So on Friday, I’m off to Paris! Another popular fashion capital on this planet. I haven’t been to Paris since I was 19, which is almost 10 years ago, so I’m really looking forward to visiting again. When I last roamed the city, I was a second year Fashion Marketing and Journalism student, working part time in retail with this huge appetite and drive to work in the fashion world. I will feel quite nostalgic returning almost a decade later, being able to say I have achieved all of my dreams (well not all… there’s never enough dreams you can have!)
I recently did a bit of a jumper shop as I’m aware how cold it will be there towards the end of October, and I’m also aware how fashionable the city is so I need a number of designer pieces to prepare me! I’m a big fan of luxury designer fashion site Avenue 32, don’t get me wrong I don’t earn designer wages, but if there’s a designer hero piece I need to save up for or pop on a wish list for a present, it’s a reliable place for me to visit. Take a look at this stylish yet snugly jumper from J W Anderson.
I love the simplicity and chic styling of J W Anderson, and I think the sweater us going to be my splash out, staple winter wear item! I’m also hunting down a fabulous faux fur coat for my trip – how amazing are these styles below from Shrimps?
A little more in my price range, I’m seeking a new stylish bag to take with me for my Parisian adventure so of course I would check out the beautiful collections of Lulu Guinness. I’m not usually a fan of anything slightly ‘novelty’ but this designer collection is my exception to all rules. The cute 3 D lips and quirky lipsticks that make the main features on Lulu Guinness bags are utterly cute – the sweetest addition to an evening outfit.
Anyone got any Paris tips for me, or recommendations of super stylish places to visit? Paris – I’m on my way!
A quick flash post today to highlight two of my favourite eye products which give your really amazing, pop-out eyes! I won’t bore you for long about the first one, as it’s a product I have used for ages and have featured on the blog twice before. Yes… time to big it up again… MAC eyebrow pencil in ‘lingering’ really is the best. Like, seriously gives you so much precision when penciling in your eyebrows. As I often point out on here, my eyebrows are naturally black which has been the bain of my life being a natural fair-blonde girl. So I don’t really need to darken my brows, but just to shape them slightly.
If you want a fail safe, easy to use, fantastic eyebrow pencil, then look no further. MAC in lingering- I won’t mention it again for a while I promise!
And in terms of lashes, I have found a new favorite! Available at Boots and online at FalseLashes.co.uk, these Eye Candy lashes in 005 are perfect. They cost around £4.50 and are the most impressive lashes I have used for a while at that value. Don’t get me wrong – I love Eyelure and MAC lashes too, but I don’t always have the money to spend on them as I’m very careless with my false eyelashes (yeah, I’m the girl that parties in them, falls asleep with them on, and wake up with scraggy, messy lashes that I pull off and throw in the bin).
These stuck on my natural lash line really well and gave added volume and length, without looking too drastic. Natural, but with a touch of party glam. Love love love them. I just happened to spot them in Boots and picked them up as a last minute purchase. Ignore the signs of glue on the below photos, I took these snaps as soon as I applied the lashes therefore the glue wasn’t 100% dry.
If your a lover of all things classy, ladylike and pretty, then you would have loved the event that was held at Manchester’s swanky Manchester House the other week. Hosted by Little Black Dress, it was a celebration of the new Little Black Dress collection – the brands first debut collection. The event brought together bloggers, press, models and celebrities to sip champagne and nibble on canapes all under one uber-modern roof in Spinningfields. I have had worst week nights…
Celebrating iconic style, the collection is beautiful and entirely tailored to something I would shop – I love classic and timeless pieces, and even in the Summer months I’m strutting around in black dresses when I should be embracing colours.
The collection is designed for the modern fashionista, fusing together the classic heritage of the LBD with contemporary features, sumptuous fabrics and unexpected detailing. The addition I loved the most though with this breath taking collection is that the range is all inspired by icons – and we all have them – you know when you lust after a stylish woman’s fashion sense and the way she steps out in a dress that takes her into fashion history?
With inspiration from some of today’s most stylish women, and some of histories never forgotten fashionista’s such as Audrey Hepburn and Princess Diana, the 20 piece collections features a dress to suit everyone’s tastes. Whether it;s short and sassy or sleek and sophisticated, the dresses scream beauty. There were so many I loved, but I did have a top 5 of course. If you take a look at the collection online at the Little Black Dress website, I personally love The Rita Dress, The Jessica Dress, The Gemma Dress, The Jennifer Dress and The Kate Dress.
It was also such a fantastic evening to mingle with some of Manchester’s finest fashion and beauty blogging ladies, like the girls below… (As you can tell I wasn’t equipped with my highest pair of heels..)
Following up from the event, I ordered the beautiful Gemma dress, which has also been worn by MIC star Lucy Watson. With its fitted bodycon shape, low back and long sleeves, I feel like it’s been designed especially for me!
If your looking for some LBD inspiration, or simply seeking a dress for this season’s Christmas parties that won’t date quickly in this fast fashion world, then take a look at the collection here!
Are you a little bit of a short girl like me? As in, around the 5 ft 3 mark? Always hunting out the petites range everytime you go into a store? If so, you may be pleased to hear that stylish retailer Banana Republic have now launched a petites range, which is an extensive collection of fashion featuring a full wardrobe selection. Nothing more annoying that seeing a retailer stock a very small range of garments in petites, so I was very happy to see Banana Republic’s collection consist of lots and lots of styles!
I visited the Trafford Centre store in Manchester the other week and had a tour around the shop, along with a talk about the new collections for A/W14 and the launch of the Petites range from their Store manager and PR & Social Media Manager. And of course, it would have been rude not to have a shop!
With Winter creeping in, I got myself a striped grey and white jumper which also looks cute with a pair of black ‘skorts’ and tights, or black skinny jeans more a more casual look. As the jumper is from the petites range, it’s designed to fit girls of 5 ft 3 and under, so the arms were a correct fit (I usually have to roll up the sleeves!) and it sits perfectly on my waist with no ‘baggy-ness’. I do wish all brands would launch a Petites collection…
I also purchased two very standard long sleeve tops that I felt would be essentials for wearing to work. They both have a quilted texture on the shoulder pads with a little bit of embroidery – great everyday basics with a stylish twist.
If it’s more fashion forward petites clothes your looking for this A/W, check out the range of smart classic dresses, skirts and trousers from this range. The thing I love about Banana Republic is that I find all the garments have that classic, timeless touch to them. No bold prints or fast-fashion feel. Everything is based on quality, with clothes produced to reflect the seasons trends but with a tailored feel that takes you from season to season and doesn’t date quickly. Very happy to see another leading brand taking the leap into Petites!
Whilst I’m busy at the moment putting together some gorgeous beauty and skincare products for a giveaway to celebrate my new followers, subscribers and tweeters, I wanted to do something nice for all the amazing bloggers out there too. We are such a strong community these days, so what could be nicer than hosting a giveaway especially for a blogger to win!
As I jet off to Paris next weekend, it made me think about travelling to more cities regularly. When I lived in Australia, everywhere is so spread out and far away that it makes you realise how lucky we are in the UK to be so close to all the great cities around us via public transport. It also made me think how close the sleepless and sophisticated cities of Europe are – I can’t believe I have never been to Amsterdam, Prague, Italy… all these places practically on your doorstep in comparison to living in Australia,
So to celebrate UK living and embracing the fab cities we live so close to, I have teamed up with Travelodge to offer a blogger the chance to stay in a Travelodge of their choice, in a city of their choice, for one night. This could be a lovely Friday night venture, or a Saturday day trip followed by an overnight stay, allowing the winning blogger to explore a new city!
Just enter below via Rafflecopter but please note you must be following @what_emma_did_ on Twitter for your entry to count.
Terms and conditions: One night stay in a Travelodge of the bloggers choice, city of their choice that has a Travelodge. The dates will depend upon availability. No bookings can be made between 18th December and 6th January.
I am guessing that many of you have already seen my previous post on ‘Stoptober’ and all the encouragment about quitting smoking throughout the month of October (and hopefully beyond). As you all know from the post, I have never been a smoker, and I am strongly behind the campaigns and brands pushing for the nation to try and stop just purely because I am quite health and beauty conscious, and think that everyone should benefit from really trying to improve their bodies.
This is just a little post today to follow up from my previous support by throwing another angle at you – think about all the money you could save! I feel like if people really thought about it – like, realistically- then it’s such a huge spur of motivation in itself. My Voucher Codes surveyed 1000 people, and for many of these, the driving factor for giving up was to save money – did you know an average smoker could buy 5 XBox Ones or a Prada bag with the money they save if they give up?
The results have even been picked up by TNT magazine here, so take a look at some of the statistics.
Here are some of the results when VoucherCodes asked: “What is the driving factor now for giving up smoking?” and some other facts…
- Over half of the respondents (52%) feel that improving health is a driving factor for giving up smoking
- Thirty-two percent of respondents think that the high price of cigarettes which is pushed even higher up in the UK because of taxes is one of the main issues for people choosing to stop smoking
- Whilst 19% of those asked thought that a factor would be the negative effects smoking has on your family
- The smoking ban in the UK also has an effect with 12% of respondents stating that social implications of smoking is a reason in quitting
- How smoking effects your looks over time also resonated with respondents, 9% thought this could influence people to give up the habit
- The average smoker will smoke 13 cigarettes a day which equates to 4,745 each year
- Mayfair King Size cigarettes (one of the popular brands in the UK) cost £7.25 for a 19 pack, totalling an average spend of £1,810.40 a year
- The average UK wage is £26,500 (Net Pay after tax £20,974.72). A 13 cigarette a day habit equates to 8.63% of total income
And here is my favorite bit – look what you could buy if you quit!
• 202 trips to the cinema (average Vue peak time price £8.95)
• 2 Season tickets at Old Trafford (West stand upper £703 each)
• 5x Xbox Ones (£349 each)
• Prada Shoulder bag (£1,650)
• 3 pairs of Jimmy Choo shoes (Mendez suede ankle boots £550 each)
As a non-smoker, I might even try putting away the money I would spend if I was a smoker and treat myself in the new year to some designer shoes! Much more worthwhile.
So as well as the health and beauty benefits, the money side of the situation is also quite a biggy. I’m in no position to ever tell any one what to do, and I am just posting these blog posts to support all the brands and campaigns who are putting a lot of effort in to encourage and motivate people to quit for Stoptober. It’s a personal choice, but if you have been thinking of quitting, I hope these findings have gave you some positive motivation.
Do share your tips and advice too…
Today’s beauty review is featuring a brand I discovered in Australia, and I am delighted to see it has finally launched in Harvey Nichols stores in the UK! It depends how into your skincare brands you are as to whether or not you have heard of Mario Badescu before – it is a global famous brand however it’s more popular over in Australia and New Zealand. I discovered it when living in Sydney and was looking for an effective spot cream to pop on those annoying large spots that creep up one day and you just want them to vanish overnight.
This is where Mario Badescu Drying Lotion came in – it was recommended all over the beauty review websites in Australia. It’s a unique spot cream, as it comes in a small glass pot filled with pale pink sediment, and liquid filling it to the top, The application method is to dip a Q-tip into the pink sediment, and cover over your spot. You must not shake up the contents of the bottle – keep it upright so that the Q-tip has thick, sloppy-ish portion of the pink powder-liquid combination on the end.
Ingredients include Zinc Oxide, Salicylic Acid and Calamine which aim to dry up and soothe any sudden spots overnight. Reviews online rave about this product to the extreme, but everyone has different healing times and whereas no product ever clears me up overnight, this one does calm and soothe effectivley. I am really impressed with how spots do shrink in size overnight with the application of this along with the redness being taken out slightly – I would say a normal size spot takes about 3 days to fade when I use this. That might sound long for some people, but if I was to leave it to fade naturally, we’re talking more like 8-9 days for me! I was using Dermalogica overnight spot clearing gel before this, and I do find this one a quicker and stronger alternative.
When I went to re-purchase this last fortnight now I’m back in the UK, I was tempted by the sale assistant to try out the Enzyme Cleansing Gel too. I am usually very on the ball when it comes to beauty product shopping – I know what I need and don’t get sweet talked into new products- but to be honest I was ready for a change and if this wash is as good as the Drying Lotion, then it’s worth a try.
I have only been using this face wash for just over two weeks, which is a little early to start giving glowing reviews, however so far so good. The fact is it ‘enzyme cleansing’ means it is supposed to encourage cell renewal, therefore fading red marks, dull skin and sun damage (I have all three problems I would like tackling). It sounds like it works very similar to the Elemis Tri Enzyme Wash, which I always liked (not sure why I stopped using it to be honest…) and I have noticed some stubborn, new-ish bits of redness from blemishes have cleared quite fast. So far, my skin is looking a little more glowing and fresher… so I will update again in a week weeks!
If you suffer from stubborn spots and red marks, and are looking for a new alternative skincare brand, I do recommend Mario Badescu. I use this product purely from my own research, and have never been endorsed by the brand, therefore this is a completely personal review (I do always mention in my posts if I have been sent the product from the brand).
Oh one last note to add – be careful that you only apply the Drying Lotion directly to the spot – it is quite strong so surrounding skin can peel the first few weeks of using this product.
Any other Mario Badescu fans out there?
There is nothing cooler than rock & roll, therefore James Brown makes a debut with a new short film showcasing why rock & rock was so influential, starring model Abby Clancy.
Directed by the celebrity hair stylist, James Brown teams up with Vauxhall motors to bring life to the liberating style and sound of rock & roll, exploring individuality through fashion music and attitude. Abby Clancy always looks amazing, and in this video it is no exception, as she takes on an edgy role getting ready with her band The Vauxhalls before a gig, being shown in a state of undress. In usual Abby Clancy style, she is shot in a super stylish light, focusing on fashion just as much as the music as she gets ready to head out rock & roll style…
Vauxhall motors loaned James Brown one of the first ADAM ROCKS AIR cars to feature in this video, which fits hand in hand with sleek British design. London jeweller Lara Jenkins also has put forward a customised ADAM necklace, which helps Abby look every inch a unique yet edgy British style icon.
The film follows Abby taking the wheel of the ADAM ROCKS AIR and driving through London’s nightlife to get to the venue. Inspired by agile parkour athletes who negotiate urban spaces, the car features a state of the art Intellilink infotainment system which plays the film’s soundtrack, “Heart Is a Beating Drum” by renowned rock duo The Kills (Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart) and a full length electric folding canvas roof to embrace the open air –seen in The Vauxhalls framing London’s skyline.
The short film aims to explore the ‘expression of individuality through fashion, music and attitude’, and Abby does a splendid job showcasing this whilst dancing away in true rock chick style, heavily clad with heavy make-up, sequins and jewels.
ADAM ROCKS AIR is priced at £14,695 and the first Vauxhall to get the new 115PS 1.0 litre three cylinder petrol engine and an all new six speed gearbox. ADAM ROCKS AIR has a modified chassis with a raised ride height and new steering tuning.
Today’s fashion pick has to be these colourful Radley Oversized Clutch Bags – I am so in love. The luxurious Camberwell Clutch is available in lava, teal, hot pink, sky blue and black, and is designed to be the perfect size for carrying around your iPad or tablet- an essential for bloggers and busy women all around the world! Which colour would you chose?…
For £119, they are available at Radley stores and online, and are the perfect accessory this Autumn/Winter 2014 season. Why not pop it on your Christmas wish list? The black one is certainly going on mine. Shop the Camberwell Clutch here.
Today I wanted to share with you my favorite lipstick, from no other than everyone’s fave brand, MAC. I love MAC make-up, but when it comes to lipsticks, I love swapping colours everyday so I tend to find alternative cheaper brands to give me a bigger collection (as you’ll know from my post about MUA cosmetics). However, this is an all time love of mine and I wanted to share it with you in case your toying with the idea of using a sheer, ‘nude’ pink type colour but a little scared to take the plunge. I wear this when I wanted a break from my harsh bright reds, and I always get compliments!
It’s a beautiful glossy, sheer pale pink shade, that glides on with a sheen and leaves your lips looking luscious It’s actually a really popular shade – justGoogle it and it’s all over the internet! I wanted to review it just so that I can share my genuine love for the product and also so that MAC never discontinue it. God forbid.
1. It suits all skin tones. I am fair skinned with blonde hair and it doesn’t wash me out. It sits really nice with a tad of pink blusher and creamy foundation, although I have seen it look striking on darker skins. In fact, when you do have a review search online, everyone with olive skin raves about it.
2. Its the perfect pinky nude shade. It won’t sit on your lips like a concealer type nude shade, which I have seen before.
3. It doesn’t last that long on your lips – I do find myself reapplying it a number of times a day (the products only fault).
4. However, it is £15.5o and lasts forever in the tube- even with lots of reapplying. I have had mine for 2 years so far, can you believe it!?
5. It smells way too good you just want to eat it. For dessert mainly, as it scented very sweet like cupcakes!
6. Available from MAC online and all department stores that retail the brand such as Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and selected Debenhams and House of Fraser.
I’ll leave you wish my usual ‘disclaimer’ I like to put on my posts which informs you about my photography on the blog (‘I’m a blogger with an iPhone and no time to photoshop myself. Therefore the photos you see are 100% grainy, raw and real..) Unfortunately I don’y have an amazing camera, or a tripod, or the space to take fantastic blogger shots, so everything is done ‘raw and real’ with my little iPhone 4!
If you want to jazz up your lipstick collection and introduce a new nude shade, I strongly recommend this product. You will fall in love with it!