed look and the little 1 inch heel and most of all I like that it doesn't look too cheap/pleathery.

Although I'll be sad when sandal season is over, I can't wait to wear these!

Free skin health assessment at sk:n clinics

This isn't a sponsored post. I just thought it would be helpful for those of you worried about sun damage.

This summer sk:n clinics is offering everybody a FREE skin health assessment. If you’re worried about what damage you may have done to your skin, exposing it to harmful UV rays this summer, you can book in at your local sk:n clinic for a consultation.

The sk:n skin health assessment consists of a consultation with one of sk:n’s experts and facial scanning using state of the art technology, to highlight any existing damage with UV light. The consultant will also calculate your skin age based on its condition. The skin health assessment usually costs £25, but for a short time only, sk:n will be offering them absolutely free.

The offer is all part of the skin health campaign, fronted by the England cricket team to raise awareness about the dangers of the sun’s rays on the skin. As part of the campaign sk:n clinics will be donating £10,000 to the British Skin Foundation to fund vital research into important dermatology issues.

Visit www.sknclinics.co.uk for more information

Nail dilemmas

Wedding prep stress has finally caught up with me hence the lack of posts and because it's Ramadan, I just don't have the energy or will to blog when I get home from work. I wanted to post this about two weeks ago but haven't had the chance!

With the "big day" (*scoff*) about 6 weeks away I'm more worried about little things like how I want my nails. I haven't been blessed with the most delicate/feminine hands, mine are fat and stubby! I also have very small nail beds and even when I grow them out they look irregular and just not picture perfect.

I bought some falsies from Boots to see how they'd look and even though they were extra short, I had to file them down like a mother so they wouldn't look ridiculous. They're not as natural looking as I'd like them to be which bugs me but the length gives the appearance of elongated fingers. Also I'm stumped about what colour they should be. I don't like french tips so I was veering towards a natural-ish pink but it's hard to find one that looks good for my skin tone. Nearly all of the nude or pale pink polishes which are marketed as suitable for a wedding are way too light or pastelly for me.

I found this set of O.P.I minis in TKMaxx and "Pinking of You" was a bit too bright so I layered Ciate's "My Fair Lady" which came free with Marie Claire and the end result was as above. I'm not totally won over but this is the best I've come up with yet. I'm sorely tempted to rock some glitter nails or a bright pink but will this look tacky in the photos and will I regret it 20 years down the line? Decisions, decisions........

Keep cool and carry on

It's been really hot and muggy here over the past few days and keeping my hair up is one of the best ways I've found to keep cool. There's nothing worse than a hot and sweaty neck (so gross!), especially on the tube AKA sauna. Ponytails look awful with my shapeless long hair but I do love a braided up do.

This is the "style" I've been sporting today, really easy and great for when your hair is a tad greasy and won't sit right. Just divide your hair and form two plaits - one on either side. Then wind each plait around your head making both ends meet in the middle then pin into place. This video will show you what I mean. My ends are quite wispy so it doesn't look brill and I couldn't pin it any further forward but it'll do me fine. Don't mind the halo of frizz, got caught in the rain today :)

Sleek Pout Paint in Rosette

I've been eagerly anticipating the release of these new lip paints from Sleek and I was surprised to see my local Superdrug had them in store already (they're supposed to be launched on the 3rd August).

If I recall correctly there are about 11 colours to choose from but I played it safe and went for a fairly safe pink called Rosette. It was £4.99 for 8ml which I thought was a little expensive but like it says on the back "a little goes a long way!".

First impression was not brilliant as what first came out of the tube was clear liquid. The paint itself is thinner than I expected nor is it as pigmented as I thought it would be but I like having the option of wearing a lip colour sheer or building it up to my preference. It's has the consistency of a non sticky gloss and the finish is slightly shiny.

To see what it looks like on please click here. After 4 hours sleep I look frigging awful and didn't want to post my face here but at the same time I wanted to show you what it looks like on.

I'm not totally bowled over by these lip paints and I don't think I'll be buying any other colour but I think the idea is cool, especially how you can mix and make your own shades using the blue and white lip paints. Me? I think I'll use Rosette as a base to deepen some very light and almost unwearable lipsticks I've got. On the other hand I love the new Sleek displays and I'm looking forward to buying the new "Suede" blush as soon as I can find it in stock!

NOTD: GOSH Mouse Grey

I won this mini polish in a giveaway by Beautylicious Love and it's been on my nails since I received it almost a week ago. Actually surprised at how much I like this considering it's grey, the total opposite of the pinks and corals I usually favour. Application was lovely and smooth and it was chip free for 3 or 4 days (without a topcoat). I can't find these on Superdrug's awful website or even the GOSH one but apparently they come in 20 limited edition colours and are available now (£2.99 for 5ml). Don't know how this compares to GOSH's regular line of nail polish but I was impressed.

Been feeling rather uninspired lately which is why I haven't been blogging much but hope to rectify that soon. Hope you're all well xx

Review: It's Potent! Eye Cream by Benefit

I received a small sample of this eye cream when I attended a Benefit event and I liked it so much I went ahead and purchased the full sized version. I've only got round to using this jar recently as the mini sample lasted for ages.

What they say

It's Potent! Eye Cream fades dark circles, helps smooth fine lines & hydrates the eye area for brighter, younger looking eyes. This potent yet gentle eye cream contains burnet an ancient Chinese remedy to help soothe the skin, & a blend of hydrating botanical extracts. Contains apple extract, known to help boost collagen, & loquat extract, known to help protect the skin from free radical damage. Includes a peptide complex known to help restore elasticity & firmness to the skin. Contains sodium hyaluronate, a powerful hydrating agent capable of holding up to 1000 times its weight in water.

How did it work for me/What I think:

I initially liked this very much. I used it twice daily and I felt that it really did keep the thin skin under my eyes well moisturised. The cream itself is slightly thick and rich but it sinks it beautifully without disappearing from the surface of my skin completely. It also has a nice light inoffensive scent akin to cucumbers. Did it fade my dark circles? Not really but then again I don't think any cream can (unless you know of one?). I liked it purely for the fact that it kept my skin hydrated and I found it cooling even though it's not marketed as such.

I did find that after several months, the cream lost it's "potency" and the consistency was much thinner. I think this is due to the packaging, if it was in a tube this might solve the problem. I also think that the jar is way too big. It will take a while to finish but according to the sign on the bottom, you're supposed to dispose of it after 6 months! Less product would also bring down the hefty price tag of £23.50.

I wouldn't repurchase this purely because it thins out after a while and I think I need a richer eye cream because the skin under my eyes is so dry. However for someone in their late teens/early twenties, this isn't a bad first eye cream.

RRP £23.50 for 14.2g