Friday, 6 February 2015

Making Space: Shop My Vintage Closet

So my lovelies, the time has finally come for me to make a little bit of room in my vintage wardrobe. You guys all know I love my vintage finds and I tend to search high and low for them. Today I got the time to actually do something to make a space in my collection. So I'd like to introduce you all to my little 'Shop My Vintage Closet' page.

This is the space which will host the dresses I'm selling to make way for other dresses. Whether it is because I'm not wearing them as much or my rear doesn't fit any more well this is where they'll be.
I have quite a few from a variety of decades which will be listed shortly. At the moment, nip on over as I have a 1960s and 1970s piece both with incredible pattern.

As per usual folks anything you see and like you can email me by pressing the envelope button in the sidebar.

Hope you guys like some of my finds.
Much Love and dresses

Monday, 2 February 2015

Buying Vintage: Everything You Need To Know

Those of you who are vintage virgins, sit yourself down with a cup of tea as I have some wisdom to impart, even if you aren't it's always good to get some ideas from elsewhere. You guys know I love vintage but it can be a little bit of a love/hate thing from time to time. I wanted to pop up some pictures of my recent vintage buys along with a few tips that might help you in your own vintage shopping. 

How To Buy Vintage

1. Do not be scared of styles from different eras

I've always been a resolutely 1950's girl, nipped in waists and flared skirts, then I discovered the joy of a 1940's land girl style tea dress and now I love those too. I've even opened up to shift dresses which I haven't necessarily been sold on just yet but I've tried and liked a few. The point being, styles will surprise you, don't limit yourself.

2. Ignore sizes for the most part

I know how tough that can be, but rather if you can use the sizes on the labels as a guide you can get a better fit. We're all much bigger since the 1920's even the 1950's, not only in width but height, add to that the issues around modern day vanity sizing and you'll see that the size that is on the back of our dresses from Oasis may be a different size than what our ideal vintage size is. For example, I'm both tall and bestowed with 'a gracious plenty' in front and back, so as such dresses that weren't designed for my shape aren't going to fit me well. I tend to go up a size or two and belt if I need it. Don't worry about the sizing. 

3. You have to try it on

The vintage rule that should be emblazoned on every changing room and shop everywhere.Try it on. The fact of the matter is that unlike contemporary fashion, you probably won't see the item in your hand on 3/4 models in magazines. So apart from what you see on the hanger, you won't have a clue how it will actually fit. That's why you must try it on, busty girls, tall girls, petite girls, curvy girls, sometimes vintage dresses adhere to a more rigid pattern so try it on, you may get a lovely surprise.

4. Enjoy the revivals

Throughout fashion history styles have repeatedly been revived, from Grecian design right through to the 1950's echo in the 1970's, the 1920's androgyny in the 1980's, even the 1990's revival now. You may be thinking, so what ? I'll tell you what, revival pieces are great because more modern pieces are increasingly mass produced, have a little more forgiveness in the fabric and can be bought for a fraction of the inspired piece's tag. I have quite a few 1970's 50's revival pieces I picked them up for a steal and they all have some lovely stretch. Keep your eyes open!

5. Don't be scared to rummage

Unlike our High Street stores vintage stores don't have each item in multiple sizes arranged just so, you need to get in there and get your rummage on. Sometimes it can feel more than a little overwhelming when you are confronted with rails and rails of seemingly unending mixed up clothes. I would say give yourself time, don't try and do a big vintage haul in a half hour, you need to locate and try on so give yourself a little longer. That is how you turn up the real gems.

6. Enlist help

This follows on from my last point. Enlist help in looking for pieces, grab your friends, have a conversation about what you're looking for, the rough size, the style so that you have a few more eyes all looking. If you're on your own, go and talk to the shop assistants, give them an idea of what you're looking for, it's ok if you say that you really don't know, but they'll have great suggestions and an inside knowledge of what is in the store. Shopping vintage can be like normal shopping but the best vintage emporiums will be rather more chaotic so make it a bit easier on yourself.

7. Befriend a dressmaker

It isn't as popular nowadays to have clothes altered, we have a plethora of size options, so really dressmakers are more used to formal wear adjustments. Here's the thing though, if there's a piece you love which isn't fitting you well then getting it altered is an easy way to make it work. For example, the dress below this picture, I love it, but it's a maxi and I am a bit too tall for the maxi so it's more of a long midi on me. I'm considering taking it up a little or leaving it. But, what I will be doing is getting the zip replaced. The zip is original and it doesn't lock, so as my bust pressures it it goes flying downward to my bellybutton leaving me red faced and not happy. I've also replaced my favourite Hellbunny dress with the only one I could find anywhere which is two sizes too big. I'll be bringing my original to the dress maker along with the new for alteration. Dressmakers are wonderful, I wish I had the sewing skills and I'd make all my own clothes but until then I'll be supporting my local dressmaker to get a great fit.

8. Online vintage shopping

My favourite way of shopping vintage these days is online. I have my favourite vintage sellers saved on eBay so I always check on their new stock. You won't find out what it looks like on you before you buy it, so I tend to go up a size, but it is very easy to shop. You don't have to rummage around, you'll see things on a mannequin and you'll usually get an idea of the material from the seller. Nowadays it's where I do most of my vintage buying, you also get some of the best bargains!

So that's my take on what you need to know to shop vintage. Have you got any more tips for me?

Much Love

Saturday, 24 January 2015

What To Expect When You're Expecting...To Turn 30

When I turned 30 which was about a year and a half ago, it was not a fun time. About two or three months before it the panic started, those of you who have been regular readers of my blog may remember the posts, skincare was being ramped up and everything was being scrutinised. I have a secret to tell you, I barely had any skincare routine before this, in fact I don't think I took off my eye make up until I was at least twenty-seven. How that changed a few months before my thirtieth. Now on the other side I'm here to tell you what to expect, when you're turn thirty.

 1. You will suddenly scrutinise your face more than you ever thought possible
You will. I'm sorry to tell you but it's actually pretty normal. We live in a culture that prides youth and beauty over everything, so as you get ready to hit another decade it's not that surprising that you are going to start panicking. I spent at least 6-8 months about an inch from my mirror scrutinising in natural day light, bemoaning the way things had changed.
Here's the thing, I have never scrutinised my face with that kind of focus, who things I thought had changed actually hadn't I was just unbelievably hyper aware. When you're that aware it gets a bit negative and over focused.

2. You will buy everything in sight that you think will fix your 'problem' or slow things down
Have a good look at these pictures, pretty much all of this skincare was bought in the couple of months before I turned 30, that's a lot of skincare. I was double cleansing, toning, hydrating, serums, creams, eye creams, peels, masks, acids, oh you name it I did it. I went from doing practically nothing to going WAY over the top. Caroline Hirons' page was bookmarked and I emailed her more than once in total despair at the state of my eyes, which I was OBSESSED with. What was the problem with my eyes? Oh I thought I had ridges which it turns out I've always had, I just wasn't so flipping obsessed with them then. It's actually my cheeks which does it, at the time though I was inconsolable about them. Point being, it's not bad to renew your skincare, but going over the top trying to fix a perceived problem is just not going to help. It's the panic talking I think.

3. You will either be hiding from or stuck in the mirror
You'll go through stages of scrutinising, but you'll also go through stages of avoiding completely so you don't bum yourself out. There's really no need, it won't help right now if I tell you that you'll get over it, but you will, honest.

4. You will feel the need to check people's age
You'll google, you'll want to know what age an actress was in a film, if they're younger than you are now, you will be annoyed. Jane Fonda was 31 in Barberella and she was incredible, look at Jennifer Lopez. Age means very little, you just have to get your head around the fact that you aren't in your twenties any more.

5. You will realise that everything will be ok
It took me a while, but I've actually discovered that 31 is a considerably better age than 30. I've chilled out about it so much more. For a start most of those products I bought, I never actually finished, a lot of them are still in my bathroom. I scaled back my skincare to what worked for my skin, and although I buy skincare I buy a heck of a lot less. You will relax into it, and I've found that I feel younger at 31 than I did in my mid twenties, I just feel a heck of a lot less inclined to do stuff I don't want to. 

Things That Are Great About Turning 30

1. You stop doing things you don't want to do, really. 
There's a point where you just don't have the same tolerance for idiocy you used to have. Embrace this, it is good.
2. You stop caring about what people think
Life is too short, and what someone else thinks about you is none of your business. 
3.You can't be bothered with other people's drama
Oh did someone throw you shade on Twitter, really? Get a grip, turn your phone off ignore them. Even the people around you, you don't feel the need to get involved in their dramas, not your circus not your monkeys, you offer advice and that's it.
4. You feel more confident in who you are
Very true, embrace it.  You take less nonsense off people because you're not in your twenties any more trying to work out who you are. Like Her Holiness Beyonce says 'I'm a grown woman I can do whatever I want' this more than ever will hit you in your 30s, You will take much less crap and it is a good thing. 
5. You wake up and realise no one actually sees you in the same scrutiny you see yourself
You are all you have ultimately and how you choose to live your life is up to you. Turning 30 is really not that big a deal, and it can something you greet with positivity.

Each new decade brings something fresh into your life, be open and enjoy it.


Much Love

Friday, 23 January 2015

Weekend Vintage Bakes: Cinnamon Shortbread

If you guys are anything like me, you like a little bit of baking but often aren't keen on very long, arduous, tricky recipes. I like to whack it all in, mix it up and have something that looks good and tastes lovely at the end, not too much to ask right?

I made these little beauts last week and I wanted to pop them up on the blog because they're really effective, terribly easy, and undeniably tasty, seriously if you have any left by the end of the weekend, I'll be very surprised.

This is just a very simple shortbread recipe from Paul Hollywood that makes really buttery shortbread and I add some cinnamon, the fabulous little thing is that I get to show off my sale bargain in my 'with love' cookie cutter from Lisa Angel which cost me all of £2. So here we go.

You Will Need 

225g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
110g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
110g cornflour
2 tablespoons cinnamon 
Pinch of salt


1. Lightly butter 2 trays, or line with baking parchment.
2. Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and cream together, using an electric hand-held whisk or wooden spoon, until light and fluffy. Sift the flour and cornflour into the bowl, add the salt and cinnamon and mix together until smoothly combined. Tip the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to a soft dough.
3. Roll out the dough between 2 pieces of baking parchment to a thickness of 1cm. Prick the dough all over with a fork and cut into triangles or whatever shapes you like, using a knife or a biscuit cutter. Re-roll the scraps once to cut more (if you re-roll too many times the dough may start to get greasy). Put the shortbreads on the prepared baking trays and chill for at least 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 170°.
5. Bake the shortbreads for about 20 minutes, until just turning golden brown at the edges. Leave on the baking trays for a few minutes to firm up slightly, then lift the shortbreads onto a wire rack. Dust with sugar and leave to cool. They will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Then you just grab your shortbread, sit down with a lovely big cup of tea and enjoy. 

Much Love 

Friday, 16 January 2015

Bye Bye Lash Curlers: Benefit Launch Roller Lash

There are a lot of things you expect to be in lorries, cargo, boxes, random packing of the things I don't expect is a 1950's style beauty salon, but that's exactly what we got. A gloriously designed haven on the back of an enormous big-rig which will be touring the UK and Ireland to promote Benefit's new product ROLLER LASH.

 Face of the day was very natural with a lot of liner, and of course the Bardot hair! I had to take a quick picture mainly because the whole decor of the place was so on point and so vintage that I actually wanted to take it all home with me. The atomic decor, the hair drier lights-perfection.

 The girls all came in and got settled, Claire from French for Cupcake had her fabulous cape put on by the wonderfully suave Jordan, and Ruth from Willow Lane is of course modelling hers beautifully.

The girls are all in situ and getting ready to find out what is in store!

And here it is, Roller Lash!

So what is it? 
Roller lash is brand new launch from Benefit, its design is based on creating the best curl from the newly designed mascara wand.  A wand based on the principles of retro salon rollers, to grip and curl the hair or in this case the lashes. 

The wand has a selection of strategically placed hooks which grab the lash and grip it, pulling it up like scissors do to Christmas ribbon. There's a special set of smaller bristles at the bottom designed for the bottom lashes, smaller to grab the lower lashes and get all the hairs.

The mascara is very pretty, sorry but it is. I can attest to how hard it is to get that really good shade of vintage coral pink, mainly because I've been trying to decorate the house with it and it is nigh on impossible to get it just right. The rose pinks are more French shabby chic and I'm after an atomic powder coral pink...if you find one let me know.

I digress.

The cut out diamond packaging and sheer vintage salon gorgeousness of it is rather lush. The little ribbed lip at the lid actually takes off the excess mascara so you aren't using too much, the nice thing is, that is helps you avoid that super clumpy finish.

So what is it like on?

I popped a coat on my lashes, used the hook side to wiggle it through and get the lashes grabbed and curled. You guys know that I normally get my lashes LVL'd to get them to curl because they're so straight but I haven't had that done since October, so I'm very overdue. It meant though that my lashes were nice and straight to try out Roller Lash though. You can see the results below.

2 coats of curling Roller Lash, really did fan out my lashes. No doubt about it the wand definitely curls the lashes. I don't tend to buy curling mascaras any more but they never work, this one though definitely works.

My lashes got a nice curl, the one thing I found about the formula on my lashes is it does seem to smudge onto my lids, I think it's perhaps my lashes as I have the same issue with They're Real, so it's probably the creamy formula, but most people don't seem to have that problem. 

Roller Lash hits the counters on 28th February

So there you go folks, if you want curled lashes, this will definitely do it for you!
Thank you Benefit for a gorgeous event and you know if you're ever done with your salon and want to park it in my garden...feel free!

Much Love

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Easy Peasy Bardot Sexy: Brigitte Bardot Ten Minute Tutorial

Hello my lovelies, Happy New Year! What did you all do for the chiming of the bells? I'm a bit of a reluctant reveller for NYE, I always feel like I can never really be bothered fighting the hoards of people to try and get a drink. This year though we decided to go for an early dinner at a really gorgeous family run Chinese Restaurant. The food is always astounding and it is tiny, so it's lovely and intimate. So we brought a couple of bottles with us and enjoyed a lovely meal together totally relaxed.

We popped into the local bar and restaurant for a quick drink before we headed home so we could legitimately say we had been out for drinks as well as dinner. Then home we came in time for the bells so we had a glass of bubbly ready in our onesies! Perfection!

As usual I was running late, I seem to be incapable these days of realising how long things will take and scale down accordingly. So when it came to it I actually had about half an hour to get ready. My hair had just been washed so I looked like I'd jammed my fingers into an electric socket, hello curl explosion. 

I'd been wanting to try a Brigitte Bardot look for ages because she is amazing and just looks so unbelievably sexy, she is the BOMBSHELL. 

So today I wanted to bring you my very quick steps to how to create a Bardot look in about ten minutes. This isn't going to be an elaborate one, but there's loads of really great elaborate tutorials out there with enormous rollers and strategic spraying. This is going to be, you have ten minutes to make yourself look like a fabulous iconic sexpot, here's how.

We're hitting the hair first, 5 minutes, let's go!

1. Grab some salt spray and be liberal with it, I also grabbed some dry shampoo and spritzed it all over my hair working it through with my fingers to dirty the strands up a bit.

2. Section off the top piece of your voluminous mini beehive. Quickly back-comb the underside of your lifted section, you want to get some volume in but keep the top smooth. When done pull your sides, and the top of your hair back over your back-combed section and secure with bobbypins. Feel free to tease the top up a little higher with a comb if you are unhappy with the height.

3. Grab your tongs or your straighteners, whichever you have to hand, you want a wave rather than a curl so it's fine to not pin them and let them fall. Take big pieces and quickly run a curl through the pieces which you haven't secured up. It should look messy and as if you've just jumped out of bed, which suits our time frame. 

4. If you want to spray then give the hair a blast of hairspray, I didn't bother just because I wanted the curls to fall out.

Hair DONE.

For the make up we're keeping it simple, 5 minutes and off we go!
  1. Get your skin prep on, any serums or illuminators, pop them on quickly.
  2. Grabbing your foundation take it over the whole face, buff it in, you're aiming for a matt look.
  3. Take your bronzer over the face and cheeks, matt is best, we want to avoid a shimmery look, then follow with a peachy pink on the blush.
  4. Fill in your brows.
  5. Take a peachy eyeshadow onto the lids and blend through. I then took a dark brown onto the lash line and blended above and below to create a softer line.
  6. Follow with a liquid line, we're aiming for little cat eye flick. So take it over to the edge of your lash line and give it a cheeky wing. Then follow with lashings of mascara!
  7. Grab yourself a lipliner, Bardot opted for a more peachy tone which you could see lining her lips which was pretty fashionable then but a bit less so now. So use a nude liner and highlight your lips, you want a bit of a super pout so I used my Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme gloss to plump them up. You can do the same thing if you give yours a vigorous exfoliate with a toothbrush or use a plumping serum of your own.
  8. If you need a bit of extra mattification then do throw a little powder on but guess what, you should be done!

Don't worry if it's not exactly right it's all about the hair and the dark eyes. You can pull it off in next to no time. Whether you're doing it in the bathroom at work or even throwing together a night out look at home on a timescale, keep it loose and smudgy and you will be fine.

So guys that was my look, now tell me all about yours!

Much Love

Thursday, 25 December 2014

12 Days of Christmas Must Haves: Day 12 A Very Merry Christmas

The most important must have for this Christmas is of course a very merry one. I wish you all love, laughter, kindness and companionship this Christmas and of course a mince pie or two. 
Whatever you're doing I hope it is peaceful for you. 

Much Love and Merry Christmas

Monday, 22 December 2014

12 Days of Christmas Must Haves: Day 11 Terry Bradley's Iconic Images

As a Belfast girl, the work of Terry Bradley holds a place in my heart but also on my wall. Terry's work is strong and powerful, creating images of dockworkers and stunning tattooed women, boxers and labourers, he presents an irresistible appeal, brawny sensuality.

Terry has a pop up gallery now available in Belfast where you can go and check out his work, he also has online stores where fans like me can buy prints, art, clothing and merchandise.

For those of you looking for the present that really packs a punch, why not buy a Bradley print for your home!

Much Love

Saturday, 20 December 2014

12 Days of Christmas Must Haves: Day 10 All Things Christmas Pug

I know this probably doesn't require a whole heck of a lot of explanation, but we are very keen on pug things in our house. So much so Christmas also has a pug theme in places.

Our Christmas tree is bedecked with pug ornaments, and a few fabulous atomic vintage style ones, (can we talk about that space Santa!) I hope at some point to add the pug fairy lights from Pugs Might Fly, but perhaps next year!

Molly of course was feeling very festive. When she went to her local grooming parlour she came out with her little holly bandanna, just to get her in the mood for Christmas. It's also a really easy way to give your pets a little bit of festivity without annoying them with costumes.

 Of course you can't do Christmas without the occasional Christmas jumper, I know I've decried them a lot but you need at least one. Mine is emblazoned with a pug and was a gift from my husband last year. It's by Blonde and Blonde at Bank fashion but I know there's an absolute plethora of them on the High Street in various shapes and forms.

So that's my pugly Christmas

Much Love

Thursday, 18 December 2014

12 Days of Christmas Must Haves: Day 9 Lash Fibres

I've been using lash fibres for a while now, I recently saw a lot of bloggers talking about the Younique 3D lash and I decided to buy it on a whim thinking 'well what's the worst that can happen?'

It comes in this rather cute little case, pretty much like a glasses case with elastics to hold the tubes in place. You get a mascara of sorts which is designed to hold the lash fibres to your lashes, and you get the smaller tube which is the fibres themselves. 

I have to say I'm pretty impressed. If you like the false lash look then this is a good add to your repertoire, only with your own lashes. It thickens and lengthens and provides impact more than anything.

2 coats of lash fibres, vs 1 coat of my usual mascara.

How to get the best results:
1. For your base coat of mascara, pick one that has a small brush that's going to get to the roots and the corners.
2. Start with one THIN coat of your mascara.
3.Instantly put the fibres on your wet lashes, wiggle them through to get adhesion. Move on to lower lashes and other eye doing the same.
4. Cover LIGHTLY with the mascara tube, don't worry if some fibres come off, just be gentle and focus on the outer lashes.
5. Repeat the process until you get the length you want. I will say though that if you're heavy handed you'll end up with the fibres and mascara combo turning to clumps, which isn't hot. If you find this happening, grab a lash comb and comb it out.
6. You can finish with your small headed definition mascara to get in and also pull the fibres through.

It's better to build up to an intense look, and yes it does take an extra ten minutes, so many of you probably won't do this every day. For a night out, I would maybe add another layer of fibres to the picture above and a little more mascara to get that fake lash look. It actually is a nice alternative to the strip lashes which can be a bit of a pain if you're like me, spending the night worrying they're coming off.

Highly recommend the lash fibres, but remember thin coats!

Much Love


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