Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Behind the scenes at Company Casting Call.

screen grabs courtesy of

And all of a sudden, it's real! There are photos, videos, and even a good few seconds of my wonderfully manly voice (I was battling through bronchitis - worth it). This video has got me so excited, firstly because I finally get a nosy at the final photos from the shoot, and secondly because the release date for the May issue has been announced as April 13th - just over two weeks away...

Looking at the final photos, I am gobsmacked that I got through. Everyone looks seriously stunning, and with my cheesy grin and yards of forehead it's a miracle that I made the final cut. I probably have my hair to thank for that one; it seems to have a more of a  fan-base than I do nowadays!

I thought I'd share a few screen grabs here, but I still urge you to go and watch the video, it gives such a great flavour of what the day was like.

Now I'm just waiting with anticipation to see the beauty spread, I simply adored the styling and when I was emailing Georgia, the beauty editor's assistant, she said the photos are looking amazing. I'll be willing the days away until April 13th!

(Although it would probably be more productive right now to focus on Friday's Dahlia casting, hmmm...)

screen grabs courtesy of

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Monday, 26 March 2012

A summer in space.

Shirt - River Island
Galaxy Skirt - Romwe
Boater - Next
Wedges - New Look

I've been so excited about getting this galaxy skirt, so it only seemed right that I started styling it a manner that I could wear everyday. I really love this outfit, it's so wearable and something I can see myself wearing around the city when it warms up a bit (we have the sun right now, but heat? Not really). However, it sufficed yesterday afternoon as my beach and baking uniform! I made the most amazing eggless chocolate cake; it was so dense and ended up somewhere between brownie and cake. I might have to post the recipe at some point, it was so fudgy and so good.

This is my last look until I go to London for my casting... Until then I will try and post a dolly make-up tutorial, however we'll see how much time I scrape together.

Oh, and I finished The Hunger Games! It did reek of teen fiction, but in the best possible sense. I could hardly put it down! I can't wait to see the film at some point over the next few weeks. I've had to ask Grant to hide Catching Fire from me until the train journey to London, otherwise I know I will get nothing done this week.

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Saturday, 24 March 2012

The secret garden, with Oasap.

Dress - Oasap
Headband - Poppy Daisy
Floral Socks - H&M
Heels - New Look

I was so excited to receive this dress in the post yesterday. It's from my first proper affiliate, Oasap. I'm so excited to be working with them - deciding which items to order was nearly impossible, they have some utterly gorgeous stuff. I'm particularly pleased with this dress, it looks so much prettier in real life than it did in the photos, and the quality it great, I think I might even wear if for the engagement shoot in a few weeks! It has very subtle shoulder pads and a flattering elasticated waist, so the overall silhouette is wonderful. It's definitely one of my favourite new dresses, and the rosy-tea shade called for gentle styling, spilling over with cream and pink flowers. I even got a little carried away and tucked some wire-stemmed flowers into my laces!

I'm so pleased with Oasap, they've really excelled my expectations. If you haven't, head over to their site and check out their collections - they have an amazing array of dresses which are perfect for spring and summer.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

March Harrods Glossybox and other products.

I recently signed up to Glossybox as part of my dive into beauty blogging and reviews, and this weekend I received my first box - the March Harrods Edition. The box arrived in striking monochrome packaging, with Harrods ribbons, stickers, and lots of amazing black raffia. Swaddled inside were six sample products, which was a surprise in itself since supposedly you only get five. 

Since this is my first box, I don't have anything to compare it to. However, I would assume that as they go, this box is fairly middle of the road. There were two very meager samples, and four decent sized ones.

Before we get started, skip to the end of this post for details of a great giveaway over at Sea of Daisies.

1. Valentino – Valentina Eau de Parfum

My initial reaction to this sample was, "Is that it?!". The tiny spray holds about five squirts on the scent, however despite the stingy size I must admit that this is a really lovely fragrance. It's feminine and floral, but not too sickly sweet. It fades to an almost powdery, fruity scent, and it very wearable. If I weren't already a devoted fan of Jean Paul Gaultier, Classique, then perhaps I would consider adding this one to my wish list. If you do happen to be a girly girl who likes girly scents, then I highly recommend you go and try this - it's perfect for spring!

Retail price for 30ml - £30

2. Shu Uemura – Cleansing beauty oil

Another measly sample. I have yet to use this product since there is just the one sachet. I'm not quite sure what I'm saving it for, but for some reason I am. Their website describes it as follows, 'Contains catechin, derived from green tea, botanical oils, depsea water, and a calming aroma based on watermelon, jasmine and sandalwood. The formula has anti-oxidant properties, and helps to hydrate and soothe skin. It also naturally provides moisture to skin, and helps to enhance skin transparency and improve skin quality'. Sounds good, but I'm not sure I can give it an accurate review from one try. Then again, who knows. I might be back after using the sample singing it's praises. Only time will tell...

Retail price for 150ml - £21

3. Lancôme – Hypnose Drama mascara

This is one of my favourite products from this box. The sample is a really decent size; I've been using it since Saturday and it's showing no signs of giving up on me just yet. I'm really funny with mascara - I usually hate brand new tubes because they tend to go on too thick, which general equals clumpy, blocky lashes. So needless to say I was very impressed when this one went on like a dream on the first use. I used to be of the opinion that the mascara doesn't matter; it's the technique that makes or breaks good lashes. However this product has converted me. The brush is perfect size and shape, the formula is amazing, and the results speak for themselves. Two or three coats and I have the most incredible, voluptuous eyelashes. No doubt I'll be hurrying to Debenhams to buy the real thing once my sample dries up.

Retail price - £17

4. SK-11 Skin signature

This was the mystery product of the bunch. I had never heard or the brand, let alone the product, however I have been pleasantly surprised with the results. Admittedly, for the price you pay you would expect it to do good things, and it really does deliver. Recently I've been using Avène Skin Recovery Cream, however I've switched to this for the last few days and it definitely beats Avène! My skin feels soft and dewy, even underneath make up. It's like my skin is perfectly balanced. I've been using it morning and night, and it goes on a treat. The cream is fairly watery and soaks in quickly, but you can feel it working all day. I've definitely seen a noticable improvement in my skin, and only wish that this product were cheaper!

Retail price for 80g - £85

5.  Clarins- Extra Firming body cream

Seeing as I'm only 19 and in fairly good shape, I would like to think that I don't need too much 'lifting and toning' as this product offers. However, I have been using it on my arms in the evenings and it is a nice product. It smells lovely and the cream (although very thick!) goes on nicely. I can't see myself falling head over heels for this product, however if you are someone looking for a good firming product then this might just be for you.

Retail price for 200ml - £28

6. Molton Brown – Vitalising vitamin AB+C Bath & Shower

My initial reaction was along the lines of, "Meh". I'm not too fussed about my bathing products, as long as they do the job and smell good whilst they do it! Not to mention I'm still working my way through the mountain of Lush products I got for Christmas... I used this in the shower this morning, and whilst it may not have the amazing candyfloss scent that Snow Fairy (my favourite shower gel <3 why must it be seasonal?!) offers, it does have a gorgeous, rich fragrance that stays with you all day. It lathers wonderfully, and supposedly it has deodorising properties. Not to mention all of those lovely vitamins at a fairly friendly price. This brand might be one for when I'm a little older and have a bit more disposable income for bathing products!

Retail price for 300ml - £20

Whilst I'm at it, here are a few other products I've encountered over the past week...

1. L'Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation in Rose Pearl

I have been using L'Oreal True Match Foundation for years, so whilst I was in Boots the other day I decided to give their new foundation a try. I tried two shades on the back of my hands; my usual Rose Ivory and the similar Rose Pearl. The latter was a little warmer and gave my skin a lovely, healthy glow, so I decided to give it a try.

Unfortunately, I wasn't impressed with the overall results. Whilst the shade is gorgeous and the coverage is great (pesky red patches - gone completely!), the product became very dry, very quickly. It got worse throughout the day until I could see it visibly flaking. Not a good look. In the future I'll be sticking with True Match.

Retail price - £11

2. Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder in Transparent

This is such a great pressed powder, and really good value for money. I've been using it to set my foundation for years, and it gives my skin a great matte finish with a silky touch. The colour is lovely and it brightens my skin with the slightest of shimmers. It needs the odd touch up, but other than that is fairly long lasting. It's one of my make up essentials and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a bargain product that really works.

Retail price - £4

3. Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief

Maybe I've been spoiled recently with Avène and SK-11, but when I got this product free with the latest issue of Cosmopolitan, I was very disappointed. It soaks in quickly, and there doesn't seem to be any lasting effect. If anything, it dried my skin out further, adverse to it's description as 'extended thirst relief'. I've encountered far better moisturising products that cost less than half what this did. Maybe it works for some skin types, but for me and my (very slightly) sensitive skin, it's definitely a big red cross.

Retail price for 50ml - £24

Images courtesy of Sea of Daisies + DADDYLONGLEGZ

Before I go, I must mention an amazing giveaway going on right now at Sea of Daisies. The lovely Quinn has teamed up with quirky legwear store DADDYLONGLEGZ to give one lucky winner four pairs of their stunning tights, in four beautiful designs. Head over to her blog to check out the conditions - it's so easy to enter and you definitely won't be disappointed by her blog!

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Sunday, 18 March 2012

Return to the sea.

Blouse - New Look
Net Skirt - Dahlia Boutique

Since it's mother's day, today we went to our favourite beach, Kynance Cove, for the first time this year. It wasn't warm, but the sun was out and the brisk wind warranted the consumption of lots of hot chocolate and steaming  pasties. It was a good day, and I took it as an opportunity to throw on a floaty skirt and channel my inner-mermaid. This is, no doubt, the first of many beach looks I will be uploading over spring and summer.

I won't say much more since I'm busy working on this beauty/story post. It will be up in the near future!

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Saturday, 17 March 2012

Kitty cat likes car print (and cupcakes!).

Car Print Blouse - River Island
Velvet Neck Bow - ASOS
Hi-Low Skirt - River Island
Braided Belt - Primark
Suede Wedges - New Look

The star feature of this look was supposed to be the car print shirt I raved about earlier this week, but my cat, Pilchard, had other plans. Usually the cats ignore my photo sessions entirely, but I don't know what it's been about this weekend... Whatever it is, it's had them sniffing around curiously and inevitably stealing focus.

Luckily, I can't stay mad at that face for long.

I'm not sure what it is, but I really love this outfit. It's perfect for spring and it's just very fun and comfy. My new velvet bow looks like it was made for the car print blouse, and the whole ensemble makes me very grateful for the River Island vouchers I had. Freebies well spent, if I do say so myself.

No video today, I'm too busy working on a special beauty photo story. However, in an attempt to make amends, here are some cupcakes. I made them last night - they're white chocolate and raspberry flavour. Unfortunately they are all gone now, but they live on in photo form.

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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

It's the only way to live, in CARS.

Car Print Cropped Blouse - River Island (£25)

As a young child, I was what most people would consider a tomboy. My pilot uncle had me obsessed with planes to the point where I was certain that my future lay in aviation. I spent hours playing with my dad's old Scalextric circuits, and my absolute favourite programme was Thomas The Tank Engine. I remember my 'grandad' (he wasn't related by blood, but was married to my grandmother throughout the younger years of my childhood) taking me to Silverstone for a vintage car rally. It was wonderful. I spent the afternoon racing down lines of jewel coloured automobiles, inhaling the heady scent of motor oil. I was completely in my element.

Perhaps this was why, as I wandered around River Island yesterday, I found myself drawn towards this kooky car print blouse. I quite happily handed over the last £20 of my RI vouchers and paid the balance from my own pocket. But isn't it just lovely?

I have a weakness for prints, and whilst florals, birdcages, keys, safety pins and animals all have their charm, there is something endearingly retro about the new car prints that are popping up for S/S. It's not quite so fluffy and chintzy as the other prints we've been seeing, but perhaps a little more wearable than more experimental prints like galaxy (that's not to say I don't like galaxy, though! In fact my Romwe asymmetrical galaxy print skirt recently arrived, I'll be sharing photos this weekend...). After trying on this new blouse with every high-waisted garment in my wardrobe, I am absolutely smitten and my head is spinning with new car-related possibilities. How adorable would this blouse look with distressed denim shorts for beach barbecues over summer? Or thrown over my bikini with a sheer maxi skirt after long afternoons spent in the sea?

Cars are definitely on the way to becoming one of my summer vices, and it only seemed fitting that I did a little digging for other autmobile inspired pieces. Here are my finds, and how cute are they? Simple designs, fondant colours and vintage car prints definitely seem to be a winning combination!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Favourite products for March.

This post is somewhat experimental. I've been wanting to dip my toe into the waters of product reviews for a while now, and since getting my goodie bag from Company magazine I thought I should gather some products and share with you some which have really excited me.

The first two come as a pair, Paul Mitchell Instant Moisture Daily Shampoo (£8 for 300ml) and Instant Moisture Daily Treatment (£10 for 200ml). The products are fairly middle of the road in terms of price, however after using them consistently for the past week, I would be far more inclined to shell out that bit of extra money. The shampoo lathers wonderfully, so you really don't need to use much. It leaves hair feeling squeaky clean, but still soft, pliable and fragrant. It also left my hair feeling noticeably shiny, which is a rare thing for me unless I get my GHDs out!

The daily treatment isn't quite as good value for money. It doesn't go particularly far, and with hair my length I need to use a fair amount! I've been working my way through it far quicker than the shampoo, which is a shame because despite that it is a great conditioning treatment. It left my hair feeling really soft and hydrated, and with it's assistance getting all of the teasing out of my hair from Wednesday's shoot was a breeze. An impressive product, however at the rate I'm getting through it I wouldn't call it 'daily'!. 

(From left to right)

Blistex Lip Brilliance Blushing  (£2) - I have a real addiction to lip balm. If I haven't got any on, I will be irritatingly aware of it and my lips feel really uncomfortable. Therefore it isn't surprising that I get through it very quickly, and getting this tinted lip balm in my goodie bag was a welcome addition. I was cynical at first; my experience of tinted lip balms is that they compromise all of the lovely balmy nourishing things for a slick of unremarkable colour. However, I was really impressed with this product. It's really moisturizing, it smells (and tastes) faintly of Love Hearts sweets, and the tint is extremely wearable. On top of that, it has SPF15 and is packed full of lovely things like vitamin E, grape seed oil and silk extracts - Excellent! It's great value for money, and the newest addition to my handbag essentials.

Eau Thermale Avène Skin Recovery Cream (about £10-£12 for 40ml) - Admittedly, this product is out of my usual price range. My normal face moisturiser is nothing more exciting than cocoa butter or aloe vera gel, so this was a bit of a treat.  It describes itself as 'for irritated and sensitive skin', and as someone who has always had sensitive skin I was fairly optimistic. I've been using it morning and night, and I have really seen a difference. My skin usually begins to feel a bit dry towards the end of the day, however since I started using this recovery cream it's felt far more hydrated from morning right through to bed time. It goes on very well (a small amount goes a long way!) and despite sinking in quickly I can feel it's effect all day long. I'm sure this fairly small tube is going to last me a fair while, and to be quite honest I think I will be investing in another tube once I finish this one.

Accessorize Illusion Nail Varnish in Aztec (£4) - I struggle with nail varnishes, primarily because there are a lot of blue/pink undertones in my skin and I find that most of the colours I lean towards make my hands look very blotchy and discoloured. Thankfully, this stunning duochrome shade from Accessorize both really suits my fair complexion, and it makes a bit of a statement as well. The colours remind me of the when you see oil in a puddle; it's a graduation of green, purple, pink and bronze. Admittedly you have to layer it up a bit (three layers at least) but it dries fairly quickly and the end result it great. I've had it on my toes for over a week and this weekend I had it on my fingers. It's pretty hardy, and very easy to wear. The best nail varnish I've discovered in a long time!

Phew! That wasn't as scary as I expected it to be. I'll be keeping my eye out over the next few weeks for interesting new products and old favourites to share with you in April!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

A seven nation army couldn't hold me back.

Pink Floyd Shirt - my boyfriend's
Military Jacket - my boyfriend's
Dress (worn as skirt) - Primark
GraphicTights - New Look
Heels - New Look

I often steal Grant's clothing, and this is an example of the two things I steal the most. I helped him pick out this jacket a couple of years ago from River Island, and more than once we've argued over who gets to wear it (I usually win!). The Pink Floyd shirt was a Christmas present I bought him last year from Urban Outfitters, and since we both love Pink Floyd I often sneak it out of his wardrobe.

Yesterday was my shoot for the May issue of Company magazine; I'm modelling for a spread in the beauty section. It wasn't at all what I expected - we ended up shooting on location for over eleven hours. It was an amazing day, but apart from telling you that it was shot in the most gorgeously shabby chic flat, my lips are sealed until the magazine comes out in the middle of April.

This evening I'm going to try something new; some product reviews of my favourites this month. Watch this space!

Sunday, 4 March 2012


Blouse - River Island
Dress (worn as skirt) - Primark
Braided Belt - Primark
Headband - Poppy Daisy
Suede Wedges - New Look

Today I wanted to wear something girly, frothy and playful - this was the result! I need to buy myself a short net skirt, however as I'm yet to find one I like I improvised here with this dress, pairing it with my new blouse from River Island. I pulled it all together with my trusty braided belt, and topped the whole ensemble off with a bunch of Poppy Daisy headbands all wound together to create a bulkier, more colourful headband.

I'll be uploading it to Lookbook just as soon as my six hour wait period is up!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Sorry, I've a date with Charles Perrault.

Playsuit - River Island
Velvet Blazer - Vintage
Braided Belt - Primark
Suede Wedges - New Look
Boater - Next

This afternoon has been spent in a vicious battle with my English Literature essay. Despite being partly about Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber (one of my all-time favourite books), it is still achingly dull and lengthy. It was certainly nice to have a break and take some photos in the sunshine.

The only upside of the essay is that it's given me and excuse to reread all of Charles Perrault's original fairytales, there is certainly a lot of inspiration packed into those little stories! Lots of ideas for future creative endeavours.

If it weren't for Perrault and the endless cups of caramel tea I've been sucking down, I think today might have driven me mad...

Friday, 2 March 2012

Someday you'll see her and you'll know what I mean.

Floral Blouse -River Island
High Low Skirt - River Island
Braided Belt - Primark
Suede Wedges - New Look
Floral Headband - Poppy Daisy

I've finally had the opportunity to compose a proper new look for you! I've been so excited about styling my new blouse and skirt, and here they are, in a floral celebration of the lovely sunny weather we've been having over the past couple of days. Yesterday I was quite happily wandering around in the balmy sunshine without a jacket, and it was so refreshing after the months of layering. The days of light summer dresses and ankle socks can't come soon enough! Something tells me this summer is going to be a good one.

A bushel of secrets.

Yesterday was the culmination of the creative project for university which we have been working on since November. We've been collecting secrets from here, there and everywhere, and yesterday displayed them all on a tree outside the library. It got a fair bit of attention, and we were pleasantly surprised by how many people approached us wanting to add their secrets to the branches. It was a very liberating experience for everyone involved, and interesting for passers-by who stopped for a quick peek.

For more information on the project, take a look at our Facebook page. Below is a video one of the other girls involved, Emma, put together.