Sunday, 26 April 2015

Plus Size Summer Style

I can't wait to go on holiday in a couple of weeks (Malta here I come!) but my wardrobe is seriously lacking in anything resembling Summer clothing & when I started looking online I was kind of overwhelmed by the number of neon green shimmer kaftans I was seeing. So, I decided to put together a little collection of Summer-friendly items from my favourite retailers - enjoy!

I know Boohoo is better known as a party-wear brand, but I actually really love their basics, & they're super affordable compared to a lot of plus size retailers.  //  I love this dress because it's so versatile; while I'm away I'll be wearing it to wander round Valletta's old town, but once I'm back at work I can dress it up with a blazer & tights for a more formal look.  //  I find the fringe on the back of this shirt weirdly fascinating & I think it'll look great worn with a faded pair of jeans.  //  I picked out these two tops (chiffon tunic, slouchy tshirt) because I love how simple they are - a huge bonus on holiday - & I love the fact that they could both double as poolside cover-ups.

New Look has been my go-to store for reasonably-priced fashion for a while & they've got some great Summer options, although it's a shame that a lot of the more on-trend pieces aren't available in plus sizes.  //  We always end up doing quite a bit of walking on holiday, so these sandals looked like a perfect practical but cut option - they also come in loads of different colours, if pastel pink isn't for you.  //  I already have a pair of super classic square-framed sunglasses, but I couldn't resist these circular tortoiseshell frames with mirrored lenses.  //  White jeans are one of those things that fat girls are told we should avoid at all costs, but I think they're super summery & look great when paired with pops of colour, like this lilac double-layered cami.

ASOS Curve definitely isn't cheap, so generally I avoid buying items there that I'm only going to wear on holiday, but if you're looking for pieces you can integrate into your wardrobe year-round then it's definitely worth a look.  //  I recently bought a pastel pink flip-top backpack for work, & I love how practical it is, but the closure sometimes pops open, particularly if I'm carrying heavy items, so I want to buy one with a more secure fastening for travelling with & this white number from ASOS fits the bill.  //  I always buy shoes in black - it just makes sense considering how often I wear black tights - but black doesn't exactly scream Summer, so I'm keen to pick up some nude pumps, & these jewelled ones are really cute.  //  Speaking of shoes, my biggest fear is always getting blisters on the first day & being in pain for the rest of the trip, so comfy shoes are a must, & these Vans trainers are just over half price on ASOS.  //  The current temperature in Malta is 21°C (YEEEEEEEEES) but it's obviously going to be cooler in the evenings, & this red cardigan from Junarose is the perfect solution to night-time chills (along with lots of strawberry daiquiris, obviously).  //  Denim is obviously a Summer staple, but I realised recently that pretty much all my jeans are super dark: black, grey, navy... so I'm keen to pick up a lighter pair, & these mid-rise distressed skinny jeans look perfect.  //  I also love these high-waist black denim shorts, especially since you can style them with black tights to keep them wearable in Autumn.  //  & finally, this oversized white blouse is great for keeping cool in the sun, & it could easily be paired with a high-waisted skirt for a more formal look.

I've written before on this blog about my love for ASDA, but my advice if you're looking for sophisticated Summer pieces would be to avoid their "holiday shop" & scour the main range instead.  //  This pale aqua duster jacket is just £12 (you could easily pay £50 for it at somewhere like Simply Be) & I think it would look great paired with distressed denim, a white cami & chunky sandals.  //  I love the embroidery on this sheer bat-wing jacket - the only downside is the potential for some truly hellish tan lines...  //  I swear by ASDA's black plus size leggings & I love the print on these, plus they're perfect for throwing on to head down to the pool.

Hopefully this has given you all some Summer style inspiration, & I'd love to here where you find your Summer staples - let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

OOTD: Sheer Gold Glitter

Necklace - ASOS  //  Top - Elvi  //  Jeans - Dorothy Perkins  //  Shoes - New Look

I have some seriously strong feelings about this top (currently on sale for £15), unsurprising since it combines all my favourite things: it's sheer, it's gold, & it's super glittery.

I bought it on a whim, alongside the dress that featured in my last OOTD, but I've ended up loving it way more. It's a cropped, box-style shirt, made out of this incredible fabric that almost reads as duo-chrome, & I feel like it's weirdly versatile. Wear it over a bralette & it's perfect for a night out; combine it with vest top & blazer for a great office outfit; or wear it as a cute cover-up on the beach - basically I plan on wearing this 24/7 from now on #sorrynotsorry.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

OOTD: Making It Work

Necklace - ASOS  //  Top - Elvi  //  Jeans - Dorothy Perkins  //  Shoes - New Look

As someone who basically only shops online at this point, I'm pretty used to items not looking quite how I imagined, but it doesn't make it any less gutting when it happens.

When I ordered this dress from Elvi (RRP £39, I paid £23 in a sale) I had grand dreams of casually throwing it on over a bikini when I go away to Malta next month. Since it's a tshirt style, I was pretty confident with the fit (I even double checked the sizing chart, which is unheard of for me), but sized up to guarantee a slouchier fit.

Unfortunately, despite all of that, it's super tight around my hips - to the extent that I struggled to pull it down, & once I did it clearly cut into my stomach. MASSIVE BUMMER. I played around with it a bit & contemplated exchanging it for a larger size, but the fit is pretty much perfect around my bust, & sizing up would have left me swamped.

So, I decided to just make it work. I folded the bottom up to create a cute tshirt, & paired it with black jeans & a chunky gold necklace. It might not be a holiday outfit but I can definitely see myself wearing this around the office, & in the longer term I think I'll probably trim off the excess fabric for use in other projects since that watercolour print so beautiful.

I'm still pretty down because the dress looks incredible online & it would have been a great addition to my wardrobe, but I feel like I've done it justice all the same. What do you think?

Friday, 17 April 2015

Soap & Glory 3 for 2 Makeup Picks

I'm a total sucker for the Boots' 3 for 2 deals, & always end up spending way too much, but I do think they're great if you're not a natural risk taker when it comes to beauty products because you don't have to worry about wasting money on something you're not sure you'll like.

I've been dying to try more of Soap & Glory's makeup range for a while, so when I went to repurchase my trusty Supercat Liner & saw that there was a 3 for 2 deal on, it was perfect timing.

Despite having recently fallen in love with Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner, Supercat (RRP £6) is still top of my high-street liner list so I couldn't resist picking it up. This liner is super black, totally smudge-proof once dry, & perfect for creating dramatic cat eyes.

Next into my basket was the Thick & Fast HD Mascara (RRP £10.50). I love the packaging on this - I feel like it's a lot more expensive looking than some other Soap & Glory products I've seen, & could easily pass for a high end product. I'm also a big fan of the "natural" bristle brush - I find it gives a lovely feathery effect, particularly if you go slowly & build up several thin coats. My one complaint would be that - because this isn't waterproof - I do find it smudges during the day, but if you have dryer skin I imagine this would be less of an issue.

The final product I picked out was the One Heck of a Blot mattifying face powder (RRP £12). As we move into Spring I'm on the look out for ways to keep my complexion matte during those long days at work, & this does the job perfectly. Because it's translucent you can touch up during the day really easily (although I'd recommend using a fluffy brush rather than the powder puff to keep your application light). I also really like using this to set my under-eye concealer - I use my Beauty Blender to pack on the powder, & then a small fluffy brush to dust away any excess product - crease-free under-eyes in under a minute.

Soap & Glory is currently still on offer at Boots so pop online or in-store if you fancy a treat, & let me know what you pick up.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

OOTD: Witchy Goodness

This whole outfit feels completely inappropriate for Spring, but I desperately wanted to show off a couple of new pieces I bought recently before they get stashed away in my Winter wardrobe for the next six months.

The first item is this black velvet skater dress from Missguided's plus size line. I'm a total sucker for black velvet & I love the witchy vibes this dress gives off. My one regret is sizing up - I went for the size 22 & it's just a little too loose, particularly around the shoulder area, so definitely go for your usual size if you decide to pick this up.

The second item is this blanket/cape hybrid from River Island (now sold out, but there's a similar one in the sale here).  I actually already own a similar item from ASOS, in a navy blue, but that one is so long that without some killer origami skills it ends up dragging on the floor. This one on the other hand is long enough to keep you warm, while still being practical to wear. It's super cosy, & I can definitely see myself getting a lot of wear out of it in Autumn.

Last but not least is this raw Amethyst necklace from Etsy seller Minume. This was a birthday gift from my fiancé & I absolutely love it - Minume's jewellery is so reasonably priced I'm definitely considering picking out a couple of other items for myself.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Face Off: Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector vs. the Balm's Mary Loumanizer

I know that a lot of people like to save contouring & highlighting for special occasions - for me they're a part of my every day look - but whichever camp you fall into, I wanted to take some time today to introduce you to two of my all-time favourite highlighters.

First up is theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer (RRP £15). I'm not that into theBalm's retro aesthetic, but I do like how solid this compact feels & how travel-friendly the size is. You can purchased theBalm products on any number of UK sites including Birchbox (linked above) & FeelUnique, so it shouldn't be too hard to get your hands on Mary-Lou Manizer if you like what you see.

Mary-Lou Manizer is a honey-toned highlighter which is designed to add a subtle pop of shine wherever it's placed - I generally add a little to my cheekbones & brow bones, the bridge of my nose, & my cupids bow. It's not necessarily that noticeable, but it does bring some life back to your face if you're a fan of super matte foundations (like me!).

The second product is Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector (Pressed) in Moonstone (RRP £35). Because this is a higher-end product, you won't find it on a lot of mainstream beauty websites, but you can purchase it from SpaceNK (linked above) who are currently offering £10 off a £40 spend with the code "discover15".

The packaging is definitely something special, with an embossed brushed steel centre surrounded by rubberised plastic - it almost feels utilitarian, & it's definitely sturdy. 

Moonstone has more of a cool, pearl-tone & the finish is a more noticeable, metallic shine. Some people might find this too dramatic, but I love the high gloss look, particularly on my cheeks.

L: Mary-Lou Manizer  //  R: Moonstone

As you can see from the side-by-side swatches, Moonstone is not only significant lighter (making it better suited for really light skin-tones, where Mary-Lou Manizer can end up looking a little muddy), it also has a more opaque shine, with less glitter meaning no worrying about it emphasising larger pores.

Overall, I think these are both great products, & most days I do treat them as interchangeable. That being said, I know that when I want to look my very best, I'll always reach for Becca's Moonstone for that unbeatable, high-shine glow. I know it's pricey (hell, Mary-Lou Manizer isn't exactly cheap) but if you can afford it, I'd definitely recommend checking it out.

Let me know what your favourite highlighters are in the comments below, I'd particularly love to hear if you have any high-street hidden gems.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

OOTD: George at ASDA Jumpsuit

I've been meaning to post more OOTDs on here since forever, but during Winter the short hours of sunlight make shooting a bit of a nightmare. Hopefully now it's Spring - the weather today is glorious - I'll be able to get my camera out a bit more.

The item I want to focus on today is this khaki jumpsuit from George at ASDA. I bought it on sale so unfortunately it's now out of stock, but they do have some similar ones still available & if you want this specific one you can still find it on Ebay.

In the past I've avoided buying from supermarket fashion lines but recently I've been really impressed by some of the contemporary styles they've been producing, often at a fraction of the price you'd pay on the high street. The supermarket lines are also fantastic for plus-size babes: almost all George's items are available up to a size 24, & there are still stylish options up to size 32.

When I first tried the jumpsuit on, I wasn't sure it was for me - predictably, the legs were way too long & I felt a bit swamped. It didn't help that the legs & sleeves are both just straight, there aren't even cuffs, meaning I felt less stylish & more like the token woman mechanic in a car insurance ad. However, once I started playing around with the shape & making a few alterations, I really fell in love.

Jumpsuit: George at ASDA  //  Necklace: ASOS  //  Shoes: New Look

I rolled both the sleeves & the legs up to give the whole thing a bit more shape, & I also made sure to tie the waistband fairly high to give some definition to my waist. I added a bright lip & chunky gold jewellery to add a feminine touch but wore some chunky black heels to tie into the utilitarian look.

This jumpsuit has totally won me over & I can't wait to wear it again - I particularly love the idea of wearing it on holiday, fully unbuttoned to show off my Gabi Fresh bikinis. I might have a bit of a crack at the sleeves & legs with my sewing machine to see if I can give them a more slim fit, but overall I'm so glad I took a risk & bought this.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Review: Bite Cosmetics Matte Crème Lip Crayon

Ever since I finally started to feel like I had my makeup basics in place I've been keen to try out some new brands, & one that I was particularly eager to get my hands on was Bite Beauty.

Bite specialise entirely in lip products (meaning they should know their stuff) & although their products are pricey - you're looking at around £16 for their best known items - they do include naturally beneficial ingredients in all their formulas.

The product I'll be reviewing today is the Matte Crème Lip Crayon in the shade Glacé, which you can buy on Sephora for $24 (around £16, minus shipping).

My first impressions were super positive. The outer packaging is beautiful: slightly textured light brown card is complemented with the Bite Beauty logo in a vibrant red.

I love the product packaging too. The design is super simple, with a matte rubberised finish in cool grey, & the Bite logo in glossy text on the top. The lid (which is nice & secure) removes to reveal the product itself, as well as a twist-up tip which indicates the shade. My one complaint would be that the matte finish shows fingerprints & dirt like nothing else, so if that's something that bothers you, make sure you have baby wipes on hand.

Online, Glacé is described as a "dusty mauve" & I'd say that's fairly accurate. On my skin it reads as a muted peach shade, although on darker skin tones it could probably pass as a straight up nude.

The formula is what makes the Matte Crème Lip Crayon really stand out though. It's super creamy & applies like a dream, while still being really pigmented. The texture is probably closer to a satin rather than a true matte but this does mean that it doesn't feel at all drying. In fact, the addition of of orange peel wax makes is relatively hydrating, as well as giving it an incredible flavour & fragrance.

Overall, I'm super impressed with this Lip Crayon. It's pretty much everything you could possibly want from a lip product, & I'm already lusting after a couple of the other shades - specifically Framboise & Truffle. I'm also really tempted by Bite's other lip products but I'd love to hear your thoughts - if you've already tried them, make sure to leave a comment below.
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