Wednesday, July 11, 2007

seasonal vainiac

My boyf mentioned to me the other day that I was "wearing a lot more make up". What he actually meant was that I've become a lot more vain in the last couple of weeks. The reason for this is summer. I love summer so much that it inspires me to make an effort, to actually brush my hair, put on a bit of blush and mascara, that sort of thing. Winter is so depressing that I can't be bothered. Of course this is ironic, because it is the winter months that I look rubbish in and need the most help for! Anyways, here's my guide to great summer stuff:

* Nivea fake tan. I've tried a good number of fake tans, though none of the expensive, St Tropez esque ones. However, I have no need to - Nivea fake tan fades in fast, has never streaked for me, doesn't smell too funny, and in the morning I wake up the colour of a week (at least!) in the south of France. Perfect.
* I am currently using Johnson & Johnson's Holiday Skin as my tan top up. However, I have come to the scientific conclusion that it is pretty rubbish, on account of the fact it takes longer to sink in than my fake tan, and the colour comes up patchy. Also, I always end up with white hands and feet, though I'm not sure the blame lies with Holiday Skin or me. Anyway, I'm eager to try and new brand, and I've heard good things about Dove, although my allegiance with Nivea might also play a part in my decision making.
* Maybelline Dream Mousse - wow! I knew my sister was a big fan of this stuff, but hadn't tried it myself until it was on offer for 3 for 2 and my local boots. I got the bronzer, a blush, and a shimmer. I love them - the texture and consistency is so brilliantly light and soft that they are fantastic. I probably should have got the bronzer in a shade darker (I went for the middle one as I'm permamently afraid of looking, well, orange), but it goes on like a dream. The only thing I would say to improve this is make the colours stronger - the blush is a bit of a pale, girly pink, when a stronger colour is actually much more flattering.
* MAC lipstick in Sandy B. I tracked down what lipstick the makeup artist used to use on Marissa (Mischa Barton) on the OC, and came up with this. It's a gorgeous, slightly shimmery peachy colour that is perfect for summer - underplayed, works well with a light tan (or maybelline top-up!), and is extremely flattering.

Once I start buying make-up I can't stop, so I also got a coffee coloured and a coral lipgloss. These were particularly weird purchases for me, since I usually can't stand lipgloss, putting it in the club of bootleg jeans, pointed toe black boots, and pale blue/pale pink as things that nice, boring girls use, and therefore I won't. Yes, I know, gross generalisations, and I've probably offended half the people who read this, but such are the risks I take. Anyways, the lipglosses have turned out to be a fun enough addition to my face, and are mercifully unsticky.

I'm still looking for the perfect pillar box red nail varnish for my toes, and I keep meaning to revarnish my nails in nu rave pink, but so far, I'm feeling fairly put together.

top search terms

My boyf does something with internet marketing, so I'm sure he could give me lots of advice about what words I should be using on my site to generate hits and all that - useful stuff no doubt, but in the meantime, if I judge what's cool by how many search terms lead to me, then its a toss-up between nu rave, kate moss, and topshop. A while ago, Jordin Sparks was my search term killer keyword, and for a while it was kirsten dunst, but that's tailing off. silver lame dress/leggings lead people to my many posts on american apparel, and there are still people interested in playsuits and fitflops. Every so often I think, "I should try and generate more traffic", and that I should do more celebrity posts, but I'm just not that calculating. Yes, a future in marketing is not calling my name!

street stylin

A couple of great pieces on street style today. Firstly, Painfully Hip's Amber seems to have exactly the same taste as me. Well, no, Amber actually has better taste, but anyway, everything she picks out I love, and today's wardrobe remix pics are no exception. I lurve the stuff on braces in particular.

Secondly, Fashionista picked up on a piece in the Seattle Times about fashion blogging on street style. (I feel that the sentence went full circle with its references, but oh well). The Seattle Times put together a neat piece how blogs like The Sartorialist are influencing the high street in a simliar way that the catwalks do. A quote which did the fashion world no favours came from Margaret Voelker-Ferrier, a University of Cincinnati professor of fashion design, who said, "People think fashion is from the street, but it's not. It's from the designers who are using the streets for inspiration. So at the end, it's still coming from the designers."

Um, does anyone else think, um, no, in the end its still coming from the street, and this is just cutting out the middle man? (I'm not saying design houses are the middle man and we'd all be just as stylish and gorgeous without them, but you know what I mean!).

Anyway, there are two points to the story - Fashionista's question of whether we are all dressing better on weekends in the hope of the Sartorialist snapping us (nope! Not a chance in Edinburgh, though I should start my own Sartorialist...), and wow, there are a whole bunch of places I should be uploading my style pics to. Now I just gotta convince my boyf to start shooting them.

american apparel finally delivers

Yes, it actually happened. My gear arrived today, and I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised. The blue hoodie (Lapis) was not quite as bright as it appeared to be in the picture, but is still gorgeous. The summer t-shirts are a good fit and nicely sheer. The hairbands are great and I'm wearing a baby blue one at the moment. The silver lame leggings deserved a whole post of their own (see below), and then there is the silver lame minidress. As its a one size garment, I didn't truly imagine that I would be able to shimmy myself into it, but shimmy I did. Once it was in place, it was a bit skin tight across the belly - you could practically see the fries I'd had for lunch. But it didn't do that nasty thing that strapless dresses do to your decollete and give me chub lines as I call them. It's indecently short and very pencil. I put it on over leggings and thought "yeh, I look good", and then I looked harder. I looked 80s. It is the most 80s silhouette I'd ever worn. And I still thought I looked good? I must be a product of far too many elle covers at the moment if I was now channelling Madonna. I pulled the dress up and it became a bunchy silver boob tube - still cute and wearable, but less of the clinging mini-dress look.

I took the dress off, and felt confused. Who had I become?

Neil Armstrong Called - He Wants His Spacesuit Back

This is the note that I found on my bed when I came home from the gym yesterday. The reason? I had left my silver lame American Apparel leggings on the table, and shocked my boyfriend when he got in. Other choice comments he gave me were "if I didn't know you and saw you in those, I would burst out laughing", and the simple but effective "they make you look fat". Me? I can't decide about them. They do make me look fat, which should be reason enough not to keep them, and they are difficult to wear, and really warm, which isn't good for summer, but there's something about them which makes me want to keep them. Why? Am I a crazy fool? Quite obviously yes. And they aren't even cheap - £28, so it's not as if I can just keep them for fun.

(Chief reasons I am being swayed I am sure are because of all the positive feedback that the website has of them - how easy they are to wear etc. Am beginning to think that everyone who puts feedback up there is (a) either a size 0 or (b) an american apparel employee or (c) probably both!! Even so, there is no reason I should be feeling so swayed by such a vague form of peer pressure!)

Has anyone else worn silver lame leggings? Can they make them work? Are they really the simple every day addition to my wardrobe that I've been looking for?

on the blogs today

ShopDiary has a cute picture of Emma Watson (Hermione in the Harry Potter films) in Kitson. Hasn't she grown up and become gorgeous? And doesn't she look like she's really enjoying herself (a good thing, in case you thought I was being snippy)? Fingers crossed she doesn't become LiLo in the next couple of years.

has shown me up again, this time by highlighting Blueprint magazine to me. Blueprint sounds perfect - a hipster guide to decor, craft and style - all the things I want to do but can't! Blueprint is not available in the UK, and since Borders is closing there go my magazine imports, but more interestingly, is published by the Martha Stewart empire. Who knew she could be so supportive of vintage worker gear being turned into cute dresses? I'm loving the wallpaper ideas, which is reminding me I've been in my flat for a year and done precisely nothing in the way of home decor.

the great outdoors

After weeks and weeks of rain in Edinburgh, it is finally sunny today. I was about to head to the gym tonight to take on a hardcore gym class (Body Attack, since you asked, courtesy of Virgin Active), but the sun is making me consider skipping the gym and going for a run. And then, since I'm thinking running, I've also been perusing "what stuff will make me run better", including the uber glam all in black gear from the North Face (I prefer running in shorts than tights. Actually I've never run in tights, so that's a bit of an uninformed decision, but I'm still sticking to shorts for the time being). However, the real impulse buy I want to make is the Nike/iPod NikePlus gear, but that would involve a new ipod, a running kit, and an armband or running top. I don't need trainers because Nike helpfully made a little pouch for keys that would attach to any running shoes a couple of years ago, and I can slip the wireless pedometer into that and slot it into my asics. On review, it would be a lot cheaper to go to the gym and be abused by one of those super perky people. I actually feel sick thinking about the pain and public humiliation that I'm putting myself in for.

Update: it's greener to run outside! less electricity, more carbon friendly

go west

Nine West in Edinburgh closed last week. It may be the effect that I have on Nine West - the one in Belfast didn't last long. I can't say I'm surprised - the store never seemed to figure out who its target market are. And if Fashionista's post on this is right, its facing similiar problems in the US as well. I couldn't afford to shop in Nine West in the UK, though one of favourite ever pairs (black patent peep toe platform heels) I picked up in the US last September. Same number on the price tag, different currency made all the difference. Shoe retailer Aldo does seem to be making a big impact instead, though their website doesn't seem to be the most functional. They've just opened up in Glasgow, and fingers crossed Edinburgh will be soon to follow. Otherwise, I'll be sticking to Office and Topshop, which are great, but only having two places to go doesn't exactly feel like a democracy...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Jane Magazine RIP

Jane folded today. I'm gutted. It was like a voice in the wilderness that was always able to point me in the direction of good music and random stuff. I only just paid for my subscription last month - I only got one issue! Plus, it turns out that I'm not very inspirational. Jezebel has a remarkedly insightful post on why Jane gave up the ghost - check out its advertising. And I guess it has a point - t'aint Dior and Givenchy...

Still, the end of an era no doubt. Where will girls on the edge go?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

best of british...

Something I've really been craving recently is some more British fashion blogs - I read catwalk queen and style bubble on a religious basis, but I haven't found anything else that will feed my clothes obsession. Anyone else out there?

Topshop - Three Ways to Wear

Whilst maxi dresses I'm sure are wonderful, with all this rubbish weather, summer just doesn't seem to be happening. Topshop are taking advantage of this with their new punky line, filled with black, sparkles, and those fantastic leather high tops. Let me get my black kohl out and channel Sienna Millar. And we thought we were retiring our black skinnies.