Munich…

People are fragile things
you should know by now
be careful what you put them through
people are fragile things
you should know by now
you’ll speak when you’re spoken to.

Song of the day. See above. Links in perfectly with my blogging topic of said day. Don’t you just love a good ol’ cryptic message.

Focusing on the frivolous side of things…throughout my many Google searches with the title ‘free photo editing’ the best I have found out there is Picnik . Out of the rest this is definitely the best. You can do almost anything your imagination can produce on this site. I love it. Particularly because I am a picture editing junkie. I take a picture and ‘cross processing’ immediately pops into my head. A picture where I look ever so sligtly squiffy can be turned into an arty shot with the application of ‘Holga-ish’. Also with only a beginners knowledge of photography previously, the editing effects on this site made me develop a keen interest in photo developing proccesses, thanks Picnik!

So imagine my dismay when I found it was closing down. In April to be precise. Boohoo. The only thing that is redeeming this terrible news is the fact that now all premium features are free. Yay. I’ve been taking full adavntage of the textures and the collage features so far. Brilliant.


Yes i’ve got my eyes closed and it’s in my bathroom but it’s cross-processed!

So give Picnik a try it’s free till April after all. I’ve introduced a couple of friends to it and they swear by it too! Another brilliant editing tool is Pixlr o-matic. Easy to use and really good effects particularly on the blue section of the wheel. Try it out and you will see what I mean…

Photo editing, what did we do before it!

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Nail attack..

Nails

Nail stickers are my new obsession. I particularly love the foils. They give your nails a really polished look but are suitable for day and night.

You might be considering getting them or already have them. So I thought I’d do a tutorial on them. I haven’t the patience for video so I figured photo’s with description would work just as well. They really aren’t that difficult so you should find it easy peasy.

1) Selection.

There are many brands out there. I haven’t used them all so I’m not going to attempt to try and find the best one with this blog entry. Ones I’ve found and have used are the brands ‘Nail Rock’ and ‘Technic’. We’ll start with the latter. Technic are pioneers of cheap make-up. In my opinion they are of a middle of the road quality but as a girl not acquainted with expensive make-up brands it does the job for moi. In fact I’m being a bit mean, I am a big fan of Technic. But I draw the line at their foundation. Foundation is the only thing I’ll blow the budget on. Anyway, nails. They do an amazing array of stick on’s. They also do fake nails, nail jewels etc but today I’m focusing on the stickers. As you can see from the pictures I’ve bought nail foils. They give a really interesting finish. The Technic ones are the monochrome wavy design. I thought they would look awesome on my nails. Very Jessie J. They are quite cheap £1.49 from Bodycare. You get 16 wraps in a packet and they are meant to last up to a week. However I’ve found they only really last for a night out and the day after. You remove these by soaking your fingers in hot water so washing your hair will make these disintegrate.


The Nail Rock ones I’ve got were bought as a present. I’ve seen them in New Look and Topshop but I’m sure most clothes shop stock them. They are the latest nail fad after all. Company did a beauty edit (February edition) and these were one of the looks. They mention Nail Rock in the article, maybe they are the head honchos of nail art…hmm. Price wise I think £6-8 and up. Depending on the style and where you got them from. They are supposed to last up to a week on your nails if applied correctly. Not bad, but I’m guessing washing up is out of bounds.

The polka-dot wraps are my favourite but not that great quality wise. They are by Elegant Touch. I’ve never heard of this brand before but that’s nothing new with beauty. I got these again from Bodycare. I heart Bodycare. These lasted me for one day and they cost £1.99 you get 60 in ten sizes. So even though very disposable, the fact you get 60 makes up for it.

There are many more brands out there so use whichever you like or have already. I’m sure like everything they vary on quality depending on the price. So just be wary of that.

2. Preperation.

It’s really important to prep your nails before putting these on. If you’ve got any residue on your nails they won’t last as long and your really just wasting your money. It doesn’t take very long and you’ll be grateful when you don’t lose one when your on a night out (Nightmare).

I use nail scissors and a nail buffer/filer. Not anything special, part of most girls nail care regime. Make sure your nails are trimmed and even. I like short nails so in case you were wondering no, you don’t need talons to get the most out of them. You’ll see in the pictures they look just as good. Saying that if you do have long nails then they will look fab too, that’s the beauty of nail stickers.

After trimming, file down any sharp corners and any other lumps and bumps. Then buff the top of your nail to get rid of shine and to create a perfect base for the sticker. Then your ready!

3) Preparing the nail stickers.

In the pack you will get your stickers and usually you will get a small wooden stick and a nail file. Useful! However disappointingly in my packet of Nail Rock wraps I didn’t get either. I’m not sure if this is true for all of their wraps….but if it is then for the price I’m disappointed! Technic and Elegant Touch do offer the extras (yay).

You’ll want to get them out of the pack and check the size of your nails in comparison to the stickers. Determine which ones you need and cut them out of the sheet. Making sure you don’t take off the backing paper just yet. Using the wooden stick provided (or a cocktail stick) peel the sticker from the backing and place carefully on your nail making sure you work from the side and smooth across. They do find their way onto the nail themselves and tend to even out but if it does go pear shaped i found I was still able to un-stick and re-stick. I wouldn’t do this too much though as they may become less tacky and just won’t last as long.

**Nail Rock**

With Nail Rock you have to apply heat. They are not your usual nail ‘stickers’. A hair dryer is perfect. You take the sticker using the wooden stick and apply onto one side of the nail apply heat to the sticker so it ‘activates the adhesive’ ( so say Nail Rock) then apply over the curve. Keep them hot at all times. When they are applied and your happy….continue as below. (Making sure you take into account they need to be kept hot!)

Once your happy with the positioning find the edge of your nail by folding the excess over the top of the nail. Then take your nail file and you’ll find if you start to file away the top of the sticker in a downwards motion the excess comes away very easily. I was shocked how easy this was the first time I did it. I’m quite heavy handed so if I can do this it really doesn’t take a delicate touch. Once your sticker is positioned and filed away your pretty much finished, now for the other nine!

5) After care.

It’s really important to paint your nails with clear nail polish afterwards. They will last a lot longer than without. I don’t really have a favourite, but I tend to stick to the make-up brands found in Boots or Superdrug. You know the ones, Rimmel, Loreal, Maybelline, Collection 2000 etc. Cheap nail polish is runny and doesn’t do the job as well.

There you have it! You should have bee-utiful nails that will hopefully last all night and if your lucky all week!

6) To be continued…..

New obsession to go alongside the current obsession. Lip transfers! I am currently getting everything together for my transformation into (hopefully) the one and only Katy Perry! For a fancy dress party of course. Although if I could get away with it in Wrexham, I would dress like KP all the live long day! So the transfers are a part of my outfit. Stay tuned for a tutorial (or a ‘how not to’ if it all goes wrong!) The whole KP thang is either going to be brilliant or deeply embarrassing for moi especially if no-one ‘get’s it’. Hopefully the blue wig will be an indicator….

Ta Ta.


Restaurant blouse…

Momma shakes on the highway
In her tight white driving gloves
Momma she was a demon
She got the devil moving

So upon listening to this song it got me to thinking.  Although not a song particularly focused on restaurant attire the title really did….get me thinking. Oo.  Special occasions. Dates, weddings christenings we all experience them but half the time we never know what to wear. Or at the very least, i don’t. I am atrociously bad at dressing for any occasion other than work, walking around aimlessly and gigging. Everything else I descend into blind panic, nay, rage at the mere thought of choosing a respectable outfit that still makes me look half decent.

Many a time iv’e wondered down the high-street looking for an outfit for the latest Birthday meal/meeting of parents/meeting of anyone not dead or four legged all the while thinking it is far too easy for the men folk. They have two  suits, the suit their mum bought them when they were 17 (that miraculously still fits, voodoo) and a work suit. Pop on either one with a shirt, which frustratingly doesn’t even have to be ironed ‘all that well’ and a tie (available in varying degrees of pattern and colour depending on how kerazy the wearer is). Too. Easy.

Am I the only one out there suffering with P.O.M.B? Pre Occasion Mental Breakdown? When I get dressed I literally throw on what I can find that day. No on-going style just whatever I fancy. Is it easier for girls who have a ‘theme’. Vintage, rockabilly…goth?

Arrgh. Hopefully this eternal dilemma won’t drive me to murder. Maybe a wrong song choice?…So anyone with any advice help. Literally anything. Things you’ve read, websites, even what your Momma taught ya’. I’m in dire need of a restaurant blouse.

Answers on a postcard.
 

 

 

 


Wishing on a star…

And I’m wishing on all the rainbows that I see
wishing on all the people
who’ve, ever been
And I’m wishing on tomorrow, when will it come
And I’m
wishing on all the lovin’ we’ve ever done.

I began my week with a trip to Manchester my home town. The first time I’ve been since the riots. The evidence of which still apparent in St Anns Square and Market Street. Miss Selfridge completely boarded up was a sombre reminder.  The ‘I Love Manchester’ signs throughout the city did a lot to remind me that I do indeed love my city.

That aside I stuck to the centre on my shopping expidition. Urban Outfitters was at my mercy. Primark saw the most damage though…I am a prudent shopper after all!

So we all know Autumn is a coming. Cemented by the fact I bought a blood orange snood ala Primarni yesterday. Guaranteed to make me stand out from the crowd this A/W! Plus it is likely to brighten up the terrible weather we have seen pretty much since, well, last Autumn. New season plus new season trends equal new things to lust after!

So I’ve got a wish list. A fashion wish list that is, I’ll deal with the worlds problems tomorrow. The combination of Ebay and my Manchester jaunt have really inspired me to seek and purchase.

Some of these things are on trend some of them I just like but to be perfectly honest they are in every high street shop so I’m not a trend know it all. Go to vogue.com for the A/W trend report. Seriously. You’ll be on there for hours.

Loafers.

A good pair is a must. I have plenty of cheap loafers but zero with that authentic vintage look. I found these lil beauties on Ebay. I’ll refrain from a link as I am currently bidding. But if you find them I challenge you to a bidding war! Be warned though I get paid on Friday and am likely to make a massive bid. It’s what I do.

Crochet top.

It’s grungy and cute at the same time. Odd. But I love it. I’m very into the cropped look as I like to layer. Not only does it keep you warm (my dad would be so pleased) but it really let’s you play with different looks. Texture is really interesting, mixing different materials really adds versatility to your wardrobe. Maybe mix a silk dress with a cable knit jumper.

Sheer blouse.

The blouse is a staple that is here to stay…in my wardrobe at least! I love sheer ones especially. You can now get bra tops that are meant to be seen. I particularly like these ones I found the other day at Urban Outfitters. I really like the mustard colour. I think that would look particularly good with the sheer heart blouse, depends how brave you are with wearing underwear as outer-wear…

Camel winter coat.

Every year I want one and every year I fail to find the ‘perfect’ one. This year will be the year of the camel! I intend to hit the charity shops and Ebay and if all else fails. Asos. They do gorgeous coats but they are oh so expensive. If you have read my previous blog i am a woman on a budget so Asos coats to me seem like an extravagance. However with the application of logical thinking I’ve realised that if I write a letter, Santa and his elves will simply order it for me and pop it under my Christmas Tree wrapped and everything.  Dream coat of my dreams.

Cream lace panel blouse.

Another blouse! But i do love them. This is all about texture, the panels create interest and I just think it would be a real asset to my wardrobe. Nights out or shopping trips, I could wear it everywhere. I already have the outfits planned.

Casio chunky watch.

I love, love, love this. A proper piece of arm candy without the pulse. I love trashy gold and it’s totally retro.

Ankle boots.

Technically I already own three pairs but I particularly like the gold eyelets and brown laces. The one’s pictured have the worn look courtesy of an Ebay hunt, but if you fancy something a bit newer I suggest something along the lines of these.

Detachable peter pan collar.

I’ve recently learnt how to make these myself and am in the midst of writing it up to share with you. So stay tuned. The one above is an Ebay find, here’s a similar one . They are really versatile and can completely change an outfit. They go with pretty much everything from jumpers and t-shirts to dresses.


Low budget.

I’m on a low budget

I’m on a low budget

I’m not cheap, you understand

I’m just a cut price person in a low budget land

Excuse my shoes they don’t quite fit

They’re a special offer and they hurt me a bit

Even my trousers are giving me pain

They were reduced in a sale so I shouldn’t complain

They squeeze me so tight so I can’t take no more

They’re size 28 but I take 34.

Budget. A dirty word. Even The Kinks feel my pain. I have a budget for everything and my clothing budget is, erm, low.   Making trips to Selfridges an impossibility and a nip around my local town centre a definative.  A quick Google search for ‘budget fashion’ reveals a young lady who has managed to make an entire outfit out of her nan’s net curtains…including shoes. Not going to cut the mustard really. Budgeting is all about getting the most for your money, whether it’s £10 or £100. So whatever your budget it’s important to make sure you know what you want. Buying clothes on a whim is probably going to end up in you running short at the the end of the month..

You really dont have to spend a fortune on clothes to look good and feel comfortable nor do you have to recycle a couple of egg boxes and a loo roll tube….although I do think i’m half way to making Tracey Island.  I’ve found lot’s of way’s to avoid spending horrendous amounts of cash to curb my shopping addiction! Yep, an addiction. Whether its clothes or post-it notes I need to buy something every couple of days or I miss it! So to avoid the credit card debt the way I survive is by being thrifty.

  • Shop in charity shops. I have discovered most of my treasured possesions in them. I love finding a bargain. Love it even more when there is an almost identical item in a highstreet shop that costs an arm and a leg. Smug alert. Ok, so there is a chance that your uh-mazing cardigans previous tennant died while wearing it. But it’s unlikely said cardgan was the cause of death. So wash it and wear it, granny chic is in.
  • Recyle your old clothes. No, I don’t mean your ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’ jeans from when you were 6 (which I totally had by the way). I mean the clothes at the bottom of the pile currently residing on your floor. Yep, that pile. Dig around! I can guarantee you will find a) clothes with tags still attached and b) clothes you forgot you even owned. You bought them for a reason. Whether you intended to customise them….customise them now.  Or you simply bought them on a whim….the whim has come. So find a use or take them to a charity shop….so someone else can add it to their ‘treasured posessions’ pile. It’s the ciiiiiiircle of liiiiiiife. *aaaand break to watch The Lion King..man i love this film *.
  • Figure out your real budget. Sounds obvious, but I find that if I save and wait a few weeks I can normally afford what I want. Set up a little jar, pop a few £2 coins in there and hey presto!
  • Accesorise. One killer accessory can make an outfit. In comparison to an entire new outfit you can buy accessories a whole lot cheaper. I find that most high street shops do a really good range these days.  Here’s a few I rate at the minute.

‘Geek’ Glasses: £6.99 H&M

Bag: H&M, Colour: Mustard: £14.99

Choker: Oasis. £18.00

Hat: Topshop, £25.00

Some ‘effortless’ ways to look stylish in 5 minutes flat.

  • Dress in black.

Sounds gothic but it’s not. Black is *the* most stylish colour, hands down. Think Audrey Hepurn and cigerette trousers.

  • Red lipstick.

This will instantly perk up any outfit and if you like standing out from the crowd then it’s perfect for you. There’s something about red lipstick that is fabulously vintage and yet so thouroughly modern. A must.

My favourite at the minute is one a friend recommended.

Natural Collection.

Cherry Red. £1.99

Bargain!

  • Blazer up.

There really is something to be said for an awesome blazer. They are comfy they go with practically anything and are a real investment buy. So invest! This little beauty will be coming to a wardrobe near, erm, me very very soon!

Blazer: H&M. £24.99.

……and finally…bag it up….and belt up.

Sometimes the cheapest things in life do hold a big fashion punch. I got these at Primark the home of the budget fashionista. So go on raid the cheap shops, take note of your ‘fashion icons’ and emulate away!

Bag: £6.00

High waisted button up skinny jeans: £15.00

Beatles T-Shirt:  H&M, £9.99.

Brown skinny side fasten trousers: H&M, £9.99. (the latter not technically Primark but still a bargain!)


Pictures of you…

So I thought the best to way to begin is to introduce you to a few of my fashion inspirations. People that inspire what I wear, what I buy and what I like.

    1. Jane Birkin.


An actress, a singer and a muse. This woman epitomises style. She revelled in the ‘swinging 60’s’, she came, she saw and she conquered. She ultimately became notorious due to her relationship with the raconteur Serge Gainsbourg but in the end she cemented herself in fashion history in her own right. How did she do this?  Well, she epitomised effortless style. Jane Birkin is a white shirt, no make-up, kempt-yet-unkempt hair kinda woman. She had a fringe that would make Peppermint Patty green with envy, legs to die for and a complexion so sun-kissed she may as well have invented the tan!  She had a bag named after her…a bag she later rejected! She is one of my style icons not only because she is beautiful and stylish but because she did it without even trying, she knew her own mind and my god did she stick to it. She is something to look up to, something that can’t be copied and if you don’t already I urge you to get a print of this woman in your bedroom….as a reminder to be unique.

    2. Lily Allen.

To begin with I did not think that much of Lily Rose Allen. She seemed annoying, loud and far too opinionated for my liking. Her style at the beginning of her career mainly made up of garish prom dresses and multi-coloured converse/doc martins. I let her be though, gritted my teeth through Smile and LDN while secretly thinking….there’s something about this girl (as I poured over the latest issue of Heat magazine to see her latest fashion faux pas). But why did I care? 

It wasnt until a year later when she started hanging out with Kate Moss. Her style slowly changed…i started to envy her outfits. What was happening? Ah! of course, she was growing up. When I think back to my ‘teenage self ‘ dress sense. I shudder. I want to wrap myself in a Gucci pashmina to cement that I now know what the words Gucci and pashmina mean. I was a mess of ill fitting blazers and dodgy band t-shirts from the ‘should not see the light of day section’ in Topshop. *Shudder* But it’s fine! As I grew up  things improved somewhat just like they did with Lily. Lily Allen is my soul sister. She epitomises what I now want to wear if I had her millions. She is a dream in Chanel and one day Lily I will own a Chanel number. It may be a few seasons out of date…but it will still be Chanel!

 3.  My friends.


Ok, so none of you are going to know these people personally but I think it’s an important point to make. Most of my current, everyday fashion choices are influenced by my mates. They are constantly there, whether you see them in person or simply as an update on Facebook, they are the people I relate to the most (after all we chose each other as friends! ) and are available for quick round the clock fashion advice. Whether it’s the cool, London, up to the minute stylings of Lynsey, the ‘pristine to the last stitch’ stylings of her latest vintage inspired shirt courtesy of Donna or the high street honey that is Stacey, I have someone to call on for every single possible occasion.  Sometimes without them even knowing it! How many of us have seen our besties in a gorgeous Topshop frock only to go out the same day and coincidentally see something similar…and buy said item. Well surprise, surprise this is no coincidence. Like a celebrity our friends are where we get out inspiration, it’s not copying it’s inevitable! Just like you have similar tastes in films, Starbucks orders and god forbid boys, you also probably both like belted trenchs’ and playsuits. So next time you’re in a bit of a style rut, take inspiration from the girl right next to you….just maybe not the *exact* same thing as emulating identical twins is not going to win you friend points!

4. Alexa Chung.

I’m not going to lie. I wish I was Alexa Chung. To me she *is* style.  From when she first came onto the scene I was deeply envious of her. Even with her long hair. In the June  issue of Vogue she refered to the mane thus fourth “I’d like to look like Ali MacGraw, but I look sh*t with long hair.” Not technically true Alexa, but what is true is the minute she cut of those locks she became a star. An attainable star. A rock chick without the rock.  Her gawky Keira Knightly style looks, knobbly knees and slightly sticky out ears make her.  She is a designers dream, a clothes horse, she’s worn all the greats but still somehow manages to look like ‘that girl at that gig’. I love this! I want to be ‘that girl at that gig’ maybe I am. Probably not. Alexa Chung and your array of high-waisted shorts I love you.

5. Karen Gillan

Karen is a new breed of fashion icon. In no way affiliated with clothing but my fascination with her far exceeds the confines of Doctor Who, of which she is the star. From watching various behind the scene documentaries I took notice of flame haired, over-sized jumper wearing Karen. She looked pretty damn cool. In a fashion icon what else is there to look for?? She looked cool I like what she wore and I would like to get me some of that!

So anyway..

This is by no means a list of the greatest fashion icons of all time. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes. These are my likes and maybe your dislikes. Which works out fine, you don’t want to look like me and I don’t want to look like you. Embrace and emulate your own fashion icons and see what happens, you never know you may end up seeing someone you know in something you wore last week. Wouldnt that be exciting!


In the beginning there was….

In the words of Sir David Bowie (certainly in my eyes if not her Majesty’s)  “They’ll never clone ya”. An introduction (and a significancy) to my musings on the world of fashion, after all fashion is in the eye of the beholder.